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DT 28694

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28694

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the day has started with sunshine and clouds.

I stared at the NW corner of today’s Giovanni for a while before getting a foothold elsewhere in the grid, after which it came together nicely.

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           Character in front of the bars at the Albert Hall in summer? (6,4)
TREBLE CLEF – Cryptic definition of one of the musical symbols found at the beginning of every line of sheet music, indicating the pitch of the notes written in the bars which follow.

Image result for treble clef

9a           Component of alphabet (Hebrew) (4)
BETH – An all-in-one clue, where the answer is hidden in the clue.

10a         Novel final item of furniture that can be blown up (10)
INFLATABLE – Anagram (novel) of FINAL, followed by a common item of furniture.

11a         Winter sports feature has a Parisian faced with terrible risk (3,3)
SKI RUN – Anagram (terrible) of RISK followed by a French indefinite article.

12a         Swimmer making money one paper’s written about inside (7)
CATFISH – Put together the Roman numeral for one and the initials of a pink newspaper, reverse the result and insert it into a generic term for notes and coins.

Image result for catfish

15a         Top man, I will be standing by mother (7)
MAXIMUM – Put together a man’s name (Miller, Beerbohm or Mosley, perhaps). I (from the clue) and an informal word for mother.

16a         Stories lacking freshness, start to finish (5)
TALES – Start with a word meaning ‘lacking freshness’, then move the first letter to the end.

17a         Rex inclined to be ecstatic (4)
RAPT – The Latin abbreviation for king followed by ‘inclined (to)’ or ‘appropriate’.

18a         Firm favoured making bit of money (4)
COIN – An abbreviation for a firm followed by ‘favoured’ or ‘fashionable’.

19a         Thrive, making pounds in time of prosperity (5)
BLOOM – A period of economic expansion wrapped around the symbol for pounds sterling.

21a         Peculiar scoundrel with admissions of debt (7)
CURIOUS – A scoundrel or dog followed by some notes admitting the existence of a debt.

22a         Where to eat from tin with adolescent (7)
CANTEEN – Another word for a tin followed by an informal word indicating the age of an adolescent.

24a         Green I spotted between river and lake — spring back (6)
RECOIL – Put together a word for ‘green’ (in the political or philosophical sense) and I (from the clue), then put an abbreviation for River at one end and an abbreviation for Lake at the other.

27a         Upset male model after party (10)
DISCOMPOSE – Put together a party involving recorded music, Male, and a verb for what a model does.

28a         Bird‘s bit of fun (4)
LARK – Double definition.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

29a         Hugo Allen is such a footballer! (10)
GOALKEEPER – If you split the answer (4,6) you get what could be a cryptic definition of what HuGO ALlen represents.


2d           Candid female blasting off in row (4)
RANK – Remove the Female from the front of a word for ‘candid’.

3d           Grumble about the Left taking independent standpoint (6)
BELIEF – A word for a grumble or complaint wrapped around Left and Independent.

4d           Charge hospital department with evidence of neglect? (7)
ENTRUST – The usual hospital department followed by what happens to ferrous metals if they are not looked after.

5d           Fifty absent (half missing) in places of work (4)
LABS – The Roman numeral for fifty followed by half of ABSent.

6d           Opportunities for celebration if seats can be arranged (7)
FIESTAS – Anagram (can be arranged) of IF SEATS.

7d           Sculptor, merry one? Oh, that’s unusual! (5,5)
HENRY MOORE – Anagram (unusual) of MERRY ONE OH.

Image result for henry moore

8d           Quiet female leading old chaps on — remarkable thing (10)
PHENOMENON – Put together the musical symbol for quiet, a female bird, Old, some chaps, and ON (from the clue).

12d         County with no barrier round — no real sign of alien invasion! (4,6)
CORN CIRCLE – A county in the far South-West of England, minus the barrier which forms part of its name, followed by a noun or verb for ‘round’.

Image result for corn circle

13d         Capture sound of excited actor and daughter hugging French relation (4-6)
TAPE-RECORD – An anagram (excited) of ACTOR and Daughter, wrapped around the French word for one of your close relatives.

14d         Everyone to be accommodated in empty houses or rooms (5)
HALLS – The first and last letters (empty) of HousE wrapped around ‘everyone’.

15d         Wine and fish Eastern maiden served up (5)
MEDOC – Put together a fish often served with chips, Eastern, and the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over, then reverse the lot to get one of the wine-growing areas near Bordeaux.

19d         Oxford college attendant gives edict: Do good (7)
BULLDOG – Put together a Papal edict, DO (from the clue) and Good, to get one of a college proctor’s attendants at Oxford, responsible for student discipline.

20d         Something on the floor, security device in town (7)
MATLOCK – Put together a floor covering and something to keep the door fastened, and you get a town in Derbyshire.

Image result for matlock

23d         Stand-in worker joins the French place of worship (6)
TEMPLE – An abbreviation for a temporary worker followed by a French definite article.

25d         Excellent group of caring Christians set up in lots of countries (4)
ASIA – Put together a representation of an alphanumeric expression indicating ‘excellent’ or ‘first class’, and the initials of a Christian charitable organisation noted for its brass bands as well as its work with the homeless. Then reverse the lot and you get a geographical location which contains many countries.

26d         Tennis player of yesteryear in a work of fiction (4)
ASHE – A (from the clue) followed by the title of a work by H Rider Haggard.

The Quick Crossword pun CELL + DUMB = SELDOM

74 comments on “DT 28694

  1. Friendly Giovanni – my favourite clue was 29a – I’d never heard of the footballer in question but the clue was nice and helpful. Thank you to Giovanni and Deep Threat

    1. I’m not sure that he is a known footballer. A Google search came up with a tennis coach, though!

  2. Bit of a tussle with this one well up to the Dons standard, favourite 8d.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and the Don.

  3. Another good cranial work out, perhaps not quite as enjoyable as last week, with quite a lot of head scratching, which resulted in completion at a canter – ***/***.

    I got into a muddle as to whether Mr Allen was a footballer or not!

    Favourite – a toss-up between 3d and 15d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  4. 4* / 2.5*. Yesterday’s white spaces peppered with black islands have been replaced today by black spaces peppered with white islands.

    I found this a real curate’s egg. Parts were really tough and I was defeated by two clues: 12d, on which I spent ages trying and failing to parse “crop circle”, which in turn made 17a completely impossible starting with an “O”.

    In 1a why pick “at the Albert Hall in summer” to indicate music?

    19d puzzles me too. Both Oxford and Cambridge Universities had their own “police” nicknamed 19ds, but my understanding is that Oxford disbanded theirs some 15 or so years ago whereas the Cambridge ones are still active. However my BRB only mentions Oxford which seems rather strange.

    29a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

      1. The Albert Hall is a music venue for the entire year so surely “in summer” is unnecessary padding?

    1. i completely agree; it all felt a bit rushed.
      too many uneven surfaces, (and no-one says “corn-circle”).

  5. I found this solve to be straightforward and concur with DT’s **/***.
    1a was somewhat obscure,I assumed the answer and only felt happy about it once the checking letters went in.
    Last in was 29a, and was a nice d’oh moment all round.
    Liked 26a,have a feeling it’s cropped up before, 18d was different, ok when I recalled the ‘papal’ bull.
    Thanks DT-where did you get that cat?

  6. I rather enjoyed this one despite spending far too long figuring out why Hugo Allen played in that particular position on the pitch (yes, DT, I also found the tennis coach!).
    Had to check 12d in the BRB – I’ve only ever heard of ‘crop’ being used as the first word – and I also looked up info on the college attendant although the answer itself floated up from somewhere in the dark recesses of the grey matter.

    Top places went to 3&4d with a nod to 29a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – nice illustration for 12a!

  7. My favourite was 1 across and 8 down although at first attempt ended the word with an A and L, which did not help 22 across. I needed DeepThreat for 12 down as my brain was insisting on County Cork! A great mornings work, thank you DT and Giovanni.

  8. As others have said, somewhat spoiled by a certain need of GK. Never heard of the first half version of 12d also led to failure of 17a, no wonder I couldn’t parse 12d. Also the fiction in 26d and the college reference in 19d were unknown to me.

    Although my limited knowledge of music led me to 1a, I certainly couldn’t parse it. Turns out, it doesn’t parse. Hmmm.

    Sorry Giovanni, but this puzzle gets the thumbs down from me. Thanks to you and DT.

  9. Not the first time, I’m very much on the same page as RD here. The last two words of 1a are purely “surface padding” as far as I can see, and I too went down the “crop circle” route for 12d originally. My main bone of contention was the fact that “making money” was used in two clues and “making pounds” in another, admittedly they each clued different things, but it did suggest a lack of originality.

    My two ticks went to 29a (I was sure that many would think it was a real player) and 8d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and a good weekend to all.

  10. Must be a wavelength thing today as I fairly breezed through the puzzle – I did even start to wonder if it was Giovanni. The only hold up was trying to fit ‘crop’ into the leading word of 12d from using ‘Cork’ as the county – d’oh!

    I also wondered about the ‘in the Summer’ part of the clue for 1a…..mmm? My favourite of the day has to be 29a – clever clue.

    Thanks to Mr Manley for the puzzle and my county neighbour for his excellent review. Now off to tussle with Mr Henderson – I don’t hold out much hope.

    Have a good weekend all.

  11. Thought the grid was quite unfriendly today. 12d last in because of the crop/corn thing and my chances of getting 26d was zilch. An old tennis player and an old book – is that cryptic wordplay, really? Never heard of 7d either, and 19d remains a mystery to me. Agree about the waffle in 1a. Thanks silvanus for the radar readings, I didn’t notice at the time.

    Enjoyed the puzzle apart from those, favourite without doubt 29a – I solve on paper so there was no googling for me. I do like the device at 16a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

    1. PS Couldn’t help but grimace at the back page being taken up by an advert – for the Woodland Trust :wacko:

  12. Pleasant puzzle; maybe the easiest of the week, for me, anyway. Like some others, I didn’t much care for 1a. In summer? 12d was a real parse and a half. 1.5*/3.5*. 29a was brilliant.

  13. What I have to say has been said above. I don’t get In Summer at 1ac. Crop not Corn at 12d. I dislike random unclued men and women clues, there are just too many to choose from. The unclued man needed at 15ac lives two doors away so he was handy. The female needed at 7d isn’t human which adds another level to the search. Thanks to Giovanni. Thanks to DT. I am off to Stonehenge tomorrow so play nicely children. See you on Monday.

  14. 12D ? As the “aliens” have been known to appear in many types of growing plants thought this a bit questionable, but a check in Chamber’s Crossword Dictionary proofed enlightening! About plants not aliens!!

  15. Not much to add to the above. I was quite pleased to remember 26d (both the answer and second wordplay component), and took the same route as most of you to the 12d.

    (Bonus pic for that one here.)

    Really liked the all-in-one at 9a. Very elegant. Also liked 17a (with a rex cat in mind) 29a, 7d and 8d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  16. !9ds were never under the control of Oxford colleges, but were a university force, disbanded some time ago.

  17. I’m with Omar today.

    Too difficult for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

    (You might like to look again at the hint for 14d, she said pedantically.)

  18. I do not see what the problem is with 1a! The Proms immediately sprang to mind and the clue thus answered. However I found the crossword strangely lacking sparkle, which is unusual for a Friday. A hotchpotch of clues; some really simple, others a bit more left field like 12d.
    So 2/3* overall with no real stand out for me.
    But thanks regardless to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  19. Mostly solvable without too much aggro with exception of SW which dragged a bit. Not keen on either 1a or 12d; bunged in 29a. No special Fav today. Thank you Giovanni and DT. Hail to a beautiful sunny day in Sussex.

  20. Unlike others I did not give 1a a second thought and got the answer straight away. I felt that for most of the year there are non-classical concerts where sheet music might not be used, hence the reference to The Proms. 29a easily my favourite – such an inspired clue. Notwithstanding other commenters mixed feelings, I enjoyed this from Giovanni and thought it was a solid 2* //3.5* overall.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  21. Got 1a but not being musical had to look up the terminology and put double in, then quickly realised with the down checkers my error. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle with a few obscure clues for me that I managed to work out, again had to reference 9a.Enjoyed 20d as the town is next door to our town. Overall a challenging puzzle that I found suited my wavelength today.

    Clues of the day: 22a / 15d / 20d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

    1. Coincidentally we are on holiday for a few days in Derbyshire and drove through 20d this morning,

        1. Chatsworth doesn’t open its doors until tomorrow when we will be heading home. We were just doing a loop from our hotel near Hope through Buxton, Matlock, Chatsworth Park then on to lunch in Hathersage. A beautiful part of the country.

            1. I haven’t seen him post in the last few days otherwise I would have tried to do just that.

              1. Yes we are very lucky to live in such a beautiful county around just the part you are visiting. Sure you will have enjoyed it.

  22. Managed this one easier than most this week. The few bumps on the road I had have been mentioned already. 2d was last in as I wanted to Rant rather than the correct answer. Fortunately the GK bits came to me so no complaints there either and the county without barrier came to mind before I thought about aliens so I had the 1st word before debating the rest.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Going to have a stab at the toughie now but I don’t expect I’ll do very well especially if it is a JH production.

  23. 1a was my first in, though the summer bit baffled me for a while.
    The general knowledge was somewhat obscure, I had never heard of the Oxford attendant, surely a more obvious definition could have been used. I would expect to see that sort of definition in the Toughies.
    I never did get the footballer who must be wondering why he got so many Google hits today (including me).
    The ‘grumble’ at 3d held me up too.
    Thanks all.

  24. ***/**. I didn’t enjoy this as much as normal for a Friday. 26d needed a search of tennis players to find the answer and 29a had to be what it is but couldn’t see the embedded content and wasted a lot of time googling Hugo Allen. Thanks to all.

  25. A thoroughly enjoyable solve today I thought and well within the ‘Goldilocks’ parameters of difficulty.

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

  26. I didn’t have a lot of problems today until I got to the SW where I needed three hints, natch, 12d and 13d were unsolved.
    No hold ups with 19d or 26d and went in straightaway. It’s an age thing, I think.
    Fave was 29a, I didn’t bother to google him, it was so obvious.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for helping solve my missing answers.

  27. Easing into a *** for difficulty here. I suspect tiredness may have played a part – it’s been a long week, but still… The sight of sculptors and old tennis players is enough to send me running scared. :-) But don’t panic, check Giovanni’s always precise clues, and all’s well.

  28. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed bits of this one, but found some of it needing GK. Managed to get 19d&29a, despite not having heard of either. Was completely beaten by 12d, I was convinced that it began with Cork, and that the second word was corale, and that the definition was some obscure term about wine from other countries not being allowed, as in ring-fencing. Well done setter. Was 3*/2* for me. Also needed the hints to parse 29a, 19&25d.

  29. I thought that this was going to be my first 1* Giovanni – partly due to guesswork on one or two unknowns, partly to the setter’s skill at leading us to same via clue structure. Eventually held up for no really good reason by 12d – can’t even make the ‘crop, not corn’ excuse, since I had the right checkers. Difficult to choose a winner, but I’ll go for 1a due to the musical connection. Thanks to all concerned.

  30. I can’t remember the last time I spent so long on a back page puzzle. The SE corner in particular where 19d, 20d, and without the checking letters supplied by these, 29a, all required particular knowledge that certainly could not be described as ‘general’ from this side of the world. Google had to work very hard to find these for me. Also thought ‘a work of fiction’ to clue a specific book title and ‘man’ to clue a specific name were both stretching things a little for a puzzle in this slot.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  31. Like many others I had crop circle. I’ve never heard of corn circle.
    Perversely, I got the footballer straight away. What strange brains we have!
    Got 1a but felt it was a weak clue.
    Gave up on the tennis player. Didn’t feel it was very cryptic, too much GK needed. I don’t use reference books.
    Didn’t enjoy it but you can’t win ’em all!
    Thanks to both.

  32. 12a was my favourite – 26d was the last to go in (really – was this really a clue? – I got it eventually without the hints but didn’t have a clue (!!!!! )as to why it was ‘a work of fiction’ until I read the hints. The penultimate entry was 2d – which left me mystified as well until I clocked that this was a 5 letter word reduced to 4 – duh.

    With the exception of these last two clues I thought it was very enjoyable and a bit of a romp!!

    Thanks to both setter and hints provider – I’ve never read the work of fiction concerned and having vaguely seen the film (probably doing the crossword at the same time) I doubt if I will

  33. An amusing puzzle, at the top end of 1* for difficulty. A solid 3*+ for enjoyment, though. 29a was my favourite. 12d foxed me for a while; l was on the right track but felt the first word should be “crop” – which wouldn’t have worked with 17a. So l read the clue again, which l should have done more carefully the first time. Thanks to the Don, and of course DT.

  34. To each his or her own misdirections.
    Mine started in 26d, thinking it was a lurker and looked for a tennis player called Koff.
    The second was 24a. Green had to be Pea and the answer Repeal. Didn’t make much sense.
    The third was 19d. I said to myself that I knew that Oxford college…mm Budlean or something like that. Well wrong again.
    The last one was 1a. Double def obviously. I thought the treble clef was the name of a song played at the proms while shaking an umbrella around maybe.
    No other problems to report.
    With only 4 hold ups in a Giovanni, I consider myself quite pleased.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  35. Ditto to what Miffypops said above (comment 14), especially crop circle vs corn circle. COTD was 20d purely because it is a favourite haunt of ours when visiting our best friends in Derbyshire. They used to live in a hillside bungalow with a great view of Heights of Abraham. Even though they later moved to another town, we still all go to visit Matlock.

  36. Quite a bit of head scratching and was also caught out by corn vs crop circles but otherwise got there in the end. I rather liked it on the whole – a wide variety of clue types. 29a was very clever.
    Thank you.

  37. The Albert Hall is used for shows other than concerts during the year – they even have tennis matches there, so “in summer” (when the Proms are on) in 1A is not irrelevant to indicate we need to think about music. I thought it was a great clue.

      1. Thank you! I’ve been lurking for ages but felt the need to comment on this one. Blog is brilliant by the way – wouldn’t do the crossword without it.

  38. Sorry did not like. Got all eventually apart from the tennis player. Glad others found difficulties as I was beginning to think I had lost my touch or my marbles. Some problems self-inflicted by spelling 8d wrongly and putting fair for 2d. 19d not good clue so far as I was concerned. I got the summer bit of 1a – thinking about the Proms. I really doubted this was the usual Friday setter.

  39. Could somebody please explain “at the Albert Hall in Summer” in 28,694. Thank you.

    1. If you look at the blog for yesterday’s crossword, you’ll see it has been both explained and much commented upon

    2. I have moved your comment to the relevant post – please don’t use the comment page to comment on particular puzzles.

      We also have a regular commenter who uses the name Brian, so please could you use a different alias in future.

  40. This was excellent, as usual from G. Good clues, a decent challenge and enjoyable. 29a: I never assumed that Hugo Allen was a real person – I took it to be a fictitious footballer as a contrivance to keep (or contain) the word GOAL and lead to the answer. 1a: Whilst “in summer” isn’t totally essential, it isn’t irrelevant either – as explained by furlinda, above – it’s a tacit reference to the Proms in summer, when those type of bars/characters will specifically abound. On balance, I think the clue is OK as it is. 3* / 4*

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