DT 28209 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28209

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28209

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Killala in County Mayo, where we’re visiting my sister. Thanks to Tilsit for looking after the last two Fridays, while I was otherwise occupied.

Solving today’s Giovanni took me into *** time, though the fact that I was solving at the end of a day which involved 12 hours’ travelling may have had something to do with it.

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           Awful noise in part of garden separated off (9)
BRACKETED – A part of a garden where flowers or vegetables might be planted is wrapped around an awful noise. The definition is ‘separated off’ (like this).

9a           Valuable coin perhaps offered for food (7)
RAREBIT – Split (4,3) we have a word for scarce or valuable and an American word for a small coin. Put together we have toasted cheese.

Image result for rarebit

10a         Keeping gold inside the theatre (7)
STORAGE – The heraldic term for gold inside a generic word for the theatre.

11a         Unusable material was given label ‘Fifth grade’ (7)
WASTAGE – Put together WAS (from the clue), a label, and ‘fifth grade’ (where first grade is A).

12a         Financial funds revolutionary’s hidden in straw stupidly (3,6)
WAR CHESTS – Crosswordland’s favourite socialist revolutionary (plus the ‘s) is placed inside an anagram (stupidly) of STRAW.

14a         I am restricted by someone acting for another group of soldiers (8)
REGIMENT – The contracted form of ‘I am’, with the person who rules on behalf of an underage or incapacitated monarch wrapped around it.

15a         Spotted policeman outside front of library (6)
BLOBBY – An informal term for a policeman, derived from the name of the founder of the first police force, wrapped around the first letter of Library.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a         More inclined to fade into last position (7)
READIER – A word for the last position or back of something, wrapped around another word for ‘fade’, as in ‘fade out’.

20a         Never mind — these nasty creatures have been caught! (6)
VERMIN – I suppose this is a sort of all-in-one clue, in that the definition on its own is in the middle, but the whole clue also expresses why we don’t mind them being caught. The answer is hidden in the first two words.

23a         Go to the east of county in economic decline (8)
DOWNTURN – A county in the north of the island I’m writing from today, followed by ‘go’, as in ‘it’s your go’.

25a         A soldier clutching leg, sitting by grass fretting (9)
AGONISING – Put together A (from the clue), an American soldier wrapped around another word for the leg side at cricket, and a word for grass, squeal or inform.

26a         Market town showing success, tortoise-like (7)
WINSLOW – This is a market town in Cheshire Buckinghamshire (thanks to those commenters below who pointed out the error), and also the name of the protagonist in a play by Terence Rattigan. A success or gain is followed by ‘tortoise-like’.

27a         Something small and alive Robert fed to rodents (7)
MICROBE – Some small rodents are wrapped around a shortened form of Robert.

28a         No slate used in construction of sheds (4-3)
LEAN-TOS –  Anagram (used in construction) of NO SLATE.

29a         Great side involved in terrible events (9)
TRAGEDIES – Anagram (involved) of GREAT SIDES.


2d           Bar protecting a dry lock (3-4)
RAT-TAIL – A (from the clue) and dry, as in abstaining from alcohol, with a protective bar wrapped around it, giving an unpleasant hairstyle.

Image result for rat-tail

3d           Small growth on horse — hard bit of ear (7)
CORNCOB – A piece of hard skin on one’s foot, followed by a type of riding horse, giving us the hard bit of an ear of maize.

4d           In each part-song you find keenness of observation (5,3)
EAGLE EYE – Put together an abbreviation for ‘each’, a type of part-song sung by 3 or 4 voices, and an old word for ‘you’.

5d           Nod off in bad row seemingly (6)
DROWSE – Hidden in the clue.

6d           Alloy that is given to engineers for one form of support (9)
BRASSIERE – Put together an alloy of copper and zinc, the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’, and the initials of a 14a of engineers.

7d           Article trimmed with fabric, not one worn down (7)
ABRADED – The indefinite article followed by ‘trimmed with fabric’ with the I removed (not one).

8d           That heartless Etonian out to get recognition (9)
ATTENTION – Anagram (out) of T(ha)T (that heartless) and ETONIAN.

13d         I rush the wrong way — no good for commercial activity (7)
TRADING – Reverse (the wrong way) an expression meaning ‘I rush’ and add No Good.

15d         Woman at match we will put in gaol (9)
BRIDEWELL – The match is a marriage ceremony, and the woman is the female participant. Add a contracted from of ‘we will’ and you get an old word for a gaol.

16d         Savagery of British game that’s ending with Italy beaten (9)
BRUTALITY – Put together British, the initials of the game played by men with odd-shaped balls, the last letter (ending) of thaT, and an anagram (beaten) of ITALY.

18d         Time in closing of the day for equestrian sport (8)
EVENTING – Put Time inside the later part of the day.

19d         African rushed, carrying pale and sickly daughter (7)
RWANDAN – Put together ‘pale and sickly’ and Daughter, then wrap ‘rushed’ around it.

21d         Girl embarrassed to be showing Lancastrian hue (4-3)
ROSE-RED – A girl’s name followed by the colour she turned when embarrassed, giving the colour adopted by the Lancastrians in the civil war of the fifteenth century.

22d         Naughty Nigel, old boy held to be worthless (7)
IGNOBLE – Anagram (naughty) of NIGEL wrapped around the abbreviation for an old boy of a school.

24d         Least experienced artist heading towards America maybe (6)
RAWEST – The usual crossword artist followed by the direction you have to travel to get from the UK to America.

The Quick Crossword pun STORK + HEAPING = STORE KEEPING

54 comments on “DT 28209

  1. An enjoyable puzzle from the Don today which I found to be pretty tricky.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni ***/***

  2. After yesterday’s crossword which i wasted too much time on , i thought this was a fairly straightforward solve if a little tricky in places. So **/*** for me. Thanks DT but i didn’t need the hints.

  3. Early solve today as have golf matters to attend to.

    Started very slowly but suddenly it seemed to click. NE corner last. Enjoyable solve, as opposed to yesterday’s masochistically enjoyable challenge.

    A small point:I think the market town is in Bucks not Cheshire(had to Google to check the obvious) . Cheshire one is Wilmslow. In respect of 11a works also with “5th grade” being the 5th letter of grade.

    Thanks to setter & DT for hints.

  4. I’m getting quite au fait with this on = leg cricket thing and the African was no problem after the search we had for an African country in a recent puzzle, so today’s solve was relatively straightforward.
    My impression of DG is that he would be unlikely to use a word like 15a – just goes to show that you never can tell!
    Top two for me were 1a (my last in) and 14a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and also to DT – I think you’ve possibly confused your counties in the hint for 26a, must be all that travelling!

  5. An enjoyable challenge – easier than yesterday’s. I thought that the market town was in Cheshire, too.Thank you DT and the Don.

  6. Yes it was easier than yesterdays, but still challenging , so a ***/*** for me.
    Last in was 2d,the solution could not have been anything else and I assumed the ‘lock’ was hair, but the parsing eluded me until I read DT’S blog-thanks. Liked the wordplay of 27a.
    What will tomorrows be like ?

  7. I really enjoyed today’s, unlike yesterday’s which totally baffled me.
    Completed with a little electronic aid, but that’s usual for me.
    Because I completed it without resorting to the hints I was expecting a 2* for difficulty from DT so I’m really pleased to find a 3* rating from him.
    So it is 2.5* for difficulty and 3.5* for enjoyment
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  8. I think this may be the first Friday crossword that I have solved alone and unaided either by electronics or the hints.
    Took me a while to get started, but bashed on after getting 28a and 29a.

    Must be on the wavelength today…which is a relief after yesterday when I most definitely was not.

    Needed the hints for the parsing, though, so many thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter.

  9. Quite a straightforward solve for a Friday.
    Thought at one point that the market town was “Wantage” as these animals can live for so long. Made me laugh anyway and it would have gone so well with 11a.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  10. Greetings from slightly soggy North Cornwall what a change from yesterday lovely weather and a real teaser of a crossword, today dank, unlike today’s offering. Good word play got slightly hung up on 15d last one in 19d.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the Don.

  11. This taxed the old grey matter nicely. No real problem in the South but NW was a harder nut to crack. Needed DT help to parse 3d, 4d and 7d – thank you for that. Thanks Giovanni also for a delightful challenge. ***/***.

  12. I’d only driven from home to work but I too found this a smidge trickier than the usual Friday Giovanni.

    thanks to him and DT

  13. Ok but not my favourite Giovanni. I thought 17a and 28a were both weak and 4d far too wordy. Best clues for me were def 9a and 11a with the latter having the edge.
    For me ***/**
    Still a great relief after yesterday’s xxxxxxx!
    Thx to all

  14. Fair clueing made this tricky Giovanni emminently solvable I thought. Like others, the NW corner was the final part to give up its secrets. Lots to enjoy and a good workout for the grey cells. 27 across just my favourite of many, and 2.5*/3.5* overall.

    Many thanks to the Don and DT for his review.

  15. Average kind of difficulty and enjoyment for me today – the top right corner took the longest.
    I’ve never heard of the 26a market town even though it is, apparently, not far from us i.e. in the next county.
    Like Jane, today was possibly the first time that I’ve ever seen a leg and automatically thought ‘cricket’ and ‘on’ – feeling smug!
    I thought 19d sounded rather sad.
    I liked 16d and my favourite was 15a because it was a bit silly.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    I think the Toughie will be well out of my league so off up the garden.

  16. How could this be rated the same as yesterday’s? I thought it was nearer 1*. 17a was last one in and had to think about it before the penny dropped. 20a was my favourite as I didn’t spot it till late in.
    Thanks all

  17. This was so-so for me. Probably as a result of yesterday’s challenge admittedly. 25a was my fave and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Throat for his review.

  18. I actually had more trouble with this that with yesterday’s. No idea why. Anyway, I can’t find fault with the puzzle.

    My favourite clue is probably 20a. I could expand on the theme with the rodents in 27a (which small lifeforms can also cause 29a) and the one in 2d – which I really want to take some sharp scissors to!

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for taking the time during travels to bring us the blog.

  19. Struggled to get going but, like most, the Southern half went in fairly quickly with the NW corner the last in. ***/*** for me today. Thank to DG and DT.

  20. Like yesterday, the answers required coaxing out rather than falling into place, but it was somewhat more straightforward.

    Unlike Brian, I wish that all Giovanni backpagers were like this one, i.e. relatively obscurity-free and lacking religious references, as it makes for a far more satisfying solve in my opinion.

    Two clues stood out for me, 3d and 19d. I thought that in the latter clue the “and sickly” was superfluous and probably inserted purely for misdirection, as I’m sure “pale” on its own would have sufficed.

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

  21. Oh dear, struggling with this one today, a little better than yesterday, but definitely a *** difficulty for me. No excuse as I have been doing these DT cryptics for donkeys years, but yesterday and today would put me off if I was a newbie. Already resorted to Deep Threat’s helpful hints and discovered a new word for me in 15d. Mr. BL found a new definition in the Quickie, water-girt, so we have both learned something today, always good. Will have another stab at finishing later when brain cells might kick in.

  22. Much more doable than yesterday’s. Slow start, then clockwise from NE. Fell at 2d, guessing(wrongly), sea wall, so had to cheat. Finished steadily with a few more hints. Liked 15d,12a, 27a. 3*/4*. Many thanks to DT and setter.

  23. 1*/3* by my reckoning. For my favourite clue, I’m torn between 16d (which prompts me to welcome the return of Premiership Rugby and the inexorable rise of Exeter Chiefs) and 18d (in memory of Charley Farley – the noble chap who put up with my inept attempts to control his speed and direction around some rather daunting cross-country courses). Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

    1. As a Wasps supporter looking forward to the match at the Ricoh on Sunday, I rather hope the inexorable rise of the impressive Chiefs is delayed a week.

  24. This was much easier than yesterday, but Giovanni’s clues always seem so convoluted, but that’s just my opinion and I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. Thus, I needed the hints to understand some answers.
    I liked 26a because I enjoyed the Rattigan play, I had no idea there was a market town by that name. Don’t know what a market town is, so I’m going to google.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for his hints.

    1. Market town is a town allowed to have a market: term goes back to Middle Ages. Llandovery is one of the Welsh market towns.
      Bigsey had his annual check up: 2/3 kilos overweight. He is saying “diet” in Labrador BRB refers to what you eat not a food restriction.
      New Avatar: himself as a pup with Bella, our very fragile rescue dog (a now 7 year-old collie cross with hip dysplasia we think).

      1. Re market town: So Mr. Google said. I had heard the term so often but had no real idea what it was. A medævil town that was a focus for locals and farmers.

        Mr. Biggles was even cuter as a pup, if that’s possible. I believe you haven’t really lived until you’ve had a Labrador pup! But then, I’m prejudiced.

      1. Yes, that was the name of the family, I think. Robert Donat and Margaret Leighton from memory…

        1. The modern remake was a David Mamet movie, with Nigel Hawthorne as the father, Mamet’s wife Rebecca Pigeon as the daughter, and the very dishy Jeremy Northam as the lawyer. Good movie.

    1. Una … possibly the the longest link in living memory … but it works just fine!

      Killala Bay looks very nice!

  25. There seems to be a lot of criticism of other solvers today ; ” free speech and all that ” TBTG we are not all on the same wavelength. A much easier solve than yesterday , but tricky enough in places 17a still has me baffled grrrrr. Liked 25a and 16d Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  26. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Enjoyable, but a bit on the gentle side. After this week’s disasters at solving, my crossword mojo has been restored. After getting in a right muddle with 1a&2d, needed the hints, then I raced through the rest in no time. Favourite was 27a, was 3*/3* for me.

  27. Bottom all done, top half seems a bit of a mystery at the moment, persevering though, no hints so far…

    1. All done and a lovely relief after yesterday.
      Lovely clues, Giovanni’s crosswords seem to chime with me.
      I fell straight into the trap for 3d, spending ages dredging up distant biology lessons for the anatomy of the human ear!!! Well played Giovanni!!!
      Needed just a couple of hints, 4d as I could not parse, ‘glee’ is a new definition for me, and 9a as I didn’t really have a clue, as soon as the hint said split (4,3) I was ok.
      Thanks to DT and Giovanni, good weekend all, President’s Prize tomorrow, so hoping for good weather and a good score.

  28. We seemed to be very slow getting started on this one but eventually managed to get a toe hold and from then on it all smoothly fitted together. We got 26a from the wordplay alone but had no idea in what part of the country it might be. A quality puzzle that we always expect on a Friday.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  29. Good evening everybody.

    Another tricky puzzle but was able to complete, a welcome change after two heavy defeats. Thought 15a was rather poor. Favourite was 25a. Last in 7d. Upper end of three star time I think so


  30. I found this at the easier end of the Don’s range and quite straightforward, but enjoyed it nonetheless. 2*/3*
    Thanks to both Giovanni and DT.

  31. Took a while to get going but defeated by NW corner. Liked 19D and 15D. The original site of 15D is in the City of London then other gaols were given that generic name.

  32. Against the flow, I found this much harder than yesterday’s. Can’t imagine why people think this was easy or straightforward. Brain needs a rest I guess.

  33. Straightforward for a Friday, with no religious obscurities or overstretched synonyms. Marvellous. A jolly good, if short-lived struggle. Ta to the unneeded Pommers and the Don. Got to be up early to take middle son in for an operation 3*/3*

    1. Sounding more like your old self, TS. Nice to see. Hope middle son is OK – I should think a hospital is the last place you want to visit tomorrow!

  34. This was far too damn clever for its own good, the clue bracketed being a good example but agonising is probably the worst clue ever.

Comments are closed.