DT 28245


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28245

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright but chilly autumn morning.

Not a lot of religion from Giovanni this week, but the usual opportunity to extend your vocabulary, with the transparently clued but seldom seen 28a – my new word of the week.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the  ANSWER 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           Home Counties sailor getting about in the morning for fish (3,5)
SEA BREAM – Put together the abbreviation for the part of the country where the Home Counties are found, one of the usual crossword sailors, the Latin word for about or concerning, and the abbreviation for ‘in the morning’.

Image result for sea bream

9a           Bill presented by junior minister may be word-perfect (8)
ACCURATE– An abbreviation for a bill or account followed by an assistant priest.

10a         Ireland participating in murder investigation (4)
ERIN – A poetic word for Ireland is hidden in the clue.

11a         Base merchant re-established in rooms at the front (12)
ANTECHAMBERS – Anagram (re-established) of BASE MERCHANT.

13a         Like some prisoners, insisted upon getting a new start (8)
REMANDED – Start with a word meaning ‘insisted upon’, then change the initial letter (getting a new start) to get the condition of prisoners in jail awaiting trial.

15a         Run repeated in vale (3-3)
BYE-BYE – ‘Vale’ here is the Latin word of farewell. Take a run scored at cricket but not off the bat, and repeat it to get a childish form of ‘farewell’.

16a         Spy puts record back by an identical one (4)
PEEP – An old vinyl record, not quite as long as an LP, is reversed, then followed by itself unreversed.

17a         Head is part of body catching cold (5)
BONCE – One of the constituents of the skeleton wrapped around Cold.

18a         Ruddy duck back in river (4)
ODER – Start with a ruddy colour, add a cricketing duck, then reverse the lot for a river on the German border with Poland.

20a         One may be dotty, typically falling over (6)
DOMINO – Cryptic definition of a playing piece from a game, marked with between zero and twelve dots. They may be lined up in such a way that if one falls over it will bring the rest down.

21a         The nudes cavorting got all worked up (8)
ENTHUSED – Anagram (cavorting) of THE NUDES.

23a         Informal madam, keeping quiet, permits sweets (12)
MARSHMALLOWS – An informal form of ‘madam’ wrapped around an instruction to be quiet, followed by ‘permits’.

26a         Some Cypriot assumed to be Greek character (4)
IOTA – A letter of the Greek alphabet is hidden in the clue.

27a         Computer facility is functioning for social groups (8)
NETWORKS – The short word for the sort of computer facility that enables this blog to exist, followed by ‘is functioning’.

28a         English academic, I drink, having gone over poem (8)
PALINODE – Put together English, a university fellow, I (from the clue), and ‘drink’ (as a cat might), then reverse the lot (gone over), and you get a poem in which thoughts and feelings expressed in an earlier poem are retracted, according to the BRB. No, I’d never heard of it, either.


2d           Not hard to listen to musical composition — this may help (8)
EARPIECE – A sort of all-in-one clue. Remove the Hard from a word for ‘listen to’, and add a generic term for a musical composition, and you get something which may help you listen to music and share it with your fellow passengers on the train, who will be delighted to hear the leaked sound.

3d           What you see with suburban anacondas? They are sweet enough to eat! (6,6)
BANANA SPLITS – This is a Dingbat type of clue. Look carefully at ‘suburBAN ANAcondas’ and ‘say what you see’. The anwer is a type of dessert.

Image result for banana split

4d           Journalist covering peculiar tale is jubilant (6)
ELATED – The usual crossword journalist wrapped around an anagram (peculiar) of TALE.

5d           Brandy — not quite enough for a whole month (4)
MARC – Remove the final letter from one of the months of the year to get a variety of brandy made in Burgundy (and elsewhere, no doubt) from fermenting the grapeskins left over from winemaking.

Image result for marc bourgogne

6d           Terrorists finally caught on walk due to emergency military action (8)
SCRAMBLE – Put together the final letter of terroristS, the abbreviation for Caught on a cricket scorecard, and a country walk.

7d           Support offered by HQ (4)
BASE – Double definition. There’s not much else to say.

8d           What can a chap put on? This person has wrong answer (8)
MENSWEAR – A pronoun for ‘this person’ followed by an anagram (wrong) of ANSWER.

12d         Early on, bus is breaking down in a foreign country (12)
BYELORUSSIAN – Anagram (breaking down) of EARLY ON BUS IS, giving an adjective relating to an Eastern European country.

14d         Hundred joining in European meeting in which steps will be taken (5)
DANCE – A citizen of a northern European country wrapped around the Roman numeral for a hundred.

16d         Triangular feature in gym — mend it when broken (8)
PEDIMENT – The two letters signifying one of the weekly sessions of misery in the gym at school, followed by an anagram (when broken) of MEND IT.

Image result for pediment

17d         Old-fashioned underwear showing flowers (8)
BLOOMERS – Double definition: some 19th-century undergarments; or a word for flowers describing what they do.

Image result for bloomers

19d         Devon flower pleasant little daughter carried out (8)
EXECUTED – Put together a river in Devon (a flow-er), a word for pleasant or charming, and an abbreviation for Daughter.

22d         Tool beginning to turn with spiked wheel (6)
TROWEL – The first letter of Turn followed by the spiked wheel found in a horseman’s spurs, giving us a garden tool, or one used by a bricklayer.

24d         Short ceremony prior to a female receiving education (4)
RITA – Remove the final letter from a ceremony, then add A (from the clue) to get the name of the woman who was educated in a film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

Image result for educating rita

25d         Problem with speech — lecturer initially is certainly not loud (4)
LISP – Put together the first letter of Lecturer, IS (from the clue), and the musical symbol for ‘not loud’.

The Quick Crossword pun SCREW + TINNY = SCRUTINY


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    3*/2*. Down to earth with a bump today after a splendid run of puzzles for six days. I thought the cluing was very wordy and lacking in pizzazz. The SW corner took my time above 2* with 24d my last one in. The poem in 28a and the spiked wheel in 22d were new words for me, and I can’t quite reconcile the answer to 12d with the definition.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

    • Jose
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink | Reply

      RD. 12d: I may be wrong, but I think the IN in the clue means “relating to or concerned/involved with” (ie: in journalism), so the clue could have read…relating to a foreign country. And the answer does relate to a foreign country. I don’t think you’re meant to read the IN as meaning inside or within. That’s how I see it anyway…

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks very much, Jose, I see what you mean. For example (using a much shorter country name!), journalism in France = French journalism. Yes, that works!

      • Jose
        Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink | Reply

        PS. That “ie” should be an “eg” – an example of that particular use of IN.

  2. Alec
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    I found this to be most un-Giovanni-like. I did wonder what suburban anacondas had to do with the sweet at 3d, so thanks to Deep Threat for sorting that out for me. I’ve not heard of 28a either, or the spiked wheel at 22d, so those will be stored somewhere for use in the future. I quite liked 15a and 23a, but my favourite goes to 3d. Thanks to all concerned

  3. Graham
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    I messed up 2 D which made 13A unsolvable but apart from that it was plain sailing. I to hadn’t heard of 28A but managed to parse it & electronicly cheated to confirm.Many thanks to all & hope that you have a good weekend.

  4. Angel
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    I got off to a flying start but then, like RD, slowed down in the SW. My comments are also similar to RD viz. 28a and 22d new to me and I stalled (needed help) on 24d. I agree that 12d answer doesn’t really ring true with the clue. Fav definitely 15a – clever! Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/**.

  5. MalcolmR
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    A fairly straightforward run out for me today. I hadn’t heard of the second part of 22d or the solution to 28a, but with the use of the checkers, the constructions were clear enough.


  6. Young Salopian
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    2.5*/3* for this Friday offering from The Don. The new words were gettable through the wordplay, and I particularly liked 13 and 20 across with the top podium position going to 15 across.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Toadson
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    A funny old week, didn’t really seem like a Ray T yesterday, and the same for this Giovanni today. As is often the case on a Friday, a few new words, but for me, a strong candidate for clue of the week is 3d. Needed the blog to decide between ‘remanded’ and ‘rewarded’. Hoped to see the clip of Mr Corbett and Sooty (memory lane), but wouldn’t play on my computer! Thanks to all.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Agree with assessment of puzzle & 3d as COTD.
      Appended as I watched the Sooty clip: Memory Lane indeed. Simple things ertc. Amazing that Harry Corbett wore a suit & tie complete with handkerchief in his breast pocket Those were the days?!!
      Thanks to setter & DT for hints

    • Toadson
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Those were the days indeed LRO!

  8. pete
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    As usual I found this Giovanni puzzle a bit above my pay grade. Ive never heard of 28a or 12d. I got 15a and 3d, but couldnt understand the cluing without the aid of DT. Not the most enjoyable of puzzles for me, but at least ive learnt a couple of new words. 4*/1.5* Many thanks to Giovanni and especially to DT for his explanations.

  9. Beaver
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Agree with DT today so a **/***it is.
    Thanks also to DT for the parsing of 3d , thought it was some sort of dance move performed on street corners ! best clue for a while as Toadson implies .Liked 15a too and 24d-short and snappy as Bilco would say.
    Glad Bob has been recognised for his verse, Positively Fourth Street one od my all time favourites.

  10. Kath
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    :phew: I found that all a bit of a struggle.
    I don’t think I’ve ever come across the 22d spiked wheel and I know that I’ve never heard of the 28a poem.
    I gave up on 12d – it was obviously an anagram but even with seven of the twelve letters in I couldn’t make sense of it – decided that life’s too short . . .
    3d had to be what it was but it took a while to see why.
    I quite liked 13a and 5d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for managing to make a word out of 12d.

    • Senf
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Kath – if all else fails on anagrams, and maybe a little sacrilegious, http://anagram-solver.net/ can unscramble most ‘collections’ of letters including 12a.

    • Senf
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Of course I meant 12d, not fully awake yet after my late night (see my comment 15 below).

  11. Ora Meringue
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was rubbish at this….combination of it being above my pay grade, my seriously not being on the same wavelength and the totally unknown words at 12d, 22d and 28a.

    Thanks to Deep Threat.

    • Scousegit
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      This is your second sigh this week. One day you will complete the puzzle, have a look at the blog and realise that you’ve just finished a stinker….one day. Keep your pecker up!

  12. Jane
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The spiked wheel and the poem were also new words for me and I hadn’t previously given much thought to the definition of 16d – much more familiar with it having ‘IM’ in front of it when part of the marriage ceremony. Can’t quite see the correlation between the two words – assuming that there is one!
    12d was a case of getting all the checkers in place and then conjuring up a word I could pronounce.
    Liked 3d but my favourite was 24d – loved the film.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review. Off to Llandwyn Island now to hopefully find some Grey Seals for Kitty to drool over.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The Seals should be giving birth at this time of year. We saw three newborn seal pups at Strumble Head a fortnight ago.

      • Posted October 14, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes. The three I saw, however, were very inactive, blobbed out on the rock like so much whiskered blubber. We think they were males.

  13. LetterboxRoy
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this, particularly 3d & 15a. Same as Jane – even with all the checkers, everything I could come up with for 12d sounded like I had a mouthful of broken biscuits.

    28a was an education, but it was fairly clued, so not a struggle. The ‘in’ at 18a did confuse me a tad though..

    Good stuff, thanks to all as ever.

  14. Jaylegs
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Crossword land is a strange place 😏 After failing to complete Wednesday & Thursday today was reasonably straightforward so **/*** admittedly I ended 24d with an “e” and 28a was a new word, the spiked wheel in 22 down was the gruesome spur worn by knights in armour on horse back 😳 There are quite a few different spellings for 12d 🤔 Thought 3d & 1a were clever (both ends of the difficulty spectrum) Thanks to DT for an excellent blog and to Giovanni for yet another excellent puzzle 👌

  15. Senf
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    1.5*/3* for me. I started this one later than usual as I went to my first ever National Hockey League game (Winnipeg Jets vs Carolina Hurricanes) – 15,000 very partisan fans encouraging the Jets to win the first game of a new season. So, I thought I would have a quick look at the puzzle when I got home and before a later than usual lights out, then it was almost over before it began.

    Never heard of 28a before but ‘putting it together’ from the clue and a Google check worked and it has to be my favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  16. Jeroboam
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I had a big problem with Giovanni’s Tuesday Toughie published earlier this week (basically too much obscure vocabulary used to achieve “Toughie” status) but if this had appeared in its place I’d have been far more complimentary. This has some obscure words but the wordplay is fair. So for me, far more enjoyable and more importantly fair. Hopefully the setter will carry this approach over to his toughies. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    (Sorry to focus on the Toughie side of things in this comment but after Tuesday I was intrigued to compare it with this back pager)

  17. Dutch
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Isn’t the spiked wheel also used for making perforations in pastry, e.g. in pie covers? that’s how I remembered it anyway, not that I’ve ever used one.

    I also had to think twice about the IN in 12a, and decided a river in France would be a French river, as Jose points out in comment 1.

    the poem was a new word. Not sure I’ve ever seen a poem in that category

    Enjoyable puzzle, liked 3d and 20a (thanks for the vid – I’ve always loved those!) and quite a few more (8d,18a,21a,5d, etc.)

    Many thanks Giovanni and DT

  18. Dr M
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I quite often find Friday puzzles coldly intellectual, and this was no exception. Tiresome in places but 3d was clever. Never heard of 28a or 5d before and solved through having the check letters. Not my cup of cha.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Dr M. “Coldly intellectual” is the perfect description for Friday’s puzzles.

      Now why didn’t I think of that? But I am sure I will …

      • silvanus
        Posted October 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I totally concur, it’s so apposite.

  19. mre
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good afternoon everybody.

    A bit of a struggle to finish today. 15a didn’t know why, likewise 13a as I was looking for a word to include ‘AN’ when it was altogether more straightforward. 28a was new to me but clear enough. Thought 14d was a bit iffy on a couple of counts.

    Favourites were 17a, 19d and best of all last in 20a that had me head scratching for far longer than it should. 3d was clever.

    A fine week’s worth of puzzles with Mr T’s proving the most straightforward. Imagine that.


    • mre
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      12d not 14d. My mistake.

  20. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We also have a lovely Marc de Provence. Thank you very much.
    Thought that 17a was Pitch ( Pith around C) which slowed me down on a few clues until corrected.
    Learned new words also in 22d and 28a.
    That the second time that the Don appears in his crossword this week.
    Favourite is 20a. Loved the clip too.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  21. Merusa
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t find this as obscure as the usual Friday offerings.
    I’d never heard of 28a either, but the clue was very fair and I could work it out.
    At 12d, I got the second half and then worked out the first half, though I did have to check the spelling.
    I never knew that was how 5d was made, live and learn!
    Fave was 3d but I agree it was a dingbat clue, but it made me laugh – okay, small minds.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for unravelling 24d, which I got wrong.

    Off subject for a moment, can someone explain to me, in words of one syllable, this furor about Marmite? I must have my Marmite on toast for breakfast every morning, so I hope they are not going to stop making it.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Basically Unilever who make Marmite etc put up its prices 10% & blamed it on Brexit. Tesco said it didn’t agree so stopped taking all Unilever products.
      Cue storm in a tea cup (they market PG Tips as well)
      Now Unilever have backed down (Tesco put up the price of its petrol 4% this week – kettles & pots).

      • Merusa
        Posted October 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Whew! I can breathe again. Thanks.

  22. silvanus
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found the bottom half considerably harder than the top, and the SW corner in particular took longer than the rest of the puzzle combined. It seems as though I’m in good company there. Add me too to those who didn’t know the spiked wheel or the poem. I doubt if many people (other than Mr. Manley) would still use the form of the country in 12d these days, it does seem to have been superseded almost exclusively by Belarus.

    Favourite was 23a, I thought 3d was clever but far too contrived.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat, and a good weekend to all.

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2*/3* for my money. Not to everyone’s taste, obviously, but I can’t help feeling that crosswords would be a lot less challenging (and worthwhile) as a mental exercise if we were all magically on-wavelength for every puzzle. 15a gets my vote for the best clue (probably because for once the word “vale” didn’t send me off on a wild goose chase). Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

  24. Jon_S
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hands up who solved 12d without having to check that it wasn’t a made-up word? Where would we be without Google… A nice challenge to end the week, perhaps into *** for difficulty. A few new words here and there as we expect from the Don, all (about from 12d :-) ) nice and clear via the wordplay. 3d was very nicely done, wasn’t it?

  25. Emily
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 9:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks, I really enjoyed working through your clues for the ones I got stuck on, especially liked the pictures and I especially like the fact that I got a chance to work it out for myself.

    • Gazza
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Emily.

  26. Florence
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All fairly straightforward apart from a couple of new words. Many thanks to The Don and to DT.

  27. Karen
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Needed your assistance for 24D and 27A. Favourites were 3D and 8D. Also had never heard of 28A but managed to work it out from the clue which was satisfying.

  28. Tstrummer
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not too stern a test from the Don, I thought. Did half on the train and the rest on the sofa with a forbidden pint of London Pride – well I’ve had a most taxing 12-hour day. Lots to like but Lovely 24d just pips the rest at the post.2*/3*. Thanks to the Don and DT.

  29. Cornishpasty
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 2:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Took most of the day to finish this puzzle. 20a stumped me, I ended up guessing it was dosido, odd backwards with I and so for typically! Haha

  30. Heno
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but got stuck in the SW corner. I guessed some of the answers, I got 28a but I’d never heard of it. My favourite was 3d, because it went right over my head, I guessed it, only realised how it upon reading the hints. Also needed the hints for 16d, which I’d forgotten. 9a was an old chestnut. Was 3*/3* for me.

  31. Jose
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    I did most of this one yesterday teatime and thought it was very good, as G’s usually are. I’ve got it down as the joint best of the week, along with Thursday’s so 2.5*/3.5*.

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