DT 28070

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28070

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ***/****

Hello all – you’ve got me again today. This isn’t a Ray T crossword. I thought it was quite tricky so it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of you got on with it.

The answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you actually need to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a            Local left in charge is put in shade as annoying character (6,8)
PUBLIC NUISANCE — I hope that you’re all sitting up and paying attention – I’m only saying this lot once. First word first – begin with a local, not a bar, nor an inn but another three letter one. Follow that with the abbreviation for L(eft) and finish off with another abbreviation, this time the one for I(n) C(harge). Now the second word – start off with a word meaning shade or a subtle degree of difference which contains (put in) IS from the clue – phew!


9a            Emphasise position of leading tennis player? (5,2)
POINT UP — A tennis match is made up sets and games and something smaller – you need one of those and a word meaning ahead. I’ve never heard of this meaning but it is in the BRB.


10a         Slight curve going round hospital room (7)
CHAMBER – A slight curve or convexity on the upper surface of a road or ship deck contains (going round) the abbreviation for H(ospital).

11a         American school makes one exhilarated (4)
HIGH — This is a double definition – the American school is the one that we would call secondary school (or, when you’re very little, big school) and it also means exhilarated or drunk.

12a         Son with papers, say, and weapon gets fleeting look (4,6)
SIDE GLANCE — Start off with S(on) and follow him with some papers – not newspapers but something that is required by law to be carried at all times in some other countries – then you need the two letters meaning say, or for example and finally a weapon – a pointed one used by the cavalry. Another one that I’m not in a rush to repeat!

14a         Expert play on words said in French (6)
PUNDIT — A play on words, a bit like the first couple of clues in the Quickie crossword, is followed by the past participle of the French verb ‘to say’.


15a         Gave a hand when located round back of offices (8)
ASSISTED — A two letter word for when or while is followed by one meaning located or placed which contains (round) the last letter (back of) office(S).

17a         Horrible brute with lie almost getting disproof (8)
REBUTTAL — An anagram (horrible) of BRUTE is followed by (with) three of four letters (almost) of a word meaning a lie or fib.

18a         Priest in old British military outfit showing faith (6)
BELIEF — Unless you know this ‘old British military outfit’ which operated abroad in both World Wars (I didn’t) it’s really a question of thinking of a six letter word for faith or ethic which contains a three letter biblical priest and then looking up the remaining letters. I’ll save you all the trouble – they stand for B(ritish) E(xpeditionary) F(orce).

21a         Titled woman about ready to reform king? Idealist (10)
DAYDREAMER — A titled woman – Judy Dench for example – contains (about) an anagram (to reform) of READY then follow that with the one letter latin abbreviation for king.


22a         Stock evidence of a wrongdoer, it’s said (4)
GILT — This ‘stock’ is an investment regarded as being very safe – it’s also a homophone of evidence of a wrongdoer, or the verdict reached in a court of law.

24a         Ale a keg spilt — from this? (7)
LEAKAGE — An anagram (spilt) of ALE A KEG. This one was much easier to solve when I stopped reading ‘spilt’ as ‘split’. Oh dear!

25a         Partygoer at home by six — something holding up the ball? (7)
INVITEE — This partygoer is an expected guest rather than a gatecrasher. Start with the usual two letters meaning ‘at home’ and follow that with the Roman numerals for ‘six’ and then finish off with the funny little thing that a golf ball perches on before it’s whacked into the middle distance.

26a         Showing the full effects of crashing? (4,2,3,5)
DEAD TO THE WORLD — This kind of crashing means fast asleep. Well, I hope it does otherwise it’s a rather macabre answer!




1d            Dads’ dance — in which uncle pays up (3-4)
POP-SHOP — This uncle isn’t your Mum’s or Dad’s brother, he’s a pawn broker. An affectionate word for your father, with the ‘S’ is followed by a dance, or a dancing party.

2d            Garb’s undeniably wrong for charity event (5,3,3,4)

07) The Cake and Produce stall with Mary Mothersdale, Ann Hinds and Beryl Wiggington_jpg

3d            Regulars in minor team getting tiny amount (4)
IOTA — You need the alternate letters (regulars) of mInOr TeAm.

4d            Table accessory and kitchenware taken up by family (6)
NAPKIN — A reversal (taken up) of a piece of kitchenware or cooking container is followed by a word meaning family or clan.

5d            Expand where night-watchman might be? (8)
INCREASE — The night-watchman here is not someone guarding premises during the hours of darkness – he’s a cricketer, more specifically a relatively unskilled batsman sent in to bat towards the end of the day’s play – split 2, 6, it’s where he’d be. I do hope that you’re all pround of me for getting this one.

6d            A hardly believable paper invariably (2,3,5)
AT ALL TIMES — The first two words of this answer, split 1, 4, are often followed by ‘story’ meaning something hardly believable or pretty unlikely – here they’re followed by a paper, a newspaper – not the DT but one of the other more reputable ones.

7d            Chancellor perhaps gets basic intern time reviewed (7,8)

8d            One that’s thick infernal sort? About right (6)
FRIEND — This thick isn’t stupid, crowded or made of extra warm material – it’s a person who you’re close to or intimate with – as thick as thieves for example. Start with an infernal sort of being – a beast, demon or devil – which contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for R(ight).


13d         Hotel meeting place in ground set down in dependent region (10)
HINTERLAND — The one letter for Hotel as used in the phonetic alphabet is followed by (meeting) a verb to place in the ground or bury and after that you need another word for set down or come down to earth.


16d         European city uprising over, as in receipt of German OK (8)
SARAJEVO — Take the word ‘over’ from the clue and the word ‘as’ from the clue – between them (in receipt of) put the German word for OK or yes – then reverse the whole lot (uprising).

17d         Sift puzzling piece of verse (6)
RIDDLE — A double definition – the first meaning to separate big bits from smaller ones by passing through a sieve.

19d         Idiot in craze hoarding articles (7)
FATHEAD — A craze or vogue contains (in) two articles – the definite and the indefinite.

20d         Look forward to chutney perhaps (6)
RELISH — Another double definition, I think, although I’m not quite sure that it really means to ‘look forward to’ – more to enjoy or appreciate.

23d         Acknowledge a victor with pained expression (4)
AVOW — The A from the clue, the one letter for V(ictor) and a pained expression meaning ‘that hurt’. A nice easy one to end up with.

A funny one today – not many anagrams – I made it four with another partial one although a couple of them were spectacularly long No lurkers unless they’re lurking so successfully that I’ve missed them altogether.

I liked 12 and 14a. My favourite was 2d.

The Quickie Pun:- (OWE) + (CAR) + (PEAS) = (OKAPIS)


  1. neveracrossword
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I agree this was fairly tricky – but worth the effort. My wife and I enjoyed the cat looking out to sea. Thank you Kath and anonymous setter.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Re 18a, I learnt all about the BEF at my father’s knee, with tales about the retreat to Dunkirk and his evacuation to Blighty.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        My Father was captured at Dunkirk and unfortunately wasn’t repatriated back to Blighty until the end of the war. He never forgave Mr Chamberlain and his ‘scrap of paper’.

    • Timtom
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      They were also known as Back Every Fortnight due to the short term missions they were given!

  2. Jose
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Much better, today – more challenging and more enjoyable. Had to do a bit of research to confirm 1d. 3*/4*.

    PS. Our star ratings for Difficulty and Enjoyment are both supposed to be “out of five”, aren’t they? Why do people keep using their own, individual alternative system?

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Yes – the difficulty and enjoyment ratings are out of five. If you work on that principle then the average is three stars. Today I thought that it was a touch more difficult and more enjoyable than average but not enough to warrant a 4* for either.
      It’s really only a rough guide and everyone will have their own ideas about it – so much depends on an individual’s wave-length.

  3. Kitty
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I too found this very hard in parts. Started off well but ran aground in places and had to whip out the big red book of words.

    9a’s definition was new to me, as was 18a’s BEF. 5d’s cricketosity caused frowns too.

    13d sounds like the place where we bloggers come from.

    My favourite was 26a because I am lacking sleep and so it is something I aspire to be.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the beautifully written and illustrated hints – I loved the piccie for 21a, but what I really want to thank you for is the lovely lolcat in your Saturday hints which I’ve only just got round to reading.

  4. dutch
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t see 22a (stock) for the life of me – thanks Kath. Quite a few simple expressions I didn’t know: I thought they sold soda in 1d. 2d I must call by a different set of names, and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone use 9a – happy Kath didn’t either. And, I hadn’t heard of the military outfit in 18, plus I thought that 11 referred to secondary schools across the globe. To say nothing of nightwatchman (well done, Kath!). I didn’t want to think too much about the full effects of crashing (26) but I liked the simple 14a (expert play on words). Many thanks setter and Kath

  5. Graham
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    This was a very enjoyable solve but I wouldn’t rate it as high as Kath **/*** for me.
    Liked 1A, 12A, & 2D, but favourite goes to 16D which was also my last one in.Many thanks to the setter & Kath for her normal excellent review. Happy Easter to one & all.

  6. Chris
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Thought I’d achieved a first by completing unaided two days on the trot before realising I got 22a wrong (LIST instead of GILT). Teaches me for shooting from the hip rather than paying attention to the clue!

  7. pete
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Very challenging but also very enjoyable. I managed all but 8d and 16d. Would never have worked out the city for 16d, many thanks to Kath for the hints and to the setter.

  8. Jose
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Kath. 20d: Relish does mean “look forward to” or “anticipate eagerly” as well as “to enjoy or appreciate”. This one could be a dd or maybe “Look forward to” is the definition and “chutney perhaps” is the wordplay? Anybody know which?

    • Chris
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      I’d settle for Kath’s double definition as RELISH can mean both ‘look forward to’ and ‘chutney’.

      • Jose
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        C. 20d: I can’t decide if this is a dd or a combination clue. The first part “Look forward to” is a direct/full definition and verbal, whereas “chutney perhaps” is a partially cryptic definition and is also intrinsically nounal, because chutney is a noun. Come on Gazza – sort this one for us, please.

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure it is a double definition – I was just expressing slight doubt about the accuracy of the first bit. The entry in BRB is too long for me to write it all down but I can’t find anything to do with ‘looking forward’.

      • Chris
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
        • Chris
          Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          b. To be pleased with or look forward to: I don’t relish speaking with that student’s parents about his behaviour.

          • Chris
            Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            The clue is ‘look forward to’ not ‘looking forward’.

            • Kath
              Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

              Yes – you’re right about that – it’s in the clue.

      • Jose
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        From Collins Online:

        relish (ˈrɛlɪʃ )


        verb (transitive)
        1. to savour or enjoy (an experience) to the full
        2. to anticipate eagerly; look forward to
        3. to enjoy the taste or flavour of (food, etc); savour
        4. to give appetizing taste or flavour to (food), by or as if by the addition of pickles or spices

      • Kath
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I give in – I was really only having a bit of a niggle – I still say that there is nothing in the BRB about it.

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry Kath. You’re damned if you do – or damned if you don’t :)

          • Kath
            Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


  9. silvanus
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I must have been totally in tune with the setter’s wavelength as I found this no trickier than yesterday’s puzzle. The only clue which needed a little more cogitation than the rest was the European capital city in 16d.

    Having originally only entered the last two words of 26a, I had wondered whether the clue would be a cryptic dig at a non-lamented recent Sunday newspaper, but sadly the first two words proved me wrong!

    Two clues I especially liked were 25a and 2d, but a very enjoyable solve overall.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to Kath.

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    No hold-ups for me, though I have not heard of 9A either. Favorites are 26A, 1D and 6D. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review.

    Kath, when are we going to see a pic of you and the 2Kiwis in NZ?

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      When/if I work out how to do it!

  11. Bluebird
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, I bunged them all in eventually, as MP would say, ( I.e. without really knowing why) but I thought a lot of it was a bit weird, so my enjoyment would be ***.

    Thanks to Kath for explaining the night watchman and reminding me of the pop as in pop goes the weasel? Didn’t know the uncle reference though.
    And, like her, I read SPILT as SPLIT……..so, although the anagram was obvious, I couldn’t see it as split ( unless it was an odd way of describing a sauce).

    I thought 26a was way off and so far from cryptic it was up its own proverbial.

    BTW, where are the emojis? Mine have gone for a walk…..

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      The ‘little faces’ have been sent off in disgrace for a while because BD thinks that they could be at least partly to blame for the problems that everyone was having with the site recently.

      • Bluebird
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes, well, a lot of them are very shifty looking, especially the ones that are hardly ever used, so their disgruntlement must have escalated into revolutionary action……..ooo-er….

        The immobile ones are probably better behaved than the nodding, winking and blushing variety.

  12. Angel
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    This was almost a piece of simnel for me but good fun nevertheless. No real Favs although 5d amused as did one or two others. I kicked myself for failing to solve 22a for which I just couldn’t think of appropriate homophones. Thanks Mr. Ron and Kath whose hints I relished. **/***. :-) neutral.

  13. Sheffieldsy
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    We found this a fairly easily achievable solve, to the extent we wouldn’t rate it higher than 2* for difficulty. We enjoyed it, so 3* faced r enjoymen1d was our favourite because it made us smile.

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

    • Sheffieldsy
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      faced r = for. The dangers of poor typing and predictive text!

  14. pommers
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I parsed 22a differently. Not that it matters a jot as it works either way. Stock as in farm animal and the one here is a young sow which hasn’t had its first litter.

    Apart from much too long a time spent on 22a and 16d (for no apparent reason) this would have been only a ** but those two rascals put us firmly into *** territory. I’ll go for **** enjoyment though.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

  15. Paso Doble
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    We thought this was an excellent puzzle and agree with Kath on the ratings.
    So thanks to her and the setter. We think it might be Petitjean

  16. Brian
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Very hard and beaten by 22a which I had to eventually look at as I could not even get it with the hint. This is def a 4/5 for difficulty but on the whole quite enjoyable. Best clue by far was 5d, I know it’s a cricketing clue but it’s jolly clever for all that. Needed the hints to fully explain 1a, 15a and 13d but my answers were correct.
    However, I make it a rule to always be grateful on a Thursday when it is not my nemesis.
    Thx to all

  17. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a very entertaining workout for a Thursday. Started of at a gallop in the NW, slowed to a canter in the NE and down to a trot in the SW with Neddy, my trusted steed, stopping off to graze wherever he felt like going in the SE. My favourite of the day was 12a – a lovely Lego clue.

    Thanks to our Thursday Mr Ron for the puzzle (Mmmm – who could that be, I wonder) and to Kath for her review and getting my days sorted out. I thought it was Friday this morning.

    Beam is in a benign mood over in Toughie-land and well worth a go (as long as your name isn’t Brian :)

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Talking of the Toughie – I haven’t seen it posted yet. I wasn’t meant to be reviewing it today – was I? Cor lummy luv a duck – I’ll have to check :(

    • Hanni
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      SL…that sounds like a very messed up dressage test!

  18. Young Salopian
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this particularly tricky, but it was suitably enjoyable. Several terrific clues, of which 1 and 12 across were beaten by the outstanding 5 down for the top of the podium..

    2*/3* seems about right, with thanks to our mystery setter and Kath for her review.

  19. Miffypops
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Top quality today. A very enjoyable solve. I did think about Kath at 5d but need not have worried. Thanks to the excellent setter and thanks to Kath for a blog with KATH written all over it.

  20. Shamus
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Dropping by now as away later – many thanks to Kath (I always ‘relish’ your blogs!) and everyone who commented. Much appreciated!

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi Shamus, thanks for dropping by – loved the puzzle. I had a thought it might be you, but I’ve been wrong on so many occasions. Have a good weekend.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for dropping in Shamus. What a corker of a puzzle. Thanks.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        You said it, M’pops.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Cracking puzzle Shamus. Thanks for dropping in.

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for calling in. I’m really sorry about the ‘relish’.

  21. Bluebirds
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Point up and pop shop????????????

    There is no single point in tennis and what is a pop shop?

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Bluebird. There is no single point to ladies tennis. A pop shop is a pawnbrokers. A pawnbroker is known as Uncle. Your dad is your pop and a dance is a hop a la Danny And The Juniors “At The Hop” A brilliant stand out clue.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Novak Djokovic. Next you will be telling us the girls just ‘pat’ the ball over the net.

    • Physicist
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Break point? Set point? Match point? Championship point?

    • Ora Meringue
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      A pop shop is a pawn shop and ‘uncle’ is the pawnbroker.
      “I’m just taking this to uncle” being a euphemism for taking something to pawn.

      Your life has clearly been more sheltered than mine.

    • Merusa
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      If the score is 40-30, then the server is a point up. I have no problem with that.

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to all of you for replying here – been out socialising.

  22. Merusa
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I loved all of this, though, full disclosure, I didn’t get 16d. Shame on me, geography is my forté.
    I had no idea what the night watchman was, but the answer couldn’t be anything else.
    This puzzle emphasizes the rule different strokes for different folks; I sailed through this and others found it tricky, I stumble through RayT and others breeze through.
    Thanks to Shamus for a delightful start to the day, and to Kath for her review.

  23. stanXYZ
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle and a very nice blog from Cath Kath.

    Many congratulations on explaining the crickety one!

    Very strange that the BRB in book form doesn’t include “look forward” for “relish” whereas the on-line version has it as the second definition: Maybe the BRB is not infallible?


    But my favourite today was Kitty’s comment about 13d. Thanks to all the Hinters in Hinterland

    • ListB
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I had overlooked that little gem from Kitty, so thank you stan for pointing it out. I too am grateful to all the Hinters posting here.

  24. Hanni
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    What a gorgeous puzzle. An absolute pleasure to solve from start to finish. Enjoyed the long anagrams, enjoyed the lego clues, 14a made me smile and 12a gets an Easter Egg.

    Many thanks to Shamus and to Kath for a first rate blog.

    Hope everyone that is having one enjoys their long weekend,

  25. Bertie
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else get ‘caliph’ for 18a
    And ‘hothead’ for 19d – made life
    Difficult didn’t it !

  26. e cook
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Where is the click button?

    • Hanni
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      The ‘click’ button? If you mean the ‘click here’ function to see the answer, it might not be working on all browsers so you could try switching. The edit function has been disabled for the moment I think.

  27. Scousegit
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Kath for the blog without which I would never have solved 10a. I thought ‘slight’ was the definition and was trying to find a 7 letter word meaning slur or small starting with cra ( arc going round). Needed Kath’s help with four other clues. I just think I’ve cracked this cryptic business and then a first rate puzzle puts me back in my place.

  28. Heno
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Shamus and to Kath for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very difficult. Needed the hints for 22a & 8d, wouldn’t have got either of them. Favourite was 19d. Wasn’t sure about 9a,but got it right. Managed to get 18a from the wordplay, thanks to Kath for the explanation of BEF. Was 3*/4* for me. Off to Margate Beer Festival tomorrow, so must do the puzzle on the train before the ale starts flowing :-)

  29. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    The printer at the place in Christchurch where we are house-sitting has run out of ink so we are having to be all ‘with-it’ and do our solving on line. Makes it tricky to remember the details of the answers for comments when it is now 18hrs since we solved this one. Just remember that it all went in smoothly with lots of smiles along the way. Not surprised to discover who the setter was but we would not have committed a guess to paper.
    Thanks Shamus and Kath.

  30. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Absolutly brilliant.
    Enjoyed every minute of it.
    Last one in was 8d. Nice penny drop moment.
    Joint Favourites 25a and 6d.
    Thanks to Shamus and to Kath for the review.

  31. Jon_S
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    A little tricky in places, though most went in without too much trouble. 22ac held me up at the end, with an answer that I was only vaguely familiar with. Particularly liked 16d.

  32. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks, Kath, super-dooper blog as usual.
    That one was one if the best for weeks. After my shocking effort yesterday, today I was spot on the wavelength.
    The south held me up for a bit, mainly as I could not get 26a for ages.
    Like most others, 9a was new to me, the two long anagrams were fairly easy and gave a good entry in.
    Favourite clue was 5d, as being an ex-cricketer, I spotted straight away.
    On a sadder note, RIP Johan Cruyff, one of the greats,

  33. Weekendwanda
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Very quick solve for me this morning on the train. Some took a little time but got them all but needed the hints for the explanation of two. Did not get 22a without going through every letter of the alphabet to fill the two spaces. Thought ” evidence of a wrong doer” not quite right. Otherwise enjoyed immensely

  34. Robin Newman
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    the star rating system has disappeared so,,,2*/4*

  35. Robin Newman
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    edit function also seems to have disappeared !

  36. Kath
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Right – it’s now 10.30 pm – I have to got to bed in a minute. I’m aware that lots of you are awake for half the night but I’m not one of them.
    Night night all, sleep tight and mind the bugs don’t bite – I wouldn’t really mind/notice if they did!

  37. Sam
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure it’s not Ray T? It’s hard enough!

    • Kath
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I really am absolutely certain – honest, guv!
      Ray T’s crosswords have certain trademark clues – very short clues, maximum seven words; all the quick crossword clues are single words and answers; usually the Queen puts in an appearance in some shape or form – there are others but for now that’s enough. There is one particular give away that means it’s not a Ray T – Shamus has already ‘popped in’ and claimed it as one of his – comment No 20.

  38. Sam
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    1d: neverheardofit.

  39. Sam
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    22a: evidence of a wrongdoer isn’t guilt. Guilt exists regardless of evidence. Harrumph!

  40. Jane
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Jeepers – that was hard work.
    1d – a revelation
    9a – only heard of ‘point to/out’ before
    12a – sideways glance is my only point of reference
    18a – had to look up the military outfit
    5d – the cricket association was a long time coming to me
    26a – took for ever
    16d – almost defeated me.

    However – it was a brilliant puzzle and my leader board gives the honours to 1,14&25a plus 2d.
    Wonderful blog, Kath – so nice to have you back where we all feel you belong! Loved your pic for Kitty at 21a and your careful comment, given that TS is apparently home, re: 6d. Sorry to be so late in with a comment – long day and then the proxy server refused to play ball tonight. Somehow or other, I finally managed to get in directly to the BD site a few minutes – won’t hold my breath that it will last!

  41. Jane
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi TS – when you pop in. So pleased that you’re both safely back home and that you’ve had a wonderful time. Hope we might get to hear a bit more about it over the next few days? Yes – my experience of Canada (although only a tiny bit of it) was that it is indeed a beautiful country.
    Apologies if I’m not regularly on the blog at the moment – still having a lot of problems getting access. Fortunately, Hanni gave me the heads-up that you were back amongst us.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted March 25, 2016 at 2:08 am | Permalink

      Hi Jane. It’s always good to have a word from you at the end of my day. Suffice it to say that the Canadian Rockies in the winter are a sight to behold. I’ve been to some stunning places in my time, but nothing compares. The Unesco world heritage people say that the Icefield Parkway between Banff and Jasper is one of the most beautiful roads in the world. They are doing it a disservice. It’s so much better than that. I’ve also discovered a cure for jetlag; it’s called work. Sigh. I’d rather stay jetlagged.
      PS I drove a dog sled with six eager huskies through snowy woods and across a frozen lake. It was a once in a lifetime experience (tell you what, never again) that I shan’t forget.

    • Tstrummer
      Posted March 25, 2016 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      Ps my reply has gone into moderation, because I mistyped my email address, which I still have to enter every time. It will turn up eventually when the moderators wake up, I hope

      • gnomethang
        Posted March 25, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        I’m with you Tstrummer! See above!

  42. Tstrummer
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Phew. Having been away from crosswords for a while I wasn’t sure if it was me or the puzzle, but I found it tricky to say the least. Got there in the end, though, without help from Kath’s excellent hints. 9a, which seems to have baffled some, is quite a common expression, at least in my trade, but I’ve never heard of 12a – sidelong, or sideways, yes, but never just side. However, it was easily gettable from the wordplay. Last one in was the pesky 22a, where I had to go through the alphabet in my head before stumbling on the answer, but favourite has to be 1d, although I doubt younger solvers, or our overseas friends, would have heard of it, or uncle. 3*/4*

    • Tstrummer
      Posted March 25, 2016 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Ta to Shamus and VMTs to Kath

  43. Bill Thompson
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Can somebody please tell me why it is that lately, all the answers are already revealed as soon as I open the hints page.
    Great site, thanks.

    • Posted March 25, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Bill

      The code to hide the comments is present. This appears to be a problem with one or more browsers. Which platform/browser are you using? If it’s iPad/iPhone and Safari I suggest you address your complaints to them as Safari is renowned for ignoring html protocol. If it’s a Windows-based browser I may be able to replicate the problem.

  44. Mike
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Same problem, which makes the blog much less enjoyable. Not sure how one goes about taking it up with Safari.

    • Posted March 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Mike

    • Mike
      Posted March 25, 2016 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Ah great! It’s working now.

      • Posted March 26, 2016 at 1:10 am | Permalink

        I put the blog on CloudFlare, mainly to see if I could kick-start the DNS. If the spoiler facilty is now working that is a Brucie Bonus!

  45. vancouverbc
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    ***/****. Back in the saddle following a trip to warmer climes. Very enjoyable but a little trickier for me than many state. 1a was my first in and favourite. Thanks to Kath for the review and the setter for a pleasant challenge.

  46. mre
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Forgot to post this yesterday. Trickiest of the week for me. Got there eventually without properly understanding 14a and 13d. Favourite was 22a.


  47. Dr M
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon all. I couldn’t get on the site yesterday so thought I’d quickly add my thoughts now. Thanks to Shamus for a challenging but entertaining puzzle. The only one I didn’t get was 16d, don’t know why. Favourite was 5d. Enjoyed it more than the last Ray T! Thanks Kath for the hints.

    • Kath
      Posted March 25, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Maybe you didn’t get 16d because it was one of the trickier ones – it was certainly my last one.

  48. Gwizz
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    It feels a bit like after the lord mayor’s show, however I have completed this very good puzzle and so I must add my comments! 5d was my favourite and 3/3* overall.
    Belated thanks to Shamus, and to Kath for her excellent review.