DT 27629

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27629

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on an overcast, grey and drizzly morning.

A rather strange feeling to this puzzle from Giovanni, in that it felt quite tricky while I was solving it, with some interesting pieces of wordplay, but the clock on the Telegraph site told me I’d finished comfortably within ** time. It will be interesting to see what others have made of it.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

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.

Across

7a           Bad weather is restricting team playing — very unwelcome message (8)
HATEMAIL – An anagram (playing) of TEAM inside a variety of precipitation.

9a           A part of the face beginning to glow, in pain (6)
ACHING – Put together A from the clue, a aprt of the face, and the first letter of Glow.

10a         Film actress opposite H. Keel in 1953, significant time (1-3)
D-DAY – The name of the actress who starred in Calamity Jane opposite Howard Keel, shortened to first initial and surname (like H. Keel), giving the start of a military operation.

11a         Violent duo out to get a transfer of power (10)
DEVOLUTION – Anagram (out) of VIOLENT DUO.

12a         Still and quiet lake with chemical harmful to it? (6)
PLACID Put together the musical symbol for quiet, an abbreviation for Lake, and a corrosive chemical.

14a         Appearing before the photographer again or taking a rest? (8)
REPOSING – Double definition, the first possibly describing what a photographic model is doing on take two.

15a         and 17: Clue to a padre being seen here in military area (6,6)
PARADE GROUND – This is a reverse anagram: if A PADRE were the answer, the first word of this part of a military camp would be the anagram fodder, and the second would be the indicator.

17a         See 15

20a         Mother or saint in a position to honour the dead (4,4)
HALFMAST – Another unusual construction: The answer, read literally, could describe either a familiar word for mother, or an abbreviation for saint, but is actually where a flag is flown as a sign of mourning.

22a         See shelter inside, wanting to have a rest (6)
SLEEPY – A word for see, as in ‘I xxx with my little eye’, with a position sheltered from the wind inside it.

23a         Like many foreign goods, I can be brought in as hand luggage? (10)
IMPORTABLE – Split (1’1,8) this could mean the phrase in the second half of the clue.

24a         Little son, depressed and not reacting quickly (4)
SLOW – An abbreviation for Son, followed by depressed or down.

25a         River gets any number cut off initially (6)
SEVERN – Start with a word meaning ‘cut off’ and add the algebraic symbol for any number, to get the river which starts in Wales as Afon Hafren.

26a         Animals ascend, running over hill, half hidden (8)
ECHIDNAS – An anagram (running) of ASCEND wrapped around the first half of HI(LL)

 

Down

1d           Hot and cold drink will get sign of approval (8)
HANDCLAP – Put together Hot, AND from the clue, Cold, and a word for the act of drinking (like a cat, for example).

2d           Lots of people gathering together drink audibly (4)
BEVY – A collection of people, usually blondes or beauties in tabloid-speak, which sounds like (audibly) a drink (or several).

3d           Stood by after king attacked (6)
RAIDED – The Latin abbreviation for a king, followed by a verb meaning stood by or assisted.

4d           Girl one with long slow strides? Much quicker mover (8)
GALLOPER – An informal spelling of ‘girl’ followed by someone walking with long, slow strides.

5d           I chew suet, a smashing addition to ham? (5,5)
WHITE SAUCE – Anagram (smashing) of I CHEW SUET A, giving a traditional accompaniment to boiled ham.

6d           Congenital pest speaking endlessly in pub (6)
INBORN – Remove the final E from someone who drones on and on, and put the result inside another word for a pub.

8d           and 19 Down: Building with special horses, 51, most unlikely to collapse (6,6)
LIVERY STABLE – The Roman numerals for 51, followed by a phrase (4,6) meaning most unlikely to collapse. I’m not sure what is special about the horses in this building: I always thought it was sort of taxi rank where you could hire one.

13d         Plant some powdery stuff in 5, as one might say? (10)
CORNFLOWER – A flower which sounds like (you might say) one of the ingredients in the answer to 5d.

16d         Designing buoyant structure with sound cladding (8)
DRAFTING – A floating structure, such as Kon Tiki, with the sound of a bell wrapped around it.

18d         I’d set up plan to engage the old woman — I’m a tactful type (8)
DIPLOMAT – Reverse (set up, in a Down clue) I’D from the clue, then add another word for a plan with an old woman (the same one as in 20a) inside it.

19d         See 8 Down

21d         Stars, about a thousand — they may be fighting each other (6)
ARMIES – A sign of the Zodiac with the Roman numeral for a thousand inside it.

22d         What NE river is rising, revealing froth? (6)
SEETHE – Start with an exclamation such as ‘What?’ followed by the river which runs through Middlesbrough, then reverse the whole lot (is rising).

24d         Buried under piece of grass is a chemical (4)
SODA – A piece of grass or turf followed by A (from the clue).


The Quick Crossword pun GEN + ERR + ASIAN = GENERATION

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71 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    2.5*/1*. For someone who prefers cluing which is brief and humorous, I found today’s offering verbose (nearly 9 words per clue on average!) and joyless. That said, 15a/17a & 20a were cleverly constructed.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

    • Vince
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      20a was definitely cleverly constructed. I didn’t understand it, at all. I got from the letters of the down clues. Could you explain, please?

      • gazza
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Half of MAst is mother and the other half (maST) is saint.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Your brevity puts me to shame, Gazza :oops:

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Not easily, Vince – but I’ll have a go! It’s one of those reverse constructions where you need to work back from the answer.

        As stated by DT in his review the definition is “in a position to honour the dead”. If you look at the second word of the answer half of it is a word meaning “mother” and the other half is the normal abbreviation for “saint”.

        • Vince
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it does male sense. Thanks Dave and Gazza.

  2. Angel
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Wow I did find this a struggle but surprised myself by completing apart from 26a which I had not come across. Couldn’t get Last Post out of my mind for 20a so that held me up too. Picture to 5d hint reminded me of what my husband used to refer to as “bill-poster’s paste”! For me two successive days of challenge. Thanks Giovanni and DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  3. Ian
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    **/*** for me. Agree with DT about the unusual wording and construction in the clues, but enjoyable nonetheless. Needed hints to understand 26a and 16d. Missed the ascend anagram in 26a and so ended putting in Latin plural for my answer.
    Really enjoyed watching the gorgeous Doris Day. Ah, if only all of life was a musical. Thanks to the Don and DT.

  4. skempie
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Another very enjoyable offering from The Don. This was one of those puzzles which started off with no hope of finishing, then one or two answers popped up and then it was finished. Not easy to pick a favourite, but I think I’ll go for 20A – makes me think of all the young lads we’ve lost recently

  5. Collywobbles
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Good morning DT. It’s blue skies here in the Languedoc. I’m ready for your hints because I’m stuck so it’s looking more like 3* to me

  6. George
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Moderately difficult for me – didn’t help that I had cornstarch for 15d for a while, puzzling over the word play for a while – then I remembered it is called cornflour in the UK!

    2.5*/4* for me.

  7. Hanni
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    **/****. A nice military theme today. I thought I started off well but failed to parse 1d properly and rushed and put in ‘backslap’. I’ll go and sit in the corner!
    26 was a bung it in and look it up clue.
    Favourites were 15&17a and 20a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging. :-)

  8. Beaver
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Found the parsing difficult today and was a tad off the wavelength, agree with Rabbit Dave that the clues were ‘too convoluted’ like 20a, more a ***/** for me. Liked 10 across, always a fan- and 12 across, which is also itself a lake-not sure if the Don meant this.

  9. Miffypops
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Not as difficult as yesterdays wonderful offering but not at all easy. Reverted to help for 26d and had to peep at the hint for 22d for which I had the answer but couldn’t find a river. I had the rivers Tyne and Wear, even the Ouse and the Aire but could not see the water for the wet stuff as it were. Doh! Saint Sharon and I are flying off to Belfast tomorrow to see Van Morrison on Sunday night. I know how to treat a lady.

  10. Kath
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 2* and 3*.
    I didn’t find this anywhere near as tricky as I usually do on Fridays – apart from 20a – I’ve really only just got there with that one.
    I’m not sure that I’d have 5d with ham and, if I did, I wouldn’t make it with the homophone of 13d but that’s probably just me! Oh dear, for the first time today.
    21d was my last answer – I always forget about those sorts of stars.
    I was slow and dim about 10a too.
    I liked 1 and 6d. My favourite was 15&17a – yes, I know that’s a bit like having two favourites . . . Oh dear, again.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.
    Brilliant letter in yesterday’s paper, “My internet went down for about five minutes the other day so I headed downstairs and spoke to my family. They seemed like nice people.” Husband didn’t think it was quite as funny as I did! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    • F1lbertfox
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      With parsley sauce made with the homophone of 13down and served with broad beans and mash, for me Kath :-)

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I spotted that letter yesterday too. I thought it was hilarious, but when I read it out to Mrs RD she seemed unmoved.
      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      Perhaps I should have scanned it and sent it to her by e-mail!

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      With reference to those sort of stars Kath

      Your daily horoscope whatever your star sign. The Stars and Planets will not affect your life in any way.

      Same as yesterday

      Same again tomorrow.

      • skempie
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Strange, that was all over Jack FM (Bristol)’s web site today

    • Brian
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Had white sauce with cheese over cauliflower but with ham? That’s a new one on me. Is this a regional dish?

    • dutch
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      yes, the clue fell completely flat on me because i would never have white sauce with ham – in general there is a risk in clueing culinary or any other tastes

  11. F1lbertfox
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Considerably easier to complete than yesterday’s (which I did complete, but thought was almost on a par with a Toughie) Not too many problems today, but it needed a little more thought than some have in order to solve. A pleasant enough puzzle to end the working week, I enjoyed it – thanks to The Don and to DT also.

    • Brian
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      You did better than I did then on yesterday’s. I threw it away in disgust after 20 mins blankness. It was just ghastly!

      • F1lbertfox
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        It certainly caused me some head scratching at times Brian, but I dealt with by picking it up and putting it down a few times, whilst doing some other things in between and slowly one or two pennies began to drop. And like most crossword puzzles, the more letters that went in, the easier, if that’s the right word, the others became. The masochistic streak in me suggests I attempt today’s Elgar Toughie later this evening – as a rule I don’t cope very well with his clues. Still, practice makes perfect, or so they reckon ;-)

        • Hanni
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

          Masochism when crosswording seems compulsory at times. Certainly when doing Mephisto in that ‘Times’.

  12. Derek
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant fare from The Don as ever!

    Faves : 7a, 10a, 8/19d & 13d.

    Wet and windy here in NL.
    Don’t forget that the clocks go back an hour next Sunday!

  13. SheilaP
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    5 down with ham sounds disgusting to me, but there you go, it’s just as well we don’t all like the same things. Only got stuck on one or two, so we really quite enjoyed it. Fortunately, it didn’t take too long, as we’ve got to attach a new washng machine. Hopefully, we won’t have any floods in the near future. Thank you setter and DT.

    • Hanni
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree with you and Kath re: 5d. It sounds awful. Hope the new washing machine is ok. :-)

      • SheilaP
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Hanni. We’ve now plumbed it in and are testing it with our fingers crossed.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      White sauce is basic and I do not think it could be used on its own. Port and Stilton mix with it well as does parsley or onions.

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        You are going into moderation because you are putting a little ‘g’ at the front of your email address instead of a big G. Well I think that’s why anyway.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      There wasn’t room in the grid to put parsley. Hot boiling bacon with parsley sauce was no 2 son’s favourite meal until he turned vegetarian. When he was little, we used to say that if we put parsley sauce on anything, eg cardboard, he’d eat it.

  14. Michael
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    This is more like it – after yesterday’s disaster this one restored my faith that this game isn’t so hard after all?

    Upward and onward! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  15. Heno
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very difficult puzzle, needed 6 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me. Favourite was 8&19d. Attending the Twickenham Beer Festival.

  16. Brian
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    A tricky effort from Giovanni today, surely warranting a difficulty rating of more the two star, I would put it firmly in the*** camp.
    Must admit 7a and 2d defeated me completely but after the hint for 7a, Mrs B got 2d.
    Took me a while to convince Mrs B that 26a was right but the solving of 22d confirmed the little blighters.
    As always very enjoyable and for me 10a was the best crossword clue that I have ever come across, Mrs B couldn’t see it and said I was a sad old git!
    Thx to everyone as always.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Mrs B knows you well

  17. Jane
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Finally, after a week of struggles, an almost ‘write in’! Only slight hold-ups were 1d (having decided that handshake would be the perfect, if overlong, answer, it took a while to put it out of my mind) and 26a where, like Ian, I’d put in the plural having missed the anagram.
    White sauce – no! Parsley sauce – OK. Mustard sauce – great!
    Just as well this was an easy one – head all over the place as I’ve just had a call from a young man I’m very fond of, to ask for permission to put a rather important question to my younger daughter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    She doesn’t know yet, so this is just between you and me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Jane, to your daughter too when the time comes.

      • Jane
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, MP – I’m SO delighted, but have to keep it a ‘secret’ until 1st Nov!
        Smiled over your Van Morrison comment – a birding friend of mine travels everywhere to see a performance……… his wife no longer even pretends to want to go with him!

    • Hanni
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Jane, congratulations to all involved. That’s great news. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Jane
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        It certainly is – she’s 35, so he didn’t really NEED to ask me first, but it was SO nice of him to do so.
        Any ‘single’ commenters on this site would do well to bear in mind, for future reference, that it’s a brilliant way to get the potential M-in-L on side! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Kath
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Oh, how lovely! Sounds as if you’re going to have a great weekend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif It warrants and extra one! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Jane
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Kath. As you’ll see, when the ‘posts’ catch up with each other, I’ve got to ‘sit’ on the news until 1st Nov. (her birthday). I’m told that a trip to Paris comes into the equation! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Kath
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Yes – posts just caught up! How on earth are you going to keep that to yourself for a whole week? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          • Miffypops
            Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            http://www.ents24.com/london-events/nells-jazz-and-blues-club/van-morrison/4052611 You could get yourself some brownie points if you tell him about this gig on Monday 3rd November. He will have to get in quick though. It is a small venue and sure to sell out soon. Not yet advertised.

            • Jane
              Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

              Many thanks MP – I’ve passed on the details and will share any forthcoming brownie points with you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          • Jane
            Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            It’s OK – I’ve told all of you now – that should keep me going for a while. Problem will come when she rings for our weekly chat on Monday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            • Kath
              Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

              . . . but how are you going to manage to keep it quiet from other daughter? I’m really not sure that I could. Perhaps it’s just as well that I’m not in that position – I’d really like to be though . . .

  18. Sweet William
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DG – not as hard as yesterday, but I still found it tricky and needed your hints DT for some explanations, so, many thanks for your hard work in decoding.

  19. Jane
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Someone asked, but the comment seems to have disappeared into the ether, why the horses in 8/19d are ‘special’. He’s obviously never had to pay the fees for same! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Jane, the someone was Deep Threat. It is a comment included above in his review & hints!

      • Jane
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, RD – knew I’d read it somewhere!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    • Jane
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, DT, never thought to check back on your comments in the review! 8/19d’s are for folk who either haven’t got the land, or the inclination, to look after their own horses. I know of several doting parents who have stared bankruptcy in the face as a result of paying out for same!
      I neglected to thank you for an excellent review and also to thank Giovanni for restoring my self-respect after a tough few days on the grids – profuse apologies.

  20. Salty Dog
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Not too bad once l broke into the SE corner; then the rest flowed quite nicely. Call it 2.5*/3* on balance. My favourite was 15/17a, but that probably reflects the fact that my brain went AWOL years ago, because l used to enjoy parade training in those far-off Dartmouth days! Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  21. Annidrum
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I think I was right on Giovanni’s wavelength today , except for 2d &26a which is my new word for today, which I will probably have forgotten by tomorrow. Thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  22. Kath
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Now then – at the risk of really putting cats among pigeons and going back to the ham with white sauce problem I agree with everyone who’s suggested parsley sauce or mustard sauce. I’m surprised that no-one has mentioned caper sauce and I think that DT’s piccie looks more like that? Perhaps I should go away and shut up now or BD will think that this is becoming a cookery blog rather than a crossword one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      BD had already set a precedent by having a cookery section within the site. ;-) I read Law. Think I’ll go back to my corner now.

      • Jane
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Please don’t keep thinking that you have to retreat to the corner, Hanni. At least – not unless it’s the one where you keep the booze. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Jane :-). I do sometimes feel completely idiotic when parsing clues that everyone else finds so easy! Plus BD terrifies me. Sort of in a headmaster way!
          But it is Friday night. I have a rather good Viognier in front of me and I’ll be ruining the other halfs Cognac later by pouring it on hot chocolate.
          Plus it’s pretty exciting and so brilliant about your daughter, especially that he asked. :-)

    • Expat Chris
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree, Kath. Basic white sauce with ham does nothing for me. It has to be parsley sauce, and none of that out-of the-packet stuff, either! How I yearn for fresh broad beans and Jersey new potatoes to complete the meal ! We don’t get either in my part of the world.

  23. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    A *** for difficulty and less for enjoyment as I found this very tricky. Thanks to DT for the much needed help in explaining my bung ins. 23a was my favourite.

  24. fran
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    howdy partners : more straightforward than some this week just had to check when calamity jane was released , after that the only bit of turbulence came at 22d .forgot all about the tease.

  25. Puzzler Dave
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Two days on the trot with a 1 or 2 star that I found hard to get going at without your hints. Some really odd clues today.

  26. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    The food combination in 5d seems to be one that did not cross the globe with early migrants as it is totally unfamiliar to us. Not sure we will be rushing to try it. Sorted out the answer easily enough though. We found it an enjoyable puzzle, without major hold-ups.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    • Jane
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Wise decision, 2Ks, unless you add a little ‘something’ when it can be a bonus if the ham is on the dry side.
      By the way – do you get 26a’s or are they confined to Aussie-land?

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        They are strictly trans-Tasman. The only land mammals that are native to NZ are two very rare species of bat. Birds, birds and more birds occupied all the ecological niches in pre-human times. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  27. Hilary
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    After two days sitting in the cupboard under the stairs with a big box of tissues because my antique brain had given up I managed to complete this one with a liitle help on one clue. Good job because I’ve run out of tissues. No particular favourite just grateful to have finished.

  28. Kitty
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Coming late today as I had other needs to attend to first.

    I had a quick look in the morning and thought, “I’m not going to like this.” Then found it all just fine when I came back later. As I so often do, I agree with RD (@ comment #1). I differ only in that I’d be a weeny bit more generous with my enjoyment rating, and I’m happy with less brevity when the extra length is put to good use. (Whether that’s the case here, I’ll leave open.)

    I’m getting used to backwards clues now, so I enjoyed 20a.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni. Happy Friday night everyone, and I hope you’re all having far too good a time to read this :). Now, where did I put my wine? Hic!

  29. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Well, I managed to get back to the crossword after a long day at work. I was left with 2d and 24d which totally eluded me. Had to reveal the answers which when you have 2 letters out of 4 in each word is quite annoying. I read the blog and I have eaten boiled bacon with white sauce in Ireland. They call it bread sauce. It’s more or less a béchamel and so did I, I used to put it on anything except cardboard of course. Thanks to Giovanni and to deep threat for the review.

  30. Compost
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    A good way of whiling away the hours on the M25 car park yesterday. All completed bar 3 and needed a bit of help from ‘the blog’ this morning to get it finished. Thanks

  31. Reggie
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or is the parsing of the clues on the back page getting more like the toughie. While I’d rate this as a 3* I think if I hadn’t recently started the toughies I might have struggled a lot more. I’ve been doing DT crosswords for some 40 years and I sense a change in their nature.