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DT 28185

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28185

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a fine August day.

Giovanni is in a fairly ecclesiastical mode today, with three Down clues in the first five having churchy connotations – as does the Quick Crossword pun. It felt reasonably difficult while I was doing it, but I still finished in just under *** time

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           Type of politician feared, awful heel (10)
FEDERALIST – Anagram (awful) of FEARED, followed by ‘to heel’, as a ship might.

6a           Counterpart gets work one way and another (4)
OPPO – Put together the Latin abbreviation for a musical work and the reverse of the same abbreviation.

9a           Frame no bother, finishing with fifty (5)
EASEL – A state of relaxation (no bother) followed by the Roman numeral for fifty.

Image result for easel

10a         Vexed soldiers, if about to get caught in this? (9)
CROSSFIRE – Start with a word for vexed or angry and the initials of a regiment of the British Army often found in crosswords. Then reverse IF (from the clue) and put it between the two.

12a         Noises from bats (7)
RACKETS – Double definition, the second being the bats used by tennis or squash players.

13a         Give out old books to everybody (5)
ALLOT – Another word for ‘everybody’ followed by the initials denoting the books in the earlier part of the Bible.

15a         Gin to be thrown into river? There’s a bridge here! (7)
AVIGNON – Anagram (thrown) of GIN placed inside the name of one of several British rivers. The bridge, however, is in France and may be danced upon.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a         Wise person restricting foreign nobleman, a cad? (7)
SEDUCER – A wise person who can foretell the future, wrapped around a French nobleman.

19a         Horrible person making first day back at work severe, no end? (7)
MONSTER – The first day of the working week (abbreviated), followed by a word for severe missing its final letter.

21a         Leader of Society meeting Queen, loathsome and obsequious (7)
SERVILE – Put together the first letter (leader) of Society, the regnal cypher of our Queen, and a word for loathsome.

22a         We must shelter in group about to get drier (5)
TOWEL – The definition here is a noun, not a comparative adjective. Reverse (about) another word for a group, and wrap it around WE (from the clue).

24a         Quiet sports official has wonderful introductory words (7)
PREFACE – Put together the musical symbol for quiet, a short form of the word for the man in charge of a football or rugby match, and an informal word for wonderful or super.

27a         Dramatic artist rolling over and not getting up? (9)
ARRESTING – Reverse (rolling over) the usual crossword artist, then add a word for what you’re doing if you stay in bed.

28a         Muck is dreadful, coming to middle of field (5)
GRIME – Another word for dreadful or depressing, followed by the middle letter of field.

29a         A party’s making a comeback — it creates a bit of a splash (4)
SODA – Put together A (from the clue), a party, and the ‘S from the clue, then reverse the lot.

Image result for soda syphon

30a         People talking on street — they hesitate in speech (10)
STUTTERERS – The abbreviation for STreet followed by a word describing people talking or making statements.


1d           Consider little female a slippery type (4)
FEEL – An abbreviation for Female followed by a notoriously slippery fish.

2d           See one stride out in act of abandonment (9)
DESERTION –Anagram (out) of ONE STRIDE.

3d           Priest in Catholic Church, a bit of a saint from the past? (5)
RELIC – An Old Testament priest who often appears in crosswords, with the letters denoting a member of the Roman Catholic church wrapped around him.

4d           Stand in front of a congregation? (7)
LECTERN – This is the stand which may hold the book from which a reading is given in church.

5d           Piousness sadly lacking in partners (7)
SPOUSES – Anagram (sadly) of P(i)OUS(n)ESS without the letters of IN (lacking in).

7d           Some morphia left in bottle (5)
PHIAL – Hidden in the clue.

8d           Ruder one involved with TV creating upset (10)
OVERTURNED – Anagram (involved) of RUDER ONE and TV.

11d         Person surrounded by sea, not the first to drag through the mud (7)
SLANDER – Start with a word for someone who lives on a piece of land entirely surrounded by sea, then remove the first letter.

14d         Types spotted at Crufts? (10)
DALMATIANS – Cryptic definition of some dogs noted for their spotted coats.

Image result for dalmatian

16d         Plants observed going up round dry lake (7)
NETTLES – Reverse (going up, in a Down clue) a word for ‘observed’, then insert the letters indicating dry, as in no alcohol, and an abbreviation for Lake.

Image result for nettle

18d         Tree with inadequate heat, we hear, getting to languish (5,4)
CHILE PINE – The first word is the name of a South American country which sounds like (we hear) it’s not very warm. The second word means to languish or long for.

Image result for chile pine

20d         Material isn’t to get varnish again? (7)
REPAINT – A corded material mainly seen in crosswords followed by an informal form of ‘isn’t’.

21d         Juggling trick that’s an insult to the audience (7)
SLEIGHT – This word for a trick, usually seen in the phrase ‘—- of hand’ is a homophone (to the audience) of an insult or snub.

23d         Like some bras making group of women angry? (5)
WIRED – The women’s group noted for jam and Jerusalem followed by the colour they turn when you say that jam and Jerusalem is all they’re about.

25d         Perspective of immigrant from many centuries ago (5)
ANGLE – Double definition, the second being one of the chaps who came over with the Saxons and Jutes.

26d         Bad German in game about to be sent off (4)
HESS – Remove the Latin abbreviation for about or approximately from the front of a well-known board game, and you get the name of a Nazi leader who flew to Britain in 1941, and later spent many years in Spandau prison.

Image result for rudolf hess

The Quick Crossword pun SACRA + MEANT + ALI = SACRAMENTALLY

80 comments on “DT 28185

  1. 3.5*/2*. Once again I found this Friday puzzle rather uninspiring and a few clues needed some teasing out taking my time to over my 3* mark. Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  2. Back on the road again after yesterday’s disaster 😛 But still needed hints for 5d, 26d so ***/*** Liked 22a & 17a 😀 Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for a nice blog 😎

  3. Thought it was going to be harder as first reading didn’t yield much but progressed quite well.
    Last one in was the bad German in 26d.
    Nice to see Araucaria in 18d and happy to hear that DT knows the song in 17a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Every English person knows only two French songs JLC. We are forced to sing Sur La Pont Davignon from nursery school onwards. Once mastered we consider ourselves fluent in French. Je Ne Regret Rien is the other song we know. I know not why.

              1. You can find one of the earliest recorded mentions of Frère Jacques in the backing vocals of this No 1 UK hit in 1966:

                I didn’t realise just how much influence the French had on The Beatles. Thank you, Jean-Luc.

      1. Although I know Je ne regret rien, I only picked it up later in life.
        The second song that all children sing in school, as far as I am concerned(!), is Alouette.

    2. I learnt ‘Bee bee brebis noir’ at school, but can’t find it anywhere in search engines. ‘Brebis’ seems to have been replaced by ‘mouton’.

    1. I agree but have to say that not having given it much thought I had stupidly parsed it as women ired rather than via the Women’s Institute!

      1. Not stupidly Angel. I got it that way but that makes the word group redundant or unnecessary.

      2. A good cryptic clue contains three elements:
        a precise definition
        a fair subsidiary indication
        nothing else


      3. So did I – had I been doing the hints I suppose I might have thought a bit more and wondered about the group of women – but I didn’t!

    2. I think you can refer to a spot or a wound which is red as looking ‘angry’ but I would think it is probably a bit old-fashioned.
      I also read it as w + ired.

  4. Like RD, I found this one somewhat uninspiring but it didn’t cause any problems once I’d remembered the correct name for a Monkey Puzzle tree.
    No real obscurities but no particular stand-out clues to nominate as favourite.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT for the review.
    PS The Elkamere is proving to be a whole different ball game!

  5. Took a while to get going, not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I needed the hint to understand 5d and couldn’t get the tree in 18d, never heard of it. 3.5*/3.5*. Many thanks to both Giovanni and DT.

  6. My only trouble with this was carelessly misspelling 14d, which meant that 27a had to wait until I’d thought to double-check all the crossers and so was my last in.

    I seemed to be drawn to the less pleasant ones today. I don’t have any firm favourites, but quite liked 19a and 21a, as well as others.

    I didn’t realise that 18d was the same as our renowned monkey puzzle.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT. I only knew the title, not the words, of the 15a song which is familiar as one of the standard demo songs on electric keyboards. So thanks for that too, and also the funny hint for 23d.

  7. I must be having another thick day , I needed too many hints and to be honest , I got a bit bored.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  8. Galloped off at the start but then faced a few hurdles which slowed the pace and the SW corner was the trickiest bit. DT seems well informed on ladies’ lingerie! Needed help with 18d, the name of which was not familiar to me but it now has my vote as Fav for amusement value together with 14d. TVM Giovanni and DT. ***/***.

  9. In 23d, I took “red” to mean “angry” in the sense of “inflamed,” as an “angry” rash,say. I thought it was an OK crossword. Fair but lacking inspiration

  10. A sprint start and a slow stroll finish. Having solved at 8.00am I had largely forgotten most of this puzzle until reading DTs excellent hints at midday. The tree was the last one in and truly puzzled this monkey. Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Play nicely children. I will see you all on Monday.

    1. I like your analogy MP.
      In my case, I would describe it as like walking on hot coals – absolutely fine until you slowed down or stopped – then you got burnt…..

      In my case it was two In the NE that caused the braking and 18d that caused the blister- I’d heard of the monkey puzzle and its Latin name but not the other term. Therefore, despite having got the first word, the second defeated me.

      Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  11. This seems to have taken me quite a long time but I was doing it in dribs and drabs in between doing other things so don’t know really.
    I did spend too long on 12a thinking that I’d never heard a bat make a noise – oh dear.
    I also dithered for a little while about the ending of 30a.
    Completely missed the anagram indicator in 5d so that was my last answer with 26d being only just ahead of it.
    I liked 1 and 12a and 4 and 18d (there’s an absolutely enormous 18d in the Oxford University Parks – goodness knows how old it must be). My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Re your post of last night Kath I also have missed Merusa for the last week or so.

  12. visited Avignon many years ago with my then young family. My daughter danced on the bridge as she had sung the song at school. Unfortunately we couldn’t cross the ‘pont’ as it had collapsed in the middle. When I sang the song as a child, I thought it meant that lions danced on the bridge but later found out it meant ‘there one dances’. My version is much better.

  13. SE corner toughest just couldn’t dredge up 21d for some unknown reason. Was put off by juggler as opposed to conjuror. Guessed at Hess but DT hint shows explanation should have occurred to me.
    Favourite 14d with picture hint – though they won’t look so cute 2 years down the road.
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for hints

  14. I also enjoyed the reference to Araucaria and the bad German raised a chuckle.

    Like everyone else the bridge conjured up the song immediately.

    Many thanks DT and Giovanni

  15. LH side went in first then a bit of a short tussle for the other half. No real problems and fairly enjoyable. 17 across a favourite and 2*/3* overall. Thanks to the Don and DT.

    Any feelings of being uninspired by the puzzle are offset by the usual high standard set by Giovanni. Everyone is allowed an off day.

  16. Finished this in A&E while my wife was having a red hot wire plunged into her thumbnail. Home now and the trauma has resulted in us having to have a glass of wine with our lunch. At least she can hold it now with less pain.
    I thought today’s was a bit ploddy but always enjoy when I can finish it. 27a was last 1 in and not helped by spelling 14d with an O. Live and learn. Back to Monday’s now 🤔.
    Thanks all.

    1. Oh no – that is SO painful – I had it done when I was eighteen – my sister shut my fingers in the hinges of a car door – they were also broken (the fingers not the hinges of the car door) – I’d started my nursing training three months earlier and was off sick for six weeks – almost long enough to mean that I had to qualify later.
      Please give my sympathy to your wife – treat her gently and give her at least one more glass of wine.
      A :rose: for your wife.

  17. Very slow start and feared it was another Thursday challenge. However, a few anagrams and the spotted dogs got me going. Last in was 18d – wasn’t the proper name also a Guardian crossword setters nom de plume? Thanks to all. Have a good weekend.

  18. More enjoyable than last Friday, even allowing for the surfeit of ecclesiastical references.

    There were quite a few reversals in evidence in the across clues, so not a total surprise I suppose that “about” was repeated as an indicator in both 10a and 22a. The best clue today for me was 6a, simple but a nice surface.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

  19. I’ve only ever known monkey puzzle trees as Araucaria, as I used to have a house plant that I was surprised to discover was related to the tree (which a neighbour had in the front garden).

    I also filled in 14d too quickly and, like G put in o instead of a. Never heard of 6a. Dyslexia moment today was putting in two t’s at the end of 12a, and needed the hint (well, cheat actually) for 26d. And I put in Arun for the river at 15a. D’oh! Apart from that I did OK.

    4d & 11d are worth a mention, but not applause… so I’ll go with ***/**

    Thanks to all as ever.

  20. I did not get off to a good start so I put the paper down and cut the grass. I poured a beer everything began to fall in to place. I made the same spelling mistake on 14d and for a time had a wrong word in 10a – combative. I needed help for 1d.

    I enjoy the precise use of words by the setters and the contributors to this blog. You may like to read my letter to the Editor that he decided not to publish today.


    Dear Sir

    In recent weeks The Telegraph has referred to the Jutland Peninsular, construction sights, principal for principle, and vice versa. Today’s Bridge Column invented a new word, sluffed, instead of sloughed. A news item today referred to a town in Scotland as Sterling. Surely there are suitable checking programs for your Copytakers and Sub-Editors?

    1. I have also noticed a surfeit of typos and similar over the last few weeks. On one occasion I decided to proofread the paper and counted 14 errors before I got bored – and exasperated.

    2. I am sure that I saw Bob Dylan in a town called Stirling at the castle. July 13th 2001.

    3. I’ve noticed it for several months. You do right to complain. Poor show from the Telegraph.

    4. Many errors in our local paper, even in the headlines, I used to keep such pages and see if our young grandchildren could spot the mistakes. They could of course, but I thought the Telegraph was made of better stuff. Apparently not.

    5. It’s what happens when you fire nearly all your sub-editors. If current trends continue, by next month The Times will have overtaken the Telegraph’s circulation. It is employing several redundant DT subs. When I joined the DT in 1983, the circulation was well over a million. Now it’s less than half that and, like The Guardian, does not seem to understand that people won’t buy it if they can can read it online for nothing.

    1. Because it’s what we’ve all come to expect on Fridays. Once you know this you’re aware of it which means that you look out for them and have bit of a head start – other Friday specials are music (classical or churchy but not modern or pop) and sport, often cricket.
      All the setters have their trademark clues.

  21. Not one of Mr Manley’s best in my opinion. Rattled through the first half then like nearly everyone it seems I slowed down and in my case eventually crawled to a finish with the Bad German. I quite liked this clue and also the Crufts one, 14d.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for his review.

  22. I found this a steady solve, **/***, but couldn’t get 26 d for the life of me. Had to resort to the hint for this. Dumkopf !!!

    Thanks to setter and DT.

    Such a luxury to find the grid on the back page today, no pen poking through the paper !

  23. I’m teaching myself to do cryptics so find all of your work invaluable, thank you. Loved your hint for 23d :)

    1. Welcome from me too.
      I’ve been doing cryptic crosswords for a long time and do alternate (roughly) Thursday hints on this blog. Husband is just beginning to try to learn how to do them too – it’s all a bit of a battle . . .

      1. After eons watching me attempt the cryptic hubby started doing the quick one a few months ago and often helps me when I get stuck. Really helps to swap crosswords back and forth too.

    2. I am sure that I saw Bob Dylan in a town called Stirling at the castle. July 13th 2001.

  24. Like others, I found this not too difficult but rather uninspiring, I got the first half of the tree but had to google to find the second word and I’m not entirely sure it is the same as the monkey puzzle but I haven’t double checked.
    Can’t get Sur Le Pont d’Avignon out of my head now, from a previous crossword I think this is called an ear worm …….
    Thanks to setter and DT

  25. Unusually for Friday, I finished this in double quick time and with no quibble over any of the cluing. Like several others I did parse 23d as w + ired.
    1*/3* for me.
    Favourite 10a.

  26. A pretty rapid solve, with a little thought needed at the end on 1ac, 5d and 14d. For the former I had all but the last 3 letters for a long time but couldn’t think for the life of me what the rest could be. Doh. 14d is obvious once you spotted it ;-) , but the answer felt decidedly cryptic for an age. 5d I spent too long trying to remove bridge partners from the anagram fodder, convinced it was an &lit.

  27. PS did manage Ray T yesterday. I have been doing crosswords everyday but being short of time have not commented. Found Giovanni today a delight although I had initial doubts working up and down I suddenly realised that I had finished. Loved the spotty dogs but my absolute favourite has to be the bridge. Have a nice weekend, Southwold heaving with people so staying at home.

    1. My my. Is this the same person who used to retreat under the stairs with boxes of tissues who felt she would never unravel the mysteries that lay within cryptic crossword clues? Well done Hilary. You will have put a smile on every bloggers lips with that comment.

  28. It all went together smoothly for us apart from our self-imposed delay from misspelling 14d. A pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  29. I finished in 2* time but relied on inspired “bung-ins” in a few places, rather than logical deconstruction of the clues. On balance, then 3*/3* seems fair. Ta to Giovanni and DT.

  30. Not used this site before. So much better having clues explained instead of just getting answers.
    As DT readers it must always be Pont d’Avignon not Pont Davignon!
    Jolies tambours?

  31. Found this fairly gentle and reasonably rapid, so 1.5*/2.5*.

    Favourite was 10a, a lovely all-in-one.

    Thanks to DT for the review and Mr Manley.

  32. Got on much better with this one. But still needed some hintage for such as 21d and 26d. The latter is very clever. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the setter.

  33. Late in today as had to leave before breakfast to take daughter and grandson to ortho as she had broken her foot. Then took them to Apple Store where she valiantly waited for 3 hours to get grandson’s iPad fixed while tottering around on crutches. Home for tea and crossword which was slow at first, then started to make sense, before slowing and needing DT’s help, thanks! Never knew real name of monkey puzzle tree.

  34. Straightforward and quite fun, and certainly not at the head-banging end of the Don’s challenges. 10a and 26d (my LOI) cross the line together in the favourite stakes. 1*/3*
    Ta to DT and the Don

  35. Brilliant puzzle. Seems I liked it more than most. I did yesterday on the beach with one eye (other eye watching grandchildren). I circled too many favourites to mention them all. For example I liked 4d for its simplicity and 14d for fun. I was in good company with the 2 Kiwis and others in spelling it incorrectly. I scratched my head for sometime and went through every combination of letters to find 27a until the penny finally dropped. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat – although did not need the hints.

  36. The Don and I must have been shot from the same gun-barrel as I always seem to click right in with his puzzles.
    I did not know the tree in 18d, and spelt 21d wrong but apart from that a worthy effort. Very pleased, especially after Ray-T’s disaster yesterday.
    Many thanks DT for the great hints, favourite clue was 1a, I liked the use of ‘heel’.
    Thanks to the Don also….

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