DT 28575 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28575


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28575

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs this grey November day.

Today’s crossword is very much what we expect from Giovanni, the Friday master. Fair clues with a dash of misdirection in the surface reading lead to the untangling of a variety of answers.

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           Put briefly, tot gets angry when about to get out of bed (10)
SUMMARISED – Start with a word for ‘tot’ or ‘add up’, then add another word for angry wrapped around ‘get out of bed’.

6a           Ruler in Bundestag hated (4)
AGHA – Hidden in the clue is a Turkish commander.

9a           Demanding supervisor marks a test unreasonably (10)
TASKMASTER – Anagram (unreasonably) of MARKS A TEST.

10a         Simply fair (4)
JUST – Double definition.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a         Before long minister will disown leader (4)
ANON – A minister of religion who is part of a cathedral chapter, with the initial letter removed.

13a         Board backing state? That can be avoided (9)
AVERTABLE – Another word for ‘state’ or ‘say’ followed by another word for the board at which you may eat your dinner.

15a         Judgement of City is one accepted by academic (8)
DECISION – Put together the letters of the postal district of the City of London, IS (from the clue), and the Roman numeral for one, then wrap a university academic around the result.

16a         Church stands against endless avarice in country (6)
GREECE – Remove the final letter from a word for avarice, then add the abbreviation for the Church of England.

Image result for greece flag

18a         A market suffering setback — you finally admitted emotional shock (6)
TRAUMA – Start with A (from the clue) and another word for market. Reverse the result, and insert the final letter of yoU.

20a         Place from which to look out to sea as one who leads country (8)
HEADLAND – One who leads (a school, perhaps) followed by some country (as opposed to the sea which surrounds it).

23a         Obscure journalist admits trick in formal practice (9)
RECONDITE – A Russian doll of a clue. A formal practice or ceremony is wrapped around the usual crossword journalist, which in turn is wrapped around a trick or cheat.

24a         Cold joint and a bit of fried potato (4)
CHIP Cold followed by the joint at the top of your leg.

26a         Period house to the west of ancient city (4)
HOUR – An abbreviation for house followed by the usual ancient city in the Chaldees.

27a         Sixteen, we deduce, in sturdy vehicle (4-2-4)
FOUR-BY-FOUR – To get sixteen you can multiply two by eight or …

Image result for land rover discovery

28a         Way female poet has expunged line (4)
PATH – Remove the Line from the surname of the poet once married to Ted Hughes.

29a         Female going to match travels with mother in advance (10)
BRIDESMAID – ‘Travels’, especially on horseback, followed by a short informal term for ‘mother’, with a verb for ‘advance an offer’ wrapped around the result.

Image result for bridesmaid


1d           Beastly home of crossword compiler a third demolished (4)
SETT – Remove the final two letters from the six-letter word for a crossword compiler.

2d           Like a lodge, with mum in charge protecting her boy (7)
MASONIC – The same mum as in 29a and an abbreviation for ‘in charge’, placed either side of a male child.

Image result for masonic

3d           Rebuke hot men involved with mad sin (12)
ADMONISHMENT – Anagram (involved) of HOT MEN and MAD SIN.

4d           Available numbers turning up, pursuing home on the waves (2,6)
IN SEASON – Put together ‘at home’, the place where waves are found, and then reverse an abbreviation for ‘numbers’.

5d           See, in Devon, old tree crashing (6)
EXETER – A prefix meaning ‘old’ or ‘former’ followed by an anagram (crashing) of TREE.

Image result for exeter cathedral

7d           Good to discover the truth about beef (7)
GRUMBLE Good followed by an informal word for ‘discover the truth’, especially where someone is trying to deceive.

8d           Prepared to be plundering supply of cash? (2,3,5)
AT THE READY – The answer is a phrase meaning ‘prepared’. It could also describe someone going after a pile of cash, where an alternative word for ‘cash’ is employed.

11d         Lady protects terrible old creatures (12)
PTERODACTYLS – Anagram (terrible) of LADY PROTECTS.

Image result for pterodactyls


14d         Newspaper office changed in this period? (10)
EDITORSHIP – This is an office held by a person, not the building where the newspaper is produced. The answer is an anagram (changed) of THIS PERIOD.

17d         Put off and fed up, having made mistake (8)
DEFERRED – Reverse (up) FED (from the clue), then add ‘made a mistake’.

19d         Version of story that bank may offer (7)
ACCOUNT – You have one of these if you keep your money in a bank.

21d         Unknown character about to enter a drowned valley somewhere in USA (7)
ARIZONA – Start with A (from the clue) and a word for a drowned valley, then insert an algebraic unknown and a word meaning ‘about’ or ‘concerning’.

Image result for arizona

22d         Energy very reduced — I work, then start to unwind, right? (6)
VIGOUR – Put together Very, I (from the clue), ‘work’ (as in ‘this car won’t —-), the first letter of Unwind, and Right.

25d         Poke gently with stick (4)
PROD – The musical symbol for softly or gently, followed by another word for a stick.

The Quick Crossword pun FINE + ALLIES = FINALISE

66 comments on “DT 28575

  1. Giovanni at his best, very enjoyable, and completed at a gallop (just) – **/****.

    Contenders for favourite – 16a, 27a, 29a, 1d, 2d, and 8d – pick one.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    P.S. Once again, the Toughie is ‘doable’ and quite enjoyable.

    1. The Toughie … someone recently explained the easy way to find where the Toughie is located inside the paper … namely the bottom left-hand side of the front page has a mini index including “Puzzles”.

      Today it doesn’t seem to be correct … close, but no cigar … should be page 20.

      1. It works in my copy. Says page 20, is on page 20. Perhaps you got some sort of Frankenstein version?

  2. Good morning everybody.

    Another very good puzzle to end a what’s been a very good week. Had to work a bit to round up the stragglers which I think may have pushed me into four star difficulty timewise although all very enjoyable. Couldn’t fathom where 21d came from and still can’t after looking at the hint. Lots of nice clues but I’ll nominate 23a as it was last in and it’s always satisfying to derive a word you don’t know purely from the clue.


    1. The drowned valley is a ria. So we have A RIA wrapped around Z (algebraic unknown) and ON (about), giving us ARIZONA, which is ‘somewhere in USA’.

  3. Enjoyable but straightforward **/*** New word for me in 21d for drowned valley – had the answer, but not sure why. Lots to like15a, 18a, 22a, 4d, 7d,
    8d, 11d, but first place to 29a.

  4. 29a was my last one in to complete the grid and was my COTD in this well-clued and quite testing puzzle from The Don. I certainly did not find it straightforward, but the tussle was well worth the effort and it was a joy to unravel, so 2.5* /4* from me overall.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and to DT.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle, lots of variety. 21d had to be Arizona but needed the hints to parse it – many thanks. Liked 29a . Thanks to the setter.

  6. A couple of new word to me 6a with an ‘h’ in it and 23a – my Wordsearch program and the BRB did the busness!

    A nice fairly straightforward puzzle,

    I’ve just looked at the Blog and seen the explanation for 28a – I had ‘p?t?’ and couldn’t think of what it could be – I settled for ‘Pat’ for the female plus the ‘h’ from ‘has’ – it worked for me. Sylvia Plath never crossed my mind – doh!

  7. V enjoyable finish to the week. Managed without the hints but mych appreciated anyway. 29a last one in as I get the travels and mother parts but didn’t see the advance part but the answer was clear. 11 and 14d fave anagrams. 2d and 22d nicely deduced from the clue too.
    Rest of the week I do the crossword in the subscriber app but Friday I get first dibs at the paper so I am off to try the toughie, wish me luck.

  8. Fooled by Giovanni’s incorrect spelling of13a. My dictionary spells the answer with an i have instead of an a.

    1. Chambers Dictionary, which is the authority as far as Telegraph crosswords are concerned, gives both spellings.

  9. Perhaps it’s my spelling but do the answers to the quick crossword include all the letters of the alphabet?

    1. Welcome to the blog John Hoare.

      The Quick crossword does contain all the letters of the alphabet, so I’m afraid it must be your spelling.

  10. Nothing to beef about here! Enjoyable for me.
    Fave was 28a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints and pics.

  11. Very enjoyable – thanks for the explanation of 21d. Will be adding ria to my LPB (little pink book!!) of useful new words.

  12. Our Friday setter’s gentler side, which is fine with me. I ticked 8D and 11D today. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  13. Yes a nice end to the week **/*** 😃 Favourites 7d & 13a Thanks to DT and to Giovanni. Long may this unseasonable weather continue 😎

  14. A lovely fun puzzle with which to begin the day. If last Friday’s Giovanni caused a little extra head scrstching for some, I felt that today’s was just ideal for those getting ‘into’ cryptic crosswords. Great fun and a pleasure throughout. Thanks G. :-D

  15. 1.5* / 3*. I thought this was a straightforward but generally enjoyable end to the week in spite of a couple of iffy surfaces (20a, 4d). The drowned valley in 21d was a new word for me but it couldn’t have been anything else. My favourite was 8d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Hi RD. What constitutes a good or an iffy surface. I’ve tried the FAQs nothing there I can find. I’ve been meaning to pursue for ages now.

      1. Ray, a good surface is one where the whole clue reads sensibly, e.g. 9a today. An iffy surface is one where it doesn’t, e.g. 4d today.

  16. More gimmes than usual on a Friday – 24a and 27a being the main contenders in that category.

    My dictionary was only required once – to check the “drowned valley”.

    The very nice anagram at 14d takes first prize today … all in all a very enjoyable puzzle.

    So no “grumbles” from me today!

  17. The most enjoyable Friday backpager for quite some time, I thought. Like others, the “drowned valley” was new, but overall the puzzle was fairly solver-friendly and obscurity-free..

    My joint-favourite clues were 29a and 22d.

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

  18. I found this straightforward and enjoyable. The long anagrams were very helpful. I think it was only one letter short of being a pangram. I liked 29a and 1d.

  19. What a lovely crossword to end the week. I usually struggle with the Don’s puzzles and indeed today the first read through didn’t produce much but then it all fell into place. **/****. Don’t think much of 24a in the quickie. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Welcome to the blog Rincewond

      It’s been that way for a long time – so long that it’s made it into the dictionaries!

      Ready – 2.Ready money (slang; also in plural) [Chambers]
      Ready – the ready (informal) short for ready money [Collins]
      Ready – (plural readies) (readies or the ready) British informal available money; cash. [Oxford Dictionary of English]

      1. I thought Chambers was the compiler’s bible?

        The Chambers definition (noun (readies) colloq short form of ready money) clearly indicates ‘readies’ (plural) is the noun. It also indicates Ready (as in ready money) is an adjective. However, the clue ( . . . . supply of cash) indicates a noun is required NOT an adjective..

        The Collins definition (at least the online definition) is . 9. British , Informal ready money; cash at hand – again an adjective.

        The OED definition is more pertinent (but less relevant as Chambers is the bible!) is clear that the noun is ‘The Ready” which is very different from just ‘Ready’

        Sorry. May not be an actual yellow card but certainly a warning :-) !!

        1. “The Chambers definition (noun (readies) colloq short form of ready money) clearly indicates ‘readies’ (plural) is the noun”

          No it doesn’t – it say that ready as a noun is short for ready money and that it can (also) be used in the plural.

          1. The full definition in Chambers of ready as a noun is:

            Ready (noun)
            1.(usu with the) the position of a firearm ready to be fired
            2.Ready money (slang; also in pl)
            3.Time of, or for, making ready (informal)

            1. Clearly a different Chambers!! As always, enough research will find you an expert view that supports almost anything :-)

              The online (the computer says so, it must be correct!) version (http://chambers.co.uk/search/?query=Ready&title=21st)
              noun (readies) colloq short form of ready money
              noun. at the ready 1 said of a gun: aimed and ready to be fired. 2 ready for immediate action. ready, steady, go or ready, get set, go a formulaic expression used to start a race.

              The only reference to cash is via readies. – the plural version.

              Seems we will have to agree to disagree.

              1. My quote was from the latest Chambers Dictionary – the online vesion is not the full version and is not the one used as a reference.

                1. The relevant line from your Chambers full definition is
                  2.Ready money (slang; also in pl)
                  Here Ready Money is a compound noun, ready by itself remains an adjective.
                  As I said – we will have to agree to disagree!

                    1. I think perhaps the disagreement is better described as ‘to do with the validity of the clue’.
                      Solving that clue once a couple of letters were available required little more than the first word of the clue, The balance merely served to confuse!

  20. I seem to be losing my touch with Giovanni puzzles. This has taken 3 sittings and I still don’t understand 21d even with the hint and nor does Mrs B.
    Some nice Giovanni type clues but on the whole very very tough at least for me. Perhaps beginning to get Ray Ts has put a block on my Giovnanni thinking😏
    For me ****/**
    Thx to all

    1. Giovanni’s mystery word this week seems (to me) to be ‘ria’ (= drowned valley, according to Google). Then ‘z’ = algebraic unknown / ‘on’ = concerning’. Have to admit I guessed this one and didn’t bother to parse it at the time!

    2. 21d is A + RIA (drowned valley) containing Z (algebraic unknown character) and ON (about) so A RI Z ON A.

  21. Giovanni in somewhat benign mood today as this crossword did not cause me any problems, well no more than usual! 11d was my fave simply because I haven’t seen this in a cryptic to my knowledge. 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  22. Made a good effort today and feel like I am making progress. Still some way to go before I complete a DT crossword. I find this blog very helpful and entertaining. Thank you

  23. Light and fluffy, but most enjoyable: */****. I liked 7d and 23a. The anagram at 11d was good too. Thanks to the Don, and to DT.

  24. / for me today, as I took ages to complete the crossword, albeit all on my own….. Tiredness is my excuse as local Council kindly sent automated telephone message for me at 3am and, in case I was asleep, 3.05am, Grrr.
    Enjoyed 28a as once met T.H. before the personal tragedy and found both him and poetry fascinating.

  25. 26a I thought period house to the west of ancient city was Westward HOur. Was that too clever of the compiler?

  26. I agree with our reviewer and find I have little more to add. The drowned valley was new to me too.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  27. So relieved to be able to get on the site today, as I kept getting the dreaded inch stall yesterday (when the blue line only gets so far), and then I got a host error message from Cloudfare.
    I thought I was going to finish reasonably quickly today when the first 5 across clues went straight in, but sadly I didn’t do so well after that. Thanks for the hints Deep Threat, especially for 21d.

  28. I thought that I’d seen the drowned valley fairly recently in the DT. Perhaps it was in the Graundia. 5d was my favourite because it caught me out. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DeepThreat.

  29. Still away from home but belatedly able to get around to this and very enjoyable it was too. Forgot spelling of 11d and took a while to recall 23a.
    Fav 8d. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  30. Very enjoyable — but l usually need help with the parsing when British terms are used, e.g. 15a “EC” for City, 7d “rumble” for discover the truth — so l really appreciate your explanations!
    I had a Double Definition for 25d, thinking of “prod” as in “cattle prod,” so another word for “stick.” (But your parsing is better!)

    1. Welcome to the blog, Phyl.
      Do you access Falcon’s review of the Telegraph puzzles as they appear in the National Post? See here.

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