DT 27628

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27628

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Three weeks ago I remember saying that by today I would have learnt how to put pictures in – somehow that hasn’t quite happened so apologies if there aren’t any and thanks to BD if there are.  Moving on to the crossword as quickly as possible, I found this pretty tricky – I enjoyed it too – I’m more than happy for anyone to disagree with me.

The answers are hidden where it says “click here” so only do that if you want the answer to be revealed.

Across

1a    Sham  trial (5)
DUMMY: — A double definition.

4a    Frank reveals personal facts about writer without permission (9)
OUTSPOKEN: — Begin with a word meaning reveals personal facts about, often something that a person would prefer to keep secret, then you need a three letter word for a writer, maybe a biro, containing (without) two letters giving permission in an informal way.

9a    Beastly creatures emerge in a cast (9)
MENAGERIE: — An anagram (cast) of EMERGE IN A.

10a    Unusual time Lawrence’s initially spent making bouquet (5)
ODOUR: — I hope you’re all concentrating here – start with a three letter word for unusual or a bit peculiar, then think of a unit of time – there are twenty four of these in a day. Now think of an author whose surname was Lawrence and remove the initials of his christian names (initially spent) or got rid of. This one really caused me a whole load of trouble although the answer was fairly obvious.

11a    A centre for Libyans in poor housing, offering places of refuge (7)
ASYLUMS: — The A from the clue and then some poor housing or a deprived area containing (in) the central letter of Lib(Y)ans.

12a    Particular keys jamming lever (7)
PRECISE: — A verb meaning to lever, or force open, containing (jamming) a couple of musical keys.

13a    ‘Narcotic composition,’ I scoffed (6)
OPIATE: — A two letter musical composition is followed by the I from the clue and a word meaning scoffed or gobbled.

15a    Bouncer, perhaps, quick to stand by dance (4,4)
FAST BALL: — The first part is a word meaning quick or rapid and the second is a formal dance. Oh dear – cricket – if I managed it so can any other cricket phobics.

18a    Trout teem by fronts of boats (8)
RAINBOWS: — This a particular kind of trout. A word meaning teem or wet stuff coming from the clouds is followed by the nautical term for the fronts of boats.

 

20a    Stall interminable craving for needle (6)
STYLUS: — This needle is something that used to be used to play vinyl records. Begin with a stall, maybe for housing pigs, and follow it with a four letter word for craving or strong desire without its last letter (interminable).

23a    Breaks apart and becomes weepy (5,2)
TEARS UP: — Breaks apart or rips into bits can also be used as a description of how a person’s eyes may look if they’re about to cry.

24a    Note learner blocking ski slope gets the message (7)
EPISTLE: — A musical note comes before the beaten track of a ski run containing (blocking) the usual one letter abbreviation for a L(earner).

26a    Forgot lines and flopped getting to grips with Romeo (5)
DRIED: — Something every actor and actress dreads – a word meaning flopped or collapsed (pretty permanently) contains (getting to grips with) the letter that Romeo represents in the phonetic alphabet.

27a    Nude  photographs? (9)
EXPOSURES: — A double definition – the photographs are sections of film that have had access to light. I think you’re probably all capable of working out the nude bit!

28a    Getting on, sent scene with alternative endings (9)
SENESCENT: — I suppose this is technically an anagram but not one that should send any of us scurrying for our pens and paper as that’s not how the setter wants us to solve the clue. All you need to do is follow the instructions – follow the first three letters of sent with the last letter of scene then the first four letters of scene with the last one of sent (alternative endings). Hopefully you end up with a word that I for one have never met before.

29a    Bloodthirsty Sonny, boxing champion once (5)
TYSON: — Here we go again – not only a hidden answer (boxing) but to do with boxing too.

Down

1d    English intend to put on austere air (9)
DEMEANOUR: — This air, or manner or appearance, comes from the abbreviation for E(nglish), another word for intend or plan to do – all of that is contained in (put on) a word meaning austere or grim.

2d    One checking one’s finances (5)
MONEY: — The ‘One’ from the clue is contained by (checking) the two letters for how the setter may refer to something belonging to him or her (one’s).

3d    Hog roast held in tent is a cultural production (7)
YOGHURT: — Don’t be fooled into thinking that the cultural production is a play or an opera – it isn’t – it’s something you eat which is a fermented milk product. A tent used by nomads in Siberia and Mongolia contains (held in) an anagram (roast) of HOG.

4d    Adjusted hours to secure new career (6)
ONRUSH: — Not the kind of career like teaching or medicine. It’s an anagram (adjusted) of HOURS containing (to secure) the one letter abbreviation for N(ew).

5d    Articles about singular sanctimonious luvvie (8)
THESPIAN: — The definite article and the indefinite article (articles) contain (about) S(ingular) and a two letter word meaning sanctimonious or obtrusively religious.

6d    Take care of deterioration in muscle temperature (7)
PROTECT: — An abbreviation for the muscles responsible for arm and shoulder movement contains (in) a word meaning deterioration or going off and all that is followed by T(emperature).

7d    Clever clogs will endlessly talk on, sadly (4-2-3)
KNOW-IT-ALL: — An anagram (sadly) of WIL (will endlessly) and TALK ON.

8d    Sauce  bottle (5)
NERVE: — A double definition. Cheek or sauce, as in “You’ve got a ******” and bottle as in bravery.

14d    Mock shortcoming Labour’s leader’s overlooked (9)
IMITATION: — This ‘mock’ is not a verb meaning tease or ridicule it’s an adjective describing a substitute. A word beginning with an L meaning a shortcoming or lacking in ability (such as my being able to put pictures in the hints!) without the first letter of L(abour). (Labour leader’s overlooked).

16d    Pay attention — stray bugs! (7,2)
LISTENS IN: — A word meaning to pay attention or take notice of what is being said is followed by a verb meaning to stray or do wrong.

17d    Suit or suite? We cope with it somehow (3-5)
TWO-PIECE: — An anagram (somehow) of WE COPE and IT.

19d    Departs coming from where hospital visits take place too (7)
BESIDES: — Where do people sit when visiting someone in hospital? Remove (coming from) one of the abbreviations for D(eparts) seen at a station.

21d    Fool assuming North, South and East may make co-ordinates (7)
TWINSET: — These co-ordinates are items of clothing. A four letter word meaning fool or silly billy contain (assuming) the abbreviations for N(orth), S(outh) and E(ast).

22d    This is spouted to tape garbled (6)
TEAPOT: — An anagram (garbled) of TO TAPE.

23d    Also charged with marking on snooker table and small disturbances (2-3)
TO-DOS: —. . . and just to finish me off completely we have snooker! A three letter word meaning also, or as well as, contains (charged with) a marking on a snooker table – the marking looks like a letter and, as far as I can work out, is fairly well up to one end of the table – follow that with the one letter abbreviation for S(mall).

25d    Thug raps occasionally with singular spirit (5)
TURPS: —This spirit is not one that you would drink – well, I do hope not anyway as it would do your insides a load of no good! It’s used to thin paint or clean paint brushes. Take the odd letters (occasionally) of Thug raps and follow them with the abbreviation for S(ingular).

I liked 11 and 26a and 3 and 21d. My favourite was 7d. What did you all think? Please leave a comment with your opinions.


The Quick Crossword pun: cap+tin+slog=Captain’s log


Advertisements

64 Comments

  1. Beaver
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Pole position at the moment !Thought it was quite difficult but clever add enjoyable-needed careful parsing so going for a 3.5*/3.5*.Thanks Kath for explaining 10 a, was looking at the letter L to be involved-never mind, 23 was a bit iffy usually’ wells’, not sure if I’d heard of 28 before but had all the ‘fodder’ in so easily solved.

  2. gazza
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I liked this very much – thought it was one of the best back-pagers for some time (excluding Sundays of course). Thanks to Mr or Mrs Ron and to Kath for the excellent write-up.

  3. Collywobbles
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Kath. I”’m just about to start. In view of Gazza’s comment can I assume that the setter is not RayT

    • Kath
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Yes – I think you can safely assume that. I did wonder when I first looked at it but there’s no Queen and the clues and answers in the Quick crossword aren’t all single words. Anyway, it’s not his week!

      • Collywobbles
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Many thanks Kath, I’m off to the races

  4. dutch
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you Kath for explaining 4a and 10a, both of which i struggled to parse. Today’s was a bit trickier than most. My favourite is 29a, the boxing champion, I’m not a big boxing fan but have heard of this guy. I thought it was well constructed, though looking at the clue in hindsight I think I would have preferred an alternative word for bloodthirsty.

    I liked 3d too, the culture one. 16d (pay attention) got a smile when the penny dropped.

    Thank you setter and Kath and presumably BD for the pictures!

    • gazza
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I thought ‘bloodthirsty’ was quite apt since this boxer was once disqualified for biting off part of his opponent’s ear. :D

  5. John Pidgeon
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Gazza. I don’t often check in, but I’m glad I did today. Thanks too, Kath. JP

    • Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Yet another new email address John! Welcome back, again.

      For those who don’t know, John sets Toughies as Petitjean.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Glad to know that my suspicions as to the setter when I was half way down the acrosses have been confirmed.

      Thanks to PJ and K.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    3*/3*. An enjoyable and challenging puzzle spoiled for me only by 23a, which IMHO is a very poor clue. 10a was my last one in because it took so long to justify the obvious answer.

    The brief 8d was my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath.

  7. Rick
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    An excellent puzzle I thought and a meaty challenge, so bouquets to the setter and to Kath for unpicking it. There was hardly a write in on the whole grid and some very cleverly disguised definitions. I liked 10a because the parsing lingered long after the bunging in was over, but my favourite is the very clever 28a.
    I agree with Gazza – 3*/4*

  8. George
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I found this one very difficult. Perhaps my usage of English has changed while living in Canada, but I found some of the wordplays extremely weak – I would never think of some of the definitions as synonyms I would use.

    Since when did 1a mean trial, for example? I had no idea what 23d was about and the hint above does not make it much clearer – added to the fact I had forgotten this could mean a disagreement!

    Oh, well, it is just that some days I am very dense, I suppose!

    5*/1* for me.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      George, a dummy run is a trial run.

      • George
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        I would not say that – a dummy run is one with a substitute – a trial run is a test run with the proper whatever. But then maybe that is just my interpretation.

    • Dave Hartley
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Dummy run, trial run?

    • pommers
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      The marking on the snooker table is the D, so called because of its shape. It’s where you have to put the cue ball when you break off at the start of a frame.

  9. BigBoab
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable crossword today from Petitjean and an excellent review from Kath, many thanks to both. Favourite clue was 29a.

  10. JonP
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Great fun solving this – challenging too. Thanks to Kath and setter 3.5*/4*

  11. Brian
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Too hard for me, def belongs in the Toughie envelope. *****/*
    Could someone explain why Dummy is either sham or trial?
    Fair to say that I disliked this puzzle intensly. Been a tricky week all round but at least the rest were enjoyable.

    • Steve_the_Beard
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      See the responses to George :-)

    • Michael
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      I agree, this one way above my pay grade – I couldn’t get on with it at all, very disappointing. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of this lark along comes a puzzle like this and any confidence you might have gained is destroyed in one go!

      Ah well, tomorrow is another day – big sigh! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Jane
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        It can only get better – can’t it? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Kath
          Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          There are good days and bad days and lots in between but, after all, it’s only a crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Kath
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Oh no – onwards and upwards should be the motto. Just keep going – you win some, you lose some . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. Tony
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, but the NE corner pushed it very close to **** in difficulty for me. I thought 10a was a wonderful clue, but toughie-worthy, and I was not aware of the bravery meaning for bottle, not that luvvie was anything other than a term of endearment. Of course, in baseball, the last thing a fast ball should do is bounce!

  13. pommers
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    We enjoyed this one a lot and wish we got Petitjean puzzles more often. ***/**** from us.

    Favourite has to be 8d as I had one in my hand when pommette read out the clue – thought she was asking me to pass it to her :lol:

    Thanks to Petitjean and Kath.

  14. SheilaP
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I thought this very difficult today, not one of my favourites. Some of the clues are far too convoluted for me. I need them to be much more straightforward. Well done
    Kath, we needed your help a lot so thank you and thanks to the setter too. Must try harder http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  15. Franco
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Well done, Kath!

    Boxing, Cricket and Snooker! All your favourites!

    • Kath
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Franco – he missed out football, rugby, golf, horse racing and a whole lot more – lets be thankful for something . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  16. Steve_the_Beard
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Nice one, Kath! It’s a bit of a shame that you couldn’t give us any pictures for 27A, though :-)

    My last one in was 10A, because I’d forgotten all about Mellors, and is my pick of the day.

    Many thanks to Petitjean and Kath.

  17. Kitty
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif! Ooh, this was a hard one, but immensely satisfying for me as I conquered it all – and in an impressive (for me) time too. I was on form and on wavelength today. I think it’s the best I’ve ever done with a puzzle allotted four stars for difficulty.

    Glad to know which setter I am thanking for such a winning puzzle – thanks JP/PJ! So many lovely clues, especially most of the downs. I’m happy that 28a was so friendly in its wordplay, because although I knew the word I might never have brought it to mind. Otherwise, it all went in smoothly and brought many a smile to my face. 27a made me think of scchua and wonder what illustration he might have chosen…

    Thanks also to Kath, and well done for enjoying this tough challenge when faced with also having to blog it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword once I got into it. Starting with NE corner where I had bloom for 10a (boom for the unusual time)as we haven’t witnessed a boom in France for the last 30 odd years and the first letter of Lawrence. I was hoping that Kath would give us a clip of Stevie Wonder “Mr know it all” for 7d. I agree with you about the cricket though. Great review. Thanks to petitjean and again to Kath. Ps 11a being my fave. Merci beaucoupment

    • Kitty
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

  19. spindrift
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Wrong envelope day for me I’m afraid.

  20. Graham Wall
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    A hard slog for me today but worth the effort. 3.5*/4* Thanks to Kath for the review

  21. Una
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I was utterly baffled at the beginning, so then I did what I do with difficult puzzles and began at the end. The south east corner went in fairly easily, followed by the south west.It took a while to get into the setters mindset, and as I did so it began to flow.I thought it was interesting.
    Favourites (sorry Kath), 22d and 27a, the first two in.
    Thanks Kath and Petitjean ?

  22. Merusa
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Very tricky but very enjoyable. I needed help for the why of quite a few as I had used the M’pops rule often. Well done, Kath, you are brilliant. Thanks to setter and to Kath for the review.

  23. Gwizz
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    A tricky so-and-so I must say! But very satisfying to complete. Like Una I was struggling to get going but once the bottom section started to open up things got a little easier. I thought 10a was a lovely clue, definitely my favourite.
    Thank you Petitjean and Kath for a revue which cannot have been easy! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  24. Jezza
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Ditto what Gazza said above. Thanks to JP and to Kath for the review.

  25. NJoy
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    A day off so I get to join in at a reasonable time. Great challenge of a crossword. I got completely stuck on10a – well done Kath for sorting that one out. My favourite was 27a – I followed the instructions in the clue, looked it up in BRB and hey presto! Thank you Petijean and Kath for making a rainy day more pleasurable.

  26. Collywobbles
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Blimey Kath, just finished. This puzzle was at least 3* for me although I did need to refer to your hints which I found very clear, thank you very much

  27. Collywobbles
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Blimey Kath, just finished. 3* for me, at least, and that was with using your hints which were very clear, thanks very much and thanks to Mr. Pidgeon for a fine puzzle.

  28. Derek
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle today!

    Faves : 10a, 24a, 3d & 23d.

  29. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Kath, you were in our conversation several times while we were solving this, usually with the adjective ‘poor’ put before your name. Especially when we got to 29a which was both an inclusion and a sports one. That was a really loud “POOR KATH”! Really enjoyed the puzzle and agree with the ratings. Good fun from start to finish.
    Thanks Petitjean and Kath.

    • Kath
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Kiwis – maybe being in your conversation got me through this one!! I did find it difficult. Elder Pet Lamb has an expression that she uses when she’s a bit less than at her best – she rings up and says that she’s a bit “poor pig!” That’s what I felt like when I had about three answers having read all the clues through once! Oh dear, oh dear! Oddly enough the sporting ones, with the exception of 23d, were the least of my problems today. Whatever – we live and learn . . .
      Off to bed now – totally knackered . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  30. Jane
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    This one had me almost in tears, both for myself and for you, Kath. Sport all over the place and a lot of ‘toughies’ elsewhere. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Didn’t know the ‘pi’ definition in 5d; Mr. Google didn’t suggest that 15a was a ‘bouncer’ and I still think that the clue for 16d should read ‘pays attention’.
    Sorry PJ – I think you’re just a bit too ‘toughie’ level for me, but I loved 4a, 14d and 21d. Favourite was definitely 10a (when I finally parsed it!).
    Hope you’ve opened a bottle by now Kath – you certainly deserve it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    Many thanks for all your ‘sweated labour’ – next Thursday will be fine for us. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  31. Little Dave
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Found this tricky.

  32. Jane
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Oops – light-bulb moment – should I have read ‘strays’ as ‘ stray s’?
    Knew I should have had that G&T earlier on! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Kath
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      No – I think you should have read it as ‘pay attention’. What did we say to our daughters when they were little “Now ****** to me etc etc” followed by a three letter word (a noun or a verb – take your pick) meaning stray or do something wrong.
      Need supper now – back later. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

      • Jane
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kath (you clever girl!). I’ve got it now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
        Still think a stray ‘s’ would make a good clue – if it was in the right place! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        • Kath
          Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Your stray ‘s’ was always a bit of a mystery to me . . .
          As for the bottle, it was opened hours ago – it’s now long gone! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  33. Annidrum
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and I’m patting myself on the back for having completed it without resorting to the hints although I was tempted to a time or two. I needed the hints to explain a couple of my answers so thanks Kath and thanks to Pettijean for the enjoyment.

  34. Miffypops
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    A five star blog Kath for a five star puzzle Mr Petijean. My hat is raised to you both.

    • Kath
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks MP – really appreciated. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  35. Salty Dog
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Pretty tough for a back-pager, but satisfying to solve. Took me ages to break into it (hence 3.5*/4*) but flowed nicely once l got going. 21d was my favourite – easy, no doubt, for a lady, but certainly not for me. My thanks to the setter, and to Kath for the review.

  36. Sarah F
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Very hard and I am nowhere near finished as I have been out all day, but will work at it over the next day or so. Many thanks for the hints which explain the clues so well. I would be completely at sea without them. Thanks to the setter as well.

  37. Angel
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    This really was a rather dry brain-teaser and not my scene at all although I did somehow get there in the end without hints. Several clues didn’t really ring true e.g. 23a and 23d. Liked 10a and 3d. I don’t envy you your job today Kath. Hope for more joy tomorrow. Thanks PJ anyway. ****/*. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  38. Heno
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Petitjean and to Kath for the review and hints. Well done Kath for being able to blog this. I found this so difficult, was only able to solve 6 clues. Was 5*/2* for me. Completely impenetrable.

  39. Expat Chris
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Hats off to Kath! I could barely get a toe in the water on this one.

  40. Hanni
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    ****/****. A bit of a late review but I adored yesterday’s back page. Fiendishly difficult and great fun.
    Favourite clues were 4a, 8d and 16a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the excellent review. First rate Kath. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  41. Dave B
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    One of the best back page crosswords I’ve had the pleasure of attempting. Quite brilliant in areas, although a definite ****/****

  42. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I started this last night and having read half the clues without so much as a sniff of a single answer I fervently hoped it really was as hard as I was finding it.
    Today it went much more as it should and I finished without needing Kath’s excellent review. So 4* for difficulty, 5* enjoyment, many thanks to Petitjean, and humble admiration for Kath solving it under pressure yesterday!

  43. Sweet William
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Petitjean – all too much for me I am afraid. Did most of it yesterday in dribs and drabs and tried to finish it this morning, but needed some hints to progress. So, many thanks Kath for your review and hints. A great triumph to decode all that ! We had a wonderful experience yesterday at WWT Martin Mere – the whooper swans haven’t arrived in any numbers yet, so the pink foot geese have the lagoon to themselves. And what a sight to see 35 thousand geese coming in to roost in the late afternoon. What a noise ! Unforgettable !