DT 27544

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27544

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning everyone.  It’s a bit steamy on the Vega Baja this morning and it’s hot in Oxford too, but not in a nice way – a bit cloudy/sunny – very grumpy weather.

Maybe it’s the weather causing us to be a bit grumpy but we both thought this was a tricky little rascal and a bit of a grind.  A bit of a strange mixture of some very dodgy surfaces interspersed with a few chestnuts, some fairly easy clues and some very clever stuff.  Not many anagrams either.  Archy spent some time looking for a Nina round the outside but can’t spot one.  We’ll be interested to hear what you made of it.

Definitions are underlined in the clues and the ones we liked most are in blue.  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.


7a           Goal is fair (9)
{OBJECTIVE} – Double definition. A goal or aim is also a word meaning fair, as in unbiased.

8a           Hours to some extent routine (5)
{HABIT} – Your routine or usual behaviour is H(ours) followed by a phrase (1,3) meaning to some extent.

10a         Persist in intimidating female (6)
{DRAGON} – Split this intimidating female as (4,2) and you get a phrase meaning to persist or continue boringly.

11a         Inspector’s needing pass — run out! (8)
{DISGORGE} – Abbreviation for detective inspector (don’t forget the ‘s) followed by a pass through some mountains.

12a         Contemporary comic’s success (4,2)
{WITH IT} – Take comedian (3) followed by a success (3) and split the result (4,2)

14a         Tasers dispersed protest (6)
{ASSERT} – Anagram (dispersed) of TASERS.

16a         Area’s vote is for coalition (4)
{AXIS} -A(rea) followed by the mark you make when you vote and IS (from the clue).

17a         Shy person that works with computers (5)
{MOUSE} -A piece of computer hardware is also a term for a shy and retiring person.

18a         Bear will occasionally roar (4)
{BAWL} – Alternate letters (occasionally) from BEAR WILL.

19a         Brilliance of one accepted by peer group? (6)
{GENIUS} – Take a word for a class or group with common characteristics and insert I (one accepted by).

21a         Confidential information from detective turned in aristo (3-3)
{TIP OFF} – Reverse (turned) a private detective and insert into (in) a slang word for an aristocrat or upper class gent.

24a         Difficult end endured without drug (8)
{STUBBORN} – The end of a cigarette for example followed by a word meaning endured without its final E (for the drug Ecstacy)

26a         Excessively hard to govern with Republican ousted by Democrat (6)
{UNDULY} – Take a word meaning hard to govern as in badly behaved and replace (ousted by) the R(epublican) with a D(emocrat).

27a         One’s given consent for key (5)
{ISLET} – Key here is one of the small islands off the south coast of Florida.  It’s IS (one’s) followed by a word meaning given permission.

28a         Dear comic (9)
{PRICELESS} – Double definition. Dear as in expensive and a word to describe something highly amusing.


1d           Muscle or fat’s ultimate check (5)
{ABORT} – A couple of letters which are an abbreviation for your abdominal muscles, the OR from the clue and the last letter (ultimate) of fat

2d           Bars books? (8)
{PENGUINS} – I thought this was quite a sneaky double definition. The  bars are chocolatey ones made by McVitie’s. The books are mainly paper backs and come from a publishing company founded in the 1930’s – they have a picture of a flightless seabird on the front!

3d           Singular fish smell (6)
{STENCH} – This nasty pong comes from S(ingular) followed by a freshwater fish of the carp family.

4d           Passionate prima donna in the ascendant (4)
{AVID} – A reversal (in the ascendent) of a female singer, often implying that she’s of a temperamental and demanding nature.

5d           Some relief a moussaka is notable (6)
{FAMOUS} – One of the hidden answers – if I can find it so can the rest of you.

6d           Seafood recipe initially welcomed by couple on board (4,5)
{KING PRAWN} – The board is a chess board so the couple are chessmen. The second one contains (welcomed by) the one letter abbreviation for R(ecipe).

9d           Leak found in small poncho coming from Spain (6)
{ESCAPE} – Start with the IVR for Spain and follow that with S(mall) and then another word for a South American poncho or cloak.

13d         Tied up reportedly for safekeeping (5)
{TRUST} – A homonym (reportedly) of a word meaning tied up, as a turkey might be at Christmas.

15d         Former party leader reties knots — that’s skill (9)
{EXPERTISE} – Begin with the usual crosswordland two letters meaning former or no longer, the first letter (leader) of P(arty) and follow that lot with an anagram (knots) of RETIES.

17d         Male on course to be talisman (6)
{MASCOT} – M(ale) followed by (on in a down clue) a race course in Berkshire.

18d         Bishop’s nasty feud led to puzzle (8)
{BEFUDDLE} – The one letter abbreviation for Bishop comes before an anagram (nasty) of FEUD LED.

20d         I’m nicked — no way! — and charged (6)
{IMBUED} – The charged here is in the sense of having had something put in. Start with the IM from the clue and then a slang word meaning nicked, copped  or arrested. When you’ve found that you need to remove its middle two letters which are the abbreviation for street.

22d         Pressure drop in spring (6)
{POUNCE} – P(ressure) followed by a word for drop or a small amount of something.

23d         B-minus getting praise (5)
{BLESS} – B and then another word for minus or subtraction.

25d         Standard maiden over following no runs (4)
{NORM} – Mehitabel nearly flipped when she saw this one – she really hopes she’s got it right. NO (from the clue) the one letter for runs in cricket and another one letter for maiden, also a cricket abbreviation. Oh dear!  Looks pretty spot-on to me!

24a was archy’s favourite but mehitabel has gone for 18d.

The Quick crossword pun: (header} + {garb} + {blur} = {Hedda Gabler}

Click to reveal the components of the pun. BD



  1. bifield
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    It put up a fight this morning but persistance paid off. Thanks to setter and to Archy and Mehitabel for the review.

  2. Maggie T
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Sneaky 2d!

    • gazza
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Maggie T.

      • Maggie T
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I’m in Qatar and do this each morning before I get up so probably while most of you are still zzzzing. There are days though when waiting for the hints to be published means it’s a long solve!

        • dutch
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          I expect few of us manage quite as earlyhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I agree with a&m’s comments in terms of difficulty, although I thought this was definitely more than 2* for enjoyment. My rating is 3*/3*

    On my first pass about half the answers went straight in. Then the tussle began! But, as Bifield says, persistance paid off.

    2d was my favourite. This is a bizarre but very amusing double definition, and I do like clues with brevity!

    My only bit of nit-picking today relates to 21a. A PI refers to a police inspector but one who is not a detective. A detective of that rank should be designated as DI.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and a&m.

    • pommers
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Reckon you’re right about 21a. Hadn’t really thought about it. That was one of the clues I thought was a bit dodgy.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        I only know that because I have just completed a spell of jury service and one of the witnesses was a PS (police sergeant not an afterthought!) and the barrister helpfully explained the difference between a PS and a DS. So I guess the same applies at Inspector level.

      • andy
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        I thought about Private Investigator, though that wouldn’t work either.

      • gazza
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        PI is a Private Investigator (as in the TV series Magnum PI).

        • Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          As Gazza says, PI = Private Investigator, an abbreviation that is supported by Chambers. Only a handful of abbreviations used in crosswords are not defined in Chambers. The only one I can recall is P = President, which is still not in Chambers but is given in Chambers XWD – a Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations.

          • andy
            Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            I always thought that Detectives and Private Investigators were a different profession? Have no access to Chambers so I’ll take your word for it. Live and learn eh :)

            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

              Andy, I think the upshot of all this is that inside the police force DI = Detective Inspector and PI = Police Inspector. Outside the police, a PI is a Private Investigator (or Private Detective).

              • gazza
                Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

                I’ve worked for many years around police forces and I’ve never heard a uniformed inspector being referred to as a PI.

                • Rabbit Dave
                  Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

                  At my recent court case as a juror, we received evidence from a variety of uniformed and non-uniformed policemen who were referred to as PC, DC, PS, DS and DI. It was the first time I had ever heard of a uniformed sergeant being called PS, and I concluded, possibly incorrectly, that by analogy a uniformed inspector would be a PI (even though we didn’t have one in the witness box).

                  In your dealings with the police did you ever hear PS being used?

                  • gazza
                    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

                    Yes, PC (uniformed constable), PS (uniformed sergeant), DC (detective constable), DS (detective sergeant) and DI (detective inspector) are all used regularly. On screen displays and reports they were always referred to as, e.g. PS 1234 BLOGGS. Uniformed inspectors were formally identified as, e.g. In 876 SMITH. Uniformed Chief Inspectors are referred to as CI – I’ve never really thought about why PI isn’t used for uniformed inspectors.

                    • andy
                      Posted July 18, 2014 at 12:58 am | Permalink

                      I bow to your greater knowledge Gazza, but I still fail to see any reference to a PI being a detective. I’ve quibbled over 4 letter answers, double unches dreadful grids et al but never over 2 letters :) I just know i’m going to be proved wrong , my American friends input on this maybe clouding my judgement

                    • gazza
                      Posted July 18, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

                      I really don’t see what the problem is, andy. This is what the BRB has:
                      PI – (abbreviation) Private Investigator
                      private investigator – (noun) (especially North American) private detective.
                      Incidentally the second word of the term ‘private eye’ (another term for private investigator) derives from the pronunciation of the I in PI.

                    • andy
                      Posted July 19, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink

                      ha you see I was correct all along…in knowing I’d be wrong. The American bit threw me. Didn’t know the private eye derivation, so cheers from me cynth and cuth.

                • BigBoab
                  Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

                  As a retired Police Officer the only abbreviation ever used in my day for Inspector was Insp, Sergeant, Sgt, Det. Insp was the DI, then there were DCIs Supers, Det.Supers etc, I was brought up on Mickey Spillane novels where the Private Detective was a PI. I must stress that I was a “Bobby” before most of todays officers were born.

  4. Angel
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Most of RHS went in swiftly but struggled a bit on the left and can’t believe I had to seek help on 1a and 27a. 23d appealed. ***/***. Thank you setter and Archy & Mehitabel . It’s stuffy in Sussex too and apparently going to get worse – “stay indoors and pull curtains” say the heat-wave guidelines – some hope! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  5. gazza
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I agree that this was a tricky little rascal (trickier than the Toughie for me) but I did like it – wonder who the setter is? Thanks to Mr Ron and a&m.

    • pommers
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I’m trying to remember where I’ve seen 2d before – might give me a clue to the setter. I think it was in the Graun about a year or so ago.

      • Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Did you need Gnomey’s “slightly mad” hat today?

        • pommers
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Wondered about him but there’s no contemporary music clue. Still, there was no Queen in last week’s RayT.

          • Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            How long before someone moans that this is a WED (Wrong Envelope Day)?

            • crypticsue
              Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

              I had two emails to that effect this morning. I disagreed with my correspondents as I had no problem solving the back pager in the ‘normal’ time for a Thursday!!

              • Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

                My suspicions were alerted after solving the Quick crossword.

                • crypticsue
                  Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

                  I meant the WED not the name of the setter!

      • gazza
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Punk had the following clue about 2 years ago (the old advertisement used to encourage us to p-p-pick up a penguin).
        Tasty bird you might once have picked up? (7)

  6. Una
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    A difficult and slow solve for me and I needed two hints in the end.2d took an extremely long time to untangle. I mistakenly thought that clues are usually not based on contemporary brands which will have vanished in a few years.6d was another very slow one, thanks for explaining that.My final whinge is that I didn’t like the grid.
    Thanks archy and Mehitabel.

    • Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Penguin bars have been around since 1932!

      • Una
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I’m just grumpy because it took me so long.

        • Una
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps I had a deprived childhood as I have no memory of that particular piece of confectionary. Fry’s chocolate cream bars were my favourite.

    • andy
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you 100% about the Grid

  7. Only fools
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Trickier than the toughie for me too but unlike the grumps I thoroughly enjoyed it favourite among quite a few smiles , 2d .
    Thanks to them and the unknown one .
    Back to Peter Alliss

    • Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      For me golf is the only sport that is more boring to watch than tennis, snooker and darts. Fortunately there is “Le Tour de France”.

      • pommers
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        And a test match!

        • Only fools
          Posted July 18, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink

          I have a childlike enthusiasm for all sports ,apart from basketball despite playing said game badly as a young man .

  8. Jezza
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Apart from 2d which was my last in, I did not have too much trouble with this one, although admittedly it was a little harder than normal.
    Many thanks to setter, and to a and m.

  9. boltonbabs
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Did anyone else have trouble with 12a on the ipad? The second word originally read comicas with a circumflex over the a. It has now metamorphosed into
    comicAcAAs. Got it nevertheless. Found the bottom half tricky but seemed to finish in reasonable time.
    Thanks to the setter and bloggers.

  10. F1lbertfox
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    As they might say in Wolverhampton, “that was a real boster”. I loved it and I particularly loved 2 down, which once the penny dropped was my last one in. I had written ‘dislodge’ for my answer to 11 across, but it didn’t really affect the rest of the crossword (it answered the clue almost as well as the correct word, IMHO. 1 down was fun as well. Thank you to the setter.

  11. Rick
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Distinctly tricky I thought and I have certainly seen easier Toughies. Agree with Una about the grid – I just could not get it to flow. Every answer seemed to lead to another dead end. A mixture of the good (26a, 2d, 20d), bad (11a) and some rather tenuous definitions. I see the intimidating woman gets another airing – surely a candidate for the Big Book of Crossword Cliches by now? 4*/3*

  12. BigBoab
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to archy and mehitabel, I thought this was quite an amusing puzzle and review. The toughie is again worth a go.

  13. Beaver
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Best of the week for me and a **/***. Humorous clues like 2d and 6d many of them short and snappy- a Bilko of a crossword ,one of those where the answer is apparent and then you fit the clue . Thanks setter and A and M for the graphics, liked the one for 22d

  14. SheilaP
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Have to agree with the two hinters. We found this very difficult even with their help, and some of the definitions were a bit strange, we thought. Not very enjoyable at all, I’m afraid. ****/* today, so well done to those who found this easy. Thank you to the tremendous twosome, and to the setter. Thttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  15. Roger
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Way above my pay-gtade this one.

  16. Kath
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The more I think about this one the more I wonder if I was a bit on the hasty (grumpy) side this morning. Don’t know if archy’s had any further thoughts but maybe we should up the number of stars for enjoyment.
    I’m not changing my mind about the fact that it was quite tricky.

    • Kath
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      PS I’ve seriously come grief with the Quickie! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • pommers
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Try the Toughie instead, it’s easier than the back page :grin:

        I only suggested 2* enjoyment because the puzzle didn’t raise a single smile. It was a bit of a mechanical solving exercise for me. Perhaps 2d would have amused but I remembered the clue from some other puzzle so the answer just went straight in.

        However, post edited.

      • SheilaP
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        So have we I’m afraid, Kath.

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Me too Kath

      • Kath
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifNot just me then – think I’ve seriously screwed up somewhere.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Can I help with the Quickie, if it’s not against the rules to comment on that crossword on this thread. I did complete it, but have to say it was a painful process!

        • Kath
          Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          Thanks – think I’ve gone badly wrong somewhere – probably need to start again from scratch and now it’s too late, too hot and I’m too tired. Your offer of help is really appreciated though . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        • Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          I would rather this part of the discussion was transferred to the Comment page. It’s more a matter of courtesy to those who have yet to solve the puzzle than a “rule”.

          • Kath
            Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            OK and sorry – I should know the rules by now as I’ve been here long enough!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

          • Expat Chris
            Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink


      • Catnap
        Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Mr Catnap has also found the Quickie difficult.

  17. Brian
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Finished but very hard and IMHO not very fair ie 2d which I thought was a horrible clue. Did like 17a and 25d though.
    Thought we have been given some very tricky puzzles this week but at least Fridays should be both fair and elegant.
    Thx to all.

    • Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      … which in my book is a euphemism for dull and boring.

      • SheilaP
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        This from someone who thinks the Tour of France is exciting!!

      • Kath
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Careful – you’ll be in trouble – I was a few weeks ago and I didn’t really think that I’d said anything very awful. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  18. Miffypops
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I struggled with this for too long. I will return to it later. Less than half done

  19. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Phew! This was a struggle for me and not really enjoyable hence a 4*/2*. No access to a printer for the next few days as away in the gulf islands for our wedding anniversary. Might ask the hotel for a favour. Thanks to the reviewers for enlightening me.

  20. Expat Chris
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have any trouble with this except for 2D, which remained unsolved. Yet again, being a long-time over-the-ponder came into play. No particular likes and no smiles, I’m afraid. But no quibbles, either. Thanks to the setter and to A&M for the review.

  21. Merusa
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Like Roger, this was way above my pay grade, and I was way off wavelength. I needed hints for several clues, 2d being one of them, but, then, I’ve never heard of Penguin choc bars. I am very familiar with the books, though, so maybe I should have got that. I don’t think I’ve ever had that many unsolved clues before, so 10* for difficulty, if I’m allowed. Anyway, thanks to setter and to archie and mehitabel for entertaining review and the missing answers.


  22. dutch
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Never heard of penguin choc bars, though i should have seen the book part. great clue, though bit dangerous being a trade name double definition. That, and 24a (I know..) were left blank today. I really liked comic success and area vote is for coalition. the toughie took me longer, but then again i finished it.

    thanks to setter, archy & mehitabel

  23. Kevin
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    not a “tidy” crossword today – I had to rely on your hints to complete it


    • gazza
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

  24. JB
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    One of those days when the Toughie was easier.

  25. Sweet William
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter for an enjoyable puzzle solved while enjoying Lake District sunshine. Great views of ospreys ! Thanks for the review hints and photos A & M

  26. JonP
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Needed a couple of hints to keep the solving process going today – maybe it’s the hot weather here in North Kent…? I can’t believe how many times I’ve looked at a clue with no idea and then just get one checking letter and the penny drops immediately… (Guess that’s the nature of crosswords though).

    I found it a mix of simple and tricky clues but certainly enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks to the setter and to A & M for the hints 3.5*/3.5*

  27. Kath
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick bit of “blurb” before I put in a link.
    We seem to have produced two very pedantic “Pet Lambs” – we don’t understand how this has happened! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif
    Yesterday the younger one sent us the following link.
    I think it’s quite funny and clever.
    Two words of warning to anyone who can be bothered to have a look: first, turn down your volume – it’s very loud and then you have to get beyond the rap “music”.
    This is for Rabbit Dave – Pedant in Chief of the blog!


    • Una
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Thanks , I really enjoyed that, and I reposted.There are songs on youtube for teaching chemistry and biology , which I use. The students love it.

      • NJoy
        Posted July 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kath. Great fun http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

    • Catnap
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Kath. That was most amusing! Well done to your Pet Lambs!

  28. neveracrossword
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps I spent too long watching the golf, but this is one of the few back pagers I did not manage to complete without assistance. Not a huge amount of fun. (The crossword, I mean – can’t complain about the golf).

  29. Miffypops
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Had a look at teatime and went quickly from less than half done to only four to go. Just spent another ten minutes and got 2d. 24ac 27ac and 20d all needed the hints. Thnks to Kath and Pommers for deciphering this nightmare. Thank to the setter for a darned good wrestle.

  30. Gwizz
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    2d had me going in circles and eventually, totally flummoxed I turned to the hints. As usual Doh! never thought of that type of ‘bar’. As numerous people have said, a tricky little so-and-so giving quite a tussle. Thanks A and M for your excellent hints and thanks to the setter.

  31. Hrothgar
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    2d made me rather cross, took an age.
    I don’t really like that sort of proper noun.
    Otherwise a very enjoyable mental tussle.
    Got there eventually unaided.
    Thanks to the setter and to archy and mehitabel for the review.

    • Only fools
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      My favourite clue 2d I think is a common noun which I could certainly not get cross about

      • Hrothgar
        Posted July 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        No, Penguin is a proper noun.
        If you are saying ‘penguin’ what relevance has that to the clue?

      • pommers
        Posted July 18, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Hrothgar is correct. In both sides of the DD Penguin is a proper noun. I still don’t see a problem as both versions have been around so long that they are part of the language – I still “Hoover” my carpet, but with a Dyson!

        • Hrothgar
          Posted July 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          It’s just me!
          I don’t like the word ‘Hoover’ as a verb, either.

          • Only fools
            Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

            No sweat ,but in my view ,limited as it is ,penguin (brand) is a proper noun but penguin is a common noun .Still my favourite .
            Keep happy .

            • Hrothgar
              Posted July 19, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

              There is a chocolate bar known as a Penguin. This Penguin is a proper noun.
              The double definition in the clue is:
              Penguin = a branded paperback
              Penguin = a branded chocolate bar.
              Both Penguins are proper nouns.
              As pommers says above.
              I fail to understand why this may be difficult to grasp.

              • Only fools
                Posted July 20, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

                I failed to understand why this was difficult to grasp when you said “took an age ” .Fun clue .

                • Hrothgar
                  Posted July 20, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

                  You digress.
                  Whether or not I found it difficult is not the subject we are discussing.
                  What we are discussing is whether Penguin in the context of the clue is a proper noun.
                  I and pommers have both explained that it is.
                  Do hope that is now grasped.

  32. Derek
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Started this early this morning but finished it late today as we had a day in St-Tropez.
    We park the car in the port at Ste-Maxime then take the ferry to St-Tropez.
    A good lunch chez La Ponche and then back home by boat and car. Done this for years.

    Fave today was 2d.

    • Kath
      Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      You certainly get around, don’t you? How lovely! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  33. Heno
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Archy and mehitabel. A disaster for me, couldn’t do it to save my life. Needed 12 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me.

  34. Kitty
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Phew! Maybe it’s because I started late, but this was hard! (If there were some chestnut-scented clues, my solving nose isn’t experienced enough to sniff them out, so no help there.) But although hot and bothered today, I seem also to be in a stubborn mood, and so I refused to peek at the hints. And, finally, just when about to give up, I managed to squeeze the last few answers from my protesting brain. Very pleased with myself :). My rating therefore has to be ***/? – the “?” being there because my brain and body are so fried, I’ve lost all concept of “enjoyment” … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    The quickie (“quickie”?) will have to wait until tomorrow – especially following the comments above! Must snooze now, because I’m so tired I’m starting to ramble…

    Many thanks to setter, and to the fine bloggers a&m :).

  35. Carrie
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Completed about 95% of this yesterday and fell asleep. My brain must have carried on working on them because I woke up with the remaining answers.

    I’m hoping I’ll now go back to sleep :yawn:

    Thank you setter, archy and mehitabel

  36. Cornishpasty
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    First time in several weeks, I needed a hint for 2d. I was no near getting the bars although I have eaten them!

  37. reggie
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    The fist ordinary DT offering that beaten me in a long while -and on quite a few clues. While the answers are all fair this crossword has much more of a toughie feel about it.

  38. Catnap
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I seem to be at variance as I really rather liked this. It took a while, but I enjoyed working out the wordplay. It also had me thinking out of the box a bit. 2d was my last in and I needed help. It is my fave. Also liked several other clues, including 12a and 20d.

    2d aside, I didn’t need any hints and followed the wordplay correctly.

    Thanks and appreciation to the setter for a challenging puzzle, and to Archy and Mehitabel for the excellent review. Enjoyed reading it through.

  39. oddjob
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I was disappointed not to see the pun in italics(over 2 words).