DT 28263 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28263

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28263

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp autumn day.

It took me a little while to get into today’s Giovanni, but once I got a toehold everything followed reasonably smoothly, though 25a, my last one in, was a little obscure.

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           Two women getting a sort of coat (6)
ENAMEL – Put together the first names of the hairnetted one from the early days of Coronation Street and one of the Bake Off presenters.

5a           Water container outside prison somewhere in Somerset (4,4)
BIRD BATH – A slang term for prison followed by a city in Somerset.

Image result for bird bath

9a           Notice honest chaps needing time to bring change (10)
ADJUSTMENT – Put together a commercial notice, another word for honest, some chaps, and Time.

10a         Dull PM of yesteryear (4)
GREY – Double definition, the second being a lord who was Prime Minister at the time of the great Reform Act of 1832.

Image result for grey prime minister

11a         Limes on a nutty sort of pudding (8)
SEMOLINA – Anagram (nutty) of LIMES ON A.

12a         Opposites meeting before good trip (6)
OUTING – Two mutually exclusive states, in a game of cricket perhaps, followed by Good.

Image result for cricket tea towel

13a         What may be put in post to keep female secure (4)
SAFE – The abbreviation for something you enclose with a letter in the hope of securing a reply, wrapped around Female.

15a         Daughter, distinguished artist, has success penning good sketches (8)
DRAWINGS – Put together Daughter, the usual crossword artist, and a word for ‘has success’ wrapped around Good.

18a         Plant gives sheep terrible surprise according to Spooner (8)
SHAMROCK – One of Ireland’s national symbols could, if Dr Spooner named it, be a male sheep with a terrible surprise.

Image result for shamrock


19a         Saucy bits for suppertime (4)
PERT – Hidden in the clue.

21a         Report of Soviet satellite’s ordered system (6)
COSMOS – This sounds like (report of) one of many Soviet space satellites, and is a word for the universe as an ordered whole.

23a         Closely observe what till operator may do (4,4)
TAKE NOTE – What the cashier in the supermarket may do when you hand over some of the folding stuff.

25a         Glamour brings uncomfortable feeling, by the sound of it (4)
GILT – This word for glamour, or the superficial attractiveness of a gold covering, sounds like a feeling which is the opposite of innocence.

26a         What’s milky, mixed up in drink? (4,6)
MALT WHISKY – Anagram (mixed up) of WHAT’S MILKY.

27a         The girl’s items of jewellery? They come from a ‘catch’ (8)
HERRINGS – The pronoun for ‘the girl’s’ followed by what she may have on her fingers.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a         Country to the west in which to discover old tract (6)
REGION – Reverse (to the west) an African country, and insert Old.


2d           Joint action when someone else is being lazy? (5)
NUDGE – Cryptic definition of a prod with the elbow to stir someone into action.

3d           Mummy with inscribed gold fish in burial chamber (9)
MAUSOLEUM – The chemical symbol for gold and a fish associated with Dover or lemon, with a shorter form of ‘Mummy’ wrapped around it.

4d           Go wild in first half of communication, final message (3,3)
LET RIP – The first half of a written communication followed by an inscription seen on a tombstone.

5d           Idle enjoyment — maybe involving lots of falling over and rolling around in pub? (4,3,8)
BEER AND SKITTLES – Too much of the first word of the answer will lead to falling over and rolling around in the pub. The objects in the third word are set up in a game associated with pubs to be aimed at with a ball or, sometimes, a cheese, and will fall over and roll around when hit.

Image result for beer and skittles

6d           Reasonable allowance going on a learner (8)
RATIONAL – An allowance of food followed by A (from the clue) and the letter attached to the car of a learner driver.

7d           Father, say, in risky venture (5)
BEGET – The definition is a verb. Put the Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ inside a risking of your cash at the bookie’s.

8d           Greet a new, properly disciplined youngster (9)
TWEENAGER – Anagram (properly disciplined) of GREET A NEW.

14d         Goddess undone by a hot pride (9)
APHRODITE – Anagram (undone) of A HOT PRIDE.

Image result for aphrodite

16d         This person’s quiet death about to happen (9)
IMPENDING – Put together a short form of ‘this person is’, the musical symbol for quiet, and a death or termination.

17d         Any number of riders, unled invaders (8)
NORSEMEN – The algebraic symbol for ‘any number’, followed by some people on horseback with their first letter removed.

Image result for norsemen

20d         Fastener sank, ultimately blocking drain (6)
SKEWER – The last letter (ultimately) of sanK placed inside a drainage pipe.

22d         Car beginning to turn into desolate area (5)
MOTOR – A desolate upland area wrapped around the first letter (beginning to) of Turn.

24d         Play round when king enters city (5)
TOKYO – Start with a verb for ‘to play (with)’, add a round letter, then insert the chess notation for a king, to get a Japanese city.

The Quick Crossword pun CHEQUE + ABOARD = CHECKERBOARD

56 comments on “DT 28263

  1. Typical Giovanni if tougher than some of his recent offerings. Great fun nevertheless (such a relief after yesterday dull puzzle). Must admit that I missed the lurker in 19d and was confused by the use of ‘inscribed’ in 3d. Also 8d wS an unfamiliar word to me. Fav clue today was 18a, love a bit of Spooner.
    Fully agree with the rating of ***/***.
    Thx to all

  2. This is the second Friday running I have managed to complete a Giovanni puzzle. Never managed to finish them before. A really enjoyable challenge for me. I stalled on 7d and 10a, but got there in the end. Favourites were 27a, 17d and 8d ( a word ive never heard of before) 3*/4* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. This was a bit more of a cerebral work out than the past few days. Needed the hint for 25a – can’t say I like the clue much. Favourite clues are 12a and 17d and I also quite liked 18a (even though it is a spooner clue). Thanks to all.

  4. 3.5*/2*. Usual Friday fare – wordy and rather 10a – although a bit tougher than usual particularly in the NE corner.

    I was disappointed by 8d,which is an unpleasant “word” and not in my BRB.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, whose help I needed to solve 7d.

    1. 8d is in my 2003 BRB:

      “a child who, although not yet a teenager, has already developed an interest in fashion, pop music, and exasperating his or her parents”.

      1. I think I got my BRB in 2002. It’s probably about time I asked Father Christmas for a new one!

    2. It’s also in Collins Online Dictionary: A child of approximately 8 to 14 years of age. It’s a portmanteau word, from (be)tween + (teen)ager.

  5. I must admit to not ever having come across the word in 8 D but that’s all it could have been, I quite liked this offering with 26A being my favourite on more than one level.Thanks to the setter & DT for the review. Enjoy the fireworks tomorrow.

  6. Hello all. Mrs Sheffieldsy and myself arrived in Adelaide today; first impressions are good, although the driver of the shuttle bus from the airport was a complete nutter.

    We thought today’s crossword was the best back-pager for a while and we think it deserves 2.5*/3*. Best clues were 7d and 17d.

    Many thanks to DT for the review, which managed to avoid needing, and to Giovanni for a delightful puzzle.

  7. Big thank you to Giovanni for a very enjoyable and a solveable crossword 🙂 **/**** and to DT for an enjoyable blog, liked the “Herring Song” but did wonder what an American Robin was doing in 5d 😳 Last in and favourite 13a with 28a also on the podium 👌

    1. Very unsure about The Herring Song, I’m sure the singer had a finger in his ear whilst performing.

      1. The singer is the late, great (pseudo Scot) Ewan McColl, him wot wrot the song. And he couldn’t put his finger in his ear as he was usually playing an instrument.

    2. Thanks Jaylegs for saving me the effort of trying to identify the bird that i realised wasnt British

  8. Not my favourite puzzle of the week but everything slotted in quite well with 25a, 2&7d holding out to the end.
    5,13&23a raised a smile but not much else held particular appeal in this one.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the detailed review.

  9. An enjoyable and challenging puzzle, though I wasn’t keen on 2d

    I liked 1a (sort of coat), 5a (my LOI – last one in), 12a (opposites meeting), I thought the 18a spoonerism was good, 3d (mummy in burial chamber) and more

    I didn’t like “for” in 19a, 5d was a bit long (maybe it didn’t need the rolling around bit) and I wasn’t keen on “undone by” as an anagram indicator

    a good stretch for a friday morning and a pleasant solve

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

  10. I know, when all else fails, you should look for lurkers. Well, I did forget that…..tell me I’m not the only one to put ‘porn’ at 19a?

    1. Sorry to disappoint you Bluebird but i think you probably are the only one to have put porn at 19ac. Perhaps you should split your blog name 4,4

        1. I was sure Giovanni was too much of a gentleman to use my own answer….his version of ‘saucy’ is used so rarely these days, it escaped me.

          MP is correct re gender.
          But the blue in my blog name refers more to my taste in music than any other entertainment…….

    2. Oh no Bluebird you’re not alone. I too missed the lurker so bunged in the same word as you without being able to parse it!

  11. My first attempt at posting a comment failed, so I’ll try again. I really enjoyed this Giovanni puzzle. Several good clues, especially 5 and 17 down. I even have to admit to liking the wretched doctor – a first for me.

    2.5*/4* from me overall, with grateful thanks to The Don and DT.

  12. As usual with a Giovanni puzzle this took an extra couple of passes to solve. I agree with Rabbit Dave (on most things except music) that 8d is an unpleasant word so it gets a thumbs down from me as does the Spooner clue. Thank you Giovanni for the workout and thank you Peter for writing your review. in your usual succinct style.

  13. Very enjoyable, though needed DT’s hint for 5d (because the only 4 letter PMs I could dredge up were Eden, Peel & Pitt ).
    Thanks to setter & DT for review.
    Note to BD: the video clip for 27a was blank on my Samsung tablet

  14. I enjoyed this – it took me longer to finish than it should have done just because I was a bit dim with some answers.
    21a was my last one – I still don’t really get it but never mind.
    The first word of 5a took me a ridiculously long time to see and so did 17d.
    I think I’ve met 8d before but checked and it is in my BRB – I like their definition.
    Didn’t see the 19a lurker for quite a while.
    I liked the 18a Spoonerism – I always like them – and 26a and 4d. My favourite was 27a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    10a and very wet in Oxford – not feeling brave enough to even peep at the Toughie – looks as if I’m going to have to find something useful to do.
    Now to see if I’m going to be sent off to be moderated again. :unsure:

    1. Hi Kath
      21a was my last one in too. I’ve Googled since and discovered that the Soviet satellites were spelled with a ‘K’ – which does make it a perfectly fair clue. It’s the old story – obvious when you know the answer!

  15. Well, 1a beat me. Had no idea of who is and who is not in Coronation street or Bake Off – so guessed at a different answer that was equally unfathomable and did not match the clue.

    But other than that all went well.

    1. Knowledge of either is not necessary to solve the clue, but handy if you are the person writing the hint

  16. Hardest of the week for me and took a long time to get into it. Eventually got there but a two cuppa challenge.

    I’m with dutch (should that be “going Dutch?”) in not liking the use of ‘for’ in 19a. Had the answer but couldn’t see why.

    I had two alternatives for 17d and only discovered I’d opted for the wrong one when I pressed ‘Submit’ in the online version. Still don’t see why it’s the one with the N rather than the one with the H.

    And – at the risk of appearing picky – I’m not sure I go for 25a as meaning glamour. I’d have thought it signified cheap/imitation rather than the real thing.

    21a was last in: I spent far too long thinking Soyuz and then running through former communist bloc countries and ex-Soviet republics.

    I’m not as opposed to anagrams as some here so will put down 26a as favourite – because it’s my favourite tipple.

    Thanks to all.

  17. ***/***. A bit of a curates egg for me. Some really neat clues and some quite contrived. Nevertheless, thanks to DT for the review and Giovanni for the challenge. Fish curry today from Mr Steins Indian odyssey – should be good.

      1. I like him too although I have to confess that I get fed-up with all the endless cookery stuff on TV.
        I’ve just got round to reading all the comments from the last few days when I’ve been out of range – I do hope that your Ginger Pussycat is OK.

  18. Like Mark, I found this the toughest offering so far this week and I had to turn to electronic help to get the last few. However, after filling the grid I couldn’t see why it had been such a challenge. Must be that wavelength thing. More smiles than are usual for me on a Friday and I particularly liked 1a, 12a, 4d and 7d. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Mr Kitty – a very belated congratulations on your Tuesday blog. I only got around to reading the comments from this week today having been away and then, when I tried to comment, I kept being put into moderation – this will also probably put me there again but I just thought I’d try.
      Thanks, in advance, to whoever lets me out this time . . . .

  19. On a par with yesterday as regards the level of difficulty but not as enjoyable unfortunately.

    Add me to those who disliked 8d, it’s the sort of horrible portmanteau word beloved by media types but never used by the general public. I was also disappointed to see Mr. Manley resort to using the same abbreviation for “good” twice in the space of three clues.

    My one tick went to 3d for its excellent surface.

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

  20. This one took us longer than most Fridays have lately but that was not a problem. New Zealand also had an early PM with the same name as 10a so that one came to mind readily for us and we just needed a Google check. An enjoyable puzzle and elegantly clued as usual.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. Very enjoyable, I didn’t understand 2d and had never heard of 5d.
    I could not parse 12a until I read the hint, very clever and favourite.
    Apologies, but I agree with Brian, so much more enjoyable than yesterday.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. I’m with you on 2d.
      If the answer was “elbow” I might understand but surely you can nudge with anything.
      1a and 2d were my last ones for that reason and because I was looking for another kind of coat.
      26a was lovely.
      Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  22. Today’s test was pleasant enough if not a barrow-load of laughs. I liked 13a, 23a and 4d. Thank you Giovanni and DT. ***/***.

  23. I posted yesterday, but it seems to have got lost somewhere. I had similar comments to Jean-Luc. I put ‘sidle’ into 2d which was a combination of an ‘s’ and then ‘idle’ for lazy. I was also looking for a different type of coat for 1a. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT

  24. Excellent as usual for G. Very happy to see another Spooner clue – keep them coming (in moderation) and also I wasn’t unduly traumatised by 8d, which is in the reference books and therefore perfectly valid. . This time I think G is on a par with Ray T in all departments, so 3*/4*.

  25. Got off on wrong foot with Patina for 1 across. Coincidentally also a Coronation St actor and a cook.

  26. How empty yesterday seemed, with no access to my favourite crossword site. I had to do useful things instead. Whatever next?

    It seems I’m not alone in finding this tricky without really knowing why. I had a question mark by 2d, and needed help to get 21a. Other than that, all it took was time and thought.

    I quite liked 19a, but feel that my suppers are not as interesting as Bluebird’s. I also liked – and like – 26a. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  27. Got off on the wrong foot with 1 Across – put “Patina”. Coincidentally also a Coronation Street actor (Pat Phoenix) and a cookery connection (Ina Garten)

  28. Aha! Access at last! Took me ages to get a foothold but once I had I was able to ‘roll’ through the rest of the crossword. Although I was a little unsure of the answer relative to ‘glamour’ I still liked the clue and it is my fave. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  29. Aha! I’ve finally got through!
    Took me a while to get a grip on this crossword but once I did I was able to ‘roll’ through the rest of it. I was a little unsure initially of the answer for 25a relating to ‘glamour’ but I quite enjoyed it so that’s my fave. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  30. Good afternoon everybody.

    A nice puzzle though I failed on three. Can’t now recall which three although 1a was certainly one of them. 5a was very good.


Comments are closed.