DT 28265 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28265

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28265

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good day to one and all. Our marvellous autumn continues. There is not a cloud in the sky here in the heart of Downtown LI. The village bonfire and firework display was a great success. Roll on Christmas.

Rufus gives us our usual gentle entry to the crosswording week albeit with a sting or two to make us think.

Those of you struggling to find the answer to 9ac in Saturdays prize puzzle will find the amusing answer on today’s letters page.

Below are my hints and tips to today’s puzzle. I hope they are of help to those who need it.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Minor investors’ allotments? (13)
SMALLHOLDINGS: A nice double definition to start the puzzling week. The first needs to be enumerated 5,8 and the second stands alone.

10a Loving the commotion and the band (7)
ADORING: A commotion or a fuss is followed by a band such as might be made of gold and worn on your finger

11a No child gets two points in set (5-2)
GROWN UP: A set of something such as musicians needs two compass points inserting

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a Visitor hurries round to take in industrial Germany (4)
RUHR: A reverse lurker. Hidden in the clue. The words taken in tell us this is a hidden word and the word round tells us it is reversed.

13a Staff Sergeant initially given credit (5)
STICK: The initial letter of Sergeant is followed by an old fashioned word for credit as in a term for borrowing money.

14a Sort of saw for pine (4)
FRET: A lovely double definition. A wood saw or an agitation

17a Criticise girl who released much evil (7)
PANDORA: Split 3,4 we have a verb meaning to criticise followed by a girl’s name. Together they lead to another girl’s name. She who opened a box (actually it was a sealed jar) and released all of the evils in the world leaving only hope inside.

18a Dictionary the French team study (7)
LEXICON: The in French (singular) The Roman numerals for the number that make up an association football team and Crosswordland’s favourite verb meaning to study or read.

19a You might be if a plan goes wrong (2,1,4)
IN A FLAP: Anagram (goes wrong) of IN A PLAN

22a New part ordered in foreign port (7)
ANTWERP: Anagram (ordered) of NEW PART

24a Small measures that ought to stimulate initially (4)
TOTS: The initial letters (initially) of some of the words in the clue

25a It may be used to lift obstruction (5)
BLOCK: A double definition. The first part used with a tackle.

26a Work by a pupil is a gem (4)
OPAL: Our usual suspect for work op(us) is followed by A and L(earner)

29a An explosive type of reaction (7)
NUCLEAR: Double definition

30a Evens the score with bribes? (7)
SQUARES: Yet another double definition but quite stretched and worthy of Mr RayT

31a County present cars to rent (13)
HEREFORDSHIRE: Take a word meaning present or in this place. Add the plural of a popular make of car and a verb meaning to rent. Together they make the name of a county


2d Second injured heron or other waterbird (7)
MOORHEN: An anagram (injured) of HERON follows a word meaning a second or a very short period of time

3d Placed a cover outside (4)
LAID: A lifted from the clue needs another word for cover pacing around it

4d Afternoon meal that’s served by airlines (4,3)
HIGH TEA: An afternoon treat of a drink with sandwiches and scones eaten at the table could also be a description of a drink taken up in the air aboard an aeroplane

5d Making sense of Gallico? (7)
LOGICAL: Anagram (making sense of) of Gallico. I had to ask if Gallico was a word but remembered reading books by a man of that name. The Snow Goose springs to mind

6d The image of Holy Russia (4)
ICON: A cryptic definition of a Russian holy picture

7d Somehow green and in charge of a class (7)
GENERIC: Anagram (somehow) of GREEN followed by the initial letters of In Charge

8d Finding faults with locks coming apart (4-9)
HAIR-SPLITTING: These locks grow on your head. They are followed by a verb meaning chopping, breaking, hewing, cleaving, into two or more parts

9d Ends up with class displaying excessive neatness (4,3,6)
SPIT AND POLISH: Reverse a word meaning ends. Add a conjunction meaning with and finish off with a noun meaning class or refinement

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d Game that is decided in the end (5)
BOWLS: A cryptic definition of a game played on lawns or carpets.

16d Ways out exist in conversion (5)
EXITS: Anagram (in conversion) of EXIST

20d Prompt aid for those on TV (7)
AUTOCUE: A cryptic definition of a device which projects an enlarged image of a script on to a clear glass screen in front of a person speaking on television or in public, so enabling the speaker to read their speech while appearing to be looking at the viewers or audience. The last one I saw was being used by the late Lou Reed.

21d Pearl queasy, going to doctor in island capital (7)
PALERMO: Anagram (uneasy) of PEARL and a Medical Orderly

22d Defendant made charges (7)
ACCUSED: A double definition. The dock here is in a court. The last time I stood in one the entire courtoom was helpless with laughter and the chair of the magistrates thanked me for attending, reluctantly fined me thirty quid and told me I was most welcome to return.

23d Ruler and large sheet of paper required (7)
EMPEROR: I solved this from the definition underlined. I don’t know how it relates to paper required. Over to you.

27d Pure and simple French mother (4)
MERE: A double definition which will be helped by having a schoolboy level of the French language

28d Possibly hums something sentimental (4)
MUSH: Anagram (possibly) of HUMS

The Quick Crossword pun: mirror+cull=miracle

115 comments on “DT 28265

  1. For me, one of the gentlest Rufus puzzles for a while – */*** – completed within puzzle web site bonus point time limit.

    Candidates for favourite 1a, 31a, and 27d. The first two because they are long non-anagrams and the last because it would appear to be a triple definition (so I slightly disagree with MP and his hint above) as pure and simple are both shown in the entry for the answer in the Small Red Book. And the winner is 31a for being a 13 letter charade in 5 words in the clue.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP for a very enjoyable start to the week.

  2. Firstly, a humungous thankyou to BD for his work keeping the site up and running against the endeavours of the undesirables of this world. (My actual chosen adjective here would break a couple of blog rules, as well as a self-imposed one.)

    As for the puzzle, I enjoyed it – until I fell at the last hurdle. Grr!

    2d made me chuckle, just because I see these regularly and have actually looked up the male of the species to see if it is called what I wanted it to be. Sadly not: a male 2d is just a 2d, although the red grouse does apparently go by the other name.

    For 31a I spent a while trying to find a country (because I can’t read) which is an anagram (rent) of PRESENT CARS TO. Oops! I also went wrong by dim-wittedly putting ALLEGED into 22d, so 25a and 30a had to wait until I’d asked the app to reveal mistakes. It took me longer than it should have to get 3d, but I didn’t manage 15d at all. Slightly frustrating.

    23d is an old paper size but I did have to confirm that in the brb.

    Lots of likes, but no real favourites. Perhaps 10a or 11a, if pushed, or 2d for the aforementioned “reason.”

    Thanks to Rufus and the ever-entertaining Miffypops.

    1. Kitty,
      I played 15d very seriously for 25 years & yet it was my LOI accompanied by an audible groan. So can easily see it causing problems. Very clever clue in my view.

      1. I racked my brains as I knew there was a sport that involved ‘ends’, the penny dropped ok finally.

        1. I could think of sports that involve an end or two, but none that would fit. And before today I knew nothing about bowls.

          1. In Football and Rugby Union you have referees in Cricket and Tennis you have umpires and in Bowls you have goldfish. Surely you knew that Kitty

            1. There are times when I seriously wonder about rescuing you from the moderation wilderness but I do it anyway

                1. The moderation problem only seems to happen when someone with a login leaves a comment while not logged in but uses the email address associated with their login. This may have been caused by a change to the WordPress software as it is rather reminiscent of what happened on WordPress.com a few years ago. And before Jane says she doesn’t have a login, I set her up a while back to help resolve a problem with the site not remembering alias and email address.

                  If you really want to comment while not logged in – such as KiwiColin rather than 2Kiwis – you could try using a different email address and associating that address with your avatar.

            2. Kitty
              MP’s reference source appears to be either the “Dandy” or a Christmas cracker joke. Sorry to disappoint him: boringly it is “referee”.
              Your Avatar and review illustration show why “Kitty” but it is also an alternative name for the jack (object ball) in Bowls (just in case that ever comes up in the Tuesday Toughie).

              1. Thanks, Labsrule. I didn’t know that, even though I must have looked up kitty in the brb. So a kitty can be a queen or a jack.

    2. Me too, re 15d, it was a bung in at the end – and in writing this, I’ve just twigged to why it’s right. How dim can one get.

      1. I think I’m going to have to claim the prize for dimness for myself, Merusa, for my silliness with 22d. I clearly didn’t have my brain screwed in properly this morning. :(

  3. A fairly gentle start to the week, but I did get stuck on 6d and 15d. I guessed 15d, but could 5d not have two possible answers? or maybe I am not really understanding the clue. 2*/2* Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  4. 2*/4*. This was good fun as ever, and I agree with MP’s sentiment that it was gentle a few little tricky bits to think about.

    MP, I think 23d is a double definition. It can also mean a very large sheet of paper, but I don’t know why required is required except for padding for the surface reading.

    8d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. RD, MP and Silvanus. 23d: I was perfectly OK with this clue till I read your comments. Isn’t the required just a bit of themed misdirection (as it contains “quire”) to lead the solver into thinking that the clue is all about stationery – some activity/process that might require a measuring stick and paper? And to lure you away from considering that the first definition could be anything to do with a monarch or sovereign. Without required, the clue is a straightforward double-definition and so obvious, quick and easy to parse and solve. I reckon the clue is better as original – but I’m not quite sure it actually works as a d.d.

      1. Hi Jose,

        Not sure why you think it doesn’t work as a DD, the second definition is an Imperial size of paper, albeit not so well remembered these days. I just think it’s a coincidence that “required” contains “quire”, the surface is so much better with it being added, but essentially it’s still padding. I know from previous exchanges in Rookie Corner that you and I have different views about padding however!

        1. S. The clue works eminently well as a double-definition without “required” (and presumably that is why it is regarded as padding) but I believe the required is there not to merely “improve” the surface (which I don’t particularly think it does anyway) – it’s there purposefully for reasons I gave above and those given immediately below. Just like I think there is a difference between indirect anagrams and partially indirect ones, I also believe there is a difference between outright superfluous verbiage and Kitty’s “legal padding”. It all depends on whether you want to accept the clue in the spirit of which it is written or not. I think you are probably correct about the mentioned coincidence and I am fully aware that superfluous verbiage is a fact of life and does genuinely crop up occasionally – I don’t fully renounce its existence! I’m not sure it does work as a dd anyway because the “and” (just a link word) and “required” would not be underlined. Why has MP not underlined the second definition?

    2. “required” is sometimes used in the sense of “required for the answer” – perhaps that is the intention here

  5. Several doh moments in this one especially 17a just couldn’t tease it out so had to resort to help. Nothing much else though to frighten the children, l liked 31a some nice word play. Glorious day in North Cornwall wins a bit keen though. Good boots in 9ac how I remember that.
    Many thanks to Miffypops and Rufus for a good run in for the rest of the week.

  6. A nice gentle way to start the week off, */*** rating from me.Thanks to the setter & to MP for his excellent review.

  7. Am I really the first one to comment? I bet I won’t be by the time I’ve written my comment, made coffee and generally faffed around.
    I didn’t have too much ‘Monday trouble’ today.
    Quite a few anagrams I thought – think it might be eight.
    15d was a ‘bung in’ simply because I couldn’t think of another game that would fit – I don’t get the last bit of the clue.
    I’ve never heard of the 23d large sheet of paper but it is in the BRB and neither have I heard of 30a meaning bribes.
    I liked 1 and 19a and 9 and 27d, the latter just for its simplicity. My favourite was 31a – I love that county.
    With thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.
    Sunny, cold and windy in Oxford – off to the garden – Mr Rookie later on.

    1. Not the first to comment after all.
      Why do I keep needing to be moderated? I haven’t done anything different to usual and anyway I don’t want to be moderated – I quite like being as I am. :sad:

      1. Oh good – I’m so pleased that it’s not just me – I was beginning to get some kind of complex. I keep worrying that I’m being a pest because someone has to keep letting me out.

    2. With 15d: flat green bowls, other than singles, traditionally was played over a fixed number of ends the team with the highest score after those ends being the winner. So it is decided “in the end”. In singles & Crown green bowls however the first player to attain a fixed score being the winner. It is still played over a series of ends but not a fixed number.

      1. Thanks for this. Rattled through the entire crossword in bed last night in double quick time. Some great clues. Could only think of one game (the right one) having gone through every game I could think of including game birds! I have only just twigged why it was definitely correct having read LabradorsruleOK’s comment. Thanks Rufus and Dave. For the first time for me the answers are showing up in the hints so obviously still, sadly, problems.

  8. We breezed through this but had plenty of fun along the way. */*** from us.

    26a was a coincidence for us. We returned today from Coober Pedy, the self-styled Opal Capital of the World, where we overnighted in an underground hotel (yes, really). The place has one flight in from Adelaide, and return, per day – 6 days a week right now but when summer is in full swing and temperatures regularly reach the forties Celsius, it goes down to just three days a week. If you don’t fly, it’s an 8.5 hour drive from Adelaide – what a desolate place it is, for sure. The fellow who served us breakfast in the hotel’s cafe later checked us in at the airport!

    Favourite clue was 31a. We didn’t need the hints but did have to check the 23d paper size, which rang an incredibly distant bell for me having had a summer job many years ago in a paper mill warehouse.

    Thanks to MP for the hints and Rufus for the puzzle.

    1. That brings back memories. I actually spent my 21st birthday in Coober Pedy in 1965. At that stage there were only two buildings above ground. Everything else was in caves. We met up with a couple of guys and spent time in their ‘house’ and then went down their small mine out of town. An amazing never to be forgotten experience.

  9. Lovely puzzle for me if on slightly gentler side.
    COTD was 15a But 1a close
    Thanks to setter & MP for usual entertaining review. For all the wrong reasons I was reminded on Saturday just how much the reviews & blog have become an integral part of enjoying the baackpager

  10. easy enough – I thought 6d, 20d and 27d were barely cryptic, but hey ho – 1a was my favourite…..15d I guessed but still don’t understand….

    1. Omar, as I said to Kitty it was my last one in & I played very seriously indeed both crown & flat.Perhaps Rufus plays himself. In fairness it is (or was when I played) the second most popular participant ball game in the UK.

    2. 15d was also my last one in and I am also a bowler of long standing, with the privilege of belonging to the same Club as David Bryant indisputably the greatest ever. Yes I know Francis Drake was famous but not for his bowling ability.

      1. Mebbebob
        Clevedon, then.
        Played against David on a number of occasions.
        As well as being the best player there has ever been he is a absolute gentleman (as you will know only too well). In the 70’s came over & played an exhibition game I organised in Swindon, all for free. David won easily after not many ends & said “That wasn’t much for the crowd shall we play again? – and did.

  11. Nice to listen to a bit of Tom Waits on a Monday morning…thanks MP.

    Now, when I was growing up , there was a difference between afternoon tea and high tea. Was this my imagination? And what was the point of high tea? Was it a nursery meal for children who couldn’t stay up for the grown ups’ dinner? In my head, it was something hot ( e.g. On toast) followed by cake, or something with jam…….

    I have played bowls quite a bit, but not at the moment….my OH plays indoors.

      1. Since moving to the US I have been informed that afternoon tea is tea and scones, while high tea is the full works with dainty sandwiches etc. – but what do they know?

      1. When I was a kid in the fifties, and stayed in seaside boarding-houses in the summer holidays, high tea replaced dinner on Sundays, and was served earlier as you say, presumably to give the landlady an evening off.

        1. North of the border, High Tea used to be quite commonly served any day of the week in hotels and some restaurants, usually between 5pm and 7pm.
          It may still be on the go.
          For High Tea, you’d get a main course, often fish and chips or steak pie followed by toast and scones with jam, followed by cakes, all served with lots and lots of tea.
          Generally it was a ‘good value’ meal, especially if you were feeding children.
          Certainly much more substantial than Afternoon Tea.

          1. Yes, tea shops in the 50s and 60s often used to serve hot snack type meals, e.g. Poached eggs on toast – sometimes at what we would now call ” brunch” time, or sometimes in the late afternoon, maybe between finishing work and going to the cinema. This was at a time when “proper” restaurants were few and far between and not frequented by the lower middle classes anyway.
            I think it also reflected the fact that, other than the leisured classes, people didn’t drink alcohol and eat meals at the same time. It also allowed women to go out together for a meal in an atmosphere of respectability.

  12. An encouraging start to the week! 1a was my favourite; I initially tried to start with ‘child….’ but had to quickly rethink that approach. From there on everything was plain sailing. 1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and of course to MP for his review.
    PS. I agree with Labrador’s comment! (9)

  13. As typical and enjoyable a Monday puzzle as only Rufus can deliver, in his deceptively easy-going and laid-back style.

    Unusually I didn’t tick a stand-out clue today, such was the evenly high standard. I agree that “required” in 23d was there purely to improve the surface.

    The picture for 31a is of the River Wye near Symonds Yat, I believe, certainly a lovely part of the world.

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

  14. Finished it but with a few bung ins. **/** because of that. Having read hints and comments I now get 15d and 23d but 6d and 9d leave me cold. Oh well. 31a was my favourite.
    Thanks all

  15. A nice gentle start to the week. A very enjoyable solve. 15d was the only one that gave me any problems, when the penny dropped it was a real “Doh” moment. */*** today. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for his fun review.

  16. Again a nice start to the week */*** 😄 Thanks to Rufus & MP Liked 11a & 15d (my last one in) Thought the four 13 letter clues around the edge gave a nice symmetrical feel to the puzzle 😉

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Great start to the week, no major holdups. Needed the blog to check a few answers,11a&28d. Quite a few made me laugh, 17,19,31a. Favourite was 2d. Last in was 25a. Was 1*/4* for me. Just brightening up again in Central London. Many thanks to Big Dave for keeping the site going during adverse conditions.

  18. A great way to warm up the old grey cells for the week. A gentle but charming Rufus, no real favourites as they were of a consistently good quality. A lovely sunny day with gorgeous autumnal leaves still attached to the trees. Enjoyed a walk but boy was it cold!

    1. It is a frequently asked question. Have a click on that tab at the top of the page. From memory I think it is FAQ #28

  19. An enjoyably straightforward start to the week, although I have to say 16d must be the easiest anagram of all time. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  20. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for a great Monday puzzle. 15d stumped me as it did several others. Is there any more pleasant sound of summer than the gentle tap of bowl on bowl on the green behind the pub? 30a was my other downfall, still not sure how squares equals bribes? I bunged in 23a but was not at all sure where paper came into the clue, but if I dig really deeply into the old grey cells I can dimly recollect that term for a large sheet of paper. Again, so relieved and thankful to Big Dave for fending off the marauders and getting the site up again.

  21. That really was a tasty piece of cake which I managed to eat up in record time. Thank you Rufus and MP who has enlightened me as to what a block and tackle is. */***.

  22. Well, that was over so quickly I hardly remember doing it! I am always on Rufus’s wavelength and so enjoy his offerings.
    I needed LROK’s explanation for 15d as it was a bung in, the only game I could think of.
    One of my fave counties, 31a, and I’ve been to Symonds Yat, so beautiful.
    I think my fave is 2d, they are so pretty. We used to have a lot of them in our canals, when they had babies they looked like black ping-pong balls floating on the water. Alas, and here comes my pet peeve, people released pet iguanas, not native to Florida, and of course they thrived, getting huge. I think they have been responsible for eating the 2d and their eggs, now they are none.
    Thanks to Rufus and M’pops.

    BTW, I can’t read the letter from Saturday’s puzzle re 9a as my sub doesn’t cover it. Is it possible for someone to copy and paste it? If not, no worries.

      1. As it is a prize puzzle we can’t tell you here but I’ll email you in a minute or two

    1. Sir, I note the answer to 9 across (Sort of contract or rib-eye perhaps) in Saturday’s Cryptic Crossword is **-***** Is this a forecast of xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx

      1. OH, dear M’pops, I didn’t mean to get you in trouble. I accept my guilt in the infraction.

    2. The 2d chicks are just the most appealing things: tiny black fluffballs with bright little beaks poking out. They’re a familiar sight for me along my walking/running routes at the right time of year, which almost never fail to make me smile. Such a shame those in your area have gone.

      1. We swapped them for iguanas, one of the ugliest things on earth. I get really hot under the collar when irresponsible people release exotic “pets” into our environment. We are currently battling boa constrictors and anacondas in the Everglades, and our little Key deer are a nice little meal for them. The Everglades hare has already gone. Oh dear.

  23. Well – I’m still having problems with the site but it looks as though everyone else is OK, can’t understand it!

    The usual fun from Rufus although I was another who wondered about 15d – thought perhaps it had something to do with the phrase ‘bowls over’ – so thanks to LabsOK for the explanation.

    Am I the only one who was relieved that 12a was a lurker?
    Top three for me were 1&18a plus 4d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    Joint effort today with no real difficulties. A long conversation ensued about last in 25d. My colleague had the solution but it took a good while before we could see why see why so I’ll nominate that as clue of the day.


  25. */***. Very gentle start to the week and for a while i thought we were in for a pangram. Favourite clue was 31a. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the review.

  26. Agree with those who found this a reasonably straightforward offering. I was doing well until my laptop crashed two solutions from the end. When I reaccessed the online version, the grid was blank so, rather than fill it all in again, I turned to Miffypops to look up the two I’d missed. For some reason – and for the first time – the solutions are uncovered and not hidden in the usual way, even when I refresh the page, so I can’t claim to have solved either 15d or 30a. Not so sure I like 30a – I’ve never encountered that definition of bribes.

    However, everywhere else plenty to enjoy and nothing too taxing. All four of the long clues are elegantly assembled and deserve mention. In similar style, 18a is also right up there.

    Thanks to all

  27. Was totally beaten by 15d.
    And hesitated a lot in 25a as the counterweight idea came after long cogitation. I was imagining a car on breeze blocks with all it’s wheels lifted or stolen.
    Favourite is 27d. So much like my own.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  28. Fairly typical Monday fun, I thought. I didn’t know that 23a was a size of paper or that 30a could mean bribes, so I’ve learned something today. I stared at 15d for a long time trying to recall the game/sport that I vaguely remembered as involving an “end”. I bunged in the 12a German industrial area because I knew it and it fitted the checkers, but couldn’t parse it because I didn’t see the answer lurking backwards. I liked all four 13 letter clues, of which 8d is my favourite today.

    Thanks to Rufus for the entertaining crossword and to MP for the entertaining blog.

  29. I have recently taken up the game in 15d again after an absence of more than 15 years. Despite this it was still our last answer to put in. All the usual Monday fun.
    Thanks Rufus and MP.

  30. Late as usual from me on a Monday, but the puzzle was well worth the wait. Never heard of the paper at 23 down but, that apart, this was an enjoyable and comfortable solve, if a little brief. Lots of good clues, but 31 across my favourite as it is a neighbouring county.

    2*/4* overall. Thanks Rufus and MP for a fun review.

  31. Unlike most who have commented above, I did not exactly romp through this puzzle. I did manage without hints. The county was quite a hazzle until I realized it was not an anagram! Last in was 15d, had to check that ends was used as in curling. The prompter was a new term for me, so I’d tried cue cards and tele something, to no avail.

    Thanks to BD for overcoming the dark forces and to Miffypops for the great illustrations. I think the last time I had high tea was on the Devonian express from Leeds to Paignton, yes that was a long time ago.

  32. With all the disturbance over the weekend, the Monthly Prize Puzzle seems to have been overlooked. This is a pity as, although I found it quite challenging, it is a very good one with a great DOH moment when the penny dropped for me.
    Why not give it a go?

    1. You keep having to be rescued from moderation, Colin. I hope it’s not a by-product of the All Blacks’ loss to Ireland!

      1. Ah that must be what is causing it.
        Not sure that I needed reminding about that but must admit that we all have a slightly pleased feeling that it was the Micks who broke the run of wins and not that lot from across the Tasman.
        No doubt you will have to rescue this comment too.

    2. I’ve downloaded the MPP but it’s waiting for when I’m a little less busy. I’m not even sure I’ll have time for Toughies this week. (Excepting tomorrow’s because it would be a false economy of time indeed to try to write the hints without having done that. :scratch:)

  33. A fairly gentle start to the week that took about half the time as some Monday puzzles here. :-) A couple where I had the answer but was frankly baffled by the rest (15d and 23d), but I’m often on a completely different wavelength to Rufus so didn’t worry about it too much.

    1. Oh – not waiting for moderation when I leave a comment while logged in – I’ve never had to do this before and, because I’m a complete IT twit, I don’t understand. :sad:

      1. When I tried to access some pages, a thing called Wordfence was asking me to log in with my email and I”m not even a blogger.

    1. Quite right me old cock-sparrow. My proof reading team have let you down. I blame close proximity of the letter F and the letter N on a qwerty keyboard

  34. I rattled through most of this on the train home. Just a few left by the time I got home.
    last in was 23d, like others I was confused by ‘required’.
    I have never heard of the use of 30a as a bribe.
    Favourite was 31d, very clever.
    Thanks to MP for the usual Monday entertainment and to Rufus for an entertaining puzzle.

  35. Don’t get 15D explanation. Also got 23d from the meaning but didn’t understand the paper reference. Puzzled!

  36. I was woken up this morning at 6.00am by a taxi driver asking if I’d ordered a taxi. Despite the fact that the house name is clearly displayed, he had the wrong house name. I was told that that it was similar because it started with the same letter. Give me strength. I did want to tell him that most words have more than one letter, and that usually you have to go beyond the first letter to read the word in front of them. I don’t think he’ll be joining this site. Even I am not as bad as that. Still it gave me the chance to finish the puzzle I’d not had a lot of time for yesterday. Rufus is always a good start to the week. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops. I really liked 9d and 31 a.

  37. I am learning the mystic arts of the cryptic crossword, so a monster thank you to Big Dave and chums. Monday is most welcome for us learners. We all have to start somewhere!

    1. Welcome Jack.

      I think you’ll find today’s inside back page puzzle to your liking too. ;)

    2. Welcome from me too Jack The Learner. Stick with us and let us know when you tackle your first Toughie.

  38. Got through all of this relatively quickly but completely flummoxed by 14a and 16d…..my expertise is not in woodworking or games….mind you, I am still hard put to declare the area of my expertise…..

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for unravelling the clues I had ‘bunged in ‘.

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