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DT 28916

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28916

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dark, wet, windy morning.

A good dose of General and Biblical Knowledge from Giovanni this morning, and some variant clue construction, but plenty of anagrams to get you going. The parsing of 12d, my last one in, eluded me until quite late in the process, when the penny dropped with a resounding clang.

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 Vermouth knocked back, sensible drink (6)
TISANE – Reverse (knocked back) an informal term for vermouth, as in ‘gin and –‘, then add ‘sensible’, and you get an infusion of which Hercule Poirot was fond.

4a Relation, terribly hot inside, gets to strip (8)
UNCLOTHE – A male relative wrapped around an anagram (terribly) of HOT.

9a No longer left with something to sell abroad (6)
EXPORT – The prefix indicating ‘former’ or ‘no longer’, followed by the nautical term for left.

10a An insect disturbed people years ago (8)
ANCIENTS – AN (from the clue) followed by an anagram (disturbed) of INSECT.

11a Worry about a little container for firework explosive (9)
CARTOUCHE – A worry or concern wrapped around a small quantity.

13a Island lady wants French article rather than English one (5)
LUNDY – Start with LADY (from the clue). Remove an English indefinite article and replace it with a French one, to get an island in the Bristol Channel

14a More than one female professional wins me bonuses, working (13)

17a Rescues the art neglected in a valuable box (8,5)
TREASURE CHEST – Anagram (neglected) of RESCUES THE ART.

21a What breakfast menu may have, creating stir (3,2)
EGG ON – The breakfast menu may have bacon on, or porridge on, or…

23a Old college not genuine? Conflicting noises perhaps here? (9)
POLYPHONY – The short form of the name given to some institutes of higher education before they were all turned into universities, followed by ‘not genuine’, giving us the sort of music where several voices sing different lines, generally producing a harmonious whole.

24a This writer was first to admit depression and softened (8)
MELLOWED – Another word for ‘this writer’ and another word for ‘was first’ wrapped around a depression.

25a Mo‘s support (6)
SECOND – Double definition: a short time; or support for a motion in debate.

26a Mad chaps beginning to talk, interrupting performance (8)
DEMENTED – Put together ‘chaps’ and the first letter (beginning) of Talk, then insert the result into a performance or action.

27a Plants with bosses laying off a thousand (6)
ASTERS – Remove the Roman numeral for a thousand from another word for bosses, to get these flowering perennials.


1d Knight is buried in the church for that reason (6)
THENCE – THE (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the Church of England, placed either side of the chess notation for a knight.

2d Like sheep and goats with destinies unalike ultimately (Bible story) (9)
SEPARABLE – The final letters (ultimately) of destinieS and unalikE followed by the term for the stories told by Jesus to illustrate points of doctrine or morality, like the story of the Good Samaritan or, as in this all-in-one clue, the story of the Last Judgment.

3d In agitated state over silly group of students outside (7)
NERVOUS – Anagram (silly) of OVER, with the acronym for a student political organisation wrapped around it.

5d Like some silly poetry — no lines scan, unfortunately (11)
NONSENSICAL – Anagram (unfortunately) of NO LINES SCAN, giving us a term which could be applied to the verse of Lear, Lewis Carroll, or Spike Milligan, among others.

6d Six feet under — or heading that way? (4,3)
LAID LOW – Cryptic definition of a phrase indicating that someone is very ill, or has succumbed.

7d Number performing — such may be in the groove (5)
TENON – A cardinal number followed by ‘performing’, like an artiste in the theatre, giving us the projection on one part of a joint which fits into the groove or mortise in the other.

8d Trying to convey excited ‘yes’ with a sign (8)
ESSAYING – Anagram (excited) of YES and A SIGN.

12d Hippie cells will have this important feature (11)
CENTREPIECE – This is a variant of a ‘hidden in the clue’ construction. Here we have the hidden word, but we also need to put in front of it a description of where it is found in the group of words concealing it.

15d Came across city, keeping on, as one having regular beat (9)
METRONOME – ‘Came across’ followed by a European capital city wrapped around ON (from the clue).

16d Played with IT, like groups at schools? (8)
STREAMED – A term for watching films or TV over the internet, which also described the practice of dividing schoolchildren into groups by reference to their overall ability.

18d Shivery nudes beginning to edge away — now possibly?! (7)
SUNDOWN – An all-in-one clue where we have an anagram (shivery) of NUD(e)S followed by an anagram (possibly) of NOW, and the whole clue defines the answer.

19d Top lady — see me turn up with crowd following (7)
EMPRESS – Reverse (turn up) ME (from the clue), then add a crowd or throng.

20d Group of stars with yen to hide in the underworld (6)
HYADES – The underworld in Greek mythology, with an abbreviation for Yen inserted.

22d Grand Old Man embracing the Parisian dolt (5)
GOLEM – The three-letter acronym for Grand Old Man wrapped around a French definite article to get a Yiddish term for a dolt or, more widely in Jewish folklore (and the Discworld series of Terry Pratchett) a human figure brought to life.

Apologies for the lack of any pictures or video. There were some technical issues behind the scenes this morning.

The Quick Crossword pun HURRY + KEYNES = HURRICANES


38 comments on “DT 28916

  1. Only held up by poor spelling. Soon sorted. Nice puzzle Thanks to Giovanni for setting it and Deep Threat for reviewing it. See you all on Monday. Play nicely children.

  2. Hands up anyone who had carboxite for 11a , and fry up for 21 across. I did and it took me an age for the penny to drop.Other than that a thoroughly pleasant solve, must award myself a 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat

    1. I didn’t have carboxite for 11 across, but couldn’t resist writing a (definitionless) clue for it: Sex in vehicle with pugilist finished early (9).

    2. I did think about carboxite but settled for carbonate as both magnesium and strontium carbonate are used in firework production. This was very stupid as not only could I not parse the “bonat” bit of my answer but those particular chemicals are used as colorants and not explosives.

      That in turn rendered 12d impossible, which would have been my favourite had I solved it! Perhaps that’s a new concept – a virtual favourite!

      Thanks to the setter and to DG.

      1. RD, you failed to solve a clue? That has to be a first for you. I think of you as our master solver, but you’re actually human.

        1. Oh no, Merusa. Thank you for the compliment but I’m very far from being a master solver, I simply have very strong opinions which I can’t help expressing.

          1. Strong opinions have nothing to do with it – I’m pretty opinionated, myself, but I struggle with so many setters. I think you’re brilliant, and that’s my opinion!!

    3. I had carbonite (an old mining explosive) for 11a and fry up for 21a. Why does the brain keep taking you back to try to the same word?
      Other than spending ages on those two a (nearly) solvable Giovanni for me.
      Thanks to Messers G & DT.
      Umbrellas up for the afternoon “Walkies” under ever-blackening skies.

      1. I did have fry up for ages til the hint put me right but 11a was pencilled in as CARTRIDGE. I have care in there and tidgy (almost) for little and it is a name I associated with guns and explosives. It was my last in and checkers got me over the line and BRB has my answer as a synonym of the correct one. Close but no cigar.
        Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

    4. I had to visit thevBRB for the definition, I thought 11a was the Egyptian symbol containing a pharaohs name

      1. It is I think they have the same name as the Egyptian symbol is the same shape as a cartridge/cartouche

  3. I didn’t find this as straightforward as our blogger, but thoroughly enjoyed the challenge nonetheless. My favourite clue was 12d from many fine constructions. A couple of new words, but solid wordplay enabled me to solve them.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  4. Another fine crossword off the Giovanni production line .
    NW corner last in due to 1A & 11A being new to me . A few excellent clues with 7D my favourite , so simple yet clever .
    Biggest laugh of the day down to the new word on Page 31 of the paper !
    Thanks to everyone .

  5. I found this at least **** for difficulty.
    Long time to get going, once done, flowed , perhaps, slowly, as I constructed, correctly, words new to me eg 20d and 22d.
    Very satisfying, all in all.
    Many thanks Giovanni, and DT for the review..

  6. I too found this trickier than expected – on the cusp of a transfer to the middle of the paper – perhaps it was due to solving it later in the day than usual following a very wet and windy not very successful shopping trip

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  7. This one goes in my stinker file, struggled to get a start with the anagrams, but failed miserably with the rest.
    Anyway thanks to Deep Threat and to Giovanni.

  8. I agree with DT’s * ratings for this very pleasant end to the work week completed at a fast canter.

    Standout favourite – 13a!

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  9. Not my favourite puzzle of the week but I’m aware that I often say that where this setter’s crosswords are concerned. Other people obviously find them satisfying so I’m happy to accept that it’s just a wavelength issue that I seem to have!

    Thanks to DG and to DT for battling on despite the ‘technical’ troubles.

  10. Fun exercise from Giovanni which was fine in the East but West, particularly NW, was a bit more challenging. Not sure about neglected in 17a. 20d group of stars new to me. Initially tried to use saltpetre for 11a. No Fav to single out. Thanks To The Don and DT.

  11. I started out at a sprint, but then started slowing down, getting one wrong in the NE didn’t help.
    I didn’t get 12d or 22d, but I had no problem with 11a as I know nothing about chemistry.
    I enjoyed this and was by and large on wavelength. Fave was 23a, rolls off the tongue.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat, sorry about the techie problems.

  12. I found this one harder than yesterday. So I would put yesterday’s at *** and today’s at ****, both very enjoyable. Thank you to all concerned.

  13. Too hard for me – more difficult than either of yesterday’s. A dearth of any answers in the NE meant no chance of even solving with e-help!

  14. Finished but with some questions.
    How does one get centrepiece from 12d, where does the Hippie fit in?
    Also 18d, why sundown, just don’t get it.
    I found this some way below the high standard of a Giovanni.
    Thx to all.

  15. A bit of unfamiliar vocabulary eased this into *** territory, but only just. 11ac, my last one in, was especially tricky. 20d I trusted to the wordplay on and was pleased to be correct. Rather liked 12d. A nice end to the working week.

  16. I really enjoyed today’s challenge. It took me an age to get going but thereafter it was a steady solve. No real favourites; 12d would have been except it was a bung-in, but yes, an excellent crossword regardless.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  17. Are you serious…2 stars for difficulty…Cartouche….Centrepiece…Polyphony….Hyades…your to clever for me…cheers anyway…doug smith

  18. I had a right old tussle with this one, it took several passes and I had to finish it in bed. It was a significant challenge (by back-page standards) with great clues and a very enjoyable solve with a sense of achievement on completion. It was well above average and how anyone can rate it 2* (below average) for difficulty is beyond me. 4* / 4.5*

  19. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from the Don. Which I found very tricky. Like Brian I had only heard of 11a as a case for Egyptian mummies. I was completely baffled by 12&2d. The latter is now a bit clearer, having just read the first few lines of the Last Judgement. Hadn’t heard of 23a,and couldn’t get 27a. Favourite was 1a. Was 4*/3* for me.

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