DT 28551 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28551

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28551

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs.

A fair slice of GK required to solve today’s Giovanni, though the cluing is, as always, perfectly fair. This one took me longer to solve than the Toughie I blogged yesterday.

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           It may mean junk ends up as junk! (9)
SHIPWRECK – Cryptic definition of what may cause a Chinese sailing vessel to turn into a pile of scrap.

9a           Something not what it seems? This person’s about to get very cross (6)
MIRAGE – Reverse (about) a shorter way of writing ‘this person is’, then add ‘get very cross’.

10a         Lights by promontory shown in picture (9)
LANDSCAPE – Lights, as in ‘stops flying’ followed by another word for a promontory.

Image result for constable hay wain

11a         Hunter‘s drink — not the first (6)
CHASER – Double definition, the second being a drink taken to wash down a previous one.

12a         Composer in Swiss city with beer mug (9)
BERNSTEIN – The Swiss city famous for its bear pits, followed by a German beer mug, giving us the composer of West Side Story and The Chichester Psalms.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a         Article penned by a foreign Socialist is not perused (6)
UNREAD – A foreign word for ‘a’ and the colour associated with Socialists, wrapped around an indefinite article.

17a         Edmund falling over in pit (3)
DEN – Reverse (falling over) a diminutive version of the name Edmund.

19a         Criticise a revolutionary for grand manner (7)
PANACHE – Put together a three-letter word for ‘criticise’, A (from the clue), and the usual crossword revolutionary.

20a         Someone who sees what you can see (7)
OCULIST – Cryptic definition of someone who assesses your eyesight.

21a         Black bird rolls over in this bundle (3)
WAD – Reverse (rolls over) a black bird notorious for snapping up shiny objects.

23a         Saint in ruin needing money (6)
MARTIN – Put together another word for ‘ruin’ or ‘damage’ and some elderly slang for ‘money’, to get the name of the patron saint of Tours.

Image result for st martin of tours

27a         Terrible US baddies must be set free from wrong ideas (9)
DISABUSED – Anagram (terrible) of US BADDIES.

28a         Veto is exercised in council (6)
SOVIET – Anagram (exercised) of VETO IS.

Image result for supreme soviet

29a         Carpet material by edge and at the back (9)
REPRIMAND – Put together a corded material rarely seen except in crosswords, the edge of a glass, and AND (from the clue).

30a         Blunders made by English bishop at back of basilica (6)
ERRATA – Put together English, the initials of the title given to bishops, AT (from the clue), and the last letter of basilicA.

31a         See red and act violently, bringing 6 (9)
DESECRATE – Anagram (violently) of SEE RED and ACT, giving a word which means the same as the answer to 6d.


2d           Blissful place in the avenue (6)
HEAVEN – Hidden in the clue.

3d           Quiet editor, worker who pays attention to good grammar? (6)
PEDANT – Put together the musical symbol for quiet, the abbreviation for EDitor, and one of the usual worker insects.

4d           Declaim as English Conservative joining in ceremony (6)
RECITE – Insert English and Conservative into a word for a ceremony.

5d           Bill coming up — what is charged is something fanciful (7)
CAPRICE – Reverse (coming up) an abbreviation for a bill or account, then add what a seller charges a buyer.

6d           Is husband getting on held in serious ignominy? (9)
DISHONOUR – Put together IS (from the clue), Husband, and ON (from the clue), then insert the result into a word for ‘serious’ or ‘grim’.

7d           Leader of society wants fairness organised without any frills (4,5)
SANS SERIF – The first letter (leader) of Society followed by an anagram (organised) of FAIRNESS, giving us a plain and unadorned typeface, like the one used for this blog.

8d           Rob and Pete dread being made to look silly (9)
DEPREDATE – Anagram (being made to look silly) of PETE DREAD.

14d         Someone having agents to sort out party mess (9)
SPYMASTER – Anagram (to sort out) of PARTY MESS.

15d         English partygoers? They get into the groove (9)
ENGRAVERS – A slightly longer abbreviation for ENGlish this time, followed by some (possibly illegal) partygoers, giving us people whose job is to make grooves in materials.

Image result for engraver

16d         With stress beginning to spread around, I had bad things happening (9)
ACCIDENTS – Another word for the stress put on a syllable when pronouncing a word, followed by the first letter (beginning to) of Spread, with the result then wrapped around I (from the clue).

17d         One day rising to find dampness (3)
DEW – Reverse (rising) the short form of one of the days of the week.

18d         Sign of approval in words regularly trotted out (3)
NOD – Alternate letters (regularly trotted out) of iN wOrDs.

22d         Irritability in an east Texas city (7)
ABILENE – Put together AN (from the clue) and East, then wrap the result around a bodily fluid, an excess of which was belied to cause irritability.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24d         Author with obstacle, not finishing (6)
BARRIE – Remove the final letter (not finishing) from a physical obstacle, to get the author of Peter Pan.

Image result for j m barrie

25d         Drink repeatedly being knocked over leads to grumble (6)
MURMUR – Take two instances of a strong drink which kept the Royal Navy going for many years, then reverse (being knocked over) the result.

26d         Note put up: ‘We need this for cheese-making’ (6)
RENNET – Reverse (put up) a familiar term for one of our currency notes.

The Quick Crossword pun MELON + EASIER = MELANESIA

56 comments on “DT 28551

  1. Well, all completed in *** time, but I found the NE corner quite hard work. 8d isn’t a word I use very often, and I wasn’t aware of that meaning of 7d. As soon as I spotted the anagram fodder, for some reason it screamed “French” at me.

    I will admit that I had to use a map to find 22d.

    Last one in, and therefore my COTD, was 11a; a sweet little clue.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  2. 3*/2*. This was fairly challenging but lacking in sparkle for me with a lot of wordy clues, although I did like 1a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. Oh dear, not my day – I got 9a completely wrong – I put in ‘PIRATE’ and moved quickly on, and then I put in ‘MASTERSPY’ into 14d and that completely screwed me up!

    8d was a new word to me!

    1. I had PIRATE too and I thought my logic was pretty solid. IRATE for the very cross person and PIRATE as in pirate video for the thing that was not what it seemed. The hint that this person was reversed (IM becoming MI) missed me completely. NW and SE went in quickly and 23a slowed me a bit. I’m not used to the money term. I’m not a big fan of the little clues in the middle, yoy can solve them without knowing. Pretty irate about parsing 9a wrong but not a bad crossword.

  4. In a reverse of yesterday it was the North which went in first. Made life difficult for myself by putting errors in 30a. Not sure whether or not I was previously aware of 8d. Had never thought about the meaning of 7d but it became my Fav when the penny dropped even though it is mostly anagram. Thank you Giovanni for much fun and DT for hinting.

  5. 3*/3* felt about right for this GK-heavy offering from The Don. The whole thing felt a little leaden without too much humour. I did enjoy 1a which is my COTD.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  6. I quite liked it. No great holdups today. 1.5*/*** No gold medal today, but I liked 1a,11a,19a, 23a, 7d and 22d.

  7. I found most of this straightforward but got into a bit of a mess regarding the SE corner, which just about trebled the time I’d already taken.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni ***/***

  8. Reasonably straightforward, quite enjoyable, and completed at a fast canter, which, given my influenzal condition, was just what I needed from The Don – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 10a, and 29a – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  9. I really enjoyed this. Even the new word at 8D didn’t cause any hold-up. My favorites are 29A, 7D and 22D. Thanks Giovani and DT.

  10. Enjoyable but with a number of clues that I couldn’t fully parse -23a (always forget tin=money), 29a (had to use the BRB to confirm Rep, don’t remember this before but undoubtedly wrong), 6d (missed the serious bit), 8d (once more a word I needed to look up) and 24d (got the Bar but missed the Barrier). Best clue for me was 1a closely followed by 25d, both made me smile.
    As ever worth waiting for a Giovanni Friday😀
    Thx to all.

  11. South east corner too tough for me so thanks to Deep Threat for the explanations (what is rep anyway?) and the setter for clever puzzle

  12. :phew: I’m so glad that everyone else hasn’t said this was a doddle – Friday crosswords are always the ones that make me doubt my marble count.
    The whole thing has taken me ages ending up in the bottom right corner.
    I’m not sure I’ve met 7d before although it’s not totally unfamiliar now that I’ve got it – certainly not one to be slipped into everyday conversation.
    I’ve never heard of the 22d city and had to ask Mr Google for a list of Texan cities.
    I always forget about the 26d note.
    I quite liked 11 and 19a and 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. I had a look at a map of Texas too and discounted the right answer as I didn’t think it was east enough until I cottoned on to the final letter.

    1. That makes be doubly pleased to have finished it unaided.

      Done on the way to, and waiting at, the airport apart from 23a and 24d, which required the more relaxing habitat of home-sweet-home to tease out.
      Re. 23a, is it the de Porres variety, or does he have a namesake?

      3/4 – challenging but fair.
      COTD – 1a

      Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  13. That took a lot of time and thought but I’m really pleased that for the second week running I’ve completed the Don’s puzzle, must be creeping onto his wavelength at last. 7d took longest, It was a classic anagram clue but I couldn’t see it – eventually got a fresh bit of paper and put it all down and suddenly the penny dropped. ***/**** for me, clue of the day has to be 16d. Many thanks to the Don and DT.

  14. Having resorted to looking at a map, I knew that I should be able to recall a musical connection to that place – thank you for providing the answer, DT!
    This was definitely the Don going back to his old ways – it isn’t easy to solve an anagram when the answer isn’t a word you’re particularly familiar with (8d) and I for one had to guess at the diminutive version of Edmund (thank goodness for the checkers).

    Don’t think I’d ever considered the actual meaning of 28a – good one for the memory bank.

    Not much to smile about in this one although I did particularly like 1a and 11a came not far behind.

    Thanks to DG and to DT, who must be looking forward to time out after his double whammy this week!

    BTW I watched a Youtube clip of Mark Goodliffe solving three of last Wednesday’s cryptics ‘before your very eyes’. It took him less than 20mns to rattle through the Indy, Guardian and Times – and that included the time he spent adjusting the screen to show the viewer the full grid and clues for each puzzle as well as learning how to cope with unfamiliar apps for two of the puzzles. Frightening, isn’t it!

    1. Do you have a link please Jane? Mind you, it’ll only make me feel more inept at this solving lark..!

      1. I don’t think you, or any of us, should feel inept. I bet we enjoy the crosswords that we do and I just can’t believe that there’s any time for enjoyment going at that speed.

        1. Have to admit that I’d have agreed with you, Kath, but he even found time to comment on individual clues and allot credit where he felt it was due. Our own Snape came out of it very well!

        2. I suppose I was being slightly OTT with the inept remark. I’ve noticed over the few years that I’ve been solving cryptics that my time spent on them has reduced considerably overall, but I’m not and never will be a speed solver. However, it was quite fun to see how the elite crack on with it!

      2. I feared that someone would ask me that. My IT skills are zero but I know a feline who can probably help. I’ll email her now.

          1. There was actually a comment from one of the setters whose puzzle was covered to the effect that Mark had filled in the grid faster than he could have done!

        1. Thanks to John Bee for the clip!

          Now that the BD site is up and running again … It is recommended viewing if you have 21 minutes to spare … so that is what Read & Write means! Wow!

  15. I was rather hoping our blogger would put up the Abilene song — that’s how I remember first coming across the place!

  16. Game of two halves for me.
    The top half flew in, but the bottom half was harder than watching England play football.
    I had to Google the place in Texas, never heard of it.
    I had a peke at the blog when I was becalmed and saw the comment about money = tin and the material = rep, then it all fell into place.
    Very enjoyable, fav was the composer at 12a.

  17. I am with Senf on this one, This did not give me a great deal of trouble and was a pleasure to solve. May be it is this wavelength phenomenon that gets written about often on this blog. I liked 1a and 20a the best. I do remember a song from my youth that went Sweet A…….e, prettiest town I’ve ever seen.

    1. I think that’s Sweet Adeline, favourite of barbershop quartets. There are also Sweet Adeline groups who are the female equivalent of barbershop quartets, only they can be larger than quartets.

      1. Merusa, Google confims that there is indeed a song called sweet Abeline sung by Waylon Jennings. I have never heard of Sweet Adeline before and will find out more about it and the groups you mention.

  18. Enjoyable backpager today! I really liked 9a and 26d which took me back to a student job in Stilton cheese dairy (years ago).
    I’ll try my luck on the toughie now..

  19. Wotta difference a day makes! I had no problems with this one, but like others I didn’t know 8d, a quick bit of electronic helped solved it.
    I rather liked 11a, with 9a as runner up.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for his hints and pics, not forgetting the song at 22d.

  20. Quite tricky, but well clued as always. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  21. We always seem to find this particular grid with four almost separate quarters more challenging, and that was the case today. It all went together smoothly but not quickly. Elegantly put together clues as usual.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. Really struggled today. Left it alone for a few dog walking hours and came back to fill in the west side. That’s when I admitted defeat. In my defence I did get 12a.

  23. Another fairly challenging one, not helped by a pretty disconnected grid. Last in 20ac, which I didn’t know and had to look up.

  24. Whew! That took some brainwork. The SE corner nearly did for me until the repeated drink at 25d saved the day. Favourite was 29a even though it was a lego clue, and overall 2.5/4*.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the workout, and to DT for the review.

  25. After two bad days I hoped to do better today. I got quite carried away with myself when the first nine across clues went straight in, but then the brakes went on and it took me longer to solve the down clues. 8d totally never used, and also forgot tin = money, holding me up. Thanks to Deep Threat for the hints which got me back on track. Need to redeem myself tomorrow so hopefully not too tough.

  26. Despite being a tad on the austere side, this was very good from the consistent G. I’d rate in the same as yesterday’s Ray T. 12a: I never knew you could spell Berne (the French version apparently) without the end E – the little things you learn by doing crossword puzzles! 3*/4*.

  27. I wasn’t sure 8d was a real word so looked it up. I didn’t know 22d and, suffering from a bit of the first word of the clue, just came to the blog for that one. I liked 1a and 11a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  28. Finished this one, but thought 23a a bit perverse! Couldn’t work out why it was Martin. Thanks for the explanation. Wife and I just getting back into the cryptics. Hoping to stop our brains getting totally addled.

    1. Welcome to the blog, RickandRon. Now that you’ve introduced yourselves I hope we hear from you on a regular basis.

  29. Took me a while but got grid all completed in the end. Liked 1a, 15d and 25d. Think hint for 16d should say ‘wrapped around ID’ (I’d from I had in clue). Many thanks to setter and bloggers – I always enjoy checking here whenever I get to do crossword though I don’t often comment as usually a day or so late.

  30. Had to look at a map of Texas to get 22d and toyed with Sans Fries for a while in 7d. Just a bit of salad will do.
    8d was new to me.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

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