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DT 28427

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28427

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BDs very own personal Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good day to one and all. Today’s puzzle by Rufus caused no problems whatsoever. I wish they were all this easy. This may be because I have been writing the Monday hints and tips for so long now that I instantly recognise where Rufus’s mind is going. Those of you not so lucky to be on wavelength can find some help in the hints and tips below. Definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the click here reveal.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    A charming expression (11)
ABRACADABRA: We begin today with a cryptic definition of a word used by conjurers when performing their magic tricks

9a    No charge is made, so get release (4)
FREE: The double definitions begin. The first definition meaning gratis, at no cost, keep your purse in your Michael Kors handbag mrs. Keep your wallet in your pocket mate. This one’s on me.

10a    Knock on wood if you want to become such a player (11)
XYLOPHONIST: A cryptic of one who plays a musical instrument played by striking a row of wooden bars of graduated length with one or more small wooden or plastic beaters. The overall sound being made giving the impression that an ice cream van has arrived

11a    Highlight one’s seen in the theatrical world (4)
STAR: Another double definition. The first being seen in the night sky.

14a    Reg struggling in last, but still the greatest (7)
LARGEST: Place an anagram (struggling) of REG inside the word LAST gifted from the clue

16a    Crab tea prepared for the panda (7)
BEARCAT: Anagram (prepared) of CRAB TEA

17a    Made an effort, though tired out (5)
TRIED: Anagram (out) of TIRED

18a    Get the bird, or one encore? (4)
IBIS: This large wading bird with a long downcurved bill, long neck, and long legs can be found by using the letter I from the clue and a short musical direction meaning again or encore

19a    Mark gets nothing less than a film award (4)
SCAR: This mark is left after a wound and can be found by removing the letter O (nothing) from the nickname of a film academy award.

20a    Wild bears that may cut up rough (5)
SABRE: Anagram (wild) of BEARS gives a heavy cavalrymans sword

22a    Gallery object is a welcome surprise (7)
GODSEND: A four letter theatrical term for the gallery in a theatre is followed by a word meaning ones object or aim

23a    It’s cooked in South African tradition (7)
SAUSAGE: This popular foodstuff is made in this puzzle by beginning with the abbreviation for South Africa and adding a noun meaning habitual and customary practice

24a    Left somewhat short (4)
QUIT: Remove the final letter (short) from a word meaning somewhat to reveal a word meaning to have left a place or position, usually permanently

28a    Crazy    way a teacher may receive orders? (3,4,4)
OFF ONE’S HEAD: A double definition, the second referring to the fact that a teacher might receive instruction from the headmaster

29a    Help to translate from Latin and French (4)
ABET: The Latin for from is followed by the French for and.

30a    Man of intelligence moves centre stage (6,5)
SECRET AGENT: Anagram (moves) of CENTRE STAGE. Intelligence here being the collection of information of military or political value


2d    Spends money on extras, we hear (4)
BUYS: A straight forward definition. The wordplay indicates a homophone (we hear) played on extras scored in a cricket match.

3d    Very little to put into the morning hours (4)
ATOM: A small particle (very little) cam be made by putting the word to inside the abbreviation for ante meridiem.

4d    Unbeliever is at the assembly (7)
ATHEIST: Anagram (assembly) of IS AT THE

5d    Trouble spots for teenagers? (4)
ACNE: A cryptic definition of a skin condition common amongst teenagers. (really? Today’s teenagers seem to have passed it by)

6d    Secured when wandering or let loose (7)
RESCUED: Anagram (wandering) of SECURED

7d    The North Sea? Yes and no (6,5)
ARCTIC OCEAN: This North Sea is the furthest north one can get. Therefore it is a North Sea but as we have a North Sea already it isn’t The North Sea is it? Hence the yes and no part of the clue

8d    Private sign for office workers (11)
SECRETARIES: Private as in covert or hidden followed by one of the signs of the zodiac.

12d    The policemen to send after skyjackers? (6,5)
FLYING SQUAD: This is a cryptic definition of a division of a police force or other organization which is capable of reaching an incident quickly. Their name suggests they could be suitable for incidents involving aeroplanes

13d    What motoring school is expected to do for fireman’s boss? (5,6)
TRAIN DRIVER: A wordy double definition. The first being what a driving school might do. The second, the fireman’s boss refers to the fireman on a steam driven railway locomotive

15d    Put your foot down! (5)
TREAD: A straightforward definition. Without checkers I would have resisted the obvious answer.

16d    Alcoholic drinks, things that give a buzz? About right (5)
BEERS: place those insects that buzz around (about) the abbreviation for right.

20d    Dishonestly acquire piece of riding gear (7)
SNAFFLE: A double definition. To take without permission. A (on a bridle) simple bit, typically a jointed one, used with a single set of reins. Double definitions work best when one definition is a verb and the other a noun

21d    Dedicated a Sterne novel (7)
EARNEST: Anagram (novel) of A STERNE

25d    An opening celebration or its aftermath (4)
DOOR: I am not sure about this clue. The definition (an opening) is rather obvious. A celebration like a party is a DO. The word OR appears next in the clue. Does the word aftermath suggest that OR comes after the word DO?

26d    He’s rough, tough, loveless, confused (4)
THUG: Anagram (confused) of TOUGH minus the letter O (loveless) love representing zero in tennis and the number zero looking like the letter O

27d    One imprisoned as murderer (4)
CAIN: To be imprisoned is to be in the ***. Place the letter I inside to get the name of the bibles first murderer.

As usual with Rufus puzzles I feel this is over reliant on anagrams. How about you?

The Quick Crossword pun (can you do better?): Gooch+steppe=goosestep

53 comments on “DT 28427

  1. For me this one veered from the trivial to the almost impossible. I hesitated to write the obvious answers in for 9a, 11a, and 15d thinking that there must be more to them. But then, having long forgotten any Latin I once knew, I needed the BRB to parse 18a and 29a. Not sure what the rough in 20a is about. Similarly for the aftermath part of 25d. Favourite 23a for the misdirection that had me looking for an anagram. Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  2. Agree that there are too many anagrams, and a fairly easy solve. Thanks to all👍

  3. Unusual rating of */**** today but a R and W for me and I thought that the cluing was excellent.
    Favourite was 22A with 13D a close second-good job I remembered the steam trains-spent many a day ‘spotting’ mainly at Crewe, used to sneak round the repair shops so I could add a few more ticks to my Ian Allan book -happy days !
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus for a bright start to the week.

  4. A straight forward enough solve today, but I did need MP’s hints to parse 18a. Not a musical direction that I am familiar with. And the use of Latin? I reckon a spot of French, Spanish or even Italian is fair game, but as one who failed his Latin ‘O’ level . . . .

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

    1. Oh good a kindred spiirit – I failed my Latin too – hadn’t adequately studied set books – Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Virgil’s Aeneid!

  5. 0.5*/4*. This was R&W except for 25d for which “an” seems to be unnecessary and, unless I’m missing something, “its aftermath” is just surface padding. That apart, all the rest was a light delight. 16a was a new word for me but that didn’t hold me up, and my podium positions go to 29a, 2d & 26d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  6. 26d was my favourite of many fine clues in this straightforward but very enjoyable Rufus offering. No real delays, and 1.5*/4* overall for me.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned for a delightful crossword that certainly cheered up this rather dank corner of the world on a soggy Monday morning, and to MP for a fine review.

  7. I decided that the pun had to be as BD has added it above, but I wasn’t impressed as I think you’d need a particular accent to get it to work

  8. Rufus in a benign frame of mind, completed at a fast gallop – */***.

    A selection of candidates for favourite – 22a, 5d, 12d, and 13d – and the winner is 13d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  9. This lulled me into a false sense of security before making me think a bit. All enjoyable with the usual Monday flavour. Not being a horsey person I had to check the riding gear as well as the 18a encore.

    My favourite, shared with Mr K, is 23a. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to MP for the review, especially the video clips.

  10. Thanks MP and Rufus.
    My brain is on a go-slow due to the final throes of man flu so I found this a bit more of a slog than most.
    16a – An obvious anagram, but when I saw the ‘panda’, I thought ‘police vehicle’ and managed to turn the anagram into ‘beatcar’, I even Google it, I kid you not
    10a – I needed the hints for, for some reason my mind never wandered down the ‘musician’ avenue
    25a – like others, a bit confused by it, the clue seemed very wordy

  11. Nice start to the real week. 10a tickled my fancy and 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to himself for the Monday honours.

  12. Like Kitty, I started off at a gallop and then slowed considerably in the later stages.
    The Latin references were arrived at via some reverse parsing and I’m not sure that 16a was in my vocabulary (although it may well have appeared here before and just been forgotten).

    Top contenders for me were 22&28a plus 26d – the latter taking first place.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – your allusion to the ice cream van made me smile and I really enjoyed the clip at 16a.
    PS – the answer for 4d needs a tweak and I thought perhaps the underscoring of 28a should be split after the first word of the clue?

    1. I am so glad to have made you smile today Jane. Both suggested alterations have now been done. Thank you.

      1. Hi MP,
        Meant to add – that was a nice pic of a Scarlet Ibis – not too many of those around on Anglesey!
        PS. Did you ever get round to having a look at the Hoskins puzzle that I mentioned to you last week?

  13. Reasonably straightforward for once! Think I’m on a bit of a run of good fortune with the DT at the moment …. that’s the kiss of death!

  14. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, a lot to make me laugh. I was completely beaten by 23a and 6d, missed the anagram on the latter. 16a was a new word for me. 28a made me laugh, and I liked 13d, but my favourite was 12d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  15. For a large part, a test of the ability to see double or cryptic definitions. Ta to all.

  16. The top half went in so fast I thought I was heading for a record time, but progress slowed considerably in the bottom half and I ended up in average territory.
    There were a few chuckles along the way, and also whilst reading the review, so thanks to both Rufus and Miffypops.
    2*/3* from me today.

  17. Was held up for a while by 13d. On the whole I did not find this as much a push over as others today have. Thanks to Miffypops for explaining 22a and to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  18. Not completely dead simple, for me anyway.
    I got terribly stuck with several in the left hand side – couldn’t see 12 or 13d for ages.
    I agree there were a fair few anagrams, almost too many even for me and I like them.
    The ‘fireman’s boss’ bit of 13d fooled me as I couldn’t see what on earth it had to do with the answer. Oh dear.
    I suppose hunting the recesses of the brain for long forgotten Latin is good for us.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 6d.
    I don’t like 28a – surely you get instructions from someone not off them?
    I liked 1 and 29a and 15d. My favourite was 12d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops – love the panda.

    1. If you ask Youtube for cute pandas you will get plenty of clips to choose from. Don’t tell Kitty though.

    2. It looks like the Panda video was taken at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, China. I was lucky enough to be able to visit there in 2014. A truly amazing experience – Giant Pandas of all ages, from new-borns in incubators to adults and some Red Pandas.

  19. The usual Monday treat from Rufus, nice to see a word beginning with “x” in a backpager.

    Coincidentally, the final Across answer today was also the final Across answer on Friday. Although something of a cliché, my favourite was 1a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops.

  20. Bit of a mixed bag for me. Some right on my wavelength but others needed the BRB to fathom. Nevertheless enjoyable fare so thanks to Rufus and MP for the review.

  21. Very enjoyable puzzle from Rufus again. I stopped Latin after third form, but 18a had to be what it is.
    Lots to like here, 20d was what I used on my pony when I used to ride, too long ago even to think about it.
    I think that 12d is fave, with 22a coming in second.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his hints.

  22. Nice puzzle. I maybe found it a bit more of a challenge than most of you today, but got there steadily. 2.5*/3.5*. I liked 22a and 15d with 22a being my favourite. [PS why the American spell checker? – it never likes my favourite!!]

    1. Have you set it for the UK? When I set mine up, I opted for the UK setting and don’t have many problems.

      1. Thanks. Looks like I missed a trick then when I set myself up. Can’t obviously see how to change it now – but it’s not life threatening.

        1. I am the last person to give techie advice, but you might be able to by going to “settings”.

          1. If you’re on iPad, go to settings and click on general, there’s an option called “language and settings”.

            1. Hark at you with the IT advice! Most impressive, Marusa.
              Love your latest avatar – what are the plants?

              1. I feel incredibly bold, and it’s probably all hogwash.

                The plant is called a nun orchid and usually blossoms around January, but this year it’s rather late, maybe because of the awful drought we’re having.

                1. Thanks to the magic of Google, I just watched a time lapse video of the orchids coming into bloom – they really are beautiful.

  23. As others found, enjoyable but was frustratingly slow in places. 25d was effectively a bung-in & as MP am not sure the clue works.
    Not clever enough to do Latin at school
    Took too long to see 13d, but as I worked in God’s Wonderful Railway works in Swindon ii is COTD for me.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP for review

  24. Agree nice n’ easy */**** 😃 Some lovely clues today 28a & 27d get a mention but many more 😉 Big thanks to MP and to Rufus for brightening a damp Monday but we really do need the🌧. The musical abbreviation at 18a was new to me, lovely photo

  25. North first off the blocks. Plenty of good surface reads and several almost Favs but if pushed would probably nominate 1a for top spot which leads onto 5d! 7d a bit convoluted. Thanks Rufus for a pleasant start to the week and MP for being there in case of need.

  26. Slowed down a bit after a flying start,but managed to complete. Never heard of 16a.
    1,28 and 29a were my pick of a good selection of clues. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  27. I was thinking of a panda car so managed to make up beatcar
    I would call 10a a tympanist

  28. I was thinking of a panda car so managed to make up beatcar
    I would call 10a a tympanist.
    Hard slog really, notvthecisual Monday write in

    Still I managed to finish it.
    Thanks for your help

  29. A mixed bag, some very easy and others quite punishing.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  30. A Rufus I found easy, so he must definitely been in a benign mood. :-) 27d was a very good clue, and not at all the kind of thing I expected on a Monday. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  31. It’s a great shame when it takes longer to try to justify the Quickie pun than to do the crossword.

  32. Toadson said it all.
    Rufus being Rufus.
    Always wondered why he is so different in the Graun.
    Some good charades though in 22 and 23a.
    Thanks to him and to MP for the review.

  33. sorry i found it disappointing, eg xylophonist seems very laborious to me and arctic ocean as well i think it stretches the term cryptic, it is not as though it was difficult in any way simply dull, for instance, secret aries and secret agent. perhaps it is because i am suffering from the flu.

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