DT 27762

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27762

Hints and tips by Miffypops & Macavity

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today I want to Introduce Macavity who helped a little last week but has provided hints to exactly half of today’s clues. I think Macavity has done very well indeed.

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.

Across by Miffypops

1a    Graduates rejected a Baltic cruise in time off (10)
SABBATICAL: Add an anagram (cruise) of A BALTIC to our three letter abbreviation for Bachelors of Arts but reversed (rejected)

6a    Slow-moving mice may get snapped up by them (4)
OWLS: A well misdirected anagram (moving) of SLOW. This is a lovely clue with a fine surface read

10a    Calm  retort? (5)
STILL: A double definition. The first is rather obvious. The second less so. Get your BRBs out and let me know what my online dictionary doesn’t

11a    It normally has its contents back to front (9)
BOOKSHELF: An all in one clue which describes a repository for written or printed works consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. These are place with their spines facing outwards (back to front) so we can read the titles and authors printed on the spine.

12a    Sort of parade where the innocent align themselves with the guilty (8)
IDENTITY: This kind of parade places a suspected criminal amongst a line of innocent people in order for a victim of a crime to pick him (or her) out. I am uncertain as to the crypticity of this clue. How about you?

13a    Impromptu commercial by party member (2,3)
AD LIB: This quick off the cuff remark can be found by placing our shortened form of commercial or AD(vertisement) before a member of one of our political parties. Not Lab, not Con, Not Ukip, one of the other parties Nick Clegg’s lot.

15a    Informed about enemy returning after a battle (5,2)
AWARE OF: Do what the clue tells you to do. Return the letters of your three letter enemy. Place them after A (from the clue) and another three letter word meaning battle. Split these seven letters 5,2 and you will become informed as to the workings of this clever little clue.

17a    An order to stop amber changing to green? (7)
EMBARGO: This official trade ban can be found by placing what a green traffic light tells you to do after an anagram (changing) of AMBER. What a clever clue

19a    Cover work that includes Ravel in reworked composition (7)
OVERLAP: Anagram (reworking) of RAVEL inside our usual suspect for a (musical) composition

21a    Experimental growth as a way of life (7)
CULTURE: A double definition. The experimental growth may be found in a Petridish in a 14d. The way of life refers to the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

22a    Surrounded by some of team on goalscoring (5)
AMONG: The answer is a lurker. Hiding away sitting mysteriously across three of the words in the clue.

24a    Said and done resolving source of complaint (8)
ADENOIDS: Anagram (resolving) of SAID and DONE. Does anybody know what these are, where these are and what they are for. We only ever hear of them when they are to be removed

27a    Excessively fatigued by extravagant living? (9)
OVERSPENT: The cost of decadent living may leave your wallet light or put your bank balance into overdraft. The use of the words excessively fatigued here are deliberately chosen to misdirect towards tiredness. If you have OVERTIRED you are wrong.

28a    It’s evident Trevor hasn’t finished making comeback (5)
OVERT This hidden word can be found by reversing (making comeback) the first five (unfinished) letters of the word TREVO(R)) Our third answer starting with the same four letters.

29a    Jerk — but he wouldn’t like to be called one (4)
YANK: A sudden hard pull is also a slang term for an American.

30a    He’s on the way to work (4-6)
ROADMENDER: This chappie works repairing our highways. Judging by the poor repair of some of them, he has too many holidays.

Down by Macavity

1d    Part of a window dresser’s flamboyant attire (4)
SASH: A sliding window frame or a band or scarf worn around the waist or over the shoulder

2d    An encounter with the unseen? (5,4)
BLIND DATE: A cryptic definition of a romantic encounter with someone one has not previously seen. Often organised by a well-meaning friend. (Who might then be put under suspicion of either being vindictive or completely clueless as to their friends’ tastes or character! Or maybe that’s just me…)

3d    Exhausted, as a wrestler may be (3-2)
ALL-IN: Remove the hyphen for a colloquial term meaning exhausted. With hyphen in place it is a type of freestyle wrestling with no restrictions on holds. It could also mean everything included.

4d    Shortly, where lawyer gets intelligence? (2,5)
IN BRIEF: Where intelligence in the form of a lawyer’s summary of a facts and legal points of a case may lie. Or concisely.

5d    Annoyed, having to reorder painkiller (7)
ANODYNE: An anagram (having to reorder) of ANNOYED. This word may also describe anagram clues, according to those less enamoured of them.

7d    A revolutionary invention the Incas never had (5)
WHEEL: This artefact literally revolves and was famously not invented by the otherwise technologically advanced Incas – who even built a network that would have been ideal for their use.

8d    Secure phone provided for explosives expert (4-6)
SAFE-BLOWER: Take a word meaning free from danger and add an informal and rather outdated term for a telephone to find someone who forces the opening of secure metal boxes using explosives. A new one on me.

9d    Sail, but arranged to take in northern port (8)
ISTANBUL: Anagram (arranged) of SAIL BUT with the insertion of a point of the compass. The one indicated in the clue.

14d    Schoolroom where one experiments with Socialist rhetoric? (10)
LABORATORY: Take our socialist usual suspect and add some (spoken) rhetoric. We then find ourselves in a well-equipped educational space where if all goes right, curiosity should be piqued and the wonders of the universe explored. In reality gas taps may be played with, chemicals spilled and fires started. Comprehensive education! ( Hey Macavity, I too remember mischief in The Science Block. It is a wonder we are still alive )

16d    European organisation’s lies go out as praise (8)
EULOGISE: The first two words in the clue give the first two letters of the answer. There follows and anagram (out) of LIES GO. The praise is often given too late for dearly departed recipient to enjoy.

18d    Anti-Royalist has bit of a fight getting capital (9)
ROUNDHEAD: Supporter of parliament during the English civil war. Part of a boxing match (5) and a principal (4).

20d    Identify unpleasant smell — but this won’t cure anything (7)
PLACEBO: Classify or pinpoint (5) followed by the usually less-than-fresh scents of a human or animal (2). A medicine or procedure consisting of no active ingredients or demonstrated value. I don’t much like the definition here, since these do have a significant effect – so much so that they are an integral part of any reputable medical trial.

21d    He acted badly — was dishonest (7)
CHEATED: Anagram (badly) of HE ACTED.

23d    Waves from canoe (5)
OCEAN: Anagram. The answer is found from the letters in CANOE. I smell something roasting.

25d    Gas one’s found below Australia (5)
OZONE: Keep the ONE intact and place it after (below in a down clue) a short word for Australia. Mmm, delicious chestnuts.

26d    Can  make a move (4)
STIR: the can is a nick or a clink or a cooler. The answer also means to make a move. I rarely want to do this of a morning.

Macavity says: I spied all three main political parties in the answers today, and another one in the clues. My favourite clue was 14d. Miffypops says his favourite hint was to 14d. Well done Macavity.


The Quick Crossword pun: elfin+spectre=health inspector


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107 Comments

  1. Angel
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Bit of a cakewalk today but fun while it lasted! Thanks Mr. Ron, MP and Macavity. **/***. Tie for favs between 11a and 18d but also liked 30a. Just avoided one kind of analgesic in 5d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    2*/4*. Great fun as usual on a Monday. I got held up slightly by carelessly transposing the last two letters of 16d before realising the error of my ways when I couldn’t justify “overexert” for 27a.

    My shortlist of goodies today is 6a, 17a & 8d, but I’ll give my vote as favourite to the first of these because I love the idea of slow-moving mice!

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    • George
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

      • Graham
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Also guilty.

        • Jane
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          And me!

          • Chris
            Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

            And me. (Didn’t realise . . . until now . . . why it looked so much like exert)

    • Kevin
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      preferred 15a myself

    • Salty Dog
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, RD! Apart from that, this was an unexceptionable puzzle which l would have put at 1*/3* if not for the aforementioned mistake. So 2*/3* it is. 1a is my favourite. Ta to Mr Ron, and to M&M for the review.

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Sorry RD…I commented on George’s below….must have crossed you in the ether!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        No problem, Bluebird. There were lots of us on the same wavelength on this one today.

  3. overtaxed
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this and a gentle start to the week. For M P, a retort is a container used for distillation.
    I think **/*** for me as I was held up by some of the 4 letter words. Thanks to setter and both? reviewers.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. It is one that pops up now and again and I ought to remember (in the absence of BRBs or Chambers Apps)

  4. George
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I thought this one was quite straightforward. I would not say easy but not that difficult either. I did not help myself by reading praise as a noun in 16d rather than a verb, so I had some letters in the wrong order. This made 27a a bit puzzling for a while! But I figured it out eventually.

    2*/3 would be my rating today.

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I did exactly the same.
      Thought I was clever finally sorting out 16d, which then gave me “overexert” for 27a…….close, but no cigar!

      I go with 2.5 for difficulty

      • omar
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        me too!

      • Liz
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Same for me. Wasn’t until I read your comment I went back and checked, I had overexert and elogins too! Thanks for that.

        • Bluebird
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          “Elogins”?
          What that?

          I’m guessing you have one of those bossy iPads………..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Liz
            Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

            Yes that’s exactly right! eulogies is what I meant but eulogise is what it should have been. My IPad is really a bit of a tyrant I have to watch him like a hake!

            • Bluebird
              Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

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

            • Hanni
              Posted March 30, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

              Good stuff Liz.

  5. Dave B
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Nice gentle start to the week */**. 6a made me chuckle.

  6. Beaver
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Have to give this the old */**, agree with Angels cakewalk above-sorry for the pun.6a worked nicely , this has appeared before as ‘slow moving birds’, which in my opinion is better because it works on two ‘levels’,ie an anagram and a description of the kind of birds which owls are. Anyway a light hearted start to the week, thanks to Miffypops for the blog-trust the chestnuts were enjoyable!

  7. Hanni
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    */***

    Pretty much a read and write, though 30a caused some head scratching. I’m also more familiar with 3d as a poker term. I must organise another game, black tie compulsory.

    Quite a few nice clues with 1a and 14d standing out. 14d was certainly a fun place at school. Potassium in water exploding and burning my skirt, chemicals just left out to be played with. Far too sanitised in schools now.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP and Macavity for blogging. Good job by all.

    • Poppy
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Hello Hanni – have only just caught up with your lovely encouragement of last week re bruised back (I’ve fractured a vertebra, bah!) and singing Faure’s Requiem. Thanks so much. I’ve been stuck to my iPod for learning the parts, and (very thankfully) the performance went off very happily last night. Thank youhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Good grief Poppy! That’s a little bit more than bruised. I hope you’re recovering well and not it too much pain. Have a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        I’m so pleased that the performance went well. It’s such a good feeling afterwards knowing that all the rehersals were worth it.

      • Liz
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        We are singing Faure’S Requiem – just the Kyrie – at a concert in May. Gorgeous! I sing the tenor part, so we get quite a big section to do. Hope it goes OK!

        • Hanni
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          That’s fantastic Liz. I’m sure it will be brilliant. Let us know how it goes? We have some talented vocalists on the blog it seems. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      You know, those dark varnished benches hid a lot of nightmare spills – e.g. Concentrated nitric acid!
      Not good for flesh or knitwear in my experience….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        But so much fun Bluebird. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
        I quite enjoyed playing with mercury. I wonder how many other commentators here got up to mischief in the labs?

        • Steve_the_Beard
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          Guilty as charged, Ma’am :-)

          • Hanni
            Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            Wonderful to hear Steve.

            Sadly the phrase, “I wonder what happens if….?”, seems to be dying out. Then again my other half is a retired teacher and he let children crash quad bikes. Including his own.

  8. Paso Doble
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    We agree with Miffypops and his new chum Macavity with the difficulty and enjoyment rating and also thought there were some interesting and amusing clues/answers from Rufus. In brief, we enjoyed this start to the week.

  9. fran
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Not too easy for me mainly because of 1a 1d last in . The rest was straightforward although I struggled with the anagrams.2.5 for difficulty *** enjoyment. 11a my favourite

  10. Brian
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Struggled a bit with this one due to a number of clues that just didn’t sit quite right such as 14d (schoolroom seems a little odd), 15a is clumsy i thought and 8d is not a phrase that springs readily to mind.
    Having said all that 20d, 30a, 7d and 3d are all brilliant clues.
    Thx to all.

  11. Kath
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    It looks as if I was the only twit who missed the 6a anagram indicator and so the cats were eating the mice here – I did wonder why! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    That was my first mistake today – my next one was putting the answer to 23d in the space for 25d and vice versa – well, they did begin with the same letter but that effectively scuppered a few other answers until I realised what I’d done. Oh dear!
    Apart from that lot I didn’t have too much trouble today.
    My last answer was 11a.
    I liked 11a, eventually, and 12 and 29a and 2 and 14d. My favourite was one of that lot but I haven’t decided which one yet.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops and Macavity.
    Just going to pop over to Rookie Corner to see if others think it’s really tricky or if it’s just me – so far I’ve got about ten answers.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Kath,

      I’m quite worried about Hilary. Do you know if she’s OK? She’s not been on here for awhile.

      • Kitty
        Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        Me too, Hanni. Maybe someone can make enquiries tomorrow.

  12. Franco
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Some might complain about the quantity of cryptic definitions in a Rufus puzzle … but no-one can complain about the quality. Loved all of them today!

  13. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable start to the week I thought. Particulary liked 12a and I love the YouTube clip for 16d – it looks like John Hannah has got a moustache and is the spit of a particularly infamous German leader (whatever you do, don’t mention the war. I think I did…. but got away with it)

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and MP & Macavity for their review.

  14. mebebob
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Bit of a backwards seesaw today. Nothing until 19a then down to the bottom and back up to top quite comfortably. Really liked 8d!!

  15. Heno
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops & Macavity for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week, but quite tricky in places. Needed the hint for 1a. Had eulogies for 16d, so that stopped me getting 27a. Favourite was 15a, was 3*/3* for me.

  16. Sweet William
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant start to the week thank you Rufus and thanks for the review and hints MP. Sitting on a bench while Mrs SW looks at dresses…………not raining yet !

  17. dutch
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Hmm struggled with this a bit today. I also had the wrong ending to 16d (praise) and hence ended up with the questionable overexert for 27a.

    Then I had road-vendor, which seemed to me only mildly more dangerous than a street-vendor and otherwise fit the clue. I wasn’t sure how 3d applied to wrestling though I was happy to believe it did, and I didn’t really like the innocent aligning themselves with the guilty since I struggled to see the cryptic element.

    i liked the slow mice (6a) and the experimental schoolroom (14d) though I had parsed the answer as “LAB or a Tory” – the kind of rhetorical question a socialist might ask – well maybe. I liked 11a, the bookshelf, though i thought the back the front meant that when the book is in the shelf, the content pages run right to left instead of vice vesa.

    Oh well

    another rufus in the guardian today – i struggled with that too.

    many thanks rufus and mp and m.

  18. Graham Wall
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Made a poor start by spelling 1a wrong. once this was sorted it was pretty much plain sailing. A 2/3 for me. I particularly liked 14A. My thanks to the MF & M consortium.

  19. Expat Chris
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Miffypops, re 10A. A still is the vessel used for distillation to make illegal alcohol (usually well hidden from the authorities). A retort is also a vessel used for distillation. That’s my interpretation, anyway.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. It is one that pops up now and again and I ought to remember (in the absence of BRBs or Chambers Apps)

  20. Ora Meringue
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Managed pretty well with this one.
    Unfortunately could not see past Food Vendor for 30a and really could not make it fit the clue.
    Thanks to Miffypops, Macavity and the setter.

    • dutch
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      yes i had food vendor! – made the transition to road vendor but that was as far as i got

  21. Ridgerunner
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    A *\*** for me and I would like to welcome and thank Macavity for his tips.
    He reminded me of one of the best slogans for Ygorra, the magazine published annually by the Glasgow Students Charities Appeal Committee and sold in conjunction with the Charities Week appeal.
    YGORRA PHIL MACAVITY.
    This must have been my first exposure to cryptic clues.
    Those south of the border may need some parliamo Glasgow to understand.

  22. Poppy
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Not sure why I struggled to get this finished. Should have worked out the second part of 8d as my grandfather used that term. And as for 6a, like Kath I was stuck on varieties of felines – much to Poppy’s immense disapproval. D’oh! Still, I enjoyed finishing this while packed with heat pads for my poor spine. Thank you setter, and a big thank you to Miffypops as well as to Macavity….. Am I very out of date not to know who you are? If you’re a feline-lover near Woking, I’m delighted, as we’ve met. But either way, huge congratulations for contributing to the hinting part of this blog, and well done MP for encouraging same. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Merusa
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Hope the back is better soon. Backs are such tricky things, they take forever to heal.

    • Kath
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      How on earth did we get stuck on the four legged predators rather than what it was – oh dear and, yet again, http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif I’m very glad of the company – up until now I thought I really was the only nincompoop. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Kitty
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        I may have been thinking along similar lines too. Oh dear indeed! Mr K got that one before me and with time at a premium I accepted his help. Couldn’t credit him earlier while I was trying to remain incognito.

    • Kath
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      PS – I do hope that the back feels better soon. Who is taking Poppy for her walks?

    • Kitty
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Owww! Fractured vertebra – you poor thing. Well done on the performance. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

  23. Ginny
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much, Rufus, for a breezier Monday morning that of late, which left plenty of time to make some comfort risotto. I really enjoyed 6a followed by 2d and 26d. Many thanks to Miffypops and Macavity. Great teamwork! I did need to peek at the hint for 21a which was the last in.

  24. John
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Well done to Miffypops and to Macavity – any relation to a) The TS Eliot Mystery Cat, from that excellent musical (despite what some on here might say!) or b) my Scottish dentist, Phil Macavity?

    Managed to rattle this one of in fairly quickish time (for me, anyway!). Thought there were quite a few chuckles along the way as well, especially the already highlighted 6a and 14d. Like dutch (17, above), I read 14d as lab-or-a-tory, and was slightly disappointed that the clue didn’t in some way pose a question with regard to the forthcoming shenanigans that we’ll all be totally fed up with come the first week in May (if we’re not already totally fed up, that is)

    Whilst I got the answer for 20d, mainly due to the checking letters, I couldn’t for the life of me see how it worked – though now, of course, all is clear!

    Just one question….In the hints above, the word “complaint” is underlined, but surely the answer is not in itself a complaint, merely a part of the body that is best known for resulting in a complaint (or at least a reason for removal)? Or am I missing something?

    • John
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      sorry…that’s 24a re: the last sentence!

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      A pile would not be a complaint but if you suffered from piles, it would be. I suppose it’s the same with Adenoids. However I will bow to you judgement and alter the underlining to include source of.

      • John
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        whaddya mean, “if”…….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • Kath
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear – poor you.
          A very long time ago I typed (and I really mean typed i.e. on an old fashioned typewriter with beastly stuff like carbon paper etc) a thesis for a medical student friend of mine. I can’t remember what it was all about but his introduction was, “It is said that every good physician should have prematurely grey hair and painful piles. The first creates the impression that he knows more than he really does and the second gives him a look of concern which every patient interprets as being on his behalf”.

          • John
            Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            Kath, it was my sense of humour, nothing else, don’t worry, I’m not afflicted!. Do you really think I’d own up to that after less than a week on here, even if I was a sufferer…

            • Kath
              Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

              Oh – that’s OK then. As to what you’d own up to after less than a week on here I’m not sure!

              • Hanni
                Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

                Well I’ve been on here a lot longer than a week but I have quite a crush on Ian Hislop.

                • Miffypops
                  Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

                  That is only because your full name is an anagram of Ian Hislop. I had the same trouble years ago when Miffypops was a pure anagram of Brigitte Bardot

                  • Kitty
                    Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

                    Aha – that explains why I enjoy watching 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown so much. I hadn’t realised my name is an anagram of one of the regulars.

  25. Jane
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Think I’ll go for 1.5*/2* today. The extra .5 is because I followed others with the wrong ending for 16d and also – I seem to be the only one who started out with 1a by rejecting the graduates from ‘a Baltic cruise’ and trying to make an anagram out of what was left.
    Would definitely agree 14d as favourite.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – so pleased that you’ve made friends with Macavity, I hope he forgives you for the derogatory comments you made about his stage show last week!

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      How would we know with Macavity Jane? He is a master of depravity.

      • Jane
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Do I detect a note of jealousy?

        • Kath
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          No – not jealousy – fellow feeling is much more likely!

        • Hanni
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          I get the feeling Miffypop’s already has a mischievous streak. Quite a big one.

  26. silvanus
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Slightly tougher than normal for a Monday, but only slightly and probably due to the usually generous anagram count seemingly being reduced.

    I agree with those who have identified 14d as a favourite, it stood out for me too.

    Thanks to Rufus, Miffypops and Macavity.

  27. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    As most of you, I also had eulogies first for 16d and then my online dictionary gave me eulogize. Don’t want to be rude but the 29a s rule the internet. Same when I write favourite, my auto correction gizmo always tries to change it to favorite.
    Should really invest in a Chambers or OED.
    Wasn’t too keen on culture being a way of life in 21a and really liked 15 and 17a.
    Thanks to Rufus for the fun and to the new Monday duo for the review.

  28. Gwizz
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Nice gentle start to the week. 12a was my personal fave but I agree that maybe the cryptic aspect was a bit tenuous! Defo the old 1*/2* over all.
    Thanks to Rufus and the 2M’s for their joint efforts!

  29. Kitty
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I seem to be getting slower at Rufus puzzles. Not sure whether it’s a wavelength thing or a stupid thing. That said, I had no real trouble except for 30a which I thought of earlyish but didn’t put in until all the checkers were there. Just wasn’t convinced by the clue alone. Was a little held up too by blithely misspelling 1a even though (a) I can spell it and (b) looking properly at the clue would have set things straight. Otherwise, enjoyable enough. Very Monday.

    Now I have to find time for a Rookie, Sunday’s Virgilius and almost an entire month’s worth of clues for my 3D calendar puzzle (by tomorrow night if I want to enter the competition). Plus there are some highly-rated Toughies that I have saved but remain neglected and unloved. I think that might just be too many crosswords…

    Thanks all :).

  30. Merusa
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    As usual, loved today’s Rufus. Did it while waiting for my car to be serviced, it saved my sanity.
    I loved the W.H. Auden poem, I have it recited by Lindsay Duncan, she does a grand job on a CD called Words For You, many lovely poems.
    Fave was 6a.
    Thanks to Rufus, M’pops and Macavity, very entertaining.

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      This reminds me of last Friday when I fully intended to do the puzzle whilst waiting for tyres to be fitted and tracked….
      Instead, I wandered down the road to Aldi and spent far too much on gardening and camping sundries.

      That’ll learn me!

  31. Liz
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was not too hard, except I started off badly by trying to make’aspirin’ fit into 5d – don’t ask me why as I had no other letters at that stage. I really liked 10a and 29a. Nearly went off on the wrong track with 19a trying to fit ‘bolero’ into the anagram! Otherwise very enjoyable and a 3/2* rating. Thanks to all, especially Macavity please give my regards to Growltiger!

    • Kitty
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Growltiger says “grrr!”

    • Angel
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      As I have said above re 5d, I did have the “A” and went for aspirin too so great minds think alike – but sometimes we’re wrong!

      • Liz
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes, too often in my case. Could also have been ‘Anadin’ – a bit closer to the true answer?

  32. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    We suspect that the last two words in comment 29 above might be in the nature of a confession. If we are right, Congratulations.
    Usual Monday good fun. We had the same slight delay as many others by starting with the last two letters of 16d around the wrong way. Although this one did not take us long, the Rookie puzzle made up for it and filled our desired crossword solving time.
    Thanks Rufus and M & M.

  33. Kitty
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Poppy and the 2Ks are astute…

    …but it couldn’t have been me – I wasn’t there! ;)

    Thanks for your lovely comments.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Jane
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I guess it was just that Mystery Cat again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Well done McKitty! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  34. Mr Kitty
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Back to solving solo this week, which is both much harder and much less fun. I did enjoy 6a and quite a few others, but I needed the blog hints to finish. And what fine hints they were, especially the downs! (I’d say that even if I wasn’t biased.) Thanks to the setter, to MP, and to Macavity – it’s been an awesome blogging debut http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Jane
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Nice to see you back on the blog, Mr. K – even if it isn’t under your preferred circumstances.
      I did wonder about Macavity and now all has been revealed – didn’t she do well. I bet you were under strict instructions to make yourself available online this morning!

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Hi, Jane. Yes, she did do well. In the early hours of Monday, under a lot of time pressure, Kitty did let me contribute a single answer I’d got that she hadn’t yet found (a circumstance which doesn’t occur very often). The blog itself was written while I was fast asleep. I do envy her wit and her way with words. I’m more of a numbers and equations type.

        • Jane
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          According to the rhyme, Macavity does complicated long division sums so maybe she can repay the favour of the clue you answered for her!

  35. Miffypops
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    She did do well. I only edited one letter and added a little to the Laboratory. So all his own work. Well done Macavity. the hidden paw is no longer hidden.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for all the encouragement, help and guidance, Miffy.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Congratulations. Specially if you have the time to spare for all.
        It is such a noble cause and we couldn’t do without the review.
        Bravo again.

  36. Tstrummer
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward, but trickier than one would expect from Rufus. I think that’s the third Monday in a row where he has taxed me more than usual. 3*/3*. Thanks to MP and the cat for the review, Rufus for the puzzle and Dylan for Brownsville Girl

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Brownsville girl, with your Brownsville curl. Great song. Watch this space for concerts later this year. Seated smaller venues I am told. The bank balance will be taking a hammering. As usual.

  37. Chris
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable and straightforward (except the two I got wrong!). Many thanks to Rufus, MP, and well done the Hidden Paw.

  38. Kitty
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Kiwis, Hanni and Jane! And Jean-Luc. And Chris. You are all lovely :).

    • Hanni
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      I knew you could do it, and well. I hope you’re feeling rightly proud of yourself.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • pommers
      Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Nice one Kitty. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Kitty
        Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        Purrrr! Thanks pommers :).

        • pommers
          Posted March 30, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

          De nada. Your stuff was really great. (You can share my blog any day but I have to be careful what I say because Kath may be listening http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif).

        • pommers
          Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink

          BTW, my favourite character is Gus. I like asparagus too but about a month before she found out she was pregnant with me my mum got a black and white kitten and named it Gus. I grew up with him and he lived until I was 18. Splendid cat.

          • Kitty
            Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:30 am | Permalink

            :). I thought pommette was the cat person. I seem to recall some choice comments from you about having to feed hers…

            • Jane
              Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink

              Funny you should mention that, Kitty – the same thought crossed my mind too! Maybe Pommers didn’t ever have to feed, water or clean up after Gus?

              • Kitty
                Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:50 am | Permalink

                Might be a numbers thing. Cats are a bit less-is-more, at least when you own them they own you. My plans for being a mad cat lady in my retirement do not involve 50 cats, but a couple of very pampered and happy ones.

                Or maybe no other cat could ever match up to him.

            • pommers
              Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

              Correct, pommette is the “Mad Cat Lady” of El Saladar – she has 4 of the litlle (make that large) rascals and would probably have more if I didn’t threaten shotguns and/or cyanide, thermonuclear devices and divorce. And when she goes to see her mum the damn things still need feeding!
              Gus,on the other hand wasn’t a cat but the playmate of my early childhood and the only pet I ever cried about on it’s demise. For what it’s worth I watched the football world cup final in 1966 with Gus sat on my knee and he wasn’t too pleased when Geoff Hurst’s 3rd went in It may have been all over but poor old Gus was all over the floor as I leapt out of my seat. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

              • Kitty
                Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:55 am | Permalink

                I like that image! Yay for Gus :).

                And now I must sleep. Goodnight all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif