DT 28634 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28634


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28634

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from South Staffs on another grey day.

A rather trickier puzzle from Giovanni this week, I thought, with both religion and some less common words to add to the General Knowledge required – though the wordplay will always lead solvers to the solution.

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           Intuitive feeling when eating a piece of venison? (6)
HAUNCH – An intuitive feeling or premonition wrapped around A (from the clue).

8a           Showered in one rudimentary building behind toilet (8)
LAVISHED – Put together an informal term for a toilet, the Roman numeral for one, and the sort of rudimentary building where the garden tools may be kept.

9a           Female author and daughter confronting disorderly crowd (7)
DRABBLE Daughter followed by a mob or disorderly crowd.

Image result for margaret drabble

10a         Agree to change, being keen (5)
EAGER – Anagram (to change) of AGREE.

11a         Gossiping gent, I rant when put out (9)
NATTERING – Anagram (when put out) of GENT I RANT.

13a         Stuff for sale, good deal, in northern town (8)
STOCKTON – The stuff a trader holds for sale, followed by an informal word for a good deal or lots, giving us a town at the other end of the railway line from Darlington.

Image result for stockton and darlington railway

14a         Frown as underling finally put down (6)
GLOWER – The last letter (finally) of underlinG, followed by ‘put down’ (on the ground).

17a         There’s minimal effort to get this drink imbibed … (3)
ALE – Hidden in the clue.

19a         … it being drunk in country location (3)
LEA – The ellipsis shows that this clue is linked to the previous one, and ‘it’ here is the answer to 17a. Make an anagram (being drunk) of that answer.

20a         One of the Angry Young Men, intellectual by the sound of him (6)
BRAINE – The author of Room at the Top has a surname which may suggest he is an intellectual or a boffin.

Image result for john braine

23a         Bird is beginning to tweet for e.g. birdwatcher (8)
HOBBYIST – A small falcon (Falco subbuteo) followed by IS (from the clue) and the first letter of Tweet.

26a         Belong as a troublesome person keeping jaunty (9)
APPERTAIN – A (from the clue) and a way of describing a troublesome person (usually followed by ‘in the neck’: other parts of the anatomy are available), placed either side of a word for jaunty or cheeky.

28a         Bit of a flight in best aircraft (5)
STAIR – Hidden in the clue.

29a         Message I have brought to young lady (7)
MISSIVE – A form of address for a young lady, followed by the contracted form of ‘I have’.

30a         Somehow barren and tragic female kept outside dance (8)
TREELESS – The eponymous heroine of a Thomas Hardy novel, wrapped around a Scottish or Irish dance.

31a         Peril heading off across lake for one pursuing water sport (6)
ANGLER – Remove the first letter (heading off) from a word for ‘peril’, then wrap the result around an abbreviation for Lake.


1d           Senior figures — they aren’t seen in 30 areas (6)
ELDERS – Senior figures in some Nonconformist Churches, who could also be examples of something not found in areas which are the answer to 30a.

2d           Like unknown author entertaining one in very good French location (7)
AVIGNON – A Russian doll clue: put the Roman numeral for one inside the abbreviation for Very Good, then put the result inside the shorter way of saying that the author of a work is unknown.

Image result for avignon bridge

3d           A street artist, prominent Asian in rough fabric (9)
ASTRAKHAN – Put together A (from the clue), STreet, the usual crossword artist, and a prominent Asian such as Genghis or Kublai.

4d           Sheep in tricky mire, number sinking under it (6)
MERINO – Anagram (tricky) of MIRE, followed by a two-letter abbreviation for ‘number’.

Image result for merino sheep

5d           Something of value from the past maiden’s left Russian museum (8)
HERITAGE – Remove the abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard from a famous museum in St Petersburg.

6d           More than one sign of hesitation about black as a colour (5)
UMBER – To get this brown colour, start with a two-letter hesitation, then add Black, then a different two-letter hesitation.

7d           Awful noise after officer appears in British territories once? (8)
COLONIES – The abbreviation for a senior regimental officer followed by an anagram (awful) of NOISE.

12d         One deemed to be no sluggard in a part of the Bible (3)
ANT – A rather nice all-in-one clue. A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the part of the Bible where the Gospels and Epistles are to be found, giving us the creature cited in Proverbs 6:6 as an example for the reform of the idle.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d         Criticised frightfully bad meal with stone in it (9)
LAMBASTED – Anagram (frightfully) of BAD MEAL wrapped around STone.

16d         Not without blemish turning up, I admitted skin problem? (8)
ERUPTION – Start with NOT (from the clue) and ‘without blemish’, reverse the lot and insert I (from the clue).

18d         Enthusiast absorbs English newspaper, something that’s been discarded (8)
LEFTOVER English and the initials of a newspaper printed on pink paper, with a word for someone who is an enthusiast or fan of something wrapped around the result.

21d         Greek character contributing to Attic history (3)
CHI – Hidden in the clue.

22d         Where religious figure appears, tearing raiment (7)
MINARET – Anagram (tearing) of RAIMENT, giving us the part of a mosque from which the muezzin issues the call to prayer.

Image result for minaret

24d         Ahead, where consultant may be, doing the rounds (6)
ONWARD – Split this (2,4) and you get where hospital consultants would be when visiting their patients.

25d         Force husband into condition of reliance (6)
THRUST Husband inserted into a word for a condition where one person relies on another to act in a certain way.

27d         Treacherous type disposing of leader gets support (5)
EASEL – Remove the first letter from a small predator used as a metaphor for a sneaky person, to get the support for a blackboard or an artist’s work.

The Quick Crossword pun QUEUE + RHEAS = CURIOUS

65 comments on “DT 28634

  1. I found this to be a bit trickier than we’re used to on a Friday. I made steady progress but a few clues held out for quite some time.

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

  2. 3* / 3*. I thought this was going to be a disaster when I started as normal in the NW and on my first pass had exactly no answers in that corner. Thereafter it all came together slowly but steadily and when I returned to the NW I couldn’t see why I had had such a problem there.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable challenge and to DT.

  3. I was left with just two to go after a ** time. Obviously 20a was a GK that I didn’t know, I guessed it, (but got the spelling wrong). Should have been able to get 16d but wasn’t sure of the checker from 20a. Another guess was 9a, but at least with that one the construction was straightforward.

    If we say that the BRB is the final authority, how can 20a be acceptable? My problem with GK clues, is that once I have spotted one that I don’t know, my enjoyment of the whole puzzle is removed. I want to be able to finish what I started, but when I see a hurdle that I am unlikely to be able to climb, I feel like the world is against me.

    I went to a Grammar school nearly 50 years ago, and most of us didn’t study English Literature. If he was the author, how can the clue say “One of”?

    Many thanks to The Don and DT.

    1. The “angry young men” were a group of mostly working and middle class British playwrights and novelists who became prominent in the 1950s

      Interestingly I was at a grammar school that long ago and we did study English Lit – I have an A level in the subject

      1. I was at a Scottish ‘High School’ , our equivalent of Grammar Schools. Those of us that wished to go to University studied English Literature as a pass in Higher English was a statutory requirement along with an O Grade in a modern foreign language…I feel that times have changed since then…..

        Anyway, getting back to 20a…..I had certainly heard of the ‘angry young men’ but other than Osborne could not name any of them, so I had to look this one up.
        I don’t think the answer was obvious from the checkers if you didn’t know the name, because of the double unch….so a bit unfair, says I.

      2. I did my O levels at a grammar school in 1967 and we definitely did E literature as a separate subject from E language, both of which were compulsory, along with Maths, at least one science and French. I’m surprised that Malcolm’s school got away with not doing it.

        Having said that, there were certainly no C20 writers in the syllabus, oh dear me no…….they might have been found to be a bit too racy.

        A couple of years later, I read the author in question and found him to be dull, dated and chauvinistic, exactly what we baby boomers hoped the 60s would sweep away. He wasn’t “angry” at all, except perhaps at the emancipation of women and would probably have remained entirely obscure were it not for the cinema version of one of his novels.

        1. My school “got away with it” because to them O levels were just a stepping stone to A levels which were just a stepping stone to Oxbridge. We took just the minimum of 7 O levels (Maths, Phys, Chem, E.Lang, French, Latin, & Geog.). And they were taken at the end of the fourth form, not the fifth. Nobody gave a damn what O levels you had once you graduated from Oxbridge. For the lesser pupils who didn’t make it into Oxbridge, they just had to make do with a degree from somewhere else. Or, like me, fail it!

      3. Even in the 7d we had heard of the angry young men. To be sure, the only ones I could remember were Osborne, Larkin and Amis, but it was easy enough to google them.

    2. I agree with you Malcolm – particularly names from 60-70 years ago which so often seems to be the case.
      With that clue in particular, there is no wordplay to find the answer other than ‘sounds like something else’, which isn’t very helpful if you don’t know it.

  4. I also found this a little trickier than normal, but that just added to the enjoyment. For some reason I had the whole bottom half in before I’d managed to crack the top. NW last in and I really can’t see why now.

    Didn’t know the angry young man but made a guess and got the wrong end letter which held me up for a while. All in all, thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Many thanks to DT and Giovanni

  5. A do as you are told approach meant that this went together nicely with only a couple of bung ins. The 17 and 19 across pairing took a bit of working out. 31ac had me looking to use some sort of skiing after I removed the head of RISK. Silly me. Thanks to The Don for the teasing puzzle and thank you Peter for the blog. No music today? Play nicely everybody. See you on Monday

      1. I clicked on whilst having the car washed and thought there was a problem with the speed so I clicked out of it. I have listened now in its entirety. it has inspired me to spend the rest of the day listening to the Bob Dylan Toads place soundboard recordings. Thank you.

  6. A real gem from The Don to close out the work week, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 28a, 30a, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Interesting to see that others had problems in the NW – my experience was R&W until I had to think a bit about a couple in the SW

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  8. A pleasantly tricky offering from The Don this morning, with his usual excellent wordplay making the odd obscurity solvable. 30a just pipped 6d as my COTD and overall this was 3* /4* for me.

    Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable tussle and to DT.

  9. A tricky one that I eventually won after looking up 20a (see above) and changing 19a when I saw the hint.

    I bunged in 13a having worked out the ‘stock’ bit but am unaware of ton singular meaning either lots or a good deal. Maybe someone can put me right there.

    Did not like 19a at all. Is this a common clue contruction? I have never been clear on what the series of dots from one clue to the next means, so would appreciate help on this too.

    Other than that it was lovely!

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

    1. The dots are called ellipses. They show a link between two clues. it is often the case that I see no link. Here 19 across is an anagram of the answer to 17 across. The ellipses are required to link the two clues otherwise there would be no fodder material for the anagram in the clue for 19ac. I hope that helps.

      1. Thank you Miffypops.

        I do not think I have seen a link between such clues before, but will try to remember for the future.

  10. Good afternoon everybody.

    Bit of a struggle towards the end with 26a, 30a and 18d all hard solves and 22d taking much longer to see than it should have.

    Good to see somebody else eschewing multi word solutions.


  11. Classic Giovanni. I had a hold up at the 13a/3d intersection and didn’t have the patience not to use satnav to get to my destination.

    (Like Ora, I knew of the Angry Young Men, but not that one. Still, what else was the name likely to be?)

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Mine do on the ipad subscribers edition. Not in the newspaper edition.Perhaps because one can solve 17ac without recourse to 19ac but one cannot solve 19ac without recourse to 17ac. (Well you can solve it from the definition but you would have trouble parsing it).

  12. Brilliant crossword that took a little effort to start but then fell nicely into place. I thought 17a a very well hidden lurker and never heard of the author in 20a but the wordplay gave the answer. Minimal biblical references as well which was a bonus for me.
    So **/**** rating.
    Thx to all

  13. Certainly difficult-‘tricky’ seems to be the adjective of the day.
    Guessed the angry young man from the ‘intellectual’ and certainly an ‘iffy’ clue in my opinion.
    Anyway about a ***/*** for me.
    Liked 23a and 30a.
    Last in was 19,as I bet it was for most, clever really from our setter. Bet Brian has a moan!
    Thanks DT for the sluggard bit of 12d- guessed it had to be NT.

  14. After struggling every day this week today was a great relief */**** 😃 Although I did fail on 19a ☹️ Mind you by only one letter 😬 Favourites 1d (thought the link up between the two answers very good) 23a. Thanks to DT and to Giovanni 👌

  15. Didn’t need to travel as far as Darlington to find 13a as an old schoolfriend of mine lived in 13a Heath near Warrington.
    Speaking of school – my A level English teacher would have been distraught to learn that, like Una, I could only recall Osborne from the group of angry young men and the dearth of checkers did nothing to help.

    Podium places allotted to 29a plus 15,24&25d.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – thought the 12d clip was decidedly odd but I did laugh over your hint for 26a!

  16. Often have trouble with DG’s puzzles but found today’s fell into place fairly quickly. (Fairly quickly for me is about xxxxxx)! I really enjoyed the whole thing and rate it **/****. Really liked 8 & 23a and 6d. Many thanks to DG and to DT, whose help I did not need, enjoyed reading the hints anyway.

    1. I hope your timing mention does not get redacted. Although timings are discouraged so as not to make anybody feel inferior your mention is very matter of fact and not at all boastful. Well done anyway.

      1. Thank you Miffypops for pointing that out. How about if I said it was completed at a gallop (on my three legged horse)?

  17. Very enjoyable. I didn’t have much too much trouble with this one today. As I often (perhaps I’m getting tedious) mention, I enjoy GK content: it adds and extra dimension. I counted 7 today which required at least partial general knowledge. All derivable from the clues with maybe the exception being 20a where you really needed to know the author in question. **/****. 30a was my winner today. Thanks Don.

  18. Today was a bit of a curates egg for me. The east went in almost completely before I even got a start in the west. I particularly liked 23a but 5d and 3d deserve mention too. I had the same trouble in the SW as others I needed the hints for16d and 26a and as for the GK for 20a I would have had to google him but for the pic which revealed his name when clicked on. Thanks to DT and Giovanni.
    On another point as well as the wavelength I find my experience of the crossword depends on lots of factors. Friday is usually first of the week where I get first crack at the dead tree version but I was thrown off a bit by fave propelling pencil needing a new lead which was scratchy and distracting so I had to break off and write shopping lists and notes to the milkman until the point was satisfactory. Does anyone else find the ritual in doing crosswords as important as wavelength or other issues?

    1. My ritual involves my using my fountain pen. It doesn’t work with a ballpoint or a pencil. Strange, isn’t it.

      1. Agreed. I like to start with my pencil but have a fine roller ball for when I am sure I have the right answer or to emphasise the difference between certainties, hunches and bunged in guesses. I don’t like it if I make a mistake in permanent and try and keep the paper neat and tidy. If I ever get the dead tree version on Mon to Thurs after Mum I have to correct my fellow cruciverbalists N’s which I find distracting. Fortunately the font on the android version is nice and serif free.

  19. I agree this was tricky, although I had problems further south, especially when I was desperate to put twitchers in 23a on first read through! Anyway all’s well that ends well and this was a typically enjoyable puzzle from the Don. Like Ray s I enjoy a little gk in my backpagers. Favourite was 5d as I visited it a few months back, a tremendous place.

  20. It took me a wee while to get my head round 1d, but once the penny dropped the top half quickly fell into place. I made a restart on the remainder after a break to to some ‘stuff’ in the kitchen and very soon had it completed. Very straightforward and a pleasure to solve. Thanks to Mr M and to DT.

  21. ***/****. Tougher workout for me today. SW corner put up the most resistance but yielded eventually after a second cup of tea. 26a was my favourite. Thanks to the Don and DT.

  22. Definitely trickier than anything that has appeared previously this week and, for this solver at least, less enjoyable too. I’m all for a certain amount of General Knowledge, and have come to expect it on Fridays, but today I felt that the setter overdid it.

    My ticks went to 8a and 16d.

    Thank to Giovanni and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

  23. ** / *** for difficulty here, and an enjoyable workout it was too. Last in was 16d, where my brain refused to work upside down and I had to resort to writing the letters out in the correct order. :-) Pleased to get 20ac from the wordplay, despite to my shame never having heard of him.

  24. Enjoyed this very much. I’d never heard of the author at 9a, had to google her.
    I found the NW corner to be the easiest, with the SW very challenging.
    I rather liked 6d with 15d coming in second.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for help with a couple of par sings.

  25. First rate Friday puzzle from Giovanni that had everything. A slow start but got there with a lot of satisfaction along the way in revealing the answers to some superb clues. Got held up in SW corner but a really good challenge fully enjoyed from start to finish. Last in 2d tricky clue for me that got sorted eventually.

    Clue of the day: Got to be 8a with special mention to 17a / 18a (very clever. those two.)

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni for a super Friday.

    1. Surprised so many not heard of John Braine I have read a lot of his work. Think Alan Silitoe was one of the angry brigade also, can’t think of the other’s? Sure Crypticsue will know them.

    1. Welcome to the blog Steve.

      NW is ‘North-West’. We often describe parts of the crossword grid as if the grid were a map with North at the top. So the NW (quadrant) is the top left-hand corner. Hope this helps, and that we’ll hear more from you in the future.

    2. Some people cannot tell their left from their right, It is the same whichever points of the compass are used. Just because it is said doesn’t mean that it is necessarily so

  26. I did enjoy this one although nothing made me laugh.
    I started off quite well with the across clues and then it all went wrong with the downs – the opposite of how most Wednesdays go.
    13a took forever mainly because although I can spell 3d the letters wobbled a bit towards the end.
    Like someone who commented earlier I was desperate to put in ‘twitcher’ for 23a – what a good thing that I didn’t.
    16d was my last answer and that really did take ages.
    I particularly liked 9a (if only because I like her books) and 27d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  27. We found this at the tricky end of the spectrum. It is a good thing that one of our team is well up on literary things so 9a and 20a were not a problem. Thought 19a would be dead easy as there was only one unchecked letter but it still took some thinking about. An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  28. Arrived at the performance late again. Started off… got nowhere.. kept at it, pulling teeth. Eventually finished with no little satisfaction. Did not seem like the Giovanni of late but a really good crossword. Thanks G and DT for the assistance with 17-19a couplet. ***/***

  29. I am always short of time on Fridays, and today was more rushed than usual, so just couldn’t give this the concentration needed. Accordingly I found it tricky, and not one I could go through at a reasonable pace. 19a completely foxed me, and would not have got there without Deep Threat’s hint, thanks.. Hope to do better tomorrow.

  30. While Osmosis had me struggling with the Toughie, which some found relatively gentle, this one seemed decidedly straightforward to me, although not to some others. What does that tell us? Anyway, 1*/4* and either 8a or 7d as favourite clue. Thanks to the Don, and DT.

  31. I would have finished this earlier but dashed out as I managed to get last minute tickets to ‘The darkest hour’. I didn’t have too many problems with this puzzle tonight, but 20a was one of them. Favourite clues were 17a and 19a. Thank you Giovanni and DT. I’ve had toothache all day today following a trip to the dentist, so hope it doesn’t keep me awake all night.

  32. Am belatedly commenting on this having completed it over breakfast and hence rather forgotten how it went. Do remember East fell first. Think of 3d as fleece/fur rather more than fabric. Can’t recall any particular Fav. Thanks as usual Giovanni and DT. And so to bed!

  33. Another great puzzle from G. A reasonable challenge, good clues and very enjoyable. I had no real problem with any of these clues, including 20d – if people don’t know much 20c history, that’s their own fault and not the setter’s. 3* / 4*..

  34. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very difficult. Needed the hints for 13&26a and 16d. I’d never heard of 9&20a but got them from the wordplay. My favourite was 3d, which I had actually heard of. Was 4*/3* for me.

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