DT 28577 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28577

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28577

Hints and tips by an emotionally intelligent Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Today’s puzzle is a typical Rufus offering. Not too difficult until the last few which stretch the time taken by a small amount. Coventry Rugby club have extended their unbeaten run to ten matches so MP is euphoric.

As usual these hints and tips are here to help you solve todays puzzle. Definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden beneath the greyed out click here boxes.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Get new staff — or get new owners (6,5)
CHANGE HANDS: Of a business, alter ownership. Of a business replace existing staff.

9a Frank is ready to do business (4)
OPEN: A double definition. The second referring to a business that is not closed

10a Commercial mail for a remote business centre (7,4)
TRADING POST: The word mail followed by the definition solved this clue for me. A remotely placed place of business

11a Drag minor back (4)
DRAW: A verb meaning to drag is the reverse of another word meaning a minor

14a Messenger has job getting in beer (7)
APOSTLE: Place a noun meaning a position of paid employment inside a word meaning beer

16a In an old-fashioned way, please (7)
PRITHEE: An very old fashioned way of saying please formed from the words pray thee

17a To be readily available, part of index is typeset (5)
EXIST: A lurker. Playing hide and seek within the words of the clue and indicated by the words part of

18a Singer very keen to retire (4)
DIVA: A singer such as Maria Callas can be found by reversing (to retire) a word meaning very keen. I am not sure that the words to retire work as an indicator for a reversal

19a Bargain crop (4)
SNIP: A double definition

20a Toys sold out around end of April (5)
DOLLS: Anagram (out) of SOLD around the last letter of April

22a Awful deep (7)
ABYSMAL: A double definition. Awfully bad or very deep

23a Somebody’s rubber (7)
MASSEUR: A cryptic definition of one who kneads another’s flesh

24a She’ll be a fool if she comes back (4)
TINA: This girls name when reversed makes A and a fool

28a Enormously powerful ocean destroyer (6,5)
KILLER WHALE: A cryptic definition of an Orca

29a Lacking opener, drain pitcher (4)
EWER: A drain without it’s opening letter is also a large jug

30a Confirm new bits are news (4,7)


2d It’s heavenly to play, but there are strings attached (4)
HARP: A cryptic definition of the musical instrument we are supposedly meant to play for eternity whilst standing on s cloud in heaven

3d Out of gear? (4)
NUDE: Gear here means clothing. A state of undress

4d Honour a merger of Ben and Noel (7)
ENNOBLE: The solution to this clue comes from an anagram of BEN and NOEL. I can see the word merger meaning to join but am uncomfortable with it meaning to mix

5d A parliamentarian’s creating measures in power (4)
AMPS: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a member of parliament. Don’t forget the apostrophe S in the clue

6d Fool perhaps having braided hair put up (7)
DESSERT: Reverse a word meaning braided hair to find a type of pudding made from puréed fruit and served cold

7d Understood to be arrested (11)
APPREHENDED: A double definition. The second meaning to be arrested by an officer of the law

8d Wild world opens around a cat used to wintry weather (4,7)
SNOW LEOPARD: Anagram (wild) of WORLD OPENS around the letter A from the clue. This cat usually appears as a measure of weight

12d Keeps on the beach, they may be soon liquidated (11)
SANDCASTLES: A keep is a fortress or stronghold. These keeps are built by children (or mostly by their fathers) on the beach. The liquidated part of the clue refers to these edifices being washed away by an incoming tide

13d Vehicles drawn up in accordance with the law (11)
CONVEYANCES: A double definition. We will be familiar with the legal term from our house buying experiences

15d One-time rising group crack up? (5)
EXTOL: Begin with a two-letter preposition meaning one time or former. Add the reverse (rising) of a word meaning a group of things. An unusual definition for this word

16d Song from little Sarah, piercing in the afternoon (5)
PSALM: Place the shortened form of the name Sarah inside the abbreviation for post meridian

20d Light diet may upset (7)
DAYTIME: Anagram (upset) of DIET MAY

21d Class of fighters, in the East (7)
SAMURAI: A type of warrior that comes from the east. Japan I think

25d Obscure blemish (4)
BLUR: A double definition. The first, obscure being more obscure

26d Whisky drinkers may say that it’s just a question of time (4)
WHEN: What a whisky drinker might say to stop you pouring more.

27d A sign of more to follow (4)
PLUS: The sign is mathematically used for addition

Solved to Bob Dylan’s latest release. Trouble No More. Bootleg series No 13.



73 comments on “DT 28577

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

    Joint favourites – 18a (even though it’s an oldie but goodie) and 6d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  2. A comfortable and very enjoyable start to the solving week. 12d just beat 23a as my COTD. Totally agree with the official BD rating of 2* /4* .

    Thanks to Rufus and the emotionally intelligent one.

  3. Well I struggled with today’s offering, taking me into **** time.

    Last one in ans therefore CORD was 23a. 25d was a bung in.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  4. 3* / 4*. Another lovely Monday puzzle, although I found the SE corner much tougher than the rest which took me up to 3* time.

    Strictly speaking 5d isn’t a measure of power but I think Rufus gets round that nicely by using “in” rather than “of”.

    26d was my favourite, although I can’t remember the last time a whisky drinking guest in my house said that. 1a, 23a (my last one in) & 8d ran it close.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to the EI (and not AI) Miffypops.

    1. Sorry, I don’t understand how using “in” gets around it. Could you elaborate please RD?

        1. My late brother-in-law was called Ian Ernest Watts, so he never had any trouble remembering that formula:

          I x E = Watts

          where I is the symbol for current and E is EMF (electromotive force) measured in volts.

      1. My “logic” was that electricity is a form of power (in its more general sense as a source of energy rather than its specific scientific definition), and amps are one measure relevant “in” electricity (power) even though they are not a measurement “of” power.

    2. The violence done to science in 5d spoiled this puzzle for me. The definition in that clue makes as much sense as saying that kilograms are measures in power because 1 watt = 1 kilogram metre^2/second^3.

        1. Me too – the only things that I know about it are that it hurts if you touch it and it’s very expensive.

        2. Hi, Merusa. I get that most solvers will not have a problem with it. But as a scientist I’m bothered by how crosswordland tolerates imprecision in science to a degree that wouldn’t be acceptable in other areas of knowledge. I suspect that clues featuring a cricket racquet, or the Roman god Zeus, or the American author Bronte, or placing Northern Ireland in Great Britain would get a different reaction.

          1. Of course, you’re dead right. I think that science is so esoteric, you have to have a brilliant mind to understand it.

            1. Science in general, and physics in particular, is all about trying to understand apparently complex things in terms of simple underlying principles. It’s very much like trying to make sense of cryptic clues. So you might find that you could actually be rather good at science.

        3. Lol, in my case ignorance is bliss, though Heaven forbid any setter make an impresicion over golf or football!

        4. Totally agree. In high school in UK I had to spend a year doing the sciences – chemistry, physics and biology – before I could do the arts. Spent the year gazing out the window and daydreaming. Biology might have got my attention, but we spent the entire year on the life cycle of the amoeba – enough said.

      1. I actually thought it was quite cryptically clever to hide amps in power (watts). Also not sure 1 person in thousands would know your definition of a watt.

        1. It’s equivalent to arguing that because a heavy car has more power than a light motorbike, kilograms are a measure in power.

            1. Why not?

              A device drawing more amps at the same voltage consumes more power.

              A object with more mass moving with the same acceleration consumes more power.

        2. Anyone with A level physics would be able to derive this. velocity is distance/ time, so m s^-1. Acceleration is rate of change of velocity, so m s^-2. Force is mass x acceleration, so Kg m s^-2. Work is force X distance, so Kg m^2s^-2. Power is work done per second, so Kg m^2 s^-3, I’m not sure what proportion of the population has a level physics, but I’m sure it’ a lot more than one in a thousand.

      2. But, isn’t cruciverbalism an art form, so setters can, and frequently do, use artistic licence?

        1. Yes, but it also has rules/conventions. One of which says that the definition should be precise (unless the entire clue is a cryptic definition, of course).

          1. Firstly, to me, Rufus seems to be one of the setters who uses artistic licence extensively.

            Secondly, I took the definition to be ‘measures in power’ and not just ‘power’ as indicated by MP. So, as a Professional Engineer, I can accept the, somewhat simplistic, approach that ‘Amps are in Watts’ and so are (one of the two) measures (parameters) needed to calculate (electrical) power.

            1. I’m certainly not a Professional Engineer. My point is just that if “measures in power” is an acceptable definition of amps, then it must also be an acceptable definition of units appearing in other decompositions of the watt. For example, since power = force x velocity = mass x acceleration x velocity, that would include newtons and kilograms.

          2. I think you’re all over analysing with this one. I think the setter is using “power” loosely to mean electricity supply generally. As in “the power’s off” or the “electric’s off”. And amps are “measures” included in power/electricity generally. I don’t think he was suggesting that amps are specifically units of power.

      3. Just showed your comment to Mr BL, and his response was “quite right”. Spoken as a true engineer.

  5. Nice to see ‘that cat’ clued differently to the usual reference to weights and measures, although I see our blogger couldn’t resist.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP too

  6. Enjoyable puzzle, 8d made me smile. Last two in were 15d , which I thought could be the only answer , and 22a which was dependent on me having the L from 15d. Had never heard of this definition for 15d . Thanks for the hints and to the setter.

    1. Gabrielle, think of crack as in the expression “it’s not all it’s cracked up to be”.

  7. Defeated by the SW corner, if I can’t see Rufus’ cryptic clues/double definitions immediately , I am toast, and I could not sort out the anagram at 30a.
    Thanks all

      1. The DT website initially had it down as (11) rather than (4,7), I think, though it could just be my imagination! Anyway, that’s why i could not solve it.

  8. The usual lovely Monday mélange that is so typical of Rufus, my only slight hold-up being to insert “Blot” for 25d, but I suspect I may not be alone in doing that.

    My top three clues were 23a, 6d and 13d. I thought that 12d would have been a much better clue just as “Keeps on the beach” with a question mark added, the remainder could then have been deleted.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and the emotionally intelligent (and euphoric) one.

    1. 25d could also begin with an S, as the Collins’ definition includes the answer. I tried both when my iPad reported my solution as “incorrect” … neither option changed the misreported status.

    2. Add me to the blot club. Held me up for far too long on the anagram at 30a until i realised the error of my ways.

  9. I have every answer correct, but the iPad version disagrees with me (and Miffypops). 😤

    1. might it be 25d. Chambers has blur (obscure) as one of the definitions of slur (blemish). My first thought was blur but it didn’t sit well with me, and I ended up putting in slur. All a bit late I know, I didn’t find time to do yesterday’s crossword till just now, and I am now going to get up and get today’s paper, complete with the official answer.

    2. HAving checked the paper and looked up blur in the BRB it seems that blur is the official answer, although slur is equally valid IMHO. I have knicked Gail’s I pad and put all the answers in, and it say’s correct for my spellings.

  10. Held up at the close by the SE corner, which I thought was extremely difficult, and 16ac. The latter you either knew or you didn’t, as we only appeared to have the single definition to go on, without any cryptic elements? 28ac needed a bit of mind-bending to get on Rufus’ wavelength. 25d had too many possibilities to be gettable without the checking letters, so was last to fall. Overall maybe *** for difficulty.

  11. Not quite the walk in the park today for me as I had to call on the little grey cells on more than one occasion. A nice solve though with 12d my favourite. 2/4* overall as suggested by the emotional one.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for his obviously intelligent review.

  12. A typical Monday offering, methinks. Only slightly held up in the SE like some of the others. 23a was my favourite today. 1.5/3

  13. A good crossword with some at the end that caused a spot of bother or two.
    16a looked a pretty unlikely word to begin with but got there eventually.
    My last few were 23a and 27d – the latter not helped at all by having ‘shark’ as the second word for 28a.
    21d is the kind of clue that I’m not keen on – you either know it or you don’t but there’s nothing to work it out from.
    I particularly liked 16 and 22a and 12d. My favourite was 26d.
    Thanks very much to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    No time for crosswords at the weekend so I’m catching up today – I’ve still got the NTSPP, yesterday’s cryptic and today’s Mr Rookie up my sleeve.

    1. I quite agree about 21d, and 28a was in a similar category.
      Relieved to see that I was not the only member of the ‘blot’ club and loved 23a
      Many thanks to Rufus and MP

  14. Great to start with then I got stuck on the obscure clues 6d,15d,25d and the worst of the lot 23a. All leap of faith clues that i personally abhor.
    So for me **/*
    Thx for the hints

  15. Glad (and relieved!) to say I got 21 down – as our lovely Shrewsbury museum has an
    exhibition on at the moment!

  16. I’m always on Rufus’s wavelength and this was no different.
    I only had trouble with 23a, needed my trusty gizmo for that.
    As a Shakespearian fan, 16a presented no problems.
    I’m a whisky drinker and I loved 26d, but I think it was nosed out by 8d. How nice to see it instead of the usual version.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for the pics and clips. I know, I’m a dinosaur, but I don’t think I’ve heard Madonna sing before!

  17. Thanks to Rufus for a lovely start to the week. All finished over breakfast with only 2 hints needed, thanks Miffypops. COTD was a tie between 1a and 12d.

  18. I had no problems with this. It was fairly clued but I am not sure I could have derived the anachronistic word in 16a had I not come across it in my reading before.12d was my top clue too.

  19. Too many GK clues are creeping in: At least have a cryptic clue in parallel, please!
    John N

  20. Had to check if 16a was spelled with a Y or an I.
    Was looking for Russian planes in 21d at first. East for us French is any country from the Baltic states to the Russian and Slave republics.
    Favourite 1a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

  21. While 5d made me grumble, I did very much enjoy the creative clueing of 8d. Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  22. Hi all. My first comment after some time in dipping in to find out how daft I’ve been! Well, daft again today as I confidently put ‘Lyre’ into 2d. It’s what the angels play isn’t it – and me living in the land of the true answer! Made getting 1a very difficult, so thanks to all the brighter sparks out there.

  23. Loved this puzzle, a nice gentle ease into the weak. 5D confused me, but once I had the. Check letters in I could see what the setter was trying to achieve. 15D caused me a bit of trouble but MPs hints were to hand. Overall my rating is 2/4 I particularly liked 8D My thanks to Miffypops for the high standard blog.

  24. A great start to the weeks crosswords for me. I would have loved a clip of the toydolls for 20a. A brilliant punk band still going strong. Remember nellie the elephant. Happy days. Thanks to all for a pleasant solve only needed a couple of hints.

  25. A benign start to the week 1.5* / 2*.

    Favourite was 12d. Mr Sheffieldsy is with Mr Kitty all the way wrt 5d. It’s a great shame so many in our country shy away from science.

    Thanks MP and Rufus.

  26. Arrived in town late today and fell asleep during the early part of the solve so it took ***** time. My copybook was ‘blotted’ like many others and 16a was new to me though I enjoyed the education,
    Thanks to The Honourable Member for the blog which straightened my homework out nicely. Thanks you setter too. I’d go for / with the spotlight resting longer on 22a.

  27. A massive DNF. Started 24 hours ago and still only managed 2/3 of it.

    The South of the grid was not helped by my Eastern warrior being a Saracen (rugby on the brain methinks), however that is no real excuse as I wouldn’t have got the orca if it had leapt out of the tank and bitten me.
    The same goes for a lot of the others.

    A shame, as with MP’s explanations I can see what an excellent puzzle it was.

  28. Better late than never but just to say I enjoyed this challenge as late-night exercise. Bunged in 15d but crack up in that context didn’t occur to me. Liked 26a when penny dropped. Thanks Rufus and MP.

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