DT 27782

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27782

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

The cold weather that we wrote about last week turned out to be just a warning shot across the bows. The woolly hats and long trousers have been put back in the drawer for the meantime and the wood container for the fire put back in the shed.
A few clues today had us beak scratching. Overall, we found the puzzle pleasantly challenging and amusing.

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

Across

1a     Undercover family intended losing tail (11)
CLANDESTINE : A possibly Scottish family group is followed by a word meaning intended or ‘fated to be’, with its last letter removed.

9a     Emergency worker and cop crossing Madeira after crash (9)
PARAMEDIC : The two letter abbreviation for a police constable surrounds an anagram (after crash) of MADEIRA.
images

10a     Insect‘s victim agonised to some extent (5)
IMAGO : This word for the final stage of an insect’s metamorphosis is hidden in the clue.
images

11a     NCO losing Post Office pen (6)
CORRAL : The NCO who usually has two stripes has the abbreviation for Post Office removed.

12a     I have a partner that’s spoilt (8)
IMPAIRED : When the answer is split (1’1,6) we get an expression that says I have a partner.

13a     Label container for kid’s protection (6)
DUBBIN : The kid here is fine leather. A three letter verb meaning to label or name and a type of bulk container.
images

15a     Callous beast must keep profit for this kind of woman (8)
BRUNETTE : The profit is what is left after expenses and taxes are paid, and is inserted into a description for a callous beast.

18a     Public officials required to take stiff examinations? (8)
CORONERS : A cryptic definition. The stiff mentioned here could be in a mortuary.

19a     Tied up unprotected crew in temper (6)
MOORED : The middle two letters (unprotected) of crew are included in a word for state of mind.

21a     Determined plunge to accept European Community rise at core (8)
DECISIVE : To plunge into a swimming pool perhaps, surrounds E(uropean) C(ommunity) and middle letters of rise.

23a     Screen type for blood? (6)
PLASMA : Double definition. The blood here is that part left after cellular matter is no longer there.

26a     Busy legate with no time, high-flier (5)
EAGLE : An anagram (busy) of LEGATE after T(ime) has been removed.
imgres

27a     Hanging around back of these must be punitive (9)
SWINGEING : A synonym for hanging has the last letter of these included.

28a     Dish of starch often breaking up (6,5)
FRENCH TOAST : An anagram (breaking up) of STARCH OFTEN gives this tasty breakfast treat.
imgres

Down

1d     American resort‘s limit on English fish (4,3)
CAPE COD : A word meaning limit then E(nglish) and a type of fish.
imgres

2d     Pair erring keeping kind of horse? (5)
AIRER : This horse is likely to be indoors, in front of the fire, and is hiding in the clue.

3d     Oh dear, it’s a matriarchy! (9)
DAMNATION : This mild expletive is made from a three letter word for a mother, and a word for a country.

4d     Bread and water? (4)
SODA : This answer can be used adjectivally with both of the substances in the clue. Nothing to do with prison rations.

5d     Immigrants pay heartless runners (8)
INCOMERS : A synonym for remuneration is followed by the first and last letters of runners.

6d     Girl from the United States missing mother on the way up (5)
ERICA : Take the other word that describes the United States and remove from it a reversal of the two letter colloquial word for mother.

7d     A helping of porridge, or diet for a northerner (7)
GEORDIE : There he is, in the clue, hiding under the breakfast table perhaps.

8d     Who said new arrival shortly gets a rise? (8)
NARRATOR : N(ew) then the abbreviation for arrival, A from the clue, and a rise or small hill. (It took us a while to spot the definition in this clue).

14d     Singer’s home in Cambridge, adaptable with no end of room (8)
BIRDCAGE : An anagram (adaptable) of CAMBRIDGE after you have removed the last letter of room.

16d     Darkness surrounding weirdly lone source of illumination (4,5)
NEON LIGHT : A word describing the daily period of darkness has an anagram (weirdly) of LONE included.

17d     Clergyman with idiot in church split (8)
CREVASSE : The title for a clergyman, then an animal synonym for idiot are both included in the abbreviation for the Anglican Church.
images

18d     Beats BBC bigwig in resolving clues (7)
Paper version:   Director-General taken in by poor clues for ‘Beats’
CUDGELS : An anagram (resolving) of CLUES has the two letter abbreviation for the head of the BBC included.

20d     Current amount of water required to float ship (7)
DRAUGHT : Double definition. The first one could describe the current of air that may come under an ill-fitting door.

22d     Support for the girl left with no alternative options? (5)
SHELF : A feminine personal pronoun is followed by the first and third (alternative) letters of left. There is also an all-in-one quality here as this could be where a girl with no alternative options might end up.

24d     Hindu deity‘s victory accepted by Islamic faith (5)
SHIVA : One of the principal branches of Islam has V(ictory) included.
Shiva_meditating_Rishikesh

25d     Element of last letter home kept on carbon (4)
ZINC : The last letter of our alphabet, then the two letter word for home and the chemical symbol for carbon.

We wouldn’t dare choose more than one favourite again, so our vote goes to 3d this week, with just a brief nod to 8d in passing.

Quickie pun  hire  +  ugly  +  fix  =  hieroglyphics

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95 Comments

  1. George
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I started reading the clues and rapidly became concerned whether I could get a start anywhere – panic ensued! But then solutions started to come and the pace picked up quite quickly until I managed to finish surprisingly in 2* time. I would give 4* for enjoyment and 5* for surviving my initial panic attack.

    I suppose it took a little while to tune in to the right bandwidth!

    Thanks to 2K and the setter, of course.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    2*/3.5*. Today’s splendid entertainment mixed current affairs (8d) with nostalgia (13a). I remember the awful job in the dim and distant past of applying 13a to my leather rugby boots to make them waterproof. On the theme of rugby nostalgia, my last one in, 6d (or to be accurate a homophone of 6d), reminded me of the epic streak at Twickenham in the early 80s.

    Apart from 21a (which is the type of clue I most dislike – a convoluted charade with a very clunky surface), this was a consistently good puzzle with 3d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

    • George
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      It brought back to me my travails at football at High School – not being much of a team sport enthusiast, the weekly trial by mud was only made worse by trying to waterproof my boots with 13a. Such a slimy goop!

  3. dutch
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Wow, 5d (Immigrants pay heartless runners) gets special mention. What a great topical clue, and so elegantly presented in 4 words. I am in awe. Sometimes shocking news is avoided in crosswords out of sensitivity, but it is hard to disagree with the sentiments here. Of course, I don’t know exactly when the clue was written…

    I also really liked the rather well-hidden 10a (insect’s victim agonised) and 7d (a helping of porridge or diet)

    3d got a laugh (matriarchy) and 23a (screen type for blood) was sufficiently misleading to be my last one in – actually I had guessed the answer from the enumeration, but didn’t see the connection till much later

    20d (ship displacement) had a new meaning of the answer for me

    I did think that “kid” in 13a was a definition by example (a kind of leather) requiring indication by at least a question mark, and I thought that “no alternative options” in 22d (support) was a funny way to indicate missing alternative letters, the clue reads perfectly fine with just “… left with no alternatives”

    But I’m still in awe of 5d

    many thanks setter and 2Kiwis

    • Jane
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Hi Dutch,
      Thoroughly ashamed to admit that I’d missed the topicality of 5d – well done you for being on top of your game today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  4. Jane
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    As is often the way with a Jay puzzle, first read through only unearthed a few answers, but it all fell into place ‘ere long and within 2* time – definitely 4* for enjoyment.

    Needed some checkers for 13a and tried initially to put a reversal of EC into an answer for 21a.
    10a – relieved to find the lurker, not a word that the old grey matter readily brings forth!

    Paper version has a slightly different clue for 18d:- Director-General taken in by poor clues for ‘Beats’

    Really liked 12&13a plus 3d but favourite vote goes to 22d for it’s all-in-one potential.
    Special mention for 28a as I simply adore ‘eggy bread’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the picture perfect review – glad to hear you’ve been able to stow away the winter woollies for a while longer!

    ps. Went to see Tom Conti in the touring production of Twelve Angry Men last night – if anyone gets the chance to go, I would heartily recommend it.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jane. Have added that extra information to the blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Kath
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s always ‘eggy bread’ in our house too – that’s my excuse for being ridiculously slow with the anagram.

  5. Hanni
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    ***/*****

    What an absolute pleasure of a puzzle. 3 and 5d will live long in the memory.

    Today I was on the lookout for hidden clues and thankfully they showed up. 11a was a new word for me, I think, but fairly clued and a quick check confirmed my answer, same for 15a.

    5d, what an amazing clue. Beautifully succinct. But 3d takes some beating, it really made me laugh.

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

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Nice bit of Cliff there Hanni (Now there is a line I never thought I would ever use) Where is it? Have I been there? is it Japan? Is there a good pub nearby?

      • Kath
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        What – excuse me, perhaps I should say pardon? What are you on about now or have I missed something here – if so for goodness sake explain.

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          Hi Kath. Hanni’s avatar is a cliff. When I said “nice bit of Cliff (Richard)” that is a line I would be unlikely to use.

          • Kath
            Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:00 am | Permalink

            Thank you – yet again 0/10 for observation. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Jane
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          SO glad you asked, Kath – I didn’t like to be the one, again!
          As for the other Cliff – I seem to recall really, really wanting to go on a Summer Holiday with him many moons ago….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        It’s Huntcliff, Saltburn. Spindrift was there yesterday and inspired me to put up a picture I took. The colours didn’t come out too well I seem to recall.

        As for pubs, The Ship is passable, literally and figuratively.

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:53 am | Permalink

          Ta

  6. Michael
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable – no quibbles with the clues – a very good and interesting Crossword.

  7. Bluebird
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit to wanting to crib on some occasions, but wasn’t in a position to access electronic or print help, so I was just forced to perseverate ( haven’t heard that term on here for a while…….) and in the end it all came good, with 15a the last one in.
    2.5/ 4.
    Very good puzzle, Jay!

  8. Sweet William
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jay, an enjoyable challenge. Started at the bottom and worked upwards as I find I have to with Jay puzzles. I wonder if anyone else made the same mistake as me at 5d. I initially went for “settlers” – “settle” to “pay” as in settle the bill + “rs” It was only when I sorted out 1a that I saw the error of my ways. Thanks 2Kiwis for your review, photos and hints.

  9. Paso Doble
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    What a great puzzle – thanks Jay. We enjoyed every minute of it, particularly 18a.
    True story: A school friend of mine went on to study medicine at university and had to do an internship at Leicester morgue. When I visited him he offered me a cup of tea. To my horror he pulled open a drawer to get the milk which was keeping cold next to a ‘stiff’. An unfortunate lady who had died the previous day in a road accident.

    Thanks also to the 2 Kiwis for the review.

  10. Brian
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I was really enjoying this until I got to the top right corner and found myself totally stumped. Even the hints failed to unpick 6d and never having heard of an imago makes it damn difficult to spot a hidden clue. However, the grotty clues up in that corner were balanced by some brilliant ones elsewhere in 13a, 23a and 3d esp the last which really made me smile. So for me a bit of a curate’s egg.
    ***/**
    Thx to all

  11. Adelma
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. 3d made me chuckle. Always a pleasure to hear from the 2K’s

  12. Angel
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Just nicely testing. Thank you Jay and 2 Ks. 18a fav. NE corner last to go in. Needed dictionary help with some obvious Thesaurus products such as 24d and 10a. Took a while to parse 6d to avoid putting in Evita. 3d seems a bit contrived and not sure about this synonym for matriarchy. ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  13. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    First had Settlers for 5d which slowed me down a bit. But when I realised my mistake, everything fell into place.
    Had to resort to the hints for 13a. New word for me.
    Liked 9a and 23a a lot.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

    • Liz
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      My kids used to use this for waterproofing their football boots and have used it for walking boots. Nowadays the are much less messy alternatives!

    • Sweet William
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Glad I wasn’t alone with Settlers Jean Luc – it seemed to make sense at the time !

      • Kitty
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        And a very fine alternative answer it was too.

  14. Liz
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Very slow start for me today. Once ‘French toast ‘ went in things started to improve and just got better and better. SW corner was last to go in. My favourite clues were 2d, 3d, 4 d, 17 d, 18 a & 23a. Some very neat and witty clues, so throughly enjoyable. I did try to fit ‘nose dive’ into 21a which held me up a bit, and I found 13a a bit of a head scratcher, Thanks to setter and 2 kiwis….. Although I did not have to use the hints today (amazingly)! **/**** from me today. No time for the Toughie now as I have to go to work….may try it later, although didn’t get far with yesterday’s.

  15. Kath
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    What a terrific crossword today – I agree with 3* difficulty and at least 4* for enjoyment.
    I caught 10a before he had a chance to catch me, eventually saw 2d, but missed 7d for ages.
    For some daft reason 19a was my last answer – not the most difficult clue by a long way but . . .
    Being a pedant I wasn’t very keen on 23a – plasma is a component of blood rather than a synonym for it – a very minor quibble in such a brilliant crossword – setter’s licence and all that kind of stuff!
    I was slow with the 28a anagram, partly because I convinced myself that the second word had to be ‘roast’ but mainly because it’s ‘eggy bread’ in our house.
    8d took a lot of thought and head-scratching – I’m not a Kiwi so don’t have a beak to scratch.
    I liked too many of these clues to mention them all so a few are 11 and 18a and 4 and 20d. Favourite by miles was 3d which made me laugh.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis – you’ll need those woolly jumpies again in a couple of weeks!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Hello, fellow pedant! It’s nice to have a fellow guardian of standards around.

      However, just a thought regarding 23 (and I might be a million miles wide of the mark with this comment), as it is not a clear cut double definition, do you think that might be why the clue ends with a question mark?

      • Kath
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Who knows? Maybe I’d better just trot off and get back in my little cage! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • JohnY
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          I’m with you. If plasma is blood then a kneecap is a leg. I did enjoy the crossword though.

          • Kath
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Yes – plasma is the wet stuff that everything else sploshes around in. I loved the crossword too and thought it was a particularly good one today. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • fran
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Screen yes , blood no.! Is sap blood ? equally broad , I suggest . But one of the write ins so it didn’t detract from an enjoyable puzzle.

    • Merusa
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Here in America, eggy bread, aka French Toast, is a sweet dish. I, on the other hand, always thought it should be savoury! They like a lot of sweet things for breakfast, Danish rolls, etc., but I’ve never taken to them.

      • Kath
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Oh no – you can’t have sweet eggy bread – yucky. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          My step daughter’s husband has a penchant for melted cheese on toast smothered in sugar – that’s yucky too.
          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            I can’t begin to tell you the list of things wrong with that.

            • Jane
              Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

              I can’t bring myself to even THINK about that one.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          • Kath
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
            • crypticsue
              Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

              Don’t know what happened there Kath – do you want me to take it away so you can start again?

              • Jane
                Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

                Hi CS – if you really can take things away so I can start again, is it OK if I send you a list? It could be rather a long list……..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                • Kitty
                  Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

                  No! Then a lot of my comments would look far worse than they do already. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

                  • Jane
                    Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

                    Ah – you’re just isolating it to the blog, I was going more for life, the universe and everything. Or at least the bits of same that I’ve had some elements of choice about. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                    • Kitty
                      Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

                      Ah, well in that case my list is very short and very comprehensive, but no need to start again.

              • Kath
                Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:02 am | Permalink

                Thanks Sue – I don’t know what happened there either. Oh well – too bad. We can’t all be perfect all the time. In fact, some of us can’t even be perfect at all – never mind!

          • Kitty
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Ok, so the sugar’s really not needed, but I’ve eaten worse.

        • andy
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          Only ever savoury when I was a sprog, and still to this day. And to inflame the debate I love mine with Worcestershire sauce ;)

          • Jane
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            With cheese on toast – yes. With eggy bread -no, no, no. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Kath
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Oh, and just for the record, French Toast in our house is eggy bread as I’ve already said – our other little peculiarity is that what others call boiled eggs and soldiers in our house is called ‘eggies and dippers’. Who knows, yet again?

  16. Merusa
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Like George, on first read through I was in despair, but I started to get one or two, and then it took off. Really enjoyed this one, but I never did get 27a and still don’t understand it.
    Definite fave was 3d, wotta laugh! Runner up is 7d, but there are many, many good ones.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for starting the day off so nicely.

    • Merusa
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      P.S. We used dubbin for saddles after cleaning them.

      • Liz
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t that mess up your jods? Giving them a sticky bottom?…………

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Do you think Lady Godiva used dubbin on her saddle?

          • Hanni
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            It certainly might prevent saddle sores? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

            • Kitty
              Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

              The mind boggles.

          • Kath
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

            The God of War went for a ride,
            Upon his favourite filly,
            “I’m Thor” he cried,
            The horse replied,
            “You’ve got no thaddle, thilly!”

            • Jane
              Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

              Love it, Kath – and eggy bread. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

        • Merusa
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          After saddle soaping them, you rub the dubbin on them and leave them in the sun. It soon soaks in and keeps the leather supple. I can’t say it particularly messed up my jeans (not jodhpurs), I wasn’t into fancy riding, just in and around the sugarcane fields. I think it is basically glycerine, isn’t it?

  17. Gwizz
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    For a while I was struggling big time, then 26 and 28a went in and things started to fall into place more easily. Some lovely clues, 3d and 18a for instance but my favourite was 22d.
    3*/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and The Kiwis for their efforts.

  18. Kitty
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    If yesterday’s was slightly meaty, this was roast beef. Nom nom nom :).

    There was no choice but to savour this slowly, then I pulled up at the finish. I’d mis-typed 11a: once I noticed that, 3d and then 13a fell. 15a was my last in. Amazingly I finished without help but did have to verify what a 10a is and also 20d’s second definition. I really liked today’s lurkers.

    3d is obviously favourite. Just as well, since I’m surely heading that way.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    • Jane
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      3d – you? Now, why on earth would you think that………… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Kitty, where has your gravatar gone, or is it only invisible on my computer? It’s not even showing as one of the strange default images.
      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Kitty is in hiding. Macavity’s not there!!!!!

      • Jane
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Oh jeepers – don’t tell me 3d has got her already?!!!

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Long ago Jane. Beyond redemption I m afraid

          • Jane
            Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Hopefully she’ll come back and tell us what it’s like down there – I wouldn’t have a clue, of course. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            Speaking of gravatars – what’s this new one of yours all about, MP?

            • Miffypops
              Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

              It looks like some geezer singing a song to me Jane. He is wrapped up in the lyric and will continue to sing to his audience in a manner more deeply personal than they have ever been sung to before using as voice as old as rock itself. The Master.

              • Jane
                Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

                I guess I should have known better than to ask…….

                • Miffypops
                  Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

                  It was a fair question Jane. It is a favourite photograph of mine taken by Paulo Brillo. Check him out here

                  http://www.paolobrillo.com/gallery.php?gallery=1

                  • Jane
                    Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

                    Thanks, MP. Checked it out and – if I had to choose, I’d go for the Crosby & Nash b/w in Milan, 2010.

                    • Miffypops
                      Posted April 22, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

                      He is a nice bloke as well as a great photographer. i will see him later this year.

        • Kitty
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          The flames are licking at my toes.

  19. Una
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Slightly more than 3* for me , as regards difficulty.I agree with Dutch about 5d, extraordinary coincidence I suppose. 4d, 7d and 23a brought more smiles.Thanks Jay and our New Zealand friends.

  20. Miffypops
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I have Eliza at 6d just because it fits. Silly really as we have seen the clue before in its various guises. As usual a superb puzzle and review. So Ta to all. Saint Sharon’s team beat us 4 -3 last night but we don’t mind. We will still be champions.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Then everyone’s a winner. Well done Saint Sharon’s team for giving the champions a good beating :).

    • Liz
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I had Eliza for a while, then it suddenly clicked!

  21. Mary Mary
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Had to look up answers for 8d, 14d and 15a but otherwise found it straightforward. 2*/4* for me today ? Solved 1a at once as I have a Scottish son-in-law and thought all was going to be plain-sailing but pride comes before a fall ! Took much longer over the middle part then romped to the end.
    Isn’t photo of toast our normal UK type ?? The other kind is thin and crisp surely and doesn’t have delicious butter !
    Thanks to Jay and the NZ solvers !

    • Jane
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, Mary, Mary – I think you need an introduction to ‘eggy bread’. It’s just a little bit of heaven and very far from being thin and crisp. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  22. silvanus
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Phew, that was hard going indeed, but very satisfying to complete in the end.

    As has already been mentioned, some particularly well disguised hidden words in an excellently constructed puzzle.

    My personal favourites were 13a and 18a, as they produced the widest smiles.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  23. Theosophilus Carter
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid I’m still lurking Kitty – I do enjoy reading what other cruciverbalists make of these puzzles, but I have to record that this was a particularly enjoyable one – lots of smiles from me as I went through it.

    • Kitty
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Still lurking … the odd comment now and again … and before you know it you’re hooked.

      • Kath
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        . . . and once you’re hooked you’re hooked – terribly addictive – be warned . . .

  24. sunny_h
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Is this a record? Just finished crossword 27555 (July 30th 2014). Fav clue 3d and didn’t need to refer to the hints. Now to have a go at 27782.

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink
    • sunny_h
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      …and finished in between eating tea and Master chef. Bottom was a shoe in but struggled a bit on the top. Thank you for the explanations, especially the horse- 2d Favourite was 7d.

  25. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Morning all. Breakfast is now out of the way, all the comments have been read and noted, and the sky is just starting to get lighter in the east. Sunrise looks to be not too far away and it should be a good day for Thursday golf (and a couple of crosswords of course). Cheers all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  26. Jane
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Ran out of ‘little lines’ on that one, Kitty. As for not wanting to change anything – wouldn’t you even like to alter things a teensy bit, geographically speaking?

    • Kitty
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Well, yes. I have vowed I will not be living at this address when winter falls.

      • Jane
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Good for you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

          Maybe. Unless I have relocated to the garden to eat worms :).

  27. Tstrummer
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks Jay for a fun solve that slotted nicely together in 2* time. 3d was my biggest smile, but there were others along the way. Took me a while to get 19a, my last one in. I’ve no idea why, I spent last week doing that at least twice a day on The Racy Mole. Thanks to K-squared for the usual excellent review and to all commenters for keeping me amused, even when I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Need an early night tonight as radio duties call in the morning – and then again in the evening, when the rest of you are just finishing the cocoa and setting your alarms. After that, I’ll get a chance to look at tomorrow’s challenge.

  28. Heno
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay, most entertaining. Last to fall was the SE Corner. Last in was 15a. Favourite was 1d. Was 3*/4* for me. Late commenting due to organising the Squash Tournament.

  29. Whybird
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Excellent stuff, although I went for IMPACTED for 12a which made 8d impossible. Ok so being “pacted” isn’t great, but I’ve seen plenty more tenuous answers. Thoroughly enjoyed this, even with the “I’m an idiot” conclusion.

  30. Bernard Juby
    Posted May 1, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Took a while to get started with PARAMEDIC but then raced away. My vote goes to 14d BIRDCAGE