DT 27373

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27373

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

[Today Miffypops has put his head above the parapet and tried his hand at reviewing. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. BD]

Good morning from Downtown LI where the weather is becoming increasingly threatening. Here is a very enjoyable puzzle from Rufus which I found a little trickier than usual.

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.

Across

1a Official providing payment for services to employees (8)
{TIPSTAFF} A Lawcourt worker. A gratuity paid in addition to a bill and a word for employees in general

6a Cash difference (6)
{CHANGE} Double definition. The second meaning to alter

9a Master tricky current (6)
{STREAM} Anagram (tricky) of MASTER. A water course

10a Put to the test again and evidently found wanting (8)
{REPROVED} Double Definition. To have retried or to admonish

11a Snail, say, is about to show resolution (8)
{ANALYSIS} – Anagram (about) of SNAIL SAY to give the results of a test

12a An egg I cracked, no longer fresh (6)
{AGEING} Anagram (cracked) of AN EGG I to mean no longer fresh (as in young)

13a Train-bearers (7,5)
{RAILWAY LINES} What locomotives run on.

16a New order required, prepare to end rule (12)
{PREPONDERATE} Anagram (new order required) of PREPARE TO END meaning to exceed in influence

19a Frenchman‘s power (6)
{AMPERE} A French physicist and his unit of electric current

21a Case of foreign wine returned by college head (8)
{CANISTER} (C)ollege head followed by a Grecian wine reversed (returned)

23a Symbols of England at opening time (8)
{ROSEBUDS} What the flowers on the England Rugby Union teams shirts begin as.

24a Close, hastened back to disturbance (6)
{NARROW} A three letter word meaning to have hurried placed backwards (returned) next to another three letter word meaning to argue

25a Stand after having arranged to get seat (6)
{SETTEE} A sofa. To place things (arrange) followed by the (stand) ball holder used by golfers

26a Is backing onto street, caught in act and stopped (8)
{DESISTED} Take a four letter word meaning an act with IS backwards (returned) and the regular crossword abbreviation for street placed inside (caught)

Down

2d Mean though popular minister (6)
{INTEND} To have in mind. The normal two letter word for popular and another word for minister or nurse.

3d Time for some magic (5)
{SPELL} A double definition. What witches cast

4d Right to enter guilty plea (9)
{ADMISSION} Double definition the second being the act of owning up

5d Predicted violent war with foes (7)
{FORESAW} Anagram (violent) of WAR and FOES meaning to have been prescient

6d Desiccated coconut? (5)
{COPRA} The fruit of the coconut

7d Formerly together (2,3,4)
{AT ONE TIME} Another double definition. The second could pertain to how a group of musicians should play

8d Source of milk that may provide us with energy (8)
{GUERNSEY} Anagram (may provide) of US and ENERGY gives a breed of cow that produces high fat content milk which is lovely to drink but my doctor and my wife refuse to allow me to.

13d Act for traveller with grudge (9)
{REPRESENT} A three letter word commonly used for a salesman and a verb meaning to feel bitterness

14d Desires half my wages (9)
{YEARNINGS} Half of the word (M)Y and a word meaning ones salary

15d Plain words about border flower (8)
{PRIMROSE} The written word placed (about) another word for border or edge will reveal a pretty springtime flower

17d Covered trial in final stages (7)
{ENCASED} A court action (trial) inside (in) a word meaning to finish

18d About to sit and take it easy (6)
{REPOSE} Our usual crossword abbreviation for about and word for sit as one would in front of an artist say.

20d Duck or half duck served up in jellied eel (5)
{ELUDE} To dodge. Half of the word DU(ck) inside an anagram (jellied) of EEL

22d What one is not well out of? (5)
{SORTS} If you are out of these you are poorly

There it is. My first blog. I hope it helps. Please feel free to comment ( I can take it )


The Quick crossword pun: (acute} + {raiment} = {accoutrement}

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55 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    2*/4* for a typically enjoyable Monday puzzle. Great surface readings with far too many good clues to select a favourite. However I thought 19a was a bit dubious as the answer refers to electrical current not electrical power.

    8d was my last one in.

    Many thanks to Rufus who is working his socks off at the moment to entertain us solvers royally, and to Miffypops. Congratulations on an excellent first blog. Well done and may there be many more!

    • Steve_the_beard
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      I’m not writing a comment, as you’ve said it all for me!

      But I will echo the thanks to Rufus and Miffypops :-)

  2. Una
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Well done ,Miffypops, very brave. I also found it a bit trickier than usual, and I was surprised to see it awarded only * for difficulty.I needed a few of your hints.Thanks to Rufus.

  3. gazza
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Great start, Miffypops! I also thought this was trickier than the usual Monday Rufus.

  4. mary
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Really well done Miffypops http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif I’m sure you are a very welcome addition to the blogging team, I think you have started on one of Rufus’ most tricky puzzles, I admit to not finishing this today and got stuck in the top Right corner with 6d, having put ‘cocoa’ knowing it was wrong!!! of course then getting really stuck on 10a, only one favourite today! 14d, the sun has actually come out after a wild night, time for the beach :-)

  5. Sweet William
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus. I struggled with this and found it difficult to get a foothold. I was pleased to finish it without a hint, but I don’t think I enjoyed it that much. Sorry ! Arms aching with picking up The Crossword dictionary to try to get some ideas ! Well done Miffypops – the start of something big ! Thank you and good luck with your next one.

  6. Colmce
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ll join the legions who found this quite tricky for a Rufus , and really struggled at the end. 4* time for me.

    A really good review clear and concise, thanks Miffypops .

    Thanks to Rufus.

  7. Kath
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Oh good – not just me. I don’t know about a little trickier than usual – I thought it was a lot trickier than usual even allowing for the fact that, for some reason, I often find Mondays difficult. It’s taken me ages.
    I’ve never heard of 1a. I dithered for ages before putting 6a in as I wasn’t happy about change and difference being synonyms. I never did get 23a even with the hint and had to look at the answer. I missed the anagram indicator with 8d. Spent ages trying to make 14d start with the wrong half of my – that really was just stupid.
    My excuse for all the problems is that I’ve definitely got a cold.
    My favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to Rufus for the crossword and thanks and congratulations to Miffypops – I think you’re very clever, and very brave.
    Please note, everyone – not an exclamation mark in sight. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_exclaim.gif

      • Kath
        Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh no – I’m trying to be good now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif I only discovered a couple of days ago that using them was like shouting which means that there’s been an awful lot of shouting coming from me.

        • mary
          Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          I think the exclamation mark means surprise rather than shouting Kath :-)

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            I agree with you, Mary. I believe CAPITALS mean SHOUTING!!!

          • Kath
            Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

            That’s what I thought too but when I read the Saturday (I think) blog someone – can’t remember who – called it the ‘shouty mark’ so I decided to stop splattering all my comments with them. I only learnt that CAPITALS mean SHOUTING from this blog and now I have to remember something else – it’s all too much. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

            • mary
              Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

              Don’t worry Kath, you can use the exclamation mark it’s CAPITALS as Dave says that mean shouting http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif nothing else

          • Merusa
            Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            I agree. I have been guilty with the exclamation mark as well. I say, do whatever you like, it’s not the end of the world.

  8. BigBoab
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword from Rufus and an excellent review from Miffypops, many thanks to both.

  9. Brian
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Certainly not Kath, it was an real swine of a puzzle esp for a Monday.
    Loathsome! 0 enjoyment.
    Thx to Midfy pops for the hints but no Thx at all to the setter from us.

    • Kath
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure that I’d go quite that far.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      You certainly never sit on the fence, Brian!

    • Steve_the_beard
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      My, what a short season of goodwill you’ve enjoyed…

    • CrissyAndToni
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Brian you are on our wavelength. Just thought we were mastering the daily telegraph cryptic puzzles and then this comes along! What a nightmare but finally finished but only after the clues on this site. Feeling quite stupid now!!!

      • Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog CrissyAndToni

  10. Outnumbered
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I also found it hard and unrewarding. I don’t think 6d is a good cryptic clue at all, and agree with Rabbit Dave about the erroneous use of “power” in 19a.

    ****/* .

    • mary
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      I agree re 6d unless the question mark means something???

  11. mary
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    In 6d Why is there a question mark???

    • Jaydubs
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Is it because the answer is the dried coconut?

  12. mary
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I almost thought it wasn’t a Rufus today!!

  13. Jaydubs
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Well done Miffypops, I needed help with 23a and struggled for some time with the rest. An enjoyable challenge.

  14. SheilaP
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    We did the top half quite quickly, but then had to resort to Miffypops’s excellent hints for help with the bottom half. Thank you to the setter & especially to the hinter. You’ve obviously taken to reviewing like a duck to water. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  15. stanXYZ
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    This was very tough for me today … whereas Rufus in the Guardian was at his most benign.

    Wrong Envelope Day? Puzzles sent to the wrong papers?

    Thanks to Miffypops on his début.

  16. Derek
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    A shade harder than usual from Rufus.

    Am waiting for my daughter and family’s return from Berlin where they stayed an extra day. She will then shepherd me to their abode for New Year.
    My son will call us from either Boston or New York City to bring in 2014.

    My son-in-law and grandchildren will send the fireworks off over the Brassemermeer.

    I’ll stay indoors and keep warm. It is the first time ever that I haven’t bought rockets.

    A guid New Year tae ane and a’ and mony mae ye see!

    • mary
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Same to you Derek

    • Merusa
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      And to you, too, Derek. We had been wondering how you were doing and whether the feet were better.

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  17. Adelma
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Good blog. Well done. Thanks for the help in the top right corner

  18. Graham Wall
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I very much enjoyed this puzzle but found it difficult in places and had to wait for the blog to be published. I was mislead by 19a but once I saw the hint things fell into place. I thought 6d was weak. My thanks to Miffypops for a very excellent and lucid blog.

  19. Dickiedot
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Excellent Miffypops…………………thanks Rufus, lovely puzzle, I had to ask for help with 21d which is my favourite clue today.
    Ever since Mrs DD got me a mini iPad in June for my birthday I find I’m doing the crossword earlier and earlier (4am sometimes) along with the Ashes in Oz (Oh calamity)
    Following a comment read on the site yesterday I sent an email to the DT and received a reply this morning giving me a 2 month refund on subscription, not a lot but it’ll buy a bottle of something white.
    Happy New Year to one and all

    • Dickiedot
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Oooops I meant 21a

  20. neveracrossword
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I had an enjoyable tussle with this. Who would ever use the verb in 16a?

    • Bob H
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely

  21. McMillibar
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice debut Miffypops thanks for your efforts. Needed it for 8d only. A toughie for me and could not finish at one sitting. ***/** for me then.

    Had lunch today at the 12 Apostles Hotel. V nice. Home for Hogmanay.
    Thanks Rufus, you worked me today.

  22. Brenda Reding
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I add my congratulations to everyone, thank you Miffy, a concise, clear, logical blog, both helpful and clear, well done!! And I needed hints to finish today. Lots and lots of thankyous

  23. Merusa
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Kath and others, not easy and very unlike the usual Rufus offerings. It was enjoyable even though a real workout. I needed Miffypops’ help with 23a, where I had rosette for no other reason than it had rose in it, thence didn’t get 20d. I put in copra but I had thought that it was the coconut husk, so, learned something new today.
    You did a grand job with the review today, Miffypops, good work. Thank you Rufus.

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  24. Annidrum
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I have been so hacked off at not being able to get a readable printout of the crossword since all this nonsense with the puzzle page began that my husband gave me a book of crosswords for Christmas and it happens to be a book of Rufus crosswords and to be honest i’m finding them not at all easy so I’m quite pleased to read that most solv ers found that one quite tricky.
    Well Done Miffypops!
    I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2014.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  25. marcus brown
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    The expected entertaining crossword from Rufus. He never lets me down

  26. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    We also found this one a little trickier than usual and even started wondering if, like last Monday, we were having a different setter for a change. Doesn’t seem much evidence for this though from the comments so far. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and congratulations and thanks Miffypops on your maiden blog.

  27. Angel
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Miffypops you say you found this a little trickier than usual but gave it * – I wonder how many stars you would give an easier puzzle? I found this quite a challenge and not much fun. Needed more hints than usual mostly due to iffy clues, e.g. 23a and 25a. ****/*.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  28. Miffypops
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for your very kind and very encouraging comments. Thanks especially to Big Dave for his help. His knowledge is vast. Thank you Rufus. As for the one star, as I have said before Rufus and I have linked brains. His clues read beautifully with some artful misdirections, unusual anagram indicators (jellied) and are often downright difficult but I just seem to be able to see them. I cannot help it, I am just a poor little orphan boy. Thank you all again.

    • XCoder
      Posted December 31, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

      Excellent hints to a very challenging puzzle, wonderful debut. 1a is new to me but a fair clue whereas 23a is too cryptic for me and I could not solve this without your help. Like others I can’t agree that 19a is a fair clue though I recognise the crossword virtuosos can deal with a high degree of diversion, power requires the Frenchman to be multiplied by an Italian. This is the second piece of blinding with science on successive days after a substance was referred to as an acid which it really is not. I usually find the Monday puzzle a gentle start to the week but not this one.

  29. andy
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Miffypops that was an outstanding debut, my cap truly doffed. I certainly couldn’t do it so concisely and accurately. Cheers to you and Rufus on what I also thought was one his more trickier offerings.

  30. pommers
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Hey Miffypops, welcome to the land of the brave or the foolish – never sure which http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  31. Maggie Saunders
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Great debut Miffipops – consider a bouquet of flowers to have been presented to you (or a beer if you prefer). My brain is obviously not linked to Rufus at all *** difficulty to me, not helped by the fact that I thought 6d was cocoa. Favourite 21a.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Flowers are nice but beer is better. thanks

  32. Heno
    Posted December 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very tough start to the week, I couldn’t do this to save my life. Needed 11 hints to finish. Well done on your debut Miffypops. Was 4*/2* for me, might as well have been a Toughie.

  33. Only fools
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Well done M and thanks yet again to Rufus for a puzzle that was certainly more evasive than usual but just as entertaining .Personal pride prevents me from allocating a difficulty rating but personal favourite 8d .
    Keep Happy .

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Blimey, Miffy. If this was only 1*difficulty for you! you must have a brain the size if Leamington Spa! I thought it was a stinker and needed your help with 6d – which I think was a poor clue. So well done on your first effort and I look forward to plenty more (perhaps with illustrations scattered about) in the future. As for you, Rufus, you’ve kept me up past my bedtime, which I was not expecting on a Monday.