DT 27692

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27692

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****

Our Pohutukawa trees which were a little late this year to deserve their title of New Zealand Christmas trees are now in full bloom. We have three vivid crimson beacons from our house to the river, and a spell of brilliant mid-summer weather too. Marvellous!

Jay delights and amuses us once again.

Please leave a comment telling us what you think of today’s puzzle.

Across

1a     Understands right to wear pants (6)
GRASPS : We have recently had pants meaning nonsense, and pants meaning knickers and pants meaning trousers, but this time they are the heavy breathing ones, and R(ight) is included.

5a     Germany is bound, say, to show a lack of belief (8)
DISTRUST : The IVR code for Germany, IS from the clue and a homophone of a word meaning bound or tied up.

9a     Hang prints in order to cover grub, oddly (6,2)
STRING UP : An anagram (in order) of PRINTS which includes the first and third letters of grub.

10a     Dates and marmalade spread over nougat — originally plum (6)
DAMSON : The first letters (originally) of six words in the clue.
imgres

11a     Party animal sent back for words to music (8)
LIBRETTO : A political party and then the reversal of an animal that might be called Tarka perhaps.

12a     Scrimping and scraping means half ot them split (6)
THRIFT : Take the first half of the word them and add a word meaning a split or division. We think that the OT in the clue is just a typo.

13a     Set homework and read after revision (8)
PREPARED: Another name for school homework followed by an anagram (after revision) of READ.

15a     Contrary view on head of finance’s charges (4)
FEES : A word to view and the first letter of finances all reversed.

17a     Panel discussion is about return of jobless (4)
IDLE : Included backwards within the clue.

19a     Dependency with no source of cash is a plus (8)
ADDITION : Take a synonym for dependency on a substance and remove from it the first letter (source) of cash.

20a     Call for more heart, chasing points (6)
ENCORE : As heard in a theatre. A word meaning heart follows two compass points.

21a     Plant rotation for the most part — so be it! (8)
CYCLAMEN : Take a word that means a rotation, remove its last letter and add the word meaning so be it that is used at the end of a prayer.
images

22a     A right of reply about route creates indifference (6)
APATHY : A from the clue, the last letter (right) of reply enclosing a synonym for route.

23a     Material spiked is put back (8)
REPLACED : A three letter word for a corded cloth then a word for spiked as a drink might be.

24a     Spring in lock giving illegal entry (8)
TRESPASS : The lock might be what grows on your head and inside this is a three letter word for a spring.
imgres

25a     Most recent play without wingers before international (6)
LATEST : Take the two middle letters of play (without wingers) and then an international sports fixture.

Down

2d     Rescue dog with no tail (8)
RETRIEVE : Remove the last letter from a type of sporting dog.

3d    They’ll give you a leg-up (8)
STIRRUPS : A cryptic definition of the bits that hang down the side of a saddled horse or the clinical apparatus that puts one in a very undignified position. We have only put in a picture of the former.
images

4d     Study the score, express resignation and walk (5-4)
SIGHT-READ : Split 4,5 we have two words. The first expresses resignation and the second is to walk.

5d     Politically motivated CD? (10,5)
DIPLOMATIC CORPS : The CD has nothing to do with music but is the abbreviation for Corps Diplomatique.

6d     Destroyed hut after turning up pictures (7)
TRASHED : A synonym for hut follows a reversal of a collective word for pictures.

7d     Mismatched diamonds, say, pinched by nude criminal (8)
UNSUITED : Take a word of which diamonds or even hearts are an example inside an anagram (criminal) of nude.

8d     Medicine container and cruet for disposal (8)
TINCTURE : A three letter word for a type of container and an anagram (for disposal) of CRUET.
images

14d     Energy (and power) is firm friend of a bishop (9)
EPISCOPAL : E(nergy) and P(ower), is from the clue, a two letter abbreviation for a firm and a three letter friend. A clever Lego type clue.

15d     Foreign Office reacts badly is the prediction (8)
FORECAST : Abbreviation for Foreign Office and an anagram (badly) of REACTS.

16d     Get out of botched EU caveat (8)
EVACUATE : Anagram (botched) of EU CAVEAT.

17d     At home mainly healthy worker gets medication (8)
INHALANT : The two letter ‘at home’, a word for healthy lacking its last letter, and the six legged worker.

18d     The French covered in buzzing flies must be dead (8)
LIFELESS : The French plural definite article is included inside an anagram (buzzing) of FLIES.

19d     Conveyance supplied with a new Irish penny? (7)
AIRSHIP : A from the clue, an anagram (new) of IRISH followed by P(enny).
imgres

Because of the multiple meanings of pants we have chosen 1a as our favourite today.

Quickie pun caught + hoarder = court order

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123 Comments

  1. Sweet William
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay, I enjoyed the puzzle – about my level of difficulty, so no problems. Liked 4d particularly. Thanks 2Kiwis for your review and hints. Managed without explanations today ! British Gas have just sent a gas man to mend our electric oven………..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  2. Graham
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Agree with the ratings offered by the 2ks, no real favourites but I did like the word play of 11A. Many thanks to the setter & the 2 kiwis for the review,off out into the garden now hoping to find not much to do.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  3. Miffypops
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Well I got TRUSTS for 1ac but could not really justify it but then forgot all about it until now so thanks for that. The view sounds amazing. Does it inspire your writing? Thanks to the 2ks and thanks to Jay for a pleasant outing.

  4. Jezza
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    2*/4* for me too. Many thanks to Jay for the excellent puzzle, and to 2Kiwis for the review.

  5. bifield
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    It was a slow start for me but it then all quickly fell into place. I enjoyed doing this puzzle, too many good cues to pick a favourite. Thanks to 2Kiwis and to Jay for starting my day on a good note.

  6. George
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Another great puzzle for me – really enjoyed this one with some great clues – not too hard but a nice mental work out all the same. No sports clues! Kudos to the setter.

    2*/4* seems to be right.

  7. skempie
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Pants – what a versatile word. No problems again this morning, but not a read-write. Some clever cluing and some nice surface readings. I particularly liked 11A.

    Things to do with 10A – make 10A gin in much the same way as you would sloe gin, steep in gin and remember to turn regularly (quick tip, leave the jar/bottle in the boot of your car, gets well turned then). After thee months, add sugar syrup to taste. Decant spirit and drink as and when required. ON NO ACCOUNT throw the fruit away, it can be used for making puddings – goes very well with Ambrosia Creamed Rice. Remember not to drive after eating pudding.

    • Jane
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Hope Jean-luc doesn’t spot your reference to Ambrosia creamed rice – I’ve already caused enough trouble with Bird’s custard and Bisto. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Have to say I prefer home made. But I agree about alcohol soaked fruits. Raspberries that have been in Champagne are pretty good. How long until summer and I can stop being mardy about perfectly good crosswords?

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Ice Cream made with the fruit is delicious. The 10ac Gin never lasts long as we drink it as a nightcap every night until it is gone.

    • Chris
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      10a is the best (and most underrated) tree fruit I know of. Delicious and versatile. Sadly our frozen supply is fast diminishing and it’s only January . . .

  8. dutch
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I liked 17a, nice story with hidden word. also quite liked 4d. Reasonably straightforward and enjoyable puzzle, many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

    i was wondering whether “means” in 12a was part of the definition? would make the clue a bit cleaner.

    • Jane
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I took ‘means’ as a noun – as in ‘money resources’.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      We agree. Thanks for pointing it out.

  9. Jane
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    No excessive GK, no obscure words, horses grazing peacefully in the field – everybody happy today?

    A delightful romp with Jay for which, many thanks. 4&14d vying for first place and a 2*/4* for me. Would have been 1* for difficulty but it took a little while to find the hidden answer in 17a and to justify the second word in 5d.

    Another beautifully illustrated review from 2Ks – I’m pleased to hear that your Christmas trees have finally burst into flower.

    PS – hope you’ll be proud of me, MP – not a single pen mark or even a thickening of the lines! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      And the anagrams?

      • Jane
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Not a single circle constructed – all just ‘windmills in my mind’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Join the club. It gets easier with time.

        • Jane
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          By the way, MP – I’m a little confused about your cribbage match. Since both St. Sharon and yourself play for teams that are allied to the Green Man, doesn’t it follow that you share the same home ground?

          • Miffypops
            Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Of course we do but that isn’t the point. We were the “away team” and we won away from home. On their turf! In their own backyard.! They had all the advantages of playing at home and we pulled their pants down and smacked their a***s. In front of their home supporters. The Not So Saintly Captain Sharon is sitting in a corner licking her wounds. I have only mentioned the drubbing (GMLI 3 – 4 Green Man) about twenty five times this morning. We won Whooo Hooo!!!!

            • Hanni
              Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

              You won? You never mentioned it. I mean you can’t keep that sort of news to yourself. Anyway I still don’t know what the beer/ale is alike at these unknown away venues?

              • Miffypops
                Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

                The beer was lovely and it went down very well. lots of it. Did I mention that we have won ten out of our eleven games so far this season and sit at the top of The Harbury And District Crib League.

                • Hanni
                  Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

                  It wasn’t on Sky Sports news this morning about the crib team. I’m cancelling my subscription.

            • Jane
              Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

              Ummm……… I suspected as much. Hopefully you accord the same amount of respect for an ‘away’ win to St. Sharon’s team, should they beat you on your home turf?

              • Miffypops
                Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

                The not so Saintly Sharon’s team p****d on our chips last year when we needed a win to take the league title. Last night’s match was a grudge match.

        • Hanni
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Traitor ;-) ;-)

  10. overtaxed
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and 2 Kiwis. First puzzle this year I could finish without the hints. Was beginning to think the crossword editor was upping the difficulty level for the New Year. Even then, the top left corner held me up. 1a was last in -no idea why. Agree **/**** lots of nice clues so no favourite.
    Unlike Graham, I’m not venturing into the garden. Waiting for a man to fix a dead boiler.

  11. Tony
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle for me. I thought I may have been in trouble starting in the NW corner and taking quite a time to get into the right pants and rescue the (completely reasonable) right dog. However, eventually the musical 4d and 11a got me going on the right track. I needed the hints to understand why 5d was correct. Many thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  12. Graham Wall
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I thought 4D was a very well constructed clue and is my favourite in this Wednesday offering. I too was confused by the ot in 12A but came to the same conclusion as the reviewers that it was a printing error. No great difficulty today and did not need the hints. My rating is 2/3.5 My thanks to the 2kiwis for the blog.

  13. Angel
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be out of my paygrade but pressed on regardless and with a little help from my friends (2Kiwis) I made it through. Thanks Jay for exercising my grey matter in a fun way. Liked 20a and 5a. Somehow not too sure about clue to 5d.
    ****/***.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  14. Kitty
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    A nice gentle and enjoyable puzzle today for which I thank Jay.

    I never could 4d very well, and appropriately it took me longer than it should. (Actually, the whole puzzle took me a just a little more time than seems quite right for me: I’m attributing it to the dreary January effect.) It might have been favourite today, but has caused me just a bit too much misery over the years.

    I wouldn’t have known the first bit of 23a but for previous crosswords.

    11a and 20a remind me that I shall be enjoying some theatrey fun soon – yay!

    24a (illegal entry) is today’s favourite. Lovely surface.

    Many thanks to the 2Kiwis for a review which I was happy to read only after the solve.

  15. fran
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    4a 11a and 24a stood out – and held me up ! .Needed a hint or two but pushed for time today thanks Kiwis

  16. SheilaP
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Well, we found this a bit more than a gentle puzzle, but managed most of it without help from the hints. It’s a horrible day here on the East Coast, cold, wet and windy, just what you would expect from January. Soon though the days will be getting longer and spring will be on the way. Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis.

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I think the days are already longer – it’s certainly light later in the day although I haven’t noticed mornings improving yet.

  17. Kath
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 2* and 4*.
    I was a bit slow to start with – don’t know why.
    I never did get the second word of 5d.
    8d was my last answer – tried to make it an anagram of AND CRUET, meaning a medicine container. Oh dear! Hopeless! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I liked 21 and 24a and 7 and 15d. My favourite was either 2 or 3d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis. When do we get a piccy of your “Christmas Trees”?

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      PS Didn’t even notice the typo in 12a. 0/10 for observation.

      • gazza
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Me too. It’s wonderful how the brain sees what it expects to see.

        • Hanni
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Same here!

        • Kath
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          Yes – either that or should have been to Specsavers. Of course the cheaper alternative would be to wash existing specs!

          • overtaxed
            Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            I’ve already been to Specsavers and still read it as “of”.

      • Heno
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Me neither. I’m reading a science fiction book by the much missed Iain M Banks, and some of it is written in text/slang speech & phonetics. It was difficult to decipher at first but after a while you can read it quickly, and it makes sense. No wonder I missed the typo.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      I botched the second word of 5d, putting “cards”. Well, it made sense to me at the tine!

  18. williamus
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Unusually gentle for a Wednesday and thoroughly enjoyable too. Some really nice clues here – agree with 1a as favourite. I never spotted the typo in 12a. 2*|4* for me. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis (is that three birds?)

    • Jane
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

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

  19. Hanni
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    **/**

    I’m not sure why I didn’t enjoy this. The surface reading is nice. Nothing to really hold me up apart from my own stupidity.
    I’m just not ‘that’ excited by it.

    Ok my own stupidity.

    19a. I did exactly what it told me to. Got the answer straight away. So when it came to pencilling it in I wrote ‘additive’.
    Why? As 17a was my last answer in I couldn’t work out the problem with 17d.
    You see? Stupid.

    I did enjoy 11a and 5d.

    I’ve never had 10a gin. I’ve had many other kinds but not that. Perhaps I shall make some.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a lovely blog and pics.

    • Jane
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, Hanni – not like you to have a ‘downer’ on a puzzle, you’re usually so quick to find something good to say about every one that appears. Particularly sad because I really enjoyed it.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      As for 10a’s – don’t tell everyone but I hate the wretched things. My garden back in Cheshire had at least 14 trees laden with them – they attracted the wasps (which caused a problem for the dogs) and I couldn’t even give them away as everyone else in the neighbourhood was drowning under their own supplies. Many an hour spent shovelling the dratted things onto a compost heap in the field. The plums and greengages however, were delicious.
      By the way – I see that you’ve acquired a personalised avatar. I loathe the grumpy faced one I’ve been allocated and did follow the instructions to choose a new one. Not being very tech-minded I took fright and backed away from filling in the forms, accepting the terms & conditions etc. Maybe I’ll have a stiff drink and give it another go. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        have a closer look at Hanni’s avatar Jane. It is rather marvelous. It took me a while to get through the avatar set up. they said my password had to be eight characters long so I chose Snow White and The Seven Dwarves. It is worth it in the end. I change mine regularly but I see Gazza has been a Black Pussycat for ages.

        • Jane
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for the best smile of the day, MP.

          Rather glad that Gazza sticks with the black pussycat – that’s rather how I envisage him. A pussycat, that is, – not necessarily a dark-skinned one.

        • gazza
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Pussycat? My black lab has now started sulking!

          • Jane
            Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            A thousand apologies, Gazza – I hadn’t clicked on the avatar, just took MP’s word for it (silly, I know). Please give your black lab. a ‘sorry’ hug from me. I’m OK with you being a black lab – he/she looks very soft and gentle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Merusa
            Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            How could anyone mistake THAT face for a pussycat? Just wait until I figure out this avatar thing and get Sadie’s face up there!

            • Kath
              Posted January 7, 2015 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

              Yes – one day I’m going to be clever (and brave) enough to put our beautiful Annie on here as my avatar. The only problem with that is that I’ll be in shreds every day instead of just nearly every day. Still http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

          • Kath
            Posted January 7, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            The only thing worse than a sulking Lab is a sulking collie – they really know how to extract every bit of feeling from anyone around them.

        • Hilary
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Ouch!!!!!

  20. Chris
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, with 10a being at the opposite end of the scale from yesterday’s culinary contribution. I agree 2*/4*.

    • Chris
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Oops, sorry, – thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

  21. Domus
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s good to read some positive comments. Recent blogs have had a lot whinges and grumbles because people come across new words or knowledge. If you don’t know what a bedlington is or a chasuble or basenji, it’s due to a lacuna in your education – not the setter’s fault.
    We are going to buy a paper anyway so a crossword is basically free. It helps with the untutored and poorly read solvers. And then there is the benison of the brilliant BIg Dave.
    Aren’t we fortunate to have all this joy and amusement.

    • Brian
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Have you ever stopped to think that not everyone is educated the same way. Those of us who have followed a scientific path through several degrees were never exposed to the Arts in the same as an Arts student. Personally I enjoy finding new words but not obscure poets and authors who are obscure for a reason.

      • SheilaP
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Dear Brian, I mostly enjoy your grumbles and quite often agree with you, but surely your education didn’t stop the moment you finished your several degrees. I think most of the mixed bag of knowledge that I’ve managed to acquire, has been accumulated since I left school. Science is not the be all and end all of everything, but just part of the rich tapestry which makes life worth living. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • crypticsue
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Some of us haven’t got degrees in any subject , arts or sciences – just a life long love of reading anything and everything, an interest in the ‘why ‘ of words, especially unusual place names [eg why Stratton Strawless in Norfolk didn’t have any straw] , and, having grown up pre-internet, the ability to look up words in books to find out their meanings, derivation etc. I am a firm believer that words looked up in books rather than on line stay in the memory banks longer. It probably also helps to have a mind that retains all sorts of ‘stuff’ useful for both crosswords and quizzes.

        • Hilary
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          I agree whole heartedly with your comment. I have a vast database of what the OH calls useless information gleaned from reading everything I could lay my hands on. No formal qualifications but a lively interest and and infinite curiosity has got me through life so far and stood me in good stead. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Gosh Sue. Me too with the reading for many many years. It all comes from memory now or on rare occasions ( Mondays dog for instance ) it will be something like Wikipedia. To prove your point though all I know of Monday’s dog is that it began with a B, had a J in it and did not bark.

          • Rick
            Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Was it Brian Greer who wrote that crossword knowledge should be broad but shallow? I have been looking for the quote (which I thought was from his excellent book How To Solve The Times Crossword) but can’t find it – no doubt CS’s elephantine memory will have it filed away.
            It certainly fits with me. I have happily paddled in the shallows of all sorts of subjects over the years – and got deep into plenty more – and it is amazing what pops out again when you need it.
            Many of course never leave their narrow comfort zone. But as my first boss told me: “Never confuse ten years’ experience with one year repeated ten times!”

            PS ref reading I found another lovely Will Rogers quote earlier:
            “Some men learn from reading, others from observation. The rest just have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

        • Merusa
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          You are sooooo right! I am also in the “want to know”” team, spending far too much time looking things up and learning stuff that I’ll probably never use again.

      • Una
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        The pleasure I get from solving cryptics is a developement from doing similiar things with chemical symbols and applying rules to explain things.I hope that makes sense. I did get cross one time when a Friday puzzle had more than 5 totally obscure words, not a general knowledge thing.

      • George
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        So, I also followed the science path and have several degrees – but I appreciate having some of the gaps in my non-artsy world filled by doing crosswords. Heavens, where else would I come across such things!.

        I do object a bit about UK sports heroes though, as they do not last long in the headlines usually, and not ones that I would ever know!

      • Kath
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I’ve often stopped to think about that. Many years ago a lovely doctor who works with my husband was here for supper. He is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met. I can’t remember the context but he said that if anyone was ever in any doubt about whether to study the arts or the sciences then they should go with the sciences. His logic was that if you do the sciences then you could, and probably would, pick up on art, music and literature. The other way round was less likely.

    • Hanni
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Since I have my complete mardy head on today I am going to agree with Brian.
      I have no issue whatsoever in learning new words. I have no issue with obscure references, so long, and this parts quite important, that they are fair to the solver.
      And no I’ve never heard of a basenji.

      As for the brilliance of BD and the blog? Is there any doubt about that?

      • Kath
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        As to your last bit, no, absolutely NO doubt about that. I’m always looking for a reason to give BD et al a great big http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif and maybe an extra one, so http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif.

    • Kitty
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Whinging in cathartic, and all good as long as you don’t pi rain down on others’ enjoyment.* For my part I would get bored with a blog where everybody was oh-so-nice all the time and edited all the quibbles and grumbles from their commentary. How else would you then know if others had the same issues as you did?

      There is however a knack to a good moan. “I am a grumpy bunny this morning and didn’t enjoy the puzzle, but it’s probably just me” is not the same as “it was a dreadful puzzle.” Similarly “I think this aspect of the answer/clue construction is too difficult for a back-pager” is not “nobody should ever use this word/construction in a crossword ever.”

      We are indeed fortunate to have these crosswords, but one is under no obligation to enjoy everything that is free.

      *One or two proper grumps are quite fun though. I for one am always cheered up when Brian is a-hating http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      As I said yesterday. Crosswords are just the same as dinners. I don’t care what’s in them (even tripe) . I just want one every day. Yes Domus. We are fortunate indeed.

    • Rick
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      To quote Will Rogers:

      “We are all ignorant, only on different subjects.”

  22. Brian
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Too tough for me today, only managed the SW corner.
    Why should a tin be a medicine container in 8d esp as the hint shows a bottle!

    • Jane
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      You surprise me, Brian. If I really enjoyed it and you didn’t, does that mean that it was too much along the lines of a Mr. T?

      • Jane
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Forgot to say – I think in 8d you are supposed to assume a comma between medicine and container.

        • Hilary
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          This is true but surely one of the things about cryptic crosswords is the ability to see what is not there sometimes.

    • Physicist
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Jane is right – tin is part of the wordplay, not part of the definition.

    • Wayne
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Re: 8d. I thought the 2Kiwis explanation was succinct, couldn’t be clearer IMO. What’s not to understand??

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Brian – I was hoodwinked into thinking that the definition was “medicine container” for far too long. Oh dear. We all make mistakes sometimes. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  23. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how I managed to finish this while watching the horrible news about the terrorist attack on one of our most loved satirical publication. At Charlie Hebdo, a dozen victims including 4 great cartoonists. Cabu, Wolinsky, I shall miss you.
    Going back to the crossword, I really enjoyed it.
    Thanks to all.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Condolences. I don’t really want to read it up. What is the point of it all?

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. At least crossword fanatics mean no harm.

    • Merusa
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      I read about this with horror today, Jean-luc. I feel deepest sympathies for the French people to have this abomination committed in their country. When will it ever end.

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

      • Sweet William
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        I am afraid, Merusa, that it might only just have started.

        • Merusa
          Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Alas, I think you are right. What do we do? Just sit back and take it?

    • Angel
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      What a terrible tragedy. My heartfelt sympathy to you, Jean-Luc, and all the citizens of your nation of liberté, egalité et fraternité.

  24. Alas
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Not too bad today for a Wednesday,started off slowly but soon got into my stride, 21A last one in.Favourite today was 4D.Congrats to Miffypops and St Sharon on their win,and lastly thanks to the 2 kiwis.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Miifypops won. St Sharon lost.

      • Hilary
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        You’re gloating – Tee Hee

      • Ginny
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Let’s hear it for Sharon…

        • Miffypops
          Posted January 8, 2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

          Lets not!

  25. Topdog
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    *** for difficulty for this rookie but,then again, that’s about the best I can hope for at this stage in my career! Had to resort to Google for 14d which was in the old brainbox but I couldn’t quite grab it! Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis. My favourite today was 17d as it’s the first time I’ve trusted myself to put in a word I’ve never heard of on the basis of my solving skills without checking it’s authenticity. Onwards and Upwards!

    • Jane
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Topdog! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif As for trusting yourself to put in words you’ve never heard of – go with your new-found solving skills but maybe write it in very, very lightly – just in case. That’s what I do. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      This is what is blissful about the blog, you put something in and by reading the explanation it helps to crystallise your thoughts and it will stay with you for the next time (http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifand give you confidence).

      • George
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the wonders of a paper copy and the trusty B pencil!

  26. Heno
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review. A very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 8d because of the misdirection, I was looking for a medicine container for ages. Last in was 1a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  27. Merusa
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Much enjoyment today, thanks Jay.
    Fave was 21a as mine is springing up very nicely and will blossom soon, but honourable mention must go to 11a.
    Thanks, too, to the 2Kiwis for the lovely review. Please, pretty please, may we have pix of the trees, they sound spectacular!

  28. Vancouver bc
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    ***/*** – difficulty one more star because while it started as a R&W itb definitely didn’t finish like that. liked 4d especially. thanks to the 2Ks for the review and the setter for an enjoyable challenge.

  29. Dave B
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Good puzzle, **/***. 4d and 11a were my favs.

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Good morning everybody. Another beautiful day just dawning for us and we are expecting some overseas visitors arriving today. They are the parents of our daughter’s partner and are from Orpington in Kent. They have come to spend some time with our mutual and much loved grandson Sam. It will be nice to catch up with them again. Promise that we will sort out a picture of our Pohutukawa trees for next week’s blog, something to look forward to. Glad you all (mostly) enjoyed the puzzle. Cheers.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 1:53 am | Permalink

      Orpington is not in Kent. It’s in the London borough of Bromley, but some people who live there are too snobby to admit it. It’s like those who say they live in Middlesex, which hasn’t existed for 50 years, they just don’t want to admit to living in outer London. Sorry, but I am a professional pedant

  31. JonP
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Agree with **/**** – enjoyed this as always on a Wednesday. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and to Jay. Hope your Orpington folk had a good trip – that’s where I grew up (well – Petts Wood which is the neighbouring town. My partner is from Orpington too..).

  32. Collywobbles
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasurable puzzle but 3* for me. Many thanks to Jay and to 2KW’s for the hints which I found invaluable

  33. Hilary
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I keep thinking that one day I am going to be a grumpy bunny but not today. Thanks to Jay and 2kiwis for a great treat. Too many favourites but 11a made me smile and also 24a. Sorry Kate I will try to reform I know I am only allowed one officially. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  34. Una
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    My favourite was 21a.Otherwise an enjoyable exercise, but no laugh- out -loud moments.Thanks Kiwis, I am glad there are parts of the world enjoying summer.Wet , windy and cold here, actually it is beginning to feel like a mini hurricane.Thanks Jay, I look forward to Wednesdays, because it is always so reliable , not too hard and not too easy.

  35. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Have been out all day today so very late to start solving. I’ll go along with 2*/4* with my favourite either 4d or 5d. I don’t understand what part of 17a indicates that the answer is a hidden word, but, apart from that, this was a very enjoyable puzzle.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      We read ‘is about’ to mean that the answer is included in the first two words, and ‘return’ implies that it needs to be reversed. Hope that helps.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks very much for replying. That was pretty much what I had thought but I remain unconvinced why “is about” should mean that the anwer is included.

  36. Liz
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    This was just about my level and I enjoyed it. Didn’t even have to use my trusty Oxford Solver (well not much anyway.) I liked 11a. Thanks.

  37. Framboise
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    What a terrible day for our country and my heart goes out to the families of the victims of today’s terrorist attack in Paris. Solving today’s Jay Puzzle has at least helped in providing some relief. Kept on saying to my friend that CD in French is corps diplomatique but was still puzzled by 5d – i had mistrust instead of distrust for 5a, what a fool! Needed help with 1a otherwise a nice and enjoyable solve. 4d and 11a favourites. 2.5*/4*. Many thanks to the 2Kiwis.

  38. weekendwanda
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jay, Interesting, fun and quick solve. 4d and 21a my favourites. Completely missed the point of 10a stupidly. Had it in my head it was raisin and only sussed it when cogitating over the reference to gin. Well said Domus and those who followed. I had composed a reply to Brian’s grumps on Monday but decided I was unkind and deleted it. We are all different as can be seen from our likes and dislikes but we do have to think outside the box and know some general knowledge and above all remember that the point is that these are cryptic crosswords. I had no idea of the dog on Monday so googled Dog no bark and it came up straight away. It was not my favourite clue or my favourite Rufus crossword but I am not complaining. 8d today was not a write in but realised it was a partial anagram and looked then for the first three letters. Not difficult when tin and can are the two most common ones. Roll on tomorrow and see what the offering is. Are we expecting a Ray T? If so I shall hope to do it on the train to London.

  39. Richard
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I just discovered your website today.A real revelation.I usually get about 70% of the DT CW done before caving in.Finish about 1 in10.Mainly cos I dont get the clue.Will use your website from now on and try not to cheat(honestly)

    • gazza
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Richard. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      A warm welcome from us too Richard.

    • Kath
      Posted January 7, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me too, Richard. I don’t think you can cheat yourself. If you don’t understand something read the hint – if you still don’t understand it look at the answer and read the hint again. If you still don’t understand it ask – someone will reply to you, usually pretty quickly. That’s how we all learn how to do these addictive things. Please keep commenting and good luck.

      • Miffypops
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 12:45 am | Permalink

        A warm welcome from me too Richard. I will try to help as much as I can on a Monday but I would ignore most of what I write on any other day. (or Mondays)

  40. Salty Dog
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Yes, 2*/4* for me too. Favouritism was close between 4d and 12a, but the former gets the nod. My thanks to Jay, and to the 2 Kiwis for the review.

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    I liked this Jay offering. It would have been only 2* time but I got inexplicably held up in the NE corner owing to my inability to see the CD of 5d for ages. Once I had that, the rest fell into place very quickly. Thanks to K-squared for their well-illustrated review. 3*/3*

  42. Catnap
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    And 2*/4* for me too. I had fun solving this last evening. There were four clues I liked in particular — 11a, 21a, 2d and 4d.

    I didn’t need any help at the time. I have, however, much enjoyed the review. Despite having the answer, I didn’t know what the ‘CD’ in 5d was, so many thanks for the explanation.

    My thanks and appreciation to Jay and the 2Kiwis. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  43. Gwizz
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    So as the ‘lurg’ begins it’s slow decline the little grey cells start to show signs of life once more. In other words I don’t feel quite so bad! So a couple of days late I know but I dund it!
    Actually it was (for me) a fairly easy Wednesday crossword with no real problems. I liked 21a for some reason, probably because it didn’t come immediately..
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

  44. OzzieBoy
    Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Finally gave up with three to go – bit of an effort for me, so thanks for damon, unsuited and inhalant

    • Posted February 11, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog OzzieBoy

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted February 12, 2015 at 2:34 am | Permalink

      Welcome from us too.