DT 27344

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27344

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Today’s puzzles can now be downloaded from here – thanks to Spindrift for the info.

Libellule is taking a sabbatical, but hopes to return from time to time. Meanwhile, if you fancy having a go at writing a review I’d be delighted to hear from you.

This is Rufus at his gentlest, and a comfortable start to the week.

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

1a    She steps into line to appear on stage (6,4)
{CHORUS GIRL} – a cryptic definition of a young lady who dances and sings on stage, along with several others

9a    Impudent type (4)
{BOLD} – two definitions – the second being a type used in printing

10a    A novice needs caring support (10)
{TENDERFOOT} – a charade of an adjective meaning caring or kind and a part of the body that supports the rest

11a    Soundly examine a bill of exchange (6)
{CHEQUE} – sounds like a verb meaning to examine

12a    A gentle eccentric — so refined (7)
{ELEGANT} – an anagram (eccentric) of A GENTLE

15a    He has time to finish (7)
{CONVICT} – a cryptic definition of someone who serves time until the end of his sentence

16a    Her calling is a dangerous one (5)
{SIREN} – a cryptic definition of a sea nymphs whose seductive songs lured sailors to their deaths on rocks

17a    Location of well-known listed building (4)
{PISA} – where you will find the Leaning Tower!

18a    Weapons some people play with (4)
{BOWS} – some people play a violin using one of these

19a    Consented to give up a vice (5)
{GREED} – drop (give up) the A from a verb meaning consented

21a    Books which one may enjoy in bed? (7)
{ANNUALS} – two definitions – the second being plants that can be grown in a flower bed

22a    Finish after only half distance and stretch out (7)
{DISTEND} – a word meaning finish or termination after the first half of DISTance

24a    Woman with a son about 51 (6)
{ALISON} – the A from the clue and SON around the Roman numerals for 51

27a    What may be broken by colonel staggering around bar, drunk (10)
{COLLARBONE} – a part of the body which is easily broken comes from an anagram (staggering) of COLONEL around an anagram (drunk) of BAR

28a    They may be shocking swimmers (4)
{EELS} – a cryptic definition of some fish that can give out an electric shock

29a    A terrible mess follows meal (4,6)
{DOG’S DINNER} – a charade of a verb meaning follows and a meal

Down

2d    One must be careful to pay it (4)
{HEED} – together with the word pay, this means to be careful

3d    What I’d seen in the circus? (6)
{RIDING} – I’D inside a space set apart for a circus performance, which might include this!

4d    Checks for security guards (7)
{SCREENS} – two definitions – a verb meaning checks or examines and a guard used to protect those behind it

5d    Do some evening work, perhaps (4)
{IRON} – a verb meaning to even out a rumpled surface

6d    Understand door is locked (5,2)
{LATCH ON} – two definitions – a phrasal verb meaning to understand or grasp and what needs to be done to lock a door

7d    Assume ten love being held by rather a chivalrous character (3,7)
{DON QUIXOTE} – a verb meaning to assume or wear followed by the Roman numeral for ten and O (zero / love) inside (being held by) an adverb meaning rather

8d    Published rates dived badly (10)
{ADVERTISED} – an anagram (badly) of RATES DIVED

12d    Sends a plea for restoring seaside walks (10)
{ESPLANADES} – an anagram (restoring) of SENDS A PLEA

13d    German city circulating a list for necessities (10)
{ESSENTIALS} – a German city followed by an anagram (circulating) of A LIST

14d    Row upon row of drawers? (5)
{TIERS} – two definitions – several rows and people who score the same as each other

15d    Granted a certain amount of price deduction (5)
{CEDED} – hidden (a certain amount of) inside the clue

19d    Had a quick look needing key cut (7)
{GLANCED} – a musical key followed by a verb meaning cut or pierced

20d    Stubborn fellow? I’d heard otherwise (3-4)
{DIE-HARD} – an anagram (otherwise) of I’D HEARD

23d    Capital wear in West End of the city (6)
{TURBAN} – something worn on the head is derived from the final letter (end) of wesT followed by an adjective meaning of the city

25d    Beat female record (4)
{FLOG} – F(emale) followed by a record or journal

26d    Stake, but not post (4)
{ANTE} – two definitions – a fixed stake put down by a poker player before the deal and a prefix signifying before, i.e. not post / after

Apparently subscribers can phone 020 7931 2000 to get a copy of this puzzle (thanks to Roger for the info).


The Quick crossword pun: (penny} + {tense} = {penitence}

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94 Comments

  1. skempie
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    As usual, a nice start to the week (even nicer with the puzzle being back where it belongs). A bit miffed abut 16A being in the quickie too, but ho hum.
    The two that held me up the longest were 9A and 18A – probably because of the lack of sleep over the weekend due to the non-stop sport (some of which was enjoyable to watch)(not the debacle in Australia though)

    • mcmillibar
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Ditto 18a. Had to run through the alphabet.

    • Addicted
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      Talking of the Quickie – am I the only one to have completed the entire puzzle EXCEPT for the pun words???? That’s certainly a first for me!

      • andy
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        You are not alone addicted :)

  2. mcmillibar
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Morning all. I really enjoyed this one because it was not too taxing and did not steal too much of my morning. For me a */***. No doubt all you ‘aces’ will have found it a bit too easy. Last for me was 10a. After 15a I loved the juxtaposition of ‘Paroled’ for 22a -which sort of works for me – but it was plain wrong. It’s quite seldom that there are several possible answers. Would love to have been able to make it to 21st December but work demands. Love and kisses to all.

  3. Michael
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Doh – I put ‘toys’ in 18a and didn’t really understand it – now I know why!

    This problem with the DT online versions is ridiculous – in a previous life I used to work in the IT industry (for an Telecoms company whose name sounds like BT) if any of our systems were down for any period nobody would be going home and the drains would be up – heads would roll!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_twisted.gif

    • mary
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I could only think of toys at first too Michael!

    • Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      In nearly 40 years of working in IT, the longest downtime I can recall was 9 hours. I remember it well because Jan, my then boss, asked what he could do to help and I said “Yes, could you go out and get some pizzas?”. He did, but he knew what I really meant – just leave us to it, don’t sit looking over our shoulders.

    • outnumbered
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      TOYS for me too, and it didn’t feel quite right either…

      The rest of the puzzle was pretty staightforward, the only holdups were 10a and 4d which took a bit of pondering.

  4. EwingSpindrift
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    Been using this site for a while now as I find the help most useful!
    As to getting a copy of this crossword – noticed I could phone a number but this isn’t possible for many of us – I’m on a platform in the middle of the North Sea and rely on my subscription to Telegraph puzzles to receive my daily dose of crosswords.
    I’ve emailed Phil McNeil but not had a reply so no crossword & it’s almost lunchtime. Is there any news as to how long the Telegraph Puzzle site is going to be down?

    • Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ewing.

      You’ve got mail!

      • Hrothgar
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Could I also have mail, please BD, would be exceedingly grateful. :)

        • Merusa
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Me too. I’m in Miami and that’s a bit far to call

          • Merusa
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Got it, no need to send

        • Hrothgar
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Many thanks indeed, BD

      • Anne
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        I’m in deepest Puglia, and am suffering withdrawal symptoms. What is going on, and any chance of a copy from you?

        • crypticsue
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          You will have mail in a minute

          • Anne
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Sue

          • Deborah
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

            Hello, as a frustrated cluedup subsubscriber, may I also please request a copy of today’s crosswords? Currently in the Caribbean where is grey & rainy, but warm. At least I now have the opportunity to thank you for this great site after a couple of years of lurking!

            • Merusa
              Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

              Where are you in the Caribbean?

    • spindrift
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      You’re not my long lost cousin from Texas are you?

      • EwingSpindrift
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        I noticed your post a couple of days ago and did wonder! The reason for the moniker is I’m JR (aka JR Ewing) and we live in a lovely little seaside house caled ‘Spindrift’ – your moniker would be because?

        Your Texan Cousin.

        • spindrift
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          It goes back years when I was up in Northumberland on the beach with my Grandad who explained that the foam coming off the top of the waves was called spindrift. Just one of those words that resonates in my memory.

          • EwingSpindrift
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            Did you know there is an Adnams beer called Spindrift as well? Managed to get hold of a couple of their glasses a couple of years ago (legally I should add!) Asked the landlord and made a small donation to ‘Help For Heroes’ for 2 pint glasses – fit in well with the house!
            I’m sure the house name comes from that same reason – we see plenty of Spindrift on the NE coast of Scotland!

            So maybe not so much your Texan cousin but Scottish cousin!

            • spindrift
              Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

              CS once tasted the ale in question & described it (I think) as being fair and light whereas I’m dark with a sprinkling of silver highlights (ok I’ve gone grey) and decidedly built more for comfort than speed these days.

              • crypticsue
                Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

                I just said what the label said… it is a very nice beer – we had some more recently.

                • spindrift
                  Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

                  I’m more partial to a drop of Snecklifter which I had recently in “The Angler’s Arms” in York with my Dad. The pub is actually called “The Snickelways” now but that’s just the brewery catering for the tourists.

                  • EwingSpindrift
                    Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

                    Please Stop! I’m stuck on a ‘dry’ offshore oil platfrom for the next 10 days and all this talk of good ale is making me very homesick.
                    Enjoy your ales everyone – I’ll raise a glass when I’m home again. Many thanks to all who helped us poor offshore crossword fanatics – I think I’l be doing mine tonight with a nice glass of flavoured water!

    • EwingSpindrift
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Got it BD – Many Thanks

  5. Sweet William
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus, one of your easier puzzles. Fortunately managed to get 24a correct – otherwise trouble from our daughter-in-law ! Thanks BD for the review, hints and photos.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much, Rufus, for your unfailingly entertaining start to the week. I just hope for the sanity of my fellow bloggers that the online version has been published today.

    I agree with BD’s rating of 1.5*/4*.

    When I started I thought this was going to be over-egged with anagrams as five of my first six answers were either full or partial anagrams, but in fact, if I have counted correctly, there was only one more.

    10a was a new word for me but easily derived from the wordplay and confirmed by the BRB. Mrs RD would say that 5d was a new word for me, but I know what it is even if I don’t know how to use it.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    18a was my last one in. I persisted for a while in trying to find a justification for the answer to be toys, but eventually the penny dropped.

    As usual with a Rufus puzzle there were too many excellent clues to list them all, but today I thought that several of the shorter ones were superb – 15a, 17a & 5d, with 17a getting my vote for favourite.

    Thanks too to BD for his review and superb pics.

    • Physicist
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      I had ‘rods’ for 18a, on the grounds that it was slang for guns, and an angler can ‘play’ fish with them, but now I see the answer, I can’t think how I missed it.

  7. pommers
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Can anyone send me the puzzle please,otherwise pommette will get Rufus withdrawal symptoms.

    • Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      You’ve got mail!

      • pommers
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Many thanks Dave, pommette will be well pleased. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Jezza
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      If you email me, i’ll forward you my email from Phil McNeill.

  8. Clarky
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Gentle start to the week. For some reason 5d just didn’t register, and I thought ’tiller’ might be possible for 1a, so NW corner was last to complete.
    27a was favourite. Thanks as always to setter and reviewer.

  9. mary
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifGood morning Dave and thanks to yourself, sue and phil, I was able to do this a little earlier than expected, a lovely Rufus crossword for me although at the easier end of the scale maybe, this didn’t detract from the fact that the clues read nicely, were short and concise and the readings made sense, fav clues!!! 17a and 19a, hope Libelulle enjoys his sabattical and returns sooner rather than later to Monday blogging, in the meantime thank you Dave

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Not sure why I am being thanked but… Lovely blue sunny day here today, Mary. Wish I was at home rather than stuck in the office.

      • Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        Because it was a copy of your scan that I sent to Mary!

        • crypticsue
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          Ah!

          Being a person of little hope, I will be scanning both the (inside?)back pager and the toughie and emailing them to you tomorrow morning too.

      • mary
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Beautiful day here too sue, just come back from a walk at the beach :-)

  10. Graham
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    This was a good start to the week, like some others I also wanted to fit toys for 18A but the only link I could think of was someone throwing their toys out of the pram, 24A was easy for me as thats my handbrake’s name.Many thanks to Rufus & BD for the review.

  11. Angel
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Rufus for pleasant start to week. ***/***. Just needed BD to put me straight on 18a (I stupidly started with “arms”) so thanks for that. My fav clues included 17 and 21a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  12. Baa
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    How do I get a copy of today’s crossword please?

    • Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      You too have mail!

      • Baa
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Got it, printed it – winding the brain up for action! Thank you.

      • Aristotle
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Could Mrs A and I also have a copy please? We are getting very bored!

  13. Expat Chris
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Please, BD, can you send me the puzzle! A phone call from here can be a bit pricey…

    • Expat Chris
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Got it. Thanks! I had also e-mailed Phil and I just received a zip file with the cryptic, quickie, Hurculis and games. Happy to share if you’d like it. Will need an e-mail address to send it to.

      • EwingSpindrift
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Wouldn’t say no to a copy of the games – received an scan from BD for the crossie but getting Sudoko withdrawal symtoms.

        • Expat Chris
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          On the way to BD at his request. He will forward to you.

          • EwingSpindrift
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            Many Thanks

  14. Collywobbles
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    BD, could you send me mail please for todays’ puzzle

    • Collywobbles
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      ? BD

      • Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        It was sent ages ago. You can now download it yourself using the link at the top of the post.

        • Collywobbles
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          It wasn’t there when I looked!

          • Collywobbles
            Posted November 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Thanks BD, I have found it. I hope that you enjoyed your lunch

  15. Beaver
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the gentle start, a */***for me , after the antipodean disaster needed a bit of a cheering up . Thanks BD for the hints and tips-re 21a pic, had an intellectual argument last night about which comic Lord Snooty was in, i lost ,thought it was Topper not The Beano-never mind . Thanks for explaining the wordplay for 23d,thought the West End was simply a ghetto.

  16. DavidH
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi BD. Is it possible to send me todays DT cryptic please. I just came upon your site but I’m not going to tell my wife that you give help to those of us who aren’t quite so gifted.
    I’ve tried complaining to the DT without a response.

  17. BigBoab
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Untaxing fun from Rufus and a super review, thanks to both BD and Rufus.

  18. Portia
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Hello. I’m a long term lurker on this site and looked in again yesterday to see if anyone knew what’s happening about the on-line site. I sent an email to the Telegraph this morning and had a very swift response as follows:

    “We apologise for the interruption to the Telegraph Puzzles service. We are currently experiencing technical issues with the site which we are working hard to rectify. Once service has been restored we will be in contact with you to confirm.
    Please find attached the puzzles for November 23rd, 24th and 25th, which you can print off and complete. We will continue to email these to you daily until service has been restored.
    Again, please accept our sincere apologies and rest assured we are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
    Kind regards

    Telegraph Puzzles”
    [email protected]

    This may be of use to fellow lurkers who do not have access to BD’s generosity.

    I wonder if I have de-lurked? If so, I may be back. Off now to tackle today’s offerings.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Welcome – you are officially delurked. Hope to see you back again soon.

      thanks for the useful information

      • Portia
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Sue. I shall return, definitely. Hadn’t realised it was so easy to “join”!

        • andy
          Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          And we don’t bite Portia, comment freely :)

  19. Silveroak
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    BD could I prevail on you for a copy of the puzzle too, since I live in the States. Thank you.

  20. crypticsue
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    So that people don’t catch sight of hints before getting the crossword
    if you are in the UK ring 020 7931 2000
    If you are outside the UK email [email protected]

    to get a copy of today’s puzzle emailed to you

  21. douglas
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Can any one send me a copy of todays crossword…please?

  22. Steve_the_beard
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    BD wrote “Apparently subscribers can phone 020 7931 2000 to get a copy of this puzzle “.

    They certainly can! Given the fact that I was only asked for an email address, and was assured that it didn’t need to be the one registered with my subscription, I rather suspect that non-subscribers could too… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • mcmillibar
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi Steve, Like the RT. I have one too. Say, how do you change the avatar? I’ve had a look for the obvious but not found out how yet. Promise I won’t do a bike though!

  23. SheilaP
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle today right on our wavelength. Didn’t need any hints for the second day running except for correcting 18 across. We put toys in too, because it seems to fit quite well. Isn’t it interesting to imagine all the places all over the world where people are sitting down doing the same crossword as us, even though probably not at the same time, even on a platform in the North Sea. Thank you BD, you are having an extra busy time just now I think, & the setter.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Heno
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I could only think of toys too, but thought it wasn’t right. Had to use the hint.

  24. spindrift
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
    • EwingSpindrift
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Great! Full time puzzle session! First in too many days – thanks cuz.

  25. Merusa
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all your help to us out there having DTs due to no puzzles! especially as this debacle is really nothing to do with you! I printed the Rufus from the Guardian today so I’ve already had a fix, but I have now printed the DT one and am about to make a pig of myself. You are all STARS! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

  26. Heno
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A nice start to the week, I found this very straightforward until I got to the last 4 clues. Needed the hints for all of them, would never have got any of them. 10,15,18a & 4d. Was 3*/3* for me. favourite was 23d. Bit cloudy today in Central London.

  27. Miffypops
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    What a helpful bunch you all are. Skempie might be interested to know that an advert has appeared between the Cryptic and the Quickie on my ipad. this is annoying as I constantly flip between the two puzzles until completion or not. No problems today except at 18ac which I altered twice as I was not convinced my first two write ins were right.. 15ac last one in. (Notice – no mention of Bob Dylan whatsoever)

    • Merusa
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Wha’ ‘appended? We have been waiting to hear all about it. Go on, tell!

      • Kath
        Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes – we have all been waiting with bated breath to hear all about it and then you go quiet – go on then – tell us – how much more encouragement do you need? What about one of these? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Or these?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif Or these? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  28. Silveroak
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I see the DT has now provided a link to the crosswords on their “Out of Order” page. If they do this daily until the site is up it will be great. Meanwhile a big thanks to Big Dave and Phil without whom many of us will have gone into withdrawal the past 3 days. I hope this is resolved more quickly than 2011’s debacle.

    • Michael
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Oh-oh, what happened in 2011?

      It doesn’t fill me with confidence when I hear there’s been problems before – anyone got any ideas what it could be?

      My mind’s thinking Bandwidth problems or maybe a Cyber Attack (possibly by the Guardian!) – it does smack of a lack of Professionalism!

      • Silveroak
        Posted November 26, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        In 2011 lightning hit a transformer and caused a fire and explosion which somehow affected server and backup systems. It was about 3 months before normal service was resumed.

  29. asterix
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one – I see I wasn’t the only one to have a few hang-ups in the NW corner, but they were eventually, ahem, evened out. I liked 17a, 18a, 27a, 29a, 14d (took me a while for the reason behind the clued wording to become clear, despite having the answer) and 23d.
    Many thanks to Rufus for a shaft of mental sunlight on a cloudy day, to Big Dave for the website and the hints (thankfully not needed today) and to all fellow-posters for this sociable forum.
    *

  30. Kath
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this and only had one major problem and a few smaller ones – agree 1*/2* difficulty and 4* enjoyment.
    I’m so glad that we get the paper with all this fuss and bother going on but how brilliant everyone is being about making sure everyone else has a crossword.
    So it looks as if I was the only twit to ‘catch on’ for 6d? Oh dear, and then having been dim I didn’t think to doubt for ages – well, until 1a became obvious.
    I was slow to get 9, 17 and 18a – it’s often the short answers that end up being the most difficult – it is for me anyway.
    I liked 15, 21 and 27a and 23d.
    With thanks to Rufus and BD.
    I decided this morning that I needed to get a bit of a Christmas wriggle on so have really achieved lots today – feeling smug!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  31. Derek
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Late blog from me as had my GP and her assistant in to look at my feet which have been giving me a lot of painful bother – she will remediate the trouble on Thursday at her practice.

    Faves : 1a, 29a, 7d & 19d.

    Fillets of plaice for dinner with Sancerre rosé.

    • andy
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Derek bless you. It’s been too long since we’ve had your food and wine choices. Tootsies aside hope you and family all well

  32. Merusa
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Bit late commenting as I had to go out, but it was the usual Rufus goodie. I had a hold up with 10a and had to look at the answer, but the rest was **** enjoyment for me. Thanks to all, BD must be close to sheer exhaustion at this point.

  33. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Delighted this morning to find a scan of this puzzle in our Inbox. Thank you Dave. We did it with our breakfast. Good fun and the same few that slowed others down had the same effect on us. Looks like we will be able to download at the usual time from now on. Let’s hope so!
    Thanks Rufus and BD.

  34. Kath
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I worry that BD is going to get a bit hacked off with all this – whatever would we all do without him if he did? I don’t just mean forwarding stuff to everyone in the melt down that the DT site seems to be going through – I also mean being one blogger down while Libellule takes a break.
    I have got so much out of this blog for about three and a half years. I would absolutely love to be able to put something back in but I know that I’m not clever enough either crossword or IT wise. Come on chaps/chapesses – SURELY one of you has the know-how?
    In the absence of any volunteers how’s about we all nominate someone? Just an idea . . .

    • Expat Chris
      Posted November 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Don’t even think about it, Kath!

    • Silveroak
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      Today they posted a link to the crosswords on their “Out of Order Sign”. Hopefully they plan to continue this until problem is resolved.

    • spindrift
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Where’s Digby these days/ Don’t seem to have heard anything from him for a while. He was very good though, being clear & succinct in his reviews.

  35. Robert Page
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I nominate Mary :-))