DT 28259 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28259

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28259

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I do sometimes wish I could write these hints as succinctly as Deep Threat does on Fridays but I cannot so you are stuck with my verbosity (verbal diarrhoea) 

The hints and tips below may or may not help you to solve or understand today’s puzzle. They are the work of an amateur.

The illustrations may or may not have anything at all to do with clue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Easiest word that may be misspelt (8)
SIMPLEST:  Anagram (may be) of MISSPELT

6a    It’s not intended for the understanding of our betters (3-3)
TICTAC:  Betters here are those gambling at a racecourse or dog track. This is a cryptic definition of a system once used by bookmakers to convey odds to one another. Now rendered obsolete by the use of the computer and the welcome removal of John McCririck from our TV screens

  ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a    Undaunted, he leads or retreats in command (6)
HEROIC:  Lift the word HE from the clue. Add the reversal (retreats) of the word OR and add the initial letters of the words In Charge. 

10a    Clear new translation for writer, one associated with Arabia (8)
LAWRENCE:  An anagram (translation) of CLEAR NEW will lead to the name of a British author, archaeologist, military officer and diplomat who ought to have steered well clear of motorcycles

11a    Leg bound to be broken by heavy stick (8)
BLUDGEON:  Anagram (to be broken) of LEG BOUND. This heavy stick could be used by crossword editors upon those setters who put too many anagrams into a single puzzle. Oops sorry. I did say I would not mention this again. It is 5.30am and I am laughing at the image of Mr Squires being beaten with a heavy stick for over indulging the anagram count 

12a    Hold and tie in knots (6)
DETAIN: Anagram (in knots) of AND TIE

13a    Noughts, for example, used in rough estimates? (5,7)
ROUND FIGURES:   A double definition. Noughts are circular.  They are also numbers, especially ones which form parts of official statistics or relate to the financial performance of a company.

16a    I ensure visit is arranged to places of higher education (12)
UNIVERSITIES: I am sure that this in a jumpoutatcha anagram of the words I ENSURE VISIT as indicated by the words is arranged. The word IS might be involved but as the answer is so obvious I am not counting letters. Did anybody really need a pencil for this one?

19a    Delays getting theatre seats (6)
STALLS:   A signature Rufus double definition. The second meaning the seats on the floor of a theatre. 

21a    Frightened, I can offset accepting new pain (2,1,5)
IN A PANIC:  Golly bongs. A double anagram and an insertion. Take an anagram (offset) of I CAN and insert (accepting) an anagram (new) of PAIN. 

23a    Disease of fruit, we hear, being duplicated (8)
BERIBERI:  Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. A homophone (we hear)  on the doubled name of fruits such as straw and rasp

24a    I am given place at Cambridge finally, gaining credit (6)
IMPUTE:  take the abbreviated form of I am. Add a verb meaning to place something in a particular location and add the final letter of Cambridge. 

25a    Student losing his head who deserves what he gets (6)
EARNER:  Take our usual crosswordland student and remove the first etter (losing his head) to find one who receives a wage

26a    Knight requires weapon — and fortune (8)
LANCELOT:  one of the knights of the round table can be found by placing a noun meaning ones luck fortune or destiny after a weapon comprised of a long wooden shaft and a pointed steel head


2d    Ladies in fashion becoming models (6)
IDEALS:  Anagram (in fashion) of LADIES

3d    Stuck up — literally and metaphorically (5)
PROUD:  Here we have only one definition which is STUCK UP. The words literally and metaphorically in the clue make it a double definition. One means having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance. The other means slightly projecting from a surface.

4d    Former US supermarket cashier reportedly in accounts department (9)
EXCHEQUER:   The accounts department for which we have a chancellor can be derived from this clue by using our usual preposition for former and a homophone of the word used by Americans for a supermarket cashier 

5d    Like vultures, only found in the borders of Thailand (7)
TALONED:  place a word meaning isolated or on one’s own inside the outer letters (borders of) T(hailan)D

6d    Dragged to the altar? (5)
TOWED:  Split 2,3 The best ever reason to turn up in Church. I am glad that I did. I’m not so sure that Saint Sharon can say the same

7d    Old jokes they crack at Christmas (9)
CHESTNUTS: a double definition. One meaning old jokes and one being a foodstuff popular at Christmas. In my experience opening them is more a form of peeling than cracking

8d    Records where bees live under the rainbow? (8)
ARCHIVES:  Well where do we keep bees? Place that after the name of the part of the circumference of a circle that a rainbow might be

13d    So evil — run out showing disgust (9)
REVULSION:  Anagram (out) of SEE EVIL RUN

14d    The impression one gives is false (9)
IMITATION:  The impression an impersonator might give of somebody else

15d    Article probing song on a subject a person cannot stand (8)
ANATHEMA: The song here is one of epic proportions The letter A (article) needs to be entered (probing) and the whole lot placed before (on in a down clue) the letter A from the clue

17d    Beginning a letter (7)
INITIAL:  A double definition. The beginning letter of a word 

18d    Writer with good man seen inside foreign restaurant (6)
BISTRO:   Place our usual good man inside the common name for a ballpoint pen named after the inventor of said item

20d    Lead an ox (5)
STEER:  Another easy double definition 

22d    It brought to notice the gravity of the world’s position (5)
APPLE:  A cryptic definition of the fruit that led Sir Isaac Newton to work out what gravity is, how it works and how it influences the solar system. There has never been a greater Englishman.

Helped along by Stevie Wonder. Superstition. Living For The City. He’s Mistra Know It All, Boogie On Reggae Woman and Sir Duke.

The Quick Crossword pun: WHIM+SICKLE=WHIMSICAL

69 comments on “DT 28259

  1. All fairly straightforward, once I had realised that I had got the second word in 13a wrong. Anybody else do that? **/**

    1. Re 13a – I tried to, but I had already solved 8d so, with its last but one letter being a checker in 13a, it was obvious that the ‘wrong’ word would not work.

    2. Yes, me too – I had ‘xxxxxxx’ and it screwed me up for quite a while – apart from that it was ‘Anagram City’.

      I hate Halloween, Americanised rubbish – it’s something we never had when I was a kid – Fireworks night was the thing for us!

      1. I agree with you completely about Halloween.
        We always did fireworks when we were kids and then did them in an even bigger way when our Elder Lamb was born on November 5th – trust her to be born on the noisiest day of the year.

        1. I agree about H’ween, too. I shall remain in my sitootery at the back of the house and not answer the doorbell, which doesn’t work anyway.

    3. Nearly, but held off until I got 14d as I had two strong contenders for second word in 13a, but first choice turned out to be right amazingly.

    4. Us too. Apart from that hiccup it was a delightful but simple solve. 1.5/4 from us. Thanks to MP and to Rufus for a lovely start to the week.

  2. Out of interest, I thought it was ‘bad form’ to have a clue that could lead to 2 different correct answers (such as 13a). Or am I mistaken?

  3. Quite an easy solve, even for a Monday. I did like 1a and 4d, hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more of a challenge. 1*/1.5* Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  4. Completed comfortably before lights out last night even with two hours less solving time (in a time zone one hour closer to UK this week, and clocks don’t ‘fall back’ until this coming weekend) – 1.5*/3*.

    Agree with MP on peeling 7d rather than cracking them.

    Favourite 22d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP

  5. Pretty easy and an easy canter for the week ahead, many thanks to setter and Miffypops, always an amusing blog.

  6. I was going to say 13a was my favourite until I realised I’d got the second word wrong! So now they are 25a and 4d. Fairly easy but good fun and I agree with Miffypops’ rating.
    Now, I’ve still got a few from yesterday’s to finish.
    Thanks all.

    1. Everyone seems to have got the second word wrong for 13a, I cant think of any other answer apart from the correct one?

      1. I, too, only thought of the correct one and had to think hard to come up with the wrong one.

        1. Same for me Merusa, only when I saw the blog did I think there could be an alternative

  7. 1*/4*. Great fun as usual. I thought we were in for an anagram-fest after finding six of the first nine across clues were of that ilk, but only two more popped up later in proceedings.

    6d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP, who is looking eerily like a Nobel Prize winner in his latest avatar.

  8. Straightforward, even anodyne for me.
    The clip for 6a reminded me of my Grandad who, although only 5′ 0″”, used to be one at the old Castle Irwell track in Manchester. Remember the gloves.
    Thanks to setter & Miffypops for review. Noting a 50% anagram count in the first 6 across clues I wondered what was to come! The contrast in styles of reviewers is what makes the site what it is. In my view a course of verbal Imodium should be avoided at all costs.

  9. Done in a trice partly due to anagram overload but not a lot of jollity or challenge en route. Thanks Rufus and MP. */**. John McCririck and his tic-tacking much missed!

  10. Hmm, the website (or more likely my iPad) just threw a wobbly and my half completed comment simply disappeared.
    So here we try again….
    I must say I didn’t find today’s offering quite so easy as most on here appear to say, but I did complete it in reasonable time. Whatever that may mean!
    9a was my favourite once I had finally decided that a palindrome it wasn’t.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for his review.

  11. This week started where last week ended and another R&W for me, a few smiles so a */***, favourite 8d- thought the Sunday Telegraph was difficult and my ‘puzzle of the week’

  12. Hello from Mr and Mrs Sheffieldsy, who today alighted in Alice Springs and were most surprised that it wasn’t as hot as an oven. Several beers, a rather nice pizza, which we watched being made and then this crossword made for a marvellous end to the day, Btw, Alice is one of those odd places in a time zone with X and a half hours difference, which can be confusing. It’s also the first place for a week with enough internet bandwidth to allow a video conversation with our daughter (off work ill, poor thing). Our son has now arrived in California for a year, so he’s asleep If he has any sense.

    Nice Rufus puzzle today, completed without drama. We did not like 5d, obvious though it was – what a horrid word. Favourite clue today was 12a.

    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

    1. Great getting another snapshot! Remember the TV series A Town Like Alice, based on the book by Nevil Shute with the same name. He is a very fave author, not recognized enough methinks.

        1. He wrote so many good books, “Round the Bend” comes to mind, and “Trustee from the Toolroom” – I have most of them on my Kindle.

          1. The only one I’ve read & that was over 50 years ago at school was pied piper which kept my young mind occupied.

  13. Very quick and very nice.
    I recommend Chifonie’s puzzle in the Guardian today.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  14. The answers were exposed but their nakedness did not offend me as I had finished this entertaining Rufus puzzle. Lots of good stuff and as usual I liked the medically orientated 23a but it was beaten by the clever 21a. Effortlessly lighthearted stuff before this ghoulish night. Thanks to MP, I don’t think Immodium should be taken just yet!

  15. An enjoyable romp and must admit I never even considered the ‘wrong’ answer for 13a – probably just as well!
    Top two for me were 6&8d.
    Thought the ‘crack’ in 7d referred to the way the fruits split open when cooked?

    Lovely, sunny day here. Visiting newlywed daughter has gone back to Cheshire with her sister to visit their aged grandparent so all is peace for a few hours!

  16. Very gentle even by the standard of most Mondays, but Rufus never fails to deliver an enjoyable puzzle whether or not his personal old 7d are included.

    My favourites are 1a, 9a and 22d. The second half of 10a was unnecessary I felt, and its inclusion made the answer too easy.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Vincent Price.

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week, which I enjoyed a lot. A bit on the gentle side. I was held up by 22d, took ages for the penny to drop, or was it the 🍎? Last in was 24a. Favourite was 5d. Was 2*/4*for me. 8d made me laugh. Lovely warm and sunny in Kenwood.

  18. Finally completed one at a single sitting with no aids. Definitely */*** for me. Couldn’t start until after lunch as Waitrose shopping had not been completed. Will need to spend at least ten pounds from next month. Had to look up the meaning of 24a in BRB just to check it although the lego style clue was fairly conclusive. Last in was 2d (something had to be last) completely missed it was an anagram until I filled it in. No particular favourites although if pressed to pick one would pick 5d. Thanks to MP and Rufus although I have still not got the hang of identifying the setter.

    1. Hello Unicorn. If you click on the FAQ banner at the top of this page and read FAQ number 28 it will become a lot clearer.

  19. Really enjoyed this one even I spent the first 5 minutes looking at a blank grid until I found a couple of anagrams!
    Some excellent clues in 4d and 8d but my fav was 22d, a ‘smile’ clue. Good start to the week.
    Thx to all.

    1. I, too, am a huge cricket fan, especially the five day game. I honestly believe it is brilliant for the general good of the game that Bangladesh won a home test match. A shame it was against England, but someone had to lose.

  20. Well, what an easy ride today, though there was much to enjoy.
    I am torn for fave between 6d and 22d, both are so good.
    Thanks to Rufus and M’pops, er, I mean Mr. Price.

      1. That’s my bougainvillea, it blossoms from now until early summer. It likes the dry weather, not having had very dry weather for the last week, though!

        1. It’s beautiful. We have one in our garden room – it seems quite happy there – lots of light etc etc but wouldn’t risk it outside.

          1. My nun orchid outdid itself last year, when I get tired of this, I’ll change it for the nun orchid.

  21. Nice crossword both easy and entertaining 😄 */**** Thanks to MP for the blog and Rufus for the puzzle 😉 Favourites 4d & 22d 👻

  22. Late on parade today but worth the wait. 1 across easily my favourite clue in this straightforward but enjoyable tussle. 2*/4* overall with thanks to Rufus and MP.

  23. . . . and I’m even later on parade today. Haven’t adjusted to time change – did crossword early, for me anyway, and was gardening by 9.30am – totally knackered now.
    No huge problems, with the crossword anyway although the garden is a different matter – oh dear.
    I had to check 24a in the BRB – I’ve heard the word but didn’t have a clue what it meant.
    Lots of anagrams as others have commented on, four of the first six clues being that kind.
    I liked 13 and 26a and 5d. My favourite was 6d – made me laugh.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Off to Sheffield tomorrow for a couple of days – will stay with my sister and see elder nephew, his wife and my great nephew and niece and also my younger nephew – should be fun so see you all on Thursday.

  24. This was perfect train fare: of the crosswords I had for the journey back home today (yes – I made sure to overstay my welcome in York), this was by far the easiest on the head. 6d is my favourite clue.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for the entertainment.

    Finally, a big hello to all the wonderful people who made this weekend so much fun. By the way, there is nothing to substantiate any scurrilous rumours that I was fraternising with a D.O.G. If any photographic “evidence” emerges, it will have been photoshopped.

  25. I’ve had this crossword in front of me since lunchtime.
    What should have been a short hop over the channel has turned into a Halloween nightmare.
    I am still at Orly airport as I post my comment.
    Air France has graciously put me up in a hotel with free dinner and breakfast.
    Should be home tomorrow afternoon if everything goes according to the new plan.
    So I read the clues over and over again as if I didn’t know the answer and noticed there was a lot of anagrams.
    That’s the only thing I remember now.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.
    I think we should start a debate on whether nuts can be peeled or cracked.

  26. As Jane has already said: an enjoyable romp of a puzzle (just the job after a trying afternoon, part of which was spent trying to extract my boat from the clutches of a shallow patch on St Germans Lake!). I would score this 1*/3.5*, and go for 6a as favourite clue. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  27. Very enjoyable, and the closest to the fabled ‘R&W’ that little ole me has ever got to.
    I really like Rufus’ crosswords, as I seem to slot into them easily. After yesterday’s marathon, it came as a nice relief.
    Lots of super clues, 1a, 3d, 23a, 4d. Favourite was 1a.
    Many thanks MP and Rufus…

  28. An enjoyable, fairly straightforward puzzle to start the week. Solved while dog tired – the youngest wanted to Trick Or Treat, so I had to too. Such fun.

  29. Fond as I am of Rufus, I sometimes wish that he would up the difficulty level just a tad (as he did a few weeks ago) because his puzzles are great fun but nearly always over too quickly. I’m not asking for a RayT or Toughie level, but a little more head scratching would be welcome. This one slotted in in near record time and I’m afraid to say that no clue achieved favourite status as the answers tumbled in so quickly. Thanks nonetheless to Rufus and our Nobel winning blogger. 0.5*/3*

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