DT 27668

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27668

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

As is usual for Tuesdays there is nothing too scary in today’s puzzle. 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 Impostor? Nonsense (6)
HUMBUG – we start with a straight double definition although the use of this noun to mean an impostor or hoaxer is not commonly used these days (as far as I can establish the name of the minty sweet is not related to this meaning). The second definition is commonly heard in Scrooge’s reaction to the Christmas season (and most people’s reaction to Christmas goods appearing in the shops in September).

5a Disease, nasty-sounding — pets affected (4-4)
FOWL-PEST – what sounds like an adjective meaning nasty or disgusting is followed by an anagram (affected) of PETS.

9a Honeymoon suite for them — grand bedroom, I suspect (5,3,5)
BRIDE AND GROOM – this is a pleasing semi-all-in-one. The answer is an anagram (suspect) of GRAND BEDROOM I.

10a Mate ringing a seabird is taking protective interest (8)
PATERNAL – a mate contains (ringing) A and a seabird.

11a French dramatist elected to enter competition (6)
RACINE – insert an adverb meaning elected into a competition.

12a Nothing about English version in US state (6)
NEVADA – an informal word, from Spanish, meaning nothing goes round the abbreviation for English version.

14a Work in vile Parisian prison (8)
BASTILLE – insert a verb to work or cultivate the land into an adjective meaning vile or squalid. Perhaps ‘old Parisian prison’ would have been a better definition since little of it remains today.

16a A female, silver-tongued and wealthy (8)
AFFLUENT – string together A (from the clue), F(emale) and an adjective meaning silver-tongued or articulate.

19a Pop out after beer in Syrian city (6)
ALEPPO – an anagram (out) of POP follows Crosswordland’s usual beer.

21a Foremost of players to speak in golf club (6)
PUTTER – the first (foremost) letter of P(layers) is followed by a verb to speak.

23a Story one cadet concocted (8)
ANECDOTE – an anagram (concocted) of ONE CADET.

25a Guy at No.9, best player on pitch? (3,2,3,5)
MAN OF THE MATCH – the setter wants you to think that 9 is the number on the player’s shirt but it’s actually one of the pair at 9a (who’s usually, but not always in these modern times, a guy).

26a In power replacing Liberal? Vote received makes this likely (8)
EXPECTED – start with an adverb meaning in (with the same meaning as in 11a, i.e. chosen by the voters) and replace the L(iberal) with P(ower). Finally insert (received) how you mark your vote on the ballot paper.

27a Untidy, dancing in state of undress (6)
NUDITY – an anagram (dancing) of UNTIDY.

Down Clues

2d Drunken bum’s ardour causing offence (7)
UMBRAGE – an anagram (drunken) of BUM is followed by ardour or an overpowering passion.

3d Carrot bachelor covered with cheese (5)
BRIBE – carrot here means a sweetener or inducement. B(achelor) is contained inside a creamy cheese.

4d Novelist suppressing joke — it’s fruity (9)
GREENGAGE – the surname of an English novelist (the author of Brighton Rock and Our Man in Havana) goes round (suppressing) a joke.

5d Following suit, mostly to impress a new group of admirers (3,4)
FAN CLUB – the abbreviation for following (used to refer to the following section in a book, for example) precedes a card suit without its final letter (mostly). Then A and N(ew) get inserted (to impress).

6d Bet salary on first of runners (5)
WAGER – payment for regular work is followed by (on, in a down clue) the first letter of runners.

7d In favour of writer exposing outlaw (9)
PROSCRIBE – a charade of a preposition meaning in favour of and an old word for a writer. Exposing here is just a link word, i.e. a + b reveals c.

8d Influential in workshop, ignoring right line (7)
SEMINAL – start with a workshop or discussion group, drop (ignoring) the R(ight) and add L(ine).

13d Suddenly, everyone agreed about carbon (3,2,4)
ALL AT ONCE – join together a word meaning everyone and a phrase (2,3) meaning agreed or in accord and insert the chemical symbol for carbon.

15d Political leaders ordered means test (9)
STATESMEN – an anagram (ordered) of MEANS TEST.

17d Perplex loud clumsy person (7)
FLUMMOX – the musical abbreviation for loud followed by an informal word for a stupid, clumsy person (most dictionaries declare this word to be of unknown origin but elsewhere it is said to come from Scots dialect).

18d Vandalised paintings mounted in front of hut (7)
TRASHED – reverse (mounted, in a down clue) a general word for paintings and follow this with a hut.

20d Crack in planter’s recent (3,4)
POT SHOT – crack here is a critical remark or unkind joke directed at an easy target. An ornamental container for plants plus the ‘S is followed by an informal adjective meaning recent or up to date.

22d Fire damaged rear of boat, resulting in this? (5)
REFIT – an anagram (damaged) of FIRE followed by the rearmost letter of boat.

24d Old-fashioned old man penning note (5)
DATED – a familiar term for father or old man contains (penning) one of the notes of tonic sol-fa.

The clues I liked best today were the linked 9a and 25a. Which ones appealed to you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: BRED + STYX = BREADSTICKS

 


Advertisements

124 Comments

  1. JonP
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I found this low on the equine intimidation scale. Thanks to Gazza and setter and would agree with **/***

  2. Angel
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Absolutely terrific. I loved every minute of the solve in spite of initially struggling to get off the ground. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/****. 19a was first to go in and then it was all go. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  3. Michael
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Quite straightforward – no stumbling blocks or obscure words!

    Onward and upward – next! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Hello Michael. You have gone onward and upward that you must be atop of Ben Nevis as we speak. Where to next?

      • Michael
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        It’s that, as a novice, I see each puzzle that I complete as a step forward in my attempt to become half-way proficient at this lark.

        It’s unfortunate that, when I get stumped and have to resort to the blog for help, that I feel depressed and pretty hopeless at this game.

        At the moment things are looking up but I expect to crash and burn at least once a week.

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          Stick at it Michael, it all gets easier with time and at least you have the blog to help. Your onward and upward has always amused me and its is good to see your confidence building. We all get stumped at times. Thanks for the reply, it is Jay’s turn to set tomorrow. He usually gives us very fair clues with a touch of amusement. Good luck tomorrow.

        • spindrift
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Keep at it Michael. I was just like you a few years ago until I discovered Big Dave & his cohort of bloggers. It’s amazing what you pick up from the tints & hips this motley crew contribute. I now do the DT back page & Toughie, the FT & The Week – a few years ago I used to struggle with a Word-search!

        • Hilary
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          I have only been part of BD’s gang for a very short time but the support you get is stunning. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  4. skempie
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Near enough a write-in today with only two or three clues holding me up (partly caused y only having 4 hours kip but probably the fact that I don’t know too many French dramatists may have something to do with it) but some nicely worded clues. Favourite today was 19A – very topical. Can’t say I liked 12A though, not a meaning of NEVER that I have used or particularly like to hear (should be confined to US cop movies IMHO)

  5. Miffypops
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I had to go and scare the horses myself. Enough said. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment and thanks to young Gazza for the fine review.

    • Hilary
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Oh diddums!!

  6. fran
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    19a first in, 1a last . Challenging enough to be enjoyable **/***

  7. Beaver
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Straight forward enough today, and overall a pleasing solve **/*** fine. Unsure re 12a, although the answer could only be the specific us state, not quite cricket in my view, or a questionable delivery at best, to use an obscure Spanish word as part of the solution-how many bloggers have heard of it ?. Agree 9A was an excellent all in one/anagram,thanks Gazza for the amusing pics.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Misdirected to Oregon for a while O (nothing) re (about) but the gon didn’t work out so I left it alone and waited for the checkers to give it away.

      • Kath
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Yes – me too with Oregon but, as you said, the last three letters didn’t work.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I was in the Oregon club at first too!

        • Merusa
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Me too!

      • Hilary
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        I had 1d which did not make Oregon the best idea I ever had but I must swot up on my US states.

    • George
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I don’t think it is that obscure – I hear it quite a bit in Canada.

  8. Chris
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Gentle, pleasant, and nothing too scary today. 1*/3* for me.
    Thanks Gazza and the setter.

  9. Clarky
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Straightforward and enjoyable today with no real problems. Even the Frenchman was just a matter of checking the answer.
    How many US States have ‘ev’ in them? I could only think of one. The Spanish word is not that obscure is it?
    A fun Tuesday from Mr Ron and Gazza. Thank you.

  10. George
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I had a very slow start on the Northern half of this one – but once the Southern half filled in, the rest followed. I did find some of the wordplays a bit tenuous!

    2*/4*

  11. Hanni
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    ***/****

    Good morning one and all. Though my crosswording was not nearly good enough.

    Everything thing was going in quite smoothly. Anagrams worked out, pencils were feeling smug and rather nice coffee was being drunk. And then my less than brilliant mind decided that 10a was ‘pastoral’. So I had ‘pal’ for the mate part and then I seemingly invented a seabird called a ‘stora’?

    This pesky invented seabird caused a few problems with 2 and 4d. It was like untangling Christmas Tree lights. But I got there in the end.

    Favourite clue 9a with a rosette to 13d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the blog and pictures. :-)

    It is dark and chilly today with the occasional snow flurry so I might try the Toughie over lunch instead of lots of fresh air.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      It is never a good thing to invent a seabird Hanni. What if it had no natural predators and took over the world?

      • Rick
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        I worry about you sometimes MP, I really do.

        • Kath
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          I suspect Miffypops doesn’t have enough to do today – perhaps St Sharon should find something useful for him to do . . .

          • Miffypops
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Miffypops has plenty to do. He just isn’t doing it.

            • Kath
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

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

      • Hanni
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        I just don’t think these through MP. Have I learned nothing from Jurassic Park? This apex ‘stora’ is already causing chaos in crosswords. I tried blaming the pencils but they claim they’re innocent. Typical pencils. An immediate cull is needed.

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          It will be the ones with the erasers on the end Hanni.

          • Hanni
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

            I dare not ask the rubber tipped ones. They’re quite ‘hard’ and I need them for the Toughie.

            • Miffypops
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

              I have six and a third and a tenth in The Toughie so far.

            • Kitty
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

              Hahaha! Well, it’s definitely those hard rubber-tipped ones that are the culprits. Keep a close eye on them, Hanni. You don’t have to cull them all, but I recommend keeping them locked up at night and only brought out when you need them.

              • Jane
                Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

                I just stick to using a biro – far less wayward, but it does result in a lot of ‘scribbling out’. Fine if the advert next to the puzzle has a light-coloured background, but a bit of a problem otherwise. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                • Kitty
                  Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

                  Technology and a delete key. Done. With no evidence of the silly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                  • Jane
                    Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

                    No, no, no Kitty. Pens & pencils can be tapped up and down in frustration/thought, doodled with, tucked behind the ear, even sucked if necessary. Maybe it’s an age thing…..!

                    • Kitty
                      Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

                      Oh, never fear Jane: if need be I can find something to tap, doodle with or even suck if I need such outlet during the solving.

        • Hilary
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          What you need is a Staedler propelling pencil with a lovely soft eraser and lots of spaces round the crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          I just may have saved the world as we know it Hanni. You can have your P(ASTOR)AL at 12ac but use the second letter A in the word PAL. That will leave you with (Madelaine) Astor who survived the sinking of The Titanic and therefore makes her a SEA BIRD. You can read about her here http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/madeleine-talmage-astor.html

          • Jane
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear, MP – I fear you’ve finally ‘lost it’. Not only have you got the clue nos. mixed up but you’ve just wrecked 3&4d and thereby probably ruined the whole puzzle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

            • Kitty
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

              It’s what the pencils want. Those hard rubber-tipped ones. MP in his cleverness might just have brought about the end of the world after all.

          • Hanni
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            Miffypops you’re a genius. That story has everything, a sinking ship, people riding mechanical horses whilst wearing lifebelts, a boxer that was in Sodom and Gomorrah and an Airedale.

            Clearly ‘pastoral’ was correct and humanity is saved from invading Storae. It’s the Astor bird.

            Setters don’t always make it easy. :-)

            I think I might leave the Toughie alone for now.

    • Kath
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t talk about untangling Christmas tree lights – first of all I don’t even know where ours are; secondly, when/if I do manage to find them they will have been playing cat’s-cradle all year even though I always put them away quite tidily – how do they do it? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • williamus
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        They worked fine when I got them down from the loft. They worked fine when I unravelled them… so why don’t they work when they’re on the blessed tree?

      • Bluebird
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        They go to annual conferences to swap notes.

        The “odd socks” meet in the next door venue…….

        • Bluebird
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Human resources depts meet nearby, but theirs is very secretive- they are all from a planet far, far away in a distant galaxy.

          • Jane
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            Thank you for the biggest laughs of the day, Bluebird. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
            I reckon my daughters chair all of the above mentioned conferences – no matter how convinced I am of saying exactly the right thing to them at exactly the right time, they always contrive to come up with a totally different interpretation of what I actually intended. I reckon they’d have no problem with sorting out Christmas lights, odd socks or H.R. depts. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            HR. On second thoughts, release the stora!

            (See this Dilbert cartoon: )

            • Bluebird
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

              Hay……………http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

              Good stuff Bluebird and Kitty! :-) Quite reminiscent of some of The Daily Mash offerings.

      • Hilary
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Lucky you to be allowed to have lights, don’t start me on odd socks for the past three weeks I have been looking for one errant bedsock which has been spirited away never to be seen again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Jane
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hanni,
      I reckon all the ‘storas’ are hanging out somewhere with the ‘bids’. As a Summer warden for the Sandwich Tern colony on Anglesey, I would never have been forgiven for missing 10a, but then I struggle with printed circuit boards which seemed to present no challenge for you a short while back!

      By the way, it occurred to me that if your O/H is still looking for brownie points re: the proposed trip that you ‘don’t know about’ he should have organised a taxi for the GC Ball. Silly man http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Do let me know if you see either? Imaginary birds are notoriously difficult things. I’m starting to worry about an outbreak of imaginary bird flu. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Kitty
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I’ve just noticed that you decided they will be storas. I was going with stora for both singular and plural, because it just felt right. No BRB to decide in this case, but I’m sure we can make a decision… maybe you can ask the pencils.

        • Jane
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          How about ‘storae’ – gives it a bit of that ‘Latin word, so it must be correct’ feeling.

          • Hanni
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            I was hoping someone on the blog could work out the plurilisation. It’s actually been bothering me. It didn’t feel like something I could ask elsewhere. Well perhaps my quiz team but they are all barking. Engineers, chem engineers and teachers.

  12. Brian
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    One of those that was quite easy to complete without fully understanding some of the clues ie 2d (my copy of the BRB doesn’t show ardour as rage), 5d (still don’t quite see why following is just F) and as usual I missed the note in 24d.
    However, overall very enjoyable esp 5a, 25a and 21a.
    Many Thx to all.

    • gazza
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      f (lower-case) is used in references to mean “and the following page” so “Moby Dick 72f.” refers you to pages 72-73 of the book. It’s worth remembering that ff can also mean following, in this case more than one page, so “Moby Dick 123ff.” refers to page 123 and pages 124-n.

      • SheilaP
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Thank goodness I don’t worry about little details such as the meanings of f or ff. It would put me right off even attempting a cryptic crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Brian
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Well you learn something new everydayhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
        Part of the joy of crosswords esp when the Don is setting them

  13. Rick
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I checked the horses – not so much as an eyebrow raised in mild concern.
    1*/3*

  14. dutch
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward and enjoyable puzzle – thanks setter and gazza.

    Nice to see a seasonal touch in 1a. 9a/25a probably favourites. 5a and 5d were last in.

  15. F1lbertfox
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable, but very easy to solve puzzle. Mostly a write in and very much on par with the daily Quick Crosswords. I liked 26 across & 17 down, but no real stand-out clues. Thanks to the setter for a nice gentle ‘joy-ride’. Tis off to Brum later for a visit to the Symphony Hall to hear Roy Wood (Wizard) and Rick Wakeman et al in their Christmas show – should be a good night.

  16. neveracrossword
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    1.5*/3*. Nada mas.

  17. SheilaP
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Managed to finish without assistance from Gazza, and enjoyed the clues. The Spanish word is quite often heard in American TV programmes, things like CSI Miami etc” Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza.

  18. Bob H
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Reasonably straight forward for me today. */***. I needed Gazza to explain a few things though. 1a Humbug for aimpostor, 26a Expected. I got this on the basis that In Power was elected and the L was replaced by an X. That left a problem with the P. I’m pretty sure Kodak used to say Nada, 12a, so it was familiar to me. 11a, Racine, I had to look up. I know no French dramatists and why would you want to? I only know a few English ones, Becket, Shakespeare and Alan Ayckbborn spring to mind.I find Drama a bit to dramatic for me and it is nearly always overacted. I took my then to be wife to see equus at the Bristol old Vic in 1973 or 4 to impress her with my intellectual credentials. What a dreadful play. Now that has upset half the bloggers I’ll say thanks to all and I’ll contribute again sometime. The reason I don’t log on very often is because by the time I have finished most people have already said what I want to say. Thanks again

  19. Ridgerunner
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I had to chuckle at 25a. Got the answer straight away and before I bothered to see what the 9a clue was , presumed Guy was hinting at Guy Fawkes who must have been handy with matches!

  20. Heno
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. My horses were a bit skittish. I got the definition wrong for 7d, and so put in proactive, was last in. Managed to work out 11a, although I’d never heard of her. Missed the connection with 9a. Favourite was 12a, having heard of nada. Was enjoyable though, 3*/3*, might risk a look at the Toughie.

    • gazza
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Her? French ladies didn’t write plays in the 17th century. :D

      • Miffypops
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        I wasn’t very active with proactive. It did cross my mind though.

      • Miffypops
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Molly Eire. Emily Zola. Denise Diderot, All those Jeans. Jean Paul Satre, Jean Racine, Jean Anouilh, Jean Coctaeu. Jean Alexander (Hilda)

        • Framboise
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          Oops, Denise is a lady’s name – Denis Diderot. Jean Racine is one of our most famous “dramaturges”.

        • Annidrum
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

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

  21. Gwizz
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Nothing too taxing today with just enough of a challenge to make it interesting.
    My favourite clue was 17d simply because I love the sound of the answer.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the revue.

  22. Framboise
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    No problem solving this most enjoyable Tuesday offering. 9a was my first in and 25 a my last. Although I guessed 20d, did not know this expression. Thank you to Gazza’s review and to the setter. 2*/3*. I met Jen Luc Cheval yesterday – Isn’t it incredible that two French born cruciverbalists – maybe the only ones – on the blog live in the same French town, about 1km apart? Sun back in Hyères, hurrah!

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I take my hat off to you both. To solve in a foreign language is amazing. Most of us have enough trouble solving in our own language. Well done both

      • Framboise
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Thank you! In fact I think being bi-lingual helps a lot as there are so many French words in the English language.

        • Kath
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          I agree with Miffypops – to do a crossword in anything other than your first language is amazing. My French sister-in-law also does Telegraph cryptics and I’m always really impressed, once I’ve got over being cross that she’s nicked my crossword!

  23. Vancouverbc
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    2.5*/3*. The point five was added as I’d completed the whole crossword last evening apart from 11a. I knew the French dramatist but it was only this morning I realized I’d some spelling challenges with 8d which was always going to thwart completion. Nevertheless enjoyable so thanks to the setter and Gazza for the hints.

  24. Angel
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Rather a weak Quickie pun today. I double-checked the answer above as I couldn’t believe it was just that!

  25. Rabbit Dave
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Late start for me today as I played squash this morning followed the squash club Christmas Lunch, which was excellent. Despite a slight alcoholic haze, I still found today’s puzzle straightforward but it was certainly enjoyable. My rating is 1*/3*.

    I go along with Gazza in having 9a & 25a as joint favourites, but they are linked :wink:.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza, particularly for the wordplay for 5d which I couldn’t quite work out.

    • williamus
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Even later start for me… had to wait for the paper girl to do some Christmas shopping first. What a nice gentle puzzle this was */**** for me. 26a was a tad convoluted and last in. I managed to avoid the Oregon trail too :-) Thanks to Mr Ron (?) and to Gazza whose erudite hints, for once, I didn’t need today.

  26. Kath
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I can’t argue with 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment although this particular horse did break into a trot over the last couple of answers.
    I’d never heard of the French dramatist and for 10a I got tangled up with thinking that the ‘protective interest’ was something financial to do with insurance – stupid!
    I missed the significance of No 9 in 25a so my answer, although it was obviously right, was a bit of a mystery.
    I liked 9 and 14a and 3 and 13d. My favourite was 27a because the picture made me laugh. If it hadn’t been for the picture my favourite would have been 17d. Shall I duck now?
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Christmas shopping – finished! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Christmas cards – written! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Smug or what?

    • Bluebird
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Not “what”….

      I have done some cards, but only to those people I am having pre Christmas lunches and dinners with – I keep a stash of spares in my bag. Does that count?

      My guess is No.

    • Jane
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath,
      Now you’re really into the danger zone re: Christmas. I find that the ‘smug’ feeling almost always results in forgetting to post the cards until the last minute and neglecting to wrap the presents until sometime late on Christmas Eve! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      Will you be surrounded by the flock of lambs for the festivities?

    • Hilary
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      I must admit that the word smug does spring to mind. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • weekendwanda
      Posted December 10, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      As i had a free day I updated my address label template (deleted the deceased) and printed off. Since then two of the Mr half of Mr and Mrs have passed on. I decided that deleting Mr & was not appropriate although the widows are likely to realise why they get a handwritten envelope. After this early effort I continued with writing cards, stamping and posting. I sincerely hope that no-one else drops off the tree before Christmas especially those to whom I have wished a happy, healthy New Year. I well remember finding my Great Aunt’s christmas cards written but not posted before she died. Being of frugal nature she would have been upset that she bought and wrote them but pleased that she had not invested in stamps and posted.

  27. Collywobbles
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent

  28. Bluebird
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Late today as otherwise engaged.

    Give this **\****. I thought it was great fun.

    The 9/25a connection was fab.

    My favourite was 17d http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif

  29. Bluebird
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Re the quickie…….

    I got ‘Styx’ and ‘core’ and desperately tried to get something sounding like ‘logi’ in for 1a.
    I’m not trying to be clever here. I really did!

  30. Ginny
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant and enjoyable. Thank you Setter and Gazza. Favourite was 9a followed by 20d..

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 10, 2014 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Well done Ginny

  31. Merusa
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    This went in so quickly for me, loved it. I had no problem with 12a as I’m a gringo in an Hispanic city where most people don’t speak English. Faves were 9a and 25a; I think you will acknowledge, Kath, that they really belong together.
    Sorry to hear of the forecast of gales and storms, keep warm. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his splendid review and the pic at 27a, wotta laugh!

  32. Jane
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Seems I’ve gone a bit against the flow today – 2.5*/3* for me. I wasn’t familiar with the ‘imposter’ definition for 1a and did a ‘bung-in’ at 8d. Tried to fit ‘Ag’ somewhere into 16a and also ‘aft’ into 22d, so those took a bit of time before the penny dropped.

    You will be delighted to learn that somebody needed you today, gazza – despite having the correct answers, I couldn’t fully parse 26a and 5d. Grateful thanks as ever. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Also going out on a limb with favourites. I really liked 5&16a along with 13&17d. Winner is 13d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron for a really varied set of clues.

  33. Kitty
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Everything went straight into the bottom, but fumbled around some of the top bits for a while. I needed a nudge to unravel the parsing of 5a, and to confirm 11a.

    The last three acrosses read nicely as a sentence, I thought.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted Kitty. That’s certainly an extra giggle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Jane
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

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

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

      I knew I had seen that setter before. Well spotted Kitty.

    • gazza
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      :D

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Best not mention 8d and 20d on the right

      • Kitty
        Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Best not!

        • Jane
          Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          No, MP – best to keep the party clean! However, the 21/23a combo revived many a boring memory http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

          • Miffypops
            Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            I have a golf society based at the pub. It has been like listening to a looped tape for the last eight and a half years. My head hurts with the ongoing boredom. This blog has kept me from insanity.

            • Jane
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

              I suspect that may be one of Hanni’s reasons for being here as well. Poor girl also has to deal with fishing stories! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

              • Hanni
                Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

                There’s an element of truth in that. But this blog is just wonderfully entertaining.

            • Kitty
              Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

              Has it?

              Sorry, MP, couldn’t resist. It was after all you who earlier warned of the potential dangers of unpredated stora taking over the world…

              • Jane
                Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

                Tarnation, Kitty – wish I’d thought of that one first! I could add a whole list of MP’isms to that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                • Kitty
                  Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

                  I think this blog helps keep many a person sane. Or “sane” – everything is relative. Except for those things which are absolute. It’s helping me cope with a dark and dismal December with no Mr K until January http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif.

                  But I don’t make too many claims about sanity…

              • Hanni
                Posted December 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

                It’s a serious concern Kitty. Stora are remarkable creatures. I think the UN and WWF should be informed.

    • Hilary
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we should set up a 5d for storas/ae and get the RSPB involved, we might even get a Heritage Lottery grant. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  34. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    One of our best guides on how difficult we have found a puzzle, is the number of scribbles, doodles and partial answers that have appeared around the printed-out puzzle during the process. Today’s puzzle has virtually pristine margins. A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  35. Hrothgar
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Funny how if it’s the wrong envelope day, it’s invariably Tuesday.
    This one should have been in the envelope marked:
    ‘Junior Telegraph
    Crosswords for Beginners’
    Still enjoyed filling it in.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  36. Sweet William
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I love the children’s puzzles Hrothgar – just right for me. Thank you setter, I thought that was good fun and not too difficult. Thanks Gazza for your review, hints and photos. Never heard of Nada before.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted December 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, I can’t help it.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif
      I’d never heard of NADA either.

  37. Una
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I love these easy ones , once in a while. They make me feel I’ve cracked cryptics . Ha ha ! I will surely come a cropper tomorrow.

  38. Annidrum
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed that & found it quite easy. Thanks to setter & gazza.

  39. Salty Dog
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    The crossword was pleasant enough, and quite gentle (2*/3* or so), and 4d gets my vote as pick of the clues. The review, and the comments thus generated, was nothing less than superb. Thanks to the setter for the puzzle, and to Gazza and my fellow contributors for the rest.

  40. Hilary
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Gazza and setter for a nice selection of mental exercise, came late to it because Tuesday is beat-up the supermarket day but this cheered me up. I love the pair but my favourite just because I love the sound of it has to be 17d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  41. Owdoo
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    No problems today, apart from never having heard of the French dramatist.
    I don’t mind the occasional obscure word but obscure general knowledge I find a bit irritating. It’s mainly why I prefer the DT puzzles rather than the Times. Or maybe he’s not so obscure and I’m just ignorant in that subject! Either way, thanks to both setter and Gazza. 2*/2*

  42. jean-luc cheval
    Posted December 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Same as yesterday, working clockwise until SE corner. For my part I first had parental for 10a. Was sure a rent was a seabird. A bit dyslexic I think. But that was the only scribble on my otherwise pristine crossword.
    As for the blog, It’s always such a pleasure to read everyone’s comments. I loved the 25,26,27a combo and MP’s 5,20d.
    Thanks to Gazza for the review and to Mr Ron.
    Onward and upward. See you all tomorrow.

    • Miffypops
      Posted December 10, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      Oh no! Another made up planet destroying sea bird as been unleashed. Kitty. Hanni. Hilary. Jane. HELP!!!

      • Hanni
        Posted December 10, 2014 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        He’s dicing with a potentially cataclysmic event. I mean who on earth would invent a planet destroying bird? Miffypops it’s down to you? You have twin cats. Cats kill birds.

        When you’re done I have 5 clues left from Mephisto 2832? Non bird related.

        • Miffypops
          Posted December 10, 2014 at 1:21 am | Permalink

          I am done. Our Crib team lost tonight 4 -3. We had previously played nine and won nine. We will still be top of the league over the Christmas break but we lost tonight. I doubt that I will ever be able to write a blog again. Itchy and Scratchy do not seem to care. I have never attempted a Mephisto in my life. Saint Sharon’s team won 5 – 2 tonight away from home. We had home advantage and lost. You can watch it all on Sky Sports Three tomorrow. Let me know what you think

          • Hanni
            Posted December 10, 2014 at 1:36 am | Permalink

            Perhaps let Saint Sharon captain your team? Then again I have never played Crib. You have lost one match. Can you ask if the opposing team be ‘tested’ for banned Crib substances? Have you explained the severity of the situation to the twins? I’m sure that you will blog soon and blog well. I may have to read up on Crib.
            I’ll be sure to watch the drama on Sky Sports.