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DT 26818

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26818

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

If it felt like we were being caressed yesterday with a gentle breeze then we have a force 8 gale of a puzzle today which could well have been a Toughie. All the clues are perfectly fair though, even if they do require a considerable amount of perspiration. Let us know how you got on.
To reveal an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Prison sentence passed quickly — that said, it’s a strain (4,3)
{BIRD FLU} – this is a strain or type of contagious infection. A slang word for prison is followed by a homophone (that said) of a verb meaning passed quickly.

9a  League loss for Hearts in enjoyable game (8)
{PHEASANT} – start with an adjective meaning enjoyable and replace the L(eague) with H(earts) to get a feathery type of game.

10a  Willowy model retreats into fiction (7)
{LISSOME} – reverse (retreats) the surname of a famous fashion model inside a fiction or untruth.

11a  Cook pud and eat it for fitness (8)
{APTITUDE} – an anagram (cook) of PUD and EAT IT produces a fitness or talent.

12a  There are no limits to ignominy — however small (6)
{MIGNON} – this is an adjective, from French, meaning small and dainty (which we normally see following filet). It’s an anagram (however) of (i)GNOMIN(y) with no outer letters (limits).

13a  Question — the first of many — in sample for employer (10)
{TASKMASTER} – this is an employer (one who keeps his employees’ noses to the grindstone). Insert a verb to question and the first letter of M(any) inside a small amount (sample) intended to give you a flavour of something.

15a  Inflamed swelling sun yet to set (4)
{STYE} – S(un) followed by an anagram (to set) of YET makes an inflamed swelling.

16a  Growing red cabbage at last after problem with smell (9)
{RUBESCENT} – you need to lift and separate here. The definition is growing red or blushing. Put the last letter of (cabbag)E after the problem that Hamlet spoke of, then finish with a smell or fragrance.

To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come.

21a  Some of Cabinet once might have had a fag here? (4)
{ETON} – if we absolutely have to put up with this college once again the setter has at least given us a decent cryptic definition. He’s also hidden (some of) its name in the clue (Thanks to Franco for pointing out what I’d totally failed to spot).

22a  Load a substantial amount in panniers (10)
{SADDLEBAGS} – a charade of a verb to load or burden and an informal word for a substantial amount or plenty.

24a  Following aborted coup the French created crowning glory of the Pantheon (6)
{CUPOLA} – this is a rounded dome, especially the one crowning the Pantheon in Rome. After an anagram (aborted) of COUP we want one of the French definite articles.

25a  Quality rare rump steak with no end of jus (8)
{UPMARKET} – this is an adjective meaning quality or affluent. It’s an anagram (rare) of RUMP (s)TEAK without the end letter of jus.

27a  Pyrenean peak bordering Spanish kingdom is something to look up to (7)
{PARAGON} – a perfect example (something, or someone, to look up to) comes from the first letter (peak?) of P(yrenean) followed by (bordering) an ancient Spanish kingdom (now a region of Spain). If you’ve forgotten everything else you were taught about Spanish history you’ll probably remember the marriage of Ferdinand from this place and Isabella of Castile which brought about, in 1479, the unification of Spain. I’m not keen on the use of peak to indicate a first letter in an across clue.

28a  Right men getting condemned about attempt to escape (3,3,2)
{RUN FOR IT} – this is a phrase meaning attempt to escape. Start with R(ight) and follow this with the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers (men) inside an adjective meaning condemned or unsuitable for consumption.

29a  Soak and simmer separate ingredients (7)
{IMMERSE} – hidden (ingredients) in the clue is a verb to soak.

Down Clues

2d  In one Transylvanian starter I tasted blood! (8)
{INITIATE} – this is a verb meaning to blood or introduce someone to a new activity. String together IN, I (one), T(ransylvanian), I and a synonym for tasted.

3d  Bring to light rogue is in the red? Not he (8)
{DISINTER} – a verb meaning to dig up or bring to light is an anagram (rogue) of IS IN T(he) RED without the “he”.

4d  Blame talent — not fulfilled — for production being pitifully bad (10)
{LAMENTABLE} – another anagram (for production) of BLAME TALEN(t), the last word being unfulfilled, i.e. incomplete.

5d and 11d Tell tales about aide who customarily rings up at work (4,9)
{SHOP ASSISTANT} – a verb to tell tales about or report someone for wrongdoing is followed by an aide to make someone who enters money in a till (rings up). These days tills do not tend to ring when they’re opened – presumably it was a feature in the past to alert the manager to the fact that a till was being used.

6d  Sheen appearing in film (6)
{PATINA} – I had a great temptation (which was presumably the setter’s intention) to write Martin in here, but this is a cryptic definition of a gloss appearing in a film on the surface of something.

7d  Caught playing up outside school (7)
{FACULTY} – this is a school or department of a university. C(aught) has an adjective meaning playing up or not working outside it.

8d  A stormy threat in the main (2,5)
{AT HEART} – A is followed by an anagram (stormy) of THREAT.

11d  See 5d

14d  Master unusual measure to insulate central heating pipe (10)
{MEERSCHAUM} – start with the abbreviation for M(aster) then add an anagram (unusual) of MEASURE around (to insulate) the abbreviation for central heating. The result is a tobacco pipe with a bowl made from a soft clay-like material.

17d  Ample time to unwind with middle missing from ‘The Matrix’ (8)
{TEMPLATE} – this is a matrix or pattern. It’s an anagram (to unwind) of AMPLE and T(ime) followed by T(h)E with its middle missing.

18d  Over-fifties attending Proms upset with traditional German fare (8)
{ROLLMOPS} – these are fillets of pickled herring, very popular in Germany and other North European countries. Insert (attending) O(ver) (from cricket) and two Roman numerals for fifty inside an anagram (upset) of PROMS.

19d  Quaint Rye sat either side of bend in river approaching the sea (7)
{ESTUARY} – an anagram (quaint) of RYE SAT goes round (either side of) a type of bend to make what a river may become as it approaches the sea.

20d  Pop star refusing to dance to someone else’s tune? (7)
{ADAMANT} – this is an adjective meaning inflexible (refusing to dance to someone else’s tune). As (4,3) it’s also a pop star of the 1980s.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23d  Piece of bacon with fat on (6)
{LARDON} – a strip of bacon used in cooking is a charade of a type of fat and ON.

26d  Issue terms of reference without introduction (4)
{EMIT} – a verb meaning to issue is an assigned task or terms of reference without its introductory R.

The clues which were on my hit list today were 16a, 28a and 5/11d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CELL} + {BIDE} + {EIGHT} = {SELL-BY DATE}

107 comments on “DT 26818

  1. Oh goodie, I can be first to comment. I am spitting feathers.

    My morning ritual is to wake at 5am and, with a fresh cafetiere, recline in bed with the Telegraph Crossword. What a perfect start to the day and explains why I got so grumpy when the site went down.

    Now I am reasonably competent. On a good day, I will get there (eventually). Other days, between 80 and 90%. This is because the way in to solving the clues is there…hidden but perfectly accessible.

    Then we have today’s effort. One hour later, I have done four answers.

    I’m sorry. This has no right being classed as a cryptic crossword. Nor do I accept that one should persevere. For someone at my level of competence, this crossword is obtuse and obscure. There are no obvious ways in to solve the clues. Quite spoiled my day and I am really spitting feathers. If a walker came through our paddock off-route then he/she would get both verbal barrels….I am that apoplectic.

      1. I agree. This sent my confidence in my ability rocketing downwards. It’s been a very long time since I could only fill in about half a dozen answers. Who was responsible? Thank you Gazza for your explanations.

        1. I don’t think that a crossword that EVERYONE finds difficult needs to bash our confidence – we just have to say that it was a difficult one. The ones that make me doubt my ability are the ones that I find difficult and that everyone else finds a complete doddle!! :smile:

          1. True, but what is a puzzle that everyone finds difficult doing on the back page? The Toughie is available for those who like that sort of thing, but for us mortals who like to do the back page over breakfast or the mid-morning tea/coffee this sort of thing is just a major frustration. No more, please.

          2. I’m not saying that this wasn’t a “stinker”! What I AM saying is that if the really “big bugs” such as Gazza and CS (and probably Jezza and Franco too) think that this was difficult then the rest of us have no reason to feel ashamed of ourselves or that our confidence deserves a bashing. I STILL think that an occasional “beast” stretches us all and has every place on the back page.

            1. I’ve never heard the phrase “big bugs” before……..

              I feel honoured to be mentioned alongside Gazza & CS…… but I think you are mistaken – I rely very much on my SEIKO friend.

              As Samuel Goldwyn said “Include me out” !

              Anyway – I thought it was a really good crossword today.

              As Eton (Cryptic) & Roedean (Toughie) appear on the same day, is there any chance that it’s the same setter for both?

              1. I don’t think that this one was by Shamus. There are, I think, at least three, and possibly more, setters who regularly appear on Tuesdays. Going by the level of difficulty and the references to food and music I think it’s probable that this was by Petitjean.

              2. … the “big bugs” bit wasn’t meant to be anything other than a compliment on the crossword solving ability!

      2. I agree a real stinker. I needed help with 8 clues – thanks Gazza – never before I have I needed help with more than 1 or 2. I didn’t even have an inkling of what some of the clues were about, completely unusual for me. I have been doing these puzzles for 40 years so I am comparing this to a lot of puzzling. I am just afraid that the complaints of 1 or 2 people about them not being hard enough have made the DT give all of us much harder puzzles. Hope this is not a trend, it is discouraging.

        1. Completely in agreement – such a stinker I got totally fed up with it in the end. Needed hints for most and my electronic friend for the rest. I have attempted Toughies easier than this one.

  2. I think I spent more time on this than any other back-page DT puzzle for quite a while. That said, I did enjoy battling my way through it, so many thanks to setter, and to gazza for the review.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed the toughie today by Shamus, which was solved considerably quicker than this.

    1. I agree with your comments on the back page puzzle Jezza. If I could finish it quickly every day I would have to look for something else to stop me getting on with the jobs that need doing. The joys of retirement!

  3. Time Warp! I woke up this morning and I was sure it was Tuesday. Very tricksy today and some real grey matter use required. I thought that some clues could be a bit unfair (the use of a model’s name for instance – anyone trying this in fifty years time in say an anthology would have no chance), whilst others were very clever indeed. Can’t say I agree with a template being a Matrix though.
    At least a 4* for difficulty for me I’m afraid.

    Also, loved the pun in the quickie.

  4. The hardest I have ever done; needed this blog to explain 6 of them. Too hard, I think for general enjoyment.

  5. I really struggled with today’s puzzle. last in 12a but needed Gazza’s help. Nevertheless a good start to the day. Now to see if this will post…

  6. IMHO I think it’s an excellent puzzle and I would particulary like to thank Gazza for the picture at 10a. It may be gatuitous and unneccesary but it brought a nostalgic smile to this old roué’s face.

  7. Along with others I found this quite a challenge today and it definitely took longer than usual, but on the other hand I enjoyed the sense of achievement when I got the answers. I was left with 8 clues which needed hints to help me solve them and even then I don’t particularly like some of the answers! (16a, 24a and 17d). Favourite clue 2d. Thanks to setter (I think) and definitely to Gazza for the hints.

  8. Much harder than usual for a Tuesday cryptic, and worthy of a Toughie.  It took me a *lot* longer than usual to complete 50% of it.  I pit it down then to ease my taxed brain.  The remaining clues needed much thought and a confirmatory peek above.

    In passing:

    I note that it’s numbered ‘0’ on the iPad version.

    I have also observed recently that, when I go to the Cryptic Crossword page on my iPad, the timer is already running – today at over nine minutes – before I’ve entered a single character.  I know there are other iPad cruciverbalists here, has anyone else experienced this?

    1. Attila,
      Your comment required moderation because you’ve used a less contracted form of your alias. Both should work from now on.

  9. I’m glad others found this hard. So far i’ve completedthe top left corner and a few other clues. Even with 2 crossing letters i still can’t get any more. Will come back to it in a while, but i’ve got other things to do now. I liked 1a when i eventually got it, really had to wrack my brain for the Prison Sentence.

  10. Oh good!! I thought it was me!! Tricky sister has just been here for a couple of days and I feel as if I’ve been run over by a steam roller – totally knackered (and very long)!! :sad: Rant over now.
    I thought that this was very difficult and ended up needing the hints for three – 1 and 9a and 8d. I’ve enjoyed this one, I think, and one of the good things about Tuesdays and Thursdays is not knowing what to expect. I’m still not sure about 28a – is it the “UN” that are the men? I’d assumed that it was the “OR” which made the rest of the answer difficult to sort out. Best clues, for me, today include 1a (even if I couldn’t do it!) 16 and 25a and 2, 7 and 20d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the much needed hints.

      1. Thanks – oh dear – dim again. I had the “condemned” bit as “for it” which left me with a few spare letters lying around!! :oops:

          1. The trouble is that once the brain (or what seems to pass for the brain today) has seen something such as “for it” as in “you’ll really be for it later …” then it can’t seem to see anything else! Well, mine can’t anyway – so glad that I wasn’t alone. :smile: Do hope that you’ve recovered from your injuries. :smile:

            1. Had the solid cast removed from the wrist today which meant I had far more time than usual to do the crosswords, a godsend considering!!! Ankle will be in plaster for another month or so then will have a soft cast for a month. At least no wheelchair any more.

  11. Phew! Very tricky today but I did enjoy the challenge once I got going. I agree this puzzle could certainly be offered as a Toughie, (speaking of which I thoroughly enjoyed today’s by Shamus), but I got there eventually. My only gripe is the number of anagrams/part anagrams. I counted ten. Did anyone else put a ‘P’ as the initial letter for 16a – definition ‘growing’? That threw me for a while. Favourite clue, 2d for the surface read and less than obvious definition. Thanks to Setter and Gazza.

  12. Too difficult for me, only 8 filled, before I ground to a stand still.
    Thanks for hints and tips though, looking through them was an education.

  13. What a challenge. I have completed Elgar Toughies (well only the one, but you know what I mean) in less time than this back page puzzle this morning. I did enjoy the fight but wonder, once again, whether this one might have done better in the middle of the paper. Thanks to the Tuesday Tormentor and to Gazza too. For once, my favourites are different – I liked 1a, 21a and 20d, not forgetting 10a which reminded me of other similar clues as I was solving it.

    Those of you not suffering from shellshock may find the Shamus Toughie more user-friendly – it took me less time than this to solve, although the top half put up a fight. The best of today’s puzzles so far, by a very long distance, is a wonderful Paul puzzle in the Guardian.

    1. CS
      This time I have noted your recommendation and I’ve been across and printed it off. However the word “Paul” always makes me feel somewhat ill at ease. We shall see…

  14. This has taken me way too much time… Better get some jobs done round the house or I’ll be in bother! 27a and1a last in. *****/*** for me. Don’t want them to come any more difficult than this.

  15. Great crossword.
    Thanks setter and Gazza for the review.
    Got three or four rightaway, thunk and thunk and thunk, then it flowed.
    Last in 27a.

  16. Fabulous crossword, almost toughie standard, I loved 1a. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  17. The setters have hit back. That was tough! Needed help with a handful of clues but got there in the end – thanks Gazza. Well done to those that solved it without the safety net. Time for a lie down.

    1. Agreed, I’m obviously far too young to remember Dirk wears white sox…. misspent youth and all that.

  18. Simply awful for me only managed about half of the answers, thanks to Gazza and I agree with Phil about the song choice, however this only reminded me how daft I was!

  19. Phew! That was hard – but very enjoyable! Favourite without doubt is 1a.

    21a – Isn’t it more than a cryptic definition – the school of the Bullingdon Club is also hidden within the clue.

    It will be interesting to see the score on the “Blacksheepometer” – verging on “paralytic”?

    (Went to the Toughie for a bit of light relief – unfortunately, I didn’t find it).

      1. That and 23d were the only two I got at first pass, so I went to clean the Church windows instead. For some unknown reason I didn’t print the clue for 29a so put the answer in for 28a or tried to instead.I’m still muttering about it. the good thing though, the windows will look nice for Easter…..

  20. Well,where do i start? i’m glad no one said it was easy!
    Some clues definately toughie standard,the only way to solve it is think in’ obscure toughie mode’-and have nothing else to do for ages.
    Became easier as a few letters were put in and you realised the setter was a masochist, struggled with quite a few-never read Hamlet ,never associated ‘rub’as a problem before,i think i need a pint.

  21. Wow -just finished, with help from a smug other half who put in the last clue (2D).
    Not sure that this was pleasure but we got into ‘I’ve started so I will finish mode’
    I like them a bit easier than this!

    I’m not sure 18D is ‘german fare’ – must admit I thought it was Scandinavian.
    Thanks Gazza

    1. I don’t really care where 18d comes from – it’s just reminded me how much I love them – must have them again soon!!

  22. Last week a commenter here, Roland I think, made the very good point that too many puzzles involve a word in the clue that translates to a single letter in the answer. If I remember rightly, he was complaining that “following” in the clue meant an “f” in the answer and concluded that virtually any word beginning with “f” can be abbreviated to the letter “f” in the answer. He admitted being facetious, but it was a reasonable point none the less. Today the two examples of this that annoy me are League meaning an “L” in the answer, and Sun meaning an “S”. But these are small points among so many horrible clues in one of the most awful early week crosswords I have ever bought (and I did buy it, the crossword on my daily commute being the main reason I buy the Telegraph, I certainly don’t do it for their columnists).
    Hardly a week goes by without another leaving party at the office where I work prompted by a colleague’s job being made redundant, my turn will come soon no doubt, and so I am constantly looking for ways to save money. At £1.20 a day the Telegraph is a possibility. If crosswords like this were routine, stopping buying the paper would be a certainty.
    Thanks again for the blog, without it I’d give up.

    1. Cost saving as a result of redundancy was partly why I gave up buying the DT on a daily basis. It is much cheaper to subscribe to the puzzles website and print the quickie, the cryptic, the toughie and the code word every day. Plus with this excellent website we get the benefit of the NTSPP each Saturday!

      1. …….and the Grauniad’s puzzles are free – and with a blog on “Fifteensquared”.

        1. and the Indy and FT also blogged on 225, and to anonymous, please don’t give up, just look at the comments from experienced solvers today, this was no ordinary Tuesday!!

  23. This is my first post. I have been doing the DT crossword on and off for ca. 20 years. As I live in Minneapolis, I subscribe to the puzzles page, and do the crossord early in the evening. Often I go back to it up the following morning. It is very unusual for me not to be able to do 75% but my completion percentage is not where I would like it to be. Too often I get stuck with one or two clues undone, almost regardless of the overall difficulty of the crossword.

    Today was no exception. I persevered but only needed the hints for 6d and 7d. I was saved by the large number of anagrams – I counted twelve. ****/*** would be about right for me too.

    1. Hi John – welcome to the blog. I only counted 10 anagrams but that’s still higher than par.

  24. A very tough crossword today to the extent I have a head-ache! Only saving grace is the lovely picture above. 4.5* difficulty in my book.

  25. Had a go at this before and after work, but gave up after about half. Liked 1a and 20d. Thought 10a was clever as Kate Moss is indeed a lissome model! Hopefully will fare better tomorrow.

  26. This puzzle was a tad more difficult than usual but I got to the end eventually.
    Likes : 1a, 16a, 24a, 27a, 2d, 5/11d, 14d & 18d.

    Didn’t forget to get the chicken into the oven for roasting this time.

    Weather is superb now in NL -equinox tomorrow but no equinoctial winds as yet.
    In one of the gardens round the corner there is a magnificent tulip tree (magnolia) and its blooms usually get blown to pieces but hopefully not this year.

  27. Phew and thanks Gazza for giving it 4* difficulty. However, I think I did enjoy it as I got a great feeling when I managed to get answers ,with much use of the BRB ,I have to say before resorting to the hints ,which I had to do for the top left-hand corner. It didn’t help that I discounted lissome as I didn’t think it had an “e” Although I only got it with Gazza’s hint I do like 1a. I did want the wonderful Martin to be the answer for 6d. I bet the setter’s ears are burning to-day!! :smile:

    1. 6d – I pencilled in “Martin” very lightly!

      With regard to his role in The West Wing – “The Acting President of the United States”.

    2. Have to confess that my first answer for 6d was “polish” – this did NOT help with 9 or 13a … :oops: I bet the setter’s ears are burning too!!

  28. I think the only term for this horror is disgraceful. DT you have wasted a lot of people’s valuable time and should be ashamed of yourself!

    1. I don’t think that this is a fair or constructive comment – whatever happened to all your good resolutions, Brian?

  29. As a benchmark if at 14 above Cryptic Sue rates a Tuesday backpage this tough after 40 years ( I do so hope that is right or i’ll be for the knackers yard) of solving, then no one should feel downbeat at finding this difficult. 5/11d were my faves, and did wonder about the usual Scandinavian herring dish being German. Well done Gazza and thanks to Setter, who as others have commented might have been placed on the wrong page on the wrong day of the week.

        1. Takes more than that to offend me. The 42 years of crossword solving have been great fun, especially the last two!

  30. Roger: This has no right being classed as a cryptic crossword
    Silveroak: a real stinker
    Brian: an absolute swine that has no place on the back page
    Domus: Too hard, I think for general enjoyment
    Joe 90: after an hour I threw it away
    St. George: Simply awful for me
    Adrian: the most difficult in the past 10 years

    Derek: This puzzle was a tad more difficult than usual but I got to the end eventually
    Franco: That was hard – but very enjoyable
    Jezza: I did enjoy battling my way through it
    spindrift: IMHO I think it’s an excellent puzzle
    Jackie: I enjoyed the sense of achievement
    Hrothgar: Great crossword
    BigBoab: Fabulous crossword

    Who’d be a crossword editor?

    1. What’s the expression along the lines of “You can please some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time …. ” after that I can’t remember!!! Oh dear for the umpteenth time today! No, I wouldn’t be a crossword editor, a blogger or a setter but I do have a great alibi – I’m just not clever enough! :smile:

  31. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review & hints. So far I have one answer and missed the fact that it’s a hidden word. Favourite 21a, because it’s the only one I solved! I was amazed to see there are 10 anagrams, I can’t find any. Way too tough no more like this please.

  32. Gazza..I think that a lot depends on how much time people have available/are prepared to make available to solve the crossword. If you have all the time in the world and fancy a mental challenge then go for it. I’d be interested to know how long the bottom group spent on this crossword. I have about half an hour in the morning.

    1. I’m sure you’re right, Roger, but I do think it’s important to vary the difficulty and style of the puzzles. Otherwise it all becomes very formulaic.

    1. Yes, I was wondering that too – do so hope that she’s not still out looking for her dog … !

    2. Oh I see what you mean G, just checked the thread, I hope all is OK. Or is she still looking for the dog in wordpress?

    3. We had email conversation yesterday morning and she had just printed off the puzzle and was going to give it a go. Perhaps she is still trying :D

  33. Well, that one was seriously tough. Haven’t been here for what feels like about a year or so, since usually me and the missus get the thing polished off in an hour or so. But this one … … … by the evening we had TWO answers (one of which – MIGNON – we had to look up the meaning of). Too tired, early season gardening, to take a few hints and get on with it – so gradually worked through the explanations, and probably we would never have finished. Just too hard this one. Certainly for a Tuesday.

  34. I got 17 clues of which some I didn’t fill in because I wasn’t sure. I then spent a considerable amount of time and got no further. The remaining clues were just impossible for me. Having important clues (in terms of the letters supplied for crossing clues) like 16a, 14d and 18d where the answers are so obscure (to me anyway) killed this one for me.

  35. Such a great blog and never better than on a day such as this! Thanks to all concerned. :smile:
    Now I need a long lie down in a darkened room to recover – great – it’s nearly 11.00pm so it’s totally justified.
    Sleep well all.

  36. I started this yesterday morning and after an hour had still just managed to do four! Having ‘other stuff’ to do I thought I would leave it until yesterday afternoon, it was early evening by the time I could get back to it and after an exhausting day having read all the comments I decided to give it a miss!!! I don’t think any amount of perservation gazza would have got me anywhere, well done to all of you who stuck at it and especially those who completed it :-)

  37. Back on line at last :grin: Had no internet from about 1000 yesterday but did manage to print this one before the connection failed completely! Don’t know what the giuy did but he turned up about 15mins ago, spent 5 mins playing with the router and, hey presto, a 2 meg connection!

    Agree with everyone else that this was a bit tough for a back pager and it took pommette and I about 50% longer than usual. I actually enjoyed it. :grin: Like Gazza above (reply to #1) I too wondered about Petitjean as the setter.

    Many thanks to the mysteron and Gazza.

    BTW, I think it will be BD blogging today, unless he’s roped someone else in to do it.

  38. I sat down with a glass of wine on a balmy Cape Town evening only to be left feeling dim. Wasn’t in mood to expend the brain power required. Agreed crosswords like that have their place but not for what we’ve come to expect from an everyday telgraph puzzle.

  39. Gave up. Thanks for hints for 7 and the answers for the last 2! Kicking myself for not getting 29a.

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