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DT 28963

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28963

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a cold but not snowy morning. It was good to meet some of you at the Birthday Bash on Saturday, though my late arrival meant that I missed a good many of you.

I found Giovanni to be in benevolent mood this week, with the obscurer bits of the puzzle readily gettable from the wordplay.

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           Professional footballer recompensed (4,4)
PAID BACK – An adjective relating to being professional, as opposed to amateur, followed by a position on the football field.

5a           River mouth, a mess to some extent (6)
THAMES – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for thames

9a           Found to be better again (9)
RECOVERED – Double definition, the first a synonym of ‘found’ (something lost or stolen).

11a         Public address system’s beginning to go off? Bother! (5)
ANNOY – Remove the first letter (beginning to go off) from a brand name of a public address system.

12a         Restaurants with noise — listeners are initially put off (6)
DINERS – Put together another word for noise and the things you listen with, then remove the first letter of Are.

13a         I’m a bit silly about wanting to succeed (8)
AMBITION – Anagram (silly) of I’M A BIT, followed by ‘about’ or ‘concerning’.

15a         Nice humans troubled with bug, a potential killer (10-3)
SUBMACHINE-GUN – Anagram (troubled) of NICE HUMANS and BUG.

18a         I’d crashed, trip being hazardous for messenger? (8,5)
DISPATCH RIDER – Anagram (being hazardous) of I’D CRASHED TRIP.

Image result for dispatch rider

22a         Disease, the same as before, on a grand scale spreading round (8)
EPIDEMIC – The Latin word for ‘the same as before’ with ‘on a grand scale’ (like a Cecil B de Mille film, perhaps) wrapped around it.

23a         Dance American country girl ignored repeatedly (6)
CANCAN – Remove a girl’s name from the northernmost country in North America, then repeat the exercise and put the two results together.

26a         Jump out of bed and dress? (3-2)
GET-UP – Double definition, the second being a noun phrase.

27a         A regiment, having been trained, shoot (9)
GERMINATE – Anagram (having been trained) of A REGIMENT. The shooting here is done by a plant seed.

28a         Most horrific little woman given support (6)
DIREST – The short form of a woman’s name (a princess, perhaps) followed by a support of the sort found built into pieces of furniture.

29a         Christian maybe left awful church with little hesitation (8)
FLETCHER – Put together an anagram (awful) of LEFT, an abbreviation for church, and a hesitation, and you get thefirst name of Mr Christian of the Bounty .


1d           Padre is excited about a heavenly destination (8)
PARADISE – Anagram (excited) of PADRE IS wrapped around A (from the clue).

2d           Home container associated with ancient culture (5)
INCAN – The usual word for ‘at home’ followed by a metal container, giving us an adjective related to an old American culture.

3d           British song about a very small part of Germany (7)
BAVARIA – An abbreviation for British and an operatic song, placed either side of A (from the clue) and an abbreviation (small) for Very.

4d           Float in Irish port (4)
CORK – Double definition, the first being a noun.

6d           Getting better in hospital somewhere in London (7)
HEALING Hospital followed by one of those places at the western end of the District and Central lines.

7d           Brought up as chaps to dine in fancy style (9)
MENTIONED – Another word for ‘chaps’ followed by an anagram (in fancy style) of TO DINE.

8d           Gnome always covered in grass (6)
SAYING – A poetic word for ‘always’ with the criminal slang for ‘grass’ or ‘inform on’ wrapped around it. ‘Gnome’ here is not the little chap found in some gardens, but a pithy and sententious utterance.

10d         Island party has little Bill turning up (8)
DOMINICA – Put together one of the usual crossword parties, a prefix indicating smallness (in skirts, for example), and the reverse (turning up) of an abbreviation for a bill or account.

Image result for dominica

14d         Second audience for pianist (8)
SHEARING – An abbreviation for Second followed by another word for an audience (in court, perhaps), giving us the surname of George, a British jazz pianist who died in 2011.

16d         Spooner’s mentioned very cold accommodation (9)
BEDSITTER – Start with another word for ‘mentioned’ and an adjective for ‘very cold’ (weather), then apply the Spooner treatment to get a small area of living accommodation.

17d         Step taken around northern biblical city reveals splendour (8)
GRANDEUR – A step along a pathway of competence (think music exams, for example) is wrapped around Northern, and followed by the usual Chaldean city.

19d         Healthy places for housing the female mountaineers? (7)
SHERPAS – Insert a pronoun for ‘the female’ into some health resorts, and you get these inhabitants of the Himalayas.

20d         Engineer among the top people who may look for practical solution (7)
REALIST – The initials of one of the usual regiments of engineers followed by an expression (1-4) for the people invited to all the best social events.

21d         Asked to have breakfast in bed? (6)
BEGGED – BED (from the clue) wrapped around something you might have for breakfast.

24d         Train or bus? (5)
COACH – Double definition, the first being a verb.

25d         Like some tradition used by moralists (4)
ORAL – Hidden in the last word of the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun FALLEN + TIERS = VOLUNTEERS

60 comments on “DT 28963

  1. Top half went in comparatively easily but the bottom section put up more of a struggle .

    Enjoyed the contest with 23A favourite .

    Not too much snow here but enough to avoid going to Tai Chi class .

    Trust everyone ok .

  2. 2*/1*. Not at all difficult but not much fun. I hope others will have enjoyed it. Thanks to setter and DT.

  3. I agree that this was The Don in a very benign mood this chilly morning. I am going to break the habit of a lifetime and nominate the Spoonerism at 16d as my favourite. I must be running a temperature………

    Thanks to Giovanni for the very enjoyable challenge and to DT.

  4. Yes, Mr Manley in a very benevolent frame of mind today which allowed for completion at a fast gallop – 1.5*/2.5*.

    I even managed the Spoonerism without any head scratching – so I will nominate that as my favourite.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  5. This was a tad under par for the usually excellent G, but no complaints as it was still an enjoyable solve. Favs: 8d and 10d, with its nifty bit of misdirection via a false capital. 2.5* / 3.5*

  6. Enjoyed that while it lasted but really sorry when it ended. North beat South to it. Failed to parse 22a, 25a and stupidly also 23a. Fav 21d. Thanks as always Giovanni and DT.

  7. A pretty straightforward offering for Friday, which kept me occupied while watching the snow fly outside. The south east corner was more challenging than the north west. My favourite was 8d, where the word gnome eluded me until I remembered the Greek for a piece of wisdom.

  8. 29 across appealed to my sense of humour today. This very gentle, but enjoyable offering has rounded of quite an undemanding week of cryptic puzzles. Hoping the Toughie proves as doable as the other three this week have done, but I’m not counting any chickens yet. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  9. Thank goodness for the lack of obscurities today!

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – so nice to catch up with both you and Mrs DT last weekend.

  10. Relatively straightforward and relatively enjoyable. LOI was 8d and I needed electronic help with it. I couldn’t parse 23a but then how many girls do you know called Ada…exactly! I’d never heard of 14d or 29a but they were clued fairly enough to get them from the checkers and wordplay. I liked lots of the others but have no particular favourite. 2.5*/2.5*

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his imformative review

  11. A ‘quiet’ end to the week a bit lacking in sparkle.
    Going for a **/**.
    Liked 29 a when the penny dropped, and 23a..Thanks DT for the pic-watched it three times.

  12. I usually find the Friday offering the best of the week but did not really enjoy this one.

    Felt 8d belonged to Toughie territory with its obscure alternative meaning of gnome, SE corner needed the hints, thanks DT.

    Liked 1a, the rest all felt a bit of a plod.

    Roll on the weekend!

  13. This just sort of filled itself in which is unusual for a Friday solve. Even the Spoonerism went in without effort. Play nicely children and I will see you all on Monday

  14. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle 😃 It is nice to solve a puzzle without having to resort books😬**/*** Favourites 11a & 14d, 8d was a new meaning for me 🤔 Thanks to Giovanni and to DT enjoyed both the video clips 😜

  15. Greeting from a very snowy Cornwall, it was batten down the hatches lastnight. Another great puzzle from the Don, I couldn’t sort out 2d so resorted to electronic help.
    Lots of really good brain teasersthough.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and The Don.

  16. Managed to complete this one after a struggle but 25d is a bung in as I cannot see what the answer has to do with tradition. Anyone enlighten me please? Thanks to setter and DT

    1. Rod, “oral tradition” is a term for information passed down through generations by word of mouth.

  17. Mostly almost a R&W except for 8d, not a meaning for Gnome that I have ever come across before (you always learn something new with a Giovanni puzzle). I thought 16d was a bit clumsy for a Giovanni clue.
    However, very enjoyable and a good one for anyone new to cryptics.
    Thx to all

  18. Mostly enjoyable but had to resort to thesaurus for 8d – not in Chambers. Favourite was 29a. Thanks DT and the Don

  19. Fairly straightforward with a couple of notable exceptions. I did not see an indication of a homophone in 16d so needed DTs hint. Still don’t see how it was “sed” though.
    Also I am perplexed as to why girl’s names etc attract little negative comment on a Friday but do on Mr Ron days.
    Overall quite enjoyable **/***.
    Thanks to setter & DT.

    1. Think we’ve all given up when it comes to DG using versions of forenames but maybe there’s still hope of dissuading our Mr. Rons!

    2. Enough sed “said” about Giovanni’s use of forenames.

      Most Compilers have been using them for years and years!

      1. I was pointing out that there appears to be an ambivalence regarding the use of names that is not aired on Fridays. Janes’ reply confirms that & gives me, a relative newcomer, a simple explanation.
        I have less trouble with girls’ or boys names than I do with flower, town or river names, so it doesn’t bother me either way.

            1. There’s a lot in Jamaica that comes from Welsh, Pantrepant, Llandovery, and so on. One is tups, pronounced halfway between “tups” and “toops”. It means a little bit – “would you like some sugar in your tea?”, “Yes, thank you, just a tups.”

    3. Sed is in the BRB as a ‘Miltonic’ (after the poet Milton) version of said, so it is a synonym of mentioned in its own right.

        1. Don’t worry too much – it only became knowledge for me earlier today and I doubt that I will remember it for very long.

        2. Don’t forget, Spoonerisms are just clever constructions that involve swapping letters around to give rhyming syllables, part-words or whole words with an amusing/rude upshot. The resulting rhyming elements don’t necessarily all have to be spelt correctly or appear in dictionaries – they just need to have the same sound. I learned all about Spoonerisms in the Sixth Form in the late 60s from my then classmate Mary Hough.

          * See what I did there?

  20. 3/3. 8d threw me until I looked in my BRB. Glad I got 23a. Trickier for me than many who commented but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to all.

  21. I agree with the other comments..very benign and over too quickly.
    2 favourites which made me smile..the breakfast in bed and poor Ada getting ignored twice.
    Have a great weekend .

  22. A fairly relaxed way to end the working week. 29a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  23. Friday is more difficult than Sunday for me.
    Top half was ok, the bottom half a mystery.
    After 3 years of doing the DT back-pager, most of Giovanni’s clues still go over my head.
    Thanks all

  24. 8d was new to me. 16d was favourite because I managed to fill a spoonerism straight in. It was an easy one though. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  25. A very kindly Giovanni today, enjoyed it all.
    I did need to google the gnome, never heard of it. If you learn something new every day, your day has not been wasted.
    Last in was 16d, I saw the word Spooner and hit a mental block – when will I ever learn.
    Fave was 23a, took me ages to see it but thought it very clever.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat for the fun.

  26. I’m a bit late here today for various reasons, all of them unimportant, but put together have occupied hours.
    For me this was a typical Giovanni Friday crossword but without any sport, religion, music or obscure words.
    Nothing made me laugh – I do really need something to give me a giggle to enjoy a crossword.
    I’d forgotten the 8d gnome but have met him before and I’m not sure that 21d ‘breakfast’ has to equal ‘eggs’ – who last had an egg for breakfast – more likely, in any shape or form, supper in our house.
    Oh well – I got the feeling that Giovanni ran out of steam towards the end of setting this one.
    I quite liked 29a and my favourite was the Spoonerism – aren’t they always – I know I’m in the minority here.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DTY/

    1. OK – I give in. Breakfast for me can’t be anything but toast (made from homemade brown bread) and marmalade (needless to say homemade too).

  27. A kindly offering from the Don for me tonight.
    Read & write until the SW corner which slowed me to an amble! Still good enough for a 2*/3.5*
    Thanks to the Don & DT.

  28. Did quite well at work but a few left in the South. I had a cup of coffee in a Costa while waiting for mam to have her barnet done. A few hints later and the rest tumbled in. Thanks to DT and EDT for the hints and the company at the bash. Thanks too to Gio for a great puzzle. Only real holdup was the pianist at 14d but I blame my almost total lack of Jazz awareness. The wordplay gave me the answer anyway and DT’s hint confirmed it. It seems as though my spoonerism blind spot is getting better too.

      1. Thanks BD. I will give it a listen but my tin ear for jazz is probably going to come into effect.
        But Mr Cole was a good singer.

  29. Just logged on again and found that my comments posted at about 8pm had disappeared. Shall not repeat but just send my thanks.

    1. Welcome to the blog David

      Our guidance for hints discourages the use of components of the answer unles they are explicitly given in the clue. Here in the comments that is not the case.

      8d Gnome always covered in grass (6)
      AY, a poetic word for always, goes inside (covered in) SING, a verb meaning to grass or inform on, to give SAYING. One of the definitions of gnome in Chambers is “a pithy and sententious saying, generally in verse, embodying some moral sentiment or precept”.

  30. not to do with any of the clues above, but can someone tell me if there is a specific name for an anagram which is totally appropriate to its source, as ..



    1. Good question but no good one word answer !

      Used “appropriate anagram” in the past when setting quizzes .

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