DT 28223 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28223

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28223

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Saint Sharon and I are home now in the heart of Downtown LI. Our trip to Scotland is in the past but we are looking forward to returning next year.

We stayed at the excellent Willowford Farm on Hadrian’s Wall on Saturday night and enjoyed a long stroll next to the wall yesterday. It is an amazing piece of history and knocks China’s great wall into a cocked hat.

Today Rufus is on tricky side. The first four clues went straight in but after that the clues needed teasing out helped along as checkers fell into place.

Two types of transport are provided to take us where the weather is nice and we can snack on eggs from happy hens and a speciality from Devon A wordsmith will write songs and a musician will play them. Bliss.

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

Definitions are underlined. If none of the above helps please ask away. An explanation will quickly appear.

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    Favourable weather forecast but fear it’s incorrect (3,4)
SET FAIR: Anagram (incorrect) of FEAR IT’S

5a    Female, off-colour with drink, buys petrol (5,2)
FILLS UP: A charade of F( emale) a word meaning off colour or poorly and a verb meaning to drink

9a    Song words used in Joely Richardson’s composition? (5)
LYRIC: hidden amongst the words in the clue.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a    Special care teams in production of a Devon speciality (5,4)
CREAM TEAS: This is an anagram of CARE TEAMS. The indicator could be either special or in production. Take your pick ( I think it is ‘in production’. The word special is there to help the surface reading)

11a    Organs where sensation and circulation may be closely linked (10)
NEWSPAPERS: A cryptic description of a tabloid or broadsheet mass media tool. Sensational stories boost circulation figures

12a    He won’t come out from his cabin (4)
SCAB: Another hidden word. One that I have never liked

14a    Over the hill? (4,4,4)
PAST ONE’S PEAK: A cryptic way of saying ones better days are behind us. Note the word hill in the clue. It points us to the last word of the answer

18a    A linesman who has won national recognition (4,8)
POET LAUREATE: This person writes rhyming verse for national occasions

Bloody men are like bloody buses –
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators,
Offering you a ride.
You’re trying to read the destination,
You haven’t much time to decide.

If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you’ll stand there and gaze
While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.

Wendy Cope

21a    What we have is time, we hear (4)
OURS: a homophone using short periods of time and making it sound like things we possess

22a    Run to get singer an instrument (6,4)
DOUBLE BASS: I am not completely sure about this one. The instrument is large, stringed and can be bowed or plucked. In betting terms the first word indicates a bet that runs on if successful. The singer is at the lower end of the octave.  Thanks to Colin in comment number one (backed up by Rabbit Dave) the first word is a military term meaning to move at twice the usual speed; run.

25a    Contract debts without interest (9)
INCURIOUS: To contract or become subject to followed by our usual crosswordland debts or promises to pay such debts.

26a    Complex network holds one source of oil (5)
MAIZE: a complex network such as a labyrinth holds the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one. I often wonder that it Olive oil is made from Olives and Linseed oil is made from Linseed what is Baby oil made from?

27a    Blissful state of cats? Yes, if groomed (7)
ECSTASY: Anagram (if groomed) of CATS YES

28a    Important stranger in street (7)
SALIENT: A stranger or foreigner with the abbreviation for street


1d    It’s rigidly applied for medical reasons (6)
SPLINT: A rigid brace usually used to prevent broken bones from moving

2d    Brought down like a wrestler — move worth a point? (6)
THROWN: Anagram ( move) of WORTH and a point of the compass

3d    Not bad welcome? (10)
ACCEPTABLE : A double definition. The second meaning pleasing

4d    Short summary concerning capital investment (5)
RECAP: Our usual suspect for concerning is followed by something worn on the head

5d    Such farm products are supplied without batteries (4-5)
FREE RANGE: This is the name given to the keeping of hens for egg production that gives them the run of the land rather than confining them in tiny cages for life.

6d    Member of Muslim Brotherhood (4)
LIMB: This member is an arm or a leg, either will do. You can find it lurking away within the words of the clue. Did you know that hidden words must be hidden on both sides? Naked edges are not allowed so I hope these members are fully covered.

7d    Draws south on boats (8)
SKETCHES: S from south and the plural of a type of two-masted boat

8d    What its user may have to do if there’s a puncture (8)
PUSHBIKE: Split 4,4 this is what a cyclist might do with his machine to get home. As an eight letter word it is his machine

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

13d    Hailstorm breaks out around East — it’s to do with temperature (10)
ISOTHERMAL: Anagram (breaks out) of HAILSTORM around the letter E(ast)

15d    Redundancy among grammarians? (9)
TAUTOLOGY: A cryptic definition of a word meaning to use too many words where fewer or one would do. I, myself, personally would never ever be guilty of such a thing

16d    It may attract, or just the contrary (8)
OPPOSITE: They say that these attract. They are however poles apart

17d    Withdraws both note and pamphlets (8)
RETRACTS: The second note of a popular musical scale is followed by pamphlets usually of a religious style

19d    Getting a hundred into line is easy (6)
FACILE: A from the clue and the Roman numeral for one hundred is placed inside a line usually of people and often single

20d    Lock up, after a protest (6)
ASSERT: A word meaning a lock of hair is reversed (up) and placed after the letter A from the clue

23d    A follower employs public transport (5)
BUSES: A follower? The letter that follows A in the alphabet. That is followed by a word meaning employs. Together they form a single or double decker form of transport. I have not seen the A follower indication of the letter B for some time. It used to be a standard ploy that I saw often but never twigged. A fellow puzzler put me right in the days before blogs such as this.

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

24d    Two articles to take in about district (4)
AREA: Place our usual suspect for about and surround it with two single letter articles.

It is good to be home. That’s Monday sorted then.

The Quick Crossword pun: inn+cube+bait=incubate

73 comments on “DT 28223

  1. 22a, double is a military term to move quickly, ” at the double”, which makes better sense than the bet.

    Thanks for the review, cleared a few things up.

    1. Thank you Colin. It is there in Google definitions. Quite far down and easily missed. I did wonder when I typed in Double Defuinition if I would get the meaning of a crosswordland double definition

  2. I found this quire friendly until I struggled mightily over 18a. Even with all the cross check letters in I still could not fathom this one! I feared it was some English person from sports for a long time!

    Ah – the solution really was obvious and I should have thought of it earlier – a well misdirected clue!

  3. 1*/4*. The usual Monday fun which all fell into place quite quickly.

    27a was my favourite, and no doubt will be Kitty’s favourite too.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  4. For me, and I will have to disagree with MP, this was a very gentle Rufus puzzle after what I have considered to be several weeks of somewhat tricky puzzles from him (for the first time in quite a long time I qualified for the bonus points when I submitted through the puzzle web site to check my answers).

    Surely 8d should be hyphenated, as shown in Chambers Crossword Dictionary, or is this another example of lowering grammatical standards by default?

    10a – organs was used in the same way one day last week – is there collusion between setters?

    Joint favourites 18a and 13d.

    */*** – thanks to Rufus and MP for a very pleasant start to the week.

  5. Enjoyable, plenty of witty clues – must have been in tune this week. The Rufus in the Grauniad is looking good so far as well. Thanks to all.

  6. Hope to be back soon but OH’s health problem causing grief, crosswords have taken back seat. Still read blog most days but solving has passed me by as by the time I get to evening I am too tired to concentrate.

  7. Wasn’t sure about 3d thinking it may have ended in ance but 18a, my favourite, cleared that up. I took 22a ‘at the double’ route to get that answer. Only got 11 because it came up a few days ago and I hadn’t forgotten 😊. **/***. Thanks all.

  8. Lovely. Favourite is 8d.

    Excellent advice in 6d, MP

    10a, I think special is the anagram indicator (you’re not allowed to have extra words just for the surface). “in production of” is the link to the definition, as in ‘making the (answer)’.

    Surprisingly the Rufus in the Guardian today is much easier than this one – normally its the other way around.

    Many thanks Rufus and thank you MP for a superb review

    1. I did take note Dutch. My test solver was told “Thank you. Your comments have been noted and may be acted upon or ignored ” That would be jolly unfair to say to you and Encota though. Most helpful, thanks. the next one is well underway.

    2. Also, 15d could be applied to 10a – with “special” and “speciality”. As in MP’s hint for 22a: “completely sure”?

  9. There I was thinking whoopee a write in at last, it was not to be the SW corner for some reason brought me to a halt, apart from 18a which caused some head scratching there is nothing worse than try to find obscure wordsmiths and then the usual doh moment. How I remember those “double” and speed marches.
    I reckon **/*** for me.pretty gloomy in North Cornwall.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  10. Really enjoyed todays offering. I usually struggle with puzzles from Rufus, but there was a good mix of clues. Last ones in were 15d and 25a. 3.5*/4* Many thanks to both Rufus and Miffypops.

  11. A different kind of Rufus crossword to the ones we’ve had recently – well, that’s what I thought anyway – back to being more like what we expect.
    If we hadn’t had 11a in the last few days I’d probably have taken longer to get it.
    16d took too long and 18a caused so much trouble – I was suspecting cricket – that I began to doubt the ending of my 3d.
    I liked 5 and 8d. My favourite is either 27a or 23d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP – glad you’ve had a good time in Scotland and that it’s good to be home. Among many other things my Dad always said that if it was nice to be home again then the holiday had done its job.

  12. Found this genrally straightforward with a few hesitations, mostly self-induced. Satisfying to solve with some nice clues. 5d COTD for me although it is probably a chestnut.
    Thanks to setter & MP for hints and explanations.

  13. Of course, it might have helped if I didn’t keep trying to use the 12a clue (which I’d already solved) to solve 14a. I was convinced ” deck” had to come into it somewhere…….I don’t like Mondays…..

  14. I’d rate this as difficulty 1*. I finished it before I’d even drunk a quarter of my beer. Easiest I’ve seen for a long time.

  15. Found this a virtual R&W except perhaps for bits of the SE corner. Lots of lurkers but I did like 18a.
    Thx to all

  16. I have found your blog so very useful being both informative and light hearted.This from a thicko who has struggled with crosswords for years.Many thanks.

    1. Hello Nigel. Light heartedness sets this site apart from the stuffy sites. It is only a crossword puzzle after all. Welcome from me too

  17. I started off well, but slowed down as I moved south, so a **/*** for me. Took ages to solve 8d for some reason, liked 16d. Struggled with 15d until all the checking letters went in, must be the over indulgent weekend in Beaumaris. Clever cluing today all roundand thanks to Mp’s.

  18. Thanks MP for a great set of hints…frustratingly, I am reaching the stage where I can solve all bar one or two clues, this has been the case for about the last five day’s crosswords. Today, I could not fathom out 25a and 26a without the hints…I suppose that I must be getting better if I can get that far, but it’s far more satisfying to complete without hints.
    3d – I had the wrong ending, until I worked out who the ‘linesman’ was (we call the Assistant Referees now) in 18a, that corrected 3d. 18a was my favorite clue, as not for one minute did I think it referred to those helpful chaps who put the flag up for me on a Saturday afternoon.
    Looking forward to a good run at the crossword this week as this is a Ray-T free week!!
    Thanks again to MP for the hints and Rufus for the crossword which I have marked down as a score-draw.

    1. I agree that being able to finish a crossword apart from one or two clues is terribly frustrating – almost worse than not being able to do it at all. Keep at it – it’ll all be fine. :smile:

    2. Unfair advantage that – you knew the linesman wasn’t connected with football so poet immediately sprang to mind!
      Incidentally why, at least at the top level, are there not 4 assistants? Half the game one of the assistants is usually 50 yards or more from the action.

      1. Hi LR-OK,
        4 assistants…Jose Morinho would still find something to moan about. Referees run a diagonal (or a ‘lazy ‘S” as we are trained), so that in theory an official should never be more than 20 yards from the ball.

        1. Hi Hoofit,
          Sorry I didn’t mean to be rude.
          Just there is is so much going on these days & decisions are subject to more & more scrutiny the referee needs more help. You will probably disagree but I hope this trial they are doing in the US will fulfill it’s early promise.

        1. Not really as if one puts his flag ( presuming it is still called a flag) it would signal an offence . To paraphrase an old saying two flags are better than one. In my view the extra linesmen (sorry Hoofit it’s been linesman for over 70 years, too old to change now) would have been more use than those two they stuck on the goal line a year or so ago.

  19. I agree with senf about this offering from Rufus. I had been getting cranky these last few Mondays requiring the hints to finish the last few clues, but no such trouble today. 18a was my favourite but there were a lot of good clues to choose from.

  20. fairly straightforward with a little holdup in the SE corner. Very enjoyable so thanks to the setter and MP for the review. We’re planning on visiting Capilano and Grouse Mountain this week – just because we can 😀

  21. Top half was R&W but i struggled with the bottom half. Pushed me into *** time. Ignoring the ‘hill’ clue for the last word in 14a didn’t help either. Got there in the end though. Thanks to Rufus and MP – like you I struggled with the workings for 22a so extra thanks to Colin and RD.

  22. A gentle offering from Rufus but very enjoyable. Been awhile since I’ve seen the 23s construct. Thought 8d was good fun.

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

  23. Rufus’s puzzles are always my wavelength, but my last in, and the one I had the most problem with, was 26a! Probably because we never use that word here, it’s corn oil, or ears of corn. I feel very stupid.
    There were so many fun clues, I liked 18a, 8d, 27a, and many more, but my fave was 10a as it made my mouth water!
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the entertaining hints. Welcome home!

  24. I found this trickier than usual, but still great fun.
    My favourite is 25a.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  25. A lot of fun imho – nothing too hard but the SW corner held its secrets close its chest. Lots of really good cryptic clueing going on with far too many favourites to try and single out one. However, I will pick out 22a as a winner – just because Rufus slips in some sort of military term on a regular basis

    I always will remember hearing ‘DOUBLE’ shouted from some Chief GI when ambling over the quarter deck or parade ground at HMS Ganges. Sigh!

    Thanks to Rufus for the enjoyment and to McMiffypops for his review.

    I am nearing the completion of a ‘one off’ puzzle with a partial blog theme that I hope BD may deign to post on the blog – we’ll see.

    I will see you all tomorrow – as it is I in the blogging chair.

    Btw – lovely seeing you on the blog again Hanni.

  26. Struggled with a handful in bottom left corner – and then had that “groan moment” when I came here for some hints – so thank you MP. Made the same mistake with 3d putting the wrong ending on which caused a bit of grief – but I got there in the end!

  27. I’m having one of my periodic attempts to get the knack of the cryptics and was delighted to find this friendly corner of the web. This is the first one that I’ve managed more than half the clues without any help so I’m definitely improving, thanks entirely to this site. Thank you!

  28. Welcome home, MP. It’s good to see you, and good too that we’re not welcoming you back onto the blog – it was very nice of you to take the time during your holiday to entertain us.

    We’re quite busy with non-crosswordy things, but did find time for a fluffy Rufus.

    Mr Rabbit is quite right – 27a wins the purrs.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP. I enjoyed the poetry, oils and tautology.

  29. This late in the day I have not much to add to the previous comments. This was definitely Rufus at his most benign, yet there enough little teasers to stretch the grey cells and the time taken. Enjoyable too. That said, this was 1.5*/3* for me with thanks all round.

  30. We’re with Senf @5, and not with MP, in finding this rather simple today. Which is a shame since it was over quickly and we were really having fun doing it. In fact, Mrs Sheffieldsy commented, “that was easy-peasy”.

    We liked 20d, but elect 8d as our top clue today.

    Did anybody else think that song words (plural) should result in lyrics (also plural) or should I retreat to my pedants club again?

    Thanks to MP and Rufus.

    1. Pedant’s club, surely – or perhaps pedants’ club? A lyric consists of words, doesn’t it?

  31. Late on parade as it’s been a busy day. Lovely puzzle from Rufus with only the linesman causing any real hold up.
    Top three places going to 25a plus 5&8d with a special mention for 27a because I can imagine the smile on Kitty’s face when she read it!

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the eclectic mix of words and music. Glad to hear that you had such a good holiday. Does cribbage season start again soon?

  32. No time for puzzles over the weekend so great to be back in the old routine. Altogether a pleasant stroll through the clues. 15d now added to my vocabulary. Good to have MP’s parsing of 23d. Would probably not have sorted 25d without help. Liked the 4a lurker. Thank you Rufus and MP. ***/***.

  33. Right up my street today, thanks Rufus and Miffypops. 18a held me up till I read the hint, having wandered around sports for the answer. 8d was favorite just because we have not heard that term for years, not be used in the US. 22a sprang to mind quickly as I already had the B from 23d. “On the double, lads” sprang to immediately to mind, probably from Dad’s Army.

  34. Certainly easier than last week’s, but with a few at the end that were a little tricky. Last in the combination of 22/20. I hope 14ac wasn’t self-criticism by Rufus – this was as good as ever.

  35. 26a was last one in as I had the wrong source of oil until the penny dropped. Other than that, it was fairly plain sailing. A relief as I’ve found the last few Monday’s a tad on the tricky side. Welcome back Miffypops. Glad you enjoyed your time at Hadrian’s Wall. Husband and I were in different years at school, but we both had history field trip digs at Vindolanda. Thank you for the review, and thank you Rufus for a delightful puzzle.

    1. I never use maps to get anywhere Florence. I do own a road atlas that shows Hadrians Wall as Under Construction

  36. The cold snap we experienced didn’t really last. Back to hot again.
    This crossword didn’t take very long either but was quite refreshing after a long day.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  37. Good to see Rufus returning to form after a couple of more taxing Mondays. This one slid together like two snakes in a lard factory. I particularly liked the old chestnut in 22d. Other contenders for a celebratory strum were 2d and 18a. Welcome back, MP. I nearly popped in for some light refreshment on Saturday lunchtime, but then remembered that you were in a better place. And thanks to the extraordinarily talented Rufus – I did your puzzle at the bus stop in the dark after my train was cancelled. Again. 1*/3*

  38. Top half in before fell asleep – bottom half followed when I woke up. SE last for me – and for some reason 20d the very last. Certainly much more like our Monday Rufus and no less enjoyable as a result. Thanks all – enjoyed reading all your comments particularly from the newcomers

  39. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very straightforward start to the week. I raced through this, then was held up by 3d, which I eventually got, and 20d, which I made more difficult by spelling the second word of 22a across as base. Doh, took me ages to see that. Once I did, I got 20d which was last in. Favourite was 25a. Was 2*/3* for me. Must try and catch up with the puzzles today!

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