DT 28155 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28155

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28155

Hints and tips by Digby

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **


Having arrived home late from helping to run Henfield’s commemoration of the Battles of Jutland and the Somme centenary, an email from the Gaffer asking me to do today’s blog, and therefore an early rise, wasn’t exactly what I needed. Then I thought about what it must have been like 100 years ago today, and told myself to get a grip.

So here we are at dawn having completed this challenge from Giovanni, which actually fell into place quite quickly, with the bottom half putting a bit more of a fight than the top.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Strike restricting a corporation (6)
PAUNCH A blow with the fist with A from the clue inserted (restricted)

4a Somehow happier having penned grand words at front of book? (8)
EPIGRAPH Today’s first anagram (somehow) of HAPPIER around (penned) G(rand)

9a See hundred drink in this place (6)
LOCALE A two-letter synonym for see + C(entury) + a drink typically served in tankards

10a Daughter with us in the beginning seen as magical (8)
STARDUST Insert D(aughter) and US in another word for beginning

11a Gosh — bet the French tucking in will get fat! (9)
CORPULENT Start with a 3-letter exclamation, then insert (tucking in) the French definite article into a synonym for a bet

13a Notice record time — it’s very good (5)
ADEPT The usual abbreviations for a notice and a record followed by T(ime)

14a A freeness lost? It becomes tricky to state opinions boldly (6,7)
ASSERT ONESELF An anagram (it becomes tricky) of the first three words

17a A ton? Hang on, we say, it’s a lot less than a ton! (13)
HUNDREDWEIGHT Combine the score when a batsman reaches their ton with a word that sounds like (we say) “hang on”

21a Field left with a lot of paper around (5)
REALM A quantity of paper wrapped around L(eft)

23a Breaker for ship of the desert? (4,5)
LAST STRAW This is anecdotally said to be what breaks the back of the 4-legged ship of the desert. My “penny-drop” moment.

24a Sovereign put at risk has head of army brought in (8)
IMPERIAL A word meaning to endanger containing (brought in) head of A(rmy)

25a First bit of icing in last bit of decoration (6)
FINIAL Another word for last containing (in) the first letter of icing. Not a word in my everyday vocabulary, but a smooth surface reading.

26a Artist put in the box Irish cross (8)
TRAVERSE Insert the R(oyal) A(cademian) into the 2-letter abbreviation for what we call the Idiot’s Lantern and follow this with a term for Irish

27a Money paid for capturing knight and member of royal family (6)
PRINCE What you pay for your purchases with the chess notation for k(N)ight inserted (captured)


1d Friend with brilliant home — a big expensive one (6)
PALACE Split 3,3 with synonyms for friend and brilliant. Where 27a might reside

2d Nicer aunt sadly in a dither? (9)
UNCERTAIN Anagram (sadly) of the first 2 words. Conjures up images of a dear auntie, now sadly departed

3d Flags? Officer comes with yours and mine (7)
COLOURS These flags are presented to squadrons, ships etc. Start with a senior army officer (3) and then the summation of yours and mine

5d Folk making request? No respite, it could possibly appear (11)
PETITIONERS Anagram time again (possibly) of the 3 words following the definition

6d Place for car containing black stuff in bins? (7)
GARBAGE Where some folk leave their car containing B(lack)

7d A male needs employment, please (5)
AMUSE A (from the clue) + M(ale) + to employ something

8d Vindaloo for a remarkable person? (3,5)
HOT STUFF Double definition, the first being at the top end of the Scoville Scale

12d Our lad’s role could be making money (4-7)
EURO-DOLLARS The last of today’s anagrams (could be) of the 3 initial words. These have become more expensive over the last week – a lot has changed since last Friday morning !!

15d Old lover with the action of a twister said to be taking too much money (9)
EXTORTION Our familiar old lover, followed what sounds like (said) a word describing the action of a twister, in particular twisting that interrupts the blood supply to an organ,

16d Social reformer in church, one painting a picture maybe (8)
CHARTIST 2-letter abbreviation for CHurch and a synonym for painter.

18d Regret about one responsible for coded messages (7)
REMORSE One of our abbreviations for about, then the original form of sending text messages

19d Good American row — it’s becoming stormier (7)
GUSTIER G(ood) + 2-letter America + a synonym for row

20d Two loveless mischief-makers shortly appearing in middle of the day? (6)
TWELVE Drop the love (O) from two, the add a word for mischief makers minus (shortly) the final letter, and AM becomes PM

22d Top character gets record with cry of surprise going round (5)
ALPHA The first (top) Greek character is made up of a 33⅓ rpm disc with, perhaps, an expression for that penny drop moment going round

A good and relatively gentle mix of clues, though no lurkers today. 23a just about shaded it as my favourite.


37 comments on “DT 28155

  1. 1*/2.5*. Very light but generally enjoyable fare from the Don today. It took a bit of thought to parse 22d and 26a fully. I also needed to consult my BRB for 25a, a new word for me, and to check the rather obscure currency in 12d. 23a was my favourite.

    Nice for us cruciverbalists that the back-pager has now been on the back page for several days on the trot!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Digby.

  2. **/** today, pretty gentle although it took me ages to parse 26a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Digby for stepping in at short notice.

  3. I’ve just had a glance at today’s blog before I go home and do the crossword this afternoon. I quickly solved 1a from the wordplay and the very subtle picture clue – I’ve been doing cryptics since 1970 and never knew that a corporation was another word for a *****. Well, you learn something new every day (especially on here).

  4. Nice and straightforward apart from the fact in 1a I thought “pounce” without fully reading the clue 😳 Liked 17a & 23a 😍 **/*** Thanks to Giovanni and to Digby for nice (and amusing blog) I new RAF Digby, no relation I suppose 😁

    1. Hi Jaylegs,
      I was Fleet Air Arm (my avatar is a Royal Navy Buccaneer I used to fly from HMS Ark Royal).
      Been to RAF Digby but no family connection !

  5. Giovanni in a very benign mood – no Friday trouble for me today. I enjoyed it – 2* difficulty and 3+ a bit for enjoyment.
    Not sure that I knew 4a and I always get in a muddle with all the words that begin with epi – it gets me into all kinds of trouble.
    14a would have been easier if I’d split it 6,7 rather than 7,6.
    I got stuck for a while in the bottom right corner – couldn’t see 23 or 27a and got a bit fixated on the 20d mischief makers being imps – not helpful.
    I liked 11 and 17a and 6d (sounds like our garage) and 8d. My favourite was 10a – any clue with one or more daughters in it is good enough for me.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Digby for standing in at such short notice.

  6. A few to think about, but nothing that put up too much of a fight. My last one in was 25a. 2*/3*.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Digby.

  7. Giovanni is being gentle with us today! A nice challenge for the first day of July (shame about the weather tho’). 8d and 23a tickled my fancy; the latter is my favourite. Overall 2/3*
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Digby for the review.

  8. The Don certainly seems to have weight on his mind today! Nothing personal, I trust?
    Mostly straightforward, just needed to check 12d and have a quick run through the alphabet to nail 25a.
    Favourite has to be 23a although, like Kath, 10a made me smile, particularly for its surface read.

    Thanks to DG and also to the rarely seen Digby – perfect pic. for 1a and ‘how true’ sprang to mind over the one for 5d!

    Now back to the challenge that is Sparks………..

  9. 26 across my last one in and just about my favourite. I agree with earlier posts that this was Giovanni at his most benign, very gentle and emminently doable. 2*/2.5* from me overall, with thanks to the Don and that rarest of reviewers, Digby.

  10. Hi Digby, long time no see.

    Not one to frighten the horses in the slightest. */*** from us. Rather liked the ship of the desert clue but it was all fairly nice stuff.

    Thanks to the Don and Digby, where you been mate?

    1. Up to my **** in alligators, but felt I had to answer Big Dave’s desperate plea last night (after a couple of beers!!)

      1. Alligators maybe, just don’t forget that the object of the exercise is to drain the swamp! Nice to see you back :smile:

  11. Struggled with 20d, 23a and 26a. Got them in the end but no idea why for 26a. Thanks for the explanation. Favourite was 17a. **/***. Thanks all.

  12. Giovanni’s gentle side indeed. 23A takes my top spot. Thanks Digby and G.

  13. Hi Digby, many thanks and thanks Giovanni for a gentle and entertaining crossword. I liked 24a and 25a

  14. I struggled with 26a too. I must try to remember “artist in the box” means trav because it comes up a lot…….. Didn’t know the last 4 letters meant Irish though, so thanks Digby.

    I knew about 1a because my grandfather had one, complete with pin striped waistcoat and watch chains……

  15. No real problems here, daresay they’ve been reserved for the Toughie. I wanted to put an ‘ing’ ending on 15d, which misled me for a little. Liked 23a, 25a and 12d. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Digby for sacrificing some sleep to give us some assistance.

  16. Staying indoors as long as possible. It’s been so hot for the last couple of weeks. Takes longer to get used to it.
    Besides the BAN Hyères decided to do some kind of flying exercise with the Americans and other nations. They are flying so low and so close to each other it’s scary and extremely noisy.
    Sure Mr Digby would be pleased.
    Nice and straightforward crossword from the Don.
    Thanks to him and to Digby for the review.

    1. Bonjour Jean-Luc, I know exactly where you are coming from, having flown from Hyères with your Navy in 1985. Happy days !!

  17. Digby summed up the puzzle perfectly, at the easier end of the Giovanni spectrum and the bottom half taking slightly longer than the top.

    Interesting to see both Long Play and Extended Play records appearing in the same crossword. My favourite clue was 1a, but there were several others vying for top spot.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to Digby, and a good weekend to all. The Somme centenary commemorations today have been particularly moving, the leaden skies somehow very fitting for the solemnity of the occasion.

  18. Good afternoon everybody.

    Very straightforward today. I was unable to rationaliese 1a and 26a but both were clear enough from their clues.

    Perfect one cup back page fare.


  19. Indeed, Giovanni on the benign side, no obscure words here at all.
    I liked 1a and 10a, but fave is 23a, very clever.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and hats off to Digby for stepping in at the last moment in order to entertain us all.

  20. Coming late to this meant I could enjoy a bit of joint solvage with Mr K. Very pleasant.

    His favourite, joining many of you, is 23a. I suppose mine is too … except that he annoyingly got it before I did!

    Thanks to the Don and to Digby for gallantly stepping up to the plate.

  21. I thought this was unexceptional but pleasant enough to complete whilst keeping one eye on the Wimbledon tennis. Thank you Giovanni and also Digby for answering the call. ***/**.

  22. **/***. Second asterisk for the bottom half which was last to yield. Favourite was 17a. Thanks to the setter and Digby for the review.

  23. 25a was a new word to me, and I didn’t equate elves with mischief making (Elrond, surely not) but otherwise a gentle offering from the Don. Like a lot of others 23a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Digby.

    1. Long Itchington Elves are certainly mischievous. I have suffered from Elfshot so many times since I moved here.

  24. A pleasurable puzzle, many thanks Giovanni and the hints were very helpful, many thanks Digby

  25. Thanks to Giovanni and to Digby for the review and hints. I enjoyed this, but found it very tricky. I was helped by some anagrams at the top of the puzzle, and completed the NW, NE, SE. I was completely beaten by the SW corner, couldn’t get any. Needed the hints for 24&26a and 16&18d. Had never heard of 16d, but amazingly I knew 25a from my time as a Telephone engineer, they used to be on the tops of telegraph poles, but should have been removed after safety concerns, though there are still some about. Favourite was 17a. Was 3*/2* for me.

  26. Not a day for reading such words as 1a, and 11a. Rather overindulged at a ladies lunch yesterday, and still suffering. Yesterday’s puzzle was a non-starter. I shall save it for a rainy day. Today’s Giovanni was its usual fun, though I was held up by 21d. I had it starting with an an ‘L’, because I managed to spell 21a with an ‘L’ in the middle!! It’s the way I say it. I’m not sure the head is connected to the rest of the body at the minute. Thank you Giovanni for today’s offering, and to Digby for the excellent review.

  27. A pleasant gentle solve sums it up for us. Good to see you back in the blogging chair Digby.
    Thanks Giovanni and Digby.

  28. A fairly gentle end to the week, perhaps ** for difficulty. Last one in was 25ac, which I sort of knew, but needed the wordplay to jog my memory.

  29. Tougher at the bottom than the top, but 1*/3* overall. 26a was my long-time favourite, but was pipped at the post by my last in – 23a. Thanks to the Don, and thanks and greetings to Digby – to a stovie from a pusser with a soft spot for the FAA!

  30. Thanks to Giovanni, this was right up my street, and thanks to Digby also as 26a and 20d held me up for a while. Started at breakfast but then had to go to the Apple Store with 6 month old IPod that had died. If you’ve been you’ll know that you are never in and out quickly, but at least they are replacing it with a new one…in about 5 days, so was later getting back than planned.

  31. Thought I’d pop in before getting some zzzztime. Has everyone gone on holiday without getting clearance from Kath? I only ask as there seem to be some absentees.

    A rather benign puzzle from Mr Manley, but enjoyable nonetheless. I’m torn between 17 & 23a as my favourites – so, as It’s now past midnight, I’ll nominate both of them. One for yesterday and one for today.

    Thanks to Mr Manley for the puzzle and to Digby for standing in at short notice with a lovely illustrated review. I love the pictures for 1 & 27a – surely a match :)

    You and Salty Dog should meet up at one of the soirees – as you’re both ex FAA. I will simply sneak up on you in my SSN.

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