DT 28961 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28961

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28961

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A few days ago our news reports were full of a heat wave that was causing problems in Australia. Since then the weather system has crossed the Tasman Sea and we are copping it. Yesterday was an absolute scorcher with temperatures into the mid thirties. Today started off with a bit more cloud cover but this has now burnt off so we are sitting writing this with all the doors and windows open trying to catch every possible little breeze.

All the usual quality and fun from Jay. It seems, from a photo we saw, that some of you lucky people got to meet the setter himself at the Birthday Bash.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Tree rumoured to contain source of tannin for emergency treatment (5,3)
FIRST AID : A coniferous tree and the first letter of tannin is within a word for rumoured or stated.

5a     Colours for glasses? (6)
SHADES : A double definition. The glasses might be tinted ones worn to look trendy.

9a     Design of prison must include European court examiner (9)
INSPECTOR : An anagram (design of) of PRISON contains E(uropean) and the abbreviation for court.

11a     Burglars once admitting such an offence (5)
ARSON : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

12a     Almost all of officer classes (6)
GENERA : Remove the last letter from a senior military officer.

13a     Not disheartened by pace being harsh (8)
STRIDENT: Start with a pace or large step and add the first and last letters (disheartened) of not.

15a     Change of home port — miss a transformation (13)
METAMORPHOSIS : An anagram (change of) of HOME PORT MISS A. (You could almost take your pick here of what is the definition and what is the anagram indicator).

18a     Intolerable — badly done by friend pinched by you once (6,3,4)
BEYOND THE PALE : Start with an anagram (badly) of DONE BY and then a three letter friend is inside an obsolete third  second person singular personal pronoun. (We started off looking at a different obsolete pronoun).

22a     Most of newspapers will accept yield has priority (8)
PRECEDES : A word for newspapers generally loses its last letter and surrounds yield or admit defeat.

23a     Unfriendly nation, reportedly (6)
CHILLY : the answer sounds like a country on the west coast of South America.

26a     Prize from adult attraction rejected (5)
AWARD : The abbreviation for adult and then the reversal of attraction or magnetism.

27a     Regularly feel lazy after some drinks and song (9)
ROUNDELAY : Some drinks bought by a member of a school of drinkers and then every alternate letter from feel lazy.

28a     One’s regular partner is not easily shaken (6)
STEADY : A double definition.

29a     Proposed  complex (8)
ADVANCED : Another double definition. Proposed or put forward as an option.


1d     Aunt Sally? (4,4)
FAIR GAME : The answer can be read in two different ways. One of them describes the vulnerability of an Aunt Sally and the other could describe what an Aunt Sally is as an activity.

2d     Give up, having no good stuff that’s sticky (5)
RESIN : Find a word meaning to give up a position or job and remove the letter g (no good) from it.

3d      Proposition of millions after article on mineral deposit (7)
THEOREM : In the order they appear in the answer – definite article, a mineral deposit and then the abbreviation for millions.

4d     Trace of patois discovered on the rise (4)
IOTA : A reversed lurker hiding in the clue.

6d     The man’s accepting a struggle, seeing thugs (7)
HEAVIES : ‘The man’s’ expressed as a pronoun surrounds ‘A’ from the clue and struggle or compete.

7d     Stomach problem caused by free days drinking cola (9)
DYSPEPSIA : An anagram (free) of DAYS encloses the cola drink purportedly invented in New Bern South Carolina.

8d     Reason idiot must be kept in perhaps (6)
SANITY : A three letter word for perhaps or maybe surrounds an idiot or simpleton.

10d     Chatters about wheels like these? (8)
RATCHETS : An anagram (about) of CHATTERS.

14d     Relative regretted turning up, seeing such magnificence (8)
GRANDEUR : An elderly female relative and the reversal of a word for regretted.

16d     Dinner service producing a web alert (9)
TABLEWARE : An anagram (producing) of A WEB ALERT.

17d     Wet behind the ears — and in front of them (4-4)
DEWY-EYED : The answer means the same as wet behind the ears but refers to different facial features.

19d     Gave up profit, outwardly exposed (7)
YIELDED : A possible accountants’ term for profit and then the first and last letters of exposed.

20d     This animal can hide if confused (7)
ECHIDNA : An anagram (if confused) of CAN HIDE.

21d     Ship carrying cargo of fruit and asparagus perhaps (6)
SPEARS : The two letters designating a steamship surround a type of pipfruit.

24d     Two students must accept one bill for tree.
LILAC : The Roman numeral one is sandwiched between two learners. Then the abbreviation for bill or account.

25d     Pound for a plug? (4)
QUID : A double definition. The plug could well be tobacco.

18a had us scratching our beaks more than it should have so gets our star today.

Quickie pun    gin    +    jerk    +    ache    =    ginger cake

48 comments on “DT 28961

  1. It was a pleasure to meet Jay at the Birthday Bash. The standard that he maintains week after week is amazing and this is another fine example of his art. Top clues for me were 1d, 7d and 17d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    Those still suffering from withdrawal symptoms from having no Virgilius on Sundays may like to know that he’s in the Toughie slot today (as Jed). Please don’t ignore it because it’s labelled ‘toughie’ – it’s very gentle and if you liked Virgilius then you’ll like this one (I promise).

    1. I too enjoyed the pleasure of meeting Jay and asking how he maintained the high consistency. Constant tweaking and editing was his reply. I forgot to ask about his tricky puns though.

  2. Thank you to Gazza for saving me from having to type a full comment (except that I had met Jay on previous occasions).

    A great Wednesday with Jay, Jed, our Silvanus in the Indy, and if you want something trickier, then Picaroon in the Graun and Monk in the FT. Not sure about the Times, because I solve that at lunchtime. I’m a very happy solver today

  3. 2*/4.5*. I can’t put it any better than Gazza already has regarding this puzzle, meeting Jay on Saturday, and today’s Toughie.

    It was slightly unfortunate that the clue for 22a included the main part of the answer to the intersecting 19d, but that is a very minor point.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  4. Slow start with the across clues but appreciation grew as pace picked up later .

    Hard to single out a COTD but will go for 7D .

    Greetings to a hot NZ and , “ unwaith eto ” , take a bow Jay .

  5. Hot in Nz but below zero in the UK. If only the world were as consistent as a Jay puzzle. Very enjoyable as always. Ta to all. It’s another chainsaw day here in Downtown LI.

  6. I was one of the lucky ones who met our setter on Saturday and what a gentleman he is.
    Another excellent offering from him today and I can see no further than 1d for my favourite – still chuckling over that one.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks who are obviously not having to do battle with snow clearance! Nobody can drive up or down our hill at the moment.

    1. One of our car parks here is on quite a slope – covered in ice rather than snow this morning – and several people had to be called out to the car park just now to rescue their cars which, despite handbrakes being applied, were sliding down the car park! Scary. Fortunately for me, apart from having to reprise my Jane Torvill impression first thing, my car is parked on a level piece of ground

  7. Lovely offering as usual on a Wednesday😃 **/**** Favourites 12 & 18a 🤗 Thanks to Jay and to the hot 2x Ks. Particularly liked the Monarchs illustrating 15a 👍 🌨 here in the UK ⛄️

  8. Have to agree with a **/****, top enjoyment with excellent clues the parsing of witch was a pleasure after last nights Brexit fiasco.
    Love the name of 20d for some reason.
    Hard to pick a favourite, going for 21 down for its simplicity.
    Thanks to 2K’s forb the pics.

  9. I got lost in lower left…missing 22a, 21d and 28a (which I guessed but couldn’t see why till reading here).

    A few I did like, 13a, 18a, 7d and 14d….but winner for me was 17d.

    Many thanks to Jay and 2Ks!

  10. The first of two very enjoyable Wednesday puzzles, with the second making it feel like a Sunday! This one was completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 13a and 21d, with the former a nose in front.

    Thanks to Jay for his usual excellence and to the 2Ks (who appear to be around 70 degrees warmer than me).

  11. It took me a while to get going, as is often the case with Jay (who I had the pleasure of briefly meeting on Saturday) but once I did I quickly gained momentum and completed the puzzle except for 25d, which completely eluded me.
    I’d never heard of 12 and 27a but got them from the wordplay, which was very satisfying.
    Too many good clues (even the anagrams and lurkers were excellent) to choose a favourite
    Many thanks to Jay and the two K’s

    1. Hi Stephen, you have certainly picked up the lingo. you read like an experienced old hand. It was great to speak with you on Saturday and I hope your evening went well.

      1. Hi MP, thanks very much for your kind words, a much appreciated personal touch. It was a great pleasure to meet and chat with you too, along with the likes of Kath, Jane, and the man himself BD!
        My evening and in fact my whole birthday weekend went very well thanks.
        Looking forward to buying you a pint next year 👍

  12. All went swimmingly in the North then the South required a bit more application however overall it was a very pleasant exercise. Failed to parse 26a and 25d bung-ins. The 8d idiot seems to be cruciverbally popular these days. 20d new to me. Fav for its surface was 21d. TVM Jay and the roasting 2Kiwis ☀️- I’m about to go out to scrape the ice off my car windscreen ❄️- brrr!

    1. If you are going swimming Angelov, forget the north. far too cold. Head down to the 2Ks part of the world and swim there. Saint Sharon is a dab hand at scraping windscreens.

    1. Welcome to the blog. It is a pleasure to write the hints but I think we all like comments such as yours.

  13. Nice puzzle as a whole but did struggle with 17d which i still don’t really understand, can see the 2nd word but not sure how the first figures and 18a. Never come across 27a before or at least I didn’t remember it if I have.
    Completely missed the anagram in 10d but the answer was obvious.
    Thx to all.

  14. I’m getting back in to the swing of things having not done the DT crossword regularly for a while.
    I enjoyed this.
    18a came to me quickly enough; I like answers that are phrases/sayings.
    Others had me vexed, 27a is not a word I’m familiar with.

  15. Mr K and I were two of the lucky people who met and chatted to Jay on Saturday. It was indeed a pleasure, and a pleasure as always to solve today’s puzzle. Was this even better than usual or was I just in a good mood?

    My favourites were 27a 8d and 17d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  16. Another great Wednesday puzzle from Jay. **** enjoyment. Time irrelevant but like most good things came to an end too soon.
    7d COTD for me.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

  17. I thought this was just excellent. Loved the reverse double definition in 1d and the all-in-oneishness of 8d, 10d, and, especially, 20d.

    I also had the pleasure of meeting Jay at the Bash, where he graciously answered my many questions about past puzzles and about the mechanics of Telegraph puzzle production. He also mentioned that he’s a regular reader of the blog, so Jay, if you’re reading, thanks for that and thanks for a brilliant puzzle. I’m looking forward to seeing LUMUMBA in a future puzzle.

    And thanks to the 2Ks for a fine set of hints and pics.

    1. Although I had the opportunity to shake hands and introduce myself to the great man on Saturday, I would have loved to have chewed the crossword fat with him like Mr Kitty and Miffypops did. Jay, more than anyone else, has been the inspiration for my fledgling setting career and, as Gazza rightly says, his consistency level is remarkable.

      I do hope we can chat on a future occasion.

  18. This was pleasant crossword with little to hold up the proceedings. Favourites were 1d and 18a.

  19. What a delightful puzzle. Just enough head scratching required and such elegant clues. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. Finished this in the lounge in LHR on the tablet – not my usual medium. Hopefully I’ll put the jet lag into reverse over the next 12 hours.

  20. I agree with most of the comments. My problem was only in the SE corner with 25a being the last in. Did not know this synonym for plug. Also slow on 24d and 23a. Favourites 18 22 and 27a and 14 and 16d. Thanks to Jay and 2ks. Did not need hints but I missed one of the anagrams.

  21. Jay’s consistency is truly amazing, every week a treat.
    I loved the cleverness of 1d, which is my fave, and the slickness of 18a.
    I only got the second word of 17d, bunged in a wrong answer at the first word.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for all the fun.

  22. Late on today but never too late to thank Jay for another excellent and hugely enjoyable puzzle, with 7d as a particular favourite, and the 2Ks for a fun blog.

  23. Morning all.
    It is almost sunrise here and already it feels as if the oven door has been left open. The forecasters tell us that we can expect some relief tomorrow when a brief southerly change should bring some cooler air across the country. It will be most welcome. It sounds like most of you are experiencing conditions at the totally opposite end of the spectrum.

  24. Our paperboy has been ill again, so I was forced to do the Guardian (Picaroon) online…..
    Wot a headscratcher and no mistake, guv…..

    The DT arrived at lunchtime and was a relief by comparison.
    The first half of 17d had me going through the alphabet (twice) and I still don’t really get 25d, but otherwise it was like changing the wrong spectacles for the right ones. Aaaaah!

  25. Would have loved to meet Jay too.
    So annoyed to have missed the 10th birthday.
    17d was a bit of a bung in as I didn’t understand the clue.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  26. It was good to meet fellow cruciverbalists on Saturday. Apologies for the early exit, suffering from dicky tummy from previous night (better now!) Special thanks to the 2 Kiwis, and to all bloggers and commenters – always eagerly read and appreciated

    1. It was great on Saturday to meet the man who makes every Wednesday a pleasure, and thanks very much for popping in today too.

    2. It would have been a treat to meet you had I been able to make the Bash – thanks for everything, Jay

  27. Wish we could have got to the Birthday Bash, but already committed to two international trips this year, and that’s about the limit of those flights I can take. Perhaps another year. Enjoyed this puzzle from Jay, and any problems I had were when I kept taking the wrong fork in the road. Thanks to 2Kiwis who helped me get back on track.
    The weather seems to have gone mad, with Australia sizzling, and the northern US states suffering coldest winter ever, with Chicago warning of instant frostbite if you step outdoors. Here in South Florida we are guilty of complaining of overnight lows in the 45/55F range, which is very cold for us. However we have resisted putting the heat on yet, as it is that nasty blown hot air stuff. Will try to remember this come August when we will be moaning about the heat and humidity…

  28. Bit of trouble getting 17d but other than that a great puzzle. Thanks to 2K’s for the hints and hopefully I will get another chance to meet Jay.

  29. Can’t say I agree with 17d as the clue means inexperienced and the required answer means sadly nostalgic or reminiscent.

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