DT 27555

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27555

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The usual good stuff from Jay.  A 1.5*/3* difficulty/enjoyment rating. Thanks to Jay.

P.S. If you still find the mechanics of the hints a mystery, you should read the following, which should help in understanding.

Definitions are underlined in the clues (in blue).

Words in blue are lifted from the clues.

Italicised words are instructions for constructing the answer. Parentheses following these enclose the indicators from the clues. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue).

[xxx;yyy] denotes that a synonym for xxx or yyy is required.

{} are used to give the order of construction. Eg. Reversal of(up, in a down clue) AB + C is different from Reversal of(up, in a down clue) {AB + C}.

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.

1a    Country, for example, bordered by roads from the east (7) 

{SENEGAL} : [abbrev. from the Latin for “for example”] contained in(bordered by) reversal of(… from the east, in an across clue) [roads, especially in the countryside].

5a    Deer from estate, say — one about to lose protection (7)

{CARIBOU} : [a vehicle, an example of which;say, is an estate] + [Roman numeral for “one”] + “about minus its 1st and last letters(to lose protection).

9a    Disturb game bird, blowing head off! (5)

{ROUSE} : [a popular game bird with a plump body and feathered legs] minus its 1st letter(blowing head off).

10a    Single admirer spoilt by a Parisian (9)

{UNMARRIED} : Anagram of(… spoilt) ADMIRER placed after(by, in an across clue) [French, as a Parisian would use, for “a”].

11a    Where ministers face magistrates? (5,5)

{FRONT BENCH} : [to face;to be opposite to] + [preceded by “the”, magistrates or judges, collectively].

Defn: Where ministers sit and face the Opposition in Parliament

12a    Vehicle carrying unknown ruler (4)

{CZAR} : [a common road vehicle] containing(carrying) [a symbol for an unknown quantity in mathematics].

Defn: …, in particular, of Russia pre-1917.

14a    A grin spreads after compliment for flavouring (7,5)

{BOUQUET GARNI} : Anagram of(… spreads) A GRIN placed after(after,in an across clue) [a compliment;an expression of praise].

Defn: … for soups and stews, made of a tied bundle of herbs.

18a    Symbol representing a Christian nation or race (5-7)

{CROSS-COUNTRY} : [the symbol representing a Christian] + [a nation under a single government].

Defn: A long-distance footrace.

21a    Pretentious soirée starting late (4)

{ARTY} : [a soiree;a social gathering] minus its1st letter(starting late).

22a    Silly bidding war for rail, for example (6,4)

{WADING BIRD} : Anagram of(Silly) BIDDING WAR.

Answer: An example of which is the rail with short wings and long legs.

25a    Joining forces, being inclined to follow nurse (9)

{ENLISTING} : [being inclined;tilting to one side] placed after(to follow, in an across clue) [abbrev. for an enrolled nurse in the UK].

Defn: Joining the military forces.

26a    An unexpected development in dance (5)

{TWIST} : Double Defn: 1st: … in a tale, say. Remember Jeffrey Archer’s book?; and 2nd: … popular in the 60s.

27a    Shanghai‘s duck-eating breather of fire (7)

{DRAGOON} : [letter indicating 0;a duck in cricket] contained in(…-eating …) [a mythical creature breathing fire].

Defn: …, or to coerce.

28a    Time and pounds invested in more unusual child (7)

{TODDLER} : [abbrev. for “time”] plus(and) { [symbol for the British pound currency unit] contained in(invested in) [more unusual;stranger] }.


1d    Down-at-heel bloke gets right into scrape (6)

{SCRUFF} : [abbrev. for “right”] contained in(into) [to scrape;to roughen the surface of].

2d    Foreign currency invested in new name for nerve cell (6)

{NEURON} : [foreign currency unit, in use not far from the UK] contained in(invested in) { [abbrev. for “new”] + [abbrev. for “name”] }.

3d    You once invested in divine European accommodation for travellers (5-5)

{GUEST-HOUSE} : [“you” from Middle/Old English] contained in(invested in) [to divine;to conjecture] + [abbrev. for “European”].

4d    Fail, catching union leader’s bug (5)

{LOUSE} : [to fail;to suffer defeat] containing(catching) the 1st letter of(… leader) “union “.

5d    Own up and arrive free of drugs (4,5)

{COME CLEAN} : [to arrive at by movement or by making progress, as in “… arrive at a conclusion”] + [to be free of drugs;no longer a user].

6d    Not often experienced, but runs a race, disheartened (4)

{RARE} : [abbrev. for “runs” in cricket scores] + A + “raceminus its 2 inner letters(disheartened).

7d    Black reptile reported in snowstorm (8)

{BLIZZARD} : [abbrev. for “black”] + homophone of(… reported) [a reptile with an elongated body, four limbs, and a long tail].

8d    Reporting to fix support (8)

{UNDERPIN} : [reporting to a higher-up, as in an organisation] + [to fix with a sharp implement].

Defn: …, as a verb.

13d    Gathered together and confined following poor beggar that had been executed (10)

{AGGREGATED} : [as with a student confined to the school or college grounds as punishment] placed below(following, in a down clue) anagram of(poor) “beggar minus its 1st letter(that had been executed).

15d    ‘Too quaint’ possibly identifies this (9)

{QUOTATION} : Anagram of(… possibly) ‘TOO QUAINT’.

Answer: Of which “…” is an example;possibly identifies.

16d    Cut of meat for Cliff in post? (5,3)

{SCRAG END} : [a cliff;a steep rugged rock] contained in(in) [to post;to transport from one place to another].

Defn: … from the neck.

17d    Decorator — till actually holding a dish from Spain (8)

{TORTILLA} : Hidden in(… holding) “Decorator — till actually “.

19d    Decoration for which I must be put in last (6)

{FINIAL} : I contained in(must be put in) [last, eg. in a knockout competition].

Defn: … in architecture.

20d    Newspaper chief called it ordinary, to some extent (6)

{EDITOR} : Hidden in(…, to some extent) “called it ordinary “.

23d    Acquired following in bar (5)

{INGOT} : [acquired] placed below(following, in a down clue) IN.

Defn: … of solid metal.

24d    Log salmon regularly appearing in city (4)

{OSLO} : The 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th letters of(… regularly appearing) “Log salmon “.

The Quick crossword pun: holed+ York+ awes= hold your course



  1. scchua
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Just in case it’s necessary to pre-empt questions/comments: It’s really quite simple. After almost 2 years, I’ve decided it’s about time to start riding off into the (blogging) sunset. As a start, I’m cutting out the extras (illustrations and the like), saving the time required to select and vet (ditto admin.) and caption them. I’m sorry, should this result in your finding less joy in the reviews.

    • bifield
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I don’t blame for taking a back seat, it’s a job I would not be able to do. Thanks for all you’ve done in the past two years.

    • Una
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I’d like to second Bifield, thank you.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your time.

    • Franco
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      So Farewell



      (Always enjoyed your pictorials – both here and on 225.)

    • Merusa
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      You have done a splendid job, I thank you for all the time it must have taken you.

  2. wahoo
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    For Scchua – re 27555 – isn’t the first word of 8d superfluous? (I wont be online on Weds. Sorry BD!) [Moved from the Comment page. BD]

    • scchua
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Hi wahoo, I think it has to be read as “reporting to” = “++++++”, the first part of the answer. (I believe you posted your comment before the blog came out, so you hadn’t seen my explanation yet.)

  3. Jackie
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning folks. I can’t login to the Telegraph website this morning – anyone else having trouble getting the crossword today?

    • Posted July 30, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Jackie

      I had no trouble on a PC.

      • Jackie
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        It must have taken a dislike to my Mac then! Will do one of those shut down/reboot things to see if it helps. Thank you.

    • pax234
      Posted July 31, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      It’s Safari – It seems to be working in Firefox.

      • Posted July 31, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog pax234

        Well now, there’s a surprise!

  4. Jenny
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I can’t get in either on my iPad which is not normally a problem.

    • Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Jenny

      I will have nothing to do with any product made by Apple, but others may be able to help.

      • Angel
        Posted July 31, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        I am currently contemplating buying an IPad Air so BD I wonder why your strong feeling about Apple?

        • Posted July 31, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          They think that they own the world and everyone should buy their products and then get locked into them. The iTunes software is particularly iniquitous and I had to uninstall it to stop it from repeatedly requesting that it be updated. I am more than happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 which runs on the Android operating system.

          • Angel
            Posted July 31, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Thanks BD I will compare the two before I make a final decision. I see that the Samsung is in fact marginally larger and heavier. I also seem to think that there is possibility for tuition/help with Apple which is quite important for luddites like yours truly!

    • Werm
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Have another go , I got it in my iPad with no issues at all , this was at 5.30 am though fyi.

      • SheilaP
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        No problems on my iPad either at 2pm.

  5. njm
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    1.5*/3* for me too. Thanks to Jay and scchua.

  6. Graham
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I for one will certainly miss the embellishments from scchua and wish to thank him for brightening up his reviews. Managed to complete without resorting to the hints, a new word for me in 19D. Many thanks to the setter & scchua for his review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  7. bifield
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    No problems today. I found this to be quite straightforward and a pleasure to solve. Thanks to Jay and to Scchua for his review.

  8. Brian
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    That’s more like it! Having taken CSue advice I finished yesterday’s cryptic in 1* time (sorry I know you shouldn’t comment on yesterday’s but I wasn’t able to log on again),
    This was a a super xword I thought, loved 14a and 18a ( I hated these at school, wet, cold and muddy, YUK).
    Thx to all.

    • Graham
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I’m the opposite I really liked running cross country jumping through mud etc, even ended up in the school team, wish I had kept it up in adult life too old now with a lot of metal in my leg as a result of locking horns with a car on my motorbike.

    • Kitty
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I had mixed feelings about cross country at school. Kind-of liked it, but didn’t like the colour my face would go (and still does) – a very fetching shade of beetroot! Really enjoy running now, but being able to shower afterwards and not have to head back into a stuffy classroom makes all the difference.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I only liked running during Rugby matches and away from trouble especially when being chased by the police or any other adult pure exhilaration. Any other form of running was a waste of time. Never run after a woman or a bus, there is always another behind.

  9. Baa
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I can’t log in on either my Mac or my iPad. Since the fiasco last Christmas, the Telegraph crossword seems to have been behaving itself – thought it was too good to last! Anyone got any solutions to today’s problem please?

    • Jackie
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately they are right. I’ve just logged in with no problems using Google Chrome instead of Safari. It was working yesterday and I haven’t updated anything overnight, so not sure Telegraph explanation is totally valid!

      • Baa
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I agree, now I come to think about it. I haven’t done anything to Safari and all was well yesterday. I’ve downloaded Chrome to my iPad and I still can’t log in. Fortunately my other half is a Windows man and has produced a copy of the crossword. If nothing improves, I shall ring the Telegraph again and report back.

  10. Kitty
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Lovely crossword – thanks, Jay. Something of a walk in the park, but one providing enough exercise, and lasting about the right amount of time for a weekday I think. 1.5*/3.5*. Time to resume yesterday’s Toughie after I have done something useful.

    Thanks scchua for all your hard work providing blogs for our illumination and entertainment :).

  11. Baa
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Have just rung The Telegraph so-called ‘help’ number. It’s a problem with the latest Safari update. I’m told it’s not the Telegraph’s problem and that I’ll have to wait until Apple do something about it. Hmm. They advise using a different browser. Again – hmm. Please, no comments about Apple, I’ve heard ’em all!

  12. Una
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    A gentle crossword from Jay, I thought. I particularly liked 21a, 26a, 27a and 4d. Thanks to all concerned.

  13. JonP
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The crossword equivalent of a pleasant stroll. Thanks to scchua and jay 1.5*/****

  14. Jenny
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I still can’t get in through safari, chrome or yahoo……..

  15. Peter Banthorpe
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Load of rubbish – the hints are more obscure than the clues !

    • Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Peter

      Perhaps you would like to have a go yourself. If not then you know what you can do.

    • spindrift
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Nice way of introducing yourself.

      • Merusa
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Too right!

      • Expat Chris
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        What is it they say about a poor workman?

  16. Kath
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Just testing . . .

  17. Kath
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    . . . and again – not going mad – will explain later.

    • Kath
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I give up – back later – think there’s a gremlin somewhere!

  18. Rick
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Most enjoyable after a bit of a slog yesterday. Liked the misdirection in 22a. Hadn’t heard 16d in years – a stew made of this was one of my grandmother’s staple recipes when the housekeeping was tight!

  19. Sweet William
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jay for an enjoyable puzzle. I struggled with the wordplay on a couple – notably 3d, but sorted in the end. Thank you Scchua for your review and hints. Wednesday mornings won’t be quite the same again – your photos have been great fun, and for Mrs SW and me, at any rate, have caused much amusement. Subsequent comments from other contributors have added to the enjoyment. I have tried to send this twice before this morning with some appropriate emoticons, but am being blocked by some mysterious bug ? Third time lucky.

    • Kath
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Me too – just about to try again. Wish me luck . . .

  20. BigBoab
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay for a nice wee crossword and to scchua for the review, you will be sorely missed scchua, best of luck for the future.

    • andy
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink


  21. Bob H
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks scchua. I too am trying to get rid of some voluntary work. The problem seems to be there are no younger peoplecoming up from behind.
    Regarding the crossword, it was reasonably straight forward and enjoyable as usual.

  22. Jill
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    A nice crossword, not too complicated though I had to think hard about 22a. My favourite was 14a. Thanks to scchua for all your hard work and to all the other hinters and tippers for the occasional saving of my sanity . Much appreciated.

  23. SheilaP
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    **/** for us today. Needed some help from the hints to finish. Thank you to the setter and to Scchua.

  24. Kath
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Still having trouble – 403 whatever that my mean!

    • Sweet William
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      403 was my problem as well Kath. I left it alone for a couple of hours to cool down ! then tried without emoicons and got through,

      • Kath
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        I don’t have the first idea what it means. It went on to tell me that it (don’t ask me what) was forbidden and that access to this resource was denied. I thought I must have done something awful and felt a bit like a criminal. At this point I’d like to put a little crying face but I’m not risking it!

        • Merusa
          Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Don’t cry! Mine went into moderation, I have no idea why, but there does appear to be a bug somewhere.

  25. Miffypops
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Another winner from Jay. None too difficult with only 21ac eluding me. Time for more kitchen work.

  26. Kath
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one very much. 2* difficulty and the best part of 4* for enjoyment.
    I’ve never met the 14a meaning of compliment before and I always forget about that old form of “you” in 3d which took a bit of untangling.
    I completely missed 17d and spent ages trying to work out why the answer was what it so obviously was – oh dear – think I’m getting worse rather than better at these – but I did get 20d!
    It must be quite rare to have one of the more uncommon letters as a checking letter let alone two.
    I liked 5 and 11a and 5d. My favourite was 21a even if it would send my 21a sister into orbit if she so much as caught a whiff that anyone could think they are synonymous!
    With thanks to Jay and scchua. I think anyone who can put pictures into the hints is very, very clever!

  27. Derek
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Gentle puzzle today.

    Fave 22a.

  28. pjdcross
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I would just like to say thank you for this blog from which I get lots of pleasure and enjoyment. I always need help with at least one clue, and the way you give it allows me to feel that I really worked it out myself after all. Please keep up the good work. You all seem such good friends too!

    • gazza
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog pjdcross. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

  29. Annidrum
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Well that filled in rather nicely and without need for any help. Thanks to Jay and best wishes to Scchua.

  30. Merusa
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    At first read through, my heart sank as I could only get two answers, but then I started just writing them in. Thoroughly enjoyed this, and scchua’s hints … we’ll miss you. My fave is 11a, that was a smiler. Thanks Jay, good stuff.

  31. Gwizz
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Scchua for your taste in piccies and your hints over the last couple of years; always a pleasure.
    A good test today and although I got 3d I still need to understand the word play. I shall perservate for longer…
    Oh and thanks Jay.

  32. Gwizz
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Oops! forgot to mention… 14a in the quickie… I haven’t heard that word for years. And I’m sure the way I used to use it didn’t have quite the same meaning.

  33. Graham Wall
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Not a bad little puzzle for the mid week offering. 3D was my favourite. My rating is 2.5/3.5 Many thanks to Scchua for the review. I would also echo the thanks to Scchua for his previous contributions to the blog, a great effort of which he should be proud. What Peter Banthorpe (see above) should bear in mind is that without people like Big Dave, Miffypops, Scchua, Gazza et al there would be no blog for him to unfairly criticise.

    • Kath
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear.

    • andy
      Posted July 31, 2014 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      Agreed Graham. Comments like that get my back up big time. Had the pleasure of meeting Scchua in Derby at a sloggers and betters event. Such a lovely man. He introduced to this blog the idea of underlining key words / phrases/ definitions in a clue, simple but very clever and adopted by (I think) all bloggers now on this site.

  34. Poppy
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh scchua we’ll miss you! But thank you so much for all your hints, images (especially of horses!) and hard work to be part of the efforts that make this blog SO special, so (usually) well-mannered, and such fun… Enormously appreciated. So now I’m almost disappointed I managed the rare feat (for me) of completing without hints today. I’m still struggling with a very poorly little Poppy who might now be needing surgery on her eye – we’ll know on Friday, so I’m willing her better in the meantime, but the puzzle was therefore especially welcome, so thank you setter also. Greetings to all.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Poor, poor Poppy. I’m willing her better too. How old is she?

      • Poppy
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Merusa – she’s six.

  35. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    A1.5*/4* for me. Very enjoyable and thanks to scchua for his great hints today and previously. Not something to be tackled lightly. Must get into the garden early today as another one forecast to be high eighties.

  36. scchua
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The replacent blogger (TBN) will start in the first week of Sep, so I’ll be carrying on till then. In the meantime, thanks for all the kind words and wishes and for being supportive. It has been most gratifying.

  37. Heno
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to scchua for the review and hints, and for the last two years of excellent blogging. A nice straightforward puzzle, with some to make me smile. Last in was 22a,didn’t realise it was an anagram for ages. Favourite was 19d, they used to have these on some telephone poles, but they were not fixed, they just sat on top of a peg. So when elf & safety took off, so were the finials.

  38. Angel
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I have 403 problem too so comment not sent

    • Angel
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      What’s going on? Apart from brief one above my messages are being “Forbidden” and deleted.

      • Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Nothing has been changed – it’s a mystery.

    • Kath
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Me too – it seems to be OK as long as I don’t try to put anything in bold or italics – have yet to dare to try to put in any of my so much loved “little faces”!

  39. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Very late one for me today, but most enjoyable. 2*/3.5*. 19d was a new word for me, and 11a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Scchua, whose unique style of reviews and pictorial embellishments I have always enjoyed. I, and I feel sure many others, will miss them.

  40. Angel
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Still only messages of few words get through.

  41. Angel
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Just to satisfy my curiosity I will try just once more but this time without an emoticon. For me this puzzle was not one of the most entertaining. I hung in there and completed with the exception of 22a which, similarly to Heno, I did not recognise as an anagram and that wasn’t helped by having the wrong decoration (with no rhyme or reason) for 19d. Thanks therefore for sorting me on that scchua and I’m really sorry to know you are winding down. Thanks also to Jay. ***/**.

    • Angel
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink


      • Kath
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Just tried to give you a smile – it didn’t like it so you’ll just have to imagine it!

        • Angel
          Posted July 31, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          Thank you for the smile which I imagined and I failed to send you a wave in return but “hello” anyway.

    • Kath
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      I think the gremlin doesn’t like “little faces” or anything in bold or italics or whatever. Wonder what else he doesn’t like!

      • Expat Chris
        Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        It’s not me, honest!!! [imagine smiley face here].

  42. Only fools
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Belated thanks Scchua ,I remember your first blog very well , I am a big Jay fan and your blogging style also , both remarkably consistent .
    Keep happy .

  43. Reggie
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Nice and gentle for a mid-weeker. No problems but took what seemed ages to get second half of 8d. */***

  44. grahame
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve not written since being sent to the naughty step. This has troubled me overnight. Despite having been a police officer for 35 years, I am always surprised how awful some people can be. I know this is a touch late, but can I give you a heartfelt thanks for your help and instruction, my enjoyment of crosswordland wouldn’t be possible without the help of this blog. My wife and I have done various voluntary things over the years, so I know the pay scale
    Thank you for your help.

  45. chadwick ong'ara
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this Jay effort.Please help with these 2 clues that have beaten me;does he appear in a musical?(6)c???t? and;Drove back from Holland(4)??a?

    • gazza
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      a) c he ats
      b) edam ? (reversal of made)

  46. chadwick ong'ara
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza,never heard of cats musical but googled to confirm,should have mentally put a comma after does=cheats.I suspected EDAM was the ans but knew only the cheese.