DT 28307 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28307

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28307

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good Morning from the eerily silent heart of Downtown L I. No people cars or horses have passed by as yet. How unusual?

My recommended must see film this year is on BBC1 (no adverts) on Wednesday 28th at 7.30pm is this.

You will not be wasting your time.

Today’s puzzle by Rufus had the usual sting in the tail with a sprinkling of clues pushing up the difficulty meter but nothing too seriously challenging

I take this opportunity to thank Rufus for coming up with these weekly slices of fun (The Monday Grauniad is also compiled by Rufus) which along with his Monday quickie puzzle sets Monday up nicely for so many people. Here’s to you and yours Roger Squires. Have a very happy new year.

I extend my wishes for a very happy new year to all blogsters. Whether you comment or lurk in silence or merely pop in to read that one hint you need for completion every few weeks or so, may the coming year be better than last year.


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Share a roll, being a reasonable person (11)
RATIONALIST: We begin with a three part charade using the first three words of the clue. Simply use a word meaning a share or allotted portion. Add the letter A which you can lift directly from the clue and add a roll. Not a bread or a Swiss Roll. Nor a roll down a hill or a roll of carpet. Not the roll of a dice nor even the gentle roll of the countryside. This roll is an official register of names.

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road

9a    Time to pack up after Christmas? (6,3)
BOXING DAY: A cryptic definition hinting at what common people call St Stephen’s day

10a    We hear forty of the Romans do better (5)
EXCEL: What we hear when we read the two letter Roman numeral denoting the number forty.

11a    Weapons carried by police that may produce stares (6)
TASERS; Anagram (may produce) STARES

12a    Face up! It might mean the opposite! (4,4)
BACK DOWN: The opposite of facing up to something is this. The second word of the clue and the answer are obvious opposites. The first words of the clue and the answer are less obvious opposites

13a    Go and hunt out duck (6)
NOUGHT: Anagram (out) of Go and HUNT. The duck is a cricketing term.

15a    Accommodation for poor sailors? (8)
STEERAGE: A cryptic definition of the old third class accommodation on a boat where passengers were crammed in to the smallest space possible and treated like canimals. This system is still in existence but not on boats. It is used extensively by modern airlines.

18a    Stone pitcher (8)
CATAPULT: This pitcher of stones used a Y shaped strong twig and an elastic band to pitch stones at a target.

19a    Production of smaller woods for indoor bowls (6)
BONSAI: A cryptic description of the Japanese art of growing miniature trees which will therefore need smaller bowls. I once knew a chap who opened a shop selling these trees. He was so successful that he was soon able to move into smaller premises.

21a    Reminder one’s given in passing (8)
MEMORIAL: Another cryptic definition of ones tombstone perhaps.

Here lies the body of Ezra Pound. Lost at sea and never was found.

Here lies my wife: so let her lie. She’s at rest, and so am I.

Here lies the body of Pavlov’s puppy. Born stone deaf so got no suppy.

23a    Measures broken biscuit (one I left) (6)
CUBITS: Anagram (broken of BISCUITS minus the one letter I that the clue tell you to remove

26a    Dismiss and discuss no further (3,2)
LET GO: A double definition. To dismiss or fire an employee or to drop a subject

27a    Planned a Yule rest with no frills (9)
AUSTERELY: Anagram (planned) of A YULE REST. (what yule rest)?

28a    French fortress as the HQ, until being captured (3,8)
THE BASTILLE: A less formal way of saying until is place inside THE (from the clue) and a word meaning headquarters or the centre of operations.


1d    Apply balm or aggravate someone’s trouble (3,2,2)
RUB IT IN: A double definition the second being great fun when the moment is right.

2d    Official charge is for transportation (5)
TAXIS: Our dues to our government followed by the word IS from the clue. It is our right and our privilege to pay these dues to the central treasury for the common good of all.

3d    Pro wins, he is out for a title (9)
OWNERSHIP: Anagram (s out) of PRO WINS HE

4d    Excellent detective gives assistance (4)
AIDS: A two letter term meaning first rate or of the highest order is followed by a Detective Sergeant’s initials.

5d    Cite ways to develop arctic wilderness (3,5)
ICY WASTE: Anagram ( to develop) of CITE WAYS

6d    Twitch at first to wake in confusion (5)
TWEAK: The first letter ( at first of Twitch is followed by an anagram (in confusion) of WAKE

7d    Gymnast will need this money in the bank (7)
BALANCE: A double definition. The second being the banking term amount you have in your bank account

8d    New broadcast leaves out 500 performers (8)
ACROBATS: Anagram (new) of BROA (d) CAST minus (leaves out) the Roman numeral which denotes 500

14d    Last of a multi-tea blend (8)
ULTIMATE: Anagram (blend) of MULTI TEA

16d    Mum let one out for profit (9)
EMOLUMENT: Anagram (out) of MUM LET ONE. This is the third time this anagram indicator has been used today.

17d    Split seen in a flirty dress? (8)
CLEAVAGE: A cryptic description of the hollow between a woman’s breasts when supported, especially as exposed by a low-cut garment

18d    Fabulous site desert inhabitant returned to (7)
CAMELOT: The desert inhabitant may be a Dromedary or a Bactrian. He is folloed by the reversal (returned) of the word TO from the clue.

20d    Enlist round about end of May, showing panache (2,5)
IN STYLE: Anagram (round) of ENLIST built around (about) the final letter (end of) of the word May

22d    Outsize rubbish has been stacked around hen house (5)
ROOST: Our usual initials for outsize has a word meaning rubbish stacked around it to find a hen house

24d    Perfect thought comes to pupil (5)
IDEAL: A thought or plan plus the usual letter indicating one is a learner.

25d    A major landmass, though it could be minor (4)
ASIA: The name of the world’s largest continent. In conjunction with the word minor it forms the Anatolian peninsula. As peninsulas go I am happy to stick with The Roseland.

Thanks to all who commented on my blogs last year. It has been my pleasure to write this stuff and to try to remind you each week that it is just a bit of fun. Enjoy yourselves. It’s later than you think.

The Quick Crossword pun: mist+aches=mistakes

46 comments on “DT 28307

  1. A fairly gentle start to the week. Favourites were 18a and 17d. I thought it a bit strange to have the first word of the answer for 28a in the clue, never heard of 16d before, but an easy enough anagram to work out. 1.5*/2* Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

  2. A nice puzzle today. No problems at all, even the anagrams were obvious to me today. Thanks to Rufus and to Mifftpops for his blog.
    I hope everybody had a nice Christmas and can now get back to normal again.

    1. Welcome from me as well. That’s what we are here for Pam. A happy band of people, spread around the world, who all have the same addiction. A bit like a global AA – not the automobile one – because I, for one, often have to resort to a wee dram to lubricate my brain and our ‘dear leader’ BD has a particular favourite single malt.

  3. Very straightforward and no significant head scratching – */*** for me – it must have been all the anagrams.

    Long favourite 17d and short favourite 25d, although 15a was in with a chance.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  4. Nice start to ‘recovery’ day with just a couple of hesitations along the way.
    I initially tried for an anagram at 1a and thought 13a might be one of our feathered friends – both were delayed entries.
    19a was my last one in as I was looking for a form of indoor bowling – dim, as Kath would say!

    No stand-out favourite but an enjoyable puzzle.
    Many thanks to Rufus for this and all his 2016 puzzles and many thanks to MP for all his blogging duties. Mondays would not be complete without samples of your unbelievable collection of words and ‘music’.

  5. Many many thanks to you all for being my brain aide in times of perplexity
    Long may you continue
    A happy new year to you all

  6. Nice and gentle, perfect for someone with a thick head – my only gripe would be that I was hoping for MP to come up with a better picture to illustrate 17d – very disappointing (sexist pig – Moi – oink oink!)

    Lots of sport today and the family distracting me – oh well it’s not every week, thank god!

    1. Put the bait on the hook cast it out and reel them in thick and fast. Michael you are old enough to find your own images if mine do not suit. I have a feeling that they never will.

        1. Other reviewers can do what they want. I do what I want. If the boys want fun they can find it elsewhere

  7. Enjoyable and generally straightforward, though I got stuck on 19a…..Best wishes for 2017 to one and all….

  8. That’s four light fun festive puzzles on the trot. Just what the doctor ordered after a very long alcohol fuelled day yesterday.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  9. I thought 19 across was the pick of the day. Lots to enjoy and no real problems solving this Boxing Day offering.

    2*/3* overall with thanks to Rufus and MP.

  10. I took a slightly different parsing for 6d. I took the first letter of “to” to start with, so I could leave the “Tweak” as the overall meaning. Otherwise, as everybody else has said, a nice gentle start to Recovery Day.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

    1. Well spotted. I had a problem with Twitch doing double duty as a definition and a part of the wordplay. CS has agreed with you in the comment below and that will always be good enough for me. Thank you

  11. As Jane, I was sure that 19a was a sporty clue which held me up no end.
    Really liked 18d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Probably not your kind of sounds but RIP George Michael.

    1. Hi JL,
      Just read your comment re: the birthday bash – PLEASE say you’ll be there, it wouldn’t be at all the same without you.

      1. I’ll do my best. Last time I was treated like a canimal by Air France as MP rightly said. Eurostar remains a good option.

  12. Piece of cake today, only needed hints for 1,7,15,19,18,22,17,27.
    Great effort.
    Thanks to MP and Rufus.

      1. I think so.
        Too much beer/red wine/food/port/mince pies/cake/cheese/chocolates, enjoyable, but no good for doing crosswords!!
        Hope you are having a good time over Christmas too, Jane.
        Shame about George Michael and Rick Parfitt,been a bad year…

  13. I am usually right on wavelength with Rufus, but today I struggled mightily. Maybe too much Chriasmas cheer yesterday? Got there eventually, which is what counts.
    Fave was 18d, with 19a nipping at the heels.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops for his hints and good wishes. I wish you the same and look forward to visiting you again in 2017.

  14. Thank you , Miffypops , for coming to my rescue about 18d , and posting a lovely blog.
    Thanks also to Rufus .

  15. A nice puzzle for Boxing Day; not too demanding but satisfying to complete. I liked 19a and 17d with the latter being my favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his usual take on life in his review.

  16. Not too tricky although I was a bit slow in the bottom left corner.
    The only real problem I had was one that I made “all my own self” – I had ‘laid down’ for 12a which was not only dim in the extreme but did very little for 6d.
    I spent a while trying to think of a piece of gymnastic equipment for 7d.
    I liked 18a and 18d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Nothing seems to be required of me at the moment – might go and sit by the fire with Mr Rookie.

  17. Dear Miffypops thank you for illustration for 18d definitely my favourite. Also thanks for reminder about the Raymond Briggs will have to catch up on iPlayer as we do not have television. Final and biggest thank you for a super splendid selections of reviews which have cheered me immensely over the past year. Happy New Year to you and the Saintly One.

    1. Thank you. I hope that you and Brian have a lovely time now and a very happy new year. I keep hoping that Saint Sharon’s family members in Lowestoft will give us an excuse to visit and stay. There will be no reason not to enjoy lunch or dinner in Southwold. I am sure that they have tables that will sit four people.

  18. I agree with MP’s ‘sting in the tail’ assessment. Most of it went in easily, but I was held up by a couple of clues. At least until I remembered that on Mondays if in doubt, suspect a cryptic definition. I particularly liked 19a, 18d, and 17d.

    Thanks to Rufus for the fun, and to MP for another of his always entertaining blogs.

  19. An enjoyable puzzle from Rufus, reasonably gentle perhaps for those with foggy heads today? Only needed 3 hints, for which I thank you Miffypops. Seems as if Boxing Day is not the same as when we left England, shops open etc. per a DT article today. What a shame. One of the traditions we have always missed since being transferred across the pond. During my working life various bosses could never understand my reluctance to show up on December 26!

  20. Thanks to Rufus for a nice puzzle for a wet and windy St Stephen’s Day 😋 */****and of course to MP for the blog 🤗 Favourite 18d closely followed by 18a 😄

  21. Perhaps Kath won’t feel so bad about 12a when she hears that I entered “laid back” originally, but luckily I soon realised my error.

    That apart, it was pretty much plain sailing, with appropriately some real Christmas crackers in evidence such as 13a, 19a, and my overall favourite, 18a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires not just for today’s puzzle, but also for all the Monday entertainment to which we’ve been treated during 2016. Thanks also to MP, of course, in a very similar vein.

  22. Had a happy Christmas en famille but somehow it’s really nice to be back in the old routine this evening so many thanks Rufus for untaxing gentle fun. No particular Fav and just managed without input from MP. **/***. Compliments of the season to everyone and thanks for all the camaraderie.

  23. Nothing too taxing today – I love the blunt and deceptive 18a and 19a is also nicely disguised.
    Way too much port and cheese was had on Sunday; thank goodness that’s over for another year.

    Many thanks to setters, hinters and contributors as ever.

  24. Very gentle, but amusing in its way: 1*/3*. Now – a deep breath before the assault on that Christmas pudding! Sorry, where are my manners? Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his usual highly readable review.

  25. A couple that held out at the end, but apart from that on the easier side for Rufus. For some reason the Engish rather than French article for 28ac threw me.

  26. I had Tail Down for 12a which made 6d rather hard. Needed the hints to sort it out, so thanks. Didn’t like the construction of 6d!!!

  27. Not much to add. Mostly gentle but with a bite. A bit like my Christmas, apart from the number of bites (many). The guests leave tomorrow, and from Wednesday I celebrate the end of the interesting year of 2016.

    I liked 18d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP – for this and all puzzles and reviews respectively over the past year.

  28. Evening, fellow cruciverbalists from deepest, wobbliest Shropshire :) Thanks to my Ironbridge neighbour for an enjoyable romp in crossword heaven. I will say no more than to wish you all a Happy New Year – as that will be when I next speak to you all Hic!

  29. Thanks to Rufus for another year of delight. Thanks to MP for restraint on the cleavage front (and 12 months of bloggage). Yours, Stone-Cold Sober of SE20

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