DT 27826 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27826

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27826

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Camping La Garangeoire, in the Vendée region of France. After three weeks of sunshine, the weather has broken for us, and rain is persisting down from a slate-grey sky.

I found today’s Giovanni to be straightforward, and finished it in * time. But it may be that the usual Giovanni obscurities happened to fit with my areas of knowledge. I shall be interested to see what others make of it.

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.


1a           Naughty nude lay outside party with no sense of shame (11)
UNABASHEDLY – Anagram (naughty) of NUDE LAY, wrapped around a word for a party.

8a           John in Scotland, after pain and deprivation, is naively optimistic (11)
PANGLOSSIAN – Put together a sharp pain, a deprivation, and the Scottish version of the name John, to get an adjective describing the philosophy of Candide’s tutor in Voltaire’s work of that name, that ‘all is for the best in the best possible world’.

Image result for pangloss

11a         Bring up what is brought up last (4)
REAR – Bring up children, or what you bring up if you’re the last in the line.

12a         Nameless devil in short protest (4)
DEMO – Remove the Name from a word for a devil.

13a         Chaperons expected when two knights enter (7)
DUENNAS – A word meaning ‘expected’, as in ‘the train is expected in 5 minutes’ and another word for ‘when’ with two chess symbols for knights placed between them.

15a         Birds and what they catch when aboard old ship (7)
OSPREYS Old and the usual crossword ship, with what a hunter catches inside it.

Image result for osprey bird

16a         It’s within the law to hurry on foot (5)
LEGIT – Split (3,2) this means to hurry on foot, usually in the opposite direction to the forces of law and order.

17a         Hour of prayer for nobody (4)
NONE – Double definition, the first being one of the canonical hours of prayer, like prime, terce, sext and vespers.

18a         That’s a ruler — the ruler hiding there! (4)
TSAR – Hidden in the clue.

19a         Challenges are embraced by daughter and son (5)
DARES – ARE (from the clue) placed between Daughter and Son.

21a         Permit one operating to show high emotion (7)
PASSION – Put together a permit to enter a place, the Roman numeral for one, and ‘operating’ as in ‘the kettle’s xx’.

22a         Held up legal document that contains poem (7)
DELAYED – A written document with a type of poem inside (Macaulay wrote a whole set about Ancient Rome).

23a         Check part of plant (4)
STEM – Double definition, the first being to check or hold back.

26a         Gentlemen in states of agitation when losing time (4)
SIRS – Remove the Time from the plural of a word for a state of agitation, to get another way of addressing a group of men, especially at the start of a letter.

27a         Common soldiers row one way and another (4,3,4)
RANK AND FILE – This term describes the rows of soldiers in a marching column, one word being the row across the column, the other being the row lengthways.

28a         Nasty death drew on, making one dejected (11)
DOWNHEARTED – Anagram (nasty) of DEATH DREW ON.


2d           Some fine area not a million miles away (4)
NEAR – Hidden in the clue.

3d           Large place in Kent? I don’t think it’s that wonderful! (3,4)
BIG DEAL – An expression of unimpressedness, which could also describe a port in Kent if it were large.

4d           Member of family admits love willingly (4)
SOON – The letter which looks like a love score at tennis placed inside a word describing a family relationship. The definition is an archaic word for willingly, usually seen today in expressions which suggest the opposite: ‘I’d as xxxx not do that’.

5d           Start of evening and sloppy seat is most comfortable (7)
EASIEST – The first letter of Evening followed by an anagram (sloppy) of SEAT IS.

6d           See commercial notice giving charge (4)
LOAD – A word meaning ’See!’ or ‘Behold!’ followed by a short commercial, giving a word for charge, as in ‘charge your muskets’.

7d           Grand spot — it will be redeveloped for a store (7,4)
TRADING POST – Anagram (will be redeveloped) of GRAND SPOT IT.

8d           Treat person in trouble, offering a lift (11)
PATERNOSTER – Anagram (in trouble) of TREAT PERSON, giving a variety of lift or elevator which has probably now been banned by Health and Safety, since it kept going all the time and you jumped in as it passed.

Image result for paternoster lift

9d           Don’t give up — and don’t tell someone else to give up? (5,3,3)
NEVER SAY DIE – Construed literally, this is an order not to tell someone to stop living. Figuratively, it is an expression of encouragement.

10d         Sauce maybe Arab artist put on food (11)
HORSERADISH – Put together the animal of which an Arab may be an example, the usual crossword artist, and a plate of food.

14d         An old-fashioned thing that could get one carried away (5)
SEDAN – Cryptic definition of a means of transport which involved being carried in a closed carriage by two burly men.

Image result for sedan chair

15d         Tipsy but well able to move around? (5)
OILED – A figurative expression for tipsy, but also describes moving parts which can rotate freely.

19d         Cloth suffices, sort without hem (7)
DOESKIN – A word for ‘suffices’, more commonly seen in the future tense, as in ‘That will xxxx’, followed by a type or sort without its final letter.

20d         Ordered Spanish gentleman to keep feet up (4,3)
SENT FOR – An abbreviation for feet, reversed and put inside the Spanish equivalent of ‘Mr’.

24d         Thirty-one days round part of the Emerald Isle (4)
MAYO – One of the months of the year followed by a round letter, giving a county in the North-West of the Republic of Ireland.

25d         Money put down had to include note (4)
ANTE – Had (for dinner) with Note inside it, giving the money put down at the start of a hand of poker.

26d         Lose rotten fruit (4)
SLOE – Anagram (rotten) of LOSE.

Image result for sloe

The Quick Crossword pun PURR + PULL = PURPLE

72 comments on “DT 27826

    1. I echo your sentiments, I wonder if the Toughie is less esoteric (to use another comparatively obscure word)

    2. Same for me. The only upside was learning a new word in 8a. Nevertheless, thanks to DT for explaining how the answers were constructed.

  1. We enjoyed this puzzle and finished it in pretty good time but have to disagree with Deep Threat’s *. One of us had never heard of 8a and 8d is not a particularly well-known thing (although probably gettable with the checkers even if you aren’t familiar with the term). So definitely a **/*** for us. Thanks to the Don and to Deep Threat for the review.

  2. Deserved more than a *,if only for 8a ! worked the charade out ,but not before all the checking letters were in ,read DT’S explanation and have to admit that so far in life reading Candide has eluded me-thanks. An amusing puzzle for me nevertheless so am going for a **/***.Did’nt realise that 8d had so many meanings, the ‘lift’ one was again new to me.

  3. Two new words for me in 8A and 8D but I managed to finish with the aid of a dictionary.No real standouts for me & would put it in **/*** territory.Thanks to the setter & DT for the review.

  4. Your’e not alone DT. It’s the same down here in the Languedoc – Massive storms

  5. The fact that ‘transporter’ is also an anagram of ‘treat person’ and we had never heard of the correct answer in this context caused considerable delay as it did not want to work with several of the checkers. A lot of pesky four letter words too so, all in all not a particularly rapid solve for us. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

      1. Quite right Gazza, we had transportee in that slot for a few minutes. I should have got the correct answer earlier because I used to have great fun on the particular lift in question at Loughborough College of Art. I also new 8a. Even though I’d read Voltaire’s book and remember the character I didn’t realise that it had crept into our language as a term until I read a book about English idioms and expressions when I was teaching English in Italy.

          1. They certainly were! At first I thought they maybe named after a bloke that invented them. I then came to the conclusion that you had might have to recite the Lord’s Prayer before plucking up the courage to get on one.

            1. the name paternoster (“Our Father”, the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer in Latin) was originally applied to the device because the elevator is in the form of a loop and is thus similar to rosary beads used as an aid in reciting prayers

              1. Remember the tackle used in pike fishing called a paternoster, maybe if you said a little prayer the almighty would reward you with a fish!

                1. One of my earliest memories is holidaying in Dunoon. Went fishing with my dad and we caught many mackerel using paternosters, which we took back to the hotel and my dad marched into the kitchen and asked for them to be cooked for our supper. Nay, man, the chef replied. We’re haein’ pies. I never did find out what happened to those fish, but I enjoyed the pie.

              2. Thanks for that information CS. interestingly enough, the ex-Juventus footballer,Gianluca Pessotto, made an unsuccessful suicide attempt by jumping off the roof of the club’s head office in Turin. He was clutching the Bible and some rosary beads. On refection, he should have taken the lift.

              3. They had a paternoster at my wife’s Uni. A scary lift IMO as it was in continuous movement. No doors. You just waited for the gap in the wall to appear and stepped into it and then when you got to your floor stepped off. For a dare some students would ride the lift all the way round through the ‘loop’.

                1. I used to regularly use the paternoster at St Thomas’ Hospital when I worked there.
                  As this was in the dark ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth I have no idea whether it is still there or not, but it was an excellent alternative to the always overcrowded lifts.

                  A friend of mine did indeed go all the way up then down again and after bracing himself to be turned upside down discovered that it did not turn over, it slid sideways at the top.
                  He did look very sheepish when he got out.
                  Happy days!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Gazza’s right – he’s always right and should never be doubted. I’ve been around this blog for long enough to know that – why did I find it necessary to write out all the letters just to check that he was right . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    2. Talk about egg on face time. We are away from home visiting family so much distraction with the solving process. Felt certain that I had all the right letters. At least it opened an interesting chain of comments.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      1. Forget the egg on face – it certainly opened up lots of fun, which is, after all, what this is all about! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif To you and the missing Kiwi.

  6. Yes DT, this was a pushover but very entertaining nevertheless. Only 25d eluded me. Meaning of 8d had to be but it was new to me and 8a came easily to mind as I have recently reread Candide. Fav 16a. Had difficulty in parsing 13a because I overlooked the when synonym. Thanks Giovanni and DT. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  7. I found this puzzle to be the usual fairly clued type that we expect from the Don in order to arrive at the odd obscure answer here and there. Thanks to DT and Giovanni – was a fairly solid **/*** for me.

  8. Had to look up 8a and 8d, two obscurities (for me) with the same starting letter, great.

    Nothing much of note, I did like “without hem” in a down clue (19d).

    thanks giovanni and DT

  9. Thanks again… Bit of a challenge for me too…but as always such fun and enjoyable -interesting letters in the paper to day.about crosswords …..I’m not cheating … Just love learning and using words …. Is Big Dave still the best kept secret?

    1. The last letter in the paper is from one of our commenters – so it does refer to our blog – be interesting if they mention it when and if they comment later.

  10. Thank you DG, got to the end without hints, but I must confess to using outside help for the obscure words. Thanks DT for your review and hints and continued work during your holiday. Summer seems to have arrived – temporarily, in UK. I think I am probably taking a Panglossian view of Bolton Wanderers’ prospects for next season – particularly as they are second favourites to be relegated.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    1. Good news I think the bookies made us favourites to go up last season but one !! so no need to be 28a

  11. The Letters to the Editor section in today’s DT is quite interesting.

    Should you go it alone to puzzle out a crossword?

    Personally, I am a cad… I have always been a cad … and I always will be.

  12. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A nice offering from the Don, quite straightforward, but with a few obscurities, 8&13a,8d, which I had heard of. Favourite was 18a, last in was 25d. Was 2*/3* for me. Weather getting worse as the start of the Cricket approaches.

  13. Hadn’t read the letters page before reading the blog. Personally, if all aids, dictionaries, etc were considered cheating, I would be in trouble. There are too many obscure words and references most days to be sure of some answers without a thesaurus.
    Armed with such aids, l managed to complete this without DT’s hints, and for me it was **+/***.
    Paricularly liked 16a
    Thanks to DT for the hints, nevertheless, and to DG for the puzzle

  14. I quite enjoyed this , probably because, like Deep Threat, Giovanni’s obscurities overlapped my ares of knowledge.I think if you has been doing crosswords for a while, you will have come across 8a before.I thought 8d was a prayer, though going by DT’s description , you probably said it, or maybe something stronger, when jumping aboard this.
    I wonder if HRH Kate had a 13a ?They are all the rage in the States.
    I liked 1a, 8a, 11a, and 15a.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  15. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Much closer to 4* difficulty for me today.
    Only 2* for enjoyment, not because I found it tricky but because there was nothing that made me laugh.
    I’ve never heard of 8a but it was just about doable from the clue.
    I did know the 8d lift – there used to be that kind in one of the London hospitals – can’t remember which but I think it was probably St Thomas’ – one of the scariest things I’ve ever been anywhere near – the lift, not the hospital!
    I didn’t know 17a and the 7d anagram took me ages – don’t know why but it just did.
    I liked 3 and 20d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. Just a note to bring you up to date on the ginger pussies, Hamish and Duncan. They are doing very well and give endless entertainment.
      We did have a little problem when bottle feeding when they were about a week old, but Sadie to the rescue and took on Mummie duties to help with the pooping and peeing! It worried me a little as they looked like little hairy caterpillars and Sadie’s mouth is so large!
      They are now weaned and doing great, having had their first shots yesterday!

      1. How lovely to hear about Hamish and Duncan – brilliant names and I love ginger kittens – well done to you for rescuing them.
        We had a wonderful ginger cat and his little tabby sister before our Pet Lambs were born – he lived to the ripe old age of nineteen.
        Knowing the mentality of some http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif watch out for your terminology or you’ll have the blog relegated to that of porn!! It wouldn’t be the first time!

      2. Aww! That’s really great to hear. And I don’t know what Kath is talking about http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif. Anyway, a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to you and your happy pussies, Merusa.

  16. 4d stretching it a bit.
    17a stretching it a bit.
    Otherwise a very enjoyable tussle.
    Many thanks Giovanni, and DT for the review.

    1. 17a is not stretching it. In the Divine Office – prayer that all catholic priests, deacons and all catholics in general are encouraged to pray, there are 3 hours for day time prayer. You may have heard of Martins or Vespers. During the day the 3 hours are calle Terce, Sext and None – from Latin for 3rd, 6th and 9th hours. These refer to hours of daylight- so the 9th hour or None is around about 3pm – This is also about the time of death of Jesus.

  17. Thanks to Giovanni and Thanks to Deep Threat. An entertaining puzzle to wake up to as usual. Due to my refusal to use pens or pencils 8d was the last in as I just could not see the solution even with all the checkers. It came to me immediately after eating an olive bought in Waitrose. Mmm olives. The letters page made me laugh. I will try to find “The Rules According To Miffypops” and post them up.

  18. The rules of completion according to Miffypops

    Rule 1. There are no rules

    Rule 2. See rule one

    There is much satisfaction gained upon completion of a cryptic crossword puzzle whatever your level of competence. Grizzled old campaigners will need little or no help due to their expertise having been gained over many years. Newcomers may be baffled by the simplest of clues.

    A completed grid is a completed grid and I don’t much care howsoever anybody gets there. The more experienced you are the less help you should need.

    Beginners should feel free to use to anything and everything to achieve completion, dictionaries, encyclopaedia, an atlas, books of crossword lists, and of course the internet. I have spent a couple of hours looking with amazement at just how much help is out there on the World Wide Web including this very blog itself.

    Scribble away in the newspaper margins or use a notepad. Make little circles of anagram fodder. Write a succession of dashes, put in your checkers and play with the clues to your hearts content

    Regard these aids as crutches, helping you along. With time and experience and a good memory it should be possible to throw these crutches away little by little as one becomes more proficient. For example, once someone learns to recognise how anagrams work i.e. Indicator, fodder and definition they really ought to stop using the anagram solver and work them out for themselves. One by one the aids should fall away until you sit there pencil-less with a quickly self-completed puzzle and think “Now what shall I do” as you reach for the toughie and contemplate volunteering to review puzzles for Big Dave.

    1. Quite right on all counts. There are also people who have more of a talent for crosswords than others. I have been doing them for over 60 years and still can’t compete with some on this site. I did learn a lot English turns of phrase from my Mum and Dad, but there are still many that elude me.

    2. MP, methinks you have changed your tune/Rules viz. your “mischievous” comment to DT 27,826 that in your opinion “using pen and paper is cheating” however I prefer to play by the boss, BD’s, and Kath’s Rules as per their comments to DT 27,667, respectively, in that “in solving crosswords there is no such thing as cheating” and “crosswords are meant to be fun and I don’t think you can cheat yourself”! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  19. This can’t have been one of the most difficult Friday offerings, because we managed to do most of it without resorting to the hints, but it was certainly more than a one *. I thought 8d was called a dumb waiter, but perhaps that is something different. Thank you to the Friday setter and to DT.

  20. **/****

    Well I enjoyed this. 13a was a new for me and I comprehensively cheated by checking the word in a dictionary. I then cheated even more by consulting the blog. Later on I’m going to make it a hat trick by reading over the Toughie review.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. Ah, the cheating question. I use the word “cheating” light-heartedly to refer to using aids, but what I count a fail is looking something up that in retrospect I didn’t need to. But hey, that’s just me.

      In general? I’d say that it depends on the solver, the crossword and other constraints (e.g. time) but that you can only cheat yourself. Misrepresentation to others is the only real no-no. The rules? Set your own, and abide by them … or not.

      1. Exactly. You can only cheat yourself. Not once has it ever bothered me if I check a dictionary/atlas/ref books/the man down the pub who knows everything. Having the blog to parse some clues is the icing on the cake. Long may it continue.

        Speaking of pubs…it’s Friday and beer o’clock.

  21. Like Hanni above I struggled with 13a and needed help from the blog. I was convinced there had to be a pair of Ks in there which stymied me. Good puzzle though, and the aforementioned clue turned today into a **\*** for me. Thanks to all.

  22. I enjoyed this one. I think my fave is 8a ‘cos I learned a new word. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    1. Question: I had a difficult time navigating the DT payment site to give a new expiration date for me cc (per pommers, a technopeasant), may I still continue to use my old email address and nom de plume?

      1. If I could help I would but I don’t know. Pommers may say that he’s a technopeasant but he isn’t really. I’ll leave this to someone with more knowledge than I have to answer. I really am the original technotwit.

        1. Well, it seems to be working so far, so we’ll see if I get told off! Don’t meet trouble.

  23. I really enjoyed this one. Tough in parts but definitely solvable and without any help so doubly chuffed. One of those where you sit back in quiet satisfaction when you’ve completed it and let your eyes roam over the completed grid, savouring those tricky ones that eventually fell.

    Many thanks Giovanni and to DT although I managed to work them all out for a change!

  24. I enjoyed this one actually.
    Maybe because sometimes it is nice to just solve clue after clue without meeting too many problems.
    I even tried the MP rule on anagrams and waited to have enough crossers to unravel them.
    So my last ones in were 7 and 8d just after the penny drop of 10d for which I only had the odd letters.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT.
    It’s amazing how camping has evolved.
    Shops, restaurants, activities. Everything is done so that you don’t need to leave the place. In fact many don’t allow cars in after a certain time to make sure you don’t go out anywhere else.

    1. No – not like camping was in the mid 70’s.
      We camped in France in a farmer’s field (with his permission). In the morning we woke up to find the farmer’s wife just outside our tent – she had brought us some eggs and some new bread. She was about ninety-seven, she was the most appalling looking old hag with little hair and very few teeth. I tried to say, in best schoolgirl French, “Thank you very much, you’re very kind”. I mixed up ‘gentil’ and ‘joli’ – oh dear, but I think it made her day . . .

  25. Maybe it’s because it is Friday, but I liked this. A couple of mehs but many yays, and the less common stuff was all gettable from the wordplay. These construct-then-check clues were a fine way of gaining newledge (cf here) I thought.

    I liked all the 11-letter across clues, and also 15d and 9d. But my favourite today just has to be the quickie pun. I got to it just as my train was arriving, and it ensured the day got off to a good start.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  26. Better than yesterday’s which I never managed to finish. I found the short four letter words tricky….didn’t get 25d…still don’t really understand it even after reading the hint…is N really short for note?? and where is the reference to poker or any other card game? Rotten clue! Otherwise reasonably enjoyable, I like 10d & 15d. 2*/2* for me.

    1. This was one of my last ones in Liz. I agree using the initial letter of N(ote) was a bit iffy but the clue raised a smile when solved. I never had any idea a clue might be unfair until I stumbled across this blog. My mate used to groan and say “what a terrible clue” when we solved the ones he couldn’t get. The Old Plough. There were a few if us who tried to solve the puzzles with little success. We started to rip them from the paper and compare notes over a pint. I learnt a lot slowly. I love to see comments about The toughie from people who were struggling with the back pager only a few months ago. Big Dave has a lot to be thanked for.

      1. Yes – Big Dave has a lot to be thanked for. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif To him.
        I know that many other people put a lot of effort into this so a big http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif to them too.
        I think that we all underestimate the time BD spends here making sure that it all runs like clockwork – I think that we should all send lots of http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to Mrs BD for her tolerance.

      2. BTW MP, Sir George Ivan Morrison? Who’d have thought it? I’m surprised the grumpy old genius accepted. When the Queen gives him his gong, he will say: “Thank you ma’am, you ma’am, you ma’am, you ma’am, you ma’am in gardens all misty wet with rain”

      3. I agree. My solving has improved no end since being on this blog, but sometimes (like yesterday’) I get really stumped. It is more annoying now than when I regularly failed to finish! Re 25d…..How is anyone supposed to make the connection between ante/hand and money put down? Even if I was a poker player I don’t think I’d get this! Anyway it good to share a moan!

  27. A perfectly reasonable puzzle, which l score at 1*/3*. 19d is my pick, both because it’s a clever clue and because l spent so much of my life wearing it! In fact, l still have my Mess Undress and my best No5s in the loft. Both are made of doeskin and both still fit me. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  28. 8a was a new word to me but otherwise I found this crossword very enjoyable. Had to use the hints to unscramble some of the clues.

    Enjoyed reading the discussions re ‘cheating’ . I have to agree with Miffypops that there are no rules.
    I cannot see how it is possible to learn to do cryptic crosswords without help from books like crossword dictionaries etc. And , of course, blogs like this which have helped me get from being hardly able to solve any clues to sometimes managing to finish unaided.
    Thank you, Big Dave.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
    Thanks also to today’s setter and to Deep Threat.

  29. Thank you, Giovanni. I enjoyed this all the way through. Thank you DT for 25d, which was an unfamiliar term, and for the parsing of 6d and 19d. Thanks MP for refreshing the boundaries. I couldn’t do without Wikipedia, which confirmed 8d. Favourite was 17a because I thought it was so neat.

  30. * for difficulty! You must be joking, this is the toughest Giovanni for a long time at least a****. Got there in the end but damned hard work and unfortunately I have to say it wasn’t much fun, it was a tough tedious.
    Thx to all

  31. A couple of chestnuts (13a, 16a – in fact 16a appeared only in the last week or so) but otherwise the usual satisfactory fare from the Don. Having read Candide (in French) for French A level,, I was delighted to see 8a, and I loved 8d (see my fishing anecdote to Beaver’s comment earlier). I think my favourite is 15a.
    Thanks to DT for his efforts on holiday in the flat Vendee and DG for a satisfactory end to my day.

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