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DT 28973

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28973

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Our long hot summer continues. Too hot and dry in some areas. In the Nelson district, where we used to live in our orcharding days, there have been huge bush fires raging for over a week. Whole towns have needed to be evacuated but luckily property damage has not been as bad as it might have been. The fires look to be almost under control now and there is a 25 km encircling ring that should limit further outbreaks although the risk will continue until there is a significant rainfall.
We found today’s Jay puzzle a bit trickier that usual, particularly in our normal starting place, the NW corner which was the last to get sorted.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Survive within elite mostly getting source of credit (7)
PLASTIC : Survive or endure is inside elite or select after the removal of the last letter.

5a     Women must have complete authority (7)
WARRANT : The abbreviation for women and then complete or downright.

9a     Eventually, crash-test will expose material (5)
LYCRA : It’s a lurker, hiding in the clue.

10a     Outlaw lost speed — runs with difficulty (9)
DESPERADO : An anagram (lost) of SPEED, then the cricket abbreviation for runs and a difficulty or bother.

11a     Textiles requiring efforts to contain a bug (10)
TAPESTRIES : ‘A’ from the clue and bug or nuisance is all inside efforts or attempts.

12a     Talk daily needing time for resistance (4)
CHAT : A daily cleaning person needs the abbreviation for resistance replaced by the one for time.

14a     Detective with feeling about pressure for immunity (12)
DISPENSATION : A detective inspector and then the abbreviation for pressure is contained within a feeling or impression.

18a     Sign on delivery for reference books (12)
DICTIONARIES : Delivery or way of speaking and then one of the zodiac signs.

21a     Attack from journal mostly rejected (4)
RAID : The reversal of most of the type of journal we associate with Samuel Pepys.

22a     Cleaner sort of witchcraft? (10)
BROOMSTICK : To understand the wordplay split witchcraft 5,5 to find her method of transportation.

25a     Arrogant Independent politician — critical but not initially (9)
IMPERIOUS : The abbreviation for independent, a member of parliament, and then a word for critical or important loses its first letter.

26a    Whine about universal right for groom (5)
CURRY : Whine or weep contains U(niversal) and R(ight).

27a     Happy without line, understands devices (7)
GADGETS : Remove the abbreviation for line from happy or pleased, and then understands or twigs.

28a     Defer and pay out after American flipped (7)
SUSPEND : Flip the two letters indicating American and then pay out money.


1d     Taste shown by veneer covering article (6)
PALATE : A veneer or thin layer contains an indefinite article.

2d     Welcome statute stifling church power (6)
ACCEPT : A statute passed by parliament contains the Anglican Church and the abbreviation for power.

3d     It permits a new mood in the group (4,6)
TEAM SPIRIT : An anagram (new) of IT PERMITS A.

4d     Arranged credit, mainly for drink (5)
CIDER : An anagram (arranged) of the first five letters of CREDI(t).

5d     One from Los Angeles perhaps seen in type of film genre regularly (9)
WESTERNER : A type of film typified by John Wayne and the second and fourth letters (regularly) of genre.

6d     Swim in river with fish (4)
REEL : The abbreviation for river and then a long slimy fish.

7d     Drunk — and a rich web designer (8)
ARACHNID : An anagram (drunk) of AND A RICH.

8d     Going off after short time horse-riding? (8)
TROTTING : The abbreviation for time and then going off or decomposing.

13d     States accepted by worn-out horses having these on their backs (10)
HAVERSACKS : A word for worn-out horses surrounds states or makes a pronouncement.

15d     Poor writer on novel losing head (9)
PENURIOUS : A writing implement and novel or bizarre without its first letter.

16d     Liking to protect new decking (8)
ADORNING : Liking intensely contains the abbreviation for new.

17d     Succeeded — then folded and made severe economies (8)
SCRIMPED : The single letter meaning succeeded and then folded into pleats.

19d     Run through new recipe (6)
PIERCE : An anagram (new) of RECIPE.

20d     Approved sort of ox put back in old herd every now and then (6)
OKAYED : Inside the abbreviation for old and the second and fourth letters of herd we have the reversal of an ox found in the Himalayas.

23d     Safe haven from love unchanged (5)
OASIS : The tennis score love and then a 2,2 phrase for unchanged.

24d     Lake Ireland viewed from the south? (4)
ERIE : The reversal (viewed from the south in a down clue) of an alternative name for Ireland.

1a had us working hard, with a real d’oh moment when we understood it, so that is our favourite today.

Quickie pun    bray    +    key    +    toff    =    break it off

60 comments on “DT 28973

  1. This was very good with great clues, designed to require just a bit more cogitation, making some quite tricky and giving a very enjoyable solve. I did get stymied for a while in the NW corner with 9a, which I was convinced had to be TWILL – it’s there lurking in the clue at the end of (eventually): “crash-tesT WILL”! But, of course, I’d got my parsing a little haywire (again) by being too slapdash. Do you reckon the setter purposefully had two 5-letter fabrics lurking deceptively in the same clue? I guess so – they’re crafty beggars! 3* / 4*

    1. I agree completely, twill held me up for a considerable time as it did not occur to me that it was incorrect! Found this quite a hard puzzle but the
      2 kiwis helped me out, thanks to them and the setter.

    2. Myself included. I spent a long time in this corner trying to solve the unsolvable. I have never seen a double-lurk before. What a cunning tripwire and I have a couple of black eyes. Nice.

  2. I found this enjoyable puzzle to be a little trickier than usual but managed to get it sorted out in reasonable time.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay **/****

  3. 2.5*/4.5*. The usual standard of excellence from our Wednesday setter is on show again today. I thought this was very enjoyable indeed.

    My podium comprises 18a, 22a & 7d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  4. Greetings from Capetown.Really enjoyed this Jay puzzle,as others have commented,a little trickier than usual.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  5. 7d and 22a are competing for my top spot this morning. Another cracking puzzle from Jay, probably towards the trickier end of his setting spectrum. The Wednesday excellence continues.

    Thanks to all three birds.

  6. It seems we have been let off lightly again today but it was no less enjoyable for that. For a while I tried to justify perilous rather than serious in 25a. 5a was a bung-in as I failed to recall the outright synonym. Fav was 7d but, on Valentines eve, I also liked 23d. Thank you to all 3 birds.

  7. This went in reasonably well until I got back to the NW corner. Having got the answer to 4d, I got 1a back to front thinking I’d got the last letter from misidentifying the straight clue as the cryptic bit. Sorry to be obtuse, but I didn’t want to solve this clever clue for others.
    Good fun and thanks to all as usual.

  8. I agree with 2 K S that this puzzle is a notch up and I also struggled getting a start in the NW corner, my usual starting place.
    The bottom half went in more easily-maybe I just tuned in, Excellent cluing all round , a ***/**** for me.
    I did like 22a,which has occurred previously in different guises, and 10a.

    1. I once learned that you should start cryptic puzzles from the bottom of the down clues and work upwards.
      I always do that and finds it helps.
      The bottom half of this one was definitely the easier half

  9. Yes, a little trickier than recent Wednesday puzzles, but not overly so, and very enjoyable as ever – completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 13d (haven’t seen that word for a while) and 23d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  10. Glad to read that others also found this a little trickier than usual. Plays havoc with the confidence when 1a refuses to fall at the outset!
    An excellent puzzle as always from this setter and I gave top billing to 18a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – you must be relieved that you no longer have orchards to worry about.

  11. A little tricky but enjoyable. I find the trick to Jay puzzles is to identify the clue and ignore the verbiage which can then used to confirm the answer.
    COTD for me was 7d.
    Thx to all
    PS Was it just me or did anyone else have to turn on the subtitles for last nights Shetland?

  12. This was a *** for me, I had to take a break and come back to finish the NW corner.

    With regard to 13d, I always get confused between one of those and a knapsack. (I think a rucksack is almost always larger though.)

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Coincidentally while watching Shetland last night (no Brian we didn’t need the subtitles) I did say to Mr CS does anyone call a 13d that any more? so I did smile when I solved that clue

  13. Thanks to 2 Ks for explaining the ‘backpack’ clue – couldn’t get ‘nags’ out of my head and could only think of the correct term as a verb. Bunged in. Otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle and I agree with the rating.

    Anyway, we stayed in Nelson 11 years ago (not quite so hot that year) in a gorgeous waterfront apartment with a balcony and a telescope in the living room. Ate seafood, wandered on National Park beaches and bought crafts. Sorry to hear about those wildfires though.

    1. I had the nags too and stared at a blank sheet for quite a while and then it all fell into place in a reasonable time. Good puzzle. I liked 18ac and 13dn.

      Thanks Jay and 2Ks

    2. We can picture exactly where you were Bluebird with your view across Tasman Bay towards Mt Arthur.

  14. I thought I had made a mistake this morning, had somebody written the clues in Swahili or even Japanese. Just couldn’t get going, so for the first time I will settle down tonight with a large single malt and try again.
    I am sure thanks to the 2Ks and Jay will be well deserved later this evening when I struggle.

  15. Another first class if decidedly tricky offering from Jay. It took me ages to get a decent foothold but once i did I quickly gained momentum. 6d didn’t quite work for me and I gave up and looked at the answer. Other than that lots to admire as usual on Wednesday with 23d being my COTD. 3/3*

    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks for an imformative review (even if the did miss a golden opportunity for a musical clip of 10a!!)😉

  16. My daughter was in Nelson very recently and also enjoyed a 5 day trek in the Abel Tasman National Park. She has now moved further south. I enjoyed the challenge today and also found the north west corner the most difficult.
    Thank you to the 2Ks for their hints and the news from NZ and to the setter for a good crossword.

    1. When we lived in Nelson and I was younger and fitter (Colin speaking here) one of my favourite things was to get up early and run the first section of the Abel Tasman Track at dawn. Absolute magic running through the bush with the birdsong and the bush smells, watching the sun come up across Tasman Bay.

  17. Stretching some definitions beyond the possible. I don’t enjoy puzzles that just show off the setters bizarre vocabulary

  18. Very nice puzzle which didn’t present me with too many difficulties. Favourites were 11a, 13d and 20d. Thanks Jay and the Kiwis.

  19. Phew. Relieved I managed to finish this one. I’ve lost my new pencil somewhere in the house, so my page is covered in inky scribble. I did not help myself by putting “savour’” into 1d, then “penniless” into 15d. I missed the lurker yet again, and wanted to put “vinyl” into 9a, as I already had the “v” from “savour” and I couldn’t think of anything else. I think that I need to start reading the clues properly again. My brains must have been washed away in the flood from my washing machine yesterday. Maybe I’m just tired. Many thanks setter and 2Ks.

  20. Oh dear, got off to a bad start by finding a different lurker in 9a – twill – which is also a fabric and like the two kiwis found the NWcorner tricky. Otherwise an enjoyable lunchtime solve. Thanks for the hints!

  21. This was a very nice crossword. Certainly a little trickier the normal but that’s no bad thing as far as I am concerned! 23d floated my boat for some reason.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s for their review and weather report. Grr…

  22. ***/****. This took a while to get on the right wavelength. Definitely tougher than the usual Wednesday fare. 22a&23d made me smile. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks. We have had 3 days of snow which is the first time in ten years. I’m now getting fed up having to clear the drive and the paths in front of our home (required by law). Having said that eastern Canada is having dreadfully cold weather so I’ll stop complaining 😎

  23. This was a very enjoyable puzzle and very much on my wave length, although I did have to check 5a with the two Ks (many thanks for the blog). I enjoyed Jay’s clever clues, particularly 14a, 7d, 16d.

  24. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I managed three quarters of this, but was missing the NW corner. Unfortunately I put “twill” as my answer, which is also a lurker. Then spent ages trying to to the rest. When the penny eventually dropped about 9a, I was gone mentally, so had to look the rest up. Usual great stuff from Jay. Was 4*/3* for me.

  25. Wow I am finding this one difficult. Have not yet looked at the extra clues by 2Kiwis but I suspect I will cave soon and have a peek.

  26. Decidedly tricky but, as is usual with Jay, hugely enjoyable.
    The NW corner was my stumbling block, took me ages. I needed to look at the hints for 1a to get me going again, have no idea why, it’s pretty straightforward.
    I liked 22a and 26a, but there was a lot more to like as well.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the fun. Rain all day here, most welcome.

  27. Morning all.
    It looks like other people fell into the same trap as we did with 1a by thinking that ‘survive’ was the definition and ‘source of credit’ was giving us the final letter of the answer. Very clever misdirection from Jay. We did not notice the alternative lurker in 9a, perhaps we had a checker or two in place when we got there. Pleased that most commenters enjoyed the puzzle as much as we did.

  28. Superb offering from Jay even though I needed the 1a hint to get the last 3: all in the NW corner. I couldn’t get ac – ace shortened as bracketing something meaning survive out my head for 1a. Rest just fell into place bit by bit clockwise from NE corner.
    COTD 22a over 18a by a nose.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks. Strange how your long scorching hot period going on for weeks mirrors our 2018 summer – most of our fires were moorland fires though.

  29. Enjoyable but tricky ***/*** 😳 very pleased to complete it 😃 though I must confess to putting “admiring” as the answer to 16d, well it does fit 😏 leaving 21a to be “Ibis” A very erudite ornithological journal, not a lot of people know that 😟 Favourites 13d & 23d. Big thanks to, as always, to the 2x Ks and to Jay

  30. There seemed to be a lot of clues with the first or last letter of part of the clue being removed, eg ‘losing line, ‘critical but not initially’ and I felt some of the definitions were somewhat stretched. I finished without the hints but I didn’t particularly enjoy this. Perhaps that’s just me as I seem to be in a minority.
    Thank you to 2Ks and Jay.

  31. Grr! It really annoys mean when the lurker can be something else Ie twill
    I found the north harder than the south so didin’t have much in.
    Not too difficult but didn’t enjoy it much roll on tomorrow… always my most difficult day now Dada has calmed down a bit on Sunday!
    Thanks to Ray and kiwis

  32. I confess I didn’t enjoy this particularly, prefer when Jay is a little kinder. Several strangely worded clues, and of course I fell into the twill camp early on causing some delays. Thanks to 2Kiwis for helping me finish.

  33. A good puzzle, as others have said a little tricky in places. One that rewarded attention to the detail of the cryptic.

  34. Brain not in gear tonight, started at a canter then kept on stopping & grazing! Fell for other lurker in 9a couldn’t get head past twill😰 other than that I found this offering from Jay tasking tonight but enjoyable as I picked up speed for the finish.
    Hence 3.5/3*.
    Many thanks to Jay & 2kiwis for some well needed direction

  35. A bit trickier than usual and I will have to go back after reading a few hints. Just wanted to mention 24d which I got by the if in doubt look for a lurker/rekrul method. I see from the hints that it is a reversal of the alternative spelling of Ireland. Whereas I saw it hidden backwards in Lake Ireland. Thinking about it the 2K’s interpretation makes more sense just wondered if this sort of thing happens often?

  36. I needed the hints today after happily accepting one of the correct answers contained in the 9a. Thereafter it was a sad affair and no amount of wrangling would fix it. Ho hum. Beaten fair and square.
    Thanks to our blogger today for putting me out of my misery.

  37. I didn’t have time to do this one yesterday, ie Wednesday, so have just done it now.
    I agree it was a bit trickier than normal from Jay although I nearly always come to a sticky end with my last few answers which take as long as the rest of the crossword – just seems to be a Wednesday pattern.
    Given that there were two equally valid lurking answers in 9a I’m glad that I only saw one of them.
    I got the answer to 3d without having spotted that it was an anagram – did think at the time that it wasn’t very cryptic – now I know why! Dim!
    Too many lovely Jayish clues to pick out any special ones but I think my favourite was either 22a or 23d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

        1. LOL I wish! Oh there are people who charge money for old rope but 7 year olds can code these days. Though I am at least still old school and can write raw html, Java and Javascript etc. using Notepad. If I really needed to dust off the old brain cells I can still write Fortran and Cobol even WAP and WAN and all the C’s but no one needs to any more.

            1. Very true, and full of holes. In fact the interface is the least of their problems. Our eldest in now in a different IT field but way back he worked on a contract in Brussels (apparently the most boring city in the world according to him) trying to get the various banks to agree on a clearing house system because nothing had really been planned and systems were cobbled on to systems and so on in each bank and then they needed to somehow marry them up. Quite apart from the tech sside of things, the French would only speak French to the French speaking Belgians and the Dutch would only speak to the Flemish Belgians, the Italians didn’t want to talk to anyone, the Brits only wanted to speak English. Our son is fluent bilingual English/French and manages OK in the other languages but he said he felt more like a referee than a project manager :-)

              And for all that he still can’t get his head around cryptic crosswords! I have tried, really I have.

  38. Only just got round to trying this one. Thought 1a might be plastic and that the clue could have done with a question mark as I don’t normally associate plastic with a source of credit. Overall excellent some really good clues which took me hours to solve.

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