DT 28802 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28802


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28802

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun continues to shine and the grass to turn brown.

I fairly rattled through today’s Giovanni, hence the low difficulty marking, but as always it is a matter of getting onto the same wavelength as the setter. If the bits of General Knowledge required for some answers aren’t in your head, the clues can be solved from the wordplay, but you may take a little longer.

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.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Large lettuce, one received by host (6)
COSMIC – A type of lettuce followed by the host in a nightclub wrapped around the Roman numeral for one.

5a           What sounds like woman’s strong colouring substance (8)
DYESTUFF – This is a homophone of the short form of a woman’s name (including the ‘s) and of a synonym for ‘strong’.

9a           New home in which Irish look to have inherited item (8)
HEIRLOOM – Anagram (new) of HOME wrapped around an abbreviation for Irish and an instruction to look.

10a         Holy words conveyed by woman traditionally (6)
MANTRA – Hidden in the clue.

11a         Maid once tortured as one deemed devil-possessed (8)
DEMONIAC – Anagram (tortured) of MAID ONCE.

12a         One skilled at the lathe or the canvas? (6)
TURNER – Double definition: a sort of skilled worker; or the surname of a painter.

Image result for turner le fighting temeraire

13a         Cut off from established site for shooting practice (8)
ESTRANGE – An abbreviation for ‘ESTablished’ followed by somewhere used for shooting practice.

15a         You and I having quiet time expressed sorrow (4)
WEPT – Put together the pronoun for ‘you and I’, the musical symbol for quiet, and an abbreviation of Time.

17a         Darling gets left in shower (4)
PELT – Insert Left into a darling.

19a         Black Prince of yesteryear more intelligent (8)
BRAINIER – An abbreviation of Black followed by the former monarch of Monaco.

20a         After setback the fellow had to keep moggy separate (6)
DETACH – Wrap a short form of ‘the fellow had’ around a moggy, then reverse the lot (after setback).

21a         More lustrous nobleman gets external support (8)
PEARLIER – A structural support – of a bridge, perhaps – wrapped around a rank of the nobility.

22a         Badly behaved youngster — Robin, that is? (6)
HOODIE – The surname of Robin of Sherwood followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’.

23a         Disorder great by port — police may need this? (4,4)
RIOT GEAR – A South American port followed by an anagram (disorder) of GREAT.

24a         You’d once set about embracing Guildhall figure, making emotional appeal (8)
DEMAGOGY – An archaic way of saying ‘you’d’ is reversed (set about) and wrapped around one of the mythical giants in London’s Guildhall.

25a         Team the French put into short race? (6)
ELEVEN – A race or competition with its final letter removed (short) wrapped around one of the forms of the definite article in French.


2d           Food with which old character inadequately entertains yours truly (8)
OMELETTE – An abbreviation for Old and another word for a typographical character with its last element removed (inadequately), placed with side of ‘yours truly’.

Image result for omelette

3d           Monkey has brief time in flowing stream (8)
MARMOSET – Anagram (flowing) of STREAM wrapped around a brief period of time.

Image result for marmoset

4d           Singer in church getting nothing right, nun losing head (9)
CHORISTER – Put together an abbreviation for CHurch, the letter which looks like a zero (nothing), an abbreviation for Right, and the title given to a nun, minus its first letter (losing head)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d           Mad Tory practice upsetting group of US politicians? (10,5)

6d           Reputation of old city within country (7)
STATURE – Another word for a country wrapped around the ancient Chaldean city most commonly found in crosswords.

7d           Sort out university book collection corner (8)
UNTANGLE – Put together an abbreviation for University, an abbreviation for one of the collections of books in the Bible, and a corner.

8d           Sweet and holy father given a monetary allowance (8)
FRAGRANT – The abbreviation for the title given to a Catholic priest, followed by A (from the clue) and a monetary allowance such as students used to get.

14d         Be independent and surprisingly genial too (2,2,5)
GO IT ALONE – Anagram (surprisingly) of GENIAL TOO.

15d         Court has 500 got rid of — something nasty in this place? (8)
WOODSHED – ‘To court’, as in courting one’s lover, followed by the Roman numeral for 500 and ‘got rid of’, giving us what Aunt Ada Doom in Cold Comfort Farm complained of having seen.

16d         Unconvincing kind — Liberal engaged in that political programme (8)
PLATFORM – A word for a glib or unconvincing explanation, followed by a kind or type, with Liberal inserted into the result.

17d         Professional record with upper-class English in introduction (8)
PROLOGUE – Put together a short form of ‘professional’, a record of events, the letter indicating ‘upper class’, and English.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d         Imprisoned by doctor, beaten foes become humiliated (4,4)
LOSE FACE – Anagram (beaten) of FOES, with ‘doctor’, as in ‘doctor someone’s drink’, wrapped around it.

19d         Support very hot — Conservative gets in (7)
BACKING – One of several words which could describe current temperatures, with Conservative inserted.

The Quick Crossword pun WIGHT + BORED = WHITEBOARD

49 comments on “DT 28802

  1. I too was a ‘rattler’ – amazing the stuff you have filed away in your head waiting for it to turn up in a crossword – the figure in 24a being a fine example of such a thing

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

    1. Yes, Gog and ***** I learnt about at school, that was 70 years ago – the human brain is amazing.

  2. 19a favourite but did not enjoy today’s puzzle for some reason . Perhaps, as I struggled to get going and there were few smiles of satisfaction .

    Nevermind , others will no doubt enjoy .

    Will it rain ? Will Geraint hang on ? Will we be able see the eclipse ?

    Thanks to everyone .

  3. Like DT I started well but came to a halt in the SW corner where I generally had difficulty with the parsing, eventually solved 15d and the rest followed, I did not know the giant resided in the Guildhall !.
    My d’oh moment arrived with 22a.
    Going for a ***/*** overall, again some clever cluing.
    Thanks all

  4. SW corner a problem for me too. Never heard of 24a, even though I knew the Guildhall figures. Apart from that **/****. 15a my favourite.

  5. After sailing through the East it is reassuring to know I wasn’t alone in having a struggle in the SW but I got there in the end after 15d had dawned on me. I suppose 21a is a word. Worked around Dr. Lace for 18d. Our name and a woodworking husband helped with 12a quite apart from the RA. Thank you Giovanni for good fun and DT for being there in case of need.

  6. Plain sailing until I reached the last two – 24a & 16d. No way to get the Guildhall figure without either having the GK or looking it up, I had to resort to the latter. 16d then slotted into place and completed the solve.

    Never keen on the 21a type of word although 19a didn’t bother me in the least!

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – very much enjoyed both of the clips you included with the hints.

  7. SW corner was tricky. 24a defeated me and not convinced by 16d
    Ticks to 5a and 7d.

  8. Going on nicely (lovely anagram at 5d as noted, some nice surfaces and a good lurker) until I came to the SW corner whereupon we hit the usual Friday obscurity. Whilst 15d is eminently solvable from the wordplay I had no idea on the parsing until I read the hints above (thank you Deep Threat) and it’s no wonder as it relates to a novel written in the 1930s.

    I take my hat off to anyone who can set cryptics (I know I couldn’t) and my vocabulary is definitely enhanced on Fridays but I do think there’s room to modernise things, especially if the Telegraph are looking to attract/retain a younger “solvership” (if there is such a word).

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the enlightenment.

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed this one . Thought is harder than a 1 to 2 star rating. For instance 24 across was worthy of a toughie. Just happened to know about the Guildhall figures or I would have had to look for help.

  10. An excellent crossword completely spoilt by the need for obscure GK.

    Why do the compilers do it, and why does the editor allow it? Surely there can be no worse advertisement for something which is trying not to be elitist.

    Do they think that these sorts of clues will attract new, dare I say, younger solvers?

    Oh, well, at least the weather is supposed to improve tomorrow.

    Thanks to all.

  11. Like others, the SW corner proved the toughest nut to crack, possibly made harder not just by the GK but by the double unches too. I thought some of the anagrams were top drawer, particularly 23a, 5d and 14d.

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

  12. Found some of this quiet tough, again like others particularly the SW corner. Amazed that this can be scored 1* for difficulty, but I guess it’s horses for courses again? Many tricky clues including 5a and 24a (last in) not familiar with either word and fortunately BRB came to my rescue with those two. A very challenging puzzle for me but full of excellent clues and I did enjoy the challenge, but only partly on the wavelength today. Agree about the anagrams being first class.

    Clues of the day: 19a / 7d / 8d

    Rating: 3.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  13. I was not a rattler today. Brisk start then ground to a halt in the NE and SW corners. Looking back, I cannot see why I was so slow, so I shall put it down to not being on The Don’s wavelength. Enjoyable enough, and really enjoyed the excellent anagram at 5d.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and to DT.

  14. I thought 22a was one for the ‘yoof’ solvers on here!
    Not too many smiles for me. A few obscure or unfriendly definitions or clues. Others will doubtless have a different viewpoint which is the beauty of opinions!
    Favourite 5d for the surface and anagram length but that’s about it
    I’m probably grumpy due to the heat.
    Thank you to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  15. i rattled though this before grinding to a halt, then needed the hints in order to solve 24a, 16d and 18d.

  16. Totally foxed by 24a, not being familiar with either the Guildhall or the statues therein.

    Struggled with quite a lot of the rest of it too, so not a great day for me today.

    Posted this previously, but it vanished…that’s twice this week.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.
    Here we go again trying to post…..

  17. Hurrah, done it despite the temperature here in Cambridge. Thank you for explaining ‘doctor’ in 18d – I’d got the answer but did not make the connection. Now for the toughie.

  18. Agree SW corner was a big challenge and also found two methods to get to 23a … if you can say that an ear can be a port!?

    But so sad to read the news today about Excalibur she was brilliant

  19. Not keen on 24 across. Know about Magog (and his friend Gog) but didn’t know he resided at the Guildhall, not being a Londoner. Hey ho.

  20. I loved this, especially remembering Aunt Ada in the Gibbons book at 15d.
    Of all things, I needed electronic help for 8d, my last in.
    I thought 5a was “sounds like” distaff, which, of course, it doesn’t, so thanks for that DT.
    There was so much to like, so no fave today, too much choice.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, particularly the Aled Jones at 4d.

  21. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. All plain sailing until I reached SW corner. Then I had “woodpile” for 15d & “entreaty” for 24a. Ended up looking at the answers for the whole of the corner. Favourite was 1a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  22. Very enjoyable but struggled in the SW corner like most. The Guildhall bit was GK too far.
    Finally chucking it down in London. Golf course desperately needs it.
    Thanks all

  23. Tough going today. No idea about the guildhall figure so the SW corner beat me altogether, even with the hints. This was easily the hardest this week for me.
    Going to lie down in a dark room now.

  24. Glad others found it as hard as I did – for me well into *** territory. Yes and I was short of knowledge about Guildhall. Thanks particularly to deep threat for the explanations.

  25. I quite liked 8d in this crossword so that’s me fave. Overall for once I thought the puzzle lacked a bit of sparkle however the solve was pleasant enough.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  26. A few problems at the close in the SW corner, but the rest went in smoothly enough. An enjoyable end to the working week.

  27. We found 24a a real challenge. The answer is a word we did not know and the wordplay needed GK that is pretty obscure to people on this side of the world. We did eventually manage to get it sorted with help from Mr Google.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  28. I am grateful for all feedback but sometimes dismayed by the lack of tolerance towards unknown knowledge ( none of us knows everything!). ‘Something nasty in the woodshed’ is fairly well known and Stella Gibbons’s novel from which it comes is a comic masterpiece.Do folk only read contemporay novels? Anyway, I shall contine to press on with the conviction that we can all learn something from — we can work out the letters of the answes, can’t we?. Cruciverbalists should celebrate the wonderful world we live in, reflected in its diverse vocabulary of everyday objects, science, music, literature, religion, history, geography,sport,architecture, etc. etc.(as I have said many times before). Oh — and do read Cold Comfort Farm, available in Penguin Classics!

    1. I got the ‘woodshed’ clue from the song by the Devine Comedy!! I am not so well read!!

      Thanks for the crossword and the comment

    2. I loved the book, it was still desired reading when I was young, and Aunt Ada was a character. They have made a movie, maybe even two, and one wasn’t that long ago. I can recommend both. People still read Dickens, Austen, etc., why not Gibbons?

    3. Good for you nobody knows everything although some think they do. Thanks for keeping us all entetained, point well made! No l didn’t know the novel but still got it.

    4. Please don’t change your style DG. You are my favourite setter and some GK from which to learn is always a bonus 👍🏻🌹.

    5. Keep up the good work .

      You are wrong on one point , my wife knows everything except when we go to quizzes .

    6. Well said, G! Some of the people on here won’t be satisfied till cryptic crossword clues have been regulated and sanitised out of existance.

    7. Fair points. So, in the interests of broadening my GK (and it causing less dismay 😳) I have just ordered Cold Comfort Farm… hope it’s as good as its advance billing!

  29. Agreed, Giovanni. I learn something most days from these puzzles. Relieved to find this one was easier than yesterday’s, but that is not to say it was easy mind you. Dug up the answer to 24a from deep recesses of my old brain, guess I must have learnt it in school back in the dark ages. Spent too long trying to make an anagram out of Wimbledon without the d for 15d, oops. Would have thought 5a would be 2 words? COTD was 12a definitely.

    Heading to UK tomorrow so hoping it will be a bit cooler next week. We are spoilt with aircon everywhere here so do feel bad for all of you struggling with the heat.

  30. A bit of a late offering from me but I, too, thoroughly enjoyed today’s crossword, some great clues, especially 7d, 18d, 19a, and 20a. My favourite was 18d – suddenly the penny dropped and I realised that there is a synonym for ‘doctor’ beginning with ‘L’ but not of the medical kind!
    I also found the SW corner challenging and needed help from DT with 16d and 24a.

    Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovanni.

  31. 16 and 24 were my downfall too. Apart from that there were no major hold-ups. 15D and 12A earned ticks from me. Thanks Giovanni and DT.


  32. Thanks to Giovanni and for putting in an appearance. I do not get the complaint about a 30s novels. Shakespeare’s Plays are 300 years older but I am sure we all know quotes from them. I could not remember where 15d came from but got it as soon as I had the right kind of court. I do think that 24a was a bit too difficult however. I spent along time trying to think of synonyms for emotional appeal but I was wasting my time as I had not heard of the word. I also did not know that Gog and Magog are in The Guildhall. I fon’t Think anyone else has mentioned it but I put in the wrong word – daemonic for 11a. Completely my fault but more familiar with it than the correct word. Only realised I was wrong when the monkey didn’t fit. Lots of favourites so I will just go for 12a and 8d

  33. Enjoyed this one, although slightly miffed to see my namesake maligned in 22A !

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