DT 28415 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28415

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28415

Hints and tips by Miffypops
assisted by Saint Sharon at 29 across

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD’s personal Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Good day from the heart of Downtown LI at the close of Beer Festival weekend. After three days of heavy drinking Rufus deems it fitting to throw this puzzle at me. No less than seven answers were bunged in because they fit the checking letters with parsing to be worked out (or not. See 1d) later.

Saint Sharon solved my last one in which was 29ac. I seem to recall her answering it for me once before. Mr K?

The Oscar winning Nobel Laureate Mr Bob Dylan has just played three concerts at The London Palladium. The reviews of these shows are all wonderful but I already know that. These are the first Dylan concerts in England that I have not attended in over forty years. I am looking forward to Wednesday when we travel to Cardiff to see him perform. After the show we are driving to The Haven Hotel on Sandbanks so we wake up at the seaside ready for Bob’s concert at The Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday. Gin and Tonics, Chain Ferries, Shellfish. Saint Sharon and Bob Dylan means Miffypops will be a little ball of euphoria. Can’t Wait.

The hints and tips below have been produced my Miffypops. A poorly schooled orphan boy and regular caution. Definitions are underlined and solutions can be revealed by clicking the click here button.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Sounds of denial — straight from the horse’s mouth? (6)
NEIGHS: A homophone or sounds like clue. The plural of the sound horses make is sounds like an archaic dialect term used for denial.

4a    Show more tolerance, stupid (8)
MINDLESS: A double definition the first needing a 4,4 split

9a    Was set back and deserts (6)
WASTES: Use the word WAS lifted straight from the clue. (In golfing terms a gimme) and add the reverse ((back) of the word SET. This clue contains every letter required for the answer as does an anagram clue.

10a    Wear ties knotted oddly, so to speak (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE: Anagram (knotted) of WEAR TIES.

12a    Listener and learner one’s seen in the Lords (4)
EARL: This member of The Upper Chamber can be found by joining the organ used to listen with and the regular abbreviation for learner

13a    Sally going over year in journal (5)
DIARY: A Sally here is a sudden charge out of a besieged place against the enemy or a sortie. Reverse it (going over) and add the abbreviation for the word year

14a    Turning, knocks into pole (4)
SPAR: Another reversal clue as indicated by the word turning. Find a word that means knocks and flip it over to find a word that means a thick strong pole

17a    Working as a tailor perhaps is likely to grow on one (5-7)
HABIT FORMING: Sometimes the only solution is whatever fits with the checking letters. Bung it in and work out why later. This is a double definition the first describing what a tailor might do. OK the first word is not really in general use today. The second definition works better for me.

20a    Record playing in the small hours — ‘Mood Indigo’? (12)
DISCONSOLATE: This is the type of clue which will keep me addicted to cryptic crossword puzzles. Perfection in eight words. Split the answer 4,2,2,4 to get an LP or single play record. (4) A word that means playing (2) and a term meaning in the wee small hours (2,4). The words Mood Indigo refer to a Duke Ellington song.

23a    Get out of this! (4)
EXIT: A cryptic definition of a way out.

24a    Cancel fight (5)
SCRAP: Double definition. The second not occurring at The Green Man during our tenure

25a    Exude an air of sadness (4)
SIGH: A cryptic definition of the action of emitting a long, deep audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or similar.

28a    Prior is member of clergy in religious environment (8)
PREVIOUS: An abbreviated Reverend is placed inside an adjective meaning deeply religious

29a    Grubby residence (6)
COCOON: Thanks to Saint Sharon (she has her uses). This grubby residence is a silky case spun by the larvae of many insects for protection as pupae

30a    Mockery made of undergarment found in carrier (8)
TRAVESTY. Place a sleeveless upper body garment inside (found in) a carrier that might be used to carry beers or teacups and teapots.

31a    Rodin sculpted number from Rome of blond blue-eyed appearance (6)
NORDIC: An anagram (sculpted) of RODIN is followed by a Roman Numeral. Which Roman Numeral? Well there are not that many. Only one of them works. Rufus hasn’t told you and nor will I


1d    Capital reserve we held in(3,5)
Revised version – Reserve we held in capital (3,5)
NEW DELHI: Anagram. (reserve or re serve) of WE HELD IN. The newspaper version misses the word IN from the end of the clue. The subscribers’ version misses the word In from the end of the clue. I have been told that the online version is to be edited. There are two online versions. Newspaper Subscribers who only get The Cryptic and The Quickie and Telegraph Puzzles subscribers who get a whole raft of puzzles including The Toughies [Revised version has now been added. BD]

2d    Sign of fashionable writer (8)
INSCRIBE: Use our usual crosswordland two letter term for fashionable and add an old fashioned word for a writer

3d    Pay attention to the editorial, in part (4)
HEED: A lurker. Hiding within the letters of the clue. Some of the kinder reviewers will tell you which words contain the lurker. Not me though. You will have to find it for yourself. Just like I had to. The words in part suggest the lurkerish nature of this clue.

5d    Offering help of the orchestra, for example? (12)
INSTRUMENTAL: A double definition and a reviewers nightmare. The second part of the clue describes what an orchestra is, eg no vocalists

6d    What one is tasked to do for tax (4)
DUTY: A task and a tax. Simple

7d    Former wife, French and cuddling politician, offers excuse (6)
EXEMPT: Use or regular former wife or partner and the French word for and. Insert our favourite politician inside the French word for and. It is cuddling it or holding it. The world of cryptic crossword puzzles is myriad and wonderful. Do as you are told. Remember the usual suspects lad off we go.

8d    Try to get aboard cutters (6)
SHEARS: place a word meaning to try as in the courts inside the abbreviation for steamships

11d    It decides about union disputes (7,5)
DIVORCE COURT: A cryptic definition of the judicial rooms used to decide on marital breakdowns. A Union here is a marriage.

15d    Take off from landing area (5)
STRIP: A double definition. The first being to remove something and the second describing a landing path for aircraft

16d    Get a kick out of men, Joyce? (5)
ENJOY: Our second lurker of the day. A hidden word held within the words of the clue. Indicated by the words out of

18d    Servant, though elderly, performing multiple tasks (8)
MANIFOLD: A three-parter. A three-lettered servant, a two-lettered conjunction meaning though or however and an adjective meaning no longer young. Please own up if you put aging or dated after the servant. I did which spoilt my chances on 29 across

19d    One gets car to start after machine breaks down (8)
MECHANIC: Anagram (breaks down) of MACHINE and the initial letter (starts) of C(ar)

21d    Order posted for tyrant (6)
DESPOT: Anagram (order) of POSTED

22d    Channel Islands serve up the last word in film (6)
CINEMA: Start with the abbreviation for the Channel Islands and add the reverse (up) of the last word as used in religious services

26d    Brief note expresses policy (4)
LINE: A double definition. The first being simple and the second a little trickier but denoting a company policy or political determination

27d    Double act that’s now extinct (4)
DODO: Split 2,2 we need a verb that means to perform an action and the repetition of the same word to make up an extinct bird

It is a Bob Dylan week. Life cannot get any better.


The Quick Crossword pun: flip+purr=flipper

68 comments on “DT 28415

  1. 29a was my favourite clue in this very friendly and enjoyable Rufus puzzle. It certainly cheered up a damp bank holiday Monday morning here in the Marches. Overall this was 2*/4* for me, with many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  2. Using the hard copy 1d clue was “capital reserve we held” As I see it only a bung in will solve – or is it me?
    Had some trouble elsewhere but overall I enjoyed the rest.
    Like MP thought that 20a was brilliant & is my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & MP. A raspberry to whoever let the omission through.

  3. 2*/4*. The proved to be nice light entertainment on a miserable Bank Holiday Monday. My body is aching from head to foot following my first cricket match of the season yesterday played in wintry conditions – but we won a close match and had delicious carrot cake for tea which helped to ease the pain.

    I couldn’t understand the parsing of 1d at all. The closest I could get was that the 2nd-6th letters were an anagram of “we held”, which, given that a key word was missing from the clue as explained in the review, was quite an achievement!

    My favourite was 20a with 4a, 17a & 18d coming into consideration.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  4. Well I had no problems apart from 1d, for obvious reasons, and 20a which I just could not get without help. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

    I also need help in the Quickie pun. “Clever-clever; go mad (4)” ?

      1. Thanks BD, but how is “FLIP” “Clever-clever”? I can’t see anything in the BRB.

        1. Three words works well. Is the clue for the third word italicised in the paper? Ours seems to have gone walk about

          1. No -there are no italics but that doesn’t always seem to be the case even where it is definitely a three word answer.

  5. Definitely more challenging than the two weekend prize puzzles. I got totally ‘bogged down’ in the SE corner with 25a and 18d. They finally yielded in the middle of the night. On the other hand, I got 1d even with ‘in’ missing from the clue, which I did not notice, with the checkers in place it just had to be.

    Favourite 29a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  6. A relatively easy Bank Holiday work-out with SE corner holding out the longest. 17a and 20a were joint Favs. As confused as others by 1d. Not keen on 29d even taking St. Sharon’s explanation into consideration. Not sure where tasks come from in 18d. Thanks Rufus and MP. Plan to visit an “open garden” so hope forecast for thundery showers proves to be wrong although we could of course use the rain. ⛈.

    1. If you look up your solution to18d in the BRB, one definition is ‘performing several functions’

  7. It really didn’t help having the last word of 1d omitted in the iPad version. Also, can anyone help me as I am a subscriber but don’t seem to get the toughie. Thanks to Miffypops and his Saint and also to Rufus. Enjoy Dylan. Wish I could be there!

    1. You’ve changed your alias slightly – you were Crack on before!

      Now I’ve rescued you from moderation, today’s blogger will give you chapter and verse about how long he’s struggled to get the DT to add the Toughie to the iPad version.

      1. Oh thank you! I just love this blog and when I hear folk talking about the Toughie ……. would just like to have a go.

        1. Unfortunately you have to pay a separate crossword subscription to get the Toughie on the iPad. As you do if you want to print the puzzles to complete on paper rather than on the screen. I find it worth it.

    2. There are two different subscription types just to confuse the issue. If like me you subscribe to the Daily Telegraph Newspaper you get the whole paper delivered to your tablet or device on a daily basis. You also get a book of vouchers which you can exchange for actual newspapers at a newsagents. With this subscription you do not get The Toughie but get both The Cryptic and The Quickie.

      The other subscription is to Telegraph Puzzles. With that you get The Toughie The Cryptic and The Quickie and a number of other puzzles.

      1. including the weekly prize puzzles, where once every three and a half years-ish, it is possible to win a prize ;)

  8. Needed the blog to understand ‘in’ and ‘Mood Indigo’. Now all is clear. Nice ‘Mod Bob’ clip MP. I’m sure he performed that song at Blackpool. It has made me look for my copy of Tempest, which appears to have been lost in a house move. The Bournemouth jaunt sounds good. If my memory is right, did Paso Doble attend the London concert(s)?

    1. He did indeed sing along And Wasted Years at the Blackpool shows Toadson. Last song before the encores.

  9. No wonder I couldn’t parse all of 1d! The answer had to be what it was, but I couldn’t find any way to justify the inclusion of either National Insurance or Northern Ireland. Ho hum.
    29a was the last to fall – my memory’s obviously not as good as St. Sharon’s.
    5d doesn’t quite work for me – ‘nearly, but not quite’ was my feeling.

    Liked 17&20a but top spot went to 19d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. I did give the Dylan clip a try but, as usual, couldn’t understand a word he was uttering.
    PS Good of you to put today’s deliberate mistake in capitals at the top of the review, MP!

  10. Unusually short of anagrams for a Rufus puzzle, so it wasn’t quite a read-and-write this time.

    17a and 20a were my pick of the bunch, and my suspicions that 1d was an incomplete clue were confirmed when reading the above comments.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to MP, although I think our esteemed reviewer meant to say that Saint Sharon helped with 29a in his heading (rather than 19a).

    1. You are correct. Thank you. I wondered what Jane meant in the comment above. Now sorted.

  11. Happy “Obby Oss” day from the wilds of North Cornwall let’s hope May is a cracker.
    Nice puzzle from Rufus and great hints from Miffypops and St Sharon.
    Favourite from me 20a no such feeling today.

  12. I agree with 3* for difficulty because of quite a few tricky ones, for me anyway, and 4* for enjoyment because of so many good clues.
    I really enjoyed this.
    The relatively small number of anagrams made it more difficult, again, for me anyway.
    I needed lots of checking letters before I got the answers to 17 and 20a.
    Although I saw very quickly what the misleading ‘grubby’ in 29a was likely to mean it took me ages to think of somewhere the ‘grubs’ might live.
    1d had to be a bung-in – the answer was clear and I just assumed that I was missing something.
    I liked 17 and 20a and 15 and 16d. My favourite was 29a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    My rain dance didn’t work yesterday – must try harder.

  13. enjoyed the Monday crossword, slowed myself down for
    a while, I always spell New Delhi (New Dehli, god knows why
    will not do so again, I hope.

  14. Quite a nice grid. 1.5* and 2.5*. All done in 1* time except for 26d which I chose to leave until later but never returned so thanks MP for sorting that one out. 17 only chose to show itself after most of the checking letters were in. I guess that might be a favourite.
    Kath’s rain dance clearly worked – can you turn it off now please?
    Thanks Rufus and Mr Popps

    1. I don’t know where you live but my rain dance has clearly been directed to the wrong place as we’ve had almost none in Oxford. :sad:

      1. Sorry to hear that Kath, we have had a decent amount of rain in London

  15. Lots of pleasure for me from another excellent puzzle from Rufus. Thanks to Miffypops for the hints and to Big Dave and his helpers for providing us with this marvellous site.

    I particularly liked clue 20a. One of Frank Sinatra’s finest albums is titled ” In The Wee Small Hours” and it includes the Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo”. I don’t know if Rufus was aware of this, but for me it was a nice touch.

    Thanks again for all the help this site provides throughout the year.

  16. |Whilst grappling with the crossword I wondered if the blogger would find a link for 20a thank you so much,surprisingly I had not seen or heard this version but 1,492,936 people have.!!

  17. Very enjoyable and fairly easy – all done by lights-out last night.

    I used the blog to understand the ‘parsing” of 8d – it’s easy in retrospect – as I tell myself all the time!

  18. Re 29a, I can’t find any previous appearances of it on a Monday. The answer has been clued as:

    Sat 22 Dec 07 DT 25494 ‘Care of’ written twice on envelope (6)
    Fri 7 Nov 08 DT 25768 Clown performing in cloak (6)
    Tue 21 Jul 09 DT 25986 Protect old company in swindle (6)
    Sun 3 Jan 10 DT 2517 Study about carbon dioxide that’s broken down protective cover (6)

    The adjective has been seen in two clues:

    Tue 3 May 05 DT 24669 Grubby producers of luxury material (9)
    Sun 4 Jan 09 DT 2465 Not allowing one’s clothes to get grubby (4-5)

    Regarding the crossword, I thought 23a and 25a were weak, and I was annoyed when it became clear that there was a typo in 1d. I did like 5d and the all-in-one 19d, but overall this crossword just did not sparkle for me.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Miffypops for an entertaining blog.

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle to brighten up a dull Bank Holiday Monday. Apart from 1d, editor’s fault? I thought this was a cracker, lots of clues to make you think. I particularly liked 28&28a and 15&18d. Second favourite was 19d, but the award goes to 20a, which was also last in. Was 3*/4* for me. Sun actually trying to come out in central London.

  20. I always enjoy a Rufus offering, this one was loads of fun.
    I had no hold ups with 1d as the problem had obviously been fixed by the time I printed it off.
    My fave was 20a, I liked that a lot, but 17a and 19d are worth a mention.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the review.

  21. Good holiday entertainment. Very straightforward perhaps but still fun. 20a was fave and 1.5/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Mr P.

  22. No wonder i could not make any sense on 1d!!
    Come on DT, sort it out.

  23. Well done Saint Sharon for working out 29a. It was my downfall. I put in ‘domain’ and tried to justify the grubby bit. It completely held me up with 18d. 17a was my favourite. Thank you Rufus and thanks also to Miffypops and Saint Sharon. Enjoy your Dylan concert. One of my friends is missing choir on Wednesday as she is traveling down to Bournemouth with her husband for the concert on Thursday.

  24. Not too challenging with a great clue for me in 18d (I love puns).
    However, I just don’t understand 23a, get out = Exit OK but why’of this’? Just don’t get it at all. Similarly why is Sigh Exude in 23a? Not sure that 20a worked for me either, why Mood Indigo? The rest of it works fine so don’t see why the setter added an obscure song.
    Thx to all

    1. 23a – as in ‘please make your way to the exit’.
      25a – BRB def. of exude – ‘exhibit or show (a feeling etc.)’.
      20a – Indigo is a colour in the blue spectrum. If your mood is blue you may well be 20a. It’s a very clever clue, Brian!

  25. Cracking crossword Grommit, sorry it should be Rufus! 🤗 ***/**** gets **** for enjoyment for 4a, 17a, 20a and of course 29a 😄 Amongst many, thanks to MP for the blog. If you bump into “arry” in Sandbanks MP ave a word 😬

  26. Glad MP had fun this weekend as mine was just work, work, work. Well over 500 covers served over the lasr 4 days but had a wonderful time and very little sleep.
    That didn’t stop me from completing the weekend crosswords apart from Snape on saturday which I will look at later.
    Solved Rufus this morning.
    Saw there was something amiss in 1d but guessed it was the usual DT editing competence.
    1a made me laugh.
    Wasn’t keen on 23a but didn’t mind 25a.
    Just the right dose of cryptic clues for a change.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  27. Monday’s gentle puzzle is MIA again, but this was enjoyable nonetheless. 17a was my downfall and would not have solved it without Miffypops help, thanks. Never seen habit used as working as a tailor?

  28. 2*/4*, and both my favourites were my last ones in: 18d and 25a. I wasn’t so taken with 20a, though. The answer was pretty clear from the crossers, but the clue seemed to me to suggest a different part of speech. Still, a jolly good start to the week, for which thanks to Rufus (and MP for the review).

  29. *** for difficulty sounds about right, though it was only about 5-6 of the clues which pushed it from a * to the three stars. 29ac was very nicely done, I thought.

  30. Most of today’s offering was nice and straightforward, until I got to the SE corner, and that finally did for me, so thanks MP for the help.
    20a was my favourite today, only the last part held me up.
    Back to work tomorrow, ho-hum
    Thanks Rufus.

  31. I normally post to moan about something, so for a change this is a positive post!

    Thoroughly enjoyed this crossword and agree with the rating (also a rare occurrence for me…). 20a was sublime. Absolute genius.

    Thank you to all involved!

  32. Odd how different folk are. Some liked it-ish, some disliked it-ish whereas I loved it, perhaps because I found Rufus to be more devious than his usual Monday offerings. Not helped, either, by many answers not having a checking letter to start. I smiled a lot as the pennies dropped on 4a, 17a, 20a, 29a, 5d, 18d and 27d. Top clues from a top setter who seems able to up his fiendishness level at will. Thanks to him and MP for the blog 3*/5*
    BTW Mark, have you read Testament, Robbie Robertson’s autobiography? If not, you should – full of marvellous anecdotes of good times and bad and all the usual suspects are present and correct

  33. Testament. Not read yet. My pal says there is nothing in it that we have not heard before but it is good to have it all in one place. I have read Levon Helm’s book Wheels On Fire. I never saw The Band. Big regret Tom. Big regret.

    1. I was at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 (and 1970). There were lots of brilliant acts and The Band were one of the best of them. Robbie Robertson is one of my guitar heroes.

      1. The Band re defined American music. Under Dylan’s tutelage. All gifted multi instrumentalists. Head and shoulders above the rest.

  34. In today’s (Tuesday) paper:

    Cryptic 28415: Apologies for the missing ‘in’ in yesterday’s 1 Down, which should have read “Reserve we held in capital (3,5|)”

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