DT 28133 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28133

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28133

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today’s hints and tips are offered by Miffypops. A bear of little brain who struggles with the difference between all-in-one clues and cryptic definitions. However he does his best and his little cotton socks deserve a blessing even though they are actually made from bamboo. If you need help with this slightly trickier puzzle from Rufus read the hints below. Definitions are underlined and there is an attempt to explain just how the clue works. If you still cannot work it out click on the greyed out box and the answer will be revealed. No external aids were used in the solving of this puzzle so the worlds stocks of ink and graphite have not been depleted by Miffypops.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Funny business with amended claim (7)
COMICAL: Take our usual two lettered abbreviation for a CO(mpany) and add an anagram (Amended) of CLAIM.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

5a    Person on the make (7)
CREATOR: A person or thing that brings something into existence.

9a    A quiet man gets protection (5)
APRON: A from the clue. Our musical symbol meaning quiet. A man’s name. Which man? We do not have a clue. Neither do we have a clue that it is not all of his name but the shortened form of it. So try your Tom Dick and Harry’s and eventually you should find the right bloke. He pops in every now and again so you will have met him before and I am sure you will meet him again lateR ON

10a    Crossword addicts should be used to such setbacks (9)
REVERSALS: An all in one description of a technique used by crossword setters to instruct us to turn a set of letters back to front

11a    Offensive description of a snowman? (10)
ABOMINABLE: This snowman might be the Yeti

12a    Currency check (4)
WEIR: A cryptic definition of a low dam built across a river to raise the level of water upstream or regulate its flow.

14a    This will remove tea stains — but one needs to verify (12)
SUBSTANTIATE: Anagram mentally solved of TEA STAINS BUT indicated by the words “this will remove”

18a    So many miraculously catered for (4,8)
FIVE THOUSAND: The number fed by Jesus from loaves and fish

21a    Aussie’s bag for loot (4)
SACK: A double definition the second being a term meaning to plunder or the goods plundered. I am sure the BRB has something to say about the Aussies bag but Google definitions have nothing antipodean to say

22a    View of batsmen making runs, and a fielder (10)
STANDPOINT: Tricky Dicky. The position from which someone is able to view a scene or object. Split 5,5 we have for the first word a partnership between two batsmen making runs. For the second word we have what a batsman can see i.e. a fielding position on the off side near the batsman.

25a    Rate balsa to be a smooth material (9)
ALABASTER: Anagram (to be) of RATE BALSA

26a    Is a girl — or a boy (5)
ISSUE: Your sons or your daughters. Split 2,3 we have is from the clue and the shortened form of my sister Susan’s name. In days gone by Obituaries or biographies would often end with the number of offspring the deceased had and would be written thus – Issue. 1s 3d meaning 1 son 3 daughters. For years I read it as Issue. One shilling and threepence to my complete bafflement

27a    Makes things balance and quits to eat a late meal (5,2)
EVENS UP: Quits here means level. Add a verb meaning to eat the last meal of the day

28a    A gentle exercising, with style (7)
ELEGANT; Anagram (exercising) of A GENTLE


1d    Stock form of car tax (6)
CRAVAT: A band of white material worn as a part of formal horse-riding dress is made from an anagram (form of) of CAR and the tax set at 20% which I so love paying

2d    Dark red strand (6)
MAROON: A double definition the second as in the cheese loving Ben Gunn

3d    Sequence that needs to be checked in a film studio (10)
CONTINUITY: The maintenance of continuous action and self-consistent detail in the various scenes of a film or broadcast.

4d    Some popular variety grub (5)
LARVA: An Included word sometimes called a hidden word but mostly referred to on this blog as a lurker. The answer is lurking away hidden within the clue. The word “some” tells us so.

5d    Very serious internal troubles? (5,4)
CIVIL WARS: This is a cryptic definition of strife between citizens of the same country. (here we go again. Perhaps Dutch will be so kind as to explain the difference between Cryptic definitions and all-in-ones)

6d    A noble brew of ale that’s about right (4)
EARL: Anagram (brew of) of ALE around (about) the letter R(ight

7d    The difference between imports and exports (5,3)
TRADE GAP: A straightforward definition of the financial deficit between imports and exports

8d    Kept from retiring (8)
RESERVED: A double definition, the second (retiring) meaning bashful or shy.

13d    Whatever the cost, it could make a nice party (2,3,5)
AT ANY PRICE: Anagram (it could make) of A NICE PARTY

15d    Baseball fielder — in trunks and jumper? (9)
SHORTSTOP: Split 6,3 what we should all be wearing on a hot summers day.

16d    Where prompt action is requested (3-5)
OFF-STAGE: The Prompt here is theatrical and used when an actor forgets their lines.

17d    Girl and cleric having no right to withdraw (8)
EVACUATE: We need a girls name to begin with. The one illustrated will do. We then need a cleric. Choose the one with the egg but discard the letter R as indicated by the words right to withdraw. Together these words will give you the answer.

The photo shows your blogger in a white T shirt leaving Manchester United Football Stadium recently.


19d    Light sleep? (6)
SIESTA: Sleep taken during the day usually by the Spanish.

20d    Declare in cricket match (6)
ATTEST: Split 2,4 how one would describe oneself if at Lords or The Oval watching cricket being played between two nations

23d    Railwaymen of yore with points to look after (5)
NURSE: N(ational) U(nion) of R(ailwaymen) followed by two points of the compass.

24d    Very low perch (4)
BASS: A double definition. One a low singing voice and one a fish.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

RIP Dave Swarbrick and Mohammed Ali. Thank you for gracing my life.

The Quick Crossword pun: comma+toes=comatose

108 comments on “DT 28133

  1. That Aussie bag had me confused; I went for SWAG as in the jolly swagman and because it is the term written on the bags of cartoon burglars!

    1. So did I for quite a while – made 12d more difficult when I was also puzzling over padre.

  2. I was very frustrated by this puzzle today. Knowing the first letter of 21a was an S, I confidently put in “swag” for 21a. I smiled at what I thought was a nice DD answer for “Aussie bag” and “loot”, and went on to finish the rest apart from 17d with just a quick check in my BRB for what was a new meaning for me of “stock” in 1d.

    After staring blankly at 17d for quite a while, I adopted the logical approach of re-checking my checkers. 18a OK, 21a OK, 25a OK, 27a OK. Time to give up and wait for the review …

    Grrr! I see from MP’s review that the answer to 21a is not “swag”. So why does the clue need “Aussie”? I wouldn’t have thought of “swag” without that antipodean reference, and I don’t understand why the clue wasn’t simply “bag for loot”, which I think would have led me quickly to the desired answer. Regarding MP’s supposition, there is in fact no Aussie reference in the BRB related to the answer.

    Thanks to Rufus for a nearly enjoyable puzzle and to MP for his as ever entertaining review.

  3. Surely 21a should be swag, isn’t that an Aussie bag, or is that a Matilda?

  4. Add me to the list of people who confidently put their Australian loot in a swag bag until I found it didn’t work with 17d

    1. I have lived in Oz for best part of a decade and have never come across the term being used. Such obscure clues are very irksome. However, brilliantly disguised clues like 12A are a treat when the light bulb moment happens.

  5. Definitely on the trickier side today. My first answer in was 21a SWAG and I was wrong, dont understand the Australian connection.I needed the hints to get 1d, and 12a, but nevertheless an enjoyable start to the week. Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

  6. Put cheater in at 5a and it didn’t affect the outcome and still works ! Unfortunately I then put resigned into 8d and was left with the weir being left high and dry ! (appropriately) A nice easy monday morning solve **/*** Thanks to the setter and MP . PS Agree with Rabbit Dave re 21a although I went straight to sack

  7. Can’t agree with the rating today I’m afraid, I though parts of this quite tricky ie 12a (devious little clue and not sure currency is the right work rather than current but clever misdirection) and 16d held me up awhile as surely prompts are needed on stage rather than off. Did like 18a and 22a, two cricketing clues, bliss!
    Thx to all

  8. I think 21a was really a clue written for SWAG

    There seems to be a 4000 and a 5000 miracle – sneaky

    Had to check the def for 1d could mean the answer.

    I enjoyed 19d, yet another Rufus cd disguised as a dd (like 12a)

    Many thanks Rufus
    Many thanks Miffypops especially for the ali clip – I’m not a boxing fan but I watched all of his fights.

    and since you ask:

    cryptic definition(cd): two possible readings of the whole clue, normally based on some pun. Only one reading (hopefully the least obvious) leads to the answer

    all-in-one: the whole clue is wordplay and the whole clue doubles as the definition, very clever.

    Confusion is forgiven since in both the definition covers the whole clue, but there is no wordplay in a cd.

  9. Mondays are now almost the third hardest day of the week for me. Very strange. I was another person who fell for the swagger, I had a tussle with the sporty ones and completely failed to see what was required for 12a. So I needed a hint or a tip.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to the bear of little brain for the usual entertaining Miffypops-style review.

    P.S. I just found myself humming Dry Bones … and then it turned into Alice the Camel. I predict that the humped one will now be with me all day. Argh!

  10. I found this definitely trickier than usual for a Monday. I found some of the clues were a bit stretched and hard to parse.

    4*/2* for me.

  11. Didn’t fall in the “Swag” trap but put “Test” in 12a.
    That made 8d impossible and needed the hints to finish.
    Was about to do a Hilary on the whole thing when I saw the two cricket clues in the SE combined with a Baseball one but the parsing was fair.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review and the homage to Mohamed Ali.
    Which reminds me.
    Happy Ramadan to all.

    1. There is a new saying. “To do a Hilary” I hope she will be chuffed to bits

      1. I am, it probably refers go my comment on today’s Rookie crossword. But at least I hope you notice that I no longer head off to the cupboard under the stairs tissues at the ready.

        1. I had noticed, Hilary, but don’t worry – I’m gradually working through the stock I’d bought in for you!

  12. Thanks Rufus for starting our week off with a good combination of fun and even a bit of GK. Thanks also MP particularly for dem dry bones! Surely the prompt action in 16d is requested on but comes from off. ***/***.

  13. Really tricky today – 3*+ difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. I agree with Kitty about Monday crosswords.
    I’m another one who went for ‘swag’ and it really screwed up 17d because I didn’t even doubt it for ages.
    22a and 15d – just ‘oh dear’ for both of those – got them in the end though.
    Spent far too long trying to think of a word for the 23d old railwaymen.
    I liked 11 and 18a and 1 and 19d. My favourite was 10a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  14. I agree with the previous comments re 21a.
    I hesitated for quite a while before putting in the answers for 7 & 19d. I don’t see how they’re cryptic?
    20d. Surely being “in” a cricket match is different from being “at” one?
    Finally, I eventually realised that 14a. must be an anagram, but “this will remove” as an indicator?

  15. Two intersecting clues at 8d and 12a made this a longer solve. Needed the hints but what great clues they are – especially 12a. Yes swag cought me out for a while too. Thanks to all.

  16. Found this OK for difficulty, 2.5* /3*, quite witty and enjoyable, although there a couple of old chestnuts. Found 12a a bit tricky as regards the definition of currency and 1d for the Stock definition, 7d took a while for the penny to drop !.
    Refreshingly different.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  17. I was another who fell for swag. I thought a swagman was a wandering Aussie who carried his possessions in his swag but having googled it, it seems that the swag was his bedroll so I agree with RD that the Aussie was superfluous, although it achieved its intention of confusing us. I suddenly clicked with 17d so worked it out. I thought this was definitely quite tricky with some knowledge of sports terms required. And where does the Sub fit in on 14a?
    Thanks to setter and MP.
    Just realised about sub – doh!

    1. brb has swag: a bundle of possessions carried by someone travelling on foot (esp Aust.), so I think you were right first time

  18. Not for me….I made all the mistakes listed above and more….21a just seems wrong and I couldn’t really see 1d either….

    1. Originating in 18th century 1d is wound around the neck and tied in a knot or tuck whilst a stock is basically a lazy person’s 1d usually in white or black and probably fastened with a buckle (e.g. horse-riding gear).

  19. Trickier than usual for a Monday and we also joined the SWAG club for a while. Thanks to Miffypops for the blog and especially for the Ali clip and to Rufus for an enjoyable Monday solve. ***/*** from us.

  20. I would have swaggered in but I had 17d as a check. I’ve been having trouble finishing Rufus puzzles the last 2 weeks needing hints for the last 1 or 2 answers but finished today’s unaided. Last in was 1d and a lightbulb moment.

  21. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me (that was a rhetorical question btw!)…but SWAG never occurred to me and actually makes more sense.

    Really enjoyed the puzzle..all anagrams were dispatched with my trusty pencil..apart from 6d, even that seemed a waste of graphite of whatever the heck pencils are made out of apart from wood.

    Liked 13d,17d and 19d. Favourite is 10a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for a top notch and entertaining blog. Nice illustrations. Apart from the fact that is not you leaving Old Trafford (check me out knowing the name…think it’s also the Theatre of Dreams..I can so talk ‘football’ now). I suppose it could be you. Who knows?

    Anyway the sun is shining, I have ridden out twice..much needed and I have found a missing memory stick.

    1. It is so me Hanni. It was on MUs official website. I can see Colin Lloyd and Rob Wigley on it too. My blue jacket is under my arm.

      1. Then I apologise completely MP. :smile:

        Although I can’t see your blue jacket…then again my eyes keep being drawn to Hello Boys!

        1. Definitely no blue jacket to be seen, Hanni – and who the heck else on the blog would know what Colin Lloyd and Rob Wigley look like anyway?

            1. OK – found a Colin Lloyd who plays darts and about 20 Rob Wigleys – none of whom seems to have done anything that would make them instantly recognisable.

              1. Colin Lloyd is the dart player Jane. Try The Wigley Group for Rob and see what you think of his choice of tie.

      2. It is the blue jacket I have with me that confirms that it is me. I know it is there and that is good enough for me

          1. Colin’s head is to the left of the big letter N. Rob Wigley’s head is by Colin’s right elbow on his way down the stairs.

            1. Dammit….I should have spotted Rob quicker than that…so obvious when you point it out.

    2. I’m with you on your first sentence. Swag never occurred to me, and it’s by far the best answer!

      1. Oh I am so glad it wasn’t just me…and you’re right about it being the better answer.

        How’s PT going?

        1. I start the real stuff today, but I’ve been doing the exercises they gave me last Thursday. It hurts and my muscles ache, but I know I must do them. I already feel better than I did before surgery, it’s getting my muscles reconditioned – long haul.

          1. I’m really glad that you are feeling better than before the surgery. Hope the ‘real’ stuff isn’t too bad. Every faith that it will get so much better, and easier.

  22. Saved from the ‘swag’ trap by already having 17d in place but it took quite a while for the penny to drop over 12a.
    Two cricket clues and one baseball fielder in the same puzzle – how dreadfully unfair!

    Top of the pile for me were 11a & 23d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

    1. Yeah, my brain shuts down at any mention of cricket in a clue, but I was pretty chuffed when I managed to pull 15d out of thin air, before I went to MP’s hints.

  23. Like RD and others, I was in the “swag” camp for 21a, and I don’t understand the specific Aussie reference either. I also don’t really see what’s cryptic about 7d, to me it’s just a straight definition.

    Bizarre coincidence to see one answer not only duplicated in today’s Rookie puzzle, but in exactly the same place in the grid too!

    No overall favourites, but the above quibbles apart, a fairly straightforward and typically enjoyable Monday puzzle.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

    1. I thought the same over the coincidence but didn’t like to mention it after yesterday!

      1. Haha, yes it’s a coincidence how many coincidences there have been recently!

  24. I also had swag at first.
    Also I put mark for 12a. I know it was officially Deutschmark but I still think it worked.
    Then I reached 7d.

  25. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Drat, another dreaded double definition debacle. Along with a lot of other people, I put Swag for 21a. Couldn’t get 17d because of it. Favourite was 26a. No other problems. Was 2*/3* for me. Summer’s here at last, even for just one day :-)

  26. The SE corner held me up for a long time. I eventually bunged in 22a with no idea why, likewise 23d, another guess, and that helped.
    Hanni can verify this, but I believe that riders still refer to their neckwear as a “stock”.
    Fave was 11a, but a lot of clever clues to choose from.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his review.

  27. Not too sure what to say about todays back pager. Much like last week when, to me at least, it didn’t seem to have much of the Rufus touch. Like many others, I don’t get the ‘Aussie’ connection for 21a and I don’t get 7d as a cryptic definition either. I did like 1d though.

    Thanks to Rufus (if it is indeed he) for the puzzle and to our little brained bear for his review. I am not convinced that the statement and picture for 15d would actually suit ‘everyone’ and I think the shorts might ‘chafe’ somewhat. :whistle:

  28. I got through this and even got 21a right which was only due to loot and I was too idle to go and fetch the BRB. I also learned the alternative definition of 1d which was new to me although obvious from the clue. However I found the whole thing less enjoyable than normal considering I completed this. Thanks to the setter and MP for the as usual enjoyable review. We’re in for a glorious week following a hot weekend. I suspect water restrictions will escalate in the coming weeks.

  29. Curate’s egg of a puzzle for me: I loved 11&22a, disliked 21a &7d. Coup de mousquataires goes to 18a.
    In other news, health seems to be improving in leaps and bounds, although I cannot yet leap nor bound.

    1. Relief and delight in equal measures, TS. Has anyone actually explained what has ailed you?

  30. Good afternoon everybody.

    A tidy start with just nine required after two passes then ground to a standstill eventually packing up with six unsolved.

    To make matters worse my trusty BIC expired in the heat and number two BIC then did the same. Enough of this new technology. Pencils from now on.


    1. Good afternoon mre.

      Pencils are the way forward…check out Miffypop’s avatar.

      I love my pencils.

      1. Ha ha

        When I left school the works I was at was heaving with flange turners. Now the world is almost exclusively populated by social media marketers whatever they are.

  31. Thought easy overall (apart from 12a), but could not get 17d…yes, I had also done swag, although it seemed a suspiciously easy clue.

  32. Sorry for being so dim but what has cravat got to do with stock
    Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Try looking it up in Chambers.

      Def 30. A stiff band worn as a cravat, often fastened with a buckle at the back

      1. Is that meant to be you in the picture then?

        Btw – where’s my detailed account of the ‘flag’ day?

      2. Hani, contrary to my Comment at 19 above I bow to your superior insider knowledge over Google! Obviously these days it’s a tied stock for things like your dressage activity and a cravat as informal gear for men. Only wish that the current trend for open-knecked shirts could be improved by addition of a cravat at least with formal suits.

  33. We are in the swag camp and also in the camp that think it’s a better answer.

    3*/2* from us and thanks to MP and Rufus

  34. Well, that didn’t frighten the horses but it did brighten up the after breakfast third cup of tea. */*** from us.

    Went up El Teide today which was interesting in a 1.2l Clio. Had to turn the aircon off to get some oomph out of the engine. Last time I went up was in 1980 and two things I remember were the rather poor road and there being very little air at 3718m altitude (about 12,500ft). Now the road is much better but the Spanish still haven’t taken any air up there – how hard can it be?

    Anyway, thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    P.S. Going sailing tomorrow :yahoo:

      1. It’s only possible to drive up to 2250m. After that it’s a cable car up to about 3500m and then shanksies for the last bit. If I ever do it again (unlikely) I’ll specify a turbocharger when hiring a car. According to the petrol guage we used a quarter tank getting up and nothing coming down.

        1. Mount Olympus in Cyprus was the highest I’ve ever driven at just a tad under 2000 metres. It was early May and the temperature at Paphos was 25 degrees – I can assure you it was damn sight cooler up the Troodos Mountains. But what a fantastic view.

          Forgot to ask – are you skippering tomorrow?

          1. Not skippering at all. It’s an afternoon trip on a 52ft Beneteau yacht looking for dolphins or whales. Apparantly neither are guaranteed but the sails will go up.

            1. Fantastic! Hope you both have a great time! Did Pommette enjoyed her anniversary?

                1. And that right there is another reason I think Pommette is ace. Hope the cetacean spotting is successful..but let’s face if, even if it’s not you are both still out sailing. :cool:

  35. Thanks to Big Dave for his terse but edifying response reference Cravat/Stockport.
    Tried 3 dictionaries and they didn’t have it…off to Waterstones tomorrow!!
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

    1. You have learned a valuable lesson – trying to solve a Telegraph crossword without a copy of Chambers (make sure you get the real thing – ISBN-10: 1473602254 / ISBN-13: 978-1473602250) by your side adds an extra level of difficulty.

    2. if you have an iPad or iPhone the Chambers app is brilliant – both the dictionary and the thesaurus.

    3. Just for the record, Amazon and Waterstones and all the other big names sell the latest BRB for £40.00. The other week at the Bookstore (at Brierlow Bar on the A515 Ashbourne road, 2 miles south of Buxton) I was quoted £25.00 (hardback) + £2.00 delivery (to the shop). Maybe worth knowing if you live anywhere near there.

        1. Thank you BD. I didn’t order one – sounded a bit too good to be true! It is a discount book shop but they will order any new book for you (at reduced prices + £2.00 delivery to the shop). I’ll have to investigate further…

        2. I’ve got the 11th edition and I’ve never had an issue with it….having just said that, I bet now there will be something that comes up soon that isn’t in there. :yes:

  36. Yikes, thought that the hardest puzzle we’ve had in a long time, definitely **** for difficulty. Is it just me, or has Rufus been getting steadily harder of late?

  37. Add me to the Swag list, and I was so sure it was right, just could not get my head around 17d. I also put in Cheater for 5a but it did work even if not right… Great puzzle from Rufus and thanks to MP for the hints.

  38. Miffypops you are definitely not a bear of little brain. All the reviewers have enormous brains as far as I’m concerned ! Tonight I unfortunately lost interest in trying to work anything out, and clicked on several answers. Thank you MP for your much needed review. I managed to put ‘AP’ down the side of 9a then went from Abe to Zeb on men’s names …. missing out Ron. Also didn’t quite get the ‘currency’ for current in 12a. I lost the plot after that. Oh well, one of those days I suppose. Thank you setter, at least you got my old cogs working a bit, but unfortunately they were a bit rusty today. Spent the afternoon on several garage forecourts which is probably why my brain is numb.

      1. Yup. I am fully participating, but there doesn’t as yet seem to be a reciprocal arrangement with my husband helping on the crossword front. I have a plan. It starts on Thursday.

  39. Well, I don’t understand 21a either, but it’s nice to see that I’m in good company. Anyway, 2*/3* seems about right, but I have no particular favourite clue. Ta to the setter, and to MP.

  40. Well I really enjoyed that, I was right on the wavelength today
    5a – I thought this was a bit weak
    7d – Didn’t seem very cryptic.
    26a – Utterly baffled…I read MP’s excellent explanation and am happy admit that I am utterly away with the fairies.
    Cheers MP for the typically amusing and informative blog.
    Thanks to the setter too.

  41. I was with swag and cheater. Creator however is good and sorry I missed it. I never would have believe swag wrong in a million years had I not got the answer to 17d which was a very good clue imho. Completely floored by 12a and 26a. This did not feel like a Rufus to me. I would love to know whether 21a was the wrong answer to the right clue or the right answer to the wrong clue. Thanks setter MP et al

    1. Oddly, as soon as I saw ‘bag’ and ‘loot’, I thought ‘sack’, the ‘Aussie’ bit just passed me by…I just assumed that ‘sack’ was an Aussie colloquialism for ‘bag’???

  42. Did this one yesterday afternoon. Fairly straightforward and quite an enjoyable solve. 2*/3*

  43. Late on parade again….
    What me? Put SWAG in as an answer? Yep! Of course. Otherwise plain sailing more or less. I liked 11a and overall 2/3*.
    Thanks to Rufus and to the bwlb for his review.

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