DT 28281 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28281

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28281

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the pall of cloud which has covered us all week has finally lifted, giving a sunny but cold start to the day.

One or two slightly unusual words today, as we expect from Giovanni, but the fair cluing enables the solver to get to the answer.

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           Those wanting worn-out horse to move getting tools? (12)
SCREWDRIVERS – A term for a worn-out horse, followed by a noun for those encouraging it, or any other animal, to move.

Image result for screwdrivers

9a           Checking a complete treatment (5-4)
GOING-OVER – Without the hyphen this is a verb phrase meaning ‘checking’. With the hyphen we have a noun phrase for a thorough course of treatment.

10a         A maiden given massage back in the old country (5)
BURMA – Put together A (from the clue), a maiden over from a cricket scorecard, and another word for massage, then reverse the lot (back) to get the former name of a Far Eastern country.

Image result for burma

11a         One given 12 by a letter? (6)
TENANT – The letter here is someone doing some letting, and the 12 is the answer to 12a. The answer is the term for the person to whom the letter lets something.

12a         Come down with an agreement (8)
CONTRACT – Double definition, the first being a more formal term for coming down with an illness.

13a         Swell girl keeping one waiting? (6)
DILATE – A two-letter abbreviated form of a girl’s name, followed by what you are if you keep someone waiting.

15a         Mite in grass not moving (8)
STICKING – Another slang term for ‘to grass’ or inform, wrapped around a bloodsucking mite.

18a         Old-fashioned member of family dies (6,2)
PASSES ON – A French word (5) for behind the times or out of date, followed by a male child (3).

19a         Threaten troublemaker, the limit (6)
IMPEND – Put together a troublemaking supernatural creature and a word for the limit or finish of something.

21a         A fiend troubled the Church, showing bold opposition (8)
DEFIANCE – Anagram (troubled) of A FIEND, followed by the initials of the Established Church.

23a         Comprehensive girl having sort of ball inside (6)
GLOBAL – The sort of ball which at tennis is hit back over the opponent’s head, with another spelling for girl wrapped around it.

26a         Oxford may be so reprimanded (5)
LACED – This may happen to an Oxford if it is a shoe.

27a         Attempt to capture soldiers joining a guerrilla in perfidious conduct (9)
TREACHERY – Put together some engineering soldiers, A (from the clue), and crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary guerrilla, then wrap a word for ‘attempt’ around the result.

28a         Priest sorely disposed to be wooer of those of another faith (12)
PROSELYTISER – Anagram (disposed) of PRIEST SORELY.


1d           Picked out, quoted for the audience (7)
SIGHTED – This word for ‘picked out visually’ sounds like (for the audience) a word for ‘quoted’.

2d           Niger’s corrupt rule (5)
REIGN – Anagram (corrupt) of NIGER.

3d           Small vehicle moving to Newgate (9)
WAGONETTE – Anagram (moving) of TO NEWGATE.

Image result for wagonette

4d           Bishop coming to such a wild party would be courageous (4)
RAVE – If you put the chess notation for a bishop in front of the wild party which is the answer, you get a word meaning ‘courageous’.

5d           There’s very short opening for it in the bar (8)
VERMOUTH – A truncated form of ‘very’ followed by an opening in the body, which gives us the ‘it’ in a ‘gin and it’.

6d           Little fellow with old books — a performer lacking emotion (5)
ROBOT – A shortened form of a man’s name, followed by the abbreviation for the books making up the older part of the Bible.

Image result for robot

7d           After short time a tree is processed to make paper (8)
TREATISE – An abbreviation for Time followed by an anagram (processed) of A TREE IS, giving us an academic paper.

8d           Newspaper designation for the rabble (6)
RAGTAG – A derogatory term for a newspaper followed by a designation or label.

14d         Confused female star was humiliated (4,4)
LOST FACE – Another word for ‘confused’ followed by Female and a sports star.

16d         Company member within the law — but not without guilt? (9)
COMPLICIT – Put together the abbreviation for ‘company’, a Member of Parliament, and ‘within the law’.

17d         Pieces of music with staccato playing (8)
TOCCATAS – Anagram (playing) of STACCATO.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d         Walk by the shore, as theologian looking unwell getting about (6)
PADDLE – The complexion of someone who is unwell, wrapped around the letters after the name of a learned theologian.

20d         One lingering in place surrounded by animals (7)
DELAYER – Some wild animals (the sort which particularly annoy Kath, perhaps), wrapped around ‘to place’.

22d         Notice the German, a poisonous type (5)
ADDER – A short form of a publicity notice followed by one of the forms of the definite article in German.

Image result for adder

24d         Consecrate good queen, having introduced oil finally (5)
BLESS – Put the last letter (finally) of oiL inside the short form of the name of Queen Elizabeth I.

25d         Hard measure creates uproar (4)
HELL Hard followed by an old measure of cloth – about 1¼ yards.

The Quick Crossword pun TRESS + PASSING = TRESPASSING

60 comments on “DT 28281

  1. This was a surprisingly light and enjoyable puzzle for a Friday to lighten the gloom that is called Black Friday. I am sure I am not alone in this but my inbox has been inundated all week with Black Friday emails. This morning it got worse and it felt as if I had been subjected to a personal DDoS attack with several emails arriving every few minutes coupled with a Hydra-like effect that as soon you delete one another three appear. Rant over. Back to the puzzle!

    My rating is 2*/2.5*. With my pedant’s hat on (isn’t it always?), I have deducted half a star for enjoyment due to the very common but incorrect use of poisonous instead of venomous in 22a. BD, is this worthy of an entry in your Pedant’s Guide?

    I held myself up slightly in the NW corner by initially putting in “renter” for 11a but had to change it after I had solved the 3d anagram luckily without having looked at the wrong checker.

    28a was a very clever anagram and 8d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. But, has ‘Cyber Monday’ – the on-line equivalent of ‘Black Friday’ – hit the UK yet? In any event, both are conning the public because, in the USA, there is plenty of evidence to show that there are better deals available at other times of the year.

    2. RD. 22d: This subject/argument has been mooted a few times on here and I would just like to point out that venomous and poisonous are both listed as synonyms of each other (as are venom and poison) in the BRB Thesaurus. I don’t know, but the setters might use that fact to justify the usage in relation to snakes. I’m not fully sure myself but am open to persuasion.

      1. Venomous and poisonous can be synonyms in some contexts – as an adjective to describe DDoS attackers, for instance, but it is certainly true that strictly speaking snakes are venomous, not poisonous.

      2. I checked the definition at home in my BRB, which states for venomous: poisonous; having power to poison, especially by bite or sting. So, using everyday, common parlance I would suggest that any animal, including snakes, having that ability could be described as “poisonous”. We are mere mortals – most of us are not ultra-punctilious ophidiologists.

      1. Velly interwesting! Does a tick = a mite – now there’s one I never thought I’d encounter. Well, the definition of a synonym is a word that means (1) the same or (2) nearly the same as another word. A tick certainly isn’t a mite but they are so very closely related that the comparison is probably valid due to category (2) synonymy.

    3. Hi RD
      Posted mine before I’d read yours and see we were of one mind initially re 11a and were saved in the same way. And I do agree re 28a – I really enjoy the anagrams that you simply don’t spot.

    4. I agree re Black Friday, but as I’ve never, ever wanted anything badly enough to do battle with those crowds, I simply ignore it all.

  2. Amazing to think that it was just a few years ago when the only Black Friday we knew on this side of the pond was Robinson Crusoe’s companion ;-)

    I’ll post my thoughts on the puzzle later.

  3. I don’t think I have given a Giovanni one star for difficulty before but I have to today because I completed this one comfortably within the on-line submission bonus time limit, and before lights out last night, so, */*** for me.

    I did try to find anagram fodder in 1a, but, as more of the checkers went in, it became obvious that it was not going to happen. Then, an inspirational moment had me looking up definitions of the first part of the answer, and that was today’s educational content.

    Three candidates for favourite – 26a for the second use this week of that form of castigation, but different elements of the verb; 27a for a good charade; and, another good charade. and, the winner is 26a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  4. Most challenging puzzle of the week for me but still comfortably completed within the time limit set on the online version. I was getting a bit worried when the first glance through the clues only threw up one solution – the fairly obvious 2d – but nothing else. Fortunately, a few pennies dropped on the second read and the solve was reasonably smooth thereafter.

    I still don’t understand 1a unless there’s a name for a worn-out horse that I’ve never encountered before. I wrongly plumped for ‘rental’ and then the ugly ‘renter’ for 11a which posed problems for 1d. Until 3d gave me the cross letter I needed. 8d was my LOI and is a nice clue.

    Stand out clues, for me, include 26a (fortunately I started thinking of different Oxfords quite early on), 5d, the aforementioned 3d where the obvious anagrind wasn’t so obvious on first read and the clever 18a. COTD, though, is 15a: simple but cunning.

  5. Usual great Friday fare from the Don. Must admit don’t remember coming across the term for an old horse before, spent a while trying to get Nag in! Did like 13a, made me laugh out loud even if a bit of a chestnut.
    Good to see that the site now has a DDoS protection, perhaps this will deter the idiots!
    Thx to all.

  6. Mostly plain sailing apart from 26a, a word ive never heard of before, even with all the other answers in I still couldnt work out the anagram. 1a was easy enough, but ive never heard of that term for a worn out horse. Favourites were 16d and 6d. 2.5*/2.5* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.

  7. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot. Quite straightforward, but needed the hints to parse 1a. Last in was 15a. Favourite was 28a. Was 2*/3* for me. Off to Newbury races.

  8. I’m dealing with Black Friday the same way I’d cope with Christmas if I had any choice: sleeping in nice and late and then venturing out only to run. No toad work today. :yahoo: Actually, I woke up very early and made a start on this to the sweet sound of elephants packing their trunks, before peace descended and sleep once again took me.

    Giovanni in light mood (perhaps in his own little protest against this dark day), and in this part of the world the gods have done something similar and decreed that it is sunny (so no excuse to dodge that run later). The only thing which was unfamiliar today was that type of screw. My last in was 5d, which I liked, but my favourite is 4d because it put an amusing image in my head.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT, and may you all have a light and happy Friday.

  9. My first read through yielded sweet Fanny Adams but a second go gradually sorted out the South and then the North eventually came together too. No particular Fav. In any case I enjoyed the trip. Thank you Giovanni and DT particularly for parsing 11a. ***/***. 👍

  10. Nice one for a Friday thank goodness for anagram solver or I would never have got 28a, even at my advanced age you learn something everyday.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and the Don

  11. I’m definitely with Angel on this one – most of you may have found it straightforward but I didn’t.
    I had two answers after my first read through of the across clues and the downs weren’t much better.
    Eventually did the bottom half but the top was much trickier.
    I couldn’t see 1a at all although now I think I do remember the term for the poor old horse.
    Missed the anagram indicator in 3d – don’t know how, but I did.
    I thought that 28a was a clever anagram which I did manage to spot.
    Today isn’t going to go down in history as one of my better efforts – oh dear!
    I liked 27a and 8d and the 28a anagram.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. No, I’m with you Kath – staring at a grid with only 8 answers in it, and not a ‘clue’ about any of the others…!

  12. Interesting blog today with a pedants revolt thrown in.
    Thought this week’s puzzles have been on the easy side, agree with Mark that this was the most challenging of the week but still a **/*** as per DT.
    Liked the surface of 16d,but then I am a charade fan, also 8d-all we needed was Bobtail !
    Must be the only blogger who had not heard of/did not know what DDoS stood for, whats the oDDS on that !.

  13. 2*/3* from me too for this comfortable and enjoyable Giovanni offering. Several fun clues, but I did enjoy 5 down. I had not heard of the horse in 1 across, but the answer was obvious with so many checkers. Delighted to see the pedants are out in force today. I suspect we will all triple check (or is that triple-check?) our comments before posting.

    Thanks to The Don and DT for a fine review.

    1. Yes, although it has apparently arrived in most other places (too early in my opinion), it looks like the season of peace and goodwill to all men (persons?) has not yet arrived here.

  14. Although I thought 28a was a good clue, I don’t think it is likely to crop up in Mr Kitty’s list of frequently occurring answers. I did wonder if anyone would ever use that noun in practice and, blow me down, it has actually appeared in print in the editorial comment in today’s paper. What a coincidence, or perhaps Mr Kitty would disagree?!

    1. You’re quite right about 28a, RD – that answer hasn’t appeared in any Telegraph crosswords in the past fifteen years (at least). The only answer even close to it is the past tense of the verb, which was seen in Quick 24940 on March 15, 2006.

      I’m impressed that Giovanni offered us a brand new 12 letter anagram with such a smooth surface. Not too surprised though. That level of originality is consistent with the data, which shows very little repetition in his clueing.

      Regarding its appearance in today’s paper, I’d go for coincidence. A Google of “proselytiser site:www.telegraph.co.uk” shows that it’s been used in the Telegraph four times already this year. Although I suppose it is possible that the Telegraph editors get advance copies of the cryptic and draw inspiration from them. Something to watch out for, perhaps.

  15. Good afternoon everybody.

    A bit of a tussle today. Had no idea why 1a and 25d. 18a was good as was 14d and last in 13a.


    1. ‘member’ goes with ‘of family’ rather than with ‘old fashioned’ and leads to the last three letters of the answer. Hope that helps.

    2. No, try reading it differently. The definition is ‘dies’. Old fashioned is ‘passe’ – should have an acute accent but can’t do it on this keyboard – and the member of the family is ‘son’.
      Hope that helps.

  16. I really enjoyed this one, lots to smile about today.
    I knew the old horse, so 1a didn’t present a problem.
    I spotted the 28a anagram on first read through but had no idea how to spell it, having very few checking letters, I did have to look it up. Otherwise, I didn’t need any electronic “friends” to help me, a record, methinks.
    I loved 8d and 5d, I’ll toss a coin for fave.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for his review.

  17. I found this puzzle fairly lacklustre to be honest, so much so that, very unusually, I didn’t tick a single clue. I’m glad that others seem to have derived more pleasure than this solver did.

    I’m another who hadn’t heard of the equine reference in 1a before, so the BRB was needed to confirm. The anagram in 28a was a good one, although the answer is one of those annoying words that’s very tricky to spell.

    Thanks to Mr. Manley and to Deep Threat, and a good weekend to all.

  18. Very much the same comments coming from me as from others – I didn’t know the term for the poor horse in 1a and although I knew the answer to 28a, avoided writing it in until I could be reasonably confident from the checkers of the correct spelling.
    I’m glad we had a form of 26a recently – otherwise I might have struggled with it.
    Unlike Silvanus (unusually!) I did find a couple that earned ticks from me, namely 18a&16d – for the surfaces as much as anything.

    Thanks to DG & to DT – especially for the musical interlude.

    Now it’s back to the wrestle with Sparks…….

  19. Add my name to the list of people who had not heard of the horse in 1a.
    Found the top half quite tricky and needed the hints for 1d, (really should have got that one), 11a , 8d (not a term I am aware of other than as chums of Bobtail, though I do remember singing about the raggle-taggle gypsies-o…..presumably this song can no longer be sung in our PC world) and had no clue at all about 15a.
    Still, for me only not solving 4 is probably an improvement.
    Onwards and upwards.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  20. Enjoyable crossword **/*** needed DT to explain 1, 11 & 18a Thank you very much 😊 Liked 15 & 26a Thanks to Giovanni for the normal fare in the sunny East 😎

  21. Well unlike most others i found this quite tricky and just couldnt get on the setters wavelength. Grateful to DT for explaining a number of these clues. Thanks to all.

  22. The horse in 1a must have been in a crossword at some earlier time as a ghost of a memory was still there and came to the surface. Another well crafted quality puzzle that we have come to expect on Fridays.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  23. I took quite a while to get going today, only about 3 went in on the first pass. Never heard of the old horse term, and spent too long trying to make nag work also, and have never heard 26a as meaning reprimanded. Also 18d held me up as I got a picture of an esplanade in my head, and should have gone down to the water instead. Oh well. It was a slowly, slowly catchy monkey day, and only got finished with Deep Threat’s help, thank you!

  24. I liked today’s offering. Like several here I only had a couple of answers on the first pass but slowly it came together. 18a tickled my fancy so that’s me favourite sorted.
    3/3* overall I think.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DTfor the review.

  25. Printer just gave up on me last night.
    Not surprising as it warned me that the spilled ink reservoir was full for the last few months.
    Decided to go and buy another one (not that I had the choice) forgetting it was Black Friday.
    Hell just started.
    Finally got back with printer and promptly tried to plug it in.
    Isn’t modern technology just great. The wee screen told me everything I had to do.
    When I put the cartridges in, the black one decided to leak all over my hands and floor.
    Put paper in tray and test printing took all the paper and jammed it.
    Then linked it to computer with USB which noticed new peripheral and told me to insert disk. Couldn’t open the blooming thing. Totally stuck.
    Decided to download pilot from internet.
    Firefox didn’t even want to open Google saying that the site was not secure.
    Forced another browser to open Google, found the pilot, downloaded it, opened it only to find that it was written in gobbledygook.
    Then stroke of luck. Managed to open disk drive with a screwdriver, inserted disk and the printer was online.
    Took me 3 hours.
    After this ordeal, it was a pleasure to sit down with dinner and this good crossword.
    1a should be my favourite really but I choose 4d for it’s elegance.
    11a was also in the running both for the clue itself and it’s review.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT.

    1. As always, oh dear springs to mind. Poor you.
      At least you did, eventually, enjoy the crossword – good.

  26. We finished this good puzzle after a hard days work (or night as the Beatles might sing)
    Cheers DT and The Don.

  27. The Don and I think differently, that’s for sure, Friday is always a struggle, though an eight-hour day with a commute to London on Southern Trains to boot is no sort of preparation to do a crossword on a Friday evening.
    Have a good week-end, all.
    Thanks to the Don and DT

    1. The Don and I think differently too and, like you, Fridays are always a struggle for me.
      I comfort myself that it’s always to do with wave-length and whether or not you’re on the same one as the setter.

      1. Probably. I think being knackered is a bigger problem, I used to enjoy Friday’s crossword before I started work again, I would be better off leaving it until Saturday

  28. The Don and I think differently, that’s for sure, Friday is always a struggle, though an eight-hour day with a commute to London on Southern Trains to boot is no sort of preparation to do a crossword on a Friday evening.
    Have a good week-end, all.
    Thanks to the Don and DT

  29. I liked it a lot. I’d never heard of the time-expired nag either, but the answer couldn’t have been anything else; otherwise an enjoyably straightforward challenge, which the Don occasionally treats us to, that made me feel cleverer than I am. I’m going for 8d as first past the post in the favourite stakes. Felicitations to the Don and DT 1*/4*

Comments are closed.