DT 28469 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28469

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28469

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Good Morning from the heart of Downtown LI where much celebration has been made over the Lions victory over New Zealand. Will they prevail This Saturday?

As usual today’s puzzle is fairly mild but has a sting in the tail. The top right corner held tight to its secrets until I tumbled 4 down and the rest went in quite easily.

The hints and tips are here to help if you need them. The answers are hidden beneath the Click here! boxes.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Exercising, thee and me in middle of night? (5)
USING: Begin win a pronoun used to denote the speaker and one other person. Add the word IN from the clue and finally add the middle letter (mid) of the word niGht

4a    Moneylender’s overtures? (8)
ADVANCES: A double definition, the second being approaches or proposals

8a    Furious ace fined for open disobedience (8)
DEFIANCE: Anagram (furious) of ACE FINED

9a    Room for investment? (8)
SACRISTY: A cryptic definition of a a room in a church where a priest prepares for a service, and where vestments and articles of worship are kept

11a    Trade vehicles (7)
TRAFFIC: An easy double definition

13a    Totaliser at odds makes one philosophical (9)
ARISTOTLE: Anagram (at odds) of TOTALISER

15a    Got back to front (8,3,4)
REGAINED THE LEAD: A cryptic definition describing the act of moving back into first place having previously lost it

18a    Areas of study lacking in followers (9)
DISCIPLES: First find a word that equates to areas of learning. Now remove (lacking) the word IN to leave a word meaning followers. Like those who followed Jesus

21a    Effective narration (7)
TELLING: Another double definition, the second meaning the relating of a story

22a    He favours dictation above all his subjects (8)
AUTOCRAT: A misleading cryptic definition of one who has absolute power

24a    After the raid it’s heard nobody found guilty (3,5)
ALL CLEAR: The signal that a bombing raid is over would also mean that a body of accused suspects had all been found to be innocent

25a    Yields affected TV shares (8)
HARVESTS: Anagram (affected) of TV SHARES

26a    Weary, tried anyway (5)
TIRED: Anagram (anyway) of TRIED


1d    Render duet badly but not intimidated (10)
UNDETERRED: Anagram (badly) of RENDER DUET.

2d    It could be daring, if demeaning (5,3)
INFRA DIG: Anagram (it could be) of DARING IF. With six anagrams so far and four on the trot here writing this review is becoming tedious.

3d    You may read these at your convenience (8)
GRAFFITI: ‘These’ are writings or drawings placed illicitly on walls in public places. Although a rarity nowadays Rufus is hinting that such things might be commonplace in public conveniences

4d    Purchases made at a local jumble sale (4)
ALES: These purchases might be made in your local pub. Anagram (jumble) of SALE

5d    A company that was floated to avoid liquidation ended up here (6)
ARARAT: A cryptic definition of Noah’s Ark and where it came to land after the floodwaters receded

6d    Stays in my group (6)
CORSET: Split 3,3 we have a word for my which means expressing surprise such as blimey or golly. We then have another word for a group of anything. Together they make an item of lady’s underwear

7d    Erotic reply to proposal put up, a case for a kiss (4)
SEXY: Reverse an affirmative reply as indicated by the words put up. Now insert the letter we use to denote a kiss

10d Exacting examination – the paper’s marked in red
ACID TEST: Blue Litmus paper will turn red after this procedure

12d    Order me a lilac — or another shrub (8)
CAMELLIA: Anagram (order) of ME A LILAC

14d    Put in a difficult position and finished full of rage (10)
ENDANGERED: Insert a word meaning full of rage inside another word meaning finished or over.

16d    Frank to leave, taking broken clip (8)
EXPLICIT: Place an anagram (broken) of CLIP inside (taking) a word meaning to leave or the means by which one might do so

17d    Contact one where motor starts with hesitation (8)
ENGINEER: Start with a motor and add our usual term for hesitation (not um) to find a verb that loosely fits the definition here. Stretched to breaking point if you ask me. I thought The BRB may offer a more concrete link but Big Dave says not

Revised hint  for 17d after new poster Spinky commented at No 32 above

17d    Contact one where motor starts with hesitation (8)

ENGINEER:  Start with a motor and add our usual term for hesitation (not um) to find just who you would one contact if the motor in one’s car started with hesitation spluttering away like a lifetime heavy smoker. Well one might contact a mechanic or more likely one might phone the service department at the local dealership. I would call Ashley who ably sold me a new Lexus which we picked up today. Although we call these people, a man who understands and works on engines does have his own title. One of Englands greatest is pictured below.

19d    It’s me dog! (6)
SETTER: It’s me refers to what Rufus is in relation to this puzzle. The dog is a type of gundog

20d    Packed as a precaution? (2,4)
IN CASE: A double definition, the first being where your clothes might be immediately prior to a holiday

22d    A way through on foot (4)
ARCH: A curved symmetrical structure spanning an opening is also another name for one’s instep

23d    Sends Morse but intercepts call (4)
TAPS: What one may do to the transmitter when sending a Morse Code signal or what is done to one’s phone line to allow others to listen in.

A nice way to begin Wimbledon fortnight.



61 comments on “DT 28469

  1. Definitely a puzzle from the last century, but sprinkled with plenty of anagrams to help those of us who didn’t grow up using 24a, 2d, 6d, etc. I wasn’t wild about the weak 22a. Likes included 18a, 19d, and the edgy 7d (Rufus obviously likes that clue because he’s used it verbatim before. Same goes for 5d). The version of 17d that Rufus used previously in the Guardian, “Contact him if the motor starts to hesitate (8)”, suggests that 17d is supposed to be a semi-all-in-one. Overall it was a pleasant solve, so thanks to Rufus for that, and thanks to MP for delivering his usual distinctive blog.

    1. Talking of the last century, it did occur to me on Saturday that the ‘old gardener’ would not be familiar to many of the under 35s discussed last week!

  2. Trickier than normal for a Monday but still very enjoyable. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the hints.

    1. As JL has said – It’s good to see you up and around. I hope you’re well.

  3. I put down a */*** on completion as no hold ups and a steady solve for me today.
    Favourite was 5d which provided me with the best D’OH moment for ages, what inspired wordplay from the setter, excellent cluing throughout, thanks.
    I think 9a was a new word , or at best one I had forgotten-seems to happen more frequently these days.
    From memory I believe that 17d is Mr I K Brunel, well I remember the photo from some where .Thanks Miffypops.

  4. Well, it was the SW corner that held out for me, but I would agree a ***. As a result 19d is my COTD. I agree that 17d is a stretch, perhaps “when” rather than “where” might have been better.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  5. Lots of anagrams – and not half as tricky as Rufus in the Guardian today!

  6. I won’t admit how long it took me to see 4d. Eventually I performed a search to make sure I had it right, and saw that it is a re-hash, as Mr K says. Liked 9a even though it took me back to days now usually forgotten. Thanks for an entertaining blog MP.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable solve, I particularly liked 5 down. Top right hand corner held me up for a while and I put Path in for 22 down without thinking :( Eventually sorted.

  8. */*** – another straightforward and very enjoyable Rufus Monday completed at a gallop with no major problems. Probably an average Rufus anagram count with some oldies but goodies/recent repeats.

    Double unches two days in a row!

    Candidates for favourite – 4a, 9a, and 15a – and the winner is 9a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP, especially for the tasteful illustrations.

  9. Nice start as usual to the week. 5d was my fave after it did lead me round the houses somewhat before the shekel dropped.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his review.

  10. Oh – quiet here today. Where is everyone?
    I had less trouble with this than I usually have on Mondays.
    My last answer was 22d – just how dim is it possible to be?
    I spent far too long thinking that 24a had to be a homophone.
    Not sure about the grammar in the clue for 19d or is that being pedantic?
    I liked 9a (eventually) and 15a and 3d. My favourite was 7d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  11. 2/3. The only hint I needed was for 5d as I didn’t connect at all as I was convinced it should contain ‘co’. That’ll teach me to think a little more laterally. The rest was surpringly straightforward with oodles of anagrams to oil the wheels. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  12. The usual enjoyable Monday anagram-fest sprinkled with a few old chestnuts. One of my least favourite grids, I do wish that Rufus wasn’t so partial to it.

    My top three, in solving order, were 4d, 18a and 10d.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and to Miffypops.

  13. Lovely Monday treat, thanks to Rufus and MPs. Favourite had to be 3d because it made me smile on a day when my dilapidattions are worse than usual. Hope Jane’s trip to IOW going well and she catches ferry as planned.

  14. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A nice start to the week, which I found very tricky. Needed the hints for 15&22a and 5&22d, I wouldn’t have got any of these. Favourite was 19d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  15. Like others before me, the NE corner held me up and pushed up my time, but overall this was a very pleasant and enjoyable solve, with the clever 5d my COTD. 3*/3.5* seems about right, with many thanks to Rufus and MP for a fun review.

  16. Lovely Rufus offering again. Alas, I shot myself in the foot again with sloppy spelling, writing 5d incorrectly, having got the answer on first read through. This made 9a and 13a a bit tricky, so I revisited 5d again and saw my mistake.
    There was so much to like, I’m not sure I can choose a fave, maybe 19d?
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his usual tasteful review.

    Off piste, tole ‘ja! First day of Wimbledon and rain stopped play!

  17. Enjoyable for me. Thanks Rufus. NE was OK for me. Took me an inordinate length of time to get 15a. Got their eventually only slightly ahead of my last two in the SW 22d and finally 25a. Cannot explain my difficulty with the latter particularly as I guessed it was an anagram. Now must get on with reading manual to my new car. Far too complicated for me to drive. Thanks MP for hints which I thought I would have to resort to at one point.

  18. All was going well until I ran aground at 5d. Didn’t know 9a either. Favourites were 6d and 24a.

    Thanks to Miffypops for the hints.

  19. Good stuff as usual from Rufus, although I found it a bit more of a struggle than some. Last one in was 5d after much staring and running through the alphabet. Turned out to be my favourite. Off now for a gathering of all the children and grandchildren to wish me a happy birthday and give me idiosyncratic presents. Much more fun than the hospital where I spent the morning. Thanks to MP and Rufus for the fun. 2*/3*

    1. Many happy returns of the day to you Tstrummer and I hope you have many more of them :yes:

  20. Appears I’m in the minority camp, because I found this to be a rather peculiar puzzle. The grid, the historical references, 17d(?), some gimme clues and a bunch of anagrams… maybe a mix of things but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual overall.

    MP’s illustration @3d did make me laugh, so today I enjoyed the blog and comments more than the solve.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for the laugh.

  21. Tricky little devil today at least for the right half. I agree that 17a is stretching the definition to breaking point. Also I had no idea what a Sacristy is or indeed what is kept there which together with 5d left me a little cold. I just thought Mt Ararat was a mountain in Turkey, I had no idea it was anything to do with Noah’s Ark.
    Not my favourite puzzle but not bad apart from the above.
    Thx for the hints.

  22. Very enjoyable and mainly quite straightforward except I had to scratch my head over 5d which was the last one in and very satisfying when I finally go it. So will have to make 5d my favourite, but I liked 9a and 17d as joint seconds. **/****

  23. 2*/4*. All the usual fun for a Monday. 5d was my last one in, and I concur with Silvanus’ choice for my top three: 18a, 4d and 10d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  24. Pretty much standard fare from my Ironbridge neighbour with only a couple of hold ups. Nearly put ‘path’ in as the answer for 22d which would have made 22a pretty much unsolvable and I’m quite surprised that our publican reviewer didn’t twig 4d straight away. I’m not sure that this is a crossword from the last century – albeit Rufus is one of the ‘old school’ setters. I will plump for 18a as my favourite clue of the day.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to MP for his review.

    If Mr Barrett had worn his ‘kicking boots’ and that nice man M. Garces, who thankfully, only produced his red card against an ‘All Black’ and not to 2 of the Lion’s pack – things would have been very different indeed.

    1. Forgot to congratulate Hyeres Rugby club (RCHCC) for winning the French Championship in Federal 2.

  25. Been lurking more than posting lately as I have been rather busy.
    Firstly, I want to congratulate Kath and Jane for becoming first time grandmothers.
    Secondly, I congratulate myself for winning last month’s prize. Very kind of BD for including me in the draw despite my geographic situation.
    Thirdly, I congratulate MP for supporting a Rufus crossword every Monday. I know I would have thrown the sponge long ago.
    Got beaten by 9a and 5d today.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. Thank you, JL, from me and on behalf of Jane who, hopefully, is nearly in the IOW by now. :smile:

  26. Nice way to start the week. My favourite 3d.was in the gents at Dundee University Student Union in 1973. ‘ Why do people write F*** The Pope on toilet walls?’ Reply underneath was ‘ Cos it’s easier to spell than F*** the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland’.
    Anyway, a pleasant crossword with few holdups. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

    1. My favourite graffiti was on the window of a rather junky plumbing shop. It said, “stainless steel sinks” and someone had written, “of course it does” underneath. Maybe not strictly graffiti but it made me laugh.

      1. PS – and another one. I’ve dithered as to whether or not this is tasteless and decided that it probably isn’t – I do hope that I don’t upset anyone.

        Seen on a poster in a maternity hospital advocating hospital birth. “The first three minutes of life can be the most dangerous”. Someone had written, “The last three are probably a bit difficult too”.

  27. Rufus has given us a pleasant start to the week – many thanks for that. NE corner held out the longest mainly due to difficulty, as for PLR and others, with 9a and 5d. Favs 10d needing some help in parsing and 3d – TVM for that MP. I am with SL re having toyed with path for 22d. Felicitations and many happy returns of the day TS – pity it had to begin with hospital visit but obviously rest of day en famille will be much more fun.

  28. I found this unusually tricky for a Monday, but I loved it 😘 ***/**** I liked 5d (last in), 9a, 13a & 19d 😃 Still not sure about 6d 😳 Thanks to Rufus and to MP especially for the video clip for 6d. Took me back 60 years to when I was a young Apprentice in Weston Super Mare where the Odeon showed “And God created Woman”! 😍

  29. I often have little to say on Mondays but popping in quickly to say it anyway.

    By the time I got around to looking at this crossword somebody else had already finished it, and I’m afraid I let him give me hints far too early on. Hinty people like to hint. Sometimes you just gotta let yourself be hinted.

    My favourite graffiti is unprintable.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP. Happy birthday to TS. Hello to Bifield and to JL.

  30. I swore I wouldn’t contribute until fully retired (about 108 years, I think). Clue of the day is 17d which, I think, is an all in one (i.e. who would you contact where the motor starts with hesitation?) with additional clues in the definition. Very clever!

    1. Thank you Spinky. I looked at that clue all ways around this morning and found little to make sense of. I even emailed Big Dave to see if he knew what I had missed. I will amend the hint shortly. Thanks again and welcome to the blog.

  31. I am glad to see that I was in good company with finding 9a and 5d hard to solve. As we are definitely of the “weddings, christenings and funerals” plus occasionally at Christmas, group, it is not surprising that these 2 clues stumped me. Liked 18d, very droll.

  32. A little tricky today, as Rufus sometimes can be, *** about right. 22ac and 4ac were the two that held out the longest. Favourite clue 9ac.

  33. Only just got around to this, bit trickier than normal (esp NE) but a real pleasure, thank you Rufus. Will have a go at the guardian Rufus now. and thank you Miffypops for the music as always

  34. Towards the top of my 1* time allowance, and 3.5* for satisfaction. 5d was my favourite – my last in, but the penny dropped with a clang eventually. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  35. I found this very enjoyable. Unusually for a Monday, I see that BD has awarded it 3 stars for difficulty. 5d certainly had me scratching my head.
    Thank you Miffypops and Rufus.

    1. not sure the 3* is significant – it’s the default on the template, and I believe MP doesn’t like to impose his own rankings – I haven’t checked, but I’m guessing all mondays are 3*.

  36. I didn’t get far but thought it was a very entertaining puzzle. I’m not sure 22a was fair. I’ve noticed I tend to think of every important word as a noun, when often it’s a verb. Thanks for the hints, after which it all seems obvious!

  37. I tried to do something with u n i for ‘thee and me’ in 1a. Not a great start for the first clue. Also wanted to put path into 22d. Favourite was 3D. Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  38. Brigette Bardot film was lovely if you turned the sound off.
    Age has withered her, and me.

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