DT 28391 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28391

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28391

Hints and tips by Miffypops


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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****

Welcome from the heart of Downtown LI where the sun is shining beautifully. Spring is sprung. I really had to come down to earth after the excitement of yesterday’s Checkatrade Trophy Cup Final where the mighty Coventry defeated Oxford at Wembley. My commiserations to Kath and Chris but Oxford just couldn’t compete. In fact no team has ever beaten Coventry in any cup final at Wembley. Coventry RFC also won at home to Rosslyn Park, watched by England and Coventry’s oldest living international Mr Harry Walker aged 102 and still carrying all of his marbles.

Today’s puzzle puzzled me by its lack of anagrams. Two in total using just ten letters. Thank you Rufus but it isn’t all about me. You must still cater to the rest of the puzzliverse.

The hints and tips below are there to help if needed and I sincerely hope that they do their job. If you are still unable to solve after reading the hint the answer is hidden behind the greyed out box

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Flier eating chop and banger (6)
JALOPY: This flier is a bird of the crow family. Place him around a verb meaning to chop or cut as in branches or twigs from a tree

4a    Old boy, wearing sulky expression, ceased to be involved (5,3)
OPTED OUT: This old boy is an Edward. Take the abbreviation for O(ld) and a verb meaning a sulky expression where ones bottom lip protrudes. Place these around Edward’s shortened form. Own up now, how many of you played with OB from O(ld) B(oys)?

9a    Grandma gets setback in French city (6)
NANTES: Begin with a pet name for your Grandmother and add the reverse of the word SET (set-back)

10a    Tax that produces public anger (8)
OVERTIRE: To find this verb which means to weary or fatigue somebody we need only to find synonyms for the last two words of the clue. The first has five letters and the second has three.

12a    A couple of notes and that’s your lot! (4)
FATE: These two notes are the fourth and seventh of the Solfa scale.

13a    Pale, and pass out (5)
FAINT: A double definition, the second meaning to lose consciousness for a short time.

14a    Belt as part of a shirt (4)
CUFF: Another double definition, the first meaning to lamp somebody and the second meaning being the part of the shirt at the end of the sleeves

17a    Understanding fear (12)
APPREHENSION: And another double definition (at least we are being spared from the dreaded anagrams) The second being a noun meaning anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

20a    Yet it could be close combat (4,8)
OPEN CONFLICT: A cryptic definition of warfare. The first word of the answer has the opposite meaning to the word CLOSE in the clue and the second word is a synonym of COMBAT. The word YET in the clue is our pointer towards the clues shenanigans

23a    Great many will embrace love or money (4)
LOOT: Begin with a word meaning a great many and wrap it around (embrace) the letter that looks like the love score in tennis

24a    Not so many, we infer! (5)
FEWER: Place the word WE from the clue inside the letters FER. WE IN FER. FE(WE)R Clever or what?

25a    Try to catch what’s said (4)
HEAR: A double definition. To try as in at a court of law or to perceive with the ear

28a    Goes crazy — manages satisfactorily after a minute (4,4)
RUNS AMOK: begin with our usual word for manages and add the A from the clue, the abbreviation for M(inute) and a two letter term meaning satisfactorily.

29a    Shrub, perennial. Hardy? No (6)
LAUREL: This perennial Hardy shrub is not Hardy the comedian who died in 1957 but his mate Stanley. Here is a photo of Saint Sharon and one of her three mums who is no longer with us.

30a    Licence for cartographer’s line (8)
LATITUDE: Our fifth double definition of the day. The cartographers line is the one linking the north and south poles parallel to the equator

31a    What boy did with toy? (6)
RHYMED: My second to last one in and the one hint I think will be sought after most today. The words Boy and Toy would be useful to a poet.

The absolute lack of anagrams in the across clues is both notable and welcomed.


1d    Summit meeting of psychologist and wife (8)
JUNGFRAU: We need to nip over to Switzerland to find our psychologist (the founder of analytical psychology) who possibly has a German wife.

2d    Floor covering, kind that’s used by printers (8)
LINOTYPE: Begin here with the shortened name for a floor covering made from materials such as solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate and add a word meaning kind

3d    Lord, look! (4)
PEER: A double definition the first being of the realm

5d    Flags seen on the street (6,6)
PAVING STONES: These flags are usually made of concrete and cover pathways.

Lines and Squares by AA Milne

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I’m ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street,
Go back to they lairs,
And I say to them, “Bears,
Just look how I’m walking in all the squares!”
And the little bears growl to each other “He’s mine,
As soon as he’s silly and steps on a line.”
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It’s ever so portant how you walk.
And it’s ever so jolly to call out, “Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!”

6d    One is belted and real aggravated (4)
EARL: This member of the group at 3 down is belted with a sword girded around his waist. Unfortunately the second part of the clue is an anagram (aggravated) of REAL.

Here is a Belted Galloway calf which has nothing to do with the answer but it is cute

7d    It’s hateful having nothing and five hundred debts (6)
ODIOUS: Use the letter that looks like nothing nil zilch or zero. Add the Roman numeral for five hundred and our usual crosswordland debts

8d    Start driving on a course (3,3)
TEE OFF: A cryptic definition of the first shot in a round of golf and subsequently the first shot taken at each hole.

11d    Answered call instantly but was pipped at the post? (4,2,6)
CAME IN SECOND: A double definition, the second being a description of how you fared if narrowly beaten in a race.

15d    Uplifted, achieved very good times (5)
TEMPI: This musical term for times can be found by reversing (uplifting) a word meaning achieved as in sales targets perhaps and adding our usual suspect meaning very good.

16d    Swells seen from boat offshore (5)
TOFFS: These dated fashionable or stylish persons of wealth or high social position can be found lurking within the letters of the clue

18d    Was partial over unusual instrument (4,4)
SIDE DRUM: Split 5,3 The first word (was partial to) means supported or joined in opposition to. This is followed by a synonym of the word unusual. The instrument is played with sticks and is more usually known as a snare.

19d    Surprised to see first part was first (8)
STARTLED: We need a five-letter noun meaning the point in time or space at which something has its origin or beginning. Followed by a three letter word meaning went first.

21d    Sort of arrangement that’s free for all (6)
FLORAL: Anagram number two (free) of FOR ALL

22d    One may play it — and one may get licked (6)
CORNET: A brass instrument which resembles a trumpet is also the name of a cone shaped wafer filled with ice cream

26d    Players in form (4)
CAST: The list of players or actors in a production is also the word used to define to form something by pouring molten metal into a mould

27d    Many refuse ready money (4)
CASH: Our large number here is one hundred. Use its Roman numeral and add a word meaning refuse or rubbish. Actually the remains of a fire.

A lovely little puzzle today. Just enough anagrams.

The Quick Crossword pun: infant+tree+man=infantryman

40 comments on “DT 28391

  1. I am so very, very cross. It appears the gremlins have been at it again, rotten, sodding, horrible people. After all the trouble that BD goes to for our simple entertainment, some underworld dastardly, foul people have disrupted our site again. I, for one, have some wax effigies here and I’m sticking pins in as fast as I can. That’s my rant, sorry about the language.

    1. Ditto. Could not open the site until evening here. Very sad here, and angry with losers who have nothing better to do than attack this blog.

    2. I’m with you Merusa – I tried all day unsuccessfully to make contact and gave up and now certainly don’t recall Comments I planned to make. Anyway fingers crossed that BD will have done his damnedest so there will be more success today, Tuesday.

  2. Well done MP – not only for finding a picture of an Austin Allegro – unfortunately not beige. A square wheel – what were they on? I always wanted a ‘Vanden Plas’ RR radiator grille. Typical Rufus I suppose not too much to comment on but a pleasant puzzle.

    Thanks to my Ironbridge neighbour and fellow matelot for the puzzle and to MP for his review.

  3. I totally agree with Merusa. I am sad that my first post to this excellent blog has to be on the subject of mindless individuals who for some benign reason want to spoil others enjoyment, but feel moved to comment.
    I found today’s puzzle difficult ***/** and needed the hint for 31a which completely stumped me. Thank you to BD for putting up with these idiots and to Miffipops for the excellent and helpful hints.

  4. What a frustrating day (especially, presumably, for BD). So, for whatever BD did to fix it – thank you. My initial reaction was that MP had ‘broken’ the entire internet.

    I totally agree with Merusa’s sentiments, but maybe the language is not strong enough.

    Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle – favourite 31a, with a big smile when the penny dropped. Thanks to MP (for not breaking the internet).

    Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

  5. Would I miss a review by MP? Never!
    Although this crossword left me a bit indifferent..
    My downfall was the latin times in 15d and the first word of 20a which I disliked very much.
    Wasn’t keen on 11d either. Shouldn’t the phrase end with an s for the first meaning?
    Never knew about the goat in 6d. I just thought earls wore some kind of belt like our mayors in France.
    2d should be underlined differently methinks.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Hello to SL too. Nice to have you back.

    1. You are right about the underlining of 2d Jean Luc. I forgot to underline the definitions thus giving BD an unneccesary extra job in what must have been a very frustrating day. That is not to mention sending it without attaching it to the email. I think I am BDs bad dreams come true.

  6. Ooh, I do like a Rufus puzzle! There are some beauties in this one. I love the double definitions, and the two parters. 24a is my favourite of the day, and is unlikely to be bested all week. I also love 22d. Other petals on this plant are 21d, 18d and 1d. 12, 17, 28, 29 and 25a also inspire me to raise my flat hat in admiration. Thank you, Miffipops, for your hints, for the cow, and for the drum battle. I was also very glad to be reacquainted with Milne’s poem. **Difficulty and ****Enjoyment from me. Goodnight, all.

  7. If there has been a better Rufus backpager than this one, then I must have missed it.

    Such was the quality of today’s clues that I struggled to limit my shortlist of ticked ones to just five, but I thought 10a, 24a, 31a, 1d and 11d deserved special mention. 11d is the epitome of the sort of clue at which Rufus excels.

    A great pity that such an excellent puzzle has attracted so few comments because of the gremlins once again, but I hope that normal service will soon be restored thanks to BD’s sterling efforts.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to MP.

  8. I had a bit of a mare with this one. Say no more.

    Thanks to Rufus, more thanks to MP and a humungous thank you to BD for rescuing the site from the black hole.

    1. The word not is missing. And the reference to Dava Sobel’s wonder book. Rushing when there is no need to rush never helps.

  9. Having put in ‘join together’ in 20a, the SE corner just would not come out. Still pleased I got most of the rest as 1* is still about my level of achievable difficulty. I always like the ones that get me started best and to that end 7d and 9d were the starters. Thanks to MP for putting me on the right paths and to Rufus where I am slowly getting into the same mind set. Meanwhile, what does one do with an old lady who will not wear her prescription glasses in case she wears them out and instead wears the reading glasses from Poundland?

  10. Thank God you’re back.And the opposite wishes to the nerdy gremlins who appear to have nothing better to do than annoy crossword solvers !
    Talk about under occupied !
    I really needed the full uncovered clue for 31a and 18d.
    So thank you very much Miffypops, Rufus and never forgetting Big Dave.

  11. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but one of the hardest I can remember for a Monday. I was 14 answers short after the first pass. I needed the hints for 1d, had never heard of it. 30a, I always struggle with double definitions. 15d, wouldn’t have thought of it. 20a didn’t really understand it. 18&19d, wouldn’t have thought of either. 31a, never would have thought of that. Favourite was 10a. I wasn’t on the correct wavelength at all today. Was 3*/4* for me. Thanks to BD for repelling the hackers.

  12. Good evening everybody.

    Found this puzzle very challenging if ultimately satisfying to complete (a prospect that seemed unlikely for a long time). Favourites were 4a, 5,15,18,22d. Didn’t understand why 27d but the solution seemed clear.

    Excellent puzzle though maybe a bit too time consuming for a back pager. Certainly a two cup puzzle.

    Glad to find the site back in action.


  13. Thank you BD, Rufus and Miffypops. Yes, I did try OB for 4a. I lost the plot with 1a and 31a. 22d was my favourite, but the craving for ice cream is now massive.

  14. As the usual latecomer to the party I seem to have missed all the site’s problems – but another great thank-you to BD for doing whatever it is that you do to ensure that it’s up and running as quickly as possible.
    I loved this effort from Rufus, which I sped through until hitting the buffers with a handful left to solve, which took more time than all rest. Some terrific clues, but I’m going for 28a as the cream of the crop simply because it reminds me of a splendidly old Telegraphish entry in the 1940s style guide that I still have somewhere: “Only Malays run amok” – which was still in force when I joined. We also had to call Iran Persia because of the autocratic old managing editor who insisted: “Who ever heard of an Iranian carpet?” and Tony Benn was always “Mr Wedgwood Benn” because it annoyed the former Viscount Stansgate.
    Ta, then, to Rufus and MP, although I clicked on the “rhyme” link thinking it was T Waits only to find, to my horror, something unspeakable. Don’t do that to me again. 3*/5*

  15. Why is ‘pi’ very good? – a mystery to me!

    Excuse my ignorance but it’s been bugging me all day!

    Apart from that the puzzle was ok.

    1. Perhaps a little tenuous, but widely accepted in crossword land – an abbreviation for pious = saintly = very good.

  16. After Sunday’s gallop, today I fell at the Chair. I found this very tricky, and on a day when the idiots had again launched another attack. Usually Monday’s are fine, but not this one.
    Thanks MP and Rufus

    1. Great going through the hints as that was totally beyond me. Rufus has been kind of late, but of all the setters once he raises his game a notch I am absolutely lost. This was one of them.
      I am not sure I will ever ‘get’ Rufus’ cluing style, but going through the hints is great fun.
      Thanks MP.
      Oh, and many comments about the hackers, I am not as polite as others so do us all a favour and go away and die.

  17. I echo the others’ views about the useless article who finds it funny to bomb the site. I thought Cloudfire would protect against that sort of thing.

    I found this rather tricky for a Monday but managed it in the end. Very, very enjoyable with a number of superb clues. I especially liked 15d and 31 with 24a as my favourite.


  18. Yesterday was not the same being unable to access the site. From memory, I liked 1d best and rated it 2.5*/3.5* overall.

    Welcome back BD, belated thanks to Rufus and MP.

    1. Absolutely agree about yesterday.
      Of course to be politically correct we should praise the technical expertise of these people and help them find a useful purpose in life.
      Being old fashioned I say they deserve stuffing with a ragman’s trumpet broad end first. No strike that make it euphonium broad end first 😲
      Many thanks to Rufus and MP but again tremendous appreciation to BD. PS I will supply the euphonium

  19. Many thanks belatedly to Rufus and to MP (particularly for explaining how belts are involved with 6d). No thanks to the sick low life whose only sad pleasure is to try to spoil others’ harmless fun.

  20. Echo everyone’s comments about the site problems yesterday. Big thumbs up to BD for fixing it.

    I normally don’t enjoy Rufus puzzles (yes, I know I’m in a minority) but this was an exception. It was challenging with lots of clever misdirections and plenty of “D’oh!” moments along the way. Last one in was 1d and it also gets my nomination for clue of the day.

  21. Back on dry land wonderful sailing over weekend. I agree with the comments about the site. These people should get away from their mothers, get out more and leave the rest of us to do what we enjoy.
    Finally completed the puzzle which caused me some had scratching moments.
    Thanks to Miffypops, Rufus and to BigDave for all the hard work and the sorting out of the blog.

  22. Good stuff, really enjoyed that. Lots of intriguing clues, but to keep Kath happy I’ll only pick out 24a.
    Many thanks to setter, MP and to BD as ever.

  23. Am pleased to see that the blog is accessible again, it’s a shame that those responsible for blocking it can’t put their skills to better use. I found this puzzle very enjoyable and far more difficult than of late. Best clue for me was 31a, with both 1d & 1a, 24a & 21d as other favourites. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. Today’s offering is now all done and dusted, so now to walk the dog

  24. Thanks to Big Dave for getting the site up and running again.

    I was total rubbish at this crossword, so could have done with the hints.

    Thanks to the setter, Miffypops and especially to Big Dave.

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