DT 27915 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27915

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27915

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer seems to be continuing into the autumn.  The weather must have put me in a good mood as I really enjoyed this puzzle.  Parts of it are a bit off-the-wall and there are a couple of references to Stones, which may or may not be rolling, so I suspect I know who the setter is.  Unusually though I count no less than eleven clues which are all or part anagram. I reckon that will keep some of you very happy.

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.

Across

1a           ‘The Samurai’ cast is unprofessional (10)
AMATEURISH: Anagram (cast) of THE SAMURAI.  A fairly easy anagram to get you going.

6a           A religious sitcom returning as a police TV drama (4)
VERA: Take A (from the clue) and a religious sitcom which was on BBC2 from 2010 to 2014 and reverse it all (returning) and you’ll get a police drama about a lady DCI set in the North East. Took a while for the penny to drop as I haven’t watched either of these programmes but at least I’ve heard of them.
vera

9a           Match award to be brought back? It’s a theme you might hear more than once (5)
MOTIF: Synonym for match (3) and an award or honour (2) all reversed (brought back).

10a         No time to study arbitration (9)
MEDIATION: Start with a word for study or deep thought and remove a T (no Time). A purist might say there should be an indication of which T is to be removed but it works for me.

12a         Nice point for a change in church — but means to quit? (8,5)
NICOTINE PATCH: Take an anagram (for a change) of NICE POINT and follow with a word which can mean in, as in attending, and then an abbreviation for church and you’ll get something which may help you quit smoking.

14a         Article about Stones touring that is most unpleasant (8)
NASTIEST: Start with an indefinite article and reverse it (about). Then take two of the abbreviation for a stone (weight) and place them around (touring) the two letters for that is.

15a         Peg gets left behind to prosper (2,4)
DO WELL: A wooden peg and L(eft) split (2,4).

17a         Bass apparently quiet (3-3)
LOW KEY: Double definition.

19a         Where small kipper may be kept as bait to trap Young Conservative (8)
CARRYCOT:  The small kipper is a sleeping baby. You need a bait or lure and insert Y(oung) C(onservative.
carrycot

21a         Screen fitted to conceal washers (6,7)
SHOWER CURTAIN: A not very cryptic definition of something which hides someone having an all-over wash.  At first I couldn’t believe there wasn’t more to this.
shower

24a         Endless botched instances (9)
INCESSANT: Anagram (botched) of INSTANCES.

25a         It’s silly batting an eyelid to begin with (5)
INANE: A word to describe someone batting (2) followed by AN (from the clue) and E (Eyelid to begin with).

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out – Simples!

26a         Cult follower in grand hot pants (4)
GOTH: Abbreviation of grand followed by an anagram (pants) of HOT.
goth

27a         Rocky sent secret audition (6,4)
SCREEN TEST: Anagram (rocky) of SENT SECRET..

Down

1d           Swords and shield motif? (4)
ARMS: Swords are examples of these and it’s what a Knight in armour has on the front of his shield, usually described as a “coat of . . .”.  Is it a bit careless to have the answer to one clue in the clue for another where the two answers cross?
arms

2d           Turns up at Tottenham initially to head goals (7)
ATTENDS: A charade of AT (from the clue), a T (Tottenham initially) and a popular crosswordland word for goals.

3d           Note very loud Scene VI set out to provide potency (13)
EFFECTIVENESS: A musical note followed by the musical indication of “very loud” and then an anagram (out) of SCENE VI SET.

4d           Metres to helter-skelter? Extremely far (8)
REMOTEST: Anagram (helter-skelter) of METRES TO.

5d           American-backed and unstable Arab republic (5)
SUDAN: Reverse (backed) the usual American and follow with an anagram (unstable) of AND.
sudan

7d           Sleep it off is the message (7)
EPISTLE: Anagram (off) of SLEEP IT.

8d           Rub out a thin line scrawled around answer (10)
ANNIHILATE: Anagram (scrawled) of A THIN LINE placed around A(nswer).

11d         Secretary’s mounting support, helping to arrest one making embezzlement (13)
APPROPRIATION: Reverse (mounting in a down clue) a two letter abbreviation of a secretary and follow with a support. After that you need a word for a helping or share and insert (to arrest) an I (one).

13d         Bold, but not highly coloured? (10)
UNBLUSHING: Slightly off-the-wall double definition. This was my LOI.

16d         Use garter to strangle (8)
GARROTTE: Anagram (use?) of GARTER TO.

18d         Stone Ron sculpted will make an impression (7)
WOODCUT: Take the surname of the Rolling Stone called Ron and follow with a word which could mean sculpted. Hands up those who thought SCULPTED was an anagram indicator.

20d         Take care pursuing prisoner with depression (7)
CONCAVE: A word used to warn someone to take care or watch out placed after (pursuing) one of the usual prisoners, not a lag, the other one.

22d         Ignore the odds to score first-class century for fun (5)
CRAIC: Take the even letters (ignore the odds) from sCoRe, follow with two letters for First-class and then a C(entury) and you get the Irish spelling of a good “crack”.

23d         Criminal tendency (4)
BENT: Double definition.  Bit of a chestnut but I still like it.

Some fun clues here but my favourite is 18d.  How about you?


The Quick Crossword pun: hole+jaw+haw+sis=hold your horses


98 comments on “DT 27915

  1. 2*/2.5*. Some reasonable clues were spoiled by some others. 11a is a Lego clue of the type which simply doesn’t appeal to me. The answer to 9a appears in the clue to 1d. I’ve never heard of the religious sitcom in 6a. I bunged in the only word that could fit the wordplay and checking letters in 22d but it’s not in my BRB. Google says it’s an Irish word.

    Thanks to the setter and particularly to pommers for a great review and pictures. I love the Rolling Stones, and particularly like Sympathy for the Devil!

  2. Overall very enjoyable, struggled a bit with the bottom left corner and still not greatly happy with 26a. However, I really loved 18d, a real smile and clever clue and 21a gets a mentioned in dispatches.
    Off to play golf in the sun, makes up for the previous few days dismal weather
    Thx to all

  3. I did not find this one that easy. I knew nothing about who ‘Ron’ was, so while I think I found the right answer for 18d I didn’t understand the wordplay. Then I was totally baffled by 6a not knowing anything about UK TV shows. I don’t like clues like 6a as they are so dependent on being a UK citizen and there are many who would not know what is on UK TV in the world..

    I would rate it as 2* for most of it, but since I could not complete 6a, I suppose I must rate it as 5* for difficulty for non-completion. Enjoyment – well 3*, I suppose.

        1. I have a TV and live in the UK and hadn’t heard of either. Had to click on the answer for (almost) the first time ever!

  4. Difficult entertaining crossword for me today, a few gripes, 6 across in my view is a general knowledge clue, and not cryptic-had a guess, which was right as I’d never heard of either. Thought originally that 12a was Pinch ie snuff, before 7d dawned, as the clue should have simply said at church not in-I know in=at but wasn’t necessary , Liked the ‘stones’ references in 14a and 18d and favourite was 19a.Thanks Pommers for the pics-will play Mick when I get home.Oh a ***/**** for me.

  5. My objection to 6a is that the wordplay and definition both require the exact same niche of specialist knowledge. I had never heard of either tv show so the clue was dead for me.

    I did like 19a (small kipper), 26a (hot pants) and 1d, which luckily I solved after 9a. In 9a, I thought the whole idea of a theme is that you hear it more than once, so this seems a tautology (ha! just managed to use an obscure word I learned in a crossword).

    Not meaning to sound negative, I did enjoy the puzzle. Reasonably gentle (except 6a for me, though others might have written it straight in). The toughie is also not too tough.

    for 21a, I first thought of a different kind of washers which might be the basis for this cd.

    Many thanks pommers and setter

    1. Is this not a musical theme that is often repeated? Wagner is famed for his use of “leitmotifs”, I believe.

      1. i was just thinking it wouldn’t be a theme unless it recurs, so why is it necessary to add “that you might hear more than once”? but i notice brb seems fond of the phrase “recurring theme” (yet another tautology to my mind). I guess I’m looking for an example of a theme that never recurshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  6. I’m a tad confused I always thought Sudan was in Africa & fail to see the Arab connection,no doubt someone more enlightened than me will explain! Generally I would put this in ***/*** category,like others 18D floated my boat along with 22D which I new from my frequent visits to the Emerald Isle whilst I was working. Many thanks to the setter & Pommers for his review. A friend has just dropped off his border collie to be looked after for a few days at least it’s an excuse to go for a walk & finish up at the local pub.

    1. many arab nations in northern africa, Egypt comes to mind as an obvious example, also Libya, Tunesia, Algeria, etc.

  7. 6a was a real challenge as I did not know either of the programmes. A few guesses and Googles sorted it out. Agree with Pommers that it had a Petitjean feel about it. I was surprised to find 22d in BRB. It seemed to fit the wordplay so was worth a check and, lo and behold, there it was. All good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Petitjean?) and pommers.

    1. I had a similar experience with 22d but once I’d confirmed it there did seem to be a faint bell ringing so perhaps it’s come up before.

  8. Quite a lot of anagrams helped me to get most of the puzzle.But I couldn’t get 13, 18 and 22d. I had to look up unblushing, didn’t realise it was even a word.

  9. Funny puzzle which was fairly easy to start because of all the anagrams but I was stopped in my tracks by 6a, never heard of the program and 22d which I thought all my checking letters were wrong for until I looked up the paper copy of BRB. Thought the word for 6a couldn’t be right because of the clue 1d. The word cave as in “take care” I’d never heard of before either.
    Having said all that I did enjoy it and it became a challenge after all the easy anagrams were inserted.

    2.5*/3*

    Thanks to setter and pommers.

  10. Well, I found this quite heavy going and needed guidance for several. Rather over-anagrammed but at least some indicators were unusual. My Fav was 19a when I realised it had nothing to do with a herring – love it! First thought was throttle for 16d. 21a a bit prosaic. ****/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

          1. Angel, I think you go into moderation if use more than two emoticons, and it looks as if you tried to do that (although two of the three are still showing as URLs and not as actual emoticons).

          2. I don’t think it’s the emoticons as such, but the fact that you dragged them to the comment box, turning them into hyperlinks. Al you need to do is click on the emoticon,http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  11. Oh dear, Oh dear
    I was looking forward to Thursday’s because it’s normally very difficult.
    Not this one.
    Filled in the white bits without any problems except, perhaps, 22d which I constructed correctly but was a new word for me.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  12. Needed the hint for 13d. Don’t think I would have got the answer without it.
    No problem with the TV series, I remember posting something about it to Jane once.
    Finally learned the English term for the little wooden ” cheville” in 15a.
    Favourite is 19a.
    The toughie is very light. Worth a go.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the help.

  13. **/***

    Another who had no chance with 6a. Fortunately we hear 22d a lot in these parts.

    Gosh what a lot of anagrams. I’m not complaining as I like them but others may not.

    I can’t decide whether 11d is very clever or not. Either way it was my last in (bar 6a).

    Many thanks to the setter, I did enjoy this and to Pommers for blogging. Lovely stuff as always.

    Don’t dare look at the Beam Toughie.

  14. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the review and hints. Some good clues and some bad. Was beaten by 6a, never heard of either programme, so how could I solve it without guessing? Liked 19a, favourite was 21a. Last in was 13d. Was 2*/2* for me. Agree with Pommers, too many anagrams (or partials). Overall a bit disappointing.

  15. I’m very surprised that so many have never heard of “craic” before.

    With regard to “motif” being in the clue to 1d and the solution of 9a – was it careless or intentional? It’s a theme you might hear more than once … whatever … it thoroughly confused me.

    Thanks to pommers and Petit-Jean for the “craic”.

  16. Average crossword. Disliked 6a, Could only think of Father Ted, so I have made a new greek letter, Deta! **/** Thanks to all.

  17. A right mixed bag today with some excellent humorous clues and some not quite so good. That said, I did enjoy completing it and there were several clues in the count for ‘catch’ of the day – but the one that made me laugh most was 19a (it still makes me chuckle) http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    After that clue I was heading toward PJ as the setter – but I no longer stick my head above the parapet, so well done pommers and Colin for identifying the correct setter.

    Thanks to PJ for the puzzle and pommers for his usual excellent review.

  18. I was enjoying working my way round this (NW, NE, SE quadrants completed in order) quite quickly before grinding to halt in SW though answers slowly yielded until I was left with 13d only. I thought of UNFLUSHING which unfortunately made enough sense (something that’s bold to a surface wouldn’t be flush) to stop me going on to find the right answer – though not enough that I actually wrote it in the grid. Thanks to Petit-Jean & pommers.

  19. Good afternoon all.

    A rare Thursday solve for me presumably indicating that Mr T is currently hidden away in his lair conjuring up ever more devious clues to launch on an unsuspecting population…

    Any road up this was mostly straightforward. I couldn’t properly resolve 14a and 13d was a bit of an act of faith. I quite liked 12a, 19a, 16d, 22d and 20d. Favourite was probably 21a.

    ***/*** for me.

      1. Fortunately I rarely have an opportunity to have a crack at the Toughie. I can vividly recall the satisfaction of completing one for the first time though. It was a real stinker too according to opinion here.

  20. ***/***. The third star for the difficulty was my slow response to 19&26a which were last in. Not sure why but pants didn’t indicate an anagram to me so I was off in a swamp for a while. Thanks to all.

  21. I thought it was hard enough, especially the references to the Stones. I have had that difficulty before so I must try to keep it in mind from now on.
    I liked 12 a and 21 a,and I thought 16 d had a very good surface reading.
    I am very surprised that any of you have heard of “craic” before, as I thought it was a purely Irish idiom. Does that mean this is a Shamus ?
    Thanks to whomever the setter is and pommers.

    1. I worked with an Irishman for about 3 years … every Monday morning he entertained us with his long-drawn-out stories about “the great craic” he had had at the week-end.

      Initially, I thought he was referring to the quality of cocaine …

  22. I missed out on 6a and 22d. We don’t get 6a here, so that’s to be expected, but I should at least have worked out 22d and googled it, it was very fairly clued.
    I really enjoyed this, many lovely clues, but my fave is 19a.
    Thanks to PJ for the entertainment and pommers for the review.

  23. Not too difficult today but quite a few bung ins. 21a was the first in because we’ve got to get a new one.
    Thanks to Pommers for the review and probably Petitjean?

  24. Not difficult, but great fun, so very happy with 2*/4*. Three clues stood out for me: 20d, 19a and 18d. The last of these gets my vote for favouritism. No idea who set it, but thanks to him/her and to Pommers for the review. And l absolutely loved the Quickie pun!

  25. Started well, then fizzled out! Had to go to work, but when I got in this evening it all made sense….just about! Last one in was 6a…….never watched these progs…just about worked it out, but had to use the hint. Some good clues…I liked 15a, this type of clue always trips me up when the words are split. I really liked 19a and 17a. Had a lot of head scratching with 11d because I was convinced the word was MISappropriation and just could not get it to fit! The dictionary has both appropriate and misappropriate as meanings for embezzle…and logically one would expect that they would have opposite meanings…..eg. Behave v Misbehave and so on….anyway eventually got there….funny old language, English innit? Enjoyable puzzle, 3*/3* thanks to setter and to Pommers. Not quite so many comments today, what’s happened to them all? Someone must be missing!

    1. Kath is busy helping elder (?) lamb in a household crisis AND it’s her wedding anniversary (Kath and Mr Kath that is)http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      She’ll probably be trying to relax with a nice glass of something sparkling http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  26. First time poster but been reading the comments and hints for a long while! Bit in awe of your superior knowledge but prompted to post because as an Irish lass (well maybe not) that watches far too much telly I found the ones you disliked easy!

    No idea how your scoring works but liked some of the clues. Little kipper and hot pants especially! Failed to get 13d.

    Anyway nice to ‘meet’ you all. Slightly off topic, does anyone use the Telegraph android app? I’m a print subscriber but often use the app to complete the crossword. They did an update which ruined it. Just wondered if anyone found the same.

    1. Welcome Patski. I hope you’ll keep commenting now you’ve delurked.

      I believe the scoring goes from 1* to 5* with 3 representing average time/enjoyment

    2. Welcome to the gang, Patski – hope you’ll carry on sending your comments.
      Yes, there’s quite a few with ‘superior knowledge’ – and then there’s the rest of us! Fortunately, they’re all very good-hearted souls and their willingness to help is doing wondrous things for our solving skills.
      Don’t ever be afraid to ask – someone will invariably get back to you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    3. Hi Patski. Nice to meet you too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif. No need to be in awe of us – what Jane says above is right. Though we have a Pedants Corner, we also have a Naughty Corner and a newly-fitted Loopy Corner. I have a piece of my hat in each.

      We’ve had exactly the same experience of the new app with a print subscription. I have moaned a bit about it before and today (see below), but can’t give my full opinion here because that is full of swears. Did nobody actually try it out before deploying it? Because then they may have found out that it doesn’t work.

    4. Hi ! from another Irish ” Lass “.I am a bit too senior to be a lass but I am very glad to be, now, in a minority of two, as far as I know.

    1. I’m out to lunch in general. Life is the puzzle – and it’s a Toughie!

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed the birthday lunch – at least “enjoyed” is how I interpret “too much wine!” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  27. Late on parade today – long day!
    Started out loving this one (15,19&21a + 9d) but then it all seemed to tail off a bit. Definitely not keen on either 9a or 13d.
    I did get 6a, but only through knowing the police drama – didn’t know the religious sitcom – would agree with others that it required very specific knowledge that couldn’t be easily verified.
    Yes, Pommers, I’ll put my hand up for the ‘anagram’ indicator in 18d – went through every 4-letter stone I could think of before the penny finally dropped.

    Thanks to PJ and also to Pommers – Kath said that we were to look after you today so here’s a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.giffor you!

    Off to see what Mr. T has in store in the other place – could be a some now, some tomorrow if he’s wearing his Beam hat at a rakish angle!

  28. I had time for a swift half in the morning (only of the crossword, folks, no need to contact the AA!) when despite being half-asleep the north fell into place without adding any more misery to the waking up process (on the contrary, it was enjoyable and I noticed but didn’t mind the abundance of anagrams). Later on, frazzled after a hard day, and annoyed at having to re-enter all my answers yet again – because the app, despite taking aeons to load each time, cannot seem to remember answers or settings, which added to the fact it also takes an age to register (or not) each touch makes me a cross Kitty – the south took a bit more thought. A pesky quartet in the SW took about as long as all the rest (13d, 17a and 21a, with 18d stumping me completely). I’m sure SWs have given me more pain than their share.

    6a was a semi-guess as I hadn’t heard of the answer but had heard of (though not seen) the component sitcom. I only knew 22d from Dara O’Briain. I liked lots, so no single favourite today.

    Happy anniversary to Kath and CS and husbands.

    While I’m here, and since I’ll be late commenting again tomorrow – happy anniversary for then to SL and wife – who must also be your favourite, which makes three!

    Thanks to PJ (knew it!) and pommers.

    1. I don’t know why they decided to move the puzzles into the paper sections and not leave them as before. Much preferred them all together. Seems the first problem was that some tablets were recognised as phones and so omitted the puzzles.

      I agree with you about the lag. It’s infuriating. I’ve sent feedback daily! It wasn’t perfect before but this has taken it to a whole new level and not for the better!

      1. So they’ve addressed a not very good app by replacing it with a far worse one! I much preferred the puzzles all together too. It would be nice if it was all the puzzles. I don’t have easy access to the paper itself* so I have to use the app. The lack of the Toughie stops me even looking at it most days.

        *this is because I’m piggybacking on the family subscription which means since I’m not paying myself I can’t really complain! I’m also unable to ask for my money back – but if I could, I would.

        1. Indeed. The latest reviews on the play store are terrible! Latest autoreply from them had this at the bottom!

          PLEASE NOTE:
          We are aware of an issue affecting how customers are able to restore their iTunes subscriptions within the new Tablet app (v3.1.1).
          Our Technical team are currently investigating as a matter of urgency.

          I haven’t ever managed to complete a toughie!

    2. Ah, the joy of not having a ‘virtual’ newspaper. I have always embraced technology, but nothing will ever, ever replace the joy of sitting in a pub / back garden / narrow boat with a drink (preferably alcoholic) and a paper in your hand to tease out the answers of the crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    3. Thanks Kitty – yes, she’s my favourite and my soul mate but she does say I can have more than one favourite on this blog. You all are http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      1. I’m so glad you found and kept your soul mate, SL – many congrats to both of you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

        By the way, I’m with you all the way on the joy of puzzles on paper!

  29. 6a spoiled this for me. Knew what the clue was after, but steer clear of sitcoms and police dramas, so it was hard to work out. At least I vaguely recall the sitcom. On the plus side, 18a raised a smile.

  30. Surely this cannot be a Thursday ? I found it quite straightforward apart from 13d where I needed assistance! Thank you Pommers. Favourites: 6a (Being a fan of both Vera and The Rev) I thought it quite clever ?, 19a and 22d ***/***

  31. Very late – long and very http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif kind of day.
    Been in London helping Elder Lamb but back in time to go out for dinner for wedding anniversary http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Couldn’t resist having a go at the crossword – agree – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    6a was a guess and 13d and 17a caused grief.
    I liked 14 and 26a and 7d (could be appropriate) and 16d. My favourite was 19a.
    With thanks to PJ and thanks and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif to pommers.
    Night night all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

      1. Sooo glad that you both had time for an anniversary dinner Kath. Yey!

        Happy anniversary to SL and wife too. I like her. She’s feisty and likes Alan Rickman.

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

    1. Well done, Kath and so pleased you both made it home in time to celebrate (and do the crossword!).
      Hold on to the Mr. T ‘Beam’ – I promised you would. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  32. This seemed a lot easier than normal for a Thursday, and as I usually struggle with a RayT, I guessed it wasn’t one of his. Liked the fact it had lots of anagrams. Favourite was 3d. Hadn’t heard of 13d or 22d. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review.

  33. Hi TS,
    Glad you caught up with the posts and thanks for the info. Could well finish up with a Premier Inn, but I think Weekendwanda’s suggestion of AirB&B could also be worth looking into.

    1. I actually like Premier Inns. I’ve stayed in the one in Stratford several times, and also in Cirecester and Wapping (election night). They’re cheap and cheerful and clean, with decent showers. I’ve never tried AirB&B but others tell me it’s great. I suppose it depends on what you’re looking for. I just like staying in hotels, reminds me of my days on the road as a reporter.

      1. I have no issue with Premier Inns. You get a good nights sleep. Clean and comfy…used for work for the last 15+ years at least.

  34. 1a went straight in and I thought I was in for an easy ride, but the rest took more teasing out. I put that down to the heavy dose of man-flu that has dominated my day. I thought of PJ, but dismissed the thought as I found it easier than his usual offerings, with which I usually struggle. I liked 12d a lot (my last one in) but the gold star goes to 19a. 3*/3*
    Having spent my waking hours swigging Day Nurse, I have my own version of Night Nurse, sent especially down from Scotland, so I’m off to give myself an unhealthy dose. Goodnight

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