DT 28097 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28097

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28097

Hints and tips by selfless Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I solved this at 2.15 am before bed and started reviewing at 7.15am. Such is Miffypop’s love for his Monday’s little angels that he sacrifices the joys and benefits that come with marriage to Saint Sharon in order to satisfy the great need for enlightenment that exists out there in crosswordland.

Well done to the strangely named Rugby team that managed to out tiger the tigers yesterday. What a joy that was to watch. Well done also to Coventry Rugby club who finished their home campaign with a win. That leaves a gap in my regular Saturday schedule. I shall miss the Rugby and also miss the regular phone calls I make on the way to the game. Roll on September.

If you are struggling with a particular clue the hints and tips below have been created in order to help if needed. If you are still bewildered after reading the hint the answer can be revealed by clicking on the greyed out box. If you are still flummoxed after that get in amongst the comments and ask away. Somebody will come to your aid. If I remember correctly today’s puzzle contains two lurkers. If you are lurking away on this site please reveal your hidden selves but do not dare to ask the forbidden question – What is the BRB?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    It enables farmers to make a good turnover (6)
PLOUGH: A cryptic definition of the tool used by a farmhand to turn land over to cut furrows in preparation for planting. Once the curfew tolls he then wearily plods homeward whilst the cattle wind slowly across the lee and darkness descends. Not these days he doesn’t. He is up all night on his giant beast of a tractor working to his overbright headlights. I wonder what Thomas Grey would make of that.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4a    Give voice to Beethoven’s fifth (8)
ASPIRATE: My last one in today despite having seen it before in various guises. The fifth letter of the word Beethoven is the letter H. As a verb this is the sounding of that letter

9a    The stretching around three identical points produces a titter (3-3)
TEE-HEE: Take the word THE from the clue and place it around three identical points of the compass to find a titter last seen in the pages of The Beano. The point of the compass you need will be found somewhere around Lowestoft and not at Ardnamurchan Point where I will be on holiday in September.

10a    Imagined  being ordered into uniform (6,2)
CALLED UP: A double definition which describes the process of imagination and also the request to participate in national service. Please comment on the blog with your national service stories if you are old enough to have served.

12a    Bird in danger, nesting (4)
ERNE: The first lurker of the week. May there be many more. The answer to this clue is hidden inside the clue.

13a    Located, we hear, and named (5)
CITED: A homophone (sound alike word) of a word meaning located

14a    Charge made about mid-March, that’s clear (4)
FREE: A charge for services rendered is placed around the middle letter of the word March

17a    Sportingly do the Highland Fling (4,3,5)
TOSS THE CABER: An all in one cryptic description of a traditional athletic traditional Scottish event in which a large tapered pole is thrown about.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20a    Uncommonly tight (5,2,1,4)
DRUNK AS A LORD: Uncommonly here refers to the difference between the common people and the aristocracy. Tight refers to being under the influence of alcohol. The answer suggests that one might be as much under the influence as a certain member of the aristocracy.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a    No honours in such an amorous advance (4)
PASS: A basic success at university is also an amorous or sexual advance

24a    Growth of monastery? (5)
ASTER: Our second lurker today which took me some time to notice.

25a    A unit in Salvation Army east of Suez? (4)
ASIA: Use the A from the clue. The initial letters of The Sally Annies (God bless them) and throw in a letter that looks like a single number or unit to find a continental land mass that lies to the east of the Suez canal

28a    He’s crazy to pocket ball at end of break (8)
CRACKPOT: Place a three letter word used to mean to pocket a ball at snooker perhaps (did I ever mention that I once won a pint of Guinness during a frame against the late Alex “Hurricane” Higgins) after a verb meaning to break something

ARVE Error: need id and provider

29a    Cause anger damaging a green (6)
ENRAGE: Anagram (damaging) of A GREEN

30a    Smooth flow, perhaps, late in the day (8)
EVENTIDE: Place a word meaning smooth before a word that for the ebb and flow of seawater to find another word for the end of the day

31a    Stays in company with right clique (6)
CORSET: Lego time. CO(mpany) R(ight) plus a group of like minded people. Does the result mean STAYS? Of corset does


1d    The ill cared-for neckwear found among underwear (8)
PATIENTS: Place the usual gentleman’s neckwear inside his undergrunds to find those who may be in hospital

2d    Candour shown by golf tournament head (8)
OPENNESS: Take the word used to describe the greatest of golf tournaments and add a word for a headland or a promontory.

3d    Got a larger size (4)
GREW: The Rufus controversial clue of the day. A straightforward definition with no discernible wordplay. Please correct me in the unlikely circumstance that I am wrong

5d    One behind the scenes playing a strange game (5,7)
STAGE MANAGER: Anagram (playing) of A STRANGE GAME.

6d    Lied in order to be lazy (4)
IDLE: Anagram (in order) of LIED

7d    They’re cold-blooded and calculating (6)
ADDERS: England’s only venomous snakes are also calculating machines

8d    Noticed liquid is deep (6)
ESPIED: Anagram (liquid) of IS DEEP

11d    Promise to present unit with weapon (4,4,4)
GIVE ONE’S WORD: Split 4,3,5 use a word meaning to present or donate, a singular unit, and a weapon with a long metal blade

15d    Found sailor lying in street (5)
START: Place one of our usual suspects for a sailor (usual suspects can be found under the cryptic crosswords heading above) between the abbreviation for street

16d    It’s perfectly right, for example, inside, all wrong outside (5)
LEGAL: Place an anagram (wrong) of ALL around (outside) the Latin abbreviation of Exempli Gratia (for example)

18d    It’s champagne and high lights for these idols (3,5)
POP STARS: The first word is a fizzy alcoholic drink and the high lights refer to those twinkling away high in the sky at night. Altogether they refer to those who produce musical drivel. Queen for example. Here is a clip of some pop music which has been chosen to be sung before Scotland’s rugby matches instead of Flower of Scotland

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d    It’s touching when a radio entertainer gets a little money (8)
ADJACENT: A from the clue. A spinner of discs. The other A from the clue. A small American coin. Job done.

21d    Governor’s assistant imprisoned by a revolutionary member of tribe (6)
APACHE: A P(ersonal) A(ssistant) between the A from the clue and an Argentine Marxist revolutionary will give this native American from the southwestern states and Northern Mexico

22d    Once you’ve made it, you’re out (6)
ESCAPE: A cryptic definition of the act of breaking free from control

26d    One involves amusingly taking off garment right away (4)
SKIT: Remove the letter R from a ladies garment which fastens around the waist and hangs down around the legs

27d    Little intelligence (4)
INFO: The shortened form of a word meaning intelligence or facts provided.

Written to the sweet sounds of Purple Rain and When Dove’s cry.

The Quick Crossword pun: carp+entry=carpentry

83 comments on “DT 28097

  1. 1.5*/3*. I found the top half R&W today but a few clues in the bottom half needed a bit of cogitation with my last two in being 27d & 23a (a d’oh moment when I finally understood “no honours”).

    In my world the first word of the answer to 18d refers to a fizzy soft drink and certainly not champagne (although I do see this meeting is in the BRB). Doesn’t 21d work just as well without the word “Governor’s”?

    My second favourite today is 4a, with the marvellous 20a in first place.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    P.S. MP/BD the answers are not hidden.

    1. I liked the use of honours in 23a and the potentially misleading use of Governor’s in 21a.

    2. Agree with Rabbit Dave re ‘Governor’ in 21d-but note that Senf in response mentions ‘misleading’ -surely it is just superfluous-or am I missing something ?.
      What does Miffypops think ?, Amusing crossword and also agree with a 1’5*/ 3*

      1. As I said above, I considered it the use of Governor’s to be potentially misleading, now I am beginning to wonder if its use resulted from some editorial activity and this was not how Rufus wrote the clue originally.

      2. Having been very busy over several weeks, I have only just completed this crossword. I would say that “governor” in the sense of “gov” or “boss” is not superfluous. There is a difference between the boss’s assistant and , say, a shop assistant.

  2. Although this is shown as posted at 1:00 pm, it didn’t arrive on my system until 1:50 pm.
    Also, all the answers are revealed.

  3. Luckily didn’t need the hints today as all the answers are showing! A nice gentle R&W.

  4. Solved before an extended lights out last night, the SW corner gave me a lot of problems. I am continuing in my opinion that Rufus has become trickier over the last few weeks. Favourites 11d and 20a. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  5. Helpful as usual when I’m stuck, but my enjoyment was rather spoiled by the answers “in clear” rather than hidden, especially when they appear before the explanation.

    1. Welcome to the blog Johnnie

      The code is present to hide the answers but, for what ever reason, your browser is not actioning it. I have no idea why this is happening, but it does not affect everyone.

      1. It is affecting me today too which is most unusual. The You Tube links are just links too.

      2. As it happens I was viewing the answers on an Android phone, but I’ve never had this trouble before. I usually use an Android tablet, where I’ve never yet had a problem. Let’s hope this is a one-off.

        Incidentally, this is the first time I’ve sent a comment, although I’ve been following you, BD, for at least a year, so many thanks for getting me out of crossword “holes” in the past.

          1. Likewise Miffypops. Incidentally problem now solved and it’s appearing correctly.

  6. I couldn’t understand 15d although I worked out what it must be)…..4a was my favourite too…

    1. The founder of something is the starter – hence found = start.
      Shame about the answers being exposed.

  7. Definitely something strange going on with the site today…hardly any comments and answers revealed. I shall carry on commenting regardless and hope for the best.
    Today I could do it, even if I did use the usual electronic armoury. No hints needed though.
    Which makes a change from the weekend! Saturday’s was so hard that It took all my time to finish it with hints, tips, gizmos, the lot.
    Sunday too was beyond me and so thanks for the hints for the Virgilius. I did however appreciate the elegant clueing.
    Also time being taken up at the moment by allotment (seed sowing time) and newly acquired greenhouse (just like having young children again, looking after those needy little seedlings.). So solving is difficult when it takes you about an hour per clue!
    Thanks Miffypops for the hints and the amusing introduction and to the setter.

    1. I agree that the little seedlings need as much care as young children – the only difference between them is that slugs and snails don’t eat the young children. :sad:

      1. Ha ha! I wont own up to thinking “more’s the pity”. Oh I just did!
        They will be lovely I know (the seedlings) but now it’s constant attention because if you look the other way, they will be frazzled in no time and then it’s so much time wasted.

  8. Back in the fray again after a few days sailing, back to dry land for s few days.
    A nice gentle start to the week, thanks to MP and Rufus. By the way answers revealed on my iPad.

  9. 2* (and a bit because of the bottom left corner) for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I thought most of this was fairly straightforward and then ground to a complete halt with several in the bottom left corner.
    I also couldn’t make any sense of why my answer for 4a was right or even if it was – that was dim.
    My last answer was 24a – which was really dim in the extreme – spent ages trying to remember the word for a monk’s hairdo and then when I remembered it it was wrong.
    I was also pretty slow with 27d for no reason at all.
    I agree with Senf that Rufus has become trickier over the last few weeks and I never did find Monday crosswords a complete doddle.
    I agree with RD that I wouldn’t call champagne ‘pop’, whatever the BRB says.
    I liked 4a (eventually) and 28a and 1 and 22d. My favourite was 20a – it made me laugh.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Raining on and off – going to play in the greenhouse – Mr Rookie later on.

  10. Loved beethoven’s fifth, the highland fling and uncommonly tight.

    Brilliant Rufus many thanks and thank you MP as always

    i think the weak pun on got a larger size is that your meant to think it’s larger size of something inanimate, e.g. clothing, but the answer concerns a person.

      1. One of England’s rugby matches ended up 18 -12 a couple of years ago. Whenever anybody asked the score I said 18 – 12 and sang the Da da da daa from Beethoven’s Fifth. Nobody picked me up.

      2. No 9 is my favourite, incidentally did you know that Re Eroica is an anagram of a famous stripper ? Miffypops should know. !

      1. I can’t tell you the levels of awfulness that joke has reached and even worse that I smiled at it.

    1. my favourite Rufus clue in today’s guardian: Loud chuckles first heard from Lewis Carroll (8) – answer CHORTLES, a word LC coined.

      1. My Guardian crossword solving friend tells me that ‘bedmaker’ came up again as an answer today – he wanted to put ‘nurse’ but it didn’t fit! I’ll smack his legs so hard!

  11. Superb stuff as ever from Mr. Squires, 3d and 22d are the sort of clues in which he specialises.

    Definitely not a read and write today, as RD rightly says a few answers needed a little more cogitation than perhaps is normal for a Monday backpager.

    Four clues stood out for me, 20a, 31a, 5d and 7d. Great to see Lord Charles and Ray Alan, one of the best ever ventriloquists in my opinion. Does anyone else remember Tich and Quackers?

    Many thank to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  12. No pain in today’s workout – thank you Rufus – hence I didn’t have to wait for MP’s hints but thanks to him for being on hand anyway. Is 10a really imagined? Joint Favs 20a and 31a. Zut alors surely not first word of 18d for champagne – bubbly or sherbet possibly. **/***.

  13. **/**** for me, too. Thought this both clever and delightful. I also liked ‘Beethoven’s fifth’, the ‘Highland Fling’ , ‘Uncommonly tight’, and the ‘stays’.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  14. Joyful joyful.

    I found this quite joyful…it says so above. Loved Beethoven’s fifth, giggled at 9a and thought 20 was a delight. What a clue.

    Favourite is 31a, great clue and also because I like them.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops, your blogs are a delight to the senses. You didn’t say what you won your pint for? Snooker or were you just making side bets…was there a raffle on?

    It is May later this week so we have had snow on the moors..lots more forecast for tonight and tomorrow so back to wearing my favourite bright pink bobble hat. The horse experiment is ongoing. Horses can be scared by them but it could also have been a low flying very fast RAF plane…and quite frankly that made me jump it came over so suddenly. Very nice ride out this morning though.

    BRB..off on the school run soon. Is that right for BRB?

    1. I nominated an impossible blue. Alex said that if I got it he would buy me a pint. I got it. He went on to score 97. It would have been 100+ but he missed a simple green by refusing the simple pot and sending it round lots of angles. It rattled the pocket but stayed out.

      1. Snooker, arrows and crib. Hope he honoured his bet? Who won the match?

        Yellow, green, brown, blue, pink, black. Gosh the stuff I know.

          1. Not a stupid question..even though it’s from me. You could have been playing best of three! Ha! Were you?

  15. Should really concentrate on finishing Saturday’s crosswords but couldn’t resist a fresh virgin grid.
    For some strange reason the phrase that came to mind in 17a was Test The Water.
    Time for the first swim 🏊 in the Med.
    Loved 19d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

    1. First swim in the Med….not jealous in the slightest. :yes: what was it like? Two years since I have done that so it is a distant memory.

        1. Is Jean-Luc’s Med warmer than yours?

          I felt the temp of the North Sea on Saturday…just with my hand. Not good.

        2. What’s the problem with you ‘namby pamby’ Southerners. As a comparison, minus 10 degrees is positively tropical weather for a person born North of the Border. B-) :)

      1. It was more an “in and out” job.
        Little creek sheltered from the wind and a nice lunch to follow.

        1. So long as it was fun!

          Even in summer, swimming in Runswick Bay is cold…just not the same as the Med. Glad you had a nice lunch.

    2. Yes – me too with 17a for no reason at all but then, having got it into my head, I couldn’t think of anything else for ages.

  16. Thanks for the blog Miffypops, I did think at one time I would need it but managed to finish without … 23a I thought might have been a reference to bridge? As a very much novice in this game, I have been taught that ‘Honour’ cards are Ace, King Queen Jack and awarded 4,3,2,1 points in a hand accordingly, therefor if you have ‘no honours’ in the hand you have been dealt you cannot open the bidding as you don’t have enough points and have to ‘pass’ ! :-)

  17. Read and fill, other than the south west corner ,which taxed me somewhat, especially 21d,, where I was not on the setter’s wavelength at all. Much more gentle than the weekend’s challenges. Thank you for the review and to the setter.

  18. Was doing ok until I hit the wall that was the SW corner. Last in was 28a but don’t really know why, the answer was obvious but tricky to explain. Likewise 11d which also held me up for ages so for me it was 2.5/2. Best clue by far for me as 20a.
    Thx to all

  19. I suppose I could rate this as 5* as I never did get 3d.
    19d is my favourite. Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  20. Very enjoyable, thought it was going to be easier at the first look, than it actually was. Got stuck on a couple and last in with MPOPS help was 4a the only H&T used today, I’m pleased to say. Some great clues such as 28a and 1d. Favourite is 9a.

    Rating 2.5 / 4 A nice start to the week.

    Thanks to MPOPS and the setter.

  21. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. Had 18a wrong, I put in top stars for some reason. Realised that Beethoven’s fifth was H, but forgot the usual word. Favourite was 9a. Was 2*/3* for me. Might have more time for crosswords now that the squash Tournament is all but over.

  22. Good evening everybody.

    Mostly straightforward but with half a dozen clues holding things up at the end. Favourite clue was 21d. 13a was last in and took far longer to solve than it ought to have done!


  23. I prefer this version of Beethoven’s 5th. Those of you have experienced this before will realise that this is an attempt to recify the problem of reading the programme notes, just as they turn the house lights down.

    Love the conductor’s knee protectors.

  24. Thanks MP for an amusing and informative set of hints.
    I needed only one, 5a, not a definition I have come across before, the only use I have ever heard of is to do with F1 when they talked about “normally aspirated engines”, whatever they are!!
    Oddly enough, 23a, I was on the wrong track as I assumed that the ‘no honours’ referred to bridge and ‘Pass’ when you have a hand without any picture cards, your version is correct, so thanks.
    Last in was 28a, topical as the BBC seems to be showing nothing but the snooker at the moment.
    Agree about 3d, was searching for something more sinister than the answer.
    Favourite was 28a. thanks again MP and to the setter for a break from a succession of tough puzzles.

  25. Fairly standard Monday fare with only the SW corner stopping it from becoming a R&W. As usual with my neighbour, the surfaces were good and there was the usual smattering of pure cryptic clues. I liked the ‘Tony Blackburn’ clue at 19d and the clever anagram at 8d, but – as our setter and I share a Navy background – I’ll go with 15d as my favourite. Seen it, done it and got the ‘T’ shirt. :yes:

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

  26. The usual light touch from Rufus, and the increasingly usual heavier than expected work in solving it for me. Well, mostly there were no problems, but a few in the south took some cogitation. Like Kath, 24a was my last one in – but I am ashamed to admit I cheated on that one. I was just clueless. :(

    The trademark Rufus clues were among the best of their kind, and I can’t name a single one of them as my favourite.

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the much needed entertainment.

  27. Monday’s are a delight. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops – still need your enlightenment, but learning all the time. Enjoyed temperature of 26C on the Algarve today.

  28. Most of this flew by, but then there was the SW corner, and my last two in – 4ac and 22d. Rufus specials that I so often find hard to get. :-)

  29. Thank you Miffypops for your entertaining review. I needed it to show me the error of my ways. Scanned 2a and saw candour, golf and head and bunged in ‘fairness’. Note to self. Read the whole clue. Thank you setter for a great start to the working week. 17a was my favourite. 2*/3*

  30. Just squeaked into 2* time, and 3* for enjoyment. I was going to pick 19d as my favourite, but on reflection I think I’ll go for the deceptively simple (once you realise how simple it is) 3d. Thanks to Rufus, and Miffypops.

    1. Hi Salty..re your horse Charley and dressage, I’ve known a few like that. Scarily brilliant XC etc. Ask them to do a dressage test and you can almost see them thinking “No…just no. I’m not prancing around here. Forget that! Point me at the judges and I’ll clear their heads jumping…see if they give me 70 plus % for it..go on?”

  31. Ran through this on Tuesday morning. Nothing too taxing, and 20 across my favourite. This far down the list, I guess everything has been said so I will rate it 2*/3* and thank Rufus and MP.

  32. Loved it this morning. My last two in were 22d and 24a. Checkers were vowels so I was reduced to going through the alphabet. Penny finally dropped with 24a and I could have kicked myself. Got 4a from the checkers but had no idea why. I now know that Rufus had an almost identical clue in the Guardian on 23 Nov 2013. I do not claim credit for reading the Guardian or knowing this, but when I googled the key words I found it in an old crossword answer! I spent far too long looking for an alternative name for Beethoven’s fifth. Was not happy with 3d and had to check I was right. Loved the long clues and 28a to name just a few. Had no problem with 31a although my mother used to refer to corsets in the plural like stays.

  33. Oops! Forgot to comment yesterday. This was a good start to the week with Rufus giving us a very entertaining challenge. The ‘stays’ were my fave. 3/3* overall. Thanks to Rufus and of course to mine host.

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