DT 28397 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28397

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28397

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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Big Dave’s Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Here we are again starting off the puzzling week with a fine effort from Rufus. I breezed through this until I had only 7 down left which took me a long time to solve. Well done Coventry Rugby Club who broke their previous record score away from home by beating Old Albanians by 73 points to 3.

The clip at 9 across is a true delight. I promise that you will all enjoy it.

The hints and tips below are there to help if you need them. The answers are hidden below the greyed out box that says click here

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Badly written phrase inset that’s in brackets (11)
PARENTHESIS: Anagram (badly written) of PHRASE INSET

9a    Given a start in life (4)
BORN: A cryptic definition of an adjective meaning existing as a result of birth.

10a    The preserve of the do-it-yourself householder (9,3) (4-4,3)
HOME-MADE JAM: A cryptic definition of a foodstuff made with fruit preserved in sugar and done so in one’s own kitchen in one’s own dwelling.  [Note that, at the time of writing, the enumeration given online is incorrect.  BD]

11a    Structure ripe for repair (4)
PIER: Anagram (for repair) of RIPE. Here is a painting by Bob Dylan of one such structure and a photograph of a structure in Blackpool. They bear a striking resemblance.

14a    They join in operations (7)
SUTURES: A cryptic definition of a row of stitches holding together the edges of a wound or surgical incision. In the good old England that I grew up in we had stitches, continental quilts, bacon and egg pie and Warwickshire. One night in 1974 I went to bed and woke up to sutures, duvets, quiche Lorraine and The West Midlands

16a    This signal leaves you speechless for a time (7)
ENGAGED: Another cryptic definition describing the tone one hears when using the telephone and calling somebody who is on another call

17a    Kid will be prosecuted with energy (5)
SUEDE: Kid here is a soft leather. The wordplay is made up of a four letter word meaning to have instigated legal proceedings followed by the abbreviation for E(nergy)

18a    Flower shown in wall painting miles away (4)
URAL: This flower has no petals and no scent and nothing to do with the world of grandiflora. It is a river that flows somewhere in Russia. Take the abbreviation for Miles away from a word meaning a wall painting to find the aforementioned river.

19a    Single footpad (4)
SOLE: A double definition, the second being a part of one’s foot or part of one’s shoe

20a    Trust in a woman (5)
FAITH: This double definition is a woman’s name often linked with Hope and Charity and meaning firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

22a    Nominally commits oneself to work? (5,2)
SIGNS ON: A cryptic definition of the act one does with a pen on a dotted line when doing as the clue suggests.

23a    Request treatment of colitis (7)
SOLICIT: Anagram (treatment of) COLITIS

24a    It may be taken as an indication of loyalty (4)
OATH: A cryptic definition of a solemn promise

28a    Strike by Cupid, perhaps, that could be fatal (5,6)
HEART ATTACK: An assault by Cupid and where his arrow is aimed

29a    Vehicle that goes by road and rail (4)
TRAM: A cryptic definition of a transport system that runs on iron rails set into the road.

30a    Put on to paper, traditional Chinese style? (7,4)
WRITTEN DOWN: A double definition. Having committed pen to paper. We write from left to right. The Chinese write vertically from the top.


2d    Long time and a bad one (4)
AEON: Use the letter A from the clue and add an anagram (bad) of ONE

3d    It’s always in reverse (4)
EVER: Call it what you will, an included word, a hidden word or a good old lurker. The answer is written within the words of the clue

4d    One needs to cast aside sycophants (7)
TOADIES: Use the word TO from the clue and add an anagram (cast) of ASIDE

5d    They see with audible indications of approval (4)
EYES: What we use to see with is also a homophone of a word used to signal agreement. In parliamentary terms the opposite of the noes

6d    Fancy taking out a Gemini (7)
IMAGINE: Anagram (taking out) of A GEMINI

7d    One over the eight on the river (6,5)
ROWING COACH: A cryptic definition of the trainer of a crew of eight oarsmen.

8d    Tenderising chopped-up cooking components (11)
INGREDIENTS: Anagram (chopped up) of TENDERISING

12d    Gushes from hot fissures (6,5)

13d    Wise, perhaps, to be direct with staff (8,3)
STRAIGHT MAN: Wise here refers to Eric Morecambe’s sidekick Ernie. The clue is a description of Ernie’s role in that comedic partnership. An adjective meaning direct is followed by a verb meaning to staff, say, an office.  After last week’s photo of Saint Sharon and one of her three mums by a statue of Laurel and hardy here is a photo of them by the funny man.

15d    Girl takes Poles round America (5)
SUSAN: Place the abbreviations of the two polar regions around the abbreviation for the place Donald Trump is president of

16d    Prepares to publish working diets (5)
EDITS: Anagram (working) of DIETS

20d    Avoid showing fright when catching ball (7)
FORBEAR: A verb meaning to be afraid of something holds (catching) a spherical object.

21d    As he got found out he was taken prisoner (7)
HOSTAGE: Anagram (found out) of AS HE GOT

25d    Expression of annoyance at which doctor starts (4)
DRAT: This expression on annoyance only found in comics is made up from the word AT from the clue preceded by one of the abbreviations of the word doctor.

26d    Riding-establishment boss (4)
STUD: A double definition. The first being an establishment where horses are kept for breeding.

27d    Boat made by company in Cornwall? (4)
SCOW: A wide beamed flat bottomed sailing dingy can be found by placing the abbreviation for company inside the compass points that denote where Cornwall lies in relation to the rest of the country

That’s all folks. Have a nice week.

The Quick Crossword pun: chap+per+own=chaperone

56 comments on “DT 28397

  1. Thanks to Miffypops for the hints and tips which are greatly appreciated by those who need them as well as by those who like to read them for the entertainment value.

    Thanks to Rufus too. I’m glad we are lucky enough to have your crosswords every Monday in their distinctive style. Long may that continue.

    P.S. Just mentioning once again that you are all invited to drinks at The George on Wednesday from 6pm.

  2. 2*/4*. Tip top Monday fun as ever with smiles all the way. Favourite is a toss up between 10a and 13d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  3. A comfortable and enjoyable start to the week from Rufus. I liked the clue mix, and a couple of the anagrams, particularly 8 and 12d, were good fun. 10a my favourite and 1.5*/4* overall.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP for his usual entertaining review.

  4. The enumeration of 10a in the printed version is (4-4, 3). Thanks to MP for the hints, particularly the explanation of the second half of 30a and to the setter. **/*** for me.

  5. Thanks to MP, I enjoyed both the clips – cute little boy and not quite so cute Tom W.

    Any background on that surgical result? 😜

    I’d never heard of the 27 Boat and, because I whizzed along without bothering to check the parsing and thought there might be a cricketing connection, I put in Straight Bat for 13d ………😳

  6. Good start to the week from Rufus. I enjoyed 28&30a but 10a &13d are fighting it out for top billing.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. You were right – the 9a clip is delightful and I rather liked the accompanying picture for 14a. Between them, they made up for the noise at 28a!

  7. Rufus in a very benign frame of mind permitting solving at a gallop – */***.

    A number of contenders for favourite – 16a, 28a, 30a, 7d, and 20d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  8. Fairy gentle but entertaining puzzle. I counted 9 anagrams or partial anagrams today. 1*/3.5*. I liked 10a, 28a – with 30a and 13d in a tie for first place.

  9. Very pleasant. */**** from us.

    I think I might have struggled with 7d like MP did but pommette got it straight away.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  10. Most enjoyable for a newbie like me! Finished in record time and didn’t have to resort to my spell checker for any anagrams although 27d was a new one on me and I only twigged 13d after I’d got it.(Wise) Ta very Rufus.

  11. Nice straightforward and amusing crossword */*** apart from 13d which had me putting “bat” as the second word, never even thought of Ernie 😨 Favourites 30a & 27d 😃 What a weekend of sport: Augusta, Aintree and the Canaries winning 7-1 😳 Thanks to Rufus and to MP

  12. Great puzzle from Rufus good start to the week agree with BD **/**** for me as well.
    Thanks also to Miffypops for the usual entertaining blog.
    No real favourites though 30a was pretty good

  13. All good fun and not too tricky until I got to my last few answers which took ages.
    I didn’t understand 30a which was dim but never mind.
    The second word of 7d took for ever which was also dim as both our Lambs used to row when they were at school.
    20d was a problem as I had ‘signs IN’ for 22a.
    I liked 7 and 21d. I can’t decide if 10a or 13d is my favourite so I’ll carry on dithering for a bit longer.
    With thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Off to the greenhouse – lots of tiny baby little plants that need re-potting – Mr Rookie later on.

    1. I too has ‘signs IN’, which caused a lot of head scratching with 20d. On balance, ‘ON’ is more correct.

      A few nice clues, but my vote goes to 30a.

  14. Good fun but somewhat spoilt by 16a which I though a very poor clue indeed. Such a pity as the rest was very well clued.
    My fav was 10a after Mrs B had explained it to me.
    Thx to all

  15. A lovely start to the week, just about r&w which is unusual for me. I didn’t quite understand 30ac although I had the answer so thanks to Miffypops for the explanation. Favourite 2 down. Overall */****, many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  16. I had a feeling that today’s anagram count might balance out last Monday’s two, and so it transpired. Two of them (23a and 12d) made my favourites’ shortlist, along with 13d and 20d, both superb surfaces. Interesting that after just one puzzle this week we have reached fifty percent of the total number of anagrams for all five weekdays last week!

    Many thanks to Rufus for yet another excellent puzzle and to Miffypops. Perhaps Coventry should play a team nearer their standard, rather than pensioners from Tirana? ;-)

  17. Very nice start to the week from Rufus. Just needed Miffypops hints to verifying a couple of answers. Favorite was 10a. Unlike Brian, I liked 16a for its reminder of home. Called a busy signal here. 3rd attempt to post, keeps disappearing?

    1. After you have read the posts etc, refresh the page immediately before you post – otherwise you’ll time out. Works for me.

      1. Thanks. I did exit the site and then re enter. But my iPad has performed differently since we got a new router. Loses wifi, and takes longer to connect. No problem with phones, laptops or better half’s older iPad. Perhaps mine is just getting sick…

  18. I always enjoy a Rufus puzzle. I remembered Mr. Wise at 13d.
    There was lots to like, 10a confused me for a bit, but soon sorted.
    Fave was 30a, followed by 12d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his amusing hints.

  19. Good puzzle if a little on the easy side. 30a just wins the day for me, with 28a & 10a runners-up.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for the entertainment.

  20. I spent a lot of time on 7 d and 23a having put in coxen for 7 down and then looking for some obscure cure, having been dozy enough to miss the obvious anagram indicator.

  21. I did need help with this one for one or two clues so many thanks for that MP also usual Monday thanks to rufus for a very enjoyable puzzle

  22. Struggled a bit to complete: senses perhaps dulled by the late night watching the splendid last round of the Masters. The duel showed that professional sport can be thrilling and the players still show sportsmanship and respect towards their opponents.
    Typical Rufus for me & very pleasant solve spoiled by 23a: colitis is not a pleasant word for me.
    7d difficult to see although the first word was obvious enough. COTD was 13d.
    Thanks to Rufus & MP for review.

    1. Yes indeed, how magnanimous Justin Rose was in defeat and what an appropriate way for Sergio Garcia to recognise Seve Ballesteros’ 60th birthday.

  23. Reading the review confirmed my thought.
    A cryptic def, a cryptic def, a cryptic def… nine in all and half as many double defs.
    Although the one or two left were well clued,,that was definitely the kind of Rufus crossword that drives me mad.
    Thanks anyway and thanks to MP for the constant quality of his reviews.

  24. A stress-free kick-off to the cruciverbal week so here’s to more of the same in coming days. Have to admit I needed MP’s help to parse 30a. Not keen on 26d which surely is a breeding rather than a riding establishment. Thank you Rufus for fun and MP for being there in an hour of need.

    1. Thanks.
      That cheered me up no end.
      Just looooove him. Never missed one of his appearances anywhere.

      1. And that means it will go crecendo from then on. I’m getting ready for a Good Friday extravaganza.

  25. A similar story to others – for the most part straightforward, with a few holding out at the end. In my case, 12d, 24ac and 16ac. The latter was a guess I must admit to not following until I checked the hints here.

  26. A fairly gentle start to the week I thought with no real hold ups. I’ll take 10a as fave and 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his trusty review.

  27. Surely “One over the eight on the river” (7d) could just as well be “coxing voice”?

    1. DT 28368 – Boring book about Kindles missing the beginning (8)

      Would you put ‘mindless’ or ‘tiresome’ ? They both work. Setters licence I suppose…

    2. Hi David. I solve on an iPad. As the last letter goes in I get a dialogue box which either says All answers correct or Sorry some answers incorrect. Today’s box was the first. 7d was second to last in followed by the simple 19ac

  28. A pleasing start to the week; call it 1*/4*. My favourites were 10a and 13d. Thank you, Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. A Rufus crossword puzzle, a couple of wee drams and the grandchildren fast asleep in bed. The perfect end to a first day away on a short break in mid Wales. A gentle start to the crosswording week, with no special favourites. Thanks to Rufus et al.

  30. My previous comment has just disappeared, so if this gets through, thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

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