DT 27766

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27766

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs this rather damp Good Friday morning.

There’s a distinctly topical feel to this crossword from Giovanni, and indeed to the Quickie. If you have the bits of general knowledge that are required, the puzzle is quite straightforward. If you don’t, the clueing is, as always, perfectly fair, so you can work them out.

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 and 10a           Dodgy fee I’m to arrange somehow for conciliatory political initiative (4,6,9)
GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT – Anagram (somehow) of DODGY FEE I’M TO ARRANGE, giving us a Northern Ireland political settlement.

Image result for good friday agreement

6a           I love joining army for a scrap (4)
IOTA – I (from the clue), the letter that looks like a love score at tennis, and the initials of the old name for the Army Reserve, giving the name of a Greek letter which is very small, hence a scrap or fragment.

9a           Report of one having a high life ironically (5)
WRYLY – A homophone (report of) someone ‘living the life of xxxx’.

10a         See 1 a

12a         NT character stirred up by Paul’s petition (7,6)
PONTIUS PILATE – Anagram (stirred up by) of PAUL’S PETITION, giving the Roman governor of Judea who appears in the Gospel accounts of Christ’s Passion.

14a         Guy at side of street getting into the German racing vehicle (8)
DRAGSTER – A word for guy or make fun of, and the abbreviation for street, both placed inside one of the forms of the definite article in German.

Image result for dragster

15a         Stony person establishing law — one of the times to be forgotten (6)
STATUE – Remove one of the Ts (times) from a word for a piece of law.

17a         Someone having terrible accident protected by vicar usually (6)
ICARUS – Hidden in (protected by) the clue.

Image result for icarus

19a         Fragrant individual mislaying son was angry (8)
PERFUMED – Remove the SON from a word for an individual, and add ‘was angry’.

21a         Head of Finance probing finer details sorted out elements of pay structure (13)
DIFFERENTIALS – The initial letter (head) of Finance inserted into an anagram (sorted out) of FINER DETAILS, giving the subject of many interminable Trade Union disputes in years gone by.

24a         Undertaking limited by very big mistakes maybe (9)
OMISSIONS – The abbreviation which may be found on very big clothing, wrapped around the five-year undertaking of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek.

25a         Man with skill going the wrong way in traffic (5)
TRADE – The definition here is a verb. Put together a short form of a man’s name and a word meaning ‘skill’, then reverse the lot.

26a         Responsibility of the French, they having lost heart (4)
DUTY – The French word for ‘of the’, followed by TheY (they having lost heart).

27a         One keeps on the move in sporting rally (6,4)
TENNIS BALL – Cryptic definition of something which has to keep moving for a rally to take place at Wimbledon or Flushing Meadow.


1d           Garment must be expanded, right for letting out (4)
GOWN – Remove the R(ight) from a word for ‘expanded’.

2d           Plain exhibition centre in the capital (7)
OLYMPIA – Double definition, the first being a site in Greece where a famous set of games originated.

3d           Perhaps we are mystified by these objects being thrown in domestic quarrel? (6,7)
FLYING SAUCERS – You might see these in the air if spouses are throwing crockery at each other.

Image result for flying saucers

4d           Supposed confession of one opposing journalist (8)
IMAGINED – A phrase (1’1,4) which might be uttered by someone opposing a proposal, followed by the usual journalist.

5d           A bishop and a saint meeting in place of conflict (5)
ARRAS – The site of a battle in April 1917 is made up of A (from the clue), the initials of the title given to a bishop, A (from the clue) again, and an abbreviation for Saint.

7d           Nero apt to fiddle — behaviour of psychological significance (7)
OPERANT – Anagram (to fiddle) of NERO APT. New word of the week for me. According to the BRB it is a term in psychology which describes behaviour that is spontaneous rather than responding to a stimulus.

8d           Liable to get fired soon, interfering with cash? (2,3,5)
AT THE READY – A phrase describing a weapon ready to be discharged, made up of a phrase meaning ‘interfering with’ (as in ‘the mice have been — — cheese again’) and a slang term for cash.

11d         Confidante set out provision for religious tolerance (5,2,6)
EDICT OF NANTES – Anagram (out) of CONFIDANTE SET, giving a decree issued by Henri IV of France in April 1598, granting a measure of religious tolerance to the Huguenots.

13d         Man of mystery drowned, I do suspect (5,5)
EDWIN DROOD – An all-in-one clue describing the eponymous hero of Dickens’ unfinished novel. Anagram (suspect) of DROWNED I DO.

16d         Black is embraced by fashionable people? Junk! (8)
JETTISON – The definition is a verb. Put together the black substance for which Whitby is famous and a three-letter French word for fashionable people with IS (from the clue) inside it.

18d         Performance involving two females left this person in distress (7)
AFFLICT – Put together two instances of the abbreviation for Female, Left, and the pronoun for ‘this person’, then wrap a stage performance around the result.

20d         Mum’s vehicle has a product from beauty salon (7)
MASCARA – Put together another way of saying ‘Mum’s’, a vehicle, and A from the clue.

22d         Pole caught in extremes of extreme weather (5)
ERODE – A pole or perch inside the first and last letters (extremes) of ExtremE.

23d         Get rid of sounds in this small room (4)
CELL – A small room occupied by a monk or a prisoner sounds like ‘get rid of’.

The Quick Crossword pun CALL + VERY = CALVARY



  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    2.5*/2.5*. Normal Friday fare. Generally dull (although slightly more enjoyable than usual), peppered with obscurities, and requiring frequent use of the BRB to complete it.

    I thought that 2d & 8d were exceptionally poor and 11d was exceptionally obscure, but, on the plus side, 9a & 27a were exceptionally good.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      RD, Mr Kitty sent me this link because I like bunnies. He said, “I expect that you will enjoy the bit about the stew.” I am not so sure you will…

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that, Kitty. I am not too sure about Angora rabbits as I like rabbits with personality and I definitely don’t like them in stew.

        I took over ownership of my rabbit (who looks very similar to the picture in my gravatar) from my step-daughter when he was a few weeks old after she found out that she was allergic to his fur. Having been a cat and dog person all my life, I had no idea what to expect having previously regarded all rabbits as simply soft and cuddly but rather anodyne (to use a word which cropped up in a puzzle a few days ago). He turned out to be quite a character and eight years on we are the best of friends.

        • Kitty
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          I’m with you there, Dave: personality is good. I love to watch the perky-eared wild bunnies – they always make me smile. I have no burning desire to own a rabbit, but one of the right temperament would be nice. The only pet ones I have encountered have been a touch on the Holy Grail side.

          I always meant to ask if your avatar was your own rabbit. Now I know :).

          • Roger
            Posted April 3, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Watership Down

            “You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the film. Now, try the stew ” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted April 3, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

              You can go off people, you know. And don’t forget that Roger is a famous rabbit who met a nasty end …

            • Robin Newman
              Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink


  2. Michael
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Whahoo – I love a good anagram (and a good Anagram Solver Program) – good fun today, really enjoyed it!

  3. Kitty
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I started this in a Very Bad Mood. I wanted black humour and silliness, not religious stuff and lots of long anagrams that necessitated the use of a pencil. None of which is Giovanni’s fault: he has his style, and it is 1a after all. It should indeed be a 1a (with lower case g) for fans of the Friday crossword today.

    It turned out I did have the knowledge required, and so solving was pretty satisfying and left me with the very beginnings of a Smug. I finished in a slightly better mood than when I started.

    2d was my last in. I quite liked 22d, 23d and 24a and will go for 18d as pick of the day.

    Thanks to the Don and Deep Threat. Happy Easter weekend to you all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif.

  4. Heno
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. Not on the wavelength. Too many obscurities, no Favourites needed 14 hints to finish. Was 5*/1* for me.

  5. outnumbered
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I found this hard work (three in after the first read-through), and generally not too enjoyable as I dislike the religious content and generally fusty ambience. So it gets a ***/* for me I’m afraid.

    • Liz
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Do you feel the same about historical/literary/political/scientific/philosophical etc. content?

  6. dutch
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Hm, feels like Giovanni is trying a bit too hard with the oblique definitions today, though I did warm to 17a (someone having terrible accident), with nicely hidden wordplay .

    2d was plain frustrating, I didn’t know the conference centre in London and “plain” is a bit vague – the clue is dependent on checking letters. I thought 20a (product of beauty salon) had a disappointing (and vague) definition, I was hoping for something more in keeping with a car surface. 7d was new to me but fair given the anagram, though the definition again is quite oblique. 8d didn’t fire me up either (interfering with cash).

    I liked the topical references, and the anagrams were really very good.

    Many thanks Giovanni and thank you Deep Threat

  7. Brian
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    At last a return to a Giovanni that I can do!
    Very enjoyable but I do have a couple of questions. Why is Rag a word for Guy, I know it’s in the BRB but don’t see the derivation? What is the French for fashionable people?
    Mrs B was totally on form with the long anagrams today, it’s what she most enjoys about crosswords. Best clue for me was 27a, a real smile clue.
    For us **/****
    Thx to all.

    • dutch
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      verbs, rag as is to kid someone, guy also means to kid/tease

      ton is also in brb & means fashion or fashionable people – french origin apparently, and a word I have struggled with before

      • Brian
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Thx, I was trying to figure out Tison!

    Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was difficult ,but like Kitty I found the solve satisfying, There seemed to be too much reliance on general knowledge, but again agree with DT that the cluing was fair -took ages for example to disentangle 11d as I wasn’t around in 1598.Difficult anagrams, but loved the surface read of 12a,Going for a ****/***,too late for church now, thanks to the Don!

  9. Kitty
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    P.S. I enjoyed the quickie too. Three or four good words in there that were even better when put together. The pun had me humming a song from Les Mis. I will avoid spoilers and not add anything more.

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I too enjoy a good quickie Kitty!

      • Jane
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Um…….I thought you were ‘keeping your mouth shut’ until Mondays? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Not so my little Jaberwock. The Devil is making work for idle hands

          • Jane
            Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            Should maybe have helped St. Sharon with the shopping?

            • Miffypops
              Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

              I did. I told her not to carry too much at once but make more journeys carrying less. I am all heart.

              • Kitty
                Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

                Your generosity knows no bounds.

      • Steve_the_Beard
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Wotcher MP. I saw this letter in the Daily Telegraph today and thought of you.

        From Jane Cullinan of Padstow:

        During a previous election, a friend was running a pub called the Duke of Hamilton. One morning I found him almost hysterical over a letter from the local Conservative association, addressed to “The Duke of Hamilton”, followed by the correct address and postcode. The letter began “Your Grace”.

        • Jane
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink


        • Kitty
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Presumably a similar one to MP would start, “Dear Martian,” …

          But then aliens are not eligible to vote.

          • Jane
            Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            I was hesitating between that and ‘Dear ET’ – but maybe he came from a different planet?

      • Kitty
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Not to be shared with just anyone. I am strictly a solo solver these days.

        • Jane
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Good grief, Kitty – you’re just feeding him one-liners!

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          Fortunately you’re very good at that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  10. Wayne
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    In your review of4d , should it read ‘a phrase’ (2,4) which might be uttered by someone opposing a proposal, followed by the usual journalist. I mention this because it took me awhile to justify my answer. Not to impressed with clue for 2d. Helped enormously by the anagrams.
    **/** rating for me. Thanx to Compiler and to DT for his review.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Whether it’s (2,4) or (1’1,4) depends on whether you mark the apostrophe or not. I thought it clearer with the apostrophe.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Long live the apostrophe!

      • Wayne
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Comprendez., and thanx.

      • Wayne
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Should have gone to Specsavers, I read it in your review as (1.1.4) :-))

      • Jane
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes – and some of the answers would be easier if setters had to include them in the grid, but it’s one rule for us and one for them. Vive la difference!

  11. Sweet William
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Usual Friday challenge and for once no new words for me. We happen to have visited 5d on our tour of First World War battlefields and CWGC cemeteries. Took a while, but got there without hints in the end. Thanks DG and DT for your review and hints.

  12. silvanus
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The initial 19 letter anagram took me much longer than it should – but I did like the topicality. Overall a very satisfying puzzle, not easy but not involving too much head-scratching either, and the anagrams definitely helped in obtaining the other answers.

    Plenty of religious references for sure, but bearing in mind who the setter is and that today is after all a religious holiday, one can have few complaints.

    My favourite clue has to be the homophone in 9a, it was the last one in and it’s nice to end on a smile. :-)

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat and a Happy Easter to all.

  13. Paso Doble
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Bit late today owing to deliveries of soil and compost from Mucky Trev. We enjoyed it very much however, ***3 difficulty and **** enjoyment here in Camden Town. As always, thanks to Deep Threat and the Don!

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Mucky Trev. What a great moniker

  14. Jane
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Should have known that the Don’s nod to Easter would have little to do with eggs and Easter bunnies – not prepared to admit how long it took me to get 1/10a (despite 1d being my first answer in!). Also tried very hard to get ‘tenet of faiths’ into 11d.

    Thanks, DT, for the correct parsing of 4d – I thought perhaps DG was confessing to being a gin hEaD.
    And so it went on…….. 7d was a new word, wasn’t sure that ‘afflict’ corresponded to ‘distress’ and took ages to find the poor guy hiding his burnt wings.

    As for 12a – well……… it could have been to do with the National Trust, couldn’t it?

    OK – I’ve given you all a good laugh but I can’t tell you how satisfied I was to finally get completion of this one.
    Really liked 9a but my vote of the day goes to 3d – can’t believe no-one else has picked it out for a mention!

    Thank you DG – I thoroughly enjoyed the battle – and thanks to DT, despite your rating. I’ll go for 3.5*/4.5*.

    • Jane
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to add – didn’t know the French word for fashionable people either – can’t say that I care for it very much!

  15. Miffypops
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    This took ages today. Good job Saint Sharon has shopping to do so I could battle this one out whilst waiting in the car listening to Bob Dylan. 11d needed a pen and a piece of paper. Woe is me. Thanks to all concerned.

  16. Liz
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    This one took me quite a while. I like long anagrams but sometimes have to resort to electronic help. However in the case of 1a I was able to do it on my own…not so with 11 d though had to enlist his help there. I got really held up on 19a trying to fit incensed in, (using a varity of spellings) only ditched this tack when 20d went in. Also had a hold up with 27 a as I was convinced the second word was ‘race’. Anyway quite enjoyable if not the easiest solve this week. Give it **/**.

  17. pommers
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s just me but I really dislike clues like 25a where MAN is used to clue a name. There’s thousands to choose from, not to mention everything else MAN could be such as HE, HIM, ISLE etc, so it strikes me as being rather unfair to the solver. This time it wasn’t even a full name! Giovanni could have at least used SHORT MAN or something similar.

    Rest of the stuff was pretty good and nicely topical. We’ll give it ***/*** as we had to check a couple in the BRB.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    • pommers
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      P.S. If you have a go at the Toughie be prepared to put a lot of dents in your tea tray http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      It’s worth it though.

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely correct pommers http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  18. SheilaP
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    This didnt have as many obscurities as this setters puzzles sometimes have, and I like religious clues and those with historical references, so a bit of GK is a ‘good thing’. Happy Easter to all. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  19. neveracrossword
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    7d is a “Countdown” favourite – for some reason it often appears at the same time as “pronate”.

  20. Kath
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif This has not been my week for crosswords but I have a new best friend – he’s called Mr Google – not quite on first name terms yet but I think we will be soon!
    I found this really really difficult. 4* worth and 3* for enjoyment. It’s taken me ages but I seem to have said that every day this week – it
    must be me.
    Started off well with 1 & 10a, 6a and 12a and thought it was going to be doddle – I was wrong.
    I thought 21a was something to do with gears, thought 27a was going to be a vehicle, couldn’t do 2d, never heard of 7d meaning that, never heard of 11d and had forgotten 13d.
    On the plus side I liked 15 and 27a and 23d. My favourite (and last answer) was 9a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    • Kath
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – that lot wasn’t meant to be in bold print – stupid – forgot to do the ‘switchy offy thingy’ . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        I think Jane wants to do a “switchy offy thingy” with me

        • Hanni
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Do you have a switchy offy thingy?

          • Miffypops
            Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Yes but it takes a bit of finding.

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

              So does the source of The Nile, but a few clues might help.

              • Miffypops
                Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

                You have to really really upset me, then I go very quiet and am best left alone and not fussed until I am ready to come around. It does not happen very often. Does that help?

                • Hanni
                  Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

                  Actually it does. You sound like my other half and a cat I once had.

        • Jane
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Wouldn’t dream of touching your ‘switchy offy thingy’ MP. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            Yes, it’s usually best to leave people’s ony/offy switchy thingies well alone I find.

    • Kath
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Really rather wish I’d never mentioned an “onny offy thingy” – oh dear . . . .

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Onny offy things need discussing Kath.

      • Hanni
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        I wish I’d never said anything now.

  21. Shropshirelad
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Perfectly fair for Friday fare – with the exception of ‘the man’ in 25a. Having said that, I thought it was a enjoyable and topical puzzle. Lots of good clues but I’ll plump for 1/10a as my favourite.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT. I hope you all have a lovely Easter http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  22. Brian
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I love reading through this blog, all human life is here.
    Some like me have problems with religious clues, some with science and others (no names no pack drill) with the dreaded Sport esp cricket. In addition we have weather reports, cookery tips, shopping tips (Sharon obviously is a saint) and the occasional gardening tip. LONG LIVE THE BLOG!!

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

      Brian, this is a positive post. Your job is to supply negativity.

      • Kitty
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Poor Brian. Can’t win!

    • Kath
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Brian, I totally agree with everything you said. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Me too. Keep on being yourself Brian.

        • Michael
          Posted April 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, apart from the Sport thing – I love virtually all sport apart from Tennis and Motor Racing.

    • Hilary
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      The main thing that kept me going over the past two weeks was coming on to the blog and realising that there still was a world out there. Someone said it is like a family and it certainly feels like it at times. Three big cheers for BD and his blog.

      • Kitty
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        This blog does something similar for me on dark days, Hilary. Hugs form your “blog-sister” :). And I’m joining in with the three cheers for BD and everyone else who makes this place so lovely.

      • Kath
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        To you and Kitty a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif and another one for BD http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  23. Ora Meringue
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Found this one really difficult .
    Needed some electronic help and a lot of the hints.
    Didn’t enjoy it much.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter.

  24. Hanni
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink


    I was expecting extreme obscurity today. I donned my ‘The Don Mephisto hat’. It wasn’t needed. Which is a relief because after church we went to the pub. However it worries me if I find a crossword relatively straightforward. It means the Toughie is out of my reach and I’ll pay for it on Monday when I get three clues.

    Biggest hold up today was 5d. Fortunately lots of people in the tap bar pretty much shouted the answer at me.

    Many thanks to The Don and to DT for a first rate blog.

    Have a good weekend all.

  25. crypticsue
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward thank you Giovanni and DT.

    As I solved this, I kept thinking ‘Brian won’t like this’ and must confess to being more than a little disappointed that he wasn’t a Hot Cross Bunny

  26. fran
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Down to earth with a bang ; having done very well all week I really did come unstuck , needed hints for 1a , since 1d escaped me , mystified through me, and it was even harder when I put perfumes .
    thanks for the hints DT, I used them more today than at any time since 2014 ****/*

  27. Merusa
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    This crossword was a mixture of diabolical clues and easy-peasy ones. The anagram at 13d just jumped out at me it was so obvious.
    My years on my knees at a Church of England school must have paid off as the religious ones went in quickly.
    I never did get 9a or 1d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, especially explaining some of my answers.

  28. Miffypops
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Within the features section at the top of the page is the gallery section. There are lots of new pictures from the recent gathering in Little Venice

  29. Dave Hartley
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Why did I spend so long thinking about Octavia Hill and friends? Duh!!

    • Jane
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Oh goodie – join the club!

  30. Hilary
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Somehow my brain has not quite clicked back in, i found today’s offering rather taxing and need DT’s helpful hints for which I send my sincere thanks. I struggled a bit with the anagrams and did not know of the Edict but worked it out then checked on Google, Nasty cold day here in Suffolk and now quite misty, OH been chopping things down in the garden but I am concentrating on my notes for SAF15 committee meeting – wish I could read what I wrote yesterday it looks like squiggle. All I can remember if that G is due to pick something up on Tuesday morning must email him and ask him what it is. Roll on tomorrow and please may I have my brain back for then. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Hello Hilary. i too cannot read my own handwriting so i write everything on the computer now. I can always read that

      • Hilary
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        This was what I wrote during the meeting. If I treated myself to an iPad could I use that as a notebook during the meeting? I don’t know much about that sort of thing.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      I used to do music reviews for the Telegraph years ago as a sideline and would stand/sit in the dark audience making notes in shorthand. When I got home to write the review, I could never read a ******* word and had to rely on memory. The review usually passed unremarked until one day I disparaged the Moody Blues. Talk about hate mail – yet none of the correspondents had actually been to the Wembley Arena gig that I criticised. Such is fanaticism

  31. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    We were surprised to see the difficulty rating as we found this one quite tricky. It actually took us slightly longer than the Toughie to solve. It wasn’t because of obscurities as the only one we had to check on was 7d. We pondered for a while on whether the first letter for 23d was an S or a C and eventually chose the correct one. We found it a very satisfying and enjoyable puzzle, much appreciated.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  32. Ade
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    To think I had to endure the even more right wing than usual rhetoric in this rag to sit through a puzzle with from my perspective obtuse religious and literary references. Not enjoyable at all and certainly not **

    • Merusa
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      You say you “had to endure”, who made you? I thought UK was a free country?

    • Michael
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      If you don’t like the politics of the paper or object to the content of an ordinary Crossword why bother doing it?

    • Kath
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      You could just have said that it was too difficult for you.

      • Merusa
        Posted April 3, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Permalink


  33. Salty Dog
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    2*/3*, l think, and l really enjoyed 4d. VMTs to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  34. Jane
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Point of possible interest? We have this local ‘rag’, you know the sort I mean – don’t think a proof reader is required, nothing in it that would remotely interest you unless you have a child who has just excelled in something at school, a friend who has just raised copious amounts of money for charity, or want to buy a house/second hand car.

    However, they also publish a ‘Cryptic Crossword’ each week. A random assortment of answers from this week include:-
    Aristotelian, Kisangani, phoneme, ridotto and trinomial. Can’t help but feel that the setter is wasting his talents.

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Love it

  35. Chris
    Posted April 3, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Defeated by 1d and 9a but much enjoyed the crossword. I agree with Kath – the standard seems suddenly higher. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT and all who contributed to today’s entertaining resposes. (I will now have a lie down to recover from Brian’s positive comments and my astonishment at agreeing with him!)

  36. Tstrummer
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I’m putting this down to a gruelling week As one to whom bank holidays off are such a dim and distant memory that I used to take a ten-bob note to the pub for lunchtime beer and pie (and still have change for a taxi home and ten Senior Service) the last time I wasn’t working over Easter, I’m the last one in as usual. I found the Don a bit of a trial today and needed quite a few bung ’em ins and hope to get me across the line. Managed without DT’s help, but boy did I need him for some explanations, especially 4d, so thanks VM for that. And thanks to the Don for frying what’s left of my brain. It’s done to a turn now.
    May I also say that, although I’m generally the last one in, I do read everyone’s comments and regret that I don’t get to join in the banter. I feel for those in dark places and wish them well. And Brian never ceases to amaze: today I’m in total agreement with him for once (although not with his enjoyment of this trying puzzle). Hasta la proxima

    • Hanni
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      It’s a pity you’re not around more. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Tstrummer
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 2:05 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the thought, Hanni. I wish it too, but as I have debts no honest man can repay, the toad work must squat on my shoulder for the foreseeable future, I’m afraid (note the cunning cultural mix of Springsteen and Larkin there)

  37. Gwizz
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m know I’m a bit late with my comment but I must say that this Good Friday blog is/was a terrific read.
    As far as the crossword is concerned I had to resort to electronic help for 7d but otherwise no real trouble completing. 13d is my favourite…. or was that Thursday’s which I’ve only just caught up with? No, deffo 13d for this puzzle. 2*/3* over all.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for his review.