DT 28257 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28257

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28257

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Sheriff Hutton, near York, where we’re visiting family, and also conveniently placed for the Sloggers and Betters meeting tomorrow.

One unusual word, and a part of one wordplay which was a new word for me, but otherwise nothing particularly difficult about today’s Giovanni.

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           Archbishop Welby faces issue, returning with seconds to spare (4,2,4)
JUST IN TIME – Start with the first name of the present Archbishop of Canterbury, then reverse a verb meaning ‘to issue’.

6a           Hands back something that has been exchanged (4)
SWAP – Reverse an informal word for hands.

9a           Maiden is hidden by fancy curtain, someone in the beauty business (10)
MANICURIST – Start with the abbreviation for a maiden over at cricket, then add an anagram (fancy) of CURTAIN wrapped around IS (from the clue).

10a         Phone round (4)
RING – Double definition: to call on the phone; or a round shape.

12a         Check something growing up in garden? (4)
STEM – This word for checking or putting the brake on something is also the vertical part of a plant in the garden.

13a         Like a formulaic pattern I repeatedly knitted badly (9)
IDENTIKIT – Anagram (badly) of I, I (repeatedly) and KNITTED.

15a         Cheese and pears man chewed (8)
PARMESAN – Anagram (chewed) of PEARS MAN.

Image result for parmesan

16a         Bit of light comes in through devotional exercise (6)
PRAYER – The Latin word for ‘through’ wrapped around a beam of light.

18a         Trendy exploit that surprises me (6)
INDEED – Put together a word for trendy or fashionable and an exploit or action, and you get an exclamation like ‘That surprises me!’

20a         He can sing over a range except for one tricky note (8)
BARITONE – Put together another word for ‘except’, the Roman numeral for one, and an anagram (tricky) of NOTE.

23a         At home one day I had a meal, not completely filled up (9)
INSATIATE – Put together ‘at home’, the abbreviated form of a day of the week, and ‘I had a meal’.

24a         Excellent silver brought back for goddess (4)
GAIA – Put together an excellent rating in, for example, the Lloyd’s insurance market and the chemical symbol for silver, then reverse the lot to get the earth as a goddess.

26a         Work in small room — waste of energy and time (4)
TOIL – Remove Energy and Time from what Nancy Mitford would have called a non-U word for the smallest room in the house.

27a         Worker with muscle — bolshy type? (10)
ANTAGONIST – One of the usual worker insects followed by a muscle which contrcts to move a part of the body directly. A new word for me, but I’m not a biologist.

28a         Composer, his first bit taking time (4)
CAGE – The first letter of Composer followed by a long time. No, I’m not going to post a video of 4′ 33″, but you can sit quietly and pretend that I did.

Image result for john cage

29a         Illiterate, showing no sign of any clues solved here? (10)
UNLETTERED – If you hadn’t filled any of the answers into the grid of this crossword, this is what the grid would literally be.


1d           Part of doorway to get stuck reportedly (4)
JAMB – This part of a door is a homophone (reportedly) of a word for ‘get stuck’.

2d           Member of government involved in treason (7)
SENATOR – Anagram (involved) of TREASON.

3d           Those lacking ability nicest, top men horrible (12)
INCOMPETENTS – Anagram (horrible) of NICEST TOP MEN.

4d           Tramline runs out here (8)
TERMINAL – An all-in-one clue. Anagram (runs out) of TRAMLINE, giving you the place where a tramline does indeed run out.

5d           Crazy about the female and reduced to pulp (6)
MASHED – A word for ‘crazy’ wrapped around a pronoun for ‘the female’.

7d           Rapid motion has you upsetting drink (7)
WHISKEY – Rapid motion, as in beating an egg, followed by the reverse (upsetting) of an old word for ‘you’.

8d           Exciting work, one appreciated by the organist? (4-6)
PAGE-TURNER – A book you can’t put down, or somebody who helps an organist or pianist by turning over the sheet music when required.

11d         What interviewee for job hopes to be, in a position where competitors are in a line (8,4)
STARTING POST – The marker for the start of a race course, or what you hope to be in a position to do when you go for a job interview.

14d         Bullish little man is twitching after work (10)
OPTIMISTIC – Put together the Latin abbreviation for a musical work, a short form of a man’s name (Mr Henman, perhaps), IS (from the clue), and a nervous twitch.

17d         Fundamental level of interest in the banking world (4,4)
BASE RATE – Mildly cryptic definition of the interest rate set by the Bank of England which acts as a starting point for all other bank lending.

19d         Stylish ring remains hidden (7)
DASHING – A ringing sound wrapped around the remains of a fire.

21d         Actor, the first person to appear in a musical (7)
OLIVIER – Put the first person pronoun into the name of a Lionel Bart musical, to get a distinguished actor.

Image result for laurence olivier henry v

22d         Bitter substance girl put in can (6)
TANNIN – A girl’s name inside another word for a can.

25d         Sort of farm boss (4)
STUD – Double definition: a farm where horses are bred; or a projecting boss.

The Quick Crossword pun BEAU + THAI = BOW TIE

49 comments on “DT 28257

  1. 1*/2*. I found this surprisingly easy and not particularly satisfying, although I did like 8d. Only the SW corner needed a bit of teasing out and, except for having to look up the muscle in 27a, the other three quarters were virtually R&W.

    I would question the definition for 28a. Composer? I’m not convinced.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. I watched the clip from the Barbican concert – very enjoyable. The ultimate interpretation of the “less is more” concept! :-)

              1. In my opinion the original S&G version is absolutely wonderful but I find the Disturbed version excruciatingly awful – à chacun son gout. But, of course, life (and this blog!) would be very boring if we all agreed on everything.

                Another example is “I Will Always Love You”. Dolly Parton wrote it and her version is marvellous, but (in my opinion) the cover by Whitney Houston loses all the heart-rending emotion and ruins a beautiful song. However when Dolly was asked if she liked Whitney’s version, she said, “of course I do, it’s made me a lot of money!”

              2. I think David Draiman’s vocal range is pretty incredible and I really like the version Disturbed provide – but the original is great too.

                Disturbed also, among other things, do a cover version of Land Of Confusion by Genesis.

  2. I will go with DT on this one and rate it 2*/3* with 1 across my favourite clue. Although this lacked the usual sparkle for a Friday, I felt it was worth more than 2* for enjoyment. It doesn’t feel like a traditional Giovanni but I will thank him anyway and DT for his review.

  3. Very much on the easy side for a Friday. I particularly liked 2d and 4d. I got 29d but needed DT’s explanation to understand the cryptic. I usually struggle with offerings from Giovanni, I think he must have been in a very generous mood today. 1.5*/3* Many thanks to both Giovanni and DT.

  4. I think I can simply say ‘ditto’ to RD’s comments on today’s puzzle.
    Thanks to DG and to DT – particularly for sparing us the 4’33”.

    Hope everyone going to York has a good time!

  5. Bit more difficult than yesterday but not much. More enjoyable for some reason.
    Like DT (& many others I suspect) never heard of the muscle though I guess I can’t function without them!
    8d also my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & DT. for the review especially the cleaver way of reminding me of the composers famous “work”.

  6. This and yesterday’s are excellent puzzles I thought.
    One minor point an agonist is a chemical which acts on a muscle rather than a muscle per se. 19d held me up for a bit as there was no indication that you were looking for a sound. My favourite by a long way was 1a. For me **/*****
    Thx to. All

        1. Ditto : agonist is a muscle , it works opposite another muscle or so my anatomy book says , Ca ++ influx helps muscles to contract , is this the chemical agonist Brian ? Bearing in mind its a long time since I studied Physiology I could well be wrong ,nuff said

  7. My general comment on this weeks puzzles is that they were on the easy side ,todays being no different with an overall daily rating of */** , the enjoyment rating was probably around ***.
    Prefer the days when there was a build up from Monday to Friday , which was guaranteed to test the grey cells !
    Favourite today 8d.Thanks to DT for the blog pics- nice to see Olivier with a modern ‘footballers haircut ‘- just shows you there’s nothing new in fashion.

  8. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Very gentle puzzle today. Like Rabbit Dave, I was held up a little bit in the SW corner. Started with 1a, finished with 28a, who I’d never heard of. Favourite was 19a. Was 1.5*/3* for me.

  9. Not too difficult for a Friday. liked 26a especially since I got it without any crossing letters. 29a was last in. Didn’t spot the anagram bit for 4d so thanks for pointing it out.
    Thanks all

  10. Nothing to write home about today. North beat the South to the finishinng line. I haven’t heard of the 28a composer and after listening to the extract from the Barbican concert I may just forget him now. Thanks nevertheless Giovanni and DT. 1a and/or 26a could just about qualify as Favs. ***/**.

  11. Well I thought today’s offering was ok! Certainly a bit more of a challenge then the rest of the week. 7d was my favourite and I don’t even drink the stuff!
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to DG, and to DT for his review.

  12. Good winery (4) and brewery (2) visits today – the Margaret River area has a lot to offer/answer for but at least we were on a tour and not doing the driving. Somewhat alcoholically challenged we still finished this in 2* time and thought it worth 2.5* for enjoyment.

    8d probably shaded it as favourite.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  13. Enjoyed this more than last Friday’s. 1a my favourite. Finished without any problems thanks to the Don and DT. Enjoyable week of puzzles.

  14. The customary sprinkling of ecclesiastical references, and only one clue that required the BRB – the muscle in 27a.

    More enjoyable than the average Friday Giovanni puzzle I thought. Favourite clues were 26a, 8d and 21d. My least favourite was 11d, very unusual to see a sixteen word clue in a DT (Daily Telegraph not Deep Threat!) backpager.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to Deep Threat and a good weekend to all, and, if applicable, don’t forget to put your clocks back!

  15. A little trickier than the rest of the week’s back pagers **/*** 😐 I have always spelt 6a with an “o” 😬 Liked 1a & 11d, Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

  16. Did this on the train up to York. More smiles than usual for a Friday, and fewer headaches, agonist being the only thing I needed to check.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    Have a great weekend everyone. I’m heading off in a sec to the Sloggers and Betters pub crawl … If you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know I had a good time!

  17. We needed to check the 1a person and the 27a muscle but had worked out what we were looking for. We thought this was a really good quality puzzle and enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    Ps. Have fun and behave yourselves all of you who will be in York.

  18. We are doing 5d potatoes with 15a for dinner ce soir
    Thanks to Don Manley and the Threat of the Deepness.

  19. Another good puzzle from the Don, ** for difficulty sounds about right. 22d I only vaguely remembered, but the wordplay left little doubt as to the answer. More like this please. :-)

  20. Oh dear – a bit late – a bit tired – been digging veggie patches ALL day. :sad: but they look good now :smile:
    OK – now on to the crossword – this one didn’t cause me the usual grief that a Friday crossword does.
    Strange that we have six anagrams as has been the norm this week but no-one has mentioned it.
    No major problems so will probably leave it at that.
    My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Have fun in York all you revellers and for goodness sake try to behave nicely. :unsure:

  21. I got off to a flyer with this one, filling in the top half with no problems, but the SW took a little longer to yield: Giovanni in a benign mood methinks.

    Thanks to DT and Mr M and concur with **/***

  22. It’s been another long day, followed by younger son returning home mumbling something about collecting golf clubs. Secretly, I think that he has come home to be fed. On to the puzzle… the top half has gone in very quickly, but I have slowed down considerably. Could be another case of ink all over the duvet again if I nod off before I finish. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT. Best wishes to everyone in York this weekend.

  23. Not to bad, I usually find that Giovanni takes some working out. Not today.
    The end of a long week, so relaxing watching (for the umpteenth time) Bruce Willis and the much missed Alan Rickman doing battle in the first Die Hard film!!
    Thanks to DT and the Don.

  24. I agree with most of the above. Unusually for the Don, a few old chestnuts in this one (2d, 10a, 21d), but I never mind them as it helps me on my way. 8d was good, but 23a was better. Thanks to the Don and DT. 2*/3*.
    Have much fun in the beautiful city of York, I’m sorry I can’t be there but the toad work gets in the way of me having any kind of social life – and I’m still not allowed to drink!

  25. I dont want to seem stupid but this is going to set me up as such. You seem to know who the setter is each day. Is there a code of some kind?
    Regards to All.

  26. Late finishing today, too many errands to do first. Mixed bag, partly easy, partly tough, so grateful for Deep Threat’s hints. 11d was favorite, and also 1a although I had never heard of this archbishop, it just felt right.

  27. Good morning everybody.

    Forgot to post this afternoon. A trickier puzzle today with the bottom half causing most trouble. Annoyingly I couldn’t see 28a at all and the solution only came to me as I was walking home!


Comments are closed.