DT 28293 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28293


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28293

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dark, damp,December day.

The NW corner of today’s Giovanni took me the longest to solve, and since that is where I usually try to start, I thought we were in for a Friday tester. But once I had a foothold the rest went in without too much trouble.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ 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           Optimistic European, one inclined to go north (8,4)
POSITIVE POLE – Another word for optimistic followed by an Eastern European national, producing the end of a suspended magnet which tends to point north.

9a           What’s odd in a politician, almost the thinker? (9)
RUMINATOR – Put together a word for odd, IN A (from the clue), and the first three letters of a four-letter politician or party.

10a         Scoundrel, one brought before a church court (5)
CURIA – A scoundrel or dog followed by the Roman numeral for one and A (from the clue), giving us another word for the Papal court.

11a         Like escaped criminal worker caught during day (6)
WANTED – A short form of one of the days of the week wrapped around one of the usual worker insects.

12a         Prisoners stuck in ‘ollow place must be sympathised with (8)
CONSOLED – Some of the usual crossword prisoners, followed by ‘in a hollow place’ with the initial H removed.

13a         Try and be still, hugging a player on the field (6)
GOALIE – A try or attempt, and a verb describing the action of being still, placed either side of A (from the clue).

Image result for football goalie

15a         Insane trick by Jolson in song (8)
MADRIGAL – Put together another word for insane, a somewhat obscure word for a prank or trick, and the first name of Mr Jolson.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a         Identifies fellow as one likely to hit target (8)
MARKSMAN – A 5-letter word for identifies or picks out, followed by another word for a fellow or chap.

19a         Coming ahead of the festive season (6)
ADVENT – The liturgical season before Christmas.

21a         Letter to settle status of ennobled man (8)
LANDLORD – The letter is someone who lets. Put together ‘settle’, as a bird might when it comes out of the air, and a generic title for a male member of the nobility.

23a         Graze a bit, needing energy (6)
SCRAPE – A small piece of something, perhaps left over, followed by Energy.

26a         Back being tough (5)
STERN – Double definition, the first being the back of a ship.

27a         Native — one getting drink in a hole in the ground? (9)
ABORIGINE – Start with A (from the clue) and a hole in the ground, perhaps one made in search of water, then insert the Roman numeral for one and some mother’s ruin.

28a         Adulterer agreeing to lose one of two rights (2-10)
CO-RESPONDENT – Start with a 13-letter word meaning agreeing or matching, then remove one of Rights (and you would replace it with a hyphen if this were not going into a crossword grid, as the enumeration shows).

Image result for co-respondent shoes


1d           Hair and metallic thread upsettingly swallowed by farm animal (7)
PERIWIG – Some false hair popular in the 17th century. Reverse (upsettingly) a drawn-out metal thread, and wrap a common farm animal around it.

Image result for periwig

2d           This person’s entertained by boy, simple lad? (5)
SIMON – A short way of writing ‘this person is’, with a boy child wrapped around it, giving us the simple lad who met a pieman going to the fair.

3d           Woman with shots going round hides in these workplaces (9)
TANNERIES – Shots or attempts wrapped around a woman’s name, producing some workplaces where animal hides are treated.

4d           Prohibit nothing after check (4)
VETO – ‘Check’ or ‘examine’ followed by the letter which looks like a zero.

5d           Private agent set up new salon (8)
PERSONAL – Reverse (set up) a short word for a commercial agent, then add an anagram (new) of SALON.

6d           Secures hair (5)
LOCKS – Double definition: secures with a key; or a slightly poetic word for hair.

7d           Fresh role — go up giving introduction to play (8)
PROLOGUE – Anagram (fresh) of ROLE GO UP.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d           Composer to manage being heard (6)
HANDEL – An 18th-century composer, one of whose major works is frequently performed at this time of year. His name sounds like (being heard) ‘to manage’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d         Planned a road to bypass mountains (8)
ARRANGED – A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for road, wrapped around a chain of mountains.

16d         Introduce woeful cut (9)
REDUCTION – Anagram (woeful) of INTRODUCE.

Newspaper version: Cut last bit of learner’s instruction with head of academy absent (9)
The final letter of learneR followed by a word for instruction (in school, possibly) with the first letter of Academy removed.

17d         Bearing of one in anger following vehicle (8)
CARRIAGE – A commonly used vehicle followed by another word for anger with the Roman numeral for one inserted into it.

18d         Trouble created by furry creature on street (6)
MOLEST – A furry creature who lives mainly underground and makes mounds all over your lawn if he gets away with it, followed by an abbreviation for STreet.

20d         There is time for those not yet considered (3,4)
THE REST – A contracted form of ‘there is’ followed by Time.

22d         Words coming from Heather with love (5)
LINGO – A synonym for heather (not erica, the other one) followed by the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

24d         No. 51 in avenue becomes animated (5)
ALIVE – Insert the Roman numeral for 51 into an abbreviation for AVEnue.

25d         Work up and down in part of ship (4)
POOP – The Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work, reversed followed by the same unreversed. Part of a ship which is found at the 26a.

The Quick Crossword pun MAINE + ROWED = MAIN ROAD

37 comments on “DT 28293

  1. An enjoyable puzzle that I found to be reasonably straightforward and clearly clued.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni **/***

  2. One of the best – I loved it. I’m with DT in having found NW corner the most challenging mainly due to stalling over 9a. Hard to pick a Fav from so many goodies but standouts are 12a, 21a and 3d. 10a new one on me however it had to be. Thank you SO much Giovanni and DT for super hints particularly the illustrated/sound ones. ***/*****.

  3. Super puzzle, a typical Giovanni where no part of the clue is redundant.
    Was a bit puzzled by 16d (last in), the electronic version is far easier than the paper, who decides to do different clues and why? Must admit I could not solve the paper version. Best for me was 1a then 13a.
    Thx to all.

  4. Completed comfortably before lights out last night – **/***. However, while the on-line version of 16d was easy to solve, I think I might have had trouble with the newspaper version.

    Short favourite 22d. Long favourite 28a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    (Not as cold as forecast yesterday, only minus 17 C.)

  5. This crossword had the grey cells scurrying around for a while, especially in the NW corner. I switched to the bottom of the grid and everything went smoothly thereafter.
    9a was my favourite and 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  6. I found this excellent Giovanni puzzle a little trickier than usual, with the NW corner only giving up its secrets at the end. 1 and 3 down, together with 11 across my last ones in. Favourite was 27 across and overall this was 3*/4* for me.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and DT for a top review.

  7. 3d, 9ac and 11ac last ones in. As usual with Giovanni once solved you cannot see why they were not read and writes. Big Dave has been knocked of the number one spot on my google search engine. Number one is a Seafood Restaurant near to Merusa. Bigdaveseafood.com. The menu isn’t floating my boat so it looks like I will be staying within these shores until the six nation tournament in 2018

    1. Not near to me, M’pops, it’s in North Carolina! It doesn’t look too exciting.
      I’m not posting today as have no internet connection to my computer, “local area connection doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” is what it says. I have Internet to the iPad, which is good, so am assuming that some feline sinners have maybe disconnected something.
      I loved the pic at 28a, you don’t hear them called that any more.
      Hopefully I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

  8. I found this puzzle more straightforward than many Fridays. However, it would not be Friday without some additions to my vocabulary. Today’s new words were 1d and 10a. Both gettable from the wordplay, but both needed BRB verification after the solve.

    Likes included 12a’s dropped aitch, 21a because I’m finally spotting that kind of letter in a reasonable time, 16d (online) because the smooth anagram pair surprised me, and 18d just because.

    I had one big dislike, which is 1a’s strange fusing of electricity and of magnetism. While the answer, to my surprise, appears in the BRB, I believe it won’t be found in any physics book.

    Apart from that glitch it was a fun solve. Thanks to Giovanni for that, and thanks to DT for his fine review. I’m rating it ***/***.

    1. Mr K. 1a: Positive pole is simply the correct term for the pole of a magnet that naturally points to the north when it is freely suspended.

      1. Hi, Jose. I’m afraid that I have to disagree. The scientifically correct term for the pole of a magnet that naturally points to the north when it is freely suspended is “north pole”. In electromagnetism we use the terms “positive” and “negative” only to label the two different types of electric charge that are found to exist in Nature.

        I had never encountered the 1a answer before solving this puzzle. But since it does appear in the BRB and a few other dictionaries I suppose that within crosswordland it does fit the definition. But you won’t hear a scientist using it.

  9. :phew: Oh dear – it looks as if it’s going to be one of those ‘just me’ days.
    I found this really difficult but, as MP’s just said, now I can’t quite see why – I think it’s something to do with the almost total lack of anagrams.
    It’s taken me ages – having read through all the clues once I had about five answers and was slightly despairing about the possibility of ever getting going properly.
    I don’t think I’ve heard of the 10a Papal court.
    If the 18d little ‘furry creatures’ would just stay on the street I wouldn’t mind but they don’t – they dig up the lawn, my veggies and my plants. :sad:
    I liked 11 and 18a. My favourite was 23a – a fairly simple one – one of the few that I managed without too much trouble.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  10. If Giovanni is listening and lurking out there in the ether, perhaps sir you could tell us why the paper and electronic versions are sometimes different.

  11. 3*/2*. A typical Friday puzzle with accurate cluing but it all felt a bit flat to me.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  12. Awarded myself brownie points for dragging both 1d&10a from the depths of the old grey cells but immediately lost them by carelessly putting ‘sureshot’ into 18a.
    An enjoyable solve with 9a taking pride of place and 28a close behind.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – took a while to listen to all the ‘clips’ but well worth while.

    Just spotted who’s in the Toughie slot – what a run of real ‘toughies’ this week. Maybe I should leave this one alone!

  13. I especially liked 27a because having done 16 and 24d I decided the hole in the ground was obviously a mine and spent some while trying to prove it. This may not have been deliberate misdirection but it worked for me. (That and having confidently written “entitled” for 21a without parsing it properly.) Very enjoyable today. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  14. Lovely lovely puzzle which we spent a bit of time finishing because of interruptions with the new banjo
    and guitars that have arrived in the homestead. Thanks to The Don & Deep Threat.

  15. I agree that the NW corner proved the most stubborn, but overall it wasn’t as tough as certain Fridays can be.

    It was interesting to see the marked difference between the online and paper versions of 16d, eight words fewer no less! I actually thought that, although rather verbose, the paper version was quite an original attempt to clue a familiar answer in a fresh way, perhaps Mr. K can reveal if anything similar has been attempted before?

    I thought the wordplay for 3d was deceptively clever, but I’ll nominate 28a as my favourite.

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

    1. Hi, silvanus. There are only so many ways to clue a word, so with a non-obscure answer like 16d (12 appearances since 2001), it must now be almost impossible for a setter to come up with a completely new clue. So it’s not a surprise to find three relatives of today’s newspaper clue among the 161,443 clues used in the past 15 years of back-pagers:

      “Right schooling? Not a drop (9)”

      “Resistance ahead of heartless schooling cut (9)”

      “Cut third of traditional curriculum before schooling (not advanced) (9)”

      1. That’s interesting, Mr K. Eagle seems a common answer – how many times has it appeared in the DT please and has it ever been clued without repeated references (one of my pet hates) to “golf”, “bird” or “score”.

        1. 20 EAGLEs since 2001. Of those, the four clues that don’t explicitly mention bird or golf or score (or par) are:

          It keeps a sharp eye on German and American arms (5)
          Hunt missing leader, a swift seeker of prey? (5)
          Almost keen to embrace Lincoln’s first symbol of America (5)
          Busy legate with no time, high-flier (5)

            1. Just for a bit of fun, here’s one I wrote in the 1980s but I still had to use “score”: Score could be regaled, but without prologue and coda (5).

  16. **/****. Very enjoyable once i got into the clueing. Do just what it says on the tin. Had to check 10a as I’d not heard this word. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review. As predicted i woke up to snow this morning so shovel at the ready to clear the side walk – its a bye-law requirement here.

  17. ***/*** for me today.
    My intial thought was I couldn’t start it, let alone finish, but working upwards from the bottom to the NW corner I slowly, but surely completed it.
    Some obscure clues, some R&W. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review and BD for the website

  18. Just into 2*, and 3* for enjoyment. I liked 3d. 28a took me a while; I haven’t come across the solution as a synonym for agreeing before, but I’m sure there’s a BRB entry to prove it’s perfectly kosher. Thanks to the Don, and DT.

  19. It looks like we were not the only ones trying to use ‘mine’ for the hole in 27a but soon sorted. The usual top quality Friday entertainment for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  20. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. Like most people I found the NW corner the most difficult. Last in was 28a. Favourite was 21a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  21. I found this really difficult, especially the NW corner.
    Just haven’t got to grips with the Friday setter…yet.

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

  22. Phew, that was very hard work. Think my brain goes into meltdown by Friday. Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Difficult to pick favourite and only when I read blog did I understand 16d, I could do without that sort of confusing clue.

  23. Slow to get started, but once I did then things went reasonably smoothly, though I always did feel that I had to keep my brain in gear. Last in for me the SW corner.

  24. Much the hardest of the weekend for me, a disappointment after yesterday’s gem.
    Still, going though the hints will hopefully help me for next time, though I say that every week.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  25. At last a puzzle that I could actually complete (well with a couple of hints from Deep Threat, thanks), the first this week. Thanks Giovanni, enjoyed this one. I was slow off the mark and got a sinking feeling that it was going to be one of those days, but the a couple of hints later I was off and running. Had to break for usual Friday shopping trip, and finished off over a cup of tea. 17d was last in, no idea why.

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