DT 27572

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27572

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This is fairly standard fare for a Tuesday – nothing too difficult and nothing too exciting. Do let us know how you got on and what you thought.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so try not to do it by accident.

Across Clues

1a Carpeting put round a fine flat originally showing workmen’s resource? (11)
SCAFFOLDING – put a carpeting or ticking-off round A, F(ine) and the first (originally) letter of F(lat).

9a One barmaid, Beth’s thrown out hippy (5,2,3,4)
BROAD IN THE BEAM – in the surface hippy is a noun but as the definition it’s an adjective. We have to make an anagram (thrown out) of ONE BARMAID BETH. I’d better not provide any pictures!

11a Top entertainer hosts sporting competition (4)
OPEN – hidden, indicated by hosts, in the clue.

12a Endless temptation I had that’s sensational (5)
LURID – a word meaning temptation or enticement without its final letter (endless) followed by the contracted form of ‘I had’.

13a Excitement in place housing those with conviction? (4)
STIR – double definition – the conviction is one of a criminal nature.

16a Copper plate initially placed by executives in storage area (8)
CUPBOARD – string together the chemical symbol for copper, the initial letter of plate and the executives of a company or organisation as a group.

17a Fellow left with rush in East End producing commotion (6)
FLURRY – abbreviations for fellow and left followed by how a Cockney would say a word meaning rush or haste.

19a Reproduce prints of sporting decider? (3-3)
RUN-OFF – without the hyphen this is a phrasal verb to print copies; with the hyphen it’s a further contest to get a decision after an inconclusive result.

20a Look briefly at a chop that’s cooked — and soup (8)
GAZPACHO – a verb to look steadily without its final letter (briefly) is followed by an anagram (that’s cooked) of A CHOP.

22a What medicine is supposed to do, we hear, is found in list (4)
HEEL – this sounds like what you hope medicine will do.

23a Blue week in terrible year (5)
BAWDY – insert W(eek) in an adjective meaning terrible and follow this with Y(ear).

24a Detect  feature on snooker table (4)
SPOT – double definition – the second being one of the marked points on a snooker table on which the balls are placed at the start of a frame.

27a Pub expert — and provider of services? (5,9)
LOCAL AUTHORITY – double definition – the first being cryptic (this person could be either (a) someone who compiles a ‘Good Pub Guide’ for example or (b) a know-all who sits at the bar freely giving everyone the benefit of his expertise on all matters).

28a Calm Scandinavian featured in a French story (11)
UNFLAPPABLE – insert a Scandinavian (one from Santa’s place of residence) into a French indefinite article and a story or moral tale.

Down Clues

2d Harmony shown in letters (14)
CORRESPONDENCE – double definition with the first meaning harmony or compatibility.

3d Chore, having to defend line that’s standard (4)
FLAG – an informal word for a chore or tiresome task contains (having to defend) L(ine).

4d A column noted in passing? (8)
OBITUARY – this is a cryptic definition of a newspaper column about noted people who have recently passed on. This clue doesn’t really work for me.

5d A particular  military unit (6)
DETAIL – double definition. The second is a small detachment of troops given a special duty.

6d Requirement originally named by daughter (4)
NEED – the word, from French, preceding a woman’s maiden name is followed by D(aughter).

7d Alternative cup devised to get money for new businesses (7,7)
VENTURE CAPITAL – an anagram (devised) of ALTERNATIVE CUP.

8d Would-be clever figure roams by tots awkwardly (6-5)
SMARTY-BOOTS – an anagram (awkwardly) of ROAMS BY TOTS. The surface is not great.

10d Musical venue formerly by right in Switzerland overlooking a pair of lakes (7,4)
CONCERT HALL – insert an adverb meaning formerly and a 2-letter abbreviation for right into the IVR code for Switzerland. After that we need A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for lake twice.

14d My enjoyment is limited in foreign island (5)
CORFU – an exclamation of surprise (my!) followed by a word for enjoyment or entertainment without its last letter (is limited).

15d Inclination to invest small amount of money in fruit (5)
SLOPE – insert (invest) the abbreviation for our smallest coin into a bluish-black fruit.

18d Owned second joint in which there’s onset of real privation (8)
HARDSHIP – string together a verb meaning owned or possessed, S(econd) and a bodily joint (the same one that featured largely in 9a). Finally insert the first letter (onset) of R(eal).

21d Handy  guide giving instructions (6)
MANUAL – I dithered as to whether this was a double definition or a cryptic definition and finally came down in favour of the former (although I’m open to persuasion). It’s a) an adjective meaning by hand and b) what’s usually put on the shelf unopened and only referred to if all else fails.

25d Pounds invested in hollow blueprint (4)
PLAN – insert the abbreviation for pound (from the Latin word libra) into a hollow or basin.

26d A study curtailed in district (4)
AREA – A (from the clue) is followed by a verb to study (especially at university) without its last letter (curtailed).

I liked 9a and 27a. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: ROTA + PLAIN = ROTOR PLANE



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63 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    2*/2.5* for a reasonably enjoyable puzzle but slightly lacking in sparkle.

    I struggled initially with 20a because stupidly without checking the anagram fodder I instantly put in the obvious (to me) “smarty-pants” for 8d. I’ve never before heard of boots being used in this context but both items are mentioned in my BRB!

    27a was my favourite, but the long winded 10d is an example of the type of clue that I like least.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  2. Miffypops
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I could not agree more young Gazza. It all went in a little too easily except for 12ac which was mildly stubborn. Ta to all

  3. Brian
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    No real problems today except trying to figure out the wordplay for my answers (both correct) to 10d and 14d, very convoluted!
    Loved 9a, v clever and also 8d when I stopped putting in PANTS.
    Thx to all.

  4. Collywobbles
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve been struggling with this puzzle for about an hour with minimal progress. Maybe I havn’t tuned into the setters waveband. I’m going to try to resist it but I fear that I will rely heavily on you today, Gazza. Thank goodness for BD’s blog

    • Collywobbles
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I take it back. Once I filled in 9a from the hints the rest fell into place fairly easily. Many thanks, Gazza, for unblocking it

  5. Ian
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Thought it was going to harder than it turned out. 4d gave me an ‘aha, clever!’ moment, but now you mention it Gazza, there’s something not quite right with the clue. Biggest puzzle for me today was the quickie pun!

  6. Clarky
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    “As above”, really….
    I liked 27 & 28a.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza, as always.

  7. Sweet William
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter, I enjoyed that. Some amusing clues – 9a comes to mind. I also thought initially of “smarty pants” for 8d. But having deduced that it was an anagram and “smarty” was the first word, even I could get “boots” ! Thanks for the pictorial review Gazza and hints.

  8. skempie
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Bit of a curate’s egg for me. Some quite nice cluing but some not quite so. For some reason, 27A had me stumped for ages (even with all the checking letters in place, think it must be early onset Alka Seltzer)) Really enjoyed 1A and 9A (must make sure that the Mrs doesn’t see this one) but i think today’s favourite must be 7D.

  9. Graham
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Fairly straight forward solve last two in were 14D 15D & I don’t know why they took so long but hey-ho. Like others my favourite was 9A which in my opinion was quite clever.Many thanks to Gazza for the review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Heno
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I quite liked 9a too, but I have seen it before.

      • Kitty
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        I remembered the phrase from May this year (DT-27498, 5d), where it was clued as Hippy perhaps sporting a denim bathrobe. Searching for it to find the reference, I see that it was also an answer in 2011 (DT-26494, 12a), where the clue was: Fat American woman shown up in car headlight? :)

        (P.S. oh dear – sorry that the two links means this required moderation. I’d forgotten that.)

        • Kath
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          The “Fat American woman” etc etc is wonderful – I don’t remember that one at all. Perhaps someone really clever could work out which day of the week it was and then we could all have a guess at who set the clue – I’m not clever enough to do that but I’m quite sure someone is . . .

          • gazza
            Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Puzzle 27498 was published on a Saturday this year – see here.
            Puzzle 26494 was on a Tuesday (but over 3 years ago) – see here.

            • Kath
              Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

              . . . but how do you do that? I would love to be clever enough to be able to do it . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

              • gazza
                Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

                Not sure what you mean by ‘that’.

                If you mean how do you find stuff on the site then use Google – click on the word Google above the calendar at the top right on the screen. That opens a search box – just enter what you’re searching for e.g. puzzle number, word or phrase (if it’s multiple words put it in double quotes, e.g. “broad in the beam”) then click on Search. Then scroll down to see the search results.

                If you mean how do you put a link in your comment see the section ‘How do I add a link to a comment?’ in the FAQ.

                • Kath
                  Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

                  Thanks gazza – I meant both of those “thats”. Oh dear – what appalling grammar!

  10. Heno
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. Some nice clues, but some were a bit clunky. No real favorites, was 2*/2* for me.

  11. Kath
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree with gazza’s 2* difficulty but would give it an extra one for enjoyment so 3* for that.
    I’ve only heard of ‘smarty pants’ but 8d was very obviously an anagram so end of problem.
    28a took a while and so did the untangling of 10d.
    I can’t see why now but my last two were 23a and 25d.
    I was going to be picky about whether or not ‘heal’ and ‘cure’ are synonyms but BRB disagrees with me so I’ll shut up!
    I did think that some of the surfaces were a touch on the dodgy side but apart from that I quite enjoyed the crossword.
    I liked 9, 27 (Miffypops?) and 28a and 14d, especially the picture.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and gazza.
    Chilly and very autumnal in Oxford – leaves starting to come down – isn’t it a bit early? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      We have Sedums called Autumn Joy in our gardens Kath. The flower heads are a lovely light green colour and stay that way for ages. Eventually they start to blush pink and then turn red. The day that they blush pink is the day the leaves will start to turn on the trees. It works every year. A couple of years ago they started blushing in the middle of July and sure enough the leaves left the trees early. They have started to blush today so it wont be long until I am dragging the leaf sweeper behind the ride on mower to clear leaves off the car park and the camping field.

      • Kath
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        . . . but it’s still too early – it’s still only August . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Bluebird
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think smarty boots has ever existed. Bossy yes. And pants yes, but not together….

      • Kitty
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes. I looked it up, and bossy-pants is not in the BRB.

      • Kath
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        I think that mentioning “boots” and “pants” in the same comment is just asking for trouble specially on a gazza day! I also think that you weren’t commenting on the blog when gazza and BD almost had a competition to see who could produce the most outrageous pictures. It’s all become far more “tasteful” these days.
        I have to say that they made me laugh, quite a lot! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          That would have been before my time on here, but does sound fun. When was all this? Would be fun to take a peek :).

          Tasteful has its place, but on the whole, I tend to prefer tasty… Nom nom!

  12. LolGee
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward for me today. I completed it without resorting to hints although I needed Gazza’s help to understand the reasoning behind 14d. Favourites are 4d and 27a. Least favourite funnily enough was the first one in – 10d. Thanks to Gazza and compiler

  13. Jason
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I too did not find it too enjoyable, although thanks for sorting out 23a for me – I had it down as weary. W (week) followed by an anagram (terrible) of year.

    • Merusa
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Me too! But I did suspect it was wrong so only put it in lightly.

  14. Rick
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward solve but from the bottom up for some reason. I got 7d then 28a and went on from there. Some nice big anagrams for a generous supply of checkers and it came together with no real stumbling blocks. 9a definitely my favourite – I must be in a decisive mood today. (And yes I did spot your fence sitting ‘pick one from four’ Kath)
    I have seen 4d clued better – ‘Column of passing interest’ sticks in my mind from somewhere?
    1.5* for difficulty but I enjoyed it so 3*

    • Kath
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      No – just decided that I wasn’t going to have a favourite today. In any case the fences are far too wet to sit on!

      • Rick
        Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Otherwise known as changing the rules as you go along http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Kath
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          . . . just a twenty-four hour amnesty. The rules will be back tomorrow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          • Rick
            Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            I’ve been married for nearly 40 years, I know how these things work…

    • Kath
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      I give in to anyone who has been married for nearly forty years – we’re a mere thirty-seven – you obviously know far more than I do. There again perhaps we’re looking at things from different view points! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        We’ll be clocking up 47 years in November!

        • Rick
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Whenever subjects like rules crop up my wife and I look at things logically and carefully and have a full and frank exchange of views. Then we do it her way.

          • Kath
            Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            Hmmmm – lucky old her (not thatI’m calling her old of course) – it’s rather the other way round in our house. Husband states his views – I do the same – and then we each carry on doing what we’ve each always done i.e. his way! It seems to work . . .

        • Kath
          Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          Blimey – well done to you, but probably even more well done to Mrs BD – I can’t help wondering how much she gets fed-up with the blog and the time you spend on it.
          A little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to Mrs BD!

  15. Jill
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Not a difficult puzzle except for 8d. I am familiar with “smarty pants” or “clever clogs” but smarty boots is a new one to me. I liked 1a and 9a so will give it **/***.

  16. BigBoab
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable if untaxing crossword and an excellent review, many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  17. Gwizz
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Somebody mentioned ‘curate’s egg’ to which I agree. Most of the bottom part went in with no problems but the top half was not quite so straightforward, but I’m willing to put that down to my brain being a bit iffy perhaps today!
    I liked 23a.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  18. Beaver
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Like KATH, going for a **/***as it was amusing, also only heard of’ smarty pants’ but the solution was obvious from the remaining anagram letters and also agree that on first scan it looked harder than it turned out to be; probably because I always start ‘top left ‘and 1a proved illusive until I had some letters in! Liked 9a and 27a,which sums me up a treat.

  19. Angel
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza although didn’t need to call on you this time. I’m with those above who have not heard of footwear for second part of 8d but it couldn’t be underwear with ending of soup in 20a and anagram made it obvious. Several good clues but I particularly liked 6d, 27a and 28a. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  20. LindaR
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    My last clue was 22 across and even though I read your explanation numerous times I didn’t get it.
    Thank you for your explanations, you have helped me a lot in understanding the clues, I’m doing a lot better these days on my own.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • gazza
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Linda.
      HEEL means to list or lean over and it sounds like (we hear) HEAL (what medicine is supposed to do).

    • Miffypops
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      And a very warm welcome from me too Linda. Please do ask if you are not sure. Sometimes the hints are more vague than the clues.

  21. Graham Wall
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Like other bloggers I was the victim of the tripwire clue which was 8D. Another one for the memory bank. I would rate this as 2*/3*. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

  22. Vancouverbc
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable solve thwarted for a long time by 23a which started out as weary ( anagram of year and W). Once sense prevailed it was a reasonably straightforward puzzle. Liked 4d and 9a. **/***. Thanks to all.

  23. F1lbertfox
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    For some reason or other, 23a was my last one in. It took me longer than any other of the clues to solve – I could barely believe that five letters could need three clues to the whole word still, that’s what cross-wording is all about I suppose. All told I enjoyed today’s offering and found it mostly pretty straightforward, although I have to admit to electronic help for two of the anagrams. 1 & 17a were two of my favourite clues today. Thank you to the setter.

  24. Kitty
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Woohoo! I finally managed one on my own again :). Because of that, I’m tempted to give it a very low difficulty rating, but the consensus seems to be **, which actually does seem about right, because there was some meat to chew on. There were some great clues, and one or two that I was less keen on. I’d never heard of 9a until the last time it came up in a crossword, so was happy to meet it again today. On my shortlist for favourite were 27a, 28a, 2d and 7d, but I shall crown 23s as my pet clue today. Enjoyment was ***, plus some extra stars for sheer relief that my brain hasn’t quite gone yet :).

    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza for a fine review.

  25. Merusa
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this, but I did need the hints to know the “why” of a couple, e.g 14d, though the island seemed obvious. I also got stuck with the soup as I thought it was spelt with an “s” not a “z”, so missed the “look briefly” part. I got 10d early on without a problem and that gave some nice starter letters. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review and enlightenment.

  26. Framboise
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Managed this one all on my own but as always went through the review for enjoyment, many thanks to Mr. Gazza and to Mr. Ron of course. 27a gave me a run for my money for some unknown reason but suddenly I saw the light. First one in was 2a. My favourite clue was 28a. I had never heard of smarty boots – went for pants as many of us did – but it was easy to correct as it was an anagram. For me 2*/3*.

  27. Mark
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I also enjoyed the wordplay in 1(a) – carpetting
    27(a) had me stumped as well – maybe the initial diphthong (is the au-sound strictly a diphtong?)

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    The discussion on smarty/bossy, boots/pants also happened over our breakfast bar solving place. We had actually written in pants without checking the fodder too but it did not delay us for long. It all came together smoothly with its fair share of smiles.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  29. Hilary
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    No particular favourite although slightly soft spot for 9a (oh no I’m not), but am not a great fan of too many long words so only **/**. Antique brain did quite well only needed to confirm 23a.

  30. Una
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Just two days out of practise and and I find it quite a challenge but a very enjoyable one. I too fell into the 8d pitfall trap, until I was certain of 20a.My favourites were 9a (which I have decided not to take personally and anyway there are others far broader than me) and 25a.
    I spent two days touring the Beara peninsula , which has some of the most stunning scenary in Europe and not a tour bus in sight, almost empty in fact .
    Thanks Gazza and setter, for an enjoyable puzzle.

  31. Salty Dog
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    No real problems: about 2*/3*, l think. There were some quite nice clues (l enjoyed 1 and 9 across). Thank you Mr Ron, and of course Gazza.

  32. Reggie
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Rreally enjoyed this one. Excellent clues. Would ratr as */****

  33. Catnap
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I was rather slow getting into this puzzle, but am not sure why. 9a was my fave, but it did have echoes from a previous puzzle for me, too. (I don’t recall the one from over three years ago, though.) Also liked 17a and 3d. Overall rating **/***.

    It has been very interesting and beneficial going through the review. (No picture for 9a? That must have been a hard temptation for Gazza to resist!) I needed the hint for 14d, and missed the double definition in 27a. I was uncertain whether 1d was a double definition or not. I also dithered about 21d. I originally marked it as a double definition and then rubbed out my pencil marks and changed it to a cryptic! Now I shall change it back to the former!

    Many thanks to the setter for the enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks and appreciation to Gazza for invaluable enlightenment.

  34. martyna
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza. Loved 28a. My kind of clue. Although I’d not heard of 8d, I knew it was an anagram so didn’t fill in pants. Couldn’t work out why 14d was the answer until I read the hint. As always, I needed help to finish e.g. I needed to reveal your answer for the soup.

    • gazza
      Posted September 5, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog martyna.

      • martyna
        Posted September 5, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Thanks. I’ve been lurking for a few months but haven’t contributed until now because I didn’t feel I could add much to this wonderful blog. I’m a complete novice, getting the DT cryptic via a free English paper in Hong Kong – published a couple of weeks after the UK, so you’d only ever get an out-of-date comment. However, it’s lovely to read posts from this charming community. With everyone’s help, I have gone from only solving 2 or 3, to now solving two-thirds without having to refer to the hints. However, I’m not sure that I’ll ever fully complete one unaided.

        • gazza
          Posted September 5, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          The reviewer will always see your comments no matter how late they are, but if you wanted to get the Telegraph puzzles on the day of publication in the UK you might consider subscribing to the Telegraph Puzzles site (cost about 3 pounds sterling per month). Then you could join in with our friendly banter.