DT 27774 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27774

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27774

Hints and tips by Miffypops & Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Half of today’s review team is suffering aches and pains all over after a http://goape.co.uk/days-out/cannock day on Saturday. He should know better at his age but will not be told. Today’s puzzle should give a confidence boost to newer solvers. If you are a recent convert to Cryptic Puzzles, please pop in and say hello. We won’t bite. Today Miffypops has supplied the across hints. Kitty has taken on the down clues. Please do not mention the golf. I have strong negative opinions about the total sham that is The Masters. The piccies and musical clips have all been chosen with regular contributor Jane in mind.

The hints and tips below are here to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

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.

Across hints by Miffypops

1a    Licensed carrier (5,3)
MOTOR CAR: A cryptic definition of whatever it is you drive. Mine is a Ford Focus. I am not so sure that the vehicle is licensed. Taxed and insured, yes. But surely it is the driver who is licensed

6a    Support  delay (4,2)
HOLD UP: A double definition. A third might be a stocking held up by an elasticated top rather than by suspenders. Here is my chance to use a suggestive picky. I hope you like it.

9a    Trade organisation gets round start of strike agreement (6)
UNISON: Take an organized association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests and place this around the first letter (start) of S(trike) The answer to this clue is itself a trade organisation , Britain’s biggest with 1.3 million members

10a    Trial with underground lab equipment (4,4)
TEST TUBE: A trial or examination is followed by a word used to describe The London Underground Transport System. Together they make a piece of laboratory equipment made out of glass and used to grow babies (it is how I imagined it all those years ago in 1978. Rack upon rack of glass wombs, each growing a baby

11a    Finding fault may be crucial (8)
CRITICAL: Another double definition. The second, meaning of great importance.

12a    Taking a chance, cutting up vegetables (6)
DICING: Double definition number three. Ideally the vegetables would end up as perfect cubes.

13a    He is constructively employed in a supporting role (8,4)
BUILDERS MATE: An unskilled helper on a construction site

16a    One whose pupils are encouraged to make notes (5,7)
MUSIC TEACHER: These notes may be written on a five barred stave and include crotchets and quavers

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a    Bear right to enter London thoroughfare (6)
STRAND: This major thoroughfare in London stretches from Trafalgar Square into Fleet Street. It can be found by placing an informal verb meaning to be able to endure or tolerate around the letter R(ight) (to enter)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a    Giving instruction to change it, unfortunately (8)
TEACHING: An anagram (unfortunately) of CHANGE IT

23a    A couple of pence increase in value (8)
APPRAISE: A charade or Lego clue. Do as you are asked to reveal the answer. Take the letter A from the clue and ad two letter Ps (a couple of pence). Now we need a word which means to increase in value. You may use this word to up the stakes in a poker game. Altogether we have the answer. Just by being good little children and doing as we are told

24a    Veto is coming from old Russian council (6)
SOVIET: Anagram (coming from) of VETO IS

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25a    Highlight of historic communication (6)
BEACON: These fires atop high poles were used to spread a message across the land. Last used in England on 4th June 2012 to herald Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond jubilee. Emails are much quicker. And text messages. Unless you send them to me. I might not look at my phone for a couple of days.

26a    Requests are allowable in distress-signal (8)
SOLICITS: Place a word meaning allowable or legal inside the international code signal of extreme distress, used especially by ships at sea. Morse code for Save Our Souls.

Thanks, Miffypops. Off we go with the downs then.

Down hints by Kitty

2d    They admit  they don’t have to pay the rent (6)
OWNERS: This word more commonly means ones who possess: they do not need to pay rent for it is their property. They also confess things to be true.

3d    Beginning working as a film actor (5)
ONSET: Split (2,3) this is where an actor works.

4d    NCO translated letters for soldier (9)
CONSCRIPT: The letters in NCO are rearranged (translated) and there follows a piece of writing. Perhaps handwriting. Possibly for use by the actor above. This soldier was enlisted compulsorily.

5d    Disconcerted to be told secrets about a number (7)
RATTLED: Acted as an informer around the Roman numeral for fifty. Flustered, discombobulated – maybe by the conductor in the video for 14d!

6d    Drenched with water so he’d have to change (5)
HOSED: The water comes from a flexible pipe. The answer comes from an anagram of two words in the clue, which have to change.

7d    It’s clear to me, anyway, one will miss deadline (4-5)
LATE-COMER: Another anagram (anyway) of CLEAR TO ME. This person arrives after time. Chambers, the internet and my brain all have the enumeration as (9). I trust the first two sources.

8d    Courtesy, a quality of the townsman? (8)
URBANITY: Civility or politeness. Smoothness and suavity. Also possessing the quality of relating to or being influenced by a city. If you’re having trouble it may help to think of the more common adjective and then “nounify” it. (There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity. MP)

13d    Curiosities from barbaric organisation going over century (4-1-4)
BRIC-À-BRAC: We find these knick-knacks from an anagram (organisation) of BARBARIC around (going over) C(entury).

14d    Trial from which the public is excluded (9)
REHEARSAL: A preparation or practice for a performance to which the public is not normally invited.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d    A combination of factors (8)
MULTIPLE: The key to unlocking the clue is to be found in mathematics. Factors are combined in one of the four main mathematical operations to produce one of these. As a mathematical lady I like this.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d    She plays with electricity switch (7)
ACTRESS: She plays – perhaps in plays. The type of electric current that is not DC and then a meaning of switch that I had long forgotten: a lock of hair.

18d    Discontent in a French vacation (6)
UNREST: A French article is followed by a word for a holiday or break, resulting in some disquiet.

20d    See fit to listen to Hamlet, for example? (5)
DEIGN: To condescend. Hamlet is indeed the Shakespearean prince, not a cheekily capitalised village. We want a homophone of (to listen to) his nationality.

22d    Such a vocation is a source of ruin (5)
HAVOC: Destruction, devastation, chaos. The beginning of the clue is a source of the answer in that it is lurking there, contained within.

Not too many problems for me today, though I nearly tripped up over 8d and had to dig out definitions of switch. Hurrah for reference materials. The horses may be placidly munching in their stables but my runaway favourite, galloping away with the wind in its hair, is 15d.

May I also just take this opportunity to thank Miffypops for his encouragement and support. Thanks, MP – you’re a star.

The Quick Crossword pun: tore+pea+doe=torpedo

179 comments on “DT 27774

  1. So a nice straightforward start to the week. I was not too keen on seeing the same word in the answer to two clues – but there you are.

    1*/3* would be my rating.

    Not too sure about the issue with the Masters, Kitty. Not a golfer I assume!

        1. Come now. the artificial grass going down into the water. Dying the greens. Dying the water in the lakes. Where did they get the sand in the bunkers from? Harrods! Fairways a mile wide with grass only sightly longer than the greens. No rough whatsoever. Millions of Hydreanga, Azalie and Geranium plants bought in just for the tournament. Cameras bolted into the exact same places they have been for thirty years so as to give the prettiest shots. A course laid out so that everybody will be under par as soon as they begin. if i can see through this artifice, surely so can others. Look what happened a few years ago when the Open was at carnoustie and all the fake American golfers grumbled because the fairways were narrow and the rough was rough. I did say not to mention the golf.

          1. Ah, now I see. I can see it is hardly true to the Scottish tradition on a windblown gorse and heather beach cliff – but nevertheless, the course is the same for all the golfers and I know I would be just a tad outclassed if I were on the course! It is just the US way of doing things.

            Well, St. Andrews is coming up in July..

          2. The Masters is my favourite tournament. Over half the players scored over the par for the course, despite the fact that the greens were not as fast as usual this year.

          3. Can’t stand golf anyway, give me a good game of rugby any day!…or football…or tennis…or…..showjumping!

              1. Brilliant stuff……and horse trials…. Badminton, Burghley……all the thrills and spills!

                1. Absolutely. We have reached a comfortable state of silence re: the golf in our house. If my other half mentions it, I am entitled to point out my win on the National.

                  Eventing and HOYS are great fun.

                  1. A reply to Jane (Cannot reply directly – no “Reply” button available)

                    I think Desert Orchid was a he (gelding) not a she?

                    Reminds me of my favourite gazza clue:-

                    Remove nuts from serving of Angel Delight (4)

                    1. I think I remember that, or certainly something along those lines. My favourite gazza clue was, “Looks like Gregory’s after a nibble”. It makes me laugh whenever anything reminds me of it.

                    2. Hi Franco,
                      Oh rats – again! You are, of course, quite correct – but Dessie was SO beautiful it was easy to forget that ‘she’ was once a ‘he’. I could go on about the potential for improvement to many ‘men’ I have met, but maybe not…………

                    3. I was once asked if I wanted to be gelded … but I said “Neigh”

                      Where’s my coat? Goodnight!

                2. It’s the potential spills that stop me enjoying it – not the riders, just the horses. Bit like ice-skating, I only dare to watch via re-runs when I already know the outcome.

                  I remember watching one of the big international show-jumping contests in London years ago which came down to a ‘sudden death’ between two horses, one of which was a very small (by show-jumping standards) beautiful grey. The magnanimous rider of the larger horse called a truce after the first jump-off and I was eternally grateful.

                  1. Oh! I so agree with you! And what a lovely memory. I belonged to the Desert Orchid fan club, and always dreamed of owning a grey. The nearest I got to that was free access to a gorgeous mare called Misty Lady – heavenly rides in the New England forests amongst deer and the dogwood trees. Ahhhhhhhhmmmmmmm….

                    1. Hi Poppy,
                      The only time I ever placed a bet was on Desert Orchid on one of her first outings – I won BIG style. Subsequently I followed her career (without betting – I loved her too much!) and once, when she made a guest appearance at Cheltenham during the Gold Cup, I managed to sneak up to her box in the ‘restricted area’ and give her a hug.
                      Have you ever read ‘The Grey Horse’ – if not, have a box of tissues handy.

                    2. I had a beautiful grey pony Connemara x TB she was an absolute gem. Completely rock solid in traffic, fast and lively over the stubble fields and she could jump! She was 35 years old when she went to the big stable in the sky……I was riding her up until a few days before. Wonderful days….horses break your heart……and cats…..and dogs….

                  2. Jane, I think that was the Puissance, and the little grey horse was called Butterfly. Can’t remember the name of the guy who owned him, I think it was Geoff someone …. I’ll have to look it up.

                    1. Not sure, Liz – I’m reasonably convinced it was part of the Horse of the Year Show, but it’s so long ago I could well be wrong.
                      As for the book – it’s called The Grey Horse (the true story of Desert Orchid) written by Richard Burridge.

    1. Feel free to mention the golf George, I don’t mind. The glazed look in my eyes is a sign of interest. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    2. Well I thought the Masters was great – not least because I won my Clubs Sweepstake, you had to pick four players, an American, one from GB & Ireland, a European and one representing the Rest of the World. I picked Jordan Speith, Justin Rose, Segio Garcia and Jason Day. They finished with a total of -38 which won me £200 – luvverly jubbly!


  2. As usual when Mr BB has to go walking his brain is superactive and we finished in 1* time. Enjoyed it very much except for 1a, neither cryptic nor accurate.

            1. Hello, Sim, and welcome to the party. I know a Sim(my), but it is short for Simba and he can’t post due to having paws and a tiny cat-brain. Do keep commenting!

                1. I’ve just taken on two orphaned gingers, very young and still being bottle fed. I see one has an eye opening so they must be nearly ten days old. Very time consuming but fun, especially being able to rescue them.

                  1. Oh – how lovely – ginger kittens. I saw your post a few days ago and meant to reply then but didn’t get round to it. I really hope that they continue to do well, and that you occasionally manage a few hours sleep in between feeding them. They won’t just think that you’re their Mummy – they will know you are. Good luck to you and them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                    1. They are doing well. Angus and Bruce. I thought of Harry but I already have a ginger Henry. I really don’t need more cats but what can one do?

                2. Simmy has been dieting hard and he’d take offense at any suggestion that he’s not a tiny cat

                  1. No, Kitty – way before then. The local dance hall in Altrincham where we used to pay 2s 6d to spend the evening watching/listening to The Hollies. Alan Clarke sadly fell for Jennifer from the convent school – Simy was my fall-back position! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

              1. I’m not a cat nor card – well, not in the literal sense! Sim is short for Simon (rhymes with Tim not time and this is not a cryptic clue!)

  3. Another piece of cake to kick off the week but fun along the way. Thanks Setter and indeed MP plus Kitty. Surely a 1a could be unlicensed too! */***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. I put Black Cab in straight away for 1a. It’s a licensed carrier and the C fitted in with 4d. I then wasted ages trying to fit the down clues in around it!

  4. Good morning folks. Alas mised the golf as I am in the Caribbean for the cricket. Always my preferred option. Weather beautiful. Started this late last night as the on-line paperhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif gets uploaded at about 0130 UK time. Fairly straight forward I thought although 3 answers had to wait for my morning cup of tea. Thanks for the review etc. And ‘Come on England!’

  5. Trickier than normal for a Monday but still enjoyable . No particular favourite. Thanks to setter and to Miffypops And Kitty for the entertaining review.

  6. Fairly straightforward today with only 17 down holding me up for a while. 2*/3* for me . Thanks setter!

  7. Good start to the week.Some good clues, except 1a, which I thought was awful. favourite was 20d. **/***

  8. I have to go now, so you won’t hear from me again for a few hours, but can I just clarify that not all the pics were chosen with Jane in mind. Not 6d, for example!

    1. Hi Kitty, my thanks await you in my comment but I didn’t take any personal affront at 6d – reminded me of the TV documentaries that show hard-working elephants being treated to a ‘bath’ by their handlers at the end of a long day’s haul.

  9. Thank you – Rufus I assume, for the puzzle. One of the easier ones, but always good fun. Thanks Miffypops and Kitty for the review and hints.

  10. 1* or maybe 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment for me today.
    I had a few 6a’s in the top left corner but my major problem was trying to work out why the ‘actress’ was playing with electricity in 17d – it seemed a silly thing to do and I’d forgotten the ‘tress/switch’ which was even sillier.
    The first word of 1a and 2d took me longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword put together.
    I liked 11 and 25a and 14 and 20d. My favourite was 15d.
    Thanks and well done to MP and Kitty.
    Crossword done – Rookie Corner done – no excuses left to stop me doing some more “stuff” in the garden which still looks rather like an abandoned allotment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  11. After a weekend at sea with novice sailors and some choppy waters,nuff said. It was nice to comeback to a pleasant puzzle for a Monday. Favourite clue 8d and 23a I must stop getting fixated on certain ideas for solutions
    Many thanks to Miffypops & Kitty also to setter. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  12. */**

    R&W Monday.

    Biggest 6a was 8d.

    Not much more to say.

    Many thanks to the setter and MPK for an excellent blog.

    Just a small point but Agent Provocateur are infinitely the best if you indeed to buy and wear 6a.

    1. Hi Hanni,
      My daughters would concur with your choice of 6a’s – personally I’ve never been completely convinced that any of them were going to do what it says on the packet! Probably it’s because I come from the generation for whom ‘tights’ were a revelation – even though they rather cut down on the option of just losing one stocking to a ‘ladder’!

      And before any of our red-blooded males launch into a tirade about ‘tights’ – most of us retained a supply of stockings and suspender belts for special occasions!

      1. Hi Jane,

        I promise you they stay up very well, unless you’re dressing rather quickly and put them on inside out. Then they don’t.

        My bird spotting is improving. I got three right this weekend at Runswick and South Gare. Hope you’re well.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. Hi Hanni – there are times when you just ‘crack me up’ – that was one of them! I’m reliably informed that using a softener in with the wash produces the same issues.

          THREE birds right – well done you. Who told you that you were correct and do you trust them?

        2. They also don’t stay up very well if you have mistakenly bought a pair a size too big and wear them by accident.

          I can identify lots of birds correctly. Would you believe it, I can even tell the difference between a pigeon and a magpie.

          1. Not altogether sure how you wear a pair of hold-ups by accident, Kitty – but I’ll take your word for it!!!

            Well done on the ‘birding’ front – I’ll have you all trained in no time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            1. Wearing the ones that were a size too large instead of normal ones was the mistake. They held up just fine … for a while http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif.

              As for the birding, I’m rather surprised that you didn’t mention the blog’s favourite Hirundinidae… Not like you!

              1. This blog is great source of information.

                Always hand wash your silk hold ups.
                Remember, size matters…for hold ups.
                Never get dressed lying down in a rush in the boot of a Discovery, you’ll discover hold up problems.

                As for the birds, well, one of them was a swan. I spotted it straight away. The bird watching people at the gare are quite helpful.

                1. Hanni – I have to ask – why were you lying down ‘in a rush’, in the boot of a Discovery? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

                    1. Ahh well I wasn’t lying down in a rush at all. I was however getting dressed pretty quickly. You see I lost the toss so the back seat had my other half on attemtping to dress himself and tie a cravat. Maneuvering in the front seat was pretty much impossible. So boot open, stood on an old sheet, freezing cold, minimal light praying no other cars turn down the lane.

                      It went quite badly.

                      In hindsight there is the odd thing we might have done differently but you can’t dwell on these things.

                      I like swallows.

                      Next time we’re at the Gare I’ll ask what the spotters are trying to spot.

                      Edit..meant to add that we were on our way to a party and running late.

                    2. Well your edit cleared up a few questions! How disheartening to lose the toss.

                      All people of taste like swallows. But I think that might just be enough birding talk for tonight :).

                    3. I know. In the dark it was hard to see if it was a head or a tail. Oh well. It was a great party in the end.

  13. Well, well. banksie is well on the pace today….unusually so. This was helped considerably by starting after the Masters finished last night and by the nature of the puzzle.

    Kath, i am regularly amazed at how often you and i have the same difficulties. Today , the first word of 1a took me forever (did nobody else start off with black cab?), why my answer to 17d was correct and 2d.. V strange

    MP; I can see what you mean about the Masters. it is all a bit cheesy.. i especially cant stand how sycophantic they all are (at least on Sky) to Jack Nicklaus. But that young Mr speith is quite a golfer.

  14. Another nice gentle start to the week. 2*/3.5* for me. Some lovely touches here which are tempting to overlook in what is a straightforward but thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. 20a was my favourite. I’ve docked Rufus half a * for 1a which didn’t quite cut it for me. Many thanks to Rufus, Miffypops and Kitty.

    I love the Masters for what it is… but yesterdays’ turned into a pedestrian bore (much like the MotoGP)


  15. Straightforward Monday fare after a week away without the daily test.
    Can’t agree with your opinion of Masters. Incredible course which is much tougher than it looks. The grass may look short in the first cut rough but it is very tough to get out of.
    I don’t feel comfortable with the cheesiness though or the elitism of the club itself but as a test of golf it is supreme. The weather was irrelevant this year hence low scores for the worlds best players. The British amateur champion finished 13 over after 2 rounds and he is a very good player, (+5 amateur).

  16. That has to be the longest time I’ve ever spent reading a review – many thanks to our delightful pussycat and our favourite pint-puller for putting this one together. Landfill Harmonics was both humbling and inspiring, the compilation of composers was a much-needed reminder of the GOOD things that have come out of Russia and the rehearsal took me back to the time I was fortunate enough to watch Sir Simon Rattle conducting.

    Oops! This is supposed to be a crossword blog………

    Fairly plain sailing today despite starting off with ‘back up’ for 6a. Fortunately, the 6d anagram dug me out of that hole fairly quickly.
    Liked both of the long across clues – particularly 13a which put me in mind of some of the extravagant job descriptions that seem to proliferate these days!

    Run-away favourite is 20d – both clever and a reminder of an excellent production of same that I saw recently at Mold theatre. Not quite David Warner in Stratford all those years ago, but my recollection of that could well be coloured both by the location and something of a teenage crush!

    Thank you to Rufus – 2*/3* for me and 5+* to MP & Kitty for making my day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. 20d ….My favourite clue too, Jane. I saw Derek Jacobi in it many years ago at our theatre in Norwich…..brilliant! My favourite WS.

    2. I really like the Russian composers. That’s why I couldn’t choose just one to feature. Really glad you liked today’s blog.

      1. Who on earth compiled that “Russian composers” YouTube effort? I sat and waited, and waited, and waited, for either a Tchaikovsky or Shostakovitch Symphony……nowhere. Nada. Not a sausage. What horrendous omissions. The person(s) responsible should be either lined up in front of a firing squad, or sent to the Siberian salt mines. Preferably both.

        Will have to console myself now by playing Tchaik 6 or Shost 5. The injustice of it all.

        1. Harsh, John. They may not have included your favourite pieces but I counted 3 Tchaikovsky and 2 Shostakovich.

  17. If you take “Licensed Carrier” to mean “Carrier of the licensed” it makes the answer for 1a fit the clue better, and makes the clue more cryptic!

        1. Many thanks for the kind greeting. I can’t help thinking that if Yohothemole equates to “kettle”, then Miffypops must come close to being “pot”!

        1. If you want to use your skills to infiltrate the minds of some of our more devious setters, I for one will welcome your devious underground methods with gratitude. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          1. I’ve been digging away at the DT crossword for more years than I care to remember, and sometimes think I’ve hardly scratched the surface! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

            1. Oh rats, that’s a shame. Guess you’ll just have to join the rest of us – digging away blindfold. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

              1. Digging away in the dark – but Big Dave and the team help you “put the words to lights.” So, welcome, Yohothemole, and I hope you stay above ground for a bit. And well away from Kath’s garden.

          2. Not in my garden, if you don’t mind! We already have more than enough of the little ********! They (sorry, you, Yohothemole) do so much damage – they nearly make me cry! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  18. Total agreement with 1*/3* for the crossword and double total agreement with Miffypops concerning the golf!
    Thanks to Rufus for a simple but fun start to the week and to Kitty & Miffypops for an entertaining review of the puzzle, especially the enchanting clip of the kids from Paraguay playing musical instruments made from re-cycled rubbish. Amazing!

  19. This was a real treat…….got through it really fast……until the top RH corner! 1a was the problem….I got sort of mislead by the licensed bit, so was convinced the second word was ‘bar’ …….crush bar?? Anyway had to use the hint in the end and then finished it off. Otherwise quite straightforward and. */*** score. All this talk about golf is so boring…I don’t rate this as being much of a spectator sport….. Whacking a tiny ball into the wide blue yonder….you can’t even see where it has landed…… And then all the walking around from hole to hole…….like watching paint dry!! Light blue touch paper and retire………..

      1. Ah, yes. A bit dyslexic re R & L sometimes! Comes from years of working as a podiatrist when the patients right is your left and vice versa!

        1. Don’t worry, Liz – plenty of us have the same affliction without having your excuse for it. I understand that it is actually a recognised form of dyslexia, which makes me feel so much better!
          Years ago, my Mum, as a passenger, used to give me driving directions prefaced by either ‘wedding ring’ or ‘bracelet’. It worked well !

          1. Actually I’m not all that bad. My daughter, however, still has problems getting her shoes on the correct feet……..and she is no spring chicken!

      2. I can’t do lefts and rights either – well, I can but have to think about it first by which time we’ve usually gone past the turning anyway. Oh dear! Someone on here once suggested that the best way to give directions is, “your side” or “my side” – a cunning plan, I think. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Hi Liz ,

      I remember naming all the clues I liked/had trouble with once. I think I managed to wrongly identify each one, including things like saying 8d was my favourite in a puzzle without an 8d. My attention to detail is outstanding. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. Ladies,

          Come on….It’s a girl thing surely. ( smiley face)

          A young lady who was navigating me, a nervous, young, recently qualified, new to London driver, around the elephant and castle and who had the same ‘foible’ once told me to ‘follow that bus’.

          Not sure if you’ve ever been to the elephant and castle but typically there are about 50 buses going around it at any one time

          I laughed. She got angry. We went the wrong way.

          1. Love it – my husband has a very nasty habit of saying, usually at a very busy roundabout with numerous possible exits, “Follow that car” at the same time waving an airy paw in the vague direction of one of the previously mentioned possible exits. I simply despair . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

          2. Difficulty distinguishing between right and left is an inconvenience. Difficulty distinguishing between right and wrong is a problem.

  20. Strange but this crossword had an air of déjà vu.
    It was very much a read and write and it was over before I even finished my cup of tea. And then a friend came to pick me up and went down to the seaside. Must be the hottest day of the year so far.
    L’Ayguade is a part of Hyères where our good king Louis landed on his way back from the seventh crusade in 1254 and was welcomed by his brother Charles Comte de Provence and future king himself. We shall reenact all this in July. Great fun.
    Favourite clue is 20d.
    Really enjoyed the review and specially the clip of 16a.

    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops and Kitty for the review.

  21. Quite an easy start to the week. I came unstuck on 17D so had to use the Click Here facility. I thought 1A was a very poor clue and not up to Telegraph standards. My Clue of the day is 14D Well constructed and a smiler too! My favourite of the day is Miffypops and Kitty for the excellent review. 1*/3*

  22. The usual pleasant non-taxing start to the week, with 6a a prime candidate for easiest clue of the month, if not the year.

    I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the similarities involving 16a and 21a, but I’ll try not to be too 11a !

    Many thanks to the setter, Miffypops and Kitty.

  23. What a brilliant set of clips and piccies – thanks so much MP and The Pussycat Star! Was slow to get why my 20d was correct, so appreciated that especially. And if anyone gets a chance to see Rory Kinnear as Iago, do jump at it…. Many thanks to setter for creating a puzzle I could actually complete without help for a change. And I’m trying strawberry plants this year in place of my monster tomato mistakes of yore, but I don’t think Wimbledon will need my help. Greetings to all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  24. What a joy! 1.5*/4*. The SW corner delayed me very slightly to take me just over my 1* time. Far too many delightful clues to try to pick a favourite (or even a short list).

    Many thanks to Rufus and to K & MP.

  25. Greetings from holland, I’ve taken the. Family to center parcs so we can visit my other daughter. Weather looking very pleasant.

    Funny puzzle today, many answers did not seem obviously right at first but turned out indeed to be. Took me a bit longer than most Rufus puzzles.

    Great review many thanks kitty mad mp, and thank Rufus.

    1. Is that a typo of ‘and’ Dutch! Or are you implying that MP is slightly ‘mad’…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  26. I’m afraid I struggled quite a bit with the NW corner…mainly with 1a as others have said.

    Didn’t know that ‘switch’ meant ‘lock of hair’ either,so although I guessed the answer I couldn’t make the clue fit.

    Didn’t like 5d either…’to be told’ doesn’t seem right to me ‘having told’ seems more like the thing…or am I missing something?
    Bit grumpy with it today, but that may be because it is Monday, cold and threatening to rain…..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    My views on golf are the same as Mark Twain’s…a good walk spoiled.
    Thanks to Miffypops, Kitty and to the setter.

    1. Hi Ora M, I had the same issues with 5d but resolved it by thinking of ‘disconcerted’ as in (to be) ‘told secrets about a number’. Worked for me, although I’m not altogether sure I’ve explained it very well!

      Don’t you just love some of Mark Twain’s comments – I suspect that Hanni may well concur. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone in finding that clue a bit odd….it could have been something glaringly obvious to one of you experts.

        I do like Mark Twain….I think ‘ There are lies, damned lies and statistics ‘ was one of his too…..

        1. Twain used it, but attributed it to Benjamin Disraeli. The origin isn’t (as far as I’m aware) known.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          1. Have filed that away for the next quiz, Yohothemole.

            Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

            1. My cup runneth over – something ELSE I’ve got to try to remember. Right now, I’m bogged down with abortive attempts at German translations in Rookie Corner. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      1. Wrong way round – golf ruins a good walk. A dog, preferably an enthusiastic collie, is the best reason for a walk that I’ve ever found.

        1. You should try geocaching, Kath. Best reason for going for a walk known to mankind (well, in this household anyway!)

          1. I have a good reason I use for going for a walk. It’s, “I’d really like to go for a walk.”

            Works almost every time.

  27. I agree with the difficulty rating, pretty much R&W. I love Rufus puzzles. I, too, had a problem with 1a but wrote it in anyway as it couldn’t be much else.
    Fave was 8d.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to M’pops and Kitty for the entertaining review.
    It seems that Derek has disappeared again after popping in briefly some time ago.

  28. Very much a Monday puzzle in that it was very gentle. 1a was a bit weak I thought but then the first part of the term has really fallen out of use somewhat hasn’t it?
    I liked 4d …. and also 15a. 1*/3* over all.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to mpK from their enthusiastic review!

  29. Agree with the ratings, a return to the gentle Monday puzzles of old.
    Only hold up was trying to parse 26a, the answer was obvious but took a while to get the allowable bit.
    Thx to all.

  30. Have been following Big Dave for some months now but this is the first time I’ve felt moved to comment. Agree with Miffypops 100° – both about the difficulty of today’s crossword and about The Masters – I don’t even believe it should constitute a major given the restrictions on entry and that it’s the same venue every year, but of course, I can’t possibly say that without a torrent of vilification.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Hello Theosophilus. I’m glad you were moved to comment. It’s so nice to hear from “lurkers” and I hope we hear more from you.

  31. Thanks Kitty , I needed the hints for 15d and 20.I don’t consider myself mathematically challenged. Otherwise a lovely romp. Thanks Rufus.

  32. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty & Miffypops for the review and hints. A very straightforward start to the week, but most enjoyable, favourite was 17d. Last in was 1a, which was my least favourite. Was 1*/3* for me.

  33. This was indeed a confidence boost for a newer solver. Or, as Kitty put it, it must have been easy because even I could do it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif. In common with many others, the NW was the last section in and 1a didn’t thrill me. Favorite clue was 20d. Thanks to the setter, and to Miffypops and Kitty for a hugely entertaining review.

  34. I too took time to break into the NW corner, and wasn’t overly impressed by 1a, but 1*/3* looks about right to me. 4d was good though, and gets my vote as top clue. A nice gentle start to the week: thanks to Rufus for that, and to Kitty and Miffypops for a most entertaining review.

    1. No I wasn’t joking. I was a great Hollies fan, and wondered if their (slightly twee) song “I Love Jennifer Eccles” might have been based on a real person. Although not one of their finest efforts musically or lyrically, it was a fine example of innocence in 60’s pop music:

      I used to carry her satchel.
      She used to walk by my side.
      But when we got to her doorstep,
      Her dad wouldn’t let me inside.

      1. If memory serves – she went to Loretto Convent in Altrincham and was always with Alan on a Saturday evening.

            1. Thanks MP – looks as though my info. re: our local convent school was wrong! Either way, the lady in your vid. clip was definitely the Jennifer who accompanied him on a Saturday night. Just as well, given that my ‘sums’ would tell me that they were only recently married when the Hollies played in Altrincham!

  35. Hanni – most people get dressed BEFORE they leave home. You should give it a try sometime. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Jane you do make me laugh! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      If I see you at an S&B I’ll tell you tale of three men go fishing to Staithes and what really happened to their clothes. Once in awhile my other half exceeds all expectations of sheer idiocy. I really quite like him. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif NB the story is not suitable for the blog.

  36. Last one in was 1a, don’t like this clue at all! Held up for far too long thinking the answer was “black cab”, which then scuppered 5d for a while.

    Also got held up writing “brickies mate” for 13a, but eventually saw the error of my ways.

    A suggestive picky for 6a? Come come, I think we could have done rather more suggestive than that, n’est ce pas? Most disappointing!

  37. Loved the pictures, especially 6 across. Favourite clue was 13 across. The only thing more boring than golf is Formula 1. A nice easy start to the week.

    1. You have dropped your surname since your previous comment – both options should work now.

      I find golf exceedingly boring, but love F1.

  38. motor car says it all i held back putting it in because it was just not right, it couldn’t get worse

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