DT 27943

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27943

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Thanks to BD for stepping in at short notice to produce last Tuesday’s blog. I don’t usually like to be an early adopter but I thought that it was safe enough to upgrade to BT’s Infinity product since apparently it now covers over 80% of the UK. Alas, it has only very recently arrived in my neck of the woods and more training is obviously required – the result was that I was without any internet access for almost a week.

As for today’s puzzle there’s nothing to terrify the nags and not too much sparkle. Let us know what you thought of it and how you fared.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Two bulls shared equally? (5-5)
FIFTY-FIFTY – what do you score for getting a bull or bull’s-eye at darts?

6a Touch head of freshwater fish (4)
FEEL – the first letter of freshwater followed by a type of fish.

10a A European king must go to give assent (5)
AGREE – A (from the clue) is followed by a native European without the letter used for a king in chess notation.

11a Completely boycotts international team (3,6)
ALL BLACKS – an adverb meaning completely is followed by a verb meaning boycotts to make one of the teams that have reached the Rugby World Cup final next weekend. The Welsh narrowly missed out this time and we have to console ourselves with having the best stadium and the best referee.

12a Criminal activity by pop group, I hear (8)
BANDITRY – string together a musical group, I (from the clue) and a verb to hear (in court).

13a Sing version with new opening (5)
YODEL – a version or design with its opening letter changed.

15a Argue after small child leads one to squalid part of city (4,3)
SKID ROW – a verb to argue or quarrel follows S(mall) and an informal word for a child.

17a Instrument installed in radio car in avenue (7)
OCARINA – it’s lurking in the clue.

19a Farm owner fled, heading for Cheyenne with that woman (7)
RANCHER – bring together a verb meaning fled or legged it, the first letter of Cheyenne and a feminine pronoun.

21a Board allowed to block head (7)
PALETTE – a past participle meaning allowed or permitted goes inside (to block) an archaic word for a person’s head.

22a New elected judge, a martial art expert (5)
NINJA – string together N(ew), an adverb meaning elected, the abbreviation for judge and A (from the clue).

24a Away team’s kit is better (8)
OUTSTRIP – charade of an adverb meaning away from home and a word for a sporting team’s kit or uniform.

27a Temporary movement following fashion (9)
MAKESHIFT – a movement or variation follows a verb meaning to fashion or construct.

28a Turn of phrase fool shortened on mobile (5)
IDIOM – a word meaning fool loses its last letter and gains the abbreviation for mobile.

29a Last in queue after free travel (4)
RIDE – the last letter of queue comes after a verb to free or purge.

30a Publicity must have appropriate look, it’s said (10)
PROPAGANDA – this sounds like an adjective meaning appropriate or suitable followed by a homophone of a slang word for a look or peek. Apparently the word for a look originally meant an over-inquisitive look from someone rubbernecking – and the bird in question has a long and flexible neck.

Down Clues

1d Defect in platform, reportedly (4)
FLAW – to some people (but definitely not to me) this sounds like a platform or storey.

2d Structure of class at independent applied to (9)
FORMATION – start with a class or school group and add AT, I(ndependent) and an adverb meaning ‘applied to’. The surface only makes sense if independent as a noun can mean ‘independent school’ and Chambers doesn’t list this meaning.

3d Give way to bear (5)
YIELD – double definition, the second a verb meaning to produce or bring forth.

4d Concerned and upset at home, sweat pouring (2,1,4)
IN A STEW – an adverb meaning at home is followed by an anagram (pouring?) of SWEAT.

5d Sporting call from friend in hot pants (5-2)
TALLY-HO – insert a friend or comrade into an anagram (pants) of HOT to get the call of the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

7d Medieval hero unfortunately lied about first of conquests (2,3)
EL CID – an anagram (unfortunately) of LIED contains the first letter of conquests.

8d Speculate to accumulate with such a do seller’s organised (4-6)
LOSS-LEADER – for our fourth anagram in a row we have to organise A DO SELLER’S.

9d Song and dance after foremost of people show willing (4,4)
PLAY BALL – a literary word for a song and a formal gathering for dancing both come after the foremost letter of people.

14d Who might observe rarest moon excitedly? (10)
ASTRONOMER – this is a semi-all-in-one clue where the whole clue is the definition. It’s an anagram (excitedly) of RAREST MOON.

16d Go over tries again, against English (8)
REHEARSE – a verb meaning tries again (as a judge may do) followed by E(nglish).

18d Sixth sense in teaching (9)
INTUITION – IN (from the clue) followed by another word for teaching.

20d Offering more space? More, or I misinterpreted (7)
ROOMIER – an anagram (misinterpreted) of MORE OR I.

21d Mine’s leading, then this at Grand Prix? (3,4)
PIT STOP – a mine plus the ‘S are followed by an adjective meaning leading or in prime position.

23d Exposed, corrupt Dane importing kilo … (5)
NAKED – an anagram (corrupt) of DANE contains the letter that kilo represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

25d … poor and good quality (5)
THING – an adjective meaning poor or meagre followed by G(ood).

26d Girl from Harlem, Manhattan (4)
EMMA – the name of the girl comes from within the clue.

The clue I liked best was 24a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: BLEW + BELLE = BLUEBELL


  1. Nev
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    A 2*/2* puzzle for me today, nothing too trying to worry about, and completed without help. Thanks though to Gazza and the setter.

  2. dutch
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    1a made me smile, especially after all the comments on Frimley Green in the last Elgar toughie.
    also liked 12a, 19a, 24a, 18d, 7d, and 5d, though I fail to see what’s so sporting about it.

    Many thanks Gazza, great to have you back online, and many thanks Setter

    • Hanni
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Dutch, it’s safe to say that Frimley Green is etched in my memory. I know house prices…population, heck I could probably drive to it without a map/satnav. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  3. Graham
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    This has to be one of the easiest back pager ever, romped through in record time for me. Agree with the ratings with 30A being my favourite.Thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review.Time to mow the lawn still growing like billio even this late on in the year.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  4. Hanni
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink


    Another breeze but a pleasant one. I enjoyed the tropical sports references and the anagrams.

    Liked 1a, 18d, 24a and 22a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for blogging. Welcome back!

    • judetheobscure
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Topical even?! Although I like the idea of tropical sports :)

      • Hanni
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Tropical sports. Rubgy played in the jungle. Given the conditions for the F1 maybe it was apt, and not just another typo from me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  5. JonP
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    A pleasant enough solve while it lasted. Thanks to Gazza and Mr Ron */***

  6. Angel
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Oh dear another easy ride so no excuse not to get on with chores. **/**. Try and hear appear yet again. Fav 30a – could be Quickie pun! Not good at recognising setters although I do have list so thanks Mysteron and Gazza pleased your Internet access now restored. I too have had worries thanks to TalkTalk.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

    • Angel
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks BD – hopefully I’m sorted now. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  7. pete
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Got to be one of the easiest ever, not much a challenge here.

  8. Graham
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I wonder what Miffypops makes of the picture in 8D?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      That depends which side of the bar he is on at the time!

      • Miffypops
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        No side of my bar for a few days. We are Dylanning. Saint Sharon must be so happy.

  9. Kath
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I agree that this one was very straightforward although I didn’t get many across answers on first read through – 1* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    We seem to have an average number of anagrams but they’re all squashed into the down clues – probably why I got going better with the downs.
    I can’t really think of much else to say – very unusual for me as I’m not often economical with words!
    I liked 12 and 30a and 5 and 14d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza – really pleased that you’re back – I was beginning to think you’d deserted us for ever!

    I might have to get the pressure cleaner out to do our patio which is very green and slippery – not one of my favourite jobs – very splashy! Back later, assuming I don’t drown . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • spindrift
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Kath – a tip before you get the karcher out – douse the patio in cheap bleach for 24 hours then get blasting – you’ll see it comes up like a tanner up a sweep’s ar#e!

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree with spindrift, but once it’s dry get some sealer on – saves all the hassle for a couple of years.

    • Merusa
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t get ANY answers at first run through of the across clues!

      • Kath
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Oh good – not just me having a ‘dim day’ then!

  10. Jaylegs
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Similar to yesterday but not as much fun ? */** Like 20 & 30 across Thanks to Gazza and setter ?

  11. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    1*/2.5*. Not much to add to the other comments. I agree with Gazza about 24a being my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to Gazza.

    P.S. Rabbit bulletin. Having supplemented his antibiotics with some medication to aid his digestion, Twix is back home again and nibbling half-heartedly at some hay. Although this is a sorry state for what was an eating machine until a week ago, it is at least a slight improvement over yesterday, thank goodness. The vet thinks it is a problem with two of his back teeth which has stopped him from eating, which in turn has given him intestinal inflammation. If he was younger they could sort his teeth out under general anaesthetic, but at 8 years old they wouldn’t recommend it. Lots more cuddles coming up this afternoon.

    • Jane
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi RD,
      Pleased to hear that Twix is back home and at least eating a little. If he doesn’t improve appetite-wise, I wouldn’t be too quick to discount the feasibility of a successful op. They do have some special ‘generals’ for use on older animals – we’ve twice had to resort to those with my daughters’ elderly cats (both of whom were well over 8 years old) and the outcome was good on each occasion. Not something to rush into, obviously, but should it reach the point where it’s either that or Twix starving, it’s well worth giving it a go.
      Lots of cuddles and bunny treats heading your way from me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Hope things improve RD. Love to Twix.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      We have an 18 year old cat with much the same problems – bad teeth but nothing to be done. Unfortunately, she loves to come to me for an ‘up close and personal’ snuggle at night – to say she has bad breath is a serious understatement. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

      I still love her to bits though.

    • Merusa
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad that Twix is doing a little bit better. I think I would chance the general to relieve his pain, better than eventually having to put him to permanent sleep. Dear, dear bunny, I’m so sorry he is poorly.

  12. Jane
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Going to disagree with you, Gazza – I thought there was quite a bit of fun to be had from this one. 1*/3* for me. Podium list includes 1,24&30a. Agree with Angel that the latter would make for a good Quickie pun!
    I understand that the pic for 8d was actually taken from outside MP’s emporium – hurry down there, everyone. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif
    I’m not a rugby fan but have to admit to a sneaking regard for the All Blacks – probably best to keep that to myself at my fanatical Wales supporter’s birthday lunch tomorrow!

    Glad you’re back, Gazza – I’ve missed your help. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif Many thanks to both you and today’s Mr. Ron.

    By the way – one of the vessels from the Tall Ships Youth Trust has just docked at the pier below me – what a lovely sight it is.

    • Gazza
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      If you have good eyesight you may just be able to make out the small print on the 8d pic.

      • Hanni
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Very good Gazza. Wouldn’t have noticed that.

      • Jane
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Story of my life, Gazza – not paying enough attention to the small print! However, that does confirm my belief that it’s outside of MP’s pub. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t notice the small print – it must be MP’s pub after all.

        • Miffypops
          Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          The wifi is free and the beer is good enough to have got us in The Good Beer Guide for the last eight years. I sing to the beer every morning to help it condition.

  13. omar
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward, but enjoyable – for me only marred by 17a, which was (for me at least) obscure, though easy enough to guess…..27a was my favourite

  14. Shropshirelad
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Thought we were heading into pangram territory, alas – no. I’ll agree with the majority that the ponies had nothing to worry about here, but there was some enjoyment to be had. I think I’ll go with 1a as my favourite but 30a was not far behind. Nice to see you back Gazza, I bet that you felt totally disconnected from the world during your online problems – what did we do before t’internet http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    I am heading to MP territory in the middle of November. If his ‘free beer’ sign is still up, I might just pop in and see him – what’s the betting he adds ‘tomorrow’ to it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    Thanks to Mr Ron for the puzzle and Gazza for his review.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Is it just me – or is the toughie tough today?

      • Hanni
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I’ve finished it but didn’t find it easy SL. No bad thing after two straightforward back pages.

      • Jane
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes, SL – oh very definitely yes. Still slogging away at it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  15. Cryptor
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Fastest solve time EVER for me, but that gives me added enjoyment, so */*** Just had to check BRB that my 25d answer was a definition of ‘quality’.
    Was impressed that the quickie answers (all across and several down) began with same letter. Assume it’s the same setter? Thanks to her or him and Gazza.

    • Gazza
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      The Quickie is almost always compiled by the same setter as the Cryptic.

  16. Robin Newman
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink


    favourite 30A, amongst others

    Thanks to the setter & Gazza

  17. Michael
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I made it 2 hidden words and 6 anagrams or part-anagrams – nothing too difficult although I did think 30a was humorous.

    More bad weather forecast for tomorrow – no golf again, I’m getting seriously out of practice and have got a trip to Turkey coming up – pray for some good weather.

    I’ve decided that I’ll finally knuckle down and do my Tax Return provided I’ve successfully sorted out all the Government Gateway and password nonsense – what a nightmare!


  18. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Welcome back Gazza.
    Glad everything is back to normal.
    For my part, I now have so many Wi-Fi passwords that wherever I go, I can connect to a network and with my server at home, I also can piggyback any neighbour with the same provider. I suppose it’s one of the advantages to live in town.
    Agree that today’s back page was quite an easy ride.
    Liked 24a too but favourite is 18d for its simplicity.
    Loved the Haka and the picture of Diabolo and Satanas. Used to love that cartoon as a child.
    A bar/restaurant burned down yesterday in Hyeres. Strange. The owner claims that: “We are from Marseille, people here don’t like us very much. Obviously we disturbed someone” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    Let that be a warning to anybody who wants to open a business here. Never heard such rubbish. Actually yes. My mum was a bit worried when we came back 16 years ago and our town is the only one where a MP was gunned down in the street. Her name was Yann Piat.
    Some restaurateurs were blamed for her demise.
    But don’t worry. I am no Mafioso.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  19. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    2/2. Enjoyable if pretty straightforward. Thanks to Gazza for the review and the setter for the gentle puzzle.

  20. karl
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    can someone explain the meaning of dots between 23 and 25d. i know they mean something but what.

    thanks in advance

    • Gazza
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      In this case they’re there to run the two clues together so that the surface reading has some meaning (i.e. you’re meant to think of illegal drugs).

      • karl
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        more confused . naked thing. illegal drugs. still dont understand. thanks

        • Gazza
          Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          It’s not the answers but the clues which are linked by the ellipses. With a bit of imagination you can read into 23d and 25d the story of a corrupt Dane being exposed for importing some good and some poor quality drugs.

  21. Miffypops
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    All over too quickly. We are all getting better at solving. Time to suspend the blog for a year and start again next year.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Interesting ……. maybe we are. It does seem that everyone seems to be finding the puzzles a lot easier recently! It’s our first anniversary of solving this month. We have gained so much from this blog and probably wouldn’t still be enjoying the puzzle every day if we hadn’t got involved. It’s added a whole new dimension to our lives and we get so much pleasure from it. Thanks to you all.

  22. Peta
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I did reasonably well today and we often find Tuesday’s puzzles a challenge…

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      You can still have a chocolate biscuit each. Have you tried leaving an unfinished puzzle for an hour and returning to it? It works for most of us.

      • judetheobscure
        Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I leave them overnight ….. and over several nights and most of them yield eventually :)

  23. Heno
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review and hints. A read and write for me. Some amusing clues though. Favourite was 30a, I am a lover of puns. Last in was 25d. Was 1*/3* for me. Another gorgeous day in Central London.

  24. Salty Dog
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Bright and breezy, but over all too soon: 0.5*/3*. 30a crinkled the corners of my rainy October mouth, so gets my vote for top spot. Thanks to Mr Ron, and to Gazza for the review.

  25. silvanus
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    This would be a great puzzle for someone wanting to try a cryptic crossword for the first time, but for the vast majority of us it was a very straightforward read and write job.

    Like Gazza, I wasn’t that impressed with 2d. Favourites were 30a and 5d.

    Thanks to Gazza (welcome back) and to the setter.

  26. mre
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Too straightforward today for my taste. Just into two star time so **/* for me.

    I thought 25d was a particularly poor clue.

  27. Merusa
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    At first read through of the across clues, I had no answers at all and thought I was in for a bagel score. I started to get into it when doing the downs and then the across answers started to slot in.
    Fave was 30a, with 9d hot on the heels.
    Thanks to setter, and welcome back Gazza.

  28. Una
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward.With thanks to the setter and Gaza.

  29. Hilary
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    The three saddest words in the English language MATT is away, how on earth will I survive? Lovely Tuesday crossword and many thanks to Gazza and setter. Not being sports minded in any shape or form I thought I would struggle but most of it was common sense, too many goodies to pick favourite but 15a amused me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Jane
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you about the 3 sad words, Hilary. However, I also enjoy his Dad’s column in the weekend paper – hopefully they’re not on hols together!

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Have another look at Reg Carter Hilary.

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Welcome back Gazza. we have missed you. We have some idea of how you would have felt from our fairly recent struggles with Windows 10, but at least we were not totally without internet contact. Frightening to consider how dependent we have all become to this technology.
    A very quick solve for us and absolutely no doubt about our favourite clue, it’s the one that comes after 10a.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • Jane
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Must be clairvoyant – I had you down for choosing that clue as favourite. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Angel
      Posted October 28, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      GOOD LUCK 11a/Ks for Saturday. Looking forward to the game. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  31. Angel
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    You’re not alone Karl (Comments under 20 above). We’re obviously lacking in imagination! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  32. judetheobscure
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable and fairly straightforward solve. Just a hesitation about 25d and its joining to 24d which only served to confuse.
    Favourites are 30a and 14d.

  33. kartoffel kopf
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I only do these when on a train to London so was very surprised to finish this one before I arrived and, for the first time, before the blog was published. Therefore not surprised that most of you bloggers thought this rather easy. 1a the best for me as it was first in and set the tone. Even though it was a rare non-blog-supported finish it wasn’t my favourite and it felt a bit clunky but the personal satisfaction ultimately outstripped that.

    Might try the toughie now on the return, that will no doubt bring me back to earth with a bump. Thanks as always to setter and bloggers.

    • Jane
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      The Toughie?!! Be prepared for a hard landing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Maggie
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Well done. I too recently completed my first without help. It’s a great feeling – enjoy!

  34. Kath
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Right then – a quick PS now.
    Thanks very much to spindrift and Shropshirelad on patio cleaning advice – unfortunately by the time I read it I’d just about finished – it was 5.00pm and getting dark. I think I might worry about how much, or not at all, my plants that grow all round the patio would appreciate the bleach. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    The patio is now clean enough to eat supper off – the only slight snag is that, having spent all cleaning the blasted thing, there’s no supper! Oh dear! Never fear – there will be . . .
    And a final question – how can 1d be pronounced differently? I just don’t get it – maybe it’s a regional thing but . . . again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      Gosh. Well done Kath! Re 1d, I’ve no idea, even tried saying it in different ways.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted October 28, 2015 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      In certain parts of these islands (Scotland, West Country) the R in floor is pronounced and, in my late father’s case, rolled as well.

  35. Maggie
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Needed a few hints tonight. Thought 25d a bit of a dodgy clue – last in for me with hint. 30a firm favourite, made me smile.

  36. Florence
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Had to take house guests back in to London to catch a train, so rather late in finishing this. Wanted to watch the final of Gareth Malone’s acappela series first. Enjoyed this crossword very much. 1*/3*. Easy but fun. Liked 1a and 30a. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  37. Kitty
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    I liked it well enough while it lasted, and 30a raised a smile. Gentle and pleasant, but there are other papers floating round this house to remind me that I’m really just a humble entry-level solver. I don’t mind.

    For Merusa and anyone else interested, the cat I’m staying with was a stray and so is somewhat nervous around people. He has been very clever and found himself the best home in the county, and is becoming happier and purrier by the day.

    Thanks to setter. Thanks and welcome back to Gazza.

  38. Gwizz
    Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    A veritable breeze for a Tuesday. Not that I was 100% perfect as I put FLAT for 1d… as in tyre? Well it made sense to me! Never mind, the rest was a doddle so 2/2* overall and 14d and 30a vied for favourite.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Gazza.

  39. Tstrummer
    Posted October 28, 2015 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Finished the puzzle before the pint, which is always a sign of an entry level challenge. Last one in was 25d, and it was, for me, a most unsatisfactory clue – unlike 30a which made me chuckle. I also quite liked 8d and 15a, but not that much. 1*/2*. What a joy it was to be back at work again after all that time wasted cruising up the Grand Union canal in glorious autumn weather last week, watching kingfishers and herons catch fish as red kites soared overhead.
    Thanks and welcome back to Gazza and to the mystery setter, with the proviso that he/she try harder next time

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted October 28, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more re 25d. It was either the answer I bunged in or tying which made even less sense.