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DT 28379

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28379

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **** (from BD)

I am delighted to be able to report that Silvanus, a graduate of Rookie Corner and the NTSPP, has a puzzle published in today’s Independent. BD

What a great sporting week we have just had. The Cheltenham Festival thoroughly entertained through the week with lots superb racing. I managed to pick winners every day but never placed a bet. As I am indisposed I was unable to attend so watched on the TV every day.

Saturday provided a feast of Rugby Football to round off a great competition. As predicted by me in the preamble to the hints on January 2nd (puzzle) 28313 England won The RBS Six Nations Tournament but failed to secure a grand slam. Unfortunately they were not good enough on the day.

Rufus is in beguiling mood today somewhat overdoing the cryptic definitions which made the solve take longer than usual but nothing took too much effort.

Today’s hints and tips have been crafted by your regular Monday hinty person Miffypops who is still on a diet of runny Weetabix and soup because his mouth still hurts. The pain around the rib cage continues so it is light duties only. I try my best to explain how these cryptic clues relate to their solutions. I hope I can be of help to those in need. If necessary the click here boxes will reveal the answers Definitions are underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Conservative, wise one, shows craft (7)
CORACLE: use the abbreviation for C(onservative) and add the name of a person or deity considered to deliver wise or insightful counsel (not Crypticsue or Gazza)

5a There’s no catch in it (4,3)
DEAD SEA: A cryptic definition of the world’s lowest hypersaline lake. If it is indeed as its name suggests fishing would be futile

9a Mopes around the course (5)
EPSOM: Anagram (around) of MOPES

10a A charming utterance but it’s inflammable (9)
TOUCHWOOD: A decayed timber used for kindling which when split 5,4 is also said in order to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck.

11a Kitchen accessories, subsequently put into bundles (5-5)
PLATE RACKS: place a word meaning after or eventually (subsequently) inside another word meaning bundles such as a bundle of playing cards

12a Low-key dwelling? (4)
FLAT: A double definition. The dwelling is obvious the low key may be the musical opposite to a sharp.

14a One who makes it in the cinema world? (4,8)
FILM PRODUCER: The person who makes a film happen. Not Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg, they direct. This person manages the film’s finances, production, marketing and distribution

18a Acted like others and kept up with court action (8,4)
FOLLOWED SUIT: To have done as those before have done. From card games such as Whist or Bridge. To have kept up with as in watched every episode of a serial perhaps and a court action.

21a Newspaper’s shortened deadline? (4)
OBIT: The shortened form of a regular newspaper feature of which today’s Daily Telegraph includes Chuck Berry, Gino D’Achille and Colonel Peter Kidner.

22a Houseplant died with apiarists assembling netting (10)
ASPIDISTRA: Anagram (assembled) of APIARISTS including (netting) the abbreviation of D(ied)

25a Rank upon rank that’s found running through Hyde Park (6,3)
ROTTEN ROW: Take an adjective meaning rancid (rank) and add a noun meaning a single line of soldiers or police officers to make the name of a broad riding track that runs through Hyde Park from Hyde Park Corner to Serpentine Road. [Ironically the name is an 18th century corruption of Route du Roi BD]

26a Steadfast belief that’s unaffected by a setback (5)
TENET: This steadfast belief is a palindrome as indicated by the words unaffected by a setback

27a One hears of a murder at sea (7)
EARDRUM: Anagram (at sea) of A MURDER

28a Went quickly back to class to rehearse (7)
NARRATE: Reverse a word meaning went quickly and add a word (noun or verb) meaning to categorise or grade


1d Moves stealthily and quietly among N American Indians (6)
CREEPS: Place the musical abbreviation for quietly inside a large Native American Indian group

2d Clara’s upset by rogue (6)
RASCAL: Anagram (upset) of CLARA’S

3d Entrant in race scheming to crop time (10)
COMPETITOR: Anagram (scheming) of TO CROP TIME

4d Player that offers more (5)
EXTRA: A double definition. The first being an actor hired for crowd scenes.

5d Draughtsmen who’ve been overindulgent? (9)
DRUNKARDS: A draught is a drink. Those who partake in an overindulgence may be thus described. Be careful. Overindulgence may lead to a stumble which may lead to a fall in which ones teeth and ribs are severely damaged. The following clip contains a mild expletive please do not listen to Clement Freuds wonderful joke if you don’t want to hear it.

6d Part of influenza, chest pain (4)
ACHE: A hidden word lurking away inside the words in the clue. I know a thing or two about chest pains

7d Oxford tie? (8)
SHOELACE: Oxfords are a style of footwear. This tie is the means with which one fastens said footwear

8d German car, sort engineered for accounts people (8)
AUDITORS: A make of German car is followed by an anagram (engineered) of SORT

13d Notice government official’s conduct (10)
ADMINISTER: our usual suspect for a notice is followed by a senior member of the government

15d Corrupt morals met in disorder (9)
MAELSTROM: Anagram (corrupt) of MORALS MET

16d About series of lessons, naturally (2,6)
OF COURSE: A preposition is followed by a series of lectures or lessons in a particular subject, leading to an examination or qualification

17d Enclosed place that might be costlier (8)
CLOISTER: Anagram (might be) of COSTLIER

19d Way a New Zealand article portrays verse (6)
STANZA: Our regular way indicates the abbreviation for ST(reet). Use the A from the clue the written abbreviation for New Zealand and the letter A (article) to find this poetic device.

Hush hush, whisper who dares,
Little boy sits at the foot of the stairs
With blood on his hands and fur on the mat
Christopher Robin castrated the cat

20d Tom let loose to become something on the ranch? (6)
CATTLE: The furry animal of which the male is called a Tom is followed by an anagram (loose) of LET

23d I have written about area’s statesman (5)
IOWAN: Split 1,3 place a term meaning I have around (about) the abbreviation for area to find this resident of a Midwestern state

24d In France I will precede the Queen, generating ridicule (4)
JEER: place the French word meaning I before the initials of our wonderful queen Elizabeth Regina.

One of the great fathers of Rock and Roll music passed away on Saturday. Chuck Berry. We all have a lot to thank him for.

The Quick Crossword pun: scent+herpes=centrepiece

62 comments on “DT 28379

  1. Not bad for a Monday offering, which are often milder than this one. 28a: I wasn’t initially happy with rehearse = the answer but it is in the LRB, so obviously OK – I’ve never come across this (formal) meaning before, though. Quite enjoyable, 2*/3*.

  2. A pretty straightforward but enjoyable Monday puzzle. 1*/4*. I liked 21a, and 7d, with 23d maybe just being my favourite. Even the GK puzzle was easy today (except for some Japanese term!)

  3. A good sprinkling of oldies but goodies and anagrams, and Rufus ‘imitating’ Ray T.

    I did get held up in the NE corner but that did not delay completion too much – */***.

    Favourite, 7d by a country mile over 25a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP – I hope the convalescence is going well.

  4. Pleasant but very straight forward. 7d was fave and 1/2.5* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review and music.

  5. Having battled and lost heavily to ‘Elgar’ on Friday, today’s cryptic and the two weekend puzzles came as a blessed relief. This one was largely a write in, but with a couple of head scratchers towards the end, notably 23 down until the penny fell. An enjoyable solve, leaving me bags of time to ponder over what can’t be done on such an awful wet day here beside the Severn. Thanks to Rufus of course for a nice gentle workout at the start of another crosswording week

      1. Thank you for that Jane. I’ve just completed it and saved the link for future puzzles. :-)

  6. 2*/4*. The usual splendid stuff from Rufus. I needed to check my BRB for that specific meaning for 28a, which was my last one in.

    On the podium today are 25a, 7d & 23d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    P.S. Many congratulations to Silvanus on the publication of his debut puzzle in the Independent.

  7. Plain sailing bar a few towards the end, but that’s probably me being slow today. Simply didn’t know 25a.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for the joke.

  8. Reasonably easy for both of us, although couldn’t fully understand why IOWAN 23d but put it down in the absence of an alternative. See it now! Thanks to all for puzzle and explanations.

  9. Hello all – got this done by close of breakfast so that was an achievement (shan’t tell you what time i got up!!!! ) All seem ok though agree with John re IOWAN.

    I’m sure i had some favourites but by the time i finish the puzzle I’ve usually forgotten what they were !!

    However, working as i do in higher education i did like 16d

  10. Enjoyable start to the week */*** 😊 I also had trouble with 23d, there were only two words that fitted the correct answer and that well known politician Irwin 😬 Which I selected. Thanks to Rufus and to MP. Favourites 25a and 21a

  11. This was 2*/3* for me with 7d the outstanding clue. Thanks Rufus for a comfortable start to the week, and to MP for the Clement Freud clip. Priceless.

    And yes, you did say England would win the Six Nations but come unstuck in Dublin. I was one of those who felt the Grand Slam was on for a second year.

  12. Thought this was a particularly nice offering from Rufus. Did check on the definitions for 10&28a but everything else slotted in smoothly.
    Crowded podium with 21,25&26a vying for the laurel wreath along with 7,16,19&23d. Eventual winner was 7d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP who can’t be too badly afflicted as I seem to recall that he managed to attend a ‘booze & pickle’ event recently! I expected the Dylan and our Gracie today but the Freud joke went down quite well here. However, I will not forgive you for the aspersion on Christopher Robin’s character.
    Quite expected a rendition of Chariots of Fire along with the 17d pic!

    PS I would recommend having a go at the Indy puzzle from our own Silvanus. For those, like me, who prefer their puzzles on paper – you can print it off from the Indy site.

  13. Some clever clues here, but I agree that there were possibly too many cryptic definitions, which if you can’t see them, can take too long to solve if there is nothing else to go on. Judging by the blog, MP is back on form despite his physical ailments. Ta to all.

    1. But some of us love the purely cryptic clues, and definitely when you don’t need sports, mythology or other specialized knowledge.

      1. Fair enough BL, I seem to be in the minority but that’s just what I felt today. I didn’t mean specialist knowledge to construct the answers from, but perhaps just further wordplay.

  14. Nice one from Rufus today. 14a and 28a went straight in.
    I see that Shropshirebloke solves the puzzle on one side of my river – and Rufus compiles the puzzle by the river also.
    Maybe Shropshirebloke should get some binoculars?

  15. The perfect antidote for another wet walk with the dog. A couple of head scratchers with 23d LOI. Stupidly put “director” in 13a so made trouble for myself with 8 & 8d. Reading the clue would have helped.
    23d my COTD with 5d R/U.
    Thanks to Rufus for brightening my day and MP for the usual entertaining analysis. Whether Monday is the first day of the week it is Rufus & MP day long may it be thus. Sorry that the after-effects are still affecting.

    1. I put director at first, simply because the director makes the film, while the producer finances it.

  16. Fair-to-middling entertainment today but not too troublesome once under-weigh (or is it under-way?). 21a and 25a vie for supremacy. Needed help parsing 11a. Thank you Rufus and MP (perhaps risk a drop of sherry in the soup to help lull the pain – or are you on the wagon for a bit?)

      1. Was it not falling off the wagon that caused the damage in the first place?

  17. Lovely cluing from the Monday maestro, as always. 1a reminded me of the vessel used by the fellow employed by Shrewsbury Town FC at their former ground to retrieve stray balls that disappeared over the stand into the neighbouring River Severn. I’m sure that Rufus and our very healthy contingent of Salopians on the Blog would remember it too.

    My two favourite clues were 5a and 10a, but many others ran them close.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and the long-suffering Miffypops.

    Thanks to everyone, especially Jane (!), who has been so supportive of my own puzzle in the Independent today.

    1. Nice puzzle, Silvanus. Easy, I thought, as the top left went straight in – then more of a struggle after that.

    2. I was really looking forward to having a go at your crossword in the Independent but their site wouldn’t play nicely enough for me to be able to print it out – bother, to put it politely. :sad:

  18. I found this a difficult solve today, must have been the Guinness, no wonder I found 5d elusive. Gong for a ***?****
    5a brought a smile and 23d the last in, didn’t realise 28d was a synonym for rehearse.
    Great pics from Miffypops.

  19. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops for another enjoyable puzzle, got almost to the end before I stumbled. Spelt the plant in 22a wrongly which held me up at 13d for a bit. When I read the hint it was a duh moment, and missed the anagram indicator in 27a, another duh moment. 5a and 18a are joint favorites, great cryptic clues. Too often we trail off into general or specialized knowledge, but this puzzle was cryptic and right on the button.

  20. A bit more than 2* difficulty for me today, mainly because of stupidity striking again.
    Like LROK my 14a one who made it in the cinema world was the director – oh dear, and it took me a while to question my answer.
    I was a bit doubtful about 28a meaning ‘rehearse’ but it is in the BRB, sort of i.e. it refers to practice.
    23a took me ages.
    I wasn’t sure which was the definition and which was the anagram indicator in 15a.
    I liked 5 and 25a and 7 and 20d. My favourite was 21a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    A miserable wet day in Oxford – going to try Mr Rookie and the Indy Silvanus so I’ve got plenty to keep me quiet.

    Happy Birthday to RD – I hope you’re celebrating in style. A :smile: and a :rose: for you.

    1. Thank you kindly, Kath.

      The celebrations started two days early, beginning on Saturday and continuing in an alcohol and food fuelled haze even since. Even the unpleasant weather and wrong Rugby result have failed to put a dampener on things. One of many highlights will be later this afternoon when I get to see my seven year old granddaughter’s artistry in decorating a cake for me.

      P.S. Both the Rookie and the Indy puzzles are well worth the effort. It’s particularly nice to see our very own Silvanus graduating to national level with a very fine puzzle.

      1. Thanks RD, and many happy returns from me too.

        Since nobody else seems to have mentioned it, congratulations also to Dame Vera Lynn on reaching three score years and forty today, as enduring a national treasure as those White Cliffs of Dover she immortalised in song.

        1. Great crossword Silvanus.
          Happy birthday to you RD.
          Been so busy, I almost missed mine on St Patrick’s day.

  21. Loved it, as usual. So many fun clues, I’m hard pressed to choose a fave, but 25a and 5d were huge smiles. I liked 24d as well.
    Thanks to Rufus for the entertainment, and to M’pops for his review. I also thank BD for his aside on 25a, a fun bit of knowledge.
    I hope you are getting a bit better, M’pops, you must be going through a rough time.

  22. A gentle but entertaining week-starter: 1*/4*. Lots of nice quirky clues, but my pick is 23d. Thanks to Rufus and MP. What a marvellous picture of The Queen! I bet she’s just had a winner.

  23. Sorry, folks, I just didn’t enjoy this one. Wavelength problem I guess. Struggled through but needed hints for 10a, a new word for me, 23d and 28a. 23d had to be what it was, but I could not see how. Was not aware of that meaning of 28a.
    So not a great start to the week for me.

    Really liked 7d , though.

    Thanks to Miffypops, who I hope is feeling much better and will soon be restored to perfect health, and to the setter.

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    Quite tricky for a Monday with some very good clues (5a, 10a, 7d for choice). Delayed somewhat by the wrong choice at 14a (a weak clue in either event I thought). 28a isn’t for me. If there ever was such a usage I don’t think there is now.


  25. 14a Producer or Director – I went for the latter which messed up a few of the downward clues😕

  26. Typical Rufus entertainment. I liked 21a (a quick check shows that it’s appeared several times before, but not since I started solving cryptics), 25a, and 23d. Like many posting above, 28a sent me off to check the BRB. Thanks to Rufus and to MP. I did enjoy the Clement Freud joke – thanks for that.

  27. Enjoyed it as much as everyone else and had to check the synonym in 28a also.
    23d was last in too.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.
    BD: 25a doesn’t surprise me somehow. Also heard that Elephant and Castle came from the Infante of Castille. Wonder if it’s true.

  28. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with some really good clues. 21&25a made me laugh, but my favourite was 5d. Last in was 23d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  29. No great problems except I still can’t see what narrate has to do with rehearse? 28a. Nothing in the BRB seems to fit so a bit of a mystery to me.
    Apart from a rather weak clue in 5d and using 10a as a single rather than two words it was an Ok puzzle.
    Thx to all.

    1. My. BRB says for rehearse: to repeat, say over or read aloud; … To recount, narrate in order…

  30. Easier to the north than to the south, where a big unknown for me – 22ac – needed all the help I could get from the anagram fodder. My insistence that 20d should be an anagram of TOMLET probably didn’t help the cause. Overall ** for difficulty, but a fun challenge.

  31. As always, a pleasure to solve. How does Rufus manage to keep his clues down to so few words? I love cryptic definitions, so my favourites were 5a 21a and 7d

  32. Enjoyable. Rather than roses and weeds, I found a bed of tulips: nothing spectacular but a very pleasant overall impression. Writing in “Film Director” didn’t help my cause, but I discovered my mistake fairly quickly. Yes, I enjoy Rufus very much. Thanks to Miffipops for the hints; get well soon. Donaldo

  33. Enjoyable and slightly trickier than the usual Monday.
    I struggled for a while:=
    a) Director rather than producer
    b) I cant spell Aspidistra
    c) Did not know the word for 21a
    Lots of good clues, I enjoyed 1a as it reminded me of Ben Gunn from Treasure Island. Fav was 25a as I love my history…
    Cheers MP and Rufus

  34. Well I found this the most straightforward puzzle for ages. Started and finished on the train home and it’s a short journey. Favourite has to be 22a in memory of Eric Blair. Thanks to Rufus and the mouth-mangled MP. 0.5*/3*
    PS Congrats to Silvanus

  35. Sorry for late post but it usually takes me this long to figure them out before checking!! I also thought Rehearse was stretching it – never heard of that defn. By the same picky measure surely 10a should be flammable rather than (the explosive) inflammable? Still a learner I guess….

    1. Welcome from me as well EmmieP. Don’t worry about posting late, we will still receive a notification that you have done so.

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