DT 27962

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27962

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Shorts have now come out of the drawer. Our morning beach and estuary walks are now happening with exposed lower legs, still sporting their winter pallor, but slowly acquiring a tan that will last through the summer.
Jay entertains us nicely once again today. Sorting out the wordplay for 11d took us well into *** time for difficulty.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     An early tea is arranged by head of press box (7,4)
PENALTY AREA : This box is defined by white lines on a football field and is an anagram (is arranged) of AN EARLY TEA after the first letter of press.


9a     Work, and note state of light (7)
OPTICAL : The usual abbreviation for work, the note that follows ‘la’, and the abbreviation for a west coast US state.

10a     Rationale of ‘About a Boy’ (6)
REASON : The abbreviation meaning about, A from the clue and a male offspring.

12a     Peak time with virtually all following surgical procedure (7)
TOPMOST : The abbreviation for T(ime), then the abbreviation for a surgical procedure and finally, a word meaning virtually all.

13a     Dog with no tail snaffling new meat dish (7)
TERRINE : Remove the last letter from a breed of dog and include the abbreviation for new.

14a     Ale, but not Bass — that is strange (5)
EERIE : Remove the symbol that denotes bass from a synonym for ale and add the abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’.

15a     Corrupt cop names head of smuggling ring (9)
ENCOMPASS : Ring here is a verb and is an anagram (corrupt) of COP NAMES plus the first letter of smuggling.

17a     Sublime dish that’s unfinished is site of disturbance (9)
EPICENTRE : A word that means sublime or superb and then a dish served at the start of a meal with its last letter removed. We suspect that this word is much more familiar to us than to most of you.

20a     A step up in enterprise, really (5)
RISER : It’s hiding in the clue.

22a     Splitting hairs? (7)
PARTING : The answer is both a synonym for splitting and a description of what you might form when you comb your hair.

24a     Sun’s set and sailors thus open bottles (7)
UNSCREW : An anagram (set) of SUN and a collective term for people working a ship.

25a     Daughter wearing ring, meeting over pleasure boat (6)
PEDALO : The abbreviation for daughter is inside a word meaning ring as the sound of a bell, and then the cricket abbreviation for over.

26a     Form found in old alcohol-free sultanate (7)
OTTOMAN : This form is a piece of furniture. O(ld), then an abbreviation for a non-drinker and a middle eastern country.

27a     Mean and squiffy female diets randomly (5-6)
TIGHT-FISTED : One of the many euphemisms for squiffy or drunk, then the abbreviation for female and an anagram (randomly) of DIETS.


2d     Include contents of menu and lock up (7)
ENCLOSE : The contents of menu are the two central letters and then a word meaning lock up or shut.

3d     Share beds here? (9)
ALLOTMENT : The place where communal gardening happens.

4d     Bitter about love for these cards (5)
TAROT : The symbol for love in tennis is inside a word meaning bitter or sour.

5d     Cone as once modified, for instance (7)
ANAGRAM : The name given to the grammatical device that can modify ‘cone’ to ‘once’.

6d     Foreign articles each containing toxic plastic (7)
EXOTICA : The two letter abbreviation for each surrounds an anagram (plastic) of TOXIC.

7d     Tempers fraying after prisoner gets time for skirmish (11)
CONTRETEMPS : A colloquial word for a prisoner, the abbreviation for time, and an anagram (fraying) of TEMPERS.

8d     Dazed state of man of God leading men (6)
STUPOR : A beatified person, then a two letter word meaning leading, and lowest ranking soldiers.

11d     Aftershock unexpectedly divided Madeira, say (7,4)
DESSERT WINE : Aftershock is unexpectedly divided by splitting it 6,4 to give two words. When synonyms of these are put together, they describe something that Madeira can be an example of.

16d     Believer’s description of one found in nave? (9)
Newspaper version:   One found in nave may be so described (9)
CREDULOUS : The Roman numeral one is inserted into nave to give a synonym of the answer.

18d     Begin, for example seeing former PM ignoring leader (7)
ISRAELI : Putting ‘Begin’ at the beginning of the sentence disguises the fact that it is a proper noun. A PM from Queen Victoria’s time loses his first letter.

19d     In snake pit a pharaoh’s inscribed a message (7)
EPITAPH : Another one hiding in the clue.

20d     Method of learning about place for award (7)
ROSETTE : A method of learning by repetition encloses a synonym of place.

21d     Save son, and curl up tightly (6)
SCRIMP : The abbreviation for son is followed by a word meaning curl up tightly.

23d     Turn and explode (2,3)
GO OFF : A double definition, the first one meaning to deviate from. Or a better explanation, the first meaning could refer to milk becoming undrinkable. (Thanks Gazza)

The AHA moment when we sorted out the wordplay for 11d makes this one our favourite for today.

The Quickie pun    candid  +  hates  =  candidates 


  1. Michael
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    16d is different in the Paper – ‘One found in nave may be so described’ – no idea why!

    Interesting puzzle with a couple of dodgy clues but good fun nevertheless.


    • från
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Agree the answer is incredulous !!

    • Veronique
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I think maybe Roman numeral for one inside nave gives word meaning credulous.

  2. Gazza
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle today – thanks to Jay and 2k. My top clue was the splendid 11d. I thought the first definition of 23d was probably a reference to milk, for example, becoming undrinkable,

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Gazza. Agree that is a better explanation.

  3. Collywobbles
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Surprisingly, shorts have come out again here where we have an Indian summer (no, it’s a French one). 36 and rising

  4. Beaver
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed todays puzzle ,and a***/**** for me also, agree with the wordplay time on 11d,have to admit that I didn’t arrive at the d’oh moment until I read the blog-thanks 2k’s, 16d took nearly as long! the rest were ‘normal’, well clued throughout and the best of the week so far.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      I agree with you about 16d. Were you, like me, working with the version in the newspaper? The online version as given in the 2Ks’ review would have been less of a struggle!

    • Beaver
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Yes,I was working with the newspaper version and having looked again at the 2K’s blog, I think you are probably right as the word ‘believer’ is a clearer indicator of the definition-thanks

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I agree with the 2Ks rating of 3*/4*. A few clues in the SE corner (stretched a little to include all of 11d!) took me longer to complete than all the rest of the puzzle. I eventually bunged in 11d as meeting the definition but, despite spending some time struggling with the wordplay, the parsing completely eluded me. Well done and thank you to the 2Ks for unravelling this one! Many thanks too to Jay for the great entertainment today.

    • mcmillibar
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Ditto 11d. Good-ness!

  6. dutch
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed Jay today. I liked 1a, 10a (and old friend but “about a boy” is good), I enjoyed the sundowner surface of 24a. In 26a I was surprised to find form = long seat or bench in brb, a new one to me.

    Liked the mislead in 6a which had me looking for foreign articles (LE, LA, etc). Also liked 18a (Begin…)

    Loved 11d, this is an *indicated* lift-and-separate (aftershock into 6,4) which makes it more legal. It took me ages to parse, I was expecting the indication even less than i was expecting a lift-and-separate

    16d had me confused for a long time. I now think the definition is Believer’s (= of believer), and the “description of” can be used to show the wordplay indicates a synonym rather than the answer.

    “head of” gets used twice in “anagram plus head of” constructs (1a 15a). The partial anagram in 7d involves moving only 2 out of 7 letters (e+r, Metman take heart!). I thought 27a, though sound, suffered since the first half of the answer can also mean the whole answer.

    My last-one-in was 17a, lots of vowel checkers and it took me ages to translate “sublime” correctly

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

  7. Graham
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this one & agree with the ratings given,I got 11D but wasn’t totally sure why until I read the review 16D & 18D were both very clever but the top marks go to 11D.Many thanks to the setter & the 2 kiwis for an excellent review.?

  8. Brian
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    OK puzzle spoilt by 16d which seems meaningless. Couple of their points, why Plastic in 6d and don’t understand 11d even with the hint. What has a dessert wine to do with an aftershock? Also BRB has scrimp defined as scanty or stinted or limited, not Save which is often associated with scrimp but def does not define as save. Too many wordy and clumsy clues for my liking.
    Thx to all

    • Jane
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Hi Brian,
      Split ‘aftershock’ into 6,4. afters=dessert, hock=wine.

      • Brian
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        That’s terrible! ? Damn a great pun and I missed it. Thx.

        • Arthur Ennimore-Empties
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Slow down Brian. Sounds like you jumped the pun.

      • Cornish Pasty
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Jane, I would never have got it on my own.

    • dutch
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      all in the review
      6d plastic (as in bendy) is the anagram indicator and it fits the surface reading.
      11d aftershock, after “unexpectedly dividing” into two words (6,4) should give you another perspective.

      • Brian
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        That’s another one to add to the ever growing list of anagram indicators. Thx.

        • dutch
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          brb has plastic = having the power to take on different forms, mouldable, modifiable

          as an adjective, I prefer it before anagram fodder

  9. geoff
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Brian. Its a hock for afters. Still don’t understand 16d. Wheres the nave & wheres tth Roman numeral? Otherwise, a good one.

    • dutch
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      16d: one (in the clue) = I (which is the roman numeral for one), and it’s placed into (“found in”) nave, which is the last word in the clue. That gives you “naive”. It’s the rest of the clue I struggled with, but I think I have it now (see comment 6)

  10. Jane
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Found this one really quite hard – well into 3* time and almost beyond.
    Certainly needed 2Ks to help with some of the parsing –
    12a I tried to use ‘top’ as the peak, not a good start!
    25a – wanted the ‘o’ to be the ring, which made life difficult.

    Don’t recall coming across ‘set’ as an anagram indicator before although I’ve probably just forgotten.
    18d penny took a very long time to drop.
    11d goes in as my favourite with 16d close behind.

    Thank you, Jay and also thanks to 2Ks – glad to hear that someone’s got the good weather!

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      We went down the same path with both 12a and 25a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Jane
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        That’s nice to know, 2Ks. Sometimes you begin to think that it’s just you!

        • Kitty
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          It’s not just you Jane! I mean, there was an “o.” It was clearly going to be the ring.

  11. Miffypops
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. I did not understand the two problematic clues either. Saint Sharon has tricked me into coming shopping. She is about to park up at Morrisons. I will sit in the car and see what mischief I can get up to.

    • Brian
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      You have no idea how much better that makes me feel. The clues that is, not Sharon going shopping?

    • Hanni
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      What is life without mischief? I escaped from work to just to visit my mate Jesse yesterday. Gotta love my professionalism.

  12. Popeye
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes enjoyed today’s offering. Struggled with 7d actually had the answer but took ages to figure out why… Similar with 11d. Thanks to 2Kiwis for the explanation clever clue.

  13. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this (as usual for a Jay puzzle), completed it without the hints but struggled parsing the same clues as many others above. Even had to read the hint for 11d a few times before it sunk in http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif Now I get it I think it’s a wonderful clue! 5d was my favourite but 1a ran it close.

    Never come across plastic as an anagram indicator before!

    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for the extremely helpful review.

  14. Hanni
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


    Fun all round. Except 16d. But that has been said and I guessed at the answer. The rest was an enjoyable solve on a very wintry day. Whilst the 2Kiwis put their shorts on, our first proper snow will hit this week.

    Now back to fixing ipads so the child type things can ‘Facetime’. Oh to be young and excited by such things. I’m impressed that I understand Whatsapp!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a lovely blog.

  15. dutch
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    16d: just realised you could also read the definition “Believer’s” as “Believer is”, which seems to lead to the answer nicely. Believer as in someone who believes anything.

    You can’t have wordplay leading to a synonym (where would we be!), so I think the rest of the clue works as per comment 6 (“description of” to be read as “another way of saying” in the wordplay)

    I don’t think this is one of Jay’s better efforts…

    • Hanni
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Cheers for that Dutch. I have the paper version which made no sense.

      • neveracrossword
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I must be missing something, then. “One found in nave may be so described”. Put i into nave to make naive. Naive = credulous. Perhaps I’m too simple to understand the difficulty!

        • mre
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Agree with that rationale. Not sure I like the idea of the clues varying across the different formats.

          • dutch
            Posted November 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            you can do a quick fix online, not so easy in the paper

        • judetheobscure
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          I was happy with the newspaper version too :)

  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    What a great crossword.
    Very clever clues which provided a lot of d’oh moments.
    Every definition brought a dose of pleasure.
    Favourite is 11d as well.

    Was very sorry to see Shropshirelad sudden exit last night. Hope he comes back soon.
    Saddened by the loss of Jonah Lomu. 40 is such a young age.
    Thanks to Jay and to our 2kiwis.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Jonah Lomu’s dead? Gosh. Sad news indeed.

      Hope SL comes back too.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes jean-luc, very sad about Jonah Lomu. The whole country is in mourning. He was much loved and admired.

      • Angel
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Jonah Lomu was such a talented and engaging ambassador for the game of Rugby Union around the world and will be sorely missed. Sincere sympathies go to his family and friends and indeed the whole Kiwi/All Blacks family. May he RIP.

  17. Heno
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 17a & 11,16,18d. The dreaded 16d must be one of the hardest ever! I liked 1a, but 14a was my favourite. Was 3*/3* for me. Still blowy in Central London.

  18. Young Salopian
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Top offering from Jay today. I was just inside the 2Ks rating at 2.5/4, mainly because the SE corner inexplicably held me up. I enjoyed 11 and 16d very much. IMHO this was the best back pager for a while – nicely and fairly clued, well-balanced and great fun. Many thanks to all concerned.

  19. Peta
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I had a pretty miserable time with this today, and we still don’t understand 11 down, despite the tip and the answer! Plain biscuits for us.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Madeira is an example of the answer.

      • neveracrossword
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        2.5*/4* for me today. I was helped by having to leave the puzzle for pressing duties, when I was beginning to flag. After a long break, everything slotted neatly into place. Although I thought 11d was very clever, surely Madeira is not a hock. That term refers to white German wines (originally, wines from Hockenheim). And terrine is not necessarily a meat dish – it’s often made with fish or vegetables Thanks to 2Ks – and to setter for a splendid puzzle.

        • dutch
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          as YS says, madeira is a dessert wine. hock only translates to the “wine” bit.

          • neveracrossword
            Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:13 pm | Permalink


        • Angel
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          A “terrine” can of course also be made with sweet things such as fruit, cream, etc. I have a favourite recipe for a vanilla terrine.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        My trouble came from the fact that, as a cake person, I thought the madeira was a cake – held me up for a while until the penny dropped.

        • Arthur Ennimore-Empties
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          I had trouble with 11d because I was bogged down by thinking about Madeira being an island.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi Peta. This was a difficult puzzle today. I bet you got further with it than you would have done in the years BBE (Before the Blog Existed)

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Voltaire is reputed to have said, “if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent h**”. (Well he probably didn’t say it in English)
        Using similar logic, “if this Blog did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it”.

  20. Paso Doble
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Paso did this on the train today – somewhat delayed by trees on the tracks. Thought it was a puzzle of two halves (like the France/England game) – tricky in parts, easy in others. A really good puzzle ***/****.

  21. Hrothgar
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, quite a tough tussle.
    Exactly my cup of tea.
    Great clues, esp. 6d
    And some tasty anagrams.
    Many thanks Jay and to the 2Kiwis for their review.

  22. Graham Wall
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    11d & 16d got the better of me I”m afraid. The rest of the puzzle was OK but too stodgy and humourless for my liking. My thanks to the 2Kiwis for their blog.

  23. Rob Wilson
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle even though 11d and 16d had me flummoxed and I needed the tips to see why they were correct. Lots of good clues – 17a was my favourite today.

  24. mre
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    A stonkingly good puzzle I thought with almost every clue a gem and a real feeling of satisfaction when the last solution (6d) went in. Easily into four star time (and possibly over).

    Too many good clues to mention them all but along the way I noted 1a, 6d, 11d, 18d, 24a and 5d (which I can’t quite believe I didn’t see until almost the bitter end). 8d,12a,15a and 16d mentioned in dispatches. Favourite was probably 1a.

    Only minor quibble was with 3d – not sure that clue really works as the setter must have intended.


  25. Merusa
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this hugely, but three clues were bunged in without knowing why; 17a, 5d and the infamous 11d. I had all the available letters and put the answers in because I could think of no other words that “fit”. I think the 2Kiwis must have Einstein brains to work out 11d, but what a clever clue?
    Fave, without a doubt, is 11d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  26. Firkin nell
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you setter 18d was an excellent example of misdirection

  27. silvanus
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    A very entertaining and at times quite tricky puzzle, marred for me only by the repeated use of “head” to describe initial letters in both 1a and 15a.

    I loved especially 13a and 16d, but the stand-out clue has to be 11d – brilliant stuff!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  28. Salty Dog
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    An excellent work-out. I completed in 2* time, albeit in three bites because of feeding the aged nag and the pussy cats, but it sure didn’t feel that easy. Enjoyment has to be 4*+ (almost in Virgilius territory, which is high praise indeed). Favourites were 11 and 16 down – the latter in its paper version, which works well. Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis, and RIP to a true gentleman and a force of nature – the great Jonah Lomu.

  29. dutch
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely brilliant toughie today – just read the comments!

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Good morning everyone. Pleased to see that people agree about the cleverness of 11d, we thought it was a really great clue.

  31. Hilary
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    21d felt vaguely familiar, Did not fall into 11d trap because 24a gave me first letter, mispelt 7d first time around but all in all I really enjoyed it. Thanks to 2Kiwis and Jay, not easy to pick one favourite so I will stay out of trouble by staying silent. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  32. judetheobscure
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Another hugely enjoyable puzzle from Jay. When first started it seemed really tricky, but as I’ve got it finished on the day of publication then it has to be just 2* for difficulty but 4* for enjoyment. I didn’t get the parsing for 11d, thanks to 2Ks for that.
    Favourites 5d, 18d and 20d.

  33. Hilary
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    P S I forgot to say that Matt’s magical masterpieces made me think of a few of you today as well as raising a big wide grin. For those of you who did not see it the caption reads – A second bottle? I think you have expressed enough solidarity with France this evening. Tee Heehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • mcmillibar
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Hah! I pointed this cartoon out to my wife as she magic-ed up dinner. He has an unerring knack of pressing the giggle-button.

    • Kitty
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes – loved it.

      It inspired me to drink lots of French wine but there were a couple of problems.
      1) I’m having a month off alcohol to steel my liver for the Season of Enforced Fun.
      2) It was breakfast time.

      • mcmillibar
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Neither of those are really problems.

        • Kitty
          Posted November 18, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink


  34. Gwizz
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was an excellent puzzle which really stirred my few little grey cells more than usual! 17a was my favourite although 11d was pretty good too. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2Ks for their fab review.

  35. mcmillibar
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Ah.. an easy crossword, thought I. Those long-word answers on the perimeter and its only Wednesday. Err… wrong! But what a good solid crossword. Three clues that defeated me… well, I have to say I was nobly and fairly beaten. Some super clues with only a few iffy ones. Loved 18d and liked the abstruseness of 11d – once it was explained to me. Great stuff, Jay. Thankee.

  36. Angel
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Jay gave us a run for our money today but it was all very enjoyable. Thank you and also the 2Kiwis whose parsing of several was much appreciated. Liked 22a. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  37. Cornish Pasty
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Although I finished this without an help, I needed the hints to explain answer to 11d, still could not understand until Jane broke it down.

  38. Kitty
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Stiff and satisfying. Thumbs up.

    My favourites top two were 11d and 16d. They both took a little while to untangle and I loved the penny-drop moments.

    Speaking of untangling, I first thought of “combing” for 22a, but fortunately 7d swiftly sorted things out for me.

    The only problem I had was that even with the checkers, I just couldn’t think of the 18d leaderless PM until I’d cogitated for a bit. That deserves an auto-kick.

    I liked the box in 1a and the plastic in 8d (though I take Dutch’s point in comment 8). I also agree with Dutch about 27a (comment 6), but the clue made me smile so I like it.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  39. Kitty
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    SL – if you’re reading this, please come back! If you need a break, that’s ok, but don’t leave forever.

    • Jane
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      I’ve kept checking for him all day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      • Kitty
        Posted November 18, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        It was so sudden. I hope he’s ok.

  40. Florence
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    No real issues with this one. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis. Favourites were 11d and 27a.

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Jay never lets us down. Another stonker that took far longer than I would have liked because I have to be up a stupid o’clock for the Australians. How am I going to fill 25 minutes of live radio with a light-hearted look at the week’s news? Oh well, I’ll leave my thinking cap until the morning, because I spent too much time enjoying this splendid puzzle. I thought it hard but fair (like Jonah Lomu, RIP) and a great brain stretcher. Lots of answers were bung-ins with the help of checkers, but looking through afterwards I was able to parse them all without the help of the Ks, but thanks to them in their shorts anyway, and to to Jay. I actually loved 16d, once I saw it and 11d (natch) but first past the post is 14a for its joyous simplicity. 3*/4*

  42. almo
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    11d and 16d – I’ve read quite a bit of what others have said about these two clues, but must be having a senior moment day.

    11d – how you split a 7,4 clue into a 6,4 I can’t work out, and still don’t understand the answer – yes, I know it is indeed a dessert wine, but how the cryptics work, someone please help me !

    16d – where’s the nave and where’s the roman numeral /


    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      It is not the answer but the word aftershock that is split 6,4 to give two words. One of these could be a dessert and the other could be a wine. That’s 11d.
      For 16d, the Roman one is I. Put this inside nave to get naive that means credulous. Cheers.

      • almo
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        molto ta, 2 Kiwis – I’m obviously a candidate for another clue meaning “credulous” or even “naïve” – not good at the age of 75 minus.
        Now you’ve explained 11d I think it’s a marvellous clue, I shall use the phrase at the next dinner party where such ” 6 down” is offered.

        ps. I love your fruit named after your goodselves, but get very frustrated when I buy it, discounted because of the sell by date, take it home and have to wait between 6 and 8 weeks for it to ripen enough to be edible – any ideas ?

        Grazie, Almo

        • KiwiColin
          Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Sorry to be so long responding. Our last comment was made just as we were going to bed last night. It is now early Friday morning here and we are just awake again. The following is copied directly from Zespri, the main exporter of Kiwifruit from NZ.

          “To speed up the ripening process, place kiwis in a paper bag with an apple or banana, and keep that bag out on the counter. Fruits like apples and bananas produce natural ethylene gas, and ethylene accelerates fruit ripening. On the flip side, ripe kiwis should be stored away from these ethylene-producing fruits.”

          Hope you find that useful.

          • almo
            Posted November 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            Dear Kiwi Colin, apologies for the delay in replying, and thanks for your info on this. The real point I was making was the ridiculous sell by dating. To buy something at a discount because it is past sell by date and then wait 6 or 8 weeks before it’s edible is nonsense, both from the seller’s point of view and the buyer’s (me!). Do you have the same problem down under ?

            • KiwiColin
              Posted November 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

              Hi again Almo, Not sure I can help much. I have just checked on some packaged fruit and veg we have here at home and there does not seem to be a ‘sell by’ date on these things although it does appear on virtually everything else. I am not the primary shopper in our household though so not an expert on such things. My best advice would be. Take advantage of the discounted price, ignore the sell by date and use the Zespri advice above to ripen them to perfection. Taking the matter up with your local supermarket might just have the effect of depriving you of the discounted price.
              Enjoy the Kiwifruit.

    • Jane
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Hi Almo,
      The instruction to split the 11d clue is given by the words ‘unexpectedly divided’ with reference to the word ‘aftershock’.

      In 16d, the instruction is ‘one found in nave’ – put the Roman numeral for one into the word ‘nave’ and it gives you ‘naive’ for which ‘credulous’ is a synonym.
      Any help to you?

      • almo
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Jane, many thanks, now you’ve explained it I think 11d is a splendid clue – love it !
        16d – I was stupidly looking the roman numeral for one in the answer !

        Thanks again, Almo

  43. Kath
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    A bit late to comment on this one now so will keep it brief – busy all day yesterday and by the time I tried to comment our internet didn’t want to play.
    I loved the crossword but thought that it was very tricky for Jay – probably almost 4* for difficulty and the same for enjoyment.
    Along with most others I took ages to work out why 11d was what it was and the other one that took ages was 5d – dim!
    Oh, and wasn’t thinking of the right “box” with 1a so that was another one that I was slow with.
    I liked all the long answers round the outside, probably 11d best.
    With thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis.