DT 28664 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28664


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28664

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the day has started bright but frosty.

A little more ecclesiastical from Giovanni this morning, but nothing to frighten the horses too much.

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           Vessel in the morning crashing into bridge (6)
SAMPAN – The Latin abbreviation for ‘in the morning’ inserted into another word for bridge.

Image result for sampan


4a           Something cutting — it is evident in racism sadly (8)
SCIMITAR – Anagram (sadly) of RACISM wrapped around IT (from the clue).

Image result for scimitar

9a           Cross province heading west, protected from the elements somehow? (6)
INDOOR – Start with an old word for the Cross of Christ, followed by the initials of an Irish province, then reverse the lot (heading west).

10a         Wicked type perched and troubled saint (8)
SATANIST – Another word for ‘perched’ followed by an anagram (troubled) of SAINT.

11a         I am maiden protected by being in fruit tree (9)
PERSIMMON – A generic word for a human being wrapped around the contracted form of ‘I am’ and the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over.

Image result for persimmon

13a         Live satisfactorily by edge of wood (5)
DWELL – The last letter (edge) of wooD, followed by ‘satisfactorily’.

14a         Advocates of one-party state overthrown in a riot at last (13)
TOTALITARIANS – Anagram (overthrown) of IN A RIOT AT LAST.

17a         Odd impostor tends to be following a sort of artistic style (4-9)

21a         Little living things Georgia found in beer (5)
ALGAE – Another word for beer wrapped around the abbreviation for the US state of Georgia.

Image result for algae

23a         Old contrary female meets copper beside street as usual (9)
CUSTOMARY – Put together the chemical symbol for copper, the abbreviation for street, Old, and the name of the ‘quite contrary’ girl whose garden grew with silver bells and cockleshells, and pretty maids all in a row.

24a         French art, exceptionally erotic and mysterious (8)
ESOTERIC – The French for ‘art’ as in ‘thou art’ followed by an anagram (exceptionally) of EROTIC.

25a         Firm admits an offence — risks may be taken with money here (6)
CASINO – The abbreviation for a company or firm wrapped around an indefinite article and a moral offence.

26a         Dealing with consumption, try not finishing initially (8)
TREATING – TR(y) (try not finishing) followed by consumption of food.

27a         Stopped being cold, and slowed down (6)
CEASED Cold followed by ‘slowed down’ or ‘relaxed’.


1d           Dangerously smooth Bond type full of impudent talk (6)
SLIPPY – Someone like James Bond or George Smiley wrapped around an informal word for impudent talk.

2d           Controls costs, following method (9)
MODERATES – Another word for ‘method’ followed by ‘costs’ or ‘charges’.

3d           Lover is a wet, admitting fear ultimately (7)
AMORIST – A (from the clue) followed by ‘wet’ or ‘damp’ wrapped around the last letter of feaR.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d           Sellers of goods given dull jobs outside ace institution (5,6)
CHAIN STORES – The abbreviation for an ace in a deck of cards and the abbreviation for INSTitute are placed inside some dull household tasks.

6d           Person making repair grabs a thread (7)
MEANDER – A (from the clue) inserted into a repairer gives us a verb which can mean to ‘thread one’s way through.

Image result for meander

7d           Food providing energy after journey (5)
TRIPE – A journey followed by Energy.  Whether you regard the answer as constituting food is a matter of taste.

Image result for tripe

8d           Girl reading having leg pulled? That’s cruel (8)
RUTHLESS – Start with a girl’s name (she has an Old Testament book named for her), then add a church reading minus the alternative term for the leg side in cricket.

12d         Presumably not the way a woman speaks a curse (11)
MALEDICTION – Split this (4,7) and it could describe the way men speak.

15d         Bill joins union stars — they may examine business statistics (9)
ACTUARIES – Put together an abbreviation for a bill or account, an abbreviation for a Trade Union, and one of the signs of the Zodiac.

16d         The old man going one way and another — torn apart, that’s obvious (8)
APPARENT – The two-letter informal word for ‘the old man’, first reversed, then the right way round, followed by ‘torn apart’.

18d         Most likely to inherit everything? (7)
MEEKEST – Cryptic definition. The people who shall inherit the earth, according to the Sermon on the Mount, but in the superlative form (most likely).

19d         I had to catch the sun, put on a desert island? (7)
ISOLATE – I (from the clue) and ‘had’ (for dinner), placed either side of the Latin word for the sun.

20d         The answer your setter has chosen? Gosh! (2,4)
MY WORD – A mild exclamation, like ‘Gosh!’, which could also how our setter would describe his choice of answer.

22d         Good number in front of this person in small statue (5)
GNOME – Put together Good, an abbreviation for number, and ‘this person’.

Image result for gnome

The Quick Crossword pun PURSE + PYRES = PERSPIRES

PS: How do you stop bacon curling in the pan? Take its little broom away!

47 comments on “DT 28664

  1. 2* / 2*. With a few iffy surfaces and not much fun on offer, this proved to be a slightly disappointing end to what has otherwise been another splendid week. I admit I am prejudiced but I hate the answer to 1d which seems to have slipped into common usage replacing a perfectly good word for no good reason.

    12d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, particularly for the parsing of 8d – I assumed cricket was involved but still couldn’t unscramble it :sad:

  2. Great fun but needed to think carefully to fully unravel clues such as 9a (have absolutely no idea what the Cross of Christ is), 24a (still not sure what Se means in French) and 11a which I had to Google as I had never come across this fruit before.
    My personal favourite was 20d as it made me smile.
    Thx to all esp Giovanni.

    1. We’ve had this cross many times before (it is a feature in quite a few churches as well as being the Cross DT refers to. As for the French ES, again we’ve had it before and people query it every time – the French word ES means is (art being an old-fashioned way of saying is). The fruit can be found in your local Sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are available)

      1. I’ve heard of a Rood screen but never quite sure what the Rood referred to. All a bit too religious for an old Atheist like me.

        1. Old and atheist is a worrying combination. If you want to chat, ask. Or read the gospel of John. I’ll leave it there. All the best. Donaldo

      2. We had French art meaning es in the Giovanni of two weeks ago. It was queried then!. Mr K gave previous instances.

          1. I’ve just completed my eighth decade and the memory doesn’t always serve me well, but I think I remembered this because it was so clever!

    2. Brian – It’s the French es (from verb être) meaning art (thou art) which is relevant here! 😉

      I see CS beat me to it by a minute!

    3. Brian, we’ve seen that “French art” several times in recent years. The last appearance was two weeks ago in DT 28652, where you commented “how are you supposed to work out that art is an archaic word and then translate into French”.

      Before that, it was in DT 28505 on 14/08/17 (you: “Needed the hints to explain 5d which I thought quite the daftest clue in a long time. Bad enough looking for bits of a foreign language without making an archaic English term, crazy!”).

      That was preceded by appearances in DT 28272 on 15/11/2016 (you: “Mmmmm! Lots of flummery here, it’s just a rubbish clue”) and in DT 27761 on 28/03/2015 (you: “The French word is a total mystery.”).

      I’d have thought that by now you’d remember a device that causes you such aggravation. Or perhaps you’re just having us on?

      1. Well researched and presented Mr K. But I can’t help thinking that, in this particular instance, you’re banging your head against a brick wall. :-)

  3. This is excellent from the consistent G. I’ve completed just about half of it in the same time it’s taken me to do any of the week’s previous back-pagers – so I’ll have to finish at home later. There’s a few clunkyish clues, but that’s fine by me – if it makes the parsing a bit more puzzling then I’m happy. Up to now, 3.5* / 4*.

    1. Well, the second half went in much quicker at home – probably because I was fully concentrating rather than trying to solve the puzzle whilst simultaneously working as I was earlier. So, overall 3* / 4*.

  4. A fitting end to another good puzzling week. Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge. Regards respect to Deep Threat for parsing 8 down which has been bothering me. The word is used by me to describe my sister Ruth’s ex boyfriends. Play nicely children and I will se you all on Monday.

  5. Having solved this many hours ago before my long-lasting battle with Elgar interspersed with Arachne in the Graun, I had to go back to the paper to see how I’d fared with Giovanni.

    An average time for an average (rather than specially friendly Giovanni) with no particular favourites

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat

  6. A very enjoyable to the end of the work week completed at a fast gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 12d, and 16d – and the winner is 12d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. I wondered if anyone else would comment on 1d. I see both spellings are in the BRB.

    Overall quite a fun puzzle, nothing really got in my way, but it was definitely in *** time for me.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. Another Giovanni offering which I thoroughly enjoyed. Most went in without hassle but I did struggle a bit in the NW. Agree with RD re slippery synonym in 1d. Several Fav candidates including 3d, 12d, 18d and 24d with 12d winning through in the end. Many thanks Giovanni for lots of fun and DT for hinting.

  9. Managed to remember the French art this time – bonus!
    As for 7d – I remember boiling up mountains of the black variety on a regular basis, having been told it was good for my hounds. Oh, the smell of that dreadful stuff……..

    The surfaces of 25a&1d quite appealed and my favourite was 18d.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the dance interlude but perhaps not the 7d pic!

    PS Made the usual futile attempt at the Elgar – don’t know why I put myself through it……..

  10. I didn’t think this was The Don at his inspired best, but still a fun challenge and fairly clued throughout. That’s the trouble with setting the bar so high. I really liked 12d, and overall this was 2.5* /3* for me.

    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  11. I just loved this puzzle, in large part because untangling the wordplay was so very satisfying. I had a long list of ticks: 24a, 26a, 2d, 8d, 15d, 19d, 20d, and 22d. Of those I have 8d down as favourite. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for a great blog. Loved the very topical ending.

  12. More difficult than 2* for me – it’s Friday.
    I liked 23a and 8 and 12d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.
    No point in even looking at the Toughie so as the sun is shining at last I’m off up the garden – not exactly tropical but it’s warmer than it has been recently.

  13. I thought this was a very good Giovanni ***/**** which was a fair tussle for me with a few admirable clues and my personal double-ticker being 6d. Learned a few things along the way. Needed DT’s assistance with the parsing of 8d being a heathen non-crickety chap.

    How come no one ever comments on or refers to The Times crossword here? I enjoyed it yesterday with a lovely clue for 16d. Is this heresy?

    Thank you Giovanni your consistently enjoyable crosswords. Thanks to DT as well.

  14. A puzzle of two halves for me, the bottom half was reasonably straightforward, but the top half, especially the NW corner, put up quite a fight. An enjoyable challenge overall.

    Today’s ticks went to 4a, 9a and 6d. The same containment verb in 25a and 3d caused my repetition radar to bleep.

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

  15. Very enjoyable with my favourite being 18d which was my last one in (solved using electronic help I should certainly not have needed). Gave me a great “Oh no . . !” moment as I realised. Many thanks Giovanni and DT.

  16. I didn’t have time to do the puzzle yesterday but I read the blog this morning.
    I really enjoyed this today, good fun.
    I agree with previous comments re 1d, awful word and I’ve never heard it before but it had to be.
    My fave by a long shot was 12d, but lots more to like.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, particularly explanation for 8d.

  17. Distracted by work and people insisting on talking to me when I’m trying to do the puzzle, and so finished in about **/*** time. I suspect therefore it wasn’t quite as difficult as that. :-) New word of the day 1ac – though it couldn’t be anything else it was a real – really? – moment. Lots to like as ever from the Don, my favourite today 12d.

  18. Somewhat hard work today and more difficult than a 2* for me. Enjoyable but somehow lacking a bit of sparkle. Needed a bit more fun in my opinion or maybe it’s just me today, thought the same last Friday. Reckon 1d was a brilliant clue certainly my favourite today, liked 25a simple but smart.

    Rating *** / ***

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  19. I normally sail through Friday’s Giovanni but found today’s offering very tricky 😨 ***/*** , enjoyed the exploration of “thou art” 😉 Favourites 12d & 18d Thanks to DT for the enjoyable and informative blog and to Giovanni 😃

  20. Without checking the fodder properly I had put an M as the last letter in 17a which caused a slight delay with 15d, but soon sorted. Also briefly toyed with the possibility of BY JOVE for 20d. Good fun as usual on a Friday.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. 1d was new to me, but I got it from the wordplay. 20d was my favourite followed by 12d. I didn’t need the review, but thank you for your effort Deep Threat. The pic for 7d reminded me why I never eat the stuff. Many thanks to Giovanni too.

  22. Normally the Friday crossword is out in front in the pleasure stakes but because of the general standard of the recent puzzles being higher than usual I thought today’s suffered a bit. 23a was my top clue and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to to DT for the review.

  23. I was rubbish today and Giovanni fooled me in several places, so I needed too many of Deep Threat’s hints to be satisfying. However I do prefer my answer of snippy in 1d, not having heard slippy ever used like that. Perhaps snippy is used more across the pond than at home? (My spell check doesn’t like slippy either, it keeps correcting it to sloppy 😊). Hopefully I will get my brain in gear tomorrow.

  24. Many rhanks to Giovanni and to DT for whose explanation of 8d I was most grateful. My favourite was 18d – a true ‘Doh!’ moment, hotly followed by 12d. 22ds always make me smile but I wouldn’t want DT’s examples in my garden.

  25. **/** An otherwise enjoyable puzzle spoiled by a few clues for the smart a***s. If I wanted clues like that, I’d get the Guardian or Times which are proper newspapers!

    1. They can’t speeell in the Grauniad so what hope does a crossword composer have?

  26. Too busy yesterday but enjoyed the tussle this morning. I thought this was a great puzzle and found parts of it quite enjoyably tricky. 2.5*/****. I especially liked 8d and 18d.

  27. I found this almost impenetrable and after looking at the answers can see why. I obviously inhabit a totally different world to the setter.

  28. Well, province where in 9A. Definately not Nova Scotia, far too intricate. Also 1D is missing a queen, as far as I’m concerned, although slippy has been heard in these’ere parts, along with BOOEE for buoy. ES is Latin, not French.

    So complaints about the North-West but otherwise OK.

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