DT 28055

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28055

Hints and tips by the mercurial Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good Morning from the heart of Downtown L I. The sun is shining in a clear blue sky. Life is good and Rufus has given us a playful and tricky puzzle today. It was certainly not a read and write but I managed it without any sort of help. Here is a tip. The BRB or Chambers dictionary is a tad cumbersome. If you break back the spine and cut down it with a Stanley knife you can reduce it to more manageable sizes which will weigh less. Do cut between letters though. Two cuts between E and F and P and R will produce three parts which will make this weighty tome much easier to handle.

Today’s hints and tips have been created with love and care by Miffypops, a slightly hungover man who lives in a strange land. Be thankful that you only get an occasional visit. Miffypops has to live there all of the time. Together with the underlined definitions they should lead you to the answers you may be struggling with. If you are completely bamboozled befuddled and bewildered click on the greyed out box to reveal the answer.

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.


1a    Can it broadcast a frolic? (5)
ANTIC: A gentle anagram (broadcast) of CAN IT gives an easy start to today’s mischief

4a    Mother has to think deeply about perfume holder (8)
POMANDER: Place a verb meaning to think about carefully around a short word for your mum, mam, mother, old dear, mater, or mummy

8a    Using exactly the same words in Latin (8)
VERBATIM: Loosely a cryptic definition. Actually a straightforward definition more suited to the quickie puzzle in my opinion.

9a    Write quotation on military HQ (8)
PENTAGON: Split (3,3,2) we have a term meaning to use a writing implement to write an afterthought

11a    In auditions, this vote will decide the issue (7)
CASTING: The word auditions misled me into looking for a homophone until the checkers arrived. The auditions might be for a theatrical role. In a meeting where a vote is tied the chairman may use this type of vote to decide the issue

13a    Performed in a group that’s dissolute (9)
ABANDONED: The past participle of do (performed) is placed inside the A from the clue and the collective noun for a group of musicians for instance

15a    Arresting society girl — given time, one should be repaid (11,4)
OUTSTANDING DEBT: An amount of money that is due for payment can be found by placing our regular society girl DEB(utant) and the initial letter of the word T(ime) after a word meaning arresting or exceptionally good

18a    Free of charge (9)
EXONERATE: To free from blame or to release from a duty or obligation.

21a    Grave words for those who are late (7)
EPITAPH: The words that might appear on a tombstone. Late here means dead.

I hope mine to be Died aged 95. Shot by a jealous husband.

22a     A touch of exaltation (8)
ACCOLADE: The touch of a sword on the shoulders during a knighthood is also an award or privilege granted as a special honour or as an acknowledgement of merit.

24a    Hard time obtaining dietary fibre (8)
ROUGHAGE: Split 5,3 we have a word meaning difficult or unpleasant followed by a word for time meaning the number of years one has been alive.

25a    Points to case for a drug (8)
SEDATIVE: The points here are compass points. On a map or crossword the bottom right. These are followed by a word that as an adjective means (in Latin, Greek, German, and some other languages) denoting a case of nouns and pronouns, and words in grammatical agreement with them, indicating an indirect object or recipient. Or as a noun means a noun or other word in a grammatical case Well. We learn something new every day merely to forget it quickly. Thank you google for the definitions.

26a    Leapt out from the crease (5)
PLEAT: A second gentle anagram (out) of LEAPT


1d    I’ve acted on new indication of a deal (6,4)
ADVICE NOTE: Anagram number three (new) of I’VE ACTED ON. The apostrophe can be ignored as can most of the punctuation marks used by cryptic crossword puzzle compilers.

2d    Publishes  results? (5,3)
TURNS OUT: To have published a paper or how something ends up

3d    Instrument certainly shorter when broken (8)
CLARINET: Anagram (when broken) of CERTAINL(y) minus its last letter as indicated by the word shorter

4d    Footwear that may be well-used (4)
PUMP: This light shoe is also a device used to raise liquid from a well

5d    Jack, given wrong date, lowered (6)
ABATED: Our usual suspect for a AB(le) seaman is followed by an anagram (wrong) of DATE

6d    George’s rival shown as bore? (6)
DRAGON: The mythical beast that Saint George fought can be made to bore somebody if split 4,2

7d    One in race to destruction (4)
RUIN: Place the letter that looks like the number one inside a verb meaning to move quickly. Golly Bongs there are so many definitions for this word.

10d    He may pass on what he knows (8)
EXAMINEE: This person sitting a test could also fail if he or she didn’t know enough

12d    Profit declared — but disputed (8)
GAINSAID: A word meaning net profit is followed by a word meaning to have spoken.

14d    Indifference for detail (10)
DETACHMENT: Double definition. The first meaning aloofness

16d    Stopping and surrendering (6,2)
GIVING UP: Another double definition which should not trouble anybody too much even with the double unch

17d    Notice, in flight, a lark (8)
ESCAPADE: The shortened term for an AD(vertisement) is placed inside a verb meaning to break free from confinement or control.

19d    Choir’s made a mess of number — blooming thing (6)
ORCHID: Anagram (made a mess of) of CHOIR followed by the roman numeral for 500

20d    Join forces? (6)
ENLIST: To join up to the army navy or air force.

22d    Bird must rear others (4)
AUKS: The answer is the plural of a black and white bird which swims and dives gracefully but has an awkward gait. If reversed we get a kleptoparasitic seabird

23d    One of the Great Lakes up-country? (4)
ERIE: The old word for Ireland becomes one of the great lakes when reversed.

Solved to the strains of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen . Life is good. The sun is shining. The John Deere has fired up and I am off to top the field in the sunshine.

The Quick Crossword pun: con+fee+skate=confiscate


  1. neveracrossword
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Re 22d, doesn’t the clue work the other way round? The definition would be “others”, i.e. “other birds”. Thanks to Miffypops and setter.

  2. Kath
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one much more than I sometimes do on Mondays – I’m also, so far at least, the first to comment.
    I agree that 8a is barely cryptic and would be better in the quick crossword.
    21a – oh dear – I always get the answer mixed up with ‘epithet’ so that held me up a bit.
    I never did get 22d – all I could think of was something to do with cuckoos which it clearly wasn’t – oh dear, again.
    I liked 18, 22 and 24a and 6d. My favourite was 19d because it made me laugh.
    With thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops.
    Mr Rookie has taken hours – i.e. most of the morning – so off to do useful stuff now. Back later to check on the numbers of favourites that everyone has . . . be warned!

    • Kath
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Oh well, not first after all – just second. :sad:

      • Kitty
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        According to the old rhyme, second: the best.

    • Simon
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      enjoyed this very much.

      10a held me up a while as I searched in vain for a word ending in BASE.
      The answer to 12d has resulted in my vocabulary being one word greater. in hindsight, it couldn’t have been a more simple clue but it’s only easy if you know the answer…
      Agree with previous comment re 8a – hardly cryptic but a nice gimme for a Monday morning from the great Refus!
      Great explanations and clues as always on this blog.

      • Posted March 7, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog Simon

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 7, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Welcome from me as well Simon

  3. Hanni
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It is anyone’s guess whether this will post via the proxy..at least I can see the blog though.

    2 clues that completely held me up today, 22d and 25a. Both were bunged in and forgotten about for quite awhile. Came to to figure them out and it still took me an age. Got there in the end. Miffypops is clearly a birding genius to know about kleptoparasitic seabird. Impressive knowledge. On general principle I used my pencil for all anagrams. Not sure how 8a is cryptic, I agree it is more suited for the quickie. Can one of the great minds enlighten?

    Plenty of smiles including 6d (we have a dragon that lives in N.Yorks and Jane has lots of them), 9a and 19d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops, a man whose theories about book cutting continues to fascinate. Why not just drill lightning holes as well?

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Oh Dear Hanni. Lightening holes, not lightning.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        No I meant lightning holes. On the very rare chance that your BRB gets struck by lightning, it will just go straight through leaving the book unharmed. I’m doing joined-up thinking today, my brain is not befuddled by 7% ale.

    • Unicorn
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Completed the whole crossword without hints for the first time in ages so just the * for difficulty. I think there is another answer to 22d which fits the clue better than Miffypops’ answer. The alternative answer is an American cuckoo. Same first and last letters and the definition is bird.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Well done on managing without the hints! :good:

  4. Bluebirds
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Not one for me today :negative: – hopefully something less left field tomorrow.

    Roughage 24a to be split 5,3.

    • Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure that was what MP intended – now changed.

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        7% ale on a Sunday night is the culprit.

        • ezfer
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:02 am | Permalink

          and 9a should be split 3,3,2

  5. Cryptor
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Gentle but fun. Only 22d had me scratching the noggin, and still don’t like its construction. Thanks to all.

  6. Senf
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Definitely on the tricky side with only a small number of answers before lights out last night, and then completed this morning. Electronic assistance only needed for 22d and I think that I will have to make it my (only one – please note Kath) favourite because of its simplicity and MP’s explanation.

  7. Colin
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this today. Watched 22d clue operating in Galapagos, fascinating, they get away with a few fish and are then mobbed by victims.
    Don’t understand reference to BRB, adds no weight to my tablet. :-)

  8. Omar
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Not keen on this…..22d foxed me completely, but I thought 2d and 9a were both poor and I agree that 8a is not really cryptic….favourite was 6d

  9. Chris
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The nearest I got to 22d was suspecting the right answer – but having reversed everything else I could think of, I forgot to try the same on my chief suspect and so needed the hint. It is admittedly a fair clue but it still feels a bit awkward to me!
    Thanks MP and Rufus.

  10. dutch
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Ah, those clever little two-word cd’s that look like a dd (join forces). Bottom left hand corner held me up.

    Many thanks Miffypops and Rufus

  11. Hilary
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Came late to this as I have been playing housewife this morning, only because OH had pistol to my head. Found it most enjoyable with only a minimal amount of scribbling in the margin to sort out my slightly dodgy spelling. Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops, no particular favourite but 12a is in the running. Off to see how much of a mess I can get into with Rookie. :mail: pity this is called mail as it works well for write.

  12. fran
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    A little tricky for a Monday , after some head scratching finally arrived at 22d and with no conviction put in ” aves ” anagram of save (rear others? ).Well no surprise , it was well and truly blasted out of the shearwater !! by your answer Miffypops. Still desperate measures and all that . Could honestly say that todays puzzle was one of those rare birds that gave me no pleasure at all. ***/* Thanks to the setter and Miffypops

  13. Angel
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Terrific – so many nicely testing clues. Only beaten by 22d. Fav probably 11a – clever – after ruling out something to do with phonetics/auditions. Thanks Rufus for kicking off the week so enjoyably and MP particularly for Acker Bilk’s emotive “Stranger on the Shore”. **/****. :good:

  14. Brian
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    What an altogether horrid crossword puzzle. So many airy fairy connections (do=performed, even if it did hold that meaning it should be done, detachment=detail not in the BRB it doesn’t, accolade=exultation once more not in the BRB for either word). All in all very sloppy. And as for 22d, Auks is plural Bird is singular, again so sloppy.
    Thx for the hints.

    • Physicist
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      22a, the clue says exaltation, not exultation; 22d, the ‘definition’ is ‘others’, not bird.

      • Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        … and on top of that performed is DONE, which when put inside A BAND gives the answer and under detachment (that which is detached, eg a unit of troops from the main body) Chambers Thesaurus gives squad, unit, force, corps, brigade, patrol, task force, detail.

  15. silvanus
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    The only slightly tricky part for me was the SW corner, everything else was virtually read and write. A few clues did seem only marginally cryptic, but that’s not untypical of Rufus. I thought 4a would have been better without the “has” in it.

    My favourite clue was 10d, a lovely piece of verbal deception!

    Many thanks to Mr. Squires and to Miffypops, especially for the use of “kleptoparasitic”!

  16. Framboise
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant and not too difficult solve for today. Agree with 8a clue being more suitable for the Quickie. Just realised that I got 2d wrong, oh dear! Liked 4a,18d, 21a and 6d but my favourite was 22d which was my last one in. 2*/4*. Many thanks to Rufus and Miffipops.

  17. williamus
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Proxy still working fine on PC and iPhone, though needs to be refreshed on the latter periodically. I enjoyed this and pleased to find that my thinking was the same as some others here. 22a was last in and was a learning point for me. I enjoyed the construction of 9a and 11a. Plenty of humour e.g. 6d and the usual beautiful clue surfaces that we come to expect from Rufus. **/*** for me.

    I’m completely flumoxed by MP’s suggestions to lighten the BRB… my iPhone version takes up 60.5 mb and as the entire internet weighs less than a strawberry (according to the daily mail so it must be right) I have no need to cut it into slices

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP the usual entertaining review

  18. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    All done, very enjoyable. As a committed birder myself, I am ashamed to say I needed the hint for 22d.
    Favourites are 24, 1d.
    Incidentally, originally had the Great Lake as the answer to 23, fortunately 24 was a bit of a gimme, so the answer was the country.
    Thanks to MP for the excellent hints. I have vague memories that the word ‘dative’ takes me aback to Latin lessons about 45 years ago, but I could be wrong.
    Thanks to the setter too…

  19. Jaylegs
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    A nice easy start to the week */*** my favourite naturally was 22d :good: which of course though it works in downtown L I would not work in downtown L A where their nomenclenture gives a kleptoparasitic seabird 6 letters :unsure: A big thank you to MP and Rufus, for the first time in aeons I did not have to write in my name and E-mail before commenting Hurrah! :yahoo:

  20. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    9a is split 3,3,2??

  21. Merusa
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I love Rufus’s puzzles, right on my wavelength.
    Had no problem with 22d, both birds appear in crosswords regularly. The first time I saw the skua was in Scotland near Ullapool.
    Last one in was 4a, silly as it’s so plain. Hard to choose a fave, but I’m opting for 12d.
    Thanks to Rufus, and thanks to M’pops, especially for Stranger on the Shore.

  22. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Good to get back into the site. Don’t know whether it’s my link or the server but anyway ….. quite tough for a Monday not helped by spelling or too quick for my own good. Lake vs country the wrong way round held up 24a. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review as always very enjoyable.

  23. Una
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Definitely tricky. I couldn’t figure where the D came from in 19d.So thanks Miffypops for that.The bird or the others was my last one in and it is a strange clue.
    12d is my favourite.
    Thanks to Rufus and Miffypops.

  24. jaycat
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Tricky little number. Never got 22 d or 12 d and a lot of the wordplay had me stuck. However I enjoyed it and nearly completed it without hints.
    3.5 */3.5* from me.

  25. Paso Doble
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    We’ve been a bit absent recently because we are a day behind in puzzling. Caught up now with a delightful crossword from Rufus.
    Thanks to the Pops of the Miffy for the hints and tips…**/****

  26. Gwizz
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    A relaxed start to the week with no real hold ups encountered. The ‘reversible birds’ clue is a regular in crosswords surely….
    I liked 4a just cos it was a word that doesn’t figure much these days.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus and to the Bard of LI for his review.

  27. mre
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Found this to be curiouusly hard going witth several solutions being unclear. Favourites were probably 25a and last in 22d.

    Am I alone in thinking that the bar sems to have been raised on Monday puzzles since the turn of the year?


    • ChrisH
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      No, you are not alone. My thoughts exactly. We used to have a nice gentle start to the week.

      Thought this one was logical but not at all easy. ***/****

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Guess someone has to mention that the grid has 16 double unches so it might as well be us. Surprised that so many people had problems with 22d as it went straight in for us. Pretty much what we expect on a Monday and we enjoyed it.
    Thanks Rufus and Miffypops.

  29. Jon_S
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    The grid was pretty appalling, which upped the difficulty level somewhat, especially in the SW corner. Finished a little more quickly than I often do with Rufus, though, and that with the distractions of young children harassing me throughout. Pleased to get 22d, given my dire knowledge of ornithology. All in all enjoyable, despite all the double unches.

  30. Jane
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    On first read through I really wanted 4a to be ‘atomiser’ but couldn’t make it work despite trying ever so hard.
    I did wonder whether 22d would cause problems in the ranks but there are obviously more birders within our numbers than I had previously realised. I think that one gets my vote for the day although I would also mention 9&24a and 8a despite the ‘Quickie’ label it has received.
    Thought that Florence would laugh over 19d – many a true word and all that?
    Hanni and myself are currently in deep discussions over 6d’s – there may well be the start of a Yorkshire population of red ones in the near future.

    Thanks to Rufus for a good start to the week and to MP for both Stranger on the Shore and the return to the land of Noggin.

    Please let this post……..pretty please?

    • Hanni
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Only one red 6d is allowed anywhere near Yorkshire. Our resident ones do not take kindly to interlopers. But one is OK.

  31. pete
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Harder than usual for a Monday, but totally enjoyable and I managed to finish without any help.I also thought 22d should have been the other way round

  32. Salty Dog
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one too, although I was held up in the SW corner (mainly because I initially put down “exculpate” for 18a. 22d was clever. 2*/3.5* overall. Thanks to Rufus, and to MP for the review.

  33. Sheffieldsy
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    This was clearly harder than the usual Monday fare. Was pleased to remember ‘dative’ from schoolboy Latin. Struggled with the reversible bird before the light went on.

    All in all, really liked this and think it deserves a 2*/3.5* rating.

    Thanks to Rufus for brightening up the day and to Miffypops for the blog as well as the somewhat disturbing insight into his rather strange world view.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 7, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      I can see the reasoning in altering books to more manageable sizes. Highly logical. Except for atlases, you should leave them well alone. I do worry about all the pages falling out mind. Miffypops did not indicate whether the remaining bits needed binding in some way. Bad Miffypops.

  34. Kitty
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    My stumbling blocks were in the SW. If I am an 10d I definitely do not pass.

    4d might be my favourite. Yes – I’ve checked, and it definitely comes on top.

    Many thanks to Rufus and Miffpops.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Sorry for being unintentionally half-hearted there. My thanks were supposed to go to Miffypops, not Miffpops. Bad Kity.

  35. ezfer
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Didn’t know/forgotten Jack=AB so didn’t get 5d. Nor 22d. And had a couple of bung-ins. Found it quite tricky and not that satisfying, with the double unches and some less-than-convincing all-in-ones & double definitions. Thanks to MP et al for help and setter for giving me a challenge.

  36. Tstrummer
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    I’m in the Rufus is getting trickier camp, but I found this fairly straightforward. The RHS went in as smoothly as Leslie Phillips, but the left took a tad more pondering. Last one in, and least satisfactory for me, was 2d. I liked 25a and 13a but the gold star goes to 14d. Many thanks to MP and Rufus.

    Only two more puzzles to complete before my leave of absence. I’ve sent the pink form to Kath and kept the top copy. I doubt the DT is available where I’m going. I doubt any newspaper is available, which only adds to the joy for me. I need a break

    • Jane
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Just in case you’re still about, TS. Does this mean that the Canadian adventure is about to lift off? If so, then I do hope that you both have a wonderful time and find young master Strummer in fine fettle.
      Make the most of it – you certainly deserve some R&R.

  37. Roger Squires (Rufus)
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I should like to express my belated thanks for all the lovely tweets on my recent 84th birthday – very much appreciated – and, an added delight, a poem by Miffypops! I feel I am very lucky to have my puzzles explained by him with so many interesting photographs etc.

    My wife Anna whisked me off for ten days to enjoy the Cotswolds and visits to family in the area,which we thoroughly enjoyed. We were based at a hotel in Stow on the Wold but we covered the whole area – little knowing that Big Dave is based near there. It would have been nice to see him again! I didn’t take my IPad so missed the blogs until we returned home.

    So thank you all for making my special day even more special!

    • Tstrummer
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      And thanks to you for all the fun

    • Merusa
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I am so glad you had such a lovely break for your birthday. I always look forward to Mondays, your puzzles are always so much fun. Thank you millions for them.

    • Jane
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Hazarding guesses as to which Stow hotel you stayed at – all the ones I’ve been to there were excellent. What a lovely area in which to spend your birthday.
      Trust that Anna continues to keep you hale and hearty – Mondays wouldn’t be the same without you. :good:

    • Hanni
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Thank you too Rufus. Sounds like a lovely birthday break,

    • Kitty
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Rufus. For all the great puzzles, and also for your comment. I’m delighted that you had such an enjoyable birthday break.

  38. Sam Therapy
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t fully enjoy this one. 8a wasn’t a truly cryptic clue and I struggled with 12d – a new word for me. Also found the northeast quadrant tricky for some reason. Liked 18 and 21 across though

    • Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Sam

      I quite liked 8 Across. 12 Down crops up quite a lot in crosswords, so file it away.

  39. judetheobscure
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Got there in the end. I usually find Mondays a bit tricky – it’s the all-in-one, are they cryptic/are they not, clues which catch me out.
    And will have to remember that Jack is AB. I wrote in the answer without fully understanding why. Thanks to Miffypops for the explanation. Although no thanks at all for the very alarming suggestion to sabotage a book :eek:

  40. Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Did this in one sitting on the throne except for 22d, which drew me here.

    Got 25a but didn’t understand the dative bit until I came here.

    8a is cleverly both cryptic and non cryptic at the same time, which is a kind of double bluff. Liked it.

    • spindrift
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      too much information…

  41. Chadwick Ong'ara
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    A belated happy birthday from me here in Kenya, l really dig your puzzles, almost all your clues are gems.