DT 28283 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28283

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28283

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good day from the very centre of Downtown L I on a crisp bright sunny morning . Your blogger found today’s offering from Rufus to be a little trickier than usual but as usual the more checking letters we have the easier the clues that are left are to solve.

Saint Sharon and I are off to Nottingham shortly to see Sir Van Morrison at The Royal Concert Hall . We are stopping over so we both get a night off . Whoopie Doo!

Below are hints and tips which should help you to solve or understand todays clues . Definitions are underlined . The answers can be revealed by clicking on click here.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Pound notes may be what it means to a musician! (10)
FORTISSIMO: An instruction to musicians to play loudly might be fulfilled by pounding the keys on a piano.

9a    Bankrupt work of art (4)
BUST: A double definition, the second being a head and shoulders sculpture

10a    Patron that has been upset by agent (10)
BENEFACTOR: Anagram (upset) of BEEN followed by a noun meaning a circumstance, factor influence that contributes to a result

11a    Yet such talkers may not be on the level (6)
SMOOTH: such talkers are able to turn any situation to their own advantage

12a    Artillery brass hats (3,4)
BIG GUNS: A Double definition . The first describing the size of weaponry used by the artillery and the second being the important or powerful people

15a    A month, just, in part of London (7)
MAYFAIR: The fifth month of our calendar year is followed by a synonym of the word just to provide an area of London which I will visit soon to view Bob Dylan’s new exhibition showcasing his skills at colouring in

16a    Proceeded to travel 100mph (3,2)
GOT ON: Split 3,2 we have a verb meaning to travel followed by a slang term for the speed of 100mph

17a    Boy takes midnight air (4)
SONG: The boy here is ones male offspring . The final letter is the middle one in the word niGht

18a    English county shortly linking with a US state (4)
IOWA: The initial letters (shortly) of England ‘s most southerly county are followed by (linking with) the letter A

19a    A woman’s religion (5)
FAITH: A woman’s name or a strong belief in a religion or doctrine

21a    Boom — it’s soundly broken! (7)
BARRIER: a cryptic reference to that which when broken produces a son in boom

22a    Virtue that’s cultivated (7)
HONESTY: A virtue that is also a plant which may be grown in ones garden and used in floral displays . Grandifloradammedifino.

24a    Lead on diamonds, then duck? (6)
DELUDE: The initial letter of Diamonds is followed by a verb meaning to avoid a danger in a cunning way.

27a    Where Hood’s men gathered petition? (5,5)
ROUND ROBIN: a petition, especially one with signatures written in a circle to conceal the order of writing . How one might describe how Sherwood Forests outlaws might surround their leader

28a    Gaelic verses with no beginning or end (4)
ERSE: Remove the first and last letters of the word verses to reveal the Gaelic language.

29a    Settings for old stories with misleading passages (10)
LABYRINTHS: These misleading passages are also known as mazes . Strictly speaking these are not mazes at all.


2d    On top of the bowling unit (4)
OVER: A double definition, the second being the cricketing term for a delivery of six balls by a bowler

3d    Pulling, we hear, on the line — or standing by? (6)
TOEING: A homophone based upon the verb used to describe the action of one vehicle pulling another along by rope or chain

4d    Small dining chairs (7)
SEATING: Use the Abbreviation for the word small and add a word that means what we are doing when we are dining.

5d    I stand up to a Greek character (4)
IOTA: Use the I from the clue . Reverse (up) the word TO and add the letter A from the clue.

6d    Craft worker posed as Roman (7)
OARSMAN: Anagram (posed) of AS ROMAN

7d    They act unthinkingly, placing plant needing warmth in a sickly sun (10)
AUTOMATONS: Place a greenhouse plant which grows a salad ingredient inside the letter A and an anagram (sickly) of SUN

8d    He’d a treaty drawn up, poised for action (2,3,5)
AT THE READY: Anagram (drawn up) of HE’D A TREATY

12d    ‘Snoopy’ characters (10)
BUSYBODIES: A Cryptic definition of those who meddle or pry into the business of others

13d    Speak about nothing in particular (10)
GENERALISE: To make broad sweeping statements . I do not see this clue as being particularly cryptic

14d    Very distant until now (2,3)
SO FAR: A double definition

15d    One hears word of it (5)
MOUTH: a cryptic definition of the body part from which speech comes

19d    Fear led to model form of government (7)
FEDERAL: Anagram (to model) of FEAR LED

20d    One saves, but it’s more difficult with nothing coming in (7)
HOARDER: place the letter O (nothing) inside (coming in) a word meaning more difficult

23d    Order some frozen joints (6)
ENJOIN: A hidden word . Hidden within the words of the clue

25d    Check caught and bowled, with interruption by game being held up (4)
CURB: A very sporting clue involving Rugby Union and Cricket . Place reverse (being held up) the initial letters of Rugby Union and place them between the abbreviation for caught and bowled

26d    Most important part of Spithead (4)
PITH: Another hidden word.

I do wonder at some of the all in one clues and cryptic definitions . But what do I know? Solved to Bob Dylan’s album John Wesley Hardin’ . Looking forward to tonight’s meal, tonight’s Van Morrison concert and tomorrows meal at The Grey Goose in Gilmorton.

The Quick Crossword pun: suck+shun=suction

67 comments on “DT 28283

  1. I too found this offering a little trickier than normal, but still solved it in a standard time. Didn’t like 29a.

    **/** for me today. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  2. 2*/4*. Everything you expect from a Monday puzzle – huge fun and very enjoyable.

    I didn’t realise that the “English county” in 18a was a county in its own right. It wasn’t when I was at school but that was a long time again and the map of English counties now is significantly different to those olden times which still confuses me a lot.

    Quite a few ticks today – 11a, 27a, 2d, 3d & 12d but my favourite was 1a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP

    1. I’m very glad that those awful “pseudo-counties” like Avon, Humberside and Cleveland that were created in the 1970s by Edward Heath’s government no longer exist, and that the likes of Rutland were eventually correctly reinstated. I would like to see Cumberland and Westmorland restored too instead of Cumbria, which I’ve never liked as a name. At least Middlesex survives in a cricketing context!

    2. Yes, that county used to be part of Hampshire when we lived in England, but there have been a lot of changes since then. Used to be only one Sussex and only one Berkshire, etc. etc.

  3. Nothing much to say about this one apart from I did find it a tad stiffer than the normal Monday fair.Thanks to the setter & MP for the review.

  4. I found this a lot trickier than normal and originally put this down to all the things I have on my mind this week. However, the other three puzzles I solved took me less time (including the Times) so I think it must be Rufus more than me

    Thanks to Rufus and the gallivanting one

  5. That was good fun with no problem in the East but a bit more thought was required in the West particularly the NW. Liked 1a , 27a and 12d. Thank you Rufus and MP. ***/***.

  6. While MP found this a little trickier than usual for a Rufus, I found it about average on the difficulty level for recent Monday puzzles, but extremely enjoyable. I got ‘bogged down’ on two clues – 11a and 7d. With considerable head scratching and use of all available resources the pennies finally dropped – so 2.5*/4* for me.

    I have at least seven nominations for favourite, but I think the two head scratchers share the prize.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  7. Agree with Miffypops that this was more difficult than the usual Monday crossword, I thought it was well clued throughout.
    Next to last in was 7d,originally thought that the solution would begin with NU and end with S, and the only word I could get to fit with the available checking letters was numerators . Luckily a bit of lateral thinking produced the solution and 11a completed the solve.
    Going for a 2.5*/ 4*.
    Liked the surface of 1a,29a, and my near nemesis 7a my favourite, the clue read like the start of a science fiction story !

    1. I also came up with numerators for 7d, missing the inclusion of the ‘a’ in the clue as the first letter of the answer, before the ‘sickly sun’.

  8. I too found this a bit tricky. Couldn’t get 24a as I was sure the last three letters were a slang word for diamonds. I was already stuck on 12d as I could only think of cartoon characters. So these two only solved with help from MP.
    Still enjoyed it despite my frustration.
    My favourite 27a.
    Many thanks to MP and Setter.

  9. Bit of a curates egg today. Some excellent clues such as 27a (a real smiler) and 12a and some very weak ones in 1a and 10a. Not too sure about 24a elude=duck?
    For me **/**
    Thx to all

    1. B. 24a: I think duck = elude is fine. I just checked to make sure and they’re both listed as synonyms of each other everywhere I’ve looked, including the BRB Thesaurus.

    2. B. 24a: I think duck = elude is fine. I just checked to make sure and they’re both listed as synonyms of each other everywhere I’ve looked, including the BRB Thesaurus.

  10. Unusually for a Monday I started off really well but then ground to a halt for a while.
    11a and 7d held me up and so did 12d until I had a few letters in.
    I can’t spell 29a – put it in and it looked funny so swapped a couple of letters around and it looked worse – back to plan A.
    I liked 19a and 7d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  11. Nice puzzle to start the week.
    Faves were 24a and 27a.

    Weather here in NL is magnificently sunny but on the chilly side.

    My granddaughter is still down under in NZ where she emails that summer is a-coming in rather rapidly!

      1. I don’t understand the point, either. Enjoin = order, instruct, etc. What’s Zenjoi got to do with it?

      2. Sorry, I read Zenjoi, also lurking in the clue, as creating peace of mind i.e. Order. Trust Google to provide me with the wrong answer, but I did realise my mistake as soon as Round Robin became obvious.

  12. I commented last Monday that I thought Rufus was flexing his muscles slightly more than usual and today’s puzzle seems to have followed that pattern.
    25d initially gave me ‘cricket’ palpitations and I was slow to get 24a – like others, I was looking for it to end with ‘ice’.

    I had plenty of ticks – 11,24&27a plus 4,7,14,15&20d all making the cut. 27a garnered the prize for best laugh with 24a having the honour of being the last to fall.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP – thought Kath might have something to say about your Latin name for Honesty! Personally, I’m wondering about a ‘son in boom’! Thank you for the Sade clip – beautiful lady, beautiful tune and great saxophone player.

    1. Hi Jane. How unusual for us to agree about a piece of music. The Latin name fits all plants equally. I don’t know how the son in boom got through the proof reading but I quite like him so I will leave him be. We have checked into our Hotel and are about to walk up to The Royal Concert Hall to blag our way in for the sound check.

        1. I suppose that living in a village on a back road has made me soft. I did not like the trams busses and lorries that seemed to drive too fast in the city centre. All balanced out with a nice meal at Bistro Pierre. A gin and tonic in The Hop Merchant . Sir Van’s concert and a trio of Castle Rock,s Lighthouse beer in Langtrey’s.

  13. Back to puzzles now after a rather wet week in Andalucia and Portugal. Agree with others that this was a tad trickier than the usual Rufus fare bu fun nonetheless.

    No stand-out fav but if pushed I’d probably go for 1a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  14. Finally managed to access the site after difficulties and dire warnings from my security systems last week. Thanks to bd for sorting it out.
    I agree with others that this was trickier than normal for Rufus, but enjoyable nonetheless, and I had no problems finishing it . No real favourites although dusting down my peanuts at Christmas cd ready for next month I admit 12d made me smile.

  15. Just needed the help of a list of words to fit 24a. Even then it was a few minutes before I worked out which of the 8 words it was. Oh well.
    Liked 21a and 7d best.
    Thanks all.

  16. re. 29a…a maze has many turnings, but this has only one path – meant to represent
    one’s path through life……………………..

  17. Found it a bit more difficult than usual too.
    1,2 and 3 were the last to fall.
    Didn’t understand 22a. Thought it might be an expression like honesty grows or something. Think the plant is called Pope’s money in France.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. Have a great time in Nottingham.

  18. As usual, right on Rufus’s wavelength, but agree a tad trickier with some clues.
    Spent far too long, after getting the answer, to work out 24a and needed the hint to realize that the answer is the first two words, then it all fell into place.
    Much to love here, 12d and 27a particularly pleased me, so did 21a.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops for sorting 24a for me. Enjoy your concert!

  19. I agree that this was a little trickier than normal for a Monday, helped in no small part by the lack of anagrams I suspect.

    My two favourite clues were 12d and 20d. I also struggled to see a cryptic element in 13d.

    Thanks to Mr. Squires and to MP.

  20. Could someone please explain why toeing means standing by.
    Many thanks to blogger and setter and to Big Dave. This is a superb site which I look at most days.

    1. Hi Barry,
      I think it refers to ‘toeing the line’ as in waiting behind the line for the start of a race or standing behind the side-lines waiting to be called onto the pitch in a game.

    2. Barry, one of the definitions for “toe” as a verb in the BRB is: “to stand with the toes against (e.g: a starting-line)”

      1. London Bus syndrome – no replies for over half-an-hour and then three come along at once.

  21. I found it a lot trickier than normal and needed several hints.
    I liked 5d , 15a and 20 d , among others.
    Thanks to Rufus and I hope Mifffypops and Sharon enjoy their night out with Van the Man.

  22. 7 , and 12, because I put ” malice” into 21, eluded me . I found this trickier than anything I have experienced over the last ten days ;; the same period of time incidentally , that my high tech security anti- viral system blocked me from this site. Has anyone else experienced this type of thing recently ? grrr . Still glad to be back thanks to both setter and MP . ***/***

  23. Yes I found it a little tricky ***/*** needed the hint for 24a as I too was sure the ending was “ice” and then I was ducking a diamond lead as in Bridge 😨 So a big thanks to MP and to Rufus 🤗 Favourites 1a & 10a 😜

  24. I thought it might have been because I was on my own, but it looks like I was not alone in having to work a bit harder than usual on a Monday. Nice puzzle and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Rufus and MP.

  25. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. Needed the hints for 24a&12d. My favourite was 7d,which made me laugh. Was 3*/3* for me. If I use Google Chrome, the checker returns a white blank screen and my comment is lost. All works ok with the Opera Browser.

  26. 10a – a factor is the Scottish/Borders term for an agent, someone employed to run an estate but the other stuff fits too!

  27. Made a dog’s dinner out of today’s offering! Although I normally get on well with Rufus’s puzzles I needed the hints to solve the bottom west quarter… Oh dear, am I losing my cryptic touch, I wonder. Perhaps too many other things in my head. Just could not see what 13d could be, not much of a cryptic clue. A ray of sunshine as 27a made me smile. Tomorrow is another day! Many thanks to setter and to MP.

  28. Enjoyed this one very much but needed help with 24a….still not sure that elude means duck, or should I say it doesn’t for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints.

  29. I’m all for this new ‘slightly tougher’ Rufus crossword! And very pleasant it was too.
    Favourite for me was 18a; it took me quite a while before the penny dropped…. Nora? Cora? D’oh! Overall 3/3*.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the traveling man. Enjoy tonight. It has been a very long time since I last saw VTM in concert so I am envious.

  30. My comment seemed to have disappeared after I was told something was checking my browser…. so many thanks Rufus and Miffypops. Loved the duck song.

  31. Late for school today due to lazy morning and then a long walk with the dogs along the beach and round Blackie Spit park. The puzzle was a challenge to begin with but finished with a flourish. Thanks to MP for the review and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  32. A very nice puzzle, smooth and satisfying. Thank you Rufus. Last in was 24a which was my favourite because I had to chew it the most to get to the soft centre. Liked the mis-direction of ‘ice’ which tripped most of us I suspect.

  33. Hi all, commenting from Auckland airport. Today we leave New Zealand for a week in Fiji and, frankly, a bit of a rest after cramming so much into the last few weeks.

    We rated this a 2*/3* with 29a our favourite.

    Have to go, boarding just started! Thanks to MP and the setter of course.

  34. Made my day by listening to Sade twice, this made up for the fact that I found the crossword quite hard work. Started well but ground to a screeching halt on LHS. Out came the supertoy and after a lot of twiddling it all dropped into place nicely. Not helped by being unable to read my writing and putting one word in wrong place, I need a new brain please may in have one for Christmas? :phew:

  35. Rufus showed his teeth a bit today, but all for the best because this was an enjoyable puzzle. Certainly 2* difficulty – maybe a 5d higher – but 4* on the satisfaction front. I liked 1a and 10a particularly. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP.

  36. I’m surprised that many found this tougher than usual for a Rufus. I’m with the “normal” people, as it were :).

    That said, I had to cheat to get unstuck in the NW where, with two checkers in, I entered PERCUSSIONIST for 1a thinking it a good enough fit for Rufus. Once I’d asked the app to highlight my errors and ousted the offenders I found the actual answer which I did like, and from there could reach the finish line.

    I needed MP to explain the cultivated part of 22a. Yes, I could have used the dictionary, but chose instead the more entertaining – if not always the more accurate – option of our esteemed Monday blogger. Better pictures than the dictionary too.

    I found a little to mar the overall enjoyment but lots to like too, including 24a and 27a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – hope you and Saint Sharon are enjoying yourselves.

  37. Oh well, I couldn’t do much of this, was all at sea trying to understand the clues.
    Shame after a good week-end.
    Not very enjoyable, but solely down to me.
    Thanks MP for the hints and Rufus for the puzzle.

  38. Definitely on the tricky side – my time was more like that for a particularly tough Toughie. Either that, or the pressures of the fast approaching festive season have finished off any few remaining brain cells…

  39. Later in than usual, having got sidetracked with errands and chores. Agree not the usual gentle Monday offering, and was feeling quite panicked when got almost half way through before pen touched paper. Thankfully it all fell into place with some help from Miffypops. Hope you both have a great night off in Nottingham.

  40. I’m normally a Rufus fan, but I didn’t like this one at all. It may be that my few remaining grey cells are in the process of giving up the ghost owing to the amount of hard yards I’ve been doing at work lately but this took me (relatively) ages and provided little satisfaction when I finally flung down my pen and the completed grid. Having said that, I did like 1a and 10a. Thanks to Rufus and MP – the last time I saw Sir Ivan, he sat behind a keyboard behind the band and the backing singers throughout, with only the top of a preposterous hat in view, and I had front-row seats! 3*/1*

  41. I did this excellent Rufus puzzle this morning. Lots to admire and very enjoyable. Was 2*/4* for me with thanks and plaudits all round. 1 across just beat 7 down to the top of the podium.

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