DT 28736 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28736

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28736

Hints and tips by Senf

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A very good Sunday Friday morning from Winnipeg.  Deep Threat will be on holiday for the next six weeks, so I am the first of one of the regular bloggers taking an opportunity to provide hints and tips on a different day and for a different setter.

An enjoyable Giovanni puzzle which needed some head scratching but, even though I had to solve all the clues for a change, was solved without any fortified liquid assistance.

My favourite is 27a and the Quickie pun.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the Click here! buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    The French bishop, one with relations who will behave badly? (8)
LARRIKIN: French female definite article, an abbreviated designation of a bishop, the single letter for one, and a synonym of relations.

5a    Sporty type who operates on the border? (6)
FENCER: Double definition – the second is one who installs a type of border between two areas of land.

9a    Beg Irish somehow to accept British nonsense (9)
GIBBERISH: An anagram (somehow) of BEG IRISH containing (to accept) the single letter for British.

11a    Army unit and police crossing river (5)
CORPS: An informal or slang term for police containing (crossing) the single letter for river.

12a    Carriage light backed with gold (6)
LANDAU: A synonym of light followed by (backed with) the chemical symbol for gold.

13a    A Parisian gets married — is husband trapped and unwanted? (8)
UNWISHED: The French (Parisian) for A, a synonym for married containing (trapped) IS from the clue and the single letter for husband.

15a    Man troubled with nag, scolder, gossip (13)
SCANDALMONGER: An anagram (troubled with) of MAN, NAG, and SCOLDER.

18a    Aristocrat using gardener here and there (5,8)
GRAND SEIGNEUR: An anagram (here and there) of USING GARDENER.

22a    Artist with a thousand things to read goes wild (8)
RAMPAGES: The usual two letters that identify an artist, the single letter for thousand, and a synonym of sheets of reading material.

23a    Cathedral precinct dean initially sealed off (6)
CLOSED: The single word for the area surrounding a cathedral and the first letter (initially) of Dean.

26a    Against having to travel on river (5)
CONGO: A synonym of against and a single word synonym of having to travel.

27a    Thus a father joins English gunners in series of programmes (4,5)
SOAP OPERA: A synonym of thus, A from the clue, an (informal) synonym of father, and the abbreviations for English and the Army gunners – Thanks to the 2Kiwis.

28a   Scheme, say, lacking a supportive section (6)
SYSTEM: Say with the A removed (lacking) and a type of (e.g. floral) supportive section – Thanks to stanXYZ, MalcolmR and Simon.

29a Big cask that may be on display in butcher’s window? (8)
HOGSHEAD: Double definition(?) the first is a container that, according to the BRB, can hold 54 gallons of beer.


1d    Put within confines of the law, girl is imprisoned in shelter (8)
LEGALISE: A synonym for girl and IS from the clue contained by (imprisoned in) a synonym of shelter.

2d    Beginning to relax, old boy at home may be seen in the garden (5)
ROBIN: The first letter (beginning to) of Relax, the abbreviation for old boy, and the usual synonym for at home.

3d    Country responsible for taking control of wild animal (7)
ICELAND: Two letters that indicate being responsible for followed by (taking control of) a type of antelope.

4d    Goddess is buried beneath island (4)
ISIS: IS from the clue after (buried beneath) a two letter abbreviation for island.

Suggested/requested(?) by Miffypops:

6d    Longing to be given a new start to make an impression (7)
ETCHING: A synonym of longing with its starting letter replaced by a foreign equivalent.

7d    Instance in which right thunderous god appears as beast with pulling power (9)
CARTHORSE: A synonym of instance containing (in which . . . appears) the single letter for right and a Norse god after whom Thursday is named.

8d    Live with uncontrollable desire (6)
RESIDE: An anagram (uncontrollable) of DESIRE.

10d    Transfer from hospital somewhere in Hampshire (8)
HANDOVER: The single letter for hospital and a town on the River Anton in Hampshire.

14d    Contentment of good boy brought before the head (8)
GLADNESS: The single letter for good, a synonym for boy, before a favourite coastal feature.

16d    Disputations in AGM, unrest getting nasty (9))
ARGUMENTS: An anagram (getting nasty) of AGM UNREST.

17d    Notice university with imposing exterior for one at ceremony there? (8)
GRADUAND: Two letter synonym for notice and the single letter for university contained by (with . . . exterior) a synonym of imposing.

19d    Sailor without companions gets something to eat from the sea (7)
ABALONE: One of the usual terms for a sailor and a single word for without companions.

20d    Stupid people chat about ill-gotten gains (7)
GALOOTS: A synonym of chat containing (about) a single word for ill-gotten gains.

21d    Vehicles getting hit, beginning to end (6)
TRUCKS: A synonym of hit with its first letter moved to the end (beginning to end).

24d    Woman in garden is upset? It’s a riddle (5)
SIEVE: The first lady (woman in garden) and IS from the clue all reversed (upset).

25d Panel disagreed finally, with fuss ensuing (4)
DADO: The last letter (finally) of disagreed with a two word synonymic phrase (1,2) of fuss.

Back on Sunday as usual.

The Quick Crossword pun: JURY+LIES=DO YOU REALISE

43 comments on “DT 28736

  1. 28a I think the definition is “scheme”.

    Say lacking “a” = sy plus “stem”.

    1. Thanks – fixed. I obviously did not head scratch enough when it came to the parsing (perhaps I was slightly distracted by the Winnipeg Jets winning (again) and boldly going where they never gone before to reach the Conference Final in the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup).

  2. 2* /3* for this enjoyable Giovanni puzzle. I liked 1a, because I love the word, and 9a for the smooth surface and the smile it put on my face, but my favourite was 10d, mainly because I am reminded of an old Ken Dodd one-liner, about that was where the Inland Revenue had their headquarters.

    Thanks to The Don and Senf..

  3. Nice puzzle where the only significant hold-up was 18a which was new to us and needed all the checkers before we could see it.
    Thanks Giovanni and Senf.

    PS For 27a we think that it has an informal word for a father and the abbreviation for English rather than the Vatican person.

    1. Thanks, fixed. That is how I started writing the hint then, for some reason, I had a mild panic attack over the E.

  4. For a Friday, I found this quite straightforward, until the last couple! No matter which way I spelled 18a, it looked wrong, and parsing 28a took me for ever, pulling the whole thing into *** time. Still, it was nice to get it finished after a recent failure.

    Many thanks to The Don and Senf.

  5. Agree with stanXYZ with the parsing of 28a-it was my final solve.
    Also can’t quibble with Senf’s **/***, overall an enjoyable Giovanni.
    Initially spelled 12a landOR , wrong gold-ok when I looked up the spelling of the carriage and inserted the chemical symbol-D’oh.
    Liked 1a-lovely word not often seen in print theses days and 29 raised a smile.
    Glad 18a was an anagram otherwise I would have struggled,17d was a new word for me .
    Thanks all.

  6. The Don has come up trumps again today with an enjoyable challenge. East clues were the least taxing. My thinking was in line with others above re 27a and 28a. 20d needed Google’s help. Quickie pun is fun. Thank you Giovanni and Senf.

  7. Giovanni seems to be taking a more straightforward tack these days. Thanks to him and Senf

    The DT Puzzles Editor will know and appreciate why 20d is my favourite clue ;)

    1. That’s not how you descibe the rest of us on here, is it?
      Maybe just some of us.

      1. I think CS is referring to the fact that he is using fewer ecclesiastical terms in his grids nowadays. Having had a very religious Christian upbringing I rarely have problems with them, but I do often wonder how those of other faiths or of a more secular background would fare.

  8. Hurrah! A puzzle I could solve …..it has not been my best week.

    Could not spell 18a, in fact had to have 2 goes at copying it ….I don’t think it is cheating to look a word up if you know what it should be but cannot spell it…..

    Could not parse 28a so, a bung in.

    All in all, very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  9. Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, lots of obscure words. Managed to get 1a from the wordplay, but needed the hints for 5,23,26,28,29a and 17&21d. I thought that 7d was very original, and was my favourite. Was 4*/2* for me.

  10. A day off so a rare chance to post a comment in between chores! I enjoyed this immensely. I do seem to be on this particular setters wavelength more than any other. I particularly liked 1A simply because it always brings to mind an Australian colleague of many years ago who used to refer to me as such!

  11. 1a was certainly a new one for me and – having pieced it together from the wordplay, I thought it was probably complete 9a – apparently not!
    Also had to check on the ending of 17d and the aristocratic gentleman in 18a.

    No particular favourite although I did feel rather sorry for the hen-pecked chap in 15a.

    Thanks to DG and to Senf for the extra duties – bet you’ll be relieved to get back to being able to pick and choose what to give hints for on Sunday!

  12. Got there eventually but had to get some electronic help on some of the spellings. Not heard of 17d but made sense from the clue .
    Not my cup of tea today but pleased to finish without reading the hints .
    Thanks to everyone .

  13. Miffypops on a Thursday and now Senf on a Friday, what pleasant surprises!

    Unlike CS, 20d was new to me, although I had come across 1a before, possibly from an episode of Skippy circa 1972.

    My favourite clue was 6d. For the second Friday in succession it was interesting to see that “is” was used in several clues to give “is” as part of the respective solutions.

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

  14. 1* / 3.5*.   Today’s back-pager proved to be an exceeding light delight.   I only needed to pause slightly for thought for 1a (which my BRB says is an Australian word) and my last one in, the obscure 20d (which my BRB says is American).   However the wordplay for both led clearly to the answers.

    We had quite an international flavour today with the French derived 18a, and a few other countries appearing in various clues and answers.

    9a is my favourite – a lovely clue for a lovely word.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Senf

  15. I found this a little more tricky than usual for a Giovanni. ***/****. I had to check in the dictionary whether the words I had constructed for 1a and 20d actually existed. Always a delight when they do. My -ate ending for 17d held me up somewhat. If I had solved 29a first, all would have been fine. 28a was my favourite.

  16. I’m giving up on Fridays. As usual some very good clues (10d, 26a spring to mind), mixed with a plethora of dated and obscure words with the usual religious references thrown in for good measure. Thanks to the reviewer for untangling it all.

  17. Well the week has been tough in places. Again today most went in smoothly but with hiccups … got the wrong end of the stick on 6dn which left me “scratching” my head.1ac, 17dn (even though I am Scottish) and 20dn all new to me. Didn’t particularly like 13ac – solved from the wordplay but answer seemed unfamiliar.

  18. Funnily enough with all the obscure references and words it was 7d that I had most trouble with even with all the check letters in place (eventually after wanting to put winger in for 6a). Doh! Not my finest hour! Thanks to senf and the Don.

  19. Two words I’m not familiar with at 1a, got some of that from the word play then BRB for the answer, 20d needed electronic help for that and last in not suprisingly. Thought today’s puzzle just lacked a little sparkle but some excellent clues mixed again with the more obscure for me. A typical Friday puzzle not by any means a doddle for me, but not quite out of Giovanni’s top draw somehow?

    Clues of the day: 27a / 7d

    Rating: 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to Senf and Giovanni.

  20. I found this tricky, I seem to be having trouble with the crosswords recently.
    I had the wrong word in 7d. I should have solved 8d, we’ve had it before.
    I never knew 1a, nice word, but it was easily solved from the clue.
    I didn’t know 17d, needed to look it up in the dictionary. Another word I had to check was 18a.
    My fave was 9a, I just like the word.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for his hints.

  21. Does this help for the spelling of 18a….”Did the French word “SEigNEur” originate from the South East (SE) or North East (NE) of France?”

  22. A ** for difficulty, with the far SE corner a little trickier than the rest. Is it just me or did we have more than the usual number of relatively unknown answers today? All were fairly clued and perfectly solvable, so no complaints, and it’s always satisfying to get them from the wordplay.

  23. 1a & 20d completely flummoxed me and 18a wasnt far behind ….. but hey ho ive learnt three new words

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