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DT 28690

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28690

Hints and tips by the happiest of happy Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Coventry Rugby Club (Gwarn Cov) have won their division with five games to spare. It’s Championship Rugby for Miffypops next season. The winning ways of Coventry Rugby club have softened any disappointment over the. England’s Rugby teams poor results.

Well done to the Irish for a well-deserved grand slam. Let’s have a fine version of a fine Irish song.

Oh! There is a crossword puzzle to discuss. To be honest it’s tough but doable. Several clues took a long time to fathom. Checking letters were most welcome. Thanks to our Daily Telegraph Puzzles editor for the mental workout

Today’s hints and tips are provided by Miffypops, a chap so happy he might burst at any moment. They are here to help you solve the clues you cannot solve and to explain the why and the wherefore of those you know are right but are not quite sure why. Definitions are underlined and the solutions can be found by clicking on the click here boxes.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Advocate against foreign currency? (8)
PROPOUND: If you are PRO [the] POUND, you advocate against foreign currency

6a Stop believer adopting son (6)
DESIST: Begin with one who believes in God and insert (adopted) the abbreviation for son.

9a One in search of a bite (6)
ANGLER: This person could be on any stretch of water hoping to catch a specimen like this which was caught at Loch Awe in Scotland

10a Second bowler? He’s out of this world (8)
SPACEMAN: Use the abbreviation for Second and add a noun meaning a fast bowler

11a Move Whistler’s new painting over (8)
TRANSFER: A do as you are told clue. 1. Find a shortened word for the man in the middle during a sporting contest. 2. Remember the apostrophe S in the clue. 3. Add the abbreviation for new. 4. Add a noun meaning painting as a creative activity. 5. Reverse what you have as indicated by the word over.

12a Guess I’m leaving what’s left in will (6)
ESTATE: Find a word which means guess or roughly calculate. Remove the letters I and M (I’m leaving)

13a Change thief and miser (5-7)
PENNY-PINCHER: Find the word for the smallest denomination of small change in your pocket. Find a synonym for one who thieves.

16a Do ask police about Eastern toy (12)
KALEIDOSCOPE: Anagram (about) of DO ASK POLICE followed by the abbreviation for eastern.

19a Eager to call artist first (6)
RARING: Place an artist who is a member of The Royal Academy before a verb meaning to telephone

21a One might tape instruction for Christmas Day broadcast? (8)
RECORDER: Begin with a verb meaning to tape and add the Royal cypher of our present monarch

23a Sue settled on one way in (8)
LITIGATE: Use a three-lettered verb meaning settled, landed or alighted. Add the letter that looks like the number one. Add an entrance, the one to your garden perhaps.

24a Where musician might be in form (2,4)
ON SONG: How one might describe a musician being on time with the score and performing well.

25a Get rid of elected criminal, not Conservative (6)
DELETE: Anagram (criminal) of ELEcTED minus the letter C (not conservative)

26a Somewhere comfortable drinking wine? That’s most unpleasant! (8)
NASTIEST: Place a sparkling wine inside a place of comfort where little baby birds wait to be eaten by magpies


2d Reach the end of rehearsal having exchanged words? (3,3)
RUN DRY: Find a 3,3 phrase meaning a rehearsal of a performance or a procedure. Reverse the two words. (having exchanged words)

3d Power only confused Cable’s support (5)
PYLON: Start with the abbreviation for power and add an anagram (confused) of ONLY

4d Rude about penalty taken by a French defender initially (9)
UNREFINED: Place our usual suspect for about before a penalty that might be given by a court of law inside the French word for A and the initial letter of defender

5d Demolish bottom of second storey for refurbishment (7)
DESTROY: Anagram (for refurbishment) of storey placed after the last letter (bottom of) of the word second

6d Cover discussion between Germany and Spain (5)
DRAPE: Place a verb meaning to talk or chat in an easy and familiar manner between the IVR codes for Germany and Spain

7d Show muscle in ruined castle (9)
SPECTACLE: Place the abbreviation for a chest muscle inside an anagram (ruined) of CASTLE

8d Frightened beginning, then went ahead (8)
STARTLED: Begin with a word meaning the beginning of something. Add a word meaning went ahead

13d Drop high price twice, with a rand off (9)
PRECIPICE: An unusual clue. We have an unusual anagram indicator in the word high. We have the word twice. So anagram (high) of PRICEPRICE minus the abbreviation for Rand (with a rand off). A very nice clue

14d Honour that could make press angry (4,5)
IRON CROSS: Use synonyms for press and angry to find this highest of German military decorations

15d Arsenal play amazing final in Europe (8)
MAGAZINE: Anagram (play) of AMAZING with the final letter of the word Europe

17d Encourage to support small operator? (7)
SURGEON: Begin with a (4,2) phrase meaning to encourage. Place this after the abbreviation for small.

18d Economist‘s way of describing major speeches without books (6)
KEYNES: Begin with a description of major speeches. Remove the books from the first half of the bible.

20d Jar‘s good value (5)
GRATE: Begin with the abbreviation for good and add a value or fixed price

22d Dish some fruit sorbet up (5)
ROSTI: A lurker indicated by the word some. It is reversed as indicated by the word up.

Another fine puzzle from our puzzles editor. I liked it. Did you?

Quickie Pun: Moor+Attain+Ear=Mauritania


90 comments on “DT 28690

  1. A lovely way to kick off the solving week from our Puzzles Editor. Of all the many good clues, I thought 11a was the pick of the bunch. Overall this was nicely balanced between the tricky and the straightforward, and a pleasure to complete so 2* /4* from me.

    Thanks to both Chris Lancaster and the happy MP.

  2. The only one that I couldn’t get was 18D apart from that it was fairly plain sailing. My COD was 23A, many thanks to the setter & to our Monday entertainer MP

  3. 2.5* / 4*. This puzzle was great fun, well in keeping with our new entertaining Monday regime. For reasons which are inexplicable with hindsight, I did have trouble getting started today. I worked my way through the across clues in numerical order followed by the downs and 22d, the last one I looked at, was my first one in. That served as a catalyst to complete the SE corner and the rest then fell nicely into place.

    There were lots of candidates for favourite with 2d & 13d battling it out for first place.

    Many thanks to Sir Ron as well as to Sir MP, who deserves to be knighted for his unique services to reviewing.

  4. It seems to me that some of the clues are really very difficult . I have 2d in mind .
    My favourite is 17d .
    Thanks to Miffypops for that unforgettable rendition of Ireland’s Rugby Anthem.
    Thanks also to the setter .

          1. Sorry for not replying sooner, Una – I got snowed under with other stuff yesterday. I’m not quite sure whether I actually hear it as such, but it certainly puts a sound into my head when I watch the animation.

  5. A pleasant challenge from the Editor with only 11a needing a parse from MP. The discussion in 6d new to me. No real outstanding Fav but 8d reads nicely. South went in smoothly but North rather more tricky. Thank you Chris and MP.

  6. Enjoyable stuff, though I had a brain fail at 21a and had to get Mr K’s help to parse it. (Grr!) I liked 13d (eek at the pic though). My favourite was 2d.

    Thanks to Sir Ron and to MP.

  7. Some really clever clues today. I had to work from the bottom up.
    I got 11d from the crossing letters but had no idea why!

  8. A slowish start meant that this enjoyable puzzle just fell into fast canter time – **/***.

    Nevertheless, a good start to the work week with some very good clues.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 13a, and 13d – and the winner is 13a.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and GMoLI.

  9. Yes – Well done Coventry Rugby Club! Am a Coventry resident but have the burden of supporting our troubled CCFC. I had a few hiccups on the crossword today and had to look at the hints to my shame. 4d baffled me for a long time and I put DECORATE in 21a foolishly (dec – orate). Obviously wrong when I look at it now!

    1. Hello Maggie. Supporting any of Coventry’s sporting teams has its ups and downs. Never dull, always interesting. The City Of Culture stuff sounds very good. I hope it lives up to the hype.

  10. More top notch stuff from CL, love it.

    13d stand out favourite for me, though I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the illustration for that clue. Makes me dizzy just seeing it.

    Thanks to Sir Sam and to MP the happy chappy.

  11. ** for difficulty sounds about right for an enjoyable challenge. I solved in fits and starts, I suspect because the cold has freezed my brain up. Last in the NE corner, and 6d in particular.

  12. Great puzzle, tough (for me at least) but fair and got there int he end – 11a definitely my favourite but 13a a close second….***/****

  13. I found this rather hard and I needed the hints to get 18d and to explain 2d. No more easy Mondays then! Thank you setter for the grey cell exercise and bravo MP for a good fun blog.

  14. Excellent start to the week if a little more taxing than normal. I had trouble starting but once I had a couple of answers in the NW corner things went fairly smoothly. Just finished within ** time. Thanks for Mister Ron and MP.

  15. As soon as I read the first three clues I knew that I’d enjoy this one. That doesn’t necessarily equate to being able to do it but the clues were concise and clever, making it a pleasurable challenge.
    Thanks to the reviewer (but we don’t all share his enthusiasm for rugby!)

  16. i enjoyed this, but don’t like 1 across. Does being pro something automatically mean you advocate against something else?

  17. Agree with17 SL’s comments that the first three clues set the tone-I assume these were from the NW where most solvers start from habit !.
    Some different and difficult clues today , my last in was 18d, which I think would have eluded me without the checking letters.
    Thought 13d was a little different-more like a ‘toughie’ construction to my mind.
    Liked 23a, also 11a-seen the original, think it was in the National years ago.
    Quickie Pun raised a smile.
    Thanks all.

  18. Tougher than normal Monday fare, methinks – enjoyably so, though. 18d defeated me, but it shouldn’t have. 2.5*/****. I liked 10a, 11a, with 2d in first place.

  19. Very enjoyable – quite tricky but satisfying to complete. (24a seemed unfamiliar even when I had done it and found it was right, but that’s probably just me.) Many thanks MP and thanks to the talented Mr L.

  20. An excellent puzzle indeed that got better the more clues I solved. Five earned ticks, 11a, 21a, 2d, 4d and 15d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ed and the happiest of happy chappies.

  21. ***/****. A good mental workout to start the week. The NW corner was a bit of a slog but very enjoyable overall. My favourites were 11a and 2&18d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  22. As a Bedford Blues supporter I look forward to renewing the old rivalry with Cov next season!
    Just needed you help with a couple of answers today. Thanks.

    1. Hello from me Jackie. I have good memories of trips to Goldington Road. I’m sure we will make it an awayday. Looking forward to the away game against Jersey too.

  23. Proceded from the NE in a clockwise direction. Each quadrant seemed a little harder than the one before and must confess to reading a hint for 11a and 2d.
    11 a was one of those clues that require building from several parts and then reversing the lot and they stretch my monday morning brain more than most.
    Lots to like elsewhere 15d and 18d my faves today.
    Thanks to MP and our new ed/monday guy.

  24. Quite a tricky Monday puzzle with a few head scratchers, but enjoyable. Took a good while to get on the setters wavelength and SW corner was slow to get sorted. Last in 18d and had to look up the economist and know the name but not without the referenced help.

    Clues of the day: 25a and 7d

    Rating 3.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to MP and the setter.

  25. Hugely enjoyable today. I never did get 24a, never heard the phrase before, this meant I didn’t get 18d. I don’t feel at all sorry missing those, a bit obscure. I didn’t know 22d but fairly clued and I googled it.
    The rest of it was pure delight, fave was 13a, runner up 2d.
    Thanks to our new editor and to M’pops.

    1. I did get 24a eventually but feel the clue should have started ‘What’ rather than where.

  26. I failed miserably with this one today. I even missed some of the anagrams because I didn’t recognise the indicators. Thank you setter for keeping the old brain cells ticking over, and thanks for the review MP. I was cheered up by the Muppet clip.

      1. Phew. Thank goodness others found it tricky too. That makes me feel a bit better. Never mind, tomorrow’s a new day.

  27. Sorry I couldn’t do a single answer when I read through it.
    Even after reading the hints I had to look up the answer
    Gave up after after pressing Click Here 5 times
    Most days I can do the crossword without a hint
    I don’t understand why
    Michael Watson

  28. Not easy. Monday used to be easier. Found 10 and 11a tricky – not into cricket! Could not find 22d in Chambers. But thanks setter and MP for good workout.

  29. Going to take me a long time to adapt to the new editor’s style. Well beyond me this was today.
    Thanks MP for the hints and the setter.

    1. Ditto. I just wrote a somewhat long comment which then disappeared into the black hole…

  30. Late on parade today having braved the outside world by crossing the bridge to meet up with an old friend in Penrhyn Bay.
    Had to work quite hard on this one but thoroughly enjoyed it, despite cursing slightly when I finally realised that the bowler was neither a hat nor a tile.
    13d was the last to fall – wanted to remove either IR or AR from something to accommodate the ‘a rand’ in the clue.

    Favourite was the simple 14d for its surface read.

    Thanks to Sir Ron, who doesn’t appear to have raised any objections to his ennoblement, and also to MP for the blog. Loved the clip of the pylons (that could explain quite a lot!) and was amused to hear that MP’s idol can even play the harmonica out of tune………

  31. Struggling badly with new Monday regime so I am going to join Brian on his sabbatical. Hopefully I wil be back at some stage but in MPs immortal words play nicely.

    1. Oh dear. I will miss you and your comments. I agree this one was a little tougher.

    2. Don’t give up, Annie. I never had you down as a quitter and it takes us all time to find our way round a different setter’s style – took me a lot longer than usual this morning. Think of how proud you’ll be with yourself when you get him ‘cracked’ – you’ve managed it plenty of times before and I know darned well that you can do it again.

      I’ll send you a large box of tissues to help you through!

    3. That’s a shame Annie.
      Worth remembering perhaps, that the bloggers who strolled through this have probably doing crosswords for years and therefore take their comments in that context.
      I try and take the view that when I struggle, which is getting rarer these days, going through the hints can only improve my solving skills.
      Hope to see you back here soon.

  32. Well I started with 13a; unfortunately I put ‘money grabber’ which did very little to help things along. Eventually it dawned on me that it was not the right answer. Eventually. From then on all was plain sailing… more or less!
    13a will have to be my favourite and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Sir Ron and to the HC from LI. (Wish my football team would do so well)

  33. Far too difficult for me today.

    I cannot get on with this new Monday setter yet…but I will persist.

    Thanks to Miffypops and to the setter.

  34. 11A and 2D had me stumped so thanks for hints on 11a which then allowed me to solve 2d – though took a while to work out why it was the solution to the question Got 24a but didn’t really know why as I’m not sure i know what this phrase means even though i am familiar with it Not sure i had any favourites today and this was definitely more than 2* pour moi.

    Thanks to all

  35. Wow, this one brought me down to Earth with a bit of a bump. It took me much longer to finish than a back pager, especially a Monday back pager normally does. Sheer dim wittedness stopped me from working out the second three letter word in 2d and the economist in 18d was way beyond my genersl knowledge. My favourite clue has to be 13d if only for the stomach churning picture shown with its hint. I really must get to grips with this setter, who for me presents a completely fresh and very enjoyable challenge. Thanks to this ‘newbie’ and also to Miffypops, your help was invaluable.

  36. Like others I found this a lot more difficult today. I finished it, but have to admit that I’m not a fan of this setter’s style – my problem, not his as evidenced by the majority of commments above. I’ll persevere but don’t think I’ll be looking forward to Mondays in the future. Also back at work today so obviously the old brain has had a general workout.

    Many thanks to Sir Ron and the cheery MP

  37. Mondays tend to be an interesting solve, and this is no exception. Right on the 1/2* cusp for difficulty, and 4* for enjoyment. I confess to needing a hint for 18d, after which the solution was of course ridiculously obvious. 13d was my favourite. Thank you, Mr Ron and Miffypops. As for rugby, not only was l downcast on Saturday at England’s continuing slump, but l didn’t get the anticipated boost on Sunday because of the cancellation of the Anglo-Welsh Cup final. Come on, you Chiefs!

  38. Whatever happened to gentle Mondays? This was more like a Toughie, not helped by my not knowing the 6a believer, the bowler in 10a, the music term in 24a. Obviously was day dreaming in class. Downright depressing when most found this easy. Blood pressure eased when later comments came in from those who also struggled, phew. Plus my comment went off into a black hole and this is a redo…

    1. I found this very enjoyable but it wasn’t easy, on the contrary, it was hard. I gave up on a couple in the SE. “On song”, what on earth does that mean?

  39. Really difficult for a Monday. Worst were 1 across 11 across and 18 down should have included”parts of”speech and 20 down I still dont get!

    1. What a wonderful name you have. To ‘jar’ is to ‘grate’ as in on one’s nerves. Good=G and price =rate

  40. Well worth the effort for 14d alone! (my COTD) – however, 2d / 24a surely deserve the Brian Award (‘on song’??) Roll on spring Equinox!
    Thanks for hints – well written, well illustrated.

    1. The major speeches at a conference are often referred to as Keynotes. Remove the abbreviation for the first half of the bible (Old Testament) and you are left with KEYNES and this is where we move from cryptic to GK as he was an economist J.M Keynes. I would suggest looking him up but memories of economics studies remind me that he was a bit dry.

  41. Pretty tough and a bit obscure in places (LIT in 23a. Okay, but). There were some great inventive stuff though that had me working. Last in was 18d which I had arrived at but failed to make the required connections and therefore discarded. 13d stand-out bestie.

    Certainly a departure from Mondays of old and I am not sure if this setter should open the week. Mondays are hard enough as it is for a lot of folks.


    Now to have a listen to Bob’s discordant harmonica. Bob will probably sound quite good after them Muppety guys.

  42. I’ve only just returned to the Telegraph after years in Guardian and Times lands. One of my reasons was to have a cryptic I could enjoy (i.e., do). I did eventually complete today’s crossword, but only after spending much of the day on it and using at least four reference books. That’s not what I want. And on a Monday? No thanks. Back to The Times, where the Quick Cryptic is just right for me.

  43. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 24a and 18d. Had never heard of the latter. As an Arsenal fan, my favourite had to be 15d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  44. A tougher challenge than usual for Monday I thought. [***/***]
    It probably didn’t help that my 13a was incorrect from the start, preventing me from getting 13d, 14d and 7d within a reasonable amount of time!
    COTD probably goes to 13d but there might be others I have missed. :)

    Thanks to the setter and MP. (Very much enjoyed the Muppet clip at the top!)

  45. Tough for Monday (and now Tuesday) but worth caving in to understand why 11a WAS transfer, with bonus of watching Bob Dylan over breakfast.

    1. I have watched that Dylan clip dozens of times Lizzie. Everything I like about Bob Dylan as a performer is in that clip.

      1. I loved that clip. I call myself a huge Dylan fan but it’s not a song I know. Just played to my husband who didn’t know it either. Must play it to my boss who is Dylan fanatic. He’ll no doubt tell me which concert, what socks he was wearing.

  46. Thanks to the blogger, and to those who have commented. Apologies to any who found the puzzle a bit hard for a Monday. Whilst Monday puzzles may on average be a bit easier than those later in the week, there will inevitably be variations away from the mean.

    And please, no ‘Sir Ron’. Just plain old ‘Ron’ is more fitting!

    1. The alternative use of yourself and John Halpern as Monday setters has given me a welcome challenge Chris. I am thoroughly enjoying solving and reviewing Monday’s puzzles. Thanks for dropping in and thanks for the challenges. I agree with you about false ennoblement, but then I am not a fan of any form of honours system.

    2. Thanks for popping in. I really enjoy your puzzles, but I think we should also take comments like treesparrow’s above into consideration. I don’t think that you purposefully make difficulties to stymie solvers, I think it’s just a wavelength thing most of the time.

  47. Needed help on this one. Mind you pencilling in money in 13a and spelling kaleidescope wrong didn’t help. I get key for the first bit of 18d but not nes 🙂

    1. As has been mentioned elsewhere in these comments, it is important to realise that the “way of describing major speeches” is KEYNOTES, as in keynote speeches, so looking at KEY on its own doesn’t help as it’s not a charade of KEY and NOTES.

      1. Don’t be too harsh Dave. When a clue stumps as this one did to so many people one looks for any scrap of help one can find, usually by dissecting the clue bit by bit. To deduce KEY as being synonymous with MAJOR is by no means wrong. To recognise books as OT or NT is a step in the right direction. All credit to anybody who got KEYNES by correct wordplay, incorrect wordplay that sort of made sense, by definition, or by bunging in a word that suited the checkers.

        1. I dont think it harsh to point out that isolating KEY and then trying to justify the NES separately is unlikely to lead to the wordplay for the answer. I can’t repeat enough times that “bunging in” an answer is not in itself wrong, but the purpose of this blog is to explain why those “bung-ins” are correct and to help solvers to do it for themselves.

          1. When I wrote bunging in the post above it autocorrected to bungling. That made me laugh. I often get through by bungling one in.

            1. In the Times Crossword Championships a few years ago, several top solvers, including (I think) John Henderson), were eliminated when they “bunged in” the wrong answer. Someone (cue Tilsit) may remember the clue in question.

  48. I found this one a little trickier than the normal Monday puzzle, which is,for me at least, usually the easiest of the week. Good clues, a reasonable challenge and pretty enjoyable. 2.5* / 3.5*

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