DT 28999 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28999

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28999

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs as the equinoctial gales continue to blow.

I found Giovanni to be in somewhat trickier mode than for the last couple of weeks, though as usual the more obscure answers could be teased out of 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           Cringe maybe as a cricketing failure (4)
DUCK – Double definition: a physical action; or a failure to score any runs.

3a           Disorderly males in bus that cannot be overlooked (10)
UNMISSABLE – Anagram (disorderly) of MALES IN BUS.

9a           Good antique? It’s very valuable (4)
GOLD Good followed by ‘antique’.

10a         Like relatively cheaper goods not considered (10)
DISCOUNTED – This word for ‘not considered’ could also refer to goods which have a reduced price.

11a         Equipment carried by wicked English group (7)
BRIGADE – Another word for ‘wicked’ wrapped around some equipment or kit, followed by English.

13a         Descended from mountain maybe and became depressed (3,4)
GOT DOWN – A metaphor for ‘became depressed’ with a literal meaning of ‘descended’ from a mountain or height.

14a         What’s patriot done wrong to become exile? (11)
DEPORTATION – Anagram (wrong) of PATRIOT DONE.

18a         Pilgrim’s passage, very short, a road so fouled up with oil (3,8)
VIA DOLOROSA Very followed by an anagram (fouled up) of A ROAD SO and OIL. The answer is a Christian devotion, following the traditional footsteps of Christ on his way to Calvary.

21a         Gem fairy’s presented to Dorothy (7)
PERIDOT – Another word for a fairy followed by a short form of Dorothy.

Image result for peridot

22a         Sword inflicted wound on girl (7)
CUTLASS – Split the answer (3,4) and you have ‘inflicted wound on’ and ‘girl’.

23a         Appealed to umpire — not out! — start of debate thereafter (10)
IMPORTUNED – Anagram (out) UMPIRE NOT, followed by the first letter of Debate.

24a         From what we hear, disease was airborne (4)
FLEW – A homophone (from what we hear) of a common disease.

25a         Over-scrupulous activity of school nurse? (3-7)
NIT-PICKING – An adjectival phrase describing someone who seeks out the tiniest fault in something, or what the school nurse did when we all had to line up to have our heads inspected.

26a         Children’s game is quiet before end of party (1-3)
I-SPY – Put together IS (from the clue), the musical symbol for quiet, and the last letter of partY.

Image result for i spy news chronicle


1d           Menial worker torments organisation (8)
DOGSBODY – A verb meaning ‘torments’ or ‘worries’ (as in ‘his life was —— by ill-health’) followed by a general term for an organisation or group of people.

2d           Manage to include everybody and one could be an inspiration for poets (8)
CALLIOPE – Put together ‘everybody’ and the Roman numeral for one, then wrap ‘manage’ or ‘get by’ around the result, to get one of the nine Muses, in this case the one responsible for epic poetry.

Image result for calliope

4d           Uproar is interrupting one terribly (5)
NOISE Anagram (terribly) of ONE wrapped around IS (from the clue).

5d           Belonging to firm, idiot in journey is hiding identity (9)
INCOGNITO – Put together ‘belonging to’ or ‘part of’, an abbreviation for a firm or company, and a verb meaning ‘journey’ wrapped around an idiot.

6d           Excluding from building in street, home with disease (8,3)
SHUTTING OUT – The abbreviation for STreet wrapped around a small, often temporary, building, followed by ‘at home’ and a disease causing swollen joints, especially in the big toe.

7d           Cigarette end on bit of the mattress? (6)
BUTTON – A cigarette end followed by ON (from the clue).

Image result for mattress button

8d           Posting the first bit out and the last (6)
ENDING – Remove the first letter (first bit out) from a synonym of ‘posting’ (a letter).

12d         Succeed for the first time, having cried desperately for so long (11)
ARRIVEDERCI – A verb meaning ‘succeed’ or ‘attain’, followed by an anagram (desperately) of CRIED. The answer is an Italian expression.

15d         One wild young fellow easily made money (1,4,4)
A FAST BUCK – Put together synonyms of ‘one’, ‘wild’ and ‘young fellow’ to get this phrase for money made quickly and without too much consideration for the consequences.

16d         Work set up on benches, drinks being provided (8)
POTABLES – Reverse (set up, in a Down clue) an abbreviation for a musical work, followed by some benches (the sort you work at, not the ones you sit on).

17d         Perish, taking a route south of col (4,4)
PASS AWAY – A col or passage through the mountains followed by (south of, in a Down clue) A (from the clue) and a route or path.

19d         Possibility of non-parents taking caring role with a daughter not wanted (6)
OPTION – Start with a word used to describe the process where people who are not a child’s parents take on the responsibility of looking after it as if they were, then remove A (from the clue) and Daughter from the front of it.

20d         A sort of hollow — pram is awkward going over it (6)
ARMPIT – Anagram (awkward) of PRAM followed by IT (from the clue).

22d         Cold meat must be hygienic (5)
CLEAN Cold followed by the part of meat that Jack Spratt’s wife couldn’t eat.

In the light of today’s events in New Zealand, our thoughts go out to all those in the homeland of our friends, the 2 Kiwis.

The Quick Crossword pun CORE + SICKENS = CORSICANS

57 comments on “DT 28999

  1. 2.5*/3*. Another pleasant Friday puzzle making three in a row.

    I’ve never heard of 18a, but the answer was easily derivable from the anagram fodder and checkers. I’m not sure what purpose “from mountain maybe” is serving in 13a, and the definition in 7d seems very bizarre.

    25a, 1d & 19d made it to my podium. 1d provided me with an enjoyable moment of nostalgia by reminding me of the wonderful Jennings’ books from my youth. 60 years on, I recalled the exchange soon after Jennings first arrived at prep school. He was puzzled why Charles Temple, one of the other boys at the school, had the nickname “Bod”. The explanation still makes me smile, something along the following lines (with profuse apologies to those who don’t share my sense of humour):

    “His initials are CAT so naturally we call him Dog”
    “But you don’t call him Dog”
    “No, we call him Dogsbody for short”
    “But Dogsbody isn’t short”
    “Exactly. That’s why we call him Bod. Don’t you new oiks understand anything?”

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. 18a is a famous pilgrimage in Jerusalem where the stations of the cross are, featured particularly on Good Friday.

      1. Thank you very much, Merusa. I’ll try to remember that for the next time it crops up.

    2. RD In 13a could “mountain maybe” be referencing to down as in south downs ( hills,)?

        1. Thank you for your suggestion, LROK. I was fighting the scam pop-ups all afternoon yesterday when using my Android phone to access the site. Immediately after I had managed to post my reply above to Merusa I was unable to navigate the site without the pop-ups blocking me. Touch wood, switching my phone browser to Firefox seems to have solved the problem.

          Your idea is certainly inventive but, given his normally very precise cluing, I think it’s quite unlikely that Giovanni would use “down” to refer to “downs”.

          1. RD
            What I was saying is down si gular is (BRB) a treelessupland. The South Downs is just a serires of them. Many mountains fall into the BRB definition. It was because of Giovanni’s precision that I felt he would not use something that was redundant.
            I keep getting gremlins & things disappearing sometimes but perseverence is worth it for this site.
            Pop ups are so frustrating & users like you moving to other browsers may make them see that, or perhaps not….

          2. I’m having the same problem tonight using Chrome and only when trying to enter this site. Never happened to me before. I’ve taken a copy of the offending url and will report them.

    3. Thank you for reminding me of that. Took me back to my childhood. I used to love the Jennings novels too. Oh and enjoyed the grid tough but fair.

  2. I didn’t find Giovanni to be particularly tricky today which is a good thing as it left me more time to tackle the tricky one in the middle of the paper, while trying not to scratch my head which is what reading the first word of 25a always tends to make me want to do

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  3. I have to disagree with DT, I thought this was a very benevolent, most enjoyable Giovanni completed at a fast gallop – **/*****.

    My only use of the white space on my sheet of paper was to break one of MP’s non-rules and write out one of the anagrams, while always breaking one of his other non-rules of using paper and pencil!

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 25a, and 8d – and the winner is 25a.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  4. 25a my favourite in this fairly testing Giovanni offering. As DT says, any obscurities could be derived from the wordplay, so no issues there. Overall pleasantly enjoyable and a satisfying solve.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  5. Thanks DT and Setter (Big G?)

    Was hoping for a Pangram but a very enjoyable trot around the grid nonetheless

  6. I enjoyed this Giovanni puzzle, which had some wily clues and interesting answers. It was not one of his most difficult offerings, however. My favourite clues were 2d, 5d, 6d, 12d and 18a. Thanks to G and to Deep Threat for the hints.

  7. No real problems here today. Everything was gettable from the definitions or by playing with the wordplay. No pencils needed. Gold Cup day Today Lots of Rugby tomorrow. Out with the outlaws on Sunday. Play nicely children and if I survive I will see you all on Monday.

  8. A nice, medium-difficulty puzzle from G. The clues were mostly good and it was an enjoyable solve. 25a: This reminded me of my time at Fernilee Infants School in the 50s, where there was only one classroom and 8 pupils. Every now and then, we had to stand in a line and a stout, stern-looking woman (the “nit-nurse”) came along behind us to give our hair a good rummaging through, searching for nits and bugs. No particular favourites today. 3* / 4*

  9. Once more Giovanni comes up trumps for me and I enjoyed every minute of this solve. After cold the 22d reference is surely an adjective so not really synonym for meat (except possibly chez Jack Sprat). Can’t single out a Fav ‘cos there are so many goodies. Thank you DG and DT. 👍🏻🌹.

  10. All finished over a cup of tea, albeit the tea went cold. Lots of ticks, so no overall favourite. I managed to get 2d from the wordplay but had to google it. I’m not sure I’ve seen it before, but no doubt Mr Kitty might be on the case. Thank you setter and Deep Threat. I’m a much happier Florence today now I’ve got my car back from breaking down on the motorway on Tuesday, resulting in trips in two break down trucks. Fuel injection problem now sorted. The car was only serviced three weeks ago!

    1.   Mon 24 Jun 2002   DT 23777   A poet may rely upon visit that is about work (8)
        Fri 4 Feb 2005   DT 24594   Muse’s name that is written on the outside of work (8)
        Thu 12 Nov 2015   DT 27957   Muse about everything that is about work (8)
        Thu 30 Oct 2008   Toughie 35   Just one Muse here? Manage to include each and every one (8)
        Thu 17 Sep 2015   Toughie 1467   Muse about rise of evil couple disregarding the odds (8)
      1. Oh dear. Then it’s just my brain failing me yet again. I wasn’t involved in the earlier years, but I think I was solving in 2015. I obviously didn’t commit it to memory. Thank you Mr Kitty.

  11. Another excellent puzzle from the Don, setters just seem to get better, I wonder how they do it. Favourites for once 12d and 18a and 5d. Had a google moment to check 21a.
    Just when we thought the wind had abated its back, we lost a small tree, but luckily Garden walls are stone.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovanni

  12. I’ve been under the weather all week and struggled with the puzzles. This was enjoyable and a steady solve so I must be on the mend! Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  13. This was the usual Giovanni mix of the obscure/dated (but I acknowledge this could be my lack of GK) and really clever. So in the interests of being positive I’ll list the likes…
    10a plus 1,15,19 and 20d. 3*/2.5*

    Shouldn’t the hint for 16d underline the last three words, by the way?
    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT for the super review.

  14. Like RD, I thought the ‘mountain’ reference in 13a was somewhat odd and also the definition at 7d.
    I did use wordplay and checkers to arrive at the answers for 18a & 2d but have certainly heard of both of them previously.

    Favourite was 25a with 10a & 1d edging into the reckoning.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

    1. Jane,
      Have a suggestion re 13a see reply to #1.
      If you got the winds we had this morning not many flights off Valley I would guess.

  15. I agree with DT on the ratings and a ***/*** too for me.
    Like RD I derived 18a after the checking letters were in and confirmed on line !13a was a bit clumsy.
    I did enjoy this puzzle .
    25d raised a smile and I liked the surface of 12d.
    All ready for the rugby,

  16. Very enjoyable, as usual from Giovanni. Like others, 18d was an unknown to me but the left over letters made a good guess correct. 25a was in top spot for me with honourable mentions to 1d,2d and 12d.

  17. We finished this quite easily, 1d being the last to go in. Rabbit Dave’s story about the nickname made me smile. Our surname is Howard and George went to Campbell in Belfast where the Irish accent turned his name into H’ard so of course his nickname was Soft!

  18. After yesterday’s battle this was a breath of fresh air and just right for a Friday.

    I found this a satisfying solve as the clever cluing made it possible to build up most of the unknown words and then double check the meaning just to make sure – eg had never heard of 2d before.

    LOI was 1d, lovely story from Rabbit Dave!!

    Thanks to setter and DT.

  19. Re some of the comments above. 13a and 7d: I can’t see anything untoward, when analysed philosophically, with either of these clues. Just thought I’d say…

  20. ***/****. A very enjoyable solve with a couple of obscure answers which were deducible from the fodder and amazingly (for me) I managed to drag up from my little grey cells. I still checked with Mr Google. I haven’t seen 23a for years and the only time in a literary work was in Balzac’s Droll Stories. Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Walking the dogs at the beach before starting the usual Friday curry. Have a good weekend all.

  21. I managed today with only a quick glance at the hints/BRB and enjoyed it a lot but thanks to RD for reminding me of Jennings et al. 6d caused a few probs as I was squating for a while until I spotted I was a T short of the correct spelling. Do all mattresses have buttons? And do any schools have nit nurses nowadays?
    Probably as many as have Jennings in the school library I bet.
    Thanks to Gio and DT.
    Let’s gird my loins and have a go at the Elgar.

  22. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle today, which I found a couple of clues very tricky, I just couldn’t get the definitions and the correct fodder for both 18a & 12d, so needed the hints for those. Also needed the hints to parse 2d, I thought it was just a musical instrument, need to brush up on the classics. Favourite was 6d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  23. I solved most of this with no problems but just a few hold-outs at the end took much longer. In the end I gave up with 23a left, only to discover that I had spelt 12d incorrectly. Grrr! How could I be so stupid as not to check it.
    Nothing was obscure to me, I have a 21a, and I knew 2d.
    Fave was 1d, with 18a as runner up.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his hints and tips.

  24. Not as tricky as I find Giovanni normally but a very enjoyable exercise.
    25a COTD too. Like CS caused my head to itch.
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT

  25. Not the easiest Giovanni not the least because I had no idea what the Via Delarosa is. Something I have learned thanks to Google.
    However, that apart very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thx to all

  26. I’ve been missing for a few days because I couldn’t get into the site, one of these annoying “congratulations you’ve won a prize from …..” pop-ups that you can’t get rid of without closing the page. I initially thought the site had been compromised until I got in using my ipad this morning. I’ve now installed an app on my phone that blocks these things and hey presto I’m back. As usual I didn’t start until late and struggled for a start off until I got on the right wavelength. I too hadn’t heard of 18a I had to Google it, but hey ho I have now. Thanks to Giovanni and DT. p.s. I enjoyed it.

    1. Hi Taylor, I got one of those pop-ups for the first time today. Could you please let me know what the blocker app is called?

      1. Blockada. Google play doesn’t like it as it interferes with their information takng and advertising, how bad is that. Mine’s blocking ads about every 30 seconds.

        1. p.s. you have to check that there isn’t an unnamed app in your app manager otherwise it won’t work apparently. If there is deleting it might solve the problem. There wasn’t in my case. Sorry about the typo in my previous answer, don’t you just love predictive text. The man who invented predictive text died last week, his funfair is on monkey.

    2. Obviously this is very worrying for me as the ads help towards the nearly £!000 a year it costs to run this site. It would help me considerably if I know which page is causing the problem (if it’s the home page then that only displays ads from WordPress). The ads a t the bottom of the post are currently provided by Google AdSense. If it can be nailed down to a particular ad or group of ads then I can get them removed.

      1. Dave, in my case the problem is not with regular ads. I get scam pop-ups telling me I have won something – e.g. a new phone. It only occurs when using my Android phone and not with my laptop. As far as I can recall it never happens on the BD home page, only when trying to navigate the pages for specific puzzles. The problem seems to be most prevalent during the afternoon and early evening.

        I had been using Google Chrome as the browser on my phone but yesterday I switched to Firefox and, fingers crossed, I haven’t seen the problem since. I’ll let you know if that changes.

        1. Thanks – that’s very useful. The pop-up must be triggered from somewhere so the ads on that page would help – perhaps you could email them to me.

          1. Dave, I got the same issue on my Android phone yesterday, and it’s still there this morning.It’s clearly lurking in one of the ads which appears on the individual blog pages, but I can’t get any further, because the pop-up covers the entire screen and can’t be shifted except by starting to engage with it – which for obvious reasons I don’t intend to do. I’m using the standard Samsung Internet browser on the phone. No problems on the laptop with Firefox.

  27. I am not sure why but I found this masterpiece by Giovanni quite doable. It was very enjoyable on every level, thus 2.5*/4.5*.
    Quite happy to say this puzzle is 3across !
    Many thanks to DT & Giovanni

  28. Once I’d got over the shock of accidentally clicking on the Toughie and getting nowhere before I realised the error of my ways… I polished this one off in about ** time. A couple of new words, but as always with Giovanni follow the cryptic and he’ll get you home safe and sound. A nice end to the week.

  29. I’ve just popped in to say that our Kiwis were in the outskirts of Christchurch when it all happened there – they are OK and on their way home now. I just thought you would all like to know that.
    I’ll comment on the crossword properly later on but now I want wine – oh, and supper – not sure about the order.
    “Laters” as they say!

    1. Thank you so very, very much for popping in to update. When I saw rhe news this morning, I was so upset. I feel that if NZ has been targeted by terrorists, nowhere is safe. I’ve always considered them as the last bastion of peace and serenity. God help us.

  30. Nice puzzle, a genuine ***. A good challenge, only slightly less difficult than Thursday’s Ray T.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

Comments are closed.