DT 27968

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27968

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


The third largest island of New Zealand is Stewart Island. It is right at the very bottom of the South Island, very remote and sparsely populated. Neither of us had ever been there until now but that is where Carol and a small group of her friends are at present. Hence today’s Hints and Tips for Jay’s Wednesday puzzle are by only one, left at home, Kiwi.
Enjoy the solve, I did. The NW corner put up the biggest fight with the key being 1a which took it well into 3 star time for difficulty.
Fingers crossed that the website behaves itself long enough to get it all together and posted.

Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.


1a     Take steps to neutralise new trace on number (10)
COUNTERACT : Start with a synonym for ‘number’ as a verb and add to that an anagram (new) of TRACE.

6a     Important small islands in the Caribbean (4)
KEYS : A word that means important or pivotal and the abbreviation for small.

10a     Knotty question, ultimately spreading load (5)
NODAL : The last letter of ‘question’ and then an anagram (spreading) of LOAD.

11a     Programme thus preceding a quiet period after work? (4,5)
SOAP OPERA : A word meaning ‘thus’, A from the clue, the musical symbol for quiet, then the abbreviation for work and a period of time or epoch.

12a     Finished with a b-boyfriend? (3,4)
ALL OVER : A from the clue and a boyfriend or Romeo with the first letter being repeated.

13a     Cover from sun’s heat here (7)
SHEATHE : Cover here is a verb. The answer is hiding in the clue.

14a     At home creating a diversion (12)
ENTERTAINING : A double definition. The first means willing to receive guests.

18a     Pressuring for reform to keep case of strict financial control? (5,7)
PURSE STRINGS : An anagram (for reform) of PRESSURING plus the first and last letters of StricT.

21a      You should see if they’re open (7)
EYELIDS : A cryptic description of the flaps of skin that may cover your peepers.

23a     Discover rebellious nature with missing card (7)
UNEARTH : An anagram (rebellious) of NATURE plus the letter that is left from ‘with’ after a card or jester has been removed.

24a     Trace calls in it on the move (9)
SCINTILLA : An anagram (on the move) of CALLS IN IT.

25a     Bound to cross river? Made an effort (5)
TRIED : The abbreviation for river is inside a word meaning bound or fastened with strings.

26a     Black Knight seen in Disney regularly (4)
INKY : Alternate letters from ‘Disney’ contain the abbreviation for a knight of the realm, not a chess one this time.

27a     Novices may take these papal bulls (4,6)
HOLY ORDERS : The answer could be a description of edicts issued by the pope.


1d     One who does provide staff to support Conservative (3,3)
CON MAN : A verb meaning to supply staff follows the one three letter abbreviation for Conservative.  and a two letter word that can mean ‘in support of’.

2d     Too rowdy, with Democrat replacing Republican (6)
UNDULY : Find a word that means ‘rowdy’ and change its third letter from the abbreviation for Republican, to the abbreviation for Democrat.

3d     Such preachers still get even, as being broadcast (14)
TELEVANGELISTS : An anagram (being broadcast) of STILL GET EVEN AS. The anagram indicater is also a subtle hint to the answer.

4d     Press discovered pressing given new life (9)
RESURGENT : Remove the first and last letters (dis-cover) of ‘press’ then add a word meaning pressing or needing immediate attention.

5d     Standing for a period (5)
CLASS : The period could be the time when teaching is taking place.

7d     Charged for type of chair nobody wants to end up in? (8)
ELECTRIC : This type of chair was an execution device used in the US.

8d     Modern sort of Green embracing speed (5-3)
SPACE-AGE : This sort of green is named for a herb that it is wise to use and surrounds a synonym for speed.

9d     Communication that insures lessor? (8,6)
COVERING LETTER : What your are doing to your possessions with an insurance policy, and another word for someone who rents out property.

15d     Subsidiary course? (9)
TRIBUTARY : A cryptic definition of a river that flows into another one.

16d     Squeeze last of pack into first-class for such entertainment (5-3)
APRES-SKI : A word meaning squeeze, then the last letter of ‘pack’ are all inside a two letter abbreviation for first-class.

17d     What’s cheaper than a cheap thrill in play at Wembley? (4,4)
FREE KICK : The first word means having no cost at all (cheaper than cheap) and then a word for a thrill or exciting time.

19d     Holiday at sea for outspoken groups of rowers (6)
CRUISE : A homophone that could be a group of rowers or even the people working a ship.

20d     Colours of blinds? (6)
SHADES : Double definition. The second could be shutters.

22d     Fiery outburst from Nabokov lass, upset (5)
SALVO : Forget all about Lolita, the answer is there, reversed, in the clue.

Favourite is probably the one that took longest for me to crack 1a.

Quickie pun    therm  +  arch  +  air  =  The March Hare


  1. Kitty
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Ahhhh, that’s better! This crossword was a perfect tonic which helped to ease me into another day of existence.

    After a slow start, things went in one by one as I prodded away at them. A perfect level of back-page difficulty for me: hard enough to be satisfying but my tresses remain in place.

    I can’t pick a favourite clue today. Quickie-wise, I liked the pun, and my alternative answer for 13a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 1Kiwi for keeping up the usual high Wednesday standard.

    • Domus
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Your first sentence is perfect for me long term in a nursing home.

      • Kitty
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Being an owl, I need all the help I can get in the mornings, Domus.

        I hope you are receiving excellent care.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    2*/4*. Great stuff as ever on a Wednesday. I agree with 1K’s choice of 1a as favourite although it didn’t take too long for the penny to drop for me. The clue that really held me up was 14a, my last one in, largely because I was convinced that it must start with IN = at home.

    Many thanks to Jay and to half of the 2Ks.

    • dutch
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      yes that held me up too!

    • Dr_Bob
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Me too!

    • Jane
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Moi aussi!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        It’s good to be in with the in crowd.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

        • Angel
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

          This foxed me and I was “in” with you and the crowd! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

        • dave lock
          Posted November 26, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          RD, I have a query that requires your analytical/grammatical prowess to answer. The fact that you haven’t yourself picked up on this is making me think I’ve missed something rather obvious:

          Re 8d above: This is an excellent clue of average difficulty but I don’t understand why the G in Green (as in sage green) is capitalised. Is it a typo or what?

          Big Dave, I’m not sure if RD will read this belated comment, so if you have time can you tell me?

          • Posted November 26, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            Required capitalisation should always be present in a clue – like Man when it refers to the island – although it is often concealed by placing the word at the beginning of the clue. All other capitalisation is purely misdirection, in this case you are meant to think of a member of the Green party rather than the colour green. A clue is a word puzzle, not a piece of literature.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Yup did that too.

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

      Count me in, too.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      That’s me as well.

    • Veronique
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      And me!

      • Rob Wilson
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Add my name to the list of those falling for the ‘at home’ red herring in 14a! I found the rest ok today though, although 24a wasn’t particularly familiar. **/**

    • Merusa
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      And me!

    • Jane
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      ‘like lambs to the slaughter’ springs to mind. If Jay takes a look at today’s blog, he’ll be laughing uproariously at us all.

    • Framboise
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Moi aussi!

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      And a me too from me as well

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Also guilty

    • Expat Chris
      Posted November 26, 2015 at 12:44 am | Permalink

      And me!

  3. dutch
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Many thanks 1Kiwi

    I just used the 3-letter abbreviation for conservative in 1d.

    My favourite is 17d (what’s cheaper than a cheap thrill). If you include “thrill” when you read it, it then applies to the whole answer. I also liked 12a (finished with a b-boyfriend).

    With the repeated reminder of 16d, I’ve booked a family week in Paso Tonale during mid-term break in February. Hopefully no accidents this time.

    I can see a great clue for “uncover” from 13a!

    Many thanks 1Kiwi and Jay

    • Kitty
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      I agree about 1d. I’m in the 13a IN club too.

      Is your clue for 13a printable?

      • dutch
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        perfectly, I was simply including “un” in the answer. Whatever have you been thinking?

        • Kitty
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          Oh, I see. Yes – in fact I nearly entered that as my answer before noticing that it had too many letters and was the opposite of the definition. As for what I’ve been thinking, I find it’s usually best to keep quiet and deny everything. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    • Werm
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I agree, I don’t think the hint as it stands works as support is used to mean under CON in a down clue. Thanks to the One Kiwi for today’s hints. Pretty straightforward today in all honesty.

    • KiwiColin
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      I cannot work out this morning why I made 1d more complicated than necessary. Have corrected the hint. Thanks.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  4. Hilary
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    No I haven’t even looked at the crossword yet but I just popped by to say a million congratulations to Hanni for the blog yesterday it was brilliant although I did not get to read it until this morning. Gosh I really missed you all yesterday and commiserations to BD for what was a vary fraught day, I finished the crossword but needed the blog to sort out what I had done in one or two places. Off to sort the lunch out, ironing done perhaps, all being well, I will get to the crossword sometime this afternoon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif P S nice to know from Hanni’s comment that I am not the only pencil-person left in the world.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Hilary. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      I think Tstrummer’s comment yesterday just about sums up this site for me:

      “To find the site up and running when I got home tonight was like finding an old friend waiting on my doorstep with a bottle of Aberlour and two glasses”

      Well said that man http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • Hilary
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I loved this comment it is so TS, I always dial the blog up as I am drinking my early morning tea just to see what pearls of wisdom he has added at silly o’clock. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      • dutch
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        I agree, that was a comment dear to my heart

  5. Dr_Bob
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    As usual, an excellent Wednesday puzzle. Agree with ***/****.

    Although I had the answer to 23a quickly enough I didn’t understand where the final letter came from until I saw the hint above. I also had a different answer to 4d which made sense with the definition (not sure I should reveal it here http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif) but not with the wordplay. Again, the hint really helped there. Thanks.

    16d has appeared in 2 back pagers and 1 Toughie over the last week or so (different clues each time)! Seems unusual to me.

    • Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      The practice of not giving incorrect answers only applies to the Saturday and Sunday prize puzzles as they can possibly give away “correct” checking letters.

      • Dr_Bob
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Ah, OK. Thanks. I had RESURRECT http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

        • Heno
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          So did I, couldn’t fathom it at all.

        • Brian
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Me too, Resurrect means new life, resurgent means an increase in the current one. So must disagree with the given answer.

    • Jane
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Hi Dr Bob,
      I was with you over the alternative answer for 4d and also wondered about the final letter in 23a. In the end I’d settled for ‘H’ for ‘hearts’ – should have realised it was far more clever than that!

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Me too with resurrect. When I put my last answer in the little box that popped up said SOME INCORRECT ANSWERS I changed Ressurect to the correct answer and again the same little box came up. After checking I discovered that I had inadvertantly put CAN MAN into 1d. CAN MAN is a good answer.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      There are often words that seem to make multiple appearances in a way that would seem to be more than mere co-incidence. I too noticed that there is far too much Apres Ski being attended to. I wonder what Apres Crossword consists of?

      • Hanni
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Apres crosswords…hmmm.

        There seems to be different approaches on the blog. Some people go off and garden, or get on with jobs. Some people grab a glass of wine in the evening. Personally, a feeling of satisfaction, hoping it’s a Toughie day so I have another. And that I’m not shackled to my desk all day so I can get round to enjoying it.

        What do others do?

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Now then, wouldn’t you like to know Hanni http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        • Kitty
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          Après crossword for me is whatever I have to do, all the while counting the hours until wine o’clock. (Currently many hours, but that’s my own call.) Then sleep, rinse and repeat.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Does Après Ski involve eating tapioca? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

        • Julian of ec4
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          I hope not (tapioca was one of the ugly sisters, wasnt she?) ?

        • Hanni
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          If it does, then you’re doing it wrong.

          • Hilary
            Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            That sounds like the story of my life http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  6. Bluebird
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Yes, I liked it a lot **\****

    3 d kept me waiting until I’d done the NW corner. Liked 17d and 24 a.

    Altogether a lot of fun!

  7. Beaver
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Good to be back after yesterdays ‘cloudburst’. I really enjoyed this and was happy to see the 2k’s ratings, a **/**** for me as I tuned into the setter, lovely cluing throughout. Favourite was 14a-took a while as I was sure it began with ‘in’ -like RD , best d’oh moment was the parsing of 23a with the card trick.16D seems to be in every other crossword in one form or another these days.

    • Dr_Bob
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      A number of us seem to have noticed the 16d thing. It’s got to a point where if I see an clue that is (5, 3) and indicates it has a ‘k’ in there I’ll just write the answer in without thinking if it’s correct!

      • Heno
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I did exactly the same with 16d.

  8. Jane
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Relieved to learn that the NW corner put you into 3* time, ColinK, it certainly did for me!

    Didn’t help myself by bunging in ‘evangelistical’ at 3d instead of working it out properly – fortunately the ‘must be’ answer at 12a started the alarm bells ringing. Also, tried for quite a while to make 14a begin with ‘in’ for ‘at home’.
    19d took a ridiculous amount of time – fell into what I assume was the intended trap and concentrated on people having an argument.

    Queried ‘on’ for ‘to support’ at 1d and still not too sure about a ‘class’ for a ‘period’ in 5d, but those were minor niggles.
    Top spots go to 9&17d.
    Many thanks to both Jay and 1K – hope CarolK is thoroughly enjoying her island retreat.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      You’ve reminded me of an enjoyable episode of schoolboy humour. Many, many years ago during a third year Latin lesson a boy burst into our classroom expecting it to be empty. The irate teacher rounded on him and shouted, “Go away, boy. Can’t you see I’m having a period.”

      • Jane
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif I trust that the Latin teacher was female?

    • KiwiColin
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      If I could hold up my completed copy of the puzzle you could see where I had to write over the top of the first part of 2d when I found it did not start EVANGEL……..

  9. Hanni
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Agree with ***/****

    Another who struggled with the NW corner. Not helped by the fact I did the down clues first and put in ‘unruly’ for 2d. Not because I thought it was the answer just carelessness on my part. So 10a, where the clue is clear enough made me wonder where I’d gone wrong.

    The rest was a mixture of R&W and some trickier clues with 1a getting the favourite award.

    Many thanks to Jay and to 1Kiwi for a lovely blog.

    I’ve ridden out twice today and it’s not even lunch. I’m exhausted. I probably should eat something.

    • Brian
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Strange isn’t it. I thought 1a was the second worst clue after 12a.
      Just shows we are all differenthttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Very true Brian. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        How dull to be all the same.

  10. Miffypops
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Well done ColinK. A lovely blog. Thanks for sorting the H at 23ac. I have been baffled by it all morning. My clue of the day at least. Thanks to J for the puzzle which made a good start to a day that gets better as it comes. My adverts started mischeivously today with the Mature Dating site but has since offered A Steinway Grand Piano at £129,985 A Yamaha electronic keyboard at £299.99 and my lovely Christopher Ward watches, price on application.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      You have expensive tastes. Off the top of my head that has to be the model D Steinway. Beautiful instrument to play, particularly one of the Toughie answers. Like whole waves of music flow from it.

      Must get some lunch. Did you know Christopher Ward has a mountain named after him?

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Talking of watches, I have just taken delivery of my new multi watch automatic watchwinder. It will double up nicely as my coffin when the Grim Reaper calls – I just need someone to chop off my legs http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

      The reason I’ve been allowed to collect so many watches is that Mrs SL is always allowed to have more handbags. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Don’t want anybody to be jealous but am I the only one who ‘s mum worked for Ebel and Cartier in Switzerland?
        Actually both my grandfathers were clockmakers.
        Used to have so many watches and got so many stolen over the years that I never bothered to replace them.
        My mother still doesn’t know that the Ebel Voyager she offered me for my fortieth is missing.
        Hardly wear a watch nowadays. Except an old 1930 Cupillard Rieme that belonged to my maternal grandfather and a Hamilton Khaki bought by my little brother.

      • Jane
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Good grief, SL – just how big is this watchwinder?

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          It holds 18 watches – 10 automatic, 2 hand wound, 2 solar powered and the rest are quartz battery powered. I have 1 more watch that my daughters bought me for my birthday 19 years ago which has now sadly given up the ghost – it’s now in my bedside drawer. If you pressed the top right button, it became ‘backlit’

          Here’s what it looks like (not mine obviously)


          • jean-luc cheval
            Posted November 25, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            I love automatics.
            The whizzing sound made by the half moon weight is music to my ears.
            The only problem is that they always lose a few minutes when I wear them.
            My grandads used to have a machine which checked the movement of the watch to see if it needed adjustment. There was never anything wrong. I put it down to my magnetism.

            • Shropshirelad
              Posted November 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

              mais bien sûr, mon ami http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • dutch
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I’ve always had a Swatch. For a change, i now have an ice, but it doesn’t light up in the dark so i don’t know the time in the darkest hours.

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Check my gravatar.
          They are fun watches.

        • Hanni
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          Blimey Dutch. Not thought about Swatches in a long time. I had loads in the 80’s. Now have some family ones.

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted November 25, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Hi Hanni – Have I offended you in any way?

            • Hanni
              Posted November 25, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

              Not in the slightest? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

              How could you? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

              Edit..have I missed a question you’ve asked. Cause that’ll just be me not paying attention.

              • Shropshirelad
                Posted November 25, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

                Just me being silly – as usual http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

                Edit – of course you haven’t. Nothing gets past you :)

                • jean-luc cheval
                  Posted November 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

                  I knew Hanni was a rare pearl.
                  She can both forgive and forget.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

                • Kitty
                  Posted November 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

                  Please don’t worry about offending people SL. You are among friends and have nothing to worry about.

                  • Shropshirelad
                    Posted November 25, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

                    You’re very sweet Kitty, comforting an old man in his twilight years http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

                    I wonder who that could be?

      • Tstrummer
        Posted November 26, 2015 at 2:00 am | Permalink

        I have only one watch: a 1957 Omega Seamaster which belonged to my father, bought for him by my mother when she came into an inheritance. It’s automatic, but these days I have to wave it about a few times before bed or else it stops overnight – unless im boating, when winding lock paddles up and down does the trick. Otherwise it’s a symptom of my sedentary lifestyle, or rather, life without style.

  11. Heno
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but very tricky puzzle. Had the wrong answers for 4&17d, needed the hints for 6a. Loved 3d, but the Favourite was 1d. Was 4*/3* for me. The sun was forecast today in Central London, but has hardly put in an appearance so far.

  12. Brian
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the ratings today. Not the easiest but some lovely clues in 24a and 17d.
    Not at all sure about the clueing on 12a, seems very clumsy and contrived.
    Apart from that very enjoyable.
    Thx to all
    PS the site still persists in making me enter name and email! Very annoying.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Show me a clue that isn’t contrived Brian

      • Brian
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


        • weekendwanda
          Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t it clever Brian – a l-lover.

    • Angel
      Posted November 26, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      If it’s any consolation I too have your PS problem.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 26, 2015 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        Add me to the PS list.

        • Tstrummer
          Posted November 26, 2015 at 2:01 am | Permalink

          And me

  13. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Not one of my favourites from Jay, but enjoyable enough nonetheless. I say that as I thought 1 & 2d a bit iffy and not his usual style, and I thought 14a was excellent – much more like it.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and 1K for his review – well done Colin http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  14. Una
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    1d held me up as I fail to understand “one who does” as a con man., except in the sense of “I was done”, I suppose.14 was my second last in for the same reason as everybody else.
    My favourite is 27a and I also likes 2d..
    Thanks Jay and Mr Kiwi.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      You are spot on with your reasoning regarding 1d.

      • Una
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t it often happen like that , you work it out as you say it?

  15. mre
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    A welcome return to normality today with an excellent back page puzzle that would have been even better had it been on the back page…

    A slow start but eventually got going, noting 14a and 24a along the way, before being held up by 1a and 1,2,4 and 5d. After much mulling 4d became clear then what seemed an age passed before 1a, which has to be my favourite clue today, revealed itself and the final three became clear.

    Into four star time again I think so ****/****

  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I too fell into the trap of 14a.
    Had all the checkers and was saying aloud the words that could go there. It’s only when I pronounced “intertwining” that the penny dropped.
    Jay’s surface is excellent.
    Really enjoyed it.
    Wanted to congratulate Hanni for her review yesterday. Came back at 2am and forgot where I put my copies. Still haven’t found them.
    Ma’a Nonu just arrived in Toulon yesterday. A big welcome.
    Thanks to kiwi Colin for the review and to Jay for the good teaser.

    • Hanni
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Thanks J-l. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  17. Killer Watts
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Phew, hardly a romp for me today. Needed BD’s hints for a dozen clues, so I will rate this a ****/**. Thanks to setter and 2Ks.

    How annoying is it when the crossword is relegated to the penultimate page ? The folding and refolding…..the pen through the paper…..aaargh !

    • Jane
      Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Strange how that bugs us all so much, yet we’re still prepared to sit for ages being ‘bugged’ by the crossword itself!

      • Killer Watts
        Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Ha ha, Jane ! Quite so. As mentioned above, I was bugged more than usual by today’s offering. Still, it keeps us on our toes.

  18. silvanus
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    The top half for me (not just the NW quarter) was far more difficult than the bottom, but overall it was a very pleasant solve.

    I particularly liked 18a and 8d, but I’ll give my favourite vote to 2d as I thought the construction was very clever. Not a huge fan of the stammering/stuttering type of clue (it always seems like lazy cluing to me), so I didn’t care for 12a unfortunately.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin.

  19. Merusa
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Whew! That was HARD. As above, I wanted the answer in 14a to start with “in” so I never did get it.
    I missed 17d and 18a as well, but apart from those, I think I did pretty well. I got 1a early on.
    Thanks, 1Kiwi, for explaining where the “h” came from in 23a.
    I liked 27a and 1d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 1Kiwi for the review.

  20. Jane
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I notice that we have a ‘clickable’ depiction of our host/server at the right hand side of the blog. Do so and it reveals a ‘contact us’ option. Anyone care to give them the benefit of our thoughts? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  21. Kath
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    A lovely Wednesday crossword – I agree with the Kiwi’s rating.
    I got in a muddle with 1a and 4d but not 14a.
    Slow with 21a which was stupid – got as far as ‘eyes’ but not the ‘lids’.
    I liked 26a and 1 and 2d. My favourite was 7d.
    Thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin.

  22. Framboise
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Apart from getting 4d wrong – had resurrect instead of resurgent – no big problem with this lovely puzzle – really enjoyed it – great clues especially 12a, 1a and 2d to name a few. Many thanks to Jay and to 1Kiwi for the review which I needed to check a few answers. Did not equate ‘one who does’ with con/man but worked it out nevertheless. Completely missed that sheathe was hidden in the clue but decided that this was the answer! Another beautiful and mild day here in Hyères – amazing weather… 2.5*/4*

  23. Young Salopian
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been busy for a couple of days and had a funeral to attend in The Smoke so haven’t had time to contribute to the blog. This was a testing little devil, and I am happy to add my name to all of the above who got stuck on the same clues. I enjoyed it, with one or two reservations, so 2/3. I gather the site was down for a time while I was otherwise engaged. Glad all is well. Many thanks to Jay and the solitary antipodean.

  24. Hilary
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and ColinK, beaten by 6a but filed for future reference. Admit I had read blog comments before starting crossword so was careful not to fall into 14a trap, pencil and electronic help required sparingly. Difficult to pick favourite but I quite liked 18a. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  25. KiwiColin
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Good morning everyone.
    Sorry about the little slip up with 1d. Must have been missing the extra pair of eyes when putting the hints together.
    An interesting aside about Stewart Island is that it is the only place in the country where it might just be possible to see a real Kiwi in the wild. At one remote site there a population of them for some reason, instead of being totally nocturnal, have become if not quite diurnal, at least crepuscular in their habits. Suspect that Carol will not be going near that area though, so we, like most New Zealanders will never see our iconic native bird in the wild.
    How’s that for totally irrelevant trivia?
    Cheers all.

  26. Zofbak
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Highly enjoyable today with some lovely clues and my favourite being 23a once I realised how the “h” really came about. Thanks to Jay and 1Kiwi for a super review.

    With regard to the “apres-ski” discussion, I have often seen the same solution appearing in different crosswords over a short space of time and assumed that the “compilers’ club” sets a challenge every so often to test their own ingenuity!

  27. Gwizz
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Well I think I fell in to every trap going today. Let me see now, 14a? Yes. 4d? Yep. Not understanding the missing card in 23a? Of course…
    Oh well. I did complete finally but I needed the hints to understand why.
    3/4* overall and for me 23a was favourite especially when I understood it!
    Thanks to Jay for a really good puzzle and thanks to ColinK for explaining why.

  28. Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    1d’s gone over my head… oh hang on, one who DOES people! I see!

  29. weekendwanda
    Posted November 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Just what the Doctor ordered. Brilliant after my abject failure yesterday. NW corner did not over bother me. Did wonder why I was one letter short for 13a as I had the noun rather than the verb. Could have made for an interesting illustration. Fell asleep with two left to go. Woke up after a couple of hours and had one last look before looking at the hints. Yes, there they were in front of me – easy peasy. 16d was a breeze once 26a was in and I kicked myself as such a frequent visitor. Thanks Jay. Thanks 1Kiwi and bloggers all of whom I have enjoyed retrospectively.

  30. Angel
    Posted November 26, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    For some reason my boat wasn’t floated today. IMHO there were a few clunky clues. NW corner, particularly 1a, proved quite a hassle and had to seek help with 14a. Re 1d not sure that “man” is necessarily to ‘provide’ staff and surely it’s the ‘holding’ of 18a that is financial control. 9d was Fav. Thank you Jay and 1K. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  31. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 26, 2015 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Good to be back from travels and the site seems to be working again. I really enjoyed this puzzle although the NW corner was a real challenge. Thanks to the 2ks (or 1 today) for enlightening me re 1a which helped me solve the rest. Thanks also to the setter. Seems I’m not the only fan of Matt Fitzpatrick as Mr Vigo followed him with us to a creditable result in Dubai.

  32. Hanni
    Posted November 26, 2015 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    FYI Tstrummer.

    Thank you for your kind comments yesterday. Re the Falklands mistake, the worst part is that I actually knew that. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif and still…

  33. Tstrummer
    Posted November 26, 2015 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    As befits a Kiwi blogging day, the Southern Hemisphere went in as smoothly as my tongue into a cream doughnut, but the North kept me up longer than is good for me. I fell into, or nearly fell into, the previously mentioned traps and 1d held me up, simply because it is one word, not two, like dustman, postman etc, and I so wanted a char in there somewhere. 23a takes today’s biscuit. 3*/4* Many thanks to ColinK and Jay. Up with the lark for the Aussies, so I may reduce the size of my nightcap. Or maybe not.

    • KiwiColin
      Posted November 26, 2015 at 2:52 am | Permalink

      Well I never!
      I have just checked in BRB and you are of course perfectly correct and you are the first to question it. Interesting to note that ‘con game’ and ‘con trick’ are both given as two words but ‘conman’ is only one. It looks like Jay and I both made a bit of a mess of that one.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted November 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Just bought a clip on guitar tuner. It’s changed my life.

  34. Paso Doble
    Posted November 26, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    We fell into both the traps in this one – Resurrect and In – but really enjoyed this puzzle. Also agree with Tstrummer’s excellent comment from Tuesday. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable solve (albeit a day late for us) and to Kiwi C for the blog.

  35. maarvarq
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I needed the hint for 17dn. Being neither interested in sport, nor a resident of the UK, I read “Wembley” and thought “Wimbledon”, and was stuck on what a FREE _I_K might be in tennis.