DT 28211 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28211

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28211

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good day to you all from my home in the heart of Downtown LI. I watched Coventry Rugby Club run eight tries past Loughborough Students on Saturday in the wettest rainiest game I have ever seen. Saint Sharon and I are travelling to Scotland tomorrow to the shores of Loch Awe and onward to Ardnamurchan Point via The Isle of Mull. Ardnamurchan Point is the most westerly tip of The British mainland and I am hopeful that on a clear day we will be able to see The Statue of Liberty

Today Rufus has provided plenty of food and a drop of fine wine to enjoy as we clap our hands watching cricket and golf. The grid almost filled itself this morning with a couple of passes leaving a small bit of clearing up. The spelling of 21d causing the most difficulty – which one to choose?

Below are some hints and tips which should either

  1. Give you a push towards an answer you have trouble solving
  2. Explain the workings of the clue so that you know why your answer is correct

The illustrations provided may or may not have anything to do with the clue or the answer.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Anticipates a guru’s breaking down (6)
AUGURS: A simple anagram (breaking down) of A GURU’S to set today’s ball rolling.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

4a    ‘The Mount’ — a suitable address for a cardinal (8)
EMINENCE: Double definition. A piece of rising ground is also the correct way to address a cardinal

9a    It’s spent on railway food (6)
PASTRY: Take an adjective meaning gone by in time and no longer existing and add our regular abbreviation for railway

10a    Rations for the fleet? (4,4)
FAST FOOD: An all in one definition of the type of eatery such as McDonalds is commonly called. Are these rations only for those who can run quickly? Can you get snails in such establishments?

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    What it’s like in the Kalahari Desert (4)
ARID: Hidden in the clue amongst the letters of the clue you will find the answer lurking away peeping out at you just like the folk at 14ac and the present at 25ac

13a    Sort of trap for a bird (5)
BOOBY: A trap intended as a practical joke is also the name of a seabird. I rather hoped the bird was a type of tit. Ooh er missus.

14a    Folk from Gaelic land (4)
CLAN: Our second lurker of the day hidden within the clue is the answer

17a    He upsets some scholar about the beginning of term (12)
SCHOOLMASTER: Anagram (he upsets) of SOME SCHOLAR and the beginning letter (start of) of T(erm)

20a    Fulfil a promise to retain just a single weapon (4,4,4)
KEEP ONE’S WORD: Split 4,4,4 one can retain a promise. Split 4,3,5 One can retain a single weapon with a long metal blade

23a    A learner in the old US university (4)
YALE: Place our usual abbreviation for a learner inside the extremely olden aged form of the word the to find one of the Ivy League universities.

24a    Cheeky display of embarrassment (5)
BLUSH: To redden in the face due to embarrassment. Something that made Saint Sharon so attractive all those years ago


25a    Present given in the recession (4)
HERE: Lurker number three (how come we are allowed lurkers but not anagrinds)? A hidden word meaning present in a particular place.

28a    Entitled people, one is seen in London hospital (8)
BARONETS: The shortened name of St Bartholomew’s teaching hospital contains the word one (seen in) to find these members of the aristocracy.

29a    Pound that is required to join club (6)
MASHIE: This obsolete golf club by joining a verb meaning to pound (as in potatoes) with the Latin abbreviation for that is.

30a    Don’t touch without even considering (3,5)
LET ALONE: A double definition the second being used to indicate that something is far less likely or suitable than something else already mentioned.

31a    Embracing a good man, mine’s no longer in his prime (4,2)
PAST IT: A perfect example of a clue that would have had me stumped years ago and a perfect example of what I mean when I say to stop reading the clues if you want to solve a cryptic crossword puzzle. The clue reads well but does not suggest an answer. If we break it down and do what it says then should arrive at the solution. The word embracing is a containment indicator. A good man gives us the A from the clue and our usual good man (a saint) ST. The mine is a PIT which needs to embrace (contain) the AST.


1d    Acclamation of unusual papal custom (8)
APPLAUSE: Anagram (unusual) of PAPAL followed by a traditional and widely accepted way of doing something

2d    Neon? (8)
GASLIGHT: A cryptic definition of what a neon tube might produce is made up of two words for neon, one as an element and the other as a source of illumination.

3d    It’s unusual to be not well done (4)
RARE: A double definition. The second describing how a steak might be cooked

5d    Be deadly serious in usury? (4,8)
MEAN BUSINESS: To intend to see something through or a description of the making of unethical or immoral monetary loans.

6d    Stagger up, deprived of one’s wits (4)
NUTS: A verb to astonish or deeply shock is reversed (up in a down clue) to find an adjective meaning mad

7d    One old silly (6)
NOODLE: Anagram (silly) of ONE OLD The anagram indicator here does double duty as the definition.

8d    Coming to a conclusion? Close (6)
ENDING: Coming to a conclusion or close to coming to a conclusion. Finishing

11d    To complain so may be common all over the world (12)

15d    Fielder caught a number of balls (5)
COVER: This cricketer can be found by using the cricketing abbreviation for caught and the name of a sequence of six balls bowled.

16d    Twist of fate’s causing blow-out (5)
FEAST: More food. Lots of it can be found by making an anagram (twist of) of FATE’S

18d    Rather a handful, eh? (8)
SOMEWHAT: My online dictionary defines the answer as to a moderate extent or by a moderate amount; rather. A handful is followed by an annoying interjection similar to eh!

19d    He daren’t upset one who follows (8)
ADHERENT: Anagram (upset) of HE DAREN’T. That makes three anagrams where an apostrophe is used in the anagram fodder. Usually any form of punctuation in the clue can be ignored.

21d    It represents the sound of a percussion instrument (6)
SYMBOL: We are not looking for the percussion instrument here but a representation that sounds like one.

22d    Cambridge college has tip-top wine (6)
CLARET: A Cambridge university college founded in 1965 followed by top of the word T(ip) is also a red wine

26d    A love for indigo (4)
ANIL: A from the clue and a word meaning nothing will give this shade of blue. The word for nothing is the preferred score for Coventry City this season. Oh dear.

27d    It won’t be seen as a boundary (2-2)
HA-HA: This hidden boundary wall or ditch will keep livestock from the gardens of a large house.

Reviewed to the sweet melodies of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Raising Sand.

The Quick Crossword pun: palace+aides=palisades ARVE Error: need id and provider

81 comments on “DT 28211

  1. That was for me the fastest R & W ever – quite enjoyable but lacking in any call for cerebral exercise so not much stimulus or satisfaction. Nevertheless I did like several clues viz 10a, 20a, 24a, 31a and 27d. Thanks Rufus and MP. */***.

  2. 2*/4*. All the usual Monday fun on display here today. Three quarters was R&W, but I got held up in the NE corner by putting in “Junk Food” for 10a. It seemed to me initially to be the obvious answer but it rendered 5d & 6d impossible. 27d was a new “word” for me.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. RD. 27d: You’ve seen a ha-ha before – have a look at DT 27954. MP even posted a cracking photo of one.

      PS. I can do underlining now!

  3. Yes, an easy one today. I also pondered for a while on which spelling 21d should have and plumped for the same as in the hints.

    Thanks to all for puzzle and blog.

    1*/4* for me.

  4. Very gentle Rufus this morning – easy anagrams and lurkers and I even managed the golf club, the cricket clue and the university/college without any anxious moments. Did check on the ‘indigo’ just to be on the safe side!
    Podium places go to 10&30a plus 18,22&27d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP, whose musical interests never fail to astound me. Enjoy bonnie Scotland.

  5. I broke my record for my fastest solve time on this puzzle, so either it was rather easy or I was on fire this morning due to having a week off work to enjoy some R&R. Judging by previous comments, it was the former.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  6. For me, less tricky than recent Rufus offerings and completed comfortably before lights out last night.

    27d was a wild guess and completely new to me and I initially missed the homophone indicator for 21d. But the ‘electronic checker’ on the puzzles web site helped on both of those.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP – */*** – favourite 5d.

    1. If the sun is shining for the autumn and spring games we may stand outside The Broomfield or The Hearsall before the game. Usually it is the clubhouse bar before the game. Home afterwards.

  7. Well, it’s all to do with wavelength yet again! Unlike the R&W crew I had to work a bit to solve today’s offering from Rufus. I enjoyed the solve and 18d was my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the Bard of LI for his review.

  8. At the easier end of the Rufus spectrum but no less enjoyable.

    My favourite clue was 12a. Disappointing to see the same anagram indicator in both 17a and 19d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and the Sage of Long Itchington.

  9. I think it’s because lurker is a real dictionary word, and anagrind is not (25a).

    The clues I enjoyed most were 1d, 2d and 5d

    Many thanks Miffypops for the entertaining review and thanks Rufus for another wonderful puzzle. The Rufus in the Guardian is nice too.

  10. I was going pretty well until the SE corner, it is always Yale so I tried to see if anything else sprang to mind it didn’t so in went Yale and the rest followed quite quickly.
    Music always helps an Ice
    An Icelandic group called Kaleo, and of course Dire Straits which I usually find myself in doing the crossword.
    Many thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  11. ** difficulty for me needing a bit of electronic help for 2 of the answers. Didn’t realise you could have an anagram indicator and definition rolled into one but got 7d all the same. Thanks for explanation of 18d. 20a was my favourite.
    Thanks all.

      1. There is only one 6 letter anagram for ‘old one’, so it works either way, but I read it as MP hinted it.
        My query would be that noodle is a noun, silly is an adjective, but ne’er mind.

  12. Dredging up 27d took ages, the rest was fine. Pleasant opener on another dismal dry-the-dogs day here in South Wales.
    Thanks to the setter & MP for entertaining hints. The thought of a snail burger I don’t find tempting.
    With your hoping to see the Statue of Liberty on your trip are you a member of the Flat Earth Society perchance (theflatearthsociety.org)?

    1. Once on a very clear day I stood on a stepladder at the top of Mount Everest and saw the back of my own head.

      1. Blimey, back-of-a-fag-packet maths suggests you’d need a 9km stick and a telescope for the mirror method. We’ll need Physicist for the ladder height. Besides, two mirrors is much easier than Everest, and you can do that in your bathroom.

  13. I agree this was fairly straightforward.
    While I was doing it I felt as if there were lots of anagrams but having finished and counted them there probably weren’t that many more than usual.
    Definitely more than our fair share of lurkers, though – I found them all! :smile:
    I dithered about which spelling to use in 21d – finally went for the right one although I’m not sure how we were supposed to know.
    I liked 20 and 28a and 7 and 22d. My favourite was 27d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP – have fun in Scotland and try to behave yourself!

    1. I think that the ‘sound of’ tells you that you are looking for a homophone of the instrument,

  14. 12a & 14a & 25a – the same clue three times in one crossword(!), plus plenty of old chestnuts (17a, 20a, 24a, 3d, 5d etc).
    A classic, albeit rather simple, cryptic puzzle – a good one for the newcomers.
    Thanks to all as ever.

  15. Agree with Miffypops */***, long time since I’ve see Ms Driscoll and the blue footed one-look like it just stood in a pot of paint ! what a facial expression-thanks MP, went to a friends funeral earlier and this cheered me up.

  16. The college refered to in 22d was actually founded in 1326 and renamed in 1338.
    I suppose 1965 isn’t too far out.

      1. I was going to mention it but I decided it was Miffypops’ deliberate mistake of the day …

        I will take this opportunity to mention that Robert Plant and Alison Kraus is an unlikely but beautiful match made in music heaven. Another unlikely but beautiful musical duo well worth listening to is Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris.

        1. Couldn’t agree more with your musical mentions. The amazing Miss Krauss has won more Grammy’s than any other female artist. Emmylou Harris has a great song in The Bands farewell concert film “The Last Waltz”, which I’d recommend in its entirety.

  17. After a very enjoyable birthday week end at Twickenham I was relieved when this offering meant I did not have to use too much brainpower. My rating is 1/3 Did not need the hints but I thank MP for his blog anyway. When I saw 16D I thought that MP might illustrate it with a certain song from Blood On The Tracks.

    1. For the illustrations I look at the completed grid Graham. The clues are long forgotten. Sometimes I have to make do with scraps.

  18. Even if it was on the easier side. It’s always a pleasure to be able to complete a crossword in good time. Brings some satisfaction and a boost to one’s ego.
    Talking of which, the Mayor decided to have a little do outside the town hall (and therefore in front of Le Jardin) on Saturday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucien Aimar’s victory in the Tour de France. He was so touched. Lovely man who is still involved with the local sports associations and our beautiful Velodrome.
    I’m sure a lot of you will agree that 1966 was a good year for sports.
    Hyeres is very proud that one of its citizen won such a prestigious race.
    I told you before that we have everything down here.
    Present also was Gianni Motta who won the Giro the same year and a lot of other cyclists from that period.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  19. Thank you, don’t laugh but I was stuck on Ha Ha.

    I spent the weekend in the Outer Hebrides, can I recommend you pick up some ‘Smidge’, a Midge Net or at least a leg of Saint Sharon’s tights to help protect against the Midges up in Ardnamurchan?

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      I thought there was some skin product made by Avon that midges didn’t like??

      1. Thanks, love this blog, although never have anything worth while to contribute – Yes! Avon ‘Skin so Soft’! The crofting communities of South Harris swear by it! (As do the SAS seemingly). Hard to get though.

      2. Yes Skin so Soft. Only product that keeps the dreaded “no see ums” at bay on the west coast of Florida, and the Everglades. Sometimes works on mosquitos but not always.

        1. Hmmm – stuff the mozzies or biting bugs – think I’d be more worried about the crocs or alligators in the Everglades and it probably takes more than an Avon product to get shot of them. :sad:

      3. Agree about Skin So Soft. It is genius stuff.

        R&W re the puzzle but all the usual fun. Favourite is 1d.

        Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for a great blog.

  20. Nice straightforward Monday 😊 */*** Thanks to MP and to Rufus liked 9, 10 a and 22d 👍 The only slight “dither” was which one to put in as the answer to 21d 😕

  21. We agree with LetterboxRoy – on the easy side but nonetheless enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and MP. */***

  22. The usual start to the back page week from my Ironbridge neighbour – nothing too difficult but quite a few ‘lurkers’. I thought at one point they were going to outnumber the anagrams but, no. I liked quite a few of the clues by my two that are neck and neck on a photo finish are 2 & 5d with 17a coming in quite close.

    Thanks to Rufus for puzzle and to the Sage of Downtown LI for the review – love that one Silvanus :yes:

    MP – You’ll soon be able to qualify for residency in Scotland the number of times you’ve been on holiday – hoots mon.

  23. My type of crossword; nothing really obtuse but unsure that augur is a synonym for anticipate is it?

    1. I only have a Big Blue Book, and that defines the word as ‘to predict (some future event) from signs or omens as in “…this augurs well for us.”‘ Not spot on, but up the same street.

  24. One of the easiest puzzles I can remember!
    I rather liked 20a, though I think I’ve seen that before.
    Achanalt is where my friend from schooldays lives, my godson’s mother, so I am well familiar with all that area. We had a HUGE gathering of relatives and friends for our 70th birthdays in 2008, lots of sightseeing etc. Norman is so right about the midges, be well warned!
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the hints and entertainment.

  25. The usual pleasant start to the week.I forgot the golf club although it has come up before.
    5d is my favourite.
    Ardnamurchan sounds wonderful. We are enjoying an Indian summer here so I expect you are too, Miffypops.
    Thanks to all concerned.

    1. Astronomically and officially, summer doesn’t end until the autumnal equinox on Sept 22. But meteorologically speaking summer ends on Aug 31.

  26. It was a very wet match in Bedford too. Hope your former Blues players did you proud! Our current ones were like the weather….dire! BTW I’m a new poster but regular reader to this blog. Thanks to all the contributors for saving my sanity on many occasions but not today.

    1. Welcome to the blog Blues follower

      Isn’t English a wonderful language? Your last sentence could mean that the blog failed to save your sanity today or that you didn’t need our help today. I suspect you mean the latter.

  27. I would not say that it was a R&W for me….I haven’t scaled that dizzy height yet, but it was the quickest solve I have managed so far without aids of any kind.

    Very enjoyable and a boost to the ego…..am now awaiting tomorrow’s with trepidation…pride goeth etc etc….

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  28. A bit late on parade today after hectic weekend, but an easy trip through NW + SE; held up by 10a till realised what kind of fleet it was! Hints for 23a, 22d. I assume in 23, it’s the A from the clue, L(earner) inside old word YE (the) ? Favourites were 20a, 29a, 7d, and 27 (which I knew from my old school). A pleasant surprise too at seeing Ardnamurchan in print; heard it on the radio loads of times but never seen! **/*** Many thanks to MP and setter.

        1. It would appear from the hint that it is just ‘L’ in Yae. As you did, I took the ‘A’ from the clue with ‘L’ in Ye. Think that is correct. Maybe it can be Yea though?!

          1. I agree; In my old Ox Ilust Dy, 1962, ‘ye’ can mean ‘you’ (pers pron), or ‘the’ (abbrev. where y is the survival of the obsolete letter p=th, (it looks like a p, but I don’t have the correct font.). ‘ Yea’ is given as an archaic adverb & noun meaning ‘Yes’.

    1. I could and should have made that clearer. It is all about the edit, edit, edit but sometimes there is not a lot of time. Big Dave picks up a lot of grammatical error for which I am grateful.

  29. Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable but all too brief late workout for me. This was a 1.5*/4* puzzle with lots to admire. The lurker to grid ratio seemed quite high, and I really enjoyed 5 down.

    We had a wonderful two weeks on Loch Awe many years ago. We had a border collie who loved water, and that loch is freshwater so he could spend all day in it, which he often did.

    Thanks MP for your review and for reviving happy memories of a totally mad but adorable pet.

  30. A wet and steamy Labor Day here in S.Florida, so nice to be inside with this rather kind Rufus puzzle. Still needed Miffypops hints to finish, thanks! Pity those planning a barbecue this afternoon. Daughter and son-in-law hosting as usual, but looks as if we will be eating indoors.

  31. Yes, it’s very gentle, but what’s wrong with that? It’s a joyous little puzzle to get the week off on the right foot: 1*/4*. I liked 31a, but for me 5d gets the prize as top clue. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for an enjoyable review. Enjoy a lovely slice of Scotland!

  32. Another struggle for me with Rufus. 13ac, and in particular 27d, could have been anything as far as I was concerned, even with all the checking letters. Went with FLUSH for 24ac. Gah. Not the most auspicious start to the week.

  33. Had no idea about 27d and needed to reveal the answer to get it. I checked the BRB and sure enough.
    That apart, the c/w was fine for me, so will have been a walk in the part for most.
    5d was my fav, thanks to MP and Rufus.

  34. Kitty and co enjoyed this gentle introduction to the day. Mr K had done most of it before I woke up but I was able to catch up while he took a break to make me breakfast. (Yes, that sound you can hear is a distant purr.)

    We won’t laugh at Norman (#21) because we also struggled with 27d.

    Mr K’s favourite (and a whisker away from being mine too) is 13a; we too wondered if this might be a tit. Interesting that our resident birder was silent on this front. Anyway, it’s an opportunity for me to re-share a recent favourite from the last Samuel puzzle:

    We enjoyed (for silly reasons) 6d, 8d, 15d (am I tempting fate by venturing to suggest I’ve finally got these cricket ones covered?) and 16d. My favourite is 18d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. Enjoy Scotland. Have they been warned?

  35. Good evening everybody.

    I thought this was an above par Monday puzzle difficulty wise. Mostly straightforward enough but requiring some thought in the north east corner. The main culprit here was 10a so I’ll nominate that as favourite.


  36. Enjoyed this and even experienced the joys of R&W for a few minutes at the beginning. It must be so great always to be able to do a crossword in that way…the “completed this over a cup of coffee” situation that is beyond my dreams!
    Liked 27d and 20a, probably an old chestnut but amused me and 13a. Needed to consult him outdoors for the sporting clues, 15d and 29a.
    Thanks to the setter and MP for the hints.

  37. Did the first half standing on the platform at London Bridge waiting for the train home, which was late, of course, and the second half on the train while resisting the temptation to tell all my fellow travellers to GET YOUR ******* FEET OFF THE SEATS! I thought Rufus had his beginner’s guide hat on today, but I loved 2d (outright winner) and the very worthy runner-up at 6d. Ta to Rufus and the northbound Poppymiff. 1*/3*

  38. I was so encouraged yesterday that I chanced a stab at the other broadsheet, The G******n puzzle, then noticed it was set by Rufus. Am I correct in thinking it’s the same setter? (I didn’t get as far with this one, but will persevere!)

    1. Yes it is the same setter. Mr Roger Squires. The name is worth a google. He is a very interesting man

  39. Hi all, on 2d did anyone notice this is a reverse double definition, i.e. GAS and LIGHT can both be synonyms for NEON!
    Very enjoyable grid thanks to MP and Rufus, 3/2

Comments are closed.