DT 27771 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27771

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27771

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where winter seems to have returned. Cold and raining this morning.  Perhaps it’s just me but I’m not sure what to make of this one. It was heading for an easy-peasy one star when suddenly it was a bit like finding speed humps on the M6. Really slowed down towards the end.
Like last time I blogged there are a few rather stretched synonyms so perhaps we have the same setter again.  I’m pretty sure it isn’t RayT, who seems to have gone AWOL.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.
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.


8a           Return of Bette Midler netting very little money (4)
DIME:  An American ten cent coin is hidden in (netting) Bette Midler but be careful, it’s backwards (return of).  Oh well, it’s an excuse for a bit of Bette . . .

9a           Rage, showing passion — not feminine! (3)
IRE:  A synonym for passion without the F(eminine).

10a         Spirited revival of musical capturing dramatic ending (6)
ACTIVE:  Reverse (revival of) a Lloyd-Webber musical and insert (capturing) a C (dramatiC ending).  Not sure about the answer meaning spirited, Spirited, to me, seems to have a fair bit more oomph about it.

11a         Imaginative  kind of justice? (6)
POETIC:  Justice as in just deserts or fitting retribution.  I’ve put this as a double definition but it could easily be a cryptic definition.  Seems to work either way.

12a         Joy‘s rear reflected in mirror (8)
GLADNESS:  You need a word for rear as in stern and reverse it (reflected) and then insert into (in) a word for a mirror like the one Alice went through.  This word is in the dictionary but I don’t think it’s one I’ve ever used.

13a         Security for motorbike and sidecar? (11,4)
COMBINATION LOCK:  Cryptic definition of the piece of kit you would use to secure your motorbike and sidecar.  It’s years since I saw one of these. Do people still ride them?

15a         Bound to wear suit for cinema (7)
FLEAPIT:  A bound or jump inside (to wear) a word meaning suit or apt.  Reminds me of the Tatton in Gatley, happy days.

17a         Trainee model nude in Times, following Sun (7)
STUDENT:  It’s an anagram (model) of NUDE placed between two T(imes) and then all placed after S(un).

20a         Dressing, holding coat (8,7)
STICKING PLASTER:  A dressing for a small cut perhaps. It’s a word which could mean holding followed by a coat as in something you might coat a wall with.

23a         Credit restraining order for actor (3,5)
TOM HANKS:  To get the name of a famous actor you need to take an acronym for an order, not OBE the other popular one, and insert it into (restraining) a word of appreciation or credit and then split the result (3,5).

25a         To spare first learner abandoning crashed Allegro … (6)
GALORE:  To spare as in more than enough or lots. It’s an anagram (crashed) of ALLEGRO but without one of the L’s (first L(earner) abandoning).  I remember the Austin Allegro, or All Aggro as it was better known. Here’s one going sideways in a race . . .
Or, if you prefer, here’s Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger

26a         … Acura trundled, taking in road avoiding traffic (3,3)
RAT RUN:  This side road, usually though a housing estate, which people use to get round traffic jams is hidden in (taking in) the first two words of the clue.  Whenever I come across a bit of clue that makes absolutely no sense, like ACURA TRUNDLED, I immediately look for an angram or a hidden word.

27a         What might come in main  talk (3)
GAS:  Double definition, the first is a bit cryptic.  For once main isn’t the sea but a pipe which delivers stuff to your house.

28a         One’s tender in the same place (4)
IBID:  A Latin tag.  It’s I (one) followed by a tender.


1d           Lover go-go dancing around Italy and Luxembourg (6)
GIGOLO:  Lover or toy boy is an anagram (dancing) of GO-GO around the IVR codes for Italy and Luxembourg.

2d           Very contorted tree getting support that’s essential to staying upright (8)
VERTEBRA:  V(ery) followed by an anagram (contorted) of TREE and then a lady’s support garment.  I shall behave with decorum for once!

3d           Broadcast excusing arresting Italian, one that should improve the atmosphere (3-12)
AIR CONDITIONING:  A word for broadcast (3) followed by a word meaning excusing with IT (Italian) and I (one) inserted (arresting).

4d           Massive  grave (7)
WEIGHTY:  Double definition.  Massive as in heavy and grave as in of great import.

5d           One looking into past pressure over allegations ‘too corrupt’ (15)
PALAEONTOLOGIST:  Start with P(ressure) and follow with an anagram (corrupt) od ALLEGATIONS TOO.

6d           An alto can be discordant (6)
ATONAL:  Anagram (can be) of AN ALTO.

7d           Birds, the ones with possessions in the East End (4)
AVES:  The class of vertebrates comprising the birds is also how a Cockney would say the word meaning “the ones with possessions”, as opposed to those without.

14d         Caught working fiddle (3)
CON:  C(aught) followed by a word for working.  The fiddle isn’t a violin.

16d         Where Yank may park heap (3)
LOT:  Heap as in many or 25a.  It’s also where an American might park his car.

18d         Deny record’s flawed acoustically (8)
DISCLAIM:  A record or CD followed by four letters which aren’t a word but if pronounced would sound like a word meaning flawed or unsound.  I don’t like sounds like clues where the homophone isn’t a real word.

19d         Warming tale? (3,4)
AGA SAGA:  Cryptic definition of a tale about the British middle classes.  The label is typically interpreted to refer to “a tale of illicit rumpy-pumpy in the countryside” according to a 2007 article in The Observer.

21d         Band‘s implement seized, Spooner exclaims (6)
COHORT:  This band is a band of Roman soldiers perhaps. If the Rev Spooner was to say it it would sound like one of your garden implements has been seized or trapped.

22d         Insect or bug? (6)
EARWIG: Double definition.

24d         Stone‘s hip-hop album cut (4)
OPAL:  This gemstone is hidden (cut) in HIP-HOP ALBUM.

Some good stuff here but favourite is 13a for reminding me of rides in the sidecar on the side of a friends bike when I was about 17.  Used to scare the bejazus out of me as he’d bought the bike in France so the sidecar was on the wrong side!

The Quick Crossword pun: fission+chips=fish’n’chips

123 comments on “DT 27771

  1. I found this one quite difficult – some British references that I did not know – the order in 23a, 26a (although the anagram gave it away), the pipe in 27a, the cinema in 15a, 19d was new for me – so I struggled mightily.

    I would also say that you had better be rich if 3d is going to improve the atmosphere rather than your local room – the planet has a lot of it. For me a tenuous synonym although I see it is in Chambers but not something I as a scientist would endorse.
    I also question whether 25a means spare.

    Not much enjoyment for me with a thumping head from over-straining it!

    4*/1* for me, I am sorry to say.

    1. Hi George

      25a isn’t spare, it’s TO SPARE as in Money galore or money to spare. Not my favourite but it just about works.

        1. We didn’t like this either – galore, we think, means plenty which doesn’t necessarily mean you have any to spare! We only got it as it was the only word we could make from the anagram!

  2. I agree with pommers this was smooth sailing then I really struggled to get the last four or so – these were 12a (joy’s rear, which I think makes a lovely clue), 23a (the actor – l luckily guessed the actor before working out the wordplay, but it was my last one in), 21d (the spoonerism – often spoonerisms are easy, not so here!) and 4d (massive grave – a double definition that took me ages).

    Then I had to fight with the (alternative?) spelling of 5d (one looking into the past).

    all in all pretty tough for a back pager. The toughie was quicker today.

    Thank you setter for an enjoyable puzzle, and thank you pommers

      1. Re: speed humps. Residents on one of the 26a’s in Macclesfield pleaded with the council for years to have same put in on their road. Some time later, a petition was organised to request removal of same – the noise from drivers slamming on the brakes, bottoming their vehicles on the bumps and then accelerating off at speed to the next one was getting to be more than they could stand!

  3. Not easy by any means but very enjoyable. No surprise but the best for me was the clever version of the Spoonerism, not everyone’s cup of tea I know but they make me smile. 12a took some working out as did 25a not to speak of trying to spell 5d!
    Thx to all for a good workout. Now off the play golf in the sunshine. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

    1. I always like spoonersisms – but they can be tough sometimes. This one was one of my last in, but I thought it quite clever.

  4. Where has Ray T gone?

    Today this was 3*/3*, and I agree totally with pommers and dutch – this was plain sailing through most of it then grinding to a halt, particularly with a handful in the SW corner.

    Two comments regarding 25a. (1) Isn’t the word “first” unnecessary? (2) I definitely prefer Pussy.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to pommers.

    1. Hi RD, I’ve decided that as Mr. T does alternate Thursday back-pagers and was AWOL for his slot last week, we’ll have to wait for his return until next week. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      As for your comment re: 25d – Pommers has specified decorum today so I shall refuse to rise to the bait – tempting though it is! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  5. Some people will be pleased to know that I have made multiple attempts to solve the anagram at 5d. The answer was obvious but the correct spelling eluded me. I still have six to go including the Spooner clue. Golly bongs I hate Spooner clues. I am being bugged by 22d which I feel I should remember from the past or just see it anyway. 18d has made me homophobic (towards the homophone type clue) I am having massive problems with trainee nudes dressing whilst holding a coat. I do hope that Ray T is well. It has been a while since we saw him on the back page. Ta to all.

    1. Marvellous how getting that off my chest helped. I have just raced four answers straight in and am only left with the seriously massive spoonerism.

      1. The spooner fell. I still dislike them. Looked up 4d. Off now to see if pommers has managed to sink to the same murky depths as Miffypops.

  6. Groping up the girls in the Tatton in Gatley and zooming around in a wrong sided combo. What fun pommers

      1. I used to live in Cheadle Hulme and Tatton at Gatley is tucked somewhere in the back of my memory. Also the name George springs to mind. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        1. Good grief – we’ll have to form a club! I lived in Cheadle Hulme for a few years, followed by a longer stint in Heald Green.

          1. Pommette’s mum lived in Heald Green for 20 something years beore moving to Gatley. We buggered off to Alsager in 1984.

        2. Don’t worry, Hilary. ‘George’ struggled to get 15a (see comment 1) so I doubt it was him!

  7. The SW corner was where we encountered most of our problems. Not having heard of 26a accounted for some of that. The long answers fell quite easily for us and this gave heaps of checkers which is always a big help. Plenty to keep us smiling.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

  8. Well I liked it!

    To be sure, there were a few I wasn’t so keen on (13a, 21d…), but if 21d left me with a rum taste in my mouth (but did also raise a smile) having held me up in the SW, it was worth it. For there was lots I really liked. Plenty of smiles and laughs. I was held up early on by being SERIOUS at 4d, but it was clear what and where 12a’s mirror was likely to be and with that in place I could find the joy. So that sorted that out.

    It may be boringly predictable that 12a, 17a and 1d made me laugh, but so did 18d. So there. 18d did take a while to fall, so maybe pommers is right to dislike the non-word homophone.

    The first word of 19d passed me by and I never did get 15a either. I would have left it until later and had another go at it, but my fingers were itching to leave a comment. This blog is too addictive. Grr!

    25a reminded me of a recent suggestion by Tstrummer. There will not be any blogs by Kitty G, I’m afraid.

    My alternative idea for 27a had too many letters. Psh.

    Hopefully last week was just a little Ray T holiday and he will be back in his usual slot next week, but I for one would be happy to see more of this setter in between.

    Thanks setter, and thanks to pommers for the review. Rather restrained I thought. Not like in the comments!

    1. Hi Kitty,
      Re: your alternative answer for 27a. At least you knew how to spell it – think I’d have to look it up, as I suspect there are several variations. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. Wow. While I’ve been away, the blog has gone spooning mad!

        No idea what your idea is for 27a, but my first thought was easy enough to spell. There was something else on the tip of my tongue, but it’s gone now.

              1. I have no idea what you mean. People keep accusing me of things. I am completely innocent.

              2. Can’t think what you’re talking about, Pommers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                How’s the vino going down – your spelling’s going AWOL. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                1. Yes – decorum IS the order of the day, it’s just that Rabbit Dave hasn’t come up with the clue yet so none of us are sure about the wordplay.

  9. Well I didn’t like it at all and I gave up half way through.Too many bad puns.Thanks pommers for taking me out of my misery.

  10. I really loved this – 2/3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Getting the two long down answers quickly (confess to looking up spelling of 5d) helped as much as not getting the two long across answers hindered.
    After reading all the across clues through once I had about three answers so I couldn’t say I got off to a quick start.
    I got a bit fixated on the order in 25a being an OBE so decided that the actor’s first name had to be ‘Bob’ – wrong again.
    17a took ages for some reason and so did 21d. Missed the hidden answer in 26a for far too long – had the answer but even then didn’t see it. Oh dear!
    I know I’m in the minority but I like Spoonerisms.
    I’ve got little red blobs all over the place – no, I haven’t got chicken pox – they mean the clues that I liked – 11, 12 and 13a and 2, 21 and 22d. My favourite is in amongst that lot.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and thanks and well done to pommers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    The picture for 13a looks absolutely terrifying – motorbikes are bad enough without “bits on the side”, if you’ll all pardon the expression!

    1. I like Spoonerisms too, and I thought this was a fine example. I was also in the OBE camp and spent some time trying to think of an actor called Bob or Rob.

      1. Puzzles in pencil because then when I make a mistake – wrong answer or right answer in wrong space, or whatever – I can rub it out!
        Red blobs go beside the clues I like best.

  11. I enjoyed this. First time this week I have finished early, or started at all due to the overexuberance of two young grandchildren, one of whom was 4 yesterday. In Sunny Cornwall sitting on the terrace while said grandchildren are out but had to come in to use the Ipad. It was not the SW that foxed me but the SE took me longer. I got the answer to 21d without really getting the Spoonerism. Did not like 18d. Struggled with 25a but think it is a very clever true. Do not use that word very often these days but absolutely means to spare when used with a noun. Oh dear children back. Absolutely glorious weather here in Cornwall.

      1. I think I recall your mention of Devoran before. We go there sometimes to the pub whose name I forget. My husband also used to go and visit a boatbuilder by the name of Ralph Bird who built gigs.

        1. The Old Quay Inn. Nice place and only about 100m from ma’s place. I’ll be in there all evenings from 22 to 25 April.

          1. Good grief, Pommers, this is all getting a bit spooky. Soon we’ll be finding out that we’re all related.

            Not sure about Devoran, but I can claim allegiance to Fowey if that adds another dimension to the ‘family tree’.

            1. It’s not that bad. I’m sure BD could unearth the relevant stuff but about three years ago I exchanged comments on here with the guy who lived in our house in Cheadle Hulme. Now that was Spooky with a capital S. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

              1. Actually, I’ve noticed that BD absents himself from appearing on the night shift……ooh – The Commodores. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

                    1. Sorry – posts catching up with themselves as we speak!

                      Hi, BD – I’m being extremely decorous tonight. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

                  1. Yep, you’re right, Pommers – that was definitely Spooky!

                    By the way – interesting to read posts from way back, such a shame that so few of the commenters are still on the blog – good to see that both Kath & yourself have soldiered on!

                    Another ‘by the way’ – you mentioned Tom Sharpe. I have the entire collection – wonderful stuff!

                    1. Just as an aside here. We paid Dennis £12k for the house. Sold it for £30k and they now change handes for over £275K. Has the world gone barking mad?

                    2. I couldn’t agree more about Tom Sharpe. Non-stop, politically incorrect hilarity (with not much decorum in evidence).

                  1. Probably best I don’t write about my favourite spoonerism after that pic from 1984.

                  1. I’m speaking in hushed tones here – some of the comments are coming up with ‘permalink’ but no ‘reply’ option. Is that BD’s way of saying ‘shut up’? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

                    1. No, it’s just that there’s a limit to how many indented replies a comment can have. I think it’s 10 levels but I may be wrong.

        2. Wow – probably a silly co-incidence but I wonder if your Ralph Bird was ever a boat builder in a tiny village called Little Haven in Pembrokeshire? He also used to sell fishing lines and all that kind of stuff. I loved his place – it used to smell of tarry ropes and everything that went with being by the sea.

        3. Forget previous comment – he was called Gerald Bird – just got the first name wrong but it did at least have three letters in common – ‘RAL’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  12. Thank you setter. I found that quite difficult and needed your review Pommers to assist with some wordplay explanations. There were a couple of “bungitins” which needed decoding – so thanks for your help.

  13. I’d say this was ****/***. I couldn’t get 4d and also struggled with the spelling for 5d. Took me ages…

  14. ***/**** for us. Really enjoyable with some lovely clues. Especially liked 15a. Like Miffypops, the spelling of 5d gave us some problems and we had to resort to google to get it right. Thanks to Pommers for the review and to the setter, whoever he/she may be. Joke: Manchester United decided to put out a team of insects. The centre forward was an earwig and he chose the no. 0 for his shirt. When he scored, all the fans chanted ‘Earwig -O, Earwig-O, Earwig-O’.

  15. Not exactly a walk in the park today! Had to call on electronic assistance and use the hints for one or two. Didn’t get 19d…..although I did have ‘aga’ as the first word early on then abandoned that train of thought and tried to fit ‘egg flip’ in, ……(why??……I’ve no idea!). ….never heard of Aga saga…….one for the note book I think. I didn’t really like the spoonerism either…..a bit too subtle for me. I liked 18d and 2d, but favourite was 15a……..we used to have one of those in Cromer up here in Norfolk, but now it’s morphed into a 3 screen modern establishment so no longer qualifies as such. I think I might give the Toughie a miss today after yesterday’s brain faze.

    1. Oh forgot **/*** for me today, thanks to setter and to Pommers for some good hints.

  16. Not my cup of tea at all. Liked 13a and didn’t like 25a or 7d. Thank you to the Thursday setter and to Pommers.

    1. Pommette’s mother lives there. She’s in Ashbourne house care home now but previously lived in Homebeck House next to the Church. We used to live in Cheadle Hulme.

      1. NEVER, Kath. You are quite the most wonderful ‘mate’ on the blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        By the way – I reckon it could be Mr. T next Thursday!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          1. Not me then, perhaps it’s pommette’s mother, but I wouldn’t wish her on my worst enemy. Well, perhaps that might be about right for my worst enemy.

            1. Ouch! You just might be needing to recoup Brownie points, Pommers – unless, of course, Pommette has gone to bed, doesn’t ever read back-dated blogs and you’re sure you can trust the rest of us to keep quiet. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

              1. Not even I would wish my mother on my worst enemy.
                Ahhhh hmmmm maybe – depends how bad an enemy they became!

  17. Sorry, but I’m going against the grain today. It is not a puzzle I enjoyed as there were several clues that were a bit ‘hit & miss’ and I really dislike Spoonerisms.

    So thanks (but sorry) to the setter and pommers for his amusing review.

  18. This was a bit of a struggle; admittedly TOM CONTI didn’t help one little bit in 23a. So 19d therefore became awkward because it had to be EGG something….. D’oh!
    I am trying to think whether I use 25a in everyday speech; I think I still do on occasion. I must be getting even older…
    4d was my favourite cos it took ages to dawn on me. 2*/3* over all.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and pommers for sorting out my thespians.

  19. I found this very tricky and never did finish the SW corner. Never heard of 26a or 19d, though somewhere in the recesses of my memory I think maybe it has appeared before. Otherwise I found it to be entertaining.
    Up to Edwardian times, it was not the “done thing” in polite society to talk of mirrors, it was a looking glass to just glass.
    My fave was 20a with honourable mention to 4d.
    Thanks to setter and to pommers for sorting me out in the SW corner.

  20. Really enjoyed this one and didn’t need to look anything up. Maybe my head was just in the right place but got through mostly without trouble; only the cinema, actor, band and 28a slowed me down towards the end. Not heard of 7d before but East End gave it away. Feeling satisfied :)

  21. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed the struggle, but found it very difficult. Had 14 left to solve and nearly gave up. I whittled it down to 4, and had to look at the hints, wouldn’t have got them in a million years. 11&15a,2&21d were all mysteries to me. Favourite was 19d. Was 4*/3* for me. I like Spoonerisms, but find them very tricky.

  22. Off out to supoermarket. Pommers cannot live on bread alone, he needs red vino collapso and olives http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  23. All was going well (apart from being another who had to check for that spelling of 5d) until I ran aground with 4 left to go. 10a I was convinced had something to do with either Annie or Cats, which meant that I was still looking for a specific bird species for 7d (owls, auks etc.). As for the 21d/23a combo – whilst Spoonerisms amuse me I can rarely come up with them so concentrated on getting the actor in first. That was a joke! Brain refused to look beyond OBE and do you know just HOW many actors have the first name Bob or Rob?
    Didn’t much like 4d – ‘weighty’ always implies ‘heavy’ to me rather than ‘massive’ which I think of as more to do with physical size.
    12a was fine as it reminded me of the Christmas Carol – As, with gladness, men of old etc.
    Really liked 11&13a plus 14&22d. 3*/3* for me.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and special thanks to Pommers for the memory lane pic. at 15a. Funny how the mind plays tricks – I remembered the entrance to that particular fleapit looking rather grander back in the day. Perhaps we just had lower expectations back then!

    There you are – comment completed in most decorous fashion. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  24. I loved it but couln’t quite finish – needed the hint for 19d and 21d (and thus to get the other part of the combo – 23a) and I’d needed electronic aid for 11a. (I don’t count using the dictionary for 5d but let’s just say that this wise precaution avoided a bit of crossing out.)
    When I did 12a (Joy – my favourite – and together with the solution is used every Epiphany about the ‘men of old’ according to a famous carol, pommers) I was sure it had been set by RayT on the wrong week but his other signatures were not there. Well done to whoever the setter was and thank you pommers for your help. 4*/4*.

  25. In each comment I could choose a bit with which I agree.
    I also had serious in 4d for a while, a hot saga and some vermin in 22d.
    Hated the spoonerism and the birds.
    I miss RayT.
    Thanks to pommers for the fun review.

    1. We all miss Ray T (except perhaps for Brian). It’s OK for him to have a little holiday but you would have thought he could have rustled up an extra puzzle before he left. Also, why has he started leaving Her Majesty out on occasions? I’m getting seriously worried about him. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      By the way, Jean-luc, you’re usually really on the ball with replies but I note that my suggestion following a recent Toughie seems to fallen on deaf ears! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Yes. Sorry Jane.
        I don’t think I am up to it just yet.
        And besides, I don’t automatically finish on time. And my explanations might need some further translation.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. Hopefully this translates OK – ‘don’t devalue your own currency’ Jean-luc. I have the greatest respect for your solving abilities. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  26. Oh no it’s Thursday. Definitely one of those days, nasty pile of ironing this morning, trying to write article without knowing word-count required. Reflexology this afternoon and back to typical, for me, Thursday crossword. Thank you pommers for sorting me out and thanks to setter for addling what little bit of brain I had left. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  27. I agree with much of what has been said earlier. I started off with no problems, but I’m always chary when this happens. I had to break off, and when I resumed, wondered if I’d suddenly lost the plot!. Am very relieved to find that Pommers and others have also found some of this puzzle a little tricky. I didn’t, however, need any help to complete it.

    I much enjoyed this crossword, rating it ***/****. Among the clues I liked especially were 11a, 12a, 28a and 19d. (This last has come up in a previous puzzle.) 5d was one of my first in, but I did check the spelling in a dictionary. I wasn’t sure whether 11a was a double definition or not, and in the end opted for its being a cryptic definition.

    I love RayT puzzles, too, but we also have some truly excellent Thursday puzzles from the ‘mysterions’. So a very big and appreciative thank you to today’s Mr Ron for a most enjoyable crossword.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    And big thanks and appreciation, too, to Pommers for the excellent review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Sorry, Catnap – I don’t think anyone intended to be disparaging about our other Thursday setters (I certainly didn’t). Frankly, I salute them all, the more so for having seen how our Rookies willingly offer their (doubtless much sweated over) puzzles, have them picked to the bone and still come out fighting.
      Would that I had half their talent, let alone that of those who achieve back-page status.

      1. We can join up with a Costa Blanca S & B when Jezza moves to Valencia. Sun, sea and Sangria. What am talking about, that stuff’s a desecration of good wine, they put Coca Cola in it around here, yuk http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  28. Initially I wasn’t too optimistic when I saw four three-letter words prominent in the grid, but just as one should never judge a book by its cover, a crossword should never be judged before it’s at least been attempted, especially if it’s allotted to Golden Thursday !

    This one I thought very entertaining indeed, with 15a, 23a and especially 21a (the Spoonerism) being my favourites. I hadn’t realised until today’s blog that Spoonerisms possess something of a Marmite quality amongst our readership, but I’ve always been partial to them. I think it might have been Ronnie Barker in The Two Ronnies, dressed as The Rev. Spooner, who once referred to someone as a “shining wit” !

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    1. I’m not keen on Spoonerisms in crosswords but there’s always the “Cunning stunt” (Kenny Everet?) but I don’t think anyone could get that past a crossword editor. I did say I would behave with decorum today but that hasn’t lasted very long :oops:

      1. I think you might find it was ‘Cupid Stunt’ – all done in the best possible taste of coursehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      2. OH – Pommers! I was trying SO hard to behave………..first there’s RD, then there’s Kitty and now it’s you. I shall endeavour to rise above it all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      3. Love your and Shropshirelad’s comments. Hope you are now supplied with plenty of red vino collapse and olives – you deserve them! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

          1. Art form. Strange it’s not often seen on this blog. (7)

            Sorry, best I can do after the vino collapso and olives.

              1. OK, but I would say in a blog that it’s not a real bird and should be indicated as such.

                1. No problem:-

                  The good lord welcomes legendary bird back to chasteness (7)

                  Makes me feel even better about myself (the bird) but sadly doesn’t keep me within Mr. T’s word count constraint.

  29. ***/***

    I made hard work of this by making stupid mistakes. For example putting ‘Air conditioners’ in for 3d wasn’t my finest moment. Nor was completely misspelling 13a. Its not that I don’t know how to spell it, I just wrote the wrong letters in.

    7 and 22d were my last in though in hindsight I’m not sure why.

    Many thanks to the setter. Hope Mr Ray is OK. And many thanks to Pommers for a great blog.

  30. Busy day followed by fruitless attempt to retrieve/add back e-mail on my IPad which I seem to have lost during visit to Germany. Fortunately desktop still receiving. Anyway after all that found today’s exercise quite demanding particularly in SW corner where Pommers saved the day with 23a and 21d – thanks for that. Had to concentrate for spelling of 5d. I sort of thank Mr. Ron! ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  31. For a while l thought l was on for completion well within 1* time, but some of the LHS clues slowed me right down. 2*/3*, then, and 19d my favourite. My thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the review.

  32. Good grief! The blog’s gone more eccentric than usual today. When I suggested that it was like a village, Royston Vasey was not where I had in mind. A welter of innuendo; a trip round northern suburbs that those of us in the dreaming spires of South London shudder at the thought of; a good beer/bad wine guide and memories of back-row groping in some grim Butterkist-infested fleapit round the corner from Coronation Street. Splendid. More of the same tomorrow.
    As for the crossword, I found it a bit of a curate’s egg – hard in places. My problems are very much the same as others have mentioned, so I won’t repeat them here, but quite a few stand-out clues. It took me 4* time to finish, partly because I couldn’t get away from “stocking elastic” for 20a, even though I knew it was wrong. My excuse is that my working day began at 8am and finished at midnight.
    Thanks to the Mr/Mrs/Msteron and to Pommers for a marvellous review and entertaining blogging thereafter.

  33. i am not sure whether all the comments on the blog are perhaps more entertaining than the crossword which i (sorry) thought a bit mundane and i don’t like actors in crosswords

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