DT 27842 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27842

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27842

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

 

Our regular morning walk takes us past a series of small ponds. Today, the behaviour of the resident ducks seems to indicate that Spring is not too far away for us. As we were recently unjustly accused of posting pictures of fornicating frogs, perhaps we should not elaborate further and just concentrate on this Jay puzzle.
The one that gave us most trouble today and pushed our solving time to the top of our three star range was 7d, and there are several others that required a bit of extra work too.

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

Across

1a     Soap needed by heavy drinker getting this at teatime? (6,4)
SPONGE CAKE : ‘Soap’ is the description of what you call a block of it, and the heavy drinker which precedes it refers to something capable of soaking up a lot of liquid.
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6a     Place restrictions on dog beginning to bark (4)
CURB : This worthless dog or scoundrel is followed by the first letter of bark.

10a     Show womaniser with a change of heart (5)
RODEO : A wild west show is found by changing the middle letter in a word for a womaniser.
images

11a     Build an exciting picture of a girl some fancy (9)
GLAMORISE : An anagram (fancy) of A GIRL SOME.

12a     Person making a mockery of a gourmand? (7)
SCOFFER : The answer also describes the eating manner of a gourmand.
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13a     Attack yobbo hugging tree (4,3)
LASH OUT : A three letter tree with hard white wood is surrounded by a synonym for a yobbo.

14a     Make a speech on safeguard for controlled state (12)
PROTECTORATE : Safeguard here is a verb and is followed by a word meaning make a speech.

18a     Risk losing advantage as punk slouches around (4,4,4)
PUSH ONES LUCK : An anagram (around) of PUNK SLOUCHES.

21a     Hidden problems of contracts (7)
CATCHES : Double definition, the second is a verb meaning gets infected by.

23a     Laughable claim thrown out by company (7)
COMICAL : The abbreviation for company is followed by an anagram (thrown out) of CLAIM.

24a     Greeting by head giving sudden inspiration (9)
BRAINWAVE : The greeting is usually given by a hand and follows a word for a head or controlling entity.

25a     Poor merchant stocking shellfish (5)
ORMER : The answer is included within the clue.
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26a     Disregarding danger of collision, failing to start (4)
RASH : Find a word meaning a collision and remove its first letter.

27a     Licence given for each delegation (10)
PERMISSION : A three letter word meaning ‘for each’ and then a synonym for a delegation.

Down

1d     Emphasise end of holidays, and lock (6)
STRESS : The last letter of holidays and a lock of hair.

2d     Address that’s familiar for a school leaver? (3,3)
OLD BOY : The form of address that we associate with stuffy London clubs also describes a male ex-student.

3d     Going north, food gets cooked for a useless lump (4-3-7)
GOOD-FOR-NOTHING : An anagram (gets cooked) of GOING NORTH FOOD.

4d     Not a patch on wanting one? (9)
CIGARETTE : An all in one clue. To understand the wordplay, split the clue after the word on to find what the writer will want if he is not wearing a nicotine patch. Looking at this one and 17d we wondered if Jay is in the process of trying to kick a habit.

5d     Early bird going up across area in African village (5)
KRAAL : A bird renowned for early rising is reversed and A(rea) is included.
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7d     This type of disorder in our pal is rampant (8)
UNIPOLAR : An anagram (is rampant) of IN OUR PAL.  This psychiatric disorder is much less well known than its equivalent with a ‘bi-‘ prefix. This answer was our biggest hold-up and took some investigation.

8d     Rest for swimmer crossing inside of area? (8)
BREATHER : This time we need the middle two letters of area to be inserted inside a word for a swimmer. For a change, the swimmer is not a fish.

9d     Windsor, say, held by Greens for this chamber? (5,2,7)
HOUSE OF COMMONS : What Windsor, or possibly Hanover or Stuart, is an example of, then a two letter word meaning held by and a word for what village greens or other open areas might be.
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15d     Application to join aloof elite? (4,5)
COLD CREAM : Combine (join) words meaning aloof and elite to discover this cosmetic application.

16d     Speed in small pub is key (5,3)
SPACE BAR : Put together the abbreviation for S(mall), a synonym for speed and a drinking place to get this computer or typewriter key.

17d     Shy Rasta’s complicated requisites for smoking (8)
ASHTRAYS : An anagram (‘s complicated) of SHY RASTA.

19d     Second affected international dish (6)
SCAMPI : S(econd) plus affected or stagey then I(nternational) to get this seafood dish.

20d     Affair mainly about gold coin of yore (6)
FLORIN : The heraldic notation for gold is inserted into a word for an affair after the last letter has been dropped.
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22d     Rock hotel in auction (5)
SHALE : Rock here is a noun. Not a verb as we first thought when we tried K as the 4th letter. H(otel) is inside what an auction is a type of.
images

Our vote for favourite goes to 7d as it was our biggest challenge.

Quickie pun. Here is what we think it must be. If you have a better suggestion, please leave a comment.
hacker  +  putty  =  a cup of tea

156 comments on “DT 27842

  1. Well done to 2Kiwis on sorting out the Quickie pun – I’ve been saying the words aloud all morning and got nowhere.

    1. Thanks Gazza. We have been sitting up waiting for a second opinion. Can safely go to bed now.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      1. Me too. I have been wandering to and fro muttering. People round here must think I am crazy Hang on a minute. The good folk of Downtown L I know I am crazy.

        1. The words are jotted over some work stuff. Tried typing it in different fonts so see it leapt out…nope.

  2. Held up in the top right hand corner , last ones in 4d and 11a across .Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and the setter. This was over too quickly but thoroughly enjoyable ; hadn’t heard of 25a until I looked it up in Chambers . Liked 1 and 24a and 8d. **/***

  3. yes, Jay seems to have smoking on the brain, as least he doesn’t appear to be trying to 11a it. Best of luck if he is trying to kick the habit. Speaking of brain, I quite liked the head greeting in 24a. Also liked 8d (rest for swimmer) and 15d (application).

    Strange medical/psychological conditions seem to be popping up more regularly in puzzles recently – weren’t they considered sensitive at one point? I guess it depends on how the clue is presented – no issues today.

    I got stuck having first tried spoofer to satisfy the checkers in 12a (person making a mockery). The right answer makes much more sense.

    Many thanks 2 kiwis and thank you Jay for an entertaining puzzle

  4. Everything was going swimmingly until 7D had all the letters but couldn’t fathom it out & had to resort to a little electronic help. My standout clue was 4D,many thanks to the setter & the 2kiwis for an excellent review.

  5. NE corner did for me too, especially 7d which I feel I should have solved quicker than I did, and would have, had I thought more laterally about the more familiar bi version. That tricky corner made it a ***\*** today, and I enjoyed it more than yesterday’s challenge which, although quite elegant, was a trifle easy. Well done Jay and the 2Ks

  6. ***/** for me – straightforward and enjoyable, a high quality puzzle with nothing obscure (htough 5d came close)….

  7. I thought this was pretty straightforward with the usual enjoyment factor from Jay. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay */****

  8. Thank you Jay. Enjoyed the challenge. 2 new words for me at 25a and 7d but managed both from the wordplay and checkers. Thanks 2Kiwis for the review, photos and hints.

  9. ***/****

    Jay never fails to delight. Although the quickie pun left me mystified. Like Gazza, I’ve been saying it aloud, writing it down etc.

    I made a couple of mistakes in solving. For 15d I initially thought it might be ‘roll calls’, and 26a, ‘risk’. But since I couldn’t justify either it was back to the drawing board. Also had to double check 5d and 25a although I’m certain I’ve come across them before. I’ve never heard of 7d before but anagram left no other option.

    Fine stuff with 24a being my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for your usual excellent blog.

    Deliciously hot here. Perfect for walking on the beach. So I’m stuck working instead. I hope Jane’s back today.

  10. I’ll go for 2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Like everyone else I was held up by 7d and also, having spelt 5d the wrong way, (stupid as I know the word) by 11a.
    I don’t think I’ve met 25a although it’s entirely possible that I’ve just forgotten it.
    I completely missed the Greens = commons in 9d so my answer was a bit of a mystery to me.
    I liked 14 and 24a and 15 and 17d. My favourite was 4d.
    With thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.
    I also thought that Jay seemed to have the dreaded weed on the brain today with 4 and 17d – if he’s attempting to give up then good luck to him. I haven’t had a “real live” one for five weeks so feeling smug! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Sorry about the frogs last week, Kiwis!
    30C in Oxford but a cloudy 30C so not very nice – very windy too – garden doesn’t stand a hope. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Well done with the smoking – did you buy the fake fag that we recommended? If so, you’ve done better than us!

    2. Wow – well done you! I can imagine it was/still is a real struggle. How have you been coping? Enjoy your well-earned Smug http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif.

      1. Thanks Kitty – yes, still a bit of a struggle but I’m fairly determined this time and quite enjoying the smug.

            1. Proud of you, Kath, but regret I have yet to summon up the desire, let alone the will-power. Bank manager (is there such a person these days?) would doubtless suggest the former as an ace idea, doctor has definitely recommended achievement of the latter. Silly old me is still dancing with the devil.

              1. I’m not stalking you, I swear.
                I’m still smoking also. So is my Aunt Liliane who is over 80.
                I know it’s bad but what the hell. Don’t have the will power to give up yet. Maybe I need a shock like Pommers.
                But remind me. How is the drinking bit going?
                This site sometimes turns into an Anonymous Alcoholic meeting.
                Are we going to do the same with fags? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                1. I could do without the scare that pommers had but I have other motives – the Kiwis will understand!
                  And, just for the record, I’ll never become a “born again non-smoker” i.e. disapproving.

                  1. Kath, you really could do without my shock. Since I stopped smoking I seem to drink more. Hmm . . .

                2. I gave up the fags but I will always have a sundowner every day. I’ve made abundantly clear to my GP that it is useless recommending I stop the sauce, I have no intention of doing so. Americans consider four drinks a day binge drinking, I am past redemption.

                3. Drinking’s going well thank you, JL. Still prefer the red on balance but white and bubbles are acceptable along with Bellinis, Harvey Wallbangers and an assortment of cognacs…….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

        1. Keep at it, it does get better. I do confess to the odd craving still, 15 years later, but it’s not the gut-wrenching yearning as at first.

          GOOD LUCK!!

        2. It can be done. 29 months and 3 days since I had one but who’s counting?. There again, a dose of pneumonia, pleuresy and a collapsed lung causing 10 days in hospital didn’t half focus the mind.

          Just keep at it and you’ll see it starts to get easier.

    3. Thank you Merusa, pommers and Hanni – if you don’t mind awfully, pommers, I think I’d rather skip the pneumonia, pleurisy and collapsed lung!
      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif to all.

    4. Well done with the smoking Kath. Looking back on the calendar, it seems that the quitting decision came very soon after the delightful couple of days that we spent with you. Did we have an influence in the decision? Stick with it. Even 28 years after kicking the habit I still remember it as being very hard but really and truly worth doing. You can do it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. PS – Your visit might just have had a bit of influence in the decision – I’ll email you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    5. Good luck with the non smoking. Currently 29C in Peterborough, Cynth and Cuth sat by a fan, thankfully drinking (but flatly refusing food) and even more thankfully a walk :) Hope the fighting felines calming down

      1. Are you surprised? It’s full moon almost. Mine are just begging for cuddles and after that they ignore me for a month.

      2. Thanks andy – fighting felines are now calming down – think that they’re all too hot to be bothered any more – long may it last!
        Hope that Cynth and Cuth are OK – my lovely girl would have hated this.

        1. The kids send e-paws atcha, they are not happy but….now only 26C. Don’t get me wrong, I love heat, but spending over 3 hours today on public transport aka saunas on wheels.. happy now home with the fans / curtains closed etc, and the longest G&T ever :)

    6. I still smoke. Cigarettes and a pipe. I know it’s bad and, thankfully, only one of my five children does it, but not much. Trouble is, I enjoy it very much and there are other points too: smokers contribute more than £10billion to the Treasury each year (cost of treating smoking-related diseases put at about £2.5billion); and I don’t really want to live for ever, on the prom at Weston-super-Mare with a rug over my knees wondering if it’s macaroni night. I applaud Kath, for trying to give up, but mostly for not being judgmental about the dirty, antisocial habit that has all but killed the licensed trade in this health and safety obsessed country. Rant over

  11. It has taken me longer to crack the quickie pun than it has to do all three back pagers this week. A nice puzzle all round from Jay but with so many checkers how can we fail?

  12. I absolutely never heard of 7d , like everybody else.And 4d is my favourite too.
    Well done Kath ! I’m going to give those ersatz fags a go , as soon as I work up the courage.
    2d , nicely misled ! I racked my brain (such as it is ) for modern hip greetings used by young people, so this quite old fashioned phrase was unexpected.
    Terrific puzzle , thanks Jay and Kiwis.

    1. I think the symptoms of 7d only occur when trying to solve a Daily Telegraph crossword!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  13. Hilary has been very busy recently helping to set up an exhibition of Reg Carter’s work for The Southwold Arts Festival

    http://southwoldartsfestival.co.uk/meet-reg-carter-a-unique-exhibition/

    But more surprisingly Hilary has written a booklet about Reg Carter. It arrived on my doorstep this morning and it is very interesting and well put together and has raised a smile and a laugh

    The Southwold Arts Festival Committee need to sell as many of Hilary’y booklets as possible to fund nest years Arts Festival

    If you are interested or just feeling generous copies can be purchased here

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Reg-Carter-Remembered-New-Edition-/251995487572?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3aac19fd54

    1. I think if you put more than two hyperlinks in a comment the system sends you off to be moderated so I rescued you.

    2. Thank you Miffypops I was not sure if I was allowed to advertise and I am delighted you enjoyed the book. The catalogue is a great way of walking round the gallery without the trip to Southwold. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  14. **/*** for us. Lots of nice clues and, as Miffypops says, plenty of checkers. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  15. Excellent puzzle, needed the answer to 11A to finish off 4d & 7d had all the letters but tried to get a word stating in UP for 7d until I saw the error of my ways. Otherwise everything went mostly straight in. Especially liked 24across.

  16. This took a modicum more puzzling out than usual for a Wednesday, but as with most Jay puzzles it was completely doable while offering a nice amount of resistance along the way. 4d was last to yield. We particularly liked 12a and 15d. We are happy when we have a 24a, so that raised big smiles.

    I also spent far too much of the morning repeating two words over and over again.

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis – especially for saving what’s left of my sanity after that quickie pun.

    P.S. The birds in Hyde Park have been enjoying themselves too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

  17. I think the standard of this puzzle is set by 1a and the Quickie pun, clumsy! Not difficult (finished in * time) but but lots of clunky clues. I include in that 7d and 4d. Never heard of a 25a so at least I have learned something or though whether or not I remember it is doubtful.
    Thx to 2 Kiwis for the review.

  18. An excellent puzzle ***/*** wisely did not venture out of the shade and solved the puzzle instead, apart from the infamous 7d, my problem was I had the anagram of ” out pal is” not ” our pal in” several medical dictionaries later :( Best clue of course 4d and the bonus of a new word ormer Thanks to Jay and the two “K”s for whom Spring is just around the corner. Look forward to the frog pictures ;)

    1. I’m finding today’s Toughie quite easy … apart from the difficult ones!

    2. Oh http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      Finished it now and by that I mean I have an answer to all the clues but . . .

  19. A nice puzzle made nicer by finishing off whilst sitting in the 30 degree sunshine. Only lasted 15 minutes as it is too hot for full a full lunch break.
    7d and 25a were new but achievable when all the others completed. Last in was 15d as it took a while for the penny to drop.
    Thanks to setter and 2kiwis but didn’t need help today.

  20. We found this a little easier than yesterday’s puzzle, but not that easy. I’ve heard of bipolar but not 7d, but we looked it up. Thank you to the Wednesday setter and to the 2kiwis. Would never have got the pun in a month of Sunday’s, and don’t think it’s very good.

  21. Did anyone else put “hitches” for 21 a ? I thought it was clever until, huh, I couldn’t solve 16 down…….
    Loved this puzzle, with its convoluted clues – guessed 7d. ***/***

  22. ***/*** territory for me but very enjoyable. A few penny droppers included. Liked 4d. Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter for a good challenge. Canada Day today so off to do some kayaking later when the air cools down. Will the English ladies reach the WWC final I wonder?

  23. A couple held me up for a little while in an otherwise straightforward and enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis for the review

  24. After my sabbatical for the exhibition my brain has settled back in and I thoroughly it enjoyed it. A small amount of electronic help to get 7d but apart from that it was all my own work. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif thanks to 2Kiwis for some wonderful hints loved the sponge cake which we are not allowed to have Boo Hoo.

  25. 7d was proof, if it were ever needed, that not all anagrams are straightforward, even with all the checking letters in place! This and 14a held me up for quite a while, although the rest fell into place fairly easily.

    10a and 16d were my personal favourites of the day.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  26. P S why did I start by thinking that the poor golfer was a rabbit until 3d proved me wrong?

  27. First impression was one of foreboding but it turned out to be quite an easy run. 25a, 5d and 7d extend my vocabulary once more. 15d amused. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. You expect Spring imminently whilst we scorch in tropical heat but we are promised a bit of relief and/or thunderstorms as of tomorrow – thank goodness. **/***.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  28. I used to type for a psychiatrist, so 7d presented no problems once I had some checking letters.
    I seem to remember 25a making an appearance before, it was a new word for me at the time and, by a miracle, I remembered it.
    I rather liked 18a, but I think fave has to be 24a.
    Thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable puzzle and 2Kiwis for the review, not least for that truly appalling quickie pun.

    1. P.S. I am still giggling at the Matt cartoon today! He always manages to nail it!

      1. Yes – yesterday’s and today’s are good. There was one quite recently that I didn’t understand but can’t now remember when it was or what it was about.

      2. I have a wonderful collection of Matt roughs that were deemed too tasteless for publication, plus a couple of framed originals – and he did a wonderful full-colour leaving card for me when I left the DT in 1993. Doesn’t seem that long ago now

  29. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay. Was beaten by 7d. Was 2*/3* for me. Spent mmostof the day between Richmond and Hampton Court, trying to keep cool.

  30. A good warm up puzzle to get me in the mood to tackle the Toughie. I normally do the Toughie and then the Back Pager – but not on Elkamere days. A lot of clever clues but I’ll go 24a as I thought it was quite novel.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

  31. 7d was also my last one. Even with all the checking letters and the clear anagram indicator, it still took me a while.
    My first one however was 3d which didn’t need any help to sort out. That gave me the G in 1a and I thought of Grange Hill for the soap. Is it still running?
    Hurray for 24a. I rely so much on it.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis.

  32. Found today more difficult than yesterday. Needed help on a few, but still enjoyable. 2*/2* for me. Favourites were 1a and 9d. Didn’t like 25a for no other reason than I stuck the wrong answer in. Don’t think I can say what it was, but at least I have a sense of humour and can laugh about it. Seemed logical at the time. Thanks to 2kiwis and to setter.

    1. You can say anything you like – well, within reason – on weekdays. The naughty corner only comes into play (been watching too much Wimbledon!) on Saturdays and Sundays because they’re prize crosswords.

      1. Thanks for clearing that up Kath. Ok. Here goes. Anyone else put in prawn for 25a? Where did I get it from? Poor Merchant…pawnbroker? Yes I added an r, but sometimes you can add a letter without really understanding why and you can still be right. I think that my mind was racing at this point. Sad thing is, I filled it in so quickly I was feeling quite smug about it. Oh well. Let’s hope I do a bit better tomorrow.

        1. Hi Florence – no, I didn’t, but rather wish I had – really like that suggestion! I’d got the first and last letters in and was trying to condense ‘oyster’ to get an answer.

  33. Like others, was held up by 7d, resorted to Google to help New word for me, only had heard of close cousin Bi. Mostly An entertaining romp.

  34. Out of bed now and note that nobody has offered an alternative answer for the Quickie pun so it looks like, despite our doubts, we had cracked it.
    Interesting comments about 7d. As Jay legs noted, although it is an anagram the fodder can be extracted from the the clue with either an N or an S, depending on how one reads it. We explored both options before coming to the right answer.

    1. I’m with the muttering crosophliles crew who needed your quickie hint to arrive at a possible answer. Would love to know just what accent you need to possess to arrive at the answer, somewhere in Australasia perhaps?

      1. We had similar musings. First thoughts were Cockney with the first letter being dropped, then we thought maybe ‘up north’ somewhere. We do not know where Jay hales from. It never occurred to us to consider an accent from our part of the world. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        1. Goodness. Had put ‘hales from’ when it should have been ‘hails from’.
          We also considered Punjab as a source of the accent.

  35. Hi everyone – finally back home last night courtesy of 3+ hours of abject misery on a Gt. Western train with defunct air con. and only four small opening vents per carriage, followed by 4+ hours via Arriva Wales which was so full that I spent most of the journey wedged in a small corridor (outside my nomination for most disgusting loo ever) balancing on my suitcase. Isn’t our rail system great!

    Wonderful time with No. 2 daughter and fiancé on IOW and did manage to get my hands on a copy of DT most days. However, I did have to complete the back-pagers without any recourse to aid of either the electronic or written variety – quite an eye-opener. Also, I must confess that it wasn’t really very enjoyable without my BD mates to talk to – that’s something else to add to my list of addictions. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    Enjoyed today’s offering from Jay – 3*/3* for me and relieved to be able to check out 25a & 7d with Mr. Google.
    Didn’t see the anagram at 3d until well after I’d got the answer and got held up by trying to get the speech before the safeguard at 14a.
    5d was a complete guess and 26a was definitely ‘risk’ until I’d been through the alphabet a few times.

    Liked 1&18a plus 3,4 & 15d – favourite goes to 24a.

    Thanks to Jay and also our 2Ks – the Quickie pun had me completely foxed!

      1. Hear, hear – you have been missed. Re train journey’s – a couple of years ago Mrs SL and I were travelling from Crewe to Edinburgh for the Six Nations Match at Murrayfield. Due to a problem with the North Wales line, everybody was diverted to Crewe. Had seats reserved but ended up standing all the way to Edinburgh with like-minded rugby fans. I’ll tell you now that it was a hoot and we made some good friends on the journey that day. Lordy – were we a bit worse for wear that day when finally arrived at Edinburgh http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        1. All I got was a loud-mouthed mother on her mobile trying to locate an errant daughter via her entire list of mobile nos. and several sets of parents stripping screaming over-heated babes down to their nappies and making constant trips to the loo to bathe them in cool water. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      2. Thanks Kitty – good to be back. How’s things going for you and Mr. K? Any chance of a ‘same continent’ location in the offing?

        1. My solving partner is right here :). Another week, then it’s back once more to normal life :(.

          You have my sympathy about the evil train journey. Sadly, my teleportation device is still a few years away from completion. I’m very glad you had such a lovely time with your daughter. Our loss has been others’ gain :).

          1. What a nice thought Kitty – but on the teleportation side, be careful of flies in the ointment.

    1. Hurrah! You’re back. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      So glad you’ve had a lovely time. Though sorry to hear about your journey home, what a nightmare.

      It’s safe to say that you’ve been very missed.

      N.b…the quickie pun was a nightmare wasn’t it. Very clever though.

      1. That Quickie pun is a prime example of why I’m SO glad to be back in the BD fold!
        Thank you for missing me – I’ve felt rather bereft. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

        1. Did you manage to get some ‘relaxing’ time and good bird spots? I’m trying to think if you’ve missed any significant blog stuff. I think the site went off-line but I was away. Hilary’s exhibition looks amazing. I still use pencils. Gosh I’m useless at this stuff. Kath or Pommers may be better at it.

          Anyway, it’s just good to have you back. You might need written 27a to go away for so long again. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          1. I think there’s something re: Kath and cats that I need to catch up on – doubtless she will let me know in due course – but a quick scan of the blogs didn’t suggest any crisis situations in my absence.
            Nice to see that Brian is still as reliable as ever. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

            1. Ahh yes. Cats, elder lamb and broken washing machines. I’m sure she’ll fill you in.

              Brian’s still Brian, long may that continue, MP looks pretty in pink and Shropshirelad got name checked in yesterday’s Toughie!

                  1. I’m not often at a loss for words, Hanni (except for the odd back-pager) but that image has rendered me completely incapable of any acceptable comment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    2. Hi Jane,
      Glad you had a great time on the isle of wight.
      Count me in for the risk in 26a. I thought a brisk could be an accidental meeting.
      No comment please.

    3. Ay up Jane, nice to see you back.
      I haven’t been on a train for about 35 years but recently we were going to Barcelona for a long weekend. Train methought – high speed link from Alicante – cost €95 each – Ryanair €35 each and takes 45 mins instead of 3.5 hours.

      BTW, we love the IOW. Done sailing around the island a few times but never actually done the round the island race. Shame as we’ve done round Angelsey and round Hong Kong. Those were the days – young and fit.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      1. I love the AVE. Remember Valencia to Madrid in 90 MN. Yes it’s a euro a minute but well worth it. Madrid to Barcelona also is quite fast but I prefer the slow train along the coast to Valencia and further down.

      2. Hi Pommers,
        I did go up to Culver Down to watch the round the island competitors – over 1500 of them enjoying sunshine, a fair breeze and probably for many of them a good day’s sail with no thought of breaking any records.
        Some lovely boats – I found myself to be rather partial to the ones with dark grey sails.

        BTW – I will forgive you in time for your lousy spelling of Anglesey!

        1. That’s the problem with the Spanish. They write the way they speak. Umh. I think we do that too.

          1. One of the delights of being English – we KNOW our spelling is correct and the rest of the world is just rather in need of educating! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

            1. How many ways can you pronounce OUGH? I’ve asked this before but possibly not of you.

              1. Oh yes, you did. Look back and you will see that I referred you to my previous surname of Myerscough!

          1. Trouble with that is I can’t get my computer to put the required little ‘hat’ over the ‘o’.
            On the subject of pedantry – are you up to speed on the fact that we now have to refer to the Menai Strait – not Straits – since there is actually only one.
            Straits restaurant in Menai Bridge has yet to conform along with a plethora of websites.
            Meantime, the rest of us are still trying to determine the current PC pronunciation of Beaumaris – apparently the obvious answer is far from universally acceptable these days. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

              1. Thanks for that, JL. I shall look forward to helping you out with a similarly troublesome translation in the future….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif

      3. I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before, but what did yoy sail? I spent part of the 80’s trying my hardest to destroy Lasers and Toppers. So not quite in the same league as you.

        1. Our Pet Lambs nearly drowned sailing a Topper in, or should I say off Corsica. It was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had with them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Ahh yes. In hindsight what we did was ridiculous. The folly of youth.

            I still want to wrap child type things of all ages in cotton wool. I can imagine your utter terror. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          2. Pommette can sail a Topper in circles without moving the sail. I had to swim out from the beach at Nidri to rescue her. Ever tried to sail a Topper with two on board? Tricky!

            1. How do you do that? I used to have a passion for speed. As fast as possible in any direction. Pretty much ignoring any reefs or things like ‘skill’, or ‘safety’. I get nervous jumping a horse now.

              1. It wasn’t a case of how I did it, it was a case of I couldn’t work out how NOT to do it. The problem was I couldn’t get the blumin’ thing to sail in a straight line. I just kept going round in circles no matter what I. And the sails didn’t tack or gybe – very annoying.
                I was a novice – first time on a topper – I’d like to think that if I tried again now I might be able to go in a straight line.

          3. Just saw your post.
            Hard to keep up with the time line.
            The waters around Corsica are very treacherous.
            My cousin run a race in a Mumm 30 from Corsica to Marseille. Very scary. The winds in he north of the island make the sea extremely dangerous. We were very happy to see him in Marseille and took the boat for a lovely outing to the Frioul island

        2. Our first boat was “Tidal Flo” a lovely Hunter Horizon 27, a bit small and has been liken to a dinghy with a lid. She taught me a lot about sailing (pommers had sailed before).

          But the love of our life was “Firenze”, a 32 ft Westerly Fulmar cruiser/racer. A mean machine and Westerly’s only attempt at designing a submarine. We sailed her for 10 years before we bought the house in Spain and she was a joy to sail except in big seas when going up wind when she used to love nose diving through the waves rather than going over them. Didn’t seem to slow her down any and we won many a race in conditions like this when the waves were stopping other people dead in their tracks.

          I miss her – but way too old and arthritic now to even contemplate racing a yacht!

      4. Ahh.. Hong Kong in the 70’s, now we’re talking (although we’re definitely not agreeing with the ‘fragrant harbour’ bit). Always travelled 3rd class on the ferry to Kowloon – happy days http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    4. Well – so many welcome back messages! Just goes to show how much you’ve been missed! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif
      I’m really glad you’re back too – more soon! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Kath’s right, naturally. But we have commented about how we were missing you.

        Hope you’ve got a G & T in hand?

        1. Actually it’s a red wine. No. 2 daughter has got herself a job at the Adgestone vineyard on IOW so I need to keep up to speed on comparisons, etc. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          1. Oh I like your style. Very much.

            Recommendations always welcome. Or you could bring a bottle to the birthday bash..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

            1. They do a very nice line in dry whites and also a ‘special’ which goes by the name of ‘Arson Fire’. Think wine and chillies………… Drunk as a ‘shot’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

                1. Think it was poss. the red – certainly red in colour, but confess I didn’t ask the question. Had rather the same effect on the brain as the image of MP in pink. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

                  1. I think I’ll stay away from that one. It does sound as though you’ve had a wonderful time. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        2. Red wine too. Corbieres actually from the little cooperative of Embres et Castemaure. Gave the tip to Framboise actually. She filled up as well.

          1. Good lord. I start to repeat myself.
            actually it’s time for me to go over to the Guardian blog and be even more silly

              1. No. You’re right. But it’s funny how you can meet the people from here under another pseudo. Except crypticsue.

                1. Although I do the Grundian every day on line – I have never posted on the 15 x 15 site. Don’t know why, perhaps it just doesn’t float my boat http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

                  1. Never been on 225 either. Not even a look as it happens. But the guardian has some very interesting people on the comments.
                    There was a meeting in Birmingham not long ago and some people I met in Bridge House in London were there.
                    Even our own BD.
                    I said I saw someone from Worcesterbidiblogshire but not was totally lost on that lot.

                    1. Talking about Birmingham. Today was Brummie.
                      Come on. The guy gives us Virginia ( you know who) and fleece in the same clue. That’s 20 letters in the bag. If I go over I might be rude.

  36. Off to bed now – just a quick Hi to Tstrummer before I go. After my multi dice with death courtesy of the rail system over the past few weeks I just want you to know that I feel for you with your regular commute.
    In years to come people will doubtless be rendered speechless by the archaic transport systems we currently use – but then if the insects do take over the world as forecast I guess it won’t unduly bother them.

    By the way – any comment on the new DT format?

    1. Hello Jane. Thank goodness you’re back – life in the BD village is not the same without you. The most interesting thing for me about the DT redesign is that they’ve gone back to the old masthead (the big DT writing at the top of P1), bringing back the White-line “shadow”. When Max Hastings was editor he decreed that it should be remade “in a modern way, without alienating traditionalists”. It was all part of trying to attract younger readers by making the paper appear more “trendy”. Failed. As for the rest of the new look, I think it’s over-fussy – the bylines are about three different fonts – and the three-deck headlines on the shorts on P1 are stupid. Yesterday’s front looked more like the Grauniad than the DT. I pity the skeleton staff left who have to produce such an over designed paper against the clock. Second rant of the day over. I’ll have a fag now and prepare for my morning radio.

  37. Greetings from South Africa – having lived here for over 30 years, I can safely say that I have never heard of a village being called a kraal. A kraal is an enclosure for animals, like sheep, goats or cattle – such as the security upgrade cattle kraal in Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead; which, along with the chicken run, fire-pool and other essential security items cost us poor taxpayers R250 million! Sorry for commenting so late, but the Telegraph crossword in my local paper is now over a week out of sync with the UK because of public holidays here.

    1. Welcome to the blog, African Grey.
      Don’t worry about commenting late – the relevant blogger will always see your comment.

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