DT 28392 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28392

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28392

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

 

Hello, everyone. I think that today we have an ideal crossword for the Tuesday slot. I found it to be accessible, yet still offering several penny-drop moments that produced smiles after about the right amount of head-scratching. I’m unsure about the setter, but it does have one of those clues with two possible answers that has become somewhat of a signature of our Mister Ron. This puzzle is a wonderful creation and so I do hope that the setter will drop in later to claim it.

Last Tuesday, perceptive frequent commenter Bluebird noticed that the solution to Quick Crossword (number 28386) contained no less than 42 Es. Bluebird wondered about the record for the most Es in a Quickie, and so I constructed a list of the number of Es appearing in each Quickie since 2001. My database does not contain grid information, so when letter statistics are computed checkers get counted twice because they belong to two answers, but that shouldn’t have a huge effect. Using that measure, last Tuesday’s Quickie had 65 Es. That puts it in a tie for first place with Quick 25643 (14 June, 2008). Next on the list, in a very distant third, is Quick 27193 with a mere 48 Es. The most remarkable puzzle, however, is found right at the tail end of the list: Quick 26732 (Dec 10, 2011) contains not a single instance of the most common letter in the English language. Sadly, that impressive setting accomplishment appears to have gone unnoticed by the cruciverbal community.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on the pictures enlarges them. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on. If you haven’t commented before, please consider delurking and sharing your thoughts on the puzzle or relating your history with cryptics. Commenting is easy – just put a pseudonym and an email address in the boxes at the bottom of the page, type your thoughts, and press submit.

 

Across

1a    Measuring tool for working vehicle (10)
PROTRACTOR:  A charade of a three-letter word meaning “for” or “in favour of”, and a vehicle often seen working on a farm.

6a    Weapons since held by Royal Marines? On the contrary (4)
ARMS:  “On the contrary” instructs us to invert the wordplay to read “Royal Marines held by since”. So, we find the answer by placing the two-letter abbreviation for Royal Marines inside a word meaning “since”.

9a    Keep one’s head down — Eastender’s fibbing, we hear (3,2)
LIE IN:  According to a web site that explains for foreigners like me How to Speak With a Cockney Accent, the answer sounds like (we hear) an Eastender’s pronunciation of a synonym of fibbing.

10a   Tape head in rage and end corgi’s barking (9)
RECORDING:  The first letter of (head in) R(age), followed by an anagram (is barking) of END CORGI. Here’s a fine example of the answer.

12a   A parliamentarian almost had to purchase gold jar (7)
AMPHORA:  Link together the A from the clue, the usual parliamentarian, and HA(d) minus its last letter (almost had) and containing (to purchase) a usual abbreviation for gold.

13a   Serious French accent? (5)
GRAVE:  A double definition, the first an adjective and the second a noun. This clue admits a second possible answer ( ACUTE ), so you may need a checker or two in place to identify the one that is needed here.

15a   Was present small and left outside? (7)
EXISTED:  A synonym of “left” or “departed” containing (outside) S(mall).

17a   Charm of French entertaining (7)
DELIGHT:  A charade of the French word for “of” and an adjective synonym of entertaining.

19a   Sound from record and I almost cry (7)
LOGICAL:  Concatenate a ship’s record, the I from the clue, and a synonym of cry reduced to three letters by removing its last letter (almost cry).

21a   Wind pulled a daughter over (7)
TORNADO:  A charade of a synonym of pulled, the A from the clue, D(aughter), and the cricketing abbreviation for over.

22a   Animal arrived then left (5)
CAMEL:  A synonym of arrived, followed by the abbreviation for left (here as in -handed or -footed).

24a   First-class degree for relative (7)
GRANDMA:  Link together an adjective meaning first-class and a postgraduate degree.

27a   Sudden energy after I am timed swimming (9)
IMMEDIATE:  Put Einstein’s symbol for energy after an anagram (swimming) of I AM TIMED.

28a   Part female’s wanting, one in a film maybe (5)
ACTOR:  Drop the F (female’s wanting) from a part or an element that might, for example, help determine an outcome.

29a   Starts to notice old Scotch egg — it smells (4)
NOSE:  “Starts to” is an instruction to take the initial letters of the next four words in the clue.

30a   Novel’s hard to leave perhaps — reviewed in the press? (10)
NEWSPAPERS:  Chain together an adjective meaning novel, the ‘S from the clue, and an anagram (re-viewed) of PERHAPS minus its H (hard to leave, using the abbreviation for hard found on pencils).

 

Down

1d    Cut up old jersey? (4)
POLO:  The reversal (up, in a down clue) of a synonym of cut, followed by the abbreviation for old.

2d    What’s surgeon doing lecturing about exercises? (9)
OPERATING:  A verb meaning “lecturing” or “speaking formally” containing the usual abbreviation for exercise.

3d    Delivery-maker’s preparation (3-2)
RUN-UP:  This one is cryptic and crickety. The delivery-maker is a bowler in a cricket match. The answer is the bowler’s approach to the point where the ball is released.

4d    Caught a lad or criminal — that’s what you get in an estate, say (7)
CARLOAD:  Chain together the cricket abbreviation for caught, the A from the clue, and an anagram (criminal) of LAD OR. “Estate” here is clueing something to drive, not somewhere to live.

5d    The place for fruit or toast: beginning of day (7)
ORCHARD:  A charade of OR from the clue, a verb synonym of toast, and the first letter of (beginning to) Day.

7d    Egyptian god one thanks for food (5)
RAITA:  Another charade. This time we’re joining the Egyptian sun god, the first Roman numeral, and a short, informal word of thanks.

8d    Piece of advice from guests: go in drunk (10)
SUGGESTION:  An anagram (drunk) of GUESTS GO IN.

11d   Soldier even fixed uniform (7)
REGULAR:  A quadruple definition! In just four words. Brilliant.

14d   Thought that’s returned when at one’s dressing-table? (10)
REFLECTION:  The answer is what one might see when seated at one’s dressing table.

16d   Blood-sucking mite was first to get excited (7)
TICKLED:  Follow a small blood-sucking mite with a short word meaning “was first”.

18d   Agree aunt’s broken promise (9)
GUARANTEE:  An anagram (is broken) of AGREE AUNT.

20d   Suitcases seen as joke in toboggan (7)
LUGGAGE:  Insert a synonym for joke into a type of toboggan that’s ridden face-up and feet-first.

21d   Time given to composer’s passages (7)
TRAVELS:  T(ime), followed by the composer of Boléro, including the ‘S from the clue.

23d   Acts out being married with property, upwardly mobile (5)
MIMES:  The abbreviation for married, followed by the reversal (upwardly mobile, in a down clue) of a property that’s only partially detached.

25d   Play dead, oddly, when animal enters (5)
DRAMA:  The odd letters of DeAd, containing (when …. enters) an animal that is both woolly and male.

26d   Flower one gentleman picked up (4)
IRIS:  The Roman numeral representing one, followed by the reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of a synonym of gentleman.

 

Thanks to today’s setter for a most entertaining and satisfying solve during which I ticked many clues. In the runner-up spot today I have the quadruple definition 11d (which, according to my database, has not appeared before in any Telegraph puzzle). My favourite clue is 4d for producing the biggest laugh. Which clues did you like best?

 


The Quick Crossword pun: PAR+TEA+PEACE=PARTY PIECE


88 comments on “DT 28392

  1. 2*/5*. I was originally going to give this 4* for enjoyment, but the more I thought about it the more I felt it was worth the maximum. This excellent offering from, I imagine, Mister Ron was concisely and inventively clued with good surfaces throughout and some nicely disguised definitions. Lots of smiles along the way and a quadruple definition to boot.

    1d was my last one in, making it to my short list of candidates for favourite which also included 21a, 29a & 11d. In the final analysis victory goes to 21a as you can take your pick which type of wind you think it refers to.

    Many thanks to Mister Ron and to Mr Kitty, particularly for Raising Sand – one of my all-time favourite CDs (sorry, Kath, but in the world of music I can’t possibly have just one).

  2. The best puzzle for a couple of weeks in my opinion. Some clever and some quite amusing cluing. My favourite has to be 11d, dont think Ive ever seen a quadruple definition before. Last one in was 14d, but also has to be one of my favourites. 2,5*/4.5* Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  3. I agree with RD 2*/5*. My favourite was 11d. Is this a quadruple? Glad to see site has not been hacked today.

  4. Like RD at #1, my last one in was also 1d. There were so many finely-structured clues in this little gem from Mister Ron that picking a winner seems disingenuous, but I will go for 11d as you don’t often get such concise, quadruple definitions. As Mr K says in hs review – quite brilliant.

    I will have to agree that 2*/5* is a very fair rating for this hugely enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to both the Misters involved in today’s production. And what a delight to be able to access our site today unhindered by morons.

  5. Completed at a gallop, not far short of R&W – */*** for me.

    I came up with a list of five potential favourites, and the one that came out on top is 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

    Pleased to see that there are no problems today (so far and fingers crossed).

  6. I had POLL for 1d. Type of cow and type of cut. Must be thinking too hard and overlooking the obvious.
    Thanks setter, Kitty and the lovely BD.

  7. I agree with the ratings and comments above. It was a lot of fun and I did appreciate 11d.

    Well done to Mr K for the hard work interrogating his database/spreadsheet in a search for Quickie Es. That thing must be huge and powerful. Are you Beta-testing it for GCHQ? 😉

    Talking of that, my brother bought me the GCHQ puzzle book for Christmas, which is just horrendous – anyone who fancies being taken down a peg or hundreds should go and get it.

    • Yes, the database is getting up there – in spreadsheet form the three Telegraph crosswords now cover just over 371,000 rows.

  8. After quite a slow start to this on my train journey in this morning I stopped for a coffee on my walk up to work to finish it. The caffeine must have kick-started my brain because it was completed before I’d got half way down my drink! All very enjoyable though. */**** for me. 11d was easily my favourite. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a quadruple definition before.

    Incidentally, the Toughie is very accessible this morning.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for an entertaining review. The choice of Mitchell Johnson in the pic hint for 3d made me think of the classic Barmy Army song … “He bowls the the left. He bowls to the right. That Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is *****!”

  9. I’m in the 1d-last-in club. As others have found, it’s difficult to choose a favourite. It may have been done before (I’m sure our reviewer can tell us) but I was 16d by 22a, as well as 23d and 25d (nice pic … rather familiar ;) ).

    Thanks to the slogger and the better.

    P.S. Yes, the Warbler is worth having a shot at.

  10. It’s good to have the site back after yesterday’s hiatus – you imagine it was some sort of attack and wonder why anyone would want to do it – there’s some funny people out there!

    Very enjoyable if some of the clues were a little ‘bitty’ – 12a was my first in and 1d my last – I’ve taken to writing down the order in which I put the answers in but after about 15 I forget and it all goes a bit haywire!

  11. Three things to make my day (I’m a simple person)
    1 Walking the dog as the sun rose in a clear blue sky
    2 The site is back to those who are in bed ( or asleep in the chair) at 10.30pm
    3 Today’s puzzle which was for me do-able but needed my concentration.
    COTD the quad definition in 4 words.
    Thanks to the setter for a lovely puzzle, Mr K for the review and of course BD for resuming normal service.
    A belated thanks to MP for needed explanations yesterday (& mentioning Davina Sobel’s book on John Harrison. He was for me undoubtably one of the top 10 Britons of all time (pun not intended).

    • Hi LROK. I completely messed up the hint for 30ac yesterday and because of the site being down I didn’t realise until way too late. The hint should have read NOT the lines going from the north to south poles and then led into a praise of Dava Sobel’s book Longitude. I agree about John Harrison. Do you know of George Daniels? He is an interesting cove. Here is his obituary from The Daily Telegraph

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8846796/George-Daniels.html

      • Hi MP,
        Thank you for that.
        I had seen Daniels watches sold for a king’s ransom but didn’t know that he was effectively self-taught. In many ways quite similar to Harrison.
        Obit. took a bit of a shine off my day when I realise my Omega is merely a mechanical Swatch!

    • Please forgive me for getting some ‘spelling police’ action on board, Labby, but ‘Undoubtedly’ is one of those classically misspelt words.

      The reason why I’m sticking my oar in is that it’ comprises (not ‘comprises of” – another pearler) one prefix and a brace of suffixes, i.e Doubt, Doubted, Undoubted & Undoubtedly which appeals to me.

      I have now taken the portable siren off the roof of my car.

      • I like your style Sir Linkalot, but what is that spurious apostrophe doing after “it”?
        :wink:

        • I have just seen the wonderful Matt cartoon on p9 in today’s paper. It is extremely relevant for all of us pedants.

          • Matt seldom disappoints! It reminded me of that always amusing sign often seen by the roadside :

            “Police Slow”.

            It does them no favours.

            • My favourite spurious apostrophe seen on a restaurant menu (not an Indian restaurant): Chicken Madra’s

      • Without a doubt you are absolutely correct to point out my error. So many times in the past I have thought the answer couldn’t be right because it has more letters than I think it should have. It happened last week with “whetstone” and I owned up.
        Of course the Matt cartoon referred to by RD is connected with missing / spurious apostrophes so clearly you are not the culprit.

    • Another one is Sir George Cayley, another Yorkshireman who, working alone in a barn, cracked the business of controlled, manned flight fully 50 years before Wilbur and Orville! Gradely.

    • I chatted briefly with Dava Sobel a couple of years ago, following an after-dinner talk she gave about her research for her book on Copernicus. She is a lovely person, and it was wonderful to have an opportunity to tell her in person how much I enjoyed Longitude and being introduced to John Harrison.

      • Have you been to The Greenwich Observatory where Harrison’s. Chronometers are on permanent display Mr Kitty?

        • Yes, several times. The first was a special exhibit at the Observatory itself, which I think was held not long after Sobel’s book came out. More recently, the kitties saw the clocks displayed at the Observatory and at the Royal Maritime Museum. Then I saw a few of them last year in DC as part of the “Ships, Clocks, and Stars” exhibition that’s travelling around the world. I find standing in front of them quite moving – the science and the engineering and the years of hard work that went into each of them is hugely impressive. And on top of all that, they’re such beautiful machines.

          • Then you too might find the link above to The Daily Telegraph Obit for George Daniels interesting. He was a real character too.

            • Thanks for that, MP. It’s interesting that mechanical timepieces can be pushed so far, and what he did is certainly impressive engineering. Not the best way to keep time these days though.

              • I only have clockwork wristwatches which I never wear. I have a very early Rolex from the year of my birth. A gold Rotary watch which I quite like and a Christopher Ward watch that I really like but never wear. I bought three of the same watch. One for me, one for my brother in law and one for my son in law.

  12. Plenty to grin about in this one – 1&29a plus 16d getting the smiley badges.
    Took a while for the penny to drop over 4d and for the ‘cricket’ head to come up with 3d.
    As others have said – 11d has to take the honours.

    Thanks to Mister Ron (must be him, surely) and to Mr. K for the usual excellent review and fascinating statistics. Like you, I pondered the possible alternative answers for 13a until all became clear. Loved the harmonising in the 10a clip but wondered whether you intended to repeat it at 21d or treat us to the memorable theme tune from ‘Ten’.
    Good pic for 25d – even if you did crib it from elsewhere!

  13. Just the thing after the trauma of yesterday, completed in good time except for 7d which I needed help for.
    Favourite clue just for the smile 24a.
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and to Mr Ron and of course Bigdave for getting the site working again.
    There are some strange people out there.

  14. This was a surprisingly enjoyable puzzle which we found quite easy compared to Rufus yesterday.
    We agree with Rabbit Dave that it must be a **/*****

  15. I am going to have to change my nom-de-plume to “The Inverter” because whenever the regulars on here find a crossword interesting or difficult, I find the opposite. I can cuss and throw objects whilst solving something rated as */*, or then, like today, virtually R&W an offering thought to be worthy of **** or *****.

    And 1d? First one in. Looked at 1a, wondered if it started with PRO, looked at 1d and Robert is your father’s brother .

    Many thanks to the compiler and Mr K.

  16. Felled this one over a coffee (pot) and was going to go for **/*** but the comments above have prompted a reconsider to **/****.
    Bestest was going to be 14d but on reflection 11d has to be the one. I did not initially realise the 4-way in my haste.

    Thanks you Mr K for your quality review to match the puzzle – loved the actor-Cat. That one was quickly re-cycled by email to the family.

  17. First of all, just to say I’m glad things are back to normal, and that I enjoyed yesterday’s puzzle. Someone mentioned an Allegro Vanden Plas yesterday – a slightly absurd ‘posh’ version with a Roll Royce style grille. I grew up in the 70s in a place where John Moores lived, he had a Rolls Royce with the registration JM1. Occasionally at the local shops you would see the gardener/driver in the second car, an Allegro VP registered JM2. (Well it used to amuse me anyway). A very enjoyable puzzle today, with two clips from an excellent album, which without this site I would probably never have investigated.

  18. If last week was a vintage one, this one is shaping up to be at least as good, if not better.

    After yesterday’s top quality Rufus offering, today’s puzzle was not that far behind, it’s not often that a Tuesday backpager is more of a read and write than its immediate predecessor, but it was today.

    Excellent entertainment, my four ticks went to 28a, 29a, 4d and, of course, 11d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K, I hope he hasn’t overdosed on Es.

  19. A delightful puzzle from Mister Ron (?)

    I had the hump earlier today but tackling this puzzle made me feel much better … especially 22a – Animal arrived then left

  20. As a long term lurker I too would like to thank BD for staving off yet another dastardly attempt to ruin an altruistic site which only seeks to educate and entertain crossword enthusiasts.

  21. Good afternoon everybody.

    Another difficult puzzle for me and eventually stymied by 21d. 7d and 12a were new to me but both sort of obvious from the clues though I’m no wiser about what 7d is. Liked 19a and 16d.

    By my reckoning last Wednesday’s, Friday’s, yesterday’s and today’s have all been top puzzles.

    ****/****

  22. Haven’t done the puzzle yet, but soooooooo relieved that I can access the site today. Could not get beyond Cloudfare yesterday until late in the evening. Kept getting a message saying trouble at the web site server? Assume more hacking interference. Missed you guys yesterday 🙁

  23. Marvellous offering today.

    It’s puzzles like this that keep medium handicap crossworders like myself coming back for more!

    Thanks to all involved.

  24. What a difference a day makes.
    Could not do yesterday’s for toffee but absolutely loved this one….even though I needed the hints for 1d and 4d.
    11d….what a cracker!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the hints.

  25. A slightly different twist to this and all the more fun .
    14d was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty.

  26. Wow, this setter pleased everyone, including me. This was so enjoyable, I was sorry when I solved my last clue – which was, of course, 1d.
    I even got the crickety one at 3d but had no idea why.
    This was all so clever it’s hard to pick a fave, but 11d it has to be, with 25d nipping at its heels, if only for the pic.
    Thanks to Mister Ron (?) and to Mr. Kitty for his hints.
    A very special thanks to BD for his efforts yesterday. It must have been so trying.

  27. Another fine puzzle, entertaining and not too tricky. Liked 11d, 13a & 22a, but 15a wins outright for the brilliant surface.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr K

  28. I have been following your blog for a long time. I think it is brilliant, that is why yesterday’s hacking made me come out of the woodwork and express my disgust.
    I found today’s puzzle a little difficult but soldiered on – I thought 1d was very clever. Thankyou all.

    • A belated welcome to the blog from me, Bijou. And thanks for delurking to share your experience of the puzzle.

  29. I’m so glad that everything seems back to normal – I missed the blog yesterday and wondered if we were in for a lengthy patch of trouble.
    I think it’s all been said as I’m a bit late here today.
    I have at least learnt that the 3d bowler’s approach is not a ‘set up’ – it really screwed up that top corner.
    I’ve also learnt that Eastenders/Cockneys drop a G at the end of a word just as they’re supposed to drop an H at the beginning.
    A very good crossword which I enjoyed a lot.
    I liked 1 and 22a and 11 and 14d. My favourite was 29a because it made me laugh.
    With thanks to Mister Ron(?), to Mr Kitty, and to BD for getting it all up and running again.

  30. What a great crossword after yesterday’s turgid affair (shows how different we all are), I though this was one of the best of the year,.
    I managed to put ‘baggage’ for 20d until I tried googling ‘bage’ as a toboggan! What a plum.
    Oddly I got 1d early on when I twigged it started with ‘p’, unusual for me to be so on the ball.
    Thanks to BD for consigning the idiots to the cyber-dustbin albeit temporarily, no doubt.
    Thanks to all.

  31. I’ve been lurking for ages but I have to say this was a total joy. Every clue made sense and nearly all made me smile. What more could one ask for? Many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty. **/*****

  32. I enjoyed today’s crossword,although I fell a couple short. Favourite was 21d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  33. Finally got to this over coffee in Starbucks, and enjoyed this puzzle today. Fell in the wrong accent hole at 13a which delayed finishing. Favorites are 11d for being clever and 14d for its crypticness 🙂 So happy that the blog is accessible today, thank you lots Big Dave.

  34. Good to see which batting team you chose to use for the 3d pic Mr K. We thought this one a top class puzzle and reckon that the very clever quadruple definition in 11d deserves top spot. Our guess at the setter is the same as the consensus above.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Mister Ron) and Mr K.

  35. A good puzzle that was suitably puzzling, but without being intractably so. Finish time about ** for difficulty, thoroughly enjoyable all round.

  36. Thanks to messers Ron and Kitty. A very well put together puzzle. Most enjoyable, last in was 4d, but my favourite was 11d, a superb quadruple definition. Was 2*/4* for me.

  37. Mr. Ron and Mr. Kitty did us proud today – TVM both. Made life difficult for myself by transposing 4d and 5d but eventually sorted that and the North half went in following the comparatively undemanding South. Failed to parse 10a and 28a. 1d was last in. Good to have BD on stream again – thank you for your continuing efforts on behalf of your bloggers.

  38. There is a famous book in France called “la disparition” by George Perec which doesn’t contain the letter E. Quite a feat really.
    Today’s crossword was a joy from start to finish.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review.

      • I don’t know if he signed it under another name to respect his challenge.
        I saw that it was translated into English by Gilbert Adair under the title “A Void”.
        There’s also a book by Ernest Vincent Wright called “Gadsby” which doesn’t feature the letter E.

    • James Thurber. The Wonderful O. “I’ll squck his thrug till all he can whupple is geep.”

      “Geep” said the Parrot

  39. Love the format. Gentle extra explanation is often enough to get the answer an the real answer is hidden so I cannot cheat. But there is always the odd one where I have to. Also love the graphics and the music.

    • There is no cheating. All you need is a completed grid. Howsoever you get there. However you might choose to throw away he crutches and rely less on outside help as you gain more experience. As you do so your definition of cheating might change. Rule one. There are no rules. Rule two. If in doubt see rule one. Rule Three. try to keep Big Dave on the happy side of things.
      Welcome to the madhouse capital of the puzzliverse

  40. That was fun! 1*/4* for my money, and I particularly liked 15a. Thanks to the Mysteron, and Mr Kitty.

  41. Yes. Jolly good. 13a is so clever it made me almost drop my mug of hot milk (this no-alcohol business is beginning to get most tiresome – I feel as if I’m about to fall off the wagon big time). I also thought 30a was a 17a. Many thanks to the always informative Mr K, although I’m not so sure about Raising Sand, it sounds like the bland leading the bland. Thanks too to our mystery setter for the fun and an added ta to today’s post-puzzle contributors from pedants’ corner. 2*/4*

  42. So here on Thursday I’m commenting about Tuesday.
    Lovely crossword that I have just completed. There were some nice clues. 1a was my fave. 2/3.5* overall. Had I done this on the day I might have scored it higher but as I was playing catch-up I didn’t allow myself to get too involved. Sigh….
    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K.

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