DT 28571 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28571

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28571

Hints and tips by Double Bubble Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Good Morning from the sunny heart of Downtown LI. As today is National Checklist Day I have compiled a checklist for you all to follow.

Solve today’s offering from Rufus
Solve the Rookie Corner puzzle set by yours truly MP

Once you have ticked off these items you can have fun for the rest of the day.

We sometimes use the term Read and Write to describe a puzzle. This term may be off-putting to newer solvers. Today’s puzzle fits that description for me and here is why.

After the first read through of across and down clues I had seventeen and a half answers. The first read through of down clues was assisted by checking letters from the across clues.

After the second read through of across and down clues I had three clues left to solve. The second read through is greatly assisted by even more checking letters.

The three remaining clues were obvious.

It has taken a forty-year daily dose of Cryptic Crossword solving to achieve this. Writing the weekly blog has made clue type recognition easier. I think all my fellow bloggers will admit that their solving skills have been enhanced by the requirement to explain clues.

The aim is to complete the grid. How long that takes does not matter. The enjoyment to be had during the process is what keeps us going. The Doh moments when the penny drops and the laugh out loud moments give pleasure during the solve. When all else fails help is at hand within the hints and tips.

The hints and tips are here to help you solve the clues you might be struggling with or to help you understand why your answer is correct. The answers lie beneath the click here boxes. Have fun.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Sailor in hat the French gifted (7)
CAPABLE: Place an able-bodied seaman between a flat cloth hat typically with a peak and the French word for the

5a Public vehicle permit (3,4)
BUS PASS: Begin with the shortened form of a large public transport vehicle and add a synonym for a permit. The answer is what most solvers are old enough to qualify for

9a Give Heather ring, making kind of speech (5)
LINGO: Begin with the common heather of Eurasia and add the letter that looks like a ring

10a Found someone in error and dismissed a striker (6,3)
CAUGHT OUT: A double definition the second being a way of dismissing a batsman after he has struck the ball and before it hits the ground

11a It bars the entrance to unwanted visitors (10)
PORTCULLIS: A cryptic definition of what may be in place in the entrance to a Castle to prevent unwanted entry.

12a One can get free from this knot (4)
REEF: Anagram (one can get) of FREE

14a Form of credit, cheap — hurries to make arrangement (4-8)
HIRE PURCHASE: Anagram (to make arrangement) of CHEAP HURRIES

18a Does such a constituency have MPs on edge? (8,4)
MARGINAL SEAT: A cryptic definition of a parliamentary constituency secured by a tiny majority and therefore unsafe

21a Split the charge for hire (4)
RENT: A double definition the second being slightly more obvious

22a Operatic boatmen? (10)
GONDOLIERS: These operatic Venetian boatmen live eternally in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical.

25a What’s that? Another party invitation? (4,5)
COME AGAIN: What’s that means pardon here. The answer is another way of saying the same thing. It might also be used to describe a second invitation to a party

26a Dark period for titled fellow losing his ‘K’ (5)
NIGHT: This titled fellow has been dubbed by Her Majesty (or Charley boy if HM is otherwise engaged) Remove the letter K.

27a The estate agent’s lying (7)
SITUATE: I think the word lying in the clue refers to the position of something in Estate Agents terminology. If you know otherwise please elucidate

28a Absorbing business transactions? (7)
MERGERS: Types of business deals where one firm takes over or joins with another


1d Cut tail parts off pilchard to be cooked for Islamic leader (6)
CALIPH: Remove the last two letters (cut tail parts off) from the word pilchard. Now solve an anagram (to be cooked) of the remaining letters PILCHA

2d A poor state to be in (6)
PENURY: A cryptic definition of the state of being very poor

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

3d Inflammation from chin to ribs (10)
BRONCHITIS: Anagram (from) of CHIN TO RIBS

4d Do well, taking about ninety fish (5)
EXCEL: Place a long snake like fish around the Roman numerals for the number ninety

5d Shops providing bouquets I ordered (9)
BOUTIQUES: not much of an anagram (ordered) of BOUQUETS I

6d District in London twinned with one in New York? (4)
SOHO: A vibrant bohemian district of London is also the name of a district in New York’s Manhattan

7d Superior graduate on the rise ended cuddling secretary (5,3)
ABOVE PAR: reverse (rising) the abbreviation for a Bachelor of Arts. Add a word meaning ending or done with which is itself wrapped around a secretary or personal assistant.

8d Lets out radio’s a gift (4,4)
SETS FREE: A common term for radios is followed by a word indicating that a gift cost the receiver nothing

13d Developed reliance on ship (5,5)
OCEAN LINER: Anagram (developed) of RELIANCE ON

15d Unexpectedly able to speak in a flowery style (9)
ELABORATE: Anagram (unexpectedly of ABLE followed by a verb meaning to speak or to make a speech

16d Includes in shows of affection (8)
EMBRACES: A double definition.

17d Send Tristan the wrong way round motorway (8)
TRANSMIT: An anagram (the wrong way) of TRISTAN is wrapped around the abbreviation for Motorway.

19d Darwin’s crafty dog? (6)
BEAGLE: This breed of dog is also the name Of Darwin’s ship (craft)


20d Unaltered, it’s as I designed (2,2,2)
AS IT IS: Anagram (designed) of IT’S AS I

23d Material that’s dug up (5)
DENIM: My favourite material is the reverse of dug up as in the way coal is removed from under the ground

24d Darling pet for Wendy (4)
NANA: A knowledge of literature will help here. Darling is the family surname. Wendy is the daughter. The name of the family pet dog is what we are looking for. The book is Peter Pan

That is it from me. It’s the Pet Shop Boys tomorrow

Quickie Pun WHIRLED+TORE=WORLD TOUR (Hopefully not on a ghastly modern cruise ship)


76 comments on “DT 28571

  1. A typical Rufus Monday making a good start to the work week, finished at a gallop – **/***.

    I did need Google assistance for Wendy Darling’s pet.

    Joint favourites – 11a (just because) and 8d (for the suggestion of a homophone (radio) that wasn’t there).

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  2. As with MP, this was a complete R&W for me – until I got to the bottom. Finished in ** time – except for 27a and 28a.

    Had to resort to electronic means to get those two. I suppose I should have been able to see 28a with all the checkers, but I couldn’t. And as for 27a, I’m sorry, but if that is the answer, then until somebody can explain why, I think that’s a shocking clue.

    Thanks to Rufus (mostly) and to MP.

    1. Totally agree about 27a, I still have absolutely no idea why it is right, any ideas anyone?

      1. I think it is intended to be a cryptic definition, as in an estate agent’s blurb – “freehold estate situate in village”. The surface reading is intended to imply duplicity, but in practice it is estate-agentese for lying as in “freehold estate lying in village”.

      2. I would go along with BD. In part, the BRB has ‘situate’ as an adjective with the qualifier of ‘now esp law’ with the meaning of situated.

        I did have a short-lived thought that the estate agent might be the executor of a will, but that did not last very long.

          1. pommette, I agree with you, especially as BD’s example is from the 19th century. Somewhat cynically, I would suggest that, if lawyers are still using situate, they are attempting to create an apparent air of superiority in using a word that is not in common usage.

        1. No – no setter should hang their head – I’ve never tried to set a crossword and I wouldn’t mind betting that you haven’t either but it must be jolly difficult.

          1. I’ve had a go, because Jane dared me. (Thanks a lot, Jane)
            No, it’s not easy to get right. Browsing a Proximal review on Rookie Corner will demonstrate that, though MP’s effort today won’t warrant any serious criticism.

  3. 1* / 3*. This was definitely at the easy end of Rufus’ spectrum and perhaps not quite up to his usual very high standard although still great fun as ever. I normally enjoy Rufus’ cryptic definitions but 22a today seemed to be verging on the edge of being uncryptic. I also thought that 26a read rather strangely.

    I thought 27a was rather good although I would struggle to explain clearly why!

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    P.S. I have followed the checklist precisely.

  4. Like MalcolmR I do not get 27a. I think there are only two words that fit the letter patterns of the other clues and the other word makes even less sense to me so I went with the same as MP.

    Thanks to the setter and MP

  5. Thanks MP, comfortable Rufus offering, apart from 27a (see above).
    Very much looking forward to the MP rookie crossword, I have to change my plans now as I usually do the DT online prize puzzle on a Monday.
    13d as a well disguised anagram that I missed, but the answer had to be what it was.
    I did not know the district in N.Y. for 6d.
    Fav was 22a.
    5a was not very cryptic.
    Thanks to Rufus too.

  6. Yes this was definitely a R & W */*** but I still managed to get 27a wrong😬 and 24d was new to me however, quite enjoyable 😃 Liked 1d & 23d. Thanks to Rufus and MP
    PS Does any one else think the Prize Crossword on Saturdays has become increasingly difficult recently 😟

  7. A strange puzzle with several barely cryptic clues (5a for a start…), and some oddities (27a, 24d…).
    For me, not one of his best. Thanks Rufus, thanks MP * / **

  8. Not entirely a read and write for me , but then I have about 35 more years to catch up.
    I loved the Patti Smith clip, it brings back the days , well actually the nights of my misspent youth.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

  9. Read and right until 27a and 24d. I do remember an estate agent’s blurb saying -‘the house is situate at the base of a hill’. So I guess lying is ok. Had to google for Wendy’s pet even though I guessed which Wendy it was. I was going to complain that it was too easy even for a Monday until then. Mostly */**.

  10. Well it was certainly a R and W */*** for me, Monday puzzles are usually untaxing , but most bloggers have awarded a *** for enjoyment so all in all a good start to the week.
    No stand out clues today, unlike Saturdays Prize crossword which contained my clue of the month referable to the plotter Cassius and xxxxxxxx what a belter! As usual the Sunday cryptic puzzle was of a high standard together with the General Knowledge -lazy weekend .


    1. The convention is that no mention must be made of solutions to Prize Crosswords until after the closing date has passed. You can come back on Friday morning and chat about it as much as you like.

      MP should note that I’ve called it a convention so there’s no need for his usual ‘there are no rules’ rule to apply

  11. Nice easy start to the week and like lots of others knew what 24d referred to but couldn’t for the life of us remember it.
    Definitely not a fan of 27a but other than that a good puzzle.
    Thanks to Rufus & MP

  12. I rarely if ever find these crosswords incredibly easy, but today’s was the exception. Quite possibly the fastest I have ever done one. The Quickie took longer. Overall this was 0.5* /3* with no particular favourites to report. Like others, 27a grated a bit.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  13. All very straightforward except for 27a , which I thought was a bit of a stretch .
    Thanks to setter and miffypops

  14. V poor puzzle. Too many GK questions creeping in geerally. Please give cryptic alternative, otherwise it is not a true cryptic cross word!

    1. Welcome to the blog John

      We ask that you don’t leave negative comments like this without explaining your reasons. A lot of complaints boil down to a limited vocabulary, which is hardly the fault of the setter. Even if you didn’t read Peter Pan as a book, Nana was in the Disney film.

  15. Over and done with rather speedily but very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Rufus and Double Bubble Miffypops.

  16. No real problems apart from pausing over 27a for a while. But then, it’s Rufus and it’s Monday so I don’t expect problems!
    Fave clue? Possibly 11a. 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

  17. An enjoyable start to the week, like everyone else more or less a R&W, but struggled at 27a – thanks for the hint which confirmed my answer. Thanks to the setter

    1. Welcome to the blog Gillian

      I think that, after reading tomorrow’s survey results, the terms “Read & Write” or R&W may become toxic on here. I honestly didn’t realise that so many found it annoying. We have already eliminated “suitable for the Junior Telegraph” and I hope this one will go the same way.

      1. I recall the ‘Junior Telegraph’ weĺl. I was just starting out on the cryptic crossword journey, so the ‘Junior Telegraph’ jibe was particularly annoying, doubly so, because the blogger seemed to constantly use it to decry the difficulty of the crossword.
        I recall replying to the jibe with something along the lines of “if you are going to patronise me, at least think of something new to patronise me with”

  18. Going by MP’s criteria this was almost a R&W for me. I could not parse the lying estate agent and though the explanations by MP and BD have helped I do not think this was a
    good clue.

  19. All fairly straightforward, just into ** for difficulty perhaps, but only just. 17ac was a bit odd, and it took a while to remember 24d, but there were few delays elsewhere.

  20. **/*** today and would have been a * for difficulty had I not halted at 27a and poor memory of Peter Pan . Must share a young friend’s review of our dental practice, which made me giggle on a chilly Monday morning : ” Excellent service . Would be happy to leave my teeth in the hands of anyone there. “

  21. Not for the first time, I’m very much in the same camp as RD, plenty of clues to enjoy as ever on a Monday, but a couple that left me cold like 22a and, even more so, 5a, where I can’t see any cryptic element whatsoever.

    My stand-out favourite has to be 12a.

    Thanks to Rufus and the ubiquitous Miffypops.

  22. Flew through it on train from Carlisle to London. Put 27a in because it fitted the letters I had and vaguely fitted the clue but I wouldn’t have bet the house on it being right…

  23. I agree with everyone else – straightforward and I couldn’t see why 27a was what it had to be.
    I confess to being totally dim with 28a and spent ages trying to justify ‘markets’ until the light dawned. :roll:
    5a didn’t seem terribly cryptic.
    I didn’t know there was a New York district called 6d.
    The clue for 7d sounded rather topical to me.
    I liked 15 and 19d and my favourite was 25a.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Sorry, MP, I’m going to disobey your instructions and spend a couple of hours in the garden before doing your Rookie crossword.

  24. After a weekend at the other end of the spectrum of difficulty at the S&B puzzles it was good to rattle through this with a little bit of help from MP. I agree that 27a grated a bit but a good start to the week.
    Thanks to MP and Rufus.

  25. I fairly romped through this and loved it, until, that is, I came to 27a and 28a, I used electronic help for those.
    I initially put “slip” for the answer to 12a, but it didn’t hold me up for very long.
    I’m hard pressed for a fave, so I’m going with 19d, natch, ‘cos it’s a dog! Hard on it’s heels comes 25a.
    Thanks to Rufus, love your offerings, and to MP for your review, will tackle your puzzle later.
    It was on the 50sF this morning and I have the heat on, woe is me, I hate the cold.

  26. Don’t have to think about whether to use the soon-to-be-banned expression as I found today’s challenge to be more taxing than that. I couldn’t parse my bung-in for the partly topical 7d clue. The Darling dog in 24d escaped me. Couldn’t without help improve on ‘matters’ for 28a.

  27. Little bit of a curates egg (27a apart, the least said the better), all went well until I hit the bottom left corner as I just couldn’t see 16d. Not a fan of these double definition clues, you either get them or not, there’s no working them out. Once it got it the rest fell Into place.
    For me **/*(
    Thx for the hints

  28. I completed this at a gallop but like nearly everybody else fell foul of 27a – I understand the Estate Agents blurb-type language stuff but I feel it is very weak IMHO.

    Having said that I enjoyed the rest of it enormously, it’s just a shame that it should be spoilt by such an innocuous clue.

    To the Hospital again this morning to have the dressing changed – this time the honey has been replaced by iodine and the time for the next visit has been extended – it must be getting better – more power to the NHS.

  29. Good afternoon everybody.

    What was heading towards being a very gentle solve was held up by 7d, 8d and 28a,27a. Contrary to those immediately above me I thought 27a was very witty, putting me in mind of those Yorkshire house sellers of the 1980s and their beloved twixts. I swear I never saw a sales blurb that didn’t have some grotty hovel ‘situate twixt’ somewhere and somewhere else. Idiots. Then I was stymied by not knowing the name of some fictional pet in children’s book.

    Beam me up Scottie.


  30. Being one of the silent majority, I decided to come out today, as for the first time ever, I thought I would solve this crossword in record time, until I hit 27a and 24d! It was with some relief that I discovered that this was a problem shared with almost all of your contributors.
    Many thanks to MP and the setter, and for the many hours of pleasure and instruction that I have derived from the BD website.

  31. 27a is a mystery to me. Surely if the intention is to imply that estate agents use the term ‘lying’ as a synonym then the answer would be ‘situated’. Bizarre. Also the clue to 20d has 2 of the words from the answer in it, which doesn’t seem to me very clever. I thought the general standard of clue was a little below par today.

  32. Lovely puzzle on a lovely morning here in South Florida where we are experiencing a welcome cold snap, no air con needed today 😊.
    Enjoyed a lot more than yesterday.
    Went through this reasonably quickly but not quite R&W – don’t think I will ever get to that level – with just 27a and 28a giving me grief, and 18a also, for which I was grateful for Miffypops hints. COTD for me was 25a. Going to have a go at the Rookie later hopefully.

  33. Spent most of the day trying to convince myself that situate was right and gave up. Still couldn’t believe it when I pressed the button. Loved 25a

  34. No too difficult with the exception of that pesky 27a which we also thought poor. 2/2.5.

    Liked 25a. 7d gets our “most obvious anagram of the year so far” award.

    Thanks MP and Rufus.

    1. …and can somebody tell us where those asterisks are going when we post a comment on an iPad? Probably a “feature” of WordPress, but think it’s reasonably recent. Is there a way round it?

      1. In that construction put a space after the first asterisk, i.e. 2* /2.5*

        The issue is in WordPress, not in any particular platform or browser.

  35. Thank you Rufus for an attainable cryptic for a relative newcomer. So satisfying to be able to complete, although I agree with the comments regarding 27a. Thank you too to MP for his encouragement, and to BD for this wonderful blog – life enhancing.

  36. 2/2 l think. I wasn’t convinced by 27a at all, and found some of the other clues rather unsatisfying. 25a made me smile, though. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  37. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this, but my general knowledge completely let me down, I couldn’t parse 6d as I’d never heard of the American one. Forgot the name of Darwin’s ship in 19d. I’d heard of the Darlings in 24d, but thought they were in Winnie the Pooh. As for 27a, I’ve never heard of it. Also couldn’t get the first word of 10a. Favourite was 3d, which I only realised after a long while, that it was an anagram. I’ve had a very dim start to the week! Was 3 ✳ / 3 ✳ for me.

    1. I first thought the Darlings were in Mary Poppins. But couldn’t remember a dog. Had to look it up.

  38. Had to consult Dr MP to get 27a.
    So pretty much a complete grid as far as I am concerned.
    Good anagrams and cryptic defs. I like Rufus when that happens.
    Thanks and thanks to MP for the help.

  39. An interesting point. Are clues like 22a and 24d General Knowledge, Cryptic or, perhaps both? And do GK clues really have a place in a cryptic crossword? Just asking!

      1. Both are cryptic definitions, ergo they are cryptic. I believe that there is a place for General Knowledge in a puzzle – but this should not include obscure towns and rivers.

        In 24d Darling is placed as the first word in the clue to disguise its necessary, as a surname, capitalisation. It’s sad if today’s generation have never heard of Wendy Darling.

        22a is a bit looser, but I thought it was a fun clue. Perhaps our resident guru can locate other similar clues for this answer.

        1. The pure GK formulation has been seen once before:

              Sat 29 Jan 2005 Telegraph Cryptic 24589 The Gilbertian boatmen? (10)

          The operatic answer does lend itself to anagramming, which gives the solver more of a chance:

              Thu 27 Jan 2005    Telegraph Cryptic 24587    Boatman doing role play (9)
              Sun 20 Nov 2011    Telegraph Cryptic 2615    Doing role badly, one of those in G & S production (9)
              Mon 9 Dec 2013    Telegraph Cryptic 27356    Craftsmen do in G & S role, possibly (10)

          That first one is brilliant.

  40. Managed to catch up on this one today. Usual Rufus fun. Thank you Rufus, and double bubble Miffypops.

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