DT 27769

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27769

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

This is a pretty straightforward puzzle from the Tuesday Mr Ron who is keen on American names and references. Do let us know your thoughts.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a What may be said on meeting difficult situation? (3-2-3-2)
HOW-DO-YOU-DO – without the hyphens this is a formal greeting in the form of a question (although the last thing expected in response is a list of minor ailments!).

6a A young woman lacking finish, unfortunately (4)
ALAS – A (from the clue) followed by a young woman without her last letter (lacking finish).

9a Turned over winner’s medal — it’s not 22 carat (6,4)
ROLLED GOLD – a verb meaning turned over or rotated and the colour of the medal awarded to the winner.

10a Ruler from east, on edge going west (4)
EMIR – this Middle Eastern ruler comes from E(ast) followed by the reversal (going west, in an across clue) of an edge or lip.

12a Considerably old Portuguese port (4)
FARO – an adverb meaning considerably or significantly is followed by O(ld).

13a Difficult experience seeing cavalier heading off on horse (9)
NIGHTMARE – a cavalier (one at King Arthur’s court, possibly) loses his initial letter (heading off) and that’s followed by a female horse.

15a Charged boy the Parisian court’s imprisoned (8)
ELECTRIC – a boy’s name with a French definite article (the Parisian) and the abbreviation for court held inside it.

16a Finally book foremost of trips (2,4)
AT LAST – a book of maps followed by the first letter (foremost) of trips.

18a Picked up  stole (6)
LIFTED – double definition, the second an informal verb meaning stole or nicked.

20a Most of natural talent displayed on Caribbean island mountain (3,5)
BEN NEVIS – a word for a natural talent or inclination without its final T (most of) is followed by the name of the small Caribbean island which is in a federation with the larger island of St. Kitts.

23a Drink associated with Victorian tramp? (9)
SUNDOWNER – double definition – Victorian here refers to the Australian state and this is an Australian term for a tramp who arrives somewhere in time for an evening meal but too late to do any work.

24a Painful, my leaving Indian city (4)
SORE – remove the MY from the start of the name of a city in the Indian state of Karnataka.

26a A practice on the opponents’ ground (4)
AWAY – A (from the clue) followed by a practice or custom.

27a Plays with barking Alpine dog (3,7)
TOY SPANIEL – a verb meaning plays or trifles is followed by an anagram (barking) of ALPINE.

28a Organ — new make (4)
EARN – a bodily organ followed by N(ew).

29a Sometimes won hand with ten, after twisting (3,3,4)
NOW AND THEN – the surface relates to the card game pontoon or vingt-et-un. It’s an anagram (after twisting) of WON HAND and TEN.

Down Clues

1d Injure top of head and limb (4)
HARM – the top letter of head is followed by one of your limbs.

2d Fence associated with brilliant crime writer (7)
WALLACE – a fence or barrier followed by an adjective meaning brilliant or excellent. The English crime writer (forename Edgar) has gone out of fashion but he produced a large variety of books including The Four Just Men. After his death one of his books was turned into the film King Kong.

3d What a tea drinker often says is a farce? (3,3,3,3)
ONE FOR THE POT – double definition, the second being the name of one of the Whitehall farces of the 1960s starring Brian Rix.

4d Dress material in orange I’d ordered (8)
ORGANDIE – an anagram (ordered) of ORANGE I’D.

5d Tug sunk in river flood (6)
DELUGE – a verb to tug or drag goes down inside the name of several rivers in the UK, including one flowing through North Wales into Cheshire.

7d Greek character holding a dance (7)
LAMBADA – this is an old chestnut (or return of an old friend, depending on your point of view). The eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet contains A.

8d Guard on Hampshire river in trial filming (6,4)
SCREEN TEST – a verb to guard or protect (one’s skin from harmful sunlight, for example) precedes (on, in a down clue) the name of the river that flows through Southampton.

11d Borough, region close to Manhattan, is alight (6,6)
STATEN ISLAND – this is one of the five boroughs of the Big Apple. Start with a region or part of a federation, then add the closing letter of (Manhatta)N, IS (from the clue) and a verb to alight or come to ground.

14d Property not supposed to be put on top of car (4,6)
REAL ESTATE – an adjective meaning the opposite of supposed or imaginary is followed by (on top of, in a down clue) a type of load-carrying car.

17d Break ranks? Abe Lincoln’s here (8)
NEBRASKA – an anagram (break) of RANKS ABE.

19d Centre in Telford, not just a pleasure ground (7)
FUNFAIR – the central letter of Telford precedes an adjective meaning not just or inequitable.

21d Disappear after pinching king’s shiny coat (7)
VARNISH – a verb to disappear contains (after pinching) a single-letter abbreviation for king.

22d Completely at home, toddler with duck (2,4)
IN TOTO – string together an adverb meaning at home, a young child and the letter that resembles the score of zero (duck) at cricket.

25d Is able to house large family (4)
CLAN – a verb meaning ‘is able’ contains (to house) L(arge).

My pick of the clues today were 1a and 17d. Which ones did it for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: COME + OCEAN = COMMOTION




  1. crypticsue
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    As straightforward as it gets – it also seemed to have quite a lot of ‘leave a letter’ off clues. Thanks to the Mysteron and Gazza.

  2. Kitty
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    What joy to be able to just to assume a few bits of general knowledge. No need to look up Indian cities, Caribbean islands or dress fabrics. Guessed correctly anyway, and today that is good enough. The crime writer I had heard of because he was recently featured on Radio 4.

    I liked 19d. 22d is where Dorothy’s dog food goes.

    13a is my favourite, partly because it reminds me of the CITV series. Jane will note what this says about my age.

    I have actual things to do today so will toddle off now.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    • Jane
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Love your 22d, Kitty but, as for the CITV series – that’s a new one on me! Wonder whether the daughters watched it – I’ll ask them.

      Think you’ve got the best tricorn – you won’t need a microchip with all that jangling going on. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Ora Meringue
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      I watched that series with my son…..so what does that tell you about my age?
      Don’t answer that.

    • silvanus
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      8d reminded me of the BBC programme of the 1970s introduced by Michael Rodd…..oh nostalgia’s not what it used to be :-)

  3. Nev
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward today, 2*/2* for me. 23 across last to be solved, until it dawned on me what the reference to Victorian meant! Thanks to the setter, and Gazza.

  4. dutch
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I quite liked 11d, the new york borough, which had an all-in-one ring to it. I also liked “barking alpine dog” in 27a. I was happy to believe there is a caribbean island called nevis (20a) and didn’t bother to look it up. I like the imagery in 2d (toddler with duck).

    Many thanks gazza and setter

  5. Paso Doble
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    As crypticsue says, it was quite straightforward even though we were unsure why some of them were right. thanks to Gazza for explanations, particularly 23a.

  6. Nickinchester
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I struggled today and needed hints – I guess my GK is not up to scratch! 2d, 12a and 23a all defeated me and I got the answer for 20a without knowing why! Favourites were 11d and 27a, so it’s a 3*/2* from me! Now to attend to the lawn, which is definitely not as enjoyable!

  7. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    R&W but 3* for enjoyment. My only pause for thought was the first word of 9a. Nevertheless this was great fun with clues of commendable brevity and smooth surface readings. 17d was my favourite.

    After finishing I needed a couple of quick Google checks to understand the Caribbean island in 20a and the Victorian tramp in 23a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

  8. Una
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Very pleasant , very easy.Thanks Gazza and setter.
    Sunny , warm and idyllic here, with the birds singing. I think I’ll wash the windows, although I am a bit hesitant as it usually rains immediately after I wash them.

    • Kath
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      In that case perhaps you could wait for a few days before washing your windows – by that time all us gardeners will be needing some rain.

  9. Kath
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I thought this was straightforward – 2* for difficulty and 3*+ for enjoyment because there were some good clues.
    The ‘Victorian’ bit of 23a had me fooled for ages and I didn’t know that 3d was a Brian Rix farce – should have looked it up but didn’t quite get round to doing so as the answer was obvious.
    For some reason the first word of 14d took a while and so did 18a – don’t know why.
    I liked 18 and 23a and 14d. My favourite was 27a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

  10. George
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    A Read and Write today – which is a change of late for me as I have found things a bit more of a challenge the last week or so

    I found 2d interesting as I eagerly read all of his books way, way back when I was young. There were a whole pile of movies not just the one mentioned above. I also remember sitting in the cinema watching many a black and white rendition!

    But definitely all over very quickly today.


  11. fran
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Used to have 23a every evening in Malawi AND I missed it until I looked at the hints . Didn’t know 2d but clue simple enough nor had I any knowledge of dress materials but overall **/ ***

  12. Jane
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Goodness me, Gazza – you’re really having to work hard today. Hope you haven’t been saddled with the Toughie as well?
    First look had me convinced this one was going to involve a geography lesson but, as others have said, knowledge wasn’t actually necessary. I confess to not verifying my answers for either 24a or 17d. It’s a shame that the answer to 11d was so obvious – the wordplay was good but probably not needed by anyone.

    27a grated a bit – I’ll just have to look on it as a child’s fluffy toy as I doubt the owners of King Charles’ etc. would be amused by the title!
    29a – the reference to Pontoon went completely over my head. Yet more clever wordplay that was wasted.

    2d – not happy about fence = wall. If I asked someone to build me a wall I wouldn’t be pleased to finish up with a fence!
    5d – thanks for including ‘my’ River Dee, Gazza.
    7d – oh, the memories of that magical evening spent dancing this with a gorgeous Greek hunk. Shouldn’t even have been with him but that’s quite a different story!

    Favourite goes to 22d (loved the pun, Kitty!) with a mention for 16a & 19d. 1*/3* for me.

    Thank you to Mr. Ron and to our lovely Gazza for the overtime. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    ps. Thinking I might rather like to come back as a 23a – sounds rather appealing.

    • gazza
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Not too much hard work, Jane, – I wrote most of the Rookie review yesterday. I agree that fence/wall is a little bit of a stretch, but fence (in the sense of someone dealing in stolen goods) does add to the surface reading.

    • Hanni
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jane,

      I have a birding question for you. Near the beach today we saw two pied wagtails. One of them was doing a really quite impressive display with its feathers. The other was ignoring it. Mating dance? Display of aggression? I know this isn’t a lot to go on. It was just rather nice to watch.

      • Jane
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        Hi Hanni – yes, I reckon he was doing his best to impress and she was just playing it cool. Sensible girl! She was hanging around though, so she was probably interested.

        • Hanni
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

          I like her style. Though to be fair they could both have been males if my knowledge were to be relied upon.

          Have you voted on Britain’s national bird?

  13. Brian
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward but very enjoyable nonetheless.
    Last in was another pesky 4 letter clue, 28a. Best clue for me was 23a which I thought v clever. Now 3/4 way through the Toughie but stuck!
    Thx to all.

  14. Senf
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    After a few days off because of travels over Easter this is just what I needed to get back into solving mode. Easily finished before lights out last night. No problems and no stand-out favourites.

  15. SheilaP
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Lovely Tuesday crossword which we finished without the need of help from Gazza. More multi worded answers which we like. Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza. Now to go along to our local recycling site with stuff from the garage clear out. A regular occurrence at our house.

  16. Angel
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Virtually R&W but I did finally hover a bit in the SW. Altogether rather uninspiring and IMHO none worthy of being a Fav. **/**. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  17. Sweet William
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter for a puzzle which I enjoyed even though it was on the easier side. Nothing wrong with that – for me at any rate. Has given me time to tackle the worst job of the year, jetwashing the paving ! Thanks Gazza for the review and hints.

    • Jane
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Oh – you just had to mention jetwashing, didn’t you. Borrowed said implement from a friend last year, prior to him taking over to lend to his son. Took me three days to clean the flagging, another three to clean up windows, house walls, guttering, fences etc.and a further 3/4 to get rid of the aches in the muscles.
      At the end of it all, I produced a four-page list of instructions for said son. Having read same, my friend said ‘I presume you’d like me to do yours for you next time?’.
      Strangely enough, he hasn’t mentioned it yet this year…………..

      • Sweet William
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Jane. Tomorrow’s job looks like something to do with conservatory windows, flower pots, garden furniture and anything else that got in the wayhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • Jane
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


    • Kath
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t even start me on pressure cleaning patios. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      In theory husband does it (am I having a laugh) but it takes someone nearly breaking their neck on what is a very slippery surface, including the steps to the kitchen door (the main way into our house) to make me get started.
      As for the cleaning up afterwards – well, enough said . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif again!
      Tomorrow, perhaps . . .http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  18. Graham Wall
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Well, after the Easter break it was good to return to a puzzle which was not taxing. I would rate this 1.5/2 There is a lack of humour in this one. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

  19. Ora Meringue
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one very much.
    Needed some of the hints for expalantion, but managed to get everything else without electronic help…..pride goeth before a fall again, I suspect…but we shall see what tomorrow brings.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  20. pommers
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    We agree with Gazza’s ratings for this one. Pretty much a write-in and no real laughs, but i did quite like 6a and 23a.

    Never heard of toy spaniels but the answer was pretty obvious. I now find it’s an alternative name for the King Charles Spaniel, also known as English Toy Spaniel, Blenheim Spaniel, Ruby Spaniel or Prince Charles Spaniel. One lives and learns.

    Thanks to the mysteron and Gazza

    • Jane
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the info. Pommers – I really thought it was just a rather disparaging description of those royally connected little dogs.
      Should have taken the time to look it up for myself. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • pommers
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Still not seen a swallow this year but keeping the eyes peeled as well as I can with a bout of conjuctivitis.
        I have to wear the specs at the moment as pommette has banned the contacts but the trouble is that the specs are about six years old and don’t work too well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif See what I mean?

        • Jane
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Now that really is weird – started with a bout of same only yesterday. Something’s obviously managing to cross the channel, even if it isn’t the Swallows!

          • pommers
            Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Apparently the swallows have crossed the channel or the Bay of Biscay but not stopped off in Spain.

            Sympathies about the eyes, not nice is it. I started with it on Saturday and it is now beginning to get a bit better and I might even try the contacts again tomorrow. Really must go to Specsavers for some new specs (there is a branch in Guardamar del Segura, I kid you not!).

            • Jane
              Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

              I see that your affliction did not prevent you from spotting today’s Warbler! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

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

                Indeed, but according to the DT site the puzzle is by Warble. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • Kath
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          pommers and Jane – has it occurred to either of you that you may have an allergy rather than conjunctivitis – lots of lovely flowering stuff out at the moment . . . just a thought.

          • Jane
            Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Ah – you could just be right there! Certainly worth a thought.

          • pommers
            Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Only one eye affected and it’s pommette that’s allergic to olive pollen, but a good thought.

            • Jane
              Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

              It’s my right eye – any chance we’ve got a working pair between us?

              • pommers
                Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

                Yup, it’s my left. I’m thinking that if pommette won’t let me use the contacts tomorrow I’ll put one in my right eye and take the right lens out of the specs. Sounds like a plan to me!

                • Jane
                  Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

                  Sounds like a potential headache to me – that’s if you don’t fall over something first. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  21. Shropshirelad
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Pretty much a stroll in the park which allowed me to get out in the sunshine (once the mist had burnt off) and give the garden a much needed tidy. No particular clue stood out today except , perhaps, for 23a as it was a well respected tradition in the RN – alongside ‘beer o’clock’. Those were the dayshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Thanks to the Tuesday Mr Ron and Gazza for his review.

    Now, talking of beer o’clock……….

  22. Derek
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward solve today!

    Faves : 9a, 20a, 11d & 17d. No connection with South Dakota for 17d!

    3d was a good laugh – it is years since I made tea in a teapot – use teabags in a glass and add really hot water – one of my friends is agin use of boiling water!

    • Merusa
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back, Derek, you’ve been gone a long time!

    • Franco
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Derek, nice to hear from you again.

      What’s on the menu this evening?

  23. Merusa
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    No argument with Gazza’s rating. Fave was 23a, remembered the film The Sundowners in the 1960s, I believe.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  24. Poppy
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Managed to complete this before setting off for a major reunion and a sunny walk by the Thames. Love all the banter. Thank you Gazza and setter for hints and puzzle. And I knew not to get too excited that I’d finished it without help, as experience has taught me …. and sure enough, most of you thought it was a walk in the park! One day I’ll agree!

  25. mebebob
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward enough but there were several answers that had to be what they were but not within my accrued knowledge span. Especially 23a – never even occurred to me that Victorian was more Aussie than Queenie.

    • Jane
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Nor me, mebebob – just remembered the drink and thought it had a vaguely Aussie twang to its name. We live and learn! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  26. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Great crossword.
    Even more enjoyable than the toughie.
    1a made me laugh because in France we use the same expression and it comes from a time when one was asked about the state of his or her bowels. If your pooh is ok then you’re ok.
    3d brought back memories but I only remember “run for your wife” from that author. I don’t think I ever saw “one for the pot”.
    Keeping in with the theatre, I’m glad to see that Jane is our own Shirley Valentine.
    As Dutch I didn’t bother to check the Caribbean island and even worse I thought the IS was short for island. The answer was quite obvious.
    Favourite is 19d.
    Nice to see Derek back on the blog. I still laugh at his joke about Wrapping up BD’s verm !
    Thanks to Gazza and to Mr Ron.

    • Jane
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jean-luc,

      Re: 1a – having just emerged from the Toughie I was wondering how on earth the French had come to equate bowel movements with a three-point-turn. Actually, come to think of it…………!

      As for the Shirley Valentine bit – have to confess I was only 21 and newly married. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


      • Liz
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Jane…. Just had my first glance at today’s Toughie…..thanks for 1a . Having read your above comment I didn’t even have to think about this one… Cheers.

        • Jane
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Oops! Sorry, Liz – but, believe me, knowing that one just gives you a false sense of achievement – there’s plenty more to come! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  27. Heno
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, there were a couple of Americanisms, but I’d heard of them. Got 3d from the wordplay, but didn’t know it was a Brian Rix farce. I was taught to add 3d when making tea. Favourite was 14d,a real penny drop moment. Last in was 2d. Was 2*/3* for me. Nice to see the sun in Central London. Spring has finally sorung.

  28. Liz
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one and only got a bit held up inSW corner on 14d ( head lights? Rear lights? Left luggage? ) eventually used the hint for it and everything else fell into place ….more or less. I liked 13 a and nearly got thrown (not by the mare) but by 21 down… Trying to fit in ‘burnish’ instead of varnish!! I had never heard of a toy spaniel either…lots of other kinds, springer ; cocker; clumber; Sussex as well as the King Charles….This was a **/*** for me………dare I try the Toughie? Feeling a bit apprehensive after last week but hey ho why not? Lovely here in North Norfolk wonderful sky, sea and sand, but still a chilly breeze as usual…… The Spanish Plume needs to move over to the right a bit and then we’ll be OK! Thanks to setter and hinter.

  29. silvanus
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    A puzzle of two distinct halves…..right side straightforward, left side somewhat less so, but not sure why that was the case !

    24a, 11d and 17d were my personal favourites.

    I got the drink for 23a without knowing the Australian connotation, one to remember methinks.

    Many thanks to the setter and double-duty Gazza.

  30. Hilary
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant day in Suffolk albeit slightly misty. OH doing mysterious things in garden while I dealt with crossword. Some fun things today which made me smile and 3d probably favourite although the tea we are using at present does not need it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  31. collywobbbles
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle with some clever clues, eg 14 & 19d. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza whose hints were very useful for confirmation in what has been an easy puzzle

  32. Marky Mark
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Pretty easy I guess but still couldn’t complete it without looking at these tips. Never heard of Organdie

    • gazza
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your alias since your last comment. Both aliases should work from now on.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Try this link for a mention of organdie:


      I’m not clever enough to embed the video clip itself directly into the blog.

      • Franco
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


        Think we’ve been here before … I always thought the lyrics were pressed an Organ D

        Nice song though!

      • Jane
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Hi RD – I really enjoyed the S & G reminder, thank you.
        Made me smile when I realised that one of the tracks could be a great help to those struggling with the MPP! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  33. RichardW
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward enough today, but I must remember the old chesnuts at 6a and 7d which were last in….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  34. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    We seemed to just race through this one. Just needed a quick check on the Caribbean island and the Portuguese port to confirm the answers we had put in. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

  35. Hanni
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink


    No horses scared today. Did help that I’d heard of the island in 20a because I struggled with the word play a bit. Didn’t help that it took an age to see the anagram in 29a. Hey ho.

    No stand out clues but enjoyable nonetheless.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging.

  36. Miffypops
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Late to the puzzle. What was it for? R & W all the way. Not particularly satisfying. Unlike the crib. Green Man 5 – 2 Bibl Club. The BIBL won the league with the same number of points as us last year but a better goal difference. This year we have done the double over them. Three to go. Oh dear!

    • Hanni
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      What’s the league table and upcoming games looking like? I know you’re still on top.

      Nail biting times MP. Hope your games went well?

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        I played with Captain Cobley in the pairs. We oh so narrowly lost the first leg but won the next two from impossibly behind. Never ever pair on the end game. Mrs Cobley led a nine and John paired it as a nine was the turn up card and he had another nine in his hand. The chances of me tripling that nine was remote enough for him to take the pair. I had the fourth nine. 27 for six and a go for seven match winning points. Never ever pair on the endgame. three to go. The championship is ours to lose.

        • Hanni
          Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

          I like you. I look forward to your posts. However I’ve never played Crib so a lot of that was lost on me.

          I’m guessing never end on a pair. Nine was important tonight and you played well.

          Well done. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          Hope the rest of the team are OK.

          • Jane
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:01 am | Permalink

            Glad you said that, Hanni. He’d already lost me in the previous post when he started talking about goals. I was beginning to think they were all playing blow football. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink

              No idea what’s going on with posts tonight. My last one disappeared?

              Jane I’m just glad it wasn’t ‘golf talk’.

              The current ‘talk’ in our house is about how a holiday will not revolve around golf courses. Not again.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

              • Jane
                Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

                You have my deepest sympathy. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      Well I do not play golf any more. I would get around a course in seventy three or seventy four shots and pay exactly the same as somebody taking ninety or a hundred shots. Surely they should pay more as they have had more goes. Add to that the type of people who run golf clubs, not my type.

      • Jane
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:03 am | Permalink

        Well – that’s telling ’em, MP. Actually, I’ve met a fair few curmudgeonly publicans in my time but that doesn’t mean to say that I’d tar you all with the same brush.
        Here’s a thought – try a different club?

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:35 am | Permalink

          I got used to a seven iron on the fairway, a four iron off the tee and a putter on the green. Never lost a game. Ever.

        • Hanni
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:36 am | Permalink


        • Hanni
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:40 am | Permalink

          Jane, the thumbs up was to your comment.

  37. Salty Dog
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    1*/3*, and 23a my favourite – a long time since l heard that term applied to a tramp. VMTs to Mr Ron and Gazza for the review.

  38. Hanni
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    That’s twice I’ve been moderated tonight?

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:30 am | Permalink

      It’s catching – same here.

      • Hanni
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:36 am | Permalink

        Having just read the Toughie page, haven’t looked at the puzzle, it begs a question…are you going to take Pommers up on his offer? You will be superb. Note that I’ve already used ‘will’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • Jane
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

          No Hanni – not ready for that yet. Anyway, Thursdays I’m out almost all day so don’t get to look at the puzzle until later on – how about you? As I’ve said before – you’re darned good at this xwording thing PLUS you can get pics & stuff onto the site. You’re talking to someone who still can’t master the art of ‘cut & paste’ and who, having been forced to get a new computer 18 months ago, paid out to get Windows 8 taken off and replaced with Windows 7.
          I kid you not. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:15 am | Permalink

            Hi Jane,

            Thank you for your confidence in me and kind words.

            But your confidence in misplaced. On Sunday, Easter Sunday I had an argument with Tim Moorey and Paul McKenna (Times). Of course neither of these fine setters had a clue I was struggling. Or worrying about roast parsnips.

            I can solve crosswords, but so often I lack the subtleties to pick out the finer points. I have no pedantism, even in what I write.

            But this blog has a higher standard. And so it should..”Putting the words to lights”

            I doubt you should worry about tech skills. You’re clever and adaptive. If you ever decide to blog here it will be worth reading. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            Just don’t test me on bird species. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  39. Tstrummer
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Straightforward R&W, although held up briefly by putting “Amis” for 6a (not even spelt right; I think all this electioneering is messing with my mind). Realised my mistake when “mu” couldn’t possibly be the Greek character. Ran out of beer, that’s probably why. Having to make do with Times Gin – splendid, but not the same as London Pride. Thanks to Gazza for the review (loved the spaniels – I’ll have three of them on the boat next week, all bonkers). Thanks, too, to the mystery setter – I did like the many-worded clues. 2*/\3*

  40. Gwizz
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a bit of a stroll in the park. Quite pleasant and not too taxing. My favourite clue was 2d and over all I’d say 1.5*/3*.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  41. Diane woodward
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Scorched the head off a figure (5,5) answer please

    • Posted June 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Diane

      I’m sorry, but this is not a site for solving random clues.