DT 28205 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28205

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28205

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good day from the heart of Downtown Long Itchington where all is well with the world. Rufus has beguiled again with a little treat of a puzzle. It is all fathomable from the very fair clueing.

The hints and tips below are my attempt to help you along the way to completion if you are struggling to solve a clue. If you have solved a clue but are not sure how the clue works my explanation should help. If not please ask in the comments. You will be answered fairly and usually quite quickly.

I did not spot a lurker in today’s puzzle so if you are lurking on this site today is a good time to introduce yourself.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Cuts into two parts, taking half second (7)
BISECTS: A three letter word meaning parts or pieces has (takes) half of the word sec(ond) inserted

5a    Bill is an aristocrat, it’s said (7)
ACCOUNT: split 1,5 the word for a bill sounds like (it’s said) a foreign nobleman whose rank equals that of an earl

9a    A temple ornament? (5)
TIARA: This ornamental piece of jewellery is worn at the front of a woman’s hair. (on her temples)?

10a    Fear capture (9)
APPREHEND: A double definition. The second meaning to take into captivity or arrest.

11a    Letter-openers? (10)
ADDRESSEES: Those to whom correspondence is addressed

12a    Beast left one with no going back (4)
LION: The king of the jungle (not Tarzan) can be found by using your solving skills and doing as Rufus bids. Left gives the letter L One gives the letter that looks like the number one. And NO going back is a simple instruction to reverse the word no.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a    It’s not in one’s own interest to display it (12)
SELFLESSNESS: This is a cryptic definition of a personal quality where kindness, generosity and dedication to others takes priority over one’s own needs

18a    Mistakenly denounces art that’s now done without thinking (6,6)
SECOND NATURE: Anagram (mistakenly) of DENOUNCES ART

21a    Articulates further and sums up (4)
ADDS: A rather clever double definition. To comment further upon something I did at school called sums.

22a    Torch leaving burnt residue in passage (10)
Revised online version: Torch left burnt residue in passage (10)
FLASHLIGHT: L(eft) and the burnt residue left after a fire needs to be placed inside a word meaning a passage. The only passages I can think of that fit this answer are stepped as in stairs or a series of canal locks

25a    Musters to call for drink (7,2)
SUMMONS UP: Split 6,3 we have a call or an order to be present or maybe attend a court hearing, followed by a verb meaning to take a drink

26a    Gather information, alternating with the French (5)
GLEAN: The two letters of the feminine word for the in French are placed between the three letter word meaning information.


27a    Uncle out to get us — that’s the heart of the matter (7)
NUCLEUS: Anagram (out) of UNCLE followed by US from the clue.

28a    A game cut short (7)
ABRIDGE: A from the clue and a card game


1d    Little girl with fish to sell down the river (6)
BETRAY: Little Elizabeth catches a member of the Batoid family

2d    Drink that is mixed and cast around (6)
SHANDY: And from the clue has a verb meaning to cast wrapped around it. To cast in this instance means to throw. Think coconuts at a fete.

3d    Changed circumstances may put a different complexion on them (10)
CHAMELEONS: Last one in and a tricky little blighter at that. These members of the lizard family change colour to blend in with their surroundings.

4d    Checks foundation garments (5)
STAYS: A curb or check is also a corset made of two pieces laced together and stiffened by strips of whalebone. For why?

5d    Sadly Pat and Ernest split up for now (2,7)
AT PRESENT: Anagram (sadly) of PAT and ERNEST

6d    Signals and strikes the ball? (4)
CUES: A signal in the theatre perhaps is also how a snooker player addresses and hits the white ball

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d    Tune died out, in need of revising (8)
UNEDITED: Anagram (out) of TUNE DIED. The second time out has been used today as an anagram indicator. It is possibly the oldest and most used anagram indicator ever used. It is very tired now and deserves a well earned retirement.

8d    Insisted on getting amended order (8)
TIDINESS: Anagram (getting amended) of INSISTED

13d    Having surveyed houses one may warn of future problems (10)
ASTROLOGER: These houses of the zodiac allow foolish people to believe that the alignment of the stars will affect their day to day lives. This is one who studies such alignments.

15d    The last people you expect to see in knockout competitions (9)
FINALISTS: When all others have been eliminated from a knockout competition these two individuals or teams will contest the final tie

16d    Two fools in killer combination (8)
ASSASSIN: A regular crosswordland fool is followed by the same crosswordland fool and the word IN lifted directly from the clue to find this murderous individual

17d    One that’s learned what’s not practical (8)
ACADEMIC: One who has studied the arts and classics that have no use in a practical world where real men use hammers and tools to create stuff. Long live the arts. Long live the crafts.

19d    Old guards about to get settled (6)
AGREED: Our usual suspect for about is placed inside a word meaning old as in OAP. The old guards the about in that it keeps it safe inside. (Clues explained in clear English? Well we do so when we can)

20d    Attitude that a driver may take on a course (6)
STANCE: A double definition. The second being the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted usually in cricket or golf. In this case it is golf. The driver is the man teeing off and the course is the ruined piece of falsely manicured countryside

23d    A shade sanctimonious in the main (5)
SEPIA: Our regular crosswordland shoe in for good or sanctimonious is placed in The Main as in the ocean. This little word meaning good or sanctimonious often causes comment on the blog from a usual suspect.

24d    Manage to get note supporting policeman (4)
COPE: A slang term for a policeman is followed by one of the notes in a musical scale.

Reviewed to the wonderful sounds of Van Morrison and nobody else. It is a bank holiday today so please enjoy yourselves.


84 comments on “DT 28205

  1. Definitely on the trickier side at least for the NE and SE corners. Really really disliked 2d, the answer wasn’t difficult to get but the wordplay was poor. Fav clue for me was 20d, mine is not great I know or so my instructor tells me.
    Monday’s have become quite difficult of late.
    Thx to all

  2. Thanks to Rufus for a very enjoyable start to the week, but I was totally defeated by 3d (so grateful thanks to MP for solving it for me).

    Also, I am not sure about the ‘second L’ in 23a; I thought that the ‘burnt residue was a 3 letter word.

    Favourite 18a – ***/**

    1. I hadn’t noticed the second letter L Senf. I had ash inside flight. I cannot see the other L coming from leaving.

        1. RD – that works for me. Having taken my cynic pill for the day, the way the clue is written suggests some editorial influence to me.

    2. The only way I could parse 22a is: Torch = (L)eaving + burnt residue (ASH) in (inside) passage (or FLIGHT). Giving F(L+ASH)LIGHT. I can’t see any other way of obtaining the second L. The passage (flight) has nothing to do with stairs or canals but as a journey or voyage.

  3. 2*/4*. Just what you expect – a lot of fun both from the indefatigable Rufus and from the incorrigible Miffypops. Many thanks to both of them.

    I remembered 4d from my childhood when my mother frequently complained about how uncomfortable they were to wear.

    Where does the second L come from in 22a?

    I’m working in Switzerland for a few days so may not pop up again until late on Friday.

  4. Not my favourite style of puzzle with too many double definitions and simple concatenations of words, it seemed to me. I prefer those where the answer can be worked out by logic rather than by knowledge of synonyms. I also was not sure about the temple in 9a as i think it would fall off!

    So I found all but the NW corner fair enough, but my last in was 3d which I only managed from the checking letters.

    3*/3* for me.

  5. MP – in your hint for 1a, why is ‘parts’ underlined? We thought it belonged in the cryptic section of the clue, so shouldn’t be underlined, as ‘Cuts into two’ neatly defines the answer. And should it not say four letter word?

    Fuller post to follow!

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. Now sorted. As to why, well this morning went as follows.

      Wake up.
      Make a pot of tea.
      Search for ipad.
      Ask saint Sharon where my ipad is.
      Go and get ipad from car
      pour first cups of tea
      Download the Daily Telegraph.
      Read paper ignoring all references to football.
      Fetch second cup of tea.
      Solve crossword puzzle
      Shower and shave
      Sit at computer and write review
      Check emails for BDs template
      Copy and paste review into BDs template
      Underline definitions.
      Add pictures and musical clips to suit (To suit me that is)
      Discover that BD wants me to email the blog to Gazza because he is going out
      Waste time looking for Gazza’s email address which BD has not supplied.possibly because he knows I already have it. Somewhere.
      Ping the lot to Gazza because BD is out and nobody has shown me how to post reviews.
      Get dressed properly
      Go out to meet friends and family for breakfast at 9.00am.

      1. Take a leaf out of Dolly Parton’s book. This is how you should start your day:

        Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen
        Pour myself a cup of ambition
        Yawn and stretch and try to come to life
        Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumpin’
        Out on the street the traffic starts jumpin’
        With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

      2. You did all that before 9am? Hats off to you. Life of a landlord I guess. My husband is looking up Long Itchington on iPad, showing me lovely, homesick making, pictures. Says village has 6 pubs? One is yours, right?

  6. MP (again) – Just how would wonderful is 5a? We had Bill = AC, aristocrat = COUNT and account is something that’s said. Seems to us that both parsings work fine, but yours, we can now see, is a little tighter.

    Fuller post still to follow.

  7. I enjoyed today’s, though was unconvinced by 20d, and initially dismissed the correct interpretation of 9d for the same reason MP has given it a question mark.

    1a (yes – the definition is just the first three words) put me in a good frame of mind for doing the puzzle, once I’d given up on trying to get back to sleep.

    22a has already been flagged. I’m sure RD is right there. Also, there should really have an indication that it is a foreign word. ;)

    With reference to 12a, the jungle where I am is ruled not by any kind of feline but by monkeys and elephants. Lots of fun.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. I liked the illustration for that unlucky number 13d.

    1. However, that ‘foreign’ word appears to be becoming an ‘oldie but goodie’ with increasingly frequent appearances – last Tuesday, for example. Just another example of how American English continues to cross the Atlantic.

      1. Yes – I wasn’t actually complaining (hence the wink). I just checked, and while Oxford has it down as N. American, Chambers says esp N. American.

        1. Apologies, the wink didn’t register with me. In the throes of moving from the USA back to Canada, where thankfully words like colour and harbour are spelled ‘correctly’ in the Queen’s English, with a very early start this morning.

  8. Gosh, I actually found this very straightforward 😊 Just goes to show (whatever that means) I had a real struggle on Saturday to finish!!! */*** Thought 3d brilliant and also 11a 👍 Thanks to MP and to Rufus for a nice start to another sunny week after yesterday’s heavy downpours 😥

  9. The NW caused a few sticky moments as I was quite confident about ‘bindi’ for 9a and still think it’s a better answer!
    3d has put in appearances in the past but sufficiently long ago that it held out on me until the very end – excellent clue.
    5a – a homophone that surely no-one can complain about, which makes a nice change.
    22a seems to be on the favourite list for setters recently but I was another who couldn’t justify the extra ‘L’.

    Thanks to Rufus for a very good Monday puzzle and to MP for his trademark style of blog.

    By the way – the paper version puts three words into the Quickie Pun, which gives a rather more satisfactory answer.

    1. Hi Jane. You are correct about the Quickie Pun. The ipad version does not italicise the words to be used.

      1. I think I actually prefer the pun on just the first two words.

        The children have gone quiet. It’s delightful, but also a little ominous. I think perhaps I should go see what they’re up to …

  10. We really enjoyed this, 2*/3.5*.

    14a makes your head spin if you think too deeply about it. Clues worth stars were 2d, 15d and 19d. Top of the shop was 5a (see earlier post).

    We were less than sanguine about 9a, thought from early on it was the answer but didn’t put it in until we had all the checkers. 16d and 28a were old favourites. We didn’t notice that 22a was a letter short.

    Thanks to Miffypops for the review and to Rufus.

  11. 22a in the online version has now been corrected to: Torch left burnt residue in passage (10).

  12. A good test that took longer than it should & needed electronic help for 3d. Disappointed as a very similar clue came up a while back & I missed it then. Still my COTD though

    Couldn’the find the 2nd L in 22a to me not a good clue therefore. The explanations in #2 make sense.

    Thanks to setter & especially MP for hints (and illustrating that these things don’t just happen at the press of a button).

    1. The previous comment is from an imposter.

      I had no problems with this puzzle, along with the Herculis, the anagrams and both flavours of Sudoku – and I’ve cut the grass and trimmed my bushes – it’s been all go!

      Oh, and I’ve watched most of the Cricket – phew!

  13. A nice Monday Bank Holiday crossword.
    9a took a while and I agree with George who said it would fall off if worn on the temple rather than the head.
    3d was my last answer.
    I didn’t notice the mistake in the clue for 22a.
    I didn’t get 14a until I had most of the letters in – tried ‘unselfishness’ very early on but it didn’t work.
    I liked 1 and 14a and 1 and 13d. My favourite was 15d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Stuff to do now so will have a go at Mr Rookie later on.

  14. Today only one ..26a
    Will somebody please tell these compilers that this is an english paper NOT FRENCH.
    I do not speak French.
    I was never taught French.
    I have no intention of learning French.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Geoff B.
      Mon Dieu, I think you’re fighting a losing battle there.
      Please don’t use all capitals in your comments – it’s akin to shouting.

    2. Whatever you do, don’t look at 12a in today’s Financial Times crossword ;)

      Anyone not Francophobic (only one clue) and has time for an enjoyable crossword should give it a go. Just search for FT Crossword and go from there.

  15. Following yesterday’s contortions with the prize crossword this was an easier journey for me. Some clues did not work for me, 2D for example but others were very good, 3D is a good example of this. With determination and a few hints from the blog I reached the final destination. My rating is 2/3 Thanks to MP for his efforts.

  16. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but it was so difficult. I had demanded for 8d, which I mistakenly thought was an anagram of amended, doh! After that it was downhill all the way. Needed the hints for another 6 clues. Favourite was 23d. Not my day today. Was 4*/3* for me.

  17. A delightful puzzle to grace an usually rain-free Bank Holiday Monday.

    3d and 13d were my picks of the day, archetypal Rufusisms.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

  18. A fairly standard Rufus production I thought, some clever stuff going on – 13d and 11a come to mind. I am now off back into the garden to enjoy a nice glass of something cool and crisp – probably having come from the Marlborough region of NZ.

    Thanks to Rufus for the enjoyment and to downtown LI’s outstanding publican (that’s you MP – not Mr Mills down the road at The Harvester :wink: )

    On a totally off blog subject – my ‘live.co.uk’ email is playing up – anybody else having problems? Answers on a postcard to BD – I don’t want to ‘clog the blog’. Glad I managed to get that ‘L’ in the last word. :)

  19. Quite straightforward except for NW corner. I really dislike clues requiring a name (1d), there are hundreds of options and almost always need a few checkers. However a pleasant way to spend a lazy hour in sunny Devon.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP

  20. 4d was the one that stumped me and guessed 9a from the checkers. Typical Rufus. Always need to find a representation of the definition.
    3d was favourite.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  21. This was almost, dare I say it, R&W for me, unheard of, and Rufus puzzles usually beat me, but the old wavelength thing was definitely working this morning. So pleased to see it rated ***, much better then when I do badly on a * difficulty day. Needed help from MP for 3d and 19d which the hints helped me solve, and last in was 6d which I failed to solve, being totally sports ignorant. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops for a great start to the week.

  22. A very pleasant solve today.
    The BRB gives the second meaning of 9a as the Jewish high-priest’s mitre. I assumed that was where the temple reference fitted in.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

    1. Not too sure about that Lionel 🤔 I felt that temple referred to the upper forehead where one would possibly wear a tiara 😳

  23. The second L in 22 across had me guessing too, but I like the idea at #2. 13 down my favourite and overall this was an enjoyable and speedy solve for me. 1.5*/4* seems a fair reflection, with many thanks to Rufus and our own MP for his review.

  24. Pretty straightforward except for 3d , last one in, although 22 was not to my liking . */*** Like Busy Lizzie almost a R & W .Thanks to MP and the setter

  25. I read it is a Bank Holiday in England. Not here . I have noticed that puzzles on Bank Holidays are usually a little trickier than usual.
    It was reassuring to read about Miffypops start to his day. We were at the Airport at midnight last night collecting our daughter (more lioness than lambkin) and the new term started today , so a very early start for me.My spelling goes completely to pot when I am tired , so I was my own handicap today.
    Thanks to Miffypops for his unstinting efforts and to Rufus.

  26. Late on today, was out refuelling (whisky), that should sort me for four or five weeks!

    I do enjoy a Rufus puzzle, though I shot myself in the foot by using the wrong letter at the start of 1a, how dim. This held up the NW corner, but I did realise my mistake eventually.
    I remembered the foundation garment in 4d, that was in a puzzle not that long ago, likewise 3d.
    I rather liked 13d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the Monday enjoyment.

    I think weather forecasting is about as scientific as reading tarot cards. The six or so inches of rain forecast for us has turned into 0.19 inches!

        1. My favorite here in SF when the news stations get hyper excited about the palm tree fronds blowing in the wind, woo hoo…

  27. I usually struggle with Rufus, but finished this within * difficulty, so definitely on the easier side for me. Or perhaps it’s just the unaccustomed Monday morning lie-in. Last two in 2d and 9ac, the latter also my favourite clue today, a nicely deceiving cryptic def.

  28. Definitely in one of my thicker frames of mind today, as I found this hard going. I did like 9a and 3 d when I eventually got there. I too was one of the AC/Count brigade in 5a.

  29. I love your tips for solving the crossword, many thanks! As a novice re the cryptic crossword, your help has been invaluable! I am learning v fast and love the challenge!

  30. Good evening everybody.

    Bottom more straightforward than top. Favourites were 3d and 9a. Last in 1d.


  31. Interested that Miffypops is in Long Itchington. I work (in retirement) delivering cars & Allen Ford in the village is a regular pick-up spot. Be nice to meet you sometime!

  32. Really enjoyable solve on the beach on a bank holiday! 18a gets the favourite award but 3d gives it a run for its money…and was my LOI.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for your usual top blog. Nice pics and avatar!

  33. No lurkers today so thanks for the invite BD to come out of the shadows. Been loving the blog for ages, usually finishing the crossword early evening so often too late to say anything meaningful. Nice Monday puzzle but never knew those ornaments 9a were worn on the temple…

    1. Welcome to the blog but I’m afraid you’re going to have to change your alias as we already have a Little Dave and a LittleDave, the former having left a lot more comments than the latter.

  34. Overall an OK solve, but I do share the odd niggles here and there, all previously mentioned ( … esp. 22a, horrid word).
    Worked from SE to NW, 9a & 1d last in. **/**
    Thanks to all as ever.

  35. Three quarters of this went in OK but the NW corner was another story so I had to resort to your hints MP for which I thank you. Thanks also Rufus. I agree with Kath and George that a tiara is never worn anywhere near the temples and certainly no further forward than the hairline but usually further back than that in the hair (unwashed to ensure no slippage!). I don’t even think that the Popes or Persian Kings probably wear/wore theirs that far forward. You are brave MP to cast aspersions on those who believe “in the stars” vis-à-vis 13d. IMHO no outstanders today. ***/**.

  36. Wrong first letter for 1a!!! Doh, could not fathom it out until I read MP’s excellent hint.
    Oddly, considering it got a MP ***, I found this on the easier side.
    Thanks Rufus and MP….

    1. MP never touches the ratings system. It remains at ***/*** unless BD alters it based upon my comments. For the last couple of weeks (but not today) I deleted it but BD put it back. Disects is a fine answer as it fits the definition perfectly. I bung in loads of wrong answers and alter them because I cannot make them fit the wordplay. My first thought this morning for 1ac? Disects. You are in good company. HIYD

    2. Not such good company as MP but the problem I have is, having bunged in a wrong answer, I find it difficult to persuade myself it isn’t the right one!

  37. Back in circulation. Enjoyed this challenge from Rufus, but stumbled on 3d, my LOI, and only then after a glance at the hint. Maybe my brain is getting as rusty as the rest of me. Ta to Rufus and to LI’s most erudite landlord. 3*/3*

    1. Glad to see you back, TS. Please don’t let that brain of yours get rusty – I’m still waiting for you to write the rest of ‘my’ poem!

    2. Hi Tom. Missed you on the blog and missed you in my pub. Hope all is as well it can be. Mines a pint of LP. Whats yours?

      1. Mine’s a glass of fizzy water (no ice) as alcohol is verboten on my current medication. Which sucks

  38. Yet another good crossword; that’s three in a row for me. It also took me quite a while to complete this one and like a lot of people 3d was last in, and also my favourite. Very clever clue.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to mine host of L.I. for his review.

  39. For some reason I found it hard to get going, but then something clicked and it fairly flew into place. 2*/3* seems about right to me, and my favourite clue was the deceptively simple 9a. Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review.

  40. Enjoyed this. Some answers were a bit of a joint effort with better half and also sought electronic help with 3d and 14a. Don’t think I would ever have got 3d. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  41. Thought 3D was a very good clue…once I twigged that it was not an anagram-also liked 1D and the expression “sold down the river”
    Enjoyed Miffypops description of his morning in comment 5 & RD’s reply !

  42. Strange definition of “very fair cluing” with a generous helping of “read my mind” clues like 11ac and 3dn. I should skip Rufus puzzles, I really should. Ugh…

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