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DT 28862

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28862

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs as the sun struggles to break through the early cloud.

Some nice anagrams to get you started on today’s Giovanni, and one old chestnut resurrected from the past, which may give newer solvers pause for thought.

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. 


7a           I’d panic with our garb astray — could it be in here? (6,8)
AIRING CUPBOARD – Anagram (astray) of I’D PANIC and OUR GARB.

9a           Successful book rep doing more business than the rest? (10)
BESTSELLER – Split (4,6) this could be a commercial traveller making more deals than his colleagues.

11a         Undertaking demand after short time (4)
TASK – An abbreviation for Time followed by ‘demand’.

12a         Sheep — not so many in the middle (3)
EWE – This female sheep is made up of the middle three letters of a word for ‘not so many’.

13a         They may hiss, exerting pressure (5,5)
STEAM IRONS – Cryptic definition of some domestic items used for pressing.

16a         Class enthralled by tutors or teachers (4)
SORT – Hidden in the clue.

17a         Stories offering discord reader finally abandoned (7)
FICTION – A generic word for non-factual writing is reached by removing the final letter of readeR from a word for discord or inability to get along.

18a         Any number taken on board by one engaged in money matters (7)
FINANCE – Put the algebraic symbol for ‘any number’ into an engaged person.

20a         Start to select apparatus for dramatic performance (4)
SKIT – The first letter (start) of Select followed by some apparatus or equipment.

21a         Earnest prayers from competitors filled with worry (10)
ENTREATIES – The competitors in a tournament wrapped around another word for ‘worry’ (as in ‘What’s —ing you?’)

23a         Building secured, sealed off at the front (3)
HUT – Another word for ‘secured’ or ‘closed’ with the first letter removed.

24a         Island in risky enterprise (4)
SKYE – Hidden in the clue.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a         Athlete comes to Scottish peak, having eaten a bit of food (6,4)
RUNNER BEAN – A track athlete followed by the name given to mountains in Scotland wrapped around A (from the clue).

Image result for runner bean

28a         Daughter is in grass on blanket (14)
INDISCRIMINATE Daughter and IS (from the clue) inserted into what a ‘grass’ does when he shops someone to the police.


1d           Be like a pachyderm and don’t get upset easily (4,1,5,4)
HAVE A THICK SKIN – This metaphorical expression is also literally true of a pachyderm, the last two words of the answer corresponding to the meaning of the two Greek words from which ‘pachyderm’ derives.

2d           Very dry except when river floods in (4)
BRUT – A word for ‘except’ with River inserted, giving us some very dry champagne.

3d           Quartet participating in concerts no longer (4)
ONCE – Four letters to be found in cONCErts.

4d           See battle trophy being put outside, a sort of shell (7)
SCALLOP – A word for ‘See!’ or ‘Behold!’ inserted into the sort of battle trophy that Native Americans were reputed to take from their enemies.

Image result for scallop shell

5d           Little old peers and VIPs, terribly dictatorial (10)
OPPRESSIVE – An abbreviation (little) for Old followed by an anagram (terribly) of PEERS and VIPS.

6d           Happy to embrace good person, a competitor (10)
CONTESTANT – Another word for ‘happy’ wrapped around the abbreviation for a good or holy person and A (from the clue).

8d           Artist careered off course in a zone few get to? (10,4)
RESTRICTED AREA – Anagram (off course) of ARTIST CAREERED.

10d         Mum’s upset the little boy (3)
SAM – Start with another word for mother, add the ‘S from the clue, then reverse the lot to get a short form of a boy’s (or girl’s) name.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d         The saint wicked? Is the opposite (10)
ANTITHESIS – Anagram (wicked) of THE SAINT, followed by IS (from the clue).

15d         Erotic miss involved in muscle-building exercises (10)
ISOMETRICS – Anagram (involved) of EROTIC MISS.

Image result for isometrics

19d         Lieutenant to suffer at home (5-2)
STAND-IN – Another word for ‘suffer’ or ‘endure’, followed by ‘at home’. Think of the literal meaning of ‘lieutenant’ rather than a military rank.

22d         Breeze is fine, clearing the head (3)
AIR – Remove the first letter (clearing the head) from another word for ‘fine’ weather.

26d         Essayist producing excellent article in French, revolutionary (4)
ELIA – Put together the two letters which look like an alphanumeric expression indicating excellence, add a French definite article, then reverse the lot, to get the pen name of the 19th-century essayist Charles Lamb. This used to appear regularly in crosswords, but doesn’t seem to have shown up in the Telegraph for several years.

Image result for elia lamb

27d         Attend bash (4)
BEAT – Split the answer (2,2) to get a phrase meaning ‘attend’.


42 comments on “DT 28862

  1. Revived spirits after difficulties of yesterday. Didn’t get 26 down.. New one on me.. I should have followed the instructions from the clue and then checked it out.

  2. Got to grips with this quite quickly and then much enjoyed the 15d. My GK let me down on 26d in spite of trying to fit in lamb. Two littluns appealed viz 27a and 2d (probably chestnut). Thank you DG and DT.

    1. Do you mean down ? and yes I thought 27d was the best on the board today ; unlike it’s near neighbour 26d yuk ! Thanks to setter and scribe

  3. Nothing too obscure this morning, even the new word was very gettable. 28a appealed, mainly because the clue was short and concise, yet the answer was a 14 letter word. Pleasantly challenging and good fun.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  4. Gentler than it first seemed. Guessed 26a successfully from the parsing, not a name I knew. Favourite of the day 28a, very smooth.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

  5. A very good end to the work week completed at a steady rate and on completion I was a little surprised to find it had been done at a gallop – **/****.

    I think 26d was new for me; fortunately, with the two checkers, it was relatively easy to ‘decode’ from the clue and I will have to try to remember it for the future.

    Stand-out favourite – 1d – but it did have an air of familiarity about it.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  6. 26d a mystery to me but if you followed the instructions…
    28a my fave today and 24a an opportunity to remove the white heather club ear worm.

    Definately a bit easier than recent fridays.
    Going to try the toughie but more in hope than expectation

  7. Took a while to get started , and the awful grid did not help-lots of long anagrams/charades.
    I enjoyed the solve once I tuned in and completed the top half then the lower.
    Last in was 26a I had Lanb in my mind which proved to be the case once I twigged the parsing.
    Going for a ***/***.
    liked 9a which produced a d’oh moment and 25a,thanks to setter and DT-ready for a busy weekend.

  8. 26D was new to me also. My favorites were 7A and 28A. Thanks Giovanni. That was good fun.

    1. I’ve been waiting for you to check in to find out how you fared through Florence. Hope you weren’t too badly affected.

  9. Gentler than the layout and first impressions suggested. Guessed 26d from clues. 28a is a fab clue.

  10. Quite a gentle puzzle from Mr M today, although I have to admit that parsing 4 down took me much longer than it should have done. A bit of a blind spot I think. No problems with 26 down though, as the name has featured in so many newspaper GK puzzles in the past.. No stand out clues, but I quite liked 1 & 27 down. Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  11. That’s more like it 😃 */**** Favourites 1 & 27d , fell at 26d alas 😬 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni 👍

  12. At first glance the grid was not very welcoming but after getting the 4 long clues quite quickly everything flowed .
    Joint favourites , 9a , 25a & 28a .
    Indoor bowls season has started although recent afternoons have been warm enough to play outdoors
    Thanks to everyone .

  13. As has been said, a nice end to the week and done in the coach – U3A garden group outing! Nice and real axing after a week of hospitals both human and veterinary. Yuk. Thanks to everyone for keeping me sane this week.

      1. We wait and see! Couldn’t be in better hands though. Lulu not happy with large lampshade collar round her neck.

  14. Nothing to dislike but plent to like about Giovanni today a super puzzle with excellent anagrams good lurkers and a smile along the way. First in 11a last in 2d. Enjoyable conclusion to the working week.

    Clues of the day: 7a / 25a

    Rating: 2.5*/ 4*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  15. Self made problem with 1d where, because of the order in which I’d solved, the checkers in for the third word meant that I couldn’t see beyond ‘trunk’. Took me a while to get that out of my mind.

    Quite liked 9a & 2d but my favourite was the clever 28a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  16. The anagrams helped me get going today, and apart from the uncertainty surrounding the essayist this was a fairly relaxed Friday challenge all told.
    9a floated my boat.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  17. This Giovanni was pure pleasure for me, no obscurities and all fun.
    It took too long to unravel (note the terminology, Kath) 21a, don’t know why.
    There was so much to enjoy here, so no faves today.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

    1. Just listened to the clip for 10d, I had forgotten that from so long ago. Loved the memories!

  18. **/***. Very gentle puzzle with some long answers and anagrams to get started. 28a was my favourite closely followed by 27d. Thanks to all.

  19. Lovely day here in Cambridgeshire and after golf, this was the perfect relaxation.
    The only clue which took a while was 3d as l was looking to bung in iv somewhere….doh! Probably the easiest clue of the lot.
    No real favourite, but l quite enjoyed runner bean.

  20. A good fun solve. There were two characteristics of this puzzle that sometimes cause a slower solve than usual, lots of short (three and four letter) answers and many answers with an unchecked first letter but they did not give us any major delays here.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. A puzzle that felt decidedly tricky while solving, while turning out to be solvable in a reasonable time. Such are Fridays I suppose.

  22. Like many others totally stuck by 26d. Thought I was back on track after yesterday’s Ray T which included too many words I’d never heard of, but this one clue flummoxed me

  23. Delightful puzzle from Giovanni today, very much enjoyed. Just two hold ups, 21a and 26d, thanks to Deep Threat for hints on those. Was quite a relief after yesterday, when I thought brain had turned to mush. COTD was 25a. The picture quite made my mouth water as we don’t get them over here, just something similar called a French bean, but they don’t take anything like the ones my Dad used to grow in his garden.

    1. We took them to France and grew them in our land 600 metres up. Our French neighbours had never seen them. They had to be convinced to really strip the sides off to get rid of the bitterness caused by leaving too much of the string and they were fascinated by the way we sliced them so thin and diagonally. But once shown how to they loved them and one neighbour even kept some of the bean-seeds and grew his own!

  24. Late on parade today. Lots to like about today’s puzzle and, as others have noted, 26a is absolutely top drawer. Brilliant clue.

    A few bung-ins so thanks to Deep Threat for the explanations. And thanks to Giovanni too.

  25. Much enjoyed puzzle but beaten by 2d. Must drink more champagne. COTD for me was 28a. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

  26. Took a while to unravel 17a and 20a as I wrote tough skin in 1d.
    Only one cryptic def today. Bliss.
    Pleasant enough but no real favourite.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

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