DT 28535 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28535

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28535

Hints and tips by a reinvigorated Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good Morning. Saint Sharon and I are back in Downtown LI after our trip to Uptown LA. We now need a holiday to recover but Big Dave wanted me back behind the Mule as soon as possible so here are today’s hints, tips ramblings and illustrations. Answers are hidden beneath the click here boxes and definitions are underlined in the clues.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Using any sails in storm may result in breakdown (8)
ANALYSIS: Anagram (in a storm) of ANY SAILS

6a    Man — a Scottish isle? Could be! (6)
STAFFA: Begin with a verb meaning to provide a workforce and add the letter A from the clue. Unusually the definition is found in the middle of the clue

9a    Shady nook the French set back by bay (6)
ALCOVE: The feminine word for THE in French reversed (set back) and followed by a small sheltered bay

10a    Great-aunt perhaps showing delight after run (8)
RELATION: A sense of happiness, delight or that feeling you have after solving you first cryptic crossword puzzle is placed after the cricketing abbreviation for a run

11a    Very lazy dizzy blonde, English, one’s embraced (4-4)
BONE IDLE: Solve an Anagram (dizzy) of BLONDE and place at its centre (embracing the abbreviation for English and the letter that looks like the number one.)

12a    Barked shrilly or deeply when disturbed (6)
YELPED: Anagram (when disturbed) of DEEPLY

13a    With hindsight, vet should keep on time or about (2,10)
IN RETROSPECT: A verb meaning to vet or examine contains (should keep) a preposition meaning having (the thing mentioned) as a topic; about. The abbreviation for Time and the word OR from the clue but reversed (about) This clue went in straight away but wrong. On Reflection isn’t the answer. Soon corrected when solving the down clues. It was the last and most difficult to explain

16a    They brought mother and father up well, presumably! (12)
GRANDPARENTS: When split 5,7 this is a cryptic definition of your parent’s parents qualities

19a    Travel at speed and overheat (6)
SCORCH: A double definition

21a    Bad comedian is diabolical (8)
DEMONIAC: Anagram (bad) of COMEDIAN

23a    Like the weather, boiling up but not cold inside (8)
CLIMATIC: Find an adjective that describes something boiling up to an exciting climax perhaps. Now remove the abbreviation for cold (not cold inside)

24a    Water nymphs in a sad novel (6)
NAIADS: Anagram (novel) of IN A SAD

25a    Goes through customs at university (4,2)
USES UP: There is always one clue more difficult to explain and this is it. The two-letter word meaning at university should be known to all. The synonym of customs which precedes it is less obvious

26a    Declined to be escorted around German city (8)
LESSENED: Insert a Western German City into a three-letter word meaning escorted. The past tense of to lead


2d    You’ll find this admiral in the hold (6)
NELSON: The name of the Admiral who hailed from North Norfolk is also the name of a wrestling hold

3d    Nothing to do at this end (5)
LOOSE: Those with nothing to do are said to be at such an end

4d    Drivers aren’t slow to fall into it (5,4)
SPEED TRAP: A cryptic definition of what might catch drivers who travel too fast

5d    Snake dispatched, pierced by monarch softly (7)
SERPENT: A word meaning dispatched contains (pierced by) the regal cypher of our queen together with the musical symbol for softly

6d    Excursion for everyone within the bounds of Surrey (5)
SALLY: Place a word meaning everyone inside the first and last letters (the bounds of) of S(urre)Y

7d    They run up volcano with long striding gaits (9)
ANTELOPES: Reverse (up) a Sicilian volcano and add a word meaning moves with long bounding strides

8d    Italian city girl (8)
FLORENCE: A double definition. An Italian city where Michelangelo’s statue of David can be seen is also a girl’s name. Andy Capp’s wife



13d    Idiot shows no end of charm after bottomless neglect (9)
IGNORAMUS: Other than bunging in the obvious answer once we have enough checking letters, (as I did) we need to find two words to solve this clue. A bottomless neglect and no end of charm. Bottomless and no end of both suggest the removal of the last letter. So find a verb meaning to neglect or disregard and remove its final letter. Now find another verb meaning to charm, entertain or delight and remove its last letter. Put the two words together in the order suggested by the clue and bob’s your uncle.

14d    Tom in suffering sent out for soothing remedies (9)
OINTMENTS: Anagram (suffering) of TOM IN followed by an anagram (out) of SENT

15d    Sunny spots? (8)
FRECKLES: A cryptic definition of small patches of light brown colour on the skin, often becoming more pronounced through exposure to the sun.

17d    Thoroughgoing cad and liar needing to reform (7)
RADICAL: Anagram (needing to reform) of CAD and LIAR

18d    Feel composer’s final part is twisted (6)
HANDLE: The composer of Water Music needs his last two letters reversing (twisted)

20d    That man arranged to go north, being excited (3,2)
HET UP: The masculine pronoun is followed by the reversal (go north) of a word meaning arranged or placed

22d    This person’s gripped by organ sound (5)
NOISE: This person (how the setter might refer to himself) is griped by The organ of smell

Only 28 clues to solve in today’s grid so less time needed for solving. What will you do with your extra spare time?



55 comments on “DT 28535

  1. 1*/2*. Although it’s Monday, this didn’t feel at all like a Rufus puzzle and I found it pretty much R&W except for 23a & 13d which were my last two in. Most of the surfaces were OK but a few were very clunky, e.g.: 13a, 5d, 13d.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  2. Rufus has dealt us a veritable R & W to kick off the week however it was fun while it lasted. No real standout Fav but liked 15d. Thanks Rufus and MP. Quickie pun a bit tenuous.

  3. A very straightforward solve this morning which left me somewhat unexcited. No clue stood out as exceptional, and overall this was 1.5*/2.5* overall. If this was a Rufus, it was not typical and his normally trademark elegance was missing.

    That said, thanks to whomsoever compiled this, and thanks too to the returning MP.

  4. I’m wrong too often to enter into the, “Is it Rufus or isn’t it” game.
    The only problems I had today were self-inflicted – the answer for 6a went into the 9a space and vice versa and I can’t spell 21d.
    13a took a bit of untangling although the answer was pretty obvious.
    I’m not sure that I’ve met 19a with the first definition.
    I liked 16a and 8 and 15d. My favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to the setter and to MP.
    I’ve just had a very quick look at Mr Rookie – I’m not holding out much hope and I’ve got two I can’t do in the Quickie.

    1. I couldn’t spell 21ac either Kath. There isn’t a 21d. I managed to spell 24 across when solving but nearly sent it in with two letter Is and only one letter A. The first definition perfectly describes my driving betwixt long Itchington and Scotland and the return journey. Have you noticed that The rookie puzzle has been restricted to those whose names begin with the letter M? i have just looked at The Quickie and there are no clues you cannot do. man up and sort it out. MP has spoken.

      1. You’re right MP – it was 21a that I couldn’t spell – a couple of letters towards the end just decided to do their own thing – nothing to do with me, guv!
        Haven’t noticed anything about the Rookie puzzle other than that it was difficult.
        I can’t ‘man up’ because I’m a girl but have sorted out the two that previously beat me in the Quickie.

        1. It’s not that I couldn’t spell the answer to 21A; I wrote in daemonic, which to me is the more normal word, and also solves the anagram. Fair messed up my SE corner until I sussed it.

          1. Me too re 21a but I have discovered that the correct answer today can be an adjective or a noun meaning possessed by a demon whereas your version means pertaining to demons.

          2. Yes, I too came up with demonaic (made-up word) and decided I didn’t know the composer… Double-D’oh!

  5. Definitely Rufus, as these are the hardest of the week for me. ****/*. Luckily no comments about this being a good one for beginners this week!
    Struggling to find a clue I liked, probably 8d if I had to pick one.
    At least I finished it for a change.
    Thanks all.

    1. I was just about to make said recommendation when I saw your blog – so I’ll stay out of that one! In any case, I managed to get the Scottish island pathetically wrong, so I guess I’d better line up for the beginners class myself! Fav: 26a. Many thanks to hintsman and setter.

  6. Quite enjoyable, completed at a gallop – */***.

    Not sure if it is a Rufus, some of the indicators appear to be there but my setter detector system is not that good.

    No stand-out favourite, but I liked 4d and 15d.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  7. I’d certainly go along with RD regarding the three clunky surfaces and the fact that this didn’t ‘feel’ like a Rufus.
    Don’t think I even knew about 24a’s until I started solving the back-pagers on a regular basis but, in good company it seems, I’m still grateful when their name is derived from an anagram!

    A fairly rapid solve after the hard work of Rookie Corner with the top three places going to 16a plus 3&15d.

    Thanks to Rufus (?) and to MP. Thank you for the lovely piece of music at 6a and pleased to hear that you enjoyed your recent Scottish sojourn. With regard to your current avatar – which mug belongs to you?

    1. Hi Jane. Welcome back. I’m not sure which mug is mine as there are no rules. I am the fourth of five children so probably something to do with the middle child mug. I was tempted to put the Fingal’s Cave piece under the Handel Handle clue but i thought two deliberate mistakes in one blog set of illustrations was a step too far.

  8. I’ve just heard from Merusa who got internet and phone back late last night, has printed off crossword, and will be commenting here later.

  9. We’re safe. The furry family is fine, I’m fine and the house is fine. The garden? Pretty much Irma-tised! I had no power for two days but was one of the first connected on Monday, so I’ve had air conditioning and full power, including TV since then. My neighbours across the street from me still are without. I have had no telephone or internet, and my traitorous cell phone turned up its toes and died on me in the midst of the hurricane.

    The hurricane hit us with the outer bands, not the full force category 5 that others experienced, but it was still very powerful. The wind whistled and howled, grumbled and growled, it sounded like the Flying Scotsman was running just outside my window.

    I lost my beloved and beautiful verawood tree (https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Bulnesia_arborea.htm) totally uprooted. It’s now a pile of wood on the roadside waiting for the city trash collection. My ackee tree in the back garden lost four huge branches, one landing in the pool, and one directly hitting the hurricane shutter with a huge bang that made me jump out of my seat. The pool was loaded with ackee leaves, such a job to get those out.

    Just printed my first crossword but haven’t looked at it yet. Will post later.

    1. Pleased to hear that you came through the storm without too much damage. Fortunately, it looks like ‘Maria’ might stay out over the Atlantic.

      How much Grouse is left?

    2. So glad to see you here again Merusa. I left you a couple of messages and asked Sue to send you my email, but guessed you were probably having phone/internet problems. We got power back Tuesday, such a relief as we struggled through Monday night and ended up sitting outside with our legs in the pool at 3:30am as we just couldn’t breathe indoors. Isn’t it a wonderful thing when the AC kicks back on. Our eldest daughter in Boca got power back Monday but AC was fried. Youngest daughter in Parkland got it last, late Wednesday. I really feel for those still without, and of course all those in the Keys and points South who got the real damage. Fingers crossed Hurricane Maria keeps heading away from us.

      1. I have friends in Parkland, but they summer in Asheville, NC – cowards! I gather the remnants of Irma landed up there.

    3. Merusa, I am glad you came through the hurricane unscathed. The loss of a tree is something to be mourned but at least it can be replaced

    4. Very relieved and delighted to know that you and your animals are safe and sound. It hasn’t seemed quite the same without your contributions recently. A big welcome back!

  10. An enjoyable romp, easier than most recent Mondays. Only held up at the end by the Scottish isle, and resorted to the hint to avoid running over my lunchbreak, too obviously.

    COTD 3D. Probably an old chestnut, but new to me and a fun bit of lateralism(?)

    Thanks to setter, and to MP for the blog, which was unusually mellow – but perhaps seasonally so….

  11. **/*** for me as the b.l.h. corner took as long to complete as the rest of the puzzle . Thought 21a was a noun, as in the story of the man among the tombs in the Gospel and would have added “al” for adj.
    23a was clever and my favourite – once I’d solved it !

  12. Quick and easy and fun to do… while it lasted! 15d was my favourite and 1/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus (I hope) and to the returned world traveler for his review and take on life.

  13. This was the first puzzle I could honestly say was almost read and write for me. One of the rare days when I completeld entirely without help or hints, so not surprised to see the * difficulty rating, but I’m delighted with the gentle start to the week, so thanks to setter. I did have to check the spelling of 21a. Guess I’ll have to find something else to tackle over lunch. Best news is that Hurricane Maria appears to be moving away from us, fingers crossed. Not sure any of us have the energy to get all prepped and hyped again so soon,

  14. Equi non timebamus. Nice while it lasted more-or-less read and write. I had the ending of 21a the wrong way round for a while, like many of you. */***. No stand out clues for me.

  15. Not Rufus at his best I thought, the trademark clue-types were all there, but the anagram count was relatively low and some of the usual elegance seemed to be lacking somehow.

    Still, any Rufus puzzle is always enjoyable and today’s was certainly no exception. Favourite clue for me was 23a.

    Thanks to Mr Squires and the reinvigorated one.

  16. I always enjoy a Rufus puzzle, and this was a nice restart to crossword solving. I agree with the ratings.
    Fave was 6a, I love the music. I couldn’t get the “man” bit, when will I ever remember that.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his usual fun hints and tips.

    1. Delighted to have you back and to know that you and your animals are all safe, well and cool again. I’ve never heard of your tree but it does look beautiful – what a pity it didn’t survive as well as the rest of you.

  17. That was lovely, just what I needed after having a day wasted by the stupidest in-service day ever.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  18. No great problems EXCEPT I cannot for the life of me unpick 23a. I have the right answer but don’t understand either the clue or the hint.
    Apart from thT I agree with the rating.
    Thx to all.

  19. Good evening everybody.

    Joint effort today although me doing the lion’s share. Straightforward but one or two clues seemed a bit clunkier than is usual.


  20. Agree some clues today clunk, not click. Not my favourite Rufus, but I do suspect it’s him.
    Many thanks to setter and to Mr Mojo

  21. This seemed Rufusy to me, though I agree with RD about the surfaces. Not one of the best Monday puzzles, perhaps, but then they can’t all be the best. (They can’t even all be above average!)

    I failed on 6a – I didn’t think of the required isle, and on Mondays I tend to abandon clues that don’t fall quickly.

    Loved the 21a anagram.

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  22. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A Rufus I’m sure, quite a lot of nautical references. Nice puzzle, not too tricky. Started with 2d, which made me laugh. Finished with 23a. Favourite was 7d, very amusing. Was 1*/3* for me.

  23. 1*/3*, l think, and favourite clue 13a (although l too lazily put in “on reflection” at first; when l saw that couldn’t be the answer l decided to adopt the novel strategy of actually reading the clue!). Thanks to Rufus, and MP for the review.

  24. I had to unscramble the ‘daemonic’ I put into 21a, then try and remember the nymphs in 24a, despite it being an anagram. Many thanks MP and setter. 8d was my favourite, for obvious reasons.

  25. You could put the C back into 23a and say that this one was over too quickly also perhaps like the clue for 19a. Did enjoy it as feels good to write in one after the other with no pauses – even if that was because it is particularly easy. Like some others my only problems were the spellings of some of the answers. 23a, 7d, and 15d my favourites. 15d is probably an old chestnut – if not it ought to be. Thanks Rufus if it was you, and to MP for the illustrations.

  26. This was mostly quite straightforward to complete until I was left at the end with 15d, which I stared at for some time without success. I thought that perhaps I had got 19a wrong, as I was unsure about it anyway. Thank you for the hint. Thanks to the setter and to MP. The musical interludes are always enjoyable, and the Hebrides Overture and Lazy Bones certainly were today.

  27. Thank you Nigel. I hope you enjoy the clips of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits as much as today’s offerings.

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