DT 28439 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28439

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28439

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Happy bank holiday Monday to you all. It is carnival day here in Downtown LI. Traditionally carnival day begins by releasing a pig and chasing it through the village before stringing it upside down on the village green ready for this year’s carnival queen to slit its throat and daub her two attendants with its blood. Village life at its very best. For those in the know (I wonder how many) ‘Come on t’ terriers’

Today’s puzzle took more passes than usual to solve. Rufus at his devious best.

The hints and tips are there to help you to an answer if you need help. Furthermore they should help you to understand why an answer is correct when you are not quite sure. Definitions are underlined. The actual answers are hidden beneath the words ‘Click here!‘.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Back street in which one needs to inquire for jobs (5)
TASKS: Place a verb meaning to inquire inside the reversed abbreviation for street.

4a    Love in romance novel somewhere in Africa (8)
CAMEROON: An anagram (novel) of ROMANCE plus the letter that represents a zero score in tennis will make this African nation whose football team was once described by Eric Morecambe as looking like a load of liquorice allsorts.

8a    A most unfair condition (8)
UGLINESS: A cryptic definition of the state of being the opposite of pretty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

9a    After bad act I become silent (8)
TACITURN: Begin with an anagram (bad) of ACT I and add a stretched but fair synonym of the word become. As in change or cause to change in nature, state, form, or colour.

11a    Large number coming in drunk in coma, wandering around (7)
NOMADIC: Anagram (drunk) of IN COMA with (coming in) the Roman Numeral which denotes the large number 500. I am not keen on this device. We have no indication to point us towards the use of Roman Numerals and 500 isn’t actually a large number.

13a    Top design created by husband bearing pen used by the French (9)
HAIRSTYLE: Un charade mon amis. Begin with the abbreviation for H(usband). Add a short word meaning ones bearing or attitude add a pen, the type on uses to keep pigs in. now end with the french word for the. Tres bien. Petit pois. Mangetout. Rodney.

15a    Perpetual figure that causes matrimonial disputes (7,8)
ETERNAL TRIANGLE: begin with a synonym for the word perpetual. Add a three-sided figure to find a source of marital disharmony

18a    Reference book shows Zodiac sign he’s within (9)
THESAURUS: This reference book is a must for Cryptic crossword solvers alongside a good dictionary. I have neither. Take a sign of the zodiac that represents the bull and insert the word He’s which is given in the clue.

21a    President returning note that’s instrumental in showing boastfulness (7)
TRUMPET: This president (he of America) has entered the lexicon of Cryptic Crosswordland. Put the name of America’s president and add the reversal (returning) note that goes with jam and bread in the wonderful song from The Sound Of Music. The best use of this chaps name in a cryptic puzzle was by Beet in last week’s Independent. The clue was Given time, this arse would become president (5) Way to go Beet. Total respect to you.

    A picture of Beet with a beautiful smile.

22a    Continentals involved in fracas (8)
AFRICANS: Anagram (involved) of IN FRACAS.

24a    Doctor is initially eager to give discourse (8)
TREATISE: Begin with a verb meaning to doctor. Add the IS given in the clue and the initial letter of the word E(ager)

25a    Once more judged and freed from blame (8)
REDEEMED: Use our regular two letters associated with once more or again and add a verb synonymous with the word judged.

26a    Birds in wilderness (5)
ERNES: A lurker.


1d    What people call us in explosive competition (10)
TOURNAMENT: Place the words 3,4 which are what people call us inside the abbreviation for a high explosive

2d    Siberian place of punishment could produce ailments (4,4)
SALT MINE: Anagram (could produce) of AILMENTS

3d    Dons went wild — expelled from the university (4,4)
SENT DOWN: Anagram (wild) of DONS WENT

4d    Model given a part on stage (4)
CAST: A double definition. The second being slightly more accessible than the first

5d    Provides some point with jokes (6)
EQUIPS: Begin with an abbreviation of a point of the compass. There are four to choose from. Add a word meaning jokes. Before I solved this clue I placed the letter S in the grid at the end of this word. There are two pointers within the clue to suggest the plural. As a result I solved 13 across before solving this clue.

6d    Busy tenant (6)
OCCUPY: My last one in and a very clever double definition.

7d    Either way, it’s high time (4)
NOON: The words ‘either way’ suggest a palindrome and so it proved to be. The time of day when the sun is at its highest point.

10d    He provides all his workers with a home (8)
APIARIST: There are two regular workers in crosswordland. Both social insects. These are the ones that make honey. This is a cryptic definition of one who keeps such insects. Topically we had a swarm in the village yesterday. I went to collect it but it had moved from a branch in a tree down to a position in a bush near to the ground. Oh dear. Secateurs and a box would have been all I needed had I got there whilst they were up in the tree. In amongst a multi twigged bush provided problems. I set a basic spare hive up close by and am hoping they will have moved in by now. The blog obviously comes first but I will go and have a look as soon as I have finished writing this.

12d    Issue needing to be raised (8)
CHILDREN: A cryptic definition of one’s offspring. Do we ever stop raising them?

14d    Seer who may be called to account? (10)
EYEWITNESS: A cryptic definition of a bystander who observes a crime and may later be called to testify in court.

16d    Correct bill going to cleric (8)
ACCURATE: Use an abbreviation for a bill or account and add a member of the clergy. The one with the egg that was nice in parts.

17d    Stick with revised point showing common sense (8)
GUMPTION: Begin with a three-letter word meaning to stick (or the means with which to stick) and add an anagram (revised) of POINT

19d    Got paid employment, with organ study set up (6)
EARNED: Begin with an organ. Not the one played expertly by Albert Schweitzer. The one we listen with. Add the reversed (set up) usual suspect for a study

20d    Build up a hundred to go on new cure (6)
ACCRUE: Use the A gifted to you in the clue. Add the Roman Numeral for one hundred and finish off with an anagram (new) of the word CURE

22d    A long way off from the safari centre (4)
AFAR: Our second lurker of the day. Go find it. Actually although it is a lurker the clue asks for the centre letters of the word SAFARI

23d    Pore over books endlessly as boss (4)
STUD: Take a word meaning to pour over, learn, read, or look closely at and remove its last letter as indicated by the word endlessly.

The musical clips have only a tenuous link to the clue or the answer. Only the most twisted of minds will make the connection. Best not bother trying really.

The Quick Crossword pun: caught+yard=courtyard

38 comments on “DT 28439

  1. For me, Rufus in a fairly benign frame of mind enabling finishing at a gallop – */***.

    Favourite 18a.

    Thanks Rufus and MP.

  2. Thanks MP.
    Ok’ish though I did find the double-unches made it quite tricky. Particularly when trying to sort out Rufus’ double-definitions.
    Showery day in South London today, huge thunderstorm overnight, great for the garden, not so good as I left the grandchildren’s sand pit out! So I am in the dog-house.
    Last in was 14d, but favourite was 1d, very clever.
    16d must be one the commonest crossword clues!
    Thanks MP and Rufus

  3. 2*/4*. Not too difficult but all the usual Monday fun. 14d was my last one in and favourite. 1d & 6d also finished on the podium.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  4. 2*/4* for this terrific Rufus offering on a dull Bank Holiday Monday. 3d was my favourite because of its simplicity and cleverness. 18a gave it a good run for the money. Carnival Day in downtown Li sounds like my kind of fun.

    Thanks to Rufus for an entertaining crossword and to MP for his review and sense of humour.

    1. I’m starting a society – Carnivals without Slaughter – anyone want to join?This refers to any carnival within Gloucestershire but outside of the Slaughters.

      I prefer my carnivals to be bloodless and assume that the reference to killing pigs is a ‘joke’ – if one in poor taste.

      1. I am sure M’pops is referring to medævil times, otherwise I think LI would receive a visit from the RSPCA in double-quick time!

  5. Slow start but gradually got into the swing of it. Somehow there was a novel ring to today’s offering which I very much enjoyed. NE corner last to go in. Bunged in but stupidly failed to realise an anagram for 1d likewise 4a. Fav 8a with 10a running up. TVM Rufus and MP. What charming fun you have in Downtown LI MP – hope it keeps fine for you!

  6. The usual enjoyment from a Rufus puzle. Except for the strangely clunky 13a (Top design created..) Thanks to R and M

    1. AGree re the top design – with the h from husband I was well away on haute couture and similar!!

  7. All completed at a gallop today – except for 14d. Just could not see it! (Sorry).

    **/** for me. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  8. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very entertaining puzzle to start the week. Last in was 14d, favourite was 8a, which made me laugh. Was 1*/3* for me.

  9. I was slow to start but it all turned out OK eventually.
    Even I noticed the large number of unchecked letters – the kind of thing along with Ninas and themes that usually pass me by.
    Am I the only twit who thought about ‘darkness’ for 8a? That would really have put the cat among the pigeons – luckily I only thought about it.
    I tried very hard to make 15a an anagram.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 2d.
    Along with most of you so far 14d was my last answer.
    I liked 13a and 3 and 12d. My favourite was 15a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. Nope – you’re not the only ‘twit’. This twit already had the answer to 2d written in and began to doubt it as a result!

  10. A splendid bank holiday workout whilst watching the rain! Some very clever stuff. I particularly liked 1d once I got there. 2*/4* for me; many thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  11. Nothing too problematic once I’d accepted that 8a couldn’t be ‘darkness’ and that ‘la plume de ma tante’ wasn’t going to be of much help in solving 13a!
    Plenty to amuse in this one although, as MP rightly said, Beet has already cornered the market in presidential slights.

    Top three for me were 15a plus 6&14d.
    Thanks to Rufus – and to MP both for the review and the clips of the oldies but goodies. Hope the swarm has relocated to the spare hive!

  12. I took the pen in 13a to be one for pigs and followed by the French definite article. I did try to use the French for pen but that ends with the letter o.
    Thanks to setter and MP

    1. rod – thanks for this – me too re the French pen!! At least I was not alone

  13. Ah yes – I had darkness for 8a as well until i got 1D and realised my mistake.
    Very enjoyable puzzle – Liked 1D and 17d. The clerical clue took longer than it should since this is a popular clue. (ah there is a sign of all that time spent over the years musing on the Telegraph crossword – I have at last graduated to someone who can recognise a familiar clue!!! If not to recognising regular setters!!!)

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  14. Lovely puzzle thanks once again to Rufus **/**** many really clever clues 😃 Amongst them 10d, 14d, 1d and 24a 😜 Francais is an anagram of 22a ☹️ Thanks to MP for his amusing blog to brighten a damp wet day 🌧

  15. Finding this slower going than normal for a Monday, but have to mention that Beet in the Independent must be a great chap – loved his clue as mentioned in 21a by Miffypops. Also would love to know how Miffypops manages to pack so much into his day, run the pub, walk the dog, do the crosswords and now I see he is the local bee catcher as well. I’m so impressed 😊

    Sorry to hear news of John Noakes passing. We moved across the pond when the girls were 9 and 12 and was always glad they got to enjoy the quality children’s tv in the U.K., particularly Blue Peter, before we left.

    1. Beet is indeed a great chap. For a girl that is. I have added her photo above. (I hope she doesn’t mind) If you click on FEATURES above. then 2017 then Little Venice and trawl through you will find pictures of quite a few members of the blog

      1. Oops, thank you for putting me right, and also for pointing me in the direction of the picture. Now I can put faces to a lot of the names each day.

    2. Just to add to what Miffypops has said, Beet is indeed a great girl – she’s a very talented crossword setter and generally good fun to be around – she has the biggest smile on this earth.

      1. And – at the risk of repeating myself – she makes an excellent carrot cake!

  16. Lovely puzzle again from Rufus. Lots to like here.
    I loved 21a but I have been banned from comments, though I’m itching to let loose. Suffice it to say that BusyLizzie and M’pops have said it all. And, yes, I did love the Beet puzzle.
    My fave was 14d but 15a was also in the running.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops. Enjoy your bank holiday everyone.

  17. Didn’t think about darkness in 8a but thought 22a was francais!
    As usual I wasn’t keen on the cryptic clues.
    Has anybody ever heard of menage a trois in 15a? It sometimes bring bliss to a couple.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. What kind of sect has a carnival at the end of May?

    1. Yes – of course I’ve heard of menage a trois and I’m pretty sure everyone here has too. I’m not quite sure where to go from here so maybe I’ll shut up – chacun a son gout.

  18. Nice kind of crossword for the holiday; a little trickier than usual for sure. My fave was 5d and was also my last one in. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for working on the bank holiday.

  19. Thought this was a little easier than usual for Rufus, maybe ** for difficulty? For once I even spotted the cryptic definitions pretty quickly. I would say that a restful Bank Holiday had left me refreshed, if it wasn’t for all those jobs that had been put off for a rainy day, which this most definitely is.

  20. 1*/3*: quite a gentle start to the week. 17d was my favourite – the word reminds me of one of my dear old Mum’s favourite poems, by Walter de la Mare. It includes the lines “but a wonderful gumption was under his skin, and a clear calm light in his eye”, and once in a while he’d seem to smile, would Nicholas Nye”. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP.

  21. All was fine until I reached 17d. I thought of ‘rod’ for ‘stick’ and put it with an anagram of point, and got diproton. Scientists out there will know what it is. It made no sense let alone common sense and just didn’t fit the clue, so I didn’t put it in. I realised I had the wrong sort of stick. I could have made it much easier for myself by finishing off the second half of 15a before starting on 17d. Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops. I wish you every success with the bees MP.

  22. Another late night, another super crossword from Rufus. Found it pleasingly tricky. So thanks to him and our volunteer apiarist. 2*/4*

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