DT 28049

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28049

Hints and tips by Miffypops and Saint Sharon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the frosty but sunny heart of Downtown LI. Your poorly educated little orphan boy is sat sitting here with an empty page, a completed puzzle and a glow of warm contentment following England’s win on Saturday. Jack Nowell’s try saving tackle on Robbie Henshaw has reminded me of my own playing days. He did exactly what I would have failed to do.

The hints and tips below are here to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

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    The early morning air? (4,6)
DAWN CHORUS: The uplifting sound of birds singing as the sun rises. By golly they make a right old racket around these parts especially during the spring.

6a    They give a better price (4)
ODDS: In gambling circles the ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way. (Thank you google). The better her is a gambler

10a    Country doctors are OK (5)
KOREA: An anagram (doctors) of ARE OK. Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils?

11a    It teaches reforms in accordance with good taste (9)
AESTHETIC: Anagram (reforms) of IT TEACHES. Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils?

12a    Where patients do little to make treatment effective? (4,4)
REST HOME: A cryptic definition of a residential home where old or frail people are cared for.

13a    Lover‘s capital ring (5)
ROMEO: This Shakespearean lover said this. See how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek! In Coventry we would have said. I wish I was the cotton in her knickers. Shakespeare’s character can be found by placing the letter that looks like the tennis score representing zero after the capital city of Italy

15a    Sweep employed by Charlotte Ryan (7)
LOTTERY: This sweep is a game of chance. It is lurking away within the letters of the clue and is suggested by the word employed. A quick google of Charlotte Ryan shows a New Zealander with a silky voice and a radio show.

17a    Composition that calls for assurance of touch (7)
TOCCATA: A cryptic definition of a musical composition for a keyboard instrument designed to exhibit the performer’s touch and technique

19a    Had a close shave? (7)
SCRAPED: Today’s first difficult clue of the day to explain. To have just got by or through something. To have barely managed to have succeeded in a particular undertaking. My advice here is to get the checking letters in and find one of the three words that fits. Two of which (syruped and stirred) will make no sense. Woolly mindedness will not help with this clue

21a    Enormous  disaster struck it (7)
TITANIC: A double definition. The second referring to an ocean liner which is actually quite tiny in comparison to today’s Butlins at sea floating apartment blocks.

22a    Harry’s mother teased Nadia (5)
DIANA: An anagram (teased) od NADIA will give the name of a lady who has a son called Harry, or as I call him Hewitt’s lad. Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils?

24a    Dog goes mad for dried fruit (8)
CURRANTS: Our regular crosswordland dog is followed by the plural of a verb meaning to speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.

27a    Essential part of music (9)
OBBLIGATO: A cryptic definition of an instrumental part, typically distinctive in effect, which is integral to a piece of music and should not be omitted in performance. The violin in this piece is an example.

28a    Concern of painters about love — a thing from the heart (5)
AORTA: Golly. Another tricky one. No doubt our Friday reviewer Deep Threat would explain this one easily and concisely but this ain’t a Friday and you are stuck with this here eejit. The thing from the heart is the main artery of the body, supplying oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. In humans it passes over the heart from the left ventricle and runs down in front of the backbone. How do we find that from the wordplay in the clue? Well we have painters who are Royal Acamadecians. Which give us the R and the A. We have the word love which gives us the letter O (see 13ac) Maybe the initial letters of A T(hing) come into it. What I am going to say here is “over to you”, This poorly educated orphan boy needs help. Saint Sharon is questioning the Google definition.
[I have removed the underline from the A in the clue, which makes the wordplay, which does not involve the abbreviation for Royal Academicians, a little easier to untangle! However, I bet you are not the only one who had trouble with this one. BD]

The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the heart, goes up (ascends) a little ways, bends over (arches), then goes down, this is a better one from google search. Saint Sharon.

29a    Species of hawk that’s often highly strung (4)
KITE: A bird of prey with a forked tail often soars on updraughts of air in the same way that a toy with strings does.

30a    Rich and of high standing? (4-6)
WELL-HEELED: This definition of the word wealthy comes from a term meaning properly shod.


1d    Noble king in proper setting (4)
DUKE: Place an adjective meaning of the proper quality or extent around the initial letter of King

2d    Secret row broadcast? What sauce! (9)
WORCESTER: The superlative of sauces made by Messer Lea and Perrins is an anagram (broadcast) of SECRET ROW. Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils? [This is one where I am going to be pedantic – it is Worcestershire sauce not Worcester sauce, just look on the bottle. BD]

3d    Worker supporting church leaders in plainsong (5)
CHANT: We have several workers in crosswordland. The hand and the bee have been made redundant leaving a small insect which lives in a complex social colony. Place him (or her) after the first two letters (leaders) of CH(urch)

4d    Where one may pray for eloquence of speech (7)
ORATORY: A double definition which should not trouble anybody too much.

5d    News put out before being cleared (7)
UNSWEPT: Anagram (out) of NEWS PUT. Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils?

7d    About time Maud reformed; that’s a fact (5)
DATUM: Anagram (reformed) of MAUD placed around the letter T(ime) Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils?

8d    A cross can’t upset, being very holy (10)
SACROSANCT; Anagram (upset) of A CROSS CANT. Have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be solved mentally using no pens or pencils? This one surely proves that.

9d    Quick way offers a slight shock (5,3)
SHORT CUT: The shock here is the hair on your head cut close to the scalp. The quick way is an alternative route that is shorter than the one usually taken

14d    Stopped taking bets? I don’t understand it (6,4)
CLOSED BOOK: What a turf accountant has done after a race has started is also a subject about which one knows nothing

16d    Impressive meat and chip stew (8)
EMPHATIC: And easily solved mental challenge. An anagram (stew) of MEAT and CHIP

18d    Plainly cooked, a la francais? (2,7)
AU NATUREL: In cookery a French term meaning with no elaborate, treatment, decoration or preparation.

20d    Bid to act as a tyrant (7)
DICTATE: To order or command. As in “You will do my bidding”

21d    It’s hard work imbibing rum cocktail in storm (7)
TURMOIL: Insert an anagram (cocktail) of RUM into a verb meaning to work hard.

23d    A doctor needs it, in a certain extent (5)
AMBIT: A from the clue. The letters a doctor may have after his name. (Medicinae Baccalaureus) and IT from the clue

25d    An entrance in ornamental stone (5)
AGATE: cryptocrystalline variety of silica is also, when split (1,4) an entrance. To your garden perhaps.

26d    Musicians’  circle (4)
BAND: This ring might describe a group of musicians.

Solved to the sweet strains of Amy Winehouse and the witty work of Billy Bragg.

The Quick Crossword pun: seek+quell=sequel


  1. Weekendwanda
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Mostly good but not heard of 17d and the clue did not help (clue not hint). Not too happy with 12a. Not sure about the second part of the clue. Some lovely clues inc. 1a. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops

  2. pommette
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    RE 28a – pommers explained this to me in John Lennon Airport waiting for the flight home,
    Concern of painters = ART
    Stick this “about” Love
    And don’t forget the “A” from the clue
    And you get something that comes “from the heart”

    PS pommers likes your hint for 13a

    PPS Typing this whilst listening to the Bach!

  3. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the hints.
    As ever half the puzzle finished in 15 minutes, then the wall and that’s it. The hints were great, thanks.

  4. neveracrossword
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Re 28a, Concern of painters = art. Insert the O, and add the A . The definition is ” thing from the heart”. Hope that helps.
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter.

  5. Merusa
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Well done, BD. I’ll bet you had to pull an all-nighter to get this put together.
    As we say in the Oscars, “we thank you, my auntie thanks you, my first-form teacher thanks you, Pope John Paul thanks you…” etc.
    You’ve done a splendid job. Thanks from all of us commentators!

    • Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      I was up until 3:00 am Saturday/Sunday, at which point the upload was abandoned by mutual consent. Today has been spent throwing resources at the site – an additional cpu core and 1gb of ram.

      • pommette
        Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        errr . . . an additional cpu core and 1gb of ram.
        Can we have that again in English :)

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

          I think he means : And a gram of coke!

          • pommette
            Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink


        • Posted March 1, 2016 at 12:09 am | Permalink

          A more powerful outboard motor and a bigger fuel tank.

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted March 1, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

          It’s usually a problem with the flux-capacitor

    • pommette
      Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Whilst waiting at JLA we couldn’t get into the site.
      Phew – must have been a stressful day BigD
      Looks as though everything is working now though.
      Fingers crossed that it carries on
      Well done on getting it all sorted in such a short time

  6. Michael
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    What was that, eight anagrams and a virtual read and write – no problems today!

    What a brilliant weekend – West Ham win at home – against Big Fat Sam’s Sunderland to make it even better – how sweet it is but it was bloody cold in a biting wind – and England beat the Irish at Twickers – it doesn’t get any better!

    I’m looking forward to West Ham v Spurs on Wednesday – only this time I’m taking my hat, scarf and gloves!


    Oh yes I almost forgot, how rude of me – congratulations to BD on the upgrade – your hard work is appreciated (sort out the lost usedids and passwords and I’ll never ever moan again!)

  7. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Would have been such a shame to miss MP’s review. Made me laugh.
    Re 28a I read it as ” concern of painters” = ART around “love” + the A from the clue.
    Wasn’t very keen on the musical clues.
    Liked the rest.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP and to BD for getting things up and running again.

  8. Sheffieldsy
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Sheffieldsy is on holiday this week with No. 1 daughter, so I am flying solo. Nice, then, to report that this went well and reasonably quickly despite having nobody to bounce ideas off. On 19a, where I come from you can say ‘have a scrape’ to mean have a (wet) shave. And since where I come from is North Manchester, I had a great day yesterday watching the kids at Old Trafford play with some verve and beat the Arsenal.

    No real favourite today. Thanks to the setter, Miffypops and St Sharon.

    And congratulations to big Dave for seeing the upgrade though. Let’s hope the extra CPU core and RAM do the trick. As an ex-IT person I know that major upgrades rarely go to plan!

  9. Heno
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops & Saint Sharon for the review and hints. A great start to the week, but a bit on the gentle side. Favourite was 15a.
    Was 1*/3* for me. Glad the site is up and running again. Well done to BD and everyone else who’s involved, must have been a traumatic couple of days. Hope the extra gram of coke does the trick :-)

  10. Bluebell
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Late starting today due to felling and logging one of my trees. Much more light on the patio ready for summer.
    I found this pretty straightforward. I liked 1a and 24a in particular.

  11. silvanus
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see the site finally up and running again. Thanks to BD for all his efforts.

    Lots of very straightforward answers (especially 21a!), but a few with which I wasn’t totally happy. I share Weekendwanda’s reservations about 12a, and, like BD, I tend to think of 2d as Worcestershire not Worcester, as its label says. I also don’t really think “goes mad” in 24a is synonymous with “rants”. Enjoyable stuff nonetheless.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  12. Una
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Welcome back.Or Ceid Mile Failte .( Pronounced Cayd Milah fawlche)
    Nice puzzle , short and sweet. Thanks to all the hardworking but usually unseen people :good: for a site I for one genuinely appreciate.

  13. Expat Chris
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Massive thanks to Big Dave for getting it all together at great personal expense of effort. He does it all for us and I know we all appreciate it.

    Rarely comment on the Monday puzzles, but wanted to give BD a shout out. Anyway, the puzzle was pleasant and nothing to frighten the horses so thanks t the setter for an easy start to the solving week and to MP and the missus for the review.

    Was anyone else as tickled as me by the Sunday GK? It’s even rarer for those to have so much humour than it is for me to comment on a Monday!

  14. Kitty
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Not much to say about the puzzle, but I’m very glad indeed to have the review.

    Thanks to Rufus for the first and to Saint Sharon and her poorly-schooled assistant for the second.

    What a dreary and miserable couple of days it has been without the blog. I only managed to connect (slowly and intermittently) just before dinner, and when I talked to the Kiwis a short time ago they were still unable to get access. From the number of comments, it looks like things are picking up nicely though, so maybe there is reason to be optimistic. :phew:

  15. Hrothgar
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Many thanks BD for the improvements and for all your hard graft.

  16. Hilary
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks to MPs and Saint Sharon, I got thrown out yesterday when trying to comment but it does not mean you were unappreciated. Smooth Rufus Monday offering thanks to you as well. Think emoticons were a problem so leaving out for time being. Love as always to BD and the ever patient Mrs BD.

    • Hilary
      Posted March 1, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      PS I think you should have mentioned that anagrams should be completed without resorting to pens or pencils.

  17. Paso Doble
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Well done BD for getting the blog up and running again. We put a wrong answer in for 12a which made 5d unfathomable. Dim day all round having to cope with new kitchen gadgets being ordered/delivered etc. Thanks to Miffypops and Sharon the Saint for the review….**/*** is about right and it helped that Paso can speak Italian.

  18. Jon_S
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Pretty much a R&W, apart from 17ac and 27ac which would have been complete guesses. The latter was doable, but the former… :unsure:

  19. Jane
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Yippee – finally got access to the site this morning. Many thanks for all the hard work, BD – hopefully you can get some sleep now!
    Enjoyable puzzle from Rufus, virtually R&W until he threw in the musical clues. 27a was easy enough once the checkers were in place but I did have to look up the definition of 17a. Join others in the niggle over 2d.
    Obviously liked the birdy clues at 1&29a and also have ticks by 24a plus 9&25a.

    Thanks to Rufus and also to the collaboration of MP and Saint Sharon – nice to see the saintly lady getting a name check.
    Great music choices today. :good:

  20. Young Salopian
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Rufus for a comfortable but enjoyable solve. 2*/3* with additional thanks to the double act for the blog.

  21. BobEH
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Glad it’s all sorted. I don’t contribute much as I’m not much of a blogger. But in the years since retirement with the help of this site I have managed to go from useless to reasonable. Keep up the good work and thanks to all contributors. :bye:

  22. Hanni
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    What would a Monday/Tuesday be without a Rufus puzzle and the workings of MP’s brain…mind numbingly boring leaps to mind

    I actually awoke to 1a, noisy little things. Being a birding expert I think they were some sort of eagles… or possibly sparrows. As often is the case on a Monday/Tuesday there was nothing to scare the horses here. I got to 9a and quickly wrote out a letter circle…have I ever mentioned that anagrams can be dispatched with letter circles? Then I got to 11a! Well I was shocked to see another anagram..So I wrote another letter circle. I think I might have mentioned before that anagrams can be dispatched with letter circles. A 21a leap of the imagination caused me to ‘see’ the answer to 22a but I double checked it anyway. Just to let people know…anagrams can be dispatched with letter circles.

    Onto the down clues. what a saucy clue 2d is. I checked the answer by using my pencil. I did this by writing a letter circle..see above. Rufus cheered me up no end with 5d. For anyone unfamiliar with anagrams I can heartily recommend writing out letter circles. I did for 8d and 16d.

    Lovely solve…the only hold-up being 17a…definitely some woolly thinking going on from me. Needed some help with that one!

    Many thanks to Rufus for a great puzzle and to Miffypops, a man whose blogging skills are unsurpassable. Pity he knows sod all about anagrams and how to solve them. Not bad at crib and writing though.

    Day 3 of the Home Made Toffee Vodka Experiment. Although I am not getting much support in my endevour. In fact it was asked, “Are you simply putting a Werther’s Original into your mouth and slurping the vodka through it?” How cheeky. And no I’m not!

    However if it works I shall smuggle some when I have to go in the giant Butlins at sea later this year. Unless I can get out of it!

    Many many thanks to BD too!!! :rose:

    • spindrift
      Posted March 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Barking , definitely barking but made me smile on a dull Spring day. BTW we’ve all moved next door & people are asking where you are.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted March 1, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      :wink: :yes:

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Is “endevour” spelt in Morse code?

    • dutch
      Posted March 1, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      eagles or possibly sparrows? or perhaps a rooster?

      (but continue to be impressed with the experimentalist approach)

      • Jose
        Posted March 2, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        But a “birding expert” could easily get these two mixed up. I’m a keen twitcher and very often get confused between the eagles and sparrows which visit my garden – they do look/sound very similar. :wacko:

  23. dutch
    Posted March 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Very happy to get into the site and find Miffypops excellent review. Many thanks. This was a Rufus puzzle for which i had to consult my brb, which is unusual (for a rufus puzzle, not for me). Many thanks Rufus.

  24. Tstrummer
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Another challenge I didn’t have to rise far to meet. Fun while it lasted, which was not long. I probably enjoyed the review more than the solve, so thanks to MP & SS and Rufus. 1*/3*

  25. AndyNB
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Two silly musical pseudo words in one crossword is too many. Otherwise we did ok, but not helped by putting in ONSET for 25d (anagram of stone, vaguely means start or entrance?). Further red herrings included Mrs B saying that the best fit for 11a, when we had A_S_H_ _ _ _. was A*S*HOLES! Oh well……….