DT 27355 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27355 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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There’s a new Prize Puzzle available today – I know it’s tough, but that should increase your chances of winning!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before asking questions about the site.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


1a           Ship’s quarters divine on edges of lake (10)
A verb meaning to divine or predict followed by the outer letters (edges) of LakE

9a           Gangsters backing football people in goal (5)
Put the body that runs football inside a goal or end and reverse the lot (backing)

12a         Break back penetrating London region’s crack spies (6,7)
A break or intermission reversed (back) inside the area of England where London is situated and a crack or split

14a         Character in Shakespeare’s volume in African country finding love (8)
VOL(ume) inside an African country and followed by O (love)

17a         Conservative after Californian city means to get in assistant (6)
C(onservative) after a Californian city and followed by a means to get in to a house

19a         Lots of trees well planted in craft area (8)
A well or shaft inside craft and A(rea)

21a         Top Gear producer’s vehicle bent as tyre burst (7,6)
This London location for fashionable clothing comes from a vehicle followed by an anagram (burst) of  BENT AS TYRE

25a         Second elimination process produces row (5)
S(econd) followed by a process for eliminating badgers, for example, gives a verb meaning to row a boat

27a         A lot of horses needing medical speciality for biting (10)
The A from the clue and a lot of horses, maybe those at a racing stable, followed by a three-letter abbreviation for a specialist hospital department


1d           Celebrity girlfriend loses pounds (4)
Drop the L (libra / pounds sterling) from a girlfriend

3d           Gamble recklessly on a scene working — something lucky about it (6,4,3)
An anagram (working) of ON A SCENE inside something lucky

4d           Slough’s iniquity possessed woman (3-5)
A verb meaning to slough or cast off followed by an iniquity or sin

5d           Test place with choice of old money (5)
If this test match cricket ground is split (1,2,1,1) it gives a choice of old UK currency

8d           Beat principal marine predator (10)
A verb meaning to beat followed by a word meaning principal gives this marine predator

13d         One politician, the French cabinet minister, such as can’t be appeased (10)
I (one) followed by Crosswordland’s usual politician, the French definite article and the surname of a cabinet minister

18d         Goofs on stage, disconcerting process (7)
This verb meaning goofs or forgets one’s lines on stage is an anagram (disconcerting) of PROCESS

20d         Get passionate for luxury accommodation spurning P&O (7)
Start with the luxury accommodation at the top of an apartment building and drop (spurning) the P and the O

23d         Pressure group are intriguing (4)
P(ressure) followed by a group or large number gives a verb meaning are intriguing or conspiring

The Crossword Club is now open. Feel free to leave comments.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.

The Quick crossword pun:  {thyme} + {Lourdes} = {Time Lords}


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    My rating tiday is 3*/3*.

    I found this quite tricky in places but eventually it all came together. 20d was my last one in because, although I was correctly looking for a word meaning luxury accommodation to remove a P and an O from, I had a fixation that the P and O should be next to each other.

    I thought the anagram indicator in 11a was a bit bizarre, but, other than that, this was a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    • Kath
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I quite liked the anagram indicator in 11d – assume you mean down rather than across. I think we’ve had it before.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I did mean 11d. More haste less speed http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        And I meant today not tiday…

  2. Collywobbles
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The Daily Telegraph has agreed to refund us the princely sum of one months’ subscription for the inconvenience that we are experiencing but they still cannot give an estimate of how long it will take to fix the problem

    • mary
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      thanks for info collywobs :-)

    • Michael
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      I’ve sent a complaining email asking for a refund but have heard diddly squat!!

      Par for the course I’m afraid – very disappointing!

      • Hrothgar
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Why does it take longer than two weeks to fix an IT problem?
        For me, it shows that the DT has little regard for its subscribing customers.
        If this happened at my place of work, heads would roll!

        • Michael
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          In a previous life I was a Systems Programmer for BT – any outage would mean nobody going home and the drains up!!

          Outages were a real no-no from a Career point of view – obviously DT are a bit of an amateurish outfit to allow this debacle!

          • Hrothgar
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            Quite, same type of environment.
            Scant regard for their loyal customers.
            Sorry, must stop moaning. :)

  3. crypticsue
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The SE corner of this puzzle made it the trickiest Saturday puzzle in many a long year (and I’ve been solving them many a long year and more) so for me 4*/3*. Thanks to BD for the hints.

    I have visitors arriving in a minute so will take this opportunity to recommend today’s special NTSPP.

    • Brian
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I absolutely agree with you today CS but even so very enjoyable apart from that awful clue 5d.

      • Merusa
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        I thought that clue particularly clever … when I managed to solve it, that is, as it took AGES!

    • KiwiColin
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I just want to add my recommendation to Sue’s, to urge people to have a look at the NTSPP.
      It really is something special!

  4. njm
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Found it hard to get into this puzzle – only 3 solved at the first pass. Kept plugging away and suddenly noticed only a few to go!
    Last in 3d (still don’t understand the clue). Lots of good clues 1a, 21a, 24a & 20d particularly.
    Thanks to compiler.

    • Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I’ve added that one.

    • njm
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink


  5. Colmce
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle, but it did take me a long time to solve.

    Re the MPP, quick look, tricky, barely fluent in English, so four foreign languages= No prize for Col.

    Thanks for the hints…not needed today.

    Thanks to the setter for an early morning challenge.

  6. Sweet William
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    A tricky Saturday puzzle – 3 circuits of the Circle Line at least ! I am not sure whether it was much fun either – a bit of a slog ! Thank you setter for the challenge – there were some very good clues albeit a bit convoluted. Thanks BD for the hints.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      When did you last travel on the “Circle” Line? It hasn’t been a circle for the past few years.

      • Sweet William
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        I am aware that some contributors like to indicate their solving time by quoting the number of underground stops, bus stops, cups of coffee/tea/pints of beer etc. Apologies for not being up to date with London travel arrangements – a failed attempt at humour.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry, SW, I wasn’t intending my remark to be a put down. I did understand your joke and enjoyed it – definitely not a failed attempt at humour in my eyes.

          Your comment actually brought back some happy memories for me. As a teenager my then girlfriend’s parents banned me from seeing her, and, being rather hard up at the time, one way to meet in secret was to buy the lowest cost tube ticket and travel round the Circle Line together for hours.

          Alas, today’s suitors don’t have that possibility.

  7. Caravaggio
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    At first sight, I thought that I was going to struggle with this puzzle but that wasn’t the case and I quite happily filled in the majority of the answers, with the sun shining in through the windows on what is a quite pleasant day in Cheshire. I notice a certain politician has made another appearance in this puzzle and I wonder whether you’re able to pinpoint when the last occasion was, Dave?

  8. mary
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Having missed yesterdays puzzle, I inadvertently printed it off this morning thinking the link for todays was up, it wasn’t, so thinking yesterdays was todays, if you know what I mean, I muttered all the way through, that ”this doesn’t seem like a Saturday puzzle” which of course it wasn’t http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif realizing that todays hadn’t been posted then I waited patiently until it was and although a bit of a rush, also completed that, this has to be a record for me, two in one day and I am now officially brain dead and off to lay quietly in the naughty corner http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • mary
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      By the way I didn’t particularly enjoy either and no favourite clues :-(

    • Kath
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Why have you put yourself in the naughty corner? I can’t see that you’ve done anything wrong, yet. Are you planning on committing a ‘crime’ or just after food?! It doesn’t sound as if there are going to be any goodies in there today – CS says she’s got visitors.

      • mary
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Well I’m not telling if you can’t see maybe no one will http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • Kath
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          . . . apart from the absence of a few apostrophes I still can’t see anything wrong. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          I can see why, but I’m not telling either…

        • Kath
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          OK – found it now! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        • mary
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink


      • crypticsue
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I can offer lefovers – a very nice fish pie and a pear/ginger/chocolate crumble.

  9. mary
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t 23d have and ing ending to mean intriguing or conspiring????

    • mary
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink


      • Kath
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Not sure – I can see what you mean though.

      • Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        No – the definition, given in the hint, is “are intriguing”

        • mary
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Dave I still don’t see how that comes to be the answer though?

          • mary
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            Oh I do now!

            • mary
              Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

              Not keen on it though

  10. Kath
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this – got off to quite a good start but then ground to a halt for a while. I think I’d say 3* difficulty and 3/4* for enjoyment.
    Needless to say I’ve never heard of the 6a footballer – anyway guessed that one and googled him and there he was. 17a took a while and so did the why of 19a.
    I’m reasonably happy about my 12a but can’t explain it and the same for my 5d – although I’m less happy about that one I can’t think of another possibility – maybe that’s not a good enough reason to put it in.
    Having, at the time, only the first letter of 25a I had an idea in my head that would have fitted perfectly with the definition and the way the clue worked – I just thought it was unlikely to be in a crossword – I was right – it was completely wrong!
    I liked 15a and 16 and 20d. My favourite was 10a – loved that one.
    With thanks to Mr Ron, whoever he is today, and BD.

  11. Expat Chris
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I seem to be right on wavelength today, with no difficulties except for 18D. I have an answer and a tenuous justification. Hoping for a hint!

    • Kath
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      18d is an anagram of process – it means either forgetting your lines on stage or getting the giggles so badly that you can’t speak. I’m not sure if it’s just an English expression.

      • Merusa
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! I got the anagram but had no idea why I was right

  12. neveracrossword
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    2*/3* for me. Thx to all.

  13. Kath
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just printed out the MPP and the NTSPP – haven’t looked at any of the clues yet but the thought of either makes me very http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif and probably in the end it will all end in http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    • mary
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      You may have to join me for rest and recuperation in the naughty corner…please bring some nibbles with you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  14. Chris T Heswall
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle as seemed to be on the same wavelength as the setter, which doesn’t happen very often. 6a is one of my favourite footballers and having served in the WRNS too long ago to think about, 1a was also a favourite. Thanks to setter and BD.

  15. SheilaP
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Quite tricky today for us, & it took a while to get going, but with a hint or two from BD, we managed to finish it. Couldn’t think of the footballer to start with, I’ve no idea why, because he was very good, even though he played for my least favourite team.

  16. Brian
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Jolly tricky today, took ages to get started now all finished except 5d. Got an answer but don’t understand the test place or choice wordplay although my answer does involve old money, any permissible hints anyone?

    • Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I’ve added it to the hints – it was in preparation but has been expedited!

      • Brian
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Thx BD, took me a while to get even then but I see now. Far too clever for me I’m afraid.

    • Kath
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I had an answer to 5d that I couldn’t explain – I still can’t do it even after the hint. My original answer was old ******** currency – no wonder I didn’t understand it.

      • Kath
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Forget that – stupidity strikes again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif Got it now.

      • Brian
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Exactly what I had but still don’t see the answer. Does BD mean a UK or overseas cricket ground. I’ve been to every test ground in the UK and still don’t get it.

        • Brian
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Oh I see, he means the home of world cricket and my second favourite after Canterbury. That is too clever for me!

      • Kath
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Just noticed that one of my words has been rubbed out – I’ve been sitting here for several minutes wondering why http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gifand have finally realised why.
        Really sorry. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        • Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Your alternative clue leads to an obvious answer that has the same checking letters.

          • Kath
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            I know. I’m usually pretty careful about what I put in comments on Prize puzzle days – it just didn’t occur to me that I was giving three letters away. I promise to be more careful in future, or maybe even not comment on Saturdays and Sundays! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
            Sorry again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Michael
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Think Cricket!!

      Oh no – I’ve thought too much about the present car-crash going on Down Under! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  17. pinemartin
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    In common with everyone else I would like to wish the Telegraph IT Team the best of luck in their new careers.
    The on-line version was still not available at 9.00am.
    Thoroughly enjoyable when it arrived even though my wife’s alternative answer for 25 across involving body functions did not fit with 23 down.

    • Kath
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Me too with 25a and decided that it was unlikely to be in a crossword.

      • Merusa
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        So, I wasn’t the only one! I thought it was just my dirty mind, a great relief to know I had company!


  18. stanXYZ
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    A very strange puzzle – lots and lots of Gimmes and then some very difficult ones!

    Congratulations to all who solved and understood 5d!

    • stanXYZ
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      But – let’s not mention Cricket!

      This is Mitchell Johnson’s “farewell” to yet another English batsman!


  19. Michael
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Some really tricky ones today – unusual for a Saturday – but no assistance necessary so it can’t be that bad!

  20. Heno
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, but it was very tricky. I needed the hints for 17,19 & 21a. Favourites were 14a & 5d. Off to Richmond for a pint later. Was 3*/4* for me.

  21. Little Dave
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon folks. Have just ventured out for the first time to face the world after the latest batting disaster in Oz. And West Brom are losing again! Anyway, very tricky crossword not helped with me providing another answer for 10a. Not sure the correct answer can be classed as a creepy crawly. Anyway, all done and thanks for the interesting comments and to Mr Setter of course.

  22. Derek
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable Saturday puzzle!

    Faves : 19a, 21a, 24a, 4d,18d & 20d.

    I remember seeing a magnificent specimen of 8d which swam across the bows of our ship when my late wife and I were cruising down the coast of South America. We went from Manaus on the Amazon to Rio de Janeiro. I actually swam in the Amazon in a pirhana-free area!

    My GP has loaded me with antibiotics so I am hoping to get free from the oedema in the right foot. I shall be glad to be able to don my footwear once again!

    No alcohol for a few days!

  23. Dockit
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the clues!

    Isn’t your clue for 21a wrong though? Should be vehicle followed by anagram (burst) of BENT AS TYRE

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      The hint for 21a (as that is what they are ‘hints to help with solving clues’ should indeed be as you say. If BD doesn’t turn up in a minute to do so, I will correct it fo him.

      • Posted December 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that – I’ve just returned from a charity rugby match that raised over £3,000.

  24. Hrothgar
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Most odd.
    Back to front solving.
    I filled in much of this crossword after only a cursory glance at the clues then checked that my word(s) fitted the clue.
    Some brilliant constructions and anagrams eg 12a, 17a, 19a, 21a.
    And especially 5d.
    Last in 18d, a ‘duh’ moment.
    All enjoyable fun.
    Many thanks to the setter, and BD for the review.

  25. Merusa
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Wotta hard Saturday puzzle!! I did eventually finish, the top half being the last in. I did need significant electronic help, and also help from BD to know why my answers were right. Didn’t know the footballer but just felt it had to be right. My favourite has got to be 5d, I think it is so clever. Honorary mention to 14a. Thanks to Ms. Setter for the workout and to BD for hints and explanations.


  26. McMillibar
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi all. A struggle for me today and needed help with four remaining clues. For me ***/***. Fav clue was 18d, lovely clue. Need a hint for 16d please? Did not get a chance to look at yesterday but might do so retrospectively which is never quite the same. Off for a brisk walk in Sau Paulo.

  27. Kingsley
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I thought that there were some easy clues and some very tricky ones – and I had to resort to BD’s hints for a number of the answers. I know nothing about English football, so had to Google a list of Liverpool players’ names until I came across one whose name meant “charge”. The answer to 12a was pretty obvious once one had the checking letters, but for the life of me, I could not understand the wordplay until I read BD’s hint. I thought the clue was VERY obscure!
    I enjoyed 19a and 21 across (and quite bucked at not being misled by the “Top Gear” reference!) I found 8d difficult (let’s be honest: impossible!) until BD came to my rescue.
    I thought 7d and 20d were great clues.
    Like Mary, I did NOT enjoy 23d – would a better clue not have been “Pressure group intrigue”?
    And can someone explain 16d, please? I have the “publicity” bit and the answer (I think!) but I don’t get how the rest of my answer has anything to do with a “conductor”
    All in all, a challenging puzzle, I thought.

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      16d the publicity ‘bit’ goes round a fairly well-known ‘conductor’.

      • Kingsley
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes Sue, I do understand that, but my difficulty is that the six-letter word that I have inside the “publicity” bit is not defined as a conductor in any dictionary that I have

        • gazza
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Google what you have inside the publicity + ‘conductor’ and, if what you have is correct, all should become clear.

          • Merusa
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Thanks! I was lost too. Very clever clue

        • Prolixic
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          This conductor is a person!

        • Kingsley
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Just got it! I Googled “Conductor” and the word I had inserted into the “publicity” bit and found that that was the surname of a “well-known” (but not to me!) orchestra conductor. My mistake was trying to find a synonym for “conductor” and not a conductor’s name.

          • SheilaP
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            This conductor is the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, & is very well known.

    • una
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      I also ignored the clue and relied on the checking letters, once I was given direction on the definition.

  28. Jezza
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I thought this one was very good today. Many thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  29. una
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    There must be something wrong with me , as I didn’t find it hard at all with the exception of 12a, and BD’s hint was no help except for underlining the definition. Or , perhaps my answers are all wrong ! No “submit” so I’ll never know (or at least not for a while).Favourite is 14a, a charactor I always liked.I’ll desist from quoting.Thanks to the setter and BD.

  30. una
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Doing a back number from the guardian, a Brendan,25527, one clue read “composer dear to Ivor Novello” and the answer was….Bach ! Can anyone explain that, or am I just being thick?

    • gazza
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Ivor Novello was Welsh and the Welsh word for ‘dear’ is ….

      • crypticsue
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        You are just far far too quick.

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Bach is an affectionate term of address used in Wales. Ivor Novello was Welsh and so may have used the word.

    • una
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Thank you both, I’d never have got that in a million years.

  31. Angel
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Quite taxing but very enjoyable puzzle today – thanks Mr Ron and BD for helping me out with last few including 25a where (in polite society!) I better not say what I had put in – admittedly without a reason for the whole word! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif****/****.

    • Kath
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      You’re not alone with 25a. I’m not entirely sure that I’d call this ‘polite society’ but I don’t think what we are thinking would ever be in a crossword although I actually think it fits the clue, specially when you’ve only got the first letter.

      • Angel
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        I have to say I felt the same but thought perhaps in these liberated times it might be acceptable! Anyway it messed me up for 20d and 23d.

    • una
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m utterly intrigued, what on earth had you in mind ? I’d love to know.”second elimination process” etc but then it’s against the rules to supply wrong answers.

      • Angel
        Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Perhaps Weekend Wanda has given the game away for you!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  32. Weekend Wanda
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I too was held up in SE corner due to an obsession with bodily functions. 21a took me much longer than it should even with all the checking letters until the penny finally dropped. Some like 1a were clever but went straight in. Have to say I enjoyed the challenge whilst enjoying a pleasant weekend in Cornwall. Thanks setter and BD although not needed due to plenty of time and persecution. Not sure why 5 d caused problems for so many- unless like me they had an old foreign currency in mind. Unlike quiz answers when solving crosswords the first instinct is not always right!

  33. una
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Does anyone have the faintist idea when the Telegraph intend posting their PDF ? As far as I am concerned they are already nine and a half hours late.The one morning when I can enjoy a puzzle with breakfast . This is all going on far too long.

    • mary
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      No idea Una, all I can say is Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

      • mary
        Posted December 8, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        The least they could do is to make sure the puzzle is accessible @ ‘normal times’ be it weekends or not http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        • una
          Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          You said it ! It should have been posted at midnight.I’m hopping with annoyance.
          Oh yesterdays and todays 14a could have expressed it better than I can.

  34. Michael white
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This morning with a fresh outlook I managed to complete this! For me it was one of the harder and possibly more interesting Saturday crosswords. I certainly needed BD’s help and inspiration. So a big thank you to BD. I’m an occasional crossworder and generally only do the Saturday DT each week. So I feel I can judge the difficulty rating of Sat-Sat crosswords reasonably well. And this one was tougher than usual. Always nice to finish one like this. Now I can get on with the rest of the weekend. M