DT 28025 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28025

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28025

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Welcome all to Big Dave’s Crossword Blog, which has just celebrated the completion of its seventh year.   Those that were not too bashful or too far afield to be able to attend the party in London had a happy time indeed.  Poor Alchemi was feeling sniffly and sneezy and stayed away, and there were a few other lamented absences too.  I hope nobody awoke next morning suffering and feeling grumpy and that nobody needed attention from the doc.  Your reviewer is in seventh heaven, having had a magnificent time with friends old and new.  I am however feeling more than a little dopey and sleepy so apologies if the blog today is a little raggedy round the edges.

I don’t want to invoke the envy of those who weren’t there, but can’t resist a little more about the birthday bash.  Being a greedy little Kitty, I had probably more than my share of Jean-Luc’s divine macaroons, which some of us had been lusting after for a full year.  I did manage to restrict myself to a single piece of Crypticsue’s delicious cake – the pride of the blog.  It was later, when I and the half dozen others still standing decamped to a local restaurant, that I descended to out-and-out gluttony.  I wouldn’t say we invoked the wrath of the staff but they did have to urge us out of the door when Saturday gave way to Sunday.  After all that excitement, I am looking forward to a nice slothful day.

Today’s puzzle is classic Rufus, not as anagrammy as usual but full of his trademark playfulness with a very generous helping of cryptic and double definitions.  At first I gave it just one star for difficulty because it all went in easily, but then added an extra half because it did contain a word that was new to me.  I also added one to my original enjoyment rating, but that may be mainly due to my good mood.  With old friends expertly introduced and a masterclass in the cryptic reading of clues, I think this would be a particularly lovely crossword for a new solver.

The definitions are underlined in the clues below.  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.  Be aware also that hovering over the pictures will reveal the answer so be careful to avoid that if you don’t want to see it.



1a    Course created by a man from St Andrews? (5)
ASCOT: We begin with a nice simple charade (or Lego clue if you prefer): just the A from the clue and then someone hailing from the part of the world where St Andrew lies.  The result is a racecourse oft seen in crosswords

4a    One’s time of arrival (8)
BIRTHDAY: The time of year – the exact date, in fact – when one arrived in the world

8a     Burly Pat reformed in a very sudden way (8)
ABRUPTLY: Our first anagram of the day is of BURLY PAT, indicated in the clue by reformed

9a    Team members’ weapons (8)
SIDEARMS: Another word for team or squad then some members, in this case limbs

11a    Soft-hearted moneylender who enters office uninvited (7)
USURPER: A niftily indicated insertion of P (soft-hearted) into a moneylender who would probably be charging excessive rates of 10d

13a     Need month off, as recovering (2,3,4)
ON THE MEND:  An anagram (off) of NEED MONTH.  Fun though it was, I hope the revellers at Saturday’s celebration don’t need anywhere near this long to recover!

15a    Fishmonger who has a monopoly? (4,11)
SOLE DISTRIBUTOR: Read one way, the answer means someone who deals with one particular type of fish; read another (s)he is the only fishmonger around.  The first word went straight in but I needed a couple of checkers for the second

18a     Ships  in which sherry may be served (9)
SCHOONERS: A pair of definitions that are often seen next to each other in crossword clues.  A sailing ship and a large sherry glass

21a     Marks exercises during exam, causing uproar (7)
TEMPEST: Inside (during) an exam, insert the abbreviations for (Deutsche) Marks and some school exercises (not the type requiring an exercise book)

22a    Courteous and kindGoodness me! (8)
GRACIOUS: Another brace of definitions, the first having a royal flavour.  The second one could loan its me to the answer without any meanings changing

24a    Boring task for the affluent (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO: The (de-hyphenated) answer could describe the situation if one had to bore a shaft for the purposes of obtaining water

25a     A translation that creates antipathy (8)
AVERSION: The A from the clue and (a) translation or edition

26a    Grounds which are worth seeing, one hears (5)
SITES: Another common homophone – a word which sounds like (one hears) nice views or tourist attractions



1d    Secretary uses name Susan, I fancy (10)
AMANUENSIS: A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.  Constructed by taking the letters in NAME SUSAN I and rearranging them (fancy).  A new word for me

2d    Musical  baggage carrier (8)
CAROUSEL: This is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, from which comes You’ll Never Walk Alone.  It’s also something travellers spend ages watching in the hope that at some time their luggage will appear safe and sound and not turn out to have been send to Tibet.  (Unless they’re in Tibet)

3d    Maximum rate for a spinner? (3,5)
TOP SPEED: This means the maximum velocity for anything, but could possibly indicate the rate of revolution of a spinning children’s toy

4d    Equine animals making canine sounds (4)
BAYS: Reddish-brown or chestnut horses with black points.  Barks or howls

5d    Take things the wrong way? (6)
THIEVE: The wrong way here means immorally and so the answer is a word meaning pilfer

6d    Educational measure? (6)
DEGREE: An academic rank conferred by a college or university.  Or a measure – for example, of temperature or angle

7d    Boys may turn into aggressive teenagers (4)
YOBS: It’s an anagram, indicated by may turn into

10d    Return from the capital (8)
INTEREST: Monetary return on an investment

12d    Philosopher offers wine and gold when entertaining us (8)
ROUSSEAU: The philosopher is Jean-Jacques, French writer, composer and political theorist of the Enlightenment.  He is formed of a colour of wine into which is inserted (entertaining) the final word of the clue, all followed by the chemical symbol for gold.  Readers of the comments section may recall that Hanni recently experimented with making this type of wine using an unorthodox but apparently valid method.  The verdict: “awful”

The idea
The result

14d    Misrepresented in edicts or orders (10)
DIRECTIONS: I had a momentary brain-fail here trying to work out how on earth the answer could mean misrepresented.  That is of course actually the anagram indicator, and the definition is underlined.  The rest of the clue gives the letters you need

16d    Business leader takes a walk to see source of blackberries (8)
BRAMBLES: Take the first letter (leader) of Business and then add a verb meaning walks for pleasure

17d    Become established down under? (4,4)
TAKE ROOT: Nothing to do with our antipodean friends – we are only penetrating a little way down here.  The cryptic part of the clue refers to the underground part of a plant which keeps it embedded

19d    It gives one who is stiff a ride (6)
HEARSE: A particularly pleasing surface for those with a certain kind of mind, but with the chestnut flavour meaning of stiff, the answer is something of an anticlimax.  This poor stiff is being transported to his or her final resting place

20d    Experts know them to be edible bulbs (6)
ONIONS: Those who are skilled or knowledgeable are said to know their these  They are edible bulbs, delicious in a multitude of preparations

22d    Miss going to a festival (4)
GALA: A lass and then the A from the clue

23d    Singer who is said never to give an encore (4)
SWAN: If the word song is affixed to the end of the answer there will be no further performance – not today, nor ever.  That term comes from a classical legend that this creature sings at death




Thanks to Rufus.  Do leave a comment telling us how you found it and what you thought.


The Quick Crossword pun: DIFFER+CULT=DIFFICULT

129 comments on “DT 28025

  1. 2*/4* for a typical piece of Rufus fun. I’m not sure why 13a needs the word “as”; surely “Need month off recovering” works equally well?
    Many thanks to Rufus and to Kitty. Great to meet you on Saturday!

  2. No I haven’t even looked at the crossword but I urge you to make straight for the gallery and view the two fabulous sets of photographs from Saturday. Great to put faces to names and I am delighted that so many of you were able to get there.

      1. Hi Una, sometimes you just need to wait a while for the next one to upload although I don’t know why I’m encouraging you – some of us were obviously having far too good a time! :oops:

          1. Do babies come with quite that many wrinkles? Maybe! I was certainly the ‘newbie’ on the day and BD goes out of his way to make sure that any such are warmly welcomed – you should try it!

            1. I thought I was replying to Kitty. Senior moment, I suppose.
              You look lovely.
              And I certainly would love to attend some day. To attend this year would have meant taking a day off work, which I am loathe to do,as I already get four and a half months fixed holidays.Perhaps I will have to wait until I retire, four years away ! I hope I can manage the trip before then.
              Has the site been changed or is it my computer ? And I have to fill in both name and e-mail each time.

              1. Ah, that makes more sense, Una! (Incidentally, I’m the “baby” of my family too, with older siblings and cousins older still.)

                I hope you do make it to one of the gatherings (and I recommend this January one) before too long. They are really something special.

                As for the site, I don’t think it’s your computer because it’s also happening to me as well as others who have changed nothing about their computers. All I can say is we must have patience, because no doubt that BD is working hard to fix things.

  3. This was a read and write for me.

    I never thought that I would be able to say that, but from a half completer and give up…by following this blog and absorbing the words of wisdom, I now complete most puzzles during the week without my usual electrical crutches.

    Many thanks to all the people who contrIbute, you have greatly enhanced my enjoyment of puzzles.

    1. Glad this wonderful blog is working for you Colin. I was like you, before I found it. Now I usually complete the back pager, and sometimes complete the “easier” Toughies.

    2. Your experience mirrors my own, Colin. I found this pretty straightforward, which I have come to expect on a Monday, but with a nice touch of mischief which made it a pleasure to complete, so 1*/4*. I enjoyed 23d, which went home with a satisfying “clunk” after I had gazed at it blankly for a while. Thanks to Rufus, and to Kitty for a most entertaining review/social column. I love the idea of such a get-together, but confess to feeling rather too recent a recruit to attend one.

      1. Please don’t let that put you off, Salty. I travelled hours on the train ‘on my own’ on Friday, booked into a hotel for two nights ‘on my own’ and returned home on Sunday with a fistful of new friends, memories of great get-togethers, a slight hang-over and the knowledge that I can now make comments to ‘faces’ rather than just avatars. You will love it – guaranteed. :good:

        1. No-one needs to be afraid to come – all who have professed to having butterflies beforehand have felt at home as soon as they walked in.

          The next London event will be Sloggers and Betters 13 at the The George, Borough High Street, Southwark at a date in May that is yet to be determined – we’ll let you know as soon as the date of the Times Setters’ lunch has been announced.

        2. Hoofit, you should have come. Last year, we felt a bit disorientated but now we’ve become part of the family. To be honest, we went along to the Pub with every intention of doing a runner if we didn’t have the courage to say hello, then we saw Big Dave (with his unnecessary name badge) and we were in!

  4. I knew the word for 1d – from the Ken Russell film about Delius and Eric Fenby – but always thought it began with an ‘e’, I’d never seen it written down so that was new – the rest was fairly straightforward – five anagrams luvverly – I thought 19d was in bad taste but quite funny!

    Very enjoyable!


  5. Erring on the side of gentle with some old favourites eg 19d.
    Played around with the components of 1d and, after checking, found a new word for me.
    Many thanks Rufus and Kitty for the review.

  6. No pain there today but enjoyment aplenty. Thank you Rufus. Thanks also Kitty for your usual timely appearance although I was not in fact in need of hints today apart from parsing 23d. 1d new to me but saved by my gizmo (doubtless spurned by MP!) and Chambers. Liked 24a, 10d, 17d and 20d. Great to see the pictures of a good time being had by all at the birthhday ‘do’ – many happy returns BD et al. **/****. :yes:

    1. Hi Angel, I have never spurned a gizmo in my life. I merely left 1d blank as I could not get it in my head. Would that I had been blogging today I may have had to resort to electrickery to which I would have held my hand up.

  7. A not too difficult start to the week. A typical Monday Rufus offering. **/**** from me today. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review. I agree, Saturday was a good day with everybody enjoying themselves.

  8. Not too difficult but overall not much fun either I’m afraid. Never come across 1d before or indeed the French philosopher. 22d remains a complete mystery although I do get the swan song reference, why a swan which is a mute animal would be considered a singer is bizarre.
    However, 25a and 20d were nice clues.
    Thx to all

            1. Thanks – after careful consideration I decided that was the most likely explanation. I couldn’t find any suitably famous singers named Swan (the one above is Swann).

                1. I thought the idea was that nothing follows a swansong and there would therefore be no encore – is that maybe too obvious!

                  It was only a thought!


                  1. Kitty got it right first time;

                    From Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:
                    Swan song. The song fabled to be sung by swans at the point of death; hence, the last work of a poet, composer, etc.

  9. Nice easy start to the week, and then there was 1d, but it was possibly the gentlest cryptic I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing. My only regret is that it is a Monday so no toughie, which leaves me no clues to puzzle over till tomorrow morning.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty

    1. There’s no Toughie but there is an excellent Rookie Corner puzzle from Maize which I thoroughly recommend.

  10. Thank you Rufus for A nice puzzle to start the week with only 1d causing any problems. It still isn’t in and I fear it may never make it. It was nice to catch up with everybody on Saturday. Thanks to BD for putting it on, to Cs and JLC for the sugary stuff, and to all who turned up and took time to chat.

    1. Apologies for my cheeky attempt to poach your next blog, MP. I wouldn’t really have taken it from you! I promise to stay in my place from now on :yes:.

  11. We’ll go for */**** as pommette knew the secretary word. Certainly entertaining while it lasted, which wasn’t long. Nine acrosses followed by fourteeen downs rather knocked the whole thing on the head double quick.

    Fav is either the stiff getting a ride or the birthday.

    Ta to Rufus and Kitty.

  12. Lovely puzzle from Rufus. We had a great day on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of lovely people from the blog and putting faces to names. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty. */**** from us.

    Here’s one for 22a ……

    1. Sorry if I missed your invitation but I was out of Internet signal after posting last night.

      1. Hi JL – I so much enjoyed your company (and low-fattening treats) on Saturday but don’t have your email address to write and thank you. Perhaps just as well – I spent a very lonely day in London on Sunday before my train left and could have been angling for a guide! Please come back to see us soon. :bye:

  13. The easiest Monday offering for some time, with a few familiar clues and well-signposted anagrams to help me on my way. Thank you setter and Kitty.

  14. Quickly solved. I liked references to Flanders and Swan, Ken Russell and his wonderful b/w films on composers. Very much ahead of their time. I’d love to see them repeated. Had to check the blog for the meaning of 5d, it didn’t gel with me to start with. Sorry to hear about the togmiester. A gentleman and a scholar.
    Thanks to all. Perhaps next year if I’m allowed, I will attend your meeting.

  15. Light and bright ,no sooner started than finished-which is fine for a Monday. Going for a */***.
    Thanks to Kitty for the blog and the explanation of 26a, thought that it must be Swan as it -sounded like-one hears-‘it’s one’ie no encores
    Never mind.

  16. Nice Monday offering -my only problem was trying to fit ‘uncle’ into 11a but I got there after a struggle.

  17. Lovely gentle puzzle. 18a my favourite as it took me back to a Berni Inn in Liverpool in the 60’s where we used to enjoy a sherry of this size with a main course of steak and black forest gateau to follow. Thanks to setter and Kitty.

  18. Pretty much a R&W with 1d the last one in. Played around with the fodder and checkers and came up with the correct answer, even with the double unch! Just had to get it checked from a reliable source but definitely a new word on me. No particular favourite today but a relatively pleasant way to start the week off.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and Kitty for her review.

    It was great to see a lot of people at the do on Saturday – I reckon the pub’s profits would have gone a long way to settling the National debt. So sorry that some people couldn’t manage the day – there will be others opportunities no doubt. I reckon I know one particular Chinese restaurant in London that will shut up shop if they hear about another blog soirée at the Bridge :whistle:

  19. Pretty good start to the week, things can only get tougher, 6d caused me some difficulty as I thought in crossword land “measure” could allude to a dance, out with Rogets, then the penny dropped. Still ***/*** for me. I would really have liked to attend the birthday bash, but imminent birth of third grandchild precluded travelling any distance.
    Thanks to Kitty & Rufus, extremely windy here in North Cornwall.

  20. Yes, even ok for a dunce like me, nice to finish with no help for a change.
    1d was new to me and even to Mrs. HIYD who is a secretary!!

      1. Hi Hoofit – can’t tell you how many times you were mentioned at the birthday party. We all wanted to meet you! :yes:

        1. Aw…I can’t think what I have done to deserve a mention in such august company, but thanks.
          I will certainly come to the next…

  21. Many thanks Kitty

    Rufus is about all I can handle today, I’m well and truly shattered after a fantastic weekend. It was such a pleasure to see all of you. Thanks everyone for being who you are.

    I had to guess 1d and guessed wrong. Sums up today.

    Thank you Rufus for a much needed gentle monday

  22. I normally associate Rufus with Double Definitions … but today it seems to be double unches,

    Nice Grid?

  23. I found this on the easier side with the exception of 1d, a new word to add to my vocabulary. Particularly liked 19d and 20d.

  24. No problems with this. Learned a new word in 1d…don’t know if I’ll ever be able to use it in normal conversation though! Thought 11a was a good clue…..probably the best of the bunch. Thanks to setter and Kitty (what a long preamble!)…..1*/3*

  25. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review and hints. Nice to meet you Kitty, I’ll try not to be double booked next year :-) A very nice start to the week. Amazingly, I’d heard of 1d and I actually got a double definition in 6d to finish. 24a & 20d made me laugh, but my favourite was the side splitting 19d. Was 1*/4* for me.

  26. Hello everyone.
    Just taking advantage of Wifi connection to post a little message.
    Thanks again to SL for the Chinese meal. Such a wonderful way to end the weekend.
    I also shall savour CS mince pie when I get back to France tomorrow.
    Definitely had to use a pen for the anagram in 1d unfortunately.
    Last one in was 17d.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the super review.

  27. Wow – what a weekend! Hands up here for being one of the ‘few left standing’ who made it to the Chinese restaurant and a further somewhat embarrassed ‘hands up’ to being one of very few diehards who happened to be staying in the hotel where the night porter was not averse to re-opening the bar at stupid o’clock. I say no more – but the other diehards will know exactly what I’m talking about……!
    I’m in full agreement with Dutch that today’s Rufus was just about enough for me to cope with and even there I struggled with 1d from a spelling point of view and had already messed up the grid by confidently writing in ‘sole proprietor’ before I even realised that I’d got the wrong letter count for the second word.
    I rather liked the musical baggage handler and the boring task for the affluent – and even the fishmonger once I’d sorted him out.

    A thousand plaudits to Kitty for blogging – just as well you weren’t staying in our hotel! – and many thanks to Rufus, who was sensibly absent on Saturday.

    To all of you who couldn’t be there – please try to make a future one. It’s a long time since I’ve met a crowd of such lovely people and I enjoyed every single minute. Many thanks to all of you for your company and to BD for being a wonderful host.

    1. I was perfectly sober and when I returned to the Grafton, I was good and went straight to bed. :whistle:

      1. Umm…… have searched in vain for a ‘you little liar, Tommy’ emoticon but I can obviously only comment as far as the Chinese restaurant – you quite probably did go straight to bed afterwards. Think yourself lucky that you weren’t led astray by the night porter in our hotel! Anglesey was a long way home on Sunday night. :phew:

      1. Thank you, Dutch – but I’m still wondering what happened to you on Sunday??? I did ask for a table at breakfast for 2/3 but…….. :cry:

  28. Another excellent puzzle from Mr Squires. I resorted to Chambers Thesaurus for 1d which is a new word for me too, but the rest came without anything to scare the horses… except 12d (which has to be my favourite). Carelessly putting a “d” instead of an “r” at the end of 11a caused a little delay until I had the inevitable “doh” moment. Some old chestnuts here but I loved it nevertheless **/**** for me. Thanks to Rufus and to Kitty for the review.

  29. I had a slow start to this, which I put down to saturdayitis. Managed to sprint to the end after checking a few things. Pity birthdays only happen once a year. The Saturday bash was such fun, and my only regret was arriving so late and missing some folk. Thank you to the setter and to Kitty for the well explained review.

    1. Lovely to meet you, Florence – and your signature is safe in my ‘autograph’ book. I thought it was very noble of me to stay all day just to get everyone to sign! :wink:

      1. Wow, so impressed you managed to get everyone to sign your book. It was lovely to meet you too.

        1. Hi Florence,

          Was sorry I didn’t get to meet you on Saturday…was desperate to hear how “A little respect” is coming along. I just can’t imagine it.

  30. I have been sitting on my hands waiting for the somebody to mention the theme, but it’s cutting off the circulation and I can wait no longer…

        1. Aha ! I have it (I didn’t see the little extra picture in the ‘sites’). Who’s a clever little Kitty :yes:

                  1. Now, now, Kitty – he’s already said that he returned sober to the Grafton and went straight to bed. Any apparent drunkenness must be down to our swaying when we were looking at him. :wacko:

                    1. I’d be prepared to believe his story, but it doesn’t quiite tally with other versions of events I’ve heard :unsure:.

        2. Think I’m still brain-dead, Kitty – can’t imagine why :unsure:
          I’ve picked up on birthday cakes, gorgeous men, booze, some rare ‘sights’, obligatory soft drinks and reminders of toting luggage around London but – the onions? Maybe there were quite a few in the Chinese meal!
          Thank you for contributing to Friday evening/Saturday day (and night!) being such fun. :good:

          1. It’s way simpler than that, Jane. You will see it :yes:.

            Thanks yourself for making the difficult journey down (not to mention the even harder one back) and for being such wonderful company :yahoo:.

    1. I may not manage to stay awake much longer, so I’ll just make a quick list:

      Seventh heaven
      Deadly sins
      A nod to the last 6 + 1 standing on Saturday night
      Seven themed pictures (plus a lucky bonus one)
      I even went to the upper limit of the ratings I was prepared to give to get a pleasing total number of stars!

      Well done to those who spotted everything :good:.

  31. Agree nice easy start to the week */**** :good: Thanks to Kitty for the blog and Rufus for the puzzle. Liked 1a & 6d :bye:

    PS found Saturday’s puzzle unusually difficult :wacko: Off to check the gallery!

  32. Nice start to the crossword week. Nothing too frightening. 1d didn’t cause a problem but only because it came up elsewhere recently…it caused a problem then. Letter circles were used on general principle and my biggest hold up was putting a couple of answers into the wrong boxes.

    I blame that on doing it early this morning. Although not as stupid as accidentally brushing my teeth with Savlon, which I did yesterday. I don’t recommend it.

    No stand out clues but a pleasant solve.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to kitty for blogging.

  33. Nice start to the crossword week. Nothing too frightening. 1d didn’t cause a problem but only because it came up elsewhere recently…it caused a problem then. Letter circles were used on general principle and my biggest hold up was putting a couple of answers into the wrong boxes.

    I blame that on doing it early this morning. Although not as stupid as accidentally brushing my teeth with Savlon, which I did yesterday. I don’t recommend it.

    No stand out clues but a pleasant solve.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to kitty for blogging.

    SL has graciously conceded that I remain the undefeated uckers champion. Thanks SL!

      1. I have an email that says, “Hanni you are the undefeated uckers champion, well done!”..or words to that effect anyway. :cool:

        1. not sure he would remember sending that…..

          i do recall seeing the uckers early on, when i could still recall…

          1. It looked suspiciously like a Ludo set, with Ludo crossed out, and Uckers written on in crayon.

          2. To be fair they may not have been the words that SL wrote..and in all honesty he would have beaten me hands down. Apart from my excellent plan to cheat all the way through the game.

            Looking forward to Macclesfield.

            1. Hanni, If you’re going to be in Macclesfield, I might have to make some serious enquiries. I was so upset that you couldn’t make it to London this weekend :cry:.

    1. Have to say that, other than putting in a brief appearance to prove its existence, the uckers board spent all day out of sight. Perhaps – perish the thought – our self-styled BD champion in the art is reluctant to take on challengers? :cool:

  34. I can’t recall too many easier Monday puzzles, and 7d must be a strong contender for easiest clue of the year so far.

    Favourite was 24a. 19d was verging on Ray T-type innuendo but just fell short. I wonder if 23d was perhaps a little too cryptic?

    Enjoyable and non-taxing just as Monday’s back-pager should be, so many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Kitty. Lovely to see so many familiar faces and several new ones on Saturday, especially the delightful Jane whose book must now contain more signatures than a hotel register!

    1. Certainly does, Silvanus – I stayed for hours simply to get the book filled. :whistle:
      It was a brilliant day and so nice to get to meet you at last. So many new faces to cram into such a short time – hopefully we can all do it again.

  35. Most enjoyable offering from Rufus. Never liked Rousseau who wrote about children’s education having abandoned his!!!! What a pity I could not be with you all as a great time was had by everybody yesterday! 4a and 2d made me smile. Many thanks to Kitty for a great review and to Rufus for a gentle start of the week.

  36. The usual pleasant Monday fare.I am delighted you all had a wonderful time, Kitty.
    Thanks to Kitty and Rufus.

  37. What a typical Rufus puzzle, no wonder I look forward to Mondays so much. I had come across 1d in a crossword before but did need to check the spelling.
    Like Jane, I put proprietor in 15a but realized it must be wrong when I ran out of letters for the available squares.
    Thank you for the first class puzzle Rufus, and thanks to Kitty for her usual entertaining review!
    Loved all the comments about the bash, sounds like a good time was had by all.

    1. Australians think this is a beer glass – don’t tell them we drink sherry from it, they would feel diminished

  38. Thank you to Rufus for a very gentle start to the solving week. The relative ease of the solve did not detract from the enjoyment derived so I can confidently score it 1*/3* with 15 across my favourite because it made me smile.

    The positive noises and general sense of mass hangovers make me even more determined to make the next get-together. I have been on this site for long enough to want to put faces to ‘names’.


      1. mass euphoria, plus hangover but that goes away, they always do – be sure to come to Macclesfield March 18/19, really look forward to seeing you there.

  39. Obviously this grid with 16 double unches by my count did not hold people up unduly. I knew the word for 1d, it was the spelling of it that had me reaching for BRB. Interesting to note that the glass in 18a although it is a sherry one where most of you are, in our part of the world and especially Australia, is a large beer glass. Pleasant puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Rufus and Kitty.

  40. Lovely puzzle finished with minimal electronic help (25a) and I knew 1d!
    Able to comment today as for once I’ve finished on time. I’m usually a day behind as I print off the puzzles and I’m slow.
    But made huge strides last night during the sleepless small hours tussling with the Sunday Virgilius with Tilsit’s help. Phew what a challenge but it felt so good to finish. Thanks to setter and Kitty and To all for this great blog.


        1. It’s happening to me too, and others, Stan. I haven’t changed any settings to my knowledge, but do notice that I have to check settings after updates because they have an evil habit of restoring defaults which I’ve carefully changed. Grr.

  41. Good evening everybody.

    A straightforward start to the week although complicated unnecessarily by briefly going awry at 3d.


  42. Gentle Monday fare. Probably just as well after what was obviously a hectic weekend!
    19d was my fave, 2/2* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and Kitty.

  43. Relatively easy start to the week but no less enjoyable. 4a was my favorite, 6d the last in. Thanks to Kitty and setter.

  44. Cheers to Kitty and Rufus,
    Nice work with the photos. It was pretty straightforward apart from three in the NE, but as I was confusing sidearms with armrests in my head, I didn’t help myself. I’d make a terrible assassin. And a disappointing upholsterer.

    1. That made me laugh, Snape! I do think perhaps it would be more like a disappointing assassin and a terrible upholsterer :).

  45. Splendid time on Saturday – part of me is glad I took my leave when I did, because I felt fine on Sunday; the other part wishes I had stayed for the Chinese and the Night Porter (one of my favourite films). Thanks to all who came for a fabulous day and to the catering staff (CS & JL). I won’t be able to make Macclesfield because I shall be in Canada!

    As for Rufus, just the job. No hiccups, lots of smiles and plenty vying for favourite status, but I’m going for 12d, with 25a weeping in the corner for having missed out by a nose. 1*/3*

    Thanks to Kitty for a typically idiosyncratic blog and to Rufus for the ride

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