DT 28191

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28191

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun is making occasional appearances through the clouds. We’ve had a busy week looking after small granddaughter, so looking forward to handing over responsibility to our daughter when  she comes down after work.

I found today’s Giovanni to be on the gentle side, though I’m not entirely sure of the parsing of 18a.

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           The Parisian certainly quiet, being back in study (7)
PERUSAL – Put together one of the forms of the definite article in French, a word for ‘certainly’, and the musical symbol for quiet, then reverse the lot.

5a           Deceptive type, outspoken with little hesitation (7)
BLUFFER – Outspoken or plain-speaking, followed by a word expressing hesitation.

9a           Player representing America putting lots off (5)
GAMER – Hidden in the clue.

10a         Country area that CPRE won’t want houses on? (9)
GREENLAND – If the answer is split (5,4) you get something the CPRE wouldn’t want to see developed. Without the split, it’s a rather chilly country.

Image result for greenland flag

11a         Little fellow given sticking plaster maybe and sent packing (10)
DESPATCHED – A short form of a man’s name followed by a word expressing a hasty repair or dressing.

12a         Fancy an alternative source to mains water? (4)
WELL – Double definition: the first is an exclamation.

14a         Performer giving recent ballad a new twist (6-6)
BALLET-DANCER – Anagram (giving … a new twist) of RECENT BALLAD.

18a         A group’s No. 13 being played? Something to raise the dead! (3,4,5)
THE LAST TRUMP – The definition refers to the instrument which will be sounded to raise the dead to the Last Judgement, in the Bible story. I think that the wordplay refers to the 13th card of a particular suit at bridge or whist.

21a         Sweet idiot (4)
FOOL – Double definition, the first being a summer dessert.

Image result for gooseberry fool

22a         Partner‘s requirement after beer has been sent back? (6,4)
BETTER HALF – If you send your beer back as undrinkable, you will be asking for an improved pint or …

25a         At back of the science room speak to give more details (9)
ELABORATE – Put together the last letter (back of) of thE, a short form of the room where scientists work, and a word for speak (in public).

26a         Chemical experimenter wasting time initially (5)
ESTER – Remove the first letter of Time (wasting time initially) from a word describing someone carrying out experiments, and you get an organic chemical.

27a         Report of walks in grassy areas (7)
STEPPES – These grassy areas cover much of Russia and Central Asia, and are a homophone (report of) of a word for ‘walks’.

Image result for steppes

28a         Wobbly stranger beginning to yawn by end of road (7)
DODDERY – Start with a word for stranger or more peculiar, add the first letter of Yawn, then put the result next to the last letter of roaD.


1d           Dad clutching an idol in temple (6)
PAGODA – An informal word for Dad or father wrapped around a phrase (1,3) meaning ‘an idol’.

Image result for pagoda

2d           Reason a boy dumped girl — being thoughtless (6)
REMISS – Remove a phrase meaning ‘a boy’ from RE(a son), then add a way of addressing a young girl.

3d           Chivalrous fellow has a girl, a fantastic little daughter (3,7)
SIR GALAHAD – Anagram (fantastic) of HAS A GIRL A, followed by Daughter.

4d           Reason officer turns up to grab soldier (5)
LOGIC – Reverse (turns up) the abbreviated title of a senior regimental officer, then wrap the result around a US soldier.

5d           Yeoman having drink, embracing English achievement (9)
BEEFEATER – An alcoholic drink is wrapped around English and an achievement, giving a familiar term for the Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London.

Image result for beefeater

6d           From what we hear, is paid pots (4)
URNS – These pottery vessels sound like (we hear) ‘is paid’.

7d           Lover meeting sergeant maybe for a dance (8)
FLAMENCO – A word for a lover, usually found in conjunction with ‘old’ to denote a former lover, followed by the generic term for sergeants, corporals and the like.

8d           Type of warning altered possibly after first sign of rain (3,5)
RED ALERT – Anagram (possibly) of ALTERED, placed after the first letter of Rain.

13d         One helping to get rid of a lot, CEO seen as a shark (10)
HAMMERHEAD – A tool which helps an auctioneer to sell a lot, followed by a CEO or other top boss of an organisation.

Image result for hammerhead shark

15d         Church members can be real nuts, terribly hard inside (9)
LUTHERANS – Anagram (terribly) of REAL NUTS, with Hard inserted.

16d         Members of firm about to set up in Midlands county (8)
STAFFERS – Reverse the Latin word for about or concerning and insert it into a West Midlands county (the one where this blogger comes from).

17d         Miserable miss upset and hugged by boyfriend? (8)
DESOLATE – Start with a four-letter word for ‘miss’ or ‘mislay’, reverse it, then wrap around it a word for a boyfriend, girlfriend, or the occasion when one takes the other out.

19d         Famous Frenchman wanting some of his art recognised (6)
SARTRE – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for sartre

20d         A loud and totally heartless father always in a fight (6)
AFFRAY – Put together A (from the clue), the musical symbol for loud, F(athe)R (totally heartless father), and a two-letter poetic word for always.

23d         The unwanted plant in Yorkshire river (5)
TWEED – How a Yorkshireman might say ‘the’, followed by how a Yorkshireman or anyone else might describe an unwanted plant.

24d         Old Bob, oldie in a TV series (4)
SOAP – The abbreviation (from ‘solidus’) for the old coin known as a bob, followed by the three-letter acronym for someone receiving the State Pension.

The Quick Crossword pun BERTHED + HAZE = BIRTHDAYS


  1. George
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    All straightforward except 18a which was new to an unbeliever like me! I had never heard of this reference before although I suppose it is timely with what is happening in the US.

    2*/3* would be right, I would say.

  2. Brian
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Bit tougher than ** for me but **** for enjoyment. Struggled a little with 3D trying to make fantastic a part of the clue instead of the anagram indicator!
    Not very keen on 8d, bit tricksy for my liking but loved 6d. Never come across the phrase in 18a before, so thanks Google.
    Thx to all

  3. Bluesking
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Liked 23d setter must be a Barry Cryer fan.16d is surely an Americanism?.As a fully paid up atheist myself I am surprised about people not knowing 18a.What about Handel’s Messiah?

    • George
      Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Not everyone listens to Handel either, you know.

  4. Miffypops
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52

    “But concerning that day or hour no one knows–not even the angels in heaven nor the Son–except the Father”. Mark. 13.32

    So we had all better behave ourselves then.

    Nice puzzle. Ta to all. see you on Monday.

  5. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    For 18a we initially thought that it might be a triple definition with the answer being a band we did not know. We could not find one with Google so decided that group simply refers to a suit of cards.
    Agree that it was a gentle and pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  6. Jane
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry to say that there was rather a lot in this that I didn’t enjoy – 11,18&26a plus 16&23d along with the old chestnut at 21a and the very obvious anagram at 14a.
    Don’t think I’m just having a bad day – I did have ticks for 22a plus 7d!

    Apologies to DG and thanks to DT – particularly for making some sort of sense out of 18a.

  7. pete
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Fairly straight forward, but I’ve never heard of 18a before either. I got 23d but wouldn’t have understood the clue without DT’s explanation. 2.5*/2.5* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  8. Spook
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Found this quite difficult 10a threw for a while as I had green belt finally the penny dropped and NE fell I only place.
    Favourite 18a.
    Thanks Deep Threat and Giovanni

  9. Angel
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Amazing what a good night’s sleep will do – I felt no pain with the task Giovanni set us here so thank you for that and DT for your hints for which I didn’t in fact have a need today. Amongst others I liked 18a and 7d. I agree that 16d must be an Americanism – I don’t recall having heard it used this side of the Pond. Having celebrated a big ‘O’ this week I like the Quickie jeu de mots. **/***.

  10. Jerome
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this very difficult. In the time I have normally nearly finished the crossword, I had just one clue written in. *****/_ for me today.

  11. bluesking
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    When I was at school, in the middle of the last century and was a boy soprano in the school choir we used to perform bits of Messiah at the Christmas concert accompanied on the piano by the organist from the local priory church who was our music teacher. Don’t kids do anything like that any more?

  12. Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was in great need of an early night last night – so naturally I went out at silly o’clock to watch some meteors streaking across the sky. :roll:

    Maybe it was just that then, but I’m inclined to agree with Jane (except that I rather liked 23d). And difficulty-wise, I found this at least average for a back pager.

    All pleasant enough; my little mehs are of no consequence. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT. Have a lovely weekend, all you lovely people out there. :bye:

  13. Young Salopian
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very pleasant puzzle from the Don today. A good mixture of clue types and nothing too obscure. 18 across my favourite, and no objection to 16 down. 2*/3* seems to be about right overall, so thanks Giovanni and DT.

  14. Bluebird
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Re 18a, being a singer and vaguely aware that there are 13 cards in a hand (although my OH is the bridge player in our house), I found the answer just popped into place. What a flourish of a clue!
    It reminds me of my grandfather who always used that term for flatulence of the downward variety……

    The NW corner wore me out though – that naughty little lurker at 10a, the big misdirection at 2d and the fact that I insisted on putting tons (tuns) at 5a made this a 2/3* difficulty for me.
    Thanks to DT and G.

    • Rob
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      Now I know a trumpet can also be called a trump. I wonder what your grandfather would have made of our Donald!

  15. jean-luc cheval
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found it quite hard and wasn’t helped by thinking that the answer to 18a was “the last waltz” and “dithery” for 28a. Both of which I couldn’t parse.
    Not my best day for crosswords as I am having a lot of trouble with the toughie too.
    Nice to see the old chestnut in 7d.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for review.

  16. Ivor white
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Old Ivor
    I am finding the odd clue eludes me now . I quite often used tp post 7 correct answers for the week but at 83 my percentage is dropping. It is frustrating as you will realise, but I do still get .the kick out of trying.

  17. Toadson
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m in tune with Jerome today it seems. I found this difficult, but did enjoy it once done. Thanks to the Don and DT.

  18. Kath
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this really tricky – at least 4* difficulty for me.
    I totally missed the 9a lurker so, although I got the answer, had no idea as to why.
    Started off with ‘greenbelt’ for 10a which didn’t help much with 7 or 8d but sorted that out.
    I never did get 18a – never heard of it at all – can’t really do the Bible, bridge, whist or Handel.
    Never heard of 16d either although it is in the BRB without any mention of its being an Americanism as suggested by others.
    15d was my last answer and I only got it at the last minute having come in to cool off from the very hot sun on our veggie patches.
    Not my best day for the crossword – oh well – too bad.
    I quite liked 22a and 13d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Back to the weeding now . . .

    • Jose
      Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ah thee from Yorksheer, duck? Tha must keep t’weeds down o’ they’ll teck o’er!

  19. Vancouverbc
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not my cup of tea although not sure why. Missed the lurker in 9a which niggled me and generally found this hard work. I’m putting this down to Michael Phelps who as probably the greatest Olympian of all time is just so irritating when on camera. Other than that I was probably being thick today. Thanks to all.

  20. LetterboxRoy
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Rather mundane for me, I’m afraid. Most clues were kind of ok, but not keen on the religious references or 16d.

    The old idea of these being steadily harder as the week progresses seems to be gone.

    **/** Thanks to all.

  21. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like some others struggled & then needed 3 hints to finish. I seemed to be on red wavelength whilst setter was on blue. For some reason I seem to miss the fairly obvious on Fridays. Even missed 27a at first & that came up recently I think.
    Very enjoyable but feel “could do better” would sum things up. Thanks to setter & DT.

    • Merusa
      Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, look at Biggles Boy! He looks very much like my dear late Megan, whose name was chosen during a very boozey session at a pub called The Ram in Lampeter. It was decided she must have a Welsh name.

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted August 13, 2016 at 12:20 am | Permalink | Reply

        I like your idea of remembering past companions via avatars.I will have to dig into my libraries sometime.
        Hope the brace is helping with the back pain. Guess you were none too happy with 18a. Probably the source of your lack of enthusiasm – it was Freudian.
        Amazing he even gets publicity in the DT. Perhaps the answer should have been “The last straw”. He probably is now for GOP grandees.

  22. Gwizz
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t think today’s offering was as good as the Friday crosswords normally are. But then again, it’s probably just me…. I quite liked 1a and 27a too but nothing really stood out for me so overall I think 2/3*.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  23. mre
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good evening everybody.

    After a decent run over the last couple of weeks this puzzle proved beyond me with 18, 26 and 27a and 24d unsolved. 26a was cear enough from the clue but I didn’t know the word. Should have solved 27a and, perhaps, 24d. 18a I would not have been able to solve although the solution was one of the many combinations considered.


  24. Carolyn and Bill Morgan
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We would like to point out that the Tweed is not on Yorkshire!

    • Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No-one said it was. The Yorkshire bit is the T’ – described in Chambers as a Northern English dialect form of THE – hence T’WEED is how a Yorkshireman might say THE WEED. You do have to read clues like this carefully.

      • Kath
        Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Sorry BD – you beat me to it.

    • Kath
      Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Don’t worry – you are, of course, absolutely right.
      The definition for 23d is river – any old river would do. In this case it is the Tweed. The clue is mocking the fact that people in Yorkshire tend to say ‘T’ rather than ‘the’ – that ‘T’ is then followed by an unwanted plant or a plant in the wrong place – in my garden they’re nettles, brambles and, above all, ground elder.
      Welcome from me.

  25. Jon_S
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    About average difficulty for a Friday I thought. A little difficulty on 18ac at the end, but the rest went in fairly steadily. I wanted to put LAY….. in for 15d for too long, until it became clear it wasn’t going to happen.

  26. Merusa
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    (Hang head in shame): I solved the top half and a few in the bottom, but I didn’t find it inspiring and gave up eventually. I don’t like to comment negatively, but in this case it was so ho-hum I felt I had to be honest.
    I liked 7d.thanks to setter and to DT for unravelling this.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      New avatar may cheer you a little .As you see he is more magnolia than yellow.

      • Merusa
        Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

        See my post to you Above!

  27. Sheffieldsy
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2*/3* so in complete agreement with DT.

    Favourite was 2d for the penny-drop moment when we understood the parsing.

    Thanks to DT and to Giovanni.

  28. BusyLizzie
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found parts of this tough, and never heard of 18a phrase. Surely 14a is second time this week? Would never have come with bluff = outspoken, but frank did not work. A mixed bag, but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks DT for the hints.

  29. silvanus
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A slightly unusual comment today – firstly I’m much later on parade than usual after attending the Test Match today, and secondly this is something of a joint Rabbit Dave/Silvanus effort, as the former is now wending his way westwards, I believe. It was a great pleasure to spend most of the lunch interval together and chew the cruciverbalistic fat :-)

    RD felt this contained a little more fun than a normal Giovanni backpager, and I’m fully in agreement, especially as the delightful 23d was one of my first answers in. RD’s favourite vote went to 18a, although it was a new phrase to me and my LOI. My favourite was 13d, I thought it was very clever. 22a cropped up for the second time this week, we both thought today’s clue was better than Rufus’s on Monday.

    Many thanks from the two of us to Mr. Manley and to Deep Threat, and a good weekend to all.

  30. Salty Dog
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, I liked 13d too. Overall, 1*/3.5* seems about right. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  31. jan
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bringing up the rear yet again, but I really enjoyed this, especially after yesterday’s. Much more attainable for a beginner. Very nearly got it, but, as with so many others, 18d was out of my league. Thank you to setter and reviewer.

  32. Karen
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love the pun in 23D. Couldn’t get 18A so thanks for putting me out of my misery!

  33. Jaylegs
    Posted August 12, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yesterday I managed to complete, today I was stumped 😥 ****/** it’s a lot like golf! Thanks to DT for the excellent hints 👍 There were a lot of clues above my pay grade but I did like 1a & 10a 😊 Thanks to Giovanni for a difficult puzzle

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 12:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Am I the only one to notice that it’s the second time this week that we had the answer to 22a? Doing the down clues first meant I avoided the Green Belt trap ( although that much abused stretch of land that Tories who don’t live there want to build houses on is two words and the clue only asked for one). 18a was my top trump (geddit?). Thanks to all concerned. Only 15 hours to go before the start of proper sport – COYS! 2*/3*

  35. Jose
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    The best of the week by a fair margin. Quite difficult and very enjoyable. 3*/4*

    • Jose
      Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      PS. 18a: I was convinced that the answer was THE LAST DRUMS. But I thought I’d check under Last in the BRB – and there it was, the correct phrase…

  36. judetheobscure
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    I found this tricky but I got there in the end – without fully understanding 18a and 24d. As Messiah is an essential part of Christmas, I was gaily singing that aria when the penny dropped that it was indeed the answer! Now I must resist singing it for fear of giving away the answer to Mr.Obscure who completes the crossword independently :)
    Didn’t like 16d but 3*/3* overall.
    Favourites 23d and 1a.

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