DT 28317


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28317

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a cloudy and damp South Staffs. Happy New Year to you all.

A couple of long anagrams to give some checking letters, and nothing really obscure from Giovanni today, so a relatively straightforward ** for me.

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           Party given by general in the field (6)
DOMAIN – The usual crossword party followed by an adjective meaning general or principal, giving us a field of expertise or responsibility, perhaps.

4a           Hunter taking part rode excitedly (8)
PREDATOR – Anagram (excitedly) of PART RODE.

10a         Hesitant female becoming different (9)
FALTERING Female followed by ‘becoming different’ or ‘changing’.

11a         A king in haunt of vice going about undisguised (5)
NAKED – Reverse (going about) a word often followed by ‘of vice’, then insert A (from the clue) and the chess notation for a king.

Image result for naked mole rat

12a         Race around river after short time training (7)
NURTURE – Put together the reversal of a word for ‘race’, Time, and a river in North Yorkshire.

13a         Bizarre row initiated by holy person (7)
STRANGE – The abbreviated title of a holy person followed by a row or line of items.

14a         Road blocked by black car that’s rolled over (5)
TRACK – Hidden in reverse (rolled over) in the clue.

15a         Quite inferior old car is seen in Switzerland (8)
CHEAPISH – A derogatory word for an old car and IS (from the clue, with the IVR letters for Switzerland wrapped around the result.

18a         Boring group of people that may be seen at Ascot (4,4)
FLAT RACE – ‘boring’ or ‘dull’ followed by an ethnic group of people.

20a         Dance round on one leg, say (5)
LIMBO – A generic word for a leg or arm, followed by the round letter.

23a         International organisation’s restricted, exhausted? No (7)
UNSPENT – The initials of a large international organisation, plus the ‘S from the clue, followed by ‘restricted’ or ‘imprisoned’.

25a         Dad collects the thing beside street –- quick pause in journey (3,4)
PIT STOP – Another informal word for ‘Dad’ wrapped around ‘the thing’ and STreet. Second day in a row that this answer has come up – 27a yesterday.

Image result for penelope pitstop

26a         Smell nothing? Grim (5)
ODOUR – The letter which looks like a zero or nothing, followed ‘grim’.

27a         Perhaps a Maine inhabitant always keeping behind (9)
EASTERNER – A poetic word for ‘always’ wrapped around a nautical term for ‘behind’, giving us a description of a Maine resident derived from the geographical location of the state. Here’s a seasonal illustration:

Image result for three kings

28a         Worries with the woman getting stuck in floods (8)
FRESHETS – The pronoun for ‘the woman’ placed inside a word for ‘worries’, giving us floods or , more commonly, streams.

29a         Saw the fellow left between the sheets? (6)
BEHELD – the pronoun for ‘the fellow’ and Left can be found where they would be if they were between the sheets.


1d           Like a particular article for sure (8)
DEFINITE – Double definition: the first could actually be an article which is ‘unlike A’.

2d           Disease brings false alarm to borders of India (7)
MALARIA – Anagram (false) of ALARM followed by the first and last letters of IndiA.

3d           6 may want this cooler (3,6)
ICE BUCKET – … to keep his wine cold. 6 refers to the clue at 6d.

5d           Regrets depot is needing to reform mail service (10,4)
REGISTERED POST – Anagram (needing to reform) of REGRETS DEPOT IS.

6d           One who eats his meal half-heartedly? (5)
DINER – Remove one of the middle letters from the name of a meal, to get the person who eats it.

7d           Proceeds from army college (7)
TAKINGS – Put together the initials of the former name of the Army Reserve, and add one of the constituent colleges of Cambridge or London universities.

8d           Showing more embarrassment, looking up and down (6)
REDDER – This is a palindrome (looking up and down). This is the colour your face will be if you’re more embarrassed than the others.

9d           Detect man in NHS wanting reform, being fed up (14)
DISENCHANTMENT – Anagram (wanting reform) of DETECT MAN IN NHS.

16d         They open parcel finally — awkward wrapping? (9)
POLYTHENE – Anagram (awkward) of THEY OPEN and (parce)L.

17d         Worried about nothing, politician gets weighed up (8)
COMPARED – The letter which looks like zero or nothing, plus the usual crossword politician, with ‘worried’ or ‘was concerned’ wrapped around the result.

19d         Lithe, upwardly-mobile model featured in story (7)
LISSOME – A (false) story wrapped around the reverse (upwardly mobile) of the surname of Kate, the fashion model.

Image result for lissome

21d         Performance, dull one, needs to be cut by 40 per cent (7)
MATINEE – Put together a three-letter word for dull or ‘not glossy’, the Roman numeral for one, and 3 of the 5 letters (cut by 40 per cent) of NEEds (from the clue).

22d         Discourage delay (3,3)
PUT OFF – Double definition: to discourage someone else from a course of action; or to delay taking action oneself.

24d         One may ward off the effects of a strike (5)
EARTH – Cryptic definition of something which may protect against the effects of lightning.

The Quick Crossword pun DEEP + ARCHERS = DEPARTURES


  1. Senf
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    For the second day in a row, completed comfortably before lights out last night and I just managed to creep under the bar for maximum bonus points – */****.

    Interesting to see 25a for the second day in a row, albeit with very different clueing. Then 28a was a new word for me, confirmed by the Small Red Book. 19d an oldie but goodie(?) but not necessarily with a model’s name in it.

    Listing of candidates for favourite stopped at 8, so too many very good clues to make a selection.

    Thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable puzzle and to DT.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    2*/3*. I like this trend of finding enjoyable puzzles on the back page on a Friday; long may it continue. Just one new word for me requiring a visit to my BRB today which was 28a.

    As mentioned by DT, 25a appears for the second consecutive day. Perhaps Mr Kitty could advise how often this has happened before, and if there has ever been a time when an answer appeared on three consecutive days?

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, RD. That required a little number-crunching, but I now have an answer for you.

      Repetitions of an answer on consecutive days are not uncommon. That happens about ten times every year.

      Less common are a pair of duplications on consecutive days. There are three of those, including:
      Mon 25 Jun 07 Keen to help a number inside (4) ACID
      Mon 25 Jun 07 Composer writes feature about musical work (6) CHOPIN
      Tue 26 Jun 07 Policemen trailing a tart (4) ACID
      Tue 26 Jun 07 Composer’s hit, gripping work (6) CHOPIN
      Wed 29 Apr 15 Transport mainly carrying American food (5) SUSHI
      Wed 29 Apr 15 Mature, about 49, and able to move quickly (5) AGILE
      Thu 30 Apr 15 Gives us hiccups consuming Japanese dish (5) SUSHI
      Thu 30 Apr 15 Active serviceman dropped into drink … (5) AGILE

      With the restricted vocabulary of seasonal crosswords, there’s a chance of three such repetitions on consecutive days around Christmas:
      Wed 24 Dec 08 Crazy party items (8) CRACKERS
      Wed 24 Dec 08 Something afoot in pantomime (5,7) GLASSSLIPPER
      Wed 24 Dec 08 Stocking filler in a Royal House (6) ORANGE
      Thu 25 Dec 08 Nuts? You’ll need these (8) CRACKERS
      Thu 25 Dec 08 In fairy tale this was uniquely fitting (5,7) GLASSSLIPPER
      Thu 25 Dec 08 Appropriate flavour for duck standing beside cooker (6) ORANGE

      There are no cases of repetitions on three consecutive days, but there are two occurrences of three repeats within four days:
      Sat 24 Apr 10 Crack above the forehead (8) HAIRLINE
      Mon 26 Apr 10 An almost invisible marking that recedes with age (8) HAIRLINE
      Tue 27 Apr 10 Small crack or heroin pipe (8) HAIRLINE
      Thu 28 Feb 13 Unhappy to be going over northern desert (4) SAND
      Fri 1 Mar 13 Grainy stuff stained regularly (4) SAND
      Sun 3 Mar 13 Polish tiny moving bits in old timepiece (4) SAND

      • Gazza
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Although the three ‘hairlines’ in 2010 didn’t appear on consecutive days they were on consecutive DT puzzles (26223, 26224 and 26225) on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Ray T shot down any suggestion that the editor was being careless with this comment Of course our editor spotted this bizarre coincidence some time ago, and thought that it would be fun for the solvers to have three different clues for the same word in three consecutive weekly Cryptics.

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks, Gazza, for the confirmation that the editor does indeed consider such things. As I have mentioned before, the data shows fewer answer repeats within a few days than would be expected by chance, which suggested that the editor does sometimes intervene to prevent such events.

          Regarding RayT’s comment, the three-peat “coincidence” really isn’t that bizarre. To quantify that, I simulated drawing a million sets of puzzle answers at random from the list of all answers appearing in the past 15 years of back-pagers, and then counted repeats in every consecutive run of three days of those “puzzles”. That showed that the probability that an answer appears on three consecutive days at some point in the past 15 years is about 60%. So finding at least one of them in that period is actually pretty much what’s expected.

          Finally, I know that the Sunday cryptic has a separate numbering sequence to the Monday-Saturday puzzles, but is there anything else that distinguishes Sundays from the rest of the week? I’ve been thinking of the back-pagers as one long string of consecutive puzzles.

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Sundays’ cryptics are always brilliant but there is an obvious reason for that …

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Amazing! Thank you Mr Kitty, you’re a star!

  3. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    28A? not really obscure? Is it just me?

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the hints without which I certainly would not have got 28a or most of the parsings.

    • Jose
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I thought that when I read the above. If 28a isn’t obscure, then I’m not sure what is? But, to be fair, it was pretty easy to parse from the word play.

  4. Beaver
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Some difficult parsing today, particularly the ‘southern half’, and a ***/*** for me.
    Back to work after the break and the car would not start, lots of bleeps and flashing lights on turning the ignition key ,but just a ‘clunk’ from the starter-jump start required.
    Liked 15a and 17a, glad I had the checking letters for 24d.
    Thanks to setter and DT, thought we would have had a Penelope pic for 25a!

    • Deep Threat
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Just for you! I’ve illustrated 25a

      • Beaver
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks DT, just the job!

  5. pete
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    I found this quite tough, but got there eventually. Ive never heard of 28a before either. Not sure about 3d, to dine is to eat not drink, surely that would be wine and dine. I might just be in a picky mood today lol. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.

  6. neveracrossword
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    I greatly enjoyed this. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  7. Mark
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable romp this morning with nothing particularly obstructive. I’d even heard of 28a before – probably in a crossword!

    On the whole, very elegant surfaces and some nicely crafted solutions. I liked 16d and 17d and gave COTD to 27a which is very smooth.

    I’m with pete in not being sure about 3d. I just thought it was a bit weak. LOI was 23a and the only one I thought to be a bit ugly. I got the answer but then spent time looking for something better.

    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    PS. On the subject of Mr Kitty’s word counts, it’s a shame these don’t cover the reviews as well: I wonder how often we’d see the combination of South, Staffs and cloudy?

  8. Jaylegs
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another relatively straight forward solve but I did not know 28a and had the wrong ending for 15a doh! 🙁 **/*** Favourite 15a and 10a Thanks to DT and to Giovanni 😄

  9. Angellov
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was just nicely testing. Reassuring to know I was not alone in not having come across 28a – thank goodness for Chambers. Failed to notice reverse lurker in 14a or 16d anagram and 17d was bunged in. Otherwise all good, clean fun. Thank you Giovanni and DT. ***/***.

  10. Michael
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    28a is a new word to me – which I got with my Wordsearch program – apart from that it all went swimmingly, no problem whatsoever – very enjoyable!

  11. Kath
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this was quite difficult.
    I’ve never heard of 28a.
    Missed the anagram for 16d for ages so couldn’t get 15a and then had the wrong ending for that one so couldn’t explain it.
    I was also very slow with 23 and 29a and didn’t see the hidden and reversed 14a.
    Without the two long anagrams down the middle I rather doubt that I would have got anywhere.
    All in all it wasn’t my day.
    I liked 18 and 20d and 2d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so hideous as the pic for 11a. :sad:

    • Kath
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I meant 18 and 20a. :roll:

  12. MalcolmR
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I too didn’t know 28a and needed the hint to get the old car, but apart from those, it all fell into place.

    **/** for me.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  13. pommers
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A tad trickier than recent Fridays but a lot more fun. ***/*** from me. 14a or 18a is fav but I can’t decide which.

    I agree with Kath about the piccy for 11a, if it were me I’d have used the naked harpist again. :lol:

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  14. Ben
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Re 21d, Doesn’t “matt” meaning “dull” have two ts?

    • Angellov
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I had the same thought but Chambers allows both spellings.

  15. Young Salopian
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The first pass yielded precious little in the way of completed squares. Luckily the phone went, and after giving my friend a damn good listening to, I returned to the crossword and it all went in very smoothly. A clever reverse lurker at 14 across, but my favourite was 27 across.

    Many thanks to The Don for a fun workout, and to DT for his review. 2*/3.5*.

  16. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didnt particularly enjoy this puzzle as i felt it was a bit clunky. Nevertheless thanks to the setter and DT for the review. Making a curry from Vikram Vij’s book today so looking forward to an exotic blend of spices.

  17. Merusa
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this decidedly tricky today. I don’t like panning a crossword, feel it’s better not to say anything, but today I’ll make an exception.
    The 5d anagram was easy, but I needed the gizmo for 9d, but once I got those two, I was able to solve a few.
    I missed the reverse lurker in 14a, but I bunged it in anyway. I knew 28a, miracle of miracles.
    I dunno, it all felt a bit heavy, but some gems in place, loved 20 a and 18a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  18. Jane
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definitely had to do a bit of work today – slow to work out 12&29a, also 17&24d.
    Missed the rekrul in 14a for ages and hadn’t heard of 28a before today.
    One of my hated ‘non-words’ at 15a!

    Top three places going to 18,20&29a.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – happy new year to you.

  19. silvanus
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I had never heard of 28a either and can’t recall it appearing in a backpager before, although Mr. Kitty could no doubt check on that.

    I echo RD’s sentiments and hope that this recent run of enjoyable, mostly obscurity-free Friday puzzles becomes the new norm.

    Three ticks today in total, going to 18a, 6d and 19d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      08/09/2007 DT 25404 He frets about flood (7)
      06/06/2008 DT 25636 Flood shown in new film (7)
      19/09/2008 DT 25726 Flood send the woman into torment (7)

      The last two were published on a Friday.

      • silvanus
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, Mr. K :-)

  20. Bart
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think 5d betrays the age of the setter. There is no longer such a thing – it’s been ‘Special Delivery’ or ‘Signed For’ for years.

    Anachronistic clues won’t encourage a new generation of enthusiasts!

    • Jane
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It does encourage some of us older ones to keep going, though!

  21. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    16d was our last one in as we were looking at wrapping as an inclusion indicator instead of the definition. Soon sorted and it all went together without much to delay our progress. A pleasant puzzle to solve as we expect every Friday.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. mre
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good evening everybody.

    Very enjoyayable puzzle with a nice blend of the fairly straightforward and the really quite tricky. Couldn’t for the life of me work out 28a and 24d.


  23. Heno
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one. Needed the hints for 28a and 24d. For the former, actually had frets written down with 3 gaps in between, but failed to insert she. Had never heard of the word. For the latter, like lightning, it went right over my head :-) Favourite was 21d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  24. Jon_S
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An enjoyable, pretty straightforward solve. If I’d trusted the cryptic part for 28ac then I would have clocked a quicker time, but as it was I was convinced it must be wrong. At least until I had every single checking letter. Doh.

  25. Killer Watts
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tricky in parts, 28A totally unknown to me.

    Took my mind off the football, worst £1100 I ever spent,that season ticket, worst Hammers since the late 70s.

    My phone went just now. Can’t leave anything safe around here.

    ***/***. Thanks to setter and to DT.

  26. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I always find Giovanni’s crosswords the toughest of the week as I struggle for wavelength consistently.
    This was no exception and I needed a few hints to finish.
    Thanks DT for the hints and the Don.

  27. BusyLizzie
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definitely tricky in places, and never read or heard 28a before. Was sure 18a had something to do with hats…oops. Not my best effort.

  28. Sheffieldsy
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We found it trickier than DT did, which is absolutely no surprise. 3*/3* with 16d our favourite.

    Thanks DT and Giovanni.

  29. Tstrummer
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, I found it hard, too. Not helped by a sudden onset of the bad back that plagues me from time to time. In agony until I got home and dug out the heavy-duty painkillers, which reduce the discomfort but also addle the brain. Got there in the end but found it a struggle – although looking at the completed grid, I can’t see why. I’ll go with flow and pick 27a for tonight’s laurel wreath. Thanks to DT and the Don. I’m off to bed to stare at the ceiling while trying to ignore my crumbling spine. 3*/3*

  30. Mcmillibar
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 1:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    All bar three clues in the SE done at 02:30 am on iPad and returned to that pesky SE again almost 24 hours later. Got it though. I use help as a very last resort and would rather revisit next day to try to finish unaided which means I am often one of the last on parade. Intervening daylight hours spent romping about on the South Downs today. Discovered OS Maps on my iPhone, so handy!
    V much approve of the less obscure Friday offerings, thank you Giovanni and thanks to DT as well.

  31. Jose
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    This was very good, as usual, from G and best of the week so far. 28a was a new word for me, but quite easy to parse from the word play. 2.5*/3.5*.

  32. Robin Newman
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wikipediaed the creature in your hint to 11A-it actually exists !

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