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DT 27846

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27846

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I suppose that Rufus has so much experience we should not be surprised when he delivers a corker of a puzzle like this one. A delight from sleepy start to wide awake finish. Saint Sharon and I are off to http://www.greyhoundinn.org/ for a nice canalside lunch with the outlaws.

Miffypops has lovingly crafted the hints and tips below which are here to help and guide you. He hopes 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.


1a    Where to begin trainspotting, free (8,5)
STARTING POINT: Anagram (free) of TRAINSPOTTING. It is always nice to begin crossword with a straight hit at one across. Anagrams are the easiest of clues once the anagram indicator (anagrind) is spotted. There are only 14,326 words that may possibly be used to indicate an anagram. Once they are learnt new solvers should have no problems!

10a    Tie up an unusually attractive plant (7)
PETUNIA: Our second anagram of the day is indicated by the word unusually. The words TIE UP AN give the anagram fodder and by merely staring at them and thinking of the definition “attractive plant” it is easy to come up with this hanging basket favourite.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a    Free  delivery (7)
RELEASE: A double definition. A regular favourite construct of Rufus. This one is quite straightforward particularly once a couple of checkers are in. Beware the four letter double definitions with obscure meanings from the depths of the BRB so beloved by Rufus.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Women prepared to follow orders (4)
NUNS: These sisters are very religious.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a    The first to introduce the golden handshake? (5)
MIDAS: The king of Phrygia who was granted the wish that everything he touched be turned to gold. Silly boy. That’s no more sex forever then. You didn’t think that one through did you.

14a    Right time of life for passion (4)
RAGE: R(ight) followed by how old you might be (time of life) will give a word meaning passion or anger

17a    Fashionable church feature to give one an idea (7)
INSPIRE: Use our usual suspect for fashionable and add the pointy feature some churches have. (Not the steeple, the other one)

18a    Squeeze out just one more cent (7)
EXTRACT: An additional thing followed by an abbreviation for cent.

19a    He’s not content with scoring a bull (7)
MATADOR: He’s not content with scoring a bull. Oh yes he is. He is happiest whatever he does to the bull. Prolonging its agony in a “fight” with only one possible outcome. This despicable chappie wears a suit of lights and murders innocent bulls. All in the name of entertainment. Not for me it isn’t. Rant over.

22a    It doesn’t allow English doctor on Greek ship (7)
EMBARGO: A three part charade (Lego clue) build it up as instructed in the clue… E(nglish M(edicinae) B(accalaureatte) and The ship Jason sailed to search for the Golden Fleece. I know of one in York and one in Croxton, Leicestershire. Is there one near to you?

24a    Highlanders may do so even when sober (4)
REEL: A Highland dance is also what the dancers might do after too many malt whiskies.

25a    Some players make it, others read it (5)
SCORE: Sportsmen might do this, think footballers getting the ball into the net. Musicians need to read the dots to ensure they play the right notes in the right order.

26a    The poker-players’  boss? (4)
STUD: A type of poker game is also a rivet on the centre of a shield

29a    Sort of disease treated by district nurses? (7)
ENDEMIC: Of a disease or condition, regularly found among people of a certain area as opposed to Pan or Epi (Thanks Google)

30a    Hail falling in layers in upper parts (7)
HEAVENS: Insert a greeting used to express good wishes on meeting or parting inside (in) layers, of eggs which we have at breakfast. No, not ducks.

31a    Racehorse that’s sure to have the most life, paradoxically (4,9)
DEAD CERTAINTY: This racehorse is a guaranteed winner. You cannot lose if you bet on it. Like a dusty carpet it has never been beaten. The paradox is that the first word of the answer means lifeless. Fast women and slow horses have been the downfall of many a man.


2d    Complaint of aunt finally in Austen novel (7)
TETANUS: Place the last letter of [aun]T (finally) inside an anagram (novel) of AUSTEN

3d    Called for orange, peeled (4)
RANG: Peel the o[rang]e. Need I say more.

4d    Picture to hold in fancy (7)
IMAGINE: Start with a picture and then insert the IN from the clue.

5d    Refuse to boast about one’s years (7)
GARBAGE: Reverse (about) a word meaning to boast or crow and add the word used already in 14ac meaning how old one might be

6d    Simply  unique (4)
ONLY: A more difficult double definition. And no one or nothing more besides; solely

7d    Falls for a redhead once more, getting uplifted (7)
NIAGARA: Take the A from the clue R(edhead) and an a verb meaning once more. Now reverse the lot (getting uplifted) This is a welcome chestnut of a clue which once solved by a newbie should have them grinning from ear to ear and hoping for lots more of the same.

8d    Where all the goods will be sold out (4-3,6)
OPEN AIR MARKET: Out here means outdoors. Think Petticoat Lane.

9d    Key point of a hotel? (9,4)
RECEPTION DESK: Where one receives and returns room keys in a hotel

15d    Fearful  sort of weather? (5)
WINDY: A double definition. A third might be suffering from an accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal

16d    Drives point home in essays (5)
STABS: Another skilful double definition. The point driven home here is the sharp end of a knife

20d    Its user may have to step on it to get through the work (7)
TREADLE: The foot pedal used to manually operate a sewing machine

21d    In secrecy, cleverly reclaim materials (7)
RECYCLE: Your answer is lurking there right inside the clue. It is looking out at you, daring you to find it. The word IN lets us know that this is a hidden word. Now that is a subtle indicator. Blink and you will miss it. Top marks to Rufus for this one

22d    Heart so affected, sounds can be heard within it (7)
EARSHOT: Anagram (affected) of HEART SO

23d    Flight  departure (7)
RETREAT: Another fine double definition. What an army might do when being beaten

27d    Surrounded by a shadowy reflection (4)
AMID: A from the clue followed by the reversal (reflection) of a word meaning shadowy or of poor light

28d    Laid out in Salvador (4)
DALI: Anagram (out) of LAID

Blogged to the sound of Bob Dylan in Newcastle 5th July 1984. My 4th Dylan gig and Saint Sharons first. 31 years ago. Where did the time go?

The Quick Crossword pun: Autumn+attic=automatic

Don’t miss the debut puzzle in the Independent from the latest NTSPP graduate.  Congratulations Vigo.

For today only, you can find the puzzle here:

Independent Puzzle 8962

63 comments on “DT 27846

  1. 2.5*/4* for a lively and amusing puzzle from our Monday Maestro. My last two in were 13a & 5d which stretched my time a bit above 2*.

    Not sure about the second of the two definitions 23d. 2d had me scratching around for a while for an obscure Jane Austen novel, but when the penny dropped was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

      1. Thank you MP. The combination today of Rufus’ puzzle and your review is delightful. If everyday in the cruciverbalists’ world could be like this there would be no need ever to go on holiday.

  2. I was obviously, for once, on Mr Squires’ wavelength as I found this straightforward. Very enjoyable puzzle too, with thanks to MP and Rufus */****

  3. A great puzzle from Rufus and an equally great review from MP.
    Lots of great clues, but particularly clever (for me) is 30a. **/****

  4. Thank you Miffypops for a great review, I particularly appreciate the last waltz clip.

    Lovely puzzle by Rufus today. As always, there are some classic Rufus clues I admire, good examples today include 8d (where all the good will be sold out), 22a (it doesn’t allow english doctor on board greek ship), the spooky 27d (surrounded by a shadowy reflection), and the clever 21d (in secrecy, cleverly reclaim materials)

    as usual, I struggle more to appreciate the weak double definitions which involve a search for vague synonyms, 11a (free delivery), 23d (flight departure).

    26a just reminded me of the NTSPP by Radler, who had a much more amusing version of this!

    Guardian also has a very nice Rufus puzzle

    Today’s rookie puzzle is (again!) brilliant, though a little tricky

    Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops

  5. I didn’t find it easy but I really enjoyed it.Great clues included 30a (now that is has been parsed ),all the framing clues and 13a my last one in.Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  6. As usual I decided on my’ ratings’ before reading Miffypops excellent review and awarded a */**** like Jon P above , I also found it straightforward and amusing and cleverly put together by our Monday Maestro- loved Matt’s Sunday Telegraph cartoon, and an excellent cryptic to boot- no crises here !

  7. We may have troubles with Greek Alphabet clues. The Greek Alphabet now begins with IOU

  8. 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    9d was my last answer – don’t ask me why – it just was.
    I missed the 1a anagram indicator for far too long – again, don’t ask me why.
    I don’t like 10a – nothing wrong with the clue but I don’t like the flowers – they always get white fly and go all sticky and horrid.
    I still don’t really get 29a – it had to be what it was but what have the nurses got to do with it?
    I liked 13 and 30a and 8 and 27d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Off to cut the grass – actually everything’s so dry now that the grass has stopped growing so probably more correct to say going to cut the weeds as a bit of drought hasn’t stopped them from growing.

    1. Do you remember that song “I’m a lonely little petunia in an onion patch”? Sung by a comedian who played a uke, anyone remember him?

      1. Arthur Godfrey – according to Mr. Google. Well remember the song but wouldn’t have been able to come up with his name! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. I remember the song mainly because my Dad used to sing it. Even though it is a small island, we had no paved roads when we went to school. The schools were too far away to go every day so we had to board. To make the journey more tolerable, my Dad sang a huge variety of Edwardian music hall songs and recite poetry. Oh, the dust whenever we met another car.

      2. Since you mentioned it – no! I do remember “A Lonely Pup in a Christmas Shop” – I think it was Adam Faith but could easily be wrong here – I often am and haven’t looked it up – should always do so before commenting. I think I was about ten and it made me cry! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  9. A few head-scratchers in this one pushed it into 2.5* time for me – definitely 4* for enjoyment.
    Like RD, I pondered an Austen novel for 2d and was a little unsure of the second definition for 23d.
    Slow to get the parsing of 29&30a although the answers were obvious from the checkers.
    Plenty of amusement along the way – 30a gets my favourite vote by a whisker.

    Thanks to Jay for a great start to the week and to MP for an equally amusing review. This one obviously put you into a really good mood!
    Should have guessed you’d find the worst possible version of 11a (were they all drunk?) and also ‘treat’ us to another track from the master of depression. Fortunately, Petunia did rather make up for it.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif for your comments re: 19a.

    1. Apologies, Rufus – don’t know how I came to attribute today’s delight to Jay. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
      Think the stinker from our new Rookie has addled the brain.

      1. Joni wanted a verse to herself. Check out her version of Coyote from the same concert. No regrets coyote.

  10. Just crept into the 2.5 for difficulty for me but otherwise a pleasant exercise. Just one small point, why the District Nurses in 29a?
    My personal favourite was 1a followed closely by 2d.
    Thx to all.

    1. As well as the crossword being good, Miffypops comments are a scream especially 13a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    2. brb mentions district in the definition for the answer “prevalent or regularly found among a people or in a district” – hence the tie to district nurses…

  11. **/****

    Rufus certainly has the 13a touch. Delicious from start to finish. 29a was my last one in on the grounds that I couldn’t justify the ‘district nurse’ part.

    This got a ** difficulty as I spectacularly messed up 8 & 9d. I tend to put the long outside clues in first and today I put them in the wrong little boxes. Not one of my finest moments.

    Loved 2d, 13 & 31a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for a first rate blog. Great work on the clips. Enjoy your lunch out.

    P.S what an excellent new avatar you have. I think it’s my favourite to date.

  12. Lovely stuff from Rufus. His crosswords always make me feel cheerful. Frolics through crosswordland, instead of the dreary trudges of many setters.

  13. Straightforward puzzle today 1*/3*. Some great clues…especially liked 15d….puzzled over this for a bit, then laughed out loud when the penny dropped! 30a was a good one too…that had me stumped for a while and was one of the last in. No need for the hints today, but thanks to MP anyway, and to setter.

  14. Terrific entertainment as ever, totally distracted me from my initial slight annoyance at the new over-elaborate font being used for the puzzle’s number in today’s paper!

    Favourites for me were 2d and 9d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  15. Weather cooled down so brain functioning again. Super splendid crossword thank you Rufus and thank you Miffypops for a Monday giggle. Penultimate day of exhibition, very poor yesterday so fingers crossed it picked up today. Off to make tea. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  16. Great Rufus enjoyment! He never fails.
    M’pops, you really excelled today with your review, lotsa laughs!
    Loved it all so hard to choose a fave, liked 31a but I think 30a nosed it out in the end.
    Thanks to Rufus and M’pops, would that all puzzles were as happy!

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A super start to the week. I was thinking of a Jane Austen novel for 2d before the penny dropped, great misdirection. Favourite was 30a, especially with my avatar :-) Last in was 13a. Was 2*/4* for me. Lovely day in Central London, Murray doing ok.

  18. A clever, enjoyable and very satisfying late afternoon romp. **\*** for me, and too many good clues to mention. Well done setter and our reviewer today.

  19. Another Monday marvel from Rufus. Great fun, a couple of head-scratching clues, some good anagrams and a sense of humour pervading the entire puzzle. Thanks to R for enlivening my otherwise domestic day, and to MP for yet another top-drawer review. 2*/4*

    1. Hi TS – seems odd to have you checking in so early in the day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
      Just to let you know I’ve ordered a copy of the James Thurber book (2nd hand). Could be about a week before it gets here but will read it asap and get back to you.

      1. I have a rare day off. I had hoped to play golf, but my hand’s not quite ready for that yet. You will enjoy the Thurber, there’s so much to enjoy there. It’s the ultimate bedside book. I particularly like “Memoirs of a drudge”, because of my work, and “The night the bed fell”, for it’s utter bonkersness. You will find favourites of your own – perhaps if you have read Faulkner, “Bateman comes home” may do it for you

    2. The Wonderful O by James Thurber. – . “I’ll thrupple your squgg until all you can wupple is geep! And he did. Geep wuppled the parrot

        1. Just one of the joys of reading James Thurber Kath. The book is called The Wonderful O.

  20. I concur with comments **/****, I cannot believe that I had to get a hint for the two best clues 30 & 31 a :( Thanks to Rufus and MP for cheering up our respective Monday’s :)

  21. Can someone put me out of my misery and explain why 15d means fearful? Thanks in advance! :-)

    1. One of the definitions of [to get the] wind [up] is to become (or be) nervous, apprehensive or agitated. It therefore follows that if you were windy you might be suffering from one of those states.

      As I’m always saying to Brian, the dictionary is marvellous thing.

    2. No doubt it’s slang but if someone is fearful they can be said to have ‘got the wind up’. That’s the wind that blows not the one that winds up the grandfather clock!

    3. 15a is a word that I know means scared or nervous but these days it just describes my very dried up garden. A hayfield would probably be a better description . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  22. 30a is the one that has my tick beside it as favourite today. It all went in smoothly with plenty to smile about.
    Solo solving this week as the other K is away in Wellington doing grandchildren minding duties. It is school holidays here.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  23. Yes, enjoyable and doable, 2d and 30a favorites – 2*/4* from me, thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  24. Rufus does it again – and so does Miffypops. Thanks to the one for the crossword, and the other for the most amusing extra entertainment.

    1. The solve was a while ago so memory has faded, but I do remember that 15d took an age to think of and 29a was the last to parse (after I finally gave up hunting for abbreviations for district nurses). I don’t want to see any more 19as either.

  25. failed on 15d, fearful = windy, I see now BRB says so, but really, unchecked first third fifth didn’t help. I did think the anagram at 1a very clever. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops

  26. A splendid start to the puzzling week: not difficult, but very entertaining (1*/4*). The delightfully misleading 2d is my favourite clue. Ta to Rufus, and to Miffypops.

  27. The top half was almost a read and write – although my titan for 13a was completely off the rail!!! Loved Miffypops comment for Midas. Like most of us still do not understand what have nurses got to do with 29a… A lovely puzzle by Rufus matched by a great review by Miffypops, what more do you need to start the week? 2*/4* with 31a as favourite – 9d was very amusing. Many thanks to setter and reviewer.

  28. Whenever I hear the name in 10a it always makes me think of those public information films from the 70’s. Seeing that one again brought back some memories! I seem to recall the same couple starred in one about the coastguard too?

    Enjoyed the puzzle as well. Not too taxing but not a complete pushover either.
    1.5*/3* from me.
    Thanks to both Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. How strange to see everyone enjoyed this – although I liked a lot of clues (1a, 17a, 21d etc), there were too many all-in-ones and double definitions where I ‘bunged in’ what turned out to be correct answer but never felt the satisfaction of being sure which I always think is the reward of a good cryptic clue (e.g. 12a, 19a, 29a, 20d, 16a – still not really sure why means ‘essays’, as in ‘make a stab at’?). 25a was a bung-in that I did ‘doh’ at once I’d read the blog. But thanks to Rufus – I expect it’s me, not you, probably just shows I’ve got a long way to go before I’m a real crossword connoisseur! Many thanks to Miffypops for an excellently clued blog.

  30. Great puzzle as usual from Rufus and idem from Miffypops for the hints and tips…**/****

  31. Thank you to Rufus and Miffypops. A marriage made in heaven which transforms Mondays, and even Tuesdays, into something much better. Thanks, MP, for explaining 30a, not to mention 24 and 11a and for your superb blog.

  32. I too was for once on Rufus’ wavelength, as the long single definition answers just came. Also, I can never hear the answer to 22dn without being reminded of this exchange from the Goons-
    I think we must be within earshot.


    He just shot off one of my ears!

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