DT 28239


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28239

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dull, grey morning. Thoughts and best wishes to our Florida contributors under attack from Hurricane Matthew.

It took me a while to get 12d, my last one in, and that pushed overall solving time up to ***. There seemd to be more double definitions than usual for Giovanni, but otherwise very much what we expect on a Friday.

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 them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Source established beyond doubt by an English church (10)
PROVENANCE – Put together ‘established beyond doubt’, AN from the clue, and the initials of the Established church in England.

6a           Keen Conservative coming in to help (4)
ACID – Another word for help wrapped around Conservative.

9a           Soldiers given official recognition — something read out (10)
RECITATION – The initials of a regiment of engineers, followed by the words of recognition that might be attached to an award for gallantry.

10a         Animals celebrated, rolling over (4)
GNUS – Reverse (rolling over) a word for celebrated musically, as these animals were by Flanders and Swann.

13a         Label for killer of pigs? (7)
STICKER – Double definition, the second referring to boar hunting on horseback with spears.

15a         I dare somehow to conceal love as travelling supporter (6)
ROADIE – Anagram (somehow) of I DARE wrapped around the letter that looks like a love score at tennis, giving us one of the travelling support staff for a touring musician.

16a         Dogone posing a problem? (6)
SETTER – Double definition: a breed of dog; or someone like Giovanni.

Image result for setter

17a         Book with more than one title (8,7)
DEBRETT’S PEERAGE – Cryptic definition of a work containing details of the noble families of Britain.

Image result for debrett's peerage

18a         Provides refreshment in a variety of crates (6)
CATERS – Anagram (variety) of CRATES.

20a         Lapsing somehow not good — backbone’s needed (6)
SPINAL – Anagram (somehow) of LAPSIN(g) ignoring the G(ood).

21a         Water often flows over this to submerge floor covering for Spooner (3,4)
MUD FLAT – An area subject to tidal inundation which could be a Spoonerism for a phrase (5,3) linking ‘to submerge’ and a floor covering.

22a         One little girl, the flower of Oxford (4)
ISIS – The Roman numeral for one followed by a diminutive of a female sibling, giving us the classical name attached to the Thames as it flows through Oxford.

25a         Action of one returning after journey is becoming very clear (6,4)
COMING HOME – Double definition, the first being a literal statement of what you’re doing when you return from a journey, the second being the figurative use of the expression.

26a         Piano seems to drown this organ (4)
NOSE – Hidden in the clue.

27a         Delightful singing by chaps heading off (10)
ENCHANTING – Remove the initial letter (heading off) from some chaps, then add the sort of singing done by monks.


1d           Leave theatrical role (4)
PART – Double definition: a verb meaning ‘leave’; or a role in a play.

2d           Element of initiation ceremony in days gone by (4)
ONCE – Hidden in the clue.

3d           Property in car (6)
ESTATE – Double definition: landed property; or a design of car.

4d           Star involved with the official dogmatic statements (8,2,5)
ARTICLES OF FAITH – Anagram (involved with) of STAR, THE OFFICIAL. There are 39 of these in the Book of Common Prayer.

5d           Revolutionary’s engaging soldiers for tedious tasks (6)
CHORES – Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary, plus the ‘S, wrapped around the abbreviation for soldiers who are not officers.

7d           Confinement of prisoners with exercise given minimal time (10)
CONSTRAINT – Put together an informal word for prisoners, a verb meaning ‘to exercise’, and Time.

8d           Dry red soil scattered all over the place (10)
DISORDERLY – Anagram (scattered) of DRY RED SOIL.

11d         Quiet little man will accept order, I forecast (10)
PREDICTION – Start with the musical symbol for quiet, then wrap a short form of a man’s name around an order from a ruler and I (from the clue).

12d         Hazel has such a small bit in play, speaking only at the start (5,5)
LAMBS’ TAILS – Anagram (in play) of A SMALL BIT, followed by the first letter of Speaking. This gives us an alternative name for the catkins of the hazel tree.

Image result for lambs tails catkins

13d         Weapon made sir nasty (7)
SIDEARM – Anagram (nasty) of MADE SIR.

14d         Bill may get such an acknowledgement (7)
RECEIPT – Cryptic definition of what you may get on settling a bill.

19d         Bribe offered by cheat upsettingly exposed in tabloid (6)
SUBORN – Reverse (upsettingly) a three-letter word for cheat or steal, and put it inside the shining star of Mr Murdoch’s tabloid empire.

20d         Old city disciple embraces a US soldier turning up (6)
SAIGON – A (from the clue) and the reversal (turning up) of a US soldier with a disciple or descendant wrapped around them, giving us the former name of a city in south Vietnam.

23d         Native American dance on island (4)
HOPI – A rather old-fashioned term for the sort of dance that might have happened in the village hall, followed by Island.

24d         Composer making request, right to interrupt (4)
BERG – A verb for ‘make a request’ or ‘entreat’, with Right inserted. This composer wrote Lulu and Wozzeck.

Image result for alban berg

The Quick Crossword pun FASTEN + HATING = FASCINATING


  1. George
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, 12d and 17a had me in trouble in this puzzle. It took quite a while for the penny to drop on 17a, which then gave a very useful cross checking letter for 12d – a term I had only vaguely remembered.

    So I have to say after a rapid start this one finally took me into 3* time.

    Still a good puzzle over all.

  2. jg
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    I tried very hard to fit JERUSALEM into WI song (Quickie, 16d)

  3. pommers
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t help myself by putting RATS in 10a but other than that it all came together quite well. i’ll agree with DT’s ***/*** rating.
    Certainly a bit trickier than recent Fridays have been. Fav was 17a (LOI).

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      RATS was my first thought as well!

      • Bluebird
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

        And me…….good clue.

      • Merusa
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Me too!

      • Angel
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ich auch but I was glad to come up with the Flanders & Swan solution.

    • Kath
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      My animals were rats as well – really not helpful. :roll:

  4. Jose
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent as usual from G – best one of the week. Had to research the composer and the Indian tribe – there are scores of different ones listed, many more than you’d expect. 3*/4*

  5. Alec
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    17a was my last one in. Even with all the checking letters, it took quite a while to see what the answer ought to be. So I nominate that as my favourite today. I don’t like Spoonerisms in crosswords, and the one at 21a certainly grates with me as “flud” isn’t even a proper word. Thanks to all concerned

    • Jose
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Spooner clues include homophonous elements and often involve “unreal” words – they rely on pronunciation rather than spelling to justify them. I’m not attempting to persuade you to like them more, just making a point…

      • Alec
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I understand the point you are making – “flud” does indeed sound like “flood”. But in my view, the “queer old dean/dear old queen” or “cat flap/flat cap” combinations work better. I still feel Spoonerisms are best left out of crosswords.

        • Bluebird
          Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I find spoonerisms very entertaining…….once you’ve actually got them, that is. Until then, it’s just a mad reciting…..
          I think it’s good to have an auditory strand to puzzles as well as “visual” lettering. Languages involve all modalities, after all.

          • Kath
            Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I liked Spoonerisms too but you and I are very much in the minority.

            • Jose
              Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink | Reply

              I too like the occasional Spooner clue – maybe one or two per week. It matters not to me whether both combinations are all real words. They are uniquely distinctive and in quite common use and I can’t understand why they don’t appear in most lists of “official” clue types. But I do realise that, for some reason, they are generally unpopular with solvers

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t like spoonerisms, period. And definitely not in crosswords.

  6. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    4*/2*. In the past few weeks we have seen two sides to Giovanni, and today it felt as if we had both in one puzzle. My first ten answers in the top half of the grid went in quite smoothly and I was finding it very enjoyable. After that it was a real struggle not helped by having messed up by putting in “rats” (star rolling over) for 10a, which made 7d impossible.

    23a was obscure even by Giovanni’s standards, and I couldn’t solve 12d or 17a at all, so thanks very much to DT for the elucidation.

    Thanks to Mr Manley for a nice half.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply

      I meant 23d, of course.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks to almost annual visits to Arizona the Hopi are not obscure to us. Kokopelli decorated souvenirs all over the place!
      One man’s meat etc.

      • Bluebird
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        There’s a weird complementary “treatment” called Hopi ear candles.

        I’ve not tried it, because to me it would be like standing over a drain ripping up £10 notes ( I wonder if you can rip £5 notes……….).but I suppose some people do swear by it, or possibly at it.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Mrs RD tried them and found the treatment messy and ineffective. I just looked at Wikipedia to see if there was any connection between the ear candles and the American tribe.

          It says: “Medical research has shown that the practice is both dangerous and ineffective and does not help remove earwax or toxicants. The claim by one manufacturer that ear candles originated with the Hopi tribe is also false.”

          Having read that it’s a good job that Mrs RD no longer uses those ear candles!

          • Jane
            Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I tried them once whilst on a girls’ weekend at a health spa. Delightful treatment room, subdued lighting, mood music and a lovely therapist in charge. The candles achieved nothing but I certainly came away feeling very relaxed!

            • Miffypops
              Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

              There is on born every minute

              • jean-luc cheval
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

                You’re right there.
                Just became uncle this morning.
                Brother just had a little boy.

                • jean-luc cheval
                  Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Well I mean his other half had the child but he said it was his.

                  • Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    Congratulations! I don’t think I will ever become an uncle.

                • Jane
                  Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Congratulations, JL – hope you do your share of baby-sitting!

                  • jean-luc cheval
                    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    Unfortunately he is a little Parisian now.
                    Intend to go up on Tuesday.

            • LabradorsruleOK
              Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

              And poorer no doubt.
              Certainly never seen any Hopi walking round with candles in their ears.

              • Jane
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Actually, you miserable pair, the treatment was one of quite a few of those that you could choose from as part of the weekend package deal – I think you could choose up to five or six from what I remember. The bill was footed by the absent husbands who did a deal with us to enable them to go off on a boys’ golfing holiday!

                • Miffypops
                  Posted October 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  You cannot wriggle out of it like that Jane. Saint Sharon makes frivolous purchases while I buy The important stuff. It has ever been so. A girls weekend at a health spa? I rest my case.

                  • Jane
                    Posted October 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    I think it was ‘important stuff’ to the guys – gave them their passes to go off golfing!

                • LabradorsruleOK
                  Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:31 am | Permalink | Reply

                  I am sure that recalling your Thermo Auricular Therapy (it’s pseudo medical title) session brings a smile to you now. Thinking of someone lying there with a lighted candle in their ear does me . Anything doing that can’t be bad thank you.

  7. Young Salopian
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Top puzzle from The Don today. Like George at #1 my last two in were the brilliant 17 across and 12 down. Even the loathsome doctor wasn’t too objectionable to my mind.
    Overall this was a solid 2.5*/4* from me and a pleasant way to spend part of a damp Marches morning.

    Thanks to Giovanni for a sparkling crossword and DT for his review.

  8. Penky
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Must be having a lucid day as I found this not too bad. I immediately thought of Flanders and Swann as I got 10a, Try watching the clip with subtitles-it’s hilarious. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the (unneeded) review.

    • Mark
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Penky, for recommending watching the clip – which I normally wouldn’t have bothered to do – and to suggest subtitles which I’d never have dreamed of doing. The vocals are so clear, you don’t need them so I’d never have had the chance for such a laugh. Mind you, if someone came up with a voice recognition program that could cope with that song, they’d deserve a medal!

      It reminded me of that lovely clip in the comedy “W1A” when the IT boffin is introducing life-changing software to the bods at the Beeb whilst standing in front of a screen on which the voice recognition program – totally unbeknownst to the speaker – is hilariously mis-translating his speech.

      Thanks again.

    • Merusa
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That was a riot!! I still can’t stop laughing.

  9. Toadson
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well there shouldn’t be complaints about too many obscurities this week. For me, an enjoyable puzzle .Last in 12d, liked 13a. We must have seen 16a before. Incidentally, I only finished yesterday’s puzzle this morning, and logged on hoping to see a clip of Sean Connery for amiss/Amish. Anyway, thanks to all involved today.

  10. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    I found this tricky in places especially 12d. In the end I worked it out from the clue but never heard the expression for catkins. It was last one in
    Agree with Alec re the Spoonerism – without both words being a proper word it becomes an inelegant clue.
    Also didn’t like 25a, thought “becoming” in the clue & “coming” in the answer to much repetition.
    Nevertheless enjoyable so thanks to Giovanni & DT for review. 16a COTD if only for the picture. Beautiful colour & handsome dog. Would need a wet room to keep clean I fancy

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, they’re beautiful and loving dogs – they are also as mad as hatters and consummate escape artists! Friend of mine had one and the entire village got quite used to the idea of having to form search parties to bring him back from his latest escapade.

      • Bluebird
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Friends of ours used to have a very tall, very narrow English setter which, like lorries, would topple over in high winds.

        • judetheobscure
          Posted October 10, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink | Reply

          I have an English Setter – she is beautiful, placid and loving.
          She used to be a wanderer, the further away she could get on a walk the better (not so much an escape artist as can’t jump) but now she’s older and content to amble along.

  11. Miffypops
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    I consider crosswords to be finished if the unfilled lights are from a spooner type clue.
    New word at 19d as for 10ac RATS

    It was strange looking at an almost completed grid without the two long answers that intersected at the middle square.

    See you all on Monday.

  12. pete
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tricky for me but mostly enjoyable. 12d and 17a proved to be my undoing. My favourites were 4d and the spooner for 21a. 3.5*/3* Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT

  13. Jane
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like RD, I thought this was going to be a virtual R&W until I hit a couple of tough spots towards the end. 24d was obvious from the wordplay, but I did need to verify the composer with Mr. G.
    Certainly didn’t care for the Spoonerism and thought 25a was a little odd, otherwise there were a few goodies scattered around.

    1a and 7d get merit marks but top of the class award goes to 12d – I suspect that it may also prove to be Kath’s favourite!

    Thanks to DG and also to DT for the review and the Flanders & Swann clip.

  14. Ora Meringue
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Failed on 4 which is pretty good for me…..10a, 12d, 17a and 19d….could not see them at all, so needed electronic help then hints for those.
    Enjoyed the rest, though and am uplifted after yesterday’s poor effort on my part.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  15. Dottie
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found this tricky. Got stuck on 23d for ages but then realised that ‘true’ wasn’t right for 25a. Took me a while today but very enjoyable. Thanks to setter and DT.

  16. Mark
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found that I clicked with this one and all went smoothly until I was left with 12d. I didn’t spot the anagram and eventually “Lambs” popped into mind as the only word to fit the first half. I had to check that catkins came from hazel (Duh!) and then we were done.

    I understand the negative views on Spoonerisms but 21a made me smile. Lovely to see a reasonably rare occurrence of the beasts in 10a.

    Favourite was 17a and, although not referred to by any other poster, 1a was nice and 3d beautifully clean and simple.

    Many thanks to all involved

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Mark,
      I did give a merit mark to 1a @13!

      • Mark
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

        So you did, Jane. Don’t think I’d read yours at the time I started my comment. btw, what is “R&W”?

        • pommers
          Posted October 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Read & Write

        • dutch
          Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Jane is totally au fait with all the jargon

          • Jane
            Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Not all of it by any means, Dutch, as you very well know! Some of JS’s comments have me totally convinced that he’s using a foreign language!

  17. Wahoo
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite challenging but a fantastic puzzle last night. 2*(bordering on3*)/5*. Such a great mix of type of clues.

    Took ages to see the lurker in 2d (looking for some chemical element for a while) and 17a was a real penny drop moment

    Tried Rats in 10a on first pass but clearly the wrong tense. In fact I think I’ll say 10a is favourite – simply because I love the word. Nice and “woody” as Monty Python might have said, although they of course were referring to Caribou and Antelope.

    Many thanks to The Don and to DT

  18. Senf
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I appear to have developed a true synchronicity with Giovanni, I wonder how long it will last – **/**** on this one.

    Last ones in were, predictably, 17a and 12d. I got 12d without realizing that it was an anagram, for which the penny dropped later, but worked on the catkin connection and plenty of checkers.

    Favourite definitely 17a.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

    Definitely thinking of Merusa, and everyone else impacted by Hurricane Matthew, today.

  19. Jeroboam
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this to be as equally tough as today’s toughie. That probably says more about me than the crosswords in question. Like many, for me the long answer at 17a was crucial and probably caused my opening comment. Thanks G and DT.

  20. Heno
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Needed the hints for 12d, had no idea what this was about, didn’t realise that it was an anagram, had never heard of the answer. Definitely one to add to the memory bank. Also needed the hint for 23d, which I had forgotten. A nice mixture of clues. Favourite was 21a, I love Spoonerisms. Was 3*/3* for me.

  21. silvanus
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Certainly the trickiest puzzle of the week, I’m another who had never heard of the North American tribe in 23d before, although I was aware of the alternative name for catkins in 12d but found the parsing extremely tough for some reason.

    The favourite clues for me were 17a and 21a. I do like Spoonerisms provided that they are not too contrived.

    It was disappointing to see Mr. Manley use “somehow” twice as an anagram indicator (in 15a and 20a). I’d expect better of such an experienced setter to be honest.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, and a good weekend to all.

  22. BusyLizzie
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Phew, glad to see Deep Threat gave this a *** difficulty rating as I am not doing well with first pass. Going to return later and have another stab, but pretty sure I will need to use a lot of DT’s hints, thanks! Happy to report South Florida seems to have been spared by H. Mathew, but further up the coast looks like a different story. Terrible for Haiti, they always suffer so badly. Hoping to see a post from Merusa today, hopefully she is not without power. And thanks to all for thinking of us.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So pleased Matthew passed by you, guess you were close enough to feel the edge . Like you hope Merusa & the animals got off as lightly.

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been waiting for both of you to pop in – thank goodness you’re safe.

      • Miffypops
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        My brother and sister in law lost three trees on Merritt Island. Glad that was all

        • Merusa
          Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Oh, M’pops, I’m so glad, that’s good news!

  23. BobH
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hm. I found yesterday quite difficult. Today a walk in the park. I think it’s sometimes a bit of luck, regarding the words and GK you know coinciding with the setter. It did take me a while to get 25,a as the answer seemed too easy. 17a was an early solve why I have no idea. I even liked the Spoonerism (probably because I got it!) No question marks against any clues today. (yesterday ,5). Don’t you just love Flanders and Swann. Its a pity they are so unfashionable.
    Thanks to all

  24. Una
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really enjoyed today’s puzzle , not too hard and not too easy.
    I’ll nominate 1a as my favourite.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  25. LetterboxRoy
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    One G’s fairer offerings, not too obscure and fairly clued. Having said that, there’s 4d & 17a. I won’t say it again…

    Re 23d: My daughter has a much-prized photo of me lying on my side with a candle sticking out of my ear. Needless to say, it did absolutely nothing except reduce her to tears of laughter and provide her with an anecdote to recount at every possible opportunity.

    ***/** Thanks to all as ever.

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I refuse to believe that a man could be so silly. It never happened.

      • LetterboxRoy
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

        It was an insisted recommendation from her mother to ‘improve my hearing’, apparently.
        There was nothing wrong with my hearing, so I played along so I could carry on ignoring her.
        Worked for me…

  26. Vancouverbc
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Trickier than the usual Friday and held up by the SE corner until I found the composer and the tribe. I also don’t like spoonerisms and 17a would have been quicker to spot with an apostrophe. Thanks to all and have a good weekend.

  27. Lionel
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A very enjoyable puzzle today.
    Last one in was 19d, a new word for me but perhaps I don’t move in the right circles…
    Laughed out loud at the Spoonerism.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  28. Merusa
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks peeps for your kind thoughts! A last-minute jog to the east meant that Matthew hit the Florida coast further north, sparing us. We only had some feeder bands bringing gusts and lashings of rain, but no power cuts. I feel so lucky and am concerned for friends in the north of Florida. My heart bleeds for those poor Haitians.

    Nuff said, now to the crossword. I never did get 12d, silly of me as my gizmo gave it to me but I just thought it couldn’t be!
    I got 17a on the first pass, I seem to remember it from an earlier puzzle, and it is my fave.
    Enough, already, of spoonerisms! I got it but thought it was weak.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deet Threat for the hints, and particularly for the Flanders and Swann, love them.

    • Deep Threat
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear that you have emerged unscathed. As you say, Haiti is a different story

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Phew, thank goodness for that, as BL said we’ve been waiting to hear. Must have been Sadie’s weird behaviour the scared it off!
      Like you say terrible for those affected especially Hiaiti

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So relieved for you, Merusa. Hopefully Matthew will continue to stay out at sea and the casualty toll won’t rise any higher.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s great news, Merusa

    • Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m really glad that you and BusyLizzie are ok.

    • LetterboxRoy
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Very glad to hear you lot are OK, gotta feel for Haiti, it looks terrible.

      I’m not overly keen on Spoonerisms, but I’m not enough of a shining wit to complain.


  29. dutch
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A write-in until I got to 12d and 17a – which I just couldn’t get because I didn’t know the answers, so thanks DT for the enlightenment

    Cryptic Sue says this puzzle and the toughie took her the same amount of time. The toughie took me over 6 times longer (but at least I finished that)

  30. Kath
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    :phew: I often have trouble on Fridays but not this much trouble. Oh dear.
    I never did get 17a.
    I’ve never heard of 4d but did eventually guess it and look it up.
    I didn’t have all that much trouble with 4d but missed the anagram indicator – there aren’t that many plays with a ‘Hazel’ them – trust me – I’ve looked. Oh dear, for the second time today.
    I’ve never heard of 19d but managed to guess that one too.
    11d took me ages to work out the why bit – my ‘little man’ was Ed and having thought of that just couldn’t see beyond it.
    Not my day and yesterday wasn’t too good either.
    I liked 16 and 21a and 8d. My favourite, as correctly predicted by Jane, was 12d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Always had the impression you would have been in 17a Kath.

  31. Gwizz
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found today’s offering to be be a little less of a challenge after yesterday’s. 17a was my favourite once I realised that ‘Burkes’ could never be stretched to eight letters however I tried. 2.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review.

  32. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    In our struggles with 12d we were looking at Hazel as being a character in the novel that coincidentally is in the Toughie and were looking at the first six letters of the answer being a different animal to the correct one. This was definitely not a help. Eventually a bit of research gave us the correct (new to us) solution. We enjoyed the Spoonerism as we did the rest of the puzzle too.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  33. Jaylegs
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Phew managed to get finished before lights out for once **/*** 🤗 Last in 12d, did not spot the anagram 🙁 Like 17a & 10a did not like 6a 😒 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

  34. Paso Doble
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An enjoyable puzzle from The Don. Doble hadn’t heard of the composer in 24d but, apart from that, fairly straightforward. A 2.5/3 from us. Many thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  35. Jon_S
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Double quick time in the top half of the puzzle, but gradually slowed down from there, until I came to a grinding halt on 12/17, where it appears I wasn’t alone. The latter I dredged somewhere from the depths of my memory, quite a tricky clue.

  36. Orphan Annie
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Reading DT’s.comment I was in two minds as to whether or not I should pick up my trusty pencil. Curiosity prevailed and with a fair amount of electronic help I filled all the little spaces. Upon checking with the blog I was surprised to find that my answers were correct. Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Thoughts and good wishes with anyone affected by hurricane. :rose:

  37. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found that this was quite tricky to finish.
    Needed a bit of help for 12 and 17 as I had never heard of the answers.
    The spoonerism clues are beyond me though I worked it out from the checking letters. I have read the hint for 21 and am utterly in the dark still.
    Many thanks to DT and the Don.
    Good week-end all.

    • pommers
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      21 – I think it’s a very poor clue. “submerge floor covering” is supposed to be FLOOD MAT which Spoonerises to MOOD FLAT which is supposed to give you the answer but there isn’t a homophone indicator. Sloppy clueing IMHO.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Pommers, that helps, but is MOOD really a homophone of MUD???
        Agree, there must be better ways of cluing MUD FLAT!!!

      • Kath
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I think the fact that we’ve been told it’s a Spoonerism is enough of a homophone indicator. All we’re supposed to do for it to be a Spoonerism is swap the first sounds of the two words i.e. ‘M’ and ‘Fl’ – or maybe not – as always I bow to superior knowledge. :unsure:

        • pommers
          Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Personally I think both Spoonerisms and homophones should be barred from crosswords.

          • Miffypops
            Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink | Reply

            I am OK with Homophones. Spoonerisms stink.

            • hoofityoudonkey
              Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink | Reply

              I’m with you there MP
              Homophones = Good
              Spoonerisms = Bad

        • Jose
          Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink | Reply

          Kath, you are absolutely correct – you mustn’t be so meek…

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Unless you’re French. I pronounce it Fleud.
        Do you have a rhum as inspecteur Clouseau might say.

      • Jose
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink | Reply

        P and HIYD. May I explain? 21a: Submerge is a synonym for flood and floor covering is one for mat. Spooner is the homophone indicator and Spoonerisms are justified by pronunciation, not spelling (FLUD MAT) – either by saying them or thinking them. You’re not supposed to write the ruddy things down… :-)

        • Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

          I don’t think either of them were looking for an explanation, they were expressing their dislike of this type of clue. I certainly agree that most so-called Spoonerisms, including this one, don’t sound as if the dear old Reverend Spooner would have ever used them – they are not in the same class as the “queer old dean” and “you have hissed all my mystery lectures”. I know many setters defend them, but surely it would be better if they found a different way of indicating them.

          • Jose
            Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

            I was merely expanding on Kath’s brief explanation (above) because there wasn’t just an expression of dislike – there seems to be a lack of full understanding of Spoonerisms and the clue itself. I’m just trying to helpful – maybe in an elementary/direct way but I do that for the benefit of the many younger and lesser experienced solvers and beginners who also may be reading this. I like them and I defend my right to like them. I was just wondering how you could differently indicate a Spooner clue? Without using the word Spooner, I mean.

  38. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Had to Google 12d too but didn’t find today as obscure as on other occasions. Apart from 23d that is.
    Wasn’t too keen on 25a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  39. Margaret greenwood
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Anyone else puzzled by the online version which tells me that coming home for 25 a is wrong? I accepted this and came tO the blog to ascertain the correct answer …. Only to find that it says that the answer is ‘ coming home’. Am I missing something?

    • Deep Threat
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Margaret.

      I solved the puzzle using the Telegraph puzzles website and did not have any problem.

      I notive, however, that in your posting there is a typo where you have used a zero (0) instead of a letter O. If you did that when solving the crossword, that would have caused the error.

      • Margaret greenwood
        Posted October 9, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Anyone else puzzled by the online version which tells me that coming home for 25 a is wrong? I accepted this and came tO the blog to ascertain the correct answer …. Only to find that it says that the answer is ‘ coming home’. Am I missing something?

        Hi deep threat (!!!) thanks for this … will check this out on another occasion ps couldn’t seem to reply to your comment except in this bizarre way..

  40. Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Late commenting because I have been busy procrastinating all day. This will be my last communication from England for a while (excepting possibly some phone-garbled commentage from the train), but I am assured that my destination country is civilised enough to have heard of the internet so I should manage to stay in contact.

    Not much at this hour to add about the crossword. I had to cheat on 17a and think there was one other I struggled with, but the rest was ok. I knew 23d because a while ago now I had a FETISH to illustrate and I’m pretty sure I used a Hopi fetish.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

    • Jane
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ah – that sort of fetish! Just as well I asked Mr. G before leaving any further comment…………

  41. Angel
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Much enjoyed today’s offering – thanks Giovanni and also DT. Like Gwizz I particularly liked 17a once I had thought past Burke. Surely there’s a hyphen in 13d.

  42. Angel
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 12:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Quickie pun would seem to depend on how one pronounces the ‘a’ in 7a!

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