DT 27966

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27966

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Hello and welcome to you all.  This went in smoothly as silk for me, so I’ve only given it one star for difficulty.  However, the other crossworder in the house has just remarked that it was tough for a Monday, so don’t despair if you found it tricky too.

The definitions are underlined in the clues below.  The answers are hidden under the ANSWER boxes.  The “click here!” is not an instruction but an option – click to reveal the answer should you wish.

Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post, or express a “like” by clicking on the thumbs up icon at the bottom right.



1a    Reverse the charge? (7-6)
COUNTER-ATTACK: Put aside all thoughts of telephones.  This is an offensive in response to another, so that the charge is now moving in the opposite direction

10a    Dazed American general in retreat, and encircled (7)
REELING: An American Civil War general reversed (in retreat) and put inside a circle (encircled)

11a    Very involved  psychological state (7)
COMPLEX: Two definitions: intricate, or a psychological condition.  The whole also works as a definition

12a    Try to listen! (4)
HEAR: Another pair of definitions.  Try judicially, or perceive aurally

13a    Old hat found in bar by a lake (5)
BANAL: Not the fun kind of bar, but a prohibition.  Place it by the penultimate word in the clue and then add the abbreviation for lake

14a    Look for an equal (4)
PEER: Two more definitions.  Peep is one; fellow or coeval is another

17a    Kissed perhaps – what starts usually between girl and boy (7)
SALUTED: Greeted with words, a gesture or a kiss (a particular gesture is likely to spring to mind).  The first letter (what starts) of usually between shortened versions of first a girl’s, and then a boy’s, name

18a    Notes the time (7)
MINUTES: Notes of a meeting perhaps, and what the time elapsed may be measured in.  Meetings are mentioned in the comments section from time to time (as a place where people surreptitiously solve), and the overwhelming view is that they should last for a minimum of these

19a    Note answer in book (7)
RESERVE: A note of the sol-fa scale followed by answer, satisfy or meet (as of a need).  Book here is a verb

22a    It makes current measures possible (7)
AMMETER: Being a physicist, this went straight in with only a pause to see what the intended surface reading might be.  This device measures electric current
…or perhaps it could measure the amount of meat on a cockney pig?  I can only apologise

24a    Turn to leave in vehicle (4)
TRAP: reverse (turn) a word meaning go away to get a light carriage

25a    Part of clergyman’s estate? (5)
MANSE: I may have underlined everything, but this is not a cryptic definition. It is a neat all-in-one clue.  Part of indicates a hidden word, and the priest’s house is to be found lurking within.  Perhaps with the priest inside that in turn.  I am tempted to continue until we get to quarks and beyond, but will spare you.  You’re welcome

26a    Dance lacking nothing in tastefulness (4)
TANG: Tastefulness meaning tastiness.  Remove the letter denoting nothing from a dance which takes two

29a    Partly cover more than circuit (7)
OVERLAP: To coincide in part with.  More than, plus a circuit

There is a funny but rather rude clip on a similar theme – click the image to view it if you wish

30a    Called in a long time back to put in order (7)
ARRANGE: Called on the telephone in the reversal (back) of an age

31a    Get the job and be accepted for a union (6,7)
BECOME ENGAGED: Two definitions.  The union is between two people, usually a man and a woman



2d    General shown in protective garment (7)
OVERALL: Not a general – this is an adjective meaning comprehensive or sweeping. The garment is worn for dirty work

3d    Boy is right to keep up (4)
NEIL: The legal right to retain possession of property is reversed (to keep up, in a down clue) to form a male moniker

4d    Defile and glen in the country (7)
ENGLAND: Defile or anagrammatise AND GLEN to form a country which most solvers will not have to travel too far to reach but is a long way away from the 2Kiwis

5d    Chasing a double century, I will have hit all round – to get this? (7)
ACCLAIM: We have the A from the clue and two instances of the abbreviation for Century.  After (chasing) this, the I from the clue is inside (will have … all round) a word for hit or beat

6d    Not wildly exciting (4)
TAME: Not wildly exciting.  The opposite of wild

7d    Pick up as part of the service (7)
COLLECT: The first definition needs nothing added.  The second is part of a church service

8d    A chorister not involved in an arrangement (13)
ORCHESTRATION: The letters of A CHORISTER NOT are involved in a musical arrangement

9d    How to make a speedy apology? (7,6)
EXPRESS REGRET: A word meaning fast and one meaning to be sorry about.  The whole may be to demonstrate contrition or could be part of a mealy-mouthed non-apology

15d    Tale of Troy’s undoing (5)
STORY: An anagram (undoing) of TROY S

16d    Three points going to my opponent (5)
ENEMY: Three points of the compass and then a word from the clue

20d    Sesame crackers one’s fed to cat (7)
SIAMESE: An anagram (crackers) of SESAME with the Roman numeral for one inside (fed to) it

21d    Model student allowed in gym after test (7)
EXAMPLE: Gym is the school lesson, not a building.  It contains the letter that means a student and is after an academic test

22d    Don’t vote and get a black mark (7)
ABSTAIN: String together A from the clue, the abbreviation for black and a blemish

23d    New Aintree apprentice (7)
TRAINEE: An anagram (new) of AINTREE

27d    Singer‘s altered a lot (4)
ALTO: Another anagram (altered), this time of A LOT

28d    A touching article or tract (4)
AREA: Tract of land.  Touching is the two letters meaning about or concerning. The articles are identical and all the ingredients appear in the order they come in the clue


That’s it from me.  Do join in below with your comments, corrections, queries and chatter.


The Quick Crossword pun: pro+sick+cute=prosecute


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    1.5*/3*. Great fun as usual for a Monday, although I have two small niggles today.

    In 19a, surely the last five letters are a synonym for “answer to” not “answer”. Similarly in 28d, the middle two letters are a synonym for “touching on” not “touching”. Or am I missing something?

    Lots of smiles here, including 13a, and my favourite was 9d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

    • dutch
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      agreed – I don’t think you are missing anything – you rarely do.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink


      • neveracrossword
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        The BRB says that “touch” means (amongst other things) “have to do with” or “concern”. “Touch on” gets a separate mention.
        My daughter gave me the dictionary for my recent birthday, so I have to make use of it!

        • dutch
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          excellent b’day present!

  2. Angel
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Yes the week is certainly off to a gentle start but no complaints as it was fun while it lasted. South was first to fall today. Stupidly was trying to parse tram in 24a until penny dropped and thought initially of using in pub or similar for 13a. Fav 9d. Thanks Mr. Ron and Kitty. **/****. Also like the Quickie pun.

  3. Angel
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    RD what do you think about the use of “what” rather than ‘that which’ in 17a clue?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Angel, I think either would be correct, although “that which” is more formal. “What” seems OK to me in the context of this clue and would be my preference on grounds of brevity.

      • Angel
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        OK I ‘ll go quietly!

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Oh, please don’t do that. Feel free to disagree. I love a good debate.

          • Angel
            Posted November 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Trust me I’ll be back with another niggle! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

            • Kath
              Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

              I have another niggle but I’m going to keep that for tomorrow! Nothing to do with anything today – a different one and one that my Lambs alerted me to a while ago – they are such grammatical pedants, both of them! I’m really proud of them for it . . .

  4. Michael
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable – the advert for the Mature Dating site looks appealing but I’m not that keen on tattoos!

    I put in ‘Counter Action’ for 1a after getting it in my mind that this had a legal connection – it really screwed me up for a bit, once I realised my error everything went smoothly!


    • Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink


      I hate to tell you this but the adverts are largely based on your Google search history!

      • Michael
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Oops!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          I’ve got the same advert too, but I’ve never knowingly sought out a mature tattooed lady. I’m very happy with the one I’ve got (untattooed!).

          Interestingly the second advert displayed on my screen alongside the mature dating one is for reducing blood pressure (!), which is also something thankfully that I have never needed to research.

          • Michael
            Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

            This time I’ve got an advert for Cooke Fuels who I’m positive I’ve never heard of and definitely never Googled.

            Incidentally, I’m very happy with my untattooed lady as well and have never searched for Mature Dating sites – honest injun!


          • Angel
            Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            I too have the MatureDating Ad which, as far as I am aware, doesn’t tie in with any of my Googling (but who knows?!) however I haven’t got the blood pressure one about which I have indeed Googled! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        • Expat Chris
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          My Google searches must be very boring. Today’s ad are for Top Ten American Construction Hot Spots and landline phone systems. Both pertinent, sad to say.

          • neveracrossword
            Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            I have an advert for an electric powered BMW. I wish to record that I am very happy with my Honda Jazz.

      • mcmillibar
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Hmmm… Someone was trying to sell me deep-fried Mars bars.

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

      Anti Wrinkle Solution and Embrace The Digital Age for me today. I too have been invited along the mature women route but have decided to stick with Saint Sharon whilst flirting outrageously with the sweet young things on this site. Keeping my options open just in case

  5. Miffypops
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    So glad Kitty was blogging today. I had all of the usual masochists version problems and got about three quarters of the way through when a new problem arrived. The puzzled went walkabout. Where to I know not. It has left no message about its return. Anyway I am sat with Saint Sharon in Betty’s Tea Rooms in Harrogate. I am filled with grief thinking about poor old Thora Hird. My one and only true hero. Thanks to Kitty for an excellent blog and thanks to Rufus for a fine puzzle.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Chin up old man – here’s a bit of Thora for you (strange how this predictive stuff always try to change Thora to Thor)

      Be aware that this clip does contain things that may upset some people. But I won’t mind if anyone complains and has it removed.

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Lovely SL. Thank you. I have got over Thora now. I have had to leave Marks and Sparks because of how awful their Christmas Muzak is. Saint Sharon laughed at every hat I tried on in another shop and the Horologists has closed down. That has saved me one heck of a lot of money. My advice about watches is do not buy them if you are not going to wear them. I am having a Christopher Ward (their adverts sometimes make it onto DTs site) Harrison C9 5 day automatic though. It too can sit in my sock drawer with my Gold Rotary and my Rolex. Neither of which have ever been worn.

      • Jane
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Loved seeing Thora again but not quite sure how the sad young man with the dog fits into it! Am I being really, really dim?
        My favourite recollections are of her appearances in Talking Heads – surely it’s time we got a re-run of those on TV.

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          I too loved these Alan Bennett monologues.
          I don’t think there is any chance of them being on French TV. Shame.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Your one and only was only two months when she first appeared on the stage.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      A farmer was with his cows in the north of Scotland and the weather was so bad he didn’t know what to do. He left them in the field overnight and at the crack of dawn when he woke up he found them all frozen. Suddenly, someone came down from the sky and waved a magic wand and they all came back to life. He said to his wife..’That must have been an Archangel’. To which she replied..’No, it was Thora Hird’!!!!!!

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Boom, boom……..

        (Not Basil Brush – just a bit of some WW1 poetry http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif)

  6. Hanni
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink


    Not much of a challenge but enjoyable. No real favourites just a pleasant solve.

    Child type thing is off school today ill. Which means my plans for today are put on hold. They somehow manage to get sick at the worse possible time. There will be other days.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for blogging.

  7. Jane
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Yep – Kitty’s ‘scores on the doors’ sound about right to me and I’ll go along with RD by giving the top spots to 13a&9d.
    Only momentary hesitation came with 28d – wondered whether I’d missed something so waited for the checkers.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for a great blog. Some nice pics, very apt cartoon(!) and a brilliant demonstration of Venn diagrams!

    No sign of a Rookie puzzle as yet – is it on its way?

  8. Vince
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    5d. Isn’t just using “this” instead of some reference to a definition a lazy way of forming a clue?

    16d. I feel the same about this clue. There aren’t 3 points; just 2 with one repeated. Surely the compiler could have found a cleverer way to clue this?

    • Angel
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear re 16d.

    • dutch
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      5d – “this” is often a hint at some all-in-one character – so the rest of the clue hints at the definition (or both the surface and the cryptic readings lead to “this”)

      • Vince
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        So, what would you suggest is the hint for the definition, Dutch?

  9. Beaver
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    A solve of two halves for me ,the bottom was straight forward but the top took far longer than it should have done, so I think a**/***,agree with RD’S points . When I eventually stumbled on 1a,I thought of tiddlywinks, so was amused to see Kitty’s blog ,plenty of amusing clues-not sure about 5d. I suppose it was a sort of ‘all in one’

  10. dutch
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps slightly harder than the normal Rufus, or maybe a slightly slower Monday morning.

    Many thanks Kitty for the excellent review – I enjoyed the Venn diagrams and Old Man

  11. Sheffieldsy
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    A benign start to the week, we thought. 15d and 27d were easy in the extreme, with 23d just behind. Favourite clues 25a and 9d. Thanks, Kitty, for the blog. */** for us.

  12. Brookc
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    2*/3* uncomfortable with 17a – “perhaps” is weak in the surface. Also 1a doesn’t really work for me even with the question mark.

    Thanks to all contributers.

  13. pete
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Slightly harder than a usual Monday for me. I couldnt get 1a and I thought 5d was a real stinker.

  14. Peta
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    We did fine on the right, but struggled a bit with the left!

  15. Kath
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    A “just me” day. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif I found this really quite tricky – at least 3* difficulty – quite enjoyed it in the end although at various stages I wasn’t sure I was going to get to the end.
    I took ages to even get started and things didn’t speed up much.
    Not a single anagram in the across clues.
    I liked all the long answers round the outside and 11a.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Not just you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Dr_Bob
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      No definitely not just you. *** difficulty for me too.

    • mary
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Me too Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    • Kath
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Thanks CS, Dr_Bob and Mary – you’ve all cheered me up – a little http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for all of you.

    • KiwiColin
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      And me!

    • Hilary
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      And me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    • Kath
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I need to add KiwiColin and Hilary to my list of, “Thanks so much for not making me trot off to count marbles in case there are a few missing!” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Tstrummer
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        I found it tricky, too.

        • Kath
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          Well now I feel completely let off the hook – can go to bed and sleep without worrying about fading brain power!

  16. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Fairly standard Monday puzzle. Not too much to write home about but I do agree with RD’s comments, re: 19a & 28d. However, I did enjoy 1a & 9d for their cryptic brevity.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Kitty for the amusing blog. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Kath
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad to see that you’re back – I missed you and think others did too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        How nice of you to say so Kath – thank you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  17. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    A real mix of clues today:
    – some very easy indeed,
    – a couple (as seems usual for a Monday) not cryptic at all (namely 22a and 6d),
    – a few beauties (9d was very good),
    – a few that had (for me at least) quite weak surfaces and were a little too ambiguous (1a for example),

    I’m definitely in the minority in that I rarely enjoy the Monday crossword. :-(

    Loved the pun in the hint for 22a. Thanks.

    • dutch
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      6d agree, 22a across is a play on current = happening now vs electric current

    • Kath
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I’ll join you in your Monday minority – I am really not on same wave-length as Rufus although most people love his crosswords.

    • Kitty
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Dr Bob.

      I don’t know whether you’re in a minority or not, but I do know you’re far from alone.

      Rufus is brilliant at his best, but many clues are just too simple for me to get excited about, however elegantly done. Also, there are often one or two that really spoil the crossword for me. I call them unco clues. I’ve talked about Rufus’s cryptic definitions before and won’t repeat myself.

      I’m glad you liked the review – and relieved that somebody enjoyed the hammy pun!

  18. från
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    1a and 6d both a bit weak for me and in a critical part of the solve : having said that the bottom half was easy enough , although overall the puzzle was not as amusing as most Monday offerings ***/* .The hint for 22a really had me chuckling .Thanks to Kitty for the hints

  19. neveracrossword
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I started at a gallop but limped over the finishing line in 2.5* time. 3* for enjoyment. Thanks to Kitty and setter – and to Kath and CS for restoring my self-esteem.

  20. Mary Mary
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    */** for me today as I whizzed through this , except for 13a, which had me stuck for a while. Prefer a puzzle that taxes the brain more on a gloomy November day !! Pride comes before a fall, I’m sure and tomorrow will see me in the basement I fear…. Do other couples grumble over tangled arrangement of “D.T.” pages when it’s awkward to separate Crossword section from Sudoko ( husband’s province! ) ? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      I used to put a random number 1 into my Chairmans sudoku whenever he left the office. It drove him mad and he could never see why he had gone wrong

      • Kitty
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        You are evil! I like it.

      • Kath
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Why does this not surprise me? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  21. sabrinastar
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Always enjoy Monday’s cryptic, compiled by Rufus, on the banks of the Severn at Ironbridge, Shropshirelad!

    • Gazza
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, sabrinastar.

    • Kitty
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Welcome aboard from me too :) .

  22. Miffypops
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Hooray. My puzzle has returned from its walkabout. The last nine clues went straight in. Thanks to Rufus for a great puzzle as usual and thanks to Kitty for another great entertainment.

  23. Japie
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I spend about 3 months a year in Farnham. I live in Cape Town. I thoroughly enjoy the Telegraph cryptic crossword. I have always been alone in my pursuit of the solutions. No more! I have discovered your blog and I enjoy especially the comments page and feel part of a discussion group. What a language for crosswords!. My Afrikaans has not half the scope. I almost finished 27966 today. 11a and 9d found hard; sorry . Thanks for a marvellous site. Japie.

    • Gazza
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your alias since your previous comment in June so this one needed moderation. Both aliases should work in future.

    • Theo Carter
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Coming out to CT in Jan for some sunshine golf but will have to make do with the Grauniad online crossword – I’m a frustrated ex digital subscriber to the DT. although I think I can get the continental DT a day in arrears in CT

  24. silvanus
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Unusually for a Monday, I didn’t find this that easy, especially the top half.

    Normally I’m tuned in to Rufus’s wavelength but today it was far from a read and write.

    I liked 16d, but my favourite vote goes to 20d for the mental image it produced.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Kitty for her always entertaining comments.

  25. Paso Doble
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    This was very entertaining as usual from Rufus but didn’t provide too many obstacles.
    So we’ll agree with Kitty for * for difficulty but **** for enjoyment.

    Thanks to him and thanks to her.

  26. Merusa
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    This typical Rufus puzzle nearly wrote itself in, I agree with Kitty’s assessment.
    Fave was 9d. I had never heard of 22a, but having all the checking letters made it easy to look up in the dictionary.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the very entertaining review.

  27. Brian
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me or is anyone else having trouble with site not holding name and email address? Seems to have lost my comment completely today.
    I was asking mainly if someone could explain 7d as I don’t understand the hint.
    I can see pick up is collect but church service???

    • Gazza
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Brian, Your previous comment wasn’t lost – it was awaiting moderation because of a typo in the email address. Since you’ve now re-asked your question I’ll delete the previous comment.

      • Brian
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        That is fine but it doesn’t explain why the site keeps losing my name and email. It’s just done it again when replying to my own post! And also when writing this.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          It’s nothing to do with the site, your details are kept in a cookie on your machine – have a look at your cookie options, and in particular don’t chose an option to delete all of them as a lot of sites use them.

      • Kitty
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        I shouldn’t really say anything because nobody else has access to the joke. But you might like to know, Brian, that your typo amused me. (You had a U as the third-to-last letter before the @.) I do apologise!

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      You know what I’m going to say, Brian, so why didn’t you …. before asking your last question.

    • cat
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      The collect is a prayer which is part of a church service, usually Anglican or Roman Catholic. I think it usually pronounced COLL-ect rather than Coll-ECT. Those hours in Sunday School were not wasted after all!

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Brian and I have a ‘deal’ wwhich means he is to look up words in the dictionary before asking why does or how can . . .

        • cat
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, CS, I will know in future but in my defence, from what I have seen of most of Brian’s posts, it doesn’t seem to be working very well http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

          • Kath
            Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Brian does try – so much, in fact, that some of us say Brian is very trying.
            Brian – I’m joking – I like your comments. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

            • Brian
              Posted November 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

              Very good! You are quite right, I should have looked it up but in my defence I thought the church service was somehow hidden in the answer, not the whole of it.

              • Brian
                Posted November 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

                Having been taken to task by CS, I did of course look it up in the BRB which defines a collect as
                A short prayer, specific to the liturgies of the Western Church, consisting of one sentence, conveying one main petition
                Nothing here about a service.

                • Jane
                  Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

                  But as Cat said, Brian, the collect is a short prayer which is part of a church service. Pretty much exactly as the clue states.

                  • Kitty
                    Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

                    Exactly. Listen to the Cat, Brian. Always :) .

  28. Una
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The usual fun and puns from Rufus.I particularly liked all the outside clues and quite a few others including 13a.
    Thanks kitty for the great blog and the amusing illustrations.Just one question , how does the Spanish inquisition overlap with knowing who is naughty or nice ? Perhaps it’s best not to answer that.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  29. Jaylegs
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Kitty that it was quite straightforward **/*** but I could not get 13a, I feel that I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness ? But since when has banal meant “old hat” ? Thanks for nice blog and to the setter, liked 1a & 21d ?

    • Una
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      I think banal has meant the same thing as old hat for decades.

  30. mre
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Found this puzzle curiously difficult to complete for no obvious reason. Anyway, it was done and just about in three star time I think. Favourite was probably 9d.


  31. KiwiColin
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Slightly trickier than Monday’s often are I thought. Suspect it was the pesky little four letter words that gave me that impression, as the long perimeter words did not put up too much of a fight.
    Thanks Rufus and Kitty.

  32. Kitty
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi all. I’m back and ready to party like it’s Monday night! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    It’s interesting to see the split of opinions regarding difficulty. I’m happy that I’m in one of the camps, because tonight is not the weather to be left out in the cold.

    Dinnoms now, and then I might attack the Rookie. Don’t be scared, Silvanus – I only meant the puzzle :) .

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t want to comment on this crossword as “bof” is the only word that came to mind.
      But wanted to thank you for the super review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Kath
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        I know that someone is going to tell me that I’m being dim but “bof”? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          Roughly translated as “meh” I think Kath. And that emoticon goes quite well with it.

      • Kitty
        Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, JL. These are the comments that make a Kitty purr.

    • Kath
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      I’m ready to party too – off for sups now so back later but haven’t even thought about attacking Silvanus yet . . .

  33. happy days
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed Rufus, as always. No favourites, just pleasant right through

  34. Salty Dog
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    A nice start to the week: 1*/3.5*. As for a favourite clue, I thought 28d was good, but 13a involved a nice “D’oh!” Moment when I twigged that I shouldn’t be too literal in my search for an old hat, so that gets my vote. Thanks to Rufus, and to Kitty for the review.

  35. mcmillibar
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    A disappointingly simple puzzle which was redeemed by a fun blog. I suppose there should be a bell-curve of difficulty but..
    Loved the Venn diagram which has already been whanged round my world.

    btw… does anyone else use the Scrabble app on the iPad? EA (Entertainment Arts) have released a major update to the app in the last week which is laughably inept. In fact, it has ruined the app to the point that I have deleted it after three years of daily use!
    What they have done is unfathomable.

    Thanks Kitty.

  36. Hrothgar
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    24d – since when did re mean touching?
    Must have been away from school that day.
    Otherwise, an enjoyable Monday solve.
    My difficulty, say two and a half stars.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to Kitty for the nicely illustrated review.

  37. Tstrummer
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Rufus is normally a R&W for me, but I found this one involved far more head scratching than I would anticipate with, say, a Ray T. Not convinced by 17a, which I would never have got without the checkers, or 28d. I did like 1a. 3*/2*
    Thanks to Rufus and, more so to Kitty for a purrrfect review.

    • Kath
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s all to do with wave-lengths and whether or not you’re on the same one as the setter – I always find Rufus more difficult than almost all the other setters. Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Jane
      Posted November 23, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Hi TS, one of the synonyms for ‘a salute’ is ‘a greeting’ – so I guess 17a is fair enough. JL probably had no trouble with it at all!

      Read The Great Gatsby yesterday. Don’t know quite what I expected but that certainly wasn’t it! Anyway, having followed the instructions given at the beginning of the book, I left reading the introduction until I had finished it and then subsequently re-read the whole thing.
      It certainly is an excellent portrayal of life as it was lived by the ‘haves’ in that era but I’m not entirely sure that it can honestly be described as a novel when it depends upon so many pages of introduction, bibliography and notes to guide the reader through it. Perhaps, at the time of original publication, much of that would have been unnecessary? Either way, I did think that the list of guests who attended Gatsby’s parties over the Summer was somewhat over-stated – we would have got the gist without quite so much name-dropping!
      I’ll put that one into the middle range of enjoyment on the list I’m compiling – what’s next?

      • Tstrummer
        Posted November 24, 2015 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        Hi Jane. I fear that you may have fallen into the trap of all those who have tried to film TGG. It’s not about about the haves, I don’t think, it’s about the past, and how we look on it, or interpret it, from a distance of time. When Nick says to him “You can’t recreate the past”, Gatsby responds: “Can’t recreate the past? Of course you can” (I’m quoting from memory, so excuse if I haven’t got it exactly right). And the last sentence: “So we beat on, boats against the current, drawn inexorably into the past.” The technique is flawless – pioneered by Joseph Conrad – of having a person peripheral to the action narrating the story: so Nick is never sure exactly what’s going on and so is unable to explain Gatsby’s motivation to himself, never mind the reader. And it’s about how we create our own personas, which never accurately reflect who we are inside. We learn more about G from the brief arrival of his father at the end than we do in the rest of the novel.
        Anyway, onward and upwards (as one since departed commenter used to say). Try “Mrs Bridge” by Evan S Connell, an ovelooked modern classic. I think it’s a work of genius (do not watch the film with Paul Newman, which misses the point entirely).

        • Tstrummer
          Posted November 24, 2015 at 1:03 am | Permalink

          PS Perhaps you got a schools version of TGG. My ancient and well thumbed Penguin has no introduction or notes or bibliography. It just has the novel.

  38. Heno
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review and hints. I think Kitty was on form today, I found this very difficult but very enjoyable. I love your pun about 22a, I was a telephone engineer, so it went in straight away. Unlike 31a, I always struggle with double definitions, so needed to look this one up. Also couldn’t do 24a, and needed the hint to parse 28d. Great fun, favourite was 22a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  39. Gwizz
    Posted November 24, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a little trickier than usual for the Monday crossword. It might be because I did it on Tuesday…. I’ll get me hat…
    Anyway 9d was my favourite and overall I think 2/3*.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty.

  40. Wanda
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the help as always. Best hint was for 3d – my favourite male singer!

    • Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Wanda

      • Wanda
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        My pleasure!