DT 27644

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27644

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a rain-sodden North Devon. I thought that this puzzle was pretty enjoyable – do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Nice gaff — wants one, having no accommodation? (3,3)
DES RES – a gaff is a slang term for a place to live so this is a sought-after home as portrayed in estate agents’ jargon. It’s a verb meaning wants or craves with the Roman numeral for one evicted (one having no accommodation).

5a Emperor‘s East European origins initially concealed by grandma (8)
NAPOLEON – a native of an East European country and the initial letter of O(rigins) go inside an affectionate term for grandma.

9a Female executive — I should be employed by daily (10)
CHAIRWOMAN – insert the Roman numeral for one into a daily (a lady who ‘does’).

10a Clever suggestion saving time (4)
CUTE – a suggestion or hint contains (saving) T(ime).

11a Course for important horse races (8)
CLASSICS – two definitions – a course involving the study of Latin and Greek and the collective term for five important flat races in England, including the Derby.

12a Dressed trees round area for festival (6)
EASTER – an anagram (dressed) of TREES contains A(rea).

13a Circles round small lake in capital (4)
OSLO – two circular letters contain (round, in consecutive clues) the abbreviations for small and lake.

15a Advanced through jostling into flight (8)
AVIATION – string together the abbreviation for advanced, a preposition (from Latin) meaning through or by way of and an anagram (jostling) of INTO.

18a Aquatic bird, brilliantly red duck (8)
FLAMINGO – an adjective meaning brilliantly red is followed by the letter resembling zero (a duck in cricket).

19a See this conifer in film studio, not wood (4)
PINE – start with the name of the film studios west of London, where the James Bond films are shot, and take away the ‘wood’.

21a Declare invalid must check blood group yearly (6)
ANNUAL – a verb to declare invalid or rescind contains (must check) a blood group.

23a According to plan, got rent reviewed around middle of May (2,6)
ON TARGET – an anagram (reviewed) of GOT RENT goes around the middle letter of May.

25a Male cat, black, in vault (4)
TOMB – a male domestic cat followed by the abbreviation for black.

26a Cricketer, lbw, is prone to come a cropper (4,6)
SPIN BOWLER – an anagram (to come a cropper) of LBW IS PRONE.

27a Male in carriage is forward (8)
TRANSMIT – insert M(ale) in a word meaning carriage or shipment. This was my last answer as I was looking for forward to be either a noun or an adjective, whereas it’s actually a verb.

28a Rotten type, in time, will cause mistakes in print (6)
ERRATA – insert a rotten type or despicable person into a distinct period of time.

Down Clues

2d Girl in farce, ‘The Ladykillers’ (5)
ETHEL – this girl is hidden in the clue.

3d Momentary mental aberration, losing head in squall (9)
RAINSTORM – start with a short-lived mental disturbance and drop the initial letter (losing head).

4d Saying by Fahrenheit Italian deemed appropriate (3,3)
SAW FIT – start with a word for a saying or proverb (if you didn’t know it commit it to memory because it crops up on a regular basis) and add F(ahrenheit) and the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.

5d Criminal misusing ATM loot as collector of bits and pieces? (15)
NUMISMATOLOGIST – bits and pieces can both mean coins. This collector is an anagram (criminal) of MISUSING ATM LOOT.

6d Contagious fear across Mediterranean over swine flu, for example (8)
PANDEMIC – a word for contagious fear or hysteria contains the reversal (over) of the abbreviation of the Mediterranean Sea.

7d Spikesthey may be used in running shoes (5)
LACES – double definition – spikes here means contaminates (by the addition of alcohol or drugs) someone’s food or drink, normally without that person’s knowledge.

8d Film paid for by municipality? (2,3,4)
ON THE TOWN – this is a 1949 film starring Gene Kelly. Cryptically it could mean that the municipality is footing the bill.

14d Silly old prunes getting something special (9)
SPLENDOUR – an anagram (silly) of OLD PRUNES.

16d Pull in heavy drinker of the highest social standing (3-6)
TOP-DRAWER – a verb to pull or haul goes inside an habitual heavy drinker.

17d Relatives, American, in the US government (5,3)
UNCLE SAM – a personification of the US government comes from male relatives followed by a 2-letter abbreviation for American.

20d Firmly established  dock for the bay? (6)
STABLE – double definition, the second being the place where a bay (or chestnut, for example) is docked or tied up.

22d Situated in a city, elegant for the most part (5)
URBAN – an adjective meaning elegant or suave without its final letter (for the most part).

24d Set up vote for Right to oust Left (5)
ERECT – start with a verb to vote for someone, then replace the L(eft) with R(ight).

I liked 1a, 27a and 7d best today. Which one(s) made you sit up?

Today’s Quickie Pun: BAY + BIN + ALMS = BABE IN ARMS

 


80 Comments

  1. Sweet William
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter. I was pleased to get to the end of this one without needing hints. I found it difficult. Last in 1a and 3d. I was messing around with barnstorm, hailstorm, windstorm and rainstorm before the penny dropped with 1a ! Many thanks Gazza for your review and hints.

  2. Graham
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this romp but thought 19A was a tad weak, enjoyed 11A & 20D only because I used to have a share in a few race horses. Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. JonP
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one and found it fairly easy going. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron **/***

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    This puzzle didn’t light my fire, I’m afraid. No particular ‘likes’. I completed the grid except for 1A and I had absolutely no idea what that could be. Still, I do thank the setter, and Gazza for the review and explanation of 1A.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      I, too, was held up at the end by 1a and had to enlist help of electronic gizmo, and even then I didn’t get it! I thought a gaffe was putting ones foot in ones mouth!

  5. Angel
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    This really was a ride in the park and completed before getting out of bed (except to pick up DT!) so had a “Quick” breakfast accompaniment. No fav(s). */***. Thanks to Gazza although not needed today and Mysteron. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    1*/3* for a very enjoyable but untaxing puzzle. I was hoping an Otis Redding clip might appear to illustrate 20d and Gazza did not disappoint!

    5d was my favourite. What a great word the answer is and well done to the setter, not only for managing to fit it in but also to do so with such excellent surface reading!

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

  7. Beaver
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Straight forward today -with no silly clues like yesterdays 2d!,going for a**/***.No particularly outstanding clues, probably 1a my favourite for the surface reading. ,Thanks Gazza for the pics , nice touch with Otis-one of my favourite tracks, wonderful phrasing from Otis, never heard anyone else try to sing it.

    • Bluebird
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if anyone has noticed ( and there IS time to do it) that the lift manufacturer Otis has or had a base in Reading?

      I like to know where the manufacturers of lifts come from ever since a lengthy and unintended sojourn in one in a draughty car park. I was eventually rescued by two chaps who hauled me up from my position between two storeys.

      I also had a crazy ride in a psychopathic hotel lift in Bratislava (that one was made in Poland…….) visions of 1960s Cold War shenanigans flashed through my mind as I returned to an unwanted basement destination forthe third time…..

      • Jane
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Don’t mention lifts! I remember proudly showing my Dad round the offices where I worked in Portland Square, many years ago. Saturday morning, therefore no-one else around and the wretched lift got stuck between floors. Good old Dad (my lifetime hero) managed to get the doors open and hauled me out through a narrow gap onto terra firma with strict instructions not to look down!

        All’s well that ends well but………… I’ve felt claustrophobic in lifts ever since.

        Let’s hear it for wonderful Dads!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        • Kath
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Yes – I’ve never had a bad experience in a lift but I’m always up for a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif for all brilliant Dads – I had one of those too.

          • Hanni
            Posted November 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            I never had any issues with elevators. However ski lifts across the world have had a large meeting and collectively voted to
            * Strand me
            * Tip me off
            * Do something that causes cable cars to swing alarmingly
            * Generally try and prevent me from getting anywhere near the slopes.
            Massive http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to dads though. Mine was a colossus of a man.

            • Kath
              Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

              Don’t even start me on ski lifts – it would all have been fine if someone had told me that you didn’t sit when the T-bar comes up behind you. Oh dear – what a tangled heap everyone ended up in, and it was all my fault! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

              • Hanni
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

                Oh dear. I hope you were Ok? They’re awful things. I’ve asked engineering friends who ski if there is a more efficient way to get up the slopes, but they just start drawing schematics and muttering about Mechano?

        • Hilary
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          It’s 45 years in December since My Dad died and I don’t think a day goes by without me thinking of him.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          • Kath
            Posted November 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            Forty five years is a very long time – I don’t think that “girls”, for want of a better word, ever forget their fathers. It’s eighteen years ago on Thursday since mine died and I’m with you on thinking of him pretty much every day. Another http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif for Dad. This blog would make him laugh – he’d love it!

            • Hanni
              Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

              Time can seem irrelevant. My father died when I was very young. And then my Grandfather stepped in. Such driving forces for the good. The former for his utter bravery and selflessness. The latter for the same. I was therefore lucky enough to have ‘one’, colossus as a dad. And some blo*dy fine uncles.

        • Kath
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Just look what you started with Dads! Well done to you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
          I really hope that BD and gazza don’t mind the blog being hi-jacked . . . they don’t usually mind but just in case here’s a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for both of them.

      • Franco
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Just by coincidence the Reading (?) Lift Company makes an appearance in today’s Guardian Cryptic (6d).

        Which floor, sir?

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Otis’s phrasing is sublime, but pay attention too to the wonderfully subtle guitar playing of co-writer Steve Cropper, one of the true giants of the instrument and still going strong

  8. Kitty
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Unlike yesterday’s “team effort” (not at all code for “couldn’t do it on my own”), this was another solo completion for me today, and I thought it not too challenging: just stiff enough to be satisfying.

    I found it hard to get a couple of the anagrams done in my head, and had to check that 5d was in fact the word I was groping for. 27a and 1a were my last in. I was a bit wary of the possibility there might be another arcane carriage. Also, managed to convince myself that with those checkers, 1a would be something I’d never come across. Pleasing moments both when those slipped in.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif.

    • Bluebird
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      “Team effort” …..like your style Kitty!
      I have a few of those, just me and m’colleague Google.

      • Jane
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Me too. I sometimes think I’d like to be part of a ‘team effort’ but then………Mr. Google doesn’t answer back, call you stupid or pinch the puzzle out of your hands! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  9. dutch
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    left 1ac blank – i had thought of the answer but wasn’t sure people actually said this though i see now it is in my brb, and i missed the wordplay anyway. I liked 5d as well, a nice new word for me. rest was fine.

    nice toughie today, not hard with some lovely clues

    many thanks setter and gazza

  10. Kevin
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    thanks for putting images into the hints, much better

    1a was not appreciated – too contrived for me

  11. Kath
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I took a while to get onto the right wavelength today but then got going and enjoyed it. 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    1a was my last answer by which time I had alternate letters in. I didn’t know that meaning of gaff. Having finally got it I took just as long to work out why.
    I also took ages to work out why the last four letters of 15a were what they had to be – missed the anagram indicator.
    Had to check that the 8d film was really a film although I’m sure we’ve had it before.
    I didn’t know that I knew the 5d word but it came into my head so I obviously did!
    I’m not really sure that swine flu could have been described as a pandemic but that’s just nit picking.
    Nearly ran a mile when I saw 26a!
    I liked 1a (eventually) and 15a and 2d (even though I hate that kind of clue) and 5d. My favourite was 20d – and the Otis Redding.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Not quite raining – off to move logs now. I have a lovely backlog of crosswords that I haven’t had time to do yet – gazza’s NTSPP, the Sunday cryptic, yesterday’s Rookie corner . . .

    • Jane
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I just knew that 26a would frighten your horses – it did mine! Thank goodness it was an anagram. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

      Good luck with the log-moving. You’ll need some cheering up when you get back indoors – I can heartily recommend gazza’s NTSPP. A dream of a puzzle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Kath
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Just about to start NTSPP now – I always like gazza’s crosswords. A long time ago (can’t remember when) one of his clues that I still remember was “Looks like Gregory’s after a nibble.” (7) It still gives me the giggles. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  12. Jane
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Nice one – I do so like a puzzle in which I find all the answers satisfying!

    1a ‘got me going’ – I had to re-check all the checking letters and began to think I would need to ask Mr. Google about Fahrenheit! Wonderful when the penny dropped.

    Needed all the checking letters for 5d – ‘bits & pieces’ put me off and I was struggling for 5a which didn’t help. A remarkable feat of anagramming (is that the correct word?).

    The ‘sporting’ references weren’t too hard this time – much relief for me and probably Kath!

    I know someone will say it’s an ‘old chestnut’ but my favourite would have to be 3d, with hon. mention for 1a & 7d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and gazza – loved the Otis Redding clip but also hoped for a Gene Kelly encore! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  13. Hanni
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    **/**
    I may be the odd one out today. Whilst I didn’t particularly struggle, I didn’t find it particularly enjoyable. Probably just me.
    The anagram of 5d was a nice challenge, kudos to the setter on that one and 7d made me smile. Same with 11a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging. A very nice bit of Otis Redding. :-)
    The toughie is quite good fun today. Not that I’ve finished it yet. I really must do some work.

    • Jane
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hanni – don’t worry, you’ll never be the odd one out, there’s too many of us relying on the sanctuary of your nicely appointed corner. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      I’ve promised myself that I won’t even LOOK at the Toughie until I’ve finished the jobs list because I know it will absorb me for hours and prob. involve the G&T bottles! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Hope the jobs/shopping/prepping daughters return is going well?
        The corner now has a sofa bed and a piano. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
        And you’re always welcome for a G & T.
        I think I might try Gazza’s NTSPP tonight. Heard lots of good things.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      You’re not the odd one out. It didn’t really do anything for me either.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Chris. :-)

  14. Tony
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I did not get 1a. I am not aware of the term ‘des res’, nor the slang connection for gaff. Otherwise, I found this a very enjoyable puzzle. I was slow in sorting out the anagram in 5d which hindered progress initially. NE corner was the last in for me.

  15. SheilaP
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    We thought today’s puzzle was not too bad at all, and although we had to check one or two answers with Gazza, we enjoyed it quite a lot. The anagram for 5 down isn’t in our dictionary, but we fitted it in anyway. Thank you Gazza and the setter.

  16. Chris
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Try as I might, 1a never occurred to me without the hints, and 27a was a bit difficult too. Thanks Gazza – and of course the setter.

  17. Wayne
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    In the Quick Crossword is 1a different in the on-line version to the clue in the paper version. My paper gives 1a as Cove (3), which makes the pun B?? /Bin /Alms.

    • Framboise
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Bay/Bin/alms = Babe in arms, I think…

      • Wayne
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, that makes sense.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Hello framboise. Are you still in Hyeres?

        • Framboise
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Hello Jean-Luc! Returned to Hyères almost a month ago. Have been very quiet of late, busy with family. Skies opening today here.

          • jean-luc cheval
            Posted November 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. I saw your last post saying you were here for a couple of months. I thought I knew all the Brits down here. I have a restaurant in front of the town hall called “le jardin” with a palm tree missing unfortunately. Look forward to maybe meeting you one day.

    • gazza
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes – Sorry, I must have had a senior moment when typing in the first word – now corrected.

  18. Heno
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 1,5,15a & 8d, never heard of the film. Favourite was 16d. Was 3*/2* for me.

  19. Jill
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Gosh, this was virtually a write-in for me, I was on fire !!!!! (makes a change from my usual slow, but steady progress). Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle. **/****

  20. Framboise
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Needed help today for 1a – had got 3d as hailstorm – and 4d, so thanks to Gazza for the review. 7d was good. 3*/3* for me. Many thanks to the setter too. Grim weather here in unison with Remembrance Day…

  21. Michael
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable one today without any pitfalls – no hints required which means it must be pretty easy!

    Tomorrow is another day – onward and upward! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. Merusa
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Apart from 1a, which I needed the gizmo to solve and then Gazza to explain why, I thought this was quite a nice puzzle: Translation, I could finish it. My fave was 20d with runner up 5d. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for review.

    • Poppy
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Merusa, with 20d my fave too – most especially if it’s inhabitedhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        No accounting for horse people! Did you see the item in yesterday’s paper about a hospital in Wigan that allowed a dying lady say goodbye to her equine friends? I cried.

        • Kath
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          My favourite was 20d too and I also cried at the story of the horse and the dying woman saying their goodbyes. There’s been a lot about it on the radio today. Apart from the human/equine side of it it’s also a bit of a plus for the NHS for facilitating it – they get enough bad publicity.

          • Merusa
            Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

            Don’t you EVER let anyone knock the NHS.

        • Poppy
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          The image of that meeting touched me so deeply. The horse looked so deeply connected to the lady, and she radiated love of seeing her beloved friend again. And I agree with Kath about “good on the NHS” for facilitating that. I’ve had unacceptably (to me!) long periods in hospitals over the years, and apart from Mr P it was my dogs that I ached to see . . .

        • Jane
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          I’ve been through yesterday’s paper three times now and can’t find the article. Does that mean it only appeared in certain editions and, if so, I wonder what else I may have missed out on?

          • Kath
            Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Don’t think it was yesterday’s – probably a few days ago, maybe Friday or even a bit longer ago.

          • Hanni
            Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            Jane, she was in hospital in Wigan so if you Google that with the other key tag words, there are plenty of links. I’m typing on my phone at the moment so it’s a little hard to copy a link. :-)
            It’s a beautiful story. And Kath…well said about the NHS.

            • Jane
              Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

              Oh heck – I found it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  23. Salty Dog
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Rather surprised at your 3* difficulty rating on this one, Gazza. I found it rather a doddle, and would have liked a rather stiffer challenge. 1*/2* or thereabouts, and only 1a came into contention for favourite clue status. Still, on another day I’ll surely be stumped, so no complaints from me. Thanks to Mr Ron, and Gazza for the review (and particularly for Otis Redding!).

  24. Brian
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Very tough, I have been struggling with a lot of Mr Ron’s recently. Find them very off the wall such as 1a or very involved such as 5a.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      That remark of Brian’s got me thinking. Is “Mr Ron” both singular and plural? If it is just singular, what is the plural? “Mr Rons” or “Messrs Ron” or perhaps even “Messrs Ron & Ron”?

      And do we from time to time have Miss, Mrs or Ms Ron setting our puzzles?
      :wink:

      • ChrisH
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        The two Ronnies?

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
          Nice one!

        • gazza
          Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          … and it’s goodnight from him!

  25. Gwizz
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed today’s puzzle. It wasn’t particularly easy, but with a little stirring of the grey cells it all made sense. I thought 1a was actually quite a good clue, but even so, 11a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza for the revue.

  26. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    */***. Right up my street today. Favourites were 3d and 5d. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for hints which i didnt need today. Chilly weather so big boots on for standing at the legion at 11am.

  27. Collywobbles
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Fine puzzle but 2* for me although I did have to refer to the hints occasionally for which, many thanks as usual, Gazza

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Our last two in were 1a and 27a in what we thought was a good fun puzzle. We agree with Gazza’s difficulty rating too. Would hazard a guess that it might be by Petitjean, but only a tentative suggestion.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  29. Poppy
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter and Gazza. Was pleased to finish this without resorting to hints, but needing to leave it alone for a while and then when I came back to it managed to fill in the missing letters. Unsurprisingly 26a was my last one in, as I don’t do that sport – together with football, rugger, hockey and a few others http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif my very first present from Mr P was a colour photo of Liverpool’s then Captain which was a bit bewildering as I didn’t have a clue who he was. The offside rule still stumps me. Now if it were a four-hooves and shoe-ed (to distinguish from steers) creature that would be cheers all round!

    • Jane
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      And you still went ahead and married him???!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Poppy
        Posted November 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Well it was such a tiny pebble in an ocean of wondrous aspects that, thankfully, I had the wisdom to overlook that particular ‘failing’ (I’m now getting ready to dodge any rocks tossed my way by our sports-loving fellow bloggers!!)

    • Kath
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      I think you sound very knowledgeable – at least you can mention the “offside rule” – whether or not you know what it means absolutely doesn’t matter. I do agree about your list of http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif and could add lots more.

  30. Una
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I though this was quite tough in parts, though not 1a. 5d was a new word for me. I liked 8d and 5d. I got held up by 26a , I couldn’t dislodge slow bowler from my mind. Thanks Gazza and setter.

  31. Owdoo
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Much better than yesterday’s. 1a was my last one in and had me stuck for a short while. No other problems to note.
    2*/2*
    Thanks setter and Gazza.
    Might have a crack at the toughie now …

  32. RobinNewman
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    nice puzzle I thought

    I liked 9a

  33. Hilary
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    One happy little old person as answers went in nicely. Knew 1a because of jokes about bungalows both sides of us are up for sale – no I don’t thinks it is personal and some nice anagrams although I did think that http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif5d was going to defeat me. Roll on tomorrow to make three in a row. Thanks to gazza particularly for Otis.
    P S am I the only person who got the giggles with the pun in the quickie?

    • F1lbertfox
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      P S am I the only person who got the giggles with the pun in the quickie? Nope, we did too :-)

      We also enjoyed the back pager – I say ‘we’, because ‘Vicci Vixen’ got to the paper first this morning and all that remained for me to do was to help her with the top right corner to complete it all. Our joint thanks to the setter.

  34. Hanni
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Moderation again? I may take out a mortgage to equip my corner. :-( :-(

  35. Tstrummer
    Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Much preferred this to yesterday’s rather arcane struggle when it was so late by the time I had finished that I was too tired too comment (2d). Liked this one, though, especially 5d, which I saw immediately and couldn’t believe my luck, and 1a, which took a little longer. 27a was my last one in and caused a bit of brow-furrowing before I finally saw it. Thanks to setter and Gazza, especially for Otis (and the incomparable Steve Cropper) 2*/3*