DT 27750 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 27750

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27750

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

Golly Bongs this was a stinker. Not the usual Monday read and write. I cannot parse 12ac so it is over to you lot. The angrammatists among you will be pleased to know that there are eleven clues containing anagrams and once solved they fill 53.64% of today’s grid. Sorry for the lateness of today’s revue. I had a computer glitch and had to re-write. The original was far better.

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    Warmer, in the main (4,6)
GULF STREAM: a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean

9a    Girl’s love for a brave man? (4)
HERO: The pronoun used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a female person is followed by the term used as nought in a tennis match. If I were writing a guide on solving crossword puzzles, this would be the first example.

10a    Our quintet needs arrangement for one instrument (10)
TOURNIQUET: Anagram (needs arrangement) of OUR QUINTET

11a    Place for old writers to take a dip (6)
INKPOT: A container for the fluid used by writers. More commonly known as an ***well. However if we add the letter S twice to the answer we get this

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Go through the cases but don’t accept any (7)
DECLINE: I can see the don’t accept definition but the rest of the clue has me confounded. Over to those of you who comment. [I had the advantage of going to school when we had to do this to verbs nouns (well it was a very long time ago!). BD]

15a    Notices amended in part (7)
SECTION: Anagram (amended) of NOTICES

16a    Fly to an away match (5)
ELOPE: To run away to Gretna Green and marry without the knowledge or consent of others.

17a    Contrarily, Ena’s being reasonable (4)
SANE: Anagram (contrarily) of ENA’S You do not need to include the apostrophe in this anagram

18a    Pool in which duck’s after cover (4)
LIDO: A removable or hinged cover for the top of a container is followed by the cricketing number meaning a duck or no score

19a    He wants a hand (5)
WOOER: This chappie is courting a girl and wants her hand in marriage.

21a    Make the most of an adventure (7)
EXPLOIT: A double definition. A third is a software tool designed to take advantage of a flaw in a computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware. I didn’t know that and I suspect, nor did you!

22a    Mother loses youth, gets some compensation (7)
DAMAGES: This mother is the opposite of a sire and the loss of youth refers to the aging process. The whole is a sum of money claimed or awarded in compensation for a loss or an injury.

24a    Real restructuring is beginning somewhere in the Middle East (6)
ISRAEL: IS from the clue is followed by an anagram (restructuring) of REAL

27a    Special bed you can make low (10)
DESPICABLE: Anagram (you can make) of SPECIAL BED

28a    In place of  depravity (4)
VICE: A double definition

29a    Daughter is accused, but let off (10)
DISCHARGED: D from the clue. IS from the clue and a word meaning to have been formally accused of something, especially an offence under law.


2d    A preposition taking an adverb is still a superior preposition (4)
UPON: This preposition can be found by placing a short word meaning superior before a preposition meaning physically in contact with and supported by (a surface). It is this sort of clue that makes me ask if anybody would like to write Monday’s blog instead of me

3d    A learner joins class that’s methodical (6)
FORMAL: A from the clue and the L(earner) follows on from (joins) a class or year in a school.

4d    Old newspaper  leader? (7)
TRIBUNE: This old newspaper started in 1937 is also an official in ancient Rome chosen by the plebeians to protect their interests.

5d    Where needles are kept, just in case (4)
ETUI: This crosswordland favourite is a case where needles are kept. It crops up regularly and will only stump the newcomers and the forgetful. Puzzle 26632 clued it thus 24a  Enthusiast oddly not a good man to make case (4) which Gazza liked and so do I.

6d    Cast meet in a theatre production (7)
MATINEE: Anagram (cast) of MEET IN A

7d    Hopeless couple taken in by bad design (10)
DESPAIRING: Anagram (bad) of DESIGN containing (taken in) a word meaning a couple

8d    Ominous leaking about camping equipment (10)
PORTENTOUS: Place an adjective meaning (of a rock or other material) having minute interstices through which liquid or air may pass around the camping equipment that you sleep or take shelter in. Thanks again to Google’s online dictionary. I would never have used the word interstices, and nor, I think, would you.

12d    Refuse to give credit (10)
DISBELIEVE: To be unable to believe.

13d    Does bootlegging intrigue? (10)
Newspaper Clue  Plot links prisoners to criminal activity (10)
CONSPIRACY: Does in this instance means dupes or swindles. Bootlegging refers to the illegal copying of CDs or DVDs.  Some of the usual prisoners followed by a criminal activity.

14d    Female novelist and male poet to lie awkwardly together (5)
ELIOT: Anagram (awkwardly) of TO LIE will give the female authoress of Middlemarch and Silas Marner or the male poet who wrote The Wasteland and Old Possums Book Of Practical Cats which prompted Lloyd Webber to write a musical. This in turn prompted relatives to buy us tickets to see the said show. I wish they hadn’t have bothered.

T.S. Eliot

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw –
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air –
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square –
But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.
And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair –
Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair –
But it’s useless to investigate – Macavity’s not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
‘It must have been Macavity!’ – but he’s a mile away.
You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place – MACAVITY WASN’T THERE!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known,
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime.

15d    The sprinter’s capacity for a drug (5)
SPEED: A double definition. A third would be my drug of choice

19d    We idled around when employed (7)
WIELDED: Anagram (around) of WE IDLED

20d    Explorer with a girl he seduced (7)
RALEIGH: Anagram (seduced) (is seduced an anagram indicator)? Of A GIRL HE.  At his execution in 1618 in the Tower of London, Sir Walter Raleigh asked to see the axe that was to behead him and said, “This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all Diseases.”  As was common at the time, his head was embalmed and presented to his wife. She apparently carried it with her at all times until she died 29 years later at the age of 82.

23d    A naval officer bearing star (6)
ALTAIR: A from the clue. The abbreviation for Lieutenant and a person’s way of standing or moving will give the brightest star in the constellation Aquila.

25d    Goddess is after Spanish agreement being lifted (4)
ISIS: take the Spanish word for yes and reverse it ( being lifted) then place the word is from the clue to find this Goddess which is also the name of a song by Bob Dylan. Have a listen here.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26d    Navy gets one miserable? (4)
BLUE: This colour can be used to describe one’s feeling when one is depressed. The answer reminded me of Joni Mitchell’s album of the same name and this wonderful track.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Blogged whilst listening to Van Morrison’s new album Duets.

The Quick Crossword pun: nigh+Trojan=nitrogen

100 comments on “DT 27750

  1. 12a – AMO, AMAS, AMAT, AMAMUS, AMATIS, AMANT – 42 years ago since I sat my Latin O level!

      1. It was 42 years ago & there’s been many a grey cell killed off by Jennings’s Snecklifter! I hate to say this but BD may also be wrong in his comment for this clue…

        1. Yes, you’re correct. Winston Churchill wrote amusingly about having to decline “mensa” (a table) when he arrived at Harrow. When he was told that the vocative case (meaning “O table”) would be used in addressing a table, he replied “But I never do…”

            1. On the subject of Latin … can anyone translate the following (seen inscribed on a nearby bench)

              Ore stabit fortis arare placet ore stat

              1. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time….nice try!

              2. It isn’t latin, its just a bit of fun. O rest a bit for ’tis a rare place to rest at.”

                1. How about another slightly rude Latin phrase to be translated into English ” iti sapis potanda bigone” – sorry about that! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    1. Well done Spindrift ! My Latin O level was even longer ago, but for some reason one remembers these very useful bits of informarion http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif I seem to remember that all that stuff came from Kennedy’s Latin Primer ?

      1. Kennedy’s Latin Primer had a mud-coloured cover and was first published in the 1880s apparently (some of those we had at school looked as though they’d been around since then, as well).

        1. “Ut” + the subjunctive = no problem, “Ut” + the indicative = a clip round the head ! In today’s climate = a spell in jail for Quelch http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

          1. That’s it. I couldn’t remember his real name. Nickname was ‘Shiner’ because he wore shiny suits. It takes me back a long way with many happy thoughts

  2. I’m glad you thought it was a stinker! – I really struggled and needed your help on last 4 in bottom left corner. 12ac is as in the various cases of Latin nouns. Thank you for your hints which have saved my sanity for another day!

  3. Thank you Rufus, took me longer than the usual Monday, but good fun all the same. Thanks MP for your amazing review and hints !

  4. Not too hard today , but did take me some time. Last one in was the star .I looked for the hint to help and lo and behold I had to avert my eyes but too late . ** / ****

  5. MP I can thoroughly recommend the Chambers dictionary app for your ipad at just £3.99. It allows you to leave the crossword to check alternative meanings of words with just a double click of the home button. Two more clicks and you are back to the puzzle. I would not be without it now.
    PS while I am plugging apps a big thanks to whoever mentioned Crux recently. What a brilliant piece of software. Not only does it allow you to download the Toughie onto a tablet each day, you can also go back several years for all the puzzles it offers. As a relative newcomer to Toughies I have been having great fun with golden oldies, especially the wonderful Micawber.

  6. Yes 12a (go through the cases) is one of my favourites – I never had latin, but it applies, I think, to other languages too.

    Lovely enjoyable puzzle from Rufus which was over all to quick – signature cd’s which are beginning to make me smile just because they are so Rufus. Additional favourites are 19a (he wants a hand) for being typically Rufus, 24a (real restructuring in the ME) for surface, 27a (special bed you can make low) – I like the “you can make” as anagram indicator, 6d (cast meet in a theatre..) for cleverly fitting the anagram fodder in the surface.

    I did think there were some weak ones too, like 1a (warmer in the main), 5d (just in case), 17a (contrarily Ena’s). I have just come to expect I won’t like every Rufus clue.

    2d (preposition story) – I am not sure whether this is particularly cryptic – I’m guessing the first preposition & adverb refer to “up” and “on”, am I missing something? Not a clue that excites me, and I sympathise that it is a nightmare to blog.

    Many thanks Miffypops and Rufus

  7. **/**** here. Favourite cllue was 12a (sorry) . Had to guess the star in 23d and look up in Wikipedia to make sure. Thoroughly enjoyed it as an alternative to a grey, wet, chilly Gloucestershire day. Thanks to both.

  8. Dear MP I am so grateful you said it was a stinker because I thought that my brain had given up. Knew 23d because it was in a recent GK crossword but needed my trusty pencil and the electronic supertoy to make any further inroad. Having already struggled with Rookie corner I am off to have a quiet lie-down to recover. Thanks to MP for his witty words, please let things ease up a bit through the week or I will be back in the cupboard under the stairs permanently. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  9. I’ll join in with everybody else and say that the answers are being displayed openly in the blog – I can’t imagine it’s intentional!

    Getting to the Crossword itself – I made it at least nine anagrams, right up my street – luvverly!!

    Onwards and upward – the Driving Range is calling… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. I have a completely different clue for 13d. Mine says “Plot links prisoners to criminal activity”. Same answer different clue!

  11. This puzzle was perfect for sharing: some really easy clues and some that needed considerable cogitation. I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much on my own, and 12a would have left me for dead.

    It was an interesting solve this morning. I did much of it with my eyes closed – not in the sense of breezing through (not in the slightest), but literally, because I inexplicably woke up with a headache. I cannot fathom the reason why. Certainly nothing to do with getting all tired and emotional last night.

    #2615 on the list of things I am not good at: making out spoken words. Understanding song lyrics is a challenge. Try solving a clue when you are looking for completely the wrong definition and word length. Good fun. Best laugh came with my suggestion for 19a, beginning with W but sadly one letter too long. The correct answer was much harder coming.

    14d made us laugh because of an Eliot we know. Love the choice of poem, which is one of the only two I know by heart. The other is Jabberwocky. I don’t think my memory could easily stretch to a third.

    20d’s anagram indicator certainly prompted discussion. I thought up a couple of amusing justifications for it, but not sure they’re really valid.

    Sorry to hear you had to write this twice, Miffy. An entertaining review still, and nice to see My First Dictionary referenced again. Better than Chambers.

    Thanks, and thanks to Rufus too.

    1. Thanks guys :). Enjoying the sun while it has its hat on.

      2Ks – I have no idea what you can possibly mean!

  12. This is extraordinary. Although I have been doing the DT’s cryptic for more years than you young things have had hot dinners, the last few weeks I have really struggled and thought the little old grey cells were finally packing up while you folks all thought the puzzles were simple. However, today’s quick and cryptic for me were the easiest I have encountered in possibly years and finished in my fastest time ever! Is this an age thing? When I was at school during the war we had a very formal kind of education – could this be a reason ? I’m at a loss with modern stuff. Anyone else still alive and with similar experiences?

    1. Still alive and none too young either. Some days I find it easy and other days not – but any sensible reason why is unknown! There are days when I just cannot produce a word from my brain as easily as others.

    2. Me too but I embrace modern technology to prop up my ageing brain and since finding BD my confidence has been restored by the assistance offered. I have no intention of growing old gracefully.

    3. I think being on the setter’s wavelength has a lot to do with it no matter what age one is! I had no real problems today either. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  13. I had great hopes of finishing this one quickly as I started with great gusto – and then it all slowed down! I found the top half as almost a R&W but the bottom half was anything but, for me. But once I had the puzzle finally solved, in hindsight, I don’t know why it was so tough at the bottom. I spent a long time on 29a, trying to come up with the word for accused, and then the same for 12d, wondering whether refuse was meaning rubbish and just making it far too complex.

    Anyway, 3*/3* I suppose.

  14. I loved this today, as is normal with Rufus. I, too, went to school when we had to 12a to verbs, but I hated it so much I really didn’t learn a lot from it. I got the answer solely because it couldn’t be anything else.
    I had to look up 23d, easy enough to work out but didn’t know it.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops, the 11a clip much appreciated, I love them.

    1. Nouns – not verbs. But conjugation of verbs, I found even more tricky. Ah the days of O level Latin and Greek for a scientist!

      1. I stand corrected! It just goes to show how much “stuck” after enduring hours of Latin at school. I was lucky that I was able to drop it in upper fourth, probably because my teacher thought I was a hopeless case.

        1. I remember an embarrassing day at the end of term. We used a book called Liber Aureus for Latin unseen translation. I used to take Ribena cordial to school on my bike for lunch – until I managed to crash one day – and Liber Aureus was no longer very Aureus. The Latin Master just grinned as I turned the book back in. Phew!

  15. Didn’t cause too many problems although I did have to Google 23d and took far longer than I should have done to spot the anagram at 20d. 2.5*/3* for me, with 12a being way out in front as favourite.

    10a – thought ‘equipment’ was a bit of a stretch but spotting our old friend at 5d meant it had to be what it was. I also reckoned that 19a smacked a little of desperation! Don’t think you needed to bring in the CDs & DVDs at 13d, MP – pirates were bootleggers.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for winning out against the computer glitch and bringing us his usual genial brand of Monday blog. By the way, MP, it will not surprise you to learn that I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Cats’ nor to hear that I could slap your wrist for the 18a offering from that dreadful dictionary of yours! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Strange that there were no other comments about 10a. The word in the clue was instrument which is even more of a stretch in my opinion

  16. Oh brilliantly done MP, thank you! (And I love Bob Dylan’s ‘Beyond the horizon’ – not least for his entertaining pronunciation of the word ‘stone’!). Will have to listen to Isis. My iPad is misbehaving (I say that in a whisper so BD won’t hear me, as it’s an Apple Mac, and I dont want to enrage him) so it m not sure whether you put a track by the Inkspots on this blog g or not. But I love them too. So, all in all, a happy bunny despite Mr P. being up in Yorkshire while I’m not. Poppy is keeping me in line. Thank you to the setter also.

      1. Absolutely wonderful, BD Whispering Trees one of my favourites – thank you so much! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        1. Lovely. Having heard it again I have got all my Mills Bros. CDs’ and I’m playing them

      2. Thank you for that BD. I inherited by grandparents original records and grew up listening to them. Fantastic memories.

        Edit…Easter is getting close, how are the planes?

  17. Must have had a good hair day as it was a **/**** for me, apart from spelling 19D wrongly( the I and the e transposed ) didn’t help with 21 A- no hold ups ! favourite 23D,which was the last in-very cleverly disguised wordplay. Thanks Miffypops for the blog, must have taken ages, will listen to Bob and the Inkspots when I get home as no sound on my computer at work . Thought Saturdays cryptic was ‘different’ and excellent if a tad literary.

  18. First read through filled me with apprehension but second bash went smoothly and overall it was a very pleasant outing. In spite of my ‘O’ Level Latin I too failed to parse 12a. Fav 16a. Thanks Rufus And MP (what a nightmare to have to redo such a comprehensive collection of hints. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  19. Many thanks Miffypops for this labour of love. I may well need hints today as I haven’t made much of a dent so far. It will no doubt get easier as it goes on but its going to take more time and concentration than I have today! Thanks to Rufus. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  20. **/**

    Unfortunately I found little pleasure in this. It didn’t help that I spent an age looking for 10a to be an archaic musical instrument, thus failing to see the correct anagram.

    12a was a guess, thank you for sorting that out.

    I did enjoy 14d and 19a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP for blogging, twice.

  21. A lot more difficult than the usual Monday fodder. I did not have a lot of spare time today to ruminate so was glad to see (as always), the appearance of MP’s review for which I give much thanks.

  22. Found today’s offering from Rufus more of a challenge than the usual Monday fare. One of the many I didn’t struggle over was 12a, but it did bring back memories of my Latin teacher Mr Pickwick (I kid you not!) and the continual droning of a double period before lunch on a Mondayhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif.

    Wasn’t too keen on 2d but my favourite was 11a – it did make me laugh. So thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Mp for his usual amusing review (especially the pictorial hint for 18a – even if I am owned by a cat!)

  23. Well what else do you do on a dreich day off? Head to the warm pub with son and sink a few with pens in hand. It took two pints of Bunny Chaser to bag this one though ***/*** for us. Harder than normal Rufus but enjoyable too. Thank you. Also thank you to MP who’s hints were not needed, but most entertaining, except to confirm the needle case (5d) which I had never heard of despite this being a stalwart clue apparently. Now to fire up Tidal and stream Bob Dylan and Joni through the ‘ole Hi-Fi.

    This blog seems to be increasingly populated by awfully clever people who increasingly make me feel inadequate. Great to read through though.

  24. Tricky little beggar today. Took def at least 3* time to complete. Not sure if 19a is very clever or damned awful! Another anagram indicator to add to the already long list – seduced, doesn’t make any sense whatsoever but there it is.
    My favs today were 22a and 11a with special mention for 12a bringing back my days of struggling with O level Latin.
    Thx to the setter for a challenging but very enjoyable crossword and to Miffypops for the explanation of seduced.

  25. Just read the wonderful ode that is Macvity’s Cat. Never heard of this before but it is a gloriously funny piece. Many Thx to MP for its inclusion.

  26. Well I happened to find today’s relatively easy with the exception of 12 across , but only on the latter part of the clue. Can someone shed some light
    on 12A please?

  27. Didn’t find this too tricky – except for 23d which we had never heard of and, like many others, we didn’t know why decline was right – you learn something new every day. Completely agree with George that some days you have words in your head and on others there’s just nothing there! Luckily today we managed to find most of them. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for a great review as usual. ***/***

  28. When I looked for the blog on my I-pad today, it wasn’t there. Consternation. However it meant that we had to persevere without help, and we managed to finish without help. I thought this was quite difficult for a Monday. I only took latin for two years at my school, then we had to choose between latin or science…bizarre. Thank you to the Monday setter and to Miffypops.

  29. Well I’m in the ‘harder than usual for a Monday’ brigade. I managed without the hints but it certainly took a while. Good fun though and I think 12a was was my fave.
    Thank you Rufus and MP for is twice written review. Now that is devotion!

  30. First Derek, then Rabbit Dave, and now Kath have all disappeared from the radar. Worrisome, isn’t it?

  31. This one took us a little longer than Monday puzzles usually do and we had to confirm the star for 23d. As both of us had Latin as part of our diet at school, 12a was not a problem for us. Although neither of us were outstanding scholars at the subject, still think it the most worthwhile subject we took because of the insight that it gave us into word derivations and how languages are put together. It still helps us immensely in solving crosswords we reckon. Enjoyed the puzzle.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

    1. I do feel that I missed out with learning Latin for word derivations, which would have been very useful, but I didn’t know that at the time. Because I read everything good and bad, even the back of corn flakes packets, I didn’t grow up hopelessly lacking in word knowledge. But I was very flighty with regard to school.

  32. Thanks Miffypops. Great review as usual.
    Found it a bit harder specially on the SW again.
    But overall a good crossword.
    Thanks to Rufus.

  33. I got to the answer from the clue of 23 down but – I’m probably being very thick – why is the word naval used? You can have a lieutenant in the army as well as the navy. Why the particular naval reference?

  34. It was a doddle. It must be a wavelength thing – certainly not a function of intellect – because l was filling in solutions before l had finished reading the clues! This always amazes me: some puzzles are impenetrable to me but a breeze for others, and this is very much the other way round. 1*/3* and no particular favourite clue, but l detected (and approved) a faint whiff of salt. Ta to Rufus, and to Miffypops.

  35. Riding on a crossword wave after conquering Saturday’s offering, Rufus brought me down to earth very quickly indeed. Thx to Miffypops for explaining the obvious and not-so-obvious. One day I’ll get the hang of these things!

  36. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I didn’t find this too difficult, but still needed the hints for 12&23d and 28a. Got the answer to 12a, but didn’t have the faintest idea what people were talking about on comment 1 :-)
    Favourite was 19a, had it all bar the middle letter, then ran through the alphabet until I finally got it. Was 3*/3* for me.

  37. Thanks again to Rufus for a very enjoyable challenge. Favourites were 19a which was endearing and 1a which was a nice thought on a cold day. Thank you very much for the review, MP, which I enjoyed after the event, having used a bit of Wikipedia research and zapping 10a as I just couldn’t see it. Thanks also for the proper parsing of 23d and 25d. ***/****

  38. Bloomin eck, I go away for 4 days thinking it’ll be the usual debate over double definitions on a Monday . Feeling somewhat out of my depth now , I just solve for the fun of it

  39. Been away on the boat for the weekend and so out of radio contact, which meant I couldn’t comment on Saturday’s offering, which I enjoyed very much. But on to today’s; is it just me, or are Mondays becoming a shade tougher of late? This is not the first recent Rufus to have raised eyebrows and strained brain cells. However, I got there in the end, although I had to look up 23d in my BBB to make sure. I think I liked 8d best. Thanks to MP for the well-constructed review (always good to hear Joni) and Rufus for a testing 3* time

  40. Seems like Rufus is upping the ante. That’s OK by me. I may even start commenting regularly on Mondays if this keeps up.

  41. Didn’t think this one was too bad, but didn’t get 23d! Been out all day so only just got a chance to look at it. Yes, Latin verbs are conjugated, nouns are declined – hooray for the OU Reading Classical Latin course!.

  42. How interesting it is to read all the comments and how different we all are. Perhaps we should bequeath our brains for medical research. No names but those of one or two of the contributors should provide some very interesting results. Enough of that – to reveal my weird solving skills. Did alot in my head without a pen when I went to bed. Filled in when I woke up and left with a few random clues unsolved. Got there in end but last three were 20d and 19a. Could not think what would fit in 19a and thought I had something wrong. It was going through the alphabet job. And then for no reason 12d my absolute last. I liked 1a 8d and many others. Thanks setter et al.

  43. A two day challenge for me. ****/*** on balance and whilst some were read and write many were definitely not. Thanks to MP and the setter for an excellent puzzle.

  44. i didn’t think it difficult but i did wonder about the navy in the altair clue, a LT can be in any of the services

Comments are closed.