DT 27679

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27679

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This is one of the easiest Rufus puzzles I have ever solved. In fact once the checkers were in it seemed to solve itself. There are rather a few too many old chestnuts for my liking but as one of our bloggers said recently “Old chestnuts to some are fresh fruit to others”.

Happy Christmas to one and all.

The hints and tips below are there to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed.

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

3a    Schubert’s fifth, with someone teaching conductor (10)
BANDMASTER:    Take the fifth letter of the word Schubert, a conjunction and one who teaches to find the leader of a group of musicians

8a    Daft jokes about parking in capital (6)
SKOPJE:    Anagram (daft) of JOKES with the letter P from Parking with give the capital city of Macedonia

9a    Token appointment for a guide (8)
SIGNPOST:    This token is a thing serving as a visible or tangible representation of a fact, quality, or feeling . The appointment is a job. Together they make a guide or indicator.

10a    Everyone needs permission, OK? (3,5)
ALL RIGHT:    Take our three letter word meaning everyone and add a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something to find a two word saying meaning OK

11a    Tense — certainly not going over border (2,4)
ON EDGE:    Reverse (going over) a two letter word meaning certainly not and place it before a word for a border or the outside limit of an object, area, or surface.

12a    Mad as Humpty Dumpty in the end (3,3,4)
OFF THE WALL:    This is a phrase meaning eccentric or unconventional. Think what Humpty Dumpty sat on and where he ended up.

14a    Steam trains to Barking? One in charge there (13)
STATIONMASTER:    Anagram (barking) of STEAM TRAINS TO.

20a    One’s mean about musical girl entertaining masses (10)
CHEAPSKATE:    This word for a skinflint or mean type of person can be found by taking our single initial meaning about or Circa The girl from the musical who was asked for a kiss and placing a word meaning masses or lots in between the two.

22a    Airman out of place in yacht station (6)
MARINA:    Anagram (out of place) of AIRMAN

23a    Playwright protecting fellow Irish in sweeping conflagration (8)
WILDFIRE:    Place an Irish playwright around Fellow and IRish

24a    About to copy horror film (4,4)
CAPE FEAR:    Again we have our initial for about or Circa a three letter word meaning to copy or imitate to give our first word of the answer. The second word suggested by the word horror means a deep intense feeling of dread. Together they give a film originally made in 1962 starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. Remade in 1991 starring Robert De Niro. My favourite version stars The Simpsons and was made in 1993

25a    Commercial outlet in period leading up to Christmas (6)
ADVENT:    The period leading up to Christmas? Does anyone need help with this one? I think not. The answer split 2,4 gives a shortened term for a commercial and an outlet which could be a pipe or hole where water or gas may escape

26a    Difficult terms ahead for someone like Squeers? (10)
HEADMASTER:    Anagram (Difficult) of TERMS AHEAD. Wackford Squeers was one of these based upon a real life brutal man named William Shaw. Unfortunately these monsters were still at large in the Nineteen Seventies.

Down

1d    What may help winter sports types reach their peaks? (3,5)
SKI LIFTS:    What skiers use to make their way up the slopes

2d    Silly to repeat ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, for example (8)
OPERETTA:    Anagram (Silly) of TO REPEAT

3d    Bird found by black hunting dog (6)
BEAGLE:    A large bird of prey can be placed after the letter Black to find a breed of hunting dog

4d    Comfortable residence in Marylebone street (4)
NEST:    A hidden word indicated by the word IN. It is in there, inside the clue, lurking.

5d    Periodical spillage of oil in North American plant (8)
MAGNOLIA:    Take a three letter periodical or journal and place after it and anagram (spillage) of OIL inside the abbreviation for North America

6d    Private papers forged (6)
SAPPER:    Anagram (forged) of PAPERS will give you this Combat Engineer

7d    Flag  officer in the US Navy (6)
ENSIGN:    A double definition. The flag can be red, white or blue.

13d    Musical girl in Vienna, not very lively (5)
ANNIE:    Anagram (Lively) of VIENNA minus the letter V (not very)

15d    Cinerama building kept secret (2,6)
IN CAMERA:    Anagram (Building) of CINERAMA meaning kept secret, usually in a court case.

16d    Get hold of number, jazz number (4,4)
TAKE FIVE:    To grab the fifth number. This Jazz number was written by Dave Brubeck

17d    Coy  going to bed (8)
RETIRING:    A double definition

18d    Bottle got by artist in inexpensive restaurant (6)
CARAFE:    Place our well known Royal Acamedician inside an eating house at the lower end of the market

19d    Part of an engine — data in order (3,3)
BIG END:    In a piston engine, the larger end of the connecting rod, encircling the crankpin. This can be found by putting a three letter word for data or information inside another three letter word meaning an order

21d    Mean to collect poorly supporter (6)
PILLAR:    Place a word meaning poorly inside (collected by) a word meaning mean as in a golf score.

23d    Warrant ingenuity is required to defend rook (4)
WRIT:    This warrant or summons can be found by putting a three letter word meaning the capacity for inventive thought and quick understanding; keen intelligence around (defend) Rook

Thank you Van Morrison for your wonderful concert last night.


The Quick Crossword pun: sighed+weighs=sideways


102 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    1*/3* for another light, fun puzzle from the Monday maestro, or should I say master today?
    :wink:
    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  2. boltonbabs
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    We enjoyed this but it was over far too quickly. It actually took us half as long again to complete the quick crossword. Thanks to the setter and blogger.

  3. Una
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you ,Miffypops, a write itself in, almost, but very enjoyable.I hadn’t heard of the film nor the engin part. I just guessed.thanks for the video of 16d.Just thought I’d that FIR is also the gaelic plural for men.
    Thanks MP and Rufus.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  4. dutch
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I wrote in all the down clues first, decided i should wait with 16d and 19d, then filled in all the across clues. A brief hesitation at 20a stops me formally calling this a write-in, but it must be close to my fastest puzzle. The MASTER theme made it even easier, there was no hesitation filling the last across clue (26a).

    favourite i think is 16d

    Thank you Rufus(?) and miffypops for the review – merry christmas to you too and envious of the Van Morrison concert

  5. George
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Yes, pretty much a write in today. I just wish I could count properly in my jazz recollections – but that was soon straightened out. Then not being a movie goer cost me a few moments. But all finished much too soon, but enjoyable as always.

    1*/4*

  6. Kath
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 1* difficulty but really liked this one so 4* for enjoyment.
    I’d never heard of the 24a film or Squeers so thanks to Mr Google for his help with those two.
    Agree with RD – Rufus is definitely the master rather than the maestro today.
    12a and 17d made me laugh and on any other day one of those two would have been my favourite but today it has to be 13d – for our collie.
    With thanks to Rufus and MP.

    14a reminded me of something silly I heard on the radio. An old lady goes to the railway station and asks for a return ticket:-
    Stationmaster, “Where to?”
    Old lady, “Here.”
    Stationmaster, “Yes, but where are you going?”
    Old lady, “I’m going to see my sister.”
    Stationmaster, “And where does your sister live?”
    Old lady, “Young man, that’s got absolutely nothing to do with you!”

    OK – I told you it was silly but I thought it was funny . . . .

    • SheilaP
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes it was funny. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif you obviously didn’t do Nickolas Nickleby for your O levels Kath, otherwise you would have heard of old Wackford the headmaster.

      • Bluebird
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        W-I – n- d- e- r………………Winder………

      • Kath
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        No – you’re right – can’t even remember what we did for ‘O’ Level apart from Julius Caesar. I have to confess that I don’t think I’ve read any Dickens at all.

        • SheilaP
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          I think I was put off for life I’m afraid. I’ve never read any Dickens for pleasure.

          • Merusa
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            I adore Dickens, but I admit I was an adult before I appreciated him. Great Expectations has to be an all-time favourite.

            • Angel
              Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

              On that basis possibly Kath has yet to grow up! (Only joking Kath!). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

              • Kath
                Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

                No – I think you’re probably right – who the hell wants to be a grown-up anyway? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

                • Hilary
                  Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

                  Please can I have my Teddy Bear back I only lent it to you.

                  • Kath
                    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

                    Oh – OK then . . .

    • Hanni
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      It made me smile Kath. :-)

  7. williamus
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    As gentle as it comes but still very enjoyable. Lots of obvious anagrams but you don’t mind when they’re so cleverly phrased and presented. 1*/3* for me too. I know what you mean about it almost completing itself MP… 14a was my favourite. Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review.

  8. Kitty
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Neither this nor the quickie felt quite like a Rufus to me. I was a little underwhelmed, but very pleased to finish in about the quickest time that I ever do.

    I don’t like to admit that the 8a capital was on the edge of my knowledge. Back when I did GCSE Geography it was all physical processes plus some very basic socio-economics. Not much about where places are, or about more of the world than a very few bits studied in a little detail. If there had been I still wouldn’t know any geography but would lack a grade that implies otherwise.

    Also needed to check the jazz number, though the answer was obvious enough. It too feels like something I should know. Certainly sounds familiar.

    A clear favourite today: 19d.

    With thanks and wishing a very Merry Christmas to Rufus and MP.

    • Roger
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Not much about where places are? Then you will love this little game, Kitty!

      Merry Christmas to all.

  9. Rick
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    A gift of little substance but beautifully wrapped.
    1*/3*

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Very nicely put Rick.

  10. Michael
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I just love anagrams and there were some lovely ones here that gave me a head start – I came a cropper with 19d where I got it in my head that the answer was ‘tie rod’ – this held me up for a while until I realised my error and everything then fell into place.

    Great fun I really enjoyed it!

    Onward and upward – roll on Christmas! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  11. Rufus
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m afraid all the nice reaction for this puzzle belongs to someone else!

    I was asked for two Christmas Specials again this year, and I understand one should appear on Christmas Day on-line only. The other should appear on Christmas Eve in the paper.

    Still, I am pleased to be able to take the opportunity to thank Miffypops for his sterling and comprehensive work every Monday, and especially for all his splendid illustrations!

    And, of course, to Big Dave and all the bloggers, to whom I wish a very Happy and Enjoyable Festive season!

    • Kitty
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Merry Christmas Rufus! It’s so lovely of you to drop in. Thanks for making me feel smug by confirming my guess that this wasn’t one of yours – but most of all many, many thanks for all the super puzzles you continue to provide. All the best for Christmas and the new year.

      • williamus
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        I’m well impressed. Well spotted! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Thanks williamus. And Kath too :).

      • Kath
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        I’m impressed too, Kitty – well done you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          I have manflu

          • Kath
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear – poor you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
            Or is it a ruse to get out of doing any of the pre-Christmas Day stuff? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          • Hilary
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            Poor Darling you had better have a few of my virtual tissues out of the box in the cupboard under the stairs and perhaps a short snooze.

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

            • Kath
              Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

              . . . don’t encourage him, Hilary – he’s got a cold and I’m sure we all know what a man with a cold is like – bears and sore heads spring to mind. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
              It’s Saint Sharon I feel sorry for – not only will she be doing all the work but by Thursday MP will be feeling absolutely fine and she will have caught it and be feeling rough, so a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for her.

              • Miffypops
                Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                I have missed a meal with my brother and sister in law who are on their last day over from Michigan.in one of my favourite eateries. I even asked Saint Sharon to drive home from London last night. The pub is very busy for our annual carol service which I always enjoy. I am aching and knackered in bed.

                • Kitty
                  Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

                  You poor thing, MP. Knackered and suffering – it must be Christmas. Get well soon, and I hope Saint Sharon escapes the manflu.

                • Kath
                  Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

                  I’m really sorry – I take it all back and hope that you feel better very soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

                  • Miffypops
                    Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

                    I deserve all that you throw at me.

    • williamus
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Good to know that you keep an eye on us.

      We’ll look forward to Wednesday then!

      Many thanks for all the excellent puzzles over the last year. Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

    • Steve_the_Beard
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Ahah! I shall definitely be at the computer on Christmas Day then, whatever may ensue :-)

      Merry Christmas to you too, and my thanks for your wonderful crosswords.

    • Hanni
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Happy Christmas Rufus and a wonderful 2015. Thank you for all your puzzles over the year.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Rufus. It has been a pleasure. Merry Christmas to you too

    • Franco
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Rufus, I presume that the Dante in today’s FT is definitely one of yours? It may take me some time!

    • Ginny
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Thank you very much Rufus and Miffypops for making Mondays so enjoyable and doable. Sincerely hope you feel better soon, Miffypops. Thank you for your effort despite the bug and hope it doesn’t get in the way of your Christmas..

    • Graham Wall
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for dropping by Rufus, a happy Christmas to you.

    • Merusa
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for the lovely Monday puzzles, you are my fave, well, you and Virgilius! Have a very merry Christmas, health and good fortune for 2015!

    • Kath
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for all your crosswords and Happy Christmas to you.

    • Hilary
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      As a comparative newcomer to BD’s I have really latched on to Mondays thanks to you and Miffypops. Roll on 2015 and a whole new year to look forward to. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    • Dutch
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I also did not think this was you – thanks for dropping in, please do so more often

    • pommers
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      I said to pommette halfway through the solve that “old Roger” was having an off day. Glad that it turns out it wasn’t you after all.

      A Merry Christmas to you and yours and lets do it all again next year, (that is if I ever get my head around your offering in today’s FT).

  12. SheilaP
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    We thought this was a lovely offering today, not too hard at all. We really don’t want anything too taxing this week with minds filled to the brim with the one hundred and ten things to do before the big day. Thank you very much to the Monday setter and to Miffypops. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  13. Richard L
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Cannot stop laughing at 14a Great clue, keep up the good work Rufus.
    Help us to to stop getting dementia. (See front page)

    • gazza
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

      • Richard L
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza. Will do.

  14. Topdog
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Well done me! Second successful completion without any referral to hints. I’m still a novice with a tendency to get an idea fixed in my mind which I don’t seem to be able to get past (today, I decided that 19d was an anagram of ‘data in’) which tends to hold me up. Still, I’m getting there, could do with a few more 1 star for difficulty jobs! Thanks to setter and Miffypops. My favourite today was 8 across.

    • Kath
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes – well done you and although you were wrong about 19d being an anagram I can quite see why you thought it might be.

    • Hilary
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant news, days like this do wonders for your self cofidence and help you face the days when it all goes slightly off key. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Well done Topdog!!!!

  15. Hanni
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    */****
    Not the most difficult of solves but a pleasant distraction for my cold/hungover head.

    Topdog you are not alone with 19a anagram! My pencils just wouldn’t give me an answer!

    Favourite clue is 12a with 24a following closely.

    Many thanks to the mystery setter and the marvellous Miffypops for your blog. Happy Christmas to you both and to Saint Sharon and the identical kittens.

    I’m now officially in holiday so I will take this opportunity to say Happy Christmas to everyone here, setters, bloggers and commentators alike. And to Big Dave for creating this rather lovely site. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Miffypops….as childish as it may be, but the scene in The Simpsons 24a with the rake always makes me laugh.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      No pencils necessary today Hanni. All seven were sorted mentally whilst half asleep and suffering. No hangover though just the manflu. Only one pint of cider yesterday at the Van Morrison concert

      • Hanni
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Well done on actually getting to the concert with manflu! I hope you feel better soon. My other half is suffering too…dramatically. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        Hopefully you’ll be better for Christmas and it doesn’t affect your crib abilities.

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          It was manful of me to get to the concrrt Hanni. Well said.

          • Hanni
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            Oh my goodness! You never cease to amaze me MP. :-)

            • Miffypops
              Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

              Thanks but I had a typo too. I too find Sideshow Bob and the rakes very funny. If I had felt more up to it I might have found a clip. I hope your other half feels better than I do. Thanks for all your comments. They always make me smile. Now, about New Years resolutions and pencils

              • Hanni
                Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

                It’s the length of the scene I love! Other half is suffering in bed. He must be ill as he’s turned down a night at the pub! It’s worrying.

                New years resolution involving pencils? Hmmmm. Can’t imagine what you could mean. Possibly that I have to sharpen them more often? To stop using the little rubbers and actually buy a proper one? I’ll have a think. ;-)

  16. Spook
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Nice gentle start to the week, 1* for me but enjoyable. Merry Yuletide to all setters and bloggers etc etc. we await 2015 with interest.

  17. Sweet William
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter – I agree, not too taxing. The difficulty for me was 24a as I have no GK. Merry Christmas to you and to Rufus and to Miffypops with thanks for the review and hints. I suspect that I might be the only person today who needed one of your hints MP !

  18. Vancouverbc
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    */***. This was probably the easiest of the year but enjoyable even so. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review. The days get longer from now on thank goodness. Downtown for drinks and appies this evening. Shplendid!

  19. Graham Wall
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    This was a pleasant offering but over too soon. Not a great stress on the brain which is perhaps what Is need as I a get into wind down mode. Thanks to Miffypops for the review and hope the lurgy soon abates!

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Graham. Your comments have always been very kind and encouraging. Particularly in the early days. Thank you

      • Hilary
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        You must admit that if good wishes would cure manflu you should be feeling just a little bit better. We are all crossing our healing fingers to get you back on your feet.

        • Graham Wall
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          I like and Echo this is comment.

  20. Jane
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Would have been a 1* if I’d known the capital city or the film and not tried to make bandleader the answer for 3a!
    Thought about you, Kath, when I got to 13d – hope it didn’t upset you too much.
    Favourite was 12a with a nod to 20a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to MP for his usual brilliant review and clips. Nice to have Rufus acknowledge all your hard work on the blog (even though this wasn’t one of his!) I know the rest of us very much appreciate it. I’ll look forward to his puzzle on Christmas Eve – or whenever I get a break from the celebrations!

    Best of wishes to you, MP, and to the lovely St. Sharon – hope the twins are enjoying the Christmas decs?!!

    • Kath
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks – no, it didn’t upset me. I still think about her all the time anyway.

  21. Brian
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Fully concur with the difficulty rating, a one cuppa after the horror of the shops!
    Enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thx to all

  22. F1lbertfox
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Easy to solve it may have been, but I enjoyed having a quick ‘write in’ sort of crossword puzzle as I had plenty more things to do today whilst the weather was dry and mild. Am now enjoying a cuppa having walked the dog, washed the car, tidied a neighbour’s front garden and swept the leaves and stuff which had accumulated in our cul-de-sac over the past many weeks – which makes me wonder what I pay my council tax for – but that’s another story! Thanks Rufus for a nice gentle start to the week. Happy Christmas to you and similar felicitations to MP.

  23. Merusa
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I agree, this was easy peasy, but I did enjoy it nevertheless.
    I know my geography; after all, I worked with the airlines for about 35 years, I had to have some knowledge of where I was sending these people!
    I made the mistake of bunging in “bandleader” at 3a without thinking, but the downs soon put me right.
    I have to choose 16d as my fave, thanks so much for that nostalgic bit of Brubeck, M’pops. I loved his music.
    Thanks to setter, whomsoever he/she may be, and to M’pops for his usual humorous review.

  24. JonP
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    More horse whispering than frightening. A pleasant puzzle however. Thanks to MP and setter. */***

  25. Angel
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Plain-sailing until I got down to 24a which I didn’t know plus I had wrong 4-letter word preceding conflagration in 23a which messed up 23d so thanks to Miffypops for putting me straight and allowing me to finish this otherwise fairly simple puzzle. Thanks to the unidentified setter. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  26. happy days
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus for all the entertaining crosswords during the year. This Monday stand-in just goes to show, by contrast, how good the Rufus crossword is, consistently

  27. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    We enjoyed finding the three masters of the top, bottom and middle of the grid. It all went together without too much delay.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Miffypops.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Just thought of you. Angella Merkel doing the Hongi on the news.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        We have just Googled the greeting. It was on 14th November when she was visiting New Zealand.

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          oh my god. We are so behind in France. I’m sure it had to go through a whole lot of censure comitees to make sure the contents were in no way offensive.

          • 2Kiwis
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            Or perhaps she was so impressed with the greeting that she has now taken to using it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  28. Derek
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Quick solve today!

    Had a good laugh at 6d as I have a collection of Cyril’s novels on one of my bookshelves that were read years ago!

    Getting ready to decamp my abode and go to my daughter’s for Christmas.

    Merry Christmas to all setters and solvers!

  29. Hilary
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that I am the first person to comment that this was a masterly crossword – Dear BD do not ban me for awful joke. Loved every last clue and my faithful anagram solving pencil was not needed. However, I will not get complacent because I could quite easily come crashing down to earth tomorrow. Thanks to setter and germ-ridden Miffypops. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Glad to hear your pencil was not needed.

  30. jean-luc cheval
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Very easy crossword indeed.
    I felt like watching an episode of lords of the rings , oh my master, and not surprised our 2kiwis liked that.
    The best clue for me was 5d as it’s construction was worthy of a real cryptic definition. And brought me memories of Steel magnolias and also a great French song by Claude Francois. You probably know him, he is the one who wrote My Way.
    Hope I will get the paper on the 24th for the Rufus or will have to grovel in order to get BD to send it to me. I still haven’t had the chance to register on telegraph online.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to MP for the fun review.

    • Franco
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      “Comme d’habitude” – you leave an interesting comment!

      Comment?

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Which part are you referring to?
        Is it the New Zealand connection for lords of the rings or the magnolia. There’s a great movie called Steel Magnolias and the French song is http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cM0DW6jKCvs

        • Franco
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          My Way / Comme d’habitude

          I always thought it was originally written by Paul Anka.

          • jean-luc cheval
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            I know. These French people are so clever. They are still raking in the money from royalties. But don’t tell the taxman.

          • jean-luc cheval
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            I wanted also to apologise for not understanding your comment. Women around me always say that men are Monotask. Can’t concentrate on two things at a time. I was busy preparing dinner, watching the news and trying to make sense of my daughter’s blabbering. As for the other day I had an image of Bob Geldof saying Oh Fiddlesticks, give us your money.

            • Hilary
              Posted December 23, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

              An alternative is Balderdash it works equally well.

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            You are half right. Paul Anka wrote the lyrics for My Way.

            • jean-luc cheval
              Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

              I am sure it was adapted in many languages but the one with the catchy tune gets the rewards.

              • Franco
                Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

                Is jean-luc French or eengliish?

                Answers on a Carte-postale! S’il vous plaît ?

                • jean-luc cheval
                  Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

                  Had a look at free poscard editors but either not really free or have to download program. You’ll have to take my word for it I’m afraid. Je suis très Français but lived in London for 18 years betwwen 1982 and 2000. Enough to understand your customs, habits and quirky ways and that special kind of humour that is so you.

  31. Hrothgar
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really mind .
    I suppose that even solving Junior Telegraph Puzzles is practice of a sort.
    Thanks to the setter and Miffypops.
    Now – I will memorise the names of Santa’s reindeer for puzzles later this week.

  32. Gwizz
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    The quickie gave me far more problems today! The cryptic was over far too quickly, but it was fun while it lasted.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and poor old Miffypops….
    GWS!

  33. Graham Wall
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Well Miffypops, what a day eh? A lovely but not too challenging crossword. A good review posted by yourself which all seemed to like. You get the grotties and all seem to sympathise with you. Then a master like Rufus enters the arena and pays a well deserved tribute. Big Dave the Great Blog Master does not interfere and all is well. What is it like being second in line to Elvis Presley?!! Merry Christmas and keep the blogs coming.

  34. Salty Dog
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    The top half was so easy as to be on course for sub-1*, but the whole was rescued by some more satisfying clues lower down. On average, 1*/3*. I don’t like to criticise a setter (after all, l certainly couldn’t set a crossword), so will limit myself to observing that it is after all a Monday. My favourite – if only because we once owned a very nice mare by that sire – was 3a. Many thanks to the setter, and to Miffypops for the review.

  35. Sarah F
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    An extra gentle start to the week! Thanks to Miffy and to the mystery setter.

  36. Collywobbles
    Posted December 23, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Very easy and very enjoyable. Thank you Rufus and also to MP for the couple of hints which I needed