DT 28475 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28475

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28475

Hints and tips by a very tired Miffypops

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

Good morning from the heart of Downtown LI where the sun is already shining and the temperature rising. Well done to The British and Irish Lions for squaring their series against New Zealand on Saturday morning. It may not have been my best move to start drinking Marston’s Pedigree at 8.15am on an empty stomach after a heavy Friday night. That Saint Sharon had arranged a family get together day didn’t help the situation either. She was not a happy bunny on Sunday morning.

Today we have another fine offering from crosswordlands most prolific compiler. As usual we can race through most of it before spending an age on the last couple of clues. I enjoyed the sleepy solve. Did you?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Story about island race is gossip (6)
TATTLE: Place a noun meaning a fictitious narrative around the races held annually on The Isle Of Man. Pedants may claim that these are not races but Time Trials. I care not. Those boys are definitely racing. Nutters one and all.

4a    Holiday downpour and what it may do to one’s activities? (8)
RESTRAIN: Split 4,4 we have a holiday with a downpour. Welcome to holidays in the UK. Together these words match the definition underlined

9a    Tear after father or mother (6)
PARENT: Begin with an endearing name for your father and add a verb meaning to pull apart with force (tear) You then have a word that suits both your Mum and your Dad. Honour thy Mother and Thy Father but especially thy Mother

10a    Teachers call it the range of a singer’s voice (8)
REGISTER: The list of names in a class at school is also the name for the range of a singer’s voice. Singing outside this is never a good idea.

12a    Love to take advantage of river (4)
OUSE: The letter that represents a love score in tennis is followed by a verb meaning to exploit. The result is a river, possibly one in Yorkshire or maybe the one in Sussex. There are several other rivers with this name.

13a    Prices of lettuce good man rejected (5)
COSTS: Start with a name for a lettuce and add the reversed (rejected) abbreviation for the usual crosswordland good man. This clue is possibly unfair to younger solvers who are only aware of two types of lettuce. The tasteless Iceberg and the irritating and fussy Rocket. Older solvers will remember Webb’s Wonderful. Apparently there are seven different types of lettuce with dozens of varieties of each. The supermarkets dictate that we should only know two.

14a    Young reporter with article showing place in Caribbean (4)
CUBA: The commonly used term for a young reporter is followed by the letter A to find this Caribbean island.

17a    Enters before the others and wins (5,2,5)
COMES IN FIRST: A typically Rufus cryptic definition. How you might describe what the winner of a race has done. Two words that mean enters followed by a word meaning ahead in a race.

20a    Kind of floating marina in Utah (12)
HUMANITARIAN: Nine clues in and we have our first anagram (floating) of MARINA IN UTAH

23a    American tug (4)
YANK: A rather simple double definition

24a    Annie gets confused and foolish (5)
INANE: Anagram (gets confused) of ANNIE

25a    It’s never been seen, still I must follow it (4)
YETI: Take a three-lettered adverb meaning still and add the letter I from the clue.

28a    Man facing beast needs to study other men (8)
TOREADOR: This bullfighting chappie can be found using the word TO straight from the clue. Add a word meaning to study at university. Finish off with men as soldiers, the abbreviated form of ‘ordinary ranks’

29a    Company’s staff about, exhibiting charm (6)
MASCOT: The abbreviated form of company is surrounded by a staff. A large upright piece of wood that supports the rigging on a boat

30a    Put a limit on a conurbation that’s maximum size (8)
CAPACITY: Begin with a three-letter word that means an upper limit imposed upon spending or borrowing. Use the letter A from the clue and finish off with a word meaning a large town or conurbation

31a    Frank and I in Diplomatic Corps (6)
CANDID: Place the words AND I inside the common abbreviation for the Corps Diplomatique


1d    Fine score with set up snooker shot (3-5)
TOP NOTCH: The score here is a line cut or scratched onto a surface. A successful snooker shot needs to be reversed. Placed together (with) these two words mean fine. The enumeration will decide which comes first.

2d    Boring ties — more variation is needed (8)
TIRESOME: Anagram (variation is needed) of TIES MORE. The solution was last seen clued differently at 8d on Friday

3d    Seafarers cross it ceremonially in number of ships (4)
LINE: A double definition, the equator which sailors celebrate crossing is also the collective name for a number of ships owned by one company. It may be the name for one ship on its own. The Charlotte Rhodes was the only ship in the Onedin ****

5d    Experts on current problems (12)
ELECTRICIANS: These experts understand the currents that flow through wires and the problems that may occur therein

6d    Understand it has potential for growth (4)
TWIG: To catch on suddenly is also the name for a small growth on a tree that may one day become a branch

7d    A king hurt twisted character in legend (6)
ARTHUR: A from the clue. The abbreviation for king in Latin (Rex) and an anagram (twisted) of HURT

8d    Point supported by unusual Roman invader of Britain (6)
NORMAN: The point seen at twelve o clock on a compass face is followed (supported) by an anagram (unusual) of ROMAN

11d    Highly capricious bounder (8,4)
MOUNTAIN GOAT: By stretching a synonym of capricious we can find the word wild. A wild creature that lives up high and might bound about the place is what we are looking for. Beware, they may be gruff. [The word capricious is derived from the Latin for this animal. BD]

15d    There’s one in every agony letter in magazine? (5)
ISSUE: A cryptic definition of the point in a letter to an agony aunt or uncle. Graham Norton’s column on Saturday’s is consistently very good. I may be writing to him myself soon.

16d    Test piece (5)
ESSAY: A piece of writing set for an examination

18d    Eccentric declines to be kept quiet (8)
SILENCED: Anagram (eccentric) of DECLINES

19d    Went into service? (8)
ENLISTED: The past participle of a verb meaning to join the armed forces.

21d    Arcane section of army stick together (6)
MYSTIC: A hidden word or lurker. The answer is written within the words of the clue

22d    Take out from the paper (6)
UNWRAP: What one does to a present to reveal the secret contents

26d    Turn over stuff that remains from pressed grapes (4)
MARC: Reverse (turn over) a word meaning to stuff to find a word meaning the the refuse of grapes that have been pressed for winemaking.

27d    Mountain ash? (4)
LAVA: A very wobbly cryptic definition of the solid rock left after hot molten rock from a volcanic eruption has cooled.

Typically Rufusish.



46 comments on “DT 28475

  1. 1.5*/4*. As MP says, “typically Rufusish”. After the first three quarters I thought this was going to be R&W but the SW corner put up a bit of a fight with 28a my last one in.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  2. As you say, a typically Rufus-ish start to the week – I particularly liked 11d, especially with the clever reference to ‘capricious’

  3. Lots to love about this Rufus offering. 25a,28a,6d,11d. The list goes on. Only slight gripe is the definition 27d, but I like anything to do with volcanoes, so it’s forgiven. Many thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  4. I liked the Mountain Goat today, and the Rowan Atkinson sketch – had forgotten how funny it was. From ‘The Secret Policeman’s Ball’, as I recall.

  5. A fairly gentle introduction to the work week, just what I needed at the end of my volunteering stint at the golf tournament – */***.

    Standout favourite, no surprise – 11d. I was just about to look capricious up in the BRB when I, somehow, made a connection with the astrological sign.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

    1. 11d gave me today’s hinting hardship. I had not made the astrological connection

  6. 11d also my favourite in this enjoyable and eminently solvable Rufus offering. A gentle start to the crossword week, so 1.5*/4* from me overall.

    Thanks indeed to Rufus and to MP.

  7. The usual extremely pleasant Monday melange, although not quite the anagramfest to which we are normally accustomed.

    My favourites were the popular 11d and also 5d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  8. A gentle star to the week for me too. 26d was new to me and I had to check after working it out from the clue. In the process came across pomace another word for the same thing that I had not heard before. 11d was clearly the top clue but relating capricious to the star sign might justify its presence in the clue but does not work for me. Are Capriconians more capricious than others?

    1. It isn’t really to do with the star sign, which itself comes from the Latin word for goat – caprus

      1. Thanks CS for that. Makes more sense than the star sign. As I understand it the word capricious is the adjectival form of caprice and I still cannot see the goat connection.i would have thought that the high mountain dweller bounded purposefully and not on a whim.

        1. If you look up synonyms for capricious, you’ll find there are lots of references to being unpredictable, changing their mind on a whim etc etc, which would describe many of the goats I’ve ever come into contact with

  9. A thoroughly pleasant crossword that was enjoyable to solve. I just wish that there were more setters like him. No abstruse words, no clunky clues that read like nonsense. Thanks, Rufus, for the entertainment

  10. A bit easier than recently, though as I so often find with Monday’s puzzle, the last 10% takes longer than the first 90%. In the end I needed hints for 28a and 29a, so thanks for those, MP.
    11d – I’m not sure I really get the capricious bit
    27d – Is it ‘ash’?? I though it was molten stuff that came out of the top bit
    24a is my favourite as it’s my mum’s name and now I can tease her that her name is an anagram of ‘inane’!!
    Thanks MP and Rufus

    1. My beautiful collie’s name too – she certainly wasn’t foolish but could be very silly, mainly because we thought that was funny and she loved being laughed at.

    2. 11d: I’m not sure that capricious = whimsical comes into it at all. I reckon the setter has tongue-in-cheekily “invented” capricious as an adjective for caprine (goatlike) and, if so, the clue should have a ? to indicate the play on words.

      27d. Yes, volcanic ash and lava are quite different things.

  11. Firstly I had this solve down as a **/****, and 11d as my favourite. Only saw the Zodiac connection when I read Miffypops blog! -never mind.
    Remembered the pressed grape remains, I think its also a brandy.
    Just the ticket for a Monday,
    Thought there must be a ‘French connection ‘with the CD in 31a.
    Thanks Miffypops , a Marstons lover myself but prefer the best bitter.

  12. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A nice start to the week. Had a brainstorm on 22d, and put in “uncrop”, which I thought was wrong, couldn’t think of anything else. Favourite was 10a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  13. Hello from a sunny Vega Baja. 2*/3* for us. Pommers knew 26d but new to me.
    Loved 11d like everyone else. Also 10a.
    We had 16d as assay as this is what you do to test a piece of gold. Oops.
    Thanks to Rufus & miffypops.

    1. Yes, I was vacillating between ESSAY and ASSAY and in the end plumped for ASSAY but I suppose they’re equally valid.

  14. Gently easing us into the week. Thanks to the setter & although I didn’t need them the hints from Miffypops. 4A & 30A are my favourites. Agree with others **/***

  15. Very enjoyable solve today.
    Thanks to the setter and MP.
    Not sure about 19 & 22d. Didn’t seem very cryptic to me. But like most others thought 11d was an excellent clue.

  16. 27d is definitely “very wobbly “, to be diplomatic.

    Otherwise thoroughly enjoyable.

  17. Did both this one and Herculis before the first race
    2.00 at Worcester,not so successful there 2nd.

  18. Nice start to the week **/*** 😃 Liked 12a & 30a, no problem with 27d though I must confess to originally unpacking 22d 😬 Thanks as always to MP and Rufus 🤗

  19. Thoroughly enjoyable Rufus offering again.
    I had the incorrect answer for 11d, I had Mountain Hare, as a bounder. I never thought of the astrological goat, silly mistake. Now I know the correct answer, I’ve chosen that as my very fave.
    Because of my error, I never did get 28a or 30a. I think this is the first time I’ve failed to solve a Rufus puzzle.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the help. I agree about iceberg lettuce, the only way I like it is chopped on top of chilli, gives a nice crunch.

    1. And I bunged in Mountain Lion on my first pass, making a mess as I use a pen!

  20. Lovely crossword from Rufus. Lots of fun clues; two of which were 6d (my last one in) and of course 11d which had to be favourite. 1.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review and the Rowan Atkinson sketch. I remember it well…

  21. For some unknown reason I often have problems with Rufus but today I sailed gently through and only moved to blog to see what others had to say. Thanks to MPs and Rufus for uplifting start to week, off to try some crosswords from my new DT cryptic crossword book. At least I have answers at the back but suspect I will miss the help from BD’s gang.

  22. Pretty straightforward solve.
    No real hold ups.
    No real favourite either.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  23. Having been away for a few days this was a pleasant welcome back. A charming puzzle I thought, not too difficult but it certainly made me think. Once completed I went on to belatedly tackle the Saturday and Sunday puzzles – one might say I have been clued up today! My rating for today’s puzzle is 2.5 / 4 I really must give a silver medal for the 11D clue, very cleverly phrased with a good smiler content. Must not forget my thanks to MP for his usual brilliant efforts.

  24. All but about 6 clues in no time at all, and then forever on those few. A typical Monday in other words. :-)

  25. Thank you to Rufus and Miffypops for a delightful puzzle. At first I was slow off the mark but then all but the SW corner fell into place. That went in over lunch, with 26d being last in as never heard of that word. Have to credit hubby with 23a as even though we live here it did not spring to mind for me. A lovely, straight forward cryptic for a typical summer day in South Florida, we woke to thunder, then rain, then sunshine, then repeat. Thank goodness the weed killer I used yesterday was rain proof in 15 minutes…

  26. Nice start to the week, passed a pleasant interlude following a tiring day fighting a fiendish Scottish golf course.
    Pretty much a R&W except for the SE corner which put up a bit of a fight esp 25a, my last in. Made me smile!
    Thx to all.

  27. A couple of clues beat me – I thought crushed grapes were “must” (26a) and was too thick to see 27d – so 2*/3* for me. I loved 11d – “capricious bounder” indeed! Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  28. Liked it. I think assay is a better answer to16d. I liked the wilful goat best. Thanks to Rufus and MP 1*/3*

  29. And least, but possibly not last, I’ve finally got here after a very busy day.
    I really enjoyed this – far more than I sometimes enjoy Monday crosswords.
    I was a bit dozy about 15d (which husband finally got, to give him the credit) and 22d took ages.
    I agree that there weren’t as many anagrams as we’ve become used to on Mondays.
    I loved the ‘capricious beastie’ and ‘Annie getting confused’ out of loyalty to my collie.
    I think my favourite was probably 5d.
    By the way, MP, rocket is not a kind of lettuce but I’ll forgive you for that – it’s very yummy.
    Thanks to Rufus and to the tired and hungover MP.

  30. Surely there is more to 16d. Test = essay (old word – verb and noun for try/attempt). Piece = essay (literary composition). I do not think assay would work as has the same meaning (test) but not for a written composition. I needed to look up synonyms to get 26d although sure we have had it before. Certainly we have had it as a synonym for brandy which I suppose is also stuff that remains from pressed grapes. Altogether a clever clue especially the use of “stuff”. My experience was similar to others although I suspect I had more trouble with 20a. Wrote in the top half with no problems. Bottom half much slower. Eventually got 20a this morning having wasted a lot of time on places in Utah and the properties of Salt Lakes. Took a long time to realise it was an anagram and even longer to solve it. Once in I managed 15d 26d and finally 28a without too much difficulty and wondered why I had not cracked them before! Thanks Rufus, MP and bloggers for the discussion. Final mention for 11d. Got very quickly and instinctively thought it right but needed to convince myself.

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