DT 28581


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28581

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey and blustery day.

Once again I found nothing particularly difficult or obscure in today’s Giovanni, and fairly rattled through it. Thanks to the Friday master.

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           A loveless sign? So be it! (4)
AMEN – A (from the clue) followed by a sign or portent with the letter that looks like a love score at tennis removed.

3a           Gives gears thrashing, like angry driver? (10)
AGGRESSIVE – Anagram (thrashing) of GIVES GEARS.

9a           Volunteers doubling up for so long (2-2)
TA-TA – The acronym for the former name of the Army Reserve, repeated (doubling up).

10a         Angry group of magistrates should be impartial (10)
CROSSBENCH – Another word for ‘angry’ followed by a collective noun for the group of magistrates sitting on a case, giving us someone in the House of Lords who does not belong to one of the party groupings.

11a         Number competent that can be kept (7)
TENABLE – A cardinal number followed by ‘competent’.

13a         Wicked end to week, a kind you don’t want to finish (7)
SATANIC – Put together an abbreviation for the last day of the week, A (from the clue), and another word for ‘kind’ or ‘pleasant’ with its last letter removed.

14a         Enjoyment of naughty cat in act of destruction (11)
DELECTATION – The act of destruction applied, for example, to an unwanted e-mail, wrapped round an anagram (naughty) of CAT.

18a         Foreign father with broad smile had to travel around (11)
PEREGRINATE – Put together a foreign word for ‘father’, a broad smile, and ‘had’ (for breakfast).

21a         Working in café, Jane’s ending as one who’s found her man (7)
               Paper version: Lady looking forward to the match? (7)
FIANCÉE – Anagram (working) of IN CAFÉ followed by the last letter of JanE. Nice to see that the anagram fodder includes the é in the right place.
Paper version: Cryptic definition of someone preparing for a personal match, rather than a sporting one.

22a         The old man, short character that is often very colourful (7)
PALETTE – An informal word for ‘the old man’ or ‘father’, followed by a character of the alphabet with its ending removed.

Image result for palette

23a         Pet? It ceases to wander around in the morning (7,3)
SIAMESE CAT – Anagram (to wander) of IT CEASES, wrapped around ‘in the morning’.

Image result for siamese cat

24a         Spot troublesome animal in garden? (4)
MOLE – Double definition: a spot or blemish on the skin; or one of the little pests that tunnels under your lawn.

25a         They initially organised squatting protest about nothing in passage (10)
TRANSITION – Put together the first letter (initially) of They, ‘organised’, and an old-fashioned student protest wrapped around the letter which looks like a zero.

26a         High-class violin not the first requirement for jazz (4)
TRAD – Remove the first letter from the abbreviated name of a violin made by a famous Cremonese maker, and you get a variety of jazz.


1d           Height of talent learner’s shown for piano (8)
ALTITUDE – Start with a word for ‘talent’ or ‘gift’, then replace the Piano with Learner.

2d           Catch fish after getting new net (8)
ENTANGLE – Anagram (new) of NET followed by ‘go fishing’.

4d           Shrub needing good ‘ack? (5)
GORSE Good followed by the sort of animal that a (h)ack is, with the initial H similarly removed.

Image result for gorse

5d           Taking it easy, is inside, not giving in (9)
RESISTING – Put IS (from the clue) inside ‘taking it easy’.

6d           Wealthy firm (11)
SUBSTANTIAL – Double definition, both adjectives referring to a metaphorical or actual solidity.

7d           Being victorious but not initially in baseball division (6)
INNING – Remove the initial letter from ‘victorious’ and you get one of the nine divisions of a baseball game.

8d           Branch of philosophy, hard one for unorthodox sect to grasp (6)
ETHICS – Anagram (unorthodox) of SECT wrapped round Hard and the Roman numeral for one.

12d         Wolves keeping supporters outside, walkers with their kit? (11)
BACKPACKERS – Some political or financial supporters wrapped around the collective noun for wolves.

15d         Soldiers in a salute showing assent (9)
AGREEMENT – A (from the clue) and ‘salute’ wrapped around the way an officer may refer to the soldiers under his command.

16d         Area 26 set up somewhere in Devon (8)
DARTMOOR – Put together another word for ‘area’ or ‘space’ and the answer to 26a, then reverse the lot to get an upland area in Devon.

Image result for dartmoor

17d         Cleric is right, always having the last word? (8)
REVEREND – Put together Right, ‘always’, and another way of referring to ‘the last’.

19d         Cricket side determined to get compensation (6)
OFFSET – One of the sides of the cricket pitch followed by ‘determined’ or ‘fixed’,

20d         Part of Japan, a magnificent country (6)
PANAMA – Hidden in the clue.

22d         Letters at bottom of page about the French philosopher (5)
PLATO – A three-letter acronym written at the bottom of a page to indicate that there is more material on the other side, wrapped around one of the forms of the definite article in French, producing a Greek philosopher.

The Quick Crossword pun PURSE + WADER = PERSUADER



  1. MalcolmR
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have to admit defeat on this one. It was the SE corner that did it for me. The combination of 26a & 16d meant I had to resort to outside help.

    18a was a new word to me, but fairly easily built up from the clue. For reasons I can’t quite fathom, 12d was COTD.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT

  2. Beaver
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Firstly basically agree with DT on a **/***.
    Steady solve with no hold ups, a plethora of long clues today, had a tendency to bung in the answer then work out why ?
    Liked18a and 12d and the cluing in general.
    The pony in the pic looks rather fierce to me, needs a haircut.
    Thanks all -ready for Fridays curry and ale.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    1* / 4*. This was light and fun with mostly relatively brief clues. Was this really Giovanni?

    18a is one of sister’s favourite words so is something I am familiar with. 14a was my favourite, and if I were a betting man I’d put money on it being the favourite of another of our regular bloggers!

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

    • Shropshirebloke
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      You beat me to asking the same question RD. I too wondered if Giovanni compiled today’s crossword puzzle. Sometimes I make a puzzle more difficult for myself than needs be and today was one of those occasions. Had I not spelled 17 down incorrectly I wouldn’t have needed to spend so long looking for a word to fit 24 across. Once the penny dropped I completed in what was I think for me a record time for a Giovanni. Thanks for an enjoyable solve sir.

    • miffypops
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The word works for me RD. “I am the highway and a peregrine and all the sails that ever went to sea”

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The word at 18ac that is. Silly me.

  4. Senf
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    While solving, at a fast gallop, I began thinking was this really a Giovanni, but I will take DT’s word for it, very enjoyable – * or **/****.

    Contenders for favourite – 18a (I did have to check this one in the BRB), 25a, and 4d – and the winner is 25a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  5. Young Salopian
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    If this was indeed compiled by The Don it was certainly at the easier end of his setting spectrum. Unusually for a very straightforward puzzle, this one was tremendously enjoyable due to the excellent clueing and the sense of fun throughout. I liked 1 and 10a but my favourite was 14a. Overall this was 1.5* /4* with many thanks to Giovanni, if it was indeed he, and DT.

  6. RayS
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with the rest of you so far, quite an easy solve today, albeit enjoyable. */***. Dead-heat between 14a and 18a for me.

  7. jane
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My word, the Don is in a good mood – really enjoyed this one and encountered no problems along the way.

    Top three spots going to 13&14a along with 17d.

    Many thanks to DG (more like that, please!) and to DT for an excellent blog.

  8. PLR
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Managed to get this done very quickly, nothing esoteric, nothing that made me chuckle and nothing to rave about. If I had to pick a top clue it would either be 12d or 18a. I think the reviewer’s rating is fair.

  9. Jaylegs
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think that DT was a bit mean with the enjoyment rating ☹️ I will proffer **/**** 7d was a new word for me. Favourites 10a, 4 & 22d. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT enjoyed the Ackerman Bilk clip 😃

  10. Brian
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Giovanni at his gentlest but the ate in 18a does not sit well with me although the rest of the clue made solving easy.
    Shouldn’t 7d be innings or have the Americans changed the cricketing term?
    I think he saved his weird word for the Quickie with a word for an anchor which was new to us. Perhaps you need to be a sailor!
    For me **/*** (would have been one star but for 18a)
    Thx to all

    • Expat Chris
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      A baseball inning is correct.

  11. Expat Chris
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t think it was that easy, but I did it without e-help. 18A was new to me and my favorite because it’ such a lovely word.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Forgot my manners! Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  12. Gwizz
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nothing to cause any hold ups today. Is this really a Giovanni? It didn’t quite do the job for me I’m afraid. It was OK but nothing more. 18a was probably favourite simply because it’s not a word that one regularly meets up with! 2/‘3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni ( if indeed it is he) and to DT for the review.

  13. Giovanni
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The setters of weekday puzzles are anonymous, but I would warn you not to assume that setters can always be typecast. This puzzle does look very familiar to me, I have to say.

    • Orphan Annie
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for popping in and thank you for some lovely words. Both 14 and 18a filled me with delight. I usually struggle on Friday but today I was fine.

  14. silvanus
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think the solutions to 1a and 17d were very Giovanni-like, so no doubts from this solver as to today’s setter. (Late edit: I posted this before seeing the previous comment too!)

    Unusually for me, I found myself ticking as many as six clues, I don’t recall that ever happening before on a Friday! The ones to float my boat particularly were 3a, 23a, 1d, 2d, 12d and 22d.

    Many thanks to Mr Manley and to DT, and a good Remembrance weekend to all.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In other words, you usually tick fewer than six clues :wink:

      • silvanus
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply


  15. pommers
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m a bit surprised that most of you found it so easy. We got only five of the acrosses but ten downs came to the rescue a bit. Very enjoyable we thought so we’ll say **/****. Favourite was probably 20d for its great surface.

    Many thanks to the Don, I think it is one of his, and also to DT.

  16. Merusa
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m in the gentle Giovanni camp today, I even knew 18a. It’s one of the words that sound like what they mean, like tintinnabulation.
    My fave is 23a, guess why? Followed closely by 14a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review. Loved the pic at 16d!

  17. Howitzerx3
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Straight forward and very enjoyable.

    Think the clue for 21a is different online to the newspaper version.

    Clue of the day 12a

    1.5 / 4

    Thanks to DT and the setter.

    • Howitzerx3
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink | Reply


      Clue of the day should have been 12d

  18. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The margins of our printed out copies are totally free from working out jottings. A sure sign that it had all gone together smoothly for us and as always, a pleasure to deal with such well crafted clues.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  19. Heno
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. It was very gentle, but I was held up a bit by 1’s, last two in. I liked 2d,but I have seen it before, so my favourite was 11a. Was 1 ✳ / 3 ✳ for me.

  20. crypticsue
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As a lover of splendid words, what could be better than 18a. I’m also intrigued by the secret life of our friend in Anglesey as outlined in the online clue for 21a

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT too

    • Merusa
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Do you think that was Giovanni giving a friendly nod to one of our favourite commentariat?

    • stanXYZ
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Splendid words … I haven’t heard “Delectation” since Leonard Sachs said it in “The Good Old Days” many years ago.

    • jane
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m a paper solver so hadn’t even seen the ‘Jane’ clue until I looked at the review.
      All I can say is that I volunteered for several years in the Wildlife Trust café in Breakwater Park, Holyhead and I never set eyes on said man……………….

  21. Jon_S
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A definite * for difficulty here. My only real trouble was on 18ac, where I only vaguely knew how to spell the answer, and wasn’t sure about the foreign father bit. The second E was therefore a guess, and a lucky one.

  22. BusyLizzie
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not in the best mindset today, and found this tough going, so probably need to go in the dunce’s corner. Just could not get on the wavelength and thus throwing in the towel early.

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    25a held me up (l was working on the assumption that the word “in” was part of the definition) and edged me into ** time. 16d was good, and indeed l would be able to see it across the border even now if it wasn’t too dark). Altogether, a diverting puzzle for which thanks to the Don. Thanks to DT for the review as well.

  24. Donaldo
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Couple of questions. How does one pronounce the lovely word “peregrinate”? Or, more precisely, on which syllable is the emphasis? Secondly, which day is the last day of the week: Saturday or Sunday? 13ac produced dining time debate this evening.

    • bonkersconkers
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It should be ‘perEGrinate’ (despite the related meaning in ‘peregrINE Falcon’ having different emphasis).
      I was always told that Saturday is the last day of the week – which I think is correct!

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Great question Donaldo. Peregrinate is pronounced with hard consonants as it reads. I think (but may be wrong) that we consider Monday to Friday to be weekday puzzles like chicken and poultry is a weekday meal and the prize puzzles on Saturday and Sunday are weekend puzzles. Therefore the week ends on a Friday.

      • bonkersconkers
        Posted November 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        You are right about ‘peregrination’ – but I suspect that ‘peregrinate’ is right either way! (I’ve certainly come across both pronunciations in my time).
        Depends on whether ‘end of week’ is a reference to the crossword scenario or to the ‘calendar week’. Maybe Giovanni can tell us what was intended?

        • bonkersconkers
          Posted November 11, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink | Reply

          The solution to this Q is actually given in the hints.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 11, 2017 at 12:37 am | Permalink | Reply

      The first day of the week is Sunday, so Saturday is the last day. How did you learn the days of the week when you were little? You started with Sunday. Sadly an unavoidable mixture of general usage and general ignorance means that, for most people who now enjoy a two-day weekend (unheard of for generations before the industrial revolution, and indeed many jobs today) the first day of the week is when they go back to work. Even more sadly, Lett’s is now the only diary publisher to start its weeks on a Sunday.

      • miffypops
        Posted November 11, 2017 at 1:15 am | Permalink | Reply

        Ah great answer Tom. But we live in crosswordland where different rules apply.

        • Tstrummer
          Posted November 11, 2017 at 1:31 am | Permalink | Reply

          A great answer – and also the right answer both in crosswordland and across the border.

          • Tstrummer
            Posted November 11, 2017 at 1:38 am | Permalink | Reply

            … and the Don, being well-versed in matters of Christian religion, clearly agrees.

      • Jose
        Posted November 11, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

        In my world, the real world, Monday is the first day of the week and always has been in my lifetime – and I go back a fair few decades.

      • Jose
        Posted November 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Also, international standard ISO 8601 decreed that Monday is the first day of the week.

  25. Tstrummer
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 12:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Don and I have not always seen eye to eye, but I thought this was a delightful puzzle, with 25a being one of a number of stand-out clues. Done this morning in hospital quite quickly, which attracted the wide-eyed admiration of Beth, my nurse. Thanks to DT for the blog and to DG for the chance to show off. 1/4

  26. Angellov
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 12:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Better late than never but just to say that as usual I enjoyed a romp through today’s offering from Giovanni with just a couple of hiccups in the SE. 18a was Fav, I think, after saying it out loud several times in an effort to substantiate my pronunciation. Thanks to The Don and DT for a gentle ride.

  27. David Kelly
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Too hard for me. Gave up in the end.

  28. Jose
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    This was very good, but not quite up to G’s usual excellence. Still enjoyable,though. Like some others have mentioned, it somehow didn’t “feel” like a G production. 2.5* / 3*.

  29. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted November 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff.
    Vety late.
    No problems.
    Thanks all.

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