DT 26480 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26480 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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I don’t usually comment on the Saturday puzzles, but if you are expecting the usual easy ride you may be in for a shock!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Across

1a    Chicken and fish having inside uncooked sent back (6)
A chicken, in the sense of a faint-hearted person, is constructed by reversing (sent back) a word meaning uncooked inside a fish

10a    Religious leader to live with new order (8)
This religious leader of the Church of Rome is a charade of to live, N(ew) and an order, possibly one made by said religious leader

17a    Ruthless businessman fools person on excursion, taking in first of tourists (5,8)
This ruthless businessman is built from some fools and a person on an excursion with T (first of Tourists) inserted

27a    Unconventional view in this place’s yard (6)
This unconventional view, contrary to the authorized teaching of the religious community to which one ostensibly belongs, is a charade of a synonym for “this place’s” and Y(ard)

Down

1d    Making a show in Cyprus is not bright (6)
Put a word meaning showy in a vulgar way inside the IVR code for Cyprus (it’s in The Mine!) to get dull or not bright when applied to weather

5d    Footballing skills support young professionals (5-6)
These footballing skills, usually demonstrated as an exhibition rather than during a game, are a charade of to support with some young urban professionals

18d    Draw explorer and artist (7)
A draw in a sporting contest (3) is followed by a famous Venetian explorer to get an 18th century Venetian painter

22d    Fool about in Islamic dress (5)
Follow a fool (4) with A(bout) to get this loose garment, with veiled eyeholes, covering the whole body

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.

Please don’t put whole or partial answers or alternative clues in your comment, else they may be censored!

The Quick crossword pun: {less} + {tusk} + {wear} =  {Leicester Square}

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234 Comments

  1. Upthecreek
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I was surprised by BD’s opening comment as I found this an easy ride today. Favourite by a mile was 5d. I wonder what Mary and Kath will think of that.. All the rest were good too – most enjoyable

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I based my comment on the fact that there are already 6 requests on AnswerBank asking for help with no less than 10 clues,

      Looks like you have done well.

      • steph
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Help I still havent got the 5d!!! after all those clues

        • Posted February 20, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          I’ve made it as easy as I can!

          Click on the YouTube video where it says “YouTube”

          • steph
            Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            I can see him doing it but havent a clue what its called – hey ho

            • Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

              If you click as I said it should play on the YouTube site, when all will be revealed!

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I think it was the worst clue in the crossword UTC!

      • Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Mary

        It made me smile and brought back memories of the ridiculous Michael Knighton’s brief appearance at Old Trafford!

        • mary
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          I don’t remember that Dave? enlightenment?

          • Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            I looked unsuccessfully for a YouTube video.

            Have a look at this:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Knighton

            • mary
              Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

              Thanks for taking the time to find that Dave and sure enough there is 5d but with an ie!

              • mary
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

                thinking about 5d, I can’t understand that I’d never heard it, coming from a home with two football mad brothers then two sons who played football every week from the age of 7 and still do and now three of my grandsons who also play every week and to think I’ve actually watched them all doing it and counted for them!!!

    • Collywobbles
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know. I found it quite easy too!

  2. crypticsue
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    As it is mystery setter Saturday, I was sort of not expecting an easy ride , and I was right in that it took me a third longer than last week’s Cephas. I think there are quite a few tricky clues including one that I had to read out loud to Mr CS before I had the necessary Eureka moment. Not sure about a favourite clue, I will decide when I have typed the review.

  3. toadson
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Quite a battle today, but some clues are so clever that they make you laugh when you (eventually, in my case) get them. Liked 5d, 6d, 26a. Am hesitating to put two remaining answers in the bottom right corner – 25a, if the first three letters are the name of another tree, what is the significance of the last three?

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      You are barking up the wrong tree. Strand as in abandon – the resulting word is a colour which I hadn’t ever linked with chestnut but I will see what Mr Chambers has to say when I review.

      • toadson
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Got it now thanks – then got 20d, which also made me laugh! Have a good weekend all.

      • Nubian
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Oddly enough the first thing that came to mind on reading the clue was the French translation.

    • Rod Ash
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, I checked out chestnut as a colour and got a dark red in Collins.

      • wint
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        think French

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I think we are looking for a word to mean ‘to strand’ toadson, which is also a colour but I may be wrong because I would not have said that colour is ‘chestnut-coloured’

      • toadson
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Thanks Mary.

  4. Rod Ash
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning from snowy Leeds. I quite liked this one. A good variety of clue types, with 4a,11a, 26a and 2d today’s favourites. Not so keen on 6d, 7d, or 20d. 5d was the last to go in but this word for young professionals is getting very dated if you read yesterday’s front page!

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Oh no not snow again!

      • Spindrift
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        And in the East Midlands the precipitation is of the canine & feline variety and has been since the early hours…deep joy!

        • mary
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          hopefully not deep snow!

  5. Nick
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Not all that hard, although the bottom left corner took a while…

    But I really didn’t enjoy today’s offering- the anagrams were clumsy, with the honourable exception of 16d.
    Didn’t like 20d, and would have to take issue with Upthecreek with 5d … the first word should clearly be ‘ie’ at the end rather than a ‘y’. I am sure that someone will point out that it’s an allowable alternative, but then the same argument might be made for ‘color’, ‘mommy’ or ‘pajamas’ and I still wouldn’t be keen.

    Sorry for being negative on the review, but thank you to Big Dave and The Setter.

    Nick

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Chambers has the first word with a Y and you would only pluralise the second word.

      • Nick
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Thank you CrypticSue,

        I would not wish to argue with Chambers (!), but I don’t have a copy.

        As someone who’s been involved with football for a long time, and spent hours on the 5d activity, I’d always taken the first word with an ‘ie’ ending as the preferred spelling. Does Chambers list that or not? Perhaps I shall have to change my spelling….

        Regards

        Nick

        • crypticsue
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Nick it doesn’t list the IE. I hightly recommend the purchase of Chambers Dictionary – it’s expensive but worth every penny.

          • Franco
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            Maybe the Prize for the DT Saturday Crossword should be the Chambers Dictionary!

            Does anyone still use a “fountain pen”?

            • Nick
              Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

              Yes. A better prize. I still use a fountain pen, does it mean I am getting old?

              • Franco
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

                But, can one still buy ink & blotting paper?

            • Nick
              Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

              Actually, I think the DT might have an issue with postage costs. I’d rather send someone a fountain pen…

          • Nick
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Sue.

    • Franco
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      5d – first word – I think it ends in a “Y”!

      20d – nothing wrong with the clue – I just don’t like the tennis player! (Well, he did once say that he always supports the team that England are playing!)

  6. Loobyloo
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Whizzed through last Saturday’s in 20 mins – but you’re right, this week MUCH more difficult! Liked 5d – have got three footballing kids who practice this skill all day long!

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Loobyloo

  7. mary
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    well I am really stuck on 5d! have all the checking letters, read BDs hint and still can’t get it! last one to go in, any more help, please??

    • Rod Ash
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Ok, the phrase is in Collins and is a training game played by footballers to practise their ball control skills. The clue is split between a word meaning support and the second part is a 1980’s description for a young professional

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Mary,

      Your want a four letter word meaning support or maintain followed by a 7 letter word being a term used to describe young upwardly mobile professionals (used several years ago now). Split the resuling phrase 5-6 to get the answer.

      • mary
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Thanks to you both, I would never have got that in a million crosswords!! what a terrible clue and an even worse answer!!!

        • Dinosaur Pete
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Here, Here Mary ! Not enjoying this one at all but I’ll persevere for a while !

        • Geoff
          Posted February 20, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          Couldn’t agree more Mary, horrid, horrid! Finally found the answer by searching the wiki link for ‘ie’ and then youyube with the first word. This is no way to solve a crossword!

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I agree with Dave, much tougher than the usual Saturdays but we should have expected that this week! still not done 5d will cogitate on it for a while, fav clues 16d, liked anagram indicator also liked anagram indicator in 23a, nice to have different ones, 25a don’t agree with the colour! also liked 12d

  8. Loobyloo
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    5d is also a little ‘outdated’ and quite a childish description of a footballing skill. It’s involves using the foot and sometimes the knee to keep preventing the ball from hitting the ground for as long as possible!! Not very good at giving hints without giving the entire answer!!

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      That sounds good to me.

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      thanks loobyloo, I think its an awful clue! you did well there :)

      • Upthecreek
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Well done Mary. I knew you would love that one!!

  9. Prolixic
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Remarkably good crossword from the mysteron. Lots of nice penny drop moments. Favourite clue was 26a both for its well disguised definition and a very sneaky substitution indicator that made it look like a word sum clue!

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  10. Qix
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I liked this one a lot; some clever clues, and a decent dose of humour.

    Agree with Prolixic about 26A.

    Some setters would have taken a different approach to 17A, with implications for picture choice for the review…

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Good job its me doing the review and not Gazza then!

      • Qix
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        :mrgreen:

  11. Wayne
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Glad of the above comments as I found this very difficult, finished except for 18d which I won’t get as my knowledge of Venetian Artists is “nil”.
    Favourite clue was 4a, worst was 5d.
    Thanx to all as usual.

    • Wayne
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Just looked up 18d on Google. Neverheard of him.

      • Centurion
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Wayne, your knowledge of Venetian Aartists may be nil but that is still a vast improvement on mine. Did this one escape from the GK puzzle?

        • Wayne
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Je ne sais pas mon ami.

          • Centurion
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            Likewise, your knowledge of French is also a vast etc…..

  12. BigBoab
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Best Saturday crossword for a while, thoroughly enjoyable and tricky in places.

  13. Loobyloo
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    You lot are all so clever – I’m getting better at this lark but still struggling. Whereas most of you have clearly finished! 20d bothering me (love tennis) and have loads of letters for 12d but can’t even see what I’m supposed to be looking for!

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      20d is an abbreviation for British followed by the first name of Mr Murray to give a type of alcoholic spirit.

      12d you want a word for pay (as you may do in a restaurant after a meal out with friends). It comes from the surname of a labour politician noted for his lack of dress sense followed by a two word expression for coppers (as in the police).

      • Loobyloo
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Thank you! Got 20d and will keep staring at 12d until I’ve cracked it.

      • mary
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Last two words, think of a tv police programme been on for years

    • Wayne
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      20d. First two letters to describe British, then Mr Murrays’ christian name.
      12d. Paying for something.

  14. Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    You were right, Dave! I’ve had a battle with this puzzle but I do agree that there are some clever clues and I liked 5d – your image of the suited Michael Knighton displaying his talents in front of the Stretford End made me smile too. Thanks for that!

  15. RBC99
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi all,

    Haven’t posted for a while but still pop in regularly.

    Found this much trickier than normal. Must admit I thought 26a was a bit unfair. Recognised the dropping of the “*” and thought of “***” as teacher and got it in the end but I thought “by” as an indicator meant next to or followed by rather than “surrounding”. Is that just me??

    On a separate note, the reason I don’t post much is that I usually to do the cw at breakfast time and by the time the hints are up I have usually finished it (albeit I do often need some electronic or book help) and am then doing other things. Really enjoy the hints and am in no way suggesting they should (or perhaps sometimes even could??) be up earlier, but any chance of the blog opening early without the hints to enable those of us who do it early to comment earlier – a bit like Saturdays without the hints??

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi RBC I agree with you about the ‘by’ not really being correct it just makes the reading of the clue better but it is misleading

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      The wordplay in 26a is A is “expelled by” B which means A is replaced by B, not “A is expelled” “by B” meaning take A out and add B on the end. As I said earlier brilliantly deceptive as you have to read expelled by as one instruction.

      • RBC99
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        I see that now, but still don’t think “expelled by” can really mean “replaced by” without stretching grammar and syntax too far. They are not synonyms in the online Chambers Thesaurus. Indeed “expel” usually precludes the ability on the part of the expelled to replace him or herself.

        Never mind – a v minor criticism of a v good cw.

        • mary
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you RBC, I see now what Prolixic is saying but I also think expelled by isn’t the same thing and if so doesn’t expelled do double duty?

          • Franco
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            Mary, I have never understood what “double duty” is. Can you, please, explain? And why is it wrong?

            • mary
              Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

              I’m not really sure I’m qualified to explain this properly Franco, maybe Dave would explain it better?

              • mary
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

                I was just thinking that in 26a, ‘learners expelled by’, here expelled tell us to take the ‘l’ out of ‘really’ and if as Prolixic explains a word for teacher replaces it, ‘expelled’ is being used again?? I stand to be corrected on this as I’m not really sure!!

            • Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

              What Mary is saying is that she thinks the word expelled is being used twice in resolving the wordplay.

              Personally, I disagree.

              26a Really, learner’s expelled by teacher that won’t allow alterations (4-4)

              Start with the word REALLY and then the teacher expels or pushes out the learner.

              If I have a grievance it is that there are two L’s (Learners) in the clue and many setters would have said something along the lines of “first learner is expelled by”.

              • Nick
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

                The apostrophe indicates a single learner…?

                Nick

                • Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

                  Indeed – but which of the two is the one to be replaced.

                  • Nick
                    Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

                    Ah, yes. I see. I’d rather missed your point.

                    Thank you.

                  • Franco
                    Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

                    I originally “expelled” both learners, having missed the apostrophe. Does it matter which “learner” is expelled?

                    I think I’m still missing the point – but I will re-read the above comments later, when everything will, hopefully, become clear.

                    However, why is “double duty” not allowed?

                    • gazza
                      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

                      Franco,
                      “Expelled” is being used in the sense of “replaced”, so you need to replace the first L (only works with the first one) with a teacher. You can think of a sentence with this meaning of expelled, such as “Bloggs was expelled from the team by the arrival of a new goalkeeper”.

                    • mary
                      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

                      which takes us back to the first point Gazza how can expelled by mean replace it doesn’t give it anywhere I’ve looked??

                    • Franco
                      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

                      Gazza, Thanks I finally understand why it’s only the first “L”!

                      It must be so difficult to write the blog, explaining each and every nuance! I just get the solution and pencil it in!

                    • gazza
                      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

                      Franco,
                      I used to do exactly the same, but there’s nothing like the discipline of blogging to make you tease out all the wordplay.

                    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

                      … and if anyone else fancies having a go at the reviews I’ll be glad to hear from you!

              • mary
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

                right I think I see it your way now Dave :) thanks for that, as for Francos point when a word sometimes does do ‘double duty’ why is it frowned upon?

                • Qix
                  Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

                  Mary, the term “double duty” comes from the book “Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword”. Although the principles in the book aren’t always followed, it remains pretty much the definitive guide to fairness in crossword setting.

                  Consider this: “Could be time to gamble (3)”

                  You’d probably understand that the answer was “BET”, but the clue isn’t fair, according to Ximenes. The definition is “to gamble”. The “subsidiary indication” is “Could be time” – the word “BE” and “T” for time. However, the clue, read as a whole, doesn’t make sense. For that “subsidiary indication” to work the clue would have to read, “Could be time be to gamble?” or something similar. In other words, “be” is doing double duty – for the clue to make sense, it should be there twice, but it’s only there once.

                  The example in Ximenes’ book is:

                  “Can the station be altered? He sticks his toes in (9)”

                  The solution is “OBSTINATE”; it’s an anagram (indicated by “altered”) of “station be” – but “be” does double duty. The clue suggests that “the station” is to be altered. To work in that form, it would have to read something like “Can station be be altered? He sticks his toes in (9)”.

                  Nowadays, 50-odd years on from when Ximenes published his book, his principles are still the benchmark by which crosswords are judged, but they are not always adhered to rigorously. A good thing too, IMO, otherwise the genius of setters like Araucaria and Myops would have been blighted.

                  • mary
                    Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

                    Thanks a lot for that Qix, hope Franco has seen it too

                    • Franco
                      Posted February 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

                      Mary, I have seen it.

                      I have read it through a few times, but it may take further study to fully understand. But, I will persevere!

                      Thanks to Qix!

              • Wayne
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

                Is Ainsley on line yet, need to discuss his/her interpretation on the debate on 26a, personally I find it quite easy, why it needs 18 or 19 comments I just don’t know, unless of course the participants are on a higher intellectual level than me, or just being plain pedantic.

    • Franny
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      This is the last clue left unsolved for me — and I’m so fed up with this puzzle that I now can’t be bothered. :-(

      • mary
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        which clue is left Franny

  16. RBC99
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    PS

    Lost my manners – thanx to setter and BD!!

  17. Spindrift
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    8d reminds me of the old riddle – Which same word or words can be fitted into the gaps to make the sentence read correctly?
    “the ______ surgeon was _____ to operate as he had ______”

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      very good spindrift :-)

  18. Nubian
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable test today, thanks to B Dave and the Setter

  19. Franco
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I found this the most difficult, and also the most enjoyable of the week!

    I was misdirected by 23a , as I spent quite some time looking for Rhyming Slang. Also, surprised to see the enumeration (4,5), not (9).

    Cheated for the artist – never heard of him.

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      thant’s not cheating Franco, it’s learning, how can we possibly have heard of everyone and everything? :-) I had never heard of 6d either, never having done Hamlet in school!

      • mary
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        being able to work the clue out was the important part, then checking the name IMHO

  20. Loobyloo
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Nice to join you today – and thanks for your help and hints! Have often logged on to the site but not posted comments until today. Only two clues to go – not bad for me as I usually spin it out until Sunday evening! 10a and 7d my only gaps – but quite happy to mull over them for a while yet. Thanks again!

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Read my hint for 10a and think of the current incumbent – a former member of the Hitler Youth!

      • Loobyloo
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Got it! Thanks Dave – you’re a star! Now I can watch Man Utd v Crawley without the crossword on my lap! Have a good weekend.

        • mary
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          come on Crawley!!!

          • mary
            Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            nearly did it!

  21. Franco
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Is it just a coincidence that 9a and 10a, both made an appearance in yesterday’s Toughie? Has today’s setter been revealed?

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I’m fairly certain that the two are not the same person. Today’s puzzle is much better!

  22. pegasus
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Stonkingly good puzzle today from the Mysteron favourite clues 10a17a26a5d6d and 12d. I enjoyed this more than yesterdays torpid Toughie, thanks to the setter and Big Dave for his comments.

  23. Ainsley
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi all. Just finished and found it tougher than the usual Saturday. I think 26a does work and is quite clever. 22d About is normally Re or C why A? Also in 22d the fool part normally spelt with a E not U? Liked 11a 4a amongst others.

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      A is given in Chambers as an abbreviation for About – but they hardly ever explain where it is used.

      • Ainsley
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD. I can’t think of where it might be used.

  24. pommers
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Quite enjoyed this but struggled a bit in the SW corner for some reason. never heard of 18d but it came from the checking letters.
    Thanks to BD and the setter
    Liked 5d!

  25. chrisW
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Finished now with lots of help thanks BD and all the other bloggers, quite a struggle.
    I have the answer for 26a but can someone explain the logic of the clue?
    Not a bad day here on the South coast. Time to go out and do a bit of digging ready to plant some vegetables soon.

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog chrisW

      It has been explained in comment #15

  26. ian
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks dave. I also found this a bit trickier than usual and am still stuck on 6d (even with all the crossing letters!) Any hints would be much appreciated.

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Take a three letter word describing a place where films are made followed by a four letter word meaning actual and reverse the lot (turn up) to give the name of a character in Hamlet.

      • ian
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Prolixic. My knowledge of Shakespear is sketchy at best and I wouldn’t have got that in a month of Sundays!!

        • mary
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          as I said earlier Franco, we can’t possibly know everything :)

          • mary
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            sorry Ian :oops:

  27. Addicted
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Real struggle to-day – still can’t get 10a despite all the hints, nor 26a, nor a few more!! Going out now – maybe light will dawn when I look at it again later with fresh eyes and a glass of something or other.

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Addicted, for 10a you need a 2 letter word for ‘to live’, followed by the one letter abbreviation for ‘new’ followed by a five letter word for order, to give you the present day head of the Catholic Church

      • mary
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        26a has been discussed above

        • Upthecreek
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Good to see Mary in fine tipping form again. Where is Kath? I think she saw 5d and had a funny turn!

          • mary
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            Not seen Kath or Geoff today, don’t think the Givanni workshop is today though??

  28. carrie
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I would NEVER have got 5 Down without help from here. Also thought 6D was groan making. Really enjoy my Saturday crossword these days. Many thanks carrie

    • gazza
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Hi carrie – welcome to the blog.

      • carrie
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Thank you Gazza.

        Although l am ‘IT literate’ it is taking me a bit of time to get the hang of the threads. You can teach an old dog new tricks :) carrie

  29. Franny
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    This has been a very tough week for me. I’m beating on the CC door to be let back in! I needed so much help to get finished minus 26a that today’s puzzle was no fun at all. So thanks to BD and to the other bloggers for helping me to get as far as I did.
    :-(

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Franny didn’t you notice me at the CC door with you this week??? It has been an unusually hard week all round and todays is no exception, 26a take the word ‘really’ and remove the first ‘l’ replace this with a three letter word for a teacher usually found at universitys, to give you the type of file found on a computer that you can’t alter

      • Franny
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Mary. You are a comfort — and such good company at the CC door! I did think of those two words from the down letters I had, but couldn’t justify them. Now I can go off and see “Black Swan” in peace. :-)

        • mary
          Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          I am looking forward to seeing that too

          • Dinosaur Pete
            Posted February 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Mary, you’re a star ! I’ve spent ages struggling with 26a, reading and re-reading all the hints and clues above but with no idea what it was about. And then crash! bang! wallop! the light dawned thanks to your explanation!
            At last I can go and do something useful !!!

  30. Addicted
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Finally got there – BEFORE going out! – thanks Mary plus all the other bloggers and partic Big D. I thought it was a horrid puzzle!!! But, yes, some very clever clues once you eventually get the answer. Foul day – enjoy the football – not my scene, I’m afraid (which is why I have such a job with footie-related clues ,as in 5d to-day which I think, if I do have it right, is simply awful!)

  31. gnomethang
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Fine puzzle. The SW held me up the longest but it was still very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    I can recommend Prolixic’s NTSPP – something for everyone.

    • pommers
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Same here!
      I’ll have a look at Prolixic tomorrow, if it’s like his last couple they’re aimed a little above my head but still worth a try!

  32. Claire
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Managed to complete all but 3d eventually, though I had to google 6d & 18d. Favourites were 11a and 8d & I also liked 26a once I’d got it (thanks to the blog!) An extra clue for 3d would be lovely – then I relax on this very wet & murky day.

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      HI Claire you are looking for a soldier, take a three letter word for traitor (the name of an animal – think pied piper) inside that put an anagram of code this should give you your answer

      • Claire
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary – I had thought that was the way to go but couldn’t make a soldier out of it – now I have – silly me!! :-)

  33. mary
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Chelsea are OUT! :-)

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      good luck there Torres!

  34. Openside32
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    my last clue is 2d and as there are no posts re this I assume I’m missing something. any clues?
    John

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Openside32

      I’m surprised no-one else has asked.

      2d Crew is tossed around ocean — they’re not as clever as they think (9)
      Put an anagram (tossed) of CREW IS around another word for the ocean (3) to get these people who are not as clever as they think.

      • pommers
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        I may be wrong here but isn’t more of an American term than English? I knew it but Pommette had never heard it.

        • Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Apparently the etymology is:

          Late 16th cent.: from Middle Dutch wijsseggher ‘soothsayer’, probably from the Germanic base of wit (2). The assimilation to acre remains unexplained.

          • crypticsue
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            According to Brewers Ben Johnson said to a country gent boasting of an acre of land that he (BJ) had ten acres of wit, to which the landowner responded ‘Good Mr ********’.

          • pommers
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Wow! I’ve only ever come across the term in books and the occasional film I think, which is why I thought it might be of of US origin. Told you before BD, this blog is an educational place!

  35. Openside32
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Dave. Not a word I am familiar with, but googled it and now I am. We call them something else in Cheshire!

    • mary
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Here too! :)

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think smart*rses will fit, but it is, believe it or not, in Chambers

      • pommers
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        That was my first thought on reading the clue and then realized it didn’t fit!

  36. JB
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Never heard of 5d. Big Dave’s hint plus google finally got me there. Was it worth the effort I ask myself?

    6d was OK once I realised it was “Hamlet” and not “The Winter’s Tale”.

  37. Centurion
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Good puzzle though needed help on 10a and 18d (see above). Off to watch Creepy overcome Manyoo – oh, were it to be so!

  38. Kath
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    The reason that Mary and Franny are unable to get back in through the CC door is that I have collapsed on the inside of it and am, therefore, holding it firmly shut!!
    What a crossword! We have visitors this weekend but my French sister-in-law and I finally admit defeat – we STILL can’t do 26a (in spite of all the correspondence and hints etc etc) or 16d. Any more help would be very much appreciated.
    5d was done for us by my brother-in-law so that sorted that one out – thanks to all who were ‘worried’ that I would neither like it nor be able to do it – they were absolutely right!!
    No time for more now (I can almost hear the sighs of relief!) but best clues for me today include 4, 11 and 24a and 2 and 8a.
    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think I can explain 26a any better than all that lot further up the page. 16d is an anagram – you are looking for someone who works wth/trains a particular type of bird.

      • pommers
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        My problem with 26a is that there’s no containment indicator. If you read the clue as ‘learner’s = learner is’ then take an L out of really (doesn’t matter which) and *** for teacher but where’s the instruction to put *** in the middle?

        • gazza
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          It does matter – it has to be the first L. Read expelled by as “kicked out (and replaced) by”.

        • Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Because it’s not a containment in the normal sense. The learner is expelled by the teacher. It’s little different from similar clues which say “A with B for C = D” like this one from DT 26472 “They read cruellest novel left out for Rector (9)”.

          • pommers
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            Sorry BD and Gazza – forgot it was a Saturday puzzle!
            I still don’t see where the ‘and replaced’ comes from. When I was nearly expelled from school for trying to synthesise TNT there was no question of a replacement! Or am I just being a bit thick today?

            OK, BD. Just re-read your comment and I get it now. Does that make it the tyrickiest clue in the puzzle? – I think so!

          • pommers
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            Am I in the ‘naughty corner’ again?

  39. Gari
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed today’s CW did it all this morning with the exception of 26a before I went to work for the afternoon, been thinking about it all afternoon and had to resort to the comment’s to work it out thanks to all for explaining the wordplay.

    many thanks to Setter and BD.:D

  40. Wayne
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    It is now 8.01 pm, and with Ainsleys permission it is time to open the after 8 club. When Ainsley has caught up with the debate on 26a perhaps he could give an opinion. I found it quite easy and why it needed 18 or 19 comments is beyond me, unless the participants are on a higher intellectual level than me, or being just plain pedantic.

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said!

      • Wayne
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        OOps, go careful BD else you might just join me in the “Sin Bin”. Where are you Ainsley??

    • pommers
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      I now understand 26a after BD and Gazza put me right – having a senior moment today!

      • Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Are you sure it wasn’t a vino moment?

        • pommers
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Possibly both! Visitors this pm that seedem to require the consumption of about 3 bottle of Rioja and one of cava. Surprised I can still type!

          • pommers
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Apparantly I can’t! Seedem is an anagram!

          • Wayne
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            You can’t type, guess “seedem” means “seemed”. got to be a cryptic in there somewhere. Rioja is c..p try Borgo Magredo Pinot,!

    • Franco
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      I’m still stuck on 26a! Any help, please? :grin:

      • pommers
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        See #38 and my conversation with BD and Gazza, and the 18 or so comments prviuosly.
        I think it’s a tricky little rascal but so clear when the penny finally drops!

      • pommers
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Think ******** ***** that you can’t change.

        • Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          That’s not in the clue!!

          • pommers
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            Apologies for overstepping!
            Understand but not thinking straight tonight! Agree it’s a prize crossword and should be treated as such.
            I’m actually surprised that the DT don’t object to the few hints you give on Sats and Suns.
            Back to the ‘naughty corner’!

      • Wayne
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        Sure, but will get told off by BD. Plenty of references above but to me simple.
        Remove the (L) from Really, then insert a 3 letter word for a university lecturer, then you get an **********.

        • Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          Nor is that!

          • Wayne
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Well BD one of us is right, without giving the answer guess we’ll have to wait ’till next week, I’m convinced I’m right but you disagree, that’s about 24 comments on this one particular clue. Roll on next Friday/Saturday.

            • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

              Wayne – I was referring to your expansion of the definition which contained information that could not be derived from he clue itself.

              • Wayne
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

                Bloody hell Dave, after that I really do need a pint. Look forward to continuing this debate next week after (hopefully) a full explanation of the clue. Cheers.

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

                  I was probably a bit harsh, but it has been spelt out so much that even Mrs BD should have been able to get the answer!

                  • Wayne
                    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

                    My condolences to Mrs. BD

                    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

                      I should have explained that Mrs BD never does cryptic crosswords.

            • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

              I should add that all answers on this blog, whether explicit or implied, have been verified online on the Telegraph Puzzles site.

              • pommers
                Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

                I thought they must be OK with what happens on the blog or we wouldn’t get the occasional friendly post from the editor. Just a bit surprising to me that they’re happy for you to give hints on a prize puzzle before submission date.

                • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

                  I think they would complain about AnswerBank before worrying about us.

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

                Is that a disclaimer?

        • pommers
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Hi Wayne
          See #38
          My problem was that the clue wasn’t that hard to crack but there is no containment indicator. BD and Gazza have shown me that there is, albeit quite cleverly hidden IMHO.

      • Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        It’s usually best to avoid comments like “think xyz” at the weekend. If you are going to provide information that is not in the clue then the solver is learning nothing. Here the definition could be expanded to “a word meaning can’t be altered”.

      • Franco
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Pommers – 26a – Sorry, my comment was supposed to be a joke!

        Most of today’s blog has been taken up about the why’s and wherefore’s of 26a.

        • pommers
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Franco – bit overdone with the rioja tonight!
          Think I might be in the naughty corner over 26a – just about to apologise (again) to BD!

        • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          You had us all going there!! :roll:

      • Dinosaur Pete
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Franco, see Mary’s explanation just below comment no. 29 – I couldn’t understand that one despite the numerous hints and clues when Mary made it all clear for me !

  41. Wayne
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Well it’s 2100hrs, no after 8 club, lots of comments on 26a. I’m off to the pub. Thank god for extended opening hours. Bon nuit .

  42. gazza
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, 26a has virtually single-handedly given us our busiest day ever in terms of page views!

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      The last record lasted all of 2 days – the previous one lasted 7 weeks!

    • Franco
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but Gazza, can you explain it to us all again?

      What is the emoticon for (only kidding!)?

    • Wayne
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      I agree, pity the Setter doesn’t pop in with a word or two.

      • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s very difficult for the setter to comment at all on a prize puzzle.

        • Wayne
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Point taken.

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes – it certainly seems as though any comments on the remainder of the crossword have been expelled by the discussion of 26a :) :)

  43. pommers
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Going bed now – the rioja is catching up.
    I will spend the night in the naughty corner and return tomorrow refreshed!

  44. Derek
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed solving this one.
    Had a spot of trouble with 5d but finally sorted it out by sleuthing big Chambers. Best clues for me :11a, 6d, 12d & 16d.

  45. Geoff
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    200 miles in 5 hours and foul weather to visit the grandson who cried all the while I was there and the M25 is too ghastly for words and this puzzle isn’t much more friendly than either of them! 18 answers and giving up … but I enjoyed what I did do. Thanks for the hints and comments. Not the slightest hope of deciphering 5d, despite all the pointers …

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Try reading about Michael Knighton on the link above!

      • Geoff
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        I did! But what was I looking for ?? Dunno and therefore didn’t find it!

  46. nalced
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    As usual the blog has been a joy to behold today. Especially all the controversy around 26a. And as usual I’m flummoxed by one clue. 19d, I have looked at it from “every which way” as our American cousins would say and I’m still no nearer to solving it. With inflation I’m still waiting for the pound to drop!!!!!

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      A four letter word for a servant goes around a three letter word for always (often used poetically) to give a word for Lords

      • Qix
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        “Lords,” in this case, used as a collective noun (which would be preceded by “the”) for all of those who’re enobled, although the word itself is usually used (preceded by “a”) to refer to the honour that’s conferred upon an individual.

    • Franco
      Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      nalced – 19d – the definition is a collective word for “Lords”. Take a word for (a young) Servant, then surround it with a 3-three letter word (poetical) for “always” or “ever”.

      That’s the best I can do! Very difficult this blogging! Hats off to all of them!

      • Franco
        Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Oops! Completely wrong!!

        Should be – “surround a 3-three letter word (poetical) for “always” or “ever” with a word for a young servant giving a collective noun for Lords.

        Earlier in today’s blog, BD asked for volunteers to do the review – “Include me out”. Far too difficult!

        • nalced
          Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          The pound has dropped. Many thanks all.

          • Franco
            Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

            nalced, I am surprised that you needed help on 19d. Where I come from it’s a mere “penny” that drops. :grin:

  47. Beangrinder
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    26a last in for me. A sneaky misleading replacement indicator but fair enough if understood as “pushed out by the insertion of”. I live and learn. I guess we should be told which learner goes out but it has to be one or the other! Thanks to both again.

  48. Digby
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I was trying to hang on long enough to be Comment #200, but too much excitement for one day forces me up the Wooden Hill. Is this (198) a record for a single day?

  49. Kath
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Number 200 today unless someone sneaks in before me!!

  50. Kath
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Damn – foiled again!!
    Now what I was going to say is thanks for more information on 26a – got it now. Also got 16d – how stupid – knew it was an anagram, knew what letters and had complete mental block.
    Bed now -didn’t get there until 2.30am last night/this morning so very tired.
    Sleep well all.
    :smile:

  51. Mr Tub
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Finally finished! I was interested to see that 5d caused so many problems as it was my first one to go in. The top left hand corner was where I got stuck, but I must admit that I was a bit ‘tired’ by the time I got there which is why it had to wait until this morning. Thanks to Big Dave, the setter, and Brummie Rob for his help with the bottom left hand corner yesterday afternoon. 17a was probably my favourite, but all in all I enjoyed this one very much. Cheers!

  52. Robert Stevenson
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Well on the way to completion, 6 clues completed already and its only Sunday. Haven’t got a favourite clue – only the ones BD gave me.

    • Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Keep going – it’s well worth the efort.

      • mary
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        214 comments who’d have thought it and I thought 5d was going to be the most discussed clue!

      • Robert Stevenson
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Completed 20.5 so far; the 0.5 is 5d. My wife makes a particularly nice dessert called ‘pave aux marrons’ (Burgundy and the Lyonnais cookbook), so 25a was no problemo.

        • mary
          Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          lots of help on 5d above RS

  53. newtothis
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Can anyone help with 27a please?

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      You are looking for a word meaning a controversial view of something, especially religion. if you are in this placeyou are ****, add an S because the clue says place’s and follow this with a one letter abbreviation for yard.

  54. kate.cricket
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you all, especially BD. I finally finished it. 26a was last to go in – deal with these all day so felt stupid when penny dropped. Didn’t Crawley do well!

    • mary
      Posted February 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes they did kate, such a shame, it would have been great!

      • Collywobbles
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        38 – It’s a record!

        • mary
          Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          only BD can tell us that :-D

    • Robert Stevenson
      Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Watching Notts County at the moment I don’t think they are going to win – they are the oldest team in the football league I believe.

      • Robert Stevenson
        Posted February 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Oldest club I should say.

  55. Collywobbles
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    ? BD

    • Posted February 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I’m really not interested in counting peoples comments – and neither should you be.

  56. Collywobbles
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Intéressant.

  57. paolors
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Excellent crossword, just a shame about 5d, awful.

  58. Weekend Wanda
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Rather speechless – wordless I should say. I do not believe those who found this easy, unless of course there brains just happen to coincide with that of the setter. I found I did a few good clues very quickly and then got stuck. I had never heard of 5d and would not have got it without the clues. Still not sure about the spelling of 22d (first vowel) but admit I have not checked in Chambers. there are quite alot of clues I like inc. 1a, 24a, 25a (I thought of the french word too), 6d, 8d, 12d, 20d. 26a clever but took alot of getting (eventually electronic aid applied)

  59. David S
    Posted February 21, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Managed to finish today after belated start due to friends around over the weekend. 26a posed the biggest problem. I thought that he clue was a bit flabby. Favourite clue was 8d this week. In the post as usual tomorrow! Has anyone ever won the pen? Thanks to setter and hints as usual.