DT 28073 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28073

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28073

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Happy Easter and Good Morning from the wind and rain battered heart of Downtown L I. It is weather that we should have expected as today is a Bank Holiday. Here we have a fairly clued 32 piece puzzle from the world’s most prolific setter Rufus. Good luck with it. It yields with perseverance.

Today’s hints and tips have been created with love and care by Miffypops. A man sitting on top of the world following yesterday’s family news. Together with the underlined definitions they should lead you to the answers you may be struggling with. If you are completely bamboozled befuddled and bewildered click on the greyed out box to reveal the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Girl and boy will get cured (6)
SALTED: A girl’s name followed by a boy’s name will give you this method of preserving food. Or not. These are the shortened forms of the two names probably indicated by the use of boy and girl rather than man and woman. But which boy and girl? Sally and Edward, That’s who.

4a    A sign of wrong and right, we hear, in a puzzle (8)
ACROSTIC: A Construct Regularly Organising Sequential Themed Initial Characters. A from the clue followed by the signs used by teachers to indicate wrong and right answers but crafted slightly to suit the homophone (we hear) and give us the name of a letter puzzle.

9a    Keep watch on this chap (6)
ALBERT: The name of this chap (not shortened this time) is also the name of a watch chain with a bar at one end for attaching to a buttonhole.

10a    Bitter sweet (4,4)
ACID DROP: This popular sweet has a bitter taste.

12a    Cunning, in the main (4)
DEEP: A double definition, the second meaning the open ocean.

13a    Pounds should come in handy acquiring Dutch pottery (5)
DELFT: This type of Dutch pottery can be found by inserting the Latin abbreviation for monetary pounds into an adjective meaning demonstrating skill and cleverness.

14a    Teacher has internal pain (4)
ACHE: This answer is a lurker. Hiding away within the clue. Actually he is hiding like a toddler who thinks he cannot be seen because he cannot see you. That is, sticking out like a sore thumb.

17a    Gate-crasher (9-3)
BATTERING RAM: a cryptic definition of a heavy beam, originally with an end in the form of a carved ram’s head, formerly used in breaching fortifications. (Thank you Google)

20a    Excited as bet is on ace runner (9,3)
SEBASTIAN COE: Anagram (Excited) of AS BET IS ON ACE will give the name of the winner of The Emsley Carr Mile in 1977 and some other races.

23a    Warning sound that’s not given by the careless (4)
HOOT: A double definition. The first being a short sharp warning blast.

24a    He has skill and courage (5)
HEART: He, lifted directly from the clue followed by a word meaning skill or craft.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a    Expected student to make a fight (4)
DUEL: This fight can be found by putting our usual suspect for a student or l(earner) after an adjective meaning expected

28a    Is found hacking into phone — take action! (8)
MOBILISE: Place the word IS inside the common name for a cell phone.

29a    One insect let out another (6)
BEETLE: Place an anagram (out) of the word LET onto a honey making insect to make another insect. We get lots of these in late spring

30a    Small sum of money’s sent round as deposit (8)
SEDIMENT: Place the word SENT around a small American sum of money (ten cents)

31a    Shape for rug (6)
FORMAT: Lift FOR from the clue and add a small rug or piece of carpet


1d    Is supportive, but fails to intervene (6,2)
STANDS BY: To support in the way Tammy Wynette instructed or to fail to intervene when you probably ought to.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d    The book of a noted play (8)
LIBRETTO: The noted work is musical. These are the words.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Don’t work for nothing (4)
EARN: Work to merit ones wages.

5d    Vicious combatants? They’re chicken (12)
COCKFIGHTERS: Male chickens unfortunately bred for combat by despicable people

6d    They give better prices (4)
ODDS: The better is a gambler. These are the betting chances.

7d    Three times provided by the head of Harrow in an instant (6)
THRICE: Place the head of H(arrow) inside a word meaning an instant to get another word which might follow once and twice

8d    Firm support for some office equipment (6)
COPIER: Two crosswordland regulars here. The firm (two letters) and a support (four letters) will give this piece of office equipment famously used to reproduce images of bottoms during the office Christmas party.

11d    Where to find licensed eats abroad? (12)
DELICATESSEN: this welcome source of fine cheese, olives and sun dried tomatoes can be discovered using an anagram (abroad) of LICENSED EATS

15d    Up or down it is neither (5)
LEVEL: A palindrome (up and down) meaning flat or even. Like The Grand Old Duke of York. Neither up nor down.

16d    Ex-Chinese leader holds bill for port (5)
MACAO: Place the shortened term for accounts into a Chinese leader. He of The Little Red Book. The result is port that I have never heard of but it is in China and has an alternative spelling

18d    Sounds like a habit to get used to (8)
ACCUSTOM: Split 1,7 this would sound like a common practice.

19d    Recklessly determined he will be new Tory leader (4-4)
HELL BENT: Lego time. Write the shortened form of He will (the one using an apostrophe) and add BE straight from the clue and the first letters of N(ew) T(ory)

21d    In their own fields the French, they are unbeatable (6)
CHAMPS: The French word for fields. Deux Chevaux dans un champ or as we used to say Ducks chevucks dans un chomp.

22d    ‘Be bold’ — foolishly aimed high (6)
LOBBED: Anagram (foolishly) of BE BOLD

26d    Fruit that with age grows feathers (4)
PLUM: If the word age was appended to this fruit we would have a word meaning feathers. The reverse works too. Take a word meaning feathers and remove the age to leave the fruit.

27d    Note from me to doctor (4)
MEMO: ME from the clue and a M(edical) O(orderly)

Nothing there to frighten Hanni’s horses.

The Quick Crossword pun: nought+tickle=nautical

61 comments on “DT 28073

  1. Good fun on a windy Monday morning. The usual quality we expect from Rufus.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for his inimitable review.

  2. One of my favourite Rufus puzzles for a long while, with his characteristic light touch and lots of fun.

    My favourites today are clustered at the bottom of the grid. For impressively smooth clue construction I have to mention 19d.

    I also very much liked 26d, the surface of which, with its fruity featheriness reminded me of the kiwi. It usually makes me smile to see Mr Chicken make an appearance (though not so much in combat as he was today), but I thought he’d probably be happier accompanied by a pair of 26ds rather than just the one.

    The generator of the warning sound in 23a also generated a smile here.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to the man sitting atop the world for another entertaining ride.

  3. “It yields with perseverance” is right, about 3 star for difficulty and tougher than the Rookie Corner.
    I found the bottom left corner, 21d, 23a and 28a most amusing.
    9a took a long time to surface from the depths of faint memory. It must have appeared before.
    I always enjoy a Rufus puzzle.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  4. Took a while for the penny to drop re: 31a and definitely needed to get 18d before arriving at the right sort of runner for 20a.
    Hadn’t come across that spelling for 16d before today.
    Other than those, a bright and breezy puzzle for what is, currently, a bright and breezy Easter Monday in Anglesey.

    Top two places go to 31a&19d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review. Liked the 2d clip – beautiful words………

  5. Needed a hint to correct my original answer for 1a. Glad to see the site is up and working again………..how I have missed being able to check my thoughts are correct the last few weeks.

  6. This didn’t take too long after tackling the excellent Rookie puzzle and clearing the debris of Storm Katie from my garden, although the NW corner took as long as the other three combined – the male and female names in 1a were surprisingly elusive.

    A nice, undemanding yet always enjoyable puzzle for a Bank Holiday Monday, many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

  7. I agree with BD’s ratings, a very enjoyable puzzle for Easter Monday and thanks to Miffypops for his elucidation of a couple of my answers.
    If I can make an observation however to enhance my grumpy old man credentials I think I am correct in saying that all the solutions to the crosswords over the Easter holiday have been devoid of religious or even non-religious references. Does this mean that like “Easter/Chocolate Eggs” the DT Crossword has fallen foul of political correctness? I seem to remember that at Christmas the lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” we’re acceptable.
    Disappointed not to see the Easter Bunny at least making an appearance😤

    1. Faraday you are correct. No themed clues at all over the long weekend. Themed puzzles or themed clues within a puzzle appear to have become the crossword equivalent of ‘persona non grata.’

  8. Not much perseverance needed from me, but very enjoyable – */*** – completed very comfortably before lights out last night, especially now that the ‘regular’ time zone differences have been restored. Favourites 17a and 21d. Thanks to Rufus for a great start to the week, and to MP for the usual tasteful illustrations supporting his review.

  9. Overall a pleasant solve if not really memorable. Southwest corner last to fall mainly due to having latched onto a financial deposit. Not sure I had previously come across 4a but clue made it obvious. No Fav. Thank you Rufus and MP to whom many thanks for the beautifully traditional Butterfly clip even if it is minus any 2d! (-: ***/**.

  10. I usually struggle with puzzles from Rufus, but not today. Really enjoyable challenge, 21d and 23a were the hardest for me but I got there in the end. Many thanks to the setter ad for the hints.

  11. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. An excellent offering from Rufus on a windy day in Central London. Took me a while to complete the NW corner, last in was 31a though. Favourite was 4a, lots of smiles, very enjoyable, was 3*/4* for me. Off to the river for a walk and a beer.

  12. The NW corner held me up for far too long, and pushed me into 3* time, but that was mitigated by 4* for enjoyment. 19 down probably the pick of many well-constructed clues. Thanks to Rufus for the workout and MP for his review.

    I hope all our readers down south were not too badly impacted by Katie.

    1. And me. NW corner won hands down,mainly because I could not get a start. 1a and 1d defeated me. I still don’t get the first four letters of 1a, it can’t be a shortened version of Sally???
      Having said that, the rest of it was excellent, best 21d for the French connection.

  13. 1*/4*. A light fluffy delight. A wonderful puzzle and a wonderful review. Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  14. Had 1d as leaves be which badly held up the NW corner . Egg all over face . Thank you Rufus and Miffypops .

  15. Fantastic fun from the Monday Maestro. I really enjoyed the puzzle too.

    Slightly more tricky than normal but still in 1* time. But lots of stars for entertainment value.

    Smiles from 4a, 31a and 19d.

    Favourite is 15d.

    So many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for an excellent blog as always. Some wonderful music today, thank you.

    My horses were not scared by this but one of the stupid things has decided that hail is end of the world. Come on Bonny Kate.

  16. There is a fabulous themed crossword in the Guardian today, for those with a little knowledge of Irish history.I enjoyed the theme in this form, otherwise I have been doing my level best to ignore the whole Ballyhoo.

  17. Nice little romp, as always from Rufus. Adds to the holiday mood. I miss the star ratings. Hope they return with the emoticons. Happy Easter to all

  18. I’m always on Rufus’s wavelength and this was no exception.
    Lots of smiles, especially 9a, 17a, 19d and 21d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his review.

  19. Found the NW corner difficult as down as 17a, for which I needed the hint. Strange mix for me today, of the boring and obvious eg 3d and 27d and the very clever or witty eg 28a and 19d ! Had never heard of 9a, despite my great age…… ( Received birthday card last year with the caption: ” Tell me – “What was Queen Victoria REALLY like ? ” Ouch ! )

  20. Solved while a little over tired, so maybe that’s why I found this a little harder than usual for Rufus. In retrospect there was little that should have held me up. I was about to list a few clues I liked in particular, then found they included much of the puzzle, so thanks Rufus. :-)

  21. It’s great that the site is up and running fully again apart from the emoticons. Fantastic puzzle from Rufus that was a joy from start to finish. For some reason had trouble with 20a and needed the check letters, likewise with 21d although this is probably due to my abysmal French. 9a and 31a made me smile, but for some reason my favourite was 26d. Thanks to M P especially for the Butterfly link.

      1. Inexplicably I don’t have to post via the proxy anymore. The site is super quick.

        Thank you for all the effort BD. It it really appreciated *rose emoticon thingy*…Just type the words. *nodding smiley*.

  22. What was 21d all about?
    I thought it would be “prés” with “le” or “la” inserted. Just didn’t make any sense. Very odd.
    Went down the kiwi line in 26d also at first. I never know if the clues are cryptic or not with Rufus. As in 2d, 3d and 5d.
    19d made me laugh. Boris came to mind.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review which was more pleasant than the crossword.

    1. Thanks.
      I did get it eventually but the phrase “in their own fields the French” for “champs” is a bit long winded and quite confusing.
      What about: In his own country the French returns (4)

  23. managed to find a paper copy – very enjoyable. I liked 4a. well, I liked more than that. I liked the french clue that confused JL. I also liked that it confused JL – wish I’d missed the dutch one for symmetry. Not getting far with the Irish history puzzle in the Guardian (unusually, it’s not also a rufus today).

    I’m now sitting in “the beach” in Pendine with my 11yr-old daughter (who was missing wifi as much as I was), so I’m about to try Snape’s puzzle.

    Thanks Rufus and miffypops – unfortunately can’t listen to all your music, there’s a jukebox on – but I like the selection

  24. Anyone having a problem with the iPad version. Started finding issues inputting answers yesterday, continuing today.

    1. I find it helps not to move off the Telegraph’s site. Then it works fine. Wander off to google or Facebook and when you return the clues will dance all day

  25. Pretty standard Rufus stuff so fairly enjoyable and not too taxing. I’ll go for **/*** or perhaps **** enjoyment if pushed.

    No real fav but 17a is worth a mention.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP

    P.S i disagree with Una about the Grauniad today. I thought it was in rather bad taste considering what happened in Brussels the other day.

    1. Hello Pommers. We arrive in Los A at the end of the week – returning on the 13 April. Will you be around then?

      1. I live in the heart of downtown LI. We got to the heart of uptown LA in September

      2. We will be there from mid- afternoon Thurs until mid-afternoon Sunday but we have a fair bit on getting up and running for the summer season. I reckon a meet is on the cards so I’ll send you a mail when pommette has told me just what I need to be doing!

        Be nice to meet up. See ya soon.

    2. Jeepers pommers, I’m flabbergasted.
      The whole point of the government sponsored commemorations are to make sure to wrest it from the current local home-grown “violent extremists”.
      That a crossword also commemorates a distant event I found quite touching.
      Further, I can’t see any analogy between the Brussels horror and that past event.

      1. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

        My maternal grandfather was a British soldier in Dublin at Easter 1916.

        I will say no more on the subject.

        1. I hope he survived.My own view is that it should never have happened as a separation treaty was in the pipeline , so to speak.As a matter of fact this is the first time people like myself have been able to say something like that.The major difference between then and Brussels , for example , is that it was a fight between one army and another (irregular) army, not deliberately targeting civilians to make some , so far, incomprehensible point.

  26. Well here I am – a better taxi driver than solver today – took younger Lamb back to London.
    I’ve made such a mess of this. Can I possibly be dim every Monday or can I comfort myself by saying that I’m just on the wrong wavelength.
    So many really smart clues that I’d have to give it a 4* for enjoyment. So many clues that caused me grief that I’d have to give it at least 3* for difficulty.
    Am I the only one to think that Rufus gets more difficult?
    Notable clues include 17 and 23a and 21 and 26d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP – and the family news . . . ?

    1. I’m curious about the family news as well. And yes, I think Rufus is getting more difficult.

        1. . . . you mean that it’s really far too early to be telling anyone anything – silly boy and spank your legs!

    2. I’m with you Kath.
      After a fine run of puzzle solving, nary a blot on the horizon in the last fortnight or more, Monday’s offering had me stumped. Specifically the NW corner had me stumped.
      9a never heard of.
      2d not heard referred to as the book before (despite having a music degree!).
      12a is this really cunning?
      1d had several options but couldn’t choose the correct one without more checkers.
      3d had ‘duck’ as a possible but not written in as no checkers. Seems a better solution to me than the correct one though ;)
      1d kicked myself :D

      But, I really enjoyed most of it so 4*/4* from me. Favourites 20a (I have a huge admiration for him and am hoping he is the man to put the IAAF into order), 30a and 21d.
      Many thanks to MP for the enlightenment and to Rufus for the enjoyable challenge.

  27. I happened to be right on Rufus’ wavelength today, so 1* for difficulty, but it was a very pleasing solve so 4* for satisfaction. I enjoyed 10a and 26d particularly – neither of them took a genius to crack, but both prompted a big silly grin from this solver. Thanks to Rufus, and Miffypops.

  28. Just got back from a lovely family weekend in Bath. Only sad thing was not being able to pick up a copy of the DT anywhere. Managed to finish Friday’s puzzle on the way down with relative ease , but couldn’t get on line to comment. As for today’s offering. I struggled a bit, so thank you Miffypops for the review, and thank you setter for the challenge.

  29. An ideal end to a sunny bank holiday monday in the northeast – Aberdeen! just a few eluded me and your assistance opened my eyes and made it all crystal clear. Many thanks and I hope you have dried out by now. Hope fully I will not need as much assistance for the next one. But I now know where to come, today I found out that perseverance was worthwhile and let out a whoop when I solved Seb Coe.

  30. I’m with Kath – I also think Rufus is getting harder, but I’m all for it. I liked this challenge a lot and it took me a while to get the last couple of pesky four-letter answers, particularly 3d, my last one in. 1a took a while, too but I got there in the end. I loved 26d, but the ace in the hole was the marvellous 19d. Many thanks to Rufus and to MP. October’s looking rather wonderful for me as well. 2*/4*

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