DT 28295 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28295

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28295

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ****

Good day from the beating heart of Downtown LI. We have a trademark Rufus puzzle today which yielded little on my first pass and fell rapidly on the second and third.

I am extremely proud of The Nobel Committees brave decision to award Bob Dylan the Nobel prize in literature. His written acceptance speech was outstanding. I particularly liked the closing part.

Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, “Are my songs literature?”

So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.

My best wishes to you all,

Bob Dylan

The hints and tips below have been selflessly and lovingly prepared for you today by Miffypops. A poorly schooled orphan boy. I have done my best to help those who need help. The answers are hidden beneath the click here banners. Illustrations provided may or may not have any relevance whatsoever to any of the clues.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Papal orders cause dismay (5)
APPAL:    ANAGRAM (oh how I love them) of PAPAL as indicated by the word orders.

4a    Harmony sprays containing carbon that comes by royal appointment (8)
MONARCHY:  This is our second anagram today superbly indicated by the word sprays. Sprays may be this year’s most original anagram indicator. It certainly made Miffypops smile. Sprays is the indicator and HARMONY is the fodder. But wait I hear you cry out. The answer requires eight letters and HARMONY is only seven. The eighth letter requires an insertion of the letter C which is the chemical symbol for Carbon in the periodic table. I think this clue will please fellow blogger Kitty who has stated publicly just how much she likes an insertion.

8a    Played pirate in company making a comeback with music (8)
OPERATIC:  Whoopee Doo!  An anagram (played) of PIRATE inside the reversed (making a comeback) shortened form of the word company

9a    A copper-lined box made carefully and precisely (8)
ACCURATE:  Oh dear! This clue does not work for me. We have the letter A lifted from the clue. A wooden box and another element from the periodic table. In this case copper. Place the copper into the wooden box to find our answer. The clue asks for copper lined which to me suggests the copper should be outside the box not inside it. Does anybody want to blog on Mondays. My head hurts. If it helps the answer is an anagram of my own making of CURE A CAT.

This is a copper-lined box! BD

11a    Violent melee in front of National Trust unit (7)
ELEMENT:  Anagram (violent) of MELEE placed before the abbreviation for the National Trust 

13a    Missing persons (9)
ABSENTEES:  A cryptic definition of those not where they should be. AWOL types. Unreliables. Not like me. I turn up every Monday at Big Dave’s house and write these notes. It is about an hour’s fast drive for me. Spare a thought for Falcon, Pommers and Mr Kitty who have to fly in to take their turn. Pam and Dave do provide the nicest breakfasts though. 

15a    Current account (11,4)
ELECTRICITY BILL:   The charge you pay to be connected to the mains for the supply of a form of energy resulting from the existence of charged particles (such as electrons or protons), either statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current. The best use of this form of energy is to amplify the music of Nobel laureate Bob Dylan. 

18a    Student sitting in beginning to enjoy lecture (7-2)
TALKING TO:  Another insertion (Kitty will be pleased) our learner driver letter or student needs to be placed within a short phrase that means beginning to like or forming a liking for or beginning to fall into the habit of.

21a    Render an account (7)
NARRATE:   A cryptic definition of telling a tale. David Attenborough does this very well. 

22a    Recommending distressed diva do what divas do? (8)
ADVISING:  Our friend the anagram is back but only partially. Anagram (distressed) of DIVA followed by what a diva does. 

24a    Certified bureaucrat? (8)
OFFICIAL:  A double definition may I ask why those at Stratford Upon Avon are so difficult whilst those at Warwick are so helpful?

25a    Solitary eccentric, supporter of the monarchy (8)
ROYALIST: Anagram (eccentric) of SOLITARY. This very anagram gave me grief some years ago and again more recently. Both times it was the last one in. It was pleasant to spot it straight away today. Miffypops 1 Rufus 0. 

26a    I must leave region, unfortunately being one beyond help (5)
GONER:  Unfortunately an anagram (unfortunately) of IGNORE minus the letter I (I must leave)


1d    The youngster‘s grant’s in a foreign currency (10)
ADOLESCENT:  Somebody who is ready for the Zombie apocalypse but not for tomorrows mathematics exam. A nice charade of a clue. Place a word meaning grant’s as in gives out unemployment benefit inside the letter A from the clue and a foreign currency or one hundredth part of a foreign currency. I call upon Dutch to rule upon whether or not this clue is fair. Surely the Dollar is the currency While you are about it have a look at the in the box out of the box puzzle at 9ac

2d    Keep small cash book (8)
PRESERVE: Use the abbreviation for our smallest coin and add a verb meaning to book in advance to find this Jam. I have booked my tickets for Nobel laureate Bob Dylan’s tour in May. Cardiff, Bournemouth Nottingham Liverpool and London will be graced by my presence. Bring it on.

3d    Miss holiday abroad (5,3)
LEAVE OUT:  A word for your holiday time (imported from the Useless States of America) is followed by a word meaning abroad or not at home.

4d    Mineral that could be discharged by seismic activity (4)
MICA: Hidden word (lurker) indicated by the words could be discharged by. I put this into the solenoids that triggered the activation of Concorde’s landing gear. 

5d    Fall for an American (6)
AUTUMN:  The season that the Americans call The Fall. They call it this because it is what we used to call it when the early settlers went there. They rather boringly stuck with it whilst we organically grew our language and changed it to Autumn. Wicked innit?

6d    Stick that’s split? (6)
CLEAVE: possibly my favourite word in the whole wide world. One word with equal and opposite meanings. To split and to join. Here we have a double definition. A verb first and a verb second. How cool is that?

7d    Have a drink after end of study in university (4)
YALE : This Ivy Leaf American university can be found by putting the final letter (end of) of the word study before a type of alcoholic drink much loved by yours truly. 

10d    Actors getting support from press? It’s hard (4,4)
CAST IRON:   Place a word for a list of actors in a play before an old fashioned word meaning to press or smooth out creases in clothes to find this metal. Here is a picture of an early use of this close to Rufus’s home

12d    Challenging and accepting (6,2)
TAKING ON:  A trademark Rufus double definition.

14d    Old sailor with stock of wine in small vessel (4,6)
SALT CELLAR:  This misleading vessel is part of a cruet set. One of our regular terms for a bell bottomed sailor is followed by the room in which we keep our collection of fine wines. 

16d    Desire new head to lead study (8)
YEARNING:   Decapitate the noun meaning the acquisition of knowledge (study) and attach a new first letter as indicated by the words new head

17d    Ivan is bent on intrusion (8)
INVASION:  Anagram (bent) of IVAN IS followed by the word ON lifted straight from the clue

19d    Left one extremely out of sorts (6)
LIVERY: Use the letter L for L(eft) The letter that looks like the number one and add a synonym for the word extremely. 

20d    Insinuate popular list needs reordering (6)
INSTIL:  Our popular two letter word meaning popular is followed by an anagram (needs restoring) of LIST

22d    State of a cleric looking heavenwards (4)
AVER:  Take the letter A straight from the clue and add the reverse (looking heavenwards) of a shortened form of a man of the cloth.

23d    An extremely painful condition (4)
GOUT:  A cryptic definition of a medical condition caused by a build-up of Uric acid which affects the extreme parts of the body. Said to be caused by an excess of wine women and song and prominent amongst the clergy.

Written whilst listening to ….. who else would it be at this time?

The Quick Crossword pun: all+tug+ether=all together

68 comments on “DT 28295

  1. 2*/4*. All the usual Monday fun. It’s probably an old chestnut (Mr Kitty – comments please!) but 15a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    P.S. I suffer from 23d but have never been a member of the clergy. I can confirm it is VERY painful!

    1. If you’ve never been a member of the clergy, how can you confirm that to be one is VERY painful???

    2. RD, I also felt that we must have seen 15a before. But the closest recent clues I can find are:

      DT 27212: Account for all that talking? (9,4) TELEPHONEBILL
      DT 26589: Fewer calls are made to have this reduced (9,4) TELEPHONEBILL
      DT 26116: Price of cleanliness? (7,4) LAUNDRYBILL
      Toughie 576: ‘I’m by the river’ possibly interpreted as current account? (4,9) BANKSTATEMENT

      I still have a nagging feeling that 15a resonates with something that we’ve seen recently, so I’ll keep looking.

    3. I can only thank the chemists of this world for the invention of Allopurinol and (if required), Indometicin. :). It is not a condition that I would wish even on my worst enemy.

        1. Since that drug looks like something we’d encounter in a Friday cryptic I checked my list. It hasn’t been used. Yet.

          1. Just pour oil over new piercing, the result should counter gout (11)

            Not the best clue in the world but it will do for now :)

  2. Well that certainly was an easy ride – good for first-timers to have a bash at? The Quickie was equally simple. Obviously Rufus was in a benign mood – TVM. 15a and 18a amused. Will now read your hints MP – thanks for those. */*.

  3. A nice gentle start to the week, but enjoyable nonetheless. I never realised the answer for 6d could have opposite meanings, ive only ever known the word to mean split. 1.5*/3* Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

  4. R&W for me. Can I give half a star for difficulty, or do I have to keep to a whole number? Oh well, here I go anyway – 0.5*/3*.

    Typical Rufus, much less tricky than recent examples, with plenty of helpful full and partial anagrams. Three candidates for favourite – 15a, 1d, and 14d. And, the winner is 15a especially as it is a 15 letter non-anagram.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  5. Brilliant and funny review MP!

    Ref 9a, copper on the outside of the box would make it copper clad rather than copper lined? The illustration for 25a is an interesting choice.

    1. “Illustrations provided may or may not have any relevance whatsoever to any of the clues”.

      1. It’s certainly relevant MP. Few 25a’s would have been unaware of him!

        BTW (and only mentioned here because you’re today’s reviewer), given your musical tastes, I hope it’s OK to recommend to you Saturday’s Grauniad puzzle which, I suspect, you would hugely enjoy.

  6. No real sense of satisfaction at all today from my near neighbour as it was over so quickly that I don’t think I had a chance to blink. I’m not too keen on a grid with so many double unches either. Having said that, there were a few clues that I enjoyed – 13,15 & 23a with 14d as my favourite as it was the one I did smile at – being an old sailor :)

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to MP for his review and the picture at 10d. Can’t begin to count how many times I’ve been across it – I must owe a fortune in toll money.

  7. Monday again and already the bloggers are agreeing on a */** together with a ***/****, as Senf says-typical Rufus- and non the worse for that.
    Like RD I thought 15a was a brilliantly stand out favourite , which I do not recollect seeing before.
    I also suffer from 23a, but attacks much less frequent on allopurinol !
    Thanks to Miffypops , who will be delighted that Bob is on tour in this country again-I’m sure the fact will not have escaped notice !

  8. Quite straightforward once the first few fell – a good start to the week.
    I wasn’t familiar with that definition of 19d – more used to the ‘ish’ ending. As it stands, I would equate it more with horses and stabling.
    5d has been AWOL for a short while, I suppose it was due for a come-back!

    Several contenders for the top spot but I’ll give it to 15a despite MP’s accompanying clip to the hint.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP – don’t understand your objection to 9a. The clue simply asks for a box that is copper-lined.

    1. Hi Jane. I was cladding the box in copper when I should have been lining it with copper. As I always say. Read the clue.

  9. 2d gave me a bit of grief at the end, but the rest was the very definition of a R&W, albeit a thoroughly enjoyable one.

  10. I agree with everyone else – straightforward with lots of double unchecked letters and lots of anagrams.
    I made a muddle of 18a – no excuses really but got hung up on ‘telling off’ even though it didn’t fit.
    15a may be an old chestnut but if it is I don’t remember seeing it – I do remember 5d.
    I liked the use of ‘sprays’ as an anagram indicator.
    I liked 13 and 15a and 12d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  11. Again a lovely puzzle today from Rufus. I always enjoy his.
    Much to like, but I’ll go with the crowd for fave and pick 15a.
    I agree, 6d is a strange word, having the two opposite meanings.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his review.

  12. I am nowhere as experienced as all of you but managed to do this all except 13a without the blog, so for me most enjoyable. Not quite sure of the connection between being a member of the cloth and 23d?

  13. No great difficulties today apart from needing to verify unfamiliar meanings of 6d and 19d after the grid was filled.

    Except for 15a and 22a I didn’t find too much to smile about in the acrosses, but I did like several of the downs, particularly 2d, 5d, 7d, 14d, and 23d. If I had to pick a favourite it’d be 14d for the clever definition. **/*** is my rating today.

    MP, I’m wondering if Rufus included 7d just for you. That university is famous because its location of New Haven also houses a very small club known as Toad’s Place where, in January 1990, Mr Dylan played what must surely be his longest show. It was an awesome performance made up of four sets spread over six hours. With such stamina it is no surprise that he went on to win a prize. I didn’t see you there, but you can read about it at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bringing-it-all-back-home-dylan-thrills-with-exhaustive-show-19900308.

    Thanks to Rufus for the fun and to MP for getting the crosswording week off to a very enjoyable start. I read your remarkable review to the soundtrack of “Highlands”. I almost made it to the end before the song finished.

    1. Hi Mr Kitty. I have the Toads Place concert on two bootleg CDs Volumes one and two. I never listen to Highlands. It bores me.

  14. Nice and smooth, as always. Lovely surface readings, as always. Rufus makes Mondays a little less painful

  15. For some reason I didn’t enjoy today’s puzzle quite as much as I normally do on a Monday, perhaps I’m still depressed by England’s abject capitulation in Mumbai.

    Somewhat surprised that this particular grid finds favour with the Telegraph, given the number of double unches involved. Not quite as many anagrams as last week, but nine was still quite a lot.

    Like RD and others, 15a was my stand-out favourite. For me, 13a had precious little cryptic content.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to the Chairman of the Long Itchington branch of the Bob Dylan Appreciation Society ;-)

  16. **/****. Splendid puzzle which, like MP, took more than one reading. Plenty of anagrams and difficult to pick a winning clue but 6d was probably my favourite – I just love the english language! Thanks to Rufus and to MP for an amusing review.

  17. Thanks to Rufus for a nice easy crossword with some nice clues 😁 */*** and to MP for his very entertaining blog 😜 Liked, as nearly everyone did, 15a along with 22a & 1d 🤗

  18. Very little resistance from Rufus’ puzzle today, despite the grid.
    I agree about Dylan, although in a way , I would have liked Leonard Cohen to have been recognised before he died.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  19. A gentle puzzle to set the week rolling: 1*/3*. I liked 6d, simply because the “sticky” definition is one very rarely heard these days (other than in the common name of the stuff that gets so well stuck into the coats of our springers on their morning walk round the fields in the summer). Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  20. Everyone seems to ignore the wrong fodder in 26a but MP shall not get away with it. I spotted the deliberate mistake.
    Well done for driving to Worcestershire and back to write the review.
    Thanks to Rufus for the usual Monday fun.
    Thanks to MP for the near perfect review.

    1. What’s wrong with 26a?
      I agree with stanXYZ about the ‘leaf’ but after a drive like that anything is forgiven.

      1. To quote the wonderful Wogan, “Is it me?” There’s nothing wrong with MP’s hint. The definition is ‘one beyond hope’. It’s an anagram (unfortunately) of REGION minus the ‘I’ (I must leave).
        On that happy note I’m going to bed . . .

  21. I LOVE MP’s illustration for 4a which I had not previously seen – “Long May She Reign Over Us”.

      1. Oh dear, apologies, it’s probably because I seem to have made a typo on the “Name” but perhaps I will adopt that name in future!

  22. Agree with everyone on here about the puzzle being gentle! I liked 6d and 18a and I will go with the latter as favourite. 1.5/2.5 overall.
    Thanks to Rufus for starting the week, and to MP for driving to Worcestershire.

  23. Felt quite good about this one, as only needed help on 3 down clues, 1, 6 and 19. Thanks Miffypops for helping me fill in the blanks. Was alarmed when 1a went straight in, as that is usually followed by total stupor, but not today.

  24. An unusual grid containing a gentle Rufusy puzzle which didn’t hold me up too much last night. I didn’t trouble to note down favourites but did find it an enjoyable way to wind down.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to MP for the literature.

  25. Many thanks Miffypops for a great blog.
    I am going to change my name to “AlwaysOneShort” as it’s far more appropriate. The double-unch did for me on 6d, as I had forgotten the other definition of the answer, actually I’m not sure I ever knew it.
    Thanks to Rufus too.
    Southern Trains on strike tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday. Well done!! This is the worst commuting experience since I started commuting in 1978. Idiots.

  26. I put ‘taking up’ into 12d so that slowed the sw corner. 14d made me smile when I saw the pic. What on earth is the little man carrying on his back? The mind boggles.Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. IMHO the “little man” in 14d is carrying a salt ‘shaker’ (plus a pepper shaker) as opposed to a salt ‘cellar’ which is a small dish or bowl with spoon often in a silver carrier. I wonder what you had in mind Florence to make your mind boggle?!

  27. Something of an inverse relationship between MP’s blog and the crossword. The blog was excellent and entertaining. Sorry but only */*. These double unches… not pretty things are they? Like cane toads. Thanks for a great blog MP and, not to be churlish, thanks Rufus. I guess crosswords are like golf shots – each one pleases somebody.

  28. Thanks for the hints just couldn’t parse 2d even though I had the answer. Also only knew one of the meanings for 6d until reminded. Good puzzle and super pleased to see Ivan for the second time in less than a week.

  29. Surely the apostrophe in “grant’s” in 1d is misplaced? Other than that, this was a nice easy solve so thanks to the setter and MP for the blog.

    1. I had to look hard for anti Americanism and could only find it in the comment Useless States Of America. I will not use it again. Apart from the genuine mistake at Ivy Leaf (Ivy League) there seems to be a lot of my usual praise for Bob Dylan and his recent well deserved award.

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