DT 28487 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28487

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28487

Hints and tips by an orthograffically-challenged Miffypops

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

Today’s offering from Rufus is much more to my liking.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Overlooked cross copper’s found in river that’s ebbing (7)
EXCUSED: place the letter that looks like a cross and the chemical symbol for Copper with the letter S (apostrophe S in copper’s) inside the reverse of a three lettered river. Which one? There are a lot to choose from and when you choose the correct one, is it the Welsh or the Scottish one?

5a    A sailor does it to make ends meet (7)
SPLICES: A cryptic definition of how a sailor joins the ends of two ropes together by interweaving the strands at the ends

9a    Cagebird‘s not half needed to shift (5)
BUDGE: Melopsittacus undulatus Is the Latin name for this common parakeet. Dismiss the last five letters (not half) of its ten-letter common name

10a    Entrance prisoner’s held at (9)
CAPTIVATE: Place the word AT from the clue inside (held) a synonym for the word prisoner

11a    Quibble about trifles that results in parting? (5,5)
SPLIT HAIRS: To make small and overfine decisions can also be the same as using a comb to form a parting. Quibble is such a lovely word

12a    Some nice desserts covered in sugar (4)
ICED: A lurker playing hide and seek from within the words of the clue

14a    Interfere and start a row (3,4,3,2)
PUT ONE’S OAR IN: A clever double definition with a misleading surface designed to make you think of arguments. Use the word row as in propelling boats on the water

18a    But a brunette winning a beauty contest may not be (6,6)
UNFAIR CHOICE: A cryptic definition suggesting the option chosen by the judges is not blonde

21a    Commotion not yet finished (2-2)
TO-DO: A double definition. The first describing a kerfuffle or a brouhaha

22a    They will give a seat to one standing (10)
ELECTORATE: A cryptic definition of those who vote in a candidate standing for election

25a    Extremely clever thing in the ring, perhaps (9)
BRILLIANT: Another double definition. The second describing a diamond in a ring

26a    Former French island that Napoleon went into (5)
EXILE: Begin with our regular crosswordland word for former and add the French word for isle

27a    Leave scribbled note offering lift (7)
ELEVATE: An anagram (scribbled) of LEAVE is followed by the sixth note of the major scale

28a    Make the most economical use of man (7)
HUSBAND: And another double definition. The man in this case being the partner of his wife.


1d    Set me up with manager to perform relief work (6)
EMBOSS: Reverse the word ME from the clue (set me up) and add a word meaning your employer

2d    Hold in close affection (6)
CUDDLE: A barely cryptic definition of a close embrace

3d    Notepaper (5,5)
SHEET MUSIC: A cryptic definition of the printed score of a tuneful composition

4d    Yes — Russian tea may be found here (5)
DACHA: The Russian for yes followed by the Chinese for tea.

5d    Drink with the Queen, that woman with love for very brave character (9)
SUPERHERO: A four-part charade. 1. A verb meaning to drink. 2. The Queen’s regal cypher. 3. A word meaning that woman. 4. The letter that looks like a love score in tennis.



6d    Phone’s picked up and put down (4)
LAID: Take an ancient and archaic verb meaning to phone and reverse it (picked up)

I have just looked up the definition and it appears one can do this by tapping a keypad

7d    Court awards fortune to railway (8)
CHANCERY: Use a synonym for the word fortune and add the abbreviation for R(ailwa)y

8d    Having amphetamine with gin, foolishly, may be breaking the law (8)
SPEEDING: begin with a slang term for amphetamine and add an anagram (foolishly) of GIN

13d    We never see these TV and film commentators (5-5)
VOICE-OVERS: Find a term describing those who provide commentaries to a film or broadcast but are never seen.

15d    It’s a cello playing swing (9)
OSCILLATE: Anagram (playing) of IT’S A CELLO

16d    Fitting could make it usable (8)
SUITABLE: Anagram (could make) of IT USABLE

17d    Good stroke for a cricketer, but not for a golfer (3-5)
OFF-DRIVE: A fair cricket shot would be a poor shot by a golfer. In golf a poor or bad first swing at the ball

19d    Small port and Robin’s girl turns tail (6)
MARINA: This small port can be found by reversing the last two (tail) letters of Robin Hood’s girlfriend

20d    Guard‘s fed up, on edge (6)
DEFEND: Reverse the word fed (up in a down clue) and add a word meaning the edge of something often applied to sports pitches for example

The Sentinel. Rudyard Kipling

Faithless the watch that I kept: now I have none to keep.
I was slain because I slept: now I am slain I sleep.
Let no man reproach me again; whatever watch is unkept—
I sleep because I am slain. They slew me because I slept.

23d    Arrest that leads to dismissal (5)
CATCH: A sudden stoppage that might lead to dismissal in cricket or rounders

24d    Copperfield’s taken in two parts — one could be guilty (4)
PLEA: Copperfield taken in two parts gives copper and field. Use the abbreviation for copper as in change in your pocket and add a word for a field or meadow

The Quick Crossword pun: suss+pence+shun=suspension

47 comments on “DT 28487

      1. Now that I’ve seen how it was spelt originally, I can’t decide whether it was a genuine spelling mistake or if it was purposeful satire/irony – you can never tell with MP. :-)

  1. This leads us gently into the new cruciverbal week. Fun to do and no resultant aggro. Three tying Favs for me viz 11a, 22a and 3d. 19d was last in. I agree with MP that 2d is hardly cryptic indeed I first thought of caress but rejected for same reason. TVM Rufus and MP.

  2. Agree with Miffypops, best Monday puzzle for ages.
    Set off as usual in the NW corner and found the parsing difficult until 9a went in , fairly steady progress after this.
    Made a note of ***/**** on completion.
    Last in was 19d, had a chuckle when I saw the light ( with the checking letters ), was thinking of Batman and Fireball XL5 !
    Favourite 11a and 24d.
    Well done our cricketing ladies and Mr Froome -what a finish to the golf.
    Thanks MP and setter .

  3. Lovely puzzle from Rufus.
    And very clear explanations from Miffypops , especially 24d .
    Thanks to all concerned.

  4. 2*/4*. I thought this puzzle was 25a. 11a was my favourite with 24d a close second.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  5. Quite enjoyed this. Not sure if we’ve seen ‘scribbled’ as an anagram indicator before, but I’m sure the ‘superhero’ illustration has been on the blog before. Great Dylan clip, by the way MP. Incidentally, there is an FT puzzle by Falcon today, which is easier than this one (in my opinion).

  6. What a marvellous offering.

    My only failure was at 19d. I became obsessed with trying to make Alice (as in Christopher Robin……) fit into the plausible checking letters. Thanks MP for revealing a robin that really should have been any normal person’s first choice….😳

    Good on yer, Rufus!

    1. I also had Alice as Robin’s girl 😬 And got into a pickle Lovely puzzle **/*** favourites 2d, 11a and 8d Thanks to MP and Rufus 😃

  7. Took me a while to find a way into this one but, as RD said, what a 25a puzzle it turned out to be.
    Another new cricket term learned in 17d (thank goodness for the 18a checker!) but the one at 23d was fine.

    Top scores went to 10a plus 1&3d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to the sadly challenged MP – I did click on to the clip to discover whether your hero’s singing ability has improved – it hasn’t.

    1. It is not Bob Dylans inability to sing properly Jane. it is your inability to listen properly. ‘Coming From The Heart’ shows Dylan at his heartfelt and captivating best.

  8. An excellent puzzle. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for an equally entertaining blog.
    Although the answer to 24d was clear, I only twigged the parsing when I did the quick crossword. So 24d is my favourite of the day.

  9. Well I ran through this in fairly quick order, just held up by about four clues that took it into ** time..

    I’ve never been too happy about the phrase that is the answer to 18a. In my mind, if you have a (second word) it cannot be (first word).

    My favourite was 3d, although we may have had it before, it held me up for a while. I was toying with banknotes and the like.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  10. Very enjoyable, but, I thought, somewhat tricky for a Rufus – not sure how much tricky as the first part of solving time was shared with a phone call – so, at a guess, **/****.

    Favourite 14a, with 3d not far behind.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP (whatever condition you are in).

  11. Very enjoyable and typically Rufus. Thanks to Rufus and to MP for an amusing start to the week. **/****

  12. 11a my favourite too in this slightly tricky yet very enjoyable Rufus puzzle. I got stuck on enough clues to push my solving time out a bit, so 3*/4* from me. I was not keen on 24d, as although I solved it, it did seem overly contrived. Someone will no doubt point out that is the point of a cryptic crossword.

    Many thanks to Rufus for a great Monday workout, and to MP.

  13. Well i am very surprised and quite pleased with myself that i found this rather easy particularly as MP rated it 3 and Senf only managed a trot today. Normally with a 3 rating i would be struggling to finish.

  14. I found the top half of the puzzle fairly straightforward but ran into difficulties with some clues in the lower half and in the end was very pleased to complete. Thanks MP for explaining 24a. 17d executed by the likes of David Gower is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold . My favourite clue was 18a.

  15. Found this difficult- but it was so enjoyable that I stuck with it.

    Some brilliant clues and 14a made me chuckle the most.

    Thanks for the clues (needed a couple today)

  16. Too difficult for me i’m afraid. Managed the bottom half (just) but the top beat me completely. Thought many of the clues very clumsy such as 13d, this describes the commentaries not the commentators, clumsy!
    Just not on the setters wavelength at all.
    For me *****/*
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Been through the answers in the hints and I reckon this is one for the experts. Most of these clues I would never have been able to solve in 100 years.
      Perhaps tomorrow’s will be more to my taste.

      1. Quite agree, I found it decidedly tough and took ages and lots of hints to get going…

    2. I am surprised, Brian. I found the North bit fine but the South bit far more tricky, shows how different we all are !!

  17. Excellent puzzle. Took me longer than most Monday ones. 2.5*/4* for me. Favourites were 11a, 18a, 3d with 19d being at the top. Nice one Rufus.

  18. Very enjoyable and happy to see a slightly more tricky puzzle on a Monday. Lots to like 5a, 3d, 14a, 24d – not overly keen on the sports orientated 17d (I know even less about golf than I do cricket), and the slightly muddled 18a.

    Good fun, thanks Rufus and Myphypops for the revue.

  19. First answer in was the lurker in 12a, then I ground to a halt for ages until I worked out 14a which gave me some checking letters. I had mixed emotions with this puzzle as I didn’t like it at first and nearly gave up, but really enjoyed it by the end . Glad I stuck it out. Many thanks Setter and MP.

  20. Wotta treat, but definitely on the tricky side for Rufus.
    I never did get 19d, but now I’ve got the answer, thanks to M’pops, I love it.
    I’m not at all sure I can choose a fave, there are so many of them to like.
    Thanks to Rufus for a great start to the week, and to M’pops for his review.

  21. Ah, I wondered why Rufus didn’t appear in his usual Monday slot in a certain other newspaper. I always enjoy his puzzles and this was quite 25A even those that wouldn’t 9A initially and for me, no 16As.

    1. Most Mondays are what I call ‘three Rufus Mondays’ as he’s always in the DT, Guardian three weeks out of four, and Dante in the FT. Today is the exception that proves the rule as we have Nutmeg in the Graun and Falcon in the FT

  22. A nice Monday puzzle, last one in was 19D 🙂. Favourite was 18A 🙂🙂

  23. Rather surprised to see that quite a few regulars found this tricky and that even one threw in the towel. Perhaps it was the lack of anagrams, which I know will have gladdened our reviewer’s heart! It might have been slightly less straightforward than usual, but all the customary Rufusisms were in place, save for the missing anagramfest.

    My favourites were 10a and 22a. Slightly disappointing to see “up” used three times in the Down clues as a reversal indicator.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and the always entertaining Miffypops.

  24. Even with the scarcity of anagrams I thought this was more straightforward than most Mondays – can’t quite work out why.
    I admit to being completely foxed by 24d for ages – dim.
    At the risk of being a nit-picker I think that 22a is an ‘it’ not a ‘they’ – i.e. it’s a body of voters so is singular – maybe I’m wrong. :unsure:
    I liked 11 and 26a and 1 and 3d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  25. Very nice puzzle – even managed to work out the golf and cricket clues – I think this must reflect the many hours happily spent (Hubs – How much time DO you spend doing crosswords??) wrestling with the daily xword.

    Didn’t have too much difficulty with this – another instance where my experience seems to diverge (relatively speaking) from the hints summary … whereas some of the */** i seem to wrestle with for hours.

    Some lovely clues too – I particularly liked 25A not least because I would like to be a ring person (more so than I am at the moment). My friend Marguerite is a Ring Person big time – but with exquisite taste – and in her presence I am constantly in a state of Ring Envy. (Hubs please note ——– ha ha that’ll be a triumph of hope over expectation then)

  26. ***/****. This was a very enjoyable puzzle if tricky in parts. 11a my COTD. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the amusing review.

    1. Welcome from me too Lindy. You are right. This probably explains why I cannot do the mini sudoku of the toughie page

  27. For a Monday I found today’s offering far more to my liking. Some very good clues of which 14a was my fave. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his review.

  28. Definitely on the tricky side, that *** looks right. 17d was a new one on me, and I had to look it up. A couple of well deserved groans along the way, the biggest perhaps for my LOI, 22ac.

  29. For a *** Rufus I was well pleased. Only defeated by Robin’s girl-friend.
    Thanks to MP and Rufus.

  30. At the risk of being the odd man out, have to say I found this ***** for difficulty and not at all the gentle start to the week that I look forward to. After loving the Saturday offering and then struggling on Sunday, I was hoping for something a little less tricky today.
    I was very thankful for Miffypops hints. On days where I cannot seem to get going, I refer to the hints for the across clues, and then have another stab at the down ones. This usually works and it did today.
    Have to say I prefer something a tad easier, but realize the smarter bods need to be challenged also. You can’t please all the people all the time 🙂

  31. Very witty crossword. Thanks MP for the parsing of 24d. 19d very clever and did not give me any real problem. Breezed through most of them after a night’s sleep. It was the SE that foxed me. 23d had to be what it was but could not parse. Could not for the life of me see 28a for which I am kicking myself. Shamus at his best apart from (for me) those last two mentioned. One man’s meat…….

  32. 13d. The answer to the clue is not a person, according to as many dictionaries as I can find. So “Commentators” is very misleading. The answer is either a noun or a verb.

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