DT 27709

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27709

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We have another typical Tuesday puzzle with not much to raise the blood pressure or have us rolling in the aisles. Do let us know how you got on and what you thought of it.

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 OAPs’ club with finesse arranged office? (5,2,8)
PLACE OF BUSINESS – the question mark indicates that an office is just one example of this. It’s an anagram (arranged) of OAP’S CLUB and FINESSE.

9a Foreign car almost blocking road by a Welsh valley (7)
RHONDDA – a Japanese make of car without its last letter (almost) goes inside (blocking) the abbreviation for road and we finish with A (from the clue).

10a Pliable wine connoisseur initially following the Spanish (7)
ELASTIC – a type of sparkling wine (a perennial favourite in Crosswordland) and the initial letter of C(onnoisseur) follow a Spanish definite article.

11a Radio problem? Three characters get ejected as conclusion (9)
INFERENCE – remove three contiguous letters from a problem that blights radio reception.

12a Maid a hotel’s retained somewhere in the US (5)
IDAHO – hidden (retained) in the clue.

13a Work to tour old city facing mass commotion (7)
TURMOIL – a word meaning work or labour goes round (to tour) the usual old Biblical city and M(ass).

15a Devious type in school set back engineers (7)
SCHEMER – a three-letter abbreviation for school followed by the reversal (set back) of the abbreviation for the British army’s engineering corps.

17a Troublemaker in confines of game gets to encroach (7)
IMPINGE – string together a small, mischievous troublemaker, IN (from the clue) and the outer letters (confines) of G(am)E.

19a Good place to view area that is for hunting attendant (7)
GHILLIE – a charade of G(ood), a place affording a good view of the surrounding area and the abbreviation for ‘that is’.

21a ‘Psyche’ lending will show legendary Greek figure (5)
HELEN – hidden (will show) is the name of the lady from Greek mythology whose abduction led to the Trojan War. She was famed for her beauty and (as Marlowe didn’t say) ‘Was this the face that munch’d a thousand chips …?’.

23a Malcontent‘s demand to dismiss comedienne? (9)
FIREBRAND – split the answer (4,5) to get a demand to sack comedienne Jo.

25a Bird snipped fish? It’s found on tracks (7)
RAILCAR – join together a small bird also known as a crake and a freshwater fish without its last letter (snipped).

26a City university getting road repaired in SA country (7)
ECUADOR – start with the postal district for the City of London and add U(niversity) and an anagram (repaired) of ROAD.

27a Authorities could create best towpath here (3,6,4,2)
THE POWERS THAT BE – an anagram (could create) of BEST TOWPATH HERE.

Down Clues

1d Stick with a brood including son (7)
PERSIST – a preposition meaning ‘a’ (as in ’50p a kilo’) is followed by a verb to brood (as a hen does on her eggs) containing S(on).

2d A dessert is served up cold (5)
ALOOF – A (from the clue) followed by the reversal (served up, in a down clue) of a cold dessert.

3d Coverage required when crashing? (9)
EIDERDOWN – cryptic definition. To crash (often followed by ‘out’) is an informal usage meaning to go to bed.

4d Soft soap or another bathroom item (7)
FLANNEL – double definition, the first meaning soft soap or flattery.

5d Poor environmentalist’s slogan? (7)
USELESS – split the answer (3,4) to get what an environmentalist may urge.

6d Paramilitaries with leading question for ME national (5)
IRAQI – the abbreviation for Irish paramilitaries is followed by how the first question may be labelled on an exam paper, say.

7d Restrain men later agitated about Frenchman (9)
ENTRAMMEL – this is a rarely-used verb meaning to shackle, confine or entangle in a net. It’s an anagram (agitated) of MEN LATER containing the abbreviation for monsieur.

8d Soft touch we’re told providing help (7)
SUCCOUR – this sounds like (we’re told) a soft touch or gullible person.

14d Rule VIPs broke getting drug being loathsome (9)
REPULSIVE – an anagram (broke) of RULE VIPS is followed by E(cstasy).

16d Means of keeping locks in order (9)
HAIRBRUSH – cryptic definition. The first four letters are what locks usually means in a cryptic clue but I had to wait for some checking letters since it seemed to me that the last bit could be any one of bands, grips, slide or spray.

17d Succeed in meeting that woman with sex appeal (7)
INHERIT – succeed means the answer in a sentence such as ‘He succeeded (to) the title on the death of his father’. I didn’t think that succeed worked in this way without the following ‘to’ but Chambers has it with this meaning (labelled Shakespearean). IN (from the clue is followed by a feminine pronoun (that woman) and an informal word for sex appeal.

18d Leaderless chaps supporting Anglicanism apply (7) (online clue)
18d Impress leaderless chaps supporting Anglicanism (7) (clue in paper)
ENFORCE – string together a word for chaps without its first letter, a preposition meaning supporting or in favour of and the abbreviation for the established church in England.

19d Places with beds needing maintenance? (7)
GARDENS – a weakish cryptic definition.

20d Tip, having massaged sore back (7)
ENDORSE – a tip or extremity is followed by an anagram (massaged) of SORE.

22d Something consumed in Tijuana chow? (5)
NACHO – a semi-all-in-one with the answer hidden (consumed) in the clue.

24d Check car close to pavement (5)
AUDIT – a German car followed by the closing letter of pavement.

The clue I liked best was the simple but effective 2d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: LOOE + DOUGH = LUDO

 


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76 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I agree with Gazza’s ratings for the backpager.

    Fans of Virgilius will be delighted to know that his alter-ego Brendan is making a return to the Guardian crossword today (available free on line).

    • dutch
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      yes, the Brendan was nice with some lovely surface

    • Kitty
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      I liked it :). (Did say more, but thought that might be a spoiler, so edited my comment.)

  2. JonP
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I found this a bit trickier than the usual Tuesday fare and was happy when looking at a completed grid. Thanks to Gazza and setter ***/***

  3. Beaver
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Thought today’s puzzle was quite difficult and was surprised with Gazza’s **/**,at least a ***/*** for me ,but could have had something to do with yesterdays birthday celebrations- I await the bloggers verdict .The long anagrams did not help, thanks Gazza for the source of the ‘i’ in 12A, as this eluded me, must remember there is no ‘Q’ in 26A

    • Roger
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you, Beaver. I really struggled with this one and didn’t enjoy it that much to be honest.

      I’d give it ***/*

    • Una
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Me too !

  4. Angel
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Another fun work-out no less enjoyable for the inclusion of a few old chestnuts. How old- fashioned 3d seems nowadays! It took a while for that meaning of succeed to occur to me in 17d. Thanks Virgilius (?) and Gazza. I could not put your BP comment to the test Gazza as I had just taken my medication! ***/***.

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      This one is not by Virgilius. As crypticsue says above, Virgilius (Brian Greer) is in the Guardian today.

      • Angel
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Noted. Thanks. I’m afraid I hadn’t read crypticsue’s comment before lodging my own.
        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

        • Angel
          Posted January 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Don’t know what happened above to my red-faced emoticon?

          • gazza
            Posted January 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            I’ve fixed it for you.

            • Angel
              Posted January 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

              TVM – you’re a better “man” than I am Gunga Din. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  5. Spook
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Not too bad but had trouble with South West corner don’t know why. Still ***\*** for me.
    Thanks to Gazza, I needed a couple of hints only resorted to revealing answer for 7d, I
    Sometimes have trouble spotting anagrams more practise required.

  6. bifield
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Fairly mundane offering today. The two long anagrams helped to make this a straightforward solve. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints.

  7. Hanni
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    **/***

    I found this slightly easier than yesterday but equally enjoyable. I’d never heard of the Welsh valley in 9a but the clue was easy enough to follow and Google confirmed.

    5d made me smile with 19a getting the favourite award.

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

  8. Graham
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Must be me as I found this a tad stiff but managed to complete without resorting to hints. I never realised 19A could be spelt two ways & 7D was a new word for me but from the word play was easily parsed.My favourite was 23A although it could also apply to a male comedian who doesn’t float my boat.Many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  9. dutch
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Yes, no major problems – two new words, 7d (restraint) and 19a (hunting attendant). I must remember to think “per” when I see “a” more often (1a) – I had the answer but took a while to convince myself it was right. I also thought the answer to 19d (places with beds) couldn’t be that straightforward and resisted entering it. Speaking of beds, I wanted to fill in bedsheets or something for 3d – when i got the answer from the checks I started wondering whether this is truly “required” or optional (this is just pedantry resulting from not getting the clue faster) – but then i suppose bedsheets or anything else is optional as well..

    Many thanks setter and Gazza for review,

    • Rick
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I think the question mark at the end indicates that it is optional.

  10. Miffypops
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Is it National Anagram Week? 1d was obvious from the definition and checkers but the wordplay eluded me. Other than that a very enjoyable stroll in the park. St Sharon is playing her music in the car today. This means it is my choice tomorrow all the way to Burnley. Could be Tom Waits all journey. WhooHoooo!

  11. Hanni
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    N.B…if there are a Gaelic language pedants here, could you explain the correct etymology of 19a?

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I don’t know any Gaelic but the BRB says it comes from the Gaelic word gille, meaning a lad.

      • Hanni
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        I’ve seen it written as both for advertising salmon fishing. I assumed that one was a Scottish derivative and one Irish. However as both occurred in Scottish literature I’m confused. Hey ho. Cheers Gazza. :-)

    • Una
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Lots of surnames begin with Gill or Giolla, and as far as I know it means helper, as in aide to the clan leader. I threw out the Irish dictionary as soon as the children left school.

      • Hanni
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re right Una. Perhaps the ‘h’ is a later addition as the name is inherited down the line. Thank you. :-)

  12. George
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Some British references in this one that had me doing some research – never heard of the comedienne in 23a and forgot that 4d are not called that in NA. Then had to dust off my knowledge of the Welsh valley which I had only heard of way back when the coal mines were closing. Been away from the UK for far too long, I suppose. But made it through!

    So quite tricky for me – I would rate it as 3*/3*

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      My brother lived in 9a for a while back in the 80s – he travelled to and from work on a moped made by the company in the clue.

      • Merusa
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t it feature in the book “How Green Is My Valley”?

        • Michael
          Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          ‘How green was my Valley’ – a John Ford film with Maureen O’Hara and Roddy McDowall as Welsh villagers, I remember Barry Fitzgerald twinkling away as usual – Hollywood at it’s best!

        • Expat Chris
          Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:45 am | Permalink

          I have that book.

          • Merusa
            Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            Have you read the sequel, “Up Into The Singing Mountain”? It is also very good.

  13. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I agree with Gazza’s rating – 2*/2* for an unexciting. Like Miffypops, the wordplay for 1d eluded me; I must try to rememer “a” = “per” as this seems to crop up quite a lot and I almost always forget it.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    • Rick
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Me too, glad I’m not the only one!

      Comfortably inside 2* time for me with no problems other than the parsing of 1d, but no stand out clues either.

  14. Heno
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I thought it was more difficult than Gazza, I would give it as 3*/3*, favourite was 3d. Got held up in the SE Corner, 20d,23a&18d were the last three to fall. Needed the hints to parse 1d, like a lot of other commenters, I must remember a=per. Good fun puzzle.

  15. TyGlanHeulog
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I went totally off on a tangent from the start with today’s Cryptic! Thought 3d was “insurance” and 17d was “winsome”

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, TyGlanHeulog.

  16. toadson
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Easier than yesterday (which had me beaten by 2 or 3 clues). Was out and about yesterday with a smartphone refusing to charge in the car, but wanted to ask whether the terrier in the photo was a Parson Jack?

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I do not know toadson. It was the result of googling cute terrier.

      • toadson
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Thanks anyway MP

    • SheilaP
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      The terrier was a Jack Parsons and they are cute, although my husband uses other words to describe ours.

      • toadson
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Sheila.

  17. Sweet William
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter, I enjoyed that and had to laugh at 5d. Like MP and RD I had the answer for 1d, but couldn’t get the wordplay. Thanks Gazza for the explanation and for your review and hints.

  18. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately I was unable to find 19a. Just didn’t know which letters I could use to fill these two empty spaces.
    The valley in 9a is the only one I knew. So I felt rather proud.
    For 11a, I thought the Three characters referred to the Latin Ter rather than 3 consecutive letters. Doesn’t make much difference anyhow.
    8d was a bit of a bung in I’m afraid.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and solutions.

  19. Kitty
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I thought this a perfectly pleasant puzzle, but like others can’t find much to rave about. I did like 4 and 5d. Also like others, I need to remember a=per, so I failed to parse 1d. Was on the verge of cheating with 19a when I somehow dredged up the word from somewhere.

    I don’t think 3d need be followed by out to mean sleep.

    Thanks muchly to Gazza for the reviewing and to the setter for the setting :).

  20. Dave B
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Tricky, but good crossword. NW section gave me all the problems. Now know a new meaning for the letter A.

  21. Kath
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 2* difficulty but might give an extra one for enjoyment.
    Like lots of others I always forget “a” = “per” so failed to work out why 1d was what it obviously had to be.
    I was also pretty slow to get 19a and 8d and I’m not sure that I knew 7d – maybe I did but it wasn’t one of those that jumped out at me even though it was clearly an anagram.
    I liked 9a and 2 and 19d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

    PS The clue for 18d is slightly different – “Impress leaderless chaps supporting Anglicanism”.

    • Kath
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      PS again! I mean the clue in the paper!

      • gazza
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Kath.

  22. The Navigator
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Always late to the blog as we are six hours behind in Alabama… Still, **/** for me today.

  23. Paso Doble
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle – had to look up 7d to make sure it was a word and check that Rail was a bird in 25a. Thanks to the Setter and to Gazza – thanks for the clip of Jo Brand, we had forgotten how funny she is.

  24. Framboise
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    2*/3* for me too. Enjoyable and solvable which is good enough for me. I must admit it took me a while to get going and I was really pleased to get the long anagrams for 1a and 27a without electronic support. My first one in was 17a and my last 19a which was a new word to me. Liked 3d and 19d. Thanks to setter and to Mr Ron for the hints that I did not need but enjoyed reading.

  25. Chris
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I am truly impressed that Gazza worked out why the answer to 1d fitted the clue. I wrote in the answer but had no idea where anything beyond the son could have originated. I agree with the ratings – this puzzle just seemed a bit duller than some recent ones. Many thanks to Gazza and to the setter.

  26. Silvanus
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Nothing too testing today I thought, although the top left corner took more time than the other three combined !

    7d is one of those words that ought to crop up more often in puzzles but rarely seems to, more’s the pity.

  27. SheilaP
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    This was a ***/*** for us today, but we enjoyed the challenge. Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza.

  28. Brian
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Far this one far far harder than yesterday’s, for me at least a 3.5. Took me 3 sessions to complete it and have to say found it all rather tedious. No WOW clues, long anagrams so for me very little to recommend it. Mind you it might have been a little quicker if I had realised that SA was not South Africa! Add to that I can’t spell that Welsh valley, all Welsh names are totally beyond me and I thought 1d just plain daft.
    So all in all, it’s done so let’s move on.
    Thx to Gazza for explaining 1d.

  29. Jane
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Top half of this one put it into 3* time for me – the 1a anagram totally eluded me for ages (takes a darned big ‘circle’ to fit in all those letters!) and I couldn’t justify 1d – had the correct answer but was another one who forgot about ‘a’ and ‘per’. I also forgot about the ‘m’ for Frenchman – sorry, Jean-luc. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
    Fortunately the lower half went in easily enough which made up for lost time.
    No laugh out louds but I did like 19a&2d. Favourite goes to 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for making sense of the couple of parsings that had me guessing.

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Despite overnight cogitation, we totally failed to parse 1d. We had worked out that ‘pet’ could be a possible synonym for ‘brood’ but this left us with three stray letters to account for and no justification for the ‘a’ in the clue. It all looks so simple now when we read Gazza’s hint. We almost had a Whoops moment with 26a too as we both had initially put a Q into the country.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  31. Hilary
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Had three corners done by the time I left to go to chiropodist, half an hour of having my paws done and delightful giggly chat with Antonia obviously worked wonders. 1a popped off the page at me and I finished in record time. Needed Gazza’s help as to why I had written what I had so my grateful thanks to you. Thank you also to setter for introducing me to a couple of new words which I have added to my database. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  32. Gwizz
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I was unimpressed with my first quick survey… just one answer. But from there on it all began to take shape. I did like 7d, basically because it is not a word that appears often in my vocabulary, and I also liked 19a simply because it was a whole lot simpler then I imagined when the penny dropped!
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his revue.
    Why does it appear to be a sin to have to have more than one stab at completing a crossword? I don’t understand….
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      In my book it is a brilliant idea to put the paper aside and wander off for a coffee, biscuit, walk the dog, discuss the weather with the cat then return to the crossword a bit later. Something amazing happens, clues leap off the page and before you realise the grid is complete. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Michael
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        ….my mind starts to clear after the second pint, after number three it starts to fuddle up again as per normal – a very fine balance there! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Taint no sin at all. A completed grid is a completed grid and I don’t much care howsoever anybody gets there. So use anything and everything to achieve completion. But, it should be possible to throw away the crutches as one becomes more proficient. For example, once someone learns to recognise how anagrams work ie Indicator, fodder and definition they really ought to stop using the anagram solver and work it out for themselves. One by one the aids should fall away until you sit there with a quickly self completed puzzle and think ” Now what shall I do” as you reach for the toughie. Happy solving to you howsoever you aceivement it.

      • Edward J
        Posted January 28, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Agree, MP. My routine is to start in the evening, then pick it up again first thing the next morning when the Brain is refreshed. One of the benefits of being retired!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  33. Hilary
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    P S I forgot to say in answer to yesterday’s suggestion of an eraseable ballpoint they do not work very well on newsprint. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    • Kitty
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      … they don’t work so well on a screen either.

      • Angel
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think I or indeed anyone else would suggest using it on a screen or for that matter to erase newsprinthttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_exclaim.gif

  34. Michael
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Quite tough going but good fun – hidden words and anagrams – you’re talking my language!

    Onward and Upward – back to Chelsea v Liverpool – that’s multitasking! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Sweet William
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Do you think it would be helpful if they had a referee Michael ?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Michael
        Posted January 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        …not his finest hours there – that Diego Costa looks like an escapee from Maximum Security – you definitely wouldn’t want to meet him on a dark night! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

  35. Salty Dog
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Some of the clues didn’t give much away, but the two long anagrams made it reasonably straightforward. 2*/3* is about right. I was tempted by 19a and 23a, but 5d gets my vote as favourite clue. Many thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  36. Una
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I found it tough and not a lot of fun, but then I had to start very late , after 7, so that may have something to do with it.I liked 5d amoung others. Thanks Gazza for your assistance.

  37. Tom R
    Posted January 27, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    There’s a chip shop in 9a called, wait for it, A Fish called Rhondda. Boom Boom!

  38. Expat Chris
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Finally got around to completing this. Work does seem to get in the way of play these days. I quite enjoyed it, though no standouts for me. I was a bit puzzled by 23A. I did solve it, but not ever having heard of the comedienne in question, I did fleetingly wonder whether Russell had undergone a sex change and I had somehow missed the tweet.

    thanks to setter and Gazza both.

  39. fran
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I must entrammel myself from commenting on 1d otherwise plain sailing . Unlike some I give *** for enjoyment .Thought that Elizabeth Taylor was a fine comedienne in her own right ?

  40. Catnap
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I give *** for enjoyment, too. My fave was 7d simply because I like coming across an old-fashioned word like this. I also liked 23a (although I don’t like the comedienne’s type of humour) and 8d. Many thanks to the setter.

    I didn’t need the review, but I always much value being able to go through it with my hard copy to hand. As it happens, I managed to parse 1d correctly, but my 15a wasn’t quite right. I’m still chortling at Gazza’s comment on 21a! Thank you very much for the excellent review, Gazza.

  41. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Better late than never! A ***/*** for me and not helped by my ingenious anagram of 20d being wrong – I managed to put tip and sore together to get riposte. Well that held me up for a good while.thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review. Now to start the Wednesday puzzle.