DT28499 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28499

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Are you ready? Here we go then.

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1a    A great stop for sailors (5)
AVAST: Lift the letter A directly from the clue and add an adjective meaning of very great extent or quantity; immense

4a    Jumper with a pocket in front (8)
KANGAROO: Rufus is leading us towards a jumping marsupial with a pouch for carrying its young. Please note the lack of an apostrophe in the possessive pronoun.

8a    Blue study getting Edward depressed (8)
SADDENED: A three-part charade clue. 1. A word meaning blue as in depressed. 2. A word synonymous with a study or private room. 3. One of the shortened forms of the name Edward.

9a    Came to blowsno longer retained (8)
SCRAPPED: A double definition. The first meaning to have fought like schoolboys might.

11a    Withdraw both note and pamphlet (7)
RETRACT: Use the second note of the tonic scale (a drop of golden sun) and add another word for a short pamphlet usually of a religious nature

13a    Possibly meant to secure some accommodation (9)
APARTMENT: Place a noun meaning some but not all of something inside an anagram (possibly) of MEANT

15a    Number of accident-prone vessels suspended (3,5,7)
TEN GREEN BOTTLES: I needed checkers to solve this one. The vessels are those that might contain wine or milk. They are coloured, suspended from a wall and sang about with varying degrees of gusto and enthusiasm on long coach or car journeys.

18a    Paint theatre group assembled by Hancock’s mate making comeback (9)
DISTEMPER: A reversed three-part charade. 1. The abbreviated name of a theatre company 2. A word meaning assembled or gathered together 3. The shortened first name of Tony Hancock’s sidekick in Hancock’s half hour. Once those three are written down the whole lot can be reversed as indicated by the words making comeback. You may need a history of the ancient world to find the comedian

21a    It’s a man out of sorts — this will keep him going (7)
STAMINA: Anagram (out) of ITS A MAN

22a    In wars Eric worked for people flying aircraft (8)
AIRCREWS: Anagram (worked) of WARS ERIC

24a    Girl not without heart, but peevishly impatient (8)
PETULANT: Take a six lettered girls name and add the word NOT from the clue but minus its middle letter or heart. Which girls name? The one from the ancient history book above who sang Downtown and Don’t Sleep in the Subway Darling (The coal house will be fine)

25a    As a guess, dancing soothes (8)
ASSUAGES: Anagram (dancing) of AS A GUESS

26a    Stop being an outsider (5)
ENTER: Aha. A typical Rufusian all in one I think. A verb meaning to go or come into a place


1d    Removed, being absent-minded (10)
ABSTRACTED: A double definition which does not begin with the letters DI

2d    A job for the summer (8)
ADDITION: The summer here is not the season but a person who can work out the sum totals of rows of figures. This is the mathematical method or job used to do so. Those who remember Hundreds, Tens and Units should have no trouble solving 18 and 24 across

3d    Agree ten in new line-up — one’s not yet made a score (8)
TEENAGER: Anagram (in new line up) of AGREE TEN

4d    Fools the youngsters (4)
KIDS: A double definition. The second being an affectionate term for children

5d    Cargo boat finally transported small racing vehicle (2-4)
GO-CART: Anagram (transported) of CARGO with the final letter(finally) of the word boat

6d    Politician in government to mess up (6)
RUMPLE: Place the abbreviation for ones Member of Parliament inside a verb meaning to govern

7d    Married with ring, but apparently didn’t pay yet (4)
OWED: Take a three-lettered word meaning to be married and add a letter that looks like a ring. Add it at the beginning. It doesn’t work at the end

10d    Gets up in terrible scramble (8)
CLAMBERS: Anagram (terrible) of SCRAMBLE

12d    Informal invitation to sit — not only in church (4,1,3)
TAKE A PEW: How one might offer somebody a seat in or out of church.

14d    Cook makes tarts for demanding employer (10)

16d    One to value something that was buried, perhaps (8)
TREASURE: Something we may value or something of worth which might be dug up after being intentionally buried in order to hide it. Think pirates Jim Hawkins Long John Silver Captains Flint and Pugwash

17d    Man (or woman) of action? (8)
LITIGANT: This action is a lawsuit. This is a man or woman involved in a lawsuit

19d    Split over being on board ship in thongs (6)
STRAPS: take a verb meaning to split into two. Reverse it as indicated by the word over. Place between the abbreviation used for steamships

20d    In time, little beast will make mistakes (6)
ERRATA: Place and unwelcome rodent inside a three lettered time age or epoch

22d    Song with a melody that’s uplifting (4)
ARIA: Begin with the letter A and add a reversed (uplifting) melody to find a song from an opera

23d    Father caught in end of mattress springs (4)
SPAS: Place an informal term for one’s father inside the final two letters of the word mattress

Another gentle start to the puzzling week.

Quickie Pun: COAT DEW ROAN = Côtes du Rhône

69 comments on “DT28499

  1. I wonder how many of our younger cruciverbalists knew who Tony Hancock’s mate was!!! Or even knew who Tony Hancock was!!

      1. I wondered whether it was Rufus having a dig at the way in which legal documents are worded.

    1. My guess is that, ideally, Roofers wanted the clue to read ‘Man of action’, i.e the expression. But, being in the PC world (gutted they merged with Currys as it ruined one of my ‘dad jokes’ – my children aren’t so gutted), he felt he ought to put ‘Woman’ in brackets what with it being a recognised expression an’ all……and quite right too!

  2. I imagine a lot of people will be signing in quickly this morning. No problems except I needed the review to explain 2d. Very funny. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops.

  3. 1*/4*. A very light offering which however provided a great deal of fun as ever. 1a gets the nod as favourite today as it’s such a good word and it reminds me of a silly schoolboy joke.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  4. After a slow start with 1a and 1d, this puzzle turned into a R & W , and I made a note of */*** after completion . As RD says it was fun.
    I liked 15a and I don’t think I’ve seen it before as a crossword clue. Last in was 24a, and I made things difficult initially by spelling17d with e instead of a-(gent).
    Enjoyable start to the week .Thanks to MP for the pics.
    Smiled at the quickie pun, always a good choice for red wine if you are uncertain, always quaffable.

      1. I wrote Cotes first then googled if and it came up in the singular. So I put that. I never drink wine myself. Welcome to the blog Ailsap

  5. Lots to enjoy in this straightforward yet enjoyable Monday offering from Rufus. Several clues going for the top of the podium, but 15a just took it from 1a and 17d. 1.5*/4*.

    Thanks indeed to the aforementioned and to MP.

    I particularly liked the exquisitely awful Quickie pun.

  6. Banksie seems to be on a but of a roll at the moment. I know this was was not too tricky but it helps those, like me, who regard themselves as very average at solving, to finish in good time. It does a lot for the confidence.

    Thanks MP

  7. A bright and breezy start to the week – rather like the weather here today.
    Plenty of smiles along the way with 1&15a plus 4&12d getting my podium places.

    Thanks to Rufus for the fun and to MP for the review, particularly for the oboe concerto. Given your ruling as to when people and events get consigned to the Ancient History books, can we look forward to your idol being sent there soon? After all, he’s only some eight or so years younger than Miss Clark and would certainly have been a 3d when Hancock’s Half Hour first aired.

  8. The top left hand corner was a bit sticky as I hadn’t heard of 1a .
    No particular favourite . Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  9. I thought at first that this one was almost Quickie standard, but not quite so in the end. Anyway – definitely a Happy hols feeling on board! I might mention an odd coincidence with the appearance of Sid James, having discussed the man just the other day. Favourite was 15a – a nice cheerful touch to an already pleasant solve!

  10. A, nice cheery R and W. Just what’s needed to start the week Favourite is 2d “A job for the summer”

  11. Would have been a R&W but I was unable to get 1a unaided. As a fan of Patrick O’Brian’s oeuvre I hang my head in shame. Thanks MP for explaining 18a. Thought the man/ woman of action was a great clue.

  12. Rufus at his best in a slightly ‘odd’ grid but completed at a gallop. 1a caused some head scratching; it was my last one in and I think my brain was approaching shut down.

    Favourite 15a – very well clued.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  13. Good to start the week with a puzzle not to taxing sets you up for the rest of the week.
    Grandchildren staying so wonderful chaos, of to surf.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP

  14. Good fun and not difficult although it took me ages to find the 24a girl – it’s hardly a common name.
    Lots of anagrams which is probably why I didn’t find it tricky.
    I’m sure that someone will say that 4a is barely cryptic and we must have had something along the same lines before but it made me laugh.
    I liked 15a and 6 and 17d. My favourite was 12d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  15. Very enjoyable;
    stuck on the SW corner of the quickie though-have to wait for the answers tomorrow;
    interesting that the website rates the cryptic as 5 for difficulty and the quickie only 1-perhaps they have them the wrong way round!

    1. Me too with that Quickie SW corner. Problem seems to revolve around combination of 17a, 22a and 18d.

  16. I did NE, SE, SW corners R&W, and decided to leave the NW corner until later, as I wanted to listen to the cricket. When I restarted, I could not get another answer. 1a and 1d were both beyond me. Poor effort.
    Rufus’ puzzles still a bit of a mystery.
    Thanks MP and the aforementioned.

  17. Such a good review for a below average crossword.
    The Harry Enfield clip made my day.
    4a was so childish. So was 26a.
    How many girls are named Petula I wonder?
    Remembered Hancock’s sidekick and even tried to put him again in 1d which slowed me down a bit.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

      1. Hi Jane.
        Rufus has that effect on me.
        He always provokes extreme reactions from my part.
        The funniest thing is that it never happens in the Graun.
        Just can’t explain why.

  18. So many lovely Rufusisms in a fairly gentle puzzle, but I do wish our esteemed setter wouldn’t favour this particular grid with its double unches quite so much.

    Three particular clues stood out for me, 4a, 15a and 2d – each demonstrated Rufus at his unique best. I’m sure that Mr Kitty especially will bemoan how dated the reference to “Hancock’s mate” is, he has my sympathy! I also agree with BD’s comment regarding 17d.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and to MP.

  19. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Didn’t enjoy this one too much. Some good clues though. Needed the hints for 18d&24a. Favourite was 1a. Was 3*/2* for me.

  20. So does this mean that those of us old enough to remember Hancock, Sid James et al are all members of the ancient history club? I regard these clues as a kind of bonus, or reward, for having made it past retirement age. We appreciate the nostalgic clues which make up for the sports (cricket particularly) clues of which we have almost zero knowledge.
    Found this not as gentle as usual for Monday, hence the 2 star I guess. Happy to report that 15a was one of the first in, the minute I came up with the number it was obvious. Lovely high school memories of singing this on the coach to play away netball games at other schools, where they invariably hosted us with delicious afternoon teas. Great. Thanks MP for the hints for the more obscure hints, of which there were quite a few today.

    1. I suppose we could be members of the ancient history club. I am now employing people whose date of birth begins with the number 2. I hope my comments help younger solvers understand that they should not expect to know Hancock’s sidekick without recourse to some form of reference be it paper or electronic.

      1. Ouch. I have no problem with growing old, it’s better than the alternative as they say. But I must admit it I hate it when you need to input your year of birth on line and you have to scroll, and scroll, and scroll to get to the right year 😊

  21. Having spent morning sorting out 20 years filing I ended up with severe attack of the sulks and a ginormous pile of paper to put through shredder Rufus and Miffypops restored my good temper so thanks to them. Worked slowly up from SE corner, paused to ponder 1a then moved through across clues to find I had finished. Back to e-book reader, have a good day see you tomorrow. :bye:

    1. Hello Orphan Annie. I spent too long on Saturday picking Cromer Crabs. It was worth it in the end though.

      1. I love Cromer crab, there used to be a lady came down to Southwold every Thursday market from Cromer with crabs sold out by 9 am but sadly no more. Only hope now World of Fish in Lowestoft.

  22. I loved this, but then, when haven’t I enjoyed a Rufus offering?
    I never did get 20d, I spelt 25a incorrectly: memo to spelt – when you have an anagram, make sure you use all the letters and don’t arbitrarily sub.
    This was over far too soon, lots to like but fave was 15a. My memory is of school and Girl Guides.
    Thanks to Rufus and M’pops.

  23. Quite enjoyable but spoilt for me by two very weak clues in 13a (possibly=part, poor) and 26a which was even weaker. Real shame as the rest was well clued. My favourite was 15a but loved the references to Sid James and the worlds finest comedian and to Petula in 24a. I think Miffypops missed an great opportunity to include a Hancock clip, strewth!
    Thx to all

    1. I looked at both Hancock and Sid James clips Brian. None were up to my high standards.

    2. ‘Possibly’ in this case means ‘anagram of meant’ and ‘some’ means ‘part’, Brian, me old cocker spaniel.

        1. Forgive me, I must be missing something. I took ‘Possibly = Part’ meaning that ‘possibly’ means ‘part’. What did Brian mean by that (he asks, hiding behind his cushion)….?

    3. I do not think Brian was being mischievous. I think he genuinely did not get it.

  24. Not my favourite Rufus puzzle, but then he usually sets the bar pretty high.
    I do sometimes disadvantaged (or ignorant) in that I have never really watched films or TV, I don’t read fiction, I don’t follow any sport and I was born in the late 60’s. Anything relating to any of those, particularly ‘old’ references, has to be solved with wordplay – but if you need to know a sporting term or name etc to form the answer I instantly lose interest. Still, it’s only a crossword puzzle, never mind.
    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review. */**

  25. Nice gentle start to the week */*** Favourites 1a & 15a 😃 Thanks to MP for the entertaining blog 🤗 And to Rufus for an amusing puzzle. Liked the Quickie Pun very droll 🍷

  26. Edging into *** territory here, with much of that spent in the SE corner. Enjoyable throughout, though that wasn’t the most friendly of grids it must be said.

  27. Only six hours to complete with some external help. Quickest achieved for several weeks. Time to do the housework now at 2045

    1. Welcome to the blog David

      We don’t like the publication of solving times in case it discourages others, but I think we can make an exception in your case!

      1. I mention it as an instance of our having solved the puzzle within 24 hours, a signal achievement (for us). Two weeks is not unknown.

  28. Been off crosswords for a while, having been descended on by hordes of family visitors (welcome ones!), so this was quite a pleasant reintroduction. Completed well within 1* time, except for my lazily putting in “distracted” for 1d, so 1a (which should have been a doddle for an old salt like me) stayed annoyingly blank. 18a was my favourite. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  29. Well, that was enormous fun. Was already thinking *difficulty when my conceit was exposed by the NW corner. Had to get your help for 1a and 1d. I use 1d in its noun form a lot, but forgot the verb, ironically. **/**** from me. Some lovely wit in this puzzle.

  30. Nothing to write home about but not too demanding. Bunged in 2d and subsequently parsed with MP’s help – d’oh! Fav 15a. Completed this a.m. but no time to comment until now and so to bed (early for me).

    1. You will often see the words ‘an easier clue to solve than to explain’ This was onesuch clue. I wrote the hint and hoped for the best. Thanks for letting me know that it worked.

  31. 10d – nobody seems to have noticed/mentioned that “scramble” in the clue has 7 letters – answer has 8 !!

    1. Both the answer and the clue have eight letters but I was confused at first. How strange.

  32. The antediluvian comedian at 18a also appears in the week magazines puzzle as “James working in Mediterranean city” (5).

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