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DT 28622


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28622

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a soggy South Staffs. All the Christmas visitors departed yesterday, and suddenly the house seems very quiet.

Giovanni will test your knowledge of elderly comics and Victorian horse-drawn transport today, but as usual the wordplay will enable you to find the answer. This is the last Giovanni of 2017. A Happy New Year to all our readers, and see you next year.

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. 


5a           Bikes in next to no time sped furiously (6)
MOPEDS – A brief period (next to no time), followed by an anagram (furiously) of SPED.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8a           Secret English drunkard, top woman in charge (8)
ESOTERIC – Put together English, a drunkard, the initials attached to the most important woman in Britain, and an abbreviation for In Charge.

9a           Old TV comic Phil gets more than one second prize (7)
SILVERS – The surname of the actor who played Sgt Bilko could also be what someone who finished second in more than one Olympic competition received.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a         Stay for a while in porter’s house? (5)
LODGE – Double definition, the first a verb, the second a noun.

11a         Old boy in state that’s unstable and unlikely to change (9)
OBSTINATE – The abbreviation for a school’s old boy followed by an anagram (unstable) of IN STATE.

13a         Star writer with story about origin of cricket (8)
PENTACLE – Something to write with followed by a story wrapped around the first letter (origin) of Cricket.

Image result for pentacle

14a         Animal that surprises me has rushed around (6)
RACOON – An expression of surprise with a synonym of ‘rushed’ wrapped around it.

Image result for racoon

17a         Method of payment on doorstep for fish (3)
COD – Split this (1,1,1) and you get some trading terms where delivered goods are handed over in return for cash paid at the point of delivery. Otherwise it’s a fish often eaten with chips.

19a         Information supplied by agent (3)
GEN – Hidden in the last word of the clue.

20a         Fairy in a Shakespeare play, fine material (6)
COBWEB – Double definition, the first being one of Titania’s attendants in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

23a         Like many a Catholic priest in church, albeit naughty (8)
CELIBATE – Anagram (naughty) of ALBEIT with the initials of the Church of England wrapped around it.

26a         One has unexpected closeness, no win ultimately, having two sides equal (9)
ISOSCELES – The Roman numeral for one followed by an anagram (unexpected) of CLOSE(n)ESS with the last letter of wiN removed.

Image result for isosceles

28a         Problem for film director (5)
HITCH – Double definition, the second being a familiar shortening of the name of the director of Psycho.

29a         Female dumping male by street, I have to be merry (7)
FESTIVE – Remove the MALE from FE(male) and add the abbreviation for street and the contracted form of ‘I have’.

30a         Vehicle taking Laurel and Bob maybe (8)
STANHOPE – Put together the first name of Mr Laurel and the surname of American comedian Bob, to get a sort of horse-drawn vehicle.

Image result for stanhope carriage

31a         Type of moneylender certain to be found in old city (6)
USURER – Another word for ‘certain’ with the usual ancient Chaldean city wrapped around it.


1d           Winning easily, start to grow more intense (4,2)
WELL UP – Double definition, the second describing a build-up of emotion leading to tears.

2d           In France good noise comes with good rapport (7)
BONDING Put together the French word for ‘good’, a loud noise or racket, and Good.

3d           Loss of employment is hard — party must be held (9)
SEVERANCE – Another word for hard or harsh, wrapped around the initials of the political party of which Nelson Mandela was a leading light.

4d           Greek character has briefly purloined weapon (6)
PISTOL – A Greek letter followed by another word for ‘purloined’ with its last letter removed (briefly).

5d           Dampness damaged tourism — last thing Margate needs (8)
MOISTURE – Anagram (damaged) of TOURISM, followed by the last letter of MargatE.

6d           Dance has the old man taking front position (5)
PAVAN – A two-letter familiar term for ‘father’ or ‘the old man’, followed by the lead position in an approaching army.

7d           I do a turn, being funny for a time (8)
DURATION – Anagram (being funny) of I DO A TURN.

12d         Bill’s little companion in Scottish mountain (3)
BEN – Double definition: the other Flowerpot Man; or the first word of the name of many Scottish mountains.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d         Opposing inauthentic sort of singing in church (9)
ANTIPHONY – A prefix meaning ‘opposing’ followed by ‘inauthentic’ or ‘sham’. This is the sort of singing where one half of a choir sings in response to the other.

16d         Vessels — they glide along? (8)
COASTERS – Cryptic definition of some ships – perhaps dirty British ones with salt-caked smokestacks – which could, in another context, be vehicles coming downhill with no tractive effort being applied.

18d         Spectator as a weekly publication (8)
OBSERVER – Another word for a spectator, perhaps one paying close attention, which is also the name of a Sunday newspaper (the home of the Azed crossword).

21d         One watches, missing odd bits (3)
ACE – The even-numbered (missing odd bits) letters of wAtChEs.

22d         Loud goings-on in party (7)
FACTION – The musical symbol for ‘loud’ followed by some goings-on or activity.

24d         Everything one has in car (6)
ESTATE – Double definition, the first being a legal term for all the real and personal property in your possession, especially at the time of death.

25d         Making appearance outside house, city journalist returned (6)
ECHOED – The letters representing the postal district of the City of London, and the usual crossword journalist, placed either side (making appearance outside) an abbreviation for HOuse.

27d         Mythical being, after last day of week, starts to yawn and relax (5)
SATYR – The abbreviation for the last day of the week (the proper one, where Sunday is the first), followed by the initial letters (starts) of Yawn and Relax.

I am indebted to Miffypops for drawing my attention to this letter in today’s paper, referring to the retirement of Rufus:

SIR – You reported (December 17) that Roger Squires is retiring from a career of setting crosswords for The Daily Telegraph and other publications.

To mark the occasion, I offer the following, which may reflect many people’s reaction upon finally reaching retirement: Hurrah! Finally, finally, I very quietly come to the last clue. The End (6).

A C J Young

Bolton, Lancashire

The Quick Crossword pun CARET + CHOOSE = CARROT JUICE

38 comments on “DT 28622

  1. 23a the stand out favourite for me in this enjoyable puzzle from The Don. As DT says in his preamble, any obscurities are very gettable through the solid wordplay, so overall this was 2* /3.5* for me.

    Thanks to both Giovanni and DT for their efforts in 2017.

  2. On the friendly side for Giovanni, I thought, but enjoyable too. I liked 23a, and 12d, but the one that made me smile the most as, looking out of the window where it is hard to see Thanet for the torrential rain, I would say that more moisture is the last thing Margate needs

    Thank you and Happy New Year to DG and DT.

    If you have time and aren’t still fighting with the difficult bits of the Christmas jigsaw, I highly recommend that you give Micawber’s splendid end of year Toughie a go

    1. Please may I heartily second CS’s recommendation. Micawber’s ‘end of year Toughie’ really isn’t very tough but the way in which he’s woven some of the events of 2017 into the clues is outstanding.

  3. Quite tricky, I had only 1d and 13a left to do when I gave up last night. I picked it up again over my boiled eggs this morning and almost immediately realised I’d mispelt 3d and finished in quick time. 6d was a new word to me but was fairly obvious from the cross letters and with a little help from my Wordsearch program.

    A nice puzzle, good fun!

    Raining here in East Herts, finally getting rid of the snow.

  4. A fine end to this shortened work week, very enjoyable, a sprinkling of oldies but goodies, and finished at a fast canter – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 30a, 2d, 18d, and 22d – and the winner is 30a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  5. Another winner from Giovanni which contained several unusual words although fairly clued. The ‘Sorry Some Answers Incorrect’ box came up when I finished. It took me a while to see that I needed a different letter at the end of 15d. Excellent clips from DT so thanks to him for those. Thanks also to Giovanni for the years worth of fine puzzles. Play nicely and I will see you all on Monday unless I can persuade the newly knighted Ringo Starr to do the blog.

  6. My only problems centred round the parties – not a ‘do’ in sight! Plus, I did leave filling in my answer to 26a until I had 27d in place – spelling, spelling…….

    23a probably takes the honours for its surface read.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – those clips certainly took me back a long way. A very Happy New Year to both of you.

  7. Well, as usual, I will have to gripe about the amount of GK. It just doesn’t float my boat. Finished in **** time, but the last three or four were guesses.

    Many thanks to DG and DT.

    (Quickie – 5d – applicable to the above)

  8. I’m stumped with the clue in the Letters page, written by a reader in tribute to Roger Squires: Hurrah! Finally, finally, I very quietly come to the last clue. The end (6).
    Any thoughts?

    1. I would like to know what our Rookie Corner experts have to say about that clue. it might satisfy the editor of the letters page but would it suit the editor of the crosswords page? i think it is iffy.

      1. I was less enamoured with the last part of the clue but liked the first part. Perhaps “Hurrah! Finally, finally one takes first possibility to go” would be better and more succinct, but is perhaps unlikely to pass muster with the Telegraph methinks.

      2. I too hae ma doots MP about part of the clue specifically « come to the last clue » . 🤨

      3. Isn’t it just a straightforward charade clue with the definition at the beginning? As: Hurrah! (The definition). FinallY, finally (the final letter of finally) + I (I from the wordplay) + PP (very quietly) + come to the last cluE (the last letter of clue). + ThE end. (the end of the word the) = Y + I + PP +E + E = YIPPEE(!). What’s iffy about it?

    2. Many thanks to everyone who helped me out with this. I sort of thought there was there was IPP in there somewhere but I failed to see the answer without your help. Maybe it’s because I was expecting the answer to have some connection with “the end”, which it doesn’t!

  9. Enjoyed today’s workout with its nice selection of clue types and a couple of vocabulary additions. Like Mick-the-Miller my spelling of 3d let me down initially. Failed to parse 25d. Several goodies including 14a and 23a. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  10. That’s more like It! A crossword that made te gray cells work. Excellent! I liked 26a which immediately reminded me of school maths lessons. 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni for this and all the other Friday puzzles, and to DT for the review.
    I liked the Letter re: Mr Squires, but the clue? A bit odd…

  11. I really enjoyed this last Giovanni backpager of the year, my favourites being the popular 23a, 1d and 15d. 26a is not an easy word to clue, so I didn’t envy the setter there.

    27d reminded me of the late Tstrummer’s comment only a few weeks back bemoaning the modern insistence on referring to Monday as the first day of the week. He would have been delighted to have seen Saturday clued as “last day of the week”.

    Many thanks to DT and to Mr Manley for this and all his other backpagers during 2017.

  12. Giovanni in a very benevolent mood.
    Old comedians are not my strong point – I sometimes wonder what is – and the letters wobbled a bit with 26a.
    I don’t think I’ve met 15d before but it wasn’t too tricky to have a guess and look it up.
    I liked 14 and 23a and 2d (and the Flower Pot Men video).
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.
    Stuff to do then the Micawber Toughie as a reward for when I’ve finished.

  13. Just defeated by the GK namely the fairy and the coach. No complaints about that as they are two new words for me, even though I will probably have forgotten them by next Tuesday.
    Apart from that, I thought it was quite tricky but an enjoyable challenge.
    Thanks all
    I might try the Toughie on advice provided I can get my granddaughter to bed early.

  14. Nice challenge today. SE was sticking point for me. 25d and 22d last two in. Spent ages looking up obscure film directors while missing the obvious. Got there in the end although grateful for the parsing of 25d. Favourites 20 and 23a and 22d when the penny dropped.

  15. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as I do most of the Don’s puzzles, in large part because of the general knowledge component. On the other hand, all those references to comedians from well before my time did at least make me feel young. I smiled at 25d because it took a while to get the obvious ingredients arranged correctly. My favourite today is 5d. Thanks to the Don and to DT.

  16. At the difficult end of my ability. Most of the top half went in ok then slowed to an halt with SE corner. Needed help for two from the blog 20a 6d both new to me? Not the most satisfying puzzle for me.

    Clue of the day 9a

    Rating 3.5* / 2.5*

    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  17. The 30a vehicle was new to us but just needed a quick BRB look. We had even guessed correctly what sort of vehicle it would be. As ever, a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  18. I enjoyed this, I don’t mind a bit of GK, especially if I know it. Some, like 15d and 6d, were easy enough to solve and google.
    I knew the carriage at 30a, always reminds me of Lady Hester, what a liberated lady that was.
    Fave was the fairy in 20a.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the fun and DT for his entertaining review.

  19. A *** for difficulty here, not helped by my inability to spell 26ac. Enjoyable throughout as ever from the Don.

  20. A pretty straightforward solve, despite finding myself filling in the quarters clockwise from the top right. 6d fooled me slightly as my understanding of the word has an ‘e’ at the end – as in Ravel’s piece of music ‘for a dead infant’. An enjoyable solve with lots of good clues. Thanks to the Don and DT. My how time flies – it seems hardly no time at all since I wrote something similar last Friday. Happy New Year everyone.

  21. This was one for the smarter folks today. I got about half done, and then was swimming against the tide. Too many words that were new to me (or forgotten), the carriage, the dance, opposing, etc. When I have to google or need the hints for more than a few the enjoyment level drops. Having said that loved 12d. Was more of a *** difficulty for me, just not on my wavelength perhaps. But kept me out of mischief and away from chores 🤨

  22. As opposed to most people here I thought this one was very difficult.
    I was most certainly not on the right wavelength today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat .

  23. Never realised that Saturday was the last day of the week and didn’t know that the film director could be shortened but it had to be obviously.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

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