DT 27960

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27960

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Welcome all.  Today’s Rufus didn’t contain any surprises, and there was just one new term for me at 19a.

I haven’t included any deliberate mistakes, but I expect there are some of the traditional type.  Cookies for anyone who can point them out for me (terms and conditions apply).

The definitions are underlined in the clues below. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER boxes. The “click here!” is not an instruction but an option – click to reveal the answer should you wish.

Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.



1a    Unpleasant bunch’s dismissive attitude (4,6)
SOUR GRAPES: Unpleasant or acidic plus some fruit that comes in bunches

There is a story about a hungry fox, who endeavoured to reach some high-hanging fruit.  He leapt and leapt but could not get high enough.  At last, worn out, he retreated, muttering that they were probably unripe and he didn’t need them anyway!

6a    Labour  withdrawn (4)
LEFT: Two definitions.  The first concerns politics

10a    Try to walk like a crab and slide about (5)
SIDLE: An anagram (about) of SLIDE

The Two Crabs

11a    No longer an individual to esteem, that’s clear (9)
EXONERATE: Build your own word: a prefix meaning no longer, a word meaning an individual and finally one meaning esteem or value.  Put them together and the answer is clear

12a    One who talks one round to compose some music (8)
ORATORIO: A giver of speeches, the Roman numeral for one and the round letter put together gives a type of music of which Handel’s Messiah is a famous example

13a    Clean up in the lottery (5)
SWEEP: Double definition, the first requiring a broom, the second, a stake.  My picture relates to neither

15a    Broken treadle given a warning notice (7)
ALERTED: Anagram (broken) of TREADLE.  As the bees were when the bear hit the log

17a    Balls that may not bounce (7)
YORKERS: A cryptic definition which had me pondering lots of different types of balls.  “Balls, balls balls,” went my inner monologue before I remembered that cricket is a thing.  These balls are bowled so that they pitch immediately under the bat.  Somehow I dredged this out of my brain from the checkers, but I had to look it up

19a    Such money shows one is serious, presumably (7)
EARNEST: This is a pledge or payment given to confirm a contract.  It is also a word meaning serious

21a    With key one’s certain to get an opening (7)
FISSURE: Put together a musical key, the Roman numeral for one, the ‘S from the clue and a word meaning certain, and the answer will open up for you

22a    Aptitude‘s shown just around fifty (5)
FLAIR: Just or equitable around a (different) Roman numeral gives aptitude or talent

24a     New poets are producing works (8)
OPERATES: Rearrange the letters (new) of POETS ARE.  The answer resides in verbland rather than noun city

27a     Where creatures are cultivated yet bred so badly (6,3)
OYSTER BED: Another anagram (badly) of YET BRED SO

A related tale

28a    Cross desert that is on either side (5)
IRATE: A verb which can mean to desert or change sides for unworthy motives, with the abbreviation for that is outside

29a    To exercise and drink like a fish? (4)
TOPE: TO from the clue and school exercise

30a    Gets agreed alternative set aside (10)
SEGREGATED: GETS AGREED with the letters in an alternative order



1d    Member wears it to order, perhaps (4)
SASH: A ribbon worn around the body.  Wearers include members of an honorific order.  They are indicative of holding the class of Grand Cross or Grand Cordon in an Order of Chivalry or Order of Merit.  Thanks, Wikipedia!

2d    Clothing that is rarely worn out (9)
UNDERWEAR: These items of clothing are not necessarily (though preferably!) in good condition.  They are normally concealed under other clothing and one is unlikely to have them on display.  Unless you’re superman, that is…

3d    Leader of gangsters about – at large (5)
GREAT: The first letter (leader) of gangsters, one of our usual abbreviations for about, and the AT from the clue

The poor and the weak are often made to suffer for the follies of the *****.

Because we are like the ***** in one respect, we must not think we are like them in all.

4d     Declared a number were incorrect (7)
AVERRED: A from the clue and another Roman numeral, then a word meaning made a mistake

5d    What’s needed by firm with money being splashed about? (7)
ECONOMY: An abbreviation for a business is surrounded by an anagram of MONEY (being splashed about).  A lovely all-in-one clue

******* may be carried too far.

7d    Note overdue transport (5)
ELATE: A musical note and overdue or behind.  Transport to a state of joy

8d    One has no right to be on land (10)
TRESPASSER: a person entering someone’s land or property without permission

9d    Steps taken in yards or metres? (8)
MEASURES: A course of action or units – for example, of length, as in the clue

The same ******** will not suit all circumstances.

14d    Sea comes over prom in harbour area (10)
WATERFRONT: A word that can mean sea followed by (comes over, in a down clue) a promenade.  Since prom could also clue the whole answer, this doesn’t work for me.  Am I missing something?

16d    Conjectures will appear if he is accepted by Conservatives (8)
THEORIES: HE from the clue inside (accepted by) some Conservatives

18d    Untax beer, possibly, but with spirits remaining high (9)
EXUBERANT: A scramble (possibly) of UNTAX BEER

20d    Take pains to produce inconvenience (7)
TROUBLE: Double definition.  What naughty people often get up to and often get into

Unlawful acts to escape trials only increase our *******s.

21d    One tries to catch someone out (7)
FIELDER: We’re on the cricket pitch again, but not with the batter or the bowler

23d    Fabulous writer providing a masquerade that’s uplifting (5)
AESOP: We finally come to the reason (with 1a) for today’s theme.  This ancient Greek writer of fables is formed of the A from the clue and a reversal (uplifting, in a down clue) of a masquerade or stance

25d    Imitating the sound of a bullet? (5)
APING: I would have been happier if we were instead imitating the sound of a microwave.  Too many bullets have been fired.  Anyway, the A from the clue and then the said noise, which the trees make in the Ning Nang Nong

26d    Go ahead with the roof covering (4)
LEAD: Another double definition.  I doubt a third is needed, so I will leave you instead with a final fable, containing the answer within its moral

The Eagle and the Jackdaw.


Well, that’s it from me.  I’ll be back this evening, but in the meantime the floor is yours.  How was it for you?

The Quick Crossword pun: simmer+tree=symmetry


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    2*/4*. A joyful start to the week! What can one say about a Rufus puzzle that hasn’t already been said?

    I was hoping for enlightenment regarding the parsing of 14d, but sadly Kitty seems as bemused about this one as I am.

    Too many great clues as usual to try to pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

  2. Graham Wall
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Usual Monday fare to get the momentum going for the week. I have never heard of 19a being used in that context. Had to check BD’s mine for 17a. At first pass I was convinced that the answer to 21d was intruder. Anyway, no major problems. As I say I needed to check with the resources so my rating is **/*** My thanks to Kitty.

  3. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I feel like a heretic saying this but Rufus puzzles invariably leave me cold and this one was no exception. :-(

    I thought 5d was very good but I’m not sure how 8d is even vaguely cryptic? Same for 21d. Maybe I’m just grumpy on a Monday.

    I would never have noticed the theme in the puzzle. Very clever and it does make me warm to the puzzle. A bit. Thanks for highlighting that in the excellent blog.

    • Brookc
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Agree with point regarding non-cryptic clues and would add 17a as borderline. **/*

      • Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        You’ve changed your email address – both should work now.

  4. Hanni
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink


    Standard Monday offering from Rufus. A couple of clues I’m sure I’ve seen before. Maybe not. All over too quickly. 27a provided the biggest smile.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for blogging.

    Perfect winters day on the moors after the sleet and snow. Life can sometimes be like seeing colour for the first time.

  5. neveracrossword
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I felt the same as Kitty about 14d. (But, living in a seaside town, we often refer to the the esplanade as the “sea front”, whereas “waterfront” is descriptive of a harbour.) Surely, yorkers do bounce – they just hit the ground nearer to the wicket.. 2*/2.5*. Thanks to Kitty and Rufus.

  6. Kath
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I was slow to get started but that’s pretty normal for a Monday.
    I’ve never heard of the first definition for 19a.
    I can’t really see a problem with 14d but maybe I’m not being subtle enough – sea = water, prom = front, waterfront = harbour area.
    Managed both cricket clues!
    I liked 12a and 2 and 18d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

  7. Beaver
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Going for a */*** today, light and untaxing start to the week as we have come to expect. One of 19a new to me and 14d didn’t really work, or was clumsy at best, nice surface for 1a.Thanks to kitty for the blog-liked 13a pic,used to have a Sooty watch with a sweep second hand!

  8. Michael
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Plenty of anagrams or part anagrams and a couple of cricketing references – the usual Monday morning fare!

    I’d never heard of earnest-money but it’s in the BRB so must be right – a bit obscure though!

    No mention of Saturday’s IPad cock-up in the Telegraph today and no response to my complaining email – par for the course I’m afraid – the Telegraph’s IT department seems a bit of a shambles!


    • Boltonbabs
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Saturday and Sundays’s puzzles are now on the iPad. Don’t know why I am telling you, as if no-one else enters I could be a £100 to the good!

  9. Ridgerunner
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Nice to have the cryptic back on the ipad after two days absence.
    Thoug i quite enjoyed the independent and the quardian in the interim.
    Todays was**/*** for me and 7d last in as i dithered about the first letter.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty

  10. Arthur Ennimore-Empties
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    A properly bowled Yorker should hit the base of the wicket without bouncing, and a resident of (for example) Blackpool, would use the term “the front” to mean the promenade.
    Not trying to be clever – just thought I’d join in the chat.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Good for you, Arthur! I can confidently say that it is the banter (coupled with the friendliness of the contributors) that makes this the best blog in the world (wide web). Do please keep on joining in!

      • neveracrossword
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        If a cricket ball does not bounce before it hits the base of the wicket, that would surely be a full toss. A yorker is meant to hit the ground at the batsman’s feet, on or near the popping crease – some way in front of the stumps.

        • Brian
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely, a clumsy clue!

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me – I could be being unnecessarily suspicious but I smell a rat . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        The same rat perhaps as in Aesop’s fable of The Rat and The Elephant?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        • Kath
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          No – not that one but one who might have a relative called Lydia!! It’s a long time ago on the blog but I have a long memory (like the elephant) and a suspicious mind – if I’m wrong I really do apologise to Arthur! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          • Arthur Ennimore-Empties
            Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Hi Kath.

            I don’t have a relative called Lydia.
            I’ve heard of Lydia Dustbin and Lydia Teapot, but otherwise…?
            Thanks for your welcome.

            • Kath
              Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

              . . . it was Lydia Teapot I was thinking of and I’m still smelling rats but think I’d better shut up now.

              • Kitty
                Posted November 16, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

                I have found Lydia T. Pott on DT 26933, but let’s assume Arthur is only a distant cousin. I am confused as to why there is no welcome message from whoever moderated his first post though. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

                Welcome, Arthur.

                • Merusa
                  Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

                  If you look at the gravatar for Lydia T. Pott in puzzle 26933 you will notice a familiar person, perhaps pommers as a little boy?

                  • Kath
                    Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

                    I rest my case . . .

  11. omar
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    19a was new to me too, despite 25 years int he City – though I got there int he end and I do know the derived expression ie an earnest of my intentions (or whatever)…anyway, I enjoyed the puzzle – **/*** for me

  12. Miffypops
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Kitty for the best blog of recent times. Am I guilty of missing themes week after week. Surely we have all bounced along the front in a gold hat singing ‘I do like to walk along the prom prom prom while the brass band plays tiddely om pom pom’

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Apologies for not leaving you a pint on Saturday. We were a little late arriving to meet our friends and after the meal we went straight home as we were pretty tired. Here’s a virtual one in the interim http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif


      • Miffypops
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        No problem SL. There will be other chances.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Not a prom, but I strolled down a windswept pier the other day. A tempest was brewing in the North Sea. I was so cold I justified drinking a rather yummy Syrah when I got home.

    • Kitty
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      MP, the only thing you are “guilty” of is not conjuring themes from thin air.

      Tell me more about that gold hat. I bet it is tasteful.

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        It is plastic it is glittery and it has a band that says Kiss Me Quick. Very Blackpool

        • Kitty
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

          Like I said, tasteful.

  13. Paso Doble
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    The usual entertaining stuff from Rufus today with nothing too taxing. Thanks to Kitty and to the man himself for a pleasant to the week. **/*** for us.

  14. dutch
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Kitty’s blog was a far greater delight than the puzzle! What a star you are Kitty for finding so many Aesop morals containing the answers – all passed me by completely of course, though the 1a/23d should have triggered something – oh well.

    I also wondered about 14d – on reading the other comments i guess it is technically sound, but i think it is a weak clue using components that can be perceived as similar.

    Like Dr Bob I could find no cryptic interpretation of 8d, and I found 1d, 19a and 17a only barely cryptic. I thought 21d was ok, a play on catching someone out. I thought the double definition in 20d had closely related halves, and I wonder wether the earnest in “earnest money” is directly derived from serious, so this clue is apparently based on a word being used by itself or in an expression, which feels pretty weak. I didn’t understand how ” ‘s shown” could work in the cryptic reading in 22a – shouldn’t either “shown” be omitted, or become ” ‘s shown in” ?(assuming you translate the ‘s to is) – so i think “shown” is there for surface only, a bad example.

    On the other hand, I really liked 27a, 28a, 5d, 7d and 9d. And now I know there is a theme, I’m in awe.

    That’s what often happens to me with Rufus puzzles – I’m generally very impressed, but occasionally some of the clues leave me cold.

    Many thanks Rufus and thank you Kitty for unravelling all the fables

    • stanXYZ
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Whenever Dutch and/or Silvanus leave a comment … I always wish that I hadn’t abandoned my speed-reading course!

      Brevity is the soul of wit!

      • dutch
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        sorry – thanks for reading it..

        • Kitty
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          Don’t change your comments, Dutch. I like them – and I’m not just saying that because you were so nice about my hints!

          I agree with you about 14d btw – the clue works, I just wasn’t keen on the similarity between the bits of the wordplay and the definition. It made me worry that I was missing some subtlety, which I am prone to do with Rufus.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Apparently, earnest in the sense of serious comes from an Old English word and is related to the German word “ernst”. On the other hand, earnest in the sense of a deposit has its roots in Hebrew,Greek and Old French. There is an example of earnest (in the sense of a deposit) in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Where is Suzy Dent when you need her?

      • dutch
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        ah! thanks for that, all the more credit to rufus

      • Kitty
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Interesting info – thanks.

        Susie Dent is here, tweeting interesting stuff about courage, oenosophy and bafflegab. Nothing earnest though :) .

  15. Jane
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Have to say this was not my favourite Rufus puzzle. 1.5*/2* for me.
    Not very happy about the definition at 1a nor the non-cryptics at 17a&8d.
    19a was a new meaning (but fair enough) but I’m not sure that ‘notice’ was required in 15a.
    25d left me a bit cold.
    Favourite is 5d.

    Apologies to Rufus but many thanks to Kitty – enjoyed the fables! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  16. Peta
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I enjoyed this today!

  17. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Enough has been said about today’s puzzle so I shall refrain from throwing in my tuppence worth. The theme totally passed me by, so thanks to Kitty for bringing it to my attention.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Kitty for the excellent blog.

  18. Arthur Ennimore-Empties
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Curse! I’ve been “out cricketed” by Never a Cross Word.
    You’re right Never.
    I think I’d better have a lie down in a darkened room.

  19. silvanus
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think this was one of Rufus’s best, to be honest, and I’m normally a huge fan.

    Like Dutch and Dr. Bob, I thought 8d had no obvious cryptic element, certain other clues were rather anaemic and I too had never heard of 19a as a noun, only as an adjective. I presume that it is an antiquated term and Chambers Online (rather than the BRB) seems to bear that out.

    Favourite was 2d, but I hope that our Monday maestro is back to his best next week!

    Many thanks both to Mr. Squires and to Kitty.

  20. Merusa
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, I loved it, so there! I always love Rufus’s puzzles.
    I was so impressed with your Aesop offerings, Kitty, well spotted.
    Like Kath, I see nothing wrong with 14d, and I also got the cricket clues.
    Fave was 1a, closely followed by 27a.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Kitty for a super blog, well done you!

  21. williamus
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    No one loves Rufus’ puzzles more than me, but I really lost my way with this one. I ended up having several separate attempts to complete it and in frustration came here for help… a rare occurrence on a Monday. I thought some of the clues were a bit pedestrian e.g. 8d and I too couldn’t quite reconcile 14d and yes, I thought this cricket delivery bounced (if a little late). I’d got beamers in to start with… Having said that I liked 1a, 13a, 21a and the construction of 11a is brilliant. I’d forgotten 29a as a word and I’d not seen the derivation for 19a before for money. 5d was favourite. As I had to come here earlier I’m honour-bound to give it ****/** but it’s probably me having an off day. What was a real pleasure today was Kitty’s review – as good as any I’ve seen – many thanks. Apologies to Mr Squires for making such a meal of today’s puzzle.

  22. Bob H
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Kitty’s rating. Most things have already been said. I’ ll be Bognor Regis’ed if I can see a theme though. One reference to the fable and the man that’s supposed to have written them is a bit thin. I’m not complaining, just not bothered. Similarly, I have zero interest in Greek myths etc. How about a theme on the history of maths, physics or chemistry. You don’t, see many of those. Or caving. Enjoyed the crossword, but then I always do when I finish one!

    • Kitty
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      No need to be Bognor Regised Bob. I’m amused to read the comments as I never claimed there was a theme in the puzzle. I just spotted the link between 1a and 23d and seized the opportunity to run with that theme for the hints. It makes it more fun, gives things a focus and reminds me of my first solo blog.

      As for a sciencey crossword – try this one for size :) .


      • Brian
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        What a brilliant puzzle, right up my street. Does this mean I have to take the Grauniad instead of the DT in future or was this just a one-off?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          Sadly, that was a one-off, so you’ll have to stay with the DT.

  23. Sheffieldsy
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I can see Mrs Sheffieldsy and myself were not the only ones who thought this puzzle was rather less than 3* for enjoyment. The earlier comments summarise neatly the clues we didn’t like very much. **/** for the crossword but ***/**** for the blog. Thank you Kath for such a masterful product.

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Nothing to do with me, Guv – it was all Kitty’s efforts today although we do both begin with a K!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        And there will presumably be 2Ks on Wednesday neither of whom are Kath or Kitty!

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          And neither of them start with K either except as ‘sounds like’.

          • Kitty
            Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            I’m not a real K either!

      • Sheffieldsy
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Looks like I owe at least two people an apology. Strangely, our daughter is a Catherine, but she now calls herself Cat, and we tend to call her, affectionately, Kit Cat. This may explain my confusion or maybe it was just yet another of those dratted senior moments.

        • Kitty
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          No need to apologise, Sheffieldsy :) .

        • Kath
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          My French niece is also a Catherine and now called Cat.

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

        OK – so I’m the only genuine K on here – what a claim to fame, or something . . .

        • Tstrummer
          Posted November 17, 2015 at 1:29 am | Permalink

          You are a very Special K

  24. kartoffel kopf
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Got through that quite well, particularly enjoyed the cricket references. A fast inswinging 17a is a thing of beauty so became my favourite clue. Like some others, thought 8d was weak and didn’t trust putting it in until the checkers made sure. Thanks to setter and bloggers.

  25. mre
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    A frustrating puzzle with most solutions going in in short order before being completely foxed by what perhaps should have been similarly straightforward clues (especially 26d). In the end the white flag went up with 23d, 26d and 29a unsolved. I understood 29a but didn’t know the word so elected not to write it in.

    Having now looked at the hints I’m not persuaded that the solution proposed for 6a is synonymous with withdrawn (or Labour for that matter). I thought REST was the only plausible candidate.


    • Kitty
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Ooh! I had REST at first. I wasn’t happy with it though, and think the actual answer works.

      • mre
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        The difficulty I had, and still have, is that I can’t seem to come up with a phrase in which ‘withdrawn’ and the proposed solution are interchangeable. Withdrew would be fine of course.

        • Kitty
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          I can’t answer that because I have left.
          I can’t answer that because I have withdrawn.

          Synonyms of “gone,” as listed in the online thesaurus (I don’t have Chambers Thesaurus).

          However, that doesn’t quite work if you extend the sentences:-

          I can’t answer that because I have left the discussion.
          I can’t answer that because I have withdrawn from the discussion.

          There’s an extra “from.”

          I am not a grammarian. I need help from an expert. Is Gazza around?

          • mre
            Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            A very fair attempt. You’ve pretty much hit upon the difficulty I was having though.

  26. Collywobbles
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Well done kittly, that was an excellent critique, as usual, particularly 17a. I did have to refer to your hints a number of times for confirmation and they were very clear. Many thanks, also, to Rufus for the usual Monday enjoyment

  27. Popeye
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree a good start to the week. 19a still leaves me scratching my head but it must be right I suppose. 8d didn’t’ seem very cryptic.

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    We seem to be in a minority with this one as we did find it somewhat trickier than most Monday puzzles and totally missed the theme too. Both the cricket clues, although we did know both of them, took some time for the pennies to drop. Excellent blog Kitty.
    Thanks Rufus and Kitty.

  29. Jaylegs
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword even nicer blog ? **/*** Liked 21a, 22a & 29a Big thanks to Kitty & Rufus

  30. Framboise
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Just could not bring myself to come to you and say something. Far too shocked. Have been sleeping so badly. Noticed the black ribbon, thank you Big Dave. Had a go at the puzzle this morning but made a mess of 1a convinced was I that it had to be foul something!!!! Thank God no one among my relatives or friends who live in and around Paris were hurt. Hopefully I will be able to concentrate better tomorrow. It was a good puzzle and a super review by Kitty- loved the Aesop morals – reminding me of La Fontaine… Many thanks to Rufus too.

    • Una
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      I am sure all of us commiserate with the French nation.

    • Kitty
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by, Framboise. Your comments today are really generous and much appreciated. All I can say is that I’m thinking of you and all the good people of France. I’m glad you and your friends and relatives are physically unhurt. Wishing you comfort and peace.

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Of course you’re too shocked – like Kitty I’m glad you managed to pop in and that none of your friends or relatives was hurt. A http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for you and all the people of France, especially those in Paris.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 17, 2015 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      HelloFramboise. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings with us. You know that we are thinking of you, JL and all your countrymen and women at this difficult time. It is, though, a time to be strong and carry on with normality as best you can, otherwise the forces of evil have won – and that can never be allowed to happen. A bientot x

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 17, 2015 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      Hello Framboise. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings with us. You know that we are thinking of you, JL and all your countrymen and women at this difficult time. It is, though, a time to be strong and carry on with normality as best you can, otherwise the forces of evil have won – and that can never be allowed to happen. A bientot x

  31. Una
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I usually find Rufus both very doable and very amusing.I am afraid I found this somewhat laborious and quite tricky . It lacked Rufus’ usual sparkle.
    I liked 25d and 20d.
    Thanks Kitty for all the hard work and Rufus.

  32. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Well done Kitty for this wonderful review.
    As Framboise said, it did remind me of Jean De La Fontaine too. That’s probably where he got his inspiration.
    Great fables from Aesop to accompany all these answers. Congratulations again.
    As for the crossword itself, only managed to get 17a by visiting BD’s mine as usual.
    And that was a bung in as I had the first checking letter. The definition being: a delivery bowled so as to pitch on the popping crease and pass under the bat, didn’t help at all.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    19a was also a tough one.
    Favourite is 13a. Thanks for the hand puppet character. Very much in need of cuddly toys at the moment.
    Would love to be at Wembley tomorrow. It’s going to be a very touching evening.
    Merci à tous.

    • Kitty
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      I came across La Fontaine in my research. He did use Aesop as one of his sources:

      From Wikipedia:

      The first six books, collected in 1668, were in the main adapted from the classical fabulists Aesop, Babrius and Phaedrus. In these, La Fontaine adhered to the path of his predecessors with some closeness; but in the later collections he allowed himself far more liberty and in the later books there is a wider range of sources.

      Thanks for the lovely comments, JL. May you have all the cuddly toys you need.

  33. Brian
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Late on parade today! For me ***** mainly due to 29a which I do not recall coming across before and 19a which is a definition which puzzled me until the hints came up.
    Wasn’t too keen on 5d either with yet another anagram indicator to add to the list.
    Not too sure either about 17a, Yorkers do bounce but under the bat and onto the stumps.quite liked 2d but that was about it. On the whole I find Rufus puzzles not greatly to my taste.
    Thx to all.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 17, 2015 at 1:37 am | Permalink

      I think Kitty missed a trick with 29a: to tope is to drink excessively (like I’m doing now); a toper is a heavy drinker (I have already established a topers’ corner and consigned most commenters to it) and – why I think it’s a great clue- a tope is also a fish, of course, a kind of shark

      • Kitty
        Posted November 17, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Gah! Or should I say Gar!

  34. Salty Dog
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your suggestion of 2*/3*, Kitty, but I think your review merits at least 4* for the latter element. Favourite clue? 12a, I suppose. Thanks to Rufus, and to you.

  35. Gwizz
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    A little trickier than usual for a Monday I thought. Nothing to get a frit about though.2/3* overall, and I quite liked 1a.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty for the review.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Frit? Word of the day.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        Frit….to make glass.

        But that’s boring. I’ll invent a new meaning.

        Frit…something that makes your blood pressure go up. Like a tricky puzzle.

        • Kitty
          Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          Frit: for rapid increase in temperature.

  36. Miffypops
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I do like the fact that if the bloggers here did not sign their names to their blogs the readers of said blogs would be able to identify the blogger from the blog. This has Kitty’s inventiveness and mischief written all over it. Monday’s are safe in her hands. A double entertainment. The puzzle first and the review second. Double bubble. I hope Her Royal Highness reads this comment

  37. Drapdor
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    This is the closest I have come to completing the puzzle without any help from this site or elsewhere. Then I got completely stuck on 17a, no wonder as it’s not a word I know!
    I will have to brush up on cricketing jargon.
    Interesting to see that earnest money is not so well known – my hunch is that it’s now more common in the US, which is main context in which I’ve come across it.
    I liked 1a and 12a, and 25d.
    Thank you to Rufus, and to Kitty for the lovely review.

  38. Angel
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    My goodness what a lot of followers BD has these days – congratulations! If one comes late to the blog it takes a while to read through all the hints and comments before adding one’s own two-pennyworth. Today’s offering was unexceptional IMHO however I did manage to get the job done almost by my own self. Thanks Rufus and Kitty. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  39. mcmillibar
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Midnight almost before I got a pen to this one. Missus in bed so headphones on listening to the rather tasty vocals of Krystle Warren. Managed most of it bar three clues. (not telling which ones but that bat-and-ball game had something to do with one of them). Enjoyed it enough but some agricultural clues so **/**. Nighty-night all.

  40. Jane
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Hi TS, Just to let you know that I read Twisted River over the weekend. Overall, I very much enjoyed it but I certainly have a few ‘gripes’. I think I’ll have to make notes ready for our meeting in January – short notes, I promise!
    What’s next on my reading list?

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 17, 2015 at 1:51 am | Permalink

      Well, I suspect you’ve read it already, but in case you haven’t, get yourself a copy of one of the greatest novels ever written: The Great Gatsby. Do not be put off by any of the attempts by Hollywood to adapt this brilliant piece of writing and read it in one sitting if you can. It’s that short, but will live with you for ever. For a greater, but nonetheless rewarding challenge, try A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. You certainly won’t be able to manage that in one go.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted November 17, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        Just to endorse that. Some years ago when we were on an isolated island in the Pacific, we had lots of time to read many books. The one that had the most profound effect on us and has stayed most vividly in both our memories is “A Fine Balance”. Magnificent.

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with a few others that I didn’t think this was Rufus at his best, although I have no problem with 8 &14d, which seem to have bothered some. Top trump today was 27a. Thanks to Kitty for a great review and to Rufus for making me seem clever on the train home. 1*/2*

  42. Young Salopian
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I did this puzzle Tuesday morning, and pretty much concur with most of the views expressed here yesterday. Overall I thought 2/2 because of the slightly odd definitions in some of the clues. Enjoyable, but not overly so.

  43. Kitty
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks everyone for your really lovely comments which brightened up my day. Fabulous.

    Nobody pointed out that in fact it is in the Nong Nang Ning where the trees go ping, so I shall sidle off and eat all the cookies myself. Nom nom nom.

  44. After 10pm
    Posted November 17, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Re 17a – such balls do bounce. “Beamers” don’t bounce. A poor clue in an otherwise enjoyable puzzle.