DT 28075

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28075

Hints and tips by Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Hello everybody.  Our Kiwis are winging their way home from Christchurch, but not in time to bring you today’s hints and tips.  I’m delighted to take this chance to blog a Jay puzzle as he’s one of my favourite setters.  This kitty may be loose amongst the birds, but I hope not to ruffle any feathers today.

Jay has delivered everything I hoped for and expected in this puzzle which was full of my favourite type of wordplay.  I enjoyed the ride immensely – though because I was tuned into the right wavelength last night, it was all over too early (see 1d).

The definitions are underlined in the clues below.  The answers are hidden under the You clicked here! boxes. The exclamation mark is not an imperative – only click if you wish to reveal the answer.

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



1a    Works programme must anticipate right of light (5)
PLANT: A programme or scheme goes before (must anticipate) the rightmost letter of lighT

4a    Awfully bad manners cut short identification of product (5,4)
BRAND NAME: An anagram (awfully) of BAD MANNERs without its final S (cut short)

9a    Rose, for example with worker in queue (9)
EGLANTINE: The two letters for for example and then a worker bee (but not a bee, the other insect) inside (with … in) a word meaning queue

10a    Part of drill used by soldiers to get range (5)
ORBIT: The cutting part of a drill is placed after some soldiers who aren’t commissioned officers

11a    A way to travel on the back of a horse perhaps (7)
ASTRIDE: A from the clue, then the abbreviation for way or road, then to travel (indeed, perhaps atop a beast).  This produces a pleasing semi-all-in-one and unbridled joy

12a    The setter’s put in a dodgy term for current device (7)
AMMETER: How the setter would refer to himself inside A (from the clue) and an anagram (dodgy) of TERM.  The device is for measuring electrical current

13a    Some restaurateurs in Europe like bears (6)
URSINE: It’s a lurker, hidden in the clue, indicated by some

15a    Political manifesto that may be one of Victoria’s (8)
PLATFORM: The subsidiary definition refers to Victoria station and is where you are advised to mind the gap when embarking or disembarking the train

18a    Imposed objective, packing on behalf of church (8)
ENFORCED: A three letter word for objective or goal contains (packing) on behalf of or representing and two letters for a church

20a    The rest of the day (6)
SIESTA: A cryptic definition – the rest is not a remainder but a nap taken in the middle of the day.  I might be needing one of those today

23a    Overweight guide lost, out of depth and weary (7)
FATIGUE: Plump and then an anagram (lost) of GUIdE after D(epth) has been removed (out of depth)

24a    Takes off and wanders around East Mediterranean initially (7)
REMOVES: Wanders or strays around the initial letters of East Mediterranean.  The definition means withdraws or sheds

26a    Purpose applied to accountant’s campaign (5)
CAUSE: Purpose or value after an abbreviated chartered accountant

27a    Play  patience (9)
TOLERANCE: I got as far as looking to see who wrote the play of this name before twigging the first definition.  Facepalm!  Play here is the space in which a mechanism can move: give, latitude or slack

28a    Builders regularly must follow school education programmes (9)
SCHEDULES: Take every other letter (regularly) of BUILDERS and place those after (must follow) the abbreviations for school and education

29a    Left motorway during Italian restriction (5)
LIMIT: Start with L(eft) and add the insertion of the motorway crossword setters most like to take into the two letters for Italian



1d    Engineers carpet to have clean covering, but too early (9)
PREMATURE: Our regular engineers and a small carpet inside (to have … covering) clean or unsullied

2d    Designate to a great extent, protecting first in line (5)
ALLOT: Two (not one!) words (1,3) meaning to a great extent outside (protecting) the first letter of Line.  I’ll take this opportunity to introduce you to an animal I have mentioned in comments before – click the picture for more

3d    Love in tennis possibly gives you stress (7)
TENSION: The letter that denotes love (in tennis, in fact) inside an anagram of TENNIS.  This put me in mind of the gratuitous photo the paper published yesterday of Ms Sharapova at the beach

4d    Paid off kid found in part of garden (6)
BRIBED: Kid or tease inside the part of a garden where you might find flowers.  In ours it’s mostly weeds, but that’s ok – I like weeds

5d    Accommodating different name on source of barley in beer (8)
AMENABLE: An anagram (different) of NAME and the first letter (source) of barley all inside some beer (of the type many insist should be real. I’d certainly not want to drink fake beer, though unreal beer does sound appealing)

6d    Welcome here for a downtrodden person? (7)
DOORMAT: This word for an uncomplaining ill-used person is also something on which to wipe one’s feet when entering a building; it may (or may not) contain a welcome message

7d    A dropping outside temperature shown in pub flier (9)
ALBATROSS: In a puzzle with multiple insertions, here is a double insertion.  We start with the A from the clue.  Then we have T(emperaure) inside a pub, all of which is inside a dropping or decrease

8d    Consumer taking top off radiator (5)
EATER: Remove the first letter from a radiator.  I was spoiled for choice of creatures to use in an illustration here, but chose this one in honour of today’s setter

14d    Non-alcoholic rival is a pushover (4,5)
SOFT TOUCH: A drink which is not of the hard stuff and then rival as a verb in the sense of match or equal

16d    Financial review of Mensa in a mess over exam (5,4)
MEANS TEST: An anagram (in a mess) of MENSA followed by (over, in a down clue) an exam

17d    Set off sheltered by cycle stand (8)
PEDESTAL: An anagram (off) of SET inside (sheltered by) a verb meaning cycle

19d    Got angry about case of wastage and growth (7)
RAGWEED: The case of wastage indicates the outer letters of that word.  About these goes a word meaning got angry or fumed.  I said I like weeds, but that was only a generality: I’m not sure about this particular one

21d    Wrong time to be dismissed by any Greek god perhaps (7)
IMMORAL: Removing the T(ime) (to be dismissed) from someone who may be a god or any other eternal being produces something sinful

22d    Troubles coming after doctor gives exercises (6)
DRILLS: An abbreviation for doctor followed by troubles or misfortunes gives some training exercises

23d    Data from polyunsaturates full of carbon (5)
FACTS: Some lipids (which may or may not be polyunsaturates) containing (full of) the chemical symbol for carbon.  To me, this contains a definition by example but it hardly seems unfair so I’m still quite happy with it.  What do you think?

25d Beam on everybody turning up, showing such hostility (5)
VENOM: We finish with another lurker, this one – turning up – is reversed.  I thought about including a piccy of a snake here, but considered that some of our more sensitive readers might prefer if I didn’t.  You’re welcome!


I loved the whole thing and just can’t manage to pick a favourite today.  Can you?


The Quick Crossword pun: knows+toot+ale = nose to tail


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    3*/4*. Wonderfully enjoyable stuff from Jay as always, with elegant cluing throughout. The bottom half went in much faster than the top half with the NW corner holding me up the most.

    Initially I was tempted with “catnap” for 20a, but thankfully I only wrote it in the margin with a “?” against it. With my craving for brevity, 27a gets my vote today as favourite, but there were a lot of other outstanding clues as well – too many to mention them all.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Kitty.

  2. Miffypops
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay for a ratherer easy puzzle which I solved very early this morning and remember little about. Thanks to kitty for an enjoyable blog. I quite like snakes but am glad you didn’t add a picture for the same reason that spider pictures are never welcome.

  3. Spook
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Nothing to frighten me today, but 19d took some teasing out. Best clue for me 16a.
    Many thanks to Kitty and Jay.
    Beautiful day in North Cornwall, dogs awaiting.

  4. HughGfan
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Having shot from the hip and put SOLITAIRE in for 27a it took a while to work out why my (correct) answers for 17d, 22d and 25d would not fit. Otherwise excellent puzzle & blog from Kitty.

    • Patsyann
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I did that too

  5. Senf
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Spent too much time on 1a and 2d, trying to make them much more complicated than needed; together, they took almost as much time as the rest of the puzzle. But, still completed before lights out last night. Favourite has to be 9a for the construct of the clue and the illustration provided by Kitty. Thanks to Jay and Kitty.

  6. Jane
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    That was a surprise – a Kitty blog on a Wednesday!

    Lovely puzzle from Jay and I’m ashamed to admit that the bird of the day at 7d was my last one in.
    Hesitated a little over rival=touch in 14d but it couldn’t have been anything else.

    Yes, Kitty, I was looking up plays as well!

    Plenty of good clues to choose from but I’ll put 11a in the top spot.
    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks stand-in – excellent job. I can certainly think of one of our number who will be grateful for your restraint re: a picture for 25d!

  7. pete
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle with a good mixture of clues. Nothing to difficult but enjoyable, my favourites were 9a and 28a. Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  8. Angel
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    My progress around solving this was as per RD with the South going in before North
    and NW last to fall. Wouldn’t want to be in the lady’s shoes if the rhea in 11a decided to take off. Thanks Kitty for hints particularly for parsing 21d (d’oh). An enjoyable puzzle for which many thanks Jay. **/***.

    BD – you’ve sorted the name/email problem – TVM. Any chance now of reinstating the email reminders when hints have been posted?

    • dutch
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      take off? aren’t they flightless?

      • Angel
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they are flightless however I didn’t mean become airborne but rather scarper at speed of which they are of course very capable.

        • Kitty
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          I rather think that Dutch was pulling your wing, Angel. :)

          • Angel
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            I can take it Kitty! (-:

            • Kitty
              Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

              Glad to hear it. :)

  9. Alan
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Truly horrible puzzle. Laboured, ugly cluing as usual from this setter. Cringe factor 5.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Is this a coded message which means that you found this puzzle difficult? Patience and perseverance should sort that problem in time. Meanwhile there is help here if you need it.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      You are, of course, entitled to your opinion … but could you give us a few examples of Laboured, ugly cluing … in this puzzle and previous puzzles from today’s setter?

      • Cd
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        7a so clunky you could prolly hear it groaning in NZ.
        Endless insertions + Lego big turn offs.
        Want setters with GSOH whose wavelength communicates rapidly.
        Others surely disagree, but Jay puzzles currently leave me thinking how clever Jay is.
        Rufus puzzles entirely another order of excellence: they leave me thinking how clever I am x

    • Kath
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      How rude – Jay is a brilliant crossword setter – I, for one, love his crosswords.

    • ShropshireLad
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it encouraging that we’re all so different and unique? Having said that – politeness goes a long way.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      We thought that this was a really good puzzle with some great clues – we like lego clues and insertions! Thanks to Jay and to Kitty for a lovely blog.

  10. Patsyann
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I knew the rose in 9a as I have one in my garden. But it is a very specific bit of GK for a cryptic puzzle. Lovely crossword and hints

    • Bluebird
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I was once in A Mdsummer Night’s Dream and several weeks of rehearsal made sure that, along with the rest of the lines, the answer to 9a stayed in my brain forever……… Thanks to Kitty for showing me what it looks like.

      ” I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows…………”
      Oberon, Act 2, Scene 1.

      Of course, like most people my age, I can’t learn anything new nowadays and, if I have to, I conceal the words on a prop……

      • Hanni
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Act 2 scene 1. I was Titania. And yes it stayed with me too.

  11. dutch
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Back home for a day waiting for the dyno-rod man to come fix a backyard drain. I liked 20a (the rest of the day) for it’s rufus-like perfection, and was amused by “the setter’s put in a dodgy term” (12a). Thought at first there was a part of speech mismatch in 23a but they can both be verbs.

    Many thanks Jay and thanks kitty for a great blog. Cool doormat, could come in handy.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I can lend you some rods Dutch.

      • dutch
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        all done – no need for your rod but many thanks for the offer MP

  12. Brian
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Very very enjoyable crossword today with some clever ‘smile’ clues such as 15a, 11a and 7d. My fav was 9a which impressed Mrs B as my knowledge of botany is on a minus scale.
    Still not sure about touch =rival but it is in the BRB so it must be right😀
    Thx to esp to the setter today for an enjoyable outing esp as I am stuck at home at the moment with a broken ankle (don’t ask!) and to Kitty for the hints confirming my answer to 14d.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I won’t ask but I hope you soon recover Brian.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Apart from the broken ankle (poor you) the rest of your comment has left me with a big smile on my face – especially the bit about the BRB ;)

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Get well soon 😊.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Did you break it fighting a Cassowary Brian.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Poor you Brian. At your request, I won’t ask, but I hope it wasn’t a misadventure to give you cause to kick yourself – because that would make it worse.

      Seriously, I wish you a speedy recovery.

    • Heno
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Hope you recover soon Brian.

    • Kath
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      I’ll just echo what CS said plus I’m going to ask too . . .
      Poor you and a great big OH DEAR from me.

    • dutch
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      much sympathy

  13. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    As Jane I hesitated on the second word in 14d but it had to be that for the definition to make sense.
    Very pleasant crossword.
    Favourite is either 3d or 11a.
    Can’t quite make up my mind.
    Thanks to Jay and to Kitty 🐱 for the wonderful review.

  14. Jonathan
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Another day another challenge. I found this so much more difficult than yesterday’s. Must need to get on the same wavelength as the setter. Thank you for all the explanations and hints – I’ll keep learning. :-)

  15. George
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes, straightforward enough – 2*/3* would be my rating.

  16. omar
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle, NW corner held me up……9a my favourite, perhaps because it is such a beautiful and evocative word…..***/*** for me

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Nice homage to our setter with Kitty’s picture for 8 down. Overall a terrific puzzle from Jay, with several outstanding clues, foremost among which was 29 across for its brevity and wit. This certainly wasn’t as straightforward as I thought it might be at the outset, as 1 across and 7 down held me up, pushing me into 3* difficulty but beaten by 4* for enjoyment.

    Thanks to Jay and Kitty for a thoughtful review.

  18. pommers
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Certainly not one to frighten the alots but very enjoyable as is the norm from the Wednesday Wizard. I guess **/**** just about covers it. :-)

    Lots of good stuff but the stand-out for me was the splendid 11a.

    Thanks to Jay and Kitty.

    Off for a 20a now.

  19. mre
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward today. Last in was 7d which I struggled to see for a few moments and when the solution did come I couldn’t fully resolve it.


  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    **/****. Really enjoyable and very nicely constructed. Completed on the verandah in glorious sunshine with a large g+t. Shplendid. Thanks to the setter and Kitty for the review.

  21. Ora Meringue
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Just not on the right wavelength today.
    Needed the hints to parse lots and needed google to get lots.


    Thanks to Kitty.

  22. Heno
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and to Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, some very well crafted clues. All was plain sailing, until I got to the SE Corner. Like Hugh, I put in solitaire, so needed the hints for 27a&21d. Got 25d,but needed Kitty’s explanation. Was 3*/3* for me. Just clouding over now in Central London.

  23. silvanus
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think this was a vintage Jay puzzle as some of the surfaces fell short of his usual high standard, but it was enjoyable to solve and fairly 5d overall.

    My favourite clue was undoubtedly 27a (matching RD once again!).

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to Kitty.

  24. Dr_Bob
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Cracking puzzle. I always love the Weds offerings. ***/**** for me. Tricky to pick a favourite. 4D was my last one in. Took me ages to fathom that one. Thanks for the entertaining review.

  25. Merusa
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable. I also wanted to put “solitaire” in for 27a but wisely held back until I got some letters.
    My fave was 9a, I love the sound of it, and it’s pretty, too.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Kitty for the hugely entertaining hints.

  26. stanXYZ
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I always enjoy the Wednesday puzzle alot (sic)!

    The cat in the picture for 23a obviously needs a siesta.

    Hic! A liquid lunch never helps my solving abilities ……..

  27. Florence
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Managed to do about six clues, then was thoroughly frustrated…. Until I realised I’d printed the toughie off. I am clearly not ready for it. Well done to all those who found it easy. As for this crossword, I slowly chewed my way through it from top to bottom. My only problem was with 19d as I had the answer from the checking letters but didn’t know why. I didn’t understand the case of wastage, so thank you Kitty for explaining it in your review. Thank you too setter for making the day more enjoyable in the breaks between cleaning my oven.

  28. Robin Newman
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    favourites 23A, 24A & 6D
    Many thanks to Jay and to Kitty.

  29. snape
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I never find Jay puzzles easy, but I’m slowly getting better. Got about halfway before getting, but a couple of hints got me on the way again. DDs are rarely particularly exciting, but I thought 27a was clever, and my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and to Kitty for the help.

  30. ShropshireLad
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    What a very nice way to spend a sunny afternoon in the conservatory – with a lovely Jay puzzle and a lovely Kitty review. What more could you want ? :) . Fortunately I did not put in ‘Solitaire’ at 27a, but I was sorely tempted. Anyway, lots of clues to like and smile about.

    I liked your ‘Alot’ feature ‘a lot’ Kitty. It reminded me of David Flatman (ex Bath rugby player) when he was hired as a pundit during the last Rugby World Cup. Now, that man can talk – a lot – about nothing in particular. Mind you, in his own words, he can’t stand people who spout forth a lot of ‘hyperbowl’. I nearly fell off my seat laughing.

    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to Kitty for her review.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, SL. :) As someone who as a kitten did a lot more reading than talking, it’s very lucky that I never said “hyperbowl” out loud before learning the correct pronunciation from a friendly English teacher. “Banal” was a similar lucky escape. Sometimes it really does pay to keep silent.

      • dutch
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        i found out the correct pronunciation of banal the hard way

        • Kitty
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          Oh dear. It’s very unfortunate when you get something the wrong way at an inopportune moment.

  31. Una
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    The usual elegance from Jay and a lovely review from Kitty.Thank you both.

  32. Jon_S
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle, about ** for difficulty. Nice clear wordplay at 9ac for what was, for me, an unfamiliar term.

  33. Kath
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Very busy day so very late appearance from me – need the ‘little face’ that has a sweaty little chap wiping his forehead!
    Right – now the crossword. I agree 2* and 4*.
    As usual/always with Jay’s crosswords there’s at least one and usually three or four that stir up trouble for me – today those were 1a and 7 and 14d and, dare I mention 25d?
    I did eventually get there with all but 1a – this was just not going to happen – well done, Kitty.
    15a – oh dear! Whenever ‘Victoria’ is mentioned I know that it could mean a station, a plum, an Australian state or a carriage – I can usually think of three of the four leaving me with one missing – that’s what happened today for ages.
    I liked 27a and 4d. My favourite was 23a.
    With thanks to Jay and thanks and well done to Kitty. :-)

  34. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    This setter clearly polarises opinion,like Marmite.
    As a relative beginner, I am totally ‘at sea’ with this as I find so much of the wordplay totally unfathomable. 7d is a good example. Is that really the best was to clue the definition? I doubt it. I end up having to ignore the wordplay, try and find the definition in the clue and do the puzzle like the quick crossword. I can then refer to Kitty’s excellent hints and marvel that anyone could work the wordplay out!!!
    That said, this is by no means a moan, just acknowledgement that I need more experience which can only come with time. The setter writes the rules and I for one am happy to persevere and get my head round them.

    • Merusa
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I think you do very, very well for a “beginner”. As I’ve said before, I’ve been doing these things for sixty years and I get totally floored from time to time, particularly with RayT, and he seems to be the most popular here. You’ll be a pro in no time.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks Merusa!!!
        I’m improving, and I have to say that my improvement is entirely down to Big Dave for running the site, the kind people who give up their time to put the hints together and the sympathetic bloggers who tolerate my endless ramblings…

        • Kitty
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          Hoofit, this site exists for people like you.

          It will continue to be for you as you progress and start calling puzzles “write-ins.”

          And people here are very happy with “rambling,” as you can see from some of the comment threads!

    • Paso Doble
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Well said Hoofit! We have got so much pleasure from persevering and, to some extent, getting our heads round the wordplay. It is an incredibly satisfying process. Keep at it.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      HIYD. I am pleased that you are enjoying your learning curve. Apart from the wordplay and the definition there is this. If it fits bung it in. The big bird at 7d fit so I bunged it in. as to the clue, well I had a T(emperature) and a pub (bar) and I couldn’t be bothered to go any further. Remember your bung ins though. If wrong they might just be what is holding you back

      You can often get odd letters to put in from the tense of the clue. ED at the end of a word where the clue is all in the past tense as in “referred to delayed” which would suggest an ED ending to the solution. Lots of plurals in the clue will usually give a plural answer S so even though you do not have the answer you may have an extra checker to another clue.

      One more tip. Don’t spend ages on single clues. keep moving on. The second and third time you read the clue you may see thing a little differently and you may have more checkers.

      I hope that helps but after all – its only a crossword puzzle. Now I think it is time for a couple of pints of Purity mad goose.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        Your advice is well made MP, and noted.
        I got stuck yesterday, decided to go down the garden and have a rant at my broad beans as they STILL refuse to germinate. Came back and finished the rest of the CW in about 20 minutes.

        • Kitty
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          Yes, wise advice – but do beware those bung-ins as they can bite. Personally, the furthest I will go in that direction is a pencil-in. Which is a bit difficult when solving on a tablet.

          Ranting at inanimate objects is very therapeutic I find. You can’t hurt their feelings (and they can’t hurt yours). I hope that is true of plants. Perhaps your beans don’t germinate because they are saddened by your ranting.

          • Gazza
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            I’m with you on this Kitty. I hate the ‘bung it in’ philosophy which seems to have crept in recently. My advice is – if you can’t justify your answer don’t write it in. If you do, not only will you stop trying to solve that clue but you’ll also probably have incorrect checkers in place for other answers which will prevent your solving those clues.

            • pommers
              Posted March 30, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

              I’m a firm believer in ‘If you can’t parse it it don’t go in’ because if you can’t parse it then it’s probably wrong.

              I do agree with MP though when he says if all the clue is past tense the answer is quite likely to end ED and if it’s all plural there’s a fair chance of an S.

          • Kath
            Posted March 31, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            I agree about ‘bung ins’. One of the first things I learnt here was that if you can’t make sense of it then it’s likely to be wrong.
            A very long time ago – think it was a Saturday and I know that the answer was an across clue at the top of the right corner don’t ask – it’s just the way my brain works – anyway, the answer was ‘duffel’, as in a kind of coat. This can also be spelt ‘duffle’ – can’t remember which was right but one spelling worked with the clue and the other not only didn’t work with the clue but completely screwed up another answer.

        • Merusa
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          Broad beans yum, yum! They’re called fava beans here and only show up once a year, and very expensive! I stock up and freeze them, am waiting for this year’s stock to come in.

  35. Kitty
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all your kind comments today. Very much appreciated. I have a long day ahead so am going to take myself off to bed now. Goodnight!

  36. Tstrummer
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    The good news is that I’ve managed to negotiate a later start time for the Australians, so don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn with a headache to think of something to say that will last 20 minutes or more. Tomorrow, I get an extra hour in bed, and thereafter, two hours. I know no one else cares, but I deem it a result. As for the puzzle, my favourite setter hasn’t let me down. I enjoyed every bit if it, although I thought it a touch trickier than often on a Wednesday. I think 12a takes chocolate Hobnob, with 21d making do with a bourbon cream. Many thanks to Kitty for an animaltastic review, and, of course, to Jay. 2*/4*

    • Hanni
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:58 am | Permalink

      I think it’s result TS! I’m still working so very much good for you. Enjoy your ‘almost’ lie in.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Of course we care, Ts. Sleep is precious. Well done, and sweet (extra) dreams. :)

  37. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Good morning, Kitty.

    I’ve just re-read your introduction. Rubbed my eyes and read it again. Yes, you’ve really written, “he’s one of my favourite setters”. It looks as if Kath didn’t notice it, so I won’t mention it.

    • Kitty
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Morning, RD. :)

      Haha – I think Kath has given me up as a hopeless case. We’re still friends though. I’m sure she’ll allow me to say that she’s one of my favourite people.

    • Kath
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Kath’s only just noticed – be warned everyone – I’m wide awake this morning.

      • Kitty
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        If I’d said that Jay is “not my favourite setter” that would have given entirely the wrong impression.

        (This reminds me of when I managed to dig myself into a hole with Notabilis: I met him and tried to pay a compliment but it came out a bit wrong. He took it in good grace, and I have made a mental note that it is better to say “I love your puzzles” than let the word “favourite” anywhere near the conversation. *red-faced emoticon*)