DT 27699 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27699

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27699

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone. I’ve already been right twice today. I thought it was going to be wet and windy – it is. I didn’t think it would be a Ray T crossword today – it isn’t. I hope it’s not going to go downhill from now. I thought this was of average difficulty and enjoyment so I’ve gone for three stars for each but I’m more than happy for people to disagree with me as I’m sure some will.

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

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a            Somewhat inferior new Manchester United whizz kid? (6-4)
SECOND BEST — The first word is what comes after first. The next is the surname of a famous Northern Irish footballer who died in 2005, played as a winger for Manchester United and was well known for his riotous life style. I don’t imagine that anyone is fooled into thinking that I knew all that so thanks to Mr Google – not a good clue for me to see first of all!

9a            Make a record (4)
FORM — A double definition – the record is often preceded by ‘previous’ and is to do with a criminal.

10a         Assesses pans — for roasts? (10)
CRITICISES — I think this is a triple definition. It took me ages and apart from a couple of the four letter answers was my main problem.

11a         Tantrum shown by office worker about over (6)
TEMPER — Begin with an office worker who doesn’t have a permanent job but is standing in for someone and follow that with a reversal (over) of one of the common abbreviations meaning about.

12a         Shoots the messengers? (7)
RUNNERS — This is another double definition and has nothing to do with guns. The first one is what some plants put out as a means of propagation and the second is people working in theatres who fetch and carry things.


15a         Upper-class original Bond girl having taken top off is déshabillé (7)
UNDRESS — Start with the usual crosswordland one letter for ‘upper’ class and follow that with the surname, without the first letter (having taken top off) of a Swiss actress who played Honey Ryder in the first of the James Bond films – Doctor No.

16a         Wildebeest sent back after good man’s bitten (5)
STUNG — Another word for a wildebeest is reversed (sent back) after the normal two letter ‘good man’.

17a         As many as before (2,2)
UP TO — Another double definition. I’ve been trying to come up with a good hint for this one but seem to have failed.

18a         Resoundingly proud streak (4)
VEIN — This is a ‘sounds like’ one (resoundingly). The streak is a seam of a different mineral running through a rock, or a mark in some wood.

19a         One having meal in American restaurant (5)
DINER — Another double definition . . .


21a         Umpire in crucial match? (7)
DECIDER — . . . and another.

22a         Cast altered and recounted (7)
RELATED — An anagram (cast) of ALTERED.

24a         Some pop a question that’s hard to understand (6)
OPAQUE — Just for once I managed to spot this answer hiding in the middle of the clue.

27a         No resistance to cavalry getting uniform replacement — it sends a warning (10)
LIGHTHOUSE — Begin with a word that often precedes ‘cavalry’. Then take out the R(no resistance) and put in a U instead (getting uniform replacement.)


28a         India’s Dravid initially at short leg with nothing to do (4)
IDLE — The first letters of the first two words in the clue (initially) are followed by most of (short) the sixth word.

29a         Propel canoe or larger craft (6,4)
PADDLE BOAT — A means of propelling or moving a floating vessel is followed by another word of which a canoe is an example. I can’t help wondering what the occupants of this are up to – I expect they’ve gone for a little walk . . . !




2d            Organs appearing during rehearsals (4)
EARS — Another hidden answer and I found him too.


3d            Take possession of renegade bastion without head of security (6)
OBTAIN — An anagram (renegade) of BASTION without the S (without head of security).

4d            Cooks for consultants (7)
DOCTORS — Another double definition. Cooks here is a verb and means to fiddle something.

5d            Stand for work, not getting left in comfort (4)
EASE — The stand is one that an artist may use to prop up his work. Just remove the L from that word (not getting left in).

6d            Lawrence: smart but tiresome (7)
TESTING — This Lawrence is not the author with the initials D.H. – it’s Lawrence of Arabia so you need his initials followed by another word for smart or a sharp pain.

7d            Companion ticket that’s free allowed people to come in (10)
COMPLEMENT — Start with an abbreviation for a free ticket or maybe a perk of a job, follow that with another word for allowed or given permission to do something containing (to come in) some people or male adults.

8d            Put away demon fiddle rosined (10)
IMPRISONED — Begin this one with a three letter word for demon or a little devil and follow it with an anagram (fiddle) of ROSINED.

12d         Plump bird that’s become part of Christmas for some (5,5)
ROUND ROBIN — The first word is another way of saying plump or rotund and the bird is a small song bird with a red breast. The answer is the beastly kind of letter that some people put inside their Christmas cards to show off just how well their entire family is doing.


13d         Dancing albeit once is impressive (10)
NOTICEABLE — An anagram (dancing) of ALBEIT ONCE.

14d         Step in which Fred shows no limits (5)
STAIR — Fred was a dancer and actor who lived from 1899-1987. You just need to remove the first and last letters of his surname (shows no limits).


15d         Milk producer without a dairy originally — insert name below (5)
UNDER — The bit of anatomy where a cow’s or goat’s milk comes out of – remove one of the D’s (without a dairy originally), and replace it with the one letter abbreviation for name (insert name.)

19d         Five found in river by dock making progress (7)
DEVELOP — Start off with a three letter river in NE Scotland and put in the Roman numeral for five (five found in) and follow that with another word for dock or make shorter.

20d         Article about concert (7)
RECITAL — An anagram (about) of ARTICLE

23d         Understand brother’s degree is rescinded (6)
ABSORB — A three letter abbreviation for ‘brother’ with the ‘S and a two letter abbreviation for an Arts degree and then turn the whole thing upside down (rescinded).

25d         Old artist coming up short (4)
AGED — The artist was a French painter and sculptor known for his paintings of ballet dancers. Remove the last letter of his surname (short) and then reverse what’s left (coming up).

26d         Warship now and then confronts a whole continent (4)
ASIA — The even letters of Warship (now and then) are followed by (confronts) the A from the clue.


I liked 12a and 12 and 14d. My favourite was 4d. What about you?

Quickie Pun Wile+Aweigh+Yaw+Daze=While away your days

89 comments on “DT 27699

  1. Mmm…

    Not quite sure how to rate this. It was 2* for time but some very good clues and a pleasant walk down memory lane (with a footballer, an actress and a dancer from yesteryear) were spoilt for me by a few poor clues and the use of an unsignalled piece of American slang in 7d, which is not in my BRB. (That sounds as if it might be the basis for a joke: “a footballer, an actress and a dancer walked into a bar …” perhaps Miffypops as our resident humourist might like to complete it?),

    9a was my last one in partly because I didn’t want to write in the first three letters of 7d, as I couldn’t convince myself about the wordplay for the first four letters of the answer, and partly because it took me quite a while to twig what type of record was involved in 9a itself.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Kath for yet another excellent review.

    1. Is 7d American slang? It’s a term I am very familiar with and my Chambers app has it as the fourth definition – ‘complimentary ticket etc (informal).’

      1. Having never heard of it , I looked it up in my admittedly aging BRB and it’s not there. So I googled it and Mr Google ascribes it to North America.

      2. Maybe it is because I am more familiar with scientific writing, but this word, I would have thought, was fairly commonly used – I must have been mistaken. The number of times I corrected the spelling when reading student papers was significant! They were more interested in getting compliments, I think.

        1. George, my objection is not to the answer, which I agree can be quite commonly mispelled, but to the use of “comp” meaning a free ticket which I have never come across in the UK, and which Google says is a North American term – but perhaps I’ve led a sheltered life!

    2. A footballer, a dancer and an actress walked into a bar. They said ouch! It was an iron bar. Thank you Tommy Cooper

    3. I wouldn’t have thought of the first bit as US particularly- it’s a very common term in the world of light entertainment . I thought this was a fairly good clue.

    4. Comps are a very common term in UK theatres – even the suburban ones! Another expression is to paper the house – meaning give out lots of comps to fill up the auditorium. We did that a lot in theatre where I worked (can’t give its name away but it was a 400 seater in the Shires!

      1. Hi Caroline,
        There’s no shame in naming your theatre. What do you mean by shires? Yorkshire Cheshire Oxfordshire. I give up. Is it the Alan Aykbourne theatre? You either said too much or not enough. Do tell please.

  2. Enjoyable solve that I did not find particularly straightforward but got there in the end. Thanks to Kath and setter and agree with ***/***

  3. A bit of a relief for me from the last couple of day’s puzzles. Straightforward enough although no clues really stood out for me. Once again, a bit confounded by sports stars in 1a – vaguely heard of this guy but had no idea about the Manchester reference. But managed to figure it out.

    I had never heard of the Christmas reference before, in 12d, as I have a very different understanding of these words as in a competition.

    So I would say 2*/3* would be my rating.

    As usual, thanks to all for puzzle and hints.

  4. Thank you setter, I thought that was good fun and enjoyed the puzzle. I found it easier than recent puzzles for some reason, but I did get some help from Mrs SW today ! Thanks Kath for your review and hints. I needed your decode to confirm my answer to 7d.

  5. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed some of this, but there was a lot of leave a letter out or change it for another. Needed 4 hints to finish. I always struggle with double definitions, couldn’t get 9&10a and4d. No real favorites. Was 3*/2* for me. I’ve only completed a few puzzles this year, either they’re getting harder, or I’m losing it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  6. Nice enjoyable puzzle. Hadn’t heard the free ticket abbreviation before but what else could it be. Plenty of nice clues. I do like 12a, though i may have seen something similar before. I also liked the triple definition (10a), because it took me a long time to realise that is what it was, I liked 17a because it reads nicely. A nice story (surface) hides 24a, and I particularly liked Fred’s dancing clue (14d) and the milk producer (15d)

    Many thanks Kath and setter

  7. ****/**+


    When I saw 1a I groaned thinking, “Oh no it’s Kath’s turn to blog. I bet that’s not the start she would have wanted.”

    To be fair it’s not the start I wanted either. Instead of just reading the clue as a whole, I got fixated with the ‘whizz kid’, and finding a 6-4 definition of that with the letters ‘MU’ in. So I had to wait for others checkers before it became clear.

    Other clues that caused problems were 18a, 12a, 6d and 7d. Even though I got the latter it still didn’t make any sense.

    Favourite? 12d

    I found this one hard to rate for enjoyment. And quite tricky to do. Whilst there were some lovely clues such as 15a there were a few that left me cold. Hopefully lots of other people will enjoy it.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the brilliant Kath for a fantastic blog and pictures. Perhaps the people in the 29a pic have gone bird watching? Or a building a lovely campfire? :-)

  8. 3*/3* with, I suspect, a touch of the ‘mad hat’ about it. Thank you to Kath for the review and the ‘Mysteron’! for the crossword.

    The Toughie took me less time to solve than this one and I shouldn’t think anyone wishing to give it a go would have much need for tissues!

  9. I agree with Kath that this was rather middle-of-the-road in all respects but a pleasant enough morning exercise. Sometimes I wonder what the young make of clues like 15a and 14d – no problem for golden oldies like me though. 7d new to me hence was tempted to use supplement as meaning companion and at first wrongly plumped for burn in 9a. Footballer’s name didn’t spring immediately to mind so tried to use rate in 1a. Thanks mystery (new?) setter and Kath for another nice review. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  10. I remember all the comps I used to get when I worked in the west end.
    You just had to phone the box office manager of any theatre and say: Hi, I work at the Dukes, any complementary tickets?
    These days are over now. It’s so expensive that you’ll be lucky if you get a Student Standby.
    Nice to see George still refered as a kid.
    No real favourite, just well constructed clues all round.
    Thanks to Kath and to setter.

  11. Not quite 3* time for me and I found it a bit flat and mechanical so I’ll award it a Desmond.
    I like triple definitions and it was my last one in, so it’s today’s favourite.

  12. Thought that 10A would be better ending in -ES rather than MS -anyone else agree? .Going for a 2.5*,3* today as torn between a 2 and a 3,bit pedantic I know .Good crossword overall .Thanks setter and Kath, feel the same about the smug 12D you get at Christmas

    1. I think 10a does end in ES – that’s what I’ve written as the answer on the crossword – I think I must have had a mental block when putting the answers into the hints – apologies to everyone.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
      I can’t change it now but maybe if BD or anyone else could it would be appreciated.

    1. Not so much a typo as just plain dim! Yet again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
      Message to self – concentrate a bit harder when doing hints.

      1. You do a wonderful job as a blogger and if anyone criticisms :wink: you they’ll have me to answer to!

          1. My father taught me that “the man who never made a mistake never made anything”.

            I’m sure the aphorism applies to women too :-)

            1. I think my Dad used to follow that with “but the man who makes the same mistake twice is a fool”.

          2. We’ve all done that, Kath. You can’t call yourself a real blogger until you’ve done that at least once. :D

  13. A bit workaday today. The young couple from the paddle boat are having a look around the lighthouse before they go to the diner for lunch after which he (being male) will be fired up by the sun and will pay her lots of lovely complements as he tries to 15 ac her. The rest is up to your imaginations. I am off to Grassington tomorrow with about a dozen others for an afternoon walk and beer and food and more beer. Saturday will bring a walk that will end at Wharfedale Rugby Club in time for food and beer before we watch Wharfdale v Coventry. Beer to follow. Fish and chips in Grassington and a pub crawl. Sunday will be a long walk with beer and food to follow. I can only think the weekend will be messy but lots of fun. Home on Monday in time for lunch out and beer. Bring it on

    1. If you’ve not been to Wharfedale rugby ground before you are in for a treat – it’s in a superb location. I recommend the pork pie and peas!

      1. Hot Pork Pie with peas and mint sauce. What fun. Hopefully we will see Coventry extend their unbeaten run to fifteen matches.

    2. So glad to see that you’re back on form, MP – although I do worry about your dietary choices. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      However, I’ve got no room to talk – I’ve given up red wine and smoking more times than I care to remember…………. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      Hope that St. Sharon is also back on even keel – I suspect she is your ‘rock’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Ever since he retired countless promising young players have been saddled with the title ‘the new George Best’ – or, you might say, the second Best.

        1. Thx from me too! I didn’t understand that either.

          On the plus side, I did have the pleasure if seeing GB take a corner at very close quarters…….had a good spot at Leicester. I think it was about 1970.

      1. When they were in their dotage I saw George Best, Bobby Moore and Rodney Marsh play for Fulham v Hereford Utd in the old 3rd division. Fulham won 4-0, B, M & M never even broke into a jog but Hereford never got a touch of the ball. It was incredible.

  14. A pleasant and most welcome change for me is morning as I was able to complete the puzzle except for 1a and consequently 3d. Got 7d but could not really comprehend (this fitted!) why. So thank you Kath for the review and to the setter which has (momentarily?) reconciled me with solving cryptic crosswords. Since the beginning of the year and with the exception of the Saturday and Sunday prize puzzles, I have been in despair wondering if I had suddenly gone stupid! Favourite? Definitely 12a. Thought 10a was clever. So for me it was 2.5*/4*. I thought that the puzzles were supposed to increase in difficulty as the week progressed but it has not been so for me anyway.

  15. Well we enjoyed today’s effort mainly because we could do it, which is not always the case. I did want to put George as the first part of 1across, but of course it didn’t quite fit. Nice bright day here on the East Coast. Thank you to the Thursday setter and to Kath. for the review.

  16. Good stuff we thought and not too taxing. **/*** from us.

    No real favourite but 12a and 24a are worth a mention in dispatches.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

  17. Totally failed to get on the setters wavelength today, managed 3 answers!
    So for me *****/*
    Very hard and little fun.

  18. I have been looking at 17ac Kath. It is a rather beastly anagram of POUT with the fodder and the indicator so cleverly hidden we cannot see them.

  19. Not too bad after a rather shaky start looking for a way in. Once it started falling into place all was well. As usual I agree with Kath’s ratings and comments. Many thanks to her and to the setter.

  20. I started off thinking that I’d actually manage to complete at least one puzzle this week without hints, but then slowed down a lot. I missed a couple (1a, 18a), and not too happy with the definition in 7d. So still haven’t had a hintless day…

  21. A couple of key clues held me back , particularly in the right half top , simply didn’t see vein and needed help thanks for the hint.
    Having been for ten years or so in the entertainment industry (if you can call premier league football that ) and having some access to match tickets the word comp reared its head every week as punters looked for” freebies ” I suggest this word could be a synonym of comps
    10a was tricky until I looked up synonym for pan / to slate. I chuckled at 12a and easily found 1a given my background in football Having said that as an ex Biologist perhaps should have spotted vein
    **/*** Found yesterday and today slightly easier than of late

  22. Happy New Year all, first chance ‘ve had to get on here after a busy couple of weeks; and consequently the first crossword of the year, completed with a small amount of help from the hints (but not the reveal). Looking at the comments above it looks like I’ve got a tough weekend ahead trying to catch up with my backlog of untouched puzzles.

    1. Welcome back Carlos. There have definitely been a few head scratching moments this week but tempered with some touches of genius/humour. ;-)

  23. A less demanding puzzle today, but that didn’t stop me putting MEAN in 18a…. Mean streak? Well, I managed to convince myself that mean did vaguely match the rest of the clue….
    Other than that no real problems and I thought 1a was a great clue so that is my fave.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.
    Wow Miffypops, I am impressed! Have a great day!

    1. Given that his post mentions ‘beer’ 6 times plus a pub crawl, I’m not overly optimistic that Mr Pops will remember all that goes on during his time in freezing Yorkshire. ;-)

  24. Can’t find anywhere else to send this.

    Click here! is not displayed with Firefox, and clicking where it should be has no effect.

    Are you trying to ensure people use Internet Explorer?

    1. Welcome to the blog, CJM.
      I use Firefox (as do lots of other users) and have no problems with ‘Click here!’. Is your version of Firefox up to date?

  25. Lots of notes scribbled down to comment on but – first up – did you see, Kath, that Mr. T did pop back in this morning to say that he won’t be able to make the party but will be with everyone in spirit. Maybe we could ask for a signed photo’ to prop up in the place of honour?

    OK – on to the puzzle. Brilliant blog & pics, Kath (loved the 2d one!) – thought you might have been brave enough to go for a Fred & Ginger clip at 14d, but why should I expect you to be able to do that when I wouldn’t have the remotest idea of even putting a blog together. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    Not too keen on either 17a or 7d and wondered whether the tense was correct in 15a – no doubt Jean-luc will let me know. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    Given that I had the first two letters in for 20d, I spent a while trying to use those as an abb. for ‘about’ – caused a bit of a hold up!
    12d – I echo your sentiments, Kath. Plus, they usually come from folk I haven’t seen for years & years and are all about family and friends that I simply don’t know. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    19d – didn’t know there was a Scottish river of that name. The one I know really, really well borders Wales & England and flows through Cheshire. Wonderful estuary for birds!
    24a seems to have appeared quite regularly recently?

    Only a 2*/2* for me and, whilst I would agree with you over the ones I liked, my favourite has to be 1a. ‘Riotous’ it may well have been but it was such fun at the time – I still have my life-time membership for Blinkers and can well remember my Dad hauling me out of parties at George’s so-called ‘public loo’ (the exterior of his house in Bramhall was covered in shiny, white tiles) on several occasions……….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    1. Hello Jane,
      Re: 15a. I didn’t say anything about the way it was written because it’s one of those French words that have been adopted in English in that form. Literally it does mean undressed but if you take negligée it’s feminine for you but definitely masculine in France. Double entendre is another example. Can’t possibly have an infinitive after double.
      Once you cross the Channel everything is the other way round. Wrong side of the road, traffic lights turning amber before green, cheese after dessert. Port wine for dessert ( it’s an aperitif here and served chilled). The list is endless.
      Sure you just do that to feel different from the rest of the world. I adore you.

      1. Thanks, Jean-luc, although I suspect that it’s the ‘rest of the world’ that decided to do things differently! Possibly in an effort to shake off all those years of British dominance? Either way, it’s certainly ‘different’ to experience life on your side of the channel – mostly great, but………….. I do draw the line at Parisian taxi drivers and virtually uncooked meat & eggs! Sorry…… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. Parisian taxi drivers have absolutely nothing on my very English brother-in-law who’s lived in Paris for thirty years plus . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  26. This wasn’t my favourite puzzle mainly because there were too many double defintions and a not so familiar phrase – 12d was not my first thought – more to do with competitions. So overall a ***/**. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the blog.

  27. Thanks to Kath and setter **/***, yet again could not believe Thursday could be this easy! ;)

  28. I thought it was pretty stiff, and I had to reveal the answer for 7d,and I never heard of a companion being called “complement “. Americanism ,people are saying. I have to accept it , I suppose. I liked 8d , 16a and 27a.Thanks Kath and setter.

  29. Kath we felt real sympathy for you when we spotted 1a as a first off and then the cricketty clue for 28a. Obviously you coped perfectly with them both. It all fitted together relatively easily for us, the pesky little four letter answers, as usual, being the hardest. Last one 18a.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

    1. Thanks for the review, Kath. I felt sympathy for you as well on reading 1a and 28a.

      28a – pleased to see that you obstinately refuse to acknowledge the existence of cricket!

        1. OK – I give in – it was a cricket clue. I don’t know anything about cricket ( that won’t come as a surprise to anyone). At the risk of sounding sexist because I know lots of women understand and like cricket I’m a girl – I have a husband who isn’t very interested in it and two daughters – what do you all expect. My Dad would be very ashamed of me . . .

          1. PS – The last bit is absolutely not true – I am perfectly confidant in saying that my Dad was never ashamed of me.

        2. Thanks Franco,
          Great version. Made me laugh. I once worked with a barmaid who thought 10cc was IOCC.

    2. Kiwis and Franco – I must confess that it didn’t even occur to me that 28a was anything to do with cricket so, for the umpteenth time today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif. Oh dear!!

  30. Well done Kath. Hints were clear and very useful. I have not read the comments above and it may have been mentioned, but I just wonder whether 10a should be criticises. A tough puzzle for me but doable with a little of Kaths’ help

    1. Yes Collywobs – 10a is criticises. I boobed – I knew what it was, I’d even written it on my paper and then when it came to putting the answer in the hints I had a complete mental aberration. It’s now been corrected thanks to CS.

  31. 2*/2* for me this evening as I found it straightforward and, to be frank, a bit boring. Did need help with 9a and 7d . Much prefer trickier clues that tax the old brain ! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  32. I’m wondering if l need to revise my time allowances for various difficulty ratings, because l often seem to score puzzles one or even two stars easier than other contributors. This is not, repeat not, because I’m a demon at crossword solving; it’s surely because my arbitrary 2* time allowance is more generous than that used by others. I score this one at 2*/3*, and plump for 1a as favourite clue. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Kath for the review.

  33. For some reason my comment wasn’t accepted and l can’t be bothered to type it all again. In brief, it boiled down to 2*/3*, 1a as favourite, and thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

      1. Thanks, Big Dave. Actually, the spam filter upset me, by refusing to believe that l was human!

  34. Thanks to the Setter and to you, Kath, for the review. I didn’t find this as hard as some have been lately and have heeded some advice by Don Manley on the DT crossword website, namely not to spend too long on a clue before systematically going through the rest. Actually, the way he put it was ‘don’t spend all day on 1a’ and only up to 15 seconds each on the first pass. It did make a difference. Favourites were 6d and 12d. Thank you Miffypops for your hospitabiliamity at the Green Man last night.

  35. Some very enjoyable clues, I particularly liked 1a and 15a, but my favourite was 27a, very clever.

    Surely 19a must be a very strong candidate for easiest clue of 2015 (so far) ?

  36. Good fun and not too tricky, with some good misdirections and hidden answers. I liked it, I liked Kath’s blog and I liked reading all your comments – which is the one and only advantage of being the last one in every night.

  37. I agree with the rating of ***/***. I liked 6d and 12d, and I love the illustration Kath’s chosen for the latter. Really makes me chortle.

    I thought I’d finished this last evening, but this morning noticed I still didn’t have the answer to 1a. Got it eventually — doh! I managed to complete this crossword correctly without help. At the time, I was struck by the number of double definitions — plus a treble definition. These were born out by the review. Is this a record I wonder?

    Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Kath for a most excellent review.

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