DT 27860 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27860

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27860

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


We are back home now after our week away in the South Island. We managed to time things so that both our crossings of Cook Strait happened to coincide with significant Southerly weather conditions which made for rather ‘bumpy’ crossings. Feels good to be back into the regular routine again, including our ration of crosswords to solve and blog.

A word of advice. Always put a label on little containers that one bungs in the freezer. It avoids such incidents as putting thick vegetable soup instead of stewed feijoas on one’s breakfast porridge.

Jay has given us another pleasing puzzle today.

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


1a     City once second division — third in league (6)
SPARTA : The abbreviation for second, a word meaning a division and the third letter of league.

5a     Love Irish dancing, but duck out feeling tetchy (8)
LIVERISH : An anagram (dancing) of LoVE IRISH after the O for a cricket duck has been removed.

9a     Close co-operation must destroy worm found in wood (8)
TEAMWORK : A type of tropical hardwood contains an anagram (must destroy) of WORM.

10a     Begin to look embarrassed by communist cell (6)
REDDEN : The colour denoting communist and a word for a cell or small room.

11a     Exceptional project when split (8)
STANDOUT : Split the answer 5,3 as instructed in the clue to create a phrase that means, as a verb, project.

12a     Shoves spades onto boat (6)
BARGES : The card-players’ abbreviation for spades is added to a boat one might find on a canal.

13a     Memo written about one group’s small bit of meat (8)
NOISETTE : A synonym for a memo is split to contain a Roman numeral one and a word for a group.

15a     Head of security taken in by weak point (4)
WEST : The head of security is its first letter which is taken in by an alternative description of a weak person.

17a     Support delay (4)
STAY : Double definition.

19a     Dependable volunteers in searches from the East (8)
STALWART : The erstwhile abbreviation for military volunteers is included in the reversal of a verb meaning searches.

20a     Vacant type with a grass container on the table? (6)
TEAPOT : Vacant type means the first and last letters of type, then A from the clue and grass as smoked at hippie parties.

21a     Impressive carriage in attendance? (8)
PRESENCE : Double definition.

22a     The man provided the Queen a farm animal (6)
HEIFER : A two letter masculine pronoun, a word meaning provided and the usual abbreviation for our queen.

23a     Outburst from two females united in row on the way back (8)
EFFUSION : The repeated abbreviation for female, then the one for united are included in the reversal of a word for a row or din.

24a     Offence caused by dressing up as priests — I must leave (8)
TRESPASS : An anagram (dressing up) of AS PRiESTS after the i has been removed.

25a     Sneaks doing nothing aboard ship (6)
SIDLES : A word for what one is when doing nothing is included in the abbreviation for a steamship.


2d     Glutton guzzling remainder, finishing off plate standing (8)
PRESTIGE : The animal associated with gluttony contains a synonym for the remainder and then the last letter of plate.

3d     Popular worker sat on by strange sort of animal (8)
RUMINANT : A word for strange then the two letter ‘popular’ and a worker insect.

4d     Defender meaning to follow a game (9)
APOLOGIST : A from the clue then a game played on horseback and a word for meaning.

5d     Fast to appreciate those who applaud (4,3,8)
LIKE THE CLAPPERS : The applauders here are doing something with their hands.

6d     Give a lift to valet working in case of exposure (7)
ELEVATE : An anagram (working) of VALET inside the first and last letters of exposure.

7d     Poor news leader protected by tricky editing (8)
INDIGENT : The first letter of news is inside an anagram (tricky) of EDITING.

8d     Truly retreat, in sacred environment (8)
HONESTLY : A comfortable retreat for a bird perhaps is inside a word for sacred.

14d     Read about being adopted by posh people in exchanges (5-4)
TRADE-OFFS : A name for posh people contains an anagram (about) of READ.

15d     Incandescent women strike those stupidly sacking son (5-3)
WHITE-HOT : W(omen), then a synonym for ‘to strike’ and an anagram (stupidly) of THOsE with the S(on) removed.

16d     Some tennis team — including a reserve! (3,5)
SET ASIDE : One of the scoring divisions of a tennis match, A from the clue and a synonym for team.

17d     Emphasised being upset — not Diana! (8)
STRESSED : Take a word that means being upset and remove the short form of Diana from the front of it.

18d     Amusing tale of a bit of money split by European Diplomatic Corps (8)
ANECDOTE : The bit of money would be called a bill in America and includes E(uropean) and the abbreviation for the Diplomatic Corps (Corps Diplomatique).

19d     It’s fine during awful upset to eat one’s fill (5,2)
STOKE UP : The two letter version of ‘it’s fine’ is inside an anagram (awful) of UPSET.

Hard to pick a favourite but will opt for 2d.

Quickie pun     German   +   Asian   =   germination

142 comments on “DT 27860

  1. I found this one quite a bit trickier than those of late, but a good work out and some use of the thesaurus! I almost was in despair at my very slow start, but it all came together slowly.

    3*/4* would be my rating.

  2. My rating today is 3*/4* for a challenging and very entertaining puzzle.

    I thought this was going to be a disaster as I was staring at a blank grid after failing to get any answers on my first pass in the NW, NE & SE working clockwise. Then suddenly the SW fell into place as R&W. I then back-tracked and slowly the rest of the puzzle yielded. I did have a minor blip with 17a for which I confidently put in “stem” after I had got the first two checking letters. This made 8d & 18d impossible until I realised the error of my ways.

    I had lots of favourites today but I won’t mention them as I’m sure that Kath will be watching.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. I was helped along by a nice cup of cha at 20ac (last one in) and something to nibble on at 13ac. I enjoyed this puzzle but hope that tomorrow’s puzzle puts up more of a fight. Ta to jay and a big thanks to the 2Ks for the blog. I always feel that sailing through rough seas is great value for money. Fairground thrill rides are over all too soon. Rough seas can last for days. The most exciting storm happened in The Aegean Sea where it went from a millpond to a severe storm and back to a millpond again all within a couple of hours. Sheer exhileration. The girlfriend did not see it that way though.

  4. A most enjoyable puzzle today, 3*/4* for me, with completion made possible by the use of the clues. 1 and 11a both held me up and were the last ones in. Thanks to Jay and the 2k’s.

  5. A very nice puzzle today I thought.

    p1 a5,20,22,24;d2,3,6,15,18: p2 a3,11,13,15,2,5 d-

    15 to solve.

    5d Haha – very good and 9a. Stuck for a while before seeing 4d (very good), 7d (doh!), 17a,7d. Another pause to 10a,8d,23a. Another hold up. 14d (another nice clue, should have got more readily). More head scratching (largely because I’d written 8d in wrongly) before 12d went in. 19a (very good), 16a (had seen this earlier bit couldn’t fully resolve).

    Couldn’t see 21a at all so left it uncompleted and let the caff have its newspaper back.

    Lots of entertaining clues. Favourite was probably 5d as it made me laugh. I wasn’t persuaded by 19d at all.

    Feel this should have been three/four but, sadly, time spent and not completing must make it four/four.

  6. I was a slow starter also. 2.5*/4* for me. Thx to Jay and to 2Ks for their entertaining blog.

  7. I liked this a lot, as I usually do with Jay’s offerings. No hold-ups for me. 2D and 3D tickled my fancy. Thank;s Jay, and thanks and Welcome back to the 2Kiwis.

  8. Well – that will teach me not to look forward so much to the multi-word answers as an easy way into a puzzle! Couldn’t spot this one at 5d for ages and I SO needed it to help with the likes of 9,21&23a. Even when I’d given up on trying to get ‘jig’ into 5a and had arrived at the ‘L’ to start the first word, I was going for ‘Lent’ as a ‘fast’ which did nothing to make life easier.
    Not being familiar with the word at 23a didn’t help either – ‘infusion’ is fine, ‘effusive’ likewise but ‘effusion’ – never heard it used!

    Still on the subject of ‘things I made hard work of’ – anyone else try to make 1a a combination of a word for ‘once’ + the second letter of ‘division’ + the third letter of ‘league’? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Overall, this one pushed me into 2.5* time but definitely gets a 4* for enjoyment. 13&22a plus 3d get mentions but the top spot has to go to that devilish 5d.

    Many thanks to Jay and also to those intrepid 2Ks who battled bravely through tempestuous seas and revolting ‘rations’ to bring us another excellent review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    1. I mentioned the “Third of” “Fourth of” type clue the other day and said I hadn’t seen one for a while. I was quite confident enough to put the third latter in at the end of 1ac which I did not get until all of the checkers were in. That gave the old chestnut at 4d straight away. I have spent some of the morning researching clips to suit next Mondays puzzle. Come on Rufus. Just give me the right words.

    2. Yes i did and couldn’t solve the city without the hints . This top left was far trickier than the rest of the puzzle ,but if Sparta falls the Persians capture the rest very quickly.

  9. I thought the enjoyment far outweighed the difficulty today, so 2/4 for me. Overall an excellent puzzle that was nicely balanced and fairly clued. Many thanks to our setter and the 2 Ks for their excellent review.

  10. I found this pretty straightforward but was held up slightly with 1ac until the penny dropped. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay 1.5*/4*

  11. All seem to agree that today’s puzzle was entertaining, found it nicely ‘light hearted’ myself As usual decided my rating before the blog and wrote down a **/***.No new words or outstanding clues, just fitted the bill somehow. Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s-back to full strength I note!

  12. It looks like the setter discovered the formula: Take this, remove a letter, and make an anagram of the rest. 5a, 24a and 15d were a bit of a repetition.
    Not my favourite grid either with its four separate corners.
    17d. We had the song stress yesterday and the di stress today.
    Took a bit of time to find the sport in 4d, which was my last along with 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2k for the review.

  13. Nice mental exercise which didn’t challenge the grey matter too much. Failed to latch onto vacant in 2a and needed prompt for 1a (last one in). 5d Fav. TVM Jay and the two Kiwis. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  14. Thought today was really, really difficult.
    Then, with five to go, realised that I was doing last Saturday’s ‘Independent’s crossword.
    Uploaded on my iPad in error!
    So got today’s, enjoyable, bit hard in places.
    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.
    Can I consider myself pretty good in nearly completing ‘The Independent’ crossword?

  15. Thought this was going to be a doddle when I got the long 5d clue straight off…liked the clue! However, I quickly realised this was not as easy as I had first thought. Managed to finish without using the hints, but did have some electronic help. I thought that some clues were a bit iffy and had to check the review to see the rationale…17d and 20a in particular….I did very nearly stymie myself by trying to be too clever on 13a… Thought at first this was something to do with mnemonics ….. Mnesme….going along the memo theme… But then came to my senses when I got a few checking letters and abandoned that PDQ. Some good clues too, I liked 5d and 5a. Altogether an enjoyable puzzle with a few head scratching moments. 2*/4* thanks to setter and the 2Ks.

  16. Memo to all – do give today’s Toughie a whirl. Well inside of back-pager difficulty and a couple of really good laughs! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  17. Hmm… I’m struggling a bit this week. Got it done but not without copious amounts of the BRB and Thesaurus together with a couple of visits here for inspiration (I don’t feel as though I’ve really solved it with this much help). 15d was clue of the week. 3*/4* for me… and with respect Miffypops… I really don’t want “more of a fight” tomorrow! Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Of course you do Williamus. I will take on the big guns whilst you mop up the weaklings. It is likely to be a Ray T (or as I mistyped the other night a Rat T) Great fun to fight with. He has stamina aplenty but I usually win albeit with a fair bit of bruising to show for my trouble.

      1. I did notice your RAT the other night and please be careful what you wish for for tomorrow! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        1. I have Beam Toughies saved up for my retirement. This may hasten my retirement

      2. Oh No! Can’t we have more than a one week gap from the torture that is a Ray(T) T!

        1. Well no, you can’t – cheer up! Just occasionally you like them and then we think that we’ve converted you – then it all goes wrong again.

          1. I think we’ve just got a phobia here, Kath, – like the ones folk have re: spiders, planes, mice etc.
            I believe hypnosis works under certain circumstances but I think the recipient has to be receptive – maybe that’s asking too much in this case? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  18. Wednesdays seldom disappoint, and this was no exception. A steady solve – all doable but not without some thought. In that respect I think it should be appealing to people of a wide range of solving abilities.

    I made a mistake by confidently putting in HOLD at 17a, which held me up a little.

    No single favourites, just a solid all-round joy of a puzzle with nothing to annoy anybody except those (hello Andy!) who can’t stand double unches. Oh – and people who share Jean-Luc’s opinion of the (dis)connectedness of the grid.

    Thanks to Jay, and thanks to the 2Ks for another well-written review. It’s good to have you back :).

    P.S. If anybody else is tired of being told the Toughie is easy only to find that it isn’t – today it actually is perfectly within reach of anyone who can usually do the back-pagers. And as others have already said, it’s well worth doing. I loved it.

        1. If you bother to look, MP, by the time Kitty posted her comment I was the only person to have made mention of the Toughie, which is why I queried her usage of ‘others’.

          1. Jane, I noted that you had made that comment but thought that others had said the same thing too, and rather than double-check, covered myself for that and future comments along those lines by saying “others.” :)

            1. It was no big deal, Kitty – I was only ‘joshing’ with my reply to you, as I’m sure you guessed! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif
              I know I shouldn’t rise to MP’s bait but there are times………

              1. Jane try and imagine everything I write being said face to face with a cheeky grin and a merry twinkle in my eye.

          2. Jane you have been in with “the others” for a long time now. You must prefer it there. It is where I put all the nicest people from the blog

          3. I am off now to tackle the toughie. I may comment on “the Other Side” later.

    1. Well at least I’m in good company as I had “hold” in for 17a too… but I also had Typhoo in for 20a. Oh dear!

  19. A bit late today – been to John Lewis in High Wycombe – when will I remember just how much I hate it – and then couldn’t find where I’d parked the car! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Now then – the crossword – I’ll go for 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Like RD I thought I was going to be in trouble – read all the across clues and got two answers. Normally on Wednesdays the down clues are more productive but not today.
    A few moments of panic and then lots of answers ‘happened’ in the bottom half and, eventually, all was well.
    I was seriously dim with 17d and had absolutely no idea how Diana got into it – oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
    I liked 11 and 23a and 3 and 16d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis – good to see you back.
    Right, now for Micawber . . .

    1. Hi Kath. When you park let all of your tyres down and when you leave the store all you have to do is look for the lowest car. Simple.

        1. Kath, if it makes you feel any better,http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif I’ve actually stood by the wrong car, clicking the keyring trying to open it.

          1. Elder Pet Lamb had been driving her Dad’s car (a flashy BMW) for several days a while ago – probably because the heap that they normally drive had died temporarily. Aforementioned heap had been mended, also temporarily, so she was back to driving that. She went to Sainsburys and was standing beside a BMW clicking the key ring thing in vain before she realised not only what she was doing but also that she was being watched very carefully by some men in uniforms – it was one of her many less than good moments!

    2. With you all the way about the parking at JL in Wycombe. But look on the bright side, at Milton Keynes you gave to pay to park.

    3. At least you managed to put your car in the car park. In the past, I have turned first left and ended up in the tradesman’s entrance!!! Not that I have been often. Trying to find my way home a bigger problem. Motorway, or through High Wycombe. Shop on-line. Much easier. Haven’t started today’s crossword yet. Thought that I would read the comments first!! Struggled yesterday when everyone seemed to find it easy. Just looking at today’s. 1a ‘Iparta’, 2d ‘pigerest’. Think they both need a bit of attention. OK, can see what they both should be. Better go and put the kettle on.

  20. A thoroughly enjoyable romp in the park with nothing to scare the horses in today’s puzzle. Neat clueing throughout with a laugh or two along the way. I will plump for 6d as my favourite. Thanks to Jay for the workout and our stalwart antipodean sailors for their usual excellent review.

    As others have said – the Toughie is quite do-able AND a lot of fun.

      1. You promised you would never mention my preference for women’s clothing. Call yourself a friend?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        1. Stop teasing!

          For that, I might call you Jane from now on. Or SL/Jane, to avoid confusion with the Jane who (as you know perfectly well) was the one I was addressing :).

  21. No real problems. Thought it was going to be tough on first pass but preservation paid off. Last in was 19d because I didn’t associate Stoke Up with eating ones fill! Favourite was 19a followed by 20a. For me 2.5/****
    Thx to all.

  22. The problem with Toughies is that pesky little Mini Soduoko on the same page. I always mess that up instead of just getting on with The Toughie. I have three number threes in one row. How did that happen? 10ac was an easy solve. the answer is almost there on the next page.

  23. We had rain yesterday, a real honest-to-God gully washer. It seems that Big Massa has not forgotten us after all. I wonder if we’ll get any more!

    Crossword puzzle: I didn’t find this a piece of cake at all, but it certainly was enjoyable.
    Loved 5d and many others, but I think fave is 3d.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for the excellent review. I get so seasick I would never have survived your ferry trip!

  24. Hi 2Ks,
    Have to admit that I needed to look up ‘feijoa’ – sounds like an interesting fruit and I doubt it tastes much like veg. soup!
    I am now fully conversant with the merits of the ‘sensual feijoa bomb’ and the discerning palate of those who drink 42 Below vodka.
    Amazing what we learn on this blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. Really needed your help today, 2Kiwis, so many thanks for your sparkling review. And as for the bumpy Cook crossing – I saw Mr. P literally turn green on a rough crossing up in the Orkneys…. me, I was fine, but that’s because I’m a wimp and swallowed the appropriate pills beforehand. Today my last one in was 2d, but haven’t a clue why. Many thanks to the setter for a good tussle.

  26. Enjoyed this but found NW corner difficult and couldn’t get the city without the hint. Think it was definitely a 3* / 4* for me, though , apart from the earlier clues, I completed the rest at a good clappers ! Off to Devon this w/e . SWesterners, please pray for WARM SUNSHINE. It’s horrid here in the literal NW !

  27. A very well-constructed and entertaining puzzle which had no real problem areas.

    Favourite clues for me were 4d and 5d, but several others were in contention.

    Many thanks to Jay and a welcome back to the 2Kiwis :-)

  28. Like RD thought this was going to be a disaster as after getting 1a, I shook my head in disbelief not being able to add anything to an almost blank grid. Grumbled and grunted when suddenly got 5d which made me laugh. From then on albeit a bit of a slog, I managed to solve about three quarters of this puzzle. Many thanks for the 2Ks for their much needed review to finish my 5 missing clues. To be honest I cannot say that I enjoyed it tremendously – something very rare for me – but somehow could not quite get on the same wavelength as the setter. 3*/2*. I know we are not supposed to comment on another puzzle but I found the Quickie challenging as well, not helped by the fact that I had Newton for Helmut – went to an exhibition of his work in Paris a few years ago… Still stuck on 12a. Where are my manners, almost forgot to thank the setter!

    1. Hi Framboise,
      Re: your 12a from ‘the other place’ – try thinking of things you might cook in the dying embers of a bonfire. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. Many thanks Jane, got it! Thought the expression meant a very important person but perhaps this is what Chinese say to describe their VIPs.

  29. 2Kiwis – I hate to be critical … but with Double Definitions – I always need more help!

    How long is the journey across the Cook Strait?

    1. Sorry about that Franco. We will try to give a hint for at least one of the definitions in future.
      The journey across Cook Strait takes between 3 and 4 hours depending on the vessel. It splits into 3 distinct sections. Going south, the first third is through Wellington Harbour, then out into Cook Strait itself for the next sector and then through the very narrow Tory Channel to wind one’s way through the calm sheltered labyrinthine Marlborough Sounds to Picton. It is a truly scenic trip, not to be missed when one visits NZ and the potentially bumpy part is only a bit over an hour.

  30. Hi all, I’ve been doing this crossword on and off for 30 years, but new to this site. I must say it’s very helpful. How does one know the name of the setter, when it doesn’t appear to be on the page, as it is in other broadsheets ?

    Thanks for a great site,

    Killer Watts, London E18.

    1. Hi KW – just loving your ‘handle’!!! Good to have you de-lurking.

      BD will direct you to the ‘frequently asked questions’ department but a quick summary is:-
      Monday – Rufus
      Tues. -Mysteron. Possibly either Shamus or Petit Jean.
      Weds. – Jay
      Thurs. – alt. Ray T & Mysteron
      Fri. – Giovanni
      Sat. – Mysteron
      Sun. – Virgilius

      Hope you’ll join us in commenting. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    2. Welcome, Killer from London E18.

      “See the FAQ” is the normal answer, then look for …

      How do you know the names of the setters?

      1. Not possible to give a direct link to a specific subject in the FAQ – one of BD’s cunning ploys?

    3. That’s one short of a pop group. Welcome from me too. Like the bloggers the setters all have their own styles. Some we prefer to others. Setters and bloggers.

      1. Yes, but we love them all really don’t we MP? Even I might get bored if I had a Mr Squires’ puzzle every day :-)

  31. Got off to a good start with this and then had to think more laterally, so I would say ***/**** I particularly liked 5d. I still don’t really understand 12a, I got it but don’t know why. Btw, Kath, completely agree about John Lewis, High Wycombe, every time I go I think Why??, never again. And they don’t usually have anything I want.

    1. I’m sure that JL has got what I want, not to mention what I’d specifically gone to get, if only I could a) find it, b) find someone to ask if I couldn’t and c) then find that they’d actually sold out of that particular one! Oh dear – hate it – I don’t go there very often but there’s always enough time in between visits to have forgotten just how much I hate it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  32. Tricky solve for me today. Very slow start with one or two going in, found it hard to concentrate and get on the same wavelength today, I have had this before with Jay, oh well perseverance will help me I hope. Never heard of 23a, thought Heifer was Heffer ?,liked 20a 25a and 5d.

    Thanks Jay and 2Kiwis.

  33. **+/****

    Jay is definitely one of my favourite setters. LHS went straight in but the SW cornet certainly held me up. 20a being my last in. Even with the checkers I just couldn’t see it for ages.

    Many thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and to the 2Kiwis for an excellent blog. Glad you’ve recovered from trip. I made the mistake of watching a rough crossing of the Cook Strait. Huge mistake on my part. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_eek.gif

    1. Gosh Hanni – I think having a cornet in the SW might have held me up a little as well!
      Was just about to enquire whether you’d put in the necessary documentation for time off – hope everything’s OK at your end?

      1. Hi Jane,

        Yes all is well. Had a very busy day yesterday involving horses and a pub crawl of sorts across the moors starting at Blakey ridge. The pub crawl was not actually on the horses.

        My SW cornet was delicious, vanilla. I’d have liked it more if it wasn’t theoretical.

        I will of course remember to put in the correct paperwork next time to you or Kath. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. I had a SW cornet in St Mawes from the shop opposite The watch House. Very nice people run that shop and their ice cream is very nice too. I had already finished the puzzle so the cornet didn’t hold it up at all.

    1. From a fairly newby welcome from me too. I joined a few months ago and my life (and crossword solving) improved from day one. Keep coming back through the evening particularly for Tstrummer who is always worth reading along with the rest of the regulars.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  34. Good morning all. Nearly daylight here so time we were up and doing.
    We actually felt that we were quite clever in working out the wordplay for 18d. At first we thought that the EDC (or ECD) was going to be an acceptable abbreviation and it was only when we could find neither in BRB that we twigged that it was actually two abbreviations put together. And it looks like nobody else noticed this! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. I think it’s probably more a case of – those of us who didn’t have to do the blog, didn’t worry themselves beyond getting the three required letters for the answer! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif
      Apologies for the lack of appreciation for your diligence, 2Ks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    2. I did notice the EDC/ECD but, since the answer was clearly right, decided that it was just another of those “Life’s too short/don’t clutter what remains of your brain” with that! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    3. Diplomatic corps is always CD, as in all things diplomatic, French is the chosen tongue. All those limos in London parked on double yellow lines that never pay the congestion charge have CD on the number plates

  35. I have to admit to a small constellations of stars for difficulty but a big thank you to Jay and 2Kiwis for a great deal of enjoyment. Lots of electronic help required and staggered on to blog to sort out what I had done – please note there was no mention of tissues and the cupboard under the stairs although it was a bit touch and go.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    1. Good for you, Hilary – isn’t it nice to have a tissue-free day once in a while! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
      By the way – from your previous comment – yes, TS’s comments are always well worth reading. I always check back on the previous day’s blog to catch up with what he had to say.

        1. Now you three have made me 10a. If I knew how to put the little smiley-face thingies in my comment, I still wouldn’t. But, hey, thanks. I love to read through your threads, too, in the coal-black, starless and bible-black night when all but me (and the drunks at the all-night bus stop outside my window) are sleeping.

    2. Hilary…to copy MP and hopefully plagiarize you, may I borrow that saying to apply to crosswords, “a small constellation of stars for difficulty…”?

      How apt that can be! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  36. It must be my very warped way of thinking. This is the first puzzle I have solved without recourse to this site. 23a was a new word for me but having the first three letters BRB helped out. Last two to go in were 7d, where I completely missed the anagram but had enough checking letters for BRB to help out again which then gave a ‘doh’ solution to 12a. So for me it was a * for difficulty and quite enjoyable so possibly a *** for enjoyment but possibly more so due to getting to solve the whole thing. I don’t recall attempting a Wednesday puzzle previously as normally no one from my household goes shopping at Waitrose on a Wednesday. Thank you for the site as I have often used it to work out the answers when all else has failed and thank you to today’s setter who has made my day.

    1. Hi Unicorn,
      I’m trying to decide about the importance of someone going shopping at Waitrose. Is it because that’s where you can get a copy of the DT from – or is it that the only time you get enough peace and quiet to do the crossword is when everyone else has gone out shopping?!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      1. If you have a Waitrose card you can have a free newspaper every day. A coffee too if you feel like it

          1. Hear, hear – particularly the cappuccinos. Tried an espresso yesterday and at least that had a modicum of flavour!

            1. We have a Waitrose card and often get a free paper. We avoid the coffee because Tstrummer is right…..it’s disgusting!!!

    2. Welcome from us too Unicorn. Now that you have introduced yourself perhaps we will get to hear from you regularly. Cheers.

  37. Finished at last, having had to break off to cook. Twice. Youngest son came home unexpectedly, and ate his father’s dinner. So to today’s crossword. Managed to chew my way through slowly, but still needed help with a couple. 19a I just didn’t get, and 4d despite starting with A and ending in T, managed to put the wrong word in. Favourite was 5a as it reminded me of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I am sure that a character, possibly Macbeth, referred to someone as being lily-livered. Not an expression we use these days. Still, enjoyed the puzzle. Welcome Killer Watts, I’ve recently joined the site and found it so helpful. Thanks to the setter, and to 2kiwis for the hints and tips.

      1. It’s ok Miffypops. He had permission to eat the dinner. His father had rung home to say that he would be late back anyway. Ah, me thinks they had colluded.

    1. Captain Hurricane in the Valiant comic always referred to his enemies as “lily-livered”. The other descriptions he used would be outlawed now by the political correctness police. Just as well, too.

      1. He had a Batman called Maggots Malone and the Germans he fought uttered such things as Donner und Bllitzen

  38. I have just heard some incredible news 2ks. A guy from NZ just won the Scrabble World Championship in French language.
    And he doesn’t even speak a word of French. I think his name is Nigel Richards if I heard well.

    1. Incoyable mais vrai! Apparently he memorised the French Scrabble dictionary prior to the championship…

          1. I think it must be near the million.
            I recall an article in the DT every time new words are accepted. Could be wrong though.

          2. I’ve just Googled it.
            Found an article from the BBC saying that Collins Scrabble Dictionary has 276,000 words. I’m a bit surprised.

    2. We have just Googled to get more details. Carol had noticed a small news item about it yesterday but that is the first we had ever heard of him. It seems he has an amazing talent and is a Kiwi we can feel really proud of. Thanks for pointing us towards him. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    3. He can speak the usual amount of French that Anglophones can speak. He can say “bonjour” and knows the numbers up to ten, which is a Scrabble requirement

  39. Nice blog today. I have left it late but it is now Beer o Clock. Several beers O Clock

    1. Enjoy your beers Miffypops. We shall enjoy ours tomorrow. New microbrewery opened in village. May not get round to doing the DT tomorrow! You never know, new brew may help my solving skills. Need to test the theory.

  40. Having, for the second time in a fortnight, forgotten to get beer in I was faced with another dry solve, but then remembered a very nice bottle of Fino chilling in the fridge, a recent birthday present from my ex-wife. It is deliciously sharp, dry and fully rounded, with amusing after-notes – just like this little cracker from Jay, with so many expertly constructed clues that it all just fell into place with smiles aplenty on the way through. 1a, 22a, 3d, 5d and 18d went into a five-way sudden-death play-off for first place in the favourite stakes, with 1a holing from the fairway to win the claret jug. Many thanks to Jay for yet another master class in crossword setting and to KK for the usual high-standard review. I hope your next attempt at brunch meets with more success than your previous effort. Scrambled egg and muesli, perhaps …

    1. Blooming heck Tom. You should write copy and have a column of your own. Did you know KW? Billy Liar KW

      1. No, but I would have loved to have met him. Saw him once across a crowded room at some awards do, though. I reckon Billy Liar owed a lot The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by the incomparable Mr Thurber (blogs passim), but his columns were a delight.

        1. I have a letter somewhere that KW sent me after I commented on an article he wrote. it is in with the signed Rolling Stones signed postcard advertising Come On.

    2. When I commuted from Epping I read the DM because I could not manage broadsheet on train and KW was the only thing worth reading go my mind.

  41. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay, very enjoyable. I finished the right hand side first, then the SW corner, and finally the NW was last to fall. Some really wonderful clues. Favourites were 12a&5d. Last in was 11a. Was 2*/5* for me.Brilliant. Late commenting due to inertia :-)

  42. Late in again….few words from us but very enjoyable puzzle from Jay, so thanks to him and those pesky kiwis (to quote Miffypops)……!!!

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