DT 28353 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28353


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28353

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where after some brightness yesterday the relentless gloom of this winter has returned. At one stage yesterday it looked as though I might have difficulty posting this set of hints, but – fingers crossed – it seems that BD and Cloudflare have fought off the barbarians again.

Another fairly gentle puzzle from Giovanni this week, with no particular obscurities, though I did hold myself up by putting the wrong second half into 8d – which made solving 11a interesting.

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. 


1a           Hurt beyond limit (6)
OFFEND – Split this (3,3) and you get two words: ‘beyond’ and ‘limit’.

5a           Formula for making stew in cowboy territory (4,4)
WILD WEST – This is a reverse anagram, where the answer contains the anagram indicator (first word) and the fodder (second word) which would enable you to arrive at ‘STEW’.

9a           Awkwardly feed a stubborn ass? (5,2,6)
BEAST OF BURDEN – Anagram (awkwardly) of FEED A STUBBORN.

10a         One caught in wind — a trying experience that’s unfair (8)
MISTRIAL – A cold wind that blows down the Rhone valley and probably annoys Jean-Luc in Hyères, is wrapped around the Roman numeral for one.

11a         Chemical store exploding — hell ultimately (6)
STEROL – Anagram (exploding) of STORE followed by the last letter of helL.

12a         The French notice someone living in another’s property? (6)
LESSEE – One of the forms of the French definite article followed by a verb meaning ‘notice’.

14a         Moving back and yielding not for the first time (8)
RECEDING – Moving back, like the ebbing tide, could also be a word meaning ‘yielding again’.

16a         Article by journalist offered opposition (8)
OBJECTED – An article or thing next to the usual crossword journalist.

19a         Urgent message when many morris men gather (6)
MAYDAY – A distress call which, split (3,3) would be a day when morris dancing traditionally takes place.

21a         French engineer offers fascinating sight reportedly (6)
EIFFEL – The chap who built Paris’ answer to Blackpool Tower might sound like (reportedly) something which is worth looking at.

Image result for eiffel tower

23a         Showering needed maybe after end of that? (8)
TRAINING – An all-in-one clue: the last letter of thaT followed by ‘showering’ gives us an activity which may lead to the need for a shower.

25a         Prepare for action — so that a form of quoits can be played? (5,3,5)
CLEAR THE DECKS – A command given in preparation for a naval action, which would also provide an area in which quoits could be played on board ship (though not at the same time).

Image result for deck quoits


26a         Awful rage after boss indicates certain items to be worn (8)
HEADGEAR – A boss or leader followed by an anagram (awful) of RAGE.

27a         Repose with each coming in to sit somewhere else (6)
RESEAT – An abbreviation for ‘each’ is inserted into a word for repose.


2d           Feverish winter month — get cross (7)
FEBRILE – The short form of a winter month in the Northern Hemisphere, followed by a verb meaning to annoy someone or get them cross.

3d           Cut up and left gutted — praise needed (5)
EXALT – Reverse (up) a word often seen when there is a question of cuts in public expenditure, then add L(ef)T with its inside letters removed.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d           Loss of Trident disastrous, this person held (9)
DETRIMENT – Anagram (disastrous) of TRIDENT, wrapped around the pronoun for ‘this person’.

5d           Cake seminar’s finale given by one talking imprecisely (7)
WAFFLER – A cake of leavened batter or dough (known as a gaufre in France) followed by the final letter of seminaR.

Image result for waffle

6d           Yobs — many besieging university (5)
Alternative version on Android app: Yobs given hits, having got caught out.(5)
LOUTS – An abbreviation for University inserted into a word meaning ‘many’.

Remove the initial Caught from a word meaning ‘hits’.

7d           See 13

8d           Newspaper selling fewer copies? Dark times from now on (7)
SUNDOWN – The name of a tabloid newspaper followed by a word indicating that its sales had decreased (No, not ‘less’).

13d         and 7: We fed fleshy dandies to be turned into football team (9,9)

Image result for sheffield wednesday

15d         Maiden on staff in company attached to the German officer (9)
COMMANDER – Start with the abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard and a verb meaning ‘to staff’. Insert the result between an abbreviation for COmpany and a German definite article.

17d         Bread and cheese served outside old church (7)
BRIOCHE – A French cheese wrapped around Old and CHurch.

Image result for brioche

18d         Field worker to hesitate — cloud’s beginning to come in (7)
DITCHER – Insert the first letter of Cloud into a word for ‘hesitate’

20d         Names getting muddled with one having a loss of memory (7)
AMNESIA – Anagram (getting muddled) of NAMES, followed by the Roman numeral for one and A (from the clue).

22d         River runs into track in NI town (5)
LARNE – A track or road wrapped around the abbreviation for River, giving us the port at the other end of the ferry crossing from Stranraer.

24d         Steals nothing, as you might say (5)
NICKS – An informal word for ‘steals’ which sounds like an informal word for ‘nothing’.

The Quick Crossword pun CASTER + SIGHED = CAST ASIDE

116 comments on “DT 28353

  1. */**** – for me, very straightforward, very enjoyable, and completed at a gallop. Probably the easiest puzzle of the week (again, for me). The two long anagrams, and the ‘double’ anagram (13d/7d) really helped.

    Favourite 5a – I don’t normally choose an anagram as a favourite but, what I would call the very clever ‘indirect’ anagram indicator wins out.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  2. 1.5*/3*. The pleasant Friday trend continues.

    I was going to mention that I didn’t think 15d worked because “staff” as a noun is plural, but then the penny dropped that in this case it is a cleverly disguised verb, which makes the clue fine. 23a was my last one in, but I still can’t decide whether or not I like it.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT. Well done too to the indefatigable BD for fighting off the morons who have nothing better to do than try to spoil others’ harmless enjoyment.

  3. That was a nice gentle challenge. NW corner last to go in – presumably RD managed to start there as usual. Joint Favs were 24d and 21a but that possibly doesn’t work for the French speakers? Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  4. Gosh! Am I first?
    Time will tell.

    Made a mistake with 5d as I apparently thought that the cake was spelled with an O not an A….doh!…certainly thought that the one talking imprecisely was.

    The online edition has a different clue for 6d. Have to say that I found the version given by DT easier to parse. Online version is Yobs given hits, having got caught out.(5) Can someone help me with it, please?

    But a very enjoyable crossword for me today.

    Thnks to the setter and to Deep Threat for his review and hints.

          1. Mostly pure luck because my ‘body clock’ seems to be all over the place these days, but aided by the fact that I compose my comment, in MS Word, after I have finished the puzzle (the night before), then a quick check to make sure I have got the setter and blogger correct, and copy and paste.

    1. The version of 6d I gave a hint for is the online version on the Telegraph puzzles site, and also appears in the paper. The alternative you give, which is on the Telegraph Android app, would be (c)LOUTS – ‘hits’ with the abbreviation for ‘caught’ removed.

      1. Thank you DT.

        I ‘m sorry I confused online and ndroid app versions. Have to say that I had no idea that they were different.

        1. “Platform” in this context is which on line version you’re looking at, the Android app, the iPad app, the Telegraph puzzle site or the Telegraph website.

          1. Crossword via paper version then iPad or desktop for online BD but not via an App?! Who knows! Thanks anyway EvenDT.

    2. Hi Ora,
      I think your online clue would result in an answer of ‘clouts’ for hits, from which you need to remove the ‘C’ (caught out) – cricket stuff again!

      1. Thank you Jane.
        Cricket stuff usually passes me by….a bit like knowing which ‘platform’ I am using.

  5. First read through i could only solve three but gradually they surrendered, last one in wad 17.No real standouts but 18D made me smile, many thanks tothe setter & DT for his review.

  6. I didn’t notice any problems until I realised that the entire top half was filled in but the bottom half was completely blank after the second run through. The bottom half soon got sorted out but I was amused by the split. Thanks to all as usual. Play nicely together through the weekend and I will see you all on Monday

  7. Verging on the tropical (for February anyway) here in East Kent this morning – which leads me to ask the question as to whether, when the warmer weather reaches Oxford, Giovanni will remove the fluffy sweater he’s been wearing for the last few weeks and return to his old, trickier, self.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and DT for the explanations

    1. I hope not, CS – I think his trickiness belongs more to the Toughie side. To be honest, my appreciation of him as a setter has grown immeasurably since discovering that he has more than one string to his bow.

    2. I hope not as well. The absence of obscurity-laden Friday backpagers with a surfeit of religious references has not been missed by me in the slightest. With the odd exception, the Friday puzzles over the last couple of months have been far more enjoyable.

  8. Very gentle for a G – in fact, it’s been a very gentle week altogether. These back-pagers seem to be getting easier and easier lately. 10a was my favourite – quite tricky for those who didn’t happen to know the French wind. 2*/3*.

  9. It took me a while to get started today, but once I got going no real problems, I am struggling to understand the reverse anagram indicator for 5a, I get stew is an anagram for west but cant work out wild. Ive never heard 24d being referred to as nothing. Favourites 21a, and 17d. 2*/3* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his help.

    1. ‘Wild’ is the anagram indicator, while ‘west’ is the fodder. So if you turn ‘west’ wild, you get ‘stew’.

      24d, according to the BRB ‘nix’ is derived from the German ‘nichts’ = nothing.

  10. DT – I have just worked my way through your great hints (for which thanks again) including the part of Handel’s Messiah indicated by 3d – it was different to hear the Spanish tenor singing about the rough “plyces”! 🙂

    1. I think Peter is a great fan of the Messiah as he uses it every chance or half chance he gets which suits me just fine

  11. Good heavens – R&W from the don, never expected to be saying that!
    However, I’m not complaining, I rather like this lighter touch he’s giving to his back-pagers.

    Top two for me today were 5&21a.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – enjoyed listening to the 3d clip whilst reading the review.

  12. Ah yes – only 1*/2*…. that explains it. Nonetheless a welcome change as my initial trepidation at approaching the Friday puzzle dispersed into enjoyment. Though I have to confess that I often like to ‘struggle’ at least on one or two clues. Probably something psychologically meaningful there …. but moving on….

    I liked 21A even though i got the ‘sight’ spelling at first (which i think would have made it a more enjoyable clue) My least fav was 23 A

    Happy weekend all

  13. Very enjoyable and done quite quickly except for 14a which was last in. I couldn’t get away from thinking it needed a word for going back to where I’d lived before. Penny eventually dropped! One complaint – it’s very unfair to put a picture of lovely French baking before someone trying to slim down!!
    Anyway I’ll try to forgive you DT and thanks to Giovanni.

  14. Very enjoyable and relatively easy puzzle (we prefer them like this) to give us time to get on with
    other things. 1.5*/4*
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. Hi PD – any further news to report on the modelling front? I do hope so – Dulcie deserves success.

      1. Hello Jane- Dulcie has been on a few castings but nothing confirmed as yet.
        However, I’m sure she will do very well in the near future.
        How are you my dear?

        1. Still battling on ‘womanfully’!
          Thank you for asking and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Dulcie’s castings.

  15. “This man said to me – ‘can you tell me your availability to run a football team in Sheffield?’… I said,’I can’t manage Wednesday’.”


  16. So pleased to get my first reverse clue in 5a. That smug feeling has converted me from a general disapproval of such things.

    Don’t get the parsing of 12a. I had an A as the third letter, but wasn’t satisfied why. Any ideas why it should be an E?

    1. The person who does the letting is called a lessor – therefore the person who leases from him is known as the 12a.

      1. No. We tend to go top to bottom, not starting with long answers. Nice when they fall into your lap, though.

    1. Leapt out of the page for me as well 😀 Good puzzle if not overly challenging but enjoyable. My favourites were 21a and 17d. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review.

  17. Very nice stuff from the Don, who I think must have made a New Years resolution to be kind and has done a wonderful job of sticking to it. You can’t have too much kindness in the world, especially these days.

    I liked 9a, the pretend anagram in 25a, and also 23a (which I need to be doing more of if I want to put in a respectable time in my upcoming half marathon). The alliteration in 19a and its surface image makes that one my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

    1. Kitty,
      Good luck with the half marathon training – better half does 2 or 3 a year & sundry 10Ks so I know how much you have to do.
      I never cease to be amazed just how many runners of all shapes, sizes and ages (BY is 74 & runs 4 times a week having only run for a bus until she was 62) turn out for these events. In my view it is the phenomenon of the 2000s.

      1. Thanks, LrOK. I run fairly regularly anyway, though rarely up to that distance. I did the Eden Project half with a friend one year because we happened to be on holiday nearby at the time, but other than that have avoided the organised races as I prefer to run in my own space and time.

        I couldn’t refuse this one though because, as I work for the charity I’m supporting and take-up this year has been sluggish (a bit like my running), I have a free place. In addition, it starts and finishes very close to where I live. So I had no excuse!

          1. Yes (well, BT’s version which, unlike JustGiving and the like, doesn’t take a cut) – there’s a link to it in my Gravatar profile. I don’t like asking for money (which makes me a rubbish fundraiser) but any spare pennies are hugely appreciated.

        1. I ran a half marathon once. It was meant to be a marathon but the first half was all uphill.

  18. Finished before the early dog walk – a first. Enjoyable if brie

    COTD for me was 23a with 9a R/U.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT. And to BD for repelling the repellent yet again.

  19. I’ve just checked the Android app and there are a couple of other differences. The first is minor: an extra “given” after the definition in 19a. Also, 26a has the following clue, which I can’t quite make work:
    Boss has very up-to-date collection of top hats etc (8)

      1. CS,
        Would that not be an indirect anagram. From what you told me Saturday last I understood that was not OK. Probably my ignorance surfacing again though.

          1. I was halfway through writing a “d’oh!” comment when I realised that “rage” wasn’t in the clue, and by the time I’d made my other replies, LrOK had mentioned it.

          2. CS
            We devotees hang on your every word.
            Seriously I, and a number of others I am sure, benefit from the explanations you and the other experts give. It has improved my ability no question.

              1. Apologies MP, I should have included the adjectives Mercurial, and Meteoric (and added never Monotonous) before experts, perhaps.

    1. Kitty,
      I took it that “gear” means an up-to-date collection of kit ( “they have all the gear”: the Garmin, goretex jacket, heart monitor, special trainers etc for the serious runner for example). Not great but the best I can do.

    2. I think that ‘gear’ here is some 1960s slang (think early Beatles, and say it with a Scouse accent) for ‘great’ or ‘the bee’s knees’ or whatever.

      In which case, Kitty is far too young to remember it.

  20. My goodness, almost a R&W on a Friday – have they swapped the setters round or is DG mellowing? Easy or hard, his puzzles are always so well constructed and a pleasure to do. Many thanks, DT and The Don.

  21. No trouble with this one which is something I rarely say on Fridays although it does seem to be happening more frequently.
    I thought it might be a tricky one to begin with when my first answer was all the way down at 19d.
    I do confess to ‘inventing’ a chemical for 11a – thought I’d heard of it so didn’t check in BRB but the down clues sorted that out.
    I can’t spell 21a but at least I know I can’t so always check it.
    I was glad that the ‘footbally’ clue was not only a very obvious anagram but also a team that I’d heard of.
    I liked 5 and 19a and my favourite was 17d – yummy but not easy to make successfully.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.
    I think all the words used so far today for the people who mess up this site – ‘barbarians’, ‘morons’ and ‘repellents’ – are far too good for them so I’ll stick to what I called them yesterday which was ******** and, very politely, ask them to go somewhere else for their fun.

    1. I can’t spell 21a, but stupidly didn’t check it … didn’t ‘arf mess up 22d, took too long to sort it.

  22. Gentle enjoyable puzzle. Unlike Jose I have not noticed the puzzles getting easier. In fact Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s were decidedly tricky. Overall they’re just at the right level for me. Thanks to the Don and DT.

  23. One of my better attempts today.

    I’ve not heard the word nicks sounding like a word for nothing. Probably because I didn’t do German in school. Latin & French in my day

    1. A small cut – “It’s nothing, just a….” (Nothing, you might say). That’s my interpretation and I’m sticking to it.

  24. For some reason I found this slow to start, but once I had solved a couple of clues all fell into place quite rapidly. An extremely enjoyable puzzle for a lovely day with more than a hint of Spring.

    I really liked 9a (an excellent anagram), and I also gave ticks to 21a for it humour and 23a for its clever construction. It may not be a coincidence in a “Don” puzzle that the river with that name happens to flow through 13d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Manley and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

  25. Good afternoon everybody.

    An enjoyable puzzle but more than one star difficulty for me. No particular favourite so I’ll nominate last in 16a for that honour.


  26. I fairly romped through the top half, but it took forever to get the bottom half. I had to google UK soccer teams to get the 13d/7d combo, and that helped a bit. I don’t know why I made such a chore of the rest, they weren’t really that difficult.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.

    BTW, I am really disappointed in you Brits. You didn’t even make it to the top 20 wine drinkers in the world, little Andorra took top spot. You really must buck up and try harder for a better result next year. Tsk, tsk!

    1. Merusa,
      As we become more “multicultural” the proportion of the population for whom drinking alcohol is against their religion increases so consumption by the rest has to increase by ever increasing amounts just to stand still in the “bottles per head of population” statistic.
      Try as some of us might those who are allowed alcohol simply can’t bridge the gap.

      1. Not only do we have a myriad of religions here, but there are so many evangelicals, we stand no chance of even making a mention! Bottoms up all.

  27. Over too quickly! Fun to do, especially when the Owls feature, but no real satisfaction derived upon completion. 2/2* overall and well, I just have to nominate the Owls for COTD!
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  28. Nice to see that everybody learned their French lessons and remembered what was asked.
    Surprised myself as the answer to 13/7 just jumped at me because: a: I’m not football and b: I’m not football.
    Only had to check the Antrim town and if there was such a person as a ditcher.
    Didn’t check the bowling game in 25a as the answer satisfied me.
    Favourite clue 5a.
    Favourite hint 21a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  29. There are three clues that made us slightly disgruntled. 2d where the month is certainly not a winter one in our half of the world, 13/7 might be known to everyone in UK but probably not in the rest of the world and the worst offender of all, the obscure NI town in 22d. We did get them all though with 22d the only one that needed a Google confirmation. Thought that 23a was a very clever construction. Plenty to enjoy.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. The obscure NI town you refer to is or most certainly was one of Northern Ireland’s main ferry terminals serving crossings from Stranraer in Scotland. Please also remember that when all is considered, unless I am hugely mistaken, that the DT is primarily a UK newspaper aimed at a UK readership.

  30. Wafted through this one on a BA flight to Vienna where third child is playing with his band on Sunday. What is happening in the world; A **************** and Giovanni being as easy or easier than mid-week offerings. I can’t keep up!

  31. Just into ** for difficulty, part of which was of my own making with a horribly incorrect stab at 16ac. Favourite clue for me 5ac. An enjoyable end to the working week.

  32. Hugely enjoyable, if not too difficult after a slow start.
    Did it after a couple of pints of Heineken at my local, maybe that’s the way forward

    1. Welcome to the blog Stephen

      Heineken, or any other foreign so-called beer, would certainly not be my choice – what’s wrong with a pint of superb English bitter?

      1. Thanks for the welcome, I only tend to comment when I’ve managed to complete the puzzle, hence comments are rare!
        Cider is my usual poison of choice.

  33. I don’t think I can say anything that has not already been said. A great puzzle and a wonderful blog, so many thanks to the Don and DT respectively for those.

  34. A joy from start to finish. 2*/3.5* for this enjoyable and not over-complicated Giovanni creation. 5a very clever and the pick of the crop.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  35. So relieved and thankful to BD for fighting off the morons yet again. Goodness knows we need this web site to take us away from our daily news right now. It is like we are stuck in a horror story. You wouldn’t believe this stuff if someone made it up. Anyway, late in again due to errands etc., but another enjoyable puzzle with 21a being the favorite. Never heard of someone actually being called an 18d so didn’t think I had it right. Thanks Deep Threat and again thanks BD for saving the day once more.

  36. Mr Fluffy Manley on a Friday – who would have believed it? I am pretty sure that he will take his ‘fluffy jersey’ off as CS has implied and we will see some of his trademark obscure clueing return with a vengeance. Having said that – I really did enjoy the puzzle with lots to enjoy.

    Note to DG – BD has asked me to cover DT if he is involved in various competitions on his bowling community, Please be gentle :)

    If I do endeavour to do a ‘Giovanni’ blog – I would love to invite some of our regular commenters to have an input to the review. Are you up for it? You know who you are :)

  37. Completed all bar the NW corner on the train home, and then ran aground.
    I had not heard of 2d or the wind in 10a, though I should still have worked them out, but by that time of the evening, my brain had gone to sleep.
    Many thanks to the Don and DT for the hints…

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