DT 28104

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28104

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning everyone from a bright sunny day in Shropshire, I do hope you are all well. Don’t really know what to make of today’s puzzle as there are (imho) a few too many clues that just don’t feel ‘right’. Having said that, there are a good many clues that do feel ‘right’ and those are the ones that make the puzzle an enjoyable solve. I have therefore given it a */** difficulty rating.

As usual, the definitions are underlined to give you a head start and I do hope my hints help you if needed. If all else fails, you can view the answer by clicking on the grey ‘Click here’ button. I do know that some of you are still having trouble with that part of the blog and again apologies are offered.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Unusual chat going into function of key versatile competitor (10)
DECATHLETE: Anagram (unusual) of CHAT contained by (going into) a function key on your keyboard.

6a    Try to create perforation (4)
STAB: Double definition, the former meaning ‘go on, have a ???? at it’.

9a    Drive out that involves Sussex pelican crossing? (5)
EXPEL: Our lurker of the day.

10a    Pasta? Cut it fine for cooking (9)
FETTUCINI: An anagram (cooking) of CUT IT FINE. I’m not sure why we have a question mark after ‘pasta’.

12a    Test for a beginner using ‘If’ — poem’s bit far out? (7,2,4)
BAPTISM OF FIRE: Another anagram (out) of IF POEMS BIT FAR.

14a    What is stopping a contemptible character in beery location? (8)
ALEHOUSE: Using a 2 letter word for ‘what’ as a question, insert it in (stopping) a contemptable character. If I had used either ‘what or that other 2 letter word’ in answer to my Mother. I would have had a very thick ear, courtesy of my Mother’s right hand.

15a    Pedestrian old thriller writer (6)
AMBLER: Double definition, the former describing a person walking around without a care in the world.

17a    Breakfast dish for one in retirement? (6)
KIPPER: I think this is a double definition, but I have known to be wrong.

19a    Rich oil comes out of this flap (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO: Take a place / facility where oil is extracted and tag on a term for ‘flap’, as in ‘there’s a flap on’.

21a    Measured talk about work on riot surprisingly (13)
PROPORTIONATE: OK, clue building time, get out the Lego bricks. Take the crosswordland abbreviation for ‘work’ and add an anagram (surprisingly) of ON RIOT – then stuff all that into a 5 letter word for ‘talk incessantly’.

24a    Route for a jumbo? (5,4)
TRUNK ROAD: Straight forward cryptic pun.

25a    Cross illegal operator ignoring parking (5)
IRATE: Take a seafaring cove up to no good and remove (ignoring) the abbreviation for ‘parking’ from the beginning of said ‘seafaring cove’.

26a    Vegetable in part of ship recalled (4)
LEEK: Take an important part of a ship, submarine or boat that is the first part ‘laid down’ when building said vessels then reverse it (recalled).

27a    Worker getting cautious outside won’t set off in dilapidated area (10)
SHANTYTOWN: One of Crosswordland’s favourite ‘workers’ inside a 3 letter word for cautious and add an anagram (set off) of WONT.


1d    Plan to reduce intake in parliament (4)
DIET: Double definition, the former being a programme that virtually everybody is undertaking to lose weight.

2d    Skilful international player and a college sportsperson leaving university (7)
CAPABLE: What an international player gets when representing his / her country and what a college sportsperson is known as, minus the abbreviation of ‘university’.

3d    Volume in numbers? (9,4)
TELEPHONE BOOK: All in one cryptic. Does anyone have one of these nowadays. I think I have one gathering dust somewhere.

4d    See paper site that’s designed to be most grand (8)
LOFTIEST: The usual 2 letter word for ‘see’ along with a City Newspaper and add an anagram (designed) of SITE.

5d    Carry minute ritual object (5)
TOTEM: A term for ‘carry’ as is in ‘???? that barge’ and add the abbreviation for ‘minute’.

7d    Insignificant contest curtailed in hearing (7)
TRIVIAL: The ‘contest’ hear is a word describing ‘to strive to gain’ minus (curtailed) it’s last letter, surrounded by (in) a hearing in court.

8d    Candidate to make union official? (10)
BRIDEGROOM: I’m not particularly fond of this clue. It’s trying to misdirect the solver into thinking along the lines of a Trade Union Official. When, in fact, it’s all about a different type of ‘union’. It led me to thinking along the lines of ‘registrar’.

11d    Togetherness binds household — it’s evident among strangers? (13)
UNFAMILIARITY: Take a 5 letter word for ‘togetherness’ and put it around (binds) a term for ‘well acquainted or intimate’ (household).

13d    Learner after a paid task arranged significant work (3,7)
DAS KAPITAL: The usual abbreviation for ‘learner’ is tagged onto the end of (after) an anagram (arranged) of A PAID TASK.

16d    Extremely broke US actor once indebted (8)
BEHOLDEN: Take the first and last letters (extremely) of ‘broke’ and add the name of an old Hollywood star.

18d    Extravagant academic exercise (7)
PROFUSE: The academic here is an abbreviation of a high grade teacher and a term for ‘exercise’.

20d    Men say ‘Not on your life’ when consuming a herb (7)
OREGANO: 2 letter abbreviation for ‘men’ (soldiers) and ‘say’ – add a negative term (not on your life) and stick in (consuming) the ‘a’ from the clue.

22d    Canine, maybe, starts to trail one’s other terriers happily (5)
TOOTH: Take the leading letters (starts) of the rest of the clue.

23d    Seabird in wind that’s picked up (4)
TERN: Certainly didn’t like one at all. The ‘wind’ in this case has nothing to do with weather conditions or flatulence. It’s a homophone (picked up) the ‘wind’.

Well there you go folks, another review for you to ponder over. I liked quite a few of the clues, which one(s) brought a smile to your face?

The Quick Crossword pun: dose+aisle=docile


  1. neveracrossword
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    I use my 3d frequently and it came in handy this morning. I thought the thriller writer and the actor betrayed the age of the setter. 23d was indeed a bit dodgy. I thought there might be a wind somewhere called a “nret”. Generally I found this quite tricky.
    Thank you SL and setter.

    • fran
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Agree 15 and 16 held me up , and still don’t get 15 , last part.John Wayne sprang to mind , so did Tom Cruise but not this chap even though I am a fan of The Bridge over the River Kwai .

      • pete
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Actor was William Holden, quite a big name in the fifties and sixties.

    • Crack On
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, me thinks this one favoured us oldies. Least favourite 14a. 23d was my last one in. Knew what it was but a bit of a clunker to unravel.

  2. Florence
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Somehow felt more like a Monday puzzle than a Tuesday as I felt that this was easier than yesterday. Couldn’t work out if there was an agenda or not. Haven’t read any of 15a so had to use a search engine to check. I liked 12a and 4d. Thank you SL for all your effort and the great pics, and thanks too to the setter. I agree with your rating of 1*/2* SL.

  3. dutch
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    I did know the old thriller writer and US actor, but they didn’t set the right tone for me and in the end i was disappointed by some of the weaker entries (for me 21a, 24a, 26a). But I liked the pasta and beer.

    many thanks Setter and Shropshirelad

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      William Holden was the first man my Mum fell in love with.

      • Bluebird
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

        And who can blame her? Shame about his terrible demise.

  4. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks SL, I found it ok, I needed a hint for 1d, not being aware of the definition for ‘parliament’. That one has been logged as I imagine it crops up regularly.
    Useless fact of the day?? I once won money on 19a when it won the Grand National.
    Thanks to the setter, lovely day in South London.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi HIYD – That particular definition does indeed make a regular appearance. Owls is another one that’s an old chestnut.

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2.5*/2.5*. I agree with SL, this was a really mixed bag: some hard clues; some easy; some enjoyable; others not. It almost felt as if it might have been compiled by two setters. The actor and crime writer were real blasts from the past. 23d was simply dreadful – I bunged it in without having a clue why it was right. 24a raised a smile and was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron (or maybe even The Two Ronnies?!) and to SL.

    • Senf
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      RD – Two setters or some editorial influence making some of the clues what I would describe as ‘clumsy’?

    • Angel
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hear hear on both counts re 23d – clunky!

  6. Domus
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Google gave me “fettuccine” for 12 a, so anagram didn’t work nor an “l” for 8
    Didn’t know actor or writer, or understand 23d.
    My fault but this was not for me

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      If you treat the ‘wind’ in the clue as a verb – as in to ‘wind a clock’ that will give you ‘turn’. Depending on your accent, that word sounds like (a homophone) a seabird. The homophone indicator is ‘picked up’.

  7. fran
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Some really good clues mixed up with a couple of naff ones e.g. 23d and 16d. I think my Grandma had a crush on Holden and she passed away 50 years ago .Still found it enjoyable in parts 2.5*/2.5* Thanks to SL and the two ? setters

  8. Bluebird
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I absolutely had the same issue with the pasta, fettuccine looking acceptable, which put the whole of the NE corner awry for me and took longer than it should. But it was my own complacent fault for not actually checking the anagram letters, rather than just eyeballing.

    Otherwise, it was OK, just.
    Thanks to SL for the deciphering.

  9. Beaver
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bit of an oddball crossword today, as RD says -could have been two setters.
    Too many ‘iffy’ clues for me, didn’t like ‘household’ in 11d, or ‘eh’ in 14a , and 8d did not work for me.
    Glad I had the checking letters in for 13d- previously thought the second word began with a C ! at least I’ve learned something .About a **/**.Thanks SL-liked the pic for 9d-not many left.

  10. MalcolmR
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I actually quite liked this one. I’d not heard of the writer and the construction of 8d is a bit weird, but I thought 23d quite clever.

  11. Kath
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh – I thought this one was really tricky but it looks as if it’s, yet again, just me. At least 3* for difficulty and about the same for enjoyment.
    I started off very slowly and didn’t really speed up at all – ended up with several in the bottom left corner that took ages.
    In desperation I had ‘cupper’ for 17a – the ‘cup’ was the ‘dish’ (?) and the ‘per’ was ‘for one’ – oh dear, and not helpful with 13d which I never did get – it isn’t even the right spelling of ‘cuppa’.
    I don’t really see why everyone is objecting to 23d.
    10a is a great example of why I always write down the letters in an anagram otherwise it would probably have had the wrong last letter.
    I liked 10 and 14a and 5 and 8d. My favourite, even though I didn’t know the actor, was 16d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and thanks and well done to SL.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It wasn’t just you :wink:

      • Kath
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you – that’s made me feel a bit better. :smile:

        • Veronique
          Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Definitely not just you

          • Framboise
            Posted May 3, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

            For me too!

    • Senf
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Definitely not just you Kath. For me, this certainly broke my recent thoughts that Tuesday has become the easiest day of the week.

      Not completed by lights out last night with open clues in the NE and SW which somehow fell into place this morning. At least 3* for difficulty and 2* (just) for enjoyment.

      Although 27a is apparently acceptable as a single word I would have expected to be two words (6, 4) and there a number of answer that I raised my eyebrows at including 23d – oh well.

      Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL for the explanations.

  12. Jezza
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I wrote in Fettucine at 10a without even checking off the letters, which left me with 8d unfinished.
    A bit of a mixed bag, but overall I enjoyed it.
    Thanks to setter, and to SL.

  13. Dr M
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My least favourite puzzle for ages. Some clues were good but too many answers were made up of little bits cobbled together which are not my cup of tea. Never mind the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Hope for a crossword more to my liking tomorrow. Thanks to shropshirelad for the blog.

    • Kath
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Today isn’t the day to talk about a ‘cupper’ tea. :sad:

    • Kate
      Posted May 4, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mine too. Hated it – for the first time ever.

  14. Hanni
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hadn’t heard of the thriller writer or the American actor. Also fell into the fettucin(e) trap despite writing a letter circle, so 8d was my LOI.

    The rest was a bit of mixed bag. I liked the beery locations, the if poem and despite spelling it wrong the pasta.

    Many thanks to the setter and to SL for a great blog.

    Great 25a pic. Love a pirate.

  15. pete
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very tricky for me. No easy clues to help things along. Probably a bit too clever for me, even looking at some of the explanations I am still confused. Many thanks to the setter and to Shropshirelad for the hints.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree, there were no real ‘gimmies’ to get going with, however once a foothold was gained, it wasn’t too bad.
      Favourite clue was 17a, ‘cos they are lovely with brown bread.

  16. Peta Jackson
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear! Failed miserably.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry to hear that Peta, I do hope the hints were helpful. If not, I will try to do better next week :smile:

  17. Vancouverbc
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    **/***. Took a while to get going but alls well that ends well. No particular favourites. Thanks to the setter and SL for the review.

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      PS the answers are hidden again today

  18. Heno
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. A right mixed bag indeed. I found this quite tricky. Needed the hints for 21a, was just missing two letters, but still couldn’t get it. Also needed the hints for 11&18d. I knew the actor, and guessed the writer. Favourite was 1a. Didn’t like 23d at all. Was 3*/2* for me.

  19. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Agree that the clues lacked smooth surfaces but I only notice these things after solving as I always break them down word by word.
    18d wasn’t too bad.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

  20. AnntheArt
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found this easier than yesterday’s. But towards the end some hints came in handy. I failed with 21a despite having many letters, likewise 14a, 17a (doh moment) and 15a. But glad to have got 13d (but I did have all the checkers) and 16d, the American film star who, my mother used to say, had to stand on a box, being somewhat vertically challenged! The 10a spelling seemed wrong to me.
    Liked 12a best.
    Thank you SL for the hints and to the setter.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi AnntheArt, Sorry to say your mother must have been mistaken about Mr Holden’s height – he was a 6 footer and one of my dear old Mum’s favourites. Perhaps you’re thinking about Alan Ladd (that’s short for ‘ladder’ :smile: ) as he was only 5 foot 2 inches tall and was around Hollywood the same time as William Holden.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Make you right SL.
        When they filmed ‘Shane’ the bits where you could see Ladd’s feet, they had to dig a trench for Van Hefflin (who was tall) for him to stand in.

      • AnntheArt
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oh yes! It was Alan Ladd, you’re right. My abject apologies William. Was the 6 footer in an obscure film called Love is a Many Splendoured Thing? I love the song…remember my Mum singing it when she wasn’t insulting Alan Ladd!

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Sunset Boulevard was his greatest film, it starts with him floating, dead in a swimming pool. Also starred Gloria Swanson.
          Magnificent film.

          • neveracrossword
            Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I must be older than most. I think my mother’s heartthrob was Rudolph Valentino. Those who’ve never heard of William Holden definitely won’t know him.

        • Kath
          Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Oh – that song makes me cry (lots of things do) – is it really an obscure film?

          • Kath
            Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

            PS – I’m not doubting that it’s a film – I know it is but is it really obscure?

            • AnntheArt
              Posted May 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Perhaps not Kath. I saw it on tv a few years ago and it fascinated me in seeming quite modern while being very old! The song is a bit special I think, a classic really.

            • Shropshirelad
              Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Definitely not an obscure film Kath – Jennifer Jones won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Dr Han Suyin. A brilliant film which, in it’s time, crossed quite a few ‘boundaries’ regarding mixed race relationships.

              Just for you

              • Kath
                Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Thank you. :cry:

              • AnntheArt
                Posted May 4, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink | Reply

                Oh Wow! I did enjoy that! Thank you Shropshirelad and Kath.

  21. Jane
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definitely a mixed bag today and not much in the way of decent surface reads.
    8d didn’t thrill me and I had to check that 10a actually could be spelt that way.
    Guessed the author then confirmed with Mr. Google.

    Quite liked the 12a anagram despite the clunky surface and also ticked 2&3d.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to SL – particularly for the pirate!

    • Tstrummer
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Jane. Re your query yesterday: I’m off sick at the moment with acute tendinitis in both shoulders. No apparent cause. Most painful. I was on morphine but had to stop because it made me feel most peculiar. An added complication is that my right knee is up like a balloon and giving me much grief, but is not related to the shoulders. I can’t drive, get out of bed or play the guitar. It will get better, they say. I’ve had steroid injections and physiotherapy is to come. Feel bloody awful. Boosted by your concern, though

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Really sorry to hear you’re not in good health at the mo TS. Hopefully things will get better, although I don’t envy your trips to the ‘Physio’ – I have nightmares about them. Is the knee problem bursitis perchance? If it is, I feel for you – but it can be treated by’ Indometacin’ that lovely anti inflammatory medicine enjoyed by many gout sufferers. I have loads :cool:

      • Kath
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 11:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oh dear – poor you. Would a little :rose: help?

  22. Young Salopian
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The concensus view seems to be a tricky and only mildly enjoyable pot pourri of a crossword, and I would largely go along with that. I think the trouble is that we are blessed with a high proportion of truly excellent puzzles, that when one comes along that is not quite at that high level, we instinctively react slightly negatively. I’m with RD at 5 with his 2.5*/2.5* rating.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and my Salopian neighbour.

  23. JonathanB
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Re 10a, in Italian a noun ending in i usually indicates a plural. The compiler could have put Pastas or Pasti but I guess he wasn\’t sure so put a question mark! Confusing eh?

  24. Angel
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This took some sorting but it was definitely worth the effort and provided plenty of entertainment en route to the finishing post even without a real Fav to nominate. Thank you Mr. Ron and SL. ***/***.

  25. Gwizz
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It took me ages to get a foothold in this crossword. And then when I had I still didn’t really get going. Then I got 11d and the rest fell into place quite easily. Definitely a bit of a curate’s egg, but none the worse for that. It was different that’s all.
    2/3* overall, and 11d was my fave as it was the key to my completing the task.
    Thanks to the setter and to SL for the review.

  26. JonP
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this to be a fairly straightforward solve but the last couple held out for a while.

    Thanks to SL and setter 1.5*/3*

  27. silvanus
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m glad I’m not alone in finding this puzzle to have a definite curate’s egg quality, indeed apart from last Tuesday’s excellent effort, this particular day has not been blessed with the most satisfying puzzles recently. At times, such as 20d, it almost seemed that the setter (or, as RD suggests, setters?) was trying too hard to be clever. I’m also in agreement with Jane about some surfaces not being the smoothest.

    I did like several clues however, particularly 15a and my favourite, 18d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Shropshire Lad,

  28. Howitzerx3
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Never got going with this one, and required a lot of help from SL running out of time eventually Somehow, not on this one’s radar and like others found a lot of the clues to be “bits and bobs.” In fairness though plenty of others found it straight forward and enjoyed it, so all down to me, and fair dues to the setter for baffling me.

    No real favourite today.

    Overall 3.5* / 1.5* (Not my best attempt)

    Thanks to SL for extensive use of the H&T and the setter, I think?

  29. Sheffieldsy
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We didn’t have the curate’s egg view that SL and several contributors have noted. We found it a pleasant crossword of low to medium difficulty (although we too spelled fettucini wrongly, despite having all the letters from the anagram), so we’re awarding it 2*/2.5*.

    23d wasn’t difficult to parse, just use the correct meaning of wind. Our only slight worry was 3d. Although the answer was obvious, surely it’s numbers in book and not the other way round for the cryptic angle? Or perhaps it’s to be read as a double definition with ‘in’ separating the definitions. A bit rum either way.

    Thanks to SL and the mystery setter.

  30. Framboise
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found it hard and struggled with the left hand bottom corner. Could kick myself for not having got the first part of 24a! My excuse is that today I completed the crossword late in the afternoon after accompanying Mr Framboise round an 18 hole golf course! He plays and I keep the score and look for lost balls. Normally cryptic solving is my first task of the day. Was also stumped by 13d. Fettucini did not cause a problem as I checked the anagram with the letters on offer. Thought 27a was in fact two words. Favourite was 17a. 25a made me smile. Many thanks to setter and to SL for the much needed review. Almost 3* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment.

  31. Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Much later to this than usual – I had to have a break from crosswords and go and let off some steam in the open air. I think I’d have enjoyed it a lot more on an occasion when I wasn’t so tired and frazzled. I would have welcomed one of the easier Tuesday offerings today, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    Like many others I didn’t know the 16d US actor or the 15a old thriller writer; I ended up enlisting help to get the latter. 23d did not wind me up at all. I had thought 27a two words, but it seems I’d thought wrong. I liked 14a amongst others, but my favourite was definitely 18d.

    With thanks to Mr Ron, and to SL for the very well written and nicely illustrated review. :good:

  32. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We’re right with Kath on this one. Certainly not a read and write puzzle and there was plenty to smile about. The thriller writer was new to us and needed confirmation. Puzzled about the criticism of 23d, ‘tern’ and ‘turn’ sound like pretty close homophones to us, just had to think of rotate rather than blow for the meaning of wind. Took a little time to sort the wordplay for 8d as we were reading ‘official’ as a person instead of a state of being, but soon sorted.
    Thanks Mr Ron and SL.

  33. Expat Chris
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I knew both the 16D actor and the 15A writer (though admittedly he took quite a while to come to mind and was my last one in). I got 8D before 10A, so that wasn’t a problem, but like others I am more familiar with the E ending. As for 21A, I now have a greater appreciation of what is meant by a lego clue! I enjoyed the puzzle but no favorites today. Thanks to SL and the setter.

  34. Jon_S
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I never felt that I really got to grips with this, and ended up solving in fits and starts. The cryptic def at 8d didn’t really work for me, and was my LOI. Similar issues to others about the spelling of 10ac.

  35. Hrothgar
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I must be old, got 15a and 16d straightaway.
    Didn’t like 10d, why candidate?
    Probably reading too much into the clue.
    Thanks to the setter and thanks to ShropshireLad for the review.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      For 8d (not 10d). A marriage is when a union is made official. There are two participants or candidates, the bride and the bridegroom. Does this help?

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hrothgar – The explanation that the 2K’s have given you is quite correct. It just that I’ve never heard the term ‘candidate’ used for the bride or groom and that’s the reason that the clue didn’t sit well with me. When Mrs SL and I wed, it was in a Registry Office and I think we may have walked out if the Registrar had said ‘the next two candidate please’. :cool:

      • Hrothgar
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks SL.
        Yes, I now get the sense in which ‘candidate’ is being used.
        Perhaps ‘novice’ would be a more apt word.

  36. Rona Watson
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found it such a difficult puzzle and having “sneaked a peek at the answers” was not too impressed.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Rona.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome from as well Rona.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        That should have read Welcome from me as well – can’t tpye properly :smile:

  37. Crucy Verbalist
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable puzzle though I thought “Not on your Life” a rather elaborate clue to “no” in 20 down and still not convinced about 23 down.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Crucy Verbalist.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      And a welcome from me as well CV. When I was compiling the blog, I did think that ‘not on your life’ was a tad over the top to clue such a simple word :smile:

  38. Salty Dog
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2*/3* for my money, but I too found 23d rather unsatisfying. I enjoyed 14a and 20d, though. I’m not particularly ancient, but managed to get 16d – probably because of a childhood during which wet Sunday afternoons were spent watching old films with my dear old Dad. “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” (starring William Holden and Grace Kelly, l think) was one of our favourites. Thanks to Mr Ron and ShropshireLad.

  39. Tstrummer
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It’s all been said, really. Not too tricky, quite clunky in patches and some odd spellings. Found it ok though. Thanks to SL for his efforts and to the setter. 1*/2*

  40. Wahoo
    Posted May 4, 2016 at 4:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just dealt with this one and tomorrow’s (your Wednesday). Latter is preferable. */** Tuesday and */*** Weds.

    Tuesday – 8d – IMHO is bonkers.

    Have a nice day. Spring seems to have come back into the UK? Almost worth coming over soon.

    Thanks to Mr Ron for Tues and Jay for Weds etc.

  41. JonathanR
    Posted May 4, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Rightly or wrongly, I always feel hard done by if I fail to complete a puzzle because of a lack of general knowledge, especially if I feel it’s a bit obscure. Therefore I missed out on 15a and 16d. Liked 17a and 24a but not 8d as I was thinking of union stewards, priests and celebrants for too long.

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