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DT 28646


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28646

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on another damp, grey day.

I found today’s puzzle from Giovanni to be harder than usual (not helped by putting in the wrong first word in 4d), but as usual it was difficult to see in retrospect what I had found difficult.

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           Like delivery on field completed by a fighting force (7)
OVERARM – ‘Completed’ followed a general term for a branch of the Services, giving us a style of bowling on the cricket field.

7a           Gosh, a little girl comes back in such a state! (5)
IDAHO – Put together an exclamation like ‘Gosh!’, A (from the clue), and a short form of a girl’s name, then reverse the lot to get a US state.

9a           Transformed female, amused when changing (6)
MEDUSA – Anagram (when changing) of AMUSED, producing one of the legendary Gorgons.

Image result for medusa

10a         Element of spoken languages, a number (8)
TUNGSTEN – A homophone (spoken) of a word for ‘languages’, followed by a cardinal number (the one which will apply to next year’s Birthday Bash. This is a chemical element also known as wolfram.

11a         Ma produces new device to keep house dry (4,6)
DAMP COURSE – Anagram (new) of MA PRODUCES.

13a         Hit that knocks chums over (4)
SLAP – Reverse (over) a word for ‘chums’.

14a         Unusually poised as saint, showing no emotion (13)
DISPASSIONATE – Anagram (unusually) of POISED AS SAINT.

16a         Supporting one particular gender and class (4)
FORM – Another word for ‘supporting’ or ‘in favour of’, followed by a letter indicating one of the traditional genders.

17a         Base discovered at holy Scottish site, blocked off at end (10)
FOUNDATION – Another word for ‘discovered’ followed by AT (from the clue) and a holy island in Scotland (associated with St Columba) with its final letter removed.

19a         What’s transformed homes and is good-looking (8)
HANDSOME – An anagram (transformed) of HOMES AND.

20a         A long name for a German city (6)
AACHEN – Put together A (from the clue), a verb meaning ‘long (for)’, and Name. Charlemagne was buried here.

Image result for Aachen

22a         Soldiers in time will give consent (5)
AGREE – A long period of time wrapped around the initials of an engineer regiment in the British Army.

23a         Touching piece on games board, gripping part of play (7)
TACTILE – A game piece (in Scrabble, perhaps) wrapped around one of the sections of a play.


1d           Fellows of the upper class that may be seen in restaurant (4)
MENU – Some fellows or chaps followed by the letter denoting Upper class.

2d           Soldier number one has a psychological condition (8)
PARANOIA – Put together an airborne soldier, an abbreviation for number, the Roman numeral for one, and A (from the clue).

3d           Endless row about pub offering Aussie can of beer (6)
TINNIE – A row of seats with its last letter removed, wrapped around another word for ‘pub’.

4d           As something before its proper time, it’s not going off with a bang (5,5)
FALSE START – Cryptic definition of what happens when a competitor in a race does not wait for the gun to go off.

5d           Foreign character, very big, with nothing on top (5)
OMEGA – The answer is a Greek letter. The letter which looks like a zero, followed by an informal term for ‘very big’ (itself derived from Greek).

6d           Man stuttered awkwardly outside university, sort of learner (6,7)
MATURE STUDENT – Anagram (awkwardly) of MAN STUTTERED, wrapped around University.

8d           Musical drama, the heartless work (7)
OPERATE – A musical drama (the one which ain’t over till the fat lady sings), followed by T(h)E from the clue with its middle letter removed (heartless).

12d         Gate outside Government ministry in a particular artistic style (4-6)
POST-MODERN – A small gate in a fortress, perhaps a sally port, wrapped around the initials of the Government ministry which deals with military matters.

14d         Scene I love in play (7)
DIORAMA – I (from the clue) and the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, inserted into a general term for a play.

15d         Soldiers on trip receiving any number of weapons etc (8)
ORDNANCE – The usual soldiers who are not officers, followed by ‘trip’ (the light fantastic) wrapped around the algebraic symbol for ‘any number’.

17d         Upset about wild animal in prime of life? (6)
FLOWER – Put together the Latin expression for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’ and a wild animla which hunts in packs, then reverse the lot.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d         Very big honour given to Home Counties (5)
OBESE – One of the honours awarded in large numbers in the New Year Honours List, followed by the geographical location of the Home Counties.

21d         Church with fashionable feature (4)
CHIN – An abbreviation for CHurch followed by ‘fashionable’.

Image result for chin

I’m off to London this afternoon, and hope to see some of you this evening and others tomorrow, though I shall be late for the afternoon session, since I have another meeting to attend.

The Quick Crossword pun CREWE + DITTY = CRUDITY

54 comments on “DT 28646

    1. Yep, my phone reminder/alarm is set for mid day so I’ll be listening for sure. Great puzzle again this morning – excellent as always. Most enjoyable.

    2. You’re a natural, Gio…….well, a natural something, anyway.

      Well done. It was very enjoyable,

    3. Very interesting, I particularly enjoyed the ‘thinking aloud’ development of the Beyoncé clue. Thank you.

  1. I enjoyed this after a slow start….only quibble was i felt 4d should have been worded as ‘going off without a bang’, but otherwise all good – challenging but fair…

  2. Even with, or perhaps because of, a low clue count, a good cranial workout to end the work week which only required support from the Little Red Book to complete at a gallop (just) – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 23a, 2d, 12d, and 15d – and the winner is 12d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  3. 12d was my penultimate entry ahead of 16a, with the former getting my vote for COTD. The whole crossword needed some thought to complete, and overall it was both challenging and enjoyable, so 2.5* /3.5* from me.

    Many thanks to The Don and DT.

  4. Nice brainteaser this morning. Some clues I thought a little confusing but then i am no expert.
    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle, on the right wavelength today as is often the case, but not always, for me with Giovanni. Some went in quite quickly and others involved some deeper thought. Last one in was 17d and i enjoyed all of today’s clues.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni, off to listen to him on the radio now.

  6. Good puzzle from the Don with no obscurities for me although the regional ‘thing’ meant that the homophone in 10a didn’t quite work for me.
    I parsed the ending of 5a slightly differently – using ‘A’ from the clue and ‘RM’ for the fighting force.

    Favourite was 12d with 15d coming in second.

    Right – off to pack a bag now. Look forward to seeing many of you this evening/tomorrow.

    PS The hint for 17a needs a tweak to include the ‘AT’ from the clue.

  7. Finished DT today without reference to Big Dave, apart from 17D, which stumped me. Thank you… I can test until tomorrow now:)

    1. I too managed it all except 17 down — which I have to say is most unusual for me in a 3* puzzle. Thank you Giovanni and DT

  8. All completed without frightening our four legged friends. Very glad to see the proper differentiation between “any number” and “unknown number” in 15d. It stops the pedantic mathematicians amongst us putting our oar in. A straightforward **/** from me.

    I’m with Jane about the homophone in 10a. I think it only works in Yorkshire.

    Many thanks to the Don and DT. Off to see if my TV managed to record R4 for me.

    1. It works in Kent too- Mr CS has just tried to make it ‘not work’ and he gave up as he says they definitely sound the same.

          1. I am a Yorkshireman, AND a retired languages teacher, I taught “tongues” and phonetics was a large part of both my studies and what I taught, pronunciation in particular.

            I have no problem with “tongues” and “tungs(ten)”. “Tongs” are what you use to pick things up with if you do not want to use your fingers or hand, and no doctor has ever asked me to stick my “tong” out!

            These folk must live in a part of the country I have never visited.

            Nice one today, not too difficult and managed it eventually without recourse to the blog, but didn’t know “ordnance” was spelled or spelt that way, thought it was “ordinance”, probably thinking or “ordinal” etc.

            Have fun!

    1. I think the spelling might depend upon which definition you choose.

      The quality of being offensively coarse or rude.

      The foodstuff used as an aperitif usually with a dip.

      I went for the coarse answer.

        1. Thank you – I’ve added the missing letter as DT is already on his way to that London

  9. I was stuck on 17dn and had to revert to Big Dave. I suppose flower and prime of life is OK.

  10. Really enjoyed my daily dose of “indispensable puzzle medicine”. A pretty grid and fun to do. SE corner was last to yield. Stupidly failed to parse 16a – d’oh! Never heard of 3d but there again I’m not a beer drinker. Particularly liked the surfaces of 20a and 4d. The cruciverbal Radio 4 history lesson was entertaining. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  11. 3* / 3*. I found this enjoyably challenging. 17d was last one in and favourite closely followed by 16a.

    I’ve had a frustrating day today. We are having some electrical work done and the electrician doesn’t seem to understand that turning off the power kills our WiFi. :sad:

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  12. Got there with no external aid, which is unusual for me on a Friday (or most days if I am to be truthful). So delighted with today’s crossword.

    Finally a homophone that works for me at 10a! Hurrah!

    Was not too sure of 17d though….17d of youth is the phrase that comes to mind for me which is a bit young for the prime of life…..but maybe that is because I am old now……

    Many thanks to Don Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the hints (needed them to check the parsings)
    Heard you on the radio this lunchtime…very interesting and entertaining. Liked hearing the thought behind the clueing. Increased my admiration (which was pretty high already) for all setters immensely.

    1. I had similar thoughts on 17d, but the answer/definition combination is straight out of the BRB.

  13. Best of the week for me. Liked 10&20a and 4d. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review. Wet walk for the dogs in prospect today with a warm spell imminent and therefore avalanches in the back country. Stay safe.

  14. An enjoyable solve. My favourite was 17d.

    10a? I evidently speak straight from the Compilers’ Book of Pronunciation as I think I’ve only come across one homophone in recent times that didn’t work for me, and this one isn’t it.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat – see you in a few hours. :)

  15. Towards the easier end of the Giovanni spectrum I thought, particularly since the obscurities were given a leave of absence today.

    My top three clues were 20a, 2d and 17d.

    The Radio 4 broadcast was interesting, I wonder if our setter was partly thinking of the Blog when mentioning that solvers are less tolerant of biblical references these days?

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT, and a good weekend to all. Looking forward to catching up with many familiar faces tomorrow and I hope meeting some new ones.

  16. Just listened to Giovanni on pod cast, it was certainly most interesting. I will definitely keep taking the puzzle medicine as suggested. Thank you Giovanni.

  17. Brilliant! Best puzzle of the week for me. Not too challenging but with elegant clues. COTD for me was 15d. Where was today’s weird word?
    For me **/*****
    Thx to all

  18. Nice crossword to finish the working week. A steady solve with few delays encountered. I think 12d was my favourite. 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  19. All problems today were self-inflicted, e.g. the wrong answer in 18d, but soon sorted.
    Last in was 17d, but it’s also my fave.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints and tips.
    I wish I could join you tomorrow, to put faces to names, have a wonderful time.

  20. A little on the tricky side today, with 4d, 10ac and finally 17d taking a great deal of the time spent. A definite *** for difficulty.

  21. Enjoyable puzzle a good challenge with a couple of answers unknown but ‘fitted in.’ 20a never heard of that and 14d that’s a new one as well. That’s the beauty of this you can always learn something new. A much better attempt than the past couple of days, look forward to the prize puzzle tomorrow.

    Clue of the day: Only five letters I know but 18d is smart.

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  22. A most enjoyable challenge from DG today. Just needed DT’s help to parse 17d, and for that I am most grateful, as it enabled me to hear Jonas Kaufmann’s rendition of the Flower aria. Did anyone ever sing it better? Must go for a lie-down now to recover. I do hope you all enjoy yourselves tomorrow. Perhaps I will be able to join you next year.

  23. Slight delay with 4d as we had pencilled in ALARM as the second word until it would not work with the checkers (and some of the word play). A pleasant Friday solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. Unlike Gabrielle at comment 6 I’m usually on exactly the wrong-wave length with Giovanni on Fridays.
    This makes me think that today’s crossword was more straightforward than Friday’s often are as I didn’t have too much trouble.
    No sport (apart from 1a which wasn’t difficult), no religion, no unusual words but not many anagrams – four, I think.
    I had to check the spelling for 2d – I know that I can spell it, I knew that that was what it had to be but it looked odd.
    The homophone at 10a sounded OK to me but what do I know?
    I liked 16a and 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT and see all of you who can make it to the birthday bash tomorrow.

  25. The 7a/4d combo took me into 2* time, mainly because l had “fresh” down as the first word of the latter (it works, too, in a way because something fresh clearly isn’t going off). 17d held me up as well. A very worthwhile puzzle, for which thanks to the Don. Thanks to DT for the review too.

  26. Lovely Giovanni crossword. Impossible to find fault.
    Thanks all, have a great time tomorrow.

  27. Enjoyable puzzle today completed before and after listening to the Giovanni. Very good it was too I did particularly like the stream of conciousness re Beyonce.
    Couldn’t give you any idea of how long it took as I cruciverbalise around various coffee and lunch breaks but I did manage to solve it without the hints tho they are always appreciated.
    Fave clu 17a, slowest corner was the NW because I started with an inexplicable wrong answer for 1d so bad I can’t bring myself to tell you what I put in.
    I’ve managed to get a couple of train tickets tomorrow. I get to London early and want to go to either the Royal Acadamy exhibition or the John Soane museum. I will pop along to Little Venice in the afternoon. I have even been to Betty’s and will bring you some macaroons as I see from other posts that a regular supplier has been let down by a shop closure.

  28. Much easier than yesterday – in that I (almost) finished it. I had the answer in mind for 17d, but couldn’t see why.

  29. I got through this fairly quickly until I got to 21d. I had to ask my mother-in-law if she’d put in ‘cine’. The answer was ‘no’, and that I’d got it wrong. I was told to look for a facial feature. I’d put ‘ce’ with ‘in’ in the middle. I had feature film /cine on the brain. Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  30. Really enjoyed this one, thanks Giovanni and DT, even more satisfying to do well when it is rated *** difficulty. Mostly my GK that let me down, as in 20a and 3d. Nothing convoluted nor sports related – even I could figure out 5a – a good brain teaser and a feeling of time well spent.

    And here’s wishing you all a great time at the Birthday Bash, wish I could be there. It would be so great to meet you and put faces to names, as Merusa said above.

  31. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. Managed it in the end. Nice to hear the Don on Radio 4. Some great clues. Favourite was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me. Looking forward to tomorrow.

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