DT 27776

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27776

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Winter has arrived here with attitude. A cold southerly front moved up over the country a couple of days ago bringing wide-spread snow in the South Island and even snow on the hills to the east of us. Unheard of in April! Our daily walk went from light shirt, shorts and sandals one day to long trousers, thick jackets and woolly hats the next. Whatever happened to Autumn?
Jay, by contrast, has been much less changeable and given us another entertaining puzzle to blog.

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

Across

1a     Feminine, ash-blonde, old, mad — but family (5,3,5)
FLESH AND BLOOD : Start with F(eminine) then an anagram (mad) of ASH-BLONDE OLD.

9a     Got back with insurance, after evacuating Rome (9)
RECOVERED : Rome is evacuated by removing the middle two letters, then a word describing what you are when you have a valid insurance policy.

10a     Nuisance taking first portion of onion sauce (5)
PESTO: A word for a nusiance is followed by the first letter of onion.

11a     Tradesman‘s pound deposited in bank (5)
TILER : A synonym for a bank has the symbol for pound sterling included.
imgres

12a     Works on garden dwellings with no end of charm (4)
HOES : Find a word that describes what dwellings are and remove from it the last letter of charm.
imgres

13a     Dull brown flatfish swimming across river (4)
DRAB : The abbreviation for river is found inside a type of small flatfish.

15a     Large ugly tear with a line on the side (7)
LATERAL : The abbreviation for large, then an anagram (ugly) of TEAR, next A from the clue and L(ine).

17a     Left home, absorbed by island’s horizon (7)
SKYLINE : L(eft) and the two letter word meaning home is inserted into Bonnie Prince Charlie’s island.
images

18a     Supplied personnel and stopped replacing students with females (7)
STAFFED : Take a word that means stopped and replace the two letters that mean students with two letters that mean females.

20a     Lobster served as this on a bed? (7)
BOLSTER : An anagram (served as) of LOBSTER.

21a     Question source of water (4)
PUMP : Double definition.

22a     Title held by the Mirror (4)
EMIR : This Middle Eastern title is hiding in the clue.

23a     Mother gets fellow — one with a criminal family (5)
MAFIA : One of our short words for mother has F(ellow), the Roman numeral One and A from the clue added.
images

26a     Found television well-informed (3,2)
SET UP : Found here means establish. A common synonym for television and a word meaning well-informed that is often used in association with ‘with’.

27a     Progress with daughter meeting standard set by hospital department sponsor (9)
GODPARENT : A short word meaning progress or move forward, then D(aughter), a word meaning standard (often used in golf) and a three letter hospital department.

28a     Festive wit’s annual missive? (9,4)
CHRISTMAS CARD : The festival referred to is still eight months away, then a synonym for a wit.
images

Down

1d     Letters offering a good job (5-5,4)
FIRST-CLASS POST : An expression for good, or maybe even A1, and then a word for a job or an employment situation.

2d     Do better in former prison accommodation, being cut off (5)
EXCEL : The prison accommodation has its last letter removed and follows a prefix meaning former.

3d     Complete skill shown by hospital transport vehicle (10)
HOVERCRAFT : Start with H(ospital), add a word meaning complete or finished, then a synonym for a skill.
images

4d     Swimmer‘s nervous anticipation returned when help arrived laughing, initially (7)
NARWHAL : Initially is the key word here. Ignore all but the first letters of the other words in the clue.
images

5d     Fast traveller that no one welcomes (3,4)
BAD NEWS : We are looking for something that proverbially travels fast. (It is neither bed bugs nor bad eggs which were our first guesses!)

6d     Dearie me! Top’s come off chicken enclosures (4)
OOPS : Remove the first letter from a place where chickens may be kept.

7d     Germany? First to accept coach’s seizure ordered by court (9)
DISTRAINT : IVR code for Germany, then ‘first’ written as an abbreviated ordinal number, includes a synonym for coach.

8d     A jacket like this needs new blue beret, as odd (6-8)
DOUBLE-BREASTED : An anagram (new) of BLUE BERET AS ODD.

14d     Many labels must be wrong, of course (2,3,5)
BY ALL MEANS : An anagram (must be wrong) of MANY LABELS.

16d     Distressing illusion, mostly about gold rug (9)
TRAUMATIC : An illusion or deception loses its last letter and encloses the chemical symbol for gold and a small floor covering.

19d     A long time after mother’s court award (7)
DAMAGES : A short word for mother but not the one used in 23a, precedes a word for a long time.

20d     The tedium of showing embarrassment during sudden prosperity? (7)
BOREDOM : The colour one goes when embarrassed is included in a word meaning sudden prosperity.

24d     Father always stands for this Scandinavian beauty (5)
FREYA : The religious abbreviation for father is followed by the reversal (stands) of a mainly northern term for always.
imgres

25d     Refuse with contempt, lacking new incentive (4)
SPUR : Take a word that means refuse with contempt and remove from it N(ew).

5d and 12a were the last two that we worked out and we are prepared to risk the consequences of naming them equal favourites.

Quickie pun   stay  +  can  +  hale  =  steak and ale

117 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    2*/2.5*. If this was Jay as usual on a Wednesday, today’s offering seemed out of character being a bit formulaic, rather lacking in zest, and with some clunky wordplay. No particular favourite but nothing to dislike.

    I Googled my answer to 24d as I wasn’t sure why it meant a Scandinavian beauty. I didn’t get what I considered an adequate explanation other than that she was a Norse goddess of love and beauty. Apparently her name isn’t normally spelled like that, but the pictures of lingerie and swimwear that popped up did brighten my day.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  2. George
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    So pretty straightforward puzzle again to day. I did have to Google 24d as I was not familiar with this beauty! Ah – those Scandinavians.

    I20a brought back some memories as I have not seen one of these since I left home at 16 – and that was not recently!

    1*/4* for me yet again this week.

    • Jane
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Gosh – 120a. Have the rest of us just been given an abridged version? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • George
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Yes, two errors – not co-coordinating the shift key with the 1 key and then not getting the ! in the right place (it should have been after Scandinavian on the line above). Yes, I edited the line and clearly was not precise enough! Never was an accomplished keyboardist (or good at handwriting either so many would say)

        But then that would be an impressive crossword.

        • Sheepdog
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          So what have you not seen since you were 16 something for the bed in the garden or something for the bed in the bedroom?

          • George
            Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            Duvets and pillows not 20a ‘s.on sleeping beds. Is there a context for the garden that I have missed?

            • Jane
              Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

              Think Sheepdog prob. hadn’t read your explanatory note re: keyboard operational deficiencies and was querying whether you’d meant 12 or 20a.
              My personal garden ‘bolster’ is the lovely Tony who tackles the unenviable job of cutting the wayward hedges that border my patch. Just looking up at the tops of same gives me a profound sense of vertigo!

              • Steve_the_Beard
                Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

                I hit my bolster with a lump hammer, to cut bricks in half :-)

                • Jane
                  Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                  OK – each to their own! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

                  • Steve_the_Beard
                    Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

                    Perhaps I should have said that my bolster is a heavy chisel, not some poor guy who works in your garden!

                    • Jane
                      Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

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

  3. Sweet William
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jay, assuming it was you. For some strange reason I managed to get through this quite quickly – apart from 24d. As I have no GK I always struggle with this type of clue. Mrs SW was on hand to help. So, very enjoyable thank you and thanks to 2Kiwis for your review, photos and hints. Rain in the NW, an ideal day for a pub lunch with friends on the Fylde. Good job the puzzle’s finished http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Graham
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness my brain is back to some sort of normality,I found this a gentle stroll in the park with no real stand out clues but did like 4D.Many thanks to the setter & the 2 kiwis for an excellent review. it’s a lovely warm spring day down in sunny Southampton.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  5. Brian
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    It’s really odd. Yesterday’s I truly struggled with which most bloggers handled easily yet today’s for me was almost a read and write but the guide is a ***. Just goes to show we all have very different mindshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Best clue for me was 6d, a real smiler but 16d and 12a deserve a mention. Not sure about Aye for always, Yes certainly but not come across it for always before.
    Mind you in my haste I did put reclaimed for 9a which made the down clues interesting!
    Thx to all.

    • dutch
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I did not understand where the “e” came from in 24d (scandinavian beauty). I didn’t think it could be part of either father or ever. Is there a definitive answer?

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        The word for ‘always’ can be spelt with or without the ‘e’ according to our confirmatory look in BRB. Cheers.

        • dutch
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          many thanks – had never seen this before. I still think using a lesser known variant to clue an obscurity is not great, but i often find i’m more critical if i didn’t get it at first!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Dutch, “aye” is a term used in the North of England to mean “ever”.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          That’s really odd. When I typed my comment at 11:41 the 2K’s answer to Dutch timed at 11:33 wasn’t there. It must have taken 8 minutes to arrive from NZ!
          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • dutch
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          many thanks – i was familiar only with ay, having only come across aye meaning yes – to the point where i was looking up FRE…

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          … oops, and in Scotland, as Ora Meringue has commented below. :oops:

      • Jane
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Hi dutch – how about this:-

        ‘love that will aye endure, though the rewards be few,
        that is the love that’s pure, that is the love that’s true.’
        W.S. Gilbert.

        • dutch
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Thanks Jane – if i am aye able to memorise that, I’ll have nae problems in future

  6. Jane
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    An absolute joy of a puzzle – no obscurities, no specialised knowledge required, just a genuine ‘cryptic’. 2*/4* for me.

    I did so want 1a to be ‘light and fluffy’ minus the final ‘f’ (but family) but it was a great anagram with a laugh-out-loud surface read.
    Plenty of goodies to choose a favourite from – 1,17&28a plus 5&6d but I’ll go with 6d for it’s sheer simplicity.

    Many thanks to Jay for such good fun and to 2K’s as you don the Winter woollies. Who knows, you may even find the ‘old country’ warmer than home when you arrive for your visit! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • dutch
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      If the scandinavian beauty doesn’t count as specialised knowledge or an obscurity for you, then I’m not in your league!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

      • Jane
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Actually, Dutch, my GK is so thin on the ground that I guessed if I knew it then everyone else here certainly would!
        Can’t for the life of me think how I came to know it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Jane
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Correction, just remembered. We were taught at school that Freya’s day was the Middle English name for Friday.
          That’s a relief – can put the old grey matter back into sleep mode now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

            Well remembered, Jane. Letting those grey cells have plenty of beauty sleep evidently helps them work when needed.

            Days of the week according to Kitty:
            Mournday,
            Bluesday,
            Deadsday,
            Blursday,
            Freeday,
            Caturday,
            Doneday.

            • Jane
              Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

              Hi Kitty,
              I reckon you have a whole different list for those days if it’s a week when Mr. K is home. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
              NO – I’m not asking you to list them, we skated pretty close to the edge of BD’s tolerance not that long ago. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  7. Angel
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    This went in without too much trouble but I agree it did rather lack light relief. **/***. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. 12a foxed me and so 4d delayed finish as I didn’t manage to parse it hence resorted to electronic gizmo to solve. We in UK have reverse of NZ climate situation as most places are enjoying an early burst of Summer but it is sadly forecast to revert to normal as of tomorrow – great while it lasts though. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  8. Beaver
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Always seem to rate’ difficulty one * behind the 2 K’S for some reason,( liked the pics) and here we go again at a**,quite enjoyed it so a **/*** overall.-best so far this week. Did’nt know 24 down, but the cluing was logical- originally thought it was something to do with Abba! and 5d eluded me unduly ’till that d’oh moment arrived

  9. dutch
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I liked some of the anagrams today, particularly 1a (family) and 14d (many labels). Not so much 8d (jacket) since the last two words didn’t help the surface.

    I also smiled at 10a (onion sauce), 28a (festive wit, though a bit hard to take in April with 22deg C), and 23a (mother gets fellow…criminal family)

    as mentioned in reply to Brian, I still don’t see where the e comes from in 24d (scandinavian beauty) – with an obscure answer, I think the wordplay should be unambiguous.

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis – sorry to hear about your bad weather, though on average I’d say I’m green with envy

    • overtaxed
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Hi Dutch
      ever is aye which goes into the answer in reverse

  10. Kitty
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I think it was just me but I seemed to fall for a lot of misdirections today. Had most trouble with the earlier down clues. That said, the time on the clock is respectable and I enjoyed puzzling it out, so all in all, all is well.

    Silly things I did in no particular order:-

    Thought of a correct answer, counted the letters and rejected it without further thought. It was the right answer and I can’t count. Missed the anagram in 1a for some time, busy looking for a charade. Put in the wrong ending in 9a even though I knew it didn’t work. Tried my very best to fit ART into 3d. Wrote in WELL at 21a – well, it kind of works. I have been questioned thus by many a teacher wanting to know what has happened to my homework.

    Also convinced myself that the second letter of 5d must be E. I do not know why. As a result it was my last in. Once I got out of BED it became my favourite.

    Always good to see 4d. What intriguing creatures. 6d gets used a lot around here. 7d is a word very much on the edge of my consciousness but at least that one I did (eventually) manage to construct correctly. The “always” part of 24d was a new one on me I think, but it went in confidently anyway. Maybe I shall investigoogle the result. I was expecting a potato at 8d, but not a problem except that I had to wait for lots of checkers for the anagram to unravel by eye. Why I don’t just use a pen I don’t know. 8d is a nice answer.

    Thanks to Jay for brightening up my Wednesday in ways that the sun just can’t. Thanks to the 2Ks for another polished review which I can read as “hints and tips on how to write a great review” even if they weren’t needed for the crossword itself.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you Kitty for the compliment. Our aim is to model our efforts on Gazza’s ones. Feel we haven’t got there yet but will keep trying.
      Well past our bedtime now so goodnight everyone. Will catch up with you all in the morning.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

      • Jane
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Good heavens, 2K’s – you have a style all of your own and it’s both delightful and much appreciated.
        ps. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that you’ve opted for two favourites and then skipped off to bed before Kath could catch you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          There’ll be trouble! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          Surely it’s OK for the two of them to have two favourites between them?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
          Let’s see what Kath thinks …

          • Jane
            Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            Um……. I can see where this is heading – you’re going to be claiming one favourite for yourself and one for your gorgeous bunny rabbit. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            Sorry you didn’t seem to get much pleasure out of today’s offering from Jay – I usually expect to have a similar ‘take’ on the Cryptics as your good self. Not today it would seem.

            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

              Mmm, I can’t quite put my finger on why this didn’t seem to me quite up to Jay’s normally very high standard. If we were permitted to have a list of favourite setters he would certainly be on mine. Perhaps I’m in a funny mood today.
              http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

              I mentioned your kind comment about my rabbit to him, causing him to come over all coy and start washing his ears.

              • Jane
                Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

                Aahh – that’s SO sweet! Can’t recall whether you’ve mentioned it before but what is his name?

                As for the puzzle – seems from other comments as though it’s me who’s off-side today. Maybe I’m just having a ‘good’ day although, given the jobs list in front of me, I can’t quite see why!

                • Rabbit Dave
                  Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

                  He’s called Twix – named after another of my favourite things :-)

                  • Jane
                    Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

                    Would that be Right Twix or Left Twix?

                    Oh dear, that’s really sad – means I DO sometimes not manage to ignore the adverts. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

                    • Rabbit Dave
                      Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

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

      • Kath
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Jane is quite right – this two favourites rubbish has certainly not gone unnoticed. My first thought was oh dear and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif.
        Then I had another little think about it and decided that it’s maybe reasonable for you to have one each. So, on balance it’s a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif but with reservations!

      • gazza
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I think you overtook me a long time ago. I can see your tail lights disappearing into the distance. :D

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          Not true at all Gazza, but thank you for saying so.
          One big advantage that we have is time. From when we get access to the puzzle we have 11 day-time hours before publishing time. That is a luxury that most of the other bloggers, you included, do not have. Cheers.

  11. Little Dave
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this but 5d stumped me and was a bit of a ‘Doh!’ moment. Otherwise nothing too taxing but 5d puts it into the 2.5* category for me. Thanks to 2Kiwis. Enjoy your day everyone.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

  12. Ora Meringue
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Finished this one without electronic help or the hints…always a cause for celebration in the Meringue household.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Had to look at the hints to parse 4d and only just remembered 7d.
    Don’t know what all the fuss is about 24d….aye is a common term for always, and in Scotland is rarely if ever spelled ay….we pronounce it differently from aye meaning yes…sorry I’m not familiar with the phonetic alphabet so cannot write them out, but I’m sure any Scots would put you right.
    Thanks to the setter and to the Two Kiwis.

  13. fran
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    7d and 12a pushed this into 2.5* difficulty otherwise a straightforward solve ; thanks to Jay for some entertaining clues . Quite liked 28a even though it was obvious .**** enjoyment

  14. Vince
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    21a. Am I being too pedantic to say that a pump is not a source of water, but a device hat can be used for moving water from its source to where it’s required?

    • Jane
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

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

    • Beaver
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      The same thought crossed my mind with 21a, but i think you are Vince, you might as well say that a tap is not a source of water but it is ,as that’s where you get it from.

      • Vince
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Mmm ….!

        • Steve_the_Beard
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Water has no source, merely resting places in the cycle.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cycle

          :-)

          • Jane
            Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            That’s one of the best comments I’ve read – many thanks, Steve, I shall remember that one.

          • Beaver
            Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

            I understand that the source of the Nile is still disputed- is everybody wasting their time ?

            • Jane
              Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

              Well done, Beaver – hadn’t thought of that but…………..now that you come to mention it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

              • Miffypops
                Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

                In crosswordland the source of The Nile is N

                • Jane
                  Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

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

  15. Gwizz
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Well, that was virtually a R&W for me; most unusual I hastily add! My last one in was 4d cos I missed the indicator on the first pass. I think 4d is also my favourite simply because they are as somebody has already said, fascinating creatures.
    1*/3* over all.
    Thanks to Jay (if it was indeed he) and 2Kays for their usual high quality review.

  16. Kath
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I think 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I found it easier to get going with than I sometimes do on Wednesdays – maybe the across clues were more straightforward than usual.
    12a was my last answer – funny, isn’t it, how many of us found that one tricky – I don’t think it is really – well, not now anyway.
    I stared and stared and carried on staring at 4d – just couldn’t see why it was what it was. Eventually got bored with the staring and read the hint. Oh dear! How did I miss that? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    The four long answers round the outside were helpful.
    I liked 1 and 10a and 4 and 5d. My favourite was 6d – it made me laugh. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis – pity about your weather – ours is lovely – blue sky, sun and 20C.

  17. silvanus
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Consistent cluing, nothing outstanding but nothing to raise the eyebrows either.

    Favourite was probably 5d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  18. neveracrossword
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    2*/3.5* for me. Never heard of the Scandinavian beauty but had heard of Freya Stark. Thanks to 2Ks and setter. Great weather in E. Devon.

    • Jane
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      OK – here’s the list as we learnt it in school:-

      Sun’s day
      Moon’s day
      Tiu’s day
      Woden’s day
      Thor’s day
      Freya’s day
      Saturn’s day

      Seems to me that the middle of the week was given over to the worship of somewhat violent characters!

      • Steve_the_Beard
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Why don’t the Germans have a name for Wednesday? Calling it “midweek” is a description, not a name…

        • Jane
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Maybe they weren’t too keen on Woden?

          • Steve_the_Beard
            Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

            The French went with Mercury…

            • Jane
              Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

              I guess that gave them a rest from the fighting between Tuesday and Thursday.

      • Kath
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        This can’t have done much for learning how to spell the days of the week.

        • Jane
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          Seem to recall that it was invaluable for Saturday but caused a few issues with Tuesday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Merusa
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Same list I learned! Maybe it’s a generation thing but I doubt you’re anywhere near my generation!

        • Jane
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Can’t vouch for that one way or the other, Merusa – but I do remember a time when one could be reasonably confident that one’s offspring would receive a similar education to the one we had been given.

          On the upside, I think it let me off much of the homework by about the second year of senior school for my two – I didn’t have a clue what they were ‘going on about’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  19. Shropshirelad
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Virtually a R & W today. There wasn’t a great deal of sparkle, so I do wonder if it is Jay. I thought 4d in particular was rather un-Jay like and a bit clunky. 7d was a new word for me but get-able from the wordplay. However I did enjoy many of the clues with my favourite being 16d (Kath – please notice – only one favouritehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif)

    Thanks to setter and the 2 K’s (make sure you wrap up warm – I’m just off to sit in the garden with another bottle of Sancerre http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif)

    • Kath
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad that someone is behaving today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        You count getting slightly oiled in the afternoon, behaving ones self? You’re my kind of friendhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Kath
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Yup – why not?

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 16, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink

          Come and meet the master.

  20. Merusa
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    thanks Jay for an easy ride today. Like Jane, I remembered the Scandinavian beauty from school.
    Fave was 4d, though it took long enough to figure out why, and runner up was 6d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the entertaining review. Keep warm.

  21. Hanni
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    **/****

    I nearly didn’t complete this grid because of 11a. It was my last in , and despite having all the checkers in place I just couldn’t see what it was. I resorted to going through vowels to figure it out. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    Loved the rest of it.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwi’s for a great blog.

  22. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I would have liked 120 definitions as it was over too soon.
    Found 28a a bit early for the season and didn’t like the way red was defined in 20d.
    Or the source of water in 21a.
    Liked the creature in 4d. Such a strange animal. We spell it Narval in French.
    Suppose I will go for 5d as being a good all in one.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2kiwis for the review.

    • Jane
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jean-Luc,

      Not sure that you’ll be around later, having apparently been fairly under-whelmed by this one but – just in case you should pop in after service – it seems as though your part of the world has been in the forefront in the birding world recently with the Hyeres salt pans playing host to the appearance of a Bimaculated Lark.

      No – I wouldn’t (even having looked at the photo’s) know one if I fell over it, but it has caused a fair bit of a stir in the birding news over here!

      Hope your season is off to a good start? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jane,
        I hope it wasn’t one of those Chanel stunt.
        Karl Lagerfeld is the president of the jury for this year Fashion Festival in Hyères in ten days.
        The catwalk is in the said salt plans and I hope they didn’t mistake that bird for one of the models.

  23. Mycall
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I had been contemplating giving up on cryptic crosswords – had not managed to complete one without hints for ages. But this one has boosted my confidence again. This is at my level of competence and I found it very enjoyable.

  24. Miffypops
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    This was one that seemed to fill itself in with checkers throwing up answers all over the shop. So bung them in and refer to the clue. It was All over too soon. The Green Man secured The Harbury And District Crib League last night with a fine win. Well done us.

    • Hilary
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      So even if Mrs C went off to Lanzagrotty in the middle did not phase you. You won through – brilliant http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  25. SheilaP
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    We had a quick look today before lunch, and couldn’t do any. However after having lunch with friends, we managed to finish it with very little resort to the hints. Quite liked it really, and have heard of Freya along with Woden, Thor, Valhalla etc.Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis.

    • Jane
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      ‘Valhalla’ – which day of the week was that then? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Try Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song Jane. That has a bit of Valhalla in it

        • Jane
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Tried it, but needed to bring up the lyrics to find Valhalla. Sounds like it could be Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to me – the other days are so much calmer.
          As for next Monday’s music – Kitty said she loved the Russian composers so I’m still full of hope. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • SheilaP
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        If you go to Valhalla you will be able to cavort with all the slain warriors of Germanic folklore on any day of the week…….what fun!!

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          WooHoo!

  26. Heno
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some tricky bits. Favourite was 20a, had an image of Salvador Dali’s Lobster telephone on a 4 poster bed :-) Last in was 24d, that I remembered from somewhere. Penultimate was 7d,which was a new word for me, but got it from the wordplay. Was 2*/3* for me. Beautiful 2 day summer in Central London.

  27. Miffypops
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I was going to have a niggle about the lack of food in this puzzle. The very lovely 20ac becomes completely inedible after anagramatification. Then I wondered if 4d were edible. here is a clean version of their song. Youtube has other versions. Be warned

    • Hanni
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Hehe. I know the version you mean. Thanks for posting.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      Isn’t 10a food…of sorts?

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        I would not want to live on it

    • Jane
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that only you would even think of looking for a Youtube clip of edible 5d’s. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      I think that 1a’s also come under the heading of ‘food’ – but maybe best to steer clear of eating the immediate family. I learned the other day on QI that it is NOT illegal to eat human flesh, just illegal to kill someone off with that intention in mind.

      Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase oft used by grandparents – ‘you’re so lovely, I could eat you’.

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        I merely searched to see if Narwhal were edible. It didn’t matter in the end because Saint Sharon took me out to lunch and I had a Lamb Tagine. All crosswords need a little bit of food to keep us going. I also long for words in my lovely little dictionary. It was your music last week Jane. Kitty’s on Monday.

        • Kitty
          Posted April 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Awesome video, especially the intact version.

          Not all the words in that dictionary are suitable.

          Today’s word begins with L.

          I’m not sure it will be a good idea for me to choose the music next Monday. Mrs Brian may not be quick enough to hide the sharp things, and JLC might defenestrate himself. I don’t want that. But the crossword will dictate what goes in, so Rufus could yet save your ears.

  28. pommette
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Evening Peeps – just thought I’d pop on and say hello.
    1*/3* for me and pommers – as we were just left with one across and one down clue after first pass.
    So thank you Jay for an enjoyable puzzle. And to the 2Kiwis for the review.
    We’ve got some friends who’ve just come back from a holiday NZ and spotted the snow before they left!
    Hope it doesn’t stay for long and that it warms up a bit again but the worst of the winter for you guys.

  29. Jay legs
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, the third easy crossword of this week but beware tomorrow is Thor’s Day or even Blur’s Day. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for pointing out “initially” 4d ! Always read the clue to the end :( What I like about Beaver is he doesn’t give a dam ;)

    • Kath
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Oh no – please don’t talk about tomorrow’s crossword like that – I’ll go all wobbly – http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Jane
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear – I was just hoping that you wouldn’t notice that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        I am only an email away Kath. If you want proof that a clue is insoluable (unsolvable) I am sure I can provide such proof.

      • pommers
        Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        With a bit of luck it will be a RayT, or perhaps not http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 16, 2015 at 1:14 am | Permalink

          I hope so. I do so like the wrestle. I do so like winning too. Nice to see you pommers

          • Kitty
            Posted April 16, 2015 at 1:19 am | Permalink

            It is – yay! And a lovely one for you too. Since I could do it, you will have no problems.

  30. Jewel
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else think of the Abba singer for 24d! She was known as Freda (but spelt Frida) and I think she was German – otherwise perfect!

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 15, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      I do try really hard not to think of anything Abba whatsoever. We all have our visions of hell. An eternity ( or an hour ) of Abba would be Hell for me.

  31. toadson
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable. Needed the blog to fully understand 24d.

  32. Liz
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Found this one Ok. No stand out clues though. I liked the long clues 1a, 28a, 1d &8d, it’s always easier if I get these first to give me something to go with. I did quite like 17a and like some of you I had heard of Freya…..quite a popular girls name recently. I was late starting this puzzle as I wanted to try and repeat my triumph of yesterday by finishing the Toughie first……however this was not to be. I still have 5 gaps left in it, so looks like my brain revelation was just a good old fashioned flash in the pan! Ho hum…

  33. Una
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Everything went in fairly smoothly, until 24d and 27a, when a multi-talented college (he plays 6 instruments , has had poetry books published, paints wonderfully and teaches A-level English) looked over my shoulder , begging for a clue and came up with 24d instantly.Thanks Kiwis, sorry to hear you are cold . It is lovely here, the cherry blossoms are just about to open, along with lots of other shrubs.Thanks Jay.

  34. Catnap
    Posted April 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. For once, I was able to start at the beginning and work systematically through to the end. (It’s usually the other way round…) **/**** for me. I liked many of the clues, including 3d, 5d, 6d and 7d. Thank you very much, Jay.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    I had no problems, but appreciated being able to check that I did indeed have the correct parsing. Your review is always appreciated, 2Kiwis. Thank you very much.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted April 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      You’re welcome. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  35. Diane woodward
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    How do I solve she tears about

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Diane, we don’t understand your question. Which clue are you referring to? Cheers.

      • crypticsue
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Big Dave did explain to Diane the other day that this is not a site for answering questions on cryptic clues generally.

        Diane – try http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk for your general queries and Big Dave’s Crossword Blog for queries on specific Daily Telegraph puzzles.