DT 28962 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28962

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28962

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja on a pleasantly warm (for late January) RayThursday.  At least I’m pretty sure it is he as all the usual signs are here, short clues, Her Majesty on parade and a bit of innuendo by way of a love affair, a misbehaving husband and Rose gripping a large chopper.  I thought it was going to be a tad tricky as I only got four of the acrosses on first pass but then eleven of the downs came to the rescue so it turned out to be OK.  As usual with a RayT puzzle I enjoyed the challenge and  I’ll be interested to see what you all thought of it. 

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Mates with checkmate finally for match (6)
OPPOSE:  A slang term for mates or colleagues followed by an E (checkmatE finally).  This word gets used to mean mates but actually it means your counterpart in another organisation.  Mine in our French company was a guy called Hervé Lacombe and he was the sort of chap who could follow you into a revolving door but come out first.

4a           Expert struggled taking day in the event (8)
PROVIDED:  Take an expert, not an ace but the other one, and a word meaning struggled and insert (taking) a D(ay).

9a           Guard of iron runs around edge (6)
FENDER: This guard is the one around a fireplace.  Put the chemical symbol for iron and an R(uns) around a word for edge or finish.  This clip isn’t completely irrelevant – David Gilmour’s guitar is a Fender Stratocaster . . . 

10a         Contrived incentive facing debts (8)
SPURIOUS:  An incentive or urge followed by the usual debts.

12a         Criminal given punishment is put inside (8)
CONFINED:  One of the usual criminals followed by a word meaning given punishment of a financial nature.  I spent far too long trying to get a criminal by inserting (put inside) IS into the given punishment, d’oh!

13a         Recording one assuming affair (6)
FILING:  Start with the letter that looks like ONE and around it (assuming) put a slang term for a brief love affair.

15a         Striking and elegant but for pants (13)

18a         Man in command at Waterloo? (13)
STATIONMASTER:  This man in command at Waterloo isn’t the Duke of Wellington or Napoleon at the battle but the boss man at the place where the trains go.  I’ve spared you the ABBA song.

22a         Lacking a preference, purchases Sun at first (6)
ABSENT:  A (from the clue) followed by a preference or propensity with S (Sun at first) inserted (purchases).

24a         Tract contains essence of belief giving faith (8)
RELIGION:  Start with a tract or area of land and insert (contains) the middle two letters (essence of) belief.

26a         Enduring this compiler’s lesson? About time! (8)
IMMORTAL:  How the compiler might say “he is” followed by a lesson, from a story perhaps, with T(ime) inserted (about).

27a         Copper seen with unusual poison (6)
CURARE:  The chemical symbol for copper followed by a word meaning unusual or not common.

28a         Judge again almost calm imprisoning idiots (8)
REASSESS:  Take a word for calm without its last letter (almost) and insert (imprisoning) crosswordland’s favourite idiots.

29a         Queen possibly concerned with prince? (6)
REGENT:  Two letters for about followed by a prince or a toff.  Not sure I’ve got this one right but I can’t see anything else.  anyone got any better ideas?


1d           Rough diamonds in workplace (6)
OFFICE:  A word for rough or rotten followed by a slang term for diamonds.

2d           Weaving linen up as cape (9)
PENINSULA:  Anagram (weaving) of LINEN UP AS.

3d           Lawman, quiet and strong, accepts rising heat (7)
SHERIFF:  Take two letters for “be quiet” and the letter for strong or loud in musical notation and insert (accepts) a reversal (rising in a down clue) of a word meaning heat.

5d           Spellbound, inclined to support Republican (4)
RAPT:  Inclined as in inclined to do something follows (to support in a down clue) an R(epublican).

6d           Cover dictation covering sentence (7)
VERDICT:  A lurker hidden in (covering) COVER DICTATION.  I don’t think this clue is right.  The answer isn’t the sentence but the judgement of guilt. The sentence comes after said judgement is handed down.

7d           Inside found hot, in loincloth (5)
DHOTI:  Another lurker this time lurking (inside) in FOUND HOT IN.  Seems a bit strange to have two consectutive lurkers.

8d           Producer of French chanteuse, good for promotion (8)
DESIGNER:  The French word for OF followed by what a chanteuse is but with the G moved up one place (Good for promotion).  I didn’t read this clue carefully enough and for a while I thought it was something to do with that disgusting green liqueur.

11d         Husband misbehaving? It’s certainly fishy! (7)
HERRING:  H(usband) followed by a word for misbehaving or making a mistake.

14d         Rested and rose gripping large chopper (7)
RELAXED:  Rose as a colour around (gripping) an L(arge) and a chopper.

16d         Roadblock perhaps about to block pub outing (9)
BARRICADE: Take a pub and a word for an outing, on a horse perhaps, and insert (to block) two letters for about, you’ve had RE in 29a so this time it’s the other one.

17d         Developing pear lies against this? (8)
ESPALIER:  Anagram (developing) of PEAR LIES.

19d         Passes over wild regions (7)
IGNORES:  Anagram (wild) of REGIONS.

20d         Honour of clan protecting outskirts of Uist (7)
TRIBUTE:  Another word for a clan around (protecting) the end letters (outskirts) of UisT.

21d         Keen  to be under canvas? (6)
INTENT:  Split (2,4) the answer could describe the position of someone under canvas as in camping.

23d         Old lady’s up with bachelor for dance (5)
SAMBA:  The old lady is your mother so reverse her (up in a down clue) not forgetting the ‘S and follow with a bachelor of arts.  And here’s the dance which got a 10 from Craig Revel Horwood . . .

25d         Excludes heartily upset supporters (4)
BARS:  Supporters of a lady’s chest with the middle two letters reversed (heartily upset).

Quite a lot to like here but my favourite was the rather splendid all-in-one at 17d with 25d and 18a up there on the podium.

Quick crossword pun:      LAIR     +     MONK     +     HERD     =     LEMON CURD

58 comments on “DT 28962

  1. I too started by thinking it was going to be tricky but Ray T obviously had his friendly hat on today as I finished in a good time for him

    Thanks to Mr T and Mr P – 17d was my favourite too

  2. Hesitant start for me too but soon got into the swing of this fun challenge. My vocabulary extended once more thanks to 27a and 7d. Slight quibble over 13a, 8d, 14d and 16d although I appreciate the Big Red Book sanctions them all. Thank you RayT and pommers. Quickie pun amused.

  3. Good stuff from Ray T today.My favourite was 11d.
    I don’t like 25d which could work either way round so you need the checking letter before you can be sure of the correct answer.
    Thanks to Ray and to pommers (it was good to meet pommette and your good self at the Birthday Bash).

    1. I hadn’t spotted that about 25d but you’re quite correct. Luckily for me I chose the right way. Good to finally meet up with you too.

    2. 25d: Yes it does work both ways, with either the first or last word in the clue being the definition. I got it the wrong way at first!

    3. It does certainly work either way but these clues usually could as far as I’m concerned – if I can get them the wrong way round I do.

  4. Me too – having only a couple of the acrosses I moved to the downs and then found my way in.

    The poison was new to me too but was gettable from the fair clueing.

    Like Pommers, for a while I was trying to put “is” into the punishment.

    Thanks to Pommers and RayT.

    By the way Pommers, I don’t think you’ve covered the final letter of the answer in your hint for 9a

      1. No problem, it was a very small thing and I’m going to take this opportunity to say that actually I’m in awe of you “hinters”; I could never do it. Although I finish the crossword unaided most days (sometimes with wildly varying times) a lot of the time I have only solved the clue with the checking letters and the definition and I can’t for the life of me explain the rest. Then I come here and a very clever person puts me out of my misery, so thanks again to all of you.

  5. Friendly one today with 18a giving a smile .

    Yes got 25d the wrong way .

    Greetings from initially sunny but now cold & grey South Wales .

  6. This was quite mild for A Ray T, but I’d say still slightly above average for the general norm. The clues were all fine and it was a good solve. Fav: 26a. 3* / 4*.

    PS. 6d: I think sentence = ******* is OK – it’s listed in Collins Online Thesaurus and Chambers Online Thesaurus, thus:

    decision, judgement, conclusion, finding, adjudication, assessment, opinion, ruling, sentence

    1. Also:

      a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses.
      the punishment assigned to a defendant found guilty by a court, or fixed by law for a particular offence.
      “her husband is serving a three-year sentence for fraud”
      synonyms: judgement, ruling, pronouncement, decision, determination, decree; verdict; punishment

  7. 3*/4.5*. :smile:
    It always brings a smile to my face when I see lots of white space surrounding the cryptic clues coupled with single word clues for the quickie because that means it’s Ray T Thursday.

    No surprise then that I really enjoyed this. I found the SW the toughest nut to crack not helped by getting 25d the wrong way round.

    Like Pommers I thought that the definition for 6d was wrong but you could just about justify it using one of the BRB definitions: “judicial decision”.

    18a was my favourite and 9a has inspired me to head off and dust off my Strat while Mrs RD is out of the house.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Pommers. It was great to meet you and Pommette on Saturday. Here’s hoping you make the pilgrimage again next year.

  8. As is often the case on Thursdays, I found this puzzle quite tricky due to the use of some rather oblique synonyms. Is the word that forms the last four letters in the answer to 29a really synonymous with prince? It doesn’t work for me and even Pommers seems unsure. I’m still wondering if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

  9. As with most people I found this tricky to get going but with a little electronic help it gradually came together. My only problem was with ‘purchases’ in 22a, the hint explained it but seems a bit weak to me.
    My favourite def 18a.
    Needed some lateral thinking but quite enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  10. Lovely puzzle today. Unfortunately thought 1d was Sturdy, eventually decided this was rather a flimsy answer but took me ages to work that corner. Favourites 8d and 26a. 27a new to me but a good doable clue. Thanks to all.

  11. Tricky in places, amusing and great fun. I thought 17d was a real gem although the accolade of COTD will have to go to 18a.

    Thanks very much to Ray T and pommers.

    I think I saw yesterday that Dave Gilmour is selling his collection of 120 guitars in order that others can create and play music on them rather than just letting them gather dust. Nice touch.

  12. Yes, slow to start then finished much sooner than most Ray T puzzles – **/***.

    Favourite 18a.

    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

  13. Another excellent puzzle and a ***/****, going to start with my favourite 17d, which was very clever and a Quickie pun which made me smile.
    Last in was 25a which brought the d’oh moment on finally parsing !
    Thanks Pommers for the pics -why is it that Mr Gilmour makes guitar playing look so easy ? As does Mr T on the art of crossword compilation.

  14. Another slow starter here – thought I was losing the Ray T wavelength! Fortunately all was well once I found a way in.

    Top three for me were 18a plus 11&17d with a mention for the Quickie pun.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Pommers for the blog. It was such a nice surprise to meet Pommette and your good self on Saturday.

  15. Not too bad once the long clues and anagramshad gone in no real favourites this time as all pretty good.
    Thanks to Pommers and RayT

  16. A very nice puzzle on the milder side of Ray T. Can’t pick an outstanding clue, but all pretty good. Not sure I understood 29a before bunging it in.

  17. Like others, on first read through I thought this was going to be tougher than it turned out to be (which was still quite tough!). I think I may however be finally getting on Mr T’s wavelength, hence I thoroughly enjoyed the tussle. I thought 25d was a little contrived and ended up ambiguous, and I can’t quite see how “match” used as a verb is a synonym for 1a but maybe that’s just me.
    Lot’s to like though, 6,11 and 21d being my podium places. 3*/4*
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Pommers for an excellent review.

    1. SL. I thought the same about “match” in 1a, then I found this in the LRB (see under 2):

      1 resist, withstand, counter, attack, combat, contest, challenge, contradict, disapprove of, argue against, disagree with, stand up to, take a stand against, be against, take issue with, confront, defy, face, fight, hinder, obstruct, bar, check, prevent, thwart colloq. fly in the face of

      2 compare, contrast, match, offset, balance, counterbalance, set against, play off formal juxtapose
      ANTONYM 1 defend, support

  18. 29a – My husband wanted “Victoria” to come in somewhere! As she was “concerned” by the Prince Regent off the time! He tries very hard to help!!

  19. Fairly straightforward for a Ray T challenge! The downs certainly unlocked the solving I have to say. 18a was my favourite… just because it was so obvious I guess.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to pommers for the review and music.

  20. Got off to a slow start like several others above, but gradually got there, although I did need a handful of Pommers’ hints, thank you. Definitely a more gentle Ray T today, as I usually have to throw in the towel half way through his puzzles, but this one was very enjoyable, thank you.

  21. Must have been a very mild Ray T as I managed to solve it 😳***/*** My favourites 1a & 29a 😃 Thought 18a very amusing Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the cornucopia of music 😉

  22. The clue word count deserves special mention. Instead of the usual maximum of eight words, today the longest clues are only seven words long. 25a was not confusing for us as it was our last one in so had the checkers in place. It took us longer than it should have to see it though. All great fun that kept us chuckling.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  23. Access via the ‘downs’, must be a Ray T! Masterful as always & really good fun.CoD goes to 18a & 8d.
    Grateful thanks to Mr T & pommers.
    PS the pun is my utter favourite preserve!

  24. That song came to mind as soon as I solved 3d but Bob Marley was the one I listened to. Didn’t know that version from Clapton.
    Spent some time on 24a not knowing what tract to look for and picking the right amount of letters in belief. Finished with 14d which I thought was quite good.
    Thanks to RayT and to Pommers.
    Would have loved to meet you and Pomette. Grrr. So annoyed I missed it.

    1. I would have loved to have met you too – and the famous macaroons of course. Still, can’t win ’em all I guess.

      1. To have met you of course.
        I knew I got it wrong.
        As we say in France: I speak English like a Spanish cow!

  25. Hello Pommers, nice to meet you at the Bash on Saturday. If you have another channel of communication with Big Dave. Could you please let him know that I’ve sent him a couple of emails.

    1. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it on the tricky side. I had 7d wrong, I thought it was H for hot in tong, to give the answer as thong. I thought tong might have been a synonym for found, as in a Smithy or forge. Didn’t have time to check in the BRB. Once corrected, magaged to complete the rest. Was 4*/4* for me.

  26. I found it tough & took too long to get into this one. Perhaps only 3 hours sleep just dulled my brain – ot my brain is just dull some, probably most, days. Needed electronic help & a bung in to get me over the line. My effort did not do justice to the puzzle.
    Thanks to Ray T & Pommers for explanations, & sparing the Abba clip.

    1. Indeed it is but I can’t get over a nagging feeling that I’m missing something here but nobody has come up with a better explanation.

  27. Evening all. Thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments. Also, a belated thank you to Big Dave and all the other contributors for the sterling work over the last decade.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. It was a great 10th Birthday party – such a shame that you couldn’t have joined us.

  28. I’m rarely up to date with my crosswords, often days behind mainly due to the enemy, so don’t usually comment. I’ve been reading the hints for a year or more and find them helpful and informative. I completed this, without hints, in Monday time. I feel like I know you all.

  29. I thought the SE corner was particularly difficult. For some reason I struggled to find a foothold there despite pretty rapid progress elsewhere. I didn’t know the poison, and thought the wordplay for 29ac and 16d was particularly devious, which perhaps explains all.

  30. Naturally I first opted for the alternative answer for 25d. (My opinion for what it’s worth is that while clues like this can’t be held up in isolation as examples of perfect clues, in the context of a crossword where checkers pin down the required answer I think they’re perfectly fine.)

    My favourites were 1d, 11d and 14d.

    Thanks to RayT and pommers. It was lovely to meet you and pommette on Saturday.

  31. I forgot to thank Ray T and Pommers. I’d change my picture if I knew how, it doesn’t look anything like me!

  32. I agree with a 3* and 3* for both.
    I’m another one who found it really difficult to get started and I also found the bottom half much trickier than the top.
    22a was my last one – don’t know why but something had to be.
    I was also pretty slow to get 14d – got confused but the rose/red bit of it.
    Lots of good clues as usual on a Ray T Thursday.
    I particularly liked 12 and 15a and 11 and 23d. My favourite was 18a.
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  33. Could only do the bottom half yesterday then gave up on the top half this morning. Too many stretches of meaning for me. Thanks for the answers.

  34. Nice puzzle, with lots of great clues.
    Oddly because of some down checkers for 29a, I got regent from prince straight away; but then couldn’t see why, ( and still can’t although the Victoria connection seems possible)

  35. Probably not worth commenting now, but just to say I enjoyed the humour in this puzzle and also the blog. Thanks to all.

Comments are closed.