DT 28778 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28778

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28778

Hints and tips by Senf

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

A very good Sunday Friday morning from Winnipeg.  I get another opportunity to solve and hint a complete puzzle on a Friday as the final ‘stand-in’ for Deep Threat before he returns from his expedition to who knows where.

Another enjoyable Giovanni puzzle, with some double unches, providing an enjoyable end to the work week.

If the musical hints are not quite to your taste, I can promise you Neil Young when I am back to solving and hinting half a puzzle on Sunday.

Joint favourites – 27a and 7d.

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    A person may be entitled to start with this (10)
BIRTHRIGHT: A term for entitlement from when one is born.

9a    Wreck international organisation over allowing 500 in (4)
UNDO: The abbreviation for an international organization and the single letter for over containing (allowing . . . in) the Roman numeral for 500.

10a    Job cancelled with frigidity in public building (4,6)
POST OFFICE: Synonyms for job, cancelled, and frigidity.

11a    Most splendid poem about dwelling in a tree? (6)
FINEST: the title of a (Kipling) poem reversed (about) and where a bird sets up home.

12a    Very large lady by front of hotel who welcomes guests? (7)
HOSTESS: Two letters that can be used to indicate very large and a fictional (Hardy) lady after (by front of) the single letter for hotel.

15a    Small illustration, a ship, by old artist (7)
PICASSO: An abbreviated (small) term for an illustration, A from the clue, the usual two letters for a ship, and the single letter for old.

16a    Girl in state of confusion left (5)
HAZEL: A single word that might indicate a state of confusion followed by the single letter for left.

17a    Limited number operating — twelve (4)
NOON: A two letter abbreviation (limited) for number and the usual two letter word for operating.

18a    Report of rude person in the nude (4)
BARE: A homophone of a word that can be used to describe a rude person.

19a    Pale little man declined (5)
WANED: A synonym of pale and the two letter abbreviated form of a man’s name.

21a    Not taken out, not having the time? (7)
UNDATED: A double definition – the first can mean not having a boy or girl friend.

22a    Money paid over period for chemical (7)
REAGENT: A type of payment (money paid) for something that is not owned containing (over) a type of (time) period.

24a   Estate could provide facility for refreshment (3,3)
TEA SET: An anagram (could provide) of ESTATE.

27a Principal’s ways of speaking to convey grave things (10)
HEADSTONES: A synonym for principal’s (including the possessive S) and a synonym for ways of speaking.

28a Enjoyable nook with husband out of the way (4)
NICE: A synonym for nook with the single letter for husband removed (out of the way).

29a Somehow he’s angrier getting ready for a show? (10)
REHEARSING: An anagram (somehow) of HE’S ANGRIER.


2d    Knowing about home side at The Oval (2,2)
IN ON: The two letter word for (at) home and a crickety side.

3d    That’s bad university teacher putting off men repeatedly (3-3)
TUT-TUT: A university teacher with (military) men removed (putting off) and repeated.

4d    Devil-may-care group of fliers — brill? (7)
RAFFISH: A (military) group of fliers and what brill is a type of.

5d    Win one more time with leader absent (4)
GAIN: A single word for one more time with the first letter removed (leader absent).

6d    Plant person on field to get stuck into work (7)
TREFOIL: The short form of a match official contained by (to get stuck into) a synonym for work – the answer is also the symbol for a youth organization.

7d    Downplay what citizens of repressive regime are? (10)
UNDERSTATE: As (5,5) the answer can describe citizens of a repressive regime.

8d    Argue against prisoner time and time again wanting to keep dog? (10)
CONTROVERT: The three letter synonym for prisoner, the single letter for time twice (again) containing (wanting to keep) a dog’s name.

12d    Language in Indian huts possibly? (10)

13d    What offers an ‘edgy’ performance accompanied by music? (5,5)
SWORD DANCE: A type of dance frequently performed ‘north of the bortder’.

14d    Boy in holy band getting healthy food? (5)
SALAD: The two letter abbreviation of a religious organization and a synonym for boy which when written as (2,3) suggests a boy as a member of said organisation.

15d    Safe foundation for church (5)
PETER: A double definition – the first is a synonym for a safe.

19d    What settles the clothes being put on outside (7)
WEATHER: A single word for clothes being put on containing (outside) THE from the clue.

20d    Dad swimming with ease? He wouldn’t be, in this lake! (4,3)
DEAD SEA: An anagram (swimming with) of DAD and EASE.

23d    Georgia slouches awkwardly in dances (6)
GALOPS: The abbreviation for the US state of Georgia and a synonym of slouches awkwardly (I think).

25d Club with hot tub (4)
BATH: A synonym of club with the single letter for hot.

25d Scottish location in which to plant a vegetable (4)
BEAN: A Scottish location containing (in which to plant) A from the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun: BEAT+ROUX=BE TRUE


53 comments on “DT 28778

  1. Got there in a reasonable time but it did not flow for me as I had to often go back to the clue to reason the parsing .
    27a my COTD but , like my yesterday’s , another grim reminder . My score **/** .
    Thanks to everyone , keep up the good work .

  2. Quite liked this puzzle, not sure about ‘what settles’ for ‘weather’ though. Thanks to all involved as usual.

  3. Friendly Giovanni so thank you to him and Senf

    I quite liked 19d – I thought the whole clue was the definition

  4. Finished at a steady trot in ***/**** time. Three clues held me up, I hadn’t heard of that form of the word in 8d, but it was obvious from the word play. I failed to parse the “holy band” in 14d and, like Senf, I wasn’t too sure of the slouch in 23d.

    Good fun though and 12a has to be COTD for the very imagery!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and Senf.

    1. I was hoping that our resident jockey was going to make the imagery on 12a come to life.

      If he was a deltiologist, he’d’ve gone for it.

      (I love the use of apostrophes in he’d’ve)

        1. Golf on horseback. Is there no end to your talents?

          You should work at the circus.

  5. Don’t think I’ve ever heard 8d used, is it perhaps more of a legal term?

    I thought of 19d in the same way as CS did and rather liked it. Other podium places went to 11&27a plus 7d.

    Thanks to DG and to Senf for undertaking extra duties – I enjoyed both the 23d clip and the kilted ladies.

    1. There is no indication in the BRB that 8d is any sort of ‘specialist’ term. I suspect that it is just one of those words that has ‘fallen out of favour’ (except with crossword setters).

  6. Getting the paper before pub time certainly helps. Five for five this week. 11a and 15a made me smile when the penny finally dropped. Thanks to Giovanni and Senf.

  7. I found this to be a very inconsistent offering, mixing the very easy with the obscure, (for me anyway, 8d 23d,15d, 4d). Thanks to Senf for explaining it in a clear and entertaining fashion

  8. Maybe it’s the weather but this was a definite 4* difficulty for me. Perhaps because definitions in some cases were quite vaguely – though not unfairly, I hasten to add – defined.

    It’ll have been done before but 18a is a smiler, especially on a day this hot (see 19d).

    Also thought the 27a grave things pretty cool.

    Isn’t swimming easier in the 20d? Floating certainly is.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Senf.

  9. Wasn’t sure of 23d even when I’d got all the checkers and had the parsing correctly. A new one to remember. No real favourites today but 19d gets an honourable mention. Thanks to all.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Nice challenge and great clues. **/*****. I struggled over 23d like some others. Maybe it’s from lopsided which I guess a slouch looks like.

    11a was my favourite and last one it. Big and sudden penny drop! Honourable mentions for 19a, 3d, 4d, 8d and 15d. Beer, sun and a Giovanni, what more can a man ask for.

  11. Lots to enjoy from The Don this sunny Friday. Like others I really enjoyed 7d, but it was only one of several excellent clues. I didn’t think this was Giovanni at his most benign, but it was certainly a fair and enjoyable challenge. 3* /4* for me.

    Thanks to The Don and Senf.

  12. Got most of that by myself but 23d escaped me. Lops for slouches new to me but otherwise enjoyable solve. 27a didn’t drop til I read the hint. thanks to Senf and Gio.

  13. Oh dear, I don’t know what happened to my initial comment but here goes again. As usual Giovanni has come up trumps with a call for just enough cerebral exercise combined with much fun. He’s definitely my Fav setter. The small illustration makes yet another appearance in 15a – wonder in what context that is acceptable? Failed to parse 11a – the poem didn’t occur to me – d’oh! My Fav clue/solution is 4d. TVM DG and Senf.

    1. Special thanks Senf for the Vienna Philharmonic in the Musikverein as your 23d hint.

  14. I really did enjoy this. There were so many likes, it’s hard to choose a fave. The principal was clever, the dance we’ve had before and, miracle, I remembered it, loved 3d, but I think 11a is fave ‘cos the poem is a fave.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for his review.

  15. Fairly gentle for a Friday. Probably no bad thing in this heat. There seemed to be as many simple clues as there were tricky ones which made things easier. 7d was probably my favourite.
    Thanks to DG for being kind, and to Senf for the review.

  16. Lovely puzzle with all the hallmarks of a Giovanni. However, I have 2 queries why is a Bear a rude person and what has lopes to do with slouches. I’m not home at the moment so no BRB.

  17. Sorry, one more , I know a Peter is criminal slang for a safe but what’s it go to do with a church?

    1. The ODE explains under its entry for St Peter: An Apostle; born Simon. Peter (‘stone’) is the name given him by Jesus, signifying the rock on which he would establish his Church

      1. Yes, that’s a better explanation than what I assumed – St Peter, the founder of the Catholic Church and first pope (according to the net, which could be inaccurate).

  18. Lovely clever crossword with oodles of “brill” clues ****/**** 😃 for some reason (the heat I hope) I failed at 17a 😳 Favourites 4d & 15a plus many others 🤗 Thanks to Giovanni and to Senf for a lovely blog. Brian I could forgive you for not knowing that a peter is the slang for a safe but not to know the saying of Christ to St Peter, on this day of all days “ This is Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church”! is hard to believe 😬

  19. We scratched our heads for a while about ‘lops’ but everything else slotted in smoothly. An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and Senf.

  20. I never find Giovanni’s puzzles easy, but this one wasn’t so much tough as a few too many obtuse clues (8d, 15d and 23d), for which I was definitely grateful for Senf’s hints. Favourite was 12a.

  21. An enjoyable, not too tricky offering. A little trouble at the close on 23d where the grid to be frank didn’t help (isn’t it about time it was kicked into touch?), but liked everything else. :-)

  22. When ever you include a video my iPhone screen freezes and will only work if I play the video for a few seconds. V annoying, do you have to include videos with the answer?

  23. A reasonably straightforward and pleasurable solve this morning with a few hold-ups, but nothing too problematic.

    Speaking of problematic, I recently (today) met my nephew who’s just over a year old. He and his Ma and Pa flew in from Australia within 24 hrs. I bet the rest of the passengers were well chuffed.

    Thanks to Senf and Giovanni **/****

  24. I only have one question – was this a Giovanni puzzle? It has some of the usual trademarks (double unches & girl’s names) but it didn’t quite feel ‘right’

    Apart from that, I enjoyed the puzzle and in particular, the all in one clues.

    Thanks to Mr Manley (?) and Senf

    1. I think it is a Giovanni production – the features you identify plus the little man in 19a and the pair of religious content clues in the downs.

    2. Sorry to be thick, but what is a “unche” or even a double one? Here in France it is 30 degrees, not conducive to thinking so many clues only solved with help. Nothing really difficult except maybe 23d, but I was looking for an actual chemical in 22, not a type of chemical, wife being a member of the guild that uses 6d as its symbol helped with that one. 19d was a bit of an obscure parse, although again the wife has taught me that what is outside strongly affects what she puts on inside, before going outside! Wish failing to finish the puzzle without help did not make me worry so about incipient Altzheimers!

      1. An ‘unch’ is an unchecked letter (no intersection between an across and a down clue). A ‘double unch’ is two unchecked letters together, as occurred in this puzzle – sometimes, they can make a clue more difficult to solve.

  25. Liked the Girl Guide Trefoil – thanks Senf. Having reviewed the comments I agree about 23d. No indication a synonym for slouches required and I have never seen this meaning before. I would count slope as a synonym but not lop. Cannot remember using contraceptives in my legal or illegal life but this was doable. Took me ages inexplicably to get 24a but was left with 21a and first word of 13d. Needed hint for 21a after which I got the last one. Just never thought about that meaning of taken out. Mixed bag for me.definite favourite 27a followed by 11a and 4 and 6d for the word play and ingenuity. Thanks Giovanni.

    1. 18a. No, it’s a homophone of bare (bear, a rude person) as explained in the review above.

  26. A great puzzle from G, which I tackled yesterday (Fri) afternoon. Very enjoyable, with some head-scratching. Best of the week for me. 3* / 4*

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