DT 28079

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28079

Today’s Hinty Person – Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today’s Rufus puzzle is another little ripsnorter. Although The grid was still quite bare after the first reading of across clues enough downs went in to provide a solid basis to finish at a sprint. Last one in was 13ac. Did you fall for the sneaky double misdirection at 31 ac?

Well done to Coventry Rugby club on their win at Henley On Thames Where Saint Sharon and I enjoyed a lovely day out on Saturday in the sunshine. We had a top banana meal at The Square. A Portuguese seafood restaurant.

Below are some hints and tips to help unravel today’s cryptic clues Together with the underlined definitions they should lead you to the answers you may be struggling with. If you are completely bamboozled, befuddled or bewildered click on the greyed out box to reveal the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Doesn’t win seat, getting upset in state of utter perplexity (2,4,4,3)
AT ONE’S WIT’S END: Here we begin with an easy anagram (getting upset) of DOESN’T WIN SEAT.

10a    American friend seen around university most of the time (7)
USUALLY: American here denotes U(nited) S(tates). This friend is more of an associate. Placed around the U(niversity) they give up a word meaning normally.

11a    Calls to return to paths of virtue? (5,2)
DROPS IN: Split the answer 4,3 to suit the wordplay.

12a    Quiet place for entertainment (4)
PLAY: This theatrical drama is produced by using a verb meaning to put something down carefully after our musical term for quiet.

13a    Last in in the river (5)
FINAL: Place the word IN from the clue inside one of our many three lettered rivers. Which one? The one I can see from our holiday let in St Mawes. Cornwall.

14a    Present the woman’s beginning to expect (4)
HERE: Place the initial (beginning letter) of expect after the female pronoun

17a    Hint that reveals both experience and age (7)
WRINKLE: A useful piece of information or advice is also a line or crease in the skin due to age.

18a    Shows rank subservience (7)
SALUTES: The raising of the hand to the head in usually used by the military to show respect towards senior officers

19a    Allowed to be clever in denouement (7)
ENABLED: To have given somebody the means to achieve. Found by placing an adjective meaning intelligent inside a word meaning the final part.

22a    Stalks out of the kitchen garden (7)
RHUBARB: These edible stalks which grow underneath very large green fleshy leaves can be cooked and eaten. Not anywhere near me they can’t.

24a    Top dog, so to speak (4)
PEAK: This word meaning top as in mountains is also a homophone for the shortened name of the daft Chinese dog that makes an appearance in today’s quickie pun

25a    Black mark that may be examined in the lab (5)
SMEAR: This black mark which may damage the reputation of somebody by false accusation or slander is also a sample of tissue or other material taken from the body and spread thinly onto a microscope slide for examination. Thanks to online definitions for help and assistance with this hint

26a    After spring, run and box (4)
SPAR: place the R(un) after a mineral spring considered to have health giving properties

29a    Trials or evidence of plea bargaining (7)
ORDEALS: OR from the clue and some evidence of plea bargaining

30a    Fancy silver in one place of gold, perhaps (7)
IMAGINE: Place the chemical symbol for silver inside the letter that looks like the number one and the place that gold might be obtained from.

31a    Silly Enid, stop being vague (13)
INDETERMINATE: Anagram (Silly) of ENID followed by a word meaning to end. We are misdirected by two anagram indicators here SILLY and VAGUE surrounding thirteen letters and giving just cause to assume we are to make an anagram out of ENID STOP and BEING and also causing us to wonder which word is the definition SILLY or VAGUE. Solving 22d put paid to that nonsense and none of the Earth’s finite resource of pencil lead or ink was wasted here in Downtown L I.


2d    Chap turns up in new suit, gets big wave (7)
TSUNAMI: Reverse (turns up) a word for a chap inside an anagram (new) of SUIT

3d    Wriggly line that’s seen on the map of Africa (4)
NILE: Anagram (Wriggly) of LINE

4d    Like NY’s irregular silhouette? (7)
SKYLINE: Anagram (irregular) of LIKE NY’s

5d    People coming from certain country pubs welcoming help standing up (7)
INDIANS: These natives of an Asian sub-continent can be found by reversing (coming up) a word meaning to help and placing it inside another word for pubs

6d    Sort of posh business (4)
SHOP: Anagram (sort of) of POSH

7d    Note was upsetting but presenting little difficulty (2,5)
NO SWEAT: Anagram (upsetting) of NOTE WAS

8d    Intrigue following explosive magazine article that was aimed at Parliament (9,4)
GUNPOWDER PLOT: The shenanigans of November 1605 can be uncovered by placing a four letter noun meaning intrigue after the contents of an explosive 0device.

9d    Holy smoke, it could be responsible! (7-6)
INCENSE-BURNER: A cryptic definition of device used in churches to produce scented smoke. The device is also called a Thurible and the geezer carrying it is known as a Thurifer

15d    Ability that brings runner £50 (5)
SKILL: This runner runs on snow and is followed by the Latin abbreviation for Pound Sterling and the Roman Numeral for fifty

16d    Book of stamps? (5)
ALBUM: The book which holds ones stamp collection.

20d    A group of musicians on leave (7)
ABANDON: To leave or desert. A from the clue. a collective noun for a group of musicians and ON, again from the clue.

21d    Send me around Eastern land (7)
DEMESNE: Only seen in crossword puzzles. Anagram (around) of SEND ME followed by the E(astern) gives a piece of land attached to a manor and retained by the owner for their own use.

22d    Matter-of-fact doctrine is dividing kingdom (7)
REALISM: Place the word IS from the clue inside another word meaning Kingdom

23d    Designate a quiet period (7)
APPOINT: A from the clue. The letter denoting quiet in music. And a North American full stop.

27d    Container for suit (4)
CASE: A container for clothing when going on holiday or a course of legal action

28d    Hock for man on board (4)
PAWN: To place an item with a moneylender as security for money lent or the lowliest piece (man) on a chessboard.

I always like to see food in crossword to snack on halfway through but please not 22ac. Not ever 22ac. There is nothing else I cannot eat but 22ac. I hate the darned stuff.

The Quick Crossword pun: peak+inn+ease=Pekinese


  1. George
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I kept trying to make more of this puzzle than it needed. 6d, 14a 12a 18a – I initially rejected the answers as I thought they were too obvious. But it still took me into 3* time to finish.
    Maybe I was not quite tuned into the setter’s way of thinking. But very enjoyable. 3*/3*

  2. Senf
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    A little bit of head scratching plus falling for the superb misdirection in 31a, as described by MP above, makes me think that, based on continuing recent experience, Monday is no longer the easiest day of the week. But, of course, that theory could be challenged from tomorrow on. Without a doubt, favourite has to be 31a and **/*** for me. Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  3. Ora Meringue
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I also spent some time trying anagrams for 31a until I got 22d.
    Cannot believe that I needed the hint for 16d, but I did. Doh!

    Thought this was harder than the usual Mondays…..and the down clues are easier than the across…..as I’ve seen said on here before.
    Perhaps I should start with them in future.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

    • mebebob44
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if a compiler begins with his smart clues and methodically starts with them going across making the down ones more straight forward. Only a thought !!

  4. Shropshirelad
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I spent far too long on 9d thinking it had to have something to do with a Papal Conclave. Apart from that, nothing really held me up. I wonder if Rufus has a dog – what with 24a and the quickie pun. There were a few I liked (8d & 31a) and a few I didn’t (1 & 22a). No particular favourite today.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to dear old Miffypops for his review.

    • Jane
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi SL,
      Yes – I was thinking of white smoke and the Vatican chimney as well!

  5. Florence
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I think I’ve seen quite a few of these clues before, fairly recently but was still caught out on a couple. Accidentally put the second and third letters of 18a in the wrong way round, so needed the review for 16d. How silly!!! Kept rechecking and still couldn’t see where I had gone wrong. Thank you for the review Miffypops, and thank you too Rufus for a gentle start to the week.

  6. Jane
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, I fell into the trap at 31a and also created a problem for myself by putting the dog rather than the mountain top into 24a, which made 20d look rather interesting for a while.
    No other real hold ups but I did think this was at the trickier end of the Rufus spectrum.

    Top two slots reserved for 11&17a with a definite thumbs down for the appt. reminder at 25a!

    Thanks to Rufus for the Monday wake-up call and to MP, who manages to slot Dylan into almost every review he writes!

    • Jmaden
      Posted April 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I thought that the hononym of peak could be pique in the context of to dog/irritate – but seems as if no one else interpreted it this way!

  7. Hanni
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    A nice solve on a rainy and cold day on the moors. Like SL, as I good Catholic girl (well a Catholic girl), I also went down the conclave route for 9d. Fortunately I had plenty of checkers in.

    Loved the misdirection for 31a, very clever and the fancy silver and gold in 30a.

    The rest I enjoyed and not too taxing at all. No bad thing as I solved this after I had ridden out (lovely). In the current spirit of the blog (Dutch’s ribs, Brian’s leg) one of the ******* horses caused me to break my finger. I think I got off lightly compared with them.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to the hinty Miffypops for an excellent review as always. Thank you for the 10a music and the clip for 8d. Utterly agree about 22a. Did you know you can often see Red Kites in Henley?

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      We saw plenty of Red Kites over the playing field as well as Robins, a kestrel, flying swans, geese, crows. Helicopters, a biplane, them ruddy great dream liners several light aircraft and a glider. Not much rugby of any merit though

      • Hanni
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        A cornucopia of wildlife Miffypops. They are quite big are Red Kites, I know these things. At least Cov won even if it was dire to watch. It could be worse…I bet Ben Stokes didn’t wake up happy today. Poor chap.

        • Heno
          Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Hi Hanni, I wish you a speedy recovery.

    • dutch
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh no! Ouch, wishing you a speedy recovery. How do you break a finger on a horse? Actually, I’m in no position to ask. At least you are still able to comment

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      You have all my sympathy 🌹.
      Get well soon 😊.

    • Hanni
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Thank you all. Dutch, technically the horse didn’t break it but coming off at high speed seemed to do the trick nicely. Perhaps I should take up squash like Heno…good luck btw.

      BD..I am back to posting via the proxy. Worked for a bit this morning then I got the same DNS problem. I’m on Windows 10 and Chrome.

      • andy
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        been quiet recently as moving house plus the pooches. Last week at work could access the site, today nothing. Recover soon

    • Florence
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Hope your finger is on the mend soon Hanni. Will it stop you riding out ?

      • Hanni
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Florence. :-) I can still ride, I just don’t have the same level of control. Hope rehearsals are still going well.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      You have my sympathy, Hanni. A finger – ouch. :( I can’t think of many things I’d like to break less. Wishing you all the best for a smooth and swift healing process.

    • Kath
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, poor you – not good. I hope that you get better soon. If you can’t control your horse you shouldn’t be riding it.
      When I was eighteen and had been training to be a nurse in Oxford for about two months I was at home in Worcestershire for a couple of days off. It’s a very long story but my sister shut my fingers in the hinges of the A35 van that we shared – result was that I was ‘off sick’ for about five weeks – this led to all kinds of shenanigans and lots of other stories which probably shouldn’t be told here!

      • andy
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        “If you can’t control your horse you shouldn’t be riding it….. ” Kath i’m cross with you. I used to live in the New Forest and could spend hours on my horse gently going down the backroads etc. Then some ****er would be on a motorbike or go faster striped chavmobile and spook the hell out of me and the horse. The horse wins ;)

        • pommers
          Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          I’m with Kath. Same applies to motorbikes and cars.

        • Hanni
          Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          Always wanted to ride in the New Forest Andy.

          • Hanni
            Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

            Meant to add. I hope the house moving is going Ok too? :-)

    • Hanni
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Thanks all.

      Kath believe me I am careful when riding..lovely air jacket that expands around your ribs, like an air bag. Mostly for the reasons Andy said. But thank you *rosey thing*. And good grief…fingers shut in van door. Eek.

      Pommers I am contemplating buying a Segway or a ride on mower. Could work. ;-)

      I am being careful though.

      • florence
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        No, no. Not a Segway please Hanni. My younger son fell off a Segway in Santa Montica, Ca, on day two of the holiday. Took all the skin off his knees. Ended up with heavily bandaged knees and no swimming for the rest of the holiday. Only consolation was that Jack Black ? was filming and asked to have a go on the Segway. My husband said no, as he had signed a disclaimer saying that the segways would not be used by anyone else. He took it in good spirit. Not, that I would know. I had stayed by the pool with a book, and missed all the drama.

        • Hanni
          Posted April 5, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink

          Duly noted. And oh no for your son! Poor kid. I had to Google who Jack Black was but I do recognise him..nice that he was cool about it. :-)

  8. happy days
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed solving this, as I always do a Rufus puzzle. Lovely surfaces, as ever. I wish all crosswords were like this

  9. Attila the Hun
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    It must be exposure to Americanisms that caused me to misspell the first word of 9d by making an erroneous ‘correction’. After five years here, my son is beginning to spell the American way. He also talks with a Southern drawl … but that’s necessary to be understood. I find myself doing it, else my tomato juice would be orange.

  10. Stone Lee
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Only one I failed on was 21d – never heard the term before. Otherwise fairly straightforward. Cannot agree with MP on 22a, the plant is the garden just about ready to pick – in a crumble at the weekend I think. Thanks to Rufus and MP – enjoyable start to the week.

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I have grown it wherever I have lived. It is a beautiful plant to look at. The smell of it cooking turns my stomach.

  11. pete
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    A bit tricky but got there eventually. Never heard of 21d before, need to remember that one for future reference. Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

  12. Angel
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Back to having to fill in name/email however there was 7d with today’s offering which fell into place smoothly. Needed a gizmo to solve 21d – new one on me I think. **/**.

  13. Paso Doble
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    The usual jolly fare from Rufus. A thoroughly enjoyable start to week. Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the entertaining hints. Come on you Foxes ………..

  14. Angel
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    7d with today’s offering but did need gizmo help for 21d. Thanks Rufus and MP. **/**.

  15. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Although I should get used to Rufus and his all in one definitions, it still took some time to get 18a, 22a and 16d. D’oh.
    Didn’t fall in the trap of 31a as I had 22d quite earlier on.
    As Pete, 21d was a new spelling version of domain which I didn’t know. Quite a good homophone in fact.
    Favourite is 13a and quite surprised that MP got it last. He spends so much time down there. Can’t see the wood for the trees as they say.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the great review.

  16. Bluebirds
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Quite a few anagrams today

  17. dutch
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I liked the 3d and 4d whole clue extended definitions. Miffypops I like most of the time, thank you. And thank you rufus.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      I’m tempted to deliberately misinterpret your comment and ask why you don’t like Miffypops all of the time.

      • dutch
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Glad you didn’t succumb to your temptations

        • Kitty
          Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          I can exercise restraint, oh yes.

  18. Dr M
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Another cracking puzzle from Rufus. Cheered me up after yesterday’s cricket. A bit of a busmans holiday for me with 25a. 9d brought back childhood memories of Latin masses, but 31a was tricky and my favourite. Last in was 24a and I had to smile at my stupidity for not getting it sooner. Thanks to MP for an amusing blog.

  19. Heno
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A fabulous puzzle to start the week. I made it a bit more difficult by misspelling 21d, but once I corrected it, 29a went in. Last few took a while, 3d made me smile. Last in and favourite was 13a. Was 2*/4* for me. Clouded over now in Central London. Squash Tournament starts tonight, 20 days of mental torture.

  20. Kath
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    2* difficulty and 3*+ a bit for enjoyment.
    Think I’m spending too much time on cryptic crosswords and becoming too cryptic for my own good – 25a coming immediately after 24a had me thinking that the ‘lab’ might be a dog.
    Like others I fell into the 31a anagram trap.
    I’m neither Catholic nor good but 9d did have me thinking that it was something to do with His Popiness – it was my last answer.
    Lots of anagrams mainly in the down clues.
    I liked 11 and 22a (the clue and the stalks) and 8d. My favourite was 17a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Frustrating weather today – sunny one minute so get going in the garden – then it pours with rain – by the time I’ve put stuff away it’s sunny again. Mr Rookie, I think.

  21. Hilary
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    First email in ages yesterday and the site does still not recognise me, using Windows 7 and Chrome here, Android and Chrome Beta on tablet.
    After reading MPs notes I did not fall into the trap on 31a because I put vague into supertoy and there was the answer. 21d not a problem because I lived in a road called that in Manchester many moons ago. My brain is obviously in Monday mood because I loved this puzzle and many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for starting my week off with a big smile.

  22. omar
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Difficult-ish but good puzzle, although I am not convinced that 16d is really cryptic…..favourite was 4d – very clever!

    • Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Rufus uses a lot of clues similar to 16d. You are meant to be thinking of one thing (here a book of stamps as bought from a Post Office) while the “cryptic” meaning is something else (here a stamp album). Although a stamp album is actually a book of stamps you would not normally refer to it as such. A cryptic definition is only cryptic until you see the actual definition – experienced solvers are often able to do this almost instantly while less experienced solvers can take a little longer.

      • Jose
        Posted April 5, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Isn’t 16d just a statement containing simple misdirection? The setter is luring you on a wild goose-chase by making you think of postage stamps and post offices instead of something more straightforward but not immediately obvious until the penny’s dropped. I’m only asking because you didn’t mention “misdirection” in your explanation and I’m not sure if it is correct to describe it so in this particular case.

        • Posted April 5, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          I may not have used the word “misdirection” but that is much the same as “you are meant to be thinking of”.

          • Jose
            Posted April 6, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

            Thank you, BD.

  23. Dr_Bob
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Why do Rufus crosswords frustrate me so much? I don’t think I can recall one that I’ve enjoyed solving and this one was no different. The regular, barely cryptic, all in one clues (e.g. 16d, 18a, 22a) just rub me up the wrong way and I never seem to be on his wavelength. Maybe I’m just being particularly grumpy today but Monday offerings are not my cup of tea. On a positive note, I did think that 31a was clever misdirection! ***/* for me. Thanks for the entertaing review Miffypops.

    • Una
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      I love Rufus’ crosswords. Which setter do you like ?

      • Dr_Bob
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Jay and Ray T are my favourites. And Excalibur with the toughies. I keep persevering with Rufus’s crosswords but they just don’t rock my boat. I’m definitely in a minority.

        • Kath
          Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          I’m absolutely with you, Dr_Bob. I agree with everything you’ve said. :-)

  24. silvanus
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    The usual excellent start to the week, a very typical Rufus puzzle I thought, so a little surprised that it seems to have generated a few tricky descriptions.

    Five anagrams in the first six Down clues was pushing it even for Rufus, but they compensated for only two going across. My favourite was 22a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and Today’s Hinty Person.

  25. Cornishpasty
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Did not get far with this one until after a bracing walk in brilliant sunshine, -12C with no wind. Then, with the grey cells sufficiently re oxygenated, manage to romp home. I rarely laugh out loud doing crosswords, much too serious! However, 11a tickled me and kept me chuckling until the puzzle was done.

  26. Brian
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Found it trickier than 2star more like at least a 3 but then I seldom get fully onto Rufus wavelength. Some of his clues don’t seem quite right to me. Having said that I did enjoy 11a and 8d.
    Thx to all

  27. Vancouverbc
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    ***/**. Didn’t enjoy this as much as usual for no particular reason – just not my cup of tea today. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  28. Sheffieldsy
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Mostly fairly straightforward. Got the outer long clues almost immediately and did not fall into the 31a trap. However, with great ease managed to construct my own trap by putting in POTHERB for 22a. I am a lover of the correct answer, particularly in crumbles or stewed with evaporated milk. As a crossword answer, for the life of me I can’t see why it’s any better than my erroneous entry except, as I soon discovered, you can’t complete the crossword with POTHERB there. Can somebody explain please? I always believed that having answered (correctly) a cryptic clue it should be obvious why it’s right. In this case that’s passing me by.

    Other than that, 2*/2.5* and thanks to MP and Rufus.

    • Sheffieldsy
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      …or at least why it’s better than my wrong answer!

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        I like your style Sheffieldsy. You might find it useful to squeeze more than one letter into a square at times or draw an extra box onto the outside of the grid to accommodate an extra letter.

  29. Merusa
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Another Rufus delight, a lot of fun.
    My fave was 17a.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops for the usual entertaining hints.

  30. Robin Newman
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    very enjoyable
    liked 3A and 4A amongst others

  31. mre
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    A curious mixture of the very straightforward, especially the early down clues, and the quite tricky for me. Favourites were last two in 13a and 25a. I may have been just over two star time but not by much so I’ll agree with **/****

  32. Una
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    George , above , found some of the clues too obvious. I thought 8d wasn’t very cryptic.
    Otherwise , I found this as light and playful as usual.
    I was misdirected by 31a , but only for a short time.13a was also my last one in.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    • Jmaden
      Posted April 5, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Appropriate that 13a was the last one in!

  33. Kitty
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Oww. Today I am covered in bruises having kicked myself repeatedly. Not sure where my brain was this morning, but it wasn’t in my head. At one point I thought I would have to either cheat or leave the rest for later, but fortunately I did find some working neurons and was saved that shame. Some of the last to fall were the easiest ones.

    It took a long time to realise that 22a was a cryptic definition (do I not by now know to expect them on a Monday?) and as for 16d … :(

    Yes, MP, I was looking for an anagram in 31a but that one was a comparative dream.

    I don’t really have a favourite clue. My main amusement was in mentally substituting the second word in 12a for another. I must be eight or something. :)

    • Kitty
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Argh – forgot to thank Rufus and today’s Hinty Person. Many thanks both. MP, your hints were most entertaining as usual and I liked the video choices too.

  34. Howitzerx3
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Had a late start due to grandchilren duties and found it more difficult than I thought it would be. Not familiar with the answer for 21d got it by default anyway. Favourite today is 11a enjoyed that but took me ages to get it. Thanks for the welcome yesterday Florence and thanks to Mpops and the setter today. Rate it 2/3.

  35. pommers
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Rufus doesn’t usually float my boat but he is pommette’s favourite setter, having got her out of the Clueless Club. This was pretty standard stuff from him but we had the same experience as Miffypops – only five of the acrosses and then all but two of the downs. The rest then fell readily. **/*** from us. Fav was 11a, or perhaps 2d, or even 31a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP

    P.S. Whatever happened to the Clueless Club. Has everyone graduated? Surely there are new members.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t a clue.

      • andy
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        i’m sorry but …..The long-running, self-styled antidote to panel games

    • Kath
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      There must have been lots of graduates from the clueless club since the early days – I think you should explain what you mean – I know, but you must be talking a foreign language to some of the newer commenters – you never know – you might just get Mary back into the fold . . .

      • pommers
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Mary graduated long since but I might put a post on tomorrow to explain. It’s too late now.

        Maybe there can be a nw CC, who knows?

  36. Jon_S
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    A bit of head scratching here and there, but finished in ** time, all of it good. 21d seems to have crept in inadvertently from the Toughie it was intended for. :-)

  37. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent crosssword.
    Lots of good clues, last in was 25a, only because it took me a while to get 21d, but it was pretty obvious from the clue, then Google to check.
    I love 22a, with custard and crumble. The garden’s offering is another couple of weeks away. Then yummie.
    31 was clever too, though for some unknown reason I was not fooled into looking for the bogus anagram. Ignorance is bliss!!
    Many thanks MP for the excellent hints, and to Rufus for the challenge.

  38. Salty Dog
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    2*/3*, for my money. I rather liked 28d; perhaps because of a nautical bent, I was mulling over every conceivable crew member until the chess connection occurred to me. 24a had to be either the top, or the dog, and I went with the wrong one, which made 20d unnecessarily difficult. One gripe : I don’t think 18a works particularly well – “they show rank subservience” would have been better. Anyway, thanks to Rufus and MP. Oh, and you surely can’t be serious about 22a. Rhubarb crumble and custard – be still my beating heart!

    • Kell
      Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      18a works fine if you see “salutes” as a verb, not a plural noun.

  39. williamus
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Very late on parade tonight. It’s all been said really – most of us love his puzzles and some don’t and hey… that’s fine. 31a stood out for me as cracking example of Rufus misdirection and guile that held me up for several passes before the inevitable “doh” moment. One or two head-scratchers nudge this into the ***/**** classification for me. Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  40. Jaylegs
    Posted April 4, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    ***/*** because I could not solve 21d 😢 Liked 3d & 20d. Thanks to Rufus & MP for an enjoyable start to the week 😃

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Been away for a few days on the boat. I’ve been doing the puzzles (particularly enjoyed Friday’s Giovanni) but no wifi, so unable to comment. Back home and back at work, so tonight’s wind-down from Rufus was especially welcome. All the usual stuff was there and 11a wins top banana. Thanks to Rufus and to MP, particularly for my second favourite Dylan song, although that version differs slightly from the record, both in the delivery by His Bobness and keeping the delicious bass riff right at the back of the mix instead of up front where it belongs. 1*/3*

  42. Gwizz
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    After completing Tuesday’s challenge I found this one to be a gentle walk in the park by comparison. 2/3* overall and the holy 9d was favourite.
    Thanks to Rufus and to the incomparable MP for the review.

  43. Henry
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Why show the answers ? I thought this was meant to be hints and tips only ?

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Welcome Henry.

      Weekday blogs can show the answers – they are usually hidden under a click here button although some people are finding that they aren’t being hidden at the moment.

      If this is what is happening for you, please can you tell us which server/internet provider and version you are using as BD is trying to find out why this is happening for some visitors to the blog.