DT 28065

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28065

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a misty  South Staffs.

Giovanni is quite high on the obscure words and General Knowledge today, but the clues are fair, as always, so that the answers can be deduced. I wasn’t keen on the grid, which gave us effectively four separate puzzles linked only by the little box in the centre.

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           Do away with heartless order after period (9)
ERADICATE – A period of geological time followed by a verb meaning ‘order’ (as 24d might have done) with its central letter removed.

9a           Little woman and patient man meeting by a shrub (6)
JOJOBA – Put together one of the characters in Little Women, an Old Testament man famed for his patience in adversity, and A (from the clue) to get a desert shrub found in the Americas.

Image result for jojoba

10a         Ferocious woman that could cut one dead (6-3)
BATTLE-AXE – This metaphor for a fierce woman is literally an edged weapon that could kill you in war.

11a         Dealer looking embarrassed with paintings being returned? (6)
TRADER – Put together the colour you may go when embarrassed and what paintings are an example of, then reverse the lot

12a         Unco-operative type? Right — I seek fun, somehow (9)
REFUSENIK Right, followed by an anagram (somehow) of I SEEK FUN.

13a         Comedian appearing in Cromer tonight (6)
MERTON – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for paul merton

17a         Stone gleams — just the odd bits of it (3)
GEM – Take alternate letters of GlEaMs to get this precious stone.

19a         Moderate a sort of emulsion for painting (7)
TEMPERA – A word for ‘moderate’ or ‘reduce the impact of’ followed by A (from the clue).

20a         A hit poem in the modern style (1,2,4)
A LA MODE – Split (1,3,3) we have A (from the clue), a word for hit, and a type of poem.

21a         Unemotional doctor dealt with last character in surgery (3)
DRY – An abbreviation for doctor followed by the last letter of surgerY

23a         Piece of bacon Ronald grilled (6)
LARDON – Anagram (grilled) of RONALD. One for Jean-Luc, I think.

Image result for lardon

27a         Lack of certain standards in test getting in the way of friendly relations (9)
AMORALITY – A spoken examination inserted into a word for friendly relations.

28a         Straight line formed by river in French wine district (6)
ipad version: Mark‘s mother, short ugly woman (6)
MACRON – Put River into one of the regions of Burgundy, a city in the Saône valley, to get a straight line placed over a vowel to indicate that it has a long sound.
A short, familiar word for mother, followed by an ugly old woman with the final E removed. Thanks to Miffypops for the heads-up. Evidently, iPad users aren’t expected to be familiar with French wine-growing areas!

Image result for macron

29a         High-up person little good, fool appearing in newspaper column (9)
DIGNITARY – A newspaper’s daily gossip column wrapped around Good and another word for fool.

30a         Arrive feeling elated after dizzy spell? (4,2)
TURN UP – A dizzy spell may be referred to as a funny —-. If you are down when depressed, you may be – when elated.

31a         Exposed, as cold maiden maybe in nude shivering (9)
UNCOVERED Cold and a set of deliveries at cricket (which would be a maiden if no score came from it), with an anagram (shivering) of NUDE wrapped around them.


2d           Brought up as left-winger absorbing Listener (6)
REARED – The colour attributed to left-wing politics, wrapped around the organ you listen with.

3d           It could be due to introduction of roadworks (6)
DETOUR – This is an all-in-one clue. An anagram (could be) of DUE TO and the first letter of Roadworks.

4d           Yarn from northern town, last bit from mill (6)
CREWEL – A Cheshire town noted as a railway junction, followed by the last letter of milL, producing a fine worsted yarn used for embroidery and tapestry.

5d           Material from message landing on French island (7)
TEXTILE – One of the ubiquitous messages sent from a mobile phone followed by the French word for island.

6d           A scent drifts around our mistress (9)
COURTESAN – Anagram (drifts) of ASCENT, wrapped around OUR (from the clue).

7d           Disorder with one opposing speech, wanting Conservative out (9)
CONDITION – A medical disorder is made up from a short term for someone who opposes and a word for a manner of speech or choice of words with the C(onservative) removed.

8d           Justified having got angry after conflict (9)
WARRANTED – An armed conflict followed by ‘got angry and yelled’.

14d         Tired friend in a no-win situation (9)
STALEMATE – This drawn position at chess is made up of a word for tired or past its best, and a friend or associate.

15d         Clever character finds way to avoid using cash (5,4)
SMART CARD – ‘Clever’ followed by ‘a real character’.

16d         Spot American going after brave man, a famous Greek (9)
HERODOTUS – Put together a brave man, a small spot on the page, and an abbreviation for American, to get an Ancient Greek historian.

Image result for herodotus

17d         A son of Jacob? Gosh! (3)
GAD – Double definition: one of the sons of Jacob in the Old Testament; or a mild expletive.

18d         This writer’s entertaining a lady (3)
MAY – A lady’s name is made up of a pronominal adjective for ‘the writer’s’ (note the ‘s) wrapped around A (from the clue).

22d         Plant, one on slope above (7)
RAMPION – A sloping roadway followed by the Roman numeral for one and ON (from the clue), giving us a plant also known as a bellflower.

Image result for rampion

24d         European leader offering his neighbouring country almost nothing (6)
FRANCO – To get to this former European leader remove the final letter from a European country and add the letter which looks like a zero.

Image result for franco

25d         Merry bishop not at all like Friar Tuck (6)
BLITHE – The chess notation for Bishop followed by an adjective describing someone fit and athletic (unlike Friar Tuck).

26d         Author participating in Eastern expedition (6)
STERNE – The author of Tristram Shandy is hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun CORPS + DELIA = CORDELIA


  1. neveracrossword
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    2.5* difficulty for me (because of the obscure words) and 3* for enjoyment. Quite a few easy clues to start me off. Thank you DT and Giovanni.

  2. Jane
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Certainly didn’t know the Greek chap or the straight line and a couple of others were only dim recollections but, as DT said, fair enough from the word play.

    Several that I really enjoyed – 10a plus 3,24&25d made the honours board.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – got in early today to beat the potential overload on the proxy server!

  3. Kitty
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Despite being awoken at silly o’clock I quite enjoyed this. (There was in-built compensation in that it was the noise of the elephants packing to go away.) Giovanni has treated us with mercy despite a couple of new words: I had to check 4d and 22d before I dared enter them into the grid.

    For a split second I read “unco” as a word on its own in 12a. That is a word that thanks to this blog I will never forget.

    When I solved 13a I wondered if he actually is. That would have been great, but it doesn’t look like it.

    Of the four distinct corners, the SE took longest to fill.

    The clever 3d is very neat and would be favourite if I was choosing on merit. I have a full sextet of other contenders so rather than choose I might just hope it’s a scenic route and take that.

    With thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  4. Graham
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Not easy if you don’t know your plants & shrubs, also I have never come across the word in 12A but it’s strange I knew what a 6D was, never mind it was a fair brain work out for me. Thanks to the setter & DT for his review.

  5. dutch
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    2d is brilliant. I hardly think of the 3d town as Northern, for me it’s South. 1a was my last one in, it’s just that with this grid I went clockwise from NE. I vaguely remember the plants, the straight line, the un-cooperative type, the son of Jacob and the paint, so can’t claim they were obscurities – but I didn’t remember the greek, so of course I found the use of the word “famous” irritating – very clear wordplay though. I really liked 6d (a scent drifts around our mistress), and simple as it is I thought 23a (piece of bacon) works very nicely. Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

    Fog is lifting in Macclesfield – really looking forward to seeing some of you later today

    • dutch
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I meant 3d is brilliant, 4d is south from here. editing seems to be switched off at the moment, i imagine to help performance

  6. Ora Meringue
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Quite a struggle today, but an enjoyable one.
    Needed the hints for the SE corner, not helped by my never having heard of the plant in 22d and having Miss West’s first name for 18d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

    And thanks so much for this blog. My solving has come on by leaps and bounds since I stumbled on it quite a while ago now.

    • dutch
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I had Miss West at first as well

      • Brian
        Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Me too!

        • Angel
          Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          And me.

    • Jane
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      You obviously haven’t ben watching Mr. Selfridge. Couldn’t have been anyone other than Lady May – superb actress who seems to be turning up in everything at the moment.

      • Jane
        Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Sorry – as others have said, no editing option at the moment. I really can spell ‘been’!

  7. bifield
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    A bit of a struggle to day but all there in the clues. Needed to check a few words but overall very enjoyable. ***/**** for me.
    Thanks to The Don and to Deep Threat for the enlightenment.

  8. TheTeesdale2
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle from the Don, thankyou. Fell into 3 parts for us, with NE flying in, then the W side, but found SE rather baffling due to lack of checkers (and probably skill), so we’re thankful to DT for hints there. Town in 4d is definitely in the south!

  9. Angel
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    A delightful offering today with a variety of clues including a nice sprinkling of GK mixed in with the cryptology. Many thanks Giovanni and DT. Made life difficult for myself by bunging in perdition in 7d which made it hard to fit the patient man into 9a. Liked several but to satisfy Kath will settle for just 31a.

    • Kath
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Oh – was just about to give you a smiley face or a thumbs up for only having the one favourite – forgot the ‘faces’ are off at the moment!

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Bung ins are best Angel. When they work they help the job along. When they don’t, great satisfaction can be had when realising the error and removing it. When all else has failed. Check what you have in for: A. Spelling. B. Does it really fit the definition and wordplay, it may be wrong if you cannot parse it.

  10. Angel
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Wot no filtering of Comments today? Perhaps all the censors are in Macclesfield.

  11. Heno
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I thought this was spoilt by so many obscurities. They were fairly clued though, but very difficult when you’ve never seen the word. I actually remembered 23a. Had never heard of 9,12,28a&4,16,22,26d. Favourite was 20a, was 4*/2* for me.

  12. Miffypops
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Another good fun puzzle from The Don. Thank you. Another fine review from DT. Thank You. Whilst reading the review (In order to learn how to review properly) I realised I had finished the puzzle without even reading the clue for 18d. Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham. I have covered the floor here at the pub with artificial grass and the champagne is on ice. Yay. Bring it on.

  13. Kath
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this more than I sometimes do on a Friday – agree with 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I thought there were quite a few obscure(ish) things but I suppose they’re only obscure if you don’t know them – I didn’t.
    I’d never heard of the 28a straight line; the 4d yarn although now I know what a 4d needle is for; the 16d ‘famous’ Greek; the 17d son of Jacob (Mr Google thinks he’s Generalised Anxiety Disorder).
    I didn’t know the 22d plant either and although it’s in BRB it’s not in my gardening ‘bible’ – it is in my garden though!
    I quite like the grids that have the little boxy three letter bits in the middle.
    I liked 9a (a good thing it was that little woman – I can only ever remember three of the four) and 31a and 3d. My favourite was 25d because it made me laugh.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  14. Hrothgar
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant puzzle.
    I found it quite hard, certainly **** for difficulty for me.
    Managed to construct several correct words which I’d never heard of.
    The SE corner took longest, some very clever constructions, eg 29a.
    Many thanks Giovanni and thanks DT for the review.

  15. Bluebirds
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Herodotus, Sterne, rampion, tempera too off the wall for me.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Only the second one was new too me.
      Is not this list breaking the law?

      • Hrothgar
        Posted March 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, third one, not second.
        (Why can’t I edit on my iPad?)

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        The rules about listing solutions etc only apply for the prize puzzles at the weekends

  16. Miffypops
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    28ac on Ipad. Mark’s mother, short ugly woman (6)

    • Kath
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Clever clogs!

  17. Gwizz
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Hard but fair. No complaints. I don’t mind obscurities appearing now and then; I feel that if we’re not reminded of them they will disappear from use forever, and that would be sad.
    31a was my favourite and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to the Don and toDT for the review.

  18. Young Salopian
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    A complete pleasure from start to finish. Even the words that were new to me popped out as the clueing and wordplay was first class. Like Hrothgar above, the SE corner held me up.

    3*/3.5* seems fair because of the relative obscurity of three of the answers. Many thanks to the Don and DT.

  19. Sheffieldsy
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Found the SE corner harder than the rest, and that alone pushed us into 3* territory for difficulty.

    Favourite clues were 3d (like several others) and 24d. 9a was pretty neat too.

    Thanks to the Don and DT for the blog.

  20. DRC
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    30ac I couldn’t see past Come To!

  21. pommers
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The puzzle was OK and the obscurities not too obscure but I wouldn’t be at all upset if I never saw that grid again.

    **/*** from us.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

    • JonP
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree with you, although I’d have to give it *** for difficulty.

      Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

    • andy
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      That grid, i made it 18 answers with an unchecked first, luckily the Don was being nice to us, Comment might never reach the site,Given up trying at work and on my phone

  22. Janie
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering if it’s my computer as no one else has mentioned the fact that the answers are not covered anymore – or haven’t been for the last few days.

    • Gazza
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      A few other people have mentioned this problem so you’re not alone. Which Operating System and browser are you using?

    • Deep Threat
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      There has been the odd comment over the last couple of days. It seems to depend on what system you are using. The covers are in place on my computer (Windows and Firefox), and on my phone (Android).

    • pommers
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      The covers are there in Chrome and Windows 10.

  23. Hanni
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Quite enjoyed this. A couple of new definitions in 4 and 22d but fairly clued.

    Favourite is 3d.

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

    Thanks to Googling women in waders the other day, I know have an advertisement at the top of the page for the 2016 Women in Waders magazine and something called Sportfish.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink


      • Hanni
        Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Thank you MP. It could be worse…

        Have you started on the Champagne yet?

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Too busy mowing the artificial grass

          • Hanni
            Posted March 18, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            Bit extreme taking the Miff mower into the pub! Although I suppose you could charge customers for a quick ride on it. Still, I think you might be better off with a strimmer to deal with the quick growing artificial grass. Don’t forget to put some artificial water and feed on it.

  24. Brian
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Nothing too difficult today with the usual quota of Giovannis weird words in 28a, and 4d with an obscure 17th century author in 28d and an Ancient Greek in 16d.
    As always every clue is well constructed requiring no leaps of faith. What I really enjoy about the Dons puzzles is that everything you need to solve the clue is contained within. They are elegant usually too. My personal thanks for the dialling back of the Church Times clues😀
    Thx to all

  25. Merusa
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Funny old crossword this, nearly R&W until I got to the SE corner. I needed the hints for four answers, just came to a full stop.
    I knew the plants, the Greek and the straight line, but 27a an 29a floored me.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  26. mre
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    A disappointing performance here with the south west corner entirely eluding me. It turns out that the problem was writing COME TO at 30a. Perhaps I’d have got there but for that error. On the upside I found 4d and 22d without knowing either word.


  27. Janie
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gazza – I’m using Windows and Internet Explorer but I always have and this has only happened recently

    • Gazza
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just tried Internet Explorer version 11 and the answers are hidden. Which version are you using?

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    We managed to get the nice person at the motel here in Akaroa to print out the puzzles for us so were able to get our daily fix after all. Surprised ourselves that even without our usual reference books we got all the ‘obscurities’ so they could not have been too obscure. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    • Merusa
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      I googled Akaroa to have a look, what a superb looking place. Such stunning scenery. Have a wonderful time.

  29. e cook
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I have lost the click button

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      If you read other comments, you will see you are not alone. BD is looking into it.

  30. silvanus
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Late to tackle this one, but despite my initial disappointment that the typical Friday Giovanni biblical references and obscurities were back again in some profusion, I actually enjoyed the solve quite a lot.

    Several of the clues I thought were top notch, in particular 20a, 2d and 25d. I had never come across 23a, 28a 4d or 22d before, but all were fairly clued.

    9a reminded me of the Billy Connolly gag, i.e. that to Glaswegians 9a is the month after September!

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

  31. Jon_S
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I just solved the Toughie by mistake, didn’t I? As already noted, the obscure words and isolated quarters of the grid made this quite a difficult solve, though satisfying when the bits fell into place one by one. Liked 3d in particular, and the puzzle in general overall.

  32. Paso Doble
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    We found this an entertaining struggle. A ***/**** from us. Thanks to The Don and to DT for the excellent blog.

  33. Salty Dog
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Rather gentle for this stage of the week. Would have been done in 1* time if I hadn’t been delayed for a while in the SE corner, but I was, so 2*/3* is about right. 31a was my favourite clue. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  34. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to thank everyone for wishing me a Happy Birthday yesterday.
    Very nice treat from Giovanni today and solved one corner at a time during the day.
    Last ones in were the two plants and the Greek historian but the clueing was fair as previously mentioned by my fellow bloggers.
    The writer was new to me and was surprised to read that she was part of the clergy.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Oops. Just realised that Laurence is a man’s name. Got confused with the long hair in the small picture I saw. D’oh.

  35. jan
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I use a MacBook, and there have been no covers now for several days.

  36. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Hard work today and plenty of use made of the excellent hints.
    3d was favorite clue, also mentioned 10a and 15d.
    Did not know the famous Greek or many of the plants.
    Thanks to DT for the hints….Also the setter…

  37. Jaylegs
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I found it quite tricky ***/*** needed hint for 9a though I new the two main characters Jo & Job 😊 Liked 29a & 4d Thanks to DT and Giovanni 😉 I do the crossword in the newspaper but access the blog on an I pad and the answers are uncovered 😳

  38. maarvarq
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    No-one else had a problem with 24dn “European leader” not giving any hint that he hasn’t occupied the post since 1975?