DT 26489

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26489

Hints and tips by Pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

[The latest addition to our blogging team is someone who should already be well-known by all.  No less than pommers, ably assisted in the technical department by pommette, faces, as he described it yesterday, his “baptism of fire”.  He really had no need to worry, as I’m sure you will agree when you have read his review.  BD]

Woke up this morning a bit nervous as it’s my debut in the Land of Blog!
All sorts of questions – What happens if I can’t solve the crossword? or don’t understand some of the wordplay? or worse – the DT crossword editor has an aberration and accidently publishes an Elgar Toughie as today’s cryptic! Aargh!

I needn’t have worried as the Wednesday Wizard has come up trumps once again!

A nice mix of clues and some which make one think a bit. I’ve given it 3* for overall difficulty (based on my solving time) but there are a few clues definitely in the 4* category. I’ve marked my favourites in blue.

Just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue if you want to see an answer

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across

1a           What flypaper might do for its potential victim (5,6)
{STICK INSECT} – A sort of all-in-one (&Lit) where the whole clue acts as the definition. What happens to a fly when it lands on flypaper and the type of creature a fly is gives a phrase which could describe what the flypaper does.
This clue is more difficult to give a hint for than it was to solve – it was my first in!
Large Stick Insect

10a         Curtains might be creased (5)
{LINED} – Good quality curtains may be this and the word also means creased, as my face might be described!

11a         Company share issue may be not a lot if worked out (9)
{FLOTATION} – The launch of a company on the stock market is an anagram (worked out) of NOT A LOT IF.

12a         Italian family sourcing nuts and leaves of health-giving properties (9)
{MEDICINAL} – A word meaning health giving properties comes from the name of a famous 16th century Italian family followed by the first letters (sourcing) of (N)uts (A)nd (L)eaves.

13a         Ignore! That’s a smart girl (5)
{CUTIE} – A word which can mean ‘to ignore’ followed by the abbreviation for ‘that is’ gives a colloquial term for an attractive girl.
I wonder what picture Gazza would have put here?

14a         Run through a white man’s self-description (6)
{IMPALE} – A word for run through or pierce, with a lance maybe, is also something a white man may say to describe himself when split (2,4).

16a         Fell back after principal gets clearance (8)
{HEADROOM} – Take a word for ‘fell’, as in high ground, and reverse it (back). Place it after a word for the principal of a school to get a word meaning clearance, in a car perhaps.

18a         Teenager getting drunk on this? No (5,3)
{GREEN TEA} – A drink which certainly won’t get you intoxicated is an anagram (drunk) of TEENAGER

20a         Supply a source of fuel to cross river (6)
{AFFORD} – A synonym for supply is a charade of A, (F)uel (source of) and a place where one might cross a river.

23a         Got up and started smelling the flowers (5)
{ROSES} – These pleasant smelling flowers are a word for got out of bed followed by the first letter (started) of (S)melling

24a         Later, a few cooked crustacean (5,4)
{WATER FLEA} – This tiny crustacean, often used as food in an aquarium, is an anagram (cooked) of LATER A FEW.

26a         My French Italian gentleman’s address in the Vatican (9)
{MONSIGNOR} – A charade of the French word for ‘my’ and the Italian word for ’mister’ gives a form of address for senior members of the Church of Rome.

27a         Man for example after a passage (5)
{AISLE} – A, followed by a piece of land of which Man is a common crosswordland example, gives a passage found in the middle of a church.

28a         Searchers whose views include people from the ranks (11)
{PROSPECTORS} – Take a word for views, or possibly your chances of advancement at work, and insert into it (include) an abbreviation for enlisted men in the armed services, to get these searchers (for gold perhaps).
Prospectors in Nelson Gulch near Helena

Down

2d           Noted changes getting firm through exercise (5)
{TONED} – ‘Firm though exercise’ is the definition and it’s an anagram (changes) of NOTED

3d           Way of paying chemical company pound supplement (7)
{CODICIL} – This supplement or addition, to a will perhaps, comes from an acronym for a method of payment followed by a famous chemical company and the usual abbreviation for pound Sterling.

4d           Minor key adopted by popular worker (6)
{INFANT} – Definition is minor, as in not having reached the age of maturity (and in this case nowhere near it). Take the usual words for ‘popular’ and ‘worker’ and insert (adopted) a musical key.

5d           Joint that ought to be put in front of the Queen (8)
{SHOULDER} – Take another word for ‘ought’ followed by the abbreviation for our current Queen to get the most complicated joint in the human body.     At least, Pommette tells me it’s the most complicated.

6d           Took a risk — most of area by altar beginning to deteriorate (7)
{CHANCED} – Take the area of a church near the altar and remove its last letter (most of). Add the first letter of (D)eterioration (beginning to) to get a word meaning ‘took a risk’.

7d           Firm, being calm, produced somewhere for the kids to play (8,5)
{CLIMBING FRAME} – A piece of equipment young children love to play on is an anagram (produced) of FIRM BEING CALM.

8d           In no way corrupt, thus replacing America’s expert (8)
{VIRTUOSO} – The definition is ‘expert’. Take a word meaning ‘not corrupt’, or more accurately righteous, and replace the US with another word for ‘thus’ to get an expert, on a musical instrument maybe.

9d           Timed trainees changing racing tyres (13)
{INTERMEDIATES} – A type of tyre used on racing cars when the track is wet but it’s not actually raining is an anagram (changing) of  TIMED TRAINEES.     The sport today is motor racing instead of cricket. I wonder  what the ladies will think of that!
Pedro de la Rosa tests Pirelli's intermediate tyres

15d         Bird finding hotel for student in Nice (8)
{PHEASANT} – This attractive game bird comes from a synonym for nice (not the French city!) with an L (student) replaced by H(hotel) – (hotel for student).     Tricky little rascal and worthy of a Toughie IMHO! The false capitalisation of nice is a fine bit of misdirection – had me thinking French words for ages!
Pheasant

17d         Birds looking embarrassed on sides of stage? (8)
{REDWINGS} – These birds are a charade of the usual word for embarrassed and a word for the off-stage areas where actors wait before they go on.

19d         More unpleasant sort of retsina (7)
{NASTIER} – A word meaning more unpleasant is an anagram of RETSINA.
I have always though retsina was this – pine flavoured wine? Yuk, it smells like IZAL loo roll!

21d         Region finding a way to support cost of travel? (3,4)
{FAR EAST} – This area of the world is a word for what you might pay on a bus followed by (support in a down clue) A and the usual abbreviation for way, as in street.

22d         Go hungry, needing to look about five! (6)
{STARVE} – A word meaning to have nothing to eat comes from a word meaning to look intently placed around (about) the Roman numeral for 5.

25d         No-hoper is nearer being executed (5)
{LOSER} – Definition is No-hoper. Take a word meaning nearer and chop its head off (executed) – i.e. remove its first letter.

I liked 18a, 8d and 15d but my favourite has to be 1a – it was my first ever clue solved as a blogger!


The Quick crossword pun: {hell} + {ocean} = {hair lotion} [Thanks, CS]

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129 Comments

  1. pommette
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Thought I’d better post first!
    Watching him “blog” instead of solve was an eye opener. Normally not the nervous type he’s been dreaming of crossword blogs and muttering to himself. He did the crossword on his own, then blogged it and handed it over to me and it certainly helped me to get to some of the tricky answers!
    Thanks to blogger & setter – would be a bit rude of me not to say this wouldn’t it?

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Thank you pommette, and thanks for the technical help. I still haven’t clue how you put those pictures in!
      Also thanks to Jay for a great crossword for me to start on.

      • mary
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Behind every great man is an even better woman Pommers :)

    • Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      I must say that reviewing on the day does at a certain frisson of performance anxiety!

      • pommers
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Indeed so! But at least I’m on CET here rather than GMT so I have an extra hour to play with!

    • Nora
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      What a team, the Ps. A good crossword, and a good review.

    • Franny
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Welcome and Well Done to both Pommes! :-)

  2. gazza
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Well done, Pommers for an excellent review – and thanks to Jay. My favourite clue was 1a. I thought that capitalising the N in 15d was a bit naughty.

    • Jezza
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Naughty but Nice!

      • pommers
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        A Nice one Jezza!

  3. Jezza
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay for the usual – and to Pommers for his first fine review. (I also fell for the false capitalisation in 15d)

  4. Upthecreek
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Done in quick time today. Favourites 7 and 15. Also liked 3 9 13 16. On to the t———.

  5. Dickiedot
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Well done Pommers and thanks Jay, Nice one!! That got me as well. 11a made me wonder, I’d have put an ‘a’ in this word, is it an Americanisation?

  6. Libellule
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Pommers,
    Congratulations on breaking your duck (finally), nice review, I hope there are many more to come.
    A slightly trickier puzzle from Jay today I thought – and like everybody else – I thought the capitalisation in 15d was a little unfair, even though the answer was pretty obvious.

  7. Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    A fine review. pommers, well done and thank you. Mercifully not the hardest of Jay puzzles but still the usual excellent quality. My favourite was 9d. Thanks to Jay as well and pommette too for the techno-bit!

  8. AnnB
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Yes a nice CW to start a foggy, frosty morning off in Northumberland
    Good start to reviewing pommers.cheers

  9. Skempie
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Well done Pommers and well reviewed. Not too difficult again today, got a little stock on the top left corner, felt 3d was a little contrived as I wouldn’t describe it as a supplement, more like an amendment, but hey ho. Due to my indecision, wasn’t sure if 10a ended in D, R or S so plumped for my original thoughts as it was the only way I could finish the puzzle. Like 1A and 26A (although I would spell it EUR at the end).

  10. Spindrift
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Muchas felicidades Pommers & Pommette! Great review on your first attempt. Thank you very strong to Jay as well for a pleasant Wednesday workout.

    The Grauniad is a lot more user friendly today as well.

  11. Andy
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Well done Pommers for a fine debut review, and of course thanks to Jay

  12. Collywobbles
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Bien fait Pommers. Je ne trouve ça un peu difficile, but your review was excellent and helpful

  13. mary
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Felicitationes Pommers, an excellent first time review, look forward to more, I enjoyed todays, fav clue 4d, funny ‘shoulder’ should appear again today, as for 15d, I put in pheasant then changed it to pleasant, surely this could be either way round??

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Don’t think so Mary. The clue clearly says ‘H for L in Nice’ not ‘L for H in bird’.
      Maybe one of the more experienced bloggers will be able to add something here.

      • Qix
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        The wordplay is clear: “Replace student (L) with hotel (H) in a word meaning ‘nice’ to get a word meaning ‘bird’.”

        To have PLEASANT as the solution, the clue might have been “Charming bird swaps husband for student” or something.

  14. Qix
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Easy but enjoyable crossword today, for which thanks to the setter.

    Well done to Pommers on the blog.

    8D was the best clue for me; I suspect a few might not be familiar with the usage of 9D.

    ★/★★★

  15. Wayne
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Excellent crossword, great review. Got 8d but couldn’t work out why,also with 27a, keep forgetting this crosswordland speak, so needed to consult the Hints.. Thanx to Compiler and to Pommers for his Review.

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Wayne – glad to have been of service!

  16. Nestorius
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Pommers on your baptism of fire. Amusing blog you produced. Kinda expected a hint of “Pommette perhaps?” for 13a.

    Not as smooth a asolve as yesterday but no major obstacles. Done before morning coffee stop was over. Haven’t looked at the Toughie yet but will not mention the T-word again, out of fear for our gracious bloghost.

    Kudos to mystery setter and our new mystagogue P!

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Strange that ‘Baptisn of Fire’ was an answer in yesterday’s puzzle – how did Shamus know?

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

      Ah Nestorius, thank you for the compliment but it depends on which definition of 13a you take!
      Smart – definitely. Girl – well as I’m retired I think that would be stretching it a bit! Don’t you?

      • pommette
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        PS as for the answer to 13a then it’s also a long time since I was called that!

      • Nestorius
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Why do you think my moniker is Nestorius? ‘Cos I’m young?
        And Nestoria ain’t a spring chicken either. But she’s forever my girl! No doubt Pommers thinks the same way.

        • pommers
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Certainly do, and you wouldn’t have had the illustrations without her! And a load of typos without her proofing.

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Don’t you thinking your mentioning the brand of loo roll at 19d and us remembering it and its smell is a real give away of age? Young people today don’t know what they’re missing ! :)

        • pommers
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Hadn’t looked at it that way but now you come to mention it it is about 30 years or more since I last saw the beastly stuff! Hard on the nether regions I seem to remember!

  17. Roger
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Pommers, struggled a bit with 28,16 and 27 but managed without hints in the end.

  18. Peter
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Good onyer, Pommers. Another Test won!

    • gazza
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Hi Peter – welcome to the blog.

    • Dickiedot
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      watching it now 4.00pm Could be an Irish win

      • pommers
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Got the TMS commentary on the BBC iPlayer. Not looking good for England!

  19. TrickyDicky
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Nice one Pommers, thanks for your help with 28a and 8d

  20. crypticsue
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    On the odd occasions that I review a Wednesday puzzle, I always look at 1a as I come out of the newsagents and if I can solve that one, I know I will be all right. Luckily Pommers had the same experience at the start of his excellent blog. I had my usual trouble today in that the downs fell in quicker than the acrosses and the whole thing took me slightly longer than ‘normal’. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and Pommers for the review.

    Give the ‘other’ puzzle a go too if you have time – I got on better with it, relatively speaking.

  21. Beangrinder
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Done in one long coffee stop. Latte, scone, day off & DT xword. Does it get any better than this? Thanks to pomms and setter.

  22. Pete
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Must have been on the right wavelength again today as this effort just flowed without any difficulty. It always helps when a long one across falls into place at the start. Like Beangrinder it was a coffee stop for me also but he did have a scone! Jealous of that.
    Based on my own experience surprised to see this was a 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Congrats to Pommers for his hints and thanks to setter.

  23. BigBoab
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Pommers on a great first review and thanks to Jay for an enjoyable crossword.

  24. pegasus
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Pommers on a great debut review, fairly straightforward solve today but the Toughies much tougher. Thanks to the setter and well done Pommers.

  25. Barrie
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed todays, thank you to the setter. Probably enjoyed it all the more because I finished over breakfast before shooting started. :-)
    Best clues without a doubt for me were 1a and 18a both of which really made me smile. Took a while to get 24a because I hadn’t realised it was a crustacean.
    Mary, I hope your enjoyed your St Davids day and you will be pleased to know I am sure that my hovercraft is now empty of eels!!

    • mary
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      so glad Barrie :)

  26. Barrie
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    PS Does anybody know if it is my nemesis tomorrow? If so I won’t bother getting a paper on my way to the studio from the only garage open at 5am!

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      It was him last week and the week before so who knows. Why not buy a paper anyway and perservate!

      • mary
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Yes Barrie perservate in your breaks, what have you got to lose? :)

        • Barrie
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          My sanity!!

  27. Kath
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Back from a few days in Marrakech – a bit out of practice with crosswords! Didn’t find this too difficult – 3* about right, for me anyway.
    Got a bit stuck on 28a and, predictably, have never heard of that meaning of 9d (please could we add motor racing to that ever increasing list of ‘can’t do’?)
    I also wondered what the picture clue for 13a would have been if BD or Gazza had been writing the blog!!
    The ‘swap this for something else’ kind of clue as in 8 and 15d always takes me a while.
    Favourites today include 12, 13 and 26a.
    Thanks to Jay and Pommers (and congratulations on writing a great blog)

    • pommette
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Kath – you need to live with “petrol head” to have heard of the tyres in 9d, although not as well known as “slicks” and “wets”, they have always been around. Living with pommers means I have learned to love F1 (motor racing) and MotoGP (bike racing) as well as footy, cricket, rugby etc. Motorsport is his first love thoiugh – he even prepares his own events calendar which is on the kitchen corkboard. SAD . . . .

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Ah, but I had pommette searching out suitable pictures!

    • mary
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back Kath, hope you had a great time in the sunshine???

      • Kath
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary – yes – a great time in the sunshine. What a bizarre (and bazaar) place – talk about chaos! People, bikes, mopeds, donkeys and carts everywhere – had a minor incident with a moped – he was on the wrong side of a very narrow road – I have a hefty bruise on my ankle – could have been considerably worse!!

        • pommers
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Hi Kath and welcome back.
          In about 1980 I was offered 2 camels for pommette while in Morocco (no joke – it really happened)! Never did work out if the guy was serious or not. I stuck out for a donkey as well but he wouldn’t budge. Good job really as 2 camels and a donkey would have been a bit difficult to check in at the airport!

  28. Kath
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    PS – Sorry to appear dim YET again but what does (&Lit) mean – have seen it several times and always meant to ask.

    • gazza
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Kath,

      It’s the posh term for what we tend to call an all-in-one, i.e. a clue where the definition is the whole of the clue and the wordplay is also the whole of the clue. See BD’s Little Guide under all-in-one for more info.

      • Kath
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza – will look at BD’s Little Guide – there are numerous bit of this blog that I have yet to explore!

  29. Ayayay
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Second day in a row I managed to finish without any assistance so things looking up. This was reasonably straightforward but I thought a couple of clues were strange.
    1A Strange sort of all in one. Where is the definition in the clue? Surely it can’t be “potential victim”
    16A Is it permissible to capitalise Nice? Surely not.

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      As others have commented the capitalisation of Nice was a bit naughty – the sort of trickery that Toughie setters get up to but I quite liked it, once the penny had dropped! A real D’oh moment! Think I’m in a minority

      • Qix
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Capitalising “nice” is definitely non-Ximenean, but that doesn’t necessarily make it unacceptable.

        Some would disagree, but I learned long ago not to trust punctuation or capitalisation in crosswords.

        • gazza
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          Qix,
          Would you find it acceptable if it were the other way round? For example:
          Rabbit or nice cat (4)

          • Qix
            Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

            I see what you mean.

            It’s much more difficult to solve when put that way. Erroneous capitalisation is much easier to spot than erroneous omission of capitalisation.

            However, “Nice cat or rabbit (4)” is fine – the capitalisation is disguised by using the proper noun first – although I’d probably have a question mark there.

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      1a is a bit difficult to explain. As I said in the blog it was far easier for me to solve it than write the hint. In an ‘all-in-one’ clue such as this the whole clue is, in itself, the definition.
      So, what does flypaper do? It sticks and insects are its potential victims. So STICK INSECT, which is also a potential victim!
      Maybe someone can explain more clearly – ‘m struggling a bit on this one.

      • Qix
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        I think that 1A doesn’t quite work.

        “What flypaper might do” could be STICK or STICK INSECT. “Its potential victim”, I think, ought to be INSECT. At a stretch, it’s possible that a stick insect could become trapped by flypaper, but that would be anomalous, to say the least. For me, “stick insect” as “potential victim of flypaper” is too much.

        If you have STICK for “What flypaper might do” and INSECT for “its potential victim”, then you have no definition for the complete solution. If you have STICK INSECT for “What flypaper might do”, then you must have the same definition for “its potential victim”.

        This was the only real problem I had with the whole puzzle. In any case, the solution is very obvious, and it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of it at all.

  30. Ayayay
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Sorry I meant 15D

  31. BiPolarBearUS
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Nicely done, Pommers! In addition to 15d, I also liked 8d – once I finally got rid of my fixation on an impossible anagram. Growl! This Bear now needs breakfast and more coffee….

  32. AlisonS
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on your first review, Pommers – I needed the nudge for a couple. I also liked 1a and 18a, and completely agree with you about 19d – horrible stuff!!

    Could we possibly have the answer for the pun? Ta.

    • Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Sorry for the delay. I looked at it, couldn’t see it and then had to go out for the afternoon. Crypticsue has come up trumps (I hope!)

  33. Geoff
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Did quite well today, with seven I didn’t get. Jolly good puzzle, enjoyed what I could do, especially 1a.

    Thanks to Jay and P&P for the fine blog, I hope we have some of these. Sunshine here this afternoon and very welcome too, with the start of Torpids.

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Never heard of Torpids – just glad it didn’t turn up in today’s crossword!

    • mary
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Bumper boats :) enjoy!

  34. Franny
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a very good and satisfying puzzle today, done over breakfast — always a good way to start the day. 1a was first in for me too. Thanks to Jay, and to Pommers for his excellent explanations. I needed them to help me understand 15d (not good with that kind of clue!) 9d, which I’d never heard of, and 3d which I found very obscure — had the word but didn’t know why. It was funny to see ‘shoulder’ in again after yesterday. My favourites were 1a, 12a and 8d.
    Finally, I’d like to say a quiet word in favour of 19d, which I always enjoy — but only in Greece! :-)

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Know what you mean about only tasting right in Greece. I still have about a quarter of a bottle of Ouzo which I brought back about 8 years ago! Doesn’t even taste right in the sun and heat of Spain!

    • Kath
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Agree about 19d – definitely only in Greece!!

  35. Addicted
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Also finished in very reasonable time – for me! – without needing Pommers excellent hints. Got 9d,but then had to check with F1 enthusiast partner if it did, indeed,apply to tyres! Something else learned – trouble is, remembering. Don’t think I’d have “clicked” about 15d if hadn’t got all the across letters in – then light dawned and the worrdplay became clear. Thoroughly enjoyed to-day’s – thanks to setter, Jay, is it? And congrats to Poppers on his “baptism” – a 5-star score, i would say!

  36. Addicted
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Ooops – bad typo there – sorry! I of course meant Pommers.

  37. Jay
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Setter here
    Many thanks to Pommers for a super first review, and to all for the comments. I always try to put a couple of trickier clues in (usually the “substitution” ones) as it shouldn’t be a doddle for everyone…

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Jay for an excellent puzzle and, as I said before, a great one to cut my teeth on!
      More of the same please.

    • Prolixic
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I doubt that the same holds true today with the advent of crossword blogs but I once read that crossword editors always liked to have a handful of clues that the average solver would struggle to complete to ensure that they purchased the next day’s paper to find the solutions.

      • pommers
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        That sounds a little cynical for a man of the cloth!

        • Prolixic
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          May I refer you to the Toughie blog and the answer of my noble and learned blogger in his youth – res ipsa loquitur.

  38. Prolixic
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    A belated welcome on board to Pommers (and Pommette) with a cracking first review of another excellent Jay puzzle. Many thanks to Jay for the workout. 1a was my favourite clue.

  39. crypticsue
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I noticed the other day that Pommers had changed his gravatar and wondered whether it was time for Pommette to change hers too. The current one has quite a scary look to it and Pommers’ new one is so nice.

  40. pommers
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi CS
    The new avatar, in case you don’t recognise it, is ‘Slowpoke Rodrigues – the slowest mouse in all Mexico’, a character from the Speedy Gonzales cartoons.
    Pommette reckons it just about sums up my energy levels for anything other than crosswords and bridge!
    I’ll have a word with her about hers, you’re right, itis a bit scary!

    • Nestorius
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      So how do I change my avatar? Time to add a bearded monster…

      • Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        The easiest way is to open an account at http://en.gravatar.com/ and register your email address.

        • Nestorius
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Thanks BD! Roger wilco!

        • pommers
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Dave – Now look what you’ve started!
          Pommette changed, Nestorius changed and how many more to follow?

        • Beangrinder
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the IT advice. This blog is so indispensable!

      • pommette
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Ah that’s the tricky thing. You have to sign up for a WordPress account and set it in there!

        • Posted March 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          That used to be the case, but you can now just get the avatar without the WordPress account. You must, however, have a WordPress account to be able to post a blog.

          • nestor51
            Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            Test test! That’s Nestor! (If it works…)

            • nestor51
              Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

              Unfortunately my username was already taken so I morphed again, this time by adding my vintage.

              • Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

                If you opened a WordPress account you can set “display name as” to anything you choose.

                The avatar is linked only to your email address.

                • pommette
                  Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

                  You can do exactly the same on Gravatar.com
                  Pommette was taken so I had to become Pommette2 but you can change your display name to what you like and it deosn’t seem to mind duplicates. It all works from your email address anyway! Both Nestor51 and Nestorius are both showing on here now. You must have registered twice!

                  • Nestorius
                    Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                    Hey, that’s cool! Anyway, I just updated you guys with Too Much Information – my vintage.

                    • pommers
                      Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

                      Nobbut a youth – as we used to say in Manchester!

                    • pommette
                      Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

                      Younger than me by a few years!

        • Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Love the cat – is it one of yours?

          • pommette
            Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            Si – my VERY fat cat called Floss, weights in at 7kg (over stone). Her little sister is Candy who is a mere 6 kg.
            Don’t ask about the names! There were called that when we rescued them at 8 months old and as they came at a run when called, we were stuck with them!

            • crypticsue
              Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

              Great improvement on the previous scary version – can’t go wrong with a cat!

              • pommette
                Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

                muchas gracias

                • Kath
                  Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

                  Beautiful cats – we only have one survivor of our three from the same litter – she is called Rosie – little Rose for short (or even long) – she is tiny, not skinny but has always been a little cat, has had ten kittens and is now nearly seventeen!

  41. pommers
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    1700GMT and England just lost the cricket!

    Now seems a good time to say thanks to everyone for their very kind comments. Glad everyone seems to have enjoyed my first blog and hopefully BD will give some more chances in the future.

    Off to drown my sorrows now!

    • gnomethang
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      What the hell happened there? We had the at 108-5!!
      I’m gonna do some drowning too!

      • pommers
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Apparantly Kevin O’Brien is to be Canonised on Sunday!

  42. AlisonS
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone get the pun in the Quick today? I did ask if it could be posted earlier, but it hasn’t appeared yet…
    Thanks.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      It’s just appeared at the bottom of the review

    • Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      We struggled today – until Sue got it!

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        I got it this morning, it’s just that no-one asked me till this afternoon!

        • Wayne
          Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          I sussed it also early this morning, thought it was pretty poor. Go with the ‘Lotion’ bit, but ‘hair’ is stretching it a bit I think.

          • AlisonS
            Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            Nice to know it wasn’t just me that couldn’t see it! I have to agree with Wayne – not the best pun ever. I tried Googling again this morning just before rechecking the blog and I found ‘Helosian’ which was an alien from The Outer Limits – think this works much better. :-)

  43. Little Dave
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Lots of comments today. Very enjoyable last in was 14a and I was convinced 1a commenced with “catch” – soooo obvious. Was pleased to get 3d something I always link to wills.

    Great summary and great puzzle.

    All done. Off to exercise and then a can of Boddingtons.

    • pommers
      Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Not sure aboiut the exercise but the Boddies sounds good! Haven’t had one of those in ages!

  44. paolors
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Well done pommers. I read the blog after completing the puzzle, very well done. Agree with the ratings. Nice crossword, thanks Jay.

  45. MIKEINAMBLE
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasing crossword and excellent revue. Thankyou pommers.Now to think about avatars and forget the SKILL of the Irish.

  46. Werm
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Well done Pommers !

  47. Lea
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Very late to do the puzzle today but really enjoyed it – did it in best time for a long while.

    The review is excwellent Pommers – well done. Hope you get more to do and thanks for the illustrations Pommette.

    Thanks also to Jay for the puzzle – lovely day.

  48. pommers
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Well, as it’s now 2300CET and I’ve had a long day I’m going signing off now.

    Once again many thanks for all your very flattering comments which I’m sure I don’t deserve but were nice anyway!

    See y’all tomorrow.

  49. Ainsley
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Well done Pommers. Nice review – needed help with 8d thanks for that. Goodnight.

  50. Zofbak
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Pommers – another well done from the after-eighters. Hope you have had a few glasses to celebrate with Pommette and the cat.

    And I liked your substitutions Jay – very Nice.

  51. Upthecreek
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I have had a busy day today and posted early without looking at the review. I therefore did not notice that we had a new member in the team. I would like to add my belated congratulations to Pommers for a most interesting and informative review and also to Pommette for her contribution. As a toast , I have opened [and closed] a Fleurie, so cheers to you both.

  52. TimCypher
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Lovely crossword today – mercifully I had my racing-nut brother sitting next to me in the car to help with the tires clue. :)
    And a spendid write-up from Mr. Pommers!

  53. Derek
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Very late input from me. Got the kitchen lamp problem sorted out late yesterday – it was the switch, a combined on/off with dimmer, in which a fuse had blown when one of the halogens shorted! I installed the lamps 18 years ago and had forgotten the system details!
    Congrats to Pommers on his initial blog posting and thanks to Jay for the puzzle.

    Best for me : 1a, 12a, 16a, 20a, 3d & 15d.

    Anagrams are easy to solve if one were well-trained in perms and combs at school! Cryptic?

  54. Graham
    Posted March 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Here I am again a week behind from the tip of Africa courtesy of Weekly Telegraph. Lovely puzzle with excellent mix of clues. Jay is so consistently good. Agree with 4**** for enjoyment but would put difficulty at 2**. Would be interested to know what aids bloggers use. I have a Bradfords from 1998 which is in about 10 sections now and Langenscheidt’s pocket Merriam-Webster from the US

    • pommers
      Posted March 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      What do I use as a blogger? As little as possible otherwise it’s not really fair, is it?
      I may check the odd word that I haven’t come across before via an online dictionary, but very little else.