DT 27726

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27726

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good day to one and all. Happy 1st birthday to my delightful grandson Harrison. Is it really a year? Where did that go? This calls for a little indulgence. I hope you enjoy today’s pictures. I thought Rufus was a little tougher than usual today, did you? Please comment below.

The hints and tips below are here 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. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

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    Asian navies meet at sea (10)
VIETNAMESE: Heigh-Ho. We begin with an anagram. The indicator suggests we are on a cruise (I cannot see anybody getting me on one of those) There are only two words in the clue that add up to the ten letters of the answer so I suppose that they must be the fodder. The only word left (Asian) must therefore be the definition. Off you go find your pencils write out your little circles. Anything goes today.

6a    Important people will turn to a shady character (4)
SPIV: The initials used for Very Important People (pluralised) and turned around will give you this person . Private Walker (The Late Jimmy Beck) of Dad’s Army springs to mind. So does Step Right Up by Tom Waits

10a    Insertion of data is not out of place (5)
INPUT: Take the two letter opposite of out and add a three letter verb meaning to place or set in a particular position

11a    Even the short-sighted could plainly see that it was dangerous (4,5)
NEAR THING: Something perilous that nearly happened would be described as such. The short sighted can see things that are close by. If anybody can explain this clue more clearly please do so in the comments. Here is Scratchy in our ash tree. He got up. He got scared. I got him down.

 

12a    Policy that’s uncompromising is almost a shame (4,4)
HARD LINE: One of my last ones in. It is what we say to somebody when expressing sympathy or commiserations minus (almost) its last letter. If JLC gets this I will raise my hat to him. I have no doubt that he will get it. I am in awe

13a    Worth millions, weary, needing to retire (5)
MERIT: The M of M(illions) is followed by the reversal of a verb meaning to feel the need for sleep

15a    Forced to seek a new occupation (7)
EVICTED: This occupation is not a job but the place in which one lives. To be forced out in this manner would lead to the search for new accommodation.

17a    One who treats wounds — in the chest? (7)
DRESSER: One who bandages is also a piece of furniture usually preceded by the word Welsh

19a    Individual with sour disposition that is hard to bear (7)
ONEROUS: The lowest cardinal number (half of two) is followed by an anagram (disposition) of SOUR

21a    Unusually, I earn it in doing nothing (7)
INERTIA: BANG Rufus hits us with another anagram! (unusually) of I EARN IT.

22a    Girl has half-hour in a state (5)
IDAHO: A girls name is followed by the first half of HOur. Together they make up the 14th largest state of the USA. Remarkably this state is shaped like a potato which is its largest crop and co-incidentally most people from this state resemble this very crop.

24a    Two girls that could be useful in the kitchen (8)
ROSEMARY: Two girls? My daughter has this name and she is only one girl. Here she is with her nephew. These two (or one girl) are the name of a herb which has a culinary use.

27a    Calm and painless death (4-5)
EASY GOING: An unusual double definition. One who is relaxed and tolerant in attitude or manner would be described thus.

28a    Understand it is a number less than ten (5)
DIGIT: Also a double definition. The first needs to be split (3,2). A third definition might be a finger or a toe.

29a    First showing of estate agent’s notice (4)
ESPY: Take the first letter of E(state) (first showing) and add an agent or a person employed by a government or other organization to secretly obtain information on an enemy or competitor.

30a    Fan of sickness benefit? (10)
VENTILATOR: This fan is also a piece of equipment used in a hospital to artificially respirate a patient.

Down

1d    One in leading position is full of himself (4)
VAIN: Place the Roman letter or numeral for one inside a noun meaning the foremost part of a group of people moving or preparing to move forwards, especially the foremost division of an advancing military force

2d    Note hip seams split by stress (9)
EMPHASISE: This note is the third note of the diatonic scale of C major. It is followed by an anagram (split) of HIP SEAMS. Oh the joys of Google and cut and paste. You cannot really think I know all this stuff can you?

3d    Well-known to have made a record (5)
NOTED: To be well known or famous or to have marked down for future reference. The clue says it all really.

4d    The male sort — it includes females as well (7)
MANKIND: Human beings considered collectively as a race can be found by placing a noun for the adult human male before a noun meaning a category of things or people with a common feature; a typ ee. Here is an example. Mother with child.

5d    Main plant producing wonder in children (7)
SEAWEED: In crosswordland main often refers to the seas and oceans and so it does here. This plant of the seas can be found by putting a noun meaning wonder or astonishment inside a noun which refers to one’s children or descendants.

7d    Former  holy man (5)
PRIOR: A double definition. The second being the male head of a religious order.

8d    A number are eating fresh vegetables and fruit (10)
VEGETARIAN: Awkward clue of the day. A clever all in one with the Roman numeral for five (number) followed by an anagram (fresh) of ARE EATING. I am almost one of these but I do eat a very small amount of meat. So I’m not one of these am I?

9d    Trampled on Oriental in mad rush (8)
STAMPEDE: take a synonym of the word trampled and add the oriental E(astern) as explained at 17d last week (you do remember don’t you)

14d    This old boneshaker, strangely loved piece (10)
VELOCIPEDE: An anagram (strangely) of LOVED PIECE will yield an early form of bicycle propelled by working pedals on cranks fitted to the front axle.

16d    Complete, from start to finish, hiding nothing (8)
THOROUGH: Take a preposition and an adverb meaning moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location). And insert (hiding nothing) the roundest letter we have

18d    Gels put on one side for repairs (4,5)
SETS RIGHT: Do what the clue tells you to do. Stop staring at it with bemusement like I did. Use the meaning of Gels as a verb and pertaining to liquids. Add one of the two sides, not east or west, try the opposite of left. This clue made me want to go off and bang my head against a wall.

20d    Start of court proceedings (7)
SERVICE: The beginning of a tennis match which takes place on a tennis court My first thoughts were as follows. It’s a SUMMONS pure and simple. I have the S from 19ac. Such an easy clue I wondered how it got in there. SUMMONS. Hang on it’s not even cryptic. Of dear they will have a field day on the blog.

21d    It’s reported to stimulate comprehension (7)
INSIGHT: An accurate and deep understanding is a homophone (reported) of incite

23d    A bluff upstanding moral story-teller (5)
AESOP: A (from the clue) followed by a verb meaning try to deceive someone as to one’s abilities or intentions. (I don’t possess the BRB but I feel that this definition will sit about eighteenth in in the list) Our crosswordland favourite fable writer

25d    Decoration badly made by learner (5)
MEDAL: Anagram (Badly) of MADE followed by the L of L(earner)

26d    Produce disorder, wake up in prison (4)
STIR: A triple definition. A fourth would be to move a spoon round and round in a liquid.

Hotlips Haines Multi-instrumentalist with The Armpit Jug Band. Best before sometime last week. Thanks for the laughs Hotlips.


The Quick Crossword pun: press+apiece=precipice


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94 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Harrison.

    I too thought it a teensy smidge trickier than usual for a Rufus – it was nearly, but not quite, a ‘start with the Downs’.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops

  2. Kevin
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t like 12a either
    Some good head-scratchers today

  3. Wahoo
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite starightforward last night (*/***). Sounds odds, but I seem to “get” Rufus more on Sunday nights than on Mondays!

    Probable favourite was 30a after having given up trying to think of socialist politicians!!

    Thanks to Rufus and MP and happy birthday to the little one.

  4. Una
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for bringing the family album, Miffypops , it made up for my poor attempt at this Rufus puzzle.Beautiful family. I still don’t get 12, I don’t think I have ever said that to anybody .

  5. spindrift
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I echo all of the comments of CS. Rufus is in a more gruntled mood over at the Grauniad with 4 x 10 character answers around the outside. Go on you, you know you want to & it’s free!.

    http://www.theguardian.com/crosswords

    Miffypops – Have you put Harrison’s name down as a potential forward with your club? At only 1 year old he’s going to be a big ‘un by the looks of him!

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      A chunky monkey. I hope he plays rugby.

      • spindrift
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        As a piano player or piano shifter?

  6. Beaver
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    A**/*** for me today, no hold ups and quite enjoyable. Agree that 8d is clever,and liked 20d,thought originally it was to do with a wedding proposal , till the penny dropped .lots of ‘lively’ clues-just right for a Monday, after a jade enhancing rugby weekend !Thanks to Miffypops for the ‘ fan’ pic-i’m a stones fan too.

  7. Rick
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Tougher than usual? The brain said yes, the clock said no so perhaps I worked harder but more efficiently. 12a took a moment to write in but an age to parse and is my clue of the day. Otherwise fairly standard Rufus fare.

  8. George
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I found this one very straight forward – some great clues and finished in 2* time.
    Lots of snow out here in the Canadian Maritimes this year. I have never seen so much. My front door is now buried in snow up to 3/4 of its height. Lucky I have a back door which is more sheltered! ow I have to dig our and snowblow somewhere in the back yard for the dogs to go and do whatever dogs do in the backyard. The four foot high fence has now disappeared under the snow.

    So today I wish I was back in the UK for some warmer weather and no snow!

    • Angel
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Boy O boy you on the East Coast are certainly being bombarded with snow at present. I have received today pictures from two different friends in Cape Cod and Nantucket showing some horrendous snowfall. I gather record 95 inches has fallen in 3 weeks in Boston with still more forecast. Keep safe!

      • George
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think it is even worse than here in MA. I am now working on clearing the driveway enough to get the fuel truck in so I don’t run out of heat as just wouldn’t you know it the tank is low! But I think I am safe as long as I don’t freeze to the tractor seat and have someone find me when the Spring melt comes and my frozen body reappears from a snow bank!

    • Ginny
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Take care George. I thought Canadian winters were diminishing due to global warming. Obviously not so.

      • George
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        I think that the warmer sea temperatures along the eastern US coast are generating more intensive storms that blow northwards into the cold air over Canada and northern US – result is lots of snow.

        • Hanni
          Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Well I hope you all stay safe. :-) I sigh when England groans to a standstill under half an inch if snow.

    • Wahoo
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Ever thought of the Caribbean? 86F, blue sky, sunny and gentle breeze today

  9. Hanni
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    **/***

    Definitely a little more difficult than a regular Monday offering.

    12a put the cat among the pigeons, maybe not one of MP’s cat that would get stuck up a tree. I was not familiar with the second part of the clue.

    Although I got 8d it took me quite a bit to see why it was correct. I’m always very impressed with your ability to stick to this sort of diet MP. The willpower it takes to include meat in it is an inspiration.

    I didn’t help myself with 10a by putting in ‘inset’ when I actually knew the answer. This meant 2d became quite difficult. Must pay more attention.

    Decent Monday fun.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for your usual fantastic blog. Harrison is particularly adorable.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Adorable but not smiley yesterday.

      • Hanni
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Maybe with all this rugby talk he was aware of Coventry’s result. He’s still gorgeous smile or no smile. Does he have a kit yet?

        • Miffypops
          Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          No but I shall what there is in the club shop on Saturday

          • Hanni
            Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            Excellent. Have you had a talk with him yet about the differences between Union and League?

            I hope that the pub was suitably full this weekend and that the free food went down well?

            • Miffypops
              Posted February 16, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

              I cannot really talk to him about League as I just do not get it so I never watch it. Yes we were very busy on Saturday and the Italian Meatballs in a herby tomato sauce with some sort of pasta went down very well at half time. Well done Saint Sharon

              • Hanni
                Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

                You keep it simple…league is wrong, union is actual Rugby. You know that you can get mini cricket bats too?

                Well done to Saint Sharon indeed! Glad you were busy.

  10. Brian
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the ratings today. Not that easy but great fun. Best clue for me was 24a, an old chestnut I know but made me smile. Not too keen on 29a, didn’t quite work for me.
    Thx to all.

  11. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    1*/4*. I adore Rufus’s puzzles! Although I found this one quite straightforward, it was great fun.

    My last one in and favourite was 8d, which I “bunged in” and which then took me quite a while to parse.

    Great review, MP, for a great puzzle.

  12. SheilaP
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a bit harder than usual for a Monday but enjoyable all the same. We sort of got stuck halfway through and then had a burst of inspiration and finished it. You’re right, Muffypops, it doesn’t seem like a year since your first photos of your grandson appeared, but I can speak from experience, that as the years go by, time flies faster and faster. Ask anyone, the older you get the faster time flies. Thank you to the Monday setter and to Miffypops, and a Happy Birthday to young Harrison. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Muffypops?

      • SheilaP
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Miffypops, a slip of the finger I fear. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          I like it. Muffypops.

  13. Veronica
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m getting the hang of this compiler! I polished it off in xxxxxxxx. I thought this one was easy. No doubt the rest of the week will burst my balloon. As always the review of the clues check my guesses. Thanks.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      The convention is that we don’t put times – you can say ‘took me two cups of tea’; ‘polished off before breakfast’ or something like that, but no specific solving times so that we don’t put off anyone who might take longer to solve than some of the rest of us.

      • Hanni
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Like those of us who are still battling the Sparks Toughie from Friday? I’m going to have to concede that I need the hints at some point. I’ve got more in yesterday’s Mephisto. :-(

      • Sweet William
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        I think that if I disclosed my solving times, CS, it would be a positive encouragement to all who are just starting with cryptic puzzles. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        • Kath
          Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          I remember someone once saying that his or her time would be better measured with a calendar rather than a stop watch.

          • Hilary
            Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            How about an hour-glass?

            • Sweet William
              Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

              I would need several Hilary ! – or I suppose I would have to keep turning it over http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

              • Mycall
                Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

                I agree with Sweet Willam – hour-glasses are needed.
                But as we can mention coffeee and tea let me just say that it needed six hot drinks today.The only other crossword I have finished without hints was two Mondays ago when I had seven hot drinks. Either the puzzle was easier today or I am getting better (or less bad).

  14. martin hammon
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see the greatest singer/songwriter mentioned in dispatches., namely Tom Waits.

  15. Sweet William
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus for the challenge which for me was harder than the usual Monday puzzle, Managed to finish it OK, but not my favourite puzzle. Thank you MP for your excellent review and hints and family photos.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  16. Angel
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Overall I personally am finding the dt cryptics very entertaining of late and most requiring a similar level of cerebral exercise – thanks Setters including Rufus for your excellent offering today. Thanks also MP and many happy returns to Harrison. 27a and 28a amused. Wrong start to 18d confused things for a while. Needed to resort to an electronic gizmo to sort 14d (didn’t even manage by breaking MP’s rules and writing letters down in a circle). ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  17. Heno
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Happy Birthday to Harrison. A great puzzle to start the week. The last half a dozen clues put up a real fight, but I got there in the end. Just needed the hints to parse 8d, I didn’t even suspect it was a partial anagram! Favourite was 4d. Last in was 30a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  18. Franco
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday, Harrison!

    11a – thought it should have read as “long-sighted” – but I’m probably wrong.

    • Physicist
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you’re wrong; I’m short-sighted, and without my specs I can plainly see near things, but not far things.

      • Hilary
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        But I cannot read – Boo Hoo.

  19. Expat Chris
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a big Rufus fan and rarely comment on the Monday puzzles these days, but this one was rather good, I thought. 27A, 30A and 16D are top of my list. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  20. Chris
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I got on rapidly until I hit the lower half when progress stuttered rather, but I finished just in 1* in the end. Liked 8d for its clever construction although it was pretty easy to guess. Thanks to MP for the review and pictures of the birthday boy! Thank you to the setter.

  21. GarryF
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Just stumbled on this site, been a Telegraph xword fan for years but not that good :-( the additional clues really help – thanks. Its now in my favourites :-)

    • Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Garry

      Glad you like the site – stick around and you should improve!

    • Hilary
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      What BD should have said is that you cannot fail to improve by joining, because as you come to understand what you have put in your confidence will grow. Welcome.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Hello from me too GarryF

  22. JonP
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t normally do that well with Rufus (improving though) but I found this straightforward. Thanks to MP and Rufus 1.5*/3*

  23. Ginny
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus. I am still happily wading through it. Thank you MP and very happy birthday to Harrison. What a delight he is and how time has flown by. Thank you for the review. I enjoyed the band.

  24. Kath
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ll settle for 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Completely missed why 8d was what it was – didn’t ‘see’ the number ‘V’ or the anagram. First ‘oh dear’ of the week – I’m sure there will be plenty more.
    I was a bit slow with 15 and 29a and 4d – still trying to think of an excuse for those.
    Apart from that I didn’t have too much Monday trouble.
    I liked 27 and 30a and 30d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops and happy birthday to ‘his Lordship’!

    That’s the second time today that I’ve been forced to think that something doesn’t feel like a year ago. The first time was when I noticed the number of the Rookie Corner crossword and realised that the first one must have been almost a year ago.

    • Hilary
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations, I see that you have changed your avatar. I keep thinking I will do mine but cannot think of anything to use.

    • Hanni
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Yey! You have a wonderful new avatar. :-)

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      The answer was a bung it in. It was only when writing the review that I spotted the anagram indicator and fodder. In my haste I assumed the V came from V(egetables). Guess who put it right?

      • Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I did mean to tell you, honest guv!

    • fran
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Kath 29a my last one in but in all honesty it’s really just a filler, as some of the 4 letter clues often are (or is it me ?) ; 4d and 27a favorites; strangely enough 12a seemed so obvious .I am beginning to wonder what I’m doing wrong **/****

      • Kath
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        We’re not doing anything wrong – it’s just that we all have good days and bad days and setters that we “get on well with” and others that “we have a few differences with”.
        Onwards and upwards . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  25. Hilary
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday Harrison. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for a delightful treat, lovely anagrams – I am a very happy old lady. Too many favourites to choose from but 14d and 30a were high on the list. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  26. Bluebird
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, I didn’t enjoy the puzzle, but I did enjoy the videos………thanks, MP.

    I actually watched an alternative clip of that Stones track, involving conspicuous consumption of recreational substances……it’s still a mystery to me how those guys are even alive.

    My best guess is that they are not composed of flesh and blood at all, but are fashioned out of old saddlebags and linseed oil. Come to think of it, this probably applies to Tom Waits as well.

    • Ginny
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      For some reason that makes me think of the Travelling Wilburys.

  27. Jane
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    An easy enough solve but a bit lacking on the enjoyment front for me. I did SO want 11a to be incorrectly enumerated – thought Blind Spot would have been such a good answer!
    Arrived rather differently at the parsing for 1d – my thoughts were of the tennis score that comes after deuce.
    Best clues for me were 27&28a. 2*/2* today.

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for both the review and the chance to share a few moments from the family album.
    Many happy returns to Harrison. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Jane, quick aside from crosswords, but how are the not-so-newly engaged? :-)

      • Jane
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        Well……. one half of the duo went back to his boat four days after they moved into their new house, leaving the other half up to her eyes in washing down paintwork and attacking a very overgrown garden. Furnishings so far include one chair, one bed and a picnic table.
        Oh – and the washing machine’s packed up, all the radiators have started to leak and there’s no hope of any internet connection before the end of the month.
        I keep telling her she’ll look back at this time and laugh……..so far she’s not convinced. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted February 16, 2015 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear. :-(

          And the thing is…you are right. In later years you look back and see the ‘anomalies’ that happened as funny and part of your history. When you’ve bought a house and you’re kicking an AGA it seems less funny. But that’s why us mum’s are here.

          Love to you both. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  28. Gwizz
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    A good crossword challenge to start the week! The top half went in fairly easily but the lower section took a lot more thought. 27a was my favourite clue.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP for a very entertaining revue.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  29. Michael
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle today – lots of fun and the blogs clues were not needed today.

    The cryptic, quick, Herculis, Sudoku’s and Anagrams all finished – it’s been all go!

    Onward and Upward – tomorrow is another day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  30. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    You can keep your hat on MP. Even if it’s one of those silly birthday pointy hat.
    As you guessed I didn’t get 12a and had to give up and reveal the answer.
    I’m often left with just the one unsolved clue and I prefer to black out the remaining squares and pretend that there is no definition at all for that one.
    The rest didn’t cause any problems though.
    My favourite is 21d today. I always like smooth clues as I call them.
    Scratchy seems to be quite comfortable in that tree. Was he scared to come down or did he want you to join him?
    Happy birthday to Harrison.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  31. Merusa
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I am a particular fan of Rufus and today was no exception. Funnily enough, I was reading an article not long ago and 14d was mentioned, never heard it before and I thought at the time “I’ll never see that word again”, and there it is.
    I got 8d on first go round but I thought it was far too obvious, so I waited until I had all the letters before writing it in!
    Fave was 20d but many more special clues.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the review and pictures. Happy Birthday Harrison!

  32. Markb
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle and thanks for the clues . For some reason trying to parse 29ac took 5 times longer than all the other clues put together so many thanks for the hint and saving me much wasted time!

  33. Kitty
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Rather slow progress for me today but I’d like to put that down to multiple impairments incurred over the weekend. I’m nonetheless glad not to come here only to find everyone else polished it off with ease. Did get 8d without any trouble once I’d decided that the A didn’t mean it would have to begin with an A, but there were many other occasions I could have kicked myself for being dim.

    When Rufus is in a less benign mode he is almost more likely to use some word, term or meaning that I have never heard of than a certain Friday setter is. I had not heard of hard lines. Hard cheese, yes. Hard luck, hard lots of things, but not lines.

    I liked 27a even though I took rather an age to see it. It is my favourite: calm and painless sounds nice.

    Thanks Rufus for another good crossword. Thanks MP for the entertaining review and lovely pictures. Happy birthday Harry :).

    Off to do some post-invasion cleaning and then to catch up on some crosswords if I can stay conscious.

  34. Dutch
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Greetings from livigno Italy where we had a beautiful sunny day on the slopes (except my 12 yr son fell on his head going over a jump, but only his ego is bruised thank god).

    Found time in a pub with internet to do today’s Rufus while the family were chilling in our appt. I did wonder whether I got all the clues right but it seems so. Took me a while for the definition of vegetarian to gel. Some nice clues and some I wasn’t completely sure about, all typical Monday stuff really. Was a nice chill over a beer

    Thanks Rufus and thanks miffypops for your review which seems to become more interesting by the week

  35. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    A few clues that caused a brief stutter in the solving process, but generally, it all went together smoothly with lots of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops. Happy Birthday Harrison.

  36. Lostboy
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Could somebody parse 30a for me?
    I just can’t see how it fits the clue.

    I get “fan”, but how is it a benefit of sickness?

    Sorry if this seems a bit thick, but sometimes I is.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      A ventilator is an artificial breathing machine which would be of benefit if you were too sick to breathe for yourself.

      • Lostboy
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks M P.

        I understand all the words….
        but the grammar just seems all wrong to me.

        I mean, I put the answer in confidently, but still…..

        Never mind, on to the Toughie.
        Oh Rats, it’s Monday.

  37. Little Dave
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was fairly tame last in being 14d which was a little vexing as it has featured before and was a clear anagram. On tenterhooks here waiting for the 6th round draw. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gifThanks to Miffpops et al.

  38. Little Dave
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Villa away. I’ll take that one!

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Did you hear about the lottery winner who has put in a bid to buy Aston Villa? He says if he had got four numbers he would have bid for West Bromwich Albion as well.

      • Hanni
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

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

  39. Salty Dog
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    This one felt stiffer than my watch tells me it was – 1*/3*. No real favourite clue, though. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for a typically entertaining review.

  40. pommers
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    8d doesn’t work for me. If it’s an all-in-one “a number” indicates plural and the answer is singular and if not then EATING is doing double duty. Poor clue IMHO.

    Otherwise pretty standard Rufus puzzle.

    Thanks to him and Miffypops.

  41. vancouverbc
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    ***/*** but I wasn’t impressed with 8d. The rest was fine however so thanks to the setter and to MP for an amusing review.

  42. andy
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. Interesting review from MP and otherwise Rufus 2/3 *. Happy Birthday Harrison from Andy Cynthia and Cuthbert

  43. Jay legs
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    ***/** started like a nice easy Monday crossword, but then ground to a halt in SE corner. Thanks to the proud Grand Father for the hints ;)

  44. happy days
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I think Rufus was using the solution to 8d as an adjective, so ‘ a number are ———-‘ works. It seemed to me to be a rather good all in one

  45. Mary
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello everyone it’s late, the Internet is actually on and I have just finished this!!!!!
    Finding Rufus a lot tougher than he used to be, I didn’t mind 8d but didn’t like or particularly understand 11a!!! Past my bedtime so goodnight one and all and I hope you’re all behaving yourselves during my extended leave!!
    PS
    Kath I had one favourite 26d still got lots in the bank!!!!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted February 17, 2015 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Welcome back to you and Cai! We missed you, so hopefully your internet will behave from here on.

  46. Geoff. S.
    Posted February 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t have many problems with this today. **/*** for me.
    Only got around to it late at night when all is quiet.
    Favourite clue was 14d.
    Thanks to setter and didn’t need any clues From Miffypops but thanks as always.

  47. Tstrummer
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    One pipe, one pint. Good old Rufus, he can be relied upon to make me feel cleverer than I am. Straightforward in all respects, but I am also in the ‘didn’t like 8d’ club. Thanks to MP for the traditional excellent revue 2*/3*

  48. candida
    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    How nice to see those pictures of lovely wholesome young women and Harrison today, (not to mention I guess papa), instead of those creepy pics of cleavage and bottoms which seem to proliferate on some tipsters posts.

    • Posted February 17, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog candida

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 18, 2015 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Hello Candide. I agree with you.