DT 27714

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27714

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I had a lovely time on Saturday at The Bridge in Little Venice. It was so nice to meet you all. Thanks to all who turned up and sorry to anybody I missed by selfishly going off to watch the egg chasers at Richmond Rugby Club (28 all if you are interested). Today’s puzzle delighted (13d) and disappointed (21ac) in about equal measure. What did you think?

The hints and tips below are here to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Better order meal before I make speech (10)
AMELIORATE: Rufus begins today with an a partial anagram (order) of MEAL followed by I from the clue and a verb which my online dictionary defines as “make a speech, especially pompously or at length.” I love the inclusion of the word pompously

9a    It’s neckwear, say, for the dandy (4)
BEAU: Here we have a homophone or soundalike clue as indicated by the word “SAY”. The neckwear is as worn by Sir Robin Day (best before 6th August 2000, the youngsters, and possibly the foreigners will just have to google him). Also see the hint for 8d

10a    Understanding why we need a compass (10)
FORBEARING: a double definition here. The second Split 3, 7 we have one of the many uses of a compass. A third definition might describe Big Dave and his toleration of the rubbish I write

11a    Tearaway’s con trick (3-3)
RIP-OFF: A cryptic definition of a fraud or swindle especially something overpriced as indicated by splitting the first word of the clue 4,4 (ignoring the S)

12a    Scottish man going it alone; was he wise? (7)
SOLOMON: This wise man was a king of Israel and a son of David. He can be found by putting a Scottish pronunciation of the word Man after a verb meaning to perform something alone

15a    Completed fitting but not yet paid (7)
OVERDUE: What a debt becomes after the payment date.

16a    Pearl’s mum seen in Northern area (5)
NACRE: Mother of pearl. N(orthern) and 4840 square yards or 0.405 hectares

17a    Badly delivered over to knock about (4)
ROVE: Our first full anagram of the day has only four letters which are OVER. They are indicated by the words badly delivered and the definition is knock about. This clue does not float my boat. I “knocked about” Coventry in my youth but I would not say I “roved”. We do have the song I’ve been a wild rover and I suppose he knocked about a bit. I do so wish I had a BRB

18a    Circle of musicians (4)
BAND: A double definition a third for the twitchers on here (Jane and Hanni) being put a **** on (a bird) for identification.

19a    Goddess in chains reportedly (5)
CERES: With four checking letters this can only be the Roman Goddess of agriculture. The answer is also a minor planet which lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter both of which are visible and spectacular in the night sky at the moment and almost perfectly diametrically opposed. Have a look, it’s well worth it. I waffle on because I have no idea what the chains are about, perhaps The Boss will elucidate [Sounds like (reportedly) chains or sequences. BD]

21a    I shall and will show hostility (3-4)
ILL-WILL: Take a three letter abbreviation for I shall and add WILL from the clue. I kid you not.

22a    Fifty-one line up endlessly on right for a drink (7)
LIQUEUR: Our first two letters are the Roman numerals for 51. Our next four letters come from a noun meaning a line of people awaiting their turn to be attended to but missing its last letter (endlessly) with an R(ight) This type of clue is known in the upper echelons of crosswordland as a charade. Those of us who lack pretension prefer to call it a Lego clue. Build it up bit by bit

24a    They won’t top the bill, in any form (6)
EXTRAS: Those who fill out scenes in films or plays. [… or items added to the bottom of a bill. BD]

27a    On the level? Yes and no (8,2)
STRAIGHT UP: A cryptic definition of the vertical and the truthful

28a    Quits the day before new start is to be made (4)
EVEN: On level terms. The day before a religious festival such as Christmas and the Beginning (start) letter of the word N(ew)

29a    Fruit that was loved by Churchill (10)
CLEMENTINE: The wife of Sir Winston Churchill is also a hybrid between a Mandarin and a sweet orange so named in 1902. You all knew that didn’t you?


2d    Where Armstrong stood  in crescent perhaps (4)
MOON: This celestial body was walked upon by Neil Armstrong on 20 July 1969. Our headmaster at the time advised us not to stay up to watch history in the making as school was so much more important. Idiot!

3d    I’d boil uncontrollably in desire (6)
LIBIDO: Ooh er missus! With only one and a half anagrams in the across clues it is about time for another. This one has an excellent surface read too. I’D BOIL is the fodder. Uncontrollably serves as the indicator and also the first word of the definition. Very clever.

4d    Nothing to share but words (7)
ORATION: Take the letter O (nothing) and add a verb meaning to allow each person to have only a fixed amount of (a commodity).

5d    Drug found in a police department (4)
ACID: A from the clue and the initials of the Criminal Investigation
Department will give another name for a synthetic crystalline compound, lysergic acid diethylamide, which is a powerful hallucinogenic drug.

6d    Impress deeply as an artist (7)
ENGRAVE: in artistic terms, to cut lines into a metal plate in preparation for printing. Another term for etching

7d    Sixty to the minute? Not so good (6-4)
SECOND-RATE: A double definition. Need I say more?

8d    He won’t catch you out in a silly position (10)
OUTFIELDER: A cricketing term. One who is not “in” ( Google only refers to baseball here. It is American though. I bet the BRB is a whole lot more English) Also if you have MID as the first three letters you are not going to solve 9ac

12d    Reinstated after review, having financial difficulties (10)
STRAITENED: Anagram (after review) of REINSTATED . The answer looks like it ought to have a gh in there somewhere.

13d    O? (4,6)
LOVE LETTER: Clue of the day. O represents a score in Tennis. It is also a character of the alphabet

14d    Part of church left for contemplation? (5)
NAVEL: The central part of a church and L(eft) will give a bodily part which you might contemplate when preoccupied

15d    Gold that is left for Oxford college (5)
ORIEL: This Oxford College (we go to Kings College Cambridge) can be found by taking our usual suspect for gold. The latin abbreviation for Id Est and L(eft)

19d    Form shown by Olympic finalists in big race (7)
CLASSIC: A form of schoolchildren and the last two letters of (Olymp)IC will give a name for a horse race such as The Oaks, the Derby, The St Ledger, The 1,000 guineas and the 2,000 guineas

20d    This chapel is inset elaborately (7)
SISTINE: This exquisite chapel in the Vatican is an anagram (elaborately) of IS INSET

23d    Result is Leo leaving South Pole, devastated (6)
UPSHOT: Anagram (devastated) of SOUTH POLE minus (is leaving) LEO

25d    The language of Somerset (4)
ERSE: Lurking away (of) in the word Somerset is this old irish language

26d    Downfall of bear without capital (4)
RUIN: This Bear minus its first letter (without capital) gives a noun meaning physical destruction. ADDINGTON does not fit.



Solved and reviewed silently In The Wee Small Hours.

The Quick Crossword pun: Haydn+sikh=hide-and-seek



  1. Angel
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, that was over all too soon but it was fun while it lasted. So many good clues including 10a, 8d and 13d. Thanks Mr. Ron and MP. **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  2. Sweet William
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus. Good fun and for some reason I found this quite straightforward. I really couldn’t believe that I had the right answer for 21a. It seemed so obvious that I thought that it must be wrong – not so ! Thanks MP for your review and hints. Quite unusual to get a high scoring draw in egg chasing MP I would have thought ?

    • Attila Thehun
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Re 21a, neither could I.

  3. Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Did anyone else think that there should have been a second anagram indicator in 23 down to show that the letters of LEO were in a different order in SOUTH POLE?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink


      • Michael
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

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

    • Dave B
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I thought one was enough, but then everyone’s mind works differently.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Even though we are all called Dave …

    • dutch
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      technically, definitely yes. but with Leo being a bit of a giveaway, the clue hasn’t become unfairly difficult.

      • Kitty
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        My thoughts exactly.

    • Angel
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Overall devastation would seem to suffice.

    • Jane
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps it would have been better if ‘devastated’ had been placed before ‘South Pole’ in the clue?

    • Kath
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Not clever enough or with it enough at the moment for that thought to have occurred to me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    This was 2*/4* for me for another good fun Monday puzzle.

    Like Miffypops I wasn’t keen on 17a. However on checking my BRB, it says “vt to wander over or through; vi to wander about; to ramble; to change about inconstantly; to troll with live bait”, so I think the answer is OK as a synonym for “knock about”.

    I don’t understand why 28a needs the words “is to be made”. I think the clue and the surface reading are fine without them.

    My favourite was 13d. You can’t get much briefer than that!

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      MP, I have tried to fight back the pedant in me but failed. In your hint for 12a you say “he can be found by putting a Scottish pronunciation of the word Man after a verb meaning to perform something alone”. While that is indeed correct, in the clue construction the alone bit is actually an adjective. I’ll leave now before I get some rotten tomatoes thrown at me.

      • Miffypops
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        I thought so to but forgot to do anything about it. It is warts and all on Mondays I’m afraid.

      • overtaxed
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        If you wish to be pedantic, “mon” is a Scots word, not a pronounciation of man.

        • fran
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          couldn’t agree more . Safer to leave this clue aloone

        • Kath
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          . . . and if anyone really wants to be pedantic MP meant that he “thought so too” . . . sorry – feeling a bit bloody minded this evening. I enjoyed meeting you briefly on Saturday MP.Thanks for holding my bag while I went into the “powder room” (a rather euphemistic answer to a clue last week some time).

    • Kevin
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      O I agree

  5. Veronique
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    12d hint should surely be an anagram of reinstated not restrained

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Well spotted Veronique. It has been corrected now. Thanks. Will anybody spot a third error?

      • Kath
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but only my own! For the second time today http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  6. Dave B
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks Rufus. Some nice clues. Last in was 12d. Thought 17a was a rather poor clue, though, more than made up for in 10 & 12a and 13d.

  7. mike__smith
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    MP, I think 19a works with a soft C pronunciation and “series” for chains?

    • Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Chambers gives:

      Ceres /sēˈrēz/

      series /sēˈrēz or -riz/

      which would seem to confirm that they are homophones of each other.

  8. skempie
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    No big problems here but good fun. Made things tricky for myself by writing SQUARED UP for 27A before realising it didn’t fit !!! Soon sorted out though.

    • Angel
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps if clue had read “on the level or neat without ice” you would not have had that initial problem!

  9. Kitty
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree. All good until the last few. Smiles a-plenty followed by frowns, which is the wrong order of things. Much better to be beavering away and then rewarded with delight.

    So in reverse order: I didn’t get the first three letters of 8d, didn’t know 25d, and had forgotten B+26d having never heard the term in the wild. Was dull-brained in parsing 16a, not able to let go of a=area for a while.

    Before that there were the very easy clues, amongst which a couple of big smiles. You can guess which were the main ones. Sorry to be so predictable but I did like 3d. And am with the vast majority in loving 13d. What a smasher :).

  10. dutch
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Again, really nice to meet so many of you on Saturday, many thanks.

    Well, I made today’s puzzle hard for myself by filling in second hand for 7d. I also struggled to rid myself of a mental plastic or elastic for 19d. Once corrected, it all made a lot more sense.

    I really like O? (13d), I’d boil over with desire (3d), and the chapel (20d), which to me read a bit like an all-in-one clue, if you are allowed to extend “insets” to paintings (- hm, maybe not.) 2d (armstrong).. didn’t really do it for me

    Many thanks Rufus and miffypops for the entertaining review – the Dylan tracks are always appreciated too.

  11. Kitty
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    P.S. Addington made me laugh :).

  12. Hanni
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink


    A dark and wretched day is upon me. I knew it would come. I prepared for it and still…. Today I did not need my pencils for the anagrams. Not once. Miffypops maniacal tyranny has reduced them to a vestige of their former selves. I weep.

    Now onto the crossword. Monday morning fun. When I read 10a I knew that I might enjoy this one. And I did. 13d was sheer bliss although the same could be said of 3d.
    4* pleasure would have been awarded if it were not for the awfulness of 21a. 2d didn’t appeal either.

    I thought 23a was fine as it was but I bow to the superior knowledge of those on here.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for your usual wonderful blog.

    I’m not sure you can call me a ‘twitcher’! Conversations I’ve had with friends when out walking would suggest otherwise. This became evident when I once asked what a cormorant was.

    I’m going to now counsel my pencils. Or I might promote them to ‘work’ ones. Are Coventry still top?

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I am sure there are two twitchers out there, if you are not one of them then i meant the other. I made no mention of pencils today but took one along on Saturday as a gift for you in case we met. We didn’t. As for Coventry. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/english-national-league-one/table

      • Hanni
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        It’s still for the taking then despite Ealing having a game in hand. When I was at uni I dated a Hartpury player, but that’s a very different story! Nice college, though I seem to remember getting rather drunk at a Summer Ball.

        I know you didn’t mention pencils today, but they were so upset they were not needed that they have taken to writing anagrams on my avatar. Keep hold of the pencil for me…I shall no doubt need it in the future! Looks like you all had a great time on Saturday. I’m looking forward to going to one.

        Do you go to the concerts at King’s?

        • Miffypops
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          I have never dated a Rugby player or attached anthropomorphic qualities to inanimate objects but I have got drunk at a summer ball. My brother Paul went to Kings College Cambridge aged 67 and as dead as dead can be. He was there in a refrigerated drawer for nearly two years. A group of medical students studied his corpse and gained invaluable knowledge of human anatomy. We went to a memorial service for the families of those who had donated their bodies. It was beautiful. you too can donate your body for medical study as I have. Find out more here. http://www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/doc/donateFAQ.shtml The Co-op funeral service took Paul’s body from the house and I often wonder if they took it to Cambridge or if Cambridge came and fetched it. What I really hope happened is that two hearses met in a lay by on the A14 and the body was passed from one to the other.

          • Hanni
            Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            My mum has arranged for this at Newcastle, much to the horror of my sister, even worse when we make jokes or even talk about it. I do understand though, but I’ve yet to make the decision whether it is for me. Well done to your brother Paul for the amazing gift that he gave. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

            67 is a good age to get into King’s. They turned me down at 17.

            • Miffypops
              Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

              We were ignorant of what was to come so we always said “Our Paul’s going in a jar” Well done your Mum. I am proud of her.

              • Hanni
                Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

                I’m proud of her too MP, and you and your brother. She did her training at the RVI and General and approached the whole thing with her usual understanding and intelligence.

  13. Kitty
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Argh! So sorry – I forgot to express my gratitude. It’s so easy to assume I’ve already done so. Thanks of course to Rufus for the puzzle, and to Miffypops for a review that was as enjoyable as I’ve come to expect.

  14. Beaver
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Chirpy start to the week **/*** for me, spot on the wavelength, did’nt think about a ‘second’ anagram indicator for 23d, as i was in full flow ,but note the Daves point above-could have said ‘Leo broken up leaving south pole’ for example, Anyway good fun, like Miffypops was looking for a ‘gh’ somewhere in 12d ,Murray far from mint..-what a tortured soul.

  15. bifield
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    It was nice to meet so many people last Saturday, at last more faces to names. A nice start to the week for me. 23d was the hardest for me, it was ages before the penny dropped. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for his usual entertaining review.

  16. silvanus
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    A curate’s egg of a puzzle for me. I especially liked 10a, 13d but most of all 14d, my favourite, simple construction but amusing too.

    Against that there are a couple of clues I greatly disliked – 8d and 21a to name names – as I have a natural aversion to the answer being displayed so obviously in the clue. The fifth word in 8d could just as easily be omitted without any change to the meaning in my opinion, and as for 21a – well it’s now clearly out in first place in my “weakest clue of 2015” award. I’m very surprised that the editor waved it through to be honest.

    29a is very topical given the recent moving anniversary coverage.

    Thanks to all concerned.

  17. overtaxed
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    A good start to the week, improved even more by MP’s commentary. So thanks to him and the setter. Its all been said by previous bloggers today, but much more good than bad or ugly.

  18. Paso Doble
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    It went quite smoothly today. We agree with Miffypops that 13d was a great clue & found it only with a couple of checking letters. 8d, however, could also be Subfielder, but I should imagine that might have to be hyphenated but it’s probably more difficult to take a catch in the changing room than standing at silly mid off or on the boundary. We hesitated over 21a because of the word being in the clue. Sorry to have missed Miffypops at the gathering as we arrived minutes after his departure.

  19. Poppy
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Was happily trundling along today, until I ground to a halt in the SW quadrant – and now, with the help of MP’s super blog (big thank you, Miffypops) can’t quite understand why… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif but Saturday’s “Do” was absolutely super. I met three, no, four, of my heroes & had a splendid time meeting plenty of others. Thank you BD for making this such an exceptional Blog, and for arranging such a fine Get Together – (and Cryptic Sue’s cake defies coherent response apart from Yummy yummy…. I’d planned to save my slice for Mr P. but didn’t manage to keep my resolve!) thank you to everyone who made it such an delight of an Outing from near and far. I’ve missed the blog enormously through various circumstances but hope to be back more regularly from now on. Thank you also to setter for today’s puzzle. Greetings to all.

  20. Poppy
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Meant to send flowers to allhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  21. SheilaP
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Lovely Monday puzzle. 29 across has to be one of the easiest clues I’ve come across for ages. Glad everyone enjoyed themselves on Saturday, you make the rest of us feel quite left out in the cold, true in more ways than one as it’s perishing here on the East Coast. Thank you to the Monday setter and to Miffypops.

  22. Tstrummer
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward, but fun, except for the clunkers already highlighted by just about everyone. I quite liked the almost-double-ups of 1a and 4d, and 12d and 27a. Great fun on Saturday and look forward to meeting more of you at the next. I was selfishly hogging a seat and failed to mingle and so missed out on the cake, which is unlike me – not the selfishness, the missing of the cake. I like cake. Thanks to Rufus and MP for the usual high standard review. 2*/3*

  23. Jane
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    As MP says – a mix of good, bad and I would probably add to that – indifferent. Disliked both 21a & 8d, particularly the latter – both contained too much of the answer in the clue and I’m still not very happy with 19a (despite the BRB!). The online pronunciation is ‘sereez’ with a short ‘e’ as the second letter and that is the only way I have ever heard it said.
    Amongst the goodies – 3d & 10a but I’ll go with the majority and vote for 13d as favourite. 2*/3* from me.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for his usual great review. By the way, MP – the ‘bands’ put on birds are referred to as ‘rings’ and the folk who do the job are ‘ringers’. Best not get me started on that subject – BD would run out of asterisks in a very short time!

    I think you’ll find that the other ‘birder’ in the group is Sweet William.

  24. Heno
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I must have been inspired by Saturday’s meet. I actually managed this without the hints. Although I initially put in Helen for 19a, and had second hand for 7d, I managed to correct them in the end. A very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 13d and last in was 26d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  25. Michael
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Good fun – I was glad to see the explanation for 23d, I completely missed the anagram and was even more confused by the ‘Leo’ reference – thanks for that!

    I noticed that it was the Setter who makes the Cricket references – his name eludes me – I notice the reference to ‘Rufus’ and ‘Mr Ron’ etc

    Onward and upward – too cold for Golf today – brrrr – what a wimp! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Don’t underestimate the dangers of golf…cold weather….hot weather and lunch breaks. The tale of Matthieu Boya should serve as warning to all. Mr. Boya decided to practice some golf on his lunch break in Benin. Now he happened to be next to an airfield when he sliced the most stunning shot over the fence. This masterful shot hit a passing bird which startled it a bit and flew into the windscreen of a plane about to take off. The pilot panicked a bit, God knows why, and slammed his breaks on, skidding into Benin’s 4 military jets. With one shot this golfing genuis wiped out his country’s entire air force.

      • Michael
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I like the one about the fourball playing in Cancun, Mexico. One of the guys was in a bunker when he was attacked by a Crocodile. His partners managed to it off with their clubs and by driving over it with one of their buggies. His partner drove him back to the clubhouse, and he was taken to Hospital and had over two hundred stitches!

        His other two partners carried on and finished their round!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

        • Hanni
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          The camaraderie is touching. Save your compatriots life but if there’s another 16 holes we may as well play on. Great stuff. :-)

          • Miffypops
            Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

            A fourball were playing the hole nearest the road when a funeral courtage drove past. One of the men doffed his cap and stood silently with his head bowed until the procession passed. Nice gesture said one of the men. “Well I was married to her for 38 years” replied the cap doffer

  26. Brian
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    No great problems today but good fun esp with 10a and 8d, both real ‘smile’ clues.
    Got reservations about 28a and 25d neither of which worked well for me. 25a would have worked better with in rather than of Somerset.
    For me **/****
    Thx to all

  27. Steve in St A
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I started doing the Telegraph crossword 35 years ago and came back to it recently from the Guardian. I found the Guardian crossword often impossible and far too clever for me. Sometimes I wouldnt get a single clue! What I like is that the Telegraph cryptic it is as doable by ordinary mortals now as it was back then when I first started. And this blog is the icing on the cake when I do get completely stuck. And how about 13 down – what fun – Its good to be back.

    • Posted February 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Steve

      • Miffypops
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Hi Steve. Is the St A. St Austell? I will pass through on my way to The Roseland in May

        • weekendwanda
          Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          Ditto. I will pass through on my way to The Roseland in April, August and any more months I can manage! Nothing better than sitting on a terrace, or the beach, in the sun with a coffee or glass of wine with the DT Crossword. The morning’s excercise is walking to the Post Office for a paper.

  28. fran
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    21a threw me for a long time , I could not believe the answer and yet what alternative was there ? anyone ! Didn’t know 16a , hardly a pearl of a clue.**/****

  29. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Good evening from the south of France. Really would have loved to spend more time with you all on Saturday as I didn’t get a chance to speak to all the people present. What a success.
    Thanks for all the lovely comments and compliments.
    But now it’s back to business and in today’s crossword there were two clues that I didn’t manage to solve:
    8d despite all the checking letters and 26d as I had Straight On for 27a.
    Thanks to Rufus and MP for the usual entertaining review.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Ps: I was sorry to read in today’s paper the passing of Geraldine McEwan. So it’s Au Reservoir from me as she use to say in Mapp and Lucia.

    • Jane
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Jean-luc. Sorry I didn’t get to what sounds like a great party on Saturday and even more sorry to learn that I missed out on your puzzle and macaroons! I really will have to try harder to be there for the next one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Hello Jane,
        I did hesitate a lot before plucking up the courage to go, but everybody was so nice that I will do all my best to attend the next meeting and hope to see you then.

        • Kath
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          I’m so glad you did come – I very much enjoyed meeting you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • andy
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          And I insist you bring more macaroons, wow. And that from someone without a sweet tooth :) Lovely to meet you

    • Framboise
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      What a surprise – and pleasure – to see you on Saturday! We are returning to Hyères at the end of the month. See you then!

  30. banksie
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink


    A couple of things if I may?

    1, you were absolutely right. You cannot get 9a if you have mid at the start of 8d. Wish I had known an hour ago.

    2. Re your hint for 17a . Surely you knocked about IN Coventry. ……..But why?

    Many thanks. v witty review as usual.

  31. crypticsue
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    A message from Mary

    My Internet got so bad that I got out of the habit of commenting. I do miss the blog but at the moment my new dog Cai is taking up a lot of my time and energy and I often don’t do the crossword until late in the day, I do pop in and out of blog so saw that Kath and Pommers had a one year celebration last week!! I think Kath has done a great job since she joined, I am still determined to come to a ‘meet’ one day to see you all, …… you have all given me great times, company and enjoyment!!!!!
    I will be back as soon as I can, the new high speed broad band cables are being laid through the village at the moment, so there is hope!!!!

    Love to all


    • andy
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Yay, CS please pass on my BW

  32. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. This would have more for enjoyment but for 17&21a & 8d. 10a & 13d recovered an asterisk. Thanks to the setter and MP for the usual enjoyable review.

  33. Hilary
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Good start with 29a then worked up as usual. Minor hiccups mainly because I had to break off to check bank account after OH queried my sums (cheek) and took a while to get back into it. Too many goodies to pick favourite so big thanks to setter and MP. Still bright green with envy it sounds as though Saturday was splendid and I would loved to have been there. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  34. Collywobbles
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I did find this puzzle quite difficult so I was grateful for the hints MP

  35. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable solve that all slotted together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  36. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Where is Kath today? I don’t recall her asking for leave of absence!

    • Kath
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif and back later – need wine and supper first. Didn’t apply for leave of absence as this kind of stuff can’t be foreseen . . .

      • Kitty
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Oh, you poor bunny, Kath. Have a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Oh, dear. And one from me too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Hope you’re OK Kath? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Kath
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks all – I’m back – just a touch on the knackerd side but back and about to comment – have I made a pig’s ear of this one or what?! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif Oh dear, and it’s still only Monday . . .

      • andy
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Certain peeps have my mobile number and E-mail addresses if you want an off blog chat m’dear. E-hugs

  37. Ginny
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable Monday, as ever. Thank you Rufus and Miffypops. I thought 13d was great and also enjoyed 16a, 26d and 29a. I couldn’t see 9a and 25d and was glad of the hints. It was lovely to hear about Saturday and glad it went so well.

  38. Una
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable , and I agree with the star rating.I liked 10 and 13d.Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.

  39. Mycall
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Having read the Telegraph for many years I decided last autumn to try to do the crossword. I discovered Big Dave’s blog on the second day and have been ‘lurking’ ever since.
    Today is a special day!
    It is the first time that I have completed the puzzle without having to look at the hints on this site. (OK, I may have used a pencil for the anagrams and checked in a dictionary – but I did it.)

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

      Welcome to the blog Mycall

      Well done!

    • Hanni
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Well done Mycall. That’s a wonderful achievement! :-)

    • Kitty
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Yay! Well done Mycall. Comments like yours make me happy. Onwards and upwards!

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Good on ya Mycall. Welcome on board

    • andy
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Despite what Miffypops says I’d be lost without my pencils :) . Welcome from me too

    • Kath
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me too. Brilliant – who cares about the pencil for the anagrams or checking something in a dictionary. I’ve done crosswords for ages and I still do both. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      I took ages to summon the courage to post a comment after I found the blog – it sounds as if you might beat me in the length between the two.

  40. Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
    • Kath
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      They will cheer me up after supper, I hope . . .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      We discovered the photos before they had their labels and were having good fun trying to guess who was who. Nice to know now that we did get one or two right. We are sooo envious of all those who were there.

      • andy
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        I’m so cross that I didn’t discuss the skype scenario off blog with the techies, you were both very much mentioned in despatches

      • Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        I had to locate and install an update to the plugin that displays the pictures in order to be able to add the names. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that my previous IT experience was a great help.

    • Ginny
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. Absolutely great to put such pleasant faces to the names.

    • Framboise
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Just had a look at the pictures! I would have liked to talk to more people on Saturday but we had to leave quite early. Great to have the pictures with labels so I can now put names to the ‘faces’ I did not have the pleasure the meet in person… Many thanks to Bid Dave for starting this blog which has given so many of us help and confidence!

  41. Joanne
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I promised BD that I would ‘lurk’ no longer so here I am! What a great time we all had on Saturday. It was lovely to meet everyone. Thank you to Crypticsue and Jean-Luc for the tasty treats and a very special thank you to BD for organising the get together. Great venue, great food, great company and last but certainly not least – great blog!


    • andy
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Good day indeed. I remember some years ago pitching up in Derby, nervous…. never looked back :)

  42. Salty Dog
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    I must say l’m surprised at MP’s 3* rating – l’d give it half a star if there was such a score. I thought 13d was quite nice, though. Many thanks to the setter, and to Miffypops for the review.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I rarely touch the rating stars Salty Dog. I have enough trouble with my ego was it is.

      • Hanni
        Posted February 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Really? You? Nice rugby shirt by the way.

        • Miffypops
          Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          I also forgot the underling so BD did that for me. I did send the blog through at about 5am though.

          • Hanni
            Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

            5am? My alarm doesn’t go off til 6 in winter. Writing something coherent would be nigh on impossible!

            • Miffypops
              Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

              I didn’t forget the underling. I forgot the underlining. Now there is some fodder for a cryptic clue methinks.

              • Kitty
                Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

                Miffypops forgot about this subordinate eating in?

              • Jane
                Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

                That’s a relief – I was getting rather worried about the underling that BD had to do for you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                • Kitty
                  Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

                  Yes, I thought it funny that MP should talk about having trouble with his ego and then casually mention forgetting the underling!

              • Kitty
                Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

                Emphasising minion around Northern Ireland?

                Hmm, dunno. I should be going to bed but am being naughty and staying up. There are way better clues in there somewhere :). (Almost tempted to delete that one, it’s so bad. Never mind.)

                • Miffypops
                  Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

                  It is a fine clue Kitty.

                  • Kitty
                    Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:07 am | Permalink

                    Thanks :). Keeping to that wordplay, I am preferring something along the lines of “Stressing minion outside home.” But I am procrastinating and really must take my self bedwards.

                • Hanni
                  Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink

                  Two. One for corporate, one for ladies day. Do you have any tips? Corporate is easy.

                • Hanni
                  Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:08 am | Permalink

                  Kitty, I think we have a future setter in you.

                  • Kitty
                    Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:11 am | Permalink

                    Thanks Hanni :). Sometimes I think so, then I lose confidence and change my mind. But I have to try at least a couple of crosswords or I will never know.

                    • Hanni
                      Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:15 am | Permalink

                      Indeed you do! Do not lose confidence in yourself or your ability. Rookie corner one day?

                    • Kitty
                      Posted February 3, 2015 at 12:20 am | Permalink

                      Well, corners are my natural habitat, so fingers crossed http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

              • Hanni
                Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

                I thought you were calling BD an underling!
                Now back to buying dresses for York races.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                • Miffypops
                  Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

                  How many do you need?

  43. Kath
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Better late than never! It’s all been a bit http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif around here for a day or two.
    That’s my excuse for really screwing up today’s crossword. It’s been done in dribs and drabs and whenever a few moments presented themselves.
    Bottom left corner would have been considerably easier if I’d split 13d 4,6, and left 12d was it was meant to be rather than the other way round! Oh dear, and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif!
    Once that was sorted out all became possible.
    I can’t make up my mind whether I really like or really don’t like 13d.
    I did like 11, 19 and 27a and 14d. My favourite was either 3 or 20d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP. Off to look at Saturday’s pics now, and then to bed . . .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      As Michael says, onwards and upwards Kath. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you. :-)

  44. Framboise
    Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasurable puzzle today from Rufus. Was able to complete it without resorting to the hints, must have been on the setter’s wavelength. 2*/4* with 20a,13d, and 29a as my favourites. The Saturday pics are great! Manyhnaks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review.

  45. Catnap
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I am very pleased that I managed to complete a Rufus puzzle for once. I thought it delightful, especially 13d, which was my fave.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    I didn’t need any hints and managed to follow the word play. 8d was my last in and puzzled me for ages, untiI I realised that ‘silly’ referred to cricket, and the penny dropped.

    Many appreciative thanks to Rufus for a most enjoyable puzzle and to Miffypops for the very entertaining and clear review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  46. Nina Keay
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Delicious. Thank you. Loved it.