DT 27652

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27652

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from a cold and chilly Ottawa where the ground is covered with a few inches of snow. It’s hard to believe that only five days ago I was on the golf course.

This is a DNRT (definitely not Ray T) day. I thought that it was a rather enjoyable exercise today that crept into the lower end of the *** difficulty range.

Please leave a comment to tell us how you fared with today’s puzzle.

Across

1a   Peacekeepers, having tried, will get ignored (7)
UNHEARD — a charade of the organisation that mounts peacekeeping operations and a verb meaning tried before a judge

5a   Player runs out of money and is last to bet (7)
BASSIST — remove the symbol for runs in cricket from an informal word for money and then append IS and the last letter of (be)T

9a   Copied furniture perhaps concerning expert (5)
REPRO — the shortened form of a Latin phrase meaning about or concerning followed by a shortened version of an expert gives us a shortened term for copy or imitation

10a   Spoil end of Poe’s novel (5-4)
SPOON-FEED — an anagram (novel) of END OF POES

11a   Kosher meals over first (5-5)
ABOVE-BOARD — a word for meals that is often preceded by room is instead preceded by a preposition meaning higher than or over

12a   Disguise a robber might wear but not ask to look through (4)
SKIM — remove ASK from a disguise that would be more effective in St Moritz than in St-Tropez

14a   Theatre worker who’s good at description? (5-7)
SCENE-PAINTER — cryptic definition of a theatre worker whose job title suggests someone adept at delivering a vivid account

18a   Jog and relay race that starts on January 1st (8,4)
CALENDAR YEAR — an anagram (jog) of AND RELAY RACE

21a   Papers spread around half of bins in the same place (4)
IBID — a short term for papers that prove you are who you purport to be is wrapped around the first half of BI(ns) to give an abbreviation commonly found in citations in academic works

22a   Dull-witted proposal for form of action replay (4,6)
SLOW MOTION — an adjective meaning unable to quickly and easily understand is followed by a proposal that one might make at a meeting to give a repeat performance devoid of much action

25a   Illiterate design or a museum piece? (9)
IGNORAMUS — hidden in (piece) the middle four words of the clue

26a   Tabloid bait regularly producing cover story (5)
ALIBI — a regular sequence of letters from the first two words in the clue provides the type of cover story a suspect might deliver to an arresting officer

27a   Drink leading to boy embracing resistance and rebellion (7)
TREASON — a British brew (not the one dispensed in pints) followed by a boy in the family into which one inserts an electrical engineer’s symbol of resistance

28a   Good cheer one minute away from knockout (7)
ELATION — remove the Roman numeral for one and a shortened form of minute from a word meaning knockout — we’re not talking boxing here, more like exiting the World Cup in the first round

Down

1d   Out of bed, reportedly not dressed, making a din (6)
UPROAR — a charade of a term meaning arisen, often found in the phrase “__ and about”, followed by a word that — spoken with a British accent — sounds like (reportedly) a synonym for naked when used in the phrase “in the ___“.

2d   Rap music given welcome half-hour in shopping centre (3-3)
HIP-HOP — begin with a short informal word of welcome; then follow this with the first half of HO(ur) introduced into the centre of (sho)PP(ing); having offended at least one reader with my opinion of this genre of music in my last blog, I will refrain from further comment

3d   Youth benefit stops rising (10)
ADOLESCENT — an unemployment benefit stops or plugs the act of climbing or rising

4d   Passage in Verdi’s concerto that may set one’s toe tapping (5)
DISCO — hidden in (passage in) VerDIS COncerto is another genre of music that may not appeal to all

5d   Account yielding interest depending on the figure? (9)
BIOGRAPHY — a cryptic definition of a literary account that will attract readers if the subject of the work is compelling

6d   Miserable crossing northern desert (4)
SAND — miserable or unhappy containing N(orthern)

7d   Sweet Jamaican music with seventh note that glides (3,5)
ICE SKATE — a cold treat followed by some Jamaican music (not reggae) ending in the seventh note of the major scale

8d   Washing line (8)
TIDEMARK — cryptic definition of the ring one might see in the basin after shaving

13d   Unfinished pint and a soft drink — beginning to desire a cocktail (4,6)
PINA COLADA — start with the first three letters of PIN(t) with A and a Coke or Pepsi as a chaser; then add the initial letter of D(esire) and follow-up with one more A

15d   Sounds like Spooner’s only grandmother, one who doesn’t quite make it (6,3)
NEARLY MAN — when she failed to meet expectations, Rev Spooner might attribute it to her being “merely Nan”.

16d   Subversive part of play I view endlessly (8)
ACTIVIST — a charade of a subdivision of a theatrical production, I (from the clue), and a long, narrow view without its final letter

17d   Bond dismissing start of affair (8)
ALLIANCE — a casual romantic or sexual relationship with its initial letter removed

19d   Co-ordinated cover-up? (6)
BIKINI — cryptic definition of a two-piece garment that leaves little to the imagination

20d   Standard English name, maybe Leo (6)
ENSIGN — a charade of E(nglish), N(ame) and what Leo is to an astrologer

23d   Was Lawrence initially rubbish? (5)
WASTE — WAS (from the clue) and the initials of Lawrence of Arabia

24d   One US state’s flag (4)
IRIS — a charade of the Roman numeral for one, the abbreviation for the smallest US state, and the S following the apostrophe is a flag that might be planted in a flower bed

My favourite clue (which was also virtually my last one to solve) is 18a. An unusual anagram indicator combined with a smooth surface neatly disguises both the fodder and the definition.


The Quick Crossword pun: hart+bray+cur=heartbreaker


127 Comments

  1. redtrev
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    ***/*** for me today enjoyable not too taxing

  2. Jezza
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Apart from a pause at 12a, nothing too troubling today… just a pleasant puzzle to solve!
    3*/4* for me.
    Many thanks to setter (PJ perhaps?) and to Falcon for the review and pictures.

    • Falcon
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      That setter did cross my mind as well.

    • John Pidgeon
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Got me bang to rights, guv.

      • Falcon
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for dropping by to take a well-deserved bow.

      • Hilary
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        And a big pat on the back from me, a super mix of clue types which I love. It stops one from get complacent.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    2.5*/3*. I completed all of this very enjoyable puzzle except 5a, 12a & 8d in the NE corner in less than 2* time, but finishing those three took me nearly as long again.

    8d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

  4. George
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I found this one quite tricky – some of the wordplays seemed a bit stretched to my way of thinking. Anyway completed with some struggles.
    3*/2* by my way of thinking.

  5. Beaver
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I think a ***/*** is about right today, as it was quite tricky in parts, wanted to put shifter in 14a till I solved 5d,which I thought was more of a toughie clue .Not really happy with12a,,should have had some reference to say cold or ice-the word mask came immediately to mind but something was lacking fo rne. Great visuals Falcon

  6. dutch
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    quick start but soon ran into a few tricky ones. I wanted “almost ran” for 15d, compromised with “nearly ran” which obviously got me into trouble – soon resolved though.

    Liked 10a (poe’s novel), 12a (wordplay for robbers mask), 26a, because i was first mislead to take regular letters only from “Bait”, 7d (interesting surface) and 13d (the cocktail

    thanks setter and Falcon!

  7. Kevin
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Yes, 12A would have brought to mind face-mask rather than something worn by a downhill skier

    Apart from that, pretty straightforward

    I too liked 8D

  8. skempie
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    no big problems today, but then again, no walk-over either. 12A and 5A held me up for a while until I got another coffee inside me and started looking at the clues in a different way (amazing stuff coffee)

  9. Rick
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I crept into 3* time too, with a few reverse parsings along the way. I enjoyed it – I wonder who the mystery setter is?
    8d raised a smile so gets my vote for favourite; the dreadful Spoonerism is today’s prize turkey.

  10. Sweet William
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter, I found this quite hard. Managed to finish it, but needed your hints Falcon to explain some of my answers. They happened to be correct, but I hadn’t heard of some of the component parts. So, many thanks for your help.

  11. Bluebird
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Well, it certainly felt like a bit of a work out, or perhaps a visit to the dental hygienist?

    Got into a bit of a stew with 5a and 5d and tried all sorts for 14a which I thought was limp, both from a clue and a solution POV.

    I was embarrassed to struggle with 5a as it is one of my instruments…..the little pic is an unusual one of young Bill Wyman holding the bass in the normal way, instead of his ‘upright’ method, which he has said was easier for his small hands….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  12. Bluebird
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The YouTube clip was a bit of a “wince-a-thon” wasn’t it?

    The only one that actually made me laugh was the woman failing to drink out of a bottle http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif it felt familiar, for some reason…..

  13. Kath
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    3* plus a bit for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment for me today.
    I found this quite tricky in places and I still don’t get 12a – can see that the robber might wear a mask to disguise him and that skim is look through but where does the ski come from?
    I was slow with 5a and mixed up definition and anagram indicator in 10a.
    I think I’ve probably heard of the 7d music but I’d forgotten it and although I like Spoonerisms I’d never heard of the answer for 15d.
    I did manage to find both the hidden answers so feeling smug!
    I liked 18 and 22a and 15d. My favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

    • Rick
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Kath, for 12a add ask back to your answer and then split it 3,4.

      • Kath
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Rick – think I’m having a dim day and I’m very glad it’s not my Thursday for doing hints – would have failed dismally. I get it now but had to look it up in BRB as I didn’t know that bank robbers wear them as disguises. Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Beaver
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          Kath, you’ll see my comments earlier(5) re 12a,i just thought it an inadequate poor clue-it’s good to have a moan sometimes!

        • Rick
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Don’t look it up in Google images – you’ll have nightmares!

        • Chris
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry Kath – we don’t see many bank robbers down our way either :)

  14. Angel
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Slow start but got there in the end with a little help from Falcon in parsing a couple. Don’t think I have seen “jog” as anagram indicator before however solved 18a without that pointer. 12a had to be although I failed to fathom why. Overall an enjoyable journey. Thanks Mysteron and Falcon. ***/***.

    • Falcon
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Jog was a new anagram indicator for me as well. The BRB, before getting to the familiar “slow run” meaning, defines jog as to shake; to push with the elbow or hand; to stimulate, stir up (eg the memory).

  15. Rod
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow! A bit of a stinker. Got the answer to 15d from the clue but must confess I have never heard that expression before. Took some time over 1d as, being Irish, I would not pronounce the last 4 letters like that. Thank you Falcon for mentioning that it requires a British accent. However, got there in the end. I will now retire to a darkened room and lie down.

    • F1lbertfox
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      You’ve woken my curiosity now Rod, how would you pronounce those last four letters? I’m struggling to think of any alternative way.

      • Rod
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        I would, and do, say ROW (as in a line) R. We Irish always pronounce the letter R as R and never as AH

        • F1lbertfox
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          Aha, I seeeee – thanks Rod. All’s clear now – thanks :-)

  16. F1lbertfox
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    No problems here but that said, it was a very enjoyable solve. Many good clues with 17 & 23 down among my favourites, along with 12 which was my last one in. Thanks to the setter for a most entertaining start to my day.

  17. Michael
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I had a bit of a slow start and it got even slower!!

    A struggle from the kick-off and it didn’t get any easier – a bit above my pay scale I’m afraid!

    Ah well, tomorrow is another day – roll on Friday – onward and upward! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  18. Roger
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Now here’s a funny thing. I printed out the crossword this morning as per usual and, while one or two clues were a little tricky managed to finish it and within a decent timeframe. Come noon, I decided to give the Toughie a go and printed it out. To discover that this morning it was the Toughie that I had finished.

    This cryptic on the other hand has me stumped completely as I’ve managed about seven clues!

    Envelopes mixed up again at the Telegraph, I reckon !!

    • Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      … except that Firefly doesn’t set back-page puzzles.

  19. andy
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    A slow start but soon all fell into place. Many thanks to setter and to Falcon

    Update on the long journey home from Cambridge last night. The train, which with an almighty thud did in fact collide with horses, and BBC Cambridgeshire are now saying at least seven were killed. The joys of commuting I suppose :(

    • Kath
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – poor you, poor horses . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh, no! That’s dreadful, and they were probably someone’s precious companions.

      • andy
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        It gets worse …. Police confirm 12 horses were killed after being struck by trains in Cambridgeshire but say there “may be some more”… ://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-30126590

    • Jane
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Oh no – I just hope and pray that the horses died instantly. I witnessed a ‘horse incident’ just outside of Tarporley some years ago and the poor animal’s screams live on in my nightmares.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh no. :-(

  20. SheilaP
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    This was soooo hard for us, and although we finally finished it in the end, it took a lot of help from Falcon. I didn’t really enjoy it, far too fiddly for me. Well done to those who thought it quite easy. Thank you Falcon and setter.

  21. Toadson
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Reasonably plain sailing until the sw corner, for which I resorted to a couple of hints. Thanks to all.

  22. Chris
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Started smoothly and ran into the sand about half way, so 3-4*/4* for me. (Just about the right level to provide both challenge and success.)
    I particularly liked 25a since it’s the type I usually spot early on and yet it fooled me completely – last one in. Museeum piece indeed!
    Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  23. Una
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Very tricky apart from the easy ones.I suppose it’s good to be challenged and find out that there is still a lot to learn.Thanks Falcon, for putting me out of my misery, and setter.

  24. Framboise
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Had to wait till after cardio gym to sit down to today’s cryptic. Obviously exercise sharpened my brain as I had no problem finishing it – must confess however that I got 12a right without being able to explain my answer. Still don’t get it even after Falcon and Rick’s help! 15d is a new expression to me. My favourite clue is 8d and 25d made me chuckle. I thought of Kath wondering if she spotted this funny hidden clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon’s hints – used a couple to check my answers.

    • Kath
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I did, for once, spot both hidden answers – I’m making the most of it because I nearly always miss them.
      I’d never heard of 15d either. Now – 12a. I didn’t know but a ski mask is not only worn by a skier to protect their eyes, but also by a bank robber as a disguise. If you take away ‘ask’ (but not ask, from the clue) you’re left with skim.

      • Kath
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear – wrong again. Doesn’t matter for the clue but I think a ski mask covers everything but the eyes – don’t see how that would be a good disguise – aren’t someone’s eyes their most recognisable feature? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Rick
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Now you will have to Google the pictures!

          • Kath
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif enough to give anyone nightmares. I should have listened to your earlier comment.

      • Framboise
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Kath, good enough for me!

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

          Thank you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gifThat’s the first thing that I’ve done right(ish) all day.

  25. Bob H
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ve never heard of a robber wearing a ski mask before. A hood, a balaclava. Or just a mask. Being from Bristol I would pronounce roar, roarrr. Had to have the hints for several. 19d, 5a, 6d 28a. Not my favourite crossword this week. Thanks for hints. 4*, 2*.

  26. Brian
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Falcon, my only problem with today’s excellent crossword was the inclusion of the word MUSIC in 2d.
    Thx to all

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

    I enjoyed this. I had no problem with parsing 12A because it’s quite a common word here. I thought 15D was a very odd answer and an expression I’ve never heard of. On the plus side, I liked 5D and loved 8D. Thanks to Petitjean and Falcon.

    Falcon, you have just a sprinkling of the white stuff compared to those poor folks just across the border in Buffalo! Six feet and counting!

  28. Merusa
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I found this very hard and had to resort to hints for a few. Never heard of 15d, so missed that completely.
    One of my first answers was 12a, which makes me think that the use of ski masks by bank robbers is an American thing.
    Fave was 18a, though 5d was a close second, which was a huge teaser for me.
    Many answers were entered without having any idea why, so thanks Falcon. Thanks to setter for brain teaser, enjoyed it.

  29. Miffypops
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Failed!!! I used to be a scene shifter so that messed up several clues and needed a bit of sorting out. Even with the hint I don’t know where the ice comes from in 7d. lovely hidden word at 25ac.

    Succeeded in lobbying for the end of the beer tie. Greg Mulholland is my hero,.

    • Jane
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Yep – I stuck with scene shifter for ages. Don’t recall ever hearing ‘scene painter’ as a title before.

      Reluctantly, I ask you to explain the second part of your comment – I guess it’s something to do with sport? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Kath
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        I suspect the second part of MP’s comment is more likely to be with alcohol in some shape or form – beer? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Jane
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Umm…… I just didn’t like to ask about Greg Mulholland………. who’s he?

          • Miffypops
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            My new hero.

            • Rick
              Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

              Clearly our lady members go straight to the back page without reading the news first! Must be great news for publicans. Cheers!

              • Kitty
                Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

                I’ll drink to that! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

              • Jane
                Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                You couldn’t be more correct! On a really busy day it may be the only page I have time to look at. Maybe our gentlemen members have more time on their hands? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                • Rick
                  Posted November 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

                  Indeed! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                • Hanni
                  Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

                  He’s another ‘MP’ that passionately supports ‘Save the pub’. And quite right too. I think our ‘MP’ aka miffypops might be talking about the recent ‘beer tie’ decisions.
                  So yes, it’s about beef. :-)

              • Kath
                Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

                Thanks Rick – it’s a very long time since anyone called me a lady! I can only wonder why . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

                • Jane
                  Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

                  Worry not, Kath – I’m quite convinced that you ARE a lady, and a very intelligent one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

                  • Hanni
                    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

                    Well said. I second that. :-)

    • Kath
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      The ice is the first word of the clue – I think.

      • Jane
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        OK – but what’s the Jamaican music? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Expat Chris
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Ska

          • Jane
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            Really!!! Must look for a u-tube clip! Thank you, Chris.

            • Jane
              Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

              Did a u-tube. Still don’t see why it’s specifically Jamaican – I expected lots of tin drums etc.

  30. Jane
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    This was a real up-hill struggle for me – resorted to hints with about seven left to go and didn’t finish with the usual ‘satisfied’ feeling. Interesting to discover that it was a PJ puzzle. The last time I had so many issues it turned out to be one of his – I’m obviously just not in tune with his wavelength. Apparently just my problem as many others really enjoyed it!

    Sorry, PJ, I really did enjoy 18a, 2d and 13d – maybe I’ll learn to ‘catch your drift’ in the future! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    Thanks to Falcon for making some sort of sense out of it for the ‘sloggers’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    Hanni – expect me in the corner later – I was thinking of bringing a Christmas tree along. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      Jane, you, are quite simply fantastic.

  31. Gwizz
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed today’s offering from PJ. I goofed on 21a by putting T instead of D. IT? Seemed good to me at the time…
    However otherwise a satisfactory solve.
    Favourite clue was 23d.
    Thanks to PJ and Falcon for the revue…. and that picture….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  32. Kitty
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Back to doing it solo for a while http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif. Have been catching up on the last few crosswords today, and found this one manageable while still being hard enough to be satisfying – just the way I like them http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    I thought many of today’s clues were of very good quality, but agree that 14a was a bit limp, and 15a wasn’t quite to my taste. I have to agree with Falcon and go with 18a for favourite. I also very much liked 25a. It took me some head-scratching at the end to get the trio of 5a, 12a and 8d, but once one yielded the rest came easily (with a few more moments needed to parse).

    Many thanks to PJ for the fun, and to Falcon for the tips I really thought for a while I’d be needing.

    • Jane
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Oh heck – I was rather hoping that you’d come unstuck without the partnership recourse. Now I feel really, really thick. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  33. Annidrum
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    It was certainly a challenge and I spotted it was a Pettijean straight away. I plodded on with it many times resisting the urge to look at the hints , and eventually got there. I never heard of a robber wearing a ski- mask ,so I couldn’t justify putting skim in until I realised it could be nothing else. It took me a long time to see the cleverly hidden word in 25a. Thanks to Setter for the challenge & Falcon for the hints ,but Falcon regarding 1d , it’s an English accent you need to pronounce roar like that not British. I’m British ,but I’m Scottish and we wouldn’t pronounce it like that. Only saying!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Falcon
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Point noted.

      I dare say that not everyone in England would say it that way either.

  34. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. Some quite tricky clues and a few that needed explanation following my bung ins. 7d for example – got the answer but still can’t see the rationale. I read Falcons explanation but still can’t make it work. I had the Jamaican music and the 7th note, but the rest? Many thanks for the review even so. 21a was a new one for me and needed Mr Google to assist. 5d was my favourite.

    • Falcon
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      It might help to known that an “ice” to the Brits is what we would call either a popsicle or an ice cream on a stick.

      • Jane
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Hi Falcon – born and bred Brit here – I always thought ‘ice’ was a US definition. Def. not a term I would ever use. We have ice cream, ice lollies, choc ices etc. but not ‘ice’ on its own!

        • Expat Chris
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Definitely not a US term. You did mention choc ice as being British, though!

          • Jane
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            Yes I did – but ‘ice’ would mean nothing to me other than ‘ice & a slice’ in a G & T – or the reason why I have to defrost the freezer, windscreen, pond etc. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

            • Kath
              Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

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

        • Falcon
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Not being a native speaker, I have learned my Brit-speak from solving crossword puzzles and consulting British dictionaries.

          The BRB says ice is a portion of ice cream or water ice (a popsicle to Canadians); Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines ice a bit more broadly as ice cream or water ice or a portion of this; Collins English Dictionary defines ice as a portion of ice cream; and Oxford Dictionaries Online defines ice as chiefly British, an ice cream, ice lolly, or portion of water ice.

          • Falcon
            Posted November 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            Oops! I have to confess that I am mistaken on one point.

            Water ice is a frozen dessert that we in North America would call sorbet or sherbet. The Brits would also call it sorbet, but sherbet is something totally different to them.

            It is an ice lolly that we would call a popsicle — at least some of them, anyway. An ice lolly can be either what we call a popsicle (frozen flavoured water on a stick) or ice cream on a stick.

            Having slept on it — and at the risk of being proven wrong once again, I think the better explanation for the clue may be that “sweet” means dessert and “ice” refers to a sorbet.

            • Jane
              Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

              Bless you for keeping on trying! An ice lolly is almost certainly what you would call a popsicle but it is not also an ice cream on a stick – those are simply ‘ice creams on sticks’ and are usually known by their individual brand name e.g. a Twister, Magnum etc.

              Thanks for the ‘sherbet’ reminder. It used to come as little bags of yellow powder complete with a stick of black liquorice for ‘dunking’. Nowadays I only usually see Sherbet Lemons (sweets in wrappers!).

              • Franco
                Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

                Sweet, dessert, pudding … I prefer Afters.

      • Falcon
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        I also should have added that sweet is a British term for treats such as candy, ice cream, etc.

        • Jane
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          No, no, no! A sweet is something in a wrapper, usually bought in a bag of same. An ice cream is just an ice cream – bought individually and, these days, at enormous cost. Ice is just ICE. Anything sweet eaten after a meal is either a dessert or a pudding.

          And there was me thinking that immigration was the main stumbling block for the continuance of the EU. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          • Expat Chris
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            I have to disagree. This born and bred Brit has heard of pudding being referred to as the sweet to many times to count.
            An ice cream, however, is not a sweet but it could be a dessert.

            • Jane
              Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

              Really? I’m obviously going to have to accept regional – not just national – differences on this one! Sorry, Chris. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

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

                Personally, I don’t mind what it’s called, as long as it’s not ‘afters’!

          • Merusa
            Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            A sweet eaten after a meal can also be “afters” to a Brit, am I not correct?

            • Expat Chris
              Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

              Yes.

            • Jane
              Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

              Oh dear – I think we risk getting into ‘class’ distinctions here. Maybe we should quit this debate before the PC brigade come crashing in on us. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

              • Jane
                Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

                Just remembered – years ago, a TV advert with a crowd of youngsters saying ‘what’s for afters’ and the voice-over response of ‘Lyon’s Maid family brick’. Followed shortly afterwards by my mother’s voice saying ‘ don’t let me EVER hear you speaking like that’!

              • Expat Chris
                Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

                OK. Anyway, I’m about ready to pull that half gallon of all natural vanilla bean out of the freezer, scoop out a generous portion, and top it off with a good slug of Bailey’s. And that’s before dinner!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                • Jane
                  Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

                  Sounds good to me – shall we call it a Bysicle? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Vancouverbc
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Hi Falcon, didn’t realise I’d started such a chain. My difficulty was not with the meaning of ice in the clue but that given I had ska and c as the 7th note I couldn’t explain the remaining letters. If I include ice as part of the answer where does the 7th note come in?

        • Jane
          Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          The seventh note is ‘te’.

          • Vancouverbc
            Posted November 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Jane. I obviously over complicated this thinking this was The chord rather than the note. Doh!

  35. Poppy
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Haunted by poor Andy’s train experience – and couldn’t complete this puzzle, so am sitting in the dim corner, wondering where my brain is . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif Got stuck with scene shifter for 14a as well. If I could fit I’d crawl into Poppy’s basket & stay there, but as she’s worked out I’m feeling fragile she’s joined me instead. Now where are the dog biscuits? Do hope Mary is enjoying her new pup. Thanks to all.

    • Jane
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Poppy – it’s haunting me as well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Poppy
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Jane http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          It’s unimaginable isn’t it. :-( Had to go to the stables just to ‘see’, Harry.

  36. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    We found this one quite tricky. It took us about the same time as a Toughie usually does, while we completed the Toughie in back-pager time. Very strange. The NE corner was the last to yield, largely because, like others, we had tentatively put scene-shifter in for 14a. Enjoyed the puzzle.
    Thanks Petitjean and Falcon.

  37. Collywobbles
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle but shouldn’t 16d be Activism because Activist is a noun. Then, of course, it wouldn’t fit

    I wish I hadn’t said that

    21a was a new one on me

    • Jane
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Collywobbles – subversive can also be a noun. Took me a while to remember! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

      • Collywobbles
        Posted November 21, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        Tks Jane

  38. Hilary
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I thought initially that 25a was going to describe me and I would be back in the cupboard under tthe stairs with my box of tissues. But I persevered and with the aid of my antique brain and the electronic supertoy I got there although I did need Falcon’s whizz bang explanations to tell me why in several places. Fave rave 5d just because it tickled my fancy. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  39. Hanni
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    ****/**
    Painful.
    Oh it all went wrong. I completely missed ska as I type of music and kept playing around with reggae for 7d? Even though it clearly wasn’t indicated. I agree with Brian about 2d being a form of music. Scene shifter wasn’t working for 14a.
    I got there in the end. Goodness knows how! Sheer dumb luck I think.
    8d was lovely though.
    Many many many thanks to Falcon for unravelling this. If I could buy you a drink I would. And thank you to the setter. I prefer a challenge. :-)

  40. Ginny
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you PJ and Falcon. Managed to virtually finish this after ‘skimming’ the blog comments first and found it progressively less daunting and more enjoyable, particularly 5d and 25a. Was left with 19d which I couldn’t see at all. Btw, re yesterday, it did turn it to be the person I was thinking of. I suggested they might like to pay Miffypops a visit.

    • Kath
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – now I’m going to have to go back to yesterday to see what you’re talking about, and just when I was thinking about going to bed to read my book too . . . ! Damn.

      • Kath
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        Forget that – I’ve remembered now. Perhaps the person you were thinking of would like to join the commenters. Or maybe a better suggestion would be her Mum or mum-in-law?

        • Ginny
          Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Thanks. I have given her the website details which will hopefully be of interest to her mum.

      • Ginny
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Kath, good night.

        • Miffypops
          Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

          Ginny and Kath. I loves yer both

  41. Kath
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Lots of comments today – lovely blog. I’ve really enjoyed it all (apart from the scary people in ski masks and I only have myself and Rick to blame for that) so thanks again to Falcon and to all have left comments. Night night . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    • Kath
      Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      PS Thanks also to BD for starting the whole thing off and for keeping it all running like clockwork – it’s so much appreciated by so many. I know he knows all of that but just thought I’d say so again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted November 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        I agree, we need to revalidate our thanks to Big Dave and to the other bloggers from time to time.

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

        • Hanni
          Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:00 am | Permalink

          Agreed a Nephilim amongst men. He does scare me though. But so did my headmaster, and the older I got the more I appreciated him and his passion and dedication.

          • Jane
            Posted November 21, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

            Now you’re really scaring me, Hanni. I had to look up Nephilim. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

            Think I’d better go to bed and rest the old grey matter. Perchance to dream about the decorations we should have on the ‘corner’ tree. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  42. Salty Dog
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite difficult, and struggled to get on wavelength. I wasn’t helped by plumping for “scene-shifter” at 14a (l know, it doesn’t fit the clue!) so 5d didn’t come either. On balance, then, 4*/2* and 20d my favourite clue. Thanks to the setter, whoever it is, and to Falcon for the review.

  43. Heno
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, but found it very tricky. I had mask for 12a & scene shifter for 14a, so that made a lot of the others impossible. Needed 4 hints to finish. Favourites were 25a and 15d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  44. Sarah F
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I have just finished this! Straightforward in some parts and tricky in others. A good brain workout, and many thanks to setter and to Falcon

  45. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Just as MP did, I had scene shifter for 14a, which slowed me down. Although I had 5a correct I always wonder if runs means one r or two. Quite confusing as I was looking for some money with 2 r. As for the Irish accent for 1d, my business partner was from Dublin and in our bar in Covent Garden we used to have 3 alcoves called Booth One, Booth Two and Boot Tree according to him. Thanks to Petitjean and Falcon and to all the bloggers.