DT 28790 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28790

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28790

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where a cloudy start to the day may lead to some showers this evening (here’s hoping). Triskaidekaphobics can return to bed now.

Nothing too difficult from Giovanni this morning, though the use of a false synonym in 1d was something which gave me pause. I liked the misdirection in 6d.

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           Shared an understanding with shyest maid, trembling, keeping quiet (11)
SYMPATHISED – Anagram (trembling) of SHYEST MAID, wrapped around the musical symbol for quiet.

7a           City oddball, one with two females in tow (7)
CARDIFF – Put together an oddball or eccentric, the Roman numeral for one, and two abbreviations for Female, and you get a Welsh city.

Image result for cardiff

8a           Upset daughter is the opposite of sweet, rolling over (7)
DISTURB – Put together an abbreviation for Daughter, IS (from the clue) and the reverse (rolling over) of a term for a champagne which is the opposite of sweet.

10a         Form of technology — something hard engineers initially attempt (8)
ROCKETRY – Put together something hard, the first letter of Engineers, and an attempt.

11a         Play in small country community (6)
HAMLET – Double definition, the first being a play by Shakespeare.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a         Language used by loud Russians in retreat (4)
URDU – Hidden in reverse in the clue.

14a         Come by to fight or bless? (3,5,2)
LAY HANDS ON – Triple definition, the last being the action a priest may use in giving a blessing.

16a         Day of celebration with everyone needing permits to go round hospital (3,7)
ALL HALLOWS – Another word for ‘everyone’ and another word for ‘permits’, placed either side of the abbreviation for Hospital. The answer is celebrated on 1 November.

18a         That’s contemptible, having Greek character shut up (4)
PISH – One of the letters of the Greek alphabet followed by an instruction to be quiet.

21a         Puts up with spectators’ accommodation (6)
STANDS – Double definition, the first a verb, the second a noun.

22a         One telling tales in class with little hesitation (8)
INFORMER – Put together IN (from the clue), another word for a school class, and an interjection expressing hesitation.

24a         Footballer around half-time’s first person to grumble (7)
WHINGER – A position on the football field wrapped around the first letter of Half-time.

25a         Greek lady that is one of a senior generation (7)
GRANNIE – Put together an abbreviation for Greek, a woman’s name, and the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’.

26a         Greedier man troubled officers abroad (11)
GENDARMERIE – Anagram (troubled) of GREEDIER MAN.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d           Before start of December fir gets nicely dressed (7)
SPRUCED – Another word for a conifer followed by the first letter of December,  This clue doesn’t work for me, because the fir and the tree used in the answer are members of different families. ‘Conifer’ in the clue would work better.

2d           Edmund early in the morning upset lass (6)
MAIDEN – A short form of Edmund is followed by a set of letters which look like a number and the Latin abbreviation for ‘in the morning’, then the whole lot is reversed (upset).

3d           A story about company that may be ratified (10)
AFFIRMABLE – A (from the clue) and a story (by Aesop, perhaps) wrapped around another word for a company.

4d           Keep secret identity when entertained by the fellow (4)
HIDE – The letters indicating identity documents are inserted into the pronoun for ‘the fellow’.

5d           With blemishes all around, America suffers (8)
SUSTAINS – A common abbreviation for America is inserted into some blemishes or dirty marks.

6d           SS and similar folk (7)
DOUBLES – Two definitions. The first is a dingbat: say what you see.

7d           One goes round very quickly and one’s teeth are on edge (8,3)
CIRCULAR SAW – Cryptic definition of a powered device for cutting timber.

Image result for circular saw

9d           Club against money demanded for police action (5,6)
BATON CHARGE – Put together a type of club used in games, a pronoun which can mean ‘against’ or ‘up against’, and the money demanded or price of something.

12d         Famous Argentinian side lifted cup — what gets those gnashers going? (7,3)
CHEWING GUM – Put together an Argentinian who is more often seen in crosswords as a revolutionary, a side (of a large house, perhaps), and the reverse (lifted up) of another word for a drinking cup.

Image result for chewing gum  foot cartoon

15d         A darn cig ruined jacket (8)
CARDIGAN – Anagram (ruined) of A DARN CIG.

17d         Man on board goes down after short jump — when the vessel’s this? (7)
LEAKING – Remove the final letter (short) from a jump, then add a chess piece.

19d         Huge fellows squeezed into semi, getting sozzled (7)
IMMENSE – Anagram (getting sozzled) of SEMI, wrapped around some fellows or chaps.

20d         Locks to secure old books? That’s silly talk! (3,3)
HOT AIR – The locks here are to be found on your head, and they are wrapped around the abbreviation for the older half of the Bible.

23d         Fast runner heading off over a field (4)
AREA – Remove the first letter (heading off) from a furry animal renowned for fast running, then add A (from the clue) to the end.

The Quick Crossword pun BELLOWS + TEARS = BELOW STAIRS

43 comments on “DT 28790

  1. Finished in a reasonable time for me . Favourite, yet another dingbat , 6D with 7D runner up .

    Last one in 2D as struggled with the Edmond reference .

    Enjoy Friday 13th especially if it rains .

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. Fairly gentle for a Friday. My wife is a contratriskaidekaphobic – she says this date is always lucky for her.
    Thank you DT and Giovanni.

  3. Enjoyed this very much .

    Had trouble with 18a as this word has a very different meaning in my neck of the woods…..and I doubt would appear in a DT crossword.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for his help with the parsings.

  4. Another friendly Friday – which in a busy fortnight is a good thing – thanks to Giovanni and DT

    If you are looking for another crossword after you’ve enjoyed both the inside backpager and the Toughie, today’s Picaroon in the Guardian has something special about it ;)

  5. I really enjoyed this and my rating is 2* / 4*. Lots to enjoy here and my favourite is 6d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  6. All done in **/*** time. Took a while to parse some and needed DT’s hint to understand 12d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. As is often the case Giovanni’s offering today was thoroughly entertaining and not too taxing. 18a new to me but it had to be and I wasn’t really aware of 9d. Like KFB I too struggled to parse 2d. Joint Favs were 8a and 14a. Thanks as always DG and DT.

  8. Looked quite tough on first scan but a steady solve once I got started.
    Never heard of a Dingbat in crosswords before-can someone explain ?- all I know is that it has an Australian connection !
    Very enjoyable cluing and overall a **/****.
    Liked the charades 3d and16a.
    Thanks all.

    1. Surprisingly a Dingbat is not an Oz marsupial .

      It is a symbol eg a series of letters , numbers , pictures , with the answer a well known phrase or words .
      HIJKLMO – H to O – Water
      FX The – the after effects

      1. I like dingbats, but not in crosswords without a definition. Today’s is ok because the clue does have a definition. Dingbats on their own I feel belong elsewhere or to the museum of clues past and not in modern crosswords. We’ve had a couple of those recently, and they got the thumbs down from me. Others of course may and do feel differently.

        1. I didn’t know “dingbat” actually meant something. I always use it to describe myself after a spectacular goof, “wotta dingbat!”

  9. Very nice and not too taxing. Just as well, proXimal next – and hopefully the Graun later on Sue’s recommendation.

    With thanks to DG and DT.

  10. Whilst maybe not quite as enthusiastic as RD about this one (the howler at 1d for instance), this was quite an enjoyable solve with a few smiles along the way.
    I’ve obviously been watching too many programmes along the lines of ‘One man and his dog’ as I got rather side-tracked over 14a for a while!

    Top two for me were 6&7d.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  11. Lately I have accrued a massive pile of crosswords saved for another time and didn’t feel like adding to it today.

    Lots of grinding teeth in this crossword, but nothing to make me do same (didn’t spot the problem with 1d and, while you are right, can’t get worked up about it). EDIT: that’ll teach me not to assume people are right without doing my own fact checking.

    I enjoyed it and my favourites were 14a, 6d and 12d. I also liked 19d, but would have found it much funnier if “into” had been “in” …

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  12. Oh dear! Unlike the enthusiasts above, I could not get on the setter’s wavelength at all and finally gave up with the grid half-filled. Even when I pencilled in what turned out to be correct answers as guess work, I coudn’t marry up the answers with the key words. Maybe it’s the heat here in London.

  13. Here’s an example of a dingbat, much loved in pub quizzes
    Beat Beat Beat
    —- Bush —-
    Beat Beat Beat
    Very enjoyable crossword but need the hints to parse 23d.

  14. Regarding 1dn, Chambers gives the following definitions:

    FIR: the name of several conifers, esp of the genera Abies and Picea
    SPRUCE: any conifer of the genus Picea, with long shoots only, four-angled needles, and pendulous cones

  15. Great crossword from Giovanni at his best and right up my street no problems being on his wavelength today. Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish with plenty of smiles along the way. Last in 18a a bit of a bung in to finish. Not sure I have heard of the 10a answer used in that tense? Not a head scratching difficult puzzle but very entertaing in my opinion . Possibly puzzle of the week for me.

    Clues of the day: 24a / 7d / 12d and a few more.

    Rating: 2.5* / 4.5*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  16. Excellent puzzle, though I did get hung up on a couple, eg 18a!
    i thought the answer to 19d was sozzled, so I visited my thesaurus. I never knew there were so many words for “drunk”, the one that amused me was “capernoity”, Scots!
    I liked lots, can’t choose just one.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.
    Solved watching the men’s semifinals. With Fed out of the running, I have no fave, I like them all, though
    Raffa with the cute buns is a little special.

  17. Completed this comfortable Giovanni this morning before driving down to sunny Dorset for a week. I can’t see beyond 6d for a favourite. As others have noted above, not particularly difficult but highly entertaining.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  18. Could only do half without hints. Thought cleverest was 8a. We’re not really into champers in my neck of the woods! Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  19. Even enjoyed the cryptic def in 7d.
    Great Friday’s Giovanni.
    Thanks for the fun and to DT for the review.

  20. First glance I was daunted but once I got going it was a steady solve until the last 2 which needed the hints. 23d and 8a. I wasnt fond of Brut as the opposite of sweet with no suggestion of the required eng fr translation. But I am probably being too picky on what was otherwise a great wnd to the cruciverbal week. Off to try the toughie if mam hasnt used it to wrap the tato peelings.

  21. This felt tricky when solving, perhaps because I was struggling to get 1ac, but finish time still ** and a bit maybe? Last in 2d followed by 1d. And no, I didn’t spot the problem. :-)

    1. Ned (Edmund abbreviated) I AM (early in the morning) all reversed (upset in a Down clue)

  22. Great stuff and unusually not a struggle on a Friday. It almost didn’t feel like a Giovanni.
    Favourite clue was 12d.
    Thanks all.

  23. Did better than I usually do for a Friday Giovanni, so I’ll take that as a win. As usual, I struggled to get on wavelength and two or three clues defeated me. And it doesn’t help when you bung the answer in the wrong slot… Thanks Deep Threat for the hints.

    Friday is my favourite day of the week (a left over from my working days) and I refuse to let it being the 13th to spoil that.

  24. I sort of bumbled my way through this puzzle; a clue here and a clue there before I had sufficient answers to be able to wrap things up. An enjoyable challenge and 18d floated my boat because I had never considered the word as being serious. You live and learn.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  25. Good solve. Completed without problems requiring help. Favourites 7 14 and 16a and 6 and 9d. Had never heard of 18a but easy to work out. Last one in 23d. Thought I had the parsing for 2d but apparently I had not. Unfortunately don’t understand the hint. What “set of letters”. If Bed is short for Edmund which I did not know and you add am for morning there is only one letter left. I must be missing something. Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  26. Good fun with a lot to like. Too many good clues to commit to a favourite.

    Thanks to both Mr Manley and DT.

    Have a great weekend all :smile:

  27. Did this one yesterday teatime. A good puzzle, as usual from G, and an enjoyable solve. 2.5* /3.5*

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