DT 28407 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28407


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28407

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the day has started grey and overcast.

I found today’s Giovanni quite tricky in places. At one stage I had the right-hand side of the grid filled in while the left was blank, then the SW corner fell, followed eventually by the NW quadrant. The crossing entries at 9a and 4d were the last in.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


1a           Some ropy stuff that’s found along the coast (6)
STRAND – One of the constituent parts of a rope, or an alternative name for a beach.

5a           Things hanging down having power to exterminate insects (8)
PENDANTS – Put together Power, to exterminate or finish, and some insects.

9a           Legal procedure to pursue company member — it comes to the crunch? (10)
COMPACTION – Put together an abbreviation for COmpany, a member of the House of Commons, and a general term for a court procedure.

10a         Good old-style politician, smooth-tongued (4)
GLIB Good followed by an abbreviated form of a former national political party.

11a         Oblique dishing of dirt — nice! (8)
INDIRECT – Anagram (dishing) of DIRT NICE.

12a         Come down by river in the country (6)
POLAND – An Italian river beloved of crossword compilers, followed by ‘come down’ (in an aircraft).

Image result for poland flag

13a         Has a sleep, rolling over for a length of time (4)
SPAN – Reverse (rolling over) a word for ‘has a sleep’.

15a         Notice worker with medieval weapon (8)
HANDBILL – A manual worker followed by a bladed tool used for hedging or as a weapon.

18a         Attractive nibble with balti I’ve prepared (4,4)
LIVE BAIT – Anagram (prepared) of BALTI I’VE. Something which may be attractive to a predator.

19a         The ultimate plastic bottles (4)
LAST – Hidden (bottles) within pLASTic.

21a         An eight-day celebrationone goes from do to do (6)
OCTAVE – Double definition: the first is a major feast in the church, like Christmas or Easter, where the celebrations go on for eight days; in the second the ‘do’ is a deer, a female deer…

23a         Seaside accommodation chore getting wife to run around (8)
WHARFAGE – This is the sort of accommodation needed by a merchant ship for loading and unloading. An abbreviation for Wife and ‘to run’ (like a long-eared furry creature) go round a three-letter word for a chore (traditionally one carried out in a public school by a junior boy for a senior).

25a         Animals from those parts to the west (4)
APES – Hidden in reverse (to the west) in the clue.

26a         Bring him around in the morning in the city (10)
BIRMINGHAM – Anagram (around) of BRING HIM, followed by ‘in the morning’.

27a         Take food, including meat given special heat treatment (8)
FLAMBEED – A verb for ‘take food’ wrapped around a type of meat often eaten roasted at Easter.

Image result for flambe

28a         Wily characters represented in statue (6)
ASTUTE – Anagram (characters represented) of STATUE.


2d           Deity with short name, an old character (5)
THORN – One of the Norse gods followed by Name, giving us an Old English letter.

Image result for thorn letter

3d           IT company shortly to introduce a nice new gadget (9)
APPLIANCE – The IT company that makes lots of expensive gadgets beginning with ‘i’, with its last letter removed (shortly), followed by an anagram (new) of A NICE.

4d           Part of formal attire not in good condition (6)
DICKEY – Double definition: a bow tie, or the false shirt front that may go under it; or an informal word for ‘not in good condition’.

5d           How attender with pint is out to have a wild celebration (5,3,4,3)

6d           Square cut up in game (8)
NINEPINS – A square number followed by the reverse (up) of a word for ‘cut’ (with scissors).

7d           A new girl, as some would say, is a darling (5)
ANGEL – Put together A (from the clue), New, and a posh pronunciation of ‘girl’.

8d           What could be construed into gnarliest shapes (9)
TRIANGLES – Anagram (could be construed) of GNARLIEST.

14d         Head gives general rule to those listening (9)
PRINCIPAL – This word for a head of an organisation is a homophone (to those listening) of a word for a general rule, whose spelling is slightly different. Sadly the two spellings are often confused.

16d         Inner circle coming down on terror, lacking resistance in beastly contest (9)
BULLFIGHT – The innermost circle on a dartboard, followed by a word for terror with the R removed (lacking resistance).

17d         Like some wild animals Matabele treated (8)
TAMEABLE – Anagram (treated) of MATABELE.

20d         American show girl embracing any number in a place for sailors (6)
MARINA – The female lead in West Side Story wrapped around the algebraic symbol for ‘any number’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d         Tea service set up after start of afternoon (5)
ASSAM – The first letter of Afternoon followed by the reversal of a Catholic church service.

24d         Making a horticultural insertion is hard work (5)
GRAFT – Double definition, the first being the act of inserting a scion into a rootstock.

Image result for graft

The Quick Crossword pun WRECK + AMEND = RECOMMEND

54 comments on “DT 28407

  1. Firstly can I say Happy Birthday to Her Majesty, Big Dave and the (much missed) Libellule

    I too found Giovanni not quite as fluffy this week and worked round the grid in the same way as our blogger. My favourite for its (literal) d’oh moment has to be 21a

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

      1. Sorry to correct you on your birthday, BD, but Samuel is aka Mister Ron. :wink:

        Happy Birthday, Samuel!

  2. NW corner was last to go in. Loved the misdirection in 21a so that’s my favourite. I liked 16d as a clue, but didn’t like the answer, just for what it was. Cruel sport. Thank you setter and DT.

  3. Quite tricky but with loads of anagrams so not too bad – I had trouble with 27a and had to seek outside assistance for that one – otherwise a very enjoyable puzzle.

  4. 4*/1*. This felt to me as if it was the old Giovanni back and I am sorry to say that I found today’s offering largely a joyless chore. I did however like 5d & 21a. Thanks to DG & DT.

    A very Happy Birthday to HM & to BD, and I’m delighted to hear that the cataract op went well.

  5. I found this very tricky, Ive never heard of 27a or 2d before. I wasnt sure which variation of 14d to use and never heard of the medieval weapon in 15a. I only knew 21a from the musical scale, never heard of the eight day celebration. Back to the drawing board for me, need to brush up on my GK. Many thanks to Giovanni and especially to DT, without who’s help I would have been well stuck.

  6. Solved same as DT with exception of 27a. Thought “lamb” was in there but just couldn’t see the word, stupid of me as I knew it.
    Liked 21a but 19a just appealed for some reason so is my COTD.
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for filling in some of the gaps in my GK: problem being they will be blank again in a few days.
    Pleased BD put in a late appearance yesterday and Happy Birthday (watch out for the glare of the candles when you blow them out!)

      1. Thankc CS: had it not been for #1, confirmed by RD BD’s big day would have gone un-noticed by many of us. It is not in “Today’s Birthdays” as far as I can see.

  7. Felicitations and many happy returns of the day BD. 🍾🌈🎂. Unusually I didn’t find this Giovanni offering to be a barrel of laughs. Were there others who like me wrongly plumped for completion in 9a? 18a tickled me. 1a a bit woolly. Thanks setter and DT.

  8. Well, the run of straightforward solves could not last forever; so, I am not at all surprised that it is Mr Manley who brought it to an end. Nevertheless, this was very enjoyable – ***/**** for me.

    Favourite 27a.

    Happy Birthday to HM and BD.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  9. 3*/3* from me with the excellent 21a my favourite. This was certainly trickier than most Fridays, but the enjoyment was still fairly high. Many thanks to The Don and to DT for the review. And a Happy Birthday to all celebrating today.

  10. I always find Friday crosswords the most difficult of the week and today’s was no exception.
    What a mess I made of it.
    I only had three answers having read all the across clues but the downs went marginally better.
    My first thought for 5a was ‘flypaper’ – just as well it was only a thought.
    I didn’t see the 25a ‘apes’ – my animals were ‘ewes’ which made 14d impossible.
    I could carry on but will just say generally it’s ‘oh dear’ from me.
    I liked 15 and 18a and 24d. My favourite was 3d and even that one took ages.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. PS – Oh dear, again – I forgot to say Happy Birthday to BD so I’ll do that now.
      Happy Birthday BD – maybe you’d like a little :rose: .

    2. Glad I was not the only one to almost fall into the Flypaper trap, just seemed too obvious.

  11. Not too tricky, nothing outstanding either. Pleased to see The Don is still avoiding religious obscurities, apart from 21a.
    I would be interested to know where in the country folk pronounce ‘girl’ as ‘jel’ – 7d? Gazza will be appalled, no doubt.

    Favourite today 19a. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.
    Happy Birthday to HM and to Big Dave.

    1. It’s usually the homophones with an ‘R’ in them that Gazza objects to – he pronounces them but not everyone does – I think it depends on where you live.

    2. I think you’re confusing two things here. 7d is not a ‘homophone’ clue. It’s a standard piece of wordplay which leads you to A + N + GEL (with a hard G, a stereotypical upper-class pronunciation of ‘girl’). When you put the bits together you get ‘ANGEL’ which is pronounced with a soft G.

  12. Happy Birthday BD!

    This went in rather quickly though I misspelt the bowtie at first (I know..)

    I liked the flypaper clue (5a), the attractive nibble (18a), the smooth tongued politician (10a) and the tea service (22d)

    Many thanks Giovanni and DT

    1. The last letter of the bow tie was a long way through the alphabet for me. I had it in with an ie ending which didn’t help the anagram at 11ac

  13. Happy birthday to BD and to Her Maj (a pity that RayT didn’t appear yesterday to honour you Ma’am!).

    Favourite clue today was 19a, I’ll diplomatically refrain from saying anything else.

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

  14. I found this fairly difficult but managed to do them all except 21ac which eluded me so thanks to DT for that one. Favourite is 5d which I thought was superbly worded. Many thanks to the setter and DT. ***/***

  15. Not the most difficult of Giovannis crosswords but full of typical Don clues such as 7d and 12a. What I really like about the majority of his puzzles is that everything you need to solve the clue is given to you, no leaps of faith or sloppy almost but not quite meanings.
    Anyone who hasn’t yet read ANAX on how to construct a crossword (see the “Cryptic Crosswords” tab above), I thorough recommend it, totally fascinating if some of the explanations do make your brain hurt a little.🤔🤔
    Thx to the Don for an excellent puzzle and of course for the helpful hints.

  16. Many Happy returns to HM and BD, so glad to know that all went well. I liked the banner very much.

    Like Kath, I found this decidedly tricky, having to use electronic gizmo far too much.
    I never did get 19a, pretty silly of me considering how easy it was when you know the answer.
    Getting 5d right away was a huge help. I did need to look up the “eight-day celebration” in 21a, but the “do to do” meant it had to be that.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  17. Thankfully, a nice gentle puzzle which I solved in two halves. The right hand first, then a break in which to renew some external plastic waste piping, followed by the remainder of the puzzle over a cuppa. Some good fun clues with 1a, 18a, 21a & 24d as my favourites. Thanks to Mr M & DT. ProXimal for later solving – hopefully.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Happy Birthday to Big Dave. I found this very tough indeed, obscurities back in Spades. I’d never heard of 1,21,23a&2d. Still don’t understand 21a, what has a female deer got to do with octave? Didn’t enjoy this at all. Was 4*/1* for me.

  19. Rather late in today but hopefully not to late to wish a very happy birthday to BD, Samuel and of course HM.
    As RD commented, I thought the Don was showing signs of slipping back into his old ways – the 21a celebration and the old character at 2d definitely rang slight alarm bells.
    1a took far longer than it should have done as did 4d but nothing else caused too much of a hold up.
    Thought 17d was a little weak.

    Top two for me were 5a & 24d.
    Thanks to DG and to DT for the review. Goodness, I remember how much I cried when West Side Story first came out at the cinema!

  20. Soundly defeated by this one, needing help from my electronic BRB to fill in a few, especially in the NW. I did smile at 21a when the penny finally dropped. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, and Happy Birthdays to BD and to Mister Ron.

  21. I didn’t find it exceedingly tough but did take a long walk off a short wharf at 23a, so that’s a fail. Oh well. Only just (faintly) remembered the first definition at 21a but got it from the second bit of the clue (helped by the handy eightish indication in the first). I do like the “do to do.” It was another late night solve on the phone so I didn’t note down favourites but remember a few smiles.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    Many Happy Returns to BD! – and also to Samuel and to the other birthday boys and girls. :)

  22. Birthday wishes to BD, Samuel, Libellule and HM.
    A top quality Friday puzzle we thought. The religious festival meaning in 21a was new to use but easily checked and great misdirection in do to do. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  23. Well I went off at a tangent when I took ‘do to do’ to be a Lou Reed reference but then….
    Once reality set in everything got easier; LHS first followed by the rest. Best of the week by far, so 3/4* overall; and I liked 24d as favourite clue.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  24. About ** for difficulty for me overall, with much of that caused by 21ac and 23ac. Enjoyable as ever from the Don.

  25. A real challenge this one. After pretty much all the PM part of the day I got it down to just 21A. I totally missed the musical connection, even though I’ve been on bass for 35 years !
    Thanks to setter for the challenge and to DT for that hint to 21A.

    Will be suffering at the Olympic Stadium again tomorrow…….

    ****/** from me.

  26. Difficult but enjoyable – so much so that I couldn’t wait to read everyone’s comments!

    Been round Sandringham House today – all the staff wearing carnations and groups of small children singing Happy Birthday for ER – lovely. Same to you, BD, by the way. Norfolk is nice – our first visit.

  27. This one took me nearly as long as all the puzzles from Mon-Thu combined. I started to flap a bit after I’d only a handful of clues solved but I got there in the end which pleased me.

    Thanks to DT and DM 4*/4*

  28. Enjoyable today, but tricky, and definitely highlighted the sorry gaps in my education. Not heard of 1a and beach, the weapon in 15a, or 23a word. 5d was definite favorite.
    Oh and 21a I found quite baffling. Thanks to Deep Threat for his hints which helped me to the finish line. Happy Birthday to BD and HM, may both have many more.

  29. Maybe the Don has been lurking around on Fridays and noted that the consensus was that he’s letting up a bit so decided it was time to play a spot of hardball. Got most of it waiting for a train that never came (thanks again Southern Rail – it’s hard to notice the difference between a strike day and a working day) but had half a dozen left to ponder over on the sofa with a pint of Winter Ale that I’m not allowed. Sod it. The alcohol lubricates the slow-grinding cogs in my head and the recalcitrant last few were teased out. Lots to like in this puzzle, although short on laughs. I’ll go with the flow and pick 21a as favourite, because I did smile when the penny dropped while I was trying to parse my answer. 3*/3* ta to DT and Giovanni.

  30. Do time to do this yesterday, but enjoyable to go through the hints and the blog, thanks DT and the Don.
    Happy birthday BD for yesterday

  31. I thought this was excellent from G. Fairly challenging and a very enjoyable solve. Best of the week by far. 3.5*/4*.

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