DT 28955 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28955

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28955

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

 It is still fine and warm here but we have had several very windy days lately which we could well do without. We’ve avoided the beach on our regular walks so we don’t get sand-blasted.

Have fun at the Birthday Bash at the weekend. We are very envious.

Nice puzzle from Jay once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     An idea, however tense (7)
THOUGHT : A word meaning however or yet and then the grammatical abbreviation for tense.

5a     Places formerly used for burying pub arguments (7)
BARROWS : A drinking establishment and arguments or disputes.

9a     A moan about stories making exceptions (9)
ANOMALIES : An anagram (about) of A MOAN and then stories or untruths.

10a     Hold back source of feed eaten by ruminants (5)
DEFER : Ruminants that often have antlers contain the first letter (source) of feed.

11a     Plant area by home for a parasite (5)
HOSTA : The name for an organism that a parasite makes its home, and then the abbreviation for area.

12a     Charge for barrel of fruit recently stolen? (9)
GRAPESHOT : The fruit used for making wine plus an informal word for recently stolen.

13a     Reform Libor? Up to executive committee (9)
POLITBURO : An anagram (reform) of LIBOR UP TO.

16a     Animal that’s quiet around crowd (5)
SLOTH : A command to be quiet surrounds a crowd or indefinite large number.

17a     Golfer‘s row about golf (5)
TIGER : The letter represented by golf in the phonetic alphabet is surrounded by a row or rank.

18a     Doctors offer these measures, accepting gain wrongly (9)
DIAGNOSES : An anagram (wrongly) of GAIN is inside measures that could be prescribed by a doctor.

20a     Ways of getting winning hands? (9)
MANICURES : A cryptic definition of digital beauty care treatments.

23a     Bad-tempered youth’s first after examination (5)
TESTY : The first letter of youth follows an examination or assay.

25a     Working fairs endlessly broadcasting (2,3)
ON AIR : A two letter word for working or in operation and then remove the first and last letters (endless) of fairs.

26a     Transparency by nation must give an overwhelming victory (9)
LANDSLIDE : The transparency that often featured in a show of holiday pics follows a nation or country.

27a     Tory regularly involved in mass meeting will be treated thus (7)
ROYALLY : The second and fourth letters of Tory are found in a mass meeting.

28a     Leaves sweets for the audience (7)
DESERTS : A homophone (for the audience) of sweets, puddings or afters.


1d     Desperate, as hopelessly exposes restaurant (3,4)
TEA SHOP : A lurker hiding in the clue.

2d     Nothing in awards for noted producers (5)
OBOES : One of the types of awards that are doled out on the Honours List contains the letter signifying nothing.

3d     United taken over by horribly arrogant underwriter (9)
GUARANTOR : An anagram (horribly) of ARROGANT contains the abbreviation for united.

4d     Hooligan exchanging uniform for popular obsession (5)
THING : Start with a word for a hooligan and replace the one letter abbreviation for uniform with a two letter word for popular.

5d     Brazil’s measure from leader — a star (5,4)
BOSSA NOVA : A leader or overseer, ‘A’ from the clue and then a star that rapidly increases in brightness. The measure here is a dance.

6d     Peak journey across capital of Germany (5)
RIDGE : A journey possibly on horseback contains the first letter of Germany.

7d     Not working on films or derivatives (9)
OFFSHOOTS : A three letter word meaning not working and then films or records motion pictures.

8d     Improvised score (7)
SCRATCH : A double definition. Score is to mark with a sharp instrument.

14d     Famous stage ready for transformation around November (9)
LEGENDARY : A stage or section of an event or journey, then an anagram (for transformation) of READY contains the letter represented by November in international radio communications.
15d     Reduce stress on subordinate to compete (9)
UNDERPLAY : Subordinate or below and then compete in a game.

16d     Disinfects bad stain that is covering small spades (9)
SANITISES : Start with an anagram (bad) of STAIN, next the two letters signifying ‘that is’ surrounding the abbreviation for small and finally the card players’ abbreviation for spades.

17d     Beat this dancing to rumba (7)
TAMBOUR : An anagram (dancing) of TO RUMBA.

19d     Line for hotel in reserve? That’s cunning (7)
SLYNESS : Another substitution clue. Start with reserve or reticence and replace the abbreviation for hotel with the one for line.

21d     Carbon test for marine life form (5)
CORAL : The chemical symbol for carbon and then a test where pen and paper are not required.

22d     Easy, no doubt, to take in a church council (5)
SYNOD : Our second lurker of the day, hiding in the clue.

24d     Sport exponent‘s foolish risk, imbued with ecstasy (5)
SKIER : An anagram (foolish) of RISK contains the letter commonly used for the drug ecstasy.

Several of the longer answers in the North East corner stood out for us. Which ones appealed to you?

Quickie pun    mate    +    ready    =    maitre d’

40 comments on “DT 28955

  1. Good stuff as usual from our Wednesday setter that didn’t take particularly long to solve but was enjoyable from start to finish.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and jay **/****

  2. 3*/4.5*. I love Jay’s puzzles and this one, which I found to be of mid-range difficulty, was no exception.

    5a was my favourite with 20a in second place.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  3. Just finished as the email prompt arrived

    Very enjoyable with lots of smiles and some great quality clues .

    Hard to pick a favourite but will go for 18A .

    Thanks to everyone

  4. Light snow flurries in our part of Kent at the moment.

    Nice friendly enjoyable Jay – I didn’t even have to start with the Downs

    Thanks to him and the 2Ks

  5. A nice crossword with very good, but not too difficult, clues providing an enjoyable solve. Favs: 9a and 14d. I stymied myself for a short while by impulsively bunging in SUPER **** for 5d just because “star” appeared in the clue. 2.5* / 3.5*

  6. Lovely puzzle as usual from Jay, the type of puzzle that would suit the Sunday slot nicely in my view.

    No faves, all good. Thanks Jay and 2Ks

  7. I got a good start to this very enjoyable but not too difficult midweek challenge by going up the downs and completed it at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 5a and d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  8. 20a took longer than the rest of the puzzle and I gave up on it eventually and looked at the hint. Sometimes I just cant see the answer with all the checking letters filled in. Grrr.
    Very enjoyable (the rest of it), the usual Jay excellence.
    Thanks to the aforementioned and 2xK’s.

  9. 16a and 17a were my favourites here in a fun solve.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis – hope the wind soon stops ruffling your feathers.

  10. Great – thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis. All fell smoothly into line with very little hesitation. Fav 12a.

  11. Held up by not seeing 14d for no apparent reason.
    Otherwise all went in steadily, a very pleasurable start to the day, matched by the 6.30 dogwalk on a starlit crisp morning here in S. Wales.
    COTD was 20a for me.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

    1. We were down your way recently.we stayed in Cardiff near the University. Had a drink in The Four Elms pub on Friday Night. On Saturday we went to The Transporter Bridge in Newport, Penarth Pier, Barry Island and back to Cardiff for dinner at Giovanni’s and a David Byrne concert at The Motorpoint Arena (After a couple of sherbets in Porters)

      1. Your eclectic choice of places to visit is interesting. The Tansporter Bridge is a fabulously whacky piece of Vicorian engineering. Penarth Pier and Barry Island are remnants of Victorian days. My children loved their visits to Barry Island spending / wasting hours on the slot machines. I find the island quite sad now.
        Perhaps next time try the The Clink Cymru for your meal

  12. Nice puzzle again from Jay! With a little thought everything slotted together well.
    5d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the windblown 2K’s for their review.

  13. A nice puzzle today, 12a & 17a were my favs. For some reason 26a was the last one in! Not exactly a difficult clue.

  14. Nice one Jay! Not too difficult, but good fun. Honourable mentions to 12a, 18a, 20a and 5d with top spot going to 5a.

    Toughie time now. Wish me luck.

  15. OK puzzle but not really to my taste. One of those that for many clues you need the answer to explain them and I though 19d was very poor.
    However I though 12a was a great clue.
    Thx for the hints to explain my answer to 19d.

  16. An enjoyable puzzle, which was very approachable, whilst the snow and ice outside this morning were not so approachable. The ground is still snow covered although there is now blue sky. Much too slippery for walking with crutches! Maybe I’ll try the Toughie.

  17. I didn’t enjoy this, I got there in the end through persistence rather than enjoyment. I thought 18 and 20a were very clever, other than that one to forget for me. 3*/2*

  18. Top draw puzzle for me today and a ***/**** , hard to get a start then a very enjoyable steady solve.
    Excellent cluing throughout- thanks Jay and 2K’s for the picks
    Last in was 20a I was thinking of monycards when that d’oh moment arrived !
    Liked 14d

  19. Usual enjoyable puzzle from Jay 😃 The right level of difficulty for me **/**** 😉 Favourites 2d & 14d. Thanks to Jay and to the 2xKs 🤗

  20. All done and dusted early morning before trotting off to spend a Christmas present voucher on a body massage. The puzzle was enjoyable, the massage was heavenly!

    No problems beyond getting flummoxed for a while by the Quickie pun. Top two places went to 12a & 21d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2K’s – we’ll raise a glass to you on Saturday.

  21. Late on parade today but, as ever, this Jay puzzle was well worth the wait. So many fine clues to choose from, but 5a was my favourite by a distance.

    A round of applause to the three birds involved in today’s production.

  22. Not too taxing but enjoyable. My daughter and her partner are touring New Zealand in a camper van, tackling some long walks with spectacular views, They also enjoyed a four day cruise from Auckland in a friend’s yacht. What a beautiful country you inhabit, 2Ks. Thanks to you and Jay.

  23. Now, that’s what I call a load of fun, exactly what I enjoy the most.
    I have ticks all over the place, so no particular fave, I loved it all.
    Thanks to Jay, as per LBR, I’d love to see you on Sundays, and to the 2Kiwis for their hints and pics, pretty breezy here too.

  24. I’m with Miffypops on 20a..took me an age as well.
    I put it down to playing bridge this morning and trying to make the last 5 letters into cards!
    Otherwise an easy enough puzzle and 12a and16a joint favourites.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks

  25. Morning all.
    Overnight the wind has dropped and it is calm now with a warm sunny day in prospect. That’s more like what we expect at this time of the year.
    Looks like Jay has managed to satisfy most, but not all, solvers once again. He does do it well.

  26. Obviously just me then. Took me way too long and never did get 11 and 12 so thank you for the hints for those two. Excellent puzzle all the same. Even though not enamoured of golf my fave clue was 17a 😊

  27. settled down to this wee cracker at about 17:30. Smooth, satisfying and fun. Perfect. 20a or 19d maybe best on show today for me.
    Thanks to The 2Ks and Jay. I would love to visit NZ sometime.

  28. Another lovely jubbly from Jay, thanks and to 2Kiwis for the hints. Only 19d held me up, but might not if I had written in 28a correctly. Agree with those above who say they would like Jay to do the Sunday cryptic for us.

  29. Needed help with several, but agree with Brian about 12, kicked myself for trying to think what a barrel of fruit was, knowing hot was somewhere. Daughter didn’t know what it was, so another opportunity to quote Drake’s Drum. (“slung atween the roundshot in Nombre Dios bay & dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.”)

  30. If one is happy with the Archaic use of the word ‘measure’ being ‘dance’ (5D) it was a fantastic puzzle

  31. Very much enjoyed this and managed to finish it without help. 18a was my favourite (and 2nd last one in). Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  32. I was very tempted to put “shrew” into 16a but managed to resist. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  33. Didn’t like 5d ( measure for dance?) and though answer to 15 d was obvious when other letters were present I couldn’t understand why (thanks to Kiwis on this) otherwise a nice word.

  34. I look forward to Wednesdays and Jay didn’t disappoint. I particularly liked 18 (once it clicked) and 20a, but there were many other good clues. I got 19d from checkers but didn’t understand it until reading the explanation – seems obvious in hindsight!
    Thank you as always for a fantastic blog.

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