DT 27196

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27196

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *+*/2Enjoyment ***

A straightforward enjoyable puzzle from Jay.  I give it a 1.5 – 2*, but nearer 1.5, for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.  Thanks Jay.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{} are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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
1    Fine resort on the South Coast abolishing boundaries (6)

{RIGHTO} : [a well-known resort town on the English South Coast] minus its 2 outermost letters(abolishing boundaries).

Defn. and Answer: Expressions, respectively, of agreeing with what’s been said.

5    Retreat from a river in feint (6)

{ASHRAM} : A + { [abbrev. for “river”] contained in(in) [a feint;a misleading appearance].

Answer: A place for retreat or instruction in Hinduism.

10    Turning back, unable to move around accommodation (5)

{MOTEL} : Reversal of(Turning back) and hidden in(… around) “unable to move “.

11    Staff deserved getting soaked (9)

{MACERATED} : [a ceremonial staff carried by certain office-bearers] + [deserved;worthy of, as in “an event that doesn’t deserve/___ a mention”]

12    Cry coming from church by loose rocks on side of mountain (7)

{SCREECH} : [abbrev. for a church building] placed after(by) [loose rocks fallen into a heap at the foot and on the side of a mountain].

13    Doreen’s dicky back (7)

{ENDORSE} : Anagram of(dicky) DOREEN’S.

Answer: To back;to support, say, a plan of action.

14    Finding one’s bay, needing a drink outside (9)

{DISCOVERY} : { [Roman numeral for “one”] ‘S + [a bay;a small recess in the shoreline] } contained in(… outside) [needing a drink;thirsty].

Defn: As a noun.

17    Bribery is hard work! (5)

{GRAFT} : Double defn.

18    Faux pas from the boss, finishing early (5)

{GAFFE} : [the boss;the foreman, especially of a group of manual workers] minus its last letter(finishing early).

Defn: and Answer: A social blunder or indiscretion.

19    Whose past is fashioned in a harsh working environment? (5,4)

{SWEAT SHOP} : Anagram of(fashioned) WHOSE PAST.

Here’s the one from the past, and the modern-day version “shop” where you voluntarily work (out) to produce the same result, so to speak, as the first part of the answer.

  

21    Account for one in former scheme (7)

{EXPLAIN} : [Roman numeral for “one”] contained in(in) [prefix denoting “former”;what once was] [a scheme of intended action, say].

23    A cast around in the morning, feeling embarrassed (7)

{ASHAMED} : A + [to cast off, say, your clothes] containing(around) [abbrev. suffixed to clock times, denoting “in the morning”].

25    Earned the right of choice in business making cake (9)

{MADELEINE} : [earned, as in “he earned/___ a salary of…”] + { the rightmost letter of(the right of) “choice” contained in(in) [one’s business or occupation] }.

And the third picture is another pictorial hint.

  

26    In focus, a general practice (5)

{USAGE} : Hidden in(In) “focus a general”.

27    World travel around the end of April – before graduate left (6)

{GLOBAL} : [to travel;to move] containing(around) the last letter of(end of) “April” placed before(before) [abbrev. for a degree a graduate might have] + [abbrev. for “left”]

Defn: As an adjective, eg. world travel, though I think “worldwide” instead of “world” might have made the clue better, the former being the more common adjective.

28    The girl’s keeping endless pets in bed linen (6)

{SHEETS} : [3rd person pronoun for a girl]‘S containing(keeping) “pets” minus its first and last letters(endless).

Down
2    Put under certain terms, partially (5)

{INTER} : Hidden in(partially) “certain terms”.

3    Flower for hero stupidly pinching gorgeous girl on the way up (9)

{HELLEBORE} : Anagram of(stupidly) HERO containing(pinching) reversal of(on the way up, in a down clue) [a gorgeous girl].

 

4    Gauge speed and energy (5)

{OOMPH} : [in the UK, the most popular gauge for model railway tracks and its equivalent scale for the trains] + [abbrev. for speed in the Imperial System of units]. Tricky clue.

She was nicknamed the _____ girl, because she had IT – energy and much more.

5    Original model of sports car found under bridge (9)

{ARCHETYPE} : [a sports car, popular in the 60s, aka the XK-E] placed below(found under, in a down clue) [to bridge;to extend over, say, a valley].

If you look closely enough, you might notice the car and even recognise it – the car’s not bad either.  Or you could look at the next picture, or not.

 

6    Ran quickly, loathing to lose time (5)

{HARED} : [extreme loathing] minus(to lose) [abbrev. for “time”].

7    Consequences of following science in America (9)

{AFTERMATH} : [adjective for something that follows] +[the American short form for a group of related sciences to do with numbers, shapes, space, etc.].

8    Entertained a thought (6)

{AMUSED} : A + [thought;contemplated].

9    Period before Christmas opening, after a dubious beginning (6)

{ADVENT} : [an opening, especially to let fluid out] placed below(after, in a down clue) { A + first letter of(… beginning) “dubious”].

15    Sort of water cycle to play down (4-5)

{SOFT-PEDAL} : [descriptive of water free from mineral salts and easily forming lather with soap] + [to cycle using foot-operated levers].

Answer: To de-emphasise, especially something unpleasant.  Nothing to play down here:

 

16    A necessity for working last seen around the west of Ireland (9)

{ESSENTIAL} : Anagram of(working) LAST SEEN containing(around) the leftmost letter of(the west of) “Ireland”.

17    Had dinner in good hotel on river providing accommodation (9)

{GATEHOUSE} : [had dinner, or any food] contained in(in) { [abbrev. for “good”] + [letter represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet] } placed above(on, in a down clue) [a river in Yorkshire, and another in Sussex of the same name].

18    Gather, having married for name, son shines (6)

{GLEAMS} : [to gather bit by bit] with [abbrev. for “married”] replacing(having … for…) [abbrev. for “name”] + [abbrev. for “son”].

20    Sky pilots may be spared at sea (6)

{PADRES} : Anagram of(at sea) SPARED.

Defn: Slang for clergymen, especially chaplains in the military.

22    Improvisation from a politician travelling across Germany (2-3)

{AD-LIB} : [short for a politician from the UK Liberal Party] containing(travelling across) [the International Vehicle Registration code for “Germany”].

23    Helps president with heartless tasks (5)

{ABETS} : [nickname for a former US President, from shortening of his first name] plus(with) “tasks” minus
all its internal letters(heartless).

24    Intended to make new investment in animal product (5)

{MEANT} : [abbrev. for “new”] contained in(make … investment in) [an animal product, to be eaten].


The Quick crossword pun: (salver} + {door} + {dally} = {Salvador Dali}


88 Comments

  1. scchua
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    To pick up on a thread last week…there’s absolutely no obligation to enjoy any blogger’s hints. Enjoyment is a matter of taste, and there’s no accounting for taste (or non-taste). But if you say (implicitly or otherwise) that the hints are cryptic and/or you can’t enjoy them because they’re cryptic, that is something that can be addressed. Are the hints cryptic?

    There are 2 possibilities:
    a) they are cryptic because you’re not aware of the synonyms, abbreviations, etc. referred to in the hints. In that case, you’ll find them cryptic no matter how I structure them, short of literally spelling out the answer for you; or
    b) Because the hints are structured rigorously following the instructions (bar omissions), if they’re cryptic, then it’s the instructions that are cryptic. Yet comments on the hints being cryptic are silent on this, which means either
    i) you haven’t bothered to read the instructions, and if you continue not to be bothered, then there is nothing to say; or
    ii) if you have read the instructions, which one(s) of the 5 instructions given at the end of the preamble do you find cryptic? If you can’t or won’t tell, then no help for you can be forthcoming.

    So (even if it’s not a matter of life and death), by all means say that you don’t enjoy the hints and/or that the hints are cryptic, but it’s obvious to me, after all this time, who, not what, is responsible for that situation.

    • Senf
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I am a great believer in the K.I.S.S. principle. My personal view is that your methodology is more complex than it needs to be, and, for example, I find Libellule’s approach (on Mondays) much easier to follow.

      • Kath
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Forgive me for being dim but what is the K.I.S.S. principle?

        • Senf
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Kath – it’s Keep It Simple St**id.

          • Kath
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            Oh thanks – well I did admit that I was being dim but stupid is going too far!! :smile:

            • Senf
              Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

              Not aimed at you

              • Kath
                Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

                I was only joking – I hope!

        • steve_the_beard
          Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:06 am | Permalink

          Keep It Simple, Steve :-)

      • scchua
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        You mean too detailed and/or structured. So are the hints too detailed ? Probably so for some who are too clever by half at solving, and who would not, in any case, need the hints. But it might surprise them to learn that the hints are for a broader spectrum of solvers, not addressed to just themselves. As such, I don’t know where there might be blind spots, and therefore decided to be as explicit and complete as possible without giving the game away, and to include how to relate the clues to the answers. And you probably haven’t twigged that the very structure allows any solver to quickly scan over the parts in each hint he/she doesn’t need.

        • Senf
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps, at the risk of being told that this is a free web site or similar, I can elaborate. Given that DT crosswords were used as part of the selection process for Bletchley Park (in WW2), but maybe they were more difficult all those years ago, one could surmise that it takes a relatively high IQ to even begin solving a puzzle. Thus, as Miffypops says below, what is required is hints and tips, to give a nudge in the right direction, not easy routes to the answers.

          • scchua
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            So now instead of (or in addition to) having a complex method, the hints are too simple. I’d just refer you to “…..broader spectrum of solvers….blind spots….” etc. I don’t know what each solver knows or does not know; in fact, I’m continually surprised by what others know, and I don’t know, and vice versa. And it’s also a peculiar thing that if you already know the answer, any hint would appear easy, but then, if you knew the answer, you wouldn’t need the hint.
            Good for you that you find the hints too easy, because you can then just ignore them. In the wider scheme of things, that’s better than having another individual who needs the hint, but finds it of no help at all.
            Anyway, I don’t think my hints are any easier than any other blogger. I use similar synonyms, abbrevs. etc. (I often repeat words lifted from the clues, but that does not make the hint any easier, does it?)

            • stanXYZ
              Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

              Not yet another argument on this site!

              Why not just Kiss and Make Up!

        • Wayne
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Well said scchua. I refer to ‘hints’ if i’m completely stuck for an answer or can’t parse a clue/answer. To this end I find the way that your hints relate the clues to the answer helpful, informative, clear and concise. You can’t please all of the people all of the time I guess! Keep up the good work.

        • Expat Chris
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          At this point in the thread, I’m not sure where this comment will appear, but here goes. Scchua, anybody who puts their work into the public domain —- best-selling author, crossword setter, volunteer reviewer, or someone like me who writes copy for a living — has to accept that there will be negative criticism at some time or other. It’s the nature of the beast. It’s hurtful, but shrugging it off and moving forward is much more productive than exascerbating the situation by lecturing and pointed sarcasm. Clearly, you have more fans than detractors. Why not focus on that?

          • scchua
            Posted June 6, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

            Turn the other cheek? Yes, I have done that most of the time, but occasionally, I’d like to have my say, and if my say sounds like a “lecture” (which it’s not meant to be), it’s because I’ve put effort and thought into it – reasoned, objective, careful, balanced, considered and with a broad perspective. Okay, time to turn the other (other) cheek again.

      • Brian
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Hurrah Senf, the point I have been making for ages!

        • scchua
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          And what exactly is the point you’ve been making? That, for whatever reasons, you don’t understand the hints. Whereas Senf says that they’re too simple. I’d have to write N number of blogs to suit the spectrum of IQs.

          • Nigel Pringle
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            All I can say is I take my hat off to those who freely give their expertise and time to help us solve (and understand) the clues with their written hints and explanations.
            For anyone to complain about their style of doing this is churlish at the very least; if not extremely rude in the extreme.

            So, from me at least, a very big round of thanks to all those who take the time and trouble to make this such an excellent sight…..and to the rest of the “carpers and moaners” Yah, Boo, Humbugs to you!

            • una
              Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

              hear, hear

              • Only fools
                Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

                Scchua I am a fan of your reviews and have learned from them but I also like

                argūmentum (“argument”, “proof”) + ad (“to”, “toward”) + populum (accusative singular of populus, “people”, “nation”) ≈ “appeal to the people”

                Pax and smile

    • Miffypops
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I think “Hints and tips” is what you should get if you look at “Hints and tips” Not easy routes to answers.

      • Wayne
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree Miffypops, if you want the easy route just log into ‘Answerbank’ .

    • Silveroak
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Scchua I find your hints very clear. I got the answer to 27a but I didn’t know why until your clearly spelled out clue. Thank you.

    • axe
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Allow me if I may intercede in this debate.
      Your comment made me laugh. Only for the reason it reminded me of a conversation
      that I had with a friend many years ago…After retirement he devoted his time to
      aid in the local CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau). A chap entered his office and asked
      advice as to weather he could have a case against the company who sold him a new
      washing machine, on receipt of the new machine he installed it himself and proceeded to use it. Unfortunately it was damaged on the first use (he did not take out the restraining bolts)
      I will leave the moral of the story to the reader.
      Please continue to use the same format.
      Many thanks to the setter and scchua for the superb review.

  2. Paul Smith
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Found this one harder than the previous two days. It seems we are working up to a toughie on Saturday! Love the analysis, and … Erm …. One or who of the pics. Good work!

  3. Mikey-Mike
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Got them all except the sky pilots (such an easy anagram though!); anyone know where this term comes from?

    • Poppy
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I’d always been told it was to do with being guided heavenwards!

    • Silveroak
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I always thought it was some kind of preacher. The person guiding you heavenwards:)

      • Captain Lethargy
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        RAF Padres were referred to as sky pilots

    • Brian
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      It is a term widely used in the Army along with God Botheres (sorry Padre!)

  4. ChamRider
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Another fine Wednesday fare from Jay :) I do like a Wednesday as I seem to be able to counteract my lack of knowledge with logic!

  5. Jezza
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Once again, another quality puzzle from Jay that we come to expect. 2*/4* for me.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  6. Only fools
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Cracking Wednesday puzzle but I found it more of a test than Scchua’s rating and more enjoyable .Again thought the wordplay very fair
    If I ‘ve heard of 25a before I’ve forgotten it .Liked every clue so no favourite .
    Thanks Scchua and Jay .

    • steve_the_beard
      Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      It’s well worth remembering that particular cake, it does seem to come up quite often. It’s quite important in Proust’s writings, for example, where the physical sensation of eating the little cake triggers a cascade of memories.

      I’ve just had a look at Wikipedia, and FWIW the Pet Shop Boys refer to it in the 2012 track “Memory of the Future” .

      • Only fools
        Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

        Thanks Steve you are correct I checked earlier and it has been in DT puzzles 3 times in last 4 years .Memory failure!

        • Only fools
          Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:57 am | Permalink

          In an interview in 1913 Proust cited the madeleine episode as an example of an involuntary memory and he said the whole book was about the distinction between voluntary and involuntary memory.
          I leave pet shop boys to you

          Cheers

  7. Miffypops
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A crossword of two halves. Half done in the doctors waiting room and finished at my desk off listening to Bob Dylan’s Romance In Durango. http://johannasvisions.com/bob-dylan-hammersmith-london-england-24-november-2003-videos/

    All in all a very nice puzzle to do. I laughed at 1 across. Jay could have made it harder by omitting the “south coast” part of the clue. 27ac is a lovely well crafted clue. Three included words today which I seem to spot all too easily, mayby it is time for the compilers to find new ways to hint at included words. 26ac for example begins with the word “in” which makes it too obvious for me.

    Ta to all. I am off to the village car boot fair. Warwickshires largest collection of tat collected together in one place.

    • Kath
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      If the compilers find new ways for the hidden-in-the-middle ones I’ll never get them – I have enough trouble with them as it is at the moment – they’re always the ones that I miss, particularly if they run over two lines.

      • Heno
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kath, for hidden words, I always look for the indicators like “part of” or “in”. If that fails, the clue normally doesn’t make sense. So then look for a hidden word. Hope this helps.

  8. Expat Chris
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Made heavy weather of the NE corner, with 7D the last one solved (tried too hard to fit a place name in). Thanks to Jay for the usual enjoyable puzzle and to Scchua for the review, although hints were not needed today.

  9. Senf
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    With good help from the BRB, finished this one really early last night, not even a question of “running into” lights out. I would give it *+/**. Favourite was 12a, a nice reminder of trips to the Lake District many years ago. Thanks to Jay for a very gentle Wednesday.

  10. Graham
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I had one or two problems today but such is life, had gleans for 18D which meant I couldnt get 25A. Thanks for putting me right scchua & for the fab pictures.I would rate this slightly higher as a ***/*** Off out now to blast the patio slabs & mow the lawns

  11. Jewel
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Forty plus years ago, a work colleague and I, with no big dave to help, taught ourselves how to solve the DT crossword by doing it a day late and using the answers to work out the reasoning – and I’m still hooked but slightly more proficient!
    Enjoyed today’s offering although I was unaccountably slow to get the ‘bridge’ bit of 5d.
    Beautiful day in Surrey and looking forward to the French Open tennis this afternoon- what a lovely life!

    • Beaver
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Overcast in cheshire,agree with a **/*** Thanks for the pics etc Scchua,luckily i only thought of the old type of 19 a and like Jewel learned the cryptic trade some 50 years ago the hard way,the next days answers were the only way of working out solutions which eluded you.Styles of clues have changed,it would be interesting to try to solve say telegraph crosswords from the 1960,s. Still learning,never heard of the cake in 25a,but at least i know how to get the answer!

      • spindrift
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        I have a book “Daily Telegraph -, 80 years of cryptic crosswords” – and some of those are beyond Toughie level compared to the ones we get today. My hats off to the older generation of setters & solvers.Respect.

        • Jezza
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          I’ve got two of the DT cryptic puzzle books at home, and one of them (number 57 I think) has a couple of puzzles in it which I found above my level of ability.

  12. skempie
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    No problems today, finished while watching The Lions – they seem to be making quite a good job of things. Wasn’t to sure about the spelling of 25A, but re-reading the clue put me right. Thought 27A very good indeed.

    • skempie
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Well, the rugby was fairly good (despite the injury), wish I could say the same about the cricket which is looking rather dire at the moment.

      • skempie
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        All I can say is Well Done to ‘I Hate You’ Buttler – excellent knock, pity he didn’t a six from the last ball though

  13. Baa
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I’m fairly useless at cryptic crosswords, but have been attempting the DT cryptic for the past 5 years or so, and progress is slow. However, I now find that these clues are almost as difficult as the crossword, so I’ve given up on today’s. My opinion (for what it’s worth) is that if you are stuck, then normally this site is a great help – you can just read the hints and try to solve it yourself or really cheat and look at the answer. These clues are like having to do another crossword!

    ….. and by the way, I’m not considered to be stupid! (although I feel it today).

    For the record, I’m using an iPad2 with iOS6 and everything on the site seems to be working OK. (Font’s a bit small but no big problem).

    • gazza
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Baa

    • scchua
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      So give an example/examples of a hint (I presume you’re calling them clues) “which are almost as difficult as the crossword”.

      • Baa
        Posted June 6, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        25a and 4d both show an example sentence, with a gap for you to think of a word! Sorry but it just makes it twice as difficult for me. Somehow it feels as though the clues are too detailed. I like the usual type of clue/hint – much more straightforward. I shall plod on, if nothing else, it keeps the brain in gear!

        • scchua
          Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          The hints are twice as difficult because they’re too detailed?

          For 25a, the example sentence is a supplementary hint to show in what sense “earned” is used. And the gap is to be filled in by the same word that you have to think of to get at the answer, so it’s not asking you to think any more than you have to, to solve the clue.

          For 4d, the sentence with a gap is also supplementary to the main hint, if you didn’t get the latter. The gap is to be filled in by the answer to the clue! (Ann Sheridan was nicknamed the “oomph” girl.) So again it’s not asking you to think any more than you have to.

          According to what you say, the hints are more straightforward (ie. easier to work out) if I left out the supplementary sentences? Sorry, but the mind boggles.

  14. angel
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks Jay and Scchua (not needed!) for more “untaxing” fun today so plenty of time to watch tennis from Roland Garros and/or enjoy the garden which is bathed in W. Sussex sunshine.

    • Merusa
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      With Tsonga eliminating my favourite Federer, I fancy his chances at winning. At least I hope so, not a great fan of Djokovic. I like Nadal as well.

  15. Kath
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I love Wednesday crosswords – nearer 3* for difficulty as I got into a spot of bother with my last few answers, and 4* for enjoyment.
    I was just congratulating myself on getting the TWO hidden-in-the-middle ones, 26a and 2d, that I always have trouble with but failed completely with10a, my last one in – oh dear! When, if ever, will I learn?
    I didn’t know that ‘sky pilots’ were clergymen and I didn’t know that ‘graft’ was bribery (although as I wrote that I had a sneaky feeling that I might have said it before, in which case I’ve just forgotten it.)
    Although I got the answer to 25a I was in a muddle about why it was that.
    I liked 11 and 27a and 4, 5 and 7d. I haven’t quite decided whether my favourite is 1 or 13a!
    With thanks to Jay and scchua.
    A bit grey and chilly here again – we still have a nippy NE wind which my beans don’t like much.

  16. Sweet William
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jay – I found this on the difficult side for me – but got there in the end. New words and some clever clues, all solvable ! Thank you Scchua for your review – I needed to look at your hint to see the wordplay for 23d. Most elegant photos as usual ! Had to finish this in time because I have got the nasty stingy eye drop thing in an hour, so I won’t be able to see anything this afternoon !

  17. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    A most enjoyable Wednesday puzzle. For us this took at least average time for a back-page puzzle so believe that it should be awarded average marks for difficulty, that is ***. The only clue that gave us parsing problems was the first part of 4d. Were sure of what it must be but could not find a reference for confirmation. Good fun.
    Thanks Jay and Scchua.

  18. Poppy
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle in spite of a dotty determination to fit aides into 23d (thinking of ADCs as in Aide de Compes, that some presidents used) so 25a just wouldn’t work at all… Liked quite a few, but my fave was 1a simply because my old school was just outside (definitely not the happiest days of my life) and I’m not there any more hurrah :-D ! Thank you Scchua for your hints, and to the setter.

    • albatross
      Posted June 6, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Roedean?

      • Poppy
        Posted June 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        That’s the one! And all that time there and I never learned about the joy of crosswords…. :-)

        • albatross
          Posted June 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          I used to drive past it daily in the 1970s when I was working in Brighton and living firstly in Seaford and later in Peacehaven (“they built a wilderness…..”)

  19. BigBoab
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Jay and sschua for a most enjoyable crossword and a most entertaining review.

  20. una
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    If three star is average, I would have to rate it higher than that. For some reason I didn’t see any of the hidden clues, although I normally spot them. I found many of the other clues very difficult, sometimes getting the solution without knowing why . I needed sschua hints far more then usual. Must try harder ! Thanks to all concerned.

  21. neveracrossword
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    2.5*/3.5* for me. My wife loves the 25a’s we get in the supermarket in Spain. A pub lunch with a sea view and a walk by the beach in the sunshine, followed by a brief snooze and the crossword. Must have brought back some manana with the 2a’s.

  22. Derek
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    A rather straightforward puzzle today from Jay!

    Faves : 5a, 11a, 19a, 25a, 3d, 4d, 5d, 7d, 15d, 18d & 23d.

    Summer seems at last to be acoming in here in NL!

  23. Brian
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Cracking crossword (apart from 17d perhaps) but loved 5a, 19a and 20d.
    Didn’t need to fight with Scchua hints today.
    Thx to Jay for an entertaining Wednesday.

    • Heno
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      What’s wrong with 17d? I thought it was rather good.

  24. Heno
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and scchua for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I was beaten by 5a, which I have never heard of. Quite tricky with lots of good clues. Favourites were 1a and 5d. Was 3*/4* for me. Great weather in Central London.

  25. stanXYZ
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I always really enjoy the Wednesday crossword from Jay! Today – no exception!

    I just like his style of clueing – to quote ChamRider (Comment #4 above)

    “.. I seem to be able to counteract my lack of knowledge with logic!”

    And also … Many Thanks to Scchua – I hope that his critics do realise that he does this for free (I think)

    (Tried a Permalink to comment #4 above… it used to work.)

    There is always someone complaining about something!

    • Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      If he does get paid, it’s not by me!

      All of the bloggers do this because they enjoy helping others.

      • Merusa
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        And we appreciate it, really we do!

        • una
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Me more than most, especially today.I suppose we all have “off” days,at least I hope so and it’s not a sign diminishing I.Q.

      • Kath
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        I really appreciate all of it too, every day – the help, the knowledge and expertise of the bloggers, and all the fun and general silliness. I have enjoyed doing crosswords more in the last three years since I found this blog than in all of the previous ones.

      • steve_the_beard
        Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        I’d like to add my appreciation too.

        • mary
          Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          Me too :-)

  26. Merusa
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    The more I follow this blog, the more I realise that difficulty or ease solving puzzles has to be how much you can get inside the setter’s brain. Yesterday’s was given *** for difficulty and today’s just *+. I would reverse that order, for me anyway. I finished today’s but needed the hints for the “why” of 7d and it took longer to finish. Enjoyable, nevertheless, and thanks to all.

  27. Sue
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the tips every day, adds to the enjoyment when needed. Also good to know if others are finding a particular crossword more difficult.

    One plea for scchua, please add an a) for across and d) for down clues. When I am scrolling up and down on my iPhone it would be so much easier. Thank you

    • Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Sue

    • Heno
      Posted June 6, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Yes, I second that, very useful when using a smart phone

      • scchua
        Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Sue and Heno: look out for next week.

  28. Les
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I understand answer to 25a but I cannot make sense of the second part of the answer, ‘leine’ from the hint. Can anyone enlighten me plese?

  29. Les
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Forget that previous request; had another look and can see it now. Doh!

  30. Hrothgar
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks, Jay, most enjoyable.
    And many thanks to scchua.
    Could there be a simpler explanation of 27a than scchau’s?
    Utterly fail to understand his detractors.
    And Madeleine Stowe – PWOAR!

    • axe
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Could there be a simpler explanation of 27a than scchau’s?.
      Look at the answer, you tell me?.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        No, there couldn’t..
        Plainer than the shiniest pikestaff.
        :)

  31. John
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    If there is anyone like myself who would rather not have the picture hints and uses Firefox, then I can recommend the “image and flash blocker” extension. If you right click when on the main page then put a tick against images off, they immediately disappear. I have no connection with this extension.

    It can be downloaded here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/image-and-flash-blocker/