DT 27970

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27970

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from South Staffs where a bit of sun is breaking through the dark November clouds.

A few archaic words, and at least one which is probably not in one’s everyday vocabulary, tell us without looking that it’s Friday and this is by Giovanni. As usual, the fair construction of the clues makes it possible to tease out the obscurities, but there were too many double definitions for my taste today, so I’ve reduced the enjoyment factor.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

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.

Across

7a           Easy target making one flap (4,4)
BARN DOOR – Double definition: something which, metaphorically, is too big to miss; and an adjustable flap in front of a light source. The second definition comes courtesy of the BRB, and is not something I’ve come across before.

9a           Joke precedes brief medical procedure in subcontinental area (6)
PUNJAB – A joke or play on words followed by a short and pointed medical intervention.

10a         Hurry around very busy place (4)
HIVE – An archaic word for hurry wrapped around Very.

Image result for beehive

11a         Unwell after brief holiday, an old rocker hesitated (10)
VACILLATED – Put together an abbreviation for a university holiday, a word for unwell, A (from the clue) and the 1950s rocker who seems to have appeared quite a lot recently.

12a         Distant sea abroad for one normally on the land (6)
FARMER – A word for distant followed by the French for ‘sea’.

14a         Positions organised by Cambridge college? (8)
RANKINGS – ‘Organised’ or ‘managed’ followed by the Cambridge college where the Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols comes from.

15a         Vehicle by front of shop gets bashed (6)
STRUCK – The first letter of Shop followed by a commercial vehicle.

17a         Within a week, say, business area goes to rack and ruin (6)
DECAYS – The postal district for the City of London placed inside the time periods which make up a week.

20a         US general with a plan taking everyone to swampy area (8)
MARSHALL – A swampy area followed by ‘everyone’, giving us the name of the man who planned the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War.

Image result for marshall plan

22a         Perhaps a trimmer sort of vessel (6)
CUTTER – This variety of sailing boat could also be what a trimmer is.

Image result for cutter boat

23a         Leader of men taking a country to right is seen as a plotter (10)
MACHINATOR – Put together the first letter of Men, A (from the clue), a Far Eastern country, TO (from the clue), and Right.

24a         It’s the end of the game, chum (4)
MATE – Double definition, the first being the end of a chess game.

25a         A batsman’s stroke, look (6)
GLANCE – Double definition, the first being a cricket stroke where the batsman deflects the ball behind him.

26a         Where milk is left and a chunk of bread (8)
DOORSTEP – The third double definition in a row, and the fourth in 14 Across clues. Where the milkman traditionally left the milk; or a thick slice of bread.

Down

1d           A-list chap spending hours upsetting big characters (8)
CAPITALS – Anagram (upsetting) of A LIST C(h)AP, leaving out (spending) the abbreviation for Hour.

2d           Quartet in concert in days gone by (4)
ONCE – Four letters in a row in cONCErt.

3d           Perhaps maiden first wants house to be clean (6)
HOOVER – An abbreviation for HOuse followed by something which can be a maiden in cricket, giving a verb for ‘clean’ using a mechanical device.

4d           Work for top people, getting pounds and from ‘ere onwards wealth (8)
OPULENCE – Put together the Latin abbreviation for a work, the letter indicating upper-class people, the Latin abbreviation for pounds sterling, and how a crossword Cockney might say ‘from ‘ere onwards’.

5d           Native in tin hat surprisingly embracing sailor (10)
INHABITANT – Anagram (surprisingly) of IN TIN HAT wrapped around the letters indicating a particular rating of sailor.

6d           Scoundrel ordered to get good repeatedly (3,3)
BAD EGG – An old-fashioned word for ‘ordered’ followed by two lots of Good.

8d           Mark in playing field north of old road (6)
RECORD – A three-letter abbreviation for a playing field or park (the Bath Rugby ground, for example) followed by (‘north of’ in a Down clue) Old and an abbreviation for ‘road’.

13d         What when drunk is crimson, aha! (10)
MARASCHINO – An all-in-one clue: an anagram (when drunk) of CRIMSON AHA, which gives us a liqueur made from cherries.

Image result for maraschino

16d         Small openings? Girl being stuck inside yells (8)
CRANNIES – These usually go with nooks. A girl’s name with a word for ‘yells’ wrapped around it.

18d         The female somehow hated being wrapped up (8)
SHEATHED – The pronoun for ‘the female’ followed by an anagram (somehow) of HATED.

19d         Very happy to be as one of the family but not the head of it (6)
ELATED – Remove the first letter (not the head) from a word meaning ‘of the family’.

21d         One from hot dusty place goes to the foreign land where things can grow (6)
ARABLE – A native of parts of the Middle East, followed by the French definite article, giving land which is ploughed for crops rather than grazed by animals.

22d         Box of paintings maybe in study (6)
CARTON – ‘To study’ or read over, wrapped around what paintings are an example of.

24d         Frenzy brought by smell of dampness (4)
MUST – Another double definition, the first being the frenzy associated with a bull elephant looking for a mate.


The Quick Crossword pun AARGH + CAIN = ARCANE

124 Comments

  1. JonP
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle – it took me a little while to unravel but, as usual, it was well clued. Thanks to DT and Giovanni 2*/3.5*

  2. Angel
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    That’s more like it! That was a lot of fun. Thank you Mr. Ron and DT. 7a took a lot of Googling to avoid using main door – never heard of the spotlight flap. Sheath(ed) once more in 18d. IMHO clue to 21d calls for a noun (where) rather than the adjective. Liked simplicity of 12a. **/****. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    • Angel
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Have just watched Hoffnung’s hoover and loved every minute. What a find DT. Thanks. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  3. Michael
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, straightforward – it took a while for me to hit my stride but went together well once I got going – good fun!

    Black Friday F&F (no, me neither!) and the Carole King Musical are my adverts this morning – if this is worked out by Google based upon my browsing – well, it’s beyond me!

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Deep Threat
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      At various times this morning I’ve had adverts for Anguilla, Jewel of the Caribbean, the mature dating site that was commented on the other day, an enquiry whether I’m earning enough, and someone who wants to help me invest my portfolio of mor ethan £250,000. I don’t know whio the jetsetter is that they’re aiming at, but it isn’t mehttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

      • Deep Threat
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Now I have an ad for IKEA – I’ll own up to that one!

        • andy
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I have to discover Anguilla :) Dream on, dream on…..

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        I am being told not to eat bananas

        • Hanni
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          Very wise. I prefer grapes.

          • Miffypops
            Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Peel me a grape

            • Hanni
              Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

              White or red or the mixed ones that I’ve got? I’ve got lots. I think you can get grape peelers.

              • Shropshirelad
                Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                Yes, they were called slaves in Roman times http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

                Mind you, you get always get that ‘comedian’ who could crush them for you.

  4. Jon
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable. Just wondering though, Isn’t the chunk of bread (26a) usually a doorstop rather than doorstep ?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Welcome Jon. I’d say that the use of step or stop probably depends on where you live. In the SE, I’d say it was definitely a ‘doorstep’.

    • Michael
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I had ‘doorstop’ in originally and couldn’t work out what 18d was – doorstop would be the normal thing to say for thick sandwiches.

      http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • dutch
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      brb only has doorstep…http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  5. Beaver
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Slow start in the NW corner, in fact 7a eventually was the last in following my excursion south where the pickings were easier( the flap was new to me-thanks DT, thought it was something to do with a bad shot not hitting ‘flapping things’ ie birds! A part from this no other problems-remembered the plan in 20a from somewhere, around a **/*** for me . Liked 4d when the penny dropped regarding the quartet .

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    2*/1*. The less said about this the better, except to mention that I thought 4d was one of the worst clues I have ever encountered. However 2d stood out above the rest and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to DT, and my apologies to the setter. I do appreciate the effort needed to compile a crossword, but I am sorry to say that the Friday backpagers in the Telegraph seldom work for me. I am glad that others seem to like them.

  7. Kitty
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I just couldn’t get into the crossword mood this morning. Maybe I am getting tired of cryptics. It could be time to cut back to just Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. I kept taking breaks in the middle of this to do chores or browse the internet. Perhaps I should get a soft toy this Christmas: a fake cat to fractionally fill the hole in the shape of a real one. Hmm, I was meant to be browsing for presents for other people!

    This was more like the Giovanni I remember. Recently he’s been much more fluffy. I was bemused by the 7a flap, only dimly remembered 24d as a frenzy and didn’t know 13d. I agree with Jon that the second definition of 26a would be a doorstop, and I hail from deepest darkest Surrey. It would be interesting to see what people from other regions have to say.

    Favourite today is definitely the quickie pun.

    To quote our Jean-Luc, bof. Still, that is doubtless less to do with the crossword than with me, so thanks to Giovanni. Thanks muchly to DT for the review. Double definitions are not fun to hint, are they?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      You have mail

    • Jane
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kitty,
      Doorstep for me (Cheshire girl) as in a slab outside the door, but since a doorstop could, I suppose, be described as a wedge I think either works just as well. However, it would be difficult to leave milk on a doorstop! Speaking of which, it’s years since I’ve lived anywhere that offered the luxury of a ‘milk to your doorstep’ service.

      • Kitty
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jane.

        Yes, the milk would have been left on a doorstep – it was the bread I was thinking of. The brb and online seem to be in step with the clue, so I’m beginning to think that I may have just been mishearing things all my life.

      • dutch
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I get milk delivered to my doorstep

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      You can call it whatever you like as long as someone else gets it for me

    • mary
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Doorstep for me Kitty , preferably with loads of butter and home made blackcurrant jam http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • KiwiColin
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Definitely doorstep on this side of the world.

    • Angel
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Don’t know what you mean by “deepest, darkest Surrey” but, as another born and bred in that neck of the woods, it’s certainly a doorstep for me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      • Kath
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Deepest darkest Worcestershire here – doorstep.

  8. Ian
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Either I am becoming more stupid or these puzzles are getting harder. Haven’t managed to complete one this week and yesterdays was farcical!

    • Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ian

      I have just looked back at my solving times and they varied between one star (for Tuesday’s) and two stars for the others. I guess you’ll have to keep practising in order to improve. Yesterday’s puzzle was the best of the week for me, so I would regard it as “challenging” rather than “farcical”.

      • Kath
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Welcome from as well http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Lionel
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I am with Ian on this one. Most weeks I manage to complete most if not all of the puzzles, but this week has been a washout.

      • Posted November 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog Lionel

    • mary
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ian, swings and roundabouts, one man’s meat etc etc I found todays really difficult, yesterdays tough but easier than today and so on and so forth, so you’re probably not becoming more stupid, just some days things fall into place quicker than others, just don’t be discouraged http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

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

      A lot of it is self-imposed mental block. I tell myself that I can’t do RayT puzzles, ergo, I can’t. The majority just love his puzzles and I am so off wavelength, but I certainly wouldn’t call them farcical because they’re not my bag. Keep trying, you’ll get there!

      • Kath
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes – I can’t do Toughies for the same reason – I know I can’t so I can’t. Silly, isn’t it?

  9. Young Salopian
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    2/2.5 for me. A mixture today of those clues that went in straight away, and more than a few that needed to be bunged in or unraveled. As an awkward non-conformist, I am trying to avoid spending any money, despite endless e-mails jumping on the ghastly imported bandwagon that is Black Friday. Many thanks to the Don and DT. I agree with BD above about the spread of difficulty this week, and yesterday’s excellent puzzle.

  10. Jane
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    2*/3* for me – a fair sprinkling of archaic references (milk to your doorstep for one!) and I’m another who didn’t know the second def. of 7a. 24d was a very vague recollection from tv wildlife programmes but I could only think of either that or ‘musk’ to fit the checkers.
    Funny that 18d should pop up again so soon and I seem to recall that 17a crops up quite regularly.
    Speaking of 17a, whilst I know it doesn’t properly fit the wordplay, the answer could be split into the shortened form of December (which it will be ‘within a week’!) and an anagram of ‘say’.

    Picks of the day are 1,2&22d. Thanks to the Don and also to DT – quite the zaniest cartoon I’ve seen in a while!

  11. Miffypops
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    How do you know who the setter is? Another very enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni. I resorted to the blog for the answer to 1ac. I don’t think I would get it in a month of Sundays. That was a very satisfying weeks worth of puzzles and a good blogging week too. Have a good weekend one and all. I will see you again on Monday.

    • Jane
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Not to worry, MP. If you had got 1a you wouldn’t have found a space in the grid to fit it into. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Have a good weekend mp http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Miffypops
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        I already have SL. I just love Thursday nights. The weekend starts on a Thursday. I love Thursdays just as much as I hate Wednesdays. The weekend finishes on Wednesday night

  12. Hanni
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    */***

    Only one new definition today, 23a, but the clue was fairly worded. The rest were pretty straightforward. I did need to check 7a.

    14a made me smile therefore gets the favourite award.

    My adverts are for Kath Kidston (no idea), and for Egyptian cotton bedding.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT for a great blog.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I have keyboards – or are they called ‘organs’ http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

      • Hanni
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Ahhh the purist in me knows the difference!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Mrs SL is quite an accomplished pianist (IMHO) who achieved ALCM status many years ago. Unfortunately we do not have the room for a piano anymore – which is a shame as she does know her way around a keyboard.

          • Miffypops
            Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            A Yamaha portable keyboard will not take up much room. There is a Steinway Baby Grand on EBay for a buy it now price of £2000. Very tempting.

            • Hanni
              Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

              Get it MP. Golly, why is it only £2000? I might practice tonight after all this piano talk.

              • Miffypops
                Posted November 28, 2015 at 1:01 am | Permalink

                Dunno. Missed it. Regretting it

  13. Expat Chris
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was fairly gentle for a Friday, but then I did the beast of a toughie first and it’s all relative. Unlike RD, I thought 4D was a great clue and it’s my favorite. Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    Sorry to read that the UK has adopted the disaster that is Black Friday. The furthest I’m going past the front door today is down to the local for lunch.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      People are mad. If you wanted to indulge in Black Friday, which God forbid I don’t, why battle your way through a store. You can get so many discounts online.

    • Kath
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      As of today I’m quite keen on Black Friday – happened to be in town to meet younger Pet Lamb and a crowd of her friends and had a few minutes to spare so went in to Gap and found a pair of jeans in the colour and size that I wanted and have failed to find numerous times – half price!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  14. Langstone Joe
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one. As a newbie crossword solver I usually need a lot of hints, but actually managed to get quite a few of these before resorting to hints.
    I liked 20a which is probably very easy, maybe why I liked it! Thank you to DT for the hints.

  15. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    **/***. Nice puzzle if a little obscure in parts. 7a was a new definition for me and 10a had to be but not a term I’ve come across. You live and learn. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  16. Sheffieldsy
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    A nice way to end the week. 2/3 stars for us. Our favourite was 2d; we didn’t like 8d. We still get a doorstep delivery of milk, though the local milkman has just stopped after 50 years and sold his business to a guy who delivers three rather than six days a week. We may have to reconsider.

    Thanks DT and Giovanni.

    • dutch
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      yes, I only get milk 3 days a week (and eggs and orange juice) – works for me

  17. dutch
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I have an advert for a mickey mouse print sweatshirt. I was tempted, but they don’t go up to my size.

    I liked 12a (distant sea), 1d (a-list chap), 2d (quartet in concert) and 13d (the drink with the crimson colour). 6d held me up because of a Freudian misread as “to get food repeatedly”

    21a – I don’t think all arabs are from hot dusty places…

    many thanks Giovanni and DT for the blog, cartoon and barn door.

  18. Toadson
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    For me, an enjoyable puzzle with a few ‘penny drop’ moments and a couple new words/meanings. Have a good weekend all.

  19. Hilary
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Adverts – Sage accounting and Damart for boy’s thermal teeshirt. Crossword a bit hard did not remember US general but 1a came to me once I had some of the letters, always hopeless at games so couldn’t hit a 1a was an often heard phrase. Kitty’s comment rang a bell perhaps I am crossworded out and need a rest. Have a great weekend everybody. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  20. Paso Doble
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    We thought this was a really good puzzle and not too difficult. Quite a few bung-in first, work out laters. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  21. Brian
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Great fun but made harder by 7a which was last in, it was the flap that confused me. Apart from that a jolly good Friday puzzle from the Master.
    Best for me was 26a but lots of really good clues.
    Thx to all.

  22. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Last one in was 7a too.
    And got it wrong.
    Thought it was main door and the flap was my cat flap which is my kitties main door. Does it make sense?
    Loved the “general with a plan” in 20a.
    Favourite is 16d. Great clue and I like the word.
    Never heard of the doorstop everyone talks about. And I thought a doorstop was a little round thing to stop a door opening too far and that the wedge was called a doormouse.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  23. Shropshirelad
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    What more to say, other than it’s Friday and it must be the Don. As ever, all clues fairly constructed and the answer is there to be found but…… where’s the fun? I do like Mr Manley’s puzzles and I particularly miss him on the Sunday Times Prize Crossword rota where they were always an enjoyable challenge to complement my weekly pot of coffee. I just wish that Friday’s puzzles were more enjoyable. Sorry.

    1a was my last one in – having never heard of the other definition.

    No stand out favourite I’m afraid. So, thanks to the Don for the puzzle and DT for his review.

    Have a great weekend all – we’re having our utility meters changed tomorrow and I’m hoping all goes well otherwise it will be ‘flash up the BBQ time’ for Sunday lunch.

  24. Spook
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Finally got my paper early afternoon , now struggling quite a bit NE corner no doubt brain will kick into gear. Weather has just turned for the worst so will batten down the hatches throw mother log on the woodburner and struggle on. Many thanks to Deep Threat I’m sure I am about to do the dreaded “click here”

    • Jane
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      You made logs out of your mother?!!! Maybe an online site is not the place to admit to such a crime. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  25. Merusa
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Really had no problems with this, though I needed help with the second definition of 7a and solving 17a.
    Fave was 12a with 14a and 2d running close.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the help and the superb cartoon.

  26. Heno
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I managed to get the right hand side fairly quickly, but found the left more challenging. Some great clues. Had never heard of the second definition of 7a. Not many obscurities, managed to get 13d from the anagram fodder, but hadn’t heard of it before. Favourite was 26a. Last in was 13d. Was 3*/3* for me. Solved with one eye on the Davis Cup. Come on Murray.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Me, too. He seems to be doing quite well.

    • Angel
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Thankfully Murray did just that but how sad that Kyle Edmund didn’t manage a win after such a splendid start. Let’s hope the next 3 matches are GB victories. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  27. KiwiColin
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I notice that the margins of my printed out copy of this puzzle are almost doodle-free, (quite unlike today’s Toughie). A sure sign that it all fitted together smoothly and quite rapidly. Well crafted as always and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  28. silvanus
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Once again I find myself largely in agreement with Rabbit Dave for this one, and had the same favourite marked too (2d).

    Whilst 4d mentioned by RD wasn’t the greatest clue, I thought the surprising verbosity/clunkiness of 23a, 21d and especially 19d were considerably worse. Twenty nine words covering two successive clues indeed!

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Believe me, Silvanus, I’m with you all the way on 3a, 19d & 21d. It’s just that I solved 4d early on and it stuck in my mind as being particularly horrendous. Some setters could set half a crossword using the same number of words as in those four clues.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        That would be Ray T then http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Anax as well?

  29. ginniebd
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I follow this everyday and love it but have failed to join in as my computer literacy falls marginally short of my crosswoird solving.So have I done it or not

    • Deep Threat
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog ginniebd. Since this is the first time you’ve joined in, your comment had to be moderated. Now that you’re in, you shouldn’t have any trouble commenting in future.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      I think that’s a ‘yes’ ginniebd. If you haven’t commented on the blog before – welcome http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Welcome from me ginniebd. Hope you keep commentating.

  30. ginniebd
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Please can some one tell me how to join in,thankyou

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      You have! Well done and welcome. You will now probably become an addict like the rest of us.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Have a good look round the site ginniebd and start with the tabs at the top of the page – ‘home’, ‘introduction’, cryptic crosswords’ etc. that will give you a good idea what the site’s all about http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi ginnie. If you look at the end of each post there is a ‘reply’ button. Just click on that to reply to someone’s post. Hope you stick around. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the madhouse from me too Ginniebd. I hope you are not as scary as your avatar.

  31. Liz
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Couldnt get far with this earlier on today, then came back to it this evening and finished quite easily. Favourite clue was 26a…… I am physically incapable of cutting bread straight ….it always ends up as a doorstep one side and wafer thin the other…drives my husband crazy…. 2*/3* thanks tonsetter and DT.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      I cut perfect slices. It is the engineer in me.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Never knew you were / are an engineer mp

      • Liz
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it must be that…my husband has an engineering background and his slices are spirit-level perfect. Thats why he gets so wild when I hack the loaf all raggedy! I say…get a life!

        • Hanni
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          Mine are even but for whatever reason go diagonally?

        • Miffypops
          Posted November 28, 2015 at 1:03 am | Permalink

          Ragged is a good word. Raggedy is a better word

          • Liz
            Posted November 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            Clodagh Rogers song…..’Raggedy Doll’ …circa 1968? Song was actually called ‘ Come Back and Shake me’

  32. Mary Mary
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    ***/** Sorry to setter ! Found this soooo hard, especially NW corner- oh well, the SW corner, too, I confess. Have a TERRIBLE cold so am blaming that since the alternative culprit has to be veggie-brain. Boo hoo. AND it’s pouring with rain in Liverpool………….Blackest of black Fridays for moi.

  33. mre
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Took an age to get going with this puzzle and so was timed out, an unusual occurrence these days, with nine remaining unsolved. For what it’s worth this was mostly the south west corner (not helped by my failure to recall the name of the drink in 13d). All in all a comprehensive victory for the setter.

    ****/***

  34. Liz Houghton
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    How do you know who the compiler is ?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Frequently Asked Question no 28 under the faq tab will explain how we know

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Good question Liz. I don’t know why the Daily Telegraph doesn’t publish it.

  35. Kath
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Yet again late today – doing other ‘stuff’. I agree with 2* and 2*.
    Never heard of that meaning of 7a – all I could think of was a cat flap which didn’t help much – or 13d as a drink – cherries, yes, but a drink . . .
    Needless to say I didn’t stand a hope in hell of 2d – oh dear!
    17a took a while and 25a gave me my usual cricketing blindness although it turned out to be pretty simple.
    I think my favourite was 24a – don’t know why – just was.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to BD.
    Spent day in pub with younger Lamb and a whole crowd of her friends – having lived in Oxford since I was eighteen I didn’t think there was a pub that I’d never been in – I was wrong!!

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Well done you on finding new ‘watering holes’ AND getting a new pair of jeans http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

      Like you, I have never heard of the liqueur – in Scotland ‘a millennium ago’ we knew of ‘Mara chino’ cherries served in a Babycham. Now, THAT was considered to be ‘Avant garde’ for the ladies alongside ‘Sobranie’ cigarettes.

      • Merusa
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        I had forgotten all about Babycham – awful stuff – but the Sobranie cigarettes were tres chic!

        • Jane
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          I remember the first time I was allowed to have a Babycham – with Christmas lunch at my Gran’s house. I thought it was wonderful – nothing to do with the taste, just because I felt I was being treated like a ‘grown-up’!
          The other one around at the time was Cherry B – now that really was hideous. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

          • tstrummer
            Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

            Cherry B and Babycham are both available in Lucky Food and Wine opposite Strummer Towers and in my local, the Maple Tree. I have so far resisted the temptation.

        • Liz
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Especially the Black Russian Sobranie with the gold bit around the tip. Only allowed to have them at Christmas!

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Let’s not go on about that period – Prawn Cocktail, Steak Dianne / Steak with a peppercorn sauce ending with Black Forest Gateau, all washed down with a combination of Blue Nun, Black Tower or Mateus Rose.

        Gosh, them was the days http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • tstrummer
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

          Tavern Keg and Watney’s Red Barrell

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted November 28, 2015 at 12:08 am | Permalink

            Watney’s Red Barrell??? What about ‘Tolly Cobbold! When I joined the RN at HMS Ganges, all I saw on local billboards was – ‘Smile, you’re in Tolly Cobbold Country’. I can honestly say it was no reason to smile – the worst beer I ever tasted. Whether it was lager, bitter, stout or mild – it all looked and tasted the same.

      • Hanni
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never tried babycham. What is it like? I always imagined it as sweet Champagne. I tried a real ale last weekend. It was horrid. Nothing wrong with prawn cocktail though.

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          I am the Prawn Cocktail king of Shropshire – nobody makes them better. With regard to Babycham, I never drank it but I was assured by many that it tasted like reindeer p**s. However, I always wanted to ask how they knew.

          I hope you have been practicing your Uckers skills Hanni – I hope to be your first opponent.

          • Hanni
            Posted November 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            Not being familiar with reindeer in that context, I cannot possibly comment.

            Re prawn cocktail…the key is the sauce, lush.

            Edit. P.S re Uckers in London. Bring it on.

            • Shropshirelad
              Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

              Re you’re Edit – That’s what I like to hear. Looking forward to it and stand by to be thrashed (not physically I hasten to add).

              Re Prawn Cocktail – I am willing to bet you’ll never have come across a better sauce than mine.

              Double lush http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Kath
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        Good pub – good jeans – good day – and as for the Sobranie cigs – well! When I was about twenty one I made a great dress and it was exactly the right colour to go with the cigs!! Cool, or what! Six months tomorrow, or maybe the day after, since I had one – a cig I mean not a Sobranie!

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted November 28, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

          Well done you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

          Keep it going.

        • Angel
          Posted November 28, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Was it the proverbial “little black dress” with gold trim (or jewellery) to match the Black Russian/Balkan Sobranie or perhaps white for the White Russian cigaretteshttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_question.gif

  36. Bryon
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid this one is the last straw,

    The idea of a clue is to lead the solver to a logical answer.

    I will not renew my subscription next year

    I have been solving the DT cryptic crossword since1935. No more – I can’t take the stress!!!

    • Posted November 27, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Bryon

      It might help if you indicated to which clue or clues you are referring.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted November 27, 2015 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Wow!
      1935! You must be 100 year old soon.
      I think the Telegraph should give you a free subscription.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted November 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Or at least a telegram from HM @ Buck House http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted November 27, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          I think she will give that up soon.
          As things are going, she will have to do that on a daily basis.

          • Kath
            Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

            Yes – and oh dear!! It’s all wrong . . .

  37. tstrummer
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m still at work, yet I’ve finished the puzzle sitting at my desk on what can only be called a slow night. Typical Giovanni offering that gave a few smiles, a few hold-ups (no, not stockings, I stopped wearing them years ago) and, for once, more than a few groans. No real stand-outs, but I liked 3d. Thanks to the Don and DT. 2*/2*

  38. oddjob
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    118

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      24251214

  39. Gwizz
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Um, just dropping 24hours late to say I enjoyed this crossword. Took me a while before the penny dropped re: easy target . That was also my favourite. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Don and DT.