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DT 28696

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28696

Hints and tips by Moody Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from Salisbury Plain where Miffypops has been helping a group of volunteers realign Stonehenge to make this ancient monument work properly during British Summer Time. This is particularly important for the summer solstice. We will be back in October to reverse the process so the stones are properly aligned for the winter solstice.

Today’s puzzle is by Dada. Monday’s are definitely different now and I am a huge fan of the new regime alternating Mr Ron with Dada. Both solving and hinting have an exciting edge which I look forward to.

As usual here are some hints tips to help you to solve the clues you might be struggling with or to help you understand answers you have but cannot see why. There will also be some random ramblings that may amuse or not. Illustrations may be tenuously linked to clues but are unlikely to lead to solutions. No animals other than one hedgehog were hurt or embarrassed during the production of this blog. Pencils and pens are a no no in Miffyland but if you do solve on paper the writing in of your last answer is a complete waste of time and a waste of the world’s resources. Think on.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Mercury’s counterpart, some other messenger (6)
HERMES: This messenger of the gods is hiding within the words of the clue. The word some indicates this.

5a In brownish-red, a cold biscuit (8)
MACAROON: Begin with a colour. A brownish-red colour. Insert (in) the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for cold. The answer is a biscuit favoured by Thora Hird and Alan Bennett

9a Model iron horse, about ton, powerful beast (10)
RHINOCEROS: Use an anagram (model) of IRON HORSE together with the Roman numeral for one hundred as indicated by the word ton.

10a One side remaining (4)
LEFT: A double definition. The first being the opposite to right

11a Loyal butler set out to get European Union backing (4-4)
TRUE-BLUE: An Anagram (set out) of BUTLER is followed by the reversed (backing) abbreviation of the European Union.

12a Horse drinks in seawater (6)
MARINE: Place the word IN from the clue inside a female horse

13a Repeat filling in multiple choice (4)
ECHO: Our second lurker of the day. The word IN tells us so.

15a Genius — mug following one abroad (8)
EINSTEIN: We have two foreign words to find here with no indication of which language. We have a word meaning one and a word meaning a mug which you may associate more with a beer glass. The genius you are looking for is not Stephen Hawkins

18a Squid caught malaria at sea! (8)
CALAMARI: Use the abbreviation for caught and add an anagram (at sea) of MALARIA. It is always nice to have a bit of food in a puzzle but I find this to be like chewing an elastic band.

19a Travel beyond a river to get legendary vessel (4)
ARGO: Place a word meaning to travel, move, depart, advance, pass, walk, progress or wend one’s way is placed after the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for the word river

21a Typo, say, students recalled (4-2)
SLIP-UP: Find a word meaning students. Reverse it and split it 4-2

23a Figure heading for ruin, one in mess (8)
TRIANGLE: This three-sided figure can be found by inserting the initial letter (heading) of ruin together with the letter that looks like the number one inside a confused mess of something twisted together

25a Lead sulphate’s beginning to encounter dark liquid (4)
STAR: Use the first (beginning) letter of Sulphate and add a dark, thick flammable liquid distilled from wood or coal, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons, resins, alcohols, and other compounds. It is used in road-making and for coating and preserving timber. (Don’t ya just love Google)?

26a Use marker pen here: wet biro had burst (10)
WHITEBOARD: My sort of anagram (burst) of WET BIRO HAD. Almost had me reaching for the forbidden writing implements. Dogged determination won the day.

27a Study new careers with minimum of hope (8)
RESEARCH: Anagram (new) of CAREERS with the first letter (minimum) of the word Hope.

28a More orderly, I had to get in line (6)
TIDIER: Place the shortened form of I had inside a noun meaning a row or line


2d Queen rings the number (5)
ETHER: Place our monarchs regal cypher around the word the to find this anaesthetic. Number here meaning something which numbs

3d Jerk mentions a US state (9)
MINNESOTA: An anagram (Jerk) of MENTIONS is followed by the letter A from the clue to make a state in America. The home state of a recent Nobel literature laureate.

4d Island first to strike in hostile manner (6)
SICILY: Begin with the first letter of the word strike and add a word meaning to behave in a hostile, angry or unfriendly manner

5d Actress having edited line, re-edit in protest (7,8)
MARLENE DIETRICH: Our clue here asks us to solve an anagram (edited) of LINE RE EDIT and place it inside a processional form of protest. Done correctly you will find a woman who said these very wise words “Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast”

6d Adhesive holds as window opening sideways (8)
CASEMENT: The adhesive here is a powdery substance made by calcining lime and clay and mixing it with water. Insert the word as into it as indicated by the word holds in the clue.

7d Instrument for measuring sovereign? (5)
RULER: A rather obvious double definition. Need I say more?

8d Unsatisfactory finale causing displeasure (9)
OFFENDING: We need to start here with a three-lettered stretched synonym for the word unsatisfactory. Perhaps meaning no longer fresh when referred to food. Add a word meaning the finale

14d King almost finished eating extravagant dessert (9)
CHARLOTTE: Begin with the name of a king minus his last letter (almost). Insert (eating) the three-lettered abbreviation for a term meaning extravagant. This was the name of the Tiswas spin off programme from the early 1980s

16d Unfortunately on trial, commercial travellers, the lot of them! (9)
TRAINLOAD: Anagram (unfortunately) of ON TRIAL followed by the shortened form for what what a television commercial is known as

17d Staff machine that cuts round article on page (8)
MANPOWER: Place a machine that cuts grass around the form of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound and the abbreviation for page.

The Mower by Phillip Larkin

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

20d Still, lift is fast (6)
SILENT: Reverse (lift) the word is and add the name of the time of fasting which precedes Easter

22d Shilling in spotless little bag (5)
PURSE: Place the abbreviation for a shilling inside a word meaning spotless, chaste or virginal.

24d Massive lobsters, and raw gulper eels for starters (5)
LARGE: Use the initial letters or starters of five of the words in the clue

A delightful puzzle in which we get to travel the to the US and to an island in the med. We have two types of transport for doing so and squid, biscuits and cake are provided. It is a shame for the hedgehog though.

Quickie Pun Le Mans+Seoul=Lemon Sole. Yum yum


47 comments on “DT 28696

  1. Slightly trickier than normal for a Monday possibly. I thought it was a very good puzzle.

    Thanks to MP and Dada **/****

  2. 1.5* / 4*. Monday fun continues apace. This was all over quite quickly but still very enjoyable.

    My only query was after I had solved 16d I wondered if the answer was a real word. I checked my BRB and it’s not there but it is on Collins on-line.

    Many thanks to Dada and to MP.

    1. It is in Senor. Tales Of Yankee Power by Bob Dylan

      Well, the last thing I remember before I stripped and kneeled
      Was that trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field
      A gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring
      He said, “Son, this ain’t a dream no more, it’s the real thing”

  3. Lots to enjoy from Dada this sunny morning. 19a popped up again like an old friend, and I really enjoyed 8d. Overall this was 2* /4* for me, with many thanks to our alternating Monday setter and the stone-shifting MP.

  4. Definitely different , and some slightly tricky clues .
    My favourite is 15a .
    Thanks to Miffypops and Dada .

  5. Terrific, I loved this delightful start to the (working?!) week. SE was last to go in possibly due to having similar reservation on 16d as RD (I initially toyed with coachload). Gold goes to 17d with a silver for 14d and bronze for 8d. Quickie pun provided a LOL moment. Altogether great fun – many thanks Dada and MP whose hints I will now surely enjoy. Just listened with pleasure to Lili Marlene TVM MP.

  6. 5 down actress was a real humdinger. Initially thought it was an anagram until M was first letter. Multiple edits and confusion!

  7. What a very enjoyable challenge. Monday’s puzzles plus MP’s insights are becoming something to look forward to. My inner chemist enjoyed 25a.
    In a bid for “Pedant of the Day” I think MP that you’ve had a slip of the keyboard in your hint for 26a but as always your review is a delightful dessert after the main course. Thank you 😎

      1. Also, a 21a in 15a! Could you explain the forbidden writing implements you refer to in your hint for 26a?

        1. They are mentioned in the introduction. Not everyone agress with MiffyPops, I certainly don’t as I like to solve in fountain pen on paper.

          1. I always use a gel ink pen, but Mr BL prefers a pencil, so you can surmise he is someone who likes to be absolutely sure before he commits whereas I am more likely to make a spontaneous decision. Yet both born under the same zodiac sign. Go figure.

            1. Wow, that’s interesting. Perhaps star signs might be meaningless after all!

              (Sorry, I’ll turn my sarcasm level down a notch or two).

  8. A very good start to the work week, almost a Rufus, completed at a fast gallop – */***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1d and 6d.

    Thanks to Dada and GMoLI.

  9. Have to say that my association with 5a’s is definitely JL these days although MP’s hint reminded me of that wonderful Talking Heads series from Alan Bennett – surely time it was shown again?

    Found this one to be quite straightforward for Dada – not that I’m complaining on a Monday! Quite liked the simplicity of 2d but no particular favourite.

    Thanks to Dada and to MP for the blog. Thought the clip for 13a would have made a nice instrumental number.

    1. Good straight-forward from one of my favourite setters. 12 ac, 16 ac were penny-dropping moments. 2d – I often miss the “number”!!!

      Thangs Dada and MP

  10. A tricky start to the week if I had spelt 9a correctly(a senior moment) and had difficulty sorting out 5d then it might have been easier. Nevertheless Dada is proving to be a star.
    Thanks to him and Miffypops

    1. Does this help for the spelling of 9a, Spook….

      If it banged itself against a tree it would have a SORE CON(k). The capital letters are the last 7 letters, backwards.

      (Forgive me, Big D and Miffington Popsicle, if that is revealing too much of the answer)

  11. Thanks to Dada and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week. A little bit tricky with some nice clues. I particularly liked 2&20d, very well clued. Favourite was 14d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  12. **/**** for this very good week-opener. 20d was my favourite but MP’s blog was better still. Great stuff. Thanks both.

  13. Very nice start to the week. First two in were 1a and 5a and brought to mind Jean Luc in a 1a Cravat😀👔🍥
    I was stuck on 4d for a while and wanted to bung in something but resisted until I read the hint and the hostile unfriendly manner still wouldn’t come to mind.
    If pushed I would include 6d as well as 1a and 5a as CluesOTD.
    Thanks to MP and Dada for a nice start to the week.

  14. Like a number of others, I found certain clues quite tricky, and my LOI (20d) took a while to nail. My favourite clue was 23a.

    I hadn’t heard of gulper eels before, but they certainly do exist. From Google images it’s easy to see why they are also known as pelican eels.

    Many thanks to Mr Halpern and the moody one.

  15. Splendid puzzle. Difficult to choose the best clue but really liked 5&14d and 21a. Thanks to the setter and MP for the usual amusing review.

  16. Thought this was now the typical Monday puzzle post Rufus. Thankfully the setter gave me the 15 letter 5d that went in first pass, although on the first look at the puzzle it certainly did appear harder than I actually found it. Overall a good start to the week, enjoyed it. SE corner held me up briefly with 16d last in. Quite a lot of the solutions went in before I’d parsed them properly, guess sometimes it’s like that?

    Clues of the day: Liked both 14d / 24d

    Rating: 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to MP and Dada

  17. My father met 5d in a nightclub in pre-war Paris, when she accidentally trod on his foot. She was very apologetic.

    1. That’s a brilliant way to meet a legend, bet he didn’t ask her to dance. Thanks for that wonderful family memory, you can just picture it.

  18. Not difficult today but really enjoyable. I needed electronic help for 26a, always forget that.
    Fave was definitely 5d, a great actress, and thanks for the clip M’pops, always a treat. Runner up was 14d.
    Thanks to Dada and to M’pops, pity about the hedgehog.

  19. A little easier than last Monday for me, but every bit as enjoyable. I particularly liked the Larkin, we could always do with a bit more of him on the blog!

  20. An entertaining crossword and equally entertaining hints from MP. But I mourn the hedgehog. In spring I have to sweep the grass around the pond before mowing takes place in order to persuade the baby frogs back into the water.

  21. Enjoyed this one from Dada, and thanks to Miffypops also. I am sure that Druids appreciated his help at Stonehenge.

    I also spent too long trying to make an anagram out of 5d, despite it starting with an M, duh.

  22. Great start to the week! 9a was my fave even though I never spell the answer correctly the first time around. I struggled to get going (wavelength thang) so 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Dada, and to MP for his review.

  23. Top half went in very smoothly, then I had to work harder to complete the rest. Monday puzzles seem to be
    getting better and better. 15a was a great clue.

    Tnanks to the setter and to MP.

  24. Quite tricky for a Monday I thought, *** for difficulty with the SW corner causing the most difficulty. Last in though was 6d which held out for an age, despite being pretty clearly flagged. Pleased to be able to spell the squid correctly from the anagram and a vague, glimmering memory of the name. Didn’t realise until now that 9ac had two O’s in it.

    1. English two Os. French one O. Further confusion as a macaroon biscuit (English) is made with coconut and is a sort of cake/biscuit whereas the French macaron is a meringue based delicacy. Further, further confusion is that the macarons (French style) are now made in England and called macaroons. John Bee brought some to the birthday bash which I think were from Betty’s

  25. Very good. 25a last in preceded by 15a which was a genius clue. Other favourites 18 and 23a and 2 and 20d. Thank you.

  26. This was a little trickier than the normal Monday puzzle, which is to be welcomed, with one or two clues bordering on brilliant. An enjoyable solve. 2.5* / 3*

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