DT 27025

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27025

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have a fairly typical Giovanni puzzle today. Do leave a comment letting us know what you thought of it.
If you need to see an actual answer just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clue; if you’re accessing the blog from a mobile device there’s some advice on how to do this in the FAQ section.

Across Clues

1a  Eagerly grab short sleep in first half of meal (4,2)
{SNAP UP} – insert a short sleep inside the first half of an evening meal.

5a  Vehicles with various escorts going round roundabout (8)
{SCOOTERS} – I don’t remember having seen the letter O clued as roundabout before but I suppose that if OO looks like ‘spectacles’ then O looks like a roundabout. Put an anagram (various) of ESCORTS round it.

9a  How strife is re-enacted within well-marked battle site (8,5)
{BOSWORTH FIELD} – this is the site of the battle in 1485 when Richard III got his comeuppance. An anagram (is re-enacted) of HOW STRIFE goes inside how text can be well-marked or made to stand out (like this).

10a  African man embracing one of the Spice Girls (8)
{ALGERIAN} – a man’s name (one shared by pundits Hansen and Shearer) goes round (embracing) the forename of one of the Spice Girls.

11a  Maybe I allowed Cockney woman to be heard (6)
{LETTER} – twenty-five others might have been chosen as the example of this. It sounds like (to be heard) a charade of a verb meaning allowed and a feminine pronoun as expressed by a Cockney.

12a  Quote from a theologian attached to university church (6)
{ADDUCE} – string together A (from the clue), the abbreviation for a Doctor of Divinity, U(niversity) and one of the abbreviations for church.

14a  Litter left after the match? (8)
{CONFETTI} – cryptic definition of what some poor individual has to sweep up in the churchyard after the match.

16a  Irish priest outside game joining worker gone off naughtily (8)
{TRUANTED} – put the name of the Irish priest from the Channel 4 comedy series round the abbreviation for the fifteen-a-side game and the usual Crosswordland worker.

19a  After game, one of the nobs fell asleep (3,3)
{GOT OFF} – a Japanese board game is followed by an upper-class person.

21a  Position of monuments — not far side of square (6)
{STATUS} – monuments in the form of carved figures have the E (the far side or last letter of square) removed.

23a  Athenian at home in any element (8)
{ANTIMONY} – the name of the Athenian hero of one of Shakespeare’s plays is contained (at home) in the word ANY to make a brittle silvery-white element.

25a  Noble work (6,7)
{BURKE’S PEERAGE} – cryptic definition of the authoritative reference work about aristocratic families.

26a  Country driver (8)
{HERDSMAN} – I thought that this was a fairly weak cryptic definition – it was my last answer and I wasn’t totally convinced I’d got it right until it was confirmed by the on-line site. What this individual is driving is not a car but some animals.

27a  Refuse is collected in quiet interval (6)
{RESIST} – IS gets inserted in a period of calm.

Down Clues

2d  Writer was wounded, bitten (7)
{NIBBLED} – a charade of part of a pen (writer) and a verb meaning was wounded to the extent of possibly requiring stitches.

3d  Run from street having been nipped by bird (5)
{PISTE} – the usual abbreviation for street is contained within (nipped by) a bird with black and white plumage.

4d  Eye-catching concert in part of St Mary’s, Paddington? (9)
{PROMINENT} – St Mary’s in Paddington is an example (indicated by the question mark) of a hospital. String together an abbreviated word for a concert (like the ones organised by the BBC every Summer in London), IN (from the clue) and the abbreviation for a hospital department.

5d  Put backside on article that’s pleasant, not totally bad (7)
{SATANIC} – start with a verb meaning put one’s backside on or plonked oneself down and follow this with an indefinite article and a synonym for pleasant without its final E (not totally).

6d  Waste material out from Cornish river (5)
{OFFAL} – a preposition meaning ‘out from’ or from among is followed by a Cornish river to make waste material or entrails.

7d  One escaping from a time immersed in river — medical care needed (9)
{TREATMENT} – remove (escaping) the I (one) from A T(i)ME and immerse what you have left in a river of central England.

8d  You’ll see me in trade after butchering (3,4)
{RED MEAT} – put ME inside an anagram (after butchering) of TRADE to get what you’ll probably see after a butcher has done his work.

13d  Rental due to be changed or left alone? (9)
{UNALTERED} – an anagram (to be changed) of RENTAL DUE.

15d  Black attire torn with anger? (9)
{NIGHTWEAR} – an anagram (torn) of WITH ANGER produces something which is not necessarily black but which if split (5,4) gives words meaning a) black and b) attire.

17d  Like the value of property Arab let out (7)
{RATABLE} – an anagram (out) of ARAB LET.

18d  A US lawyer keeps quiet in study, showing no emotion (7)
{DEADPAN} – A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for District Attorney (US lawyer) containing the musical abbreviation for quiet all go inside a study.

20d  Female vocalists heading off — they may be wearing rings (7)
{FINGERS} – F(emale) is followed by vocalists without their leading S (heading off).

22d  Part of plant absorbing a liquid when it’s hot (5)
{STEAM} – part of a plant absorbs A to make what water is turned into when it’s heated.

24d  Agency to provide statistical data (5)
{MEANS} – double definition, the second a term used in statistics to mean something like averages.

The clues that I liked best were 9a, 14a and 7d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SOLE} + {ANNOYED} = {SOLENOID}

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75 Comments

  1. skempie
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Another wonderful offering from the Don. I got severely stuck on 25A as I was certain 24D was MATHS (well, I had the M and the S and it seemed to fit D’Oh. 16A took ages to realise the reason for the answer (I was even contemplating googling abbreviations for Irish Priests, Double D’Oh) so this has to be my fave rave today.

    Thank god the days cricket’s over.

  2. Only fools
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Found this a struggle to tune into at first .Enjoyed 16a,20d and 25a even though it was the last in owing to an earlier typo ! 2 .5*\3* for me .
    Thanks.

  3. jezza
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    My last two in were 25a, and 26a. I wanted to put ARSENIC for 5d, but it did not quite fit the clue or the definition. :)
    4*/3* for me. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    Now back to try and explain why a couple in the toughie are correct.

  4. gnomethang
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the two Gs. I found this hard going early this morning – probably nudging **** based on the time. Still the usual friday fun though.

  5. Brenda Reding
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I did not enjoy this at all! wordy clues that I found difficult to interpret — just not on the right wave-length today, in fact I’d be better staying in bed; still not properly awake, however thanks to Giovanni ( if there wasn’t a crossword at all I’d be devastated, and I can’t set one as ably as Giovanni, so just because I can’t do it, is no excuse for complaining) and Gazza. I used the blog more than I ever have before, thank you for concise, clear hints.

  6. Colmce
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Really struggled with this one, but on reflection I shouldn’t have (on further reflection it might have had something to do with a surfeit of Merlot last night) .Didn’t feel like a normal Friday puzzle, still ground it out in the end, nice clues and fun.

    Thanks to Gazza for the review, needed to explain some wordplay.

    Thanks to Giovanni.

  7. MikeT
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Certainly struggled to make headway today (as I generally have to with Giovanni’s puzzles) and was certainly not sure about my answer to 26A, until I read Gazza’s comments. Didn’t recognise ‘go’ as a game in 19A, so (apparently wrongly) took the first letters from ‘game’ and ‘one’ – to get the same answer. Also not totally convinced about ‘black attire’ (15D) although the anagram was easy enough to spot. Completely missed ‘i’ being used as an example of a letter in 11A, so what I thought was a bit of a weak clue, was actually rather clever.

    • andy
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      MikeT the notes I wrote about this, you’ve got verbatim!

  8. Up The Creek
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    How annoying to find the Friday puzzle off the back page. It started with Saturdays and the Sunday is so well hidden in all the gubbins that I can’t be bothered with it. Where will it end? The skeleton is a nice substitute though. I really enjoyed this puzzle. So many good clues, the best of which were 4 9 16 20 22 and 25. 25 was last in as i could not remember the first bit. Thanks to setter for a great workout.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      What skeleton??

      • Up The Creek
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Express

  9. crypticsue
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I suppose if I gave up with this one with six clues left and moved onto the Toughie, and then needed gazza’s hints to finish off (although I will admit that I should have got two of them on my own) does this make the difficulty level 5*? The most difficulty DT cryptic of the week for me – even harder than Tuesday which I did finish in one session in a reasonable time. Thanks to gazza for the much needed hints and to Giovanni for adding to my feeling that I am slowly but surely losing the ability to solve cryptic crosswords.

    THe Toughie, apart from one clue, is much easier than the Giovanni.

    • gazza
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m normally pretty much in agreement with CS’s verdict on the difficulty or otherwise of the two puzzles but not today. I didn’t see (and still don’t, having revisited the clues) what was so very difficult about this one; whereas the Toughie (more specifically the NE corner) I found very hard going.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        There were 3 in the NE that held me up but otherwise it flowed. Definitely having odd puzzle experiences this week, just finished the Times in a ‘Sebastian Vettel’ time but am now peering at the Guardian puzzle and muttering. I feel the need for retirement/holiday/darkened room in any order, just soon.

        • crypticsue
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          Good old Gnome’s law. Puzzles done and I worked overtime yesterday afternoon so can leave in a minute – yippee!

    • Wayne
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Wow CS, you gave up and needed Gazza’s hints to complete. What chance have we mere mortals got then :-)

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Wayne!

      • Brian
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        With you all the way, another Toughie that’s strayed on to the back page. I always feel a little cheated when the DT does this.

        • Kath
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Not sure that I’d go QUITE that far, Brian. And anyway it never quite made it to the back page if that’s where it was heading!

  10. Franny
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I also found this extremely difficult today. Not on the wavelength, I suppose. It took me two goes and a lot of tooth-grinding to solve the top half, but then I gave up. So I used your hints to finish the rest. Thanks to G&G and I’ll try to do better next time. Now off to bake cakes for the church fair. :-)

  11. Roger
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyable crossword. Favourites 23, 4 and 18. I’ve learned to read the clues as a long list of single words which seems to help.

    Love the two photographs ;-)

  12. Beaver
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m giving it ***/**** today, complicated charades everywhere. Liked 25a-last one in.Had’ unrelated’ for 13d anagram, which is quite a good synonym for left alone ie not related to anything else, which threw me somewhat for 25a Thanks Gazza for the 15d pictorial, i was expecting a suit of armour! We won’t mention the cricket.

  13. Big Boab
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I thocht this wis pure dead brilliant so ah did. ( Glaswegian for I enjoyed this offering very much indeed) Many thanks to Giovanni for a wee cracker and to Gazza for a most enjoyable review and another three wee crackers.

    • Aristotle
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      You must have nearly enough crackers for Christmas already BB.

  14. Kath
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was difficult today, particularly the bottom half. Having read all the clues through once I only had about six answers – probably getting on towards 4* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I took ages to get the first two letters of the first word of 19a – always forget that game. I missed the anagram indicator in 15d until I got 19a and just couldn’t see 26a which was my last one. I’ve never seen roundabout meaning O before and I’m not sure that I knew ‘adduce’ but it was clued very clearly. I got in a muddle with 17d as I was convinced that there was an extra E in the middle.
    I liked 9, 10 and 23a and 3, 4, and 18d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Chilly, grey and foggy in Oxford – real November weather. :sad:

    • pommers
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Kath, if you got 6 then you did better than us on first pass! Pommette and I got 4 and then she gave up and went for a siesta leaving me to struggle on alone. Got there eventually but was close to getting the help out! Approaching 5* time for me I should think, although I didn’t have a clock running.

      • Kath
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        I have a sneaky feeling, based on a comment you made a few days ago, that your 5* difficulty time is quicker than anything I ever manage!

        • pommers
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          Kath, times are really irrelevant – it’s whether you enjoy it or not that counts. If you don’t there’s no point.

          For what it’s worth I got back into doing crosswords about 6 years ago after a 20ish year break. I was in hospital for 6 days and pommette bought me a book of DT crosswords to stop me watching daytime TV! I found I couldn’t finish most of them and if I’d done one in the time I posted the other day I would have been over the moon! It rekindled the bug though and since then I’ve just slowly speeded up with experience, as will you if you keep going. Noticed you’ve started taking on the Toughie so I rest my case :grin:

          • Kath
            Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            Yes – I agree that times are completely irrelevant and I always enjoy the crosswords, some more than others. I never time myself – never do a crossword in one go anyway, so couldn’t – start crossword, need coffee so make some, then realise that washing machine has finished so go and hang washing out, while up the garden pull up a few weeds and throw toy for collie etc etc. then come back into kitchen to find phone message from ancient Mum and so it goes on. I have to say that I really like my totally disorganised life!!
            As for the Toughie, well – I do occasionally peep, sometimes just with one eye . . . but NEVER on Fridays!!

            • pommers
              Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

              I’m like that with the Toughie and Grauniad puzzles but pommette and I always do the DT back page together over lunch so I usually have a peek at the clock when we start and again when it’s finished so I have a sort of idea how long it’s taken us.

              Blogging days I’m a bit more organised! I do the puzzle on my own on-line and try to have no interruptions. The site has a timer so it’s start, complete, submit and you get timed to the second! When I started I had a scale of times for star ratings but I don’t stick slavishly to it any more, tempered a bit by experience.

              BTW, I’m only around so much tonight because I leave the page parked at the top of the “recent comments” bit – it also leaves Geri on screen :roll:

              • Kath
                Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

                Geri? Is she REALLY that wonderful? :roll:

                • pommers
                  Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

                  No, but the photo is very flattering (euphemism for raunchy :grin:).

            • andy
              Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

              I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at just how many you could solve in todays brilliant notabilis.

              • Kath
                Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

                Might have a look tomorrow if other ‘stuff’ permits. Thanks for the recommendation. I do tend to give Friday Toughies a pretty wide berth.

    • Annidrum
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      First pass through for me yielded a big fat 0. Then like Pommette had a siesta and managed about 3/4 when I went back to it but needed gazza’s hints for the rest. I thought this was pretty tough today. Thanks gazza.

  15. pommers
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I did eventually finish this one without any help but I reckon it probably took me 50% longer than the Toughie! Just couldn’t see the wood for the trees I guess as, once solved, the answers are so obvious! Agree with CS that this was the hardest of the week.

    I too thought ARSENIC at first for 5d, well, it has the backside and the NIC bit and it’s bad :grin: I was vaguely disappointed that it wouldn’t parse and so had to be rejected :sad:

    Now I’ve seen Gazza’s picture favourite has to be 10a but otherwise 14a.

    Many thanks to the two G’s

  16. Steve_the_beard
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    At least 4* difficulty for me, based on the time.

    My favourite was 25A, for the eponymous Athenian. Has anyone ever seen (or even read) this play?

    Second favourite was 9A, which had me struggling to anagram “well”, until I slowly realised that it must be the place 30 minutes from home that we visit two or three times each year… D’oh.

    May I take pride from how long it took me to recall the name of a Spice Girl? :-)

    Thanks to The Don and to Gazza (nice pics!).

    • pommers
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I kept trying to do something with MEL B or MEL C !

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Presumably that was when Pommette was asleep :D

        • pommers
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          :lol:

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      The only one that I could remember was Posh which didn’t seem to help much!

  17. Prolixic
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Sue and pommers on this one. Took me longer that the rest of the week’s back page crosswords put together (including the infamous Tuesday terror) and more time than today’s Toughie (which was no walkover!).

    Having said that, solving time is not a reliable guide to enjoyment and there were lots of groans and banks of pennies dropped whilst solving. Favourite was 23a.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyment and to Gazza for the pictures and accompanying review!

  18. Brian
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Don’t see this as a 2 star, at least a 3/4 for difficulty. I’m a huge fan of Giovanni but I thought this was one of the worst ones of his i have seen. I’ve given it up as a bad job.

  19. Catherine
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Found this extremely difficult . Had to give up on it and use Gazza’s hints. Just could not see the parsing in most of the clues. Very discouraging! Have never seen 16a as a verb and 19a has a slightly different meaning over here!! Had the right idea for 26a but was trying to fit shep…. or goat…..Oh well, no excuses. Many thanks to G and G. Will try the toughie now!

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I’m more familiar with your meaning for 19a – surprised no one else has picked up on that! :smile:

      • gazza
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        It did occur to me, but I thought it better not to mention it. :D

        • Catherine
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          I admire your self control :)

        • Kath
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          I admire your self control too! When I finally managed the answer I spent a while trying to imagine a Ray T clue for the same answer!! :grin:

  20. Franco
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I made very slow progress but got there in the end. Thanks G&G!

    Did someone say that today’s Toughie is easier? Mmmm?

  21. Qix
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I thought that this was pretty tricky for a back-pager, much like Tuesday’s. By back-page standards I’d probably have rated both 4½ -5 for difficulty – more like 3 had they been Toughies.

    I really liked this, and enjoyed having slightly more of a challenge than usual.

  22. Heno
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the two G’s. A very difficult puzzle, took me ages, had to use the hints for 24d, and had to look up 3d & 25a. Favourites were 11a 8 & 23a. A dark dreary day in Central London.

  23. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    We thought this was a really good puzzle. A cracker as BB says. Took us a bit longer than average so deserves **** for difficulty and at least that many for fun. Last in and favourite was 16a.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza

  24. Sweet William
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Late back after long drive and thought that I should make an effort with the puzzle. Having got just 3 after first reading I looked at all your comments on the blog and know when I am beaten. Will conserve energy for tomorrow. Congratulations to all who finished ! Not one for the amateurs ! Thank you Giovanni for reminding me how clueless I am and Gazza for your review – worthy of a Bletchley Park decoder !

  25. Only fools
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Must be a different mindset ,I cannot believe anybody found this a harder solve than the toughie which I strayed to in view of the comments .It has taken me twice as long despite some great clues . The NE corner was a nightmare for me . Having just read the review I must say it is worth a visit for that alone.
    I’ll stick to the back pagers .

    • gazza
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that comment. I was beginning to think that I was living in a parallel universe with so many commenters apparently thinking that the back-pager was harder than today’s Toughie.

      • jezza
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Apart from two clues I raced through this one. If I had solved them sooner than I did, this would have warranted 2* not 4*.

        • gazza
          Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Very similar for me, jezza. If I hadn’t spent a while debating whether there was more to 26a than there actually was I would have given it 2* for difficulty.

      • Kath
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        I thought you might be living in a parallel universe too, especially after CS’s comment – I’ve never heard her say that she almost gave up, or words to that effect. I suppose that, like beauty being in the eye of the beholder, crossword difficulty is in the eye, or mind, of the solver.

  26. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Another dud from the Telegraph.

    • pommers
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t solve it then?

    • Posted November 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      “It’s being so cheerful as keeps you going!”

    • skempie
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you should go and try the Star – they sometimes have pictures too

      • Grumpy Andrew
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        skempie, are you suggesting that everyone who posted here to say that they found this tough should instead switch to the Star?
        Anyone, so long as no one is being offensive, that’s fine, I hate it when that happens.

    • una
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      I once complained about the quality of the clues and was told to try the Times, which is a bit less insulting than the Star, I suppose.
      One of the few clues I found easy was10a, I began going through african countries in my mind , starting with Morrocco and continued going right.In 23a not being familiar “the usual athenian” I kept ,in my literalist way, trying to think of sub- atomic particles common to all elements.Conclusion : I am a literalist amateur still.(sincerely tried to spell everything correctly).Thanks to all concerned.

  27. Henry Kaye
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Glad I’ve been directed to this website. I’ve been doing the DT crossword now for about 60 years and just lately I’ve been thinking that they’re getting too difficult for me. Nice to read that others are having trouble too. I couldn’t have finished todays without help but I do agree that the pleasure is in the challenge. Besides I’ve got nothing else to do!!

    Henry

    • pommers
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      “Besides I’ve got nothing else to do!!” – bit like me then – although pommette would disagree heartily and is currently writing long lists of Winter jobs :sad:

    • Kath
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Now that you’ve found this wonderful blog the pleasure is here too, not JUST in the challenge of the crosswords – it really is brilliant and there are days when some of the comments give me the giggles for ages – some days the hints do too! Keep looking and commenting. :smile:

  28. Arthur Dent
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Yup – Like many people here I had to give up and resort to the (as always, excellent) hints with only about half the grid completed. Even in some cases where I had all the checking letters I still had to look for help and was left shaking my head wondering how I was supposed to have thought of that particular answer.

    It’s hard being confronted so blatantly with one’s inadequacy, so it was comforting to come here and find that even some of the super-solvers (CS!!!!!!!) found it hard.

    I still have a long way to go…

    Thanks anyway to Giovanni and of course to Gazza who at least I can depend upon to cheer me up with sensible hints, and of course PICTURES!

    • andy
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      I echo, excepting I gave in at 3/4 fillled in. Have just re-read it, at this point I would normally say now why didn’t see those answers, but not today. Cheers Gazza and Giovanni

  29. Hrothgar
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Tough one.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  30. pommers
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Message for eXternal: Surprised as I am to say it but thought One Direction were brilliant on Children in Need tonight. Perhaps I underestimated their talents.

    Girls Aloud were pretty good to, and just pretty :grin:

    • pommers
      Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Oops! Left out an o :oops:

  31. gazza
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    No Mary again today?

  32. Derek
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Finished this off late yesterday (it is now Saturday here in NL).

    Faves : 9a, 25a & 15d.

  33. asterix
    Posted November 18, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    17d – Whatever Chambers says, the trad. English spelling for 17d has always been with an ‘e’ as the fourth letter. (And still is! – See the most recent edition of Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors).
    The point is that RV is the clue (‘value of property’), and the word was always spelled with a central ‘e’ while RV was in place in Britain, so why spell it anachronistically with a novel American spelling?

    You say ‘tomato’, and I say ‘tomeato.’ :-)