DT 28077 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28077

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28077

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone – it’s me. A week ago it was a bank holiday so it felt like a Saturday so Saturday felt like Sunday, then we changed from GMT to BST which complicated things still further – not only did we not know what day of the week it was but we didn’t know what time of day it was either. We might have coped with all this better if the ‘hinty’ people had stuck to their normal days but they haven’t – never mind, I’m sure all will return to normal pretty soon – we’ll see!

Here we have a fairly typical Giovanni crossword – nothing too tricky or obscure. I was a bit twitchy about doing the hints for one of his as I often find them quite difficult so thank you gazza, Cryptic Sue, Shropshirelad and Miffypops who all offered to help if I got completely stuck.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of today’s crossword and how you got on with it.

The answers are hidden under the things that say (ANSWER) so only do that if you need to see one.


1a            Notice a port with nothing leaving on time (6)
ADVERT — Begin with the A from the clue, follow it with one of the channel ports – the one that’s nearest to France – it has an O in it – take out that O (nothing leaving) and follow it (on) with T(ime).

4a            A social event about five — daughter got on (8)
ADVANCED — The A from the clue is followed by a social event where everyone has a jolly good bop – this social event contains (about) the Roman numeral for five and is followed by (got on) D(aughter).

9a            Number of important building — worker is one renting (6)
TENANT — This number is the number in Downing Street where the current Prime Minister lives and it’s followed by one of the usual crosswordland workers – not a bee, one of the others.


10a         Do mend broken front and back of this — bits and bobs needed (8)
ODDMENTS — An anagram (broken) of DO MEND and the first and last letters (front and back of) T(hi)S.

11a         Vehicle has all but come into contact with ornamental panel (9)
CARTOUCHE — A common four wheeled vehicle comes before a verb meaning has come into contact with or met without its final letter (all but).

13a         Some underwear in separate wash (5)
RINSE — Our first lurker, or hidden answer (some) – not a very difficult hidden one but I still managed to miss it for ages.

14a         Coral and gemstone possibly seen as types of rock (13)
CONGLOMERATES — Today’s second anagram (possibly) is of CORAL and GEMSTONE

17a         What superior insurance company may have is honesty (3,4,6)
THE BEST POLICY — A proverb – ‘Honesty is *** **** ******* is also something that a decent insurance company could claim to have.


21a         Animal having drink by English lake rolled over (5)
LEMUR — Begin with the drink – it’s a spirit made from fermented sugar-cane – then you need E(nglish) and L(ake). Finally just reverse the whole lot (rolled over).


23a         Illegal delivery at the end of bowler’s sequence may be reason for extra run (9)
OVERTHROW — Right – here we go – I knew there’d be one! We all know by now what a bowler’s sequence of six balls is called and if we don’t then we just haven’t been paying attention so we want one of those and then after that (at the end of) we need an illegal delivery. I can’t see why this is illegal but apparently it is – to me it’s just another word meaning to chuck a ball at someone else which is what they’re doing all the time anyway. Oh dear!

24a         This chemical could be deadly, eh? (8)
ALDEHYDE — An anagram (could be) of DEADLY, EH.

25a         Novelist and poet would drink litre only with great difficulty (6)
HARDLY — The surname of a late nineteenth/early twentieth century British poet and novelist contains (would drink) the one letter abbreviation for L(itre).

26a         Aspersions from one coming down to go aboard ship (8)
SLANDERS — Begin with a word meaning one coming down or coming into contact with the ground after a flight – this is contained in (going aboard) our usual two letter abbreviation for S(team) S(hip).

27a         A post in which one may see Conservative rise (6)
ASCEND — The A from the clue is followed by a verb to post or dispatch which contains (in which one may see) the one letter abbreviation for C(onservative)



1d            Atheist — he is going out, wanting a church to join! (6)
ATTACH — Begin with the first word of the clue and take out the third, fourth, fifth and sixth letters (‘he is’ going out). Follow the remaining letters with the A from the clue and one of the two letter abbreviations for church.

2d            ‘Bit of a brain’? Somehow isn’t clever, not first in school (9)
VENTRICLE — An anagram (somehow) of ISN’T CLEVER without the first letter (not first in) of S(chool)


3d            Analysis of something in poor shape (3-4)
RUN-DOWN — A double definition – the first being an analysis or a summary of the main points and the second just meaning generally tatty or dilapidated.

5d            Midlands town with flighty Romeo who made many laugh? (6,5)
DUDLEY MOORE — A large town in the West Midlands is followed by (with) an anagram (flighty) of ROMEO. One of those that could cause problems for overseas solvers as the town isn’t a particularly well-known one – hopefully the second word of the answer will give it away.


6d            Lover of a doctor admitting sticky situation (7)
ADMIRER — Begin with the A from the clue and follow that with one of the many two letters meaning a doctor – I’ll leave you to work out which ones – these contain (admitting) a sticky situation or a bog.

7d            Minister in study digesting article (5)
CANON — One of the usual three letters meaning study – not den, the other one – contains (digesting) the two letter indefinite article.

8d            Badly pressed, I vanish into thin air maybe (8)
DISPERSE — An anagram (badly) of PRESSED I.

12d         Visit to tell someone at shop what is wanted — it’s open for business (4,2,5)
CALL TO ORDER — A verb to visit or drop by is followed by what someone may go to a shop to do – the whole thing means to begin a meeting so that the business of the meeting can go ahead. I’d never heard of this so it did cause a bit of grief – the answer was pretty obvious but . . .

15d         Army climbing by narrow hilltop — many died in disaster here (3,6)
TAY BRIDGE — The old two letter abbreviation for the Army Reserve is followed by a reversal (climbing) of BY and then a narrow hilltop or escarpment. This was a rail bridge disaster in December 1879 which I’d never heard of but one of the good things about a Giovanni crossword is that as long as you keep calm and carry on it’s usually possible to work out the answer even if you don’t know it.

16d         Europeans leaning forward endlessly to get answer (8)
ITALIANS — Begin with a style of writing which is leaning forward, or slanting, and remove the last letter (endlessly) – follow that (to get) with the three letter abbreviation of the word ANS(wer).


18d         Consumed by fear, the deer’s gone to ground (7)
EARTHED — Our second lurker or hidden answer of the day (consumed by) is well concealed in the middle of the third, fourth and fifth words in the clue – just when it was all going so well too!

19d         International receivers of news crying (2,5)
IN TEARS — The three letter abbreviation for INT(ernational) is followed by the thingies that stick out from the side of your head to take in sound (receivers of news)


20d         It sounds like material was wobbly (6)
SWAYED — A homophone (sounds like) of a soft unglazed material often used for gloves. This one threw me for a long time – I hadn’t got the second letter which didn’t help – if in doubt just blame any cricket clue!

22d         Help them briefly set up channels of communication (5)
MEDIA — A word meaning help or assist is followed by a slightly slangy abbreviation (briefly) of ‘them’ – then tip the whole thing upside down (set up).

I liked 1 and 17a and 20d. My favourite was, eventually, 18d.

The Quickie Pun:- (PLANES) + (AILING) = (PLAIN SAILING) When I first looked at the quick crossword it looked as if it had so few clues that I thought I must be missing half of it somehow.

71 comments on “DT 28077

  1. ***|***
    Good crossword, very satisfying start to the day. Not sure if a crossword is the right medium to look for excitement! Suggest a broadening of horizons. Thanks to all.

  2. Yes, I would say reasonably straightforward although it did take me longer than I would have expected looking at the finished puzzle. So I would say 2*/3* today.

  3. I didn’t think I would have time for this until later, but it seems miracles can happen and here I am.

    It may have been down to my tiredness this morning but I found this decidedly tricky and called upon my trusty electronic devices to get me there.

    11a was new to me. The 2ds I know of are in the heart, but it made sense that the brain might have something of the same name.

    My last few in were in the extreme SW, mainly because those Europeans eluded me for ages. I wouldn’t dream of having more than one favourite today, and I will agree with Kath here and nominate the poor scared deer in 18d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Kath for another of your warm, funny and entertaining reviews.

  4. For me slightly above average cerebration was required for today’s offering but it was a pleasant exercise. Having wrong animal for 21a put a spanner in the works for a while – in fact I thought the humped animal satisfied the clue well if one regarded ‘mac’ (whisky mac?) as a drink. 5d brought back so many memories of that multi-talented actor/comedian/pianist/composer particularly in the Dud & Pete sketches. Was slow to recall 15d tragedy. Thank you Giovanni and Kath. ***/***. ( – :

  5. Pretty straightforward solve apart from 24a and 16d. Not heard of either but as Kath said, all get-able from the clues. Enjoyed the anagrams..when do I not?

    Really liked 18d but 20d gets the favourite vote. Very clever.

    Many thanks to the Don and to Kath for a fun and erudite blog.

    Elkamere is on form in the Toughie. It’s good.

  6. I stayed up all night in case Kath needed help from any of the other “hinty people” I was not needed. The town in 5d would have been known the world over if The Ten Commandments had been translated correctly. Commandment number seven should read. Thou shalt not come to Dudley. I was taken once by Mum and Dad before I became an orphan and remember a Polar bear in the zoo. Nice puzzle again. ta to all concerned. Nice blog Kath.

  7. Unusually for a Friday, completed comfortably before lights out last night and I learnt something from 2d. Until this puzzle I had no idea that the brain has them as well as the heart.
    Kath – for the illegal delivery in 23a, it is all in the arm action (and the rules of the game) to determine if the method of ‘chucking’ is legal or not.
    Favourite 17a. Thanks to the Don and to Kath for a good ending to the work week.

  8. Took me a while to get into this one, but managed to finish without any help. Really chuffed with myself, I have finished every puzzle this week without help, a first for me and probably the last time too. Many thanks to Giovanni and Kath.

    1. Very well done pete – perseveriation (or something like that as Mary used to say) wins in the end.

  9. Kath, I can see you are a latent cricket enthusiast, so I’m sending you this:

    In cricket, an overthrow (sometimes called a buzzer) is an extra run scored by a batsman as a result of the ball not being collected by a fielder in the centre, having been thrown in from the outfield. Overthrows usually occur when a fielder aims unsuccessfully at the stumps in an attempt to run out a batsman, although sometimes they are due to handling errors by the fielder receiving the ball.

    PS. I wasn’t sure what it meant either.

      1. Yes, of course, latent is the key word. It was my idea of satire/irony, because it’s obvious from your comments that cricket is a complete mystery to you. Maybe comedy isn’t my best forte after all…… :-)

    1. In cricket, when bowling, the bowler must “bowl” the ball with a straight arm and not throw it with a bent arm. To throw a ball while bowling would be an illegal delivery. An overthrow is as described by Jose and is often the source of extra runs for the batsman.

    2. This was such a cleverly constructed clue that it was my runaway favourite today. As cleverly constructed as the game itself :)

  10. Thanks to Giovanni and to Kath for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle from Giovanni, a bit on the gentle side. Favourite was 11a, last in was 1a. The NW corner put up a bit of a fight. Was 2*/3* for me. Off to Newbury races soon.

  11. Was a bit held up in the SE corner but thanks to BD’s mine of not so useless information, I found everything I needed in the bowling section of his cricket terms.
    That certainly helped get 20d as I had the wrong ending in 27a. D’oh.
    Learned a new meaning for 11a and always thought that 2d was in the heart.
    The disaster rung a bell but had to check my answer.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Kath.

  12. New words for me included the ornamental panel and the chemical and I had to ask Mr. Google about my answer (correct, as it turned out!) for 15d. It was also a new discovery that we have ventricles in places other than our hearts.

    Like Kath, I was worried about the end part of 23a – came up with three possibles, one ending with ‘w’ and two ending with ‘s’ – then looked to see which would help me to get an answer for 20d.

    Made hard work for myself with 1d as I started out by taking just the ‘he’ out of atheist and adding in a ‘c’ for church. ‘Attics’ didn’t seem to answer the clue!
    All sorted eventually and quite enjoyed. Liked 20d but top spot goes to 17a – lovely surface read.

    Thanks to DG and also to our surprise blogger for the day – unless it really is Thursday and I’ve got my days muddled up again.
    Loved the pic for 17a and the Italian mama at 16d!

    1. If you ever get a chance to visit Egypt (wonderful country) you will hear lots about cartouches containing the symbols for the pharaoh’s name. Unfortunately terrorists are trying their hardest to ruin its tourist industry.

      1. Hi Brian,
        I did actually look up online and realised that I have seen depictions of them previously – obviously not registered what they were called!

        1. Jane, you hear the word “cartouche” very often on programmes like Flog It or the Antiques Roadshow. In the antique world, a cartouche is an oval or circular panel found on various items, containing or surrounded by decoration and sometimes with coats of arms, etc. or left blank to receive future inscriptions.

      2. Many years ago when on holiday in Cyprus, I went on an overnight ferry trip (it was called a ‘cruise’) to Port Said and then on to Cairo in an armed motor convoy. The route virtually followed the Suez Canal which was quite disconcerting as you’re travelling through a desert beside a huge container ship. No, not a camel – even though it was full of Arab ‘REDACTED – REDACTED’.

        Anyway – the day after we’d returned to Cyprus, a German tour bus was attacked by a terrorist group in Cairo. That was scary.

        Verdi is my favourite composer, ever.

        1. OK that is just an awful thought. Scary.

          Verdi is mine for opera and yet Madame Butterfly is my favourite one.

  13. Brilliant! Loved every clue but the best by far was 23a, really looking forward to the 20/20 final against the Windies. Nice to have a couple of scientific clues in 24a and 2d. Last in was 1a, could see the answer but took me a while to parse the clue but as with all Giovanni clues, everything you need is there.
    Thx to all.

  14. Finally got to this after a rather busy morning getting t’internet fitted in friend’s apartment and waiting for an insurance man to turn up and inspect some rain damage. All sorted fairly quickly, as was the crossword. I’ll give it **/*** with 18d favourite.

    I didn’t think Giovanni was big on lurkers but there’s two good ones today. Perhaps he’s trying to catch up with Virgilius and RayT.

    Thanks to the Don and Kath.

  15. Look up the great Scottish poet William McGonagall to learn about the Tay Bridge disaster…..

  16. 11 and 17 across were my joint favourites (sorry Kath) from this very enjoyable but comfortably solved Giovanni crossword. 2*/3* with grateful thanks to both of the aforementioned.

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    On picking up the newspaper had a feeling of déjà vu on seeing the headline above one piece. Glancing at the back page immediately saw it was Wednesday’s puzzle and subsequent investigation showed this to be a near pristine copy of Wednesday’s newspaper! Can only conclude that this was some kind of elaborate April fools’ prank on the part of our local newsagent…

    Had a crack at the puzzle in another place but got little more than two thirds through it.


  18. **/**. Not my cup of tea really. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review. Beautiful day again and temperatures will be in the high 60’s. A walk by the beach I think.

  19. A little like yesterday, this eventually fell into place quite nicely after an inauspiciously hesitant start.

    The usual Giovanni FROs (Friday Religious Obscurities) were reined in this week thankfully, and there were a couple of unexpected appearances in the shape of 5d and 15d that made the puzzle more interesting than it first seemed.

    I’ll join Jane in nominating 17a as my favourite, nicely clued.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to Kath for her April Fool’s Day appearance which I’m sure was entirely coincidental! A good weekend to all.

  20. I enjoyed this more than I usually do on Fridays, and I thought there were several clever clues.
    I was held up by 16d, then I remembered crosswordland for “leaning forward”.
    I remember reading about 15d, terrible disaster.
    You’re right, Kath, once I got the anagram of Romeo, I got the first name; brilliant chap.
    Not knowing much about chemicals, I used gizmo to solve 24a.
    Loved 11a and 17a, can’t choose fave between them
    Thanks to Giovanni, splendid review Kath, really enjoyable.

  21. I knew about the Tay Bridge disaster and, since completing the crossword, I have been trying to recall when I first learned about it. It’s just come to me!

    In the 60s I had a girlfriend whose father had previously adopted a somewhat disturbing parental policy when she was at primary school. On the basis that realism was better than escapism, he preferred at bedtime to read to her not, for example, Enid Blyton stories but from a book colourfully entitled “Fifty Great Disasters and Tragedies That Shocked the World”, one of which was the awful collapse of the Tay Bridge in the late 19th Century when a passenger train was crossing it. The other 49 events in the book were equally horrific.

    This book was published in 1925 and I see it is still available from Amazon, although I won’t be getting a copy to read to my grandchildren!

    1. I remembered where I had read about it! My Gran had copies of The Graphic and London Illustrated News bound into HUGE books, I can hardly lift mine. I believe she had about ten of them, so they must have covered several years. My mother chose the one I have because it starts in 1875 and includes the Great Tichbourne (spelling?) Trial, which she found fascinating. It makes good reading, especially the ads – whalebone corsets, patent medicines, etc.

      1. Yes can’t imagine reading that to a child RD!

        Merusa, you have just reminded me that I inherited quite a few of my grandmothers nursing dictionaries and books. The ads in them are fantastic. Must have a look at them again.

  22. I thought this a lot easier than yesterday’s RayT, but seem to be in the minority, as that for me was not at the easy end of his spectrum!

    For reasons best known to themselves the term for not bowling correctly is ‘throwing’ – several players have skirted with it, notably Muralithren (sp?) whose action (what they call the act of bowling!) was interesting to say the least!

  23. I thought that was tricky, needed a few hints.
    Some new words for me today.
    Excellent hints, thanks Kath. Even if I got good enough, I could never do the hints, for the late-lamented Dud, the Derek and Clive ‘Jump’ sketch would have been straight in!!
    Thanks to the setter…May try the Toughie after a trip to the golf club to book next week’s medal!!

  24. Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay
    Alas! I am very sorry to say
    That ninety lives have been taken away
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879
    Which will be remembered for a very long time

    etc etc
    William Topaz Macgonagall, famous bard of Dundee.

    I can see the replacement bridge from my bedroom window and have crossed it often.

    As to the crossword, I enjoyed it very much but did need my electronic helper for a few clues.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath .

  25. The Midlands town and the rail disaster made this a trickier puzzle for us we expect, but we did get them both without having to go to outside references. The 14a anagram took longer to sort out than it should have and some head scratching needed for 11a. A pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and thanks and well done Kath.

  26. Not on the same wavelength and needed Kath’s hints to complete it. Was slowed down by putting come to order for 12d. 5d was my favourite. Thanks to Kath and the setter

  27. Just about ** for difficulty, though with a couple of obscurities along the way that almost pushed it into a ***. **** as always for enjoyment value on a Friday. :-)

  28. ***/**for me as I struggled with the top l h corner after putting “pronto” in for 1a – which I still think is a neater answer than the correct one !!!!

  29. 2*/3*, I suppose, but I can’t really come up with a favourite clue. I would have gone for 15d, but even after 137 years it seems like bad taste. Thanks to Giovanni and Kath.

  30. Easy enough apart from 15d which I’d never heard of. I disagree that if you keep calm and carry on you can usually work it out! In this case you either know it or you dont…so not a good clue as far as I’m concerned….unlike some musical/literary etc clues which can often be deduced. An obscure event some 130+ years ago doesnt cut the mustard! Sorry and all that! Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle. 2*/3* thanks setter and Kath.

    1. Hi Liz,
      Surely it can be deduced? TA (army) YB (‘by’ reversed -climbing) followed by (RIDGE) a narrow hilltop. That’s how I got there and – no, I hadn’t heard of it before either.

  31. Day in London today visiting Horseguards Parade, followed by shopping then visiting sons and making a family meal. Late start to the cw, but that’s nothing new. Managed to finish this with one eye on the Bath v Saracens Rugby match. Thank you Giovanni for a delightful puzzle, and to Kath for the review. I was a bit unsure if my 16d was correct, but the picture as I scrolled down the review confirmed I was ok. As far as 11a is concerned, I make mine out of greaseproof paper or tin foil and place them on top of casseroles !!!

    1. Damn – comment 34 should have been a reply to you – I obviously missed out the bit that says “reply”! It’s clearly time that I went to bed – I’m past my best!!

  32. I’d never heard of your meaning of 11a – it’s not in the BRB – well, not in my edition anyway. I was just reading out comments to husband. He’s a good cook and does at least as much, if not more, than I do – he agrees with you.

    1. Thanks Kath. I am not mad after all. Sticking an 11a on top of a stew stops it evaporating.

      1. No – you’re not mad at all – read this to husband – he said, “Quite so”, in a rather dozy kind of a way meaning it really is time to go to bed! :-)

  33. Right – really well past my best now and off to bed.
    I’m glad that my normal day for doing the hints is Thursday – much more fun!
    Night night all – sleep well. :-) and, in the absence of the yawny little chap, Zzzzzzzzzz

    1. Splendid job Kath, a super review. Now – what about a Toughie next time out? I’m sitting in for Toro next Tuesday so do you fancy a joint effort?

  34. Hi TS,
    Yet again, you succeed in ‘creasing me up’ with one of your little anecdotes. Just how many sea shanties do you half-remember? I’m sure that both SL and Salty Dog could help you out with some of the words for next time. In fact they might even volunteer to help out with the ‘small glasses and tapa’ consumption as well!
    Good to see you on form.

  35. Hi Kath, thanks as always for excellent and amusing unraveling. Loved your hints for 23a, really made me laugh. Husband not here to help me and I’m useless with cricket, although it was compulsory at my all girls school!

    1. Thanks – what very little I know about cricket/football/rugby/golf/horse-racing/car-racing etc I’ve learnt on this blog!

  36. First time on the blog but I had to because I enjoyed this cw so much.
    I also managed to finish it without help which is rare for a friday. Favourites were 17a and 20d. Nice to have the science clues. Thank you Giovanni.

  37. Didn’t quite suss the wordplay on 11A (the ‘all but’) however I completed this one easily enough, probably the simplest Giovanni that I’ve ever done! And it’s a bit of a shame as I’m stuck on a train near Brighton which is going nowhere, so crosswords are helping to pass the time 😏

  38. Cath – your excellent hint on 23A is incredibly apt now that England have just made a mess of their own deliveries in the T20. As I’m sure you are aware!

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