DT 27812 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27812

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27812

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Home again. Winter has arrived while we have been away. It will be warm clothing and fires in the grate for the next couple of months for us while most of you will be basking in the sunshine of a Northern hemisphere summer.
It was great to be away and do all the things we did and meet all the people we met but it still feels good to be back to a normal Wednesday with a Jay puzzle to solve, blog and enjoy.

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


1a     Besieged by left of centre, cowered (7)
CRINGED : The left of centre is its first letter. This is followed by a word for besieged or surrounded.

5a     Companies that perform use port for processing (7)
TROUPES : An anagram (for processing) of USE PORT. The performance is usually on stage.

9a     An unsociable person like this must welcome a couple of daughters (5)
SADDO : A two letter word meaning ‘like this’ surrounds A from the clue and the abbreviation for daughter twice.

10a     Drinks with chief parliamentarian? (9)
ROUNDHEAD : What a number of drinks bought by one person is described as, and then a synonym for chief to give this historical parliamentarian.

11a     Rise includes state benefit for juvenile (10)
ADOLESCENT : A four letter word used to describe the unemployment benefit is included in a word for a rise or climb.

12a     Crowns for men with no teeth at last! (4)
CAPS : Take a synonym for men and remove from inside it the last letter of teeth.

14a     The best unemployed ringside assistant? (6-2-4)
SECOND-TO-NONE : The person who helps a boxer has nobody who needs him.

18a     Is clothed simply in petticoats? (12)
UNDERDRESSES : How somebody wearing a petticoat could be described.

21a     How to attach collar? (4)
NAIL : How to attach, possibly using a hammer.

22a     Beryl‘s answer as member of the army at sea (10)
AQUAMARINE : The one letter abbreviation for answer, then a word meaning ‘as’ or ‘in the capacity of’, and then a seagoing soldier.

25a     Lacking purpose, so slept around, ringing home (9)
POINTLESS : An anagram (around) of SO SLEPT surrounds the short word meaning at home.

26a     Fool mostly getting millions for a turn of phrase (5)
IDIOM : Take a synonym for fool, remove its last letter and replace it with the abbreviation for millions.

27a     When to get working in miserly environment? (7)
TONIGHT : The answer is one of myriad possible answers to the question ‘When?’  Insert a two letter synonym for working into a word for miserly.

28a     Stress is reversed in joint projection (7)
TENSION : Reverse the word ‘is’ inside a type of joint made by woodworkers.


1d     Accidental case of toxicity rejected by A&E (6)
CASUAL : The alternative name for an A & E department has its last two letters, which are the first and last letters of toxicity, removed.

2d     Popular affair with men over the threshold (6)
INDOOR : A charade of a word for popular, another common word for affair , and lowly army men.

3d     Bush — a person not wanted by lovers (10)
GOOSEBERRY : Forget all about US presidents, this fruit-bearing bush is also a name for an unwelcome third party.

4d     Greek party on right in charge? (5)
DORIC : A word for a party, the abbreviation for right, and the abbreviation for in charge.

5d     Beef dish done badly during trips? (9)
TOURNEDOS : An anagram (badly) of DONE is included in a synonym of trips.

6d     The likelihood of finding double D in outsize? (4)
ODDS : The double D is not a bra size, just the two letters, and they are inside a label for large sized clothing.

7d     Carry on raising a sound of disapproval for game (8)
PEEKABOO : A word for carry on or continue is reversed (raising in a down clue), then A from the clue and the call one makes when disapproving.

8d     Slow to lose depression, despite changing skirt (8)
SIDESTEP : Remove a word meaning a depression from ‘slow’ to leave one letter which is followed by an anagram (changing) of DESPITE.

13d     Self-control of Government department on European limit (10)
MODERATION : The government department that looks after the armed forces, the abbreviation for European and a verb meaning to limit.

15d     Countries regularly suppressing mission when needed (2,7)
ON REQUEST : Alternate letters from the word ‘countries’ precede a synonym for a mission.

16d     How to get tips, evidently, for cooker on fire? (8)
TURNSPIT : The answer when split 4,4 tells you how to get tips.

17d     Dependence with no source of codeine supplement (8)
ADDITION : A word for drug dependence has the first letter of codeine removed from it.

19d     Book on family wearing football team gear for beach (6)
BIKINI : The abbreviation for book, then a word for family is surrounded by by the number of people in a football team expressed in numeric form.

20d     Reporter‘s line, for example, on staff (3-3)
LEG-MAN : The abbreviation for line, an abbreviation for ‘for example’, and a verb meaning to staff.

23d     Agree dropping name is a plus (5)
ASSET : Take a word that means agree and remove the abbreviation for name from inside it.

24d     Tourist agency must cover such a party (4)
STAG : It’s hiding in the clue.

Disagreement on favourite today. She went for 10a. He went for 16d. What’s your choice?

Quickie pun   ferry  +   swill  =  Ferris wheel

114 comments on “DT 27812

  1. For some reason I found this trickier than usual for a Jay Wednesday and it took me into 3* time to complete with a bit of electronic help to boot. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay ***/***

  2. Quite liked this & would put it in **/*** territory. Favourite clue was 7D. Many thanks to the 2 K’s for an excellent review

  3. What a relief after two disasters for me yesterday!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    2*/3.5*. The only thing stopping me giving 4* for enjoyment was that I thought the definition for 27a was a bit iffy. Still there was much enjoyment to be had, with lots of excellent clues. My short list for favourite was 14a, 21a, 1d & 16d, with 14a getting my final vote.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks, particularly for the parsing of 22a which I couldn’t quite 21a.

  4. I certainly had to think a bit this morning, but I thought there were some excellent clues in this puzzle, Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    2*/5* for me.

    Thanks to all as ever. Nice puzzle, Jay.

  5. Not too difficult but some rather forced clues I thought. 21a is odd, why would you nail a collar? Stud perhaps but nail? What am I missing? Not quite sure why a reporter is a leg-man and 19d seems more than a little contrived. However, those are minor niggles in an otherwise pleasant offering.
    Thx to all.

        1. Ah never occurred.to me about arresting someone. That’s actually a clever clue, I was just too dense to understand it!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. Hi Brian, I guess a reporter is called a leg man because, when a news item is called in, he’s the guy who has to leg it over there to get the full story!

  6. Slow start but thoroughly enjoyed this one. It seemed more of a *** for difficulty for us but maybe just having a dim day! Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis. It was such a pleasure to meet you both last week.

    1. And we enjoyed meeting you. Sorry to dis appoint you by being boringly heterosexual. It gave us a nice story to dine out on though. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. Never mind (about sexuality) but we thoroughly enjoyed meeting both of you. If you are in our neck of the woods on July 11th, we would love to see you both, or indeed any number of bloggers, solvers, setters that might be around at the time…..Open House!!!!!!!!!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

  7. More of a ***/*** for me as per Paso Doble, very few ‘write in’s’ and struggled with the word play generally for some reason, thought 18A ended in S rather than D as the clue uses the present tense-IS CLOTHED? apart from that no other ‘niggles’

    1. Sorry about the S instead of a D at the end of 18a. We had it correct in the puzzle and then missed the typo on the blog. Have corrected it now. Thanks.

      1. Whoops. I should have read all the comments before I wrote the above. Will now put the S back again.

        1. Blast – I should have read all the comments too. There I was thinking that I’d been right all along with my ‘D’ ending. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Not to worry, Kath. If you read my comments, I agreed with you……and still do!

    2. To possibly add to the confusion here, the clue I originally submitted was “Just wears petticoats!”

        1. I thought that too, Angel. But then I wondered – is it only a better clue because we already know the answer? Suspect we might have been reliant on a few checkers for that one.

          1. Needed some checkers to help with my original answer but using the same checkers I actually THINK I would have put the correct ending as the outcome of Jay’s original clue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  8. Thank you Jay, I found this a lot harder than the usual Wednesday puzzle. Managed to finish eventually but it was a real struggle ! Thanks 2Kiwis for the review and hints – which I consulted to check some of the wordplay.

  9. I thought this was hard and took a while to get going so I would make it a ***/** for us. We had to check to see what we were supposed to be looking for in the hints, so thank you to the 2Kiwis and to the Wednesday setter.

    1. I expect the 2Kiwis are catching up on their sleep so I’ve updated the answer on the blog – thanks Andy.

        1. So it wasn’t, I see now. That was the second Andy’s only comment. If he comments again we’ll get him to choose a new alias.

          1. Maybe he’s an AA man? (scroll down if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about).

  10. ***/*** for me. Not sure about 19d football team being represented by ii. Is it a regular convention? I’ve seen xi of course. Otherwise enjoyed. Only one answer after doing the across clues, so pleased to finish. Ref ‘underdressed’, I’d have thought both were ok. You would say someone is underdressed, using the present tense as in the clue.

    1. I think the football team is an II rather than ii, I and 1 being interchangeable in crossword-land.

  11. This was mainly ok but I needed hints for 7d, 16d and, I hardly dare admit it, 13d. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable time and 2Ks for your help. Glad you are safely home.

  12. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Couldn’t do this to save my life. Needed 8 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me. Glorious day in Central London.

    1. Thanks for the weather update Heno. I’m back in London this weekend for the final at Twickenham – Go Bath Gohttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  13. Was a bit slow in getting 16d as I thought of CLIP for 21a. But couldn’t find a rotisserie with a c in the middle.
    Was trying to find a game ending in OOB for a while too in 7d.
    Obviously I also got 14a but don’t see the connection with boxing. Same goes for 3d. I only penciled my answer as I didn’t know that term. In France we call these persons “chandelles”.
    17 and 23d are my favourites.
    Thanks to Jay and to our 2kiwis for the great review

    1. 14a In boxing the boxer’s assistant in the corner of the ring is called a second (what in French would probably be un soigneur).

    2. Jean-Luc, a boxer’s second is his/her assistant at the ringside who attends to any injuries and offers advice between rounds.

  14. Late here today – been busy. Nearer a 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment from me today.
    I got more across answers on first read through than I usually do on Wednesdays but then everything slowed down.
    As I wrote in ‘stud’ for 21a it did occur to me that it wasn’t very cryptic – oh dear! 17d sorted that one out.
    I didn’t know the ‘qua’ bit of 22a although the answer was pretty clear.
    I was a bit slow with 14a and managed to convince myself that 26a had to end in ‘MS’ rather than just the ‘M’.
    I liked 9, 12 and 18a (even though I had the wrong last letter for 18a) and 3d. My favourite by a million miles was 16d – it was also my last answer.
    Some friends of ours live in Oz and own five hundred acres of bush. They’ve built a wonderful cabin and when the cooking was being done on the fire (their only means of cooking) whatever it was that was being cooked was attached to an old starting handle. The ‘rule’ was that every time someone got up to get another glass of wine they had to give the handle a quarter of a turn. What a place!
    Sorry about that lengthy bit of rabbiting – thanks to Jay and the 2K’s. Hope that the sleep is beginning to work a bit better.

  15. I loved 16d…a Turnspit is also a small dog that walked in a treadmill that in turn turned a spit…

  16. Late on parade today for the (nearly) back pager. I struggled with this whilst trying to deal with customer services of my new utilities supplier (who shall remain nameless but they are definitely un – cooperative), so I was rather distracted. However, I think that I need to return to my old routine of ‘Back Pager’ first and ‘Toughie’ second, as I seem to exhaust all my brain cells on the latter. No particular stand out clues but fair enough.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review.

  17. Didn’t like this one it at all! Took me absolutely ages and that was with using the hints for quite a few and also having to look at the answers in a couple of instances! Much harder than recent back pagers. I always feel a bit deflated if I have to use the hints and of late have not had to……so I’m going off to sulk. Thanks for the hints KK’s and to the setter. This was definitely a ***/* for me.

  18. Greetings from Pendine Wales, home of the beach land speed record trials with some interesting activity over the long weekend (I did nothing more than watch). We are spending the school break in a caravan without wifi or phone signal. I did get a newspaper and was able to do today’s puzzles. The back pager took me longer than the toughie today, but both were immensely enjoyable. Sunshine is sporadic.

    Thank you two kiwis for blogging so soon after your return, hope all was well for your return journey. Thank you Jay.

  19. Another ‘late on parade’ having been out for the day. Nice one from Jay which I initially thought was going to be R&W but slowed down the further I got into it. 2*/3.5* for me.

    18a I went for a ‘d’ at the end, working on the premise that ‘is clothed simply’ can be re-written as ‘is underdressed’ but not as ‘is underdresses’.
    22a – one of my half-parses. Just used ‘marine’ for the army member and ‘aqua’ for the sea. However, I trawled through a lot of ‘Beryls’ to find the girl of that colour! A new one for me.
    26a – think we’ve had this debate before, but I still think a single ‘m’ should only represent a single million.

    6d – sorry 2Ks, but I believe it is an actual bra size – maybe just not one you’re familiar with?!!!
    19d – tried to justify two I’s as the initials of a football team – only ever think of first & second eleven in cricket.
    24d – lovely pic. 2Ks, but thought you might have gone for a laugh on this one!

    Loved 5d just because tournedos Rossini is one of my all time favourite meals but actual favourite is 14a or 1 or 6d. To keep Kath happy, I’ll go for 14a!

    Many thanks to Jay, whose puzzles are invariably a joy and to 2Ks for coming up trumps with the review, despite having the best of reasons to back out on this one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Hi Jane

      Re the M thingy.

      I agree with you. 1M is one million and 20M is 20 million, not 20 millionS. Therefore M=million. I don’t know when M could be used as an abbreviation for the plural millions but . . . ?

      It’s a bit like my other bêtes noir – One = A and race = TT.

      They come up all the time and, to be honest, I don’t really care as I’ve learned to live with them because it’s what you’re gonna get in cryptic puzzles.

      BTW, I too love Tournados Rossini and I have a brill recipe for the sauce. Takes some time to make but worth the effort. Yummy http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. Hi Pommers,
        Would love the sauce recipe sometime. Perhaps you could email it across to me? No rush, but it would be great to give it a try.

      2. TT is not used for race, but races, as the IoM Tourist Trophy is a series of lethal races, not just one. So when you see races, always think TT

    2. Hmmm – 6d an actual bra size? Not one that I’m familiar with either! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      She should be so lucky, whoever she is!!

      1. One of my ‘old’ friends, whom I visited in Cheshire last week. She thought herself so ‘lucky’ that she saved like mad and finally had a reduction some years ago! She’s now a 34B and loving it – a ‘huge weight off’ as she puts it!

    3. Didn’t want to mention Tournedos Rossini as I thought Foie Gras was not very welcome in the UK.
      But it is one of the best dishes ever and so simple to achieve as it only takes minutes to prepare: You only need one frying pan, toast the bread in it first, reserve, add butter and cook the steak, turn it over and add the slice of foie gras just seared on both sides, put the bread, the tournedos, the slice of foie gtas and deglaze the pan with port and pour on. Voila. Shouldn’t take more than 10mn.

      1. Hi Jean-luc, you’re quite correct – I wouldn’t TOUCH foie gras, but there are some pretty decent alternatives. Possibly not acceptable to you Frenchmen, but it works for me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        1. I’ll eat anything. In fact I’m sure I have. But your alternative is probably not livery. I wonder what it could be. A bit of tofu?

          1. Tofu? Good grief, no – never! Definitely liver based, but not of the force-fed variety.

          2. If you think you will eat anything I suggest you try raw sea anenome. I tried it in Japan a few years ago and I can say it is quite disgusting. Actually it’s worse than disgusting and the only thing I can think of worse than tofu.. Raw prawns are quite nice though.

            Foie gras however is to die for, especially the goose.

  20. Thought this was just great with enough food for thought interspersed with several lighter moments. Thank you Jay and 2Ks who were much needed to parse 2d and 8d and indeed 9a which I think is a new one on me. Glad to hear you are safely home and dry 2Ks and do hope you are right that we will be blessed with a Northern Hemisphere summer of sunshine in which to bask while you keep cosily warm Down Under. ****/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  21. I found it quite difficult, more four star territory, really.Beaten by 16d and 7d . I wasn’t aware of the meaning of beryl but guessed it in the end.The downs were more difficult than the acrosses.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  22. This was quite a tricky puzzle which took me a lot longer then usual to complete and as usual afterwards I wondered why. Ah well, maybe the little gray cells were on an away day.
    I liked 1d bestest. 3*/3* overall. Thanks to Jay and the Two K’s.

  23. Not relevant to today’s puzzle (sorry) but I was looking through the info re: the various Telegraph setters. Some ‘favourite’ clues are reproduced and one of Ray T’s is ‘to sleep, perchance to dream’ (10). The answer is INFINITIVE. Can one of you experts make sense of that one for me, please?

      1. Good grief – I hope it was in a Beam and not a back-pager!
        Thank you, Pommers.

  24. Typical Jay Wednesday Wizardry (start with the downs). Got only four of the acrosses but eleven of the downs and then it all fell into place, apart from the QUA in 22a which needed a check in the BRB. We give it **/****. Splendid stuff.

    Glad to see you Kiwis made it home in one piece and was I surprised you were up for the blog. Is that “above and beyond”? BTW, you can now mention the cricket!

    Anyway, ta muchly for the blog and thanks also to Jay for the usual good stuff.

    1. When we left Heathrow the Black Caps were still in a strong position at The Oval. It was not until we were chatting to the Biosecurity Officer at Wellington airport at the end of our journey that we discovered the awful truth. It quite spoilt our day.

      1. Reverse experience for me of course. What a fantastic test match and I managed to watch a good proportion of it. Young Stokes may be the next Beefy/Freddie but we shall see.

  25. Good morning everyone. Managed to stay in bed until 5am despite being awake from about 2am. Perhaps in a day or two our bodies will start to make some sense of the readjusted time zones.
    Sorry about getting the wrong ending for 18a. We had just assumed that the D was correct and had not bothered to re-check. Our apologies.
    While we are on confessions we will admit to our problems with the Quickie pun. We had the correct answers in the grid but our jet-lagged brains just could not see the pun. Urgent emails were sent off to our two sons and they both came back with the correct answer within minutes. Ah well, at least we had some sort of excuse. Cheers.

  26. ***/****

    Late to the party today due to breaking down in a horsebox and being rescued by an AA man that I think I might marry.
    And there is no proof that I left the lights on causing the battery to go flat or that the emergency charger wasn’t working either.

    Right..I did the crossword at 7 this morning so needed to refresh my memory.
    Put ”underdressed’ for 18a. Really struggled with 20d and loved 3d.

    Brilliant as always from Jay. So many thanks to the man himself and to the 2Kiwis for blogging. Glad you’re home safe.

    What are the rules for being allowed a drink midweek? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. Rules? Only one I know is ” Thou shalt not drink more wine on a Wednesday than thou doth on a Saturday”.

      1. That’s a bit of a daft rule – depends on the Wednesday………..it’s going down quite well tonight. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. Very sensible rule. If I drank more wine on a Weds than I do on Sat I’d never get up on Thurs in time to do the blog. I don’t get up on Sunday because of the Saturday imbibing but there’s no blog to do so it don’t matter a lot. I could probably relax the rule now that Kath’s on board as I only blog about one week in three but it’s best to keep it safe so I limit myself to no more than two bottles of the collapso stuff and, perhaps, a rather large brandy, or two. That’s Wednesday – I won’t begin to enumerate the Saturday consumption. Pommette has been heard to say someting about “enough to stun an ox” but what would she know about the average neat’s alcohol consumption?

          Had blood analysed last month and liver is working fine, which was a major surprise both to me and my doctor, who looked a bit gob-smacked when she told me the results.

          1. Could I borrow a little of your blood, Pommers? My doctor just raises her eyebrows and asks whether I drove to the surgery.

            1. Nothing to do with the blood. You just need a little moderation in your drinking – like me. :lol:

              1. Absolutely no need to bring 13d into the conversation – what do you think this is……a crossword blog?!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. Umm…… trouble is, I don’t find it goes well with food. Drink enough though and food becomes rather unnecessary. Best diet I’ve ever found. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          1. I ate some opal fruits I found in the horsebox. I am calling them ‘dinner’. They’ll do. Right bath and wine!

          1. Did you actually arrange that, when I clicked on the youtube clip, Barbra’s face is obscured by an ad for ‘easy access walk-in showers’? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

            1. No. I thought of the excellent Lou Reed song first and then the Streisand one came to mind. There is something else nagging at the back of my mind being pushed forward by a little devil but I cannot quite grasp it yet.

              1. I’m sure you will, MP. Hopefully, by then, Hanni will have bathed and imbibed and be in a ‘position’ to defend herself.

          1. You will have to do your own finding of Amanda Palmer singing Coin Operated Boy. It is not for the feint hearted

          1. Not to worry, Pommers – I have a feeling that BD may well unleash the ‘Big Brother is watching you’ picture ‘ere long.

            1. Not that bad but BD might be getting a bit fed up of all the emails generated by our posts so I’m off to bed now. Collapso consumed, and the brandies (and three cans of beer), so all is OK in the world of pommers. In the blog chair tomorrow so got to keep what’s left of the wits about me.

          2. This has been a very educational evening.

            So…the breakdown was of the mechanical variety, I left the headlights on. No danger of a Basil Fawlty moment due to the fact there’s nothing you can do about it other than wait. Ate out of date opal fruits, tepid tea and turned the iTab on. Though to be fair I did get slightly vexed when I forgot I couldn’t ‘charge’ the tepid tea due to having no power.

            Then Mr AA man arrived in a big yellow van and off I went.

            My OH will dine on the fact I left the headlights on for years to come.

            Pommers and Jane… You are frightfully erudite about the joys of midweek drinking, and for that I thank you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

            Miffypops, what can I say? Your knowledge of music to fit a moment is unparalleled. I’m sure I have that Amanda Palmer outfit. If not it would be great for something.

    2. I always drink in moderation – the ‘Moderation Arms’ that ishttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      Milklthistle is the way ahead – it certainly confuses my blood tests for liver function and health.

  27. Found this tricky – was above average difficulty for me, but I don’t seem to be with the majority.

    Needed the blog to confirm my guess at 20d, as I hadn’t heard the term. Also had 18a ending in D. Took a while of wondering who Beryl might be before I remembered the stone. If I have a gripe it’s with the definition for 9a.

    I liked both of the Ks favourites, 3d, and lots of the others. I don’t feel like choosing one winner today though.

    Great stuff as usual from Jay. Thanks to him and thanks and admiration to the 2Ks for putting in a great blog after all that jet-setting. Not that Jay doesn’t also get my admiration for the puzzle. Admiration all round.

    1. Re: 9a…..my (ex and now deceased) father-in-law was definitely a most unsociable person and was also extremely sad when I and his only son produced two daughters. Even went so far as to change his will as a result!

        1. On the upside – his wife outlives him (96 and still playing golf) and she’s rather fond of her granddaughters!
          http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif to the ‘saddo’.

  28. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found this quite hard. I loved some of the clues, though, and I’ll go for 7d as my favourite. I have much to say about midweek drinking – and MP’s musical choices – but all that will have to wait for another day when I don’t feel so brain dead. What with Her Maj and FIFA, I’ve had a difficult day. Just time for a massive Scotch to follow the beer before bed and then up bright and early to entertain (after a fashion) the Australians. Many thanks to K-squared for helping me to understand some of my answers and to Jay for a, for me, more difficult than usual Wednesday challenge. 3* fun/4* hardness. G’night

  29. Goodness, what a feast of a blog today. I have to say that that reading the blog was more fun than the crossword that generated it. In which case it must have been a good crossword…
    For me it was completed apart from getting 20d wrong and the wrong letter ending on 18a. Struggled to winkle some of these clues out of their shell though and when I did they were not the most satisfying. ***/**
    I simply had to search for Amanda Palmer’s Coin Operated Boy, M’Popps. It is a long time since I heard this one… Err, thanks for the reminder. I do like her Radiohead covers though.
    Thanks Jay and 2Ks for the super blog.

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