DT 27425

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27425

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey drizzly morning, with a possibility of snow later if last night’s forecast is right.

A pangram from Giovanni this week, which I found testing but not as difficult as yesterday’s, though if I added in the time it took to parse 18d it would probably have gone into **** territory.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. References to ‘the usual’ are to expressions which appear on the Usual Suspects page.

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           Disadvantage footballer’s seen after 0-0 result? (8)
{ DRAWBACK } A football result of which 0-0 is an example, followed by a defender in a football team.

5a           Telephone line into lady’s private room? (6)
{ BLOWER } Old-fashioned slang for a telephone. Put Line inside a rather poetic word for a lady’s private retreat.

9a           Sickly stuff from Maureen and the girls (8)
{ MOLASSES } A diminutive form of Maureen followed by a general term for the girls.

10a         Fish — four caught, still breathing (6)
{ LIVING } One of the usual fish, with the Roman numeral for four inside it.

12a         Something rudimentary established by a new European (6)
{ GERMAN } A very simple form of life, or the beginning of an idea, followed by A (from the clue) and New.

13a         Senior women fussing no end, yes? (8)
{DOYENNES } Anagram (fussing) of NO END YES.

15a         Get hold of a lot of sheets of paper — about a hundred (7)
{ ACQUIRE } A (from the clue) and a term for 25 sheets of paper, wrapped around the Roman numeral for a hundred.

16a         Time for a certain revolution? Yes, right! (4)
{ YEAR } An archaic form of ‘yes’ followed by Right, giving the time it takes the Earth to revolve around the Sun.

20a         Jewish scribe of peculiar zeal, looking back (4)
{ EZRA } The author of an Old Testament book is hidden (of) in reverse (looking back) in the clue.

21a         Officer on board who may be using a rope? (7)
{ SKIPPER } The senior officer on a ship may also be someone exercising by jumping repeatedly over a rope.

25a         After short time is making a protest at the back? (8)
{ TRAILING } T (short time) followed by a word describing someone protesting at something.

26a         Loud old pop group associated with US city crime (6)
{ FELONY } Put together the musical symbol for ‘loud’, the band led by Jeff Lynne, and the initials of an American city.

28a         Maybe a feller who keeps a diary? (6)
{ LOGGER } Cryptic definition of someone who fells trees, or someone who maintains the record of events on a ship.

29a         Generate new sort of drink (5,3)
{ GREEN TEA } Anagram (new) of GENERATE.

30a         Very English army officer in the Home Counties, slim and attractive (6)
{ SVELTE } Put the abbreviations for Very, English, and an army officer inside the usual Home Counties.

31a         Given choice and was indebted (8)
{ BESTOWED } A word for ‘choice’ or ‘top quality’ followed by ‘was indebted’.

Down

1d           Cost is ridiculous, mounting up over time (6)
{ DAMAGE } An informal word for cost (as in “What’s the ——–?“) is made up of a word for ridiculous reversed (mounting up, in a Down clue) over a period of time.

2d           Attractiveness of short lane outside old city (6)
{ ALLURE } Remove the final Y from a word for a lane, and wrap it around the usual old city.

3d           Statesman’s terrible racism revealed within covers of book (8)
{ BISMARCK } Anagram (terrible) of RACISM inside the first and last letters (covers) of BooK.

4d           Revolutionary female worker in the kitchen (4)
{ CHEF } The usual revolutionary followed by Female.

6d           Wait as one bound by fate having hesitation (6)
{ LOITER } The Roman numeral for one inside a word for fate or destiny, followed by a verbal hesitation.

7d           First sign of winter and crossbred animals will make beastly noises (8)
{ WHINNIES } The first letter of Winter and the offspring of a stallion and a female ass.

8d           Record tigers being let loose on railway (8)
{ REGISTRY } Anagram (let loose) of TIGERS followed by an abbreviation for railway.

11d         Shameful bishop out of bed? In bed! (7)
{ CORRUPT } Put the abbreviation of a bishop’s title and a word for out of bed inside another word for bed. I’m not convinced that this word actually means ‘shameful’, and it’s not in my copy of Chambers nor in the OED.

14d         Getting rid of relations into the clutches of a psychologist (7)
{ JUNKING } Put a word for relations inside a famous psychologist (not Freud, the other one).

17d         Materials he removed from the discarded hats? (8)
{ TEXTILES } Remove HE from THE, then add a word for former or discarded and a slang word for hats.

18d         The first big character is one standing on two legs! (8)
{ TRIANGLE } The first letter of the alphabet, in its capital form (big character) is made up of one of these plus the two legs at the bottom. This one took me a long time to parse, though the answer was fairly obvious from the checking letters.

19d         Aggressive macho types given external check (8)
{ VEHEMENT } A verb for ‘check’ wrapped around an expression (2,3) describing macho chaps.

22d         Prince‘s warning about British (6)
{ ALBERT } Queen Victoria’s husband. British inside a word for a warning.

23d         King has old wife attached to rope in ceremony of abasement (6)
{ KOWTOW } The chess notation for King, followed by Old, Wife, and a rope used to pull something along.

24d         Spooner’s drunken group using mitts (2,4)
{ BY HAND } Take a four-letter word for drunk or drugged, and another four-letter word for a group, swap the first letters as Dr Spooner might have done, and you get something which sounds like the answer.

27d         Northern bank open to view — characters within it twisted! (4)
{ BRAE } Start with a word meaning uncovered or open to view, then swap the order of the two middle letters.


The Quick Crossword pun { CREW }{ ZING } = { CRUISING }

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77 Comments

  1. Wayne
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Snap!! I completed all others except 18d, took some time to parse but when achieved consider it to be a brilliant clue. Thanx to Compiler and to DT for the review. ++/++++ rating for me.

  2. Expat Chris
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Wow. This took ages because of the SW corner, but I finally got there without hints. 27D had me stumped for the longest time and I couldn’t parse 18D although the answer was, as you say, obvious. Loved 23D. Thanks to Giovanni for the workout and to you DT for the review.

    • Una
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Well done !

    • Merusa
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Very clever you, I had to give up on the bottom half, something I haven’t had to do for a long time!

  3. Roland
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Much the same for me. No problems until left with 18d and 27d. On reflection I should have got 27d as I know the word very well, and I knew what the answer had to be for 18d but I was nowhere near parsing it. Many thanks to setter and to DT for the review – and the explanation of 18d.

  4. Michael
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Far too difficult for me – looking forward to the normally easy one on a Saturday.

    You can’t win them all!

  5. Jezza
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Most of this went in fairly quickly, with 27d being my last to put in. 2*/4* for me.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat.

  6. Beaver
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Good Friday crossword around a ***/***,bet DT was one of the few to work out the wordplay in 18d,i certainly didn’t ,was thinking that if you put a triangle on its base, and the base was thick enough ,then it might stand up on two legs! I know, clutching at straws . Had a similar clue in yesterdays toughie,13a, Typical,again the last in ,where the answer was obvious but the wordplay avoided me-till I read the blog ;never mind, enjoyed the solve and it’s beer night again.

  7. Miffypops
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Like yesterdays a three rounder but without references to soap opera characters who have been dead for thirty years. The SW corner held me up. The realisation that it was a pangram helped with 17d. Lots of good clues. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Deep Threat particularly for the Madeleine Cave video. The little piggies arrive in the morning. have a good weekend folks. I will see you on Monday

  8. Collywobbles
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle although difficult in parts. Learnt two new words ‘Blower’ and ‘Hinny’ and I agree with your comments, DT, about 11d. I needed the hints for reference so thanks DT for them and to The Don for a fine puzzle. I think that I may have progresses to 3* and this was definitely a 3* puzzle for me

  9. Poppy
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Phew! I really struggled with this today, and for the first time for ages, had to actually look at some definitions as well as the hints. So feeling thoroughly chastened as though I’m suddenly going backwards. Admiring of the Setter’s work, even if left rather bewildered (still don’t understand 24d, even though it was one of the few I’d managed to fill in)… So thank you DT for protecting my sanity, and I’ll hope for brighter responses tomorrow. And at least I needed no help with 7d – one of my first in…. Youprobably won’t have a clue why! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif greetings to all, and a special spotted welcome to Miffypops’ new arrivals.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      A drunken group might be a high band…

      • Poppy
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Thank you both – at last I ‘geddit’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Aren’t “drunken group” and “high band” both tautological? At least they were in the 60s!

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Hello Poppy. I do not like the Dr Spooner clues at all. A drunken group may be a High Band

  10. skempie
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Not easy today, but that’s partly myfault for putting REGISTER down for 8D – must remember to read clue completely, hurrmph.
    18D was (as has been said) an obvious answer but really had to think very, very hard as to why it was what it was. Some extremely good clues again today (as always seems the way with The Don) and my favourite has to be 14D (mainly because the psychologist’s name slapped be right in the middle of the forehead).

    We’ve been threatened with snow today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  11. crypticsue
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Apart from the dreaded Spoonerism, this more or less wrote itself in as I went along as it seemed to include a lot of ‘stuff’ I’d met before. Perhaps I have been doing the DT backpager for too long. Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

    • Corky
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      My dear old mum used to spoonerise everything – even shopping lists. So, I’m usually ok with them.

      But I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t figure out 27d and I’m a Scot.

  12. Una
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I was defeated by the Don’s contribution today.Thanks Dt for all your help and to Giovanni.

  13. archy
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    We missed the pangram, as usual, but it was a nice puzzle. I do see what you mean about 18d though. I only spotted how it works because pommette had written down the checkers in quite large letters and there it was, a large A staring me in the face http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    Agree with CS that’s there’s a few chestnuts here but I don’t really mind. Nice to see old friends!

    **/*** from me. (and ***/**** for 18d).

    Thanks to the Don and DT

    • pommers
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh sod it! Damn thing defaults to archy if I’m not logged in http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        wotthehell. toujours gai

  14. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Phew again today for the second Toughie level back pager in a row http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    My rating is 4*/4* for this very enjoyable pangram which took me four separate sittings to finish. Like others, 18d and 27d were my last ones in.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT.

  15. Franco
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    18d was a bit tricky but I got there in the end … even though via the wrong route … I thought the Greek Alpha was “Δ” whereas it is Delta! Must brush up on my Greek alphabet!

    Thanks to Deep Threat & Giovanni

  16. SheilaP
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    We obviously haven’t been doing these crosswords long enough, because we found it really difficult today. In fact I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to find them anything like easy. The answer to 11d is in our Oxford dictionary as meaning shameful. Thank you to the setter, & even more thank yous to DT without whom I would have given up in disgust.ehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      I have been at these for about 60 years and I had to call pax. It’s all about wavelength, so don’t give up, another good one will soon come along.

      • Una
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Try the FT Mudd. Very pleasant but not hackneyed.

  17. Bluebird
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Well, it wasn’t easy, but it was certainly easier than the last two days.

    I didn’t know the ‘northern bank’ term, nor the slang for hats, the bishop one took me ages but got it w.o. help in the end which was good. It certainly doesn’t tally exactly with shameful, but then, that’s not new in crosswords is it? You have to swim about a bit, otherwise we would all be in dangerously still waters (I was going to say rigid waters, but that is a ridiculous metaphor)…..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • skempie
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Re 11D : if you type in ‘definition corrupt’ into Goggle, first thing you get is:

      corrupt
      kəˈrʌpt/Submit
      adjective
      1.
      having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.
      “unscrupulous logging companies assisted by corrupt officials”
      synonyms: dishonest, dishonourable, unscrupulous, unprincipled, amoral, untrustworthy, underhand, deceitful, double-dealing, disreputable, discreditable, shameful, scandalous; More
      antonyms: honest, law-abiding
      evil or morally depraved.
      “the old corrupt order”
      synonyms: sinful, ungodly, unholy, irreligious, unrighteous, profane, blasphemous, impious, impure; More
      antonyms: moral
      2.
      (of a text or a computer database or program) made unreliable by errors or alterations.
      “a progressively corrupt magnetic record is usable nonetheless”

  18. Bob H
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Too hard for me. That’s two in row. Needed lots of hints.

  19. Digby
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Entering COLONEL at 21a (Officer / on Cleudo board / with the rope / in the conservatory?) didn’t half make things difficult.
    Once that piece of misplaced brilliance got sorted out things fell into place quite nicely.
    Many thanks DT and the Don.

    • gazza
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Colonel – that’s brilliant and deserves to be correct.

  20. Sweet William
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DG – too much for me ! Did most of it, but have to pack up for departure tomorrow, so have gone for 3 hints to finish. Not too sure whether I could have finished without your help DT, so many thanks for the hints and review. Another lovely day up on NE coast..

    • Poppy
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I know you’ll have been mainly looking for feathered varieties, but any sightings of whales SW? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Sweet William
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Hi Poppy – no whales, but lots of seals. Particularly this afternoon, with the sea flat calm and the sun behind us, some lovely views. Several long tailed ducks, a few divers and a raft of about a thousand scoter. So close together they looked like an island !

        • Poppy
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          How lovely. I had one seal that followed me round part of the coastline of Fetlar (I’d gone to hunt for a snowy owl) because it was fascinated by the tiny scarlet being that was Poppy Mark 1 running around in a knitted red jumper (no, we don’t usually dress our dogs in coats, but it was bitterly cold, with no trees as windbreaks)! A lovely memory you’ve conjured up – thank you! Safe travelling to you both tomorrow.

  21. Merusa
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    That was way “beyond my pay grade”, per Brian. Speaking of whom, where is he? I would love to get his views on this one. I managed the top half (with difficulty), but missed at least half of the bottom and just couldn’t tease myself any longer, so I resorted to the hints. Forgot the other meaning for “hat” in 17d, it wasn’t that long ago we had it and I googled it. If my memory is now that short, no wonder I get stuck. Thanks to DT for the enlightenment and to setter for driving me crazy!

    • Poppy
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Merusa!

      • Kath
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Make that three.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • Una
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          Four.

          • Annidrum
            Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            Five

      • Kath
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Any more – let’s see if we can get up to ten!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • SheilaP
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Me too.

    • Kath
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      And yes – where is Brian?

  22. Kath
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m with those who found it tricky – nearly 4* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I got the answer for 18d but only because I couldn’t think of any other word that would fit – didn’t have a clue why. No trouble with 27d.
    I was very slow with the whole of the bottom left corner, and quite a few of the others too.
    As usual I missed the pangram – whenever I start to think it might be one and keep a look out it isn’t, and then when it is I don’t see it.
    I can’t choose between 7 and 14d as favourite today – I’ll carry on dithering.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    This has really not been my week for crosswords – I’ve had such trouble with the last three. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Kath
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      PS Am I the only one who likes ‘Spoonerismy’ clues?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        I spike Loonerisms too.

      • Miffypops
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Possibly – Yes!!

        • Poppy
          Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Mr P reminded me of the report on Ally McQuoist “passed the fit test”, except the Announcer got over excited and swapped the a and i round http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          • Merusa
            Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

            You made my day with that guffaw!

          • Kath
            Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            And the presenter who was so worried about his pronunciation of a composer that he managed that bit fine and screwed up the rest saying, “Here is a piece by Rimsky Korsakov called the Bum of the Flightle Bee”

            • Merusa
              Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

              Another good laugh … thanks!

    • Corky
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      I’ve already posted then I saw your question.

      I love Spoonerisms. I was brought up on them!

      But I’ve found the last three days very challenging.

      I’m just glad to know I’m not alone. The daily crossword challenge is my personal test that I’m holding out against the ageing process.

  23. Cornishpasty
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Quite the slog to finish one, including an early start last night. Needed the explanation for 18d. Took a while to figure out the tiles association for 17 down, then remembered the old song where did you get that hat. Always enjoyable when you get them finished, hard or not. Thanks.

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    The last two in for us, as with most others it seems, were 18d and 27d. We had spotted the pangram in time to be of assistance with 17d. An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  25. Annidrum
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Tough, tough ,tough. Thanks to DT for the hints.

  26. Brendan
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Found this very difficult and still can’t parse 18d even with the hints – more help required. Thanks.

    • skempie
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      If you take the first letter of the alphabet (a) and capitalise it (A)(ie make it big) then take away the two legs the bulk of the letter is standing on, you are left with a triangle wot is the answer

      • Brendan
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Got it. Many thanks Skempie – and to Giovanni and DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  27. Franny
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t do this at all today and needed the hints to finish more than half. I suppose this is what happens when you’ve been away for more than two months. I’m out of practice and hope to do better one of these days. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Kath
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Cheer up – two months is a long time. I’m quite capable of getting out of practice if I have a week or more away from them.

    • andy
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Franny as a back pager this was not an easy puzzle, glad to see you back here

    • Merusa
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      How are you feeling Franny?

      • Franny
        Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for asking, Merusa, I’m feeling a good deal better, but while I was in Australia I stupidly took a tumble in the street and cracked a bone in my arm, and that is a dashed nuisance! But I’m glad to be back home and dealing with the puzzles again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  28. Chris
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Well, after the last two days, this was make or break for the self confidence. I just got there in the end without the hints but only just. Many thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle (and to Deep Threat for explaining why my answer to 11d was right).

  29. Salty Dog
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Like so many others, l could see what 18d was but not how l should have got there! 27d held me up too, until it went in with a dull thud. I enjoyed the experience, though (thank you, Giovanni), and particularly liked 5a. Thanks too to Deep Threat for putting me out of my misery over 18d.

  30. Maggie
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Very tricky. Hoping for a nice easy one tomorrow. :)

  31. ruthie
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif Grrrrr! Good workout, but needed help!

    • Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ruthie

  32. Tstrummer
    Posted March 1, 2014 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Another snorter. I didn’t spot the pangram, which would have helped, and 7d took me as long as the rest of the puzzle put together. One or two good clues though – 15a, 26a and 19d stood out. Thanks to the Don for the brain game and to DT for explaining my answers to me. 4*/3* for me, because, again, I didn’t like the grid. Give me good long one around the outside every time (as the Buffalo Girls said to the bishop).

  33. Owdoo
    Posted March 1, 2014 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    For most of the afternoon I thought this one was going to break my streak of solutions without hints, but a late night second sitting did the trick. Like many others, the SW corner was the problem and 18d was last one in with a “doh” moment when the penny finally dropped. ****/*** for me today.
    Thanks setter and DT for the blog.

    My better half wants me to go with her to the Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens tomorrow so I must remember to print the Saturday puzzles off for the train journey.

  34. Angel
    Posted March 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t have time to attack this until late last night and thought this was going to be impossible because for long time I couldn’t even make a start and then, as is often the case, I did manage to get going and indeed to finish but not without a great deal of hassle. Can’t say it turned out to be much fun but was certainly a challenge. ****/**. Can’t understand why some people dislike certain grids – what difference do they make make to the solvability?

    • Heno
      Posted March 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Some grids have double unches, which I find more difficult. This grid didn’t but there weren’t many links between top and bottom halves.

      • Angel
        Posted March 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Aha gotcha – thank you for enlightening me! They do make the task more difficult but perhaps more satisfying to solve.

  35. Heno
    Posted March 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tough. Managed without the hints, but needed them to parse 18d. Had not heard of hinnie, but managed to solve 7d from the wordplay. Favourite was 17d. Was 3*/3* for me. Late commenting due to going to Newbury races yesterday. Found this easier than Thursday’s.

  36. Whybird
    Posted March 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was far too hard. I’ve not done so poorly for ages, and I couldn’t work out he answers even from the hints. And I didn’t feel stupid when I saw the answer. Out of my league, and not much fun at all. One of the worst Fridays I have seen for a while. No pleasure at all.

    • ruth
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      100 % in agreement. This crossword was obtuse and a bore.