DT 27386 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27386

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27386

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Even if the lack of professionalism at Telegraph HQ meant that you had a delayed start to this puzzle you should have been able to make up time, because it doesn’t pose too many problems. There are several “old friends” (e.g. 9a and 2d) sprinkled through it.

Do let us know how you got on. If you want to see an actual answer you’ll need to highlight what’s concealed between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Wood by motorway provides food for animals (4)
{MASH} – a type of white, hard wood follows the abbreviation for motorway.

3a  Fern, perhaps, up the salon for new styling (5,5)
{HOUSE PLANT} – an anagram (for new styling) of UP THE SALON.

9a  Cattle  without water (4)
{NEAT} – double definition – an old word for cattle and how you might take your scotch.

10a  One employed to protect rhinos, say, prepared study about conflict (4,6)
{GAME WARDEN} – an adjective meaning prepared or ‘up for it’ and a study contain military conflict.

11a  Entertainer to steal article during part of play (7)
{ACROBAT} – a verb to steal and an indefinite article go inside a section of a play.

13a  Fabric brought out of Welsh river with corroded backing (7)
{TAFFETA} – start with the river that flows through Cardiff then reverse (backing) a verb meaning corroded or destroyed.

14a  Elected oddball, dressed for the part (2,9)
{IN CHARACTER} – a charade of an adverb meaning elected and an oddball or eccentric person.

18a  Supporter comes after to provide food (grub) (11)
{CATERPILLAR} – part of the supporting structure of a building comes after a verb to lay on food.

21a  Count gold eccentric, about 50, brought over (7)
{DRACULA} – put together the chemical symbol for gold and an eccentric or comical person, then insert the Roman numeral for fifty. Finally, turn it all around (brought over).

22a  Clown to run backwards on jetty (7)
{PIERROT} – TO (from the clue) and the abbreviation for a run in cricket are reversed (backwards) and appended to a jetty or quay.

23a  Family shield chosen – cute, when redesigned (10)
{ESCUTCHEON} – an anagram (when redesigned) of CHOSEN CUTE.

24a  Endless industrial action in Scandinavian port (4)
{OSLO} – a type of industrial action (2-4) which is less drastic than a walkout loses a letter at either end.

25a  Former US president meeting forest officer, backwoodsman (10)
{BUSHRANGER} – this is a US term for someone living far from civilisation. It’s a charade of a recent US president and a forest or park officer.

26a  Some fellas I fancy? I very much doubt it! (2,2)
{AS IF} – hidden (some) in the clue.

Down Clues

1d  Chap almost challenging high-ranking bureaucrat (8)
{MANDARIN} – a charade of a male person and a present participle meaning challenging or goading without its final letter.

2d  Plant fake diamond (8)
{SHAMROCK} – an adjective meaning fake or false followed by a slang word for a diamond.

4d  Painting style round area (2,3)
{OP ART} – the letter that’s round followed by an area or locality.

5d  One watching a game could make a protest about clubs (9)
{SPECTATOR} – an anagram (could make) of A PROTEST contains the abbreviation for clubs.

6d  Strange formality in gym gets to delay things (4,3,4)
{PLAY FOR TIME} – an anagram (strange) of FORMALITY goes inside the abbreviation for gym.

7d  Article attracted prince (6)
{ANDREW} – the indefinite article and a verb meaning attracted or lured.

8d  Language used in spacecraft on gantry (6)
{TONGAN} – hidden (used) in the clue.

12d  Bureaucrat in bar started to lose heart earlier (4,7)
{BEAN COUNTER} – this is an informal term for a bureaucrat, especially one whose only interest is the bottom line. A bar (in a pub or shop) is preceded (earlier) by a verb meaning started without its central letter.

15d  Briefly lost Asian ruler in Russian city (9)
{ASTRAKHAN} – start with an adverb meaning lost or off course without its final Y (briefly) and add a word for a chief or ruler in Central Asia.

16d  Flag sellers? (8)
{FLORISTS} – … flag here being a plant of the iris family.

17d  Cancel immediately, say (5,3)
{WRITE OFF} – a phrasal verb meaning to cancel (a bad debt, for example) sounds like (say) a phrase meaning without delay.

19d  Braved unexpectedly and unwisely, for example (6)
{ADVERB} – an anagram (unexpectedly) of BRAVED.

20d  Spoil copper’s boy (6)
{MARCUS} – string together a verb to spoil or blemish, the chemical symbol for copper and the ‘S.

22d  Examine dressing gown straight after end of sleep (5)
{PROBE} – a dressing gown comes straight after the end letter of (slee)P.

The clue that I liked best today was 16d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {LASSIE} + {CHEWED} = {LASSITUDE}

127 comments on “DT 27386

  1. Morning gazza, is it me then???? I found this one difficult at least three star for me, I needed lots of electronic help and the blog to finish off 12d, I’ve never heard of that before, I’ll just have to blame it on the antibiotics making me feel even worse!!! Thanks to Dave for supplying the puzzle too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Oh dear – poor you still feeling poorly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gifI don’t think the antibiotics are making you feel grotty – it’s the other way round – you’re on them because you’re not very well.
      Do hope that you feel better soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifThe clocks go forward in ten weeks if that cheers you up at all.

    2. It may take a day or two for the antibiotics to kick in Mary, then I’m sure you’ll start feeling better. I expect what you really need is some nice sunny warm weather. I think that would suit most of us in this country, don’t you? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  2. 2.5*/2* rating.

    I made life difficult for myself by making two wrong assumptions early on. Firstly, I thought 6d might be “Pray For Rain”, but fortunately I got 18a and 22a reasonably soon which scuppered this theory quite quickly and led me to the right sort of delay.

    Secondly, I felt sure 2d must end in either “D” or “ICE”, the latter being “confirmed” when I got a C as the penultimate checking letter. This became my last one in as I struggled for a long while trying to think of a word for “fake” constructed from S*A*R before the penny finally dropped.

    Even though the answer for 12d was clear I needed the review to understand the wordplay for the first word. D’oh!

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

  3. Having downloaded Dec 2’s crossword at midnight and been offered it again this morning, I had a late start courtesy of Big Dave’s reply to Spindrift’s well justified rant! Had I not screwed up 3a, I would have been left with 12d (my last in) much sooner. As it was 2*/3* difficulty, 3* enjoyment for me. Thanks to compiler and Gazza, without whom 12d would have defeated me.
    Am I alone in thinking that heads should now be rolling in the IT department? Could they escape from a wet paper bag on a rainy day?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    1. As an I.T. pro of more than thiry years, I am qualified to answer your question “Could they escape from a wet paper bag on a rainy day?”.

      Short Answer: No.

      Long Answer: F**k No!

      (With thanks to Stephen Fry :-) )

    2. Surely no “professional” i.t. department could be this incompetent. Like someone has already said, they could have re-written the whole thing from scratch in the time they have been off air. I’m beginning to suspect that there is something else going on there and wonder if they actually intend ever coming back on-line at all.

    3. Got the wrong puzzle yesterday ,and at 5 pm today got a blank page and they had the gall to take my subscription off my bank account in December .Really , really p****d off by them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    4. Yes it is quite unbelievable. The website even says 3 December update at the moment!

      There has been no sensible reason given for the extended delay. The 2months rebate they are giving is laughable.

      Although I have had limited time recently to solve the puzzles the blog and all the comments always make interesting reading.

  4. With reference to 12d. How many beans make five?

    I have.
    One bean,
    Two beans,
    A bean and a half,
    And half a bean

    Ta to all concerned.

        1. Get Crypicsue’s answer in a spreadsheet Steve. It makes five. That one over there makes six, Surely?

  5. Fun, fun, fun. Really enjoyed this one which required a bit of brain use and a fair bit of lateral(ish) thinking on my part. I thought 19D was excellent and was my fave rave of the day – if this one hadn’t been there, it would have been 15D – not a word I’ve often seen in crosswords.

  6. Did quite enjoy the puzzle, like Rabbit Dave needed Gazza to explain the wordplay for 12d -it was the bar bit which never occurred, strange when I stand at one quite frequently-oh and 21a was an obvious answer but a somewhat overcomplicated clue-reversals are usually reserved for the Toughie ,good job I’m a chemist! Going for a 2.5*/ 3*.

    1. The anagram indicator is unexpectedly , unwisely is an example of the answer (as is unexpectedly of course)

  7. Well, Gazza, you are making a few of us here feel a bit inadequate with your rating. Certainly in my case – ***/***. I thought it was going to be a walk in the park until I hit some of the more testing clues.
    Had to visit Google for that Russian city. (Err, never heard of that one before). Never heard of Cattle referred to as 9a either. I guess I am just displaying my own ignorance. Best keep quiet. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the hints which were needed in a few cases today. btw, anyone else see a certain similarity between Count Andrew and Prince….?

    1. Keep the cattle word in your head McMillibar, it only comes up in crosswordland though it does so regularly

    2. hello McMillibar. There a lot of words only ever used in crosswordland. Neat is todays such word. Iceni was yesterday’s. Tomorrow we could get Badinage. it helps if you remember them for next time.

    3. I didn’t intend to make anyone feel inadequate – sometimes you get a puzzle which is pretty much a ‘read the clue and write in the answer’. This one was easier for me than yesterday’s Rufus.

      You may not have heard of the city in 15d but you’ve probably heard of the material named after it.

      1. No problem. It’s good to know that I have a long way to go in this pass-time – part of the challenge is to get better at this. I want to be one of those characters who complete the thing in the time it takes to boil an egg. Now it’s off to Googleland for me to find out what material you which you refer – it wouldn’t be that stuff you play footie on in the winter?

        Ah! Just researched it and I had not heard of that either. Poor lambs. Thanks for that.. another thing learned.

        The man reason I want to become much quicker is because my wife would have far less justification for the disdain and irritation (that she does well to hide – but it’s there) she feels for me ‘wasting’ my time rather than fixing/cleaning/tidiying and thinking about the real issues of life – a view I cannot really counter!

        1. I know the problem well.

          You can tell your wife what I tell mine, that you are doing the best you can to stave off dementia for as long as possible!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          1. You’ve just read that bit on page 3 of the paper about doing a daily puzzle keeping your brain sharp for years to come. It apparently helps 80 year olds retain the brain power of 70 year olds. What it does for those of us younger than that, only time will tell. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          2. He he, Been there. She’s read the inconclusive research out to me, so that won’t wash. Any other ideas? There is always divorce… Hmm, might be nice.

            1. I am very selective in my beliefs about “research”. I am absolutely certain that research must be correct which shows, for example, that drinking moderate amounts of red wine is good for you. Equally I don’t believe research which says that drinking moderate amounts of red wine is bad for you.


                1. Me too! Perhaps the IT department have been busy fixing the sudoku on the ipad. Even then they’ve only done half a job.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

                  1. Me too & the dementia one. But I can get away with it as my husband spends as much time on sudokus & chess online.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        2. You really need to find your wife far more things to do, then she will be busy for disdain. Getting better at The Daily Cryptic will not save you time, it will lead you happily into Toughieland. Then you will get nothing done and be a far happier chappie – just like me! In order to complete these in the time it takes to boil an egg – you may need an Ostrich egg or learn to like your eggs very very hard boiled.

          1. You don’t paint a very encouraging picture. Maybe it’s like being a true alcoholic – the only answer is total abstention. Bye then!… no, only kidding.

    4. Don’t feel inadequate – just remember that it’s all to do with wave lengths. Sometimes you’re on the right one, sometimes you’re not and sometimes there’s no reception at all.

  8. Had to take my daughter to the airport at 6am this morning so I am actually more in your time zone today! Enjoyed the puzzle. Thought 19d was very clever and felt there was a little mini-theme of clowns and eccentrics :)
    Thanks to Gazza for the review and to the setter.

  9. I’m with skempie on this one. I enjoyed it very much. I started off thinking it was going to be a real little piglet but changed my mind quite quickly – I often change my mind but usually it’s the other way round.
    I agree with gazza’s rating for difficulty but would give it more for enjoyment – at least 3*. I also agree that there are a few “old friends”.
    My last answer was 23a. I have heard it before, probably in a crossword, but it’s hardly the kind of word that crops up very often in everyday conversation.
    I needed the hint to explain 24a – rather stupidly I couldn’t get beyond thinking of a strike which didn’t help at all – although I got the answer I just couldn’t see why.
    I spent far too long trying to make 3a into a particular kind of fern.
    I thought there were some good clues – 22a and 15 and 20d and, my favourite, 19d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.

    1. Re your ..”some kind of fern” – I constantly get in trouble trying to drill down too deeply with clues.

    2. “a real little piglet” – I think that piglets are rather nice (especially with apple sauce). :D

  10. I didn’t struggle too much today although last one in was 15d as I tried initially to fit in ‘agha’ until the penny dropped. Having worked in local government, I was used to the 12d insult! Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. Now that looks silly doesn’t it. This was a reply to a comment that seems to have disappeared so there I am, all on my own, giggling like a loopy! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        I’ll join you. You’ve given me a good laugh even though I don’t know what tickled you.

        1. Thanks RD – now I don’t feel quite so silly.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
          Someone – I think it was Steve_the_beard – replied to McMillibar and asked him if he really meant to say that the “man” reason he wanted to get better at crosswords was so that he could justify the time he spent on them to Mrs McM.

      2. One of the failings of this blog is that one can post a comment, then receive replies, and then delete the original comment (within 15 minutes) … leaving the replies stranded!

        Kath, I deleted it because I thought it somewhat juvenile … as are most of my comments!

        Original Comment from McMillibar:

        The man reason I want to become much quicker is because my wife would have far less justification for the disdain and irritation (that she does well to hide – but it’s there) she feels for me ‘wasting’ my time rather than fixing/cleaning/tidiying and thinking about the real issues of life – a view I cannot really counter!

        My reply: Something like “Do you mean the “Man reason …” or the “Main reason….” both fit!


        1. As was fairly obvious I didn’t think it was juvenile at all – I loved it!
          Far be it from me to say that this blog has any failings at all but, if it has, another one is that there are no faces to put to names so I get people mixed up – I always mix up you and Steve_the_beard in my head.

          1. I have a face Kath. I just followed the advice in FAQ about setting ones own avatar. I have also been a pair of boots, a lawn tractor, a pair of socks and absolutely covered in mud. I am thinking of being a plate of shellfish next but will stay as me for the time being. I do think Gazza the Black Labrador is very clever, not many black labs blog crosswords

            1. Yes – you do have a face but you’re one of the few who does. I’ve never dared to even look at the instructions for setting a new avatar – I’m really not clever enough to do that – but, if I could, I would put a photo of our collie who is quite smart enough to do crosswords, probably more quickly than I can.

              1. Kath, you will have seen ‘Jumpy’ the collie on You Tube? Apparently he does the ‘Listener’ cryptic.

        2. I used to have the comment deletion set so that comments went into moderation first. I was the only one who received an email to tell me it had happened, but the email failed to identify which comment. Other bloggers used to kindly set them back to approved and I had no way of knowing which of several comments had been deleted. I changed it to straight delete several weeks ago. It would help if you refreshed the screen before deleting a comment.

          1. I’ve only tried to edit or delete (can’t remember which or why) a comment once and I ended up in such a pickle that I’ve never dared to try it again.

          2. Why not restrict any replies until the original comment has been set in stone? 2-3 minutes perhaps?

  11. This seemed hard to start with, but with a bit of help with one or two from Gazza, we managed to finish quite quickly. Perhaps those gentlemen whose wives think they are wasting time doing crosswords, should do them together. We find that two brains are definitely better than one when it comes to crosswords. Thank you Gazza, & to the setter.

    1. Oh, how I have tried! Just not her thing. Opposites attract, I guess. Celebrate the differences etc..

    2. Mrs RD likes General Knowledge crosswords (which she sometimes asks me to help with) but, in her words, she just can’t see any point in cryptic crosswords at all. Vive la difference!

    1. Could you log in? I’ve just tried and been told that my password has expired (that’s never happened before). They’ve just emailed me a temporary password so I’ll see if that works.

      1. Same problem here. I got in with the temp password and then changed it back to my old one. Seems to work OK.

      2. The archive isn’t working properly. If you search for puzzle 24996 you get it but if you search on the date it comes up with no results found. I suppose they’ll get it right in another couple of months!

        1. There used to be a time that you tested every single aspect of a system before releasing it for use. You’d even run the system in tandem with a back up just in case the things went t#ts up. Seems that level of discipline no longer applies.

          I’ll keep the bunting in the shed for the time being before unfurling it & start to dance in the streets..

      3. Similar problem but the system just rejected email and or password. Tried to get new password but no email arrived. Rang DT and was told someone would look into it and get back to me in due course but no promises as to when!

        1. Just discovered that DT have not taken the subscription for since 2009!!!!! Four years for free, RESULT

    2. And, it looks more or less the same as the old one (not that I have been able to log in yet) – maybe, they eventually found a copy of the old version and just reloaded that!

  12. I don’t know about being put in the wrong envelope, perhaps this one should not have been put in any envelope (Joke)
    Very strong sense of deja vu! with many answers.
    Still, it’s a good thing to be reminded now and again.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

    1. My sincere apologies – for some inexplicable reason when I printed off from the substitute site what I thought to be todays crossword, it was 237350, the one on Mon 2/12/2013.
      I didn’t check the crossword number.
      No wonder it seemed familiar.
      What the Hell is going on with this Telegraph Puzzle site.
      It’s beyond a joke.
      I will now try and do 27386.
      My apologies again for not checking but the DT has a lot to answer for!

  13. Super puzzle – I really enjoyed it. ***/****. Too many excellent clues to single out any individual one(s) and thankfully only a small number of anagrams. Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza for help on 9a. According to Telegraph Science Correspondent and the US study, BD and colleagues are obviously doing us all a great service by helping to preserve our “cognitive function” – long may it continue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Your comment needed moderation because you entered your alias in the singular. I’ve added the S for you.

  14. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this, but found it very tricky. I put sparkler for 2d, so that didn’t help. Tippexed it out quite quickly. Needed the hints to finish, never heard of 15d, thought 23a was only ironmongery, couldn’t get 17d, and kept thinking 2d ended in ice. Not my day. Favourite was 18a. Was 3*/3* for me. Back to the Squash Tournament later.

    1. I don’t use Tipex any more. It used to be a favourite but then I made a mistake when doing a puzzle on the i-Pad – its never been the same since.

  15. At least a three star for me, very tricky indeed. Don’t get 10a, surely the den is after the war not about it it, never heard of a 23a, 1a, 2d, 15d and 19d all beat me completely! Still don’t understand 19d even with the hints, I can see it’s an anagram but what has it to do with unwisely? Didn’t find today’s effort much fun at all.
    Thx to Gazza for the hints.

    1. Just reD the explanation above about 19d, didn’t realise that unwisely was an adverb but then grammar never was my strong point (as my Latin teacher was fond of telling me!). I wouldn’t know an adverb from a proverb :-)

  16. I started this puzzle sitting by the beach in the sunshine at Lyme Regis. I am a great believer in vigorous outdoor activities. I was tickled by 19d. 26a appeared recently in the guise of a Pakistani cricketer.

  17. Thank you setter. Difficult for me, but got there in the end with some decoding from Gazza at 21a, 12d and 15d. Had the answers but ” a bit tired” after the evening in M/cr at the Ballet + dinner and refreshments. New words as well at 22a and 28a so a lot of help needed from dictionaries etc. Remembered 9a fortunately and am ready for badinage tomorrow Miffypops. Thanks Gazza for your helpful review and hints.

  18. Yeeees the site is up and running again, no apology posted though!! Lets hope it last until tomorrow at least http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. I, among others have tried to access the site only for the perishing thing to tell us it no longer recognises passwords & logins.

      I’ll allow myself a silly face for once.


      1. I had the same thing just now, Spindrift. I was on the point of sending an email when a new password from the Telegraph arrived in my inbox. Check your emails and see if the same has happened for you. I found the site very slow — probably being bombarded by us!

    2. Does that mean I have to buy the paper tomorrow?

      I, a non-subscriber, have enjoyed the last few months – free DT Crosswords!

      Why on earth didn’t they ask for a password before giving access to their puzzles?

    3. I’ve just managed to log on to the site but apparently my subscription has been cancelled. I can still, however, access the puzzles!!

  19. Nada! Zip! Zilch! All I got was an automatic reply :

    “Thank you for your email to the Telegraph. We will be in contact with you as soon as possible.”

    This really is taking the p#ss!

    1. I’ve just filled in one of the prize puzzles, but when I try to submit it the little clock whizzes around for ages and then I get “An error occurred when trying to save your puzzle”. We used to get this type of error on ‘submit’ a couple of years ago, so it looks as though we’ve actually regressed.

      1. Excuse me while I stand in the corner of the room and slowly shake my head! I know when I’m beaten but I’m buggered if I’ll give up without a fight!

        How do they have the audacity to release something to a wide spectrum of users when the bloody thing is not fit for purpose??

        I started with a rant this morning and now it looks like I’ll close on one too!

  20. Hi Spindrift, Just been onto the Puzzles website and found this under FAQ. Don’t know if it’s any help to you, but here are the contact phone numbers. Good luck!

    0800 316 6977

    ‘ (If for any reason you can’t use the 0800 number, please call 01622 335030. This will be charged at normal rates) ‘

    1. I seem to be able to get onto the site with the temp password but it is just telling me I have been blocked or my subscription cancelled – I was told they had extended it by two months.
      I have emailed them, but will have to wait and see. I suppose I will be puzzle-less tomorrow if they don’t get themselves straight.

  21. Hi there,
    I’m a regular to the site (which I love, thank you) but have never posted before.
    Please help with 4d! I’m not sure I’ve got 10a right so that may not be helping.
    I particularly liked 2d. Clever, succinct and suitably baffling!

    1. Welcome to the blog KEwing. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope you’ll be a regular contributor.
      The answers are hidden between the brackets under the clues – you need to highlight what’s in the gap to reveal. In case you can’t do that the answer to 4d is OP ART. O (round, i.e. round letter) + PART (area, as in ‘Which part of the country do you come from?’)

    2. Hi KEwing, Look forward to seeing you regularly on one or the planet’s most absorbing blogs (if you like cryptic crosswords).
      I got a bit stuck with 4d as well. Never heard of that genre. I got stuck on a few others too. There is always assistance at varying levels here though.

  22. Very late on parade , today. I thought it was a lovely little puzzle and far gentler than yesterdays.Now that I’ve read the blog, I’ll go and try the infamous site. Thanks Gazza and setter.
    No ! Still down. Words fail me.

  23. I enjoyed this a lot, and my only disappointment was that it didn’t take longer (except, strangely, for 18d – the last one in, and took me a bit of pondering, though I then kicked myself.) 15d for some weird reason wrote itself, just from its initial letter. No idea why. (As Kath said earlier, it’s about wavelengths. I expect tomorrow’s will be universally found easy-peasy, and I’ll be struggling…)
    There were some nicely humorous touches today, I thought. I liked 6d, 8d, 12d, 20d, 3a, and 24a.
    Not being an old hand at this, 9a was a new word to me, as a term for cattle. (Is it ever used?)
    Many thanks to Gazza for the review, and to Mr Ron (if it be he) for the puzzle itself.

  24. The Telegraph site appears to be up and running again but for some reason it won’t let me log on anymore. SIGH. Can anyone send me today’s crosswords?


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