DT 28605 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28605


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28605

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a snow-speckled South Staffs.

A steady solve of today’s Giovanni, with the crossing pair at 26a and 22d the last ones in. All the usual elements we expect of a puzzle from 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. 


4a           Sections of American agents in groups (8)
SEGMENTS – Some groups or collections wrapped around some crime-fighting American agents from the FBI.

8a           Gender king switched over — one of the ancient kings (6)
XERXES – Put together another word for gender and the Latin word for king, reverse the lot, and you get a king of Persia who made war on the ancient Greeks.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a           Woman of the upper classes, friend when Christmas comes round (8)
ANNUALLY – Put together a three-letter woman’s name, the letter signifying ‘Upper class’, and a friend or collaborator, to get the frequency with which Christmas appears.

10a         Like hot desert home that’s most calm (8)
SERENEST – Another word for ‘hot and dry’ followed by a little bird’s home.

11a         In this there will be praying mantis on the move (6)
MATINS – Anagram (on the move) of MANTIS.

12a         Man perhaps following car having left city (8)
CARLISLE – CAR (from the clue) and Left, followed by something of which Man (or Wight) is an example.

Image result for carlisle

13a         Unfashionable parts of city away from the centre (8)
OUTWARDS – The opposite of the two-letter word for ‘fashionable’, followed by some political divisions of a city or borough.

16a         Professional army officer keeping to correct procedure (8)
PROTOCOL – The usual abbreviation for ‘professional’ and the abbreviation for the rank of a senior army officer, placed either side of TO (from the clue).

19a         There may be pollutant gases here? It’s uncertain (2,3,3)
IN THE AIR – Mildly cryptic definition of a phrase for ‘uncertain’ or ‘still to be settled’.

21a         Seem to change sides finally, making request for money? (6)
APPEAL – Start with a word for ‘seem’, then change the final letter, replacing the abbreviation for one hand with that for the other.

23a         Selfish types, say, to sit around and start to swank (8)
EGOTISTS – Put together the Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’, an anagram (around) of TO SIT, and the first letter (start) of Swank.

24a         Menacing coming from the left (8)
SINISTER – Double definition, the second being the Latin word for the left.

25a         Old cricketer building three-figure score (6)
HUTTON – A small building followed by a familiar word for a hundred, giving us the surname of the Yorkshire and England batsman who scored 364 in an England total of 903-7 declared against the Australians in 1938. It would be nice if the current lot could score that many between them!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a         Festival flower, one left out in the wind (8)
EASTERLY – Start with a flower (6,4) associated with a major religious festival, then remove the Roman numeral for one and Left, to get a wind direction.


1d           Some of those Vera loved — quite a number (7)
SEVERAL – Hidden in the clue.

2d           No longer having little room, hospital department is first-class (9)
EXCELLENT – Put together the usual two-letter prefix for ‘no longer’ or ‘former’, a small room occupied by a monk or prisoner, and the usual hospital department.

3d           Officials, people telling others to ‘old their tongue? (6)
USHERS – Perhaps how a crossword Cockney might describe those court officials who call for ‘silence in court’.

4d           Moving feebly, tourist at famous sight in America (6,2,7)

5d           Heartless man is thug, horrible person with weapons (8)
GUNSMITH – Anagram (horrible) of M(a)N (heartless man) IS THUG.

6d           Make law — stick up document finally (5)
ENACT – Reverse (up, in a Down clue) a stick, perhaps used to beat schoolboys in former times, then add the last letter (finally) of documenT.

7d           Irish politician going about unaccompanied is somehow able to grasp things (7)
TALONED – The abbreviation for the Irish equivalent of an MP wrapped around ‘unaccompanied’ or ‘on one’s own’.

Image result for talons

14d         Everybody I have upset scoffed, revealing temper (9)
ALLEVIATE – Put together another word for ‘everybody’, the reverse (upset) of a contracted form of ‘I have’, and scoffed (all the pies). The definition here means to moderate or adjust.

15d         One carving out a living? (8)
SCULPTOR – Not very cryptic definition of someone who creates statues.

17d         It’s not original material, article about tailless insects (7)
REPLICA – Put together some corded fabric now seen mainly in crosswords, some insects of the sort you don’t want to find in your hair minus the last letter, and an indefinite article.

18d         Loud way of talking putting daughter off stories (7)
FICTION – The musical symbol for ‘loud’, followed by a way of talking or choice of words with Daughter removed from the front.

20d         Leaders in public health in city once getting prize (6)
TROPHY – The city in Asia Minor which resisted a 10-year siege from Agamemnon and his mates, wrapped around the initial letters of Public Health.

22d         Poet in small room, endlessly upset (5)
ELIOT – Remove the final letter from the smallest room, reverse it, and you get the poet who wrote Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

The Quick Crossword pun FORCE + TALL = FORESTALL

32 comments on “DT 28605

  1. As is often the case with a Giovanni puzzle, it was solved in a reasonable time but the parsing took a while to fully understand some of the clues. The SW corner held me up a tad, and overall this was 3.5* /4* for me. 11a my COTD closely followed by 22d.

    Thanks to The Don for the enjoyable challenge and to DT..

  2. 3* / 2.5*. This was a tale of two halves for me. The bottom half was 2* difficulty and 4* enjoyment, with the top half 4* / 1*.

    I thought 7d was a poor clue, but I really liked 9a & 4d with 25a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT (are you a backward Irish politician?)

  3. Absolutely first class from G, best of the week by far and very enjoyable. 11a my favourite. 3.5* / 4*.

  4. Definitely a 3* for difficulty for me although 4* for enjoyment. Although complete I needed the hints to explain 12a (never thought of the Isle of Man), never heard the abbreviation for an Irish MP before and never come across the alternative spelling of Sear in 10a before. Needed the hints to fully parse 21a but very clever.
    Nice to only have one minor religious clue but pleased to see Sir Len getting a mention, what a cricketer, could do with him in Oz at the moment.
    Thx to all

    1. I think “sear” means burn, as in sear a steak, and “sere” means dry, arid, like a desert.o

  5. Definitely a day when I’d have done better to start with the Downs as I didn’t get far with the Acrosses to start with, but in the end my time was ‘normal for a Friday’

    I particularly liked 8a and 3d

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT too

  6. A relatively benign Giovanni provided another very enjoyable end to the work week, slowed down to a gallop by a couple of clues in the final furlong – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 24a, 26a, 1d, and 22d – pick one.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Good morning everybody.

    A complete biffing here with 9a,13a,26a and 17d eluding me and 10a only being solved by guessing.

    Very enjoyable puzzle though.


  8. This was a cunning little devil 8a caused some diversions into ancient kings of Wessex!!
    I liked 24a and 25a.
    Thanks to DT and the Don

  9. Some went in fine and had a tussle with others. Didn’t know the Irish politician, but the answer had to be what it was. 10a caused me a problem , but the hints explained my answer. 18d was my last one in, which took a while. Enjoyed the challenge and 3d and 22d in particular.
    Thanks to all

  10. This did not yield without a fight. I was very pleased to gets 8a which was my favourite clue. England could do with 25a opening for them in Australia now.

  11. Much more enjoyable than last Friday, a little surprised though to see repetitions of both containment and reversal indicators.

    My three for the podium were 25a, 3d and 18d.

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

  12. Found this the most enjoyable puzzle in a while from the Don – perhaps because my Latin and cricket knowledge were up to the challenge, although I confess to roaming through a few English counties in search of the 8a ancient king.

    Top three for me were 9&13a along with 22d.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT for an excellent blog and lovely musical clips.

  13. A slow start but once underway I was able to complete without too many holdups.
    8a made me laugh so that was my fave, and 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to DG, and to DT for the review.

  14. Mostly straightforward, but I got stuck on 26a and 17d and had to resort to the hints – why, I’m not sure. Nice enjoyable puzzle. I’d better give it 3* for difficulty since I couldn’t finish, but 4* for enjoyment. I liked 8a, 10a, with joint top spot to 22d and 18d.

  15. Strange mixture ; the right hand side fell in no time , whilst the left hand clues held me prisoner for quite a while . 25A and 22d my nominees .Thanks DT , I needed hints for 21 and 22 .Thanks to the setter .****/***

  16. I was dead on wavelength here, I even knew the cricketer, where that came from I have no idea. I did have to google the Irish politician.
    I liked lots, 11a and 24a come to mind, but fave was either 8a or 3d, you choose. Oh, I also liked 22d, that made me giggle.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  17. Thought this was going to be fairly straightforward after a good start but then got stuck in NW corner. Once the answers dropped in it should have been straightforward? Didn’t know the King but referenced it to get the answer. Last in 10a. A good puzzle with some excellent clues. Finished without using the hints so a good Friday for me.

    Clue of the day: Joint honours today for 2d and 9a.

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  18. A real gem of a puzzle to occupy myself with on a snowy Friday afternoon. At least six inches have fallen in my corner of Salop and its chucking it down again as I write. Some super clues and far too many to mention. Huge thanks to the Don – most entertaining. Thanks to to D T for the hints that I still have to read.

  19. Try again – previous comment lost in the ether! East presented no problems but West different kettle of fish particularly in the North (10a – my spelling different for first four letters and 3d took while to dawn). Really enjoyed the challenge and got there in the end on my Jack Jones. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  20. Nice puzzle – I didn’t know what the Irish Politician was but could work it out from the wordplay. Very enjoyable!

    Off to the Olympic Stadium tomorrow for West Ham v Chelsea – an early kick-off again. I can’t remember the last time we had a game at 3 O’clock on a Saturday – I see they’re talking about having games at 7.30 on a Saturday evening – there’s no thought for the fans (particularly the away fans) how are you supposed to get back home!

  21. Well, despite having all the right answers – checked one-by-one above – the iPad app insists it’s incorrect!

    Not for the first time, either.

    Didn’t someone say previously that they had puzzles shown as “correct” despite being blank? Perhaps we should join forces.

  22. The Irish politician was a new piece of knowledge that we gained. The cricketer though was a vague memory that was able to be recalled. An enjoyable solving experience for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  23. Had quite a struggle with the north west corner of this one. Eventually puzzled them out except for 12a…..I didn’t think ‘car’ would appear in the answer and had forgotten about Isle of Man…..

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

  24. Very slow to start, and for a while I thought I might be in trouble, but eventually finished in about ** time, with the SW corner last to fall. Top marks for enjoyment value as ever from the Don.

  25. Definitely off the wavelength today, and just couldn’t get going. Founding 12a and 7d particularly strange clues, and kind of lost interest after that. Probably because, as usual being Friday, it is late in the day before I get to tackle this and then chores are looming. Woman’s work and all that. 🙁

    1. A bit like me yesterday BL, but stick with the blog and you will get there. I really struggled for years with the DT crossword but now find the confidence gained from this blog over the last eighteen months invaluable. It will all fall in to place.

      1. Thank you Howitzerx3. Even us old stagers learn as we go. Irish MPs at 7d spring to mind. I really like to see improvement comments, they keep us going.

  26. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but very tricky puzzle. Needed the hints for 8,12 13a and 2&3d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  27. Solved this after completing the Saturday prize.
    Noticed the grid was identical and the answers came in exactly the same sequence.
    Funny thing.
    New word for me was the first part of 10a and didn’t know the cricketer in 25a although the parsing led me to him.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

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