DT 28826 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28826


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28826

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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

Good morning from South Staffs, with a sunny start to the Bank Holiday weekend. My thanks to Senf for filling in for me last week.

There didn’t seem to be anything particularly difficult in today’s Giovanni, and I went through it in something approaching record time for me. It will be interesting to see what others think.

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           Unfortunately a pest will eat little plant (5,3)
SWEET PEA – Anagram (unfortunately) of A PEST, wrapped around a word for ‘little’.

Image result for sweet pea

9a           Something uttered by minister is clever, devious (8)
VERSICLE – Anagram (devious) of IS CLEVER.

10a         Gloomy sailor going to doctor (4)
DRAB – The abbreviated title of a doctor followed by one of the usual crossword sailors.

11a         Story from the past about small fuss involving Conservative (12)
REMINISCENCE – Put together the Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, a prefix indicating smallness, and another word for a fuss or tantrum wrapped around an abbreviation for Conservative.

13a         Protected with weapons, having to guard old biblical city (8)
ARMOURED Old and a Chaldean city frequently found in crosswords, wrapped in ‘with weapons’.

15a         Abandon hot place noted for its rats (6)
DESERT – Double definition, the first a verb, the second a noun, with reference to the North African campaign during World War 2.

16a         Distinguished man has house in which to entertain Her Majesty (4)
HERO – An abbreviation for house wrapped around the regnal cipher of the Queen.

17a         Having multiple involvement, except for a small bit (5)
SHRED – Remove the A from a word for ‘having multiple involvement’ or ‘divided between’.

18a         What makes man worry regularly, being amiss (4)
AWRY – Alternate letters (regularly) from two words in the clue.

20a         Polish match official in trouble ultimately (6)
REFINE – Put together an abbreviation for the official in charge of a football match, IN (from the clue), and the last letter (ultimately) of troublE.

21a         Demeanour of a bishop, one enthralled by experimental composer (8)
CARRIAGE – Put together A (from the clue), the abbreviated title given to a bishop, and the Roman numeral for one. Wrap the result in the surname of an American composer known for 4’ 33”.

23a         State of America — is it wavering, wobbling? (4,8)
WEST VIRGINIA – Anagram (wobbling) of IS IT WAVERING.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a         Fifty had a meal past normal bedtime? (4)
LATE – The Roman numeral for fifty followed by ‘had a meal’.

27a         Feature of climate has artist getting home before autumn (8)
RAINFALL – Put together the usual crossword artist, a two-letter word for ‘at home’, and what our American cousins call autumn.

28a         Raiders for years on the rampage (8)
FORAYERS – Anagram (on the rampage) of FOR YEARS.


2d           Arab in conflict? (8)
WARHORSE – Cryptic definition of what an equine Arab might be in a conflict.

Image result for warhorse

3d           Bert is gloomy — medical expert sorts that out (12)
EMBRYOLOGIST – Anagram (sorts that out) of BERT IS GLOOMY.

4d           3R for instance will get this textbook (6)
PRIMER – Put together the sort of number that 3 (or 7 or 19) is, and the R from the clue.

Image result for latin primer

5d           French plane I ditched in river (4)
AVON – The French word for an aircraft, minus its I, giving us one of several British rivers.

6d           Ran campaign — gangs helped, becoming audible (8)
CRUSADED – Homophones (becoming audible) of a word for ‘gangs’ followed by a word for ‘helped’.

7d           Image of trendy company included (4)
ICON – The abbreviation for ‘company’ inserted into a two-letter word for ‘trendy’.

8d           Daughter, see, saving a bit of money in proper fashion (8)
DECENTLY – An abbreviation for Daughter and a see or diocese in East Anglia which makes regular appearances in crosswords, wrapped around a piece of American small change.

12d         Fleet Street area friend keeping still or showing great delight? (12)
ECSTATICALLY – The postal district of London in which Fleet Street is to be found and a political friend, placed either side of a word for still or immobile.

14d         Greek party with king or queen in charge (5)
DORIC – Put together the usual crossword party, the Latin abbreviation for a king or queen, and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’

Image result for doric columns

16d         Difficult conflict ending with unreliable equipment (8)
HARDWARE – Put together another word for ‘difficult’, a military conflict, and the last letter (ending) of unreliablE.

17d         Writer‘s lowest point, upsetting after famous novel (8)
SHERIDAN – A novel by Rider Haggard, followed by the reverse (upsetting) of a word for ‘lowest point’, the opposite of ‘zenith’, giving us the inventor of Mrs Malaprop.

Image result for sheridan playwright

19d         Record held by player, e.g., is terrific (8)
REGISTER – Hidden in the clue.

22d         Church musician, one who shouldn’t be playing? (6)
RINGER – Double definition, the first being someone found in the belfry.

24d         Miss out as captain (4)
SKIP – Double definition, the second being perhaps the captain of a bowls team.

25d         Chasm making female pull up (4)
GULF – Put together Female and a word for ‘pull’, then reverse the result.

The Quick Crossword pun RISQUE + VERSE = RISK AVERSE

32 comments on “DT 28826

  1. I thought this was tricky, but then I always find Fridays hard.
    Many bung-ins = little enjoyment, looking forwards to reading the hints.
    Thanks for hints and Giovanni.

  2. I’d agree with DT’s difficulty rating – mind you, there’s at least one clue/solution where I’m waiting to see what Brian has to say :)

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  3. This was about average difficulty for a G, therefore a bit above average compared to the norm for a back-pager generally. Good clues, a reasonable challenge and enjoyable. 2.75* / 3.5*

    1. Hose A, me old mucker,

      I like to score things with whole numbers even though I’m absolutely fine with people giving a 3.5, for example.

      ‘5 stars’ has its place in life (film ratings, hotels…etc) but I personally prefer marks out of 10 as there tends to be less half marks (3.5 would be a 7)

      But isn’t quarter increments going one step too far……sorry, 0.75 of a step too far?

      1. Yes, ratings of up to 5 don’t give anywhere near enough (whole number) range. 10 would indeed be better.

  4. 1.5* / 2.5*. One new word for me in 9a but it was easily derivable from the clue and checking letters. Nothing much to add.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  5. Quite mild for a Friday, but enjoyable. The Toughie was pretty benign today as well, I think, for anyone who wants to have a go but normally shies away. I liked the homophonic 6a and the triple 15a.

  6. This was completed in a haphazard way dodging hither and thither but it was all good fun and nicely testing. Was unaware that one is responding to the vicar’s 9a in church. 22d was also a new one on me but it had to be. Tried for a while to come up with an East European match official for 20a before the penny dropped. Thanks for the enjoyable brain-teaser Giovanni and DT for being there in case of need. Quickie pun is an improvement on yesterday’s.

  7. A few tricky parses today and a d’oh moment with last in 6d,wanted to put presided but the homophone was not there, then I twigged it.
    Favourite was 17d, liked the surface.2d sounds like a geordies steed !
    Going for a **/***.
    The Quickie pun was somewhat contrived.
    Thanks all .

  8. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. Found it quite tricky in places. 9a was a new word for me, but got it from the fodder. Once again I was struck down by the dreaded dastardly double definitions. Needed the hints for 22&24d. Also had not heard of the composer in 21a. Got 1a, but it took me ages to parse it. Favourite was 17d, amazingly I knew the book and the writer. Was 3*/3* for me.

  9. 6d &17a are my particular favourites today in a relatively easy Friday puzzle .

    Had to check on 9a as new to me .

    Last Bank Holiday until Christmas on Monday !! Not that it matters if retired ( except for the traffic , of course ).

    Thanks to everyone .

  10. Solved in ** time, which, for a Friday Giovanni, is quite pleasing. My only stumbling block was putting a chancel musician instead of a belfry musician in 22d. This made 21a my last one in.

    Many thanks to all.

  11. Finally getting my head round Friday’s puzzle. Found this to be on the less tricky end of the scale. Thanks to all.

  12. Giovanni in fairly benign form for a change! Nice crossword but didn’t last too long.
    21a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  13. I think all the usual commenters must be on the motorways of Britain which were fairly clogged up on our way back from London. This Giovanni was, by comparison, something of a fairly fast trip through the grid. No hold-ups, with 17d my favourite.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  14. I enjoyed this , though 6 and 22 d stumped me .
    I got 12 eventually .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  15. I didn’t find this easy but I did get there in the end, except for 19d, rather silly, really, after my comment recently.
    I rather liked 2d and 17d. My CofE boarding school education helped with 9a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, especially for 19d.

    True poetic justice, it appears that the man who may bring Chump down is called “Pecker”.

  16. Haven’t attempted a Friday puzzle for ages. This seemed much easier than the ones I remember but some good clues. Many thanks to all.

  17. Unlike many I thought this was the easiest Friday puzzle for some time. Just goes to show, one mans meat is another’s poison. 9a was a new word for me. Thanks to all.

  18. 2.5/3 for me, as I did need a few hints, eg re-the minister and the captain ! 17d was clever and my favourite . Put “desist” at first for 15a ! Trying to be too clever, with Diss for hot place though knew “ET” didn’t include rats . Ah me.

  19. While I would never rate Giovanni with a * difficulty, do agree that this was a tad gentler than his usual Friday offerings. That said, I was ignorant of 9a, obviously sadly missing from my education, and found 8d, 21a and 17d too convoluted, but that is just me. Otherwise enjoyed over a late lunch. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat for the hints.

  20. Mmm, I struggled today with a time well into *** for difficulty. Oh well, it’s almost the weekend.

  21. An OK crossword.
    Never heard of 9a but not a very difficult anagram.
    I assumed that 4d was some obscure mathematical something or other so needed the hint to understand that – dim.
    No clues stood out for me – oh – I did like 2d and I have to like 1a because they’re my favourite flowers.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  22. Not as difficult a Friday evening’s crossword as usual. Had to look up 9a in OED to see if guess was correct for today’s new word!
    Also had to read hint for 6d and still click button for answer.
    But 17d was my favourite with 2d a close second.
    Thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks to all.

  23. Not sure about London references, not everyone who reads the telegraph is from the south

    1. Welcome to the blog Howard

      Today’s crosswords are full of local references, and the EC (Eastern Central) postcode is one of the most popular. Would you also ban NE (Tyneside, Geordie), SW (Cornwall etc.), NI (Province of Northern Ireland), T’ for The in Yorkshire and other colourful contributions to the language of crosswords?

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