DT 26843

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26843

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  I don’ t think anyone will be needing these hints today! This is by far the gentlest of all the Jay puzzles that I’ve blogged, easily my fasted solve, but quite enjoyable for all that. For once you don’t need to start with the downs! I got all but two of the across clues on first pass, (although I did get one wrong, d’oh!).  Maybe I was just on good form and you’ll all disagree. It will be interesting to hear your views.

The clues I like most are in blue and the answers can be seen by highlighting the space between the curly brackets. 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.


1a            Turn to person of importance making a comeback (5)
{ PIVOT } – To get a word meaning turn or swivel you need to start with TO (from the clue) and follow with an abbreviation for a person of importance and then reverse the whole lot (making a comeback).  First clue read and first in. I always like it when I get 1a straight away!

4a           Reserves unlikely retail outlet (9)
{ BOOKSTALL } – A type of retail outlet is a charade of a word meaning reserves, a table in a restaurant perhaps, and a word for unlikely , as in an unlikely story.

9a            Scoop in which soldiers replace former lover wanting to be alone (9)
{ RECLUSIVE } – This is a word describing someone who wants to be alone.  Start with a scoop, in a newspaper perhaps, and replace the usual former lover with some soldiers.

10a         Regularly taunt poor person providing instruction (5)
{ TUTOR } – A person who provides instruction is made from the alternate letters (regularly) of taunt poor.

11a         Runs circuits in case of extreme deterioration in health (7)
{ RELAPSE } – A deterioration in health is formed from R(uns) followed by EE (case of E xtrem E ) with some circuits of a race track inserted (in).

12a         Constricted by muscular affliction? (7)
{ CRAMPED } – Double definition. A word meaning constricted also describes how a muscle might be after some strenuous exercise.

13a         Ask for strangely inactive account to be deleted (6)
{ INVITE } – A word meaning ask for is an anagram (strangely) of INACTIVE but with the AC removed (account to be deleted).

15a         All ready to go away, and well-informed — and broke down! (6,2)
{ PACKED UP } – Something you did before you were ready to go away on holiday (6) followed by a word meaning well-informed on a subject (2) gives a colloquial term for broke down.  This was my only slip-up in this puzzle. On first pass I put IN as the second part which caused a bit of a problem with 16d, d’oh!

18a         Vessel crossing river shows flag (8)
{ STREAMER } – Take a type of seagoing vessel and insert R(iver) (crossing) and you’ll get a type of long thin flag.  Is this a bit of a chestnut?

20a         Unsuccessful gambler chasing source of cash getting nearer (6)
{ CLOSER } – An unsuccessful gambler placed after (chasing) a C (source of C ash) gives a word meaning nearer.

23a         Area of church making gambler change sides, finally (7)
{ CHANCEL } – Take another word for a gambler, or someone who takes risks, and change the final R to an L (change sides, R (ight) to L (eft)) to get the part of a church where you find the altar, sanctuary, and choir.

24a         One’s expectations initially after a cat spray (7)
{ ATOMISE } – Definition is to spray.  Start with IS (ones) and an E (( E xpectations initially) and place them after A (from the clue) and a male cat.

26a         Means of controlling rinse cycles (5)
{ REINS } – These means of controlling a horse are an anagram (cycles) of RINSE.

27a         Overwhelming victory for transparency by nation (9)
{ LANDSLIDE } – To get this overwhelming election victory you need another word for nation or country and after it (by) place a transparency, in the sense of a photograph . Last in. For some reason the penny just wouldn’t drop until I had all the checkers!

28a          Suspect everybody returned in term as planned (5,1,3)
{ SMELL A RAT } – A phrase meaning to suspect is a word for everybody reversed and then inserted (returned in) into an anagram (as planned) of TERM AS and then split (5,1,3).

29a         Almost keen to embrace Lincoln’s first symbol of America (5)
{ EAGLE } – The symbol of the USA is a word for keen without its last letter (almost) placed around (to embrace) L ( L incoln’s first).


1d           Pictures of, say, Liverpool river as it develops (9)
{ PORTRAITS } – Nothing to do with the river Mersey!  Pictures of a person are what Liverpool is an example of followed by R(iver) and then an anagram (develops) of AS IT.

2d           Loud salvo calculated to conceal it (5)
{ VOCAL } – A word meaning loud, as in talks a lot, is hidden (to conceal it) in salvo calculated.

3d           Announce utter chaos surrounding elected member (7)
{ TRUMPET } – A word meaning announce is an anagram (chaos) of UTTER placed around (surrounding) the usual elected member.

4d           Singles may offer these as well, it’s said (1-5)
{ B SIDES } – You get these on the back of a single record. It’s also a homophone (it’s said) of a word meaning as well.

5d           Finished article in bed: ‘What Not to Wear!’ (8)
{ OVERCOAT } – An article of clothing which you certainly wouldn’t wear in bed is made from a word meaning finished followed by a child’s bed with an indefinite article inserted.  I can’t help thinking I may be missing something here!

6d           Disappointment resulting from poor bet in bed (7)
{ SETBACK } – This disappointment is an anagram (poor) of BET placed inside a slang term for your bed. Strange, we had gamblers in two consecutive across clues and now beds in consecutive downs!

7d           A new suggestion on poems in Australia for example (9)
{ ANTIPODES } – What Australia is. It’s A (from the clue), N(ew), a suggestion or clue (3) and some poems.

8d           Attracted by endless plum wine, for example (5)
{ LURED } – A word meaning attracted or tempted is LU (endless p LU m) followed by a type of wine.

14d         Flexible, but nasty having to accept variable rates (9)
{ VERSATILE } – To get a word for flexible you need a word for nasty and insert (to accept) an anagram (variable) of RATES.

16d         Carry on through cut on energy (9)
{ PERSEVERE } – Start with a preposition meaning through or by and follow with a word meaning cut off and then E(nergy) to get a word meaning to carry on or continue.

17d         Vault across bull without protection of mobile phone (8)
{ CELLULAR } – This word describes a mobile phone. It’s a vault which might be under a building placed around (across) UL (b UL l without protection).

19d         A small capacity left to cover America’s charge (7)
{ ACCUSAL } – Definition is charge, in the sense of a charge in a court of law.  Take A (from the clue) and a small capacity or volume and L(eft) and place them around (to cover) America.

21d         A cursory examination appears evasive, superficially (4-3)
{ LOOK-SEE } – A phrase meaning a cursory or quick examination is a word for appears or seems followed by EE ( E vasiv E superficially).

22d         Tree legislation turns head (6)
{ WALNUT } – A type of tree is some legislation reversed (turns) followed by a slang term for your head.

23d         Pack diamonds into vehicles (5)
{ CARDS } – You need this pack to play bridge. Take some road vehicles and inserts D(iamonds).

25d         Some basic ingredients in cakes? (5)
{ ICING } – Something you find on a cake is hidden (some) in basic ingredients.

I quite liked all the ones in blue but I don’t have a stand-out favourite today, how about you?
In case anyone’s interested the two across clues I missed on first pass were 23a and 27a

The Quick crossword pun: { creek } + { eaters } = { cricketers }


  1. Jezza
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Morning pommers
    I liked this one today – a very pleasant start to the day! My stand-out favourite is 4d.
    Thanks to Jay, and to pommers.

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Morning Jezza, you’re here early! I liked 4d as well :smile: If pushed to pick just one clue that would be it.

  2. Colmce
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Very strange puzzle for me, initial scan garnered 5 answers, then hit brick wall.
    Sorted out a few domestic bits and pieces, returned to puzzle and the rest of the answers went in like lightning.
    Thanks to Ray for an enjoyable puzzle.
    Pommers thanks for hints.

  3. Wozza
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Agreed fairly straightforward although top half was easier than bottom for me.

    A mixed bag of clues I thught. Liked some more than others.

    Thanks to both.

  4. Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Jay and Pommers.
    I wondered whether we were meant to read “What not” in 5d cryptically as whatnot (i.e. something or other).

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Good idea Gazza, I said I thought I might be missing something – that may be it! Perhaps Jay will let us know.

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I read it as simply as something that wouldn’t be worn in bed

      • Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        That was my take on it skempie but I did have the feeling that there might be a bit more to it. Perhaps Gazza’s right but who knows?

  5. mary
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    On first run through I have done just four pommers, I think I will leave it and come back later, I was expecting at least a three star for difficulty :-)

    • Domus
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I agree. Atleast 2* difficulty for me.

    • Brian
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more, how can this possibly rate 1 star for difficulty, for me a 3 star possible a 2 but go for a 3 because some of the clues are very tricky ie 1d, 9a (where does the scoop come in), 27a (the transparency was very misleading) and 25d which should say on rather than in.

      • mary
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        scoop is an exclusive Brian , soldiers replace former lover, i.e. RE for soldiers replace EX for former lover to gie ‘reclusive’, yes I agree about 25d it’s this ‘in’ thing again

        • mary
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          and it took me ages to get ‘slide’ for transparency

      • Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Hi Brian

        It’s quite simple, it’s 1* becauseI have a time span for each star rating and this was solved well within the 1* maximum. Maybe it’s just me being on good form but when you get all but two of the across clues cold the downs then just fill themselves in. Never solved a DT puzzle faster :grin:

        Tend to agree about 25d but it works for me as the answer was so obvious, specially when you have the first and last letters.

        • Hrothgar
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Last time I will mention the DT’s rating but today they rate this as a 5* for difficulty and this 5* hasn’t changed all day.
          But it had no psychological effect on me!

    • collywobbles1
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I found the same Mary, only 3 clues for me on the first run, but as I persevered the answers fell in to place although I did find some of the clues rather strange and difficult to understand and only got them from the checking letters. Thanks to Jay and Pommers, whose hints I found helpful

      • mary
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Well done on your perservation collywobs :-)

  6. collywobbles1
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning Pommers,
    Why do you normally advise starting on the downs? Does it make it easier to do

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Hi Collywobs
      It’s agreed by Gnomey, Crypticsue and I that it’s our experience that Jay’s down clues always seem easier than his across ones. No idea why it should be that way! I once asked him about it but he said it wasn’t done on purpose so it remains something of a mystery..

      • collywobbles1
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Thanks Pommers, it’s just Jay is it?

        • Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Never noticed any other setter being consistently like that.

          • collywobbles1
            Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            Tks Pommers

            • mary
              Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

              I always start with the down ones collywobs but from the bottom up! Not helping today though :-)

              • collywobbles1
                Posted April 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

                Why the bottom up Mary?

                • mary
                  Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

                  Well collywobs, my brother who has been doing these for about 40years more than me, always starts with the down clues and has always worked oan the assumption that if the setter was working from the top by the time he got to the last one at the bottom he would be running out of ideas and it would be fairly easy clue, maybe it was so back then I don’t know, I doubt it very much now, but I do always start with the last down clue if possible :-D

              • Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

                Bottoms up to you too Mary. Hic

                • mary
                  Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink


  7. Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable fare today. At first I thought it was going to be a doddle with the first 4 or 5 clues going in like nobody’s business, then came to a grinding halt until I got to the downs. NW held me up for a tad and had be wondering about the initial letter of 4A until it clicked. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were complaints about 4D though, if people can complain about musicians from 20 years ago (who are now available on CD, etc) then why shouldn’t they complain about a recording medium from 20 years ago. Hey ho.

  8. beaver
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    like most solvers enjoyed today;s offering, **/***, got a bit stuck in the NE corner,struggled with 4d before i got 4a-both good clues. i think i,ll go and play some 78′s from the 50′s!

  9. Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Another fun puzzle from Jay and 4d was my favourite as well. Today, at least, looking at the first run through all clues there wasn’t any real difference between the across and the downs. Thanks to pommers and to Jay as well.

  10. mary
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Hola once again pommers, I’m afraid I found this really tough today, some clues I thought worthy of a toughie, eg 21d and a few others, I thought 5d was straight forward what you would not wear in bed, 4a I got stuck on the TA bit for reserves! fav clues 26a and 4d although I do agree, not everyone is going to know what a ‘B’ side is, for me lots of perservation, help from my friends and help from yourself pommers made this a 3 to 4 star for me today for difficulty, now what about the reading of 17d then, how would you use your mobile phone for protection whilst vaulting a bull!? please keep all answers clean :-) Thanks for help pommers, def needed it today, I put it down to a bad head (no fault of my own, I might add)

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Sorry about the head Mary :sad:
      It’s horses for courses again I guess. I really think I broke my all-time DT solving record on this one, definitely my fastest ever solve for the blog! Must have got on Jay’s wavelength.

    • Harport
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I hope you didn’t persevate too long with 16d, Mary.

      • mary
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        :-) no, not too long

    • eXternal
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      agreed on the reading of 17d, Mary. Does seem to conjure up a strange image

      • Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Hi eXternal
        Couldn’t find a photo of a guy vaulting a bull while speaking on a mobile :lol:

  11. eXternal
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this, lots of variety and a bit of head-scratching, but nicely fair. Would say 2* difficulty for me.

  12. Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable – slightly faster than usual for a Jay but then I didn’t have to wait for the downs to write stuff in – 4d is my favourite too. Thanks to Jay for a nice start to Wednesday morning and to Pommers for the hints. My tip to him would be that if you have a choice of two two-letter words which might fit in a clue like 15a, don’t put the second bit in until you have done the down clue!

    The Giovanni Toughie is Wednesday ish. The highlight of today’s puzzles for me in Paul in the Guardian. Am now off to try the Times Championship Qualifier puzzle

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the tip CS. That’s what I usually do but the correct answer didn’t occur to me (until I spotted 16d) so I was sure I was right, D’OH!
      Agree about the Paul – splendid stuff, as usual from my favourite setter :grin: , and not too tricky.

  13. Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Just an enquiry – why don’t people click the star rating at the bottom of the post to show what the thought of the puzzle? Only 2 so far today and one of them is me and I think the other was Jezza.

    • mary
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure what the rating is about pommers enjoyment or difficulty

      • Nigel Baker
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Not sure it’s working I voted and it still shows only two votes

        • Nigel Baker
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Or it could be my iPad

          • mary
            Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            it’s not

        • mary
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Yes I just tried it and it still shows only 2

    • Jezza
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I did – and I think I gave it 5* for enjoyment, because I walked out of Costa Coffee in a considerably better mood than when I went in :)

    • Kath
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I always click the star rating – can’t remember ever clicking on less than three though! :smile:

      • franco
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        At 18:20 it’s now 3!

        • Kath
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          What do you mean? OK – just been back up to the top to look so now understand! I meant that I’ve never clicked on less than 3* – I’m assuming that this “star rating” is enjoyment level – if it isn’t then what is it?

  14. Captain Duff
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. Agree with 4d being the best. Seemed to solve this one really quickly (with a little help from the missus). So */*** from us. Thanks to Jay and Pommers. If you haven’t worn an overcoat in bed, don’t knock it! :)

    • mary
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      when we were young we alwways had them on the bed especially in winter, I remember having ‘army coats’ on the beds!!

      • Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Not to mention gettting dressed under the bedclothes as it was too cold to get out of bed until you had, with proper frost on the windows and so forth.

        • mary
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes, in our days…………..

        • mary
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          you mean inside the windows of course sue !!

          • Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            It was that cold, as I remember, that it was probably on both sides!!

          • Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            We could never see the frost on the outside of the window, the frost on the inside was too thick.

            • mary
              Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

              so true

          • Lea
            Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Boy am I ever glad I grew up in Canada!!! It was cold outside but warm inside – yes we were spoiled. I remember the first year I was in England (1970) I was colder than I had ever been in Canada.

            • mary
              Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

              we only had heat in one room Lea and at Christmas we lit the fire in the ‘front room’ and after dinner let the fire go out in the back room!!

    • Kath
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      In Feb 1983 we went to stay with my sister and brother-in-law (now ex, although I still call him my brother-in-law – I didn’t divorce him – he’s lovely!) in Sheffield. Our two daughters who were 5 and 3 had chicken-pox so weren’t feeling very well. We slept in their unheated attic in a not very big bed – the bedroom had a washbasin with a dripping tap in it – by the morning both poorly daughters were in the MIDDLE of the bed with each of us on the far sides with no bedding at all and there were icicles coming out of the tap!

  15. Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed todays offering – a 2* / 4* from me 4d my favourite.

  16. BigBoab
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to Pommers, a reasonable, if untaxing crossword, quite enjoyable.

  17. orensejay
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Pommers for the always excellent review, and to all for the comments. I’m afraid I can take no credit for the super 4d, nor for 5d, both of which were changed for differing reasons.
    Don’t seem to be able to post as “Jay” any more. Something to do with WordPress/gravatar

    • franco
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Interesting! Very interesting! Who takes the credit for the super 4d?

      • mary
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        the editor?

      • franco
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Or – Is it a hoax?

    • mary
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I know the feeling Jay, I lost my little dog for this horrible face!

      • franco
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Somehow I found my cricket bat.

        Mary, I hope you find your little dog! I’m sure it’s possible! But…how????

        WordPress! Please, try to find Mary’s little dog! Grrrrrrhhhhhh!

        • mary
          Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Dave found it once and I have got it on DIY COW but can’t seem to be able to use it here as you say Grrrrrrrrrrrrrh! How did you find your cricket bat?

          • franco
            Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            I cannot remember. I have a very bad memory! Sorry! What was the question?

      • Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        “Slowpoke Rodrigues” has been far too idle to disappear :lol:

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jay, or is the new handle permanent?
      Thanks for the entertainment. I have to ask though, what were the original clues for 4d and 5d?

      • orensejay
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        The answer for 4d was changed. I originally had “Blimey”. 5d was “Finished article in bed…. wearing this?”

        • Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Wonder what was wrong with Blimey? Seems a perfectly good word to me!

          • Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            Good Lord!, a second rate Englishman abroad (6)
            A bit too obvious I reckon!

            • mary
              Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

              I don’t understand how the clue could have blimey for an answer??

              • Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

                Neither do I, I think Jay meant that the answer was changed for some reason so the clue was re-written. Don’t see why it would be changed but I do like gnomey’s effort above :smile:

            • mary
              Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

              Not obvious to me until I read pommers comment gnomey but I ‘see’ it now, I think it’s really good :-D

            • Jezza
              Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

              Would you believe it! a fruit at heart.. but on the outside, swings both ways, rumour has it! (6)

              I’ll get me coat!

              • Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

                Almost worthy of Paul :grin:

              • mary
                Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

                like it :-)

              • Kath
                Posted April 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

                Absolutely great although it’s taken me for ever to understand the first and last letters of your clue. I was about to ask when it came to me – I’m SO glad that I didn’t ask! :oops:

  18. mary
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s a horrible cold grey day here today, heating on full blast, must be nice where Kath is she must be in the garden :-)

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Don’t want to gloat (much) but it’s 23C here and sunny :grin: Just been sat in the street having a beer and a couple of tapas for lunch.

      • mary
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I think I’m going to come and live in your part of the world! sounds just right, my brother and sister in law are off shortly in their motorhome for five weeks in France and Spain

        • Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Now you have your own motorhome why not give it a go as well?

          • mary
            Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            We will be getting it this Friday hopefully and will practice in this country this year but next year who knows :-D

            • Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

              If you ever make it south of Alicante let me know – I’ll buy you a beer, or a glass of Sangria if you prefer! :grin:

              • mary
                Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

                Oh definitely the sangria but a beer in the sun sounds lovely too :-)

                • mary
                  Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

                  forgive me pommers you have told me before but what is the town you live in called?

                  • Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

                    Almoradi, well actually we’re in a small village called El Saladar which is about 2km from the centre of Almoradi.

                    • mary
                      Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

                      Thnks pommers

                  • Annidrum
                    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

                    And we are very close to where you get off the ferry ,possibly too early for a sangria but a morning coffee could be just the ticket. That is ,of course,unless you were driving through France!!

                    • mary
                      Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

                      which ferry Annidrum, we have been a couple of times on the Portsmouth to Bilbao but I’m not sure that is running now? Is it the Plymouth to Santander, we stayed in a beautiful little place that we found by accident called Castro de Urdiales (think the spelling may be wrong!) we liked it so much we went back again

                    • mary
                      Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                      the weather was fantastic both times :-D

    • franco
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Mazza, not only horrible, cold and grey, but very windy and raining! Drought?

      • mary
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        I think you mean me franco with my new Aussie handle?? yes very windy here too and rain not far away

    • Kath
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      … you must be having a laugh, Mary – it’s been chucking it down almost all day in Oxford, apart from the odd few minutes. Terrible sulking collie! Drought? Someone send a lifeboat!!

  19. Lea
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Well that was a puzzle of two halves for me. Took me ages to get on Jay’s wave length today so would put it at higher than 1 star based on that. Once I did get on the right ideas they came faster. I liked 4d.
    Cast my vote when it showed 2 votes and it still shows 2 so the “counting mechanism” isn’t working right!
    Thanks to Jay and to Pommers – although I don’t think we should talk to you Pommers with nice weather like that. We are getting much needed rain but who said we like it!!!

  20. Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Truth to tell Lea we could do with some rain big time! Been a very dry Winter and things aint looking good for the Summer. We don’t get hosepipe bans here but if water’s low it just gets turned off for long periods and they put up the price to discourage use!

    • Annidrum
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      We could send you plenty from Cantabria, Pommers. It’s been chucking it down here for practically the whole month of April,so far. And it’s cold. :sad:

      • Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        A few days rain would be welcome but you can keep the cold – we don’t do cold in Alicante, well, not in April anyway!

  21. dreary
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I liked 9a

  22. Annidrum
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I thought I was going to romp through this to-day, as I got 3/4 done fairly quickly but 4d got me and couldn’t see 4a as I could only see 4d starting with A. Just didn’t think of that kind of single. Enjoyable puzzle though. Thanks to Jay & Pommers.

  23. mary
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Just noticed your picture at 17d pommers surely the mobile phone is being used as protection, that’s why we can’t see it :-D

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I think you might need more than a mobile as protection from those horns – and it’s only a small bull! My eyes are now watering :lol:

  24. Annidrum
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The one to Santander ,Mary, which is a very beautiful city. Yes, Castro Urdiales is also lovely but absolutely bursting at the seams. :smile:

    • mary
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Do you live in Santander? We found Castro completely by accident, about ten years ago and stayed at that lovely hotel on the front

      • Annidrum
        Posted April 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        In a lovely old village very close to Santander.

  25. Kath
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t start the crossword until quite late and wondered if I would find it difficult because of being totally out of routine – I didn’t! The three that did their best to cause a bit of trouble were 4, (both of them) and 1d. I also had to think about how to spell 16d properly – have got used to spelling it “improperly” – I blame Mary for that!! Don’t think that I’ve ever seen “cycles” as an anagram indicator before. We’ve had the answer to 28a recently but can’t remember the clue. Favourites include 9 and 26a and 1 and 4d. With thanks to Jay and Pommers.
    Rained all day here – I’m not complaining yet – never thought that I’d be pleased to hear the grass making squelchy noises!! :smile:

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