DT 28523 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28523

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28523

Hints and tips by a munificent Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Typical Monday fare from Rufus. All of the usual tricks and nothing much to say really. Well done Coventry Rugby club Saracens Rugby Club and Bath Rugby club. Rolll on Wednesday we are off on our holiday to Scotland.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Supports a parent but doesn’t talk about it (5,3)
KEEPS MUM: A synonym for supports followed by a lovely term for your female parent will give a term meaning to keep a secret. To those of you doing this with either parent my sympathies and praise go out to you. Incidentally I remember the first time I met this expression in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer And Huckleberry Finn after witnessing Injun Joe murder Muff Potter Tom and Huckleberry agree to do just this.

6a    Jack found among big shots, very rich men (6)
NABOBS: Jack here is a sailor (also the name of my Dad) an able seaman (not my Dad he drove a tank at the battle of El Alamein) who’s abbreviated form can be placed inside a term describing people of influence wealth or high position. (Not my Dad – Oh yes. My Dad)

9a    Odds on wet weather causing injury (6)
SPRAIN: These odds are the starting price at the beginning of a race. The wet weather should be familiar to us all as a precipitation regularly experienced

10a    Quartet heard and observed as anticipated (8)
FORESEEN: Begin with a homophone of a quartet and add a verb meaning observed

11a    A Ford not moving forward — then back! (2,3,3)
TO AND FRO: Anagram (moving) of A FORD NOT

12a    Assumes parking will be limited by migrating toads (6)
ADOPTS: This ridiculously worded clue can be solved by placing the abbreviation used to represent the word parking inside an anagram (migrating) of TOADS.

13a    They raise the spirits (12)
DISTILLERIES: A barely cryptic definition of a place where spirits such as whisky are manufactured. Saint Sharon and I are off to Scotland on Wednesday and have no plans to visit such an institution. We will be doing the rail trip from Glasgow to Mallaig and back over two days and spending time with our friends who run the Loch Awe boatyard. Shellfish should be worried

16a    He can’t help helping himself (12)
KLEPTOMANIAC: Another cryptic definition, this time of one who suffers the recurrent failure to resist urges to steal items that you generally they don’t really need and that usually have little value. This is a serious mental health disorder that can cause much emotional pain to you and your loved ones if not treated or a whole lot of fun depending upon your mindset

19a    Lively turn I have put on (6)
ACTIVE: The turn here is one that might appear in a variety show. Follow that with the abbreviated form of I have

21a    Approached wanderer uneasily (4,4)
DREW NEAR: Anagram (uneasily) of WANDERER

23a    Make message unintelligible in mad rush (8)
SCRAMBLE: A double definition. The first describing the jumbling up of letters. And the second a mad rush such as the urgent gathering of an aircraft crew. Those of us of a certain age may well be reminded by the answer of the likes of Arthur Lampkin and Dave Bickers

24a    Check rower’s seat (6)
THWART: A double definition, the second being a structural crosspiece forming a seat for a rower in a boat

25a    Add a very quiet finale (6)
APPEND: Begin with the letter A generosity gifted to you from the clue. Add two helpings of the musical term for quiet and a word synonymous with the finale

26a    Dance orchestra with woman leader (8)
SARABAND: Another word for an orchestra or any group of musicians is preceded by the name of a girl. Take your pick from the hundreds that exist. Go for the biblical is my advice. You won’t find her amongst the modern Skylars or Kylies.


2d    Make use of unfinished polymer plastic (6)
EMPLOY: Anagram (plastic) of POLYME (R) unfinished

3d    Simple sort of medieval song? (5)
PLAIN: The prefix to a simple unaccompanied church music of a medieval style sung in unison

4d    Comic often aims to make political statement (9)
MANIFESTO: Anagram (comic) of OFTEN AIMS

5d    Members of Italian society breaking the rules (7)
MAFIOSI: The plural word defining members of an Italian criminal organisation. To me this is pure general knowledge.

6d    Mean to get a girl (5)
NORMA: Begin with a noun that means something that is usual, typical or standard and add the letter A from the clue

7d    See man on board crushing endless grain (9)
BISHOPRIC: Begin with a chess piece (Man on board) The one that sits on either side of the King and Queen and next to the horsey. Then add the name of a grain grown in paddy fields. You won’t fit it all in unless you write its final letter in the black square. That’s why the word endless is used in the clue. The word crushing indicates that the man on board is written above the grain in a down clue. If you have come to the blog simply to identify this rather obscure word. Hello. Maybe you could write a comment and introduce yourself.

8d    Had inspiration? (8)
BREATHED: The past participle of a verb meaning to inhale or draw air into the lungs

13d    Not unique type of bridge (9)
DUPLICATE: A double definition the second being a card game where identical hands are played successively by different partnerships. What fun it’s players must have

14d    Queen’s favourite isle? Crete possibly (9)
LEICESTER: Anagram (possibly) of ISLE CRETE

15d    A death sentence impending or just some bird? (8)
BLACKCAP: The headgear traditionally worn by a judge upon passing the death sentence is also a type of brownish grey Warbler

17d    Publicity coverage for speech (7)
ADDRESS: A two letter abbreviation for an advertisement is followed by a noun meaning coverage or clothing which can also be a verb meaning to clothe

18d    Not a Mr mistaken as Mrs? (6)
MATRON: Anagram (mistaken) of NOT A MR

20d    Be sent up to bed, having gone into a decline (5)
EBBED: The whole of this answer is generously gifted to us within the clue. Begin with the reverse (sent up) of the word BE from the clue and add the word BED straight from the clue exactly as it is with no messing around. Say thank you to our setter for his generosity

22d    Bwana’s new title? (5)
NAWAB: Anagram (new) of BWANA

Solved whilst listening to Bob Dylan’s supper club tapes.

Quickie Pun FURZE + STAYED = FIRST AID (Dial 999)


66 comments on “DT 28523

      1. Hi Dave I’m new on here.I would never have got Bishopric.But just to say I spent most of my formative years in Horsham which has an area of the town called the Bishopric,so not a new word for me.Is this the sort of nonsense you need to hear.Jill

        1. Welcome to the blog Jill

          We are open to any non-offensive comments, so you can feel at home here. Many years ago I stayed several times with my aunt in the quaintly named Quince Cottage in Billingshurst – I can remember getting the (steam) train to Horsham and then a bus.

        2. Welcome from me Jill. Any nice comment is welcome. It would be a boring site if only puzzle related matters were discussed. I have just looked at some images of The Bishopric in Horsham. I liked The Rising Universe. Thanks for your comment

  1. Definitely one of my cups of tea – TVM Rufus and indeed MP although I beat you to it this time! Last one in was 13a mainly due to having singular version of 5d but it then became joint Fav together with 16a and 8d. 6a, 24a (rower’s seat) and 22d new to me but all had to be.

    1. Yet again great minds think alike but, again, they’re both wrong – I did the same with 5d – aren’t we silly?

        1. Oh dear – oh no! Well, that’s us ‘done for’ isn’t it. I’d forgotten that bit, if I’d ever known it.

  2. Only one slight problem today. I put the singular answer into 5d instead of the plural so 13a was last in, despite thinking it should be what in the end it was. I booked a trip to a13a as a birthday present for my husband last month. Gin. Thank you Miffypops and have a lovely trip to Scotland. Thank you Rufus for keeping the old brain cells ticking.

  3. 1*/4*. We are blessed today with a magnificent puzzle and a munificent Miffypops, but, oh dear, “horsey”? :wink:

    This was straightforward but great fun. 13a was my favourite, although as usual for a cryptic definition clue I have no doubt this will divide opinion (as seems to be the case between me and MP!) 24a was my last one in which I had to drag from the recesses of my memory.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  4. Straightforward, entertaining and great fun, all that a good cryptic should be. Just to be different I liked 26a the best. 2*/4* for me, and it certainly cheered up this still murky morning in my part of the country.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the challenge and to MP for an entertaining blog. Have a good holiday.

  5. I was doing very nicely, except for 7d and 24a…..I always forget about the chessmen and have never been much interested in rowers’ seats.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  6. The 13 pair were the last to fall – 13a because I was thinking of the wrong type of spirits and 13d because I know precious little about the game of bridge. Aside from those I also attempted to find a Jack in ‘nobles’ for a while.

    All good fun and still finished in good time. 15d gets my vote for favourite with 7d just behind it.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – how does the clip at 3d fit with the clue? Perhaps I needed to be able to figure out the words?

    1. Jane, I’m sure you will be fascinated to know that Roxy Music’s debut single in 1972 was “Virginia Plain”!

  7. Took some time over this I also got distracted by 13a trying to think of all sorts until 13d went in the on came the light., also went wrong at 19a so needed some electronic help.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.
    Great puzzle

  8. Great to have a Monday Rufus again. The world is restored to rights. A charming puzzle, as always

  9. Lovely start to the week 😃 */*** lots of good clues, favourites 7d, 15d 25a. Had not encountered 26a before 😳 Big thanks to Rufus and to MP. Have a lovely holiday but “dinna talk aboot the footie” 🥃

  10. Very straightforward, bordering on R&W, but that did not detract from the enjoyment – */****.

    I think the 13s are joint favourites.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP, safe travels.

  11. 5d took longer than all the rest! Bit of a chiz as all our GK was used up yesterday!
    But found a new dance in 26a and the wife learnt what 6a and 23d were!
    All good fun and many thanks to Rufus & Miffypops.

  12. A very enjoyable puzzle with lots of entertaining clues though perhaps a bit heavy on anagrams??? particularly interesting was 24a which i didn’t know was a rowers seat so learnt something new there.

    Thanks to rufus and mp

  13. Enjoyable stuff from Rufus as usual. */****
    Thanks also to Moffypips for his equally enjoyable blog.
    Paso has managed to reach the final of the North London Bowling Club
    men’s pairs largely due to the brilliance of his partner.

  14. Actually finished my first Rufus ever, in spite of spelling our Italian gangsters incorrectly and also getting the tense wrong for 21a.
    As ever, I found Rufus rather uninspiring after Saturday and Sunday’s excellent offerings, as it is the usual dose of anagrams, double definitions and cryptic clues. Much less imagination that the typical DT setter. A couple of the clues were hardly even cryptic.
    Last in was the rowers seat, a new definition for me, which is always good.
    Fav was 15d, as I am a keen birder and they have the most beautiful song.
    Thanks MP, and Rufus.
    Off to Marrakesh tonight for a fortnight’s R&R.

  15. I never realized I needed to do a crossword every day, and that there would always be a couple of clues I couldn’t do. I had no idea that someone crazy would start a blog explaining these infuriating mysteries. Perhaps that is why I understand what a vital service you provide. Believe me, it is important.

    Thank you for extending the hand of understanding. You may sometimes wonder why you bother, but it is much appreciated.xxx

    1. I found this site a few years ago after I read an article about Rufus. By following the blog I have learnt so much & now I manage to finish most days except when it’s an “Elkemere” then I just stand to one side & applaud as my superior solvers march by in triumph.

      As a tip Monday is my favourite day for puzzles as you get (usually) a Rufus in the DT & the Grauniad (which also has a “Quiptic”); the FT prize crossword which is usually on the milder side then I come here for the Rookie. It does help to be retired & have a wife who would rather you solved crosswords than get under her feet.

    2. Welcome from me too.
      I found this site – to be more correct my husband did – pretty soon after it started. It’s brilliant so a little chance to do a :good: to BD, not just for thinking of it in the first place but also for keeping the show on the road so well.
      It’s when you need to do more than one crossword each day that you know you’re in trouble – then it’s an addiction. Oh dear!!

    3. This site was recommended to me by a work colleague and I have not looked back since. I recommend it to anyone who is prepared to listen

  16. As the munificent one has mentioned, this was a very typical Rufus offering, but no less enjoyable than his puzzles always are. I thought 14d was very skilfully disguised and earns a spot on today’s rostrum alongside 12a, 16a and 4d.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and to Long Itchington’s finest. Hope you have a great trip to Scotland.

  17. I thought this was a bit trickier than usual for a Monday. It was certainly no walk in the park for me!
    My favourite was 13a which held me up cos of the ‘other spirits’ I was sure were initially involved. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to his munificence for his review.

  18. A couple of slightly odd clues; I didn’t care much for 13a, or the other barely cryptic clues. Not Rufus at his best, for me.
    Many thanks Rufus, and to MP for the review.

    Bon Voyage to those of you off to sunnier (or rainier, possibly) climes.

  19. Not tricky today – the only problems encountered were ones that I made “all my own self”.
    How did I come to put in the wrong ending for 5d when the clue very clearly told me there was more than one? :roll: At least I realised what I’d done when 13a was impossible.
    I know we’ve had the 24a ‘rower’s seat’ before but I think it must have been a while ago and I’d forgotten it.
    I’ve never heard of the 26a dance.
    I can always tell a crossword with lots of anagrams when I run out of space to write all the letters down which is what happened today.
    I liked 1 and 9a and 6d and thought 14d was a good anagram. My favourite was 16a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

  20. Usual Monday fare. **/** I seem to be in the minority in that Rufus crosswords are just not my cup of tea but thanks to him for frustrating me and MP for the review

    1. I’m in that minority as Rufus usually defeats me. I echo Ora, in that I always forget about chessmen and have no interest in rowers seats. Could have gone on forever trying to get the girl’s name in 26a as never heard of that dance either. Other than those I did pretty good, so although still not on my wavelength if feel I might be getting there. But it was not the gentle Monday I look forward to after the weekend. Thanks Miffypops.

      1. I hope you’re keeping an eye Irma, it now looks as if it’s going to swing north once it gets to Cuba and hit us with a vengeance!

        1. Thanks Merusa, definitely keeping watch and starting to do early prep. I am pretty disgusted that the stores have been out of water for 2 days already and we aren’t even in a warning yet. Their supply managers must have been asleep at the wheel. Usually stocked to the doors by this point.

  21. Definitely a crowd pleaser today – although not without a couple of awkward moments at this end (partly thanks to ending the Italian family answer with an ‘o’, thereby creating a problem with the almost G.K. 13a). Did get the rower’s seat, although hadn’t heard the word used in that context before. Very difficult to choose a winner, but I’ll pick 29a – reminds me of some fine music from JSB.

  22. Dead on wavelength with Rufus again, loved it.
    I had to look up 24a, but, like Kath, I feel we’ve had this before.
    I needed the gizmo to get 26a, never heard of that.
    Nothing else gave any trouble. Fave was 13a, with 5d coming in second.
    Thanks to Rufus and M’pops. Have a wonderful holiday in Loch Awe, what a lovely place.

  23. I wasn’t really on the wavelength but got there in the end.
    23a was my favourite .
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops

  24. Into *** for difficulty here, with the SE corner in particular causing me a little difficulty. Both 22d and 26ac were new to me, causing a lot of that delay. For a while in the NW I thought perhaps this wasn’t Rufus, but the rest said, oh yes it is.

  25. Was very slow but made it eventually, albeit with a few guesses (like 24a, which was annoying because I was sure we’d had rowers’ benches before in a crossword but couldn’t remember at all, not even when I bunged in the answer from the other half).

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops. I see what you did with the 13a picture. Forget the shellfish – I trust the good people of Scotland have been warned?

  26. After a blinding start my smugness was quickly crushed with the same mistake as many others with 5d and the most unfamiliar words I have ever come across in one crossword. Totally thwarted.

  27. I never normally put finger to pad in these situations but your comment on 7 down (no 28523) was quite pertinent and made me chuckle.
    The blog is excellent and (due to my complete helplessness) is referred to on an almost daily basis.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello right back at you Nigel. Thank you for your lovely comment. I think quite a few people would have been searching for a word to fit the checkers especially with the definition being part of a misdirection. Welcome to the blog

  28. Could I ask how the compiler is identified ? Rufus in this case.
    I come here generally as a last resort for an explanation even when I believe I have the answer or have constructed a word I don’t know (although in these cases I believe it legit to google it).
    Great site anyway.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mel

      As you might imagine , this is a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) and that’s where you will find the answer, which is why we ask that you check there first.

    2. Hi Mel. We often discuss what is and isn’t allowed. We are fairly laissez faire about it. I often say
      1. There are no rules
      2. If in doubt, see rule one

      Welcome to the blog

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