DT 27739

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27739

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

The top half of this one went in very quickly but then I slowed up considerably at the bottom, primarily because both 19a and 17d were new terms for me and had to be prised out. There did seem to be a lot of proper nouns here with quite a bit of General Knowledge required. 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

7a Dahl book one lad tossed on rug (7)
MATILDA – the Roman numeral for one and an anagram (tossed) of LAD follow a rug or floor covering.

9a Ring with right answer for ‘fabled monster’ (7)
CHIMERA – a verb to ring or peal is followed by the single-letter abbreviations for right and answer.

10a Forward almost missing header (5)
EARLY – an adverb meaning almost without its first letter.

11a Club official, more confident following adjustment of rate (9)
TREASURER – a comparative meaning more confident comes after an anagram (adjustment) of RATE.

12a Popular chess opponents? On paper (2,5,3,5)
IN BLACK AND WHITE – an adjective meaning popular and the adversaries on opposite sides of the chess board.

13a Advanced fortune to make a musical (7)
CAMELOT – charade of a verb meaning advanced or moved closer and a word for fortune or fate.

16a Model Spanish kingdom once after power (7)
PARAGON – the name of an old Spanish kingdom (which was united with Castile in the fifteenth century to form the nucleus of modern Spain) follows P(ower).

19a The dance to give one pause for thought? (10,5)
HESITATION WALTZ – a weakish cryptic definition. I’d never heard of this ballroom dance so needed the checking letters to guess the answer. Apparently a pause and gliding step are introduced into the dance at intervals – sounds enormous fun.

23a In new term, admit particular type, painter (9)
REMBRANDT – a particular brand or make goes inside an anagram (new) of TERM.

24a Proprietor in state of depression having day off (5)
OWNER – remove the initial D(ay) from a slang term for a state of depression.

25a As is nacre, surprisingly (7)
ARSENIC – if you’ve never met this little trick before it’s worth remembering because it crops up from time to time (as recently as last Wednesday’s Toughie). If the first word of the clue is As and the answer is seven letters long then look out for the As being a chemical symbol. To get this element the long way you have to make an anagram (surprisingly) of IS NACRE.

26a Creature in rolling vessel in dangerous frenzy (7)
MUSKRAT – reverse (rolling) an old Biblical vessel and put it inside the dangerous frenzy of some male animals, notably bull elephants.

Down Clues

1d I can’t remember names CIA put out (8)
AMNESIAC – an anagram (put out) of NAMES CIA.

2d Oppose dance, then go along (4,4)
PLAY BALL – a verb to oppose or compete against (on the sports field, say) and a formal dance.

3d He wrote ‘Oliver!’, fine composer (6)
BARTOK – the surname of Lionel, who wrote the musical Oliver!, is followed by an informal adjective meaning fine or satisfactory.

4d Talk at length about GI’s cryptic puzzle (6)
JIGSAW – a verb to talk at length contains an anagram (cryptic) of GI’S.

5d Student paid to get knowledge (8)
LEARNING – the letter used to identify a student under tuition is followed by a present participle meaning in paid employment.

6d Scottish dramatist in Welsh port, reportedly (6)
BARRIE – this playwright sounds like (reportedly) a Welsh port and seaside resort (once famous for its pleasure park) on the north shore of the Bristol Channel.

8d Scotch broth? Pound (5)
THROB – an anagram (scotch) of BROTH.

9d Played fairly, winning — make a big profit? (5,2)
CLEAN UP – start with the description of a sporting fixture which was played fairly with few fouls and add an adverb meaning winning or in the lead.

14d Fail to catch service, according to drunkard in muddle? (8)
MISHMASH – this is how someone intoxicated may pronounce a verb to fail to catch and a Roman Catholic service.

15d Enormous  film (7)
TITANIC – double definition, the second the name of a blockbuster film that I’ve taken pains to avoid.

17d Domestic residence? Yes, in the States (3,5)
ROW HOUSE – this is apparently a US term for what we’d call a terraced property. It’s a charade of a term for a “domestic” (i.e. a family quarrel of the type that police officers hate being called to) and a type of residence.

18d He, Tarzan, shot in Israeli town (8)
NAZARETH – an anagram (shot) of HE TARZAN.

19d Jazz musician, that woman’s husband? (6)
HERMAN – the surname of this jazz musician (officially called Woodrow, but generally known as Woody) when split (3,3) could mean that woman’s husband.

20d Host runs wearing skimpy article of beachwear (6)
THRONG – the cricket abbreviation for runs is contained inside (wearing) a skimpy item of beachwear. For our friends in the Southern hemisphere the item of beachwear could be a flip-flop but I prefer the more traditional meaning.

21d Sharp, tiny chap in unit (2,4)
ON TIME – tiny Master Cratchit from A Christmas Carol goes inside a unit or the smallest positive integer.

22d Queue to get on river vessel (5)
LINER – a queue or row of people precedes (to get on, in a down clue) R(iver).

My favourite clue today (the only one which raised a chuckle) was 14d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: BALLAST + RAID = BALUSTRADE

 


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133 Comments

  1. Wahoo
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Re Tuesday’s 27739.

    Sorry BD, I cant go to bed tonight without a comment that I might not be able to make on UK time tomorrow as I am out sailing in the morning.

    Tuesdays’ Mr Rons have a skill that most of us do not possess – but this one did nothing for me I am afraid.

    277739, for me was **+/half*, if that is possible. Mix of straightforward , or a bit lacking (say, 2d and 3d) and some totally weird, IMHO.

    No favorourites. Two least “unfavourites” (hope that’s OK Kath) had to be 17d and 26a (on which I was delayed)

    14d was a possible “save” to give a half point for the whole puzzle!

    [Moved to the relevant post. BD]

  2. George
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    All went quite well for me on this puzzle until I hit the lower right corner.- 21d and 26a took me quite a while to figure out. Even then I did not fully understand the 26a wordplay. The literary and musical G.K’s were at least somewhat compensated for by the science G.K. in 25a. Some day I would like to see a puzzle full of scientific references and see how many complaints that generates! Just kidding, of course!

    2*/3* for me today.

    • Jane
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Stop stirring, George! You know EXACTLY what the response from all but a few would be………….. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        We could go one step further and have the whole puzzle in Latin.

        • George
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina

    • Kitty
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
      • George
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Eggselent!

      • George
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the link. Interesting indeed. a bit tricky but enjoyed it!

  3. bifield
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Like Gazza 19a and 17d gave me problems but overall a pleasant enough puzzle. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for his review.

  4. Wayne
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    What a brilliant clue 14d was, well it was in my opinion. 26a. took some time to parse, had to resort to Google for alternative meanings for must. **/**** for me.
    Thanks to compiler and to Gazza for the review (read but not needed today).

  5. dutch
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    This went quickly until I got to the bottom and hit 26a – I guessed the answer, but had never heard of this dangerous frenzy (thanks Gazza!) and it wasn’t easy to look up given the normal meaning of this word.
    We have a painter, a composer, a musical writer and a jazz musician. Well I had heard of the painter! 3d (he wrote oliver..) was readily solvable but required GK in the parsing and in the answer – I think one or the other would be more acceptable.

    I struggled a bit to make some of the verb tenses work for me, but they were all fair – e.g. paid = earning in 5d, and clean = played fairly in 9d.

    As for favourites – wasn’t that inspired today, but 14d (drunkard in a muddle) did make me smile.

    Many thanks setter and Gazza

  6. overtaxed
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Completely agree with Gazza and Dutch. No more to be said. Thanks to setter and Gazza, particularly explaining 26a.

  7. Sweet William
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter. I found that quite tricky with all the GK clues, but managed to complete the puzzle without hints – but I did need your explanation of 26a Gazza. I thought the puzzle was going to be on the easier side after a bright start, but then got really bogged down in the SE corner. Thanks for your review and hints Gazza.

  8. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    1*/1*. Much of this was just a General Knowledge crossword with a few cryptic tweaks. Mercifully it didn’t take long.

    I “bunged in” 17d and then found out it is a US term for a terraced house :negative:. In my opinion, 14d is simply awful and there were a number of iffy surface readings. 12a & 25a went some way to saving the day, with the latter getting my vote as favourite.

    Thanks to the setter, and also to Gazza for his excellent review.

    • Wayne
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      We have to agree to differ on 14d. Rabbit Dave, I thought it was clever.

      • Jane
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

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

      • Bluebird
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        I thought it was terrific…

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        The blog wouldn’t be half the fun that it is if we all agreed on everything.
        Although I am sure we all agree that this blog is wonderful!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Wayne
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Yep.

      • Kath
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I agree with all of you, except RD, about 14d but I do agree with him that the blog is wonderful. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Merusa
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          With you, Kath!

          • Kath
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

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

    • Brian
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to disagree but I thought 14d was a terrific clue!

      • Hilary
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you it definiely made me giggle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Framboise
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      14d made me laugh!

  9. Heno
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed it, but way too many GK clues for my liking. I counted 10 of them. Hated 17d, had to be what it was, but I don’t like Americanisms. Rant over. Favourite was 3d, even though it had a GK element. Last in was 26a. Just needed the hint for 21d. Was 2*/2* for me. Off for a run now.

    • Brian
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I know what you mean about Americanisms and I agree but I suppose now we know how the U.S. solvers feel about some of our rather idiosyncratic English expressions.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but I wouldn’t expect any idiosyncratic English expressions to crop up in the New York Times cryptic crossword (assuming it has one!).

  10. Angel
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    R & W in the South then hovered in the North but made it in the end sans Gazza except for parsing 26a where I tried to use alternative spelling using rush. All in all pleasant enough but not memorable. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. ***/***.

  11. Jane
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    My heart sank a little on the first read through – GK puzzle in the wrong envelope sprang to mind. In the event, most of it was straightforward enough, although I did need to check 6d. Learning the 19a caused a great deal of hilarity in our ballroom dancing classes years ago – it’s rather essential for both partners to ‘pause’ at the same time! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    The term in 26a was new to me and I hesitated a little over ‘play’ for ‘oppose’ and ‘on time’ for ‘sharp’.
    Completely missed the ‘domestic’ reference in 17d – thanks for that, Gazza – and the phrase was not one I’d come across before.

    2*/3* for me with favourite going to 14d and a mention for 12a.
    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Gazza for the usual high standard of review. I bet you enjoyed looking for suitable pics for 20d!

    • Hanni
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      I thought the picture was rather restrained! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Bluebird
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Not to mention back to front! No sight of the relevant aspect…..

        • Hanni
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          A Google for the image certainly gives some interesting alternatives. Non suitable for here of course.

          • Bluebird
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

            Well, I’ve led a very sheltered life, as, I am sure, have all the ladies and gentleman hereon ( but not the lady in the picture, clearly).

            • Miffypops
              Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

              You cannot judge a person’s character by what they wear on a beach, or anywhere else

              • Bluebird
                Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

                Who said anything about character? I was referring to her having no parasol!!

  12. Hanni
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    **/***

    Pleasant solve. I was completely held up in the NE corner and just couldn’t seem to get anywhere. Even the 11a anagram would not fall. Cup of tea seemed to help my solving skills along with a Google about 6d. 26a was a guess and 25a rather clever.

    14a gets the favourite award. Lovely stuff.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a great blog and pics.

    The Toughie is not going well today. Rookie corner is a thing of joy though.

  13. Clarky
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Phew! Got there in the end but thanks due to Gazza for his explanations as to why a few of my answers were correct.
    25a and 26a in particular, stand out while several others were write-ins. ***/*** for me today.

  14. sunny_h
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I have finally decided to unlurk, mainly because I`m laid up in bed with flu. I try to complete the crossword everyday after I get home from work. Love this site especially for the encouragement it gives to those of us on the beginning of our crossword solving journey. My favourite clue today was 3D.

    • gazza
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, sunny_h.
      Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that you’ll become a regular correspondent. Get well soon!

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Great blog name sunny-_h. made me think of this.

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I always like it when people de-lurk or unlurk – welcome from me too and I hope that you keep commenting. I also hope that you feel better soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the best blog on the web. Get well soon and join in .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  15. Michael
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable!

    17d is new to me but it was there in the BRB – so it must be right, 19a was another I had never heard of but got from the checkers and my Wordsearch program.

    25a was another mystery but the explanation from Gazza has opened my eyes – I must remember this one!

    I feel quite proud to finish this one – it’s really brightened my day!

    Onwards and upward – what a lovely day – off to the Driving Range! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  16. Paso Doble
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed today’s puzzle which probably has a lot to do with the fact that we found it quite easy and finished in record time. We were highly delighted to find that it had been give a *** rating. Like many others loved 14d. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza. **/***

  17. Bluebird
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I give it **\****.

    Particularly liked 3d (points to setter for remembering the exclamation mark).

    I’m pretty sure I have danced a 19a.

    Otherwise, the only outlier was 6d, which I suppose I could have got if I could be bothered to trawl through Welsh ports (see what I did there….), but I couldn’t, so I didn’t – and it stayed unfinished.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      We went to see Oliver! at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane a couple of years ago. The lady in the next seat said she had seen the show over thirty times and claimed to be Oliver!s mother. I told her not to be so ridiculous as Oliver! was an orphan.

      • Bluebird
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        More weird Oliver! factettes…..

        Mark Lester (Oliver) grew up to be self-proclaimed BF of Michael Jackson.

        Phil Collins (Artful Dodger) grew up to be, well, Phil Collins.

        In December1967, I conducted the Junior Choir in renderings of “Got to pick a pocket” and “Who will buy?” In the annual House Music Competition (Gurning faces were required by me). As we were expected to provide a classical repertoire, this was generally spat on by the in-house music staff. Luckily, the external judge liked it.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_razz.gif

        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Donkey’s years ago I was always fairly heavily involved in the medical students hospital Christmas pantomime – I did the make-up and wardrobe. There was always a theme – usually a film or a musical but with all the words of the songs being changed. One year the musical theme was Oliver! Whenever I hear any of the songs now all I can remember is the very rude alternative versions – they were very funny!

          • Bluebird
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            You’re right about hospital pantos, Kath.
            I’ve seen some sketches and bits of audience participation that would never be allowed nowadays…….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

            It wasn’t so long ago that drinking alcohol at staff events was allowed on the premises and, of course, even smoking by staff….I’m trying to remember when that all stopped.

            • Hanni
              Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

              Have you been in a school lately? I’ve pubs less well stocked than some staff rooms.

  18. Miffypops
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I still cannot get 1ac even with the hint and picture. Can somebody enlighten me please. Missed the “Domestic” in 17d. Doh! 26ac just had to be what it was but it took a bit of parsing. Nice review Gazza. Standard time for a Tuesday puzzle except of course 1ac. I am stuck in the Amazon trying to make sense of numbers as big as 5 x 10 to the power of 39. Crib tonight will be a lot easier. GMLI Saint Sharon’s team have home advantage over The Green Man. There may be bloodshed.

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Rug = mat.
      + anagram (tossed) of 1 lad.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      That’s tonight???

      I might stay off the blog tomorrow.

      Hope the cassava are growing well.

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        The cassava has been kicked into touch for Cattle ranching. (Hence yesterdays slashing and burning) Forest land cleared for cattle ranching loses its fertility very quickly so we are about to slash and burn another large area of forest and sell the last tract to multinational Soy bean farmers. And so it goes on.

        • Hanni
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Oh, what’s occurring?

          I went to the Amazon yesterday courtesy of Google zip wire cam. Enjoy the rest of your essay and tonight. :-)

    • Steve_the_Beard
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Bloodshed at the crib? What kind of pegs are you using? :-)

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully we will be using fast moving formula one pegs and GMLI’s pegs will move so slowly that cobwebs form around them

        • Franco
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          Just popped in to see whether Miffypops has yet discovered that the first across clue is not 1ac.

          One (across) for his nobs?

          • Miffypops
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
            It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;
            Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
            Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
            Attempted to believe Matilda:
            The effort very nearly killed her,
            And would have done so, had not she
            Discovered this Infirmity.
            For once, towards the Close of Day,
            Matilda, growing tired of play,
            And finding she was left to alone,
            Went tiptoe to the telephone
            And summoned the Immediate Aid
            Of London’s Nobel Fire-Brigade.
            Within an hour the Gallant Band
            Were pouring in on every hand,
            From Putney, Hackney Downs and Bow,
            With Courage high and Hearts a-glow
            They galloped, roaring though the Town,
            “Matilda’s House is Burning Down”
            Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
            Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
            They ran their ladders through a score
            Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
            And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
            The Pictures up and down the House,
            Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded
            In showing them they were not needed
            And even then she had to pay
            To get the Men to go away! . . . . .
            It happened that a few Weeks later
            Here aunt was off to the Theatre
            To see that Interesting Play
            The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.
            She had refused to take her Niece
            To hear this Entertaining Piece:
            A Deprivation Just and Wise
            To Punish her for Telling Lies.
            That Night a Fire did break out-
            You should have heard Matilda Shout!
            You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
            And throw the window up and call
            To People passing in the Street-
            (The rapidly increasing Heat
            Encouraging her to obtain
            Their confidence)-but it was all in vain!
            For every time She shouted “Fire!”
            They only answered “Little Liar!”
            And therefore when her Aunt returned,
            Matilda, and the House, were burned.

            • Kath
              Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

              We had three little kittens twenty plus years ago – they were siblings. They were called Rosie, Matilda and Albert ( he was always called Bertie or Jumpy Bunny – just don’t ask.) The two girls had kittens within one month of each other – proper little tarts they were. Matilda was our younger Lamb’s favourite. We still have Little Rosie, as she’s now called – she will be twenty one in a few months time.
              Now – why did I feel the need to share that with all of you – oh yes, it was to do with Matilda. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

              • Miffypops
                Posted March 4, 2015 at 12:40 am | Permalink

                Tweny one? Wow! I love cats

  19. Mycall
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    In the Telegraph today it says that 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day are good for you. I thought that the crossword was good for my brain but now it appears it is good for my health as well! Finished it with four coffees today, with a little electronic help but not resorting to the hints.

  20. Rick
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I had a less than complimentary comment typed in for this but then heard my mother’s voice saying ‘If you can’t say something nice, say nothing.’
    If only every Tuesday could be a Shamus day…
    1*/1*

    • gazza
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Today is a Shamus day in one sense – see the Toughie.

    • Aristotle
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Well said Rick’s mum. I will take your advice!

  21. Steve_the_Beard
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Am I really on my own in having written Bikini straight in for 20D and then suffering from the consequences?

    Fortunately I did know 19A, so that identified my error for me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have taken such a random approach today, then I’d have had all the matchers before getting excited (and that was before seeing the picture that Gazza chose)!

    The prize for the “Yes, but Why?” question today goes to 26A – that took ages to justify. Favourite defo 14D.

    I found this much more fun that the usual Tuesday Cryptic. Thanks to setter for the challenge, and Gazza for pictures :-)

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t get as far as writing bikini in but it was certainly my first thought.

      • Brian
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I thought a thong was a pair of knickers rather than a swim suit.

        • Bluebird
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          I think that we should ask gazza to quote his favourite clue which is to do with a thong – he told me a very long time ago – it took me ages to work it out – unfortunately the answer came into my head when I was driving and at a very busy roundabout – I nearly caused a crash! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          • gazza
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for reminding me of my favourite thong-related clue – it comes from a Firefly Toughie:
            Fondle a thicker thong? (5)

            • Expat Chris
              Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

              Grope? Though right or wrong, I’m hesitant to say how I arrived at that!

              • gazza
                Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

                Correct! If a standard thong is a g-string then a thicker one would be a g-rope.

                • Expat Chris
                  Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

                  Oh, good. Then I don’t need to explain why I was going off into erogenous zones! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

                  • gazza
                    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

                    I think we’d all like to hear your alternative parsing! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

                    • Expat Chris
                      Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

                      Well, it began with Grafenberg, and that’s all I’m going to say. I’m not saying my parsing made sense. It was more of an instinctive connection.

                  • Hanni
                    Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

                    Oh Chris you have to expand? ;-)

                • Hanni
                  Posted March 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

                  The pedant in me does want to point out that a g-string is different from a thong. Trust me.

            • Hanni
              Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

              Brilliant Gazza. If it’s what I think it is! 5 letter answer? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes please Kath and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            Bluebird, I’ve never seen the Borat film but have seen a mankini before. I’ve spent years attempting to remove my minds eye image of our friend.

    • Framboise
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      No you are not on your own as I too wrote bikini and then realised that although it fitted it has nothing to do with the clue!

  22. Kitty
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    No real problems for me despite all the GK. For once that was stuff I knew, except for the jazz musician which I guessed.

    I had never heard of 19a, but what else could it have been? Ditto 17d.

    In 26a I didn’t know/remember the dangerous frenzy but didn’t doubt it once I’d thought of the creature and found the vessel.

    All in all a pleasant solve, with the only clue managing the difficult task of raising a smile being 14d

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  23. Ian
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Well I enjoyed it, though in * time. Some nice use of alternative meanings of words – host, pound for example, and a few GK clues is good preparation for the toughies I’ve discovered. 14d is unusual, but creative and I smiled when the penny dropped. So thanks to Mr Ron from me, and to Gazza.

  24. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Tuesday Mr Ron, I just didn’t like this puzzle at all (with the possible exception of 14d for the humour value). Have never heard of 19a or 17d but they were ‘get-able’ with wordplay and checkers. Other than that, thank heavens there’s a Shamus toughie (which is very do-able). As I used up 2 favourites yesterday I will not declare a favourite for today, OK Kath?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his usual humorous review.

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Well, I suppose so as it means that this week you’ve averaged one favourite per day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  25. Beaver
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I was surprised at Gazza’s difficulty rating today ,as it was a * for me-and obviously quite a few others on reading the blog- the enjoyment factor also varied greatly, so bit of a ‘marmite ‘ crossword all round-about a** for me.Liked17D when the 3 bit clicked, thanks Gazza for the entertaining picks, remember seeing the 23A self portrait at the National, probably 30 years ago, small and dark if my memory serves me right-probably cost more than Ronaldo now!.

    • gazza
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      My difficulty rating was almost entirely due to the time it took me to work out that ‘cogitation waltz’ wasn’t going to work for 19a (only because when I got 14d and 18d it was obviously wrong, not because it was any less meaningful as an answer than ‘hesitation waltz’).

      • Beaver
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Just confirms the proverbial phrase-he who hesitates is lost !

      • Heno
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        How about the Meditation Waltz :-)

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          I put Dad Dance in. I had loads of spare spaces.

  26. Ann Atkinson
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    17d too obscure for me

  27. Kath
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this one. 3* difficulty and about the same, or maybe a little bit more, for enjoyment.
    I found the top half fairly straightforward but ground to a complete halt with almost no answers in the bottom half.
    Like lots of others I’ve never heard of the 19a dance (and that wasn’t helped much by having a bikini in my head for 20d) or 17d.
    I was also a bit doubtful about sharp = on time for 21d – I’m still a bit doubtful about it.
    I’d forgotten the 26a frenzy although when I looked it up I did remember it from the dim and distant past.
    I liked 12 and 26a and 3 and 17d. My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.
    Stuff to do and then maybe garden – then the Shamus Toughie as today’s reward. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Rick
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Did your dad never tell you to be home at 10 o’clock sharp?

      • Kath
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        No – for some reason he seemed to trust us to behave ourselves so we never disillusioned him . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
        I see what you mean about sharp = on time though.

  28. silvanus
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, it seems I’m not the only one who felt that this was more like a General Knowledge puzzle !

    Straightforward, despite the relative obscurity of 17d and 19a, but the grid format (only twelve across clues) just heightened the general feeling of being short-changed today.

    I did find 14d amusing though, so this has to be my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  29. Brian
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable apart from 19d which I suspect may not be a term known to most of us this side of the pond although it had to be the answer from the checking letters.
    Not come across MUST before or the jazzman. I did, however, really enjoy 3d and 14d which I thought clever clues esp 14d.
    My favourite must be 25a which we thought a brilliant little clue. .
    Thx to all.

  30. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Only 6d was left unsolved.
    Wasn’t ready to compare the map of Wales with the list of Scottish authors.
    Not too sure about 14d. I think it should be the other way round as a drunk would be slurring but this one seems to be shlurring. Well, that’s how I see it anyway.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Two great Arts based projects appear in this clue Jean-luc. J M Barrie the author and creator of Peter Pan. There is a holiday resort in South Wales called Barry Island which was one of the settings for the very funny Gavin and Stacey television serial. I don’t think Barry island is actually an island. we have a lot of islands that are not surrounded by water over here.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks MP.
        It’s true that for 6d I was looking for a LAWRIE or even LAURIE for that matter as a lot of welsh names start with LL.
        Didn’t know about that TV series. I’ll check it up. Just remember The Prisoner in Port Talbot. I think it’s in wales.
        As far as the islands are concerned, I remember checking Wikipedia once for a clue about Scottish Islands and there was a list called: Islands that are not Islands. The good thing about the English language is that, like cricket, you make the rules as you go along.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Jean-Luc, you have almost remembered the location for The Prisoner correctly. It was set in Portmeirion which is about as far removed from Port Talbot as it is possible to be both in terms of ambience and location in Wales.

          I should add as far as cricket goes it is all very well making up the rules but we still can’t win …

          • jean-luc cheval
            Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Thanks.
            God knows where that Port Talbot came from.
            But isn’t the isle of dogs in the middle of the Thames?

            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

              It’s a peninsula but it does stick out quite a way into the Thames as the river meanders through the East End of London.

              • jean-luc cheval
                Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

                That’s why in France we use the word presqu’ile. Or almost an island.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        The Isle of Dogs is certainly not an island.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Eel Pie Island is

  31. Expat Chris
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    For the odd commenter grumbling about obscure ‘Americanisms’, you’ll get no sympathy from me! In the setter’s favor, the clue was very fair. I also wondered if 26A was peculiar to North America. Gazza, there was an opportunity for a video of a certain Carpenters song there, especially since Karen Carpenters birthday was yesterday.

    More general knowledge than I like, but nothing that taxing, though I did have to look up 19D. Thanks to today’s setter, and to Gazza for the review.

    • Merusa
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I loved the Carpenter’s song … ah, those were the days!

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Those Were The Days was Mary Hopkin

        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

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

  32. Omar
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I dislike the obscure and 17 was certainly that for me…..I also thought 14d was clever but am afraid that 26a completely stumped me….

  33. Dave B
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable, not too taxing crossword. Last in was 26a, learnt a new word for frenzy. My favourite clue was 3a.

  34. GrahamWall
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I started off OK but it then turned into a bit of a struggle so had to resort to the blog. My rating is 3.5/2.5 No particular favourite. Thanks to Gazza for the lifeline.

  35. JonP
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    */*** for a very straightforward and enjoyable solve. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron.

  36. Collywobbles
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I thought 14d was a bit odd

  37. Collywobbles
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Super Crossword. 2* for me but thank you to Gazza for very clear hints which I did need to use to check some answers

  38. Littlemart
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Liked this a lot. I think I may be alone but 25a was a work of genius for me. Very clever. Thanks to all

  39. Owdoo
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this fairly quick solve on the train on the way in to work this morning. I’ve done a bit of ballroom dancing in my time so 19a presented no problem and I’m in the favourable camp for 14d which raised a smile when the penny dropped.
    In theory that left lunch time free for a go at the toughie but sadly work had other ideas.
    2*/3* from me for this one today.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  40. Merusa
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this, apparently I ‘m in the minority. My fave was 14d, followed by 25a.
    I knew the Scottish dramatist in 6d but not the Welsh port but felt t had to be right.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the fine review.

  41. Framboise
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this one and finished it without any problem. Needed Gazza’s review to understand 25a and 26a. Will remember as being a chemical symbol as well as a conjunction. Thought 14 d was hilarious but would name 3d as my favourite. Many thanks to the setter. 2.5*/3*. Am on cloud 9 as I managed to solve the Toughie as well, hurrah!

  42. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Our favourite has to be 7a (or as Miffypops calls it, 1a) as it is the full name of our granddaughter Millie who we walked to kindergarten several times last week. The must part of 26a was new to us and we had to use Google to confirm the Welsh port in 6d. Gazza made mention of the geographical variants flip-flops and thongs. We use neither, they are always jandals in NZ. Certainly a different feeling puzzle but enjoyable for us. We wonder whether the setter will make an appearance.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza

    • Franco
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Waltzing Matilda?

      I hesitated for a moment … but finally … decided to post this comment!

      Sorry!

      • Ginny
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Oh no. I suffer from tunes going round in my head. It could be there for a week now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          I agree – oh no – it’ll be going round in my head too but what is more likely to be going round in my head are the very rude words that the medical students put to all the songs in “Oliver!” Oh dear! If I’m not here tomorrow it’s because I’ve been arrested . . .

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted March 3, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Oh very droll. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Ginny
        Posted March 4, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Actually, humming away has brought to mind a very pleasant memory of my Australian grandmother explaining the meaning of the unusual words when I was quite young, so thanks for sparking off that train of thought.

  43. Ginny
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Setter and Gazz. Hint needed to identify the 20d item ( I must also have lived life under a parasol) plus picked up on first part of 9d from the blog. Apart from that, no problems, given Wikipedia at hand for some of the GK. Favourite was 19d due to the enjoyment of looking him up on Wiki and an interview YouTube. I quite enjoyed the GK aspect, finding it much easier than sports knowledge. Thank you Gazza for help in parsing 26a and for the useful hint re 25a, which will be filed away. **/***

  44. Salty Dog
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    1*/3*; a jolly little puzzle. 17d was new to me (although the solution was pretty obvious). 14d was wonderful. My thanks to Mr Ron, to Gazza for the review, and to Miffypops for “Matilda”!

  45. Una
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I rather liked this , especially 14d ,25a , 4d, and 21 down.Thanks Gazza for the explanation of 25a, which I just guessed from the checkers, though I really have no excuse for not spotting it immediately.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  46. Ora Meringue
    Posted March 3, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Only needed the hints for three today and one of them was the infamous 17d, so feeling more optimistic about my solving skills again.
    Am I the only one who really liked 25a ?
    Thanks to the setter and the reviewer.

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      No – I really liked 25a too.

    • Una
      Posted March 4, 2015 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      No, I liked it too.Read the comments directly above you.

  47. Gwizz
    Posted March 4, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Phew! A bit late but I got there eventually. A bit of a mix and match puzzle for me; the clues were very diverse in ‘do-ability’…. sorry about that use of English, I couldn’t think of anything better!
    14d was a bit special; 2*/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for his review.