DT 28247

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28247

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I have swapped with Miffypops this week. What more can be said about Rufus? This usual pleasant Monday morning diversion should leave you enough time to tackle today’s Rookie Corner offering from Starhorse.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Go for a try (7)
ATTEMPT: two definitions – a verb and a noun

5a    Important match that involves the Lions? (3,4)
BIG GAME: this important, possibly football, match, describes lions as well as other wild animals

9a    Waste grounds (5)
DREGS: these grounds are like those found in the bottom of a tea or coffee cup

10a    An allusion to one’s character and ability? (9)
REFERENCE: two definitions

11a    Company moderated our panic, providing an abundant supply (10)
CORNUCOPIA: CO(mpany) followed by an anagram (moderated) of OUR PANIC

12a    Formerly in older style (4)
ERST: hidden (in) inside the clue

14a    I call round on directors and help with pressing business (7,5)
IRONING BOARD: I from the clue followed by a verb meaning to call on the telephone around ON and followed by how directors of a company are known collectively

18a    Short month — is one working with company showing stout resolution? (4,8)
FIRM DECISION: the three-letter abbreviation for a month of the year followed by IS, I (one) and the usual two-letter word meaning working all preceded by another word for a company

21a    Idle doodles gave a false impression (4)
LIED: an anagram (doodles) of IDLE

22a    A Northerner cares about a Royal occasion (5,5)
ASCOT RACES: the A from the clue followed by a person from the north of the UK and an anagram (about) of CARES

25a    Broken tile I mean to get rid of (9)
ELIMINATE: an anagram (broken) of TILE I MEAN

26a    Relation of pleasant Eastern content (5)
NIECE: an adjective meaning pleasant around (content) E(astern)

27a    Closely resembling the way a drunk walks? (7)
TIGHTLY: this could describe how a drunk might walk

28a    The varied uses for a classical hero (7)
THESEUS: THE from the clue followed by an anagram (varied) of USES


1d    Kidnap of rising graduate on Tube (6)
ABDUCT: the reversal (rising in a down clue) of one of our usual graduates is followed by a tube

2d    That man should interrupt politician showing presumption (6)
THEORY: the pronoun for “that man” inside a right-wing politician

3d    Ball made square amazingly (10)
MASQUERADE: an anagram (amazingly) of MADE SQUARE

4d    So rot affected the trunk (5)
TORSO: an anagram (affected) of SO ROT

5d    Gets cosy with bunks with strangely finer lining (9)
BEFRIENDS: some bunks or divans around (with … lining) an anagram (strangely) of FINER

6d    Horrific travel on railway (4)
GORY: a verb meaning to travel followed by R(ailwa)Y

7d    Unusual sort of moral ban (8)
ABNORMAL: an anagram (sort) of MORAL BAN

8d    Happening I’d note, arriving at close of day (8)
EVENTIDE: a happening or occurrence followed by I’D and a note in the diatonic scale

13d    Hate Jack Horner getting involved with church (10)
ABHORRENCE: a jack or sailor is followed by an anagram (getting involved) of HORNER and one of our usual churches

15d    Moving scenery as required (9)
NECESSARY: an anagram (moving) of SCENERY AS

16d    A loud and voluble description of a very rich society (8)
AFFLUENT: the A from the clue followed by the musical notation for loud and an adjective meaning voluble or articulate

17d    Instructions for aircrew, say, that’s done by barristers? (8)
BRIEFING: looks as if barristers could have given these instructions

19d    An intriguing plot? (6)
SCHEME: the whole clue could be a cryptic definition, or it could be a double definition – an intriguing and a verb meaning to plot

20d    Fool holding company capital (6)
ASSETS: a fool around a company or group

23d    Minister raised in Old Testament? That’s obvious (5)
OVERT: the reversal (raised in a down clue) of the shortened form of a minister of the church inside the abbreviation for Old Testament

24d    Great deal of money not yet used (4)
MINT: two definitions

Miffypops should be back in this slot next week.

The Quick Crossword pun: wrecked+angle=rectangle


  1. Florence

    13d made me laugh. I tried to make something of hate and corner. Had to do a google thing to see if treacheron was a real word and anything to do with a church. It’s a real word, but not one required for the clue. I did go down the sailor route and got there in the end once I’d sorted out the right definition. I think 14a and 22a have been seen fairly recently, so I was in my comfort zone. Thank you Rufus for a cheery start to the week. Your puzzles always give me a feel good factor. Thank you too BD for stepping into MPs shoes

  2. Senf

    Given that I needed assistance, in the form of cranial lubrication, from the fine folks at the Balvenie Distillery to complete Sunday’s puzzle and that Rufus has been quite tricky (for me) for several weeks, I decided to enlist the same assistance from the beginning on today’s puzzle. Guess what, the assistance was not needed (but still enjoyed) as this turned out to be one of the easiest puzzles for a long time (for me – have to keep saying that). If it were possible I would give it half a star for difficulty, but I will settle for */***.

    Favourite 14a with 16d a close second.

    Thanks to Rufus and BD.

  3. Jaylegs

    I never thought that I would say this but it was almost too straightforward 🤗 */*** Liked 5d & 12a Thanks to BD and to Rufus for a nice start to the week 👌

  4. Angel

    Well that didn’t hurt, in fact it was an enjoyable short sprint. Was initially looking for wrong sort of capital in 20d so settled on Athens before realising the error of my ways. A pleasant start to the week but no outstanding Fav. Thanks to Rufus for the fun and to BD with whose rating (**/****) I entirely agree.

  5. Rabbit Dave

    1*/4*. I found this close to R&W but none the less a lot of fun as ever on a Monday. Many thanks to Rufus and to BD.

  6. bifield

    A very pleasant start to the week, no problems at all. Favourite 14a. Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the hints.

  7. LabradorsruleOK

    There it was gone: pleasant while it lasted though.
    Calm before the storm?
    Thanks to Rufus & BD for review.
    Now for Rookie Corner perhaps.

    • LabradorsruleOK

      BD I think ‘possibly in 5a ‘involving Lions’ refers to the British Lions so the reference is to Rugby as opposed to football. Millwall fans may argue differently but I would suggest the British Lions are much more widely known. The Lions’ tour of New Zealand next year is eagerly anticipated by many, probably including 2Ks

        • LabradorsruleOK

          BD I can see that but, with temerity I, would suggest a different interpretation
          To me the clue has ‘the Lions” & that is a reference to the [British & Irish] Lions Rugby team, not lions lower case. I feel tthat ‘important match” could also be the definition. As 2Ks will attest every match involving the Lions is a ‘big game’.

        • Jose

          5a: I reckon this clue can be read either way. An important Rugby match involving the Lions could certainly be defined as a BIG GAME, but the whole clue could be an all-in-one (I think) or it would also work with “important match” as the definition in a normal cryptic. Or if you read the clue as a standard cryptic clue as in the H+T above it works as an animal theme but the capital L is of course misdirection.

  8. Ora Meringue

    Even I got through this one without help, so it is no surprise to read that the others here found it easy.
    Do I care? No. I’m just delighted to be able to finish a crossword.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  9. Kath

    Good fun but straightforward – just as well as I’ve got lots to do today – that probably means I’ll have a go at Mr Rookie next.
    I’m surprised that no-one has yet mentioned the number of anagrams – I don’t mind as I like them but eleven, I think, seems a lot.
    I think I must be missing some subtlety in 17a as I can’t see what on earth it’s got to do with aircrew – I’m probably being dim.
    I liked 5a (once I’d stopped thinking that the Lions was a team I’d never heard of) and 12a and 3 and 16d.
    With thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to BD for standing in to do the hints.

    • LabradorsruleOK

      Think you mean 17d. It refers to the briefings aircrew used to have before going on bombing raids etc.
      How’s Ted? Gone back yet?

      • Kath

        Thanks, and yes, I did mean 17d – now I get it.
        Yes – Ted has gone home now – he sent me a lovely card and a bottle of wine and promises that he’ll be back soon.

        • Merusa

          That was so nice of Ted. Any chance he could stay with you permanently and holiday with the owners when you go away?

          • Kath

            Yes – it was lovely of him – he has good taste in cards, and wine!
            No – there’s no chance of his being with us permanently. I’ve never met his owner and don’t think that he even knows we have Ted to stay sometimes – it really is such a long and complicated story – if I tried to tell it even the ‘doggy people’ on here would be bored stiff and the ‘non doggy people’ would be seriously fed-up with me.

  10. dutch

    I liked 12a because the whole clue is an extended definition.

    In 1a, interesting that Rufus just seems to have the verbal and nounal versions of the same meaning, which I think is a bit too close for a decent double definition – but then he deceives with a nice rugby surface which apparently makes it all ok.

    Many thanks Rufus & BD

    • BobH

      Its interesting how we see things. I passed English language O level without any clue as to what an adverbial clause was (or is). I therefore have no idea what your point is. To me the answer is just obvious without worrying about the niceties.
      Similarly 12a seems to me just a straightforward double definition. finally, the last thing on my mind when I solved 5a was, Rugby.
      Perhaps that’s the joy of English.
      Apologies if this comes across as carping. It’s not at all, I was just wondering out loud, as it were.

    • LetterboxRoy

      I think I agree Dutch – since ‘go’ and ‘try’ are synonymous (a bit like ‘needle’ last week).
      I had to think to find a cryptic twist to 9a, too; appears to be simply a pun of ‘grounds’.

  11. Bluebell

    For some reason had real problems with 2d. After finishing every other clue. The problem was I had convinced myself that 9a was “Dumps” which after much head scratching I realised was wrong.

  12. Brian

    Nice gentle start to the week tho I would perhaps take issue with 20d, company=set? I don’t think so and nor does the BRB.
    For me */***
    Thx to all

      • Brian

        Find set in this from my copy of the BRB:
        A person or people with whom one associates
        Any assembly of people, or of animals or birds
        An association for trade, etc, recognized as a distinct legal entity
        A society
        A subdivision of a regiment
        The crew of a ship
        A group of actors working together
        A unit of Guides
        A collective noun for a flock of wigeon
        The state of being a companion
        Friendship, companionship
        Social interaction

    • BobH

      I agree with Brian. I don’t possess a BRB. Just a Collins English Gem from school 60 years ago. The BRB is in any case out of date even before it’s printed. Just because a word is in use and therefore eligible to be included in the dictionary doesn’t mean ( in my eyes anyway) that it’s correct.
      That does of course mean that there are, quite often, meanings I feel are a tad borderline. Nevertheless I continue to solve without too many problems.

      • LetterboxRoy

        I was taught that words are constructed, but the definition of a word is it’s usage (some words, anyway).

        One of ‘sets’ many meanings/usages is as in ‘jet set’, or ”party set’, ie a ‘company’ or group of people as in ‘cast’ or ‘crew’, so for me they are synonymous enough. The definitions of the two definitely overlap, so…

        I don’t have a BRB either, but I do have a blue one the size of a breeze block which has an entire column devoted to ‘set’!

    • Jose

      Brian. The BRB Thesaurus lists set (or troupe, group, etc) as a synonym of COMPANY. Don’t forget that, because of limited space, the BRB Dictionary cannot list many one-word definitions or synonyms for each entry. I’m sure these setters use the thesaurus as much as the dictionary and if a synonym is verified in either – they’ll use it! I suspect that the setters and crossword editors would both balk at arguing with either of the BRB books.

  13. dave owens

    Did all bar 9d…thought it was dumps! Good clues. Cruised the rest without having to use refs.
    Struggling with 13a. (Recklessly.) Have got ***** but no solution. Is ‘*******’ ok for 13d?

    • Big Dave

      Welcome to the blog Dave

      Please don’t discuss other puzzles on the post for a specific puzzle – there may, for example, be solvers who will choose to tackle the quick crossword later. You should have read the Comment Etiquette before leaving your first comment, and this is covered in point 7.

      Of the checking letters you gave, the middle one is incorrect, which may be your problem. 13d is correct.

    • Florence

      Welcome to the site Dave. I nearly put ‘dumps’ into 9a too, but I read 2d which was a bit of a given. Keep on blogging. It’s nice to see new faces.

  14. Gwizz

    A rare case of starting with clue 1a and continuing on to finish on 28a having filled in all the down clues along the way. No real favourites and 1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to BD for his review.

  15. Dr M

    Enjoyable fare from Rufus. Loads of good clues but 3a made me laugh having been on safari a couple of years back and reading recently about the British lions tour soon to 2kiwi land. I’m in a particularly good mood anyway having just heard from my eldest son I’m about to become a grandad for the first time.

  16. silvanus

    As Kath rightly says it was somewhat overloaded with anagrams (I counted eleven too) which probably made it more of a read and write than usual, but no less enjoyable for that.

    Favourite clue was 5a, it made me smile too.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to BD. I would also recommend today’s Rookie puzzle from Starhorse, it’s extremely well crafted and great fun to solve.

    • Kath

      I agree with you – not just about there being eleven anagrams – :phew: nice to know that I can still count – but also about Rookie corner.

  17. Spook

    Late starting today but nevertheless an enjoyable start to the week, I predict storms ahead.
    Favourite clues 11a and 13d. The lurker at 12a WA spotted last with another “doh” moment.
    Thanks to Big Dave and Rufus **/*** for me.

  18. Mycall

    This is the first time for a long time that I have not needed any help to solve the puzzle. Perhaps it was easy but I like to think that I am improving! Thank you everyone!

  19. hoofityoudonkey

    Greetings from Turkey 🍗, lovely and sunny.
    Nice and easy, except I put ‘dumps’ for 9a, so needed BD to put me straight.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  20. Beaver

    Around a **/*** for me , appreciated a non taxing start to the week as the weekend was mainly concerned with a couple of friends parties and I have to admit too much quaffing took place.
    Anyway all seemed to enjoy the Monday Rufus, my favourite was the surface read of 10a.
    Thanks BD , didn’t know that 28a was left handed !

  21. Heno

    Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A very straightforward start to the week. Plenty to make me smile. Started with 4d, finished with 19d. Favourite was 11a, what a lovely word. Was 1*/3* for me.

  22. BusyLizzie

    Thank you to Rufus for a crossword I could actually finish without help, yay! Got held up in 20d looking for a capital city until I realized it wasn’t that sort of capital. And wrongly put in pile for 24d at first. But once I put in 27a I saw my error. Thanks Big Dave for this great site. A rare day when I don’t need some hints.

  23. Merusa

    I was never more on Rufus’s wavelength! This was almost R&W for me.
    Like BusyLizzie, I was looking for a capital city in 20d, last one in.
    I enjoyed this very much, I think fave is 11a, it sounds so lush.
    Thanks to Rufus and to BD for stepping in for M’pops.

  24. LetterboxRoy

    Pleasing to see new folk being eased into solving, and this is a lovely starter from Rufus. The sun shines in Crosswordland. :smile:

    Thanks to all as ever.

  25. omar

    Easiest for a long time for me – but on the plus side, everything fair, nothing obscure, some amusing clues, overall a v enjoyable puzzle…

  26. jean-luc cheval

    Nothing to frighten the horses as it is often said in the blog.
    Talking of which, 22a reminded me of the time I was invited to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot after being duly sponsored by a friend and having hand written my request to the Equerry of the Queen at St James Palace. Never got the chance to speak to her though. She would have remembered meeting a man named horse surely.
    Thanks to Rufus and to BD for the review.

  27. Jon_S

    */** for difficulty, and would have been much quicker if it hadn’t been for the far SW corner which took far longer than it should have. Pleasantly surprised that I knew how to spell 11ac. :-)

  28. Orphan Annie

    Happy old person, I love anagrams so am well pleased to have 11a of them. Thanks to Rufus and BD, still have to do GK from Saturday so perhaps I had better get on with it.

  29. Salty Dog

    What a jolly Monday puzzle – rather a doddle, but plenty of smiles. My favourite was 8d – which was a slow, capacious but forgiving yacht back in the 60s. I haven’t seen one for years. Thanks to Rufus and BD.

  30. Jane

    A nice way to ease into the crossword week and sufficiently short and sweet not to interfere with today’s plans to walk Kitty’s socks off before she leaves the island tomorrow.
    No stand-out favourite although I rather liked the two long ones at 14&18a and the word itself at 11a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to BD for the review.

    • Kath

      Ah – pleased to see a comment from you. I was just wondering if you and Kitty had fallen into the drink, and you can take that whichever way you like!

      • Jane

        Well….. I did almost manage to lose her somewhere round Carmel Head this afternoon but retrieved her just before darkness fell, so – the second type of ‘drink’ you alluded to is now being consumed by way of being a restorative!

  31. Kitty

    I enjoyed this, but don’t have anything much to add by way of comment. It’s all been said. (Besides, having fallen into – not the drink (not that one anyway, Kath!) – but the Anglesey Triangle and thus walked somewhat further than originally intended, the crossword now seems a very long time ago.)

    Many thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to BD for the blog.

  32. Tstrummer

    Straightforward but fun. 14a, 13d and 8d all tickled the palate, but 27a was the main course. Thanks to BD and the evergreen Rufus for their efforts. Must go early to bed now as I start a course of physiotherapy in the morning. 1*/3*

  33. Young Salopian

    I did this Monday morning and found it straightforward but great fun, as is normal for a Rufus offering. 1.5*/3.5* overall with belated thanks all round.

  34. Simon Clarke

    Hi Big Dave
    I have just received not one but two runner-up prizes for Sat Crossword 28240. (not sure why I received two)
    I suspect you/your tips may have helped me in this…I can’t remember what the clues were.
    If you would like one of the prizes (Telegraph Pad and Pen) I will send you one.




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