DT 28730 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28730


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28730

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s cloudy as I write, but we may expect some sun later.

There are one or two less common words in today’s Giovanni puzzle, so I shall be interested to see what commenters make of it.

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           Female apt to turn around and quarrel (4)
TIFF – Put together Female and ‘apt’ or ‘suitable’, then reverse the lot (turn around).

3a           Green energy source that could get a person all agitated (5,5)
SOLAR PANEL – Anagram (agitated) of A PERSON ALL.

Image result for solar panel

9a           Horse that can be seen on the moon! (4)
MARE – Double definition: a female horse; or a geographical feature seen on the Moon (the Latin for ‘sea’).

10a         Deceptive male is in charge (10)
MISLEADING – Put together Male, IS (from the clue), and what someone is doing if they are in charge.

11a         Raymond heading off to become dog trainer? (7)
HANDLER – Remove the initial letter (heading off) from the surname of an American crime novelist whose first name is Raymond.

13a         Rodent caught by the unusual mechanical device (7)
RATCHET – Put together a rodent, the cricket abbreviation for ‘caught’ and an anagram (unusual) of THE.

Image result for ratchet

14a         Job of someone working on box? (11)
WOODCARVING – Cryptic definition of the decorative work that might be done on a wooden box, or beech or oak….

Image result for woodcarving

18a         Awfully ancient men securing a means of support (11)
MAINTENANCE – Anagram (awfully) of ANCIENT MEN with A (from the clue) inserted, to get a form of financial support.

21a         Warded off wild guy losing head, Fifties-style rocker (7)
AVERTED – Remove the first letter (losing head) from a frequenter of wild parties, then add the short form of the name of some 1950s rockers.

22a         Governors of ancient city-state to the west (7)
SATRAPS – Start with an Ancient Greek city state, plus the ‘S which indicates ‘of’, then reverse the lot (to the west) to get some ancient Persian governors.

23a         Frightfully vain chum is showing fanatical pride (10)
CHAUVINISM – Anagram (frightfully) of VAIN CHUM IS.

24a         Characters in sea garnered seaweed (4)
AGAR – Hidden in the clue.

25a         Restaurant serving rubbish is located by southern lake (10)
ROTISSERIE – Put together another word for rubbish, IS (from the clue), Southern, and one of the Great Lakes, to get a restaurant specialising in cooking meat on the spit.

Image result for rotisserie

26a         Egg on quiet little boy (4)
PROD – The musical symbol for ‘quiet’ plus the short form of a boy’s name.


1d           The old woman coming in to try to sell native weapon (8)
TOMAHAWK – A two-letter word for ‘the old woman’ is placed between TO (form the clue) and ‘try to sell’.

Image result for tomahawk

2d           No one sadly in favour of starting in the morning (8)
FORENOON – ‘In favour of’, followed by an anagram (sadly) of NO ONE.

4d           What’s used by basket-maker, old gentleman outside back of house (5)
OSIER Old and a form of address for a gentleman, wrapped around the last letter (back) of housE.

Image result for osier

5d           Medical expert to go abroad, getting to the heart of the matter (9)
ALLERGIST – The French for ‘to go’ followed by a word for the nub or heart of a matter.

6d           Scheme, what’s believed to allow accommodation of silver in royal house (11)
PLANTAGENET – A scheme followed by an article of belief wrapped around the chemical symbol for silver.

7d           Those opposing audibly, making beastly noises (6)
NEIGHS – Noises made by horses which might sound like a word for those opposed to the ‘Ayes’.

8d           Smooth ambassador showing love for English (6)
LEGATO – Another word for an ambassador or envoy, with the final English replaced by the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

12d         Mad reasons to get vehicles using diesel? (11)
LOCOMOTIVES – A four-letter (Spanish) word for ‘mad’ followed by ‘reasons’, giving us some railway vehicles that may run on diesel, though the more interesting ones run on coal and water, making steam.

Image result for steam locomotives

15d         Steps to effect climate change for the better? (4,5)
RAIN DANCE – Cryptic definition of a ritual that may be carried out in times of drought.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d         Let’s have no more pets in peril (8)
ENDANGER – The definition here is a verb. Split the answer (3,5) and you get ‘let’s have no more’ and ‘pets’ or ‘tantrums’.

17d         This person, a certain Democrat, is moderate in speech maybe (8)
MEASURED – Put together a pronoun for ‘this person’, A (from the clue), another word for ‘certain’, and Democrat.

19d         Dish carried by Esau ceremoniously (6)
SAUCER – Hidden in the clue.

20d         Decamp from Eastern Mediterranean area (6)
LEVANT – Double definition: an unusual word for ‘to decamp’; or an old term (usually preceded by ‘the’) for the Eastern Mediterranean.

22d         Muddy liquid getting left out — one sort of exotic food (5)
SUSHI – Remove the L (left out) from some muddy or half-frozen liquid, then add the Roman numeral for one.

The Quick Crossword pun KNOCK + TERNS = NOCTURNES

54 comments on “DT 28730

  1. 25a my favourite as I like the idea of a restaurant serving rubbish. I found a couple of the clues a little tricky to parse, but I never mind learning new words as long as they are gettable through the wordplay, which they generally are with Giovanni. I agree with the official rating of 2* /3* overall.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  2. Gloriously sunny and warm in East Kent

    Not a particularly tricky Giovanni puzzle – my favourite was the d’oh moment inducing 14a (with regard to the hint, surely the reference to ‘box’ is arboreal rather than to a specific article?)

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat

    1. Yes, I assumed it was working on box(wood) rather than a box. But I guess it works either way?

      1. Good clue although I admit my first idea was “broadcaster” which I thought was a brainwave until I realised it did not fit

    2. Friends just started a canal-boat holiday in Wales and say it’s perfect weather.

    3. Thanks, Sue. I agree that the arboreal version makes better sense. I’ve updated the hint.

  3. Another slow start in the NW corner but gradually improved as I progressed clockwise.
    Not seen the old Persian governors for a while and remembered Raymond on cue.
    Wanted to put wood chopper for 14d until I solved a few down clues and spotted the solution. My favourite clue was last in 5d and provided a D’oe moment when the French arrived.
    I really enjoyed this puzzle and going for a ***/****
    Apparently the other meaning for 20d is leaving not paying a debt-will try to remember in future.
    Thanks to DT and setter.

  4. The NW corner was a struggle as I initially put in “FEUD” for 1a.
    Seemed apt and fitting at the time.

    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat.

  5. Bother! I just typed a longish reply and it’s vanished into the ether. Let’s try again …

    A handful of clues took my up to my 3* time and a couple (14a & 26a) dropped my enjoyment level to 2.5*, just below par.

    20d was my last one In, never having heard the answer to mean “decamp”. My BRB does however describe it as archaic.

    Lots to like here and my favourite is a choice between 9a (I wonder what Sir Linkalot will think about the exclamation mark?!!), 25a & 12d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Remedy for comments disappearing into the ether – compose in Word, or similar, and copy and paste.

      1. I usually do that but today I was at The Oval to watch cricket and I was using my phone to load my comments.

    2. Hi RD,

      The BRB’s Revised 13th Edition has (surprisingly) no archaic qualification for 20d.

    3. Hi RD – Re disappearing comments: they don’t actually get lost.

      When the connection to the server is reset, just hit the back button twice and your comment will still be there, and will submit successfully. Another way is to refresh the connection immediately before you post.

      Works for me.

      1. I refreshed before I started and back-buttoned twice but it didn’t work for me. Perhaps I’m too wordy.

        1. Oh, sorry to hear that. Perhaps it’s different for different devices or operating systems?
          I use a PC running Windows and I only get that error if I don’t ‘Post Comment’ within about 5 minutes of a page refresh.

          1. I was on iPad, I’m too stupid to know what operating system! No worries, I just retyped it.

  6. Enjoyed that and not too difficult for a friday. 22a and 4d new to me and the decamp meaning of 20d escaped me.
    12d was my fave today and while I agree with DT that the coal and water ones were more interesting some of the diesel ones were quite exciting. A Deltic at full chat was a beast and some of the Peaks were significant ticks off my list. They used to have a cutaway of Deltic engine at the NRM in York but I couldn’t find it when I was last there.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.
    Back to watching the cycling TTFN

  7. The only new thing for me was one of the required definitions of 20d but I did fall into the same trap as Stan with 1a. I was quite looking forward to hauling DG over the coals for the dubious synonym until I realised what the answer had to be for 2d!

    I agree with CS about 14a – apparently it is a highly prized specimen for 14a work because of its close grain.
    16d seems to be popular at the moment – at least we’re getting familiar with it.
    Not overly keen on 5d.

    Top of the pile for me were 12&15d.

    Thanks to DG & to DT for the blog – enjoyed the 15d music.

  8. …..with a doff of the hat to 5d.

    We love the word ‘Doff’. So much better than its origin ‘Do off’.

  9. Well, I got there in the end, alone and unaided, but there were several bung ins.

    Needed the hints for many parsings.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  10. Don’t get me wrong but commenting on Fridays is getting boring. What can be said about yet another perfect end to the work week from The Don, other than very enjoyable, no head scratching, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Standout favourite – 6d, with 22a not too far behind.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  11. Very easy today. But still enjoyable. 20d and 22a caused a bit of thought but recourse to trusty thesaurus soon provided the answers. Thanks DT and Giovanni.

  12. Could not finish it and found it difficult. Didn’t enjoy it much at all. There’s always tomorrow.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The Scarlett O’Hara principle of ‘tomorrow’s another day’ is a good one to follow when you are a solver of cryptic crosswords and you meet one that doesn’t quite ‘suit’

  13. Failed on 20d, but otherwise I found nothing to scare the creatures on the moon (though I’d probably put this at least into the average difficulty bracket for the back page).

    As Rabbit Dave said, lots to like. I can’t pick a favourite.

    (The 21a wild guy could of course equally well be a gal. Possibly even a clergyperson…)

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat, and Happy Star Wars Day to all.

  14. Afternoon from a sunny but windy Vega Baja – and the wind is chilly to boot!
    2* / 3* for me and pommers.
    He’s okay with the answers but I wasn’t so keen on a couple.
    14a – the job surely ends with an er rather than the ing!
    16d – never heard of peril as a verb and dictionary says its archaic.

    But otherwise enjoyable nd thanks to the Don and DT for the hints.

    PS Deep Threat – think your clue to 16d should hint at (3,5)

  15. A particularly pleasant and fun puzzle ( the only exception being the ridiculous 20d , who ever heard of that word used in that way ?) .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  16. Another good offering from G. About average this time, but certainly enjoyable. 3* / 4*

  17. More delightful brain-teasing from DG with so many good clues that it’s impossible to pick a Fav. NW held out the longest. TVM Giovanni and DT.
    Hurray for glorious warm sunshine in West Sussex. 🌞👍🏻

  18. Happy Star Wars day to everyone .

    Favourite 5 down as surprised myself by remembering school days .

    Very enjoyable yet again , ****/**** , for me .

    Thanks to everyone , keep up the good work .

    Shorts could be on tomorrow !!

  19. I thought my repetition radar might get some respite today after being overworked yesterday, but it wasn’t to be. It detected “heading off” and “losing head” both appearing as first letter deletion indicators and “is” twice used in wordplay to clue, er, “is” in the solution. I also raised my eyebrows at “pet” as a synonym for “anger”, I always thought it was more a case of “sulk” or “huff”.

    Despite that it was an enjoyable solve, my favourite clue was 8d, although, strictly speaking, there is no indication to the solver as to which “E” requires substituting.

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

  20. Well a challenge for me today having put “telecasting” in 14ac. Eventually had to resort to the blog for 1dn and that resolved 14 and the NW. Also needed help on 22ac and 20d but got there in the end. Favourite 12dn.

    21ac took some time too as why is it wild guy? Girls do it too! Also my other thought was someone living in rock!

    Thanks DG and DT

  21. I really don’t like this setter, he seems to rely on a lot of old fashioned words and dated, esoteric practices. Not for me, but as another commentator said, tomorrow’s another day.
    Thanks to the reviewer

  22. Found this very tricky with unfamiliar words at 22a / 4d / 6d and had to use electronic help to get those. Started off badly with putting spat in for 1a, but eventually sorted. Last in 20d took ages to unravel that. Thought the puzzle was lacking a bit of sparkle / fun and felt like a hard grind . Some good clues for me and some really obscure ones as well. Not my favourite Giovanni puzzle today. A tough week so far hopefully it’s a fun puzzle tomorrow?

    Clues of the day: 25a / 12d Both excellent I thought.

    Rating: 4* / 2.5*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  23. I really enjoyed this, pretty straightforward.
    Purely because of the checkers, I bunged in “woolcarding” at 14a, didn’t know the Latin for “sea” at 9a, and didn’t know the other meaning of 20d, but it had to be right ‘cos of E. Med.
    We haven’t seen 22a for aeons and I’m glad I remembered Raymond.
    Lots to like, so no faves today.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the fun.

  24. Like Kitty, I failed on 20d – didn’t know either meanings so it was never gonna happen…(apologies for the grammar but I’m watching The Sopranos – whaddya gonna do…)

    Anyway, apart from that hiccup I found it an enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni 2.5*/3*

  25. A good and enjoyable workout, but would much prefer the omission of French verbs!

  26. Lovely weather and unruly garden prevented my solving this in one session. But I got there using tea and beer breaks. Nice puzzle as usual from the Don. I got 20d because of the Eastern med part, but didn’t know the Decamp meaning. Now I do. **/****. Worthy mentions to 8d and 12d but 5d in first place for me..

  27. L’île du Levant is part of Hyères. Half of it is inhabited by a nudist population and the other half a military target practice area. Quite a mix.
    Didn’t know the other meaning for the word.
    Liked the charade in 10a.
    Wasn’t keen on the cryptic in 14a.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  28. Has anyone noticed how wordy the comments are today? This puzzle seems to have made us chattier.

  29. One of the meanings for 20d needed confirmation but this was the only reference required.
    Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  30. Good 4* crossword; no probs encountered, with 12d fave clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  31. I enjoyed this and loved 5d. Also favoured 25a. Did not know the Governor. Kicked myself when I read it backwards. Also found 20d difficult but liked it when I got it. I do not have a problem with not knowing the second meaning. Once I thought I had the answer I just looked the word up and hey presto!

  32. 16d Never knew “Peril” could be a verb, thought it was “imperil” or “emperil” or something and as in France at the mo have no access to my oxford dictionary. Got the answer but NEVER saw the parsing.

    5d thought the heart of the matter should be TT, (Heart of the word “matter” ) which threw me, and never saw to go abroad as being Aller, despite being an ex French teacher, who usually does see all that sort of clue!

    22a had me completely as I never knew what they were and somehow failed to see the ancient Greek state, assumed it was an ordinary state, of which there are so many.

    Strangely found the NW corner very easy, put them all in, then stalled for ages, I mistrust any puzzle that starts off easily! And was proved right yet again. If I cannot actually finish a puzzle without having to resort to help I feel I have failed thus this one was a failure due to 22a and 5d. Well done all you who finished it with no help!

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