DT 28325 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28325

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28325

Hints and tips by unconcatenaceous Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I did say I would return to normal service today. Thanks to Rufus for a fun puzzle and an opportunity to provide so much musical joy. The song at 7d surely cannot fail to please anybody so long as they are not from United Airlines. Well done to both Coventry Rugby teams on Saturday. Spring is around the corner. Life is for living. I suggest you live it.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Having some saving graces? (7)
THRIFTY: The answer here is an adjective meaning using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. I am not sure about the clues cryptic qualification but what do I know?

5a    Road surface that makes crawler come to complete stop (7)
ASPHALT: Our crawler here is the one that saw off Cleopatra. He or she is followed by a verb meaning to come to a complete stop

9a    Play-boy? (5)
ACTOR: A barely cryptic definition of one who treads the boards on stage or poses in front of a movie camera. Co-incidentally the obituary of Victor Lowndes appears in the paper today

10a    Collected tales, edited, about English PM (9)
DECAMERON: Reverse (about) our usual abbreviation of edited and add a recent Prime Minister who shares his name with a masterpiece of early Italian prose

11a    IST tycoon (10)
CAPITALIST: To begin with we have three upper-case letters. Say what you see applies here. I think this may prove to be a Marmite clue. You will either love it or hate it. The second word in the clue is a straightforward definition

12a    New star former county’s backing (4)
NOVA: This former county (somewhere around Bristol) can be reversed (backing). To make a new star

14a    Those chosen courted coming unstuck, getting killed (12)
ELECTROCUTED: Somebody chosen but not yet in office is followed by an anagram (coming unstuck) of COURTED.

18a    Show indifference to the lamb on Monday? (4-8)
COLD-SHOULDER: To ignore somebody completely might describe Mondays leftovers from a Sunday roast. Often accompanied by hot tongue I believe

21a    Cricket trial? (4)
TEST: A description of any sporting contest between two countries

22a    Outstanding arc-lights? (3,7)
BOW WINDOWS: These lights are openings which let light into a room. They are formed in an arc and are more common on posher houses

25a    Moderate priest pursuing a line at end of service (9)
ALLEVIATE: A Lego® clue. For newcomers to this site we use the term Lego® to describe a clue that is built up from several parts of the clue. More formally known as a charade. We have five Lego® bricks to find here. The Priest is the third son of Jacob and Leah from the book of Genesis. He follows A from the clue and L(ine). The word AT comes after our priest and the final letter of service (end of) is the last letter of our answer. All neatly clued within nine words and thirty-nine letters

26a    Duck down after it gives cover (5)
EIDER: The name of an old fashioned bed spread filled with the down from the breast of this duck.

27a    Merit of French translation of verse (7)
DESERVE: The French for “of” is followed by an anagram (translation of) of VERSE

28a    Tried to set about making huge car port (7)
DETROIT: Anagram (set about) of TRIED TO


1d    Nectar may produce a state of ecstasy (6)
TRANCE: Anagram (may produce) of NECTAR or canter but that isn’t in the clue

2d    Engineers class again make an impression in print (6)
RETYPE: The R(oyal) E(ngineers) are followed by a noun meaning a category of something

3d    Special coach for top students? (5-5)
FIRST-CLASS: The best way to travel is also a way to describe the top set of students

4d    Off-peak call? (5)
YODEL: Practise a form of singing or calling marked by rapid alternation between the normal voice and falsetto. The off peak reference refers to the alpine areas of Europe where it became popular therefore a call off the peak

5d    Lancaster ruins inherited from forebears (9)
ANCESTRAL: Anagram (ruins) of LANCASTER

6d    Display that had a dour following in French society (4)
POMP: The answer here stands alone as a noun meaning ceremony and splendid display. If it is followed by the words A DOUR from the clue we have yet another display. This time a hairstyle popular in olden day French society

7d    Display wines duty-free here? (8)
AIRPORTS: Take a verb meaning to parade or show and add a fortified wine to discover a place where you can buy duty free goods (and have your expensive guitars ruined by careless baggage handlers)

8d    Local vessels, normally handled singly (8)
TANKARDS: Single handled drinking vessels such as may be found in your local pub

13d    Opportunity to put one in the picture? (6,4)
SCREEN TEST: A cryptic definition of a filmed trial to ascertain whether an actor is suitable for a film role.

15d    Sweet thing that’s often in a bar and sometimes drunk (9)
CHOCOLATE: This confectionery is made from the roasted and ground Cacao Seeds. It is sold in the form of bars and can also be drunk hot which is nice in the morning with Brandy and a couple of fresh croissants

16d    The brave country? (8)
SCOTLAND: The country that is brave according to the song written in the 1950s by Cliff Hanley and set to an old piping tune. Does anybody remember The White Heather Club?

17d    They’d give seasoned advice seeing lads lost at sea (3,5)
OLD SALTS: Anagram (at sea) of LADS LOST follows a cryptic definition of the solution to the anagram

19d    Sorcery makes five ducks go to five hundred ducks (6)
VOODOO: A duck in cricket is the score zero. We need a couple of these ducks to follow the Roman numeral denoting the number five and another couple of the little fellows to follow the Roman numeral for five hundred.

20d    Wit shown by animated priest (6)
ESPRIT: Anagram (animated) of PRIEST

23d    Flourish as one in union (5)
WIELD: place the letter that looks like the number one inside a union or joining of two metals using extreme heat

24d    A parson must be upset to swear (4)
AVER: A from the clue is followed by the reversed (must be upset) informal name for a parson or vicar

An easy puzzle to blog today. All done by 6.45am. 6d did throw up an opportunity to use a Dylan song with the longer word in but I am not heartless and will spare you.

The Quick Crossword pun: bib+Leo+file=bibliophile

108 comments on “DT 28325

  1. For the first time I can remember, BD has rated a Monday puzzle at more than 2 stars for difficulty and I agree with his assessment. 11a would not be out of place in “Catchphrase”.
    Thank you Miffypops and Rufus.

  2. Found this a lot stiffer than the normal Monday puzzles & I had trouble with 10A & 11A but now think 11A is very clever. Thanks to the setter & to MP for his usual witty review.

  3. 3*/4*. I was racing towards a 1* time when I got stopped in my tracks and the last few, particularly in the NE corner, took me up to 3*. Nevertheless this provided all the usual fun we have come to expect on a Monday.

    My short list of goodies is 11a, 22a & 4d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  4. There’s some text missing in the H+T for 7d – it just finishes abruptly with “expensive” on here.

      1. I can give a good plug for the often maligned BA. A few years ago I was flying with them to Denver with my much loved guitar. At check in, they agreed that rather than put in the hold I could take it on board as an additional piece of hand luggage. Then, when I boarded the plane, I was asked by the purser if it would be safer if they moved me with the guitar to business class. That’s what I call service. United Airlines eat your heart out.

  5. Once again I was very slow off the mark and surprised myself by getting there in the end. Fav was 18a followed by 4d and 19d. Stupidly struggled with 10a whilst trying to use epm or may. Thank you Rufus for pleasantly challenging start to the week and to MP whose hints I am sure I will now enjoy. 👍.

  6. Happy to go on record as liking 11a. So long as we don’t get too many of these, the occasional one makes me smile. Of course, it does help if the penny has dropped. Immensely frustrating when it doesn’t and I resort to hints – at which point I probably grumble about ‘gimmicky clues’.

    Re 6d, Miffypops, I assumed the reference to French society was to the Madame of that name who was Louis XV’s mistress. I hadn’t appreciated there was a hairstyle too.

    I note 5d appearing yet again and similarly clued.

    I really liked 22a but will award COTD to 15d which was also last one in and had misdirected me from the start.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops (you should use ‘concatenacious’ in your LinkedIn profile if you have one!)

  7. A trickier than normal puzzle for a Monday. Some clever and some amusing clues. I got stuck in the North West corner, especially with 11a, 1a and 1d. Not sure how ecstasy relates to a trance. My favourites were 14a and 11a. Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for the hints.

  8. Thanks for the blog MP 😊 Funny old world I thought this very straightforward and very clever */**** hence I am adding my comments before dark 😳 Thanks for the musical feast and the lovely photo of a King Eider which are quite a rarity in the UK. Thought 11a very clever 😏 Two favourites were 6d and 10a my last ones in 😉

  9. Looks like I am bucking the trend; for me, this was on the easier end of the recent Rufus spectrum – */***.

    Plenty of good clues, a decent number of, but not too many, anagrams. Long favourites 10a and 11a – I had to use Google to confirm 10a after deduction with the available checkers, and I really liked the construction of 11a.

    Short favourites 26a and 19d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP for a good start to the work week.

  10. Stiffer mixture than normal indeed but got there though and the hardest part was trying to figure out what on earth MP was on about with the United Airlines comment before I’d watched the video. Unconcatenated. New word for me at 10a. Thankee Rufus and MP.

  11. Like Jaylegs solved in 1* time ,and on completion gave this puzzle 3*** for entertainment value, just one of those things, one day last week I struggled when virtually the whole blog whizzed through the crossword.
    Don’t ever remember seeing 10a before in a back page cryptic- remembered the word as a somewhat mystic book ?
    14A best for me, 19d reminded me of an excellent stones LP!
    Thanks to setter for a witty start to the week and Miffypops for top pics.

  12. I’m not sure that a teensy smidgeon more than I’d take for ‘normal’ Rufus would elevate this to 4* difficulty as indicated at the top of the page – 1.5* perhaps

    I can’t stand the black stuff that comes in small jars – I leave that for Mr CS – but I did really like 11a

    Thanks to Rufus and MP

  13. Flew along nicely via a detour to check on the collected tales, then hit a brick wall in the shape of 22a. Not only had I convinced myself that it would begin with ‘top’ but I’d also confidently written in ‘breed’ for 23d. Probably doubled the length of time taken to complete the puzzle.

    Ticks for at least 8 clues – 5,11&18a plus 4,6,7,15&19d. On balance, I think the laurel wreath goes to 11a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP who, yet again, astounded me with his choice of clips for our delectation. Yes, I well remember the White Heather Club – used to watch it every week!

    PS Not that I would expect it to be of importance to anyone else – I’m apparently going to be a first-time Granny by the end of June! I’ve been requested to knit a cot blanket – maybe I’ll start on it now as it’s about 20 years since I last picked up a pair of knitting needles……

    1. Congratulations – I have a lovely, quite easy to do, cot blanket pattern – would you like me to bring you a copy on the 28th?

    2. That’s lovely news, Jane. Being a grandparent is the most wonderful blessing (as long as you remember to bite your tongue from time to time when the parents are not doing things quite the way you would do them).

    3. Congratulations Jane. No matter how good anybody tells you it is, being a grandparent is better than they say.

      You should come to St Sharon’s Knit and Natter group here on Monday nights.

      Or make yourself homeless and they will send you a blanket and a woolly hat.

    4. Of course we all consider that important news! Congrats, I’m sure you’ll find endless enjoyment being a Gran.

  14. I didn’t find this too tricky although I admit to getting stuck on my last few answers.
    I made a pig’s ear of the bottom right corner – first problem was the wrong answer for 20d which made 22a impossible.
    Having sorted that one out I ended up getting the second word of 22a but had ‘top’ as the first bit. Oh dear!
    I’ve never heard of 10a or if I have met it before I’ve forgotten it.
    I seem to be the odd one out today – I didn’t like 11a – can’t quite decide why but I just didn’t.
    I liked 1 and 18a (although I think 18a is a bit more actively nasty than just indifferent) and 4 and 6d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Cold and wet in Oxford – now for Mr Rookie.

  15. Pretty much what to expect from my nearby neighbour on a Monday – an enjoyable romp with quite a few of his usual trademark clues. Without a doubt, 11a stands head and shoulders above the rest – a real ‘Ronseal’ moment and my favourite of the day.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to our loquacious LI landlord for his review.

    1. I appear to have lost my ‘gravatar’ – have I done something wrong?

      EDIT: Spoke too soon.

  16. My first job on looking for assistance from miffypops was to look up the meaning of uncancatenacous! I googled it and it only came up with the heading of Miffypops post.
    This was a most surprising puzzle as my husband usually gets 2 or 3 answers but this morning he was way ahead of me, so now considers himself a 4 star crossworder! We lived the answer to 11 across but neither had been able to solve it. A good mornings work, thank you.

  17. I’m still trying to find out what “unconcatenaceous” means!

    Does it refer to a blog without a single picture of a cat?

    1. It refers to a blog written in plain English like what Big Dave says. If it existed as a word it would mean poorly schooled. I blame the users of Excel spreadsheets for bring its less wordy little brother across to crosswordland where I am doing my best to kick it back where it belongs

      1. Hands up, how many of you had to look concatenate up in BRB? I pride myself that I have a reasonably good English vocabulary gleaned from 70+ years of reading but I had to in order to understand comment. Filed away for future reference but not something I can see myself using on a regular basis.

      2. MP. Do you have to gratuitously use such long words (even if they don’t exist)? I suffer from hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia and you’ve caused me a lot of trauma, I can tell you. And writing that one has caused even more! :-)

    2. No, Stan, sadly not. What it means is that it is now impossible to use a perfectly good word in a blog without a feeling of intense irritation. :negative:

      Is it really ok now to make fun of fellow bloggers?

      1. Oops. Sorry if I have offended anybody. It’s the word I am having a go at. Not those using it. It is chunky clunky ugly to my ears.

        1. Concatenate has been used before in blogs by Falcon and by BD himself (15d in http://bigdave44.com/2013/08/29/toughie-1040/). It is the perfect word to describe a charade clue but, while it’s widely used in information technology, it’s obviously more obscure than I thought. Thanks for pointing that out so gently :) . I’ll stop using it.

          1. Rule One. There are no rules.
            Rule two. If in doubt – see rule one.

            Sorry to have ruffled the feathers Mr K. The word is growing on me with familiarity. It proves what a truly organic language English is.


              1. Does miffy = grumpy / pops = grandad? Always wondered…
                If so it’s very funny!

                PS Aren’t most words concatenated? :whistle:

                1. Sorry LBR I don’tthink “most” and ” words” are concatenated.
                  And MP grumpy – never. (Well except if you call soccer the beautiful game).

          2. Mr. K, surely this is a wordy website which celebrates words and their usage? Personally I thought it was a great word – keep ’em coming (don’t know how to put a smiley or I’d do it)

    3. Surely, if concatenation is the linking of things together, unconcatenation is the taking apart. Which is what Miffypops has done with Rufus’s clues. Works for me!

  18. I’ve been 14a a few times in my life but I am still alive. Must have been only 10 or so the first time when I tried to lit a 3 volt light bulb in one of the main plugs at home. Many more experiences followed.
    Favourite 4d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Congratulations to Jane for the good news.

  19. Thanks again for help with the tough ones. 10a ! I remember Cliff Hanley well …and the White Heather. Club…..soon be Burns ‘ Night to trip the light fantastic.
    warmest wishes

  20. Somewhat more of a challenge than is usual for a Monday. Actually very enjoyable. 11a was excellent, but then so was 15 and 19d. I’ll go with 11a on reflection.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and the Bard of LI.

  21. Very happy old person, answers flowed from my trusty pencil. Great news Jane. Thanks to Rufus and MPs. Despite red sky this morning bright but chilly here, good news as gardener has just arrived to carry on clearing borders.

  22. Found this far too tough to enjoy. Think it should have been today’s Toughie.
    Thx for the hints

  23. An enjoyable and at times, challenging puzzle. Although I was able to solve 10, it is not a collection I’d heard of; given it appears have been at least a catalyst for Chaucers tales, this omission in my education needs to remedied, so off to the library we will go.

    My lol clue today was 6d.

    1. Available as e-book at very reasonable price,, on my Kindle to be dipped into when I am so inclined.

    1. Hello and welcome from me too.
      I’ve been around here, i.e. commenting on this blog, for a long time now – it’s a very friendly place.
      Please keep commenting. :smile:

  24. My mother-in-law finished this ages ago, without help, whereas I now have a well chewed pencil. I did however do all the ironing, made carrot and coriander soup for lunch, and I’m in the process of cooking a gammon for supper. I have to have some excuse for the length of time it has taken me to finish this crossword. I was held up in the NW corner, as the only answer I could vaguely fit was ‘tactful’ until I had further checking letters. As far as 7d is concerned, I have a lovely brass model of a Lancaster I inherited from my father. He didn’t ruin his original, he just had a model made of it. Thank you for the review MP, and thanks too Rufus. I liked 18a, 4d and 15d.

  25. I’m in the benign crossword camp, I love Rufus puzzles.
    I’m finding it difficult to choose a fave, but I think 11a must get the honours.
    So many stood out, 22a, 4d and 6d are worth mentioning.
    I feel sure we’ve had 10a before, I remembered it and can’t think where else I could have come across it.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his amusing hints.

  26. Now, how often do you get The White Heather Club playing next to Hendrix? Thanks to MP for brightening up a dreich Monday morning.

    As for the puzzle, yes, well………. It would have been OK if some of the clues weren’t not cryptic. Is the home of Motown really a “port”? How does that work, clever people?

    Re the film of Decameron… Everyone was supposed to watch out for something which really shouldn’t have been visible………🙀

    1. Detroit is indeed a port on the Detroit River which connects the Great Lakes to the St Lawrence Seaway.
      I wondered too, so looked it up.

      1. It also has long standing and significant ties to the US automobile industry and it’s nickname is Motor City, which is where Motown comes from and also the car reference in the clue.

        1. As a resident of Michigan, I would certainly confirm that Detroit is indeed the biggest port importing and exporting cars in the U.S. The Detroit River (along with Lake St Clair) actually connects Lakes Huron and Erie. A vaguely interesting point of trivia is that if you travel due south from central Detroit, the first country you would reach is Canada!

          1. Hello Zofbak, I know this because my boring fried Lewis keeps bringing it up in his written pub quizzes. His son lives in the North east having married a colonial girl. Somewhere like Quahog. (Family guy),Is this a real place or an export you devised to torment us like the Dukes of Hazzard? oj.

        2. It’s an invitation across the nation,
          A chance for folks to meet.
          There’ll be laughing, singing, and music swinging,
          Dancing in the street.
          Philadelphia, P.A.
          Baltimore and D.C. now.
          Can’t forget the Motor City.

          Read more: Martha And The Vandellas – Dancing In The Streets Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  27. Certainly trickier than a normal Monday puzzle I felt. In fact with two priests, a parson and the first part of the solution to 14a having religious connotations, I did wonder for a moment if Mr. Manley might have lent a helping hand with this one!

    If “IST” was intended to be an acronym for Information Systems Technology, then I like 11a, however I much preferred 4d (even if it may be an old chestnut) and 6d. I didn’t warm to 9a unfortunately.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and the unconcatenaceous one.

  28. Nothing frightening in this, favourite clue 10a. Must catch chandlers afore they shut.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  29. Good afternoon everybody.

    Excellent puzzle though sadly I was timed out with nine clues unsolved, pretty well all of them on the right hand half of the grid. Of those I was able to solve I thought that 1,9,11a and 2,4,8,13,19d were all particularly good clues.


  30. ****/****. Very enjoyble if at the more difficult end of the scale particularly the NE corner which was last to yield. I particularly liked 11&22a. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the hints. The rain starts again today as temperatures rise preventing more snow. I’m a fair weather Canadian 😀

  31. I certainly fared better today than I did yesterday, but still needed help with 5 clues, so feel a little better when I see that several folks on here have also found this one tricky.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for his hintss, concatenated or unconcatenated, whichever.

  32. At last I have completed the crossword on the same day it was published. Usually only have a copy the day after. Have been a lurker for years but always too late to comment. Must have had a good day as I found this relatively easy. Just on the same wave length I suppose. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. Welcome from me.
      I assume from your comment that you live somewhere other than the UK – I wonder where?
      Please keep commenting.

  33. Thoroughly enjoyable – plenty of good clues (11a, 18a, 22a etc…), a little education at 10a; an excellent review from MP, plus unconcatenated-gate. What more could one wish for?! I just hope the Mr & Mrs K are not too upset :rose:

    Reading through the comments, 11a seems to be the popular vote and I’m in agreement.
    Many thanks to Rufus and MP. ***/****

  34. Thank you. One day I will have my copy on the same day. When himself has finished commuting. Fortunately he does not do cryptic crosswords.

    1. Welcome again.
      When you’re replying to something it’s quite a good idea to hit the ‘reply’ thingy which is just under your name rather than write another comment. It keeps everything all nice and tidy – I so wish that I had this kind of system in my rather untidy house!

  35. Tricky for me & needed MP’s hint for 22a. Enjoyable – I think.
    One niggle & this has come up before re 5a snakes have four methods of movement none of which is termed crawl.
    Thanks to setter and MP. Helpful and controversial as ever. I just wonder whether concatenate was a word that came into usage as result of spreadsheets (Lotus as opposed to Excel by the way) or whether it was an existing word that described “join together” in way the common herd like me wouldn’t understand

    1. It took me an age to remember where I had first heard the word and spreadsheets came to mind from long long ago. You are probably right because I started using Lotus 123 long before Excel came along. I too hope the Kitty pair can see that no slight was intended. I would hate to end up like Albert when next we meet.

      1. Ah the stick with the ‘orses ‘ead ‘andle. Wasn’t that Blackpool? I thought the bash was in London.

        1. Aha! I’m grateful for the identification – I had only worked out one or two Alberts it couldn’t have been. That made me laugh. Rather appropriate! Thanks, LabsruleOK. :good:


          1. Thanks for that, Kitty, I had no idea what it was all about. Stanley Holloway was a pearl of great price, wasn’t he? Great laugh.

    2. There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
      His Friends were very good to him.
      They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
      And slices of delicious Ham,
      And Chocolate with pink inside
      And little Tricycles to ride,
      And read him Stories through and through,
      And even took him to the Zoo—
      But there it was the dreadful Fate
      Befell him, which I now relate.

      You know—or at least you ought to know,
      For I have often told you so—
      That Children never are allowed
      To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
      Now this was Jim’s especial Foible,
      He ran away when he was able,
      And on this inauspicious day
      He slipped his hand and ran away!

      He hadn’t gone a yard when—Bang!
      With open Jaws, a lion sprang,
      And hungrily began to eat
      The Boy: beginning at his feet.
      Now, just imagine how it feels
      When first your toes and then your heels,
      And then by gradual degrees,
      Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
      Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
      No wonder Jim detested it!
      No wonder that he shouted “Hi!”

      The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
      Though very fat he almost ran
      To help the little gentleman.
      “Ponto!” he ordered as he came
      (For Ponto was the Lion’s name),
      “Ponto!” he cried, with angry Frown,
      “Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!”
      The Lion made a sudden stop,
      He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
      And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
      Snarling with Disappointed Rage.
      But when he bent him over Jim,
      The Honest Keeper’s Eyes were dim.
      The Lion having reached his Head,
      The Miserable Boy was dead!

      When Nurse informed his Parents, they
      Were more Concerned than I can say:—
      His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
      Said, “Well—it gives me no surprise,
      He would not do as he was told!”
      His Father, who was self-controlled,
      Bade all the children round attend
      To James’s miserable end,
      And always keep a-hold of Nurse
      For fear of finding something worse.

      1. On my one-finger tablet keyboard that would have taken me longer to write than it took to do the crossword.
        It would have taken much less scrolling if you had concatenated it.

  36. I, too, liked 11a. I always enjoy originality in clues. 24d appealed to me as well. Gave me a chuckle. 25a seemed out of character for Rufus. Bits and pieces joined together unsatisfyingly. But all clues can’t be perfect, even in a Rufus crossword

  37. Got there in the end. I really enjoyed it’s one with some nice all in ones. ****/****.
    Favourites were 11a, 4d and 17d.
    Thanks all.

  38. Three quarters felt like about * for difficulty, the rest (ie the NW corner and 22ac) pushed this up to a ***. It might have been more, if the old trick of putting the puzzle to one side for a bit hadn’t come to the rescue. 10ac code of the day for me today.

  39. Just short of 2* time, but a lot to like. 1.5*/4* seems about right to me. Little marginal ticks against 11a, 18a and 28a, but my favourite was 14a. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP.

  40. No time to do this today which is just as well as Rufus’ puzzles are usually a mystery as there are so many cryptic definitions, which I am really bad with. This was no exception, I would have got nowhere with it.
    Thanks to MP for hints…

    1. Not sure what your point is, but I have other commitments that take precedence over doing a crossword, like working and getting my bathroom sorted out.

  41. As usual for a Monday puzzle, I did this little gem after breakfast on Tuesday. The NE corner held me up and pushed up the difficulty, but also the enjoyment, so 2.5*/4* from me. Several terrific clues, but 18a and 19d stood out for me.

    Belated thanks to Rufus and the indefatigable MP.

  42. I started this in the morning (whilst working) and finished it at home later. I found it slightly more challenging than the usual Monday offering – which elevated it to about average. I was a little surprised when BD initially (and mistakenly) gave it 4* for difficulty. I wrongly inserted “macadam” for 5a – but, to be fair, it is a 7 letter road surface that also comes to a “complete stop”. 2.5*/3*.

  43. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 2d, could only think of recopy, and 9a, thought it was the name of a play. Favourite was 5a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  44. Help – I got 11A but cannot for the life of me see why, even with the hints here!

    Found this very tricky & needed 5 hints to finish
    Is it just me or is there an “ed” too many in the reasoning for 14A? shouldn’t the anagram be just of ” court ” not “courted”?

    1. If you say “Capital I S T” aloud you will get to the answe to 11ac. At 14 ac. Elect is the synonym for chosen as in President Elect. Courted as an anagram completes the clue.

      1. Ah ha!! Many thanks for that – please assume a real Homer Simpson Doh!!
        I was taking the “those chosen” to be plural… I suppose you CAN have presidents elect too. OK then – it IS just me.
        Just about to attempt today’s offering after a long day in the garage removing the cylinder head of my pickup – I’m getting way too old for this, so I bet I’m asleep before I do one run through!
        Ta muchly.

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