DT 28367 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28367

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28367

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Good Morning from a bright but chilly day here in Shropshire. MP is unavailable for blogging duties so you have me instead. First chance that I’ve had to blog a Rufus puzzle and thankfully he is in a very generous mood – so I suspect that not many of you will require the need of my blog.

As usual, definitions are underlined where appropriate and if you’re really stuck the just click on the ‘Click Here’ button to reveal the solution. Happy solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Got a first of course (6,1,6)
BACKED A WINNER: The ‘course’ being referred to in the clue could be Aintree. And this is what you would have done if you placed money on Aldiniti in 1981.

10a    No way to get wealthy — you’ll just get the bird (7)
OSTRICH: The ‘no’ in the clue represents ‘0’ along with an abbreviation of a ‘way’. Then add on (to get) a synonym for ‘wealthy’.

11a    A giddy goat, it may be musically excited (7)
AGITATO: Start with the ‘A’ from the clue and add an anagram (giddy) of GOAT IT.

12a    One in front gets conceited (4)
VAIN: Take the Roman numeral for ‘one’ and insert it into a synonym for ‘front’ – as in leading.

13a    One’s husband’s late (5)
WIDOW: This poor woman’s other half has passed on.

14a    Suggest a clue for this answer (4)
HINT: Does what it says on the tin.

17a    Sell oil, rum and sticky sweets (7)
LOLLIES: An anagram (rum) of SELL OIL.

18a    Term very much like another (7)
SYNONYM: This term is the opposite of an antonym.

19a    Something that’s essential when around fruit (7)
SATSUMA: A reversal clue (around) of a term (split 1,4) for something that’s essential and a synonym for ‘when’.

22a    Acid criticism (7)
VITRIOL: double definition or is it?

24a    Dutch product manufactured to be sent west (4)
EDAM: It’s Dutch and it’s cheese and it’s a reversal (to be sent west in an across clue) of a word meaning manufactured.

25a    Grub is right at the centre of burning issue (5)
LARVA: Take the abbreviation for ‘right’ and insert it (at the centre) of a by-product of an active volcano (burning issue).

26a    Residence with no outstanding features (4)
FLAT: Another double definition.

29a    Agree to read in front of class (7)
CONFORM: The ‘read’ here is a synonym for studying along with another synonym for a group of children (class).

30a    An upholder of the Christian word (7)
LECTERN: The ‘Christian word’ here is in two parts – the Old & New Testaments – and the answer is where you would find it lying in a Church.

31a    One prefers things not so-so, but just so (13)
PERFECTIONIST: Someone who seeks to excel.


2d    A rising of workers (7)
ANTHILL: The ‘workers’ here are of the insect variety and where they possibly live.

3d    Work with stitches to heal (4)
KNIT: A double definition – the latter referring to how broken bones heal.

4d    Sail had to be put up for these blooming things (7)
DAHLIAS: An reversal (to be put up) of SAIL HAD.

5d    Paws one damaged which could be used in self-defence (7)
WEAPONS: An anagram (damaged) of PAWS ONE.

6d    Return article if too unsophisticated (4)
NAIF: Start with a 2 letter ‘article’ then reverse it (return) and add the ‘IF’ from the clue.

7d    Member of clergy leaves Apocalypse in state of euphoria (7)
ELATION: The Apocalypse refers to a Book in the Bible without (leaves) an abbreviation of a ‘member of clergy’.

8d    The time it takes for ill-feeling to disappear (13)
CONVALESCENCE: The clue speaks for itself.

9d    Looking or just thinking about it (13)
CONTEMPLATING: I really don’t know how to describe this but its normally a word used in conjunction with ‘navel’.

15d    Virtuous but losing out over poisonous influence (5)
VIRUS: An anagram (over) of VIRTUOUS without the reversal (over) of ‘out’ from the clue (losing out).

16d    Untie tricky knot (5)
UNITE: Another anagram (tricky) of UNTIE.

20d    One under instruction to make a stand about wet weather (7)
TRAINEE: The ‘stand’ here is what a golfer could place his/her ball on and it contains (about) the synonym for ‘wet weather’.

21d    Ian came to dance looking pale and sickly (7)
ANAEMIC: Believe it or not, another anagram (to dance) of IAN CAME.

22d    He composed valid styles for entertaining quartet (7)
VIVALDI: Good Heavens – an anagram (styles) of VALID containing the Roman numeral for four (quartet).

BTW – The answer is not Mr Kennedy.

23d    Complaint made by one head about learners (7)
ILLNESS: Use the ‘one’ from the clue as a Roman numeral and follow it with a synonym for a promontory (head). These then contain the abbreviation for ‘learners’ (twice).

27d    House cover (4)
ROOF: Cryptic definition?

28d    Work of art and one fake (4)
ICON: ‘One’ is to be taken as a Roman numeral then add a synonym for ‘fake’.

I take my hat off to MP as he does these every week. I really quite enjoyed the solve but the hints were difficult to write as RUFUS uses cryptic clueing quite a lot and I end up arguing with myself as to whether it’s a cryptic / &lit / double definition.

The clue I liked most of all was 19a – it virtually wrote itself in and I only got the parsing of it when the penny finally dropped. D’oh!

PS – Best wishes for a speedy recovery for our normal Monday blogger.

The Quick Crossword pun: can+did+date=candidate

71 comments on “DT 28367

  1. 3*/4*. I did my best to make a shambles of this typically fun Monday puzzle and stretched my time considerably as a result. Without my stupidity I would probably have given this a 1* for difficulty. Nevertheless I thought it was very enjoyable despite having four cons and no pros :wink:

    Unusually for me I ignored my routine of starting in the NW and my eye immediately settled on 8d. The answer came to me instantly but I foolishly wrote it in the light intended for 9d creating a huge mess on the right hand side. I then went back to normal and worked on the top left corner, making matters worse by confidently putting in “mend” for 3d. Fortunately things improved after that and I managed to sort it all out in the end.

    I can’t decide whether I love or hate 14a, but my favourite was 11a which conjures up such a lovely image.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to SL – unstoppable now he’s back in the blogging chair!

  2. I found this more fun than the usual Rufus even though I took about my minimum ever amount of time over it. (Not that that’s a time to make anyone weep.)

    I enjoyed the surfaces (see, not even my speediest solve goes by so fast that the scenery is a blur) with smiles at the 10a bird, the 11a giddy goat (and I always like a bit of musical excitement) and the 7d euphoric clergyman of the apocalypse.

    My favourite might be one of those across clues or another in that direction: 19a, which took a little staring at before I saw how it worked. I was looking for an insertion before realising it needed to be bent over backwards.

    I was a little underwhelmed by 14a, and had a minor humm at 30a (but the BRB does specify especially one found in a church which makes it ok). Being one myself, I spent a while hunting for wordplay in 31a but couldn’t find any. Oh well.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the smiles and thanks to SL for the review – yes, as you have discovered, Rufus is harder to write hints for than you might think.

    Wishing a speedy recovery to MP too after his fight with the kerb. Perhaps he has learned the lesson not to mess with the Ks! ;)

      1. Free from flashiness, free from trashiness
        Is the essence of Ogden Nashiness

        W.H. Auden

  3. Rufus in a benign mood again with a straightforward puzzle – */***.

    I liked the four long answers, but my favourite is 30a.

    Thanks to Rufus and SL, and best wishes to MP.

  4. Very gentle start to the week. I’m not sure that 18a or 27d are truly cryptic. Enjoyable nonetheless. 0.5*/3* for me. I liked 11a with 1d being my favourite.

  5. The course at 1ac eluded me for a while and it took to long to out the out (over) at 15d. As Kitty would say Pesky five letter words with two vowels as checkers and no starters.
    The swelling on the lip has gone down but my teeth are slightly out of line. So the mantra Earn money, give to the dentist will continue. The ribs are causing me agony but I have Saint Sharon to hand. Thanks for all the get well soon messages. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Shropshire Lad for the blog.

    1. ouch, commiserations, I had some cracked ribs not too long ago and it wasn’t much fun. They do eventually stop hurting. Don’t laugh – just smile gently.

    2. Do hope you soon feel better and pain free,, MP, and can still enjoy your holiday.

      Not finding this quite as easy as some but as enjoyable as any Monday Rufus.
      Thanks in advance SL for any hints that might be needed.

    3. Hope you soon feel better, can’t smile because you have wonky teeth and can’t laugh because of your ribs. Best wishes to you both. :rose:

    4. Oh dear. Hope you soon feel better. What an awful thing to happen on your break.

    5. Sorry to hear that MP, plenty of medicinal alcohol needed to take the pain away, methinks

  6. Enjoyable but short-lived entertainment today. Bunged in ‘pious’ for 15d but no problem as checkers were not affected and SL sorted me out. 10a, 13a and 17a were all gently cryptic if not really worthy of Fav classification. Thank you Rufus and SL.

    1. Glad someone else made the same error. Looked so correct but didn’t really as I could not work out the clue. Needed the hints to put me right. Had picked for 1a but 2d soon put that right and I think was my favourite. So thanks SL and Rufus. Definitely * for difficulty as apart from 15d solved.

  7. Easier than the average Rufus, for me anyway – I do usually get a bit tied up in knots on Mondays.
    13a was my last answer which wasn’t very clever but I just couldn’t see it at all.
    I dithered about 18a because I thought I might be falling into a trap of some kind.
    All the long answers round the outside went well, apart from 1a which took a while.
    I don’t think that I like 14a but I’m not sure why – there’s nothing wrong with it really.
    I liked 13a (eventually) and 31a and 2d (although the ‘workers’ in our garden are moles) and 9d. My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to SL for standing in again.
    Now to see if I can polish off the right hand side of the Rookie which is causing trouble.

  8. A nice gentle workout for a Monday and mostly pretty straightforward except for being fooled at 11a putting in”allegro” without thinking. Everything else fell into place. Favourite for me 10a just tickled my fancy.
    Waiting for a break in stormy weather so I can shift moorings. Spring must be on the way as Mrs Spook has been feverishly planting in the greenhouse.
    Many thanks to ShropshireLad and to Rufus
    **/*** for me.

  9. I had ‘pious’ for 15d (which doesn’t fully make sense I know), so thanks to SL for putting me straight. Thanks to all, and enjoy the convalescence MP. BTW, there is another (slightly harder?) Rufus in the Guardian if anyone wants more.

      1. No problem – it’s always reassuring to know others make similar mistakes. 🙂

  10. Comfortable start to the week from Rufus although I really must check up on just how many ways there are to spell 6d!
    I liked 10,11&19a but my favourite is 8d for its great surface read.

    Thanks to Rufus and to SL for manning the blogging chair again. Hoped we might have been treated to a soupcon of Four Seasons for 22d.

    1. If you want more Seasons than a body can bear, try ringing up a business, local authority or anyone else who tells you that you call is important to them – unfortunately, the music will be frequently interrupted by an annoying voice repeating that fallacy as your phone bill rises.

  11. Nice start to the week. Started – as per usual – in the SE corner of the jungle, hacking away clockwise but then hit the quicksand in the NE. All my own fault as I kerbed myself by bunging in ADAGGIO in 11a which is wrong definitionally and it’s spelt/spelled wrongly to boot. Well, it was the one musical term I knew, so in it went.

    I am going to pitch for **/*** today.

    Spelled v spelt – I never have known which is correct?

    I am off to talk to the daffodils now.

    1. Spelled is correct. Spelt is a kind of wheat (Times Style Guide, coming to a bookshop near you soon)

    1. Much appreciated, Senf – thank you.
      By the way, I note that your computer is well behaved when it comes to adding a cedilla – mine refuses more often than not!

        1. If using an iPad just keep your finger on the c and various accents wiil appear. Drag the one required to your text. This works with all the characters.
          Thanks to setter and SL, very enjoyable today but I needed the explanation for 7d.

  12. A benign Rufus on a Monday does introduce one nicely to the week ahead!
    No probs with today’s offering; 13a was my fave and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to SL for stepping in.

  13. After being foxed by one across because I forgot the right course. Then only getting 6d. I was beginning to panic. 5d down was completed muddled on line. However. The SW corner was very easy and the rest then just slipped into place. So all was well. I would add 13a as being suspect cryptic.
    */*** for me.

  14. I also had pious for 15d, without fully understanding, and it was rejected on submission – took me ages to see the real answer. I also had not made the Apocalypse – bible connection in 7d and was trying desperately to find a subtractive anagram somehow, but couldn’t find the clergy member – so thanks for pointing that out SL.

    I agree the Guardian Rufus is nice today as well, with a few clues that I thought were quite trick – to be recommended.

    Many thanks SL & Rufus

  15. Thanks to Rufus and SL for a super splendid way to start my crossword week, hope it stays that way as last week was not fun. I seem to take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back some weeks. Favourite hard to choose.mainly because I managed not to fall into any of the potholes but 15d amused me.

    1. Welcome

      Google Images, if that is where SL obtained the illustration, tends to get items of ‘church furniture’ very confused.

    2. Welcome from me as well. CS is quite right – sometimes when looking for a particular item as a picture hint we are at the mercy of Mr Google. Plus it was the only one I could find that appeared with an open book on it. Sorry if I have unintentionally upset you.

  16. A gentle enough start to the week from Rufus. All nicely solved earlier this morning with nothing obscure to tax the brain. I wonder if any of my fellow Salopians watched last night’s TV programme about the River Severn? It was nice to see Ironbridge and Bridgnorth featured.

      1. Its well worth a look. I learned quite a bit about the river below Gloucester too.

      2. Its well worth a look. I learned quite a bit about the river below Gloucester too.

    1. Oooh, I’d like to have seen that. My Mum came from a village called Saul, close to Frampton, in a loop of the Severn that’s almost an island. What was the programme called, I might be able to get a DVD.

        1. Thanks, I’ll try to find it on amazon.co.uk. It might take a while to come out but I’ll keep looking!

  17. 2*/3* for this enjoyable and comfortable Rufus offering. I made it harder than it should have been by not getting 1a till late on, which meant a few of the early downs held me up. 7d my favourite today. Thanks to the aforementioned and my Shropshire neighbour.

  18. Nice easy start to the week, long may it continue 😊 */** Favourite either 30a or 2d 🤔
    Thanks to SL and to Rufus

  19. Fear not Shropshirelad, might be a benign Rufus today, but I did need hints for 3 clues to finish, thanks, your work was not in vain. I was slow to start, surprisingly for a Monday and after a fairly speedy weekend, with northeast corner last to go in.

  20. I shot myself in the foot by putting “picked” in 1a, that made it tricky to get 2d, but eventually sorted.
    Lots of smile clues here, I think I’m going to choose 8d as fave, with 22d as runner up, just ‘cos I like his music.
    Thanks to Rufus for a good start to the week, and to S’Lad for the review, not least for explaining 7d.

  21. I put ‘picked’ into 1a too Merusa. It meant that my last one in was 2d. How silly of me. I also tried out ‘caustic’ and ‘acerbic’ for 22a before I got the right answer. 8d was my favourite. Thank you Rufus and Shropshirelad.

  22. Oh gosh. I couldn’t do this at all. I had mend for the down one about stitches. The iPad version had jumbled up all the words in the paw one and had all the words twice. A nightmare.
    Thanks for the hints it was ****/** for me

    1. Sorry to hear that Toni, didn’t know about the mix up on the iPad version until MP told me. I’m glad that the hints were of use to you.

  23. All fell into place nicely. Hope you’re on the mend, MP. Thanks to setter and to SL.

  24. I must be firmly in the minority, as I found this a little trickier than recent Monday offerings. Nothing too taxing, but a little more head-scratching than normal, but perhaps it’s down to the new shampoo I’m using!

    My joint-favourites, to continue the racing metaphor in 1a, were 26a and 2d.

    Thanks to Mr. Squires and to his near neighbour, SL, who chose one of my favourite film scores to illustrate 1a, thank you sir!

    1. Yes Silvanus – one of my favourites as well. Great story, just a shame that Mr Champion is not really that nice a chap when it comes to women.

  25. I understand now why I don’t solve French crosswords. They are full of the kind of cryptic definitions that Rufus is so fond of.
    And today was a festival of such clues.
    But overall, I quite enjoyed it.
    Thanks to Rufus and to SL for the review.

  26. I often struggle with Rufus, but today finished well with * time, so he must have been in a benevolent mood. :-) Thoroughly enjoyable, there were many many fine clues – favourite amongst them 15d, which was very nicely done.

  27. No problems today, managed to get much done while partner’s grandson was wallowing in the bath.
    I fell into the ‘pious’ trap. Fortunately the website said ‘no’, and the answer jumped out at me when engaged my brain. Bung-in’s eh!!
    I think we need 24a put out to grass for 6 months, it must be a toss up between ‘edam’ and ‘tier’ as the the most common cw answer.
    I thought 27d and 14a were a bit weak.
    Favourite was 22d as we had all four seasons of weather yesterday.
    Thanks SL, great to see you doing the blogs again,and Rufus…

  28. Thank you SL for the blog – needed for 3D – had ‘landed’ instead of ‘backed’, hence the head scratching about 3d. Apart from that, no problem: an easy ride much enjoyed! Happy to have been able to complete today’s offering on the day – things are looking up. Yesterday Fifi had her first bath after running like a derviche in the rain with her friend Charlie – another cockapoo… We are hoping to get back to Hyères in about a month time when Fifi has had her Rabies injection. Weather not so good down there, I believe. Many thanks too for setter. Favourite clue was 10a.

  29. Very benign, but nothing wrong with that on a Monday. 1*/3* for my money. 7d was quite clever – tempting us to remove some 3-letter abbreviation for a clergyman from the word “apocalypse” – but my favourite was 19a. Thanks to Rufus and SL.

  30. The more I look at the picture for 17a, the stranger it appears to be…………..

    1. Not as weird as the gravity-defying, leg-broken blue tit eating Monster Munch on a twig from last week though.

  31. Very benign but strangely, for us and for a Rufus, not enjoyable. 1*/1*.

    Thanks SL and Rufus.

  32. Too many overdone chestnuts for this to garner more than 2* for fun, I’m afraid, viz 24 & 25a, 16 & 26d. I did like 8 & 9d, though. Thanks to Rufus and SL for slipping into MP’s chair. What happened – this is the first I’ve heard of it? And was alcohol involved? 1*/2*

    1. On a rainy night I slipped on a kerb on a downhill incline and smashed my face into the ground. I got a fat lip, broke a tooth, injured palm and cracked a couple of ribs. There was no alcohol involved at all. Our twelve hour binge had been over for more than fifteen minutes

Comments are closed.