DT 28838 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28838


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28838

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a fine morning.

Giovanni told us last week that he was taking a break during September, and I don’t think this is one of his, though the assumption of familiarity with Scripture at 19a and 22d is rather like him. No particular problems this morning.

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           Stuck on a couple of pages, then called it a day? (8)
APPENDED – Put together A (from the clue), two examples of the abbreviation for page, and ‘called it a day’.

6a           Bullies are evident in this game (6)
HOCKEY – Cryptic definition of a game which used to begin with a bully-off.

Image result for field hockey bully off

9a           A hundred and one restrictions in places like London (6)
CITIES – The Roman numerals for a hundred and one, followed by some restrictions.

10a         People who scoff in this corner shop (8)
SCORNERS – Hidden in the clue.

11a         Influence of bank probed by newspaper (8)
LEVERAGE – The sort of bank used to prevent a river from flooding, wrapped around an informal term for a newspaper.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a         Calm down male faced with something falling down chimney? (6)
SOOTHE – A male pronoun preceded by the black stuff which accumulates in chimneys where open fires are used.

13a         Flattery? The blind man’s put out (12)
BLANDISHMENT – Anagram (put out) of THE BLIND MAN’S.

16a         Allowed granny to go to church — that’s mattered, getting outside (12)
COUNTENANCED – Put together another informal term for a granny and the abbreviation for the Church of England, then wrap a verb meaning ‘mattered’ or ‘was significant’ around the result.

19a         Smell attached to old biblical city? That’s funny! (6)
HUMOUR – Put together a bad smell, Old, and the usual Old Testament city in the Chaldees.

21a         Opportunist, unknown character in court (8)
CHANCERY – Another word for an opportunist followed by an algebraic unknown, giving us a division of the High Court which was satirised by Dickens in Bleak House.

23a         Wicked home with time for witty conversation (8)
BADINAGE – Put together another word for wicked, ‘at home’, and a long period of time.

24a         Fire in one holiday cottage accommodating any number (6)
IGNITE – The Roman numeral for one followed by a French holiday cottage wrapped around the algebraic term for ‘any number’.

25a         End of May — before the usual time for annual to appear (6)
YEARLY – The last letter of MaY followed by ‘before the usual time’. 

26a         What sounds like rubbish provided by Heather gossiping (8)
TATTLING – A homophone of a word for rubbishy stuff, followed by one of the words for heather.


2d           Proper to have journalist briefed (6)
PRIMED – ‘Proper’ or ‘buttoned-up’ in behaviour, followed by the usual crossword journalist.

3d           Lover dumped on foreign island? One can’t feel at home (5)
EXILE – A two-letter term for a former lover followed by the French for ‘island’.

4d           Revile girl’s father and show anger (9)
DISPARAGE – Put together the short form of a girl’s name plus the ‘S from the clue, a short word for father, and ‘show anger’.

5d           Carrying gun, did bulge out (7)
DISTEND – DID (from the clue) wrapped around a WW2 British submachine gun.

6d           Criminals — Robin and suchlike primarily? (5)
HOODS – The surname of Robin the outlaw from Sherwood Forest followed by the first letter of Suchlike.

7d           Prisoner having got moulded obeyed the rules (9)
CONFORMED – One of the usual crossword prisoners followed by ‘moulded’ or ‘shaped’.

8d           Close shave leader avoided running to ground (8)
EARTHING – Remove the first letter (leader avoided) from a phrase (4,5) for a close shave, and you get an electrical term for running the current to ground.

13d         Belt making bonier lad look silly (9)
BANDOLIER – Anagram (making … look silly) of BONIER LAD.

Image result for bandolier

14d         Left-wing party is beginning to threaten (9)
SOCIALIST – Put together a type of party (my school Parents’ Association used to organise these), IS (from the clue), and the first letter of Threaten.

15d         Settle in work mostly wearing coat (8)
POPULATE – Remove the final letter (mostly) from the Latin word for a (musical) work, and insert the result into a verb meaning ‘coat with metal’.

17d         Hoary worker hugging citizen that’s lost a lot of heart (7)
ANCIENT – One of the usual insect workers wrapped around CI(tiz)EN with a chunk of its middle removed (lost a lot of heart).

18d         Something very small supporting a big mass? (6)
PROTON – A subatomic particle made up of a word for ‘supporting’ or ‘in favour of’ and a heavy weight.

20d         Prepared to study before getting Third in Physics (5)
READY – The third letter of phYsics tacked on to a word for ‘study’.

22d         Famous wedding venue overlooking lake or some other waterway (5)
CANAL – The venue for the New Testament wedding feast where water was turned into wine, followed by an abbreviation for Lake.


29 comments on “DT 28838

  1. I thought this was relatively benign for a Friday, completed quite smoothly in *** time. I can’t even say I had any favourites.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. 1.5* / 2.5*. I found this surprisingly easy for a Friday and reasonably enjoyable, although I had no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. Did not flow for me today as the top and bottom halves did not overlap although finished in an ok time for me .
    Admired 10a & 12a but no others caused a smile .
    Thanks to everyone .

  4. A straightforward and unremarkable puzzle for me – Osmosis should be a treat.
    Thanks setter and DT

  5. I think about a **/*** for todays puzzle,a steady solve .
    No obtuse or outstanding clues ,liked 11a, guessed the wedding venue.
    Thanks all-Mr Cook off the mark -cheers!

  6. This nearly sneaked into my stinker category I just couldn’t get to grips with it.
    Whoever the setter is I would say quite fiendish. Of course it is down to how our brains work,some have foind it deceptively easyamd benign, others like myself struggled. I have no doubt that in subsequent puzzles those of us who struggled with find the easier and those who found them easy and benign will struggle. Or of course none of the above.
    Thanks to setter amd Deep Threat.

    1. Quite Spook. This was not a problem for me whereas yesterday’s clues may as well have been written in Chinese.

  7. My only hold-up was solving this while listening to the opening of the test match. My concentration wandered, but not enough to stop me completing it. Overall I thought this was comfortably straightforward, without any obscurities or difficult parsing. I liked 14d for its topicality.

    Thanks to our setter and DT.

  8. I assumed that Giovanni’s remark about his sabbatical referred solely to the fact that he wouldn’t be around to comment (or apologise for errors!) for a while. One would imagine that our Puzzles Editor has several of his offerings awaiting publication. This one certainly had some of his trademarks – shortened Christian names, biblical references and the like.

    A straightforward solve with only 15d giving much pause for thought. The wedding feast location has turned up several times before and the 2d journalist made an appearance only recently. 11a was probably my favourite.

    Thanks to DG (if it was indeed him) and to DT for the blog.

  9. If this wasn’t a Giovanni then it was a very good imitation which was very enjoyable and a very good end to the work week with, perhaps, a little more head scratching than usual – ***/****.

    Joint favourites – 1a and 21a.

    Thanks to DG (or his clone) and DT.

  10. Giovanni fans need not worry; this was one of his, and there will be no break in his Friday offerings.

  11. Well I am surprised that CL has said this is one of Giovanni’s because it didn’t feel like it! Oh well, shows what I know.
    Pleasant enough but not really that challenging. And no real favourites.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  12. Very enjoyable, just right for me, much better than yesterday’s grind.
    I have no problem with this being a Giovanni, except short on churchy things that I never know.
    LOI was 16a which I thought was excellent and my fav.
    England’s top order seem to be capitulating.
    Thanks all.

  13. I enjoyed this, but I usually do enjoy Giovanni’s offerings. I did have a couple of bung ins, so thank you Deep Threat for the parsings.
    I never knew the “smell” in 19a, so I’m choosing that as a fave ‘cos I learnt something.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the fun.

  14. Enjoyable solve in two pubs in The Lake District. Typical offering from The Don. Just tricky enough to tease. We are off to Ardbrecknish tomorrow. I will see you all on Monday. Play nicely until then children.

  15. I found this a little tricky 😕 ***/*** especially in the NW 🤔 Liked the “lurker”, 16a and 21a. Thanks to DT and to Giovanni 😃 Have a nice weekend everyone 🥂

  16. Confession first. We did toy with the possibility of C being the first letter of 15d. It nicely fitted all the checkers and had three letters of OPUS, but we could not make the rest of it work so kept looking.
    We had forgotten DG’s mention of a sabbatical so never doubted the authorship.
    Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  17. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite a a tussle. I was beaten by 15d. Couldn’t make head or tail of it. I liked 10,11,19&25a, & 8d, but my favourite was 18d. Had not heard of the famous wedding venue in 22d, but was able to work it out. Was 3*/4* for me.

  18. Surely must be “kind to puzzlers week”! All pretty benign so far. Probably get my comeuppance over the weekend.

  19. I found this well nigh impossible and threw in the towel but was reassured to discover that others including Spook and Busy Lizzie also struggled. Pity – I usually enjoy Giovanni’s offferings.

  20. Right degree of difficulty for me. Thanks for the explanations for 15D & 11A. Most enjoyable.

  21. I got round to this one yesterday teatime – a very good puzzle from the consistent G with fine clues and it was an enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*

  22. 2*/4*
    Liked the lover dumped on foreign island (3D) and the smell attached to old biblical city (19) amongst others.
    I had thought that this must have been by Giovanni-there is also a biblical reference in the quickie (22A).

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