DT 28850 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28850


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28850

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where after a fine, sunny start to the day the latest instalment of what we used to call equinoctial gales before they gave them fancy names has blown in and it’s pouring with rain.

There was nothing particularly out of the way about today’s Giovanni, though there did seem to be a lot of Lego-type clues, judging from the number of times my hints say ‘followed by’ or ‘put together’.

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           Supply prisoner with words of commendation (10)
CONTRIBUTE – One of the usual prisoners followed by a speech of praise or eulogy.

6a           Ace getting married is emotionally overwhelmed (4)
AWED – The letter found in the corner of an ace in a pack of cards, followed by another verb for ‘married’.

9a           Tree in line a knight hides behind (5)
ROWAN – A straight line of people or things followed by A (from the clue) and the chess notation for a knight.

Image result for rowan tree

10a         Number here with heartless interceptions — grasping types (9)
TENTACLES – The number of this clue followed by the sort of interceptions made when one rugby player stops another, with the middle letter removed (heartless).

Image result for tentacles

12a         Oriental festival the beginning of November (7)
EASTERN – A Christian festival in March or April every year, followed by the first letter of November.

13a         Show initiative after quiet appeal (5)
PLEAD – The musical symbol for quiet followed by ‘show initiative’ or ‘take charge’.

15a         Show drama beginning with hellish location (7)
DISPLAY – An alternative name for the Greek god Pluto, and by extension the name given to his kingdom, followed by a staged drama.

17a         Flounder as man at party, finally upsetting top lady (7)
STAGGER – Put together a man at a male-only party, the last letter (finally) of upsettinG, and the regnal cipher of our monarch.

19a         A way to get around the Big Apple, no matter what (7)
ANYROAD – A (from the clue) and a way or route, placed either side of the initials of the city known as the Big Apple.

21a         Bird the woman’s tucked into, something smoked (7)
CHEROOT – A water bird wrapped around the pronominal adjective for ‘the woman’s’.

22a         Is word of disapproval backfiring for African? (5)
TUTSI – Put together IS (from the clue) and an expression of disapproval, then reverse the result (backfiring) to get a member of an African people found in Rwanda and Burundi.

24a         Attack impudent talk about parrot (7)
PILLORY – Reverse (about) some impudent talk or sauce, then add a type of parrot. This is the sort of attack where someone is exposed to public ridicule.

Image result for pillory

27a         Useless stuff from American soldier — maiden breaks down (9)
GIMCRACKS – Put together the letters denoting an American soldier, the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over, and ‘breaks down’.

28a         Spirit with look not OK — ugh, awful! (5)
GHOUL – Anagram (awful) of LO(ok) (not OK) and UGH.

29a         Type to be curt, sending husband away (4)
SORT – Another word for ‘curt’ with the H removed (sending husband away).

30a         Job is troubled with angst with chaps interrupting (10)
ASSIGNMENT – Anagram (troubled) of IS and ANGST, wrapped around some chaps.


1d           Twenty losing head and heart (4)
CORE – Another word for twenty with its first letter removed.

2d           State requirement after moths have invaded wardrobe? (3,6)
NEW JERSEY – This US state is what you may need after the moths have ruined your favourite sweater.

3d           Royal females governed small island (5)
RANIS – ‘Governed’ or ‘managed’ followed by an abbreviation for island.

4d           Like fatty food in college pantry? (7)
BUTTERY – This word for a place where food and drink were dispensed in an Oxford or Cambridge college, derived from the French for ‘bottle’, could also describe food rich in a dairy fat.

5d           Letters may inform them of legal requirements (7)
TENANTS – Here we have an ‘all in one’ clue. The letters are people who let, rather than written communications, and the answer (them) is the people to whom the letting is made.

7d           Writer has extra line fitting in (5)
WILDE – A cricket extra wrapped around Line, giving us a Victorian writer and dramatist.

Image result for oscar wilde

8d           Some French notion about traitor supplying essential requirements (10)
DESIDERATA – Put together the French for ‘some’ and a notion or concept wrapped around an informal word for a traitor.

11d         Quieten down, having a very quiet rest (7)
APPEASE – Put together A (from the clue), the musical symbol for ‘very quiet’, and ‘rest’ or ‘comfort’.

14d         Notice five workers keeping time — rewards offered (10)
ADVANTAGES – Put together a short form of a publicity notice, the Roman numeral for five, and some of the usual insect workers wrapped around a long period of time.

16d         Dafter ladies maybe where seaside entertainment takes place? (7)
LOOPIER – A familiar term for the Ladies or Gents, followed by a seaside structure which may have a theatre at the end of it.

18d         Small room in house left half abandoned, wonderful thing earlier (5,4)
GLORY HOLE – The second word is made up of an abbreviation for HOuse and the first half of LEft. The first word is an object of pride or splendour.

20d         Describes leading couple from Denmark, old people (7)
DEPICTS – The first two letters of DEnmark followed by the ancient inhabitants of Scotland, the ‘painted people’.

21d         Big figures in firm, one going down after failure (7)
COLOSSI – Put together the abbreviation for a firm or company, a failure to win or make a profit, and the Roman numeral for one.

Image result for colossi

23d         Mum grabbed by sailor in river (5)
TAMAR – One of the usual sailors wrapped around another word for Mum, giving us the river which divides Cornwall from England.

25d         A church musician may have such an ear? (5)
ORGAN – Double definition: an instrument often used in church music; or a part of the body such as an ear.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26d         Scamper as female on fire (4)
FLIT Female followed by ‘on fire’.

The Quick Crossword pun PIQUE + DEMAND = PEAK DEMAND

37 comments on “DT 28850

  1. Very windy and sunny here in East Kent so the washing is drying a treat

    The inside back pager didn’t take me very long at all today – thanks to Giovanni and DT

  2. A little surprised to see the dialect term in 19a and even more surprised to note that it is a single word.
    Had something of an issue with the definition in 8d. The answer is listed in the BRB as ‘something desired or much wanted’ which I don’t think equates to ‘essential requirements’.

    27a was something of a learning curve – I’m familiar with the word but don’t think I have ever considered its meaning.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Toccata and Fugue.

    1. One of our dictionaries defines 8d as ‘something to be desired or felt essential’ which would, to me anyway, equate to essential requirements, especially if we are talking chocolate or lemon cake :)

  3. Well I had to dig deep in the recesses for some of the answers today – including a few quaint and lovely terms that I haven’t come across for many a year, e.g. 18d. Last one in 24a and my COTD 16d because of the amusing image it conjures up. Many thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and to DT for some great pics.

  4. An enjoyable end to the work week which needed a little bit of head scratching for completion at a fast canter – **/***.

    The BRB got a bit of a work out especially for 27a and 8d for which I had the same thought as Jane after the BRB check but essentiality does show up in an on-line thesaurus.

    Joint favourites 22a and 3d.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  5. A bit of a brain teaser today, but totally enjoyable. Beautiful day in North Cornwall a tad breezy.
    Favourite clues 21d and 27a.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovanni.

  6. A benign Giovanni with nothing to frighten the horses. Only one query, I can’t quite fully parse 18d. Presumably the first word relates to a wonderful thing but the hint speaks of pride or splendour so I am puzzled. Not sure I quite see the first word relating to the words in the clue or where DT gets pride and splendour. Learnt a new word in 8d.
    Best clue for me was 10a.
    Thx to all

    1. Dear Brian

      If I had a £1 for every time I’d said to you ‘look in the BRB’ – this case with regard to the first word of your solution to 18d -I’d probably be a very rich woman

      Best wishes


      1. Despite your comment I did look in the BRB and still cannot see why Glory is a wonderful thing. I can see that pride and splendour both refer to glory in the BRB but my comment was that I do see how either could relate to a wonderful thing.

        1. A ‘wonderful thing’ is glorious; so that thing is ‘a glory’ – as in ‘a glory to behold’.

    1. Wasn’t there a horse racing tipster/commentator who used the singular version of 27a as a nickname/pseudonym?

  7. Try again .
    A record early finish of 8am for me as left Bristol airport on the 7am flight to Tenerife .
    Enjoyable crossword again with joint favourites 24a , 16d & 18 d .
    Tired now after early start so siesta beckoning .
    Thanks to everyone

  8. A nice tussle with the Big G today which I won on points.

    I had another meaning for 18d. It’s such a great expression.

  9. Just choked on my tea when the answer to 18d surfaced.
    I wonder if the setter and editor knew the other meaning!!

    1. I only know one meaning for 18d, I left it blank for that reason. It’s obvious that there’s another meaning but I can’t find it, googling only gives me the meaning I know! Lordie Miss Claudie, I need to clean my brain I think.

        1. Hi Merusa,
          It’s the cupboard under the stairs where Orphan Annie retreats to with her box of tissues on tough crosswording days.
          That’s the only definition I knew so I’ve learned something new today!

          1. Whew! Thanks for that, I felt I was losing it for a bit there. Scousegit has provided numerous other definitions, who knew?

          2. Agree Jane. My Mum used to use it to refer to any room or cupboard that needed a good tidy up. She often referred to my bedroom as a glory hole. Was I shocked when I googled it to see what all the fuss was about. Never, ever knew that.

  10. I found this pretty tricky, even though I finished and had all correct answers, I was totally lost in the parsings.
    I didn’t know the college pantry, thanks for that, DT, I’ll try to store it away.
    I quite liked 22a and 21d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat for his hints.

  11. It all went together smoothly for us with just a couple of slight hesitations such as the wordplay for 10a. A pleasure to solve as usual.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  12. When struggling to see what would fit in 8d I should have paused earlier to think – it’s a Friday, odd words are par for the course and followed the wordplay. As it was I floundered for longer than I should have before the penny dropped. 18d was also new, and the wordplay at 28ac a complete mystery until I looked at the blog. Turns out it shouldn’t have been, of course. A good puzzle to end the week.

  13. Perhaps it’s the fact that I came to this somewhat weary after just having played hostess to a large lunch party chez moi but I completely failed to get on Giovanni’s wavelength today. He’s usually my very Fav setter too. I don’t remember ever having had to resort to so much outside help so will refrain from commenting on specifics and merely say that 2d was Fav of the few clues I actually solved unaided. Here’s to a good night’s sleep and a better cruciverbal performance tomorrow. Thank you anyway Giovanni and DT. 😥😴.

  14. Thanks to Deep Threat for the needed hints to help finish this mostly enjoyable Giovanni challenge. Was more a matter of gaps in my knowledge than being overly tough, 4d and 18d were new to me. But I had heard 27a so that helped. All in all, a lot of fun.

  15. A good challenge to end the working week. My little grey cells had ro work a bit harder than usual but ultimately I got there.
    Favourite? 18d I think. And yes I did know the ‘other’ meaning!
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  16. Way too difficult for me. Only just finished it with help! Can start Saturday crossword now. Definitely the most difficult Friday crossword I have done ce😒

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