DT 29316 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29316

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29316

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. I hope you’re all coping with the ‘new normal’ of isolation and empty supermarket shelves.

I finished this crossword in what is ** time for me, but it seemed to be more of a struggle than that. I didn’t much like 25a, which was my last one in, and there was a touch of Giovanni obscure vocabulary as well.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Guaranteed essentially filling food from part of Scandinavia (6)
DANISH – The middle two letters (essentially) of guaranteed inserted into a word for some prepared food.

5a           Refuse to accept former company representative having authority (8)
OFFICIAL – The refuse when an animal is gutted, wrapped round the three-letter acronym for a former British chemical company.

9a           Noble actor is about to get into painting (10)
ARISTOCRAT – Anagram (about) of ACTOR IS with a general word for activities such as painting wrapped around it.

10a         Film failed to be broadcast (4)
MIST – This thin film of moisture sounds like (to be broadcast) another word for ‘failed to hit’.

11a         Boyfriend joins family across capital, ultimately to see Olympic Torch? (8)
FLAMBEAU – Start with an abbreviation for ‘family’ wrapped around the last letter (ultimately) of capitaL, then add an old-fashioned word for a boyfriend or suitor.

Image result for flambeau

12a         Substitutes Greek character blocking second pass back (6)
LOCUMS – Start by putting Small and a mountain pass either side of a Greek letter, then reverse (back) the result to get people who substitute for absent doctors or pharmacists.

13a         Shop of fine appearance? Not half (4)
DELI – To get this food shop, remove the second half from a word for ‘fine’ or ‘not robust’.

15a         BBC loses case most originally see as inopportune (8)
UNTIMELY – Put together a familiar term for the BBC minus its outside letters (loses case), the first letter (originally) of Most, and the usual ecclesiastical see in Cambridgeshire.

18a         Instinctive swimming rivals, extremely competitive at heart (8)
VISCERAL – Anagram (swimming) of RIVALS, with the first and last letters (extremely) of CompetitivE inserted in the middle.

19a         Woman‘s complaint when mother leaves (4)
LADY – Remove a short word for ‘mother’ from a complaint or illness.

21a         Deny purpose of attending auction? (6)
FORBID – Split the answer (3.3) and you could get the reason you went to an auction.

23a         At home, slip by artist in shower (8)
RAINFALL – Put together the usual artist who is a member of the Royal Academy, ‘at home’, and another word for a slip or trip.

25a         Natural talent is something easily understood (4)
GIFT – Double definition, both of which are in the BRB, though the second is rather less familiar.

26a         Cutting temperatures toughens tree out in conservatory (10)
GREENHOUSE – Anagram (out) of (t)OUGHENS (t)REE, with the abbreviations for Temperature removed.

27a         Exposed area always reflected light source (8)
REVEALED – Put together an abbreviation for Area and another word for ‘always’, reverse (reflected) the result, then add a three-letter acronym for a modern device for emitting light.

28a         Dessert following starter of scallops (6)
AFTERS – Another word for ‘following’, followed by the first letter (starter) of Scallops.

Down

2d           Time of year car park is regularly close to full (5)
APRIL – Alternate letters (regularly) of cAr PaRk Is, followed by the last letter (close) of fulL.

3d           Foolishly Dominican’s beginning to ignore suffering from sleeplessness (9)
INSOMNIAC – Anagram (foolishly) of (D)OMINICAN, leaving off the first letter (beginning to ignore).

4d           Attractive individual getting hot for large rugby player (6)
HOOKER – Start with a non-PC word for an attractive woman, Replace the initial Large with Hot, and you get a front-row forward.

5d           Novel is one well-known to each of us (3,6,6)
OUR MUTUAL FRIEND – This is the title of a Dickens novel, which is paraphrased by the last 6 words of the clue.

6d           Ineffectiveness of fine against public service (8)
FUTILITY – An abbreviation for Fine followed by a public service such as electricity or water.

7d           Variety of pear detailed in illustrated magazine (5)
COMIC – Remove the final letter (de-tailed) from a variety of pear to get a copy of the Beano or Dandy.

Image result for comice pear

8d           Gathered embarrassment visiting island upset daughter (9)
ASSEMBLED – Start by wrapping a Mediterranean island (one where Napoleon was exiled) around an embarrassment or disorder, reverse (upset) the result, then add Daughter.

14d         Condense mostly impressive book describing centre of Bratislava (9)
EPITOMISE – A word which can mean ‘impressive’ minus its last letter (mostly) followed by a large, heavy book wrapped around the middle letters (centre of) BratISlava.

16d         Drain cash fund to obtain electric vehicle (4,5)
MILK FLOAT – Another word for ‘to drain’ (the udders of a dairy animal, perhaps), followed by the cash fund a trader keeps in the till for giving change.

Image result for milk float

17d         Spendthrift pair with gold becoming spoilt (8)
PRODIGAL – Anagram (becoming spoilt) of PAIR and GOLD.

20d         Compete over news article that generates capital (6)
VIENNA – Another word for ‘compete’ or ‘struggle’, followed by two examples of the abbreviation for New and an indefinite article.

22d         Graduate taking the plunge? (5)
BATHE – The letters after the name of an Arts graduate followed by THE (from the clue).

24d         Defeated player looks teary from time to time (5)
LOSER – Alternate letters (from time to time) of LoOkS tEaRy.


The Quick Crossword pun GEL + LEE + DEALS = JELLIED EELS

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78 comments on “DT 29316
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  1. For the second day running, I had the grid completed in **** time, with quite a lot of head scratching until I had broken the back of it.

    I’m afraid my GK let me down again, I didn’t know the novel in 5d or the pear at 7d and 11a was one of my last in because I was trying to put the ‘B’ at the front, and certainly haven’t heard of that expression for family.

    Still, quite entertaining, so thanks to Giovanni, if it is indeed he, and DT.

  2. Finished in *** time but I understood about 1/4 of the clue wordplay. I’m obviously too stupid to comprehend this current batch of setters if yesterday and today is anything to go by. I am just relying on finding the definition and hoping its correct.
    The less said about yesterdays absolute horror the better.
    Not too keen on this new DT app, seems very stark and unfriendly, so white its glaring. They have also mucked up the cryptic today by making it look like a prize puzzle which it is not. Still suffers from the slowing down problem.
    Thx for the hints.
    ****/**

    1. Isn’t it great, Brian, that we human cruciverbalists can be so diametric to one another? I found yesterday’s puzzle to be the highlight of the week and today’s quite a bit of an Everest to climb, even though I finished both without outside aid. Anyway, I feel better about you today since I always worry when you’ve gone through your ‘horrors’; I then fret somewhat about your woes, hoping that you’ll have a better day otherwise.

    2. Hi Brian. I wonder, as you and I appear to have identical faults, if it might be something to do with our model of iPad? Mine is, according to the Settings,/about, an ipad(10), iPad Air 2, 16gb, model number MH0W2B/A with current software 13.3.1.
      It’s quite old and my wife’s is an ipad(7), ipad (5th generation) 32 GSB, model number MP2G2B/A loaded with the same 13.3.2 software, but she has none of our jerking, delay problems. She has the same frustrating recent faulty classification Prize problem reported by you today and by others this week.
      I am trying to understand what is going on with all this – perhaps I have too much time on my hands being locked down in Mallorca and trying to come home to my lovely village. But if you and I have a common denominator I will let the technical people know. I have had several fruitless communications with then over the past few months, as you may have noticed! They are either incompetent or uncaring.

    3. Not having any trouble with my iPad, but do agree yesterday’s puzzle was way too hard for a regular Cryptic and appeared more in Toughie territory. Today’s is not much better IMHO. Hope this is not the new trend. As most of us head into a time of home confinement, we need more enjoyable puzzles, not those that add to our frustrations,

  3. Struggled with this one so needed the hints and tips for a good few of the clues, thanks DT.

    Found myself doing “Bung Ins” because I could not bother with unravelling the obscure wordplay, which I suppose based on some recent comments means I didn’t really finish the puzzle.

    Not one for me I am afraid, and I usually look forward to the Friday offering, but thanks to setter anyway.

  4. Oh dear. Did anybody else put OFFI in for 13a (of fi(ne))? Scratching my head for a while over 14d until the penny dropped.

    1. Haven’t heard that term for many a year Graham. It brings back fond memories of trying to buy booze as an underage youngster (with occasional success)

      1. Me too, I remember being sent to the offi by my grandad to get hip two pint bottles filled with beer then he would drink one and put a spoonful of sugar in the other before consigning it to the pantry.

        1. Prior to the 1964 Alcohol Act … I always went to the Offi to get my dad’s beer. I was 13 … I also had to buy my mother’s cigarettes!

  5. The usual Friday collection of complicated clues were the order of the day in this puzzle. I find it difficult to get on this compiler’s wavelength and often end up putting in the answer then rwverse engineering the rationale. Nevertheless I completed it in 2* time today and found it fairly enjoyable (3*). The best clue was 15a. Thanks to DT fir the hints and to the setter. At least the weather is fine today so that the isolated can go iut for a walk (giving others a 2 metre wide berth of course).

  6. Well I finished in 4.5* time again and can’t say I enjoyed myself overmuch either. Thanks to DT and the setter

    Just had to pop out and get a new wiper blade for one of our cars needing an MOT. As Mr CS said, the main people out and about seem to be the people who (like him!) are supposed to be keeping away from other people.

    1. A follow up to yesterday’s comments about Ann Cleeve’s new book. When I lived in Bideford I was s young teacher and in the early 80s the adviser for the school suggested I start applying for headships or deputy headships. I duly submitted an application for the vacant head’s position at Newton Tracey but heard nothing and not were my references taken up. When the adviser visited again he asked me if I had applied anywhere. I told him and he said that I should have asked him because the village was a Plymouth Brethren village and the governor’s would only appoint a member of their denomination. That’s where the idea of the Barum Brethren came from. There may have been other village schools in the same position. The geography of the book has moved the PB’s location obviously.

  7. Relatively gentle for a Friday puzzle with average enjoyment completed at a gallop – **/***.
    The Small Red Book was needed particularly for the novel and the pear.
    A Hmm or two – 13a and 25a for example.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 16d, and 20d (an oldie but goodie?) – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  8. I was outside the time for maximum points, but I’m not saying by how much. Good job we don’t disclose it. It really was a case of chipping away at this one. I wasn’t so keen on 25a either DT, but I liked 19a. The quickie pun was good too, but on the one occasion I tried them , I thought that they were disgusting. Never to be tried again. Many thanks to The Don , and to Deep Threat.

  9. 2*/4*. This all fell into place with no hold-ups and I thought it was very enjoyable. It didn’t feel at all like a Giovanni puzzle to me, and, although there were a couple of unusual words/meanings, I wouldn’t classify anything in this as particularly obscure.

    Full marks to the setter for the smooth surfaces throughout. On my podium today are 21a, 28a, 5d & 16d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to DT.

    1. I did not intend to suggest that this puzzle was one of the Don’s, only that the setter seemed to have consulted the Don’s book of obscure words!

  10. Around a ***/***today.
    14d was a new synonym for me-confirmed by Chambers. I am not a fan of word abbreviations as per 11a, they appear to be a last resort to me-again confirmed by chambers!
    There also seemed to be a plethora of word reversals in todays puzzle.
    Anyway enjoyed the solve ,15a my favourite.
    Took three shops to find a loaf of bread this morning , and it was the last one! what is happening?

  11. At the risk of going against the flow, I think we’ve had an excellent run of back-pagers this week and this was no exception. Sensible surface reads, tight clueing – what’s not to like?
    I smiled at the neatness of 22d and my absolute favourite was the electric vehicle – oh, to have those back again!

    Many thanks to our setter and to DT for the review.

  12. I’m not a fan of this type of crossword, which seemed to involve an awful lot off adding or subtracting letters to or from words. It took me a while to get on the wavelength but once I did it flowed relatively well. I liked the clever 21a and the concise 22d best.
    3/2*
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  13. I too found this enjoyable and fairly gentle for a Friday back pager. Favourite, for the surface, 18a just ahead of 16d. Thanks to setter and DT.

    Can somebody please remind me what is the number for Elgar’s Toughie today? I see one, maybe two, themes but don’t understand the significance without knowing the number, and of course might not even work it out if I do!.

  14. I can confirm that Giovanni is not today’s setter! Thank you to Deep Threat for his decryptions and to those who have already taken the trouble to comment and to those who will no doubt pop in later.

    I do my level best to avoid or at least minimise obscurities in puzzles I set, as it’s one of my pet hates as a solver too, but one person’s GK is always another’s obscurity and vice versa.

    I was surprised to learn from an American friend recently that there is a full-sized statue to 5d’s author in Clark Park, Philadelphia, perhaps some of our US correspondents have seen it? Rather oddly, despite many of his novels being set there, London does not have a single statue to him, the only one in the UK being in his birthplace of Portsmouth, and that erected in just the last decade.

    1. Oh, really? I’ve seen the Philly statue but didn’t know about the one in Portsmouth since I’ve not been there for 30 years (on a special trip to see Nelson’s ‘HMS Victory’). The Clark Park statue is quite elaborate, with CD sitting on a throne of sorts, looking (to me) more like Mark Twain than himself. And thank you, Silvanus, for today’s very challenging workout. If I sounded negative in my other comment, I didn’t mean to be–perhaps I was just a bit battle-sore but nonetheless pleased that I finished without any kind of help.

    2. I remember seeing that statue in one of Michael Portillo’s rail journey programmes and being ashamed that we didn’t have one here – pleased to hear that at least that’s been rectified, if a little tardily.

  15. I found this an enjoyable steady solve. The bottom half went in more easily than the top. I like an element of general knowldge. I’ll put 5a on the top step of the podium.

  16. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle despite a rather slow start. Once underway, which took until midway through the downs before I got a foothold, it fell into place quite nicely. The surfaces I found smooth and well constructed, and 16d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT. All us now well in the YS household as Mrs YS managed to buy some loo rolls in an early morning foray into supermarket land.

  17. Managed this in a shade under **** time & found it challenging in places & enjoyable. Completion was somewhat delayed by idiotically bunging in out instead of for as the first 3 letters in 21a. Last 2 in were 1a & 4d, the latter being COTD for me – so obvious but couldn’t get prop out of my mind. The Dickens novel clue was my first in & today’s Grauniad is worth a look & has a literary theme.
    Echoing Brian’s comment re the bugs in the iPad app – I completed the Quickie & it said incorrect (usually the result of a wrong letter keyed in somewhere) but because for some reason it thinks it’s a prize crossword the solution can’t be revealed – eventually clocked I’d put sadness in instead of saddens.
    Off to forage for food & then maybe a go at the Toughie though still scarred from yesterday’s comprehensive failure to finish unaided.

  18. I found this a bit of a struggle, probably the toughest of the week for me. When it takes crypticsue 4.5* to finish, I don’t feel I fared too badly. (That was meant as a huge compliment.) 14d took me forever, it seemed; I kept thinking in terms of condensing = reducing, expurgating, etc., but then it hit me (when I realised that ‘book’ was key to the answer). And elsewhere, I felt more like a warrior in combat with the puzzle, though several clues struck me as quite catchy-clever: 5, 11, and 15a. But my favourite has to be 5d because I once offered a Boz seminar (actually, two of us team-taught it), and OMF emerged as the big hit of the term–much to my delight but also to my surprise. For those of you looking for a great book to read during our exiles from the world, Dickens’s masterpiece (well, to be fair, it rivals Bleak House and Great Expectations) might be just the thing. Thanks DT and the setter. ***** / ***

      1. Hi Merusa, GE was the first Dickens novel I ever read; we spent a couple of weeks at Folly Beach, SC, in the summer of 1955–my parents and we two children–and, funnily, that’s where I still associate that great novel with my own adolescence. Pip, Pip, Hooray!

        1. I have a wonderful audiobook of GE read by Frank Muller, truly one of the best narrators. GE, The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre have been fave books ever since school, a long time ago.

  19. I could not get into this one today. My brain was just not in gear. I finished with the help of the hints but there was little satisfaction for me today.

    Thank you to the setter, whose fault it is not that I could not get to grips with the puzzle. Thanks, also, to Deep Threat for the much needed hints.

    Spent yesterday afternoon making a large batch of masala gravy for the freezer. Now have enough for fourteen curry dishes. With the way things are going, we could be having Ryvita vindaloo! :grin:

  20. I woke far too early this morning and started looking at this puzzle. After twenty minutes and only solving about six clues I went back to sleep. I have since then unravelled the rest of it but there was a lot of reverse engineering going on. I found it quite tough but satisfying to complete. Thank you to Silvanus and DT. My brain needs a rest.
    Yesterday I downloaded a fix on my iPad for the DT Newspaper App. I think it said it was going to resolve the problem of entries for prize crosswords. I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight with excitement…😂

  21. Wavelength, what wavelength? Silvanus might as well have been on another planet. Otherwise as others have said this has been a delightful week on the back page. Incidentally, I have a subscription to the Telegraph but its website has been unobtainable for ages. Is it just me? All the best and keep safe.

  22. Fings ain’t wot they used to be without the Don on Fridays and this is an example of that – not my scene at all. NW was the rearmost. Failed to parse 1a and 26a. 5d was my Fav. Thank you to whomever the setter may be and to DT.

  23. I managed all but one clue ( 25a) which I had to “ click here “ . On 15a I didn’t know the familiar word for BBC ! Otherwise your hints were brilliant , although I’ve still got a long way to go on how to solve these completely unaided

  24. Quite a struggle for me today, so a relief to see that I was not alone.
    Eventually got them all bar 25a for which the hint was most definitely needed.

    DT app on my Andoid tablet also thinks today’s puzzle is a prize one and doesn’t show the solutions. Why are new apps/upgrades or whatever not tested before they are let loose on unsuspecting computer illiterates like me ? Isn’t being stuck indoors punishment enough?

    Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat.

  25. Quelle horreur. Merde. Needed nearly all the hints for the across hints and then most of the downs were hung ins..

    Sorry Silvanus but probably my least favourite puzzle this year. Thanks to DT for your hints. They were really needed today.

  26. Struggled s bit with this and needed hints for several clues. No real favourites sometimes difficult to pick a standout clue.Though a mornings gardening probaly didn’t help. I hope that not to many of you are sufferring with cabin fever.
    Thanks to DT and setter

  27. Well I have finished it at last and needed help for 25a and 14d as I got my visceral mixed up with eviscerate which is quite mad but then the world is at the moment. Merde indeed. Depressed is an understatement. Thank goodness as I have said before for our noble compilers, our tipsters and gin.

  28. I solved this in two sittings today – pre and post Tesco. We were able to get the few bits we needed but oh my goodness, the empty shelves. I simply don’t understand.

    Anyway, back to the crossword, strangely where I was struggling earlier and not enjoying it particularly, when I got back to it the answers just went straight in and I appreciated it more.

    There were a few which I solved from the definition only and needed DT’s wisdom to explain. All in all satisfying to finish, but not my favourite of the week.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and DT

  29. Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I managed to solve yesterday’s puzzle, but couldn’t get anywhere with this. Needed the hints for 11,19,27a and 5,14,16d. Had never heard of 11a & 5d, and didn’t know the less well known definition of 25a, even though I guessed the latter. Couldn’t parse 8d.Favourite was 12a. Was 5*/2* for me.

  30. Hats off to Silvanus for creating such a hard puzzle. And many thanks to DT for the hints. I needed a great deal of help on this one but found it interesting to understand how the answers were derived.

    This week, I feel as though I’ve regressed twelve months to when I first joined this site and started solving the cryptics.

  31. Thanks to Silvanus for this great crossword.
    Thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Such good surface throughout.
    A toss between 16d and 26a for favourite.
    Thanks also to DT for the review.

  32. Managed OK today at a steady if not swift pace. Favourite clue was 26a and least favourite 25a which it certainly wasn’t. Thanks to all.

  33. Challenging. Clumsy clues for the main part. Why is a “gift” easily understood? Not convinced “deny” means forbid. 14d completely goes over my head. Perhaps the penny will drop in about three days time. Favourite 16d.

    1. Many teachers refer to a straightforward exam question as a ‘gift’ and there are probably other situations where an easy passage is a gift?

  34. ****/***. After yesterday’s treat this proved much more taxing. I made some schoolboy errors which made the hints essential – thanks DT. The pear was new to me but my bung-in proved correct. Thanks also to Silvanus.

  35. Great fun to solve. A few places where some head-scratching was involved which is as it should be on a Friday.
    Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  36. I found this challenging but managed it after a fashion. Some clever clues and I hope for more of the same during this period of uncertainty. Also, I hope the updated online version will work better in terms of prize puzzle submission and entering answers.

    Stay safe folks.

  37. Thanks for the hints Deep Threat. Would have given up long ago without your help. Puzzle too tough again today, at least for me. I am not a fan of convoluted clues, such as 8d and 14d. Didn’t understand why it was “Woman’s” in 19a, yet answer was Lady, not lady’s. And of course I have zero knowledge of rugby players (4d) other than that they are big strapping lads who fearlessly chase a small oval ball around a field. Never seen the second definition in 25a. So yes a bit of a struggle again today. Elder daughter has just brought us some groceries, and banned us from leaving the house (they get so bossy don’t they ?😊) so do hope future cryptics won’t be as hard as the last couple of days.

    1. My sympathies regarding the ‘elder daughter’ problem. Trouble is that, as I said to her tonight, if you don’t want me to leave the house then you’re going to have to commit in advance to the days when you can come over with provisions. With the greatest of respect, I do have to order repeat prescriptions a week in advance!

    2. Hi, BusyLizzie. You can parse “Woman’s …” as “Woman is …” (so it has the form “ is ”).

      Rugby players can be big strapping women as well — I’ve a friend who is a 4d for her team.

  38. I fall in to the ‘really struggled’ camp, managed about half before throwing in the towel. Looking at the answers, I’m not sure I’d ever work some of them out, so thanks DT for enlightening me!

  39. I’m in the really, really difficult camp, but it might be just me moving slowly, for some reason I’m like molasses in winter.
    Once I’d got the first word of 5d, what else goes in o-r apart from “a” and “u”, the next two just fell into place, a great help there.
    I never got 4d, I put in “hoofer” as didn’t like the alternative, in any case, what on earth do I know about rugby.
    My fave was 5d, , but I also liked 12a. I had to make use of e-help several times and numerous hints to unravel lots of answers.
    Thanks Silvanus, even though beyond my ken, I don’t mind as so many of our pros enjoy the challenge, just leave some for our tiny brains to enjoy. And, Deep Threat, your masterful hints helped me finish, so thanks for that.

  40. Yesterday was a breeze, this was horrible. First crossword that has ever sent me into a coma.
    As ever when I leave a negative comment, the caveat is that I admire anyone who can set a cryptic crossword.
    Thanks all.

  41. It’s been quite a surprise to me that many commenters have found the puzzle so difficult, I certainly never intended it to be as formidable as it appears to have been for certain of you. Thank you being so polite though, even when you didn’t necessarily enjoy the solve!

    1. Thank you for joining in the conversation. It really helps to connect. Wish more of the setters would take your lead on this!

  42. Some clues fell into place, others needed a pry bar to get them out of the failing grey matter. I will say I managed to complete this only with some excellent direction from DT.
    3.5*/3.5* … was the setter truly a 5d🥴😜
    Many thanks to setter & DT for review & guidance

  43. Where has my comment gone? I remember solving this with enjoyment very early this morning before travelling to the new house and finishing off the stairs before advancing the new kitchen to final fix stage. I’m not surprised that it is from Silvanus. I always enjoy his monthly Toughies. Thanks to Silvanus for the puzzle and DT for the review. We opened up and heard Boris tell us we have to shut the pub after tonight. Shame on you Boris. What took you so long? I needed this two weeks ago. I’ve ordered a green door with a viewing slot. All is not lost.

  44. The last two crosswords have been completed only by dint of referring to your inestimable blog about two thirds of the way through, making use of a couple of broad hints, and then ploughing on. Still fun to finish, just with a feeling of having cheated a bit! Never mind, it’s all part of the learning curve. Shops in our part of France are fully stocked and quiet, maybe as a result of our much stricter rules on going out, which we may only do with a signed and dated form stating our reason for venturing out.

  45. I completed it, almost without a dictionary and with no help, but for me this was definitely a 3. If I hadn’t been self isolating i would have given up earlier.

    1. I concur. I am usually very busy and only have limited time to devote to crosswords. That’s why I settled on the DT some 35 years ago. Today I was working from home and was able to extend my lunch to accommodate the longer solve. I ended up working later to catch up, which is something I would never do in the office!

  46. For me this was one of the most difficult back pagers I have ever attempted. Managed a few clues but had to resort to the hints and answers. Thursday was a doddle in comparison. Funny how most thought Thursday was difficult and Friday easy.

    *****/-

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