DT 28377 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28377


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28377

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Céad míle fáilte from South Staffs this St Patrick’s day morning. Here’s some suitably festive music

ARVE Error: need id and provider

A reasonably straightforward Giovanni this week, with some nice anagrams to get you going. On the other hand, it took me ages to work out the Quick Crossword pun…

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           Motivated folk falter with stress getting out of hand (4-8)
SELF-STARTERS – Anagram (getting out of hand) of FALTER and STRESS.

9a           Picture someone nearing the end of his days in the staff room? (3,6)
OLD MASTER – This type of classic painting could also be an aged male teacher.

10a         Dad‘s half-hearted spiel (5)
PATER – Remove one of the middle letters from a salesman’s spiel to get the Latin word for father.

11a         Better person steering a course on the river? (6)
PUNTER – One of a large number of people patronising the bookies at Cheltenham this week, or someone propelling a flat-bottomed boat with the aid of a long pole.

12a         Act of cleaner gets son crying (8)
SWEEPING Son followed by ‘crying’.

13a         With drinks coming round, graduate dances (6)
RUMBAS – More than one tot of a drink made from sugar cane, wrapped around the letters after the name of an arts graduate.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a         Like some purchases, no longer having to work? (4-4)
DUTY-FREE – Something which may be available at an airport shop, which could also describe someone with no appointed tasks to carry out.

18a         Member of family telling a story? (8)
RELATION – Double definition: a general term for a member of someone’s family; or the act of telling a story.

19a         Sweet start to the week reportedly (6)
SUNDAE – A homophone (reportedly) of the first day of the week which is applied to an ice-cream dish.

Image result for ice cream sundae

21a         One bird also protecting a very different kind of bird (8)
COCKATOO – A general term for a male bird and another word for ‘also’, placed either side of A (from the clue).

Image result for cockatoo

23a         Character to declare a truce (4-2)
MAKE-UP – The essential character or ingredients of something. Without the hyphen this means to become friends again after an argument (often linked with a kiss).

26a         When suffering setback, boy gets healthy food (5)
SALAD – Reverse (suffering setback) a word for ‘when’ and add another word for a boy.

27a         Once again attend to study and get into gear (9)
READDRESS – Put together ‘study’ (at university) and ‘get into gear’ (where gear is another word for clothes).

28a         Peer admitted being naughty is deliberate (12)
PREMEDITATED – Anagram (being naughty) of PEER ADMITTED.


1d           One may want to know what’s in store (7)
SHOPPER – Cryptic definition of a visitor to a retail emporium.

2d           Left port with cargo on board? (5)
LADEN Left followed by a port at the entrance to the Red Sea, once a British colony.

3d           Don’t chuck everything — this may be useful for repair (5,4)
SPARE PART – Something used to replace a broken component in a machine, which could also be an instruction to ‘save some’.

4d           Book of information unopened (4)
ACTS – Remove the opening letter from the sort of information that Mr Gradgrind thought was all that should be taught in school, and you get the fifth book of the New Testament.

“Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.” (Hard Times, Charles Dickens)

5d           Dismissed end to end, we hear (5,3)
THREW OUT – A verb phrase from cricket, where a fielder hurled the ball at the wicket and hit it while the batsman was out of his ground. It sounds like (we hear) a single ten-letter word meaning ‘from beginning to end’.

6d           Following game, lord briefly makes money (5)
RUPEE – Put together the initials of the game played in the Six Nations and a member of the House of Lords minus his last letter, and you get some Indian money.

7d           A bar on flight (5,3)
STAIR ROD – Cryptic definition of something used to keep the carpet in place on a flight of steps.

Image result for stair rod

8d           Pair getting fever in foreign capital (6)
PRAGUE – An abbreviation for ‘pair’ followed by a fever with hot and cold fits, leading us to the Czech Republic.

14d         Spy hugs English copper, having left bit of stuff (8)
MOLECULE – Put together English, the chemical symbol for copper, and Left, then wrap a sort of spy around the result and you get a tiny amount of matter.

16d         Day out is fantastic, I admitted? Absolutely right! (3,4,2)
YOU SAID IT – Anagram (fantastic) of DAY OUT IS and I.

17d         Picture house and record memory (8)
HOLOGRAM – Put together an abbreviation for House, the record kept by a ship’s captain, and some computer memory, and you get a 3D picture.

Image result for hologram

18d         Once more model engineers must go to shed (6)
RECAST – The usual military engineers followed by ‘shed’, as a snake might shed its skin.

20d         Former lover modelled in birthday suit? (7)
EXPOSED – Put together the usual former lover and another word for ‘modelled’, and you get what you are if you’re in your birthday suit.

22d         Snake more angry concealing head (5)
ADDER – Remove the first letter (concealing head) from a word for ‘more angry’.

Image result for adder

24d         Choose to put up with the Left rather than the Right (5)
ELECT – Start with a word for ‘put up’ (a building, for example), then replace the Right with Left.

25d         Female and male needing help (4)
MAID – An abbreviation for Male followed by some help or assistance.

The Quick Crossword pun CARAT + CHOOSE = CARROT JUICE

69 comments on “DT 28377

  1. Last Friday, I said that the ratings I gave the puzzle were almost unheard of for me for a Giovanni, well not any more, once again- */****.

    Definitely helped by a sprinkling of oldies but goodies. Four strong candidates for favourite, but I think 9a comes out on top.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  2. This gets 2*/3* from me today for a light and enjoyable puzzle. 1a provided a good start, and 1d seemed positively Rufus-esque. 4d was my last one in with the penny taking some time to drop. 7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. I found this hugely enjoyable and was smiling all the way through. Very doable with nothing untoward My rating: **/****

    Favourite clues were 10A, 11A, 23A, 1D, 3D, 7D, 16D & 24D (but to be honest, I liked them all.)

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the succinct analysis.


  4. Rarely have I seen two crosswords so much at opposing ends of the solving spectrum. Today’s Giovanni was very enjoyable whilst it lasted, but finished at a gallop. As for the Elgar Toughie? Well, not one clue solved yet. Time to walk the dog and hope for some mental inspiration I think. Thanks to the Don and DT who’s hints I’ve not needed to check.

    1. Well I beat you SB .. After a scan of the toughie I got one! (23d). Enough crosswords for today I think.

  5. Yes, all completed in a **/*** manner. Just one little niggle, and therefore my last one in, was 21a. Why is the word “very” in the clue. I was convinced we were talking prisons for quite a while. The “very” seems to be superfluous.

    Many thanks to DT and The Don.

    1. Yes, you may have a point there – the “you” is either superfluous verbiage or legal padding. The clue would be absolutely fine without it.

  6. This was quite mild for a G, probably the quickest I’ve ever solved one of his, but very enjoyable. 16d was my favourite. 2.5*/3.5*.

  7. Giovanni in a gentle mood today me thinks. Quite enjoyable and no real problems. 19a was an interesting one, I was told as a child at school that Sunday was the first day of the week, but ive never heard that since then. No stand outs today. 1.5*/3* Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. This one put up a bit of a fight with me, but I prevailed in the end without resorting to electronic aids or hints……hurrah!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the explanations. (I remain a bunger-inner, but possibly less often than I used to be.)

  9. Very gentle Friday workout. Enjoyable while it lasted. 1*/4*. I liked 14d, 7d with17d my favourite.

  10. My horses remained unfazed by this comfortable and enjoyable Giovanni offering. I really liked 7d, and the anagrams were quickly spotted and set me on my way. 2*/3.5* overall with thanks to The Don and DT for his review.

  11. Like RD 4d LOI I never remember to think of books of the Bible.
    Unless my time-compressing memory is playing tricks again 2d has appeared in identical, or near-identical, guise in the last couple of weeks. And adder, although differently clued earlier this week
    Lots of good clues but 10a gets my COTD vote. 12a was uncharacteristically weak in my opinion.
    Thanks to Giovanni for a very pleasant solve and DT for the succinct review.

    1. LrOK, I think you are right about 2d, although, based on my memory, for what it’s worth, it might be slightly more than two weeks.

      1. Senf,
        At my age everything I remember seems to be in the last 2 weeks, I guess that’s the origin of ” It seems like only yesterday”.

        1. Mon 13 Jan 03     DT 23950     Left port with cargo on board (5)
          Wed 2 Jul 03 DT 24096 Loaded ordering one port after another (5)
          Fri 4 Mar 05 DT 24618 Burdened camel finally comes to Yemeni location (5)
          Sun 27 Mar 05 ST 2283 Left port abroad carrying cargo (5)
          Mon 9 Jul 07 DT 25351 Left port carrying cargo (5)
          Sat 29 Mar 08 DT 25577 Burdened leading lady at port (5)
          Tue 13 May 08 DT 25615 Left port carrying cargo (5)
          Thu 23 Jul 09 DT 25988 Left port with a full cargo (5)
          Wed 3 Aug 11 DT 26621 Boy with vacant expression is loaded (5)
          Thu 11 Aug 11 DT 26628 Left port carrying cargo (5)
          Wed 24 Aug 11 DT 26639 City office is loaded (5)
          Sun 11 Dec 11 ST 2618 Left port with cargo on board (5)
          Thu 11 Dec 14 DT 27670 Taken on board and left port (5)
          Tue 19 Apr 16 DT 28092 Portion of salade nicoise, piled high (5)
          Tue 11 Oct 16 DT 28242 Left a study piled high (5)
          Thu 9 Feb 17 DT 28346 Weighed down and left a hole (5)
          Sun 12 Feb 17 ST 2886 Left Red Sea port with cargo aboard (5)
          1. I somehow had the feeling that Mr Kitty might weigh in here.

            My vote goes to Tue 19 Apr 16 for originality.

            1. And, I should have been able to remember that the most recent one was almost 5 weeks ago, because it was in a Sunday puzzle that I blogged – although, my ‘slightly more than two weeks’ above gets me off the hook (maybe).

          2. Thank you Mr K for “Chapter & verse”: agree with RD 19/4/16 as the pick. 3/8/11 not bad either but 3 in a month seems excessive.
            It was my “condensing memory” again.

  12. Unexciting but fair challenge today with SW corner last to surrender. Can’t now believe my last two to fall were 4d and particularly 26a where unhealthy solid was all that came to mind. 10a was unparsed and I didn’t really like ‘stuff’ in 14d clue. Flight in that context is a bit of a chestnut but 7d nevertheless warrants my favouritism. Thank you Giovanni and also DT for the toe-tapping introduction to your hints but I am afraid I wont be doing that tomorrow!

  13. I thought the difficulty was tougher than the official rating. 19 down I could have looked at from now till Christmas and not come up with the answer but you live and learn.
    Thanks as ever for the help it does sink in eventually.

    1. If you are commenting on today’s puzzle (or any other particular puzzle come to that), it is best to comment on the actual blog page so that (a) we know which puzzle you are talking about and (b) all the comments on that puzzle stay together

  14. Hugely enjoyable but definitely on the easier side of Giovanni. He seems to have misplaced his weird word dictionary this week😀
    For me */****
    Thx to all

  15. A very good puzzle – not too bad but by no means easy. Some tricky clues, but very interesting and fun.

  16. I would think you would have to delve into some pretty ancient score books to find someone recorded as thrown out.

    1. Not necessarily ancient. You might describe all the batsmen who were dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan in that way :wink:

      1. As Freddie Trueman once said to the batsman disputing an lbw “In tomorrow’s paper tha’ll see thee were out lbw.” Mr M’s “victims” were out bowled, caught etc whether I thought he was a chucker or not. He wouldn’t have bowled like that when I played. I call to mind the controversy surrounding Tony Locke in the 50’s when he was labelled a chucker by some.

    2. I have serious doubts as to whether dismissed in this particular instance has any connection with cricket. I assumed it meant dismissing as in throwing out anything that’s considered unacceptable, for instance a suggestion, as indeed my comment here could well be dismissed. The end to end surely hints at a homophone of the answer.

      1. I agree with you about the parsing of the clue, SB. The answer refers to anything that is discarded.

        I just assumed that HH was making a jokey pun about cricket from the wordplay, and I was responding in kind.

        1. Ah! Only now have I read DT’s review and so I see from where the cricket reference originated. Time to stop this thread methinks …

        2. It takes me such an age to type on this touch screen that your reference to Muttiah must have appeared whilst I was still fighting this wretched device of mine :-)

  17. Late on parade today I liked this a lot very enjoyable with a couple of the dreaded Doh moments.
    Thanks for the music at the beginning, takes me back to some tremendous nights on Grafton Street and indeed to Vicar Street to see the Dubliners great days.
    Defor the boxer has decided that pencils and pens left on the edge of the table whilst solving crosswords are fair game!
    Thanks to DT and to the Don.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite gentle, except for 3d, which I would never of thought of in a million years. Enjoyed 14d, nice to have a science clue, but my favourite was 17d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  19. Good afternoon everybody.

    Excellent back page puzzle today with last in 17d being my favourite clue.


  20. Ashamed to say this was a 3*/3* for me today . Just couldn’t get onto the setter’s wave-length and had to resort to hints for at least six clues …. Am blaming whirl wind 3-day visit of elder son, attending Conference and bedding down with us . Great to see him but had forgotten what it’s like to have lively lad taking over house !! Brain-dead today ! 9a fav clue, as takes me back to smoky Staff Room days long ago.

  21. Agree that this was a good puzzle with good clues. Those I didn’t get at first were not difficult, nor did they require special knowledge, I was just too dim today or went down the wrong fork in the road, i.e. 7d, which ended up as my favorite, followed closely by 11a. Another wrong fork for me.

  22. Very enjoyable, my joint favourites were the elegant 28a and the clever 24d.

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

  23. A stroll in the park today but someone had left a banana skin on the path and I went down hard on it. That little hazard was 4d and I am a bit ashamed to say that I did not know that book of the NT. So thanks for the hints DT and thanks to The Don.

    I am going to say this in a very small voice: are Fridays becoming a bit to easy these days?

  24. A really enjoyable puzzle with loads of clever clues 😊 My rating agrees with Brian */**** 😏 9a and 6d were favourites, held up for a while as I thought 18a ended in “ing” 😬 Also found Quick Crossword phrase very difficult Thanks to DT and to Giovanni, what a really pleasant week in crossword land 🤓

  25. An OK and perfectly fair crossword but nothing that made me laugh.
    I was a bit slow and generally dim with 15a and 5d – don’t know why.
    I had two wrong endings for 18a before I got the right one – that was dim too.
    I liked 9a and 3d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.
    Having read the earlier comments it sounds like a good day for me to give the Toughie a miss!

  26. Like Kath, I tried a couple of wrong endings for 18a before 17d put me on the right track but no other problems to report.
    That port and the snake have both had a fair number of outings recently – as has the ‘flight’ which almost caught me out again!

    Top three places went to 3,5&24d.
    Thanks to DG for an enjoyable puzzle and to DT for an equally enjoyable blog – loved the St. Patrick’s Day clip.

  27. I agree with the rating, Giovanni being very benign today.
    I liked lots here, so it’s hard to choose a fave, but I think 9a is top star, with 10a close behind. Also, 3D and 7d deserve honourable mention.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  28. That 1a was so obtuse (who ever says the answer in reality?) which was the theme for the rest of the puzzle. 1 out of 10 for me👎

  29. The great thing about crosswords is that I’ve fairly breezed through this week’s
    offerings but today I struggled really badly! There’s me thinking I’ve cracked this crossword malarky and I needed DT’s help after filling in about seven answers. Crosswords certainly have a nice way of putting me in my place!

    Thanks to Giovanni (for a real mental workout) and DT (for the help).

  30. 1d was one of our last ones to write in. We needed all the checkers to convince ourselves that there was not some cleverness we had missed. It all went together smoothly for us and kept us smiling.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  31. I struggled to get a start with today’s offering, however once I did the rest seemed to give in without much of a battle. 14d was my fave, and overall 2/3.5*
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for his review.

    1. Nah! The last night of the weekend is Wednesday. I hate Wednesday nights because the weekend is over. However I love Thursday nights because the weekend begins on a Thursday. Therefore the first day of the week is Thursday

    2. The first day of the week is Sunday, as any decent dictionary will confirm. Unfortunately only Letts diaries still conform with the rule. I have to search for them high and low every year as all the rest seem to think as you do Cd. It all comes from some people having “weekends” these days, which of course they never did when the rule was set.

  32. A gentle, enjoyable end to the working week, a most definite * for difficulty. Weary as I am today, exactly what I needed! :-)

  33. Lots of favourites today. I only had one minor problem when my mind raced ahead and put a ‘y’ on the end of 19a. Soon corrected when I read 20d wanted a ‘former’ so I knew I had to change the ‘y’ for an ‘e’. Thank you Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  34. Brain addled by 5 days of hard work, and granddaughter to look after too, so did half quickly and then did the rest via hints,
    Good stuff, much better than last week’s monster,
    Thanks DT and G.

  35. Yeah, OK. Nothing too tricky, but nothing too joyous either. If pushed, I’ll plump for 3d for the shamrock. 2*/3*
    For all those who think Monday is first day of the week. Think again. It’s Sunday – and has been for centuries. A glance in the dictionary will confirm. Do not be misled by the modern concept of “the weekend”.
    Thanks to the Don and DT

  36. According to Collins dictionary: Sunday, the first day of the week and the Christian day of worship. According to the Oxford English Dictionary: Sunday, First day of the week sacred to the sun & observed as a day of rest and worship. The OED also gives Mon as 2nd etc through to Sat as 7th. Giovanni, who knows most things, clearly agrees. I rest my case.
    PS. We in Britain clearly not subscribe to the edicts of the ISO otherwise we would write our dates YY/MM/DD, which only a lunatic would do

  37. Only came round to solve this now sipping a glass of wine on the terrace. Spring tomorrow but it already feels like summer.
    Only held up by 23a until the penny dropped.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

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