DT 28019

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28019

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from a dreary Downtown LI. We have a typical Rufus puzzle here today and I don’t think my hints will be much needed. I hope to see a good few of you at The Bridge House pub on Saturday for the Blog’s Birthday bash. Last year’s bash was great fun. More details can be found at the top of the home page and there is a comments box for those who wish to comment

Today’s hints and tips have been written by Miffypops. A bear of little brain and less common sense. You can access the answers by clickety clicking on the greyed out boxes.

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    Place almost packed — parking in it is unpleasant (8)
SPITEFUL: Take a place (4 letters) and add a word meaning packed but minus its last letter (almost). Now find somewhere to insert the letter P(arking)

6a    Present oneself with a soft fruit (6)
APPEAR: A from the clue. Our usual musical notation for soft and a fruit that might be picked from a tree with a partridge sitting in it.

9a    Offer that is about right, or one below par? (6)
BIRDIE: Place the R(ight) inside an offer and add the Latin abbreviation for that is.

10a    The settlement is due to him (8)
CREDITOR: The settlement here is a debt and this is the person it is owed to

11a    Church manses converted for bishop, say (8)
CHESSMAN: An anagram (converted) of MANSES Follows an abbreviation of church

12a    Relate minutely in dock? (6)
DETAIL: Split the answer as (2-4) and you get a verb that could mean to remove an extremity from an animal, usually a poor little puppy dog

13a    What musicians should do before playing these (12)
MASTERPIECES: Split (6,6) these great musical works suggest that musicians should know the work well before attempting to play them. Do not practice until you get it right. Practice until you cannot get it wrong

16a    Sounds suitable wear for an early funeral (7,5)
MORNING DRESS: A homophone based upon the similarity of what one may wear to a funeral before noon. Nobody will need to wonder what to wear to my funeral. I am not having one.

19a    Check a word that is an anagram of itself (6)
STIFLE: Anagram (anagram) of ITSELF. This is a rare anagram indicator in cryptic puzzles

21a    Part of cricket ground constrained by a railway (8)
BOUNDARY: Constrained or tied plus a from the clue and our usual abbreviation for a railway

23a    Course of study by French department (8)
CONSOMMÉ: This thin dishwater soup can be found by adding the name of a French department to a verb meaning to study (cue discussion about how nice this dish can be)

24a    One hangs about being super-cool (6)
ICICLE: A hanging drop of frozen water

25a    Sally that assists in the laboratory (6)
RETORT: This quick reply is also a piece of laboratory equipment

26a    Esther staggers around at entertainment venues (8)
THEATRES: Anagram (struggles) of ESTHER around AT


2d    A sorry state, but showing promise (6)
PLIGHT: A double definition. I remember my sister and her husband doing this with their troths many years ago

3d    Fashionable diets which change with the times (5)
TIDES: Anagram (fashionable) of DIETS

4d    Unusual forenames for a lodger? (9)
FREEMASON : Anagram (unusual) of FORENAMES gives a member of a lodge.

5d    Grant permission to break silence (7)
LICENSE: Anagram (break) of SILENCE

6d    A capital forward (5)
AHEAD: A from the clue and capital as in your bonce or noddle

7d    Trying to write with such a pencil would be (9)
POINTLESS: This all in one clue describes the futility of trying to write with such a pencil.

8d    Elderly carrying on is to be suffered (8)
AGONISED: Take a word meaning elderly and insert (carrying) ON IS straight from the clue

13d    Promises of party in show ring (9)
MANIFESTO: Take a verb meaning to show or demonstrate and add the letter that looks like a ring

14d    Being biased, booked with pride? (9)
PREJUDICE: A double definition. The second referring to an ancient book whose main character is a rather wet Colin Firth

15d    Additional information that an organist might provide (8)
FOOTNOTE : This additional piece of information might be printed at the bottom of the page

17d    Peerage in which we see uncommon breed and race meeting (7)
DEBRETT: This guide to the British aristocracy can be found by placing a famous Isle Of Man race meeting after an anagram (uncommon) of BREED. Are they races or time trials?

18d    Giving an alternative sort of threat (2,4)
OR ELSE: Two words uttered as a threat after an order, as in “you had better do as I say 2,4”

20d    Worker encountered me coming up first (5)
EMMET: Reverse the word ME (coming up) and add a verb meaning encountered to find this Cornish word for an ant (worker) This word is also used by the Cornish to describe tourists in the same way that grockles is used in Devonshire

22d    Don’t strive to get the meaning (5)
DRIFT: A double definition do you catch my meaning?

Solved whilst listening to Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance. Poor Ronnie passed away but Slim Chance will be playing at Nell’s club on Saturday night 30th January. What Joy and a perfect end to a great day.

The Quick Crossword pun: mud+ell+threw=muddle through


  1. Angel
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Not a lot of pain today with the possible exception of the SW corner particularly 15d which didn’t dawn on me for sometime. Not sure about 23a being referred to as a “course” – by that reckoning any component of a menu could be referred to as such – broth for instance. 20d was a bung-in but wondered where a misspelled railway came into it! Thanks for enlightening me MP and TVM Rufus for a very pleasant start to the cruciverbal week. ***/**. :yes:

  2. Brian
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Bit trickier than a ** I thought, getting on for a 3. However, great fun and very enjoyable. Learnt a new word in 20d and always nice to see a cricketing clue (sorry Kath). Best clue for me was 14a, clever and made me smile.
    Thx to all for a good start to the week.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    3*/4*. This was another of Rufus’ 12a with lovely, brief clues and his own distinctive style and humour.

    Like Angel I got held up in the SW corner and I needed to check my BRB to find out what the answer to 20d had to do with “worker”.

    Many thanks to Rufus for a fun puzzle and Miffypops for a fun review.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      :oops: I meant 13a. Once again I misled myself by overwriting the clue number!

  4. pommette
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle from Rufus today although 14d doesn’t quite work for me.
    I want a “D” on the end to make it biaseD.
    Thanks for the review MP – 2*/3* for me

  5. Beaver
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Expertly constructed, but we would expect nothing less from Rufus. Soon tuned in and a */**** for me. Lots of amusing clues, too numerous to list, well maybe 17d- and a real pleasure.Thanks to all.

  6. Peta
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Fun for me and mum. Chocolate biscuits for us!

  7. dutch
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Very clever anagrams in 4d, 5d, and I also really liked 19a (check a word that is an anagram of itself) – no-one can complain about the anagram indicator there!

    Many thanks Rufus and great to have a miffypops review again, thanks.

  8. bifield
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Bit trickier than usual for a Monday for me but I still enjoyed it immensely. A good start to the week **/**** for me.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for his inimitable review.

  9. Paso Doble
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Usual good fun from Rufus to brighten Monday morning. A **/*** from us.

  10. Michael
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Pretty tricky, I really needed the blog to help me get through it today – thanks for that!

    I’ve got the builders in today taking my house apart so my concentration hasn’t been 100% – I’ve been told it will be a good couple of months before I get back to normal – ho-hum, these things are sent to try you!


    • Miffypops
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      They will be quicker than me Michael. 100% quicker than me.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Yikes Michael, not good. Hope things improve soon.

  11. Hanni
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Solved early this morning and no horses scared, but some lovely clues. All anagrams were solved with my now very little pencil, pointless it is not.

    In fact 19a was rather delicious.

    Many thanks to the Monday maestro and to a man with very little common sense for blogging.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to add that the 15d pic made me laugh.

  12. silvanus
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Slightly trickier than last Monday so not quite a read and write for me.

    I share Pommette’s thoughts about 14d, and BRB shows “promise” in 2d as an archaic definition, otherwise delightful cluing and wordplay as usual.

    Joint favourites are 19a and 4d, lovely anagrams.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  13. omar
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    20d was new to me though I worked it out….and 15d foxed me completely…otherwise fine but definitely ***

  14. Jane
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the slightly trickier brigade today, mostly as a result of putting the wrong second word into 16a and, like Pommette, hesitant about 14d not having a ‘d’ on the end.
    Had to check the definition of my 20d answer and dig deep for 25a.

    Favourite is 7d – reminded me of Hanni with her anagram circles!
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP (I won’t mention the music).

  15. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    */***. MP was correct – no hints needed but thanks anyway. Enjoyable if straightforward puzzle to start the week. Liked 23a and 15&20d the most. Thanks to the setter for a rewarding but over too quickly challenge.

  16. Merusa
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I found this slightly trickier than the usual Rufus puzzle. I normally sail through his, but today I had to put my thinking cap on. I had no problem with 20d, we’ve had that before, but I couldn’t get why 14d was what it was. Of course, what else could it be, and I love the book.
    Thanks to Rufus for the Monday entertainment, and to M’pops for his review.

  17. Shropshirelad
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    A tad trickier than the usual Monday morning fare from my neighbour – nothing really difficult but a bit more thought was required. Enjoyed 7d and 19a but really didn’t take to 14d – something about doesn’t feel quite right. I’ll have to think when I can drop 2d into a conversation, might be a tad difficult.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and the bear from LI for the review.

    Only 5 more sleeps to the birthday bash :smile:

    • Hanni
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      You mean 5 more sleeps until I teach you how to play/beat you at Uckers? :yes:

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        You think :cool:

        Am I the only one getting different set-ups of the site on commenting ?

        • Jane
          Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          No, you’re not alone, SL. When it happens to me, I close the link and then re-open it. Works a lot of the time.
          I’m also now fighting with the ‘put in your name and email address’ every time I make a comment – like now, it would seem!

          • Merusa
            Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            I’ve been doing that for at least two months now!

            • Hanni
              Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

              Just started for me the last day or so maybe. Hey ho.

              And oh yes SL. :cool:

              • Heno
                Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

                Just started for me last Wednesday.

  18. happy days
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Good old Rufus. Never lets us down. Great surfaces and plenty of humour. I wish all puzzles were like that

  19. mre
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Found this puzzle very tricky indeed although eventually failing only on 25a (the solution turns out to have been one of my three candidates but I could see no connection).

    Easily into four star time but equally enjoyable and a welcome change from the usual Monday walk through. 12a was my favourite with 4, 5 and 15d mentioned in dispatches. Can’t believe how long it took to find 9 and 10a…


  20. Jaylegs
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    A lovely crossword but a little tricky :sad: ***/*** Liked 13a, 16a & many more. Thanks to MP for explaining some of my answers and to Rufus for a lovely puzzle :yahoo:

  21. Kath
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Just woken up – it’s 7.15 am in Kiwiland and it’s another beautiful sunny morning – we’re all wandering around drinking coffee.
    We did this crossword together yesterday evening having battled for hours with Mr Rookie.
    There wasn’t much that held us up although, rather stupidly perhaps, 19a took a little while.
    I didn’t know the scientific definition of 25a but the other two did and we all agreed that 14d needed a ‘D’ on the end to work properly.
    Our joint favourite, in other words the one we all agreed on, rather than that we had more than one – heaven forbid – was 13a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    This evening’s homework for all of you is to ask Mr Google about the place we’re all off to today to see some birds, including some Kiwis – it’s called Nga Manu, a nature reserve at Waikanae.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Miss, I did my homework as instructed! What a beautiful place NZ seems to be, such beautiful scenery. I have always regretted that I never made it to NZ in all my 40 years working with the airlines! I will just have to get my enjoyment secondhand now.

  22. Roger Squires (Rufus)
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Miffypops! I was pleased to receive your email a week or two ago. Unfortunately I was on the way out and when I returned an hour later your email had disappeared from my computer . Please contact me again so I may reply! (Hope Big Dave won’t be put out by my using his blog!) Rufus

    • Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      A very hearty welcome to the blog Roger

      Of course I don’t mind – you can come here at any time.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      It’s nice to see you drop in here Roger. I will send the message on to you if I can find it. You can then take it as a late seasons greetings for last Christmas or a very early greeting for Christmas to come. A lovely puzzle today. Thank you.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      So nice to meet you, Rufus, my joint favourite setter (with Virgilius).

    • Hanni
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Good of you to drop in Roger/Rufus. I always enjoy your puzzles.

    • Ginny
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Rufus, thank you for every one of your Monday delights. They are a joy that I look forward to. Thanks to Miffypops also, especially for 15d. Overdue to visit GM again.

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Great fun, and a worthy start to the puzzling week: 2*/4* or thereabouts. Nice to see 20d, but there don’t seem to be many about at the moment (whether of the insect or tourist variety). Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops.

  24. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Big Dave and all the contributors for this excellent blog that to the beginner brings light where sometimes all is dark (like the bottom half today!!).
    I struggled a bit today and had to use Miffypops’ hints in several places. Thanks for the hints.
    Thanks to the setter of course, some really clever clues today.

  25. Una
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I found it slightly trickier and even more enjoyable.
    My favourite is 18d, which didn’t pop into my mind right away.19a is ones of those hidden in plain view, it gave me a smile when I finally got it.I also liked 9a, 6a, 15d and 31a.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  26. Gwizz
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    A nice start to the week. I found the answers falling into place quite easily although 14d did bring a pause to proceedings. 15d was my last in and also my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for his inimitable review.

  27. Robin Newman
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    enjoyable surface readings


  28. john middleton
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Did many of you know that Roger (Rufus) was a very good magician, I saw him one night at the
    West End Club Wolverhampton, very talented and entertaining.

  29. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I have now created shortcuts for my name and email.
    Posting from the windows phone has become a bit difficult lately.
    I feel like being in a Douglas Adams novel travelling through Big Thought with changing typefaces and formats. I can almost have this site in MSDos.
    That won’t keep me away though.
    Liked this great Rufus crossword and was very pleased to see that he popped in to say hello.
    The ant thing in 20d was new to me.
    First time I enjoy a cricket clue too.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review

    • Hanni
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink


      Good idea re shortcuts JL.

      Off to watch Sliding Doors!

      • Jane
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        Enjoy – let me know if the ending’s still the same!

  30. Heno
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, but found it quite tricky. Finally needed electronic help for 2d. I always struggle with double definitions, had no idea that a plight was a promise, must look at the BRB more. 19a made me laugh, nice try at misdirection. 11 was very elegant. Favourite was 13a, stared at it for ages, before the penny dropped. Was 3*/3* for me.

  31. Jane
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi TS. If you look in later, wanted to let you know that I’ve finished reading Nora Webster – another great offering from Mr. Toibin.
    Watched an interview he gave regarding the book – it can’t have been an easy one for him to write.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted January 26, 2016 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      That’s one I have yet to read, but I will now that you have recommended it. Even though I don’t have a TV, it’s hard for me to read as much as I would like, what with work, family and boating commitments.

  32. Tstrummer
    Posted January 26, 2016 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    A thoroughly enjoyable offering from Rufus, with many splendid and smile-inducing clues. Others will disagree, but I loved 14d, even without the last D, although Pride (see what I did there?) of place must instead go to 13a, with 23a licking at its heels. VMTs to Mr Squires (please pop in again, you are much cherished by all of us) and to MP in the blogging chair. 2*/4*

    • Tstrummer
      Posted January 26, 2016 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      For some reason, I have become undefined. But it’s me, really. A baffling quirk of the site, or my own incompetence trying to edit my comment to add this this musical interlude
      And now I’m not undefined any more. Scratches head, draws on cig, slurps beer and moves on.

  33. Jose
    Posted January 26, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Good crossword – enjoyed it. 2*/3*.

  34. Kitty
    Posted January 26, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    This followed a typical Monday pattern for me in that most was enjoyable but over too soon, but then the last few took significantly longer.

    I had to look up my tentative answer to 2d to check that it fit the second definition. As for 14d, the answer sprang to mind early on, but without a d on the end it didn’t fit with the definition. Added to that, I couldn’t work out the rest of it – which turned out to be me stupidly missing a cute piece of cleverness.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle, and for dropping in. Thanks to MP for the usual amusing review and enlightenment re 14d.