DT 28640 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28640

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28640

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright, frosty morning.

Nothing Biblical from Giovanni this week, but a few words which gave me some pause during the solving process.

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           Desires bringing problems for ‘Arry (6)
ITCHES – ‘Arry is of course a crossword Cockney, so drops his aitches. Remove the initial H from some problems or holdups to get the answer.

5a           Something in a music bar here again — attend! (8)
BACKBEAT – A four-letter word for ‘here again’ (as in “I’m —-“) followed by a phrase (2,2) which could be an order to attend something.

9a           Futile message offering to give everything away? (3,3,7)
ALL FOR NOTHING – This could be a message put out by someone wanting to give away all he owns.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a         One of two American brothers, awful whingers (8)
GERSHWIN – Anagram (awful) of WHINGERS, giving us the surname of George or Ira, two musical Americans.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a         Foul kitchen — cook finally dismissed from particular community (6)
ETHNIC – anagram (foul) of (k)ITCHEN with the last letter of cooK removed.

12a         Some ‘daddy’, nasty sort of ruler (6)
DYNAST – Hidden in the clue.

14a         Officer in twilled fabric meeting social worker (8)
SERGEANT – A twilled worsted fabric used for making suits, followed by a social insect.

16a         Revolutionary embraced by fools and jerks (8)
TWITCHES – The usual crossword revolutionary, with another word for fools wrapped around him.

19a         Hazel has this funny act in front of relations (6)
CATKIN – Anagram (funny) of ACT followed by some relatives.

Image result for catkin

21a         One in tent wants hot, not cold, food box (6)
HAMPER – Start with a word for someone spending time in a tent, then swap the initial Cold for Hot.

23a         Restrictive practice in business? I stop men working (8)
NEPOTISM – Anagram (working) of I STOP MEN.

25a         Awkward brute is interrupting office task, a delaying tactic (13)
FILIBUSTERING – A routine office task wrapped around an anagram (awkward) of BRUTE IS.

26a         Troubles after President initially talks foolishly (8)
PRATTLES – The first letter of President followed by ‘troubles’ or ‘disturbs’.

27a         Handle last bit of wordy agreement (6)
TREATY – Another verb for ‘handle’ followed by the last letter of wordY.


2d           Artist coming to church in attempt to establish window pattern? (7)
TRACERY – Put together the usual crossword artist and the initials of the Church of England, then wrap an attempt around the result.

3d           Port‘s making frameworks for vessels (5)
HULLS – Double definition: a port in Yorkshire plus the ‘S; or the outer shells of ships.

4d           Street work — look at something taking time (9)
STOPWATCH – Put together the abbreviation for STreet, the Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work, and ‘look at’, to get something which can measure the time taken to perform an action.

Image result for stopwatch

5d           Their skins pose risks? Crazy! (7)
BANANAS – In cartoons and political jargon, the skins of these fruits pose a threat to the unwary. They are also used as a metaphor for something crazy or ridiculous.

Image result for banana skin cartoon

6d           Attractive person quietly leaving knockout match (5)
CUTIE – Remove the musical symbol for ‘quietly’ from a sporting contest (3,3) the winner of which will proceed to the next round while the loser is out of contention.

7d           Second set correct? Wrong set for most intelligent (9)
BRIGHTEST – If the first set is set A, then the second set is …? Add on another word for ‘correct’ and an anagram (wrong) of SET.

8d           Member of tribe has point of view not English — Scotsman? (7)
ANGLIAN – Another word for ‘point of view’ with the final English removed, followed by the given name of a typical crossword Scotsman.

13d         Navigator in car leading smug group (9)
AUTOPILOT – Put together another word for ‘car’, another word for ‘smug’ or ‘sanctimonious’, and another word for a group or collection.

15d         Nicer pet I trained to be award-winner? (9)
RECIPIENT – Anagram (trained) of NICER PET I.

17d         Punishment? Explain the thing that caused it (4,3)
WHAT FOR – A euphemism for physical punishment, as in ‘I’ll give you —- —‘. This can also be read as a request to explain why the punishment was awarded.

18d         Employment in wicked activities? Such may give one a headache (7)
SINUSES – Some wicked or wrong acts wrapped around ‘employment’.

20d         Sixth sense within one of the other five? (7)
INSIGHT – Another (shorter) word for ‘within’ followed by one of the five senses.

22d         Nonconformist and bishop in dance (5)
REBEL – The chess notation for a bishop inserted into a Scottish or Irish dance.

24d         Fabric, not quite enough for small room (5)
TOILE – Another word for the smallest room in the house, with its last letter removed (not quite enough)

The Quick Crossword pun BANNED + ANNA = BANDANA

54 comments on “DT 28640

  1. There are lots of early 19a round our way – on sunny days our bees come out and take advantage of an early source of pollen

    Thank you to Giovanni for a nice Friday inside back pager and to DT for the explanations

    1. Bees will fly when the temperature is over 8 degrees. As your husband will know well. Cleansing flights and pollen collection where possible.

  2. I only intended to complete a bit of this one before getting on with things. I had so much fun, the things remained undone. There is something wrong though as my iPad telling me ‘some answers are incorrect’ and I cannot see anything obvious so will need the blog today to see what silly mistake I have made. **/***-and-a-half.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Check your spellings. The second letter of 14ac possibly. The first letter of 21ac needs to satisfy the definition FOOD BOX.

      1. Wow, MP… you are some kind of savant. My crossword progress was indeed hampered by an illegal Camper. Can you tell what colour of shirt I am wearing right now? Thanks btw.

    2. After seemingly wading through treacle yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed this. I too was told on completion that some of my answers were wrong by my iPad which perplexed me. I had in fact missed the lurker in 12a and had produced what I thought was an anagram of nasty+r (why?) to give a perfectly good answer except that it wasn’t even an anagram of these letters…….😩 A case of more haste and less speed I think.
      Thank you to all involved.

  3. Good morning every body.

    Quite gentle today. Last in was 1a but that can’t be favourite as it’s an ‘arry, ranking only marginally below a Spooner in the pantheon of irritating clues so I’ll say 10a for good taste.


  4. Golly bongs that was over with quickly. All very nicely done with a brief wince at the surface to 5ac. Thanks to The Don and Thanks to DT. Play nicely folks. See you all on Monday.

  5. Thank you for the feedback. You can hear me on Radio 4 next Friday just after noon, talking about the history of crosswords.

    1. Looking forward to it immensely, Gio. (do you have a brother called Reg, perchance?)

      I hugely enjoy your crosswords as I am very much in the ”Learning new words is fab” camp’.

      Pip pip!

  6. Another very enjoyable end to the work week, slowed down to finish at a fast canter by a little bit of head scratching in the NE – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 9a, 27a, 2d and 13d – and the winner is 2d – what a delightful word.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Very well clued and enjoyable puzzle – I’m not even going to gripe about the name in 10a as Rhapsody in Blue is a favourite of mine. For some reason it took me ages to work out the anagram at 15d. I’ll nominate 26a – the word amuses me and a wry surface.

    Excellent, thank you Giovanni (I may well tune in to R4) and thanks to DT for the review.

  8. Great diversion. TVM Giovanni. It was plain-sailing in the South but a bit rougher in the North mainly due to 5a being a new one on me and 6d rather too informal to occur to me. No real Fav but liked 17d and 25a. Managed without resorting to your help DT but thanks for being there in case of need.

  9. Life as we know it (crossword life that is!) has changed dramatically for me in the past 24 hours.   Since yesterday it appears that one of BD’s famous tweaks to ward off the morons has made the blog incompatible with the company server my laptop uses to connect to the internet.   With BD’s help, I worked out a partial solution allowing me to view the site but I can’t use the shortcuts so I can only navigate between pages by entering a full URL, which is frustrating to put it mildly.    Even then the latest blow is that I have discovered that I can no longer add or reply to comments using my laptop. :cry:

    I can still use my Smartphone normally to access the site which is how I have made this comment.  However this is a far from an ideal way to participate in the blog, so, unless something can be changed, regrettably I will only be commenting much less frequently and more briefly.

    I found today’s puzzle quite tough in parts but I did enjoy it and my rating is 3* / 3*.    The NW was the most difficult sector, and my last two in were the interlinked 1a & 3d.   I had made a mistake by initially putting in “stopclock” for 4d :oops:   It also took a while for the penny to drop on the parsing of the last four letters of 5a.

    The excellent 5d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Yes, I know what you mean, the firewall stops me commenting from my tablet, can only do so from my smartphone.

  10. A delightfully enjoyable puzzle from The Don this frosty morning. Some head-scratching involved to parse and justify the last couple in the NE corner, with the admirable 5d also my favourite. 2.5* /3.5* overall.

    Thanks Giovanni for the challenge and DT. I shall be listening to Radio 4 next Friday lunchtime to hear what The Don has to say.

  11. Lovely puzzle today.
    Last ones in were 5a and d for some reason I had pencilled in canines for 5d (skin of teeth )which gave me the wrong start to 5a. Fave clue 25a although 19d gave a wry smile as I have had a bit of trouble with my 19d’s as I get over this damn cold.
    New word for me was 24d a bung in with the checkers and a quick consult with mr google was educational.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni and thanks to the other mon – thurs bloggers too. I have a go at the puzzles though rarely have time to comment but your help is appreciated.

  12. Very enjoyable, completed at a steady pace until 5a held me up, thanks to DT for the hint, I would still be head scratching otherwise. Lots of lovely clues and the whole puzzle, bar 5a, just flowed into place beautifully for me today so it would be difficult to pick a favourite , but I particularly enjoyed 16a, 2d and 13d.
    Thanks to Giovanni.

  13. The garage on the A1 up to Scotland didn’t have a DT left today so husband has been on a wild goose chase. Today’s puzzle was well worth the chase. Only held up slightly by forgetting what the abbreviation was for a smug person, and not getting all of 5a. We only managed to get the first bit of the answer. Thank you Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  14. Needed to check that 5a could be written as one word but no other problems to report.
    25a gets my vote today – one of those ‘really like the sound of’ words.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the words and music.

  15. Well this was plain sailing until the NE corner threw out its sheet anchor. 5a was the last to fall. I’m afraid my 40 years in Anglican choral music didn’t involve much of that!

    ***/*** from me, many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  16. I too had to look up 5a….not a word that I am familiar with, despite the late wonderful Chuck Berry.
    Other than that all good.

    I really liked 5d…which perhaps says something about me.

    Many thanks to DT and to Giovanni.

  17. Enjoyed this puzzle. 2d was a good example of a fair clue, in that even if you have never heard the word, it can be constructed from the wordplay. Will look out for the radio program next week.

  18. Very nice puzzle with 5d clear favourite. We’ll give it **/****.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  19. I enjoyed this and didn’t have too much Friday trouble apart from a few in the top right corner.
    Couldn’t see 5a for ages which didn’t help with the rest of that corner – once I got that the rest fell into place.
    I particularly liked 19 and 21a and 7 and 20d. I think my favourite was 26a but I might change my mind . . .
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    I think I need a break from my battle with the Toughie – Notabilis is one of the only two Friday Toughie setters that I even attempt but I am having a struggle.

  20. All those who have enjoyed the comments from and company of Tstrummer may like to read his obituary which appears in today’s edition of The Times. I understand that all the comments left on this blog following BD’s sad announcement of his death were on show at his funeral – what a thoughtful gesture from his lovely partner, Jan.

    1. Newspapers always seem to be very loyal in remembering “one of their own” and I’m glad The Times is no exception.

      I suspect Tstrummer would have found loved to have edited the obituary himself!

  21. I found the bottom half marginally less straightforward than the top, but overall it was a pleasure to solve.

    My top clues were 25a, 6d, 17d (very clever I thought) and 24d.

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

  22. Giovanni in a somewhat benevolent mood today! A lovely crossword that didn’t put up too much resistance with 5d being the pick of the bunch. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  23. Nice, fair challenge today. **/****. All good, but I liked 5d, 3d,13a, 6d and 24d with gold to 25a. Thanks Don.

  24. All done and dusted in something like ** time, with only my LOI 24d causing any real difficulty. How many small rooms could there be to work from? Lots of more obscure ones it turns out, as I dregged up loads before inspiration finally struck. 12ac was an almost new one today – obvious when you think about it, but as so often with these words you don’t. 25ac it turns out I didn’t know how to spell, but the cryptic kept me on the straight and narrow. Enjoyable throughout… Looking forward to hearing the Don on the radio. :-)

  25. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. A couple of new words that were gettable. 9a and 17d were great clues.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  26. Hugely enjoyable for me, but I did need hints for a couple in the NE.
    Liked 25a, rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it, but fave was 10a. It reminds me of Peter Sellers:

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints that helped me finish.

  27. A top quality Friday puzzle once again. A bit of hesitation about the second half of 5a but not for too long. An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  28. I had to dig in the old brain for a few of these and some parsings took a bit of thought too. Overall an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat – see you in a week’s time. :)

  29. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite on the gentle side. Last in was 24d, l liked 17d, 13d made me laugh, but my favourite was 16a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  30. Quite enjoyed this although there were 4 words I have not run across before, but Deep Threat’s hints helped clear those up. Didn’t help that I wanted to bung n the right answer for 25a (it being a common governmental practice over here) but was convinced it was an anagram so held off. Silly me. No real favourite although smiled at 17d as I can remember my Mum threatening me that I would get that when my Dad got home… I never did 😊

  31. Excellent end to a good week although my total solving time has been very low. Only hold up with this one was 5a which came to me without whilst I was finishing the rest. I did however check the word with Mr Google. Lots of favourites 14 19 and 21a and 3 4 5 and 7d. Thanks Giovanni Deep Threat and all for all wit and wisdom. Only 8 more sleeps before the Birthday Bash.

  32. Very late on parade as spent most of the day at the Vancouver Boat Show. Fortunately I hadn’t taken my cheque book. As to the crossword – delightful. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review.

  33. Very good, as usual, from G – about average for him, a bit above average for the back-page norm and about on a par with this week’s Tuesday puzzle. Very enjoyable. 3* / 4*.

Comments are closed.