DT 27937

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27937

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

Gazza’s internet connection was “upgraded” today – to 0 mb instead of 76 mb – so I’ve had to put this together quickly. I thought the puzzle was somewhat lacklustre, and some of the clues, like 9a and 21a, left a lot to be desired.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Energy from northern Germany consumed by outfit in the past (3-2-3-2)
GET-UP-AND-GO: N(orthern) and the IVR code for Germany inside (consumed by) an outfit of clothes (3-2) and an adverb meaning in the past

6a    Unrestrained Irish wit’s broadcast (4)
WILD: sounds like (broadcast) the surname of a well-known Irish wit, poet and playwright

9a    Immature interviewer of PMs on the radio (5)
YOUNG: I thought this might be a reference to someone called Kirsty, but I can find no evidence that she was ever a regular interviewer on the PM program on Radio 4; so it must be Jimmy, who has interviewed every British prime minister from 1964 to 2010 on the radio

10a    Surmount cranes positioned in front of town on new day (9)
TRANSCEND: an anagram (positioned) of CRANES between the initial letter (front) of T[own] and N(ew) D(ay)

12a    Fitting perhaps, golfer gets share at end of game (13)
PROPORTIONATE: this person who engages in sport for gain, a golfer perhaps, is followed by a share, AT from the clue and the final letter (end) of [gam]E

14a    A fellow clad in rope vehicle — disruption to peace? (3,2,3)
ACT OF WAR: the A from the clue followed by F(ellow) inside (clad in) a rope used to pull, for example, a vehicle or a boat and then inside (entering) a vehicle

15a    A regulation blocking route in African country (6)
MALAWI: the A from the clue and a regulation inside (blocking) the main northbound route in the UK

17a    Special ability in Oriental entertainer (6)
TALENT: hidden (in) inside the clue

19a    Plan of action namely by woman taken with carnival venue (8)
SCENARIO: a charade of the Latin abbreviation for namely, seen here as recently as last Sunday, a, rather old-fashioned, woman’s first name and a Brazilian carnival venue

21a    Role of armchair general in skirmish (7,6)
RUNNING BATTLE: a rather weak cryptic definition of what an armchair general might do

24a    Break rule in diet strangely I once ignored (9)
INTERLUDE: an anagram (strangely) of RULE [I]N DIET after dropping (ignored) one of the Is

25a    Perfect statement by one giving a hand? (5)
IDEAL: split as (1,4) this could be said by someone who is giving out a hand of playing cards

26a    Clip  weed in wharf (4)
DOCK: a triple definition

27a    Secure a convenience for those letting farms (4,6)
LAND AGENTS: a verb meaning to secure, as in to secure a job, followed by the A from the clue and a male public convenience


1d Artist unknown in Indian territory (4)
GOYA: a mathematical unknown inside a former Portuguese colony, now part of India

2d Make a big thing of brass instrument (7)
TRUMPET: these two definitions are more-or-less the same

3d Homer might be among one’s passions (6-7)
PIGEON FANCIER: a cryptic definition of someone who has a passion for homing birds

4d No time left to tour Scottish island? That’s fanciful (8)
NOTIONAL: NO from the clue, T(ime) and L(eft) around a Scottish island

5d Greek getting behind corruption (5)
GRAFT: GR(eek) followed by a nautical term for behind

7d Outlaw in Swedish company Japanese art (7)
IKEBANA: a three-letter verb meaning to outlaw inside a Swedish furniture company gives the Japanese art of flower arranging

8d           Instrument familiar to pre-Victorians? (10)
DIDGERIDOO: this “musical” instrument was familiar to those who lived in Victoria, Australia before it was called Victoria!

11d Act ruthlessly with a nightspot not reforming (4,2,7)
STOP AT NOTHING: an anagram (reforming) of A NIGHTSPOT NOT

13d Quiz show‘s crooked strategist (10)
MASTERMIND: two definitions – a quiz show that once starred our very own Tilsit – see Sunday’s Hints – and an arch criminal

16d Some mutton, cold, provided in fancy gardens (5-3)
SCRAG-END: C(old) inside (provided in) an anagram (fancy) of GARDENS

18d Madman in a cult that’s crackers (7)
LUNATIC: a rather obvious anagram (that’s crackers) of IN A CULT

20d School run by one heartless academic fellow (7)
ROEDEAN: this Public School for young ladies comes from a charade of R(un), O[n]E without its middle letter (heartless) and an academic

22d Where in France good lawyer consumes cheese (5)
GOUDA: the French for “where” between (consumes) G(ood) and a US lawyer

23d Leaders in ancillary locations are sacked sadly (4)
ALAS: the initial letters (leaders) of four words in the clue

Let’s hope Gazza gets sorted out in time for tomorrow’s Toughie, failing that I’m sure he will be back next Tuesday.

The Quick Crossword pun: Parsee+money=parsimony


  1. Miffypops
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Gazza’s upgrade is about as good as my ipads. Nothing doing

  2. Jane
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Maybe those responsible need to employ an IT consultant? Oh yes – that’ll be Gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    3*/1*. Far too much Lego coupled with some clunky wordplay. I thought that 1a, 9a & 14a were particularly ghastly. I didn’t know that 5d could mean corruption and I was tempted to put in the answer as “grass” before I got 12a.

    Sorry, setter, just not my cup of tea. Thanks to BD for the review.

  4. Anthony Parker
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave. Love looking at your tips when I get stuck cheers for that. No quickie answer and down clues yet

    • Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Anthony

      I’m working on the down hints, but the Quickie pun is already there!

      • Jane
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Not a complaint, BD – but just to point out that the Quickie pun is not today’s!
        I’ve also just been sent a re-run of the review of Dada’s last Toughie – what a bizarre day we’re having, although I reckon you’re probably using far stronger terminology to describe it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

        • Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          I don’t mind sensible complaints, but I do get annoyed when someone comes along and the first thing they do is tell me how I should run the world’s most successful crossword blog, especially when the subject of their complaint had been addressed not only in the FAQ but was also answered a few comments above their own.

      • Michael
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think you’ve got the wrong puzzle there for the Quickie pun – 1a – Zoroastrian descendant (6) and 5a – Legal tender (5)


        • Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Now I understand. I had just printed out yesterday’s and today’s Quick crosswords and Mrs BD was obviously solving yesterday’s. It’s now corrected.

  5. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    One can only admire BD’s dedication in making sure that everything runs smoothly.
    You are no “armchair general” in this “running battle” with modern technology and you ‘get up and go” whenever necessary.
    Thanks to the setter for today’s very fitting vocabulary and to BD for the blog.

  6. pete
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Anyone got the answer for 8d? I cant even get it on a crossword solver, must have a wrong letter in somewhere

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s an Aboriginal (pre Victorian) musical instrument

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      The Victoria referred to is in Australia. Apparently Rolf Harris has made one whilst in prison!

      • Jane
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that, RD – I hadn’t made the patently obvious connection to the country and was happy to relegate that one to the level of ‘lousy clue’! Should have known better. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Liz
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I was wondering what the Victorian connection was until suddenly it clicked.

  7. Spook
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought this crossword was quite enjoyable some good clues and some average ones. Many thanks to Big Dave for stepping into the breach and to setter.
    I do enjoy the pictures attached to the hints and tips, long may they continue.

  8. omar
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    8d had me foxed, 13d also…..of the 2, it was 8d that made me feel foolish!

  9. David
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for the blog, it’s very helpful :) I take it 5 down is ‘gealt’ ?

    • Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog David

      The answer is no, it isn’t – I’ve just added the hint for that one.

  10. pete
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the help, strange Didgeridoo isn’t listed as a word on my crossword solver or on the online crossword solver or on spell checker.

    • Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Try downloading the free WordWeb app – I use the Windows version and the Android version but, of course, have no idea if it is available for devices from my least favourite IT company.

    • Veronique
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I have “wordgenie ” on my iPad and the instrument was listed there when I put available letters in.

  11. Baffled Bob
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Did like 3d.

    Had me off somewhere in Greek literature. Duh!

    • Jane
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Must confess that, with the first checker in place, I thought I was looking at ‘poetry’ !

    • pommette
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I had a BIG problem solving 3d.
      I printed the crossword out from the website to do over lunch (still on my own).
      My printer sometimes makes the lower case letter “M” look like “RN” – so I recited Little Jack Horner several times to see if thst would give me the answer. DOH !!!!

  12. Young Salopian
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Very doable and fairly enjoyable. 2/2 for me. 8d was probably the pick of them. I stopped trying to fit Saab into 7d when Mrs YS told me the answer. Thanks to her and our setter. Well done to BD for filling in. On the upside, it seems the iPad version is now functioning properly. I hope I haven’t put the mockers on it going forward.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      It might work properly today. Who,knows for tomorrow?

  13. Hanni
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink


    Think most people have said it all. Lacklustre. Although 3d certainly raised a smile. Didn’t know the original name for Victoria but it fit the checkers for 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for emergency blogging.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      You get my vote for best one-liner.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Why thank you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      You get me vote for the best one worder – Unbelievable.

      • Hanni
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        It certainly fits Miffypops.

  14. Robin Newman
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink


    liked 3D & 8D, once I clued up !

    Thanks to BD & the setter

  15. Michael
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one – not too difficult (is that a good thing?) but enjoyable. 7d was a new word to me but my ‘word finder’ came up with it – no problem!

    Bad weather due tomorrow – could curtail the Golf – I may have to do my Tax Return that I keep putting off!


  16. stanXYZ
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Gazza is always extremely punctual when posting the review …

    … so I’m glad to hear that it was just an IT “upgrade” problem and nothing more serious!

    I keep getting offers to upgrade to Windows 10 … Bugger off!

    Thanks to BD for the review!

    • Brian
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Should have played today, warm, sunny and no wind, lovely although only managed 4 pars!

  17. Wee Dave
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Stumped on one down. E?y? Can anyone help?<

    • Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Wee Dave

      You have provided your own answer!

    • Little Dave
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Hi Wee Dave.

  18. Wee Dave
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, just got the answer. Couldn’t read my own writing!!

  19. Brian
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Thought today’s was rather poor saved only by 27a and 8d which made me smile.
    Still don’t see why armchair in 21a, running a battle is the role of any general, must have missed the Latin bit in Sunday’s puzzle which I finished because don’t understand the namely in 19a and must admit not come across an Ena since the dragon Sharples!
    Why crooked in 13d, the answer means a quiz show and a strategist so why the crooked?
    For me a rating of **/*
    Thx to BD for the hints.

    • Theo Carter
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t understand the Latin abbreviation here – the only one I’m familiar with is ‘viz.

  20. Paso Doble
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    We agreed with BD about 21a and found this to be a **/**. Not much else to say. Thanks to the setter and to BD for saving the day.

  21. markb
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to setter and BD. Luckily a day when I did not need the hints for this or the toughie, but I will enjoy reading the reviews later to day as always.

    Thanks again for all the hard work.

  22. Jane
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t find it quite as lacklustre as others have so I’ll give it a 2*/3*.
    Didn’t know the required definition of 5d nor the Japanese art, although the latter was easily gettable from the wordplay and Mr. Google confirmed.
    21a was a bit of an adventure – started out with ‘sitting’ for the armchair and then progressed through Indian chieftains ‘Running Bear’ et al before the penny dropped!
    I do get a little weary of African countries – almost as bad as the Greek ‘characters’.
    Winners for me were 1a,3&13d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD for always being on hand to sort out the glitches. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  23. Heno
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I agree with BD about 9&21a. Quite enjoyed the rest of it though. I was completely beaten by 8d, would never have thought of it. 18d made me laugh. Favourites were 27a&7d {sorry Kath}. Was 2*/2* for me. Not a cloud in the sky now.

  24. pommette
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m definitely in the “lacklustre” camp – have to say not one of my favourite puzzles – so give it 3*/1*
    3* because a few really held me up – and I had to grab the hint for 12a. Although I solved it, I hadn’t a clue how to parse the “ate” at the end. And I just could not see 7d and 8d.
    Hey Ho – at least pommers gets home tonight so I’ll have my own personal blogger for tomorrow.
    Thanks BD for stepping into the breach.
    Gazzer – hope you get your internet back soon – that is if you can read this :(

  25. neveracrossword
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I was glad to get a fairly straightforward one today, since we had to rise at 4am to catch a plane to Spain and I was feeling distinctly lacklustre myself. Gracias BD and setter. Does anyone know how much a tank of petrol costs for a VW Polo? I was charged 98 euros by a car hire company on arrival.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like they filled the car rather than the tank.

    • pommette
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Car hire in Spain – it’s a complete rip-off when it comes to the petrol charge for a full tank.
      You need to book “Full / Full” (i.e. you fill it up yourself) if you ever hire here in Spain again.

      Petrol in Spain is currently approximately €1.10 per litre – and a VW Polo will have no more than a 50L tank.

      Sorry for your terrible welcome to this lovely country.
      PS Where are you?
      PPS It can be just as bad mind in the UK. We forgot to fill our tank in April and Hertz charged us £120 for the privilege of putting in 45L. GULP !!!

      • Hanni
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        £120 for a 45l at those fuel prices? Preposterous.

        • Miffypops
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          It was a bad day when they made cars difficult to nick. Nobody had to worry about this stuff in the seventies and eighties

          • Paso Doble
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            I had a Jaguar Mk 2 in the seventies. I wanted it nicked because it was insured for three times its value. I went on holiday for 2 weeks leaving the windows and doors open with the key in the ignition. When I returned it was still there…..

            • Miffypops
              Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

              The XJ6 was widely available in Coventry. I would take one of them over a Mark Two any day. Faster Safer Nicer.

              • Hanni
                Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

                Safer…maybe. But no thrill there. Driven MG’s and TVR’s that evidently sit in a garage at night plotting ways to kill you. Not safe…ohh…. but the feeling of them.

  26. Rob Wilson
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    **/* for me. Bit of a slog. It hadn’t heard of 5d meaning corruption. Abbreviation for namely in 19a was new to me – cheers BD for the explanation! 8d was my last in.

  27. Gwizz
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    It wasn’t particularly exciting was it? A few good clues but nothing to write home about. I liked 8d… I missed the pre-Victorian connection but as the Irish wit had made its appearance by then there was lnothing else it could be. Then I got the connection.
    2/2* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for stepping in.

  28. Jaylegs
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I was breezing my way through today’s offering ? When I ran aground in the NE corner? 6a, 7d & 8d had me stumped, it took ages, so **/*** Quite liked 12a & 27a Thanks to BD and the setter, whoever he/she may be ?

  29. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    */*. A R&W and not particularly enjoyable either. So we’re into a liberal majority with plans to create a deficit – hmm? Nothing like spending money we don’t have to make the populace feel good. Thanks to BD for the review.

    • Una
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I am not Canadian but I am appalled by the result.

      • Vancouverbc
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        The will of the people who in many cases think the government has its own money rather than that of taxpayers.

        • Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Over here they are called Corbynites!

          • Hanni
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            I spell Corbynites differently…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

          • Vancouverbc
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink


          • Kath
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

            . . . and there I was thinking that politics was one of the very few banned subjects on this brilliant blog.

            • Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

              Surely that comes under entertainment!

            • Merusa
              Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

              Surely you have to admit that said gentleman (????) begs the ridicule.

              • Tstrummer
                Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

                Hmm. So what we’re laughing at here is a conviction politician who has a set of beliefs he’s stuck to for 50 years without compromise; who understands that you judge a society by how it treats its weakest members, not by how much money it allows its strongest members to make; who thinks hospitals, schools and social care are more important than upgrading nuclear weapons that we are never going to use; who does not want Britain to cede its sovereignty to Brussels or Washington; who was getting arrested demonstrating against apartheid while David Cameron was drinking with the Bullingdon and Piers Gaveston societies, and who has an odd dress sense. I might not vote for him, but that doesn’t stop me defending a decent man vilified by right-wing commentators who fear that many people – especially disaffected young people – may do just that.

                • Miffypops
                  Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

                  Well said TS.

                • Shropshirelad
                  Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

                  Sorry TS and MP – just can’t agree.

                • Patski
                  Posted October 26, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

                  Very well said. I find his vilification unacceptable. That said I do think as leader he has to conform to certain courtesies such as showing respect for the Queen. The woman is nearly 90 for heavens sake and still working!

  30. mre
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly pretty straightforward but with several tricky clues too that at one point I thought might get the better of me.

    I liked 16d (very nostalgic). 3d and 27a raised smiles. Favourites were 15a,12a,8d and 6a. 7d was new to me but logically retrievable. I didn’t fully understood 19a (for some reason I’ve noted that down as 18a…) but it looking at the hint seems ‘SC’ possesses some special crosswordy meaning.

    Just about into three star time again so ***/**** for me.

    Presumably one of Ron’s so thanks to him and reviewer. Now settling down to watch The Cruel Sea for the six hundredth time (give or take…).

    • Jane
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi MrE,
      Finally got around to looking up the abbreviation SC. Derives from the Latin word scilicet which is used in legal terms to mean namely, to wit or that is to say. So there we have it – but will we remember it!

      • mre
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


        Thank you so much for that. I genuinely can’t recall ever having come across this one in a crossword puzzle and I’ve been doing them (or at least trying to do them) for quite a while now. Doubtless next time it crops up I’ll have forgotten it…

  31. Una
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to BD for explaining how didgeridoo got to be the answer for 8d.I liked 1a and 11d.

  32. Merusa
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I dunno, I quite liked this. I bunged in 9a as it couldn’t be anything else.
    Proud of myself for remembering the abbreviation for “namely” at 19a, true, it was only a couple of days ago but one tends to forget things with age!
    I also remembered the TV show at 13d with the pic of Tilsit competing.
    With all the checking letters, I solved 8d very quickly, remembering Rolf Harris; how long is he in pokey for?.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for stepping in, as usual, in order to lighten our lives.

  33. Liz
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Not too much of a struggle, but some dodgy clues. Thought 9a particularly poor……perhaps ‘No good following second person…that’s mature!’ Would have been a better effort??? Anyway managed to finish with some electronic aid. Never heard of 7d but it had to be that. i did like 26d, nice neat clue. Thanks to setter and BD 2*/2*.

  34. silvanus
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    A very mixed bag of clues today, ranging from the delightful 3d (my favourite) to the ghastly 1a with a lot of very average cluing in between.

    i liked the deception involved in the Australian instrument, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person held up for a while there. Since Jimmy Young has now been retired for ages, I think “former interviewer” in 9a would have been more appropriate.

    Many thanks to the setter and well done to BD for stepping in at the eleventh hour.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink


  35. Salty Dog
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Nothing to take violent exception to, even if it isn’t up to the setter’s usual standard. Call it 1*/2.5*. 16d was going to be my favourite (l hadn’t heard of it since the days of “Hancock’s Half-Hour”) but was pipped at the post by 8d, which came to me in a ” Doh!” moment. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the review.

  36. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Not surprisingly we had never heard of the 9a person. However we did not have the problem with 8d that many other solvers seem to have had. Needed to check the abbreviation sc. in 19a but we did know what we were looking for. Found it a pretty mixed bag but over-all a pleasant enough solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and BD.

  37. Iain F
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Recent convert to the website, good job BD, but am surprised at the use of technology by many. Why not just go the whole hog and use oneacross.com. I know solvers who think that using a pencil and paper to work out anagrams constitutes cheating.

    • Kath
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      In my admittedly very humble opinion you can’t cheat yourself so if you’ve been ‘had’ as many times as I have with anagrams you – i.e. I – always write the letters down otherwise sometimes you’re copped by a wrong ending which then screws up lots of other answers.
      You’re right about BD doing a fantastic job. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Using pencils is for baby solvers. When I solved on paper I wrote lots in the margins, anagrams, charades, down clues so that they read normally. Since Saint Sharon bought me an iPad it has all been done in my head. If I can do it then anyone can. I am only a poorly…………………….. You know the rest.

      • Hanni
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        ..schooled orphan boy!

        You know fine well that anagrams are best solved with pencil circles. Mistakes can be made otherwise. Even if you ‘see’ the answer in most cases it is best to check. Pencil circles MP!

        Once again…unbelievable. It really does write itself on my tab now.

      • Kath
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        OK – I’m a baby solver then. Is that a synonym for ‘entry level solver’? I’m quite happy to be called either – I just enjoy doing crosswords – it’s why I do them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

          HI Kath – didn’t you know that MP & Mr Manley are the same person (never been seen in the same photograph). I am also a ‘baby solver’ and an ‘entry level’ solver and that is why I enjoy crosswords. I used to solve crosswords 3 hours before I got up, without a grid and without clues – all without having breakfast http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:09 am | Permalink

            Apparently I solve them whilst riding horses. Trusty pencil in one hand, reins in the other.

      • Miffypops
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        Well said everybody. The truth (which I can be a stranger to) is that I solve on Mondays in the early hours. usually after a good Sunday afternoon and evening. Saint Sharon feeds me and sends me to bed. I only use the ipad to see the puzzle and the clues. I use no outside help. I may google a word I am not sure of but it will be there to be googled first. I did solve recently with a grid when the letters would not appear after typing. It was difficult but a whole lot of fun. as was sorting out the spacings recently in the long clues when the spacings did not appear on the ipad. I have said before that the ipad changed everything about the way I solve. It is what it is. Now let us have some fun.

  38. Florence
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Only just printed off the crossword for today, and will take it to London with me later. Have family arriving tomorrow for a few days so really don’t know when I will be back in touch. Just signed in to say welcome to all the new people, and please carry on. Thank you to the setter, and to BD. I am sure that I will need the review later tonight. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      I am driving to London for two nights Florence. The Royal Albert Hall is calling me.

      • Florence
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Bob Dylan concert ? If so, jealous jealous jealous. I’m just going to sons flat and cooking a family meal.

        • Miffypops
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          Aye Wee Bobby Dylan. Wednesday and Thursday.

  39. Angel
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Well that really wasn’t overly entertaining and it didn’t even offer much stimulating grey matter exercise. Slight hiccup for me as I grappled with a Greek poetic association for 3d which was in the end probably my Fav. Thank you Mr. Ron and indeed BD for as always stepping into the breach on our behalf. **/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  40. Organum
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I seem to be in the minority – after an unproductive first read-through the answers began to tumble in and I really enjoyed it. Perhaps everyone else is in a bad mood today. **/*** from me.

  41. Kath
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Out all morning – gardening all afternoon so a bit http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    I only got on to the crossword rather late which means I don’t really know how difficult I found it or how much I enjoyed it – being out of routine makes a big difference.
    I think it was pretty straightforward and I also think that I probably enjoyed it more than most of you so I’m going to go with 1*/2* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    I misinterpreted the 14a ‘rope’ and thought it was something to do with the colour ie ‘tow headed’ but ended up with the right answer even thought it was my last one.
    The only ‘Irish wit’ that I could think of was Dave Allen – loved him but he wasn’t very helpful on this occasion.
    I’m glad that we had the first two letters of 19a so soon after the last time – maybe that means that it’s now imprinted in the brain.
    I didn’t know the corruption meaning of 5d and I didn’t know that 13d was a crook.
    I think that ‘Victoria’ has quite a lot to answer for – I’m now wise to most of the possiblilties – a water lily, a carriage, a plum, a Queen, a cross and an Australian state – the one that I need always deserts me at the time.
    I liked 26a and 3d (even though my immediate thought was the cartoon chappy who always catches me out) 3, 8 and 22d.
    With thanks to the setter and to BD for stepping in at the last minute. I do hope that gazza isn’t completely cut off from the outside world for too long.

  42. McMillibar
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t mind this one sitting in the sinking sun outside the Rising Sun. I’d go for a ***/** with some ugly clues namely 9 & 21a. Got it all though with no need for the hints except for a bit of confirmation – grateful gleaned as ever. Great to see the blog expanding all the time. I wonder what the optimum number of posts might be each day – 35, 50… 100+ ?

  43. Tstrummer
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m with Organum. After three days with no DT, so no crossword, I was grateful to pick up a paper on arrival in Fenny Stratford this evening. I liked the puzzle very much and can forgive the three or four clunkers for the delights of 27a and 8d. Completed after a fish pie followed by trifle and washed down with London Pride and espresso and Famous Grouse to follow. This not being at work business is growing on me by the hour. Glorious sunshine today and only six locks (after 16 yesterday). Many thanks as always to BD for stepping in, although not needed today, and to the mystery setter. Gazza’s “upgrade” predicament makes me even more determined to resist endless demands to “upgrade” my IT. 1*/3*

    • Jane
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      On the off chance that you look in again tonight, TS – wanted to let you know that I’ve just finished reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Not sure that I can come up with the right words to describe my reactions to it, but thank you so much for the recommendation. I suspect that I will be reading it again.

    • Kath
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Fish pie – yum – not sure about trifle though . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      How close are them there locks to me?

    • Merusa
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:48 am | Permalink

      My fave, Famous Grouse!

      • Kitty
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:49 am | Permalink

        Mine too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif.

  44. Shropshirelad
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Bit of a curate’s egg for me today, but leaning more to the good than the bad. Not much more to say except I liked 4d was rather good.

    Thanks to the Tuesday Mr Ron and BD for stepping in to the breech due to Gazza’s IT problems.

  45. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    As I was saying, now that the down clues are online.
    BD, I don’t want to blow your “trumpet” or “Didgeridoo” for that matter but you are the “mastermind” behind the world’s best crossword site and “Stop at nothing” to content us.
    Thanks again for the blog and to the setter for the vocabulary.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear JL http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Clever boy J-L. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      And I echo your statements. An ode to BD…there could be a competition in that.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        There once called a chap we called ‘Big Dave’
        Who started a blog that we all crave
        It worked very well
        Until the death knell
        That was caused by the collapse of his………?

        Fill in the rest at your convenience – night all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

        PS – I am not suggesting for one minute that the site is due to collapse. It’s all meant to be a bit of fun.

        • Kitty
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:26 am | Permalink

          No no no!

          There’s a marvellous fellow called Dave
          About whom we really must rave
          For amid this inanity
          He’s saving our sanity
          By means of this site – it’s my fave!

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

            I acquiesce – Kitty. Please feel free to delete my input http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

            • Kitty
              Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:35 am | Permalink

              The “no no no!” was just to the death knell bit. There will be a death knell over my dead body!

        • Hanni
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:37 am | Permalink

          BD built a blog,
          People came,
          They stayed,
          They learnt.
          It’s Nirvana.

          Shakespeare has nothing on me…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          Dammit I can’t do poetry.

          • Kitty
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

            BD built a blog,
            BD built a community.

            You are the poetry, Hanni. You and the rest of the lovely people on here.

            • jean-luc cheval
              Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

              You are just a bunch of 12a, 16a’s on a 22a. But I love you all.
              See tomorrow’s toughie for the answer.