DT 28485 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28485

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28485

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the sun is trying to beak through the early morning cloud.

Nothing too frightening from Giovanni this morning, and I at least was helped by the number of clues with a local reference.

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. 


5a           Revolutionary driving experience for author? (7)
CARROLL – Split this (3,4) and you get a driving experience which may be described as revolutionary, and is certainly undesirable. Put together you get a 19th-century mathematician and author whose real name was Dodgson.

Image result for lewis carroll

7a           Head meets very important lady, one given to drink (5)
TOPER – Another word for the head or highest point, followed by the two-letter cypher denoting our most important woman.

9a           Do well getting son turned out to be respectable (6)
PROPER – Start with a word for ‘do well’ (in an economic sense), then remove the Son.

10a         Without end, getting cross inside and outside (8)
EXTERNAL – Put a cross-shaped letter inside a word for ‘without end’.

11a         Poles grow tired having got to English county (10)
FLAGSTAFFS – Put together ‘grow tired’ and the short form of the county that I’m writing from.

13a         One of twenty showing polish? (4)
NAIL – Cryptic definition of something found on your fingers and toes.

14a         Phony state of happiness — also of despair, curiously (5,8)
FOOL’S PARADISE – Anagram (curiously) of ALSO OF DESPAIR.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a         Editor finally rejected a collection of myths (4)
EDDA – Put together the abbreviation for editor, the final letter of rejecteD, and A (from the clue), to get some old Icelandic literature.

Image result for edda

17a         Firm has representative working, sent round to offer spare parts? (10)
COMPONENTS – Put together an abbreviation for a firm or company, a Parliamentary representative, a word for working or in operation, and an anagram (round) of SENT.

19a         Work to collect wet stuff and greasy stuff (5,3)
TRAIN OIL – The wet stuff which falls from the sky, with some laborious work wrapped around it.

20a         Like former PM making comeback or out? (6)
ASLEEP – Another word for ‘like’ followed by the reversal (making comeback) of the name of a 19th-century Prime Minister – the one who founded the police force and issued a manifesto from the South Staffs town where I live.

Image result for robert peel statue tamworth

22a         Belgian location, say, featured in story (5)
LIEGE – The abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ inserted into a false story, giving a Belgian city which is the start and end point for a cycle race to Bastogne and back.

Image result for liege

23a         Country worker penning love lines (7)
HOLLAND – Put together the letter which looks like a love score at tennis and the abbreviation for ‘lines’, then wrap a manual worker around the result.


1d           A tear to fall (4)
DROP – Double definition: the sort of tear which you may weep; or a verb meaning ‘fall’.

2d           Thus Conservative esteems ancient thinker (8)
SOCRATES – Put together ‘thus’, Conservative, and ‘esteems’ or ‘judges’, to get a Greek philosopher.

Image result for socrates

3d           Position, say, that’s slightly diminished us (6)
STATUS – Remove the final letter (slightly diminished) from a word meaning ‘say’, then add US (from the clue).

4d           Prince with a pet that’s wild, one in need of training (10)
APPRENTICE – Anagram (that’s wild) of PRINCE A PET.

5d           Third grade got with exam? It’s pretty hard (5)
CORAL – An exam grade which, ignoring A*, is the third-ranked one, followed by an exam which does not involve writing.

Image result for coral

6d           Pour this into glasses, each brimful possibly — one litre served up to start (13)
LIEBFRAUMILCH – Start with the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for Litre, reverse them (served up) and add an anagram (possibly) of EACH BRIMFUL.

Image result for liebfraumilch

8d           Appreciate Montreal is English-speaking only in part (7)
REALISE – Hidden in the clue.

12d         See awfully big deals going around — economy having been this? (10)
GLOBALISED – Anagram (awfully) of BIG DEALS, wrapped around ‘see!’ or ‘behold!’.

14d         Like some government giving fear, led appallingly (7)
FEDERAL – Anagram (appallingly) of FEAR LED.

15d         A charitable donation outside pub being set up — lovely! (8)
ADORABLE – A (from the clue) and a charitable (or Social Security) handout wrapped around the reverse (set up) of a word for a pub or part of a pub.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d         One managing to keep ring made by old-fashioned craftsman (6)
COOPER – Someone who is just about managing wrapped around a ring-shaped letter.

Image result for cooper barrel maker

18d         He leaves the study to walk (5)
TREAD – Remove the ‘he’ from T(he) (from the clue), then add a verb for ‘study’ (at university).

21d         Top attraction for metal thieves? (4)
LEAD – Double definition, with two different pronunciations.

The Quick Crossword pun NIGHT + RATE = NITRATE

71 comments on “DT 28485

    1. Welcome to the blog

      We have a convention here that solving times are not mentioned for fear of discouraging those who take a lot longer to solve than others. However, as you don’t say when you started, I think you can get away with it this time!

      1. I have never got my head around children no longer competing on sports days in case it hurts their feelings if they don’t win. And now we have you suggesting that adults may get upset because they’re not as good as doing a crossword as someone else. If someone completes the DT crossword in 5 minutes and that upsets anyone then they, just like you, need to get a grip!

        1. “6.Don’t discuss solving times. Many of the users of this website are relative novices and if they have just spent an hour solving a puzzle they can be discouraged by someone saying that they have solved the same puzzle in 5 minutes. You can use star ratings similar to those used by the reviewer or similes such as “a two-pint puzzle”, but please avoid terms that belittle the puzzle such as “should have been in the Junior Telegraph”.”

          Taken from BD’s “Do’s and Don’ts of Commenting” under Comment Etiquette at the top of the page

        2. I do have a certain degree of sympathy with your viewpoint, we do mollycoddle kids today far too much. However, even now I sometimes get a bit upset when the blogger gives a puzzle a */** rating and I have found it a real struggle as was one last week that most of us found tricky but the blogger did not.

        3. I’m all for not mentioning solving times. As Sue & Brian have said, the beginners should not be discouraged.

        4. The phrase “get a grip” is meaningless, and usually used by politicians when they don’t have anything useful to say. The policy of not revealing solving times has been here since the very early days of the blog. I have never understood why anyone would want to boast about their solving time, but if they do then please could they find a different forum. This site is intended for those who enjoy puzzles for what they are, and for the same reason we withhold answers to prize puzzles until after the closing date.

        5. If want to come to my granddaughter’s sports day next year, you will be pleasantly surprised by how competitive the children are, I suspect that all this “kids are mollycoddled” is a bit of a urban myth.

        6. I cannot get upset about a crossword, doesn’t bother me one jot how difficult anyone else found it compared to myself, we are all different solvers. (See #22).
          I see the point (SXYZ) that ‘rating’ a puzzle 0.5 is tantamount to bragging, but the star system is all but irrelevant, simply an indication of how an individual found it (one would presume the blogging team are pretty good solvers) – otherwise we’ve nothing much to talk about!

          Regardless, etiquette should always be respected, and our host has requested certain ground rules be observed.

          All that aside, Andrew posted at 11:08am that he finished it at 11:11am. :scratch:

          1. ‘By 11.11’ to be precise LR. I bet he wishes he hadn’t posted anything now!

      2. I find this site invaluable and am always grateful for the solutions and comments, but I am somewhat puzzled by the reply to Andrew. When I read his comment I thought it meant that he had completed the puzzle before 11 minutes past 11. This being reinforced by the word ‘by’. If a solution time was meant then surely it shouid have said ‘in 1111’, making the 1111 meaningless since no time units were specified.

    2. Two comments which involved personal comments, whether direct or thinly-disguised, about other commenters have been deleted from this thread

  1. Great entertainment with no real hassle. Thanks Giovanni and DT particularly for correcting my bung-in allied to 20a. I suppose 13a is OK? Fav was 6d which was fun to fathom.

  2. This took me a while to get going,the first read through only revealed 2 answers but once I got a couple of big ones in it all fell into place.6D brought back memories of drinking that plonk at party’s. Many thanks to the setter & to DT for the review.

    1. Re “that plonk”, and didn’t we think we were sooooo sophisticated! I had forgotten all about it, then I started getting some checking letters!

  3. A benign Giovanni completed at a gallop – */**.

    A couple of new words that required post-solve BRB checks – 7a and 16a. I also thought that 19a was a little ‘odd.’

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 18d, and 21d – and the winner is 21d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  4. Interesting to have quaffing featuring here and in the toughie today – though i didn’t believe seeing the answer revealed in 6d, hoped I’d seen the last of that – good clue though!

    Many thanks Giovanni for a fun puzzle and thanks DT

  5. 16a and 19a are new words to me and I’m still not sure what 19a is – some very fine anagrams and all in all a very enjoyable puzzle.

    More golf today, Tommy Fleetwood really blew out yesterday – my money is all on John Rahm now – I’m not confident!

  6. Re 20a, I’m wondering how many people who already had the checking letters in place, kept thinking “Atllee”……”no, that’s not the right spelling”…….and not expecting to go back as far as the PM in question?
    Just me then, I expect.

    Train oil – is that an actual ‘thing’?

    Had to look up 16a and never heard of 7a……..
    Not my fav Giovanni puzzle by a long way….or maybe just being thickish today.
    6d was a clever clue….he must have had a laugh making that up.

    1. I looked up ‘train oil’ in the BRB – it’s the stuff they get from boiling up whale blubber – this led me to ‘exudation’ – another new word – I won’t go into details!

      1. That’s interesting about train oil. My comment below was written before you posted yours, but it took me a while to write it.

      2. Thanks Michael – so, for me, 19a changes from a little ‘odd’ to something new to me.

    2. I too toyed with Attlee for a while which was not helped by delay in solving 21d.

  7. Liebfraumilch (a strange name for a wine if translated literally) being supped in 1 litre measures gave me the biggest laugh today. It reminded me of Andrew Neil’s ‘This Week’ – particularly with the illustration of ‘Blue Nun’! Thanks to all.

    1. Actually, I’ve just looked it up. It is named after the Liebfrauenstift Convent of the Virgin Mary, where it was first made. That’s my piece of useless information for the day.

  8. Had a panic at first as I could not get started then found the anagrams and I was off at a canter. If I was being picky I thought 1a not up by Giovanni’s usual high standard. The phrase in 1a is clumsy. However, 18d and 21d were typical Giovanni clues that made me smile.
    Had to look up 16a but I have a feeling I seen it before, rings a faint bell. 7a def new to me.
    Gentle but great fun. */***
    Thx to all.

  9. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle, not too tricky. I’m not sure about 19a, I suppose there is a different type of oil for trains, but the oil you put into your car is just oil, not car oil? Interesting. I liked 6 & 17d but my favourite was 14a. Was 2*/3* for me.

    1. Googling revealed that “train” oil comes from the Dutch “traan” (tear or drop) as the oil is extracted in droplets from whale blubber.

  10. A couple of new things learned from the Don today in the shape of 16&19a but both of them gettable from the wordplay.
    I liked the driving experience and the everlasting cross – top marks reserved for the tired county.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for an excellent blog

  11. Made a note of **/*** before reading the blog, not far off DT-thanks for the blog pics- always liked the Buddy song.2D made me chuckle as I remember the Bill and Teds adventure film and their famous philosopher pal So Crates !
    Anyway, enough digression, nicely clued and an enjoyable end to the week-blustery on the Wirral today, could be an interesting day.

  12. I thought 14a was particularly clever and gets my vote for COTD, although 6d ran it close. This was another delightful offering from The Don, and was 2*/3.5* for me overall. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    A bit soggy here in the Marches, with little or no prospect of it drying up before dark.

  13. Very enjoyable, the long anagrams were particularly good I thought.

    Top three clues for me were 10a, 11a and 14a. The answer and derivation of 19a was interesting.

    I’m sure if RD had posted by now, he would have pointed out the spelling mistake in “government” in the newspaper version of 14d, methinks it’s down to someone at Telegraph Towers rather than Mr Manley.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat, and a good weekend to all.

  14. I found this trickier then usual. Never heard of 7a or 19a before but they fitted. Misspelled 6d which held me up with 17a and struggled with 20a trying to fit the wrong pm in. Thanks to the Don and dt.

  15. I shall buck the trend by saying that this was much the hardest of the week for me. Yesterday was a breeze compared to this.
    It’s simply because I am all at sea with Giovanni’s clues.
    I shall go through all the hints and think “next week will be fine”, but it never is.
    Thanks all.

    1. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I found this difficult – after a long time I had 4 answers. Much use of e-aids resulted in getting all but a couple that I just couldn’t see.

  16. Not as much ‘Friday trouble’ as usual.
    11a took ages which was a bit silly and I’ve never heard of 19a.
    I wasn’t very keen on 13a.
    I liked 5 and 16a and 5d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  17. Right on the 1*/2* cusp, but a bit anagram-heavy for my tastes, I’m afraid. Nothing stands out as a favourite clue (OK, maybe 5a). Still, thanks to the Don for the workout, and to DT for the review.

  18. Educational and enjoyable but I found it harder than the blog’ s rating suggests. I agree some clues were read and write but there were others that took a while to figure out. 16 a and 19a were new to me but could be worked out from the word play. With my limited knowledge of wine I was very pleased to derive the one mentioned in 6d.

  19. I didn’t find this “easy” by any means, I’d say medium difficulty. I had three left in the NW corner and was just about to enlist DT’s hints, when I tumbled to 1a, and that did it. When I read “revolutionary”, I immediately thought of crossword’s favourite Cuban. Note to self: please remember lateral thinking.
    Thanks for the input about 19a, new for me. I think 16a has appeared before, it wasn’t new to me.
    Fave was 11a, closely followed by 20a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  20. Easier than yesterday’s puzzle but still challenging for this bear of little brain. I respect the rule-setters on this site; just know that others boasting that they completed a puzzle in 8 minutes wouldn’t put me off. I learned a long time ago that the only person to conquer is myself. Thanks to all admins for maintaining this useful and friendly site.

  21. Speaking of people mentioning solving times I certainly can’t claim any bragging rights today as I’m sure I achieved the wooden spoon – brain on a go slow. However, I don’t mind, as they say you can’t win em all. I just love the blog and am very happy to see all the comments from people that I now feel I know. Thankyou all.

  22. I never seem to be able to get on Giovanni’s wavelength so as ever on a Friday found this quite difficult. In several of the build up clues, e.g. 15a and 17d I first guessed the word and then worked out how it was the answer. Needed DT’s help for 16a, thank you. For me a ***/***. Many thanks as ever to the Don and to DT.

  23. A very nice puzzle today which I found very enjoyable and engaging, 10a is my pick of the day.
    Many thanks to The Don and to DT for the review.

  24. Hello everyone! Back in West Sussex. Not been present on the blog as been travelling through France. Enjoyable Giovanni which I did not, however, find a cinch – in fact needed the blog for 19a (never heard of this expression), 16a and 20a. 6d made me smile and 11a gets my nomination for favourite. Many thanks to the Don and to DT for the much needed review. 2.5*/3*

  25. I am a big fan of Giovanni but today I was lost ****/** ☹️ Did not know 16a, 19a and did not figure out 20a 🤔 Perhaps I have been watching too much of the Open 🏌🏽 Thanks to DT for explaining things so well 😳 And to Giovanni who once again has taught me, as in golf, not to be complacent as there is often a pot bunker round the next corner 😩Come on Rory

  26. A pleasant, not too difficult end to the week. Last in the NW corner, and 6d in particular, that I vaguely knew how to spell but needed to pick through all the anagram fodder. Didn’t know 19ac was a thing, but it couldn’t be anything else.

  27. I completed the LHS at a canter and then had to grind my way through the rest at a bit of a crawl. Nice crossword though, 20a although a bit of a chestnut was my fave.
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.
    My predictive text (spit spit) now predicts Giovanni’s name by the second letter! Help!

  28. I get started later on Fridays as we now breakfast out, walk, visit eldest daughter and then grocery shop. Sometimes helps to be later but not today as I think my brain is still 20a! I struggled and clearly not on the right wavelength.

    Did the mistype in 14d only appear in on line version (governement)?

    A pedantic point, we recently visited Kinderdijk for a windmill tour, where the local guide emphasized that 23a is not a country, but an area of The Netherlands…

  29. A puzzle of mixed fortunes to me but I got there after a break. I had a Doh! Moment when I got 1 a. 14a took me a long time to solve but I liked it when I did and it helped with a few others. Last ones in were 16a and 19a. Checked them on Google to make sure. 16a was easier to work out than 19a. I was held up as had not thought of splitting t—-oil. As well as 14a my other favourites were 1, 11 and 13a. Thanks Giovanni and all for comments

  30. Well I approached the blog expecting everyone to be bemoaning the return of the “old” Giovanni, because I found this to be harder than the stone in the granola that broke my tooth last time I had a yoghurt. I really struggled, but had a nap half way through and it all became a bit clearer and I eventually struggled over the line. Thanks to DT, who had no such problems, and the Don for a stiff but fair challenge. 4*/3*
    In other news, I shall be AWOL for I don’t know how long as I have to into hospital on Monday for an operation. I will try to keep in touch

    1. Hope you’ll soon be back, TS – we’ll miss you.
      Fingers crossed that all goes well with the operation.

      1. Wishing you all the best Tstrummer and hoping you do not miss too many crosswords before you are back.

  31. Agree a bit more like the old Giovanni. One exception is that the quickie, very unusually for a Friday, isn’t a pangram.

    1. Intrigued by this Cryptor. I don’t usually do the quickie but have just done it to check out. According to my answers we have all the letters of the alphabet so I am with Deep Threat on this one. Quite possible that you had an alternative plausible answer for one or more of the clues. I admit I bunged in one or two which I had to change! The word bearing the all-important X was my last in.

  32. Isn’t it amazing how we are have such different brains. I always find Giovanni so difficult! Not my wavelength at all

    1. You appear to have left the A out of your original ‘alias’ – both should work now

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