DT 27542

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27542

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

There are some good misdirections here and I enjoyed this puzzle a fair bit more than I usually do on a Tuesday. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

You can reveal an actual answer by highlighting what’s concealed between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a Former partner’s place found by address search (11)
{EXPLORATION} – a charade of the short word used for a former partner, the abbreviation for place in street names and a formal address or speech.

7a Shirt, say, no longer wanted with players away? (4-3)
{CAST-OFF} – shirt is an example but this could be any item of clothing no longer wanted in our throwaway society. Combine the players in a theatrical production with an adverb meaning away.

8a Maybe Mohican gets dry and cold in cabin (7)
{HAIRCUT} – insert a verb to dry and C(old) in a cabin or shack.

10a Window makes admirer easy to pick up (8)
{FANLIGHT} – a charade of an admirer or supporter and an adjective meaning easy to pick up and carry.

11a Beef in hotel consumed by footballer right away (6)
{WHINGE} – insert the letter for which the codeword hotel is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet inside a forward in football without the final R (right away).

13a Jug in dirty place initially covered (4)
{EWER} – start with an underground conduit for waste matter and hide (covered) its initial letter.

14a Get hat and coat confused? That’s to be idiotic (3,3,4)
{ACT THE GOAT} – an anagram (confused) of GET HAT and COAT.

16a Place in which sound quality is cultivated? (6,4)
{HEALTH FARM} – cryptic definition of a place where you go to improve your well-being and lose a few pounds (in both senses).

18a House in the Home Counties for trainer perhaps (4)
{SHOE} – insert the abbreviation for house in the region of the UK where the Home Counties are situated.

21a Remove travel items from peacekeeping group? (6)
{UNPACK} – split the answer (2,4) and this could be a group of international peacekeepers.

22a A top firm that’s defending case in unusual resort (8)
{ACAPULCO} – string together A (from the clue), a verb to top or surpass and the abbreviation for firm or company. Now put all that around (defending) the outer letters (case) of U(nusua)L.

24a Competitor hurried into makeshift tent (7)
{ENTRANT} – insert a verb meaning hurried into an anagram (makeshift) of TENT.

25a Appropriately presented  like a nun? (2,5)
{IN ORDER} – double definition. Nuns are usually members of a religious community.

26a Green and wild cornfield bound by banks of estuary (11)
{ECOFRIENDLY} – an anagram (wild) of CORNFIELD is surrounded (bound) by the outer letters (banks) of E(stuar)Y.

Down Clues

1d Ascetic restricting source of comfort in perfume (7)
{ESSENCE} – a member of an ascetic Jewish sect that existed around the time of Christ contains (restricting) the first letter of C(omfort).

2d Visionary figure announced gain (6)
{PROFIT} – this clue involving a homophone (announced) could work either way round but the visionary figure is seven letters long so the definition has to be gain.

3d Old fellows on strike carrying article that’s improvised (3,3,4)
{OFF THE CUFF} – the abbreviations for O(ld), F(ellow) and F(ellow) are followed (on, in a down clue) by a verb to strike with the open hand. All that contains (carrying) a definite article.

4d Scented bag missing sides? A pain (4)
{ACHE} – it’s the contents rather than the small, usually plastic, bag itself that are often scented. Remove the outer letters (missing sides) of the bag.

5d Man’s here getting independent shares I distributed (5,3)
{IRISH SEA} – Man is placed first to disguise the fact that it must be capitalised. Start with I(ndependent) and follow with an anagram (distributed) of SHARES I.

6d Admission of failure in retrograde study a don demolished (2,3,2)
{NO CAN DO} – reverse (retrograde) an old verb to study carefully or learn by heart and add an anagram (demolished) of A DON.

7d Establishment unlikely to favour instant consumption? (6,5)
{COFFEE HOUSE} – cryptic definition of an establishment which doesn’t usually sell the ‘instant’ variety of its main product.

9d One regularly boosting a rep’s income? (7-4)
{THEATRE-GOER} – cryptic definition. The setter wants you to think that rep here is short for representative but it’s actually an abbreviation for repertory company.

12d Fetching a pamphlet I have consumes short time (10)
{ATTRACTIVE} – string together A (from the clue), a religious or political pamphlet and the contracted form of ‘I have’ then insert (consumes) the abbreviation for time.

15d Being jumpy in bars? (8)
{STACCATO} – cryptic definition. Bars are not drinking establishments but musical scores.

17d Mate up at sea close to gunwale for Nelson, perhaps (7)
{AMPUTEE} – an anagram (at sea) of MATE UP followed by the closing letter of (gunwhal)E.

19d Champion cyclist going over top with a break (7)
{HOLIDAY} – the surname of the, now retired, Scottish cyclist who won six Olympic gold medals on the track contains (going over) a top or cover and A (from the clue).

20d Maintain rising part of ship (6)
{UPHOLD} – a word meaning rising (as in ‘unemployment is ** this month’) followed by the part of a ship that’s used for storing cargo.

23d Disturb  bird (4)
{STIR} – two definitions, the second another informal term for bird or porridge.

Leading the field home at the end of today’s stage were 1a, 9d and 19d, but not necessarily in that order. Which one(s) took the honours for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PURVEY} + {SIEVE} = {PERVASIVE}



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87 Comments

  1. TattieMagpie
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    This puzzle was a struggle but got there without hints which is unusual for me on a Tuesday. Score on the doors ***/****.
    Many thanks to compiler and tipster.

  2. JonP
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I liked this one and thought it a bit tougher than is normal for a Tuesday. Started slowly and got a bit held up in the NW area until I sorted out a couple of wrong answers that I’d put in. Thanks to Gazza and setter 2.5*/3.5*

  3. bifield
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    A bit of astruggle in places but definitely solvable. As Gazza pointed out, some nice misdirections in this puzzle. I really enjoyed this one. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints.

  4. Kath
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I loved this and found it very straightforward – obviously on the right wave length as gazza’s gone for 3* difficulty. I would say 1* and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    The only thing that held me up was where the UL came from in 22a – I even looked it up to see if it was some sort of obscure grammatical ‘case’ – it isn’t!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    So many good clues that I’m going to be a bit pushed to keep the list short – 1 and 26a and 6d. Either 14a or 15d would do for a favourite as they both made me laugh.
    With thanks to today’s Mr (or Miss or Mrs) Mystery and to gazza.
    Decision time now – shall I try the Toughie, which is what I’d like to do, or shall I cut the grass, which is what I ought to do? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Of course you should try the Toughie (it won’t take you all that long). The grass will still be there tomorrow.

      • Kath
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Decision made – thank you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Rick
          Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          This wavelength thing is fascinating. I too found this a breeze today – it lasted barely longer than my bowl of wheatybangs – but the Toughie is giving me all sorts of grief. I have the NE and SE corners but cannot get a foothold on the NW at all. Almost every answer is having to be dragged out kicking and screaming. Go figure as our transatlantic friends like to say…

          • Kath
            Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

            I’m not finding the Toughie easy either – I’ve done the bottom half but have very little in the top.

            • Kath
              Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

              . . . so to speak!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

              • Rick
                Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

                9a is very funny although the definition for the second part is a bit obscure. I have just got 12a but if you are under 65 you might struggle. Just the rest of that corner to go…

                • Kath
                  Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

                  I’ve just got 9a too – I do know the second bit – it comes up in crosswords often enough for it to be in my head. Haven’t got 12a or 15a and a couple of others.

                • Rick
                  Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

                  Got there in a rush once 12a went in. I only part understand 15a though. Time to go back to work!

                  • The Buffer
                    Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

                    Sorry to be so late on the job Rick and I am surprised you haven’t been helped out by now. There is no 15a but if 15d is troubling you: the bars referred to are musical, where the notes are delivered distinctly separate from one another. As in;
                    “I am the very model of a modern major general”. Gilbert and Sullivan.

                    • Rick
                      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

                      Thanks for the tip – I did mean 15a as Kath and I started our own mini Toughie thread ahead of the official posting. Appreciate the thought though.

                    • Kath
                      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

                      Sorry Buffer – very confusing. As Rick said, he and I had started going on about the Toughie – what a great example of why we are not supposed to do this. Apologies if it’s confused anyone else.

  5. Angel
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    My goodness, I thought I was never going to get off the ground with this (was determined not to resort to hints) but after much fruitless head-scratching 24a dawned on me and then I had lift-off and it all gradually began to fall into place and I really enjoyed the journey. 8a didn’t occur to me for ages. Fav was 15a which amused. ***/****. Thanks setter and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  6. Expat Chris
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The Tuesday cryptic seems to be getting a bit more challenging, I think. I was slow to start today, and not helped by blithely putting aerial farm in for 16A and trying to make habit fit in 25A. All sorted without hints, though. Surprised myself by actually knowing the cyclist in 19D. 17D is my favorite by far. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  7. wahoo
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Fairly easy for me last night (like Kath, may have been a wavelength thing) but still enjoyable . 1.5*/3* for me. No real stand out clues (and some old chestnuts) although 7d probably gets my vote. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

    Great morning here – at last some rain!!

  8. BigBoab
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword with a couple of tricky bits, thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the usual great review. Toughie today is definitely on a par with this, worth a wee go!

  9. Jill
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle though 17d held me up for a while. Thought of many links for Nelson but amputee came last in the
    list my favourite clue. ***/*** from me.

  10. LolGee
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Had a heck of a job getting started. Needed some help from Gazza for 1a but things fell into place after that. Mr LolGee and I are newly retired (what joy) and just getting started on this daily cryptic crossword lark. Our favourite was 17d. Many thanks to compiler and Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      A warm welcome to the blog LolGee. I hope that you’ll both become regular contributors.

  11. Dutch
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    misdirections worked, took me a while to get 16a and 9d, didn’t help that i couldn’t guess the second word in the instant consumption venue. Also don’t know my cyclists. I liked 26a. haven’t quite finished toughie yet, ideas for last few answers but they don’t seem very convincing somehow…

    many thanks setter & gazza

  12. SheilaP
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    This took a while to get going, but once started ( with a bit of assistance), it fell into place. A **/*** for us today. Fav. was 5 down. Thank you setter and Gazza.

  13. Una
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I take my hat(and coat )off to this setter for the artful misleading clues. 8a had me googling native americans,etc.All the clues had a twist, without being impossible to solve and no obscure words.I never heard of Hoy but this clue was solvable without that piece of information. Thanks Gazza.

  14. Sweet William
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Gazza for your review and hints. Beautiful day at Leighton Moss.

    • skempie
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      What’s the access like at Leighton Moss ? The wife and I are up that way in a couple of months and wouldn’t mind visiting, but she doesn’t walk at all well so cannot manage any hills of steps and things like that (rather ruined our visit to Minsmere back in May.

      • Sweet William
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Hi Skempie – LM is flat, has a good RSPB shop, cafe which has a lift access for wheelchair users. If you decide to go, give me a nod and I can give you some more information.

      • pommers
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        If you want eachother’s emails just give me a mail, or reply on here.

  15. skempie
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle today, one of the best I’ve seen for many a day. 7A was my first one in which I thought was very clever as it had to be TEES OFF what with the Open starting shortly. For some reason, I got really tied up on the LHS for some reason. It didn’t help that I blithely put ACT THE FOOL in fr 14A – must learn to read the clue carefully before committing pen to paper as this caused all sorts of problems in the RHS !!

    After careful consideration, I think 26A must be my favourite – it was very clever and had a lovely surface reading to it (see, I don’t mind the odd anagram at all)

    • pommers
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      26a was my fav too – a well constructed anagram clue can be brill, as this one was http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  16. Barty
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    1st time comment but have dipped into the blog regularly. Really enjoyed today’s but needed help with a few. Finding it hard to complete now that I have lost “The better half”

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Barty. I hope that now you’ve introduced yourself you’ll become a regular contributor to our little ‘community’.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me too Barty. Sorry to hear of your loss.

  17. Poppy
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand I, for one, was greatly comforted by Gazza’s 3* difficulty as I struggled to get going. Enjoyed the tussle, however, and really appreciated the word play in a great many hints eg 15 & 9 down. Thanks to setter for a good workout, and much appreciation to Gazza for hints without which I might still be…… Definitely don’t date try the Toughie, so sorry Kath I can’t come and cut your grasshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Kath
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      I’ll forgive you – I’ll just have to go and do it myself! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  18. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Slow start but once going not that big an issue. A 2*/4* for me with a slight reservation about 26a which I always believed was hyphenated. Anyway, an enjoyable solve and thanks to the setter and Gazza for the post match review. Too many forest fires on the go for this time of year and most due to irresponsible humans rather than nature’s lightning strikes.

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I did check 26a in the BRB because I had a similar reservation, but it’s there as a single unhyphenated word.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Spent a summer up the Fraser Valley near Lillooet (spelling?) and was amazed how easily those fires started.

      • Vancouverbc
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Spelling perfect! We’re having a great summer but the heat is creating air quality issues which is very unusual here as I can always tell when I take my first deep breath as I get off the plane.

  19. Brian
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Totally foxed me, got two answers. Just not on this setters wavelength at all.
    Dreadful!

  20. Miffypops
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Mostly solved over tea this morning but 16ac and 26ac along with 15d and 17d would not reveal themselves so I paseo a few hours cleaning, banking, mowing, etc. I have just returned to the puzzle and written all four answers in and cannot see why they threw me for so long.. I think I must do them subliminally. A suitable excercise for a Tuesday. Ta to all concerned.

  21. Graham Wall
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a tough start for me today, just couldn’t seem to lock on to the compiler’s mindset. Then I got 8A which acted as a Rosetta Stone for me. I persevered and with Gazza’s help finished the course . This was a serious 3.5 for me with a chubby 4 for enjoyment. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

  22. Merusa
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I was dead on wavelength today, even though I didn’t know the cyclist, it was easy enough to arrive at the answer. Fave was 26a but there were many very clever clues. I found this very entertaining, I have to give it 4* for enjoyment. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for review.

  23. Framboise
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Took me a while to get going but I persevered and got to the end without help. 7d made me laugh. Must admit I found it a bit tough so I would second Gaza ‘s 3*. As for the enjoyment it is 4*. Did not know the cyclist either but it was eas yto guess the answer. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  24. Annidrum
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I, too, was on the setter,’s wavelength today and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to Setter and gazza for explaining 1d.

  25. Franco
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    St Swithin’s Day today – not a single cloud on the horizon. But … the forecast is not very encouraging.

    Today’s puzzle – Quite difficult for a Tuesday.

    (Petitjean or Shamus?)

    • Kath
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Ah – was just about to try to find out who set this one. I have absolutely no idea but I have a cunning plan! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  26. Dave Hartley
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m probably being a bit thick, but I can’t see how the ‘in’ works in 22 ac, seems to me it would work better using ‘of”.

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I think that for the wordplay either ‘in’ or ‘of’ works but for the surface reading ‘in’ is better.

    • Kitty
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      I had the same thought, Dave, so I’m glad you asked the question. “In” makes for a nice misdirection as well as a better surface, it’s true. But… it doesn’t quite work in my head. Maybe my head, not the clue, needs some modifying!

  27. Gwizz
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed today’s puzzle although I am disgusted with myself for not getting 20d even with the checking letters… UP never entered my mind. Doh! And once again I came on here to check and of course by the time I got back to the puzzle all answers had disappeared from the grid. Am I the only one still suffering from this DT effort of an update?
    Thanks setter and Gazza by the way….

  28. Shamus
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Gazza for his blog and everyone for comments.

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Shamus, for the very enjoyable puzzle.

    • Kath
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      I was just about to say that since most people had loved this one could the setter consider coming out of his or her little cupboard but you beat me to it! What a good crossword – I loved every minute of it.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • pommers
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Nice one Shamus – best Tuesday puzzle for quite some time.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • gazza
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Very odd Tour this year, pommers. Two riders who could have won it (Wiggo and Quintana) didn’t even start, the two favourites who did start (Froome and Contador) already quit and Cav didn’t even finish the first stage.

        • pommers
          Posted July 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          Andy Schlek also out. Must be a gimme for Vincenzo Nibali if he can keep going to the end – or Richie Porte if he can punch a bit above his weight. Maybe Gerraint will be able to help?

      • Kath
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes – I agree – brilliant. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif from me too.

  29. Corky
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a few here that made me stop and think.

    Stand out favourite was 7D.

    3*/3* for me.

    Thanks.

  30. Carrie
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I got off to a fairly good start and managed about half without resorting to H&T.

    Didn’t help myself my jumping to an incorrect answer to 20d which stymied me for a bit.

    Consequently 26a was the last one in.

    Still don’t like it when I get the answer from the letters I’ve got than working it out from the clue – but that’s a tiny gripe

    Very enjoyable all round with my favourite being 5d.

    Glad you chose the Toughie which you enjoy instead of mowing the lawn Kath…….. picking enjoyment over ‘duty’ is to be encouraged

    Thank you setter and Gazza

    • Kath
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      No – did Toughie (well, almost did Toughie) and cut grass and did washing and am now cooking supper and will probably clear up later!
      I really have to do some useful/necessary “stuff” sometimes – it’s a pity but there it is! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Carrie
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        You are a saint :smile:

        I have to turn necessary stuff into something I want to do otherwise I resent it, do it grudgingly and don’t do it very well

        I don’t think I’ve grown up yet :smile:

        Carrie Aged 3 and a bit

        • Kitty
          Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Agreed! I’m similar to you Carrie, although I’d put my age a little older, at maybe 17! I do feel like a stroppy teenager at heart – with a touch of grouchy old codger, so probably averaging out at about the official value :).

          • pommers
            Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            I have been accused of having a second childhood as I’ve got older. My reply is ” Second? Haven’t finished the first yet!”.

            • Kitty
              Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

              :lol:

            • andy
              Posted July 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

              Am possibly a younger contributor to this site, turned 48 (read 17) last Friday, Teenage sons and daughters of friends could not keep up with the festivities, which ended on Sunday :)

        • Kath
          Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          No – definitely not a saint – anything but!
          I think I’m a little older – 19 or 20 maybe! We had such fun and were quite naughty – actually, we were very naughty. It’s difficult to be anything else as a student nurse in a large teaching hospital. I could tell you all some amazing stories! Another day . . .

  31. Little Dave
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    A good challenge I thought my favourites being 26a, 22a, 8a, and 7d. My thanks are extended to The Setter and for the review (plus of course the interesting contributions as always). http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  32. Michael
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I struggled to get going with this, I think on the first pass I only got a couple of clues – there were very few obvious anagrams, but it eventually fell into place and I completed it without help from the blog – quite pleased with myself.

    A very good puzzle!

  33. Toni
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Struggled with 17d, last one in .couldn’t get past admiral which fitted apart from the disruption it caused to the rest of the crossword.
    ***/***
    Thanks to both

  34. Heno
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I really enjoyed this one, but found it very difficult. Persevered and was beaten by 11a, got the definition, but was looking for the name of a footballer. As for 20d, I thought the definition was part of a ship. Favourites were 8a and 9d,great misdirection. I noticed that 22a was in again, I think the setters are all trying to clue this differently, and succeeding. Was 4*/4* for me. It’s my Mum’s 90th Birthday today, and I think that Saint Swithin will be foiled again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Carrie
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations to your mum on reaching the big 90 Heno :yahoo:

      Makes me feel quite young :) thank you for that

      • Heno
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Carrie and Kath, it was a good day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Kath
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      I hope that your Mum had a good 90th birthday today. Mine had a pretty good 92nd yesterday – lots of cards and flowers and visits.

      • Merusa
        Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        How is your Mum doing, Kath? I know you have been worried and had some scares in the past. Glad she had a happy 92nd.

        • Kath
          Posted July 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for asking – she’s pretty good at the moment. She is expecting (no Kath – don’t be silly – not that kind of expecting) her second great -grandchild any day now which she’s really excited about. So are we – being a great aunt and uncle seems to be as close as we’re ever going to get to being grandparents at the rate our Pet Lambs are going!

  35. Kitty
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    This was ***/*** for me today, but I wasn’t quite in crossword mood, and so might have given it more for enjoyment on another day – it was a lovely puzzle. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  36. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Very late start for me today. Great puzzle 2.5*/4*.

    20d last one in, but no idea why with hindsight. 15d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Shamus and to Gazza.

  37. Baz
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    17d what a lovely if slightly gory clue. Nice challenge overall.

    • gazza
      Posted July 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Baz.

  38. Owdoo
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Like many others, I was a bit slow getting started but it then all gradually fell into place. I’d agree it was a bit trickier than the average Tuesday puzzle but an enjoyable challenge after yesterday’s read and write. 3*/3* for me. 7d was my favourite.
    Thanks Shamus and MP for the review.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Gazzas review Not mine.

  39. Salty Dog
    Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    First crossword for nearly a week, but quite enjoyed this one. Somewhat stiffer than the usual Tuesday back-pager (3*\4*) but no particular favourite clue. Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  40. jg
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    So, slivovitz is plum brandy.

    • Angel
      Posted July 16, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Rot gut stuff too!

  41. Catnap
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Super puzzle! Most difficult to select a fave from so many excellent clues. On balance, I think it must be 17d followed very closely by 26a.

    Did not need any hints. I valued reading through them now. Am very pleased as I have the correct parsing and definitions.

    Thanks and appreciation both to Shamus for a thoroughly enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the excellent explanations.