DT 28106

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28106

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where the tulips should soon be in full bloom.

Today’s puzzle is definitely not by RayT. It could have been compiled by my grandson, as the setter displays an overwhelming infatuation with Lego.

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

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a   Most daring underwear (7)
BRAVEST — a charade of two items of underwear for the upper body

5a   Eccentric Cubist framing one squashed fly? (7)
BISCUIT — anagram (eccentric) of CUBIST containing the Roman numeral for one

9a   Small left back what’s needed to provide an edge (5)
STROP — s(mall) followed by a reversal (back) of the nautical term for left

10a   Tea break for cashier and buyer (9)
PURCHASER — an informal name for tea breaks up a nautical cashier

11a   Biography about Young Conservative the French should follow, being in stages (4-6)
LIFE-CYCLES — players, assemble your Lego; string together another word for biography, the short Latin abbreviation for about, the abbreviation for Young Conservative and follow all this with the plural form of the French definite article

12a   Ignoring odd characters, upbraid maiden, being starchy (4)
PRIM — the even letters (ignoring the odd characters) of uPbRaId precede a scoreless over in cricket

14a   Muslim leader or northern Scotsman with South Americans, famously laid-back (12)
CALIFORNIANS — time for more Lego; join together a Muslim civil and religious leader, OR (from the clue), one pole of the compass, what is arguably Crosswordland’s most popular name for a Scotsman, and the other pole of the compass

18a   A rat’s tail, facial hair, suits — baggage which comes with the job? (7,5)
ATTACHE CASES — continuing with the Lego, this time we have A (from the clue), the final letter (tail) of raT, an informal name for hair on the upper lip, and suits aired in court

21a   Task abandoned by husband — one needs heart (4)
CORE — a menial task with H(usband) nowhere to be seen

22a   Making exotic crouton dip (10)
PRODUCTION — anagram (exotic) of the final two words of the clue; the definition is a gerund, thus it can act as a noun

25a   What lands surfer in trouble with the law? (5,4)
CRIME WAVE — cryptic definition of activity that would draw the attention of the police

26a   Deliver  instruction for setter (5)
FETCH — instruction for a four-legged setter; presumably this is intended to be a double definition, but I think the solution means pretty much the opposite of the first definition

27a   Listener left with expression of disgust Spanish shout (7)
LUGHOLE — a bit more Lego; put together L(eft), an expression of disgust, and a Spanish shout

28a   See 19 Down


1d   Activity  that added inches to Victorian hips (6)
BUSTLE — double definition, the second being a Victorian undergarment

2d   Launched commercial division (6)
ADRIFT — a short commercial announcement leads to a schism

3d   Old boyfriend reportedly kissed Nancy heading off in hope (10)
EXPECTANCY — don’t put the Lego away yet; this time the components needed are a former boyfriend, a syllable that sounds like a synonym for kissed, and (n)ANCY with her head chopped off

4d   Pub measure with temperature rising is an issue (5)
TOPIC — a device for dispensing standard measures of alcoholic beverages with T(emperature) moved to the beginning (the top in a down clue)

5d   City transport or cab lane (9)
BARCELONA — anagram (transport) of the final three words in the clue

6d   Espresso hogs seen in W1? On the contrary (4)
SOHO — an area of London is lurking in the clue;“On the contrary” tells us to invert the logic of the clue to get “W1 seen in espresso hogs”. It is a device used by setters to convert a nonsensical surface to something meaningful.

7d   Higher part of school taking a course ending in the spring (8)
UPSTREAM — an adverb denoting higher followed by a group of schoolchildren of the same age and ability; the spring is the source of a waterway

8d   Note butter is universal in Italian dessert (8)
TIRAMISU — Lego time again; a musical note, an animal known for using his head, IS (from the clue), and the film certificate signifying that a production is fit for all to see; not to be picky, but I was served the same dessert the last time I was here

13d   A thankyou in France not quite complete without compassion (10)
UNMERCIFUL — we’re not done with the Lego yet; a French phrase meaning ‘a thankyou’ is followed by three-quarters of a word meaning complete

15d   This person, anti-beer, unusually drunk (9)
INEBRIATE — a charade of I (this person) and an anagram (unusually) of ANTIBEER; the definition could be either a noun or an adjective, although the latter (in this form) is now rarely seen

16d   Rising air force commander a liberal? That’s absurd (8)
FARCICAL — yet more Lego; a reversal of the abbreviation for the British air force, a short commander-in-chief, A (from the clue) and L(iberal)

17d   Genuine  LSD (8)
STERLING — double definition; the latter not psychedelic

19d and 28a   Clever wordsmith lacking son and heir initially becomes unbeliever? (6,7)
VICTOR MELDREW — an anagram of the first two words of the clue after S(on) and H [H(eir) initially] have been removed gives us a bitter and complaining old man famous for his catch phrases “I don’t believe it!” and “Unbe-lieeeve-able!”; solving this clue was aided by the fact that the two parts of the solution intersect narrowing the choice of intersecting letter to one of two

20d   A New York attention-seeker with wife here, there and everywhere (6)
ANYHOW — we haven’t exhausted the Lego yet; A (from the clue), the abbreviation for New York, an exclamation used to call for attention, and W(ife); you can now safely put the Lego blocks away

23d   Ideal energy drink going around (5)
DREAM — E(nergy) with a wee drink wrapped around it

24d   Central part in Andromache, Ronsardian protagonist (4)
HERO — we finish off with a lurker, in which the central character is attempting to conceal himself in the somewhat unusual juxtaposition of a classical Greek tragedy by Euripides and an adjective relating to a 16th century French poet

As my favourite clue today, I will go with the grumpy old man at 19d and 28a. Although I was totally unfamiliar with this British television programme, I did manage to decipher the clue from the wordplay. Seeing that Kath is away today, I could probably get away with picking a second favourite — but I will forgo the temptation and behave myself (in case she checks up on me later).

The Quick Crossword pun: oaf+hover+lea+gents=oath of allegiance

An unresolved problem with the comments on this post caused the website to fail. This is a cloned copy of the post and I have moved all of the comments across.


  1. JonP
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I thought this was quite a tricky puzzle to get into. 17d held me up at the end.

    Thanks to Falcon and setter and agree with ***/***

    • Domus
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      My words too

  2. dutch
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Unfamiliar with the answer to 19d/28a, I was disappointed when i looked it up – I had my hopes up for some heirless wordsmith who lost his faith for an all-in-one, to compensate for the weak anagram indicator – nonetheless, the definition is fun. I also had to look up why squashed fly was relevant to the answer in (5a), so I’m feeling a bit like I’m missing all the in-jokes. A fun puzzle, but non-Brits might struggle.

    Definition is fun for 14a as well, nice aha moment as soon as you get the right muslim leader. I liked the espresso hogs (5d – is there something about ‘hogs’ in the answer that I’m missing? does it mean ‘shops’?) and I liked the city transport (6d), and I thought 1a (underwear) was cute. 25a (surfer) left me a bit underwhelmed.

    Oh dear – I had imagined a different attention-seeker in 20d!

    Many thanks setter and thanks Falcon – it didn’t occur to me to think about the intersecting letter in 19d/28a, clever.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t “hogs”refer to those who keenly slurp their caffeine fix?

      • dutch
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        you’re no doubt right, I can’t find anything else. I thought I’d seen it before in connection with the W1 answer, but I was likely wrong then too.

  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    We knew a related term for the answer to 5a but had to look a bit further to confirm that we were talking about the same thing. The 19d/28a combo was known to us from lots of programme repeats shown here. We were playing with two names as possibilities for the setter and eventually decided that there were enough ‘off the wall’ clues to nominate PJ for the attribution. Fingers crossed that we got it right this time. Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Falcon.

  4. pommers
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Just finished this after getting back from dropping pommette at the airport. It was probably the number of lego clues but it was beginning to irritate me a bit by the time I’d got to the end so it’s just **/*** from me.

    The unbeliever was favourite just for the tongue-in-cheek definition. I’ll agree with the Kiwis as to the setter but you all know my reliability as a setter spotter :lol:

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Falcon for spetting in on a day when both Kath and I are unavailable.

    P.S.Hanni, if you want to follow her again pommette will be on flight FR4006 at 1100CEST ALC-MAN.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Cheers Pommers :good: .

      Got her! Currently descending over Bletchley at 510mph in a 737-800. Estimated 12.23.

  5. Senf
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Completed very comfortably before lights out last night, almost a R&W – so 1.5*/3*.

    Strange, I read or heard something about Garibaldi biscuits (aka ‘squashed flies’) two or three days ago.

    19d/28a started as a bit of head scratcher; that it was an anagram was obvious, but I needed some checkers as memory joggers.

    Although it is subject to Falcon’s ‘Lego’ criticisms, favourite has to be 14a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

    • Falcon
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      There may have been a lot of Lego in play, but I thought that many of the clues were extremely well-crafted — especially 14a and also 18a.

      • Senf
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        I concur on the excellent crafting of some of the clues, and, I have to admit, Lego clues are some of my favourites. This is partly because they can contain plenty of misdirection to be worked around. For example, for 14a, my first assumption was that ‘Muslim leader’ indicated ‘M’ rather than a complete word.

  6. Jane
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Thought this was going to be a laugh a minute after 1a set me off chuckling and as I remembered our previous discussions on here about ‘squashed flies’ (Garibaldi biscuits?) – but then it all seemed to go somewhat downhill and only the 19/28 combo delivered any more smiles as I always loved the ‘One Foot in the Grave’ series.

    Think it surprised me that Pommers & 2Ks nominated PJ as the setter – I usually enjoy his puzzles more than I did this one.

    Thanks to Falcon for the review and to the setter for that delightfully daring underwear!

  7. stanXYZ
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that all the clueing adheres strictly to the “rules” – but I don’t know the “rules”.

    I really enjoyed it!

    Merci, Monsieur Petit-Jean!

    • Senf
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I thought that the rules are something like:

      Rule 1 – Confuse the solvers as much as possible.

      Rule 2 – When in doubt, refer to Rule 1.

      • dutch
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        luckily, not quite, though it may seem like that sometimes!

  8. Jose
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Falcon. 26a: For me, this is a valid double definition. The answer is a close synonym/definition of the first definition. The BRB (Thesaurus) list includes bring, carry, deliver for the answer word, ***** (my own asterisks, to prevent spoiling). But you don’t really need to look it up to know.

    • Senf
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I agree on the double definition. The Small Red Book (Chambers Crossword Dictionary) has the same type of entry for the answer word, although the answer word does not appear in the entry for deliver. This is not uncommon in my experience, so I frequently do a ‘reverse’ look up – assuming that I have some inkling of what the answer is!

    • Falcon
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      It may merely be a personal idiosyncrasy, but I associate the answer with retrieving something from another place and deliver with taking something to another place.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Just to be awkward – I thought that the two meanings were too similar for a double definition and saw it as a cryptic definition, i.e. the instruction an owner would give his dog to deliver a ball, say, into his hand.
      Thanks to Ron for the puzzle and to Falcon for the review.

      • Falcon
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink


        Having taken another look at the clue, I believe you are correct.

      • Jane
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Hi Gazza,
        Sometimes it’s almost depressing when you make it all sound so easy to parse……….!

      • dutch
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        just ‘instruction for setter’ might have sufficed for a cd – I’m not sure ‘deliver’ adds to a cd wheras it does to a dd, but I can see gazza’s adjectival interpretation.

      • Jose
        Posted May 6, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        G. Having read your comment and thought further about 26a, I now suggest that it is neither a d.d. or a c.d. but a combination or complex clue because two different constructs are used. Deliver is a direct/straight definition, whereas “instruction for setter” (i.e. telling a setter dog to fetch) is a cryptic/indirect definition. This is described in BD’s guide to cryptic clue types:

        What is a combination clue?
        Sometimes called a complex clue, this is a clue in which two or more different constructs are used. One of the most common combinations is a double definition clue where one or both definitions are themselves cryptic definitions.

        Am I wrong again?

  9. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    3*/1*. I’m sorry to say I found this hard work and I didn’t enjoy most of it. I’m not a great fan of Lego at the best of times and a lot of the surfaces seemed convoluted and clunky. With each completed clue I began to feel more and more like 19d/28a. I know how much effort the setter must have put into to composing this, and I do hope that others will have liked it.

    I’ll give a special mention to 17a which was mercifully brief, and 1a which raised a smile.

    Thanks to the setter for the undoubted effort, and to Falcon for the review.

  10. pommers
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Update on pommette.

    She’s now at 36000ft over the Pyrenees and my mate Antonio is 70 miles behind on FR9887 on his way to Liverpool.

    BTW, today’s Toughie is worth a look as it’s no harder than this one.

    • Brian
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Away at the moment so on the iPad, does anyone know of a way to get the Toughie electronically?

      • dutch
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        unfortunately iPads cannot access the puzzles.telegraph.co.uk site, (because they don’t use adobe flash).

        And I think the iPad subscription of the whole paper lets you do the back pager but not the toughie – is that right?

        • Ora Meringue
          Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Can only get the back pager on ipad….and in fact on my samsung tablet too.

          • Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            If you have an Android tablet and a Telegraph Puzzles subscription you should be able to access the puzzles using the Dolphin browser, which has Adobe Flash built in.

  11. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Many thanks Falcon, lovely blog, great hints, fortunately (and unusually) I didn’t actually need them.
    5a – Did they used to be called ‘Garibaldi’s’??
    14a – Liked the picture, shame the clue did not reference ‘laid-front’
    1d – Did not know the other definition of the answer, had to be googled
    8d – Regular appearance
    19d/28a – Last in, took a bit of solving as was looking at this the religious respect – this was my favourite

    As an aside, anyone heard any Willow Warblers singing this year?? They seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Sorry, thanks to the setter too, I enjoyed this and am not yet sufficiently experienced to decide whether this was a ‘good’ crossword yet.
      For me still, completed = good!!

    • Jaylegs
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes I have heard a few but far more Chiffchaffs here in Cambridgeshire 😊

  12. neveracrossword
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    The only clue that held me up for a time was 14a, probably because I thought the Muslim leader should have a 2-letter ending. Don’t see a problem with 26a. !9d/28a was fun. I agree with Dutch that 25a was a bit weak. Never heard of the “squashed fly” nickname, but I’m familiar with “fly cemeteries”, so 5a was easy enough. Thank you setter and Falcon.

  13. Mad Man Moon
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I seem to be on the same wave length as this particular setter. I would not class myself among the higher echelons of solvers on this blog, often struggling where others seem to sail through, but often find the roles reversed on Thursdays. The only hold up was, strangely enough, 7d, on which I has a mental block. Thanks to the setter.

  14. Derek
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Pleasant solve this AM!

    Today is Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) here in NL so there is an open -air market in the shopping street round the block from my place – there are lots of bicycles parked on the pavement in the main drag on which I live.

    The trees in the wood across the street are a magnificent emerald green as a result of the recent cold weather now thankfully past

    • stanXYZ
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Nice to hear from you again, Derek.

      What’s on the menu this evening?

      Is there a special meal on “Bevrijdingsdag”?

    • andy
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Great to hear from you again, hope all is well

    • dutch
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Hallo Derek – leuk weer van je te horen

    • Una
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Hi Derek, I had been wondering where you had gone.I too am wondering what is on the menu tonight.

  15. pete
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Usually I am satisfied if I manage to complete the puzzle, but not today. I found this very tedious and irritating. I struggled through till the end, but too much like hard work for me and very little entertainment value. Not enough variety in the type of clues and some answers leave a lot to be desired. Many thanks to Falcon for the hints and tips.

  16. Paso Doble
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    We’ve managed to catch up now, meaning that we are doing the puzzle on the day it comes out.
    Great puzzle from Jay, Marvellous review from Falcon….**/****

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Hi guys,
      Still a day out of sync. Jay was yesterday.

      • Paso Doble
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Quite right Jean-Luc, we think it might have been PJ on reflection. Others including Kath think the same.

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    A bit of a mixed bag today, and not too taxing. I found it moderately entertaining, but I’m afraid I share most of the reservations already stated above. I try and make it a rule not to denigrate the setter’s efforts but to concentrate on any positives that can be gleaned. In that light, I enjoyed the 19d/28a combination, and 15 down made me smile.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and Falcon for an entertaining review. 2*/2*

  18. Gwizz
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Apropos of my comments regarding yesterday’s crossword, I thought today’s offering was much more rewarding. Lego? So what? It’s all there to be solved regardless.
    I liked several clues including 14 and 19a as well as the ‘unbeliever’ , but my favourite was 27a because it made me laugh. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter (PJ?) and to Falcon for the review.

    • Falcon
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Several people have suggested PJ and that possibility did enter my mind as well. However, I was not sufficiently convinced to go our on a limb with my suspicions.

  19. Paso Doble
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just heard that an old schoolfriend of mine had a £10 flutter on Leicester at the beginning of the season. He’s now £50,000 better off (Paso)

  20. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind Lego.
    Enjoyed the solve.
    Didn’t understand the squashed fly in 5a so put a second interrogation mark after the clue.
    Thought the attention seeker was the same as Dutch in 20d. Oh dear.
    19/28 became obvious when I had enough checkers.
    Yesterday was the Big Plant Fair in town.
    Got some more interesting bulbs to try and found the name of the ones I bought last year: Scilla Marittima.
    Congratulations to Hyères Basketball team (HTV) for winning their place back in Pro A.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.
    Feel sorry for our Canadian cousins who lost everything in Fort Mc Murray.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I want to go to a Big Plant Fair! What a great name.

      Oh my goodness..they are huge! The plant grows tall too. Are they what you had as your avatar at one point?

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes they were. And nobody could give me their names.
        Glad they came back this year.

    • Senf
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Jean-Luc – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garibaldi_biscuit will tell you everything to need to know about Garibaldi biscuits which, because of their appearance, have several ‘slang’ names including ‘squashed flies.’

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the link.

  21. Brian
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant puzzle today with some really clever and elegant clues esp my favourite Victor Meldrew! For me 2.5/*****
    I did find the connection between biography and life a little obscure but easily solvable. So nice to have a Thursday that is not by my nemesis.
    Thx to all

    • Falcon
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Brian, electronically browsing the shelves at Amazon for “A Life” brought up the following among the first ten entries:
      -Theodore Roosevelt: A Life
      – On The Move: A Life (autobiography of Oliver Sacks)
      – Washington: A Life
      – Napoleon: A Life
      – Cleopatra: A Life
      – Michelle Obama: A Life
      – Geisha: A Life

  22. Hanni
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this for the most part.

    I agree with Falcon about 26a though. I can’t see it as a double def.

    Liked the contstruct of 14a, the exotic dip in 22a and the city transport in 5d. Favourite is the rather nice 1a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for a great blog. Enjoy the tulips…what a beautiful flower.

    Beautiful again today..but no riding.

  23. Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Well, I didn’t notice the over-abundance of Lego, but then I’m not at my most observant first thing in the morning. I think that to construct anything this complex and impressive out of those bricks you’d have to be older than Falcon’s grandson. I enjoyed it.

    6d and 17d raised a smile and I liked the quirky definitions too. 19d/28a is my favourite today. The quickie pun is either brilliant or awful … I can’t quite decide which.

    I don’t have any doubt that this was PJ – I’d put money on it. Many thanks to him and to Falcon for another excellent review.

  24. George
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    All was well except for 19d/28a, which took some work to solve the anagram and then searching on the web to figure out who on earth this was, and the totally unknown TV show. These clues that use specific UK references are always troubling.

    So other than that I would rate it as 2*/2*.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, George.

  25. Expat Chris
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    i was buzzing along nicely until I was left with 14A and I never managed to work it out. Go figure. I did remember the 5A thingies…never liked them much, though. I worked out 19/28 from the clue and investigoogled to confirm. Loved 1A but my favorite has to be 9A because of the memories. My Dad always used and open razor and we had one of them hanging in the bathroom. Thanks to whomever and Falcon.

  26. mre
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Found this a bit of a chore although this partly because I seem to have acquired a streaming cold and corresponding headache. Packed up with five remaining. Should have stopped at 5a.


  27. silvanus
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I found this a lot like Tuesday’s puzzle, several excellent clues interspersed with quite a few unconvincing ones, but with one definition (which I’ll come to shortly) which started to make me seethe.

    The clues I ticked were 1a 10a, 3d and the 19/28 combo, which took me ages to work out!

    I didn’t much care for the clunkiness of 11a, 18a or 7d, and 25a didn’t really work for me. The one that really raised my hackles however was 2d. Since when is “launched” a synonym for the answer? Not to this solver I’m afraid.

    Thanks to today’s compiler and to Falcon.

    • Jose
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      S. 2d: Synonyms for adrift include afloat, cast-off, aweigh, unanchored. So once a vessel is launched it is no longer restrained/moored and is free in the water and therefore afloat or adrift. Synonyms for launch include set afloat and put to water. So I think the setter is OK with this one.

  28. Framboise
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Loved this puzzle! So many clever clues – 1a made me laugh as 1d! My last one in was 19d/28a – drove me insane till the penny dropped! Thought straightaway of our non- British solvers who may have never heard of Victor Meldrew. Like Jean-Luc did not get the ‘biscuit’ link to a squashed fly although it was not difficult to solve. 14a was also a cleverly crafted clue. What I really enjoyed is that if one followed methodically what the clue asked one to do, one reached the answer – 14a was a good example of this. Many thanks to setter for a most enjoyable exercise and to Flacon for a great review. 2*/4*

  29. Beaver
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Found this difficult in parts and can’t quibble with a ***/***.The squashed fly eluded me, I assume Gazza’s picture of the deceased explains it all. There were too many overly long clues for me-I lose interest at this stage. I’d rather have a’ Bilko ‘crossword-short and snappy ! Last in was 19d/28a -produced the best D’oh moment of the year when I saw the light, and 26a which was not far behind, reminded me of the famous clue Amundsen’s forwarding address -4 letter answer.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      It is to Falcon that thanks should be directed for the deceased fly and all the other pictures, not to me.

  30. Hoffy
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Will someone please explain what the repeated references to LEGO are?

    • Falcon
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Hoffy,

      The solutions to the clues are constructed by putting together a sequence of small blocks of letters, very similar to building a structure out of Lego blocks. The “correct” term for this type clue is a charade.

      • Hoffy
        Posted May 5, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the explanation. Best wishes

    • Angel
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      So glad you asked – I wondered what the hell everyone was on about.

  31. vancouverbc
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. Couldn’t agree more with Falcon (many thanks for the review) about Lego although it made me chuckle when I got 14a. 7d was my favourite though. 26a didnt work for me but it had to be correct. Thanks to the setter for the construction job.

  32. Howitzerx3
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Phew! Pleased to have finished that with one H&T 19d / 28a got lost on that one.

    Regarding 5a where I come from we used to call Eccles Cakes “Fly Pies” similar thing I guess to the Garibaldi biscuit with the dried fruit. Enjoyed this one, lots of building as everybody knows, but all very fair I thought.

    Enjoyed lots of clues 10a / 3d etc. Favourite 1a.

    Overall 3.5 / 3.5

    With thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  33. Dr M
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Although similar in style to Tuesday’s I found this more fun to do. Had to chuckle at 19d and 23a. But 26a was my favourite. Thanks to falcon and pj.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Your email address said xxx.co.co rather than .co.uk so your comment had to be rescued from ‘moderation’

  34. Steve in St A
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s all been said – started late after wonderful cycling in the spring sunshine and a long lunch in a good pub. I “got” but didn’t really “get” 25 across.
    The Alex cartoon in the business section is priceless!!!

  35. Una
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Stumped by 14a , stupidly.Otherwise not too many problems.
    Thanks to I believe PJ and Falcon.

  36. Shropshirelad
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Been really busy today and have only just got round to the puzzles. I haven’t read any of the comments other than Falcon’s – so I’ll just say one thing. Loved it – don’t mind Lego clues and I’ll even forgive the setter (PJ?) for the slightly ‘iffy’ anagram indicator in the19d/28a combo. I haven’t stop laughing – what a brilliant definition.

    Thanks to PJ for the puzzle and to Falcon for his review – I do hope that all your family, friends and fellow citizens come through this terrible fire safely.

  37. Jon_S
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Quite a tricky number, with a lot of well disguised definitions. Into **** for difficulty…

  38. Angel
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Well at this moment I have 7 unsolved clues so I am obviously not a Lego connoisseur however I just might come back to this after dinner.

  39. Salty Dog
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    2*/3*. Yes, there are a lot of Lego clues, but they are not without their charms. I enjoyed 14a and 27a, but the 19d/28a combo takes the prize (or should it be takes the 5a?). And I loved the awful quickie pun! Thanks to the setter, and to Falcon.

  40. Sam
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    6d.The last 3 words of the clue are redundant, inelegant and needlessly misleading, as they are in this sentence on the contrary.

  41. Woolgatherer
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Took a while but got there eventually. I liked 19 & 28, my last in. Thanks to PJ and Falcon.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      You’ve changed your alias so your comment required moderation. Both old and new aliases should work from now on.

  42. Tstrummer
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Got held up in the SE corner, so stopped to listen to football on the radio. Returned to the puzzle and it slotted neatly into place. Not my favourite puzzle of the week, but ok, I guess. Thanks to Falcon and PJ. 2*/3*

  43. Kath
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    First of all, as pommers has already said, thanks very much to Falcon for standing in on a Thursday when we were both doing other things.
    A long and busy day so I only started this one having arrived home after a journey that should have taken two hours but did take nearer four – have also had supper, and wine.
    I’m not sure what I thought of this one – I normally enjoy PJ’s crosswords more than I did today but might just be knackered.
    I found lots of this one very difficult but see previous sentence.
    Too late and too tired to do much commenting now but 1 and 27a both made me laugh so my favourite – just the one, Falcon – yes, I’ve been away but I am back now and checking up – is one of those.
    With thanks to PJ and, again, to Falcon.

  44. Florence
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    5a reminded me of school dinners. We had a currant pudding called fly pie. I am sure others did too, or maybe not. I will be making an 8d tomorrow for a family meal tomorrow night. Thank you Falcon and setter. I was stuck in the NW corner for a wee while.

  45. Shropshirelad
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Off blog subject – who’s planning to go to the 21st May S & B bash in Derby, organised by the 15 squared chaps? I hope some of you guys are attending as I’ll be there only if I can expect to ‘see’ some people I know. Let me know if you’re going :smile:

  46. Werdlesneng
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi all. Am a noob and stumbled on this site. I gave up trying the DT after spending limited funds on a paperback guide and only guessing one or two a day. Hiatus while kids were little. Picked up DT again last Friday, found this site and have learned more in 5 days than 5 yrs. Thanks all of you. Only had to press reveal on 3 today and 2 yesterday. Thank you for stress reliever from hard day’s work. Can’t wait for 28107.📈

    • Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Werdlesneng

      Very pleased to hear of your success.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      Hi Werdlesneng..and well done. That is fantastic! Hope you keep commenting.

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      A lovely comment. If there is anything you do not understand please ask. You will always get a reply. (See comment 30 above) welcome from me as well

  47. Weekendwanda
    Posted May 6, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Different I would say. Thought 18a and 14a very good. Also was looking for M to start 14a. Did about two thirds last night and polished off the ones that needed more thought first thing this morning. I actually do not understand the cryptic definition of 25a. Thought of wave straightaway and the only one I could think of that fits was the right one. However, still don’t think the clue reads right. I am obviously missing something. Laziness caused me to get 24d wrong until I filled in 25 and 27a. Guessed it was a lurker but went for Roma imagining him or her to be a Ronsardian protagonist . Thanks anyway PJ for the interest, Falcon and all the bloggers, Glad Brian enjoyed it – particularly his favourite.

    • Posted May 6, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      I thought Brian’s favourite was rather appropriate. :)

  48. Roy Cook
    Posted May 6, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    As happens from time to time, the answers are visible without clicking! Very frustrating but otherwise it’s a great site.

  49. Miffypops
    Posted May 6, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Saint Sharon failed to bring me the paper yesterday so I had to do this fine puzzle today. Very enjoyable including the excess of charades. The 19d 28ac anagram does not work. Clever wordsmith has 15 letters. Take away the S and the H leaves thirteen letters which fits the 6,7 for the clue. However the intersection of the clues means only one letter R is needed leaving one letter R redundant.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      How weird is that??!! Well done Miffypops

    • Falcon
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I will presume that your comment is serious — and even if it is not, I will reply for the benefit of others who might think it is.

      Every letter located at the intersection of an across clue and a down clue is used twice — once by the across clue and once by the down clue. That is the same situation here. One R is used by 19d and the second R is used by 28a. By your logic, the S in 1d is redundant because it has already been provided by 9a.

      • Miffypops
        Posted May 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Hi Falcon. Yes i was serious. This clue took me an age not to solve as I always had too many letters. We do not often get intersecting anagrams. Also watching very little TV helped to stymie my solving as I have never seen this Meldrew chappie although I am aware of him. Thanks for stepping in. I couldn’t help as I spent 15 hours in our local church as Presiding Officer at a very low turn out election.

  50. Henry
    Posted May 6, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Why does this keep showing the answers (ie you don’t have to press the buttin to reveal) rather than just the hint ? Very annoying.

    • Posted May 6, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Hi Henry. Can you try making sure that the web address starts with http:// (rather than https://)? Does that work? I think it’s a problem with having a mix of ssl content types when using the latter.