DT 27772 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27772

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27772

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a beautiful sunny morning which is forecast to lead to the warmest day of the year so far.

We have a pangram from Giovanni today, which I found quite tricky – well into *** time, with 22d last in. Having said that, when I’d finished it, I wondered why it had taken so long.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Illumination needed, peacekeepers being involved in insult (8)
SUNLIGHT – Another word for an insult wrapped around the initials of the international organisation which can send out peacekeeping forces.

5a           and 2 Down: A male in charge with less feeling could be 79, thinking of gold! (6,6)
ATOMIC NUMBER – Put together A (from the clue), a man’s name, an abbreviation for ‘in charge’, and a word meaning ‘with less feeling’ (think local anaesthetic), to get a scientific term which is 79 for gold and 1 for hydrogen.

9a           Start trading, but with number not right (8)
COMMENCE – Take out the R(ight) form a word meaning ‘trading’, and replace it with N(umber).

10a         Quiet prayer exuding love in place with chaplain? (6)
PRISON – The musical symbol for quiet followed by an archaic word for prayer with the initial O removed (exuding love).

12a         Deal unwisely in public, getting what’s dear, terribly (9)
OVERTRADE – A word for open or in public, followed by an anagram (terribly) of DEAR.

13a         Sound bringing tingle, hard to miss (5)
TRILL – Remove the H(ard) from a tingle or sensation to get a musical sound.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

14a         Last character to come to a particular area (4)
ZONE – The last letter of the alphabet followed by a word meaning ‘a particular’.

16a         International organisation certain to be free (7)
UNBOUND – The same international organisation as in 1a, followed by a word which can replace ‘certain’ in the phrase ‘certain to be’.

19a         Winger in side cross and reported for being ‘agitated’ (7)
EXCITED – Put together the last letter (winger) of sidE, a cross-shaped letter, and a word for reported or quoted.

21a         Some walker turned back — arduous journey (4)
TREK – Hidden in (some) the clue in reverse (back).

24a         Demonstration of strength of spirit (5)
PROOF – Double definition: a demonstration of the truth of a mathematical proposition; or the measure of strength of an alcoholic spirit.

25a         Who are sacked, having got employment in store? (9)
WAREHOUSE – Anagram (sacked) of WHO ARE, followed by ‘employment’.

27a         A second kitchen item gone missing (6)
ASTRAY – Put together A (from the clue), Second, and something from the kitchen which could be used to serve breakfast in bed.

28a         Workers catching bus set out to be old-style breadwinners? (8)
HUSBANDS – Anagram (set out) of BUS inside one of the words for workers.

29a         Surpass the has-been tennis player, by the sound of it? (6)
EXCEED – A prefix denoting former or has-been, followed by what sounds like one of the tennis players expected to do well in a tournament.

30a         Yours truly having a fantastic feast? Food may come from here (4,4)
MEAT SAFE – A pronoun for ‘yours truly’ followed by A (from the clue) and an anagram (fantastic) of FEAST, giving somewhere food might have been kept in the days before refrigeration.

Image result for meat safe


1d           District with hill that’s dry on top (6)
SECTOR – Dry, as in wine, followed by a hill which may be found on Dartmoor.

2d           See 5a.

3d           Clumsy in gym, grabbing end of horse (5)
INEPT – The final letter (end) of horsE placed between IN (from the clue) and the initials of another way of describing gym lessons at school (no, not ‘cruel and unusual punishment’!).

4d           Form of therapy introduced into animal area (7)
HECTARE – The initials of a form of therapy involving electric shocks, placed inside an animal alleged to be mad in March.

6d           Revolver with something groovy on it? (9)
TURNTABLE – Cryptic definition of a device used to play recorded music when a lot of the readers of this blog were much younger.

Image result for turntable

7d           Feel the absence of wood, said to bring aura (8)
MYSTIQUE – This sounds like (said) a word for ‘feel the absence of’ and a tropical hardwood.

8d           Finish with trick element in crossword, word finally being nailed (8)
CONCLUDE – A word for trick or cheat, followed by the element of a crossword which is set out in the line above, with the final letter of worD inserted.

11d         Old King of France’s game spanning hours (4)
JEHU – An old king of Israel reputed to be a fast chariot driver is made up of the French word for game wrapped around Hours.

Image result for jehu

15d         From which you could get a Ted from a previous era (3,2,4)
OUT OF DATE – This is a reverse anagram, in that the answer contains the anagram indicator and the fodder, while a possible answer ‘a Ted’ is in the clue.

17d         Mode of transport to leak, we hear, on road (8)
SEAPLANE – A word which sounds like (we hear) ‘leak’ or ‘ooze’, followed by a country road.

Image result for seaplane

18d         Actor is beginning to corpse — awkward problem (8)
ACROSTIC – anagram (awkward) of ACTOR IS and the first letter (beginning) of C(orpse).

20d         The way characters here are going to be sad (4)
DOWN – … because this clue wouldn’t work in the Across section of this puzzle.

21d         Anguish brought by run going up over river (7)
TORTURE – A running gait, but not as fast as a canter, reversed (going up), followed by a river in North Yorkshire.

22d         Country making money (6)
GUINEA – Double definition: an African country; or 21 shillings.

23d         Writers with little English repeated thought in French (6)
PENSEE – Things you write with followed by two examples (repeated) of English.

26d         Uniform practice (5)
HABIT – Double definition, the first being the uniform of a monk or nun.

The Quick Crossword pun CORPS + SICKEN = CORSICAN

117 comments on “DT 27772

  1. Agreed with your Comments. DT It might have taken forever to get 11d without realising it was a pangram. I was thinking of all the French Kings I could. Nicely misdirected by The Don to whom I thank. Thank you DT for your blog which I will read later. Thanks to all the slightly bonkers and absolutely bonkers people who have made the comments on this weeks reviews great fun. You know who you are. All of you.

      1. Just above where you entered your comment it says “… if you are asking a question please check the FAQ first!” – so you can guess where to find your answer.

  2. Without spotting the pangram, I would have struggled to get 11d (my last one in).
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  3. Wow! and a pangram to boot (which helped me get my last one in, 11d, french game taking hours)

    Brilliant puzzle and quite hard. Each quadrant had its quirks, I managed NW, SW, SE and the last to be completed was NE. I liked 5a/2d (79), 15d (from which you could get a ted), 20d (the way characters here are) and 23d (thought in french) as some of the quirkier clues.

    This was much better than your average back pager, many thanks Giovanni, and thanks DT

  4. Aaagh – totally defeated by this one. I could only find answers to just over half of it today. Had to look at many of the hints above to make any sense of some of the clues – so thanks for those DT. I usually do not look at the hints as I regard that as a failure to solve the puzzle on my own – but desperate today to know what on earth those missing answers were!

    So 5*/2* is unfortunately what I come up with for a rating today!

    I will now go and have an extra cappuccino to make me feel a bit better after being so completely vanquished.

  5. Really enjoyed this one. I had to check the blog to make sure my answer to 18d was correct as I think ‘problem’ is not the meaning of this word. ‘Puzzle’ would be more accurate. My favourites were 9a,19a and 15d as being rather clever clues. 11d took a bit of research. Thanks to setter and DT

  6. 4*/1*. Absolutely awful. Obscurities galore. Clunky and long winded charades. A long list of dislikes including 10a, 19a, 25a, 7d, 11d, 15d & 23d.

    It just goes to show how much of a crossword addict I am to keep subjecting myself to this every Friday.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

    P.S. Sorry to be so grumpy today. I’m sure I’ll be fine again tomorrow.

    1. This was a complete fail for me. Got less than half of it before reaching for help and even then it took ages ! I did at least get the OT king though…

      Toughie way more enjoyable today.

    2. I’m going to be controversial. 11d was unfair in terms of the checking letters IMHO. Else, I actually enjoyed this. *runs for cover*

      1. Come on Andy – the French word for game around ‘h’ for hours. How many checking letters do you need?
        Sorry, on a different day I guess I could have been the one pleading lack of fairness.

  7. Wow really enjoyed that even if it took me longer than usual. 4* time for a backpager and 5* for enjoyment. It went in as 4 corners in order NW, SW, SE, NE with 8d my final answer. Thank you Giovanni and DT

    Have a great weekend one and all

  8. ***/****+

    Thank goodness for pangrams and the odd guess.

    Loved this. I had to look up 11d to confirm it was correct. Spent quite awhile justifying 21a before ‘seeing’ the hidden word. I then said a few swear words.

    Some incredibly clever clues but the stand out for the day is 7d. Brilliant.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for blogging.

    1. Somehow memory of this rubbish was the penny drop moment for me at 11d

      It should have been this

      1. The first clip is pretty bad, good to hear the second one though. Wonderfully odd lyrics and quite a few years since I’ve listened to that.

      2. OK, MP – I shall give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the name check was entirely co-incidental. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  9. Fridays are always my dimmest days – wrong wave length, at least I hope so. Nearer 4* for difficulty for me and 3* for enjoyment.
    I didn’t know the prayer in 10a and took ages to work out what the ‘winger’ was in 19a – thought we might be talking football here.
    The bottom left corner caused trouble almost everywhere and 15d would have been much easier if I’d spelt 29a right in the first place – stupid – I know how to spell it!
    I spent quite a while trying to make 16a end in ‘sure’.
    I liked 21a (it’s really coming to something when I like a hidden answer) and 3 and 8d. My favourite was 18d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Off to see if pressure cleaner still works so that I can clean patio – back later, if I don’t drown in the process. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Rule 1 with pressure cleaners is to give them a burst of activity every month. Inaction is the death knell of them.

    2. Hi Franco – can’t say I’ve ever resorted to getting the iron out, but I know what you mean!
      As for the Elkamere – think I might rest on my laurels over the Giovanni tonight and maybe give it a whirl over the weekend. Haven’t checked it out for creases yet! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. Don’t know why my reply has defected to Kath’s post – sorry and all that, bound to be my fault. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  10. Complete & utter failure for me can’t even blame a dose of man flue for my abysmal below par effort,I’m feeling quite depressed now time to hide away in a darkened room.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  11. I’m with Rabbit Dave. I hated this crossword. First pass, just one clue, Second pass, two more. Then I just stared and stared and stared. Then went back to sleep. Truly not on the wavelength of this one at all.

    1. That sums my views up nicely, Roger. Except I had to go back to work, not sleep!!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  12. This puzzle was very hard for me and worth 4*. I had to lean on DT a great deal so thanks very much for your hints

  13. The Don has been in great form this week … an excellent Friday back-pager to follow his Wednesday tougher-than-tough Toughie!

    Missed the pangran and so failed to get 11d.

    Thanks to Deep Threat for the review.

    1. Hi Kitty, your ‘link’ was most appropriate. Woke up this morning to the recollection that I had an appointment with the practice nurse for one of those invasive ‘check you haven’t got the big C’ things that only us female mortals have to go through. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif.
      The whole thing was made a lot better by having booked a ‘one after the other’ appointment with No. 1 daughter, which we followed up with a wine-fuelled lunch at a great eatery. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      Every cloud and all that.

      1. Oh, don’t remind me :(.

        Barely any clouds have silver linings. But they shade the sun and provide lovely water to make the trees and grass grow and to drink, so I don’t mind them. Except when they choose an inconvenient time/place to make everything all wet. Which admittedly is rather often.

        1. Don’t worry, Kitty, if it’s tears that are causing the downpour, then Mr. K will be back soon to dry them.
          It it’s anything else – Mr. K will be back soon……….

          1. It’s okay, Jane, I can dry any tears myself and be self-sufficient perfectly well for as long as need be :).

                  1. If I’m the fisherman here (and I’m really not sure that I am) then the fish is a hungry one just waiting for the nice juicy bait.

              1. i’m sure she can but you look after that girl of yours – she’s great.
                A little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for both of you.

                1. Thanks, Kath. She is certainly something special and unique. I do my best to keep her happy.

                    1. That reminds me of a very old joke

                      Name 3 fish that start and end with ‘K’

                      Kwik save breaded haddock

                      Killer shark


                      Well it is a ‘place’……http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  14. I’d be interested to know how many of the ‘grumpies’ solved this crossword using the paper version where the Across clues are so crammed in that they possibly appear far more ‘wordy’, and therefore off-putting to the solver, than they probably actually are. Having said that, it took me the usual time for a Giovanni inside backpager and I’d give it 3* for entertainment too.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. My main concern with today’s paper is that there are loads of creases down the right-hand side of the Toughie puzzle making it quite difficult to read the clues! But I finally ironed them out.

      Never finished an Elkamere before! Recommended!

      Regards, Grumpy.

  15. Not realising a pangram was involved I went round and round in circles trying for 11d! I tried RU for game and H and… well that’s where it all went wrong. The rest of the puzzle was really good; some excellent clues involved of which 6d and 8d were prime examples. 6d was my favourite. 4*/3* over all I think.
    Thanks to the Don and DT for putting me out of my misery for 11d.

  16. Absolutely brilliant, back to what we have come to expect from the Friday Master.
    Not easy I grant you but with clues like 20d and 15d, what’s not to like.
    Best clue for me was def 5/6, took me a while to understand the significance of 79 and certainly stretched the old memory back to my physics lessons having to memorise the periodic table! Orison was one of the new words for me today (thank you Google) but the answer had to be prison from the wordplay. 14a gave the clue to the pangram. The other was of course 11d, again thanks Google.
    Thx to the Don for the crossword and to DT for confirming 19a.

  17. Thank you DG – another Friday struggle for me, I always find these puzzles hard. A few bungitins and a walk in the sunshine listening to spring birdsong helped to complete the SW corner. Thanks DT for your review and hints – I did need your explanations on more than one occasion !

  18. I’m afraid I really dislike Giovanni’s puzzles clever though they may be. We finish them but have to look for far too much help from the hints for it to be very satisfying. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  19. I actually liked lots of this, but couldn’t get over the huge grump I found myself in after getting up early. I am not a morning person. Not too sure about afternoons either. Anyway, I got there mostly in the end after a second coffee and a second meal.

    Lots to get excited about, like 7d. What a thrill it was to get that. Unfortunately I did not remain in the zone long enough and then began to gather proof that I am in fact inept.

    I needed google to confirm the route to 10a and the answer to 11d. Weirdly today I seemed to struggle more with the easy than the hard, so though I will admit to also taking a couple of peeks at the hints I won’t tell you which ones.

    I enjoyed the penny drop at 5a/2d. I also liked 6d and 8d, and my favourite is 20d.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the 21d and to DT for the review, especially the explanation for 15d. And I thought I’d got the hang of reverse anagrams. Grr.

  20. Well, I liked it! But then, I don’t obsess over parsing every little bit of every clue. If I get it, that’s great. If I don’t, that’s what the blog is for. 11D was the only word I had to look up. Loved 7D and 17D. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. After a no-go attempt at Thursday’s horror ( for me, anyway ), was relieved I could solve this, except for 4d and 7d, the latter of which I should have got, as I was muttering “teak” to myself for at least three minutes before the penny dropped ! Duh. Not sure whether I really enjoyed this, though, or was just thankful to be able to do it !! Decorators in all week and I am soooo exhausted………..brain-dead ?? Cambridge firsthttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif for me tomorrow – not the place but the race !

  22. I must have used all my brainpower on the Toughie this morning before commencing this puzzle. I had several read-throughs and only got three answers. I managed to crack the bottom of the puzzle from there, but found the top half nearly impregnable, eventually a toe hold was gained and I have finally finished it.

    It is certainly not my most favourite of Giovanni’s puzzles and I found it all to be a bit of a drudge (sorry Don). It took me far too long and I gained very little satisfaction in completing it. I suppose it just goes to show how different people enjoy different things.

    Thanks to all involved and have a great weekend.

  23. Plodded through reasonably well until the brick wall that was the NE. Had got what 2d had to be, then finally realising what the brilliant 7d was also gave me 5a and the remainder fell into place.

  24. Managed the North with some difficulty but succumbed to hints for major part of South. Fav 7d. You’re too smart for me today Giovanni but thanks anyway. TVM DT for saving the day. *****/*. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif

  25. I don’t know why this took so long because it isn’t all that hard. HABIT for instance. How come it took so long for the penny to drop. Must be having an off day. The only one that was a write in was 11d where the French game leapt out and shook hands. So, we’ll have to go for ***/**.

    Thanks tp Giovanni and DT

  26. I found this very difficult, but then, I always find Giovanni difficult. I never did complete the NE corner, except for 10a, I think we’ve had that before. I found the rest of the puzzle enjoyable.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for explaining the unexplainables!

  27. Well well, pangrams etc! This was a great puzzle and the mysterious 11d didn’t escape us at all because it was in a clue just a couple of weeks ago, maybe in the toughie though. A friend of my grandfather who sometimes fell on the floor for some inexplicable reason had a meat safe and a cold store in a 17th century house in Swithland, Leics. There were also trick ones and I do think a knowledge of French was helpful here. As always, a big thank you from Deep Threat (always a necessity to understand why the ‘thrown in ones’ were right) and to Giovanni for the usual Friday entertainment, *** difficulty **** enjoyment.

  28. Like Dutch, the pangram assisted me to get 11d (the mandatory obscure Biblical reference in a Friday back-pager!), and also like him I found myself completing this quadrant by quadrant.

    I liked the homophones in 7d and 17d, but was surprised to see “UN” make two appearances, admittedly once as “peacekeepers” and once as “international organisation”.

    No stand-out clue(s) for me, but definitely no weak links either, all very consistent stuff.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  29. The penny having dropped with a resounding clang that it was a pangram I managed to struggle through somehow. Having been accused of driving like a 11d at stage must have soldered it into my memory but admit to using the electronic supertoy to help me finish. Thanks to DT and the Don. Have a nice weekend everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  30. This was really hard for me too! Had to use a few hints. Got completely held up with 11d – couldn’t get ‘Cole’ out of my mind for the old king! This is the second time Jehu has made an appearance in these puzzles in the last two weeks. I liked 7d. But generally struggled. I only managed to get 10a because I remembered the bit in Hamlet where at the end of his most famous ‘To be…..or not to be’ soliloquy, Hamlet says to Ophelia..’Nymph, in all thy orisons Be all my sins remembered’……funny how some things stay with you for years and things like what I did yesterday are gone, gone, gone…….

    Thanks to DT for the hints, would have been a complete wipe out without them, and to the setter for a very challenging (to me) puzzle. Definitely a ***\***

  31. First perusal yielded no success so I thought “Oh, dear, failure corner for me again”… But came back to it and lo and behold and much to my surprise, managed to solve it except for 11d – completely missed the pangram! Was trying to juggle with UBU (roi play by Alfred Jarry) which of course would not fit… DT, I needed your review to explain some of the clues I had guessed so thank you to you. Favourite was 30a. Challenging indeed but most enjoyable so many thanks to Giovanni.

  32. I quite liked 11d having heard of the king in the context of his being the epitome of fast and furious driving. (“She/he was driving like . . [11d]”) Sadly this flash of insight was as good as it got, because I was back to my usual Friday position of feeling that the crossword was possibly written in Martian masquerading as English. Then, having finally done it, realising it was in perfectly simple English all along. (In evidence of which, the two I needed hints for were 27a, and 22d. What caused the problem, I was left wondering.)
    Many thanks to DT for your help, and thank you Giovanni for the challenge.

  33. This one took us a little longer than a usual Friday puzzle and we did enjoy it. It was not until we had finished that we noticed that it is a pangram, so that had not helped us with 11d. However it had been an answer in a Toughie recently and was still in our memories. A top quality puzzle and much appreciated.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  34. Stiffer than many a Toughie. My first one in – with which l was quite pleased at the time – was “drill” for 26d! You will appreciate that my subsequent efforts in the SE corner were not crowned by swift success. Still, l got there (unaided) in the end. 3* in time taken, but it felt harder. 3* too for enjoyment, and my favourite clue was 8d. Like Expat Dave (qv) l can see nothing to complain about in Giovanni’s puzzles – they do exactly what it says on the tin (puzzle!). So hearty thanks to Giovanni, and of course to DT for the review.

  35. Out and about day so a very late start on this one. Can’t believe I’m saying this but…….Brian, I’m with you all the way! Absolutely loved it – although, unless Brian drinks his coffee very slowly, I think it took me longer to unravel it all. 3*/5* from me.

    Clues that took the most time were 25&27a plus 4&22d. 25a saw me tied up with workhouses/horses, 27a kept saying ‘ashtray’, the 4d therapy I wanted to be the answer and the 22d country I was convinced would end with ‘nia’.

    Frankly quite amazed that the schoolgirl French got me through 11&23d (to the Alty girls French staff – my apologies for everything I said about you!)

    Potential favourites included 19&25a plus 7&17d but my winner is 15d for making me laugh out loud.

    Thank you so much, DG, and much appreciation to DT for the delightful musical accompaniment to my read through the blog.

    Glad to see that everyone is behaving themselves this evening. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. Who else? Certainly nothing to do with me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

          Re below, I find whishky to be a great remedy for a pricked conscience.

          1. Um – I was rather hoping for brandy and a………………… no, I WILL NOT go there, but it was something to do with power-washers and patios. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  36. Hi Kath, sep. comment back to you as I seem to have already replied to Franco via your post. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    I was definitely with you all the way re: getting ‘sure’ into 16a and also thought the ‘winger’ was going to be a bird, bat or something-fly.
    Not to worry – really enjoyed the whole ride.

    ps Please don’t mention power-washers and patios again – my conscience is feeling very pricked. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. Well, I am going to mention pressure cleaners and patios again because I’m feeling pretty smug! Have done the whole thing – six hours later . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif and right arm/hand can hardly pick up a wine bottle – that’s how bad it is!!! Still feeling smug though! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. I’d really love to hate you right now, but I just can’t! Hopefully I can rest assured that you’ve got days of cleaning up to look forward to? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      2. Yay! Enjoy the smug, Kath, and pour yourself a large one with your left arm/hand. You deserve it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

    1. I am wondering how Lupo is doing now that he’s home again. Still calm and collected?
      I have just, today, adopted two one-week old ginger kittens and am bottle feeding them. One is doing well and has learned to latched on the teat but the other is not learning as quickly. I hope he does well.

  37. Obviously Paso Doble and I seem to be the only ones to remember 11d. Something like :In Paris I go to hospital first unsomething for a joy rider. Or similar.
    Didn’t have to resort to any help apart from synonyms of tingle. And the toughie gave me 18d.
    I didn’t bother to parse 10a either.
    Need to go and check what DT has to say.
    So I found it quite gentle for a change.
    I’ll go for 27a for the lovely surface.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT

    1. Oh dear, JL – French games and hours were quite enough for me, your alternative could have left me floundering. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  38. As a professional pedant, I normally enjoy the gauntlet that the Don throws down on a Friday, but after six consecutive nights in the office, plus three radio segments, a little too much self-medication from the nightcap bottle (Scotland’s best export – no, not the Proclaimers) and not enough sleep, I really struggled tonight. My brain now has the consistency and thinking ability of an Aldi gooseberry fool. If I had realised it was a pangram before reading DT’s excellent review, it might have helped. Looking at it now, as so many others have remarked, it all seems so simple, with many splendid clues, in fact too many to mention, but I’ll give podium positions to 5/6, 7d and 22d, my last one in too.
    As MP has already observed, this has been a great blogging week and you’ve all brightened up the ends of all my days, so thanks to everyone. I shall miss you all as tomorrow I take The Racy Mole out for a week of canal cruising, waterside pubs, open air and no phone, computers or Internet. And no police cars dee-dahing outside my window at 4am and no police helicopters clattering about above my head (they always make me feel like I ought to give myself up). I shall miss you, but I’ll be back.

    1. Get yourself to Long Itchington on The Grand Union Canal. One Village. Six pubs. All special.

      1. Will certainly do, but not this time: I’m off up the North Oxford then to Coventry, then up the Ashby before returning to Braunston

  39. I was truly rubbish at this one.
    Managed most of the bottom half, but needed all of the hints for the top half.
    Way way above my pay scale.

    Orison…..who has heard of orison?

    Thanks to the setter and deep thanks to Deep Threat.

    1. I had Socratic for 18d for quite a while too, which held me up a lot completing SW corner. New words for me in 10a & 11d – worked out from checkers & wordplay respectively but then needed Google & blog hints to confirm. And ‘reverse anagram’ of 15d was too clever for me – got right answer but not really sure why. Agree with others that otherwise once I’d found answers I thought ‘why didn’t I see that before’, e.g. 26d, 22d and 21d (LOI) – SE was last quadrant I completed. Thanks to setter (a good tussle) and DT for the explanations.

  40. Some super clues in here (once solved that is ) but this took a very long time and near the end, last couple or so , needed the hints . Good job the Thesaurus was to hand and the family away south
    ****/**** 5a and 2d favorites along with 17d

  41. I struggled with this yesterday (friday) and only got a couple, then had another look today and it all came together. 18d was my last in, 7d was my favourite, not happy about the lack of anagram indicator in 15d and didn’t spot it was a pangram at all – I’ll be alerted by q’s and z’s in future! Enjoyed it overall and also enjoyed everyone’s comments :D

  42. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but tricky puzzle. Didn’t spot the pangram. Needed the hints for 7&11d. Never heard of 23d, but got it from the wordplay. Really enjoyed the challenge, probably the longest I’ve ever spent on a puzzle. Favourite was 5a & 2d, only one Kath :-) Was 4*/4* for me.

  43. I’m with those who loved this puzzle, but it did take me much longer than it should have done. ***/**** for me. I thought there were excellent clues, among them 5a, 10a, 28a, 30a (I know someone who still uses one of these!), 6d, 7d, 8d, and 11d.

    Thanks and appreciation to Giovanni for much enjoyment.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    I also much enjoyed Deep Threat’s review and all the comments here. Very entertaining!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif I didn’t need the review but I appreciated being able to go through it to check my wordplay. I listened with pleasure to the Tartini clip at 13a, and was interested to see Izhak Perlman was the violinist. Lovely stuff! Thanks for the excellent review, Deep Threat. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. I loved the piece of music, Catnap, but was totally unfamiliar with it. Many thanks for the Tartini name check.

      1. Have you found the name of the piece? The piece has quite an interesting little history. Think you might enjoy it if you haven’t already discovered it…

        1. No, I haven’t. Any further info. much appreciated.

          Before moving to Anglesey I was a devotee of concerts at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester but don’t recollect Tartini’s music being played there. Perhaps it’s just that I was unfamiliar with the name and didn’t investigate further.
          I have come to love many pieces/composers simply by ‘falling over them’ – many thanks for the introduction to this one, Catnap.

          1. Lucky you to have been able to go to the concerts at Bridgewater Hall. I hear concerts from there when they’re broadcast on Radio 3.

            Here’s your info, Jane. Rather fun! The piece is ‘The Devil’s Trill Sonata’. I quote from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music:

            ‘The legend explaining this name has been told as follows:

            “Tartini dreamt one night that he had enter’d into a compact with the Devil, who promis’d to be at his service on all occasions. After making several Trials of his Obedience, he gave the Devil his Violin, in order to discover what sort of a Musician he was, when to his great astonishment he heard a Solo so exquisitely beautiful that he awoke with surprise and delight, and instantly seizing his Instrument, he endeavoured, but in vain, to express what he had just heard. He, however, composed the following Solo, which he named Il Sonata del Diavolo , which has always been esteemed his Masterpiece”. (Inscription on the 1st Brit. edn, abt. 1810.)’

            1. Thank you so much, Catnap, I shall follow through on that one.

              Yes, the concerts at Bridgewater are superb – the acoustics are pretty close to perfect and the Piano & Pitcher bar at the foot of the steps made a great meeting place for us all. One of the few things I miss since my move to Anglesey.

              They also house concerts give by artists of different genres – Dire Straits were amazing and the only time I have witnessed Bridgewater clientele dancing in the aisles!

              1. Gosh yes, Jane, you must miss those concerts (and the Piano and Pitcher bar). Hard to imagine Bridgewater clientele dancing in the aisles. Must have been a super concert!

                1. I’m very sorry for making such a hash of my email address. Fingers get caught between the keys of my laptop. I should have checked! Mea maxima culpa The naughty corner awaits…

              2. Oh dear, Jane. Am busy making a real mess of my reply. Gosh yes, you must indeed miss those concerts — not to mention the Piano and Pitcher bar. Hard to imagine the Bridgewater clientele dancing in the aisles. That must have been some concert!

                1. It certainly was. The only time I can recall seeing men wearing smart suits topped with leather jackets embellished with Dire Straits concert dates! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  44. It is very reassuring to know that some others found this as impenetrable as I did. I had a bit of a malaise myself on Friday and thought it might have been that, but I think it was quite hard. I shall persevere!

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