DT 28613 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28613

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28613

Hints and tips by a stunned Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *****

After setting 1,400 Crosswords for the Daily Telegraph and writing almost 2.5 million clues Roger Squires aka Rufus has closed down his crossword compiler software and turned off his computer. The dictionary and thesaurus have been put back on the shelf. Today’s Cryptic Crossword is the last Rufus offering we shall see.

I am sure that all visitors to Big Dave’s blog will join me in wishing Roger a long and happy retirement. I am also sure you will join me in thanking Roger for providing us with such enjoyable entertainment week after week.

It has been an honour and a challenge to solve and write weekly reviews of these puzzles. Thank you Roger Squires for providing the material that lets me do that. I hope your successor doesn’t prove to be troublesome.

Today’s hints and tips have been written with love and care by Miffypops. They are here to help with the clues you cannot solve or to explain the clues you do not understand. I hope they do so. Definitions which usually appear at the beginning or end of a clue are underlined and the answers are hidden under the greyed out click here boxes. No animals were hurt or embarrassed during the production of this review.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Off Aden, tar moves from bow to stern? (4,3,3)
FORE AND AFT: Anagram (moves) of OFF ADEN TAR

6a    Grand old politician with the gift of the gab (4)
GLIB: Begin with the abbreviation for grand and add the abbreviation of an old political party as led by Jeremy Thorpe perhaps

10a    Money is bait that takes many in (5)
LUCRE: Find a word meaning bait. This word can be a noun or a verb. Insert a Roman numeral (takes many in)

11a    Shellfish not in extract? (6,3)
WINKLE OUT: A small edible whelk is followed by a word meaning not in

12a    Egg on single girl to be spendthrift (8)
PRODIGAL: A three-part charade. To egg on nudge or poke. The letter that looks like the number on one. A slang term for a girl

13a    Entertainment from Diana’s firm (5)
DISCO: A contracted form of the name Diana’s followed by the abbreviation of a synonym for a firm in business or trade. I have never found much entertainment through this medium.

15a    To want that is right, though comparatively broke? (7)
NEEDIER: A four-letter want or requirement is followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is and the abbreviation for right

17a    Scope of the Bard? (7)
BREADTH: Anagram (of) of THE BARD

19a    Landlords will be characters (7)
LETTERS: A double definition, the second being those of the alphabet

21a    Very little car sickness (7)
MINIMAL: Begin with a small car and add a three-letter word suggesting sickness. The term for seasickness in French might help here

22a    Control force (5)
POWER: A double definition.

24a    It’s soothing when you have to concentrate (8)
COMPRESS: A word meaning a pad of lint or other absorbent material which may be placed on a wound to sooth is also a word meaning to concentrate as in reducing in size.

27a    Dilapidated inn to fail in time of price increases (9)
INFLATION: Anagram (delapidated) on INN TO FAIL

28a    Computer device doctor has to operate (5)
MOUSE: Begin with a doctor or Medical Orderly and add a verb meaning to operate something

29a    They accept what is sound (4)
EARS: A cryptic definition of those things on the side of our head with which we hear

30a    Don boasted about revealing diarist’s last words? (3,2,2,3)
AND SO TO BED: An anagram (about) of DON BOASTED will lead to Samuel Pepys often used last entry in his daily diary [And an appropriate end to Rufus’s final puzzle! BD]



1d    US seasonal slump? (4)
FALL: The borrowed word the Americans use for autumn

2d    Soldiers should meet general coming back (9)
RECURRENT: Begin with the abbreviation for The Royal Engineers. Add a word meaning general. The online dictionary has this definition – the general tendency or course of events or opinion.

3d    In the lead — by so much? (5)
AHEAD: This word meaning in the lead can be split 1,4 to say by how much. Often used in horse racing

4d    Widow‘s exhortation to take gamble (7)
DOWAGER: Splitting this widow 2,5 satisfies the clues exhortation to gamble

5d    Backing group providing cool beat (3,4)
FAN CLUB: Take a word meaning to cool and add a word meaning to beat as in 9d perhaps to find these aficionados

7d    They move around in pride (5)
LIONS: The animal whose social groups are known as prides

8d    Waylay Rose, perhaps (10)
BUTTONHOLE: A double definition, the second being what a single rose may be worn as by guests at a wedding

9d    Bishop lounged unsteadily in club (8)
BLUDGEON: The abbreviation for Bishop is followed by an anagram (unsteadily) of LOUNGED

14d    England supporter offers misplaced help in goal (10)
ANGLOPHILE: Anagram (misplaced) of HELP IN GOAL

16d    Eric came round for dessert (3,5)
ICE CREAM: Anagram (round) of ERIC CAME

18d    Feeble joke in cracker not dry enough to work? (4,5)
DAMP SQUIB: The cracker here is being overworked. First as a Christmas Cracker and secondly as a firework. This display is not one of these

20d    A part, once it’s revised (7)
SECTION: Anagram (revised) of ONCE IT’S

21d    Rotational forcesthey last only a short time (7)
MOMENTS: A double definition. One to do with physics and one to do with time.  [My old physics master used to say, “even couples in fields have their moments”. BD]

23d    Thin disc made of iron used in fighting (5)
WAFER: Place the chemical symbol for iron inside a term for fighting on a large scale between nations

25d    Suspend terms of reference (5)
REMIT: A double definition, the first meaning to cancel

26d    Drove in another direction (4)
HERD: Our first lurker of the day and the last in Roger Squires Long Daily Telegraph career. Well done Sir. The lurker is hidden amongst the words of the clue and indicated by the word in. Lurkers who use the blog are welcome to comment at any time. Now is a good time to introduce yourself and join this great community in offering our thanks and good wishes to Mr Roger Squires upon his retirement

Goodbye Rufus.

Quickie Pun MASTERS+CHOIRS+RETIRES=Master Squires retires


150 comments on “DT 28613

  1. 2* / 4*. Rufus signs off with one his trademark puzzles. Week in, week out he has delivered us a hugely entertaining crossword which has made Monday mornings a joy. He has even managed to give us an appropriate Quickie Pun today.

    30d is my favourite and a fitting finale.

    Thank you so much, Mr Squires. I wish you a long and happy retirement.

    Thank you too, MP. You and Rufus have made a great double act every Monday. I hope you like your new partner in 2018.

  2. Have always enjoyed Rufus crosswords. Found this one of the tougher ones. Best wishes to Rufus in his retirement.

  3. Oh my, Monday’s will never be the same. Thank you so much Mr Squires for all the pleasure you have given us over the years. Have a very happy retirement; you have certainly earned it!
    As for the crossword…. 2/5* overall with 30a top clue (of course!)
    Thanks also to MP for the review.

  4. I’m not doing many puzzles at the moment but had to make an exception for this one. Thanks, Rufus, for all the puzzles over the years. I wish you a wonderful retirement – enjoy your travels!

    Thanks to MP too for the cruelty-free blog which is much appreciated.

    P.S. The article in yesterday’s paper, omitted from the photo caption the name of your handsome setting companion.

  5. Today is a very sad day indeed. It’s often said in a 6a way that all good things must come to an end, but I strongly suspect Mondays will not be quite the same again.

    Thank you so much Rufus for all the entertainment which you have provided over more than thirty years, you more than anyone else have inspired me to try my hand at setting puzzles, and I will fondly remember so many of your classic clues that are timeless masterpieces. A lovely touch with the Quickie Pun today I thought.

    Thanks to MP for today’s hints (my favourites were 29a, 5d and 8d) and of course to the legend that is Mr Squires. May you enjoy a long and happy retirement.

  6. Brilliant as usual.thanks for all the head scratching and muffled exclamations of my own stupidity.favourites today 8d and 11a

  7. The Monday Maestro did not disappoint for his final puzzle – extremely enjoyable and completed at a fast gallop – */****.

    Joint favourites – 19a and 8d.

    Thank you Mr Squires for making Mondays bearable and best wishes for a long and happy retirement.

    Oh, and thanks to MP.

  8. And may I also add my congratulations to Mr Squires. Perhaps you will find as much entertainment as I did in my retirement, by solving the DT Cryptic every day!

  9. Farewell Mr Squires – thank you for many years of fun and I sincerely hope your retirement is a long and happy one.

    Thank you, Sir.

  10. 2* /4* from me for this final crossword from Rufus. As ever, it was fun to solve, enjoyable and humorous with a lovely clue mix. 8d gets my nod for COTD from several worthy contenders.

    Thank you Mr Squires for many years of puzzles and I join the rest of the blog in wishing you a long and happy retirement in Ironbridge. Thanks, too, to the stunned MP.

  11. What a joy today’s puzzle was, although it was almost finished when I turned to the blog and realised this was the last Rufus puzzle. Thank you for so many brilliant clues, even although at first 26 across had me in a different vein! May I wish you a long and happy retirement Mr Squires. My thanks also to Miffypops.

  12. I would also like to send all best wishes to Mr Squires for a long and happy retirement.
    His grids gave me the confidence to attempt cryptic crosswords many years ago, I always look forward to Mondays.
    Thanks to MP for the hints which were not needed today, but enjoyable to read.
    Seasons Greetings to all, I am looking after my grandaughter for the rest of the week so may not get time to comment again this week.

  13. I wish Roger all the best in his retirement.from setting.

    He has regaled millions of fans around the world. His puzzles syndicated around the world have been popular and much liked in India. When I joined a newspaper here in Chennai that was Madras in 1975, I was given the duty of issuing crossword copy to the Press. I handled it until I left the paper for another in 1986. Of course, at that time I knew only the agency’s name, not the settter’s. That I came to know later, thanks to the advancements in technology and advent of crossword websites, blogs, message boards and what not.

    I was fortunate in corresponding with him.


  14. Thank you so much for the enjoyment you’ve given us over the years, Mr Squires. Have a very Happy Christmas and a long and enjoyable retirement.

  15. It was my poor old (very old) Mum’s funeral on Friday and now this! Two sad days sandwiching the weekend. Rufus may not have been the most taxing of our regular setters but very often he has been the most entertaining. My best wishes to him for a long, healthy and happy retirement. My favourite clue today was 30a, the full significance of which was only appreciated after solving the Quickie.
    Thanks to MP for his review.

  16. Monday mornings just won’t be the same. My first cryptic puzzle was a Rufus & it took me a week to finish it while I was on holiday with the family in Cyprus. Happy days! Enjoy your retirement Rufus & let’s see what next Monday brings.

    BTW the Grauniad has its first cryptic from 1982 by the maestro although as is per usual for that organ it chose to show a Paul puzzle with same serial number. I think it’s been sorted but isn’t it just typical?

  17. Thank you Roger Squires for the thought provoking entertainment you have provided over the years. I wish you a long and happy retirement. I can recommend it!

  18. What a sad day all round, I thought it a brilliant puzzle and had earmarked a **/***** before reading the blog.
    As RD says,30a was a fitting finale and I think it was not by accident -what a fitting apposite end-well done and thanks again for all the fun.

  19. Many thanks for all the pleasure you have brought to Monday mornings, Mr Squires. Your back-pagers were some of the first I ever managed to solve unaided and gave me the confidence to tackle other puzzles that I would previously have thought were well beyond my capabilities. I am so sorry to see you go but hope that you get much enjoyment from your well-earned retirement.

    Today’s puzzle was as enjoyable as ever – 21a & 5d winning the accolades from me.

    Thanks to MP for the blogging duties – I wonder who will be stepping up to tax your brains next Monday?

    1. Hello Jane. I can only hope that Shamus or Samuel have already been asked. I don’t mind really I will do battle with any of them. I hope you sang along to Perry Como. As for Bob Dylan singing Autumn Leaves – I had heard that song many times by many people but only when Dylan sang and phrased it as only he can did I get to understand the song.

  20. I’d like to add my thanks and best wishes to Mr Squires whose puzzles have given me great pleasure, as well as some serious head-scratching, over the last few years. I hope you have a long and enjoyable retirement.

  21. The wit and wisdom of Mr Squires will be much missed on Mondays … not only in the Telegraph but also in the Guardian and the FT. Maybe n million clues is enough?

    Many thanks for them all !

  22. I loved the retirement references in both the cryptic and especially the brilliant Quick Pun.

    A big thank you to Roger for all the pleasure your puzzles have provided over the years. Enjoy your retirement

    PS I did smile at the way the Graun managed to do their ‘usual’ muddle – nice to see the DT said farewell properly

  23. So sad to hear of your exit Roger after entertaining us for decades.Happy retirement and merry xmas.Your Kenyan fan.

  24. Rufus

    Thank you for many years of entertainment. I have always enjoyed your puzzles.
    Have a long and happy retirement.

  25. I can only echo every sentiment expressed so eloquently by those above. So much pleasure over the years. ‘Yours Aye’ Rufus.

  26. This was a veritable joy to complete thanks mainly to all the smooth surfaces. Fav 4d. Rufus you will certainly be sorely missed by so many long-standing cruciverbal followers including me. Thank you for all the pleasure you have given over the years including today’s final offering. The Quickie pun is also a nice final touch. I wish you a long, healthy and happy retirement which you richly deserve. 🌹 🍀 🌈
    Thanks also to MP for today’s hinting.

  27. A lovely crossword as so often on Mondays, and a great quickie pun to go with it. Thank you Mr Squires for many years of lovely puzzles, and all the best for your retirement. Also of course to MP for the blog.

  28. Thank you Mr. Squires for your many crosswords. Monday’s are always our favourites What will we do now? Have a lovely retirement, with lots of exciting voyages.

  29. Another and sadly last puzzle from Rufus. I completed this unaided which doesn’t always happen and found it very enjoyable. Thanks to Mr Squires and enjoy your well deserved retirement. Thanks also to MP for the review.

  30. Good afternoon everybody.

    Nice puzzle though a bit on the gentle side. 30a a nice parting shot.


  31. I am often a lurker – rarely getting time to do the crossword (at least not on the day it’s published) and even less often finding time to write a comment. But had to do it today to join in all the thanks to Rufus for giving us so much pleasure. Have a very long, happy and enjoyable retirement.

    And thanks too to Big Dave and all the people who provide such wonderful help. I can’t bear not being able to complete the whole crossword, so frequently have to use the site for support – and when I find one of those ‘I know what it is, but no idea why’ moments, it saves my sanity!

  32. Thank you Rufus for helping me ( a complete beginner) – because I always looked forward to Mondays –
    I knew there would be plenty of anagrams – and a lot of wit! Can’t blame you for wanting to spend your
    time travelling – that bridge of ours does not look good in its plastic mac!
    Again – thank you – when I got the answer (thanks to your steering) I felt so good!

  33. For the millionth time, a readily solvable puzzle which was superbly entertaining and enjoyable. You will be sorely missed.

    I thought that the quickie pun was unique.

  34. Thank you rufus for all the great crosswords. I’ve only be doing cryptics seriously for a couple of years but I’ve been doing the Monday backpager for considerably longer. Indeed your puzzles were the main reason I got hooked on cryptic crosswords. Monday’s will never be the same. So long and thanks for all the fish !

  35. Another lovely puzzle from Rufus, only spoilt in the knowledge that it is your last. May you thoroughly enjoy your well earned retirement. Having been retired for a few years now we can definitely recommend it 😊. And 30a was such a clue with a smile. Have to say I also loved 11a and 18d as being very English clues. My Dad loved the ones in 11a but I preferred the cockles. Again best wishes Rufus from an expat in South Florida.

  36. The usual Rufus excellence today that will be missed on a Monday by many including myself.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP **/*****

    I hope you have a healthy and happy retirement Mr Squires and thanks for sharpening my skills with double and cryptic definitions in particular.

  37. Wonderful signing off from the Maestro.
    Thank you for the countless hours of teasing and testing wordplay.
    Happy Retirement Roger.

  38. As a “lurker” – one who uses and appreciates the hints but doesn’t often comment – I must add my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Squires for uncountable hours of enjoyment and entertainment over the years. Today’s offering was truly outstanding and I even managed to finish it without electronic help – a minor miracle! I wish you a happy retirement, Rufus, and hope that future Monday puzzles are as enjoyable as those past. And, as cannot be too often stated, many thanks to BD and the team for the invaluable service you provide to us amateurs.

  39. Thank you Rufus. I tend to struggle with a few of your clues but when I think “hang on, this is a Rufus” I normally get there. Today was no exception but very enjoyable as ever. Have a long and happy retirement.

  40. I would like to join the others in thanking you, Master Squires, for the years of enjoyment you have given us and wish you a very happy retirement – you might have time to do some crosswords yourself! Another enjoyable puzzle today. All went in quite smoothly until held up for a while in SW corner. With your pun in the Quickie and your sign off at 30a – that one has to be my favourite. I suspect you’ve been plotting those for some time?? **/*****.

  41. This is a very sad day in Crosswordland. Rufus has been something to look forward to on the gloomiest day of the week. Nobody can possibly replace him as a setter. I do hope that the Telegraph may publish old crosswords of his from time to time to remind us of his inimitable style and expertise. I had hoped that he would stay in harness at least until he was ninety! Enjoy your retirement, Rufus, and thank you for the many hours of pleasure you’ve given us over the years

  42. And now that I’ve got round to solving the puzzle… :-) Rufus bows out with a top-notch crossword that I found to be a little tricky in the SE corner, but a bit of a breeze elsewhere. ** for difficulty overall. The editor now has a bit of a headache, how to find somebody who can provide puzzles like this every week. Enjoy your retirement, Rufus, and thanks for all the entertainment over the years.

    PS 30ac was a lovely last, poignant touch, wasn’t it?

  43. Very nice but badly let down by 2d, the use of general/current is extremely weak.
    Did like 21a and 23d however.
    For me **/***
    Thx to all

  44. Haven’t done the puzzle yet as I’m saving all the DT ones until pommette gets back here on Wednesday but just popped in to say a big “Thank You” to Rufus for all the entertainment he has provided over the years. Enjoy your retirement sir and long may it last.

    On another sad note pommette’s mother died this morning so thanks to those who wished her well last Thursday on my blog.

    1. So very sorry to hear that, Pommers – I do hope that Pommette is coping OK. She’ll need lots of hugs on Wednesday.

    2. Oh, pommers, that is such sad news. No matter how much it’s expected, bad news like that is always upsetting. All sympathies to pommette.

    3. Thank you so much everyone for all your kind thoughts!
      I’ve done most of the essentials today, will complete them tomorrow as I’ve now got an appointment at the registrars and then I’m going home on Wednesday for a hug off pommers!
      We’ll both come back in January for the funeral and anything else that still needs to be done.
      Currently sharing a bottle of bubbly with my lovely friend Christine and raising a glass to my mum.

      1. Just noticed your sad news – my condolences to Pommers and yourself. I wish you both and your family the very best at what, I’m sure, will be a difficult time.

  45. Hard to imagine no more Rufus puzzles. Many thanks Rufus for years of entertainment and wishing you a long and happy retirement.

    Ah, at least I still have today’s Guardian to do.

  46. A classic Rufus puzzle to go out on Mr Squires. Thank you so much for the fun and entertainment over the last couple of years. Only got to know you through this blog. You will be missed. Many congratulations, enjoy your retirement it is well earned.

    Great puzzle great anagrams, lurkers and much more.

    Clues of the day 24a and 4d.

    Rating ** / ****

    Many thanks again Rufus and MP as well.

  47. I would just like to echo what so many others have already said and thank Rufus for his enormous contribution which has made Mondays much more tolerable for so many of us! Enjoy your retirement, Mr Squires, content in a job very well done.

  48. Forgive me for stating the obvious as I’m sure many of you have spotted it but ‘Roger Squires’ is an anagram of ‘Complete legend’.

        1. I don’t mind what people call me these days. My younger sister couldn’t say Carolyn when she was a toddler and used to call me Ca Ca, As we lived in several European countries during my childhood this gave many people the giggles. Born British where Caroline used to be the spelling ratherr than the American Carolyn, I spent a lot of time saying ‘No, it’s L Y N.’ These days I rarely hear my name said at all, I very rarely leave the house and garden, one car and we live out in the country. My husband called me ‘Sweetheart’ and the cat just gives me that ‘look’ when she wants something! Though I do talk to the cat, and the computer………. and various other household appliances…… so it’s probably fortunate that not too many people see me, I’d probably get hauled off to a padded room.

          1. Don’t worry – there are worse things to be called. My youngest cousin is called Veronica – her sister who is a couple of years younger couldn’t say it so she was called ‘Wonka”. She was sixty in April and is still called it, but only by the family.

            1. Hi Kath
              Do you plan to send PuzzleMaster Squires some of her chocolates as a retirement gift?

          2. ‘Cacker’ has a different meaning over here – I’d keep that nickname to yourself if I was you! (I’d put a ‘wink’ here if the emoticons or whatever they’re called actually worked!)

  49. Well, Rufus, this sad day has dawned. I have always loved your puzzles, and now we’ll have no more. I’m inconsolable. Have a wonderful and enjoyable retirement.
    I don’t usually do the quickie but today I did and what a pleasure it was.
    There was so much good stuff in today’s offering, I think 30a was perfect, followed by 4d and 8d.
    Thank you so much Rufus for the years of outstanding entertainment, and thanks to M’pops for his fine farewell to Rufus.

  50. Wonderful forward Miffypops, thank you. I have been a Rufus fan from the day I first tackled a backpager and you have put into words my feelings today. Many, many thanks to you Mr. Squires – enjoy retirement. I have just raised a glass to you.

  51. Years ago, I will have been doing Rufus puzzles with my parents without knowing anything about the setter(s). My Dad always used to say the start of the week was a good time to get used to the cryptic. Part of my history really. Best wishes for a long and happy retirement Rufus.

  52. Just relieved that MP doesn’t retire at the same time.
    As for Rufus, I wish him a very happy retirement. Shame really as his style was starting to grow on me. As long as he kept the number of cryptic defs to the strict minimum.
    Thanks for all the crosswords and thanks to MP for the review.
    All my condolences to the pommers.

  53. Many thanks Rufus for many years of enjoyment. You have given so many people so much pleasure.

  54. It feels like the end of an era. Rufus puzzles have been such an integral part of our cryptic solving experience for as long as we can remember.
    Our wish is that you find as much pleasure in your retirement as you have given us over the decades of solving.
    Enjoy your retirement Roger. All the best.

  55. I hope the Telegraph can find someone to follow you ( big boots to fill)
    not only a great compiler, but a very good magician saw you years ago
    at the Wolverhampton West End working mans’ club, where you had to be
    good or else.
    All the very best.

  56. Oh gosh ! I’m very sad to hear Roger squires has decided to retire , Monday will never be the same.
    I wish you a very short retirement and that you decide to make a comeback.

  57. Lovely crossword **/**** a fitting finale for a great compiler who always made Monday’s special 🍷 Happy retirement Roger Squires you will be sorely missed

  58. Thank you Roger Squires for all the brilliant puzzles. I wish you a long and happy retirement. Thanks for brightening up Monday mornings with your gentle wit. Mondays will never be the same again. Great puzzle to finish on, and super pun in the Quick. I thought 30a was very poignant, didn’t notice 17a was an anagram for ages. Last in was 25d. Favourite was 11a. Was 3*/4* for me. Thanks to Miffypops for the review and hints.

  59. I am more of a lurker these days but I just had to pop in and wish Rufus a very happy, well earned retirement and a very sincere thank you to MPs for keeping me on the straight and narrow when I have wandered off while solving your masterly crosswords. Oddly solving 30a amused me as I am reading a book called Pepys London at the moment, it seemed very apposite.

  60. Quite a career – having read yesterday’s article – follow that anyone? Thank you Mr Squires for the enrichment you have given my own life and a lovely swansong puzzle to leave on. **/**** with 17a being my ‘normal’ favourite (a classic clue, I thought) but will award laurel leaves to 30a and drape some on your shoulders too!

    Enjoy a long and happy retirement.

  61. As a relative newcomer, Mondays have taught me so much – with Rufus and Miffypops bringing so much enjoyment. I look forward to Mondays more than any other day, and refer to the DT as Rufus/MP day. Thank you millions. You will be sorely missed by so many – that is very clear. Every good wish in your well earned retirement.

  62. I would like to add my good wishes to Mr R Squires (Lt RN ret’d) on the news of his well-earned retirement. I thank you for all your contributions to the world of crosswords in compilation, editing and giving enjoyment to the novice and experienced solvers in all your guises. I hope it is a long and enjoyable retirement and wish you well in your future endeavours. Thank you Sir.

    MP, I hope your new Monday compiler doesn’t give you too much of a headache. Best wishes for 2018.

    1. Hi Jim. Nice to “hear” from you again. Hope all’s well and that you will be popping up here again regularly.

        1. Thank you guys – nice to hear from you too. RD – can you enlighten me with what happened ‘Down Under’?

          1. Men against boys I’m sorry to say. I can’t see anything other than a 5-0 whitewash coming up.

            1. I think you’re probably right on that score – will they benefit from the experience? I believe the ECB has to concentrate more on County and Test cricket. Bring back the mental mindset to stay in the middle and wear out the bowler – not vice versa :)

  63. Oh dear – I’ve rather missed the boat here and it’s all been said already so I’ll just add my thanks to Mr Squires for so many crosswords that have provided entertainment to so many for so long.
    The other thing that I’d like to say is going to sound damning – it isn’t and it’s not meant to be at all. I think that his crosswords have provided a way into solving cryptic crosswords for a lot of people.
    With all the very best wishes for a long and happy retirement to Rufus.
    Oh dear again – nearly forgot – thanks to jolly old Miffypops too. :smile:

  64. Nice to see a picture of one of the people who scramble my brains.
    As a keen but bad crossword doer.
    Thank you for the frustration of past years.

    1. At the top of the page is a FEATURES section with a gallery. Some of the setters have their photographs in there as do most of your handsome and pretty reviewers. A quick google of Meet The setters will reveal interviews and photos of setters on The Gaurdian.com site

  65. I too would like to add my best wishes for a happy retirement to my ‘just up the river’ Shropshire neighbour. Thank you for the crosswording fun and enjoyment you have given over the years, Rufus. Thanks too for today’s puzzle, which as always provided an entertaining start to my puzzling week. Have a lovely Christmas and all best wishes for 2018.

  66. I would also like to add my best wishes on Rufus’ retirement.
    In the couple of years that I have been doing the DT crossword, I have grown to enjoy my Monday crossword.
    Thanks all.

  67. All the best for your retirement, Mr Squires.
    Thanks for all of the Monday puzzles which I have enjoyed very much.

  68. All good things come to an end. Thank you Mr Squires doesn’t seem adeqate. Few people are legends in their own lifetime, but in Crosswordland you surely are.
    Next Monday was never going to be the same. After today all the others that follow it won’t be either. Hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I your challenges
    30a apposite & COTD for me.
    Thanks also to MP for the appropriately deferent hints

  69. A typically engaging Rufus puzzle, and l particularly enjoyed 8d. I join the chorus of thanks, appreciation and good wishes. My Mondays just won’t be the same, Mr Squires!

    Oh, 1*/4*, and thanks to Miffypops as well.

  70. As a lurker of several months, but a crossword solver for about 30 years. I’ll take this occasion to break cover and thank Rufus for all the pleasure over the years. But also to BD and all the other solvers and hinters who have kept me sane when the grey cells aren’t working and somehow the words don’t come. It’s been nice to hang in the corners of this friendly community.

  71. Thank you so much Mr Squires for many hours of entertainment. I wish you a wonderful retirement.

  72. A late but heartfelt “happy retirement” from me too, Mr Squires. The Monday crossword has always been one of my favourites and today was no exception. Thanks for all the fun – and wishes for a long and fun filled retirement from me too.

  73. Roger – we met several years ago at the Derby Sloggers and Betters.
    I mentioned then that one of your puzzles was the first one that I ever managed to solve on my own. You were so kind and nice to me and your encouragement was fantastic.
    I will miss your puzzles on the DT site and also on the Grauniad too.
    Thanks you for all your puzzles and enjoy your retirement!

  74. Many thanks and best wishes to Rufus from a relatively recent (18 months or so) crossword enthusiast. As a former mariner I especially appreciated 1a today. Yours, aye.

  75. What a nice way and lovely crossword to end a glorious career. Do enjoy your retirement, Mr Squires.

    We feel a little sorry for the new Monday Setter, but we’re sure he/she will be up to the task.

    Loved the final clue.

    Thanks to MP for the blog and thanks to Rufus for such pleasure over the years.

  76. The photograph at the top of the blog was taken after a surprise birthday part for Rufus’s 80th birthday party. After event, Rufus invited a few of us back for a cup of coffee and we got to see the legendary den where he compiled his crosswords and the extensive card file index he used to cross-reference every clue he had written for every paper. I hope that in time the archive will be donated to a university or other library to record for posterity his magnificent output.

    The crossword you can see on the mantlepiece is a special crossword set for his birthday party. There is a copy here:

    NTSPP – 106

    As others have mentioned, Rufus was as entertaining in person has he was through his crosswords. He will be sadly missed on Monday mornings.

    Rufus, may your retirement be a long and happy one. Thank you for all the joy you have brought to us.

    1. Far too late, I fear, to add my heartfelt thanks to Rufus for the many puzzles of his I’ve enjoyed over the years and best wishes for his retirement. (I blame the Graun’s decision to cease providing feeds from their Crossword Blog). I would like to see the photo you mention, Prolixic, as being “at the top of the blog” but which I don’t see. Perhaps it’s gone now?

      Incidentally, I wonder if there is any significance in the fact that Mr Squires appears to have provided a farewell puzzle for the DT and the FT, but not the Guardian — which republished his first there instead, something which also seems to have been a late decision, judging by the mess which saw it mingled with a Paul puzzle for some?

      1. If you scroll up from where your comment is on this page, you’ll find the photo above the hints. It’s still there – I just checked!

        1. Oh, yeah! Thanks, Jane. Don’t know how I missed that. Is the Telegraph article free to view and if so, have you got a handy link, please?

          Sorry for the late reply. My Outlook app files these notifications as spam. At least the phone app shows the “spam” now, even if I haven’t got used to checking for it yet.

          1. Sorry, Whynot, I’m not au fait with links etc. but if you Google ‘Daily Telegraph article on retirement of Roger Squires’ you can read the article in full.

            1. Got it, thanks, Jane (now why didn’t I think of that? Woods and trees come to mind).

              Excellent article.

              I understand Kitty’s remark too, now. Who’d have thought she’s into cats?

  77. Thanks Mr. Squires for making my Mondays so enjoyable. Enjoy your retirement in as much pleasure as you have given us.

  78. My heart is breaking! The few skills I have for solving Cryptic clues, I have developed from Rufus’ work. I will miss him dreadfully.

  79. Well I am very pleased that I persevered today, (after fatigue and lack of wavelength made it quite tough 2/3 of the way in) otherwise I would not have checked the blog and seen the news.
    Many thanks Mr. Squires – my introduction to Crosswordlandia – and may you thoroughly enjoy your retirement.

    Thanks to MP for the entertaining blog and fitting farewell.

  80. A brilliant signoff from Rufus – anagram city – great fun – have a happy Retirement!

  81. I would have missed the surprising news had I not checked in to get a hint for 2d this morning.
    What a great innings, more clues written than WG’s run total!
    Best Wishes for a long and happy retirement, and many thanks for hours of entertainment :)
    Thanks too to MP for hints and fitting tribute.

  82. Thank you, Rufus, for considerably brightening the Monday blues. 2.5 million clues is quite a legacy. Am I right in thinking that the Quickie is a little more autobiographical than the pun plus 20A and 7D?

    Thanks for the hints Miffypops. (Not needed today for a change.)

  83. Nice last puzzle. As usual I made it more difficult by pencilling in muscle out for 11a and seconds for 21d.

  84. Very much enjoyed your last puzzle, Rufus. So sorry to hear that we shall not be having any more of your good-humoured, lively crosswords to tantalise us at the beginning of the week. Your retirement is well-earned, though, and it will probably be a relief for you to step off the treadmill. Thank you for all the fun you have given us, and very best wishes for the future. Happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.

  85. It’s been delightful, stimulating and sometimes amusing to read your responses week by week. I have much appreciated your contributions, long may they continue on this site. Best wishes, Roger

    1. Boo hoo… Rufus, thank you so much for such joyful, engaging and irreplaceable wit, set off perfectly by Miffypops. I will miss your crosswords so much. Funnily enough, as I was completing this (on line), I had the thought that it felt like the last crossword. I wish you all the best in your retirement. If you could kindly bring out a book of all your crosswords, that would be the next best thing. Happy, gulp, Christmas, to you, and to Miffypops, BD and all.

      1. Yes please Rufus bring out a book of your puzzles. I would just love that. I am slowly converting my American (US) daughter-in-law to cryptic crosswords, she loves them but of course many of the clues and answers are very British but she is certainly trying to get to grips with that. Your puzzles are the perfect way to learn how it all works. Believeme, I am still a student, I doubt I will ever master the skill.

  86. I was only checking todays blog when out of interest I looked at yesterdays .Thank goodness I did ! Rufus over the last few years has been my favourite compiler . The Monday morning crossword always set me up in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day (and week ) I wonder whether Mondays will ever be the same again .Enjoy your retirement Mr Squires ; remember Sinatra !!

  87. After a couple of days of last minute Christmas shopping and ladies lunches, I managed this afternoon to have time to do the crossword. Nothing more enjoyable than sitting down with a ‘Rufus’ puzzle and a Miffypops review. Hope it’s not too late to say thank you to everyone. I shall miss you Mr Squires and wish you a happy retirement. I hope that the new Monday setter is kind to you Miffypops and that you will soon be on his or her wavelength. No doubt you will. Favourite clue has to be 30a.

  88. Sad, sad news that Rufus is calling it a day. I am sure that many will echo my feeling that the Monday puzzle was the most eagerly awaited of the week, it had the promise of a happy encounter with a master setter. I salute his talents and wish him a long and contented retirement.

  89. It was doing the Rufus puzzles which started my interest in cryptic crosswords!
    Many thanks & good wishes for a happy retirement.

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