DT 28844 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28844


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28844

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, with a grey start to the day.

Today’s Giovanni took me a bit longer than usual, perhaps because the first virus infection of the autumn has hit me. 21a, where I just didn’t see the anagram, was last one in.

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           Authority makes you cross, regularly sick inside (6)
MUSCLE – A cross-bred animal wrapped around the alternate letters (regularly) of SiCk.

5a           One girl carrying another across river in small country (8)
ANDORRAN – A girl’s name wrapped around another girl’s name, which in turn is wrapped around River. The answer is an adjective describing a small, mountainous country in the Pyrenees.

9a           Element having game in shop repeatedly troublesome (10)
PHOSPHORUS – Start with an anagram (troublesome) of SHOP. Duplicate the anagram. Then insert the initials of the Kiwis’ national sport.

Image result for phosphorus

10a         Support player playing after break from game? (4)
BACK – This is a triple definition, the second being a term applied to a player by reference to his or her position on the field of play, and the third describing someone returning from injury or suspension.

11a         Provider of weaponry in a group of jolly types accompanying our monarch (8)
ARMOURER – Put together A (from the clue), the initials of a naval regiment whose members are sometimes (especially in crosswords) known as ‘jollies’, OUR (from the clue), and the regnal cipher of the Queen.

12a         Really enjoy school subject? Latin initially is hard! (6)
RELISH – Put together a school subject generally known by its initials, the first letter (initially) of Latin, IS (from the clue), and Hard.

13a         Too critical, sometimes putting many characters off (4)
ALSO – Hidden in the clue.

15a         Fellow who sang funny songs somewhere in Belgium (8)
FLANDERS – Double definition: the surname of the entertainer who appeared with Donald Swann; or a Dutch-speaking part of Belgium.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a         Be twitching with everyone joining in, as befits some dancing (8)
BALLETIC – Put together BE (from the clue) and a nervous twitch, then wrap the result around a word for everyone.

19a         Army officer preceding English king noted for merriment (4)
COLE – The abbreviated version of the rank of a senior regimental officer, followed by English, giving us the monarch who called for his pipe and called for his bowl, and called for his fiddlers three.

21a         Fear a bishop, sadly lacking first sign of saintliness (6)
PHOBIA – Anagram (sadly) of A BI(s)HOP, with the first letter of Saintliness removed.

23a         A target’s hit in sporting events (8)
REGATTAS – Anagram (hit) of A TARGET’S.

Image result for regatta

25a         Sportingly deliver sporting trophy? (4)
BOWL – Double definition: the first is what Jimmy Anderson or Moeen Ali do for a living; the second is a trophy like the Super one that American footballers play for.

26a         Excursion by lake has Heather gibbering (10)
DRIVELLING – An excursion in a car or carriage, followed by another word for heather.

27a         Timely message about bodyguard (8)
REMINDER – The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, followed by the sort of bodyguard played by Dennis Waterman opposite George Cole on TV.

28a         No return for one? (6)
SINGLE – One run at cricket, one and undivided, or a train ticket with no return section.


2d           Guide employer around hospital (5)
USHER – The employer of a piece of kit wrapped around Hospital.

3d           Actor so out of sorts, endlessly unwell — medicine needed (6,3)
CASTOR OIL – Anagram (out of sorts) of ACTOR SO, followed by a word for unwell with its last letter removed.

Image result for castor oil

4d           Call on old lover, animated about end of affair (6)
EXHORT – The usual former lover followed by another word for ‘animated’, perhaps relating to a debate or discussion, wrapped around the last letter of affaiR.

5d           A rarer critic troubled about RAF provision for planes (8-7)
AIRCRAFT-CARRIER – Anagram (troubled) of A RARER CRITIC wrapped around RAF (from the clue).

Image result for aircraft carrier

6d           Tapestry hung upside down in amateur operation — chaos! (8)
DISARRAY – The 3-letter acronym for amateur construction or decoration work in the home, wrapped around the reverse (hung upside down, in a Down clue) of the sort of wall hanging that Polonius was hiding behind when Hamlet stabbed him.

7d           Staggering movement to capture British revolutionary (5)
REBEL – A staggering movement, or a Scottish or Irish dance, wrapped around British.

8d           Up a sort of tree, cat learns to jump (9)
ANCESTRAL – Anagram (to jump) of CAT LEARNS. The tree is a family one.

14d         See son in domestic party being horrible (9)
LOATHSOME – ‘See!’ or ‘Behold!’ followed by a phrase (2,4) for a reception or party held in someone’s house, wrapped around the abbreviation for Son.

16d         Learner in ridiculously hot dance that requires much athleticism (9)
DECATHLON – Anagram (ridiculously) of HOT DANCE wrapped around the symbol for a learner driver. The answer is a multi-disciplinary athletic event.

Image result for decathlon

17d         Somewhere near Fleet Street, editor is left behind (8)
STRANDED – The Westminster street which becomes Fleet Street at Temple Bar as it enters the City of London, followed by an abbreviated editor.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d         A grassy area cut — first requirement for Saturday matches (6)
AGREES – Put together A (from the clue), a grassy area, perhaps one where golfers find the hole, with its last letter removed (cut), and the first letter of Saturday.

22d         Time to tuck into island dish (5)
BALTI – An Asian island holiday destination, with Time inserted into it, giving us a type of curry cooked in a shallow pressed-steel dish.

Image result for balti

24d         Cast aside yearbook, having ignored the second article (5)
ANNUL – Remove the second A from a word for a yearbook.

The Quick Crossword pun DAUB + HELL = DOORBELL

49 comments on “DT 28844

  1. I thought Giovanni a smidge friendlier than usual – I particularly liked 15a

    Thank you to Giovanni and thank you and get well soon to DT

      1. I thought he was only taking a sabbatical from commenting on his ‘deliberate’ mistakes, not from the actual crossword appearances. That also seemed to be the impression CL gave last week in a comment “Giovanni fans need not worry; this was one of his, and there will be no break in his Friday offerings”

        1. As crypticsue says, Giovanni is still appearing each Friday (and will continue to do so). Regarding BD’s comment on the pangram, 23ac and 24ac in last Friday’s Quick may be relevant …

  2. For me, definitely a slightly tougher Giovanni and more enjoyable as a result. The well-disguised anagram at 21a was also my final clue to fall, and became my favourite. A nice sense of achievement upon completion.

    Thanks to The Don for the challenge and to DT.

  3. Another good product off the crossword conveyor belt .

    Needed to see the hint to parse 6d . Fancy being stabbed through the arris !

    Quite a few favourites , eg 9a , 13a 27a & 28a with 9a cleverest .

    Thanks to everyone .

    1. Hats off to you, KFB. That is very clever, how I didn’t think of that, I don’t know ! Funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Congrats.

  4. I switched on from the start with todays enjoyable puzzle and a **/**** for me, some high class cluing .Liked 6a as I remembered the tapestry bit from somewhere and 9a was a first timer and an ingenious surface- well done setter.
    16A produced the d’oh moment-thanks DT for the old 78 pic-I ‘ve got a box of them somewhere- in an old hat box which went around the world a long time ago judging from the Cunard stickers all over it !

  5. A relatively gentle end to the work week completed at a gallop which has me wondering about the setter, some of the regular Giovanni elements seem to be missing – **/***.

    I am reasonably certain that 22d was a new word for me.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 28a, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  6. I always enjoy Giovanni’s puzzles however I agree with DT that today was a bit trickier than usual. The Kiwi game seems to occur regularly as per 9a as a way for setters to use those two letters. Possibly 17d might fox some overseas and provincial cruciverbalists. Two Favs (sorry Kath!) were 15a (happy memories of gnus, etc.) and 14d. Many thanks Giovanni and DT.

  7. I found this much harder than usual and would award it ****. I think it took at least three visits, between doing this, reading the rest of the paper and finishing the quickie.

    I will indulge myself with a complaint about the GK needed in 17d. Most of the country do not spend time in the capital, and there is no need for us to know that these two thoroughfares are close by.

    Many thanks to The Don (if it is he) and DT.

    1. I think if you ever played the original Monopoly (as I did frequently as a child) you would always associate Fleet St with The Strand with out hnecessarily having visited the capital.

      1. That’s exactly why this association was not a problem for us, and we still sometimes play the game with grandkids.

  8. Two ‘guess the ladies’ in one clue – how could this be from anyone other than Giovanni!
    Think my favourite was probably the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – enjoyed listening to The Gas man from 15a. Hope you get rid of that wretched virus quickly.

  9. Oh Dear MEA CULPA! My sincere apologies to those of you I have upset by not replying to your responses to my questions. In my defence I do not usually look at the hints until the following day for work reasons and by then it seems too late.
    So may I take this opportunity to sincerely thank those of you who take the time to respond to my queries when I have been too stupid to understand what the setter is trying to say. Especially to CS who has helped me along my crossword journey.
    As for this one, I found it quite tough with 6 clues I can’t parse but the hints have explained. Thx to all.

  10. As a great fan of Michael Flanders I could kick myself for not getting 15a first – think I will do what the Ostrich did (in the Bestiary) and ‘go and stick me ‘ed in the sand’ in shame. Favourite clue has to be 6d

  11. The usual Friday mixed bag for me. Giovanni is my least favourite setter, though I accept he is widely admired on here. I’m not a fan of the 5a style of clueing, it could be any girls names leading to any country (and I don’t imagine there are many girls called Dora these days).
    Thanks to Deep Threat for unravelling it all.

  12. Another fine Giovanni puzzle. One of his more gentle, methinks. I took it last week that he was going to take a sabbatical from here. Glad it seems he hasn’t. Needed the hint for the cross in 1a – clever. 21a was my winner today with honorouble mentions to 1a, 13a, 6d and14d . Let’s see how I get on with the Toghie tday!

  13. I finished it! I am so relieved. No favourite clues as I loved battling with every one.

    I have been a bit under the weather and so was feeling very dozy. The docs tried various medicines and hit on a winning combination but they turned me into a cat, I was sleeping aboout 20 hours a day and my mind! It was not just foggy, more like the pea soupers I vaguely remember when I was a very little girl. I couldn’t watch an old rerun of Friends without losing the plot by the first adverts, I made the Joey character look like Einstein. As for reading….. Anyway still taking the tablets but the mists seem to be clearing so I am delighted to be back in crossword land.
    Long suffering hubby knew I was getting back to my old self when I woke up giggling. In my head I could hear my lovely, now departed, Dad saying ‘It’s not the cough that carried her off, it’s the coffin they carried her off in.”

    Thanks to all the setters and everyone here for the laughs and the extra clues.

      1. Thank you! I am just glad to have my marbles back, well as much as I had to start with. Crossword Therapy highly recommended.

  14. ***/***. This was enjoyable if a little tricky in parts. 15a was top for me. I got 26a but I doubt I’d have used two L’s had I written this in a text msg. I might make a 22d today. Thanks to all.

  15. Made one think. 15a my favourite. Great to hear ‘the gasman cometh’ again. Thanks to setter and DT.

  16. A top puzzle from Giovanni very enjoyable and a really good solve. On the wavelength from the off and yes it probably is a more benign Giovanni but a quality puzzle regardless. First in 11a and last in 25a, bunged in 6d and needed the blog to try to parse that? Am I any wiser….well maybe? All in all a typical Giovanni puzzle that hit the spot for me.

    Clues of the day: 15a / 26a / 3d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  17. For me, this certainly didn’t have the ‘feel’ of a Giovanni puzzle – but I see that that question has already been answered. I thought that some of the clues made no sense in the surface reading (9a for example) but – hey ho – he’s a professional setter and I’m not. No particular favourite but 3d did bring back childhood memories along with liquid paraffin. Ugh, I preferred to be constipated! :negative:

    Thanks to Mr M for the puzzle and to DT for persevering with the blog whilst being poorly. :good:

    PS – CS, as my old newspapers are currently being recycled by the local vet – I cannot check the relevance of last weeks ‘Quickie’ clues mentioned in your previous post. Could you possibly enlighten me?

  18. I do enjoy Giovanni’s offerings and this was no exception.
    The only problem I had was the “cross” in 1a, never thought of mule. I also missed the lurker in 13a but it had to be.
    Undoubtedly, my fave was 15a. I loved them and have all their CDs, I’ll hunt them out later and listen again.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat, get better soon.

    1. P.S. I wonder how ExpatChris is doing? She’s pretty close to the Carolinas. I can’t get my head around 40 inches of rain, we had 16 inches one year and our canals overflowed by feet. I hope she’s not being impacted by the flooding.

      1. I hope all is OK. It looks like one heck of a storm even though it has been downgraded, if it stalls,, and they sometimes do, it is going to be very wet indeed! The only good thing about hurricanes compared with tornadoes is that at least with hurricanes you have some notice. Thinking of everyone in the path of the storm.

  19. I had quite a few bung-ins with this one, 17d being one. It seemed more like a GK clue. Thank you setter and get well soon DT.

  20. Took me a while to really get going today; I finally got under way from the bottom of the grid. A couple of bung-ins along the way but all in all a fair challenge.
    26a was my favourite, just because I like the word.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review. Get well soon.

  21. 15a was a name that we had to bring back from the depths of memory but once we did we both have had earworms of some of their memorable ditties ever since. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. Nice crossword **/*** Favourite 9a and 11a Number 2 Thanks to Giovanni and to DT especially for the Flanders & Swann 😃

    1. DM, 5a. As Hoofit says, the “in” allows the answer. Just to explain further (this particular “in” has caused debate/confusion before): the clue definition is “in small country”, not just “small country”. And the preposition “in” here means “in inclusion or involvement”. So anyone or anything in inclusion or involvement with that small country is *******N. Hope that clarifies it.

  23. 5a said IN small country,as in England would be English. Does that help Deirdre?
    Also the arras in 6d..mentioned in Hamlet.
    Polonius hides behind it.
    Great puzzle to finish a busy week.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  24. Just realised DT that you had already explained the arras in your hints!
    Sorry I hadn’t read them..just went straight on to the posts.
    What a ninny!

  25. Another fine puzzle from the consistently good G. Great clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*

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