DT 28445 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28445

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28445

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Good Morning from sunny St Mawes where your poorly schooled orphan boy is writing today’s hints and tips. Or rather he is staring out to sea and idly replicating his schooldays daydreaming away the hours. Saint Sharon and I are alone together until Wednesday morning when we will be joined by our Grandson Harrison and his Mum and Dad who will have arrived late on Tuesday night.

Once again we have Monday Maestro Rufus as our setter. There are some easy anagrams and double definitions to give a start but as usual some clues have a twist in their tail.

The hints and tips are here to help if you cannot solve today’s clues. They will also help if you have solved a clue but do not know why your answer is correct. The answers are under the greyed out boxes with click here on them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Turn up in green (6)
INVERT:    Lift the word IN from the clue and add the green heraldic tincture

4a    Something that may help you get into Oxford (8)
SHOEHORN:    An Oxford here is not the University or the city. It is an item of footwear. The clue is a cryptic definition of a curved instrument one might use to ease the foot into said item of footwear. For the French solvers out there I think you call this item a chausse-pied.

9a    Awkward truths forcibly put forward (6)
THRUST:    Anagram (awkward) of TRUTHS

10a    Best sort of tutors to secure degree? (8)
OUTSMART:    The abbreviation for one of the regular degrees is placed within (secured by) an anagram (sort of) of TUTORS

12a    Ranks as disputes (4)
ROWS:    A double definition. The second being full on arguments or slanging matches.

13a    Lots of big houses (5)
PILES:    Another double definition. The second referring to large imposing buildings. The answer is often used to describe stately homes

14a    Top singer appearing in Scotland with backing (4)
ALTO:    A reversed lurker indicated by the words appearing in. The word backing suggests the reversal. For those unfamiliar with the word lurker it means a word hidden within the clue

17a    They fight with one another (6,6)
ALLIED FORCES:    Although the clue suggests opponents fighting against each other this is a deliberate misdirection. These military groups have joined together to fight a common foe.

20a    One’s made to move on cue (8,4)
BILLIARD BALL:    A cryptic definition of what is struck by a cue during a game played with cues on a cloth covered table during a misspent youth

23a    Comeback of star that’s seen in Stratford (4)
AVON:    The reversal (comeback) of a star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.

24a    One footing the bill for farm accommodation, one hears (5)
BUYER:    This accommodation for cows is a homophone for the person who pays out when a purchase is made

25a    Body-snatcher is a swift-moving cross-country runner (4)
HARE:    Burke’s partner in the crime of body snatching is also an animal seen in the countryside.

28a    One suggests it may be undone in frolicking (8)
INNUENDO:    Anagram (frolicking) of UNDONE IN. I like those of Mae West. ‘I used to be Snow White but I drifted’. ‘Is that a gun in your pocket or you just pleased to see me’

29a    Little bit of butter and jam (6)
SCRAPE:    A double definition. The second being an embarrassing or difficult predicament caused by one’s own unwise behaviour. I know all about those

30a    Present and former US president seen in this city (8)
HEREFORD:    This English cathedral city can be found by using a synonym for the word present and adding one of America’s presidents

31a    Make disclosures about meat (6)
REVEAL:    Use our regular crosswordland word for about and add a type of calves meat


1d    Space travel in novel (8)
INTERVAL:    Anagram (novel) of TRAVEL IN

2d    Fit as a fiddle? If you say so (4,4)
VERY WELL:    As fit as a fiddle describes how one is health wise. If you say so is a form of resigned agreement.

3d    Others take time out (4)
REST:    A double definition. Need I say more??

5d    Demolition worker who shows criminal intent (12)
HOUSEBREAKER:    A double definition of one who breaks into or demolishes homes

6d    Oriental blend of teas (4)
EAST:    Anagram (blend of) TEAS

7d    Love to head fightback by word of mouth (6)
ORALLY:    The letter that looks like the love score in tennis is placed at the head of a word meaning to fight back after coming together again in order to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion.

8d    Not in a running race (6)
NATION:    Anagram (running) of NOT IN A

11d    Deliberate the rise of revolutionary spirit — it’s a crime (6,6)
WILFUL MURDER:    Begin with a word meaning deliberate, stubborn or calculated. Now take our usual word for a revolutionary (one with snow on his boots) and one of the spirits sold in pubs and made from sugar cane residues. These two words now need to be reversed as indicated by the words ‘the rise of’

15d    Start to live on alcohol (5)
BEGIN:    Start with a verb meaning to exist and add an alcoholic spirit. (mothers ruin)

16d    City editor taken in by the French (5)
LEEDS:    The abbreviation for an editor is placed within the letters of the in French (plural)

18d    Collection of files, bit over a foot (8)
DATABASE:    A three lettered noun meaning a bit is reversed (over) The A from the clue follows and so does another noun meaning the lowest part of something

19d    Sad beautiful woman reportedly makes a bloomer (8)
BLUEBELL:    Use a colour that represents sadness and a homophone of a word for a beautiful woman. (Not a sound like, more of a sounds exactly the same as)

21d    Such is Hamlet’s state, and his is rotten (6)
DANISH:    Anagram (is rotten) of AND HIS

22d    Angle from which a goal may be headed in (6)
CORNER:    An angle, in your house perhaps. A set piece in a Football match which might (or probably won’t) lead to a headed goal

26d    What’s in a joint complaint? (4)
BEEF:    A joint of meat will lead to this answer which is also a type of complaint

27d    Pain in stomach eased (4)
ACHE:    Our second lurker of the day. (See 14ac) As indicated strangely enough by the word IN

Actually it is persistently raining quite heavily and blowing a gale. Saint Sharon’s going to love playing cricket on the beach later.



52 comments on “DT 28445

  1. 1.5*/4*. Much of this was R&W but it was all great fun. 25a was my last one in with the penny taking a long, long time to drop. I particularly liked 17a, 20a, 18d and, my favourite, 21d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    I’m off to Poland this afternoon for three days’ work. ‘Bye until Friday.

    1. Aren’t you glad not to have to apply for a work visa yet? Red tape makes me shiver.

  2. Very pleasant start to the week with the usual Monday smooth reading. 10A last one in and 17A my fave for the clever misdirection.

  3. This probably took longer than it should have done; I will blame it on being cream crackered, very enjoyable nevertheless – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 20a, 30a, and 19d – and the winner is 30a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP – enjoy Cornwall.

  4. Rufus is the perfect antidote to Monday blues and this was the perfect Rufus puzzle. I enjoyed every clue. Why can’t all setters be more like Rufus?

  5. 18d just pipped 21d at the post as my favourite. This was another cracking puzzle from Rufus, and certainly cheered up a decidedly soggy and unseasonably cold Monday morning here in the Marches. Overall this was a solid 2*/4* for me.

    Thanks very much to Rufus and to the holidaying MP.

  6. Nice start to the week from Rufus. For some reason it was the 13a & 11d combo that held me up towards the end but everything else went quite swimmingly.
    Think my favourite was 17a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for taking the time to construct the review during his holiday. To be honest, I thought it was one of the best blogs you’ve ever produced – St Mawes obviously suits you well!

    PS Thoughtful banner, BD. I watched the Manchester Ariana concert last night – the school choir almost reduced me to tears.

  7. Typically excellent Rufus stuff. I particularly liked 9a (awkward truths), 10a(best sort of tutors to secure degree), 17a (they fight with one another), 28a (may be undone in frolicking) & 15d (Start to live on alcohol).

    many thanks Miffypops

  8. Typically excellent Rufus stuff. I particularly liked 9a (awkward truths), 10a(best sort of tutors to secure degree), 17a (they fight with one another), 28a (may be undone in frolicking) & 15d (Start to live on alcohol).

    many thanks Miffypops

  9. Thanks Miffypops 24a last one in and had to have that from you … not heard of these body snatchers!!!!

  10. Dutch’s selection of clues works for me and I’ll add 23a and 25a as well.
    Thanks to Rufus and miffypops.
    I like the banner across the top.

  11. Certainly not a R&W for me. Top clue was 17a but there were other contenders like 25a and 11d.

  12. Struggled with a couple but all fell into place finally.
    The mis-direction in 17a held me up but very neat & is my COTD with 18d R/U.
    Thanks to Rufus & MP: hope the weather picks up. Rain + a soggy tennis ball ruins beach cricket.

  13. 1.5*/3*. Just a bit tougher than the usual week-starter, but I enjoyed 18d. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

  14. Nice gentle start to the week Maybe more anagrams for my personal liking. */***. I liked 29a best as it reminded me of my childhood. 25a close second. 17a in bronze position.

  15. I really enjoyed figuring out this nicely tricky challenge which produced no real pain. My simple-minded Fav was 2d followed by 26d. Took a while for grey matter to parse 25a. Thank you Rufus and MP.

  16. A lovely puzzle indeed. Just when I thought it wouldn’t pose any difficulty at all, I got stuck on 18d which for some reason took me to longer to work out than the rest of the clues combined.

    I liked the academically linked 4a and 10a, and 21d was a nice touch, but my favourite, for its exquisite surface, was 29a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and the holidaying Miffypops.

  17. Usually I’m dead on Rufus’s wavelength, but today I found some tricky clues.
    I never did get 13a, I haven’t heard of that in connection to big houses, and 29a was also unfamiliar as a pat of butter.
    Lots to like, 17a is fave, but 2d and 24a were worthy of honourable mention.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his hints. Enjoy your holiday, more pics of Harrisom?

  18. Set off like a 25a then ground to a halt feeling like his partner in crime **/****😳 Many, many favourites but 10a, 17a & 15d are on the podium 😄 Big thank you to MP and to Rufus 🤗

  19. Lovely puzzle, apart from 13 across. Sunny St Mawes? It’s been bucketing down here in Truro all day!

    1. Absolutely chucking it down in St Mawes too. Gale force winds as well. We have had better weather in February. Great seas though.

  20. A very pleasant interlude, 10a favourite, 18d LOI. Re 6d please help with my education, I thought East= Orient and Oriental= Eastern. Thanks.

  21. Well I have been away from crosswordland for some time now. My health has improved tremendously and am feeling capable of entering the fray again and contributing to the blog. Not a difficult puzzle but nonetheless very enjoyable. My favourite is 4A – a simple but effective clue. I would echo MP’s rating of **/**** I did not need the hints today but express my thanks to MP for his efforts in providing them.

    1. Hello Graham. It is nice to hear from you again. I hope you are in for a long run of good health

      1. Thanks for your kind words MP. Watch your back, I am stalking you again!!!

      2. That’s what I love about this site. But I also would like to hear from bifield and Derek too.

        1. I agree, jean-luc, we have lost so many. We never hear from Hanni either. I miss her snippets of riding out on the moors.

  22. This would and should have been 1.5*/3* but instead it was 4*/2* and all because we had lawful as the first word of 11d. D’oh and pah!

    Thanks MP and Rufus.

  23. Ah! It must be Monday! Rufus at his best; gentle and playful with the occasional tweak of the nose. 17a was my favourite. 1.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

  24. A pretty good puzzle for a dark and wet Monday morning. It’s been raining pretty heavily almost non stop since Saturday morning here in “sunny” South Florida, so be glad you only went as far as St Mawes to get wet Miffypops. I’m always so glad I don’t have visitors when we have this rain as they always think they are guaranteed sunshine here. Actually I love a dark and gloomy day as it makes me feel right at home. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for a pleasant puzzle.

  25. An enjoyable start to the back page week from my Ironbridge neighbour. Nothing too scary that would send the nags scampering off to the hills although I must admit that I did find the SW corner difficult to complete. Purely for the reason of falling for the misdirection in 23a – I was sure that it was a reverse lurker in ‘Strafford’ – ‘arts’. D’oh! Fortunately after a cup of coffee it then all fell into place.

    I will opt for 29a as my favourite of the day. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to the poorly schooled orphan boy for his review. Have I missed something or have the underlined definitions disappeared?

    1. Hi SL. As I only have an iPad I can only email the hints and tips to Big Dave for him to merge with his template and underline the definitions. I somehow managed to include the pictures but the YouTube links went astray. Normally I let somebody else have a go when I am away but I decided do it myself this time. Hopefully next Monday will be OK. Big Dave will know what to expect. I am looking forward .to your imminent return.

      1. Thank you young man – I hope that you and the ‘Venerable & Sainted’ Sharon are both well and enjoying your holidays. Yes, please tune in to Wednesday’s attempt at a review – should be fun :cool:

      2. Just seen the new gravatar.
        Harrison starts to look like a real bricklayer these days.
        Did he built that wall all by himself?

  26. Most of this went by in a flash, and for one glorious moment I thought I’d finally got the hang of Rufus, but then I came badly unstuck at the end on 18d, 17ac and 13ac. Oh well…

  27. A couple of double defs passed me by.
    But the grid looked good with the empty spaces.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.
    Even with the rain, I envy you.

  28. I dunno – another perverse experience … I found this really hard and spent ages on it and still not getting very far. and I thought Mondays were supposed to be easy

    Compare that with some of last weeks puzzles which were ranked 3+ and where there were quite a few comments indicating such – which I found relatively straightforward… .Ah well …

  29. Good evening everybody.

    Struggled with the last half dozen clues and failed entirely to see 13a. Thought 28a was a very good anagram and 18d was also a good clue.. Took ages to see 10a and 5d.


  30. I’m a regular English person and I’ve never heard a stately home being referred to as a “pile”!

    1. John Timbs – 1829
      From a description about 1720, we learn that ” the stately piles of new brick houses on both sides of Somerset House, much eclipse that palace.

  31. Not heard of a stately pile? I found it plain sailing until I got to 18d and 29a. Then woke up and got them in that order. Top favourite probably 28a. Hope it has calmed down at St Mawes Miffypops – unbelievable how the weather changes. I’ve just been down for a week. Saw a photo and video on Facebook by Mr Scorse of the deli – first one was the shutters going up on the Idle Rocks and the second a video as the storm hit. Enjoy whatever the weather – just surprised the Wi-Fi has held out! Thanks to Rufus for another Corker. If rain persists tomorrow MP a few pints of Betty’s should cure it.

  32. I found this difficult. I raced through then first 70% then ground to halt, needing too many of MP’s hints.
    Never really “on wavelength’.
    St Mawes, lovely place, I went there as a child and have fond memories.
    Thanks MP and Rufus

  33. I’ve only just got round to doing this one as there wasn’t time yesterday – I’m glad that I have a crossword back-log to keep me out of mischief today when it’s too wet to do much else.
    I didn’t have too much trouble apart from my last few answers – 13a and 18 and 22d.
    I liked 17 and 24a and 2d. My favourite was either 4 or 28a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops – have a lovely holiday.

  34. I wonder approximately when the word database became an acceptable answer in a crossword.

    1. Wed 28 Apr 2004 in the Telegraph (DT 24353) American lawyer thanks HQ for computerised info (8)

      Sat 25 Feb 2006 in the Guardian (GUARDIAN PRIZE 23699) A party shortly to enter meeting with set of statistics (8).

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