DT 28163 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28163

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28163

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Good Day to one and all. Congratulations to the Murray family upon their epic win yesterday. Congratulations too for Milos Raonic to whom the Wimbledon scoreboard does not do justice. The record books will not show the epic resistance Milos Raonic put up nor will it record what a gentleman he is. I never once witnessed Milos Raonic using foul language in front of his mother.

Today’s puzzle did not disturb my sleep for very long at all. Quite the most benign puzzle I have encountered for a long time. Mostly I did what the clues asked and lo and behold there was a solution. After the first pass some of the rest were obvious from the checkers but that does not always work. I was left in the Doldrums at 7 down until I read the actual clue. I liked the use if the word entertains in 16d. As usual no pens or pencils were used in solving this puzzle.

The hints and tips below are my attempt to guide you through this puzzle and cut through the mystery that surrounds the cluing of cryptic crossword puzzles. If you are still bamboozled after reading the hints and tips then click on the greyed out box to reveal the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Member of the upper class (5-6)
SIXTH-FORMER: What a schoolchild would be during the year before university back in the old days. This would now be known as year 13 or 14

9a    Came back with a diet designed for the undernourished (9)
EMACIATED: reverse the word CAME as indicated by the word back and add an anagram (designed) of A DIET

10a    Isle everyone goes round to (5)
ATOLL: A word for everybody or everything is placed around the word TO from the clue to form this ring shaped island.

11a    Fool it’s silly to help (6)
ASSIST: Our usual fool is followed by an anagram (silly) of IT’S

12a    One who would lose status as union member (8)
BACHELOR: The union here is a marriage. One cannot be one of these if one is married.

13a    Capacity to get on after bitterness? (6)
GALLON: Place the word ON from the clue after a noun meaning bile, acrimony, or sourness.

15a    Freshly appointed person that will make a clean sweep? (3,5)
NEW BROOM: What sweeps clean in the old proverb?

18a    Mystery involved number entering regular correspondence (8)
SYMMETRY: Anagram (involved) of MYSTERY and the Roman numeral (number) that denotes one thousand.

19a    A French diet blended together (6)
UNITED; The French word for A is followed by an anagram (blended) of DIET

21a    Attractive worker takes part (8)
HANDSOME: A manual worker takes a part or a piece of a thing but not the whole.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

23a    They are employed in the theatre or in religious work (6)
ACTORS: players in a theatre can be found by placing the word OR inside one of the books of The New testament

26a    Call for peace and quiet (5)
ORDER: A double definition. An easy double definition.

27a    Leave out priest adaptable team should welcome in (9)
ELIMINATE: Our usual suspect for a crosswordland priest or prophet is followed by an anagram (adaptable) of TEAM wrapped around (welcomes) the word IN from the clue.

28a    Eaten cold it could provide enjoyment (11)
DELECTATION: Anagram (could provide) of EATEN COLD IT


1d    The female fringe in American business (7)
SHEBANG: The pronoun used to refer to a girl or a woman is placed before a word for a fringe of hair

2d    They show you the bones of an unknown number of fish (1-4)
X-RAYS: This method of seeing through the skin to the bones of a skeleton can be found by using a geometric unknown and adding the plural of a type of fish known as Batoids

3d    One part of a frozen waterfall? (9)
HAILSTONE: A singular pellet of frozen precipitation.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d    Darn possibly visible in coat hem (4)
OATH: Like the beast hiding away in the clue for 24d this cussed swearword is hiding away within the words in the clue. Can you see him? I can.

5d    Press, for example, set up referees (8)
MEDIATES: The collective word for the Press, TV or Radio precedes the reversal (up in a down clue) of the word SET

6d    Arrive at straight stretch of river (5)
REACH: A double definition. The second being a continuous extent of water especially a stretch of river between two bends. Also a stretch of canal between two locks.

7d    Rising impudence over dour traveller (7)
PILGRIM: This impudence is impertinence or backchat. Reverse it and place it over an adjective meaning dour or gloomy to find this traveller who progressed in John Bunyan’s novel

8d    Firm needs a line going to Shanghai, say, in China (8)
COALPORT: Lego Time. Get the blocks out. Block one. Firm. Our usual two letter abbreviation for a CO(mpany). Block two. The letter A lifted straight form the clue. Block three. The letter L(ine). Block four. Shanghai, say. What is Shanghai? The same as Calais, Piraeus, Riga, Dover, or Grimsby. Put those blocks together to find a kind of porcelain (16d) made from clay mined within walking distance of our setters Ironbridge home.

14d    French newspaper accepts article that’s refreshing (8)
LEMONADE: This cool refreshing summer drink can be found by putting the letter A (indefinite article) inside the title of the French daily newspaper which translates as The World

16d    Graduate entertains a slimmer’s objective — eating off this? (4,5)
BONE CHINA: Our friend the Bachelor of Arts BA starts and finishes this answer as he entertains or involves that which a dieter wants. Split 3,4 that is to reduce a facial feature to a singular number.

17d    Oliver sees worm wriggling in retreat (8)
CROMWELL: Anagram (wriggling) of WORM is placed inside (in) a retreat such as used by a monk

18d    Trains groups of like-minded philosophers (7)
SCHOOLS: As a plural verb to educate (trains) As a group of philosophers likewise a group of fish.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d    See Cinders in transformation (7)
DISCERN: Anagram (in transformation) of CINDERS

22d    Ribbon of quiet deep colour (5)
SHRED: The two letter sound made when we want somebody to be quiet followed by one of the three cardinal colours.

24d    Took a picture showing animal in the zoo (5)
OKAPI: A hidden word. A lurker, lurking away within the letters of the clue is an animal from the Congo which may be seen in a zoo but I would rather see it in the wild. The said animal is also lurking away in my illustration

25d    The last character to join in Conservative element (4)
ZINC: The last character from our alphabet plus IN from the clue and C(onservative)

I don’t think many people will need my review today but I had fun writing it and listening to the Bob Dylan rehearsal tapes.

The Quick Crossword pun: mar+kin+thyme=marking time

60 comments on “DT 28163

  1. I had to smile at 14 d .I couldn’t remember the china at 8d.
    Good fun as usual from Rufus.
    Thanks also to Miffypops.

  2. 1.5*/4*. Light and fluffy fun as usual for a Monday. I got stretched slightly over my 1* time with part of the SW corner needing a bit more thought. 8d was a new word for me but easily derivable from the wordplay.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  3. A nice way to wind down at the end of the weekend. We did just need a quick google to confirm the 8d porcelain. Usually it’s the harder puzzles which are most fun to co-solve, but we find that Rufus puzzles are also good to share. 16d was our favourite.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for another entertaining set of elucidations and illustrations.

  4. Thanks Miffypops no sound at the office so I am assuming the video in21 a was brown eyed handsome man-Chuck Berry ?_ preferred the Buddy Holly version myself ,13a was a little easier to spot , loved the lurker in 24d.
    As for the puzzle a */*** for me and not vary taxing but a good start to the week, favourite 18a.

  5. OK – I did use a pen circle for 28a and took longer than I should have done over the upper-class and the mystery but otherwise a non-problematic solve.
    2d raised the biggest smile.

    Thanks to Rufus and also to MP for the review. Loved the clip for 21a and would second your comments about the Wimbledon men’s final.

  6. It was all going brilliantly (started top left and went clockwise – not my usual, but still…….)

    Then at some point (well, after sitting for a long, long time staring at 18a, using a thesaurus, googling foreign names…..) I realised that 3d was not in fact hailstorm. ☔️

    Thanks to MP for interesting blog.

  7. I really enjoyed this one – I’ll have to say 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment – a crossword doesn’t have to be tricky to be fun.
    I thought about ‘divorcee’ for 12a – luckily I only thought about it.
    I made 18a more difficult than it should have been by being fooled into thinking that the number was N.
    For no very good reason I was slow to get 18d.
    I liked 1 and 13a and 2d. My favourite was either 1 or 16d – not two favourites, just that I can’t make up my mind – they both made me laugh.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. Please do not divorce Chris. He is a lovely man and it is only a crossword puzzle clue.

  8. Thank you Big Dave, very out of practice with cryptic crosswords but with yr lovely hints I can unravel the clues & sometimes peek at the answers which has given me my first completed crossword in ages. Feel like ‘Andy’ great winning!!!!

  9. Has to be harder than 1* for me simply for 18a which I could not solve. ‘1000’ instead of ‘number’ would be fairer to beginners like me.

    1. Hey, there’s another ‘Michael’ who’s not me!

      My identity has been stolen – I feel defiled – what can I do about it?

      I don’t mind changing my name but I think I was here first!

      Sort it out!

      I never comment on solving times or stars or old cobblers like that!

      1. Hey Michael. Go to the FAQs and work out how to set yourself an Avatar. its quite easy and a bit of extra fun too. when false Michaels appear we will know them by there lack of Avatar

        1. Right, I’ve had a go at this WordPress site – boy that is one non-friendly site – and have created my individual Avatar, but I don’t really see how this helps.

          The ‘other’ Michael – userid Webwiz69 – either needs to amend his name or I will amend mine, I don’t really care but as it stands it’s just confusing!

          1. How about changing your handle to Michael X or whatever is the initial letter of your surname? After all, there’s bound to be another Michael (or several) on here. Don’t mention it…

  10. Hurrah! Solved it alone and unaided!
    Haven’t been able to do that for a while.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.
    I don’t often nominate a favourite clue, but I liked 14d very much.

    1. Nice one Ora!!!
      If like me, you are fairly new to this, it is a nice feeling!!!

        1. Don’t take the gilt off it, Miffypops.

          As yet, it is still a nice feeling, thanks Hoofit

  11. A nice, not too taxing start to the week. I’ve not heard of 8d, but the wordplay was clear it couldn’t be anything else. Nothing controversial, a good one for new(er) solvers, or those of us feeling a bit tired and emotional after the weekend.

  12. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. I got held up in the NW corner, so 2*/4* for me. 2&14d both made me laugh, but my favourite was 16d, brilliant. Last in was 8d, which I’d never heard of, but managed to get it from the wordplay. When’s Summer going to start 🌟?

  13. Unusually I was not on Rufus’ wavelength today so stretched into 3* time – looking back I have no idea why! Still not sure about the American fringe but if MP says it is then I must believe. Thanks to both for setting and blogging.

    1. Yes over here in the US you get some very puzzled looks of you refer to a fringe instead of bangs, likewise plaits instead of braids.

  14. All good clean fun which was swiftly accomplished. Thank you Rufus and also MP for being on hand. Fav was 16d. A great start to the cruciverbal week. **/***.

  15. Everything went in smoothly (and with pencil circles) apart from 8d. 8d had me stumped for the longest time and I have no idea why.

    Nice Monday fun.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for a top notch blog. Love the hidden picture for the hidden clue. Great idea.

    Just had a rather cool 3d type shower on the moors.

  16. Nice straight forward offering */**** very enjoyable 😊 Although 8d was a new word for me but very solveable from the clue 😉 I also liked 16d and also 18a. Thanks to MP for his amusing blog and comment and to Rufus for the Monday puzzle 😍 I cannot
    believe however that no one has mentioned The Good Old Days from Leeds City Varieties where in Leonard Sach’s Introduction 28a was always used. The only place that I have ever heard it! 😏

    1. I tried to find a clip but gave up when i got a song called for Your Vulgar Delectation by a group called Cradle Of Filth came up. I am not sure I am ready for such things let alone Jane

        1. Leonard Sachs’ epitaph should read: Why use a short word when several long ones will do.

  17. I always love Rufus. For once, I agree with the 1* for difficulty.
    I knew the 8d China, a little ornate for me.
    Loved 1a and 7d, but fave has to be 16d – “one chin”, indeed! How I wish.
    Thanks to Rufus for the fun and thanks to M’pops for the entertainment!

    1. P.S. M’pops, I agree wholeheartedly with you about Milos Raonic. His impeccable manners and good sportsmanship made it a most enjoyable match to watch. I hope others are taking notes!

  18. Very gentle but very enjoyable, */****. My favourite was 16d, which, made me laugh, so witty and so cleverly constructed.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  19. The usual funfair, or should we say fun fare from Rufus who we must thank for a very enjoyable puzzle and not forgetting Miffypops
    for an entertaining blog….Agreement with */****

  20. The usual delightful anagram-fest that is a Monday Rufus back-pager.

    The first two clues I solved were 2d and 25d, which made my pangram radar twitch, but t’was not to be.

    16d was clever and amusing, if a tad contrived, but my favourite vote went to 12a.

    Yes, congratulations to Murray, even though I’ve never warmed to him, he served better than Raonic (surprisingly) and was far too canny in the vital tie breaks. Admittedly Raonic only had his serve broken the once, but he failed to break Murray’s serve at all in seventeen attempts. It wasn’t a classic final by any stretch of the imagination though.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

  21. Late on parade today but no great hold ups from this fairly benign yet very enjoyable Rufus offering. 16 down my definite favourite and 2*/4* from me overall.

    Thanks Mr S and of course the bundle of fun that is MP.

  22. A gentle start to the week again. No complaints though as it was fun while it lasted.
    I liked 8d, just because it was different I suppose. 1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his review.

  23. A schizophrenic puzzle for me. I initially solved about 4 and gave up. After doing other things I came back and completed it in double quick time. I quite often need to come back to complete a puzzle but the disparity this time was surprising. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  24. After a mad dash to the ferry terminal to deliver a forgotten bag I got back to this splendid if not over taxing puzzle. Thanks to the setter and MP for the hints.

  25. Having completed both the weekend’s puzzles without hints, that was back to earth with a bump.
    I found that one of the most difficult puzzles for a while.
    I was miles of the wavelength and in many cases I could not even work it out from MP’s excellent hints. 1a was a good example.
    I think I needed more hints than clues I actually solved.
    Thanks MP for the hints and the setter, hoping for an easier puzzle tomorrow.

      1. Cheers Dave, I will.
        One of the eye-opening aspects of this black-art is how certain setters seem to ‘click’ and some don’t.
        Rufus is a conundrum.

        1. I fear you have been reading the clues again Oofit. Never a good idea on a Monday

            1. One man’s meat…….HoofIt. Carry on trying with Rufus – once you get him you will love him. I am the opposite. 1a jumped in first without me needing to think about it, which gave me 2d immediately. 7d was my last in.

            2. Doing cryptics is like playing chess – the more you practise (or is it practice?) and study, the better you get. In 20 years you’ll be cracking all these back-pagers like shelling peas. But then you’ll think that most of them are too easy…

  26. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. Unusual for a Monday this one took me longer than usual, but got there in the end. 18a and 18d main holdups.

  27. Only a sporadic commenter at the moment. I’m on the boat, stranded in Nuneaton with a sick dog who may need an operation. We will find out on Wednesday on a return visit to the vet. What with one thing and another, crosswords seldom get done on the day they are published and I’m out of synch with everyone. I’m supposed to be on holiday – convalescing, but I’m stuck inside of Nuneaton with those Memphis Blues again.
    As usual with Rufus, this was a fun but none too demanding challenge. 16d was masterful but 14d wins the ballon d’or. Thanks to the ever enjoyable MP and Rufus. 1*/3*

    1. Sam. 22d: I thought that too – the clue would work fine without “deep”. I’m guessing that the setter is giving an extra hint in that red is a deep, intense, striking, bright colour? Or perhaps from the colour cardinal red, which is usually described as deep vivid red. Maybe there’s something more subtle/arcane – these setters are crafty beggars…

  28. Without any checkers I put ‘spinster’ into 12a. Close but not close enough. Looks as though I was the only one to do that. Guess it was just the female mind working. 6d changed all that. Loved 16d. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. As usual, I did this one in the afternoon. Fairly mild but with good cluing and I rather enjoyed it. 2*/3*

  30. I had never heard of 8d and had to look it up to convince myself that the answer was right, but the puzzle was otherwise straightforward.

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