DT 28601 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28601

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28601

Hints and Tips by Marvellous Miffypops

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Big Dave’s very own personal Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The website is being subjected to an increased number of attacks today so I have changed the CloudFlare status to “Under Attack”.  This means that all visitors will be subjected to a 5 second delay.  BD

Hi folks. A pleasantly tricky puzzle from Rufus today. If by any chance you need some help, here it is.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Agree one is about a month in arrears (6)
ACCEDE: One here refers to a playing card. Wrap that around the reversed (in arrears) abbreviation for the current month

4a    Summary that’s merely theoretical (8)
ABSTRACT: A double definition which. I only solved from checking letters

9a    Directed police offensive (6)
RANCID: A three lettered word meaning directed or managed is followed by a police department

10a    Film plot involved arsenic and love (8)
SCENARIO: Anagram (involved) of ARSENIC followed by the letter that represents the love score in tennis

12a    It’s not fair -– to be kept in it? (4)
DARK: To be kept in this is to be deprived of knowledge

13a    Cockney friend in the country (5)
CHINA: This country together with the word plate is Cockney rhyming slang for ones mate

14a    Items given for storage in a bank (4)
DATA: Today’s barely cryptic definition of information which might be stored digitally.

17a    They have grounds for belonging to the upper classes (6,6)
LANDED GENTRY: A cryptic definition of a social class whose income is from the rental of farms

20a    Decline of French age group (12)
DEGENERATION: The French word for of is followed by a word meaning all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.

23a    Old people sign (4)
OMEN: The abbreviation for old is followed by a collective noun for people

24a    Way to get on in the theatrical profession (5)
STAGE: Begin with the abbreviation for a way or street and add a word meaning to advance in years

25a    Man who’s amongst the richest (4)
ERIC: A hidden word lurking within the letters of the clue. Most bloggers will tell you which words contain the word but I think that makes it all a little too easy. As Deep Threat commented on Friday. We are providing hints not answers

28a    Supplied on condition (8)
PROVIDED: A double definition.

29a    Accept an inviting suggestion? (4,2)
COME IN: What one might say to somebody knocking at one’s door and what that person might do upon hearing it.

Frappe Frappe! Qui est la? Losti ! Losti qui? Exactement!

30a    Soldiers wheeled around and came back (8)
RETURNED: The soldiers are The Royal Engineers. Begin with their abbreviation and add a word meaning wheeled around.

31a    An alcoholic drink leads to a complaint (6)
ANGINA: Start with the word AN from the clue. Add an alcoholic drink which is very popular at the moment. Finish off with the letter A from the clue. Our setter has gifted half of the answer to us


1d    Big dog very good about being put on lead going walkies (8)
AIREDALE: Begin with a term consisting of a letter and a number meant very good or excellent. Add the usual crosswordland word meaning about. Finish up with an anagram (going walkers) of LEAD

2d    Brave NCO goes out to join battle line (8)
CONFRONT: Begin with an anagram of NCO and add a word meaning the foremost line or part of an armed force; the furthest position that an army has reached and where the enemy is or may be engaged

3d    Spot a weak type (4)
DRIP: A double definition. The first rather vague and the second derogatory

5d    Companions at the breakfast table (5,3,4)
BACON AND EGGS: These companions are on one’s plate. Together they help to explain the difference between involvement and commitment. The Hen is involved. The Pig is committed

6d    Smack located in East Anglia (4)
TANG: Another hidden word. See my hint for 25 across

7d    Jack required on autobahn perhaps overseas (6)
ABROAD: A Jack is a sailor. Use the regular Crosswordland abbreviation for a sailor and add what an autobahn is. See Rookie Corner 186 by MP for an example of how not to clue this word.

8d    Medical chest? (6)
THORAX: How a member of the medical profession might describe the part of a mammal between the neck and the abdomen

11d    Guarded inquiry (3,4,5)
WHO GOES THERE: What a guard or sentry might ask of one approaching

15d    Loud and always creating excitement (5)
FEVER: The musical abbreviation for loud is followed by a term meaning eternally

16d    Start playing snooker in school rest period (5)
BREAK: The term used to describe the first shot of a snooker match is also the term used to describe playtime at school

18d    Edited diaries about Liberal ex-PM (8)
DISRAELI: Anagram (edited) of DIARIES around the abbreviation for Liberal

19d    On entering Canada, disturbed something slithering (8)
ANACONDA: Anagram (disturbed) of CANADA wrapped around the word ON from the clue

21d    Good conductor, one on the beat (6)
COPPER: A metal which is a good conductor of electricity is also a slang term for a policeman (one on the beat)

22d    Prepare roster for holiday destination (6)
RESORT: Anagram (prepare) Of ROSTER

26d    One who might falsify accounts (4)
LIAR: A cryptic definition of a fibber, storyteller or romancer

27d    Large number in Rome have something stuffed in a duvet (4)
DOWN: Begin with a Roman numeral. The one for 500 will suffice. Add a verb meaning to have something in one’s possession. Together they form what might be used to stuff a duvet. Ours came from a goose

That’s all Folks



53 comments on “DT 28601

  1. The extra thing to note about 18d and its wordplay is that the PM in question did keep diaries and they are available to read

    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops too

  2. 3* / 4*. Great fun as usual on a Monday. 11d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MMP as he has become today.

  3. Yet another good start to the work week from Rufus, some head scratching required to finish (11d) but still very enjoyable and completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Joint favourites – 5d and 11d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  4. Thanks to MP for coming to the rescue in 3d. Didn’t get it.
    That’s the second time I see that frappe frappe joke and I still don’t get it either.
    Recognise the chap in 12a though. Isn’t he the one who got a Nobel prize for inventing the Zimmer Frame named after him? Could be wrong again.
    Never do too well on Mondays.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the review.

      1. Thanks.
        Silly me. I thought it was the Spanish for here = aqui. Lost here didn’t make any sense.

    1. OK you’ve got me there, JL. What on earth has 12a to do with the inventor of the Zimmer frame?

          1. So sorry, JL – I was looking at the answer, not the clip. MP is probably well aware by now of how rarely I subject myself to those!

  5. No need to look beyond 11d for the COTD. A terrific clue in a very enjoyable start to the solving week. Rufus has given us a fun and moderately testing puzzle this morning, and I rated it 2.5* /4* overall.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned and MMP.

  6. Well, I thought this was a fairly tame Monday offering. Completed in ** time, with the NW corner last to go in.

    Many thanks to Rufus and MP.

  7. Very enjoyable and solved at a steady rate except for 4a which proved elusive for a while until the penny dropped, liked 5d and 11d.
    Thanks to setter and Miffypops

  8. Very enjoyable and relatively straightforward, I’m glad to see the level of musical accompaniment to the blog has been raised by the inclusion of the Who and Van the Man.

    The Who was the first ‘group’ I ever saw at the Brook Youth Centre in Loughton in 1964 – ‘My Generation’ had just hit the charts and the place was mobbed out, I managed to get in and was well impressed!

  9. Some excellent food for thought combined with plenty of good fun. NW corner proved the most testing. Not sure about 3d or even 24a. Prior to crossers first thought for 31a was ‘Grouse’! Fav was 11d but that closely followed by 17a and 26d. Many thanks Rufus and the ever modest MP.

  10. Perfect puzzle for my flight up to Edinburgh today. Landed with just 11d missing. Completely missed it and tried to think how “the grey theme” could be relevant…

  11. This puzzle seemed to fit everyone’s bill today, myself included. Agree with MP on a **/****.
    Have to agree with 11d as COTD, and I did like the wordplay of 21d.
    Thanks all- a chink of light has appeared in Adelaide !

  12. Nice start to the week from Rufus. Last one in was 14a – always struggle with IT stuff!
    Ticks went to 20&23a plus 26d and the laurel wreath goes to 11d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the blog.

  13. I must have been on Rufus wavelength today, fairly whistled through it. No real fabourites today but I liked 9a.
    Thanks to Miffypops and to Rufus

  14. I spent more time on the top left corner than the rest of the puzzle. 2d was my last one in and the dog defied me for a bit. 5d and 17a are my favourite clues.

  15. I really made a pig’s ear of this one. I put the answer to 30a in at 28a without realisng, then got stuck on two of the four letter word answers. To complicate matters I put a wrong un in at 29a. Despite all that it was an ennoyable start to my solving week. Thanks to both Rufus and M.

  16. I whizzed through most of this, then came the usual Rufus blockage where I couldn’t get my head round the last few clues. I love it when I’m caught out. It makes the crossword so much more fun and more of a challenge.It stops the pride setting in. I liked several clues today. No overall favourite. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops for today’s offering and help. I’m heading to the kitchen to make butternut squash with red pepper and chili soup.

  17. Very good puzzle apart from 3d which I thought very weak and could someone please explain 6d, I can see its a lurker but the BRB does not mention smack so I am very puzzled. Best clue for me was 5d, at least it made me smile.
    Thx to all

    1. Chambers online:

      smack noun 1 taste; distinctive flavour.
      tang noun 2 a strong or sharp taste, flavour or smell.

      They appear in each-others entries in the Thesaurus too.
      Hope that helps

  18. I found today’s crossword a little trickier than usual. Admittedly putting OBITUARY in for 4a did nothing to help but then….
    Yep, 11d was tops for me too. 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to DoubleM P for the review.

  19. If I could just stick all the previous comments into one of my own it would be fine.
    I also wanted to make 4a ‘obituary’ but it didn’t seem to make sense so I didn’t.
    14a defeated me completely.
    My first attempt at 29a was wrong which did nothing to help when I got to 27d.
    Oh well – I always have a spot of bother on Mondays (and Fridays).
    I liked 17a and 5d and my favourite was 11d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to the MMP.

    1. A pity about the website being under attack again. Who are these imbeciles and what on earth do they get out of it?

      1. Either they are using the site as a trial run for an attack elsewhere or BD is a clandestine British secret agent😀

      2. I wish they’d get a life. I can’t imagine who these low lifes are, I feel there aren’t enough hours in the day and to waste them with maliciousness means your brain is addled beyond repair.

      3. I suspect people attack sites like this to show how clever they are – a bit like the Crossword setters and us solvers – oh hang on a minute….. :roll:

    2. I wanted to do the same with 4a but couldn’t come up with something for 8d that would work…

  20. Wonderful, simply wonderful. Very surprised that 1d hasn’t received more praise, I thought it was sublime. 17a and 11d were amongst my favourites too.

    Interesting to note for 3d that the Chambers Crossword Dictionary doesn’t show “spot” as a synonym for the answer, nor vice versa. I did wonder if Rufus was thinking “taste” for “smack” in 6d, or if he had fishing boat or even heroin in mind!

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and the marvellous one.

  21. Right on wavelength again, I just love Rufus’s puzzles.
    I liked 1d, natch, it’s a dog innit? However, my fave by a long shot is 11d, brilliant.
    Who is the singer at 12a? I’m so out of touch!
    Thanks to Rufus and to Marvellous M’pops for his review.

    1. Hi merusa,
      You’re as bad as me re 12a but before MP gets really upset it’s that wonderful and highly respected Bob Dylan.

    2. Hi Merusa,
      Stayed up until silly-o’clock to finish the book – I did enjoy it. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

      1. His style is a bit different, isn’t it? I loved it. I’ve just finished “Finding Gobi” and loved that.

  22. I had 29a as ‘Come on’ seems to work as well particularly with reference to ‘inviting’ suggestion?

  23. Super Rufus puzzle full of great clues, lovely start to the week. NW corner the last to yield but loads of smiles and good fun right to the end.

    Clue of the day 9a closely followed by 11d.

    Rating ** / ****

    Thanks to MP and Rufus.

  24. Another nice start to the week **/*** (I suppose the pedants out there will be saying that the week started yesterday 😬) Favourite 11d and an honourable mention for 1a 😃 Thanks to Rufus and to MP especially for the Monty Python 😉

  25. Thank you Rufus and MP for a very good start to week but 29a fooled me … assumed it was “move in”

  26. A nice start to the week. Not difficult, but the NW corner put me just into ** time. That corner also provided my favourite – 9a. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  27. !d (Big dog…) was my out-and-out favourite in an altogether delightful crossword. A great antidote for the Monday blues

  28. Very much enjoyed this one today, with just a few hints and no other help, so very happy, especially after two days of not doing too well. So thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops, particularly for the picture of the tasty bacon … we cannot get decent rashers over here, only something akin to streaky. COTD for me was 17a. Just love it when a puzzle comes together like this one. And boo hiss to the nasty hackers who have nothing better to do than mess with this site.

  29. Really enjoyed this Monday offering. My
    cotd would have to be 2d. Wonder if anybody
    else put in toga for 27d!!

  30. On the easy side for a Monday, though with about a quarter of the time spent on 14ac. That’s two weeks in a row Rufus’ non-cryptic definitions have tripped me up. :-)

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