DT 27918

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27918

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Phew! Weekends do not come much better than the one that has just passed. Beautiful weather. Seven Rugby matches to watch. Rugby Heaven and Rugby hell on Saturday night. Well worked Wales. Televisual heaven with Cider with Rosie last night. More of the same please. (I also enjoyed The Go Between last week.) The eclipse was wonderful to watch. Oh and there was beer aplenty. Two year old Sloe Gin was bottled and damson gin started. Life is so good.

Rufus today has set a rather easy puzzle, well-crafted as usual but my hints and tips may not be needed by many of you.

Below are my hints and tips to DT cryptic puzzle No 27,918 which will hopefully help you to solve the clues that you are finding difficult. Try the hint first and if you are still in the dark click on the greyed out box that says 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.


1a    Sit and canoodle, forming bond together (11)
CONSOLIDATE: Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin. This is an anagram (forming) of the words CANOODLE and SIT

9a    Such trees are barely recognisable in winter (9)
DECIDUOUS: These trees lose their leaves in late autumn and so look different in their winter guises. The answer to this clue means “Falling off at maturity”. That sums me up very nicely indeed.

10a    Indeed, all the odd bits will be perfect (5)
IDEAL: The odd numbered letters (odd bits) of the words Indeed all

11a    High-spirited child? (6)
CHERUB: So high as to be heavenly. An angelically beautiful child.

12a    A fashion editor’s heavenly body (8)
ASTEROID: Take the letter A straight from the clue and add an anagram (fashion) of EDITORS

13a    Deposit covers new bid that’s reserved (4,2)
LAID BY: Take a three lettered verb meaning to deposit, as in a bet and place it around (covers) an anagram (new) of BID

15a    I was told off for youthful indiscretions (4,4)
WILD OATS: An anagram here (off) of I WAS TOLD. Here’s Philip Larkin’s poem of the same title:

About twenty years ago
Two girls came in where I worked –
A bosomy English rose
And her friend in specs I could talk to.
Faces in those days sparked
The whole shooting-match off, and I doubt
If ever one had like hers:
But it was the friend I took out,

And in seven years after that
Wrote over four hundred letters,
Gave a ten-guinea ring
I got back in the end, and met
At numerous cathedral cities
Unknown to the clergy. I believe
I met beautiful twice. She was trying
Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.

Parting, after about five
Rehearsals, was an agreement
That I was too selfish, withdrawn
And easily bored to love.
Well, useful to get that learnt,
In my wallet are still two snaps,
Of bosomy rose with fur gloves on.
Unlucky charms, perhaps.

18a    Not the same as put into proper order (8)
ASSORTED: Take the word AS straight from the clue and add an adjective meaning arranged, organised or dealt with satisfactorily

19a    Bids for chests without a number (6)
OFFERS: The first letter of these strongboxes is also the Roman numeral which denotes the number 100. Remove that number and you are left with a bid or……….. I am talking away to myself here, am I not.

21a    Theatre attendant (4-4)
PLAY-GOER: One who attends a drama at a theatre. Saint Sharon and I will qualify on Thursday when we go to see The Importance of Being Earnest.

23a    Where most are bent on entering? (6)
PRISON: Dishonest or corrupt people might end up in one of Her Majesties three star hotels

26a    Fashionable racecourse for a northerner (5)
ASCOT: A (from the clue) and one from north of the border make up this royal racecourse.

27a    Chant a simple ditty (9)
PLAINSONG: This chant could be Gregorian to find it we need another word for simple and another word for a ditty. Here is a ditty as sung by Donovan

28a    Merit good treatment, as hard-working oil-drillers do? (7,4)
DESERVE WELL: Awkward clue of the day. To thoroughly merit or earn something (in this case the oil riggers industriousness is what merits their successful discovery of what they are looking for) Here is Dylan’s masterful reply which was well deserved by Donovan


1d    A willing rider (7)
CODICIL: an attachment to a will.

2d    Panic, heading round concealed corner (5)
NICHE: A lurker of an answer. Lurking away hidden amongst the words in the clue teasing you to find him.

3d    It’s not even considered mathematically (3,6)
ODD NUMBER: The alternative to even (not even) arithmetical values

4d    I’d look up to this hero (4)
IDOL: I’D (again from the clue) followed by our usual crosswordland suspect for look, which is reversed (up).  Thanks Big Dave for the correct answer and hint. Miffypops  put   ICON:  I (again from the clue) followed by our usual crosswordland clue for look up or study.  I am just a poorly schooled orphan boy as I have said before. Thanks again BD

5d    He’ll kill animals in the end (8)
ASSASSIN: This killer is made up of two donkeys and the word IN lifted again from the clue

6d    No longer lie about being an outcast (5)
EXILE: No longer as in a spouse, a lover or partner followed by an anagram ( about) of LIE

7d    Deceives daughter and flees (7)
DELUDES: D(aughter) followed by a verb meaning to avoid capture. This needs an S on the end as per the clue. Somebody better schooled than me might suggest the third person present of a verb but I know nothing

8d    Go off, taking girlfriend around school (8)
DETONATE: Go off or set off an explosive. Your girlfriend, squeeze, or soulmate is placed around that school in Berkshire. Is Berkshire Crosswordland?

14d    Dissect an insect, for example (8)
INSTANCE: Anagram (dissect) of AN INSECT

16d    Respect some hesitation in one’s excuses, perhaps … (9)
DEFERENCE: These excuses might be used in a court of law. Insert one of our Crosswordland hesitations (not um, the other one)

17d    … respect I fancy they will show one’s paid (8)
RECEIPTS: Anagram (fancy) of RESPECT I

18d    A couple of pages to praise and praise (7)
APPLAUD: A do as you are told type of clue. Take the letter A and add two (a couple of) letter Ps P(ages). Now add a verb meaning to praise highly. There now, just like Lego

20d    Country seen differently by upset convict (7)
SENEGAL : This country is made up of an anagram (differently) of SEEN followed by the reversal (upset) of a word for a convict or prisoner

22d    Attendance down, at first, restricted to college (5)
GATED: The number of people who pay to see a sporting event (attendance) followed by D(own) gives a verb meaning confined to school or college

24d    An account  to settle? (5)
SCORE: This account is an old fashioned bill which needs to be settled

25d    Lovely article in wood (4)
FAIR: Place the letter A (article) inside a type of tree. Abies apparently.

The hurt of Saturday night will surely pass. On the plus side We are still in The Rugby World Cup. There are twenty-nine matches still to be played and I have tickets to see bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Bellowhead in the next two months.

The Quick Crossword pun: prophet+tier=profiteer



  1. Hanni
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink


    No horses scared. No pencil circles needed. Nothing but a R&W. I fail to see how 21a is cryptic.

    Nice stuff as always from Rufus.

    I don’t want to think about the rugby. Hope everyone’s weekend has been good? Can you make me a bottle of damson gin please MP?

    Many thanks to Rufus and to you for blogging.

    • Beaver
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      I assume that the clue attempted to mislead by alluding to an operating theatre-maybe it should have ended with a ?

      • Hanni
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        You see I failed to pick up on that subtlety. I frequently do. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Kath
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        What do you mean attempted to mislead . . . ? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

        • Jane
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Fortunately, I already had the ‘g’ in as a checker – otherwise I’d doubtless have been with you!

    • dutch
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      yes, i just thought someone working in a theatre (rather than a visitor) – but someone working in an operating theatre is even better

  2. overtaxed
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Agree entirely with MPs assessment. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the clues. Dont think many will need them today. Lovely weather, but a tad late. Could have done with it in the Summer.

  3. pete
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Fairly easy start to the week. 28a Deserve well, not two words I would normally put together.

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes you would Pete, just the other way around. I had a well deserved drink after wrestling with weeds in the garden all day.

      • Hanni
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Personally I would just dig them up. But whatever floats your boat MP.

        • Miffypops
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          The things that float my boat Hanni? Oooh er misses.

  4. happy days
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable. When is Rufus not? Thanks to him and Mifypops

  5. Slartibartfast
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Cider with Rosie, top class.
    What rugby?

  6. Heinz
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with earlier comments, but would question 21a appearing as hyphenated, it is more usual to see it expressed as one word.

  7. Jane
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Another 1*/3* coming in from me – although I almost resorted to pen and circle for 1a (just being ‘dim’, as Kath would say).
    Haven’t come across 27a before and wasn’t overly happy with eludes = flees.
    Liked 23a & 1d (so concise) and 18a was the best smile – although MPs 9a hint made me laugh out loud. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Thanks to Rufus and everyone’s favourite publican. Your taste in music continues to astound me – you even managed to pick probably the worst Donovan track ever. Enjoy your evening at the theatre – there at least I can agree with you. Your pick of the TV programmes wasn’t bad either. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      The Donovan clip is iconic Jane. Donovan sings his “Ditty” for Bob Dylans approval and Dylan replies by blowing him right away by singing “Its All Over now baby Blue”. Dylan knows he is so superior. the sarcastic glances and the way he looks at Donovan as he sings the final “Its All Over Now baby Blue are sublime.

      • Jane
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, MP – I just couldn’t watch it all over again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  8. Beaver
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Decided on a */*** before I read the blog-thanks Miffypops for the blog pics, no sound at the office ,so will have to play 28a when I get home -intrigued by the Dylan /Donovan link ! 28a very clumsy ,clue should have a ‘reverse indicator’ as well deserve(d) is the common usage. Anyway bright enjoyable start to the week-some kind person has brought a large sponge cake into the office with a red dragon displayed on a white icing background-not amused.

  9. Rabbit Dave
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Agree with MP’s ratings 1*/3*. This was light but fun.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  10. Brian
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I agree */***. Couple of nice clues in 23a and 24d. Not sure about 28a, seems very clumsy and contrived. Otherwise an enjoyable start to the week.
    Thx to all.
    PS I think Robshaw will have nightmares about that decision for many years to come.

    • SheilaP
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      And so he should. Well done to the Welsh team, though.

      • Angel
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Well …. not so sure – it might have been a difficult kick for goal.

    • Slartibartfast
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Only if England fail to qualify.
      I seem to remember him doing a similar thing a couple of years ago.

    • Kath
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink


  11. dutch
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Usual mix of subtle cd’s from the master – I could see 9a, 11a, 21a, 23a and 1d, but I was less certain about 24d – I guess one meaning is a bill to pay and the other? I didn’t like 28a very much.

    Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops

    • Jane
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      A score to settle?

      • dutch
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        well i was thinking that but score is the answer, wouldn’t the clue have to offer that meaning too?

        • Jane
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          I think I can see where you’re coming from, Dutch, but score is given as an archaic synonym of account so I think maybe you’re splitting hairs a bit?

          • dutch
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            Was trying to understand rather than split hairs – I’m still struggling a bit with this clue so I think I’m missing something. Not to worry.

            • Jane
              Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

              Sorry, Dutch – wasn’t meaning to sound rude. I think I count myself, after much encouragement from this site, as being a fair to middling type of solver (using the Don’s criteria that we are all entry level solvers!) so I invariably assume that if I can get to the answer then it must have been a reasonably acceptable clue. That may well not be strictly true – I still get blind spots and the odd moment of inspiration – but generally the concept seems to work quite well!

  12. Angel
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    No pain today – a relief after yesterday’s battle. Agree with your */*** assessment MP and love the 11a illustration! I have square eyes after a w/e of much goggleboxing but would add Downton Abbey to your list although perhaps we have now had enough of a good thing! Anxiously await England/Australia on Saturday. Thanks Rufus for letting us off lightly and MP for dependably being there. No real Fav/s. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  13. Kath
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everyone else – 1* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I admit that I fell for the misdirection in 21a – and I’ve seen it before.
    I was also a bit slow with 18a (for no obvious reason) and with 23a – could only think of low doors which wasn’t particularly helpful and anyway it didn’t fit.
    I liked 1 and 9a and 1d. My favourite was 23a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    The end of last week and the weekend have been so busy that I have a lovely backlog of crosswords – Thursday’s Beam, yesterday’s Virgilius, and then there’s Mr Rookie too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Heno
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      You’ll enjoy the Beam Kath, it was great fun.

      • Miffypops
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        i would enjoy it too if I knew where it was

        • Kath
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!

      • Kath
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the recommendation – will have a hunt for it after I’ve done some grass cutting.

        • Miffypops
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          You can cut my camping field and three lawns before you hunt for my copy if you want Kath. I am all heart me.

          • Hanni
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

            I know you prefer weeds…but you do have a ride on one with a personalised number plate.

  14. Jaycat
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Just finished, not too painful for a Monday. Didn’t like 28a but there were plenty of other clues.


    Thanks to setter and Miffypops (didn’t hints today though)

  15. Graham Wall
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the rating given by MP and thank him for the blog. The illustrations were more entertaining than the puzzle. Enjoyment would have been more had there been a couple of smilers thrown in but it was not to be. I am desolated by the rugby result, I cannot go out today’s as I am sure Stuart Lancaster will be on the phone soon requesting my services. Off now to polish my boots!

  16. Patski
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Found this a lot easier than the weekend puzzles! Even after getting up to watch the eclipse!

    Had to complete it on the app as I was too lazy to go out and get the paper. Stumped when completed as it said some answers were wrong. Turned out I’d spelled 1d wrong…

    • Jane
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      1d – didn’t we all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Kath
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        No – how else would you spell it? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Jane
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          You forget all about Latin and think of ‘code’ which then needs a ‘cil’ on the end of it. Simples!

        • Patski
          Posted September 29, 2015 at 12:47 am | Permalink

          I put an a instead of an I….

  17. Peta
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I finished without any tips today. It may have been relatively easy, but we are still allowing ourselves a gentle glow of pride.

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      You glow away Peta, and your Mum. well done.

    • Hanni
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Well done to you both. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Florence
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I know how you feel Peta, I did too. Maybe we’re getting somewhere at long last. I posted my comment ages ago, but it seems to have got lost in space. Probably got a red glow around it somewhere. I said thanks to setter and Miffypops in the last comment, but thanks again!! Loved the cute pic in 12a. Thanks to setter and BD too for yesterday’s offering. Finished that about 4.00am.

    • Jane
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Glows are good, Peta. They’re what keep us all battling on!

    • Kath
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Well done. You and your Mum should have a go at today’s Rookie Corner crossword.

  18. Heno
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week, I raced away with the top half, then took ages to get the rest. Spent so long on 15a, had the fodder, but couldn’t see it straight away. Got there in the end without the hints. A couple of old chestnuts in 19a and 8d. Didn’t like 28a. Last in was 23a. Favourite was 27a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  19. Jane
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    You know how these pop-up ads generally reflect something we’ve been ‘looking up’. Can someone remind me when we last had a type of axe? Some of those I’ve been offered look rather terrifying. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I usually get very nice Christopher Ward Watches. I may just buy a Harrison C9 5 day automatic with blued hands a white face and an alligator strap

      • Jane
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Oooh – get you!

        • Miffypops
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Or I may not. I never wear watches. I do like them though

          • overtaxed
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

            Sounds like you just saved yourself £2k!

          • Jane
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            There’s something rather bizarre about that comment, MP – although why should I expect anything other. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I like the blue faced one.

  20. Michael
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I used the new App to do Saturday’s puzzle – when I submitted it it came back with a message saying I had already submitted it – something very wrong there!

    It was a big sporting weekend with West Ham v Norwich on Saturday (very lucky to get the draw against a good Norwich team) then the Rugby on Saturday evening – England seemed a bit naive and I’m not impressed with Sam Burgess – he’s a big b????? but doesn’t bring much to the team – him and Barritt in the centre are very ordinary.

    Loads more Rugby yesterday – very enjoyable!

    This puzzle didn’t frighten the horses – good normal Monday fare!

    Two hours attacking my Pyracanthus this morning, that stuff grows like wildfire!

    • Patski
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      I got that message too but I think it replaces the button so that you can’t enter a second time. Would be better if it said thank you for your entry.

      I’ve had a number of replies to my feed back emails. Bet they’re sorry they made it so easy to complain!! Seems the issue is that some tablets because of their pixel count are seen by the app as phones so therefore don’t show the puzzles link which we had before. The only improvement I see is that completed clues are now greyed out.

  21. silvanus
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard to imagine a more straightforward Rufus Monday puzzle than this one, one wonders if we might have to pay for it come Thursday or Friday methinks……

    No stand out favourite today, but the usual consisently solid cluing one has come to expect.

    I enjoyed Cider with Rosie too, I read the book years ago (when Laurie Lee was still with us) and I thought that last night’s TV adaptation was pitched just right.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

    • Jane
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I enjoyed it as well. My only issue was in the casting of the boy who played Laurie Lee as a youngster – he reminded me overmuch of a young Michael McIntyre!

      • silvanus
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Haha, now you mention it, there was a passing resemblance!

        It was also a treat to see the two grannies played by such stalwarts as Annette Crosbie and June Whitfield. Both are now well into their eighties, in fact June is 90 in little over a month’s time.

        • Jane
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          It was indeed – and how nice to see that their experience is still in demand. June has certainly stood her ground against the ‘worst’ of them and who could ever forget the long-suffering Mrs. Meldrew!

  22. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely Rufus.
    Must be known by now that I am partial to short and concise clueing.
    And what a good example that was.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  23. Vancouverbc
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    */**. Not my favourite puzzle due to clues like 21&28a. Nevertheless thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  24. Merusa
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Agree with M’pops rating. My fave was 23a, but many fun clues.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops for the review.

  25. mre
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon all

    My sometime accomplice was en caff today so a double handed effort. Between us this took well under ten minutes so */* for me.

    I still can’t make head nor tail of 28a and the hint hasn’t helped.

    • Jane
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Off to the naughty corner with you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • mre
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        I’ve looked at the film clip again and apart from the obvious take away about the harmful effect of passive smoking on one’s singing voice I’m no wiser…

        • Jane
          Posted September 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Wouldn’t worry about it, MrE – MP only needs the most tenuous of connections to include a Dylan clip with his reviews.
          As for the naughty corner – can’t believe you were allowed to get away with putting in your timing. BD must be sleeping it off after his early morning start to watch the eclipse! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

          • mre
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            Ah. Now I understand.

            I wasn’t aware of any frowning upon mentioning of completion times. I’ll know in future. In fairness I barely had a sight of today’s puzzle myself so couldn’t think of much else to say.

          • Patski
            Posted September 28, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the warning! Not that my completion times are anything to brag about!

            • Jane
              Posted September 28, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

              I think that’s the whole point, Patski. Some folk (CS, for example) would probably count a quick solve as being able to complete the Cryptic, Quickie and Toughie before the kettle boils – others would be happy enough to get through the Cryptic alone before it’s time to collect the kids from school.
              Doesn’t matter one jot – but it’s very satisfying to see your personal solving times shorten as you improve.
              Just saying ‘cup of coffee’ or ‘pint of beer’ time is OK – both come under the heading of – how long is a piece of string!

              • crypticsue
                Posted September 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

                You must have a very slow kettle – and I only rarely solve the Quick crossword

                • Merusa
                  Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

                  I don’t bother with the “quick” any more. I need something to nudge me in the direction of the answer not just a single word.

                  • Jane
                    Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

                    MP has said that the Quickie is good training ground for the Cryptics, so I always try to find time to give it a go. Don’t tell him though – I’d hate him to think that I ever listen to a word he says. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

                    • Hanni
                      Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

                      Rarely if ever do the quickie. Look for the pun and that’s it.

  26. Salty Dog
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Rather a doddle of a week-starter, but not without its pleasures. 1*/3* is about right and 15a my candidate for top clue. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

  27. Ginny
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed Rufus’ witty cluing and MP’s review in equal measure. Thank you for more Monday gold, including a glimpse from 1965 MP, hope you both enjoy Earnest. I am going to see it in October.

  28. Jaylegs
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice straight forward puzzle */*** but really enjoyable ? Thanks to MP & Rufus

  29. Gwizz
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I agree, a nice straight forward Monday type puzzle. So why I put ELITE for 6d heaven knows! Ah well, I’ll put it down to the eclipse.
    15a was my favourite…. I can just about remember them…
    1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and mine host for his review.

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    A bit of delay convincing ourselves that we did have 24d and 28a correct in what was a pretty typical Monday puzzle. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  31. Robin Newman
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


    liked 1A, 9A & 23A

    23A seems to raise the possibility of some misconvictions

  32. Hrothgar
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear.
    A training day I presume.
    Thanks Rufus, and Miffypops for a well-illustrated review.

  33. Paso Doble
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    We made unnecessarily heavy weather of this one and would give it a **/*** . Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  34. Kath
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Totally knackered after very busy few days.
    Filling in my own pink slip for very late appearance or possibly total absence tomorrow – too much going on here at the moment.
    Still haven’t found, let along looked at, last week’s Beam Toughie or the Sunday Virgilius – treats in store if there’s ever time.
    Night night all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      The Beam is a thing of joy. Enjoy when you get the chance.

  35. Shropshirelad
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Evening all (as Dixon used to say). Have been really busy today so didn’t have much chance to cast my eye over today’s puzzle earlier. The usual standard of clueing from the Monday Maestro (with the exception of 28a) and fun to do.. Rufus has been in our local paper for, once again, entering the Guinness Book of Records – can’t understand how he dropped out http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif


    No particular favourite today, but thanks to Rufus for the enjoyable puzzle and also to MP for his usual ‘off the wall’ review http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    As you can all probably guess, I am absolutely delighted with the Rugby results this weekend and to crown it all off – a superb adaptation of Laurie Lee’s memoir ‘Cider with Rosie’. Brilliant production.

  36. Whybird
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was well below Monday standards. 7d (flees? Really?), 11a, 28a and especially 21a I really dislike. Only 1d hits the spot and as that was first in, I thought I was in for a treat,. Maybe that’s why I’m so grumpy.

  37. Kitty
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    A suitable level of difficulty for me today, having stayed up most of the night to help a birthday boy deal with some very nice Scotch. We made good progress. I am such a kind and generous sister.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. It’s good to be back home http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    I’m so sleepy now that I’m finding it hard to write a comment that makes much sense. Stunning lunar eclipse last night, cranial eclipse tonight. Sleep time, I think.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Good on you Kitty – I hope it was a very agreeable whisky http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif


      • Kitty
        Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        Aberlour. It certainly slipped down nicely :) .

  38. Jane
    Posted September 28, 2015 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi TS – just popping in before bedtime to say that I hope all went well with your trip to the airport to get your young man safely stowed on to his flight on the big bird to Canada. NOW is the time to call in to the travel agents – don’t leave it until the grindstone of Fleet St. has dulled the edges of determination and you delay a decision. Get it booked and the sense of missing him will be replaced by the anticipation of seeing him again.
    I may not be brilliant at crosswords, often split my infinitives and make all sorts of other foul-ups along the way but this is one thing I know for certain!

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Hi also TS. Jane’s advice seems good to me. She is a wise old owl.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted September 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jane (and MP). The great leap backwards has begun and after dropping Joey at Gatwick (6am) I went to a 90th birthday party in Buckinghamshire and then over to Essex to collect the boat, which has now begun its journey back to Braunston, even if only as far as Mile End. Consequently, I never got a chance to get a DT or do the puzzle. Shame, because I love Rufus. But thank you for your thoughts. I shall wait until after Christmas before booking a trip to Banff – his track record of sticking things out is not a good one (he managed only one term and a week at Cambridge, split up from his girlfriend of five years a month after moving together etc). If he’s still there in the new year, then so will I be.

  39. Una
    Posted September 29, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle and great review.I love these early clips of Dylan, whom my husband resembled remarkably in his youth, though in my opinion, was much better looking. There is almost no resemblance now , and he is still much better looking.