DT 27843

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27843

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the heat wave continues as indeed it seems to be doing in the UK. I don’t know the setter of this one but I have my suspicions which, with my track record, I’ll keep to myself.  I found some of it a bit “off the wall” but I really enjoyed it and it all slotted together neatly in ** time. I think some of you will disagree.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.
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           Poor type for mixing after introductions to people at receptions? (5-6)
PARTY POOPER: An all-in-one to start us off. Start with the first letters (introductions to) of the last three words of the clue and follow (after) with an anagram (for mixing) of POOR TYPE.

9a           Study limitations of tenor singer — or another? (9)
CONTRALTO: A charade of one of the usual crosswordland words for study, the outer letters (limitations) of TenoR and a singer will give you another singer. This is quite clever as the first singer is also known as a countertenor.

10a         Comparatively clean river in jungle of Peru (5)
PURER: The comparative form of a word meaning clean or uncontaminated is made by inserting R(iver) into an anagram (jungle of) PERU.

11a         Reluctant rock explorers heading off East (6)
AVERSE: These rock explorers actually explore down potholes in rock. Remove the first letter (heading off) and follow with E(ast).

12a         Restraint shown in duke’s bash? (8)
HANDCUFF: Duke here is an old slang term for a fist, as in “Put up your dukes!”, so start with what makes a fist and follow with a bash or clip round the ear.

13a         Pastry from London financier’s den (6)
ECLAIR: The two letters for the financial area of London followed by a den.  The BRB has the following splendid definition of this pastry: “A cake, long in shape but short in duration”.

15a         Distribute drink around pub largely before time (8)
ALLOCATE: Take a word for your nearest pub and remove the last letter (largely) and follow with T(ime). Around this put one of the usual drinks beloved of crossword setters, Big Dave and me.

18a         A thin figure enthralled by cat, say, and exotic bird (8)
PARAKEET: A (from the clue) and a word for a thin person (or a roué) is inserted into (enthralled by) what a cat or dog is an example of. I seem to remember CS saying that these things have gone feral in the South East of the UK.

19a         A kid relaxing (2,4)
AT EASE: Take A (from the clue) followed by a verb meaning to kid and split it (2,5).  Chestnut alert ringing loudly!

21a         Ultimate race, say, for two initially banned (8)
EVENTUAL: A word for a race or any other sporting contest followed by a word meaning for two, but without its first letter (initially banned).

23a         A servant about to attend hospital once more (6)
AFRESH: A (from the clue again) followed by a reversal (about) of a medieval type of servant, especially one bound to the land, and then H(ospital).

26a         Speed maintained by launch astern (5)
HASTE: A lurker!  It’s lurking in (maintained by) the last two words of the clue.

27a         Rash drive round old university (9)
IMPETUOUS: Another word for drive or stimulus placed around O(ld) and U(niversity).

28a         Yard priest tidied accommodating parking for brief visitors (3-8)
DAY TRIPPERS: These visitors who don’t stay long are an anagram (tidied) of YARD PRIEST with P(arking) inserted (accomodating).


1d           Some rugby players decline combined deal (7)
PACKAGE: This combined deal might be a holiday where flight, airport transfer and accommodation are all included.  It’s a rugby team’s forwards followed by a word meaning to decline as in get older.

2d           Order  variety in field (5)
RANGE: Triple definition.  IMHO the first def is pushing it but all three are listed as synonyms of the answer in Collins thesaurus so it’s OK by me.

3d           Standard amount of drink to remain (9)
YARDSTICK: This is a rather obscure amount of ale followed by a word meaning to remain. I once had a go at drinking one of these – big mistake!

4d           Smooth topsoil — yucca provides cover (4)
OILY: Another lurker.  This one’s in topsoil — yucca (provides cover).

5d           Likely corrupt lab is covered by investigation (8)
PROBABLE: Anagram (corrupt) of LAB inserted into (covered by) a word for an investigation or to pry into.

6d           Hurried, locating a noted number in road (5)
RAPID: A (from the clue yet again) and a noted number which is also the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet are inserted (locating ___ in) the abbreviation for road.

7d           Private draw overlooking lake — one with lofty perspective (7)
GIRAFFE: Start with an American private soldier and follow with a draw or lottery but without the L (overlooking L(ake)). I like the definition in this one.  This little chap will have a lofty perspective when he grows up.

8d           Wasted hour defended by retired captain in uproar (8)
BROUHAHA: Anagram (wasted) of HOUR inserted into (defended by) a reversal (retired) of a famous captain in a novel by Herman Melville.

14d         Generosity? Samaritan shows this reportedly (8)
LARGESSE: This is a homophone clue (reportedly). The answer sounds like something in the word Samaritan. If Samaritan was all in lower case the clue wouldn’t work.

16d         Not conforming as pest might be? (3,2,4)
OUT OF STEP: It’s a sort of reverse anagram.  The answer could be a clue for the word PEST.  Hope that made sense! It’s one of those that’s more difficult to hint than solve.

17d         Crave terribly object close to jewellery? That’s the truth (8)
VERACITY: Anagram (terribly) of CRAVE followed by a way of referring to an object or thing and then Y (close to jewellerY).

18d         Investigator hopes to reform food outlet (3-4)
PIE SHOP: Two letters for an investigator (Magnum perhaps) followed by an anagram (to reform) of HOPES.

20d         European tavern outwardly entices American in ancient city (7)
EPHESUS: This ancient city was on the western coast of what’s now Turkey.  It’s a charade of E(uropean), two letters for a tavern or pub, ES (outwardly EnticeS) and then two letters for American. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  Makes a change from Troy or Ur.

22d         Affectedly pretty daughter in river (5)
TWEED: A word meaning affectedly pretty or cute followed by D(aughter) gives a river which forms part of the border between England and Scotland.  Apparantly it’s one of the best rivers for salmon fishing.

24d         Elicit approval in first woman (5)
EVOKE: Two letters for approval inserted into the first woman. Think Garden of Eden not the President’s wife.

25d         Pole in fight (4)
SPAR: Double definition. As a pole it might be a cross-member on the mast of a sailing ship.

Quite a lot of blue but 1a gets my vote. Also on the podium are 16d and 7d for it’s great definition.

The Quick Crossword pun: dire+armour=diorama



  1. JonP
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Quite a tricky solve for me in and around my 3* time but definitely enjoyed the experience. Thanks to pommers and setter ***/****

  2. neveracrossword
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I had never come across the meaning of “duke” in 12a before. This ignorance delayed me at the end of the puzzle. Muchas gracias to Pommers and setter.

    • Paul Smith
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      An American term, I believe. It was familar to me, probably from watching old cartoons:)

      • Vince
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        But, don’t you think it was a tenuous link? A duke is a fist, not a hand.

        • Kath
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you – duke = fist, yes, but duke = hand, no.

          • gazza
            Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            My Dictionary of Slang has:
            Duke of Yorks Forks: rhyming slang … Hence fingers; hence hands; hence dukes.
            dukes pronounced dooks. Hands, fists.
            The sainted Mrs Bradford lists dukes under both hand and fist.

            • Kath
              Posted July 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

              I give in – it’s really just not my day today! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Hrothgar
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Not even ‘Put up your dukes’ ?
      (Wanting a fight)

      • Kath
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        . . . but putting up your hand means you can either answer the question that the teacher has asked you or you need to go to the loo.

        • Hrothgar
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          ‘Dukes’ plural
          ‘Hand’ is singular.

      • Vince
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        If you put up your dukes, you’re ready to fight. If you put up your hands, you’re ready to surrender!

        • Hrothgar
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Quite, Vince.

          • Hrothgar
            Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            Yes, sorry, my first comment is wrong.
            As Kath says, duke is fist not hand, the latter wanted by the answer to this clue.
            A weak clue in my opinion.

  3. Paul Smith
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    14d was my favourite:)

  4. Kitty
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I found this a very enjoyable solve, all plain sailing until the last handful. 21a was among the stragglers (not quite sure why), but bringing up the rear were a couple in the NE. Mr K helped me finish. I didn’t know the fist in 12a, so the answer didn’t go in until the very end even though it had come to me early on.

    I have lots of contenders for favourite. The first couple of acrosses are wonderful stuff. 14d and 16d are a delight. I have a soft spot for 5d, because I like labs and the investigation part. I will also give honourable mention to 1d for the pleasure of getting the answer. I don’t think I will say any more about 12a.

    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

    • Jane
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kitty – trying very, very hard to ignore the bait you’ve cast into the water re: 12a. BD will jump out with that scary face again if you persist in reeling us in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Kitty
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

        12a Jane? Nothing to see there. Nor with regards to 1d or 5a or anywhere else in my comment. No need whatsoever for anyone to be making scary faces http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif.

        • Jane
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          Love you to bits, you rascal. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          • Kitty
            Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

            You too. You don’t know how much that means to me.

            It’s so good to have you back!

  5. Beaver
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Clever and amusing for me today with some excellent misleading wordplay, agree with Pommers **/****, thought averse must somehow come from traversers, who are rock climbers or traverse a steep slope or face to be crossed by mountaineers,until I read the blog.-thanks Pommers, after checking I now know that there are two spellings for 14d ! Liked 7d and 12a-remembered duke. Thanks to the mystery setter.

  6. Sweet William
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter. I found that quite tricky, but enjoyable. Thanks Pommers for your review and hints. I had the answers to 11a and 12a but needed your assistance with the decoding of the wordplay. I couldn’t get “traverse” out of my mind in 11a and didn’t know about duke, hand, fist etc in 12a. The sun is shining here and it is raining http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  7. WV1993
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Not a bad solve for me, had never heard of 8d before, and am still struggling to understand how/why 14d works? Help a rookie out??

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Welcome WV. What does Samaritan have at the beginning of his name? – It sounds like the solution.

      • Una
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for explaining that, CS, tricky.

      • WV1993
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Got it, thank you!

    • Young Salopian
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Think large = capital letter.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      8d was a complete kerfuffle

  8. Toni
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Always pleased to complete a Thursday one although it’s probably not the Thursday setter that I usually can’t do…
    If that makes any sense at all.
    Enjoyed it anyway

  9. Brian
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    What a brilliant Thursday crossword, some very innovative clues I thought in 7d, 8d and 14d; bit tricky to start with but fell nicely into place. **/****.

    For me a relief to pick up today’s paper and not be faced with my nemesis.
    Thx to all esp today’s setter.

    • Brian
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      BTW Pommers, if you live or visit the Richmond/Teddington areas of SW Londom, you will hear large flocks of the noisy birds of 18a. The residents complain they are a damn nuisance and drive out the songbirds.

      • Sweet William
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I think that before they spread around the London area, they set up shop at Esher rugby club – and people travelled there to see them. As you say, they have apparently become a thorough nuisance. I think there was a letter in the DT the other day saying they were now in Essex ! Something for Boris to tackle perhaps ?

      • crypticsue
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Lots of them in East Kent too. We thought the first one was rather nice but things went downhill after that. A letter in the paper today talks about Mrs Beeton’s Parrot Pie recipe which apparently requires 1 dozen paraqueets.

        • Brian
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Reminds me of a note someone stuck on the door of our Hungarian Professor, a Recipe for a Hungarian omelette, first steal six eggs!
          He wasn’t amused.

        • Merusa
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          Sounds worse than blackbirds!

      • Tstrummer
        Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:35 am | Permalink

        They’re all over my golf course in SE London too

  10. Dave B
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a ***/***. Some great surface clues. Last in was 12a. Always forget that definition.

  11. hilary
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    No I have not even looked at the crossword but I just wanted to say that sitting in bed this morning with my cup of tea reading yesterday’s blog made me realize what a truly wonderful crowd you are. I am practically housebound because of a collapsing back but joining BD’s gang has enriched my life and you never fail to make me laugh out loud at some stage. Thank you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Kath
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      A little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for you, Hilary. I think this kind of comment will warm the cockles of BD’s heart!

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink


  12. Heno
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to MrRon and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. I had 6d as “raced”, so that stopped me getting 10a. Needed the hints for 11,12,21a & 7d. Favourite was 14d. Was 3*/3* for me. Very humid in Central London.

  13. fran
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    A clever and amusing , also tricky in places , offering . I enjoyed many but 8d my favourite , needed hint for 7d although not sure why since I had so many letters , last one in. Thanks to the setter and Pommers
    2/3*/ 4* This weeks offerings have been a tad better than of late . Looking forward to tomorrow to see if the run continues.

  14. Young Salopian
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Terrific crossword today **\**** for me, the enjoyment factor boosted by 9a and 14d which made me laugh out loud. Just started to rain here in the Marches and looks set in for a while. Thanks to setter and Pommers for review.

  15. Una
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Now that 14d has been explained , it is my favourite.
    Thanks pommers and setter.

  16. Jezza
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Apart from staring blankly at 7d for some time, the rest of this fell into place quite nicely.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to pommers for the review.

  17. dutch
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve associated duke with fist only, not hand. ok, you need a hand to make a fist, but that seems a step away to me. Also, not quite sure why you need “rock” at all in 11a, the clue looks better without it to me.

    I really liked 14d! (Samaritan) and 16d! (not conforming..)

    also 1a (poor type for mixing) and 9a (study limitations of tenor) were very nice, and I liked 5d (likely corrupt lab). I think I’m repeating Kitty.

    Many thanks setter and thank you pommers – no sun here today….

  18. Hrothgar
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Once started, quite hard work to completion.
    Very enjoyable, though.
    Loved 7d.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to pommers.

  19. Paso Doble
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    We are not going to be partypoopers over this one – we made a rapid start and were not averse to many of the excellent clues. We proceeded with impetuous haste towards the eventual conclusion without a brouhaha. We were not out of step with the setter. In fact, felt quite at ease with this puzzle. Now we are off to the pie shop. ***/**** Thanks to Pommers and the Setter for their largesse – have an eclair each on us.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink


  20. jean-luc cheval
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I always forget about the public house abbreviation in maps. So I had to reveal the answer in 20d.
    12a was a bit of a bung in with the checkers.
    Liked 14d and 16d. This type of clues always bring a smile.
    Hope Hilary gets better.
    In the toughie, the honours are for Framboise , Derek and me.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the review.

  21. Kath
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    This was much more than a 2* difficulty for me – at least 3*. 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    Now that I’ve finished it I can’t quite see why I had trouble – just did – another dim day!
    It wasn’t the getting of the answers that I found tricky – it was working out why – 1a and 7, 8 and 20d particularly.
    Having not got 7d until very late I couldn’t do 12a for ages – I’m in the camp that says a duke is a fist but not a hand.
    I liked 1 and 9a and 7 and 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and thanks and well done to pommers – rather you than me today! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
    New washing machine – have spent most of the morning trying to decipher the instructions – why does it all have to be so ****************** complicated? Switching the water on did help . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    • Kath
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      PS – Favourite was 16d.

    • Jane
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      No. 2 daughter has recently taken delivery of new washer and tumble drier, both of which give a regular digital read out of their progress through the task in hand. My favourite is the one from the drier stating that its load is ‘slightly dry’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • pommers
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Is that drier than ‘slightly wet’?

        • Jane
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          Blessed if I know – maybe she can ask it questions, I’ll get back to you on that one. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

            Is there a reading that says ‘Still absolutely wringing wet, may as well have a coffee’? If so I want one.

          • Kath
            Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

            Could I possibly have done a degree in something that could have helped me here? For heavens sake – I’m only asking the blasted thing to do some washing!!

            • Jane
              Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

              Maybe the way you’re ‘asking’ just isn’t pushing its buttons? My laptop’s a bit like that………….http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

              I dread mine giving up the ghost. They just replaced the motor this time. I was looking at new ones just in case, and the myriad of options on each one just seems a potential for a myriad of problems.

              Though I do want one that tells me if the washing is slightly damp or Sahara dry!

    • Tstrummer
      Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      I struggle with instructions too these days. I just don’t speak that many languages

  22. Franco
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Hola, pommers.

    With regard to the clip for 28a – Were they Pan’s People and why did they just rush off never to return? Disappointed!

    Nice puzzle from ???? and as always a most entertaining blog from pommers.

    • Jane
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Because they were day-trippers?

      • pommers
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink


      • Hanni
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        Very good!

    • Tstrummer
      Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:41 am | Permalink

      Marvellous sound quality, especially seeing as there were no microphones and the guitars weren’t plugged in

  23. silvanus
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Fairly plain sailing until 12a and 7d delayed my progress. Both were “d’oh” moments when solved. I wasn’t convinced about the surface for 7d, so I’ll give 12a my favourite’s vote, with slight reservations about the fist/hand difference.

    Good entertainment overall, so many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  24. Jane
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Would have been a 2*/4* but have to add an extra .5* on the difficulty rating due to 15&21a plus 7d which took quite a while to unravel.
    Quite happy to endorse Pommers list for the podium except that he missed out my favourite – 14d.
    Loved the clip of the baby 7d and – my word – don’t the Beatles look young!

    If Pommers won’t stick his neck out re: today’s culprit then neither will I. My favourite contender does sometimes pop in to take the blame so we’ll have to wait and see. Many thanks to him for a much-enjoyed solve and to Pommers for a great blog.

    • pommers
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Actually I forgot about 14d. It might well be my fav as well.

      Did you need a “slightly mad hat” today?

      • Kath
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        I think I know who you’re thinking of and I think I also know who Jane’s thinking of – I think they’re different people but I haven’t been right about much today so far so I’m probably wrong about this too.

        • Jane
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps we’ll have to do a ‘confessional’ later on although, as neither of us is ACTUALLY naming names for the moment, it gives us both the opportunity to say ‘knew it was him’ if he signs in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      • Jane
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Sure did! Think it was 1a that roused my suspicions.

  25. Merusa
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite difficult and had to look at the answers for three, including 7d … but why? It’s perfectly straightforward. Others I had the answer but had no idea why, just knew they had to be correct.
    Fave 1a but I did love 14d as well.
    Thanks to setter and to pommers for unravelling the hopelessly complicated for me.

  26. Derek
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle today.
    Faves : 1a & 14d.

    Temperature here in NL is really warm and it is going to be more all week! Phew!

  27. Gwizz
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    An interesting challenge with a nice range of clues. My favourite was 7d with an honorable mention to 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his review.

  28. Salty Dog
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    A puzzle of two halves: I found most of the RH side easy, then had to change gear somewhat for the rest. 2*/3* overall, with 8d and 14d fighting for top clue. 8d gets the nod – not only do l love “Moby Dick” but the portrayal of Ahab by Gregory Peck is one of my favourite cinematic characters. Thanks to the setter, and to Pommers.

  29. pommers
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Sorry I’ve not been around much this afternoon but we had some friends round for an afternoon BBQ (hic!). They’ve gone home now so it’s back to normal and watching Rafa at Casa Pommers.

    I did see that the Scottish one and James Ward both won http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Jane
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Hope you cleaned off the BBQ etc. and didn’t leave it all to Pommette! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
      By the way – thanks for the info. about little ‘hats’ Pommette. Not very IT savvy at this end but will give it a try – have found the ALT button so I guess that’s a start. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

      • pommers
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Ô http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      • pommette
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Finding the ALT key is definitely a start!

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Our last one in was 7d and we suspect that the fact that it has a double unch at the beginning of the word could well be the explanation. 14d gets our vote for favourite for its originality. It all took us slightly longer than average time for a back-pager and was good fun to solve. We have been trying to put a name to who we think the setter might be and not reached any ‘probable’ contenders. Maybe someone will drop in with a confession.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

  31. Miffypops
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    14d was obvious from the first word in the clue. The definition. It fit so I bunged it in. The wordplay was excellent but for me it needed a more difficult definition.. Great puzzle. Ta to the setter (Petijean)? And Ta to the reviewer. Ta to all of you.

    • Jane
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Well – there’s a man who doesn’t mind sticking his head over the parapet! OK – I confess – that confounded feral bird is also my first choice.

      Still haunted by the image in pink – not sure about the legality of the no. plate reg. either…………… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        The plate has been there since 1995. Always correctly spaced Jane. As for the suit. Every man has the body for a pink suit. Some men have the balls to wear one. I wore it for Sharon’s Sister who passed away last year. We raised the best part of three grand for Cancer Research. Every picture tells a story. Next weeks avatar will tell another. X

        • Jane
          Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          Mea culpa, MP. The FF registration was originally in the domain of Merionethshire but later transferred to Bangor. I find it rather amusing that you have a Welsh reg. plate. Couldn’t find any reference to M1 FFF in my dad’s old books (his company manufactured reg. plates) hence my scepticism.

          Still struggling with the pink suit image but all credit to you for the money raised. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

          • Miffypops
            Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:02 am | Permalink

            The DVLA realised there was money to be made selling number plates. I got this direct from the DVLA in 1995. £1,000 Missed out on MIFFY amd MIFF’s so MIFFF was a poor third choice. Saint Sharon paid for it as she pays for everything, with money supplied by yours truly. It was not issued before 1995 so would not appear in any reference books. I might wear the pink suit to Bds seventh birthday party. Or not.

        • Hanni
          Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink

          Wonderful effort from all going to a wonderful charity. Well done. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:34 am | Permalink

          Magnificent suit and cause, MP. Do wear it to BD’s 7th birthday bash! I can probably find a few pennies – and a few more if you wear it on the train up too :).

          • Miffypops
            Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:40 am | Permalink

            My deceased father refused to allow us on public transport That was for poor people. So we never ever left our house

            • Kitty
              Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink

              After today’s fun on the Tube, I might just follow suit. (No – not that kind of suit.)

  32. RichardW
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Failed with NE corner without some e-help – and even then couldn’t see why 7d was till I saw the hint. Favourite 18 down – it is after all my favourite place, well after the truncation in 15a perhaps!

  33. Hanni
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink


    I certainly struggled with parts of this, from pesky Dukes to jewellery. But the lovely 1a and 25d made up for my failings.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for your usual fantastic blog.

  34. Liz
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite hard and had to resort to the hints for some clues, but got there in the end. I liked 14d and 20d. Haven’t commented for a few days – rather too much irritating chatter this week, so couldn’t be bothered! 3*/3* and thanks to setter and to Pommers for the hints.

    • Kath
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      I thought this one was quite tricky too. I also think that the “irritating chatter”, as you call it, was good fun. It’s what makes this blog different to the alternatives, not that I can ever be bothered with them.

      • Tstrummer
        Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:48 am | Permalink

        Hear hear

  35. Shamus
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Pommers for his generous and entertaining review and everyone for comments – greetings from a sticky SW London!

    • pommers
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Ah, so t’was you after all. I did wonder, which is why I’ve been sat very uncomfortably on the fence all day. I’d got PJ as favourite but was a bit wary of sticking my neck out because of a lack of modern music and food.

      Great puzzle and well worth the **** rating wot I gave it. .

      Ta muchly and looking forward to your next one..

      • Kath
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        I thought that you thought it was PJ – I thought that Jane thought it was Shamus. I think that next time we should all say what we think, not that I ever have the guts to do so!

    • Jane
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh dagnamit – for once I didn’t spot the twinkling Irish eyes. Sorry, Shamus. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Kath
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        I thought you had!

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for dropping in Shamus. We enjoyed the puzzle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Shamus, for a lovely puzzle and for dropping in.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      I really enjoyed this puzzle Shamus. Thank you.

    • Kath
      Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      I enjoyed your crossword too but wouldn’t have guessed it was one of yours.

  36. Jane
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Can’t stay awake long enough for a proper ‘chat’ Tstrummer but was most interested to read your comments about the revamped DT. I’m really glad they’ve reverted to the old masthead but agree that P1 looks a bit of a mess. I’d like to see the masthead nearer the top of the page and less prominence given to advertising the contents of ‘features’ etc.

    Delighted to learn of your Matt collection – any chance you might bring them along to the next birthday bash? I guess there would be copyright issues if you posted them on the blog. Your leaving card must be a much cherished piece of memorabilia.

    Now………I’ll just have that last cig before bedtime. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Noooo. No smoking!!!

      • Jane
        Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        Your pub – your rules. My home – my rules, which also allow free pour on wines and spirits. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink

          There are no rules

          • Hanni
            Posted July 3, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

            My pencil collections are thrilled to hear that.

            Jane I don’t smoke anymore, but Cognac and wine sound good!

        • Tstrummer
          Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:56 am | Permalink

          Quite right

    • Tstrummer
      Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:55 am | Permalink

      My Matt out-takes would fail the good taste test, never mind the copyright laws. But my favourite, which was published at a time of good economic news (having five children meant I was always hard up) features the Matt man sitting across the desk from his bank manager, who is saying: “I just called you in to dampen down any consumer confidence you might be feeling.” I have it framed next to one by absolute hero, James Thurber.

  37. Tstrummer
    Posted July 3, 2015 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    This was tricky blighter and no mistake, but I loved nearly all of it. I’m grateful to Pommers for explaining my bung-ins (11a, 20d – like JL I always forget the PH abbreviation). So muchas gracias amigo and also to Shamus for a delightful end to an otherwise joyless day. 14d certainly did it for me. 3*/4*. Just time for a large Scottish nightcap and a roll-up before bed. Hasta pronto!

  38. Cornishpasty
    Posted July 3, 2015 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Got hung up on 23a and 20d. Did eventually twig the tavern was the full abrev for a uk local. Cheated on 23, looked up once more in the thesaurus and needed the hint to explain where the servant came in. Parts were difficult of 2 but others were much harder. Certainly very enjoyable and a welcome relief from washing windows and pulling thistles in 25c 76 humidity together with wild fire smoke from Saskatchewan.