DT 28319 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28319

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28319

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I found this to be a pleasant slog which took quite a lot longer than Monday’s Rufus puzzles usually do. Perhaps because of the extremely busy weekend we had hosting The Mayflower Motorcycle Club first rally of the year. I have too much to do today so no illustrations. I have changed my avatar though. That is one cool dude in the new photograph.

The hits and tips below are written in plain English to help you understand just how the clue might lead you the solution. The word concatenate does not appear on Mondays.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a No one’s at home here (7,6)
NEUTRAL GROUND: A cryptic definition of a venue chosen for a sporting contest where neither team have the advantage of playing at home.

10a Take care to not be introspective (4,3)
LOOK OUT: A double definition. The first warning one to take care.

11a Title fight in booth (4,3)
CALL BOX: To give title to. Coupled with a verb meaning to fight according to the Queensberry rules

12a Short cut that’s about right (4)
CURT: Lift the word CUT from the clue and place it around the letter R(ight)

13a Listened and learned (5)
HEARD: To have perceived with the ear and to have gained knowledge.

14a Today’s most popular writer? (4)
BIRO: A cryptic definition of a kind of ballpoint pen (writer) named after its inventor. Surely the most popular writer today is the computer keypad.

17a Relatives getting directions — sighs of relief! (7)
NEPHEWS: Start with two compass points and add the plural of an exclamation expressing a strong sense of relief

18a Horrified by current events? (7)
SHOCKED: To be horrified or appalled thus might also be how you feel after experiencing electricity a little too closely

19a Add fifty-one to one-and-fifty. 100? It is not right! (7)
ILLICIT: Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin. Place the Roman numerals for the numbers 50 and 1 after the Roman numerals for 1 and 50. Now add the Roman numeral for 100 and the word IT from the clue. Easy wasn’t it.

22a Warn one that’s amusing (7)
CAUTION: A double definition. The second, an amusing or surprising person being described in my online dictionary as dated and informal

24a Farewell issue (4)
EXIT: The answer here is a place of departure from a room, building, or vehicle. The word also describes the act of leaving a place. It is also used as a stage direction. It is also a verb meaning to issue or withdraw

25a A lump in one’s throat (5)
UVULA: A cryptic definition of the soft wiggly piece of skin that dangles from the back of the throat

26a Work as a bank clerk and present an account (4)
TELL: A simple double definition.

29a Old European currency used on road repairing somewhere in S America (7)
ECUADOR: This South American country can be found by using the former term for the European Currency Unit (named after its initials) and an anagram (repairing) of ROAD

30a Gets messing about in boats (7)
OBTAINS: Anagram (messing about) of IN BOATS

31a Everybody’s out in the CO’s three-wheeler (7,6)
GENERAL STRIKE: Split 8,5 this national withdrawal of labour makes a three wheeled vehicle for a high ranking military officer


2d Self-indulgent action to gripe about (3,4)
EGO TRIP: Anagram (about) of TO GRIPE

3d Put one’s foot down back in Tudor times (4)
TROD: An inverted (back) hidden (in) word.

4d Those beastly overheads (7)
ANTLERS: These beasts are male deer. The overheads are their branched horns

5d Cargo transported up street in small fast vehicles (2-5)
GO-CARTS: Anagram (transported) of CARGO followed by the reversed (up in a down clue) abbreviation for street. I think these now use the letter K in place of the letter C.

6d Look round over leg in play (4)
OGLE: The round letter is followed by an anagram (in play) of LEG

7d Point is needed to beat old club (7)
NIBLICK: This point is the part of a pen which distributes ink to paper. This is followed by a word which means either to overcome or to deliver a smart blow. Both fit the word beat in the clue so take your pick. We have had The Mashie and The Brassie recently so maybe this antiquated triumvirate of names for golf clubs can be sent to cryptic crossword home for obscure tired and overused words

8d Not fit, thought to be rash (3-10)
ILL-CONSIDERED: Take a word meaning unfit or poorly and add a word meaning thought or pondered

9d Shoe with a tongue, in a manner of speaking (6,7)
OXFORD ENGLISH: This shoe is a brogue named after a county. The tongue is a language. Ours.

15d Form of tribunal? (5)
BENCH: A double definition. Also what the tribunal may be sitting on.

16d Extra payment on getting into public transport (5)
BONUS: Place the word ON from the clue inside a form of public transport. The popular term for an omnibus

20d In France the one indisputable freedom (7)
LEISURE: Begin with the French word for THE. Add the letter that looks like the number one and another word meaning indisputable or certain. Did you put Liberty in? I did.

21d Soldiers welcome sailors inside foreign restaurant (7)
TAVERNA: Place a three letter exclamation used to express good wishes on meeting or parting before the initial letters of the R(oyal) N(avy) and place them all inside our volunteer army. I think new solvers seeing this clue would think this is all Greek to me without realising just how close to the foreign restaurant they were.

22d Summons? Nothing to us, being hardened (7)
CALLOUS: Begin with a verb meaning to order or request the presence of. Add the round letter that looks like nothing and finish off with the word us lifted straight from the clue.

23d Competitors will be on edge in this arena (3,4)
ICE RINK: A definition of a place used for skating on metal blades as opposed to wheels.

27d Having no work to do, some take unpaid leave (4)
IDLE: Hidden (some) within the words of the clue.

28d Horse’s blaze of celebrity (4)
STAR: The shape of a blaze on a horses face is also the term given to a celebrity.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week. You have been warned.

The Quick Crossword pun: master+peace=masterpiece

90 comments on “DT 28319

  1. 2*/4*. Great fun from our Monday maestro as always, filled with his usual very inventive definitions and misdirections.

    I’m far from being a horse expert but I thought a blaze on a horse’s nose was long and narrow and that a 28d was a smaller rounder mark on the nose.

    My favourite, 31a, made me LOL.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. RD. Yes, you’re correct – a star is a smallish white mark between the eyes; a blaze is a longer mark extending from the forehead to the muzzle.

    2. Well show me up to be a poorly schooled ingoramus. I nearly checked it out but time was running short. I should have though of the great kauto Star.

      1. Yes sir, that is indeed one cool dude in the new avatar!! I had to look at it on my computer as the iPad wouldn’t open it for me, hence the delay making a remark. Harry will soon be going to uni, he’s growing up so quickly.

    3. I hesitated to put in the answer for 28d, as in my also limited horse experience, the blaze is a long mark. Only bunged it in after checking in the hints.

    4. My partner’s daughter who is a riding teacher was indignant when I checked with her re blaze/star, “not the same at all…”

  2. Agree with Miffypops that it was a ‘pleasant slog ‘with the full gambit of of clue difficulty, and a 2.5*/4* for me.
    Took ages to get the first word in 1a, as I was thinking more of the away fixtures and had ‘brogue ‘ in mind for 9d until the penny dropped.
    Excellent start to the week, can’t wait for the ‘polar plume’ to arrive this weekend – the express weather forecast is never wrong!

  3. I enjoyed this, the intrigue of the long perimeter clues and 19a driving me to work my way around the puzzle to gain enough enough checkers to solve these clues. I tried hard to fit a different 2nd word into 8d, but it was too short.

    hadn’t heard of the old golf club in 7d.

    Actually, I put in the French word Liberte – indisputably a French freedom.

    many thanks MP and Rufus

      1. I hesitate to join in with the ‘great minds’ but I also put in Liberte for 20d….maybe the second part of the saying is more appropriate…….

  4. When I finished today’s puzzle, my reaction was that it took longer than it should have done and I could not explain why, especially as there appears to be a good ‘sprinkling’ of oldies but goodies.

    However, a very enjoyable start to the work week from Rufus with plenty of good clues. I especially liked that the four long clues were ‘anagram free.’ I think 1a or something like it, has come up in the not too distant past, and my first (unconnected) thought on 31a was ‘Reliant Robin’ (of Del Boy fame) which I could not shake off

    Candidates for favourite – the aforementioned four long clues, 17a, 19a, 4d – the list goes on and I cannot decide.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  5. I got confused dot com with 9D trying to justify Brogues for the second part which then made the south east corner impossible, time for a lay in a darkened room. Many thanks to the setter & to MP for his review.

    1. Graham – you are not alone, I lost count (I think it was three) of the attempts at the second word of 9d. As well as the eventual correct word, I also tried dialect and I have already forgotten the other(s).

      1. I first put in accents, but soon erased it when some acrosses were solved that I knew were correct!

  6. Don’t know about a slog. I just found it a pleasant but untaxing diversion over the morning cuppa. Probably about */*** for me with either 31a or 1a as favourite..

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  7. This one was certainly different than a usual Monday offering. I did finish it but needed the hints to understand some of the cluing. My favourites were 31a and 17a. Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for helping me understand the clues.

  8. It wasn’t too bad, but there were a couple bunged in without being sure of the “why” of it……..
    I agree about the spelling of the little whizzy things. It seems that all F1 drivers nowadays have to start on them at the age of 8 or 9, or they’re nowhere.

  9. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, a typical Rufus with lots of twists and turns. I had to think laterally to unravel this. Great fun. Just needed the hints to parse 14, 22,24&28d. Had never heard of the second definition of 22a or the meaning of 28d. Too many Favourites to list. Was 3*/4* for me.

  10. I haven’t seen nor heard 22a in the amusing context since my long ago departed grandmother used to say “A proper caution you are.”
    I don’t like the use of a brand name in 14a. What next………someone calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover? Surely not.

  11. Well, I thought this was quite a simple Monday morning offering. I think I made the same mistake as Dutch with 8d, but as soon as I had unpicked that, the rest of the SW corner fell into place.

    No more than */** for me. Isn’t it weird? We all do the same crosswords, day after day, and yet sometimes we can differ quite markedly on how difficult or enjoyable they have been.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  12. Not a completely straightforward solve – I had to dart about a bit to get some checkers in, particularly for 1a.
    Like others, I really wanted Oxford brogues for 9d – would have made it my favourite. As it is, that honour goes to 15d – says it all in just three words.

    Thanks to Rufus and to the busy orphan lad.

  13. Yikes, that was more like **** for difficulty for me. A few obscurities (7d and 25ac spring to mind), the latter with nothing more helpful than a cryptic definition. One of those where – yes, I get the idea, but I still haven’t got any idea what the thing is called. Larynx? No, that won’t fit. Cue a visit to Google. Similarly unhappy experiences with cryptic defs elsewhere in the grid made this a very, very slow solve.

  14. Much more than 2* difficulty for me – don’t think my brain is working today.
    I couldn’t get 1a for ages which was a bit silly and my last answer was 6d which was even sillier.
    25a comes into my ‘not fair’ category because it’s something you either know or you don’t but you can’t work it out from the clue.
    Like others I tried for ages to fit ‘brogue’ or ‘brogues’ into 9d.
    I liked 17 and 18a and 15d. My favourite was 4d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    1. Oh good – thank you – the first time that anyone has ever agreed with me about this kind of clue so a big :smile: to you.
      I did know the answer but could not have worked it out from the clue had I never heard of it.
      I think that the answer to a cryptic clue should be possible to work out from all the bits in the clue.

      1. I do agree, Kath. However, Dutch has a slightly different take on it – see his reply to my post #35.
        I’m not a fan of GK clues with no wordplay, either. All I could think of was epiglottis, but could only fit in ‘epigl’.
        I don’t mind being educated, but give us a clue!

      2. Me too, Kath. How you were supposed to solve 25a if you have never heard of it, I don’t know…

  15. Found this fairly straightforward. Made the same assumption as most with 9d however realised this was wrong when getting 30a. My favourite was definately 31a.

  16. 3*/3* with 31a as our favourite.

    Not sure about your hint for 24a, MP – haven’t you just thrown four definitions at us?
    We had farewell as a noun meaning the act of departure and hence a synonym for the answer and exit as an intransitive verb meaning to go, flow or come out and hence a second synonym.

    Thanks to Miffypops for the write-up and the compiler for the enjoyment.

    1. My original hint for 24ac read as follows: The answer here is a place of departure from a room. building or vehicle. The word also describes the act of leaving a place. It is also used as a stage direction. Further discussion as to the workings of this clue will be welcomed.

      My Email to BD in submitting the blog this morning read: Hi Dave. here it is. I have no idea about the clue for the word EXIT at 24ac. happy for you to change things. happy for you to leave them alone.


      The published hint is a mix of most of my comment and an addition from BD.

      I think our fallibility and failings should be made known to you all. BD thinks every clue should be clearly explained.

      One Too Many Mornings by Bob Dylan springs to mind.

      1. 24a. First definition = parting, departure, leave-taking. Second one = emerge, come out, exude. So they both are synonymous with EXIT.

      2. MP, Thanks. I’m clearer on the process now. And you’re certainly not a thousand miles behind! Cheers

      3. 24a – “Farewell issue” – I’m not completely convinced by the explanations so far.

        Being of a morbid disposition, wasn’t there once a publication (issue) called “Exit” that dealt with the subject of euthanasia?

        1. I wondered if the issue referred to Brexit – so ‘exit’ being a current political issue? Probably wrong…

    2. How daft am I? I clearly meant to say issue rather than exit in the second part of the explanation of how we parsed that clue. My excuse? Having a bad time today – having to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Ofiice to fix some deep-seated file corruption. Not nice.

  17. ***/*** for me today. Struggled with 1a, 11a and 7d and blamed recent ill-health for Monday’s lethargy ! Oh, that’s cheered me up as I remember a character in Shakespeare saying indignantly: ” Lethargy ? I defy lechery! ” Was it Sir Toby Belch….?
    Thought I’d found a brill solution to 14a in “inst” ……( most popular today ) Huh. Threw me out there….

    Many thanks to compiler and aide for enjoyment

    1. It was indeed Sir Toby Belch.

      Did anyone else enjoy Punt and Dennis’s take on Twelfth Night on the radio on Saturday?

      I certainly did.

  18. Great fun from Rufus! 1a was my fave; I did go round in circles for a while… I had Neutral as the first word and that really didn’t help. However, a minor hiccup.
    It therefore became my favourite once the grey cells sorted themselves out. 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for adding to the fun.

  19. A tad more difficult than expected on the Monday back pager due to a couple of clues that had me over-thinking the solutions. Nevertheless, a pleasant solve that helped get the old grey matter up and functioning. No particular favourites but I did like 9d.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to MP for his review.

  20. MP, Thanks. I’m clearer on the process now. And you’re certainly not a thousand miles behind! Cheers

  21. Enjoyable crossword. Only doubt is 22a : never heard of answer in context of an amusing person.

    1. You’re probably too young, but I remember one of the old comics who used to use it all the time, I think it was Arthur Askey but not sure.

  22. Tougher than usual but very enjoyable. Favourites were 1&31a. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the review.

  23. Of all the setters, I am more on wavelength with Rufus than any others, so I found this a walk in the park.
    I also remembered the Britspeak for ballpoint pens, patted self on back for that.
    I loved 4d, 7d and 21d, but fave is 9d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the fun today.

  24. Very enjoyable puzzle this morning.

    I did make it harder for myself by agreeing with MP’s first try at 20d, then being convinced that 25a was apple…..doh!
    It all came right in the end though when I realised that 21d had to be Taverna.

    Thanks to Miffypops and to the setter.

  25. I’m another who found this trickier than normal for a Monday, but a little additional head scratching to start the week is no bad thing.

    My two ticked clues were 9d, and because it confounded me for a while, 1a. I thought the inclusion of “cut” in the wordplay for 12a was disappointing when “trim” or something similar would have avoided revealing 75% of the answer up front.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops, his comment regarding 7d was spot on and did make me chuckle. A club for old clubs perhaps?

    1. Welcome to the blog, taster. Now that you’ve found us I hope you’ll become a regular visitor and commenter.

    2. Welcome from me too – we’re all glad that you found this site.
      It’s all good fun so please keep commenting.

  26. Got there in the end – slightly trickier than recently for me. Mind you I am having January off alcohol, as is my wont, so without lubrication I’m not firing on all cylinders. I quite liked 19a and 29a.

  27. I also found this trickier than the usual Monday offering ***/*** 😕 But on completion wonder why 😳 Thanks to MP for his hints and to Rufus for the puzzle. I was not too enamoured with 24 & 13a, favourites 19a & 29a 😄

  28. Didn’t put Liberty or Liberté in 20d but managed to write leisure like pleasure which made 24a impossible.
    Anyway 24a was a double definition too many along with 15d and 28d. The other two in 15d and 22a were guessed as I didn’t know that a bench was a form and that a caution was someone funny.
    Only 13a made sense to me as I didn’t have access to any dictionaries while solving.
    7d was also a no no.
    Thanks to Rufus for extending my knowledge and to MP for the review.

  29. Definitely more than 2 star difficulty , as far as I am concerned.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  30. Enjoyable challenge which did require some application. Similarly to Jane who speaks of “darting about” I too solved in a somewhat haphazard way rather than my usual practice of trying to complete one section at a time. Fav was 31a followed by 9d once tongue had been fathomed. Thanks Rufus and MP. ⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️.

  31. I found it harder than ‘usual’. A few I’m not keen on – 1a could start ‘neu’ or ‘cen’, the spelling of 5d, 7d really…(?), 24a I simply don’t like, 22a rather strange and 25a is not cryptic – agree with Kath. 19a or 31a for faves.
    ***/** I’m afraid. Many thanks to MP & Setter.

    1. i think 25a is cryptic because ‘a lump in one’s throat’ is an idiomatic saying, whereas the answer is literal – although you can argue about just how much of a lump it is…

      1. I don’t think that it’s cryptic at all.
        I agree that the answer is literal but you need to know the word – a lump is a lump and it doesn’t matter how much of a lump it is.
        My argument is that if you don’t know the word you can’t work it out from the clue.
        I’m not a great fan of Friday crosswords mainly because of all the obscure words but at least it’s usually/sometimes possible to ‘invent’ a word you’ve never heard of and look it up and there it is.

        1. Ooops, comment overlap @15. It is above my station to counter Dutch, but on this one, I’m with you.
          I can see the pun, but there’s no wordplay as such.

          1. It definitely is cryptic. I agree with Dutch. I did not know the name for it or if I did I had forgotten but came to me with the checking letters and a run through the vowels for the first letter.

  32. I spent longer on this one than we usually do on a Monday puzzle. Reading the comments I see that the misdirections that I found, 9d for example, were also encountered by lots of other solvers.
    Thanks Rufus and MP.

  33. That was fun! A few clues put up rather more of a fight than the rest, so 2*/4* overall. Little ticks in the margin against 14a, 19a, 20d, 6d and 15d, but my favourite was 21d. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP.

  34. Definitely tougher than usual for a Monday, and putting a couple of wrong answers held me up for a while. Tried to make holiday rental fit for 1a, duh, and liberty for 20d, also duh. Favorite was 31a, hope you don’t get one of these over there. Our friends are traveling from Derbyshire to Gatwick by train today so fingers crossed they get there in time for their flight tomorrow across the pond to our house.

    1. I’ll bet you’re loving this cold weather! I did like the rain, most welcome, but this cold is too much for me. I can’t wait for it to get warm again so I can get back in the pool.

  35. Fun as always from Rufus. I totally agree with Senf about relief at finding the 4 long words not being clued as anagrams. I do get fed up with long computer–generated anagrams that there’s no satisfaction in solving

  36. Well, that was a curious mix…I recall that Rufus uses double definitions regularly, and I struggled with many of them. I need to think more laterally…
    Certainly more difficult than many of Rufus’ recent offerings, much of it went in R&W, then a bit of a brick wall…
    24a – Made a horlix of this, I put ’emit’, I could not see both definitions of ‘exit’- Doh
    15d – Had to check the BRB for this one, the ‘tribunal’ was fine, but not the ‘form’ bit, – double doh!!
    25a – Needed the answer for that, never heard of it and being a cryptic definition not possible to work it out from any wordplay, one to remember
    22a – Bunged in ‘counsel’, I had never heard of the second use of ‘caution’ – Triple doh, no wonder I could not get 23d!!!
    14a – A bung-in, this time correct!! Strange clue though??
    9d – Not heard the expression, King’s, Queen’s, Pigeon, but not Oxford.
    Thanks to MP for the hints and to Rufus for the puzzle…

    1. Hi HIYD – 9d I now assume the Oxford English Dictionary means a dictionary of Oxford English, rather than an English dictionary from Oxford. Or do they talk funny there!?

      1. Thanks…I need a lie down…
        Shame the Evening News picture crossword does not exist any more…never had these debates with that…

  37. Struggled for ages with 1a, probably because I have a very bad back and I am banned from my usual remedy. Otherwise most enjoyable tussle from Rufus, so thanks to him and a Bobless MP 2*/3*

  38. What I don’t understand is how I manage to get words as in 25a
    without any preknowledge ? This
    happens too often for comfort .
    Have I had a previous, more
    Erudite existence?

  39. Needed to look up 27a, but otherwise not too bad. My favourite was 16d – because I grew up there, and spent a good amount of time doing the swimming thing!!

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