DT 28056

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28056

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This one is not too tricky but very enjoyable. Do let us know how you fared and what you thought of it. A slightly unusual feature of the puzzle is that all the answers are single words with not a space or hyphen in sight.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that as a last resort.

Across Clues

1a Mark from a wound allowed to become red (7)
SCARLET – a bodily mark from a wound is followed by a verb meaning allowed.

5a Feel  doubt (7)
SUSPECT – double definition, the second a verb to doubt or mistrust.

9a A king has challenger coming (7)
ARRIVAL – string together A (from the clue), the single-letter abbreviation for a king and a challenger or adversary.

10a Warning: pulse regularly dropped after test (7)
EXAMPLE – put the odd letters (regularly dropped) of pulse after a formal test.

11a Illumination that could be low level initially in time of darkness (9)
MOONLIGHT – start with a verb to low then insert the initial letter of L(evel) into the period of the day when it’s dark.

12a Smallest let out, we hear (5)
LEAST – this sounds like (we hear) let out or hired out.

13a It spins both ways (5)
ROTOR – … because it’s a palindrome.

15a Share in ball, now dance all topless! (9)
ALLOWANCE – remove the first letters from the three words at the centre of the clue and squash together what you have left.

17a Abused sew hats and work here? (9)
SWEATSHOP – an anagram (abused) of SEW HATS is followed by the abbreviation for an artistic work.

19a Get up, shift   bandage (5)
DRESS – triple definition. Shift is a loose garment.

22a Cop it out of sight (5)
OPTIC – an anagram (out) of COP IT.

23a Resolve to check explosive device (9)
DETERMINE – a verb to check or ward off is followed by an explosive device.

25a Group are called inside (7)
ARRANGE – ARE (from the clue) with a verb meaning called on the phone inside it.

26a Observe married men in bed (7)
COMMENT – insert the abbreviation for married and MEN into a child’s bed.

27a Criminal held bar as weapon (7)
HALBERD – an anagram (criminal) of HELD BAR.

28a Mad character after small crush (7)
SHATTER – Lewis Carroll’s mad character follows the abbreviation for small. Crush here is being used in the sense of to devastate or mortify.

Down Clues

1d One who criticises  prison? (7)
SLAMMER – double definition, the second an informal word for a prison. I’m not sure why a question mark is needed,

2d Where trunks are taken off jumbos? (7)
AIRPORT – … together with the rest of the luggage.

3d The French versus the Spanish: well balanced (5)
LEVEL – join together a French definite article, the abbreviation for versus and a Spanish definite article.

4d Great help with editing newspaper (9)
TELEGRAPH – an anagram (with editing) of GREAT HELP.

5d The woman put on Alien — film (5)
SHEET – a feminine pronoun precedes (put on, in a down clue) Spielberg’s usual alien. The setter has capitalised alien to try to make us think of a different film.

6d South side of a building due to be bought (9)
SWALLOWED – the abbreviation for south is followed by the side of a building and an adjective meaning due to be paid. Bought, here, is an informal use meaning believed or fell for (a conman’s story, for example).

7d Describe former lover: ugly? (7)
EXPLAIN – charade of the short word for a former lover and an adjective meaning no oil painting.

8d Where ham might be warm after temperature starts to rise excessively (7)
THEATRE – this is a human ham. A verb to warm up follows the abbreviation for temperature. We finish with the starting letters of the last two words.

14d Reserve break in Crete supported by church (9)
RETICENCE – an anagram (break) of IN CRETE is followed (supported, in a down clue) by the abbreviation for the established church in England.

16d Cosmetics: pastes put on cheek? On the contrary (9)
LIPSTICKS – on the contrary means that the informal word for cheek or insolence precedes (put on, in a down clue) a verb meaning pastes or glues.

17d Put up with Satchmo playing (7)
STOMACH – an anagram (playing) of Satchmo.

18d Hospital department — Henry comes across right entrance (7)
ENTHRAL – the three-letter abbreviation for a hospital department followed by a short form of the name Henry (used especially of the young King Henry V) containing the single-letter abbreviation for right.

20d Obvious I’d cut through tournament (7)
EVIDENT – I’D has to be inserted (cut through) a tournament or sports competition.

21d Lieutenant in abrupt retreat (7)
SHELTER – put the abbreviation for lieutenant into an adjective meaning abrupt or very steep.

23d Fear making Penny study (5)
DREAD – the abbreviation for a pre-1971 penny and a verb to study.

24d Dance from graduate following alcohol (5)
RUMBA – an arts graduate follows an alcoholic drink.

Top of the pile for me were 11a, 17a and 25a. Which one(s) grabbed your attention?

Today’s Quickie Pun: PANDER + BARES = PANDA BEARS


  1. JonP
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Straightforward equine-friendly solve for me today.

    Thanks to Gazza and setter */***

  2. Kath
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I agree with 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Not sure that 5a is very cryptic – I didn’t put it in immediately as I thought I might be falling into a trap – it has been known!
    I’m also not sure that in 7d (or anywhere else come to that) ugly = plain – I reckon that plain is not particularly attractive whereas ugly is actively hideous.
    Just being picky here . . . so will shut up now.
    I liked 11, 15 and 19a and 1d. My favourite was 10a if only because it made me laugh – it reminded me of my sister once saying that she was never sure whether she should be a good example or a terrible warning to her children.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to gazza.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I agree with the plain/ugly comment Kath

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      We have had plain = ugly before and the BRB does say that plain is a euphemism for ugly.

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        The book may be right but common usage is not so.

  3. Graham
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    This was a nice easy stroll for me others may disagree. My favourite was 6D,many thanks to the setter & Gazza for his review.

  4. Kath
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    PS – Gazza – the number of the crossword in the right hand side says 28065 rather than 28056.

    • Angel
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      LHS even!

      • Kath
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        I know I’m notoriously unreliable about rights and lefts but on my computer at least it really is the right hand side – honest guv – I really am right this time.

        • Angel
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Apologies Kath, I’ve obviously got a cack-handed Ipad.

          • Kath
            Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            Oh good – thought I was going mad!

            • Hanni
              Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

              Glad it’s not just me that gets confused about left and right. I really do at times. :oops:

              • pommers
                Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

                I know a rally co-driver who used to have a large R and L written on the toecaps of his pumps which he wore in the car. Dangerous or what?

                BTW, he’s Welsh and his first name is Huw and then he got a PhD so became Doctor . . . :yahoo:

                • Kitty
                  Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                  Oh, there is a great sketch just waiting to be written about Doctor Huw :yes: .

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Kath – sorted!

  5. Angel
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Well that certainly was a short walk in the park but fun while it lasted. 11a nearest to a Fav. Thanks Mr. Ron and Gazza. **/***. :neutral:

  6. Spook
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Pretty good puzzle nearly a write in but resorted to the old thesaurus a couple of times.
    Thanks to Gazza and setter.
    Favourite must be 15a, star rating **/***

  7. Clarky
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    A comfortable and enjoyable **/*** for me. 27a was new to me and I intend to remember it to impress the family next time we visit an ancient castle.
    15a was favourite.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  8. dutch
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    A confidence booster. Liked the way “all topless” worked in 15a. Also liked the semi-all-in-ones at 11a (illumination) and 17a (abused sew hats). I had to check the weapon in 27a. I also like 6d, mainly for the definition.

    many thanks setter and Gazza

  9. Miffypops
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    This will be a nice puzzle for the newcomers. I found it predictable and simple. No harm there though. Regards to today’s setter and thanks to Gazza for sorting out the why’s and wherefores for those who need them. There was not a lot of opportunity for piccies so thanks for the Louis Armstrong. I will now find him singing Hello Dolly to Barbara Streisand and get a little lachrymose thinking about my late mum who loved that song.

    • Merusa
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      My favourite Satchmo is with Bing Crosby singing “Gone Fishing”, will have to dig it out and play it again.

  10. Jane
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Definitely have a soft spot for this increasingly regular Tuesday setter who, sadly, never steps forward to take a bow.
    As Gazza commented – not too tricky but very enjoyable. I certainly smiled all the way through the solve.
    Too many potential favourites to risk the wrath of Kath by naming them all, so – easy way out – if you liked any particular clue then so did I!
    How nice to be able to face the dreaded DG Toughie on a high.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron – please tell us who you are – and to Gazza for being honest enough to admit to enjoying a straightforward puzzle for once!

  11. Hanni
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Lots to like from today’s mysteron. Agree with Kath about 5a and 7d though.

    LOI was 27a and needed to double check that it was a ‘thing’. It is.

    On first read through I wanted 2d to be ‘carousel’ and I’m not sure why?

    Smiles aplenty with 11a, 13a (it’s a palindrome…I like palindromes) and 15a.

    Favourite is 17a, nice surface.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for great blog.

    Snowy as always on the moors and no sign of my shiny new Sodastream for my latest drinks experiment…Home Made Champagne and Home Made red fizzy wine. I have high hopes. Oh where is the postman?

    • Jane
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Getting increasingly worried about these drinks experiments, Hanni. Red/white wine mixes, toffee vodka distillations – fair enough – but the introduction of gas, air and pressure puts me in mind of wrecked science labs…….. :sad:

      • Hanni
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        As I recall you agreed to try the sparkling Shiraz (or red of you choice), when you visit.

        And I never wrecked a science lab…just caused the odd one to be evacuated. And in my defense that was because a big boy made me do it. At least that’s what I said. Gosh mercury was fun before H&S got in the way…and all them chemicals left out on benches.

        However… all Champagne is is fizzy wine. So you take the white wine of choice, Sauvignon blanc, whack it in the Sodastream and Bob’s your uncle!

        Home made Baileys next week. Except I don’t really like the proper stuff.

        • Kitty
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Wow. I am interested to hear the results of this experiment … not so keen to experience it first hand!

          I did however try the rosé thing recently. With just a splash of red to a glass of white, it actually wasn’t bad at all. Or maybe it was because I’d already sampled quite a lot of the ingredients separately by that point …

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

        The girl is clearly deranged Jane. Ask her about The Monkey Cemetary in Coventry.

        • Hanni
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Once again, there are no words MP..unbelievable.

          And I don’t wish to discuss the Monkey Cemetary…not now, not ever. :sad:

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Thursday according to La Poste.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. :yahoo: :rose:

        God bless La Poste.

  12. Captain Duff
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Rattled this one off quite quickly – not normally the case. Favourites were 11a and 6d and I guessed 27a. Like Kath, I didn’t think 5a was very cryptic. */***. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  13. Brian
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Great fun esp after yesterday’s effort. Although this was almost a R&W that most the experts would not perhaps enjoy too much, I do think this would make an excellent puzzle for those new to cryptic crosswords. Everything is very logical without bizarre words and it contains an excellent one in 15a to show how to unpick an apparent involved clue.
    Thx to all

  14. pete
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Definitely on the easy side today, but nonetheless enjoyable. Many thanks to the setter.

  15. Paso Doble
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    We agree with Gazza and many others that this was straightforward but very enjoyable. Thanks to Mr Ron for a great start to the day and to Gazza for the blog. Now back to the tedious business of trying to get someone to deliver a cooker through a ground floor window which appears to be an impossible task these days!

  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Gazza on this one.
    Pretty straightforward but enjoyable.
    Favourite 11a too.
    Thanks to the Tuesday setter and to Gazza for the review.

  17. Omar
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    As with others, I found this pretty straightforward BUT a good puzzle with nothing obscure (although halberd was new to me in this spelling ie rather than halbard)………*/***

  18. Gwizz
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant enough examination I guess. Over far too quickly though. 11a fave and 1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his review.

  19. silvanus
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward indeed, another good puzzle for the cryptic novice to cut his or her teeth on I reckon.

    My favourite clue was 15a, with 11a running it close.

    Many thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Gazza.

  20. Jaylegs
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the majority, straightforward but enjoyable **/**** :good: My favourites are 11 & 12a :heart: Thanks to Gazza,especially for the Satchmo clip and the Setter :smile: Kath, she who recently asked us to limit our number of favourites, today had 5! :cool:

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

      Not so. Kath liked several but clearly picks out only one favourite.

    • Kath
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      As MP says, I did like several of these clues but there can only ever be one favourite as far as I’m concerned. :smile:

      • Jane
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Ummm………in that case, which of the lambs are you going to choose? :whistle:

        • Kath
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          I’ll tell you after next weekend! :scratch:

  21. Expat Chris
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Apart from having footlight for 11A for far too long, this was close to R&W, but no less enjoyable for that. 17A gets my vote. Thanks to our setter and to Gazza.

  22. Peta Jackson
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Mum and I finished without any help today…we are feeling very smug. Two chocolate biscuits each to celebrate!

  23. Kitty
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I welcomed a puzzle on the easier side this morning. One with a light touch and humour: just the ticket.

    Smile awards go to 15a, 26a and 6d. 17a was very clever.

    With thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  24. Woodpecker
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m usually just a silent lurker who finds other’s comments interesting. Had to make my own though about 23d, my 25 year old neighbour hadn’t a clue why Penny is represented by a ‘d’ – why should he have?

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Woodpecker. Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

  25. Jules
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Easy peasy today….never done a DT xword in less likely an hour. ..this took ** mins. ..astonishing! !!

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Jules, we dislike the posting of solving times because it can discourage other solvers.

      • Jules
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        I consider my wrist sharply slapped..humble apologies to all! !!

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      “Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance.”

      Leo Buscaglia

      Oooh. I’ve gone all poetic.

      • Miffypops
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Jean-Luc’s a poet
        And now we all know it.

      • Jose
        Posted March 9, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. (To do a DT cryptic?).


  26. Framboise
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward but nevertheless enjoyable. Liked 17a but my favourite is 5d. Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza. 2*/4*

  27. williamus
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Agree with most here that this was straightforward but enjoyable. What I like about Mr Ron’s puzzles is that the clues are all logical and have those nice surfaces. Liked the misdirection in 5d. 15a my favourite **/**** for me. Thanks to Mr Ron and to Gazza for the review

  28. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable if not too strenuous. My favourite was 15a. Very neat. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  29. Dr M
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    As a newbie this site has been a great. Used to finish one now and then and then be unable to complete any clues in the next few puzzles and ended up giving up for weeks in frustration! Although not at the level of most of you I finished today’s and yesterday’s. Favourite was 15 across. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Dr M.

  30. Zofbak
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I always enjoy a clue where “low” is of the bovine variety and it always takes a while for the D to drop. So 11a is my favourite in a */*** production with thanks to Gazza and setter for an enjoyable diversion.

  31. Grahamg@talktalk.net
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    7what about the expression ‘ he is plain ugly’

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Graham.

  32. Merusa
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The top half wrote itself in, the bottom half needed a little more thought.
    Loved several, fave was 11a, but I thought that 15a was really clever.
    Thanks to setter, and also thanks to Gazza for the review.

  33. Una
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    My favourite is 15a.I liked a number of others.I thought there were quite a few chestnuts.
    Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  34. mre
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    All very straightforward until I failed to see 8d. Gah!

    In other news an article in the Times ‘Crossword computer has all the answers’ said that some of our boffiniest boffins have written a computer programme that can solve ‘simple crosswords’. Cryptic puzzles are beyond them though. Unless they log in here I suppose.


  35. Weekendwanda
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Liked it thank you. Agree with regard to ease but some very nice clues. Reminded me of the one a couple of weeks ago which everyone agreed had clever clues most of which could be written in. Great confidence builder for newbies. Also good for anyone wishing to instruct another in the cryptic art. Not got round to yesterday’s yet!

  36. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    So we have another setter taking a leaf out of RayT’s book and only having single word answers. Next thing he/she will be limiting the clue length to 8 words or less. This one has 2 clues that go well over that. Although we got 25a without any trouble we had difficulties justifying, (or finding a supporting reference for), the answer as a synonym for ‘group’. Not too taxing and good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • Gazza
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but can we not say, e.g. “He used to group/arrange his stamps by country of origin”?

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Yes we see that but it did seem a bit loose to us. The wordplay is pretty unambiguous though so no problem to solve.

      • Jose
        Posted March 9, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        G. I’m fully with you on this one. Group does = arrange – I enclose the definition and synonyms for group (below) from Collins Online:

        15. to arrange or place (things, people, etc) in or into a group or (of things, etc) to form into a group.


        = arrange, order, sort, class, range, gather, organize, assemble, put together, classify, dispose, marshal, bracket, assort

        I assume it’s OK to cite the actual answer the day after publishing?

        • Gazza
          Posted March 9, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          The only restriction on including an actual answer in a comment is when it’s a Prize Puzzle.

  37. Scousegit
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised there is only one comment about 8d. I was really pleased to have worked it out especially as I had spent some time trying to fit ‘leg’ into the answer.

    • Kath
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      You might need to explain the bit about the ‘leg’ and how it might have got in there – or am I being seriously dim again?

      • Scousegit
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Ham hock, part of pig’s leg?

      • stanXYZ
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        8d – I don’t understand the “leg” bit either.

        By coincidence there was a rather nice clue also at 8d in the “i” today:

        Big role for small actor? (6)

        • Hanni
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          Oh very good! :good:

  38. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Even a novice like me found this ok.
    The SE corner presented the most trouble as I was not familiar with Penny = ‘D’, Lieutenant =’LT’ and the Mad Character eluded me.
    The rest of it was good.
    I had not heard of 27a, but it was pretty obvious as that was all it could be.
    I use the BRB quite a bit as a novice so I feel a bit of a fraud, I hope that in time I can complete without recourse to the hints and the BRB.
    Thanks to Gazza for the excellent hints and the setter.

    • Jane
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      For goodness sake don’t feel like a fraud, Hoofit. Hints – yes you’ll be able to use them less and less as time goes by but as for the BRB, Google etc. you will find very few who can honestly say that they always manage without them. Look at this way – you’re always learning about new things and occasionally – very occasionally in my book – something sticks in the brain! :mail:

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Thanks ladies. I appreciate the comments. :good: :heart:
        The BRB is an amazing reference book. The only one I have come across to equal it is the Collins Bird Book of the Western Palearctic. As essential to birders as the BRB to crossworders.

        • Jane
          Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          My own bird bible of choice is the Collins Bird Guide (2nd ed.) by Lars Svensson et al. Maybe you do more birding abroad than I do? Mine is more than sufficient for the UK! Needless to say, I have also acquired ‘several’ others (!) – one of my favourites is Shorebirds of the Northern Hemisphere by Richard Chandler – photo’s to die for. If you do much coastal birding, I would highly recommend it.

          • HoofItYouDonkey
            Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            I know the Collins book you refer to well, it is excellent.
            I am a bit of a ‘Gull’ man, I was lucky enough to see the Glaucous Winged Gull at Beddington Farm in 2009. There is a book on gulls (currently in the garage due to building work), that is also excellent for anyone interested in Gulls.

            • Jane
              Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

              Oh I do wish you lived over here on Anglesey – I could introduce you to my birding friend, David, who is sooo heavily ‘into’ gulls. I’ve spent hours in the freezing cold as he’s laboriously scanned through huge flocks looking for something ‘different’. Give me terns any time!

              • Hanni
                Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

                Having just Googled terns Jane, they look exactly like gulls…OK their beaks are a bit different and they have some sort of attitude problem (mohican haircut) but other than that…Nope they are the same.

                • hoofityoudonkey
                  Posted March 9, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

                  Gulls are easier to ID Hanni. The Arctic and the Common Term are very hard to separate, hence the birder’s collective name of ‘Comic Tern’.

              • hoofityoudonkey
                Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

                I did a week volunteering for the RSPB at the reserve in Anglesea a few years ago. South Stack I think it is called. Lovely part of the world.

                • Jane
                  Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

                  Yes, South Stack is impressive – we had a pair of Peregrines nesting in full view last year and, of course, we have our own resident population of Chough to brag about. One of them has now taken to using the bird feeders outside the café!
                  I’ve done 6 years of Summer volunteering at the tern colony at Cemlyn – just a little further along the coast from there.

                  • hoofityoudonkey
                    Posted March 9, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

                    I have been there too!! Small world.

        • Jose
          Posted March 9, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          HIYD. I’ve been a cryptic crossword enthusiast for 45 years, but I still use all sorts of reference books to help me solve clues – virtually every day. This hobby has been invaluable for me to test/exercise my existing vocabulary and extend it further (and to discover all sorts of facts about a multitude of subjects). Yesterday, I learned two new words (megrim and caparison) from a cryptic – and they were logged with definitions straight into my own red book, which I’ve been compiling since 1970. So keep solving, researching, learning and logging – but the hardest part is remembering it all!

    • Hanni
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      As Jane said everyone uses Google or the BRB from time to time…I use Jane’s most Sundays. No shame in that. But as time goes on you will rely on them less. It certainly doesn’t make you a fraud, on any level. :yes:

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Hoofit, We have made the statement in the past that there are two books that have no place on our bookshelf. This is because they spend their whole time on the bench or table within reach whenever we are solving puzzles. The purpose of solving cryptics is to have fun. Whatever helps that process is absolutely fine in our philosophy. Fraud doesn’t even start to come into it.
      Cheers. :good:

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      I will try to find my guide to solving where you start as a beginner with dictionaries and reference books and pads and pencils and gradually throw them all away and solve with an ipad and a forefinger. When I need more I say so. Now if anybody would like to know about The Monkey Cemetery in Coventry – please feel free to ask

      • Merusa
        Posted March 9, 2016 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        I’ll bite – please tell me about The Monkey Cemetery in Coventry! Is Hanni going to be mad? I can’t help feeling I’m on dangerous ground here.

        • Hanni
          Posted March 9, 2016 at 1:21 am | Permalink

          Run Merusa…run for your life. :yes: This is MP we’re talking about.

          Edit…gosh no not never upset! I can’t believe we bit to this.

          • Merusa
            Posted March 9, 2016 at 1:38 am | Permalink

            I’m running as fast as I can!

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          What do you want to know about The Monkey Cemetery Marusa?

      • Hanni
        Posted March 9, 2016 at 1:18 am | Permalink

        Does the Monkey Cemetery have Monkeys in? Mind you not the people that were in a band and maybe a TV series…cause that would just be really odd! Actual monkeys? OK and what about the lions? Are there lions in Cov? No!

  39. Jon_S
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    A straightforward, entertaining enough solve. Almost came a cropper putting in SWEETSHOP for 17ac before checking twice. Couldn’t quite believe 27ac despite it being the only plausible arrangement of the remaining letters from the anagram.

  40. jan
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Now that Hanni and Jane have legitimised using the BRB/Google, I have the courage to comment. This BD site has been revolutionary in entering the world of the cryptic crossword. Thank you Big Dave and all the contributors – love learning, and reading all your wonderful comments. Today, almost completed but needed Big Dave for two. Hope there will always be easier ones for learners like me.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Nice one, Jan

    • Hanni
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Keep at it Jan. I think the 2Kiwis above have put it perfectly.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Way to go girl. way to go.

  41. PP
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    A confidence booster for me. Enjoyed it immensely 15a my fave. Thanks for helpful hints

  42. Tstrummer
    Posted March 9, 2016 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Easy as Sunday morning, but good fun while it lasted. Lots of cleverness on display, without being too taxing. I’m going for 15a as my pick of the pops with 6d a close second. Ta to Gazza for an exemplary review and to the mystery setter for a fun trip home after a hard day. Now off to do some packing as the excitement mounts