DT 27748

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27748

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on dark and rainy Friday 13th.

There seemed to be a fairly high proportion of answers needing General Knowledge today. If you know them, the puzzle is quite straightforward, if not it may be rather trickier.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

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           New student may be given that coat (6)
PRIMER – Double definition: an introductory textbook; or a first coat of paint.

5a           Powder in lotion or resin seen around a pit (8)
CALAMINE – Reverse (seen around) a resin made from the secretions of certain insects, then add A (from the clue) and a coal pit, to get the lotion your mother covered you with when you had chickenpox.

9a           Male and one female by back of the depot for demonstration (13)
MANIFESTATION – Put together a male human, the Roman numeral for one, Female, the last letter (back of) thE, and a railway depot.

10a         US city in desert with one personality (3,5)
SAN DIEGO – A major component of some deserts, followed by the Roman numeral for one and the conscious self.

11a         Fox? Has got into hospital — bother! (6)
TALBOT – Hidden in the clue is the second part of the name of the photographic pioneer, the first part of which is Fox.

Image result for fox talbot

12a         What’s near fire? It’s hot soil (6)
HEARTH Hot followed by garden soil.

14a         Castle quickly established by promontory (8)
FASTNESS – A word for quickly followed by a promontory or headland.

16a         Got reminder about remedial treatment (8)
PROCURED – A reminder (delivered with a pointed stick, perhaps) wrapped around a remedy.

19a         A bishop in the present time seen as bigoted (6)
NARROW – A word for ‘the present time’ wrapped around A (from the clue) and the abbreviated form of a bishop’s title.

21a         Verses of song in bars (6)
STAVES – Double definition, the second referring to wooden or metal bars rather than drinking establishments.

23a         Attempts to get worker joining in songs (8)
SHANTIES – Attempts, as in trying to knock a coconut down at the fair, wrapped around one of the usual workers.

25a         English gentleman — bow-tie sort ‘ere possibly (6,7)
BERTIE WOOSTER – Anagram (possibly) of BOW-TIE SORT ‘ERE, giving a fictional Englishman of independent means.

Image result for bertie wooster

26a         Taunt directed at saints is uncalled for (8)
NEEDLESS – A verb meaning to taunt or irritate, followed by an abbreviation for some plural saints.

27a         Author without much experience, we hear (6)
GREENE – An English author whose name sounds like (we hear) someone unseasoned and lacking experience.

Image result for graham greene


2d           Servant goes after farm animal that’s run amok (7)
RAMPAGE – A male ovine followed by a junior male servant.

3d           Like coal maybe, as material brought to surface (5)
MINED – Reverse (bring up, or to the surface, in a Down clue) a tough cotton fabric used for jeans. When I first solved this clue I thought it was a rather weak cryptic definition. I only spotted the wordplay while writing this blog.

4d           Sort of course in Religious Education given to new student (9)
REFRESHER – The abbreviation for Religious Education followed by a first-year student at university.

5d           Discarded actors start to object very loudly (4,3)
CAST OFF – The collective term for the actors in a play followed by the first letter (start) of Object and the musical symbol for ‘very loud’.

6d           Certainly not the most exciting tales (5)
LEAST – Anagram (exciting) of TALES.

7d           Drug addict in sea ship (9)
MAINLINER – A drug addict who injects, made up of a word for sea followed by a large passenger ship.

8d           Soldiers of Mons once coming to premature end, terribly (3-4)
NON-COMS – Anagram (terribly) of MONS ONC(E) (once coming to premature end), giving an abbreviated form of a term for senior other ranks.

13d         Dog seen around Fleet Street area journalist rescued (9)
RECOVERED – A popular name for a dog wrapped around the London postal district which contains Fleet Street, followed by the usual journalist.

15d         Evil girl and one almost good in musical event (9)
SINGALONG – Put together some moral evil, a dialect form of ‘girl’, the first two letters (almost) of ‘one’, and Good.

17d         Artist having item of furniture that can be valued (7)
RATABLE – The usual artist followed by a common piece of furniture.

18d         The infernal world has possession of rejects (7)
DISOWNS – An alternative name for Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld, followed by ‘has possession of’.

20d         Two terms of cricket go on too long (7)
OVERRUN – Put together the cricket term for a set of deliveries from a bowler and the basic scoring component at cricket.

22d         Horse let out after first hint of sunshine (5)
SHIRE – The first letter of Sunshine followed by ‘let out’ or lease.

Image result for shire horse

24d         Miss maybe in hat crossing end of street (5)
TITLE – An archaic slang term for a hat wrapped around the last letter of streeT, giving Miss, or Mrs or Ms…

The Quick Crossword pun JUICY + THAT = D’YOU SEE THAT?



  1. crypticsue
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    It is lovely and sunny and warm in East Kent (sorry DT) and the Giovanni was more straightforward than he usually is – or did I just have the right level of knowledge? Thanks to G and DT.

  2. Sweet William
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you DG for the puzzle. I always find Friday’s difficult and feel a sense of achievement when I finally get to the end. Today no different ! Thanks DT for your review and hints – helpful as always for checking out some of my answers.

  3. Hanni
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    **/*** seems about right.

    A little heavy on the GK for my taste. As DT said, it’s fine if you know it.

    Only hold up was 11a, I guessed at the hidden word then looked up the answer.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for a great blog.

  4. Kitty
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Total. Brain. Fail. Have to abandon this now in favour of chores and drudgery, so will be looking at the review and comments much later.

    But I just dropped in because I was at least pleased with myself for remembering that a tile is something one can put on ones head. Legitimately, that is. Without any requirements for non-standard usage of pencils or the word “wibble.”

    • Roger
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Me too. Hardest crossword of the year, I reckon. Might just as well have been written in Swahili ! Hey ho..roll on tomorrow’s.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • fran
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Could be the hardest of the week ; difficult to solve without good GK particularly bottom half. ****/**

      • Brian
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps not quite the year but would agree that it is very difficult indeed.

    • Framboise
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Joining the club of the digruntled. A total disgrace for me too! Had to cheat on several clues, ugh! 4*/2*. Thank you to setter and to DT for a much needed review.

  5. Angel
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Boy that was really intimidating but after employing every possible reference aid I got there. 14a and 7d new to me however I continue to live and learn thanks to daily cruciverbal exercise. No favs today. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ****/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  6. Hathersage John
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    A lovely work-out today ***/**** from me. As a rule I don’t like GK – based clues but if you know the answers……..

    Incidentally is General Knowledge an oxymoron? Most folks don’t seem to have much of it – me included usually! If it’s general, shouldn’t most of us have plenty of it?

    Very cold, wet and misty today in the Peak District – I wish I could get the Toughie on my IPad. Not much else to do in this weather!

    • Aristotle
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I have always thought that Random Knowledge would be a better description.

  7. George
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I found this a bit tricky, not because of the GK but because of my understanding of the meaning of words, I suppose. In 21a for example, I think of notes being on the answer here rather than words, but I see the dictionary disagrees with me! Then 25a was a pretty tortured anagram!. I had never heard of the bishop reference in 19a either. So a few troubles.

    I cannot say I found this one too enjoyable so I would rate it as 3*/2* for me.

  8. Jane
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    First pass gave me three answers and one of those was the cricket reference – how sad is that!
    Only by virtue of looking up a couple of synonyms did I get any toehold on this one. Completed with a lot of guesswork.
    Things I didn’t know include:
    5a resin
    14a castle
    23a attempts
    13d Fleet St. postal area
    18d Pluto name
    24d hat

    Oh – 11a was a bung in (and the hidden word was yet again split onto two lines in the paper!) and I missed the reversal in 3d.
    Actually, it’s a miracle I ever got to the end.

    3.5*/3* and nothing that I really want to put on the honours board.
    Thanks to Giovanni and definitely to DT for bringing clarity to this one.

    • Mike S
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Jane! Everyone saying how easy it was but I too got only 3 on the first pass and struggled along slowly thereafter. I very rarely seem to agree with the degree of difficulty – must be wired differently!

      • Brian
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you on that! Don’t forget that the degree of difficulty is determined by the blogger who is always a highly experienced expert crossword solver. For us mere mortals you usually have to add at least one star.

  9. Beaver
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Agree with DT that general knowledge had a large part to play in a quick solve, spotted 11A but thought it had something to do with the now extinct fox hound, my friend had a pub of the same name -the internet provided the photographer ! I thought it the best puzzle of the week for enjoyment so a **/****,very well clued by the setter and an entertaining blog by DT, should be a good rugby weekend!

    • Dave Hartley
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Was that the Talbot in Chipping (Lancs) by any chance?

      • Hilary
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        We had one near us when we lived at North Weald in Essex.

      • Aristotle
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        It was the photographer in Lacock, Wiltshire.

  10. Tim Venables
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I really like your hints but if I may say so, sometimes your picture clues give away the answer too easily. Today’s examples include 25a,16d, and 22d.

    • Posted March 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Tim

      You can please some of the people all of the time …….. but you can’t please all of the people all of the time

    • Hilary
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I found that because the blog is so addictive I tended to read it before I started the crossword but I have trained myself not to look at it until I have done as much as I can. It is all too easy to spot something pictorial that gives the answer away. Welcome to BD’s gang.

  11. Collywobbles
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Spring has sprung in the Languedoc. It’s lovely and warm today.
    I’ll be interested to hear what Brian has to say about this one

  12. dutch
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know bertie or talbot, but could look them up after working out the clues from wordplay. I thought 3d was a weak double definition, with the two definitions a bit close for comfort, having not seen the reversal – so very clever to have a reversal that looks like a second definition (but also risking it isn’t seen!)

    I liked the definition in 24d (miss maybe), the surface in 22d (horse let out..), and I love the way 6d reads (certainly not the most exciting tales).

    Many thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat

  13. Chris
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Seemed reasonably gentle compared to the usual Friday. I was a very disappointed in 2d until I read the blog, proving yet again that when I jump to conclusions on poor-looking clues it is ususlly a prelude to showing my inability to spot the best ones! Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  14. j2macca
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks – I’ve just started doing the Cryptic Crossword’s your help is very much appreciated.

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, j2macca. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

  15. Franco
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    25a – What an absolutely spiffing anagram!



    • Merusa
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink


  16. Rod
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Found this one difficult but got there in the end with copious coffees. I filled in 11a from the hidden word which Google informed me was a now extinct white hunting dog with big ears. Bingo, I thought. Had to wait for the blog to come on line to check. So I got it right for the wrong reason. Don’t care, I’m chalking it up as a completion. Agree with all the comments on GK gone mad. Thanks to setter and DT for putting me right.

  17. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    A tad on the easier side of the Don’s range. Fortunately I had the GK to know those answers and 14a is a new word for me. Enjoyed quite a few of the clues with 23a being ever so slightly pipped at the post by 13d.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and DT for his succinct review. Today’s toughie is quite do-able with a splendid hidden word. Have a good weekend everyonehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ve got 15. But I have got the hidden word!

  18. SheilaP
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Actually finished this crossword, although using electronic help (otherwise we would be here all day). It must be one of this setters easier efforts I think. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  19. Brian
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    For us far too full of weird and bizarre terms. *****/* for us.
    Thx to DT for attempting to explain.

    • Collywobbles
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Quite agree!

  20. Rick
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday the answers appeared as if by magic, today I mined them by hand, syllable by syllable. I thought I was in for a marathon but it turned out to be more of a 1500 metres as I did have the general’s knowledge. Must see if he wants it back.
    Having ‘new student’ as part of the wordplay in two intersecting clues would not have passed my editorial blue pencil, otherwise it was the expected technically sound but rather dull mixture.

  21. Heno
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Thanks to all who left messages of sympathy. Your support was touching and much appreciated. On to the puzzle, I thought it was very tricky. I didn’t have the right level of GK. Never heard of 11a, though I guess that’s where 20th Century Fox comes from. Also needed the hints for 1a&8d,and to parse 3&22d. Favourite was 10a. Was 3*/3* for me. Very enjoyable tussle.

  22. John
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    11a should be banned. Who has heard of him? Also happened to know postcode of fleet street because I went to school there. Too much Gk, there are other newspapers that do That better.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog John.

      It could have been worse. There’s a French photographic pioneer called Nicephore Niepce!

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Funny enough, there used to be a Fox Talbot shop in the Strand at the bottom of Bedford street.

    • Rick
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I’ve heard of him.

  23. Hilary
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thought I was going to get well and truly stuck, but the trusty pencil and I soldiered on starting, as always, at the bottom and working up. Remember 5a being put on everything and flaking off as it dried. As DT said a good GK helped and I am lucky to have that so three stars for difficulty but five for enjoyment. Bright but chilly in East Anglia, thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  24. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Last one in was those sea shanties in 23a.
    No problem with Jeeves boss in 25a. Give me a TV clue anytime. Some of you might very well have read it, but I only look at the pictures.
    Favourite is 16a.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  25. Merusa
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Now, here’s a funny thing: I stopped doing Giovanni puzzles for months because they might as well have been set in Sanskrit for all the chance of my solving them. Here, today, I found this a piece of cake! And so many found it so difficult?
    I didn’t know 11a but an obvious hidden word, easy enough to google.
    I remember my Mum dabbing 5a on me when I had chickenpox!
    Fave was 25a, he almost wrote himself in it was so obvious.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for your review.

  26. Bob H
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    A 3 qestionmark day for me after a relatively easy solve. No 1; 5a, the resin seems to be ALC what’s this when its at home?
    No 2; 11a, the answer was obvious from the hidden word, but I needed your help to find out why, even though as a photographer I am familiar with the man who invented the negative process and therefore modern photography.
    No 3; 18d, I guess this is a crossword land clue as no sensible person would have heard of dis. ( thus offending all you classisists)
    So without this blog I would have remained ignorant. Thanks to DT And the setter

    • Deep Threat
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      The resin in 5ac is LAC (as in shellac).

    • Hanni
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I disagree with you about 18d. I am far from sensible and certainly not a classicist, but as it appears The Divine Comedy, for me, makes it fairly mainstream.

      • Brian
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Mainstream! Do leave off, how many people have read Dante?

        • crypticsue
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          You don’t have to have read it to know that Dante wrote it.

        • Hanni
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Quite a few people. Regardless of whether you have read it, it is referenced in modern life.

  27. Aristotle
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I have found rather less enjoyment in the cryptic crossword recently. Has something changed or could it be that I am still recovering from the ‘flu nearly a month after it started?

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      In your comments this afternoon you’ve left an A out of your email address.

  28. fran
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    3D was deceptively clever , some of the others like the( cat in the) hat was new and a general smattering of quirky GK clues made this more difficult than Friday’s normal offerings . Had to cheat i.e. look up an answer or two to finish , which always rankles . Still there’s always tomorrow and overall a good weeks clueing .
    Thanks to DT for the much needed help/GK

  29. Ora Meringue
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Found this one quite difficult and needed the clues for a lot of the SW corner.
    Comforting myself that I would never have got some of the answers without the clues…better than shouting ‘Doh’ all the time .
    Thank you to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  30. Una
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought there were lots of interesting clues, 25a is my stand-out favourite.I also particularly liked 15d and 3d. Thanks Toro and Giovanni.

  31. Miffypops
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Started late but gave up to watch the Cheltenham Festival. we even bet real money which is a rarity. £50 out and £56 back. That’ll do. I think I will return to the crossword. I only had a few answers and wasn’t enjoying it

    • Angel
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      What a great race the Gold Cup was (perhaps not good for you though?!) and a terrific result for the Oaksey family but such a pity John Oaksey is not still around to enjoy the success.

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        St Sharon had money on Coneygree which saved the day. She also backed Wicklow Brave. Clever girl. I got my money back from paint The Clouds. Good day. Good fun

  32. Gwizz
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed today’s crossword. There was an excellent range of clues and my favourite has to be 24d…. only because I had remembered it from last time!
    Now as far as my mother and chicken pox goes, I only finally caught it a few years ago; my wife has never allowed me to forget the calamine experience.
    3*/3* overall for me, the puzzle! not the calamine….. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    Thanks to the Don and DT for the review.

  33. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    11a was someone who was new to us but easily worked out and then found, and a similar experience with the first part of the wordplay for 5a. We know that it is always a good idea to have reference material to hand with a puzzle from the Don. We don’t see that as a problem, just a point of difference and interest. We enjoyed the solve as ever.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  34. Hilary
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I was sad to read so many of you complaining about the few GK questions today. Reading your comments over the past few months has made me realise that most of you are probably qualified and/or have had a very good education. At my age I was one of the unlucky ones who fell into the gap between the School Certificate and the start of the GCE (or what ever it was called) but I have always read voraciously and consider that I have built up a database of general knowledge which has stood me in good stead for most of my life. These days there is always the Internet to fill in a gap or to check a long-forgotten memory, I can recall cycling down to the library on a Saturday afternoon with a list of queries to look up from the previous week. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I did Cambridge Senior School Certificate and Cambridge Higher School Certificate in my day, the latter now called Sixth Form I think. I still read nonstop and I agree this is a huge help. Reading the blog, I realise that most are professionals with university educations, way beyond my educational scale.

      • SheilaP
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Don’t put yourself down Merusa. People of our generation had to be among the top 15 percent of the population to get into a university. Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry seem to go. Are they any better educated? I don’t think so.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t got a degree – like you I just read voraciously and have the sort of brain that remembers ‘stuff’.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        While I still prefer to read books and turn pages, I LOVE my Kindle, it’s chockablock with stuff I can’t wait to get into.

      • Jane
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        That made me laugh, CS. My brain also remembers stuff, it’s just that these days it sometimes churlishly refuses to allow me to access it on demand.

    • fran
      Posted March 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
  35. Jay legs
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword **/**** but without DT pointing out the hidden word tip, I would never have arrived at the answer Thanks. :)

  36. JonP
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I found this fairly gentle for a Giovanni but only after gaining a foothold or three which obviously makes solving a little easier. Enjoyable fare with thanks to DT and the Don **/***

  37. Jon_S
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Well, it took a long time to get going today, but once one or two had fallen, the rest toppled in quick succession. Enjoyable as ever from Giovanni.

  38. Salty Dog
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Never had a problem remembering obscure things, so the GK aspects of this weren’t an issue. It wasn’t difficult (2*), but was very enjoyable (4*). I loved this puzzle, in fact, mainly because it contained one of my favourite characters – the subject of my favourite clue in 25a. Thanks to the Don, and to Deep Threat for the review.

  39. Silveroak
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I am starting to find the clues in these crosswords too convoluted to solve and I have been doing these puzzles for 50 years.

  40. Kitty
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Well, I got there in the end. Came back to it sporadically, so it’s hard to evaluate difficulty or enjoyment. I completed without any egregious cheating but did have to investigoogle half a dozen bits after I’d successfully worked them out. Normally I enjoy that, so not sure why today’s left me a grumpy bunny.

    Learning new words or trivia is a good thing, but if like me you only really count a solve a “success” if you needed no aids, it needs a mental rebalancing to maintain satisfaction when solving harder puzzles. Which I am happy with when I do have time to tackle a Toughie or other hard one, so not sure why it irritates me so on the back page. Expectations. Always lead to disappointment. I agree with the 2Kiwis, even if today I couldn’t muster up much enthusiasm.

    Thanks to Giovanni – it was a much better puzzle than a scan of the comments might suggest. And thanks to DT for saving many solvers’ sanity today.

  41. Miffypops
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    After not doing so well at the crossword and then Cheltenaming for five hours I solved on the ipad over dinner. (not vegetarian today after two vegetarian days) Easy Peasy after roughty toughty this morning. How does that happen?

    • Nuidler
      Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Yes it Is strange how a puzzle that seemed fairly inpenetrable when you first tackle it can seem to be fairly accessible when you return to it hours later.
      A curious place the inner workings of the mind!

  42. Expat Chris
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t print this out until this morning ( between completing today’s cryptic and quickie and waiting for the NTSPP to appear). Straightforward for me, since the GK questions were all familiar. 25A gets my vote. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  43. McMillibar
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Last to check in again.. I did 3/4 of this in one go and then had to have a nights sleep before doing the last quarter – the SE of course. I quite like crosswords where I learn arcane language that can be of no use at all. Quite liked this one. Thanks to Mr G and DT. Btw, this blog is getting bigger a healthy sign that we all have more leisure time!?