DT 27197 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27197

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27197

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Was this a puzzle put in the wrong envelope? I found it a tad more difficult than the usual back-page (or is it inside back-page?) puzzle.

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    In agreement to make amends (5)
{ATONE} – split as (2,3) this could mean in agreement

4a    Depression restricting spring expedition (8)
{DISPATCH} – a depression or trench around (restricting) a mineral spring

10a    He cuts with a right — pure boxing (7)
{SHEARER} – this person who cuts wool from a sheep is derived by putting the A from the clue and R(ight) inside (boxing) an adjective meaning pure or absolute


11a    Without hesitation battered fish is put in front of fellow officer (7)
{SHERIFF} – a two-letter expression of hesitation with an anagram (battered) of FISH around it (without) and followed by F(ellow) – regular readers will know what I think of without as an inclusion indicator!

Sorry Clapton fans, but I prefer this version!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Offensive characters recalled from ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ (4)
{RUDE) – hidden (characters … from) and reversed (recalled) inside the clue – “Tess of” is padding provided solely for the surface reading

13a    Private remark the opposite of flip? (5)
{ASIDE} – as (1-4) this is the main song on a record (the opposite of the flip) – the kind of clue for which wearing a slightly-mad hat can help!

14a    Wife given a kiss then getting yen for pasty (4)
{WAXY} – W(ife) followed by the A from the clue, the letter which represents a kiss and Y(en)

17a    Artists’ bust piece of furniture? (5,2,7)
{CHEST OF DRAWERS} – this could be the bust or breast belonging to some artists – do these artists really have only one bust between them? It doesn’t work for me

19a    Data processor sensing less crucial question (6,8)
{NUMBER CRUNCHER} – an adjective meaning sensing or felling less followed by a crucial question

22a    A fancy for an outstanding hairdo (4)
{AFRO} – the A from the clue followed by an anagram (fancy) of FOR

23a    Dazed soldier facing major operation wanting answer (5)
{GIDDY} – an American soldier followed by the major operation that he may have been involved in on 6th June 1944 (1-3)without (wanting) the A(nswer)

24a    Press sarcasm’s not unknown (4)
{IRON} – drop the Y (mathematical unknown) from some sarcasm

27a    Cocktail that’s more than 50 per cent gin or geneva brought round (7)
{NEGRONI} – hidden (more than 50 per cent) and reversed (brought round) inside the clue

28a    No women at this point can be out of the running (7)
{NOWHERE} – NO followed by W(omen) and an adverb meaning at this point

29a    Shop whose customers are nearly all departing (4-4)
{DUTY-FREE} – not an undertaker, but a shop based at an airport

30a    Annoyed he spent so much time in the bank? (5)
{RATTY} – this character in The Wind in the Willows spends a lot of time in the riverbank


1d           Area below tar’s not concrete (8)
{ABSTRACT} – an area or expanse follows (below) the usual sailor (tar) and the S from ‘S

2d           Old foliage denied onset of rain is behindhand (7)
{OVERDUE} – O(ld) followed by some foliage without the R (onset / initial letter of rain)

3d           Spike Milligan finally getting merit (4)
{EARN} – a spike of corn followed by the final letter of MilligaN

5d           Tricky dealing with revolting ingrained dirt covering son (7,7)
{INSIDER TRADING} – an anagram (revolting) of INGRAINED DIRT around  (covering) S(on)

6d           Look, keep up! (4)
{PEEK} – KEEP reversed (up)

7d           State of invisibility produced by emaciated appearance? (4,3)
{THIN AIR} – an adjective meaning emaciated followed by an appearance or aura

8d           Joyful expression, swallowing daily stout (5)
{HEFTY} – a joyful expression around (swallowing) a daily newspaper

9d           Terrific losses circulated in trade information (5-9)
{CROSS-FERTILISE} – an anagram (circulated) of TERRIFIC LOSSES gives a hyphenated word meaning to trade or swap ideas

15d         Cigarette ends trainee’s start in reserves (5)
{STUBS} – the initial letter (start) of Trainee inside some of the reserves who sit on the bench

16d         Stormy endless winter wind (5)
{TWINE} – an anagram (stormy) of WINTE(R) without its final letter (endless) gives a verb meaning to wind or coil

18d         House where it’s warm or boiling conserving energy (8)
{ORANGERY} – OR followed by an adjective meaning boiling or seething around E(nergy)

20d         Joanna’s above reproach (7)
{UPRIGHT} – a type of piano (joanna)

21d         Darts welcoming very tense result (7)
{HARVEST} – a verb meaning darts or races around V(ery) and followed by T(ense)

22d         Spotty Cockney’s common-sounding (5)
{ACNED} – sounds like how a Cockney might say (by dropping the initial H) an adjective meaning common or unoriginal

25d         Party’s very loud in shed (4)
{DOFF} – a two-letter word for a party followed by the musical notation for very loud

26d         More modern navy scuppered vessel (4)
{EWER} – start with an adjective meaning more modern and drop (scuppered) the N(avy)

I rather expect a mixed reaction to this one.  Can’t say I enjoyed it much, but it wasn’t too bad.  We are having the (leaking) roof over our porch/bay window replaced and, surprise surprise, there are problems.

The Quick crossword pun: (toe} + {stand} + {mar} + {might} = {toast and Marmite®}

120 comments on “DT 27197

  1. I found that, once I had got the big ones, it became a lot easier. I thought it was a very clever puzzle

  2. Morning all. Personally, I felt this was a superb back page puzzle. Yes it was difficult, yes it was solvable but no, it was not unintelligible (as I find a lot of the Toughies are).
    It took quite a while to get into the setter’s mindset and I kept having to get back into it all the way through the puzzle but it was an immense feeling of satisfaction as 18D finally fell into place and I finished.
    Some lovely clues today, 23A, 9D and 18D really stood out, but I thought 6D very clever (if very obvious) and very well disguised.

      1. Although some might call it a house, Chambers gives:
        A building for growing orange trees in a cool climate

        and the ODE gives:
        a building like a large conservatory where orange trees are grown

        1. I don’t care about the dictionary definitions – it is SUCH a lovely picture. There is a beautiful one at a wonderful garden not very far from us. It is called Waterperry Gardens so anyone in the Oxford area should go and have a look – the garden is absolutely amazing.

  3. I liked this very much. A little more thought than normal required, but very satisfying. 3*/4* for me.
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    RIP Tom Sharpe, one of my favourite writers.

    1. I’m with you all the way on this. I do enjoy this setter (mad hat and all).
      I loved the early Tom Sharpe books which were absolutely hilarious. I remember reading Wilt on a long train journey – I laughed so much that the other passengers started moving away.

      1. Yes – his early works were better; I particularly enjoyed the South African ones, Riotous Assembly, and Indecent Exposure.

        1. How was the holiday jezza, my brother and his wife have come home 8 days early as the weather in Spain and France was soooo bad!?

          1. Hi mary. We had a very nice time thank you. The weather was mixed in Brittany, but a good overall average, with a few days of blue sky.

  4. We’ve gone back to the bad old days with the Thursday crossword. I managed three. Not a clue as to the rest and frankly couldn’t care less what the answers are. This is so far off the scale of difficulty that it has no place IMO as a cryptic. -100 for enjoyment. +100 for difficulty.

    As I have said before, nothing wrong with having a crossword that is a tad bit more difficult. But I usually manage all the crosswords bar perhaps two or three clues. So a slightly more difficult crossword, I would argue, would be one where remaining clues were maybe 8 or 9. But to have a crossword where only three clues were solved is taking the water.

    I’m bloody angry.

      1. Very helpful reply. Much appreciated. Your generosity of spirit is overwhelming.

      2. skempie, I used to do the sun crosswords and I don’t know what it may say about me but I thoroughly enjoyed them

    1. Roger – yes it was tough but even I managed about 10 on my own, and I’m a “clueless” solver.
      You do have to think slightly “out-of-the-box” with this setter – and yes a mad hat helps.
      Go back and read all of BDs explanations and see where they answers came from.
      This should help you understand the construction – this is how I first started – and having my own personal blogger helps too,
      Remember too that with the DT the further through the week you go the more difficult they become.

      1. Hi pommette nice to ‘see’ you, how is pommers behaving, miss you both on here :-)

    2. Entirely agree Roger, I hated this too. Ignore skempie’s ill-mannered remark, people should be allowed to express their dislike of a puzzle without being abused, otherwise this blog will just turn into a dull succession of people all saying how wonderful every puzzle is.

    3. i didn’t think it was that difficult, certainly not as difficult as the toughie but i although i put ratty for annoyed, nothing else would fit of course, i don’t see the word play. i thought the times might indicate the two T’s but don’t see where the surrounding ray comes from, doesn’t seem to link with bank. very odd i think

  5. Far too hard for me ! Finished it but it was a real struggle. Thank you setter – I think I would rather have easier ones which don’t take me quite so long ! Especially as it is our wedding anniversary and we have guests for lunch. Thank you BD for your review and hints to date ! Time to open the bar !

    1. Happy Anniversary SW, to you and Mrs SW. T’was ours yesterday.
      Dare I ask how many years?
      I’ve had to put up with the grumpy old man now for 37!

      1. 43 – Happy Anniversary to you and Pommers – glass of Ribena possibly !! I think I have had one – maybe two !

  6. i sympathise with Roger, and found this a real crippler to be honest. Nearly there though, but I need two of your down hints, Dave!

      1. 3d and 22d

        I have an idea, but not sure if my answer to 22d would be correct

        1. 22d – the definition is Spotty, and the wordplay behind it is a homophone (sounding) of an adjective meaning ‘common’, dropping its initial letter (indicated by Cockney).

          1. Thanks! It was the word I was thinking of, but I didn’t think it was grammatically correct. One for my education.

            I even found 17a difficult until I had a moment of revelation!

          2. I agree, not at all sure of the correctness of 22d. I took a long time with 17a as I had put “butts” in for 15d; reserves as in buts and the “t” from trainee. Just as good an answer as the right one!

        2. 3d – Spike here is false capitalisation; you are looking for what a spike might be, as in relation to wheat or grain, followed by the last letter (finally) of Milligan, giving a verb meaning to merit.

        3. I had trouble with 22d too. Think of someone suffering from bad pimples, or a synonym for clichéd and remove the h.

      2. 3d – spike – “corn piece” + last letter of Milligan
        22d – “area of london” as pronouncd by a cockney with a D at the end

  7. Horses for courses I suppose. I’m with Skempie on this. It was very difficult but with a touch of lateral thinking I got there in the end.

    If you want an annoying example of a puzzle then take a look at yesterday’s FT. It was one of those that split answers across & down persistently & may have even split individual words. Now that made me bloody angry to echo Roger.

  8. Super puzzle that I found very testing but enjoyable .
    Joint favourites 17a ,23a
    Thanks to setter and BD .

  9. I would be interested in the views of others on this one. I hated it. Normally when I ‘get it’ I smile, the d’ oh moment. However with this one my reaction was more a grimace and ‘But that’s drivel. However that’s just me. Others appear to enjoy it. On reflection my views have changed and I think having a really tough one occasionally is good for those who find most puzzles too easy. So from now on I will grin and bear it rather than girn :).

    1. I’m totally with you on this one. It was hard, but there is no fun in being able to whistle through every day in 0.25 nano seconds. I completed it – just – but had to work at it. My old school teacher used to say “It’s character forming!”
      Now, it’s sunny and warm and time for a sit in the garden.

  10. i wasn’t on the right wave length for this at all today and managed barely half before needing BD’s hints. So, thanks for them, BD, and I hope your leaking roof problems are over soon. :-)

      1. I spent quite a lot of money about a year ago to replace a leaking roof that wasn’t leaking. It later turned out to be the rotten wooden timbers in the bay window that were letting in the water and running down through the cavity behind. That was another few hundred quid to fix.

  11. Definitely WED in my opinion. If this one had been called a Toughie I would have admitted defeat very quickly but it wasn’t so I didn’t.
    I finally finished it – it’s taken ages so at least 4* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment because although I really struggled I did enjoy it.
    Putting ‘butts’ for 15d very early on didn’t do much to help but made sense at the time – ‘reserves’ = ‘reservations’ = ‘buts’ outside ‘T’. OK – so it was one of my less good ideas.
    Having read through all the clues once I only had seven answers – I know because I counted them.
    I’ve never heard of the 27a cocktail so the combination of that and the fact that it was not only hidden but reversed meant that it was my last answer.
    I thought there were some very clever clues.
    I liked so many of these that I can’t put them all down so will just pick a few so as not to bore everyone – 14a and 22d. My favourite was 30a which I loved.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD – hope that the leaky roof problems are sorted out soon.

    1. I put in “butts” also and I think it’s a perfectly good answer, just not the right one

  12. I found this pretty heavy going. It didn’t help that one of my first answers in was 15d, I put my ‘t’ in to reservations rather than reserves and ended up with butts! Needed a few hints to crack it. It took ages so I will now be mowing the lawn with mad dogs and Englishmen. It’s ‘scorchio’ in Godalming. Thanks to setter and BD.

    1. Me too with 15d and also going to cut grass in hot sun, WITH a mad dog – but the Englishman is at work!

  13. I had my inside back page hat on when I started this one (give us our back page back!) which was a mistake as I think this one had been put in the wrong envelope. It took me an age to solve (4* difficulty) with tippex, crossing out and much muttering involved. With hindsight and rereading, it is an enjoyable puzzle but when I first finished I was more 30a than 23a and definitely in need of a 27a :) Thanks to Petitjean (I am 99% sure it must be you) and BD too.

    The Firefly Toughie takes less time than this to solve, whilst remaining a toughie rather than an IBP (give us our back page back)

    1. when I first finished I was more 30a than 23a and definitely in need of a 27a :)

      Nice One Sue!

      1. Where have you been Pommette? We have really missed you and I do believe you didn’t fill in any of the proper paperwork before you disappeared :)

  14. Finding this really hard going but out in the sunshine with it so can’t complain, I am trying to do a weeks puzzles without using any of my electronic friends or books and so far am failing miserably, yesterday was the closest I got with three left in the top R/H corner! I think today will definitely be another failiure! Ah well back to the sunshine and the puzzle :-)

    1. Funny ain’t it, no real problems today and yesterday was a nightmare…wavelength.

    2. How was your holiday and your birthday? Hope that it was all good, including the weather. Nice to see you back – had started to wonder whether you’d filled in enough forms for such a long absence. :smile:

      1. Oh dear sorry Kath I was only supposed to be absent for a week but the weather has been much too nice to be indoors on the computer, I am only in now to get a respite from the heat!!!
        Holiday was great and birthday too as we were away for it, that’s the way I like them now, quiet, funny how things change, hope the dog (name?) is better? Shadow is twelve today!
        I am awaiting a phone call from the pain clinic by way of appointment!!! the letter said any time between 1pm and 6pm!!!

        1. Glad that you had a good holiday and birthday. Annie (our collie) is better but keeps having funny little wobbles – she’s given a whole new meaning to ‘collywobbles’! She will be fourteen in August.
          As for the pain clinic – oh dear! Why is it that their time is SO much more important than yours?

  15. Struggled. Had to resort to BD! I really like the harder ones, as long as the clues make sense eventually.

  16. Oooh I’m glad to see BD’s rating and CS’ comments as I got through this only marginally more slowly than Mondays Rufus.

    Obviously the time I spent last year learning at the feet of Petitjean was not wasted!

    All in all very enjoyable.

    Thanks to BD for the review which pointed out some nuances I had missed.

    Thanks to the setter.

  17. Glad it was’nt just me,i thought it harder than some toughies,very obscure clues today,a **** difficulty with a *** enjoyment as it took too long, and on completion i had a sense of relief rather than achievement ! need to open a bottle of wine.Four hedgehogs in the garden last night, word of free food must be getting round.

  18. I absolutely loved it! Challenging, yes, but so enjoyable, and completed without hints. Too many check marks against the ones I like to mention, but 30A was the runaway favorite. Made me splutter my coffee. Super! Many thanks to the setter and, as always, to BD for the review.

    1. I believe that Andrea is heading in your direction, more of a wet event rather than wind, dangerous nevertheless

        1. Merusa is in Miami and is probably getting hammered right now. I’m in Southern Maryland which is about as far as it’s projected to reach at the moment. If Andrea stays over land we may well get some extremely heavy rain. She’s a tropical storm, not a hurricane, so this time around we don’t have to worry about damaging winds. I’ll be putting all my plant pots under the roof overhang though so they aren’t drowned!

          1. Jeez, me moaning that in peterborough uk we’ve missed the sun this week .Stay safe Expat Chris

            1. That’s kind. Thanks. Merusa’s the one currently in they eye of the storm. But those Floridians are tough. A hurricane, or even a tropical storm, is an excuse for a party down there!

              1. So far we are being lucky but it may get worse later. They had tornadoes in Palm Beach. No party for me, too old and been through too many hurricanes to take them lightly!

                  1. Thanks. We are starting to get the heavy rains now. The eye is up near Tallahassee and these are just outer bands, it is a HUGE system.

  19. Very pleased to finish this one, after a pause as I’d seemingly come to a dead end. Once the grey matter was back on form, I put in 23A without understanding the ‘major operation’ bit, and 18D was my last clue in, and probably my favourite too, plus I’d never heard of the word. **** enjoyment for me.

    1. I don’t whether it is significant but today is the 69th anniversary of the 23a major operation.

      1. Actually what’s in the answer isn’t a major operation but the day on which it took place. The operation was OVERLORD.

    2. 18d is worth remembering as it does crop up now and again. another one is “orerry” as a mechanical model of the solar system

        1. D’oh! Thank you. I stand corrected. What’s the use of telling someone that it would be useful to remember an incorrectly spelt word?

  20. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable crossword indeed, not overly difficult but enough to get ones teeth into, thanks also to BD for the very concise and interesting review.

  21. Well, it was clever but irritating. I finally admitted defeat and went to the hints with three NW corner answers missing.
    Why was the 2,3 in 1a not specified?
    ‘Without hesitation’ where ‘without’ means the rest of the answer is ‘around’ the abbr for without is just annoying – grrrr (can you use that in a clue, setter?

    On the plus side, I did like 18d, 15d (cheeky – I was also diverted by butts for a moment) and 2d, once I got it.

    Off to a quiz followed by allotment……

    1. Hello Bluebird

      The theory I would use for the letter count on 1A is that two words can be put together to make one (as happens in many wordplay clues), but one word can’t be split up to make two words without that being indicated.

      All the best
      (Telegraph Crossword Editor)

    2. Bluebird – the answer actually means “MAKE AMENDS” – if split 2,3 it means “in agreement”

  22. Bit of a wipe out day for me also – whew. Only about half went in without the use of hints, thanks BD. Seems this puzzle is like the last bit of the quick pun. Some like it some don’t. Still sometimes its good to be stretched.

  23. Yep, a tricky little rascal but we got there in the end! Had to look up the cocktail as we’d never heard of it. Gin, vermouth and Campari – sounds rather disgusting IMHO!

    4*/4* for me.

    Thanks to setter and BD

    1. You won’t know until you try it. Although you are a chemist so will probably know what the active ingredients are and what they might deliver. It’s only a Gin & It with a dash of fruit based liqueur so it can’t that bad. I know I’ve drunk worse concoctions in my day.

    2. I don’t think it’s a cocktail the average Joe would order so probably unheard of by most

      1. Certainly one that I’ve never heard of – not that I’ve heard of many – I leave all cocktails to the elder generation (ie my Mum’s age and she’s nearly 91) and the younger generation (ie our younger daughter who is 32.) Do we think that cocktails have skipped a generation?

  24. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Was definitely a Wrong Envelope Job in my opinion. However, I did enjoy the struggle, and was 10 answers short when I resorted to the hints. I needed 4, and had to look 2 up, and managed to solve another 4 when I had some more checkers. Favourites were 13,17,23a, and had a penny-drop moment with 29a. Some good clues, but on the whole found it difficult. Was 4*/4* for me. Lovely weather in central London. May look at the Toughie, but feel I’ve already attempted one :-)

    1. Wrong envelope – So does that mean the Toughie is bit easier than normal? I must confess to not having looked at it given the warnings earlier in the week.

  25. There’s nowt so odd as folk!

    I really enjoyed this, finding it no more then three-star hard. The very first one (1A) made me smile, as did several others, but 30A beat them all :-)

    I’d never heard of 27A, but it was so well-constructed as to be clear once the interlockers were in place. My last one in, after quite some time, was 6D, and it was a huge D’OH moment.

    How boring it would be, were we all the same…

    1. Hi STB, Too many comments on here to respond to, suffice to say 4 star hard for me as an inside the back pager otherwise your comments verbatim

  26. Tough, certainly. Managed about 50% before resorting to hints – heavily – due to lack of time. Never heard of 27a, or the use of 4a in that context.
    I liked 17a and 7d in particular.
    Thanks to BD for letting me get on with the rest of the day!

  27. I’m with the wrong envelope people. Very enjoyable with some nice twisty clues. Thanks tyo the setter and to BD.

  28. Don’t worry, folks. Big Dave is brilliant but he always under marks the difficulty; if he says it’s *** that means **** for the rest of us.

      1. It means that lesser mortals are forgiven for finding it really difficult – or even verging on giving up!

        1. ‘She’ is definitely a ‘he’ and has said so on numerous occasions although I think that the picture (Libellule – a dragonfly en francais) is so beautiful that it should be a she. I suppose if they were all ‘girls’ that could mean the end of the species!

  29. I agree with most of the other commenters in that I found this a bit too difficult for me. On the initial pass through I got nothing and had to result to BD’s notes and explanations to get going.

    I would like to commend BD on his explanations today.

    I took on-board the notes written yesterday about people moaning about some of the explanations being harder than the original clues. I plead guilty to being one of those ‘moaners’ and am not proud of it – in mitigation I would say that the people doing the explanations are obviously very experienced in the machinations of the various crossword setters minds and maybe a lot of the ‘punters’ are not – what may seem obvious to one may be completely opaque to others.

    Another point maybe is that many, like myself, are obviously not as bright as many of the contributors to BD’s hints and tips and maybe us less bright people may become frustrated by our lack of ability and awareness and say things without thinking them through. I apologise for any churlishness and promise to try to mend my ways.

    1. There are people who are good at words and others who are good at numbers. When I see friends whizzing through sudoku I feel very inadequate, but a lot of them don’t do crosswords. So, it’s not that you are not as bright but probably have a brain on the numbers side.

    2. I don’t think that it’s anything to do with bright or otherwise – it has far more to do with experience of crosswords and whether or not you are on the same wavelength as the setter. I could go on at length but will stop now . . .

  30. I agree with BD’s rating and with those who are fans of 30a. Could have done with something a bit more gentle after an energetic round of golf.

  31. What a mixed bag of responses – which I always find fascinating to read (with a few small exceptions). I found this tricky but very satisfying to complete. And enjoyed quite a number inc. 10 & 11a, & 20d. Fave was 6d, which I tussled with for far too long. Thank you to the setter for the variety and brain-stretch. And thanks to BD for his indefatigable work on the hints. Do hope you and yours are waterproof. Off to Oxon in a few hours for an intensive Training Day tomorrow – & it should be sunny… Ah well! Mr P has the better part with his plans to visit Banbury Museum & enjoy a pint by the canal while I’m slaving. I’m not sure about the fair distribution of work but as he (unlike a few commenters on this site) is brilliant at wielding a Hoover I’ve no complaints!

  32. I found this **** difficult and had to resort to all books and gizmo to get through it. I thought 30a was far and away the best, even though it was my last one in; huge smile when I tumbled. Thanks to all.

  33. It is a bit of a struggle today. I have been misdirected three and a bit times and I still have nine to do including an elusive anagram at 9d. I love a good crossword fight.

  34. Found this tough, especially the top half. BD I think the ‘without’ is the inclusion cue in 11a.

    1. I wasn’t disputing that it was intended as the indicator. My argument is that if something is “without” it is outside the limits of and that does not mean surrounding – the famous example being the green hill that is without the city wall.

  35. Great puzzle, persavation paid off!
    Thought 18d, my last in, a particularly brillianr clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the feview

  36. A late input from me as had my daughter and granddaughter for tea after which we watched Sharapova and Aznarenka squealing it out at Roland Garros!

    Yes, this was a shade tougher than usual but I finally clobbered it.

    Faves : 17a, 23a, 27a, 5d, 9d & 18d.

    I thought 18d might be brandery at first but it doesn’t seem to exist in English – it does in Dutch (branderij) and in German (Brennerei) – brandy distillery!

    Hottest day so far today must get lighter clothing out!!

  37. I got 12 unaided, including the long clues.I also think 6d and 30a were brilliant .Add 22d down to that.Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  38. Late today as the review was not up until after our bed-time. We also found it a bit tougher than usual and had made the note “There’ll be letters!!”. Sure enough there are. Last to go in for us was the SE corner and then the parsing of 23a took a modicum of cogitation. Enjoyed it.
    Thanks Petitjean and BD.

  39. Crikey that was a slog. At least **** for difficulty and ** for enjoyment. Like an earlier commenter, I wasn’t even finding the clever clues like 30A amusing by the time I’d got them.

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