DT 28145 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28145

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28145

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Today’s blog is dedicated to my good friends Jeff Vaughan Craig Tom and Jan who completed Wainwrights Coast to Coast walk yesterday. They did it for themselves but set up a just giving page to raise money for the Birmingham Eye Hospital which has been treating a lad called Saul who has had eye problems since having a brain tumour. There is more information here.

Today’s puzzle from Rufus did not take a lot of cracking but was quite enjoyable nonetheless. Looking at the completed puzzle I noticed some interesting oddities. 18 and 19 across go together well and remind me of ECT Treatment as described in Ken Kesey’s book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 26 and 27 across are opposites as are 2 and 14 down…

…Setters are not the only people to use ellipses. Bloggers can use them too.

These here hints and tips are here to try to assist. Clicking on the greyed out box will reveal the answer. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a. Satisfied with debts, but unlikely to reach agreement (11)
CONTENTIOUS: Place an adjective meaning in a state of peaceful happiness before Crosswordland’s usual debts

9a Spilled Brian’s tea — he won’t have a drink (9)
ABSTAINER: As James Crumley said “Son, Never trust a man who doesn’t drink”. This non-drinker is an anagram (spilled) of BRIANS TEA

10a Mischievous person joins the Spanish force (5)
IMPEL: A three lettered mischievous type is followed by the Spanish word for The to yield up a word meaning to drive forward

11a In radiography, sickness is given a cure (6)
PHYSIC: A lurker. Hidden in the clue as suggested by the word “in”

12a Hair-raising action by the brave (8)
SCALPING: This brave is a Native American Indian. The hair raising refers to the removal of the hair and skin from the top of the head. Hollywood should be ashamed of itself.


13a Go round to add note to list (6)
ROTATE: Place the seventh note of Guido d’Arezzo’s tonal scale after a noun meaning a list of jobs to be done and the names of those assigned to do them

15a Title that’s used in all-in wrestling? (8)
FREEHOLD: The title to the deeds of one’s house might be a term used in wrestling

18a Helped fool with nutty diets (8)
ASSISTED: Place an anagram (nutty) of DIETS after our usual crosswordland fool

19a Fits sergeant-major into health resorts (6)
SPASMS: Place the initial letters of Sergeant Major into a word for health resorts such as Champneys

21a It’s on the cards it may precede crisis (8)
IDENTITY: A double definition. The first being cards we may one day carry in order to prove who we are and the second a term invented by psychologist Erik Ericson

23a People will mind if you dump your kids here (6)
CRÈCHE: The word mind here means to look after. This is a place where one may leave one’s children to be looked after whilst one goes out to work to earn enough money to pay for someone else to look after one’s child. We have one in our village. It is heart-breaking to hear the little children crying out for their mummies in the afternoons. This answer also means a collision between two cars in Kensington

26a Round safety device that’s practicable (2,3)
OF USE: Take the round letter and add a safety device used in an electrical circuit. Split the result 2,3 to find your answer which links nicely with …

27a Communist and German worker no longer needed (9)
REDUNDANT: … A word meaning of no further use made from three three-letter words. Our usual communist, the German word for AND followed by one of our crosswordland workers. All three words should now be made redundant by setters

28a A jumper that rides up! (11)
PARATROOPER: This intrepid member of the armed forces rides up in an aeroplane before jumping out at height with a silken sheet packed upon his back which when opened will allow him to fall gracefully and safely to earth


1d One applauds the bell-ringer (7)
CLAPPER: One who applauds is also the striker or tongue of a bell. Thank you to the bell ringers at Roxanne’s wedding in Urswick last week.

2d No way to get in — that’s bad (5)
NASTY: The way here is a street. Use its shortened form inside an archaic word meaning no

3d Wastes time, a case for improvement (9)
EMACIATES: Anagram (for improvement ) of TIME A CASE

4d Bite from climbing insect (4)
TANG: Reverse (climbing) a tiny two winged fling insect that resembles a mosquito

5d Terrible crooner died, it’s official (2,6)
ON RECORD: Anagram (terrible) of CROONER and then the D from D(ied)

6d Good man and bad coming together, nevertheless (5)
STILL: Our regular good man combines with a word meaning bad poorly or sick

7d Maintained member has got into crooked deal (7)
ALLEGED: One of our members but not an arm is surrounded (has got into) an anagram (crooked) of DEAL

8d Almost a full month before beds will bear fruit (8)
APRICOTS: Almost all of the showery month (I know, that could be any or all of them) i.e. the showery month minus its last letter and a word for beds. Toddlers and babies beds usually with high barred sides

14d Stylish set with fault needs fixing (8)
TASTEFUL: How I love an anagram (needs fixing) of SET and FAULT

16d Artificial language providing neat prose (9)
ESPERANTO: Here is yet another anagram for us to love. This time it is indicated by the rather neat indicator (provided) and the fodder is NEAT PROSE. In my ideal world anagrams would be limited to one per year, be so cleverly indicated that it is almost impossible to recognise that the clue is actually an anagram and the use of any artificial aids whatsoever would be totally forbidden and punishable by the most severe means available.

17d Instructor is oddly curt, intercepting suggestive look (8)
LECTURER: An anagram (oddly) of CURT is placed within (intercepting) a suggestive or lascivious look

18d It may have to be paid after a union dispute is settled (7)
ALIMONY: A cryptic definition of a husband’s (or wife’s) provision for a spouse after separation or divorce. The union here being a marriage.

20d Officer shortly to penetrate clear harbour (7)
SHELTER: this officer is a lieutenant. His shortened form needs to be placed inside an adverb meaning completely, entirely, thoroughly wholly or totally

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d Secure link (3-2)
TIE-UP: A double definition. How you might secure a boat to a mooring.

24d Title-holder takes tea with politician (5)
CHAMP: A colloquial word for tea is followed by one of our members of parliament who I suspect will be campaigning for his or her seat in the near future whichever way Thursday’s vote turns out

25d Opening with a key, it is essential (4)
ADIT: Three Lego bricks are needed for this four letter answer. 1. A lifted from the clue. 2. One of the notes that form an octave. 3. It directly from the clue. We have been given three of the four letters in the clue and told where to put the fourth so which of the following do you think is an opening? AAIT. ABIT. ACIT. ADIT. AEIT. AFIT. AGIT.

Well done the coast2coasters.

The Quick Crossword pun: sir+veil+ants=surveillance

77 comments on “DT 28145

  1. Fairly easy today. 2 new words for me in 11a and 25d. Got stuck on 17d thinking there must be a cr in there somewhere until the penny dropped. Then 21a fell into place. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  2. Great fun as ever on a Monday, albeit even lighter than usual – probably the easiest Rufus puzzle I have ever solved. Nevertheless it was still 3* for enjoyment in spite of being R&W.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  3. Agree with MP enjoyable */*** thanks for blog and to Rufus on a wet & miserable Monday 😰 Liked 15a & 18d 😛

  4. Rufus back on classic form: light and fluffy with a few that held me up slightly at the end (because that always happens, even in the simplest puzzle: I’ll never be a speed-solver) and a word I’d forgotten (25d). I put in that last as probable from the wordplay but was uncertain because the “is essential” wasn’t.

    Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to MP for another entertaining review. Btw, according to (the ever infallible) Wikipedia, the psychologist is Erik Erikson. Well done to the walkers.

  5. This was one of the easier back pager’s that I come across definitely a R&W for me. Thanks to Rufus & MP for his review,even the quicky was done in double quick time.Technically it’s supposed to be the first day of summer but looking out at the rain one wouldn’t think so even the dogs won’t venture outside.

      1. The nights will be drawing in from tomorrow but tonight we’ll be able to see the Strawberry Moon … unless, of course, it’s clouded over and tipping it down!

  6. A lovely solve to start the week , although I still needed a hint for 25d .Thanks to MP and the setter */***

  7. Almost a R&W but a bit of a relief after some of late esp yesterday which took ages to finish. Must admit 3D held me up for a while as I could not make the answer fit most of the clue but I see from the hints that the setter is using improvement as an anagram indicator which I completely missed! Also forgot that damn mine opening AGAIN! Taken the precaution of making sure Mrs B has it down, she has the memory of an elephant. Did like 28a, nice surface reading.
    Thx to all

  8. Yes indeedie, read and writee. Which was exactly what I was looking for this morning.Very enjoyable, nonetheless.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  9. Many thanks Miffypops – but you forgot to mention that 8d + 24d give you something to put on your toast and butter.

    Some lovely Rufus classics (23a people will mind if you dump your kids here, 29a a jumper that rides up, etc)

  10. Just goes to show that crosswords don’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable, as most solvers enjoyed this Monday puzzle, and agree with Miffypops ratings, favourite 21a. Probably just as difficult for Rufus to construct an easy solve as a hard one, you have to be able to play the piano well to sound as though you can’t !

  11. Straightforward if not quite R & W but with no stand-out Favs. Needed help with 25d and 12a. Thanks Rufus and MP. ***/***.

  12. More or less R&W although I did start out using the wrong word as the anagram indicator for 3d.
    21a was my last one in and I didn’t know the meaning of 11a.
    Top three for me are 1,15&26a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. Not sure what to make of the clip – I got the orchestra warming up and then some sort of unintelligible drone going on but didn’t work out how it related to the clue.

  13. I was hoping that the origin of (go like the) clappers might be interesting , so I googled it………it wasn’t…….don’t bother. Apart from the shark reference in the Guardian link.

    Thanks to setter ( riding up??) and to MP.

    Well, I didn’t help myself by putting ” tie-in” for 22d, which does work as a double definition, after all, we are tying in tomatoes and beans….. but, boy, did it hold me up with 28a…..norsehopper, northhopper, nerdchopper…😱

    1. Yes – I tied in 22d too and, as you said, it really screwed up 28a.
      I’m tying in tomatoes and cucumbers but the beans ‘do it all their own selves’ by climbing up the poles – jolly clever of them, I reckon.

      1. Well, I say beans – that’ll be the ones that are lazy and prefer to lie limply on the ground rather than man up and climb. They need to be “disciplined” until they get the message…..

        1. You mean you have tomatoes? Lucky old you – we have loads of flowers but nothing that could even be called an embryonic tomato so far – very late. :sad:

  14. Very enjoyable, */***. Sometimes it’s rather nice not to overtax the little grey cells. Just what I needed today.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  15. This is my favourite kind of Rufus puzzle, not just because it was on the easier side but the short sharp wit … he remains my favourite setter to this day :-) … thank you Rufus and thank you MP
    PS … hope you’re all cheering for Wales tonight …collywobs????

  16. So few cryptic clues in this crossword made the experience more enjoyable.
    Very straightforward solve.
    Walking from the Bristol Channel to the English Channel is only 12 miles.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the great review. I adore the girls but it is good to have you back.

    1. Speaking of ‘The Girls’ I forgot to thank Hanni for standing in for me and for doing such a very good job of it. I’m not away again until my Scottish trip in September. We are going to Ardnamurchan Point which is very remote. It is also so far west that I am told that if you stand on a chair on the beach you can see The Statue Of Liberty.

  17. Thanks again for the fun and help…. In the middle of GCSE maths marking… So a bit of a welcome challenge Where would we be without the Telegraph and the crossword!,??

  18. Nice gentle start to the week. As has been said, almost a R&W but very enjoyable nonetheless. 1.5/3* overall and favourite was 15a.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the landlord for his review.

  19. Exceptionally gentle but lots to savour and enjoy as usual on a Monday. Favourite clue for me was 23a.

    Finally brightening up in London after a very damp morning.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

  20. I just loved this, so much fun. Nothing held me up at all, I am definitely in the Rufus camp.
    I don’t think that I’ve ever heard 25d used except in crossword puzzles. And 11a is purely Dickensian.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the hints.

    1. 25d is used a lot in mining communities where they mine from the side of a hill using a horizontal shaft Merusa

      1. Aha. They say that if you learn something every day, your day has not been wasted. Thanks for that, M’pops.

  21. We left early on Friday to go to a wedding in Austria – it was pouring with rain. We got home late last night – it was pouring with rain. Is it getting it all out of the way in time for Glastonbury and Wimbledon or practising? :unsure:
    Right – now for the crossword. I thought this was straightforward and didn’t have my usual Monday trouble.
    The only problems I had were tying in 22d which messed up 28a for ages and mixing up anagram indicator and definition in 3d.
    I liked 12a and my favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  22. Rufus back to his benign Monday morning self, I thought. Lots of good surfaces and clue constructions but I haven’t got a stand out favourite, I’m afraid.

    Thanks to my Ironbridge neighbour for the puzzle and to Mp for his return to the blogging chair.

    Talking of chairs, the only people who stand on them at Ardnamurchan Point are the tourists – everyone else goes up the lighthouse. Mind you, ‘said chair’ can be rented (for a small fee, of course) from Hamish MacHair – the local tourist guide. He can also provide binoculars – again, for a small fee :whistle:


    1. Sorry, I’ve just had a phone call from Hamish – it seems that he has retired but passed on the business to his son ‘Ewan MacHair’. Apologies for misleading you.

  23. **/**. Not my favourite puzzle for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on – maybe 22d and 28a contributed. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  24. 1* for all except 25d, for me that was 5* as I have never heard of the word. Fav 12a.

  25. A most tasty piece of cake from Rufus. I liked it all, but the most toothsome morsel was 21a. The only downside is that, like all good pieces of cake (Victoria sponge or Dundee? – depends on the season, I guess) it was over too soon. Thanks to MP (for find the worst version of Shelter from the Storm available) and to Rufus. 1*/3*

    1. Hi TS,
      To judge by the time, I’m assuming that you’re not back at work. Hope you’re making reasonable progress?

  26. So nearly a R&W, but then I tripped over 21a because I was rushing it. “Stupid boy…”

    Funny, but once I’ve put in a wrong answer, it completely throws me even when I’ve realised it’s wrong.

    Best laugh of the day – MP’s alternative description of the answer ;O))

    Thanks to all.

  27. Pretty much a read and write apart from 25d which had to be dragged from the memory banks. Not exactly a word you hear all the time..it doesn’t really come up in conversation in the pub for example. Very enjoyable nonetheless.

    Favourite is probably 23a

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Mp for blogging.

  28. We love Rufus puzzles and this was the usual entertaining Monday fare and a little bit easier than usual. Not quite a * for us – 1.5/**** from us.

  29. Very enjoyable straightforward solve: just the ticket for a Monday so many thanks to Rufus. Favourite was 21a with 23a as a second best. Got 25d – remembered this word but could not quite reconcile it from the clue so needed the review, many thanks to Miffipops for his excellent contribution. Four letter word clues are always my downfall! 1*/3*. Leaving Hyères on Friday, will be meandering back to Sussex visiting old friends in the Auvergne and Tulle so will not be able to blog for a wee while…

  30. Good afternoon everybody.

    This started out very well but the last half dozen or so held up what otherwise might have been a very quick solve and certainly made the puzzle more enjoyable despite the tiresome Scrabble word at 25d eluding me. 21 and 28a were my favourites and I took far too long solving 17d.


      1. Are you sure you have the right solution? It is in all 3 of our editions of the BRB

        1. As noted I didn’t solve the clue at the caff so I looked at the solution here when I got in, so yes I have the right solution assuming it’s the same as given here!

          I searched Chambers online and that gave me a null return, which is very unusual, so I went and looked at my hard copy BRB and posted my findings here. My copy’s a 2005 reprint of a 2003 edition and that ‘word’ hasn’t become conspicuously more widely used around my parts in the last ten years…

  31. Late on parade today to find Rufus taking pity on us after the weekend prize puzzles. I found this a walk in the proverbial but still good fun. 1*/3* overall with thanks to the aforementioned and MP.

  32. A rare event for me to finish without any hints, so for me a great puzzle!! Especially after burning so many grey cells this week-end. Lots of lovely clues, I thought the good use of “sending me on a wild goose-chase” made this even more fun, for example 15a, 18d, 28a.
    I didn’t know the word for 25d, but I went through googling all the keys to be inserted until I got it.
    Thanks MP for the amusing/informative blog and to the setter for making me feel that this daily exercise is worthwhile for a change.

    1. Yay. Well done HIYD. Going through the alphabet or going through the keys in this case is what gets us there in the end. Great that you recognised how 25d worked

  33. Gone from wearing a silly hat to wearing a very silly hat. Yes it was R&W for everything except 3d. I completely missed the anagram, and was totally fixed on the first two words, rather than the first word. I could kick myself. Thank you setter, and thanks Miffypops. Trust you are enjoying your new car. I’ve been on the hunt again this afternoon.

    1. Yes thank you although Saint Sharon was its only driver today. I did fit our number plates onto it though. Lexus do make nice motor cars.

      1. Lucky you, saying that we have a lovely new Fiesta in a gorgeous dark grey dead chuffed. Lovely Monday crossword only problem was could not read my writing which held me up. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  34. 1.5*/3*. Straightforward and simultaneously enjoyable.

    Thanks to MP, who clearly doesn’t like crèches, and Rufus.

  35. */*** as others have noted, this is the sort of start to the week we used to regularly enjoy. More like this please. :-)

  36. An absolute doddle, but pleasant nonetheless: 0.5*/3.5*. 3d is a nicely pitched anagram, but is pipped at the post for favouritism by 27a. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  37. Only 25d beat me today but it is now safely stored in the memory bank for another crossword outing. Thanks to the setter and MP. So nice to (almost) finish one on my own for a change.

    1. Thanks for replying some time ago about the origin of names – sorry it’s taken me so long to reply.
      My parents lived in Pembrokeshire for many years – they had, “JonestheMilk” which caused endless mirth!

  38. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. It was read and write, except for 21a, yet another double definition that defeated me. Favourite was 27a. Was 1*/3* for me. On a new phone now as Android 6 won’t work on my Xperia Z2.

  39. I did this one Mon aft – very mild and gentle, but enjoyable. I have to report that it took me twice as long to do Monday’s MEN cryptic than this one, which is a bit worrying – that would never have happened a few years ago. 1.5*/2.5*

  40. 28A-I started with grasshopper until looked up the hints

    not flattering to our troops !

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