DT 28139

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28139

Hints and tips by Hanni

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Summer has finally arrived on the moors with epic fog, horsefly bites (painful) and some tourists who look permanently lost but happy. La dolce vita.

Your usual Monday blogger has been away at a wedding so I am in the chair again.

This was on the trickier side for a Monday with the odd clue that might cause a bit of head scratching.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Merrymaking includes a show (6)
REVEAL: A 5 letter word for merrymaking where one is usually happy and can often involve drinking and dancing, includes A from the clue.

4a    School principal with aid to increase speed for bowler, say (8)
HEADGEAR: If we split this clue 4,4 we start with a four letter word for the top bod in a school, usually with a big scary office, not that I was ever sent there. Follow this with a word for a part of a car that helps us go faster, sometimes called the transmission.

9a    Elegance of a foreign language (6)
POLISH: A lovely double definition, the former being to show refinement and class.

10a    A clay pit dug out of the common (8)
ATYPICAL: An anagram (dug) of A CLAY PIT leaves you with something that is unorthodox or unusual, like it being sunny on the moors.

12a    Give US intelligence a ring goodbye! (4)
CIAO: Our usual single letter for ‘ring’ is preceded by a 3 letter abbreviation for an American intelligence agency. The origin of the word is from the Venetian language.

13a    Smokes when in prison (5)
SNOUT: These smokes are cigarettes and this is what those in prison call them.

14a    Let it stand in toothpaste tube (4)
STET: A lurker! An instruction sometimes used by proofreaders to ignore a previous marked alteration is hidden (in) the last two words of the clue.

17a    Stars get a breather when working (3,5,4)
THE GREAT BEAR: I have a strange feeling of déjà vu blogging this as it made an appearance in my last blog. Another anagram (working) of GET A BREATHER will leave you with the third largest constellation in the sky. I have a star near there.


20a    For a time, it naturally puts us completely in the shade (5,7)
TOTAL ECLIPSE: This astronomical event happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and leaves those lucky enough to see it in ‘the shade’.

23a    Erect as this tree (4)
UPAS: A 2 letter word for erect followed by AS. What is the convention for part of the answer directly appearing in the clue? Seeds from this tropical tree can made into Strychnine.

24a    Show appreciation of that figure (5)
DIGIT: Split 3,2 it’s how we might say we understand, like or are ‘down’ with something, to leave you with another word for a number.

25a    Actors, and what they want to be (4)
CAST: The actors here always hope to be selected (what they want) in the final production.

28a    On the verge of alarming changes (8)
MARGINAL: Pencils at the ready for an anagram (changes) of ALARMING.

29a    Guest for the bingo official (6)
CALLER: A double definition the latter being the person who shouts out the numbers at bingo. I did this once at pub type quiz night thing. Nobody got my humour when I said things like 4 and 3, 7!

30a    Famous place for divorcees with West End set (8)
RENOWNED: Begin with a city in Nevada that was (is?) the divorce capital of the world, followed by W(est) and an anagram (set) of END.

31a    When speaking, gathers crowds (6)
HORDES: What sounds like a verb meaning gathers or collects is actually a large group of people seen at football matches for example.


1d    Censure a metropolis for greed (8)
RAPACITY: Lego time. Start with a 3 letter word to censure or tell off. Add to this A from the clue and a 4 letter word for metropolis.

2d    Forces one may make light of (8)
VOLTAGES: This type of force can make electricity move through a wire to a lamp or torch to make it light.

3d    It’s seen in perhaps every part of church (4)
APSE: Another lurker (seen) in PERHAPS EVERY.

5d    To take a course like this is humiliating (3,6,3)
EAT HUMBLE PIE: A nice cryptic definition describing a phrase often used to show what we might have to do when we admit to being wrong. I think that originally the middle word lacked the first letter (something to do with offal) and I am hoping that one of the blogs wonderful pedants (RD?) can accurately explain the origin. I will gladly *** ****** *** if I am mistaken!


6d    Fool wanting to be paid to admit parking (4)
DUPE: A three letter word for what is owed includes (to admit) the single letter abbreviation for P(arking).

7d    Former name to cause a stir (6)
EXCITE: Our usual abbreviation for ‘former’ followed by a 4 letter word to attribute or refer to something.

8d    Tell king to cheer up (6)
RELATE: A single letter abbreviation for king followed by a word meaning to make someone feel more cheerful and joyous.

11d    Put out of action, worriedly anticipate bill coming in (12)
INCAPACITATE: An anagram (worriedly) of ANTICIPATE containing a 2 letter abbreviation for ‘bill’.

15d    It shows the way to create a right rumpus (5)
ARROW: A 3 letter word for an argument or a brouhaha is preceded by A plus R(ight) from the clue.


16d    Wire that may hold back a ship (5)
CABLE: This wire does double duty as an electronically sent message and a steel rope.

18d    Moves ship that’s been raised and steered in an awkward position (8)
SPRAWLED: Gosh this is going to fun to explain…and Pommers would do it better. Reverse (raised) a 5 letter word for how to move a boat by hauling on a rope attached to, say, an anchor. This is followed by a nice easy 3 letter word for steered.

19d    Achievement sure to be written about in newspaper articles (8)
FEATURES: Let’s break this up 4,4. Begin with a word meaning to accomplish or master something followed by an anagram (written about) of SURE.

21d    Some powerful maritime bird (6)
FULMAR: Hidden (some) in the middle two words of the clue is a sea bird related to albatrosses that can come in two colour morphs. And Jane thinks I know nothing about birds! She’s right, I needed all the checkers and the RSPB site.

22d    Two chaps, one customer (6)
PATRON: 2 boys names (no idea which from the clue) split 3,3 give us a supporter or benefactor of an establishment. Very reminiscent of the famous. “Two girls, one on each knee (6)” . I smiled.

26d    Opinion survey? (4)
VIEW: Another double definition the latter being to look closely or examine something.

27d    An overhead light (4)
HALO: A light that can be seen above the head of an angel or occasionally around the sun or moon. Mine slips frequently but is always recovered.


Thanks to Miffypops for his help on a couple of things, hope you’ve recovered from dancing to Queen and Beyonce at the wedding. Thanks also to Gazza. I liked 22d best. What about you?

The Quick Crossword pun: melon+collie=melancholy


  1. jaycat

    Very enjoyable (4*) solve that took 3* time.

    Had wrong entry for 9a (finish) which delayed me somewhat. Some other definitions took some working out.
    Favorites include 24a,29a and 5d.

    Thanks to setter and Hanni for excellent hints (not required today.)

  2. Rabbit Dave

    3*/3*. I agree with Hanni’s assessment that this was rather tougher than recent Monday offerings.

    I bunged in 13a which I had never heard of in that context, having never smoked nor been in prison. I’d also never come across the boat moving word in 19d, although of course the same word as an adjective crops up as the drive used to boldly move the Starship Enterprise.

    I didn’t know the answer to Hanni’s challenge, but I couldn’t let it pass and so enlisted some help from Mr, Google who confirms that her thoughts are indeed correct. “In the 14th century, the numbles was the name given to the heart, liver, entrails etc. of animals, especially of deer – what we now call offal or lights. By the 15th century this had migrated to umbles, although the words co-existed for some time. Umbles were used as an ingredient in pies.”

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Hanni.

  3. pete

    Fairly standard fare for a Monday, only stumbling block being 19d. 2.5*/2.5* Many thanks to Rufus and to Hanni for the hints.

  4. dutch

    I also started off with FINISH in 9a, aghast that Rufus could misspell the language – but of course he made no such error.

    I almost put in Solar for 20a (not unreasonable is it?) but went for the right answer because of “completely” – although you could argue…

    1a appeared in Friday’s toughie, funny how that happens.

    I liked 26d, it was such hard work getting “poll” out of my head.

    I also thought this was harder than the normal Rufus, but maybe I’m having a slow monday.

    Many thanks Rufus and thank you Hanni for an excellent blog
    23a – I don’t think there is a convention, we normally just say ‘as’ from the clue

  5. Kitty

    I don’t think I’ve ever had so much trouble with a Rufus. I can’t quite see why now, but the five letter words with two checkers didn’t help. Those blighters so often appear on Mondays.

    Got there in the end, but not alone … and I had the wrong first word for 20a. I have happy memories associated with the 1999 one. That was quite a summer.

    I’d forgotten the 23a tree (even though it’s a regular in crosswords) and had to check to see if that which I saw lurking in 21d was bird or beast. I didn’t know the ship bit of 18d either.

    I too remembered the last appearance of 17a. On the subject of buying a star, this page by the IAU has a rather amusing FAQ.

    2d earned a grr. I have not forgotten enough physics to think that they are forces.

    I liked the simple effectiveness of 8d and my favourite is 19d.

    Thanks to Rufus, even if you did cause me some exasperation, and thanks to Hanni for relieving MP.

  6. Jose

    Very enjoyable, this one. My thought processes got completely mangled for a few minutes with 6d. I bunged in DOPE, which fits the definition OK. And my Yoda parsing – ODE is a homophone of owed, then I made an anagram of ODE + the P from parking = DOPE. Derrrrrrr!!! 2.5*/3*

  7. Miffypops

    Thanks to Rufus for a right raw brawl and thanks to Hanni for putting it in for me. Great clip at 5d. Wherever do you find this stuff? I found this tough at the end particularly 18d. By the way the answer to 18 d is in the greyed out box which when clicked changes to click here. How odd. Great weekend in the lakes. Back behind the mule tomorrow.

    • crypticsue

      You’ve changed your alias – both that and your name should work from now on.

      The two girls one on each knee is a very famous Rufus clue from the past. Today you need two chaps to give you one customer

  8. Beaver

    Bit tricky for a Monday! as Bunter would say-‘Yipes’
    Has to be *** for the SE corner alone,
    Had trouble with 18d ,with the ‘moves ship’ and note Hanni’s explanation for the 5 letter reversal. My reasoning was that WARPS was how Captain Kirk moved his ship USS Enterprise- or is this taking lateral thinking too far ?.
    Anyway good fun and a *** enjoyment for me.
    Thanks Hanni for the imaginative pics, wondered how the great bear got its name

    • Hanni

      I actually thought about using the Enterprise and WARP but couldn’t link it to the clue easily enough. :yes:

      • ListB

        I always thought that the name of the Enterprise drive referred to propulsion derived from warping space-time. But having learned today about the alternative boat-moving definition of warp, I have to wonder if Gene Roddenberry had both meanings in mind when he named those engines.

  9. pommers

    Perhaps a tad trickier than usual for a Monday but enjoyable. **/*** from us.

    21d has to be favourite as our yacht Firenze was a Fulmar by Westerly Yachts. End of every season we had to warp her into the hoist at Dickies Boatyard to get her lifted out of the water for the winter maintenance. Happy days!

    Thanks to Rufus and Hanni, but what were you doing at 0523 this morning?

    • Hanni

      Trying to figure out a logical way to explains WARPS! :grin: You’ve no idea how long that tiny bit took! Hope you both enjoyed your sailing when away. Did you see any whales/dolphins etc?

      • pommers

        Plenty of pilot whales and dolphins :grin: but no sailing due to a complete absence of wind :sad: Very unusual for the Canary Islands.

        • Hanni

          Laughing! See I knew you’d explain it better!

          Glad you got to see the cetaceans but very bizarre about there being no wind.

  10. Peta Jackson

    Rather thrown by putting ‘Brigades’ in for 2d
    Once I had corrected that error things went much more smoothly.

  11. jean-luc cheval

    Didn’t do very well on this one.
    Got “solar” instead of “total” in 20a, “dope” instead of “dupe” in 6d and needed the review for 18d.
    Definitely on the tougher side of Rufus.
    Great review.
    Thanks to Hanni and to Rufus.

  12. Brian

    Usual Monday morning tricksy offering. Very enjoyable though even if the SE corner held me up for a while. 23a was a new one on me that needed the use of Google and my fav was 20a, a nice surface reading.
    For me ***/****
    Thx to all

  13. silvanus

    Perhaps slightly trickier than a standard Rufus, but only the nautical meaning in 18d was new to me. Somewhat surprised that RD had not heard of 13a before, I had always assumed him to be a fan of “Porridge” – it had regular mentions there! it was my favourite clue too.

    Nice to see 23a cropping up again after a long absence.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and Hanni.

  14. omar

    Not for me – 21d I guessed, but pretty obscure; ditto 23a; first word in 18d I’d also never come across; didn’t think the second word in 4a is a synonym of the clue word; ditto with 31a, doesn’t mean gather……

  15. Jane

    Very relieved to note that others found this to be on the tricky side for a Monday – thought it was just me having had a break from the DT routine. Which reminds me, a couple of our bloggers run excellent ‘guest houses’ which I can heartily recommend!

    I was very slow to get 24a plus 18&19d. For 18d I had the excuse that I didn’t know the boating terminology, for the other two I was simply being dim.
    Put an exclamation mark alongside 21d and half expected a panic email from Hanni this morning concerning the tube-nosed seabird!
    Favourite was 1d – made me smile.

    Thanks to Rufus and also to our queen of the moors.

    • Hanni

      Queen of the moors! I like it! Although I’m not sure about ‘tube nosed birds’ Birds don’t have noses, they have beaks, like bumble bees don’t have ears. I do know what morphing is though. :yes:

  16. Merusa

    A tricky Rufus today. I needed the hints for 18d, I was completely lost there, and for 31a.
    Fave was 5d, and enjoyed the little history from RD, very interesting.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Hanni for standing in for the poor orphan boy.

      • Merusa

        I did my rant yesterday, I was so sickened by the whole thing. When is this violence going to end? Those poor people, so many of them so young – sad, sad, sad.

        • Kitty

          Yes. Too awful and sad for words. I’m not going to rant today (yours yesterday was spot on), just extend my deepest sympathy to the victims and all those affected.

  17. cat

    Like others I found this quite tricky, ***/****, the fourth star being for the sense of achievement when I finished! I guessed at 2d and 18d, never having heard the nautical term. I liked 5d and 30a particularly.
    Thanks to setter and to Hanni.
    Also, the answers came up at first so removed the s from https and it worked so thank you to whoever suggested that.

  18. Crazyhead Phil

    5 Down 28,139. “Humble” is a pun on umble, the umbles being the heart, liver and entrails of a deer, the huntsmen’s perquisites. When the Lord and his household ate the venison, the huntsman and his fellows took lower seats and ate the umbles after it had been made into a pie. In modern usage – to come down from an assumed position and be obliged to defer to others. Thanks to Brewer’s Phrase and Fable.

  19. Gwizz

    It’s definitely a wavelength t’ing. I sailed (warped?) thru’ this Rufus offering! A very satisfactory solve non the less. 13a was my favourite and overall 3/2*
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Hanni for stepping off the moors temporarily to do the excellent review.

  20. Mary Mary

    ***+/*** and I needed five of the hints here so thanks for those ! Some clues easy-peasy,others very difficult . Am a banker rather than a bingoist so put “teller” for 29a and was then was stumped for 27d. Can a “well” be an overhead light? Huh, thought not…..
    Favourite was 15d – not too sure why – though I like the story of David and Jonathan’s subterfuge with such…….

  21. Hilary

    Very brave little old lady, I actually decided to attempt Rookie, only time and Mr. P tomorrow will show how I did. Then picked up my trusty pencil to find that this was surprisingly challenging for Monday. Thanks to Rufus and Hanni for a delightful way to pass a soggy Monday afternoon in Suffolk. Several possible favourites but cannot pick only one so I will 5d and crawl back into my shell. :phew:

  22. Heno

    Thanks to Rufus and to Hanni for the review and hints. I enjoyed this very much, but found it a bit tricky in places. Especially 18d, which I had wrong with “upsailed”. Must learn more nautical terms. Favourite was 20a, last in was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me. Dull and chilly in Central London.

  23. Salty Dog

    A good start to the week: 2*/3.5*. 30a was my long-time favourite, but was pipped at the post by 27d – my last in. Thanks to Rufus and Hanni. Very few horseflies round our little Araby nags, but a lot of the nasty grey flat flies. You don’t even know there’s one on you until you feel the jab of the sting, by which time it’s too late.

    • Hanni

      Didn’t know you had Arabs. Do you do any endurance stuff?

      Kath…yes Blandford flies are awful. Everywhere at the moment smells of Skin So Soft!

      • Salty Dog

        Yes, they could be Blandford flies (or maybe Stable flies). Whatever they are, they hurt when they sting and leave a hard, itchy bite which lasts for two or three days. No, Hanni, no endurance. We used to breed Arabs and still have six to keep the grass down! I used to have “proper” horses when I did a bit of BHS eventing (a TB mare and then a Trakhener cross gelding) but they’ve both gone to the great pasture in the sky.

        • Hanni

          Aren’t they awful. I’ve started taking anti-histamines every day just in case!

          Wow! Impressed with the breeding. Had one TB broodmare that I used to sometimes show in hand with foal and did well with but gosh breeding is a nightmare!

          Not sure I have ever ridden an Arab or a Trakhener. I’ve messed around on friends ISH’s and recently rode the most insane knab!

  24. 2Kiwis

    It was not until we read the comments that we realised we had 20a wrong by having SOLAR as the first word. Definitely trickier than we are used to on a Monday we thought.
    Thanks Rufus and Hanni.

    • HoofItYouDonkey

      Funnily, I thought it was LUNAR!!! Changed my mind by the ‘completely’ in the clue which led me to TOTAL

    • Angel

      Have only just read your Comment and realise I too had “wrong” solution. I would however argue that solar is as correct if not more so as total because a solar eclipse can be total, partial or annular. Fortunately it doesn’t affect the crossers.

  25. Jon_S

    A little tricky in the NW and SW corners, I thought, and a little ambiguity about whether it should be a SOLAR or TOTAL eclipse, though the latter fits the clue better, even if I did try the former first. :-) Rufus is usually a little difficult in places, but today I managed half at something approaching a gallop before slowing to a crawl. 23ac I had to check just because it couldn’t possibly be the correct answer, but I couldn’t see what else would fit. Trust the cryptic next time…

  26. Angel

    Quite a slog today with SE presenting the biggest tussel however a break for an hour or two proved profitable. Came back and filled in several but did still need a couple of prompts from Hanni so thanks to her for that. Tried to work around leaders for 19d which didn’t help matters. Like RD I had not heard of 13a in that context. Enjoyed the ride – thanks Rufus. ****/***.

  27. ListB

    This didn’t give me a lot of smiles. Perhaps that’s because 2d got me grumbling right away since the answer is most definitely not a force (http://bigdave44.com/2016/04/06/toughie-1581/#comment-277107 contains an extensive discussion of this point). It seems that the physics of electromagnetism is being regularly misused these days. That recent rheostat clue was particularly egregious. Grumble grumble.

    The rest was straightforward apart from the tree and the bird that I had never heard of. Electronic help was required there. I couldn’t parse 18d, so thanks to pommers for the clear explanation above about ship-moving.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Hanni and friends for the explanations and the illustrations.

    • HoofItYouDonkey

      Is EMF (electro-motive force) another name for voltage?? That was dragged from physics 41 years ago!!

          • ListB

            Hi, HoofIt. Electromotive force is a very confusing historical misnomer so while the ingrained abbreviation EMF lives on, the full expression is rarely heard today.

            EMF describes how much a source, like a battery, can change the energy of a charge, like an electron in a wire. The battery changes the energy of the charge by making a force on the charge. Experiment shows that the size of that force depends on how far the charge is moved by the battery – it can make a small force for a big distance or a big force for a small distance – but the product of force and distance, which is energy, is a constant (speaking loosely here to keep calculus out of this). The size of the force also depends on the size of the charge – the battery will make double the force on double the charge. So the quantity (force x distance/charge) is a constant which is a property only of the battery. That property is called voltage or EMF. When a charge of one coulomb is moved around a circuit by a battery of one volt, the charge’s energy will change by one joule. The size of the force acting on the charge will depend on the details of the circuit, but the change in energy doesn’t – it’s the same for all circuits. That’s why the battery can be labelled with a voltage without any knowledge of what it will be connected to, and it’s why voltage is not a force.

              • ListB

                Nothing wrong with a “C” in physics. Even though physics is sometimes presented in school as if it all should be obvious, it’s not. After all, it took brilliant people like Newton and Faraday and Maxwell to discover and formulate this physics. And even they didn’t get it right all of the time.

    • pommers

      Very interesting replies to all this. However we need to remember that this is a crossword and not a physics finals paper.

      Pedantry has its place but if ‘electromotive force’ is the same as voltage (which it is) then that is good enough for a crossword as far as I am concerned. There are much worse mistakes made by setters.

      BTW, I got a grade A in physics A level.

  28. Sheffieldsy

    A strange crossword to give a good difficulty rating to. The harder answers were in the SE corner (21d and23a), plus 18d, already much commented on. However, the clues were straightforward and, with checkers in place, all had to be what they were. They just needed a quick Google after to check. The remainder of the puzzle wasn’t much above 1* we thought. Overall then, 2*/3* although finished in close to 1.5* time. Our favourite was 19d.

    Thanks to Rufus and, of course, to Hanni for the review because, if I don’t thank her, Dutch will thunder in and, rightly, add the thanks for me as he did when I forgot to thank Crypticsue for the review of the recent NTSPP. So, thanks to Dutch too!

  29. Florence

    Found this trickier than yesterday. Didn’t know 13a or the warps bit of 18d. Also put ‘pass’ into 6d. Think I’m the only one to do that. Liked 17a and 20a. Thanks to Rufus for this Monday challenge, and to Hanni for the review. You really are amazing Hanni.

    • Hanni

      Thank you Florence :rose:

      I hope your eyes are a bit better…although was amazed how quickly you were in and out! Is that the norm?

      • Florence

        Eye is loads better thank you, and I look less of a cage fighter. Can read car number plates again so itching for the car keys, but have to hang on a bit longer. Not sure if it’s the norm to be discharged so quickly. I just got ready to go home straight after the op, and once I’d been fed breakfast I was discharged. I wasn’t unhappy about that.

        • Hanni

          That’s fantastic that you can see so clearly so soon after the op!

          I’m surprised that they didn’t want to keep an eye (no pun intended :wink: ) on you for longer.

  30. HoofItYouDonkey

    I was well on the wavelength with this!!
    Just needed a hint for 18d, sorry, but that was a dog’s breakfast of a clue!!
    Many thanks for the hints and the blog, Hanni, great stuff, and to the setter.
    Have to say, that even as a red-blooded male, the Beatles were four good looking chaps.

  31. Kath

    Very late here today – off to a wedding in Austria at the weekend so been shopping – I hate shopping unless I’m accompanied by a Lamb.
    Totally out of routine which is my excuse for finding this one really tricky.
    I may be the only one to say it but I don’t think that 13a has any place in a cryptic crossword – you either know it or you don’t but you can’t work it out from the clue.
    Didn’t know the bingo bit of 29a – why would I?
    Missed the homophone indicator in 31a.
    I liked 20a and 21d. My favourite was 22d – we must have had it before but I don’t remember it.
    With thanks to Rufus and thanks and really well done to Hanni – this one was not plain sailing.

    • Hanni

      I completely agree about the shopping! Did you find anything though? Wedding in Austria sounds lovely though.

  32. Val Bowes

    Please, please block out the answers! So annoying when you just want a hint and the damn answer is not hidden!

  33. AnntheArt

    This was a bit beyond me or at least needed a lot more concentration than I was able muster. But good learning and enjoyment of answers such as 24a and 22d even though I didn’t solve them myself! Didn’t know the divorce capital, or the nautical term or the tree, but knew the bird. Many thanks to Hanni for excellent explanations and to the setter for the challenge.

  34. Big Dave


    Your comment about another puzzle has been moved to the Comment page, along with the replies. By all means ask such questions, but please do so there not on a post for a different puzzle.

  35. Young Salopian

    I did this tricky little devil after completing Monday’s stroll in the park. This was certainly a real tester from Rufus but no less enjoyable as a result. Some excellent, thought-provoking clueing pushed me well into a 3.5* for difficulty but a solid 4* for enjoyment.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and well done Hanni.

  36. maarvarq

    2 dn was sloppy. Voltage is not the same as force. EMF is an incredibly old fashioned and *wrong* synonym for voltage.


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