DT 28125 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28125

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28125

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Le Petit Trianon de St Ustré, at Ingrandes-sur-Vienne. When I wrote that last week, I didn’t expect to be writing from the same place today. But the current waves of industrial unrest in France, with oil refineries blockaded and fuel pumps running dry across the country mean that we’re sitting tight, in a place where, if necessary, we can run for home with what we’ve got.

Today’s Giovanni took me about a third of the time that yesterday’s Ray T occupied, and is definitely on the gentle end of his spectrum.

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           Horse making painful sound, not good (4)
ROAN – Remove the initial Good from a cry of pain.

Image result for roan

3a           They look back at Irish son undergoing transformation (10)
HISTORIANS – Anagram (undergoing transformation) of AT IRISH SON.

8a           Nice line penned by country person (8)
PLEASANT – The sort of country person often said to be revolting, wrapped around Line.

9a           Mean chaps heading off with dog (6)
ENTAIL – Remove the initial letter from some chaps, then add a verb meaning dog or follow.

10a         Soup served in club or school (6)
BORSCH – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for borscht

11a         Satisfied raw needs somehow (8)
ANSWERED – Anagram (somehow) of RAW NEEDS.

13a         Pictures of wise men entering home, leaders of esoteric society (8)
IMAGINES – The wise men who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh are placed inside a word for ‘at home’, followed by the initial letters (leaders) of Esoteric Society.

14a         Original friend across the border (6)
PRIMAL – The border of a plate or wheel inside a word for friend.

16a         Announces conditions (6)
STATES – Double definition, the second being a noun.

19a         Excellent solving (8)
CRACKING – Another double definition, the first being an informal word for excellent, the second referring to solving a puzzle or code.

21a         Policeman supplying information to lady outside front of restaurant (8)
GENDARME – Put together an informal word for information, and a lady wrapped around the first letter of Restaurant.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a         Players from part of Scotland — odd characters from Ross (6)
FIFERS – These players are often associated with drummers. A Scottish county followed by the odd-numbered letters from RoSs.

Image result for fifers

23a         Previous set of books undiscovered (6)
LATENT – A word for former or previous followed by the initials of one of the sets of books in the Bible.

24a         Run around unwell, having taken a piece of food (8)
TORTILLA – Reverse (around) a word for run, then add ‘unwell’ and A (from the clue).

Image result for tortilla

25a         What Paralympian may have –- he is involved with sports (10)
PROSTHESIS – Anagram (involved) of HE IS and SPORTS.

26a         River coming into hovel below (4)
ELBE – A German river is hidden in the clue.


1d           Holy objects kept outside bar in places like Ireland (9)
REPUBLIC – A holy object, typically a fragment of bone or clothing attributed to a holy person, wrapped around another word for a bar, giving a system of government in a country of which Ireland is an example.

2d           Optical problem, as designers then worked out (4-11)

Image result for mr magoo

3d           Cook fowl as a pagan (7)
HEATHEN – Split this (4,3) and you have a word for cook and a type of fowl.

4d           Nameless tough fighters arising to be rulers (7)
SATRAPS – The famously tough Ancient Greek warriors, with the N removed (nameless) and reversed.

5d           Old writer having drink becomes more communicative (5,2)
OPENS UP – Put together Old, a writing implement and a word for drink.

6d           Imprisoned frequently, I am free finally — just before something terrible happens? (2,3,4,2,4)
IN THE NICK OF TIME – Put together ‘imprisoned’ (2,3,4), ‘frequently’ (3), an abbreviated form of ‘I am’ and the last letter of freE.

7d           Not happy eating the French food with few calories (5)
SALAD – One of the forms of the definite article in French is placed inside ‘not happy’.

12d         One reigning over a period (3)
ERA – The regnal cypher of the lady who reigns over us followed by A (from the clue).

15d         Member is no longer with us — make provision in law (9)
LEGISLATE – Put together a member of the human body, IS (from the clue) and ‘no longer with us’.

17d         Article subsequently shortened (3)
THE – Remove the final letter from a word meaning subsequently or next.

18d         Remove handicap for excellent golfer (7)
SCRATCH – Double definition, the first being to remove someone from a competition.

19d         Makes fusses (7)
CREATES – Double definition, the second being an informal word for making a fuss.

20d         Gives a couple of females commands, no hesitation (7)
AFFORDS – Put together A (from the clue), two examples of Female, and some commands with the little word expressing hesitation removed.

21d         Dance with girl before work (5)
GALOP – An informal spelling of ‘girl’ followed by the Latin abbreviation for work.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

The Quick Crossword pun CHIN + CHILLER = CHINCHILLA

71 comments on “DT 28125

  1. 1*/3*. Remarkably straightforward and pleasant for a Friday back-pager, although doubtless loathers of double unches will be less enamoured.

    21d was a new word for me but easily derivable from the wordplay and checkers, and I had to trawl my memory banks for 4d, which was my last one in. One small niggle; shouldn’t 21a have some sort of foreign indicator?

    6d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Double unches festival today, there are 16 in the other puzzle as well as the 12 here.

          1. I think it’s fair to say that it has been anglicised, after all waltz is strictly speaking a foreign word but no one thinks of it as such, it’s just that it’s more common.

    2. RD – I also thought about a foreign indicator for 21a, but then I thought what could the Don have used without making it too obvious?

      1. How about: “Nice policeman supplying information to lady outside front of restaurant”?

        1. Très bonne, with the ‘new’ first word of the clue open to (misleading) interpretation.

  2. The Don in benign form this morning. 4 down also my last one in, with 25 across my favourite. 1*/3* overall with thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  3. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it quite straightforward. Favourite was 3d. Last in was 25a. Was 1*/3*

  4. Still in deepest Sumatra with not much to do after work except the crossword. Seven hours ahead of GMT, so only the third comment! (when I started typing). Today was much more enjoyable than the last few days. SW corner was last in, but I needed the thesaurus for 4d and 1a (which is a usual suspect I think). Worked out the answer to 21d, then had to check the BRB to see if it was a word. Nice exercise for the grey cells without being frustrating, so **/*** for me.

  5. Gentle stuff from the Don this morning. No obscurities although I didn’t have a clue about the second definition of 18d.

    I agree with RD about 21a having a foreign indicator…what exactly are the rules re that?

    Plenty to enjoy inc 10a (nice hidden) and 2d (great anagram)…fave is 6d..or 7d.

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

    1. Hanni – a ‘scratch’ golfer is one whose handicap is zero – not sure where it comes from, but now my interest is piqued and I will do some investigation.

      1. Thanks Senf.

        Amazingly, for me,I understand what a handicap is in golf but that was new. I think can understand that scratch can mean zero….maybe “Starting from scratch”??

        1. Hanni – my investigations did not provide a definitive reason for the term, although one offered the same suggestion as you. So, my recommendation is to go with that one.

          1. Or possibly because mere mortals like myself with a high handicap look at them and scratch our heads in wonderment, and perhaps with a little envy, that they are that good…😂😂😂

            1. Ah but you get better value for your money from a round of golf as you get more goes.

              1. That has got to be one of the most optimistic, every cloud has a silver lining statements I have seen MP.

                Cheers for looking it up Senf!

  6. Largely read and write for me – unusual for a Friday. I had to think a bit for 25a, which is strange because I wear one where one of my legs used to be. But golf is the only sport I am involved with these days.
    Thank you setter and DT. Hope you get back to Blighty without incident.

  7. At the risk of annoying some bloggers, for me, this was the easiest puzzle of the week. Even a delayed start (grand-daughter’s swimming lesson and computer issues while accessing the puzzle) did not prevent completion of a most enjoyable puzzle before lights out last night – */****.

    A nice handful of easily identifiable anagrams and lurkers and no problems with the double unches.

    Three nominations for favourite – 21a, 24a, and 6d; and the winner is 6d – good to see a 15 letter answer that is not an anagram.

    Thanks to the Don and DT (hope that you don’t get stranded).

  8. Phew what a relief after yesterday’s ordeal. I succeeded in 19a this without any pain. I stupidly didn’t get 4d – I should at least have cottoned onto the tough fighters if not knowing the rulers. No real Fav but plenty of fun along the way. Thank you Giovanni and DT (hope you are able to get homebound soon but in the meantime – Enjoy!). **/***.

  9. No Telegraphs in East Kent today :( I had to print off the puzzles from the DT Puzzles Site – I agree that this is Giovanni in Friendly Mode. Thanks to him and Deep Threat.

    I also looked at today’s Matt cartoon on line and think it is particularly appropriate for Deep Threat today.


  10. Gentle fare after yesterdays offering, but still enjoyable. Never heard of 4d before, 6d was my favourite. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints, especially 4d.

  11. Double unches are all the rage.

    I just believed the golf handicap thing.

    the policeman in question is in the brb (an English dictionary) so I don’t think a language indicator is needed.

    I quite liked 6d

    many thanks Giovanni and thank you Deep Threat

    1. dutch, any English speaker using the word gendarme when referring to a policeman would be specifically talking about a French policeman. The fact that it is in the BRB means that the word is used in English but in my opinion the definition in the clue, while not wrong, is incomplete as the word means a French policeman, not just any policeman.

      1. An English word for a French policeman does not need a language indicator.

        There is no obligation to specify the kind of policeman, just as “tree” clueing “pine” need not specify “coniferous”.

  12. Remarkably straightforward – for a Friday anyway.
    I got completely stuck with my last few in the top right corner – couldn’t do the not very difficult 3a anagram for ages – dim day!
    I didn’t notice the double unches – never do – didn’t notice the lurkers either – ditto – I get worse and worse at them.
    Not too sure about 1a – it’s a colour of a horse.
    I liked 19 and 21a and 3 and 7d. My favourite was 6d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT – hope that stuff in France improves – neighbours of ours were going this afternoon but have chickened out – disappointing for them but it means that I don’t have yet another four-legged lodger for five days.

  13. Very pleased with myself for complet8ng this after what was for me a week of difficult crosswords.
    Even more pleased to see 22a …as I am one!

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  14. Lets start with a */**,pretty uninspiring for me today, if its too simple then the enjoyment drops-as a rule. I did like the surface of 25a,nothing else to add .Thanks to DT- not seen Mr Magoo for some time.

  15. I’m getting rather nervous about this ‘new’ Giovanni – can’t help thinking that it’s all going to end in tears and obscurities any week now. Mentally reached for the Thesaurus when I spotted ‘holy relics’ but – no – as straightforward as they come.
    All very 8a today. Top three for me were 3,12&15d.

    Thanks to DG and also to our marooned traveller. Enjoy the ‘enforced’ extra holiday!

    1. Thanks Jane. But it’s not a question of ‘extra’ holiday: we intend to be out here until the end of June. The problem is rather more of deciding how serious the situation is going to get. At the moment we have a full tank, and from here we could reach the ferry port on that. Our worry is that if we move further south we could find ourselves out of range. Many of the service stations which do have fuel are imposing a 20 euro limit on each transaction, and that won’t get us very far when hauling a caravan.

      1. Ah – in that case it’s probably just rather frustrating. Hope you have at least got some warm weather to relax in.

      2. I was reliably informed that Auchan in Chatellerault was serving non rationed, no queues petrol yesterday.

  16. I don’t mind a gentle puzzle, especially when I’ve got a busy work day ahead, and I rather like the “new” Giovanni. No favorites. I just enjoyed it all.Thanks G and DT.

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly very straightforward but 4d eluded me and turns out to have been outwith my general knowledge so no big deal there. I thought 4a and 25 a were good anagrams and 21d was new to me but obvious enough.

    I usually say four star difficulty if I don’t finish but on this occasion I’m saying **/*** because I don’t think the solution to 4d can reasonably be considered to be widely known and most solvers would have needed to resort to help.

  18. Good puzzle, two new words (satrap and galop). Nice you tube of music from Folies I think.
    The last time I heard it played was in Paris at La Saint Chapelle after a rather more serious concert where it was introduced solemnly as a religious piece created by a unknown monk in his cell in a monastery. Just the first few chords and the audience realised that they had been had (to widespread laughter).
    Who was the composer and what is the name of the piece?

    1. Since I saw it was Offenbach I have been humming this. And it is stuck in my head, Could be worse.

  19. A nice puzzle to end the week that wasn’t too taxing and obscurity-free, provided 4d is not unknown.

    Like others, I thought 6d was excellent, with 25a coming a close second.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to La Menace Profonde, hoping you are not still in the same location, as nice as I’m sure it is, by the time of next Friday’s puzzle. A good weekend to all.

  20. Highly enjoyable puzzle from The Don – we like the ‘new’ Giovanni. We would give it **/**** because, although it was easy for a Friday, it still wasn’t an absolute walk in the park, there was plenty to get your teeth into. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  21. I agree, a very undemanding but enjoyable puzzle today.
    Many moons ago, 4d was a regular in the cryptic, good to see it make an appearance again.
    Lots of goodies today, but I think fave is 6d.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and DT for his hints – hope the unrest is soon over.

  22. I certainly enjoyed today’s Giovanni 😊 Especially after my poor efforts yesterday, possibly jet lag from my journey on the Scillonian lll 😏 **/*** Liked 19a & 1d. Thanks to DT for excellent, as always, blog 😜

  23. */***. Nicely clued puzzle where even when the word was not familiar it was possible to get it before checking in the dictionary. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  24. A little on the gentle side for me but as I have nothing to do and all day to do it in I do not care. I do care that we will be leaving The Roseland tomorrow but still away from the pub until Monday afternoon. Thanks to The Don and thanks to Peter for the review. I hope you are enjoying a break from doing nothing. A change is as good as a rest.

  25. What a nice crossword. Easy but nice and enjoyable. 10a made me smile. Many thanks Giovanni and to DT whose hints were useful for confirmation

  26. I don’t have much to add to the comments above. A pleasant way to wind down. There were a couple of things for me to check after the solve (I think I have met 4d before, but only in a crossword and I rarely remember anything I have only been told once).

    No huge favourites today, but I did find the surface of 11a pleasing.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT. I hope you’re able to have an enjoyable holiday despite having to sit tight for a bit. There are worse places to be stranded.

  27. Bit of a mixed week, Monday and Tuesday fine, Wednesday and Thursday only managed about 75% before having come here for help. Thought I was going to struggle today but having got the two long answers it all came together. Thanks to all this week’s setters and bloggers it is a great comfort knowing there is help when I need it. Have a super, splendid weekend.

  28. A bit of a double unch fest today, but as this was so straightforward I’ll forgive the Don this once. ;-) A little difficulty at the end on 4d, but nothing which held me up for too long.

  29. It was going swimmingly well and didn’t need any dictionary or other outside help until 4d.
    Needed the hint for that last word.
    Never mind. I really enjoyed the solve.
    Favourite is 25a (what paralympian).
    Sorry DT, but a world without cars sounds like heaven to me.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT.

  30. One star for difficulty. I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. Am I thick?

  31. We got both the two long answers very quickly without any checking letters and this opened up the puzzle for a rather rapid solve. Elegantly clued as ever and we appreciated it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  32. Certainly on a par with last week’s puzzle from The Don with regards to difficulty for me. I think he’s going to lull us into a false sense of security and Pasquale us in the not too distant future.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni */****

  33. Would the real Giovanni come back soon please? I can’t cope with the gentle offerings of the last two Fridays! Over far too quickly for me I’m afraid. 6d favourite…ish.
    2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT stuck info er there.

  34. For some reason was slow to get going but then fell into place. 6d was favorite and satraps and galop were new words for us. Good stuff.

  35. Nice after yesterday, no major problems though the double unches were a pain. Needed a hint for the soup at 10a…

  36. Really straight-forward (as was the previous Ray T). I had the answers for 18dn and 19 dn but just didn’t know one of the two pairs of definitions, and I didn’t realise that 21dn was spelt like that. */***

Comments are closed.