DT 28143 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28143

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28143

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Le Château de Boisson in the Cévennes, the latest stop on our trip round France. We’ve had plenty of Roman antiquities this week, with the aqueduct at the Pont du Gard, and the amphitheatre and Tour Magne at Nîmes.

Sitting outside and dealing with the early morning sun trying to obscure my screen may have slowed me slightly, since I finished today’s Giovanni in *** time, though it felt as if it ought to have been easier than that.

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.


5a           Trip in street like Uriah ‘eep (7)
STUMBLE – The abbreviation for STreet followed by the self-proclaimed characteristic of a villain in David Copperfield.

7a           Word of prayer finally effected change (5)
AMEND – The word with which a prayer often ends followed by the last letter of effecteD.

9a           Placed by entrance a superior food item (6)
GATEAU – Put together an entrance, A (from the clue) and the letter designating something as upper-class or superior.

Image result for gateau

10a         See a rite out of place in restaurants (8)
EATERIES – Anagram (out of place) of SEE A RITE.

11a         One engaged to work is against going by vehicle (10)
CONTRACTOR – A Latin abbreviation for ‘against’ (where ‘pro’ is ‘for’) followed by an agricultural vehicle.

13a         Edge of dress getting grease and grime (4)
SOIL – The last letter of dresS followed by some grease.

14a         Loose human, he’d somehow become famous person (9,4)
HOUSEHOLD NAME – Anagram (somehow) of LOOSE HUMAN HE’D.

16a         Head of Society and VIP who looks down on the lesser orders? (4)
SNOB – The first letter of Society followed by a VIP or toff.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a         Old fellow makes one muse with health amiss (10)
METHUSELAH – This is the man in the Old Testament who is said to have lived 969 years. Anagram (amiss) of MUSE and HEALTH.

Image result for methuselah

19a         Designer hugs a doctor, one of four in a circle (8)
QUADRANT – A 1960s designer wrapped around A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for doctor.

Image result for mary quant Image result for quadrant

20a         Legal termination of protocol — terrible (6)
LAWFUL – The final letter of protocoL followed by ‘terrible’.

22a         One joining up for work in channel (5)
SEWER – Double definition: one joining things with needle and thread; or a drainage channel.

23a         Salt — it is packed in box (7)
CITRATE – IT (from the clue) placed inside a box or shipping container, giving a chemical salt.

Image result for citrate


1d           Cross person who is … (4)
MULE – A cross-bred animal, also figuratively someone who is 2d.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d           … this, a doubter in a frenzy (8)
OBDURATE – Anagram (in a frenzy) of A DOUBTER, giving the characteristic of a 1d.

3d           Ex-President, one in a wagon? (6)
CARTER – Former US President who could also be the chap who drives a horse-drawn wagon.

4d           Plant making seat messy in vehicle (6-4)
HEART’S-EASE – The vehicle in which you make your last journey, wrapped around an anagram (messy) of SEAT.

Image result for hearts ease

5d           Cap all right when put wrong way round to cover top of head (5)
SHAKO – Put together two letters signifying ‘all right’ and a two-letter word for ‘when’, then reverse the lot (put wrong way round) and insert the first letter (top) of Head. This gives us a variety of military headgear.

Image result for shako

6d           Like something potentially shocking — terrible octet’s recital (13)
ELECTROSTATIC – Anagram (terrible) of OCTET’S RECITAL.

8d           Indeed I see developments going up, just some, in area by river (7)
DEESIDE – This area by a named river is hidden in reverse in the clue.

12d         Discouraging message conveyed by digital means (6,4)
THUMBS DOWN – The digits here are those which form part of the hand.

14d         Times in which number will get gongs for achievements? (7)
HONOURS – The two-letter abbreviation for ‘number’, placed inside some periods of time.

15d         Misgivings about the French garments of an earlier time (8)
DOUBLETS – Another word for ‘misgivings’ wrapped around one of the forms of French definite article.

Image result for doublet

17d         Male bore lacking substance maybe (6)
MEAGRE Male followed by a tidal bore of the sort seen on the Severn.

18d         Entertain a goddess (5)
AMUSE – A (from the clue) followed by one of the Greek goddesses mentioned in 17a.

21d         Colourful herb and egg in a sandwich? (4)
WOAD – Put the egg-shaped letter inside some squaddy slang for a sandwich to get the herb from which a blue dye is extracted.

Image result for woad

The Quick Crossword pun GRAY + TALK = GREAT AUK

58 comments on “DT 28143

  1. This is exactly my scene as it combines wordplay, etc. with a bit of GK. Admittedly not too testing but great. Stupidly I knew 22a had to be but because of the different pronunciations I failed to parse the solution. Good to be reminded of MQ’s striking designs in 19a. Thank you so much Giovanni and DT. **/****.

  2. Nothing too obscure from the Don this morning – just the cap in 5d and the bore which I had forgotten.
    Discovered that I can’t spell 17a and had to leave 21d until checkers were in place for the same reason.
    Favourite for the surface read was 12d.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – as soon as I got 16a I was hoping for a clip from The Frost Report!

  3. I found this pretty straightforward today, although I got 1d wrong – obvious when the answer appeared! I guessed the cap from the checkers, likewise 17d so have learnt two new words this morning.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

  4. 3*/2*. Two new words for me today: the answer to 5d and the bore in 17d. There’s nothing wrong with the clue and answer for 10a, but isn’t it a repugnant word? I wasn’t keen on 17a because of the spurious “one” which is needed for the surface reading. The excellent 12a was my favourite, with 21d, my last one in, coming close.

    Many thanks to Giovanni, and full marks for having clues with ellipses which are actually linked! Many thanks too to DT.

  5. Parts of this went in just fine but struggled elsewhere. The main hold up being 21d. I tried convincing myself it was WRAP but as that made no sense I had to discard it and go back to the drawing board…not helped by the fact I thought the definition was sandwich (no idea why)…did get there in the end but spent more time on that clue than probably the rest of the puzzle. The designer in 19a was only vaguely familiar so that held me up a bit too.

    Favourite is 12d in what was a very nice solve overall.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for a great and nicely illustrated blog. Enjoy the rest of your travels.

  6. Not the easiest Giovanni or indeed the slickest but enjoyable for all that. I thought 8d was a bit sneaky, a reverse lurker! Had my usual trouble with ‘as’ for ‘when’, and 1d held me up for ages because I always struggle with the dotted clues, they confuse the hell out of me. Must admit my last in was 21d because I never realised that woad was a herb (a plant of the mustard family apparently). My fav was 6d.
    Just didn’t feel it was quite up there with the Dons usual high standard.

    1. Unusually for me a reverse lurker jumped out of the screen at me, usually I can’t see them.

  7. I am romping through Friday’s puzzles these days. I used to find them a real tussle. I suppose we can date our puzzling success with the terms BB and PB. Before blog and Post blog. Ta to all concerned. Have a nice weekend everybody. See you on Mnday

  8. 5d was new to me, and tried to do all sorts of thing with herbs and eggs for 21d. I knew the answer, I just couldn’t parse the clue, (if that’s the right expression). Liked 6d and 12d. Thanks go to DT and to the Don.

    1. I love your description of 21d…it sounds like you were experimenting making some sort of delicious omelettes!

      1. Think I’ve seen almost everything. Narrowed it down to two. Was thrown yesterday by a dealer telling me there’s a new model of something coming out at Christmas. May hang on to old car through the winter, and look again after the New Year. I can’t drive at the mo anyway, so no chance of test driving anything. Not only have I ruled two, possibly three cars in, but I’ve ruled a lot out. I have even taken to reading my husbands car mags. Something I thought I’d never do.

        1. We decided to change our car last Friday. Ordered the new one on Monday and picked it up today. Easy peasy for us but I suppose it’s not that simple for everyone. Good luck

          1. Thank you. Enjoy your new car. We are changing a nine year old car our kids passed their driving test on.

          1. Not sure I’m allowed to advertise, so this could be modified. A 2L, five door hatch…..short skirt Twiggy used to wear???? It not the car a dealer talked about. That ones not on a website yet.

  9. In desperation put wrap in for 21d. Thanks for putting me write (never thought woad was a herb. Can you buy it from Tesco?). Didn’t like 14a because no s on become made me think it was part of the definition. Nor 17a because of the one! Favourite was 4d, never heard of it but managed to guess at it.
    Thanks all.

  10. Also put wrap for 21d!!!! never heard of woad or wad for a sandwich! Also never heard of 5d, though did work this one out, and the flower at 4d, I call them violas, ??? Struggled with a few off and on and needed the blog to complete, totally out of practice!!!! Thanks DT for blog, no fav clue for me today and 2* for enjoyment

  11. I could almost copy and paste from our Rabbit: the same new words for me. I also agree about the “one” in 17a and have the same choice of favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and merci beaucoup to Deep Threat.

    P.S. Having had a look at the Toughie and managed two whole answers (impressive, I know), I’ve concluded that it will have to wait until later.

  12. 12 down my standout favourite in this quite testing puzzle from the Don. All the wordplay is fine, so any longer spent than usual must be down to me. 2.5*/2.5* just to be different.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the illustrations.

  13. Got beaten by the plant in 4d. Had all the checkers but couldn’t see the vehicle despite the fact that we seem to see a lot of these around at the moment. What is the world coming to at the moment?
    Liked the doublé in 1 and 2d but favourite is 12d.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review. My mum lives near the Pont du Guard. Lovely place.

  14. Enjoyable apart from 4d which completed defeated me sadly . 1d also foxed me till the very end . Horticultural references are a serious weakness for some of us . JLO

  15. Most of this went in fairly easily but the last few took me ages to sort out. However I eventually succeeded (sans hints), last one in being the herb sandwich. Favourite being either 4d or 12d, but in fear of the wrath of Kath I’ll go with the latter. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  16. I confess to having to use my gizmo in the end for a couple; 4d, 6d and 21d, the latter being a new word for me – but wait, that’s more than a couple, oh well.
    In the ’60s we all wore Mary Quant miniskirts, imagine what we’d look like now – speaking strictly for myself of course.
    Fave was 12d, along with the majority.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for your review – am off to look up where you’re at now!

    1. Looked up your area, it’s all lovely round there. I had an aunt who lived in Vence and Monaco, and we did some wonderful trips there. We went looking for the Carmargue horses but never did see any!

  17. As often with a Giovanni puzzle, I didn’t initially find an obvious entry point to the puzzle, but once I got that first clue, then the remainder seemed to flow fairly smoothly.

    I knew the bore in 17d, but the cap in 5d was new to me. Much as I liked 4d for both the answer and the ultra-smooth surface, my favourite vote goes to the delightful 12d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to La Menace Profonde, and a good weekend to all.

  18. We quite liked this as is fairly usual with a Giovanni puzzle. We’re late in because of the Italy match and now we’re off down to the bowls club..
    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat….***/****

    1. You left a letter out of your e-mail address, which put your comment into moderation.

  19. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I found this very tricky, but enjoyable. Never heard of 4d, except in a Jack Bruce song called Children of the Rainbow, now I know. Never heard of 5d, or the squaddie slang in 21d. Favourite was 14a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  20. I thought that I had cracked it but I had “rude?” As the answer to 1d 😒 Which fits and all the letters are in the answer to 2d 😬 That apart a nice puzzle ***/*** thanks to DT & Giovanni liked 11a & 18a 😍

  21. Does anyone wonder at the extraordinary advertisements inserted in blog? Today I have M&S with white bed linen and bright pink knickers. Lovely Friday treat from The Don, trouble getting started but anagrams filled up some gaps and things began to drop into place. 13a and 21d last in, hiccup with 5d until I realised the error of my ways. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  22. ***/*** for me. Tricky in parts and educated me in a couple of answers (5&21d). Thanks to the setter and DT for the review which I needed to explain several solutions.

    1. The ‘surface read’ relates to how well the clue seems to flow when you read it through. A good surface read is where the clue looks as natural a phrase as possible. 12d in today’s puzzle is a very good example of that.

    2. Hi Bertie. The best surface reads are when the clue is a complete sentence that seems to have no relationship whatsoever with the answer.

  23. 4d was our last one in. It took a long time to identify the vehicle. Generally the puzzle was what we expect and enjoy on a Friday.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. You’ll find it in the middle of the paper and is usually, but not always, a bit more difficult. Give it a go!

      1. That’s an understatement if ever I heard one.
        Today, proXimal gave us a good ride for our money.

  24. 1*/3* for my money, and 19a gets my vote as top clue. I confess to guessing (correctly) at 17d – I’d never heard of that word for a tidal bore. 20d reminds me of the question posed to me many years ago as a young officer – newly crammed with Naval law – by a lugubrious Scottish Leading Regulator (a sort of ship’s policeman). “You’re an expert on the law, aren’t you Sir?” he said. Modestly, I said I thought I had grasped the essentials. “Well, what’s the difference between illegal and unlawful?” he asked. For the life of me, I couldn’t think what to say. “You don’t know much, do you, Sir? Unlawful means against the law, and an ill eagle is a sick bird!”. Happy days.

    Oh – thanks to the Don, and DT.

  25. *** for difficulty sounds about right. I ended up with 4 to solve dotted round the grid, which is always a little frustrating. LOI 1d, which eluded me for far too long for what is, basically, a pretty non-cryptic clue. Much friendlier grid from the Don this week.

  26. Answers are revealed again today, only two were needed, but it is frustrating. I liked 19a and 15 d

    1. How are you accessing the site? So long as the beginning starts http:// not https:// the answers won’t show.

  27. Hello night owls, Lazarus here. First puzzle of the week for me and what fun it is to be back, if not in the groove, approaching it. A decent offering from the Don who defeated me on the plant – and when I saw DT’s hint I could have kicked myself, except that that sort of movement is still beyond me, thank goodness. 14a takes the fig roll. Ta to Giovanni and DT. 2*/3*

    1. Glad to hear you’ve finally got out of bed – about time too, as it seems to me you’ve had more time off than Rip Van Winkle’s bunk light :whistle:

      I also rather enjoyed this offering from Mr Manley – he’s beginning to produce enjoyable puzzles again.

      Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and our Staffordshire explorer for his review. I was going to use your French ‘nom de plume’ that I used a week or so ago – but it appears that Silvanus has nicked it :wink:

  28. Many thanks for the hints, DT, I just needed a couple as I needed to get this done, the trip to France having put me a bit behind.
    Thanks to the setter too, very enjoyable, and not too bad, not often I do so well on a ***.

  29. I did this yesterday afternoon – really good, as usual from G. I’ve seen shako many times in crosswords but have never come across eagre before (they must be pretty obscure because they’re both underlined in red as I write this) – so another new word for me. 2.5*/3.5*

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