DT 28463 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28463


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28463

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD’s Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Unusually for Rufus there is only one full and two partial anagrams today. The rest of the clues are typically Rufusish. Nothing should give too much trouble and there is plenty to smile about.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Lost island silly nit recorded in map book (8)
ATLANTIS: Place an anagram (silly) of NIT inside a word that describes a book of maps or charts

6a    Fraud bound to include City in retrospect (6)
DECEIT: Place the postcode for the City of London inside a verb beaning to be bound with rope or string. Use the term in the clue ‘in retrospect’ as an instruction to reverse the lot.

9a    From which the faithful are instructed how to convert wood into paper (6)
PULPIT: A two-parter. The first, from where the faithful are instructed refers to the raised and enclosed platform in a church from which a clergyman delivers a sermon. The second part of this clever clue requires the answer to be split 4,2

10a    Instrument of justice (8)
RECORDER: This musical instrument of torture popular with schoolchildren is also the name of a court official

11a    Advertising agent who’s out-of-this-world? (8)
SPACEMAN: A chap who sells advertising room in magazines etc. is also one who travels beyond the earth’s atmosphere

12a    Sampled last of fruit — fresh dates (6)
TASTED: Take the last letter of the word fruit and add an anagram (fresh) of the word DATES

13a    More than mean (5,7)
ABOVE AVERAGE: Begin with an adverb meaning at a higher level than and add an adjective meaning constituting the result obtained by adding together several amounts and then dividing this total by the number of amounts. The two words together match the meaning of the clue as a whole

16a    Net result of all efforts coming to nought (8,4)
GOALLESS DRAW: This is the result of a football match that has ended with no balls hitting the net and therefore a score of 0-0

19a    Back pay for draughtsman (6)
DRAWER: This draughtsman can be found by reversing (back) a word meaning pay as in a payment made in recognition of service effort or achievement

21a    Sign of nervousness, one fought by the brave (8)
PALEFACE: split (4,4) this could be a sign of nervousness – as a single word it is supposedly used by Native North Americans to describe white people and used by the American film industry.

23a    Ungenerous period for interval (8)
MEANTIME: take a word meaning ungenerous, tight or stingy and add a word describe length of a period.

24a    Look good with jousting weapon (6)
GLANCE: Use the abbreviation for the word good and add the weapon a jouster uses to find the answer to one of the simplest clues ever used

25a    Following ship, like seabird (6)
ASTERN: use a two-lettered word that means like and add a seabird of the family Laridae

26a    University to put in test for learning experience (8)
TUTORIAL: Place the abbreviation for University and the word TO from the clue inside a word meaning a test


2d    President’s superior suit (6)
TRUMPS: The name of America’s president (don’t forget the apostrophe S) is also a name given to a suit of cards which outranks other suits in games such as Bridge and Whist

3d    Jelly made with a non-Eastern spice (5)
ASPIC: Not a lurker but the all of the letters in the answer can be found in the clue. Begin with the letter A and add the word SPICE without its last letter. Not sure here whether Rufus means eastern to refer to the abbreviation for the word Eastern or to refer to the letter at the eastern end (right hand side) of the word spice.


4d    Temple too elaborate to be something Indians venerate (5,4)
TOTEM POLE: Anagram (elaborate) of TEMPLE TOO

5d    Odd way to go over hills (7)
STRANGE: place the abbreviated form of a way or street owner the collective here for a string of hills

6d    Tube holding a gold coin (5)
DUCAT: Place the letter A inside (holding) a word meaning a tube such as one might find in an air conditioner


7d    One may be seen twisting at a party (9)
CORKSCREW: A cryptic definition of a wine bottle opener

8d    Submarine threats that would break down if fired (8)
ICEBERGS: Another Cryptic definition of a hazard at sea that would melt if placed in a fire.

13d    Pocket money could get booze to hold sad party in Africa (9)
ALLOWANCE: Take a three-letttered word for alcohol or beer and insert (to hold) a word meaning sad and the initials of an African political party.

14d    Brilliant featherweight (4,5)
VERY LIGHT: A cryptic definition of a distress flare used at sea.

The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
“Turn on the dark,
I’m afraid of the light.”

Shel Silverstein

15d    Residents who learn they’re not invited on the ship (8)
BOARDERS: A double definition. The first being those who live in at school. The second being those who force their way onto a ship.

17d    A word for the wise (7)
SAPIENT: A straightforward definition of wise people

18d    I will join accountants up a gum tree (6)
ACACIA: The seven words in this clue give us so much to do We need the abbreviation for Chartered Accountant used twice as we have the plural in the clue. These need to be reversed (up) Add the letter I (I will join) and the letter A from the clue. Phew!

20d    Check key’s in, that’s the rule (5)
REIGN: Use a verb meaning to check or guide a horse and add a musical note.

22d    Special aptitude one’s shown for illuminating targets, we hear (5)
FLAIR: Find a homophone based upon what the answer to 14 down is an example of

Blogged whilst listening to Bob Segar and The Silver Bullet band who are about to tour the USA and whose back catalogue can now be listened to on Spotify.

The Quick Crossword pun: mosque+Quito=mosquito

51 comments on “DT 28463

  1. I found some of this elusive and was happy to cheat on the last couple.

    Quite liked 7d, but my favourite in the grid is 5d, while my favourite out of the grid is the 10a clip.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

      1. Hi Una. The short answer is that the only way you can really cheat is by being dishonest – by saying (or implying) that you solved it with fewer aids or faster than you actually did.

        There’s absolutely nothing wrong with solving a puzzle in whatever way you choose to. I refer conversationally to cheating to mean using any aids save looking something up after having worked out what it must be (though I try and mention when I do that, if I remember). But it’s really just my way of disclosing if I used any help. (Today’s “cheat” was an electronic dictionary search.)

      2. I always feel any help, whether hints, Google, thesaurus is cheating, I am kind of hard on myself and only really feel I did well when I solve a clue with no help whatsoever. That is not to say I don’t resort to any and all of the above when I get totally stuck…

      3. 1 – easy; R&W, no help whatsoever, a la Busy Lizzie. Can still be a fun puzzle.
        2 – wordplay suggests a word I’ve never heard of; dictionary.
        3 – still stumped; hints. Goldilocks puzzle.
        4 – I still have no idea, obscure names or religious terms etc – hit REVEAL. Even that to me is education, not cheating.
        5 – ridiculously difficult; life’s too short, buy another paper instead.

        That’s my rating system for difficulty. If I don’t get stuck, have to check something or it’s spelling, it’s too easy! Anything 2 -4 is good for me. Having said that, I do like a real toughie-tussle, as long as it’s useful words and not twaddle words.

          1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous posts which sent you into moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

          2. Hi TM – Goldilocks as in just right; not too hard, not too easy.
            The ‘Click Here!’ buttons beside the hints – click to reveal the answer if I’m totally flummoxed.

      1. Me too, Una, whenever I get stuck. I like to solve without aids at first, then I’ll use my gizmo, thesaurus or dictionary when I am at an impasse. If I find I’m having to use the gizmo too often, then that’s no fun any longer and I use the hints.

  2. No problem with cheating in the case of a double or cryptic definition. If you don’t see it in reasonable time, you can’t just sit there for an eternity waiting for it to dawn on you. There might be something else you need to be doing, such as watching paint dry, for instance. Liked several clues though. Needed the blog to explain every letter in 18a. Larks’ Tongues In Aspic – now we’re talking, MP!

  3. Very straightforward but quite enjoyable – */*** – completed at a gallop with no major problems, a little surprised by the very low anagram count.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 16a, and 23a – and the winner is 16a.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  4. 16a my COTD in this comfortable puzzle from Rufus. Nothing untoward, good fun and a pleasant way to spend a modest amount of time on a Monday. 1.5*/3* overall from me, with many thanks to the aforementioned and of course MP.

  5. A good start for me. Monday’s crossword seems to be on my wavelength. A couple a bit corny but I usually pick those up O K.

  6. Untaxing but very enjoyable. 21 a took me back to the many pleasurable hours I spent in my childhood reading and rereading James Fenimore Cooper and Western comics. There were several clues vying for top spot today but the submarine threats get my vote.

  7. Not quite the simple Monday challenge, but that could be me. I found myself making silly mistakes which did not help matters. Anyway sanity returned and all was duly completed. 16a was my fave and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

    1. That was where I wanted to go with 7d as well but couldn’t really justify the ‘party’.

  8. A nice Monday romp that didn’t cause any problems.
    Podium places went to 13&21a plus 14d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – wish my offspring had played 10a’s like that, we just suffered through hours of ‘Little bird, I have heard’ played ‘laboriously’ which, whilst not a technical musical term, describes the renditions perfectly!

  9. 2*/4*. Typical Rufus – very enjoyable. Many thanks to him and to MP. 16a was my favourite.

  10. Very enjoyable,great fun. Some real ‘smile’ clues esp 7d and 8d with the latter being my personal favourite.
    Not difficult but every clue a delight. I would strongly recommend this puzzle to those new to crossword solving.
    Thx to all

  11. Hmm.. got a bit stuck with 7d as I entered ‘straw’ as the last part of the word and then got stuck on thoughts of curly straws that children like. This was corroborated by 16a which I could not ‘see’. Like PLR, fav was 8d. Good puzzle though so thanks setter and MP for sorting me out. btw, the hidden answer on the hint for 2d is reversed out weirdly.
    **/*** generally.

  12. I think that Kitty’s use of the word ‘elusive’ is a good one to describe today’s crossword.
    In most crosswords I can either get an answer or I can’t but rarely am I left wondering if it’s right and there were a few of those today.
    I missed the ‘converting wood into paper’ bit of 9a.
    I always forget the 24a jousting weapon and think that they use swords – not helpful.
    The 4d anagram took ages as I was thinking of the wrong kind of Indians and thought it was going to be an obscure place that I didn’t know.
    I liked 19a and 8d. Favourite? I can’t make up my mind between 21a and 18d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

  13. 21a was definitely my favourite.
    The last few are always a bit elusive and I am not sure if I am cheating or not.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. You have to do whatever you need to fill all of the grid. I prefer not to use anything other than my brain cells but I don’t consider it to be cheating if I do reach for a dictionary or google for information. Using the hints and tips is fair enough. It will help newer solvers to recognise different clue constructs.
      If in doubt refer to Miffypops rules below

      1 There are no rules.
      2 If in any doubt, see rule one

    2. Definition of ‘cheating”: In Collins on-line,

      “an instance of rule-breaking”

      As Miffypops says “there are no rules”

    3. I agree with MP. I always have both Chambers products on standby – we are told the setters use them, so why shouldn’t the solvers? Then I consider it is ‘fair game’ to do a Google/Wikipedia encyclopedia-type search to identify (once again) the elusive and easily not-remembered location of that ornate mausoleum in India or similar.

      So if I use those resources I do not comment on them. If I have to go ‘deeper’ electronically I will mention it in my comment as ‘electronic assistance.’

  14. Lots of clever clues and a bit of lateral thinking required-favourite 21a, with a special mention to 10a
    Well up to the usual Monday rousing start to the week and a **/**** for me , thought 7d was card something till the penny dropped !
    Shows the quality of the clues when nearly everybody seems to have a different favourite.
    Thanks all.

  15. A lovely, typically entertaining Rufus puzzle eliciting a wide range of favourites I notice. Mine were 9a, 10a and 7d.

    Many thanks to Mr Squires and to MP.

  16. Sorry to quibble but 18d is botanically incorrect!

    Acacia is part of the Wattle “family” of shrubs. It’s the Eucalyptus that’s known as a gum tree.

    1. The gum used for cigarette papers is derived from the Acacia; but I see your point.

      Gum arabic, also known as acacia gum is a natural gum made of the sap of two species of the acacia tree; Senegalia (Acacia) senegal and Vachellia (Acacia) seyal. (Google)

      So the ‘Gum Tree’ sometimes does refer to the Eucalyptus, but Acacia is a tree from which gum is sourced.

    2. It is a cryptic crossword. If it was not the clue would be simply Gum Tree and the answer Eucalyptus. Realising it could not be Eucalyptus I then found that Acacia fitted and looked it up to find the Gum connection.

  17. Typical Rufus offering today, but I fell down at 16a. I was so convinced that the second word was “free”, but that would make my 7d incorrect, which I was sure wasn’t.
    I liked lots, 7d, 18d, 21a and more, can’t choose a fave.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his usual entertaining review … larks tongues in aspic indeed, ugh.

  18. This was a lovely puzzle where the hold out clues were, for the most part, ones I could work out if I really applied myself. Did need Miffypops hints to finish, although I did get off to a romping start. COTD definitely 21a, which I didn’t get at first, but loved when it dawned on me, having gone down completely the wrong road for a while.

  19. Top half went in very quickly then I came to a halt. I put it down for a while and when I revisited it slowly gave itself up.

    Tough going I thought, but enjoyable. Favourtes 16 & 21a.

    Thanks to all concerned.

  20. I have to say that I really didn’t enjoy this at all and had no compunction about “cheating” with lots of help. South wasn’t too bad apart from 16a but I struggled in the North. I have never heard of the advertising man although he had to be. One or two doltish clues e.g. 8d. 9a sort of Fav. Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  21. I thought it was going to be a R&W at first. Then got held up on top right. Couldn’t get 7d for ages. Liked 13a, 16a and some more. Strangely I’ve never heard of 17d as wise. Only in the sense that something is living. 14d was a struggle until I got 13a. Then I felt it was a bit weak.
    Overall very enjoyable, including Mpops hints.

  22. Fun clues. Enjoyed it especially 10 and 16a and 15 and 22d. Got three quarters in without a hitch. Then came to a halt in the SE. Last 4 in were 22d 21a 18d and 26a. 26a was only the last to go in as I could not parse it – and did not do so without MP’s hint. Problem was I thought the test was “oral”. Thanks Rufus and MP ( I would not call a Recorder a Court Official but I may be splitting hairs!).

  23. We’ve had a funny sort of day with servicing, MOTs, hold ups and general annoyances.

    I have to say this was one of them- I found it difficult and I really didn’t like it, so one more disappointment.

    I started with “breaking even” for 16a….and stopped after barely 70% when I would have needed wholesale cheating to finish, so didn’t.

    Sorry Rufus and MP.

  24. Everything apart from the NE corner went by in a flash, which then took about three quarters of the time. Still ** for difficulty, but a definite change of gear.

  25. Our last one in was 16a where we said to ourselves, “surely it doesn’t have two Ls in the first word,” but it does! Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Rufus and MP.

    The cheering that is going on in NZ this morning for the America’s Cup yachting result can probably even be heard halfway around the globe. The whole country has been up before dawn for the last few days while the drama has been playing out in Bermuda.

  26. As ever, undone by Rufus’ cryptic definitions…
    I don’t like Mondays.
    Thanks MP for the hints and Rufus

  27. Not difficult, but enjoyably quirky: 1*/4*. Some clever cluing, like 13d, but my favourite was 21a (mainly because of the association with Bob Hope, Jane Russell and Roy Rogers!). Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  28. Typical Rufus – not too tricky, a few good ‘uns and a couple of shockers, viz 8d. Very much liked 16a, which had me mightily misled until virtually all the checkers were in. Brought a smile. Ta to MP (Main Street & Against the Wind are my favourite Bob Seger tracks, especially the latter) and Rufus. 2*/3*

  29. Can’t believe I was the only one to think 19a Backpay for draughtsman was REWARD ie drawer backwards. Gave me problems with13 16 and 20 down :-(

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