DT 28007

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28007

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Hi everybody.  I hope that 2016 is treating you well, and if it isn’t, that things improve very soon.

I have been allowed another go at blogging, so my hints, tips and asides follow.

Today’s puzzle is the usual Monday fare, except that it contains only one double definition.  I found it pleasing to solve and would have given it half a star more for enjoyment if it wasn’t quite so heavy on the anagrams and charades.

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.


1a    Change of fee as required to relieve the pressure (4,3)
EASE OFF: Today’s first anagram.  A change of the order of the letters in OF FEE AS is required to get the answer. Now that the holiday season is over, it may be time to do this.  Or not …

5a     S American country in which they drew the line at nothing? (7)
ECUADOR: The line is one of latitude, of the degree indicated; it passes through this country

9a    It should leave Britain the centre of sensation (5)
BRAIN: The first word of the clue should leave the fourth.  The answer is a snack for a zombie.  I like this

10a    Spoke to a number in formal gear (9)
ADDRESSED: A from the clue, one of the letters that can denote a number, and then wearing smart clothes

11a    With extensive boundaries, one needs extra cover (10)
WIDESPREAD: Split (4,6), this could mean a large cover of the type found on a bed.  A nice misleading surface reading implying something to do with cricket.  Well, I say nice.  I did not exactly approach this one with gleeful anticipation!

12a    Partly discovering poetic Ireland (4)
ERIN: The poetic romantic name for Ireland, derived from the Irish word, is lurking (partly) in the clue

14a    Speaking by sign equates to volumes of words (12)
DICTIONARIES: A manner of speaking and then a sign of the zodiac

18a    Break up and scatter inside target (12)
DISINTEGRATE: Scatter the letters of INSIDE TARGET.  I used to use this word as a synonym for differentiate in calculus

21a    Sheriff yet to catch suspect (4)
IFFY: Lurker number two, indicated by to catch, and resulting in an adjective rather than the implied noun.  Smooth

22a    Working to sort out final count (10)
FUNCTIONAL: Jumble up (sort out) the components of FINAL COUNT

25a    Stimulant for a N Ireland settlement (9)
ADRENALIN: Make an arrangement (settlement) of the letters of N IRELAND.  I’m more used to seeing an e on the end

26a    Arguments supporting point in plain speaking? (5)
PROSE: Arguments in favour followed by a cardinal point of the compass.  Not speaking in poetry

27a    One unwilling to give credit (7)
SCEPTIC: A very gentle cryptic definition.  Here, the credit is belief or trust

28a    One takes something for it (7)
LARCENY: To commit this crime one must take something unlawfully



1d    Drinkers’ benders (6)
ELBOWS: To bend this joint is colloquially to drink alcohol, especially to excess

2d    A drink mixed and swallowed by the bashful (6)
SHANDY: AND from the clue is inserted into (swallowed by) bashful

3d    In error, since I’m not all-knowing (10)
OMNISCIENT: Jiggle the letters in SINCE IM NOT until they are no longer in error and everything is clear

4d    Talent is modest, student accepted (5)
FLAIR: Insert our usual pupil into a word for pretty good or passable

5d    Aim always, say, to do one’s best (9)
ENDEAVOUR: Start with an aim and then add a word that sounds like a synonym for always

6d    American editor briefly employed (4)
USED: Abbreviations for American and then editor.  This is an entry-level clue if ever I saw one

7d    I’d raised pressure to grab property (8)
DISTRAIN: The reversal (raised, in a down clue) of I’D followed by a pressure that is not stress (though but for one checking letter, it could be).  The answer means to seize property in order to obtain payment of money owed

8d    Insolence regretted, we hear, to Head (8)
RUDENESS: A homophone of a word that means regretted followed by a headland

13d    Daisy is out with dancer who’s on an excursion (3-7)
DAY-TRIPPER: Take IS (from the clue) out of the named girl to get the first part of the answer.  The second word is someone who is light on their feet

15d    Market’s ending with blue chip distribution for customers (3,6)
THE PUBLIC: The last letter (ending) of MARKET and then a redistribution of the letters in BLUE CHIP

16d    They have main control (8)
ADMIRALS: Another lightly cryptic definition.  Senior commanders of a fleet or navy


17d    See Corfu anyway, even if you have to press for it (3,5)
USE FORCE: A reshuffle (anyway) of the letters of SEE CORFU

19d    Repeat prescription for more, once doctor’s left that (6)
ENCORE: Prescription as in formula or recipe, which uses the letters of MORE ONCE.  One of the usual abbreviations for doctor has been left out of the ingredients

20d    Tired agent takes shelter inside (6)
SLEEPY: A secret agent contains (takes … inside) shelter.  Me after staying up late doing the hints and doing “just one more” search for pictures

23d    Waterway is able to dock everything (5)
CANAL: Start with is able to, then remove the last letter of (dock) a word meaning everything

24d    It secures a measure of progress at sea (4)
KNOT: Today’s only double definition.  I’m confident you won’t need a third


Thanks to Rufus.

Now, over to you.


RIP David Bowie, 1947 – 2016



  1. Brian
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    On the whole very enjoyable with some elegant clues but despite the hints I still don’t u derstand 19d. I can see the answer as a repeat but what has it to do with prescription? I can see that it is an anagram of once more with the medical officer but once again what with the prescription, got me and Mrs B baffled?
    Thx to all

    • Brian
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I think I must have inadvertently turned off the cookies for the site on my iPad as I have to enter my name and email with every comment and the site will not let me amend my comment after posting. Any idea how I can turn them back on?
      I did try to use the contact form but it refuses to accept the anti- robot entry on an iPad

    • neveracrossword
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t “prescription” meant to be the anagram indicator? Not a particularly convincing one, though.

      • Heno
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Make up a prescription of the letters of once more and omit the mo.

        • Hrothgar
          Posted January 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Prescription as an anagram indicator is pretty feeble.
          Otherwise enjoyed this crossword.
          Thanks Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms Setter and Kitty for the review.

          • Hrothgar
            Posted January 11, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            Or, perhaps, on reflection, it’s not.

            • Hrothgar
              Posted January 11, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

              …feeble, that is.

    • Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      I think that “prescription” is a contrived way of indicating the anagram. What I don’t understand is what the word “that” is doing at the end of the clue.

      • Hrothgar
        Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        ‘That’ being the two words from which ‘doctor’ leaves.
        Is my understanding.
        On reflection, a rather clumsy clue.
        I now think.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    2*/4*. Usual Monday fun.

    Even though I have done a lot of 1d bending in my life (as it appears has the cat pictured in 20d), I can’t recall every having heard of the expression. I put in “distress” for 7d intending to check my BRB to find out what this had to do with grabbing property, but then I realised it was wrong after I had solved 14a.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

  3. Clarky
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Comfortable Monday morning romp with the exception of 11a where I spent far too long trying to find a suitable cricketer before realising 4d was ‘or’ not ‘re’. Also not familiar with 7d.
    I assume prescription is simply the anagram indicator as I can’t see any other reason for it. Have I missed something?
    Thanks to setter a kitty.

  4. Florence
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Kitty for the review. I missed the lurker in 21a for ages, but got it eventually. I didn’t get 26a or 19d, but was able to work them out from the review. Is the word prescription an anagram indicator?

    • dutch
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      yes, or rather I think the anagram indicator is “prescription for” – as kitty says, you can read it as “formula for” or “recipe for”

      • Florence
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dutch. Another one to commit to memory.

  5. Jane
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see you back in the chair, Kitty. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Not too much trouble with this one although, like RD, I came close to putting ‘distress’ into 7d.
    Also took a while to figure out why 19d was what it had to be.
    Unlike Kitty, I’d think it a spelling mistake if I saw 25a with an ‘E’ on the end – is it an age thing?
    No particular stand-out favourite but all jolly good Monday fare from Rufus. 2*/3* for me.

    Thanks to Rufus and also to Kitty – I don’t think I’ll bother trying the vodka at 21a!
    Kath would have been sorry to miss the pic. at 5d.

  6. Jacko
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    16d – the illustration is of tortoiseshells (small I think), not red admirals!

    • Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Jacko

    • Jaylegs
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted Jacko☺️

    • Kitty
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Welcome, Jacko.

      You’re quite right, it is was. I swapped my original pic for a prettier one without noticing the change in species. Now corrected. Thanks.

  7. Peta
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I did well with this one, despite me being distracted by the thought that the sound track to my life ended today…

  8. dutch
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Kitty for a lovely blog and interesting pictures – I like the alcohol and life. Bit of an alcohol theme in your blog that you can not entirely blame on Rufus

    Enjoyable puzzle today, I quite liked centre of sensation (9a), volumes of words (14a), and the sheriff (21a). Many thanks Rufus

    RIP David Bowie

    • Kitty
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Dutch, you’re right about the excessive alcohol content. It was a reaction to the government’s new guidelines :) .

  9. Bluebird
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    This was the fastest one all year for me ( I’m including 2015) so enjoyable if only for that.
    Not as enjoyable as your hint blog though, Kitty……I liked the theme, as I am, like many others, I suspect, still wading through the Yuletide alcohol stock.

    We enjoyed espresso and apple pie martinis (courtesy of M&S) and plenty of smoked salmon, but smoked salmon vodka is definitely a step too far.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif I mean, what could you have it with, other than actual smoked salmon? Perhaps a new cocktail with sour cream and floating caviare?
    I’m sure there is a vomiting emoticon somewhere.

    • Kitty
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      I think we can do without that emoticon!

      • Jane
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        We certainly can! Brian would be putting rows of them out on the blog every other Thursday. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  10. Angel
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kitty. Thanks for hints which, as per usual on a Monday, were not needed while solving but enjoyed afterwards. Thank you also Rufus for a very fair and enjoyable puzzle with only a couple which didn’t spring immediately to mind viz 3d and 7d (new one on me). **/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  11. Beaver
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Like RD, as a lifelong imbiber I also have never heard of the ‘elbows’ connection-must be a southern usage. .Thought 5a was a somewhat obscure clue, I was thinking of putting in Equator as the solution until I solved 7d,oh and captains for 16d.
    Agree with a **/***,an enjoyable start to the week .Thanks Kitty , thought Morse would turn up in the blog!

    • Heno
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m from the South, and I drink, but I’ve never heard of it either :-)

      • Angel
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        I too am from the South and I have been “lifting my elbow” for years – contrary to the Government’s advice. Cheers! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    • Expat Chris
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      I have, and so has Mr. Expat. We’re from Gloucestershire & Worcestershire.

      • Merusa
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard of it, and my parents were from Glos, do maybe it is a regional thing.

        • Jane
          Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Not sure about that. I’m from Cheshire and I’ve certainly heard of it.

          • Nan
            Posted February 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            I’ve heard of “lifting his elbow” and I’m from, and in, darkest Africa. Never heard of 7d though, but learned about it in the dictionary. Never too old….

    • Michael
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Someone who is fond of ‘bending their elbow’ is a phrase indicating a bit of a boozer – quite normal if somewhat archaic usage.

    • Kitty
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      I did have to look it up to explain my answer, but am quite sure that if I’ve heard the phrase its meaning would have been clear. I think I quite probably have and it just didn’t stick.

  12. weekendwanda
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Took slightly longer than Saturday’s – not within the space of a Nottingham tram journey as Saturday but well within a train journey. Last one in was 25a and penultimate 16d. The bottom half plus 14a took much longer than the remainder of the top. Fun anyway. Thanks setter and Kitty. I shall now read your hints and the comments. I see Brian was first on board. Is it my imagination or is he mellowing? Perhaps he may reveal himself at the birthday bash?

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      If Brian does literally reveal himself at the birthday bash, will someone please take a picture?http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to disappoint WEW. Have a look at his comment on last week’s Ray T on Thursday/Friday.

  13. Shropshirelad
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Pretty usual fare for a Monday – enjoyable but not particularly taxing. I’m in the 25a corner without the ‘e’ as I can’t recall ever having seen it with one. Nearly went wrong on 11a before looking at the down clues, so 5d saved the day. No particular favourites today and I did think there were a tad too many anagrams.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and nice to see Kitty in the blogging chair once more. Well done.

    To David Bowie – thanks for all the music and memories (with the exception of the ‘laughing gnome’ perhaps). RIP

  14. Heno
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. As Kitty said, very low on double definitions, lucky for me, as I always struggle with them. Very pleased to say that this extends my run of completions to seven. I was stumped by Rufus last week. Some really good clues, 25a&15d great anagrams. Favourite was 1d, although I didn’t know the meaning. Last in were 9&7d, both caused a lot of head scratching. Was 3*/3* for me. Squash Handicap Tournament starts tonight, and muggins is running it http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  15. Sheffieldsy
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    A gentle start to the week, to be sure. Like Rabbit Dave we too had ‘distress’ for 7d. We had all the checkers except 14a and it fitted with them. Unlike RD we did check the dictionary and, lo and behold, we found that as a legal term distress means ‘the legal seizure and detention of the goods of another as security or satisfaction for debt, etc.’ and in it went! We didn’t realise our mistake until 14a was our last clue to solve.

    Thanks to Kitty, whose ratings we agree with, for the blog and to Rufus.

  16. omar
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Easy-ish for me, but a good puzzle with nothing obscure (+ I liked the lurkers)….*/***

  17. silvanus
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    The usual Monday delight, a shade trickier than last week but nothing to frighten the horses.

    If I had encountered 7d before I didn’t remember doing so, so I needed to check my answer. For some unaccountable reason I initially put “screen” as the second part of 11a (thinking TVs I suppose), until I realised the error of my ways.

    As Kitty says, the double definition count was unusually low today, and there seemed to be a greater number of subtractive clues than normal. No shortage of anagrams as ever!

    My favourite was originally going to be the amusing 1d, but it was eventually trumped by the immaculate surface of 21a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Kitty, and a welcome back to the blogging chair.

    • Kitty
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Me too with widescreen!

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that was my first thought too before introducing the solution to 5d as ‘screen’ seemed to fit the cricket analogy.

  18. Jaylegs
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle for a wet gloomy morning **/*** good way. To start the weekhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifBig thank you to Kitty and Rufus. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif could not see
    The relevence of the Smoked Salmon Vodka, liked 14a & 28http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    • Jane
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jaylegs,
      I think the pic. was simply there as an example of what looked somewhat 21a!

      • Kitty
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink


    • Jaylegs
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

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

  19. Michael
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Nice and straightforward with plenty of anagrams and a lurker – my last one in was 7d, I tried to make an anagram out of ‘I’d raised’ until the penny eventually dropped!

    Enjoyable fun over too quickly!


  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice start to the week. My newly gifted BRB eventually confirmed 7d, a word I’d not come cross before. It was one of the options iprovided by my electronic helper. The rest was fairly straightforward with my favourite being 14a. Thanks to Kitty and the setter. RIP David Bowie.

  21. Merusa
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m always on Rufus’s wavelength.
    Loved the illustration for 20d, Kitty!
    Good thing Kath isn’t here, she would have the tissues out for 5d.
    Didn’t know 7d, last one in, and I had to look it up in the 14a.
    Thanks to Rufus for a lovely start to the week and to Kitty for the usual entertaining review.

  22. Paso Doble
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant and gentle start to the week. Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty.

  23. Una
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Good fun as usual although I found the lower half quite tricky.
    My favourite is 1d or perhaps 25a.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty.

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    We also started off with distress for 7d until it would not work with 14a. A good fun puzzle as we expect to find on a Monday. An excellent review with well selected pics too.
    Thanks Rufus and Kitty.

  25. från
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    lower half r&w, as was the top left only 7d gave any real resistance */**** Thanks to Kitty and Refus

  26. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see you Kitty.
    Made the same mistake in 7d as some of our fellow bloggers and more.
    Had Overspread in 11a which rendered the SW corner quite complicated.
    Nice misdirections. I like.
    The picture for 21a is spot on. Definitely iffy. Would go well with hedgehog flavoured chips.
    Favourite is 5d. Very smooth.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review.

  27. Gwizz
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    It was the top half that was R&W for me, other then 7d which I got wrong to begin with… DISTRESS rools!
    The bottom half for me took much longer; putting firstly CAPTAINS followed by HELMSMEN did not help! Managed to complete eventually though with 21a being favourite – so smooth.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review.
    First Lemmy now David Bowie… so sad. Who’s next I wonder? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  28. Drapdor
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Enjoying this, though I much prefer double meanings and cryptics to anagrams and charades.
    I too put Distress for 7d! You can’t really tell which of the two is right without checkers as they are synonyms.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty for the great review.

  29. Salty Dog
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    A nice start to the week. Right on the 1*/2* borderline, but good entertainment value. 1d gets my vote for favourite clue; it puzzled me for a bit, then went in with a dull “thunk”. Thanks to Rufus, and to Kitty.

  30. Angel
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Drapdor – Am I missing something – how does ‘distress’ equate to grab property http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_question.gif

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      BRb “the act of distraining goods (law); the goods seized”

    • Drapdor
      Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Hello Angel – distress and distrain both relate to the process of removing property from debtors. Distress is more common as a noun than a verb – the usual term is to levy distress (or distrain). I don’t have a dictionary to check whether distress can be used as a verb in this sense, though it is common to refer to ‘distressed’ property. That’s what led me to make the mistake anyway.

      • weekendwanda
        Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Exactly right Drapdoor, I am away from home and have not got the BRB to check but believe that the synonym for distress is distraint being the noun. It is more of a current legal term than 28a which has not been in common usage since the Theft Act 1968

      • Angel
        Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:30 am | Permalink

        Hello Drapdor (Golden Sheet?!) and weekendwanda. Thanks I have learnt that distraint and distress are synonymous nouns and that one levies distress or distrains. Distressed property/merchandise previously would only have meant damaged goods to me!

        • Drapdor
          Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          Yes exactly, drap d’or!

      • Jose
        Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Drapador: I think the reason that many of us initially entered distress (including me) instead of the correct distrain is not primarily because they are synonymous (that never occurred to me at the time) but because “pressure” in the clue relates closely to both stress and strain.

  31. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Kitty and Setter.
    Had not heard of 7d, or I’m afraid to say, 12a!!
    Very enjoyable, as were Kitty’s hints…
    RIP David Bowie

  32. Jane
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Hi TS – one large gold star heading your way! Brooklyn was a wonderful read, I only wish we could have followed Eilis back to the USA. Mr. Toibin’s style very much appealed to me in that I felt I knew the characters intimately – even the ones who played quite small parts in the story.

    Hope you’re managing to keep your head above water?

  33. Tstrummer
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    I thought you might like it. All his novels are worth reading, but you could try The Testament of Mary. It’s a deeply poignant and beautifully expressed narrative. In other matters, the water is lapping up to my chin, but there is hope, at least, that it may recede in the not too distant future.

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Quick and easy, as Rufus should be on a Monday – my only hold-up and last in was, like others, 7d, and it took a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer to unblock the synapses. 1d was first in, very common when I was growing up in west Berkshire. No real favourite, though. Many thanks to Rufus and to the returning Kitty (I’d certainly like to give the salmon vodka a go, if you can bring a quart along to the birthday knees-up – although perhaps not with tonic. Maybe a soft poached egg float?) 1*/3*

  35. Young Salopian
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    As usual for a Monday puzzle, I did it Tuesday morning. A gentle start to the week in crossword land from Rufus. Thanks all round. 2*/3*