DT 28095

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28095

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on an overcast morning, where we were woken early by the sound of chainsaws and a chipper as one of our neighbours had his cupressus hedge reduced in height.

It’s Friday, so it’s a Giovanni crossword, with his usual trademarks: a bit of church, a bit of classical mythology, and very fair cluing. I found the bottom half easier than the top, and the last few pushed my time up to ***.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

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           Lake in very good Somerset location for fish (8)
PILCHARD – A two-letter word for ‘very good’ or ‘sanctimonious’ and a town in Somerset, placed either side of Lake, giving a sort of fish often found in tins with tomato sauce.

6a           Game you set about after drink (6)
HOCKEY – Start with a sort of white wine, then reverse an archaic form of ‘you’.

9a           English county accommodating a Scottish football team (6)
HEARTS – A county in the South-East of England wrapped around A (from the clue), giving an Edinburgh football team.

Image result for hearts fc

10a         One has got on unexpectedly (8)
STOWAWAY – Cryptic definition of an unexpected, and unwanted, passenger on a ship.

11a         Provision for the infirm at no cost? That could make one happy-go-lucky (8)
CAREFREE – Split (4,4) we have two words meaning, respectively, ‘provision for the infirm’ and ‘at no cost’.

12a         Put down roots in beastly home with the French (6)
SETTLE – The home of Mr Brock the badger followed by a French definite article.

13a         Fulfilling certain female role, nice girl had become agitated about boy initially (5-7)
CHILD-BEARING – Anagram (become agitated) of NICE GIRL HAD, wrapped around the first letter of Boy.

16a         Man got a lever working, device in physics lab? (12)
GALVANOMETER – Anagram (working) of MAN GOT A LEVER.

Image result for galvanometer

19a         Like prominent cleric in US university meeting socialist (6)
MITRED – An American university commonly known by its three-letter acronym followed by the colour usually attributed to socialists, giving us a reference to the headgear worn by bishops.

Image result for bishop mitre

21a         Hiding in grass, chief stayed put (8)
REMAINED – A word for chief or principal is inserted into a sort of grass.

23a         Rubbery stuff in cake — I only half lick the content (8)
SILICONE – Put I (from the clue) and the first half of LIck into a cake which is traditionally served as part of a cream tea.

24a         That is upsetting laymen (6)
NAMELY – Anagram (upsetting) of LAYMEN.

25a         Group in the distance at sea (6)
LEAGUE – Double definition: a group of people getting together to push a political view, or to compete in a sporting contest; and a distance of 3 nautical miles

26a         Opportunity of seeing around Italy taking time? Don’t think of leaving (3,5)
SIT TIGHT – An abbreviation for Italy and Time placed in side ‘seeing’.


2d           Walk about island to the north — mountain top here? (6)
ICECAP – Put together another word for walk, one of the abbreviations for ‘about’ and an abbreviation for Island, then reverse the lot. I wasn’t convinced of the definition here, but it is in Chambers.

3d           Sorceress left out of ring (5)
CIRCE – Take the Left out of a ring-shaped geometrical figure, and you get the sorceress who turned Odysseus’ men into swine in the Odyssey.

Image result for circe

4d           Tries somehow to interrupt a member of the family making pronouncement (9)
ASSERTION – Anagram (somehow) of TRIES, inserted into a phrase (1,3) meaning ‘a member of the family’.

5d           Hellish situation — nurse is swell (7)
DISTEND – An alternative name for Pluto, the god of the underworld (and hence a name for the underworld itself), followed by a verb meaning ‘nurse’.

6d           Cries when there is fire, first to last (5)
HOOTS – The command given to fire a gun, with the first letter moved to the end.

7d           Mad man in church, right type to distract congregation? (9)
CHATTERER – The mad character who had a tea party in Alice, with the abbreviation for the Established Church wrapped around it, followed by Right.

8d           See me getting upset, unwell, communicating via computer (8)
EMAILING – Reverse ME (from the clue) and add a word for ‘unwell’.

13d         Larking about in underground activity? Nothing right in that (9)
CAVORTING – Put the letter which looks like a zero and a two-letter abbreviation for ‘right’ inside some underground exploration.

14d         Unfinished building complex in which to find this person’s café (9)
ESTAMINET – A collection of buildings with its final letter removed is wrapped around ‘this person’s’, giving a French word for a small bar or café (though I suspect it’s not much used in modern French: Jean-Luc may enlighten us).

15d         Period after St David’s Day by the sea (8)
MARITIME – One way of writing the date of St David’s Day, followed by a period.

17d         Male beast upset at least twenty different animals (7)
MARTENS – Reverse (upset) a male sheep, then add a multiple which must be at least twenty, but could be any number ending in zero.

Image result for marten

18d         Prosperity that comes with breaking the law (6)
WEALTH – Anagram (breaking) of THE LAW.

20d         Party individual — Lorna? (5)
DOONE – The usual crossword party and an individual, put together to form the surname of the eponymous heroine of R D Blackmore’s novel set on Exmoor.

22d         William bicycles — feet getting stuck (5)
IAMBI – These metrical feet are hidden (getting stuck) in the clue.

Image result for iambus diagram


The Quick Crossword pun CARP + ARCS = CAR PARKS


  1. Angel
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable exercise – many thanks Giovanni. East fell into place ahead of West. Always good to increase vocabulary viz. 16a, 14d and 22d. Confused myself for a while by plumping for freewill in 11a. Thanks DT for, as always, being there when Google/Thesaurus hasn’t been able to help but not needed today. ***/****.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    3*/3*. I was familiar with the adjectival form of 22d but I don’t think I have ever come across the plural noun before – full marks to Giovanni for a proper Latin plural! 14d was a new word for me. 2d with its slightly sneaky definition was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. George
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I found this puzzle quite difficult – I managed to finish after several bung ins – and even reading DT’s help above I doubt i would have worked out the wordplay in some clues. For example, the two letter abbreviation in 1a might well mean sanctimonious but surely that is very bad not good. 2d is often found far from mountains so for me despite BRB it is not a great clue. But there, I suppose I am being pedantic as usual.

    14d was a new word for me.

    Anyway, 4*/2* for me today.

    • Heno
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Pi is short for pious, which is very good.

      • George
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        I suppose if you think that Saudi Arabia is a good regime. If one looks around the world, I would suggest avoiding just about any place that is pious.

  4. Heno
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Giovanni, but very tricky. Needed the hints for 6,23a & 7,17d, I thought the latter was very strange. Favourite was 19a, was 4*/3* for me. On my way to Bath Spa on a day out.

  5. Brian
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Giovanni has excelled himself today with a really tricky one. Must admit to having to resort to the hints for 14d( dear me, weird words in French, perhaps stretching it a bit too far), 17d and for the first part of 5d. You really do need a classical education to complete one of the Dons offerings. Must admit I had to resort to the BRB for 22d, heard of an iambic pentameter but not just iambi.
    Best clue for me by a long was was 16a which was the first in.
    Thx to all

  6. Kath
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Blimey – that was difficult – 4* difficulty and 3* for enjoyment.
    Having read all the clues through once I had five answers – then I got a few more and the rest eventually followed but very slowly.
    I’ve never heard of the scientific instrument in 16a but it was obviously an anagram and in the end I didn’t have many letters without a home.
    9a – well, what can I say?
    On the plus side it was nice to see in 5d that nurses sometimes do something more than make beds and toast.
    I liked 10 and 12a and 3 and 22d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.
    Now – do I dare to peep at the Toughie – don’t think I’ve ever tried a Sparks.

    • Hanni
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      The Sparks is fantastic Kath. :yes:

  7. Jaycat
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The third crossword in a row that I would call difficult. Enjoyed it mostly and managed most of the clues but had a real problem with the wordplay and needed hints for many regarding this.

    How does 19a refer to a hat? Didn’t know PI could be described as very good, didn’t know the sorceress in 3d, so learning all the time.

    4*/3* for me.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    • dutch
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      the answer is a description, means “wearing a hat” rather than the hat itself

      • Jaycat
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks dutch, can see that now.

  8. Beaver
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes it was tricky, but isn’t that what Friday crosswords should be. Excellent cluing from the Don . Held up by the SW corner until the best D’oh moment for a while occurred with 15d-confirmed with a visit to the diary! . New word for me 14d,needed all the checking letters to arrive at the solution. Had to snigger when I thought 20d said Loma- not Lorna and I tried to form an answer relating to the rugby player- I now know it was Lomu anyway!- bad day at black rock ! Can’t quibble with a ***/***, thanks to setter and DT-loved the martins.

  9. pete
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Definitely on the tricky side today for me. I got stuck on several and needed the hints from DT to finish. I didnt know 6d was one word? struggled with 14d, 17d, 2d and 16d. Its puzzles like this one that gets the old grey matter working. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  10. Kath
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Just had a thought – it seems a long time since we’ve had comments from Merusa and Paso Doble – do hope that they’re all OK.

    • Jane
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath,
      Isn’t it a while since Hilary popped in as well?

      • Hanni
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I’m certain Hilary did the NTSPP last week.

    • Miffypops
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts about Merusa on Monday. Merusa always comments favourably and I noticed her absence.

    • Merusa
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I’m here, but I’ve been a bit busy getting ready for surgery on Monday – MRIs, x-rays, blood work, etc., and making arrangements for Sadie and the cats to be taken care of. I get back too late to comment, by the time I get home it’s all been said. I’ll be gone a couple of weeks but I’ll be back!

      • Jane
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Sounds as though you’ve got a bit of a plateful there, Merusa. Best of luck and hope everything works out well.

      • Hanni
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Hi Merusa,

        Hope everything goes well and you recover quickly. Take care and looking forward to having you back, you’ll be missed.

      • Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink

        Oh, I do hope it all goes smoothly, Merusa. Wishing you all the best for minimum discomfort, a successful operation and a speedy recovery. I look forward to seeing you when you get back. :rose:

      • Kath
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        I do hope that all goes well – will be thinking of you and sending good wishes.

  11. Framboise
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree with Kath, it was difficult, thought at one point to throw in the towel… The bottom half got filled in before the top which was much more laborious. Again was trying too hard to find obscure words when in fact, if decoding the clue methodically, one would get success. Did not know the Scottish Football team but managed to decipher the clue. Needed the hint to parse 1a. Favourite was 23a but lots of clever clues. Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT. 4*/3*. Am making headways with the Toughie but doubt I will be able to finish it.

  12. Jane
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    NE corner stayed blank for quite a while as well as the 1a/2d crossover. Forgot, again, about the term for ‘very good’ in 1a and was too lazy to start looking up locations in Somerset.
    14d was a totally new word and the ending of 22d did have me reaching for the reference books.
    Top three for me were 10a,13d (lovely word) & 15d.

    Thanks to DG and also to DT – know how you feel re: the chainsaws etc. One of my neighbours, who works shift hours, spent hours last night cutting his huge hedges by the light of a head-torch!

  13. dutch
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Solid puzzle from the Don. I bunged in Voltagemeter at first, must really remember to look at the anagram fodder. I liked 17d, 22d

    Many thanks Giovanni & Deep Threat

  14. Hanni
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Not entirely straightforward but solvable. I had to double check 22d and I got the ending to 16a wrong having ‘re’.

    9a was my last one in and I then had to check it was a football team. It is.

    Biggest smile came from 10a.

    Many thanks to the Don and to DT for a great blog. Hope it is a bit quieter there now.

    Cold on the moors but thanks to the joys of things like riding I am not.

    Inspired by something I think CS said I am going to experiment on the horses later. We sometimes say “Nothing to scare the horses etc”. So in front of me I have a selection of puzzles of varying difficulty, different setters…publications.

    The plan is to show them each one and watch their reactions.

    And then we’ll know for sure.

    I could so be a scientist.

    • crypticsue
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Young Elgar has his Enigmatist hat on in the Graun today – that might be a good one for the horses to try.

      • Hanni
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Oh thank you. :-) I wanted to take an IO but couldn’t see one. Also have a go at solving it too. :yes:

    • Salty Dog
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Beware! I recall being rather pleased with a dressage test sheet once, so leaned forward from the saddle and showed it triumphantly to Charley Farley (my noble steed, to whom good dressage tests were unknown). He promptly woke up, shot sideways and left me on the mud while he went off to check out the cross-country course. Perhaps he thought I was showing him a crossword.

      As for this one, I found it rather stiffer than the Toughie I did earlier. Call it 3*/3*, and favourite clue 15d. Thanks to the Don and DT.

      • Jane
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        I did try to dissuade Hanni from the crossword experiment, Salty, but she wouldn’t listen. Haven’t heard from her since she left for the stables…………..

        • Hanni
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          Hanni is back and safe…although I did go to the pub too.

          Salty, you did dressage? I cannot tell you how much I love that! And we have all been there with dressage test scores. Thing is I can picture exactly what you are on about and I burst out laughing. I don’t mean that nastily just I know what it’s like when you get good comments etc.

          The experiment is going well. Some interesting results…so far…

          Beam…no discernible reaction of fear (odd..they worry the hell out of me)

          Elkamere..ears pricked up

          Giovanni…horse attempted to eat it.

          Full results next week.

          • Salty Dog
            Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            I only did enough dressage to get on to the cross-country, I’m afraid. In my first “proper” BHS one-day event, Charley got so confused by an incredibly wound up rider that he stood on “X” halfway through the test and tried to bite my feet! Mind you, he was clear show-jumping and cross-country…

  15. Wahoo
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Great mix of clues as usual from DG. ***/*** for me last night.

    Didn’t think 23a read very well (but then again who am I to say?) and I still do not understand the significance of the word “different” in 17d – those two being my last ones in.

    I’ll nominate 1a as favourite.

    Thanks to The Don and to DT.

    • Gazza
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      ‘different’ in 17d just means that the animals that are the answer are not the same as the male beast at the start.

      • Wahoo
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Stupid of me. Thanks!

  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Needed the hints to finish the NW corner.
    Totally stuck on 1,2 and 3.
    DT is right about 14d. Hardly ever used in France. In fact I learned about this word in London as my friends from Hyeres opened a restaurant in Floral Street called L’Estaminet back in the nineties.
    Favourite is 8d. Giovanni can be so modern sometimes.
    Thanks to him and to DT for the much needed help.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      A bit of research suggests that ‘estaminet’ is derived from a Walloon dialect word, so is/was more current in the NE of France. I’ve come across it most in post-WW1 literature in English, probably brought into wider usage by the British troops who served in that part of France.

      • Framboise
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Estaminet also found in Zola novels…

  17. Posted April 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Oww. Yes, I found this tough. Classic Giovanni, as described by our estimable reviewer. I had to look up a few things – like 14d!

    I loved the surface of 5d (rather appropriate). Not so much the answer. Also liked 13d, and thought 17d clever.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat. I wish all you lovely people an equally lovely weekend. :bye:

  18. Hec99
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    For those unacquainted with the Scottish football team, it shares its full name with a novel by Sir Walter Scott, “The Xxxxxx of Midlothian”.
    This was the nickname of the mediaeval jail in The High Street in Edinburgh, demolished in 1817. You can see a xxxxxx-shaped stone in the road.

    • Hanni
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for that. :-)

      It’s weird because now you have mentioned Midlothian, the team sprung to mind. How does that work?

      • Jane
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        I only knew it from the days when I was very young and my Dad used to listen to the football scores on the radio. I think the team were given their full title by the announcer.

  19. AnntheArt
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this was challenging! Managed to do most of it and enjoyed what I did do. Proud to have got 15d, 14d and 22d on my own.
    I asked Mr AnnTheArt early on for help with the football clue 9a and had him punching the air when he finally got it…great clue!
    I don’t think I could solve such as 2d, 5d and 23a in a million years.
    Even though it was difficult I did like many of the clues, especially 26a, 12a.
    I must own up to using the nifty electronic gadget for 16a. My excuse is that, unlike Hanni, I am so not a scientist!
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni for a good brain workout.

    • Hanni
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Oh I am anything but a scientist, I just like to conduct odd experiments. It’s usually with drinks though. And once with a ruby laser.

      • AnntheArt
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I’ve been known to do experiments after a few drinks too, come to think of it. Ha ha!

        • Hanni
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          In that case I can highly recommend not mixing red and white wine in an attempt to make rose! Because after drinking it you will experiment with pouring the whole lot away…or making your friends try it.

          • AnntheArt
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            That made me chuckle!

          • Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:02 am | Permalink

            I can’t now find where I was talking about it, Hanni (maybe it wasn’t actually on the blog), but I did actually try your rosé experiment myself a while back. The trick is in the quantities – it’s not half and half, but a small amount of red in a glass of white. It was surprisingly palatable (though it was not the first glass of the evening, so my taste buds may not have been entirely fresh). Still, I think in future I will happily stick to the traditionally made stuff. :)

            • Hanni
              Posted April 23, 2016 at 1:55 am | Permalink

              No chance my friends will drink it again.

              • Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

                Surely you didn’t try it on all your friends? Maybe try with a different group? Or perhaps you’re wise not to :) .

      • ListB
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Hanni, I have to ask: what did you experiment on with your ruby laser, and were drinks involved?

        • Hanni
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          Hi ListB

          Erm..technically hair removal. On someones head. No drinks involved. :yes:

          • ListB
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

            Ouch, that has got to hurt. Did you laser anything else? I’d be tempted to zap everything in sight just to see what happens.

  20. fran
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    14d was a new word for me and despite extensive travelling in France( boy and man) I have never come across one .Having put martins (silly me , spelling horror ! ) in 17d, it made 23a unsolvable and in turn had a knock on effect on 15d ; otherwise I found this to be a challenging but agreeable solve.Top half fell into place very easily ****/***. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter.

  21. Young Salopian
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    A thorough workout from The Don today, with several real head-scratchers. I thought 13 across was a nicely constructed anagram, but my favourite was 1 across. Even though some of the words were new to me, as usual for Giovanni the excellent wordplay got me there in the end.

    3*/3* with grateful thanks to the aforementioned and DT.

  22. Venator
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Well done the Don for a splendid swine of a puzzle.
    What a treat to finally slump back on my stool in the red corner, after going the distance with such an artful campaigner.
    Too many sneaky straight left jabs rocked me, & the odd thumping right made my head spin a few times.
    Looking forward to meeting “Rocky” Giovanni next week, if my trainer can get the swellings down in time.
    Loved every minute of it really, & thanks Deep Threat for confirming my well earned tie on points.

  23. Hrothgar
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I usually find Giovanni’s as difficult as Thursday’s.
    This was no exception.
    Approaching ‘Toughie’ territory.
    But very enjoyable and satisfying.
    Many thanks Giovanni and DT for the review.

  24. Florence
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Rain has brought me in from a day in the garden. I’ve had great fun with this today. Tried to do something with sponge for 23a. Then looked at 17d, and thought that’s easy. The beast upset had to be a llama. Immediately put in mammals, although I’d spelled llama correctly in the margin. Not sure where the twenty would have fit in. 22d had to be the lurker it was, but I had to check anyway. Thank you DT and Giovanni.

    • Hanni
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I do like your llamas! :grin: Hope choir is going well?

      • Florence
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Choir’s fine thanks Hanni. We sang at Wembley Stadium last Saturday which was great fun. ‘Don’t stop me now’,’Living on a prayer’ and ‘Hold my hand’. Only one concert left on June 26th for the Greenfingers Charity. Must learn the words to ‘Firework’ this week. Hope your finger has mended ok.

        • Hanni
          Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          Florence that’s amazing! How many people can say they have performed at Wembley?

          Good luck with the remaining one. :-)

          My finger is much better thanks. Off to experiment on the horses now.

          • Florence
            Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

            Do they prefer red or white!!!

            • Hanni
              Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

              Not tried them with either. But I’ve learnt the hard way re coffee, tea and hot chocolate. The latter being very popular. Have an open cup instead of one of those closed thermal things and they will try and have a ‘slurp’. And Flake bars. That was at show and one of them nibbled one out of the hand of a child. :oops: I was mortified.

              Maybe they would like a nice Malbec though?

              • Jane
                Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:09 am | Permalink

                They’re thoroughbreds so I would have thought that would go down quite well – speaking from my own experience!

                • Hanni
                  Posted April 23, 2016 at 1:54 am | Permalink

                  I would hope so too! But there is the odd bottle for you when you come up. ;-)

                  • Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

                    Ooh, so I take it that is happening then? I’m quite jealous of Jane – looks like she will be the first one of us who finally gets to meet you!

  25. Jon_S
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Definitely tricky, time on a par with one of the Toughies. Which is fine, as today I had plenty of time in which to solve it. :-) My dire knowledge of geography meant that 1ac was one of the last to go in, with my similar prowess in zoology pushing 17d into last place. 14d and 16ac I knew but didn’t know how to spell, so similar care was required there. All in all thoroughly enjoyable.

  26. JonP
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I also found this tricky, but that’s not a new thing for me on Friday and it would seem that many others agree. I solved the Toughie in considerably less time than this one.

    Enjoyable puzzle from the Don, with thanks to DT and Giovanni ****/****

  27. silvanus
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who found this fairly slow going. For the second day in succession the NE corner held me up the longest, but persistence finally paid off.

    As has already been said, this was full of Mr. Manley’s Friday trademarks, but nothing was clued unfairly as far as this solver could tell. My pet hate, repetition of the same indicators, was unfortunately evident with “upset” in both 8d and 17d.

    Favourite clue was 15d, with 10a closely following.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat, and a good weekend to all, even if it is unseasonably cold for late April.

    • AnntheArt
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Cold, dry, just what we don’t need for the garden, but I suppose it could be worse!

  28. Vancouverbc
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    ****/***. Tough going today and needed help with 5d – thanks to DT – and mr Google for 14d. Thanks also to the setter for a good workout.

  29. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Friday’s are always above my pay-grade, but it’s been a good week, so this can be a learning exercise.
    Thanks to DT for the hints.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Total respect to anyone who completed that without help. A day’s gardening today, so not much time, I am currently trying to flatter myself that if I had more time…
      Off the to the Golf Club quiz, hopefully better luck with that…
      Thanks again to DT and to Giovanni for the puzzle.

  30. Mike
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all for very helpful and amusing blogs. The blog number doesn’t correspond with the number in the tablet version. Is it the Telegraph version that’s wrong as usual?

  31. Howitzerx3
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s best sometimes to put your hands up and take it on the chin, beyond me today. At this stage managed about half of it with a couple of hints and tips. Short on time today so will move on and look forward to The Saturday Prize.

    Thanks to DT I did not do justice to your hints and tips. Thanks to the setter I think!

    Rating 4.5 / 1.5

  32. ListB
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Feeling discouraged after only getting about half of the grid filled in before having to give up and turn to the hints. Just when I thought I was starting to develop some competence. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Thanks to Giovanni for the workout and to DT for the entertaining explanations of the many clues that defeated me.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Don’t feel discouraged, Friday’s is a always a non-starter for me too, I think that the Friday setter (Giovanni) takes a long time to get used to do. Spend some time going through the hints.
      It’s worth trying the Toughie as it’s often easier than the back-pager on a Friday, that’s what I tend to do when I am stumped on the Friday back-pager.
      Stick with it…

      • ListB
        Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the encouragement, HoofIt. I shall take your advice and have a look at the Toughie.

  33. 2Kiwis
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Quite a few clues where a bit of extra thought was needed so we would rate this one above average for difficulty. All readily solvable though as the clues are so well crafted as they always are on a Friday. We enjoyed it.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Looking back once I’d finished, I couldn’t see why I struggled with some of these clues. As others have noted, it’s all there in the wordplay. Took me into 4* time though, 3* for fun.
    9a probably takes the biscuit. Ta to DT and the Don.

    • Jane
      Posted April 22, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi TS – you’re ‘in’ very early today, even for a Friday. I’m guessing that this shoulder problem is proving to be a real ‘pain’ in every sense of the word! Any nearer to a diagnosis yet?
      Won’t be about next week – off to daughter’s wedding – but will expect full reports of your progress on my return.

  35. Gwizz
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh idiot me, I told myself St David’s Day was May 1…. and I wouldn’t check it. So I failed too complete. I don’t belieeeeeve it!
    1a was favourite and overall 3/4*.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for waking me up.