DT 27770

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27770

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Over Easter our clocks moved back to GMT plus 12 hours where they will stay for the winter. This means for us that it is not so dark in the early morning, but more importantly, we get access to the puzzles for solving and blogging at 11am instead of the summer timetable of 1pm.
Jay seems to have thrown in a couple of curve balls this week to keep us on our toes, but good fun as ever.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts on today’s puzzle.

Across

1a     Annoyed Britain had turned? (7,3)
BROWNED OFF : Two letter abbreviation for Britain, then a word meaning had or possessed, and then a word that might describe food that has been kept too long.

6a     Advantage given by most of soft luxurious fabric (4)
PLUS : Take a word for a soft luxurious fabric and remove its last letter.

10a     Bored FBI agent, dupe at heart? (3,2)
FED UP : A colloquial expression for an FBI agent is followed by the middle letters of dupe.

11a     Specially planned meals if in later stage of competition (9)
SEMIFINAL : An anagram (specially planned) of MEALS IF IN.

12a     Artist‘s record held by criminal courts (8)
SCULPTOR : The record is a 33 rpm vinyl and is inserted into an anagram (criminal) of COURTS.
images

13a     Give up the ghost on popular music genre (5)
INDIE : Start with the two letter word for popular, then a word for give up the ghost.

15a     Booster from European work jaunt (3-4)
EGO-TRIP : The abbreviation for E(uropean), a word for work or be in operation and a synonym for a jaunt.

17a     Affected by illness after fifty, help will be falling short (4,3)
LAID LOW : Roman number 50, another word for help, plus a word meaning down or falling short.

19a     Orders nothing new for shops (5,2)
TELLS ON : Shops here is a verb. A word for orders or informs is followed by the letter implying nothing and then N(ew).

21a     Mate, say, making a fuss (7)
PALAVER : A synonym for a mate, then a verb meaning say or state.

22a     Sort of grease left in English dish unfinished? (5)
ELBOW : The abbreviation for E(nglish) then L(eft) and a word for a dish with the last letter removed.
imgres

24a     Glosses over clothes that are worn out? (8)
TOPCOATS : A description of a type of clothes that are worn as outer garments.

27a     Leader suffering ordeal — it must consume one (9)
EDITORIAL : An anagram (suffering ) of ORDEAL IT with an extra I (one) included.

28a     Heading for the championship? (5)
TITLE : Double definition.

29a     Substantial order (4)
TIDY : Double definition. The first definition is often used to describe an amount of money. The second means in a proper condition.

30a     Escort said to be working in Coventry (10)
OSTRACISED : This is where one might have been sent, and is an anagram (working) of ESCORT SAID.
imgres

Down

1d     Altogether a knowledgeable enthusiast (4)
BUFF : Double definition. The first definition relates nicely to the picture we chose for 30a.

2d     Traditional tie may follow this (3-6)
OLD-SCHOOL : As the clue says, the word tie is often used to follow this expression.

3d     Friend from north-east state (5)
NEPAL : The same friend that we met in 21a follows the abbreviation for north-east.
images

4d     PC unhappily posted to protect king (7)
DESKTOP : An anagram (unhappily) of POSTED includes the chess notation for king.

5d     Wild about doctor concerned with thigh (7)
FEMORAL : A word that describes non-domesticated animals, or people who behave like them, has one of the many possible abbreviations for doctor included.

7d     Creased up in denial, with no answer (5)
LINED : It’s included in the clue, reversed, (up in a down clue), after the abbreviation for answer has been removed.

8d     Rivals were involved in trophies (10)
SILVERWARE : An anagram (involved) of RIVALS WERE.
images

9d     Refuse to accept former chemical company being authorised (8)
OFFICIAL : A word for refuse that is usually applied to the non muscle part of an animal carcass includes the acronym for a former chemical company.

14d     Payment agreed from small outpost (10)
SETTLEMENT : A double definition. We tried to make this a triple definition but it didn’t quite work that way for us.

16d     Carpenter’s requirement is opening up, going over assorted woes (8)
ROSEWOOD : A word for an opening or way into a house is inverted (up) and surrounds an anagram (assorted) of WOES to give a material that a carpenter might work with.

18d     Picks oneself up? (9)
LEVITATES : A cryptic definition of what an Indian fakir might do.
images

20d     Terrible twins grabbing computers, etc, and mugs (7)
NITWITS : The collective acronym for computers etc is included in an anagram (terrible) of TWINS.

21d     Common tree found around west of Urals (7)
POPULAR : A type of tree, best known by its tall slender variety,  has the first letter (west) of Urals included.

23d     Front line in tie (5)
BLIND : Take a synonym for tie or wrap tightly and include the abbreviation for L(ine). It is what a hunter or bird watcher might hide behind.

25d     What might measure the spirits of the viewer? (5)
OPTIC : Double definition. The first one you might well find in Miffypops’ establishment.
images

26d     Fix term’s ultimate objective (4)
MEND : Take the ultimate or last letter of term and add a word for an objective or goal.

30a gets our vote for favourite today.

Quickie pun  calf  +  hilly  =  Caerphilly

119 Comments

  1. Bluebird
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Apart from options with 23 and 29, found this quite straightforward.
    Maybe because I did it backwards…..?

  2. Una
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I agree about the curved balls. Kiwis., and the puzzle was all the better for that.I liked 21d, 1d,18d, and 24a amoung others.I never did get 6a , thanks K’s and Jay.

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    2*/3* today for an enjoyable and steady solve. 23d was my last one in simply because I spent quite a time before convincing myself that the answer could mean “front”.

    1a was my favourite; it was a delight to see such a brief but effective charade.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis. I did like your link between 30a & 1d!
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  4. Framboise
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Most enjoyable and problem free for me. Did not know the second meaning of 25d nor was I familiar with 13a but worked them out from the checked letters. Many thanks to the 2Kiwis (loved the picture for 30a!) and to Jay. 2*/4* with 22 as favourite with lots of lovely clues: 9d, 24a…

  5. Sweet William
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay. I always find it difficult to get started with your puzzles, but somehow manage to get there in the end – today no different and a sense of satisfaction, albeit with a lot of help from the electronic gadget etc. Thanks 2Kiwis for your review and hints. In your photo for 18d the fakir seems to be supported by something – or is just something on the table behind. He’s smiling anyway http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  6. dutch
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    A lot to like today, though my last one in was 23d (front line in tie) and like RD I spent a long time trying to convince myself without much success that the answer could mean front. Screen, ok, and screen is in brb, and a screen can be a front I guess, but I thought that was a synonym of a synonym and I didn’t really appreciate this unnecessary extra deviousness. Rest was fine, took me a while to get 18a (picks oneself up) and 24a (clothes that are worn out), both made me smile, great clues.

    Other favourites were 1a (annoyed britain had turned), 13a (give up the ghost..), 15a (booster..), 28a (heading for the championship)

    Did the crossword outside this morning – first time this year.
    Many thanks Jay and 2K

    struggling with Giovanni’s toughie…

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Yes we struggled with the Toughie too and still haven’t parsed 1d. Going to bed now so maybe it will occur to us before the morning. Cheers.

      • Vince
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        It seems as though Dutch is still unconvinced about 23d. I know I am! Can you explain how blind is synonymous with front?

        • crypticsue
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          A blind and a front can both be put up, literally and figuratively, to hide something from view.

      • dutch
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        this isn’t going to sound convincing, but when you hide behind a screen, you hide behind a front. Does that help?

      • dutch
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        toughie 1d I think is colloquial for xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        • crypticsue
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          We don’t talk about the ‘other puzzle’ on this page as otherwise we might spoil things for someone who hasn’t looked at it yet.

          • Jane
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

            As I inadvertently did yesterday. Sorry, CS. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  7. Ora Meringue
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed the top half of this but struggled with the bottom.

    Not sure I agree with the definition of ‘mugs’ in 20d or of ‘front’ in 23d…but I am very much a learner here so am willing to be shown the error of my ways.

    Really liked 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and to the Two Kiwis

    • Physicist
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I agree that they’re fairly loose definitions, but mugs are people who’ll believe anything, so not very bright, and a blind is a subterfuge or false front, I think.

  8. George
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Straightforward enough for me too. Nothing to really make a favourite – which I always have trouble with as everything is great if I can figure out the answer!

    2*/4* I think for me.

    Thanks to setter and 2K, of course.

  9. Paso Doble
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Really liked this puzzle. Lots of lovely clues. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. **/*****

  10. Miffypops
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I was blind to two answers in this tidy puzzle. Very enjoyable as always from Jay. The Harbury and District Crib league has The Green Man sitting at the top of the table after another fine win last night. Last night we beat last years champions ( same points as us but a better goal difference) the BIBL club. The Butchers Arms lost. We are six points clear with three games to play. Next week away to The Butchers . Then home to Shingly Saint Sharon’s lot. Finally away to Kineton Sports and Social club. One win for us secures the league. Oh dear!

    • Ora Meringue
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Well done and good luck!

    • Kitty
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I am hesitant to offer you any more words of support. Well done though. I am glad you won and hope you win next week. That should make things considerably less tense the week after.

  11. Miffypops
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Manners. Ta to all. And thanks for The Lady Godiva pic. She is all ours and we love her.

  12. happy days
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Good one, Jay! Bright and cheerful to go with the weather

  13. crypticsue
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Lovely and straightforward – thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

  14. SheilaP
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and finished without too much assistance. 1a was my favourite and 23d my least favourite. Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  15. Abe
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable and not too taxing unlike,in my youth,being sent to the corner shop for a jar of 22 across !

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Uh huh – did you fall for the ‘sky hook’ one as well?

  16. Shropshirelad
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and pretty straightforward fare today. My last in were 23d & 29a as I was trying to fit in ‘bow’ for ‘tie’ in 23d – D’oh! Thanks to Jay and the 2 K’s.

  17. Boxgreen
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    A fun puzzle which went in pretty easily until the very last clue – 19a. Even with all the alternate letters, I couldn’t fathom why it might be “TELLS ON” – shops remained a plural noun for me right up to checking this site! More lateral thinking required …. Thanks to compiler and the solvers above.

    • mebebob
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly, then a doh moment on seeing it as grassed up rather than retail therapy.

      • Liz
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Likewise

  18. pommers
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a tad trickier than Jay’s recent offerings but the usual enjoyable puzzle. We agree with the 2kiwis ratings.

    Can’t decide between 1d, 2d and 7d as favourite but they’re the three on the podium. 17a caused a large dent in the tea tray, I couldn’t get LAID UP out of the head, which neither fits the enumeration or the wordplay, d’oh.

    Thanks for the fun Jay and thanks also to the 2Kiwis.

  19. Heno
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis. A super puzzle from Jay, so well crafted. Top half went in ok, but I got stuck in the SW corner. Last two clues took a while, penultimate was 29a, had tall for a while, but changed it to the correct answer and 23d fell into place. Favourite was 2d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  20. Jane
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Yep – definitely a couple of ‘curved balls’ served up in this one! 2.5*/3.5* for me.

    1a – one of my infamous ‘half-parsed’ episodes. BR – fine but then I went for ‘off’ as ‘had turned’ which left me nothing for ‘owned’. I know, I know, wake up at the back!
    13a – thank the lord that MP wasn’t in the chair – dread to think what music we could have been treated to.
    15a – becoming rather a regular visitor over the past few days.
    29a – coupled with 23d, my last ones in. I took the latter to mean a deception. BTW 2Ks – we birders hide in hides or behind screens – maybe ‘blind’ is more prevalent in the shooting world?

    2d – got side-tracked for a while by thoughts of a wedding as the traditional tie.
    7d – SO wanted it to be linen – ‘creased up’ always has that connotation for me!
    12d – of all the lovely pics you could have chosen………..shame on you, 2Ks!
    20d – that pesky ‘w’ gave me a cold sweat for a while.
    25d – oh please – surely MP uses ‘free pour’?

    OK – I’m sure you all really wanted to know that lot! Favourite has to be 18d but closely followed by 24&30a plus 9d.

    Thanks to Jay for the goodies and 2Ks for supplying the logic.

    Giovanni + Toughie? Not sure there’s enough hours left in the day! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jane, I long for certain words to appear in puzzles so that I can share my favourite musical pieces with you all as with John Williams playing the wonderful Guitar Concerto by Rodriguez.. i long for the word Trout for Schuberts Trout Quintet. Or Lark for Vaughan Williams Lark Ascending. I can only work with the words that are there but I will try to choose some clips on Monday that might be more to your taste. Meanwhile here is a clip that will warm the cockles of your heart.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Stunning performance.
        And the sound is so good.
        Thanks for that.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Jane
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Brilliant MP – wish I’d been there. Did you notice how people smiled and relaxed?

        • Jane
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

          Just had to watch it again! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          • Miffypops
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            That would be view number 46,451,291 then? Wow!

            • Hanni
              Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

              Have you two seen the Handel one of Zadok the Priest in a supermarket? It’s rather good. However the director of the ROH flash mob featuring Verdi’s Nabucco, should be summarily executed.

              NB can’t post links as I’m typing on my phone. DOMS is making it hard to move to get my laptop.

              • Jane
                Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

                Just watched the Zadoc – one of our more ‘colourful’ shoppers looked as though he thought it was possibly something that the store put out on a regular basis!

                • Hanni
                  Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:00 am | Permalink

                  Now that would make supermarkets tolerable. T-mobile at Heathrow is still my favourite flash mob. Some great reactions to their singing. Worth a watch Jane.

      • pommers
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

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

      • Tstrummer
        Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Is Rodriguez any relation to Rodrigo?

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:56 am | Permalink

          Smarty pants.

  21. Gwizz
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    A steady solve for me today, well what I mean is a rapid start at the top followed by a slowing down as I got lower in the grid. 1d was my favourite I think, and 2*/3* over all.
    Thank you Jay and thank you 2Kays for your fine review.

  22. Merusa
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Good and enjoyable puzzle but I found it decidedly tricky. Like M’pops, I never did get 23d or 29a, not even close. I didn’t know the other meaning of 25d but I just put it in anyway.
    Fave was 1a, loved 2d as well.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for the excellent review, and helping me to finish.

  23. Brian
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else find this absolutely dreadful today apart from me. The clues are so bad it’s difficult to know where to start. Disliked 19a followed by 9d (offal includes liver and kidneys which are delicious and certainly not refuse), 1a had for owned oh come on!, but the worst is probably 23d, the wordplay is ok but front for blind?
    For me nothing fun and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx of my life I won’t get back again!
    ********/-1*
    Thx to Kiwis2 for the hints.

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Right back on form, Brian. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  24. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    At least I didn’t need to spend too much time on this one as the toughie took most of my free time.
    1a made me laugh. Being election time, it could be interpreted as what happened to the last labour PM but probably more suitable in another paper. I’ll say no more.
    I was also surprised to find the synonyms of 23d and 29a but for the latter I remembered the expression tidy sum or tidy amount.
    For 20d, we had Figwit on Monday Nitwit today. What’s to come next? Gitwit maybe!
    Remembered ICI also. They used to make everything. They had fingers in more pies than Fray Bentos.
    Thanks to Jay for a wonderful puzzle and to our 2kiwis for the review and maybe one day beach cricket will catch on.

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jean-luc,

      As for the ‘wit’ syndrome – the only other one I can think of is unlikely to appear in the pages of the DT!
      ICI had a huge ‘territory’ close to where I used to live. I have attended some very memorable evenings there – hired ballgowns, huge sweeping staircases for posing on, incredible food, great bands………… those were the days! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • pommers
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        You don’t by any chance mean Mereside/Alderley Park with the Stanley Arms pub on site?

        • Jane
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          I certainly do – that wasn’t you again, was it!

          • pommers
            Posted April 9, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

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

      • Hilary
        Posted April 9, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        Oh no I worked at Alderley Park.

  25. Salty Dog
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Even though l arose ridiculously early to return my boat to her proper element, this one went in quite swiftly – hardly out of 1* time. So, to be scrupulously honest, l must award 2*/4*. The high score for enjoyment and/or satisfaction was because of some nice clues (1d and 21a both stirred this grim old sea dog to a smile). My thanks to Jay, and of course to the 2 Ks.

  26. Kitty
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Either this was a lovely gentle one from Jay or I woke up for once with a fully functioning brain. Whichever was the case, it was handy since I didn’t have much time available this morning. What time I did have was filled perfectly and made much more pleasurable by this excellent crossword.

    The top half went off smoothly but the bottom put up a little more resistance.

    1a is very simple and effective. See also 28a.

    If neat misdirection is your thing, 19a is for you. Also, 21a where say seemed to indicate a homophone or definition by example.

    13a is what I suspect many of us here have done! Even more so if it were okay to leave the final word off the clue, but that would make the definition a little loose. Shame.

    Like pommers I took a while to see the second word of 17a except there was a different word I couldn’t get OUT of my head.

    22a made me laugh for similar reasons to Abe at comment 15.

    Loved the 30a picture, and loved the way you incorporated it into the following hint. Smoothly done. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Favourite? It’s a toss-up between 1d and 5d. I think I shall go 1d.

    2Ks, I read the hints in a different light now. You have an effortless style which of course is very hard to achieve. Thanks for the good work. Many thanks to Jay too.

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      OK Kitty – you’ve got me. What was your alternative for 17a? If you daren’t say, then just tell me what checking letters you had in at the time! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

      • Kitty
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Oh I didn’t have an alternative, Jane. Just couldn’t get other laid … phrases out of my head. Laid out I knew was wrong but it was stuck there in my little brain preventing others from entering. Laid off knocked on the door, but was also obviously wrong. Eventually I saw where I had been falling short and kicked myself.

        • Jane
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Oh dear, Kitty – call me a dreadful old woman but the first few words of your second sentence put me in mind of Mr. K’s current absence.
          Off to hang my head in shame. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            Jane! What with that and your comment to JL at 24 above, I think you just might be in the running for the “naughtiest person on the blog” title!

            • Jane
              Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

              Or maybe just the one who doesn’t give a …. about putting it into words? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • pommers
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Less kicking – more tea tray. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            I tried that, but it hurt. Should probably have taken the tea off it first.

            • andy
              Posted April 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

              my samovar toppled ;)

              • Jane
                Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

                Isn’t that the thing the guy in 18d was sitting on?

                • Kitty
                  Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

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

                • Mr Kitty
                  Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

                  Brilliant!

  27. Liz
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Feeling quite pleased with myself as I managed to do over half this puzzle during my coffee slot, then had to leave the rest to go to work! Still managed to finish it without having to use the hints – apart from 19a which I confess I had look up the answer. Yes, I was thinking of retail therapy…… My favourite occupation……apart from crosswords of course. I liked 5d…. Got this without even working it out due to medically related background…and my other favourites were1d, 18d, 20d, 22a…..however best favourite was 21a ‘Palaver’….what a great word….one of my favourites along with ‘fisticuffs’ and ‘hullabaloo.’……they always make me laugh whatever the context!
    A very enjoyable puzzle, some great clues and not too much hair tearing today. Thanks to setter and 2Ks. Toughie here I come!…….. I

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Hope you make more headway with the Toughie than I’ve done, Liz. 6 definites and three possibles is my score to date!

      • Liz
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Complete failure on this one! Total eclipse of the brain I’m afraid (with apologies to Bonny Tyler…. It was her wasn’t it?.?) anyway, I ‘m not downhearted as everyone else seemed to find it hard too. I’ll have a crack at tomorrow’s anyway.

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely correct Liz

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Good morning. Out of bed now to see what has been happening overnight. It looks as if most people, like us, found the SW corner the trickiest one.
    Peering out the window into the dark it appears that the much needed rain that started yesterday is still falling. Doesn’t look good for Thursday golf. Ah well, there’s always crosswords to do. Cheers all.

  29. pommers
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    One for Jane . . .

    Saw 4 swallows in the village this afternoon so they’re back, Spring has sprung http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif. Hmm, suppose it could have been the same one four times but whatever.

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      How did the one contact, one lens work out?

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

        Chickened out. Still wearing the specs until pommette says it’s OK but I really struggle to read the computer. Keep having to do Ctrl+ so I can see things properly.

        Specsavers after our UK trip methinks.

      • pommers
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Sorry forgot to ask. How’s the eye? Mine’s almost back to normal after a load of Optrex something-or-other drops recommended by local pharmacist. Back to the lenses on Saturday I reckon. Then trip to town market and coffee, brandy, crosswords and watching the world go by in the town square – but perhaps not as the forecast is for rain on Saturday morning. Boo . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        • Jane
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Think I’ve been given the same stuff – not bad after the first few minutes of blindness!

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

            Lots of this blindness going round. I wonder what might be the cause.

            • Jane
              Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

              Kitty – just STOP it!

              • Kitty
                Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

                Just wondering. Because inexplicably, my eyesight is fine.

                Okay, okay, I’ve finished. Going to sleep now. Goodnight all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          I thought Optrex might have been the answer to 25d but it’s got too many letters :wink:

          • Jane
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

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

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

      Two swallows today.

      • pommers
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Beer or birds? :lol:

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I saw a fair few swallows not long ago. Quite amazing.

      • Kitty
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Yes, they were.

      • Jane
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        It seems to be true what they say – we all watch birds (feathered variety, MP) whether or not we’re really aware of doing so.

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

          Birds are beautiful and compelling and delicious. I’m not good at knowing the different names etc. though. Haven’t got the head for it.

          • Mr Kitty
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            You are too modest. Your head is awesome.

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

              Stop it, you two – I’m going to get banned from the blog soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

              • Kitty
                Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

                I have no idea what you could possibly mean, Jane.

                • Jane
                  Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

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

              • pommers
                Posted April 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

                I’m beginning to understand what you used to get up to in the back row of the Tatton http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                • Jane
                  Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

                  Oh heck – you mean it WAS you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                  • pommers
                    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

                    I should be so lucky, but just maybe . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                    • Shropshirelad
                      Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

                      This is quickly becoming the most risqué blog ever. Long may it continuehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                    • Hanni
                      Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:05 am | Permalink

                      As Shropshirelad has said..great blogging today! However Pommers reply to MP, wins the prize for comment of the day. Outstanding stuff.

  30. Angel
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis. Not knowing much about baseball I’m not sure how to interpret 2Ks “curved balls” reference to today’s exercise although there were certainly a few teasers. North beat South for me apart from parsing 13a. Id Fav. ***/**.

  31. candida
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Has Miffypops got a pub? I am even more a fan!

    • andy
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Check out his Gravatar ;) He does indeed

    • Jane
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      You mean you didn’t know, Candida! Next you’ll be telling us that you’re not up to speed with his crib scores. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted April 8, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Miffypops play crib?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

        • Jane
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Not sure he looks upon it as ‘playing’ -suspect it could be far more serious than that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            Yes. The next three weeks may turn out to be.

            • Miffypops
              Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:01 am | Permalink

              The title can only be won by The Green Man or The Butchers.Arms. We have three games left and have to play each other. The only way The Butchers can win is for them to win their last three games and for us to lose our last three. If we win one game or they lose one game then it is ours. Simple.

              • Hanni
                Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

                Excellent news MP. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

                Did you ever find out about the lamb in pub situation?

                • Miffypops
                  Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:22 am | Permalink

                  Yes. We have a pub. there was a lamb in it.

                  • Hanni
                    Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:25 am | Permalink

                    Erm. Right. Thanks.

                    • Miffypops
                      Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

                      The deceased worked for a farmer for a while. The farmer wanted to attend the funeral but couldn’t due to lambing commitments. he arrived at the wake dressed in overalls and muddy wellies to show his face and pay his respects. he had an orphaned lamb with him that could not be left alone. it is not the strangest thing to have happened in the pub but it is close.

  32. RichardW
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    2nd completed Jay in a row – he must be getting soft!

  33. Hanni
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    ***/****

    Not as easy as the past two days but all the better for it.

    23d and 29a were the last to go in..blimey I struggled with them.

    Favourite is 30a with 1a coming close.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwi’s for your excellent blog.

  34. Kath
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Too much “stuff” to do at the moment so now it’s too late to rabbit on at length, just for once.
    Busy all day so didn’t even look until early evening then friends here for supper. Have now finished crossword and clearing up.
    3* difficulty seems OK to me and I’d go for 4* for enjoyment.
    Very slow to get started – should have started with the down clues.
    I got completely stuck in the bottom left corner and everything I couldn’t do affected everything else I couldn’t do, if that makes any sense at all – it does to me.
    I spent too much time trying to justify “brassed off” for 1a – don’t know why.
    I liked 24 and 30a and 4 and 20d. Favourite was 1d.
    With thanks to Jay and the Kiwis – brain can’t quite cope with your time changes – it’s one of the many things that it can’t do!
    ‘See’ you all tomorrow – Ray T?

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted April 8, 2015 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      Hope so – then again you never knowhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      Too late to Rabbit on? So you Rabbited on? Good luck tomorrow Kath.

    • Jane
      Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      Oh please let it be a Mr.T. Out during the day but that would give me something to look forward to in the evening.

      As for 1a – I started out with ‘brassed off’ as well but when it came to the parsing I was left with ‘assed off’ to deal with so thought I’d better call it quits! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  35. Miffypops
    Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Well BD and 2Ks – is this what you expected your hints and tips for The Torygraph Ctryptic Crossword Puzzle to degenerate into? Well it has.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted April 9, 2015 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure “degenerate” is the apposite word. This blog is more entertaining than most of the electioneering I’ve been reading and editing today. It reminds me of of chapel meetings back in Fleet St days when we were supposed to be discussing pay or working hours and ended up going off on far more fun but ultimately unproductive rambles despite the desperate attempts by the FoC to keep us on message. I think BD – and all the bloggers – can be justifiably proud: he built a house and you lot have turned it into a village.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted April 9, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink

        Well said. We are in the process of working on today’s puzzles and keep getting interrupted by new comments on yesterday’s. All good fun. Cheers.

  36. Tstrummer
    Posted April 9, 2015 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay for a gentle but thoroughly enjoyable diversion before tomorrow morning’s radio duties. Not such an early start now that we and the Antipodes have adjusted our clocks to a more sensible time, but still work in the morning, which my ageing brain always struggles with. I guess 22a was my favourite, but I also liked 19a. Thanks to K-squared for the review and the informative pix.