DT 28950 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28950

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28950

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. Well there’s a surprise – it’s only just light enough to be able to see that it’s snowing in Oxford. Anyway, now on to the crossword. This is definitely a Ray T Thursday but that’s no reason for panic – I don’t think it’s one of his trickier ones although some of the answers took some time to sort out. I’ll just have to wait and see what everyone else think so please leave a comment.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.


1a        Enduring Queen described by playful expert (12)
IMPERISHABLE — The usual two letters for our Queen go inside (described by) a word meaning playful or mischievous and then that lot needs to be finished off with a synonym for expert or skillful

8a        Practically nobody takes trouble to get regular figure (7)
NONAGON — A shorter way of saying nobody or nothing without its final letter (practically or almost) is followed by trouble or distress also without its final letter – that’s what I thought to begin with. Then I decided to just check the BRB so see if the end bit existed – it does. In ancient Greece it was a conflict or struggle between two protagonists. Now I don’t know what to think so over to you . . .   

9a        Alters entrances around court (7)
DOCTORS — Some entrances or ways in to a room contain the usual abbreviation for court

11a       Husband, wayward one could be soused (7)
HERRING — The one letter for H(usband) is followed by wayward or straying

12a       Incorrectly pick up short cut following motorway (7)
MISHEAR — The main motorway that goes from London to the north is followed by short cut or fleece

13a       Help putting plug back inside drinks (5)
SODAS — A reversal (back) of an abbreviation for a plug or commercial goes inside a call for help or emergency assistance

14a       Vandal, almost uncultivated, besieging ancient city (9)
 DESTROYER — A piece of uncultivated or barren land, without its final letter (almost), contains an ancient city – not the usual crosswordland one that has two letters but another longer one. I’m struggling with parts of speech in this one . . .

16a       A striver, I fancy? (9)
ARRIVISTE — An anagram (fancy) of A STRIVER I – not quite sure what to underline as the definition

19a       King surrounded by knaves and jokers (5)
CARDS — The one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for King is in the middle of (surrounded by) some knaves or rogues

21a       Narrow head of tree monkey with rosy behind (7)
TAPERED — Begin with the first letter (head) of T[ree), follow that with a large monkey and finish it off with a deep rosy colour

23a       Tory’s first excuse for rebellion (7)
TREASON — The first letter (first) of T[ory] comes before an excuse or justification

24a       Dismiss employee accepting money (7)
CASHIER — A double definition – the first being to dismiss in disgrace from the armed forces

25a       Male with urn sculpted for 1 or 2? (7)
NUMERAL — An anagram (sculpted) of MALE and URN

26a       Screen matron adjusted to see complaint (12)
REMONSTRANCE — An anagram (adjusted) of SCREEN MATRON



1d        One impaled acquiring new cut (7)
IGNORED — Start with the letter that looks like a one and follow that with a synonym for impaled or pierced which contains (acquiring) N[ew]

2d        Gluttons originally identified gee-gee in pastry dishes (7)
PIGGIES — The first letter (originally) of I[dentified] and a double letter (gee-gee) go inside some pastry dishes – (tarts with tops on!)

3d        Dismissed a general brought up protecting traitors (9)
RENEGADES — Our first lurker or hidden answer, indicated by protecting, and, just to complicate things a bit more, it’s reversed which is indicated by brought up. I thought I was getting better at spotting these little beasts – the answer had to be what it was but it took me forever to see it – back to the principle of, “If you can’t explain your answer suspect a lurker” – either that or it’s wrong.   

4d        Scene of destruction over misdeeds initially (5)
SODOM — The first letters (initially) of the rest of the words of the clue

5d        Plaintiff’s account about drug addict (7)
ACCUSER — Begin with the usual abbreviation for account, follow that with the one letter abbreviation for about in Latin and finish off with a drug addict or junkie

6d        Generally see supporting facilities? (7)
LOOSELY — A see or diocese is preceded by some ‘facilities’ – these are found, in decreasing numbers, in town centres and some are for men and others are for women

7d        Chastise unit at sea that’s keen (12)
ENTHUSIASTIC — An anagram (at sea) of CHASTISE UNIT

10d      Unexpectedly grumpy about parking going up (12)
SURPRISINGLY — A different word for grumpy or grouchy contains the one letter for P[arking] and a synonym for going up or becoming higher

15d      Frenchman’s revolting taking little time for bribe (9)
SWEETENER — A reversal (revolting) of a first name of a Frenchman, with his ‘S, goes round a synonym for little or tiny and the abbreviation for T[ime]

17d      Comeback from Republican that is holding office (7)
RIPOSTE — The abbreviation for R[epublican] is followed by the two letter abbreviation for ‘that is’ in Latin which contains (holding) an office or position

18d      From extrovert I got unbalanced feeling (7)
VERTIGO — Our second hidden answer (from) which probably doesn’t need any further hint on the grounds that if I can find it so can anyone!

19d      Jack boasted about triumph over mother before noon (7)
CREWMAN — The past tense of a verb to boast or blow your own trumpet, an affectionate term for your Mum and the one letter abbreviation for N[oon]

20d      Order dish out again (7)
RESERVE — A double definition

22d      Trickery seen during detective’s game (5)
DARTS — A two letter abbreviation for a senior detective contains (seen during) some trickery or deceit

Clues of the day for me were 12 and 21a and 2d. My favourite was 10d.

The Quickie pun:- PIECE + DEARS = PIERCED EARS    

54 comments on “DT 28950

  1. I thought this the most straightforward Ray T ever but I did enjoy it while it lasted

    Thanks to him and Kath – no snow in E Kent – lovely sunny blue sky but the wind chill is another matter :(

  2. I thought this one was excellent.

    Re 8a, I parsed it as nobody, split 2,3 (without the final letter), containing a 3 letter synonym for trouble.

    Many thanks to RayT, and to Kath

    1. Interesting because it does work and Gazza agrees roo. I went Katy’s way when I was filling. The grid.

      1. But does it really work that way? There’s an indicator to truncate NON(E), i.e. “practically nobody”, but there isn’t one to shorten AGON(Y). Or could that indicator have a double effect. Maybe I’ve missed something?

  3. I thought that this was pitched at just the right level. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.
    Bright sunshine at the moment in North Devon.
    I took 8a to be the truncated synonym of ‘nobody’ containing a verb to trouble or badger.

  4. 4*/4.5*. :phew: I found the NW corner particularly tough, but the whole puzzle was very enjoyable indeed.

    It took me ages to parse 3d because, having written in the correct answer based, I was transfixed that “a general brought up” led to – – NEGA – – – and I simply couldn’t fathom at all where the other five letters came from. Then the penny dropped. D’oh!

    My podium today comprises 19a, 24a & 3d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  5. Lots to admire and appreciate in today’s offering with the amusing 6D my favourite . Some of my answers had to be parsed in retrospect but that is par for the course in cryptic crosswords .
    Greetings from sunny but cold South Wales .
    Incidentally , my inbox has restarted getting notification of the appearance of daily hints .

  6. I too had trouble parsing 9a and had non without the last letter-practically, followed by nag on -to trouble !
    Anyway a different sort of puzzle today which needed careful parsing and a few ‘hunches’
    Quite difficult in places-appreciated the anagrams, a***/**** for me as I did enjoy the solve.
    16a was new.
    Liked 6d and 15d.
    Thanks all.

  7. Oh dear – I rather thought I might have made a 2d’s ear of 8a. :oops: Thanks to all those who have put it straight and sorry to everyone else.

  8. Thanks Kath and Ray T.

    A trickier stroll through the grid than yesterday.

    6d was amusing and 19a interstingi, no snow here in Honkers but going home to Paris tonight so who knows…

  9. Great puzzle but the East side held me up. It’s a miserable day here in North Norfolk, cold, overcast and very windy. Oh no, now starting to snow! Thanks to all.

  10. I’ve only done about 2/3 of this one and have to leave this computer shortly, but have got the gist of it. It’s another fine puzzle from Ray T with excellent clues providing a good challenge and much enjoyable cogitation. 21a: This is a great clue with a very comical surface – we’ve all seen those tree monkeys with “rosy behinds” on the telly or at the zoo. 8a: I parsed this the same as J and G, above. 4* / 4.5*

    1. PS. It’s glorious sunshine in rural Derbyshire this morning, but very cold with black ice everywhere and a slight sprinkling of snow. So, as you’d expect, all the postmen are walking about wearing shorts with bare legs!

  11. After a slow start, this puzzle was more easily solved than anticipated and I managed to finish it and parse it . The cloudless blue skies in rural South Oxfordshire were perfect for a morning walk and the cold north-easterly breeze quite bracing. No red kites today, however.

  12. Blue skies over Long Itchington today. Nice. And cold too. It could be a chainsaw day I think. Lots to like as ever from RayT. I was with Kath for 8ac but can see the alternative works well and it’s plumped for by Gazza. Thanks to Kath for her very fine review. Thanks to Ray Tbfor the funnand games.

    1. Long Itch eh? Know it well, especially Allen Ford PDI depot! I needed the hints for three or four clues, otherwise quite a testing puzzle for me (and I’ve been doing this one for 50 years!).

  13. Predictive Text. Sorry Kath. The man who invented predictive text died yesterday. His funfair will be a week on monkey

  14. Enjoyed the puzzle, thanks to setter and blogger.

    Just wondering, why hasn’t 2d been complained about like 7d on Tuesday? Aren’t they in the same taste really?

    1. I do see what you mean about 2d and the same thought occurred to me when I was doing the crossword but I decided to let sleeping dogs lie rather than stir stuff up again.

      1. Yes, I don’t blame you. I imagine it would be awful to spend a lot of time and effort writing and illustrating a lovely blog only for the comments to be all whinge whinge whinge……

  15. Not too tricky today for me but plenty to keep me occupied. Enjoyable puzzle as always from this setter.

    Thanks to Kath and RayT **/****

  16. A little more application required today than previous 3 days, particularly in the NW, however the challenge was very entertaining. Never heard of 2d but ‘bun’ged it in! Fav 19d. Thanks RayT and Kath.

  17. Managed to get my days mixed up so began this one without realising who was the setter. Made quite slow progress until I glanced down at the Quickie and the penny dropped. Picked up speed after that – amazing what a difference it makes when you know which wavelength to tune into!

    So much to enjoy here – podium places went to 19,21&24a plus 10d, with the latter just edging into gold medal position.

    Devotions to Mr T and thanks to Kath in snowy Oxford for the excellent blog. We’ve got a sprinkling of snow on the mountains but clear on the coast at the moment – fingers crossed that it stays that way for the trip down to the birthday bash!

  18. Terrific stuff from Ray T this morning. I did not find it as straightforward as some, but the challenge was very rewarding once completed. I thought the rekrul st 3d was a gem. Very enjoyable.

    Thanks to himself and Kath.

  19. After a quick read through the top I entered the puzzle through 7d and 16a and progressed smoothly anti-clockwise. Then held up for ages by 1a, 1d and 8a. Had the answer to 3D but, like RD, didn’t know where the other five letters came from – and didn’t see the lurker before lights out. All good stuff.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    Same old warm and sunny in the Caribbean.

  20. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A terrific puzzle from Ray T, lots to make me laugh, especially 21a. I liked 13a & 10d, the reverse lurker in 3d, but my favourite was 19a. Penultimate clue in was 1a, last in was 6d. Was 2*/4* for me. Regarding 8a, I was trying to parse it Kath’s way, but was interested to see the other version. Both seem to work. I wonder which way Ray constructed it?

  21. Quite a struggle for me today, but so rewarding to complete. I didn’t know the first meaning of 24a. Fav 11a.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  22. About the right difficulty for me. I don’t think that 5 down is a plaintiff, which is a dated term from civil law, now replaced by “claimant.” No doubt someone will tell me I’m wrong.
    Lovely sunshine on the East Devon coast and very pleasant sheltered from the wind.
    Thank you Ray T and Kath.

  23. This must be easier than usual for a Ray T puzzle, unless I an finally getting the hang of his challenges. Mostly enjoyed, apart from words that I rarely, if ever, use, such as 1a (only familiar with non perishable), 16a and 17d. Although latter is buried somewhere in my old brain. I have always been an avid reader and as a retiree I now read 6+ books a month, but not the right books obviously. But happy that I did quite well today. Thanks to Kath for the hints.

  24. I too was a bit flummoxed by 8a but no pasa nada as they say around here.

    No real favourite but 26a deserves a mention as it’s such a splendid word.

    Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  25. RayT has got the clue word count at 8 words or fewer so all in order in that department.
    Enjoyable puzzle that we did not find as straightforward as some others are reporting. The long answers took some working out for us. Good fun as always.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  26. Really enjoyed this puzzle, perhaps not his most difficult but I thought it was great.
    Not sure I have ever come across 26a before but the anagram gave it away.
    Thx to all

  27. Oh dear, first day this week that I’ve been able to access the crossword and it’s a RayT. I needed hints for far too many, c’est la guerre.
    Thanks to RayT for the stretch of my brain and to Kath for unravelling that lot for me.

  28. Well Kath..you say a pie is a tart with a top on,but what about lemon meringue or Mississippi mud?
    This was my father’s favourite conundrum..when is a pie a pie and when is it a tart?
    We never really came to a conclusion!
    I needed your help today with13a and it is my clue of the day because it was so tricky.
    Thanks to all.

  29. As Jane says, it makes an amazing amount of difference knowing which wavelength to tune into. So even though I was somewhat pushed for time when I solved this (hence didn’t get around to noting favourites) I of course enjoyed this very much.

    Thanks to RayT and Kath.

  30. Did quite well for me V Ray T.
    Kaths fine hints particularly for the her majesty clue gave me the kickstart to finish. 19a and 17d ticked my fancy most today.

  31. Evening all. Thanks to Kath for the decryption and to everybody else for your observations.


  32. Mr T in genial mood today! I only realised it was his work after I had half of the grid completed. No real favourites for me but an enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for the review.

  33. I hope Ray-T returns to more tricky crosswords, I can do those, I could do very little of this!
    Thanks all

  34. I found this RayT quite a bit more challenging than I usually do. A couple of clues held me up for some while until the penny or rather pennies dropped. No particular favourites, but all good fun. Thanks to RayT and Kath. (I later gave up on the Toughie though – I just can’t get on Miicawber’s wavelength, try as I do)

  35. Needed hint for 6d so thank you Kath. Generally struggled with NW corner as well with 1a being the bugbear.
    Thanks to RayT also.

  36. That’s about it from me for today.
    Apologies, again, for the 8a debacle!
    Thank you to Ray T for the crossword and for calling in. Thanks also to everyone for their comments.
    Night night all and sleep well. :yawn:

  37. Very late on parade but mainly because we’re catching up with family in the UK. I finished this while waiting for our flight last night in Vancouver airport. An excellent puzzle and entertaining. Thanks to Ray T and Kath for the review.

  38. 3*/4*…
    joint COD’s 19A (king surrounded by knaves and jokers) and 21A(narrow head of tree monkey with rosy behind);
    did not spot the lurker in 3D (dismissed a general brought up protecting traitors) until reading the hints, for which Thanks !

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