DT 28221 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28221

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28221

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp,grey morning – though we seem to have escaped the storms that have been reported in parts of the country.

Some bits of General Knowledge needed to sort out the parsing of some of the clues in today’s Giovanni, with, I suspect, the nun in 5a likely to give trouble. The answers, however, are not obscure words and solvers should be able to cope.

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           Inside tunnel see silver plant (6)
BORAGE – Put the chemical symbol for silver inside a verb meaning ‘to tunnel’.

Image result for borage

5a           Theologian has ensnared Eastern nun, it’s revealed (8)
DECLARED – The letters after the name of someone with a higher degree in theology are wrapped around Eastern and a member of an order of Franciscan nuns named after their founder St Clare.

9a           Inventor jolts lab containers (4,4)
BELL JARS – The surname of the inventor of the telephone followed by ‘jolts’.

Image result for bell jar

10a         Writing favoured by top man (6)
INKING – A two-letter word for favoured or popular, followed by the top man in a monarchy.

11a         Humorous talk — about what to expect on bit of golf course (8)
REPARTEE – Put together the Latin word for about or concerning, an expected level of performance, and the starting point for a game of golf.

12a         Girl returning from warfare is saluted (6)
LASSIE – Hidden in reverse (returning) in the clue.

13a         Arrive carrying a drunkard back in a sleepy state (8)
COMATOSE – A (from the clue) and the reverse of a word for a drunkard, with a word for ‘arrive’ wrapped around them both.

15a         Friend mum’s cut short (4)
MATE – Remove the final letter from the Latin word for mother.

17a         Source of electricity in room (4)
CELL – Double definition, the second being a room occupied by a prisoner or a monk.

19a         Offer support to little old Sarah (8)
PROPOSAL – Put together a support, Old, and a diminutive form of Sarah.

20a         Communist rejected by fellows as one to put things right (6)
MENDER – Some fellows followed by the reverse (rejected) of the colour associated with Communists.

21a         New girl in a spin going after love (8)
ORIGINAL – The letter which looks like a love score at tennis, followed by an anagram (spin) of GIRL IN A.

22a         American estate in fact unable to accommodate one (6)
REALTY – Remove the Roman numeral for one from a word for fact or actuality, and you get an American term for landed property.

23a         Ships acquired by very rich man at end of the day (8)
FRIGATES – The short form of a day of the week (today if you’re reading this on the day of publication), followed by the surname of the Microsoft billionaire.

Image result for frigates

24a         Terrible lad Freud sorted out (8)
DREADFUL – Anagram (sorted out) of LAD FREUD.

25a         Symbolically record a time in public school ‘retrogressive’ (6)
NOTATE – Reverse (retrogressive) the name of the usual crossword public school, then insert A (from the clue) and Time.


2d           Form of entertainment tricky to repeat (8)
OPERETTA – Anagram (tricky) of TO REPEAT.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d           Bond in flirtatious relationship losing head (8)
ALLIANCE – Remove the initial D from a flirtatious relationship to get a personal or political bond.

4d           Always securing final order for material (9)
ELASTOMER – Put together ‘final’ and an honour conferred on distinguished servicemen, scientists, artists or promoters of culture, then wrap a poetic word for ‘always’ around the result.

5d           Rene’s old fusspot, pouring out measure of liquid in kitchen (15)
DESSERTSPOONFUL – Anagram (pouring out) of RENE’S OLD FUSSPOT.

6d           Formula for constructing eagle’s descent (7)
LINEAGE – If the answer is split (1,2,4) it could be read as an instruction for creating the word ‘eagle’.

7d           Provide fresh protection for river, restrictions being put on it (8)
REINSURE – The restrictions used to control horses, followed by a Yorkshire river.

8d           Fishing boat the French capsized, resulting in inelegant language (8)
DOGGEREL – A type of fishing boat, also a sea area usually grouped with Fisher and German Bight in the shipping forecast, followed by the reverse (capsized) of the French definite article.

14d         A little bit of cautious distrust (9)
SUSPICION – Double definition, the first often replaced by its French translation ‘soupçon’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d         After a couple of upsetting drinks, journalist grumbled (8)
MURMURED – The drink which kept the Royal Navy going for several centuries, reversed and duplicated, followed by the usual crossword journalist.

16d         Large box had to be reported in dock (8)
TRUNCATE – Split (5,3) this could sound like (reported) a large box for travellers and ‘had’ as in ‘had for dinner’.

17d         Excellent fellow pursuing line in court — one looking for compensation? (8)
CLAIMANT – Put together Line, a letter and Roman numeral signifying excellent or first class, and a fellow or chap. Then wrap an abbreviation for CourT around the result.

18d         What’s torn in injury in sport, getting fabric wrapped round (8)
LIGAMENT – A sport or pastime, with a fabric used in bandages or dressings wrapped around it.

19d         Legal statement gets Edward ruffled (7)
PLEATED – A legal statement of case followed by a diminutive form of Edward, giving us the sort of ruffles to be found in an item of clothing.

Image result for pleated

The Quick Crossword pun KNOCK + TERNS = NOCTURNES 

70 comments on “DT 28221

  1. Needed DT to explain 2d ( Doh and double doh ) and 6d. A tad tricky but very fair as usual. Cafe Fish in Tobermory beckons for lunch. Just a boat trip away. Northumberland tomorrow via Loch Awe boatyard for lunch. Many thanks to both Giovanni and DT

        1. Yes, I understand that, but surely the components of a formula must still make sense? Eage is a nonsense word (well, not even a word!). I think the compiler has been a bit lazy, here. I can think of better ways of creating a clue for this answer.

    1. Say hello to Northumberland for me please, and if you’ve time, try and call in for your Craster kippers if you’ve not had your fill of fish.

  2. Fair enough puzzle again today. Learned something new about nuns! I had to look that one up after I figured out what it must be.

    2*/3* is about right for me today.

    Thanks to all for their never ending efforts – much appreciated.

  3. My background in chemistry helped me on a couple of the clues. My favourite was 23a, a very clever clue indeed. Thanks to Giovannl (who I think is often unfairly maligned.) and Deep Throat.

  4. Best puzzle of the week. NE corner had me stumped for a while. Favourite was 12a as it had me completely stumped until the penny dropped. I think it’s called a reverse lurker ? Also really liked 6d. Thought it was very clever. Thanks go to the the Don for a very enjoyable crossword and to DT for the review.

  5. Found this much tougher than **, certainly at least ***.
    I see Giovanni has got his odd word dictionary back with 4d and the nun in 5a.
    Needed Google to sort that one out. Apart from that for me the most difficult was 17a but did like 9a. The formula bit in 6d was just plain weird!
    Thx to all

  6. Took a while to get going and struggled to parse 6d.
    So thanks to DT for the correct elegant parsing.
    My best guess was that it was an anagram of eagle and “in” , the letters i and n being a synonym for “for”.

  7. Did not know the nun so needed DT’s explanation, otherwise a fairly straightforward puzzle. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the explanations.

  8. Completed after a great deal of head scratching but without a lot of satisfaction. I needed DT’s explanations on several of the answers to understand how I had managed to get them correctly. So, ***/* for me.

    Favourite 13a. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  9. NE corner gave trouble, needed BRB to confirm the nun & the fishing boat. 6d a bung-in so thanks to DT for explanation there. Now I understand it 6d is COTD for me.
    Thanks to setter & DT.

  10. I found this incredibly tricky. No matter how many times times I look at 6d, I still dont get the cryptic. I would have thought 7d was hyphenated. Probably all a bit too clever for me.Many thanks to DT for his explanations.

  11. ***difficulty for me. Needed the blog to fully explain ‘lineage’ , a very clever clue once understood. Ta to DT and The Don.

  12. Pleasurable and agreeably testing. Many thanks Giovanni and DT. Southern half presented few problems but North, particularly NE, was a different kettle of fish. Couldn’t wait for DT so relied on Google to come up with 4d but pleased to have DT’s parsing for 8d as I have not heard of the fishing boat. Fav 11a closely followed by 25a. Not too keen on 6d. ***/***.

  13. Took far too long to parse 6d which ended up being my favourite, closely followed by 11a.
    Thought 10&20a were perhaps a little weak for the Don.
    New word for me at 4d but managed to get there through the wordplay. The 8d boat was a guess based on the shipping forecast as mentioned by DT!
    How odd that Sal should be a diminutive form of Sarah – how does the ‘L’ fit in?

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – thought you might have put Elvis in for 14d!

    1. Yes I wondered about that. I could see Sal = Sally, but Sarah? Another part of my education missing I guess.

  14. More like a 3* difficulty for me today – finding it hard to concentrate – but I enjoyed this more than I often do on Fridays.
    Not many anagrams – think I made it four but maybe not . . .
    5a took a long time until I eventually guessed the answer and asked Mr Google about the nun.
    12a was, needless to say, my last answer and 4d wasn’t far ahead of that.
    I needed the hint to understand why, or if, my 6d was right – I’d never have worked that out ‘all my own self’.
    I liked 11 and 13a and 3 and 8d and several others but will keep it short. My favourite was 9a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    Can’t think straight today – elder Lamb is, right now, in the middle of what may be the most important interview of her life. I just hope that the interviewing panel aren’t chomping her up into bite-sized chunks with their beastly sharp teeth – if they are they’ll have me to answer to, and I can be fearsome! :evil:

    1. I’ve got everything crossed for her at this end and I’m more than willing to be fearsome alongside you if necessary.

  15. I had lovage for 1 across, (as in tunnel of love), but the electronic checker at the end said there were errors in my answers. I still like it though. That aside, this was a testing Friday puzzle from the Don, and 2.5*/3.5* overall. I agree with earlier responses to 6 down, which I did not really like, and that alone took half a star of my enjoyment.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for a good workout, and to DT for his excellent review.

    For once we have missed all the weather here in the Marches and have a lovely sunny, if breezy, day. Good luck to all in the eastern side of the country who got battered earlier.

        1. I think so. Yes they were wonderful in their time and the first album was so fresh and new and Trudi Clamp but Mr Knopfler has moved on and matured so well. It is nice looking back though.

  16. Very pleased with myself today as I completed this with neither electronic aids nor hints.

    A relative of mine insists that the plural of 5d is ************S*** rather than
    ***************S. I cannot agree, but I am not a linguist…mind you, neither is he.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat who I needed for the parsings.

  17. I really enjoyed this one, though fairly mild by G’s standards, but still the second best of the week after yesterday’s effort. Mildly interestingly, 19d would still work with “ruffed” instead of ruffled. 2.5*/3.5*

  18. ****/** Needed 7 hints today! Several new words learnt (soon to be forgotten I expect) and a new way to think in 6d. Why include the Had bit in the sounds like for 16d?
    Thaks all.

    1. Hi Graham,
      If you look at DT’s hint, you’ll see that you need ‘had’ to give you the last three letters of the answer.

      1. Jane
        I wasn’t clear. My beef was that it was included in the section covered by the sound like indicator. Ie ‘large box had’ to be reported. The spelling of the had bit is correct so doesn’t need sound like.
        Just annoyed I needed so many hints.

  19. Solidly clued and very tidy, nice. Not the toughest for a Friday, but enjoyable and certainly no gimme.
    ***/*** Thanks to all as ever.

  20. Definitely tricky for me, though I did know the “nun”, so maybe I’m not so stupid.
    I needed hints for 6d, would never have got that, 16d and 10a. I also needed Google to see if my 4d and 8d were correct.
    All in all, very difficult for me. Fave was 9a, I also liked 1a and 13a.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for his hints, really needed today.

  21. This was a bit of a tinker and a few obscure words (e.g. 4d). Didn’t get 6d or 10a as a result. Thanks to DT for explaining these and to the setter 0-1: you get the three points.

  22. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I couldn’t do this at all. Needed the hints for 5,10,22a & 4,6,7,16d. Favourite was 9a. Was 4*/2* for me.

    1. They were my last ones in Heno. That’s the time to A. Resort to bung ins B. Break the clue down word by word by word looking for the tiniest morsel of hope. C. Go for Quickie answers. Usually the first or the last words in the clue are definitions such as you would find in the Quickie. With what you had in and the clues you have mentioned you were rather up the creek without a paddle.

  23. An, in retrospect, fairly straightforward puzzle for a Friday that I made heavy weather of. 16/23/6/5 in particular gave me some trouble at the end. 6d I thought was quite clever, even if it took the blog for me to get it… I think my brain stopped working mid week.

  24. Everyone seems to have got 4d without too much difficulty – it is, of course, a polymer with viscoelasticity (having both viscosity and elasticity) and very weak inter-molecular forces, generally having low Young’s modulus and high failure strain compared with other materials. Can’t think why it took me so long to solve that one.

    1. It is one of the few occasions having a materials science qualification helped with the crossword. I struggle with the poetry / history etc so it was nice to have a clue I could see easily

      1. That made me laugh, LabOK – I assumed that you’d looked it up with Mr. Google and were being facetious with your last sentence! Respect to you.

        1. Nope I did qualify as a metallurgist which morphed into Materials Science when plastics came into use. As they used to say you get a pass degree in Metallurgy if you can spell it.

  25. I though this was really tough, a thorough head-scratcher. I needed the help of a few of DT’s excellent hints and though it does not look good, I am very pleased how far I got as Friday’s puzzles are a big non-wavelength day for me.
    22a – Needed the hint, I knew it was REAL something, but a new word for me
    2d – Got the answer, but didn’t spot the anagram
    4d – Glad I did not waste too much time, I would never have got that. Incidentally, I don’t understand the hint, am I right in thinking ‘EER’ means ‘a poetic word for ‘always’’????
    5a – Needed the answer as I had never heard of he nun
    6d – ???????????
    8d – Had not heard of the fishing boat…Once the sea area was mentioned in the hint, I was ok. I once got thrown out of morning register at school for shouting out ‘German Bight’ after the teacher said the name ‘Fisher’ who was another member of the class.
    Again, thanks to DT and to Giovanni.
    Thank goodness we had a real downpour in London, though thoughts to those who have suffered due to the amount.

    1. Hi Hoofit,
      4d – the word is ‘ e’er ‘, just a shortened form of ‘ever’ and much loved by poets.

      1. Yes, I see now thanks to your explanation. Thanks.
        “And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave” -Gray’s Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard

        1. Grey’s Elegy all perfectly written in iambic pentameter. If I used words like eer I would be marked down.

  26. Needed far too many hints today, obviously above my pay grade. Never used 5d as a measure, just tablespoon or teaspoon. Heard of 4d but would never have come up with that. Going to plead too tired today to think properly.

  27. Found today’s much harder than yesterday’s which was given *** for difficulty. Nearly completed it apart from 7D. Never heard of the material that is 4D.

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