DT 26622

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26622

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who had trouble accessing Telegraph Puzzles today. Please send your complaints to the Telegraph, not that they will take any notice. It’s difficult to understand how, in the 21st Century, a website cannot cope with a few hundred concurrent users – but then it seems to have been designed by people who know more about attractive layouts than they do about crosswords and computer systems.

After a long wait to access the puzzle, it came as somewhat of an anti-climax, especially as I solved today’s superb Elkamere Toughie first. My main complaint about today’s puzzle is that the surface readings of most of the clues were gobbledegook! Take 6 down, for example – “British woman with rock bun that’s littered battle site (11)”. Compare this with Tilsit’s superb competition-winning clue for THE EXIT – “Poor Candy’s no longer in Sex and the City, sadly it’s what she was shown! (3,4)” .

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    Jaunt in the direction of old city (4)
{TOUR} – this jaunt or trip is a charade of “in the direction of” and the usual old city

3a    Book shifted by a clerk around back of computer and electronic device (10)
{BLACKBERRY} – B(ook) is followed by an anagram (shifted) of BY A CLERK around the final letter (back) of computeR to get an electronic device

9a    British island shortly joined by a state abroad (4)
{IOWA} – the shortened form of a British island is followed by A, from the clue, to get a US state

10a    Aunt’s doing exercises — incredible! (10)
{ASTOUNDING} – an anagram (exercises) of AUNT’S DOING gives an adjective meaning incredible

11a         Start of incident with plenty going wrong in a clumsy way (7)
{INEPTLY} – the initial letter (start) of Incident is followed by an anagram (going wrong) of PLENTY gives an adjective meaning  in a clumsy way

13a         Source of proclamations restraining very large crook (7)
{CROSIER} – put the person who walked around town calling out proclamations around (restraining) a very large size for clothes to get a bishop’s crook

14a         Worker defending short aim before religious type, we hear, in game (4,3,4)
{HIDE AND SEEK} – put a worker (not an insect!) around most of an aim and finish with what sounds like (we hear) a follower of an Indian religious sect to get a children’s game

18a         Plant produced by sweetheart with varied luck in Home Counties (11)
{HONEYSUCKLE} – this plant is created from a word used to address a sweetheart followed by an anagram (varied) of LUCK inside the part of England that includes the Home Counties

21a         Elder maybe brought round a backward province cadet (7)
{TRAINEE} – put the type of plant of which the elder is an example (maybe) around A, from the clue, and a province of the UK reversed (backward) to get a cadet

22a         Mythical horseman transmitted dread reportedly? (7)
{CENTAUR} – this mythical creature, half man and half horse, sounds like (reportedly) transmitted dread (4,3)

23a         Northern European in ME country who’s wrecked individual enterprise? (3-3,4)
{ONE-MAN SHOW} – put N(orthern) E(uropean) inside a Middle Eastern sultanate and follow it with an anagram (wrecked) of WHO’S to get an individual enterprise

24a         Last of characters attending single district (4)
{ZONE} – a charade of the last character in the alphabet and a single gives a district

25a         Foreign money invested in sporty car and place for watching sport? (10)
{GRANDSTAND} – put some South African currency inside a sporty car (2) then add AND from the clue to get a place for watching sport

26a         Jack gets to mimic trick (4)
{JAPE} – a charade of J(ack) and a word meaning to mimic gives a trick or practical joke

Down

1d           Poor wit associated with frivolous period that’s dimly perceived? (8)
{TWILIGHT} – an anagram (poor) of WIT is followed by (associated with) an adjective meaning  frivolous or entertaining to get period of the day that’s dimly perceived

2d           Heavy wine duly analysed (8)
{UNWIELDY} – a word meaning heavy or awkward is an anagram (analysed) of WINE DULY

4d           Vigorous lecturer with a big chest knocking out bachelor (5)
{LUSTY} – an adjective meaning  vigorous is derived from L(ecturer) followed by a word meaning with a big chest without (knocking out) the initial B(achelor)

5d           Note last part of inquiry getting short-tempered (9)
{CROTCHETY} – a musical note, half of a minim, is followed by the final letter (last part) of inquirY to get an adjective meaning  short-tempered

6d           British woman with rock bun that’s littered battle site (11)
{BANNOCKBURN} – B(ritish) and a woman’s name (3) are followed by an anagram (that’s littered) of ROCK BUN to get the site of a battle at which Robert the Bruce was victorious

7d           Fruit stewing without limits (6)
{RAISIN} – this dried fruit is created by dropping the initial B and the final G from a word meaning stewing in a closed container

8d           Take up trifle full of thick covering — and other dessert? (6)
{YOGURT} – put a word meaning to trifle (3) around a thick covering for the floor (or the head!) and reverse it all to get a dessert

12d         Class material seen in nightie a cad removed (8,3)
{TEACHING AID} – this material used in a school class is an anagram (removed) of NIGHTIE A CAD

15d         Service provided by director with intimates? (6,3)
{DINNER SET} – this matching crockery for serving a main meal comes from D(irector) followed by some intimates or close friends (5,3)

16d         A second circle of light coming up around lead in kitsch musical (8)
{OKLAHOMA} – A, a second or very short period and a circle of light around the head of a saint are reversed and then placed around the initial letter (lead) of Kitsch to get a well-known musical

17d         Republican First Lady holds bible classes for Amnesty (8)
{REPRIEVE} – put REP(ublican) and the world’s first lady around (holds) some bible classes to get an amnesty – and don’t be fooled by the irrelevant capitalisation!

19d         Formidable number circling sides of tower (6)
{STRONG} – a word meaning formidable is derived by putting a musical number around (circling) the outside letters (sides) of ToweR

20d         A flashy image-maker? (6)
{CAMERA} – a (not very) cryptic definition of a device for taking pictures

22d         Clubs make animalistic noise to greet new comedian (5)
{CLOWN} – a charade of C(lubs), an animal noise and N(ew) gives a comedian


The Quick crossword pun: {sigh} + {kick} = {psychic}


An anagram (sadly) of SEX AND THE CITY without the scattered letters (poor) of CANDY’S gives what Candy was shown.

[Candice Bergen, known as Candy, appeared in some episodes of the programme.]

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141 Comments

  1. Brian
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Here we go again, another ‘2*’ that’s impenetrable. Surely for most people it’s at least a 3 if not a 4 star for difficulty or is it just me. Managed 5 answers today to go with the 4 I had yesterday ( another so-called 2 star).
    I know diff is in the eye of the beholder bit I can usually find the actual clue but not today I’m afraid.
    Are the lack of hints due to the DT problem or is BD struggling :-)

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Yes Brian, I am struggling. I’m struggling to write hints for a puzzle that I did not enjoy. The lateness is down to the problems with the site. Even when a puzzle is finished it can take up to 30 minutes to submit it.

      • Qix
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        The site was working quite well shortly after midnight. Maybe the lack of users at that time helped. The “leaderboard”, of course, is still broken, but it was always pretty meaningless anyway.

        • AlisonS
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          I printed the puzzles out from the site c1pm and it seemed fine – maybe they’d sorted it out by then.

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

      Sorry Brian – I have to agree with the 2* rating. Apart from one or two quibbles I didn’t find this too difficult.

    • Nigel
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      I’m beginning to think that these ratings are rather meaningless as far as your average solver is concerned. They seem to reflect the time taken for the writer of the day’s answers/hints to solve. Now as these guy’s are obviously acknowledgely very good at solving crosswords, I think they reflect their own particular Idiosyncrasies in their own abilities to solve a particular style of puzzle, not the average persons. Different people’s brains work differently. Some people like some setters whilst some hate them (metaphorically at least :-) )
      For example yesterdays was rated as a 2*. My wife and I struggled badly and needed “Daves” help to finish. Today’s, also rated as 2*, was a romp (for us that is)….but obviously not for others.
      Perhaps the ratings should be set by the readers rather than the already expert solvers?
      .
      However I would be very interested in knowing the time taken by our resident experts to solve a particular crossword.. I guess we took around 20 minutes this evening (not a fair time as their are two of us) but last night, after an hour (even with Chambers and Bradford’s) we turned for help.
      Perhaps the current solvers could all record their particular times taken to solve each days puzzle? It would be interesting to see how they differ with their timings over their own particular nemesis’s/favorite setters
      Cheers
      Nigel

      • Franco
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Nigel, personally, I wouldn’t like to know the solving times of the “Galacticos”. If I knew their times I would most probably give up trying.

        I remember following the Times Annual Crossword competition a few years ago – the winner – Mark Goodliffe – finished it in a time that was quicker than I could read the clues.

      • Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Nigel

        From the very start of the blog I have strongly discouraged the discussion of actual solving times. The ratings are there as a guide – they are not set in stone. You are welcome to disgree and to suggest your own ratings.

        Following on from Franco’s comment, I seem to remember that in 2008 Magoo solved the three Grand Final puzzles correctly in about 17 minutes. Most of his competitors know that he is unbeatable unless he makes a mistake. The record for a single puzzle is about 2 minutes 50 seconds, set by John Henderson (Elgar), which is unlikely to be beaten as the structure of the final has changed.

        And by the way, pommers provided the help yesterday!

      • pommers
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Nigel
        As BD actively discourages (and in fact edits out) actual solving times it’s difficult to reply without breaking the rules, but I’ll give it a go.
        If you look at a post from me (#16 I think) on my blog yesterday you’ll see how I have been arriving at a difficulty rating but I may have a rethink in view of comments. That’s just me though and it’s only comparable with other blogs done by me. For example Crypticsue solves much faster than me so her X minutes would probably be half or even 1/3 of mine (she can type faster as well!).! The principle still applies though.
        If you really want to know my solving times (which might surprise you with their longevity) put a post on yesterdays blog and it will give me your email address and I’ll happily tell you. I have nowt to hide on this front – I’m not as fast as some people seem to think!
        The art of blogging on this site isn’t to be fast but be reliable and be able to write the hints in such a way that people get a helping hand without giving the whole game away – not easy I can assure you!
        As BD has left the times you quoted in your post I guess it’s safe to say that 20 mins to me is middleish 2* and if I ever take an hour it will absolutely be 5* and probably asking other bloggers for help as well. I’m up against a deadline here! It takes longer to write the hints than solve the crossword!
        Hope that all made some kind of sense.
        regards
        Mike

        • Franco
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Oh! Dear! (or words to that effect)

          I’m slower than slow!

          Can we now discuss the entertainment/enjoyment factor?

          • pommers
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            Hi Franco
            I think enjoyment is even more in the eye of the beholder!

        • Nigel
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the reply. I was interested in the way the “debates” about how easy/difficult the various crosswords are to solve varies by one’s own perception of how it worked for you/them. I thought solving time might be a good reference, but now realise that it as meaningless as a star rating (to me at least). I guess when one thinks about it, it’s almost impossible to give a rating that everyone would agree with. Just sometimes I want to scream when it doesn’t agree with my own perceived difficulty of how easy/.difficult it is to solve.
          However, just to “stir things further”.I usually need to resort to computer dictionary derived word searches,occasional anagrams and often to Bradfords for thesaurus type words and sometimes to chambers to confirm/deny the word I worked out from the wordplay was correct. It’s an amazing feeling to derive a word (hitherto unkown to me) from the clue and find chambers confirm it.
          On average I(we) usually manage about about 2 a week without having to resort to books with the answers in :-)
          Now I guess it don’t matter too much to my ego…but how often do the blog solvers resort to such aids? :-)
          This is really meant tongue in cheek.
          But if you guys/gals manage it on your own then I still have along way to go……..
          Cheers
          Nigel

          • pommers
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            If you’ve derived an unknown word from the wordplay there’s nothing wrong in checking with a dictionary, electronic or otherwise. that’s what I do!
            Of course, if you solve on-line you can always trial submit to check if it’s right but you can only do this 5 times – 6 and you’re out!

            • andy
              Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

              So do I. You have to have understood the clue so I don’t see a problem. The ratings have to be subjective, eg last fridays Elgar toughie I “romped” through, but the Saturday 26618 left me sobbing into my pint and took me most of the weekend to finish, with as many electronic aids, books etc that would match Marys collection tee hee

      • pommers
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        WOW! That started an intersting discussion!
        Offer to tell you solving times still there but it doesn’t sound as though you need the reassurance!

    • Nigel
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Point taken. Less than three minutes…amazing, I can’t even read the clues in that time :-)
      Yes, I do understand that you don’t do all the answers, hence “daves” in apostrophes.
      But we seem to have strayed from my original point that some people find some styles styles of setters easier to solve than others.
      It’s the way ones mind works and we all have minds that work differently.
      It’s just a small point that the rating (not set in stone) seems to be the most disputed point in the comments. Perhaps that’s a good thing….it’s just when I’m struggling and I see a 2* rating by the reviewer who says easy peasy….. I some times want to scream…..mind, when I see a 4* which I(we) managed to complete reasonably easily then it’s a large malt whisky smug congratulatory time.
      Keep up the good work.
      Nigel
      .

      • pommers
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        My bete noir is RayT on Thursday whom BD seems to get on really well with! (funnily though I like Beam Toughies and it’s the same guy – how does that work?). CS says Weds Jay puzzles take her the longest but I love them, so you’re right – it’s all in the eye of the beholder!
        Next time I might give a difficulty rating of ??? and leave it to you guys to decide!

        • Nigel
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

          Exactly……..and agree with Ray T . If we can manage 1/4 without addditional aids we feel chuffed. Sometimes we dread sitting down on Thursday nights :-)….
          Nigel

        • Qix
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          The difficulty and enjoyment ratings are entirely subjective, as you say. There is a broad spectrum of solvers here, and everyone will have an opinion. Anyone can have their say here. No-one is right or wrong about these ratings – it’s all opinion.

          Personally, I like to read what people think about individual clues, whole puzzles, setters’ styles, clue types and all aspects of the puzzles. The more people who chime in the better, as far as I’m concerned.

          Don’t forget, there’s also the option to “vote” for the puzzles, using the stars after the review but before the comments.

          IMO BD’s idea to avoid discussing actual solving times is a good one. There are other blogs that do that, and none is as friendly and laid-back as this place. It’s not a competition, crosswords are meant to be fun!

          • Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            Hear Hear Qix (re FUN!!!)

          • crypticsue
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            I have read all this with great interest and wasn’t entirely sure where to comment but decided just here would do. I wil admit to solving most of the cryptics in a fast time but I am a fast reader which helps. I think it also helps that I seem to have developed into solving quite a number of the clues without consciously thinking about the wordplay – I think after all these years my brain just gets on with it. I also have the sort of brain that can take down shorthand dictation without actually consciously listening to what the person is saying but still be able to transcribe it at the end. When I started doing reviews I found myself trying to work out the wordplay as I went along and found it almost impossible to solve at all, so I had to revert to my old method and only about the wordplay when stuck on the remaining clues and to write the review. I never timed myself until the DT ran that competition for the Bert Danher Cup when I wanted to see whether it was worth my entering. The competition disappeared so I gave up timing myself until I started reviewing as it does give a measure of difficulty. It is interesting that some days when I have trouble with a crossword, fellow bloggers will have found the crossword easy, and vice versa. I do have lots of fun which as Qix and Pommette (welcome back) say, is the whole point of the exercise.

          • pommers
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            Ditto pommette’s comment

        • pommers
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          I like all the setters but appreciate they are all a little different. My favourite used to be Virgilius on Sundays but since blogging I have really come to understand Jay’s mindset a lot better and he may have taken over, but it’s still close! I like clues with good surfaces (which is why I wasn’t keen on today) and therefore like Rufus on Mondays (although think he uses too many cryptic definitions). Giovanni is a stand out setter and up there with the best. Shamus is also good and I love his pangrams. RayT I always enjoy but find tricky – perhaps that’s the enjoyment? Cephas on Saturdays? Equally good! I’m getting in a mess here as they are all so good! The mysterons are a bit of a mixture though.
          Unless blogging I don’t usually time myself but don’t feel there’s al ot of difference between setters apart from RayT takes a while unless pommette helps!

          • Nigel
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

            Okay, having opened this can of worms can I say thanks for all the replies and opinions. If I’ve interpreted what everyone is saying correctly then I guess an obvious question is why give a difficulty rating to a crossword puzzle in the first place? Why not just enjoy the puzzle and setter and not worry about how easy/difficult it was to solve?
            Cheers
            Nigel

            • Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

              Nigel – I just use it a guide. If it says 2* or 3*, most of the time I know I will get there in the end.
              4* then I know I’m going to struggle and I’ve never seen a 5* on a DT back pager! (I’m sure BD will tell me if I’m wrong)
              Now toughies – I can’t even get my brain around those . . . YET

              And also as to why – we get great discussions about it like tonight!

              • Qix
                Posted August 5, 2011 at 1:09 am | Permalink

                I think that the “BD rating” can be useful as a benchmark, and it’s often, as now, a discussion point.

                It’s interesting to read the reviewer’s assessment, but it’s just one person’s opinion.

                However, you’ll rarely see more than three difficulty stars for a Monday Rufus, or fewer than four for a Myops Toughie; it’s easier to agree on extreme cases.

                One of the great things about cryptic crosswords is that everyone’s experience of them will be different. If people disagree with what’s been said, they should step up and say so. It’s always interesting to read someone else’s perspective, and no-one should feel that their thoughts are any less important than everyone else’s.

                • pommers
                  Posted August 5, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink

                  “It’s always interesting to read someone else’s perspective, and no-one should feel that their thoughts are any less important than everyone else’s”.

                  Well said Qix!

                • andy
                  Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

                  “It’s always interesting to read someone else’s perspective, and no-one should feel that their thoughts are any less important than everyone else’s”.

                  Well said Qix!

                  Couldn’t agree more!

                  • Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

                    … but I prefer negative criticism to be constructive as this helps the setter – a lot of them won’t admit it but nearly all of them read the blog.

                    • andy
                      Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

                      I’m sure they do, RayT certainly does and I note the thread this week where what his favourite clue was, or what he thought WE would like was not mentioned by any of us in the comments. So it is all subjective IMHO but great fun nevertheless. I wince at some of the comments made at Excaliburs Toughies as a novice solver and someone who wouldn’t know where to start in compiling a crossword.

      • Kath
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        If I can just butt in for a second ….
        I do think that people find some setters more difficult than others but, from my own experience, I also think that the kind of day one is having has a huge impact on how easy or difficult the crossword seems. I love Ray T puzzles, I used to find the Friday and Sunday ones the most difficult but seem to have “moved on” from that and now find, in general, the Wednesday one the hardest but all of that can change in an instant if everything else (ie life in general) is difficult.
        I also think that BD’s “rule” of no solving times being permitted is a good one.

        • Nigel
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          Good point. But regardless of my day (usually unstressed, dinner, wine and then the crossword) has little .effect other than the time taken to switch off and then on to crossword. I always find Ray_T difficult and love Giovani on Friday…..Horses for courses.
          So you would give Ray t 2* and Giovani 4* and mine would be reversed….and now you see my original point…..I hope.
          Nigel

      • Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        Hi Nigel – whilst I agree that this was a 2* that was based on how easy it was for me to solve. But, and its a big BUT, my solving times are about twice those of pommers. As you say all comparative.

        • Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          PS – I love Rufus the best closely follow by RayT and for some unknown reason I seem to be able to get on the same wavelength as Giovani. Strange is the human mind.

          • Nigel
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            The answer is now obvious……there should be two ratings based on those who Love/Hate setter :-)
            Perhaps you guys/gals should just carry on with the good work…I can assure you it’s most appreciated. Without this site I would never have discovered the structure of several types of clue constuction. I used to look at next days answers and decide that I simply couldn’t figure out how that answer(s) was derived from that clue. Now I know……sometimes :-)
            Cheers
            Nigel

            • Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

              Some of us have done that already. See my blog for DT 26616.

    • Drcross
      Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:20 am | Permalink

      Dave all along I’ve been rating the stars as not just how difficult but whether I enjoyed the puzzle or not. Is this what the star rating means, or just how difficult?

  2. Dickiedot
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Not impressed with this one what I would describe as uncomfortable and lumpy

  3. Spindrift
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    BD – I had no problem in accessing the website & printing off the puzzles at 7:00 am so the glitch must have occurred after that when some of the hamsters had probably gone for breakfast! I’ve not had time to look closely at all of the clues but on first reading the word “pedestrian ” comes to mind.

    As far as the toughie is concerned I always know I’m going to struggle when I read that you enjoyed it!

  4. Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    No real problems here. Got slightly stuck in the SE corner after putting in Band as the last part of 23A, but soon figured it was wrong when I reached 15D. Particularly enjoyed 9A, 11A, 13A and my fave rave today 22A.

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      PS looks like summer’s over. Now, where did I put that umbrella/brolly/gamp ?

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Me too Skempie on 23A

      • crypticsue
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I was in the ‘band’ band too!

        • AlisonS
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, me an’ all! At least I was in good company. :-)

    • Drcross
      Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:20 am | Permalink

      Me too – the bottom went in last due to the same error!

  5. Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Can I just add to the plaudits for Tilsit’s THE EXIT clue? My offering got a mention but it was a bit mechanical – Tilsit’s effort is sublimely inventive. Hope he doesn’t write all of his clues so well or we ‘pros’ are in trouble!

  6. Jezza
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I did not particularly enjoy this one. No difficulty in completing it, but not much satisfaction derived from it.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.
    If it is recommended, I will try to find time for the Toughie later.

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Definitely recommended – and a little easier than a lot of the puzzles published under Elkamere’s alter ego of Anax.

      P.S. that doesn’t mean it is easy!

  7. mary
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I had trouble with ‘clued up’ being down too Dave, I totally agree with you about the surface readings, a lot of them would be slated on COW even, however I didn’t totally hate it, though I did find it at least 3* for difficulty, if I had to pick a fav clue it would be 5d but on looking at the surface reading again maybe not :-), having said all that I would think I was a genius if I could come up with a crossword like that :-D

    • Kath
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Before I discovered this blog it would never have occurred to me to question surface readings – wouldn’t even have known what it meant! I would also be absolutely delighted if I could even attempt to compile a crossword but I wouldn’t know where to begin.

  8. Kath
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this one – perhaps something to do with not having suffered irritations in trying to get it as I do the paper version. I agree with the 2* rating for difficulty although unravelling why 16d was what it was took some time. I can’t explain 22a so will wait for the hint. I liked 10a and 4d. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.
    POURING with rain in Oxford and we’re having a serious mole attack. Oh dear! :sad:

    • Jezza
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Kath
      22a – This mythical horseman is a homophone (reportedly) of transmitted, and a word meaning dread (as in reverence, fear, admiration).

      • Kath
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – completely missed that.

    • mary
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      sunny /cloudy here today

    • Lostboy
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Good on you Kath, and Hoorah for paper buyers everywhere!
      As I work in IT, I’m always glad to do my bit to prevent The Paperless Society from taking hold!

      And as I always add, serves the rest of you right for relying on technology!

      • Spindrift
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        I stopped buying the DT after the last round of redundancies rendered the standard of journalism to a level just above the sixth form newsletter I used to produce back in the 70s! As a recent convert to the electric interweb thingy I have saved a fortune & still get a plethora of crosswords every day of the year.

        • Lostboy
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          You’ll be telling me next that you think The News of The World was nothing but an excuse for sexual titilation.

        • pommers
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          You can also get the Gauniad (with huge archive searchable by setter), Indy and FT!

  9. Domus
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Can you please explain THE EXIT clue? Thank you.

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I thought I would tease you all for a while.

      An anagram (sadly) of SEX AND THE CITY without the scattered letters (poor) of CANDY’S gives what Candy was shown.

      [Candice Bergen, known as Candy, appeared in some episodes of the programme.]

    • Kath
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Oh good – glad that someone else asked the question and that BD answered before I had to show my lack of understanding YET again! :smile:

      • mary
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Me too :-D

  10. Prolixic
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Not a crossword that particularly gelled for me, I am afraid. No problems with the difficulty level and I agree that some of the surface readings lacked a bit of polish. Thanks to BD for the review and apologies to our Mysteron for not being more effusive about the crossword today.

  11. Carrie
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t mind this too much, although l am not so familiar with crosswords that l can spot some of the things others can. I confess, although l have (I think) the answers for 8 and 16d it’s more to do with what fits letter wise than understanding why.

    • mary
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      It often is Carrie and then it’s a case of working backwards to see where it comes from :-)

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I’ve posted those two!

  12. crypticsue
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have any problems with accessing the puzzle as it was in its usual place on the back page. My only hold up with this one was not reading the clue properly and putting BAND at the end of 23a only to realise my mistake when I filled in the downs. Fairly average Thursday stuff, thank you to the Mysteron and to BD.

    As BD says, the Elkamere Toughie is a thing of great joy – I had a big smile on my face when I finished. Give it a go, you may surprise yourself.

  13. Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Just got back from my daily trip to the hospital for intravenous drugs. Thanks for the nice comments about my clue!

    I found this puzzle an odd experience. I had already finished Elkamere’s enjoyable Toughie, a terrific Times, Araucaria’s Grauniad and The Indy’s Mordred challenges, all of them very worthy and excellent. This sort of limped in a bit behind the rest; one or two good ideas, but not my idea of an enjoyable solve. Some really odd surface readings.

    I’d been reasonably happy with the Daily puzzles this week until today. Almost felt like it had been put together in a hurry to meet a deadline.

    • crypticsue
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      I just thought this was an average sort of backpager and, given that all the other available cryptics, are as you say, so good today, was glad that I solved them as per my usual routine – DT, Toughie, Times, Guardian, Indy, FT. Did I mention I have a slight addiction to crosswords problem? :)

      • Qix
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Agree with the comments about today’s Times, which is very good, as was yesterday’s. In fact, yesterday’s Times had a similar feel to today’s excellent Elkamere Toughie.

      • Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        “Did I mention I have a slight addiction to crosswords problem? ”

        You an pommers both !!!

        • pommers
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Hey, I’ve only done 3 today! DT, Toughie and Grauniad, oh, and the Shamus Toughie 601 from last week while I was waiting at the garage, so that’s actually 4! Maybe I am an addict!
          Off shopping now, maybe I’ll try the Times when I get back as Tilsit has kindly emailed it to me!

          • crypticsue
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            I blame the blog. Before I “found” Big Dave, I just used to do the backpager first thing and the Toughie at lunchtime and was quite happy just doing them. I then was lured into doing the Toughie first thing as well, and so had to start doing the Times, quickly followed by the Grauniad, the Indy and the FT.

            • Franco
              Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

              Is there a “Cryptics Anonymous” to help us?

              My problem is worse than yours in that I spend far more time than you trying to solve to bloody things!

              • crypticsue
                Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

                Keep perservating – I struggle too – just don’t always admit it in public :) If there is a Cryptics Anonymous, I do hope it has cake at the meetings.

                • Franco
                  Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

                  Apparently, the cakes will be provided by Elgar – all meetings on Friday!

                  • WBGeddes
                    Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

                    I’m replying to this just to see how far this inwards spiralling (correct for the shape?) Process will go

                    • pommers
                      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

                      Think this may be the last!

                    • Franco
                      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

                      It used to be 10 replies – maybe things have improved?

                    • pommers
                      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

                      Yup, 10 levels including the original post.

                    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

                      It’s ten levels, not ten comments. We could carry on indefinitely at this level!

                    • Franco
                      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

                      What was the first question?

                    • Digby
                      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

                      Who am I?

  14. Anncantab
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    There’s obviously anadvantage to still going to the village shop in the rain to collect the paper !
    Didn’t like 22a at all, the second half of the word sounding like a word for fear is pushing it a bit.
    Otherwise, I didn’t dislike it as much as some other people did.

  15. Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi everyone – sorry, been a bit remiss on here lately. Leave it all to t-other half.
    I’m ok with the 2* difficulty although a couple of clues held me up for a while. Would also agree with “pedestrian” and the prror surface reason.
    The only clue I’m not happy about is 25a. I though the plural of the SA money didn’t have an “S” on the end so can’t see where this comes from at all.
    However, I can’t find an accurate definition anywhere but did find this in Wike:
    “The only time rands can be used if in reference to the physical coin rather than the currency, i.e. Q) Do you have change for 2 Rand? … A) Yes, I have two rands would mean that I have two one Rand coins”

  16. Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Sorry – manners. Thanks BD for the blog and the Myteron for the puzzle. I may not have enjoyed it as much as others recently but there’s no way I could even begin to compile one as others have already said.

  17. pommers
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the 2* difficulty but after my last 2 blogs I wouldn’t take that opinion seriously!
    Also agree about some clunky surfaces but overall I thought it was OK.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  18. pommers
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    P.S. On the subject of Rand I worked for a South African company for 20 years and never heard their currency used with an S on the end. They would invariably say ‘five hundred Rand’

  19. Tim
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    By the way, Candy Bushnell wrote SATC, so probably relates to her in Toughie clue.

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Ooh I have to say I was referring to Candice Bergen who had a short stay in the show, but I could claim that as well!

      But I won’t!

  20. AlisonS
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m generally in agreement with the comments so far – not very tricky and a bit contrived in places. Thanks to setter and BD.

    But now I’m going to have to go and print out the Toughie, aren’t I? I don’t have time!!! But you had to all go and recommend it, didn’t you?! ;-)

  21. WBGeddes
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Am I alone in buying the newspaper rather than downloading it or completing online?

    Aside from that I started off with immediatley penning in ‘outstanding’ as an anagram of ‘Aunt’s doing’ – sadly it isn’t.

    Which brings me to think maybe online does have benefits. Still prefer a folded paper and The Times has never been right since it went tabloid.

    • Lostboy
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Good on you WBGeddes (Mr Geddes?), and Hoorah for paper buyers everywhere!
      As I work in IT, I’m always glad to do my bit to prevent The Paperless Society from taking hold!

      And as I always add, serves the rest of you right for relying on technology!

      (This post a pastiche of a similar post to Kath.)

      • WBGeddes
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks for the reply.

        I have to say just can’t see Morse working through a crossword on his iPad.

    • andy
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      No, I do the paper version as does Cryptic Sue, i’m sure there are more….

      • crypticsue
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        I download the Sunday puzzle and find that a sheet of A4 white paper isn’t quite right somehow. The paper crossword has a much better ‘feel’ to it; I read the paper too, Mr CS does the number puzzles and our youngest (home for the summer to save money before he goes off for a year in Australia – he might be saving money but he’s eating us out of house and home) reads the Sports Section, so we definitely get our money’s worth.

        • crypticsue
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          And don’t forget the wonderful Matt cartoons – worth the price of the paper on their own

          • pommers
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            You can get them on-line too!

      • Kath
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I do the paper version too – very occasionally look at the toughie (not always enough time and I can almost never do it anyway) – also do the sudokus. I love the Matt cartoons too.

    • Franco
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      WBGeddes, (a fine name) – you are not alone in buying the paper! I cannot imagine doing the crossword on-line.

      I’m no expert but I thought that today’s clues were a little bit “clumsy” – too many words! (Also more difficult than 2*)

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I do the paper version of the DT crossword too. Although I do have an iPad, I don’t use it to do things like crosswords and it might be a bit tricky (and not feel at all right) to drag the Desktop into the ‘Little Crossword Solvers Room’ in order to while away the time (I nearly said PASS the time, but somehow, it didn’t seem appropriate).

      • Lostboy
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        I couldn’t use one of those computer box things instead of a newspaper, because I wouldn’t want the little Imps inside it watching me.

    • pommers
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      I would love to get the paper as I agree with you all that it has a better feel, but that’s probably just because I did it that way for 30-odd years before moving to Spain. Therein lies the problem! To get a DT nowadays I have a 15km round trip and it costs €3.50 so hard to justify! I do the crossy in the paper whenever I’m in the UK though.

      • Nora
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Pommers, sorry I wasn’t cribbing. I hadn’t scrolled down as far as your comment before submitting mine!

    • Nora
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      The cost of buying a paper every day puts off those of us living overseas, as does the 30km round trip that I’d have to make to get one. So CluedUp is the only option, frustrating though it is at times.

      • Lostboy
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Just another reason why I’ve semi-retired to Devon……. and the beer’s better than in Spain too…….

        • pommers
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          But the Rioja is 4 times the price!

          • Nora
            Posted August 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            And excellent Valencia wines are hard to find.

      • mary
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        It also puts me off Nora! :-)

  22. Lostboy
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    ……………anyway, going by this, I thought it was Monday.
    But it wasn’t THAT bad, surely?

  23. WBGeddes
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Rather 11A I fell into the ‘band’ trap too. Feeling like a complete 21A and getting 5D I had my 17D when I relaised what a complete 22D I was.

    All of this typed and sent on my 3A

    • Kath
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Just had to find the paper again to work out what you were on about – now I understand!! :grin:

      • Franco
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Kath, hope you can find Tuesday’s paper. Your favourite, Ray T (aka Beam), has given a clue in the Toughie (10a) that seems to fit into the category of “very rude/risque/blue”.

        • Kath
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          Damn – now I’m going to have to hunt around in the recycling bin to find it ….

        • Kath
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          OK – found it – hadn’t even looked at the toughie that day on account of not having a spare moment. Did it – yes – a good one but there have been better!

    • Don1991
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Very good. I wish I’d thought of that. 10a in fact.

  24. Don1991
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Paper delivered daily circa 0700 by my valiant paperboy. Routine goes, sports section, crossword, re-cycle the business section then see if there’s any news worth reading.

    Plural of sheep is sheep, plural of Rand is Rand. I’ve never heard anyone say Rands. (In fact having just typed that my spellchecker tells me Rands is incorrect). So, 25a is abysmal. That being said I didn’t dislike this puzzle as much as some others seem to have done, 25a excepted. Then again I don’t have a favourite as I am not a great fan of these overly wordy sort of clues.
    Thanks BD and the setter

    • WBGeddes
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Pluralnessdom is a fascinating polarising business. My local Italian (obv not really) cafe never thanks me for pointing out that ‘Paninis’ is bonkers. Panini of course being one or several Panino.

      And so the days pass.

      • Lostboy
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        I can’t wait to go into Costa and ask for “A Panino.”

        • WBGeddes
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Ah even more fun – and when you are next in pizza excess insist for Brusketta and not Brushetta.

          I have no idea what the Italian word for pedantry is but I am looking it up right now.

          • Lostboy
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            Where I live in Devon, they call “Prezzo” “Presso”. :-(

            But then, they call “Bristol” “Brizzle”, so who knows, they may well be right.

            • Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

              Thar’s nuttun wrang with Brizzle moi Babben, an it only gets a bit wurst when thee gets to Zummerzet

              • Lostboy
                Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

                I know all about Zummerzett My Loverrrrrr, Because Princess Sharrona works in Taunton.

  25. Little Dave
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Actually enjoyed this one folks. Anything to distract from the Victoria Line is good. All done by Euston – return leg.

  26. wbgeddes
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I am pleased to be the (probaly) only person in the UK today to say that after little research online the Italian word for pedantry is pedanteria. Wonderful!

    • Anncantab
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      And I get very annoyed by all the english people who ask for a latte as” lartay “

      • Lostboy
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        OK then Anncantab, I’ll bite…….
        a) What Nationality are you?
        2) How SHOULD I pronounce Latte?

  27. Addicted
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Such a very long blog to-day I doubt anyone will read this! In case they do – I,m with Brian (#1) – thought it was horrible, very contrived, not at all smooth. Don’t mind difficulty if the answers make sense when you finally get them! 22a particularly nasty and 8d not a lot better. Sorry, Setter! But thanks to BD for enabling me to finish it.

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your assessment of the puzzle, but not the difficulty. I had no problems solving the clues, it was just that there was little to make me smile.

    • Kath
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes – very long. Have just had a very quick scan through all the comments so HAVE read yours! I always feel sorry for the unknown setter when they have gone to the trouble of compiling a crossword and then get slated for it. Perhaps he or she is only just beginning to do it and then get discouraged and never try again – then where would all us addicts be?

      • Kath
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Am I going to be the last one tonight?

        • crypticsue
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          No that’s me! Night all.

          • Don1991
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

            Not quite.

            • pommers
              Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

              G’night.

              • Franco
                Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

                And it’s Goodnight from me:

                Qix has got it right:

                “It’s not a competition, crosswords are meant to be fun!”

                • pommers
                  Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

                  The day crosswords stop being fun is the day I will stop doing them!
                  Same applies to blogging but at the moment I’m really enjoying it, and it makes the Wednesday puzzles doubly enjoyable!

                  G’night again – I mean it this time, it’s 0055CEST here!.

  28. mumsie
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry crypticscue, I’m a nightowl! I usually manage the back-page cryptic ok, but today was worse than most days. On a good day I can cope with the toughie; today I got just one and husband got one. Is it generational? We are old fogies, have been solving cryptics for years but find most of the modern compilers very different from previous generations.

  29. Drcross
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Agree with a lot of what people have said- over wordy, contrived and v poor surface reading in some of the clues with v little to make you smile.

  30. AtH1900
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    I only just got around to reading the comments (sorry). On the discussion of solving abilities and times, and setter styles and solver mind-sets I would say this: different compilers present different styles of puzzle, each supposedly suited to the requirments of the periodical and the nature of the crossword; over time, solvers identify the styles and can more rapidly analyse clues; some clues have been around for so long that they’ve grown beards and the answer is recognisable almost instantly. As solvers persist, their vocabularies expand, making each new puzzle easier to solve. Once one has experience (in anything), it becomes increasingly difficult to put oneself in the position of those more novice.

    Many, many moons ago (in the late ’70s), a researcher at Manchester University wrote a program to ‘solve’ the Cryptic Crossword. It had a large dictionary (but not as large as available online today) and a sophisticated parshing mechanism. It solved between 30% and 40% of the clues every day. It used what in today’s terms would be a ‘super computer’ and took (if DB will permit me to say), some 40 minutes to do so. A similar application today would be smaller, faster, run on a ‘smart-phone’, and deliver a complete (or very nearly complete) set of answers.

  31. Heno
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Just finished this morning, tried yesterday while at GBBF, but the ale interfered with my grey matter.Thanks to Big Dave and the setter.I agree with BD, the surface reading of some clues was a bit strange, but I still enjoyed it.Favourites were 22d & 14a.