DT 28127 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28127

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28127

Hints and tips by Hanni

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello from the moors again. MP is wending his way back to rural Warwickshire after a holiday that included free beer so I am in the blogging chair.

As usual Rufus brings plenty of smiles and a couple of trickier definitions…well they were for me.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Means hail storms may be seen (8)
AVERAGES: Split this 3,5 and begin with a Latin word used by the Romans to greet someone (hail) and follow it with a 5 letter word for storms or gets angry.

6a    Club well-qualified people run (6)
MASHIE: A 3 letter abbreviations for a post grad degree followed by a 3 letter word for run. The definition is a type of club used to play golf.

9a    A turbulent river reach (6)
ARRIVE: ‘A’ from the clue followed by an anagram (turbulent) of RIVER.

10a    Publican’s profits — they’re cheap at the price (8)
BARGAINS: Split 3,5 it is how a pub owner (like Miffypops) could describe the money they make.

11a    Recorder involved in test case (8)
CASSETTE: An anagram (involved in) of TEST CASE. You can solve anagrams however you like. In your head. With a pencil. Alone in a churchyard or Morris dancing at a BBQ. The choice is yours. I use a pencil.

12a    Put in grave — wrong note given to doctor! (6)
ENTOMB: Another anagram (wrong) of NOTE followed by a 2 letter abbreviation for doctor.

13a    Stunning, but also inspiring (12)
BREATHTAKING: A lovely double definition? The former being a view that you might find perfect to look at.

Just an opinion but I think this picture fits the definition!


16a    Business figures showing what happens after slump (5,7)
TRADE RETURNS: After a slump this could be said as to what happens in business as your customers come back.

19a    Fashions suitable to be shown in commercials (6)
ADAPTS: Place a 3 letter word for suitable into our usual 3 letter word for commercials.

21a    Substantial list includes cocktail of gin (8)
TANGIBLE: A 5 letter word for a list containing an anagram (cocktail) of GIN.

23a    Capital fellow from Greece (8)
ATHENIAN: Quite a nice all in one to describe someone who hails from one of the world’s oldest cities. The Parthenon there is stunning…to my mind anyway.

24a    Buy tie to get dressed up, being in a particular place (6)
UBIETY: Pencils at the ready for another anagram. This time it is of BUY TIE (dressed up) to give you a word meaning the state of existing in a certain place. I have only come across this word once before.

25a    It gives you a walkover in game (6)
BRIDGE: A double definition the latter being a rather tricky card game involving 4 players and compass points. No…I don’t know the rules. Poker I get.

26a    A striking defeat that’s humiliating (8)
ABASHING: ‘A’ from the clue followed by a 6 letter word for striking.


2d    Fresh meat sailors swallowed (6)
VERNAL: Insert (swallowed) one of the abbreviations for sailors into a 4 letter word for a sometimes controversial type of meat.

3d    Tracks of birds (5)
RAILS: Double definition. Here we have something that trains run on and a type of bird. The latter being ground living birds with close to 110 extant examples of the genera. Guess how much I looked that up? Although I am sure I will be corrected as to the number. Regular followers of the blog will know how good I am at ‘birding’.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    Huge beast that’s best seen through a telescope (5,4)
GREAT BEAR: A 5 letter word for ‘huge’ followed by a 4 letter word for ‘beast’ (Paddington is one). The whole thing describes a constellation that is seen the northern hemisphere. The Plough being one of the most recognisable features of it. I have a star somewhere near there.

5d    Subordinate theme (7)
SUBJECT: Double definition the latter being the central idea in an exhibition or a piece of writing etc.

6d    Means of communication for TV detective (5)
MORSE: Oh gosh I solved this and thought of the lovely Kath! Double definition again. This time of something with dots and dashes and a rather famous TV detective from Oxford.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d    Many Nazis were armed with these (9)
SWASTIKAS: A cryptic definition of a very recognisable symbol worn by members of the Nazi party. As I am sure many of you will know it’s origins are much older, dating back thousands of years and associated with many different religions and cultures.

8d    Shame nothing’s admitted in disastrous mining year (8)
IGNOMINY: An anagram (disastrous) of MINING including the single letter abbreviations of ‘nothing’ and ‘year’.

13d    Topping dormitory feast (9)
BEDSPREAD: Split 3,5 start with a place that you rest your head followed by a sumptuous impressive meal (at school ours involved Nutella? I hate the stuff).

14d    Thanks to natural evolving, it has a maddening bite (9)
TARANTULA: Oh gosh. Begin with a 2 letter word for ‘thanks’ followed by an anagram (evolving) of NATURAL. My child type thing wants one as pet. Never going to happen nor is a picture of one.

15d    New director, one yet to be paid (8)
CREDITOR: An anagram (new) of DIRECTOR.

17d    Strong man, one wedded to a queen (7)
TITANIA: Start with a 5 letter ‘strong man’ from Greek mythology, followed by the usual abbreviation for ‘one’ and ‘A’ from the clue. The definition is of a fairy queen from Shakespeare who magically falls in love with a Bottom. As you do!

18d    Key operators may strike against it (6)
PLATEN: This was completely new to me. It is a type of printing press and the ‘roller’ in a typewriter hence the fact that ‘keys’ may strike against it. I love learning new stuff.

20d    One way to shoot game (5)
SNIPE: This solitary and hidden method of shooting to kill is also a bird with a long beak.

22d    Flower head of hydrangea from Limerick, say (5)
IRISH: A name of a flower (and also the daughter of Thamus in Greek mythology), followed by ‘H’…head of H[ydrangea].

Plenty to like here. My favourite is 13d. What’s yours? A quick thank you to some Oxford-based people for their help recently.

The Quick Crossword pun: miss+bee+leaf=misbelief

109 comments on “DT 28127

  1. I found this decidedly tricky for a Monday puzzle and of a style that I do not really enjoy. Some new words for me at 24a and a new meaning at 3d.

    My usual complaints about stretched synonyms apply to this one – I think someone must have been taking cues from RayT

    Anyway, I would rate it as 3*/1*

  2. I enjoyed this, but could have wished perhaps for more of a brain stretcher for holiday Monday. Almost a R & W though got a bit stuck with the SE corner. Guessed but had to check 24 a, but how does one use it in conversation? ‘I live in the 24a of London’? The mind boggles! Still, good to learn something new occasionally

  3. Not straightforward for a Monday puzzle, and not really to my taste either. I feel that several of the clues were over worked, and consequently unrewarding. I hope others enjoyed it more. ***|*.

  4. 3*/4*. I found the first three quarters of this puzzle relatively easy then had a real tussle to finish off the SE taking my time up to 4*, with the second word of 16a proving very elusive. Nevertheless it provided all the usual Monday smiles.

    I don’t understand why the bite given by 14d is described as it is in the clue. Painful, yes, but maddening?

    Needless to say, I too thought of Kath when I solved 6d. By the way, Hanni, you’ve posted a very pleasing YouTube video which I very much enjoyed watching but am at a loss to understand what relevance it has to the answer.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Hanni, and best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable UK Bank Holiday in spite of the deterioration in the weather.

    1. Hehe…had a huge panic there thinking I had included the wrong bit of music for 6d!

      The brilliant Tom Waits one at 3d contains the lines..

      Some men are searching for the
      Holy Grail
      But there ain’t nothing sweeter
      Than riding the *****

      1. I’ve just realised why I was confused by your video for 6d. I was so captivated by the images that I had forgotten to turn on the sound! Having rectified that omission all is now clear!

        BTW I do like Tom Waits. A music critic’s description of his singing on Wikipedia is brilliant: Waits has a distinctive voice sounding like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.

        1. I’m not what’s better RD…the fact that you left the sound off for 6d off or that deliciously good description of his voice!

          Ta to Neveracrossword and Angel re the St Vitus Dance. Didn’t know that :good:

    2. Re 14d, think that “tarantism” was a form of dancing mania in Italy, said to originate from the bite of a tarantula. is there not a similar theory attached to St Vitus dance? The “tarantella” dance may be connected with the above.

    3. The myth is that a sting by a 14d causes the sufferer to dance (St. Vitus’ Dance/Tarantella) in a desire to sweat the poison out of their system!

        1. And thanks very much too to Silvanus. It’s no surprise that Rufus hadn’t gone mad!

    4. Hi RD,

      The bite of 14d was once thought to induce hysteria and gave its name to the tarantella dance I believe. Mr. Squires knows his stuff!

      P.S. Just seen that others have beaten me to it!

  5. Ah, Mondays – what can I say? At least it’s a bank holiday: nobody’s gonna go to school today. Rufus giving us something considerably chewier than usual for the occasion.

    I wasn’t so keen on the yodaspeak of 2d, but overall a nice crossword.

    Out and out cheats used here for 6a (even though I guessed the beginning: needed to look up the second half of the answer to confirm the parsing) and 18d. Oh, and 24a was a new one on me, but is welcome knowledge.

    It wouldn’t be much of a telescope if you could see the whole of 4d through it! The beast covers 3.1% of the total sky area apparently. “Apparently” = “according to Wikipedia.”

    Thanks to Rufus the master. Thanks and very well done to Hannibal from kittiwake. ;)

    P.S. Well done too, MP, on your sterling work recruiting new hinty people. Without wishing to railroad anybody, may I tentatively suggest a name? The one appearing by comment 5 above I think would be excellent. :yes:

    1. Hi Kitty – 100% backing for your suggestion re: another hinty person. Maybe we could bribe him with some juicy lettuce leaves?

      1. Hey – stop this conspiracy at once …

        P.S. Some types of lettuce are not good for rabbits so it’s best to avoid them. Dandelion leaves are another matter entirely …

    2. I am all recruited out but I doubt RD could do the job. (Reverse phsycology in action)

  6. Lots of old chestnuts, not very enjoyable and fairly easy.
    I had some difficulty in identifying the synonyms for some answers, I am guessing this puzzle was put together from old chestnuts.
    Thanks to Hanni for hints.

  7. This one took us considerably longer than we usually spend on a Monday puzzle. We even wondered if Rufus was having a day off and we have another setter for this one. 24a was a new word for us and we were almost surprised when we found it in BRB after we worked out what it probably had to be. 1a, where we started, had us scratching our heads for a while and set the tone for the puzzle so it gets our vote for favourite.
    Thanks Rufus (if it was indeed you) and Hanni.

  8. That was a bit of a wake-up call for a Bank Holiday Monday! Count me in with the ‘decidedly tricky’ brigade.
    24a was a new word for me and 6a rang such a distant bell that it took a long time to hear it ringing.
    Didn’t really feel like a Rufus puzzle to me – anyone else?
    Quite liked 4d but favourite has to be 13d (potted beef sandwiches for my girls, usually consumed by about 9pm when they couldn’t stay awake any longer!).

    Thanks to Rufus(?) and to our Yorkshire lass. I’m willing to overlook the musical accompaniment to 3d on the grounds that the one for 6d was delightful – what is it? Whether Kath will forgive you for the lack of a pic. of her favourite detective is quite another matter!

    Now then – about this Morris-dancing at BBQs?

    1. Did you listen to the 3d one? It’s fantastic.

      The 6d one is by Barrington Pheloung and is the theme tune for Kath’s favourite detective. I thought about using a pic but as the music actually contains the first definition in the clue I went for that instead.

      The very notion of doing Morris dancing at a BBQ is utterly ridiculous on every level. :yes:

    2. The dotty notes at the beginning of the piece at 6d spell out a phrase in Morse Code which is why it was chosen as the music for Morse. It is a message from the composer to his sister Dorothy based upon Samuel Morse’s inspiration to create Morse Code. Those dotty notes translate as Dear Dot. Must dash.

      1. I know there is Morse code at the beginning but how much of the rest of that story is true? Are we back to the monkeys again? I’m not Googling it.

  9. Less tricky than recent Mondays, and. I thought, a few ‘odd’ clues, but still finished comfortably before lights out last night. However, I did need some ‘brain food’ (a.k.a. Guinness) to finish it off – there were 4 clues (1a, 24a, 2d, and 18d) for which the pennies just would not drop.

    Some oldies but goodies, which always help, 25a, 6d, and 22d – especially nice to see the erstwhile Chief Inspector popping up again.

    Three nominations for favourite – 10a, 4d, and 17d; and the winner is 17d.

    **/*** – thanks to Rufus and to Hanni.

  10. 24a was a new word to me which required my Wordsearch program and the BRB to do their stuff – a very good puzzle with tye right amount of difficulty for me to have a feeling of accomplishment!


  11. Unusual for a Rufus puzzle to contain a sprinkling of Giovanni-like obscurities, but only 18d required dictionary confirmation, my Latin knowledge helped with the hail in 1a and the answer to 24a. I hadn’t encountered 2d as meaning “fresh” before, but it didn’t require a huge leap of imagination.

    I also thought of Kath for 6d and Jane for both 3d and 20d :-)

    Much as liked 1a and 25a, my two favourite clues were 6a and 7d. For those still to do the Rookie puzzle, it might help to keep 4d in mind…

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Hanni.

  12. No pain today but many thanks to Rufus for the untaxing Bank Holiday fun. Particularly liked 1a, 7d and 13d. Took a while to parse 6a. 24a now added to my vocab. Thanks for hints Hanni. **/***

  13. The first few went in fairly quickly but I found this really difficult today, especially the SE corner. 24a across was a new word for me too, although I did remember 18d from my typewriting days. I guessed 20d but got it wrong, it was obvious really, and was looking at a couple of the clues back to front. So ****/** for me today.
    PS I also agree with the suggestion for a new ‘hinty person’.

  14. Thanks to Rufus and to Hanni for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do. I’m beginning to dread Mondays, some of this was easy, but just couldn’t do the rest, especially the SE Corner. Had never heard of hie in 6a, or ubiety in 24a, even though I figured it was an anagram. Also needed the hints for 16a,7,17,18,20,22d. Favourite was 11a. Was 4*/3* for me. Typical bank holiday Monday weather in Central London.

  15. Many thanks to Hanni. I would not have finished this without the hints and nor would I have understood several of the clues.
    I’m afraid I did not like it.
    How many people would not have had to look up ubiety?
    And it’s nearly raining …..

  16. Found it a bit hard for a Monday too.
    Had to resort to Hanni’s hints for 6a and 18d as both were unknown to me.
    17d took a while too as I had ” records ” for the second word in 16a.
    Haven’t finished the rookie yet. SW giving me grief.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Hanni.
    Have a good bank holiday.

  17. Quite a tricky puzzle today with two new words to me in the answers to 18d and 24a. Also took time and needed electronic help to finish 16a. Otherwise most enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and Hanni for the review.

  18. I am definitely in the ‘not that easy’ camp today. Whatever wavelength Rufus was broadcasting on, I was not tuned in. I finished, but it was a bit of a struggle, but still enjoyable.

    17 down was my favourite and the bird at 20 down was inexplicably my last one in.

    3*/3* from me, with thanks to Rufus and Nanni as Jimmy Anderson wraps up the tail in the test match.

  19. Well I know when to take a break and throw some other unsuspecting mug into the bloggers chair. I was beaten by 21 and 24 across and also by 18 down so thank you Hanni for solving those for me. Ref 21 across, who has ever heard of a list being a table? (Bangs head repeatedly against wall). 24 across had me beaten because I put Ribbon at 18d which is what typist’s have always bashed their keys against in crosswordland, ever since Long John Silver had two legs and captain Flint was an egg. As our digs for Saturday and Sunday had no Wifi I had to buy a newspaper and almost solved this in the peaceful churchyard at the end of Steventon Causeway. So blissfully peaceful and beautiful at 6.00am. So relaxing that I did not notice that I took three times longer over not finishing this than usual. Thanks to Rufus for inflicting a tough test upon Hanni and thanks to Hanni for the humiliation. Can you do a week on Monday (13th June) for me?

          1. Harry Belafonte did d the version by Nat King Cole I was referring to earlier.

    1. MP – reference your comment on 21a – who else but the contributors to the BRB.

    2. Yes all of those. That’s why the head is repeatedly banging against the wall. That clue was as read and write as they come and I did not get it. With all checkers in I did not get it. I have no excuses. I just did not get it. I did see a cuckoo though.

  20. Late again – been to London to take seriously jet-lagged Younger Lamb back with her enormous suitcase. She managed to get it to the US and back but, “Honestly Mum, I just can’t take it in the bus . . . ”
    Well blimey – that was tricky. I often struggle a bit on Mondays but don’t ever remember one quite this difficult – at least a 3* and the same for enjoyment.
    6a just wouldn’t come into my head even though I’ve met it before.
    13 and 16a took ages.
    I’ve never heard of 24a.
    I spent ages trying to find an RB sailor so that 2d could be ‘verbal’ – i.e. this ‘fresh’ meaning ‘cheeky’ or ‘lippy’ – oh dear.
    And so it went on really . . .
    The “Morsey Music” makes me cry even more than a “Morsey picture” :cry: and again :cry:.
    I liked 12a (once I’d realised that it wasn’t intern) and 13a and 7 and 17d. My favourite, just because it has to be, was 6d.
    With thanks to Rufus and thanks and really well done to Hanni.

    1. Oh no! That was the other reason I didn’t put a pic on! The music is very evocative though.

      1. I’ve got it somewhere rather vaguely in my head that whoever wrote it also wrote the music for Brideshead Revisited – should, of course, have checked this before pontificating but whatever – that makes me cry too. Oh dear – what a feeble weeble I am!

        1. Not sure about Brideshead Revisited but I know he wrote the music for Truly Madly Deeply.

        2. Hi Kath,
          According to Mr. Google, it was Geoffrey Borgon who wrote the theme for Brideshead Revisited. Not that I’ve ever heard of him before!

  21. 24a and 18d ensured that this went into the difficult category otherwise a ** for difficulty and *** for enjoyment .Enjoyed the club clue I have an old one of these but never use it a bit like 24a I suspect ! Thanks to Rufus and Hanni

  22. Your blog is cruciverbalist heaven. Wish I’d found it before. 18D and 24A were new words on me. 13D took me longer than it should have!

  23. Not that it’s relevant to the crossword but congratulations to Alastair Cook on 10000 test runs! Wish I was there.

    1. An impressive achievement indeed, although the fact that he has comfortably the lowest average of all those batsman to have reached that particular milestone is rather conveniently being ignored or played down!

      1. I may be wrong but many of the others to have reached the milestone batted at three, whereas AC always opens.

          1. Not that it’s relevant to the crossword but …

            … “and I lack the runs” is an anagram of Sachin Tendulkar

            1. Au contraire.
              This is the only comment relevant in a crossword blog.
              Please remind me. Who needs cricket?

        1. I would also venture to suggest that Cook is by far the tallest of the 12 players to have passed the 10000 run. Many of the others were relatively vertically challenged – a great comfort to someone of my limited height.

  24. i always love Rufus’s offerings and this was no exception.
    I remembered 6a from an earlier puzzle. I had never heard of 24a, but on first read through I wanted it to be an anagram of “buy tie”, then jettisoned that as impossible, there’s no such word. In the end I resorted to gizmo for anagram and Google confirmed it.
    My fave was 17d, but many others warrant honourable mention.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Hanni job well done! Music (really?) at 3d very strange, but loved the clip at 6d.

  25. I’m in the ‘more difficult than usual’ corner. Half of it was almost R&W but the rest….
    I eventually finished it after 20d gave me grief for a good while; I hadn’t connected the bird with game. 24a I had heard of but I had to check the BRB to be sure. 14d was my favourite. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus for not making it a stroll in the park, and Hanni for an excellent review.
    Tom Waits rools ok?

  26. Three new words 6a, 24a and 18d , so it was a bit trickier than usual.It is so unlike Rufus to have weird words.
    Having subplot instead of subject for a long time didn’t help at all.
    16a is my favourite.
    Thanks Hanni and Rufus.

  27. Good afternoon everybody.

    Found this a bit of a grind all round and finished with 17d and 21a unsolved.


  28. I found it tricky for a Monday ***/*** 😕 Liked 10 & 16a Thanks to Hanni and Rufus 😊

  29. We found this a little easier than some of you, so 2/4 from us.
    Thanks to Rufus & Hanni.

  30. And we found this a little harder than some of you, so 3*/3* from us.
    Thanks to Rufus & Hanni.

  31. Relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one to make heavy weather of this, unusual for a Monday. Thought I was losing it, and I had never seen 24a before. Old enough to know about the platen though, often had to yank it out of the typewriter in the my early secretarial years. Also smiled at 11a as it will not be long before cassettes are forgotten, along with tape recorders, VCRs etc.

  32. Maybe I’m just tired after a long Bank Holiday, but that was more like a Toughie than a Monday back pager. When my first in was 6d, having ploughed through all the acrosses to no avail, I knew I was in trouble, and indeed I struggled from start to end.

  33. Late on parade today so just a quick comment. Todays puzzle definitely didn’t have the feel of a Mr Squires production – don’t know why. I haven’t read all the comments but I’m pretty sure that 5d wouldn’t have found favour with Silvanus. No particular favourite today – sorry.

    Thanks to the setter for the puzzle (if it is Rufus – I do apologise) and well done to Hanni for standing in for the poorly schooled orphan boy etc . Super blog.

  34. Hanni you are brilliant. My brain just couldn’t cope with this at all. I was convinced 17d had to have ‘Atlas’ in it and 21a would end in ‘sling’. Despite the review and the picture, I still don’t get 6a. Run?…..Oh, now I get it!!! Thank you Hanni and setter.

    1. Hello Florence – I haven’t seen ‘hie’ as a synonym for ‘run’ for a long time. One to store away for a later day.

      1. Hello SL. Yes, definitely one to store away. Actually I still didn’t get it. I was thinking of ‘shy’ (not shie) away from/run away from. Silly me. Well, what do you expect. My school is in special measures. Husbands said it should have been in special measures 40 years ago. He can say that. He went to the same school.

        1. From the BRB – ‘hie’ (archaic or poetic) to hasten – to urge on – to pass quickly over. That’s one of the reasons that I’m not quite sure it’s a Rufus – he doesn’t normally use archaic words without ‘indicating’ that they are ‘old’.

          Hanni – there is an alternative meaning for ‘hie’ in the BRB.

          Hie – (Scot) a call used to turn a horse or a plough ox to the left. Call yourself a horsewoman :whistle:

          1. I am not biting … :cool: Good to know mind. I shall try it next time I ride out. God only knows what would happen if I attached a plough to one of them. Dread to think.

            1. And there was I thinking they were actually thorough bred Clydesdales. Gosh, you live and learn………: cool:

              1. I have ridden a Clydesdale before. That was interesting to say the least! I looked ridiculous on it.

                1. There is a space after your first colon….although you seem to have sorted it now! :yes:

    2. Hi Florence,

      Thank you. I think you’re rather brilliant yourself…you sang at Wembley. :cool:

      I struggled with ‘hie’ too.

  35. Late as usual, good fun today, new words for me at 18 and 24. I didn’t know the ‘run’ part of 6a either.
    As a birder 3d went straight in the call of a Water Rail is one of the most amusing of all bird calls, like a piglet being neutered. That was my fav today.
    Thanks to Hanni for the hints and Rufus for the challenge.

  36. More of a struggle than I expected on a Monday, in part due to the healthy dose of obscure words. My hat is off to those who did not need help to get 6a, including the strange word for run, and 24a.

    Nice that the Monday tradition of a deliberate mistake continues in MP’s absence: in 6a, I thought that the first three letters of the answer are the plural of a two letter abbreviation for a degree, used here to indicate people possessing that degree and therefore well-qualified, and not a three letter abbreviations for a degree.

  37. Trust Miffypops to make me feel better about my seeming inability to solve crosswords after this one(eventually done with lots of help from books and Big Dave’s). Thanks! Hope you had a good time.

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