DT 28275 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28275


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28275

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where there’s a cold sunny start to the day. Here’s hoping that you can all access this site without any of the problems of recent times.

Nothing too difficult from Giovanni today, though perhaps a little more of his trademark religious references than we have had in recent weeks.

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           Rough handling that is deliberate is being covered up (6)
MISUSE – A word for deliberate or ponder wrapped around IS (from the clue).

4a           Notice project worker, one assisting senior officer (8)
ADJUTANT – Put together a short commercial notice, to project  or stick out, and one of the usual worker insects, and you get a junior officer who does the admin for a regimental commander.

9a           Healthy food for party people (6)
GREENS – The healthy food we were all encouraged (forced?) to eat when young, or members of a political party.

10a         One present late in the morning or evening by river (8)
ATTENDEE – A time (2,3) which is lateish in the morning or evening, followed by the name of a Welsh or Scottish river.

11a         Vehicle, say, in City area — area half destroyed (6,3)
ESTATE CAR – The letters from the postal district for the City of London are wrapped around a verb meaning ‘say’, and followed by the first half of ARea.

13a         Street with strange sort of sound (5)
STRUM – The abbreviation for street followed by a word for strange or odd, giving the sort of sound that may emanate from a guitar.

14a         Leaders won’t stay in position — expect people to get sacked (5,4,4)
HEADS WILL ROLL – A figurative expression (unless you’re Henry VIII) used when it is expected that those responsible for a foul-up will be sacked. Literally it means that people in leading positions won’t stay where they’re put, perhaps because they are round in shape and the ground isn’t flat.

17a         Church leader like me will get involved with psalter (13)
KAPELLMEISTER – Anagram (will get involved) of LIKE ME and PSALTER. The leadership involved is in the musical field – think of Haydn and Prince Esterhazy, for example.

Image result for kapellmeister

21a         Nuisances in religious instruction thrown out by clergy (5)
PESTS – Start with a word for some members of the clergy, then remove Religious Instruction.

23a         You finally react with law being broken and howl (9)
CATERWAUL – Anagram (being broken) of REACT, LAW and the last letter of (yo)U.

24a         Obsessional state that could make us nosier (8)
NEUROSIS – Anagram (could make) of US NOSIER.

25a         Ways to hide love — such will evoke sadness (6)
PATHOS – The letter that looks like a love score at tennis, inserted into some ways used for foot traffic.

26a         More than one drink that is brought by deck worker aboard ship (8)
SHANDIES – A term for a deck worker and the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ are put together and inserted into the usual crossword ship. Some drinks which are a mix of beer and lemonade or ginger beer.

27a         Island‘s tree featured in speech (6)
CYPRUS – An island in the Mediterranean, which sounds like the name of an evergreen tree.

Image result for cyprus


1d           Periodical not gross — something that can be attractive (6)
MAGNET – A short form of a word for a periodical, then the sort of profit which is not gross.

2d           Pots he was getting knocked out in a factory of exploitation (5,4)
SWEAT SHOP – Anagram (knocked out) of POTS HE WAS.

3d           Singer to get some ladies in a trance (7)
SINATRA – Hidden in the clue.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d           Put off skimpy attire, good person who has a resigned outlook? (11)
DETERMINIST – Put together a word for put off or discourage, a short piece of female clothing, and the abbreviation for a good or holy person.

6d           Nut is left only half fixed — tool needed (7)
UTENSIL – Anagram (fixed) of NUT IS and half of LE(ft).

7d           Tree person once on the council. man made redundant (5)
ALDER – Remove the ‘man’ from the title of a former civic dignitary, second only to the mayor.

Image result for alder

8d           Winds coming up? Get some warm clothes (8)
THERMALS – Some warm underclothes which could also be rising currents of air.

12d         Unusual chasm, a ravine that needs special card to gain access (4,7)
CASH MACHINE – Anagram (unusual) of CHASM A, followed by an unusual word for a ravine.

15d         Prayer bringing love with hurt and fear dissipating (3,6)
OUR FATHER – Start with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, then add an anagram (dissipating) of HURT and FEAR, and you get the first two words of a Christian prayer first seen in the Gospel of Matthew.

16d         Steer clear of workers in special trousers (3,5)
SKI PANTS – A word for ‘steer clear of’. Dodge or avoid, followed by those insect workers again.

Image result for ski pants

18d         Girl with big dictionary getting tied up somehow (7)
LASSOED – Another word for a girl or young woman followed by the acronym for a really big dictionary (not the BRB, but the really enormous one in many volumes).

19d         Sailor to loiter, having lost heart in historical region (7)
TARTARY – One of the usual sailors followed by a word for ‘loiter’ with its middle letter removed (having lost heart). The answer is an old word for a large chunk of northern and central Asia.


20d         Conservative fails and goes out of business (6)
CLOSES – Abbreviation for Conservative, followed by ‘fails to win’.

22d         Thus America presents one of its composers (5)
SOUSA – An American composer made up of a word for ‘thus’ and the initials of the country. ARVE Error: need id and provider

The Quick Crossword pun TRUCE + TORIES = TRUE STORIES

60 comments on “DT 28275

  1. 2*/2*. Rather uninspiring although I did quite like 1a (my last one in) and 9a. 17a was obscure but easily derivable from the anagram fodder and checking letters.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  2. I thought that “church leader” in 17a was unfairly misleading. Was J.S. Bach really a church leader? Otherwise enjoyable and reasonably straightforward. Thank you DT and setter.
    I’m glad that Google has now let me back here.

      1. How far back are we meant to go? Daniel Barenboim is the Staatskapellmeister (director of music) of the Berlin State Opera orchestra. Nothing to do with churches these days.

  3. Don’t have time for crosswords during the week but just wanted to say “Welcome back B.D.” I’ve really missed accessing the site for the last couple of Saturdays, maybe I’ll manage better again tomorrow !!!

  4. Some tricky clues today but enough straight forward ones to keep going, so agree with DT on a **/***.not sure if I’ve seen17a written down before, so pleased it was an anagram . Assumed my stab at 19d was right and became confident when 27a went in.
    A week of enjoyable solves of medium difficulty-we shall see what Saturday and Sunday bring ! Sunday is always a treat and that little bit different.

  5. Top half went in quickly and pretty much read and write working the grid. But then really slowed in bottom half and lastly se corner. ***/** from me. Several new words but derivable. Favourite was 3d.
    Thanks all

  6. I agree with the ‘straightforward’ rating this puzzle is getting so far today. Almost a R&W (I do like using that abbreviation now I’ve been told what it means!) Funnily enough, 1a was my LOI as the mind became focused on forms of abrasive for some reason and wouldn’t let go.

    I suspect 17a will excite plenty of comment later. First time I’ve ever seen it in a crossword and had to check the spelling – though it has to be acknowledged that it’s a clever anagram. I think neveracrossword is being a little harsh – Bach was certainly a leader in a church; he just lead something other than prayer.

    I was fully prepared to complain about 12d: I’d worked out the answer but had to look up the meaning of chine. The first online dictionary said it was a ridge. Wikipedia enlightened me and pointed me at the Isle of Wight. Rather confusing. And to make it worse, the same thing is called ‘bunny’ in Hampshire which I’m sure will pop up misleadingly in a clue in the future.

    COTD: shared between 16d and 18d. Both solved sweetly but both made me smile. Thanks to setter and to DT

    1. Lots of Chines in Bournemouth and some in Torquay, as well as IOW. Makes for an interesting variant on the traditional English seaside prom walks.

    2. My sources tell me that meaning of chine is a southern English word, not for use above Watford Gap.

    3. I’ve been pondering on the alternative to chine mentioned in my earlier post and came up with “Rocky niche houses bunny (5)”

  7. I enjoyed this. I liked ‘that is deliberate’ in 1a, and enjoyed the surfaces in 2d and 3d. Also liked 22d, effective. I liked 12d though I didn’t know the ravine, and I didn’t know 17a which I thought was the obscurity of the day but everyone else seems to know all about it – oh well.

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

  8. Not as hard as some Giovanni puzzles, but still quite enjoyable. Never heard of the region in 19d or the church leader in 17a, both were easy enough to work out from the clues. Favourites 1a and 18d. 2.5*/2.5* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his hints.

  9. Not as tricky as some. I had more difficulty parsing some of my answers. Thanks to The Don and to Deep threat for help with the parsing.

  10. No trouble accessing the site today but I’ll shut up about that now for fear of tempting fate.
    I thought the crossword was surprisingly straightforward for a Friday – usually the trickiest of the week for me.
    I don’t know about 13a – don’t really think that its a sort of sound – more a way of making a sound.
    I’m not sure I’ve met 5d before but it wasn’t too difficult to work out from the clue.
    I have heard of 17a but that doesn’t mean I can spell it so checked in the BRB.
    I liked 1a and 16d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Jolly cold here today. I was doing quite well with the Toughie but now seem to have ground to a complete halt. :sad:

  11. Gradually getting to know names of setters and those who give the invaluable help. I find the blog most interesting and was quite lost for the days it was down.I found today an enjoyable solve until I reached 17 d and a word I had never heard of, but hopefully will not forget. Thanks to all.

  12. Agreed with the rating – pretty straightforward for the Don.
    Not keen on 17a – shouldn’t there be a hint that it’s foreign?
    New definition of chine for me, and 19d was new to me too.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for the review.
    Currently sat in the sunshine here in Almoradi after a couple of chilly days as it never warmed up yesterday

    1. The Isle of Wight has the famous Blackgang Chine, much beloved of coach mystery tours of my youth. Do they still have Mystery Tours?

        1. Hi pommers. Hoped you’d show up today after your advice of yesterday. I tried the Guardian online today. Set by VLAD. Absolutely nowhere near the setter’s wavelength, I’m afraid. Haven’t given up on so many clues and looked up the answer in a very long time. And still didn’t get the rationale for some of them. I need to find a Big Dave for the Guardian; I’m sure there’ll be one. Will probably persevere but a bit of a baptism of fire this morning!

  13. I didn’t mind its being “straightforward”, and I’d certainly stop short of “uninspiring”, which is quite rude, because I thought practically all the surfaces were lovely, lovely, lovely…..

    I liked the anagram in 17a, but my favourite is definitely the anagram/synonym/surface combo in12d. What else is a hole in the wall?

    ………”O wall, o sweet and lovely wall,
    Show me thy chink………………..”

  14. All a little too religious for my taste but an excellent puzzle nonetheless. 17a was new to me (thank you Google) and I needed the hints to understand 21a (it was always called RE in my school).
    Two excellent clues in 16d and 18d with the former being my favourite.
    Such a relief after yesterday although to be fair, I did manage to complete it after considerable effort and resorting to one answer from the hints.
    Today’s for me was **/****
    Thx to all

  15. **/***. 17a is a new one on me, but then I know nothing of Haydn’s works (too turgid). 19d was also new to me and wasted my time solving. Ravine in 12d was a bit steep, but is in common use in Bournemouth etc. Quite liked 14a. Thanks to setter and DT for comments. Oh, and learnt how to spell 23a, never having written it down before. Glad to see the sites running OK now.

  16. I’ll go with the flow on this fairly gentle Giovanni offering and rate it 2*/3* with 1 across my COTD. For me, the benign nature of the difficulty took nothing away from the excellent surfaces and clueing, which I thought was up to his usual standard.

    Thanks to The Don and DT for his review.

    1. I agree and enjoyed it; don’t like rude comments to the setters. Where would we be without them, and reviewers.

  17. Like RD, I didn’t really get very much out of this one although I surprised myself by recalling 17a easily enough and not having to work too hard to get 19d. The chine was easy enough for someone with a daughter living on the IOW.
    Nothing stood out as being worthy of particular mention.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – computer still not happy with the site but at least its allowing me access most of the time!

  18. You certainly seem to have your share of server problems !Very frustrating for both you and the solvers !
    Do you need to invest in a new server ?
    Do we need to have a whip round !

  19. Yes, I agree, Giovanni quite benign today.
    I did have to use my gizmo for the anagram at 17a, very obscure, but, to be fair, I do think that has popped up before. I had forgotten it, and I’ll probably forget it again next time, what a mouthful.
    There was quite a lot to like, 14a amused me, but fave goes to 12d as I learnt a new word today.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for the parsing of 1a in particular.

      1. I so enjoyed the book, I went ahead and ordered his father’s “Travels with Macy”, which I haven’t started yet as am in the midst of a Kindle book right now.

        1. So pleased – I had noticed his father’s book so I will see if it is on our Kindle.
          Thought BusyLizzie might like it too.

          1. After your remark about the storm, I phoned my friend in Drefach, and they didn’t have it too badly. She did say that Aberystwyth had a mini-tornado, how awful.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    Found this puzzle quite hard work but about three star standard for me. Spelling of 17a troubled me (why two L’s?) but there was no alternative but to write it in. 19d was new to me and a bit of a flier. Last in 27a perhaps I should have seen sooner.

    Glad to see site issues seem to have been overcome.


  21. Very enjoyable – a nice mix of clues and some unusual words – I enjoyed this a lot.

    Rugby tonight – Bath v Bristol – I expect Bristol to get their usual trouncing although Bath may be a bit short of their stars.

  22. IMO we have been spoilt this week with especially enjoyable puzzles and today’s is no exception. I was not surprised to see several Comments re 17a with which I was in fact familiar and my limited knowledge of German enabled me to spell it correctly. The abbreviated religious instruction referred to in 21a always throws me as ‘Divinity’ was the title of the subject at my school. Needed to Google 19d. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/***.
    Am I alone in for the last few days no longer receiving BD emails when the hints are available each day?

  23. Good afternoon from a wet South Wales. Made worse by the Stygian gloom caused by loss of our street lights from last night’s storm. Strange how this affects ones mood.
    On the tougher side for me. Misreading my writing held me up unnecessarily. Like others had to Google to check 17a and 19d were OK.
    COTD was 1a.
    Thanks to setter and DT. Help on parsing 12d required. Had visited Bournemouth many times so knew of chine but didn’t realise it was a ravine,

    1. Stygian gloom removed well done Council. Brightened my evening literally & metaphorically.

  24. I like anagram clues where you need to look around for the fodder and feel very spoiled today.
    Liked 16d a lot.
    Just had to check the thesaurus once to get the synonym of loiter in 19d and Googled the answer to check.
    That gave me 27a which was my last one in.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  25. Luckily one member of our team knew 17a so we were able to assemble the fodder correctly and that let us find the clothing in 16d. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  26. The ecclesiastical flavour is one we are often used to on a Friday and so wasn’t that unexpected, less welcome for me was the repeated use of “ant” to clue worker/workers in 4a and 16d.

    I did think both 1a and 1d quite clever in their construction and knew “chine” from previous South coast trips. It hadn’t occurred to me it was a regional word though.

    Thanks to Mr. Manley and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

  27. We enjoyed this crossword. We haven’t posted for a few days because there was a problem
    with a virus on this site. Sorted now. Thanks to DT and the Don.

    1. Really pleased to see you both again. How are your puppies? I think by now they must be young dogs rather than pups.

  28. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Quite a good puzzle, only problems were 17a&19d, got the former from the fodder and the latter from the wordplay. I liked 22d,but my favourite was 23a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  29. A relatively easy offering from the Don, my last in 17ac which was basically just a matter of looking at the remaining letters and seeing what made sense. Sort of. Enjoyable as ever on a Friday.

  30. Friday’s crossword is always my least favourite day, and today was no exception, though not helped by having a cold and feeling grumpy. The clues just don’t chime for me.
    Thanks to DT for the hints, many of which I used, and the Don, of course, one day I will be able to do one of his crosswoods.

    1. As always it has a lot to do with whether or not you’re on the same wave length as the setter – I’m with you – I find Fridays tricky.
      The other thing that has a bearing on how you feel about a crossword is other “stuff”. Today you have a cold and you’re feeling grumpy – I hope you feel better soon. :rose:

  31. Not my cup of tea today, certainly not straight forward. I was obviously marching to a different drummer. Didn’t like 13a, 5d, or 19d, as they are not words I have read or heard used. I must be really slow today, as I don’t understand what “featured in speech” has to do with that island? The tree bit I get. Favorite was 26a, a favorite tipple but hard to come by in the US. Even in the pseudo English pubs over here I usually get a blank stare if I ask for half a shandy. We’ve educated quite a few barmen on how to make one.

    Thanks for all the help DT.

    1. “featured in speech” is just a way of indicating a homophone, i.e. the tree (cypress) sounds like the island.

  32. I enjoyed today’s offering. I was slow to get going but once I was ‘in’ I picked up momentum. I quite liked 4a so I’ll nominate that as my fave. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  33. Did not have the time to finish this yesterday, so rounded it off this morning.
    Had to look up 19d but other than that, managed to finish….quite an achievement for me on a Friday.
    I think I may be very very slowly becoming attuned to some of the setters…..but it is a slow process for me.
    And one which would not be happening at all but for this site.

    Thanks to Deep Threat for the hints, much needed for the parsing, and to the setter .

Comments are closed.