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DT 28808


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28808

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a warm but overcast morning.

I found today’s puzzle from Giovanni more difficult than some of his recent ones, comfortably into *** territory for me. There were the usual unfamiliar terms to be teased out from the wordplay, and a novel clue construction in 6a.

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           Cared about B&B taking time to provide part of meal? (3,7)
RED CABBAGE – Anagram (about) of CARED, followed by B and B (from the clue) and a period of time.

Image result for red cabbage

6a           Group lurking nearby! (4)
ABBA – A 1970s supergroup is found lurking, not in the clue, but in a nearby answer.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a           Dreadful things done without leader giving commands (10)
DIRECTIONS – Another word for dreadful followed by another word for ‘things done’ with its first letter removed (without leader).

10a         Record animal sound around back of barn (4)
MONO – A typical farmyard noise wrapped around the last letter of barN. I would think of the answer as being a recording technique rather than a record, but Chambers does not agree with me.

12a         Formal institution in the country? Quite the opposite (4)
MALI – The answer is a country, and is to be found lurking inside ‘Formal institution’.

13a         The lady has a table spread, offering drink (6,3)
HERBAL TEA – A pronoun for ‘the lady’, followed by an anagram (spread) of A TABLE.

15a         Entertained by one loveless leftie, a dry person gossiped (8)
NATTERED – Put together (o)NE (from the clue) without its O (loveless) and an adjective used to describe left-wing politics, then insert A (from the clue) and the two-letter abbreviation for total abstinence from alcohol.

16a         It’s doubly right to remain outside — when the night is this? (6)
STARRY – Another word for ‘remain’ wrapped around two examples (doubly) of the abbreviation for Right.

18a         The oil loosened old tool (6)
EOLITH – Anagram (loosened) of THE OIL. The answer is an early Stone Age tool.

20a         Fixed supports creating difficulties (8)
SETBACKS – An adjective meaning ‘fixed’ followed by a verb for ‘supports’.

23a         Joining former scoundrels, this person has to be going off-topic (9)
EXCURSIVE – Put together a prefix meaning ‘former’, some scoundrels or dirty dogs, and another way of saying ‘this person has’.

24a         Spots some men carelessly falling over (4)
ACNE – Hidden (some) in the clue in reverse (falling over).

26a         Plant that’s heavenly Di plucked (4)
VINE – Remove DI from the beginning of a word for ‘heavenly’.

27a         Drink to spoil material when getting absorbed (10)
MARASCHINO – To get this cherry liqueur, start with a word meaning ‘spoil’ and a type of twilled cotton material often used to make trousers, and place them either side of a two-letter word for ‘when’.

Image result for maraschino liqueur

28a         In America pack a platform (4)
DECK – Double definition, the first being what the Americans call a pack of cards.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

29a         Affectionate communication, nothing to be presented to landlord? (4,6)
LOVE LETTER – The tennis term for a zero score followed by a landlord or hirer-out of property.


1d           Journey I had guarded by soldiers (4)
RIDE – The contracted form of ‘I had’ with the initials of a regiment of engineers wrapped around it.

2d           Party rave during which maiden is sleeping (7)
DORMANT – The usual crossword party followed by another word for ‘rave’ wrapped around the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over.

3d           Teach recruit new discipline requiring design skills (12)

4d           Irritating person first to board ship (8)
BLIGHTER – The first letter of Board followed by what Chambers defines as ‘a large open boat used to unload ships’, rather than a ship itself.

5d           Groups providing information over time (6)
GENERA – an informal word for information followed by a period of time.

7d           Someone in vessel has netted fifty fish (7)
BLOATER – Someone using a vessel, particularly on a canal, with the Roman numeral for fifty inserted, producing a type of smoked fish.

Image result for bloater

8d           Disastrous event? Cosy appeal seems out of place (10)
APOCALYPSE – Anagram (seems out of place) of COSY APPEAL.

11d         With total freedom, Rachel can’t be made to change (5,7)
CARTE BLANCHE – Anagram (made to change) of RACHEL CAN’T BE.

14d         Available to anyone coming along being outgoing? (10)
UNRESERVED – Double definition, the first being a type of seat on a train or in a concert hall.

17d         Someone at conference given instruction to remove all attendees? (8)
DELEGATE – The first part of the answer is a Latin word for ‘destroy’ or ‘remove’ used as an instruction in proofreading to remove a piece of text. The second part is a collective noun for all those paying to attend an event.

19d         The Parisian, a figure in mathematics, is saying few words (7)
LACONIC – One of the forms of the definite article in French followed by an adjective relating to a geometric solid.

21d         Criminal trick has six coming to court (7)
CONVICT – Put together another word for ‘trick’ or ‘cheat’, the Roman numeral for six, and an abbreviation for ‘court’.

22d         Female very aggressive and very old holding one charitable event (6)
VIRAGO – Put together the Roman numeral for one and the sort of charitable event held by students (do these still happen?), then the abbreviations for Very and Old are placed either side.

25d         Number in favour of storing radioactive element (4)
FOUR – ‘In favour of’ wrapped around the chemical symbol for a radioactive element.

The Quick Crossword pun FORTIES +HEAVEN = FORTY-SEVEN

59 comments on “DT 28808

  1. Mamma mia! I’ve earned my sauce tonight with today’s and yesterday’s challenges.

    I love the new style of clue in 6a which was slipping through my fingers. So, I needed some SOS with it.

    But it won’t get me again.

    Gimme, gimme, gimme tomorrow’s offering.

    (oh, that’ll do)

  2. 2.5* / 2.5*. Quite straightforward, although my last two in (27a & 17d) took my time above 2* as it took me a while to reject “cappuccino” for 27a and the first half of 17d was a mystery.

    6a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. If I had also rejected cappuccino,it would have taken me considerably less time ….it fitted so well ..ish.

          1. Get in!

            He must have loved Croatia. Was it on the island of Hvar as I’ve heard lots about it?

            1. I was holidaying in Skiathos/Skopelos when the original film was made in the area, lots of Greek Extras were around wearing official T shirts, no body took any notice of any’ keep back’ instructions

    2. I tried to fit Margarita in…….but no go……

      I once had a daiquiri that had 4 layers in it…….and it was marvellous (not the answer to 27a either).

  3. Thank you so much deep threat for the reasoning behind 6 across, great clue! I struggled with 18across and had to resort to the dictionary. A lovely puzzle thank you.

  4. A lovely penny drop moment at 6a, but I did wonder what people would make of it.

    Otherwise, all as expected for a Friday.

    I enjoyed the quickie more than usual just because I liked the word selection.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. My Quickie was a ‘Longie’.

      It took me a good while to realise that I’d filled in the double clue the wrong way round.

  5. Back to normal completed in good time without much head scratching, even at an advanced age you learn something everyday 18a for instance. All in all an excellent puzzle.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovanni.

  6. On a garden group outing to Beeleigh Abbey I have just finished it. Did not need hints because George knew eolith and got the Di clue 26a. Very enjoyable will attempt the toughie on the way home!

  7. Well, I never thought the day would come when Giovanni’s Friday back-pager is one of the more gentle puzzles of the week. There must be something going on at Telegraph Towers.

    All nicely clued with nothing to trouble the dictionary, though I did check conic and conical. 6a amused me but fave today is 24a

    Very enjoyable. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the blog

  8. Yet more fun-time provided by Giovanni. North preceded South to the finish. Wasn’t sure about 13a – no reference to the possessive case so ‘she’ came to mind initially. Not being au fait with printers’ terminology I appreciated the parsing for 17d. Fav was the little 6a lurker. Thank you DG and DT.
    Oh dear back to having to fill in my name and e-mail.

  9. Words fail me in describing my reaction to 6a except to say it is probably the daftest clue ever! Hang your head in shame Giovanni, this sort of clueing is beneath a setter of your quality.
    Apart from 6a, very enjoyable but I am puzzled by giving it the same rating as yesterday’s horror, the like of which I sincerely hope never to see on the back page again. Save them for the Toughie.

  10. Just to prove this is a wavelength thing, I wasn’t on it today for a while. A real stop and start type of puzzle, I couldn’t find any rhythm at all. I completed it, but it took a while. Despite my travails, I enjoyed the challenge, and thought 6a was very clever once the coin clattered to the floor.

    Well done and thanks to The Don for pushing me into extra time, and to DT.

  11. Well, I only had time to complete the top half before I had to watch the cricket.

    I’ve now given up on the cricket and come back to finish this off.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyable. Dropped in to get the parsing of 6a …. and love it. Also wanted to check 17d as I thought the final TE was doing double duty.
    Many thanks to both Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  13. This matter of getting onto any particular setter’s wavelength would make an interesting study, judging by the comments on Big Dave each day The other four weekdays were just fine for me and fun. Today…..nada. I just didn’t get half of it. And I didn’t enjoy it. Ironically I did manage the correct answers to some of the clues that others have highlighted as tricky, including 6a, and 18a and 27a! It all goes to prove that one man’s food (or woman’s in my case) is another’s poison.

  14. Well I liked today’s puzzle and round about a ***/*** for me.
    I shall be looking for an outbreak of 6a type clues in the near future, the first of many!
    Failed to parse 7d-thanks DT.
    No real favourites .
    Been to London for a couple of days-saw The King and I -recommended, also went round the Greenwich Observatory-saw my first wild Parakeet-very noisy.

    1. How funny that you saw your first wild parakeet. Where I live in London they’re probably the commonest of all birds. And my goodness they’re noisy!

  15. My wiki tells me 18a is no longer considered to be a tool, but a fragment, but it had to be.

  16. Fortunate I missed yesterday’s puzzle it sounds well above my ability? Tricky puzzle today I thought and a little bit lacklustre from Giovanni although I did get partly on the wavelength but never a walk in the park. Last in 6a and yes great when the light came on for that doh moment. Needed to confirm 23a with the BRB. I also found it a stop and start puzzle but solved it eventually so pleased about that.

    Clues of the day: 6a /13a / 24a ( Great lurker)

    Rating: 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni

  17. A puzzle of three thirds, got a good start, then got stuck in the middle, finally completed quite easily. Overall though I found it harder than yesterday, 3.5*/4*. I also thought 6a was a great clue. Thank you to the setter and Deep Threat.

  18. 6a was a bung-in laugh later. I still didn’t get it until I read the review. I didn’t find this as easy as yesterday. Please don’t all shout at once. I found this more difficult than usual from Giovanni. Thanks go to Deep Threat and to The Don.

  19. ***/****. I guessed 6a but thanks for the explanation DT. This was a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks also to the setter for a really good workout. The family return to the UK today after nearly a 9 weeks visit which has been a delight for the grandparents if very tiring 😀

  20. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from the Don, quite tricky. Managed all except 14d where I was once again defeated by a dreaded double definition. Favourite was 6a, once I’d read the hint. Was 4*/3* for me.

  21. It sounds as if I found this more difficult than the rest of you did – it’s my usual Friday wavelength trouble, I think.
    I admit to needing the hint to understand why 6a was what it so obviously had to be.
    I missed the lurkers and I’m not sure I’ve come across 23a before but I’ve probably just forgotten it.
    I particularly liked 16 and 26a and 2d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  22. I started this off lickety-split and then ground to a halt with just a few unsolved. I never did get 17d and needed the hint, I found I had a wrong ending for 23a, probably wouldn’t have got it anyway.
    I had to look up 18a in the dictionary, never heard of it, but it had to be as I had the checking letters.
    My fave was 6a, though I bunged it in not knowing why. I completely missed the lurker in the previous answer, but that is so clever. I love ABBA, so glad to see them again, can’t wait to see the movie.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for his hints, much needed today.

    Interesting, I see in the DT today that someone claims that the Queen kept HIM waiting, not the other way around. Some people live in a make-believe world, trouble is, he has too many believers following him.

  23. Mixed bag today.
    SE corner went in quite fast for a friday but it took a hint to get 1a and just like Heno 14d defeated me, I had to use the Chambers word finder thingy to get it.
    As Sir Linkalot I too must confess to being an Abba fan but the 6a construction while clever was only solved via the discussion here.
    Curiously what was the song that preceded Mamma Mia in the UK chart and what lyrically did they share?

      1. The No. 1 immediately before Mamma Mia was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen which includes the title of the song that followed it.
        mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go….

        1. Thanks JB. Who would have thought…
          Just been to see Mama Mia 2, loved it, but interestingly the adverts beforehand featured the upcoming Queen film about Freddie Mercury

          1. A bit of pub quiz trivia that once heard is embedded in memory. Not sure I will go see mamma mia2 as the first one was cheesier than a french picnic but I will go see the Freddie biopic.

  24. Had the same issue as DT over the definition at 10a and, like Andrew, understood that 18a is no longer considered to have been a tool.
    17d taught me something. During my time proofreading everyone I knew simply used ‘del’ to indicate a removal. Seems we were all wrong!

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  25. Found this one a slog from start to finish, so I’m afraid I didn’t really enjoy it…still, it takes all sorts. I am just pleased that after yesterday’s abject failure I could eventually get this one done.

    Needed lots of help to sort out the parsings, so many thanks to Deep Threat and thanks to the setter.

  26. It is now many hours since we solved this but we are still chuckling over the penny drop moment when we sorted out 6a. It put the icing on the cake of a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  27. A ** for difficulty here. I had no idea what was going on with 6ac but the answer could be nothing else. One unknown at 18ac, and a little confusion around 28ac, but the rest went in without too much ado.

  28. Well, I finished this around 2.00 but I then dozed off in the garden. Hence I’m only commenting now. I must be getting even older….
    Like several on here I found it a bit ‘fits and starts’ before it all came together. 6a was a bung in and reading the review was very much a d’oh! moment. Hence it has to be favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for his review.

  29. Very enjoyable, the SW corner stumped me somewhat, as did the drink.
    I enjoyed 6a, very original cluing.
    ‘So I say: thank-you for the crossword…”
    Thanks all

  30. The first earworm was in 16a. Mind you, I only know the first three words and two of them are the same.
    Reading the blog fillled my head with ABBA songs. Can’t get rid of them.
    11d made me think of Theresa May who is spending the night round the corner in Bregançon.
    I think Macron didn’t give her that Carte Blanche she was after but offered her a Carte de Sejour so she could enjoy her retirement on the Riviera.
    Got the strange liquor from the parsing.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

    1. Me too, JL. Don Maclean’s Van Gogh song, one of my faves but can only remember the first three words.

  31. I liked this one a lot, as I usually do with G’s puzzles. Good clues, a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*

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