DT 26483 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26483

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26483

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

While I enjoyed this puzzle and was able to complete it fairly readily, I found it considerably more of a challenge to review. I found that the clues ran the gamut – from quite simple to very tricky. For a while I thought it might merit 2* for difficulty, but a few clues whose wordplay left me scratching my head for quite some time caused me to rethink the rating.

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


1a Look for food without a mould (5)
{FORGE} – one may form a word meaning ‘to shape metal by heating and hammering’ by striking the A out of one meaning to search for food.

4a Team’s leader organised athletics vehicles (9)
{TRANSPORT} – a charade of T(eam) + a synonym for managed + another term for athletics gives what I would say is really the purpose of vehicles (with the object being equated to the purpose, much like food being termed sustenance).

9a Testing after one mile, and getting better (9)
{IMPROVING} – the Roman numeral for one plus M(ile) is followed by a term often applied to the testing of automobiles, with the result meaning making or becoming of higher quality or value.

10a Men having time for student friends (5)
{MATES} – the wordplay in this clue almost defeated me, but some intense ‘perservation’ paid off in the end; start with another word for men, replace the symbol associated with a student driver with the symbol for time, the result being what we in North America would call buddies.

11a Occupation for female supplying weapons (7)
{FARMING} – start with F(emale) and add the act of equipping with weapons to get a rural business involving growing crops and/or raising livestock for sale.

12a Name the original source of fuel (7)
{METHANE} – an anagram (original) of NAME THE is the main component of natural gas.

13a Thinks like this, returning to hug tree (6)
{OPINES} – a two letter word meaning ‘in the specified state or condition’ is reversed and placed around an evergreen tree to produce a word meaning supposes or expresses one’s thoughts on a matter.

15a Troops regularly outside to follow young child (8)
{INFANTRY} – a very young child is followed by the outside letters of R(egularl)Y to produce a body of foot soldiers.

18a Programmes that might sort a few out (8)
{SOFTWARE} – the indicator might have been “sort”, but instead it is “out”, in this anagram of SORT A FEW which gives us the sort of programmes running on our computers.

20a A road enthusiast reversing, that’s plain (6)
{TUNDRA} – A + R(oa)D + someone obsessed with an activity, all reversed, is the type of frozen, relatively flat, treeless zone found in northern regions of Canada (among other places).

23a Renault crashed — out of gear (7)
{NEUTRAL} – an anagram (crashed) of this French automobile indicates the likely position of the shift lever when the car is idling.

24a Army unit’s incomplete diet (7)
{REGIMEN} – if one drops the final letter from an army unit typically commanded by a colonel, the result is a course of medical treatment that should involve exercise as well as diet.

26a Impenetrable Oriental studies have precedence (5)
{DENSE} – rooms typically set aside for reading or quiet work precede E(astern).

27a One new strain, we hear, is the objective (9)
{INTENTION} – put together the Roman numeral for one + N(ew) + a string of letters that sounds like mental or emotional excitement or anxiety to get an aim or purpose.

28a Celebrity notices heavenly houses (4,5)
{STAR SIGNS} – these astrological divisions are a charade of a notable entertainment figure plus the kind of notices that one might find posted along the side of roads.

29a Creatures you expect to interest scientists first of all (5)
{YETIS} – the first letters of all the words in “you expect to interest scientists” form the name of ape-like creatures supposed to live in the Himalayas.


1d Footwear undergoes a total reversal (4-5)
{FLIP-FLOPS} – the name of this footwear, typically worn around the pool or at the beach, is also (at least in North America) used to describe an abrupt reversal of policy.

2d One exercises during runs, being more mature (5)
{RIPER} – start with a charade of the Roman numeral for one plus another term for gym class, then put all of this between two R(uns), and the result is a word meaning more fully developed (as one might say of fruit or cheese).

3d Spain has reason for generating strong feelings (7)
{EMOTIVE} – the International Vehicle Registration code for Spain followed by the sort of reason perpetually being sought by a police detective produces an adjective that might describe a passionate performance on stage.

4d Tom starts to moan audibly — it’s the pain (6)
{TWINGE} – not to whine, but for me this clue was a pain; it seems to be a charade of T(om) + a string of letters (which is not actually a word) that might be pronounced the same as what – in Britain, at least – is an actual word meaning to complain, with the result being a sudden sharp stabbing or shooting pain (rather than the long-lasting aching pain that this clue caused me)

5d Flipping idiot trapped in a lease dispute (8)
{ARGUMENT} – a quarrel or unfriendly discussion results from reversing a slang term for a gullible person and inserting it into a charade of A + a word meaning to hire out (a house or vehicle, for example) in return for the payment of money.

6d Island amateurs played without hope, ultimately (7)
{SUMATRA} – this Indonesian island is an anagram of AMATEURS with the last letter of (hop)E having been removed.

7d Stayed longer to see old statue demolished (9)
{OUTLASTED} – to have remained in a competition longer than an opponent is an anagram (demolished) of OLD STATUE.

8d Upset, a steward admits discrimination (5)
{TASTE} – many times ‘upset’ might signal either an anagram or a reversal, but not here; it, together with the two words that follow, form the fodder of a hidden word clue (indicated by “admits”) with the solution being a word meaning the ability to judge and appreciate what is suitable, fine, elegant or beautiful.

14d Strange file — a nun catching unknown disease (9)
{INFLUENZA} – a disease, sometimes attributed to birds and swine, is an anagram (strange) of FILE A NUN + one of the three common algebraic unknowns.

16d Income supports the last of my wishes (9)
{YEARNINGS} – the last letter of (m)Y finds support (in a down clue) from the contents of one’s pay packet in producing intense feelings of longing.

17d Doing exercises is boring (8)
{DRILLING} – practising the times table (for instance) might be akin to exploring for petroleum.

19d Keepers of forest in the borders of Wales? (7)
{WARDENS} – these officials were perhaps responsible for looking after the game found in this forest which our setter places within the outside letters of W(ale)S, but which in real life was situated in Warwickshire.

21d Hurry game up — clearly disheartened after information (7)
{URGENCY} – It being a down clue, “up” signals a reversal, in this case of the abbreviation for one version of a game named after the English school where it was first played. Follow this with a colloquial term for information and the outer letters (disheartened) of C(learl)Y to get a substitute for ‘hurry’, as used in the phrase ‘What’s the hurry?’.

22d Where fires start raging in exits (6)
{GRATES} – although the definition in this clue is not clear to me, the wordplay would certainly seem to be R(aging) contained in the type of exits one might find at a stadium. The definition may be simply “where fires?” with the answer being the solution. Or perhaps the clue may be intended to be a cryptic definition or a semi & lit. (all-in-one). I am sure someone will have an opinion.

23d Shows agreement about origin of embryonic swellings (5)
{NODES} – a word meaning ‘indicates approval with a movement of the head’ is placed around the first letter of E(mbryonic) to form a swelling where a leaf is attached to a stem.

25d Damp fog enveloping circle (5)
{MOIST} – a word meaning slightly wet or watery is produced when condensed water vapour in the air collects on the letter O.

For me, no clues really stood out today. If I were forced to pick a favourite, it might be 19d where our setter (like a latter day Shakespeare) causes a forest to move.

Quick crossword pun: (jury} + {allies} = (do you realise?}

123 comments on “DT 26483

  1. I agree this was a tad trickier than normal but only by a hair’s breadth. All the usual hallmarks of an excellent Jay crossword were there. Many thanks to him for the fun and to Falcon for the review. Favourite clue was 10a.

  2. Thanks for posting so early Falcon! I managed all but two clues – not helped by not knowing the IVR code for spain. Didn’t like 1a much & wouldn’t have understood it at all without your explanation, think it’s a bit obscure as the answer to ‘without a mould’.
    Got1d but was a mystery as I didn’t know it meant a ‘complete reversal’ & your explanation of the wordplay for 10a was a ‘ping’ moment.
    Big thanks, and thank to the setter for a fun start to the third day of half term. Just wish the weather was better!! :-(

    1. Claire, the definition for 1a was just ‘mould’, as in ‘to shape’; ‘without a’ indicated that ‘a’ should be removed from the word meaning to search for food.
      Hope this helps.

  3. Good morning Falcon, didn’t realise you were in N America, enjoyed this today although only one fav clue and that was 4a, I totally agree about 10a, although I got the answer I couldn’t see how it worked and of course it should have been so obvious! alao 1d have only ever heard that in relation to footwear never as you have described, live and learn! other than that a nice workable puzzle, completed without the hints but with electronic friend :) thanks for the blog which I will now read in full

    1. It really does help in cryptics when there is no obscure general knowledge needed, thanks for that Jay :) Oh and Falcon nice to see you perservated, I wonder how long before we can get the word, which I created by total accident on this blog and has been taken up by many :) accepted elsewhere ??? :-D

      1. Hi Mary, didn’t realise you created that neologism, congratulations. How did you create it by accident ?

    2. Hi Mary,

      My being in Canada explains the early posting. Dave sends me the puzzle shortly after midnight your time which is early evening of the previous day here. I return the review sometime after midnight my time, which is early morning in the UK.

      Flip-flop meaning to make a complete reversal of position is a very common expression in North America. It is often – although not exclusively – used in relation to the position espoused by a politician on a policy issue. The online sites of Chambers, Collins and Oxford all identify this usage as being chiefly North American. One might presume that the expression could derive from the gymnastics manoeuvre rather than the footwear. If so, it would seem to be a bit misguided as a flip-flop (backwards somersault or handspring) would seem to return one to the same position rather than the opposite position (unless it were to be accompanied by a 180 degree twist).


      1. Hi Falcon
        Us British Gymnastic didn’t call them “flip-flops”. In the 60’s I called them either a “Back Flick” or “Flick-Flack” in the UK. More differences between English and American language!
        A handspring actually goes the other way – ie forwards. And you don’t put you hands on the floor at all for a back somersault!
        Sorry – the pedant in me coming out!

        1. Hi Pommette,
          I remember attempting “Flick-Flacks” at school in the 60′s. I always landed on my head! Explains everything!

          1. Tell me about it! Many happy head butts of the floor before I got to work out what to do with my arms!
            Could manage back-somis as no arms were required, easy-peasy!

              1. PS floorwork was my speciality! ***** at vault, okay on beam and bars!
                Had more falls off the bars though that added to the brain damage

                1. Do you remember Věra Čáslavská on the beam? So elegant!

                  But now, young girls do such amazing things on the beam!

                  But, being a Grumpy Old Man – I preferred the “old days”!

                  (Apologies to all those who have no interest in gymnastics)

                  1. Hey, even I remember Olga Korbut and Nadia wotsit with awe! I’m not reallt interested in gymnastics but I do appreciate ultimate skill!
                    ]Also another Russian girl – Torescheva or similar?

                    1. Ludmilla Tourischeva to be correct. She was so elegant – even in her 30’s.
                      I remember the “kids” that I taught in the late 70’s telling me I was OLD for gymnastics at the ripe old age of 24!

        2. Flip Flops = leisure shoes with an attachment between leading and second toe on the foot. Got mine out, polished and dusted for imminent trip to Sharm El Sheik (along with snorkel and scuba gear). Yep appreciate the problems out there, but easy to dodge rubber bullets and have a strategy to deal with the sharks !!!

          1. Pommette once had a pair of Flip-flops which fell apart after 10 years – I tolde her to take them back to Woolworths and complain but she wouldn’t!
            Keep your head down mate!

            1. No problem pommers, apparently the deposed guy is in a private villa in Sharm,totally friendless, perhaps he might invite me over for a drink !!!! Rubber bullets, no problem. Sharks, I have a secret strategy which is absolutely foolproof.

        3. Hi Pommette,

          Nice to hear from someone who appears to have had some first hand exposure to the sport. Not having been a gymnast (and certainly not likely to take it up now), I unfortunately can’t speak from experience. I am therefore relying on the dictionaries (specifically the online versions). With respect to ‘flip-flop’, you would seem to be correct (at least, as far as it being a North American expression) as Oxford defines it as “North American a backward handspring”. I guess we not only talk differently over here, we also seem to do handsprings both forwards and backwards.

          Collins defines ‘flip-flop’ as “a backward handspring” without specifying that it is a North American usage, but does so identify the other sense of the word “Informal chiefly US a complete change of opinion, policy, etc.”.

          Similarly, Chambers does not tie the gymnastic meaning to North America, in saying “a kind of backwards somersault in which the performer jumps over onto their hands and then over onto their feet, often repeatedly. Also called flip-flap.” Chambers’ version of a somersault would seem to be somewhat at odds with yours, but I would personally give more credence to your definition. I have observed that it is not all that unusual for definitions in Chambers to be at variance with those in other dictionaries. While Chambers does not have ‘flip-flop’ as a noun in the sense of a reversal of policy, it does include it as a verb “politics, chiefly US to reverse a policy; to do a U-turn”.

          I searched in vain for ‘flick-flack’ in these three dictionaries. I wonder, though, if ‘flick-flack’ might be a local variant of the ‘flip-flap’ shown in Chambers.


          1. Somersaults are where you go from feet-to-feet without putting you hands on the floor. They can be (a) tucked (ie in a ball), (b) piked (ie legs straight at 90 degrees to the body – or if you’re really good up by your chest) or (c) straight ! – and can go backwards or forwards! [PS I trained as a PE teacher but never taught but also qualified as an Olympics Gymnastics coach and did work in a gym club for several years until I got too old!].

            Collins definition is pretty close. A handsping goes from feet-hands-feet in a forward direction so a flip-flop could be defined as a backwards handspring quite correctly.

            Flick-flack could well be colloquial to the UK – it is very similar though to flip-flap so could even just be a mis-pronunciation.

            Was it Churchil who said that “the British and the Americans are two peoples divided by a common language”?

            1. “Flick-Flack” I find it strange that I cannot find it in my dictionaries (both paper & online). Even, Google dissappoints.

              When some modern-day footballers celebrate a goal by performing a “round-off” followed by a “flick-flack”, I always get annoyed when football commentators describe it as a backward somersault. Definitely, a flick-flack!

              1. Were you a gymnast too Franco? You understand round-off and flick-flack too well to be a novice!

  4. Reasonably straight forward again today, but also didn’t enjoy 10a. Figured it out early, but couldn’t see why so didn’t but it in, meant that I struggled a bit with 5d and 6d. Didn’t really help that I mis-spelled 6d wrong, grrrrrr. Once I got that right, everything fell into place

  5. Had an hour for this and got it done, but couldn’t fully justify 10a either. Thanks to all. I wondered yesterday if anybody finds 4 letter clues more difficult than you might expect, or is it just me? Any thoughts?

    1. Hi toadson, it seems a lot of people don’t like four letter clues, personally I do like them and find them often the wittiest clues in a crossword

          1. You are right Mary – I haven’t downloaded it as yet and am just reading comments – possibly I won’t bother but I usually enjoy Jay’s puzzles so may decide to go ahead and get it done.

            Am cleaning (or should I say scrubbing) my oven and waiting for next session!!!

            1. not many in todays Lea more 5 letter clues :) I hate oven cleaning, that’s another thing you just have to perservate with!

        1. I like them if I get them… But you’re right, if there’s two letters out of four there and there’s no obvious way in, they can be remarkably frustrating.


    2. Hi Toadson

      10a – men (‘MALES’) having time (‘T’) for student (‘L’) – replace the L with a T – for the definition, MATES.


    3. Both Pommers and I aren’t keen on 4 letter answers either. They are either blinding obvious or tricky little rascals!

  6. Favourites for me today are 10a, 6d, 14d. Needed Hints to understand 10a, very clever.
    Thanx to Compiler and Falcon.

    Any thoughts on the pun in the quickie? have solved the clues but can’t fathom the pun out.

      1. I liked today’s pun, as well.
        FYI, Wayne, the pun is now shown below the hints for the cryptic (after BD kindly acceded to my request).

          1. Hey BD, perhaps you should leave it a little longer/ later until you reveal the pun. Personally I enjoy it as much as the cryptic. Appreciate ALISONS request but could you not leave it until a little later, it is only one hint of an otherwise brilliant blog..
            Thank you and regards to Alisons.

            1. Wayne,
              We normally show the Quickie pun hidden, so that you have to positively choose to reveal it. I only put it in clear in a comment today because you asked for it (and it wasn’t in the blog at the time).

              1. Thank you gazza, crossed wires here. I do appreciate what you say, I had resolved it before BD (or you) put it on line,in fact I had blogged that I had resolved it before your comment (followed by a question mark ). My point is , could you not leave it just a little bit longer than including it with the hints for the cryptic. Appreciate Alisons request BUT it is only one of a lot of Hints (answers). Stress, this is only my observation and in no way detracts from my appreciation of this site.

  7. Only a tad trickier than normal for me. A 2* difficulty with no unusual words but with perhaps 2-3 Toughie-style wordplay clues thrown in. Enjoyed it. Thanks for review.

    I like four-letter clues – when I can get them! Also like the grids with a square of five-letter clues in the centre.

  8. Funny how things are dfferent for different people. This morning’s challenge was a breeze for me and barely lasted a cup of coffee. It just flowed very naturally. Plenty of smiles but no big surprices. Last ones in were on the east side: 15a and 16d. When I “saw” 16d, I remembered having seen the construction before.

    I also had a moment or two problems with parsing the word play of 16a. the answer just had to be correct but I find substitutions often hard to spot.

    18a: Quibble! Astrological houses are NOT star signs but divisions of the sky that move with the rotatio of the earth. So, whatever constellation is at the eastern horizon is considered in the “first house”, aka the ascendant. Houses 1-6 are below the horizon, 7-12 above.

    Overall good fun but not enough of a challenge.

    Favourites for me: none.

    My rating is diff *, enjoyment ***.

    Thanks to setter and Falcon!

  9. Thanks once again to Jay for the enjoyable puzzle we come to expect from him; good fun, and fairly straightforward today.
    Thanks also to Falcon for the review.
    Back to Osmosis to finish off the last four remaining in today’s toughie, which I am also enjoying.

  10. Another one completed, with the books but not the toys, just needed a couple of hints n the NE corner to finish. Needed several more hints to explain things, 10/13a, 1d. Having a better week than the last one, glad to say.

    Can’t point to any favs, but very satisfying, thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  11. I also found this very straightforward today having solved it after the Toughie (you’ll find out why later!). 4a and 20 a were definite favourites. I would agree with Falcon, whilst not particularly hard there is a fine variety of well constructed clues – as ever with Jay. Thanks to you both.

  12. I too am in the straightforward, quick to solve, enjoyable camp. Thanks to Jay and to Falcon for the review.

    Toughie is a good one to try today too. Few headscratchers but don’t let that put you off.

  13. What a pleasing puzzle. I was led astray a couple of times, having put ticks for 23d, and rations for 24 across, but that´s all part of the fun, and of course as soon as I got the right answers, I realised that my original efforts didn´t quite add up. And I finished just a couple of minutes before getting off the metro in Valencia. Pues todo bien aqui en España.

        1. Rough translation = Yes! All well in Almoradi also!
          No verb required when you speak colloquially!

  14. Straightforward and enjoyable. I put 4d in quickly and then thought: what about the missing H? I assume it isn’t an alternative spelling. Liked 23a.

    1. As Falcon says in the blog the letters WINGE aren’t actually a word put if pronounced would sound like WHINGE = moan. The word audibly is the homophone (souds like) indicator.

      1. It took me a while to figure out that WINGE is not a variant spelling of WHINGE as well. This clue was a real test for me, as WHINGE is virtually unheard of – if not completely unheard of – in North America. Over here, we WHINE rather than WHINGE.

        1. Both would be understood in UK English but I refer you to Pommette’s post about Churchill! Not so hard for us Brits wot speak proper!

            1. Indeed! Half my friends call me ‘Pom’, it’s a contraction of my surname, but fortunately don’t accuse me of whinging! Well, not often anyway!

        2. I got 4d but never figured out why, having never heard of ‘winge’ either. I’m another handicapped North American. Otherwise an enjoyable exercise undertaken rather late in the day.

  15. Found today’s a bit easier than yesterday’s, but enjoyable – it is very satisfying to finish quickly sometimes. Liked the misdirection in many of the clues, even if I wasn’t lost for long, and particularly enjoyed 1a, 24a, 1d, 6d and 21d.

    I was just wondering, does anyone else start in the bottom right corner? I often find this the easiest place to get a handhold. Maybe the setters run out of steam… :-)

    Thanks to Falcon and Jay (?).

    1. I often start there Alison, my brother reckons that it is often the easiest corner because he thinks it is the last corner for setters to do and by then they are running out of ideas, don’t know if there’s any truth in this :)

    2. I usually just go through the the across clues in order followed by the downs. I find there are usually a few you can solve ‘cold’ to get a start. I then go to whichever part of the puzzle I have the most checkers in and take it from there.

  16. The usual Wednesday Wizard standard! Thanks Jay.
    Very enjoyable with a fine mix of clue types even if not too difficult.
    For some reason I read 10a the wrong way round and put in MALES as the answer so 7d was last in! D’oh!
    Thanks also to Falcon.

  17. Enjoyed as usual Jay’s offering. Same problems as others with 10a, and pondered 13a too long as had put “emotion”in for 3d. Another d’oh moment! Thanks to all.

  18. I did all but 13 in quick time and then ran into same problem as erstwhile friends above. I was quite emotional when I saw the light. Liked 14 and 15 but no real favourites. Recommend 24 for yawn of the day – how many more times?

  19. I thoroughly enjoyed today and with only a few hints from Pommers got thorugh to the end!
    Thanks Jay for a good workout and Falcon for the blog

  20. Hello everyone. Although I finished without resort to hints or in fact any other aids I did not think it was all straightforward and a number of clues took a while to work out. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Fave clues 10a & 21d. Thanks to the setter (Jay?), Falcon and as always BD.

    1. Ainsley, I note that you logged in to the after 8 club 34 minutes early. As the originator of this club could you please stick by the entry rules and be available 7/7. Apart from that, enjoy whatever you’re doing and sip the wine gently.
      Wayne. (Pinot Grigio, Borgo Magredo)

      1. Yes must aplogise Wayne. I did the same yesterday and got away with it. I am off this half term hence being able to sign in a little earlier than normal. Watching the football at the moment and trying not to think about work. Might even push the boat out and make a cup of tea at half time – how to live life on the edge!

        1. Wow, you do take care mon ami, guess you might be in the teaching related profession, half term and all that jazz, whatever, do take care. TEA, what is that ?????????????????????

          1. Not quite – the better half is a teacher – I am a mere accountant (no monty python references please) and decided I could do with a week off even though not actually going anywhere

    2. Agree with Wayne – we can’t have an ‘After Eight Club’ which starts at 1926!

      Bad form! But you’re forgiven – how are you?

      I too, liked 10a across, once I’d worked out I’d read it the wrong way round – see post #21.

      1. Yep pommers I have been truly out of order but good to be forgiven.I’m well thanks. I did get 10a after some consideration and was very pleased with myself. All ok with you?

            1. To be stricty accurate you are supposed to have an upside down ! at the beginning but I haven’t a clue how to do it on this blog! Franco knows how!

  21. V straightforward for me this evening, (in the after eight club). Lots of posts, and some long ones, but not had a chance to read them yet. Nice to see Falcon back, thanks.

  22. re the American use of flip flop: does this relate to the flipping of politicians’ houses in the expenses scandal last year?

      1. Thank you for the welcome, Gazza. I did actually make a comment about 10 days ago, but didn’t at that time realise that I needed a nom de plume, or should I say nom de souris ?
        Please can I have a different picture? Even on my bad days, I don’t look as bad as this !!

        I like the picture of Gazza, we used to have a friend who looked very similar, but he has now gone to the great kennel in the sky.

        1. You can have your own avatar – details of how to do it are in the FAQ, click here.
          Incidentally, when you send a comment you should leave the url field blank (unless you have your own website).

                1. Hmm.

                  Having tried to sign up again, the Gravatar site asks for a username (min 4 characters) and password.

                  Still, there’s nothing wrong with an angry octagon.

  23. A lovely puzzle with a few giggle clues. One and a half cups of tea and no assistance required. This week has been a piece of duff so far. Today, difficulty 2*, enjoyment 4*. Compilers, get a grip. Prorogue has been the best word this week. Try harder!

      1. Seriously, don1991, What has been so bad?. I am aware of the word ‘prorogue’ but would not like to see a crossword filled with such obscurities on a daily basis. Our setters this week have provided some great definitions and clues for words that we all know – now THAT is the skill.

  24. I started this after dinner but fell asleep – had a glass of Asbach Uralt as the string beans looked a bit weird before I cooked them but they tasted OK – alcohol to make sure!!
    Woke up and finished it.
    Clues that I liked : 13a, 18a, 20a, 28a, 1d, 7d, 14d, 16d & 19d.

    Re 1d – see my response to Falcon.

  25. I was a physicist and electronic engineer when I worked – now many years ago.
    Flip Flop is an electronic circuit as well as being slippers (in the plural).
    Interesting to read your remarks on this meaning.

    1. I know the circuit from Boolean Logic and programmming in the BMS Industry Derek.
      “If I am ON then turn me OFF, if I am OFF then turn me ON”
      By the way, you comment #32 doesn’t work. Did you need to reply to another comment elsewhere.
      Equally this one light need to be a response to another comment!

      1. My comment #31 was supposed to be an insert reply to Falcon (his long reply to Pomette) but for some obscure reason it would not insert and my #32 was a second attempt which also didn’t insert

        I have since uninstalled a programme from my PC which seemed to be causing trouble as the insertion now works.

  26. Great puzzle – and review! I came a cropper on 23a – I interpreted “out of gear” as naked, so solved Renault as “naturel”!

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