DT 28409 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28409

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28409

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Good day everybody. It is Monday. It Is a Rufus puzzle. It is a tad predictable with plenty of fun to be had along the way. None of the anagrams need pencils and I can count only one unusual word. Today is National Pigs in Blankets Day. Make what you will of that one.

With regard to yesterday’s London Marathon, Matthew Rees is a top bloke. The Cambridges and Harry did alright as well. Mark, Suzy, Steve Tara and Martin from our village all completed it as well. It can’t be that difficult as Suzy, Martin and Steve all called in for a drink afterwards. Mark stayed on in London to watch this daughter dancing at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

The hints and tips below were lovingly written at silly o clock this morning. Definitions are underlined and the clues are hidden beneath the spoilers marked click here.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Capital in account to get new car (5)
ACCRA: Use the abbreviation for ac(count) and add an anagram (new) of CAR

4a    They’re no good by all accounts (3,5)
BAD DEBTS: The opposite of good followed by what outstanding accounts are an example of

8a    Len, a Tory, goes out in florid style (8)
ORNATELY: Anagram (goes out) of LEN A TORY

9a    Large town following legend’s wisdom (8)
SAGACITY: place a word defining a large town after another word for a legend. These are typically Norse or Icelandic in origin

11a    I’m standing by for each one left and put in jeopardy (7)
IMPERIL: A four part harmony clue. A charade in four acts. Use the letters I’M directly from the clue. Add a word meaning for each. Now add the letter that looks like the number one and the abbreviation for L(eft)

13a    A drink knocked over runs quickly and dries up (9)
ATROPHIES: Begin with the letter A from the clue and add a fortified wine reversed (drink knocked over). Now add an archaic word meaning hurries. This word was first brought to by attention when aged about 12 by an English teacher who pointed out that it meant exactly the same as hurries, uses less letters than hurries and can be formed by removing letters from the word hurries.

15a    Requirement for sewer near land the deed dealt with (6,3,6)

18a    Remained a single and not disturbed (4,5)
LEFT ALONE: A synonym of the word remained and a synonym of the word single are split by the letter A from the clue. Altogether split 5,4 they match the underlined definition

21a    Mourn eccentric old peer (7)
DEPLORE: Anagram (eccentric) of OLD PEER

22a    Light entertainment to repeat all over the place (8)
OPERETTA: Anagram (all over the place) of TO REPEAT

24a    One involved with erratic standards (8)
CRITERIA: Anagram (Involved) of ERRATIC and the letter that looks like the number one

25a    Outfit with energy grabbing silver in equestrian discipline (8)
DRESSAGE: Start with a verb meaning to clothe someone (outfit). Use the abbreviation for E(nergy) and insert (grabbing) the symbol used to denote silver

26a    Water lily collection going to America (5)
LOTUS: Use a word meaning a great amount of something ad add the usual subject for The United States of America


1d    Native graduate returns to meet first form (10)
ABORIGINAL: Reverse (returns) The letters a graduate might put after his name and add a noun meaning the first or earliest form of something.

2d    Prison breaks contained by church scheme (8)
CONSPIRE: Place an anagram to (breaks) of PRISON inside (contained by) the abbreviation for The Church of England

3d    Nevertheless, not to be satisfied with just part? (5,3)
AFTER ALL: Craving for the whole. Not just the part.

4d    They will be themselves (4)
BOYS: According to a popular saying those of a certain gender will be like those of a certain gender. A similar clue at 19 across caused a lot of comment last week DT 28,403

5d    Leave the City with clammy weather about (6)
DECAMP: The abbreviation for the part of London known as The City has clammy or moist weather around it.

6d    Pacific location in which one may be found sunbathing (6)
BIKINI: A two piece bathing costume named after an atoll in the Pacific Ocean

7d    Dispatch snow vehicle, we hear (4)
SLAY: A word meaning to kill (despatch) sounds like (we hear) a snow vehicle. Not a vehicle made of snow but one pulled by reindeer

10d    Shorter game’s interrupted in these days (8)
ABRIDGED: A card game needs to be placed between two letters that refer to these days since the death of Christ. These terms have now been superseded by Common Era and Before Common Era. I wonder when the setters will catch on to that one?

12d    Attack lazy fellow (8)
LAYABOUT: The attack needing to be split 3,5

14d    Riding breeches? No, but riders do use them (10)
SADDLEBAGS: Split 6,4 the answer might refer to a slang name for the trousers one wears whilst riding a horse. The whole refers to the containers a rider might use to secure their possessions whilst riding. Last seen in Cowboy films.

16d    All being well, it should be empty (8)
HOSPITAL: Health wise if we were all fit and well these buildings would be empty of patients. The front line nursing staff would be laid off but an army of highly paid mangers would still be there, just in case.

17d    Unusual car route for one in Brussels (8)
EUROCRAT: Anagram (unusual) of CAR ROUTE

19d    Intense dancing rife before getting caught with Ecstasy? (6)
FIERCE: Anagram (dancing) of RIFE followed by the abbreviations of caught and Ecstasy

20d    They represent us –- amen! (6)
AGENTS: Split Amen 1,3. Use the letter A and add another word for men.

22d    Married with ring –- outstanding (4)
OWED: A three letter word meaning married is joined by the letter that looks like a ring. The clue does not tell us which comes first so we have a tiny bit of work to do here.

23d    Problem that teacher’s hidden (4)
ACHE: A lurker. This word is hidden in the words of the clue and indicated by the word — hidden.

The sun is shining. Time to get out there and do something.

The Quick Crossword pun: alley+gaiter=alligator

49 comments on “DT 28409

  1. 1.5*/4*. Almost R&W but a lot of fun as always. 14d was my last one in and the only one today which needed a bit of cogitation. My podium list is 15a, 14d & 16d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  2. 1.5*/3* for me. Only a small amount of head scratching required, but, strangely, more than what was required for the two weekend prize puzzles combined.

    Favourite – 14d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

    P.S. Oh dear, a certain country (south of Canada) must be in a real mess if there has to be a special day to celebrate the sausage roll, or whatever it is called down there.

    1. i always thought that ‘pigs in blankets’ were sausages wrapped in smoky streaked bacon. have i been living under a misapprehension all these years? in fact the ingredients are in the fridge so i think it is appropriate to get the oven on!

      1. I agree, although I’d never heard of sausages wrapped in bacon being called ‘pigs in blankets” until the Elder Lamb went off to university in Sheffield. Is is regional? We’d never, as a family, called them that.

  3. I won’t admit how long it took me to see why ‘agents’! Oh dear. Nice Neil Young clip MP.

  4. 2*/4* for me. Great fun for a Monday morning, nothing obscure with just a couple of clues in the NE corner holding me up for a short while. 16d my favourite of many entertaining clues. Many thanks Rufus for the challenge and to MP for his review.

  5. Fairly straightforward except for a couple in the NE corner. Unlike MP my English teachers did not make me aware of hies, so needed electronic help for 13a. Atrophies means “wastes away” not “dries up” to me. I’m sure some dictionary will give dries up but not I think the BRB.
    Other than that solid Monday fare. COTD was 14d.
    Thanks to Rufus & MP

    1. He showed us several words that could be made shorter by using the letters already there in the order they were in but still retaining the same meaning. Hurries / Hies is the only one I remember. possibly because it crops up in crosswordland every so often.

    2. I agree. I can’t find this crossword’s definition of atrophies. MP, don’t you mean that hies has “fewer” letters than hurries?

      1. It was son & his wife thanks M. SHMBO ran it at 72 but says she is “too old to do full marathons now” & sticks to half marathons & 10K races) Son was disappointed he didn’t break 3 hours as his training had gone well. He still did a time to qualify for next year. His wife, beat her 4.5 hour target time so was very pleased.

  6. R&W for us except 20d. Just could not see this one at all! 2* / 3* for us
    Thanks to Miffypops for the blog and Rufus for the crossword.

  7. Nothing too exacting. South went in first where only hitch, as for others, was at 20d which was obvious but I failed to parse it. Toyed with depart in 5d. Fav was 14d. Thanks Rufus and MP. Well done all the Marathoners including Bryony Gordon and her £35,000.

  8. Done code words and crosswords for many years (I’m over 70 ) and have ignored cryptic puzzles but now using your system to try and do them
    Many thanks good stuff

  9. Like most of you pretty easy today. 1*/3*. Also I got 20d ok – but couldn’t figure out why without Miffypop’s hint. Thanks for that. 14d was a clear winner for me.

  10. Made it harder for myself by writing the answer to 25a in the space for 22a but fortunately 22d came to the rescue. In company with others, 20d was the last to go in and became one of my picks of the day along with 3,4&12d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Might have another shot at the Rookie now – thus far it’s defeating me.

  11. Made it harder for myself by writing the answer to 25a in the space for 22a – fortunately 22d came to the rescue. As with others, 20d was the last to slot in and became one of my picks of the day along with 3,4&12d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

    Might have another shot at the Rookie now – so far it’s defeating me.

  12. As usual a good start for the week, an enjoyable puzzle with nothing much to frighten the horses.
    Slightly held up by 4a and 13a.
    Thanks to Miffypops an Rufus

  13. Found this a fairly straightforward start to the crosswording week. I liked 6d and 16d, and have to choose 20d as favourite. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  14. Another anagram-fest from Rufus, enjoyable as ever although the grid is one of my least favourite with those four large black squares. 20d was my LOI, it seems I was in good company!

    My favourite clue was 12d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to MP.

  15. Nice one! Loved 15a…spent ages thinking of drains and pipes.
    It’s one of those word, rather like ‘flower’………………………

  16. I’m a huge Rufus fan, and he’s given us another treat today.
    As with most others, I had no idea why 20d was correct, but it had to be.
    Lots to like here, 14d is an honourable mention, but fave is 20d now that I understand it.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops for his help in understanding 20d.

  17. This took longer than it should have done, possibly because I dozed off in the middle of it. Spent a lot of time on 13ac and 14d, just couldn’t see 13ac until I tried a glass of port. So a ***/*** for me. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops whose help I managed without.

  18. Nice start to the week. Nothing to frighten the horses so 1.5/3* overall. I liked 4d so that’s me fave.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

  19. All fine but can’t help wrestling with (as LrOK has noted) 13a & 10d. The tense seems wrong at 13a, even if the definition is just about tenable; 10d the ‘in’ is superfluous to the clue. Never mind, I’m probably wrong… no change there, then.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  20. Why on earth did I think 14d was “sidepedals”?
    That’s the problem with Rufus: either you get his cryptic gist or you don’t.
    At least I understood the review.
    Favourite 20d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  21. No major trouble today.
    Like most others 20d was my last answer – tried to make it an anagram but that wouldn’t work – got there eventually.
    I agree that 13a doesn’t really quite fit the definition.
    14d took a while.
    I liked 18 and 26a and 6d. My favourite was 4d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    I’m losing the battle with Mr Rookie – might try again a bit later after trying to reduce the ironing mountain. :sad:

    1. Yes I also struggled for ages to make an anagram out of 20d, until the eureka moment hit.

  22. Like Kath above , 20d was my last one in.
    Otherwise a lovely puzzle.
    I was at the finishing line in Green Park yesterday. The atmosphere was fabulous , the weather very fine and it was wonderful when “our” runner made it , his first marathon.Later in the evening I saw him dancing at a function.
    We had a wonderful time in London , including visits to the Royal Academy and The Banqueting Hall .
    With thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  23. Delightful puzzle today, although I agree with Senf that this was tougher than the weekend offerings. What happened to the gentle Monday puzzle to start the week? Enjoyed this but did need Miffypops hints to finish as I was too slow to solve 13a, and 14d, thank you!

    1. Wave-length – it’s all always to do with wave-length.
      I suspect, although others may disagree with me, that as one gets better at these addictive things called cryptic crosswords one looks for difficulties where there are none.

  24. Just finished within my 1* bogey time, so 1*/3*. My favourite was 13a and my last in was 20d, which threatened to put me into 2* territory. Thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review.

  25. Sometimes I get Rufus, sometimes I don’t.
    Today I didn’t, and gave up with about 5 to go. Thanks MP for the hints.
    Unlike others I didn’t like 20d, the double-unch rendered it impossible for me to guess, I could never have got it from the wordplay.
    Fav was 15a, thanks all.

    1. Five to go is respectable Oofit. It can look worse if they are all long words though. Only the other day somebody commented that they only got five answers without the hints. Just keep at it and remember not to read the clues

      1. Thanks MP.
        My sights are much higher these days, i usually manage to finish, so i’m always a bit disappointed when I don’t.
        My improvement is all down to this site.

  26. Found a lot of this pretty straightforward, with a bit of trouble in the NE corner which pushed this to a ** for difficulty. Got 20d with absolutely no idea what the wordplay was getting at, so thanks for the explanation!

  27. I didn’t recognise the anagram in 22a so bunged in ‘etcetera’. That held me up in the SW corner until I revisited it. I liked 4d and 20d. Thank you setter and Miffypops.

  28. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Great puzzle as usual from Rufus. Needed the hints for 4a,5,6,14d. I wouldn’t have got the latter in a million years. Favourite was 16d, made me laugh. Was 4*/3* for me.

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