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DT 28892


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28892

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey November day.

Another good puzzle from Giovanni this morning. I like to start in the NW corner, and that quadrant proved to be the trickiest for me, hence the *** marking.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. I haven’t hidden the answers because I was getting the bug where only a vertical line appears. I hope BD will be able to fix it later [Fix now applied.  BD]

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Spots little son being given kisses (6)
SPECKS – An abbreviation for Son followed by some brief kisses.

5a Robert depressed about empty day, a severe setback (4,4)
BODY BLOW – Put together a short form of Robert and another word for ‘depressed’, then wrap the result around D(a)Y with the middle letter removed (empty).

9a What pianist needs to get to manage black notes? Sly execution (5,8)
SHARP PRACTICE – What you get when you play one of the black notes on a piano (assuming you’re not in a key where the black notes represent flats), followed by what a pianist needs to do to get good at playing them.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a First and second to enter wood (8)
FOREMOST – Another word for a second or brief period of time, inserted into a large wood.

11a After short time what has managed to become country’s biggest city (6)
TEHRAN – Put together an abbreviation for Time, an exclamation like ‘What?’, and a verb meaning ‘managed’, and you get the largest city in a Middle Eastern country.

12a Deficiency in desert (6)
DEFECT – Double definition, the second as in ‘go over to the other side’.

14a Modest daughter hugging lover finally expressed doubts (8)
DEMURRED – Another word for ‘modest’ or ‘chaste’ and an abbreviation for Daughter wrapped around the last letter (finally) of loveR.

16a Upset about meal’s last courses? (8)
DESSERTS – Reverse (about) a word for ‘upset’ or ‘strained’.

19a I tried somehow to be less messy (6)
TIDIER – Anagram (somehow) of I TRIED.

21a Grab someone of distinction, competent but no leader (6)
NOBBLE – A person of distinction or toff followed by ‘competent’ with its first letter removed (no leader).

23a Tea before usual time? Bit of work about to be put into it (4,4)
EARL GREY – A three-letter measure of work done is reversed (about) and inserted into a word for ‘before usual time’, to get a variety of tea.

Image result for earl grey

25a Building complex redeveloped in e.g. south-east (7,6)
HOUSING ESTATE – Anagram (redeveloped) of IN E.G. SOUTH-EAST.

26a Good boy, not completely thick, cheers up (8)
GLADDENS – Put together an abbreviation for Good, another word for a boy, and another word for ‘thick’ with its last letter removed (not completely).

27a Wicked person perched outside the underworld (6)
SADIST – Another word for ‘perched’ wrapped around another name for Pluto, god of the underworld, and hence of that underworld.


2d Bit of cash first pocketed by European (7)
PISTOLE – Three letters that look like an abbreviation for ‘first’ with an Eastern European national wrapped around them, giving us an old gold coin.

3d Bird caught landing on garden implement (5)
CRAKE – The cricket scorecard abbreviation for Caught followed by a garden tool.

Image result for crake

4d Follower of team to drink beer (9)
SUPPORTER – Split the answer (3,6) to get a phrase meaning ‘drink beer’

5d Laid into bed, judge gets tucked in (7)
BERATED – BED (from the clue) wrapped around a verb for ‘judge’.

6d Article jamming pipe is an old coin (5)
DUCAT – Another word for a pipe or channel wrapped around an indefinite article.

Image result for ducat

7d Joyous socialist waffled (9)
BLITHERED – Another word for ‘joyous’ (as seen in the first line of Shelley’s poem To a Skylark) followed by the usual colour indicating ‘socialist’. I’ve more often seen this word in its present participle form, used adjectivally in conjunction with’idiot’.

8d Had too much on one’s plate — but managed to deal with it! (7)
OVERATE – Cryptic definition of having too large a portion of food and consuming it.

13d Overseas travellers will have this, going in a particular direction (9)
EASTBOUND – Split the answer (4,5) and the result is what ‘oversEAS Travellers’ contains.

15d Storm is to put off drivers (9)
MOTORISTS – Anagram (put off) of STORM IS TO.

17d English friend goes round old church that is historically significant (7)
EPOCHAL – Put together English and another word for ‘friend’. Then put together abbreviations for Old and CHurch and wrap the first construction around the result.

18d Using offensive words, tries to put off some going through snow? (7)
SLEDGES – The answer is the term used to describe the practice of a fielder using abusive language to try to distract a batsman at cricket. It could also describe vehicles used for crossing snow.

20d Teams participating in chapel evensong (7)
ELEVENS – Hidden in the clue.

22d One left in West Country city, not half one missing home? (5)
EXILE – Remove the second half of a city in the West Country, county town of Devon, then insert the Roman numeral for one and Left.

24d Good money abroad? Excellent! (5)
GRAND – An abbreviation for Good followed by some South African money.

The Quick Crossword pun REEVE + REIGN = REFRAIN

48 comments on “DT 28892

  1. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with some great clueing, not too tricky. I liked 15d & 27a, but my favourite was 18d. Such a smooth surface. Was 2*/4* for me. All the answers are showing on the blog. Perhaps it’s just my pad?

  2. 2* / 3*. That was more fun than usual for a Friday and not too tough with my only hold up being with my last two in, which were 11a (a bit of a strange definition, I thought) and 7d (which was my favourite). 2d was new word for me.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. Just for info, I still haven’t got any spoiler buttons that work before Nov 6 – either via internet explorer or Google Chrome.

      1. If it’s of any help to BD and Mr K in diagnosing the problem all the spoilers work normally for me prior to Nov 6 (PC/Windows 7/Chrome) but are just vertical black bars when I switch to Internet Explorer.

      2. I don’t know if it could be related, but recently I have noticed that often the page never actually finishes loading.

        As I type, my browser is ‘waiting’ for ‘s.pubmine.com’ and has been for the last 15 mins or so.

        1. Thanks, LbR, that is very helpful. Is anybody else seeing this behavior?

          (It’s been hard to debug this problem because old spoilers work fine for me on every machine and browser I have tried.)

          1. Chrome is the most problematic. In the tab at the top of the page displays a little blue circle going round and round instead of the BD44 favicon (the mini avatar).

            At the same time, in the bottom left of the screen, a message appears ‘Waiting for… (any one of a number of ad servers, sometimes You Tube or occasionally BD44)

            I ran the page source through W3C and it picked up quite a few syntax errors, particularly the js but also the Xspoiler class CSS. Changing the DTD cleared a lot of the errors, but threw up some different ones. I also noticed some elements are closed ‘ /a ‘ and some ‘ a / ‘.

            Anyway, my original thinking was that either the browser is waiting to connect to a server that is unavailable, or the browser is stalling on the syntax.

            When I get time I’ll run a sample page through HTML Validator and convert it all to XHTML1.1 Strict DTD and report back if that helps?

            1. Blimey, it really is a different language! I’m fascinated. It’s like carpentry, I love watching it on TV but have no idea what they’re doing. Maybe in my next life.

            2. If you load the Monday blog and do a ctrl-F5, do the spoilers appear correctly now or are they still vertical lines?

        2. I intermittently have the same partial loading problem and sometimes can’t even reach the current puzzle page at all. 😓

  4. Apart from the slightly dodgy 11a, I really enjoyed this Giovanni offering. 9a was my favourite. Not too difficult to complete, but certainly needed more thought than the last two crosswords this week.

    Many thanks to The Don for the challenge and to DT.

  5. A reasonably gentle end to the work week which after a slow start was completed at a gallop – **/***.

    The only clue I had problems with was 2d; I am reasonably certain that I have not come across that word before or, at least, not for a long time.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 23a, and 7d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, especially for the video at 9a!

    (Working spoiler buttons at the time of posting this comment – Windows 10/Microsoft Edge.)

    1. Shouldn’t use Edge, Senf, it sends details of all websites you access to Microsoft

  6. I found this one a bit on the tricky side, slighly above average for G – I still haven’t quite finished it and am about to run out of time on this computer. A very enjoyable puzzle. 3* / 4*. 11a: a mildly interesting fact, that one or two people might not know – you can also spell it with another E, after the H

    1. Exactly I have always spelt it with another ‘e’ so 11a didn’t spring immediately to mind.

  7. Giovanni’s are always popular with me and today’s is no exception. Not overly difficult but clever cluing. Lots to like including 2d, 7d, 13d and 18d (quite apt since I’ve been watching the test match – not Australia, though). My top spot goes to 9a, as a poor pianist myself.,

  8. I’m with RayS in that I always enjoy Giovanni’s puzzles but IMHO today’s wasn’t among his best. Amazing how many ways anagram is expressed but I don’t think I have come across ‘put off’ previously as per 15d. The cricketing term in 18d was a also new one on me however the snow bit produced the answer. My Fav was 9a. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  9. Got 18d from the snow bit and crossing letters. Thanks for teaching me the meaning. Surprised it has a word or is even allowed. Definately not cricket.

  10. Well, that was a lot of fun – a 3* for difficulty because it took longer and a 4* for enjoyment, because I get annoyed if I don’t finish without help and today I did, eventually.

    Lots of Ps, Bs and at least 5 double consonants, as well as words I didn’t know: the Pluto, the 2d gold coin and the 3D bird (although the filling in was obvious).

    I bet no one has actually uttered 17d out loud, although technically I’m sure it’s correct.

    Is 7d the same meaning as the word with E as the 3rd letter?

  11. I thought that the puzzle was quite tricky today and agree with DT’S ***/***.at least I’ve learned a little more about the workings of a piano !
    My favourite was 23a as I am a real tea fiend, recently went to the Grosvenor Chester for afternoon tea where you made a choice from a compartmented box.
    liked 14a too.
    Enjoyed the solve thanks to all.

  12. A couple of pauses as I didn’t know 2d and would spell 7d with an ‘E’ as the third letter. Also, my cricket instruction from RD hasn’t as yet included the likes of 18d so I dithered between the right answer and ‘sleighs’.

    No particular favourite but an enjoyable enough puzzle.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  13. Tricky but enjoyable and I only needed the hint for 2d.
    We’ve had 18d before and, miracle, I remembered it.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for his help across the finish line.

  14. A steady solve for me today with 23A favourite clue but not in any other way .

    Thanks to everyone

  15. Took me a while to get going but it eventually yielded. Last one in was 11a because I thought of the answer but took a while to parse. My favourites were 9&23a because of the ah-ha factor. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    No spoilers on my iPad IOS 12.1.

  16. A slow start for us too in the NW corner which stretched our solving time to past the usual. As ever a well crafted enjoyable Friday puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  17. Hooray! I broke my Giovanni duck. This followed the usual pattern of 90% of the answers going in smoothly followed by a brick wall. Today I finally managed to knock down the brick wall.
    Still need to check some parsing, but very enjoyable.
    Thanks all.

  18. I was very slow today – a combination of my usual Friday trouble and my still scrambled brain.
    Not many anagrams and, unless I’m not looking properly, I don’t think that the quickie is a pangram as is usual on Fridays.
    I’m pretty sure I’ve never met 2d before today.
    I rather liked two of the simplest clues – 1a and 3d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  19. A good puzzle to end the working week. The NW corner was the one that gave me the most difficulty too, with a couple of clustered unknowns. Last in though 10ac which was anything but unknown.

  20. Didn’t get to this until afternoon, and was at first inclined to give up. But returned later over a cup of tea, and everything fell into place. Needed hints for 9a and 2d, thank you Deep Threat. Perhaps I am finally beginning to understand Giovanni’s puzzles. Hoping for more fun tomorrow.

    I seem to have had a different problem on this site than most earlier in this week, using Safari on my iPad. Instead of the click button I got the actual answer, not the black line a lot of you mentioned. Thankfully that was fixed the next day and fine since. Was that perhaps the spoiler mentioned?

  21. Better late then never… I forgot to comment when I finished this puzzle yesterday. Good challenge from the Don which certainly made me sweat a bit. 9a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  22. Hello, I am very new to cryptic crosswords and find this site and the effort all you people put into it amazing. I am enjoying learning very much. Is it OK to ask for help for 27a.

    We got as far as (not sure how much I am allowed to write here!) S IT but can’t get the middle part – we have a word but can’t see how to fit it?

    Hope this is OK to post, I read the etiquette first!

    1. Welcome to the blog, AmAm.
      It’s certainly ok to ask for help – that’s what the blog’s for. You can write what you like about clues unless you’re commenting on a prize puzzle which has not yet reached its closing date.

      27a is SAT (perched) containing DIS (the underworld) so SA DIS T (wicked person).

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