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DT 28431

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28431

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Deep Threat is on holiday until the end of June.

A straightforward puzzle from Giovanni – with a nod towards the forthcoming General Election.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a    Put down at destination, fall asleep (4,3)
DROP OFF: easy double definition

7a    Church faces a very big state of confusion (5)
CHAOS: CH(urch) followed by the A from the clue and an abbreviation meaning very big – and part of a slogan for the General Election

9a    Recall being all right, always being retrospective about it (6)
REVOKE: a two-letter word meaning all right inside (being … about it) the reversal (retrospective) of a word meaning always

10a    Like some Europeans needing boost, with EU taking time to intervene (8)
TEUTONIC: a boost around (to intervene) EU and T(ime)

11a    Iron Man engaging a publicist (5,5)
PRESS AGENT: a verb meaning to iron and a man around (engaging) the A from the clue

13a    Wild animal about to run (4)
FLOW: the reversal (about) of a wild animal – I don’t like this kind of reversal where either part could be the definition

14a    Very modern country frequently requiring courage (5-2-3-3)
STATE-OF-THE-ART: a charade of a country or nation, a three-letter word meaning frequently and some courage

16a    Not all stifled emotions, making protest (4)
DEMO: hidden (not all) inside the clue

17a    Report of location attracting wise people and tourists? (10)
SIGHTSEERS: a word that sounds like (report of) a location followed by some wise people

19a    A vile drunk getting into vehicle is discourteous (8)
CAVALIER: an anagram (drunk) of A VILE inside a vehicle

20a    See our lot by street most debased (6)
LOWEST: a charade of a two-letter word meaning see, the 1st person plural subjective pronoun (our lot) and ST(reet)

22a    Trotter starts to flog this pottery (5)
DELFT: The first name of the elder Trotter brother in Only Fools and Horses followed by the initial letters (starts) of two words in the clue

23a    Seen in tabloid, gent waving weapon (4,3)
STEN GUN: one of the tabloid newspapers around (seen in) an anagram (waving) of GENT


1d    Old-fashioned type given repeated encouragement to act (4)
DODO: this old-fashioned type of person is named after an extinct animal – split as (2,2) it could be taken as repeated encouragement to act

2d    Observe legal process that keeps paper money secure (8)
NOTECASE: a charade of two four-letter words meaning to observe and a legal process respectively

3d    Secret old Conservative sect (6)
OCCULT: O(ld) followed by C(onservative) and a sect

4d    Arrived, carrying round university emblem, in disguise (10)
CAMOUFLAGE: a four-letter word meaning arrived around (carrying) the round-shaped letter, U(niversity) and an emblem

5d    Gloomy person at surgery perhaps needing attention (5)
DREAR: the abbreviation of a person often found in a surgery and a word meaning attention

6d    Men in leadership roles could make Theresa gruff, I fancy (6,7)
FATHER FIGURES: an anagram (fancy) of THERESA GRUFF I

8d    Discharge — it goes into sort of waterfall (4,3)
SPIT OUT: IT inside a sort of waterfall or something from which water “falls”

12d    Boy and friend going under water at a certain time of the year (10)
SEASONALLY: a male child and a friend under a large mass of water

14d    Official in street on eastern part of city? (7)
STEWARD: a charade of ST(reet), E(astern) and part of a city

15d    Provider of accommodation has house on row for the Spanish to occupy (8)
HOTELIER: HO(use) and a row around (for … to occupy) the Spanish definite article

17d    Holy army isn’t bad for holy people (6)
SAINTS: the abbreviation for a religious army followed by an anagram (bad) of ISN’T

18d    Sticky stuff in fire, sinking (5)
RESIN: hidden (in) inside the clue

21d    Witty folk who watch their partners at matches? (4)
WAGS: the abbreviation for (those) women, whose only talent is their desire to be seen in public, who follow their husbands and boyfriends at football matches – not quite a double definition as that would mean that “folk” is doing double duty

For once a Giovanni puzzle that didn’t have me reaching for the spittoon!

The Quick Crossword pun: seize+halt=sea salt

42 comments on “DT 28431

  1. 1.5*/3*. The Don with his easy hat on today. I do find 4d a very difficult word to spell but if you follow the directions in the clue to the letter that makes it easy. A shame to see the “street” device repeated, but that apart this still made a very pleasant diversion on a dull morning here in London.

    22a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to BD.

    1. Do ya know, I found this really hard! Got only one on my own: must be having a tough Friday or some thing. Obviously need more vino. Roll on tomorrow’s prize puzzle……

      1. A lot of it is down to wavelength. A lot of times I find a puzzle hard and others have breezed through it. I like your solution – more wine and look forward to tomorrow.

  2. I agree with RD above about 22a being the COTD. This was certainly The Don in benign mood, but no less enjoyable. Overall 2*/3.5* for me. We seem to have missed all the rain here in the Marches over the last few days. Unusual for this part of Wales, but welcome nonetheless.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to BD.

  3. Slow start then no problem in the South but the North was a different kettle of fish. Got there in the end without having to wait for the Boss’ hints for which I thank him and also Giovanni for the pleasant exercise. Couldn’t parse 22a (no wonder – not a OFAH fan!). Liked 10a, 14a and 4d.

  4. Nice to be back on dry land after bashing up and down the Solent all in the name of training.
    A nice puzzle to return to for me definitely ****/**** very enjoyable sat out in the sun.
    Favourite clue for structure 4d.
    Many thanks to BD and the Don

  5. Virtually R&W for me but, on the enjoyment side, one of the best puzzles from the Don.
    Like RD, I was glad of the instructions for spelling 4d!

    Plenty of ticks including 11,14,17,19&22a plus 21d.

    Thanks to DG and to BD for magnanimously providing holiday cover. Brilliant pic at 4d.

  6. Am I the only one who thinks 2d is a dead word (whatever the LRB says) from the early 19th century, and thus unacceptable as an answer?
    “Mr. Bennet entered the drawing room, dropped his 2d and flushed deeply as a gutta percha prophylactic escaped it’s embrace and skittered across the parquet flooring.”

    1. The BRB has no indication of 2d being archaic or obsolete. But, I do not think it is a word I have used until today.

    2. It wasn’t a word I recognised as such but straightforward to get from the wordplay and with a meaning that was self-evident. Keeping older words alive to some extent helps to keep the classic literary works alive and accessible too.

      1. I absolutely take your point about old words. I wrote it straight in myself, but question whether anybody on the blog has ever said it aloud or even seen it written down. Still, it’s definitely better than “e-wallet.”

        1. I admit to using the word on occasion in the context of “you nitwit” rather than an old-fashioned type!

        2. I’ve often heard something obsolete described “as dead as a ……”, so it’s certainly in current parlance.

  7. I felt guilty about not being sure how to spell 4d, but having read rhe above comments, I certainly feel better. I prefer the Don when he is more fiendish

  8. Somewhat rare for me with a Giovanni, no head scratching, and very enjoyable, completed at a gallop – */****.

    Favourite – pick one from 17a, 22a, 14d, or 21d – probably 22a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and BD.

  9. Solved easily but failed to parse 22ac. The use of obscure ancient TV programmes should be discouraged in my opinion. Ta to all.

  10. Oh dear i didn’t find that as easy as some of the earlier comments. Needed help with quite a few down clues and even “Click here”ed a couple of times. Maybe I’ve got rusty after taking time of Cwords to follow the cycling. 6d COTD Struggled with 15d until I realised I had 23a wrong. Thanks to BD and the setter here’s hoping for better luck tomorrow. Oh I did spot quite a few election references too I expect they will ramp up until the 8th June.

  11. No obscure words, no obscure music, nothing to do with sport (so obscure to me) and nothing to do with religion – all very unusual for a Friday.
    Not many anagrams either.
    I’ve never watched Only Fools and Horses but have been caught out before by this one so I’m wise to it now.
    Even I managed to see that 16a was a lurker but it still took me a little while to find it.
    I liked 10 and 17a and 3 and 6d. My favourite was 21d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to BD for doing overtime.

  12. Got through this one at a medium canter with a couple of laughs.
    5d posed a headscratch before confirming, as did 8d, nice clue!
    The three wheeler at 22 went in pretty quick as my late Dad had done some lengthy research into Nathaniel Ireson, the Wincanton potter, only to discover he’d been beaten to it by an article in a 1904 edition of The Gentlemen’s Magazine :P
    Fav, tie between 8d and 22a. 2*/4* for me. Thanks to Giovanni and BD.

  13. The Don at his most benign ever methinks. We got all bar two of the accrosses and then every one of the downs so it was all over in no time at all. A few smiles along the way and some elegant cluing so it’s */**** from us.

    Thanks to the Don and to BD for standing in.

  14. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable and quite straightforward puzzle. No obscurities, favourite was 22a. Last in was 5d. Was 1.5*/3* for me.

  15. All very pleasant and fairly simple. Many thanks to Giovanni and to BD as ever. **/****

  16. Like most of you I found this pretty simple. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. 1*/3.5*. 22a favourite for me as well. [favourite has suddenly stopped being flagged as misspelt. Someone, not me, seems to have connected me to UK English -thanks – whoever]

  17. Made heavy weather of this though on reflection it was fairly straightforward. The Trotter reference assumes that everyone is familiar with British TV comedy of yesteryear. To work out the answer to 22a with just the wordplay is possible with the last two letters being ft but then some knowledge of pottery is needed.

  18. This took a bit of time with 2d and 10a needing a lot of thought. Loved 22a and I have to say it’s still to be seen on sky all the time so not that much in the past. For those who haven’t seen it, do, it is sublime comedy which hasn’t seemed to age at all. **/**** for me, many thanks to Don Giovanni and BD.

  19. The clue for WAGS is a double definition with the second def starting at ‘who’ — but at least I have prevented expectoration today, eh?

    1. Thanks for confirming that one, DG. Good of you to pop in – much appreciated.

  20. Yes, Giovanni in a benign mood, though I did have a hiccup at 2d and 13a.
    Even I knew the Trotter at 22a, “— boy”, how, I don’t know. Maybe it’s been here before?
    I liked quite a few, fave was 22a, 14a and 6d in hot pursuit.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to BD for stepping in once again.

  21. Very straightforward, with “drunk” appearing as an anagram indicator for the third time in two days!

    My two ticked clues were 22a and the topical 6d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to BD, and a good weekend to all.

  22. Did anyone else have ‘goon’ for 1d? I thought the Goons would be old fashioned now and an encouragement being ‘go on’ !

  23. Very benign, but very welcome as the dreaded man-flu will not go. I do like the Don’s puzzles as I seem to have clicked into his wavelength.
    I don’t have a problem with 22a, a classic comedy series, though sympathy for those who have never seen it.
    Favourite was 10a, another beautifully constructed clue.
    Off to Wembley tomorrow, I am just hoping it is not yet another disappointment.
    Thanks BD for wearing the number 12 shirt today, and to DG.

    1. I have been to Wembley many times but am yet to see a football match there. The team that built the new stadium missed a trick by not having a train ride up and over the arch. Anything that has height sells

  24. It all went together very smoothly for us. Perhaps the fact that this grid has only 26 clues in total makes for a rapid solve too. Plenty here to keep us smiling.
    Thanks Giovanni and BD

  25. The bottom half went in quickly enough, but I struggled on 2d and 11ac, and made a bit of a hash of the NE corner. Oh well…

  26. I solved it but I wanted to check the reasoning, “parsing ??” for 2 clues. 22a, never heard of the book and 21d. I’m surprised that most of the names and titles I learnt in the 60’s are still the mainstay of setters, but I guess time is catching up. Hope you’re keeping very well BD. Cheers.

  27. Most of it was quick, easy-ish and fun. Last in for me was 2d which still rankles a bit as I reckon it is two words – and a term I have not heard or read in use. The few tougher clues had me returning to finish much later in the evening. Oscar for the best supporting actor goes to 8d. Thank you Gio and BD for the confirmation of 2d and for the great CamOUflage picture. Amazing. Also amazing how well hidden the correct spelling was.

  28. After two toughies today, I wasn’t sure if I would have time to tackle the back pager.
    Glad I did.
    Didn’t post last week either but thought the last two crosswords from the Don were very elegant.
    22a didn’t cause me any problems and the surface of the clue led directly to the character.
    Telegraph crosswords are made for a British audience and I don’t have any problems with this. It’s a bit like Rita being an educated woman in a lot of crosswords. Should ask Mr Kitty about that one.
    Must be pretty loaded to need a case to keep cash in 2d. My wad is as thick as the cigarette paper I use for my roll ups.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to BD for standing in …..until the end of June?

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