DT 28527 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28527


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28527

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp, grey September morning.

Not many anagrams from Giovanni today, but a lot of charades, where several small items need to be stuck together. One clue of an ecclesiastical nature, and several pieces of General Knowledge, but all obtainable from the wordplay.

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. 


8a           Argument about monarch fulfilling duties? (7)
WORKING – Reverse (about) a three-letter argument, then add a male monarch.

10a         In athletics competition, beat Open University by small amount (7)
OUTRACE – The acronym for the Open University followed by an indeterminate small amount.

11a         Domineering and wicked English queen being imprisoned (9)
IMPERIOUS – A word for wicked, as in disrespectful of the gods, wrapped around English and the Latin abbreviation for queen.

12a         Such a vocation limits this chaos (5)
HAVOC – Hidden in the clue.

13a         Cut organ after demand for silence (5)
SHEAR – A two-letter instruction to be quiet, followed by one of the organs of the body.

14a         Excellent drink knocked back — splendid stuff! (7)
REGALIA – Start with the two letters which look like the alphanumeric rating of ‘excellent’, then add a sort of beer. Then reverse the whole lot.

Image result for royal regalia

17a         Resorting to priest, shy chap gets someone who can deal with emotional problems? (15)

19a         Host with sailor going around in single small vehicle (7)
MINICAB – Put together a two-letter host or presenter and a naval rating, also of two letters, then wrap the result around IN (from the clue) and the Roman numeral for a single.

21a         Saw doctor with ill tot (5)
MOTTO – The ‘saw’ here is an adage or maxim. A two-letter abbreviation for a (military) doctor followed by an anagram (ill) of TOT.

24a         Equipment needed by the Spanish star (5)
RIGEL – Some equipment or gear followed by a Spanish definite article, giving us the star also known as Beta Orionis.

Image result for rigel

26a         Record company no longer gets permits for people leaving the country (9)
EMIGRANTS – The three-letter acronym of a now defunct record company, the one which published the Beatles, followed by a verb meaning ‘permits’.

27a         Viceroy and ambassador go down following king (7)
KHEDIVE – The title of the viceroy of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire. Put together the chess notation for King, the initials of the title given to ambassadors, and ‘go down’ (like a submarine, perhaps).

Image result for khedive

28a         Bird, a female, full of energy — magpie in London’s East End? (3,4)
TEA LEAF – Put together a variety of waterfowl, A (from the clue), and Female, then wrap the result around Energy, to get the Cockney rhyming slang for someone who acts like the magpie in the Rossini opera.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d           Sin was terrible for poetic lovers (6)
SWAINS – Anagram (terrible) of SIN WAS.

2d           Support the fellow’s yen to be a sort of preacher? (8)
PROPHESY – Put together one of the two supports for the hooker in a rugby scrum, the pronoun for ‘the fellow’ plus the ‘S from the clue, and the abbreviation for the Japanese currency. You get a verb describing the sort of preaching that Elijah or Isaiah did.

3d           Greeting, with hesitation, chief in charge of tiered organisation (10)
HIERARCHIC – Put together a short greeting, a vocal hesitation, a word for chief or senior (as in —-bishop of Canterbury), and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

4d           Spent time getting prisoner settled (9)
CONSORTED – One of the usual crossword prisoners followed by a colloquial term for ‘settled’ or ‘arranged’.

5d           The thing about husband, a source of irritation (4)
ITCH – Put together the pronoun for ‘the thing’, a Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, and an abbreviation for Husband.

6d           Mum joins little relative around five — it’s a wonder (6)
MARVEL – Another short word for ‘mum’ followed by an abbreviation of ‘relative’ wrapped around the Roman numeral for five.

7d           Trader in the French sea getting to sing (8)
MERCHANT – The French for ‘sea’ followed by the English word for ‘sing’ which is derived from the French word for ‘sing’.

9d           Stupid person? I don’t believe you! (4)
GOON – If you split this stupid person (2,2) you get an expression of disbelief.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d         Language specialist puts together Mass, one devoted to Our Lady (10)
GRAMMARIAN – A metric unit of mass followed by a Christian with a particular devotion to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary.

16d         Country workers in firm facing threat, not half (9)
STABLEMEN – A word for firm or reliable followed by the first half of a threat (perhaps one coming from Dennis).

17d         Welsh town gym? Gym’s ending with absolutely no cash (8)
PEMBROKE – Put together the two-letter abbreviation for gym lessons at school, the last letter (ending) of gyM, and ‘having no cash’.

18d         One new nurse accompanying journalist, one looking forward to match (8)
INTENDED – Put together the Roman numeral for one, New, a verb meaning ‘nurse’, and the usual crossword journalist. The match here will be in church or a register office rather than a football stadium.

20d         Food — food churning over inside — something lumpy (6)
NUGGET – Two three-letter food items, one reversed and placed inside the other, giving us something lumpy which may also be a food item if preceded by ‘chicken’, or which could buy lots of food if preceded by ‘gold’.

22d         Old saints, if meeting heresy, ultimately become rigid (6)
OSSIFY – Put together Old, the abbreviation for some plural saints, IF (from the clue), and the last letter of heresY.

23d         Colour of container on top of table (4)
TINT – A metal container followed by the first letter of Table.

25d         Woman shifting soil (4)
LOIS – Clark Kent’s girlfriend is an anagram (shifting) of SOIL.

The Quick Crossword pun HALLOWED + HOLLY = HELLO DOLLY

66 comments on “DT 28527

  1. A very good Friday puzzle completed at a gallop, although I did need electronic support for 27a – my knowledge of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century is very limited (= non-existent) – 1.5*/3.5*.

    Instant favourite – 22d – a very good charade/lego clue.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  2. Thanks to your great blog BD my cruciverbal skills have improved greatly and consequently enjoyment of the daily challenge continues to increase – thank you everybody. Today was no exception as this was yet more good fun. Can’t really parse the ‘settled’ synonym (?) in 4a. 24a and 27a added to my vocabulary. Not too keen on 16d and 20d. Favs 28a and 9d. TVM Giovanni and DT.

    1. re:4d – i take it as if you ‘sort’ something out then you ‘settle’ it. i may be wrong though…

  3. Banksie on the pace today, due almost entirely to rain stopping me playing golf.

    Like Angelov above I would not have been able to complete today’s puzzle without the knowledge gained over a couple of years now through this site. Thank you BD and bloggers.

    Sadly, however, I have nothing to stop me going to the gym now. Any ideas appreciated.

    1. Clean out the gutters, paint the house, unblock the drains, have root canal treatment . . . these should all take priority over going to the gym.

  4. Well what a clue!!!!! Should have been in a toughie surely, yes 27a, hats off to anyone who got that without help today!!!! No wonder novices at cryptics sometimes give up, without this site I would have given up ages ago … cheers DT for todays blog … cheers Dave et al for keeping me going :-)

  5. I found this difficult in places but mostly enjoyable. Needed DT’s hint to parse 10a but understood on seeing that the definition is all four first words of the clue. I agree with Angellov about both 16d and 20d. 24a and 27a were new to me too but one of the great joys of these puzzles is learning so much as you desperately Google to find what must be the answer even if you have never heard of the word. 15d took a while to get and I liked 11a, 14a, 17a, 28a, 3d and 22d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  6. Oh dear, it seems as though DG is slowly but surely retreating back into his old shell. Such a shame, I was quite enjoying his new style.
    I confess to starting out with the wrong ending for 4d, which I had to revisit when the parsing wouldn’t work, and also to taking an unconscionable length of time to see the ‘half threat’ in 16d. Like others, I wasn’t keen on either that clue or the one at 20d.

    I did have to verify the star and had certainly never met the Viceroy before today.

    28a takes the single podium place today – the only one that raised even a ghost of a smile.

    Thanks to DG and to DT, to whom I must make a slight protest. The ‘support’ in 2d is not necessarily a sportsman!

    1. But, would you agree that it is a good example of the use of the word, that might be widely known, to assist in solving the clue or should I avoid the temptation to follow DT’s example if it is appropriate for a Virgilius puzzle?

      1. Think I’d have been happier if he’d prefixed it with ‘for example’ or some such. Much as it may surprise you, the sporting reference may well not be known outside of the realms of sports aficionados and long-suffering female crossword solvers!

        1. S & J. But the “prop” in the clue has got nothing to do with rugby anyway, and I can’t understand why DT has introduced that sport into the mix, so the prefix “for example” isn’t required. If it was supposed to be a reference to rugby then “fellow” would be doing double duty. It’s just plain, everyday prop = support, as in a pit-prop for example.

  7. Best challenge of the week for me. Strangely, 6a was the last one in – not sure why. **/****. I rather liked 2d, 16d but I think 28a was my favourite. Fortunately, I had come across 27a before.

  8. I can only say that I agree entirely with D.T.’s comments and rating on this one. Yes – 27a was the nasty one – certainly needed a push from the Thesaurus here!.. a little cheating never did anyone any harm? Always good to encounter a new word or two (although I can’t promise to commit too many to memory). Favourite 28a – fond memories of S. London. Compliments to the setter plus hintsman.

  9. Very enjoyable, though the SW corner defeated me thanks to the star and the Viceroy, as someone said earlier leave obscurities like that to the Toughie.
    The big anagram across the middle got me going, lovely when the first 6 letters jump out at you, it’s then a question of finding the right suffix.
    As ever, a few I could not parse, so I will enjoy going back through the hints.
    I thought jackdaws were supposed to be the thieving birds?
    Many thanks all.
    39° here in Morocco, only thing that cools me down is the lager and the pool

  10. Hello all. Haven’t had a chance to look at the crossword yet. I’m just anxious to know if Merusa had said anything about whether she’s evacuating.

    1. Based on all the reports and forecasts she should be, thoughts and prayers with all those impacted.

        1. Oh dear – even UK television was showing the ‘powers that be’ saying that any who choose to stay are on their own. They won’t risk the lives of others by sending them out to rescue people who have been given so much forewarning. In fairness, I think that’s a perfectly justifiable standpoint.

    2. Thanks, Chris. No, I’m not evacuating. I live near the airport in a house that was built in 1926, and a hurricane that year nearly wiped out the Miami population and the house is still here. The mandatory evacuations are east of US1, i.e., the coastal, low-lying areas. Because my house is so old, it was built on slightly higher land, most of Miami is reclaimed Everglades.

      I have had help preparing and I’m now battened down with hurricane shutters, the house is dark and the lights are on. I’m roasting peanuts and boiling a dozen eggs, I have bread, so I won’t starve, and I have four 1.75L bottles of Famous Grouse, so I’m all sorted. I won’t have ice, but a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.

      They are telling us to allow for power to be off for two weeks, so no air conditioning. I expect the garden will be stripped bare. We’ve done all we can, the dogs, cats and I will just sweat it out.

      This storm is so huge, you’d have to evacuate to Louisiana to get away from it.

      1. All the very best of luck, Merusa. I’m away next week but please keep popping in to the blog when you can, just so that everyone knows you’re OK.

      2. Merusa,I do hope that “you and yours” keep safe – my heart goes out to you and this dreadful situation makes me think back nostalgically to so many happy times in Fort Lauderdale when I lived in the USA (New York) in days of yore.

      3. Same here Merusa. We’re battening down the hatches and hoping for the best. I am preparing our master closet for us to hunker down in when Irma arrives. Just cooked Saturday and Sunday nights dinners and put in refrigerator. Bagging ice as soon as ice maker fills up. Let’s hope and pray we all make is through this one. As you say, there is no where for us to run to. My worst nightmare would be to be stuck in traffic heading north, eating up gas you can’t replace and then it arrives.

        My neighbors were inconsiderate enough to dump patio furniture at the curb and go out of town, leaving us with a nightmare hazard. Other neighbors told us to dump in their pool – so we did…

        Good luck!

        1. I’ve just put a couple of patio chairs in the pool, they’ll be there when the neighbour’s come back, maybe they’ll learn a lesson.

          I’m going to email BD and ask him to send my telephone number to you. Your power and phone should be OK as, being a new development, you have underground facilities. My phone didn’t go out last time, so fingers crossed.

          Good luck to you, I’m glad you’re inland. I think Weston did well in Wilma.

          1. Laughed to hear about your pool story too. Made my day. Our landline phone is somehow linked to the internet so will probably go out. But we are trying to keep cells etc. charged.

      4. Merusa and BusyLizzie – I’ll be thinking of you, but a lady with 7 litres of Famous Grouse ought to be able to ride out any storm. At least it looks like the next one (Jose) is going to stay out over the Atlantic.

        1. It’s just about 1.00 am here and Jose is about 140 miles away. It will be about 85 miles away at its peak. Those that know, predict it will be less than 55 miles away from St Martin by early evening on Saturday as a Cat 4. More devastation on a devastated island.

          For me the big difference is that the USA, which will be hit by Irma and suffer badly, has the resources to sort out any problems. Small island states do not.

          May I suggest that sometimes in Life, there are more important things than crosswords, but over the last seven years or so i have got to know that participants on this Site are a very caring “family”.

          1. I’ve been worrying about the islands and Jose. They certainly don’t need another hit like Irma. I know that I’ll be banned permanently from this site if I make political remarks, but I can’t avoid saying this:

            If this doesn’t persuade Chump that global warming is not a heinous plot hatched by scientists in order to make the government place regulations on their operations, then we have to assume that there is just cotton wool between his ears.

    3. Merusa and BusyLizzie,
      I’m thinking of both of you too.
      Given that the name of the next one, albeit pronounced differently, is the shortened form of the name of our ferocious Elder Lamb I can’t imagine it’s going to be much better.
      Good luck to both of you and yours.

      1. Dreadful pictures on the news and clearly worse to come, wishing all involved the best of luck and hoping you all stay safe.

  11. As Jane has remarked, a whiff of the ‘old’ Don today. I did like many of the clues, but also didn’t like some others (20d for a start), so not really an overly pleasant solve. As is often the case with this style of puzzle, it’s a ***/** today.
    Many thanks to Giovanni all the same, and to DT for the blog.

  12. All very straightforward today and very pleasant. I have come across the Turkish dignitary in my reading but even if I had not I might have got him from the excellent wordplay and so my favourite clue is 27a.

  13. My only gripe would be that perhaps there was too much GK. Otherwise, no complaints and solved at a steady pace. 28a was my favourite, and overall this was 2*/3* for me.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  14. Two words (27a and 24a ) spoiled the fun for me , and also , isn’t 2d something a preacher talks about rather than the preacher him or herself ?
    Otherwise I liked 21a 22d and 28a.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

      1. You’ll see that Deep Threat has underlined “be a sort of preacher” (i.e. a verbal phrase) as the the definition so that matches the verb which is the answer.

  15. I was utterly defeated by 16d. Would never have worked that one out in a month of Sundays.

    Found 19a and 24a with the elctronic aids, but needed the excellent hints to parse them.

    Did get the viceroy , though, so should be pleased about that I suppose.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the hints.

  16. I managed to put ‘blackfriar’ into 15d, just because of the checking letters. Thought that I would work it out later. Gave myself an enormous headache with the SE corner. How many times have I been told, if you can’t parse it, don’t put it in. When will I learn?
    24a and 27a were new to me. 18d made me chuckle. I went through every type of sport/fan etc until the penny dropped. All in all though, a good, fun puzzle. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  17. Shame I can’t post images, as I have a lovely cartoon for 17a. I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but … it’s a man painting a sign on a door:


    A passer-by is pointing out: “That should be all one word!”

  18. Solved slowly on the train from Mallaig to Glasgow. The scenery prevailed over the crossword. Enjoyable but some tricksy clues. Glasgow on a Friday night. Bring it on.

  19. Done except for the last four letters of 27A. New word for me. 28A and 21D are my picks today. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  20. In 10a could the “small amount” be PACE making the clue OUTPACE? Makes more sense than outrace to me..

    1. Welcome to the blog,Malley1. The Open University is OU which leaves 5 letters for the small amount which is a TRACE.

  21. Clue for 2 down is misleading.
    I thought the answer had to be “prophesy”. This is a verb.
    “A sort of preacher” surely indicates that the answer is a noun.
    Even if you make it into a noun (prophecy), a prophecy isn’t a “sort of preacher”.
    So I spent a few minutes being grumpy.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Margaret. You’ll see that Deep Threat has underlined “be a sort of preacher” (i.e. a verbal phrase) as the the definition so that matches the verb which is the answer.

  22. When I went to add a comment I had one of those word tests to prove that I am human which I failed four times as at least one of the letters was illegible. I thought
    the silly season was over! Now of course it has disappeared Nice crossword **/*** favourite 9 down

  23. For the second day in a row I didn’t finish. Even more shaming, I knew 27a as I read a book about General Gordon (mad as a shad), and the Mahdi and the whirling dervishes, very interesting. I didn’t get 16d or 19a either. Brain gone soft I think.
    My fave was 28a, at least I remembered that.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for his hints. Oh, thanks for the Goons, made my day.

  24. Well, apart from all the mistakes that everyone has made I had few problems. But I triumphed eventually. I liked 28a and 22d; can’t decide which I liked best. Sorry Kath.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review. Fingers crossed Merusa…

  25. For the most part a * for difficulty, but 27ac pushed it into a ***. The K was obvious, and the ambassador, but the rest could have been many things.

  26. Happy to report that one of our team knew both the star and the viceroy so it all went together smoothly for us An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  27. Found a lot of these clues too convoluted and complicated today, but it’s probably because I got little sleep last night, lying worrying whether we and our daughters families will still have homes by the time Hurricane Irma leaves here late Sunday. like Merusa, we have done everything we can to prepare, closing hurricane shutters, we have hurricane rated doors, car will be in the garage and are stocked with bottled water and canned food. If the roof stays on, and we are without power for days and not weeks or months, we’ll get by. But as long as people get through, everything else can eventually be fixed.

    1. You have mail.

      Good luck to you and your family, Merusa and everyone else in the path of Irma

      1. Thank you. We’ve been here 35 years, so we were due the big one. But better than an earthquake or tornado with no or little warning,

  28. I bolted through this one (1*/3*) and then turned to the Elgar Toughie. Talk about pride coming before the fall! Still, thanks for the workout to the Don. And thanks to DT too.

  29. I always enjoy a G puzzle on a Friday and this was no exception. Not is most difficult, for sure, so I’ll rate in on a par with yesterday’s Ray T. 2.5*/3.5*.

  30. Done in a break from the Elgar battle yesterday, I perhaps wasn’t in the best mood for this. I actually completed less of it than that (albeit taking a bit less time) before getting my pet hinter to hint me the rest. Enjoyed what I did. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

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