DT 27496

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27496

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

For me this was not too difficult and not particularly enjoyable.

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    Share the cost of a trip to Amsterdam? (2,5)
{GO DUTCH} – this could indicate a trip to Amsterdam

5a    Friendly or dreadfully cold air (7)
{CORDIAL} – an anagram (dreadfully) of COLD AIR

9a    Deadly game as routine result is brought about (7,8)
{RUSSIAN ROULETTE} – an anagram (brought about) of AS ROUTINE RESULT

10a    Return of jackal/fox hybrid prompts criticism (4)
{FLAK} – hidden (of) and reversed (return) inside the clue

11a    Decrepit old car found in packing-case (5)
{CRATE} – double definition

12a    Dissident with a saint’s heart providing accommodation for conservationists (4)
{ANTI} – the A from the clue and the middle letter (heart) of [sa]I[nt] around (providing accommodation for) the usual conservationists

15a    Turned out detective’s all over the place, wasting time and energy (7)
{EVICTED} – an anagram (all over the place) of DE[TE]CTIVE after dropping (wasting) T(ime) and E(nergy)

16a    Camera movement hurt sense of style (7)
{PANACHE} – a camera movement about an axis while taking a picture followed by a hurt or pain

17a    Fan loves Northern comic (7)
{BUFFOON} – a fan or enthusiast followed by two of the zero tennis scores and N(orthern)

19a    Rude about bishop getting ordained finally? It’s far from clear (7)
{BLURRED} – an adjective meaning rude, particularly when related to movies, around the usual abbreviated form of address for a bishop and followed by the final letter of [ordaine]D

21a    Roguish and dry but not quiet (4)
{ARCH} – drop the musical notation for quiet from a verb meaning to dry

22a    Issue makes one meditate moodily (5)
{BROOD} – two definitions – issue or offspring and a verb meaning to meditate moodily

23a    Pole lacking in energy to make side (4)
{TEAM} – drop the S (South pole) from some energy

26a    Mate or sailor welcoming kinky goings-on with physical presence (6-3-6)
{BRICKS-AND-MORTAR} – a mate or pal, OR and a three-letter word for a sailor around the abbreviated form of some kinky goings-on (1,3,1)

27a    He sang jazzily — a god (7)
{GANESHA} – an anagram (jazzily) of HE SANG followed by the A from the clue gives an alternate spelling of the elephant-headed Hindu god of wisdom and success

28a    Spooner’s cherished vessel said to be square one (4,3)
{YEAR DOT} – start with an adjective meaning cherished and what sounds like a sailing vessel then exchange (Spooner style) the initial letters of each word – yet another so-called Spoonerism that fails to change my opinion of their use in crosswords

Down

1d    One with a lot of neck in blunder involving taxman (7)
{GIRAFFE} – this creature with a long neck is derived by putting a blunder around (involving) the former taxman – when will setters realise that HMRC took over the role of the taxman in April 2005

2d    Regret James turning up second at one’s party (15)
{DISSATISFACTION} – the first name of the much-loved Mr James of Carry On fame is reversed (turning up in a down clue) and followed by S(econd), AT, I (one), the S from ‘S and a party or group

3d    Get  stick (4)
{TWIG} – two definitions – to get or catch on and a small stick

4d    German dog, setter perhaps, found in local district (7)
{HUNDRED} – the German for dog followed by a breed of (perhaps) setter

5d    Yield to pressure to show revealing garment (4,3)
{CROP TOP} – a yield or harvest followed by TO and P(ressure)

6d    Anger about embracing the Italian (4)
{RILE} – the two-letter word for about around (embracing) the Italian definite article

7d    Acknowledgement of mistake given doctrines traced incorrectly (1,5,9)
{I STAND CORRECTED} – an anagram (incorrectly) of DOCTRINES TRACED

8d    Dregs I would start to empty in sheltered spot (3,4)
{LEE SIDE} – some dregs followed by the abbreviated form of I would and the initial letter (start) to E[mpty]

13d    Fit of temper that provides an edge? (5)
{STROP} – two definitions – the second being a piece of leather used for sharpening, or putting an edge on, razors

14d    Finish pointless parody (3,2)
{END UP} – drop a compass point from a parody (4,2)

17d    Go on and on about cover of bulky cushion for lounging on (4,3)
{BEAN BAG} – a phrase that means to go on and on (2,1,3) around the initial letter (cover) of B[ulky] – I thought this was a bit contrived

18d    New rule stopping terrible fellow attaining a blissful state (7)
{NIRVANA} – N(ew) followed by the terrible Russian tsar around R(ule) and finally the A from the clue

19d    Punch cutting? Cut probably occurred before this (4-3)
{BLOW-DRY} – a punch followed by an adjective meaning cutting or ironic

20d    Weary about accepting the writer may be failing (7)
{DEMERIT} – an adjective meaning weary reversed (about) around (accepting) the first person singular objective pronoun (the writer)

24d    Downhill runners? (4)
{SKIS} – a not-very-cryptic definition of long narrow runners fastened to the foot to enable the wearer to slide downhill on snow

25d    Articulate IT worker forming conclusion (4)
{CODA} – sounds like (articulate) an IT worker

Well, what did you think?


The Quick crossword pun: (bay} + {con} + {czar} + {knees} = {bacon sarnies}


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75 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Fairly average crossword – the top half wrote itself in as I went along and the bottom half took a bit longer to fill in. Thanks to the Mysteron and BD.

    Just to make Kath jealous (again) – off to Canterbury shortly for early lunch followed by a matinee performance of Vincent and Flavia’s new dance show.

    • Kath
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Lucky old you – have fun and let me know what it was like. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        I’ll email you when I have more time but would sum it up as ‘superb’ ‘brilliant’ ‘stunning’ and so on. Well worth going to see.

        • Kath
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          I look forward to hearing about it in detail whenever you have the time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  2. MikeT
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I think I spent longer trying to work out the wordplay for some of these clues, than I did in actually coming up with the answers. I couldn’t wait to see BD’s explanation for 17D – as I was at a complete loss to justify this one. The Spoonerism in 28A threw me for a while, as I took the vessel to be a pot. Good fun though and thanks to setter and BD for the review.

    • Jezza
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      28a – Me too for a while! However PEAR DOT didn’t make any sense :)

      • MikeT
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        It didn’t to me either and it was only when I solved 19D, that I twigged about Rev. Spooner’s yacht!

  3. Miffypops
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Not at all challenging. 20d the last one in due to my missing the reverse indicator (about). Lunch at The Quarterdeck Restaurant at The Nare Head Hotel today. Seafood here I come.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    2.5*/3* for me today. I found this an interesting mixture of different types of clue of very different difficulty. On my first pass I had completed half the puzzle on course for 1* time, but the remainder took me much longer.

    12a was my last one in because it took me a while to twig that we were looking for a two letter heart from a saint and not the middle letter of saint.

    As a lover of Spoonerisms, 28a was my favourite.

    Is the setter a time traveller? It must be about ten years since the UK taxman was referred to by the two letters needed to solve 1d!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron (or was it Dr Who?) and to BD.

    P.S. I see BD has confirmed it was in 2005 when the Inland Revenue ceased to exist

    • Werm
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I just see 12a as A from the clue plus saint’s heart around the usual conservationists, same difference I guess. Thanks to the setter and BD for the write up. Last one in 25D. Favourite clue 2D as anything that reminds me of Sid James brings a wide smile to my face .

      • Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        I like your parsing of 12a better than mine and have changed the hint.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      12a – I agree with Werm … sa(i)nt’s heart …

  5. Beaver
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Agree with Crypticsue and Mike T, top half *,bottom half ***,and the same wordplay problems with 17d-thanks BD – and for 25d explanation, which clue was a bit like a Christmas cracker joke ,quite liked the spoonerism for a change. .So ended up with a **/*** .Raining in Cheshire!.

  6. Expat Chris
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Steady solve, but agree it was a bit flat. For once, the spoonerism made me chuckle. thanks to the setter and to BD for the review.

  7. Collywobbles
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Funnily enough I’m finding parts of this puzzle entertaining and parts infuriating and difficult so I’m grateful for BDs’ hints. It’s raining in the Languedoc, we might as well be in Blighty

    Hold the page – Il fait du soleil

    • Bluebird
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Alors, il pleut ici aussi!

      What a shocking sentence to pronounce…… Can it be correct?

      • Kath
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Try il pleut buckets ici aussi – I get the feeling that all us gardeners are a bit cooped up today! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Merusa
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          I can’t say it in French, but please send rain here, we are so dry. It doesn’t matter how often I water my garden, it’s not the same as good old rain.

          • Una
            Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            If only I had that magic wand to send you most of our rain !

      • Collywobbles
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Je pense qu’il est

    • Framboise
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Temps gris ici aussi à Hyères…

  8. Wayne
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Needed the hint to explain the answer to 26a. ‘S and M’ is new to me hence I couldn’t parse my answer. Didn’t enjoy this offering very much, but that’s just my opinion. However, thought the Quickie pun was excellent .
    Thanx to the Compiler and BD for the review/hints. ***/*

  9. Kath
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to be difficult here but I disagree with all of you. I found this very tricky (4*) and very enjoyable (also 4*).
    It’s taken me about twice as long as usual and I almost gave up with my last few – 28a and 19 and 25d – but “perservated” and finished eventually.
    I also needed the hint to explain 17d.
    I normally like Spoonerisms but didn’t care much for this one as it only works when written rather than spoken – I thought the sounds were meant to be the same.
    I got into a muddle with 4d – I saw the “hun” as the German which left me with a spare D in the middle. Oh dear!
    I liked 17 and 22a and 3 and 13d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to the setter and BD.
    Absolutely pouring in Oxford – off to play in the greenhouse.

    • SheilaP
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I’m in agreement with you, Kath. We found the bottom half very tricky, and even now with the hints, I’m not quite sure that we have the correct answers for one or two. I usually like answers with two or more words, but even these were a bit difficult today. Never mind, roll on tomorrow. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Heno
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Depends how you pronounce yot :-)

    • Bluebird
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      As opposed to gardening under cover, I have decided to go and get some chicken**** and seaweed.

      And drive it all the way back in the car…….ahem!

      Still, the ground which has been a bit hard and dry, should benefit from that and the weather. Hurrah!

    • Framboise
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I found this very tricky too and I would give it a 4*/3*! Went along the same way as you did for 4d… Needed quite a few hints (merci to BD) and am still stuck on 26a. Bricks and mortar fits but I am finding it difficult to parse. Still working on this one. Many thanks to the setter. Eyes fine…

      • Framboise
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Think I have got it brick or tar but what is s and m? what has it got to do with physical presence. Help?

        • Physicist
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          The answer is the modern phrase for a real store as opposed to an on-line one. I’m not going to explain S&M on a family blog!

          • Framboise
            Posted May 22, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            Thanks! Did not the expression, neither did my English husband!

        • gazza
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          S&M is sado-masochism (kinky goings on) not to be confused with M&S (which is knickers and underpants).

          • Kath
            Posted May 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            That’s just complicating things!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Framboise
            Posted May 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            Thanks! My English husband has just told me that he knew what s and m meant… Did not think of asking him – he is normally my cricket specialist!

      • Kath
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Glad eyes are fine.
        26a A brick is a friend or mate – the middle bit is S and M (sadomasochism=kinky goings on) – then the “or” from the clue followed by one of the usual words for a sailor.

        • Framboise
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Kath! Still can’t believe I can bin all my old glasses and contact lenses paraphernalia.

          • Expat Chris
            Posted May 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            I had cataract surgery on both my eyes four years ago. Amazing, isn’t it? My distance vision is terrific, but I do wear specs for computer work (just a mild prescription) since I have slight astigmatism. I can live with that!

            • Merusa
              Posted May 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

              I also had cataract surgery. I opted for middle-distance vision, so computer, TV, etc., are fine, and I just need glasses for fine print and to tweak distance when driving. Isn’t it wonderful.

  10. Derek
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Fairly easy puzzle today.

    1a was first in for me as.I shall be in that city on Saturday at the Ciel Bleu restaurant atop the Japanese building to celebrate my daughter’s birthday anniversary. One gets a magnificent view of the city up there! (French restaurant!).

    Weather here in NL is still magnificent after the violent thunderstorm two nights ago. It was much worse in Belgium where a lot of damage resulted.

  11. BigBoab
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Very gentle indeed but unlike most I did enjoy this offering, thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. A G Brown
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Kath,s **** for difficulty , but did,nt get much enjoyment out of it hopefully tomorrow is another day

    • Brian
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree, very difficult and very little fun.

  13. Bob H
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Not having contributed for a while, I thought it about time I put in my pennyworth. Found this difficult in parts. 3* and needed clues for most of SE corner. Still not happy with 28. Could not think of a suitable synonym for “rude” Would never have thought of “dry” for “cutting” (19d) . Etc. Anyway thanks to BD.

  14. Bluebird
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Don’t think I’ve seen a 17d that huge BD!

    I enjoyed 19d and 28a.

    26a was great wasn’t it? Especially the mid section. How many of us wondered about kinky as an anagram indicator before getting into it?

    I’d give it a 3 for enjoyment.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I assume that’s why he’s called Big Dave!

  15. Brian
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Probably my poorest effort in a very long time. Thx to Bd for the ‘hints’ although I still couldn’t get at least 7 clues even from the hints. Could I make a plea to the ‘hinters’, we know they are double definitions but a bit of a hint would be most appreciated.
    Thx to all.

  16. Sweet William
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. Like others I found the top half quite friendly, but it took me ages to do the bottom half. I managed to finish it with 26a, 28a, and 23a all needing a BD explanation. I found 23a particularly infuriating spending hours trying to find a word for a pole and taking “e” out ! I had the answer, and when I read the explanation I was even more annoyed ! I suppose it is a clever clue ? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif I am afraid that as the hours went by the enjoyment level fell away proportionately. A sad reflection on my ability ! Thanks BD for the review and hints which I needed to explain my own answers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  17. Heno
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I agree with Kath, I found this very difficult, but enjoyable. Was 3*/4* for me. I didn’t twig 3d :-) Also beaten by 19d. Had never heard of 5d, but got it from the wordplay. Had never heard of 4d in that context. Needed Big Dave’s explanations to parse 26a,17,18&20d. Favourites were 26 & 28a & 13d. Very entertaining. Dismal weather in Central London. Looking forward to our Squash Finals in Finchley on Saturday.

  18. neveracrossword
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Not my cup of tea. 3*/2*.

  19. Kath
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Still chucking it down in Oxford – given up doing anything outside. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    What a good excuse for having a go at yesterday’s Toughie or/and today’s. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Expat Chris
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Try today’s first!

      • Kath
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        OK – thanks, but why?

      • Expat Chris
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Today’s Dada will give you a boost before you tackle yesterday’s Elkamere! Other’s found it OK but I gave up!!

  20. Merusa
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I also found this to be in two halves, the top half writing itself in and nothing below. I take issue with 2d being a synonym for regret … I know, I know, I know, before I get yelled at, I did look it up and it’s in the thesaurus as a synonym, nevertheless, I still don’t like it. Thanks to setter, I did finish eventually, and much thanks to BD for the explanation of why my answers were correct!

  21. Annidrum
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Well I finished it but very slowly and needed BD explanation for 26a but I have no idea why “hundred ” is a local district. Can anyone explain please?

    • Physicist
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      A hundred was a division of a county, originally supposed to contain 100 families, according to the BRB. The name survives in one of the ancient “offices of profit under the Crown”, the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, for which an MP who wishes to resign his seat can apply, thereby disqualifying him or herself from Parliament.

      • Annidrum
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Physicist.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. JB
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Today’s Toughie was a bit easier and a lot more fun. Like Big Dave I HATE spoonerisms!

  23. JonP
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Easy start – ran into trouble – bit of electronic help (which is roughly normal for me) and then completed it so would have to be ***/**. Thanks to setter and BD.

  24. Hrothgar
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this, and am finding it, incredibly hard in parts.
    Still two to go, I never, ever seek help!
    Am starting to get irritable.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

    • Sweet William
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Hrothgar, I actually got very cross !

      • Hrothgar
        Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        I’m swearing now with one to go!

        • Hrothgar
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    • Expat Chris
      Posted May 22, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      What is so bad about seeking a little help when you need it? No shame in admitting that the setter has beaten you. Happens to us all one time or another.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted May 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        I never do.
        It’s my Rule.
        I have a single figure backlog going back years still to complete with one clue.
        Nuts, I know.
        :)

  25. Carrie
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    A mixture of enjoyment and brain ache not helped by my tendency to jump to conclusions and end up with the wrong letters.

    The most difficult corner was SE.

    One day I’ll be independent and not have to rely so much on hints and tips although I like looking at them because they can make me chuckle

    Thank you setter and BD

  26. Chris
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the 3-4* difficulty people and only moderately enjoyable; thanks setter and BD although hints not needed today.
    At least the rain is helping the veg garden!

  27. Una
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I was having difficulty working the kinky goings-on but the comments above cleared that up. Initially, I thought it was going to be a write -in , (lovely) but as progressed down the puzzle , things got harder. The spoonerism escaped me (they usually do),and a few other clues required hints, thanks BD.I liked 16a,17a, and 19a amoung others.Thanks to the setter. Nobody seems to be guessing who !

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    A coupe of the pesky little four letter words were all that held us up, 12a and 25d. The rest all went in smoothly and we did enjoy the Spoonerism.
    Thanks Mr Ron (no idea who it might be) and BD.

  29. Salty Dog
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Like others, l found this rather a mixture. To generalise: the top half had me preparing to award a difficulty rating of less than 1*; the bottom half was well into 3* territory. 19a was my pick of the clues. Ta to Mr Ron, and to Big Dave for review and hints.

  30. Tstrummer
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Like others, for me the top half was a breeze, but the bottom was a really trying howling gale. Struggled over the line eventually, but had no idea why some of my answers were correct, so thanks BD for the explanations. I hate Spoonerisms, but liked this one when I finally twigged after solving 19d, which was my favourite clue, unlike 25d, which was poor. 3*/3*

  31. Angel
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to find this testing, to say the least, and not a lot of fun either. ****/**. Needed more hints than usual – thanks BD for those and a reserved appreciation for the setter! Making 11a a crock didn’t help matters and IMHO – 5d, 28a, and 20d are all rather dodgy clues. 13d reminded me nostalgically of my father’s razor blade sharpening ritual. Here’s to happier challenges ahead. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  32. tiernnm
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I’m only starting out but I think the setter’s got a sense of humour

  33. reggie
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Didn’t like this one top half too easy bottom almost impossible.Really stuck on 25d and that whole SE corner dubious I though. Raining here too comme un vache qui pis en francais!

    • gazza
      Posted May 23, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog reggie.

  34. Catnap
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this crossword. Some clues were much easier than others. I completed everything but needed the explanation for the wordplay of 26a. For once, I identified all the definitions correctly!

    Fave was 16a. Also enjoyed 28a — which took me ages to work out — and 25d.

    Thank you very much, setter, for the enjoyable puzzle. And thank you very much, too, Big Dave for the clarification.