DT 28350

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28350

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty & Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

 

Hello everyone, with love on this feast day.  Kitties love a feast, but though we are usually separated by a mere ocean, today we find the Earth’s core itself between us.  Through the wonders of technology, however, we have been able to bring you this blog, created by joining together hints from each of us.  A conkittenated blog, if you will.

The crossword we found thoroughly enjoyable, with plenty of food for thought to keep us purring.  We thought it one of the more challenging Tuesday offerings, but with high-quality ingredients, well made and altogether most satisfying.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and what you thought.

 

Across hints by Mr Kitty

1a    People taking the plunge may have these when entering flat (5,5)
BELLY FLOPS: A cryptic definition of an inelegant way to dive into some water

6a    Cricketer‘s undergarment (4)
SLIP: A double definition.  The cricketer stands near the wicketkeeper

9a    Tree novelist knocked over (5)
SUMAC: The reversal (knocked over) of a 20th century French author who famously wrote about a stranger

10a    A classical good-looker – too much so, on reflection? (9)
NARCISSUS: A cryptic definition of a Greek hunter who would have sent a Valentine’s Day card to himself

12a    Unusual reason to eat off the floor? (7)
NOTABLE: Splitting the answer (2,5) gives a reason to do what the wordplay suggests

13a    Exotic Tokyo, Japanese city (5)
KYOTO: An anagram (exotic) of TOKYO

15a    King who enters immediately to display gift (4-3)
KNOW-HOW: K(ing) followed by WHO from the clue inside (enters) a synonym of immediately

17a    Flipping article keeping nothing private (7)
TROOPER: The reversal (flipping) of a descriptive newspaper article contains (keeping) the letter that looks like nothing or zero

19a    Shake beech, perhaps my ball oddly is stuck inside it (7)
TREMBLE: The odd letters of My BaLl are inserted into (stuck inside) the generic flora of which beech is one example (perhaps)

21a    Discount from the man getting in pecan nuts (7)
CHEAPEN: Put a pronoun for “the man” inside (getting in) an anagram (nuts) of PECAN

22a    One’s caught in crowd in lift (5)
HOIST: Insert the first Roman numeral (one’s caught in) into a crowd or multitude

24a    Shy, retiring and quiet – that is difficult! (7)
BOLSHIE: Concatenate the reversal (retiring) of a verb synonym of shy or toss, an instruction to be quiet, and the Latin abbreviation for “that is”

27a    Bring down finished project (9)
OVERTHROW: Follow a word meaning finished or completed with a verb synonym for project

28a    It could be in the score: six-nil against the French (5)
VIOLA: Link together six-nil written in Roman numerals and a French definite article.  The score is musical in nature

29a    High-flier‘s clobber put down by European (4)
KITE: An informal term for clobber or outfit, followed by the single-letter abbreviation for European

30a    Rhino using ground for feeding (10)
NOURISHING: An anagram (ground) of RHINO USING

 

Down hints by Kitty

1d    Crash  party (4)
BASH: Beat or collide, or the kind of party BD held recently

2d    Wasted Moselle on fish (5,4)
LEMON SOLE: An anagram (wasted) of MOSELLE ON

3d    Rising river requires check in vessel (5)
YACHT: The longest river in Scotland reversed (rising, in a down clue) requires the insertion of ch(eck) to produce this sailing vessel

4d    Weapon to burn front of ship (7)
LONGBOW: To burn with desire followed by the forepart of a ship

5d    Hospital department supports alcohol warning (7)
PORTENT: Our favourite hospital department goes after (supports, in a down clue) a fortified wine

7d    Large animal – old cowboy probably has one (5)
LASSO: A charade of L(arge), an animal, and O(ld)

8d    Patronising at sea to ignore a seal (6,4)
PISTON RING: An anagram (at sea) of PaTRONISING without (to ignore) A

11d    Douglas maybe missing start – a little annoying (7)
IRKSOME: Start with the forename of Mr Douglas, American actor, producer, director, and author whose early films include Young Man with a Horn (1950).  Knock off the first letter of this (missing start) and add a word meaning a little

14d    What drawer opens to put arty stuff in? (10)
SKETCHBOOK: This is a cryptic description of something one who paints or draws might open to create their artworks in

16d    Garment put on at home (7)
HABITAT: A garment followed by (on, in a down clue) the AT from the clue.  Who else tried to find an item of clothing ending with IN?

18d    Softly open ripe bananas for something to eat (9)
PEPPERONI: The musical indication for softly followed by an anagram (bananas) of OPEN RIPE

20d    Almost board ship, then turn and stop (7)
EMBARGO: A six letter word for board ship without its final letter (almost) and then a turn or try

21d    Elderly wife in vehicle, creating tense political situation (4,3)
COLD WAR: Aged and W(ife) inside a vehicle

23d    Still fashionable: the Queen, top for tailoring (5)
INERT: A word (ever-fashionable in Crosswordland) meaning current or trendy, two letters for our current monarch, and the first letter of (top for) tailoring

25d    In Bangladesh I’ve seen places buzzing with activity (5)
HIVES: In words two to four of the clue, our answer is hiding in plain sight

26d    Sounded good, having managed to come first (4)
RANG: G(ood) comes after a word meaning having managed (which is to come first)

 

Many thanks to Mister Ron for an excellent solve.  Several tasty clues came up in our discussion of what we might choose as a favourite (12a, 15a, 24a, 28a … ) but Kitty’s was 26d from first sight, and Mr K said that sounded good to him.  Which clues did you love?

 

The Quick Crossword pun: BAR+LEE+WHINE=BARLEY WINE

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127 Comments

  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    3*/4*. I agree with Mr Kitty’s rating. This was nicely challenging and very enjoyable. Three quarters fell into place quite smoothly but the NW put up more of a fight with 9a, a new word for me, my last one in.

    Lots of potential favourites here but I’m going for 12a today.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Whoops. I only just noticed that this was a joint review by K & Mr K, so, somewhat belatedly, many thanks to Kitty too!

      2Ks today and then presumably 2Ks tomorrow too!

      • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and I’m the only one of those Ks who is not (a) a Kiwi and (b) currently in NZ.

  2. Beaver
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Agree with the 2 K’s that this Tuesday puzzle was more challenging than usual , well for me the NW corner was, with the rest falling to place once 3d and 9a across had been solved. Going for a 2.5/ 4*.
    Excellent cluing throughout, no particular favourites today.
    Thanks 2K’s for the entertaining ‘pics’-that polar bear has a determined look !

  3. Senf
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    */*** – a slow start, but the tempo increased to a reasonably fast finish, with completion at a gentle gallop.

    I did need electronic assistance to verify the novelist part of 9a.

    The wording of 1a seemed a bit clumsy to me, but I did like the tree theme used in three clues.

    Immediate stand-out favouite 24a, which I solved from back to front.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  4. Kath
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I agree with Mr K and RD that this was much more difficult than Tuesdays usually are – glad that it’s not just me.
    I didn’t know, at least I don’t think I did, that 6a was a cricketer – thought it was just one of the places they stood.
    I’ve been ‘had’ before by 9a but it still took me ages and the same goes for 10a.
    Missed the anagram indicator in 2d and 3d was my last answer and I only got that when I finally saw 1a.
    I liked 12 and 24a and 1d. My favourite was either 1a or 21d.
    With thanks for a very good crossword to Mr Ron and thanks, too, to the two Kitties.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I agree with you about 6a, Kath, although the BRB does suggest it can mean the cricketer as well as the position where they are in the field. In practice though I don’t know anyone who says, “he is a 6a”; you would either say, “he is at 6a” or “he is a 6a fielder”. NB: for “he” read “he or she”!

      • Square leg
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        That is a silly point.

        • Gazza
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Welcome to the blog, Square leg.
          :D

          • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            Hello and welcome from me too, Square leg.

            • Merusa
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              What happened to your avatar?

              • Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

                That was my very first avatar, Merusa, from before I’d set up a gravatar. Before I’d met anyone from here or tried my hand at hinting. It seems like a very long time ago now.

            • Mr Kitty
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

              And a big welcome from me too, Square leg. That is a great first post. I hope you’ll keep commenting.

        • Ora Meringue
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          I know very little about cricket, but that made me smile….thanks Square Leg.

          I’ll get on now.

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          :lol:

          Love it, Square Leg!

        • Kath
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry to be dim but please could someone explain that to me because I don’t get it. :unsure:

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            Silly Point is yet another fielding position in cricket! :smile:

            • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

              Hi Kath. :)

              I find this handy guide invaluable for those pesky cricket terms.

              • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

                Not forgetting my slightly more serious guide:

                Cricket Terms and Abbreviations

                • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

                  :yes:

                • LetterboxRoy
                  Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

                  Blimey, that makes for an exhausting read. Makes me wonder how I ever solve a crickety clue.
                  Thankfully it’s mostly logical. Thanks for the info BD.

            • Kath
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

              Thanks RD – what a strange game it is – funny words, funny rules – oh dear.

              • Rabbit Dave
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

                Cricket is certainly strange. It doesn’t have rules; they are called laws. :wacko:

                • Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

                  Perhaps that’s so MP can’t claim that there aren’t any …

          • jane
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            From what I can ascertain, Kath, there are three blokes (silly point, silly mid on & silly mid off) who stand directly in the line of fire betwixt bowler and batsman – hence, a b****y silly place to stand. The various ‘slips’ stand to either side of the bowler – maybe not quite such a ‘silly’ place to be, but still fairly stupid in my opinion!

            • Rabbit Dave
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

              Jane, I can see that at next January’s BB I will need to put you right about the location of the various fielding positions. The “silly” positions are potentially dangerously close to the batsman, but if they were between the bowler and the batsman they would need to be reclassified from “silly” to “suicidal”.

              BD’s guide mentioned just above here gives an excellent pictorial indication where you can find all these silly people.

              • jane
                Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

                Umm – strikes me that they’re definitely standing where I said, albeit not in a line with the middle stump. I shall be delighted to discuss the finer points of cricket with you at next year’s BB. Speaking of ‘finer points’ perhaps, when we’ve dealt with the silly lot, we could move on to fine leg.
                Who decides which player has the finest leg and – does he need to have a matching pair or is one good one sufficient? Either way, it’s the poor bloke with square ones that I feel sorry for…….

                • Jose
                  Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

                  J. It’s easy to identify the fielders’ positions when spectating. If there’s one leaning over at a funny angle – he’s long leg. The one wearing a furry parka over his jumper – that’s extra deep cover. The one wearing wellies and chewing a piece of straw – he’s cow corner. The one who’s always gesticulating and giggling – that’s silly point (obviously). Etc…

      • devartley
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Fourth slip is standing very close to gulley.

        • jane
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          Presumably ready to dive into same if that incredibly hard ball comes towards him at speed?

      • Merusa
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        I’ve enjoyed this cricket lesson! I remember some terms from a brother and his chums chatting nonstop cricket in my youth, now I have a rough idea what they mean.

    • Michael
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I always remember those old Chestnuts from Test Match Special :–

      ‘The bowlers Holding the batman’s Willey’ – childish I know but it was about the only time I laughed out loud on my drive home from work!

      ‘He’s standing with his legs apart waiting for a tickle!’ – another classic!

      • stanXYZ
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Not to forget the famous – “He just didn’t quite get his leg-over”

        • Michael
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes, this was another Classic that I heard on the way home in the car, I remember waiting at traffic lights on the A13 when the giggling started – it was infectious, Brian Johnson and Jonathan Agnew (Jonners and Aggers) were helpless with laughter. I got bibbed-up a couple of times before I could get going again!

          • hoofityoudonkey
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Or John Arlotts’ famous ‘Lillee, caught Willey, bowled Dilley’

            • Young Salopian
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

              In the gulley.

  5. Angellov
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this pleasant glide through the North first and then a bit less smoothly in the South but no lasting problems. Like RD I too had marked 12a as Fav. The 9a tree was unknown to me so was helped by the novelist. Thanks Mr. Ron and congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. K. (2 more K’s!) for your joint fauna themed hints composed from a distance apart.

    • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      I’m not Mrs anything, Angellov – I’m just plain old Kitty. When a title is needed it’s The. Other acceptable titles would be Ms, Miss, Mistress or Mastress (which sounds so much better, doesn’t it? – except when Mr K teases me by leaving out the first S … grr).

      • Angellov
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        My apologies to “plain old Kitty” but your combined sobriquets do still make for another 2Ks for us.

        • Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          No probs, Angellov. Still, there’s only one 2Ks – which was why we decided against styling ourselves as 2Kitties. By the way, if anyone else has any ideas for a joint name for us, do share. :yes:

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            Kit-Kat?

            • Merusa
              Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

              I like that!

              • Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

                I do too. (The name and the noms.)

                • Mr Kitty
                  Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

                  Likewise on both counts

          • LabradorsruleOK
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            ConCATenate??

          • LetterboxRoy
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            When you blogged with MP, you should have been ‘Lifeline’.

            • Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

              :) :good:

            • Miffypops
              Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

              Too cryptic for me. I did enjoy introducing a new member to the team. The day we sucked Kath in was the best though.

          • Tstrummer
            Posted February 15, 2017 at 1:54 am | Permalink

            Pussy Galore

            • Mr Kitty
              Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:14 am | Permalink

              Oh, that is excellent :smile:

  6. pete
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Agree with the comments above, a challenging but enjoyable puzzle. I was stumped by the NW corner, couldnt get 1a or 9a and I put bang for 1d which added to my confusion. 3.5*/3.5* Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty.

  7. Miffypops
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    This puzzle was somewhat different with words not usually seen and therefore of interest. I loved it from start to finish. Thanks to the two felines for the lively review (Great joke in there. Well done) Thanks to Mr Ron for the immense level of enjoyment. If anybody sees Saint Sharon can you tell her I have a list of jobs for her to do while I tackle The Toughie.

  8. Spook
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    This was areal snorter but enjoyable, several revisits but it finally succumbed it was quite a fight. In all very entertaining so ***/**** for me.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and Kitty for the entertaining blog.
    Of course thanks to Mr Ron for making my brain ache.

  9. jane
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I do like it when a setter starts you off with a good belly laugh in 1a – sets you up to enjoy the rest of the solve, which I certainly did.
    20d earned a place in the mentions – along with several others – but 12a takes the laurels.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to the collaboration of Kitties – loved the valentine card and the pic of the Red Kite. As for the pic at 1d – I have to say in your defence, Kitty, that I don’t recall you actually being on the floor at any stage during the birthday bash!

  10. Ora Meringue
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Above my paygrade today, at least the LHS was.
    Needed quite a few of the Kitty-hints.

    Thought 9a was a bit tough…..an unusual tree and a foreign novelist…but I will try to lock it away for future reference.
    Don’t think you ‘have’ 1a ,you ‘do’ them…..I certainly did a fair few in my time.

    Relieved to see that you experts thought it was tough today.
    Roll on tomorrow.

    Thanks to the setter and to the Kitties and happy V D to everyone.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      An unfortunate corruption of Valentine’s Day, Ora!

      • Ora Meringue
        Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        😆

  11. PostScriptPete
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this as a relative newbie
    I thought 28a could have been another french word for “score” which confused SE corner for some time but la la! I eventually copped on!

    • Gazza
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, PostScriptPete.

      • PostScriptPete
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks

      • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Hello Pete. Welcome from me too.

        • PostScriptPete
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Kitty
          It certainly adds to the enjoyment when sometimes you see why a “guess” is correct

          • Mr Kitty
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            And welcome from me too, psPete.

  12. Toadson
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    A thought provoking puzzle, and some amusing clips in the blog too.

  13. Shropshirebloke
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    After my first read through I was starting to wonder if I could solve this one. Having then worked out a few anagrams, the answers began to slot in very quickly. Well clued and good fun. The Toughie is well worth looking at as it really is very ‘do-able’ today.

    • Kath
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you about the Toughie – I thought Busman was one of the Toughie setters who I can’t do but I’ve managed today’s without too much trouble.

  14. Glendyboy
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Been quietly learning from Big Dave for the last month – and today was my first solve without any external assistance!

    Loved it.

    I notice on here that everyone seems to know the setter – where is that shown?

    Cheers,

    G

    • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Glendyboy. Well done!

      Yours is a Frequently Asked Question, found via the tabs at the top of the page or here. We don’t actually know today’s setter (though I have my suspicions) – Mr Ron (evolved from mysteron) is the name we use in these cases.

      • Glendyboy
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! That is a goldmine.

      • jane
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        That biblical character, perhaps?

        • Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          All I will say, Jane, is that once again the Kitties have guessed differently. I’d better be right this time!

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Having now had some badly-needed sleep, I have come to my senses and I agree with both of you. The blog has been amended accordingly.

    • Paso Doble
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Well done Glendyboy and welcome to the blog – that first unassisted solve is incredibly satisfying! We enjoyed this puzzle immensely – lots of lovely clues. A **/**** from us. Thanks to the Kittys and Mr Ron.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Hello, welcome from me too, Glendyboy. I remember well (because it wasn’t that long ago) the joy and satisfaction of that first unaided solve. Congratulations!

  15. Bluebird
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, I’ve struggled with most of the west side today – and now I come to think of it, quite a lot of the east side as well. All the answers were a bit “round the corner”…….

    On the plus side, I got 11d by thinking of ‘fir’ for Douglas and removing the first letter and then bunging in the rest of the word……… Well, it made me laugh … hollowly, I admit.

    As always, I appreciated Mr K’s cartoons.

    We can’t say 2Ks any more can we?

  16. Heno
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kitty & Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I thought this was a really good puzzle. Was 10 answers short at one stage. Had to really work on the left hand side. Eventually the NW corner was last to fall. Needed the hints to parse 14d&15a . Didn’t even notice that 8d was a partial anagram. Last in was 9a, needed to Google it to make sure, having heard of neither the tree or the author. Favourite was 12a, took ages for the penny to drop. Was 3*/3* for me.

  17. stanXYZ
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    A most enjoyable puzzle today equally matched by a most entertaining blog from Mr Kitty & Ms Kitty. I needed help to parse 16d – so thanks for that.

    Favourite clue: 24a

    Favourite cartoon: 2d

    Thanks to setter & bloggers.

  18. Graham
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straightforward today and enjoyable. Last in was 9a – never heard of the tree or the novelist but Google new what I was trying to say. I don’t think that’s’ cheating.
    Thanks all.

  19. Sir Linkalot
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Check out what 20d is backwards (1, 4, 2)

    You have to be happy with that puppy.

    • jane
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      I’m surprised that neither of the Kitties picked up on that one!

      • Sir Linkalot
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        It’s a goodie. It sits nicely along with other classics like Desserts and Reward.

  20. LetterboxRoy
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Bang on wavelength today, a very pleasant stroll for me. 12a amused me, but particularly liked 8d. The pic for 21a also made me smile and can’t believe the pic for 23d, how appropriate.
    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to the clowder that is Tom and Queen :smile:

    • Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I found the 23d picture here, LbRoy. There are some more goodies on that page to warm the hearts of those who enjoy today …

      … and for others, a couple of pictures I had lined up but found no excuse to use today (perhaps don’t click if you are feeling sad and/or lonely):

      More fish in the sea

      and

      Grumpy Valentine

      • LetterboxRoy
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        I must have a dark sense of humour – the grumpy Valentine made me LOL :lol:

    • Kath
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      I’d forgotten the clowder of cats – it’s also a clutter isn’t it? Many years ago when both our girl cats – sisters – one was eight months old and the other was nine months old – had kittens within a month of each other. It was definitely a clutter with nine little tiddlers whizzing all over the place. I loved it, and them. :smile:

  21. silvanus
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    An excellent puzzle with lots to enjoy, and having the added bonus of two of my favourite anagram indicators (nuts and bananas) appearing together.

    I was surprised to see how many have found today’s puzzle tough, as like LetterboxRoy, I found it fairly straightforward. Once again, it clearly is a wavelength thing.

    I gave ticks to 24a and 18d, but 17a I feel is deserving of a double tick for its cleverness and ultra-smooth surface.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and our pair of felines.

  22. BusyLizzie
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Struggled today so relieved to see the *** difficulty rating. Needed far too many hints, 7, for my liking, so thanks to Mr Kitty and Kitty for helping me finish. 12a was favorite. Solved 24a across early on but couldn’t quite make it fit the clue, as I was stuck on the bashful type of shy…instead of the coconut sort. Got 29a but was thinking of the toy, not the bird, but hey it worked.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      I had the same thought re the high-flier. We chose the illustration for all the birders here. The runner-up illustration pick was this:

  23. mre
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Nice puzzle today. Most clues were straightforward enough but with few to think about for good measure. No really stand out clues for me.

    ***/****

  24. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    ***/****. A very enjoyable puzzle. 12&24a and 16,20&23d got the thumbs up. Thanks to the alternative 2ks for the review and Mr Ron for a great workout.

  25. Merusa
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I was dead on wavelength today. I think I recognise this setter but can’t really put a name, regardless, I loved it.
    I knew 9a right away, I’m sure we’ve had it before with the same sort of clue.
    There was so much to enjoy here so it’s very difficult to choose a fave, but I’m going to opt for 24a, a word I love to use to describe someone being stoooopid beyond understanding.
    Thanks to a lovely setter, and to Kitty and Mr. Kitty for the fun review.

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      M.
      Just noticed the pic. Sadie looks well.

  26. Michael
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle, all completed by light’s out last night – good fun!

  27. KiwiColin
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    A most enjoyable puzzle with the cryptic definitions being especially alluring. It took me longer than Tuesday puzzles often do but wondered whether being a solo solver at the moment might have been the reason. I’m hoping that the setter will pop in soon to confirm which of the two setters starting with S has produced this gem.
    Thanks Mr Ron and the Kitties.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree with your setter comment Colin. When they give us a crossword as brilliant as this one I’d love to see the setter stand up and take a bow.

  28. mcmillibar
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    **/*** for me. Liked this a lot. No time to chat… to much to do and it’s 17:45. I did look at the illustrations chosen by the Cats. Excellent fun.

  29. Shropshirelad
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to say – I found this puzzle uninspiring and unchallenging with the exception 14d. I’ll leave it at that

    Thanks to all

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      BTW – has something happened on the blog? I am continually having to enter my Name and email when commenting.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      BTW – has something happened on the blog? I am continually having to enter my Name and email when commenting.

      EDIT – only pressed ‘comment’ once :(

  30. Jon_S
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    *** for difficulty, though it was solved while starving hungry while waiting for a curry to arrive, so I’m claiming a handicap. Enjoyable too, this felt a little different to the usual fare.

  31. Gwizz
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    A bit more challenging than usual for a Tuesday but once a breakthrough had been made the rest followed quite smoothly. 24a was my fave and overall 2/3.5*.
    Thanks to the setter and to the other K’s for their purrfect review.

  32. Salty Dog
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    A very jolly puzzle (and an even jollier review and comments thereon!). I can’t say it put up much of a struggle, though, so 1*/4* for my money. My favourite was either 24a or 28a. Thanks to today’s Mysteron, and to the widely-separated Kitties.

  33. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Mostly straightforward with some silly problems (like seeing 1a) but a satisfying solve.

    24a was COTD for me with 17a & 14d close seconds.

    Thank you to Mr Ron and K & Mr K for an entertaining and informative post. The variety of approach of the contributors make the site what it is, like the crossword itself every day is different. For me going through the hints and posts is just as entertaining (some times more so) than solving the crossword itself. Thanks to all from MP on Monday through to Senf now on a Sunday, long may you continue.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Ta

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Thanks muchly from KitKat. We’re happy that you enjoyed our rambling.

  34. John Bee
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Managed this one on my second coffee break. last one in was 8d I had all sorts of post related images and sealing wax before it clicked. I noticed the tree references too and loved the cricket chat here. I particularly liked 29a but that’s because they regularly overfly my house. they have spread a long way since they were reintroduced around Harewood House.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Last time we visited Otley Rugby Club we saw a Red Kite fly up and over the nearby graveyard. We were puzzled until my pal had a google moment and we found out about the Harewood House scheme. I am surprised there are not more accidents on the M40 near Princes Risborough as the drivers watch the Kites more than the road.

      • John Bee
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        If you are ever near Harewood there is a lovely Cafe near the church and they regularly feed the 29a’s I’ve never failed to see at least 4 or 5 even if my nose is in the crossword.!

  35. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Bizarrely, I found this a bit of a breeze, either a lucky day or I am getting better.
    24a was my fav as my Mum used to call me that, probably a corruption of Bolshevik, though I am not that old. A bit like conshie…
    Lots to like. Cheers Kittys both, absence makes the heart, etc.etc. and Mr.Ron.
    So much for my bet on a Barca win tonight…

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Bookies don’t go bankrupt, only punters .

  36. Posted February 14, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Tired Kitty saying goodnight. I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Mr Kitty. :bye:

    • stanXYZ
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      … and I was just about to ask you about the significance of Young Man with a Horn (1950). in the hint for 11d.

      Was it one of his stand-out performances?

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        Hi, stan. I feel confident predicting that if Kitty were still awake she’d be replying to your comment with a :good: and a :grin: and a :smile:

        • stanXYZ
          Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Mr Kitty, as a matter of interest … where are you?

          • Mr Kitty
            Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

            See #1

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry – I feel sick

  37. Young Salopian
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    This late on there is really nothing to add about this hugely enjoyable, thought-provoking puzzle that has not already been said. Loved the cricket banter. 3*/4* with thanks to all concerned.

  38. Jaylegs
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    First crossword for two weeks so much surprised 😳 to complete this one so rate it **/*** Thought today’s blog brilliant. Thanks to setter and 2x Ks. Favourite was 28a with 17a also on the podium 😊

  39. Sheffieldsy
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    We were right on the setter’s wavelength; 1.5*/3*.

    12a was a laugh out loud clue and our favourite.

    Thanks to Mr and Mrs Kitty from Mr and Mrs Sheffieldsy, and to the setter.

  40. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Been a long Valentine’s day and night having rearranged the furniture at the Jardin to accomodate all these lovely couples.
    And it was only right to meet another couple on the blog for such an occasion.
    A very enjoyable crossword which had to be solved from the bottom up.
    A lovely review written in plain english, as it says on the tin, with great pics to boot.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, Mr Kitty and Kitty.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Bon Soir JL

      You have mail

    • Posted February 15, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Jean-Luc – glad you enjoyed it. :)

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    It seems that only SL has departed from the consensus but I’m with the rest of you. I loved this, completed steadily to the sound of fornicating foxes in the rubbish tip that constitutes the gardens outside my window. Much to enjoy (the puzzle, not the foxes – although they might disagree) and I’m hard-pressed to pick a cherry from the fruit bowl, but if pushed I’d go for 9a, even if it is a hoary chestnut and an American spelling to boot. Maybe it’s because I’m into existentialism just now, up to my oxsters in The Book of Disquiet by Fernado Pessoa, a work of unparalleled genius (you wouldn’t like it Jane, it’s a bit on the glum side). Grateful thanks to the setter and those two hep cats. 2*/5*
    PS In cricket, there are covers in case it rains. There is also an extra cover, in case it rains very heavily

    • Posted February 15, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Good to have you with us, Ts. (The foxes can stay outside.) It’s nice to know that the crickety people can stay dry.

  42. Jose
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Did this one yesterday afternoon. Much better than Monday’s and I’d rate it just above average for a back-pager. 18d was my favourite. 2.5*/3.5*.