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DT 28706

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28706

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where, after a beautiful day yesterday, the cloud has returned.

Nothing untoward from Giovanni this morning, with the usual fair cluing to enable solution of those clues requiring some General Knowledge.

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           Daughter, no girl to send back present from lover? (7)
DIAMOND – Put together Daughter, NO (from the clue), and an unmarried girl, then reverse the lot to get what is sometimes said to be a girl’s best friend.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7a           French city that is besieged by heartless lads (5)
LYONS – An old-fashioned or dialect word for ‘that’ (as in ‘that one over there’), with the first and last letters (heartless) of LadS wrapped around it, giving the English spelling of a French city at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.

9a           Group joined by Italian criminal (6)
BANDIT – A group of musicians followed by an abbreviation for ITalian.

10a         Material needed by worker and officer (8)
SERGEANT – A type of strong, twilled cloth used for men’s suits or uniforms, followed by one of the usual worker insects.

11a         Being converted, dies in fact as a saint? (10)
SANCTIFIED – Anagram (being converted) of DIES IN FACT.

13a         Skills shown by smart set (4)
ARTS – Hidden in the clue.

14a         One who indicates what steps must be followed (13)
CHOREOGRAPHER – Mildly cryptic definition of someone who tells dancers what steps to take.

16a         Nurtured as British left-winger (4)
BRED British followed by the colour associated with the political Left.

17a         Being leader, having to hide hesitation, prancing around (10)
SKIPPERING – A two-letter hesitation placed inside ‘prancing’ or ‘gambolling’.

19a         Horrible haddock? Dine, getting upset inside (8)
FIENDISH – The creature of which haddock is an example, wrapped around an anagram (getting upset) of DINE.

20a         Duck by stove — use this to make sauce for it? (6)
ORANGE – The letter which looks like a cricket duck, followed by a type of kitchen stove, giving us something used to make a sauce to serve with the duck.

22a         Defeated with leader going away worried (5)
EATEN – Remove the first letter from a word for ‘defeated’.

23a         This person, outwardly dull, not a practical type? (7)
DREAMER – A pronoun for ‘this person’ inserted into another word for ‘dull’.


1d           Worker was forced to conceal name (4)
HAND – A verb for ‘was forced’ or ‘was obliged’, wrapped around Name.

2d           Famous Frenchman offering bizarre art I love (8)
VOLTAIRE – Anagram (bizarre) of ART I LOVE.

Image result for voltaire

3d           King Lear starts to feel desperate, torn apart (6)
ALFRED – Anagram (torn apart) of LEAR and the first letters (starts) of Feel and Desperate. The king in question is reputed to have burnt some cakes.

Image result for king alfred

4d           Meet old boy being entertained by dad (10)
FOREGATHER – Put together Old and a short form of a boy’s or man’s name, then wrap another word for ‘dad’ around the result.

5d           Doctor in the morning dealt with a turbulent episode (5)
DRAMA – Put together an abbreviation for ‘doctor’, an abbreviation for ‘in the morning’, and A (from the clue).

6d           Hide in disgust — otherwise will get picked out (13)
DISTINGUISHED – Anagram (otherwise) of HIDE IN DISGUST.

8d           Politician in home counties joining international organisation, right? (7)
SENATOR – Put together the geographical location of the Home Counties, an international defence organisation, and Right.

12d         Notice road being dug up, one of two in place on a map? (2-8)
CO-ORDINATE – Anagram (being dug up) of NOTICE ROAD, giving us one of the two required to locate a place on a map.

14d         Worry about place of disposal for firearm (7)
CARBINE – Another word for ‘worry’ or ‘be concerned’, wrapped around somewhere to put rubbish.

15d         A very quiet dog, one showing signs of appreciation? (8)
APPROVER – Put together a (from the clue), the musical symbol for ‘very quiet’, and a typical dog’s name.

17d         One in body covering good for sport (6)
SKIING – Insert the Roman numeral for one into the material that covers our bodies, then add Good.

Image result for skiing

18d         Raising of drink: ‘Queen and Country’ (5)
NIGER – Reverse (raising, in a Down clue) a variety of strong drink, then add the Queen’s regnal cipher, to get an African country.

21d         Female entertained by jovial males (4)
ALMA – Hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun GREENS + LEAVES = GREENSLEEVES

39 comments on “DT 28706

  1. 2* / 3*. Not difficult and a bit more fun compared with recent Fridays, although there did seem to be fewer clues than normal for a back-pager.

    I am not keen on the use of “boy” to clue “reg” in 4d, but that aside this was an enjoyable and obscurity-free puzzle, which has got me wondering if it was set by Giovanni.

    My last two in were 1d, where it took me a while to convince myself that “was forced” = “had”, and 3d, which was my favourite after the penny finally dropped.

    Many thanks to Giovanni (or AN Other), and to DT.

    1. I agree with RD’s comments about 4d; felt that it was a bit of a stretch to get from “boy’ to “reg”. Reg sound like an a 1950’s man to me!. Thanks to Setter and DT

    2. It seems to have become a Giovanni trademark to use boy or man to clue any of the thousands of three letter abbreviations of male names. Personally I think it is very very poor cluing.

    3. **/**. Have to agree with RD. 1&4d were very stretched definitions. The rest was fair play. Thanks to all.

    4. I don’t agree with the comments in this thread. 1d and 4d are both fine by me. Boy = reg is a small 3 letter part of a straightforward clue and easily fathomed. Meet = foregather and worker = hand are both perfectly good definitions – not at all stretched.

  2. I agree with RD’s comments. I had the same thoughts about 1d and 4d. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and thanks also to DT for explaining a couple which I couldn’t fully parse.

  3. A gentle and very enjoyable solve, with minimal head scratching, which resulted in completion at a comfortable, fast gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 20a, 8d, and 14d – and the winner is 20a.

    Like RD, I did wonder if Giovanni was taking a day off, but, I decided there was enough content to prove otherwise so thanks to him and DT.

  4. Well I struggled with this today made pretty heavy weather throughout and needed Deep Threat’s help to figure out 7a frustratingly which then enabled me to figure out 3d as my LOI. Liked 19a though.

  5. Completed in *** time, I was quite comfortable with 1d and 4d. We have seen before examples where the diminutive version of a man’s name is taken to be a boy. In fact, I made 4d my COTD.

    Last one in was 7a. Having visited the city many, many times (I must have eaten in 100 different restaurants), I never want to use the fifth letter. I know the airport code is LYS but I always assumed it was taken from it’s former name of ****-Satolas.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  6. I seem to be a bit picky of late but today wasn’t much fun unlike Giovanni’s norm. I agree 4d is somewhat obtuse. Interesting to see various ways of indicating anagrams viz converted, bizarre, torn apart and otherwise. Thank you Giovanni (?) and DT.

  7. Would never have solved 4d and 15d without DT’s help. 18d initially wrong as I entered ‘r***l’ which, as you know, is a pale foreign beer if raised in a down clue! Ho hum…..

    Likes 19a and 3d of some fine clues.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  8. Ditto to others’ comments about 4d but otherwise an excellent challenge which stretched my brain even further than the previous two days’ puzzles. I do enjoy the bits of general knowledge which add to the enjoyment of solving. Tie for COTD between 3d and 14a for me. Many thanks to today’s setter and to DT.

  9. My granddaughter has just told me that 3d was apparently credited with the invention of an indoor fire basket and henceforth became known as Alfred the Grate!

  10. Not as tricky as some Giovanni’s but enjoyable.
    As others I tried to put a b in 4d.
    17a and d were last in mainly because I had 18d originally as Regal. I swapped that for Lager in order to have the right ending for Dreamer. Only parsed the right answer when I cottoned on to 17a.
    Solving electronically today and I seemed to have lots of doubts 3d 4d and 7a were put in and removed several times before I settled on an answer. Problems with 6d were caused by my failure to see that there are 7 letters in disgust rather than the six I could see. If I was solving on dead tree version I would have made an illegible mess.
    Thanks to DT for the hints. I was expecting an Alma Cogan clip for the last clue but prefer the Marilyn. Thanks to Giovanni for the mental stimulation.

  11. In a rush I found a quick answer to 4 down by replacing the g with an f. That will teach me to read the clue properly. Thank to the setter and the hints which explained why I could not put in skinny for 17 down.

  12. I can understand why some may have considered the puzzle fairly untypical of a Giovanni backpager, but I would be surprised if it were the work of anyone else. I found the right-hand side a little trickier than the left, having made the same mistake as John Bee for 18d originally.

    5a and 23a were my joint-favourites. My repetition radar bleeped at “entertained” twice used as a containment indicator.

    Many thanks to Mr Manley and to DT, and a good weekend to all.

  13. Agree **/*** 😀 In 3d I had the first three letters upside down 😳 It seemed to make sense at the time! Favourites 19a & 15d 😜 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

    1. Me too with 3d and I only realised my faux pas after reading your comment – amazing how one can persuade oneself that a bung-in is right! Even more inexcusable for me as I went to school in Winchester!

  14. Didn’t like this one at all. Never seen drear for dull, foregather for meet (let’s foregather at the pub at 8!) or Lyon spelt with an s. Felt very dated, epitomised by the much discussed Reg in 4d

  15. Well I had no trouble with today’s crossword! As per usual on a Friday I was slow to start but thereafter everything seemed to come together fairly smoothly. I’ll go with 19a as favourite and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  16. 3d my last one in and favourite, which coincides with having just returned from a few days in Stratford-upon-Avon and a visit to the RSC. Found this okay but not too sparkling, so 2* /3* from me overall.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  17. Nice steady solve but not outstanding from our Friday setter. Found today’s puzzle slightly above average for difficulty. Stupidly kept trying to fit Don in 9a for the Italian criminal until the Lira (euro) dropped. Last in 3d and got totally misled with that clue and “bunged it” then understood the word play.

    Clues of the day: 17a / 19a

    Rating: 3* / 3*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  18. I found this a tad tricky today, mainly because I put the wrong answer in 18d, like others! This meant that I bunged in an answer to 17a that was absolute rubbish.
    I still don’t get why “yon” means “that is” at 7a, but it was obvious what the answer was.
    Fave was 3d with 14a as runner up.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for his review.

    1. I think it just means “that” the is besieged is just to indicate it is surrounded by first and last letters of lads.
      I’ve heard from Yorkshire farmers.
      “See yon yow wi gammy leg” = “Can you see the Ewe over yonder with the limp?

    1. The officer is one in the police force. We remembered this from a previous discussion on here.

  19. A few places where an extra bit of head-scratching was required but it did all eventually fall into place. We enjoyed it.

  20. Wasn’t shocked by Lyon being spelled with an S. Like Marseille(s). Remember having a discussion with Gazza about it and he kindly pointed out that we spelled London with an S in French. Londres indeed.
    The solving process was very smooth.
    No real favourite but nothing made me groan either.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  21. One of my favourite clues was 2d -cos it was a GK question that was not sport and that I could answer!!

    Last to go in was 5a

    Generally an enjoyable puzzle but I was very slow on a number of clues

  22. Did I finish in treble quick time, or was I enjoying it so much that I just didn’t look up until the last one went in? 5a was probably my favourite, thanks to Deep Threat for the review, and to the setter for a very pleasurable accompaniment to a well earned pint.

  23. A couple of ‘umms’ from here also regarding the definition of ‘forced’ in 1d and the ‘boy’ in 4d. The latter always seems to be something of a ‘get out of jail free card’ for a setter but I guess they’re entitled to one from time to time!

    No need for either the BRB or Mr Google today and no particular favourite – if pushed I’d opt for 10a & 14d for the surface reads.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – for some reason I hadn’t expected 2d to look as he does!

  24. I found this a bit mixed today but solvable. No real laugh out loud moment or favourite. Thank you Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  25. Belated greetings from yours truly! I convinced myself that this couldn’t possibly be a genuine Giovanni owing to lack of the customary obscurities. By and large a pleasant solve, albeit with no new words learned (hopefully not to forget in the too near future). Goodnight all. :yawn:

  26. 1d and 4d were questionable at the very least. Why ‘Reg’ is a boy is beyond me.
    Still, the rest of it was enjoyable enough. 3d was very clever and took a good while to sort out, and the French town was a bung-in.
    Thanks all.

  27. Not a fan of 4d, not 7a. I bunged in the right answer for the latter but wasn’t comfortable with the yon part. Also got 18d wrong at first. Other than that, a steady plod today. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

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