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DT 28089

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28089

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. A somewhat brief blog today, because I have to leave early to attend a family funeral, so no time for pictures or music.

It took me a while to get 10a, my last one in, and this pushed my time well into *** territory. We have the trademark ecclesiastical references and somewhat archaic usages which we expect from Giovanni, but, as ever, they are fairly clued and can be worked out.

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           Review various reports etc (10)
RETROSPECT – Anagram (various) of REPORTS ETC.

6a           Block within this laboratory (4)
SLAB – Hidden in the clue.

10a         Weary male falling over in desert (5)
MERIT – Start with a verb meaning ‘weary’, add Male, then reverse the lot (falling over) to get the sort of desert usually seen in the plural with ‘just’ in front of it.

11a         Before long baddie will acquire a lover (9)
INAMORATA – A phrase (2,1,2) meaning ‘before long’, followed by a baddie, typically a tabloid love cheat, followed by A (from the clue).

12a         and 13: Attractive space that’s possessed by our planet? (8,5)
MAGNETIC FIELD – Cryptic definition of the region which surrounds the earth and deflects cosmic radiation.

13a         See 12

15a         Editor has the last word, having got article from Berlin (7)
AMENDER – The last word of a prayer followed by a German definite article.

17a         The Parisian boys? You may get them in class (7)
LESSONS – One of the forms of the definite article in French followed by some male children.

19a         Orthodox minister in charge (7)
CANONIC – One of the chapter of clergy who support the dean in a cathedral, followed by an abbreviation for ‘In Charge’.

21a         Number going round estate briefly offering fun and gaiety (7)
FESTIVE – A cardinal number wrapped around an abbreviation for ‘estate’.

22a         and 24: Fast bowler who is a drug pusher? (5,8)
SPEED MERCHANT – An informal description of what a fast bowler does, which could also be a slang term for someone dealing in amphetamines.

27a         Cleverness of northern native enemy ultimately concealing information (9)
INGENUITY – Put together the northern native people who were known as Eskimos when I was young and the last letter of enemY, and wrap the result around a three-letter word for information.

24a         See 22

28a         Fruit left for girl (5)
PEARL – A girl’s name  is made up of a variety of tree fruit and Left.

29a         Suitable get-together (4)
MEET – Double definition, the first being an old-fashioned way of saying suitable or worthy.

30a         Contents of green tin I’d poured out as part of recipe (10)
INGREDIENT – Anagram (poured out) of GREEN TIN I’D.


1d           See report of journey here and there (4)
ROME – The see which the Pope is bishop of, which sounds like a word for journeying hither and thither.

2d           ‘Bitter zone’ — name of hellish region (9)
TARTAREAN – Put together a word for bitter or acid, a region, and an abbreviation for ‘name’. This gives you an adjective describing a region which in Homer is said to be as far below Hades as Hades is below the earth.

3d           A lot become less severe when leader’s gone (5)
OFTEN – Remove the first letter from ‘become less severe’ and you get ‘a lot’ (of times).

4d           Dog may show the way ahead (7)
POINTER – A variety of dog which could also be a direction indicator.

5d           Part of church taking risk with Latin (7)
CHANCEL – A risk or hazard followed by Latin: the part of a church beyond the nave, where the clergy gather.

7d           Nearly all botanical things go (5)
LEAVE – Remove the final letter (almost all) from the botanical things that grow on trees.

8d           Stigma I cast off and flourished (10)
BRANDISHED – The sort of stigma which might be applied with a hot iron, followed by I (from the clue) and ‘cast off’.

9d           Join in tricks and puzzles (8)
CONFUSES – Take a word for ‘tricks’ and wrap it around a word for ‘join’ (using heat).

14d         Man’s crisis could come from such self-interest (10)
NARCISSISM – Anagram (could come from) of MAN’S CRISIS.

16d         Clamour before good fellow has good fight (4-4)
DING-DONG – Put together a clamour or loud noise, Good, a university fellow, and Good.

18d         Adjust attire, one being sloppy (9)
ORIENTATE – Anagram (being sloppy) of ATTIRE ONE.

20d         Holiday accommodation, home containing old plant (7)
CAMPION – Somewhere you might stay in a tent on holiday, followed by ‘at home’ wrapped around Old.

21d         Never stopping, king is attacker (7)
FORAYER – A phrase (3,3) meaning ‘never stopping’ followed by the Latin abbreviation for a king.

23d         We agreed to shut up this bore (5)
EAGRE – Hidden in the clue is one spelling of a word for a tidal bore.

25d         After spring, paper’s boss was optimistic (5)
HOPED – A spring or jump followed by an abbreviation for a newspaper boss.

26d         Quiet group in conspiracy (4)
PLOT – The musical symbol for quiet, followed by a group or collection.

The Quick Crossword pun BRAKE + THREW = BREAKTHROUGH

85 comments on “DT 28089

  1. 3*/2.5*. This proved to be a steady solve which I found reasonably enjoyable. Several words were new to me – 11a, 2d, 20d, 21d & 22d, but all could be easily worked out from the clues.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  2. I needed the hints on three clues 10A, 21D & 23D bar those it was fairly plain sailing,liked 11A but favourite for me was 27A.Many thanks to the setter & DT for his much needed review.

  3. I found this puzzle quite tough and required considerable thought for me. Some new words such as 2d. Just not with the same line of thought today.
    4*/3* is my rating.

  4. They say you learn something everyday, a couple of new words to go into the memory box. Quite a steady solve except for 2d, which after struggling with thesaurus finally
    revealed itself.
    Many thanks to Deep Threat and to the Don.

  5. 3d. Another dubious synonym! I don’t agree that “often” means “a lot” until you add “of times”.

        1. Just read that as “I could get complex”!

          Don’t get a complex Kath. Your blogs are fab. :yes:

  6. I was pushed into 3* time by the north-west corner. (Must remember that there is an alternative to Ely whenever “see” appears in a clue). Never heard of 2d – sounds like something unpleasant to do with teeth. 3* for enjoyment.
    Thank you DT and the Don.

  7. Last ones in for me were the intersecting 1&2d and 10a. Other than that, I needed to check the ending for 2d and the correct spelling of 14d.
    23d was one of those words which, as Kath would say, I probably knew but had forgotten.
    The 22/23 combo would have been much easier if DG had left cricket out of it and put ‘fast driver’ instead!
    Had the initial letter in 20d and spent a while trying to make a plant out of ‘chalet’ plus ‘old’ until the penny finally dropped.

    Liked the 12/13 combo but will give the laurel wreath to 11a – lovely lego clue with a good surface read.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT for the review. I hope this afternoon is as painless as possible for you.

    1. Hey Jane, me too with last three in. We ar as alike as two peas from the same pod.

  8. Really enjoyed this.
    2d caused pause but as always, clear from wordplay.

    Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  9. A bit of a struggle today but a really enjoyable solve. I remembered 2d from Greek mythology learnt in my schooldays. 23d was a new word which will probably be forgotten next time it crops up. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to DT for the review.

  10. I agree with 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I got completely stuck in the top left corner and needed the hints for 1d and 10a – tried to make 1d Ryde – report of journey? Oh well, never mind.
    Like RD there were some new words/phrases for me – 12/13a – don’t know anything about that – and 2 and 21d.
    I thought the anagram indicator in 18d was ‘adjust’ so ended up trying to come up with a ‘scruffy person’ i.e. a being who was sloppy! Oh dear!
    Had a brief attack of ‘cricket blindness’ with 22/24a.
    Missed both the hidden answers until they became obvious – nothing new there.
    Only four anagrams, I think.
    I liked 11 and 27a and 4d. My favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Might try Toughie – I normally run from Friday Toughies but recently managed and enjoyed a Notabilis crossword . . . :unsure:

  11. An enjoyable solve – I didn’t know the hellish place or the plant, and on reading the review i realised i also didn’t know the bore, thinking it was a tool. My favourite was 14d, reads nicely.

    many thanks Deep Threat and Giovanni

    1. I once knew a chap who was as dull as dishwater who made many references to the tidal Thames. We called him the tidal bore

        1. That reminds me of a song from long ago. David Byrne isn’t Bob, but it’s still mighty good. “You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything” :)

  12. Back to my least favourite type of Giovanni backpager today unfortunately, the obscurity-laden sort with religious overtones which I suppose is his Friday default setting really. I’m glad that Deep Threat signposted what to expect in his opening remarks, so at least it wasn’t a surprise.

    Nothing too difficult to parse, although a dictionary or equivalent should be at hand to check the obscurities.

    I’ll opt for 18d as my favourite clue, as it was my LOI and took a while to twig the anagram.

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

  13. Flying solo here for a few days while Mrs. Sheffieldsy is away for a girlie weekend. Found this a robust puzzle and agree with 3*/3*.

    2d was a new word for me. Whilst 21a is clearly a real word, it’s very clunky. Favourites were 1d, 10a and 27a. NE corner finished last, mainly because I tried to spell 11a starting with an ‘e’ for some reason, and couldn’t parse it. Took a while to spot the error of my ways then it all fell into place.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  14. Really enjoyable, not as hard as a normal Friday. Having said that I couldnt get 1d and 10a. Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  15. Really quite enjoyed this. Got held up with the 12/13a combo as a pencilled in ‘force’ for the second word without thinking. I did actually know the answer and still….anyway that caused a couple of problems with 7 and 8d until I noticed my mistake.

    The rest was fairly straightforward and as always from the Don, fair.

    I liked the 22/24a combo and the answer for 16d always makes me smile. Favourite goes to 11a, great surface.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for great blog. Thoughts are with you and your family this afternoon.

    A decent day for once and no riding. A load of other stuff came up. Maybe later.

    I wish I had a penguin. I love penguins. But instead I am about to order 5 dragon eggs. Thanks Jane, great idea. :-)

    1. Here’s an interesting matter about penguins. Watch the first clip and then the second :)

      1. Penguins are awesome. I have a book called Why Don’t Penguins Feet Freeze? Because they can adjust the blood flow and they wear secret socks made out of leopard seal skin.

        1. You wouldn’t think penguins are awesome if you had to look after them especially those little buggars Rockhoppers, viscous little brutes I can tell you. Have a look at the penguin keepers hands next time you are in the zoo and admire the scars!

  16. Probably merits a *** if only for the NW corner ,which took a bit of parsing for me, and *** for enjoyment. Quite a few new words for me too-2d/23d/21d, which is probably a record for a back page puzzle, but as Rabbit Dave says- workoutable !-that’s another one.
    Thought DT might have had a pic of Billy Bunter for 20d-after the actor who famously played him-yikes!

  17. 3*/3* for this reasonably testing offering from The Don today. It was worth doing just for 11 across, a clever, amusing and devious piece of Lego, and my favourite, probably of the week. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT, and I hope all goes as well as it can for the latter.

    We are off early tomorrow to (sunny – I hope) Devon for a week of R and R. I am reliably informed by the owner that the apartment has wifi so I can check in from time to time. I trust the weather is set fair for all of us.

        1. Very nice area. When I lived down in Devon, we always used Bantham and Mothecombe for beach BBQ’s and a ride on the ‘Bigbury tractor’. If you haven’t been before – Dartmouth and Totnes are well worth a visit. Don’t know if it’s still there, but a nice place for breakfast is ‘Al Fresco’ in Dartmouth. It’s pretty much opposite the ferry landing. I hope you have good weather for your break :)

          1. Thanks SL. We know the area very well, and I have an aunt at Yealmpton. The coastal walks down there are as good as anywhere in the country.

            1. Anywhere with a coastline obviously. Shropshire, as beautiful and hilly as it is, is not particularly well known for its coastal fringes.

              1. Not related to Devon but this always impresses me. A typical summer day near the moors. Saltburn bank can be a nightmare when it’s nice, in the snow it is chaos. It’s a pretty sheer drop BTW.

                1. The first snow my daughters ever played in was way back in the late 1980’s. We had to drive up onto Dartmoor (with the rest of Plymouth) to make snowballs and build snowmen. The next year it actually snowed in Plymouth – about 1 millionth of a millimetre. Never seen so many car crashes – they even stopped all bus services.

      1. I’m not on the ball today… read that as “Where is Devon?”.

        Enjoy your break YS.

  18. I’m in agreement that this was very much the Giovanni of old, and there is a place for that. Quite a number of construct-and-check clues, which are fun when they work – and I did work out most of the ones I didn’t know … I have to admit I ran out of steam with three to go, but that happens.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat, and best wishes for today.

    I hope all you lovely people have a great weekend.

  19. Solving this wearied me right out.

    I was left pondering how one rates a puzzle where most of the answers are straightforward, but there are a few that make the solving time infinite because the definition will only be understood after consulting the BRB. For me 2d, 21d, and 23d all fell into that category.

    I didn’t like 12a/13a because that kind of field is not a space (it does fill all of space) nor, as anyone who has played with magnets knows, is it always attractive. But gravitational didn’t fit.

    I spent quite a while thinking that 8d must have some anagramming going on before the penny dropped.

    But it wasn’t all grumbles. 22a brought a smile, as did 27a, which is probably my favorite. Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and the education and to DT for explaining the obscurities.

  20. Found this one quite tricky😢 ***/*** Trouble in the NW corner still not sure about 10a even after reading the hint 🙄 I liked 10a, 11a & 27a Thanks to DT for hints and to Giovanni for a difficult but solveable puzzle 😉

    My answers were uncovered again today!

  21. 23d and 2d were new but for me a good crossword – especially in that I was able to do it without tips. Hurrah! How long will it take before I read see in its religious context? Am I right in thinking the Saturday prize crossword is one of the easier solves of the week or is it just something to do with my weekend mood? Thanks to all.

    1. I usually find the Saturday puzzle to be towards the easier end of the DT spectrum. However, I have found them to be slightly trickier as of late and I would suggest that your weekend mood helps too :)

  22. Good afternoon everybody.

    Didn’t get too far with this finishing with eight unsolved. Found it hard to get going and even made heavy weather of the simplest of clues such as 4d.


  23. ***/***. Bit of a head scratcher and a couple of obscure words although the parsing was fair. Thanks to the setter for a good workout and DT for the review.

  24. Great stuff, got there eventually unaided by the review.
    The NW corner ravished my brain.
    Too many excellent clues to single out one.
    Certainly ‘Toughie’ territory.
    Many thanks Giovanni and many thanks to DT for taking time out at this time.

  25. Not an easy solve but a definitely most enjoyable one. 21d and 23d (new words for me) and 22a (new expression for Mr Framboise!) were quite a struggle and head scratching experience but I won in the end, yuppee! I get so much satisfaction to complete a cryptic puzzle – of course this would have never been possible without my discovering this wonderful blog. Lots of clever clues: 4d was brilliant and 11a made me smile but 27 was my favourite. 2.5*/4*. Many thanks to DT for the review needed to check a few answers and to Giovanni.

  26. I couldn’t get 21d, being blissfully ignorant of the 3,3 phrase and the answer! Apart from that, I found it fairly straightforward and an enjoyable puzzle to solve. I seem to always learn something new on Friday AMs.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni **/****

  27. Tough but very enjoyable although I couldn’t finish it. 1d and 10a beat me all ends up. 1d far too religious for me to get and 10a just a poor clue I thought. Just desert=merit, hmm very weak. Not like the Don at all who doesn’t usually need a leap of faith to solve a clue. Learnt some new words today in 2d and 20d. Too many churchy clues for my liking.
    For me ****/**

    1. Brian, the first entry for “desert” in the BRB is “n. anything which is deserved; … ; merit”, so the definition is precise.

      1. Go on tell me what BRB stands for its been driving me mad since I joined this blog two weeks ago. Show’s how much I know!

        Thanks in advance.

        1. If you click on FAQ at the top of the page and then click on no.12. All will be revealed. :smile:

          1. What would I do without the 2xk’s, and all the other helpful bloggers. It’s great fun contributing to all this, especially on a Friday night enjoying a beer and the blog.

            Err got one of those! Red face again and that’s not the beer.
            Thank you

            Enjoy your winter?

        2. You know lots – you’re doing really well – just keep going and ask when you don’t know something, which is what you’re already doing – no-one minds . . . :nod:

          1. Rats – the nod bit was meant to be a smiley nod. Must have done something wrong . . .

          2. Thanks Kath you give me confidence to stick at it, and that’s very important. If I think where I was a couple of months ago it’s been an amazing journey.

            Must not forget Big Dave who made all this possible.

                1. Now – Hx3. I’m talking about ‘colon’ as in punctuation mark. If you’re thinking about the medical term, you need to talk to our resident ‘bed and toast maker’ – Kath. She will set you straight.

                  Note to Kath – still haven’t seen a letter in the DT :yes:

                  1. Oh dear – here we go again – ‘bed and toast maker’ indeed. Don’t even start me, SL – see if I can get it right this time. :yes:
                    As for the letter to the DT – well, I don’t think they liked what I had to say!

    2. Brian – I do think you’ve mellowed but, and it is a big but, I’d hardly call 1d a religious clue. OK – the see bit is but we all know that one by now and if we haven’t then we haven’t been paying enough attention.
      As for 10a – well, I admit defeat on that one too but, as RD says, it’s fair enough – why don’t we just say that sometimes the setter beats us?

  28. Not an easy solve for me but delighted to have done it with a couple of H&T. Amazed I got 11a and 2d without any help, 21d more or less guessed it in. Hard work but enjoyed it.

    Learnt a lot again

    Favourite clue 11a Rating 4/3.5

    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  29. Ouch, hadn’t heard of 2d, missed the relevance of the Papal ‘See’ and also missed the the obvious bore (even though I had never heard of it!). Frustrating but all else enjoyable yet suitably challenging, especially 14d & 22/24. Compliments to DT and the setter.

  30. I just couldn’t see 1d at all and although I guessed 10a , I found I had to look at the hint to be sure,to be sure !
    A very pleasant solve probably in terms of overall enjoyment the best or the week The NW corner pushed it to ***time /**** Many thanks to DT and the setter .

  31. Our last two in were 10a and 21d but they did yield eventually. The only word that was totally new to both of us was 23d and this was easy enough to get from the straightforward clue. A satisfying level of difficulty and enjoyment so we are happy.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  32. In which I was anything but a 22/24, going well into **** territory. I’ll blame weariness, but I never really got a handle on this crossword. Last ones in 21d, and 1/20. Kicked myself when I finally got the latter, very nicely disguised definition.

    1. Well done to DT for the hints, good work.
      I would like to volunteer to do the hints. Is there a DT crossword where the solution is not required for a year?? If so, I’m your man…
      Thanks to setter, wish I could have had a go at this when I was not so tired.

      1. HIYD – Even when I’m ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ Mr Manley sometimes leaves me with a ‘flabber’ very much ‘gasted’. :yes:

    2. You are not getting worse at all. I have no doubt your solving ability has improved no end and will continue to do so. Being tired certainly doesn’t help when solving a Don puzzle.

  33. Finding this very hard. Will send me to sleep nicely tonight I’m hoping. No hints yet and a quick look through the comments tells me I am in for a struggle. No one said it was going to be easy…

  34. 3*/3*, I suppose. I was amazed to discover that I knew 23d, although I can’t imagine where and when I picked it up. No real favourite clue, I’m afraid. Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

  35. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very tricky puzzle, took me ages to get to the end. Couldn’t finish the NW corner. Needed the hints for 10a & 2d, I’d never heard of the latter. Couldn’t parse 11a&7d. No particular Favourites. Was 4*/3* for me.

  36. Quick look in to say thank you for the hints Deep Threat. I perused them at length this morning and in the process started to formulate a value judgement in my head that this was too tricky to be very enjoyable at any level.
    Very cheeky of me but must mean I am getting some sort of grip thanks to the training course this blog is providing! Many words I didn’t know, well three anyway. Thanks to all and onwards and upwards!

  37. Last again…..
    A good work out from Giovanni; 10a was the last to fall. A clever use of ‘desert’.
    11a was my favourite and 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for his review.

  38. Learned a couple of new words but it was only a matter of checking the possible answer with a dictionary ( tartarean and eagre).
    The rest didn’t oppose any resistance.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

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