DT 28331

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28331

Hints and tips by an apologetic Miffypops (Sorry Mr Kitty)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

I found this to be the easiest of easy crossword puzzles. Rufus has never given me too much trouble but I cannot remember a crossword of his that has been solved so quickly before. The two answers at 8 and 18 down made me think of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem which I will now read once again.

The hints and tips below are there if you need them. The answers lie under the greyed out boxes and can be revealed by clicking on them

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Actor who needs projection to reach his audience (4,4)
FILM STAR:  This actor will only be seen by his audience after his work is projected onto a screen in a cinema

6a    Ball game‘s big hitter being talked about (6)
SOCCER:  This sport is nicknamed after a shortened form of the term association football. The clue calls for a homophone (being talked about) which works if we make the fourth letter of the solution the letter K. 

9a    Left by a student entrance (6)
PORTAL:   Use the naval term for the left side. Add the letter A from the clue and our overused student derived from the large red letter clearly displayed at the front and back of a provisional license holders car.

10a    Found to be lying (8)
SITUATED:  A double definition. Where something is placed.

11a    Sailor‘s fears are disguised (8)
SEAFARER:  Anagram (disguised) of FEARS ARE. Ignore the plural in the clue. The answer is singular.

12a    Coming from seafront, I’m expected punctually (2,4)
ON TIME:  A rather nicely hidden word clue suggested by the words coming from. Only it’s not a hidden word. There are two of them. Double bubble. Lucky you. 

13a    Etiquette observed by the board (5,7)
TABLE MANNERS:  This board is set for a meal. This is the etiquette used when sat at such a table. The lack of such etiquette can be seen in chain restaurants and are my main reason for avoiding them. 

16a    Type of interest objected to, being foolish (6-6)
SIMPLE MINDED:   Way back when in the days of my poor schooling we were taught to calculate two types of interest on loans. The first word of this answer is one of those two types of interest. (Not the one with eight letters) The second word is clued by the words ‘objected to’ and should lead you to the past tense of a verb meaning distressed annoyed or worried by.

19a    It can’t become whole (6)
INTACT:  Anagram (become) of IT CAN’T

21a    He openly works with a crook (8)
SHEPHERD: A Definition of a geezer who looks after little woolly animals in the open air. He is said to carry a crozier (crook) around with him.  He may have done in the past but I have never seen one.

23a    Greeks and Romans vary in stance (8)
ANCIENTS:  Anagram (vary) of IN STANCE

24a    Without it, the speaker would dry up (6)
SALIVA:  A cryptic definition of the solution in one’s mouth, the speaker referred to in the clue

25a    Repeatedly set about insect (6)
TSETSE:  Anagram (about) of SET followed (repeatedly) by an anagram of SET. Clever huh?

26a    Taking one drink laced with another (8)
STEALING: Misappropriating. The two drinks are the one we have first thing in the morning and a sweetened drink of spirits especially gin and water. One drink sits nicely inside the other


2d    Did some evening work (6)
IRONED:  Evening here means smoothing out or removing creases from. It is a cryptic definition of a mysterious process somewhere between the removal of worn clothing and its return to cupboards or wardrobes cleansed dried and ready to be worn again

The clip here contains a swearword. Please do not watch if that will offend.

3d    It’s an idea to turn up healthy to the doctor (5)
MOTIF:  Take a three letter word meaning healthy and reverse it (turning up). Add it to a term for a doctor or M(edical) O(rderly) 

4d    Fair distribution of beer to all (9)
TOLERABLE:   Anagram (distribution of) of BEER TO ALL. 

5d    Lowest acceptable price in store (7)
RESERVE:  A double definition, the second being a verb meaning to store for future use. 

6d    Prepared to fight (3-2)
SET-TO:    Another double definition. No further explanation necessary

7d    Hurried after a number and gave punishment (9)
CHASTENED:   Place a verb meaning hurried after the Roman numeral for one hundred. 

8d    First woman with right to get something extra in perpetuity (8)
EVERMORE:   Use the name of the bibles first woman and add the letter R(ight) then add a word meaning a greater or additional amount

13d    One gets the shrubbery into shape (9)
TOPIARIST:  A vaguely cryptic definition of a gardener who trims bushes and hedges into artistic designs 

14d    Person who should get what’s coming to them (9)
ADDRESSEE:  Another cryptic definition of the person named on a letter or parcel

15d    Spoils Worcestershire opener’s time at the crease (8)
WINNINGS: Use the first letter (opener) of Worcester and add the name for one’s time at the crease in a cricket match. 

17d    Demands its sins to be found out (7)
INSISTS:  Anagram (to be found out) of ITS SINS

18d    Long for direction, being faint-hearted (6)
CRAVEN:   Place a verb meaning to feel a powerful desire for something before one of the four points of the compass

20d    Drawnfrom the past, say (5)
TENSE:  Our last double definition. The first being of a person strained from illness, exhaustion, pain, or anxiety about composing a helpful crossword blog.

22d    Henry accepts a pound to provide certain kind of meat (5)
HALAL:  Our shortened form of the name Henry has the letter A from the clue and the letter that denotes one pound sterling placed inside. This is not a kind of meat but a method of ritualistic slaughter

An all too easy start to the puzzling week.

The Quick Crossword pun: inn+sinew+ate=insinuate



  1. Jose
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    This one was finished in record time and for me the easiest back-pager I can remember, but mildly enjoyable nonetheless. Did anyone else recklessly insert “dwell” for 3d? Is 13d actually a cryptic definition? It seems more like a long-winded straight/Quickie clue to me. 24a and 14d are similar, but just about qualify by the skins of their teeth. 8d was an OK clue – sorry, I can’t be more enthusiastic. 1*/2*.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    1*/3*. A “normal” Monday puzzle which was light and fun. I made a bloomer right at the start by putting “planed” for 2d as my first answer in, which then held up 1a & 9a slightly until the penny dropped. 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  3. Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Agreement from me: a gentle tickle of the brain cells rather than a workout. I had few hold-ups with this (as close to a write-in as I ever get), but was annoyed at my last in. That is definitively the last time I am ever going to be slow to see 2d. Grr.

    I’ll actually choose a smooth anagram as favourite today: 4d, which slipped down as pleasantly as the stuff in question usually does.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  4. Angellov
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I romped through this one but with limited satisfaction. Can’t really parse 10a – where does found come into it? Hopefully 25a solution will ensure I spell the insect correctly in future. Thanks Rufus (?) and MP. 😑

    • Jose
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      10a. It’s a straightforward double definition – both parts of the clue are synonyms of the answer.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      10a – The Post Office is found in the high street.

      • Angellov
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Thanks RD and Jose – that kind of found had eluded me.

      • pete
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        You obviously dont live in Gateshead, where the Post Office in the high street was closed down lol

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, Pete. I should have said the Post Office is found inside W H Smith.

          • Angel
            Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            In addition to 61 W. H. Smith branches Post Offices are apparently also situated within 550 Martins McColls (newsagents) locations nationwide.

            • Andrew
              Posted January 23, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

              You are all weird! Where do I sign up – do we all get medication?

              • Angellov
                Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

                Medication wont help weirdos – welcome aboard! 😜

  5. Toadson
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Thought the Aussie ‘ironing’ sketch was hilarious.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      We have the same table.

      • Toadson
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes, a great punchline.

      • Jane
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I rather thought you might! Doubtless you have the same laundry basket as well………

        • Miffypops
          Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink


  6. pete
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    After a couple of really difficult puzzles last week, this was the opposite end of the spectrum. I cant remember the last time I finished one as quick as this. There isnt much more I can say about it. 1*/1.5* Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  7. shropshirelad
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I agree with MP’s suggestion that this is perhaps one of the easiest crosswords I’ve tackled in many a long year. Enjoyable and some good clues to bring a smile to the lips with the exception of 4d – is that really a cryptic clue? I’ve also can’t remember having come across the definition used for the answer to 3d – I know it’s the correct definition, just can’t recall having seen it used before.

    Thanks to my nearby neighbour for the puzzle and to MP for his review. Hope you weren’t involved in the LI Co-op robbery last week and I don’t mean it to suggest you were a criminal :)

    Lovely to see Glasgow Warriors making it to the quarter finals after a fine display at Welford Road – home of the cuddly kittens. I’ve never seen the place empty so quick :)

    • Jose
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      4d is an archetypal “cryptic” clue – did you mean 14d? For me, 13d is the one that’s not really cryptic.

      • shropshirelad
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Tinger frouble on the old keyboard and a senior moment combined to make 13d appear as 4d :)

      • dutch
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        interesting isn’t it – “get into shape” (13d) and “get what’s coming to them” are phrases with a normal meaning slightly different to that used in the underlying definition, making them slightly cryptic – a Rufus speciality

        • shropshirelad
          Posted January 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          I’m not feeling particularly pedantic today – so I’ll just keep quiet :)

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Hi SL. No. I wasn’t involved at all. The police have arrested and given bail to a suspect. The staff are shaken as can be imagined. It is not the first time the shop has been robbed. As for Saturday’s rugby football. I was glued to the TV. First off the war of attrition that was Saracens v Toulon which proves that we don’t need to see multiple tries to enjoy a game of rugby. Secondly the amazing story unfolding from Welford Road. Nil I ask you? I have never seen that score after Leicester’s name before. What fun that was.

      • shropshirelad
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        I don’t often go to Welford Road as the fans in the South Stand can be very intimidating – especially for the official running ‘touch’ on that side of the ground. However, I had arranged to meet up with friends from North of the Border and was very well entertained by a very one sided match. Mr Cockrill – gone, Mr Mauger – going? :cool:

  8. Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink
    • Miffypops
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      A quick YouTube search based upon trimming bushes produced some interesting clips.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Ooh! Miffypops! You are awful!

        • Miffypops
          Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          I am not awful. I am a very helpful chap. I often help my next door neighbour trim her bush during the summer months

      • dutch
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        there’s a good clue in there somewhere..

    • Jane
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Take no notice of them, Kitty, I thought the pics were delightful.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Being a cat lady, I really loved those. How on earth does he do it?

    • dutch
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      i loved them too – amazing

  9. Senf
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle from Rufus completed at a gallop; one occurrence of electronic assistance, the usual amount of thumbing through the Small Red Book, and what I am reasonably certain is one oldie but goodie (25a) – */*** for me.

    Candidates for favourite – 7d, 8d, and 13d. And, the winner is 7d.

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

  10. sabrinastar
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus for this – nice to know that you think of us folks still
    in Reception Class, as you look out over my river………………….

  11. Heno
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very gentle start to the week. Was momentarily held up in the NE corner, but once the penny dropped with 6a, I was able to complete it. Last in was 10a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  12. dutch
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    very pleasant confidence-builder after today’s Rookie – phew.

    Many thanks Miffypops & Rufus

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Merely reading the comments was enough to stop me printing out today’s Rookie Corner puzzle.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Me too.

    • Kath
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh – damn – I was going to have a look at that next but don’t feel like a major battle. Maybe I’ll print it out and give it the same treatment as Friday Toughies – have a very quick look through one barely open eye.

  13. Jane
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Had a couple of blind spots for no good reason and didn’t know the definition at 3d but overall an easy enough solve.
    Favourite was 13a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. By the way, we do still have a traditional 21a complete with crook up on Holyhead mountain.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, a mountain is usually defined as any summit at least 2,000 feet (or 610 metres) high, whilst the official UK government’s definition of a mountain, for the purposes of access, is a summit of 600 metres or higher.

      Holyhead Mountain is only 220 metres. Have you got different rules in Wales?

      • shropshirelad
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Haven’t you ever seen the film MP?

  14. Omar
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Easy-ish but not SO easy for me….but all v enjoyable – **/***

  15. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    The easiest puzzle I can remember although my memory’s not the best these days. Thanks to MP for the review and Rufus for a very gentle workout.

  16. Paso Doble
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Very easy but very enjoyable.
    */*** Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  17. silvanus
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I was a little surprised to see so many commenters saying today’s puzzle was possibly the easiest-ever Rufus backpager, to me it was about par, and with only six anagrams I’m sure there have been easier ones when the anagram count reached well into double figures.

    Monday’s crosswords never fail to be a delight, and today my three ticked clues were 21a, 26a and 15d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to MP.

  18. Jaylegs
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the population at large 😄 A nice gentle start to the week */*** 😉 Favourite 13a Thanks to Rufus and to M P especially for the video at 2d 😜

  19. Merusa
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I agree with silvanus that this is on a par with the usual Rufus offerings.
    I rather liked 16a, but fave was 13a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for today’s fun, loved it.

  20. Una
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this quite as much fun as I usually do. Must be me.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  21. Patricia
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I just want to say a big thank you for today’s puzzle. I have just started trying to do these and some days I only manage a few words but today was lovely. I really enjoyed being able to whiz along but I still had to check out a few clues. So I hope all you experts will understand that having some easier puzzles works for us beginners but wow some of you sound amazing! .

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Welcome Patricia.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Patricia. Well done today. I do remember those lonely days surrounded by dictionaries atlases crossword lists and jotting paper. I also remember having very few people to consult or confer with. This blog will teach you new ways of looking at and recognising clues and hopefully it won’t be long before you are solving with the barest minimum of help. What I do love to see is newer solvers becoming more proficient and starting to tackle the toughie puzzles. However you get on remember it is only a crossword puzzle. Welcome to the blog.

      • Kath
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Welcome and well done from me too.
        I echo what MP has just said and add that if there’s ever anything you don’t understand you can ask – no-one on this blog will make you feel dim even if you think you are being. Good luck.

  22. Sheffieldsy
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff, over too quickly. Reminds me of a line from the Python team’s Oscar Wilde sketch, “like a doughnut your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure merely makes us hungry for more”.

    1*/2.5*. Not much more to say except, of course, to thank MP and Rufus.

  23. Kath
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree that this was straightforward although I confess to getting stuck with my last two answers – 10a and 5d – just plain dim.
    Not as many anagrams as there have been the last few Mondays.
    I liked 16 and 21a and 3d. My favourite was 13a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP, specially for the Simon’s Cat cartoon – they are all brilliant.
    Carrying on with the funny cat ‘stuff’ – if there’s anyone who hasn’t ever seen the ‘How to give a cat a pill’ it’s worth googling – I think it’s about the third one down – the joke version.

    • Jon_S
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Another one who got stuck at the end on 10ac and 5d. The rest was pretty plain sailing, especially so in the SE corner, though I never find Rufus that easy, so perhaps ** for difficulty here. Cryptic definitions have never been my forte…

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Funny, they were my two last responses too 😊

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      If you have ever tried to give a cat a pill you will know who is going to win that one. Love our veterinarian who prescribes transdermal pastes for our furry monster whoever possible. Brushing it inside the ear flap totally avoids World War III …

  24. Gwizz
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    19a was my favourite simply because of the way the clue read. A gentle start to the week I must admit, but fun also. 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP of course.

  25. BusyLizzie
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Well thank goodness I did not have to put on the dunce’s cap today, and apart from misspelling that fly (been an answer many times so I should know better), and 10a holding me up till the end, I finished feeling quite satisfied. I know you clever bods prefer a tougher puzzle, but for the newcomers and golden oldies like myself who have done them for years without reaching the R&W level, a lower difficulty effort makes for a pleasant respite. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Did you get that extreme weather last night? My friend about two miles away had a tornado, fortunately no problems to the house, just a tree Dow.

      • BusyLizzie
        Posted January 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Yes we got it. Thought they had to forgotten to warn us about a hurricane. No damage thank goodness. We were just glad we had 3 glorious weather days when we took our friends up to Mount Dora. I always dread getting bad weather when we have visitors from the U.K. As you know they come here hoping for sun.

  26. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    What a business this wavelength thing is!!
    Last Friday as one of the hardest for ages and I completed with just three hints, one of which was just to confirm an answer.
    Last Saturday I completed in xx minutes.
    Today is one of the easiest for ages and I can do very little of it, time to go through the hints.
    I don’t know why, but Rufus’ clues just simply don’t compute!!
    Thanks MP for the hints and Rufus…one day, one day…

    • Kath
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes – oh dear. It really is all to do with wave-length.
      Mondays often defeat me but so do Fridays – oh well . . .
      It is, after all, only a ***************** crossword. I’ve deliberately put in a lots of *s so please fill in as appropriate.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Kath, I’ll be back with a vengeance tomorrow…maybe…
        Anyway, ordered all my seeds form Thompsons, so feel better already…

        • Kath
          Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          Oh yes – lots of seeds ordered too and, for only the second time ever, I planted my sweet peas in November – my birthday is early June – my aim is to have my first sweet peas flowering by then and I’ve only ever managed that once.
          It’s definitely staying light later . . . :smile:

          • Miffypops
            Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

            Light later? Lovely alliteration Kath. Also an anagram of Target Hill which is a tad higher than Jane’s molehill mentioned earlier

  27. Mr Kitty
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Late getting to this one today because of the work thing. Once I’d written in answers to the several clues that we’ve already seen recently it all came together without any great difficulty. For me it wasn’t the easiest ever, but certainly less challenging than most Mondays. Good fun, but no standout favourites today. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  28. Salty Dog
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    1*/3* – pretty much in line with most Monday DT cryptic puzzles. I know 25a is a pretty frequent visitor, but this was quite a nice way of clueing it so that’s my favourite. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  29. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 23, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I managed this one i what was record time for me …hurrah!

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  30. Tstrummer
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    No difficulties here in Strummer Court. Very much liked the surface of 4d – reminds me in a melancholy way of something I’ve (almost) had to give up. Thanks to MP for an unfortunately Bob-less blog and Rufus for his usual style. 0.5*/3*

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      Hi there Ts. I struggled to find anything to illustrate today. I would admire anybody who could shoehorn Bob into today’s blog.

      Nice to see you around though.

      • Jose
        Posted January 24, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        21a: How about “Oh the shepherd is asleep” from Ring Them Bells? Nothing can be too tenuous, can it?

        • Miffypops
          Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Nice one Jose. Tenuous does not always matter for my links.

  31. Young Salopian
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    As usual, I do the Rufus puzzles on a Tuesday morning because of commitments on a Monday. In keeping with the general view, this was certainly Rufus at his most benign, but still giving a fair amount of enjoyment. I am one of those for whom an ‘easy’ puzzle rarely equates to being particularly enjoyable, but such is the quality of the setter’s wordplay that this breaks the rule.

    1*/3* from me with 23a just about a favourite. Belated thanks to Rufus and MP.