DT 27209

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27209

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa where I am making a brief stopover between travels. Earlier this month, my wife and I had the immense pleasure of spending a bit more than a week touring parts of England. We started in Liverpool, spent a day in Manchester, then several days exploring the moors and dales of Yorkshire, followed by a couple of days in Oxford and surrounding areas of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and finished with a night in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In all the time that we were there, we encountered only about an hour of rain – and that occurred during the bus ride from Oxford to London. By the time we reached our hotel, the rain had let up enough that we were able to take a stroll in Kensington Gardens.

As for today’s puzzle, while I was easily able to solve a half-dozen or so clues on the first read through, I would say that these were by no means indicative of the level of difficulty of the rest of the puzzle – which I found to be very challenging. For myself, the puzzle edged into 4* territory for difficulty. However, I may just be out of practice, recently having had little time to spend on puzzles on a regular basis. Some unfamiliar British personalities also gave me some trouble. Consequently, those of you in the UK may find the puzzle less challenging than did I.


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

5a Firm set of lips getting gloss? (3-3)
{ COP-OUT } – an abbreviation for a business enterprise precedes a sulky (or sultry) set of the lips; the apparent meaning of gloss is a bit of a mystery to me – presumably, it is less puzzling to those of you in the UK

8a Completely put under water, it has no chance of success (4,4)
{ DEAD DUCK } – an adjective denoting complete or absolute followed by a verb meaning to immerse

9a Out-of-order urinals surrounded by water (7)
{ INSULAR } – an anagram (out-of-order) of URINALS

10a Heading off trouble is not the same (5)
{ OTHER } – chop the first letter off a synonym for trouble or annoy

11a Second senior citizen with time after work creating regular drama (4,5)
{ SOAP OPERA } – a charade of S(econd), an acronym for a person of advanced years, a musical work, and a distinct period in history produces a sudsy story that appears in the same timeslot every day on the telly

13a Avoid hammering despite letting in soft header (8)
{ SIDESTEP } – an anagram (hammering) of DESPITE containing (letting in) the first letter (header) of S(oft)

14a Keep in mind wet weather holding Lawrence back (6)
{ RETAIN } – apparently typical English precipitation containing the reversed initials of Lawrence of Arabia; I say “apparently typical” as this weather phenomenon was untypically absent during my recent visit to England

17a Organ repairs now and then (3)
{ EAR } – a regular sequence (now and then) of letters drawn from the word rEpAiRs

19a Longing for money (3)
{ YEN } – double definition

20a What he said was right about a million being wrongly convicted (6)
{ FRAMED } – the name of the bloke who said “Right” (according to Bernard Cribbins) containing A (from the clue) and M(illion)


23a Umpiring decision’s correct in total (8)
{ OUTRIGHT } – a charade of a disappointing decision by an umpire (disappointing for a batsman, that is) and a synonym for correct or true

26a She offers advice a guy cannot somehow without crying at first (5,4)
{ AGONY AUNT } – an anagram (somehow) of A GUY (c)ANNOT without the first letter of C(rying); to my ear there would appear to be a word missing in the surface reading

28a ‘Herald‘ making someone upset? (5)
{ CRIER } – double definition; the first being an official who announces news by shouting it out in public

29a More macabre claiming North’s a laugh (7)
{ SNICKER } – the comparative form of an adjective denoting exploiting gruesome and morbid subjects in an unpleasant way containing N(orth)

30a Idiot in Japanese car losing rear end turned killer (8)
{ ASSASSIN } – Crosswordland’s typical idiot is found in the reversal (turned) of a NISSA(n) which has had its last letter removed (losing rear end)

31a Resounding approval for rise (6)
{ ASCENT } – sounds like (resounding) agreement or approval, especially that conferred by the monarch

Down

1d Hateful and tiresome wanting two starters and getting nothing (6)
{ ODIOUS } – a synonym for tiresome or monotonous has its first two letters go missing (perhaps they defected to 14a), only to be replaced by the letter that looks like a cipher

2d Each dot could be seen in old TV technology (7)
{ CATHODE } – an anagram (could be seen) of EACH DOT

3d One’s written to tackle drugs (9)
{ ADDRESSEE } – a charade of a verb meaning to tackle or give one’s attention to a problem and a double dose of E(cstasy)

4d Search cut short over Home Counties for northerner (6)
{ SCOUSE } – a synonym for search with its final letter [you have a choice of R or T] removed (cut short) followed by (over, in a down clue) the geographical descriptor for the Home Counties; this northerner being an inhabitant of the first city that I visited on my recent trip to England

5d Work together with Spanish summit (8)
{ CONSPIRE } – the Spanish word for ‘with’ is followed by a noun that can mean “the apical part of any tapering formation” [Collins English Dictionary]

6d Somewhat overweight for 12 (5)
{ PLUMP } – double definition; the second definition being provided by the solution to clue #12

7d Stubbs: fine artist associated with fish and game (8)
{ UNAFRAID } – a charade of the first name of a British actress, F(ine), a member of the Royal Academy, and a fish also known as the orfe; I thought the fish had lost its tail but the name is spelled without an E in the BRB (if nowhere else)

12d Choose Pop-Tarts with no bits on (3)
{ OPT } – strip a synonym for bits from the outside of Pop-Tarts and you will be left with the solution

15d Banker retiring in exotic Neath making an impressive leap (9)
{ ENTRECHAT } – an anagram (exotic) of NEATH containing the reversal (retiring) of another word for banker; here, banker is not a financial mogul or a river, but a sure bet at a race course

16d ‘Pirates of Penzance’? Endless cheese by Gilbert and Sullivan (8)
{ BRIGANDS } – a charade of a creamy French cheese with its last letter removed and a shorthand notation for the collaborators who wrote the words and music for the comic opera referred to in the clue; the question mark indicating a definition by example

Brigands

18d A good conclusion with German agreement on EU money getting close (8)
{ ADJACENT } – a charade of A (from the clue), the concluding letter of (goo)D, the German word for ‘yes’, and a EU monetary unit smaller than a euro

21d Drama’s over, sweetie (3)
{ HON } – a reversal (over) of a traditional style of Japanese drama

22d Not keen on having stove in south-east wings (7)
{ AGAINST } – a charade of a make of stove which gave its name to a literary genre, IN (from the clue), and the first and last letters (wings) of S(outh-eas)T

24d Custom doesn’t regularly last (6)
{ UTMOST } – a regular sequence of letters drawn from cUsToM dOeSn’T

25d Bully‘s empty attempt to harangue (6)
{ TYRANT } – a charade of a synonym for attempt with its middle letter removed (empty) and a verb meaning to harangue

27d Specialist tucked into macaroni cheese (5)
{ NICHE } – hidden in macaroNI CHEese

There is – to my way of thinking – some fairly complex wordplay in today’s puzzle, with reversals inside of charades, etc. Moreover, many of the definitions are very well disguised. Among my favourite clues would be 2d (with its technically correct surface reading), 15d (where I found myself trying to find a river to paddle up), and 24d (with its smooth surface reading and hard to spot definition).


The Quick crossword pun: (sack} + {ray} + {blur} = {sacré bleu}


85 Comments

  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    We agree with you Falcon. We found this one **** for difficulty. Last in and the one that made us laugh when we worked it out was 20a. Lots of good clues and a good solid warm-up for the Toughie. But that’s a different story.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon.
    PS. Our guess is Petitjean for the setter

  2. crypticsue
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I too guessed at Petitjean but for me it was just over 1* difficulty. I do hope that is because I am in the ‘zone’ as I am off to try the Toughie now.

    Thanks to Falcon and Mr (PJ) Ron.

  3. Colmce
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    As the review, initial read through came up with a more than average crop, then it was head down to unpick some interesting wordplay, defeated by 21d.

    Thanks for the review.

    Thanks to the setter.

    • albatross
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I only got it because some 20 years ago I was addressed as such by a waitress in a diner in California!

      • Steve_the_beard
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        She must have been very attractive, for you to remember her so clearly!

    • crypticsue
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I never have trouble with that one as I know one of the country’s leading experts on that type of drama.

      • Steve_the_beard
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Know?

        • crypticsue
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          :roll:

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Many thanks Falcon for your excellent hints and for posting them so early to put me out of my misery. Thanks too for not adding a picture for 9a! Many thanks also to the setter for a challenging but enjoyable puzzle.

    I agree with Falcon’s rating ***(*)/***

    I spent ages over 21d, my last one in, staring at two checking letters out of three without any hope of getting the answer until Falcon’s hints provided enlightenment. I also needed his explanation for the wordplay for 1d. I didn’t help myself by not giving enough thought to 3d and putting in addresses, which made 20d (my favourite) impossible until I spotted the error of my ways. 15d and the reverse of 21d were new words for me.

    I see Una has made a welcome return.

    • una
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Thank you RB, but I’m afraid it was one of the two I didn’t get !

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    As a complete digression, a (very young!) friend of mine is 50 today and he was given a copy of today’s Daily Telegraph from 1963. Early this morning he sent me a scan of the cyptic crossword from that edition. It is number 11,685!

    We worry about anagram indicators, but it was all so simple in 1963. One clue included (anag.), which made it pretty clear the answer was an anagram!

    Overall I didn’t find it too difficult but there were a couple of new words for me: “obol” and “sere”. However there are two answers which I still can’t get. Can anyone out there help me out please?

    – Common, contemptible old townsmen (4) C _ T S
    – They make pounds and pounds at their work (7) P E _ _ L _ S

    • gazza
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      cits
      pestles ?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Thanks very much Gazza. I stupidly didn’t check my BRB for cits as it seemed so unlikely. But it’s there, of course!

        I did think of pestles. I know you sort of pound whatever it is you are grinding in a pestle but I still can’t get my mind totally round the wordplay. How would you parse it?

        • gazza
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          I don’t think either clue would make it into a modern cryptic puzzle. Cits just seems a straight GK clue and pestles (if correct) looks like a pretty weak cryptic definition (a pestle being what you use to pound with).

    • una
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Cats, of Kilkenny ? Kilkenny is a very old town and the people there are sometimes referred to as Cats.There is some limerick about it, which I can’t recall at the moment.

      • una
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        People in Cork use the word “cat” to mean contemptible.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Una, that’s an interesting alternative, but I’m convinced that Gazza is right in that it is a General Knowledge clue and not at all cryptic.

        The BRB says:

        cit (archaic, slang) n a term of contempt for a townsman, not a gentleman

        But, just in case you thought you ladies had escaped, there is actually a feminine version citess !!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        I like limericks, so I googled it:

        There once were two cats of Kilkenny
        Each thought there was one cat too many
        So they fought and they fit
        And they scratched and they bit
        ‘Til Instead of two cats there weren’t any!

        :grin:

  6. mary
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Never thought I would say bring back RayT!! this was really difficult for me I haven’t finished it but have to go out now, I have actually managed to finish the R/H side but Oh dear, apart from some of the poor readings (IMHO) there are some very obscure answers, I may get back to this but I think maybe there are more enjoyable things to do today :-)

    • una
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I hope you are getting the weather we’re getting.

  7. Michael
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Wow – I found thus one really difficult and had to resort to this blog to get me out of trouble.

    Maybe it’s me but I found some of the answers having pretty spurious relationships with the clues – 5a for example, ‘Gloss’ seems to have nothing to do with the answer!

    Yes, it’s probably me!!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Michael, if you gloss over something it means you leave out a lot of the details, hence it is a cop out.

  8. Sweet William
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I found this difficult – took a guess at 21d and was wrong ! Had the answer for 5a but needed the hints to explain plus RD’s additional pointer at 7 above. I was beginning to think that it was UK temperatures that were affecting my brain – having just returned from Lake Garda enjoying 38 deg every day for a week. Lovely sitting by the pool doing the DT puzzles even at 3.50 Euros per go ! Thank you setter for the struggle and Falcon for your review.

  9. Jezza
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I thought this was going to be trickier than it turned out to be, as I got through it in 2* time.
    Thanks to Petitjean (if he is responsible), and to Falcon for the review.

    Now for a late start on the toughie.

  10. skempie
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Started off at a fair clip today but came to a grinding halt (briefly) in the NW corner, thankfully 8A came to my rescue and helped me do that area. I’ve never heard of the fish in 7D, but the answer seemed pretty obvious with the checking letters, also I was stumped for a while on 21D (seems quite a common problem) when my favourite author (Sir T. Pratchett) came to my aid – ‘Him, he is Noh actor’ ‘Oh, din’t think he was that bad’ (or words to that effect in Interesting Times).

    Rest of the day to be spent in front of telly waiting to see who England will be playing on Sunday.

    • spindrift
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      I’ve got “The Long War” on pre-order. Hopefully it will arrive prior to my holiday. If not then it’s a re-read of one of Sir T’s classics – “Small Gods”

      • skempie
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Hoping that’ll be a Christmas present, otherwise I’ve got a couple of Amazon vouchers to use

  11. angel
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Funnily enough found this easier than yesterday’s and only needed Falcon for 21d hence probably 2*/2*. Got answers to 5a and 20a but not sure about the clues.

  12. Clarky
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Made a reasonable start in NE then SE, before resorting to hints to confirm answers and assist with remainder, as required. Some seemed quite straightforward while others were anything but! (21d).
    Last in was 29a. I thought this was US version, while the English word held two G’s.
    fav’s 20a and 18d.

    • crypticsue
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      You have the wrong word in 29a if you have Gs in it.

    • gazza
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I thought the English version of 29a was marathon. :D

      • crypticsue
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        :roll:

  13. BigBoab
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable if gentle crossword, thanks to the compiler and to Falcon for the entertaining review.

  14. una
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the struggle, so thanks to the setter, and and I really needed the full unabridged hints for 7d and 16d.Thank you Falcon. For some reason I convinced myself that 16d was Gorgonzo, a character I thought might be in the Pirates of Penzance. The weather here continues to be very summery.I’m off to Bournemouth tomorrow, so I hope it is the same there.

  15. Beaver
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Best puzzle for ages,difficult clues but very logical when the mind had adjusted to the right wavelenght, only one query, like Falcon did’nt understand the ‘gloss’ in 5a-does anyone know?finally remembered the Japenese play, seems to slip in and out of my mind like trug and martello tower! So many really excellent clues ,going for a ***/*****,thats made me feel better.

    • Falcon
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I think that Rabbit Dave has explained it well in his reply to Michael at comment #7.

      I was thinking along the same lines but couldn’t quite connect the dots between gloss (over) meaning a superficial treatment of an issue and cop-out being the avoidance of a responsibility.

  16. Expat Chris
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Not a walk in the park by any means, but I did finish without hints, though the reference to gloss in 5A threw me. 21D is common parlance over here so no problem there. 7D took ages and was the last one in. Although I was correct, I needed the explanation for the fish and still don’t get it. Today’s standout for me 20A which made me laugh. Thanks to Petitjean, if he was the setter, and to Falcon for the review.

    • Falcon
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Id is another name for the orfe, a silvery freshwater fish (Leuciscus idus) of the carp family, which is fished commercially in eastern Europe. Oxford Dictionaries Online, Collins English Dictionary, and even Chambers 21st Century Dictionary all spell it as ‘ide’. However, The Chambers Dictionary lists the primary spelling as ‘id’ with ‘ide’ given as a variant spelling.

      Yet again — found only in Chambers :smile:

  17. HughGfan
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Great workout for Thursday. Thanks Falcon for the hints, needed for some of the down clues.

  18. Poppy
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Hello Falcon – it was good to know the weather was fairly decent to you during your recent visit, as that was a fair bit of ground you covered. Thank you for your hints which I really really needed today. Had a struggle to complete it and wished I knew CS’s friend as I thought I knew a fair bit about theatre, but don’t know the art form of 21d at all! Thank you setter. Not sure about a favourite but 3-5/ 3 stars for me today.

    • Falcon
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I would say that “fairly decent” is a bit of an understatement — the weather was absolutely fantastic. However, based on other comments, I may have been unwittingly following the good weather around — or perhaps it was following me :smile:

  19. SheilaP
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    We thought this was pretty difficult even with the hints. I must admit I don’t like definitions that really require an auxiliary word to make the meaning clear. e.g. gloss…..gloss over, which is probably why Falcon had some difficulty understanding it. Thanks to setter & hinter.

  20. Kath
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I made really heavy weather of this one – 4* for difficulty and 3* enjoyment.
    Now that I’ve finished it I don’t know why I found it so tricky.
    Did quite well in the top half and then, slowly, did most of bottom left side but bottom right side remained an answer free zone for ages.
    21d did eventually come to me which probably means that it was a crossword clue in the dim and distant past.. Spent a long time trying to think of a river to go upside down in the middle of 15d – I didn’t know that meaning of banker. The only Japanese car I could think of for 30a was an Audi – and anyway it isn’t. Wrong again!
    I liked 9a and 2 and 25d.
    With thanks to the setter and to Falcon.
    Very strange weather here – I have a bad attack of the ‘can’t-be-bothereds’.

    • Heno
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s the humidity.

      • Kath
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re probably right – not particularly hot in Oxford today but it really feels as if a torrential downpour is what’s needed.

        • crypticsue
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          We’ve had several of them and it is still very humid :(

          • Kath
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            We’ve had no rain at all and no sun – still very humid and the garden is still very dry. The rain seems to have gone all round us.

    • spindrift
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      In West Bridgford I’m working with the lights on. The sky looks very ominous – I think it’s going to absolutely persist down.

  21. Heno
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Pettijean and to Falcon for the review and hints. Enjoyed this one a lot, but was beaten by 7d, managed to get it from the hint, good misdirecrion, I could only think of Stubbs the artist, not the actress. Favourite was 16d. Thought the surface reading of 26a was Yodaesque :-) Was 3*/3* for me. Cloudy and humid in Central London, please let us have some Summer!

  22. Bluebird
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Well, it all went in eventually, with a long and arduous struggle in the SW corner.

    But because I didn’t always bottom out the wordplay I don’t feel I can take any credit.
    Forgot Japanese drama, didn’t reverse Japanese car, didn’t get actress and rare bird in 7d and not keen on American version of laugh.
    Lot of clever ones – liked 22d, 6d, 18d.

    It took up rather too much of the day……

  23. Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    A smashing puzzle. A constant delight and a bit of a battle. Some great clues 5ac and 7d being last ones in. I have left Saint Sharon in our holiday cottage and am sitting in The Victory with a pint of Betty Stoggs and a Ray T puzzle from three weeks ago. How sad is that?

  24. Merusa
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Well, it earned its *** difficulty rating. I nearly gave up on 5a and 7d as the last ones in when I remembered Una and the rest fell into place. I needed hints to know the why of 21d, forgot that Japanese drama, and 1d, not sure I really understand that yet. Loved 20a, had to reach far back into brain to remember “right, said Fred”, but now it seems like yesterday.

    Thanks to all and hope weather soon improves. Watching tennis at EAstbourne and it doesn’t look ‘arf bad for a change.

    • Falcon
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      In 1d, the word meaning “tiresome” is TEDIOUS. Remove the first two letters (wanting — in the sense of lacking — two starters) and replace them with O which looks like a zero (getting nothing).

      I had not the slightest clue about Fred. Fortunately, Mr. Google came to my rescue.

      • Merusa
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, I would never arrived there without your help! Re Fred: I think I am probably a lot older as I think that was late ’50s or early ’60s.

        • Falcon
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          It is not a matter of age. I suspect that Fred never ventured across the Atlantic.

          • Vigo
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            More recently (but not actually recently – early nineties) the group Right Said Fred topped the charts with their song “I’m Too Sexy (for my shirt)” which, according to Wiki topped the charts in 32 countries.

            Great puzzle today, all went in fairly quickly then needed hints for last two (21d – thought it was spelt with a u but should have got it, how many 3 letter dramas are there? And 7d – had forgotten Aunt Sally. Thanks to setter and to Falcon for hints.

            • Kath
              Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

              How on earth did Aunt Sally get into 7d? You’ve completely lost me there but I’m probably being dim yet again. Please forgive yet another little practice at doing bold and italics!

              • Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

                She was played by Una Stubbs.

          • Merusa
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            I forgot that you’re this side. I lived in England from 1960-65, that is probably why I remember it. Funny days those were, all wine and roses. Oh well, can’t complain!

  25. neveracrossword
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Great crossword – which I found easier than yesterday’s.

  26. Bob H
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Did’nt finish. Had “hon” but could not think of the drama. No matter. Enjoyable 2 * diff for me. One of the best bits is reading this blog.
    From darkest Gloucester. Down to Chideock tomorrow with friends so let us hope the week will cheer up a bit. Winter draw(er)s on.

  27. Brian
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Ok for me a dreadful crossword but I have persevered and managed with help to complete it but pease can someone explain:
    1. What has insular to do with water?
    2. Why fish in 7d?
    3. Why is now and then an instruction to every other letter?
    4. Why gloss in 5a?
    Missed hammering as an anagram indicator so another one for the list.
    Not being a ballet lover 15d passed me by and as for 21d, words fail me.
    I wonder if just for once one of the setters would do a puzzle that didn’t contain obscure arty references but included some science and even horror of horrors some sport. :-)
    Thx to falcon for the much needed hints.

    • Falcon
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      1. insular adj belonging or relating to an island
      2. discussed in earlier comments
      3. I think this use of “now and then” is a cryptic crossword convention. I have also seen the phrase “off and on” used in a similar manner.
      4. discussed in earlier comments

      I thought 2d might qualify as a “science reference” :smile:

    • Tilsit
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      1. Insular means relating to an islands which as far as my (admittedly) limited knowledge of geography (O-Level failed) are bits of land surrounded by water.

      2. id (or more commonly ide) is a fish

      3. Now and then is a rather wooly (IMHO) way of expressing alternative letters in a sequence.

      4. A gloss can be a somewhat cursory explanation of something.

      Anything in a clue that suggests movement is likely to be an angram indicator.

      Perhaps you would like to regale us with one of your puzzles, or maybe take up the Sun Crossword.. Alternatively invest in a copy of Mrs Bradford’s Excellent Crossword Dictionary to help you with your solving. I took mine to my bridge club yesterday and four of the grannies who all follow the blog and do the Telegraph all ordered a copy!

      • SheilaP
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Tilsit……some rather patronising comments I thought.

        • jezza
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think Tilsit is being patronising at all; merely defending the hard work of the setter, who cannot please everyone, and who sometimes attracts unwarranted insults from some who find their puzzle too hard for them.

          • SheilaP
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            jezza…..I think telling someone they should go & do the Sun crossword & talking about grannies is being patronising. Anyway, I don’t think Tilsit needs you to defend him.

            • Brian
              Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

              Sheila i thank you sincerely for your response but I am used to some of the less mannered who attend this blog who mistake constructive criticism for insults.

              • SheilaP
                Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

                Brian…..I am sure you are more than capable of withstanding the slings & arrows of this blog site, which for the most part are perfectly pleasant, but just sometimes there are things which just get up my nose, & being patronising is one of them.

                • mary
                  Posted June 21, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

                  Just thought I’d say… I love the Sun crossword, make of that what you may ;-)

            • stanXYZ
              Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

              Maybe the Grandmothers on this blog might also have cause to complain?

        • una
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know which is more telling, never having heard of Magritte or not knowing what insular means . Where are the architects, engineers etc when you need them !

          • Brian
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            Interesting, I thought insular meant narrow or prejudiced as does Chambers, never come across it as meaning an island but always willing to learn.

            • Only fools
              Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

              Brian you must have a different version of Chambers to me (first defintion) Crosswords are meant to be a friendly battle of wits .
              Let’s keep it that way and keep happy.
              Bon nuit .

            • Qix
              Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

              “Insular” literally means “of or pertaining to an island or islands”. It is derived from the Latin word “insula” which means “island”.

              The second definition of “insular” listed in Chambers is “surrounded by water”. An island is a mass of land surrounded by water.

              The fifth definition in Chambers is “hence, narrow, prejudiced”. “Hence” is used because this usage is figurative – someone could be narrow-minded or parochial if they were isolated from their wider surroundings, as an island is separated from the mainland (or other islands) by water.

              So, the “surrounded by water” definition is actually the primary meaning of the term. Although the figurative usage is perhaps more common at present, it depends entirely for its meaning on the literal definition.

              It’s just like “parochial”, which has a similar figurative meaning, but literally means “of or relating to a parish”.

              • una
                Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

                You gave voice to my thoughts, which I was too lazy to type myself.

          • mary
            Posted June 21, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            I’d never heard of Magritte either Una, at least we are willing to admit it though :-)

      • mary
        Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Hi Tilsit, ref your comment about ‘writing one yourself’ , I see exactly what you’re saying as one who has tried to do so on several occasions and failed miserably! So I appreciate the hard work that goes into each and every crossword but surely on the same lines you don’t have to be an author to give your opinion on a book you disliked albeit the author had put in a lot of time and hard work…just thinking :-)

  28. Robin
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Hello folks from a newbie.

    Doesn’t anyone remember Rock Around the Clock? “Get your glad rags on, and join me hon’ ”

    Knocked this off fairly comfortably unaided, but couldn’t finish yesterday’s 1 star.

    • gazza
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Robin. Now that you’ve dipped your toe in the water let’s hope for some more comments from you.

  29. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Got home too late yesterday to say how much I enjoyed the puzzle, but I thought today’s dreadful.

  30. Derek
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle after I got home from my daughter’s where yesterday the weather kindly let us eat on the lawn a nice barbecue.
    Their house is on the edge of the Braasemermeer so it is pleasant to see all the boats in the waterway.

    Faves : 8a, 11a 26a, 5d, 15d & 25d.

    Very warm today but we did have a short period of spitting of large drops.

    Tomorrow is the solstice so summer begins but the days get shorter!

    • Kath
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      My grandmother would have said “the nights will begin drawing in soon” but how many of us say, on 22nd December, “the days will be getting longer soon”? I suppose it’s the optimist versus the pessimist – or, there again, whoever says either the realist!!

      • skempie
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        Actually, the nights are drawing in from tomorrow, if anything they last a little longer. The mornings are starting a little later though

  31. pete
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was one of the best for a long while.
    Since I am now unable to read the answers hidden in brackets on my Kindle Fire I have never failed to finish a back page crossword. Must mean something?
    Thanks to Falcon. I was going to ask how a Canadian Canadian wouldget 20a but he explained.