DT 28724 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28724


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28724

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where after last week’s brief burst of summer the clouds have returned.

The strategically placed anagrams gave me a quick start to this puzzle by Giovanni, and I was rattling along until I came to a halt on 27a, which took me a while to see.

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           Form of slap dance in outdoor scene (9)
LANDSCAPE – Anagram (form of) of SLAP DANCE.

9a           Destroy version of Bible in fit of anger (6)
RAVAGE – A fit of anger wrapped around the two-letter acronym applied to the King James version of the Bible.

10a         Female Conservative taking particular position (9)
CONSTANCE – An abbreviation for Conservative followed by a physical or metaphorical position, giving us a woman’s name.

11a         Army officer engaging a second person to make plan (6)
LAYOUT – Put together A (from the clue) and a second person pronoun, then wrap the abbreviation for a junior Army officer around the result.

12a         Long-distance traveller turns to AA when in trouble (9)
ASTRONAUT – Anagram (when in trouble) of TURNS TO AA.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a         Move forward with father’s boy (4,2)
PASS ON – Split this (3,3) and you get “father’s” and a male child.

17a         Was first to get replacement for tungsten lamp? (3)
LED – Double definition: was first in a race; or a three-letter acronym for a form of lighting.

19a         Vet, it is apparent, abused those paying for healthcare (7,8)

20a         Mug in desert, one getting lost (3)
GOB – Remove the Roman numeral for one from the back end of the name of an Asian desert.

21a         Consequence of university learner getting external support (6)
RESULT – The sort of support a snooker player uses for his cue, wrapped around University and Learner.

25a         Good person ‘it ‘ard showed signs of nervousness maybe? (9)
STAMMERED – The abbreviation for a person so good that he or she has been canonised, followed by another word for ‘it ‘ard, treated in the same way

26a         Tried, having cheated in the past (3,1,2)
HAD A GO – A three-letter word for ‘cheated’ followed by a three-letter word for ‘in the past.

27a         The last thing you expect to see in the dark? (4,5)
TAIL LIGHT – Cryptic definition of what you see as a car drives away from you in the dark.

28a         Helmet — it’s not this being worn by one knight (3,3)
TIN HAT – The Roman numeral for one and the chess notation for a knight, with the opposite of ‘this’ wrapped around the result.

29a         A time to hold party with sailors and soldiers getting decoration (9)
ADORNMENT – Put together the usual crossword party, the initials of the service that our sailors belong to, and a number of soldiers. Then put A (from the clue) and Time at either end of the result.


2d           Stir when little river goes into a great river (6)
AROUSE – A (from the clue) and the second half of the name of an English river, the first half of which is ‘Great’, placed either side of the usual abbreviation for a River.

3d           Wish of French father (6)
DESIRE – The French for ‘of’ followed by a word for ‘father’ most commonly seen in relation to racehorses.

4d           At least eight rods providing restrictions (6)
CHAINS – There are four rods, poles or perches to one of these old measures. Since the answer is plural, there must be at least eight. The answer is also something which imposes physical or metaphorical restrictions.

5d           Member of tribe given river job, character that communicates colourfully? (7,8)
PICTURE POSTCARD – Put together a member of an ancient North British tribe, a river in Yorkshire, a job or appointment, and another word for someone who is a bit of a character.

Image result for donald mcgill postcards

6d           Important Indian women arranging a man’s hair (9)
MAHARANIS – Anagram (arranging) of A MAN’S HAIR.

7d           Worrying about nothing, our lot having a ball (9)
CAROUSING – The letter which looks like a zero and a pronoun for ‘our lot’, inserted into ‘worrying’ or ‘looking after’.

8d           Dining not good in officers’ room — quality lacking in vegetables (9)
MEATINESS – Remove the Good from a synonym of ‘dining’, then insert the result into the place where military officers gather to eat.

14d         Tiles in a teashop, broken, top of roof having fallen in (5,4)
OPERA HATS – ‘Tiles’ here are old slang for pieces of headgear. We have an anagram (broken) of A TEASHOP, with the first letter (top) of Roof inserted.

Image result for opera hats

15d         Protester in Norfolk town I injure with punch? (9)
DISSIDENT – Start with the Norfolk town you can never get to (because when you approach it, Diss appears), then add I (from the clue) and what happens when you take a hammer and punch to a piece of metal.

16d         PM to phone Turkish leader before start of negotiations (9)
CALLAGHAN – To get this British Prime Minister from the late 1970s, put together another word for ‘to phone’, a Turkish military leader, and the first letter of Negotiations.

Image result for jim callaghan

17d         On stage (3)
LEG – Double definition, the first being another word for the on side in cricket.

18d         Fish that’s terrible being served up (3)
DAB – Reverse (served up) a word for ‘terrible’.

Image result for dab fish

22d         Walker heading off, one moving at a slow pace (6)
AMBLER – Remove the first letter (heading off) from a word for a keen country walker to get someone moving less energetically.

23d         A ‘person of spirit’ not going to extremes (6)
MEDIUM – Double definition, the first being someone who claims to be in contact with the spirit world.

24d         Female bird in Spooner’s male enclosure (6)
PEAHEN – This bird could sound like a male pronoun and an animal enclosure after Dr Spooner had muddled up the initial letters.

Image result for peahen


45 comments on “DT 28724

  1. For the second Friday in a row, almost a Monday puzzle on a Friday which made a very good end to the work week. Very enjoyable, no head scratching, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 26a, 2d, 4d, and 5d – and the winner is 4d (and I remember (most of) the primary school chant).

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Isn’t 4d also the length of a cricket pitch? That’s what made me remember it, don’t know if I’m wrong.

  2. 4d my last one in and my favourite clue from this slightly tricky Giovanni offering this damp Friday morning. An honourable mention, too, for 17d for its conciseness. Overall 3* /3* for me.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  3. I got held up for a while in the NE corner and was fairly slow to sort it all out.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/4*

  4. What a great week of back pagers. Very entertaining. Today has entertained me very much. Just like our blogger I didn’t see 27ac for ages. but then i have never seen my own. I expected a clip of Any Old Iron for 14d “Dressed in style, brand new tile” Ta to all. Play nicely children and i will see you all on Monday with merriment aplenty.

  5. Had to guess at the 14d anagram as I had not heard of ’tiles’ being slang for hats. Fabulous Friday crossword so thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/4*
    Shouldn’t the quick crossword pun be three words, not two?? Three clues italicised in the paper version, consequently a longer solution required

  6. I didn’t find anything too demanding in today’s crossword. Giovanni in benign mood obviously! 7d was my top clue and 4* for pleasure.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  7. Finished in *** time today, my only stumbling block being convinced that the character in 5d was a Trait, leading to all sorts of bother. And, DroopyH, yes, the pun is three words today.

    Many thanks to the Don and DT.

  8. This Giovanni puzzle was for me distinctly more challenging than his last week’s offering but none the worse for that. I enjoyed the challenge. 5d was a bung-in having failed to parse it but that and the crossing 15 letters helped to get the whole thing underway (or is it under weigh?) . Thank you Giovanni and DT.

    1. You’re still submitting your comments as “Angello” Angellov. If you can find the missing V you’ll avoid going into moderation.

  9. 2* / 2*. I found this workmanlike but quite dull with a couple of iffy surfaces (25a & 5d), making a slightly disappointing end to what has otherwise been a great back-page week.

    17a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  10. Though I thought of 27a I wasn’t convinced by it (am still not really) so delayed its entry. But my real hold-ups were in the NW for some reason.

    I travelled via the mythical Pison river (2d) and an erroneous gas lamp at 17a (WAS with the first letter of Get being the replacement for W (tungsten)). Fortunately there were some obvious crossing entries to show me the light.

    My favourite is 2d. I also liked 29a and even the spooner (24d).

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT. I liked the town you can never reach (15d).

  11. Back to a ** Friday,with *** for enjoyment-agree with RD’S comments ,it has been a vintage week for the back page.25a was clumsy and for some reason didn’t like 8d.
    Liked the three letter middle square and the surface of 24d.
    Thanks to DT for the pics-saucy postcard and Mr Bowie-he never took a bad photo.

    1. If it’s “even better” than your favourite why isn’t it your favourite!

  12. Somehow didn’t expect the Don to use words like 20a – just goes to show!

    Podium here hosting 17&29a plus 8&16d.

    Thanks to DG & DT.

    1. Did you ever read the book “Finding Gobi”, I loved it. Natch, it’s about a dog.

      1. No, Merusa, I tend to steer clear of books about animals – can’t stand all the crying I have to go through, even when they have a happy ending.

  13. Enjoyed this today and agree with the rating **/***

    Last one in was 14d until I recalled a recent crossword where tile was used for this meaning.

  14. Much to like in this one, although I’m another who is far from convinced about 27a, it seemed unfinished somehow.

    My top three clues were 12a, 26a and 8d.

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

  15. Really enjoyed this and possibly my puzzle of the week. On Giovanni’s wavelength from the start with a brief hold up in the SW corner trying to sort out the tiles but eventually saw the light. Last in 7d for no particular reason, and overall a delightful Friday puzzle for me. Lots of super clues make it difficult to nominate a single star so will go with several.

    Clues of the day: 10a / 14d /16d All top notch in my humble opinion.

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  16. I can’t speak for yesterday’s because I didn’t see it but, for me, this wasn’t in the same league as the rest of the puzzles this week. I’m probably out on a limb but I just couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength. Didn’t seem as contemporary and concise as the previously mentioned. Biblical references and birds are usually an indication I’m going to struggle, and how many people do you know called Constance!
    Thanks to reviewer for the explanations

    1. I always remember ‘Dorothy Malone’ as ‘Constance McKenzie’ in Payton Place. As a child I had to sit through interminable episodes.

    2. I agree with you Stephen. I ran out of time on this yesterday and then picked it up today. Slogged through the final 6-7 clues out of sheer bloody-mindedness but I can’t say it was a pleasure. The least enjoyable of this week’s back-pagers by some margin but, as the other comments show, this just proves the horses for courses rule.

      Never heard of 4d before. Thought 27a was suspect.

      Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  17. I enjoyed this, especially after yesterday’s struggle, but didn’t find it easy peasy.
    My last in was 11a, who knows why, just a blank, thought it was two words.
    My first thought on reading14d was “hat”, been caught too many times. One day a setter is going to use “tile” in another sense and I’ll draw a blank.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for his review.

  18. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Giovanni, a bit tricky in places. Good fun. I liked 25a & 8d, but my favourite was 28a. Last in was 27a, I was almost defeated by the first word, but got it eventually. Was 3*/3* for me.

  19. Took me a while to do this chap, but I got there in the end. Hurrah!

    A relief after yesterday when I gave up.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  20. Forgot my phone this morning so have had to wait til I got home. 14d was in early doors as I remembered the recent outing for tiles.
    Three quarters went in without too much trouble but the NE held out 6 7 8d and 9 11 13a all gave me trouble and even with the hints I couldn’t see the anagram or put together the right bits for far too long.
    Thanks to DT and Gio
    Having seen that it is Elgar on toughie duty today I think I will save that til bedtime and expect to wake up with lots of gaps to fill.

  21. Oh Ora Meringue thank you thank you..
    I gave up yesterday too,but today gave me hope again. Took me a while to remember about chains though.
    Favourite was7d because I like the word carouse, it sounds like real rowdy fun.

  22. One that felt difficult while solving, but which turned out not to be. ** for difficulty. 27ac doesn’t quite work for me, I’m afraid, but 11ac was my last one in, where it took me too long to spot the second person. Doh!

  23. A lovely romp through posh Victorian hats, 1930s girls (10a), 1950s jolly hols (5d) and 1970s politics (16d). My cup of tea, bringing cheer to a soggy East Anglia.

  24. Found this slightly easier than usual for a Friday, Giovanni always a struggle for me, with only 4 clues defeating me, but quite enjoyed. 2d was my favourite followed by 27a, both smilers. Did I just make up a word?

    Very damp here in sunny South Florida, where we are having torrential downpours and tornado warnings right now, along with power flash and flicker.. Those warnings make me laugh, what are we supposed to do, go down in the non existent cellars? (The water table is too high here to dig deeply.).

    Thank you for the hints Deep Threat.

  25. There were some nice straightforward charades (eg 29a, 10a) and 4d was brilliant. Not convinced about 27a but hey ho. Thank you Giovanni for much enjoyment and DT for the hints.
    Am always in awe of the hinters who presumably commit in advance to providing them for a particular day – what do you do if you are really stuck? Hopefully you are all human and that this can occasionally happen? Am assuming you can phone a friend if all else fails?

  26. Another good puzzle from G – about average for him, so a bit above average for the general back-page norm. I had no problems at all with 27a. 2.5* / 3*

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