DT 28058

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28058

Hints and tips by Shropshirelad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from a cold, grey Shropshire – Brrr. I rather enjoyed today’s puzzle from our Thursday Mr Ron. It’s not exactly a ‘R & W’ and there are a couple of clues which stretch the synonym / definition bracket a bit – but I’m pretty sure that you’ll enjoy it too. I thought that this would be my last review to cover Kath’s ‘world tour’, but it appears that pommers will be unable to post at the end of this month – so, in the words of that famous American General, ‘I didn’t think there would that many Indians!’

I do hope the hints are useful, but if you can’t get the solution from them – you can always click on the grey ‘Click Here’ button or ‘phone Miffypops. He’s a mine of information.

Mrs SL and I are off to Edinburgh tomorrow for the rugby (come on Scotland) so I hope you all have a cracking weekend.

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    Award for music — or endless dancing (4,4)
GOLD DISC: The ‘or’ in the clue is the abbreviation of a precious material combined with an endless dancing venue.

6a    A day in care that’s arranged in passageway (6)
ARCADE: Take ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for day and put them inside (in) an anagram (arranged) of CARE.

9a    Stationary volunteers held back others (2,4)
AT REST: A usual term for volunteers reversed (held back) and a 4 letter word for ‘others’. I don’t know why ‘held’ is in the clue other than to make the surface better – am I missing something?

10a    Musical instrument in shape? (8)
TRIANGLE: I’ve put this down as a double definition as the question mark is there.

11a    I add blue variegated plant (8)
BUDDLEIA: An anagram (variegated) of I ADD BLUE.

12a    Defame African country no good after revolution (6)
MALIGN: Take a land-locked West African country and add the abbreviations for ‘no’ & ‘good’ reversed (after revolution).

13a    What’s blown, confirming in report career limitation? (5,7)
GLASS CEILING: A material that can be ‘blown’ to make ornamental objects and a homophone (in report) of a term for confirming, as in ‘??????? the deal’.

16a    Trouble fermenting in breaking of rule (12)
INFRINGEMENT: An anagram (trouble) of FERMENTING IN.

19a    Tick beside learner in outstanding educational course (6)
MODULE: The ‘tick’ is an abbreviation for a moment in time with the usual one letter denoting a ‘learner’ in a term for an outstanding bill, perhaps.

21a    Inspire two bridge players to meet female, maybe (8)
ENGENDER: Two bridge players (not S or W) precede ‘a distinction of words roughly corresponding to the sex to which they refer’ Cribbed straight from the BRB in order to dodge the whole ‘male, female, whatever’ thing.

23a    Choppy ocean is source of trouble for one? (8)
CANOEIST: Is it a cryptic or an &lit clue? All I know is that it’s an anagram (choppy) of OCEAN IS & T (source of trouble) which describes a person in a narrow, flat bottomed boat – paddling.

24a    Test backing with echo for part of drummer’s kit (3-3)
TOM-TOM: The kind of test required for cars ‘of a certain age’ twice (echo) and then reversed (backing).

25a    County with investment at margins in minimal accommodation (6)
BEDSIT: Abbreviation of a county where Luton is with the ends (margins) of ‘investment’.

26a    Carriage old dramatist’s used following sprain (8)
RICKSHAW: Irish playwright who wrote ‘Pygmalion’ after (used following) a four letter word for ‘sprain’.


2d    Published bet ignoring new data (6)
OUTPUT: Three letter word describing ‘published and a term for a bet (I’ll take a ???? on that) ignoring the letter ‘n’.

3d    Fear about to occupy the old man (5)
DREAD: Abbreviation for ‘about’ inside (to occupy) a term for ‘father’.

4d    Where one finds whales predominantly (2,3,4)
IN THE MAIN: I took advice on this one as I think this type of clue (like 23a) defy a precise categorisation. The whole clue is an &lit / all-in-one. Thanks BD.

5d    Sword injured girl (7)
CUTLASS: Pretty straightforward – 3 letter term for ‘injured’ and a 4 letter term for a ‘girl’.

6d    A team getting top award? It’s self-evidently true (5)
AXIOM: ‘A’ from the clue and a ‘team’ in Roman numerals with a 2 letter abbreviation for an award.

7d    Like some dinners lad with client disrupted (9)
CANDLELIT: An anagram (disrupted) of LAD CLIENT.

8d    Inspector left one figure that’s courteous and hard-working (8)
DILIGENT: 2 letter abbreviation for a senior policeman with (L)eft and one (I) combined with a figure that’s courteous.

13d    Revealing  a lot of gas? (9)
GARRULOUS: Double definition.

14d    Active sort of Green with rising name (9)
ENERGETIC: An anagram (sort of) GREEN followed by (with) rising (indication of a word reversed in a ‘down’ clue) a word used to call or summon.

15d    Article on gallery after negative comment (8)
ANNOTATE: 2 letter article followed by that Famous Gallery in London with a negative response between the two (gallery after negative).

17d    Equestrian competitor in uniform with short name (7)
EVENTER: Level (uniform) with a short name – ter(m).

18d    Journalist making entry in discussion sites — old hat? (6)
FEDORA: Crosswordland name for ‘editor’ inside (making entry) in the plural of ‘forum’.

20d    Poet and priest taken with religious books (5)
ELIOT: The usual priest with a set of religious books.

22d    I’m entering residence shortly in French city (5)
NIMES: Take ‘I’m’ from the clue and place inside (entering) a 4 letter term for a residence (for birds) lacking (shortly) the last letter. This one sort of threw me as the original city I was thinking of didn’t fit with my answer for 24a.

Well that’s it for another day. There were quite a few that made me chuckle but I’ll opt for 1a as my favourite as I thought the element was quite well hidden in ‘plain view. Which one floated your boat (beware the Wrath of Kath – you have been warned)?

The Quick Crossword pun: overt+aching+Minerva=overtaking manoeuvre


  1. Kath
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Where is everyone today? So far I’m the first to comment.
    I’ll have to be honest and say this was far trickier than */** difficulty for me – more of a 3* – and 3*/4* for enjoyment.
    I got stuck on quite a lot of these – my last ones were mainly in the top left corner but also 19 and 25a – I always forget the 19a kind of ‘tick’.
    1a took me practically for ever to understand although the answer was pretty clear.
    11a is one of those plants a bit like fuchsias (except they don’t look like them at all) that you can spell if you remember the names of the botanist they’re named after.
    I liked 26a and 13d. I really liked 1 and 11a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron, whoever he may be, and to Shropshirelad – I think there could be a few people round here who may not notice the answer to 23a in the picture.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      11ac. That would be The Reverend Adam Buddle Kath. Apparently he died in 1715 but the first examples of this plant were not sent to European botanists until 1730. The species Buddleia Davidii which made his name famous was found in 1869 and derived its specific name from French Jesuit missionary and naturalist Pere Armand David who discovered it. The Monkey Cemetery in Coventry has lots of Buddleia growing in it.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        There you are – told you Miffypops is a mine of information. I rest my case :yes:

        • Hanni
          Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          It’s good stuff SL. Buddleia in a cemetery with Monkeys…possibly from Madagascar. Giant Zulu’s. The Reverend Buddle…great name.

          • Miffypops
            Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            You could always google it Hanni

            • Hanni
              Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

              I shall Miffypops. Although I’m having a heck of a time trying to find a picture of Grandifloradamnedifino. Very rare apparently.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Which botanist are eschscholtzias named after?

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        I know it’s the state flower of California.

      • Kitty
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        The Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz, of course. I thought everyone knew that. ;)

        • neveracrossword
          Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          That’s how I know how to spell “eschscholtzias”. I just think of the botanist who discovered them.

          • Kitty
            Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


      • Miffypops
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        You can sound knowledgeable about Latin plant names by calling them all Grandifloradamnedifino

    • Brian
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Glad you found the damn thing tricky too. I know I shouldn’t but I do get wound up when whoever is doing the blog gives a puzzle a very easy * rating when most people found it tricky.

  2. dutch
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Well, that took a bit longer than usual – I think all the substitutions were a little trickier, as SL mentions in the preamble. I liked 19a (tick beside learner) mainly because of the way “outstanding” is used. I also thought 16a was a nice anagram (trouble fermenting in), especially as fermenting could also be an anagram indicator. Some old friends to make us feel at home (5d, 23a).

    23d (revealing a lot of gas) didn’t do much for me – I thought this was a cd rather than a dd (I don’t think revealing means garrulous, and “a lot of gas” is nounal not adjectival). I think it’s intended as a pun on gas, but it might have been stronger, something like “Prone to gas?”.

    Since you ask, in 9a I think “held back” taken together can be the reversal indicator, presumably chosen for surface, and 23a is a semi&lit, since the whole clue can be taken as the definition but the wordplay does not take up the full clue (which it does in an &lit).

    And I’m going to disagree with BD, I think 4d is a dd “Where one finds whales” and “predominantly” – not sure where else you would find them.

    Many thanks SL and setter

    • dutch
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      apologise, forgot to stay clear of jargon:

      &lit = all-in-one where the whole clue is both the wordplay and definition
      cd = cryptic definition, two possible readings of the whole clue
      dd = double definition
      BD = Big Dave

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

        Thanks for that Dutch..had no idea what BD meant. :yes: Even after all this time on the blog.

      • Jose
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        D. 13d: I think there’s too much over-analysing going on with this one. It’s a simple, straightforward all-in-one cryptic (certainly no dd) which is a bit “punny”. Revealing (as in giving out) a lot of gas (talk, conversation) = GARRULOUS.

        • Jose
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          13d: After checking in Big Dave’s Little Guide, I revise my assertion to it being a simple, straightforward cryptic definition (cd) not an all-in-one.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I have to say I agree with all of that Dutch. For 4d, I think it kind of works three ways. I’d definitely have called it a double definition if I’d been in the seat because each part alone defines the answer, but then the odd captive (or beached :sad: ) whale means that the whole clue works as a definition too.

    • Jose
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      D.4d: 100% dd for me. Where one finds whales = IN THE MAIN + predominantly = IN THE MAIN.

  3. Jane
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Didn’t find this one particularly easy – definitely a few head scratching moments.
    Discovered that, despite knowing the 11a plant very well, I obviously don’t know exactly how to spell it and also experienced a Kath ‘dim’ interlude over the wretched ‘tick’ in 19a.
    13d was one of my last in – didn’t really appeal very much.

    Happy to go along with SL’s choice for top place and rather liked the simplicity of 5d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and also to our Shropshire Lad for dispensing the goodies. Not sure that your pic at 23a actually showed ‘flat’ bottoms!

  4. Gazza
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I thought that this was really enjoyable – Thursday so often provides the best back-pager of the week – and quite tricky, so 3* and 4* for me. Thanks to Mr (or Mrs?) Ron and to Shropshirelad (enjoy the rugby in Edinburgh!).

  5. Franny
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this, and found the top half with no trouble, but needed a lot of help later, especially as I also had the wrong French city — which I think fitted much better with the definition. Thanks to the setter and to SL for the explanations.

  6. Graham
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It didn’t help putting Reims in 22D, definitely ***/*** from me.Favourite was 1A,many thanks to the setter & SL for his review. :phew:

    • Jaylegs
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      I think that it is a better answer, “des res” :scratch:

  7. Hanni
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Good to have you back in the blogging chair SL….

    And what a nice puzzle to blog. a few R&W’s and few that caused me to do more joined-up thinking. Particularly 4d.

    Lots of smiles including 16 and 19a. Favourite by far is 5d. Lovely clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and to SL for a great blog…good to hear you will be blogging again.

    Also congratulations for finding such a wonderful image for 23a. Herculean effort to get such a good example. :yes: I think a few people will be happy with that.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I agree about the 23a image. Nicely done, to illustrate the answer without making it a write-in :yes: .

  8. TheTeesdale2
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    We also had the wrong city at 22d, which rendered 21&24a impossible! Thankyou SL for enlightening us. Apart from that, quite straight forward and enjoyable.

  9. Expat Chris
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward, I thought. No smiles from me though. I must have used them all up on the Toughie. 23A is as close as I get to a favorite today. Thanks to the setter and to SL.

  10. Miffypops
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I found this trickily workmanlike but eminently doable. After looking at the illustration at 22d I put Rome in for the French City which held me uyp for a while but soon sorted. Thanks to A E Housman for the blog and thanks to today’s mystery setter. We still have Lake Itchington where Lake itchington does not belong and two River Itchens where we should only have one but the waters are abating and nobodies house got flooded. I managed a quick snorkel in Church Road with my barman Ryan. Try copying and pasting this link


    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t want to trouble you with puzzle screenshots at ‘stupid o’clock’ as you had been beavering away to stem the flow of water through the village. I do hope things improve :good:

  11. fran
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    A tricky bottom left corner ; although I put garrulous in eventually , I thought it was a poor clue and it impacted on 19a , for which I needed the hints, although I don’t know why .13 and 24a were favourites ( my daughter is learning how to play the drums so slightly biased ) **/****
    Thanks to Mr Ron and Shropshire lad

  12. Kitty
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    This was a puzzle of two halves for me. The top was lovely and smooth to go over but it took some beavering away to get everything in the bottom.

    1a was very clever and worthy of the top spot. I have a certain affiliation with the oldest of the old chestnuts in there too: the shortest and sharpest of the clues. I also liked 20d, because I always smile at references to that poet and the clue fitted together very nicely. They are all my favourites. I am not afraid!

    Many thanks to our Mysteron – please come and reveal yourself! – and to SL for the review.

  13. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Very tricky and having hit the wall after completing the NW corner, I am going to come a very poor second.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully the 23a picture will make you smile?

      Tstrummer is currently at 6757ft travelling at 313mph above Watford.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        That’s more like it!!!
        Heavens, what do I sound like????? I’m not like that, honest!!!

      • stanXYZ
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Apparently the quickest way to get to Canada is via Watford then over the North pole.

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

          He’s near Southport now??? Sat nav on the plane must be off. Hope the pilots realise.

  14. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    6d – OM = Award?? Order of Merit presumably, one for the Usual Suspects??

  15. Omar
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Hard for me too, definitely ***…..struggled with 1a and several others….I liked 23a, very clever!

  16. bigpratly
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The quick crossword pun could be: overtaking manoeuvre (overt aching minerver) or am I just being too clever by half???

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Looks like a good Minerva to me.

      I don’t buy the paper any more … I presume that the first three clues in the Quick in the paper are italicised.

      It seems that the Telegraph Puzzles website cannot manage italics and also can find no way of putting the Toughie setter’s name on the puzzle.

    • Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      I like it and I’ll change it, although it never occurred to me.

      • Kath
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        . . . and, although it’s a really good idea, there are no italicised clues – do they always do that if the pun is made up of more than the first two clues?

        • Robin Newman
          Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          The quick crossword is a pangram

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I ran through this fairly quickly this morning as a present to myself before starting to decorate the master bedroom. I have given up for the day now as I find I start to get sloppy when I get tired of/with painting walls and ceilings, hence my latish comments.

    1.5*/3* from me for Mr Ron’s enjoyable puzzle. 13 across probably my favourite although there were some nice anagrams, notably 23 across. Thanks to the aforementioned for getting my day off to such a fun start, even if it did go downhill rapidly afterwards. Thanks, too, to my fellow slightly older Salopian.

  18. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Top half went straight in. Bottom half proved much more difficult and not helped by entering Reims for 22d which made 24a a nightmare. We have the Pineapple Express hitting the coast so my roof is being bombarded by bits of conifers. I love the trees but from 80 feet above they make a lot of noise. Thanks to the setter and SL for the review.

  19. Jaylegs
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree the top half (apart from 1a) r & w but with the southern half I hit my 13a so ****/*** :unsure: Thanks to setter and SL without whose hints I would not have finished not sure about 19 & 21a, still a proper Thursday :good: Liked 18d & 26a, like meeting up with old friends :bye:

  20. neveracrossword
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Miffypops can help with this query? According to an article about the Hatton Garden raid on the front page of today’s Telegraph,” ..Essex police were announcing a possible link with the shooting dead of Palmer, who was cleared of golf laundering in the 1980s”. What is “golf laundering”, please?

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I believe it’s something regarding ‘cleaning up Volkswagen diesel cars’ emissions’…… :whistle:

      • Hanni
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Brilliant! :good:

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        The Police assumed that Palmer had died of a heart-attack, but the PM showed that he had been shot six times in the chest!!
        Who says our Bobbies are not on the case!!

        • Hanni
          Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Blimey, David Cameron gets involved in all sorts.

          • Kitty
            Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            Haha! :good:

          • HoofItYouDonkey
            Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink


      • Kath
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink


    • Miffypops
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Mmm. Golf. Enough said.

  21. Gwizz
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    A goodly challenge I thought. Nothing too obscure so no real problems. Some good clues, viz, 13, 24 and 19a. Indeed the latter was my favourite; I always momentarily forget that meaning of ‘tick’. Ah well. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

  22. Merusa
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I echo everything Kath said, especially her difficulty rating.
    I have tried growing 11a, I just love it, with no success, but the damned thing grows wild beside the train tracks in Wales. That makes me so cross.
    I couldn’t finish this today and needed several hints. I had the wrong city in 22d, that threw out the SE corner.
    Thanks to the setter and to Shropshirelad for helping me finish this puzzle today.

    • Kath
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      11a’s seed everywhere in our garden. What makes me cross (just don’t tell the Kiwis, especially Colin) is how envious I am of the agapanthus which needs nurturing here and in NZ grows like a weed.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Agapanthus grows well in Jamaica as well, but more up in the hills. I tried growing it here, but it wasn’t at all happy. See my gravatar, thunberger does very well here, maybe too well, a lot of work to control it.

  23. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    4d – I had ‘In The Blue’ – Which I think is a euphemism for the sea (Blue = Whale.), understand the answer. Did not help trying to solve the anagram 16a!!

  24. Brian
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    No way that was a one star for difficulty, it was a two session headache esp the SW corner. Can someone please explain why garrulous is revealing? Nothing in the BRB helps. And 19a beat me all ends up and even the hint didn’t help. For me a 3.5 on the difficulty scale with a ** for enjoyment.
    Thx for the hints.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      13d – Revealing a lot of gas?

      I didn’t read it as a double definition – just a cryptic definition?

      But maybe I talk too much?

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brian – with regard to ‘garrulous’, see Dutch’s comment at 2. I still take it as a DD – either way it’s not too good a clue. Maybe Kcit will drop in and put us straight.

      19a – module= a set course forming a unit in an educational course.
      Word play – tick (be with you in a tick) = mo, beside (L)earner in, due (as in money outstanding from a bill)

      Hope that clears it up.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Sorry – the ‘module’ should have read

        a set course forming a unit in an educational scheme.

        • Kath
          Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          . . . and Kcit was today’s Toughie setter. I don’t think we know who set the back page crossword – I could have a guess but have been wrong SO many times that I’m saying nothing.

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            Over tea – I realised I was cross contaminating crossword threads, D’oh!!!! Please note the excessive use of exclamation marks – I’m just a rebel :cool:

            • Kath
              Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

              Please note that I haven’t used a single exclamation mark today – I gave up being rebellious – it didn’t seem to work. :sad:

              • Kitty
                Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

                No – don’t give up being rebellious!

                • Shropshirelad
                  Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

                  What? Only one exclamation mark? Surely the ‘No’ deserved one?

                  • Kitty
                    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink


                    • Shropshirelad
                      Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

                      Brilliant :yahoo:

          • Shamus
            Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Unmasked and fully outed! Thanks to Shropshire Lad for his blog and everyone for comments – which are as always read with interest!

            • Shropshirelad
              Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

              Hi Shamus, As ever, it’s a pleasure to see the setter ‘popping in’ to the blog :good: I thoroughly enjoyed your puzzle, but can you shed any light on the ‘garrulous’ clue? I know it’s probably been a bit since you compiled the puzzle, so if you can’t remember that’s OK.

              • Shamus
                Posted March 10, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

                Hi ShropshireLad, It was intended to be a cryptic definition – I don’t see how it could work as a double definition. Thanks again for your blog and taking such close interest

                • Shropshirelad
                  Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

                  Thanks – have a great weekend and best of luck to the Irish this weekend in the 6 Nations. I’ll have a drop of the ‘black stuff’ this weekend and next Thursday on my Irish descendant’s behalf.

            • Kath
              Posted March 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

              Damn, to put it politely – I was wrong but that doesn’t make any difference to how much I enjoyed your crossword which was a lot.

            • Hanni
              Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

              Thanks for dropping in Shamus. Lovely solve.

              SL..don’t even mention Ireland and rugby!

            • Miffypops
              Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

              Unmasked And Outed sounds like the title of a bestselling paperback. Thanks for that Shamus. I am off to write it and make my fortune.

              • Hanni
                Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

                Sounds like a tabloid headline to me..but I see where you are going with it. I look forward to it being published. Be sure to send me signed copy. Or I can just wait to see the film version.

                • Miffypops
                  Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

                  I do not do signed copies. never have. Never will.

                  • Hanni
                    Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

                    Spoilsport. You could just sign it The Green Man of LI..who snorkels down roads in winter.

                    • Miffypops
                      Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

                      Thread Hi-jacker

                    • Hanni
                      Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:07 am | Permalink

                      But you starting on about your novel is OK? And I was just being polite.

                      Once again there are no words MP. Unbelievable.

  25. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Got the wrong town in 22d also until 24a was solved.
    The rest didn’t cause any problems.
    Liked the “or endless dancing” in 1a and the “choppy ocean” in 23a.
    Didn’t realise that 12a could be a verb.
    The priest in 20d has been around for a long time methink.
    Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable crossword and nice to see SL in the blogging chair.

  26. Una
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Not easy at all.13a is my favourite.
    Thanks SL and setter.

  27. Angel
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Nothing special today but only a couple of hiccups. 19a is surely not a course synonym but rather part of a course (except possibly in the USA). In any case like Kath the tick didn’t dawn on me. Wrong French city also threw me for a while – not sure how MP could have eked out Rome to fit. ***/***. :neutral:

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted Angel. Did you click on my link?

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

        Yes but got Facebook response “Sorry this content isn’t available at the moment” (mo?).

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          I may post something on Monday.

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    We thought this one was a lot of fun. A couple of music related clues and a few that were a bit bizarre but we are not convinced enough by these to publicly make a guess who the setter might be. Perhaps someone will put their hand up. We would have given it a higher star rating for difficulty.
    Thanks Mr Ron and SL.

  29. silvanus
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Not as tricky as some Thursday puzzles can be, but eminently enjoyable. The only area which caused any real hold up was the SW corner, partly owing to 13d requiring quite a little head-scratching. Once I had the answer, I must admit that I didn’t particularly warm to it, so I’m relieved that SL and Dutch had similar feelings.

    My favourite clue was 13a.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and our lad from chilly Shropshire.

    P.S. I can’t recall seeing any comments from Rabbit Dave yet this week, hope he resurfaces soon :smile:

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      RD is in Cancun drinking Tequila and charming his wife with a bit of help from some Mariachi.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        I miss Derek, he hasn’t checked in for a while. Anyone know how he’s doing?

  30. Jerome
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I think for my own sanity I’m going to ignore the rating from now on. Today I got 3 clues in the time it took me to finish the crossword yesterday.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jerome – I normally never time myself over a back pager and, in past reviews, I’ve never really adjusted BD’s default setting of ***/***. So I’m really sorry if my rating has mislead you – sometimes you’re on the setter’s wavelength, sometimes you’re not. :smile:

      • Jerome
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        I don’t normally time myself as such, but yesterday I happened to have finished the crossword by the end of my commute on the train in to work. Today I was definitely on a completely different wavelength. I did manage a few more on the way home though.

        Certainly no need to apologise, I almost always disagree with the rating! :-D

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I gave a one star puzzle one star once. Somebody commented that I must have a brain the size of Leamington Spa. I have not altered Big Dave’s default setting since

      • pommers
        Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        A brain the size of Leamington Spa? How insulting is that?

  31. Jon_S
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Let’s just say that 13d and 25ac took the same time as the rest put together….

  32. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Ay Caramba , as Bart Simpson would say…Boy that burnt a few million brain cells!!
    Agree, with a few sentiments about the ‘one star’, but it must be tough for SL to judge.
    Came second to the SW corner, the ‘tick’ = MO in 19a was a new one on me…
    Many thanks to SL for the much needed hints and the setter…

    • Hanni
      Posted March 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      One of the many good things about this site is there are no solving times. The star ratings are of course subjective but they are there as a guide. Don’t be discouraged by them or worry if you found something easier or more difficult. How you approach and tackle a puzzle will be completely different in 6 months time I bet! :smile: You’ll be tackling the Toughie in no time. The blog is awash with useful information. Take the following…

      TS landed at 10.30 (3.30 pm local time). Just in case anyone needed to know.

      • Jane
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        Thanks, Hanni – I definitely needed to know.
        Another useful bit of information I’ve learnt tonight came directly from Hoofit. I hadn’t realised that SL provided not only the hints but also the setter for today’s back-pager. One lives and learns……..

        • hoofityoudonkey
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

          Yes my English never was my strongpoint but you know what I meant :good:

    • Jose
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      HIYD. I always thought it was BD himself who gave the rating at the top of the page each day, not the reviewer – from “BD Rating”. Am I wrong? Probably…..

      • Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        That was the case for the first one or two months of the blog. Now most, but not all, bloggers set their own rating which is just as well as sometimes you might have to wait several days to get a rating from me!

      • Kitty
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        It’s the reviewer, Jose, and I for one find it very hard to judge. Whenever I’m in the chair my brain turns (more) to mush – perhaps it has the opposite, brain-sharpening, effect on others? The rating is only a guide and is there to be agreed or disagreed with – we’re all different.

  33. mre
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    A joint effort today with me contributing only a handful. Favourite was 13d. Didn’t take very long so probably two stars for difficulty.


  34. Heno
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, but it was on the gentle side. Favourite was 26a. Last in was 19a. Was 2*/3* for me. A nice walk today on Blencathra, arriving at Scales Tarn, no further progress possible without crampons, but most enjoyable.

  35. PP
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable but I found it tricky. Was looking particularly stupid on the bus as took ages to get going and start filling in the clues. So I pretended my pen had run out! Thanks to shropshirelad.

  36. Bluebell
    Posted March 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I found this pretty tricky. Like many others I had Reims for 22d which I honestly think is a better answer. This made it impossible for me to finish without checking the hints.

  37. Paso Doble
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Dreadfully late commenting on this but many thanks to Shamus for a really enjoyable puzzle and to SL for the hints. **/**** from us.

  38. Jose
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I’m amazed at the diverse comments and ratings for this one. I found it only mildly challenging (I did it on the bus, going home) but enjoyable. 1.5*/2.5*