DT 28521 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28521


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28521

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, as the month of mists and mellow fruitfulness begins with some sunshine.

I struggled to get going with the top half of today’s Giovanni, then accelerated through the rest of the puzzle, and was surprised to find that I had finished in ** time. Some typical pieces of General Knowledge and the occasional less common word are typical of our setter.

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.


1a           Guy maybe getting engineers to accept work (4)
ROPE – One of the usual regiments of engineers wrapped around the Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work.

3a           His mad idol turns out to be prim and proper (3-7)
OLD-MAIDISH – Anagram (turns out) of HIS MAD IDOL.

9a           Stories offering element of thrill or escapism (4)
LORE – Hidden (element of) in the clue.

10a         One may suggest that you should compose letters differently (10)
SPELLCHECK – Cryptic definition of the element of a word processing program which allegedly removes the need to be able to write words correctly.

Candidate for a Pullet Surprise
by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker’s
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault’s with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word’s fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw’s are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.


11a         With temperature, strange little boy walks tentatively (7)
TODDLES – Put together an abbreviation for Temperature, another word for strange, and a shortened form of a boy’s (or girl’s) name.

13a         Goddess came across, carried by stag maybe (7)
DEMETER – The variety of animal of which a stag is an example, wrapped around ‘came across’, giving us the Greek goddess of the harvest.

Image result for Demeter

14a         Very small commander dealt with slavery and homelessness (11)
VAGABONDAGE – Put together an abbreviation for Very, a Turkish commander, and another word for slavery.

18a         With revision needed, setter meant to give an alternative form of words (11)
RESTATEMENT – Anagram (with revision needed) of SETTER MEANT.

21a         Loose woman Victorian novelist reported (7)
TROLLOP – A lady of the night who sounds like the author of the Barchester Chronicles.

22a         Building company takes time, time, time! (7)
COTTAGE – The abbreviation for company, followed by two examples of an abbreviation for Time, followed by a word for time.

23a         Are its pies ‘fantastique’? (10)
PATISSERIE – An all-in-one clue. Anagram (fantastique) of ARE ITS PIES. I always think of these places as selling cakes and pastries rather than pies, so the answer to the question in the clue may be ‘Non!’

24a         Composer noted for silence in prison (4)
CAGE – Double definition: the American composer whose most notorious work consists of a defined period where the audience listens to the ambient sound rather than a particular piece of music; or a slang word for prison.

25a         Hurry to small city to see flowering plants (10)
SPEEDWELLS – Another word for ‘hurry’ followed by a small city in Somerset.

Image result for speedwell


26a         Former PM wanting power, slippery creature (4)
PEEL Power followed by a notoriously slippery fish, giving us a 19th-century Prime Minister who also founded the police force.


1d           Member of family corresponding (8)
RELATIVE – Double definition: a generic term for a member of one’s wider family; or an adjective meaning corresponding or having reference to.

2d           Display cut short with one old car turning over for example (8)
PARADIGM – Remove the final letter (cut short) of a display (perhaps soldiers drilling), then add the Roman numeral for one, and the reverse (turning over) of a former British car marque of two letters.

4d           More than one north European drinks, we hear (5)
LAPPS – Some reindeer herders from the far north of Europe sound like (we hear) a verb meaning ‘drinks’ – as a cat might drink milk.

Image result for lapps

5d           Mother grabs English lord — terrible song and dance (9)
MELODRAMA – A four-letter word for mother wrapped around English and an anagram (terrible) of LORD.

6d           Unable to get pay, keeping quiet, needing temporary shelter (11)
INCOMPETENT – A word for one’s pay or other revenue wrapped around the musical symbol for quiet, followed by a temporary shelter, as seen on a campsite.

7d           Identity destroyed almost? Imagine! (6)
IDEATE – Some two-letter identity papers followed by a word for ‘destroyed’ (think moths, and what they do to fabric) with its final letter removed (almost).

8d           Walkers shriek when disturbed (6)
HIKERS – Anagram (when disturbed) of SHRIEK.

12d         Relaxed lad is rebel, I suspect (11)
LIBERALISED – Anagram (suspect) of LAD IS REBEL I.

15d         Spooner’s model, family girl getting a piece of facial protection (9)
NOSEPIECE – Start with a word for what a model does (4) and a female relative (5), then follow Dr Spooner and swap their initial letters.

16d         Derek Trotter knowing bit of America (8)
DELAWARE – The Cockney diminutive of the first name of David Jason’s character in Only Fools and Horses followed by ‘knowing’ or ‘conscious’.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d         Part of Somerset here, alluring and heavenly (8)
ETHEREAL – Hidden in the clue.

19d         Female campaigner drinks heavily after conclusion of crusades (6)
STOPES – The final letter of crusadeS, followed by ‘drinks heavily’, giving us the name of an early campaigner for birth control.

Image result for stopes

20d         Northern town offers illegal recording — not good! (6)
BOOTLE – Remove the Good from the end of a word applied to unauthorised recordings of music or video, to get this town on Merseyside.

22d         Coldness about to descend on elevated land (5)
CHILL – The Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, followed by some high ground.

The Quick Crossword pun PATTERN + HALLÉ = PATERNALLY

40 comments on “DT 28521

  1. Thanks for the review, a fun puzzle.
    Anybody else having problems with inputting letters into the iPad Xword?

  2. For me, Giovanni, or maybe it was me, a little ‘off colour’ this week. As for yesterday, not sure of the overall time as it included ‘nosebag’ time so I will say it was completed at a canter with plenty of Chambers support– 2.5*/2.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 2d, 5d, and 16d; and the winner is 16d. Least favourite 15d – not keen on Spoonerisms at all.

    Thanks to Mr Manley and DT – I like the poem for 10a.

  3. Had to check 19d and 20d on Google to confirm my parsing and finished off with 25a. Although I did also enquired the net to see if some speedweela existed. Did Giovanni mean small city to see as in diocese with Wells being attached to Bath in that respect?
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  4. 2.5*/3*. Very enjoyable and much better than last week. I learnt a new word in 7d but it was easily derived from the wordplay. My joint favourites were 22a & 16d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  5. All over too quickly. One of the downsides to this site is the way it teaches you to recognise different clue constructs and rattle off answers. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and thanks to deep Threat for the Perry Como, What’s not to like about Perry Como?

    Not sure whether the plant at 25ac needs a letter S to make it plural?

    The spell check poem reminded me of an old riddle.

    The farmer sows his seeds. His wife sews his trousers and so they both sow.

    How should we spell the last word. Sow or sew?

  6. Some oldies and some goodies in this one, plenty of head scratching moments. I puzzled long and hard over 17d trying all sorts of Somerset locations, then came the “doh” moment. New word for me at 7d will have to tore that one away.
    Thanks to DT and setter. By the way Boot the boxer won a prize at dog show for best smile, he sticks one tooth out of his jowl looks like grin.

  7. ” Some typical pieces of General Knowledge and the occasional less common word are typical of our setter.” That just sums up my feelings. Finished in *** time, but can’t say I enjoyed it, I’m afraid. Never heard 3a as an adjective, never heard of 13a, never heard 14a as a condition and I don’t think I have heard 7d before.

    My dear departed mate, Geoff, would have called this a Friday F****r.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. Excellent puzzle. I enjoy the general knowledge content. Never heard of 7d, had to confirm in dictionary that I had derived it correctly. **/****. I liked 5d and 15d with 16d being my favourite.

  9. 1* for me, but l can’t say l particularly enjoyed it, or indeed that any of the clues struck me as particularly praiseworthy. But then l’ve always been a miserable old git, so I’m told, so that’s alright. Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

  10. 7d a new word for me. Many thanks for all the help you all give to learners like me also thanks to bloggers and setters. With regard to difficulty in putting letters into the iPad, I had to delete the app and reinstall and it solved the problem.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous comments so this one needed moderation. Both versions should work from now on.

  11. The reason I liked this one was because I managed to get through it without all the silly mistakes I’ve been making all week. No overall favourite but I liked 22a and 23a. I didn’t need the review today, but thank you anyway DT and loved the poem for 10a. Thanks also to The Don.

  12. I had the opposite experience to the hinter. I got through the top half fairly quickly but got held up a bit in the bottom half. Spoonerisms often catch me out and though I got 15d it took me while to figure out.

  13. Aaahhhggg…I submitted the stupid thing when I was half way through by mistake on the DT online app. What a plum.
    Really enjoying it too…

  14. 16d my favourite in this pleasant and enjoyable solve from The Don. Lots to like and a new word to learn, very gettable from the wordplay. Even the wretched doctor at 15d was fun. Overall 2.5*/3* for me.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, especially for the poem.

  15. Very enjoyable in the manner of the “new Giovanni”, although much as I like Spoonerisms, I think they only work if both phrases are in common parlance and not contrived.

    My favourite and the one that elicited the widest smile was 16d. Cushty, Rodders!

    Thanks to Mr Manley and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

  16. A bit of a stop/start solve for me today , the solutions came in ‘clumps’; not usually a big favourite of long answers but liked 14a, new word for me.
    For a change worked out the spoonerism quite smartly and can’t think why I remembered 13a.
    Never mind , going for a 2.5*/3* like a few others, thanks all very enjoyable.

  17. Very enjoyable for me, and like PLR, I rattled through the top half and slowed down with the bottom half.
    I needed BD’s Mine for 13a, very useful that.
    I don’t like spoonerisms but this one didn’t hold me up much.
    Loved the poem, DT. Fave was 16d, can’t believe I remembered Derek Trotter.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  18. Rattled through most of this at a decent speed but can’t say that I particularly cared for the endings on 3&14a – definitely in my non-words category.
    Goodness knows where I trawled up 13a from but, thanks to Mr K’s recent blog, the 24a composer presented no problems.

    Nothing really ‘floated my boat’ but 22a & 16d came the closest.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – particularly for the 10a poem.

    Now back to the battle with Elkamere – not winning at the moment!

  19. I thought this was pretty good, some oddities but nothing too obscure, and all fairly clued.
    Like MP, I did wonder about the ‘s’ for plural of the flowers – my CED doesn’t give it.
    As Jane, only Mr K’s blog gave me 24a stright away (and yes, I did listen to the death metal version all the way through, and it was brilliant).
    Many thanks to Giovanni for the cruciverbalage and to DT for the blogage. ***/***

  20. Pleasantly taxing with plenty to please the anagram enthusiasts although I’m not among them! GK let me down on 13a and 24d (happy to forget him again now) and 7d not previously in my vocabulary. Can’t say I had heard of Derek Trotter although his 16d alias was in the back of my mind however have to admit that I’m old enough to remember Perry Como (RIP) and his delightful hits of the Fifties including “It’s Impossible” to “Catch a Falling Star” “Till the End of Time”, etc. – thanks for the memories DT and also Giovanni for pleasant exercise.

  21. I got temporarily confused by the Spoonerism (I’m not sure if I like them or not….(probably depends if I can solve them)). Overall a well-clued puzzle and an enjoyable one to boot.

    Thanks to DT and DM 2*/3.5*

  22. Friday can be a bit of a slog with the crossword, but this one was a pleasant diversion – perhaps a 2* at this end. I thought that 5d was nicely constructed, with just the right touch of humour. Favourite – either the preceding, or else 21a (also a smiler). Overall, a nice construction.

  23. Well I enjoyed this crossword a lot. Nice mix of clues making me think a bit more than usual. 20d amused me so that was fave, and 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and DT for the review and poem.

  24. Things like the answer for 20d and the clue for 25a are much more accessible for UK solvers than people like us but managed to get them both with a little help from Google. At least 17d did not require the same sort of specific knowledge even though it looked as if it might. Apart from these clues it all went together smoothly for me.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT (enjoyed your poem).

  25. It seemed odd that the second part of 15d’s answer was also a word in the clue.
    A generally enjoyable puzzle which took me another notch or two up the learning curve, especially in the GK area.
    I have searched and searched the site but cannot find any guidelines on how the Difficulty and Enjoyment rating stars are awarded – maybe there are none?

    1. You are not a proper Charlie. I am with you with regard to this. The fact that piece was in the clue put me off and I only completed it having put in 14a when nothing else fitted. Was “a piece” essential in the clue?

      1. Thank you Weekendwanda – glad it wasn’t just me. The words ‘a piece of’ are unnecessary in the clue, surely. Or it could have said ‘an item of’. Ah well, time for Saturday’s now – accompanied by a luxurious lie-in and a bucket of tea. Wonderful!

  26. This one was on the tame side from G, but still very good – about on a par with yesterday’s and for me joint best of the week. 2.5*/3.5*.

  27. Enjoyed this one, though reached for aids to get the intersecting pair of 25a/20d. I’d forgotten the plants, but should have got them from wordplay – as I should have seen 20d, which was just a silly caused by my conviction that it would end in IN (ING – G). How many times have we been told not to get fixated on one idea?

    So I should have done better, but enjoyed the crossword. Unlike some, I thought it definitely above average difficulty for a back pager, though not the Don at his best/worst (delete according to taste). Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

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