DT 28868 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28868


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28868

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a blustery autumn day.

Plenty of General Knowledge in today’s Giovanni, with mathematicians, philosophers, biblical figures and astrological signs, but the wordplay will enable solvers to reach the answers. I didn’t much like the clue for 14a, which seems to be incomplete in some respect.

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. 


5a           Possibly Greek girl hugged by top officer (7)
CLASSIC – The abbreviation for a commander in chief wrapped around another word for a girl.

7a           Individual backing church, a biblical figure (5)
ENOCH – Reverse (backing) a number which means ‘individual’, then add an abbreviation for church, to get an Old Testament figure, father of Methuselah and great-grandfather of Noah.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a           Sly monarch giving a sign (6)
ARCHER – Another word for ‘sly’ or ‘knowing’ followed by the regnal cipher of our Queen, giving the English version of a sign of the Zodiac more usually known by its Latin form.

Image result for sagittarius

10a         Unidentified rogue salesmen (8)
NAMELESS – anagram (rogue) of SALESMEN.

11a         Unhappy knight taking shelter after party (10)
DISCONTENT Put together a party involving recorded music, the chess notation for a knight, and a form of shelter used by campers.

13a         Performer looking shamefaced about hiding love (4)
DOER – Reverse (about) the colour you go if you’re shamefaced, then insert the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

14a         They’ll keep getting into jams (13)
PRESERVATIVES – Cryptic definition (?) of substances used to make foodstuffs last. But, as Mrs DT assures me, these are not used in proper jams because the level of sugar is high enough to remove the need for them, so we shouldn’t read the whole clue as being the definition. There’s another word for jams around the outside of the answer, but no indication of how to get to the other letters.

16a         Strike that involves a lot of tricks (4)
SLAM – A word for ‘strike’ or ‘hit’ which also refers to making 12 or 13 tricks at bridge or whist.

17a         Top men in power meeting a horrible rich star (10)
PATRIARCHS – An abbreviation for Power followed by A (from the clue) and an anagram (horrible) of RICH STAR.

19a         Awful snag with evil character seeking control (8)
SVENGALI – Anagram (awful) of SNAG and EVIL. The chap who controlled Trilby in George du Maurier’s novel.

20a         Accusation of assault (6)
CHARGE – Double definition: a formal accusation; or a military assault leading to close combat.

22a         Engineers getting TV tuned in afresh? (5)
RESET – The initials of the usual engineer regiment followed by a word which often follows ‘TV’ to describe the item of equipment used to show TV programmes.

23a         Enduring scene’s central feature — bird by a lake (7)
ETERNAL – Put together the middle letter (central feature) of scEne, a seabird which often appears in crosswords, A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for Lake.


1d           Hospital bill rising in city (4)
BATH – Put together the road sign abbreviation for a Hospital and the sort of bill you might run up during an evening in a bar or restaurant, then reverse the lot to get a city in the West of England.

2d           Gents are abandoned, cut off (8)
ESTRANGE – Anagram (abandoned) of GENTS ARE.

3d           Mathematician‘s achievement displayed outside empty room (6)
FERMAT – Remove the middle letters from R(oo)M, then wrap the result in an achievement or exploit. The answer is a 17th century mathematician whose Last Theorem, that no positive integers a, b and c exist such that an + bn = cn  for any value of n greater than 2, was only recently proved.

4d           Surrendered or carried on for an extended period? (6,4)
ROLLED OVER – Double definition, the second being what happens when a fixed-term loan or deposit is replaced by another similar term.

5d           Soldier sat on by my dog (5)
CORGI – An exclamation like ‘My!’ followed by an American soldier.

Image result for corgi

6d           Music establishment showing overreactions when reformed (13)
CONSERVATOIRE – Anagram (when reformed) of OVERREACTIONS.

8d           Lady issuing invitations — thus husband is upset about groups turning up (7)
HOSTESS – Start with ‘thus’ and an abbreviation for Husband. Reverse (upset) the result and wrap it around the reverse (turning up) of some groups or collections.

12d         Quality of thick liquid in a pit absorbed by plant (10)
CREAMINESS – Put together A (from the clue) and the sort of pit from which coal might be extracted, then wrap the result in aplant which goes well with egg in sandwiches.

14d         Empty talk from friend having claim (7)
PALAVER – Another word for ‘friend’ followed by a verb meaning ‘claim’ or ‘assert’.

15d         Nervous type who is outdoors with binoculars? (8)
TWITCHER – This literally describes someone with a nervous tic, but is used figuratively to describe the behaviour of some obsessive birdwatchers, hence the birdwatcher in person.

17d         Factories producing line in underwear (6)
PLANTS – Insert an abbreviation for Line into some underwear (or for our North American readers, the outerwear that we call ‘trousers’).

18d         There’s little good in cad posing as philosopher (5)
HEGEL – An abbreviation for Good inserted into a cad or dishonourable person, producing a 19th-century German philosopher.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21d         Social worker interrupted by superior female (4)
AUNT – The letter indicating ‘superior’ or ‘upper-class’ is inserted into one of the usual social insects, to get a female relative.

The Quick Crossword pun FLIGHT + HIPPER = FLY-TIPPER

32 comments on “DT 28868

  1. I enjoyed this. I made a slightly slow start but then things began to fall into place nicely until I reached the SW corner where 14a caused problems.
    These problems were however all of my own making as I started my answer with CON- and then chuckled heartily at what I perceived to be a political joke. Perhaps in the Guardian……😂
    Thank you to all involved as usual.

  2. Just when you think you have seen all the 13 to 15 letter anagrams going, The Big G comes out with a pearler for 6d.

  3. Excellent puzzle. I do like some general knowledge content – not to everyone’s taste, I know. Solved well within my personal target time. I agree with DT that 14a across appears to be a tad incomplete–maybe it isn’t and someone will enlighten us. 15a is my pick of the day.

  4. An excellent puzzle which I completed within my *** time.

    I think the problem with 14a can be resolved if we note Mrs DT’s use of the word “proper”. I’m sure that if we sojourned away from Waitrose and went to, shiver, Tesco’s, we would find jars containing plenty of 14a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Even Tesco’s 30p cheap and cheerful jam doesn’t need these additives. The only jams that have them is the so called “Healthy Options” which go mouldy without them and still needs to be kept in the fridge.

    2. I can confirm that Sainsbury’s basics jam contains 14a. I can also confirm there is not a choice at the local food bank.

  5. One and a half Pinter today. Not a fan of GK in Cryptics but hey ho! They were solveable. Thanks to setter and DT

  6. A well clued puzzle today which enabled the solver to find the definition by properly parsing the clues-3d and 18d and 7a for example, I wish it was ever thus; a big improvement on yesterdays offering .
    Going for a **/***.
    liked 15d and 9a. Thanks to DT and setter- have I missed the wedding yet ?

  7. Very enjoyable, I thought the anagram at 6d was excellent.
    I quite like GK as long as it’s fairly clued, I had to guess&google the philosopher and mathematician.
    Had not heard of the biblical character (unsurprisingly), now I know that Mr.Powell was not unique (in forename).
    Thanks Mr.G.and DT.

  8. Very nice puzzle today completed without recourse to the hints.
    I did like the mathematician and the philosopher and I even got a touch of side eye from colleagues as I sang Bruce’ Philosophers Song to myself as I went.
    I didn’t get the all answers correct thingy until I sorted 4d out. I assumed it was a bit crickety and was Bowled Over for a while.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  9. Nothing too taxing today but it still made for a good challenge. I’ll take 6d as top clue… there’s nothing like a 13 letter anagram.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review and clips.

  10. Top puzzle from Giovanni l also needed electronic help for a couple of the GK but that’s fair enough from one of my favourite setters.. First in11a last in 12d lots of good clues with several excellent anagrams. Thoroughly enjoyed with a smile here and there included.

    Clues of the day: 11a / 12d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  11. It’s Friday so welcome to the weird and wonderful world of military, religious and biblical references, with a dash of obscure and ancient philosophers and mathematicians thrown in for good measure. As much a quizword as a crossword. Not my cup of tea but thanks to setter and to the enviably clever Deep Threat for unravelling it all.

  12. A fun puzzle with which to end the ‘working week’. I hadn’t come across 3 down before, but was easy enough to work out from the word play. 18 down was also new to me, but my Seiko word checker confirmed my word was correct. 10 across made me chuckle as it broght back memories of one of my old sales managers telling us to make sure we were remembered for all the right reasons and didn’t become ’10 across’ in our customers minds. Apart from being a biblical name, Saint 7 across was also the name of a long closed and demolished railway station in Glasgow. Most enjoyable, thanks Giovanni and also DT.

  13. The layout of today’s grid , combined with the 2 long answers , produced 23 clues which made me wonder what is the record for the smallest amount of clues in a DT crossword .
    I finished in a reasonable time but the GK & anagram elements did not bring overall enjoyment although I had to smile at 17d so is my COTD .
    Thanks to everyone .

      1. Mr K thanks , I knew I could rely on you . So , it seems 23 clues is a record low .
        More important , I met my relatives new kitten today , absolutely lovable at 18 weeks . However , he did cost a lot of money which is a shame as there are lots of felines waiting for a home .

        1. Apologies , jumped to the wrong conclusion . Just been pointed out to me that there are 3 duplicated numbers so the record low of 26 is equalled .

  14. Really enjoyable and great fun. Good to get to use some GK occasionally. Some terrific anagrams.

    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  15. Nice crossword I quite like some GK clues **/*** 😃 3d and 18d were new to me, just hope I remember them 😬 Favourites from 1d, 9 & 18 a 🤔 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

    Although I have an obsessive interest in avifauna I am not a twitcher 😉

  16. Good heavens, a DG puzzle in which I actually knew all of the GK – must be doing too many crosswords!

    No particular favourite but a satisfying solve.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog. The clip for 7a made me smile even though I did struggle with the accent!

  17. A fun, straightforward puzzle to end the week. * for difficulty.

    BTW, is the blog still having issues? When loading via a Google search I got a cached version of the site from several days ago. A refresh page did the job, but I shouldn’t have had to, should I?

  18. I must be dancing to a different drummer from everyone else as I struggled with this one. Couldn’t get on wavelength and needed too many hints. When we used 14a it meant too involved, complicated or too many steps, not empty talk, as in “that was a right palaver”.

  19. Yesterday was busy beginning with goggle-box wedding followed by visit to Glyndebourne for marvellous production of Traviata and overnight stay away. Nevertheless I once again thank The Don for another super puzzle which, starting with a speedy run in the South, didn’t present any real problems but much pleasure. 17d raised a giggle. Didn’t need to resort to hints but always amusing to read through them afterwards so thanks to DT & Co. for being there.

  20. 2*/3*..struggled with the quickie though !
    COD 15D..the nervous birdwatcher.
    Chrome brings up the site dated 7th October, whereas IE opens the
    today’s site ..??

  21. One thought on 14a was that ‘into’ (the body) could be intravenous, and hence could be IV… but how to get AT from ‘getting’ is still a mystery.

    And here in Mass, ‘jam’ is missing from the vocab, it is either ‘jelly’ (made from juice and hence seedless) or ‘preserve’ (from crushed or chopped fruit and hence seeded). It is also worth noting that most breakfast items have a subtly different names depending on which side of the Atlantic you are eating tyem.

    And perhaps Senf can give us an explanation of the Canadian difference between their two types of jam: “fruit jam” and “fruit jam with pectin”. And maybe also Canadian bacon while you are on topic.

    Mr T

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