DT 27948

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27948

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Welcome to the wonderful world of Miffypops and his interpretation of today’s Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword Puzzle number 27,948. Below are some hints and tips to guide you through the process of solving the clues. If you cannot get the answer after reading the hint, then click on the greyed out box to reveal the answer.

I thought this Rufus puzzle a little trickier than usual but still not difficult. The daily battle with the iPad version of the puzzle is a far greater challenge, particularly when half of the clues go walkabout and the rest that remain use the extra space to dance around.

Congratulation to New Zealand (for that is the name of the team) upon their stunning win on Saturday. And total respect to Sonny Bill Wiliams for his generosity and kindness immediately after the game. Just watch the clip at 28 across to have the cockles of your hearts warmed and to see the rare occurrence of an Englishman making a tackle albeit on a little boy who disobeyed the rules and got a fantastic reward for doing so whilst all the good boys got nothing. There is a lesson for all the little goody two shoes there.

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    It guides a ploughman (6)
TILLER: This part of a boats steering device can also be used to describe a ploughman although I thought it referred to the implement used for ploughing not the ploughman. BRB anyone?

4a    Mother is composing a line to the weatherman (8)
ISOTHERM: We do not wait long for anagrams in Rufus puzzles and here is today’s first. MOTHER IS are the letters to juggle in your head as indicated by the anagram indicator composing. Pencils pens notepads and little letter circles are frowned upon on Mondays. Mondays are mental agility days where anagrams are concerned.

9a    In retreat the general offers to withdraw (6)
RENEGE: This hidden word is indicated by the word IN. to make it harder to spot it reads from right to left as the word retreat suggests. Cor blimey I told you this was trickier than normal.

10a    M Poirot has a point –- a strong one (8)
HERCULES: The fictional detective’s first name and a compass point will give the name of a Greek divine hero or Steptoe’s horse. Of the three most famous Belgians, TinTin, Poirot and Eddie Merckx, two are fictitious.

12a    Food preparation that’s part of the service (4)
DISH: This is a double definition clue. The food prepared and served can also be a shallow, flat-bottomed container for cooking or serving food.

13a    Test site –- no place for ladies (5)
LORDS: This cricket ground is the home of The MCC. Ladies were not allowed to be members until well into the nineties.

14a    A complaint I’d not put in a guide (4)
AGUE: This fever can be found by removing (not put in) the letters I’D from the words A GUIDE.

17a    Challenge whether goose is cooked (3,4,5)
WHO GOES THERE: Another clever anagram (is cooked) of WHETHER GOOSE which solves itself if you stare at the letters for a short while.

20a    A question of double identity? (5,2,5)
WHICH IS WHICH: The question here is the question of choice. It might be asked in order to identify twins

23a    It could contain jam but is certainly not jammed (4)
AJAR: Split 1,3 you get a glass container for jam. Altogether it describes a door not quite closed and therefore not jammed.

24a    It’s an African language, but oddly includes English article (5)
BANTU: Ooh look, a partial anagram (oddly) of BUT with the form of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound shoved inside (includes)

25a    Stage favourite’s making a comeback (4)
STEP: Our favourites (people or domesticated animals) are reversed here to make a leg or stage in a gradual process.

28a    Don’t cheat in two forms of leisure activity (4,4)
PLAY FAIR: To uphold the rules. The two leisure activities are 1. engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose. And 2. a gathering of stalls and amusements for public entertainment. Here is an amazing clip showing Sonny Bill Williams doing just that.

29a    Staff to support one who’s disabled (6)
CRUTCH: This staff might have been used by Long John Silver. Occasionally Rufus throws an old chestnut of a clue at us that was first written when Long John Silver had two legs and Captain Flint was an egg

30a    It could be faster on the promenade (8)
SEAFRONT: This is an anagram (it could be) of FASTER ON. I missed the anagram indicator and this was my last one in. Silly me.

31a    Allow to rest peacefully? Quite the opposite (3,3)
LET RIP: Place an initialled epitaph after a verb meaning to allow as in not forbid or prevent


1d    Refuse to fold over the sheet? (4,4)
TURN DOWN: A double definition. The second referring to the sheets on a bed.

2d    Cricketer of yore yearns to face spinner (4,4)
LONG STOP: This fielding position on a cricket pitch can be found by using a 5,3 split with a word meaning yearns or pines followed by a child’s toy which spins and sometimes hums as well. That isn’t to say that the toy smells (which it might) the hum is a noise. Sorry to waffle on here. Put it down to a lack of parental guidance and a lack of formal schooling. Anyway the cricketing position is a waste of a player and is unnecessary if the wicketkeeper is any good. I would not have a goalkeeper in a football eleven. The back four would prevent shots on goal and the goalie would be used as an extra striker.

3d    A border we’d get trimmed at either end (4)
EDGE: as in 14 across this clue asks us to remove letters from a word or words in the clue. The words here are WE’D GET. Remove the letters at either end to reveal a border. You need to chuck out the apostrophe as well.

5d    They have no saving graces (12)
SPENDTHRIFTS: These people use their money in an extravagant and irresponsible way.

6d    Very little time for credit (4)
TICK: This double definition uses a noun meaning a moment and a rather old fashioned term for credit. A third definition might be the mark used by a teacher to indicate that an answer is correct.

7d    It may be said to be highly complimentary (6)
EULOGY: This speech or piece of writing that praises somebody highly is often a tribute to somebody who has died.

8d    Married Daisy, a teacher (6)
MASTER: This teacher can be found by using the abbreviation for M(arried) and a plant of the daisy family

11d    Dedication to a concern is unusual (12)
CONSECRATION: Here we have another anagram which needs nothing other than a pair of eyes and a bit of a brain to solve. It jumped out at me almost immediately. So. Anagram (unusual) of TO A CONCERN IS

15d    Fuss, making rounds between hospitals over area (3-2)
HOO-HA: This wonderful word can be got at by doing as the clue suggests. Building it up bit by bit. Place the rounds (two, because rounds is plural) perfectly round letters between two (because Hospitals is plural) abbreviations for H(ospital) and add the abbreviation for A(rea).

16d    Father to confess and make headlines (5)
FROWN: The abbreviation for Father is followed by a verb meaning to confess.

18d    Tyrant will appear day Riot Act is reformed (8)
DICTATOR: An anagram (reformed) of RIOT ACT follows the letter D from D(ay)

19d    Fast repeated punches (4-4)
CHOP-CHOP: This punch is a sharp downward blow. Used twice as indicated by the word repeatedly it gives us a phrase which means quickly

21d    The academic field (6)
CAMPUS: The grounds and buildings of a university

22d    Two articles supporting embargo for fruit (6)
BANANA: A three letter word for embargo is followed by both forms of the article used in 24 across.

26d    Some distance away from a service, heading north (4)
AFAR: A from the clue and the reversed (Heading north) initials of our airborne armed service.

27d    Able to go where one likes  for nothing (4)
FREE: A double definition. Need I say more

Is that it? Good. By this time last year Saint Sharon and I had lost several family members and close friends which drained us both. This year nobody close has died. We have had two super holidays and been on tour with Bob Dylan. We have both thoroughly enjoyed The Rugby World Cup. Life is very sweet at the moment. The word lush springs to mind.

The Quick Crossword pun: miss+cons+true=misconstrue


  1. Michael
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been waiting for the blog which is a first – anyway I found this puzzle very enjoyable, plenty of anagrams and a couple of hidden words – there is also a little Cricket theme!

    Editing comments using an IPad is a little problematic – I click on the comment to edit and it loads with the default IPad font, if you try to edit at this stage it just closes the dialogue – you have to wait for the font to change and it then allows editing as normal – a little wrinkle!

    I’ve just fallen in about 16d – I was definitely missing the ‘make headlines’ bit but I suddenly saw it!


  2. neveracrossword
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this (but thought 13a a bit iffy). 2*/3* for me (but I had the advantage of the paper version).Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  3. dutch
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Miffypops

    brb gives “cultivator” for 1a.

    I also thought this was a bit trickier and more interesting than most Rufus puzzles – a very enjoyable solve. My favourite is 14a (complaint I’d not put in a guide). I also liked 17a (challenge whether goose is cooked) and 14a (African language). In 1d I was worried that I might need to look for an ageing cricketer. I thought 1d (refuse to fold down sheet), 8d (Married Daisy) and 21a (academic field) were lovely typical Rufus clues.

    I didn’t like 12a, seems to me the two definitions are not independent

    Many thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  4. overtaxed
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    All very straightforward apart from 13a, where I missed the cricket reference, and needed the hint to complete the puzzle. No stand out clues, but thought the anagram at13a was clever.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  5. Graham
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Nice solve & nice blog as per usual with MP’s, interesting theory re goal keepers maybe the Chelsea manager such employ such a radical game plan. Many thanks to the setter & Miffypops for his entertaining review hope he enjoyed the concert on my home patch of Soton last week.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      He certainly did Graham. We had an early lunch in Hamble and stayed at Ennios Hotel where we had a lovely Italian meal for Dinner.. The concert was as good as ever but the venue was poor. We saw Dylan at The Guildhall in Portsmouth some years ago. That was a wonderful venue and we expected Southampton’s Guildhall to be similar. Unfortunately not.. I did like what I saw of Southampon especially The Dancing Man pub and brewhouse.

      • Graham
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        I went to school in Hamble & now live in the next village of Netley Abbey,glad you enjoyed the hospitality of the south.

  6. Angel
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Not much aggro today but much enjoyment. Thanks Rufus and MP. **/****. I agree with Dutch re 12a. Took time for penny to drop on 14a – last in. Tried lots of old cricketers for 2d before thinking of fishing and similarly pampas (grass) for 21d. Fav 31a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. Kath
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I agree this was a bit trickier than the usual Rufus crossword so 3* difficulty and about the same for enjoyment.
    I got terribly held up with a couple of answers in the top right corner – 14a and 7d – and in the bottom left corner – 23a and 21d.
    I also missed the 30a anagram indicator but found the lurkers without too much trouble.
    I liked 10 and 31a and 5 and 19d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Mr Rookie is putting up a hell of a fight today – I’ve only done about half and even that much has taken ages – going to do something else for a while and see if that helps.

  8. pete
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this a bit harder than a usual Monday puzzle, 4a and 5d stumped me.

  9. Hanni
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


    Gentle and fun. 14a was my last one in, by a long shot. My horticultural knowledge is so lacking that I always need to check any plant based clues, in this case 8d. I’m fully aware that most 8 year olds probably know what an aster is. I rarely do. There are some flowers on the hall table right now. I call them ‘white ones’. Suspect they have a Latin name.

    Much to like here with 15a giving me the biggest smile.

    Many thanks to Rufus for a good start to the week and to MP for blogging. Think you surpassed yourself with that effort. Good stuff..especially the back four bit.

    Fog has finally lifted on the moors that made this mornings ride out somewhat wet.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Grandifloradammedifino Hanni. It works for all plants.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I’ll have to remember that one. Like it.

  10. Peta
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Success for Mum and myself. We are confident enough now to say we didn’t like 12a, but 31a made us smile!

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Hey. Well done again. Good luck with the rest of the week

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      You’ll both be reviewing toughies in no time at all – well done http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. Jaylegs
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword, not too difficult with two or three challenges ☺️**/**** Liked 13a, 22a, 31a, 2d & 16d ? Thanks to MP and Rufus, especially for the video clip ?

  12. Florence
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Interesting to read all the different comments, and who got stuck on what. My nemesis was 16d. Couldn’t get Pa out of mind and thought it had to be there somewhere. I struggled with today so feel a bit disheartened. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review. Glad you enjoyed your Dylan concerts Miffypops. I’ve just been introduced to the guitar playing of Joe Bonamassa and now hooked. He has a concert in Bournemouth in March so debating about tickets. JB and Beth Hart together in the studio playing Nutbush City Limits.. fantastic.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 3, 2015 at 1:44 am | Permalink

      Hmmm. JB is technically a very good guitar player – and an all-round decent guy, who gives credit where credit is due – but if you like that style, you might prefer the Derek Trucks Band (or any band with DT in it) or, better than all of them, Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter.

      • Florence
        Posted November 3, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Thanks. I’ll take a look.

      • dave lock
        Posted November 6, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Yes Tstrummer and Florence – if you want to see Johnny Winter playing some fantastic live Texas blues guitar just type the following into YouTube: Johnny Winter Sound the Bell Sweden 1987. You will be blown away!

  13. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    2*/4*. First rate entertainment from Rufus as always. 2d was my favourite but, as an ageing wicket-keeper, I would be extremely offended if my team captain placed a fielder in this position. Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    • Jane
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Nice to see you back, RD. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Thank you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink


      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Dave, condolences fro me. I hope all is well

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Thank you MP. The kindness shown on this blog has helped enormously.

    • Kath
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink


  14. Jane
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Think I’ll go with Hanni on a 1*/3* for this one, but that could have something to do with the comparison between this Rufus and the Rookie!
    1a – I just thought of sailors navigating by the stars – worked for me!
    2d – didn’t need as much cricket knowledge as I’d anticipated http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    5d – No. 1 daughter crops up everywhere!
    Podium list includes 17&20a plus 16&19d.

    Thanks to Rufus for a gentle Monday and many thanks to MP for his usual exuberant review. Thought of your kittens at 20a – how are they both? As you said – a touching gesture in your 28a clip – but it could cause huge problems for the game’s security staff at future matches!

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      I struggled for clips today Jane. I wish I had thought of that. Maybe I will post the identical twins and little Harrison next week.

  15. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    A tad trickier than the usual Monday fare, but good fun nonetheless. The only minor gripes are 12 & 13a – I didn’t think the former was a DD and the latter is somewhat ‘iffy’ IMHO. Still it did remind me of one of my favourite pubs that Mrs SL and I frequent when holidaying in Hampshire.


    30a was my last one in as I didn’t see the anagram until I had all the checkers – so I’ll have that as my favourite of the day.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Mp for his amusing review (I’m down your way on the 14th of this month – will you be there?)

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      I will be at the Rugby 1.00 pm until 5.15pm and there for the rest of the time.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Looks like I’ll have to wait until the birthday bash to get you a drink then. Have a good day at the rugby http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Jfk
      Posted November 3, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      A fun puzzle, and a good start to the week. 16d (headlines) made me smile the most. 24a was last in – thought it would have a E in it. In defence of 12a, I think it qualifies as a DD insofar as “dish” is prepared food, and is also a physical piece of crockery that would form part of a dinner service. 13a is a bit iffy if you take the “no place for ladies” as a reference to the membership policy at Lords, but I took it to be a contrast between Lords and Ladies.

      • Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog jfn

        • Jfk
          Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Thanks. Been a regular visitor for some time, and really enjoy the blog, but only just getting confident enough on the crossword to leap in and comment ?

        • Miffypops
          Posted November 3, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          A big hello and a hug from me too. Thanks for commenting. It took me an age to spot the cricketing reference.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 3, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Hello from me too.

        • Jfk
          Posted November 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Thanks all. One question that I’ve often wondered about – how do you know has set the crossword each day? The toughie has the setter’s name by it, but I can’t find where it says it on the cryptic (this is in the paper, rather than online). Am I missing something? Thanks

          • Hanni
            Posted November 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            It’s mentioned in the FAQ’s at the top of the page. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            • Jfk
              Posted November 4, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

              So it is ?. Thank you

  16. silvanus
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m quite surprised that the majority thus far seem to have found it slightly trickier than normal for a Monday as I felt it was a very typical and delightful Rufus offering and contained nothing which one has not come to expect.

    I liked the two long crossing interrogatives and 23a reminded me of that old childhood riddle. Favourite of the day was 31a, as it produced the widest smile.

    Many thanks to the ever-dependable Mr. Squires and the ever-amusing Miffypops.

  17. Paso Doble
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Whizzed through this today…..great stuff as usual from Rufus and thanks to Miffypops. */****

  18. Nick the Greek
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely crossword, I really enjoyed it. */****. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  19. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    The “Season” is finally over in Hyeres. We are now open only lunchtime and Friday & Sat nights. That means Semi Retirement for me.
    Only could tackle the crossword this evening. It’s already 5pm here.
    Didn’t take very long but was held up by 2d. I kinda guessed the answer and promptly went down BD’s Mine. But stupor! It wasn’t there. Had to go elsewhere and found this:
    Long spot: a fielder who stands behind the wicket keeper, and catches balls the wicket keeper misses. Uhm. I think I agree with MP on that.
    First time I see 29a in its singular form.
    Like Hanni, I didn’t know daisies were asters. Learned something.
    Favourite by far is 16d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the great review.

    • Jane
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      2d – think you’ve got your ‘P’s and ‘T’s a bit mixed up, JL!
      So pleased to hear that you’ll be there for the birthday bash – hope you’ll be bringing ‘goodies’ – I was devastated to miss out last year. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jane,
        Oops for 2d. Of course I meant Long stop. Writing too fast again.
        As for the goodies, you can count on me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        • Jane
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle. 13&14a and 5&16d were excellent clues. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  21. Collywobbles
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Super Monday puzzle and, as has been said, slightly harder than usual but that’s not a bad thing. More enjoyable for that. Many thanks Rufus and MP.

    That gesture by Sonny Bill Williams will be remembered by that boy for the rest of his life. What a kind thing to do

  22. Una
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I never heard of 2d and I missed the anagram indicator for 30a, so I needed the hints for those two.
    I liked all the rest of the clues , especially 17a, 20a and 10a.
    The weather was fabulous here today, really quite warm for November, bright and sunny.
    With thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  23. Heno
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week, very tricky. Needed the hints for 13a, strangely I thought of the Oval, but not of Lords, 24a I missed the anagram indicator, 5d always have trouble with this word, I alway think it means the opposite of what it actually means. Managed the rest ok, thought that 30a was a very well hidden anagram. favourite was 2d, was 3*/4* for me. Super puzzle.

  24. Rob Wilson
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Got stuck on the last couple today. Missed the anagram in 30a, convinced myself 5d would end in -ist and 13a had me stumped… Enjoyable nonetheless and i’m sure i’ll have better days!

  25. Merusa
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I was right on Rufus’s wavelength today,
    I got 2d wrong; I know nothing about cricket and put in “long shot”, which, of course, is dead wrong, where is the spinner? I should have seen that.
    I liked both 17a and 20a, but 5d is fave.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his review.

    • Una
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I had long shot too.

  26. Angel
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Better late than never but have only just fully read your hints MP and realised that I should indeed have stayed with cricket in 2d rather than opting for another kind of spinner – a long shot fishing lure http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  27. Theo Carter
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    “Too clever by half ” my mother would have said. 24a – I automatically took the odd letters of ‘but’ and inserted the obvious article to arrive at Bant – u but couldn’t work out where the English fitted in – it took a while for the penny to drop – Doh!! But in my defence, I have spent the morning building the village bonfire so the body and brain is now completely tired out ?

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Thursday is bonfire build for us.

      • Kath
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Thursday is the Elder Pet Lamb’s birthday so London for us. Trust her to be born on a noisy day – she was noisy the day she was born and nothing’s changed! She’s wonderful though . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Our nation is still on a high after the euphoria of the weekend’s sporting success. It all starts again when the heroes return home. There are major parades and celebrations planned in our three largest cities on consecutive days. However, back to the crossword. The usual top quality puzzle that we expect on a Monday and agree slightly more difficult than some. Good fun.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. Young Salopian
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Monday’s are always a late solve for me, but this one was nonetheless very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward. Like my fellow Salopian above, I too missed the anagram in 30a which was my final clue to go in. Thanks to our setter and MP for his efforts. 2/3 for me now off for a glass or three.


    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Pity you can’t make the bash YS – we could have travelled down together. Maybe next time http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Young Salopian
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Thanks for the offer. There’s always a next time.

  30. cat
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Like several others, I thought this was a little more difficult than usual for a Monday. I didn’t really like 12a and got totally stumped (no pun intended) by 13a, kicked myself when I checked the hint, especially as I was rather pleased to have got 2d. I just never made the cricket connection on 13a. Thanks to Rufus and MP.
    PS My name and email address had completely disappeared, has this happened to anyone else?

    • Angel
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes recently it has been happening frequently to me and I don’t realise until I try to post http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gifa comment and get an error message so have to rewrite and fill in name/email address.

      • cat
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        That’s useful to know, Angel. I don’t post very many comments so I hadn’t noticed until today.

    • Jaylegs
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Started to happen to me as well, every day?

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 3, 2015 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      Happens to me every day – as do messages telling me the website is offline

  31. mre
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Trickier than usual for a Monday. Didn’t spend too long on this puzzle but finished with 13a unsolved. Favourite clue was 5d.


  32. Gwizz
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    This was a very good crossword to start the week; nothing too difficult but most enjoyable. 16d was my favourite and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  33. fran
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable solve although I put pampus for 21 even though it didn’t make complete sense(grass = field= pampas=pampus etc ), and relied on hint for 13a even though I am a big cricket fan and have been to the ground – daaa .Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops **/****

    • Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog fran

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Hi Fran

    • Hanni
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Hello from me too. Hope you keep commentating.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the madhouse Fran http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Florence
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Welcome Fran

  34. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I see Hanley Swan was on this evening’s local news. It appears that the Community Orchard has a surplus of apples and producing apple juice to sell via facebook. I have to ask – where’s the local cider press and does it need fixing? If so, I am generally free Monday – Thursday http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just Googled it. That’s a lot of apples. I’d be wanting to bottle that for cider. I don’t drink cider but like the idea of it.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      They are lightweights in Hanley Swan. We have cider on the go, Damson Gin too, and the Sloes are abundant so lots of Sloe Gin will be made. The Plum Brandy with plums from the old cemetery is coming along nicely. These are the things that fuel my blogs. That and real ale. Life is lush

      • Hanni
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        I remember having some cider apple brandy at a party 20 odd years ago. It may have been lush. I’ve no idea. Don’t recall much after drinking it, then again I was daft enough not to eat that day.

        • Jane
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          All this ‘lush’ business is beginning to trouble me somewhat. My grandmother always used the word as a description of a ‘lady’ who drank far too much and was of somewhat easy virtue. Verdant pastures never came into the reckoning! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

            This may help Jane, it’s probably the only word adopted by the Welsh containing a vowel http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif


            Mind you, I’ve probably upset Hanni now.

          • Miffypops
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            A very apt definition Jane. Hanni, on a drinking day eating is cheating. My online dictionary gives 1 Of vegetation, especially grass, growing verdantly and 2 sexually attractive. The blog has gone sexually active in a short space of time. Are you sure you really want join in? Lush!

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
          • Hanni
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            Isn’t it also a cosmetics shop that you can smell from 3 miles away…lush.

            SL, I’m not easily offended, worry not.

            Edit…who knew an innocent apple comment would result in this. I like apples. Well not to eat unless they are in something.

            • Shropshirelad
              Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

              I believe you’ve always got to be ready for the ‘Miffypops factor’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

              • Hanni
                Posted November 2, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

                The Miffypops factor. Interesting TV show?

            • Jane
              Posted November 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

              Now I’m really getting worried – Nigella has just been on the ‘box’ talking about her lush chick peas. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      I bought 6 bottles only last Saturday. The juice is pressed by Clive’s Fruit Farm near Upton upon Severn.

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Only six? See my comment above

      • Kath
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        We grew up about half a mile further up the road from Clive’s fruit farm. When we were early teenagers we used to pick blackcurrants there – we were paid three shillings per chip – a chip was a basket and the contents weighed twelve pounds – talk about child labour!!

        • Miffypops
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          A chip as a basket? What a great definition. It should be in all crossword puzzles. Will the very lush Kath be in attendance in Little Venice?

  35. oddjob
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for not using the inane act of highlighting lurkers (just because you can) a lesson to many.
    Please check punctuation as I’ve had a host of real ales (3).

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      I don’t highlight lurkers for two reasons. A I don’t want to. B. I don’t know how to.
      Well done with the real ales. Real ales are lush.

      • oddjob
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Hi Mp, hope you enjoy the host (3) at the upcoming do.

    • Kath
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      What do you mean about “highlighting lurkers” and who is this aimed at? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kath – there have been instances where some reviewers highlight the ‘lurker’ in the clue. Personally, I have no problem with that or any other so called ‘misdemeanour’ by any reviewer on this site. Things that do concern me are as follows:

        1. People having a real go at setters about their crosswords – if they’re that clever then let them try to earn a living compiling crosswords

        2. People having a go at reviewers about their style – again, if they’re that clever, let them have a go at blogging . I’ve only done it a couple of times but I certainly don’t find it easy and it’s all done in your own time.

        Sorry, it really isn’t in my nature to be nasty – but I do wish some people would engage brain before ‘typing finger’.

        I will now shut up http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

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

          In fact very well said.

        • Miffypops
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          What a lush comment. I am in total agreement. Watch out for your new inexperienced blogger later this month.

          • oddjob
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

            Hi Mp,
            Absolutely delighted to have so much interest by such exalted company,
            a mention of the same person juxtaposed to lush so many times is amusing.
            “click here” for answer, “answer is hidden in clue (possibly backwards)” might be enough info for the average person wot reads this page, without the eye-catching highlighting, anyone needing this is possibly on the wrong page.oj

        • Jane
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          I can imagine little more terrifying than being in the blogging chair. The thought of sitting up in the wee small hours with puzzle in hand, the clock ticking and the knowledge that a band of avid solvers will be awaiting your pearls of wisdom in a few short hours would be enough to have me running for the hills – and that’s before you even think about the IT stuff involved.
          I take my hat off to all of you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

            I agree. The IT stuff would not be a problem, but the putting the words to lights would be. I doff my cap to the lush bloggers. I actually own a cap.

          • Miffypops
            Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

            I am not allowed the IT stuff. I have to submit to BD for approval, Just in case. Kitty and Kath know more about the IT side than me. Unfair. I am being victimised for having a poor education and no parents.

          • Miffypops
            Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:30 am | Permalink

            It is one of of my aims to get you in the blogging chair Jane. It is your destiny as a wizard and a true star.

            • Hanni
              Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

              Blogger Jane…about time. Is that lush?

              • Miffypops
                Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:59 am | Permalink

                Oooh arrh. Bring it on.

  36. Salty Dog
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Rather a gentle start to the week: 1*/3*. I’m afraid l don’t really have a favourite clue; nothing leaps out at me as particularly clever (which isn’t to say that they aren’t perfectly fair and reasonable, of course). Perhaps l’m just a grumpy old git. Anyway, thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for a splendidly idiosyncratic review.

  37. Brian
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Could anyone explain the Yore in 2d. Makes n sense at all to me.
    Thought the one a real slog and not too much fun.
    Thx to all

    • Hanni
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      I took it to mean a cricketing position almost never used. Never seen it at the higher levels myself. As nowadays it wouldn’t be needed.

  38. Kitty
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Just what I needed today: a Rufus and Miffypops spectacular :) .

    It’s one of those days when I’m glad of the rule about disclosing solving times. Let’s just say that this was not my finest hour. I couldn’t get the last three letters of 2d, I was held up on the 7d/14a pair (no idea why), and also spent far longer than I should have needed on 5d/13a which was driving me loopy. I blame too much cider. (It’s not my usual drink of choice but it has become tradition that when I come to Dorset I try to drink as many apples as possible. It’s a cidery day in the comments section too I see :) .)

    I’m totally behind with crosswords. Rookies are piling up. Being on holiday is hard work. I need another holiday http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif.

    Anyway, the puzzle. Favourite was 31a, and I also liked 16d and 19d. The review was tremendous as usual for a Miffypops Monday, but I have to say I was surprised by the lack of musics.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      I was timed out Kitty

      • Kitty
        Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Oh well there is always next time. I have no doubt you’ll be making up for it.

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          Just noticed your gravatar – it looks just like our beloved ‘Taz’. She has just turned 19, has always weighed about 2kg, has got a bad heart, teeth, kidneys – but rules the roost (and my heart) with her charm and affection http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted November 2, 2015 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

            Aww, hello Taz. And hi to you too SL :) .

            I’m afraid that is just a pic I found on the internet, since I don’t have a cat. Landlord won’t allow it. Blah http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif. I do, however, have a borrowed cat for the fortnight, and will have to change my pic soon in honour of him.

  39. oddjob
    Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    lush word of the day is lush!

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Lush. if you only knew. Gosh pick any one from a dozen or so. Or more.

  40. Miffypops
    Posted November 3, 2015 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I really ought to thank Big Dave for highlighting the definitions. I forgot to do so. I only have two jobs. Parse. Highlight. I forgot one of those. I do not know how I am put put up with. The sympathy vote maybe.

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted November 3, 2015 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    It could be my iPad, or it could be the site, or it could be both, but I’m having terrible trouble posting anything tonight. I keep getting that message that says the site is offline, which I can’t believe, as I’m sure BD doesn’t take the batteries out to save on the electric. As you can see, my grasp of matters IT is extensive. Anyway, to business: I too found this Rufus offering significantly trickier than usual, and there was a fair amount of 16 Downing over several clues, notably 30a, where I never saw the anagram until I had all the checkers in and started that going through the alphabet thing. Some delicious clues along the way, with 10a, 13a (which took a while) and 31a all putting in a bid for the rose bowl, but all missing out to 16d, which made me chuckle the most.
    Lush, a leitmotif of the day, is used by young people to mean good/enjoyable/beautiful/splendid etc. For now, anyway, such is the pace of change in yoofspeak.
    Cider is what you drink when you enter a bar that has no proper beer and pretends that John Smith’s Extra Smooth is a real ale. That or Guinness. When I was a windy boy and a bit (and the black spit of the chapel fold) we used to go to the Three Horseshoes in Donnington and have two pints of scrumpy (10p a pint) before heading off to the fleshpots of Newbury for a night out. Saved a fortune and avoided Tavern Keg and Red Barrel.
    Many thanks to Rufus for upping the difficulty level and to MP for a typically idiosyncratic review.