DT 29347 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29347

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29347
The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by crypticsue

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Until the Telegraph resumes the award of prizes for the Saturday puzzles, this post, and tomorrow’s, will be just like the Monday to Friday posts, with hints for every clue and revealable answers.  BD


What a difference a day makes – and I’m not just talking about the weather here in East Kent where it is grey and chilly and I’m back in warm clothes, which is a bit of a shock after it being too hot yesterday (in April!) to sit outside in the sun.

After yesterday’s really tricky back pager, we have a really friendly and enjoyable pangram for our Saturday non-prize puzzle. Saturday is now the only day I buy a paper so I’m doubly-happy to return to the much-missed dead tree version of the crossword – a printout of the crossword on A4 white paper just isn’t the same.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

Some hints follow.

Across

6a What conductor did — accepted responsibility? (5,3,5)
FACED THE MUSIC An expression meaning accepted responsibility also describes what someone conducting an orchestra would do

8a Measure round size of paper (6)
QUARTO A liquid measure followed by the letter that is round in shape

9a Clio with plea confusing another Muse (8)
CALLIOPE One of the Greek muses is obtained from an anagram (confusing) of CLIO with PLEA

10a Honour independent Greek character (3)
CHI An abbreviated honour followed by the abbreviation for Independent

11a Work by Timothy with article producing most favourable points (6)
OPTIMA The abbreviation for work, the short form of Timothy and an indefinite article

12a General acceptance of Mark e.g. in the past (8)
CURRENCY The general acceptance of something or a word describing monetary units such as the old (in the past) Mark

14a Separately as below (7)
ASUNDER AS (from the clue) and a synonym for below

16a Astronomical instrument still initially surviving (7)
SEXTANT The initial letter of Still followed by an adjective meaning still surviving

20a Israelite with piercing instrument (4-4)
JEWS-HARP Someone from Israel followed by another way of saying piercing (relating to noise rather than making holes)

23a Take most of this on previous day (6)
THIEVE  Most of  THIs indicates the need to remove the last letter and then add a word referring to the day before

24a Character giving command to speed up (3)
GEE Writing out how you’d say the seventh letter of the alphabet produces a command which with the addition of the word UP would indicate the need to go faster

25a ‘Spectator‘, it’s published every Sunday (8)
OBSERVER Someone who spectates or the name of a Sunday newspaper

26a Man includes South American beads (6)
ROSARY A man’s name (cue muttering in the Rabbit hutch) into which is inserted (includes) the abbreviation for South American

27a Misbehaving oldsters liked to be dolled up (7,2,4)
DRESSED TO KILL An anagram (misbehaving) of OLDSTERS LIKED

Down

1d Sign name in tank (8)
SCORPION A Sign of the Zodiac plus the abbreviation for Name

2d Favour one pressing a suit (8)
ADVOCATE A verb meaning to favour or someone pressing a suit in a court of law

3d Cold confection about to be included in selection (4-3)
CHOC-ICE The abbreviation for about inserted (included) in a selection

4d Walker losing one of their rights is still a walker (6)
AMBLER There are lots of words referring to a walker – if you remove the first R (one of their rights) from one of these words, you are left with another

5d Like gluey material in trial (6)
ASSIZE A synonym for like and a gluey material used, amongst other things, for preparing walls before plastering or wallpapering

6d Furniture seen on more than three hoardings? (4-6,3)
FOUR-POSTER BED This particular piece of furniture could be described as somewhere to sleep possibly displayed on more than three hoardings

7d Head may rave madly over a student — go ballistic here? (4,9)
CAPE CANAVERAL A headland, a synonym for may, and an anagram (madly) of RAVE goes over A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Learner (student)

13d Boy, he leaves here before ten (3)
REX Cue even more muttering in the Hutch – Remove HE (he leaves) from heRE and place what’s left before the Roman number for ten.

15d Note’s money, reportedly (3)
DOH A homophone (reportedly) of a slang term for money

17d Former rioter in trouble outside (8)
EXTERIOR The two-letters used to indicate ‘former’ followed by an anagram (in trouble) of RIOTER

18d Downward spiral perhaps follows fix (8)
TAILSPIN Another way (perhaps) of saying follows plus a verb meaning to fix with a small sharply-pointed piece of metal

19d Incline to raise in status (7)
UPGRADE An upward slope or a verb meaning to raise in status

21a Spike‘s more oblique? (6)
SKEWER This spike could be described as more oblique

22d Recommend about five new ideas (6)
ADVISE An anagram (new) of IDEAS goes about the Roman numeral for five

The Crossword Club is now open!


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The Quick Crossword pun: room+innate=ruminate


131 comments on “DT 29347

  1. What a contrast to yesterdays horror. Almost a R&W. My fav was 1d.
    For all that very enjoyable and with the phrases right up Mrs Bs street.
    Thx to all
    */****

  2. Plain sailing today although after yesterdays Toughie I wasn’t looking for any more pangrams and missed it until last in (5d) triggered an alert. 18d was my favourite. Thanks to setter and CS.

  3. An enjoyable, if very straightforward puzzle today (**/****) with a lot of entertaining clues, including some good anagrams. I particularly liked 6d and 7d. It’s very much cooler and cloudier in rural Oxfordshire too. Thanks to Cryptic Sue and the setter. Stay safe and well.

  4. All over far too quickly. This pangram took me less time than any back-pager this week, despite the very unhelpful grid. My COTD was 6d with 27a a close second.

    Many thanks to the setter and CS.

    You may wish to correct the title of this thread, which is showing the wrong number.

  5. 1.5*/2.5*. This was a pleasant pangram despite some muttering as CS correctly surmised.

    I think the ? in 6a ought to qualify what the conductor did rather than the definition (“accepted responsibility”). For example, “Accepted responsibility as the conductor did?”

    Surely “to speed up” defines “24a up” not just “24a”.

    26a not only has a vague man but also an iffy surface. How about “Irish man (or even “golfer”) pockets South American beads”?

    My top two were 12a & 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS.

  6. Easy breezy after yesterday’s brutal effort. Struggled with 5d though as not really aware of the word, nor the synonym within. A fun puzzle.

  7. Yes, that was much easier than yesterday. but would like to agree with Weekend Wanda’s comment on yesterday’s back pager.

    “We are all entitled to give our opinions but I object to those who condemn a puzzle without considering that puzzles vary in difficulty (rightly) in my opinion and that it is more constructive to try and learn some of the tricks of the trade.”

    It is liable to be missed as the later comments on blogs are often overlooked and I just wanted it highlighted.

    Not every puzzle is going to fit everyone’s mood/time/wavelength and the Telegraph are to be commended for catering for a wide variety of solvers. I did find yesterday tough but others got on wavelength quite well. I am enjoying the challenge of improving my skills and have had some success at some toughies, Even Elgar!. If I wanted to be pushed even further I could have a go at the Enigmatic Variation on Sunday. Now that is a puzzle beyond my brain!
    I thought today’s puzzle was just about right but started with Carry the Baton for 6a which dragged things out a bit until I saw the error. 1d needed some specific knowledge of small Britsh tanks but easily deduced from the wordplay. 18d tail= fix puzzles me too. 7d favourite long clue 15d elicited a facepalm when the penny dropped too.
    Thanks to CS and setter

    1. I too looked at 18d and had a moment wondering about the ‘fix’ but what the clue is instructing is that we should put a verb meaning to fix (3) under a way of saying follows (5)

    2. I respect your tight to extol the virtues of puzzles such as yesterday but I do expect you to respect the right of others to object strenuously when they are robbed of the opportunity of enjoying a puzzle. If you wish to be challenged I suggest either the Toughie or an Elgar as published elsewhere rather than removing the chance for those who do not, to enjoy a crossword.

      1. Brian
        In respect of yesterday for some unfathomable reason I did not find it as hard as my pay grade would suggest I should have. Perhaps it is because I have had to substitute ginger biscuits for digestive I don’t know.
        But it made my day yesterday that I had found the puzzle reasonably do-able when experts,whom we all respect, found it tough and some near impossible. I do not attempt the Toughie nor do I advocate more difficulty for the back pager because it could take it out of the range of the likes of you & I.
        I expect my new-found “talent” will disappear as quickly as it came.
        The whole point of the site is that we have the “right” to express our opinions on the puzzle & who is to say one opinion carries greater weight?

        1. It’s not the expressing of an opinion that irks me it’s the simple fact that Brian likes easy puzzles and if they’re not easy, he labels them as sloppy or rubbish! Most people enjoy the challenge even if they can’t complete the puzzle; Brian is in a small minority, who don’t
          To then say that if others want a stiffer challenge we should all go elsewhere shows astonishing arrogance in my view
          Might I suggest that there are more simple puzzles in other publications he may be happier with

          1. LBR, Brian is just Brian, we all accept him as such.
            Regarding comments, I see no reason to say how wonderful a puzzle is if I fried my brain trying to do it. I never begrudge the clever clogs their fun, I’m glad they enjoy toughies and see no reason to ban them, just don’t try to ban the easy puzzles when they appear.

            1. Yes, absolutely fair enough Merusa
              I am happy to admit if I struggle with a puzzle no matter how easy others find it, it matters not a jot. Some days I wouldn’t be able to solve a stripey horse clue. I guess the deal here is whether you enjoy a challenge, which I do, but I don’t expect every puzzle to be just right for me and if I can’t do it, hats off to setter
              Hope you are keeping well and staying safe

              1. I understand and agree that there are times when B in stretches the boundaries. His comments, as Merusa said , all accept as being “Brian”. However perhaps if you can’t say “thank you” to both the setter and the blogger then perhaps comment would be better withheld.

                1. Agreed. I’ve no problem with ‘I didn’t enjoy this puzzle, it was overly convoluted for me’ or ‘too much GK for my liking’ or even ‘too much like hard work to be fun, I lost interest and gave up’ etc, that’s what the blog is here for. It would be rather dull if we didn’t admit different views
                  Setters deserve respect either way; I always think ‘Go on then, you set a puzzle!’ [Which a certain someone said to me some time ago, didn’t they Jane]
                  Amen

                2. Does anyone remember when Brian was called Barrie?

                  Many, many years ago … plus ça change? …

                  1. Not sure I’d ever registered that – or I’ve just forgotten.
                    Very nice to ‘see’ you again after all these years, Franco. :smile:

        2. I too was getting low on digestives (they are a specialty item over here) and to buy on line I had order a pack of 12 boxes, so pretty much set for tea and biccies now 🐣

          1. If you have the other ingredients, you could use some of the biscuits for a cheesecake base

      2. Quite right Brian. I find it more disconcerting when others comment that a puzzle is too easy, making me feel really stupid if I am struggling. I do think it is important to be honest and say if you are finding a puzzle too tough, as reassurance to newbies and lurkers that we can’t all do all the puzzles all of the time.

    3. If I don’t like a puzzle I say so but it is the puzzle I do not like, not the setter. I fully appreciate that some puzzles will be above my level of competence but I still try and learn from them. That is the only way to improve. After all, I used to get nowhere with The Toughie but I finished two this week. That is down to sticking with the hard ones and using this blog to explain things. No doubt, in a few year, I would not have found yesterday’s puzzle hard.

      1. Don’t be too sure SC – I am sure that does apply to the true cruciverbalists but the plodders like me just struggle to keep up with setters’ trends even after 50 years.
        I blame that on having too much interest in sport coupled with my serious lack of knowledge of literature, classical music, Greek mythology, inability to recognise synonyms, homonyms and anagram fodder that even Mr Wiki & G can’t make up for.
        Unlike B though I do get pleasure from the elegance (& often simplicity) of explanation we get from the experts who throw light on matters

        1. For goodness sake. It is just a puzzle. A divertissement to pass an hour and in these difficult times, more welcome than ever.
          Let’s be grateful that someone sits down every day and composes these little gems which some folk take SO seriously (and
          that someone else takes the trouble to explain the clues in great detail often with amusing photos/music) – just
          enjoy them for what they are. I am sure there are many other papers with other crosswords to suit all taste, buy one of those.
          On the other hand, I suppose we could look on Big Dave’s blog as a pressure release which enables some folk to have a good grouse
          so maybe it is acting as a Social Service.

          1. I don’t see how you infer that I was saying was a moan. Everything I said was in praise of both this site and the Telegraph crossword for goodness sake. I have been fascinated by the DT crossword for over 50 years as I said I was merely pointing out my inadequacies were of my own making and I fully appreciate this site and have total respect for those who give up their time to en.ighten me when I need it.
            I welcome your invitation to a Grouse – make it a double.

            1. I like a Grouse too, especially when it is famous. I was not referring to YOU but to someone else who seems to be constantly knocking
              the efforts of those whose only desire is to entertain us.

                  1. I was midway through a fivers worth at 10:37 and my brain can’t compute a volume and currency change with this hangover but sounds like a bargain to me. putting my brain in gear for a moment 1.75L would cost me 1.75 times £16 = £28. As the dollar, last time I looked was less than a quid that is a real bargain. Stock up for the duration NOW!

                    1. If you post a blog, you get an email every time someone comments. Reading this one in my email inbox I did wonder if you were subjecting us to some sophisticated sort of SPAM and then I remembered the whisky thread from last night :D

                    2. I am sorry you have to read my drunk/hungover ramblings, Sue. I’ll shut up for a bit and go have a go at Sundays offering now.

                    3. I shouldn’t think Drizly would export to UK but I wish they would because they sell Grouse at about £11 a bottle.

              1. Thank you understand & agree.
                I now can’t get the dead wood version of the paper without making a 3 mile journey to a shop so am getting used to solving the electronic version.I dread putting in the last letter & getting “some answers incorrect” & having to trawl through to find where I have fat fingered something

                1. Just to put my four penn’orth in I didn’t do yesterday’s until this afternoon, so I didn’t comment or read the blog. I found it challenging but solvable. I’ve been known to have a bit of a moan myself when I’ve felt there were too many obscure words and hmmph has appeared in more than one of my comments. I’ve been known to agree with Brian as well.

            2. Yes, I agree you were being fair LRO. As I said in my last post, I never blame the setter and always try to thank them even if I find the offering hard. It’s myself that has the problem and nobody else.
              I’ll pass on the Grouse, though because I have a glass by my side.

    4. Glad someone reads my late replies! Sometimes I feel like commenting even if there aren’t going to be many readers. I was held up for a long time with 6a. I was absolutely convinced that the last two words were “the baton”. Could not think of a first word in the past tense which would fit.

      1. I always try and read the replies even the later ones. I too started with Carry the Baton and that was the hold up for me.
        I didn’t add much to this thread about negative comments as it seems I/We started a bit of a flame war.
        I usually try and remember that “If you have nothing nice to say better say nothing” and I try and work to that as much as poss. This is a pleasant distracting hobby and I appreciate all that the setters bloggers and people here, and at the DT do to keep us entertained. especially in these difficult times

  8. Perhaps someone can tell me – why is it that the Friday crossword tends to be the hardest? I’d have thought that the weekend would be the time for the hardest ones as one would (lockdown excluded) typically have more time to commit to them. Also the prize crosswords often aren’t very difficult, which seems counter intuitive. Oh and can you actually win a prize? If so, how?

    1. It always used to seem that the backpagers started off easy on a Monday graduating to more difficult on a Friday but that doesn’t always follow these days.

      The weekend prize puzzles have currently been suspended until the lockdown ends but when they resume you can submit your completed grid to the DT in the hope of winning a prize pen

    2. I quite agree. I always think that the prize puzzle (even if there are no prizes currently) should be the highlight (and the stiffest challenge) of the week. Instead, after several good puzzles in the last few days, today we get what I thought was a rather lacklustre effort.
      Thanks to the setter and CS.

      1. If the standard of toughness is raised too high then less folk attempt the puzzle. Making the prize puzzles easier leads to more entries and therefore more casual sales of the newspaper. The circulation department have a lot to answer for.

        1. MP, your comment about increased sales of the dead wood version combined with additional names for their contact list has always been my thinking re easier Saturday prize puzzles.

      2. I would agree that prize puzzles should be a lot more difficult than this, but as MP says it is to increase circulation/entries. I’m just glad, given the time available between opening Tilsit’s email asking me to stand in and having to get the blog ready to publish, that today’s puzzle was extra friendly.

    3. At the risk of repeating myself and bragging again, I have won twice ! (Over the course
      of some twenty years!) They receive thousands of entries, it is just the luck of the draw.

    4. Friday’s are the hardest so that people buy the paper on Saturday (a low sales day) to see the solution!

  9. Much, much more enjoyable than yesterday and, for a change, I noticed the possibility of a pangram very early on. That helped me with my last one in (the Israelite). I’d never heard of the instrument so once solved, I looked it up.

    I agree with RD about 24a, but not 26a which was obvious to me once the South American was put in the only space possible.

    As usual, I really liked all the long ones.

    Many thanks to CS and the setter

  10. Nothing to write home about today I’m afraid. Very straightforward & all over far too quickly. No real favourites but I quite liked 6a for openers. Thanks to the setter & to CS for the review.

  11. Nothing too taxing and some great clues. Favourite 7d. 5d gave me pause for thought. “Size” in the sense of a primer is a term I haven’t heard in quite a while.

    1. Just seeing the word took me back to helping my dad with wallpapering more than fifty years ago now!

      1. Back in days of yore, I believe that size in that sense was also used to “paint” the fabric skins of aircraft that were little more than balsa and cotton. It shrank and stiffened the fabric to make a base for painting.

      2. I’m sure my mum used to call it gluesize. This was my last in. Hard one for younger solvers I thought particularly as assize courts were abolished in 1971!

  12. Whatever was in my head that allowed me to sort through yesterday was still there this morning as this must have been my quickest solve ever. Quite enjoyable mostly but weak in some I thought (eg 20, 25 & 26a)
    However much more satisfying than being in the B&Q website queue for 45 minutes, ordering for click & collect, then being told no availability in stores near me!
    Thanks to CS and the benevolent setter.
    Somewhat envy the weather CS is having over the last few days. Sunny here but temperatures not much into double figures with a decidedly cool easterly has stopped sunbathing here.

    1. Just going to get my warm coat out for a blow/shiver across the marshes. I’ll be back in due course to see who has said what while I’m away.

      1. Your reference to “marshes” made me look up what is happening to the RH&DR on their website- looks like it will be closed until June.
        Fond memories of journeys on the line over the years.

        1. I keep planning to do something with a photo of me and my siblings at the RH&DR, our boys there back in the 80s and the one with our grandson in it, although perhaps I’d better wait until our granddaughter has visited so we can have a full three-generations in a frame!

          1. Had to google that. How pretty, do they still have those old trains? Looks like my brother’s train set!

            1. Still just the same. Runs regular services. Children use it to get to school. Very popular with tourists. I’ll try and remember to look out some photos to send you tomorrow

          2. This talk of multi-generation pics has just reminded me of one of my favourite photos – I have one of our Elder Lamb when she was four months old with me, my Dad and my Nan (Dad’s mother). Must hunt it out . . .

            1. Have just bought a gizmo to digitize all our 35mm slides.
              There are boxes and boxes going back to before we were married 58 years ago. It seems like a great lockdown project but I have to admit to trepidation as to what I will unearth ( “good gracious did I REALLY look like that?).
              Ourchildren still can’t imagine Mum & Dad ever rode a 650 Triumph Thunderbird (well Dad, although Mrs LROK also had a full bike licence).

  13. It would appear that I found this a little trickier than most who have commented so far, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    Of course, I missed the pangram but I did think Nina with the grid being used. However, that thought disappeared when there was no U either side of the Q.
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 4d, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to the setter and CS.

    1. I agree Senf, odd as it may seem i found yesterday’s tricky but completed it in reasonable time except for 1 clue which i couldn’t get. Today i couldn’t solve the last 4 clues for the life of me 12a 5d 8a and 2d(not helped by putting faces for 1a but thats just carelessness on my behalf)

  14. A fun run with just enough challenge for a relaxed start to the weekend. Male and female first names seem to occur regularly these days – a bit uninspiring. No really outstanding Fav but simple 14a appealed although doubtless a chestnut. TVM Mysteron and CS.

      1. Sorry Sue. I changed it because my comment went into moderation and I thought perhaps it was due to misspelling of my alias but I now suspect may be there was no Name or Email as today they are not automatically being filled in. Apologies for causing extra work for you. 🤭

  15. For the first time ever, I spotted the pangram – a thing I always miss as a rule. A much more enjoyable puzzle than yesterday and I managed without hints or e-help. I liked 6d and this is my COTD. Others worthy of mention are 12a, 23a and 1d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the fun and to Cryticsue for the hints.

  16. Finally finished yesterday’s back page and glad that today’s didn’t take so long.
    The four long clues were the first to fall and gave me a nice frame to complete the rest.
    Very pleasant solve.
    As for the weather, it seems to follow the pattern of what we call the Ice Saints (Saints de Glace). Beware, all you gardeners out there, St Pancras could bring us a little frost on the 11th, 12th and 13th of May.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to CS for the full review.

    1. No, Huntsman, you weren’t. I tried several variations before realizing that the “u” still exists. Just like meow or miaow, Am spellings differ from Br ones. “Achoo” (for a sneeze here = something very different there). Nice chatting with you again.

      1. I don’t like to be picky but one owl doesn’t make that sound, it takes two. It’s a call and answer.

  17. When my crosswords started appearing on Saturdays about 30 years ago. I was told it was because they were slightly easier than the others. That was the DT policy then. I am not sure if it is now.
    As regards the grid, I think 75 black squares are quite enough. Every word has at least half of the letters interlocking with the bonus of eight answers having three consecutive letters interlocking, and no double unches.

    1. Thank you for popping in to comment. Nice grid and nice crossword too

      Hope you and Mrs C are surviving the lockdown

    2. Yes, thoroughly enjoyed today. Had to fit it in between painting different walls in the bedroom, so late finishing. Thanks very much for an enjoyable puzzle.

  18. Still warm here although I think change is on its way looking at the forecast for tomorrow.
    Nice to get an easy puzzle today – leaves plenty of time to do battle with Mr Radler in the NTSPP slot!
    Favourite here was 27a mostly for the images conjured up by the clue.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for keeping the Saturday Club up and running.

  19. I missed the fact that this was a pangram. Grateful that this wasn’t a big struggle like yesterday. Oh to head off to Florida and visit 7d again would be a real treat. Another year. At least we are trying to recreate some of the atmosphere of an American holiday. We spent last night building a smoker, and put beef ribs on early this morning. I’ve just finished making the bbq beans. Many thanks to the setter and to CS for the review.

  20. I enjoyed the exchange of views above. Yes this was easy, and yesterday‘s was relatively hard, but I don’t mind variety, just happy to take things as they come, one day at a time. When you see what is happening round the world it seems to me to be the only sane way to think.
    Enjoyed it, nevertheless, and in locked-down Mallorca it’s still the highlight of my morning to have a crack at a few puzzles before lolling in the spring sunshine. Stay safe everyone.
    */****

  21. An enjoyable relief after yesterday. Only needed help parsing 18d but now don’t know how I missed it.
    I am happy with having puzzles of different levels of difficulty, and accept that some, like yesterday’s, I simply won’t complete. My solving skills have certainly improved over the years, thanks to perseverance with some of the more difficult ones, and of course this excellent blog.
    Many thanks to setter and CS.

  22. What a joy after yesterday’s head spinner. 7d is my favourite of the day.
    Regarding the general comments on yesterday’s workout – maybe some commentary was a little excessive, but was surely expressed, without malice intended, after a few hours of angst! Huge thanks to all the compilers, all through the week.

  23. Very enjoyable wander through the words this afternoon, not too taxing… got two thirds through yesterday & abandoned all hope,,, filled it in this morning with the answers from DT…. nuff said.
    2*/4* for today.
    With thanks to setter & BD for review.
    As a note some people purchase a newspaper solely on a Saturday & Sunday, many only attempt puzzling at the weekend. I think we should look at possibility of a prize toughie also, this will at least encourage all levels of solvers to have a go.
    Head over the parapet !

    1. For many years when working I only bought a Saturday Telegraph. There is plenty to read to last several days and I enjoyed doing the prize crossword as a leisure activity. Occasionally submitted and once won. I would be totally opposed to a deliberate toughening up of the Saturday puzzle, not for myself but for those for whom it is an introduction to cryptics and a pleasant Saturday activity

  24. Been so busy in the garden I didn’t get round to yesterday’s puzzle. After all that’s been said perhaps I will give it a miss. Today’s puzzle was a delight for me. Managed two thirds quite easily but had to think hard for the rest. Got there without any help so very pleased. Thank you to the setter and Crypticsue.

  25. Most enjoyable puzzle today, enough to make you ponder, enough gimmies and some that neded teasing out. All on all though a nice Saturday solve prize or no. I agree that prize crosswords should be tougher, but sometimes even those seem eadier thsn weekly ones it depends on many things mood, wavelength and sometimes the setter. Keep up the good work crossword compilers.
    Thanks to Crypticsue and setter.

  26. I am one of those who only gets the recycled wood version on a Saturday. Way too busy to have a crossword-a-day during the week. Sounds like I missed a beauty yesterday? Today’s lesson was the answer to 8A, a new one on me. Not too much needed in the Industrial Chemistry field. Overall then, a nice steady start to the weekend, a “Mile and Two” puzzle for me, with for some reason, 21D holding me up until the finishing line was in sight. I read the comments with interest and only ask folks to recognise that not everybody has the same area of expertise, so not everyone has the same love of individual setters. I appreciate whatever or whoever throws out my favourite challenge of the week on a Saturday.
    Stay safe… And do NOT rush into going out, or the last five weeks will have been in vain.

  27. Late today because after finishing the puzzle last night, I watched yet another Met opera streamed, as it were, from the past, and then slept the morning away. I enjoyed the puzzle very much, though once I solved the four long clues, I was held up a bit by the three-letter ones, for some reason. (I must do better with British Honours!) I particularly liked 8a, 14a, and 20a, with 3d my LOI (a delicacy we seem to lack here). An opera-a-day for the past fortnight has made this old buff a happy stay-at-home. Thank you, crypticsue, for the hints, and especially for parsing that ‘tail’ in 18d. I think I’ll call that one the COTD. Thanks too to the setter. ** / ****

  28. It’s strange, isn’t it, how perceptions of different puzzles can vary from solver to solver. I didn’t find this one quite as easy as most seem to have, but then I didn’t find yesterday’s as difficult as most. In complete contrast, Thursday’s puzzle seemed to be well liked, and yet I found it a rather irritating solve, with a generic name clue, too much GK, and outmoded terms such as pretty girl = dish, which I’m sure has no place in today’s world but still seems to crop up regularly in crosswordland.

    Anyway, back to today. I enjoyed both this pangram and the cup of tea which accompanied it after lunch in the sunshine. 2*/4* from me.
    Next job is to tidy out the garage, which I expect will be rather less fun!
    Thanks to Cephas for the entertainment, and to CS for the review.

  29. As is often the way, I found the Quickie harder than this. For instance there are quite a few “long necked birds” and, as mentioned above, how to write out the owl’s hoot?

    Having visited years ago, before it had a spell as Cape Kennedy, it was great to see 7d. Such an attractive original name.

    I hope you enjoyed your walk CS. It’s quite chilly here In my part of Kent and I’m further west than you. I bet the marshes were, to coin a phrase, bracing!

    Thank you for your blog.

    1. Very nice walk thank you – the sun came out and the sky is blue and so provided you are sheltered from the extremely cold wind, it was very nice out there,. The skylarks were all happy and I actually got to see a reed warbler, I’ve only heard them up to now. Trouble is that now its warmed up, someone thinks I ought to stop doing crossword related stuff and do some gardening.

  30. So nice to pick up the puzzle and do the four long clues straight away! As has been said, a much easier ride than yesterday – I always do the crossword
    at one o’clock when we have lunch and by that time all you early birds have written reams so I sometimes think it is not worth bothering to put in my two
    penn’orth as no one will see it. I LOVE my crosswords, easy or real devils like yesterday. Makes the subscription to the DT worth every penny.
    Thanks to all of you.. By the way, as I too late to ask some IT expert why suddenly I cannot get Big Dave on my iphone? It says ‘Bad Request. Your browser
    sent a request that this server could not understand Size of request l header field exceeds server limit.’

    What does this mean?

    1. Hi Daisygirl – nice comment, I couldn’t agree more
      Your browser cannot sync with BD’s server as the http request is bloated with (probably) outdated info
      Clear your cache or browsing history to reset the server request. If that doesn’t work, clear the cookie cache too
      Hope that does the trick

    2. I would clear cookies if I were you. you will probably have to log in to various other sites again but ok if you have passwords saved. it works for me whenever that happens. but you do have to click the save name etc thing on your next post or you go into moderation.

      LBR beat me to it but that should work ;)

  31. With apologies to all you chilly folks in the southeast, it’s balmy up here in Lancashire! Just completed sitting in the garden with a cup of tea and listening to the first of the house martens chattering. Another enjoyable solve, thanks to the setter and Cryptic Sue

  32. Ahhh this is just what my addled brain needed. I especially like 3d. It’s the only kind of frozen treat I like and brings back memories of Saturday mornings at the pictures where I suspect our parents just dropped us off to get some peace and quiet.

    I have been working on the latest advice from the genius to our south. Bleamosa Cocktail – equal parts bleach and orange juice with a dash of Angostura Bitters and topped with a couple of Maraschino cherries which turn to a bright white if you are not quick. I did try to pair it with a delicious string of old Christmas lights but had difficulty swallowing the plug so have tried again, am about to serve up some Ritz crackers topped with individual little lights that work with the teeny batteries.

    1. Did you not get the memo that he was being sarcastic?
      Apparently we all have a serious sense of humour failure……..

    2. A man who jokes (so he now says) about injecting disinfectants after 53,000+ American lives have been lost, largely as a result of his own thoughtless, heartless stupidities. This is beyond evil….

      1. It is shocking Robert, but perhaps what shocks me more is that still not enough are speaking up. Not directly our problem where I am though it is hard to be a mouse sleeping next to an elephant. My middle son and his family are Americans and worry for them all. Meanwhile in the UK my nephew is recovering from COVID19 as are his wife and little’uns. He shaved his head to raise money the NHS and has reached about a thousand pounds.
        Thank goodness for the sanity of the DT crosswords. I was always bonkers but would be much worse without that mainstay.

    3. One of my English family shared a post on FB today – it said something along the lines of “Injecting disinfectant into the body is something that we already do – it’s called embalming”! It appealed to my somewhat twisted sense of humour – as did something that was said about R Reagan being a masterpiece of the embalmers’ art! 🙃

      1. LOL! Oh yes, memories of Spitting Image and good ole Ronnie and Nancy in bed. I miss proper cynical politically incorrect humour.

  33. What a relief today. Managed alone and unaided but could not parse 18d, so not a hurrah day, but definitely a well done day.

    Thanks to the setter and to crypticsue.

    Lovely sunshine up here in coastal Angus……

    1. Parsing 18d l believe is 5 then 3, Ora.
      Completed for once without hints yesterday, but so many jobs to do, commenting much later.
      Enjoyed the puzzle, luckily didn’t have to worry about yesterday’s hard one!
      Pleased to see Sue helping out our busy Tilsit!
      Thanks to setter for his efforts, and hope that Big Dave is OK at this tricky time.

  34. A nice puzzle for a wet, windy Saturday. The dog’s did NOT appreciate the walk this morning!
    Sure beats the one yesterday that I just could not get onto setter’s wavelength.
    Favourite clues today were many, but 8a, 20a & 3d top with 3d the winner
    Thanks to setter and CS for the hints.

  35. Oddly enough I struggled with today’s puzzle but was on the wavelength yesterday, maybe the way I am wired.

    I sense a little tension as lockdown creeps on but my bet would be that garden centres will be open by the end of the week, that’s got to help!

    Stay safe all

  36. I’m with those who enjoy all crosswords – it’s just that I enjoy some more than others.
    My only complaint today is that I could have done with it taking a bit longer – having finished it fairly quickly I then felt as if I should be doing something useful.
    I couldn’t remember the 9a muse and then, having remembered her name, I couldn’t spell her.
    12a and 5d were my last ones.
    I missed the pangram, as usual.
    I liked the four long answers round the outside and my favourite could be any one of them.
    With thanks to Cephas, for the crossword and for calling in, and to CS for standing in at short notice.

  37. This was a perfect example of wavelength. I stared for ages trying to get a foothold and only solving three or four clues, then I had an epiphany with 6d and I was off and galloping. I don’t think I’ve ever solved any puzzle that quickly! Two things held me up, I had the wrong answer at 5d, and wrote the wrong letter at 13d, corrected when I got 12a.
    Fave was 27a, hands down, but there’s lots more to like.
    Thanks Cephas for the fun, loved it, and to CS for the great review.

  38. **/****. Enjoyable puzzle and a pangram which helped spot 5d. I started with a problem putting baton into 1a so it took a while to realize it couldn’t be. Thanks to the setter and CS for the review.

    1. For many years when working I only bought a Saturday Telegraph. There is plenty to read to last several days and I enjoyed doing the prize crossword as a leisure activity. Occasionally submitted and once won. I would be totally opposed to a deliberate toughening up of the Saturday puzzle, not for myself but for those for whom it is an introduction to cryptics and a pleasant Saturday activity

  39. After a day’s mattocking in the garden (edict from Mrs Fr Gr, who requires more dahlia space), I rewarded myself with this bath-length (temporal!) puzzle. However, it looks like I’m the only one who was suckered into a dummy pass at 12a, thinking that as it’s St Mark’s day, the clue must have something religious. I’ve got it now – but the water’s gone a bit cold during the delay. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  40. I’m in the “i thoroughly enjoyed this” camp. Like others I failed to spot the pangram, but to have one with no obscure words in is a testament to the setter. Favourite was 9a. Many many thanks to Cephas and CS.

  41. Great puzzle with three contenders for favourite (sorry Kath), 1a, 25a and 6d. Have been enjoying these still our girls were tots (51 and 48 now, my goodness), and have enjoyed even more since retirement and finding this wonderful blog and all the people on it. The DT puzzles even more of a godsend during this global lockdown. Thanks to the setter for today’s puzzle and to CrypticSue for the hints.

    1. I have a theodolite by Cooke Troughton and Simms Very chunky indeed The Plath sextants look very nice too.
      I must get mine out and give it a polish. brass polishing is another job to be caught up on while in lockdown.

  42. I appreciated this simpler solve – a satisfying way to round off a sunny day outside!

  43. Crikey what a lot of comments – an entertaining read in itself verging on a heated debate……

  44. Unlike most, I found some of the clues quite difficult. There were some fairly obscure (to me at least) answers – 5d, 9a and 20a.

    5d had an obscure gluey term and the answer itself is a historical term.

    Still a million times more enjoyable than Friday.

  45. Found this old one lying around. Much easier than normal – maybe because I’d been struggling with last Fridays. Beginning to see old clues coming round. Still haven’t worked out what a pangram is but maybe that why my friends call me Trig!

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