DT 28449 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28449

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28449

Hints and tips by Senf

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

No, you have not been sleeping for two, or is it three, days; anyway, it’s not Sunday.  A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.  I am joining the team substituting for the resting and relaxing Deep Threat today and next Friday.  This means I have to solve all the clues rather than just approximately half of them as I do on Sundays (just kidding).

A typical and very enjoyable Giovanni solved without highland liquid product assistance, not sure if it’s Giovanni’s ‘new’ persona – perhaps Lady Jane can advise, with seven anagrams (including partials), two lurkers, and a sprinkling of oldies but goodies. I did find the SE to be a little on the tricky side.

My favourite is 9a.

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    Temptress had to retreat having ensnared priest, 50 (7)
DELILAH: HAD from the clue reversed (to retreat) containing the favourite OT priest and the Roman numeral for 50.

5a    Initially dry wood container gets damper (7)
DASHPOT: The first letter of Dry (initially), a three letter tree, and a three letter container gives a damping device.

9a    Composer meeting King George is appearing in green (9)
VERDIGRIS: An Italian composer, King George’s regnal cipher, and IS from the clue (appearing) gives the green coating on copper statues, for example.

10a    Something mathematical in moderation (55)
RATIO: One of the lurkers (in) found in the last word of the clue.

11a    Manage to convey love with poetry fifth-rate? (7)
OVERSEE: Love as in the tennis score, a synonym for poetry, and the fifth letter of the alphabet.

12a    Musical form that excites our dean (7)
RONDEAU: Anagram (that excites) OUR DEAN.

13a    Repulse drunk going round church tomb (9)
SEPULCHRE: Anagram (drunk) of REPULSE containing (going round) one of the usual abbreviations of church.

16a    May is one speaker wanting a change of heart (5)
MONTH: Not that May! The part of the head that speech comes out of with the middle letter replaced (change of heart) to give a twelfth (approximately) of a year.

17a    Vision of mother about to be captured (5)
DREAM: The three letter synonym for mother containing (to be captured) the two letter abbreviation for about.

18a    Observe daughter hugging European king about to be entertained (9)
SERENADED: Three letter synonym for observe and the single letter for daughter containing a four letter European and the single letter from the Latin for King reversed (about).

21a    Friday’s boy creates thrill (7)
FRISSON: The shortened form of Friday with the possessive S from the clue and the favourite synonym for boy.

22a    Very old bridge by Great North Road beginning to crumble (7)
ARCHAIC: A synonym for bridge or part of a bridge, the letter and number designation for the Great North Road, and the first letter (beginning to) of Crumble.

25a    Atmosphere in firm in capital city (5)
CAIRO: A three letter synonym for atmosphere contained by (in) the usual two letters for a firm.

26a   Coming earlier, quietly going back (9)
PRECEDING: The single letter for musically quiet and a one word synonym for going back.

27a   Smallest home on island submerged by Hants river (7)
TINIEST: Cruciverbalists’ favourite Hampshire river containing the two letter word for (at) home and the single letter for island.

28a   Member of family continues walking (7)
STEPSON: As (5,2), two words that are synonymic for continues walking.


1d    Dodgy video disturbed you and me (7)
DEVIOUS: Anagram (disturbed) of VIDEO followed by the two letter word for you and me.

2d    Substantial part of agricultural Argentina (5)
LARGE: The other lurker (part of) found in the last two words of the clue.

3d    See half inside part of body that should normally be covered! (5)
LOINS: Two letter synonym for see and the first three letters (half) of INSide.

4d    Rush with companion round lake somewhere in Wales (7)
HARLECH: A four letter synonym for rush (which is also a furry animal) and the two letter designation of a member of an order of the Commonwealth realms containing the single letter for lake.

5d    Warrant low exam grades with terrible verse (7)
DESERVE: Two of the lower letter exam grades and an anagram (terrible) of VERSE.

6d    Powerful fellow roughly grants no mercy initially (9)
STRONGMAN: An anagram of GRANTS NO and the first letter (initially) of Mercy.

7d    According to plan, glib talk has surprising end (9)
PATTERNED: A single word synonym for glib talk (as might be used by a salesman) and an anagram (surprising) of END.

8d    Excessive feeling with Maureen upset inside (3,4)
TOO MUCH: A synonym for feeling containing (inside) the two letter familiar form of Maureen reversed (upset).

14d    Power to see future change under leader of party (9)
PREVISION: A synonym for a change after (under) the first letter (leader) of Party.

15d    Rock in some inlet crashing (9)
LIMESTONE: Anagram (crashing) of SOME INLET.

17d    Successive notes on one large town — endless money problem (7)
DEFICIT: Three successive notes on the musical scale, the Roman numeral for one, and a large town with the last letter removed (endless).

18d    Newspaper notice that has astronomical consequences (7)
SUNSPOT: One of the tabloid newspapers and a synonym for notice (as in see).

19d    Dons who take part in church services? (7)
READERS: A double definition (I think); the first is a type of university (especially Oxbridge) appointment.

20d    Company keeps silver in private room that is multi-sided (7)
DECAGON: The short form of company containing (keeps) the chemical symbol for silver and the whole contained by (in) a three letter (mostly male) private room gives a multi-sided figure.

23d    Indian’s restricted time in part of Greece (5)
CRETE: A Native American tribe containing (restricted) the single letter for time gives a Greek island.

24d    Turning up in this way, I had a final word (5)
ADIOS: A two letter synonym for in this way, the shortened form of I had, and A from the clue all reversed (turning up) gives the Spanish for farewell.

Back on Sunday as usual.


51 comments on “DT 28449

  1. 3.5*/3*. I was heading for a smooth and enjoyable 2*/3* when I got held up for quite a while in the SE corner.

    22a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Senf.

    1. Thank you, Your Grace, 16a revised. The original was ‘proof read’ several times, but only by me, and, as often happens, the brain does not register what the eyes are seeing.

    1. I think he’s referring to the hints – your description of the abbreviation isn’t how we think of it although I see that Mr Google describes it that way

        1. And in 4d you refer to the furry animal as a two letter synonym, when it should be 4 letters. That said, I knew what you meant! Thanks for the blog and for standing in where others fear to tread.

            1. Hi Senf- apologies for not getting back to you sooner, been down the hospital to give an armful- fully rehydrated now. I see that all is well now.
              Perhaps someone could help me with crossword etiquette- when you are seated at the bar enjoying the toughie and a pint of Danglers auld Faithful or something similar, and someone is looking over your shoulder saying “wot you stuck on mate”, what is the correct response?

              1. Hmm…1 Down – “More, someone else?” (7)
                “Cheers, same again please.”

              2. I am never stuck. It has taken me months to solve a toughie in the past. I was never stuck. I was only ever in the process of solving. Polite refusal of help is best whils muttering expletives inside. When I solved in pen I never put the last one in. That is a waste of ink. I have lost count of the kind souls who have ‘finished’ my puzzle for me. Having said that we prefer our puzzles to be solitary solves – how come this site gets so many hits?

              3. Thankyou all for indulging me, I think the chocolate watch is reserved for LetterboxRoy at present. Come on, who can improve?

  2. Back to simpler fare today and a **/*** for me.
    5a was a new word as far as I can remember, apart from that a straight forward solve.
    Liked the surface of 9a and 13a, 22a was my favourite.

  3. 4d was the only sticking point, otherwise a nice trot. 22a probably favourite, 16a an amusing runner-up.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for the review. **/***

  4. The Don in a fairly benign mood today! An enjoyable solve without too many holdups. 13a was my fave just cos I like the word. 2.5/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Senf for the review.

  5. Not too tricky today although I did get a bit held up with my last few answers.
    Am I the only twit who spent a while trying to justify ‘Lorelei’ for 1a – there was an L and a priest but the letters just didn’t want to play.
    I also got into a terrible pickle with 18a which took too long to sort out – I didn’t ‘see’ the right kind of European.
    Having the first and third letters in 22a I wanted to make it ‘ancient’ but luckily didn’t put it in.
    No cricket – no sport at all – none of the other things that a Kath can’t do and only 5a that I’ve never heard of.
    I liked 9 and 12a and 4 and 8d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf.

    1. No Kath, you weren’t alone re 1a as Lorelei did cross my mind too but the crossers soon made that implsausible.

  6. Was that really Giovanni? If so, it was unusually gentle. Thanks to Senf and setter.

  7. Enjoyable &, except for SE corner straightforward. Not so sure 11a would not be better with 4th rate.
    22a my COTD.
    Is 16a not amazingly prescient goven the events of the last 24 hours?
    Thanks to Giovanni

  8. Yes – I think this was the ‘new’ Giovanni with just 5a slotted in to remind us of the old days!
    Not sure that 14d is much used in common parlance – certainly not by me.

    Quite liked Friday’s boy and the family member perambulating but top slot goes to the wonderful old bridge.

    Thanks to DG and also to Senf for extra duties and the musical accompaniments. Maybe it was a slight relief not to have to decide which clues to hint?

    1. Maybe I wasn’t kidding, even though I said ‘just kidding,’ and, on a Sunday, the clues that I hint on are the half that I solve. Perhaps alcohol might persuade me to ‘come clean’ on January 27, 2018.

  9. Good afternoon everybody.

    Bit of a hold up with eight clues remaining unsolved before being left with 3d which eluded me entirely and 5a which I deduced correctly but chose not to write it in the grid as I didn’t know if it was a valid word or not.

    Failure to complete means I have to say four stars for difficulty. Gah!


  10. Mostly straightforward today. I managed to derive 5a from the clue but have never heard of the device referred to. How I wish I could retain all these bits of esoteric knowledge I have gained from doing crosswords.

    1. If you had an A series Morris/whatever engine in your ’60s car you would have had an SU carburettor with dashpots or dampers which you had to fill with oil. They were always empty on my twin carburettor s of my MG midget which fell apart from rust.

  11. Yep. It was the SE corner that pushed up my solving time too. I have to give 22a the winner’s medal today, and overall this was a 2.5*/3.5* puzzle. Enjoyable and testing. Many thanks to The Don for the tussle and to Senf for his review.

  12. Not too tricky except for 19d, don’t see what Readers have to do with church service?
    Mind you it was easier when I spelt 13a correctly!
    Thx to all

    1. Those who stand at the lectern during a church service, and note the ‘?’ At the end of the clue.

  13. I was held up by a few today, and didn’t find it as easy as some are saying. I wondered if the Zulu clip would feature .. great stuff.

  14. Sanity to some extent restored after yesterday’s abject effort on my part…..I didn’t find this one easy, but I did managed to get it done.

    Have to agree with PLR about 5a. I had never seen it before so had to check that it was a word….but I seriously doibt that I will remember it if it comes up again.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for the hints.

  15. The top half and SW fairly galloped in, but I had to call pax on some in the SE, the second day I’ve not completed. I did shoot myself in the foot by writing 26a in incorrectly.
    I liked 13a but 9a was fave.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for helping me out on the finish.

  16. Enjoyable stuff, I particularly liked 22a and the extremely topical 16a. 5a was a new word to me. It was a pity to see “initially” repeated as a first letter indicator though.

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

  17. I did it! I don’t normally comment here but I visit when I’m stuck (usually I get about a half with no help, another quarter with your hints and have to reveal your answers for the last few). But today for the first time in ages I’ve done it all on my lonesome! I got 4d as I knew the place in Wales But i have to admit I still can’t parse the answer even with your hints. Five stars from me!

    1. Welcome to the blog BoatLady. You should comment more often – it’s good fun. For 4d – as you have the answer – the single letter for lake is contained within the four letter synonym for rush and the member of the order is the last two letters. Apparently, companion is the only grade of membership and, my understanding, is that it is an award for being a jolly fine chap or chapess.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for the review and hints. Gentle fare today from Giovanni, although 5a&14d were new words for me. The clueing was very good, so I was able to solve them. Last in was 24d, and my favourite was 28a. Was 1*/3* for me. Blue sky at last in central London.

  19. Pretty much what has become the norm for a Friday back pager – a pleasant, albeit, not too taxing puzzle. Thankfully received, especially after not having had much sleep :( No particular favourite of the day.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to senf for his lovely blog. PS – you have mail.

  20. I have to admit I found this heavy going, took what seemed a lifetime to get a foothold and then a long period of wrangling after which I had to resort to Senf’s offering. Thank you Senf, you have restored normalcy! Difficulty rating for me is 3.5 and enjoyment has not registered. Not despondent though, days like these are all part of crosswording!

  21. Phew, it was a relief to get to grips with today’s task after yesterday’s ordeal. It did however take rather longer than necessary as I had more than one eye on the excellent tennis from Roland Garros (makes a welcome change from looking at election results!). North capitulated first and then softly softly catchee monkey in the South. 5a was my only unknown quantity. Needed help parsing 18a. Lots of good clues with 21a my Fav. Thank you Giovanni and Senf.

  22. I found this on the more difficult side, perhaps *** for difficulty, though still a lot easier than yesterday’s. :-) The SE corner for some reason especially I found it hard to get to grips with. Enjoyable as ever on a Friday.

  23. Not at all difficult (1*) but includes a word at 6a that l have not encountered since the days of the SU carburettors on my old MG, and my never-ending but fruitless efforts to balance them in the approved fashion by listening to the hiss in a length of rubber tube. For bringing back memories of those days, that is my standout favourite. Thanks to the Don, and to Senf.

  24. Certainly enjoyable, on the very gentle side, but still enjoyable. One or two new words for me but easy to work out. Like others I was held up only in the SE. 18d seemed to present a problem mainly to Brian. Easy when you know the answer – I was overthinking it. 27a my favourite clue. My last one is was 24a which was the only one on which I spent more than a few minutes. Nearly gave up but one last trawl through the alphabet and it appeared before my eyes. Lovely work for a Saturday morning in bed. Thanks Giovanni – I like gentle.

  25. Didn’t get round to this until today – it’s been a hectic, hard and unsatisfactory working week and I was just too tired last night. Liked it a lot – I too remember the dash pots on a succession of SU carbs – not least my Frogeye Sprite (which I sold for £100. It would be worth a hundred times that now. Sigh). Thanks to the Don and Senf 2*/3*

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