DT 28137

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28137

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Trèbes, near Carcassonne in South West France. I’m glad to say that the weather has much improved since my report last week, though a little rain later today may be a relief from the 30° sunshine.

After some gentle weeks from Giovanni, I think we’re back to the full-on version. Religious knowledge will be well tested, as will general knowledge, though there are some gimmes to get you started, and the cluing is as fair as ever.

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           Bits of food terrible, about to be eaten — gosh! (11)
BREADCRUMBS – Another word for terrible wrapped around the Latin word for about or concerning, followed by an exclamation like ‘gosh’.

9a           Heartless denier of his friend, look (4)
PEER – Remove the middle letter (heartless) from the name of the apostle who three times denied knowing Jesus.

10a         An attractive number (11)
ANAESTHETIC – An (from the clue) followed by attractive or artisistic, giving us a number with a silent B!

11a         Don’t hunt him with dogs — bring back the guns! (4)
STAG – A rather obscure informal word for guns is reversed to give this animal which is both hunted with hounds and stalked and shot.

Image result for stag

14a         Proceeded with difficulty, kitchen device having leaked (7)
HOBBLED – The top of the kitchen stove followed by the sort of ‘leaked’ that happened when you cut yourself.

16a         The German scoundrels returning took leading roles (7)
STARRED – Put together a German definite article and some scoundrels or deserters, then reverse the lot.

17a         Unprofessional types showing sloppiness, but don’t get cross! (5)
LAITY – These are people who are not, especially, in the clerical profession. Remove the cross-shaped letter from a word for sloppiness.

18a         Causes ‘urt to members (4)
ARMS – Some members of the body sound like ‘causes ‘urt’.

19a         Work needed — this joint has got restricted (4)
KNEE – Hidden (has got restricted) in the clue.

20a         Book a sailor brought back (5)
ATLAS – A (from the clue) followed by the reversal (brought back) of a word for sailor, giving us a book of maps.

22a         Money for job when worker is in town (7)
WANTAGE – Put one of the usual crossword workers inside money paid for work done, and you get a town in Oxfordshire or New Jersey.

23a         Is yours truly coming in skinny? Organic substance needed (7)
THIAMIN – Put another way of saying ‘Is yours truly?’ inside a word for skinny.

24a         Famous South African in a short skirt (4)
TUTU – Double definition, the second being the short skirt worn by a ballerina.

28a         Vigorous and in no need of a transfusion? (4-7)
FULL-BLOODED – If you need a transfusion when you’re short of blood, you don’t need it if you are this.

29a         Cross and offensive, by the sound of it (4)
ROOD – This is the cross of Christ, seen on the —- screen in a pre-Reformation church that hasn’t been vandalised.

Image result for rood screen images

30a         Promotion from publicists not ultimately enthralling Packard (11)
ADVANCEMENT – A word (2,3 or 5) for publicists and the last letter of noT (from the clue) wrapped around the first name of Mr Packard, the author of The Hidden Persuaders, who died in 1996. The surface works beautifully, given the nature of his work, but whether he is still well enough known to be a fair clue is another matter.


2d           Managed to come before king in status (4)
RANK – A word for managed or organised followed byt the chess notation for King.

3d           Wild person at party losing head, say (4)
AVER – Remove the initial R from someone enjoying a wild party.

4d           Strange dialect in SA hall (7)
CITADEL – Anagram (strange) of DIALECT. SA here is the Salvation Army.

5d           Chemical stuck in your ears (4)
UREA – Hidden (stuck) in the clue.

6d           By carrying torch, maybe, you can see home from afar (7)
BLIGHTY – BY (from the clue) wrapped around something of which a torch is an example, giving Tommy Atkins’ term for Britain when serving abroad.

7d           Tudor yeomen looking silly in old book (11)
DEUTERONOMY – Anagram (looking silly) of TUDOR YEOMEN, giving a book of the Old Testament.

8d           Generate din, going mad as one sort of actress (11)
TRAGEDIENNE – Anagram (going mad) of GENERATE DIN. You won’t find her in a comedy.

12d         Seabirds needing rare wash set out (11)

Image result for shearwater

13d         A nasty smell on road — country thing that’s disgusting (11)
ABOMINATION Put together A (from the clue), a nasty smell from an unwashed person, the letter and Roman numeral designating one of England’s main roads, and a country or state.

15d         Old Italian smoker died making ascent (5)
DANTE – Put together a smoking hill (Italian as it happens, but I don’t think the word in the clue is doing double duty) and Died, then reverse the lot to get a Renaissance author from Italy.

Image result for dante

16d         Animal rested before getting tucked in (5)
STOAT – A two-letter word which can mean ‘before’ is tucked inside a word for ‘rested’.

Image result for stoat

20d         A good lot of drinks gets one unable to move somehow (7)
AGROUND – A (from the clue) followed by Good and a set of drinks ordered in a pub.

21d         Something unpleasant in bag is a resin (7)
SHELLAC – The unpleasant place where the devil resides, inside a French word for bag.

25d         Run away briefly when meeting a bloodsucker (4)
FLEA – Remove the final letter (briefly) from ‘run away’ and add A (from the clue).

26d         Big sound from the heart? Not the heart (4)
BOOM – Remove the middle letter (not the heart) from a word which can mean heart or chest or a prominent part of the female anatomy.

27d         Writer said to be a founder of state (4)
PENN – This founder of an American state sounds like a writing implement.

Image result for william penn

The Quick Crossword pun FREAK + WENT = FREQUENT


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    2*/3*. Pleasant puzzle for a Friday, and one which was reasonably straightforward. My last answer in was 16d, which held me up until I had (almost) convinced myself that “before” can be synonymous with “to”. I was also delayed by trying to parse the wrong answer to 9a. I had been misled into thinking that the solution must be “deer” (i.e.: “heartless denier”) which does fit with the checkers, even though the rest of the clue would clearly make no sense at all as a definition. Then the penny dropped. D’oh!

    Thankfully, having read one of his books a long, long time ago, I managed to drag Packard up from the depths of my memory. 30a was my favourite because the smooth surface reading also precisely describes Packard’s scathing opinion of advertisers. Coincidentally (?) he hailed from the state founded by 27d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    • Jose
      Posted June 11, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      RD. May I attempt to fully convince you that “before” and “to” are synonymous? As in “five to four” = “five minutes before four” (Collins Online Dictionary).

  2. dutch
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Puzzle felt a little loose and clumsy to me somehow – is it really a Giovanni?

    Hadn’t come across the town, seabird or Packard and thought “organic substance” was a broad biochemical definitiion (so maybe it is Giovanni)
    (5d “chemical” is broad too but as a hidden word the answer is clear)

    had to play guess the heart (26d) and why the dogs (11a)

    I did like 10a (an attractive number)

    15d is interesting with Italian being a big hint for the smoker – does the clue depend on that?

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not a very kind grid with 12 four letter answers and 8 double unches which we think added to the difficulty for this one. One of our team had heard of the 30a writer so not a problem there. The Oxfordshire town in 22a new to us but simple to check on Google. Plenty to enjoy and masterfully put together as usual.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    • andy
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ah, glad you mentioned the grid, I’d not counted the four letter words but noted out of the 14 unchecked first letter answers six were for four letter answers :(

  4. Penky
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    Really enjoyed this and didn’t need any electronic help for once. Thought 15d very clever and some nice long anagrams too. I’m in France too, down below on my boat at Quiberon in pouring rain and wind , been a funny old summer so far.

  5. Beaver
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did’nt take as long as I thought it would on first read through ,accelerated to ramming speed as I worked my way, south-the opposite happened yesterday. This solve needed a fair bit of general knowledge to ease the passage. Initially thought that 9a ‘denier’ had something to do with the thickness of nylons, until the penny dropped-was expecting a suitable pic from DT !, took a while to parse 16d because of to= before, as I suppose it does, ie when telling the time, also had Mr Packards name as Vince till I checked.
    Despite these minor hickups, overall a ***/***.Did anyone else remember the song don’t mess with my Tutu -24a ?
    Thanks all, ready for the cricket.

  6. pete
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this quite difficult, although I did manage to finish without any help. Agree with Dutch, some of the cluing seemed clumsy and unsatisfactory to me.I had to look at Deep Threats hints to understand quite a few of the answers. 4*/2.5* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for helping me understand the answers.

  7. Posted June 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A classic Giovanni, I thought. I’d never heard of Mr Packard of 30a, but weirdly my only problem was in having a complete mental block with the parsing of 16d. Unpleasant in 21a is nicely understated.

    I went through the same process as RD describes above trying to make 9a an 11a. To misquote Kath, Oh deer!

    With thanks to Giovanni and merci to DT.

  8. Young Salopian
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Packard was a bung in, although the answer was clear, otherwise reasonably straightforward for a Friday. My first pass yielded very few, but a couple of deep breaths and some lateral thinking and I was away. 15 down my favourite and 2*/3.5* overall.

    Thanks to The Don and DT for his hard work.

  9. Kath
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite a Fridayish crossword – 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    9a – it didn’t occur to me that denier could be a person who denies – just thought of tights.
    I’ve never heard of the 30a Packard – only the manufacturer of cardiac technical equipment which didn’t help much – so that one took ages.
    The SA in 4d was a bit of mystery for a while.
    I needed the hint to explain 16d and didn’t know that 21d was a resin – probably wouldn’t have got it if we hadn’t had it yesterday.
    I liked 1 and 10a and 25d. My favourite was 5d even though it was one of the dreaded lurker.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  10. Sheffieldsy
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A thoroughly enjoyable crossword, nicely pitched with great variety. Thank, you Giovanni, we would give it 2.5*/3.5*.

    Loved 10a, remembered 22a and thought 23a was great.

    Thanks to DT for the blog

  11. Brian
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As usual a brilliant crossword from the Master. Did need the explanation for 9a having spent ages wondering what it had to do with the thickness of ladies stockings.
    Like the TO in 16d threw me for a bit. Learnt a new name in 30a but for me the best
    clue was 3D with a clever misdirection.
    Thx to all.

  12. jean-luc cheval
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very much enjoyed the solve.
    Only had to check the birds in 12d, the book in 7d and which Packard the Don was talking about as it certainly wasn’t Hewlett.
    Favourite is 15d (old Italian). Made me laugh.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.
    Just like Chester, Carcassonne is a walled city.

  13. silvanus
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, as DT says, back to the religious references and occasional obscurities this Friday, oh dear! Mr. Packard in 30a was entirely unknown to me.

    My favourite was 15d, and no competition really from the remainder, the four letter answers invariably being the trickiest.

    Many thanks to Mr Manley and to La Menace Profonde, and a good weekend to all from a sun-drenched Lord’s.

  14. Merusa
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    On first go through, I had so few answers I thought this was going to be very tricky, but gradually I got on wavelength.
    Didn’t know the Packard, except, as Jean-Luc pointed out, the Hewlett one, but the answer could only be what it was. Apart from that, no problems.
    Fave was 9a, with runner up 10a.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for his hints. I always look up on a map to see where you are.

  15. Hanni
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I quite enjoyed this but the only Packard I knew links up with Hewlett.

    Didn’t struggle too much with the religious references but 16d took me awhile to parse and I had to double check 22a.

    Favourite is 20d.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for another great blog.

    The sun has gone from the moors to be replaced with, at times, torrential rain and I’ve been bitten by a horsefly. So everything is back to normal.

  16. Angel
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I definitely needed my thinking cap today but overall it was a pleasant and quite unusual solve. Should have tumbled to 10a sooner and 8d was new to me athough it had to be. Beginning of 13a didn’t immediately come to mind and I have similar reservation as others re to = before in 16d. Some coincidence for 21d to reappear with DT so soon. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/***.

  17. neveracrossword
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I remembered Mr Packard from my reading of reading of popular Penguin books in the sixties. Unfortunately, my first stab at his forename was “Vince”. A bit tougher than the last couple of Giovannis but a steady and enjoyable solve. Thank you DT and setter.

  18. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    After yesterday’s success, this was the opposite.
    I find the Don’s clues very difficult to unravel.
    Still, no problem, just a case of persevering.

  19. Jon_S
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A little tricky in places, this, not helped by the double unches which others have noted. My LOI was 23ac, where this definitely didn’t help with such an unusual answer. The only Packard I know is Bell, so the cryptic at 30ac wasn’t, for the most part, much help. In summary, loved the clues, for the most part, but hated the grid.

  20. Gwizz
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A fair old solve for a Friday; nothing too exasperating. I liked 7d, and 6d for that matter.
    Vince had to be what it was thankfully as I didn’t know the author but otherwise everything resolved quite nicely.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  21. mre
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good evening everybody.

    A fairly straightforward solve which cannot be said for the Toughie of which I solved just two clues but looking at the reviewer’s rating I’ll save to have a proper crack at over the weekend..


  22. Florence
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I struggled with 30a trying to make something of Hewlett. Took the heart out of denier for 9a to get ‘deer’ as in ‘dear’, thinking of ‘say’ rather than ‘look’. I was way off beam on that one !! At least 27d was easy. He was buried in my parish, not far from where Milton completed Paradise lost. If CS is around, I can’t believe you spent five days face down. I couldn’t do that. You were very brave. I was in hospital at 7.30, and home by 11.45 yesterday. Today I look and feel as though I’ve been in a fight with Frank Bruno, but I have real sight in my right eye for the first time so I am on cloud nine.

    • Merusa
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That is wonderful news, Florence. The bruising will soon go, don’t worry.

      • Florence
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the reassurance Merusa. Oops, ran out of manners with all the excitement. Many thanks to DT for the review, and to DG for setting the crossword.

  23. cat
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like others I was confused by denier, then got on the right lines but was not helped by thinking of Judas!, and with a couple of guesses but I got there in the end. Just into ***/*** I think.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

    • Merusa
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t have a problem with that as I never even thought of stockings, and I immediately thought was of Peter.

  24. Edmund
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    With the help of this site I’ve managed to complete more puzzles, though normally start late in the evening when most comments have already been made. Many thanks to all bloggers and compilers. 15d made me think of Dante’s Peak with the posters of a smoking volcano in the background.

  25. AnntheArt
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    9a was hard fought for and I had to use the hints for 3d. But other than that was very happy to complete this having started late in the day again. Am pleased to realise that I must be on Giovanni’s wavelength, speaking as one who rarely completes without hints. Liked 18a and 17a.
    Thank you DT and the setter. Good fun today.

  26. Heno
    Posted June 11, 2016 at 12:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, no real problems. Favourite was 14a. Last in was 1a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  27. Jose
    Posted June 11, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    Did this Fri aft. Second best puzzle of the week, just beaten by Ray T’s consistently excellent and diverse cluing style. Very enjoyable, though. 2.5*/3*

  28. woodspiral
    Posted June 20, 2016 at 4:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    I must be dumb, I just dont get 10a, can someone explain please?

    • Posted June 20, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog woodspiral

      An anaesthetic numbs or deadens the senses, so is often referred to in Crosswordland as a number. This definition is not supported by Chambers or the ODE so I am surprised at its use by this setter.

      • woodspiral
        Posted June 20, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks BigDave! About 10 minutes after sending my question I got the pun. I then checked Chambers and yes it’s not there as a verb so a bit naughty. I think my brain works too literally to get these kind of clues. Thanks for an excellent website!

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