DT 27972

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27972

Hints and tips by Miffypops. A good egg.

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today’s puzzle is by Rufus. We know that because Rufus always sets the Monday puzzle and his style is consistent. Mondays puzzles are a gentle start to the puzzling week but they can contain a sting in their tail. Below are some hints and tips to help you if you need a bit of help. Clicking on the greyed out box will reveal the answer

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 Purchase money always available on time (8)
LEVERAGE: Take a single letter for money as in pounds shillings and pence but not the shillings or the pence. Add a word meaning always and noun meaning the length of time a person or thing has existed

6a Temporary fault makes light go out around China’s capital (6)
GLITCH: This is an anagram (go out) of LIGHT around the capital letter of C(hina). A beautiful clue

9a They sit qualifications (6)
RIDERS: My last one in after a struggle to justify BIDETS or MINERS. These qualify a legal document. They also sit on horses. They fall off them occasionally too.


10a Head south for the big cities (8)
CAPITALS: A google search of the definition for HEAD drew up a list so long that I declined to search it for this hint. This is a chestnut clue seen many times before in various guises. Take a word meaning HEAD, PRINCIPLE, CHIEF (or the toilet on a ship or boat) and pluralise it with the S(outh) to give what are usually big cities, the most important cities.

11a Twelve-inch pace? (8)
FOOTSTEP: A word meaning twelve inches and a word meaning a pace will together nicely define this clue.

12a Longs for time with game partners (6)
YEARNS: The time here is a period of twelve months. The game is Bridge (a similar game to golf) and the partners are the opposite of East and West

13a Production line that’s quietly effective? (5,7)
STAGE WHISPER: This production takes place in a theatre and the line is a loud aside uttered by an actor, intended to be heard by the audience but supposedly unheard by other characters in the play.

16a Emphatic about corporal, say, being out of step (12)
INCONSISTENT: An adjective meaning demanding is placed around the abbreviation used to denote, say, a corporal in the army.

19a His cricket records still stand today (6)
WISDEN: This English cricketer who lived from 1826 until 1884 produced a cricketers almanac which is published annually to this day with a bright yellow cover. It can run to 1,500 pages and for me it compares with Bridge and Golf. I am ok with their existence but I want nothing to do with them. The publication that is. Not the game. Watching Cricket like watching Crown Green Bowling with a beer in hand is the finest way I know of wasting a perfect summers day.

21a Issued with name and date corrected (8)
EMANATED: Anagram alert. NAME and DATE are the fodder. Corrected is the indicator. Easy is the answer. Talking of dates (Don’t tell Saint Sharon) I went out on a date with a rather sweet dentist. I think it went well. She wants to see me again in six months.

23a Reserve short time in holiday place (3,5)
SET ASIDE: The place where we holiday the most with a beach, rock pools, a promenade and Oysters (mmm Oysters) is placed around the T of T(ime) and split 3,5 to suit the definition within the clue.

24a Embrace to really fix things (6)
CLINCH: A neat double definition. The first is simple, the second less so. Think of completing a deal.

25a Liberty, for example (6)
STATUE: Liberty is an example of one of these. Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbour and designed by Gustave Eiffel. It was given by the people of France to the people of America. Possibly because it is hideous.


26a One starts with a high jump, then performs acrobatic feats (8)
SKYDIVER: A parachutist who enjoys the sport of jumping from an airplane at a moderate altitude and executing various body manoeuvers before pulling his or her rip cord


2d Predominant type found in newspaper production (6)
EDITOR: The head honcho of a newspaper.

3d Not inclined to build (5)
ERECT: A double definition that should be blindingly obvious to all. Google images has some frightening depictions

4d Dogs set about assailant (9)
ALSATIANS: An anagram (set about) of ASSAILANT will give this breed of dog which may well set about you.

5d Fugitive takes cover in English diocese (7)
ESCAPEE: A flat brimless hat is placed inside E(nglish) and a diocese or bishopric

6d Traveller in pain on small yacht’s prow (5)
GYPSY: A noun meaning pain or discomfort is followed by the initial letters of S(mall) and Y(achts). Interestingly we are expected to know that the word small indicates the letter S but we need the word prow to indicate the initial letter of the word Yacht

7d Broken-down train isn’t moving (2,7)
IN TRANSIT: Anagram (broken down) of TRAIN ISN’T

8d Pass — one is to be shown going round settlements (8)
COLONIES: HEY HO LEGO. Our usual crosswordland pass as in mountains is followed by an anagram (going round) of ONE IS

13d Got quickly to one’s feet or didn’t make a move? (5,4)
STOOD FAST: See 27ac in puzzle 27,954. This is the same but in a different tense. A double definition that needs no more explanation

14d Classified government order (9)
HIERARCHY: This clue defines a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority. If anybody can parse this better please do so

15d Short of cash in inn, I’d get thrown out (8)
INDIGENT: Anagram (thrown out) of INN I’D GET

17d They get stuck into pieces of meat (7)
SKEWERS: Long pieces of wood or metal used for holding pieces of meat together during cooking

18d Make safe and secure, possibly (6)
RESCUE: Anagram (possibly) of SECURE

20d I pry about that racket (5)
NOISE: Take a verb meaning to look into or pry and insert the I from the beginning of the clue . The word that indicating the word I to put the PRY about (around). Now look at the perfection of the surface of that clue. Today’s finest

22d One wasn’t there to provide such a defence (5)
ALIBI: a claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place. (Lazy copying and pasting)

Q. What is my favourite album of all time?

A. Astral Weeks. Sublime.

The Quick Crossword pun: diner+mite=dynamite


  1. spook
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Yikes a second write in for me, perseverance pays. Many thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.
    Its blowing a hoolie here in North Cornwall so have again battened down the hatches. Seas are pretty impressive though.

  2. Gwizz
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Not sure whether I liked this one or not. Certainly a little trickier than usual for a Monday. I thought 14d was an odd clue.
    No real favourites and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to the good egg.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Angel
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    We are launched gently into a new week. Thank you Rufus and indeed MP although I did manage by my Jack Jones. Classification or pecking order, yes, for 14d but not sure about government. 17d raised a giggle. **/***.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    2*/4*. Usual Monday fare – not too taxing but a lot of fun.

    I didn’t know the government connection with 14d but it is in the BRB. 13a was my last one in and favourite when the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    • Ar1stotle
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      14d The order of classification of members of the government would be a hierarchy maybe.

  5. Penky
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Finally put stylus to tablet after enjoying the blog for ages. Enjoyed today’s , didn’t need help for once. Held up in NE by putting On Station for 7d, seemed a clever answer! Thanks to Rufus and MP for brightening up a miserable day here in North Devon.

    • Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Penky

    • Hanni
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Hello from me too. Hope you carry on posting.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Hello from me as well

      • Jose
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Miffypops, about re-parsing 14d. I think this is more of a double definition as: classified government order (all underlined). I could be wrong though. Hierarchy is a type (classification) of political party (the government reference) such as the Nazi Party or Communist Party of China and hierarchy also means a general system of arranging people or things into graded ranks or orders.

  6. Hanni
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


    A lovely puzzle from Rufus. An evener gooder blog from MP.

    Some delicious surfaces and plenty of smiles to illuminate a rainy day on the moors. Although I did see some sort of giant owl before riding this morning. I like owls.

    Got stars by a few clues today but 6a, 9a and 20d stood out.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for a brilliant blog. Like the dentist joke.

    Back to work. There is a pile of paperwork waving at me to be done. I need more distractions.

  7. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Ah, I see the server is playing up again as my previous comment has been lost – hey ho. I did have a welcome line in Gaelic to wish you all ‘Happy St Andrew’s Day’ but there you go, you’ll just have to have it in English http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    With regard to the puzzle there are a few clues that I really liked (12 & 16a and 20d) but also quite a few that are stretching the term ‘cryptic’ quite a bit IMHO (2 & 17d and 25a). The rest are pretty straightforward as you expect for a Monday.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and miffypops for the review.

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

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Hurrah, it’s posted http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  8. Michael
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Lots of Server problems again!

    This was pretty straightforward, plenty of anagrams, some simple clues and a touch of Cricket – quite enjoyable though!

    When I’d printed this off from the Telegraph’s Puzzle site I thought I’d print off the Herculis as well – it turned out to be a PDF of what looked like a photograph of the puzzle – what’s this all about?


  9. Collywobbles
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Bonjour MP from sunny Languedoc. Many thanks for the hints . Why is ‘con’ short for corporal

    • Kath
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know – I can’t find it anywhere and I have looked. I was going to put that in my comment but was in such a hurry to try to send comment, having failed several times, that I forgot.

      • Michael
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        It’s NCO – I think!

      • Kath
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear – dim – of course it’s NCO. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    • Jane
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Hi Collywobbles,
      Try using the other ‘N’ to make your word for ’emphatic’!

    • Gazza
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s NCO, not con.

    • Brian
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Found a number of clues very clunky and clumsy. 9a, 10a, 24a and 22d were all I thought extremly poor. I would take issue with 26a, perhaps the clue should have read aerobatic. Skydivers don’t performs acrobatics (see the BRB definition).
      Can’t say I have enjoyed a Rufus puzzle for some time. Not to my taste I’m afraid.
      Off to lock up the chickens before they get blown away on this ghastly day.
      Thx to all.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted Collywobbles. There appears to be a letter N that is not accounted for. I only meant CO as an abbreviation for Corporal inside insistant.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks all for your comments. If it is ‘NCO’, and I as sure that it is, there is nothing indicating an anagram for ;nco’, except the answer to the clue

      • Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        That’s probably because it isn’t an anagram – I NCO NSISTENT

        • Collywobbles
          Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          Got it

  10. Kath
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Try again time – I keep getting the “Timed Out” thingy.
    I’d go for 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I don’t like clues such as 19a in cryptic crosswords – you either know the answer or you don’t but there’s no way to work it out from the clue and I don’t think that’s fair.
    I also wasn’t too keen on 25a and thought that 2d was a bit weedy.
    I liked 6 and 23a and 15d. My favourite, and las answer, was 13a – didn’t think I was ever going to get it.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Very gloomy and grey in Oxford – it’s hardly even light. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Brian
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I think the site is having real problems at the moment. Not only is it very slow and often times out but it also no longer holds names and email details. Probably a server problem.

  11. JB
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Not putting 13d in the past meant I was beaten by 16a.
    Agree with Gwizz – a little trickier than the usual Monday offering.
    Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

    • Dr_Bob
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I did that too!

  12. från
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    13a and 14d held me up and were last in.On the back of these ***/***. Slightly different , a little trickier, to the usual Monday, but thanks to Rufus and MP; favourites 8,9,13d and top of the pile 19a .
    Not a fan of 13a though ,sorry RD

  13. Jane
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Rather a mixed bag for me and gets a 2*/3* in my book. Several old chestnuts in 21,23&25a and I agree with Kath that 19a doesn’t count as being cryptic.
    Last ones in would have been 9a&14d had it not been for the fact that, despite knowing the breed of dog and having all the letters in front of me, I still managed to write in an incorrect last vowel in 4d. That made 13a tricky to say the least.
    Leader board shows 13a out in front followed in no particular order by 6,16,24&26a.
    Thanks to Rufus and also to the rather more restrained than usual MP – although the dentist quip was well up to standard!

  14. silvanus
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    A second successive Monday when a Rufus puzzle was trickier than normal……is a trend developing?

    My two favourite clues seem to have divided opinion. Like Hanni (but unlike Brian) I really liked 9a, and like RD and Kath (but unlike Fran) I also took a shine to 13a.

    I did feel that 19a was possibly a little unfair on our French friends especially, but also to those with no interest in the sound of leather upon willow.

    Rufus might have avoided “out” being involved twice as an anagram indicator by using “off” instead in 6a, I think it would work equally well.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

  15. Bob H
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mifypops and Rufus. Quite enjoyed the hints and the crossword. Some clues a bit basic, but then I need basic! Some really clever like 13a . loved it.
    First post times out. This is the second attempt. Error message said something about no cache available. Use live

  16. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    ***/**. I found this a bit of a chore and therefore not particularly enjoyable. I also prefer clues which lead to the answer rather than based on general knowledge eg 19a which I knew but why would anyone outside the cricketing fraternity. Nevertheless, thanks to the setter and MP for explaining my bung ins.

  17. Popeye
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable. Really got stuck with 2d for some reason I thought it must be “Erprod” which of course isn’t a word no matter how much you Google it!!! Really didn’t like 19a I know little about cricket and had never heard of the guy when I eventually found him. Enjoyed the rest though. Thanks Rufus and to MP for an amusing and clever set of hints.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I too thought of an included or hidden word or a lurker as they are known around these parts. As I had the letter O from 11ac I too found ERPROD which made me smile. I meant to mention it in the hint but forgot all about it.

  18. Beaver
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Been busy today ,so late on the blog, a star up from most Mondays, so I think a **/****, favourite clue was 13a-and last in. Did’nt think 19a was particularly cryptic and 14d was ‘iffy’-or was it just my lack of knowledge..Anyway good start to the week,thanks Miffypops.

  19. Hrothgar
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Easy and hard in places.
    Thought 13a a brilliant clue.
    14d really irritated me.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops
    Both good eggs

  20. happy days
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Wit and good surface readings, as per usual. And as per usual a lovely beginning to the solving week.

  21. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I almost didn’t attempt today’s crossword as I’m most definitely on a different wavelength to Rufus. I do smile at some of his excellently crafted cryptic clues such as 13a (my last one in and also my favourite) but some seem poorly contrived (e.g. 11a, 19a, 24a, 25a). There are usually too many double definitions and anagrams for my liking and I then find myself getting irritated which seems to be an unfair reflection of his obvious skill as a setter. So … ***/*

    I’ll keep perservering.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  22. mre
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Today’s puzzle had been completed bar 9a,13a and 14d – I think by my sometime crosswording accomplice. After correcting 6d I was only able to add 9a before being foxed by 13a – despite correctly identifying the first word – and 14d. Not not one of my/our better days.

    On the upside I was able to complete the two puzzles in another place.


  23. Una
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I regard 23a as a general knowledge affair rather than a cryptic clue.I was stumped by 13a, so thanks for the hint Miffypops.
    I liked the double definitions, such as 3d, 24a, 9a.
    I have seen something very close to 13d elsewhere , recently.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  24. Florence
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Always enjoy a Monday. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops. Loved the pic in 13d. Somewhere in my loft I have a very old Tracy Island. No doubt I will come across it when I hunt out the Christmas decorations in the not too distant future.

    • Florence
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Whoops! Typo. Meant 18d. Liked 12a. Like anything to do with Bridge.

  25. KiwiColin
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I also found this one trickier than Mondays often are, but not by very much. Agree that 13a is the pick of the bunch.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  26. merusa
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I found this harder than the average Rufus but still enjoyable.
    I shot myself in the foot by spelling 4d incorrectly, this made 13a very difficult to solve, but I managed to see the error of my ways. Memo to me: when it’s an anagram, write the letters out and make sure you use all of them and don’t add any.
    Didn’t know the pain in 6d but wrote it in anyway.
    I never did get 19a, but I don’t feel badly about that.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his hints and giving the answer for 19a.

    • Jane
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Hi Merusa,
      Glad I wasn’t the only one with 4d – I did confess at comment 13 and would guess that we both fell down the same hole. I spent a while trying to get ‘snore – something’ into 13a as a result!

      • merusa
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I read that you fell down the same hole! I think there was someone else who did the same thing!

    • Kath
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been ‘had’ so many times by spelling the 4d dogs the wrong way that I’m wise to that one now, even though, for once, I didn’t write down all the letters!

  27. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    How do you except me to know 19a?
    Had to press the reveal button and I don’t like to do that. No wordplay, just plain GK.
    You might be 84 but you are a naughty boy.
    There seems to be a lot of all in one clues lately too, which are not my favourites.
    As usual a great review from MP.
    Glad we got rid of the statue in 25a. We also gave away that horrid tower to Blackpool. Oh no! I just looked and it’s still here.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      I read that the top of the Eiffel Tower was so high they could not reach to put the final finial on the top so they took a trampoline and a circus act ot Chinese acrobatic monkeys and that one of the performing monkeys wore a red suit and a gold hat and bounced high enough to attach the finial.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Hmm. I’m not convinced that’s true MP. I heard that Stephen Sauvestre was so determined to finish it, he shackled the builders to it and insisted they finish. Quite cruel really but effective. But the bouncing monkeys might be true. Gold hats and all.

        • Miffypops
          Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          I prefer the Monkees. It is in a book you may know by Jeannette Winterson called Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

          • Hanni
            Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            I do know that book. She also wrote Boating for Beginners and Sexing the Cherry. I prefer your monkeys too. Much better than tying up builders.

            • Miffypops
              Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

              I have enjoyed everything I have read by her

              • Hanni
                Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

                I’ve still not read ‘Why be happy…’ I’ll get around to it. Probably when I remember to buy it.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        I think you get mixed up with King Kong and the Empire State building.
        But you’re the one who wrote a thesis on gorillas.
        Who am I to argue.

        • Hanni
          Posted November 30, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

          It sounds more interesting than mine. The hideous intricacies of contract law.

          Now onto the birthday bash. I missed out last year but I believe you brought ‘treats’? Will there be some this year? She says hopefully.

    • Kath
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      I agree about 19a – not fair in a cryptic crossword. I did know it but only because I’d had to ask the nice Mr Google for an answer in another crossword yesterday, or maybe the day before – that meant that I hadn’t had time to forget it. I know we’ve had it before but . . .

    • Liz
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree. 19a Completely out of order as far as Im concerned. Finished the whole thing except that one and had to click the reveal button…Huh! Im not completely cricket illiterate, but that was definitely below the belt to use another sporting reference. 2*/3* Thanks to setter (except for 19a) and to MP

  28. Hilary
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Oh Spit, dodgy Wi-Fi thrown me out again. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for a delightful start to the week, no pencils were mistreated in the solving and my favourite was 6a just because I love the sound of the word closely followed by 24a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 1, 2015 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      No pencils Hilary? Well done

  29. neveracrossword
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    We have a stone dog called Rufus. He props open the porch door in the summer.

    • merusa
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      My gravatar is a very, very special dog named Rufus, the “ru” in Merusa. I still mourn him, even though I have another special named Sadie, the “sa” in Merusa!

    • Michael
      Posted November 30, 2015 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      We’ve got a stone dog called Andy, we use it as a doorstop – years ago my Mum came back from one of her Red Cross Jumbles with it – we all asked what did you buy that for and she said it would come in handy – hence the name!

      My Mum is long gone, bless her, but we’ve still got Andy and he’s going strong!


      • Miffypops
        Posted December 1, 2015 at 12:15 am | Permalink

        How Lovely

  30. Heno
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very difficult start to the week. I was 6 answers short, and was pleased to say that I would never have got any of them in a million years. 10,13 26a and 6,8,14d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  31. Salty Dog
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    This would have been finished well within my 1* time had it not been for the 2d/9a combo, where I insisted in trying to unearth an obscure printer’s term for some sort of typeface. Then the penny dropped with a dull thud. On balance, then, 2*/3*. Only one contender for favourite clue in my book: 13a. Thanks to Rufus, and of course to Miffypops.

  32. Drapdor
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    For 16a I used NCO plus inordinate to come up with incoordinate, which I then checked as I was not sure it was a real word. It turns out that it is a real word, a synonym of uncoordinated, therefore ‘out of step’. Oh dear.
    We had something very like 13d recently but in the present tense.
    I liked 20d too.
    Thank you Rufus for setting this and to MP for the hints and explanations.

  33. Tstrummer
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    I’m in the trickier-than-usual-for-a-Monday camp, which is no bad thing after Saturday’s stroll. I loved 13a, my last one in, which has been awarded the Davis Cup of crossword clues, but there were a handful that spoilt it for me: the horrible split infinitive in 24a; the non-cryptic nature of 19a and 17d; the convolution of 14d BUT all of those are as mere bagatelle compared with the heinous and unforgivable Americanism in 5d. Unforgivable is not a strong enough adjective, but I’m too polite (here anyway) to repeat how this word is greeted when presented for publication in my manor. I’ve had this rant before, and if memory serves, Rufus was the catalyst last time. On the off-chance that you ever read this, STOP IT! In English, people who do things are -ers, and people who have things done to them are -ees. So a person who has escaped is an ESCAPER, not an escapee, for goodness sake. I offer employer/employee; interviewer/interviewee; examiner/examinee etc. if this is allowed to go unchallenged, we’ll be having that other awful Americanism “retiree” for someone who has stopped work and lives on a pension. Anyway, this ruined an otherwise excellent puzzle so I can only give it 1* for enjoyment.
    Thanks, though, to MP, who might like to know that my favourite album is the sublime Dyland/Band collaboration Planet Waves, which stands head and shoulders above anything else in my extensive record collection.

    • After 10pm
      Posted December 1, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I’m with you all the way on -ees and -ers. “Attendees” at meetings used to annoy me but worse still are the signs on buses showing the maximum number of “standees”.

      As to this crossword, I thought that, apart from the brilliant 13a, there were some very weak clues. How could anyone solve 19a if they’ve not heard of him? I don’t think 25a and 26a are even cryptic.

    • Jane
      Posted December 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Hi TS. Not sure whether you read the comment I posted to you at the end of the Saturday blog – hopefully you did. Anyway, I’m ready for the next lesson in my reading course!
      Wonder whether you watched the film of The Cider Rules shown on TV last night. I haven’t read the book but understand that John Irving cut out two of the fairly major characters from the book rather than deplete the story of the remainder. I enjoyed the film anyway but maybe you would disagree?
      Your hatred of misuse of the English language is to be applauded but I have to admit that I’m guilty of splitting infinitives on a regular basis. You already know that, because you’ve pulled me up on it before now! Apologies in advance for future transgressions – I tend to write as I speak and that’s obviously not always correct!

      • Kitty
        Posted December 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Not splitting infinitives is one of the few grammar rules I see no point in. Isn’t it simply a hangover from the impossibility of doing the same in Latin?

        • Gazza
          Posted December 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          In my old copy of ‘Usage and Abusage’ Eric Partridge gives the sage advice “Avoid the split infinitive wherever possible, but if it is the clearest and the most natural construction, use it boldly. The angels are on our side.”

          • Jane
            Posted December 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Thank you, Gazza. I’m rather partial to having the odd angel on my side!

            • Kitty
              Posted December 1, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

              Thanks indeed Gazza.

              Writers should learn to not split infinitives. There’s no reason to deliberately split them if it’s going to really upset people.

  34. Jose
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Just changing the subject, did anyone notice the oxymoron-type word in today’s (Mon) crossword: 12a. Unite together; split (5). Answer: Cleave. A cryptic for this could be something like: Unite together in Split (5). A word that has two opposite definitions is called a contranym, an auto-antonym or a Janus word. Other examples are fast, screen and off. Just thought some bloggers might be interested…….

  35. Jose
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you, BD – I wasn’t sure you had to go through a registration process or something to get on here (but obviously not). I read about these Janus words roughly 10 years ago in a newspaper article and the examples given (plus a few others) are not mine – and it stated there are “plenty” more. I’m very interested in semantics and intriguing words (and DT cryptic crosswords) but though I’ve been trying for years, I can’t think of any other contranyms myself. Any of you bloggers on here know any?

  36. Anthony
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone help explain 1a? I don’t understand how “purchase” equates to “leverage”. I know there is a leveraged buyout but I cannot see how purchase as either a verb or a noun comes to leverage.

    • JR
      Posted December 5, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Anthony. In my experience (of writing/semantics) these two, in the appropriate setting, are pretty much synonyms of each other. Other common synonyms are edge, vantage/advantage and power. But not necessarily according to my (1997) BRB and I don’t have a Chambers thesaurus. Any help?

      • Posted December 5, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog JR

        For purchase Chambers Thesaurus has:
        * grasp, foothold, grip, hold, advantage, leverage

        and for leverage:
        1 apply economic leverage
        force, strength, power, advantage, authority, influence, rank, weight
        formal: ascendancy, purchase
        colloquial: clout, pull

        2 the leverage of the straps
        grip, hold, grasp, force
        formal: purchase

        • JR
          Posted December 5, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Thank you BD. Between us, I think we’ve answered Anthony’s query adequately.

  37. maarvarq
    Posted December 18, 2015 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Urgh. 13ac and 14dn are classic “read my mind, because I’m not going to give you any confirmation” Rufus clues, and I knew what kind of solution 19ac would be, but don’t know and don’t care about compilations of cricket statistics.