DT 27604 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27604

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27604

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the heatwave is over and the weather has finally turned autumnal.  I was going to give this puzzle only 3* for enjoyment but it grew on me while writing the review.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue and the answers are under the click here buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see the answer.

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           Black mark for tourist attraction (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT:  A term for a small mole or similar dark mark on the skin is also a tourist attraction.

6a           Examine mollusc — a nautilus when shelled (4)
SCAN:  The answer’s hidden in mollusc a nautilus.

9a           One in seven workers is out to lunch (5)
DOPEY: It’s one of the seven workers in Snow White.

10a         Belief in teaching (9)
INTUITION: A belief that women are said to have more of than men.  It’s IN (from the clue) followed by a word for teaching or instruction.

12a         Film’s closing credit, perhaps, missing Depp’s first name (7)
ENTITLE:  Name as a verb.  Take the term for the closing credit of a film and remove (missing) the D (Depp’s first).

13a         Love gin knocked back in school with Riley, et al (2,3)
OP ART:  The Riley here is Bridget Riley and the answer is the school of painting of which she is a foremost exponent.  Start with O (love) and follow with a reversal (knocked back) of what a gin is an example of (not the booze!) and split the result (2,3). If you can focus properly on this image you must have better contact lenses than I have!

15a         Banger and mash crusade (4,3)
USED CAR: This isn’t necessarily a banger but it is an anagram (mash) of CRUSADE.

17a         State of panic about English pound (7)
LEATHER: Take what you are said to be in when panicing and insert E(nglish) to get a word meaning to pound or beat.

19a         Stiff with cold, short man in a river (7)
CADAVER: Start with C(old) followed by A (from the clue) and then R(iver). Insert (in) a shortened man’s name between the A and the R to get a stiff.

21a         Horse’s heart found in rejected beef — that is a giveaway (7)
FREEBIE: Start with BEEF backwards (rejected), insert (found in) the central letter (heart) of hoRse and follow with the two letters for ‘that is’. This would have been very topical a couple of years ago!

22a         Fancy  design (5)
DREAM: Doudle definition.

24a         Shoe doesn’t fit? That could make one bristle with agitation (7)
BLISTER: This is what you might get if you wear ill-fitting shoes. It’s an anagram (with agitation) of BRISTLE.

27a         Colour produced by tar after fusion (5,4)
UNION JACK: Colour as in flag. A word for fusion or joining followed by one of the many other colloquial terms for a tar or sailor.

28a         Cancel Times? Anyone’s conclusion! (5)
ERASE: Some long times followed by E (anyonE’s conclusion).

29a         Aircraft supplies Spain (4)
KITE: A WW2 slang term for a plane is some supplies or equipment followed by the IVR code for Spain.

30a         PC setter or otherwise looking back (10)
RETROSPECT: Anagram (otherwise) of PC SETTER OR.


1d           Foretell the odds of bloody end to siege (4)
BODE: The odd letters of BlOoDy followedby E (end to siegE).

2d           He rapped about getting to grips with new bust (9)
APPREHEND: Bust as in being bust by the rozzers. It’s an anagram (about) of HE RAPPED with N(ew) inserted (getting to grips with).

3d           To get date stone, have a bash first (5)
TRYST: This date with your boy/girlfriend is the two letter abbreviation of a stone but before it (first) you need a word for have a bash or make an attempt.

4d           Set up controls to cover daily intake of alcohol (7)
SNIFTER: Reverse (set up in a down clue) some controls, used on a horse perhaps, and insert a daily newspaper (the pink one).

5d           Shift more cars, say, than Lotus managed — including almost half of Elans (7)
OUTSELL: This is to shift more product than a competitor. It’s an anagram (managed) of LOTUS with EL inserted (including almost half of ELans). Well you didn’t think I could resist this one did you?

7d           Mate that’s from Staffordshire? (5)
CHINA: Rhyming slang for a mate is what the county of Staffordshire is famous for producing, especially around Stoke-on-Trent.

8d           N, evidently, for no-hoper? (3-7)
NON STARTER: This is one of those backwards clues. The answer is describing what the letter N is in the first word of the answer.  Hope that made some sort of sense.  If anyone can describe it more clearly please let me know!

11d         Press, mature? That was in the past (4,3)
IRON AGE:  About a couple of thousand years ago!  A word for to press followed by a word for to mature.

14d         Groggy from drink consumed (5-5)
PUNCH DRUNK: A drink usually based on wine followed by a word for consumed a liquid.

16d         Beware mother’s Northern fellow having primitive ways (7)
CAVEMAN: Crosswordland’s favourite Latin word for beware followed by the usual mother and N(orthern).

18d         In here bat settled for winter (9)
HIBERNATE: This is winter as in to winter or overwinter.  It’s an anagram (settled) of IN HERE BAT.

20d         Tease American composer for bony frame (7)
RIBCAGE: A word for to tease or make fun of followed by an American composer. He’s the one famous for the piece where there are musicians on stage but they don’t actually play anything, it’s 4’33” of silence.

21d         ‘The Queen’ film previously play (7)
FLICKER: Play as in how a light might play on something.  Start with the usual letters for the Queen and before them (previously) put a slang term for a cinema film.

23d         Benedictine issuing proclamation (5)
EDICT: It’s hidden in Benedictine.

25d         Stronghold without key or lock (5)
TRESS: For this lock you need to start with a stronghold like a large castle and remove (without) one of the musical keys and OR (from the clue).

26d         Coat with zip (4)
PELT: Double definition.  There is a perfectly good alternative answer to this clue which, of course, is the one I thought of first! ZEST is the outer coat of a citrus fruit and also means energy or zip and it fits the checkers. If I were marking your work I would accept both answers!

Some clever stuff here but my favourite was 24a. How about you?

The Quick Crossword pun: lawn+err+dune=Lorna Doone

109 comments on “DT 27604

  1. I found this one quite challenging – after heading off in many wrong directions! But I did finish after much head scratching.

    3*/4* for me today.

  2. This felt to me like the setter was trying to emulate RayT – which is no bad thing. Mostly short clues and a royal appearance. I had success apart from parsing 8d (I do keep forgetting about those types of clues), and I had Pommers’ alternative answer for 26d. It was a very nice crossword, but I didn’t do much smiling during the solve. Most probably entirely due to missing cosy holiday breakfasts and that novice solver with the irritating habit of getting some answers before me!

    Thanks to the setter for the super crossword, and to Pommers for the top-notch review.

    1. Actually, I do remember smiling at 9a, so that has to be my favourite.

      P.S. how do you know which is the “correct” answer to 26d?

  3. I’m stuck on 26d, I’ve looked at your solution and am a bit dubious – the ‘checkers’ are accepted as read but I went for another word that begins with a ‘z’ and includes a ‘s’ and means having ‘zip’ – the only problem is that I have no idea what it has to do with ‘coat’.

    On further consideration I can see your first solution and think it’s much better – as you were!

    I’ve just read the proposed answer again and see the alternative solution agrees with me – I didn’t realise that ???? was the thin skin of citrus fruit, I thought it was the fine spray given off when you scrape or cut it – you live and learn!

  4. Wow, a quality back pager that rivals many of the recent easier toughies. My last one in was 26d which had several alternatives – going through the alphabet mentally of course meant I got to the best one last – which makes a great clue! if it isn’t right (which i doubt), then the setter arrived a a masterpiece serendipitously.

    Equally great – the bangers and mash! (15a)one in seven workers! (9a) belief in teaching (10a) the shoe that doesn’t fit (24a) aircraft supplies (29a), setter used for something other than me (30a) the bloody end of siege (1d) controls over daily intake of alcohol! (4d) no-hoper (8d) beware mother’s northern fellow (18d), american composer’s bony frame (20d) and the Queen film (21d)

    It has been a while where so much lovely surface appeared in a back pager. An absolute delight.

    Thank you setter and pommels

      1. I answer to pretty well anything, especially if you’re offering a drink – at least he got the lower-case p http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        1. My Dad always used to say he didn’t mind what anyone called him as long as it wasn’t early – it took me years to understand what he meant.

      2. Don’t be too hard on him, the autocorrect changes it, also capping the “p”. I have learned to review my posting, even so, I still miss them sometimes!

        1. Yes, I was guilty of an accidental extraneous capitalisation today. I do try and check my comments, because sloppy writing isn’t pleasant to read (and when it’s bad enough to be difficult to understand, it’s just plain rude, I think*). Having said that, There’s no point in spending that long proofreading: it’s only a comment after all!

          *but for anyone with genuine difficulties, please don’t be put off – how awful to feel you can’t contribute because of dyslexia or something. I know someone very bright who is so self-conscious about her writing, it’s so sad :(. Hmm: yet another example of me changing my mind between starting to write something and finishing!

  5. Thank you setter – I really enjoyed that, it was just the right standard of difficulty for me. Bs and Ks as checking letters really helped. Thanks Pommers for your comprehensive pictorial review and hints. I considered both options for 26d and went for the wrong one. I thought at the time that both would pass, so I lost on a toss up.

  6. I reckon anyone who’s put ZEST for 26d can count it as correct http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif I thought I’d finished and was very surprised when the web site refused to accept my solution. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    Crossword clues are supposed to have only one possible answer but this one has two.

    1. with zest by far the better of the two! becomes a cd instead of dd? I think the “with” works nicely (perhaps even only?) with zest.

      1. Hadn’t thought about that but the cd does actually work http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Anyway, I have to say it’s the better answer as it was the one I put in first.

        1. Sometimes I really struggle with the terminology you ‘eggheads’ use – cd? dd? Can you please explain for the more challenged amongst us!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            1. AH! Many thanks gazza – don’t like to keep asking Big Dave, he’s getting v. frustrated with me and keeps referring me to FAQ! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

              1. They are not in the FAQ because bloggers on this site are discouraged from using gobbledegook in their reviews – but it does sometimes creep into the comments.

                This is an explanation lifted from “another” site for the clue:

                Furious pensioner gets fine for nothing, initially, so starts shooting (5,4)
                OPENS FIRE

                (pensioner f – n{othing})*

                This would be our explanation:
                An anagram (furious) of PENSIONER with F(ine) and the initial letter of N[othing]

                How lucky you are to have this site for Telegraph crosswords!

                1. Oh heck – I just knew you’d be looking in!
                  Yes BD – I’m really, really lucky to have the site – much appreciate it and prepared to go down on hands and knees to thank you – but if the twiddly bits discombobulate me, I feel a compelling urge to ASK!
                  Next time you’re feeling generous with answers – what the dickens is permalink all about?
                  OK – sorry, sorry http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                  1. Yes – if you don’t understand do ask – and while we’re at it what is permalink about? I’ve never known either but tend not to press something unless I know what it does for fear of blowing something up! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

                    1. Permalink just gives you a permanent link to the comment in question. Nothing more scary than that – click on one now and you’ll see that you won’t blow anything up!

  7. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    4.5*/3* for what was for me a wrong envelope puzzle. After my normal 2* time (which is what it took me to complete Tuesday’s Toughie) I was staring at an almost empty grid with just three answers filled in – one of which was the “alternative” answer for 26d!

    Persistence eventually paid off, and, as things started to fall into place, my enjoyment level rose.

    My brain feels somewhat addled after such a major effort and could be the reason why I’m still not sure what 9a has to do with being “out to lunch”, and why does “issuing” in 23d indicate a hidden word?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to pommers.

    1. P.S. Does anyone know why my comment is awaiting moderation for the third day running? Am I doing something wrong?

      1. Apparantly it was “awaiting spam check” so I approved it. No idea what happened and BD has been known to say that the spam checker is a law unto itself!

        “Out to Lunch” is a slang phrase describing someone who’s not all there or a bit dippy. In 23d I guess the answer could issue out of the fodder.

        1. As a moderator on a Football Forum, you have my sympathies with filters having their own minds at times!

          But I bet we have more issues with the swear filter than Big Dave does!

  8. 26d didn’t cause me a problem as once I’d entered the one beginning with P, I thought no more about it! What did catch me though was 27a. I convinced myself that this had to be UNION BLUE, although parsing blue as tar was dubious (I satisfied myself that sailors wear blue). Anyhoo, so convinced was I that my answer was correct, I couldn’t then complete the puzzle.
    Apart from that, the rest went in reasonably easily.
    Thanks to the setter, and to pommers for the review. **/*** without 27a. ****/*** with it.

  9. I also enjoyed the crossword much more in 30a.
    Think I’d have to say 3* difficulty as it took me ages to get started and it felt quite tricky while I was doing. I’d go for 4* enjoyment.
    I only had one answer in having read all the across clues through and really thought it was going to be difficulty but then did quite a few of the downs.
    I spent too long trying to fit an X into 28a and couldn’t do the 30a anagram even though I had all the right letters.
    Also couldn’t get beyond 20d beginning with ‘Rag’ for tease – stupid!
    I’m in the zest club and the alternative/right answer hadn’t even occurred to me.
    I liked 19, 21 and 24a and 3 (there’s a date stone on our house – it says 1807 and has the builders initials) 14 and 18d. My favourite was 9a.
    With thanks to the setter and thanks and well done to pommers.
    Off to make more cushion covers for younger Pet Lamb now – that’s if I can thread the sewing machine – the picture for 13a has made me go boss-eyed! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  10. Thanks for your help with DT crosswords. Just one thing though – I’m still learning and not as clever as you all are, and the new way of revealing the answer is very novel, but I preferred the old way, as I copy and paste your answers into a word document and print it off. With the old method I could bring up the word file on my computer and highlight the answer to any I couldn’t do and change the font colour to complete the crossword without going online.

    1. Hi Jacki and welcome from me too. I think the change was made because the old method of concealing the answers doesn’t work on an iPad.

    2. Hi Jacki – gosh, I’m thinking you are really, really clever and techno-savvy. Clinging on to the hope that it doesn’t mean you’ve got a better chance of solving than I have! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  11. A mate from staffordshire is a kidda. Some obscure synonyms in this lot. Didn’t get the reasoning behind8d. 26d was too fluffy for me. Took me ages therefore 4* Still enjoyable, but would have been less so without Pommers hints and explanations.

  12. A very enjoyable and quite tricky crossword today, thanks to the compiler and to pommers for an excellent review.

  13. I enjoyed today’s puzzle; a very slow start and a feeling of uselessness at the lack of answers but then things started to improve. I did like 20d although it took me a while to spot. Last one in was 28a for some reason.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and pommers for his hints and explanations.

  14. Found this very tricky today and needed a couple of hints to finish. Thanks to pommers and setter 3.5*/3.5*

  15. I thought this perfectly dreadful. Mind you it doesn’t help when you have no idea who Bridget Riley is or the composer in 20d. Still don’t inderstand 9a, why lunch? 8d is a complete mystery. Why is flicker play? Why is pelt zip? And where does the N come from in 12a and what missing D. Surely the opening sequence are the titles not the closing ones!
    I think I would almost prefer a Ray T, at least then I know I won’t understand the clues.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    1. Can’t help if you’ve not heard of the artist or composer but knowledge of either isn’t really necessary to solve the clues. I hadn’t heard of the artist.

      It’s not lunch it’s “out to lunch”, a slang phrase describing someone who’s not all there or a bit dippy.

      Fickering lights ‘play’ on things.

      Pelt/zip as in run fast.

      12a – across. Just read the clue properly! It says a film’s CLOSING credit. That’s an ENDTITLE – take the D out and you’re left with a word meaning ‘to name’.

      Honestly don’t think you have much future as a crossword solver.

      1. Thx I get it now. I think you are right about my crossword solving abilities although to be fair I almost always finish Friday’s and Sundays unaided.
        It’s just that I can’t get to grip with Mr Ron or my nemesis. It’s a wavelength thing.

        1. “I almost always finish Friday’s and Sundays unaided” – I am, therefore, surprised you struggled with this one. I’d put an average Friday at least a star harder! Oh well, we’re all different.

          Forgot about 8d earlier. As I said in the hint it’s a backwards clue. N is the first letter of the first word of the answer so it’s the starter of NON, i.e. NON-STARTER, which is a no-hoper.

          1. Ah now I see, very clever almost a pun which I love and I know BD hates along with my other fav the spoonerism :-)

        2. I think you’re definitely right about the wave lengths – I almost always struggle with Fridays so it’ll be http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif from you tomorrow and I’ll be the one tearing my hair out!

          1. Oh no! You’ve depressed me by reminding us it’s Friday tomorrow which means I too will struggle.

        3. Being pretty new to this dark art, I think a lot of it is psychological insofar as if one believes that one is unable to complete a crossword because it is by a particular setter then one is at an immediate disadvantage.

          Of course there are different levels of difficulty and I totally struggle with setters like Anax / Elkamere, Scorpion and Elgar but they don’t set DT backpagers (at least I don’t think so).

          If you’re able to complete Giovanni on Friday unaided then you really should be OK with the rest of the week and maybe try not to fall into the “Rabbit in the headlights” trap when it’s a setter that you’re a bit unsure about and trust in the fact that you are reasonably / well experienced with the conventions and have a pretty good chance of solving it.

            1. . . . Kath in the headlights doesn’t have quite the same ring to it but that’s what I am every Friday . . .

          1. I partly agree with you – there is a fair bit of the psychological stuff going on (if something calls itself a Toughie I automatically can’t do it because I don’t expect to be able to) but I think it’s just as much, if not more, to do with whether or not you’re on the right wavelength.
            I must look up wave length, wavelength, and wave-length – I splatter it around completely randomly knowing that just occasionally I’ll be right! Oh dear!!

                1. Oh no, clever is not the same as smart ar alec!

                  (In my case, there might be the odd way in which I’m clever, but I also manage to find many and various ways of being dim-witted and 9a … http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif).

                  1. Hi Kitty – haven’t a clue as to which areas you are clever in, but guess that’s the wonderful thing about a site like this – we all start with a clean sheet and just share one common interest…….. apart from BD, of course, and he scares the bejesus out of me.
                    Balderdash – bet he’s still looking in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                    1. Yes, it’s a lovely warm and fluffy site. And although I haven’t yet met Big Dave, (hopefully will make one of the meet-ups at some point) I have no doubt that he’s equally lovely and that you have no reason to be scared!

                    2. Jane – be scared! Very Scared!
                      I’ve met BD a couple of times and in apperance he’s as cuddly as the honey monster. But with a giant brain who doesn’t suffer fools gladly !!!

                    3. There you go – both you, Kath and you, Pommette came up marked permalink, so I can’t press a reply button to get back to you! Def. need that darkened room again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
                      Thanks for confirming my worst fears, Pommette. I reckon that, unless you’re making a really serious crosswording comment, he gets very, very annoyed and probably blows out mouthfuls of whichever breakfast cereal the Honey Monster used to advertise! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            1. Yep – wavelengths too indeed. Rufus generally leaves me scratching my head but I’m slowly getting on wavelength – or am I believing in more in my ability to solve?? Who indeed knows…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            2. Big Dave and his wife put on a very nice spread if you are passing their way. Big Dave is the most succinct emailer ever. He edits our blogs where necessary although I believe Gazza, pommers and others post without edit.. As for recruitment for bloggers, that is down to Big Dave, We got Kath on board and we now have the 2kiwis. I say “Here Kitty Kitty Kitty” I know she will not come when called but she may well think about it.. I think her sense of humour would suit this blog.

          2. Very good advice but it’s a bit like trying to forget a bad shot at golf, us amateurs let it affect the next shot but the pros put it out of their mind!

            1. Alternatively, you’re a rank amateur like me – haven’t a clue who set it so can’t be put off before you start!
              Think I might focus on remaining that way. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  16. A stiff test for me too, beyond 3* difficulty but an enjoyable challenge even if I did need a 4d afterwards.
    I got stuck in the NE corner, partly from not seeing the 6a lurker for ages and I still don’t fully understand 8d despite the hint (sorry pommers).
    Loved the picture for 5d – I have had four of them and deeply regret selling the last, not least because they have doubled in value since!

    PS zest works for me.

    PPS Half way through I thought to myself ‘Brian’s not going to like this’. Seems I was right!

  17. Thought it was going to be a 2* for difficulty until I came to a grinding halt just over half way through and had to work harder, so going for a 3*/3*
    Not v. happy with 8d and found 22a a bit ‘weak’. I was with the setter on 26d, but take others’ point of view over zest.
    4d was a ‘bung it in, work it out later’ – considered contacting MP for advice!
    9a def. fav. Those who didn’t get it were presumably ‘out to lunch’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Kath – see what you mean about Brian. He can’t resist having a go at Ray T even when it’s not his puzzle! By the way – anybody know who the setter is?
    Many thanks to pommers.

    1. Poor Brian – he has the occasional good day, then some middling ones and the rest I won’t describe as one of the very few things that’s banned here is bad language!
      He’s quite right about wave lengths though.

    2. I didn’t bung any in today Jane, they were all carefully and painfully worked out. If it fits bung it in can work very well in giving more checking letters but one should always return to it to work out why it is right and how it fits the clue. Beware though, it may be wrong and once a wrong un is it it can be hard to make progress. I thought 4d was a superb clue though.

      1. I DID – honestly, I went back and worked it out – but it was so much easier with the answer already filled in! Any time I see a remotely ‘boozy’ question, I think of you.
        Sorry, just the way it goes! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  18. Off round to a friend’s place soon where there’s no internet so I won’t be back again until tomorrow.

    BTW, as we’ll be eating outside (if the rain holds off) I’ve just put on a pair of long trousers for the first time since the middle of May. Told you it had gone autumnal http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  19. I was as off wavelength today as I was on wavelength yesterday! I just could not get into it at all and had only done about a half when I gave up and resorted to pommer’s review.
    I never got 1a, which is pretty stoooopid, considering we’ve had it more than once before. Fave was 9a with honourable mention to 8d.
    Thank you, setter, not your fault I’m thick, and many thanks to pommers for helping me to fill in lots of blank squares.

      1. Thanks, I feel better already! Of interest, 26d came to on first read through too. For instance, 15a totally flummoxed me, I could not get off banger for sausage … oh my goodness, English sausages, I’m drooling already. We can’t get them here, nor anything like, but I think I’ve found a site online and might give them a go. No wonder I couldn’t get my brain off sausages!

        1. If it’s not bad form to do this on this blog…Merusa, yes you can get really great bangers and right there in Fort Lauderdale, FL! Murvest Fine Foods will deliver by UPS or Fedex. We’ve been buying from them for ages.

          1. Thank you so much for that, right on my doorstep, so to speak. I’ll definitely give them a try, I miss my sausages so much!

        2. Merusa – English bangers are hard to get here too . . . and now you have me drooling.
          bangers n mash with onion gravy is one of my all time favourite suppers!

  20. No problems, but definitely a slower solve than usual. Zest as an answer for 26D never occurred to me because pelt has come up as alternative word for coat, hide or fur a number of times before, probably more so in the quickie. I, too, thought 22A was a bit weak, but overall it was an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to pommers and today’s setter.

  21. So many brilliant clues, 4d was extra brilliant.
    Got there in the end unaided but beyond, slightly, my normal time.
    I think RayT has some keen competition now for Thursday.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to pommers for the review

  22. Bloody marvellous. ***/***** for me. One of the best of the year. I normally finish the back pager before rising. Today I got up with less than half done and twice my normal time taken. I have returned to it steadily throughout the day gradually teasing out odd answers. The last two in were courtesy of the old Gin Trap favourite at 13ac which opened up the cockney Rhyming Slang for me old china plates. Every clue a belter and nowhere at all was there an if it fits bung it moment. pommers review is right on the ball so thanks to him. I am with the ZEST brigade for 26d. Thank you very much Mr setter. I like your style.

  23. Yes, I’m in the zest camp too. Took me ages to do today – not helped by firmly putting Beachy Head in at 1a because I didnt read the clue properly. So 5d revealed my error and explained why I hadn’t managed to fill in 3 & 4 down. Thank you setter for some good mental exercise once more, and thank you pommers for much needed help. Do I need to worry that Mr P. has presented me with socks that each show a separate day of the week?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. Yes you do Poppy. Saint Sharon bought me some. What a pain they are. Fortunately they only go from Monday to Friday.

  24. We had put in zest for 26a and moved on without a single thought for alternatives. A good thing we we weren’t blogging this one! Thought it was quite tricky in places but good fun right through. Thought that Petitjean might be the setter, but as nobody else has ventured a guess, perhaps we should just keep quiet too.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers. (we’re pedantic enough to believe that proper nouns deserve CAPITALS but will bow to your preference, at least today.)

    1. Hi Kiwis – just deleted the ‘shouldn’t you be in bed’ comment – I guess you’ve just got up!
      Guess we’ll find out the setter at some point?!!

    2. T’other half says ” who says pommers is a proper noun?
      I’m always know as pommette with a little “p” too!

  25. Glad to seethat I was not the only one to have a slow start, I thought here we go again it is definitely Thursday. Then I gathered confidence as a few down answers slotted in. Still needed a bit of help to finish. Thank you pommers.

  26. ****/****. Took me forever to get going and it was lunchtime the next day before I got there and only then with some help from Pommers to whom much thanks and apols for the upper case P which my iPad provides.

  27. So we do have t’internet after all! Guess who’s hijacked it? Seems to have been busy this evening.

    Maybe see y’all tomorrow.

  28. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but much too difficult for me. Needed 5 hints and 3 lookups to finish. Favourite was 15a, was 4*/3* for me.

  29. Did anyone find the toughie easier than this today? I finished the latter without help but needed help on a couple with this.

  30. Did this a day late as was too busy yesterday. Didn’t find it too tricky although 8d stuck a bit until I had more checking letters and then the penny dropped.
    I didn’t know Bridget Riley either, but it didn’t prevent completion.
    15a raised a smile and was probably my favourite.
    Thanks to both setter and pommers.

    On to Friday’s puzzle now …

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