DT 27820

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27820

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Camp de Florence, at La Romieu in the Gers region of France, about 15 minutes’ drive from Condom (Stop sniggering at the back, there!). The temperature yesterday afternoon was in the mid-30s, and as the sun is burning off the early morning haze as I type this, it looks like more of the same for today. We’ll just have to go and sit in the pool again: it’s a hard life being on holiday.

I haven’t spotted any references to Giovanni’s birthday in the Cryptic today, though there is a mini-theme in the Quickie. I found today reasonably straightforward, with nothing particularly holding me up.

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

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

Across

1a           Male champion has to stand before monarch as ceremonial officer (4-6)
MACE-BEARER – Put together Male, a champion or star player, a verb meaning to stand or endure, and the Queen’s regnal cipher.

6a           Image I would love — new one in car? (4)
IDOL – Put together a short form of ‘I would’, the letter that looks like a love score at tennis, and the letter which indicates a beginner at the wheel of a car.

10a         Line at start of famous poem about returning prisoner (5)
LIFER Line followed by the title of a poem by Kipling, and the reverse of the Latin word for about or concerning.

11a         Superior school form (4-5)
HIGH-CLASS – A type of school followed by another word for one of the forms in a school.

12a         ‘Cheap’ accommodation almost exorbitant? Then show anger (8)
STEERAGE – This is or was the cheapest accommodation on board ship. Remove the last letter from a word for exorbitant, as in ‘That’s a bit xxxxx’, and add another word for anger.

Image result for steerage

13a         Remove something potentially harmful from part of lunar module (5)
UNARM – Hidden in the clue.

15a         Assembled group dismissed after performance (7)
TURNOUT – A stage performance, followed by ‘dismissed’, as in ‘England batsman’.

17a         Creature in hold knocked out, keeping quiet (7)
DOLPHIN – Anagram (knocked out) of IN HOLD, with the musical symbol for quiet inserted.

Image result for dolphin

19a         Take food in home that’s comfortable and with the least clutter (7)
NEATEST – A verb meaning ‘take food’ inside a small, cosy home.

21a         Settlement apt to be tricky with unknown fellows invading (7)
PAYMENT – An algebraic unknown and some fellows inside an anagram (tricky) ofAPT.

22a         Clean up some of the Aussie territory? (5)
SCRUB – Double definition, the second being the typical vegetation of the Australian outback.

Image result for scrub Australia

24a         Bottle with petrol in US may be used as weapon (5,3)
NERVE GAS – What ‘bottle’ is a slang word for, followed by an American term for petrol.

27a         Impractical types having notion to join combat (9)
IDEALISTS – A notion or thought followed by the place for some mediaeval ritual combat – think knights in armour on horseback.

28a         Mountain leader good on Ben Nevis taking English? (5)
GUIDE – The Scots word for ‘good’ followed by English.

29a         Young lady in glasses (4)
LASS – Hidden in the clue.

30a         Great Dane’s fouled up item of outdoor furniture (6,4)
GARDEN SEAT – Anagram (fouled up) of GREAT DANE’S.

Down

1d           Factory with a thousand unable to work? (4)
MILL – The Roman numeral for a thousand followed by unfit for work.

2d           Cold fare I ate — horrible restaurant (9)
CAFETERIA Cold followed by an anagram (horrible) of FARE I ATE.

3d           Boat Inn starts to get expensive (5)
BARGE – Another word for inn or pub followed by the initial letters (starts) of Get Expensive.

Image result for sailing barge

4d           Essentially a threat to be averted (2,5)
AT HEART – Anagram (to be averted) of A THREAT.

5d           Intellectual, say — good person to lead school? (7)
EGGHEAD – Put together the Latin abbreviation for say or for example, Good, and the person in charge of a school.

7d           Tot and adult creating form of entertainment (5)
DRAMA – A tot of whisky followed by Adult.

8d           Nasty team insult just before the final whistle? (4-6)
LAST-MINUTE – Anagram (nasty) of TEAM INSULT.

9d           Performance needs superior accomplice, in fact (8)
ACTUALLY – A stage performance followed by the letter indicating superior or upper-class, and an accomplice.

14d         Stop in one street and another? I will (10)
STANDSTILL – Put together an abbreviation for street, AND (from the clue), another abbreviation for street, and the contracted form of ‘I will’.

16d         Excessively adventurous series of deliveries completed, we hear (8)
OVERBOLD – The series of deliveries is made by a bowler in cricket, and the second half of the clue sounds like (we hear) what he might be said to have done when the series is complete.

18d         Source of iron? Unfortunately, I hate meat (9)
HAEMATITE – Anagram (unfortunately) of I HATE MEAT.

Image result for haematite

20d         Mad aunt is entertaining this writer in the country (7)
TUNISIA The pronoun for ‘this writer’ inside an anagram (mad) of AUNT IS, giving a North African country.

Image result for tunisia

21d         Studied ‘Introduction to Plato’ with hesitation? Not new! (7)
PERUSED – Put together the first letter (introduction to) of Plato, an interjection showing hesitation, and an adjective describing a car which is not new.

23d         More than one revolutionary, having got rid of British, dances (5)
REELS – Remove the British from the middle of some revolutionaries.

25d         Scottish location excited Nigel (5)
ELGIN – Anagram (excited) of NIGEL.

26d         Fellow offers some amusing entertainment (4)
GENT – Hidden in the clue.


The Quick Crossword pun BOARD + ALIGN = BORDERLINE. There’s also a thematic reference in the grid to the setter’s recent significant birthday.

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87 Comments

  1. Collywobbles
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The temperature is about the same in the Languedoc. Enjoyed the puzzle

  2. Brian
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    As always Giovanni has rescued me from the slough of despair caused by yesterday’s horror. Another brilliant puzzle from the maestro and as always with his clues everything you need is in the clue, no making wild leaps of faith or assumptions, just follow the words.
    Best clues for me were 24a and 21d and last in was 28a, it had to be guide but the wordplay defeated me somewhat. Does this count as the Dons obscure word of the day? Only question, why the exclamation marks on ‘cheap’ in 12a?
    Many thx to all.

    • dutch
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      I think this is just punctuation added for surface (so-called cheap), which goes on to complain it’s really exorbitant

  3. George
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    This puzzle took me longer than it should have for some reason. Looking back I could kick myself that I did not catch on to the clues more quickly. I spent far too long on the SW corner.
    Anyway, I enjoyed the puzzle well enough – so thanks to the setter and DT

    2*/4* is a fair rating I think.

  4. Paso Doble
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle with some great clues which we could work out such as 14d which was our favourite. Had to check alternative spelling for 18d. Good fun all round…2.5*/4* Thanks to DT and the setter (Giovanni?)

  5. Roger Kirby
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Easier than yesterday – I struggled with 16D having put “overdone” to begin with which really hampered 27A!
    My favourites are 14D and 21D

    • gazza
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Roger.

    • Andy in the Far East
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      agreed, i felt he could have made a little better at the double definition – reason i immediatey left done – is in the clue “we hear”.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Gentle fare from the Don we thought and no obscurities that had us reaching for the dictionary. (Left us plenty of time for the Toughie which certainly needed it.) When we had completed we went back over the clues to appreciate the flawless surface reading that we so often tend to disregard when we are solving. Nobody does it better in our opinion. Enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  7. Rabbit Dave
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Regulars will know that I approach Friday’s back-pager with trepidation, so I am delighted to say that I really enjoyed this. My rating is 2*/3.5*. Three quarters yielded relatively easily and then I got slightly held up in the SW corner before finishing just on my 2* time limit.

    The meaning of lists in 27a was new to me, and I don’t understand why to be averted is an anagram indicator. 18d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  8. JonP
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I was absolutely on wavelength today; no problems with this one. Enjoyable stuff – with thanks to DT and Giovanni */****

  9. Andy in the Far East
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I thought a few too many hidden and anagrams. I was able to go from top to bottom with little difficulty. That said the glaring final across anagram made me initially miss nigel’s anagram. I thought kipling was quite nice and also plato – but then i like things old

  10. toadson
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Having been beaten by a few (in the time I had) yesterday, this seemed a lot easier. Needed the blog to fully explain 28a. Thanks to all.

  11. Prolixic
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    The French don’t use condoms for birth control. They use an orange liqueur as a Cointreauceptive

    • crypticsue
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

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

    • Owdoo
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Do they spell it with French letters?

      • Paso Doble
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        They call it ‘une capote anglaise’ in French!

    • Kath
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      I’m with CS here http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif.
      To reply to Paso Doble I know such a smutty joke about that – probably not for now though . . . maybe it’ll have to go into Heno’s really rude Spoonerisms only to be revealed at the next S&B meeting.

  12. Ora Meringue
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Managed all of this except for 16d and 22a.
    16d is not a word with which I am familiar, and I didn’t much like 22a either.
    All the rest were great, though.
    My favourite was 10a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  13. overtaxed
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    At the easy end of the Friday back pager.
    Very welcome after yesterday, which I thought got in the wrong envelope, though plenty of others seemed to find it easy.
    my vote for best clue is 14d. Lots of excellent cluing as usual from the Don.
    Thanks to setter and to DT. Could do with some of your 30° here. Still feels like winter.

  14. OlgaTheOwl
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Off to a slow start, for some reason. 16d was my last in, but my favourite – I prefer those to charades and it provoked a spontaneous ‘oh, that’s GOOD!’

  15. Kath
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I think 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment is about right.
    No major hold-ups.
    I was pretty stupid and missed where the last letter of 6a came from – really dim – new one in car – of course! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I didn’t know the combat bit of 27a although the answer was clear.
    Last one in? 26d! Oh dear! Again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I liked 24 and 30a. My favourite was 3d – there’s a really nice pub on the river near here called The Boat.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    I wouldn’t say it’s in the 30’s here, mainly because it isn’t, but it’s certainly very warm and sunny.

  16. SheilaP
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Not at all bad for a Friday. We really enjoyed it whilst sitting in the wilds of Northumberland, and managed to finish without assistance from DT in France.Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    A good gentle puzzle today. Nothing too tricky but a fun grid to complete. Can’t argue with the **\*** consensus from above.

  18. Una
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    It is certainly not in the thirties here, but warm enough for sandals.
    I enjoyed this puzzle, it was of the ” read it carefully , have a good think and then write it in ” variety.No obscurities, thank heavens.
    Thanks Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  19. Owdoo
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Day off work today and a lazy lunch in a local café accompanied by this puzzle. Pleasant all round.
    Favourite clue was 16d which raised a chuckle once I’d discounted overdone and the penny dropped.
    2*/4* for me.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the entertainment and DT for the review.

  20. dutch
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know the scottish for good (28a) and I learned a new word for combat in 27a. so these were my last in.

    My favourite is 4d because it reads nicely. I also liked 24a for the surface. I wasn’t sure what “offers” was doing in 26a, wrong way round for a link (isn’t it?), and “offers some” doesn’t quite work as “is contained in”, whereas just “some” does. Is it baggage for surface, or am I missing something?

    many thanks Giovanni and thank you Deep threat for the Scottish and combat lessons.

  21. Jane
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Fairly gentle offering from the Don today – he certainly does specialise in good surface reads. 1.5*/3* for me.

    Slight hesitation at 3d, where I initially tried for a word starting with ‘BI’ and I wasn’t 100% certain that 16d was all one word.
    Must also confess to waiting for all the checkers in 18d before committing to which vowel went where!
    Rather liked 24a but favourite definitely goes to 10a.

    Many thanks to DG and also DT – having just returned from a wild, wet and windy morning at South Stack with the birding group I can’t say that I totally appreciated your remarks re: temperature and swimming pools! We did, however, have some good views of Puffins, Chough and Peregrines, so achieved the object of the exercise. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  22. Sheepdog
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    The closest you can get to heaven without actually dying is doing the Torygraph crossword in the restaurant in the Wallace Collection, which is what I did today. Only 29 held me up because it seemed too easy to be correct. One suggestion, Muddy Waters rather than Scottish reels!

  23. silvanus
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Like Dutch, I hadn’t previously encountered the obscurites in 27a and 28a, but they didn’t really hold me up as the answers couldn’t be anything else from the checking letters.

    The surface readings were as smooth as you’d expect. and overall this was a very enjoyable solve.

    Favourite was 8d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  24. Angel
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Bark worse than bite but still needed a little help from my aids. Overall a bit middle of the road but good challenging moments. Missed hidden answer in 26d also the Scottish good in 28a and sought to use jousts in 27a. Thanks Giovanni and DT. ***/***. I’m watching tennis from Paris where temperature around 100 degrees F with huge hailstones and thunderstorms forecast for later this p.m. in the area and possibly something similar for us in SE England – oh dear do hope Murray’s match isn’t rained off. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  25. Hrothgar
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Down with extreme obscurity.
    Who has ever heard of ‘lists’ being some sort of Middle Ages combat?
    Not me, for starters.
    Otherwise very enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT for the review.

    • Andy in the Far East
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      In Jousting competition where our hero wear the colours of the Damsel in Distress, the lists are a set of posts and the knights ride toward each other on opposite sides – presumably to make sure they stay in the right place for tha lances – otherwise I guess you can bump into each other.

      I think you can see a great example outside Stirling Castle (to keep with our scottish theme)

      • Angel
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Exactly so not really combat itself IMHO.
        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Hrothgar
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Andy, I’m wiser now than I was a minute ago.

    • Jane
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Not sure that was altogether fair comment, Hrothgar. I think most of us have imbibed some medieval history via school, books or films and the ‘lists’ certainly played a huge part in the life of the royal court in those times.
      However, maybe you could spell 18d without turning a hair – I guess it’s all ‘horses for courses’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Hrothgar
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I guessed the construction of 18d, more or less, looked it up and found I was correct.
        There is never any excuse for not solving an anagram so a comparison with the obscurity of ‘lists’ for ‘combat’ isn’t, in my view, a fair one.

        • Jane
          Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Sorry – didn’t mean to offend. It was intended simply as an example of the fact that what is immediately apparent to one solver is not necessarily the case for another and that blame cannot fairly be laid at the door of the setter. My apologies for using what you rightly pointed out as a poor comparison.

          • Hrothgar
            Posted June 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            No need whatsoever to apologise, Jane http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
            My comments are always very much tongue in cheek.
            And it’s always great and entertaining to get a different slant.

            • Jane
              Posted June 5, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

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

      • Merusa
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        I think that there isn’t the emphasis now in schools for students to read the old classics, such as Walter Scott (Ivanhoe was my favourite), so I can quite see that medaevil history might be alien to younger folk.

  26. Shropshirelad
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    A fairly gentle end to this week with very little in the way of obscurities (with the possible exception of 18d) and a lack of religious knowledge (is it Giovanni?). Being a Scot, 28a was a ‘gimme’ and there were also a couple of old chestnuts. Liked 24a but my favourite to end the week with a good bit of misdirection is 3d – I initially thought the definition was ‘expensive’ then the penny dropped.

    Thanks to the setter and DT for interrupting his holiday to do the review.

    Have a good weekend all.

  27. Hanni
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    **/****

    Enjoyable way to end the week. Struggled with 16d and 27a, in fact just guessed that 27a was correct.

    18a gets the favourite vote. It made me smile.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for blogging from your holiday. Dedication indeed.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend.

    • Jane
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hanni – how’s the head?

      • Hanni
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        It’s OK as I only had one glass of wine, up at 5.30 today. But it’s Friday now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        When’s the IOW trip?

        • Jane
          Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Leaving 8.30am Tuesday – with luck I’ll be at no. 2 daughter’s by 6.30pm. Train due to arrive at Portsmouth Harbour by 4.30pm so I’ll hopefully just miss the start of the proposed train strike – if it goes ahead.
          Not back until 30th June and unlikely to be allowed crossword time whilst I’m there so MP’s review on Monday could be my last chance to comment for a while. Hope he makes it a good one!

          On reflection – maybe I’ve just asked for trouble……..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted June 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            Ahh…good old Portsmouth & Southsea – I have many happy memories of my time in that neck of the woods. Mrs SL and I go down to Hampshire every year for a week in a beautiful cottage in the Meon Valley and generally pop down to Pompey for a mooch. I love to reminisce.

            • Jane
              Posted June 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

              Hi SL,
              Daughter is always on the look out for places they can pop across to for a few days break – I’ll pass on your suggestions.

          • Hanni
            Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            No no no. That’s far too long to be away from the blog. Absolutely not. Shouldn’t decisions like this go to a vote?

            Though I do hope you have a wonderful time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Miffypops
            Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            I can only work with the material Rufus provides Jane. I always wish he would put more food in. I am doing the whole blog myself on Monday. Do you have any requests? I have a photo I want to use that should please a lot of readers.

            • Jane
              Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

              ‘photo that should please a lot of readers’ – now why does that fill me with trepidation. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

              Requests? Dire Straits, Poldark, George Clooney…………..

              • Hanni
                Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

                Ian Hislop, Alan Rickman, Fergal Sharkey and the blacksmith from Hartpury college around 1990? And the vet.

              • Kath
                Posted June 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

                No, Jane and Hanni,
                I have inside information but don’t know how to interpret it – I wait with bated breath to see what he means . . .
                Go on MP – please all the readers!

                • Shropshirelad
                  Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

                  Oo-er Missus. That’s probably a challenge that MP won’t be able to resist.

                  Jane – anywhere in the Meon Valley, particularly West & East Meon. Lovely pubs and a walk up Butser Hill to burn off the calories. Wickham is also a very nice village. We always stop at Dover’s Cottage in East Meon – it’s in the middle of nowhere

                  https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.9880279,-1.0353478,565m/data=!3m1!1e3

                  Just zoom into the cottage in the centre of the satellite map

                  • Jane
                    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

                    Great, SL – I’ll pass on the info. Many thanks.

                • Hanni
                  Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

                  Ahhh Kath. Clues please? I think I could guess.

  28. Heno
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very gentle and enjoyable puzzle from the Don.Nothing too obscure. Hadn’t heard of lists, but surprised myself by getting 28a, many years of watching Taggert must have paid off. That was a favourite, as was 16d. Last in was 23d. Nice and sunny in Central London this afternoon. Was 2*/4* for me.

  29. Hilary
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Day started with thunder and lightning felt like the end of civilisation. At last managed to get back to crossword on the same day as it was published and was rewarded by a treat. I usually enjoy Friday and this was no exception, thanks to Giovanni and DT – what a noble soul to write the blog on your holiday. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hilary. We’ve missed the storms for once. I hope you’re well?

  30. pommers
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Well, I thought this very benign for a Don puzzle. Perhaps he’s softening with age. We’ll give it **/*** (as did DT)..

    Thanks Don and also to DT.

    P.S. Not that it’s relevant to anyone else but today is pommette’s 39th wedding anniversary,

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Pommette. We think you deserve a special medal considering who you have had to put up with all those years.
      Cheers both.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Congratulations to you both. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • pommers
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        It wouldn’t happen in the USA. Don’t they have laws banning ” cruel and unusual punishment” or something along those lines?

        • Hanni
          Posted June 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Bill of Rights 1689, one of the Slavery Acts, can’t remember which, and the Eighth Amendment.

          After nearly 40 years, forget those. Eat, drink and be merry. But well done Pommette. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Jane
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Many congratulations – is it not YOUR anniversary as well, Pommers?

      • pommers
        Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Actually, it is. Hell of coincidence. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to pommette.

        • Jane
          Posted June 5, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t it great when you set a trap and someone like me comes along and walks straight into it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Kath
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif to both of you.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      Just noticed the thread before signing off for the night. Many congratulations to you both, may there be many more of them http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  31. Angel
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    By the way, DT, many thanks for reviving my memories of doing the Eightsome Reel at dances in ‘days of yore’ – we were probably as amateur as that lot! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  32. Tstrummer
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Greetings from the Wildschoenau in the Tyrol. Managed this one without raising a sweat on the flight to Munich. A typically solid offering from the Don, so thanks to him and DT. Wedding in the morning. In my suit. It’s 30C

  33. Liz
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Very late getting to this one……didn’t even bother with yesterday’s after reading through and getting absolutely nowhere. Today however was not too bad. A bit slow to start and had to return several times before finishing, but did so without recourse to the hints… Always a plus for me! 2*/3*. Thanks to setter and to DT

    This blog is getting so long now, that when I look at all the comments and irrelevant claptrap that goes one, I’m seriously wondering if I’m participating in a crossword blog or whether this is rather more of a social networking site, I which case I would opt out. I appreciate some bloggers know each other and want to exchange news etc, but I question whether this is really the place to do so. It gets very boring for those of us who simply want to exchange views on the puzzles and learn!

    • Hanni
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      No one forces you to read or comment. My apologies if that is harsh.

      BD…censure me as you see fit.

      Edit..I’m sorry. It is harsh of me to your dismiss your opinion.

    • Miffypops
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:46 am | Permalink

      Hi Liz. Guilty as charged. Will I reform.? No. I have made some wonderful friends through this site. Crossword solving was a very solitary pursuit. With little or no help. Thanks to the WWW sites like this have evolved. From no help to maximum help. It is not just the bloggers that have met. Frequent sloggers and betters events take place where we all meet up. We like it.

      • Angel
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Hear hear and I haven’t even met any of my fellow bloggers.

    • Hilary
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I am very sad that you see things that way. I am elderly and not in the best of health. For years I struggled with crossword and even when I checked the answers I was still frequently baffled. Finding the blog and the camaraderie there has made me feel less isolated and increased my enjoyment of the crosswords 100%. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      I do sometimes wonder about what I have created, but the principle of welcoming off-topic comments has been part of this site since very early days. See the second paragraph in the prologue to this post from August 2009.

      http://bigdave44.com/2009/08/28/toughie-207/

      • Liz
        Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        Hi Dave. Yes well, I should have known this would not be a popular view, and I really didn’t want to upset anybody. I appreciate that off topic comments are sometimes interesting and informative as well as amusing, just that sometimes the exchanges go on and on and at times are frankly a bit silly. Not that I have anything against a bit of silliness now and then…..just not when I have to scroll though it all to make sure I haven’t missed an absolute pearl of wisdom! Anyway, enough said, I’ll just shut up now and try not to get distracted by it all, just in case I get expelled!!!

        • Jane
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Hi Liz,
          As one of the guilty parties re:’ irrelevant claptrap’ could I just put a different slant on it.

          I’m far from being an expert solver and, when I first found this site, often felt too embarrassed to ask for help – frightened of making myself look very foolish. Getting to ‘know’ other commenters through irrelevant exchanges has given me far more confidence to ask questions and thereby increase my solving abilities.

          Yes, I agree that the threads do sometimes go on a bit too long (although there is a cut-off point after a certain number of nested comments have been made) but, if it helps others like myself to overcome any diffidence they feel about asking for help, then I think it’s worthwhile.

          In the short time I’ve been a part of this community, we already have new bloggers who have come on board to tackle the unenviable task of solving in the wee small hours in order to give us the benefit of their excellent reviews – I suspect that some of them may not have felt as inclined to do so if the site operated along different lines.

          Just another point of view for what it’s worth.

    • Kitty
      Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi Liz. You have a point of view, and are entitled to express it. People may agree with it or with the replies. I’m in the latter camp, as it happens. Nevertheless, calling people’s contributions to the blog claptrap or rubbish may well make them less inclined to say their bit in the future. I think the blog would become poorer as a result.

  34. ezfer
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I knew everyone would have found this straightforward because I managed to finish in 1* time for me despite only getting to paper at 11pm last night. But some of the parsing passed me by, notably 6a and 28a. Got in a temporary mess in SW corner as had ‘overdone’ for 16d which meant 22a & 27a remained blank. Eventually realised answer to 27a must be idealists (though didn’t know the jousting definition, though must be using lists as in ‘enlists’), then worked out 22a which then led me to correct answer to 16d, yay!

    I know what Liz means in that when you get to the blog late, as us ‘strugglers’ do, there is a lot to wade through before you get to the bottom to maybe add your post – but the beauty of the nested replies is you can just skip a thread if you see it’s getting personal (or keep reading if interested!). But I also think it’s lovely that you share non-crossword stuff to make it a real community, so I’d say long may it continue!

    Many thanks to Giovanni & DT.

  35. Sweet William
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you DG a relief from yesterday ! and thanks DT for your review and hints. Still about 30 degrees here and our 45th wedding anniversary as well
    Aperol spritz coming up this evening !

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations to you both, I hope you have a marvellous day.

      • Sweet William
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks – we have had a lovely day !

  36. Kitty
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the Don in gentle mode – and it seems to suit him. I liked this. Only the Scottish good and the medieval combat places needed to be checked in the book.

    Thanks to Don and DT. Many congratulations on your anniversary, the pommers! And to SW also.

    • Sweet William
      Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Kitty, much appreciated. We are having a lovely time on Lake Garda.

  37. jean-luc cheval
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Voila!
    I seem to have caught up with everybody and finished the weekend with this rather gentle offering from the Don.
    The heat wave is still hitting us.
    Don’t forget to drink water.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the review.