DT 28047

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28047

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, with a dry, bright start to the day.

A good many longish words today, some of them a little uncommon, plus the usual bits of general knowledge and Scripture allusions, but I found it reasonably straightforward.

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           Writers in Old English with identical magic words (4,6)
OPEN SESAME – Put some things you write with inside the abbreviation for Old English, then add a word for identical, to achieve entry into the treasure cave.

Image result for open sesame

6a           Prepare again to go around German river (4)
ODER – Reverse (to go round) a word for ‘prepare again’ to get this German river which borders Poland.

9a           Obscure relation meeting a king or queen (7)
UNCLEAR – A male relative followed by A (from the clue) and the Latin abbreviation for a king or queen.

10a         Award given out with thanks for unprocessed information (3,4)
RAW DATA – Anagram (given out) of AWARD, followed by a short word of thanks.

12a         Terrible ladies’ man, sort to show ineptitude (13)
MALADROITNESS – Anagram (terrible) of LADIES’ MAN SORT.

14a         Cuckoo‘s home by French river reportedly (6)
INSANE – A word for ‘at home’ followed by a homophone (reportedly) of the English mispronunciation of the river which runs through Paris.

15a         Came back from run falling over into grass (8)
RETORTED – This is a verbal comeback. Reverse (falling over) a run which is slower than a canter, then insert the result into a variety of grass.

17a         Picture game for children’s currently fashionable (8)
SNAPSHOT – A children’s card game (complete with the ‘s) followed by a word for fashionable or trendy.

19a         Short answer is to bypass the capital city (6)
ATHENS – Take a shortened form of ‘answer’ and wrap it around THE (from the clue) to get an EU capital.

Image result for athens

22a         Town centre so beautiful initially, then unpleasant (13)
MIDDLESBROUGH – Put together a word for centre, the first letters (initially) of So Beautiful, and a word for unpleasant or unfinished, to get this town on Teesside.

Image result for Middlesbrough

24a         Goddess — one without love, one in muddle (7)
NEMESIS – Remove the letter which looks like a love score at tennis from ‘(o)ne’, then add a muddle with the Roman numeral for one inside it. You get the Greek goddess who punishes hubris.

25a         Weedy type deemed to be unhealthy (7)
TOBACCO – Mildly cryptic definition of a plant in the Nicotiana family.

26a         Woman offering heavenly food, not married (4)
ANNA – Remove the Married from the front of the food which supported the Israelites in the desert, according to the book of Exodus, and you get a woman’s name.

27a         English resort instructed to close early — what’s afoot? (10)
ESPADRILLE – Put together English, a health resort, and ‘instructed’ (as a sergeant might a squad of soldiers) with the final letter removed, to get some footwear.

Image result for espadrille


1d           After river rises our lot work (4)
OPUS – Reverse an Italian river beloved of crossword setters, and add a pronoun for ‘our lot’.

2d           Sets up with guys in the field? (7)
ENCAMPS – The guys are what hold your tent up.

3d           Small tingles disturbed son — medicinal preparation needed (8,5)
SMELLING SALTS – Anagram (disturbed) of SMALL TINGLES followed by Son.

4d           Walk in street / take bus? (6)
STRIDE – An abbreviation for street followed by what you do when you take the bus.

5d           ‘Red Ed’ left high and dry? (8)
MAROONED – A shade of red described in the BRB as a brownish crimson, followed by ED (from the clue), to get what happened to Ben Gunn.

Image result for ben gunn

7d           Word for ‘beer’ in dictionary, not standard English? (7)
DIALECT – An abbreviation for dictionary wrapped around a type of beer.

8d           Music thus fades away as we hear talk with great enthusiasm (10)
RHAPSODISE – A homophone (as we hear) of the sort of ‘music’ which is sometimes said to begin with a silent C, followed by ‘thus’ and a homophone of ‘fades away’. The answer is a verb, but this clip is the related noun:

11d         Too many to count having no respite from pain (7,6)
WITHOUT NUMBER – This clue relies on the fact that we have a word which has two different meanings, dependent on whether or not the B in the middle is sounded. With the B we have a word relating to counting, otherwise something which can deaden pain.

13d         Pour out maid a sip — no problem with drink (10)
DIPSOMANIA – Anagram (pour out) of MAID A SIP NO.

16d         Conservative meets females without hesitation and is composed (8)
CONSISTS – An abbreviated Conservative is followed by some female siblings with the word expressing hesitation removed.

18d         Part of body of soldiers joining sailor before party (7)
ABDOMEN – Put together one of the usual crossword sailors, the usual crossword party, and some ordinary soldiers.

20d         Principled husband in charge with others gathering round (7)
ETHICAL – The Latin abbreviation (2,2) for ‘with others’ is wrapped around Husband and the abbreviation for In Charge.

21d         Shrub for leaves contributing to drink (6)
PROTEA – A South African shrub made up of a word for ‘for’ and the leaves infused in boiling water to make a hot drink.

Image result for protea

23d         Sweet substance almost completely smooth (4)
HONE – Remove the final letter from a sweet liquid to get a verb meaning ‘smooth’.

The Quick Crossword pun ROAD + EASIER = RHODESIA


  1. Graham
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Managed to finish without resorting to the hints,but must admit that I got into an awful pickle with 15A having put coop for the middle part then came the doh moment. Last one in was 17A but my favourite goes to the splendid 27A. Many thanks to the setter & to DT for his review. Wishing all a good weekend. :yahoo:

  2. Ora Meringue
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Far too clever for me.
    Might even say too clever by half.
    Thanks to Deep Threat without whom I would never have understood most of this.

  3. Angel
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Just nicely challenging with a varied selection of clue genres. Thank you Mysteron and DT. ***/***. :good:

    • Deep Threat
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I’m sure it’s Giovanni as usual, even though I missed out the usual name check.

      • Angel
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        I thought It felt like the Don but I’m not always right about the setter – still learning!

  4. Wahoo
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Fairly plain sailing last night until I got stuck on 7d and 8d only then to realise that I’d stupidly reversed the German River and not the “prepare again” in 6a. When I did they both went in straight away! But that mistake pushed me almost into 3 for difficulty. ( Note to self – When held up with all the checkers, check the checkers!) Many thanks to the Don and to Gazza for the hints which I will now read. So much to like I’m not going to pick a favourite.

    • Wahoo
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Oops. Sorry, thanks to Deep Threat!!

    • Angel
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I made the same mistake with 6a which made life a bit difficult for me in NE corner.

  5. Spook
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Pretty good for me, 14a held me up for a bit, thinking ornithology until other letters in.
    Favourite must be 16d, but then again there were several others equally as good.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and compiler..
    Definately***/*** for me.

  6. pete
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Way to difficult for me, didnt manage to get half way. Thanks for the hints, I wouldnt have understood most of this puzzle without them.

  7. Jane
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Thought this was one of the best back-pagers we’ve had from the Don in recent times. No problems to report but plenty of smiles along the way.
    Top three places go to 1,22&27a with a runners-up prize to 7d. Think I know at least one of our merry band who won’t have had any trouble with 22a!

    Thanks to DG for a most enjoyable puzzle and to DT, particularly for the musical accompaniment to reading the review.

  8. fran
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    A struggle but an enjoyable one. At the start I thought I would have to look at the hints to get me on the board, but solving 3d and 12a changed the dynamics .Still didn’t know 27a and used the hints for this and 8d despite having all the infill letters .I can only assume it was the lack of alcohol in my system that slowed me down .24 and 25a were my favourites ***/****
    Thanks to the Don? and Gazza

    • Gazza
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s not me but Deep Threat to whom thanks should be directed for the review.

      • fran
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Whoops !! Many thanks DT , credit where credit’s due as my old grannie use to say. Or should I say mea culpa , mea maximus culpa.

        • Physicist
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          …or even mea maxima culpa?

  9. Harport
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable but I would never have got 23d without my electronic friend

  10. Young Salopian
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    27 across my favourite in this interesting crossword from the Don. It took me a while to get going, but then I rattled through at a good pace. An enjoyable and thoughtful exercise. Many thanks to DT and DG for the workout. 2.5*/3*.

  11. Wahoo
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Do you think compilers sometimes take a lead from each other with certain clues, in that I don’t think I’ve seen “number” (in the medical sense) for ages but I’m sure it was in one of the puzzles earlier this week and again today.

    Mind you, I suppose the crosswords are prepared many days ahead of scheduled publication date and if it happens it’s just a coincidence.

  12. Expat Chris
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this puzzle and thought it one of his most entertaining in recent times. I checked off 14A, 25A and 27A, which all made me smile. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  13. Paso Doble
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    We liked this puzzle a lot. There was a great mixture of clues – we especially liked 24a and 20d. Many thanks to The Don for the usual Friday treat and to DT for the blog. A **/**** from us.

  14. Miffypops
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The South East corner was last in and needed a break and revisit to solve. Nothing too sinister though. Thanks To DT and also to The Don. Gerschwin is always a winner, thanks to him too. Well done again Yorkshire Rows. Come on England

    • Hanni
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Decision made about what to do instead of work…Gerschwin. Dig out the solo sheet music for that piece. Good thinking Hanni.

      Come on Ireland/England.

  15. DRC
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Did OK Mon-Thu this week but found this a stinker!

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      You abbreviated your ‘user name’ so went into moderation.

      I only found one corner of this one to be difficult.

  16. Hanni
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was a lovely puzzle from the Don. I needed to look up 21d as I wan’t sure about that. I actually needed my anagram circles today!

    Lots of ticks today including 1, 12, and 27a. The favourite goes to the delicious 23d. Wonderful word.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for a great blog.

    After a very pleasant morning my usual Friday afternoon work ethic has kicked in. What to do….

  17. Shropshirelad
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Not a bad puzzle at all I thought. There was certainly nothing I had to look up in the BRB or refer to Mr Google, so I was quite happy. Quite a few clues were jostling for first place but I will go for 27a as my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Manley for the puzzle and to DT for his review. Loved the illustration for 1a :yes:

    Now, back to Elgar’s challenge – my head’s really hurting :scratch:

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    • Hanni
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      I did the Elgar first..I stand by my ‘Oh boy’ from yesterday!!! See you on the other side.

      • crypticsue
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Always fascinated by the people who do the Toughie first – for me that would be like having pudding before the dinner!

        • Hanni
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          I don’t normally do it in that order either. I actually got the idea from the blog a while back. Knowing it was Elgar and that I would need my full armoury, I thought it might be an idea to do it tackle it first.

          I like your analogy though…pudding before dinner. :smile:

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          I prefer to start with the toughie as it opens up my brain circuitry and makes the back page somewhat lighter.

          • Hanni
            Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            It was probably you I got the idea off then. :unsure:

  18. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I must admit that my solving abilities have really improved over the last couple of years. Polished off Elgar and had time to finish this offering from the Don despite being on a double shift and sick with a nasty cold.
    This blog has definitely changed my life. Ever so grateful.
    21d and 25a were the last to yield while having a ciggy break on the terrace. Very appropriate.
    Lots of smiles in 14a, 22a and 27a.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

    • Hanni
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Hope you feel better soon. :smile:

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        I usually get rid of these things quite quickly.

  19. judetheobscure
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword and maybe that inspired me because it was finished before lunch. Had to check with Mr.Google that 13d and 21d were what I thought they were. So 1.5*/4* and several clues vying for favourite – 18d, 27a, 20d and 7d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and all involved with this blog.

  20. Killer Watts
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward today, but, embarrassingly, the only one I didn’t get was 23 d ! Kicked myself when I looked at it. Favourite clue today was 11 d, very clever.

    **/***. Thanks to all.

  21. stanXYZ
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Very nice to see the Don in light-hearted mood!

    Off to attempt the Friday Toughie.

    (Ooops! Just seen the grid and who the compiler is ,,, Bye! Bye!)


  22. Gwizz
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This was a good challenge with lots of interesting clues. My favourite was (the much maligned musically) 8d. Overall 3/3*.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for his review.

  23. mre
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Terrific puzzle today with just about very clue requiring some head scratching and far too many contenders for favourite clue to risk writing down in case of being added too ‘the list’ so I’ll opt for 21d, derived from first principles by this gardening ignoramus, and last in 27a. The whole thing made even more enjoyable by ending my recent run of defeats at the hands of Mr G.

    Probably just about into four star time so ****/****

  24. Una
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    On the easier side , thank heaven, no bizarre words, and generally very nice.
    My favourite is 11d.
    Thanks DT and Giovanni.

  25. Merusa
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Found some very easy and others so difficult, in fact, I never did get 16d or 23d. My brain must be absent as I feel I should have got these two on first scan!
    The SW corner was the most difficult. I liked 27a and 11d, not sure which is fave.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for helping me to finish.

  26. silvanus
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Definitely the trickiest puzzle of the week, with the SE corner proving the most stubborn to yield, but finally got there with some perseverance. I totally agree with Jane, this was the best Giovanni back-pager for a long time.

    My favourite clue was 14a, but both 27a and 22a ran it close. I’ve been to 22a several times, beautiful isn’t an adjective with which it is normally associated! Apologies if it’s already been mentioned (Rabbit Dave is normally hot on such things) but In the newspaper version of the puzzle, the clue for 3d had a small typo, with the second “a” in “preparation” omitted.

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

  27. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    3*/3.5*. Late on parade today. I agree with Silvanus and Jane that this was the best Friday back-pager for quite a while, even though I couldn’t get the obscure 21d without the DT’s excellent review. Lots to like here with 7d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT (and to Silvanus for saving me from having to complain about the poor proof reading in
    the paper!)

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    We also noted that 6a could be interpreted either way so we delayed writing it in until we had a checker. 7d confirmed that it had to be the river. The middle part of 15a had us head scratching a little but generally it all slotted together very smoothly. Well crafted as usual for the Don and good fun.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  29. Jaylegs
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable, tricky and a little quirky :mail: ***/**** after solving 12a & 11d I tripped over with 15a putting a “p” instead of the first “t” :sad: Liked 14a & 22a up the Boro :smile:

  30. Hilary
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Phew, I have got to Friday and I am in one piece. Cheered up since yesterday so thanks to The Don and DT for a great end to the week. I did struggle and admit to electronic help but I got there in the end. Off to tackle quickie and then read new just downloaded book, never read Gilbert White’s Selbourne so decided to add it to library. :bye:

  31. Bluebell
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this. After flying through most of the solve I was completely stumped by 27a and 23d so I had to resort to the hints to comlete.
    I dont know about anyone else but I always consider it as a “failed to solve” if I have to resort to any outside help to complete the puzzle. Or am I being too hard on myself?

    • Hilary
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Far too hard, I consider the research as part of the solve and hopefully you will be more aware the next time it comes round. There is a mine of assistance on this blog and you can benefit enormously by consulting it. I have gone from being a very scared rabbit to a reasonably happy bunny but I still have a long way to go. :good:

    • Hanni
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      You are being far too hard on yourself. This blog exists for a reason. Be under no illusion that most solvers need help at some point. I am more than happy to admit that I do. How else do we learn? You have nothing to worry about. And help on a Giovanni…it often happens. :wink:

  32. Jon_S
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    A little tricky in places, with some wordplay that needed to be carefully unpicked. Always pleasing to get unfamiliar words from the cryptic part alone and then find they’re correct. :good:

  33. judetheobscure
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I allow myself to confirm things in a dictionary or encyclopedia (online) but I wouldn’t attempt to find the answer.

  34. TheTeesdale2
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the warm welcome to the blog. We enjoyed today’s and, unusually, had no need for hints. Glad to see ‘parsegate’ has passed/pahssed/past? Felt too new to comment – but commendable patience from SL! Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    • Killer Watts
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi T2. Am thinking of moving to Barnard Castle from east London. David Harper makes it look and sound great. Is he right ?

      • TheTeesdale2
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Hi KW. We both lived with London in our time (Hackney/Camberwell/Canary Wharf). Husband is from these parts originally, and I love it here. Never met David Harper, but Barney is surely the friendliest – and beautiful – place I’ve ever lived, and I’m from Wiltshire! I could ‘rhapsodise’, but will leave it there….

        • Killer Watts
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha, thanks for the input. I suppose you know Harper ? Antiques expert, always extolling BC’s virtues ! It does look a nice spot, I’m a step closer in my quest to find “olde England”. There are few parts of the country which would fit that particular bill, maybe Herefordshire, maybe Shropshire ? Yes, maybe Durham/Teesdale. I’m working on the other half, she’s reluctant. Could be a solo move ! Thanks again, and I will extend the blog welcome, though I generally only contribute two or three times a week. KW.

          • TheTeesdale2
            Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            I know of David Harper from the telly, and he has a good reputation locally. I think this area is as close to ‘ye olde England’ that you’ll get, yet only 2 and a half hours on the train to London. The winters are long, but the scenery is stunning. Come and stay and see what you think. We have holiday cottages – try before you buy!!!

  35. Cryptor
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Agree with much already said, though a ****/*** for me. Lots of neat misdirections. Ironically it was the SE corner that gave me a foothold. Last in and favourite 17a. Thanks to all.

  36. Kitty
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    When I first started this I was in such a foul mood that I would not have been able to comment fairly. Not least because I was also having trouble getting off the ground and thought the thing might be a stinker. But I came back to it much later and once I’d got a few more in it started to unfold nicely, and it turned out to be very good indeed.

    The front-runner for favourite was 11d until I solved 24a which beat it.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  37. Jose
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Solved this one sporadically over the weekend. Fairly difficult and very enjoyable. 3*/3.5*

  38. Tstrummer
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    An excellent puzzle that I completed in the early hours on Saturday by the wood burner in the boat after a hard week at the coalface. Couldn’t post as the site was either unavailable or the dodgy, but expensive, wifi in Braunston wasn’t up to it. Ta to DT and the Don. 3*/4*