DT 26476

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26476

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I actually found this puzzle by Shamus (a pangram, as is now standard for him) to be a fair bit easier than yesterday’s Rufus (which I didn’t find easy at all), but that’s probably just me – let us know your experience!
If you want to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

9a  Staged work with some rare power on reflection (5)
{OPERA} – this staged work is hidden (some) and reversed (on reflection) in the clue.

10a  English girl with posh date possibly given an assessment (9)
{EVALUATED} – the definition is given an assessment. Start with E(nglish) and add an abbreviated girl’s name, the letter signifying posh or upper-class and an anagram (possibly) of DATE.

11a  Time a prude is shaken up to buy a better property? (5,2)
{TRADE UP} – this phrasal verb to buy a better property is T(ime) followed by an anagram (shaken up) of A PRUDE. The anagram indicator seems a little bit odd given that part of it is in the answer.

12a  Old bachelor with, say, ace comment (7)
{OBSERVE} – follow the abbreviations for O(ld) and B(achelor) with what an ace is an example of (say) on the tennis court.

13a  Sign of agreement seen in a card game (5)
{POKER} – put an abbreviation signifying agreement or assent inside another word for A, as used in the phrase “£2 a punnet”.

14a  Spare type in service? (9)
{RESERVIST} – this is not a full-time member of the armed services but someone who is trained and can be called up quickly should the need arise. I spent some time looking at this clue because I had the feeling that there was more to it than I could see, but in the end I came to the conclusion that it’s just a cryptic definition.

16a  War alas felt more uncertain in novel (1,8,2,4)
{A FAREWELL TO ARMS} – Ernest Hemingway’s novel set in the first World War is an anagram (uncertain) of WAR ALAS FELT MORE.

19a  Rich source touring college getting by the sound of it suitable food item (9)
{MINCEMEAT} – this is a food item consumed a lot at Christmas. A rich source, of gold or silver perhaps, goes around (touring) C(ollege) and this is followed by a homophone (by the sound of it) of an archaic adjective meaning suitable or proper.

21a  Good animals on way back showing rapacity (5)
{GREED} – a synonym for rapacity is G(ood) followed by a reversal (on way back) of animals whose plural is the same as their singular.

23a  Stream from old river flanked by another (7)
{TORRENT} – a fast-moving stream comes from O(ld) and R(iver) inside (flanked by) a major English river.

25a  Brand of car close to notable entertainment venue? (7)
{MARQUEE} – a synonym for a brand of car is followed by the last letter (close) of (notabl)E to make a temporary structure used as an entertainment venue (and especially useful if it’s raining).

27a  Outfit for distant travel in resort with clubs, say, fringing church (9)
{SPACESUIT} – the definition is outfit for distant travel. Start with a resort which offers health treatments and add a word for which clubs is an example (say). Then insert between the two (fringing) the abbreviation for Church of England.

28a  Festival son ignored getting apple? (5)
{EATER} – remove the S (son ignored) from a Christian festival to leave a type of apple.

Down Clues

1d  Shock with fool getting joint for daughter (4)
{JOLT} – start with a word meaning fool and change the initial D(aughter) to (getting) a J(oint) to make a shock or unpleasant surprise.

2d  Notice about old currency (6)
{REMARK} – this is a transitive verb which can mean to notice or look at something attentively. It’s a preposition meaning concerning or about followed by the pre-Euro currency in Germany (which they probably wish now that they’d kept).

3d  Leader of workers with time reportedly delivers pay restraint (4,6)
{WAGE FREEZE} – this pay restraint is the first letter (leader) of W(orkers) followed by a synonym for time and a sound-alike (reportedly) of a verb meaning delivers or liberates.

4d  Record of old with energy kept by the woman’s assistant (6)
{HELPER} – put an old vinyl record format and E(nergy) inside (kept by) a possessive pronoun (the woman’s) to make an assistant.

5d  Musical producing a stir in confines of capital (8)
{CAROUSEL} – a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is A and a verb meaning to stir or wake someone up, all inside the outer letters (confines) of C(apita)L.

6d  Disturbance in fine American ship (4)
{FUSS} – this disturbance or flurry of activity is made by stringing together abbreviations for F(ine) and a stateside ship.

7d  One learning about origin of reform is more resolute (8)
{STURDIER} – a comparative meaning more resolute or robust is made by putting the first letter (origin) of R(eform) inside someone who is learning or researching.

8d  Diets raved about and given publicity (10)
{ADVERTISED} – an anagram (about) of DIETS RAVED.

13d  Fool besetting company meeting is beginning to misrepresent practical theory (10)
{PRAGMATISM} – this is the theory of doing what is realistic and practical in the circumstances. Put a synonym for fool around (besetting) the abbreviation for a company’s annual meeting for its shareholders, then add IS and the initial letter (beginning) of M(isrepresent).

15d  Gear for don in a mess — feature of top flat? (4,6)
{ROOF GARDEN} – an anagram (in a mess) of GEAR FOR DON produces one of the advantages of living in a penthouse.

17d  A revolutionary scientific place containing number getting jolly — that’s irregular (8)
{ABNORMAL} – start with A, then reverse (revolutionary) the abbreviation of the place where scientists work, and finally insert (containing) the abbreviations for number and Royal Marine (jolly).

18d  Memorable uniform put on heads of the finest university lecturers (8)
{EVENTFUL} – the definition is memorable. Start with an adjective meaning uniform or regular then add the first letters (heads) of the last four words in the clue.

20d  One’s also consuming dull part of salad? (6)
{TOMATO} – put an adverb meaning also or in addition around (consuming) a synonym for dull or without lustre to make something that may go in a salad. I don’t understand why the first word in the clue is there – it doesn’t feature in the wordplay and doesn’t add much to the surface.

22d  Organised group of workers left in European yard (6)
{EQUITY} – this is an organised group of workers in the entertainment business. Put a verb meaning left or departed between E(uropean) and Y(ard).

24d  River cruise initially for powerful business figure (4)
{EXEC} – a Devon river is followed by the first letter (initially) of C(ruise) to make the abbreviated form of a senior business person.

26d  Prophet is last character found in long period (4)
{EZRA} – an Old Testament prophet’s name is the last character (in the alphabet) inside (found in) a long period of time.

I liked 19a, 3d and 17d today but my favourite clue is 16a. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

The Quickie pun today is {FLOW} + {TILLER} = {FLOTILLA}.



  1. Libellule
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Re. todays being easier than yesterdays – I had exactly the opposite feeling. Just goes to show :-)

  2. Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Looking at my solving time on clued up I would say that I found it a tad easier than a usual shamus – maybe 25% quicker.
    17d, 16a and 19a were favourites.
    Thanks to gazza and to Shamus – once again I wasnt considering the pangram but the high scoring scrabble letters came in quite quickly!.

  3. Prolixic
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what Gazza has been taking, but could I have some! I found this one of the trickier puzzles in quite some time and it took me longer to do this puzzle than it did Giovanni’s Toughie.

    As for the crossword itself, it was great fun with my favourite being 3d. Thanks to Shamus for the workout and to Gazza for the review.

    • tilly
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Rare opportunity to have the time to do both crosswords. Agree with you re the solving of both puzzles. I liked 5d, mainly because it is one of my favourite musicals, and 3d.

      Thanks to Shamus and Gazza. Back to the grindstone …

  4. Jezza
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Realising it was a pangram helped me finish it off – especially 1d. 14a caused me problems for a while, as the only word I could think of that fitted was restraint.
    Thanks to Shamus, and to gazza.

  5. Wayne
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Agree with some of the comments above, I found this far more difficult than yesterdays. Managed it without resorting to Hints, but did need the Hints understand a couple of the answers.
    Thank you to Shamus for bringing me back to reality and Gazza for the Hints.

  6. Domus
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I agree with some of the above; whizzed through yesterday, but struggled today – particularly 1d. Favourite 13d.

  7. Wayne
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Re: 17d. Don’t understand the abbreviation RM for jolly, is this another one of those crosswordland abbreviations.?

    • Libellule
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Jolly = Royal Marine

      • Wayne
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. Must get more familiar with this ‘crosswordspeak’.

  8. Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I’m in the ‘easier than yesterday’ group. Sometimes with a Rufus purely cryptic clue there is nothing more contained within it to help – and if you don’t see it straightaway, you don’t. There were a couple of those for me yesterday, and the quickly-spotted opening out of a pangram helped with today’s.

  9. Geoff
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This was my fortnightly reminder that I don’t understand Shamus’s puzzles, but I did get halfway. Thanks for the unravelling.

    • mary
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      with you there Geoff

  10. Upthecreek
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Found it quite easy again today. Fav was 19 but also liked 3 10 15 17 25 and 27. Now for the toughie!

  11. Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Yet another member of the ‘not as easy as yesterday’ brigade, but thoroughly enjoyable work out for the grey matter. The book had me stumped for a while despite the obvious anagram. Particularly liked 1d, 13d and 17d (nice to see the the RMs getting a mention, haven’t seen them for a while)

  12. Nestorius
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent entertainment today from Shamus! Nothing too difficult but I had to stare at 19a a while before the sound of a penny dropping. Diff: **, entertainment ****.

    Favourites: 17d with a nice surface, 16a with good allusion with “war” in the (cannon)fodder and two possible anagrinds and (possibily unintentional) trap of two conceivable sets of fodder: MORE UNCERTAIN IN also has 15 letters… but A Mutineer In Corn doesn’t sound right and the letters don’t check either ;-)

    Meanwhile in gratitude to:
    Challenger with guiding light’s zest: humans stargazed, a disaster! 6,6,3,5)

    • Nestorius
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to mention.

      Pedantic quibble with 26d. Ezra was not a prophet. He was a scribe and a communal leader.
      The apogryphal book of Esdras has prophetic content but is not included in any canon.
      The Qur’an does not mention him as a prophet although some Muslim scholars do consider him one.

      I think that on balance we can say that he ain’t.

      • beangrinder
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        A scribe and priest, but anyone who spoke to the community on God’s behalf could be described as a prophet.

        • Nestorius
          Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          I beg to differ. He never spoke to the community on behalf of the Almighty. He is consistently described as a scribe, a priest and a scholar of the Law. He never says things like “Thus speaketh the L-rd” as prophets do. The prophets Zechariah and Haggai are mentioned a few times in Ezra and Nehemiah, as are some other prophets, always with the explicit epithet “prophet”. All the more telling that Ezra himself is never labelled as such.

          Also, in the Masoretic Canon the books Ezra and Nehemiah are included in part III, the Writings which are all non-prophetic books.

          If there is one odd man out, it is Daniel. He describes visions which certainly do seem to be prophetic and yet the book is one of the Writings and not one of the Prophets.

          • beangrinder
            Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            Chambers definition: “someone who is able to express the will of God or a god”. Surely we are being unfair to Ezra if we say he doesn’t manage to do this. Let’s agree to differ…else the secular humanists on the blog will get angry ;-)

            • Kath
              Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

              Am not angry at all (don’t know what a secular humanist is anyway) but when I see a prophet in the crossword I automatically think ‘Ezra’ because it so often is – also I spotted fairly early on that it was a pangram and I needed a ‘Z’!!

              • Franco
                Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

                I have never considered myself as a “secular humanist” before, but I do now! I have always thought that I was just a lapsed Catholic!

                • Franco
                  Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

                  And on to more mundane matters…Spurs have just scored in Milan!

                  • pommers
                    Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

                    BD will be pleased – now FT and 0-1!
                    Well done you Spurs!

                    • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

                      Wish I’d had a bet on that scoreline!

                  • Kath
                    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

                    Oh no – not football AGAIN!! :smile:

                    • Franco
                      Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

                      ‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’ (Bill Shankley)

  13. Kath
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I think that I found this a bit easier than yesterday although I needed the hints to explain some – 13 and 25a and 1 and 6d. I’ve never heard of ‘marque’ meaning a brand of car – please could we add ‘cars’ to the ever increasing list of things about which I know nothing?!!
    It took me a while to work out why 19 and 27a and 13d were what they were but got there in the end.
    For once I did manage to spot that it was a pangram early enough to be of some help!
    Favourite clue today was 16a but I also liked 27a, and 3, 13, 15 and 17d.
    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  14. TimCypher
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Hurrah! I managed to finish this one today without any hints :)
    Makes up for yesterday’s impenetrable nightmare!
    So, yes, I enjoyed this very much, particularly all the synonyms for ‘fool’…I wondered whether the setter was trying to tell me something… ;)
    Great stuff!

  15. lizwhiz1
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Found this really tough… not on my wavelength at all! Only managed about 10 before resorting to the blog :( Yesterdays was a total breeze- just goes to show we are all wired differently!

    • TimCypher
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I suppose that’s true.

      I found yesterday’s Rufus puzzle so frustrating.

      I was on business travel flying back from Stockholm, and was elated to find that the airport newsagent stocked the Telegraph (Stockholm is now on my ‘approved airports list’ ;) ).

      I thought: ‘Ha! That’ll keep me going on the plane’. And, after about 30 minutes of blank staring, I wanted to jump out of it! :(

    • mary
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      with you all the way lizwhiz :-)

  16. crypticsue
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure whether there is a not tricky second day running camp, but that’s where I am. It was one of those where the downs went in quicker than the acrosses but very enjoyable. My favourite clue is 4d, purely for the ‘record of old’ bit! Thanks to Shamus for the fun and Gazza for the explanations.

  17. mary
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, a bad week for me, I found this to be really difficult today and needed lots of help from various sources! personally this would be a crossword to send me back to the CC, (if it were allowed :-) it’s a ‘glad to finish it and get it out of the way’ crossword!’

    • mary
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      sorry Gazza, thanks for the hints, much in need of them today! also 20 a totally agree about 1st word, unless it’s saying one’s part of salad? as in – tomato’s part of salad

      • gazza
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I think that it’s saying: One (i.e. a tomato) is (made from) also consuming dull (and it’s possibly) part of a salad.
        But it seems, to me, to be unnecessary.

    • Nora
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I found this difficult too, but enjoyable. I needed the blog for 19a, to my shame, especially as I´d separate worked out most of the elements of the clue.

      I didn´t like 24d. Is this a word, or an abbreviation?

      • gazza
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Exec is just an abbreviation of Executive, as in Chief Exec for the top person in an organisation.

        • Nora
          Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I see that, but I don´t like to see abbreviations in crosswords any more than in the written word.

          • Upthecreek
            Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            Couldn’t agree with you more Nora. To use a non word just to get X into the pangram is pathetic!

            • gazza
              Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

              I think that’s a bit hard. Chambers does have a separate entry for exec and defines it as an informal word for executive or executive officer.

              • Upthecreek
                Posted February 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

                There are a lot of words in Chambers that we are not allowed to use and I think Abbs should be one of them.

                • Kath
                  Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

                  What the hell is ‘Abbs’?
                  Blimey UTC – you’ve been back for a few days and already you’re stirring things up!!

                  • Upthecreek
                    Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

                    Abb is an abb for an abb – as in exec. Why do you all wake up at 9pm now? Is this a new phenomenon?

                    • pommers
                      Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

                      Blame Ainsley – he started the ‘After Eight Club’!

                    • Kath
                      Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

                      OK – now I know what an ‘abb’ is – and, yes, we do all now wake up some time after 8.00pm – it’s called the ‘After Eight Club’ – really can’t remember who had the idea (Ainsley, I think, as he said that he felt a bit lonely when writing comments when all the rest of us had gone to sleep) but it’s a good idea, assuming anyone else IS still awake! However, going to bed now – good night all.

                  • Upthecreek
                    Posted February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

                    I like all these clubs. Can we start an AA Club [anti abbs] ?

                    • mary
                      Posted February 16, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

                      You bored UTC?

      • pommers
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        It may be an abbreviation but it’s now in ‘everdyspeak’.
        In my business all board members were invariably referred to as ‘Execs’.

        • Franco
          Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          Wasn’t there a recent blog that mentioned ‘flu and ‘phone? Must be many other abbreviations (can’t stand “abbs”) that have come into common usage!

  18. BigBoab
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable crossword if not too taxing. Thanks Shamus and Gazza.

  19. Digby
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    And the Quickie is a trademark pangram too – or has someone already commented on this?

    • ColinH
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Just need 14 A Insect any clues ? Thanks

      • pommers
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Unless both Gazza and I are missing something (which I don’t believe in his case) I can say no more than his hint above – a cryptic definition of a readily available backup in an armed service.

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Pommers – Colin is asking about the Quick puzzle. From memory it’s CICADA.

  20. jaycat
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Found this one harder than yesterday and that was hard enough!, I found I didn’t respond at all to most of the clues/wordplay …obviously a very different wavelength than I am used to.
    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza

  21. Franny
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The week has not got off to a terribly good start — I could barely do half of yesterday’s puzzle and struggled long and hard with today’s — so thanks to Gazza for the helpful hints. My life is complicated by a sudden eye problem which makes it hard for me to read the grid. I’m hoping it will pass.

    • mary
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Hope things improve soon Franny, I am in complete agreement with you over yesterday and todays puzzles :)

      • Franny
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Mary. I go back to the doctor in two weeks, hoping the retina stays attached.

  22. Geoff
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Meant to ask: can someone please explain the connection between jolly and RM? That one is completely mystifying !!

    • mary
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      sorry Geoff, I only know I have seen it once before and if I remember, a jollie was something to do with a loafer in the navy but I could be completely wrong!

    • Nestorius
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      RM=Royal Marines, Jolly: sailors’ slang for a member of same.

      • Geoff
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, not one I’ve heard before even though my dad was RN. I must try that one out on an ex-RM friend.

      • Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Another naval slang term for a Royal Marine is Bootneck (in ye goode olde days, the Marines aboard a ship used to be the guys that boarded enemy vessels, they used to wear a stiff leather collar in order to prevent damage from a sword cut to the neck and throat); having said that, I would NOT advise anyone who knows or meets a Royal Marine to call them this as it is considered very derogatory (which is probably why it is used more in Naval slang then Jollie)

    • pommers
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Jollies is what the Royal Navy call The Royal Marines

    • gazza
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I found the following derivation for jolly:
      It originates from the London train-bands, the City’s own citizen army of the mid-17th century, from whom the first regiment of marines (the Duke of Albany’s Regiment of Foot) was recruited. It was a derivative of the archaic meanings of the word: Of fine appearance; handsome; excellent; lively. Hence ‘jolly good show’ and ‘for he’s a jolly good fellow’.

      • Wayne
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m from a naval city with a Royal Marine Barracks, and have never heard the description jolly. What’s great about this site is that you learn something new every day + appreciate the history lesson re Duke of Albany’s Regiment of Foot. Many thanx.

  23. Franco
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought that today’s was about the same level of difficulty as yesterday’s. However, failed with 14a – pencilled in “Restraint” and left it there.

    I also made the wrong guess for Gazza’s choice of song from Carousel. I had expected the Liverpool FC anthem!

    • Geoff
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      But don’t they change the words for the FC anthem ??

      • Franco
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        I have never been to Anfield, so I don’t know.

        I always thought that the Kop sang the Gerry Marsden version, and I always thought that he sang the lyrics from the original musical.

        • Geoff
          Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          I’ve heard they sometimes sing ‘You’ll never walk again’, but it could be apocryphal.

          • Qix
            Posted February 16, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

            Probably just Alan Hansen that sang that. I saw him play for Partick Thistle – ouch!

  24. pommers
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this immensly so thanks Shamus.

    Always thought that the fool in13d was spelled with a double T, one lives and learns!

    Didn’t do yesterday’s but might have a look after all the comments about is or isn’t this easier!

    The Toughie’s well worth a look today.

    Thanks for the review Gazza.

  25. Digby
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Unusually, for I’ve always considered that I’m tuned into Rufus’s frequency, I found this easier than yesterday’s. Which brings the “score” from all the comments above to 9 points each, with one split vote. This only goes to prove………….well, nothing I suppose. Thanks to Seamus (for both back page pangrams?) and to Gazza.

  26. beangrinder
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I found this easier that yesterday which was a tough Rufus for me. 14a last in – sometimes it’s hard not to look for a complicated composite when there are so many in a crossword. I kept trying to fit rest and sort in somewhere. Thanks to setter and solver alike.

    • gazza
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Same for me on 14a, and all the letters of the answer are in the clue so it looked as if it ought to be some sort of anagram.

  27. Addicted
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Well I’m in the “yesterday’s was much easier” camp! (Think that makes the “score” 10 – 9?) Didn’t like to-day’s at all, even though I finished it without the hints – but with a lot of help from my electronic friend, I have to admit. Needed the hints for explanations though – so thanks for that Gazza. Don’t like abbreviations either Nora, any more than I like this business of using single letters to help make up a word – wasn’t like that in my Dad’s day and he’s the one who got me hooked! Also thought the fool in 13d had 2 “t’s” – amazing what you learn the older you get.

  28. Al Murchie
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Sorry – why does jolly = Royal Marine??

    • gazza
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi Al – welcome to the blog.
      For a discussion on this see comment #22 above.

  29. Pete
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    This was a torturous puzzle that gave no enjoyment for me. Although eventually completed the Hints were needed to understand why.
    Not sure I want to thank setter today but certainly thanks go to Gazza for the hints and much needed explanations.

  30. Little Dave
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    All done relatively pain-free 19a being my favourite.

  31. Derek
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Rattled through this in quick time this evening!
    Best clue for me 16a followed by 19a, 25a, 27a, 3d, 13d, 17d, 22d & 26d.

    Have now started putting drops in my left eye in preparation for tomorrow’s treatment.
    Hope to be back on Friday to tackle Don’s puzzle.

    • Kath
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Do hope that it all goes well, Derek. i took my Mum for her cataract operation a few years ago – very quick, totally painless and a great success. Just a bit tedious for a few days – good luck tomorrow, assuming you can read this now!!

  32. pommers
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    On the subject difficulty of yesterday v today.
    Add 1 to each side! Pommette and I just did yesterday’s Rufus in the local and she reckons it was the easier one. Personnaly I thought today’s was easier!
    Horses for courses I guess – not that I’m saying pommette is an old nag, although she can go on a bit, especially when she has the bit between her teeth!
    OK, I’ll shut up now in case she reads this! Might have had a wine too many so might not be back for the after eighters.

    • Kath
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      What a great reply!! Love it!! :grin:

      • pommers
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Don’t tell pommette unless you like the sight of blood!

  33. Ainsley
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Evening everyone – 3/4 of the way through and no hints needed yet but hit a bit of a wall. I think once I get 3d & 19a rest will fall into place. Enjoying it though.

    • pommers
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Evening Ainsley

      IMHO 19a is the trickiest clue in the whole puzzle. I needed all checking letters and then a bit of a reverse solve, i.e guess the answer and then work out how it fits the clue!
      3d is gettable if you spot the definition and work on the homophone for the second word.

      Hope that helped.

  34. paolors
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    V enjoyable, I found a few clues quite tricky but git it done. Good fun.

    • paolors
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      ‘got’ oops

  35. terryatslough
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the dance from Carousel, haven’t seen that before, so site added to my favourites. Stuck on 1 & 19 after doing the rest steadily with a break for a sudoku. 19, the last suddenly came to me out of the blue as pulling the curtains – very good I thought.

  36. Ainsley
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Needed hints for 1d & 19a. 1d is very clever and don’t think I would have got it without the hint. 19a however I didn’t like at all. Any After Eighters around?

    • pommers
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m here on and off. Replied to your previous but you obviously didn’t need the slight hint.
      How you doing?

      • Ainsley
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Hi pommers – sorry missed your reply – not sure how as I was checking. I agree with the difficulty of 19a and having the answer I don’t like the wordplay. I’m very well and now battling the Toughie. All ok with you?

        • pommers
          Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Fine thanks but see earlier post about wine so excuse any typos please!
          The Toughie is good. A challenge, at least for me, but accessable with a bit of Mary’s perservation! I enjoyed it.

          • Ainsley
            Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            No probs. Still working on the Toughie but I normally stop before I get to double figures as my brain starts to hurt!

            • pommers
              Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

              I was like that about a year ago but I’ve actually finished a few recently! Keep at it and your time will come!

              • Ainsley
                Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

                Thanks Pommers will do!

  37. Kath
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ainsley – yes I am around. Husband gone to London to take younger daughter out for dinner – she’s having a tough time love life wise – so here I am! Found todays crossword quite tricky but not as much as yesterday. Just about to go and eat – back later.
    Where are all the other members of the ‘After Eight Club’ tonight – asleep/out/defeated or drunk?!!!!

    • pommers
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps ‘all of the above’?

    • Ainsley
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath. Yep I agree – yesterday I needed loads of hints to finish and that is never satisfying. 19a just let this cw down for me which otherwise was an enjoyable challenge. Hope your daughter has a happy ending.

    • Franco
      Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Kath, not yet asleep, not completely defeated by today’s cw’s – just a little drunk!

      I’ve just been following the “Ezra” debate above – well beyond my comprehension, unfortunately! Amazing how much controversy the “Z” in a pangram can cause. My mother always told me not to argue about religion and politics!

      • pommers
        Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Agree with your mother on that – unless you actually WANT to cause an argument! Sometimes I do because apparantly I’m a nasty piece of work who likes heated debate (pommers according to pommette)!

        • Kath
          Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

          I think a heated debate is always good – not so sure about religion and politics though – yet MORE subjects upon which I’m not too well informed! They go along with golf, football, rugby, horse racing, and lots of other things that, at this moment, I can’t remember apart from one other that was added today which was makes of cars – see 25a.
          Really am going to bed now – good night all.

  38. Guardian
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Am I alone in finding DT Cryptic clues annoyingly verbose these days? Completed today’s but didn’t enjoy it!

  39. milkyboy
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    only grabed my paper last night. Found this pretty straightforward, but thought the surface readings were a bit clumsier than jay’s usual offerings. Funny how different styles of setter suit different people. I’m firmly in the struggled yesterday, found today’s relatively easy camp.

    • gazza
      Posted February 16, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      The setter is Shamus, not Jay.

      • milkyboy
        Posted February 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        indeed, my bad, maybe that’s why i found them clumsier!