DT 28509 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28509

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28509

Hints and tips by Senf

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ****

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg. What better way of returning to normality after my two weeks of volunteering at the Canada Summer Games than two hours in the dentist’s chair on Monday afternoon at the beginning of the week.

As he advised us last week, Deep Threat is otherwise engaged this week so here I am again hinting on all the clues of a typical and very enjoyable Giovanni puzzle. I still can’t determine if it’s his old, new, or somewhere in between persona – perhaps Lady Jane can advise again. Seven anagrams (including two partials), one lurker, and a sprinkling of oldies but goodies/recent repeats. Solved with the assistance of a 2014 Mouton Cadet, a splendid end to my Thursday.

My favourite is 14a and the Quickie pun.

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.


9a    Walk quietly past market, having turned back (5)
TRAMP: A four letter synonym of market reversed (turned back) followed by (past) the musical notation for quiet – I thought the synonym of market was an Americanism but the BRB says it was used by the Bard of Avon.

10a    See zebra moving east in wind (3,6)
SEA BREEZE: An anagram (moving) of SEE ZEBRA followed by the single letter for east.

11a    Artist sits awkwardly being welcomed in West? (7)
MATISSE: An anagram of SITS contained by (being welcomed in) the first name of the actress whose last name was West.

12a    A new excitement when king emerges from earthy mound (3,4)
ANT HILL: A from the clue, the single letter for new, and a synonym for excitement with the Latin abbreviation for king removed (when . . . emerges from).

13a    One has darkness, no end, in native dwelling (5)
IGLOO: The single letter for one and a synonym for darkness without its last letter (no end) gives an Inuit dwelling.

14a    Carol wrapping Ted maybe in protective covering (9)
SHEATHING: A synonym for carol (as a verb) containing (wrapping) the surname of a former PM.

16a    Fruit obtainable from San Marino garden (8,7)
MANDARIN ORANGES: An anagram (obtainable from) SAN MARINO GARDEN.

19a    Worried rodent met snakes (9)
TORMENTED: An anagram (snakes) of RODENT MET.

21a    Groan maybe as recipient of holy letter (5)
TITUS: The first name of an individual, with the surname of Groan, who featured in a novel by Mervyn Peake gives one of the epistles in the NT – the novel was completely new to me, perhaps I have led a sheltered life.

23a    Minister embraces a device for generating energy (7)
REACTOR: One of the variations of a CofE minister containing (embraces) A from the clue.

25a    There’s little right in Dad being more distant (7)
FARTHER: The single letter for right contained by (in) a (formal) synonym for Dad.

27a    Bug one’s caught? Supplement will limit cold (9)
ADDICTION: A synonym for a supplement containing (will limit) the single letter for cold.

28a   Extremist contributing to awful tragedy (5)
ULTRA: The lurker (contributing to) found in the last two words of the clue.


1d    Cook cutting out a part of vegetable? (4)
STEM: A means of cooking (with vaporized water) with its A removed (cutting out).

2d    Fellow on phone gets prize-winning novelist (6)
MANTEL: One of the usual synonyms for fellow and a three letter abbreviated synonym for phone gives a prize-winning novelist with a DBE.

3d    Bishop’s office copies tape improperly (10)
EPISCOPATE: An anagram (improperly) of COPIES TAPE.

4d    Like groups offering worldly goods (6)
ASSETS: A two letter synonym for like and one of the usual synonyms for groups.

5d    A form of rule in Home Counties, supported by very old city (8)
SARAJEVO: A from the clue and a form of (Asian) government all contained by the two letters used for the Home Counties then followed by (supported by) single letters for very and old – the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics.

6d    Rubbish ultimately attracting rubbish (4)
GROT: The last letter (ultimately) of attractinG and a three letter synonym for rubbish – the answer is also the name of the shop opened by Reggie Perrin which sold useless products.

7d    Shy, taking clothes off etc? (8)
RETIRING: A word often used for the process that includes taking clothes off at the end of the day.

8d    Modern bits of language spreading gloominess (10)
NEOLOGISMS: An anagram (spreading) of GLOOMINESS.

13d    Unimportant stuff this person’s brought to the fore (10)
IMMATERIAL: A synonym for stuff preceded by (brought to the fore) a two letter contraction of an equivalence of this person’s.

15d    Unfaithful love rat, suitor gets upset about (10)
TRAITOROUS: An anagram of the tennis score called as love and RAT SUITOR.

17d    Chap blocks road in that revolutionary conqueror’s home region (8)
NORMANDY: A poetic or dialectic synonym for that reversed (revolutionary) containing (in) the two letter abbreviation for road containing (blocks) a synonym for chap.

18d    Pause during session with one needing little time (8)
INTERMIT: A verb constructed from a two word synonymic phrase for during session and the single letters for one and time.

20d    Champion fed up, having obtained goal (6)
DEFEND: Fed from the clue reversed (up) and a synonym for completion (having obtained goal).

22d    Volunteers landing on Caribbean country but not a Pacific island (6)
TAHITI: The usual volunteer soldiers followed by a country with the letter A removed (but not).

24d    Understanding the performance, he won’t participate (4)
TACT: The combination of THE from the clue and a three letter synonym for performance with HE removed.

26d    Bit of money made by heartless competitor (4)
RIAL: A synonym for competitor with its middle letter removed (heartless) gives the unit of currency of several Middle Eastern countries.

Back on Sunday as usual.

The Quick Crossword pun: surrey+beryl=cerebral

64 comments on “DT 28509

    1. MP – here is some trivia for you. When whatsisname was in Winnipeg in July, he was asked if there was anything he would like to do like go for a beer, go for a burger, go to Tim Horton’s for a coffee and a doughnut. He responded that he would like to go and see the house where Neil Young grew up!

  1. 2*/2.5*. I thought this was OK but somehow it all felt a bit flat after I had completed it. Unlike Senf in 21a I knew Mr Groan but the recipient of the holy letters was a new one on me. Perhaps I haven’t led a sheltered enough life.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf.

    1. 21a was the last clue I hinted. I solved it with its three checkers but had no idea about the connection with Groan until the use of Google (as there are not many ‘phone-a-friends’ available at 3:00am UK time) and I was surprised to find that it related to a novel published in 1946.

  2. Very enjoyable crossword, but I too bad never heard of the clue in 21a. I was not helped on 8d by getting the last letter wrong, and making it the person rather than the result. I blame the bright sunshine on a Greek beach. Some clever clues. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  3. Certainly more than one* for difficulty in my case , finished it but several caused me problems , needed the dictionary for 18d ,and some head scratching to find the right Ted .
    Thanks for the review
    Ps – it took me longer than today’s toughie

  4. Well I finished it without electronic help, but I needed the blog to confirm some answers. I’ve never heard of the writer in 2d, and I think the answer to 8d is a new word to me, (no pun intended). I vaguely remember the Groan in 21a, but for the life of me cannot remember the novel. Finally the answer to 18d was definitely a new one on me.

    So it’s a **** from me and COTD is 11a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Senf.

    1. I am reasonably certain that 8d, or the people who are proponents of 8d, has appeared before and that is how I first came across the words. One to try and keep in the memory.

  5. **/*** An enjoyable workout. Despite a not particularly strong start it (largely) came together nicely a bit at a time.

    Completed over lunch, helped by the fact that today is a day off in these parts, (although not helped by the fact that the restaurant has the music on too loudly, (now I am showing my age)).

    Although Senf’s blog is entertaining and enjoyable I didn’t need any hints – not that I finished 100%, but the règarding the two missed answers, I know exactly what the clue is saying, but:
    21a – a Giovanni religous special – to show up my lack of attention during attempts to bring me up as a good Catholic
    8d – not difficult really, and it is an anagram, (but would no doubt have benefited from my having had the answer to 21).

    Thanks to Giovanni and Senf.

  6. Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for the review and hints. Back to all the obscurities never heard of 2,8,18d. Was 4*/1* for me.

  7. I certainly did not find this as easy as our esteemed blogger, but the challenge proved enjoyable enough, so 2.5*/3* overall from me. Unusually for a Friday, I had no stand out favourites, although some of the anagrams were very clever.

    Thanks to The Don and Senf.

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle definitely on the Dons gentle side. For me */*****
    Had to think a bit on 27a to work out the bug and 13d to work out the Material.
    Would be invidious to pick out a favourite as they were all so good.
    Been an excellent week for crosswords, I suspect we may pay for it next week esp on a Thursday.
    Thx to all

  9. Lots more than 1* difficulty for me today – had it not been for a few long anagrams I rather suspect I might never have got going at all.
    Having got 10a and 5d I started to play ‘hunt the pangram’ but as always when I think of it there wasn’t one.
    I wasn’t keen on 21a – I didn’t know the character or the epistle which is fine as I don’t mind new words in crosswords – what I do mind is not having anything to go on to arrive at the answer.
    I liked 12a (anything’s better than mole hills) and 14a and 5d. My favourite was 17d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf.

    1. Waaaay more than 1* difficulty for me. I suppose old age is catching up as I’ve found this week’s a bit more tricky than usual.

  10. Despite the helpful anagrams this was no easy ride for me. I completed without any sense of satisfaction having bunged in 18d and 21a. I have never heard of Mr Groan or his creator. My favourite clue was 5d though it took me a while to solve despite my familiarity with that form of rule.

  11. Some first-class anagrams, 16a and 8d especially, in an entertaining solve. My repetition radar gave two small bleeps (“one” and “little”), but neither detracted from what was a well-clued puzzle.

    My favourite clue was 27a.

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

  12. Was mildly enjoying the solve until I got to 21a which I’m not convinced is a fair clue; Groan – I certainly did. Then 2d… showing my ignorance of 1940s books, shame on me. (?)
    Thanks to The Don and to Senf for the write-up. ***/**

    1. Hilary Mantel is very much of the present, I think she won a couple of Booker prizes quite recently, she’s even younger than me and I’m still in my prime!

  13. IMHO OK but nothing special. Not too sure about 7d. As for others, 21a completely foxed me and Don’t think I had heard of 8d. If I had to pick a Fav I would go for 17d. Tried for interval in 18d. Thanks Giovanni and Senf.

  14. Definitely not Giovanni at his most benign for me. For the second time this week, or maybe even third, I had one clue unsolved, and that was Mr. Groan. I’ve never ever heard of the author, let alone Titus Groan. Apart from that, everything was tikai babu.
    Fave was 16a ‘cos it gave me an entré.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for stepping in again.

  15. I had a bit of to-ing and fro-ing last night to get 6d and 24d – neither were obvious and both a bit dubious IMHO.

    He funniest thing I read about Hilary Mantel was from David Baddiel I think – about how could you take her seriously when she can’t even work out how to turn down the pressure on her hairdryer – cruel but true!

  16. Have to say that I think DG is starting to lose his newly found sense of humour – such a shame as I’ve quite enjoyed his recent offerings.
    21a was a no-go area until all the checkers were in place, whereupon the biblical reference occurred but I never dreamed that there would be a poor character blessed with the name!
    8d I should have known but had forgotten – least said the better.
    2d was fine but I hear that we may now have to wait until 2019 for the publication of the eagerly awaited final part of the Wolf Hall trilogy – may well have to re-read the first two by then!

    Didn’t really have a favourite although 16a brought back fond memories. My absolute favourite end to Sunday ‘tea’ as a child was a bowl of 16a’s in orange jelly covered in Carnation evaporated milk – how times have changed.

    Thanks to DG and to Senf for manfully providing hints for every clue – bet 21a would have been one of those you would have tried to avoid on a Sunday!

    1. I remember orange segments in jelly with carnation milk – fantastic stuff, strange how it went out of fashion!

    2. Surprisingly, I would probably have included 21a in a set of Sunday hints (honest). As I said to RD above it was an easy solve with the three checkers and the definition part of the clue, and, when Google provided the connection with Groan, that made the hint easy to write.

      1. I must have asked Mr. Google the wrong question about 21a – all I got from him was confirmation of the biblical reference.
        Either that or he thought ‘for goodness sake, I’m not answering that one again’!

        PS Two hours in the dentist’s chair! What on earth was he doing to you?

        1. I tried Google too but forgot to type in the ‘u’, got to some very strange websites

        2. My search was the answer and Groan with the hope that Google would come up with a link between them.

          My very delightful lady dentist was replacing a crown – first appointment of two, old crown removed, ‘clean up’ of the stump, temporary crown installed, the real thing in 10 days time.

              1. No sir – nothing beyond the fact that every dentist I’ve been to has been male. Until, that is, the latest one who is definitely female and I reckon about 12 years old!

                1. I have had several lady dentists over the years, including one while I was serving HM, and this one is the best of the lot male or female.

    3. Yes indeed, memories of 16a segments in orange jelly but thank goodness without the Carnation evaporated milk – ugh!

      1. At the time, the ‘evap’ was wonderful. The alternative was Mum’s home made cream and I dread to imagine what she put into that, it tasted absolutely vile.

  17. When I worked briefly in a bookshop in the 1960s, Mervyn Peake seemed to be as popular as Tolkien.
    Thank you Senf and Giovanni.

  18. As ever, a bit of a let down on a Friday after four great puzzles so far this week.
    Dull and too many obscurities.
    No favs, thanks to Senf for the hints, which I had to use in a couple of instances.
    Thanks Giovanni too.

    1. Sadly, I have to agree with all of that. Nevertheless, Mrs. BC was happy to plough through – and I only had to fumble with a few end bits.

  19. Slow to start but once underway everything seemed to come together well. No trouble with 21a but my fave was 12a. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to the Don, and to Senf for the review.

  20. I started off reasonably well then ground to a halt.
    I knew 21a (I think there was aTV adaptation of the books a wee while ago).

    Wasn’t sure that 6d was a ‘real’ word…thought it was an abbreviation of grotesque …grotty, grot.

    Does anyone else think that the reference to Ted in 14a was a tad unfair…..he’s not been PM for quite some time now?

    So, definitely a lot more than one star for difficulty for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    1. With reference to Mr Heath, probably no worse than the book that was first published 24 years before he became prime minister.

      On-line Oxford dictionaries says that grot is an informal term for rubbish developed in the 1960s.

  21. I’ve been silently enjoying the blog for some time for both the hints and the comments. This is my first post. I had to say that anyone who hasn’t read Mervin Peake is strongly advised to do so. There are three books in the Ghormenghast series. Don’t start with Titus Groan. Good puzzle today. Didn’t even spot the anagram in 8d but still got it blind. 18d stumped me

    1. Welcome to the blog Barie, pleased to see that you have decided to ‘turn up the volume.’

      I know extremely little about the Ghormenghast series, but, based on solving 21a and writing the hint, I thought that Titus Groan was the first in the series and, logically, should be read first.

    2. Welcome to the blog Barie. I remember reading my sister in laws copies of the Ghormanghast series and that’s it. I remember reading them. I have no memory of what they were about except something about a kitchen and the people that inhabited it

  22. One of my favourite series. Gormenghast made the biggest impact on me but you are correct Senf. Titus Groan followed by Gormenghast, then Titus Alone which I did not enjoy nearly as much.

  23. I found this to be quite tricky – or, rather, found 2d / 11ac / 14ac and 26d in particular to be tricky at the close. Or perhaps this week has finally finished me off.

  24. More than a 1* difficulty for me, although tackling this later than normal, as usual on Fridays. Didn’t care for 19a even though it was an anagram, as I would never call myself this if I was just worried by something. Never heard of author in 21a and not sure how you would get there otherwise. Also ignorance showing in not knowing 3d, so couldn’t solve that anagram either, nor 8d. Also confess to not knowing author in 2d, despite watching Wolf Hall on TV here and loving it. So glad to see from Jane’s comment that it is a triology so hoping we get another two series of this. I read at least 6 books a month, with English authors of books set in the U.K. accounting for at least of them, so naughty me for not knowing her.

    As an aside, just got a warning on our neighborhood blog that a neighbor’s cat has brought home a mouse, and she wants us all to know there are probably mice out there in our gardens. I kid you not….🤗

    1. I have Wolf Hall on my DVR to watch, I’m glad you loved it, maybe I’ll get to that next. I have such a backlog of movies and books, it’d be so easy just to put my feet up and bury myself in books and movies.

      1. Aren’t DVRs wonderful. We never watch live TV any more. We cut the cable cord last April and got an OTA TiVo after we realized 90% of what we watched was non cable channels. What a tremendous budget saving. We still use Amazon Prime and Netflix and thinking of trying Britbox. Hope you enjoy Wolf Hall, happy viewing.

  25. I just couldn’t get 5d, but the rest of the puzzle was fine. Thank you Senf and Giovanni.

  26. This was a reasonable challenge and a very enjoyable solve so, for me, the best of the week by a narrow margin. 2.5*/3*.

  27. St Titus received a letter from St. Paul and that is how I arrived at the answer I haven’t heard of a Mr Groan and did not have any idea why the word appeared in the clue I thought it might have been some sort of poetic license

      1. merci mon cher dave always appreciate your comments and hints, don’t usually need help with the normal telegraph but definitely for the toughies thank you again

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