DT 28113 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28113

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28113

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. I have to go out early, so no pictures or music this week.

It took me a while to get 3d, my last one in, and that pushed today’s Giovanni puzzle into *** territory for me. Otherwise nothing too obscure, and it’s a pangram.

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           Unchanging factor in more than half of old Istanbul (8)
CONSTANT – The first 8 letters of an old name for Istanbul (not Byzantium, the other one).

5a           Gum to chew — but not to get devoured (6)
MASTIC – Remove a word meaning ‘devoured’ from the end of a long word for chew.

9a           Settle as conventional person at Oxford? (6,2)
SQUARE UP – Someone who wasn’t a fan of pop culture in the Fifties and Sixties, followed by the the two-letter word denoting that a student is in residence at Oxford.

10a         Scottish footballers playing cards (6)
HEARTS – Double definition: an Edinburgh football team which has featured a few times recently; or one quarter of a pack of cards.

12a         Chance to participate and see old relations (4-2)
LOOK-IN – Put together an exclamation meaning ‘See!’, Old, and some relations

13a         Northern game is embraced by James, showing a sort of prejudice (8)
JINGOISM – Put together Northern, an Oriental board game, and IS from the clue, then wrap a shortened form of James around the result.

15a         Like measures given by sittings of judges once (7)
ASSIZES – Split (2,5) this could be ‘like’ and measures. Put together we have a word for the court sessions held in the past by judges who travelled from town to town to hear criminal cases.

16a         This old deity makes sound of deer (4)
FAUN – A homophone (makes sound of) a young deer

20a         Financial allowance not good, making one rave (4)
RANT – Remove Good from the start of the sort of financial allowance that students used to get before governments took to loading them with debt instead.

21a         Carol goes round small room, working hard (7)
SLAVING – A synonym of ‘carol’, wrapped around a euphemism for a room in the house also known euphemistically as the small(est) room.

25a         Deliver place from captivity, a capital city (8)
FREETOWN – This is the capital city of Sierra Leone. Split (4,4) it could mean ‘deliver a place from captivity.

26a         Carelessness of non-specialists — one gets cross inside (6)
LAXITY – Put a cross-shaped letter inside a word for those who are not specialists in a field – most notably those members of the church who are not clerics.

28a         Coat with exceptional lustre (6)
ULSTER – Anagram (exceptional) of LUSTRE.

29a         Way duck eats rodent — not too fast, not too slow (8)
MODERATO – A way or method and the letter which looks like a cricketing duck, placed either side of an unwelcome rodent.

30a         Give someone at university fantastic tea (6)
DONATE – A member of university staff followed by an anagram (fantastic) of TEA.

31a         Insisted upon chap and daughter joining in act (8)
DEMANDED – A chap and an abbreviation for Daughter, with an act wrapped around them.


1d           Rook in ancient building? (6)
CASTLE – Double definition: a chess piece or an old fortified building. We’ve had this one before, and no doubt the chess fans will be out in force to point out that the answer is not synonymous with rook, but is what you do with a rook and king.

2d           Part of one’s nervous system that makes one run off (6)
NEURON – Anagram (makes  … off) of ONE RUN.

3d           Latest thing to eat — longs to get stuck in (8)
TARDIEST – A verb meaning informally ‘longs’ (for) with a pastry item (sweet or savoury) wrapped around it.

4d           Word of love harboured by religious woman (4)
NOUN – The letter that looks like a love score at tennis, with a female member of a religious order wrapped around it.

6d           Retaliate on behalf of archdeacon in mature years (6)
AVENGE – Someone who is of mature years is said to be of —. Wrap this around the abbreviation for the title accorded to an archdeacon.

7d           Final academic session at home a learner needed (8)
TERMINAL Put together an academic session, a word for ‘at home’, A (from the clue) and a Learner.

8d           Irish Roger and English fellows in list of actors (8)
CASEMENT – The list of actors involved in a particular production is wrapped around English and ‘fellows’, giving the surname of someone who was executed following the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916.

11d         Underground worker, a very upset female of great wisdom (7)
MINERVA – Put together someone who works underground, and the reversal of A (from the clue) and Very, to get the Roman goddess of wisdom.

14d         Like a slender person that’s cunning, mean inside (7)
WILLOWY – Another word for cunning wrapped around a word for mean or base.

17d         No amateur discovered to be intense (8)
PROFOUND – A three-letter short form of ‘not amateur’ followed by ‘discovered’.

18d         A nurse working on insanity (8)
UNREASON Anagram (working) of A NURSE followed by ON (from the clue).

19d         Film would get put here secretly (2,6)
IN CAMERA – Double definition, the second being a court case which is not held in public.

22d         Dangerous tree topples — this road is blocked (6)
STREET – Hidden (blocked) in the clue.

23d         Tease a lord, being heartless and vulgar (6)
RIBALD – Put together ‘tease’, A (from the clue) and L(or)D with the middle letters removed (heartless).

24d         Lane needs sweeping round far part of county (6)
BYROAD – A word meaning ‘sweeping’ or ‘wide-ranging’ wrapped around the last letter of countY.

27d         Region with sort of oxygen — top oxygen disappearing! (4)
ZONE – Start with an isotope of oxygen, the sort found in a layer in the upper atmosphere, then remove the first occurrence of the chemical symbol for oxygen.

The Quick Crossword pun PAR + SEE + MONEY = PARSIMONY

82 comments on “DT 28113

  1. 2*/2*. Not too difficult with only the Irish Roger in 8d being new to me.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, particularly for saving me from having to mention (again!) that a rook in chess is not a 1d.

    1. RD. Sorry to correct you again (see DT 28005), but rook is definitely a synonym for the 1d answer (see page 2607 of the OED, Shorter, 6th edition). No chess enthusiast/regular player (like me) would ever call it a 1d but many children and most non-playing adults know the piece only as 1d, not a rook – simply because it looks like one! This has been the case for many decades.

      1. Sorry Jose, I disagree. A rook is not a 1d, just because that is what some children wrongly call it.

        1. With great respect, if you wish to disagree with me, Giovanni (who corrected you in person in DT 28005), the DT crossword editor and the etymologists at the OED, then that is your prerogative. But it does not alter the plain fact: a 1d is most definitely a rook.

          1. My six year old granddaughter whom I am teaching to play chess sometimes calls the knight “a horsey” because it looks like a horse. That doesn’t make it a horse.

            We are never going to agree, so let’s not take up any more space on this blog.

            1. Of course! We’ve both given our different opinion – which is what the blog is for. So, no hard feelings….

            2. Could you, perhaps, explain why the move involving the king and rook is called “castling”?

    2. I was astonished to see 8d, well known to me, but surely very obscure to anybody who doesn’t happen to be Irish.Otherwise, as far as I am concerned 1d and rook are synonyms.

      1. Personally I didn’t think he was that obscure, as I recall him from 20th century history lessons at school!

        The recent centenary of the Easter Rising would perhaps have refreshed his memory to many who may previously have forgotten him I suspect.

      2. Even I, growing up and going to school in Jamaica, had heard of 8d. I am so glad that they don’t execute people in humane countries any more.

        1. I had heard of him once I solved the clue, but it took Google to remind me what he was famous for.

        1. Very well known.
          Exposing the Belguims brutal colonisation of The Congo.
          And, of course, his support for Ireland’s independence.

  2. Drat! I missed the pangram again. Quite a gentle offering for a Friday. 3d was my LOI, too. Thank you DT and the Don.

  3. I took quite a while to do this puzzle, finding it to be quite difficult in places.

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

  4. Yes, 3d was also my last in – but a simple ride for me today otherwise. 1*/3* would be my rating today.

  5. Goodness, those Scottish footballers are getting a few outings recently!
    Nothing too obscure today, my last ones in were 3d & 16a.
    Leader board shows 9a&19d.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT for the review.

    Not holding out too much hope for the ‘other side’ today. Never mind, off for lunch with a friend shortly!

  6. Completed very comfortably before lights out last night, even with a delayed start because of granddaughter’s swimming lesson, and I began to wonder if this was really a Giovanni – so */****.

    I knew 8d from reading about him years ago and, for some reason he is always easy to remember.

    Three nominations for favourite, 1a , 29a, and 14d, and the winner is 14d by a nose from 29a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT.

  7. Think I must be having an off day, found this really difficult, only managed to get half way.Everyone else seems to find it quite easy.Hope I am back on song next week.

    1. You are not alone Pete this was for me, the most difficult crossword in weeks !!

  8. And another nicely clued puzzle to end the puzzling week. Not too difficult but just enough to see out the usual time. Thanks to all.

  9. I made a note on completion of **/***- pre blog, and that, like Miffypops, I thought the cluing was consistently clever throughout, without being too demanding- 29 amused . Did not know that 16 across was a deity, just remember Mr Tumnus from the Lion the witch etc.
    Ready for the Friday night ale and curry-thanks setter and DT

  10. Not hugely difficult but not my favourite of the Dons but after yesterday’s horror, I am not complaining. A few too many messy clues than one would expect from a Giovanni such as 13a and 3d. Wasn’t too sure of the overcoat but Google confirmed it. Best clues for me were 10a and 27d. It looks like a pangram unless I am mistaken.
    Thx to all

    1. We’ve all asked very nicely – but I’ll ask again – when is Mrs Brian going to have her own avatar and give us her comments too??

  11. As usual with a Giovanni puzzle, it seems tricky in places, although always straightforward and acceptable when finished. Thanks to him and to DT.

    I laboured for a long time with the 28 anagram. I never knew it was the name of an overcoat. And despite being vaguely aware of the faun, I didnt know it was a God. Perhaps I get it confused with the horned goaty character that sometimes represents the devil?

    I sometimes suffer with acid reflux and 5a is helpful, although tastes ghastly.

  12. Pleasant solve. I got stuck on a couple in the NE corner, 5 and 13a and they took a bit of head scratching but the rest fell in OK.

    10a didn’t cause any problems, as Jane said, we have seen that one a lot of late and I sort of put my head in my hands when I read 1d!! I had to double check 8d.

    Liked the dangerous tree in 22d (what a clever hidden) and the conventional person in Oxford.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for an eloquent blog.

  13. I much prefer Giovanni’s Friday puzzles when they are shorn of obscurities and religious references and therefore this pangram was a pleasure to solve.

    Save for one letter, we almost had in 16a a repetition of RayT’s homophone of yesterday, odd how these coincidences frequently occur. Wikipedia suggests rook may derive from the Persian word “rukh”, meaning a chariot, which in turn led to “rocca” in Italian, a fortress, which certainly fits the tower-like look of the piece nowadays (see how careful I was not to mention the dreaded “c” word, RD!)

    My favourite clue today was 5a.

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

    1. The difference between today’s and yesterday’s homophones is that today’s works (for me, anyway).

      1. Did yesterday’s homophone not work for you because Devonians tend to emphasise the final syllable of words ending in “-er” more than most people? I’m genuinely interested to hear your reason.

        To a Londoner such as me, I thought the two pronunciations yesterday were identical actually.

        1. Not just Devonians but English speakers in many parts of the world (including Scotland, Ireland, most of the USA and Canada) pronounce the rhotic R. It’s all explained here.

  14. A pleasant enough solve and I agree with silvanus about the obscurites. **/*** from us.

    The Irish Roger was last in. You probably heard the sound of me bashing my head with the tea-tray when I finally remembered his surname :lol:

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  15. I agree 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    Not too tricky for a Friday until I got stuck with the last three answers.
    For about the first time ever not only did I think fairly early on that it was likely to be a pangram but also remembered to look at what was missing when I got stuck – no help as I already had all the letters in – damn.
    Couldn’t get 5 or 16a for ages, nor 8d although I do vaguely remember him now from previous crosswords.
    Only managed the 10a football team because we’ve seen them recently.
    I liked 14d and my favourite was 29a once I’d realised that the way (of working) was the first four letters rather than just the first two.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Kath, permission requested for a week’s leave of absence please as Mrs RD and I are off to Malta tomorrow. Please keep watch for any sloppy grammar, bad spelling or misuse of apostrophes.

        1. I’ve got that book! The Pedant’s Revolt…Why Most Things You Think Are Wrong. By Andrea Barham.

  16. I found it tricky enough.
    14d is my favourite , pipping 13 a , by a nose.
    8d I think is beautifully crafted, but rather obscure for non nationals.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  17. A lovely and not too difficult a crossword from the Don. I spotted the pangram quite early, and 8 down was a bung in, as I had never heard of the executed man before. Perhaps he was defenestrated?

    2.5*/3* about covers it, with 16 across my last one in, and my favourite was probably 29 across. Thanks to the Don and DT.

    1. I thought (briefly) about a pangram after I had got the J, X, Y, and Z but then thought no more of it as the concept of something that you can only confirm at, or near, the end of the puzzle seems to be of not much help to me. In fact, I wonder if a setter deliberately intends to create a pangram or if it just occurs by accident.

      1. I would be surprised if our setters plan a pangram. I may be wrong, as they are all brilliant to my mind. I reckon if one looks like it is going to occur, then they work towards it.

        1. Giovanni provides a quickie pangram every single Friday I believe the electronic setting aids can be set for pangrams too

          1. I almost wish you hadn’t mentioned electronic setting aids. I thought, perhaps naively, that the compilers used trial and error while they slogged away with pencils and erasers until they completed the task. But I suppose in the digital age, why should I be surprised? Thanks for the info MP.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this, and actually thought that it might be a pangram, which helped me solve 11d. Some really good clues, favourite was 13a. Last in was 3d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  19. I found this decidedly tricky, in fact, I missed 5, 13 and 16a completely, also 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for the enlightenment!

    1. Further: Sadie is home and my cup runneth over! She is missing the little girls enormously, they adore her and only want to play all day.

      1. Yay…that is fantastic Merusa! Hope you are feeling a bit better each day too.

        1. Yes, day by day I feel a little better. Today we sorted the PT schedule; supposed to be three times a week but I’ve only seen them once since surgery.

          1. Wonderful news, Merusa. You’ll improve in leaps and bounds now that Sadie is back to complete the circle!

  20. I struggled with this particularly in the NW corner where I reluctantly sought DT’s help on a couple including the 1a capital and parsing 12a. Is the small room in 21a really a dictionary word I wonder – ugh? Bunged in 28a which I knew but had forgotten. Fav 5a. IMHO a bit of an also-ran as cryptics go. Thanks Giovanni and DT for saving the day for me. ****/***.

  21. Tricky in parts but helped by the fact that it looked like it was becoming a pangram once 27 went in. This helped enormously with 13a which I doubt I’d have got otherwise especially as I was “moling” around with 11d. Very enjoyable puzzle though so thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  22. I was definitely having a slow morning today, but in the blissful elephantless quiet I didn’t mind a bit. The south didn’t cause any problems but I had some brainless moments in the north, being slow with some of the easier chestnuttier clues (and not just those!). In the end I lost patience, shrugged my shoulders and enlisted help with the last few. I didn’t know 15a but nobody else has mentioned it, so maybe it’s a gap in my knowledge I should be embarrassed about. There are a few of those. It was some consolation that I got 8d easily enough even though I hadn’t heard of him either.

    My favourite clue today is 5a.

    Thanks to the Oxford Don and to Deep Threat. Have a good weekend all.

  23. Just a quick comment about our little black cat ‘Taz’. Unfortunately, she has finally succumbed to her various ailments and has gone for a long sleep this afternoon. Mrs SL and I, will miss her lots as we were responsible for her well being for 19 years plus. She will be missed. :cry:

    1. Sorry to hear your news, SL. I’ve lost two cats in the past two years and it never gets any easier, particularly when they have been part of the family for such a long time. I can understand how you and Mrs SL must be feeling :-(

    2. SL, so sorry to hear that. It’s never easy to lose a loved pet. I’m sure you and Mrs SL gave Taz a really good life and have lots of wonderful memories of her.

    3. My commiserations. We’ve all been there, and as Silvanus says, it gets no easier. Remember the good times.

    4. I can only offer my sympathies and let you know that Taz is happier now. It is always such a wrench when you lose a loved one.

    5. Thank you all for your kind comments – I’m now off to bed before I ‘blubb’. I shall miss her.

    6. Very sorry to hear that SL. We lost our cat last Christmas so I know how you both feel. Commiserations.

  24. The Don being a little benign? What is this? Still a nice crossword but the horses refused to bolt. Sorry Kitty, 15a was my favourite and overall 3/3.5*
    Thanks to Mr Manley, and DT for the review.

  25. I remembered 8d from a previous crossword, a GK one I think, so no problem with that one. 14d took longer than it should have as I was trying to use SLY as the synonym for cunning. Lots of good quality stuff and much appreciated.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  26. A nice crossword and solveable after yesterday, but not easy ***/*** 😬 Thanks to DT for blog and to Giovanni 😊 Liked liked the convoluted 8d & 14d took some time to crack 16a 😳

  27. Found this a little tricky in places, with help needed at 16ac. Realising that it was a pangram might have helped. But I didn’t…

  28. Just back from losing the in Daily Mail foursomes on the 19th…Grrrr
    After yesterday, this was a joy, all done by 0830 this morning.
    Fav was 27d, clever and took me a while to work out

      1. Thanks MP.
        My improvement is solely down to this blog and the kind/helpful people who contribute, such as yourself, who are so welcoming and knowledgeable in the black art!

  29. I have now seen one GP and four different consultants. I have been x-rayed and scanned, much blood has been taken – and they still don’t know what’s wrong with me. I did this Giovani in three sessions, as I can’t sit in one place for long without a little lie down to take the weight off. I found it a good workout and particularly liked 9a. Ta to DT and the Don. 2*/3*

    1. Hi TS – sorry to hear that the Hippocratic oath takers haven’t managed to get you sorted out on the health front. I hope they do so soon.

    2. Oh dear, TS. Looks as though you’re going through the same rigmarole as many of the rest of us, although for different reasons. I reckon I’ve almost got a full house of ‘ologists now – it’s become a bit of a macabre game of Happy Families! I’ve got one or two ‘swappsies’ to offer if you’re interested?

    3. Blimey TS. Hard time you’re going through. Really hope things improve for you soon.

    4. I do hope they find the cause of your problems soon. It is so frustrating when they can’t even find the reason for an illness. Goof luck, hope it’s soon sorted.

    5. TS. I’m sure you will, but remain mentally strong and shrug it off – whatever it is. Whenever I’m asked how I am, I say great. I know this is is hocus pocus but I believe in the positive. Good wishes.

Comments are closed.