DT 27932 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27932

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27932

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Just one Kiwi doing the blog today. Culture has got in the way. New Zealand Opera and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra are performing TOSCA, and while the principals move from venue to venue, the chorus is cast separately at each centre. One of our grandsons, Ollie, is making his opera debut as a choir boy. We saw the Wellington opening night at the weekend, just superb. “Grandma holding the fort” duties are needed for this week while the show is on, hence a solo blogger.
Jay up to scratch as usual.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Deteriorates, but manages to understand before doctor starts (4,2,4)
RUNS TO SEED : The first word means manages, then TO from the clue and a word meaning understand or observe and lastly, the first letter of doctor.

6a     One fashionable old star of the silver screen (4)
IDOL : The Roman numeral one then an anagram (fashionable) able to be fashioned of OLD.

10a    Chop? That is a dish (5)
CUTIE : This dish is to be looked at rather than eaten. A synonym for chop and the abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’.

11a     Gathered vets must be worried — hurried around (9)
HARVESTED : An anagram (must be worried) of VETS is inside a word meaning hurried in the manner of a rabbit-like creature.

12a     Get rid of rotting cargo (7)
OFFLOAD : Split the answer 3,4 to get synonyms for rotting and cargo.

13a     Joint league leaders? (7)
TOPSIDE : This joint might be the Sunday roast. How one could describe a team that is ahead in the competition.

14a     Little air covering for the earth? (5,7)
SMALL FORTUNE : Another way of saying that something cost a lot of money. A word meaning little, then FOR from the clue, and an air or song.

18a     Earnings of men working with Eurotrain (12)
REMUNERATION : An anagram (working) of MEN and EUROTRAIN.

21a     Fellow anticipating full-scale quarrel (4,3)
FALL OUT : F(ellow) then a two word phrase meaning full-scale.

23a     Note to meet international organisation after writing piece (7)
HANDGUN : The word for ones personal writing style, the seventh musical note and the international organisation based in NY.

24a     Journalist in fracas gets cut (9)
REDUCTION : The abbreviation for a senior journalist is inside a word for a fracas that is usually seem in its plural form.

25a     Period of lost hope encompassing century (5)
EPOCH : An anagram (lost) of HOPE includes C(entury).

26a     In despair, in retreat, find space for altar (4)
APSE : A lurker that is reversed and hiding in the clue.

27a     Soldiers advanced without being persistent (10)
RELENTLESS : Engineering soldiers, then ‘advanced money’, and a word meaning without or missing.


1d     Minister‘s time invested in incomplete log (6)
RECTOR : A word meaning a log or chronicle loses its last letter and has T(ime) included.

2d     Advise on it, possibly fairly heartlessly (6)
NOTIFY : An anagram (possibly) of ON IT and then the first and last letters of fairly.

3d     Article on green skill and ability to empathise (3,6,5)
THE COMMON TOUCH : English definite article, green is another name for the grassed area found in many villages, and then a word for a skill or particular ability.

4d     Wild cheers engulf mostly boring planner (9)
SCHEDULER : A four letter word meaning boring loses its last letter and is included in an anagram (wild) of CHEERS.

5d     Winter generally sees this bird going west (5)
EGRET : It must be a shy bird as it is hiding, back to front, in the clue.

7d     Motor City, America, rejects old rubbish (8)
DETRITUS : A famous motor car city loses O(ld) from its name and then the abbreviation for The States.

8d     Guided around snake, ran (8)
LADDERED : Ran is what stockings were prone to do. A type of snake is inside a word for guided or went in front.

9d     Go through my name and split cost of accommodation (10,4)
PEPPERCORN RENT : Three three letter words are strung together, ‘go’ ‘through’ and ‘my!’. Next is N(ame) and a word meaning split or torn.

15d     Remote possibility to get drunk — fetch a can! (3,6)
FAT CHANCE : An anagram (drunk) of FETCH A CAN.

16d     Invoice from a poorly expert taking precedence (3,5)
PRO FORMA : An expert or professional and then an anagram (poorly) of FROM A.

17d     Simple and modest without guards, but collapses (8)
IMPLODES : Remove the first and last letters from two words in the clue.

19d     Independent Nationalist covered in blood is cut (6)
IGNORE : The single letter abbreviation for independent, then a word for blood includes the abbreviation for N(ationalist).

20d     Makes slow progress since changes around hotel (6)
INCHES : An anagram (changes) of SINCE includes H(otel).

22d     String quartet’s last to get drink (5)
TWINE : The last letter of quartet and drink made from grapes.


I have ticks beside 14a and 9d but will vote for 9d for its wonderful Lego-esque-ness.

Quickie pun   doors + elfin = dorsal fin

131 comments on “DT 27932

  1. I also liked 14a (the earth), but my other favourite was 15d (fetch a can). Not sure I have seen Lego-esque-ness together with the adjective wonderful before, but I admit 9d does have charm.

    Many thanks 1Kiwi for the review and Jay for a lovely puzzle

  2. I struggled with this one a bit – hard to get started. I ground to a halt on 9d – the only words I could think of were the right answer, but I have never heard of this term before.

    So well into 3* time and 3* for enjoyment for me today.

    1. Hi George,
      9d – I’ve only come across this term in recent times when applied to the renting of a piece of land rather than a dwelling. I think it infers that something is to all intents and purposes rent-free but the payment of a peppercorn was required to fulfil legal obligations.

      1. Perhaps as it is recent, and my living in Canada for so long, is the reason why I have never heard of it before.

        Interesting term though! Conjured up all sorts of visions in my mind!

      2. “Peppercorn rent” is actually a very old term.

        The ODE says that it comes “from the (formerly common) practice of stipulating the payment of a peppercorn as a nominal rent.”

  3. DT editors would do well to read this blog – same issue as yesterday on the iPad version – misnumbered clues AGAIN! Also running very slow as previously commented on by previous contributor. Get a grip DT or I’ll get my daily fix from the Times instead.

    1. My ipad behaved much better today but still no clue breaks in the numbering. Once I remembered that the long ones fell quite easily

    2. I actually managed to speak with someone in the technical (sic) department at the Telegraph this morning. Although they argued that not giving the correct lettering didn’t effect the ability to answer the clue (!!!) they said they were working on a patch to sort it out. They had no idea when this would be ready!

      1. ” didn’t effect the ability to answer the clue “? Well it certainly doesn’t help, Mr Telegraph – spent ages looking for a 14 word answer to 3d when it was in fact three words!

  4. Not much fun to be had today. ***/**. For me far too many “find a word that’s fits and then justify it”. Doable but not enjoyable.

  5. Another winner for me so Thank you Jay. Thanks also to the 1K for help parsing 9d. The middle one of the three little words mentioned made no sense today although the same word and the same cluing gave me no problem on Monday at 15d. Sunny today.

  6. **/****

    Lovely stuff as always from Jay. Always a pleasure to solve. Also liked 14a and 15d.

    9d was my last in, and pretty much a guess.

    Perfect autumn day on the moors.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the solo Kiwi for blogging. Good luch to Ollie.

    1. Good heavens, Hanni. You definitely said that you were going to tackle the PJ Toughie before the Jay. Please tell me you haven’t finished that off already! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  7. What a charade!

    This guy has got a very distinctive style and boy does he like a charade!

    I found 14a, 23a and 3D to be a bit tenuous – for what it’s worth – I understand them now but didn’t see them straight away. I can’t say I really enjoyed it but was glad when it was finished.

    England really struggling in Abu Dhabi in unbearable heat in front of a handful of fans – well worth the effort I don’t think!


  8. Agree with the 2K’S today-**/****, a little tricky but enjoyable, 14a surface read makes it the stand out clue for me. and last in 16d-never sure about the validity of Latin clues myself, and also thought 23a an excellent charade .Nicely constructed by the setter ,Jay I believe, and thanks to 2K’S for the picks- bit of a game on this weekend I gather !

  9. Quite happy to go along with 1Ks ratings for this one. Would have been a 1* for difficulty except for taking an age to parse 27a&9d – ‘per’ for ‘through’ is always guaranteed to throw me.
    Smiled at the memories brought back by 8d. Ladders invariably started on the outside of a stocking and the ‘instant fix’ involved a quick dash to the ‘loo’ to swap the stocking to the other leg (in the divine belief that the ‘run’ wouldn’t show as much on the inside of a leg) and then daub it top and bottom with a blob of clear nail varnish to stop it running any further. Took some time as unless you then held the stocking away from your leg until the varnish dried it stuck stocking to leg which was not only extremely uncomfortable but must have created a rather odd appearance!
    14a was probably my favourite but 15d deserves a mention because it made me laugh.
    Thanks to Jay and also to our lonely Kiwi – hope the boy ‘done good’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    1. Such comments as these Jane may bring inappropriate thoughts to the minds of certain individuals and should be toned down accordingly

    2. Oh Jane I know that trick all too well. Keeping it away from your skin is vital. Taken to having a spare pair of hold ups in my bag.

      1. We (you) have discussed holdups on these pages before. Are you solving these puzzles on a horse out on the moors?

        1. Indeed I am Miffypops. It’s quite a skill.

          Not riding today. Been known to answer my mobile whilst riding though. The same mobile has been known to spook the hell out of a horse. Always remember to put in on vibrate now.

          Superglue…great idea Beaver. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  10. This is my fourth attempt to post a comment today on this page http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    I agree with 2*/4*. You certainly know what you are going to get on every Wednesday and that’s a cracking good crossword.

    The only clue I didn’t particularly like was 9d where for me the slightly clunky surface reading didn’t overcome the “Legoesqueness”. However 14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the lone Kiwi.

  11. Just couldn’t see the last word in 3d. Thought it might be “force”. But now that I see it, it does ring a bell.
    It didn’t help to swap the “m” and the “n” in 18a.
    Knew the expression in 1a.
    Thanks to Jay and to KiwiC for the review.
    Carol or Colin?

  12. I did not get 9d, 23A or 19D. Clearly a bad hair day on my part. 7D was my favorite. Thanks Jay and 1K.

  13. Overall quite fun but just couldn’t see 9d at all. Can’t see the need for the word ‘but’ in 17d. Unless I’m missing something it just seemed superfluous. Overall I’d say **/**. Many thanks to the setter and the two Kiwis.

  14. Stuck on 18d…..and not v happy with the answer! Peppercorn rent is not a cost of accomodation – the whole point is that it is not a real cost ie it is never paid…..otherwise, all good with 13a my favourite…

  15. I-Pad lettering problems aside, this was a hugely enjoyable Jay puzzle, just the right balance of reasonably tough and read and writes to make it a fun solve. I e-mailed the Telegraph complaints department yesterday, and so impressed were they by my arguments they totally ignored me. Anyway, if this magic patch arrives soon, (see Tom Darby above) all will be forgiven and forgotten. The misnumbering of the word splits certainly makes you think more laterally than usual. It is only the quality of the wordplay from a master such as Jay that makes solving possible. Thanks to him, and to the solitary Kiwi. 2/4.

  16. Isn’t English wonderful? Designed to confuse foreigners as a young French girl once told me.

    How come FAT CHANCE means the same as SLIM CHANCE?

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the Kiwi for the blog.

  17. Good afternoon everybody

    This puzzle looked like being tricky, evidenced by 25a being the first to go in. Down clues were a little easier and a fair sprinkling went in on second pass leaving 14 clues to solve.

    Eventually got there, enjoying 3d, 17d, 13a and 14a along the way, but not being able fully to rationalise 9d,19d and 27a.

    A decent tussle in just about three star time (I think) so ***/**** for me.

  18. After the two easies, earlier this week I found this, as often on a Wednesday very tricky ? Much thanks to the 2x K-1 for explaining why I got my answer. The first word of 9d for example ? Still very enjoyable in retrospect ? Thanks to Jay although his puzzles always cause me much deliberation ***/*** Liked 13a, 23a, 27a, 3d & 2d

  19. Loved this from Jay – some really good clueing going on. 9d was my last one in and that took a bit of parsing to get the solution. Liked 18a (and managed to spell it correctly) but my favourite of the day is 14a.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and 1K for the review. Loved the pic for 8d but not the one for 13a – what a waste of good beef.

    With all the comments about ‘ladder repair’ I now understand why the WRENS of old used to walk strangely – I had always put it down to having the suspender belt straps too tight http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  20. ***/***. Slow start hence the third star for difficulty. Quite enjoyable but 9d was a bit of a stretch for cost of accommodation. Thanks to the setter and 1K for the review. Langley farmers market today – first time we’ve run a stall.

  21. Our iPad cryptic puzzle has twice been impossible to complete, because the clues do not indicate the word breaks. Can you rectify this please!

      1. Interesting that there are seven clues that are misrepresented again today, the same number as yesterday.

        1. It will be coded messages from M15. If you write them out in full they make a complete message.

  22. Too tricky for me, only managed about 3/4 today before had to admit defeat!
    So for me ****/*
    Thx for the hints

    1. No wonder, just realised that once more the iPad edition has no word breaks GRRRRR! Spent lord knows how long trying to get a 10 letter word for 1a.
      DT I hate you!

      1. Ok now I have the correct clues no thanks to the DT, I still have a question. In 9d, the hint speaks of 3 three letter words meaning go, through and my. Pep=Go, Per=Through but why does Cor=my?
        On the whole even complete I thought this a poor puzzle with little fun.

  23. This is a new world to me! Peppercorn Rent is exactly as Jane says: it maintains the landlord’s position, usually as freeholder. Surprised to see the misuse of “effect”.

  24. Sometimes I find Jay impossible, other times the answers just slot in and today was one of those days; he is never in between for me.
    Had to check spelling of 18a but easy enough to know what the answer should be.
    Loved 14a and 15d, but fave is 9d.
    Thanks to Jay, and many thanks to 1Kiwi for your review. Well done, Ollie!

  25. I needed hints for 14a and 9d.So I would rate more like three stars for difficulty, and at least that for enjoyment.
    I liked 7d, 19d, 10a, 17d and 15d is my favourite. Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  26. Nice puzzle, never heard before “runs” to seed, only “goes” to seed. My COD is 17d, I thought that very clever. Rating from me ***/***.
    Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

  27. Once I realised the problems with the word breaks were with us again all became a bit more logical. Some lovely clues; I particularly liked 9 and 17d but my favourite was 23a which took me a while before the penny eventually dropped!
    Thanks to Jay and the sole representative of the 2 K’s.

  28. I was again suffering from mushy brains this morning, so it took some work. Silly me for being slow to see they still haven’t sorted out the enumeration issue. The fact that the fix is taking so long seems a little odd – it must be because it is all so bloated and over-designed that altering anything is difficult.

    Anyway, appy grumbles aside, it was a lovely crossword with 14a my favourite today and 8d slithering into second place mainly because of the comments it sparked.

    Thanks to Jay and the solo Kiwi.

    P.S. I hadn’t heard of peppercorn rent either, but it sounds tasty.

  29. Good morning all. Dawn is just breaking here, looks like the weather will permit some golf today but I am so out of practice…
    It is always an anxious moment when we get up and read what people say about the blog that we have written many hours earlier. Looks like the only mistake today was overcooking the beef for someone’s taste, but then I am not the number one cook in the household and I can live with that. Cheers.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    1. Hi Colin, I left a comment a couple of hours ago, and it’s been taken down. I’ve only left a few on here as am pretty new to the site. If I broke a rule please let me know !

    2. Sorry Colin – I’m in the ‘cut off the horns and hooves, give it’s b****m a good wipe and pass it through a warm room’ brigade http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      Hope the ‘Tosca’ production went well, it is the only Puccini opera that I like. I’m a big Verdi fan, especially Aida.- I hope I take as long to die http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  30. I enjoyed the West side but East was another story and that wasn’t helped by 9d which I did eventually bung in – hardly surprising when I note the complicated parsing by 1K 27a also a bung in as ‘advanced’ synonym didn’t occur to me. Fav was 14a. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  31. 13a “Joint league leaders” was my favourite clue today!

    Far better than the “chop” in 10a.

  32. Thought this was a bit of a stinker! Didnt really enjoy it and had to use the hints. Took me ages to get going and then ground to a halt. Not Helped by having ‘goose’ in for 5d and trying to fit ‘ding don’ into 21a !….Anyway got there eventually…but just not on my wavelength. Thanks to 2Ks for much needed hints and to setter. 3*/2*

  33. I found this quite difficult to get into, but once I got going I did manage to finish it unaided. 23a was the most difficult for me.

  34. Help! Where’s my comment gone? Cant be bothered to write it all again as its probably up the somewhere in the stratosphere. Maybe it will materialize later !?!

  35. Ah the wonderful days of stockings, always spare pair in desk drawer just in case, never could wear tights. Back to crossword, thought I was going to have serious problems but after abortive trip for flu jab (had to come home nowhere to park) things dropped nicely into place. Needed explanations for several things but it was just me being silly and not thinking properly. 18a was favourite only because I managed anagram without writing it down. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  36. Just a small question – have I unwittingly annoyed / upset anyone. Nobody seems to want to have a bit of banter anymore http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif (with me, that is)

    1. Poor Darling sad for you, perhaps the latest tribulations with the DT are making people banterless, we still love you really. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    2. Well it took time, a few bottles of wine, and some deep reflection, but I’ve forgiven you for calling me Epicurean. That or it never bothered in the first place.

      Certainly agree with you about Verdi. Definitely my favourite opera composer.

    3. Sorry, SL – had to go out this evening otherwise I would certainly have got back to you over the following:-
      1. What on earth type of suspender belt has ‘straps’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
      2. In what way did WRENS walk strangely?
      3. Quite honestly the ‘dying’ bit in Aida always reduces me to fits of the giggles – yes, I know that’s totally non-pc.
      4. 13a pic. looked just right to me.
      5. Local Waitrose seems to have run out of Fire Flower – any further suggestions?

      1. All suspender belts have straps. Not that I like them.

        Oh gosh it’s awful when you laugh at moments like that. Might have to watch Aida soon.

      2. 1. The adjustable dangly things from the belt that attached to the stocking tops
        2.. Because the aforesaid ‘dangly things’ were pulled a bit tight.
        3. I have picked a particular piece from Aida for my ‘farewell’ – lot’s better than ‘I did it my way’
        4. Never, ever, ever……..
        5. I’ll get back to you……


        1. Well blow me down – seems as though some folk do indeed refer to the ‘dangly bits’ as straps. That all sounds a bit M&S to me (or do I mean S&M http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif).
          We always referred to the item as being a garter belt and the dangly bits as the suspenders.
          As for 13a – I guess we’ll just have to agree to differ, but I reckon both SL and yourself would be far more welcome in JL’s restaurant than I would be!

          1. I’d never really thought of the name until today. But ‘staps that you clip the stockings into’, seems right. Ish.

            I think J-L would welcome you with open arms. Just order a chicken dish. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

            1. No, Hanni – they don’t even cook that enough either! Make no mistake, I’ll think of something to order if I ever get the chance to visit – or maybe I’ll just settle for the booze. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    4. Thank you all – I’ve had a very bad few days. Maybe I need a rest.

      I hope you all have a very good weekend, especially to those going to London on Saturday – have a great day http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      In the words of that famous US General….

    5. How could you possibly have annoyed/upset anyone ever? You’re one of the best tempered and decent commenters and, I think, very valued around here. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Extremely valued Kath. Much like yourself. Re the ‘beef’ thing. As a child it was always referred to as ‘still having a pulse’.

  37. Have been ‘busy’ taking photos of Tornado (Britain’s newest steam locomotive, which was ‘sunbathing’ in Bewdley) today, so I made a very late start on the puzzle. As a dedicated Telegraph NEWSPAPER reader/subscriber and a complete Luddite as regards tablets, smart phones and the like, I share none of the problems when the ‘electronics’ play up as it appears has happened. This was a superb puzzle, which needed a wee bit more grey matter to solve than many of the more recent back page cryptic crossword puzzles have. A very satisfying solve – and so my thanks indeed to Jay. 9 and 15 down were my particular favourites. Now to edit my pictures . . . . . . :-)

      1. Oh no, MP. If he’s a true Luddite like myself then ‘editing’ takes the form of deleting all the ones that for some inexplicable reason look exactly the same as some of the others, the ones where a thumb got in the way and the ones that you haven’t a clue what they’re meant to be of – but perhaps you ‘clicked’ when you hadn’t intended to. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        1. Oh yes, plenty of ‘rubbish’ to get rid of if I’m using my digital camera, but there again when I was a lad and eight black and white exposures on a Brownie 127 were all one could afford, one was a little more frugal with exposures. That said, I still use and prefer my 35mm film cameras – I can’t ‘cheat’ with those !!!

          1. The first photo that I ever took was with a little Brownie something or other – I was probably about eight – it was of our little Cairn terrier – she was called Susie and she was sitting on the lawn in our garden. When it came back from being developed it looked like a little tiny black speck in an awful lot of grass . . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

            1. A little Brownie Box camera I would guess. Ditto here, only said pic. was of our Pembroke Corgi – at least it was meant to be of said dog……!

              1. What was it of instead?

                Edit..this has just reminded me of something I haven’t thought of in years. In 1987 I was in N.Africa and for some reason some tourists seemed to think I could change films. I could on my camera. I changed quite a few that day. It appeared to work. However I know that I got it wrong on at least two cameras in hindsight.

                I often wonder how many swear words were uttered when their lovely pictures of the ruins of Carthage and the Sahara were just blank.

                1. The step down into the garden that she had been posing on very prettily until just before she spotted the bird on the lawn. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

                  1. Ran out of replies Jane. You’re a good friend too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

                    To be honest you can’t blame the dog. He’d probably been listening to you talk about birds and was just showing you what he knew.

                    I know lots about birds. Including ‘migration’ patterns. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

                    1. Right – homework for this week:-
                      partial migration
                      differential migration
                      altitudinal migration
                      obligate migration
                      facultative migration. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                    2. I’ll set you a quick test at the end. But I’m sure you’ll fly through it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                      Edit it will include the pronunciation of ‘facultative’ after a couple of G&T’s.

  38. Had a busy day, followed by busy evening with lots of new songs to learn for choir. Managed to print the crossword off earlier, so just about to start on it. So cold coming back from choir, had to make myself a Manhattan Cocktail (stiff !) . In fact, now on second. I will says thanks to the setter, and to 1kiwi for the review, as I may not finish tonight. I wish Ollie well for his performances, you must feel very proud of him.

      1. Just been given a list of 17 new songs. Too many to mention all…Rather be by Clean Bandit, Stay with me by Sam Smith, My house in Budapest by George Ezra,Someone like you by Adele, and Don’t stop me now by Queen ( Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!).
        Thanks for your interest Hanni. Actually I sing in two choirs, but the other one is very different, more chorale masterpieces.Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Parry’s ..I was glad.

        1. That’s quite exciting. I’ve generally only sung the classical works but recently have been trying different genre’s. Not in a choir anymore, just with friends and a piano. The Sam Smith one was actually really good fun to figure out the harmonies , (no sheet music).

          Let me know how it goes? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        2. Wow – that’s one heck of a range, Florence. Well done you – and so good to know that people can enjoy music from such a diverse selection. I still find some of MP’s and Kitty’s choices hard to gel with but that’s doubtless my fault rather then theirs!

          1. We could try to work together musically Jane but I feel we would part due to musical differences. One of us would be musical and one of us would be different. You would be right from your side and I would be right from mine. There would be common ground and it would be deep fun finding it. God bless

  39. Unlike the Toughie, this one was right up my street. 1*/4*, and 23a my favourite clue. Thanks to Jay, and to (half the) 2 Kiwis.

  40. Terribly late – been doing “other stuff”. Being out of routine always makes things tricky, for me anyway, and I thought this was Jay being quite difficult so at least 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I made a terrible pig’s ear of 14a which messed up most of the rest of the crossword until nothing else worked and I began to have doubts.
    “Green sleeves” seemed to be a good idea- oh dear! Well, it’s a song, so a ‘Little air’ – the ‘green’ was ‘for the earth’ i.e. eco friendly and the ‘sleeves’ were the covering. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and how it messed up everything else for rather a long time!
    Right – now on to the rest of it . . .
    1a – I’ve really only heard of “goes” to seed but that was gettable once I’d had a re-think of the first word.
    I was slow with 27a – don’t know why – just was.
    Yet again the answer to 23a = piece caught me out – it’s not even that long since we had it.
    Oh well – I liked 12a and my favourite was 15d.
    Thanks to Jay and to a Kiwi – do hope that the other Kiwi manages not to catch something awful this time.

  41. We are very late in today as it took us so long to get through all the comments – almost as long as it took us to do Jay’s splendid crossword. A **/**** for us. Thanks to the solo Kiwi for the blog.

  42. Hi to TS. The news from the frozen north sounds good to me – best start saving for that flight, you might be in need of it!
    Concur with your thoughts on Robert Frost, although I’m not very comfortable with ‘Home Burial’. Perhaps that makes it a good poem?
    Have you finally finished with the ‘moving the boat’ saga for this year or are there still waterways to travel before she reaches her Winter home?

    1. Yes, that’s the point of Home Burial. It is meant to be disconcerting, I think, to show how tragedy can force people apart rather than bring them closer together, which is the more common conception.
      I am thinking of the flight and how I can fit it in with other commitments. This is not easy.
      The Racy Mole (a he, rather than a she, as most of the original narrow boats were) is currently in Apsley Marina, Hemel Hempstead, after three days moving last weekend. Next week is the great push North – or The Narrow Road to the Deep North as I call it after last year’s Booker winner, which is a novel of great power and ghastly beauty, which I can’t recommend highly enough – but be prepared to be totally disconcerted while at the same time admiring the lyrical resonance that clings to even the most harrowing descriptions. So I shall be away all next week, but hope to pick up a paper here and there and pop in when I can.

        1. Won’t be up your way until the weekend after next and, things being things, have no idea of time, or even day, of arrival. Can taste that London Pride from here, though

      1. Hi again, TS – still up and roaming around, courtesy of being treasurer for a local group, where I had ‘help’ on the door tonight. The figures won’t balance and I’m still trying to figure out where the ‘help’ went astray!
        Re: your comments about the flight – I could go through back blogs to quote your original comment but I think it went along the lines of ‘I won’t make the same mistake twice’?
        The frozen north? Where exactly is that – not heading in my direction are you? No, that would be too silly – I forget that the line of civilisation for you southerners lies far below that for the rest of us!
        I’ll pick up on your recommend of the Booker winner – loins girded for the disconcertion.
        Sorry to call your he-boat a lady. I thought all boats/cars etc. were regarded as being female? Following the Wind in the Willows theme, the almost ex-husband of a friend of mine has a narrow boat called Mr. Toad – I’m assured that the name is quite apt!

  43. Great stuff as usual from Jay, but a tad more tricky than I expected. Lots of lovely clues – it’s a photo-finish between 14a and 23a for the 2000 Guineas. Many thanks to KiwiColin for the blog and particularly for parsing 9d, which was my last one and a bung-in (its a well enough known expression, I just couldn’t see why – I can now). Radio x2 tomorrow, so I must try for an early night.
    PS BD himself is my hero of the week for sorting me out after yesterday’s lack of crossword, so VMTs BD, I’ll do it in the morning.
    PPS All this talk of stockings and suspender belts has made grown men grip the edge of their coffee tables till their knuckles turn white

  44. Cannot print this crossword at the moment, some problem with DT, anybody got it as a pdf?

      1. It looks like the puzzles Home page has travelled back in time to 16th January 2013! I knew that the Telegraph’s IT team were poor but this is a new level of sheer incompetence.

  45. 9d was my last one to fill in and it took a long time to work out why is had to be Peppercorn rent! The “rent” part came straight away. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif Clever!

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