DT 28599 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28599


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28599

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright, cold December morning.

You will need some Biblical and General Knowledge this morning, as well as your Roman numerals, to deal with today’s Giovanni. All fairly clued, as we would expect.

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           Form is stocked with 100 great books (8)
CLASSICS – Another word for a school form followed by IS (from the clue) wrapped around the Roman numeral for 100.

5a           Mount desert animal to cross river (6)
CARMEL – The animal known as ‘the ship of the desert’ wrapped around River, giving us the name of a mountain in Israel associated with the prophet Elijah.

9a           From what we hear, actor Smith loves men fighting (8)
MATADORS – A homophone (from what we hear) of the first name of a recent holder of the Doctor Who role and another word for ‘loves’. These men take part in tauromachy.

10a         English author to obtain from library? (6)
BORROW – Double definition, the first being the surname  of the author of Lavengro and The Romany Rye.

12a         Bank interest rates initially revised after crash (9)
RIVERSIDE – An anagram (after crash) of REVISED and the first letters (initially) of Interest Rates.

13a         A side is amazing (5)
AWING – A (from the clue) followed by the side piece of a large house.

14a         Drop off as junior public schoolboy tackling Latin (4)
FLAG – The name given to junior schoolboys who had to perform menial tasks for senior pupils, wrapped around Latin.

16a         Introduce intellectual, having poured out a drink (5,2)
BRING IN – Remove (having poured out) the A from another word for an intellectual, then add the drink known as ‘mother’s ruin’.

19a         Examination — one of those coming down here is confused! (7)
MEDICAL – This physical examination is an anagram (confused) of one of the Down answers in this crossword. There are two to choose from – 4d and 21d – so take your pick.

21a         Lady’s title provided by steward on arrival (4)
DONA – The title given to a Spanish noblewoman is hidden in the clue.

24a         Greek letter that is half-obscured by an earlier one (5)
THETA – Start with THAT (from the clue), then replace the second half with the name of a Greek letter which precedes our answer in the Greek alphabet.

25a         Partisan as certain as could be (9)
SECTARIAN – Anagram (could be) of CERTAIN AS.

27a         Article by relative that may have been written at university (6)
THESIS – A definite article followed by an informal term for a female sibling.

28a         End of the line — not just for a French supremo (8)
WATERLOO – A London railway terminus named for the battle which finally defeated a French emperor.

29a         After game the female had got her skates on? (6)
RUSHED – The initials of one of the forms of a game played by people with odd-shaped balls, followed by the pronoun for ‘the female’ and a contracted form of ‘had’.

30a         Spoilt child being naughty gets exposed (8)
IMPAIRED – A three-letter word for a naughty or mischievous child, followed by ‘exposed’ or ‘brought out’.


1d           Capturer of pictures of the first person embraced by woman (6)
CAMERA – One of the forms of the first person pronoun is inserted into a woman’s name – Ms Delevingne, perhaps

2d           Voice — it returns in cave eerily (6)
ACTIVE – This is a grammatical voice: an anagram (eerily) of CAVE wrapped around the reverse of IT (from the clue).

3d           Religious meal in which prophet entertains 500 (5)
SEDER – The Roman numeral for 500 inserted into another word for prophet. The answer is a Jewish Passover meal.

Image result for seder

4d           Grumbling, being bothered about parking (7)
CARPING – ‘Being bothered’ or ‘taking trouble’, wrapped around the symbol for a car park.

6d           Notice something being said in worship (9)
ADORATION – A short form of a commercial notice followed by a public speech.

7d           Arrives before one to get into game, rescheduled match (8)
MARRIAGE – Start with an abbreviation for ‘arrives’, add the Roman numeral for one, and put the result inside an anagram (rescheduled) of GAME.

8d           Old-style solicitor with some flaw, a gentleman (3,5)
LAW AGENT – Hidden in the clue.

11d         Swimmer beginning to worry with tide going out (4)
WEBB – The first letter of Worry followed by the technical term for the tide going out, giving us the surname of the first man to swim the English Channel.

Image result for matthew webb

15d         Vital cure could be moneymaking (9)
LUCRATIVE – Anagram (could be) of VITAL CURE.

17d         One to flatter in the most sincere way? (8)
IMITATOR – The sincerest form of flattery, according to the proverb, is …? The answer is the person carrying out that action.

18d         What’s shown by one with endless lolling around? (8)
IDLENESS – An all-in-one clue, where the whole clue is the definition, and the wordplay has the Roman numeral for one followed by an anagram (lolling around) of ENDLESS.

20d         Go over items presented systematically (4)
LIST – Double definition, the first being what a ship going over to one side is doing.

21d         Lecture using new media to entertain 150 (7)
DECLAIM – Anagram (new) of MEDIA wrapped around the Roman numeral for 150.

22d         Bandleader in factory meeting HM (6)
MILLER – A type of factory followed by the regnal cipher of the Queen.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23d         Not informed, as very many may be (6)
UNTOLD – A large number impossible to count may be described as this.

26d         Any number in region where sport can be watched (5)
ARENA – The algebraic symbol for ‘any number’ placed inside a region or zone.

The Quick Crossword pun HARES + PRAISE = HAIRSPRAYS

74 comments on “DT 28599

  1. 3* / 2.5*. Today’s puzzle from the Don was a bit of a mixed bag which was pitched at a nice level of difficulty but which overall felt a bit flat. I thought five obscurities was too many and my inferior version of Silvanus’ repetition radar bleeped due to a double dose of “entertain” as a containment indicator.

    24a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    P.S. My first thought for 22d was:

    until it occurred to me that there was a more famous band leader of that ilk!

        1. Nellie The Elephant has been a constant in the soundtrack of my life. It was there before anything else and will be there at the end.

  2. I have a day off work and this puzzle put up much more resistance than usual, resulting in me already being behind on my list of tasks for the day, but at least I got my priorities right. My wife may not agree.

    I hadn’t heard of the religious meal but a quick google check confirmed my suspicions of the answer gleaned from the wordplay. I’d also not heard of the author, although I quite like discovering new things like this even if it can end up with me spending too long clicking on what look like other interesting links in Wikipedia. Again, not good for my task list!

    Anyway, I agree with RD’s overall impression. Not my favourite puzzle from Giovanni but a good mental workout over a late breakfast, so thanks to him for the challenge and to DT for the review. 3*/2* from me.

  3. Pretty difficult – 2d was a new word to me but I found it in the BRB, I had never heard of 10a but it seemed obvious from the clue. The one that stumped me was 12a – I didn’t see the anagram and it was obvious once I’d read the blog but I’m sorry to say I put in ‘revertive’ for some unknown reason that seemed to make sense at the time.

    Giovanni strikes again, a clever puzzle that I struggled with – it’s good to be stretched sometimes – quite enjoyable but I wouldn’t like it every day!

  4. I don’t understand the reference to 4d in the explanation of 19a ?
    BTW I found today’s puzzle boring – I’m not sure why ! Easy puzzles can be fun . .

    1. Martin, 4d & 21d are the only down answers with seven letters so there are no other possibilities for the anagram fodder for 19a.

  5. Sorry, not my cup of tea at all. Three quarters finished:- never heard of the woman in 1d, never heard of that voice in 2d, never heard of the meal in 3d, never heard of the solicitor in 8d, never heard of the author in 10a.

    I’m left with 6 unfinished clues in the SW corner. Can I be bothered? No. Time to put my boots on, take a walk in the woods to get my soaring blood-pressure down before the Aussies send it up again.

    Thanks to DT.

  6. Found this difficult today and I still don’t see how 19a can be an anagram of 4d? 21d yes but how 4d? thanks for hints DT … not one of my favourite crosswords today

    1. It isn’t. As Rabbit Dave says in his reply to Martin M above, there are only two Down clues with the same number of letters as 19a. My hint drew attention to which clues they were, but didn’t tell you which one to choose. It’s meant to be a hint, not the answer.

  7. Thank goodness for 24a , the best clue of the week ( month so far) ,this was my last one in , in a crossword that had far too many GK bits !! .Still enjoyed putting it all together , although it did take time . ****/*** Thanks to DT and setter

  8. Another very enjoyable end to the work week, slowed down to a fast canter for this one, with a couple of clues that I had to see DT’s hints to fully understand, good to see the first Channel swimmer popping up again – **/****.

    Stand-out favourite – 17d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  9. :smile: Oh good – thought it was going to be another ‘just me’ day – I found this really difficult.
    I didn’t understand why 24a was what it had to be and neither did I understand my answer to 2d.
    I’ve never heard of the 3d meal or the 10a author but they were easy enough to guess and look up.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 12a for far too long.
    Generally just not my day, I think.
    I liked 24 and 28a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. Definitely not just you – I have it marked as a Wrong Envelope Day crossword. I had heard of the meal and the author and so on but it definitely took me longer than I’d expect for an inside back page Giovanni.

  10. A very workoutable puzzle as is usual from Giovanni. Only 19ac took some working out as to why the answer was what it was. Thanks to DT for helping with the understanding of 19ac. Thanks toGiovanni for the puzzle.Play nicely children and I will see you on Monday

    1. I’m sure you know this, Popsy, being a logophile that you are, but, for the other punters, 19ac is not only an anagram of one of the down answers, it’s an anagram of two other words.

      Oh, we do so love anagrams, yes we do.

      1. Gawd bless yer!

        A goodie I spotted recently is ‘Chest roar’ being an anagram of ‘Orchestra’.

        I will now shut-up.

      2. ‘Carthorse’ is also an anagram but I like the relevance of ‘Chest roar’.

        Now, I will shut-up.

  11. So this crossword had a bit more GK than usual? So what? It’s nothing to get upset about. The clues are fair and there’s nothing too difficult and anyway, Friday crosswords are always a little more taxing. Get used to it!
    22d was my fave, ad 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni for a good challenge and to DT for the review.

  12. 3* /3* from me for this quite tricky offering from The Don. I don’t mind some GK, even if I don’t know the answer, as solid clueing got me to the answers. Plus I learnt some new words. Being tested is all part of the fun. 7d was my favourite.

    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  13. Looks like the envelope monitor needs a little chat again. The comparison between yesterday’s Toughie(?) and this offering from the Don is stark. All fine and fair, but not a bundle of fun for me, and it appears I’m not alone. Ne’er mind, they can’t all be favourites.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the RE/history lesson, and to DT for the blog.

  14. Was lulled into a false sense of security as several across clues at top fell easily into place but then it was down to earth with a bump. However all’s well that ends well and I got there in the end. 2d was unparsed and 3d new to me. 17d was Fav once I had dispensed with impostor and 11d ran up. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. 19a was a bung-in for me so I was pleased to read the 2Kiwis comments about the permissibility of the clue. Surprising that the Don would contravene guidelines.

  15. Started of quite smartly in the NW and the top half fell into place-**, things got more difficult in the bottom half ***, so going for a 2.5* 3*.
    Last in 19a which had to be what it was.I can understand the ‘backlash ‘from the bloggers as I thought there must be some sort of error in the clue.
    All clear with DT’S explanation but must say I too was puzzled by the additional reference to 4d till the 7 penny dropped !- take you pick-4d is actually an anagram of ‘craping’ for the record !
    Thanks all, lively puzzle all round, now for the Aussies.

  16. Not my best day.

    Didn’t know the meal, didn’t think of Captain Webb, though I had heard of him and miles away from getting Waterloo.
    Missed the anagram for 12a too.

    As I said, not my finest hour.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat .

  17. **/**** for me. Had 8?s after solving. The only one not mentioned is 13a. I could really not believe it’s a proper word. It is of course but who would use it. Always fair clueing from G and thanks to DT for the hints.

  18. I made relatively slow but sure progress with this puzzle and found it a bit trickier than recent Fridays.

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

  19. Started off ok but then had some difficulty. Managed to complete finally but needed the hints to parse some. Am in agreement wth all that has been said by others.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and Deep Threat for the explanations.

  20. I’m with a lot of you here. I really didn’t enjoy this; as I’ve said before, too clever by half and I spent far more time on it than I meant to. I thought 2d was ridiculous in using an extremely obscure grammatical definition although I’d got the answer easily enough but knew not why. Obviously some liked it so many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for a difficult blog. *****/**.

  21. If there has been a tougher Giovanni backpager this year then I don’t remember it. It certainly disproved my usual theory that the more anagrams there are, then the easier the puzzle is!

    A few too many obscurities for me to make it an enjoyable solve, it’s interesting that the Chambers Crossword Dictionary lists literally hundreds of authors, but 10a isn’t one of them. In addition to the repetition of “entertain” already mentioned by RD, the same anagram indicator was used in two separate clues as well. My two ticked clues were 9a and 12a.

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

  22. Friday can be a bit of an ongoing slog for me, but this one was certainly at the benign end of the Giovanni spectrum. I would have finished in 2* time, but for a hold up in the S.E. – where I quite failed to solve 28a (not exactly an ‘obscurity’, was it?). My favourite was 27a, on account of the slightly ‘off centre’ term used for ‘relation’. Many thanks to setter, also to D.T. for resolving above mentioned problem.

  23. I’d never heard of the author at 10a or the swimmer at 11d, but fairly clued and a quick google sorted that.
    As I know less than nothing about Dr. Who, 9a was a total mystery.
    I have many Jewish friends so the meal was no secret to me.
    Like most of you, I didn’t understand 19a.
    My outstanding fave was 28a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. That reminds me. I bunged in 9ac because it fit but did not understand it at all. Solving at 6am doesn’t help me comment when the blog is published.

  24. Started well then ground to a halt in SW corner, struggled to get 17d and 29a but got there finally. Last one in 30a. The puzzle contained a few answers / words unfamiliar to me. Religious clues not my strongest area.

    Overall a good puzzle. Clue of the day 28a.

    Rating *** / ***

    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  25. Excellent puzzle – a good mix of different types of clues. As I have bored you all before, I like some general knowledge content. I’d never heard of 3d or the author in 10a, but both were solvable from the cluing. I liked 2d, 21d, 12a, and 24a. 19a was very clever, once the penny dropped, and is clear favourite for me. 2.5*/****. Now for those Aussies!!

  26. Surely 19a qualifies as an indirect anagram and should not be allowed. Our understanding is that the letters required to be used as ‘fodder’ need to be in the actual clue and preferably directly adjacent to the anagram indicator. Here the fodder is the answer to another unspecified down clue. We had the correct answer but failed to work out how to get it from the wordplay as we did not consider this option. All the rest went together in a satisfactory manner with some delving into the depths of memory required. .
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. There was something about 19a that bothered me and didn’t seem to be playing cricket. I’m not enough of an expert to be able to know what, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Thanks for that.

    2. I think you’re being too narrow in your definition here. An anagram is indirect if the required fodder can’t be found directly. If the clue had pointed only to 21d I doubt that anyone would have complained. As it was, the clue pointed to one of two answers, and it was very obvious which one was relevant.

      If the clue had, for example, read “Examination causes reported upset”, where ‘reported’ = ‘claimed’, then you have an indirect anagram which is by convention not allowed.

      1. Well said DT, I’m with you on this one. The purists might define it as indirect but the fodder is indicated and does exist directly and in plain sight within the puzzle (albeit not in the actual clue itself, but obviously as an answer to another clue). I think we should be congratulating G for this clever, unconventional and innovative device. We should allow the setters to bend the “rules” a little – it all adds to the enjoyment of solving originally puzzling clues.

  27. A straigforward enough puzzle with a little more GK in it than usual, but surely variety is the spice of life – and crossword puzzles too. The 4 down thats been expressed over the hint for 19 across amazes me as it’s blindingly obvious – well I thought it was. My favourite clues were 12 & 28 across. An enjoyable back pager to end the working week. Thanks to both Giovanni and DT.

  28. ***/*** as I, too, found myself struggling and blamed cold/cough for brain deadness over 12a, 28a and 17d.
    Liked 30a for its ingenuity !

  29. Not my favourite puzzle – ‘old Giovanni’ very much back in evidence, particularly in the top half of this one.
    OK – learning new stuff is good and often interesting but I think that’s what GK puzzles are all about, not cryptics.

    Anyway, all fairly clued and finished in reasonable time with 4&17d making the leader board.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  30. I thought that was fantastic, very impressive stuff, Giovanni on most definitely good form. The fairly isolated corners of the grid made this is a little more difficult than it might otherwise have been, but I still came in with a ** time. More like this please.

  31. Not much fun and way too difficult at the end of the working week.
    The hints convinced me that I was right to duck this one.
    Thanks all.

  32. My daily routine was disrupted. They make switching providers sound so easy but the reality for me at least is that it is a tedious and quite irritating process and entails hanging on to the phone listening to music designed to drive you mad. No wonder many people end up not switching at all. Rant over and now to the puzzle. I found it quite hard as it required more knowledge of JudeoChristian religion than I have. If nothing else I now know the names of more prophets than I did before. I completed the grid but derived very little enjoyment.

  33. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Far too much GK for my liking, had only heard of 11d, Glen Miller does not compute for me, never heard of 10a, would never have thought of 28a. Favourite was 14a. Was 4 ✳ / 1 ✳ for me.

  34. Went out for breakfast and had a quick stab at this later. Not my cup of tea either. Some of which can be explained by being too rushed today, but too many strange words or usage thereof for this to be enjoyable. Sigh. But better hopes for tomorrow.

  35. A puzzle for the intellectuals of which I am not one. Too many proper names and to much obscure GK for me. Many thanks though to Deep Threat for the explanations.

  36. An excellent puzzle from the consistently good G. A decent challenge, a couple of minor obscurities (perfectly OK by me), a little but of head-scratching and a very enjoyable solve. The subject of “obscurities” seems to be prevalent again and I just don’t understand why – the ones here are all eminently parsable from the wordplays, a little lateral thinking and then a check in a reference book (if required). If you can’t have a few well-clued “obscurities” in a DT back-pager, then it’s really time to give up. The mind boggles… 3* / 4*.

  37. Yuk! Far far too biblical for me. Spoils an otherwise pleasent puzzle.
    Is The Don a lay preacher or even an ordained minister? He seems obsessed with religion.

    1. Thanks for all the comments, which show that one can at least please some of the people some of the time. Religious vocab is part of who I am, having been a churchgoer all my life and an editor of Religious Education books. I don’t set out to make puzzles explicitly religious (except in my role as Church Times crossword editor) but like every other setter I draw on my knowledge when writing clues — and that does also extend to science, literature, and much else besides. In a multi-faith ( as well as largely no-faith) Britain, it is disappointing that we all know so little of what others believe and parctise, but at least with modern RE ( as opposed to ‘Scripture’) many secondary schhool pupils, unlike their parents, will be conversant with words like SEDER, for which I am thankful.

      1. As I’ve said before, I spent my school years at a CofE boarding school,; prayers in the morning, chapel at night, and church twice on Sundays. Your religious clues suit me fine, but my knowledge of science is abysmally lacking. A cross section of various subjects is welcome in my books.

  38. Sorry I’m late. Work got in the way again yesterday, so I am 24 hours behind everyone else. A challenging but fair and very enjoyable puzzle. Excuse my ignorance, but how do we know that it was by the great Don Manley?

    1. He is the regular Friday setter, and for recent puzzles in particular he has also commented.

      If you access the FAQ tab at the top of the page, and look under Point 28, the names of all the setters are revealed.

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