DT 28121

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28121

Hints and tips by Hanni and Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello from the moors on a grey morning. Miffypops is on holiday in Cornwall and attempting to break a world record for consuming seafood and cider. Let’s hope the local fisherman can keep up with his shellfish demands. He might kill me for that a little bit. No matter.

On to the puzzle. As usual Rufus brings us a delightful start to the day with plenty of smiles…although you might feel differently.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Where one’s likely to drive after the service (6,5)
TENNIS COURT:   Let’s start with a nice cryptic definition of a place where one serves a ball to your opponent before they try and hit it back.

9a Too greatly tempted, resulting in being in the red (9)
OVERDRAWN:   Start with a four letter word meaning  too much and add a five letter word for being tempted.

10a Get in a tangle and express displeasure (5)
SNARL: Here we have a double definition, the latter, being something a grumpy puppy might do.

11a Moves that may result in unsound mate on board (6)
STEAMS: An anagram of MATE (unsound) between the two usual suspects that denote onboard.

12a Stopped and taken into custody (8)
ARRESTED: A double definition but a lovely all in one surface.

13a A binding affair is arranged (6)
RAFFIA: Here we have another anagram (is arranged) of AFFAIR, to leave you with  type of palm that can be used to make bindings. Apparently their leaves are the longest in the plant kingdom growing up to 25m.

15a All women do (3,5)
HEN PARTY: An elegant cryptic definition to describe an occasion celebrated before a woman gets married where she drags all her female friends on a night out.  I have never been to one I enjoyed.

18a Do remove from sit-in? (5,3)
CARRY OUT: A double definition the former meaning to complete something.

19a An infant rock-and-roller (6)
CRADLE: A cryptic definition describing something we place a baby in to soothe it to sleep. I like this clue.

21a Two things a swindler may do and court offence (8)
CONTEMPT: Split 3,5 we start with  a word meaning to trick someone followed by one meaning to entice.  The definition is to be disrespectful in a court of law.

23a Burning with an old love (6)
AFLAME: If we split this 1,5 it’s how we could describe a former lover.

26a Number one’s direction is sound (5)
NOISE: Start with a 2 letter abbreviation for number followed by a ‘I’ (one) and lastly add a two letter abbreviation for a compass direction.

27a Record membership for start of the student year (9)
ENROLMENT: A nice all in one describing when students register at the beginning of an academic year.

28a Tradesman may be a theatre-goer (11)
STALL HOLDER: This sort of tradesman is often found in a market place. Is this a double definition?

Down clues by Miffypops

Hello from Sunny St Mawes (Moonlit at the time of writing) where Miffypops and Saint Sharon are enjoying a 7d.  Bliss. Pure bliss.

1d Epithet applied to press when our rest is disturbed (7)
TROUSER: Anagram (disturbed) of OUR REST.  This word when used with press describes an item only ever found in hotel rooms and never ever used.


2d Relative drop in energy in French resort (5)
NIECE: Drop the E from E(nergy) into a popular French resort which belonged to Italy until 1860.

3d Guarantee compensation (9)
INDEMNITY: A trademark Rufus double definition

4d Flatter area fenced in by stern fellow (4)
COAX: This stern fellow sits at the back of a rowing boat barking out instructions to the crew. He needs wrapping (fenced in) around the A of a(rea)

5d Worries make seven run wild (8)
UNNERVES: Anagram (wild) of SEVEN RUN

6d Drop oral test (5)
TASTE: A clever definition with wordplay. The sensation of flavour perceived by the mouth

7d Time off with girl in divine setting (7)
HOLIDAY: Place a word meaning Divine around a three lettered girls name. Which girl? Any one you fancy. There is no way of knowing from the clue. Miss Thurman is not it.


8d Female getting changed hesitated (8)
FALTERED: Use the F(emale) and add a word meaning changed.

14d Forces in bust-up prepared for court action (8)
FORENSIC: Anagram (bust up) of FORCES IN

16d Opt for oil processing as a minister’s responsibility (9)
PORTFOLIO: Anagram (processing) of OPT FOR OIL.

17d Exotic bean soup that may be served legally (8)
SUBPOENA:  Anagram (exotic) of BEAN SOUP.

18d The objective of the shy (7)
COCONUT:  The object one shies or throws at and wins if knocked off its perch during a village carnival and fete day. Not in our village. The Fun Police have seen the carnival off.


20d Point to head of college as one responsible for a put-up job (7)
ERECTOR: A compass point precedes the head of certain colleges universities or schools.

22d Still beginning to shout the odds (5)
EVENS: Take a word meaning still and add the beginning of the word S(bout) to find a betting term denoting the ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a bet, based on the expected probability either way

24d A principal in a winning position (5)
AHEAD: A (from the clue) and the  principal or top banana in a school

25d A test said to be passed (4)
ORAL: A spoken test.

Nothing too difficult there. How did you find it today ?

The Quick Crossword pun: rest+tricked=restrict


  1. Domus
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    In hints we need Divine not Devine, 7a?

    • Hanni
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Domus. Hopefully BD can edit it. And I need to improve my proof reading. :yes:

    • Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Just to show how easy it is to make a mistake, the error was in 7d :smile:

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      There is a glaring deliberate error of mine ( which won’t get in anyone’s way)

      • Hanni
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

        What…you’re not really staying in St Mawes? Can’t spot what it is.

      • dutch
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink | Reply


      • Miffypops
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Odds/Evens? Definitions

  2. Brian
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    This was one of those puzzles where one stares at a blank grid for ages then it all falls nicely into place. Not the easiest but enjoyable. Best clues for me were 15a and 18d. However, I thougiht 1d was a weak clue.
    Thx to all

  3. dutch
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks Hanni and Miffypops for a lovely review

    The brilliant 15a (all women do) made me smile – partly because it’s such a clever speciality of Rufus to present a seasoned clue in a superbly fresh manner.
    I also liked 19a (infant rock&roller), 21a for its subtlety (two things a swindler might do), 18d (objective of the shy – just reads so nicely), 6d (drop oral test – very subtle and my last one in)

    In 26 i read I’S + one direction, but both parsings get you there
    In 28a, I’d say no, because the second ‘definition’ is not a dictionary entry

    I thought that in some of the double definitions (27a, 3d, 12a) the two meanings were closely related, weakening the clue a little. I like double definitions where the two halves are unrelated and the overall clue is a common expression.

    oops just realised 27a is not a double definition but a cryptic definition with a pun on record

    Many thanks Rufus

  4. Graham
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a nice start to the week’s entertainment, I really liked this one with top marks going to 15A & 20D many thanks to the setter & to Hanni & Miffypops enjoying his well earned 7D.

  5. Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Typically Monday and, after partying hard at the weekend with more planned for tomorrow, at about the right difficulty level. It was really great to see some of you in Derby, and I look forward to catching up with more of you in London. For those of you who are undecided, do come along! :)

    My favourite today is 6d.

    Thanks to Rufus and Hanni and Miffypops. Nice bit of trivia in 13a. :good:

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    The usual light fluffy Monday fun on offer today: 4* for enjoyment. Apart from 2 clues in the NE, I didn’t find this too tough: 2* for difficulty.

    My problem in the NE corner was that I instantly put “gnarl” in for 10a. As a verb can mean “knot” (get in a tangle) and “growl” (express displeasure), which made 6d impossible. It was only when I checked the review for 6d that I realised that I’d got 10a wrong.

    The brilliant 15a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to the Hanni/Miffypops combo.

  7. pete
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fairly straight forward, some nice clues in 3d, 4d and 6d. I am not sure I understand 1a, drive isnt a term I would associate with this sport? 2* for difficulty 3* for enjoyment and many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “Pam, I adore you, Pam, you great big mountainous sports girl,
      Whizzing them over the net, full of the strength of five:
      That old Malvernian brother, you zephyr and khaki shorts girl,
      Although he’s playing for Woking,
      Can’t stand up
      To your wonderful backhand drive.”
      (John Betjeman)

      • stanXYZ
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I wonder if Miss Joan Hunter Dunn had a wonderful backhand drive? Most probably.

        • neveracrossword
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Almost certainly:-

          “Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
          Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun,
          What strenuous singles we played after tea,
          We in the tournament – you against me!”

          Betjeman fancied lady tennis players and horse riders. He would no doubt have taken a shine to Hanni. His wife, Penelope Chetwode, was an accomplished horsewoman.

          • Hanni
            Posted May 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Like the quotes :good:

            I wonder if Sir John Betjeman was like some of my (male) friends who casually ask about horses etc and whether I should come down to the pub in jodphurs and ‘that’ t-shirt. I get the feeling that my riding skills are not what they are thinking about.

            • Salty Dog
              Posted May 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I always thought there were very few finer sights – if any – than a nicely-filled pair of Harry Halls. I wonder why that is why I was one of only two boys in the local Pony Club (l seem to remember it as what my Fleet Air Arm friends would call a “target-rich environment”)!

              As for the puzzle – straightforward but amusing: 1*/3.5*. Favourite clue probably 18a. Thanks to Rufus, Hanni and Miffypops. Nice to see Madness as well.

              • Hanni
                Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Love my HH’s and my Molvedo’s.

                Oh gosh..I bet you were popular at PC camp? Love it..target rich environment.

  8. Ora Meringue
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this quite tricky.
    Needed hints for 6d and 10a….could not see them at all.
    Struggled in my pedantic way with 22d …but eventually persuaded myself that 22d are odds.

    Thanks to the setter and to Hanni and Miffypops for the hints.

  9. George
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this was a bit trickier than many Monday puzzles but still completed in 2* time once I had a few in with cross checking letters. 3* for enjoyment for me.

  10. Jane
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No real problems encountered although I did hesitate over ‘F’ or ‘T’ in 3d. Doesn’t it work either way?
    Think I would have preferred ‘enrol’ as the answer for 27a – something about the part of speech doesn’t quite work for me.

    Top three spots go to 21&28a plus 18d.

    Thanks to Rufus, Hanni & MP. Hanni – loved the little ‘snarler’ in your pic for 10a. MP – your choice of musical accompaniments continues to astound me!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I settled on “F” :unsure:

    • Senf
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Based on submission through the DT puzzle web site it has to be ‘T.’ If guarantee was being used as a verb, ‘F’ would work, but compensation can only be a noun, so I think guarantee has to be used as a noun as well making it ‘T.’

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I took both words together to be a verbal phrase!

        • Senf
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Then I understand why you settled on ‘F.’ Like Hanni above, I went the double definition route, making both words nouns, and that would appear to be what Rufus intended.

          But, I do find it a little irritating when there is a clue and answer that is open to interpretation like this one.

        • dutch
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

          wouldn’t that be a straight definition?

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It is a T. Jane, I suggested Summer Holiday by Sir Cliff Richards as my musical clip for 7d. Hanni was not happy with that so I trawled my memory for another song with the word holiday in it. I remembered Tom Waits. In case you missed it here is the lyric

      And the shroud tailor measures him
      For a six deep holiday
      The stiff is froze, the case is closed
      On the one that got away

      Have another listen. There is so much in that song.

      • Jane
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        OK – so you’re blaming the 7d music on Hanni? Fair enough (although I will check) but I reckon she would at least have used Sir Cliff’s correct surname!
        As for the Tom Waits’ number – think I’ll pass on a re-run if it’s all the same to you.

        • Miffypops
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

          It is your choice Jane. There is a lot to be learnt from Mr Tom Waits. He was learning himself when he wrote ‘Small Change Got Rained On With His Own 38’ It is head and shoulders above most other songs in both lyric and composition.

          • Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

            There’s always this one. Not one of my personal favourites but surely a better choice:

            • Miffypops
              Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

              No. No. No. Never. This does not belong on one of my blogs. Hanni can have it if she wants it.

              • Hanni
                Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Hanni will have it.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        For my part it’s Madonna who springs to mind. So groovy.

      • Hanni
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

        For the record when I asked MP what music he wanted for his part of the blog I absolutely said no to Cliff Richard. Nothing against him personally but I draw the line at his music. Tom Waits every time.

        • Miffypops
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

          The problem with having two people with a similar surname is remembering which is which. From now on I will remember it like this. The one with the most talent has the most letters in his surname. The one with the least talent has the least letters in his surname. Richards or Richard. So easy when you know how.

          • Hanni
            Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

            So say if you had a double-barreled surname does that make you super talented?

            • Miffypops
              Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply


            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

              A name like Miffy-Pops for example?

            • stanXYZ
              Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

              But Jean-Luc has a double-barrelled first name.

              • jean-luc cheval
                Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

                I feel honoured.
                My talent as far as crosswords are concerned has nothing to do with my name.
                Blame it on your simplistic language. :smile:

                • Hanni
                  Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Being double-barrelled I shall bow down to your view of our simplistic language. :wink:

  11. sabrinastar
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Surely the first word (flatter) should be underlined for 4d?

  12. Beaver
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lets start with a **/***, some excellent clues, agree with H/ MP re 6d, liked 4d. Too many anagrams for me, usually providing a cop out if your stuck! Wondered if 25d had anything to do with the homophone past for passed and past-oral, probably over complicating matters for a Monday .Thanks to all.

  13. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As RD, I had gnarl in 10a and didn’t want to fill taste in 6d as I thought it might be a homophone of test (oral). Didn’t get the subtlety of the clue.
    18d (the objective of the shy) made me laugh. Good clue.
    Thanks to Rufus and to the intrepid duo for the review.
    Shouldn’t “flatter” be underlined in 4d rather than “stern fellow”?

  14. happy days
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice one, Rufus! 15a, All women do, is a delightful clue

  15. Angel
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    No sweat but enough pleasurable cerebral exercise today. Thanks Rufus. MP, I can’t imagine your holiday was disturbed for long by being today’s reviewer but, should we need them, you certainly have given us comprehensive and liberally illustrated hints – thanks. Enjoy the rest of your foodie break. Not sure where “roller” comes into 19a. To split hairs, surely the tradesman in 28a doesn’t possess the location itself but is a ticket-******. The various sporty intimations appealed including 1a, 4d, 18d and 22d. **/***.

    • Angel
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Meant to say to say ‘the theatre-goer’ rather than ‘the tradesman’ in my above comment re 28a.

      • Angel
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’m obviously not with it today ‘cos I just noticed Hints were a combined effort so thanks to Hanni as well as MP.

        • Hanni
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Wouldn’t worry about it Angel…I know the feeling of having ‘not with it days’ :smile:

          I tend to agree re 28a.

  16. Senf
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Completed comfortably before lights out last night but still a bit on the tricky side – **/***.

    Nice to see some oldies but goodies – 13a and 2d in particular.

    Nominations for favourite 19a, 21a, 4d, and 18d; and the winner is 21a – a well constructed clue.

    Thanks to Rufus and Hanni for the usual very good start to the week – a holiday here (in most of Canada) to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday.

  17. littlemart
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this a lot. Loved 1a and 15a which I thought were quite clever.
    I rather spoilt a quick finish by putting ‘chap’ in for 4d. It seemed a pretty good answer to me at the time although I am still not sure why!
    **/**** for me . Thanks to both

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Chap crossed my mind too Littlemart but we have met that stern geezer many times before.

  18. Kath
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear – the usual Monday trouble for me – I found some of this quite tricky but can’t quite see why now.
    Lots of these caused trouble – rather too many to admit to, I think.
    I never did get 4d – I wouldn’t have said that coax was the same as flatter but the BRB disagrees with me so I give in.
    I still don’t really get 1d although it was clearly an anagram and with four of the seven letters in it couldn’t have been much else – why is it an epithet?
    10a and 6d were my last answers – just couldn’t see them for ages.
    I liked 13 and 21a and 7 and 17d. My favourite was 15a, which also for some reason took far too long to get.
    With thanks to Rufus and MP and Hanni.

    • Senf
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Kath – does this help on epithet. One definition is:

      A rhetorical term for an adjective or adjective phrase used to characterize a person or thing
      (from http://grammar.about.com/od/e/g/epitheterm.htm)

      So the press is ‘any old type of press’ until the epithet unscrambled from ‘our rest’ is applied to it.

      • Kath
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks – I suppose so although my fatal error was mixing up ‘epithet’ and ‘epitaph’ – I always do – damn, oh dear, rats and anything else that’s printable here. I hang my head in shame . . . :oops:

        • Kath
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

          PS – this reminds me of Younger Lamb aged two and a half or thereabouts coming into the kitchen and saying, “Mum, Jose says that carrots can’t talk but they can, can’t they?” Needless to say I replied, “Don’t be silly, no, of course they can’t” She stomped off in floods of tears and complete fury only to come back a few minutes later saying, “Anyway, I didn’t mean carrots, I meant parrots”!

  19. Heno
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops & Hanni for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 3,4,6,22d. I always struggle with double definitions. Worst part is that it’s easy for me to spot them, but nearly impossible to get the right word. Favourite was 20d. Was 4*/3* for me. Getting cloudy now in Central London.

  20. Nic
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable. Thanks to Miffypops and Hanni for the hints. These I needed for 19a (inexplicably) and for 6d. The penny still hasn’t dropped for 6d making me blush at your hint of “clever definition”. Oral test is fine but why “drop” ? If anyone would care to put me out of my misery …

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      A drop of something is a taste of something and the oral test is a test using ones mouth ie tasting

      • Nic
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. Oh dear. Time for a cup of tea.

  21. Banksie
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Afternoon all
    Re 3D: did we settle on t? Seems to work much better. I’m with Senf.

    Re 15a: great clue. Had me fooled for a while and I thought it was a minefield for this site if read slightly differently. I had all sorts of answers that I dare not mention here. Also thought MP might comment on it.

    • Senf
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Banksie – that is what the DT puzzle web site believes it should be. I complete the puzzles on paper and then enter my answers on-line for checking/confirmation because incorrect answers, if there are any, are highlighted. In this case ‘T’ was accepted as correct.

    • Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      While to guarantee might define to indemnify, compensation can only be a noun, so the answer is definitely INDEMNITY.

  22. Shropshirelad
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Usual Monday fare from my close (ish) neighbour but a few more trickier clues than is the norm. I think I will go with 18d as my favourite.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to the new Monday blogging team that is Hanni and Miffypops.

    Oops – forgot to say, I hope all of those going to London tomorrow for the S&B have a good time. I will, of course, be at home slaving over a review. Have one for me.

    • dutch
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      we will (he he).

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Tomorrow is a very special day SL. I hope you mark it well. If you need help with suitable marking of said event I might be on holiday but I am available.

  23. Soldier
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear, I thought that I was improving, but obviously not. With both 6d and 11a, not only did I not understand the question, when reading the blog I don’t understand the answer.

    • Nic
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Miffypops was kind enough to explain 6d in note 20. above.
      For 11a SS is a steamship or screw steamer, containing an anagram of MATE, and, if you’re fortunate enough to be on a boat, to steam is to move.

    • Gordon
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      6d I thought was very clever, though I took it to be a double definition rather than an all in one.
      My favourite was 4d.
      With thanks to Rufus and the blogging team

      • dutch
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I would call 6d ‘definition plus cryptic indication’. A double definition would need both components to be dictionary entries. A cryptic definition or indication normally involves some misleading pun, in this case oral test suggests a viva-type examination. It definitely is not an all-in-one, which means that the whole clue is wordplay and also the whole clue is definition.

  24. Gwizz
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this was a lovely crossword to start the week with. 15a was definitely favourite once I realised how to read the clue. Initial thinking of all the things that women do was leading me into trouble…
    Also good were 19a and 6d.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the Hanni/MP combo for their review.

  25. Merusa
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Unusually for me, I had a difficult time getting entry to this puzzle, but once I started, it fell into place quite quickly. I was a little worried that I was losing my marbles as I rely on Rufus to give me confidence in my solving skills!
    Fave was 19a, but 1a, 13a and 18d are all worth a mention.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the hinting duo of Hanni and M’pops.

  26. silvanus
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Somewhat like Kath, and unusually unlike RD, I found this quite tricky in places, but once the answers eventually came it was not obvious why they had taken time to yield. The essence of a deceptively good puzzle probably!

    I was initially going to give my favourite vote to 13a (very clever use of “binding”) but in the end I’ve gone for 4d (an even cleverer use of “stern fellow”).

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Hanni and Miffypops.

  27. Una
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found it somewhat trickier than most of Rufus’ puzzles.
    I liked 28a, 21a, 10a and a few others.
    I still don’t understand the “drive ” part of 1a. I never watch Wimbledon, or hardly ever.
    Thanks to all concerned.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The ‘drive’ is a tennis shot which can be played on the fore or backhand and is usually hit very hard and with the aim of being able to come to the net to play a volley shot.

      • Banksie
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Did you look that up Hanni?

        • Hanni
          Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I absolutely did. Heard of the shot but didn’t know how to describe it.

        • ShropshireLad
          Posted May 24, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink | Reply

          Of course she didn’t Banksie – you obviously don’t know our Hanni too well. There’s not too many things that she’s not knowledgeable in.

          I’m also glad that I checked this comment before posting – as my ‘auto correct’ function had changed ‘Banksie’ into something that I would have been embarrassed about. Damned ‘Otto Korrect’ :smile:

    • Una
      Posted May 24, 2016 at 12:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      Now I know. Thanks Hanni .

  28. paso doble
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The usual Monday fun from Rufus and thank you for an entertaining review to Hannipops.


    • Kath
      Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Quite like Hannipops but what is far more important is how are your pups?

      • paso doble
        Posted May 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Sorry not to be seeing you tomorrow, Kath, as we were thinking of dragging them along – first trip on the tube! They are a real handful and wake us up at 5 in the morning but, apart from that, very loveable!

  29. Jon_S
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definitely a tricky start to the week, not helped by my browser crashing halfway through and having to start again. Lots of cryptic definitions, the answers to which were always on the tip of my tongue but no further. One of these days I’ll get the hang of Rufus’ puzzles. :-)

  30. Jaylegs
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice start to the week 😀 */*** thanks to MP & Hanni for blog, as always beautifully illustrated and to Rufus for a clever but fun crossword 👍 Liked 1a & 15a I must also confess to putting chap in 4d 😩

  31. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    4d trailed the field by a country mile for us. It took ages to see the meaning of stern fellow and a real penny drop moment when we did. Perhaps if we had started working from the other end of the alphabet to eliminate possibilities we might have been quicker. 15a our favourite clue.
    Thanks Rufus, Hanni and MP.

  32. cat
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this quite difficult today but got there eventually, even if I’m still not quite sure how, even after reading the blog.
    Thanks to setter and Hanni/MF.

  33. BusyLizzie
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely start to the week, thanks Rufus, Hanni and Miffypops. This one was right up my street with just 6d and 10a holding me up for a while. 27a kept me stalled for a while as I thought enrolment had 2 lls, (on my US based iPad it corrects to enrollment, as does Google). To finish a *** puzzle is definitely a red letter day for me 😊

  34. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 23, 2016 at 11:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely crossword after the struggles of the week-end.
    15a my favourite.
    Thanks to Hanni and MP for the hints and Rufus for the test.

  35. David in Bali
    Posted May 24, 2016 at 4:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    On my travels this week – in deepest Sumatra with delays and heat, all of which seems to have affected my brain as I found this a lot tougher than the usual Monday offering. Thought 1d, 6d and 6d were a bit week, statred at 4d and 27a and couldn’t get anywhere. Loved 15a. After a tricky weekend, and today’s headache, I hope Tuesday is fun, but doable enough to compensate for this vile hotel…

  36. Florence
    Posted May 24, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    Returned late last night from the Scottish Borders. Managed to fill a few in last night but had to pick it up again this morning. Found it more difficult than the usual Monday. Not helped by putting ‘night’ as the second part of 15a. Well, I was nearly there with it. Managed to sort it out as 16d was clearly an anagram. Favourite was18d. Thank you Rufus, Hanni and Miffypops.

  37. fran
    Posted May 24, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very late response but what an excellent crossword . Thanks to Rufus ; this has to be my favourite solve for a very long time, although it wasn’t particularly difficult **/*****.Thanks to Hanni and Miffypops

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