DT 28271 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28271

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28271

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Kia ora from Aotearoa. 
Now here is a surprise. Hints and tips from an earthquake shaken pair of Kiwis on a Monday. Miffypops emailed last week to say he would not be available today so we have the pleasure of blogging a Rufus puzzle for a change.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     If better times are coming, they won’t last (7)
RECORDS : These are something that top athletes strive to achieve.

5a     It measures the flow of the current (7)
AMMETER : Don’t be fooled into thinking about rivers. It’s electricity flow that gets measured here.

9a     Stiff and thoroughly wet (5)
STEEP : Double definition. Difficult or uphill for the first and soak for the second.

10a      Language from Asia Frank translated (9)
AFRIKAANS : An anagram (translated) of ASIA FRANK.

11a     Iago cursed, getting put off? (10)
DISCOURAGE : An anagram (getting) of IAGO CURSED.

12a     Keen to play, one’s capped (4)
KNEE : Another anagram (to play) of KEEN.

14a     Introduce objectives to achieve financial security (4,4,4)
MAKE ENDS MEET : One needs to use a synonym for objectives as the middle word in the answer.

18a     Owner scraps works of art (12)
MASTERPIECES : A word for an owner and then a word for scraps or small bits.

21a     Kind of short cut for some TV or film workers (4)
CREW : Double definitions. The first being a hair style.

22a      They may be seen at the courts, practising (10)
BARRISTERS : A cryptic definitions. The courts here are used for justice rather than sport.

25a     Army command that has to be rigidly obeyed (9)
ATTENTION : This command instructs the subordinates to adopt a rigid posture.

26a     Samuel’s teacher takes note of top class (5)
ELITE : The biblical priest acknowledged as Samuel’s teacher and then a note from the tonic sol-fa scale.

27a     Concentrate in German city church (7)
ESSENCE : A German city and then the abbreviation for the Anglican church.

28a     Beg for an adjustment in net rate (7)
ENTREAT : An anagram (for an adjustment) of NET RATE.


1d     More’s ideal land in which to live (6)
RESIDE : A lurker hiding in the first two words of the clue.

2d     Run in to stop batsman reaching it? (6)
CREASE : A word meaning to stop contains the cricket abbreviation for a run.

3d     Concerning wills they’re shameless (10)
REPROBATES : The two letters signifying concerning or referring to, and then a word for wills after they have been officially accepted by a court.

4d     A step in the making of street song (5)
STAIR : The abbreviation for street and another word for a song.

5d     Bluster and rage on car breaking down (9)
ARROGANCE : An anagram (breaking down) of RAGE ON CAR.

6d     All right, see me about that donkey (4)
MOKE : The two letters that signify all right are inside ME from the clue.


7d     Learners find bad weather in driving areas (8)
TRAINEES : The places where golfers take their first shot surround wet weather,

8d     Pays heed to details (8)
RESPECTS : Double definition.

13d     Men’s assets put in order for valuation (10)
ASSESSMENTS : An anagram (put in order) of MEN’S ASSETS.

15d     Stress English pies and mash must be cooked (9)
EMPHASISE : The abbreviation for English is followed by an anagram (must be cooked) of PIES MASH.

16d     I came over to get tea brewed and dry up (8)
EMACIATE : Reverse the words ‘I came’ and add an anagram (brewed) of TEA.

17d     A broadcast appeal about ideal material for fire prevention (8)
ASBESTOS : ‘A’ from the clue and a radio or Morse code call for help surround a word for ideal or highest quality.

19d     With passion rising during examination of the past, see red (6)
CERISE : A three letter word for passion is reversed inside a Certificate of Secondary Education.

20d     Upgrade a perfume (6)
ASCENT : ‘A’ from the clue and then a word for perfume or odour.

23d     Freely traverse mountains (5)
RANGE : Double definition. These mountains are in a continuous line.

24d     A new number to be put up shortly (4)
ANON : ‘A’ from the clue then the abbreviation for ‘new’ followed by the reversal of a two letter abbreviation for ‘number’.

Quickie pun    force    +    ache    =   forsake

69 comments on “DT 28271

  1. I really liked that. 1a was an instant “yes” but if I am only to be allowed one favourite then I’ll keep things reassuringly normal by choosing 9a. Lots of other goodies, and just what I needed on a dark and dismal Monday.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to the 2Kiwis. It’s doubly nice to see you today.

    (P.S. Still being spammed, but I’m glad to be able to rescue myself.)

  2. 3*/4*. I made this more difficult for myself by instantly writing in wrong answers for 1d and 21a. For the former, I thought “Utopia” was a typical Rufus cryptic definition, and, for the latter, I stupidly put “clip” without simply giving it enough consideration.

    9a was a very nice DD, and 19d was my last one in because of the time it took to remember the examination of yesteryear. 14a was my favourite, with 18a a close second.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the usual Monday fun, and to the 2Ks – good to know that you are both safe.

    1. Me too with 1d, I’m afraid. That threw out most of the NW corner, but I didn’t realise my mistake until I lost patience and resorted to a 2Ks hint. 2*/3*, I think, and 14a my favourite. Thanks to Rufus and the 2 Kiwis. Stay safe, you two!

  3. I bet I wasn’t the only person to put Utopia in for 1d and clip for 21a! I know, 1d not cryptic at all; but then neither was 5a. Both sorted eventually Thought 16d was a bit stretched. Otherwise very enjoyable at **/***. Favourite was 19d.
    Thanks all

      1. A lot of solvers put Utopia as the answer to 1d because that is the name of a fictional island in the eponymous book by Sir Thomas More – which makes it an excellent clue.

      2. It’s a lovely mislead, having fallen for it myself – but “land” is an extra unused word in the hidden fodder, while ‘More’s ideal’ can also mean Utopia.

    1. Yes, 1d is an archetypal “hidden word” clue, but you might have a point about 5a. The only slight mystery is that it’s worded to try and fool you into thinking of water flow or current.

    2. You may also have a point about 16d. I usually reject “stretched” accusations but this time I can’t find the answer defined as “dry up” in the OED or Collins – but if it’s in the BRB (mine’s at home) then others will confirm. Since “dry up” is supposed to be the (precise) definition in the clue we shouldn’t call it a “stretched synonym” but an “imprecise definition”.

    3. dry up is not in brb or thesaurus, but I can see it in a figurative sense – I still found it annoying, feels a bit shoe-horned into the surface

      1. Yes, it does work in a figurative sense and I can see why the setter chose it – it gives the surface a general “kitcheny” theme. But it’s not a precise definition.

    4. Sometimes it is an advantage to be a bit thick. I did not know the writer of the book so smoked the lurker right off. Now I know the mis-direction at work here, it has become my instant ‘fav’ clue. Another one to add to my reading list… if I am ever detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
      Thanks Mr Rufus and Kiwi people.

  4. The usual enjoyable Monday fare from Rufus. No problems at all. Thanks to Rufus and to the 2Kiwis for the blog.

  5. I had first entered RECURES for 1a, which is an obsolete noun meaning cures or recoveries which I imagined fit the clue rather well – I was disappointed when it was marked wrong on submission.

    With the anagram indicator in 11a, the strange 14a, the unused “land” in 1d, and “dry up” as a def 16d, I didn’t think this was one of the better Rufus puzzles, but there were plenty of classic Rufus cd’s to keep it enjoyable

  6. Thanks to Rufus and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. All plain sailing for me except for 1a, had to use electronic help for it, even though I had all the checkers. Favourite was 19d. Was 2*/3* for me. Nice start to the week.

  7. Very simple but quite enjoyable. It took about 1/3 of my normal time for an average back-pager. 1*/2.5*

  8. Sadly today’s amusement was short-lived. Only hitch was 19d where I had tried to justify desire. Fav 7d. Thank you Rufus and 2Ks. */**.

  9. Firstly agree with the 2K’S with a **/***, failed to parse 2d but it was obviously the right answer-thanks 2K’s and like RD initially had “clip” in for 21a until 17d went in.
    Overall a fine start to the week, liked 26a and 19d with an honourable mention for 14a.

  10. If I may indulge a moment “RIP Walnut”
    Nice start to the week, I like many others put in clip, favourite 22a.
    Thanks to 2ks and Rufus.

    1. Didn’t know anything about Walnut – but now I do. Almost wish I hadn’t looked, it brought back so many personal memories.

      1. There’s been lots of stuff on the radio and in the newspapers in the last few days – brought back memories for me too. :cry:

  11. For some reason I did not enjoy this one, despite finishing it unaided…..very unusual for me.
    Thought 5a was more GK than cryptic, same with 22a and do not agree with the definition of 16d.
    Maybe I’ m just grumpy because it’s Monday.

    Could not parse quite a few of the answers, so many thanks to the 2Kiwis, who I hope are safe after the earthquake.
    Thanks also to the setter.

  12. 16d is a bit off – I see the anagram but it doesn’t mean ‘dry up’ – shoorly shome mishtake!

    Plenty of anagrams which always cheer me up!

  13. Not difficult but really disliked this one.
    For one no way can ire be described as passion in 19d, not in the BRB either. I agree about 16d, it does not mean dry up. Some really clumsy clues in1a, 4d and 8d. All in all I thought this a very poor effort.
    For me **/*
    Thx for the explanations.

    1. But the BRB gives, for passion, “a strong feeling or agitation of mind, especially rage”; and for ire, “anger, rage”, so I reckon that’s close enough.

    2. Both Collins Online Thesaurus and BRB Thesaurus give passion as a synonym for ire, so the clue is absolutely fine.

  14. Hmm, I know it’s Monday but surely today’s offering was just a teensy bit too simple?
    Pleasant enough but over far too soon. No real favourite and 1/2.5* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the shaken but not stirred 2K’s for their review.

  15. rather fortuitous that mp is missing on parade today given that he gets somewhat disgruntled when there are more than 2 anagrams in a puzzle…
    thanks to Rufus & to the 2kiwis

    1. MP is lurking in the background and will be on parade on Wednesday. The anagrams are solved and written in and forgotten about until review writing time when the repetitive tedium of writing the words Anagram (mixed up) of FODDER

  16. I go along with others in thinking that this was on the poorer side. 5a and 16d in particular.

    Glad to hear that our 2Kiwis are safe and well.

  17. A pleasant start to the week and I managed to avoid the pitfalls at 1d & 21a.
    Only hold up was 19d where I didn’t dig far enough back to start with and was trying to get GCE into there somehow.
    Top three places go to 1&9a plus 7d.

    Thanks to Rufus and respect to the 2Ks for battling on regardless!

  18. Many thanks to the 2Ks for taking the time to write today’s blog. My first thoughts for 1d were Utopia and Erewhon. Being used to Rufus puzzles I wrote neither in preferring to wait for checkers. Erewhon (Samuel Butler) was a letter too many anyway. Thanks to Rufus for the fun.

  19. Unlike the rest of you I got a bit tied up in a muddle with some of these – I nearly always do on Mondays.
    As I’ve already said I fell for 1d and 21a for far too long.
    I also managed to convince myself that 18a had to be something ‘scapes’ and having thought of that couldn’t think of anything else.
    There were quite a lot of anagrams but I’m not complaining.
    I liked 1 and 14a and 2d (even though it’s a ‘crickety’ one) and 5d. My favourite was 6d – wasn’t there a car called a Mini Moke, or have I dreamed that one up?
    With thanks to Rufus and to the K’s – so glad to know that you’re all OK – how scary it must have been.
    Now, shall I brave the Pyracantha in the drizzle or shall I have a go at Mr Rookie? :unsure:

    1. Indeed there is and due to a car rental company not having anything else, I once sat grim-faced in one for 99 miles to Paphos. I was deaf for a week and that was when my hair decided my head was not worth belonging to. For the return journey, I wrapped all sorts of vestments around my head like some pink-skinned Tuareg.

  20. Deceptively easy 5a (correct as it happened but I never thought of a river) and 1d (wrong guess at first but seemed just too easy to write in whch was just as well). I thought 1d was truly brilliant in its misdirection and elegant surface. Well done the setter.
    Many thanks to the Kiwis for keeping calm and carrying on

  21. I’m sure that I would have also entered “Utopia” for 1d had I not already had the first crossing letters in place for 9a and 11a. I agree that it’s a superb piece of misdirection.

    Having consulted a number of different sources, I can’t find a single one that gives “dry up” as a synonym for 16d. I doubt if many thought of water rather than electricity for 5a, as was presumably the setter’s intention, I certainly didn’t.

    Eight full or partial anagrams is normally on the high side for anyone else, but for Rufus it’s fairly par for the course. My favourites were 1a (sorry, Brian) and 3d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Colin and Carol, glad to know that you are safe. Some of the pictures shown so far are very dramatic, especially the three cows stranded on a small piece of field with everything around them having disappeared.

  22. For my part it was the SE corner which took longer.
    Was desperately looking for some sportspersons in 22a.
    19d took a while too as the “see” was taken in the definition.
    Thanks to Rufus and for the second time today, thanks to 2kiwis.

  23. Thanks as usual for the hints. But why does the website say’ this may harm your computer’ and gives another warning when I continue into the site?

    1. Well lucky old you – at least you can continue into the site – I go through all the little byroads and byways – get there eventually though. The only other way that I can do it is on the iPad – I really don’t understand.

  24. Good morning everyone from a still shaking NZ. Since the big shake that was some 30 hours ago, the aftershocks have just gone on and on all over the country. Hundreds and hundreds of them. Many quite tiny and only detected by the instruments but lots that give us a significant wobble. Despite that we did both sleep well last night. We hear on the news this morning that many of the people stranded in the worst hit town of Kaikoura will be evacuated by helicopter today as there is no surface contact at all. Wellington looks like it will be getting back to some sort of normal operation today. We are just so grateful the the toll on people is so low. It could easily have been so much worse.
    To the puzzle. Although we did note the possibility for Utopia in 1d it was only after we had the lurker nailed. The old exam in 19d was completely new to us so needed a BRB check. An interesting experience to blog a puzzle by a setter other than Jay and we appreciated it.

    1. Glad to hear that the damage is only material. Unlike our poor Italian neighbours who after suffering two earthquakes in a row, lost more people in a freak tornado.

    2. I nearly checked that you were OK but The Remembrance Day service at the local church, a pint with my oldest pal, Sunday dinner out at Hilltop Farm, a visit to Joni Mike and Harrison, a trip to the cinema at Warwick Arts Centre ( finest cinema in England ) to see Ethel and Ernest back to the pub for a couple of beers before returning to Warwick Arts Centre to see Billy Bragg and Joe Henry sort of got in the way. Glad you are both OK and that the quakes didn’t take more lives. I will try my best to host Wednesdays slot as well as you have hosted Monday. A Jay puzzle will be a new experience for me as Rufus was for you. Thanks for standing in.

  25. How strange, I usually am dead on wavelength with Rufus, but I found this trickier today.
    I never did get 14a as I was determined that the middle word was “ones”; first rule in solving cryptics is to think up, down and sideways and I break it every time.
    I got the right answer in 19d but had no idea why as didn’t know the past exam.
    Thanks to Rufus and to 2Kiwis for the blog, devotion to duty! Please let us know what happens to the cows.

  26. I found the crossword relatively straightforward **/*** it is accessing the blog that it is causing me problems my bigdave44.com route is now blocked so I arrived via Yahoo 😕 Thanks to the 2xKs, let us hope that is the end to the earthquakes 😳 Liked 3d & 24a also thanks to Rufus 👌

  27. Greetings from Fox Glacier, South Island where our odyssey continues. We can vouch for the 2Ks’ comment on aftershocks. We have discovered that our hired motorhome’s suspension acts an an earthquake damper. We’ve also discovered it leaks and yesterday (Monday for us) was almost unremitting heavy rain.

    The crossword brightened our day although, sadly, it was quickly finished. 1*/2.5*, fairly standard for a Monday and the usual surfeit of anagrams. Our favourite clue was 19d.

    Many thanks to the 2Ks and to Rufus.

  28. A pleasant start to the week, thanks to Rufus and big kudos to 2 Kiwis for hosting this today, despite dealing with earthquake etc. Glad to hear Sheffieldsy are doing ok in their motor home too. Most of this puzzle fell into place over breakfast, with stragglers going in over lunch. Was glad for an excuse to sit down for a while, as this is the start of the gardening season in S. Florida, and have spent last 5 days potting up annuals and cleaning edging bricks etc. Always a big job at this time of year, but “besties” are coming over from Derbyshire in January en route to New Zealand, so want the garden to look really good this year.

      1. Youth-speak. Nothing sicker than a selfie with your besties on a pre-lash. (all learned from one’s offspring sadly)

      2. Yes besties are best friends, I think I picked it up from my grandkids. Confess we also text to youngest daughter, which eldest daughter tells us is for the younger generation. Well raspberry to that 🙂

  29. That was a benign offering from Rufus today, I thought.
    I had not heard of 6d, but it was obvious from the wordplay.
    Not sure I had a favourite, but lots of nice clues.
    Thanks to Rufus and 2k’s for filling MP’s boots

  30. A nice easy romp today but the slap in the face came when iPad told me that ‘some answers are incorrect’ so dutifully went through the blog, uncovering the answers to check they matched. They did right up to the end when 19d revealed it’s true colour and that DERIDE which I had hurriedly bunged in was wholly wrong. ahem.

    Listening to the rather excellent Radio Paradise internet station which is ‘Listener-supported’ and plays thoughtfully collated quality music – with neer and ad in sight or sound. Not any more though… good night all.

    1. I could only think of deride but did not think it right. Always difficult when the checking letters are vowels!

  31. Found the blog via Facebook. Got red warnings when tried to access site in usual way. Dare not click on! My commiserations BD. Is someone getting at you? Was looking for hint for 19d which I don’t think I would have got in a million years. Most very good and straight in. Did not think 5a very cryptic but suppose we were being directed to water. Hope normal service is resumed as soon as possible. Best regards to Big Dave and all

  32. I too have been having a difficult time trying to acces the site as all my machines are work issued and the minute a malware warning flashes up, they won’t let me go further. Got here this morning through Facebook. Hope these glitches can soon be sorted out.
    Meantime, I found this Rufus slightly more difficult than usual – fell for the Utopia trap – and spent ages staring at 14a before finally twigging. Top stumper has to be 1d. Thanks to the wobbly Kiwis and Rufus. 2*/3*

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