DT 28993 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28993

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28993

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright morning.

A gentle workout from Giovanni this morning, with only one slightly unusual word.

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           He is officer getting drunk — what’s the drink? (5,6)
IRISH COFFEE – Anagram (getting drunk) of HE IS OFFICER.

Image result for irish coffee

10a         Home pet, terribly clumsy (5)
INEPT – Another word for ‘at home’ followed by an anagram (terribly) of PET.

11a         Singer in incomplete command, needing to hold key (9)
CONTRALTO – Another word for ‘command’ minus its final letter (incomplete) wrapped around a key on a computer keyboard.

12a         Daughter is taking time — in that there is no shame (9)
DISHONOUR – Put together Daughter, IS (from the clue), and a period of time wrapped around NO (from the clue).

13a         A hundred hurry — there’s this danger with stampede (5)
CRUSH – The Roman numeral for a hundred followed by another word for ‘hurry’.

14a         Hurry to engage trendy French dramatist (6)
RACINE – Another word for ‘hurry’ (but not the same one as in 13a) wrapped around ‘trendy’, giving us a 17th-century French tragedian.

Image result for racine

16a         A learner with aim to get into vehicle for a series of dates (8)
CALENDAR – Put together A (from the clue), Learner, and an aim or objective, then wrap a motor vehicle around the result.

18a         Recommend veto, a cad needing to be dealt with (8)
ADVOCATE – Anagram (needing to be dealt with) of VETO A CAD.

20a         Important Arab severe, no end, with condition laid down (6)
SHARIF – Another word for ‘severe’ (of a frost, perhaps) with its final letter removed, followed by a conjunction imposing a condition. The answer is a descendant of the prophet Mohammed through his daughter Fatima (or the surname of a bridge-playing film star of yesteryear).

23a         No fabric for putting around a bit of wood? (5)
TENON – Put together NO (from the clue) and a light fabric, then reverse the result (putting around) to get part of a wooden joint.

Image result for tenon

24a         Big river or little one gone arid unfortunately (3,6)
RIO GRANDE – Anagram (unfortunately) of the Roman numeral for one an abbreviation for River and GONE ARID. Thanks to those who spotted the error.

26a         King Baddy in simplistic story (9)
NARRATIVE – The Latin abbreviation for ‘king’ and a baddy or traitor, with another word for ‘simplistic’ wrapped around them.

27a         Linger as husband left after others have gone? (5)
HOVER – The abbreviation for Husband followed by ‘left after others have gone’.

28a         Hemmed in by youngsters, great man falls apart, broken (11)
FRAGMENTARY – Anagram (falls apart) of GREAT MAN, with some young fish wrapped around the result.


2d           Grasses about to meet newspaper folk? (5)
REEDS – The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’ followed by the plural of the usual crossword journalists.

3d           Strike is upsetting local community — 500 involved (3-4)
SIT-DOWN – Reverse (upsetting) IS (from the clue), then add a local community bigger than a village, with the Roman numeral for 500 inserted into it.

4d           Two firms operating in a secure environment (6)
COCOON – Two instances of the abbreviation for a firm or company, followed by ‘operating’, producing the secure environment where a silkworm caterpillar turns into a moth.

Image result for cocoon

5d           Enjoyment before almost everyone becomes gloomy (8)
FUNEREAL – Put together ‘enjoyment’, ‘before’, and ‘everyone’ with its last letter removed (almost).

6d           Not all hear a cheer — a problem for some listeners (7)
EARACHE – Hidden in the clue. The ‘listeners’ are a part of the body.

7d           More helpful, having reformed strange facilities for youngsters (13)
KINDERGARTENS – Another word for ‘more helpful’ or ‘gentler’, followed by an anagram (reformed) of STRANGE.

8d           Struggle as a swimmer in the sea (8)
FLOUNDER – Double definition, the first being a verb, the second a small flat fish.

9d           Ornamental material revealed by girl’s mum (6-2-5)
MOTHER-OF-PEARL – Some nacreous material found on the inside of an oyster shell which could also be a phrase describing a particular girl’s mum.

Image result for mother of pearl

15d         Female gang to afflict Midlands city (8)
COVENTRY – A group of (female) witches followed by ‘to afflict’. The answer has a rugby team supported by our Monday blogger.

Image result for coventry godiva statue

17d         What sounds like excellent university in Scotland (8)
STIRLING – This university in Scotland is a homophone (sounds like) of a word for ‘excellent’ or a measure of the purity of silver coinage.

19d         Dog outside hospital department, a beast seemingly half human (7)
CENTAUR – A disparaging word for a dog, wrapped around the usual hospital department and A (from the clue).

Image result for centaur

21d         Difficult to deal with that topless ‘nutcase’ (4,3)
HARD HAT – The first word is ‘difficult to deal with’, the second is (t)HAT (from the clue) with its first letter removed. The definition in the clue is a cryptic description of the function of the answer.

22d         Dad and I heard comic sailor (6)
POPEYE – An informal word for ‘dad’ followed by a homophone (heard) of I, producing a spinach-guzzling cartoon character.

25d         Soldier ultimately quits on promotion? Under no circumstances! (5)
NEVER – Put together the final letter (ultimately) of soldieR and ‘quits’ or ‘level’, then reverse (on promotion) the result.

The Quick Crossword pun HASTE + HACKS = HAYSTACKS

44 comments on “DT 28993

  1. Early start for me today and, after a slow start, it all fell into place extremely satisfactorily. There wasn’t a single clue, where having solved it, I tutted – always a sign of my enjoyment. I was surprised at the end when my iPad told me that I had something wrong. Upon investigation I found I’d put the wrong third letter in 17d – plain stupid,

    Many thanks to DT and to Giovanni (I think my favourite setter)

    1. Sorry, I forgot to mention- am I missing something in 24a because the anagram doesn’t work for me?

      1. The ‘little one’ refers to the abbreviation for (another) river, so it is R + GONEARID (unfortunately)

    2. Me too with the wrong letter. I saw Bob Dylan at the castle there July 13th 2001 The height of summer. it poured with rain and was really cold. The curry house afterwards was full of people who had attended the concert. Steam was rising from each and every one of them. We blagged our way in ahead of the masses and leant on the barrier right at the front

  2. A slight pause while I checked 20a; other than that, a gentle and pleasant solve.

    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT.

  3. I found this the easiest puzzle of the week. There is not much more to say. Nice to see a mention of my home city, Thanks to Giovanni for that and for the rest of the puzzle. Thanks to DT for the review, especially The lady Godiva statue from Broadgate. It was unveiled by the wife of the American ambassador. I often wonder what her name was. She is only ever called ‘The wife of the American ambassador. It would not do for Julia Gillard who was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning and it doesn’t really do for me. Play nicely now children. I will see you all on Monday

    1. All of the contemporary reports of the unveiling ceremony just refer to her husband. We have come a long way since then.

  4. Giovanni comes up trumps again with another delightful puzzle. SE corner was last to succumb. 12a was a bung-in until DT made all clear. Can’t pick a Fav from so many great clues. TVM Giovanni and DT.

  5. Very friendly from Giovanni this morning with nothing to hold me up during the completion. I would pick 7d as my COTD.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  6. No problems today , gentle and enjoyable with 9d giving a big smile 😊.

    Thanks to everyone.

  7. A very pleasant and enjoyable end to the work week completed at a gallop – **/****.

    For probably the first time with a Giovanni, I did not need to use any of the ‘white space’ on my sheet of paper.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 8d, and 9d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. A relaxed and enjoyable puzzle with a few good geographical clues, which I always enjoy. Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovanni

  9. With regard to 23a, the answer is as the photo provided above, but not “a piece of wood” Am I missing something!?

    1. Perhaps Giovanni never took woodwork at school and so he added the ? at the end of the clue for good measure.

  10. What a delightful puzzle! Not much head scratching but a plethora of witty and ingenious clues kept me entertained over my elevenses. It’s the first time I’ve completed a Giovanni so quickly without resorting to the hints. Thanks to G and DT.

  11. Well, that one didn’t trouble the scorers. Enjoyable, but over very quickly. Can’t pick out a particular favourite.

  12. That was lovely, restored this beginner’s self-confidence after a few tricky days. Learned something new from 14a and 20a – undoubtedly once I’ve lived in Crosswordland a little longer I’ll see these again. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  13. No problems apart from having to google the obscure French dramatist and I was a little uncomfortable with 23a. A tenon is a wooden joint not really a piece of wood, picky but a bit sloppy for Giovanni.
    I suppose 14a qualifies for a Giovanni weird word, new to me anyway.
    Thx to all esp for explaining 15d which now makes sense.

    1. I have found his really weird word, it is in the Quickie – stone tools- and the answer either singular or plural is not in the the BRB. Naughty G.

      1. I haven’t got the BRB with me but I’m surprised as the word has been in crosswords on many occasions. The office Collins dictionary mentions the plural word when defining the related adjective

      2. I don’t think G’s been naughty Brian – it’s quite a well known word, if you know it, that is.

  14. 1*/3*. Light but fun. That’s two Fridays on the trot which I have enjoyed. I even thought that the “girl” in 9d was fine as part of that specific clue/answer, so much so that it was my favourite today. Long may this trend continue!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT, particularly for the parsing of 25d which eluded me.

  15. very enjoyable thanks DT and Giovanni. I don’t think the French consider 14a to be obscure. Bit like us thinking that Shakespeare is obscure. Chambers has the stone tools word.

    1. Yes, I agree re the French playwright. I think most English speaking people would recognize the name, as I expect most French know of Shakespeare.

  16. Like last Friday’s, this was fairly mild for a G but still just about up to the norm for a general back-pager. The clues were mostly very good and it was certainly an enjoyable solve. 23a: I thought “a bit of wood” = TENON was stretching things a bit, but maybe just about OK in the context of a cryptic clue. Favs: 26a and 28a. 2.5* / 3*

  17. Giovanni in almost too benevolent mood today! Pleasant enough but over very quickly. And no, I don’t want to get involved with the toughie.
    No real stand outs.
    Thanks to the Don, and to DT for the review.

  18. Not at all tricky although I had to confirm the French dramatist – put me vaguely in mind of rat poison!
    Like RD, for once I was OK with the ‘girl’ in 9d and her Mum topped my list for favourite.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  19. **(*)/***. I have put a third * in brackets as when I read through this puzzle yesterday evening I still had a lot of white space. This morning I completed it over a single cup of tea. Bizarre! Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  20. Nice easy puzzle to end the week 😃 Although I did need DT to explain a couple of answers that I had put in 😳 Thanks to him and to Giovanni 🤗 **/*** Favourites were 12 and 28 across

  21. Another enjoyable Giovanni. I did need the hints to help unravel 3d and 25d.
    Fave was 9d but 7d close behind.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the fun.

  22. Thoroughly enjoyed and completed within just a couple of hints from Deep Threat, so,definitely a benign Giovanni today. 28a was last in, but no real hold ups today, except for 14d, never heard of that chap. Thanks to all.

  23. Friendly & entertaining from a benevolent Giovanni…. one of the best this week, great clues my favourite was 9d.
    2*/4* thanks to DT & Giovanni

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