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DT 28910


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28910

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where, for a change, we have a sunny start to the day.

Apart from the minor technical glitch which affected 9d when I first solved the puzzle on the website just after it had been published last night, this was a reasonably straightforward Giovanni, with the usual inclusion of some GK and the odd unusual word, but entirely secular, so that delicate souls like Brian won’t be ‘offended’ by references to religion.

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. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Not as giants, flexing muscles (11)
ANTAGONISTS – Anagram (flexing) of NOT AS GIANTS, giving us some muscles which work against each other.

Image result for antagonist muscle

8a Player in first section, cold one getting to gasp (11)
PARTICIPANT – Put together a phrase (4,1) meaning ‘first section, Cold, the Roman numeral for one, and ‘gasp’.

11a Female hiding face in Arab territory (4)
OMAN – Remove the first letter (hiding face) from another word for a female person.

12a Bit of biological make-up contributing to amazing energy (4)
GENE – Hidden in the clue.

13a Editor entertained by smart European (7)
SWEDISH – An informal word for ‘smart’ wrapped around the usual abbreviated editor.

15a Drink as team with supervision cut short (7)
SIDECAR – Another word for a football or cricket team followed by another word for ‘supervision’ with its final letter removed, giving us a cognac-based cocktail.

Image result for sidecar cocktail

16a Home counties chum offers something green (5)
SEPAL – The compass point indicating the location of the Home Counties in England, followed by another word for a chum or friend.

17a Our cartoonist dull? Yes and no! (4)
MATT – Double definition, the first being the pen-name of the Telegraph’s pocket cartoonist, who certainly isn’t dull; the second being a dull finish, as opposed to gloss.

Image result for matt cartoons

18a Offer instruction pouring heart out in college (4)
TECH – Remove the middle letter (pouring heart out) from a word for ‘offer instruction’ to get the short term for a variety of college.

19a Some women in church are modest (5)
HAREM – Hidden in the clue.

21a The female hurried to grab male who fought in America? (7)
SHERMAN – Start with a phrase (3,3) for ‘the female hurried’ and insert Male to get the name of an American Civil War general or a World War 2 tank.

Image result for sherman tank

22a Enthusiastic boy, one entering cycle event (7)
MADISON – Another word for ‘enthusiastic’ (often followed by ‘on’) and another word for ‘boy’ placed either side of the Roman numeral for one, to get a track cycling relay race for teams of two.

Image result for madison cycling

23a Wickedness, as it happens to return (4)
EVIL – Reverse (to return) a word used to describe a broadcast of what is happening then and there.

26a Room with lines at back of church (4)
CELL – The abbreviation for the Church of England followed by two instances of the abbreviation for Line.

27a Strange perception that could make one see ghosts in Dec.? (6,5)
SECOND SIGHT – A reverse anagram where the answer can be turned into (could make one see) GHOSTS IN DEC.

28a What skater on dodgy pond did? Overcame awkward situation (5,3,3)
BROKE THE ICE – Double definition, the first being a literal result of skating on an insecure surface; the second being a metaphor for overcoming an awkward start to a meeting


2d Bread supplied by emergency organisation in the middle of dinner (4)
NAAN – The middle two letters of diNNer wrapped around one of the organisations that comes out to fix broken-down cars.

Image result for naan

3d Performer with a lot of hair outside entrance to cinema (7)
ACTRESS – A (from the clue) and a quantity of hair, placed either side of the first letter (entrance) of Cinema.

4d Yellow tiger maybe without tail, a killer (4)
ORCA – The heraldic term for yellow, followed by the family of creatures which includes the tiger, minus its last letter, to give the Latin name of a class of marine mammals known as killers.

Image result for orca

5d Confession of fairy queen on lake put in danger (7)
IMPERIL – A phrase (1’1,4) which might be what the fairy queen in Iolanthe would say about herself, followed by an abbreviation for Lake.

6d Secret society showing style, little good (4)
TONG – The French word for ‘style’ or ‘fashion’ followed by Good, giving us a Chinese secret society.

7d Man accommodating some children in repurposed USA rest home (11)
HOUSEMASTER – Anagram (repurposed) of USA REST HOME, giving us the man in charge of a group of boarding-school pupils.

8d Extra words from mum or dad having explosive little girl (11)
PARENTHESIS – Put together another word for a mother or father, an acronym for High Explosive, and a short form of a female sibling.

9d Cheater, pest? How different from me! (8,3)
TEACHER’S PET – A sort of all-in-one clue. Anagram (different) of CHEATER PEST, giving someone who is the antithesis of that. Solving this one on the Telegraph Puzzles site last night gave me some trouble, first because the enumeration was shown as (9,3) when the puzzle first appeared, and then when I tried to submit the completed puzzle I was told that my answer was wrong! Removing one letter and replacing it with the hint letter (which was the same) suddenly produced an accepted submission, and the enumeration had been corrected! My original submission must have clashed with a spot of editing going on at Telegraph Towers.

10d Racy English drunk, looking here, there and everywhere? (11)
SEARCHINGLY – Anagram (drunk) of RACY ENGLISH.

14d Strong male or female collecting degree (2-3)
HE-MAN – A female bird wrapped around a higher degree.

15d Trading opportunity attracting a thousand in American city (5)
SALEM – The sort of trading opportunity most recently demonstrated by Black Friday, followed by the Roman numeral for a thousand, producing a city in Massachusetts once notorious for witch trials.

19d A swinger with a couple of maidens in joint (7)
HAMMOCK – Put together A (from the clue) and two of the abbreviation for a maiden over on a cricket scorecard, then insert the result into a joint of meat.

20d Robotic person, prominent feature in West? (7)
MACHINE – A prominent facial feature (think of the late Bruce Forsyth) with the first name of Ms West, who invited men to ‘come up and see me sometime’, wrapped around it.

24d Leader of Left always giving nasty look (4)
LEER – The first letter of Left followed by a poetic term for ‘always’.

25d Change choice of food to get energy up (4)
EDIT Put together a choice morsel of food (usually found with an alternative spelling and followed by ‘bit’) and Energy, then reverse (up, in a Down clue) the lot. A word for one’s choice of food, with the Energy promoted to the beginning of the answer.

26d Sweet cold white wine not finished (4)
CHOC Cold followed by a German white wine with its final letter removed.

The Quick Crossword pun PLANES + AILING = PLAIN SAILING


36 comments on “DT 28910

  1. Fairly plain sailing from G today, with good clues providing a satisfying solve. 22a: I didn’t know the cycling event but it was readily gettable from the checkers and word play. Fav: 21a, but I could have picked several others. 2.5* / 3.5*

  2. No religious obscurities today – Giovanni must be mellowing. Thanks to him and DT.
    I thought that 25d was one’s usual choice of food with just the abbreviation for energy promoted two places to the top.

    1. I will never mellow and my topics for vocabuilary will vary, as ever, from puzzle to puzzle. And I hope you picked up my riddle at the end of the recent Toughie thread.

  3. Pleasingly testing and enjoyable throughout. Several good clues but my favourite was 28a. Thanks to The Don and DT.

  4. Definitely on the Maestro’s gentler side today but highly enjoyable nevertheless. Not sure what DT refers to as the obscure word, all seemed above board to me. Grateful for the lack of religious references so as not to upset my ‘sensitive’ nature.
    Thx to all esp Giovanni (any chance you could take over Sunday’s puzzle?).

  5. With some of the ‘usual’ content that I enjoy on a Friday missing, which impacted on the enjoyment level, I almost began to wonder if Giovanni was not our setter today. Completed at a gallop (just) – **/**.

    Favourite – 28a.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  6. For me, one of the most enjoyable puzzles in a while from the Don.
    Didn’t think that particular ‘West’ would ever catch me out but she did today which made 20d my last one to fall. I was also rather relieved that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know the cycle race.

    Podium places went to 27 & 28a plus 19d.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog. I remember laughing heartily at that 17a cartoon when it was published – seemed like an excellent idea!

  7. **/*** for me with no help needed which is unusual for a Giovanni puzzle. Never heard of the bicycle race either!

  8. After struggling all week this came as a nice surprise, actually completed in good time. No favourites today as all pretty enjoyable.
    Thanks to Deep Threat amd to the Don

  9. The relatively small & some not too difficult answers with lots of overlapping led to a quick finish today .

    However , could not parse 4D and 25D although answers obvious .

    2D gave me the biggest smile .

    Thanks to everyone .

  10. Finished quite quickly for me. But needed to check the hints afterwards for:
    Style in 6d, the drink in 15a.the road race and the parsing in 20d. All gettable.


  11. Just loved 17a. Easy yes, but a very much beloved contributor to our daily newspaper fare. Where would we be without his always pithy yet funny, gentle genius.

    1. And from me.
      If you’re like me there are stand-outs. Mine is still “Ban the Yeltsin bypass” at the time of the Newbury protests (were they over 20 years ago?).

  12. Don’t know whether it is because I was solving this at home after a particularly nice morning/fish and chip lunch out, but I really enjoyed this extremely solver-friendly Giovanni this afternoon. Lots to smile at, especially 17a, so thank you to Giovanni and DT too

  13. A pretty easy end to what I believe has been a fairly easy week. Very enjoyable from Giovanni, as usual and I enjoyed the general knowledge content.

    I have to say that that particular cycle race always appears daft to me. I can’t see the sense of following a motorbike for a number of laps before the off. I must be missing something!

    1. I think you’re confusing the madison (which involves teams of two cyclists) and the keirin (where the motorbike appears).

  14. Today’s Cryptic was Quickie pun which was brief fun. 22a was a bung-in. I’m not sure 9d really parses and IMHO it is unfortunate to include abbreviations such as 18a and 26d. Nice to see 3d in use now that it has become politically incorrect? As usual from the Don so many terrific clues make it hard to pick a Fav but perhaps I’ll go for 19d. Thank you Giovanni and DT. (Wonder why I had to fill in my name/email today?)

  15. Complete contrast to last week perhaps a little gentle for some. One man’s meat etc.
    Is tech not an accetable diminutive. They seem to have all become universities (or so it seems) anyway.
    Thanks to G. & DT. The diagrams for 1a were a reminder of things to come as I face a shoulder reversal op. following severe rotator cuff damage

    1. When I came to post a comment, I glanced at the hints as I was scrolling down and wondered why DT was illustrating 1a with a cartoon of a couple of sickly looking vultures!
      Good luck with the op – hope it puts things back in place for you.

  16. Most enjoyable today and just perfect for my tiny brain.
    I’d never heard of race at 22a, but I don’t follow bike sports so it’s no surprise.
    My fave was 17a, if only for the pic, very guffaw worthy, but 28a deserves a mention.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, particularly unravelling 4d.

  17. **/***. Another very pleasant puzzle from Giovanni. My favourite was 8d but only because I got this with just the first letter exposed – strange how the brain works. Thanks to all.

  18. Super puzzle again today. No probs with 9d as I have the paper version, and btw feel that I should read it before allowing myself the crossword, hence posting late in the day. As a cycling fan of many years I must nominate 22ac as today’s favourite with 9d a close second. Thanks to the Don and DT for the hints.

  19. Wow, that was the most gentle Friday crossword for a long time! Fun to do but over way too soon. No real stand out clues.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  20. Like Jane we also wondered what the vultures were chatting about in the pic for 1a. This prompted us to look more closely at the other pictures and think we recognise the strip worn by the two riders congratulating each other in the pic for 22a.
    All good fun and much enjoyed.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. Nice solveable puzzle **/**** 😊 As with many others 22a was new to me 😳 Favourites either 21 or 28 across 😜 Thanks to Giovanni and to DT especially for the illustration for 17a 🤗

  22. Clicking on the solution buttons didn’t work: the format seems to have changed?
    The Blog is so good, occasionally I need to have access to the answer.
    A. E.

  23. Unusual for me, I actually finished a Giovanni puzzle, with help from Deep Threat of course. Didn’t know the bike race in 22a, the cricket term in 19d and not sure if I ever knew the iolanthe fairy. This was much more fun than most Fridays, thanks to all.

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