DT 28119 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28119

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28119

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Le Petit Trianon de St Ustré, at Ingrandes-sur-Vienne, where this year’s French tour has begun. It’s a grey and drizzly morning, so we feel quite at home. We arrived yesterday afternoon after a long drive from the ferry port, where we were kicked off the boat an ungodly hour of the morning.

The long anagrams gave plenty of checking letters in today’s Giovanni, and the obscurity count was low, so for me this was a ** difficulty.

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.



1 The RAF redefined loosely as an ‘ally with wings’ (9,6)

9 US author‘s old book — hit (4,5)
EZRA POUND – One of the minor prophets in the Old Testament followed by a word for hit or beat.

Image result for ezra pound

10 Revolutionary monarch getting welcome from the crowd? (5)
CHEER – Crosswordland’s regular revolutionary fighter, followed by the reganl cypher of our monarch.

11 I’m going under? I have to have doctor around! (5)
DIVER – The abbreviated form of ‘I have’ with an abbreviation for doctor wrapped around it.

12 One of over a hundred spotted in film (9)
DALMATIAN – Cryptic definition of one of the spotted pooches in the cartoon film.

Image result for dalmatian

13 Fruit which when drunk could make me blurry (8)
MULBERRY – Anagram (when drunk) of ME BLURRY.

Image result for mulberry

14 Notice the fellow getting about — stick needed (6)
ADHERE – Put together a PR notice, the pronoun for ‘the fellow’ and the Latin word for about or concerning.

16 Copper coins — they were used as measures once (6)
CUBITS – The chemical symbol for copper followed by an American term for small coins, giving us a system of measurement referred to frequently in the Old Testament.

18 See any number in game in Scottish water (4,4)
LOCH NESS – Start with ‘See!’, then add a board game wrapped around the algebraic symbol for any number.

22 This person, boy turning back fierce animal, gets little gong to wear round neck (9)
MEDALLION – Put together ‘this person’, the reversal of a word for boy, and a fierce (or in one famous case, cowardly) carnivore.

23 Stuff in kitchen left for number to eat (5)
FLOUR Left placed inside a cardinal number.

24 Old men rolling over on street to find shelter (5)
ROOST –Put together Old and the abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers, reverse the result and add the abbreviation for STreet.

25 Censure Bury detective attending court (9)
INTERDICT – Put together another word for ‘bury’, the initials of the rank of a senior detective, and an abbreviation for ‘court’.

26 Well prepared for battle, showing a steely face? (5,2,3,5)
ARMED TO THE TEETH – Cryptic definition of a phrase describing someone heavily tooled up for battle.



1 Way top person, female, set up basic human right (7)
FREEDOM – Put together a way or manner, the regnal cypher (again) of our monarch, and Female, then reverse (set up, in a Down clue) the result.

2 A king meets competitor making entrance (7)
ARRIVAL – Put together A (from the clue), the Latin abbreviation for king and a competitor.

3 Patient held very tight breathed very heavily (15)

4 Some hero under six in game (8)
ROUNDERS – Hidden in the clue.

5 Comedian starts to look embarrassed? It’s not difficult (6)
DODDLE – The surname of the man from Knotty Ash followed by the first letters (starts) of Look Embarrassed.

6 King has hired cars — thrift gone mad (7,3,5)

7 Recluse at ‘and to meet small child (7)
EREMITE – A word for ‘at ‘and’ or nearby, with its initial H removed, followed by a small child (usually in ‘poor little —-‘).

8 Called, being stuck in river, upset (7)
DERANGE – A river of which there are several of that name, wrapped around ‘called’ (on the phone).

15 Excellent spinning toy, no titch shunning it (3-5)
TOP-NOTCH – A spinning toy followed by ‘no t(it)ch’.

16 Cold region of Italy or hilly part of England (7)
CUMBRIA Cold followed by a region in central Italy.

17 Chamber should be cleaner for journalist to occupy (7)
BEDROOM – Something used for cleaning the floor wrapped around the usual crossword journalist.

19 Revolutionary book — this writer’s stirring feelings (7)
EMOTIVE – A large, heavy book is reversed and followed by ‘this writer has’.

20 Extend time in jail (7)
STRETCH – Double definition, the second being a colloquial term for a prison sentence.

21 Excellent child with love for form of martial art (6)
AIKIDO – Put together two letters which look like the letter and number signifying ‘excellent’, an informal word for a child, and the letter that looks like a love score at tennis.

Image result for aikido

The Quick Crossword pun WREST + ORATION = RESTORATION

86 comments on “DT 28119

    1. PS. I particularly liked the anagram indicator (tight) in 3d – the letters being drunkenly all over the place.

  1. Not quite R & W but pleasant enough and not too taxing. 7d now added to my vocabulary. Needed help to parse last 3 letters of 19d. Thank you Giovanni and DT. **/***.

    1. Hi Angel,

      Thanks for the heads up re the harvest moon this year. Put it on all my calendars. Hope it’s a clear night! :yes:

  2. Quite gentle but fun to solve. 2* for difficulty, 3.5* for enjoyment. Never disappointed with a puzzle from Giovanni, many thanks to him and to DT for the hints.

  3. Did this in an absolute record time. 1*/3*. Perhaps helped because we were sat on our balcony in Donoussa (Minor Cyclades) overlooking a view to die for. Bolton has never seemed so far away.

  4. Started ok, got bogged down in the NE as couldn’t see the anagram in 6d leading me astray with 14a,23 and 25a.

    Liked the wordplay, never heard of 7d and couldn’t see how 25a could be correct as not in BRB or other sources?


    Thanks setter and DT

  5. A fairly gentle puzzle from DM today which is about as easy as it gets from this setter IMHO

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni */***

  6. This went very smoothly. I particularly liked 1a (though all the long anagrams were nice) and 4d

    Many thanks Deep Threat and Giovanni

  7. Is anybody else having trouble with the electronic version. I am not getting all of the clue printed. I wonder whether it is the Telegraph or my software that is causing the problem

    1. No printing problem but I have not seen the star rating option at the bottom for a couple of months now…?

  8. No I have not even looked at crossword yet but I would like to say a few words. I have been very downcast over the past few days at some of the comments made about solving times. Surely in the long run what really should matter is whether or not you have enjoyed spending the time and got pleasure in finishing even if you had to resort either to electronic aids or the always helpful hints here?
    I agreed with Kath’s comment about wavelengths, some days it feels like magic my little pencil flashes along other days I sit gazing at an empty grid.
    Lots of love – Hilary

    1. Please don’t get downhearted, Hilary. I agree with you – this is meant to be fun, and it almost always is – it just doesn’t matter how long it takes you – the enjoyment is the important bit. :smile:

      1. Sometimes it’s good to think. No point in having read and write puzzles every day. When it’s been a bit of a struggle, there’s more satisfaction in solving, hence my intense LIKE of Ray T :-)

    2. Hilary – don’t get down. My experience is that solving times can vary from day to day and, quite often, for the same setter. For example, recently, I have been finding that Rufus, on a Monday, is taking me longer than it used to.

      Also, you may have noticed, that I usually make a reference to ‘completing before lights out’ – this is because I live in Manitoba, Canada and I can get the puzzle from the DT web site at 6:00pm the ‘day before.’ If I can complete it before I retire for the evening (and I never give an indication of what that time is) I count that as a success.

    3. With you on this Hilary….see my comment below.
      For me the important thing is the learning and building up experience with each puzzle, finished or not, hints used or not. And the enjoyment especially when we are on the same wavelength as the setter. There are plenty of “beginners” like me on this blog who totally relate to what you’re saying.

    4. Hilary, yes it is all about enjoyment or why would anyone choose to solve crossword puzzles otherwise. Solving times are all relative and it does depend on the setter’s style, the shape of the grid and how you feel yourself that day.

      There are some that I always struggle with – notably RayT – because his style of cluing is not one that I find easy. Then there are others such as Virgilius that depend on artful clues that I can usually work out quite readily.

      But whatever other people do is really not the point – it is indeed what each of us get out of the art of puzzle solving.

    5. Oh don’t be downcast Hilary. For me the joy is in solving the clues and not how long it takes. Without the cryptic each day my brain would turn to mush…

  9. Had to check Google for the first name of the writer.
    The rest fell in quite nicely.
    Liked the Film in 12a and the long anagram in 3d where the surface and the solution are so well related.
    Hope DT will visit the Futuroscope. I’ve always wanted to go there.
    Thanks to him for the review and to the setter for an enjoyable crossword.

  10. Hi all. I’ve not commented very often lately as crosswords have taken a bit of a back seat and I may not have time to do today’s puzzle either, but with good reason: (Drumroll……) I’m getting married today!
    My partner and I have actually been together for over 10 years but we finally decided we should make it official so I just thought I’d pop in and give you the news.
    Daily solving, with occasional assistance from the official Mrs Owdoo should hopefully recommence next week!

    1. Well that’s wonderful – thank you so much for taking the time to let us know. My tip of the day (from personal experience) is don’t drink too much before the waltz.

    2. Very many congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy life together.

    3. Congratulations from me too!
      Hope your day goes very well and all best wishes for your future together.

    4. Congratulations to the 2 of you – I hope you have a great day and a long and happy future together.

    5. Congratulations from me too. I hope your special day goes well for you both.

    6. All the best… though at 2230 on your wedding night, I imagine (and hope!!) you won’t read this until very late tomorrow!!

    7. How marvellous. All the best to both of you ( I wasn’t around yesterday).
      Hope everything went well!

    8. Thank you all. My wife was quite touched when I showed her all these messages of congratulations and goodwill.
      All went well and we had a lovely day. My enjoyment of cryptic crosswords was even mentioned in the best man’s speech!

  11. I worked out 7d but it was a new word for me. Why when I encounter the word see do I always think of cathedrals rather than lo. Very enjoyable and clear hints from DT which I invariably read to check my own logic. Many thanks.

    1. Seeing “see” and immediately thinking of cathedrals is a bit like seeing “flower” and automatically thinking “river”. “Arab” so often means a horse but then, just sometimes it doesn’t. Oh dear – just gets worse and worse!

      1. French Marshall is usually “Ney” but yesterday it was “Petain”. That put Pommers and me off the scent for a while.

  12. Not too tricky for a Friday. I agree with 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I took one look at the big long 1a anagram and decided a) that it was going to be something historical I didn’t know and so b) it could wait until later – dim!
    I was slow with 26a.
    I thought the 23a ‘stuff in the kitchen’ had to be food – wrong, so that was a bit of a hold-up.
    Needless to say I missed the lurker in 4d.
    I liked (eventually) 1 and 13a (just noticed that they’re both anagrams) and 5 and 16d. My favourite was the spotty 12a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT for taking time out of his holiday to do the hints.

  13. PS Yesterday’s crossword was a Shamus which probably puts lot of us well and truly back in our boxes. I, for one, would never have thought that it was one of his.

    1. That surprised me, too. I think this is now my second Shamus solved and enjoyed. I usually struggle mightily with his.

    2. We wish we had been brave enough yesterday to put our guess down on paper. We would be feeling very smug now if we did. :yahoo:

  14. I much prefer this setter when he is in a gentle mood like today. All very pleasant, my only slight hold up being 7d: a word I had to dig a little to recall, and my last one in.

    No real favourites, but 23 appeals – maybe because I’m hungry. Time for lunch, I think.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT – hope you have a great holiday.

  15. Thank you to Giovanni for a good cranial workout that got me back on track after the problems I had with not completing the Shamus (see Kath’s comment above) on Thursday.

    Completed before lights out last night (just). Last in were 9a (before the vertical checkers went in, I tried to make the author Mark Twain), 4d (missed the lurker), and 6d (tried to get something based on red from embarrassed).

    So, all in all, 2.5*/4* for me. Favourites, the 4 ‘full length’ answers.

    Thanks to DT – bonnes vacances!

  16. Giovanni in one of his very gentle moods. I thought the quick puzzle was more difficult!
    Learnt another new word in 7d, eremite but that’s about it today for esoteric words.
    Nice to see whole anagrams not those dreadful part anagrams. My favourite was 1a but I did also like 3d.
    For me */****
    Thanks to all

  17. This was **/**** for me today. A lovely range of different types of clue, and some witty clues as well. I particularly liked 1a, though it took me a while to click (I kept getting ‘angels’ in my head even though there wasn’t a g, an n or an l) and 26a, which made me laugh. Now going back to the SW corner of the Quickie!
    Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. Re the bottom left corner of the Quickie – don’t forget that Friday Quickies are always pangrams.

      1. I didn’t know that so thanks for the tip, Kath. I thought I’d leave it a while to see if inspiration struck in the meantime.

        1. When I looked, all the letters had been used but a short break did the trick and boom, boom, boom, in they went. Thanks, I’ll know in future about the pangram.

  18. I enjoyed this a lot, possibly the most pleasure this year from a Giovanni back-pager. Only one obscurity for me today, the martial art in 21d, but not difficult to get.

    3d was absolutely brilliant, rarely can an anagram be so perfect. 1a and 12a were also greatly to my taste. “Stuff in kitchen” sounded ugly but presumably was there for an attempted containment misdirection.

    Many thanks indeed to Mr. Manley, and, since he is on his French tour, to La Menace Profonde! A good weekend to all.

  19. I rather like this ‘new’ Giovanni. Fun, humour, people and films that we’ve all heard of – makes it far easier to accept the odd obscurity – 7d for one!
    Top three for me were 1&12a plus the clever 1d.

    Thank you, DG – most enjoyable – and thanks to DT for sparing the time out of your holiday to bring us the review.

  20. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but I have to say that it was one of the easiest puzzles I’ve ever seen by Giovanni. Favourite was 18a, last in was 22a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  21. Enjoyed this very much and needed no electronic help.
    Did need help with some of the parsing , though, so many thanks to Deep Threat for that.
    Thanks to the setter.

  22. Like Jane, I enjoyed this “new” Giovanni.
    I needed the hints to parse 1d, which I had bunged in as it couldn’t be anything else.
    21d was a new word for me but easily worked out.
    9a was a strange old bird, I expect he was 19/6 to the £ all his life.
    Fave wa 26a, with 12a hard on its heels.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for taking time on vacation to help us.

  23. I have to ask – was this puzzle set by Giovanni? If it was, then I’m dumbstruck as I can’t recall ever solving a crossword by Mr Manley (in whatever guise) without at least a few obscurities / religious detail. It was very much a curate’s egg for me, with some really good cluing and some very clunky surfaces.

    Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to DT for taking the time to write his review whilst on holiday.

  24. Giovanni in benign mood today. No real dramas, just a fairly quick run through. 26 across just about my favourite. I can’t put my finger on why, but I came away without feeling my usual surge of enjoyment during and after the solving process. Hey ho.

    Thanks to the Don, if it was indeed Mr Manley, and to DT for his review. 2*/2*

  25. I’ve really enjoyed this week’s puzzles. Friday’s recently have been my Achilles heel and I’ve needed hints to complete the last 2 or 3 clues but not this time.
    Thanks to DT and the Don.

  26. Quite benign for the Don but very enjoyable.

    Loved the anagrams and the spotted things of 12a.

    Can’t name a favourite but found this a pleasure to solve.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for great blog…enjoy the rest of your holiday.

  27. Oh joy! I managed to finish this without help…and I speak as someone who, far from completing a cryptic over a breakfast coffee, would normally need elevenses, lunchtime drink, afternoon tea, pre supper glass of wine and nightcap to finish a Giovanni, if at all!
    Agree that compared with a normal Giovanni, this was straightforward. Take 1d, this is a typical back to front, itsy bitsy sort of G clue but because the clue summary was so clear (basic human right). Easy peasy. I did have to Check with the hints to find that out though.
    Loved 21d and all the lovely anagrams.
    Thank you DT…have a great holiday!..and to the setter for an uplifting crossword day!

  28. Very straightforward especially for the Don . A pleasure to solve only 7d gave resistance .As a bird watcher , my house backs onto a bird sanctuary, I really liked 1a */**** Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  29. I was happy to all but finish another pleasant Giovanni puzzle, but needed the hints for the last two 23a and 19d. I’d actually got 19d but then rejected it as I didn’t think the answer fitted the definition. I can see the answer means stirring, but I can only see ‘stirring feelings’ as either a verb or a noun?
    I can’t make it to Derby, sadly (especially as it’s only 15 minutes away), but will be there on Tuesday. Perhaps someone will enlighten me after a few pints there.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  30. This was a Giovanni? Wow! Most unlike the regular Friday mindbender I have come to expect!
    This has been an unusually benign week for crosswords and this one once again was sadly for me over far too quickly.
    Pleasant enough though, 4d was favourite and overall 2/3*
    Thanks to the Don (were it indeed he…) and to DT on his hols.,
    and belatedly, many congrats to Mr and Mrs Owdoo.

  31. Hurrah after struggling for the last few days a R & W 😊 At last */*** Thank you Giovanni and DT for explaining a write in. Congrats to Owdoo 😍 Of course I liked 1a and also 24a. Ref the recent discussion on time taken I never judge my rating by it as I seldom complete a puzzle in one session 😬

  32. We almost got ourselves into trouble by putting in ‘Richard the Third’ before we had ticked off all the anagram letters which was making a couple of words in the SE a bit odd. Soon sorted so we could get on with and enjoy the rest of the puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  33. For any other setter I would say this was ** for time, but for Giovanni on a Friday, most definitely a *. Biggest difficulty was trying to work out which RICHARD THE… I was looking for. **** for entertainment value, as ever.

  34. All done, thanks DT for the hints and the blog, up to it’s usual high standard.
    Thanks to setter.

  35. 1*/3*, and 5d elicited a snort of laughter (no mean feat after the day l’ve had) so that’s my favourite. I tend to warm up the grey matter with the quickie, but today I made the mistake of putting in “prise” instead of “wrest” for 5a, so missed the pun altogether.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

  36. A jumping up and down day, finished without hints or help, yay! After struggling with the Shamus yesterday thought I had lost the plot. Got two thirds done over breakfast, went for 4 mile walk, and bingo, rest fell into place when we got back. 7d was last in as had not heard that before but it fell into place. Have a great weekend everyone.

  37. Good Morning all. I didn’t have a chance to work on this yesterday so I’m a day late (but hopefully not a dollar short). I’m in the “Who is this person and what have you done with Giovanni?” camp. He does seem to have mellowed of late. Very enjoyable puzzle, with 7D the last one in. No favorites…I just liked it all. Thanks G. and DT.

    P.S. My congratulations to the newlywed Owdoos! And to Hillary… while it’s always nice to fill the grid in good time, as others have said, what’s important is whether you had fun. Some days I get more satisfaction from puzzles I can’t complete because there were clues that made me laugh! And I simply don’t take notice of the star ratings.

  38. Almost r&w. Probably my fastest ever completion. 1*/2* with favourite 21d.

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