DT 27963

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27963

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa where we have — for the most part — been enjoying a warmer than normal autumn. However, colder days are surely just around the corner.

I will venture to declare that today’s rather gentle puzzle is not by RayT, despite a rather oblique appearance by Her Majesty. I expect she may not be amused to be seen in the shower.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the boxes marked ‘Click here’, so don’t click if you don’t want to know the answer.

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 Spy in factory (5)
PLANT — a simple double definition to get us off to a fast start

4a Passing criticism about West I despise being broadcast (9)
     App version: Passing criticism about West I despise in broadcast (9)
SIDESWIPE — anagram (being broadcast) of I DESPISE around W(est) [and not, as I originally wrote, an anagram (being broadcast) of WEST I DESPISE] (with thanks to Miffypops for the heads up)

9a Tedious first person among royals is entering a capital (9)
WEARISOME — start with the Royal self-referential pronoun; then append A (from the clue) and a southern European capital into which IS has been entered

10a Teachers totally discontented? That’s mad (5)
NUTTY — the insanely abbreviated British teachers’ union followed by T(otall)Y after its contents have been discarded

11a Energy shown by men milling around a ship as a body (2,5)
EN MASSE — string together an anagram (milling around) of MEN, A (from the clue) and the customary Crosswordland steamship; then place E(nergy) beside the back end

12a Perhaps French or English artist represents it (7)
SUBJECT — double definition; a field of study for a linguist or the muse of a painter

13a Martial art in which thousand charge around area (6)
     App version: Bit of knowhow with a value in martial art (6)
KARATE — metric symbol for thousand and a per unit price encompass the mathematical symbol for area or (app version) initial letter (bit) of K(nowhow) plus (with) A (from the clue) and a verb meaning to value or assess

15a Peers fall in one such category? (3,5)
AGE GROUP — cryptic defintion of where a statistician would place you and your chronological peers

18a Reveal widely board game with local left in charge (2,6)
     App version: Reveal widely card game with local left in charge (2,6)
GO PUBLIC — a charade of an ancient Chinese board game, a neighbourhood drinking establishment, L(eft) and military shorthand for in charge; there is clearly an error in the app version as Go is anything but a card game

20a Daze sets back men in service (6)
STUPOR — a reversal of a verb meaning sets or places followed by the abbreviated form of non-commissioned servicemen

23a Piece penned by college journalist showing contortion (7)
CROOKED — a chess piece surrounded by the abbreviations for college and a senior journalist

24a Bear down on work with papers (7)
OPPRESS — the abbreviation that appears on a musical work and a collective name for the newspaper industry

26a Emotional situation in team ardently backed (5)
DRAMA — lurking (in) and reversed (backed) in the words surrounded by these indicators

27a In which to get view of organ? (9)
     App version: Place to get view of organ? (9)
EDITORIAL — cryptic definition of where one would find the opinion of a newspaper expressed

28a Mournful work about six-footer, liberal with graceful style (9)
ELEGANTLY — a song or poem typically about death or loss is wrapped around a six-legged (and six-footed) insect and a politician (of a type that is an endangered species in the UK, however thriving in Canada)

29a Turn away a Green in Strasbourg (5)
AVERT — A (from the clue) and the name by which the Green Party once went by in France


1d Duke in authority over king, say — potentially explosive situation (6,3)
POWDER KEG — place D(uke) in a synonym for authority, then add the symbol for king in chess and a short Latin form of for example

2d Fear infusing colonial army (5)
ALARM — hidden in (infusing) the final two words of the clue

3d Matching clothing, it’s new possibly on first of toddlers (7)
TWINSET — an anagram of ITS NEW followed by (on in a down clue) the first letter of T(oddlers); given that this is a down clue, the anagram is placed before the T; however, the clue would work just as effectively as an across clue, in which case the anagram would follow the other T

4d Demand of fervent monarchist maybe for washing facility (6)
SHOWER — split (4,2) this might be the the demand of a fan of Her Majesty (or a RayT afficionado)

5d Outfit on time for equestrian event (8)
DRESSAGE — a charade of a noun denoting article(s) of clothing or a verb meaning to supply with clothing and a period of history marked by some special characteristic

6d Moulded band in sink that prevents flooding (7)
     App version: Rotten band in decline requiring prop in emergency (7)
SANDBAG — anagram (moulded) of BAND inside a verb meaning to droop or (app version) anagram (rotten) of BAND inside a different verb meaning to droop with “requiring” serving as a link word (the wordplay requires a solution specified by the definition)

7d Hut is open irregularly suffering trouble (2,3,4)
IN THE SOUP — anagram (irregularly) of the first three words of the clue

8d Exotic type touring grand country (5)
EGYPT — anagram (exotic) of TYPE going around (touring) G(rand)

14d Note means to access estate for scoundrel (9)
REPROBATE — a musical note followed by the legal process to validate a will

16d Cheese left with short acknowledgment (4,5)
PORT SALUT — a charade of the nautical left and a truncated military gesture of respect

17d Lawless US region revealed in stew? (4,4)
WILD WEST — an inverse anagram in which the solution is formed from the anagram indicator and fodder that would produce the result STEW (found in the clue); normally, the anagram indicator and fodder are found in the clue and the result is in the solution but here the situation has been inverted

19d Cook finally chopped fiery material in pastry (7)
BAKLAVA — chop the final letter from a word meaning to cook (in an oven) and add the fiery material flowing from a volcano

21d A firm one Irishman raised producing pudding (7)
TAPIOCA — string together A (from the clue), an abbreviation for a business firm, the Roman numeral for one, and Crosswordland’s most popular name for an Irishman; now reverse the whole lot (raised in a down clue)

22d I’m bowled over during sacred sermon (6)
HOMILY — reverse (bowled over) IM and place it in a synonym for sacred

23d Daughter put in charge in tight-knit group (5)
CADRE — place D(aughter) in a word meaning supervision or guardianship

25d Banish from Spain team associated with the French (5)
EXILE — a wordsum of the IVR code for Spain, a Roman soccer team, and a French definite article

While the clues in this puzzle are well-crafted, they are all pretty much of the same level. None really stand out as exceptionally good or exceptionally poor — making it difficult to pick a favourite. However, I have opted for 27a — the sole clue to deliver a modicum of innuendo (at least to those with schoolboy minds).

The Quick Crossword pun: beak+west=bequest


  1. dutch
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward, a good confidence builder (or restorer) – the only one that help me up was Falcon’s favourite (27a view of organ) – it needed some lateral thinking first thing in the morning and had a lot of vowel checkers.

    I did think the reverse clue in 17d (lawless US region) wasn’t ideally indicated, instead of “revealed in” I would have preferred something like “could provide”, which might also work a little better in the surface.

    Agree with Falcon it’s hard to pick favourites, I’d probably go with 19d (cook finally chopped) and 1d (duke in authority)

    Many thanks Falcon for the bathroom scenery and thank you setter

  2. JonP
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward solve today – I was surprised it didn’t put up a bit more of a fight. Thanks to Falcon and setter */***

  3. Miffypops
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    There is a mention of Queen at 6 down

    • Falcon
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Do you mean 4d to which I alluded in my intro?

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        No. I was referring to the online version that begins. Rotten band.

        • Kitty
          Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          So that’s at least three discrepancies between versions.

          • Patski
            Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            Yes annoying isn’t it!! 13a as shown here seems much easier than the app one.

            Why do they differ?

        • Patski
          Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          Ouch!! Freddie Mercury was one of my all time fave performers.

          Is sag a word for decline? And why requiring? I think the app clue is rather poorer compared to the one printed here.

          19d also different – finally chopped v condensed.

          Finished without help but bunged in some answers without fully understanding why. The app does tell you if all are correct though. I see yet another new android update today – what new irritations will it bring I wonder!

  4. Jane
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Pretty much R&W with just a few in the bottom of the grid giving slight pause for thought. 1*/3* for me.
    17a would have been simple enough to get given just the first three words, seems as though the remainder has been added to make it appear cryptic!
    The pudding and the dazed state seem to be words of the moment for several of our setters.
    Three contenders for today’s crown – 27&28a plus 22d.
    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to Falcon – a few amusing pics. there!

  5. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Agree – not much 26a in this one. For me the top half was pretty much read and write but the bottom half put up a more valiant struggle. 27a was my last one in and also my favourite. I’d never heard of the chinese board game in 18a.

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    2.5*/2.5*. I’m not sure what to make of this, but it didn’t excite me as I was working through it. Some clues were fine but some were rather 9a. I thought 15a and 4d were both somewhat dodgy. 27a was my favourite due to the misdirection; but unusually for me the innuendo mentioned by Falcon passed me by on this occasion.

    I didn’t help myself by initially putting the wrong third letter in 19d which slowed me up (down?) in the SW corner. Our setters are certainly making sure we overdose on 21d. That’s the third helping in the past few days!

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      I thought that 9a was particularly 9a.

  7. Young Salopian
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure this was easy as Falcon indicates. There were a couple of sticky ones that took me into 2 territory for difficulty, most notably 19d and 27a. I would also argue that this was 2/5 for enjoyment from my perspective. Either way, thanks to our setter for brightening up a dreary Marches morning, and to Falcon for his early review.

    • Young Salopian
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Re 27a and innuendo – I must be getting old, as all my ideas about organs were above the belt, and included eyes, ears, hearts, liver etc. My mind never strayed to the areas of the body indicated in Falcon’s pic.

  8. dave lock
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    OK, but the deliberate mistake is way too obvious – DT 27,693 indeed! But all the naked ladies were welcome.

    • Gazza
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Title fixed now – thanks.

    • Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Falcon forgot to add the title, so I did (obviously hurriedly). Thanks to Gazza for bailing me out.

      • Falcon
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        I will admit that I did forget to add the title, but only on my third (and final) attempt to post the review — the first two attempts having failed due to the server going off-line during my attempts to publish the blog.

        • dave lock
          Posted November 20, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Falcon, just changing the subject to 1a. Nowadays, this is called a double definition, but 20 or 30 years ago this clue would have been a very typical example of a DOUBLE STRAIGHT CLUE. Does anyone else on here remember those good old days?

          • dave lock
            Posted November 21, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            In fact, just checking the published dates in some of my old instruction books, that should probably read 30 or 40 years ago. Does anybody read belated comments in past blogs? I guess not. These daily blogs are ephemeral things, just lasting one day for that particular crossword – then they fade away into oblivion.

            • Falcon
              Posted November 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

              Bloggers get an email alert whenever something is posted to a blog, so a contribution is likely to get read no matter how long after the fact it is posted.

              I have only been doing cryptic crosswords for less than ten years. Occasionally, long time solvers will comment on how the puzzles have evolved over time which is always interesting to me as a relative newcomer to the field.

  9. Michael
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    27963 – transposition error alert!!

    20a gave me a feeling of deja vu about yesterdays 8d.

    A nice puzzle, nothing too difficult but very enjoyable!


  10. Paso Doble
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks for a lovely and amusing review, Falcon. Paso quite liked the picture of the ladies’ bottoms! We were stumped by 25d, thanks for putting us right. Definitely a **/*** for us. Thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle.

  11. Beaver
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Probably a **/**, can’t get too enthusiastic for some reason, apart from the parsing of 14d,straightforward and agree with Rabbit Dave that there were a few iffy clues thrown in- nothing outstanding, talking of which, there was a brilliant clue in yesterdays toughie 4d ,well worth a chuckle.-and a d’oh! Thanks to Falcon for the imaginative blog pics

  12. Popeye
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Not bad for a Thursday. Thanks Falcon for explaining 23a. I got it but just couldn’t see why.
    I still can’t see what 27a has to do with “organ” though is this a synonym for newspaper????

    • Kitty
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Popeye – an organ can be a newspaper or periodical which promotes the views of a political party or movement.

      Cue lots of jokes about a certain pink organ.

      What’s long and pink and hard in the mornings? The FT crossword.

      • Popeye
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kitty it all fits now. Which could be clue in you FT crossword!!!!!

      • Michael
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        …. as opposed to what’s small and pink and hangs out your trousers – your Mum!

        Seen my coat? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  13. Kitty
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I would put this at average difficulty, perhaps even a little more. Seems it’s just me.

    In the masochist’s edition, the game in 18a is mistakenly given as a card game. Another difference is that 27a reads “place to get view of organ?”

    Pleasant enough, but no stand-out favourites.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  14. Angel
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Unexceptional but gently taxing. Thank you Mr. Ron and Falcon. East was less demanding than West. Liked 9a, 27a and 4d. Asked recently for 3d’s in a clothing store but assistant who obviously had never heard word said they didn’t stock them however I found them but not sure saying “matching clothing” would have been any more productive! ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  15. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward for me too.
    Just held up by trying to make an anagram of US region in 17d to find some kind of exotic stew.
    And don’t forget: Le Port Salut, c’est écrit dessus.
    Nice to see more and more French references in crosswords. 3 today in both the back page and the toughie.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

    • Gazza
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      16d also features in a cheesy palindrome:
      Tu l’as trop écrasé, César, ce Port-Salut

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        That’s great. I didn’t know that one.

  16. Heno
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon for the review and hints. A pretty easy but non inspiring puzzle. Favourite was 27a. Was beaten by 19d, had never heard of it, must brush up on my pastries and try and remember it. Was 2*/2* for me. Dreary in Central London.

  17. Hanni
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


    A gentle and pleasant solve that raised the odd smile. 27a did and 5d gets a mention. I enjoyed the review as much as the crossword so…

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for blogging. Great pics. Love it when there’s good pictures to be seen.

    The sun is shining bright on the moors and I have a three page document to read that I’m trying to digest. I’ve already read it about 4 times.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Try crossing out that which is not relevant and then cross out all that is relevant. Job done. All that is needed now is to put it into a folder marked “Confidential”

      • Hanni
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        I’d quite like to do that! However the whole thing is now going around my head.

  18. Expat Chris
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Came unstuck on 27A. Shame on me. Otherwise straightforward. Nothing checked off as a standout, though. Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  19. williamus
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I clearly found this more difficult than most and needed to come here to confirm some answers and get some explanations… as such that makes it *** for difficulty. A bit of a curate’s egg and although it didn’t really flow for me there are a some nicely constructed surfaces, so *** for enjoyment. I was quite happy with 4d and I really liked 9a. I’m afraid my rationalisation for 29a was simply a and the french word for green… I guess that’s quite a clever little clue. 15a was probably my favourite. Many thanks to Falcon and to the setter.

  20. Miffypops
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Ref 4ac. Anagram of WEST I DESPISE. I am struggling to get all 12 letters into the nine spaces I have.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Try using a W to represent the West and see if that helps.

      • Falcon
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        I think Miffypops’ comment was a gentle jest. At any rate, the error has now been sorted.

        I blame the faux pas on doing the anagram in my head. I’m sure if pencils had been involved, it would never have occurred.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Miffypops? Jest? Surely not?

        • crypticsue
          Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          I did realise that, but you have to allow for the odd person who actually takes him seriouslyhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

          • Hanni
            Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            I thought everyone took MP seriously?

            • Angel
              Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

              You must be joking!

    • Falcon
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Oops, something has obviously gone amiss there http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

  21. Kath
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m with the few who found this a bit more than the 1*/2* difficulty that Falcon gave this one – more of a 2*/3* for me and the same for enjoyment,
    I got hopelessly fixated on the 27a ‘organ’ being the ‘eye’ and Falcon’s interpretation just didn’t occur to me – I never was a schoolboy!
    I always forget chess pieces so 23a took a while.
    It’s probably the first time ever that I remembered an ‘estate’ (14d) can be a car – and then it wasn’t! Oh dear.
    I’m getting a bit fed-up with 20a and 21d although I realise that’s not the setter’s fault at all – they can’t know the answers that other setters have come up with recently.
    I liked 10 and 12a and 1 and 17d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Falcon.

  22. Una
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Certainly 2.5* for difficulty, as far as I am concerned. 27a was my last one in and I appreciated it when I finally gave up thinking of livers and so forth. I also liked 12a and 15a.
    I agree with Kath above re 20a and 21d, a bit too frequent. I love 17d, pity you can’t get a decent one in this country.
    With thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  23. Falcon
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    There appear to be alternate versions of several clues on various platforms today. The clues shown in my review are as they appear on the Telegraph Puzzles website (or, more precisely, as they appeared when the puzzle was posted at midnight London time). Comments have mentioned there being different versions of clues both in the paper edition of The Daily Telegraph and in the “app version”. This may mean that there potentially could be three different versions of any given clue.

    Miffypops has reported that 6d in the “online version” (by which I presume he means the “app version” as I think of the Telegraph Puzzles version as being the online version) uses the words “rotten band” rather than “moulded band”. From Patski’s reply, I gather that the clue on the app version also employs the word “decline” rather than “sink” and furthermore incorporates the word “requires”.

    Patski also tells us that 19d in the app version uses the word “condensed” rather than “finally chopped” and that 13a contains unspecified differences.

    Kitty reports that in the “masochist’s edition” (would that be the paper version?), the “board game” in 18a is referred to as a “card game” and that 27a reads “place to get view of organ” rather than “in which to get view of organ”.

    As I do not have access to these other platforms and the comments are not always entirely precise on the wording of the alternate clues and the platforms where they are found, I have not been able to update the blog to include them.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I assumed the App version was the masochists version. The clues dance or disappear or possibly both. Sometimes I get a tiny grid with no clues and sometimes I get a quarter grid with no clues. If I get a grid with clues and it all works I dare not move off that screen for fear of what I will return to,.Thanks for the blog Falcon. Thanks to the setter too.

    • andy
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Newspaper version 18a) Reveal widely board game with local left in charge (2, 6) and 27a) In which to get view of organ? (9)

      • Falcon
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Andy

        So it would appear that it is in the “app version” (or masochist’s version) where all the discrepancies lie.

    • Patski
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Sorry for not being a bit more informative! 13a in the android app says:

      Bit of knowhow with a value in martial art

      4a has in instead of being
      18a card instead of board
      27a Place instead of in which

      6d is completely different! Rotten band in decline requiring prop in emergency instead of Moulded band in sink that prevents flooding

      • Falcon
        Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Patski

        For the benefit of the late shift, I have incorporated those into the review.

        • Patski
          Posted November 19, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          I went out and got the paper and the paper version matches your blog. Another fail for the App! They’ve stopped replying to me now despite there being a prompt to let them know what we think every time it’s opened ;-)

    • Kitty
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Falcon, I should have specified. It’s clear to anyone who has it that the masochist’s version is the tablet one, and I have expressed my opinion on here before – as much as can be done without recourse to swear words or grumbling on and on, which I want to keep to a minimum on this lovely blog.

      My app is mostly behaving itself, painful slowness being the main problem, and I have avoided updating it because user reviews indicate that instead of fixes each update is making it worse. Which brings me to the thing that I wanted to highlight:-

      I had a peek at reviews again to see what the latest update brings Here is one dated yesterday from a chap who was Product Manager at the Telegraph Media Group for a couple of years from 2011 – 2013:

      WTF What TMG have done is take the app I designed which was in alignment with Google’s Android guidelines & do their own thing. Rather than create something new this app offers the same functionality differently & and now departs from Android guidelines. 2 years of running on the spot for TMG. Rubbish!!!!!!!

  24. Robin Newman
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    the “one to five stars at the bottom of the post” by which one can rate the puzzle seems to have been replaced by a mysterious “like this” for which one has to log in, which I have not

  25. mre
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    A joint effort today. Didn’t take very long but 27a held us up for a few minutes so I’ll nominate that as favourite. Wouldn’t have solved 19d had I been doing the puzzle alone.


    Don’t like this idea of having different clues across the different formats. I look only at the newspaper but if I were its editor I’d be having a stern word with the crossword editor…

    • Young Salopian
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear.

  26. Hilary
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Made life difficult by putting letters in 21d the wrong way round and it took ages for me to realise it. This made that corner harder than it needed to be but strggled valiantly on with break in middle for visit to chiropodist. Perhaps because I then had happy paws finished off last few clues easily when I got home. Favourite probably 16d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Hilary
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Whoops forgot my manners thanks to setter and Falcon

  27. Salty Dog
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    1*(just)/3* for my money. My first idea for 27a was “endoscope”, but that was on my first run through looking for the soft underbelly. In the end, I think it was the best clue. Thanks to the setter, and to Falcon for the review.

  28. Jane
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    In case you’re looking in, MP. Royal Mail delivered my package this morning. Absolutely loved the poem ( how did you know about my holiday packing problems?) but have so far resisted opening the ‘pressie’. Can’t promise that the resolve will hold until the ‘big day’ but I’ll do my best!

  29. pete
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straight forward today apart from 27a, have to admit I am still not getting it.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      The organ is a newspaper. The editorial is the view of the newspaper as expressed through the editor.

      • pete
        Posted November 20, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Thanks Miffypops, I would never have got that in a month of Sundays.

  30. happy days
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Like Robin Newman, I haven’t logged in to the new rating site. I rather miss being able to see at a glance what the average view is, of the crossword

  31. Brian
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    What a change for a Thursday, a simple straightforward puzzle with some clever clues such as 16d (my fav) and 4a.
    Shame about the ratings change, no way will I be logging in to another page, too much faff as my mother would have said. What was wrong with the old method, it was quick simple and efficient, perhaps that’s the problem, the nerds who are responsible for the electronic versions love to have things more complicated.
    Anyway I found the puzzle */***.
    Thx to all.

    • Posted November 20, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I have restored the ratings – and a different “Like” button that doesn’t require a logon.

  32. neveracrossword
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I thought this lacked fizz. Which is a pity, since “fizz” would have made it a pangram.Thank you Falcon and setter.

    • Jane
      Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Almost – but I can’t find a ‘Q’.

      • Tstrummer
        Posted November 20, 2015 at 1:26 am | Permalink

        Try a mobile phone shop

  33. Jane
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Hi TS – just checking in before I head off to the land of nod. Today’s puzzle shouldn’t keep you up late – you’ll need your sleep after this morning’s stupid-o’clock start.
    I was wondering – do you confine your reports for the down-unders to events that have occurred within the UK or do you include UK reactions to world events? I suppose that my question stems from thoughts about the British reactions to the recent atrocities in France.
    On a lighter note – today’s PJ Toughie certainly is! Could be worth your while when you’ve got the time.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted November 20, 2015 at 1:35 am | Permalink

      It depends on the day. Because it’s live radio, anything can happen. I remember vividly being on air as the 7/7 (a shorthand coined by me, by the way, after 9/11) atttrocities unfolded and gave a running commentary from Sky News for over half an hour. But generally, it’s supposed to be – or rather I try to make it – as light as possible, with only one “serious” item per show (although we had some great arguments during the Scottish referendum campaign). It’s supposed to be British news, but that can include things such as refugees in Calais or, indeed, reaction to Paris.
      On a heavier note, I’ll have to leave the PJ for next week some time – my schedule is too tight to allow for several hours of head scratching and staring out the window wondering just what on earth he’s on about – he’s the setter who gives me the most trouble, although he can also be the most rewarding.

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    On the one hand, I’m grateful to the setter for affording me an early night, but on the other I’m far from gruntled at the ease of completion. I usually avoid using the E word, for fear of discouraging those newer to cryptic crosswords, but this one wasn’t even a R&W – I got a couple before I’d even read the clues. My commute is a short one and if the train’s not too crowded I usually begin the puzzle on the way home. Tonight, for the first time, I finished it with one stop to go. After yesterday’s delights from Jay and Elkamere, this was a disappointment. My last one iin, and only candidate for the honours board, has to be 27a. Sorry to see that Peta hasn’t commented today, because I reckon she and mum probably had an entire packet of chocolate HobNobs. Each. Many thanks to Falcon for a review that was more entertaining than the puzzle and a grudging nod to the setter. 0.1*/2*

  35. David Kelly
    Posted November 20, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I found this one hard until I got a few hints from the blog. Not noticed the blue app bits before. Great blog. Often need it’s help.

    • Falcon
      Posted November 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes the clue varies among the various platforms on which the puzzle appears (printed paper, Telegraph Puzzles website, and app). Most bloggers will include in their review any variants of which they are aware.