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DT 28341

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28341

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the day has started bright and sunny.

I wasn’t sure quite what to make of today’s puzzle. I had the grid filled in ** time, but have added another star because it took me a little longer to be sure of the parsing of some clues. The slightly unusual grid, with many unchecked first letters, didn’t help. Giovanni is in strigtly secular mode today, and there are no really obscure answers, though still a General Knowledge element to some clues.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


7a           Seven matters I’d written about in notices for the press? (14)
ADVERTISEMENTS – Anagram (written about) of SEVEN MATTERS I’D.

9a           Stratagem needed by this person sunk in depression in military manoeuvre (10)
DEPLOYMENT – Start by putting together a stratagem and ‘this person’, then wrap a depression around the result.

11a         Fish in tremulous motion, first to get away (4)
HAKE – Remove the first letter from a tremulous motion, and you get a fish.

Image result for hake

12a         The deep chair maybe with no back (3)
SEA – Remove the final letter (no back) from something of which a chair is an example.

13a         Go around northernmost place in Ireland — finally locate valuable mineral (10)
TOURMALINE – Put together ‘go around’ (especially on holiday or in a bicycle race), the most northerly point of Ireland (it gets a regular name check on the reports from coastal stations in the Shipping Forecast), and the final letter of locatE.

Image result for tourmaline

16a         Bananas and crunchy food (4)
NUTS – Double definition, the first being another informal term, like ‘bananas’, for ‘mad’.

17a         Hesitation about bad feeling — give me a break! (7)
RESPITE – Reverse (about) a word expressing hesitation, then add a bad feeling, which would lead you to mistreat someone.

18a         Lax female, the Parisian caught by detectives (7)
FLACCID – Put together Female, the French definite article in one of its forms, the abbreviation for Caught on a cricket scorecard, and the acronym for the detective department of the police force.

20a         The Bard‘s determination (4)
WILL – Double definition: a short form of the first name of the Bard of Avon is the first.

21a         One girl, May, works in a branch of earth sciences (10)
MINERALOGY – Anagram (works) of ONE GIRL MAY.

23a         Past ace has to give way (3)
AGO – The abbreviation for Ace followed by ‘give way’ or ‘break’.

24a         Get rid of garden feature? (4)
SHED – Double definition, the first being a verb, the second a noun.

25a         Paper shows way the woman entered into risky venture (10)
BROADSHEET – Put together a way or path and the pronoun for ‘the woman’, then wrap a risky venture at the bookmaker’s around the result, to get something like The Daily Telegraph.

28a         Horses escape shelters, going wild (14)
STEEPLECHASERS – Anagram (going wild) of ESCAPE SHELTERS. The horses are those running a particular sort of race.

Image result for steeplechasers


1d           Finish the whole affair and drink neat gin? (4,4,4,2)
HAVE DONE WITH IT – An instruction to finish something, or possibly to leave out one of the common mixers drunk with gin (not tonic, though).

2d           Cricket ground with duck leading to endless depression (4)
OVAL – One of the London Test cricket grounds. The letter which looks like a cricketing duck, followed by a depression in the landscape with its final letter removed.

3d           Time to get a little sunshine — one may come with some tea (4)
TRAY Time followed by a shaft of sunshine.

4d           Like a kind of energy that gets old cows twitching (7)
KINETIC – An old word for cows or cattle, followed by a nervous twitch.

5d           Most successful rep gets a popular book (4,6)
BEST SELLER – Another word for ‘most successful’ followed by another word for ‘rep’, one which describes more openly what a rep does.

6d           Robot-like as Bottom, say, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (10)
MECHANICAL – This could describe Peter Quince, Snug or Flute as well as Bottom.

8d           Transport items? Simple — relax! (4,6,4)
TAKE THINGS EASY – Another verb for ‘transport’, another word for ‘items’, and another word for ‘simple’. Put them together to get a phrase meaning ‘relax’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10d         Resistance unit set up in Nottingham house (3)
OHM – Hidden in reverse (set up) in the clue.

14d         What gets sailor up above deck, one being stranded (4,6)
ROPE LADDER – Cryptic definition of an object made from a stranded material used to climb something.

15d         A planetoid, no place having phone or vehicle (10)
AUTOMOBILE – Put together A (from the clue), a planetoid (it used to be a planet, but it was relegated) with PLace removed, and a sort of telephone.

19d         Having regular contact off the field (2,5)
IN TOUCH – Double definition, the second being where you are if go off over the side line of a football or rugby field.

22d         Like son who lacks wisdom? (3)
ASS – Another word for ‘like’ or ‘in the manner of’, followed by Son.

26d         Wood somewhere in Kent (4)
DEAL – Double definition: a generic term for softwood timber; or a port in Kent.

27d         It sounds like he would take notice (4)
HEED – This sounds like the short form of ‘he would’.

The Quick Crossword pun SACKS + HONEY = SAXONY

67 comments on “DT 28341

  1. For me, this was the best of the week but only by a narrow margin. Quite tame for a G, though. 2.5*/3.5*.

  2. The Don betrays his physics degree with a couple of the clues. I’d never heard of the mineral, but the Shipping Forecast came to the rescue.
    I was not vetted before entering the site today. Does this mean it is now safe to go in the water?
    Decidedly driech in Devon today.Thank you DT and setter.

    1. The mineral is often used as a colour by firms like Mercedes. Tourmaline black,they trumpet.

  3. Somehow this felt refreshingly different but presume it is a Giovanni rather than a newcomer. Numerous nominations for Fav viz 9a,18a, 25a, 4d,14d, and 19d. Not sure about 20a. Thanks Giovanni (?) and DT. (Have just read José’s comment – great (?) minds think alike!) 😊

  4. Really not sure about this one at all. A lot of clunky clues and for me , not a lot of enjoyment. I didnt find it overly difficult apart from 13a, ive never heard of the mineral before. 2.5*/1.5* Many thanks to the setter and to DT for his contribution.

  5. Good heavens – at this rate, DG is heading for my list of favourite setters!
    Really enjoyed this one with only the need for reverse parsing of 15d causing any slight hold up.

    Plenty of ticks from which I would single out 25a for the top spot – loved the way two women appeared in the answer!
    Many thanks to DG and also to DT – the music clip for 8d was particularly appreciated.

  6. The mineral was the only hold up here. All good fun. Now bring on the rugby. Thanks to Peter and The Don.

  7. 1.5*/3* for me – completed at a reasonable gallop with only 17a and 1d causing me any real problems; 17a needed electronic assistance and 1d was a parsing ‘conundrum’ which the penny finally dropped on. Of course, for a Giovanni, there was the customary amount of thumbing through both red books.

    Joint favourites 1d and 8d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. I was interested to see the ‘parsing’ for 1d – which held me up for a bit – and was glad to see I was correct.

    A very enjoyable puzzle and some very helpful anagrams – really good fun!

    1. Like you Michael we just wrote in 1d, but couldn’t for the life of us see where it came from!

  9. I think this is the most straightforward Giovanni I have ever seen, and probably the most enjoyable. Only 13a eluded me.
    Don’t really understand 1d yet, and a new word at the start of 4d. Liked quite a few but 15d is my pick of the day.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT. **/***

        1. OK – gin & it (Italian vermouth) was a popular drink back in the day. So, if you don’t add the ‘it’ you’ll be left with neat gin. Any better?

          1. Also back in the day, there was the unlikely combo of port and lemon, which personally I thought was disgusting and a total waste of the port.

        2. Probably your granny didn’t drink gin and the last word of your solution. Do an investigoogle or (you’d think I’d got shares in such reference books) have a look in a dictionaryl

        3. Italian vermouth is usually known as IT as in “gin and it” so if you have done with it you;re left with just the gin.

    1. Ah! Got it! Thanks to you all for the help. Simply didn’t know that, and it’s quite ungoogleable. Thanks again folks.

  10. I suspect this one will have a range of views as to its difficulty and enjoyment. Certainly 1 and 15d took a while to parse, and like others before me, the shipping forecast came to my rescue in 13a ad 6d was tricky. I am in the slightly tougher camp, so 3*/3* from me, with thanks to The Don and DT for demystifying some of the above.

  11. Friday again so soon? This couldn’t be more different from the last.

    I’m having a break from solving, but read the review and found plenty to appreciate. I always like to see some physics (my main interest before crosswords came along). Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    Have a good weekend everybody. I should run but it’s about to rain.

  12. 2*/3*. I agree with Jane. The recent transformation on Fridays has been remarkable and has become something I now really look forward to.

    I only needed my BRB to check the Shakespearian reference in 6d. 1d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  13. Despite the difficult grid I found this puzzle to be straight forward, the only hold up being self inflicted when I ended 21A with ology instead of alogy which resulted in 22D being the last in.
    A */*** for me then , found the quicky to be more difficult-not for the first time-loved the quicky pun.
    Thanks to DT, and I await the six nations with a certain trepidation after the dismal cricket display-have been in training – beer drinking, and am match fit.

        1. Since you mention it, Senf – the knitting project is not going at all well. I may be forced to abandon the original idea and just concentrate on the easy pattern CS gave me!

        1. I do try valiantly not to let you wind me up, MP, but sometimes you really are extremely rude.

          1. Perhaps you should abandon the baby knitting project and we should ask the Saintly Sharon if she needs help finishing off the straitjacket she was knitting at the weekend.

        2. Oh dear, MP.
          I for one won’t be sitting around drinking beer watching rugby. I’ll probably be doing something useful.

        3. Completed in a Starbucks in NY – apart from the obvious obscurities which need a bit of research. Back to the old Don with these which I don’t mind because I usually learn something. Thanks Don and DT for the work. Liked the Video too – Aly Bain and his Transatlantic Sessions are great Listening on Tidal.

  14. I thought this was a curious puzzle for a Giovanni. The clues seemed to veer from the very simple like 2d and 5d to the more difficult such as 13a. However it was still fun to complete and 13a was my favourite with 1d not far behind. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  15. Again I found this to be pretty tough, lately I do not seem to be able to get onto setters wavelength.
    Maybe the call of the sea is needed to blow the cobwebs away. Never heard of 15a which is not saying much.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and the Don, hey ho for Saturday’s prIze puzzle.

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle I thought – however I’m still not getting 1d. Penny is stuck and refusing to drop!

    Thanks to DT for the clues

  17. For the most part this was about ** for difficulty, but 13a pushed it into *** time for me. An obscure mineral, and an obscure place somewhere over the water to boot. Google to the rescue, but I wish he’d rethought this one. re: 15d, I can’t keep up with whether it’s a planet or planetoid these days. :-)

    1. Agree Jon, not sure that an obscure word needs an obscure word in the wordplay, at least I can (hope to) remember it for the future

  18. 2*/3* for us although took a while to parse 1d and struggled to parse the ‘give way’ or ‘break’ definition for 23a.

    Can I walk over to pedants corner please? M**** is not the most Northerly point of Ireland.
    It is M**** Head – and strictly speaking the actual Northernmost tip is Bamba’s Crown.
    And being a total pedant, the island of Inishtrahull is further north, located approximately 6 miles north east of M**** Head.
    OK off soapbox.

    Thanks to DT and the Don for a good puzzle – The Don has always been one of my favourites and either I’m getting better at solving or his crosswords are getting easier!

  19. :phew: I’m having a dim day and I’m grumpy.
    This all went remarkably well to begin with but it’s Friday and I should have smelt a rat.
    By the time I’d got six of the ten letters in 6d it couldn’t have been anything else but even having read the hint I’m still none the wiser.
    I never did get the first two words of 1d and had to read the hint several times and the comments about it before I finally got it – or rather didn’t ‘have it’ with the blasted gin.
    Needed the hint to understand 15d and I just assumed that 19d was ‘crickety’.
    I liked 9 and 16a and 4d, if only because I remembered the ‘old cows’ so cheered myself up by thinking that I can’t have lost all the marbles.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. I also had no idea about the parsing of 6d. But Googling Botttom and the answer yielded the explanation.

    2. Kath – if you look up the answer in the BRB it should become clear. Part of the entry is “n (Shakesp) a manual worker, an artisan”

    3. Thanks Mr K and Senf – now I get it. The trouble is when you think you know what something means you don’t look it up – well, I don’t anyway.

  20. Friday has never been my favourite crossword day and although I normally finish I need to refer to this blog to work out why I wrote an answer down! 1d is one such, heard of g and t but not it. Live and learn! Thanks to the 2 ds.

  21. Fastest grid fill of the week for me, and very enjoyable with it. The science theme was helpful on both counts. I knew the mineral and I parsed 1d after some head scratching, but came unstuck on 6d where I needed Mr Google to understand the answer. Favourite clue today was 27d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT. I liked the 8d video a lot.

  22. I didn’t get 1d, and had to look at the review, although I do like drinking it. With or without the gin. I though that 6d had to be something to do with weaving or transforming but once I’d got a few checking letters it became clear. Bit of a Shakespeare thing going on. Looking forward to the rugby tomorrow. Is that why my fridge is full of beer? Thanks go to Giovanni and DT.

  23. 2*/3*. Would have been 1.5* for difficulty but we had a mutual blind spot with 1d for a few minutes.

    Favourite was 18a. It’s one of those words you could hear Rowan Atkinson relishing saying aloud.

    Thanks DT and the Don.

  24. I must be having one of my really thick days. I did most if it but Tourmaline didn’t register (don’t listen to the UK shipping forecast in Spain) so try to make everything fit around AQUAMARINE. “Take aqua with it!” was my best shot. I also got confused with OHM and entered MHO (Unit of Conductance) – too clever for my own good!

  25. I tried very hard to warm to this one, but unlike Jane, RD and several others, it left me somewhat cold. The parsing of 6d was elusive until checking the BRB, and the mineral was new and my LOI.

    Like Pete, I thought a number of the surfaces were either clunky or verbose, and I felt that the make-up of the grid (four fourteen letter words/phrases and eight of ten letters) was the main contributory factor for that.

    The two clues I did like were 25a and 28a, but for me the run of recently enjoyable Friday puzzles has come to an end.

    Thank to Giovanni and to DT, and a good week-end to all.

  26. I’m in the enjoyed camp, though I did need the hints to understand 15d and 25a.
    Fave is 1d, runners up 13a and 14d.
    Thanks to Giovanni, also thanks to Deep Threat for unravelling some clues.

  27. **/***. Fairly straightforward but took a while to decide on 1d because of awkward checkers. Quite a bit of GK required unusually for a Friday. Thanks to Giovanni for a pleasant puzzle and DT for the review. Snow has returned today so a cool walk with the dogs at the beach. Time to dig out the cold weather clothes again.

  28. The shipping forecast that we occasionally hear in the middle of the night when insomnia rules was no help at all for us with 13a. We did guess it though as the letters we were left with did look like they could be a place. Whenever we see cows or bovine our minds immediately go first to ‘neat’ and then to ‘kine’ so no problems there. A pleasant solve that all went together smoothly.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  29. Didn’t notice the subtlety in 1d and thought gin? was just there to say that it applied to any alcohol.
    Remembered the shipping area from the title of a NTSPP not long ago and the cattle was also seen recently.
    Short term memory seems to be working ok.
    Loved both long anagrams. Great surface.
    Loved the hint in 8d.
    Thanks to the Don (sorry I didn’t spot you in the toughie) and to DT.

  30. I really enjoyed this one, despite being thick with a heavy head cold. Had never heard of the word for old cows, and confess I did not know what a planetoid was. Another learning experience. Had no trouble with 13a as familiar with this in its gem stone form (no. 1 daughter makes jewelery so I have insider knowledge). Thanks Giovanni.

  31. The grid struck me as odd right away. Odder still, I flew through most of this grid. It was my poor general knowledge that thwarted a complete solve; failed on 13A as I knew neither the place in Ireland or the mineral! And for future reference I hope I can remember the meaning of stranded as used in 14D. Still, quite content with this first solve in a few months, it’s nice to be back.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

  32. A pleasing solve: 1or2*/3.5*. 25a was my long-time favourite, but was pipped by my last one in – 1d. Thanks to the Don, and DT.

  33. Yesterday (** puzzle), I got in after work with a tired brain and made very heavy going.
    This morning (*** puzzle), I got up at 0500 and had finished this (bar 13a) by 0600!!!
    So I think I know when my brain works best!!
    Thanks for a cracking set of hints from DT and the puzzle from the Don. Usually I am up the creek with the Don’s puzzles, so very pleased.
    I could not parse 6d and still can’t as I have never studied A Midsummer Night’s Dream (I don’t understand Shakespeare!!)
    I am off to France or a week’s skiing so you will all have a rest from my endless wittering.

  34. Mixed bag – gimmees and takees – some of which I liked a lot: I pick the Rude 6d as favourite (Bottom as top, so to speak). Ta to the Don and DT. 2*/3*

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