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DT 28467

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28467

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning all from a “Home Alone” pommers.  Pommette has gone to visit her mother so I’m left here to misbehave and blog another Friday puzzle. Don’t worry though, Deep Threat will be back next week.

A nice puzzle this week which will please anagram lovers as there are six and one partial. It grew on me as I was writing the review so four star enjoyment it is.  I’ll be interested to see what you all make of it.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           State of dissolution in which things get very hot (7,3)
MELTING POT:  Cryptic definition of a place where something might turn to liquid when heated.

6a           More than one great performer hurts when losing heart (4)
ACES:  Some hurts without their middle letter (losing heart).

10a         Social ritual embraced by weird ancestors (5)
DANCE: A lurker lurking in (embraced by) the last two words of the clue.

11a         I got tools out as investigator of organ (9)
OTOLOGIST:  Someone who investigates the organ of hearing is an anagram (out) of I GOT TOOLS.  I rather like this definition.

12a         To-do gets prisoner ‘enry being locked up (5-2)
CARRY ON:  Take one of the usual prisoners and insert (being locked up) another name for ‘enry, also missing an initial H, and split the result (5,2).

13a         Ottoman ruler given a bit of food for his wife? (7)
SULTANA:  Not really sure what the definition is here.  What you need is an Ottoman ruler, add (given) the A from the clue and you’ll get not only a bit of food but also said Ottoman ruler’s wife.

14a         Cast doubt on earliest gospel? What is the point? (8,4)
QUESTION MARK:  A word meaning to cast doubt on followed by what is generally thought to be the oldest of the four gospels.

18a         Police tag’s so unreliable for one managing to break free (12)
ESCAPOLOGIST: Anagram (unreliable) of POLICE TAGS SO.

21a         English politician to go wrong entertaining old ruler (7)
EMPEROR:  E(nglish) followed by a politician and then a word for go wrong with O(ld) inserted (entertaining).

23a         Unfortunately inadequate couple of arts graduates in a state (7)
ALABAMA:  A word meaning unfortunately without its last letter (inadequately) followed by two arts graduates, a Bachelor followed by a Master.

24a         TV presenter shows a knight meeting monarch getting excited (9)
ANCHORMAN:  A (from the clue) followed by the chess notation for Knight and then an anagram (getting excited) of MONARCH.

25a         I had the thing to capture old fool (5)
IDIOT:  Abbreviation of I had followed by a word for the thing with O(ld) inserted (to capture).  We had this construct a couple of clues back.

26a         Match that might expose inadequacies (4)
TEST:  Cryptic definition.  I hope the setter isn’t alluding to the English cricket team’s inadequacies.

27a         Married woman may keep it — and demean man, I fancy (6,4)
MAIDEN NAME:  Anagram (fancy) of DEMEAN MAN I.


1d           As one dealing with people not well, I’d come out (6)
MEDICO:  Anagram (out) of I’D COME.

2d           Inner protections for ships (6)
LINERS:  Double definition.

3d           A purer boy doing wrong offers an apology (1,3,4,6)

4d           Weed crushed under logs (9)
GROUNDSEL:  Anagram (crushed) of UNDER LOGS.

5d           Tramps heading off — they make a musical sound (5)
OBOES:  Some tramps, possibly of American origin, without their first letter (heading off).

7d           Country fellow providing delivery on cricket field (8)
CHINAMAN:  A large Asian country followed by a fellow gives a type of delivery in cricket – a ball bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman that spins from off to leg.  Just for Kath as I know she’s very fond of cricket . . .

8d           Disappointments with groups needing inner support (8)
SETBACKS:  Take some groups and insert (with inner) a word for support as in get behind.

9d           A building in which political opponents will get cross more than once (7,7)
POLLING STATION:  Cryptic definition of where politicians might get some crosses.

15d         Well-established home, crumbling, finally came down (9)
INGRAINED:  The usual home (2) followed by G (crumblinG finally) and then a word for came down, like water from the sky perhaps.

16d         Material engineers brought to Mediterranean area (8)
RELEVANT:  Start with the usual military engineers and add a word for the Eastern end of the Mediterranean.

17d         One getting cold with little energy chooses items for mountaineering (3,5)
ICE PICKS:  I (one) followed by C(old) and E (little Energy) and finally a word meaning chooses gives you something used by mountaineers or the guy who killed Leon Trotsky.

19d         River goes into sea, a place where yachts are seen (6)
MARINA:  Take a word for sea, the Spanish one, and insert (goes into) an R(iver) and finally the A from the clue.

20d         Abstainer surrounded by British booze? It’s a struggle! (6)
BATTLE:  Two letters for an abstainer from booze goes inside (surrounded by) a B(ritish) and some beer (booze).

22d         Graduate has drink before 10 (5)
RUMBA:  Start with a Graduate of Arts and before it put a drink drunk by sailors and pommette.  The only trouble here is that you need to have solved 10a to get the definition.

Some good stuff but for me the stand-out favourite was 27a.  How about you?

Quick crossword pun:   CON    +    DEW    +    GATE    =    CONJUGATE


72 comments on “DT 28467

  1. Just had a bit of a tussle in the far NW corner, otherwise another enjoyable puzzle from my fave setter ( I assume…).

    I remember enjoying Gary Sobers as a teenager, watching with my Dad. Shame that, at the other end of my life, now I have the time, I can’t watch more – is it on anywhere but Sky?

    1. Although there will be another form of summer ball on bat sounds for the next 2 weeks.

        1. I’m afraid I can’t get excited at the thought of more and more T20 cricket, whether it’s on the BBC or not. It’s already leading to top players like De Villiers prioritising this form over Test Matches and inevitably, by 2020, real cricket will eventually lose most of its stars and become a shadow of its former self.

          1. I think I agree.

            A BA Captain acquaintance of mine told me that flying long haul was 99% relaxation (or boredom), and 1% extreme excitement (or panic). Same applies to A&E depts..

            I reckon TV cricket on warm summer days should be the same. Otherwise when would we make the tea?

      1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment (in 2015) so today’s comments needed moderation. Both varieties should work ok from now on.

  2. Nice gentle fun today. Only the NW caused hiccups. I plumped for ‘boiling hot’ for 1a which complicated matters. Overlooked anagram in 4d. Imagine Kath loved 7d! Fav probably 9d. Thanks Mysteron and pommers.

    1. I recall Lynn Anderson’s song in 3d hint being quoted to me regularly by my husband!

    2. I also missed the anagram in 4d. I thought crushed = ground, then spent ages trying to fit the last 3 letters to the clue. I gave up and bunged the answer in, anyway!

  3. Well, not trying to be clever here, but I think this was a little too easy for a Friday. Enjoyable enough, but over quickly. However, I looked at a toughie from the Don a week or two ago, and could only do three or four at first pass, so I don’t want to tempt fate, but nonetheless that is my view today. Thanks to Pommers – another interesting cricket clip!

  4. Just goes to show that a crossword doesn’t have to be fiendish to be really enjoyable. This was a very comfortable solve, with lots of goodies to enjoy. I agree with pommers’ rating of 2*/4* and would nominate 14a as my COTD.

    Thanks to The Don and pommers.

  5. Wow – for me, Giovanni in a very benevolent frame of mind, completed at a fast gallop and very enjoyable – */****.

    Almost too many candidates for favourite but here they are – 1a, 14a, 27a, 7d, 9d, and 20d. There might be some moans and groans from Oxford on 7d.

    And, the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and pommers.

  6. A nice puzzle from Giovanni .
    14a is my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to pommers for your blog.

  7. Thank you Pommers for an excellent review, as usual and Thank you to the setter.
    I have a small question about 5d. The plural of the four letter American tramp is achieved by adding an “S”. where does the “ES” come from. Am I speaking/writing the wrong English?
    Many thanks.

    1. I wondered about 5d too so I looked in Collins where it gives both S and ES endings as the plural.

        1. Thanks for the tip pommers. I will give it a go. But, I am a little bit old-fashioned; I solve on paper and I have both Chambers books in hard copy.

  8. 19d. Could perhaps be ‘r’ into Main (i.e. The sea) plus ‘a’. Just a thought!

        1. Of course! I misread it as the Spanish word for “sea”, but, natch, the Spanish Main. Dim or wot?

  9. 2*/4*. This was another very enjoyable example of the “new” Giovanni. At the risk of tempting fate, I think we now may be able safely to drop the epithet “new”.

    I’m sure my excellent pupil Jane will have had no problem with 7d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to pommers.

  10. Romped through this until 7d, I have little interest in cricket – to me it’s like watching paint dry, so anything to do with it is a mystery.
    Otherwise a pleasant way to spend a wet morning in Devon.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Pommers

    1. I feel the same about tennis! The next couple of weeks are always bad for me but at least cricket is back on terrestrial TV.

    2. Off to Lords for the Paint drying on Thursday.Beer,Champagne,good food,conversation and some of the best players in the world giving it their all.However I will have a look at the crossword before play,so the day is not wasted.

  11. Thanks to Giovanni and to Pommers for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, but very gentle. Only had to think about 16d which was last in. Don’t know what the non-cricketers would make of 7d? I liked 4d,but my favourite was 19d. Was 1*/3* for me.

  12. Giovanni very benevolent or I am getting better, probably just a bit of luck, but thank you Giovanni for the extra time I can spend in the garden. 16d was my last one in preceded by 26a. Failed to spot the lurker in 10a and only when 22d went in did I put the missing letters in, so thanks to Pommers for pointing out it out The nine letter anagram with eight letters pretty much given in 11a did not cause too much difficulty although it was a new word for me. Lack of rain has caused my holiday on the Basingstoke Canal to be cancelled due to lack of water so now looking to cycle the route. Anyone else had their holiday ruined by the atrocious (dry) weather we have been having?

  13. Nice puzzle. Straightforward but enjoyable and with a couple of headscratchers thrown in. 7d was my favourite but then I’m a cricket lover :-) … Thanks to setter and Pommers for an entertaining review -especially the Garfield Sobers clip with the fantastic voice of John Arlott. Evokes childhood memories.

  14. Very few hesitations along the way – just a pause for thought over 16d and the odd checking letter needed to sort out the correct arts graduates.
    Really proud of myself for remembering 7d!
    10a put me in mind of the Peter Kay sketch about various relatives dancing at a wedding – hilarious (and painfully accurate!).

    Podium places went to 1,14&27a plus 4d.

    Thanks to DG and to Pommers – thought I recognised 19d!

    1. We were the 4th boat in 19a when it opened and stayed there for, I think, three years until it got silly expensive. Moved to a swinging mooring by the bridge for about 1/20th the price.

  15. I always start at the north west corner and like others today found it tricky. After this hurdle had been overcome, the rest fell into place and I concur with Pommers on a **/****.
    Nice to see a clip of Gary Sobers, when bowling he seemed to glide to the crease like Michael Holding
    , if I remember correctly the chinaman in question was a Mr Achong- excuse spelling.
    As a charade fan, I liked 21a and 1a my favourite.
    Thanks all-ready for tomorrows NZ battle.

    1. Had the pleasure meeting the great man in Barbados last year, still playing golf most days. What a gentleman.

    2. The Garfield was surely great, but the master of this genre was a certain J Wardle from the white rose county

  16. Very enjoyable solve after struggling with Thursdays offering, Really enjoyed a number of the clues, especially 7 down and 14 across. Thanks to the setter. The voice of John Arlott was very evocative in the clip, but I also miss the great Richie Benaud too.

  17. Liked that a lot. I am not really up on the scoring system but definately agree with the 2*/4* of pommers as I found it not hard and v enjoyable.

    I was so confident of the anagrams they went in without crossing off the letters as I go.

    I think 17d is more for chipping lumps off for a G+T rather than mountaineering who use something more substantial.

    Struggled a bit with 11a as I was looking for an eye doctor not an ear doctor until I realised that it was an anagram too.

    Last one in was 16d as I was working with an abbreviation for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and couldn’t fit a bit of Europe with it but when the penny dropped I liked it so much I opt for that as COTD in a close race with 14a.

    Thanks to pommers and the setter

  18. Not much of a 20dtoday. Thanks for the clip of the great man in action Pommers. I have seen Sobers in the flesh twice. The first time when I was a schoolboy and then at Lords in the nineties signing his recently published autobiography. Sadly the delivery referred to in 7d is very rarely seen these days.

  19. Must be the easiest Giovanni ever, almost a R&W. Nevertheless very enjoyable taking me back to my Greek and Latin lessons with talk of the Levant!
    Been a good encouraging week for anyone new to cryptics and not too taxing for those of us at more of a halfway stage, competent with the BPs but still overawed by most Toughies.
    Thx to all esp to Kath for the rectification of my misinterpretation of one of yesterday’s clues.

  20. */****. Very enjoyable if over far too quickly. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Giovanni and Pommers for the usual quality review.

  21. I always have a fight with Friday crosswords – not so much wrong wave-length as no reception at all.
    I did find the 10a lurker but missed the anagram indicator in 2d and couldn’t do 1a for a long time.
    I am getting better at the ‘crickety’ stuff – I do know loads of the terms but don’t have a clue what they mean.
    I agree with others that the plural in 5d felt a bit odd but, as has already been said, they’re both in BRB.
    My favourite was 14a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to pommers.
    Our garden is not only dry but has also been neglected for the last week – off to try to restore a bit of order.

  22. Well that was a pleasant interlude. Just been out for a couple of pints of lunch and a go at the Grauniad’s offering, which turned out to be on the easy side for a puzzle set by Tramp. Told you I was misbehaving :grin:

  23. An enjoyable puzzle overall, but a real shame about the number of repeat devices in evidence, my repetition radar bleeped more today than on any previous occasion.

    Top clues for me were 18a and 16d.

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

  24. I agree, thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.
    I didn’t remember 7d but bungled it in anyway as it was my last one, and I’m sure I won’t remember it next time either.
    Fave was 14a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and pommers.

  25. A very gentle Friday challenge from Giovanni today! Certainly no horses were disturbed. 14a was my favourite and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to Pommers for his review.

  26. Still getting the hang of some of the wordplay so needed help with 6a(!) and 14a. Used to bowl a few 7d’s but age has dictated no more!

    Thanks to Giovanni and Pommers for the puzzle and the help.

  27. Nice crossword gentle and clever **/*** 😀 Especially after yesterday’s disaster 😩 Liked 14a, 15d and favourite 16d 😜 Big thanks to Giovanni and to Pommers for the blog and the music

    1. 6a is fairly straightforward. The hurts are ACHES so take out the middle letter (losing heart) and you’re left with some great performers.

      1. Thanks. There were too many “hurts” and I didn’t really think about that sense of the target. One lives and learns …

  28. Enjoyable and pretty straightforward, about ** for difficulty. Last in the cricketing one, a subject I know next to nothing about, but enjoy when I ever get a chance to watch it. Favourite clue today 27ac.

  29. Solved mostly while watching squawking coots chasing (and occasionally catching) each other on the Serpentine. As a result it was not a fast one, but very enjoyable. Did end up using aids to fill in the SW corner as had forgotten the 16d area.

    My favourite is 14a. Indeed.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to pommers. Have a great weekend all.

  30. 16d was our last one in as we were trying to find a type of material or fabric. Clever misdirection. Very enjoyable.
    Thanks Giovanni and pommers.

  31. Many thanks to Giovanni and Pommers for a 4 * enjoyment level, right up my street with clues you can kind of figure out if you take your time. Except 7d of course. Whenever the word cricket pops up in a clue my brain just shuts down. I actually think it is a pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon, watching that is. But as for all the terms I know nothing. Loved the long anagrams. 14a was COTD. Was late starting today due to breakfast out before mall walk, but enjoyed this one over late lunch.

  32. Supporting a major hangover after my retirement ‘do’ yesterday, as a consequence I staggered through this a bit, but still very enjoyable.
    Thanks all

  33. Yes, the benevolent Don rides again. Did most of this on the train home, although put off a bit by a chap asking everybody in the compartment where they thought they got off. I buried my head in the paper and avoided eye contact, which experience has taught me is the best tactic. Lots to enjoy in the puzzle, with 4d coming top of the heap. Thanks to Pommers and the Don. 1*/4*

  34. Sobers was conventional left handed finger spinner. A chinaman is the equivalent of a leg spinner bowling a googly by a left hander.

    1. David, when bowling spin, Sobers was indeed generally a conventional finger spinner. However in pommers’ video clip he is using wrist spin for that specific ball, which is definitely a chinaman.

  35. Am i alone of the view that this was rather dull? I wonder if test really is cryptic? Might expose inadequacies has no significance in my humble opinion

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