DT 28359 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28359

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28359

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a sunny South Staffs. Storm Doris has blown away, leaving us, fortunately, with just a couple of small branches to clear up: others in the region have been rather worse affected.

Giovanni’s unusual word count is back up this week, after a couple of more gentle offerings, but the wordplay should enable solvers to arrive at the answer.

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           Important time for using combine harvester (6)
AUGUST – Double definition: important or dignified; or the month when (in the Northern Hemisphere) a combine harvester is likely to be deployed.

4a           Kid endlessly pursued by yob? Calm down! (5,3)
CHILL OUT – Remove the final letter (endlessly) from a word for a kid, then add another word for yob.

9a           Man initially cornered in big building (6)
CASTLE – A big building, or the shape (definitely not the name!) of the piece which starts a game of chess in the corner of the board.

10a         Biscuits as unusual treat for French friend to eat (8)
AMARETTI – The French word for a (male) friend wrapped around an anagram (unusual) of TREAT.

Image result for amaretti

11a         Fruit for each simple boy outside back of farm (9)
PERSIMMON – Put together the Latin word used for ‘for each’, and the simple boy who met a pieman, wrapped around the last letter of farM.

Image result for persimmon fruit

13a         Nest well-ventilated by the sound of it sometimes? (5)
EYRIE – One of the spellings of an eagle’s nest, which in some pronunciations sounds like ‘well-ventilated’.

14a         A case of identity with financial implications? (9,4)
PATERNITY SUIT – Cryptic definition of a legal case where the point is to establish who is the father of a child – and hence liable for the child’s maintenance.

17a         Ancient hotels had fluctuating misfortunes (3,2,3,5)
OLD AS THE HILLS – Anagram (fluctuating) of HOTELS HAD, followed by some misfortunes.

21a         Form of greeting he will love (5)
HELLO – The short form of ‘he will’ followed by the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

23a         Gets together, taking walks around southern Home Counties (9)
ASSEMBLES – Some gentle walks wrapped around Southern and the abbreviated geographic location of the Home Counties.

24a         Underground tunnel undamaged when penetrated by soldiers — 1,000 (8)
WORMHOLE – Put together the abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers and the Roman numeral for 1,000, then put the result inside a word for ‘undamaged’ – as in ‘not in pieces’.

25a         Set of programmes — something corny on the radio? (6)
SERIAL – A set of radio or television programmes where a long story is broken up into weekly episodes. It sounds like (on the radio) a word connected with corn crops.

26a         Exhibition, something hairy bringing confrontation (8)
SHOWDOWN – An exhibition open to the public, followed by a coating of fine hair. The second part is more commonly associated with feathers, but the BRB does give this alternative.

27a         One making an impression artistically (6)
ETCHER – Cryptic definition of someone who makes artworks by incising an image into a plate from which prints can be taken.


1d           Put up with a troublesome pet catching cold repeatedly (6)
ACCEPT – A (from the clue) and an anagram (troublesome) of PET, placed either side of two instances of the abbreviation for Cold.

2d           A bad mood when divine fellow’s eaten that snail? (9)
GASTROPOD – A (from the clue) and a bad mood or temper tantrum, with a word for a divine being wrapped around the result.

3d           Therefore catalogue must include old performer (7)
SOLOIST – Put together a word for therefore and a catalogue wrapped around Old.

5d           Requirement for personal freedom — tricky to make him trash gun (5,6)
HUMAN RIGHTS – Anagram (tricky) of HIM TRASH GUN.

6d           What is awfully clear — New York crime (7)
LARCENY – Anagram (awfully) of CLEAR followed by the abbreviation for New York.

7d           Animal more passionate, hard to avoid (5)
OTTER – Remove the initial H (hard to avoid) from a word for ‘more passionate’.

Image result for otter

8d           Entering temporary accommodation, deliver spears (8)
TRIDENTS – The sort of temporary accommodation that may be seen on a campsite, wrapped around a verb meaning ‘deliver’ or ‘free from’.

12d         Sweet food item wrecks him, not one to permit (11)
MARSHMALLOW – Put together a word for ‘wrecks’ or ‘spoils’, H(i)M from the clue with the I removed (not one), and a word for ‘to permit’.

Image result for marshmallow

15d         He’s sinful, unlikely to be thinking mostly of other people (9)
UNSELFISH – Anagram (unlikely) of HE’S SINFUL.

16d         Birds disappear and lurk finally in woods (8)
GOSHAWKS – A word for ‘disappear’ or ‘depart’, followed by a less common word for some small woods wrapped around the final letter of lurK.

Image result for goshawk

18d         Overly upset, being stuck in building — must be pacified (7)
SOOTHED – Reverse (upset) a word for ‘overly’, and insert the result into a garden building.

19d         Glowing elegy when bishop is buried (7)
LAMBENT – The chess notation for Bishop inserted into an elegy.

20d         One sort of wood and another with church lacking stonework (6)
ASHLAR – A forest tree, followed by another with the final CH removed, giving us some masonry of dressed stone.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d         Piece of music from particular goddess (5)
LARGO – hidden in the clue.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

I shall be unavailable next week, which may give ShropshireLad a chance to take on the Don, judging from his post earlier this week.

The Quick Crossword pun PORES + ELAINE = PORCELAIN

90 comments on “DT 28359

  1. A couple of new words learnt today in 11A, 20D but both easily solvable. Thanks to the setter & DT for the review.

  2. 9a. Aargh!! :negative: :negative:
    I’ll write more later. For the moment I am “overly upset, being stuck in building – must be pacified”! :wink:

    1. Sorry RD, I just can’t resist this:

      He argues with all of his pluck
      This man who reads a chess book
      He’s called Rabbit Dave
      And he’ll swear to his grave
      Not castle but always a rook.


      1. :smile:
        When I read the first line of your limerick I did wonder what might follow which would rhyme with “pluck”. May I propose a change to the first line?

        “He argues by hook or by crook”

        1. Yes your line would work OK, but I used “pluck” to signify spirit/determination – these limericks have to be written with care, precision and succinctness (just like cryptic clues). I’m glad you took it in good spirit – it’s only a bit of light-hearted fun/banter. I’ve got one lined up for Silvanus when the time is appropriate – don’t tell him! :-)

    2. Over the breakfast table this morning – I laughed at the back pager and Mrs SL asked what had amused me. When I parsed the answer for 9a to her – she said “Rabbit Dave won’t be happy” :). I shall say no more.

  3. I got stuck on 20d, it didn’t help that I had 25a ending in ‘s’ – anyway it turned out that 20d was a new word to me, so I don’t feel too bad.

    I struggled through this one, that’s two in a row that have given me grief – back to the drawing board.

    Very good puzzle!

  4. This really has to be the first Giovanni crossword puzzle that I have solved as a total write in. I needed the dictionary to parse part of the make up of the answer to 18 down, which gave me two fresh meanings for a word I only knew as a surname. Thank you Mr M, this was a most enjoyable solve.

  5. Very enjoyable. Several new-to-me words but all solvable from the clues. 14A was my last one in and favorite. Thanks DT and Giovanni.

    I’ve been following Doris from a distance. Hope that all BDCB’s setters and commenters came through with person and property unscathed.

  6. ** – **** – another fine Friday puzzle completed at a fast canter, with some thumbing through the Small Red Book. And, I did have to Google what I thought were plausible answers for 10a and 20d to see if they were more than plausible, which they were.

    I was wondering if 9a would stimulate any discussion and it appears that, at the time of writing, RD will be doing that later.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 14a and 24a, and the winner (to keep on avoiding Kath’s big stick) is 14a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle. The south east corner nearly did for me.Never heard of 19d or 20d, but got there through the clues. Like Michael, I originally had 25a ending in s. Favourites were 14a and 24a. 3.5*/4* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  8. This was a bit of a stinker for me I was fine with 10a & 11a, though I have to say Mrs Spook ids the gardening expert she confirmed my suspicions. Then I just got bogged down, went for a walk came back and struggled again. Needed electronic help for 20d.
    In the end I prevailed so thanks to Deep Threat and to Giovani.

  9. Friday puzzles of late have been excellent, but for me this one took the quality up another notch.

    Ticks today for many clues, including 1a, 9a, 10a, 14a, 23a, 3d, 16d, and 18d. Both 19d and 20d were new words to me, but both were easily obtained from the wordplay, which is as it should be and as it always is on a Friday.

    Double tick for 24a, one for the construction and one for passing over the more obvious physics-related usage of the answer in favour of an amusing slightly cryptic definition.

    Favourite today is 2d. Somehow I knew the answer and its definition but, having been misled into thinking that the good man was our usual two-letter saint, it took a while to see how it parsed. The penny dropped a long way on that one.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  10. 9a. Well done G for correctly using castle as an alternative name for rook (the official/technical term), although nowadays it is probably regarded as old-fashioned, informal or colloquial. It is listed in:

    * The SOED.
    * The online Oxford Living Dictionaries.
    * The Oxford Companion to Chess.
    * Some others.

    1. As far as I know, there’s no other word which can be used to describe that manoeuvre between said man and the King?
      My OH, who has been playing this game successfully for 50 years has no idea of the origin of the new(er) word, which is very disappointing. How can someone be so incurious?

      1. When I was learning to play chess as a child, I remember being curious as to why castling was called that.

        I was told that because the king moves to the corner and surrounds himself with rook and pawns, sometime bishop too, he has built his protective castle around him. In that sense, castling has nothing to do with the incorrect term for the rook.

        Rook, I was told, derived from the Persian word ‘rokh’ (tower), as is checkmate – ‘Shah Mat’ (the king dies). It took the French to come up with ‘en passant’, for some reason.

      2. Bluebird, “said man” is a rook and castling is absolutely the correct word to describe the move when the king is moved two squares towards the rook and the rook is moved to the other side of the king.

        The name rook is derived from the Persian word “rokh” which means chariot.

        1. I see LBR had replied whilst I was typing, and reading his reply I wondered why we each had a different meaning for “rokh”, so I did a bit of digging.

          According to Wikipedia (not necessarily always accurate!), “rokh” means chariot in Persian. However, the piece is called “torre”, meaning tower, in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; “tour” in French; “toren” in Dutch; “Turm” in German; and “torn” in Swedish.

          1. Rook or Castle. why is the corner piece sculptured as a castellated tower like a castle. If it is now called a rook why not with wings or wheels of the Persian chariot

      3. …then the Germans steamed in with ‘zugzwang’ – (forced to move), usually when any move is bad.
        Then there’s Kriegspiel (spoken war), Blitzkrieg (lightning war)… I’ll get my coat.

        1. … and “fianchetto” (Italian), and “j’adoube” et “en prise” (French), and …

    2. Oh dear – this is all Greek to me. When I was in my very early twenties I was ‘hooked up’ with a Polish guy who was a Chess and Bridge fanatic – he did a very good job of putting me off both for life.

    3. It’s a ‘rook’, not a ‘castle’.
      People will be telling me a ‘horse’ is an alternative for ‘knight’ next

      1. Castle is absolutely an alternative name for a rook, and has been since the 19th century. It is regularly used by Giovanni and many other setters (and allowed by crossword editors). It is listed as such in the reference books given above, including the SOED – probably the highest authority of all. On a recent episode of The Chase was the question: “How many castles does each player have at the start of a chess game?”. And the reason it was phrased so was because most members of the non-chess enthusiast general public (including quiz contestants) would readily recognise castle rather than rook. Just for the record, I am an absolute chess fanatic and would never dream of calling a rook a castle – but that’s simply not the point.

        1. PS. BD, I’m going to “resign” now from this castle/rook debate – it’s becoming rather hackneyed for third parties. I think I’m just flogging a dead knight…er…I mean horse.

  11. First impression was one of daunt but I gritted my teeth and pressed on regardless. The East side fell first and then gradually the West followed. All in all this was a terrific puzzle and I enjoyed every minute of the challenge. 19d and 20d now added to my vocabulary together with the use of ‘man’ in the 9a context. Misfortunes in 17a didn’t occur to me. TVM Giovanni and DT.

  12. I certainly didn’t complete this at a fast canter – felt more like wading through quicksand after just having been beaten up! To each their own I suppose. Now to catch up on what I was supposed to doing today.

  13. Another most enjoyable offering from the ‘new’ Giovanni – just needed to verify the wood in 16d and the building material in 20d.
    Pencilled in ‘RD alert’ alongside 9a!
    Plenty of ticks earned here – 1,4,10,14&28a plus 2d. Think the latter takes the gold medal.

    Many thanks to DG and also to DT – especially for the piece of Handel.

    By the way – looks as though we got away lightly here with the effects of Doris – others were obviously not so fortunate.

  14. I’m with Toadson, this was a bit of a struggle. 19d is new to me and I needed the hints to parse 9a, so it is my COTD.

    ***/*** for me. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  15. A bit slow to begin with but then things improved.
    9a caused grief – I thought I was after the name of a man with the first letter of ‘Castle’ stuck in a big building – not a good start.
    I always thought 13a was pronounced in the same way as spooky rather than well-ventilated.
    24a was my last answer and I’ve either never heard of 20d or have forgotten it.
    I liked 4a and 2d. My favourite is 16d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. Is 13a an Oz pronunciation? According to the Cambridge online dictionary it rhymes with “wiry” in English and with “bleary” in American English.

      1. The BRB gives three pronunciations – the two you mention plus the rhyme with ‘airy’ which the clue requires.

        1. I’ve certainly never heard of the ‘airy’ pronunciation. Anybody else on here familiar with it?

  16. End of a good crossword week all round, going for a 2.5/3 today.
    Have to admit that 9a was the last to fall as I simply couldn’t parse it-then the chess piece manifested itself followed several minutes later by the ‘corners’ D-OH and double D-OH !!
    Liked 16d ,when I saw the wood from the trees.
    I like 10a biscuits -and again thought the cluing very good. Thanks DT, not seen a 16d for ages.

    1. You’ve changed your alias – both should work now should you decide to like the biscuits again!

  17. I’m not sure what the correct term is for clues that require the solver to insert a word into another. Insertions?
    Well anyway, I found that this puzzle had a few to many for my taste and to me it was more like an IKEA instruction manual than a cryptic crossword.

    Thanks for the clues – I needed them today.

  18. Started at ‘5 o’clock’ and swept smoothly and in the same direction as the minute-hand completing this Friday offering. At much the same pace as that minute-hand too, learning a few new words along the way (19 &20 d). Maybe a bit controvertially, 9a was my king-of-the-11a. It does seem Giovanni’s new colours may be permanent. Good and thank you say I. Last in was 8d because I’d overcooked my biscuits.
    Thanks also DT.
    Farewell to Doris and have a nice time on the Continent. Anyone know why hurricanes were traditionally given female names?

    1. Originally it was following maritime tradition of giving ships female names.
      As for why they had names at all is just a matter of safety. It’s far easier to remember a name and therefore warn people.

      There are now alternating male names – but if they’d known the women I’ve known – they had it right at the start!

      1. I’d heard that it’s because when they leave they take your house and your car. The first part of that is err, not quite suitable for repetition here.

  19. Very nice puzzle. 2d surfaced from the deepest recesses of my memory .
    No particular favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  20. 3*/2.5*. I am delighted to see the pleasant Friday trend continuing. Our of 28 clues, I really enjoyed 26. I felt that the homophone in 13a was dubious but presumably someone somewhere pronounces the answer in the required way. I have deducted half an enjoyment star for an incorrect definition.

    19d was a new word for me, but very fairly clued.

    There were lots of candidates for favourite today with smooth surfaces abounding, and my short list is 14a, 17a, 2d & 16d. The result is a tie between 14a & 2d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  21. Good stuff from The Don and much trickier than usual after a flying start.
    ***/*** Thanks to DP for the hints.

  22. Another good day on the crossword front. Didn’t know the birds in 16d and needed help on 19d and 20d. Hope everyone is safe and sound after Doris. Sounds like she was more like a hurricane than a storm.

  23. Quite apart from 9a which I knew would raise RD’s hackles, there were two other clues which I found far from satisfactory, the alleged homophone in 13a (I would suggest 99% of people don’t pronounce it to rhyme with “airy”) and the somewhat stretched definition for 1a. The BRB defines 1a as “venerable, imposing, sublime or majestic” and the CCD shows neither “important” nor the definition under each other’s respective synonyms.

    My one tick was reserved for 25a.

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

  24. I found this very tricky indeed, requiring the use of my electronic gizmo for the second day in a row. I feel I might be losing my touch, oh dear. In any case, it was enjoyable once I cracked it.
    I didn’t know 20d but it was fairly clued, a quick google confirmed it. I also needed to google the woods in 16d. Fave was 14a, but 2d was pretty good too.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for his hints, particularly unwinding 9a.

  25. Good afternoon everybody.

    Trickiest puzzle for a good while for me with two new words (11a, 19d) and (at least) two solutions that I couldn’t fathom the logic of (9a, 24a). Very satisfying to finish it when all said and done.


  26. **/****. I enjoyed this puzzle mainly because I parsed them correctly – not always my strength 😳 Favourites were 11a, 2&12d. Thanks to DT for the review and Giovanni for another great workout.

  27. A relatively straightforward solve excepting 20d, where I needed a clue 😳 Generally I am pretty clueless 😏 I had no problems with 13a “by the sound of it” led me to expect an unusual pronounciation 😬 Favourite amongst many 1a. Thanks to DT and to Giovanni 😊

    1. I don’t know the answer to that question Jane, but I’m just happy to have solved an Osmosis Toughie before the blog has been published. My thanks to this setter for a very entertaining puzzle.

  28. As some others I found this tough going, & having put “series” for 25a never did get 20d. Oops!
    Very enjoyable though but I needed to 4a afterwards.
    COTD was 17a – that’s how I felt yesterday after a long day in stormy middle England.
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for the explanations.

  29. **/*** for me, too. But did anyone else think that the name of the goddess Ceres was the best definition of “set of programmes ” ? I put that down for 25a and then, of course, couldn’t get 20d ! But to be honest, I didn’t know that word so would have failed at the last post ha ha.
    Also, the eagle’s nest would definitely be pronounced as well-ventilated by many of us scousers……….
    Loved the photo of passionate creature !
    Thanks to all .

    1. I am so pleased that you said that. I laboured in vain over Ceres and thought I was alone.

  30. Interesting that CASTLE and EYRIE were the most contentious. The first of these was a quick replacement clue because part of a two-definition clue relied on the knowledge that Roy Castle was a trumpeter and our crossword editor thought that might be a bit obscure. I am happy with CASTLE=ROOK but will try not to offend sensitive souls in future. EYRIE is a brute to clue originally ( as is EERIE) and I added ‘sometimes’ to the homophone indicator aware that Chambers gives more than one pronunciation. Thanks as ever for the feedback, not too grumpy this time!

    1. Heartfelt thanks from a sensitive soul, and many thanks too for our enjoyable Friday entertainment.

    2. We totally agree will the editor who asked for Roy Castle to be changed. We had never heard of him.

    3. Good evening Giovanni – many thanks for popping in and please keep up your current trend in back-pagers. Most enjoyable.

    4. Good afternoon Giovanni.

      Re ‘Eyrie’…Is there anything amongst this lot for you to play around with…’Rhode Island (RI) is in ‘Eye (eyRIe)’….’Eagle eye’…’The USA being the home (nest) of the Bald Eagle…The Rhode Island Red….The smallest state is Rhode Island …? I have tried but have come second but The Don’ may be able to work his magic. Maybe it’s too crow-barred…or should that be eagle-barred? (Oh, stop it)

  31. Well above my pay grade, so not very enjoyable for me today…..

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  32. Can’t resist mentioning that combine harvesters are cosily tucked up in their sheds at that time of the year in our part of the world, but we won’t get upset about it. We enjoyed rattling through this one and despite having BRB right beside beside us as usual, it was not needed on this occasion.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  33. Towards the top end of 1* difficulty, according to my watch, and a solid 3* – maybe a bit more – for enjoyment. 11a was my favourite, but 24a merits an honourable mention. Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

  34. As ever pleased to get a couple of new words from the always clear wordplay. This felt challenging along the way, but I finished in ** time, so… Highly entertaining as ever on a Friday…

  35. Very enjoyable, with Giovanni expanding my vocabulary as ever. Many thanks to him and to DT.

  36. Ok, timed out… here we go again…
    Nice crossword! 24a was my fave and overall a solid 3/3.5*.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  37. Goodness me!! What a struggle that was!!
    I never really got on the wavelength, but perseverance paid off in the end. 1a held on right until the end, and being my birth-month ought to be my favourite. The magnificent bird that is 16d should also be mentioned. One of the few indigenous British birds I have yet to see.
    I can’t decide if I actually enjoyed that, but I admire the craft that went into the cluing.
    Many thanks to the Don and DT for a great blog.

  38. It winds me up when there are answers which are words I’ve never heard of, as in 19 down and 20 down. There must be enough words in the English language to give more common answers, unless I’m unusually thick. Rant over.

    1. Fridays almost always have at least one word that at least some of us haven’t heard of – provided it’s possible to work out the answer from the clue and then look it up to see if it exists I think that’s how we learn new words – the only problem then is to remember them for next time.

      1. Very true Kath. Mr Manley always tries to expand our knowledge of obscure words but they are always ‘get-able’ from the word play and checkers. I can’t bring to mind anyone who doesn’t complete a crossword without checking an answer in either the BRB, Collins etc. That’s the enjoyment of cryptic crosswords :)

        I am now off to bed to recharge my batteries for the match at Murrayfield tomorrow. I have also brought my boots – just in case they run out of subs – :)

  39. A really excellent puzzle in my opinion. Took till this morning to solve it. Got stuck yesterday in the SW corner. A night’s sleep and then just bunged it in, as they say. 9a and 24a were my favourites – very clever.3*/4*for me.

  40. I finished this one yesterday and thought it was excellent, as usual from G. 12d was my favourite. 3*/4*.

  41. Spent a week in Malawi trying to sort this one, finally gave in and to refer to your site – many thanks. 19 and 20 down both new words to me

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