DT 27840 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27840

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27840

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

A great big 28 across to Big Dave as Big Dave’s Crossword Blog had its twenty millionth hit last night. Yes you read it correctly. The site has been visited over twenty million times. Please feel free to comment.

Today Rufus has excelled himself with wonderful wordplay and cunning misdirection. Hands up if you found yourself trying to use verve as anagram fodder in 2d. The sun has got his hat on here in Downtown L I. Hip Hip Hip Hip Hooray

Miffypops has lovingly crafted the hints and tips below which are here to help and guide you. I hope they serve their purpose. Definitions are underlined. If you still need an answer after reading the hint then press click here and the answer will be revealed. If you do not want to see the answer – do not click.

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    Getting one’s own back in the High Street? (6)
REFUND: As a verb this is to pay back (money), typically to a customer who is not satisfied with goods or services bought. As a noun it is a a repayment of a sum of money. With thanks to Google definitions.

4a    Slightly well off? That’s absurd (1,3,4)
A BIT RICH: Here we have an all in one double definition. It perfectly describes quite a lot of what I say. The word That’s in the clue usually precedes this saying

9a    In a row boat, grasping second of paddles (6)
LINEAR: The second of paddles is the letter A just as the fourth of July would indicate the letter Y. The boat in this clue is big. Very big. There is nothing to suggest this. Take my word for it. Think Titanic or QE2. Now place this very big ocean going boat around (grasping) the letter A. My fellow bloggers could have explained this in fewer words.

10a    Inducts into office although answer is wrong (6,2)
SWEARS IN: An anagram. The indicator here is the word wrong. The fodder is ANSWER IS. The definition is underlined above.

12a    Male and a female parent (4)
ADAM: A from the clue and the female parent. Sire would be the male parent.

13a    Beastly impertinence is a bloomer (5)
OXLIP: This two lettered beast is often described as NEAT in crosswordland. It is followed by a three lettered word meaning impertinence or cheek. The whole is a flower

14a    Somehow came top (4)
ACME: Anagram (somehow) of CAME.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17a    Fighting men who showed courage when put on a charge (5,7)

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

20a    Study perfume of the valley that’s getting better (12)
CONVALESCENT: A three part charade. One of our usual suspects for Study. A regular crosswordland perfume (which is used because it forms the ending of a lot of words). Lie around (that’s getting) a rather poetic word for a valley. Evesham springs to mind.

23a    Rotten  position in the Army (4)
RANK: A Double definition. Need I say more.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a    She will need a long time to get around North (5)
AGNES: Place a word meaning a long time around N(orth)

25a    Bill turned in a murderer (4)
CAIN: Our two lettered usual suspect for a bill or AC(count) reversed (turned) followed by IN from the clue. Sibling rivalry began with this chap and his brother and has been with us ever since to the despair of all parents.

28a    Irrigation project finished? Congratulations! (4,4)
WELL DONE: A playful double definition. This irrigation project is used to draw water from. We would not say this to the engineering team who built the chimney (or Lum) in this illustration. They had the drawing upside down. It should have been a well

29a    Batman turns out to be chicken! (6)
BANTAM: Anagram (turns out) of BATMAN

30a    Sweets given back under pressure (8)
STRESSED: Reverse (given back) a word meaning sweets or puddings to find another word meaning under pressure or in tension

31a    Poet making uninteresting study (6)
DRYDEN: An amalgamation of two words, one meaning dull and one meaning study or lair will give this poet who did not write the poem at 17ac. I cannot name a poem he did write. A quick google gives this quote “Fool that I was upon my eagles wings, I bore this wren, till I was tired with soaring, and now he mounts above me. Give me Wendy Cope any time.


1d    King, prophet and expert, all together dependable (8)
RELIABLE: Another three part charade. R(ex). The biblical prophet or High Priest. A word meaning capable. Together they mean dependable or trustworthy

2d    One showing enthusiasm and unusual verve for the dance (8)
FANDANGO: And another three part charade. A three letter word, the shortened form of afficianados followed by an anagram (unusual) of AND. The final two letters suggested by the word verve mean energy. I know only two songs with this word in them. The other one is complete drivel from start to finish

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Arkwright‘s lack of response in the surgery? (4)
NOAH: A wright is a maker or builder. So, how many people do you know of who have built an Ark? The wordplay refers to not replying when your doctor asks you to “say ah”

5d    Where a strike will be the best option (7,5)
BOWLING ALLEY: A strike is a perfect score in this pastime. Here is where it is played.

6d    Catch  a vehicle (4)
TRAP: A double definition a third might be a person’s mouth and a fourth might be a device used to hurl a clay pigeon

7d    Cricket, perhaps with school batting first (6)
INSECT: This school a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong. They are to be preceded by a term meaning at the crease in cricketing terms. The result is a small arthropod animal that has six legs and generally one or two pairs of wings.

8d    Bach and Elgar took this composer to heart (6)
HANDEL: A lurker. An included word. A hidden word. It is there hiding within the words of the clue

11d    Geneva car tax fixed as an excessive amount (12)
EXTRAVAGANCE: Anagram (fixed) of GENEVA CAR TAX. 5d is mentioned in this clip.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15d    Those false beliefs (5)
ETHOS: Anagram (false) of THOSE

16d    Edits translation that is in Latin (2,3)
ID EST: Anagram (translated) of EDITS

18d    Act, taking on central role, then quit (8)
DEPARTED: Place (taking on) a theatrical word for a role in a play inside another word meaning an action that is performed intentionally or consciously.

19d    One who falls for a star actor (5,3)
STUNT MAN: A person employed to take an actor’s place in performing dangerous actions

21d    Exults with a number in large groups (6)
CROWDS: Large groups of people can be found by placing the D (500 in Roman numerals / number) inside a word meaning exults or brags. Even without solving this clue the two plural words suggest that the answer will be in the plural and therefore 30across begins with an S

22d    Fisherman shows displeasure when lake is filled in (6)
ANGLER: take a word meaning displeasure annoyance or hostility and throw in (filled in) the letter L(ake)

26d    Advantage at which disagreement arises (4)
ODDS: A well clued double definition. A third might be chances. Or as Wayne rightly says  ‘Odds On’ = Advantage.
‘At Odds’ = disagreement.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27d    Henry’s last  catch from the river? (4)
PARR: This last catch of Henry The Eighth outlived him by a year. This catch from the river is a young Salmon. How clever is this clue?

Twenty million? Blooming heck.

The Quick Crossword pun: berth+rite=birthright

108 comments on “DT 27840

  1. Happy 160th Birthday to the Daily Telegraph too. The Matt cartoon is a good one.

    1. I only got the Henry VIIIth connection when solving. The river part only came in when reviewing. As did the Ah moment in the doctors at 3d

    2. Far cleverer than me too. I spent ages trying to make it begin with a Y – Henry’s last i.e. the last letter of Henry. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

      1. And far cleverer than me also. My mini-red book did not list the Parr as a river either.

  2. 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I failed completely with 27d – I agree it’s a really clever clue – just too clever for me.
    I also got into a bit of a muddle with 9a – thinking of the wrong kind of ‘row’.
    Wondered for a while if Batman wore yellow because the ‘turns out’ could mean clothes and yellow is chicken – oh dear!
    I liked 4 and 28a and 2d (and 27d now.) I think my favourite was probably 3d – but could be 27d.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.

    Blimey – twenty million! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif to BD.

    1. How are your warring kitties? Hopefully all peace and love now.
      I have ginger missiles tearing around, shredding all my plants in the sitootery, trying to use the pots as litter boxes! There’s a case of major cuteness going on.

      1. I’m not quite sure that I’d call it peace and love yet but things are certainly calming down a bit, thankfully – it was all a bit much to begin with but Elder Lamb’s house has a six foot drop right outside their existing kitchen door which is where their cat flap is – not possible, even for the most agile of cats.
        Love the ‘sitootery’ but a pity about the plants!

  3. 27d baffled me too….also,.I am not sure that I really understand 26d – why is it ‘advantage’….?

    1. The only thing I could think of was “against the odds” being a sort of advantage.

      1. That is better Wayne. I couldn’t put it into words. Thank you. I will put it into the blog.

  4. Thank you Rufus – back to the usual light-hearted Monday puzzle ! Loved 3d and 27d. Thanks MP for your hard work, review and hints.

  5. 20 million is an awful lot of hits – a few years a go a few of us bloggers had bets as to when particular hit landmarks would be attained, but I don’t think we ever got as far as suggesting when 20 million hits would be reached..

  6. If you don’t usually venture into the Rookie Corner I do urge you to try today’s excellent puzzle by Beet. It’s not too difficult but it is very entertaining (and clever).

    1. I agree – it’s really good. Haven’t quite finished – stuck on my last three answers.

  7. Amusing and clever, especially 27d, just what I needed post the remnants of Glastonbury’s Who performance, thought Roger was a little out of breath-well he is 71,enjoyed todays solve as well and going for a **/***, didn’t help when I’d put bowling green in for 5d ! I’ve seen a few vicious strikes there when all seemed los t.Thanks to Miffypops and setter ,not read Tennyson’s epic poem for ages, seem to remember there was a charge of the heavy brigade too which seems to have become forgotten.

  8. Congratulations on a memorable milestone and well done to Rufus who did not disappoint with a clever puzzae. Many thanks, also, to MP for some funny hints

  9. Congrats on 20M! That is a lot of hits…

    Great monday puzzle, I tend to like the simple & elegant classic Rufus clues e.g. 14a (somehow came top), 15a (those false beliefs), 16d (edits translation that is in Latin).

    Beet’s puzzle on Rookie corner is great (again).

    Thank you Rufus and Miffypops for the usual Monday quality

  10. 20 million hits? Congratulations to Dave and the crew… really well done guys.

    I’m sure I’ve done better Rufus puzzles than this one, but in all honesty I can’t remember when. A lot was read-and-write, but there were several clues here that stretched me where the wordplay became a “doh” moment after I’d written the answer in. Plenty of humour and misdirection. Almost too many good ones to pick a favourite, but 27d does it for me. 1.5*/4.0* Thanks to Miffypops and to Rufus for another good start to the week.

  11. As soon as I saw 2d, I thought of you MP.
    Did Rufus do it on purpose?
    What a great start of the week. This and the rookie. Just perfect.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP for the most entertaining review.

      1. Any chance of getting a mail with the indie crossword you mentioned yesterday. Even with Java, I can’t get it to work.

        1. Just read your “crossword on the move”. I see that it is not possible. Never mind. Thanks.

          1. The puzzle he was talking about yesterday won’t be in the Indy until next week anyway. I’ll try and remember to send you a copy.

    1. 26d: the “at” in the clue is important, try substituting “which” with the answer…

  12. Yes, it was a lot of fun and it was very clever.
    I enjoyed it, but it would never be a 1 star for me – more like 2.5!

    I never did get 27d – that was a very long walk away from the clue!

    And 3d kept me chewing my cheeks and spending an interesting 10 minutes googling the mill owner. I did write in the answer, but it made no sense to me and I couldn’t even be sure that 1a might not be “refill”, especially after ” empties” in the GK puzzle.

    20,000,000 hits…..that’s a lot of hits. Good on BD!

    1. And the rest of you hinters and tippers, of course.

      Hinters is not a word in Appleland – you have to be hunters. I don’t expect you will mind….

  13. Great fun. A pretty easy solve for once (apart from 27d!).

    I loved 3d. Out of curiosity, I’ve always wondered how one might turn a clue from a Cryptic to a Toughie. For example, this one. ‘Boat maker’s lack of response in the surgery’. Would that suffice ? Just curious as I know that although some people have a book inside them I feel a crossword inside me !

    Thanks to setter and MP

  14. I now know what Kath and crypticsue mean by the NC. Apology to BD and everyone else for yesterday. Bad enough confusing myself without confusing others too. Relatively straight forward today, but needed help with 25a, 27d and ….22d !!! I think the sun had got to me at that point.

    1. I’m sure you don’t need to apologise – when you’ve been in this very nice friendly, not to mention knowledgable and informative, place for as long as some of us have it’s all too easy to use “blogisms” without thinking that it could all be a bit confusing to a newcomer. Welcome from me, anyway. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. Thank you for the nice welcome Kath. I am returning to the cryptic after many years of child rearing, and now have more time. Hubby and I have become empty nesters at long last. Love my kids…. but whooppee!! Still can’t get hubby to do the crossword, unless I am stuck. Then he usually gets the answer.Bit annoying really. At least he can’t play Bridge. Having said that, my Bridge has gone downhill since I returned to the cryptic. Need to find the balance somewhere.

  15. No real problems with this one, apart from not being able to read my own writing and struggling for ages to make sense of 10a …all because I misread the W in 5d for an N! How stupid is that?? Ithought3d and 27 d were brilliant clues,.. How clever and neat, although I must say that 3d had me puzzled for a bit as I was trying to relate it to Ronnie Barkers character in ‘Open all Hours’ ! Then it dawned on me. I had ‘edge’ for 26d, so couldn’t make sense of 30a at first, then I realised I must have a wrong letter. Odds for 26 d puzzled me at first, then I thought of the horse racing ‘odds on’ thingy and it seemed fine. Also had a bit of trouble with 6d…I had ‘tram’ pencilled in… It had to be either that or ‘trap’ ….just didn’t make the vehicle connection, even though I used to be a pony owner…how daft of me ! I thought 31 a was good to. A very enjoyable puzzle which was not too taxing. 1*/4* Thanks to setter and to MP for hints ..(although not needed today) and congrats to BD for the amazing number of hits on the blog!

  16. Miffypops – 2d – Which one is “complete drivel from start to finish” – Procol Harum or Queen?

    Or both?

    1. I’ll answer for MP as I know that he calls Queen “pop pap” or something similarly uncomplimentary! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

      1. pop pap is for when I am being polite Kath. I imagine that if you searched out borap on Amazon it would tell you that people who bought this also bought The Birdie Song

    2. Oops I missed skipping the light fandango in Whiter Shade. Also Roxy Music’s Do The Strand.

      1. Whiter Shadeof Pale is also complete drivel from start to finish. Romance in Durango has one of the best opening lines in the Dylan oeuvre

  17. 2D The only song (other than Bob’s) I know with that word in it is New Fangled Tango by Lena Horne and that certainly isn’t drivel from start to finish

    1. ooh, I forgot both Procol Harum (good) and Queen (awful) – I also didn’t spot Franco’s comment before I wrote my previous one

  18. What a brilliant start to the week – glorious weather, the beginning of Wimbledon (those two are not always happy companions), the DT’s 160th birthday, this blog achieving 20 million hits, and to celebrate all these events a superb Rufus puzzle and a brilliant topical offering from Beet on Rookie Corner!

    Delicious cluing as ever for a Monday, several candidates for favourite but I’ve selected two (19d and 27d).

    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

    1. With reference to Wimbledon … the Hawk that keeps the pigeons away from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in SW19 is called Rufus.

  19. Terrific puzzle . I am in the “27d couldn’t do club, along with 25d.
    Thanks Miffypops and Rufus.
    20 million ! We are not alone.

  20. Thought this was going to be a piece of cake as the central section was R &W but then ran into problems in extreme NW and SE. Wimbledon was beckoning so took the easy option and succumbed to hints for 1a, 31a, 2d and 27d – thanks MP for that leg up. I would have thought the vessel in 9a is rather large to be a “boat”. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    1. Forgot thanks to Rufus and many bouquets to Big Dave on achieving 20 million strikes. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif. Many Happy Returns.

    2. Nowadays they are monstrosities. I think Hanni might be aboard one right now. Not for me. A cruise on one of those would me my idea of hell

              1. Thank you Kath. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif There were plus points but it’s not for me. On the upside I returned to find child type things of all ages intact and only the washing machine broken. I hope all calms down for you soon too.

                Am I correct in thinking that Jane returns tomorrow? I’ve missed her.

                1. Our washing machine’s broken too – think it was the massive load of washing that Elder Lamb (please note – no longer Pet Lamb) and partner brought with them along with the cats.
                  Yes – I think Jane must be back tomorrow – and I’ve missed her too.
                  Glad to hear that all child type things are OK – pity about the washing machine.

                  1. Hehe. Yes I notice the change of name there.

                    How odd. Ours has broken for exactly the same reason. The motor gave up causing the water to rise up through the sink. At least no one put washing up liquid in the dishwasher this time.

                2. I could cruise the world on a boat with just two passengers. The Cruises that The Daily Telegraph promote in their Saturday sections would not be for me. Butlins At Sea. No thanks.

                  1. Don’t talk to me about cruise ships. That’s the fourth time that the Seabourn Sojourn finds an excuse not to dock in Hyères and goes along to Le Lavandou instead. But at least a lovely Australian couple made their way to eat at Le Jardin.

                    1. You don’t seem to have a reply button.
                      At the jardin it’s like at the Hard Rock. Love all Serve all.

                    2. Joking apart, we have nine mouths to feed at the restaurant. Half of our turnover is wages and charges. Each one of us have to bring in more than 60k a year to have a decent salary. Not in a position to refuse.

                    3. I spoke to people on Guernsey about this and calculating the monetary effect that the ships have. It didn’t come as shock as to what they said.

  21. Loads of fun, typical Rufus. I had no problem with 27d, after I decided that it didn’t start with “y”, but 3d took far too long.
    My Dad could recite 17a all the way through from memory.
    My fave was 27d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to M’pops for his excellent review.


      1. Me too and because of that I fear I might not be the hostess with the mostest to my house guests due to arrive later in the week! Matches today were good for a first day’s play so look forward to more of the same.

      2. Me too – pity about the garden . . . It’ll just have to look after itself for a while. It gets plenty of attention for the other fifty weeks of the year!

  22. Nice Monday warm-up puzzle.

    Faves : 17a, 30a, 3d, 5d & 27d.

    Temperature in NL is soaring as promised.

    Now back to Sharap’s daughter and Konta!

  23. Thank you Rufus and thanks to Miffypops, especially for 3d, 27d and 27d. Favourite, among many, was 16d. To celebrate the 20Mth hit, this Monday, I have invented a cocktail called Rufus Pop which is Prosecco with three drops of lime cordial, which is witty, sparkling and full of fandango. I have yet to try it. Congratulations BD on your latest milestone.

  24. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I found this really tricky. I always struggle with double definitions. Had the wrong answer to 21d, needed the hints for 9a,3,6,18,27d. I thought 3&26d were very clever, but they both went straight over my head. Favourite was 29a, made me laugh, and I enjoyed 1d. Was 3*/3* for me. Congratulations to Big Dave, 20 million hits fantastic.

  25. Thanks to Rufus & MP for an enjoyable Monday puzzle & hints and congratulations to BigDave on getting 20 million hits which is amazing!

  26. */****+

    First of all heartfelt congratulations to BD, and to all the bloggers. I bet this has exceeded all your expectations? What a wonderful place this is.

    Now to the crossword. A joy from start to finish. 27d was my last in and what a clue, just brilliant. So many good surfaces that I won’t name a favourite, so stand out ones were the lovely 27d, 29a, 3d and 17a…rather like Tennyson.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for an excellent blog.

  27. Always late doing the Monday puzzle, but worth the wait. Straightforward but enjoyable. Have to do it first up tomorrow as I intend to be in the garden all day NOT following the advice of the nanny state as regards the hot weather, and the tablet is rubbish outdoors. Well done to BD, thanks to the setter and everyone who contributes to this excellent site.

  28. Lovely Rufus puzzle with some great clues. Shame it was over too quickly. */****

    Thanks to Miffypops for his always amusing and entertaining blog!

  29. The crossword was good; the review was great. Thanks to Rufus and Miffy. Thanks and congratulations to BD for the blog and all that it has become, not to mention the 20 million hits. Wow.

  30. Congratulations to BD and the team for arriving at 20,000,000 hits. (nearly as many as Blur)

  31. What a magic day, everyone else has already listed the things to celebrate so I will just say Ditto especially 20 million hits. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops for making me a very happy old lady I even knew 27d.because I have recently read about her. Arts Festival exhibition up and running after five months of incredible hard work so I am back with my beloved crosswords. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      1. Buckenham Galleries, High Street, Southwold. Reg Carter Remembered until Tuesday 7th July. Monday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday 12 noon to 4 pm. Free entry. All welcome. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  32. Another top quality Monday puzzle to enjoy. A few spots where we were delayed slightly, 1a and 3d were a couple of these.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.
    20 million hits is an amazingly high number. Makes one realise that this site has a huge number of ‘lurker’ visitors who use it regularly. Here’s to the next 20 million.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  33. Congrats to BD for all those hits, and Rufus and Miffypops for entertainment and hints. Did discover that some of the clues are old chestnuts (more so from the other side) but nevertheless challenging and enjoyable.!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  34. Good fun: 1.5*/4* for my money. Two excellent clues vying for favouritism – 3d and 27d. Many thanks to Rufus, and to Miffypops for the review. And many, many congratulations to BD for the huge success of this marvellous site!

  35. Nice stuff from Rufus. **/*** from us.

    Don’t think 26d works at all but it’s made up for by 27d.

    Thanks Rufus and thanks to Miffypops.

  36. A nice start to the week **/**** Thanks to MP and Rufus. It was the short ones that fooled me i.e. 3d, 26d &27d all very clever and most enjoyable. :) Congrats also on 20million hits ;)

  37. Hey Tstrummer. I have thrown some Dylan and some Eartha Kitt in just for you. Hope you enjoy it.

    1. I used to have the Eartha Kitt on a 78 played on a wind-up gramophone. That and something by Joe Loss were the only records in my collection when I was five. Wore them out. Luckily, as I grew older, my taste became more refined. The Dylan is, of course, masterful, with one of his best opening lines – and there are many great ones.

    2. I saw Eartha Kitt at Tivoli Gardens in Denmark in the 60s. Those were the days my friend! My camping days.

  38. I romped through the first three quarters of this without drawing breath and then hit the cryptic wall. 19d held me up for ages, and then I felt foolish once I had twigged. As others have mentioned, 3d and 27d were my last two in and I spent longer on them than the rest of the puzzle, but once I saw the light, they delighted me. Like Pommers, I don’t think 26d works at all, but the rest of the clues made up for that. 3*/4*.
    Many thanks to Rufus for the delight, to MP for the entertaining review and musicological asides.
    Most of all, however, congratulations to BD on the 20m milestone: it’s all down to the selfless work of the reviewers, with the two great sages (BD &Gazza) overseeing proceedings, with the help of CS and others too shy and retiring to mention. I may be alone in thinking this, but I find it disappointing that there are clearly thousands of people out there who regularly use the hints when they’re stuck, but can never be bothered to pop in and say thank you. I did, and have been grateful to be a part of the BD village ever since.

  39. Congrats to Rufus, MP and especially BD.

    Similar thoughts to most others. Very enjoyable and all the similar problems, plus a couple more. Am I the only one who put bowling match in for 5d? Caused a few problems that. Although I thought it had good alignment with striking… C.

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