DT 27835

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27835

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

When I’m blogging I normally work out the Quickie pun first as a warm-up for the main event and today’s pun gave me hope that we were getting something a bit different in the back-page cryptic department. I don’t expect that all (or indeed most) of those commenting will agree with me but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I suspect I know who Mr Ron is and 25d may be a hint that we need a slightly mad hat on to solve the puzzle. Do let us know what you thought but please don’t call it horrid – it may be somewhat more difficult than a normal Tuesday puzzle but it’s not horrid.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that if you find that my hint doesn’t cut the mustard.

Across Clues

5a For instance, going about a quiet walk in a showy way (6)
SASHAY – a word meaning ‘for instance’ contains A (from the clue) and an exhortation to be quiet.

8a Rosy is sober having downed half of stout (8)
SANGUINE – the answer literally means rosy or bloody like a rare steak but it has evolved to mean optimistic or upbeat. An adjective meaning sober or sensible contains (having downed or taken in) half of the stout that is a major export of Ireland.

9a Chorale needs arrangement that’s extremely infectious (7)
CHOLERA – an anagram (needs arrangement) of CHORALE.

10a Celebrate making it out of Essex to Lancashire (5)
EXTOL – hidden (making it out of) in the clue.

11a Ideas came free in places of learning (9)
ACADEMIES – an anagram (free) of IDEAS CAME.

13a Spanish red wine poured over bit of cereal — attack with vigour (4,4)
TEAR INTO – a word for Spanish red wine (or as pommers would say ‘vino collapso’) contains (poured over) the part of a cereal plant that contains the seeds.

14a Wail for guys being muscle-bound (6)
LAMENT – males are contained (bound) inside the abbreviated word for a muscle in the lower back.

17a Old man is missing by centre (3)
HUB – start with how a married woman might refer to her partner (old man) and take away the BY.

19a Dismiss the odds of friend becoming communist (3)
RED – remove the odd letters from friend.

20a Beginnings of Rolling Stones (6)
ONSETS – an anagram (rolling) of STONES.

23a I am explosive, with discontented night approaching (8)
IMMINENT – string together the contracted form of ‘I am’, an explosive or bomb and the outer letters (discontented, i.e. without the contents) of N(igh)T.

26a Prince briefly holding back-to-back recordings — on one there’s hot stuff (9)
PEPPERONI – the 2-letter abbreviation for prince contains an old vinyl recording twice, with the second being reversed (so, back-to-back). Complete the answer with ON (from the clue) and the Roman numeral for one.

28a Message, small, delivered in double time (5)
TWEET – a semi-all-in-one. Insert an adjective meaning small between two occurrences (double) of T(ime).

29a Third-rank rugby players bet on racket (4,3)
BACK ROW – in a rugby union set scrum the forwards pack down in three tiers – what we need here is the name given to the three players (with numbers 6, 8 and 7) in the rearmost tier. A verb to ‘bet on’ or put money on (a horse, say) is followed by a racket or noise.

30a Farah to increase power (8)
MOTORISE – string together the forename of Mr Farah the athlete and double Olympic champion, TO (from the clue) and a verb to increase or go up.

31a Nice pad — downsized chez Lynam? (3,3)
DES RES – estate agents’ jargon for a sought-after dwelling could also be a cryptic abbreviation (downsized) for Mr Lynam’s abode.

Down Clues

1d Lock up after a protest (6)
ASSERT – reverse (up, in a down clue) a lock or strand of hair and place it after A (from the clue).

2d Rather badly stained (7)
INSTEAD – an anagram (badly) of STAINED.

3d Controversial engagement event one might expect in Birmingham shopping centre? (9)
BULLFIGHT – think of the name of the major shopping centre in Birmingham then think of what abhorrent activity might take place there if it were transported to Spain, say.

4d Throw buns — eating the majority (6)
UNSEAT – part (the majority in fact) of two words in the clue.

5d Some say ‘Scrap Christmas programming‘ (8)
SCHEDULE – this sounds like a proposal (4,4) to scrap or drop Christmas.

6d Males tormented witches once here (5)
SALEM – an anagram (tormented) of MALES.

7d On the same wavelength — and about to be accepted by getting on (8)
AGREEING – insert a preposition meaning about or concerning into a word meaning getting on or getting older.

12d Demure lure of French is absent (3)
COY – a word for a lure or bait used by hunters to entice birds or animals into a trap without the French word for ‘of’.

15d Reckoning guards caught habit (9)
ADDICTION – a reckoning or summation contains (guards) the cricket abbreviation for caught.

16d Too young to be pinching booty, ignoring personal boundaries (5-3)
UNDER-AGE – a word for the stealing or pillaging of goods with the first two letters taken away (these letters being the outer letters of P(ersona)L). I was surprised, on consulting the BRB, to find that this stealing applies specifically to goods on board a ship.

18d Mercenary Conservative avoids American questioning (8)
USURIOUS – join together a two-letter abbreviation for American (the country, not the continent) and an adjective meaning questioning or inquisitive then remove the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative.

21d Eat interminably, making loud noise (3)
DIN – a verb to eat formally without its last letter (interminably).

22d With slight disorder, been getting healthy — that’s a perk (7)
BENEFIT – make a minor adjustment (slight disorder) to BEEN by reversing two letters and follow this with an adjective meaning healthy or in good condition.

24d Daily  Echo (6)
MIRROR – double definition, the first being a newspaper.

25d Hat — no tat! (6)
TITFER – this is Cockney rhyming slang for a hat. It comes from a phrase meaning retaliation in kind (3,3,3) but as is usual with rhyming slang the last bit is suppressed, so there’s no tat!

27d Ashes could be reinvigorated with this  game (5)
POKER – double definition, the first what you might wield to bring some life back to the dying embers of an open fire.

Top clues for me were 26a, 6d and 25d. How about you?





  1. Miffypops
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Thats for the explanation at 8ac. I could only square it with the definition Rosy and the sober bit but half of stout eluded me. I sell enough of the stuff. The rest slotted in quite easily 17ac and 18d being the last two in. I thought we had enough of 3d yesterday

    • Bluebird
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Funnily enough, the half of that well known stout was what I thought of first. Then I said, “no, that’d be completely daft”, so I never played with it.
      Which was a mistake.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t have too many problems with 8a. Sanquinaccio is black pudding in Italian and they also make some interesting chocolate with pigs blood around the period of lent.

      • Tstrummer
        Posted June 24, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        Makes me think of my favourite mistranslation in Jerez de la Frontera, where a jug of sangria was rendered thus in English: A pitcher of bloodletting. I blame google translate

  2. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Our top clue was 8a. We had all the checkers and had tentatively put in ‘sunburnt’ as the nearest we could get to rosy. This just would not parse in any way shape or form so we went back, figuratively, to square one. It took a long time to see that another word would fit in and that it would parse!
    We agree with Gazza’s guess about the probable setter and also that it was a lot of fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Petitjean?) and Gazza.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, I had sunburnt written in but like you could not parse it at all. Unlike you I never found the correct alternative.

      • Una
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Sunburnt for me as well.

  3. JonP
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Definitely not horrid – but pretty tricky fare for Tuesday IMHO. Enjoyable solve with thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron ***/****

    • oddjob
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t find that it was horrid either.

  4. Paso Doble
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    We absolutely loved this puzzle – lots of really interesting clues that were fun to parse. If we had to pick a favourite, it would be 26a. Many thanks to Mr Ron for a great start to the day and to Gazza for an enjoyable review. ***/****

  5. Hanni
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink


    Good grief. A difficult Tuesday and a delicious Tuesday. I started off well with anagrams flying in and a few other R & W clues. Then I stopped…and stared, guessed at a couple, hoped.

    25d was my last one in closely followed by 29a. How I didn\’t see 29a is mystery. I got 17a but spent ages justifying it as I read the clue wrong.

    Loved the whole thing. The quickie pun made me smile too.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for an excellent blog. Now to do some work.

  6. Bluebird
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Not horrid, but fairly insane.

    Glad you gave it 4* Gazza. Thought I was being thick. Now, having only struggled in the NE corner, I’m feeling less grumpy! Hurrah!

    18d – wot a nightmare…..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  7. dutch
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, many thanks PJ?

    particularly liked 2d (rather badly stained) & 7d (males tormented witches) for simple elegance, and I loved 16d (too young to be pinching booty) &30a (Farah to increase) for surface.

    Thanks Gazza for review.

  8. rod
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and not too much trouble until I got to the SE corner. That took as long as the rest of the puzzle. My absolute favourites were 5d and 25d. Disliked 18d. Did not need the hints but thanks Gazza for confirming 18d for me.

  9. Paso Doble
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Nobody did 5a better than Marilyn …….


  10. Angel
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Just my cup of tea – a joy from beginning to end. Many thanks Mr. Ron. Haven’t yet broached the Quickie but after reading your comment, Gazza, had a quick look and the pun is a winner. So many great clues including 5a, 26a, 3d (back to comments re 21d yesterday), 5d and 25d (toyed with using topper so SE corner was last to go in). ***/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. Paso Doble
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Nobody does 5a better than Marilyn …..


  12. Hanni
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink


    Good grief. A difficult Tuesday and a delicious Tuesday. I started off well with anagrams flying in and a few other R & W clues. I then ground to a halt. Stared at it and guessed at a few.

    25d was my last one with 29a giving it a run for its money. No idea why I struggled with 29a. I struggled to justify 17a as I misread the clue.

    I thought the whole puzzle was wonderful. A special mention to the quickie pun too, very clever.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for another excellent blog.

    Edit..I’ve just remembered that I initially put ‘usurpers’ in for 18d. I dont help myself at times.

    • Miffypops
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Try not to worry about 18d Hanni. You only did what so many of us nearly did.

      • Hanni
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Hehe. That is comfort indeed MP. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        I have a question that you may be able to answer. What is the difference between Guinness and stout? I know plenty of people that drink both. Not in the same glass, but no one’s exactly sure. Then again, asking after they’ve had 6 pints isn’t wise.

        • Miffypops
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          I always thought that Guinness is a stout. but not a porter.

          • Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            Mrs BD went to Morrisons to buy some Guinness stout and came home with Guinness porter.

        • Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          Guinness is stout but stout is not necessarily Guinness.

          • Paso Doble
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Most of the Porters at St Pancras are stout.

            • gazza
              Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

              … and Alec Guinness wasn’t stout in his younger days.

              • Hanni
                Posted June 23, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

                Fabulous stuff everyone. Porter is a new one…so are all stouts porters?

  13. Nev
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Much tougher than usual, 4*/4* for me and only completed using a couple of clues. Particularly liked 26a. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  14. Rabbit Dave
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    3*/3* for me. As mentioned above in reply to the 2Ks, I made a pig’s ear of 8a which stretched my time up from 2* to 3*. Parts of this were certainly a bit off the wall, but overall it made a nice change. 25d was my favourite.

    Like Gazza, 16d had me reaching for my BRB as I (wrongly, of course!) thought it unlikely that the noun for “pinching booty” could really exist.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza.

  15. Beaver
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Certainly a step up in difficulty today and much head scratching all round, when the solution arrived, I still had to think why? in a few instances-16d for example. Liked 8a when the penny dropped, last in was 30a as I kept thinking about miss Fawcett Majors until I looked her up and found another h on her name-nearly put in ‘colonial’ as there is a farah colony in Hyderabad and countries increase power or grow by forming colonies! Anyway going for a ****/**** as it deserved it.Thanks all.

    • Beaver
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Sorry I meant Colonise-brain addled.

      • Miffypops
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Farah Force-it Majors

        • Hanni
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

          Words almost fail me Miffypops…

  16. MikeT
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    7d: Has the setter provided a second clue to the answer? As adding ‘on’ to it could mean ‘about to accept’ – I’m probably completely wrong here!

    • gazza
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that quite works, Mike. ‘On agreeing’ doesn’t really mean ‘about to be accepted’.

  17. Kath
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    To quote CRH – fab-u-lous. I loved it and agree with 4* and 4*.
    When I’m doing the hints I also look at the Quickie pun first and if it’s a good one I know we’re onto a winner.
    I also thought that I might have an idea who the setter is today – it sounds as if we’re all in agreement about that.
    8a was my last answer and I did try to justify ‘sunburnt’ for a long time.
    The hidden answer in 10a was a problem – not because it was a lurker but because I read the first word of the clue as ‘celibate’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    With 13a I also thought of pommers and his ‘vino collapso’ but the only one I could think of was Rioja which didn’t help.
    16 and 18d both took ages.
    Husband would hate being called ‘hubby’ as much as he hates his Pet Lambs calling him ‘Pops’!
    I liked 26a and 12 and 27d (once I’d stopped thinking ‘cricket’!) My favourite was 25d.
    With thanks to ?PJ and to gazza.

  18. crypticsue
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    A lovely tricky start to Tuesday morning – I was mid-solve wondering whether (a) I hadn’t quite woken up (b) had lost my ability to solve cryptic crosswords without too much trouble, when an email from a friend asked whether I thought we’d been Petitjeaned? Cue big sigh of relief. 3.5*/4*

    Thanks to Petitjean – splendid pun – and to Gazza – my favourite is 25d.

  19. Clarky
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m feeling rather smug now having completed this **** without the hints! Completely without justification but it did suit my wavelength, for a change.
    My favourite is 5a.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  20. Franco
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I doff my hat chapeau to today’s setter!

    Great fun!

    • Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink


      Your avatar is associated with the .co.uk email address, this comment and others use .com

  21. jean-luc cheval
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Yet again it was tougher than the toughie.
    Put me in the sunburnt club for 8a even if I knew it was wrong as it doesn’t work as a single word.
    Last one in was 13a for me. Had the tinto bit but couldn’t see the ear for quite a while.
    Agree with Gazza’s rating.
    Thanks to PJ and to Gazza for the review.

  22. OlgaTheOwl
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    So glad to see that it wasn’t only me sidetracked by sunburnt – I really thought I was losing my touch for what the Telegraph calls a one-star!

    • gazza
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Just ignore the Telegraph stars. The settings are skewed by some people who solve the puzzle in the paper then go online to key in and check their answers. Then later in the day the difficulty stars will shoot up when those who’ve printed it off to take to work come home and go online, apparently having taken many hours.

      • OlgaTheOwl
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza – it comes to something when the Toughie is easier than the Cryptic!

  23. SheilaP
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    We managed quite a bit of this puzzle but then had to check some of our answers before we could go on. Never heard of 8a meaning Rosie, since that meaning isn’t used now a days I don’t think. Definitely a ****/*** for us today Thank you to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza, without whom this crossword would have been a no-no.

  24. pommers
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ll go along with ****/****. Splendid stuff.

    Also agree with Gazza’s favs with 6d on the top step of the podium. Also an hon. mention for the Des Res :lol:

    Thanks to PJ and Gazza.

  25. silvanus
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    For the first time in quite a while I had several correct answers in place (8a, 12a and 18d) but without being quite able to nail the parsing – which is where this blog is an absolute godsend.

    Overall I thought this was fairly challenging, but with some exquisite and amusing wordplay. Three favorites today – 5d, 25d and 26d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    • Kath
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – how many favourites? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif I can see I’m going to have to start waving my big stick around again – haven’t done it for a while and we can’t have standards slipping.

  26. gazza
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I must say that I’m very heartened by the comments so far. I really expected that there would be quite a lot of criticism of the puzzle (not least of the rugby reference) but everyone has been very positive. There’s not even been any mention of the double-unches (Where is Andy by the way? Is he on holiday?).

    • pommers
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t mind the double unches this time because they all had a pair of checked letters at one end or the other.

      Bit of an odd looking grid though so I wondered about a Nina but I can’t spot anything.

  27. Young Salopian
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    A little trickier than usual so will have to go ****\**** 18d last one in. Really enjoyed this puzzle which I think is the toughest one I’ve seen for quite a while. Congrats to the setter and Gazza for top review.

  28. fran
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Needed a few hints but a very satisfying solve. 18 and 25d new to me , put tenet into 28a which threw me completely. 20a at one point was intros this led to a rather hilarious bullringo (who knows what they call shopping centres in Birmingham ) and guy for 17a !

    I took a long walk , round a golf course , and decided intros had to go the rest came together gradually ****/****
    Thanks to Gazza needed him today

  29. Hilary
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    When I saw **** for difficulty I wondered if I was wise picking up my trusty pencil or would I end up in the cupboard under the stairs with my nice new box of tissues. After a giggle at the Quickie pun I found 25d and soldiered on, much to my surprise I reached journeys’s end with only a little electronic help. Thanks go Gazza.and Mr Ron. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  30. Hrothgar
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable tussle.
    Especially liked 8a and 26a.
    Put in ‘minion’ for 26d.
    Thought it quite inventive as a minion could be a cleaning person or a poor imitation of someone else.
    Second thoughts, perhaps I’m rambling.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  31. Jay legs
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I found it relatively easy **/*** I had to get Gazza’s assistance with 8a though as I had put arrest in 1d :)

  32. Una
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m putting my head above the parapet and will admit that I found it very difficult and I thought the grid was utterly ridiculous.Four practically unconnected squares and far too many double unches.This combined with what are to me obscure references (who is Des Lynam ?). I could only think of the other Farah Fawcett.Perhaps Don Manley might write a crossword solvers guide to incomprehensible references.
    25d had no hint that we are talking cockney here, which I don’t anyway.
    That’s my rant over.
    Thanks Gazza for decoding 12d and a good many others.
    I suppose I did like quite a lot of it.So thank you to the setter.

    • Miffypops
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      So was Des Lynam? He last appeared on our screens on February 1st 1953

    • Ginny
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      He was a BBC sport commentator and personality who became a certain epitome of suaveness which only increased as he got older.
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DkB3UP70kn .

  33. Merusa
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was super, even though I needed the hints for a couple … I agree, Una, who is Des Lynam?
    A couple of pretty local clues, like Birmingham shopping centres, rugby, etc., but I just guessed those and they certainly didn’t distract from the enjoyment.
    Loved the quickie pun, which I can seldom solve.
    My outstanding fave was 25d, head and shoulders above the rest.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for helping finish.

  34. Ginny
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this one, especially as it gathered pace, helped by one or two blog comments and bungitins. Was defeated by 25d. Loved 31a and, like Kath, 13a, for no reason at all, conjured up thoughts of Pommers. Actually, yoghurt, muesli and a drop of red wine might not be too bad.. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  35. Catherine
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the challenge of this puzzle but a couple of the clues are really inaccessible to non-uk solvers ( 3d and 31a) But that’s when this blog comes in to save my sanity :)
    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  36. Sweet William
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. A difficult puzzle. Managed about half before setting out for Leighton Moss and Foulshaw to see the ospreys. We are staying at a favourite old haunt in the Southern Lakes with an old friend who is celebrating her 80th birthday. Our hosts have been kind enough to make a cake for her and oh….A bottle of champagne as well ! A pleasant evening beckons ! Finished the rest of the puzzle with a couple of your hints Gazza – many thanks.

  37. kartoffel kopf
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    First time at this for a while and feeling good as only needed hints for a couple of clues. This great blog helped me understand some though! Thanks to all as ever, loved 25d.

  38. pommers
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting a bit worried that the merest mention of Spanish wine conjures up thoughts of me. On the other hand, my glass is needing a refill http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    • Kath
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif to you that the mention of Spanish wine makes us all think of you.
      I’m quite sure that your glass has been refilled by now – the only question is how many times! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  39. Kitty
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    How very strange. I didn’t find this difficult at all until just the last handful of answers remained. They didn’t seem to be the trickiest ones either. I think I must have unknowingly been wearing a mad hat which fell off at that point, when those remaining clues took up nearly the same amount of time again.

    8a took some cogitation for me too. I didn’t know, or had forgotten, tinto (and also thought of vino collapso!) but it was very gettable. My last in was 25d, where the answer did suggest itself to me but I had to look it up to understand why. That one is my favourite, but I will also mention 6d and 16d. I was tempted to call them all my favourites but don’t want to upset Kath.

    Thanks to Gazza for the usual impeccable review. Thanks to the setter (who must surely be of the clade Columbiddae (sic) ) for a brilliant crossword. I loved the quickie pun, and I love this:
    (Do not click if you don’t want to be given the quickie pun.)

  40. Liz
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    This took me AGES! Got tied up in the NW corner and had to resort to the hints to finish. I’ve never heard ‘sanguine’ used to mean rosy, but one lives and learns. Also 13a gave me a problem, not familiar with the red wine bit …….vino collapso? ….or perhaps Chat eau de carpet?…….!! My favourite clue by far was 25d that made me guffaw! Also 23a + 26a were good too. A very enjoyable puzzle, if somewhat more challenging today. Thanks to Gaza for the hints and to the setter. 3*/ 3* because i had to use hints.

    • pommers
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink


      “Vino Collapso” is just my joke which seems to be going viral on this site. The real Spanish words for red wine are VINO TINTO, as opposed to white which is VINO BLANCO or rosé which is VINO ROSADO. Believe me – I know about this stuff :lol:

      • Liz
        Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I know about Vino Collapso …..drink it all the time ( the Oz version Shiraz that is) What about Chateau de carpet then??

        • pommers
          Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          I have spent many a long hour face down on the carpet after collapsing after the vino collapso has lived up to its name. Sometimes it’s been that well known cocktail, the Brandy Blackout http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          • Miffypops
            Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            It is the cheese and biscuits that do it for me, Once the beers have been finished and the wines done away with and the odd three or four rounds of Port and Brandy have all passed by with no effect and then out come the cheese and biscuits followed by the wobbly words. They get me every time. I should know better.

            • Hanni
              Posted June 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

              That’s very strange because I once found my OH lying halfway up the stairs asleep. Downstairs was his friend asleep on the sofa and cheese, biscuits and olives had clearly been consumed. My initial blame was aimed at the empty Cognac bottle but it could have been the cheese? Who knew?

              • pommers
                Posted June 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

                It was the olives! I avoid them.

                • Hanni
                  Posted June 23, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

                  Ahh yes the old olive toxicity. Often mistaken for being completely inebriated but in fact due to those pesky things. I’ll remember that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                  • pommers
                    Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

                    And watch out for cocktail sticks. They can stick in the throat worse than fish bones.

                    • Hanni
                      Posted June 23, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

                      Such decorum Pommers. I’m fairly sure that they just grabbed the dangerous and highly intoxicating olives out of a tub with their fingers. What they did with the cheese doesn’t bare thinking about. There is the odd public school that has a lot to answer for.

                      Edit..it doesn’t really bother me at all.

            • Kath
              Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

              My brother-in-law who lives in France, not that that’s at all relevant, always blames the Oxford water – the fact that he and his brother have always had quite a lot of Scotch doesn’t, somehow, come into it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

              • Kitty
                Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think it’s just the Oxford water, Kath. All of it. When someone switches to water, it’s rarely a good sign!

  41. Brian
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    What a horrible wordy crossword with some many dreadful clues. I so dislike this trend of setters fiddling about with words that you have take away letters or empty words.
    For me a very poor offering.
    Thx to Gazza for even attempting to explain the clues.

    • Miffypops
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Are you home now Brian?

    • Kath
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Ah – Brian – I’ve been waiting to see what you thought of this one – I’m not really sure that ‘horrible wordy’ is any better than ‘horrid’ and gazza did specifically ask that no-one called it that. I thought it was a great crossword but your comment didn’t surprise me at all.
      Maybe you’re still suffering from jet lag – but, there again . . . who knows?!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Kitty
      Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      It looks like Brian is back! I think even if “horribly wordy” isn’t, “a very poor offering” certainly is going against Gazza’s request above. (Having said that, if I was the setter I don’t think I’d feel too distressed by the official blog grump calling the puzzle horrid, while if someone who was normally lovely deemed it a load of rubbish, that would hurt.)

    • Miffypops
      Posted June 24, 2015 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      I may need to amend my rules

  42. Salty Dog
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Not difficult but most enjoyable: 2*/4*. Favouritism split between 5a and 25d. Thanks to the setter, and of course to Gazza. And l loved the Quickie pun as well.

  43. Heno
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to MrRon and to Gazza for the review and hints. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I think it was the hardest back pager I have ever tried. Needed the hints for 14a,4,5,18d, the latter I have never heard of. Favourite was 25d, especially as I’m a cockney. Was 5*/4* for me.

  44. Kath
    Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    What a lot of comments – a sure sign of a tricky crossword and some great hints.
    Thanks again to the setter and to gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  45. Tstrummer
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I liked this one a lot – and found it straightforward in the extreme, although on quite a few occasions I bunged the answer in and parsed it afterwards. I particularly liked 8, 13 and 26a (although we had the same spicy sausage only a few days ago), and 5 and 16d. However, head and shoulders above the rest (geddit?) has got to be 25d which gave me my best crossword smile for ages. It’s a word still used quite often, in London at least, by people who aren’t cockneys at all. Vino tinto made me think of Pommers, of course, but also reminded me of when I lived in Spain we used to mix it with gaseosa to postpone the collapso part.
    2* for difficulty, but 5 (FIVE!) for enjoyment. If this was indeed PJ, he’s welcome back any time