DT 28607 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28607

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28607

Hints and tips by Frosty the Snowman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The hints and tips here are provided to help you solve or understand the clues you may be finding tricksy. I hope they help. Definitions are underlined. Happy Solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Replant or clip if very productive (8)
PROLIFIC: Anagram (replant) of OR CLIP IF. An answer that neatly defines the output of our setter today

6a    Two firms after gold backing for decoration (6)
ROCOCO: Gold as a heraldic tincture is reversed (backing) and followed by two abbreviations for firms or companies

9a    He reviles a blockhead employer (6)
ABUSER: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the first letter (head) of the word blockhead. Now finish up with a noun defining what an employer is

10a    Very hungry bird comes to love us (8)
RAVENOUS: Begin with a bird. There are lots to choose from. Add the letter O from the clue and the word US which is also given in the clue. The answer (and the bird) can easily be got from the definition very hungry.

11a    Film Ruth, merry and uproarious (8)
MIRTHFUL: Anagram (merry) of FILM RUTH

12a    Are in debt, but managed to bring up the children (6)
REARED: Place the word ARE from the clue inside (in) a word describing what we are said to be in when in debt

13a    Travelling light? (8,4)
SHOOTING STAR: A cryptic definition of a small, rapidly moving meteor burning up on entering the earth’s atmosphere.

16a    Poorly educated and not prepared to grow crops (12)
UNCULTIVATED: A double definition, the first accurately describing today’s blogger

19a    It carries food for an animal flea, maybe? (6)
HOPPER: A name for a cylindrical container for animal feed also defines a flea by nature of the way it moves around

21a    Newspaper’s deadline? (8)
OBITUARY: A cryptic definition of a popular newspaper column which describes the lives of the recently deceased. Like a biography without its last chapter. If your name is not amongst those listed, eat breakfast

23a    Account presented to member of clergy is absolutely correct (8)
ACCURATE: Begin with an abbreviation of the word account. Add a junior member of the clergy. The one who’s egg is regularly mentioned in the comments section below

24a    Is elected to boards (4,2)
GETS ON: A double definition. What one might do when boarding a ship.

25a    A bouquet for mounting (6)
ASCENT: Use the letter A from the clue and add a characteristic smell (bouquet)

26a    Mythical king who never quite got what he wanted (8)
TANTALUS: This mythical king was punished by being made to stand beneath a fruit tree in a pool of water. When he reached for fruit to eat the branches moved away rendering him eternally hungry. When he reached for water to drink the water receded keeping him permanently thirsty. That served him right for nicking from the Pick’n’Mix in Woolworths.


2d    Poor golfer perhaps that still gets down the hole (6)
RABBIT: This word which describes a poor golfer (or cricketer) is also an animal which lives in a hole. The clue nicely links the golfer to the hole. A lot of our commenters wish they could do that.

3d    He composed a catalogue, we hear (5)
LISZT: This composer (1811 – 1886) has a name which sounds like (we hear) another word for a catalogue

4d    Van driver’s warning on promenade (9)
FOREFRONT: The driver here is a golfer. Begin with his warning shout. Add a word we use to describe the area just before the sea, in this case the promenade

5d    Protective garment put right in wrong closet (7)
CORSLET: Anagram (wrong) of CLOSET which has the abbreviation of the word right inserted (put right in)

6d    Wandering dog? (5)
ROVER: A synonym for the word traveller is/was a popular dogs name (I’m not sure it still is popular) Those who want a cute doggie picture will be disappointed Here is a photo of me yesterday walking along The Disused Railway hoping not to meet any wandering dogs.

7d    Found out people’s feelings involving sand and caves (9)
CANVASSED: Anagram (involving) of SAND and CAVES

8d    Motive and style that one may use for walking across water (8)
CAUSEWAY: Combine two synonyms. One of the word Motive (5) and one of the word Style (3)

13d    A form of art (9)
SCULPTURE: A cryptic definition of a three-dimensional form of art. If I were describing Michelangelo’s David, I could say ‘barely cryptic’ (see illustration to the next clue)

14d    The opposite of all dressed up and nowhere to go (7,2)
NOTHING ON: The wordplay at the beginning describes a state of nudity. The ensuing definition describes having an empty diary

15d    Broken fences or implements (8)
ENFORCES: Anagram (broken) of FENCES OR

17d    Wild flower absorbs nitrogen (7)
VIOLENT: A wildflower has the abbreviation for Nitrogen inserted. Which wildflower? I hear you ask. This one: a herbaceous plant of temperate regions, typically having purple, blue, or white five-petalled flowers, one petal of which forms a landing pad for pollinating insects.

18d    Rum loo embellished with gilt decoration (6)
ORMOLU: Anagram (embellished) of RUM LOO

20d    Respond — to an encore call? (5)
REACT: A synonym of the word respond can be split 2,3 to give a rather loose definition of what an actor might be doing when responding to an encore call

22d    It’s very much used as a prefix (5)
ULTRA: This word is exactly as described in the clue. It is used as a prefix meaning to the extreme.

A very enjoyable crossword puzzle as ever from Rufus.

In some eastern European languages, the suffix OVA to a surname indicates the female of the species. That would make the author of the Harry Potter books J K Rowlingova.


54 comments on “DT 28607

  1. Nice and straightforward for a bitterly cold Monday morning. Certainly enjoyable while it lasted, with 13a my favourite and overall 1.5* /4* for me.

    Thanks to Rufus and FTS.

    About a foot of lying snow here in The Marches so not going anywhere for a few days.

  2. 2* / 4*. A lovely diversion for an unpleasant morning, but at least it’s not as bad here in London as in other parts of the country.

    My favourite of course has to be 2d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to the Frosty MP.

    1. I thought about illustrating that clue with two pictures. one of Van Morrison and one of a Morrison’s van.

  3. A very typical Rufus to start the work week; as usual, very enjoyable and completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Joint favourites – 2d and 14d.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  4. Nice straightforward to the week */*** 🌨☃️ Quite warmed me up! Did not know the story of 26a 😬 Favourites 2 & 4 down. Thanks to MP and to Rufus

  5. Nearly finished, but couldn’t parse 2d or 5d, never having heard the terms. 26a defeated me, I don’t think I have come across him before. I suppose the word Tantalising would be his legacy.

    Many Thanks to Rufus and MP

            1. Nothing worse than forgetting where you hid the key to the (locked) Tantalus!
              Three decanters, there’s posh. Ours only has two.

              1. I didn’t know they came in twos, mine is a threesy almost the same as BDs. I’ll have to take a pic and put it on my avatar.

  6. As others I found this fairly gentle. With Frosty on whether 6d a popular name for dog but will always be linked to the comic & Alf Tupper & Braddock VC for me.
    Thanks to Rufus & FS. I expected two successive golf-related clues would have drawn an ascerbic comment re spoiled walks. You seem to have mellowed – have I missed something?

  7. The only consolation about being Uncle Dick at the moment is that I don’t have to go out in this ghastly weather. We don’t have it so bad here in London, if you do have to venture out stay safe.
    A nice straightforward crossword today, I used to struggle big time with Rufus’ crosswords, now they are no problem.
    Thanks MP and Rufus.

  8. Good Monday fare – particularly liked the anagram indicator in 1a.
    Favourite was 14d with a nod to 12a for its surface read.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – nice seasonal touch in the Dean Martin clip but I suspect some of our number would not agree with the sentiments at the moment!

    1. Like you Jane, I enjoyed the nostalgic yuletide jingle from Dino but a short time ago didn’t endorse his sentiment as I have just driven from East to West Sussex in pretty unpleasant conditions but they in fact improved with progression West. This puzzle was a perfect way to wind down. SE corner was last to succumb. Liked 21a, 2d and 4d. Thank you Rufus and Frosty.

  9. Thick snow in darkest Tarporley !
    Down as a **/**** for me and so agree with Frosty.
    Just the ticket for a snowed up Monday-couldn’t even get out of the drive.
    Last in was 26a and had heard of the king but no recollection of his celebrity-looked it up and the surface of the clue was apparent.
    Favourite was 13a, was sure it was going to be some kind of lamp-but there we are-foiled again-thanks setter and Frosty.

  10. After digging the car out of the snow this morning there was nothing for it but to do yesterday and today’s cryptics, then the GK. I think I’ll lay down an take a nap now ;-) A nice gentle start to the week, but needed ‘Frosty’s’ hints for a couple of parsings. My favourite clues were all down ones – 3, 4 & 8. Thanks to Rufus and Frosty.

  11. No great problems today but enjoyable nonetheless on this bitterly cold day (-11) made for a cold game of golf this morning!
    Not come across the king in 26a before but now I understand the origin of the word tantalising. So something learned today😀
    Thx to all

  12. Is 26a not just general knowledge ? Straightforward and enjoyable , 18d last in ; this I had never heard of grrrr. 13a my clue of the day followed by 14d .Lovely and crisp and cold here in Bolton ,fields covered in snow and ice on the lake . , pity Rufus didn’t put two crosswords in today . **/**** Thanks to setter and Frosty .

  13. The usual delightful Monday mélange, I find a Rufus puzzle always uplifting, I hope that those contending with the worst of the UK weather will also find it a pleasant distraction at the very least.

    My three for the podium today were 10a, 12a (my favourite) and 4d. If there has been an easier clue all year than 6d, I don’t remember it.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires, I suspect the snow is fairly heavy in Ironbridge, and to Frosty, was that the disused line to Leamington Spa you were following yesterday?

    1. Yes. Around the back of the pub half a mile up the road. No cars or lorries. A pleasant walk out and a pleasant walk back through farmland.

  14. Typically excellent Rufus on a Monday. Thoroughly enjoyable with a nice mix of clues.
    A new word for me in 18d but other than that straightforward. Last in for some reason was 8d.

    Clue of the day 14d followed by 10a

    Rating ** / ****

    Thanks to MP for the hints and tips (although didn’t need them) and Deano at Christmas, you can’t better that for a festive number. Thanks to Rufus as well.

  15. Good afternoon everybody.

    I struggled horribly with this and gave up with 21a, 26a and 22d unsolved. I wouldn’t have got 26a.

    Not one of my better days.


  16. Rufus at his best – and that’s very good, indeed. I’m already looking forward to next week’s

  17. Managed to complete today without too much trouble, although I’ve never heard of 2d for a poor golfer. Favoutite clue was 14d.

    Thanks to all.

  18. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A lovely puzzle to take my mind off the rain and sleet. Nothing too tricky. Last in was 2d, favourite was 21a, which made me laugh. Was 2*/4* for me.

  19. Nice and gentle start to the week, finished well before lights out last night.

    I had time to read a couple of chapters of the new Quintin Jardine (a bit disappointing so far – ‘poop from China’ I’m afraid!) it starts with Bob Skinner being offered a Seat in the House of Lords and then he is called in to investigate the murder of the Prime Minister – perleease!

  20. This was all done and sorted before Uber-ing to my ophthalmologist today. Alas, after all those drops in my eyes, I can hardly see to read, but I managed with difficulty.
    Fave was 2d, of course I knew it would be yours RD.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Frosty, lots of fun today.

  21. I’ve just returned from South Africa, so to have to clear snow from my car has come as a real shock to the system. At least the central heating system still works and has kicked in. I always look forward to Rufus on a Monday and today was no exception. Many thanks Rufus and Frosty the Snowman.

  22. I haven’t looked at this one yet – I’m storing it up for tomorrow. Neither have I looked at the hints or the comments.
    Yesterday morning we woke up to a blizzard and it was just below freezing which scuppered plans for the day – going to see our grandson and his parents. :sad:
    An hour or so later we had a power cut – that happens quite frequently round here as we have overhead electricity – they’re usually quite short.
    We finally got our power back just over an hour ago.
    All I can say is thank goodness for a huge>b/> fireplace and an equally huge pile of logs.
    Haven’t quite thawed out yet – I know my Dad would probably have called me ‘lily livered’ but my feet are still like little blocks of ice.

    1. When CS said yesterday that you had a power cut, I was worried that you might have electric central heating. Being cold, in my books, is one of the worst things. I hope you are toasty warm now and have no more dramas.

  23. Thank you Rufus and Frosty for a delightful start to my birthday. Last one in was 8d and favourite clue was 21a. But special honours to Frosty for the hint for 26a which had us both laughing. Our education of mythical kings etc was sadly lacking, I.e. non existent but have now learnt another gem of information.

    Still chilly here but nothing like the cold and snow you are all experiencing at home. Hope you are safe and warm and not powerless or stuck in an airport somewhere.

      1. Thank you.
        I do feel sorry for the tourists who come here looking for our usual hot weather…

  24. Very much enjoyed this after a horrible day of struggling to and from work. Wouldn’t normally comment this late in the day as I usually find it’s all been said, but am I alone in thinking that 26a is not even remotely cryptic? Surely that’s a straight GK clue?

    Anyway, thanks to all involved

  25. Liked this one. I got a few black eyes in the SE corner though. The weather may be a bit less challenging in the SE but not in the DT cryptic. I am sure it’s just me. Faves 4d and 13a
    Thanks Rufus and Snowypops

  26. Maybe the cold has frozen the old brain cells, but I struggled badly with this. A definite **** for difficulty, though I sometimes find Rufus to be quite tricky. The classical reference I managed to drag up from somewhere. 16ac I wanted to begin UNDER…, which perhaps didn’t help matters. Ask me again how I find Rufus when the weather’s warmed up. -12 here tonight. Brrrr.

  27. I would like to take the opportunity in this festive season to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. May all your solvings be easy in 2018 :)

  28. Late again… nice start to the week presenting no problems. 14d was my top clue and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Snowdrop for the review.

  29. Enjoyable **/**** . While I’ve never heard of a poor golfer described thus. I did think that 6, 2 and 9 could somehow be combined to give a clue to a song by Elvis.

Comments are closed.