DT 28005

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28005

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from South Staffs where there’s a touch of frost this morning, something we haven’t seen for a while.

Not as difficult as last week’s Giovanni, I thought, but the two long Across clues in the middle of the grid took me a little time to untangle.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Dine in attempt to achieve agreement (6)
TREATY – A word for attempt wrapped around a word for dine.

4a           Impersonated, like an ineffective bowler? (5,3)
TAKEN OFF – In cricket, an ineffective bowler may be removed from the attack by his captain, in whch case he’s been —– —.

9a           Snatch sleep after swallowing acid (6)
KIDNAP – There are two words for sleep forming part of the answer: the one you want is wrapped around the abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid.

10a         Animals hunted in pits (8)
QUARRIES – Double definition, the second being open pits for the extraction of rock.

Image result for quarry

11a         Direction suggested by one after the start (5-4)
NORTH-EAST – If you ignore the first letter (after the start) of oNE you get the compass point which is the answer here.

13a         Novel left regularly in a place for books? (5)
SHELF – A novel by H Rider Haggard followed by alternate letters of LeFt.

14a         Man on the coast dancing a shorter rumba (7,6)
HARBOUR MASTER – Anagram (dancing) of A SHORTER RUMBA.

17a         Terrible canteen cop can boycott? (3-10)
NON-ACCEPTANCE – Anagram (terrible) of CANTEEN COP CAN.

21a         Predict a boring thing for the audience (5)
AUGUR – This word for predicting the future (originally by observing the behaviour of birds) is a homophone (for the audience) of a hand tool used for boring holes in wood.

Image result for augur

23a         Criticise cold fizzy drink being served at entrance (9)
CASTIGATE – Put together Cold, one of the usual crossword sparkling wines, and an entrance.

24a         Garden — it could ramble around slope (8)
GRADIENT – Anagram (could ramble around) of GARDEN IT.

25a         Make a hole in castle, say, getting right inside (6)
PIERCE – A generic word for a castle, knight, bishop, king, or queen with Right inserted.

26a         Lacking mercy, not having particular female around? (8)
RUTHLESS – A woman’s name followed by a suffix indicating absence. If Boaz’s wife was away he could, punningly, be said to be this.

27a         Mineral given by doctor to tot — surgery’s latest thing to be swallowed (6)
GYPSUM – Put together the acronym for a doctor in general practice and a word meaning ‘tot up’, then insert the last letter of surgerY.

Image result for gypsum


1d           Accepting curt message of gratitude sent to palace? (6)
TAKING – Perhaps a short way of saying ‘Thank you, Your Majesty’.

2d           Hormone in hen — products not half contaminated (9)
ENDORPHIN – Anagram (contaminated) of IN HEN PROD(ucts) (not half).

3d           Pedagogue flogged cheat with little hesitation (7)
TEACHER – Anagram (flogged) of CHEAT with a word for a hesitation added.

5d           Uses water maybe to dilute a trusted ale naughtily (11)
ADULTERATES – An all-in-one clue. Anagram (naughtily) of A TRUSTED ALE. Someone who uses water to dilute a trusted ale ———– it.

6d           Area is mined that contains uranium — vast expanse of land (7)
EURASIA – Anagram (mined) of AREA IS wrapped around the chemical symbol for Uranium.

Image result for eurasia

7d           Love energetic girl (5)
OLIVE – The letter that looks like a love score at tennis followed by energetic, or energised electrically, giving us a girl’s name or an oil-producing fruit.

Image result for olive oyl

8d           Female is hurt outside front of French establishment providing food (4,4)
FISH FARM – Put together Female, IS (from the clue), and a word for hurt wrapped around the first letter of French.

Image result for fish farm

12d         More than one youngster rises, having received handout (11)
ADOLESCENTS – A handout or Social Security benefit inserted into some rises or climbs.

15d         Work in the crossworder’s study? (9)
THESAURUS – This literary work (by Roget, perhaps) may be next to the BRB on your bookshelf.

16d         Message of those seeking reconciliation put at risk (8)
ENDANGER – Split (3,5) this is an injunction to finish with wrath.

18d         Friendly expression of surprise on phone (old style!) (7)
CORDIAL – An exclamation followed by the part of a telephone that used to be used to generate the number you were calling.

19d         As someone who is inquisitive, one enters, certainly not silently (7)
NOISILY – an adverb for the action of an inquisitive person, with the Roman numeral for one inserted.

20d         What animates me, duet that’s sung in church (2,4)
TE DEUM – Anagram (animates) of ME DUET.

22d         Grand one as seen looking down on little creature? (5)
GIANT – An all-in-one clue. Put together an abbreviation for Grand, the Roman numeral for one, and an insect.

The Quick Crossword pun LANCE + ALLOT = LANCELOT


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    2*/2.5*. Not overly tough and more enjoyable than usual on a Friday with nothing too obscure. However I have docked half a star for enjoyment as it was spoilt by a particular bugbear of mine.

    A castle is not a chess piece! The BRB says it is, but it is wrong in this instance. The piece in question is called a rook. The only use of the word castle in chess is as a verb to describe a specific move. Chess moves involve moving one piece at a time with castling being the unique exception when two pieces (the rook and the king) are moved simultaneously. Right, I’ll get off my soap box now.

    2d took me longer than it should have. I didn’t twig at first that it was an anagram (and a clever one at that) as the first letter of my answer to 14a was partly obscured by the clue number and looked more like an M than an H! Why don’t I learn to write more neatly?!

    10a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    • Giovanni
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      With respect, sir, your assertion about castle not being an alternative name for a rook is not supported by the dictionaries, including the most authoritative of all, the OED, even granted that it is ‘childish’ or ‘informal’ in Chambers.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        As you might well imagine I am totally passionate about chess, but I congratulate you on a beautifully worded response which made me smile and has added to my enjoyment of today’s puzzle. I am teaching my six year old granddaughter to play, and turn a deaf ear when she calls her knight “horsey”.

        • Jose
          Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          RD. I too am a chess fanatic – my sobriquet on here comes from Jose Raul Capablanca, the great Cuban player who was World champion from 1921 to 1927. I have to say that I agree with Giovanni – castle is most definitely an alternative name for a rook, and always has been.

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            I disagree, Jose. Castle is absolutely not the correct technical term. However I do accept Giovanni’s point that it is a childish or informal term.

            I do congratulate you on your choice of soubriquet. What a wonderful player he was!

            • Hanni
              Posted January 8, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

              I agree, whilst I accept that ‘castle’ can be used it is not the correct term. Then again, on the exceedingly rare occasions I play, I still use descriptive notation, purely because that is how I was taught.

              • Rabbit Dave
                Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

                Thank you, Hanni. You’ve just reminded me that both descriptive and algebraic notation use R for rook. QED!

                I learned to play in the 50s when descriptive notation was pretty much the standard way to keep a record of the moves played. I had quite a mental block about switching to algebraic when that became the norm, but, having made the switch, I find it more logical and a lot easier to use.

                • Hanni
                  Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

                  Good point…QED indeed!

                  My father learnt in the 50’s and he taught me it. Most people find the algebraic version easier it seems, but I just don’t play often enough. Though I did inherit my fathers collection of chess sets and ‘weird’ boards. If I remember I’ll take a pic of the oddest one and use it as my avatar. It’s a beautiful wooden thing but a nightmare to play on!

                  • stanXYZ
                    Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

                    In 199? I attended the World Chess Championship match – Nigel Short vs Kasparov (or was it Karpov?)

                    Not a great spectator sport! … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

                    • Rabbit Dave
                      Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

                      1993. When Kasparov learned whom his opponent would be, he said “it will be Short and it will be short”. He was right, relatively speaking. Kasparov won six and Short only one game of the 20 played.

                      In December I went to one day’s play in the London Chess Classic comprising 10 of the world’s top 20 players. You’ll probably find this very sad, but I found it absolutely riveting! All five games were shown simultaneously side by side on large screens, and next to the auditorium was a commentary room where grandmasters analysed the games in progress. One man’s meat and all that …

                    • stanXYZ
                      Posted January 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

                      Have you listened to Across the Board – Radio 4 Podcasts?


                      There are a lot of chess players out there … somewhere.

                • Jose
                  Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                  RD and Hanna. With the greatest respect, I’m afraid you’re both (still) wrong on this occasion. Of course “rook” is the official/technical term for the piece (and nobody was arguing that it wasn’t). Giovanni and myself were merely pointing out that castle is an accepted/recorded alternative name (or synonym, if you like) for rook and has been for many decades. My confirmation sources (not that I actually need any to know) are: BRB (1998), OED(S), Collins Online – which all list castle as a direct definition without the qualifying descriptions “informal”, “childish”, “slang” or “colloquial”. Plus, three other lesser dictionaries also list it as such. THAT is QED – with referenced, factual proof to back it up! But hey-ho – it all makes for some friendly, robust debate.

      • Jose
        Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        G. These people are conspiring against us (well me, anyway) using a pincer movement! I’ve had to fire off another salvo to quash this rebellion (see above) – hopefully it will be decisive.

        PS. BD, it is permissible to reply to a setter’s comment? If not, I apologise and you can delete it.

    • från
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree” castling ” is a distinct term used in chess ; you may as well call the rook a tower , it has as much relevance , and this clue was my last one in; perhaps as a result ? or am I finding an excuse

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted January 8, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Hi fran,
        This is exactly how it is called in French. Une tour and nothing else.

    • Jane
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Hi RD,
      Late in today but have to say that in my chess set the ‘rook’ you refer to certainly looks like a ‘castle’!

      • från
        Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        The knight looks like a horse perhaps we could have ‘a one trick pony ‘ as a clue or ” 20,000 thousand furlongs under the sea etc “. My little boy used to call the rook ” a lighthouse ‘ it must have been due to the slightly oddly shaped exotic chess set pieces we played with, purchased in Bali many moons ago ps .It didn’t stop my daughter from taking the game up she played internationally against Scotland and Wales at the age of 10 and 11 Alas she hardly plays at all now

  2. dutch
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Pleasant enough. My favourite and last to parse was the 11a direction, very nice. I also liked 9a (snatch sleep), with its accurate (if broad) biochemical definition. 13a (novel left regularly) I thought was simple and elegant. And I always like the all-in-ones.

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

    • Stanleysteamer
      Posted January 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Bizarrely I got the answer to 11a after having worked out that north-east is an anagram of “one the start” if you remove the “t” i.e the first letter of “the” (the t “starts” the word “the”). I do still wonder if that is how the setter wanted you to find it, although your way of doing it is much simpler. Trust me to overcomplicate! Also I found 9a “kidnap” really quickly but struggled to see why as to me the word for sleep, “nap” came AFTER the word “kid” “…sleep after swallowing acid”. So why does kid mean “swallowing acid”? Well of course it doesn’t. Having both the words “after” and “swallowing” were confusing. But then maybe napping is not technically sleeping. What do you think?

      • Posted January 10, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog Stanleysteamer

  3. JonP
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Just into 2* time with this one – all fairly clued and quite enjoyable.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni **/***

  4. Boltonbabs
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    We were stumped on this as we put in a comparative form for 19d, which made 27a that little known (or indeed unknown) mineral “drysum”!
    Very, very rare for us not to finish in reasonable time, but can’t see why our version of 19d is any less correct, except it makes 27a impossible.
    Thanks to the setter and reviewer.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      The clue in 19d says ‘As someone who is inquisitive’. I think the ‘as’ = ‘in the manner of’, which points you towards the adverb ‘nosily’ rather than the comparative adjective ‘nosier’.

      • Boltonbabs
        Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        I see where you’re coming from, but if you said “as a fat person” you would expect plumper not plumply. I still think both adverb and adjective fit 15d,just so happens one is what the setter intended.

        • Deep Threat
          Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Eh? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  5. Michael
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I made it seven anagrams which is food and drink for me – I didn’t understand the ‘acid’ bit of 9a so thanks to the blog for that but the answer was fairly obvious from the checkers. Very enjoyable!


  6. pete
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I found this fairly straight forward for a Friday, but I also had 19d wrong and thought of drysum for 27a, eventually realised my mistake.

  7. MOOSE
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    My entry for 19d was the same as for Boltonbabs and it seemed to be a ‘no-brainer’ at the time! I then wondered why I couldn’t get 27a and also invented the mineral Drysum

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I dabbled with Drysum for a while too.

  8. Jaylegs
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Nice & straightforward after yesterday where I failed http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gifin the allotted time of one day! */**** Thanks to DT and to Giovanni for giving me my confidence back http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Paticularly liked 25a, 27a & 21a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

  9. Kath
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Quite tricky, I thought.
    I bunged in 9 and 11a without the slightest idea of why they were right – needed the hints to explain both of them.
    I liked 10a and 7d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I wasn’t here yesterday so didn’t wish you bon voyage. Have a lovely, long holiday, I am envious.

  10. stanXYZ
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    9a and 11a are brilliant clues.

    Of course, I could’t explain them … so thanks to DT, Thanks also to Don Giovanni!

    Castle or Rook? Who cares? Maybe a pedant?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink


  11. Heno
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with a few head scratch moments. Like Kath, I got 9&11a, but needed the hints for parsing. Perhaps 20d is a homophone for what I think of obscure religious clues http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif Sorry, just couldn’t resist it.
    As a former telephone engineer 18d was my favourite. Last in was 10a, answer came to me as I was washing up. Was 2*/4* for me. Great entertainment.

  12. Young Salopian
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


    15 down and 27 across my favourites in this enjoyable Friday offering from the Don. The aforementioned 25 across was my final entry in the grid, and I have nothing to add to the sum of human knowledge on that point. I thought there was a good mixture of fair clueing, and downright little teasers to take me into 2.5* time.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT for an excellent post-solve read.

  13. pommers
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Splendid stuff from the Don. Took a bit before the penny dropped on how 9a works, couldn’t see beyond the two works for sleep. You probably heard the bang when the penny dropped on what the acid was, d’oh!

    Pommette has just passed over Northampton at an altitude of 22000ft on Ryanair FR4006. It’s her Ma’s birthday tomorrow so she’s making a surprise visit to deliver some http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat who was nearly consulted for 9a but I had a “Gnoment”.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      7525ft 318pmh..got her.

      Wow her mum will be thrilled.

      5675ft now.

      • pommers
        Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Just landed.

        Flying home from Liverpool on Monday on FR9886 at 1535GMT so I have a whole weekend to misbehave http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Will look out for it. Although maybe not from the start…as I’ll have to watch the whole flight.

          So a weekend to misbehave? You’ll go to the pub? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          • pommers
            Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            I have a T-shirt on the front of which is a piccy of two teddy bears obviously a bit the worse for wear and each carrying a wine bottle. The caption reads – “To hell with the Teddy Bear’s picnic, we’re off to the pub”. :lol:

            I shall be there in about 30 mins with a print of the Elkamere Toughie to keep me entertained.

            • Hanni
              Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

              Nicely done!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

              Although you’ve just scared the heck out of me. I hadn’t looked at who was the Toughie setter today. That one will have to wait until it’s wine o’clock tonight.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted January 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Memo to myself.
        Must give coordinates of my plane on Jan 30.

        • pommers
          Posted January 8, 2016 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          Geeks like Hanni and I will follow it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted January 8, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink


            J-L. Flight number and airline svp? Blimey you must be getting in early?

            Hang on! I’m not a geek. How was the pub? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

            Edit…How excited was Pommette’s mum to see her? Love that she surprised her.

  14. Angel
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    South was plain-sailing but North was a different kettle of fish. Couldn’t parse 9a or 27a (tried using tiny ‘tot’), wrongly settled for ‘grant’ in 22d and 8d defeated me when ‘fare’ didn’t work! Not in position to join discussion on 25a. Fav 21a. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  15. Beaver
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I did like today’s puzzle and am going for a ***/***,excellent cluing from the Don and thanks to DT for the explanation to 11a,which I have to admit I bunged in! regarding the castle argument, I do play chess and understood that castle was an informal name for a rook as various old names were used for example tower- I will bow to the experts view of castle= rook, or not as the case may be? Surely there must be a Grand Master ,or two, who reads this blog and can give an enlightened response!

  16. Hanni
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Nice stuff from the Don and a bit of a challenge. Like others 9 and 11a took a bit of figuring out as to why they were right. Some fun anagrams to play around with and generally a nice solve.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging.

  17. Eeyore
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    After having a good old moan about last Friday’s, it’s only fair to report that I really enjoyed this one even though it was challenging in places. I was well I nto my 3* time but given recent practice has certainly improved my skills, perhaps it enters 3.5* territory. Certainly 4* for enjoyment. Last in was 15d. Favourite probably 11a which took some time to parse and then seemed obvious.

  18. Venator
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the Don for a beautifully balanced Friday offering… I have to confess that I needed DT’s notes to explain the little rascal that was 9a, very naughty, but I liked it!

    Cheers to author & solver.

  19. Sheffieldsy
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable crossword, so thanks to the Don for that. Would have been 1.5* difficulty/time but we stumbled badly with 9a where we became fixated on ‘catnap’ as the answer. Even when we then saw the light, and the correct answer, we got hung up on the final ‘nap’ for sleep and couldn’t parse the rest for several minutes. Just for that misdirection, whether deliberate or not, 9a is a favourite clue, along with the smashing 1d. Thank you, DT, for the blog.

  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    **/***. A nice Friday puzzle and fairly straightforward. Can’t get too excited about castles and rooks – it worked for me. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  21. PhilG
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    My first posting here. Still very much a learner, I got about 75% done myself and needed the blog for the rest. I noticed a number of pairs in the clues today: “in pits” & “area is mined” / “a boring thing” & “make a hole in” / 4a & 1d. Any others? Thought 9a & 11a very clever.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog PhilG.

      Now that you’ve broken your duck, I hope we’ll see more comments from you.

  22. Brian
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Excellent this week from the Maestro esp after yesterday’s horror!
    Needed the blog to explain my answer to 9a, I had nap but the kid fooled me, now I see how it should be. Also to 11a (bit too cryptic for me, got the answer from direction, the rest was a mystery until the hints) as was 2d as I completely missed the anagram but got the answer anyway.
    Best clue for me was 27a but MinDesp for 4a.
    Thx to all esp to the Don for once more restoring my confidence – don’t suppose you could do the same for my golf?

  23. silvanus
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this a lot and definitely prefer this type of Giovanni puzzle to the sort that graced New Year’s Day.

    11a was very clever and eluding my parsing until I read the hints after completion. 12a and 17a were very well crafted too, but my pick of the day goes to the excellent anagram in 14a.

    The exchange between Rabbit Dave and our esteemed setter was very interesting, I had always thought the two terms were entirely interchangeable but I am now somewhat the wiser. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia (not always the most reliable of sources), alternative names for the piece in the past were tower, marquess or rector!

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to Deep Threat and a pleasant weekend to all.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      I wasn’t aware of the tower, marquess and rector alternatives. That’s something new learned today!

      On the basis that, as you say, Wikipedia is not always the most reliable of sources I wasn’t going to quote it, but as you have, I will too!

      “The term castle is considered informal, incorrect, or old-fashioned”.

    • Jose
      Posted January 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      S. I’m surprised that you are swayed more by RD than the setter. Of course rook is the official term for the piece, it is used in all chess annotation and no regular, club or professional player would use any other name. But it is still a fact that castle is an accepted (by lexicographers) alternative name and listed as a direct synonym/definition by many dictionaries. Wikipedia is definitely not a reliable source and if you people want to gainsay the BRB and OED, then that is your absolute prerogative – but it doesn’t change the facts of the matter at all.

  24. Jane
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Middle of the road puzzle for me – certainly didn’t care overly for the definition at 17a and thought the 4a clue would have been much improved by using something other than ‘like an ineffective bowler- far too vague. 2*/2* for me.
    Smiles raised by 26a plus 1&18d.
    Thanks to DG and to DT for the excellent review.

    Off to see what havoc Elkamere can wreak with the little grey cells!

  25. Gwizz
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    That was a pleasure to solve, although I wasn’t quite sure about 11a and had bunged-in the answer. Once the penny dropped it was immediately my favourite. 3/3.5* overall for me.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for his review.

  26. mre
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Found this quite tough and failed on 15d, 25a and 27a. Enjoyable enough though.


  27. Kitty
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I utterly failed to see past the nap in 9a, and also didn’t manage to parse 11a. Silly me.

    Other than that, I found it pretty gentle. 20d was new on me, but was the only arrangement of the letters which made sense.

    Above average enjoyment for me today. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  28. Rob Wilson
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Reasonably enjoyable and the trickiest that i’ve completed without help for a little while.

    Surely there must be more to 15d though?? And if not, shouldn’t the whole clue be underlined in the hint?

  29. Paso Doble
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Just had two geezers in to fix the bog and shower in our flat in Fulham. The boss is Polish, the assistant is Latvian and they speak Russian together. So they say ‘tac tac’ and ‘da da’ but nothing really got fixed properly until I spoke to them in broken English, saying ‘water no go down’. All done now. After a trying day, it was a relief to settle down to today’s Giovanni which was most enjoyable. Many thanks to The Don and Deep Threat. We thought it was quite tricky – ***/****

  30. Salty Dog
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Seemed to take a while, but my watch says I completed in 2* time. Quite a lot to enjoy, so 3* for enjoyment. Favourite clue was between 8d and 18d. 15d was my last in, probably because I don’t have one! Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT.

  31. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 8, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant crossword from the Don.
    Didn’t need any help except to check the double meaning in 10a. Learned a bit about hunting before it’s totally banned.
    The only quibble is that girl’s name in 7d. Often seen in crosswords but in real life? Never met one so far.
    Favourite is 3d. Made me laugh.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      There’s Olive Oyl, and author Olive Senior. I’m sure there are many more.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Olive was the woman dishing out the portions when I was at university. It was from her that I learnt the invaluable life lesson that if you are cordial and ask after their families, women working in canteens will give you larger and choicer helpings – a tactic I still use every day.

      • Jose
        Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        And not a tactic necessarily only used in the confines of a canteen, I suspect…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  32. Tstrummer
    Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Good workout from the Don tonight, helped by the lack of obscurities. Lots to like and nothing to moan about. 11a is top of the bill for me, with 26a and 8d on the undercard. I also liked 20d, simply because it reminded me of an excruciating Clerihew (a word we had as an answer recently) by W H Auden:
    When Karl Marx / Found the phrase financial sharks / He sang a Te Deum/ In the British Museum.
    Many thanks to the Don and DT 2*/3*

  33. AndrewKiwi
    Posted January 9, 2016 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    I guess it’s the middle of the night there and I’ve probably missed the boat but I wasn’t sure where else to ask this… Our local (Wellington, NZ) paper has stopped printing the DT cryptic – I’m hoping it’s just a summer holiday thing! In the meantime we get a substandard local crossword and I really need help parsing the last clue! It’s “stone ground flour suitable for making it? (5)” and I have SCO_E with all checkers confident. I guess the answer is “scone” but I simply can’t parse it. Anyone able to see what I’m missing? Thanks!

    • Gazza
      Posted January 9, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      The Stone of Scone (pronounced Scoon) is a lump of rock traditionally used at the ceremonies for crowning Scottish Kings. See here.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Get the DT online crossword site.

    • andrewkiwi
      Posted January 9, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Gazza, I hadn’t heard of the stoon of scoon!
      And yes Hoof I did have a brief flirt with the online edition but she didn’t do it for me. A crossword is as much a sensory experience as an intellectual one, and besides my two primary crossword-solving locations are outside under a tree with a glass of wine and the paper and pen, or soaking in a nice deep bath with a glass of wine and the paper and pen. Neither is conducive to the online version for reasons of wifi access, sun glare, or electrical damage… I suppose I could print it out but then I’d have to replace the cartridge in my home printer and ink for that costs more per gram than gold.

  34. Graham
    Posted January 9, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the explanation of 11.