DT 27665

         Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27665

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where after a cold, grey start, a little sunshine has broken through.

A straightforward puzzle from Giovanni this morning, with no real stand-out moments as far as I was concerned.

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

1a           Replacement? Use it but it’s wonky one to get rid of (10)
SUBSTITUTE – Anagram (wonky) of USE (i)T BUT IT’s, with one of the Is removed (one to get rid of).

6a           Zoo animals? Some escape sometimes (4)
APES – Hidden in (some) the clue.

9a           Shout when ex leaves demand for money? (5)
CLAIM – Remove the EX from the front of a word meaning shout or cry out.

10a         Tumbledown entrances given a new life (9)
RENASCENT – Anagram (tumbledown) of ENTRANCES.

12a         Look at boy returning in disgrace (7)
SCANDAL – A verb meaning to look at, followed by a word for boy reversed (returning).

13a         Goes on and on — awards not good (5)
RANTS – Remove the G (not good) from a word for monetary awards.

15a         Church is protecting fool, offering support (7)
CHASSIS – An abbreviation for CHurch and IS from the clue, placed either side of a fool, giving the support for the engine, running gear and bodywork of an old-fashioned car.

17a         Poet‘s point getting you reflecting (7)
SOUTHEY – A point of the compass followed by the archaic form of ‘you’, reversed, giving the author of The Inchcape Rock:

 No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion;
Her keel was steady in the ocean.

Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

The holy Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that Bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung…

19a         Neat multitude in East End by railway (7)
ORDERLY – How the stereotypical crossword East Ender might pronounce the word for a mass of people, followed by an abbreviation for railway.

21a         Sailor Mark to keep off the rum? (7)
ABSTAIN – One of the usual crossword sailors followed a mark caused by spilling wine on a tablecloth.

22a         Acknowledge a learner has got depressed (5)
ALLOW – Put together A (from the clue), the letter which indicates a learner driver, and a word for depressed.

24a         It’s lewd, naughty, most out of order (7)
WILDEST – Anagram (naughty) of IT’S LEWD.

27a         Like a star for a very short time (9)
TWINKLING – Double definition, the first being an adjective describing the appearance of a star in the sky.

28a         Doing nothing, submerged in finer thoughts (5)
INERT – Hidden (submerged) in the clue.

29a         Prompts rows from what we hear (4)
CUES – Prompts given to an actor sound like rows of people standing in line.

30a         Any girl not disciplined, with blissful lack of awareness? (10)
IGNORANTLY – Anagram (disciplined) of ANY GIRL NOT.

Down

1d           Get rid of baggy garment (4)
SACK – Double definition, the first being to get rid of an employee.

2d           Music group not allowed in auditorium after effrontery (5,4)
BRASS BAND – A word often coupled with ‘neck’ or ‘face’ to denote effrontery, followed a word that sounds like (in auditorium) a word meaning ‘not allowed’.

3d           Father wearing Scottish hat in American city (5)
TAMPA – A shortened form of the word for a variety of Scottish hat followed by a familiar term for father, giving us a city in Florida.

4d           Gets fed up with advertisement intruding and harangues (7)
TIRADES – An abbreviation for advertisement placed inside a word for ‘gets fed up with’.

5d           Complications no good in stories (7)
TANGLES – Put No Good inside a word for stories.

7d           Groom is writer hugging spectacular bride finally (5)
PREEN – Put the last letters of spectaculaR and bridE inside the usual writer (as in something you write with).

8d           Enjoyable meeting (10)
SATISFYING – Double definition, the second being meeting criteria.

11d         Composer who often made decision on pitch? (7)
STRAUSS – Any one of a number of Austrian composers who share a surname with a recent captain of the England cricket team.

14d         Academic Catholics regathered round front of seminary (10)
SCHOLASTIC – Anagram (regathered) of CATHOLICS wrapped around the first letter (front) of Seminary.

16d         A war’s ruined a king in Asian state (7)
SARAWAK – Anagram (ruined) of A WAR’S followed by A (from the clue) and the chess notation for a king.

18d         Maybe one’s skipped with excitement (9)
HEARTBEAT – Cryptic definition of something we all have, which may be made irregular by strong emotion.

20d         Shelter after day’s end, showing weariness? (7)
YAWNING – The last letter of daY followed by a canvas shelter attached to a caravan or stretched over the deck of a boat to provide shelter.

21d         Everyone wanting ogre destroyed quickly (7)
ALLEGRO –This musical instruction is made up of a word for everybody followed by an anagram (destroyed) of OGRE.

23d         River, one featured in fairy stories? (5)
LOIRE – The Roman numeral for one put inside a word for tales passed down orally through the generations, producing a river in France.

25d         Heather in USA? A maiden lost (5)
ERICA – Remove A (from the clue) and the cricket scorecard abbreviation for maiden from the front of the A in USA.

26d         Wander, having lost heart? Wander not! (4)
STAY -Remove the middle letter from a word meaning wander (like lost sheep).


The Quick Crossword pun MORE + CHEW + HAIRY = MORTUARY

90 Comments

  1. redtrev
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    **/*** for me today nothing too difficult

  2. dutch
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    This went in very quickly for a Friday Giovanni puzzle (so much faster than yesterday). I was confused by the abbreviation for railway which is often only 2 letters, and i hadn’t heard of the poet or cricket captain (shame!), but all else was fine. I thought tumbledown was an interesting anagram indicator. last one in was 14d (academic).

    I really liked the hidden clues – they read so nicely (6a, zoo, and 28a, doing nothing).

    Thank you Giovanni and deep threat

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you about railway. I’ve only ever seen the abbreviation RY before today.

      • gazza
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        There are lots of abbreviations for railway. Chambers XWD Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations lists the following: BR; CPR; EL; EWS; GNER; GWR; L; LMS; LNE; LNER; RLY; RWY; RY; SNCF; SR.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Gazza, I’ll add it to my Christmas list …
          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  3. Angel
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    A thoroughly enjoyable ride in the park which was over all too soon. TVM Giovanni and DT especially for the glorious Handel. No particular fav(s!) but plenty of nicely cryptic clues. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Angel
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Indeed thanks also to DT for the always moving Elgar which I had overlooked.

  4. fran
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Straightforward but couldn’t fathom 17a . Love literature but poets always get me cornered

    • Angel
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Fran, If you haven’t seen DT hint, South = point plus ye (you) backwards (reflected).

  5. Sweet William
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you DG, enjoyable and I agree quite straightforward. Needed Google for the poet, but other than that – no new words ! Thanks DT for your review hints and appropriate photos.

  6. Kath
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    More of a 3* difficulty for me and about the same for enjoyment.
    17a and 18d took about twice as long as the whole of the rest of the crossword and I very nearly gave up on them.
    I’ve never heard of the poet, or if I have I’ve forgotten about him, and I thought the first letter was the point etc etc. Oh dear! 18d I just couldn’t see – thought of dances, thought of what might be forgotten (skipped) with excitement – oh dear, again!
    11d took a while – maybe I have heard of him but didn’t know what he looked like. He’s got a nice face!
    The rest of it didn’t cause too many problems – I even found the hidden ones.
    I liked 6 (even though it was hidden) and 24a and 1 and 8d. My favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Me too Kath re 17ac & 18d

    • Chris
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      And me.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        And me, but I’m very embarrassed about 17a as English romantic poets is one of my son’s specialities and he is always talking about them :oops:

    • Bluebird
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Got 18d quite early on (nearly my favourite clue), but still held up at 17 as I often don’t expect ‘point’ to be written in full.

    • Hanni
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

      • Jane
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        And me!

    • Kath
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gifThanks all – thought it was just me being at the extreme end of dim today.

    • Framboise
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Me too Kath re 17a and 18d! Never came across this poet… Guessed 11d – cricket not my forte. Otherwise a most enjoyable puzzle – 3*/4*. Quite a few nice clues: 8d, 25d… Many thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat – loved the Elgar piece.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted December 6, 2014 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      I always remember the poet, because of Byron’s withering put down: “Alas Bob Southey, you’re a Tory after all”

  7. skempie
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Not one of the Don’s hardest but still quite enjoyable. I’ve never heard of the poet in 17A, but the answer was fairly obvious once I’d realised that the point wasn’t just a single letter. Favourite today wad 16D – don’t think I’ve ever seen it in a crossword before and its not often I’ve seen it written down (maybe back in my school days)

  8. F1lbertfox
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    A nicely put together set of clues, but very straightforward to solve, with nothing much to scare the pigeons (no horses to scare here ;-) )

    Thanks to the Don for an enjoyable puzzle – lovely and sunny here now, so off to walk the mutt.

  9. Miffypops
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to The Don and also to Deep Threat particularly for the Handel which Reminded me if the time I arranged for a performance of it in our village church. Awesome. I must put it on again.

    • Hanni
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Very impressive! Handel’s Messiah is a village church. Love it.

      • Miffypops
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        It truly was impressive Hanni. We had four soloists from The London Conservatoire. A Mini orchestra with a real conductor. 35 choristers from The Leicester Philharmonic Choir. It was brilliant throughout and those who missed it missed out. We put it on in March 2012 so I think it is time to try again.

      • Bluebird
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        I agree. I’ve been singing this for nearly 50 yrs in all sizes of venue and numbers of performers, but my absolute favourite was a relatively small church with under 40 singers and a simple ensemble of 8 (strings only), a harpsichord and, of course, the trumpet.

        Lighting by candles only…..

        It was just magic!

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Our Harpsichordist played the continuum on a harpsichord he had built himself and carried about in a Volvo wardrobe car

          • Bluebird
            Posted December 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

            Your harpsichord had it easy……
            Back in my day, the harpsichord had to get to the church in the pouring rain, tune itself up, (including at the interval) play all night, and hitchhike (if it was lucky) back to its leaky shed. I don’t know….today’s instruments don’t know they’re born…….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted December 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

              That is a hard core harpsichord Bluebird! Sounds wonderful.

              I remember once playing in a Christmas Eve concert in a church by candlelight. It was packed with children and parents and looked so pretty. We had rehearsed during day and come the concert, not one of us had thought to check that the music stands had lights on so we could actually read the sheet music! It was blooming fantastic. I’ve never played a cello in such an odd position before.

              Miffypops I do hope you re-stage it. Things like that aren’t done enough. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

              • Bluebird
                Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

                http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_biggrin.gif
                To be fair, playing the cello, you’re already in what could be described as an odd position!

                Then there’s the risk of the score going up in flames…oh well, it’s all fun and games till someone loses an eye.

                The other occupational hazard in my experience is the sometimes freezing temperature in church venues. Frozen fingers etc.

                • Hanni
                  Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

                  Oh I completely forgot about frozen fingers! You’re absolutely right. Most people were obviously in coats but we were in dresses/shirt and bow ties.
                  You are right about playing the cello though. I played leaning to my left trying to see someone elses score. It was actually great fun! :-)

              • Miffypops
                Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

                I will contact Keith Smith the conductor who really does all the hard work and brings the whole together. Will you want a ticket? I need sales as the whole package doesn’t come cheap

                • Hilary
                  Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

                  I could not get there but I could send you a donation.

                • Hanni
                  Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

                  I’ll happily support it MP! Though you could have been inviting bluebird there?

  10. Kitty
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I found this fairly gentle but most enjoyable – probably among my favourite of the Fridays. My clues of choice are 6a, 28a, 2d and 20d, and 8d was indeed 8d. Wasn’t familiar with the three letter abbreviation for railway, but it’s in the BRB. I deduced the hitherto unknown state of 16d and dug out 17a from somewhere in the dark and cobwebby recesses of my mind.

    Wait… my mind has cobwebs? There have been spiders in my brain? 22a me to run away screaming and huddle down shaking in a corner for an indeterminate period of time.

    Just after I offer my thanks to Giovanni and DT, of course.

  11. George
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Yup – straightforward enough except for the poet and cricket person. I don’t follow cricket out here in NA, of course, so these references always require a bit of research. I picked up on the wordplay right away, but was just bereft of any knowledge of the sport! I know, I know, many of you will be thinking shame, shame on you! The – poets – arg – not for a scientist like me – not my area of expertise.

    1*/4* I suppose as it all went quickly except for those I mentioned above.

  12. Chris
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Not too hard today except 17a, whom I had vaguely heard of, and 18d where I thought my answer looked wrong (it was – I’d ended with ‘felt’!). 2*/3* for me.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  13. Heno
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. All went in very easily, until I got to 17a, had never heard of him, couldn’t see the wordplay. Completely fooled by 11d, even though I follow cricket. Couldn’t get 13a either. Me being dim on a now cloudy day after a bright start. Bit like the way crossword went. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Good fun though, very enjoyable. Favourite was 10a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  14. Beaver
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Last in was 17 across, like others thought s was the point so a tad troublesome as I missed it, might have helped if he was well known. Thought 11d was obscure, even for a cricket fan-noted Kath struggled! Apart from these ‘picky’ points thought it a well constructed and enjoyable crossword. Thanks G and DT. Christmas lights switched on in Tarporley tonight, looking forward to mulled wine-and a few Jars.

  15. Clarky
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Much more fun than yesterday’s grid.
    I liked 8d, 16d and 18d in particular. Never heard of the poet and gave up on it in the end. Thanks to DT for the hints and to Giovanni of course.

  16. Hanni
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    ***/****
    A satisfying way to end the week.

    Like others I got held up with 17a. Having never heard of the poet it was a guess and Google. However it took me the longest time to ‘see’ 1d and 9a.Though looking back I don’t understand why.

    Favourite clues, I’m sorry Kath, are 16 and 26d. 10 and 24a raised a smile too.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for blogging as always.

    • Kath
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – here we go again! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif Must get the big stick out at the weekend.

  17. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    For me Giovanni is the Jekyll and Hyde of the crossword world, and I never know what to expect on a Friday. I am happy to say that I really enjoyed this today. My rating is 2*/4*. Like Kath and others, 17a & 18d took me quite a long time to crack after a smooth run through of the rest.

    Lots of good clues make choosing a favourite difficult; I’m not normally a fan of homophones, but 29a is a brilliant example and gets my vote.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT – great review as ever!

  18. Tony
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    23a stumped me today as my mind was firmly fixed on UK rivers only. 17a was only achieved with reference to Google otherwise a very enjoyable experience for a Friday and has put me in the right mood for the weekend. Thanks to Deep Throat and Giovanni.

  19. Michael
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Not everyone from the East End drop their ‘aitches’ – I feel effronted by that one – otherwise it was a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Onward and upward – roll on the Weekend! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Do you mean “heffronted”? :wink:

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I thought everybody from The East End dropped their aitches, spoke only in rhyming slang and shared a cell with the Kray’s driver.

  20. Rick
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    A second successive Friday softie for me. The closest to a hold up was 19a – having conditioned my brain to think bovine whenever I see ‘neat’, I spent a while looking for a word beginning OX. It is possible to overcomplicate things…
    All perfectly pleasant but no stand outs. 1/3*

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I too started thinking about “ox”.

      • Jane
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh good grief – I’d forgotten all about THAT ‘neat’ already. One day soon, that bit of info. is going to be really necessary again and I’ll be crying all the way to the hints. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  21. Tony
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Like others, I was challenged with cricketers and poets (at least there were no plants). However, I got there in the end, and enjoyed myself in the process. Thanks to all.

  22. Bluebird
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I generally enjoy Friday’s the most.

    I liked 15a and 18d.

    But my favourite was 3d. Straightforward, but I loved the fact that the tam was not only on top, I.e. being worn as a hat, but actually WAS a hat.

    I haven’t explained that properly, but, luckily, I know what I mean..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Jane
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Worry not, Bluebird, you made perfect sense to me!

  23. Brian
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Usual high standard Friday crossword but I must say I did need help for 13a. Not sure how you are supposed to know it was a financial award. I spent ages trying to fit in a civil award like CH but had to admit defeat until the hints came up.
    Apart from that no real problems but some excellent clues such as 20d and 17a and of course the stand out clue of 11d, great captain and excellent opening bat. Must admit I did have to Google the poet but then the Arts never were my strong suit.
    Thx to Giovanni and to DT for the hint.

    • Brian
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      BTW the cryptic is a damn sight easier than the Quickie which is full of religious references and odd composers!

      • andy
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been looking on and off at the quickie since this morning and still haven’t got anywhere near finishing it . Cryptic and Toughie done

  24. jean-luc cheval
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Great picture of Chenonceau DT but the chateau is on the river Cher not the Loire.

  25. Owdoo
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Rather easy for a Friday I thought. Was fun while it lasted though.
    2*/3*
    Thanks to The Don and DT

  26. Vancouverbc
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and not too taxing. Bung in for 17a confirmed by Mr Google. Rain today which has already removed the snow. Back to the golf. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  27. Don Manley/Giovanni
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    A bit alarmed that Robert Southey wasn’t better known — ‘what do they teach them in the schools these days?’, as the professor asked in the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.. Anyway thank you for appreciative comments on this puzzle and on the Toughie on Wednesday, which offered a wonderful and unexpected opportunity to plug Chambers Crossword Manual!

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Your comment went into ‘moderation’ because when you are not plugging your book, you usually just call yourself Giovanni.

      As for the poet, presumably schools aren’t doing Don Juan by Byron for A Level English Lit, which is where I first encountered Mr Southey.

      • Miffypops
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        I used to recite The Inchcape Rock by heart and have always loved the poem. I used it in the blog recently. Thanks for popping in Mr Manley. it is now two days on and I still have only eleven answers in Wednesdays toughie. They will fall eventually but their is a lot of fight in them. Top work

    • Posted December 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Even though it was only your 98th Toughie!

      • Giovanni
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        You may well be right, Mr Proprietor. I wasn’t counting and have no intention of dragging out my paper files to check. The puzzle originally scheduled was my No 100 but we shifted to No 102 so that I could get in a cheeky reference to 100 in my clue for CHILLI. Puzzle numbers do get taken out of sequence anyway, and, to be honest, I did not regard this as a major landmark, given that I have passed many100 milestones for different newspapers. My most major landmark was my No 1000 in the 1000th issue of The Independent on Sunday, which went unacknowledged by the IOS in their number 998 (or was it 997). On that occasion I went back and counted the puzzles one by one and was able to tell the IOS that they had the wrong number of issue on their front page. I received not an acknowledgement, let alone a word of thanks. The Daily Telegraph, though, thanks to Phil McNeill, has been much more generous in its acknowledgement of landmarks (including my 500th Friday puzzle). The paper also seized on the opportunity of what they thought was my 100th Toughie for me to experience a delightful interview conducted by Sarah Rainey. Generosity is not always evident in the crossword community, so one must be grateful when it occurs.

        • Hanni
          Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          And from me too. I still have a ridiculous amount to learn but this blog helps enormously. Perhaps one day I’ll crack a Mephisto without pulling my hair out! It’s all good fun though.

    • Hilary
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Great to meet you and say thank you for so much enjoyment. I am a very newcomer to BD’s gang but my crosswording has improved considerably.

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    We had a bit of trouble with the cricketer but apart from that it all flowed smoothly. 18d was our last answer to yield. Well constructed clues and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  29. Jane
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was just going to be an enjoyable read & write until I came up against the poet and the composer, not helped by the fact that I was dithering a bit over my answers to 13a & 8d which, although they proved to be correct, made me think I could have got the checking letters wrong.
    Frankly, I think there should be a rule against incorporating composers/poets/philosophers/artists etc. into the same clue as cricketers/rugby players and sportsmen in general. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    Runaway favourite was 27a with a mention for 10a – once I’d dragged it out of the dark recesses of the mind!

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat – particularly for the video clips.

  30. Gwizz
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Well, because I put GONGS in 13a Andrew stood no chance, and the poet did not want to play.. Curses Moriarty! The rest of it went in very easily but that does not make me feel any better. I shall excuse myself by claiming my latest dose of Manflu is doing nothing for my gray cells….
    Thanks to the Don and DT for sorting me out!

    • Kath
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Children get colds, men get flu and women get on with it. Shall I duck now? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      I hope you feel better soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Jane
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

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

  31. JonP
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward solve today which is somewhat rare for me on Friday. Thanks to Giovanni and DT **/***

  32. George Acheson
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    The chateau illustrated is on the the Cher not the Loire, though it is in the Loire region.

    • gazza
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      You’ve expanded your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both variants should work from now on.

  33. Hilary
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to The Don and DT for a fabulous end to the week, I am not sure why but I knew the poet and the composer but it probably comes from having built up a very rag-bag of general knowledge to draw upon. No fave rave because I would have Kath after me for choosing several but if pressed I will settle for 8d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Kath
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Just the one favourite gets you a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif from me. You can all call me a fuss pot if you like . . .

      • Hanni
        Posted December 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        I think I’ll go and sit in my corner. :-( ….. ;-)

        • Kath
          Posted December 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          No – please don’t! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Jane
            Posted December 5, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            It’s OK, Kath – she’ll have company. I’m in there mugging up on poets and composers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

              Hi Jane and Kath. In my corner tonight is a copy of Madoc…I thought Welsh/Anglesey connection, and a Strauss opera. There are a variety of drinks available. Pretty much all of them have alcohol. Tomorrow I’m going to a golf club collective ball. I may change the poetry to The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Drinking Song from La Traviata. All are welcome. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

              • Jane
                Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

                Good luck with the Golf Club Ball – stay sober, smile a lot and then whack through that bottle of Cognac you mentioned when you get home. The one thing that looks worse than an ‘over the odds’ lady is an ‘over the odds’ lady in a ball dress – trust me, I’ve seen it plenty of times! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

                • Hanni
                  Posted December 6, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

                  Subtle/understated LongBD, hairdresser is tackling my curls and I’m driving. Big picture? It’s clearly not that awful and a quite a few very nice people will be there. It’s the fake smiling I don’t like. I will need that Cognac and will save you a G&T.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

                  • Jane
                    Posted December 6, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

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

  34. Franco
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Nice music today … ♪♫ …

    And a nice puzzle …

  35. Salty Dog
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    2*/3, and 2d my favourite clue. Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT. Now – where’s that dragged Toughie?

  36. Big twin
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one saying “what??” To 25d?

    • Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Big Twin

    • Jane
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s just one of the names for a heather plant – the other one is ‘ling’. Watch out for it!

    • Franco
      Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      25d What? No picture from Twickenham!

  37. Tstrummer
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Like the Don, I’m surprised that so many had never heard of Bob Southey. Apart from that, enjoyably easy in places and head-scratchingly tricky in others, which makes it a great puzzle in my book. Thanks to DT for the review and DG for such an enjoyable end to the working week. Now I’ve got a whole day off to look forward to before returning my nose to the grindstone on Sunday. 3*/4*