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DT 28766

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28766

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from a warm and sunny Los Alcázares where I’m having a few days break and standing in for Deep Threat today.  I’m not certain but I’ve a feeling I’ve blogged a Friday puzzle back in the days when Gazza was the regular Man Friday.  Anyway it makes a pleasant change from my usual Thursday fare.
We have here a fairly typical Giovanni puzzle with a couple of tricky bits and a couple of religious bits but there’s enough gimmes to get you going.  Overall I reckon it’s about average difficulty for a back pager and I really enjoyed it so it was ***/**** for me.  It’ll be interesting to see if anyone agrees.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Cold sort of teacher, head showing ill temper (10)
CRABBINESS:  C(old) followed by a Jewish teacher and finally the common crosswordland head as in headland.

6a           Fashionable little bird losing its tail (4)
CHIC:  A newly hatched bird without its last letter (losing its tail).

9a           Broadcast supporting the old man not allowed out (10)
PROPAGATED:  A charade of three letters meaning supporting, not FOR but the other one, your old man and a word meaning not being allowed out of a school such as Eton.

10a         Wild animal turning up in the morning rolled over (4)
PUMA:  Reverse (turning) the UP from the clue and follow with a reversal (rolled over) of the two letters for morning.

12a         Boy eating beefburger ultimately becoming fat (4)
LARD:  Take a word for a young boy and insert (eating) an R (beefburgeR ultimately).

13a         Author‘s holy book I want badly (4,5)
MARK TWAIN:  The first name of this author is one of the Gospels (holy book) and the second name is an anagram (badly) of I WANT.

15a         Criminal taken in by parson is transformed (8)
ARSONIST:  A lurker (taken in by) in the last three words of the clue.

16a         Djibouti’s leading character is this (6)
SILENT:  A cryptic definition describing the letter D in the word Djibouti (leading character).  It could also describe the K in Know or the pee in swimming.  Last one in and more damage to the tea tray!

18a         Strikes — so politician must get stuck in (6)
THUMPS:  Take a word meaning SO and insert the usual two letter politician.

20a         More sensitive, suppressing expression of pain in row (8)
TOUCHIER:  What you might say if something hurt inserted (suppressing . . . in) into a row, of theatre seats perhaps.

23a         Cheat who may have a heart hidden away? (4-5)
CARD SHARP:  This cheat may also have a club, spade or diamond hidden away as well.

24a         Seaside town journey being reported (4)
RYDE:  This seaside town on the Isle of Wight sounds like (reported) a journey on a horse or bicycle perhaps.

26a         Servant in front half of magnificent parades (4)
PAGE:  You need to think of a word for some magnificent parades and the first half of the letters are this servant.

27a         Eager to proceed, I had to carry on (10)
PASSIONATE:  Start with a word which can mean to proceed (4) and follow it with “I had” as in “I had my dinner” and into that lot insert (to carry) the ON from the clue.

28a         Amphibians — not all left stranded (4)
EFTS:  These amphibians, which are young newts, are lurking (not all) in the last two words.

29a         Sound excellent in cranium — due to this? (7,3)
HEARING AIDCryptic definition of    A sound, of a bell perhaps, and two letters for excellent are inserted into another word for your cranium and then split (7,3) to get something which helps your ears work better.   Thanks for the tip Gazza, but it’s still hard to hint without using the first word of the answer. 


1d           African Christian is nabbed, we hear (4)
COPT:  This African, specifically Egyptian I think, Christian sounds like (we hear) being nabbed, by the police perhaps.

2d           Socially awkward types ask to be moved when girl comes in (7)
ANORAKS:  Anagram (to be moved) of ASK with a girl’s name inserted (comes in).

3d           Requirement for a jet-setter to get on? (8,4)
BOARDING PASS:  Cryptic definition of something you need to get on an aircraft.  On first pass I put CARD for the second word which made 23a a tad tricky!

4d           Close thing in inlet, one in loch (4,4)
NEAR MISS:  A word for an inlet of the sea and I (one) inserted into a loch which has the monster.  The answer here was pretty obvious but the parsing took a couple of minutes to spot the inlet.

5d           Reticent to admit sin produced by drink (6)
SHERRY:  Take a word meaning reticent or coy and insert (to admit) a word meaning to sin or make a mistake.

7d           A laugh about English type of transport (7)
HAULAGE:  Anagram (about) of A LAUGH followed by E(nglish).

8d           Restrictions ripped apart in retail outlet (5,5)
CHAIN STORE:  Take some restrictions as in fetters (6) and then a word meaning ripped apart, or at least ripped.  Split that lot (5,5) to get the answer.

11d         Portraits once briefly roughed out for series of drawings (5,7)
STRIP CARTOON:  Anagram (roughed up) of PORTRAITS ONC(e) (briefly)

14d         What could be going or gone as part of our language (10)
PARTICIPLE:  Cryptic definition of the parts of a verb represented by GOING and GONE.  GOING is the present one and GONE the past.

17d         Company problem involving male, a sort of ‘key worker’? (8)
COMPOSER: The usual company followed by a problem with M(ale) inserted (involving).  I quite like the slightly tongue-in-cheek definition here.

19d         It’s not grand for a pianist to play (7)
UPRIGHT:  As the clue says it’s not grand but another sort of piano.

21d         State of Asian country area (7)
INDIANA:  Of Asian country, not the country itself but someone who comes from it, followed by A(rea) gives you a US state

22d         Wise person carrying English Bible — hoping to convert me? (6)
SAVAGE:  Take a wise person and insert the two letter abbreviation of the King James Bible to get someone a Christian missionary might be hoping to convert to Christianity.  I like this as it’s almost an all-in-one.

25d         Turn taking bishop to close (4)
BEND:  B(ishop) followed by a word meaning close or finish.

Quite a lot of blue today but my favourite was 16a for the tea tray moment when I finally twigged it.  Also on the podium are 17d and 22d.
Not sure about the Quickie pun but here’s my guess, any better guesses gratefully accepted:-

Quick crossword pun:     BEAK     +     HOOD     =     BE GOOD


57 comments on “DT 28766

  1. I’m afraid that I had to resort to a little electronic help for this one, after I had spent **** time on it.

    It was the two long across clues in the SE corner that held me up, both very cleverly construed. I also failed to spot the correct bible to insert into 22d.

    I got an answer for 14d but my complete lack of English grammar education meant I had no idea if it was correct.

    COTD goes to 27a for me.

    Many thanks to Gazza and Pommers.

    1. So it has. I never even looked for it, d’oh!

      I’ll edit the hint.

      Any idea on the Quickie pun?

  2. I found this one very enjoyable, plenty of satisfying answers. Favourites 9a and last in 27a. Used a bit of Thesaurus help I admit.

  3. A ***/*** for me today, last in was 16a-i bet I am not alone, at least I know where it is now not withstanding it has no
    connection to the solution.
    Varied cluing and an interesting solve, failed to parse 26a-thanks pommers-liked the pics too.
    No real favourites.

  4. Hmm, this turned out to be something of a curate’s egg – a number of read and writes, assisted by some oldies but goodies, and then some head scratching to finish at a fast canter – **/***.

    And, I am still scratching my head over 22d – converting from English Bible to what is in the answer is a bit of a stretch for me.

    Joint favourites – 13a and 4d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and pommers.

      1. Thanks pommers. What is required in the answer is familiar to me, it’s just that I thought that the use of English Bible in the clue was somewhat ‘clunky’.

  5. Another really good crossword at the moment the stters seem to be excelling themselves. Thanks to Pommers and setter

  6. Not quite as much fun as I usually get from Giovanni offerings but I made it in the end. 29a bunged in without any inclination as to why. Fav was 17d. Thank you DG and pommers.

    1. In a corruption of the normal rhyming slang here…
      “I’m Hank Marvin I think I’ll have a Reg Varney”
      “I’m Jet Harris I think I’ll have a Bob Grant”

      1. No, you’ve got me there, Sloop.

        I know who Bob Grant is but that’s about it.

        Put me out of my misery…

        1. Hank Marvin = Starvin’
          One of the Shadows as was Jet Harris.
          Reg Varney = Sarnie
          From On the Buses as was Bob Grant.

  7. This was tough but I enjoyed it very much. For me, 16 across is the favourite but was also the last one in until the penny dropped.

  8. Not bad for a Friday – I too have a damaged tea tray thanks to 16a.
    Many thanks to the Don and pommers

  9. Learnt a lot today. Strangely, didn’t find the clues cited as most difficult. Would never have got 27a or 9a, but getting better all the time. Grammar School education helped with 14d.
    Thanks for the help and enjoyment from the setter.

    1. Somewhat confusingly, I went to a Grammar school, that didn’t teach grammar!

      1. No English Grammar O Level? As I recall we started English Grammar at Primary School and concluded by taking the O Level a year early. If my 7 year old grandson’s homework is anything to go by it has had a revival.

  10. ****/****. 1a stumped me and therefore 1d became an issue. My favourite was 16a. Thanks to Pommers and Giovanni.

  11. The Beatles AND Frankie Valli..you’re spoiling us Pommers!
    Favourite today was 1d,really made me laugh, but as it was first answer in..I was trying for a while to squeeze in that little known Christian group Nikt!
    Have a great weekend.

  12. Completed ok but needed to check with the hints to verify 22d . A few old chestnuts but many good ones with 1A favourite .
    Thanks to everyone .

  13. I thought that this grid sits within the more user-friendly end of the Friday spectrum. COTD was for me, 16a – which at first sight looked very much like a surfacing GK obscurity! 15a is a nice misdirection, indicating (to me at any rate) an anagram solution for ‘parson is’. As for the Chestnut Award, I suspect that 14d wins (perhaps Mr. K. can offer an analysis?). Lastly, it was really nice to see a humorous edge in 20a. Thanks to all concerned!

    1. Hi, bc. I found five previous appearances of 14d in my database. Two are from the Don, and none have wordplay that resembles today’s example. My data only goes back circa 2000, so it’s possible that it became chestnutty and was retired before then.

        Sat 21 Sep 2002   Guardian Prize 22631   Paul   One penny piece passed round, broken, for instance (10)
        Fri 19 Aug 2005   Guardian Cryptic 23537   Pasquale   Form of verb giving power to one page in Guardian piece? (10)
        Mon 19 Mar 2012   Guardian Cryptic 25583   Brummie   Verbal form of π reversed in electron, say (10)
        Tue 5 May 2015   Telegraph Toughie 1389   Giovanni   An adjective maybe, one with power in little piece (10)
        Sun 19 Jul 2015   Telegraph Cryptic 2805   Vigilius   Working in working group, for example, inserting one page in small piece (10)
      1. Thanks for fishing out the facts, Mr. Kitty. Quite fascinating to see the variety of clue structures used previously (the Brummie one is neatly constructed). I had a feeling that the word in question had appeared quite recently – obviously mistaken!

        1. I last updated my database a fortnight ago and I haven’t had time to solve many puzzles recently, so if it was in that time frame I would have missed it. Also, I only collect data for a few puzzle series, so perhaps you saw it in one I don’t track?

  14. 2d was my favourite in this very good puzzle from the Don. I was as usual slow to get started but once under way everything seemed to go smoothly. Even 16a came reasonably quickly!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Pommers for the review

  15. Thanks to Giovanni and to Pommers for the review and hints. A most enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni today. I had so much missing from the first pass, that I thought I was going to struggle, but I managed to whittle them all away. Needed the hints to parse 26&29a. I thought 11d was going to be a classical art term, before I realised that it was an anagram, this was last in. Favourite was 27a, very good lego sandwich. Was 2.5*/4* for me.

  16. Was going well until I put in “card” for second part of 3dn. Solving 23ac came to my aid and then all went well except couldn’t parse 26ac until I came here and needed a hint on 16 ac. Thanks Giovanni and Pommers.

  17. Business as usual from the Don with the only slight hiccup being a wrong answer for the second part of 3d until 23a set me straight.

    Thanks to DG and to Pommers for a great blog – couple of good video clip opportunities for you today!

  18. Original post disappeared into the ether again. I wish I knew why.
    Will just say 16a was brilliant.

  19. I wasn’t able to finish this because I had, with confidence, ‘card-shark’ for 23a.

    1. You are not alone. I could not remember whether the term was card sharp or shark so did not fill in the last letter for some time. I was not helped by confidently thinking that 17d probably began with “lock”. Fortunately the penny dropped.

  20. An enjoyable solve with 16a and 14d being our picks for top clues although there were several others in close contention.
    Thanks Giovanni and pommers.

  21. A steady solve today done in several stints. Equally enjoyable were the hints which helped explain a few. I noticed that nerdy coat made a reappearance but loads of great clues I couldn’t pick one or even a podium full. Thanks to pommers and Gio. If this becomes a regular hinting partnership it shall be known by me as PG Tips 😆

      1. Enjoy. I used to be a PG tips guy too but have fallen under the influence of Yorkshire tea especially the one blended for our very hard water.

  22. A little more difficult today, *** sounds about right. It was 16ac and 27ac that caused me the most difficulty – the former because of my blissful ignorance regarding the pronunciation. Something new learnt as always from Giovanni. :-)

  23. Doing my usual morning after the night before review. Fascinated by how our brains work differently. 16a was straight in for me and was 29a although I confidently thought that 29a was a cryptic clue until I read the hints. I struggled with two in the NW and SE. Then got 9a quickly followed by 1d. Then followed 27a although I did not fully parse. 22d last one in largely because the usual run through of the alphabet did not work as the checkers were vowels and there were lots of word which would fit the grid but not the clue. Also the answer was not obvious. Luckily I knew of the Authorized Version and got there in the end. Favourites – three in each direction – 16, 23 and 26a and 3 8 and 19d. Thanks Giovanni, Pommers and all for comments.

  24. 16a was the real problem and I still take gentle objection to the answer. The ‘D’ is not silent when enunciated correctly any more so than ‘How d’ya do’ v ‘How ‘ya do’ would be. ‘Corst if ‘uns speakin’ common ven ‘ats diffrent.

    1. You are quite correct. which is why it was my last in. However, there are some cans of worms that didn’t seem quite worth opening so I kept quiet about it.

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