DT 28041

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28041

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a day that has started bright and sunny, though frosty.

The four long clues around the perimeter went in quickly, and that made today’s Giovanni a fairly rapid solve for me. Only some delay in solving 2d, my last one in, sent it into ** time.

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.


6a           Mary’s painting unusual insect (7,6)
PRAYING MANTIS – Anagram (unusual) of MARY’S PAINTING.

Image result for praying mantis

8a           Affair involving one office task? (6)
FILING – The Roman numeral for one inserted into a short-lived romantic episode.

9a           What a well-behaved inmate might get in break? (4-4)
HALF-TIME – A break in a football or rugby match is also what might be the shortened sentence a well-behaved convict gets.

10a         The second person heard an animal on the farm? (3)
EWE – This farm animal sounds like (heard) the second person pronoun.

11a         Snooker player seen as one with magical powers? (6)
POTTER – Double definition: a snooker player defined by what he does at the table; and the eponymous hero of J K Rowling’s Hogwarts novels.

Image result for harry potter

12a         Garden girl heading off to a big town — such boldness! (8)
AUDACITY – Remove the initial letter (heading off) from the name of the girl invited to come into the garden in the old song, than add A (from the clue) and a large town.

14a         State entered by English person seeking rough justice? (7)
AVENGER – A verb meaning ‘to state’ with an abbreviation for English inserted.

16a         Cooked pasties almost cold and free from germs (7)
ASEPTIC – Anagram (cooked) of PASTIE(s), followed by Cold.

20a         Framework of invention found in back of the box (8)
ESPALIER – This is a framework for training fruit trees. Put together the last letter (back) of thE and some boxing, especially in practice, then wrap the result around an invention or false story.

Image result for espalier

23a         US officer overwhelmed by men’s ignorance (6)
ENSIGN – A junior officer in the US forces is hidden in the clue.

24a         One pain hard to get rid of (3)
ACE – Remove Hard from a persistent pain.

25a         Distress when train set is broken (8)
STRAITEN – anagram (broken up) of TRAIN SET.

26a         Dog daughter kept in Dorset town (6)
POODLE – Insert Daughter into the Dorset town from which ferries depart for Cherbourg.

Image result for poodle

27a         Special ceremony — is a step for changing time (4,2,7)
RITE OF PASSAGE – Anagram (changing) of IS A STEP FOR, followed by a long period of time.


1d           Famous mistress having husband a poet (8)
HAMILTON – Put together Husband, A (from the clue), and the author of Paradise Lost, to get Lord Nelson’s paramour.

Image result for lady hamilton

2d           Delay that is produced by slips maybe (8)
LINGERIE – Another word for delay followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’.

3d           Intellectual type — for example, good school leader (7)
EGGHEAD – Put together the Latin abbreviation for ‘for example’, Good, and a school leader.

4d           Song and dance over item interrupting TV programme? (6)
BALLAD – A formal dance followed by those bits of commercial programming that the ‘fast forward’ button was invented for.

5d           Not moving? That could be shocking (6)
STATIC – Double definition, the second being a variety of electricity.

6d           One gets into stir now and then (6,7)
PRISON VISITOR – Cryptic definition of someone who goes to a jail occasionally to see an inmate.

7d           Seemingly not this or that exceptional person (9,4)
SOMETHING ELSE – A figurative expression for an exceptional person. Literally, neither of the two choices on offer, therefore…

13d         Cut in tax expected (3)
AXE – Hidden in the clue.

15d         Set member up (3)
GEL – Reverse (up, in a Down clue) one of the members of the human body.

17d         Quite difficult to sort out the spies (8)
STEEPISH – Anagram (sort out) of THE SPIES.

18d         Rural history by word of mouth (8)
PASTORAL – Split (4,4) you have a word for a period which is history, and ‘by word of mouth’.

19d         Relation parading around, the first person to emerge (7)
GRANDPA – Anagram (around) of PARAD(i)NG with the I removed (first person to emerge).

21d         Woman with lots of money but no love changes (6)
ADAPTS – A woman’s name followed by an expression for lots of money (found at the end of the rainbow, perhaps), with the letter that looks like a love score at tennis removed.

22d         Terrible riots with any number interrupting pieces of music? (6)
INTROS – Anagram (terrible) of RIOTS, with the algebraic symbol for ‘any number’ inserted.

The Quick Crossword pun EUREKA + GARLIC = YOU REEK OF GARLIC.


  1. Una
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Very pleasant puzzle from Giovanni, and it really didn’t feel like a Giovanni, no obscure words at all. What has come over him ?
    My favourite is 7d or else it is 12a. So Obama’s book could have been sub-titled “Headless garden girl and virtuous girl”.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    2*/2.5*. A pleasant enough solve but missing any wow factor. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. bifield
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    No problems today although I must confess I needed a few explanations to put my mind at rest.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep threat for the explanations.

  4. Jane
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Giovanni must have thought we deserved an easy ride after yesterday’s monster of a Toughie! No problems encountered and quite a few smiles.
    Like Una, my picks of the pops are 12a&7d.

    Grateful thanks to DG and thanks to DT for the musical review.

  5. pete
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I found this on the easier side for a Friday but still managed to get stuck in the SW corner. 20a, 25a and 21d beat me.

  6. Michael
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward, no problems whatsoever – a bit disappointed that it wasn’t more of a challenge!


  7. Young Salopian
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Like Pete above, the SW corner pushed me into 2.5* time, which I would also score for enjoyment. 19 down and 20 across came close to being my favourite, but I eventually chose 12 across. Last one in was 21 down.

    Thanks to the Don for a relatively easy solve and DT for his thoughts.

  8. Kitty
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Well, it now seems yesterday’s Toughie had a purpose – to suck up all the obscurities and leave today’s puzzle free of them!

    Nothing to gripe about (except my own careless spelling which held me up – grr!) and some smiles along the way. What more could you ask of a crossword?

    For me, the Dorset town has only two things to recommend it: red squirrels on Brownsea Island, and ciders by the quintet at The Stable. I have photos of both which I may share later if I find time. Sadly I am now no longer in Dorset and life is back to normal.

    The garden girl didn’t come to me even though the answer was clear, and I also needed another checkette of 20a because I am good at forgetting words that I know really. Sometimes I despair :( .

    I amused myself at 24a by wanting to read the clue straight and have “man” as the answer. I liked 2d and the song and dance in 4d. Also 7d, something I have been called on occasion (whether in a complimentary fashion or otherwise, I will decline to say :whistle: ).

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, and wishing you all a lovely weekend. Here’s a clip for 4d:


    • Michael
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      The only thing I remember about visiting Poole wasi drinking Badger’s Bitter in a pub down by the Harbour – the concensus of opinion was that it was Badger’s p***!


  9. Littlemart
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to both.
    A gentle mental workout to start the weekend. */ *** for me.
    Favourite clue was 12a.
    I came to the website expecting a suitable illustration for 2d. Impressed that you resisted.

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Surprisingly straightforward, but as noted by Kitty,our Friday setter must have run out of obscurities after yesterday. No stands out for me. Thanks Giovanni and DT. Appreciate The Judds clip!

  11. Shropshirelad
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    First Friday back pager by Giovanni that I’ve enjoyed for many a time. Normally done in the my local over a beer or two, The Friday puzzle was always completed without the need to have any books of reference. However, over the past few weeks it has been incomplete on the parsing – having to wait till hometime to confirm my answers which takes the enjoyment out of it.

    As DT said, the 4 long clues were put in pretty rapidly and everything was plain sailing from then on. I liked 1 & 4d and the cheekiness of 12a & 2d.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to DT for his review.

    I hope you all have a good weekend.

  12. Hilary
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Struggle starting but once I got going working my way up from SE corner until to my great surprise I had finished. The four long answers certainly helped although 7d was the last one in, 12a stood out for me with happy memories of a spoof Edwardian evening when we performed dear Maud and several other like ballads – not sure who enjoyed it more us or the audience. Have a super, splendid weekend. :bye:

    • Hilary
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      P S thanks to Giovanni and DT. Small rant – am I the only person infuriated by the increasing use of ‘sat’ rather than ‘sitting’? I am sure the withdrawal of sub-editors has led to this type of thing getting through the net. I am sat here awaiting your thoughts Tee Hee.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        From where I’m sat, that misuse of English is simply not acceptable.

  13. Brian
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Hugely enjoyable, Giovanni at his very best for me.
    Best clue for me was 11a which made Mrs B laugh for the first time in a while. She has just lost her Dad and I am trying to cheer her up and getting back to thinking about a Giovanni crossword is excellent therapy.
    Although I only had time to look at half of yesterday’s Ray T, I must say it appeared jolly doable.
    Thx to all

    • Hanni
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to hear that Brian. Best wishes to you both.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes indeed, Brian, I echo Hanni’s sentiments. It must be a very difficult time for you and Mrs B.

    • Merusa
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      My sympathies for you and Mrs. B., such a difficult time.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to hear that Brian

    • Jane
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Just spotted your post, Brian. A bad time for you both, hope you manage to make it a little easier for Mrs. B.

    • Brian
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks for all your good wishes, it really is much appreciated.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted February 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t see your post ’til now Brian. Deepest condolences to yourself and to Mrs B on her loss.

      • Jose
        Posted February 22, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Yes Brian, heartfelt condolences to you and your wife. Hope to see you back on here soon with some more incisive comments.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Very sorry to hear your news Brian. Best wishes to you and Mrs B.

  14. Beaver
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Agree with DT’S **/*** and thanks for the unravelling of 20A, thought that ‘box’ must allude to the ‘treatment’ of a box tree on an espalier ! never mind . Liked garden girl in 12a-caused a snigger.Thanks setter for an enjoyable solve . Found the Quicky a little tricky in the SE corner.

  15. Hanni
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    No complaints here. Very pleasant solve with only 21d causing any holdups. And that is because it took me a ridiculously long time to see where the ‘pts’ came from. Goodness only knows why?

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for a great blog.

    Right back to trying to find the Nina in the other place. Beats actually working. Have a good weekend all.

  16. Jaylegs
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I would have agreed with the rating but putting “term” as the second word in 9a :cry: left me struggling with 7d, I thought how nice and topical! Wrong, so ***/***. I thought when at last I arrived at the answer that 7d & 2d were my favourites :yahoo: Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

  17. Jon_S
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    A nice breezy solve, but no less enjoyable for that.

  18. Angel
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Not one of my favourite cruciverbal sessions but almost made it in the end. Finally needed DT help with 1d and 11a (after wasting time trying to come up with name of a snooker player). Should have recognised a chestnut as I sought to incorporate Va as a state in 14a. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/**. :neutral:

  19. Merusa
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Good fun, fave without a doubt is 12a.
    I needed the hint to know why my 20a was correct.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.

    • Merusa
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Blast it! “Come into the garden Maud…”, and now I can’t get the damned song out of my head!

  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. Made heavy weather of this although in retrospect not sure why. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  21. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    As ever, did half of it in about 15 minutes, and then that’s it…No more….

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Got there with a few hints…
      Many thanks to DT for the hints and the setter.

  22. silvanus
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The most enjoyable Friday puzzle for some time, thankfully free from obscurities and religious references. Please keep it up, Mr. Manley!

    Jaylegs, you are not alone – I also entered “term” originally for the second half of 9a. Luckily it didn’t hold me up for too long once the answer for 7d was evident. My favourite was 2d, although I did take a shine to 1d too.

    Many thank to Giovanni and Deep Threat and a good weekend to all.

  23. Mike Kiff
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    HI just returned to Daily Telegraph crossword after some years of not ding it so getting back into the swing started yesterday got maybe half done. todays was a lot better (about 3/4 done) had to find this blog cause bottom left corner was a problem thanks for the answers

    • Gazza
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Mike.

  24. mre
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward but failed on 7,21d and 20a. The latter is a word I did not know. Perhaps I should have solved the other two.


  25. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed it too
    A bit held up in the SW corner as I couldn’t parse my answer for 20a and took a while to get 21d.
    Apart from these, the rest was filled in smoothly.
    Favourite 7d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  26. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    It all went together smoothly for us. Getting the four long answers without too much trouble gave plenty of checkers to work with. Parsing 20a was the last bit to solve. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  27. Jerome
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I am definitely a bit weird or something as I rarely agree with rating. I found yesterday to be easier than today by some margin. How this was a 2* when 20a is there I don’t know.

    Enjoyed everything but the SW corner.

  28. Sheffieldsy
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    As with Jaylegs, half term was a beautiful answer for 9a which made a solve without assistance impossible for us. Real good fun anyway. One extra star for this self-imposed difficulty, so 3*/3* for us

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  29. Jane
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Memory test, folks! A little while ago someone either posted or used as an avatar a photo’ of a plane taking off. The shot had obviously been taken by someone lying on the ground beneath it. A friend of mine spotted it ( she happened to be here when I was online to the BD site) and asked whether I knew who had posted it. Apparently, the plane in question was one that was in her husband’s squadron at the time and he well recalls trying to talk the would-be photographer out of ‘being so daft’!

    Many coffees and girl chat time later, I completely forgot to look!

    She reminded me today when I was showing her the photo’s from the birthday bash – anyone got any ideas?

  30. Paso Doble
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward today but we got inexplicably stuck on 21d. Thanks to The Don and to DT.

  31. judetheobscure
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Quite gentle for a Friday with nothing that needed looking up and lots of enjoyable cluing.
    I wonder what age the youngest setter is. I only know the song in 12a because it was in the collection of my grandmother who would be 110+ if she was alive still. I’m no spring chicken myself but it would be nice to have some niche knowledge from more recent times ;)
    Anyway 2*/4* for today’s offering and favourite 20a.

  32. Gwizz
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Mmm nice! Even tho’ I needed the hint for 20a as I’d gone of at a complete tangent with GRID…. and various endings. D’oh! Actually the answer for 20a is a fairly frequent visitor if I’m not mistaken. 12a was fave, 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for sorting me out in my hour of need.

  33. williamus
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Only picked this up to tonight and wasn’t going to do it at all, but I glanced at it (as you do) and before I knew it I was drawn in. I quite like the Don’s puzzles without too many esotericisms so I enjoyed this. I did use the BRB and thesaurus to help get this done and the hints were useful afterwards to understand why a few of my answers were right. 20a wasn’t a new word for me but I had forgotten it until the checking letters made it so. Quite bizarrely I don’t think I’ve ever used 25a as a word “to distress” but now I’ve seen it in clack and white… isn’t the English language perverse at times? 12a was my favourite, especially now I understand it! ***/**** for me. Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Held up for far too long at work tonight with all this Euro nonsense and then couldn’t get a seat on the last train, so arrived back at Strummer Towers in grumpy mode. A couple of pints of London Pride and a Giovanni later, I’m more content. I didn’t like the grid for this one, the four long answers providing few first-letter checkers, but I struggled manfully on until I was left with 11a, which I stared at for almost as long as Cameron took to convince 27 other countries that we don’t like the euro. When the penny finally dropped, it must have sounded like an anvil falling on the ceiling of those downstairs. Thanks to DT and the Don for cheering up this entry-level solver. 3*/3*

    PS Jose, I didn’t see JW in Bath in 1970 on that stellar bill, but I did review him for the DT in the 80s when he disappointed me at the Hamersmith Odeon – not because of what he played, which was sublimely fluid, but because he only did an hour, no encore. At least that was 15 minutes longer than Carlos Santana at, I think, the same venue a decade earlier.

  35. Jose
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Excellent offering from G. Very enjoyable! 2*/3*