DT 28488

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28488

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty **/*** Enjoyment ****


Hello everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday back-pager.  Today’s puzzle has no real obscurities (at least for those old enough to know Gone with the Wind) and no tricky clue constructions.  Curiously, during the solve it felt a tad more difficult than usual, but after writing the hints I’m finding it hard to see why.  Must be that wavelength thing.  It was still a very enjoyable solve and that, after all, is what really matters.

Kitty, who keeps track of such things, told me earlier that Monday of this week is National Tequila Day.  Today I am blogging from the nation in question, and the time difference means that it is in fact still Monday as I formulate these Tuesday hints and tips.  So, I naturally had to observe the special day by writing the blog with a moderately*-sized Margarita at my side.  I’m not sure if that had any effect on the hints.  I had planned today to revisit the issue of repeated answers after Kitty told me that it came up at the recent Macclesfield Sloggers and Betters event but, having already filled a paragraph of intro and being unsure that math(s) and tequila are compatible, I think I’ll just save that topic for next week.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    and 6: 'Play late,' he's written in error (3,7,4)
THE WINTER’S [TALE]:  Anagram (in error) of LATE HE’S WRITTEN.  The answer is one of many plays created by Shakespeare.  Here is a list of those plays.

6a    See 1 Across
TALE:  See hint for 1a

10a   Enough drink imbibed by politician? Quite the opposite! (5)
AMPLE:  Following the clue’s direction to invert the word play (quite the opposite), the usual abbreviation for a Member of Parliament (politician) is inserted into (imbibed by) an alcoholic drink

11a   Reported cut head in Kent town (9)
SHEERNESS:  Join a homophone (reported) of cut and a synonym of head(land) to get a town in Kent.  Here is Wikipedia’s list of Kentish townsThe answer is also a fabric property.

12a   Dull and terribly annoyed (7)
ANODYNE:  An anagram (terribly) of ANNOYED

13a   Soft game with unknown (7)
SQUASHY:  A racquet game followed by one of the usual letters used in mathematics to stand for an unknown variable.

14a   101 left in outstanding debts, being arrogant (12)
SUPERCILIOUS:  This one is a charade.  We need to assemble an adjective meaning outstanding, 101 in Roman numerals, L(eft), and some informal documents acknowledging debts

18a   A woolly state ... or an embarrassed one? (12)
SHEEPISHNESS:  Interpreted cryptically the answer describes a property possessed by one type of woolly creature.

21a   Space for a gold sovereign? (7)
EMPEROR:  Link together a usual printer’s unit of space, a short word meaning “for a”, and the usual heraldic term for gold.  The answer is also a type of penguin.

23a   A region troubled in time long ago (4,3)
IRON AGE:  An anagram (troubled) of A REGION

24a   Finally felt upset about obituary for old fossil (9)
TRILOBITE:  The last letter (finally) of felT followed by a verb synonym of upset that contains (about) a four-letter abbreviation for obituary.  If the fossil isn’t familiar, you’ll find some details here

25a   Possibly perfect form of language (5)
TENSE:   Non-perfect examples of this form of verbs include past, present, and future

26a   Give a narrative (4)
SAGA:  A synonym of give or droop, followed by A from the clue.

27a   Pay British bank for pedestrian crossing (10)
FOOTBRIDGE:  Concatenate a word meaning pay (the bill), B(ritish), and a synonym of bank or mound



1d    Scarlett's place is housing this person's crowns (6)
TIARAS:  Scarlett here is Ms O’Hara of 1939 movie Gone with the Wind, and her place is the plantation where she lives at the start of the film.  The answer is a contraction of “Scarlett’s place is” containing (housing) the single letter pronoun that the setter would use for themselves (this person).

2d    Use 75 per cent of polymers wrongly (6)
EMPLOY:  An anagram (wrongly) of the first 6/8 of (75 percent of) the letters in POLYMErs

3d    Sorry round with bogey pair unravelled (1,3,4,6)
I BEG YOUR PARDON:  An anagram (unravelled) of ROUND BOGEY PAIR

4d    12 and offensive (9)
TASTELESS:  A nice double definition, the first being the bland answer to 12a

5d    Wind section's leader dances (5)
REELS:  A verb meaning wind or turn round, followed by the first letter (…’s leader) of Section

7d    Dislike a particular edition (8)
AVERSION:  A from the clue and a word meaning “particular edition”

8d    Writer tries to encapsulate current time (8)
ESSAYIST:  We’re looking here for a type of writer, not a specific person.  To find it, start with old synonym of tries containing (to encapsulate) the usual physics symbol for electric current.  Then append the physics symbol for time.

9d    Meandering hotel tour bores Mr Fixit? (14)
TROUBLESHOOTER:  An anagram (meandering) of HOTEL TOUR BORES

15d   Sure about working if turning up with depression? (9)
CONFIDENT:  Chain together the usual single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, a usual word for working or running, the reversal (turning up in a down clue) of IF from the clue, and a depression (in a sheet of metal, perhaps)

16d   Fool embracing famous footballer -- love is dangerous stuff (8)
ASBESTOS:  A usual fool containing (embracing) both a Northern Irish footballer who found fame and celebrity playing for Manchester United in the 1960s & 70s and the usual letter representing love in tennis.  Here are a few quotes from the famous footballer:

17d   Office worker can start to get seductive (8)
TEMPTING:  Assemble a non-permanent office worker, a synonym of can (of food), and the first letter of (start to) Get

19d   Brown little bear eats girl (6)
TANNED:  The first three letters (little) of a common name applied to toy bears contain (eats) a girl’s name

20d   Always in London area? Harsh! (6)
SEVERE:  Place a synonym of always inside (in) the two-letter compass direction that locates the London area within the UK

22d   One might charge money (5)
RHINO:  A double definition.  The money synonym is one I’ve encountered only in cryptic crosswords.  Big Dave has accurately labelled it and its ilk Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Running through the acrosses, I liked the single word anagram in 12a, 13a and 18a both raised a smile, and I was impressed by the efficiency of 26a.  On the downs, I enjoyed unpicking 1d, laughed at 12d, admired how 15d mixed four ingredients to get a smooth surface, enjoyed seeing the answer to 16d emerge from the word play (now, what footballer can go in here to make a real word…?), and was pleasantly surprised by both 19d and 20d.  I was not wild about 22d because you either know it (most likely from a previous crossword) or you don’t.  Which clues topped your list?


The Quick Crossword pun:  MILL+KEY+WAY=MILKY WAY



  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Mister Ron for a splendid Tuesday puzzle – I’m apparently not the only one to appreciate the inclusion of the apostrophe in the anagram fodder for 1a/6a

    • JR
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      I know it’s a bit late to ask (I haven’t been near a computer since Tues am) but can you please tell me what is significant about the apostrophe in 1a/6a? I just can’t fathom out how the surface/clue would work without it – I must be being particularly thick over this nuance.

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Hi, JR. Here’s my take on it. As you say, the apostrophe is required in the clue. The cryptic convention, as I understand it, is that punctuation can usually be ignored in a clue and, except for hyphens, it is omitted from the enumeration of the answer. So, if a biography of somebody called Winters was a thing, THE WINTERS TALE would be a perfectly acceptable anagram of the fodder in 1a. That said, I can see that it adds a little extra something to the clue when an apostrophe required in the answer is also found in the anagram fodder.

        CS’ post above presumably refers to somebody else mentioning the apostrophe in their comments on Mister Ron’s reveal of this puzzle on Facebook. My guess is that they are in turn alluding to discussions on some other blog of apostrophes in anagrams, but that’s just a guess.

        • JR
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

          Mr K. Thank you for answering such a belated question – I do understand your explanation.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    1*/3.5*. I found this straightforward but very enjoyable with commendably brief cluing. 26a was my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Messrs Ron & Kitty.

    • Cryptic Mummy
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Agree with rating! For us youngsters a few ‘old’ clues. Some excellent, comical answers – esp 13a and 18a.

  3. Penelope
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    I thought it was difficult, ***/***, never heard of 22d as meaning money and needed the hints to know why 21a was correct. Favourite was 13a purely for the correct use of ‘unknown’!
    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty

  4. Angellov
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Obtained a false sense of security as I raced through the top half but more application was required at the bottom. Plenty to please anagram enthusiasts. 24a added to my vocabulary and don’t think I have come across 22d before. Overall pleasant enough but IMHO nothing outstanding and no Fav. Thanks Mysteron and Mr. Kitty.

    • Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      Speaking of things to please anagram enthusiasts, Tilsit recently came up with a cracker for LINFORD CHRISTIE …

      • Angellov
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Is it a bit risqué?!

        • Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Would I ever post anything a bit risqué, Angellov?

          • Angellov
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I’ll take that as a ‘yes’!

  5. Penelope
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    I thought it was difficult, ***/***, never heard of 22d as meaning money and needed the hints to know why 21a was correct. Favourite was 13a purely for the correct use of \’unknown\’!
    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty

  6. PLR
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am with Mr Kitty on this. After finishing this I could not figure out why it seemed somewhat difficult. No outstanding clues but I liked 16a simply because it refers to my favourite footballer and arguably the greatest.

  7. A D Peters
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well into *** difficulty for me and never heard of the slang expression in 22 down

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You’ve changed your alias again which is why you went into moderation

    • Brian
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s the richest animal in the jungle, rhino from the Greek for money and ceros (sore a..e) meaning piles!

  8. Beaver
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Two excellent puzzles so far this week, put down **/**** on completion.
    Lots of lovely charades like 21a and 15d , liked 1d ,enjoyed the film, thought Ashley was a ‘wet’ .
    Last in was 19d, had trouble with the bear ,thought it must be TD as I had Anne for the girls name till the penny dropped!
    Thanks to Mr Kitty for the pics, especially 1d .Love cats myself , the pic reminds me of a Blue Persion I once had.

  9. Brian
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent puzzle sooooo much better for me than yesterday’s horror.
    Needed the hints to explain 21a (forgot the printers word for space) and 8d (i for current, new to me).
    Lots of clever clues inc 14a, 24a, 27a and 16d (my fav).
    Lots of super anagrams too that were very sadly missing from yesterday’s offering.
    Thx to all

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Brian. I for current is worth remembering because our setters really seem to like it. In fact today is the fourth time since March that I’ve explained it in a Tuesday blog.

      • Hoofityoudonkey
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

        As I recall from physics lessons many years ago v = i/r, v = volts, I = current, r = resistance, well that’s how I remember it anyway

        • Hathersage John
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Think it is Ohm’s law to which you are referring. V=iR.

          • Hoofityoudonkey
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Oops, thanks for the correction, John

  10. jane
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Vaguely remembered 22d from previous puzzles – interestingly nobody seems to know how it became a slang word for money.
    4d was my last one in for no good reason – I suppose something had to be!

    Rather liked 7d but the crown was bestowed upon 26a – clever and concise.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron (not prepared to guess and make a fool of myself again this week!). Thanks also to Mr. K – loved the dancing penguins and the wise words under the 15d pic.

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Interesting how people haven’t read my comment either ‘yet’ or ‘properly’ ;)

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The enumeration is wrong on the telegraph subscribers site on my iPad. It is split over the two clues. I confess I had not seen the clever use of the apostrophe but I have seen the play. I also saw the anagram solution ‘just like that, The word PLAY with the enumeration 3,7,4 is always what it is.

      • Kath
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I have read your comment properly – I always read all the comments properly. Do you have inside information?

        • crypticsue
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

          ‘outside’ more than ‘inside’ but definitely correct information

      • jane
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

        OK – I’ve read it properly now! He would probably have been my first guess although I’ve become increasingly wary since the occasion when Paul popped up.

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Hi, Jane. It’s worth checking Mister Ron’s Facebook page on Tuesdays. Unfortunately when I’m blogging from my current location I’ve already scheduled the blog and gone to sleep when he advertises one of his puzzles there.

          • Kath
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

            That is, of course, assuming that people choose to spend their time on stuff like Facebook.
            Sorry, but I have a life!!

            • Merusa
              Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Kath, I feel like a dinosaur! I have a Facebook page but I’ve never posted anything on it. I keep saying I must do so but never get around to it!

              • Kath
                Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Why on earth would you want/need to? I’m a very happy dinosaur!! :smile:
                All the various members of our large family communicate properly – in other words they ring us several times a week and come to visit all the time.
                Up with the dinosaurs, I say! :good:

              • Mr Kitty
                Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

                I created a Facebook account only because it’s necessary to view other Facebook pages (like Mister Ron’s). I’ve never put anything on my own page. As Kath says, there are better ways to spend one’s time.

                • Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  There will be people who say there are better ways to spend one’s time than commenting on crossword blogs. They don’t get it. I’m reluctant to disparage other ways of spending time, since in those cases it’s probably me who is not getting it.

  11. Miffypops
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A fun solve at silly o clock this morning. Greatly helped by five jumpoutatcha anagrams. How I miss the days when I played with the fodder letters for ages. With so many checkers the rest was a bung in. The satisfaction from a completed grid is there but not the sense of graft or achievement. Anyway thanks to Mister Ron. Thanks to Mr Kitty who is most welcome to anything containing any spirit other than Gin. Speaking of which, having mown three lawns and a field, I think I have earned. It should go well with a Kcit toughie and a Fever Tree tonic water

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, MP. One of these days we will drop in for what I’m sure is Long Itchington’s best margarita.

      • miffypops
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Maybe at The Duck On The Pond. I doubt that the other five pubs would know or care much for margaritas. We consider Lager and lime to be a tough cocktail

  12. Una
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A little bit harder than 2 star for me.
    27a is my favourite . Thanks to all concerned.

  13. Kath
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good fun.
    Only a couple of vaguely obscure answers.
    I knew the 22d money – we had an MPP some time ago (can’t remember who set it) with lots of slang money in it and then had to add it all up and that was the answer.
    I’ve never heard of the fossil and thought we might be after an old fashioned person – the answer was easier to unravel once I realised we needed a four letter abbreviation rather than a two letter one.
    I liked 26a and 15 and 16d. My favourite was either 18a or 19d because they both made me laugh.
    Thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr K.

  14. Heno
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to messers Ron and Kitty. A very enjoyable puzzle really interesting. Some great clues. 18a made me laugh, as did 22d. Liked 8d,but my favourite was 16d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  15. Florence
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not as much headscratching as yesterday and more enjoyable from my point of view. I managed to get 22d from the ‘one might charge’ and checking letters, and then the penny dropped over ‘money ‘ which I’d completely forgotten. Many thanks for the review Mr Kitty, especially the penguins. I’ve seen lots of wildlife stuff this week. A neighbour asked me to see her cinefilm of Ding Darling nature reserve on Sanibel Island, Florida. We were there several years ago, but didn’t take any pictures, so it brought back a lot of happy memories. Many thanks setter, I enjoyed today’s offering.

  16. LetterboxRoy
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All good and well, not too much to think about. The quickie pun is rather lacklustre, especially since I’m still tickled by Saturday’s.
    Many thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr K – what is going on in the pic @19d?! Don’t want to know…

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      19d shows a bodybuilder applying fake tan to hard to reach areas using a paint roller

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I dread to think where one would find such an image.

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

          In this case it was Mr Google

    • Tonto McTavish
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Who do I see about Royalties for my picture?

  17. MalcolmR
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I had to take two bites at this to finish it, and I still haven’t completed 1d. I don’t like filling in answers that I don’t understand. So I come here for an explanation, and it still isn’t filled in. For those of us aged under 80, could somebody please spell it out? Was her house called Taras? Or am I just being a bit thick today.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Here’s how I see it.

      Scarlett O’Hara’s house in “Gone with the Wind” was called Tara, so “Scarlett’s place is” = Tara’s. That object is containing (housing) I = first person. The ‘s on person is being the link word “is” in the clue construction “word play is definition”

      I have a long way to go to reach 80 and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the film, but I did know the house. No idea how that ever got stored in my memory.

      • Hoofityoudonkey
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yesterday’s “Robin” did for me, it helped me unravel “Scarlett”, though I was drawn towards cluedo for a time!

    • LetterboxRoy
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I just bunged it in and moved on – don’t even know (nor care to know) who Scarlett is. :unsure:

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I did briefly wonder if it had anything to do with

      • Weekendwanda
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink | Reply


  18. Hoofityoudonkey
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, I got there in the end, but I found this much harder than yesterday, a wavelength thing no doubt. Like Mr K., I’m not sure what the problem was, just having a dim day, probably.
    I am the first to admit that I was utterly bamboozled by the term for ‘money, that was a new one on me, and also the printer’s “space”, another one to remember.
    Annoyingly, I overlooked the use of “head” in 11a, I have been to the said isle birding many times.
    16d was my favourite, the footballer should be remembered as one of the greats who really could have eclipsed Pele, Maradonna etc., but stopped playing far too young.
    Thanks to misters K and Ron

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Merusa taught me all I know about printer’s spacings. El, Em and En.

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The En is in today’s toughie

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        BD also has a nice explanation under measure in the Usual Suspects. Em = width of an m in 12 point font, etc. But for some reason he has omitted El.

      • Merusa
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I only know it because I’m old enough to have used an IBM Selectrix typewriter (yes, typewriter) in a job many moons ago.

        • busylizzie
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I used one also, but I learnt to type on a manual machine where the keys were covered, and we typed in rhythm to music. It did make me pretty accurate and I was very speedy which even got me a few jobs and pay raises later. Did you also use a dictaphone?

          • hoofityoudonkey
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I used my finger

          • Merusa
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

            -I learnt to type in 1952! How well I remember that whatist that covered your hands, typing “a,s,d,f” over and over again! Good thing I was young without arthritis yet, it took some punch to get those keys down. I think it was an Underwood typewriter. No, I didn’t use a dictaphone, thank goodness!

          • jane
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Which music did you have? We had the William Tell Overture.

            • crypticsue
              Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Victor Silvester !

            • Merusa
              Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

              We didn’t have music, it would have been nice.

              • jane
                Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Believe me, Merusa, I very quickly became heartily sick of William Tell!

  19. Jimboid74
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable solve in the East Midlands afternoon sun.
    Glad I was made to sit through a certain film as a youngster!

  20. Merusa
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable, but definitely on the tricky side for me.
    I needed my gizmo to get 24a, a new one for me.
    I feel so chuffed that I remembered 22d from a previous puzzle, and I love the pic. I might choose that for fave, but I loved the pic at 1d as well, a toss up between those two.
    Thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr. Kitty for his review and pics, except for 19d.

  21. Nigel
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I enjoyed this puzzle, even 26A where the penny had a bit further to drop than expected. So simple yet…..
    I still have several 24As from geology field trips decades ago. Happy days.
    As I’m a bit new to the argot I’ll ask who is Mister Ron? I suspect he is the unknown setter – as in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons – but could equally be a pseudonym If he’s unknown how do you know he has a facebook page!
    Thanks to all concerned.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Nigel. The convention here is that Mr Ron is the generic unknown setter named, as you surmised, for Captain Scarlet et al.

      Chris Lancaster aka Samuel has adopted the pseudonym Mister Ron when commenting on the back page. He sometimes posts about his puzzles on his Facebook page.

  22. Jaylegs
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this more difficult than yesterday so ***/*** 😕 24a was a new word for me and spent some time pondering the SW corner 😏 Favourites 26 & 27 a. Thanks to Mr K and to the setter 😁

  23. Hathersage John
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was a cracker – just enough stretch and some chuckle bits. Couldn’t get The History Boys out of my mind for 1ac, which slowed me down for a while!
    Can we have Tuesdays every day please?
    ***/**** from me. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

    • miffypops
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The History Boys puts my comment at 10/3 into a different perspective.

  24. Tony
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought this was an excellent puzzle, although I definitely found it on the harder end of the spectrum. Like some others, I had not met the fossil in 24a (from the photo I hope never to meet one of these creatures alive!), nor the money in 22d. I thought some of the word-play was toughie-worthy, but the plentiful and long anagrams provided lots of helpful checkers. Overall I found it a very enjoyable solve. Many thanks to all.

  25. Gwizz
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Somewhat trickier than recent Tuesdays, I found this an enjoyable crossword to solve.
    18a was my fave and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K over there for the review.

  26. Michael
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Give=sag – umm – not one of his best!

    Apart from that I enjoyed it, loads of anagrams, charades, homophones – all the usual suspects – all adding up to a bit of a cracker!

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Re give/sag I thought it was OK because of something like:

      The flexible beam exhibits some give under pressure

      The flexible beam exhibits some sag under pressure

      • Michael
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Eh – I must admit I’m missing something here – is it a technical/engineering term or something?

        If so, fair enough but otherwise it’s spurious in the extreme!

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I thought it was common usage. If something bends or compresses when I push on it, I could say it has a bit of give or it gives a bit.

          The BRB gives ‘to yield to pressure” as a definition of give. If an object is yielding to vertical pressure, one could also call the resulting downward displacement sagging.

  27. Crucy Verbalist
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Still don’t understand 1d and never heard of 24a. Apart from that, very enjoyable.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, CV. There’s a more detailed explanation of 1d in my reply to comment #17. Does that help?

  28. Mister Ron
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the blog and the comments — although I’m not sure about the picture at 19dn! Still, the cat made up for it.

    Sorry to anybody who had to check Tara. Gone With The Wind has always struck me as being one of those books/films one assumes that everybody knows, much in the same way as one does with Citizen Kane, Shakespeare, The Beatles, and Dickens. Unfortunately assumptions such as this are often proved to be incorrect, which in my view is definitely the fault of the setter, not the solver.

    • jane
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for popping in, Mister Ron. Don’t be so hard on yourself – the definition for 1d plus the available checkers should have been sufficient for most solvers, even those who haven’t seen/read Gone with the Wind.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I, too, am amazed at the amount of commentators who have never heard of GWTW. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” has gone down as one of the most famous quotes.

      • Kath
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Me too – specially since ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and, I think, ‘Forever Amber’ are the three books that it’s said most women have read. Who knows? :unsure:

        • Merusa
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Oh dear, Jane Eyre! When I read that at school, I fell in love, deeply and soooo romantically with Mr. Rochester. I swooned around for days! Oh, to be 14 again, maybe not.

      • Hoofityoudonkey
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I have heard of it, but never seen it, Merusa. Agree that it was easy enough to get with the checkers and the definition

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The site provides bloggers with data on the number of clicks on each hyperlink in the blog.

        So far there have been 233 clicks on the list of plays by Shakespeare and only 63 on the Wikipedia entry for Gone with the Wind. Therefore The Winter’s Tale is more obscure than GWTW.

        For completeness, the Wikipedia pages on Kentish towns and trilobites have 187 and 151 clicks respectively.

        • LetterboxRoy
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Both the numbers and your diligence are remarkable. Thanks.

          • Mr Kitty
            Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

            The record for my blogs is a link to the Wikipedia list of Shakespearean fools that got about 700 clicks on the day it appeared and is now up to 938 clicks. Second place on the list, with 434 clicks, is the Wikipedia page on Hobnob biscuits.

            The group of solvers who comment here are clearly only a small fraction of the site’s readership.

          • Mr Kitty
            Posted July 26, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink | Reply

            I should perhaps add that it didn’t require any diligence at all.

            The site offers us bloggers a web page giving information about clicks on site hyperlinks. The information is not broken down beyond a simple total for each link, so my post was just reading numbers off a table.

            • miffypops
              Posted July 26, 2017 at 12:27 am | Permalink | Reply

              Does it? Really? Oh well.

    • LetterboxRoy
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I like language, words and wordplay – at which you are undoubtedly an ace, for which I thank you.

      Sorry to be a heathen but I have little interest or knowledge of media so anything to do with books, films TV or supposed celebrities leaves me cold. I am not fond of needing to know details about a fictional character to find a word; doesn’t seem right in a cryptic crossword. Now what on earth does Citizen Kane mean? Is that another film?

      Last film I saw was The Never Ending Story – I was very disappointed; it ended.
      Thanks again Mister Ron.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for dropping in and thanks for providing us with an excellent puzzle.

      I too am surprised that Tara is being regarded as obscure. But then again, the reactions above suggest that I was also off in my expectations about the pictures. I thought that the desperation shown in 19d made it more amusing than off-putting, and I was expecting more love for the baby rhino. But I’m relieved that at least you still can’t go wrong featuring a cat in a tiara.

      • Merusa
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Let me make it clear (as you hear so often in DCA today), I thought it was hilariously funny!

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks, Merusa :)

    • Weekendwanda
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      But there is no excuse for a solver not bothering to find out when he/she comes across a word or a fact he/she did not know. What is the point of doing a cryptic crossword if one does not bother to try and understand how a clue works. The NE corner took some time for me but I got there in the end. Thanks Mister Ron and Mr Kitty

  29. 2Kiwis
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It seems that our guess for the setter was correct this time. 11a was a bit of a test of our geography knowledge but the wordplay was clear enough to make a stab and then check. Plenty to enjoy and good to be back into our regular solving pattern.
    Thanks Mister Ron and Mr K.

  30. busylizzie
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tricky in places, and not a fan of the use of words 99.9% of us have never seen or heard such as 24a. I’ll have to remember 22d for future use. Otherwise a very enjoyable solve today.

  31. Jon_S
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A definite *** for difficulty here, with the north side last to fall. Kent towns aren’t my strongpoint.

    • Kath
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      If Kent towns are your only non-strongpoint well, all I can say is lucky/clever old you – I have an increasingly long list of things that a Kath can’t do . . .

  32. Shropshirelad
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An enjoyable solve and a tad trickier than the usual Tuesday puzzle. No particular favourite but enjoyable nonetheless.

    Thanks to all involved.

  33. Michael
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We used to moor our boat at Queenborough just down from Sheerness and we got to know the area quite well. There was a local joke that if the Earth ever needed an enema, Sheerness would be where they would insert it!

    I supppose the same thing can be said for quite a number of places, but Sheerness would definitely fit the bill!

    • Hoofityoudonkey
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink | Reply

      Agree Michael, going to Sheerness always reminded me of that film Deliverance!

  34. Weekendwanda
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 5:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    It is interesting that there are 90+ comments on this puzzle and only 40+ on Monday’s.

  35. Young Salopian
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Only did this Wednesday morning, but well worth the wait. Not too difficult, but an absolute delight from start to finish. Sharp, incisive clueing and hugely entertaining. No favourites, as too many to list. 2*/5*.

    Belated thanks to the Tuesday Mr Ron and to MK.

  36. Fishy Chris
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definately *** difficulty. Has taken 4 lunch breaks, many I had the answer for but had trouble understanding the clue, eg 1 down.

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog

      • Fishy Chris
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you – I have been lurking for about 2 years now, thought it time to come out of hiding.
        I usually do the Tue puzzle in xxxxxxxxx lunch breaks but this week was tricky, I couldn’t get Anodyne even when I had three letters and knew the other 4 ! Still not too old to learn new words. Rhino for dosh never heard that before.

        • crypticsue
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

          The convention here is that we don’t mention actual times taken (however long or short they may be) – lunch breaks, cups of tea, pints of beer, can all be used to represent periods of time, but not actual times as explained in Comment Etiquette No 6

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Welcome from me too, Fishy Chris. Now that you have de-lurked I hope you’ll keep commenting.

          I’ve only met that rhino (and dosh, I think) in cryptic crosswords. If you haven’t already, it’s worth looking through BD’s list of wolves in sheep’s clothing that’s mentioned in the hint. It lists a few of the more common uncommon words that setters love.

          And well done for sticking with a puzzle for three lunch breaks to get it done. That’s impressive perseverance.

  37. B Lemmon
    Posted July 31, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think the answer to 5 D on 28488 is REELS, to wind is to reel (as in fishing) and reels are dances.
    Didn’t know that reed means wind.

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 31, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog – that is the answer that is hidden behind the ‘click here’ button for 5d

    • Posted July 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure what your point is here, but in future please avoid words in capital letters. I’ve changed it this time.

    • Mr Kitty
      Posted July 31, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome from me too, B Lemmon.

      I’m afraid that I’m also not sure what you’re saying or asking here. The answer to 5d, hidden under the “Click Here!” button, is REELS and my hint is intended to explain it as you have. So I agree with your first sentence.

      Regarding your second sentence, since a reed instrument (bassoon, oboe, etc.) is a type of wind instrument, it is possible that “wind” could clue “reed” in a cryptic crossword. But that’s not what is happening here.

      Apologies if I have misunderstood what you meant.

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