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DT 28503

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28503

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. A bright and sunny start, but the threat of more rain later.

Giovanni has his General Knowledge hat on today, though backed up as usual by very fair cluing. I rated the puzzle *** for difficulty based more on the ‘feel’ of the solving process than on the actual time it took me, which might have rated **.

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. 


3a           Meal commercial traveller’s obtained beside a street (6)
REPAST – A three-letter word for a commercial traveller followed by A (from the clue) and STreet.

6a           Successive notes coming from French artist (4)
DORE – The first two notes of the sol-fa scale, giving us a 19th-century French artist.

Image result for gustave dore paintings

8a           Revolutionary, tedious person from what we hear (5)
PAINE – Back to the 18th century now, for the author of The Rights of Man and one of the Founding Fathers of the USA. He sounds like a bit of a bore!

Image result for thomas paine

9a           Sack group of soldiers — that lot can go to blazes! (4,7)
FIRE BRIGADE – Put together another word for ‘sack’ and a military formation, and you get the people who turn up when your house is on fire.

10a         Time to get ready-to-eat food (5)
TRIPE – Put together Time and ready to eat (as of fruit, for example), and you get something loosely described as food, though not one I’m fond of.

Image result for tripe


11a         Church always wanting newspaper article? I’ll drum up support (11)
CHEERLEADER – Put together an abbreviation for Church, a poetic word for always, and the sort of newspaper article which reflects editorial opinion.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a         Wild cat, coolest possibly when avoiding sun (6)
OCELOT – Anagram (possibly) of COOLE(s)T with the S removed (avoiding sun).

Image result for ocelot

17a         Operators getting on in leaps and bounds (8)
SURGEONS – These operators work in theatres. Put ON (from the clue) inside a noun which can mean ‘leaps and bounds’.

19a         Good person came down, not at all relaxed (8)
STRAINED – The abbreviation for someone whose holiness has been formally recognised by the Church, followed by the sort of ‘came down’ that we’ve seen far too much of in the last couple of weeks, at least in the UK and NZ.

20a         See humour shown by this gathering of emotionally connected folk (4-2)
LOVE-IN – A two-letter word meaning ‘See!’ or ‘Behold!’ followed by a mood or humour, as in ‘he carried on in this —- for some time’.

22a         A president’s out of order — they must take steps (11)
PEDESTRIANS – Anagram (out of order) of A PRESIDENT’S.

25a         Watery terrain — hard to find on another planet (5)
MARSH – One of the planets of our solar System, followed by Hard.

27a         A blur, a sleep, awfully nice (11)
PLEASURABLE – Anagram (awfully) of A BLUR A SLEEP.

28a         Number with purpose getting a great deal (2,3)
NO END – A two-letter abbreviation for number followed by a purpose or aim.

29a         Left-winger to move faster than 22? (4)
TROT – Double definition: a shortened form of a variety of left-wing politician; or to move at a faster pace than the people who are the answer to 22a.

30a         Grow something that can count as one of the daily five? (6)
SPROUT – Double definition: the first is a verb, the second a noun (and the daily five are of course the portions of fruit and veg that Nanny State tells us we should be eating).


1d           Row in resort, the last thing resort needs (4)
SPAT – A health resort, followed by the last letter of resorT.

2d           Brought up in dirtier dens, going off the rails (11)
DISINTERRED – Anagram (going off the rails) of DIRTIER DENS. ‘Brought up’ here is the same as ‘dug up’.

3d           Judge and City politicians meeting where food is served (11)
REFECTORIES – Put together the short form of the judge in a football match, the postcode letters for the City of London, and the common name for one of the political groups found in the UK Parliament.

4d           What one expects to observe in member of religious group (6)
PARSEE – Split the answer (3,3) and you have ‘what is expected’ and ‘to observe’. Put together we have an Indian follower of Zoroaster.

5d           Distinguished cricketer at university recovers from bender (6,2)
SOBERS UP – The surname of a distinguished West Indian cricketer of the 1960s, arguably the greatest all-rounder the game has seen, followed by ‘at university’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d           Follow academic master as a matter of belief (5)
DOGMA – A verb meaning ‘follow persistently’ followed by the letters after the name of a holder of a master’s degree.

7d           Journey taking in good mountain feature (5)
RIDGE – A journey on horseback or in a bus, for example, with Good inserted.

12d         Fantastic sermon, gents being spellbound? (11)
ENGROSSMENT – Anagram (fantastic) of SERMON GENTS.

13d         Camels in divine house, one of twelve outside capital (11)
DROMEDARIES – A divine here is a holder of a degree in divinity, and the house is one of the signs of the Zodiac. Put these together and wrap the result around a European capital city.

Image result for dromedaries

14d         Irish turning up to celebrate historical event in Dublin (6)
RISING – Reverse (turning up) an abbreviation for Irish, then add ‘celebrate’ (musically) and you get an event which took place in Dublin at Easter 1916.

15d         Travel with friends, finally have a little drink and chat (6)
GOSSIP – Put together a word for ‘travel’, the last letter (finally) of friendS, and ‘have a little drink’.

18d         Wicked predator shows little sign of sorrow (8)
TEARDROP – Anagram (wicked) of PREDATOR.

21d         Cane giving sound of hard blow — we don’t like that! (6)
BAMBOO – Split the answer (3,3) and you get something which may be the sound of a hard blow and the noise an audience makes when it disapproves of what it hears.

Image result for bamboo

23d         Mathematician establishing new rule about transcendental number (5)
EULER – Anagram (new) of RULE wrapped around the transcendental number which is the base for natural logarithms. The answer is a Swiss mathematician from the 18th century.

Image result for euler formula

24d         Precise demand (5)
EXACT – Double definition, the first an adjective, the second a verb.

26d         Hurry — daughter must be collected, put out of sight (4)
HIDE – A rather archaic word for ‘hurry’ wrapped around Daughter.

I shall be otherwise engaged next week. Senf has kindly volunteered to step up to the plate.

The Quick Crossword pun BALL + TIMOR = BALTIMORE

58 comments on “DT 28503

  1. 4*/2*. I found parts of this very tough and it felt to me like a mixture of the “old Giovanni” and the “new Giovanni” with some very good clues coupled with some verbose and obscure offerings.
    Thanks to Giovanni, particularly for the good bits, and to DT.

  2. Giovanni excellence as always, completed at a slightly fatigued canter with some electronic assistance – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite – pick one from 9a, 17a, 29a, 5d, and 21d, and probably a few more but my eyes were almost closed when I was making selections last night.

    Thanks to Mr Manley and DT.

  3. Nice ‘n easy did it today. Great clues with splattering of GK including some with which I was not familiar e.g. 6a and 23d. Concur with all Una’s comments. Not sure where last 4 letters of 20a fit with humour or am I missing something? Thanks as always Giovanni and DT.

    1. Hi Anngellov,
      Take the word formed by those last 4 letters and look it up in the BRB – there’s the answer to your question!

  4. Definitely a bit of ‘old Giovanni’ creeping into this one – I had to consult the Google oracle about the artist, the revolutionary and the mathematician. Regarding the latter, the Google info left me more confused than ever and the particular man we were looking for only made an appearance a long way through the dissertation!

    Thankfully, I guessed the answer to 13d – not sure that I would have worked it out from the wordplay had I not known the word.
    I wasn’t very comfortable with the ending of 12d – anyone else have the same thought?

    Having said all that, there was a good smattering of humour to lighten the proceedings – I particularly liked 25&30a plus 3&5d.

    Thanks to DG and especially to DT for a great blog. Even a non-cricket fan like myself could appreciate the Midas touch of 5d and the clip of modern day 11a’s was a revelation – they used to be dancers, not acrobats!

    1. Agree with all your comments Jane, I thought 8a was General Payne from the American civil war so couldn’t see where the other spelling was correct!!!

    2. Yes I too had reservations about 12d but suppose it can be deemed to be the state of being spellbound.

    3. I wasn’t convinced either about the ending of 12d.
      Had to do a bit of Googling to get the artist, revolutionary and mathematician but hey, it all adds to the fund of knowledge required for our local pub quiz.
      I liked 17a and 30a is fun.
      A challenging crossword but enjoyable as ever. Many thanks to the esteemed setter and to Deep Threat although If we never see the picture for 10a again then that’s OK with me!

  5. ***/*** for me. Good to see Giovanni back to his GK best and causing me to consult Mrs Google. 25a my fave for simplicity and good surface, very apt for that planet! Thanks to all. That’s it now, run out of excuses for not getting on with jobs in garden.

  6. 8a and 23d my last two in as I had not heard of either person, although they had to be what they were as the clueing was concise enough. 9a made me smile and my COTD was 13d. A little harder than usual for a Friday, so 3*/3* overall.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  7. Definitely a return to ‘old GIovanni’. I did know Crosswordland’s favourite mathematician and 13d is obviously ‘camel of the week’ as today wasn’t the first time I had to write him into a crossword grid

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT too

  8. Very nice puzzle from the Don – 3*/4*.

    We liked 17a. Imagine my explaining to Mrs Sheffieldsy that Sobers could bowl three different styles and one was a Chinaman!

    Thanks DT and DG.

  9. Fine crossword, completed at a stroll, until I hit my hated general knowledge clues. For me, that spoils it. I know, for others, it enhances it.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  10. Excellent as always from Giovanni, only two obscure words today otherwise straightforward. For me **/****
    I find Giovanni’s work as others find Ray T, all a question of wavelengths. I obviously don’t have the right mindset to cope with the latter as yesterday’s offering showed.
    The COTD for me was 9a but 5d was special having met the great man, a true gentleman.
    Thx to all

  11. Interesting mix of clues really good anagrams and some great general knowledge ones, 23d caused me to turn to Google but apart from that pretty good.
    Thanks to DT and the Don

  12. After two days of challenging puzzles I found this very pleasant and gentle. Learnt something about transcendental numbers. 13d was my favourite clue

  13. I made it six anagrams, a famous Cricketer, a swiss Mathematician, an American revolutionary and a French artist – the rest just fell into place – lovely!

    1. Six anagrams is the limit that The Thunderer places on its compilers, and 6 out of 32 total clues is quite reasonable for me.

  14. 21d last one in and it took far too long to see it. A cracker of a puzzle for the second day running. Ta to all. I will see you all on Monday when hopefully I will be more rested by then

  15. I got through this one at the usual Friday rate – ie – with a few ‘remainers’ slowing me down towards the end. Amazingly, I did manage to recall the mathematician plus the religious reference from the hazy depths of memory (ashamed to have to admit that yon revolutionary is a new one on me). As for the ‘food’ at 10a – I have an ‘anecdote will travel’ on that one (I believe B.D. keeps a watchful eye upon tasteless comments – thus shall say no more!!). Probably a 2* rating for me. No special favourite – I liked the lot.

  16. A little too much General Knowledge for my personal taste, but overall it was a 27a solve.

    Our favourite crossword cat (other than Kitty and Mr Kitty of course!) made another appearance at 16a, and 13d revived memories of the discussion a couple of months back as to whether “house” and “zodiac sign” were synonymous or not.

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

    1. Hi, silvanus. 16a is actually our setters’ second-favourite feline – the (5) snow leopard appears about twice as often.

  17. Definitely all to do with wave-lengths – this one took me at least twice as long as yesterdays did.
    I got completely stuck with my last few answers and never did get 20a or 4d.
    I spotted 13d from the letters already in and then worked out why.
    I did like 5d – a cricketer that even I’ve heard of.
    Thought that the clue for 22a was very topical.
    I liked 25a and 15 and 21d. My favourite was 9a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  18. Well the general knowledge section was somewhat obscure for me but I eventually got there. The fact that the GK answers were obscure took away some of the pleasure of the challenge so for me I’ll give it 3/3* with my fave being 18d.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  19. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Definitely a mix of the new & old Giovanni. Needed the hints for 6a,10a,20a,23d. Never heard of any of the GK clues, including 8a which I actually got. I liked the humour in 16&30a and 5d. Liked the surface of 17a, but my favourite was 9a. Too GK for my taste. Was 4*/3* for me.

  20. After total failure yesterday, this was a pleasant surprise.
    I needed Google to confirm the mathematician.
    After staring at 20a for as long as it took to solve the rest of the puzzle, I threw in the towel.
    Fave was 13d with 9a following close behind.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  21. Found this tricky but enjoyable 😏 ***/*** Not too keen on 12d 😳 Favourites 21d & 29a. Thanks to DT for his explanations and to Giovanni. A nice end to a week of enjoyable crosswords 😃

  22. I thought this was more straightforward than the average Friday Giovanni, but that might be because for once I had the required GK. I recalled the revolutionary from a Billy Bragg song (“I went out drinking with Thomas Paine, He said that all revolutions are not the same ….. “) and I knew the mathematician. Incidentally, the expression illustrating 23d is a “new rule about (a) transcendental number” established by said mathematician, so the clue might be regarded a clever semi-all-in-one. For that reason it’s my favourite today. Thanks to the Don and to DT.

    1. I’m pleased that 23d was very clever from your perspective, Mr. K. Some of us lesser mortals didn’t even have a clue as to what a transcendental number is!

      1. Google offers this definition: “a transcendental number is a real or complex number that is not algebraic – that is, it is not a root of a nonzero polynomial equation with integer (or, equivalently, rational) coefficients”.
        That’s as clear as mud to me… :wacko:

      2. And some of us even lesser mortals always have to look up transcendental, partly to see what it means and partly to see how to spell it. :sad:

      3. PS – I think that some of us just have to realise that we’re good at other things – the only question is what?

        1. Saving lives as a nurse is infinitely more important than knowing a bit of esoteric maths.

  23. When we know it is a Giovanni puzzle we always have our references at hand and they did get a bit of use with this one. We really appreciate that the different setters have their own particular characteristics and this adds to our enjoyment of solving puzzles. 2d was one of our last answers in even though it is an anagram as it took us a while to pick the correct meaning of brought up.
    A pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. The vast majority of this went in easily enough, but 8ac, 4d and 17ac together pushed this into **** territory. Needed to check 13d on Google.

  25. Nicely pitched for me with 4 left unsolved before I came here to you good people for help. Rather than a sit-down-and-solve-over-a-pot-of-tea puzzle (plus a late evening round-off), this was a slow-burner that meandered around my brain all day. I liked 12a, 27a, 6d, and 21d. I found a few of the synonyms stretched uncomfortably in similarity of meaning. ***/*** for me.

  26. Found this tricky in places, but a definite relief after yesterday when I thought my brain had gone missing. Got most of these but still needed some hints to finish. Don’t understand how great deal equals no end? Favourite was 9a.

  27. I was stuck on two today. 1d ( I had the wrong sort of ‘row’ in mind) , and 4d I just couldn’t fathom at all. Fortunately, being a cricket fan, 5d was straight in. 9a made me smile. Thanks go to The Don and to DT.

  28. Surely the 23d trancendental number was e for Ecstasy (aka as MDMA, a derivative of amphetamine) – number is not a figure or symbol but something that causes numbing

    1. Welcome to the blog Nick

      I’m sorry but you are very wrong. As a mathematician I can tell you that transcendental numbers are numbers which cannot be written down as a decimal or any other kind of fraction, only approximated. Examples are π, which is definitely not 22/7, and e, the base of natural logarithms. A quick look in the BRB would have told you that a transcendental number is “A number that is not a root of any algebraic equation with integral coefficients” – I think my definition is easier to understand, if not strictly correct. Note that this is not the same as an imaginary number such as i, the square root of -1, or an irrational number, such as the square root of 2.

      1. When I’m watching University Challenge, and the sums question comes up, I always say “x minus-1”. One day I’ll be right.

  29. Out of the three Giovanni puzzles solved this week ( Monday Guardian, Tuesday toughie and Friday back page) the latter was the hardest for me.
    Failed on 8a, 10a and 1d.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

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