DT 28386 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28386

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28386

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

 

Hello everyone. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this offering from one of the Tuesday setters. I didn’t enjoy it all that much when I was solving, partly because it needed some general knowledge that I lacked and partly because some of the surfaces are really a bit clunky. But I did come to appreciate it more while writing the hints. It’s not too anagram-heavy, there are a few interesting constructions, and there’s even some innuendo, which will no doubt please some out there.

I don’t have any crossword data or statistics for this week, but I do want to mention a blog statistic. A typical back page blog like this gets about 6000 page views on the day it’s published, which implies that our regular posters represent only a small fraction of the site readership. So, I’d like to encourage the silent majority out there to post and tell us what you think about the crossword, the site, and anything else that’s on your mind. Commenting is easy – just put a pseudonym and an email address in the boxes at the bottom of the page, type your thoughts, and press submit. When I asked a few weeks ago about the Swahili term for crossword, we discovered that the site has readers all over the world. It would be especially great to hear from those reading the site in distant locations.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons. In a few places hyperlinks give additional explanation or background. I saw that the use yesterday of a larger font in the hinty part of the blog garnered a few positive comments. I’m sticking with the BD standard font size, but those reading on computers can get a very similar effect by increasing your browser’s zoom setting a notch using ctrl and + on Windows, or command and + on Apple. Doing it with – instead of + will restore the zoom setting. In addition, clicking on most of the pictures below will make them double in size.

 

Across

1a    Appearing for trial, drunk is tense (7)
UPTIGHT:  Join a two-letter word meaning “appearing for trial” (as in ** before the judge) and an informal term for drunk.

5a    Called up, composed (7)
DRAFTED:  Double definition. Called up into the army, perhaps, and composed an early attempt.

9a    Process, in my book, confused a primate (9,6)
PROBOSCIS MONKEY:  An anagram (confused) of PROCESS IN MY BOOK.

10a   Bit of theatre’ll entertain this woman (5)
ELLEN:  She’s lurking inside (bit of) the clue.

11a   Indefinite number diving in seen struggling in Tees, swirling river (9)
TENNESSEE:  The single letter used in mathematics and in crosswordland to represent an unknown number is placed inside (diving in) an anagram (struggling) of SEEN, which is itself placed inside (in) an anagram (swirling) of TEES. This river is found in the USA.

12a   Easy to get around in one, vehicle brought back by bishop in storm (9)
NAVIGABLE:  Start by linking the Roman numeral for one and a three letter vehicle that is often coloured white. Reverse all of that (brought back), and append a windy storm that contains B(ishop).

14a   Female fatality in Eliot’s river (5)
FLOSS:  F(emale) followed by a synonym of fatality or bereavement. Eliot here is George, not T.S., and this river is found in the title of one of her novels.

15a   Slight quarrel about river fish (5)
SPRAT:  Our third river in four clues. This one is being the abbreviation that’s found on a map. Put that letter inside a minor disagreement, to get a small fish.

16a   Very close friends, for example, love changes externally (5,4)
ALTER EGOS:  Take the Latin abbreviation meaning “for example” and add the usual letter representing love in crosswordland. Around all of that (externally) wrap a verb synonym of “changes”.

18a   Editorial about Scottish town preacher (3,6)
LAY READER:  The main editorial article in a newspaper containing (about) a three-letter town located on the western Scottish coast.

21a   Find stock after short time (5)
TRACE:  T(ime) followed by a synonym of stock or breed gives a verb meaning find or locate.

22a   Missing trick, conquistador in ring upset Torquemada, perhaps (5,10)
GRAND INQUISITOR:  An anagram (upset) of conQUISTADOR IN RING minus a trick or a scam. The answer was the occupation of Tomás de Torquemada.

23a   Makes alterations to Religious Education classes (7)
REFORMS:  The usual abbreviation for Religious Education, followed by classes in a school.

24a   Needs to be treated by doctor in a city in Saxony (7)
DRESDEN:  The most common abbreviation for doctor, followed by an anagram (to be treated) of NEEDS.

 

Down

1d    Lots consumed by plump teenagers (7)
UMPTEEN:  Hidden inside (consumed by) the remaining words in the clue.

2d    Fetch over boy all treated as an arrogant know-all? (3,6,2,4)
TOO CLEVER BY HALF:  An anagram (treated) of FETCH OVER BOY ALL.

3d    Expression used when turning in honourable noble that’s abandoned king (9)
GOODNIGHT:  Drop K(ing) from a (4,6) phrase describing an honourable member of the Round Table.

4d    Implied historian not with us (5)
TACIT:  The historian was a senator of the Roman Empire. Delete “us” from the end of his name.

5d    Get rid of bugs in den, if it’s terribly cold inside (9)
DISINFECT:  An anagram (terribly) of DEN IF IT’S containing C(old).

6d    On one’s own in plant, bottling nitrogen (5)
ALONE:  A succulent medicinal plant containing (bottling) the chemical symbol for nitrogen.

7d    Assumes fan, streaker, got excited close to end (5,3,7)
TAKES FOR GRANTED:  An anagram (excited) of FAN STREAKER GOT, followed by the last letter (close to) of enD.

8d    Daughter on railway on headland shows sign of thirst (7)
DRYNESS:  Concatenate three crosswordland favourites: the abbreviation for daughter, the abbreviation for railway, and a cape or headland (also the surname of Al Capone’s nemesis).

13d   Head for Bertie’s on arrival, then southern seat of Lord Emsworth (9)
BLANDINGS:  Chain together the first letter (head of) B(ertie), the arrival of, for example, an aeroplane, and S(outhern). The answer is the castle home of Lord Emsworth in a series of novels and short stories by P.G. Wodehouse, who also created the character of Bertie Wooster alluded to in the clue.

14d   Sample speciality — about to indulge to the full when served up (9)
FORETASTE:  A speciality or strength containing (about) the reversal (served up, in a down clue) of a word meaning “to indulge to the full” or “to completely satisfy”.

15d   Member in rear, mostly, in race (2,5)
ST LEGER:  Take a member that one stands on, and place it inside a word for the back end of a ship less its last letter (mostly). The answer is a horse race held each year at Doncaster.

17d   Bad language — not good to admit to office (5,2)
SWEAR IN:  A noun synonym of “bad language”, with G(ood) deleted (not good).

19d   Embarrassed, the Parisian put up senior church member (5)
ELDER:  Combine the colour associated with embarrassment and the masculine French definite article (the Parisian). Then reverse it all (put up, in a down clue).

20d   Plump? Here’s a single slice of bread! (5)
ROUND:  Double definition. The shape associated with plumpness, and a term for a slice of bread (or a sandwich made from two of them.)

 

Thanks to today’s mystery setter for a pleasant solve. 14d was at the top of my list today. Which clues did you like best?

 


The Quick Crossword pun: BUTE+EASE+LEAP=BEAUTY SLEEP


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79 comments on “DT 28386

  1. For me that was much more appealing than yesterday’s offering. I personally don’t mind the need for some GK although I do have to admit to having to resort to Mr. Google for help with 22a and 13d. No particular Fav to nominate as there are numerous goodies with excellent surfaces. Many thanks to Messrs. Ron and Kitty. Now out into the glorious sunshine to tackle a few gardening tasks. Quickie is fun too.

  2. I enjoyed this, perhaps largely because it was so nice to solve normally on a Tuesday for once (a kind gentleman has kindly taken today’s Toughie off my hands while I get on with other things).

    Friendly wordplay helped me get to the dimly-recalled 15d race and the historian encountered in the route to 4d.

    I smiled at the Emsworth seat in 13d. I’ve hardly read any Wodehouse, but I’m not sure why since I’ve hugely enjoyed what little I have. If I wasn’t a kitty I’d be the Empress.

    Lovely was the penny drop when I realised that 14a’s Eliot was not the creator of Macavity et al, but a lady who it sounds like I should read.

    My favourite was also 14d.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and hinter.

    I’m inspired to turn to some words printed all acrossways over many pages, rather than in grids and lists. So if I go quiet again at intervals it’s likely because my hooter is buried in a book.

    1. I absolutely love PGW. If you are ever feeling a bit down, reading him is one of the best tonics (apart from the type you mix with gin).

      1. Off to the bookshop I go!

        (I’ll pass on the other kind of tonic though. Too bitter even for this lover of black coffee and the like.)

  3. Thought this was tricky today, and agree with Mr Kitty that some of the cluing was ‘clunky’.I too appreciated the solve as I progressed and am going for a ***/***.
    With this in mind 22as my favourite and liked 11a.
    Remembered listening to Mill etc and MaggieTulliver on the radio,must be 50 years ago-no idea how this is still in my archives.

  4. 2*/2* for what I thought was a mixed bag today. There were quite a number of very verbose and clunky clues which don’t appeal to me, but equally there were some good clues too. Nothing to frighten the horses in terms of difficulty, although 14d, my last one in, took a bit of teasing out even with five checking letters.

    Beaver has clearly got good taste and I agree with his choice of 22a as favourite plus 11a as runner up.

    Many thanks to Mr R and to Mr K.

  5. Not too exciting – **/**.

    I did have to do some research on Lord Emsworth and Torquemada before solving the applicable clues, but I did manage to remember Eliot’s river.

    Three or four possibilities for favourite, and 15d wins out.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

    1. Torquemada and Ximenes were appropriate names adopted by crossword setters who “tortured” their solvers. Even Azed derived his alias from the same era by reversing Deza.

      1. Thanks BD. When I Googled Torquemada, it wasn’t necessary to read any of the search results to solve the clue. But, having gone deeper on repeating the search, Edward Mathers, the 20th Century Torquemada, is listed in Wikipedia – not just for his crossword compiling.

  6. I haven’t yet done the main puzzle, but Mr K’s liking for stats led me to wonder what the record is for the most ‘e’s in the quickie?

    Today, there are 42 – almost one letter in three….
    I bet this has been broken, but it would be fun to see the record holder, if one has been noted.

    1. Mr K’s three star rating put me off a bit, so had caffeine, but turned out all right, quite quick and fun here and there – it helps if you know some of the GK, which I did, but faffed around for a few minutes trying to get the American poet Eliot’s initials round, instead of the English novelist……..😀

    2. Hi, Bluebird. That “most Es in the quickie” is an interesting question. I shall dig in to that and related statistics and report back in next week’s blog.

  7. Hi Mr Kitty and all. I am a silent reader of the blog but became that because all that needed to be said had been said by the time I got here. I used to post and offer odd help but it didn’t seem needed with all the “pros” online here. Still visit daily to read though. Love the comments. Ps have been here about 3 or 4 years!

    1. Hello Captain!
      Glad you’re no longer silent.

      I don’t think most people are pros, apart from the Ian Dury types (see 2d) who are otherwise known as the sloggers and betters….
      Or just the betters..
      Or the sloggers….

    2. Hi, Captain, welcome back, and I hope you’ll keep commenting. I don’t think many of us posting here consider ourselves pros. When it comes to cryptics, I know enough to know there’s a lot I still don’t know, and I learn something new almost every day from reading the comments here.

  8. I found this quite difficult, although I did finish without help. I cant say it was very enjoyable, some clunky and very long winded clues. 14a, 22a and 13d belong in a general knowledge puzzle in my opinion. No real favourites. 4*/2* Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty

  9. I quite liked today’s offering. The long anagrams went in almost immediately and provided plenty of cross-checkers. I don’t mind some GK requirement providing it’s not too obscure. Overall, not too taxing and a pleasant distraction on a day where I’m feeling decidedly unwell. **/*** for me.

    I don’t post here often but I regularly check the site to compare people’s thoughts on level of difficulty. Maybe I should try to contribute more.

    Loved the Ian Dury link in the hint for 2d. That song always makes me smile. Sadly missed.

    Thanks for a good review and a reminder to post here a bit more often.

    1. I love that Ian Dury song, especially some of the rhymes…it makes me titter (is that one of the Einstein rhyming bits?)

  10. Finally got a free morning to tackle the crosswords.
    Enjoyed unraveling the long anagrams and only needed to check the first word in 9a.
    Managed to remember the race in 15d, the river in 14a and the place in 13d without any outside help.
    Favourite 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  11. I have to agree with earlier postings about the two candidates for favourite, 22 and 11 across. Otherwise, this was a mixed bag for me, with some indifferent clueing taking the edge off the enjoyment, so 2.5*/2* overall. I don’t mind some GK, but there was a surfeit here for a cryptic crossword.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr K.

  12. Fully agree with Mr. K’s comments on this one – also with his choice of favourite in 14d, my last one in. I also rather liked 3d despite the rather wordy clue.
    Did have to check the spelling of the first word in 9a (wanted to use an incorrect vowel) and the southern seat.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Mr. K for a very comprehensive review.

  13. I’m with others on this, far too much GK. There are other puzzles in this august publication to satisfy those who wish to have that type of challenge. I managed to fill the grid in 4* time, but I was left wondering whether at least three of my answers were correct. Any day when that happens can’t get more than a 1* for enjoyment.

    Thanks to Mr K.

  14. I found this a really pleasant solve, the balance between cryptic and general knowledge is a thin one. GK should really be included to some extent as from there we are able to assemble the cryptic clues.
    I’m sure that many solvers like a sprinkling of GK as it does keep the interest and those of us who sometimes have difficulty getting a start the GK is usually a good starting point. Sorry to labour the point but not all of us are blessed with analytical brains.
    Nevertheless ***/*** for enjoyment.
    I am hoping that tomorrow’s will prove equally entertaining.

  15. You are right. I should thank all you great solvers for your daily help in completing the crossword!
    I enjoyed today’s crossword but sadly got hung up on the wrong Eliot and was trying to put TS in the answer!

    1. Welcome Ruth. I too ‘barked up the wrong Eliot’ in the first place but soon realised my mistake

    2. Welcome from me too, Ruth.

      With the S from 8d in place at the end of 14a, I too was misdirected for a while into trying to put a T in at the beginning. I thought the misdirection in this puzzle was rather good – there were also a few clues where I started out looking for anagrams that weren’t.

  16. I enjoyed this puzzle but did not notice the GK at all. I never notice Gk, unfriendly grids, double unches, or other things that get some people’s goats. A surfeit of anagrams might niggle me a tad though and overly wordy clues. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Mr K for the blog. Ian Dury has been used before and is a favourite of mine.
    Saint Sharon has found an ancient unicorn. Should we stay there in September?

  17. Thank you for the hints, Mr. Kitty. Also thank you for the Bowie photos. As I said before, you are the coolest!

  18. ***/***. Quite enjoyable and nice to stretch the GK. I guessed 11a and then had to reverse engineer the answer to the clue. 22a needed Mr Google’s help. Thanks to Messrs Ron and Kitty.

  19. All good fun and with a bit of GK learned via Google for 22a. Favourite clues were 17d and 7d. Again nothing too terrible for a Tuesday. Thanks to setter, a mystery to me at least and to Mr K, whose notes I’ve still to read.

  20. I found this pretty difficult and still haven’t decided how much I enjoyed it – I’ll just carry on mithering for a while.
    I don’t mind some general knowledge but admit to needing Mr Google quite a few times today.
    The four long clues were useful as I’m not too sure how far I’d have got without them to get me started.
    I was slow with 14a and took ages to untangle 14d.
    The ‘in one’ bit in 12a fooled me into thinking of golf. Oh dear.
    I liked 14a and 1d. My favourite was the relatively simple 20d.
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty.

    1. Long time since I heard “mithering” & even longer since I saw it written. Favourite word of my mother’s when I asked for something. If I was “mithering” I knew I was on a loser!

      1. I love how this site is often a source of colourful new vocabulary. I did know Expat Chris’s “deep six” from last week, but “mither” is a new one on me. Does it have a precise definition?

        I just checked and it has never appeared in a Telegraph crossword, so there’s an opportunity just sitting there waiting for a setter to grab it.

        1. MrK,
          To me it was to pester / moan & be a general pain in the rear. Used it with my children too. BRB links it to “moider” as a dialect term. Confirms my understanding of meaning but it does have a couple more of which I wasn’t aware.
          Have always taken it as from Lancashire / Yorkshire but perhaps it is more general.

          1. MrK,
            Reading Kath’s post again she would appear to be using one of the alternative meanings, “to wander in thoughts or mind”. Can also mean “to work hard” or “to confuse”. A versatile or useless word depending on your point of view.

  21. It’s interesting to read the various views expressed above about General Knowledge in cryptics. I don’t usually mind GK, and indeed after getting an answer from the wordplay it is often a joy to visit Wikipedia at the verification/parsing stage and discover something new and interesting. I learned about Gertrude Jekyll in that way, for example. But for this solver on this puzzle, gaps in GK were a barrier to even identifying the wordplay in a couple of clues (13d and 15d today). OTOH, as a result I have learned that I should investigate P.G. Wodehouse, which is definitely a win.

  22. I managed to finish this one quite quickly, with only a little help from Mr Google for things I didn’t know. We seemed to have had a a number of clues relating to the tv over the last few days, mostly stuff I don’t watch. This puzzle was ok but lacked the humour of yesterday. I enjoyed reading the review. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  23. I found today’s puzzle very entertaining on the whole, the General Knowledge issue will always divide opinion, as no two people know exactly the same things unfortunately. I would certainly encourage Mr. Kitty to dip into the works of PGW, and am pleased to see he seems likely to.

    My favourites were the aforementioned 13d and also 9a, which yielded a good anagram from an inauspicious selection of available letters.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr. K.

  24. Certainly trickier than yesterday but enjoyable ***/*** 😜 Held up in the NE corner for a while 😏 Favourites from a long list 1 & 8 down. Thanks to Mr Kitty, especially for the Monty Python clip 😍, and thanks to setter

  25. I totally agree with Mr Kitty’s verdict, in that there are far too many clues requiring general knowledge outside my humble education. Had to google at least 5 clues to get on track before I went to the hints to finish, thanks Mr Kitty. I know many of you are better equipped to rise to the challenge but I much prefer true cryptic clues. I almost gave up after the first pass, but once I persisted and got some answers in I could figure out the answer, but not from the clue itself. If I have to google it feels like cheating.

    1. “If I have to google it feels like cheating.” My thoughts entirely. If a puzzle cannot be solved using brain power alone, how would we have got on before the WWW and hand-held electronic dictionaries?

      IMHO, it’s like using your smart-phone during pub quizzes, just not cricket.

  26. Here we go. Not contributed regularly. I find my ratings for difficulty rarely agree. Today I found it straightforward, even though I dislike GK on the whole, my limited knowledge just happened to coincide with the clues. On other days I really struggle and the general opinion is how easy it all is. However I have to pop up from time to time and thank BD and his band of bloggers without whom we would be much worse off. Always enjoyable to read the blog usually after I’ve completed the back page or, more commonly the on line paper version.
    Love to all.

  27. That was fun , although I failed at 14 down .
    Google helped with 22a.
    I thought 1d was nicely hidden.
    Thanks to both the setter and Mr Kitty.

  28. Thanks to messers Ron & Kitty. An enjoyable enough puzzle, but some of the surfaces were a bit granular. I managed to get 22a, even before I realised it was an anagram, I’d never heard of him. had to google 13d, having never read PGW. The other 3 long anagrams were a help, but I thought it didn’t need any more anagrams. 9a raised a smile, but my favourite was 17d, and last in was 5a. Was 3*/2* for me.

  29. I must say I agree with MP. A bit of GK? Bring it on, I don’t care. It’s all part of a crossword and it all has to be solved. I quite enjoyed today’s offering. My last one in was 5d so that’ll be my favourite. Overall 2/3*.
    Thanks to today’s setter, and to Mr Kitty for his review.

  30. Curate’s egg for me although I didn’t mind the GK. Not as enjoyable as yesterday: I agree between ** / ***.
    COTD was 1d: obvious when you saw it but I used the BD maxim if all else fails look for a lurker.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for the explanations.

  31. I am on the enjoyable side. I only had to look up a couple, e.g. how to spell the first word of 9a. The word “primate” gave me the second word immediately, so I knew the word and had all the letters for the first word, just gave up trying to put them together
    Getting the long clues helped enormously, and 13d was a gimme, I loved the books.
    I’m going for 22a for fave with 13d running close second, 15d deserves a mention.
    Thanks to setter and Mr. K for his hints and tips.

  32. Plod, plod, plod – it took me ages but I finished it without help so I’m quite pleased about that.

    I was up at 4 am this morning to take my brother and mate to Gatwick for a golf trip – I’m missing it this year through injury – there’s a hell of a lot of traffic on the M25 at 5 am – can’t these people sleep?

    1. And a lot of that 5a.m. traffic goes through our otherwise peaceful village which the Gatwick workers and others use as a rat-run from Guildford, etc.

  33. Not much fun, too wordy by far and more than a bit tedious.
    Had to Google the Eliot river and had no idea who Lord Emsworth was.
    For me ***/*
    Thx for the hints.

  34. Tough today for me. Kept coming back to it in the hopes of some enlightenment! Glad others found it a tad tricky – feel I’m making progress! Thanks for the hints and tips – I’m learning a lot through “unpicking” the clues.

  35. A fair puzzle, I don’t mind a little bit of daily research/education – doesn’t take much effort these days.

    I have to be honest, I didn’t find it very engaging or rewarding. No wry smiles or D’oh! moments today. Having said that, I do appreciate that they can’t all be greats or favourites, so ho-hum.
    Timothy Spall et al were brilliant in the BBC adaptation of PGW. Classic.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr Kitty for the entertainment.

  36. We’re with those who found it trickier than most Tuesday cryptics and enjoyable to solve. On completion we spent some time trying to guess who the setter might be. It felt like someone we should know as a Toughie setter but which one? Last week we had our “Mister Ron” so thought it would not be him again but did keep his name as a possibility. We live in hope that someone in the know will comment with a confession.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr Kitty.

  37. We didn’t mind the extra helping of GK but we do agree it was missing a certain sparkle. 2*/2* seems fair.

    Favourite clue was 14d. We didn’t understand the use of ‘easy’ in 12a; there are surely many navigable things that are not easy to get around.

    Thanks to Mr Kitty and Mr Ron.

  38. About ** for difficulty, though I did speed up rapidly when some of the longer anagrams had fallen. I only vaguely knew how to spell the primate, so was thankful for the the anagram fodder and a few lucky guesses. A bit of general knowledge required, but nothing that was really out there I thought.

  39. A general comment – I can’t (often!) do much without alittle help (sometimes a lot) from Big Dave as I am still learning, and enjoying the “journey”. I was delighted when I found the blog! Many thanks.
    I have noticed that the answer (even to Saturday’s prize crossword) can be seen by hovering on the edges of the photos which are included in the hints ….

    1. Welcome to the blog Newbie

      We do ask that new commenters look at the FAQ before commenting. Had you done so you would have seen the answer to your query at FAQ 9.1.

    2. Welcome from me too, Newbie, and thanks for posting.

      As BD says, having hover text on hint illustrations is a long-standing feature of the site. Sometimes the text will just be the answer that’s being illustrated, other times it may have a little more information (like 14a today). It will almost always be there, so it’s perhaps good to get into the habit of not letting the mouse pointer dwell on images until one is ready to see an answer.

  40. Quite enjoyed a bit of General Knowledge for a change. Like Jon S we struggled with the spelling of the primate but got there in the end. A **/*** form us with thanks to all.

  41. Enjoyed this crossword but you have saved my sanity as couldn’t get 3d, 14d or 16a! at least I can get some sleep tonight now!!!

  42. Well, having escaped a house full of dogs and conversation pertaining to those beasts, I settled down in my local Café to this crossword in need of an enjoyable, doable yet challenging experience. And I found it! I really enjoyed it. I didn’t find it clunky, and I enjoyed a bit of general knowledge. ***/*** from me.

  43. Been off games for a few days but I’m thankful to be back for such an enjoyable challenge. This is truly my sort of crossword. I love it when setters use general knowledge as a starting point and then provide clues from which the answer can be derived even if the solver has that particular gap in their files. Hard to pick out a Pullitzer Prize winner, but I’ll plump for 14a – a great novel from a great writer, but not quite as great as Middlemarch, although greater than Adam Bede. For those tempted to dip into the world of PG Wodehouse, I recommend the collection Right-Ho Jeeves (Arrow paperbacks) although you’ll soon be buying the bigger volume The World of Jeeves by the same publisher. I prefer Bertie and co to the Blandings stories, but both are rays of sunshine on a rainy day.
    Thanks to the setter for making my day and to Mr K for his usual erudite blog. Good to see some of lurkers he has tempted out from the woodwork. Please keep coming back.
    2*/5*

  44. I confess to being one of the “lurkers” alluded to by Mr Kitty in the introduction. And first-time poster now…

    18 months ago I didn’t where to start with a cryptic crossword but, during a spell of gardening leave, resolved to learn. A quick Google search led me to this fine site and I’ve been a fairly regular reader since – it’s certainly taught me all I know about crosswords (insert own joke here) but, whilst I still count myself a novice, I do seem to be able to finish steadily more puzzles unaided so a big thank you to Big Dave et al.

    I thought today’s (well, yesterday’s now) was OK – a rare unaided *** finish for me – but only a ** for enjoyment. Favourite clue = 11a.

    BJS

    1. Hello from me too. It is always nice to receive a thank you and guarantees my continued involvement.

    2. And welcome from me as well, BJS.

      Thanks for relating the story of your progress with solving cryptics. I’m sure it will give encouragement to those just starting out.

      1. Thank you for the warm welcome(s). I will endeavour to post more… as much as work and a young family permit.

        BJS

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