DT 28110

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28110

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning everyone from a very damp and dreary Shropshire – we had our Summer yesterday I believe. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that today’s Tuesday Teaser will bring a little bit of the sunshine back. On the first read through, I only had a few answers in and thought ‘gulp, we’re in for a bit of hard work today’. However, on the second go, everything fell into place quite quickly. It won’t take the ‘old hands’ too long to decipher it’s secrets and is fairly clued for the ‘newer hands’ to get their teeth into. A nice ‘middle of the road’ puzzle to get you ready for a Giovanni toughie.

As ever, the definitions are underlined to get you on the right track and, if my hints don’t give you any help, you can always reveal the answer by activating the ‘Click here!’ button.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Finish with lovely disguised shot on court (4,6)
DROP VOLLEY: Take a 4 letter word for ‘finish with’ and add an anagram (disguised) of LOVELY.

6a    Stone circle located by mate (4)
OPAL: The usual crosswordland letter for ‘circle’ followed with (located by) a another term for ‘mate’.

9a    Mimic shown in matter to be published about opening of theatre (7)
COPY CAT: A term used by journalists in ‘matter to be published’, the abbreviation for ‘about’ and tag on the opening letter of ‘theatre’.

10a    Golf and water sport on the increase (7)
GROWING: Take the letter represented in the phonetic alphabet for ‘golf’ and a water sport contested annually between Oxford & Cambridge.

12a    What one may do at a reception for model when breaking a finger (7,1,5)
PROPOSE A TOAST: Lego time. Take a 3 letter word identifying you’re ‘for’ someone or something, follow that with ‘model’ (as a verb) then take the 2 letter word for ‘when’ and insert it (breaking) into the letter ‘a’ from the clue and a measure of a spirit (finger).

14a    Regrettably said of eccentric artist inside (6,2)
AFRAID SO: An anagram (eccentric) of SAID OF and insert the abbreviation for ‘artist’.

15a    Save me — deer rampaging (6)
REDEEM: An anagram (rampaging) of ME DEER.

17a    Quarrel involving a restaurant’s initial list of charges (6)
TARIFF: Take a 4 term for a ‘quarrel’ and insert (involving) the letter ‘a’ from the clue and the first letter of ‘restaurant’ (restaurant’s initial).

19a    First to commend a pamphlet about a medical condition affecting sight (8)
CATARACT: Take the first letter of ‘commend’ and add another term for a ‘pamphlet’. Then insert the last ‘a’ in the clue.

21a    Everything impartially considered, infers Allan is wrong (2,3,8)
IN ALL FAIRNESS: An anagram (wrong) of INFERS ALLAN IS.

24a    Highlights dramas at college (5,2)
PLAYS UP: The common term for dramas, farces and tragedies and add the term used when at university.

25a    Openly disobedient, fainted when disciplined (7)
DEFIANT: Another anagram (disciplined) of FAINTED.

26a    Bird that’s grounded wherever heather protects it (4)
RHEA: Our one and only ‘lurker’ of the day.

27a    Crew crossing island river must show standard (10)
MAINSTREAM: To ‘crew’ covering (crossing) the abbreviation of ‘island’ and then another term for a river.


1d    Cut diamonds upon diamonds (4)
DICE: Two ways that ‘diamonds’ are used in crosswordland, one following the other.

2d    Operating daily? Hypothetically (2,5)
ON PAPER: If something is said to be ‘operating’, it is ?? and what the Sun, Star, DT (daily) are.

3d    Girl declines to see African landmark (8,5)
VICTORIA FALLS: The girl is here has the same forename as our former Queen and a term for ‘declines’.

4d    Employ tool and eels set free (3,5)
LET LOOSE: An anagram (employ) of TOOL & EELS.

5d    Slip lead off dog to fetch bird (5)
EAGLE: A breed of dog without it’s first letter (slip lead off dog).

7d    Archbishop, affectedly proper, dined (7)
PRIMATE: A 4 letter term for ‘affectedly proper’ and a 3 letter word for ‘dined’.

8d    To run away with current partner is warranted (10)
LEGITIMATE: A colloquial term for ‘run away’, followed by the abbreviation for ‘current’ and finally another term for ‘partner’.

11d    One that office bungled, seemingly (2,3,4,2,2)
ON THE FACE OF IT: Yet another anagram (bungled) of ONE THAT OFFICE.

13d    Tidy rapper adapted Beatles song (3,7)
DAY TRIPPER: Yes, you’ve guessed – an anagram (adapted) of TIDY RAPPER.

16d    Reportedly harassed an unpleasant woman (8)
HARRIDAN: Take a homophone (reportedly) of a term for ‘harassed’ and the ‘an’ from the clue.

18d    All are mad about English beer (4,3)
REAL ALE: An anagram (mad) of ALL ARE with the E from English included in the fodder.

20d    Risked being where many martyrs died? (2,5)
AT STAKE: Double definition, the latter being where ‘Joan of Arc’ died.

22d    A Greek starter (5)
ALPHA: A nice gentle cryptic definition referring to the Greek alphabet.

23d    A male cat, tiny thing (4)
ATOM: Take the ‘A’ from the clue and add the generic term for a ‘male cat’.

I really should write the prologue after writing the hints – I’m now fed up typing ‘an anagram’. I have nothing against them as long as there aren’t too many off them. I liked the wordplay in 5d even if it had what I term as ‘fluff’. Which one(s) did it for you?

The Quick Crossword pun: knight+cite=night sight


  1. Omar
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very straightforward for me (with a number of what even I recognised as old chestnuts) apart from 26a (new bird to me, though guessed it as a lurker) and (for no obvious reason) 27a…..nonetheless, enjoyable puzzle, thanks to the setter and for the review….

  2. Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    An enjoyable diversion from the puzzle in the other place.

    26a is different in my (**)app version:
    Cycling backwards, pick up flightless bird.
    I thought at the time that this was a device normally reserved for Toughies.

    18d is my favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter for the much needed light relief and to ShropshireLad for a super review. May there be many more.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

      Wow. Your app version of 26a seems totally out of character with the rest of the puzzle. If I had been faced with that I think it would have been a “bung it in” job and worry about the wordplay later.

      By the way, why is your Kitty sometimes blue and sometimes orange, whereas the rest of us have our names appearing in monotonous black?

      • Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

        Hi, RD. My name is a hyperlink. (Did you notice that links, along with other elements on this site, change colour according to the time of day?) I added it a while back, when feeling utterly stunned and proud that I’d managed to do a few Toughie reviews without falling flat on my face.

        (The way today’s is going, it might be time to quietly remove it… :wacko: )

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

          Wow, again! A name that is a hyperlink. I’m very impressed, but not as impressed as I am that you can blog Toughies.

          • Merusa
            Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I don’t even know what a hyperlink is! I feel I’m being left behind here. Godson wants me to have a smart phone – don’t panic Merusa, I don’t think it bites!

            • Hanni
              Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

              How are you feeling Merusa? Try clicking on Kitty’s name above. That is the hyperlink part. Oddly enough I have tried to persuade Jane to get a smart phone. She is somewhat reluctant….to put it politely.

              • Merusa
                Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Oh my goodness! Aren’t computers wonderful?

                I’m feeling better but impatient. I try to do my exercises regularly but I’m bored. Fact is, I need a whisky soda for my sundowner and it’s not happening soon enough.

                • Hanni
                  Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Oh…I can only imagine your frustration. :rose: I’m assuming it is because of the painkillers that the whisky is on hold?

                  If not then one of my friends believes that you can have a sundowner anytime of the day..as somewhere in the world it is sundown! Fair enough I suppose.

                • Posted May 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  I’m glad you’re feeling better, Merusa. It’ll be Friday before you know it – I reckon having Sadie back might just sweeten the pill. And that first sundowner will taste like pure heaven.

                • Shropshirelad
                  Posted May 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  The ‘sun is always over the Yardarm’ – somewhere. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. :cool:

    • Rod
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      OK, I give in. I have been looking at your app version of the clue 26a and cannot, for the life of me, see how you get the answer from it. Can you please get me out of my misery?
      Thanks to all.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Pick up = hear. Then move the last letter to the front (cycling backwards)!

        • Jane
          Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Glad I wasn’t faced with the app clue for 26a. Never have got to grips with how many letters go for a bike ride!

          • Miffypops
            Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I had the app clue and bunged the answer in without parsing as I knew the bird.

            • Posted May 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I knew that “cycling” means moving all the letters one place, with the end letter wrapping around, but got confused here because to my mind cycling forward would mean moving everything to the right, with the end letter moving to the beginning – which is what happens here, but it’s clued by “cycling backwards.” I was about to say as much but then RD came to my rescue. If I’m honest, this isn’t a device which sits particularly well with me.

              • Jane
                Posted May 10, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Glad it’s not just me, Kitty. To my mind ‘cycling’ – in whichever direction – could refer to moving round as many letters as you wish provided that they remain in the same order. What is the indication that just one of them moves? Bah humbug……..

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It was ok on mine????

  3. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this was a pleasant puzzle albeit virtually R&W with a fairly good balance of clue types. Only 27a, my last one in, needed a bit of cogitation. As SL says this would seem to be a good one for relative newcomers to cryptics to try.

    I noticed quite a contrast between the across and down clues, with the former tending to be more wordy and the latter more succinct. I wonder if this was a conscious decision by the setter?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.

  4. Crack On
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks SL for your help on 26a. The clue for the iPad version is completely different and made no sense to me at all. Now all is revealed. Good fun puzzle nevertheless. Thanks to the setter as well.

  5. Graham
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not to difficult,but nothing outstanding for me, many thanks to the setter & SL for his review.Even the quicky pun is fairly bland! Ps I love the Alex cartoon in the Buisiness section it’s always good for a laugh.

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The Alex cartoons are far too wordy for me.

  6. Jose
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    I solved this one early today, instead of later on at home – very gentle but enjoyable. 13d will probably stump some of the younger solvers but for us “children of the 60s” it’s easily sussed from the anagram letters. 1*/2.5*

  7. Angela
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Brain in gear this morning, finished in record time, lovely gentle crossword which I thoroughly enjoyed, thanks to all.

  8. Jaylegs
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Early doors today on account of the continuous rain😰 R & W apart from 20d */*** 😜
    Liked 26a & 18d 😉 (don’t we all) I have a lot of sympathy for Mrs Jaylegs playing the Old Course at the Gog Magog GC today 😕 Oh where has Summer gone! Thanks to SL and to the setter

  9. Spook
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice gentle puzzle 12a for some reason stumped me for some time not until 2d did the answer leap out..its dank and dingy in North Cornwall.
    Many thanks to SL and setter.
    **/*** for me.

  10. Bluebird
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Everything was fine (apart from the weather) until that naughty lurking bird in the SW held me up for ages. I finally sought electronic help and its hiding place was revealed…….

    So, is that one that escaped still at large? It must be lonely.

  11. Senf
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My concerns last week that Tuesday was no longer the easiest day of the week were quickly allayed with this offering. Just about R&W with I am not sure how many anagrams that did not need the letters to be written out. Consequently, solved very comfortably before lights out last night – */***.

    Favourite 1d – thanks to Mr Ron and SL.

  12. Brian
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Whilst I was golfing in the rain Mrs B has finished her first ever cryptic crossword unaided 😀. I know it was not the most difficult ever set but I am so pleased. We will have to have two copies in future I think.
    Can’t comment on the puzzle as I had no input at all..
    Thx to all

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well done Mrs Brian – surely time for her to post on her own too – and I’d lay odds I won’t have to shout at her about not looking stuff up in the dictionary!!

      • Hrothgar
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I look forward to Mrs. Brian’s comments.

      • Posted May 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Seconded. Well done her. I would love to hear from Mrs Brian. :yes:

  13. Caroline Eccles
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A pleasantly easy crossword.

  14. Jane
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I rather enjoyed this one. Didn’t count the number of anagrams, but there certainly seemed to be a generous helping of them.
    I think that only 27a gave a bit of pause for thought – lots of islands floated through my mind.
    Have to confess to not taking the time to fully parse the last part of 12a – thanks SL for doing it for me!
    Re: 20d. If anyone else watched the first episode of the new series of The Hollow Crown, I thought that the Joan of Arc sequence was extremely harrowingly portrayed.
    Think my vote for favourite goes to 1a.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron for a good puzzle and to SL for an excellent review – loved the pic for 7d!

    Now then – Giovanni Toughie or gardening? Can’t quite decide which is likely to be the least stressful.

  15. Kath
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh – I thought this was pretty tricky – at least 3* difficulty and between 3* and 4* for enjoyment.
    Like SL when I first looked I thought it was going to be difficult but unlike SL I didn’t change my mind.
    I agree that there were quite a few anagrams but I like them so no complaints.
    The one and only lurker of the day was my last answer – nothing new there.
    It took me ages to get the last word of 21a – don’t ask me why – I knew it was an anagram but just couldn’t see it.
    Untangling 12a took for ever – it was the ‘finger’ bit that foxed me – and I was slow to get 27a.
    15a made me laugh.
    I liked 1a and 5d, even though it’s a bit chestnutty, and my favourite was 16d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to SL.
    Pouring with rain – very mild and muggy – feel like Shrek in his swamp, and I’ve got a cold. :sad:

    • Hanni
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hope you feel better soon Kath :rose:

      • Kath
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks – don’t really feel ill just snotty and grumpy.

    • Merusa
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Muggy with pouring rain do NOT go together with a cold. Hope it clears up soon.

      • Kath
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks – the garden needed the rain but I think we’ve had enough for the time being, specially as we have a large black labrador arriving any minute and staying for three weeks while his “Mummy and Daddy” are on holiday.

  16. Martin Bartlett
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Pleased with myself, having completed all but 27a. Getting better as a solo! Very wet in Ipswich after several lovely Summer days.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome Martin and well done

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well done Martin. 27 ac will have bemused a lot of solvers.

  17. MalcolmR
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Same here, it was the back end of 12a that had me stumped. Thanks to the Shropshire Lad for the explanation.

  18. Heno
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. A jolly puzzle, with some nice clues. Was pretty much read and write, except for 12a, which I solved, but needed Shropshire Lad’s explanation to see why it was what it was. Last in was 27a,which took me ages. Favourite was 8d, made me laugh, but was an old chestnut. Was 1*/3* for me. Nice and cool today in Central London.

  19. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    After three disasters, much better, presumably because it was a bit easier.
    12a – ??? Obscure wordplay or what?? Once the first few checkers were in of the first word, it was ok.
    13d, as a Beatles fan all my life, this was no problem, but may be for the younger ones.
    14a – Scratched head for ages as I missed the anagram. Eventually got it from the checkers.
    22d – Needed a hint, as a beginner I still don’t think laterally enough.
    16d – Needed a hint and had to check with Mr. Google as was unfamiliar.
    Lots of nice clues, favourite was 1a, had ‘Half’ for the first word until I twigged that it made no sense.
    Thanks very much to SL and to the setter

  20. Angel
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good clean fun if not somewhat overloaded with anagrams. Bunged in 12a without sorting convoluted clue where “finger” baffled me. Fav 8d. ***/***. Rain here too so hope it doesn’t deposit more Saharan sand on us particularly as I had windows cleaned yesterday.

    • Angel
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Apologies Mysteron and SL for having omitted to thank you both – TVM.

  21. dutch
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wrote in all the down clues first, after which only 12a help me up – took me a while to see ‘breaking a finger’.

    Tidy rapper raised a smile and is probably my favourite

    Many thanks for the great blog SL and thank you setter

  22. Hanni
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable solve with nothing overly taxing. Like a few I bunged in 12a and it took me awhile to see the ‘breaking a finger’ bit of it though.

    I love anagrams but even I spotted there were quite a few of them today!

    13a gets the favourite vote but I also enjoyed the deer rampaging in 15a.

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

    Got to ride out for the first time in ages today. Goodness I’ve missed it.

  23. neveracrossword
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    5d was a case of “deja vu” for me. 22d in yesterday’s Times cryptic was: “Dog with shaven head, might one be bald”.
    Thanks to setter and SL.

  24. Vancouverbc
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very straightforward with lots of anagrams and a few old chestnuts. Thanks to the setter and SL for the review.

    • Bluebirds
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It may be straightforward to you; I cannot abide people commenting on how easy crosswords are to them, no need for such vanity.

      • Vancouverbc
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply


      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think it’s vanity, more a statement of fact. There will be a wide range of abilities in a blog with such a wide audience. I think it’s fair for people to comment on how they find a puzzle.
        Where I do draw the line, is patronising comments along the lines of a reference to the fact that a particular crossword should appear in the Junior Telegraph.

        • Young Salopian
          Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I agree. Even if we rate them by numbers or asterisks, we are still giving a personal view of easiness or difficulty. Leaving a written comment is just an extension of that view. Surely the aim must be firstly to enjoy the experience, then improve over the months and years?

      • Hanni
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Not once have I found Vancouverbc to be in anyway vain. As HIYD says, there is a very wide range of solving abilities on the blog and I find your comment quite unnecessary. Everyone is welcome here and it is a happy place. How are individuals supposed to express how they found a particular puzzle?

        • Merusa
          Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Hear, hear – well said.

          • Cat
            Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

            And you are sometimes more on a particular setter’s wavelength than another’s. This was a **/*** for me, with a couple that really made you think. Thanks to setter and SL.

            • Howitzerx3
              Posted May 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Funny isn’t it, that one of my ambitions (with no offence meant) is to be able to say, on this blog, “that was easy.”

              Hopefully if I keep learning on this blog that could happen one day. Anyway the crossword should be a bit of fun after all..

              • jan
                Posted May 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

                My ambition too. R & W seems a way off, but this one was much more attainable. Thank you to all.

  25. mre
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward but annoyingly couldn’t fathom 27a.


  26. Young Salopian
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was a solid 2*/3* without the iPad version of 26 across which was obvious but unparseable until I went through the comments post-solve. I still don’t like it. That aside, I enjoyed this and it cheered up a damp Tuesday afternoon in the Marches. 1 across just sneaked past the post by a nose to be my favourite clue.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and my fellow Salopian for his review.

  27. silvanus
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very enjoyable and pleasant solve thankfully, in contrast to certain recent Tuesday offerings. Clever of RD to spot the contrast in wordiness between the across and down clues, it’s possibly more noticeable in the printed version with the former seemingly quite squashed up, and the latter rather spaced out to compensate!

    My only slight hold up was erroneously inserting “shows” for the first part of 24a, but I soon realised my mistake. Favourite clues were 1a (one of my favourite tennis shots) and 5d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and to SL.

  28. Chris Swithenbank
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Best explanations for cryptic clues that I have ever come across.

    • Gazza
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Chris,

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog from me as well. What a really nice thing to say Chris – thank you very much :good: Did you manage to see the subtle play on words for the picture hint in 13d? No worries, no one else has noticed it either. :smile:

    • Miffypops
      Posted May 11, 2016 at 12:39 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hello Chris. Thank you. I think so too.

  29. AnntheArt
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh lovely jubbly! It was Anagrams R Us all the way and lots of lovely straightforward clues that I could solve! I’m sure this has lightened everyone’s spirits having read the comments. Just as well with the rainy weather (but the garden did need it).
    But still didn’t escape unscathed as 27a required a little hintlet and 9a foxed me totally, don’t know why.
    Liked 14a, 8d and many others. Knew the bird.
    Thanks for the hints and to the setter for the harmless fun.

  30. Una
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very gentle, very sweet , for the most part.
    Thanks to the setter and SL.

  31. Merusa
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this a bit tricky in places but enjoyable.
    I couldn’t parse 12a, obvious as it was, i bunged it in anyway but I call that pretty convoluted.
    Loved 14a, 11d and 16d, but fave was 1a. I knew the bird, Argentinian I think.
    Thanks to setter and to ShropshireLad for unravelling 12a.

  32. Tstrummer
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yep, no problems with this one. Lots to like, but it’s game set and match to 1a.
    Thanks to SL and the setter. 1*/3*
    By the way, summer hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s not due until next month. Let’s not start moaning until then

  33. Howitzerx3
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Certainly on my radar and I can say “found it straightforward today” That’s a novelty for me. Very enjoyable to actually understand most of the clues fairly quickly. Like SL first read and thought it was going to be a toughie, but it all fell in place very nicely.

    Lots of clues could be my favourite but the winner is 8d.

    Overall 2* / 4*

    Thanks to SL for the H&T although not required I’m pleased to say. Thanks to the setter for a really enjoyable puzzle.

  34. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Better watch out what I say.
    Delete as applicable.
    I found it quite hard/easy and a real bore/pleasure.
    Hated/liked the misdirection in 4d.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to SL for the review.

    • Cat
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink | Reply


    • Hanni
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Schrodinger’s comment.

  35. Jon_S
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A pleasant solve, on the easyish side. Spent far too long staring at 27ac at the end before the penny dropped.

  36. JonathanR
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Missed out on 27a and the “gentle” 22d! Apart from that, I had the same experience of little success on first read then a few of the longer answers gave me enough of the grid filled in to get the rest without too much trouble. Didn’t like 20d, just because it’s an unpleasant part of history. If I want to think about unpleasant things I’ll read the rest of the paper!

    • JonathanR
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      On second thought, I realise that I bunged a few in without working out why (12a and the app version of 26a). Nevermind. Thanks for the hints which came in useful today.

  37. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All sorted without too many delays for us. The clever cluing of the last part of 12a makes this our favourite today.
    Thanks Mr Ron and SL.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your help this morning Colin – I really must read my notes. I must also learn how to do changes as well.

  38. Cartman
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to the blog as always for clearing up some of the wordplay. I’ve looked at the FAQs, but am still puzzled by what people regard to be a 1* / 2* etc. solving time. Is that just a personal judgement? When I have to sleep on it I always think it’s into 3* territory for me!

    • Posted May 11, 2016 at 12:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Cartman
      You have got it right -the ratings are a personal judgement and are offered solely as a guide.

  39. Florence
    Posted May 11, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Bit busy to do this yesterday, but very enjoyable to do this morning at 3.00 am after I was woken up by an extremely large fox rifling my bins. I managed to fill it all in fairly quickly, but didn’t understand the ‘finger’ in 12a, so thank you SL for your review. Thanks too Mr Ron. Best puzzle for me in the last couple of weeks. Was just nodding off again this morning when I was woken by the arrival of a very noisy pheasant and my two ducks George and Mildred. Under the circumstances I hope that they survive.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted May 11, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Florence, a ‘finger’ is simple to explain…My Dad ran a pub, if a customer was drinking a spirit he used to hold up one finger then two fingers, asking whether the customer wanted a single or a double. In this case SL has used finger to indicate a ‘tot’, part of the (very convoluted) wordplay.
      Historically, before the days of optics, a finger (or two) around the bottom of a glass was used to determine how much spirit to pour.
      Hope that helps.

      • Florence
        Posted May 11, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks HIYD.😀

  40. Gwizz
    Posted May 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with Vancouverbc!
    No problems encountered; 1a was fave, it used to be my best shot…. well, I would have liked it to have been.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Mr Ron and SL

  41. Den
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Totally agree SL first run through found tough but once one was in went well for the most part. Your hints helped me with a couple but I’m happy to say I didn’t need to “click here”. As a newbie to the comments – thanks!

    • Gazza
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, Den.

  42. WV1993
    Posted May 13, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’d read the ‘about’ of 9a to be ananagram marker, signifying an anagram of ‘act’ (the ‘opening’ of a theatre play), but I think your version parses more cleanly.

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