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DT 28383


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28383

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dry but overcast morning.

By way of contrast to some recent Giovanni puzzles, I found this one quite tricky, well into *** difficulty, though looking back at it, it is hard to see why.

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. 


5a           That man? Is held in memory for showing courage (7)
HEROISM – Put together the pronoun for ‘that man’, and some computer memory wrapped around IS (from the clue).

7a           African has ox butchered (5)
XHOSA – Anagram (butchered) of HAS OX.

Image result for xhosa

9a           When getting little money, rise is wanted! (6)
ASCENT – Another word for ‘when’ followed by a small coin in America or the Eurozone.

10a         Worrying about study when there’s ambient sound (8)
DREADING – The sound of a bell wrapped around a verb used for ‘study at university’.

11a         Shrewd, but unable to see what is under one’s nose? (3-7)
FAR-SIGHTED – … because with this sort of shrewdness your arms are too short to read the Telegraph!

13a         One animal and another crossing railway (4)
ORYX – A domesticated animal wrapped around an abbreviation for railway. Giving us an African antelope.

Image result for oryx

14a         Document a nerd composed is withdrawn (13)
COUNTERMANDED – Anagram (composed) of DOCUMENT A NERD.

16a         Granular stuff in bottle (4)
GRIT – Double definition: a granular component of soil; or what the rhyming slang ‘bottle’ describes.

17a         Moving awkwardly with stick, collecting fossil resin (10)
CLAMBERING – A verb meaning to stick or adhere, wrapped around the sort of fossil resin used to make jewellery.

19a         Fabulous bird returns, coming to recess in cliff road (8)
CORNICHE – Reverse (returns) a mythical giant bird, then add a recess which may hold a saint’s statue in church.

Image result for corniche

20a         Smelling no wickedness? Good! (6)
NOSING – Put together NO (from the clue), some wickedness, and Good.

22a         Man perhaps hiding behind a church feature? (5)
AISLE – A (from the clue) followed by Man or Wight or Bute.

23a         Most orderly home — have food in it (7)
NEATEST – The sort of home where a bird may raise its young, wrapped around ‘have food’.


1d           Genuine cessation of hostilities about to emerge (4)
TRUE – Remove a Latin abbreviation for about or approximately from a word for an agreement to cease fighting.

2d           Result finally seen in excellent side without any weak points (8)
AIRTIGHT – Start with a two-letter group which looks like the alphanumeric categorisation of something as first-rate or excellent. Then add one of two sides. Finally insert the last letter of resulT.

3d           Go one better than old lover with offspring, as you may say (6)
EXCEED – The usual old lover followed by a homophone (as you may say) of a word for offspring or issue.

4d           One with financial security — such is Lisbon dealer (4-6)
BOND-HOLDER – The answer is a term for someone with a particular class of financial instrument. The first word is hidden in LisBON Dealer. The second word is what ‘Lisbon dealer’ is doing in relation to the first.

5d           House on street with a perennial plant (5)
HOSTA – Put together an abbreviation for house, an abbreviation for street, and A (from the clue), to get what gardeners call a perennial plant and slugs call lunch.

Image result for hosta

6d           Men are trained specially for the sea (13)
MEDITERRANEAN – Anagram (specially) of MEN ARE TRAINED.

8d           What’s surprisingly anodyne makes one cross (7)
ANNOYED – Anagram (surprisingly) of ANODYNE.

12d         Filth — stomach’s churning over and it upset head too (10)
SMUTTINESS – Reverse (churning over) an informal word for stomach’s (don’t forget the ‘S). Then add the reverse of IT (from the clue) and the sort of head which is a landscape feature.

14d         Expression of surprise — sailor turned up after party in foreign city! (7)
CORDOBA – There are three elements to this answer. Start with an exclamation expressing surprise, then add the usual crossword party. Finally reverse (turned up) a two-letter rating of a seaman and add this to the end, to get a Spanish city in Andalusia.

Image result for cordoba

15d         European in clerical garb given a new Scottish name (8)
ALBANIAN – Put together the long white garment worn under the chasuble by a Catholic or Anglican priest, A (from the clue), New, and a common Scottish man’s name, to get a native of one of the Balkan states.

17d         Mark‘s store, first thing you see in town (6)
CACHET – A secret store, or a temporary piece of computer memory, followed by the first letter of Town.

18d         Playing group giving excuse for tennis postponement? (5)
NONET – Split this (2,3) and you get a reason why a tennis match can’t be played.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21d         Noticed radiance husband emitted (4)
SEEN – A word for radiance or lustre with the Husband removed.

The Quick Crossword pun SHRILL + ANCHOR = SRI LANKA

61 comments on “DT 28383

  1. Giovanni being a little more difficult than the last two Fridays. This needed some head scratching and a little electronic assistance, but still completed comfortably before lights out last night – 1.5*/3*.

    Absolute and immediate stand out favourite – 4d!

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    BD – Thanks for the site banner.

  2. Made a note of **/*** on completion , like Senf 4d is the outstanding clue for me too.
    Nicely clued throughout , thoroughly enjoyable solve-thanks to setter and DT.
    Noticed that 5d in the both the cryptic and quick crossword were both five letter plants- loved the pun!

  3. I thought this was not too difficult but quite thought provoking, but maybe that is just because it follows yesterday’s puzzle. It feels like we have seen ‘aisle’ and ‘corniche’ recently. I too put a tick next to 4d. Thanks to DT and TD.

  4. This was 3*/3* for me too – I found it quite challenging in parts but nevertheless enjoyable.

    The clerical garb in 15d was new to me. I knew 7a but stupidly wrote it in initially with the O and A transposed which held up the NE corner for a bit, especially as 10a was my last one in thanks to the clever use of “ambient”.

    On the podium today were 11a, 18d and my favourite, along with everyone else so far, 4d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  5. Solved steadlily with being questioned by a three year old as to how long camels can hold their breath for. $d is the clue oof the week for me. the 14ac anagram refused to give up easily but no pencil needed.

    1. So, how long can camels hold their breath for, and was the three year old satisfied with the answer?

  6. Great stuff. Like yesterday’s a little more challenging in places than usual. Keep it up please!

    I agree with Senf, 4d was favourite. I had the answer before I worked out why! But 11a and 19a should also get a mention.

    So **/**** for me.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for the hints which I will now read.

  7. I am still trying to complete without more than hints but I suspect I won’t get to the end of this one. Started it last night and woke up at 5 a.m. to keep trying but my brain is more than sluggish today!

    Over the course of the few hours it has been snowing, sleeting, raining and now it sounds like it’s hailing. I chose to emigrate to Canada nd I do love it here in rural Ontario but I am so ready for spring! OK back into the crossword, interspered with the odd stab at housework…. my ‘occupation’ these days is housewife. Actually on LinkedIn I changed it to ‘Head cook and bottle washer’.

    Thanks as always for the lovely clues and hints. I’d be lost without this site!

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      It was spending a very long time on a crossword clue that led me to finding this blog and changing my ‘crosswording’ life.

      1. Hmm, just replied and got timed out! That’ll teach me. I have actually posted here before a few times but I guess I got logged off because I had to wait to get approved again.

        I too found this place because of struggling with a clue and resorted to the net. I love reading the hints here almost as much, or as much, as the crossword itself.

  8. Phew, that was a pleasant sea change from yesterday’s slog. The unfilled grid looked quite geometrically artistic. Numerous anagrams made life easier. Bunged in 19a and 1d due to lack of familiarity with fabulous bird and clerical garb. NW corner last to yield with 1d becoming a brief Fav. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  9. Had to dart about the grid a little and needed to check 7a with Mr. Google, but otherwise OK (although I was slow to remember the clerical garb).
    4d gets my vote for favourite, as it seems to have done for most of us, with mentions for 11a plus 12&18d.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – you’ve obviously had ‘fun’ with 5d’s!

    1. Jane – off topic, but relating to our thread in yesterday’s blog, attending the BB can be addictive, and I am already hooked. I am sure that I will be able to find some other reasons to be across the pond to make a good trip out of it – even if the only other reason will be to visit a certain establishment in Long Itchington.

      1. Good man – hope you’ll join the gang on Friday evening as well if it fits in with your plans.

  10. Needed a little electronic assistance with this one, but considerably more doable for me than yesterday’s offering.

    What on earth is the rhyming slang for ‘bottle’ that gets to ‘grit’, please? (16a)

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter.

    1. An unfortunate question. As I understand it the rhyming slang in full is ‘bottle and glass’, and to ‘bottle it’ is to be so scared (or not brave enough), one loses control of said part of the body. Bottle=bravery/tenacity=grit. Bet you’re glad you asked.

        1. It’s got nothing to do with the slang for bottle. Grit = Grit ones teeth (shortened to ‘Grit’) and Bottle = Bottle up your emotions and get on with it.

      1. I subscribe to LBR’s interpretation: bottle=bravery/tenacity=grit; but I can see that Sir L’s and Jane’s version sort of works too albeit in a bit longer-winded way.

        Ignoring the anatomical derivation for the rhyming slang, the interesting thing about bottle in this context is that if you “lose your bottle” you don’t have the courage to do something but the slang for that has become abbreviated simply to “bottle it”.

        1. Interesting. I got this one because I remember from my youth – roughly 300 years ago – people talking about someone ‘lost his bott;e’ and it seemed to mean courage. I have to admit I am gently amused by the rhyming aspect. But then I’ve always loved a slight smutty joke…….. I’m a lady really…… really…

            1. Indeed it was Rabbit Dave, indeed it was. One day when I grow up I hope to get a veneer of dignity and class…. but at 63 I might be cutting it a bit fine.

      2. I’m with all of you who say that 16a is nothing more complex than bottle = courage.

      3. Trawled the dictionaries, and I can’t make the other theory work. As RD says, I kind of get the idea, but don’t think that’s the intention. Maybe the man himself will call in and shine some light on his intended parsing. I’m happy to be corrected.

    2. 16a: This is a simple double definition that doesn’t really merit any discussion – Granular stuff = grit and bottle = grit. It’s got nothing to with the rhyming slang “Bottle and glass”, spoken with a long, SE “a” and so rhyming with “farce”. That term is rhyming slang for…er… a*se!

      1. You are right up to a point, Jose. However, the expression “to lose your bottle” is derived from the rhyming slang as it is a very lurid description of what happens to you when you are scared. This is why bottle has come to mean courage or tenacity.

        1. Yes, of course, that is the etymology of the term and it highlights the difference between semantics and etymology. Most people will simply know bottle/courage = grit without any knowledge of the history/derivation. I suspect the setter, in this case, has used his knowledge of semantics only (which is all that is required) to construct the clue. But I could be wrong.

  11. Took an age to get 4d even when I had the answer! It seems I’m not alone in thinking that was a real stand out
    As for the hint for 16a – I’m not sure how rhyming slang describes the answer? In my experience ‘bottle’ has a very different rhyming slang meaning!

    Thanks very much for the hints and thanks to the setter.

  12. As DT said, a bit of a contrast to some Giovanni puzzles of late. Very enjoyable it was too, with some clues needing to be given a little more thought whilst solving than a lot have recently. I too marked 4d as a favourite, but 2 & 15d ran it close. Osmosis later. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  13. ***/****. Trickier than usual for a Friday. Liked 17&19a and 4&18d. Very nicely crafted. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review. As is usual for a Friday I’ll be making curry 🌶

  14. I actually liked 16a best! Oh well, we are all different I guess. Good crossword from the Don as has come to be expected. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  15. Tough but not as much as yesterday’s….still needed too many hints to get to the finish line, thank you Deep Threat. Didn’t know the animal in 13a and bunged in the wrong European in 15d which made 17a a struggle for a while. Favorite was 11a.

  16. Very enjoyable and absorbing. I do think 5a would be better without the ‘?’. Fave today 12d – 19a & 14d also contenders.
    Many thanks to The Don and to DT for the illustrations. ***/****

  17. At first I thought this was going to be another slog like yesterday, but once I got a toehold, it fell together quite nicely.
    I needed the hint for 17d, don’t know why.
    I liked lots here, but I agree with the majority, 4d is fave. I thought 18d was pretty slick too.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints, 17d in particular. Thanks is also due to BD for the banner.

  18. Good afternoon everybody.

    I knew this would be a stiff one when I counted the clues and I wasn’t disappointed. Any road up it turned out to be a very decent back page puzzle with many excellent clues.


  19. It looks like there is going to unanimous agreement again today for favourite as 4d was the one we picked out too. This must be the grid that setters use when they are in a hurry. It only has 26 clues that need to be written. Good puzzle enjoyable as ever.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT

  20. Very late here today.
    I thought bits of this were quite tricky but can’t see why now that I’ve finished it.
    I’d almost given up on 4d but after a walk up the garden I saw it – I reckon this one takes lurkers to a new level of stuff that a Kath can’t do.
    I was hopelessly slow with the 14a anagram having convinced myself that it was going to begin with ‘contra’ – oh dear.
    I’ve met 7a before but had to wait for some checking letters before I could remember how to spell it – couldn’t help feeling sorry for the ox.
    I liked 13 and 17a and 4 and 15d. My favourite was 17a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  21. Yep, 4d wins the favourite vote for me too. I also agree with LetterboxRoy regarding 5a. Nice to see the exceptionally rare sighting of a word beginning with “x”.

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

  22. Hoorah back on my crossword bicycle after yesterday’s wipe out 😀 **/*** My favourite was 18d with 19a in a photo finish 😬 Thanks to Giovanni for restoring my sanity (almost) and to DT especially for the musical accompaniment to my favourite clue 😜

  23. Oddly enough I found this to be a straightforward solve which is generally not my opinion regarding Friday crosswords. I was held up briefly with 4d.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni. */***

  24. A bit trickier than usual but good stuff from the Don..***/****
    So many thanks from him and Deep Threat for the blog.

  25. Had to come here for an explanation of 4d. I filled in the clue successfully but didn’t understand it until the hints explained it all, very clever, first time I’ve seen that done. Yesterday’s and today were tough ones but not impossible though I did need to look up the African tribe, a name circling somewhere out there in the outer limits of my memory.

    1. I only know the tribe as associated with the gentleman pictured above. He was such a special man, so full of compassion.

      1. Well it proves my point. It worked for you
        Didn’t see your post until I refreshed the page.

  26. Another vote for 4d for clue of the day, a very good clue in a very good puzzle. Into *** territory for difficulty, but I always felt that if I persevered that I’d get there. Last in 2d, just behind the aforementioned 4d.

  27. Took me well into toughie time.
    But the solve was quite straightforward.
    Glad to see the discussion about grit as I wrote brut in 16a.
    Tried to look at my keyboard to see what clue MP was referring to but the $ is under the 3 on mine. Thought it might be 8d rather. Do tell please.
    Last one in was 7a. Not bad for three checkers out of five. That’s the only word I had to check by guessing the order of the last two letters of the anagram. Happy to know that Mr Mandela is one. That will help me remember the tribe.
    Favourite clue is 4d.
    Favourite hint is 11a.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT.

  28. Unlike everyone else, I did not like 4d, I did not see enough in the wordplay to get the answer.
    That said, I really liked this today, 14a was a tough anagram that took ages to crack.
    Didn’t understand16a.
    Thanks to the Don and DT

  29. Totally off topic I know most will have moved on from this thread but I find myself quite amazed by so many common things I have with others here. I was born in London (the English one). I lived all over the world as a child but the common ground was planes and airports and my dear lovely Dad reading the DT. Harrumphing from behind it bit also peeking over to watching Pans People on Top of the Pops when I was in my late teens.

    Later much later, me and hubby lived in Shropshire! Oswestry. Later still in the US. Then Winterpeg – yes seriously and we too thought the mountains outside the city were real and not just piles of snow. Now we live in Ontario – Hello Ottawa! we are about 2 hours west of you. I went to boarding school in Sunninghill and my lovely old school friends ask why I like cryptic crosswords…. because I love the punny ones… and the smutty ones….and the flipping clever ones.

  30. I looked at this for 10 minutes in a petrified state, making as much progress as a car at the A21 roadworks in rush hour. Then I was underway, only having to pause for a few nods of admiration and for the SW corner. I really liked 11a, 20a, 23a, 4d, 8d and 6d is a nice anagram. Why 14d needs an exclamation mark beats me. **/*** from me. Goodnight, all, and thank you.

  31. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, not too difficult, with a lot of good clues. As for 16a, I would subscribe to cockney rhyming slang. If you have bottle, you don’t lose your bottle, therefore you have courage/grit. In the interests of politeness I have used the word bottle, but you can substitute it by the rhyming slang word if you wish. It still makes sense. I thought 4d was clever, but my favourite was 18d. Last in was 20a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  32. I thought this one was very good – reasonably challenging and very enjoyable, as is usual with G. 3*/4*.

  33. Very enjoyable.
    4D very good-once explained by the hints !
    3D also deserves a mention

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