DT 29323 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29323 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29323 (Hints)
The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from a sunny Warrington.

After the storm of last Saturday’s 19 down, and thanks to our setter for coming in to beg forgiveness offer an explanation, we return to gentler waters with a puzzle that I guess is by our original Mysteron. Most of it went in smoothly except for 1 across/down, as I’d managed to find an alternative sporting method of player selection. In truth, though, this did not hold me up too much.

Thanks to today’s setter for a very enjoyable solve and please, keep self-isolating and self-distancing wherever you are. If you are down with the virus, then hopefully it will start to ease. I know a few of your regular setters are down with it and are reporting discomfort and unpleasant symptoms but seem to be over the worst.

Now to important matters. There’s a note from the Editor in today’s paper. From today, there’ll be no prize puzzles at the weekend, which I guess is down to our present situation, which affects the blog obviously. This set of notes had already been prepared over breakfast, so after consulting with the boss, we wondered whether we should continue with the hints and then a full blog later in the day (around 5pm??) or would you just like a normal ‘daily’ blog? Cast your vote here.

 

We’d appreciate your comments.

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

A full review of this puzzle will be published around 5pm today, as it isn’t a prize puzzle.

Some hints follow.

Across

1a Selecting players for hurling (7)
Two definitions. These players are not found on a sporting stage but a theatrical one.

11a Painter a liability? Partly, among other things (5,4)
Get your magnifying glass out and look for the answer! One of two Latin phrases in today’s puzzle.

12a Glower from club user initially barred (5)
The definition here is slightly misleading, in the same way that a river can be described as a ‘flower’ so this…? A word for someone who uses a club, minus its first letter.

13a Old number three fouled (5)
One of the oldest crossword clues ever. I refer m’learned friends to the previous clue to explain the definition.

17a Two scholars placed in reform school (4,5)
The name for your old school. Two academic qualifications are placed inside a word meaning reform.

22a Asian city or Greek one without parking (5)
The name for a major Asian city is that of one best known in Greek mythology, minus the abbreviation for parking.

23a Facetious talk about right presentation prop (4,5)
An aide to giving a presentation, now mainly replaced by PowerPoint. Something meaning facetious, plus a type of talk goes around the abbreviation for right.

25a Not settled round greenery, second rook departs (7)
The letter represented by ’round’, plus a slightly obscure word for lush greenery which loses the second occurrence of the chess symbol for a rook.

28a Believe to be dodgy (7)
Two definitions here.

Down

1d Groom and lovely female going to marry (7)
A term meaning to groom and one that means lovely, minus its first letter.

4d Diver’s shame, eating most of fruit (9)
The name for a non-human diver. A word meaning shame goes around most of the name of a sour fruit.

6d Good person with just the same name as writer (9)
A short way of saying a good person, plus a phrase meaning ‘just the same’ and add the abbreviation for name.

17d Tough resistance with pair in Australia (7)
Inside the abbreviation for Australia goes one for resistance and a word meaning pair.

18d One who wrote less about truth, might we infer? (7)
This is as near as we’ll come to last week’s 19d. A French author needed here. If you reverse the concept of the clue, he would write … this?

24d Soldiers and police surrounding king (5)
A body of soldiers is found by putting a word for the police around the abbreviation for king. And it isn’t PRIGS!

I hope you weren’t too troubled by today’s puzzle. A reminder that there are some other free puzzles around at The Guardian, Independent and Financial Times sites if you are looking for things to do. The FT puzzle is rather fun today and by one of our Toughie setters.

Here are some links:

Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/crosswords/prize/28093

FT http://prod-upp-image-read.ft.com/b1c9affa-6a88-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3

Independent https://puzzles.independent.co.uk/games/cryptic-crossword-independent/#!202003

Music to finish, and I offer you this as an oasis of calm.

The Crossword Club is now open.


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.


The Quick Crossword pun: vile+inn+beau=violin bow


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103 comments on “DT 29323 (Hints)
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  1. 1*/3*. This was a light delight. I immediately dropped onto the right wavelength and borrowed Senf’s horse to gallop through it until I reached 18d, my last one in. The answer became clear from the checking letters and definition but working out the precise parsing took me nearly as long as the whole of the rest of the puzzle.

    Full marks to the setter for great cluing and smooth surfaces. My podium comprises a nice variety of clues: 9a, 11a & 26a, plus 18d for putting up the biggest fight.

    CL reports in today’s paper that prizes are suspended until further notice. Presumably the Naughty Corner can be placed on lockdown with no one allowed in (or out?).

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. I’ve just read Tilsit’s preamble. I would prefer a full set of hints in the morning if this is practical depending on the willingness and availability of our marvellous band of bloggers. If this is problematic, then plan B of hints in the morning and a full review in the afternoon would be fine too. I’m just very grateful for everything we get from this wonderful site.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent non-Prize Puzzle this morning. It was a slow starter, then only the SW corner held me up for a while. 18d was either my favourite or a complete stinker, and I cannot decide which. 22a and the excellent lurker at 11a are less controversial choices.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter for a fun challenge and to Tilsit.

  3. Thanks, Tilsit. This was a nice easy puzzle today and a restless night coughing sent me to the puzzle site overnight. I was just going to do a couple of clues until I fell asleep but ended up finishing in double quick time (for me) the only slow point was 17d where I thought I couldn’t spell for a while until the states vanished and I saw Australia.
    While I respect CL and the move to remove prizes I do think it is more to do with the problems the Telegraph’s IT dept are having rather than any altruism but maybe I am just a grumpy cynic with a cough who didn’t get enough sleep.

    1. The problems with the Edition App crosswords hint/reveal solutions being missing, and with the prize entries was fixed in an update earlier this week.

      Regarding the temporary cessation of prizes (for all puzzles), it’s purely down to logistical reasons. We receive a large number of entries per week across all our puzzles (a five-figure number), split pretty evenly between postal entries and email/electronic entries. Because of the current restrictions, many Telegraph people are working from home; we decided it wasn’t fair on them to insist that somebody goes into the office just to sort and work through so many postal entries each week. Accepting electronic-only entries for puzzles seems rather unfair, as this disadvantages everybody who currently enters our prize puzzles by post.

      Sending prizes to winners is also problematic, in that it needs somebody to physically put prize fountain pens in Jiffy-bags, print and sign cheques, etc, so somebody would have to be physically present in our offices to do this. Other prizes, such as dictionaries for the Saturday Giant GK crossword, are sent direct from the publishers, who would have the same problem. Asking somebody to come into the office either to choose winners or send out prizes (or to sort thousands of postal entries) doesn’t seem to be in line with the guidelines on social distancing, and I’m not sure that it can be classed as essential work. All prizes will be reinstated as soon as possible – hopefully in weeks rather than months, but this depends on how long the current restrictions last.

      The good news is that the three online prize crosswords that are published each Monday on the Telegraph Puzzles website will still be prize puzzles, as these are online only, and so postal entrants aren’t disadvantaged. However, prizes for these (which are cheques) will not be sent out until things return to some semblance of normality.

      I hope everyone on the blog stays both safe and sane.

      CL

      1. While your clever technical people are working from home, would there be any chance of them fixing the annoying thing where when you are typing solutions into the online puzzles (as I have just done with today’s) the letters sometimes stick and, when you get it to work if the letter is a checking letter in a Down clue, instead resuming the ability to type the Down solution in, the system turns ‘right’ and starts putting the wrong letters in the linked Across clue which is annoying and frustrating at the same time. When it does it a lot in one crossword, language unbecoming to ladies of mature years can often be heard!

      2. Eminently sensible, Chris. Anyway, as I have never won a prize since I began doing the crossword back in the 1970’s I don’t think the decision will affect me greatly. :good:

        We all must stay safe and that is the main thing.

        1. I can smugly say that I have won twice, firstly some thirty or more years ago a pack of bridge cards and more recently a very smart pen and notebook. I still try to make the hat trick!

          1. I won a notebook and pen once. I’ve often wondered how entries are judged when postal and on-line are sent in. Anyway, I enter more out of habit.

            1. I won one of the twin packs of playing cards way back in the 1970s – the one and only prize puzzle I ever sent in!
              Obviously under the circumstances we will have to do without prizes for a while, the least of our inconveniences.

      3. Thank you for a very comprehensive explanation showing that you are following all the recommendations/rules/regulations – whatever they are.

      4. Thanks for coming. I apologize for being such a grumpy old so and so. Lack of sleep from a minor cough and an 83 yr old Mum who won’t accept she has to stay in has turned me into a bit of a curmudgeon. I hope everyone at Telegraph Hq stays safe too. Especially Matt and your delightful band of setters who indeed are keeping me sane.
        Good wishes to all here too who entertain and alleviate the boredom everyday.

      5. Adding to CrypticSue’s comment about giving your technical people something to do at home, is there any chance of having the WordWheel, perhaps to be printed on the same page as the the Codewords–will save paper and trees! Thanks for popping in and explaining things – a very sensible decision about the prizes. I’m also in that happy band of warriers who has never mnaged to win a prize!

      6. That makes perfect sense. Unlike the situation here, where my daughter and her team are all safely working from home. Yet her boss insists she goes into the office once a week to sort and scan the mail. Frustratingly stupid.

      7. Hi Chris
        I have asked for this before but it is even more pertinent in the current environment, when going out to pick up a newspaper is not the most sensible practise.
        Please could the toughie be included in the online edition of the paper (even if only short term).
        It is even more valuable to have when we all have more time on our hands. We paper subscribers are paying for full content, and not having access to the toughie is frustrating. If it accessible to those who just buy the puzzle app surely it should be accessible to those who pay full whack?!
        Hope you can help those who are reticent to make a daily journey to the shops.
        Thanks

        1. I agree but more firmly. Not if only for the short term. Forever. I don’t bother Chris with this. It’s not his doing and I don’t think he can alter things. We do get The Toughie if we bother to collect the actual newspaper. I don’t want to solve on paper. I can’t write. I don’t even want the actual newspaper. I happy with reading on my iPad. I want to solve The Toughie on my iPad. Oh dear the red mist is coming down

          1. I’m hoping we’ll have the Toughie in the app soon. It was already planned to happen this year, but the pandemic has thrown something of a spanner in the works (as it has with many things). Having said that, assuming that everyone involved stays healthy, we’ll be looking in a couple of days’ time at whether we can get it done quickly so that more people have access to the puzzle.

            Of course it’s available on the puzzles website — less than 10p per day for an annual subscription. I appreciate you may see this as being an unwanted extra cost, but a) we have to pay the compilers, and b) if you work out the cost per hour’s enjoyment obtained from solving the puzzles, it seems good value to me!

            1. Thanks Chris
              That’s great to hear – appreciated.
              I agree it’s not a large extra cost but paying for something twice would make me doubt my sanity – at a time when we are all trying to keep a grip on reality😉
              Appreciate your efforts.
              Ricardo

  4. I didn’t find this too difficult; it took my normal Saturday time and I enjoyed it on the whole.

    I didn’t think 18d worked so was disappointed in that one.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  5. A nice straightforward puzzle and very enjoyable (**/****). There were a few that I had trouble parsing and 18d was my problem too. I liked 5a and 13a but first prize goes to the lurker at 11a. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. Keep well and if you have the virus get well soon.

  6. Enjoyed this, SW was a little trickier and where i found my favourites, the australian pair, the writer who wrote less about truth, and not settling around greenery.
    many thanks Tilsit

  7. Light and enjoyable puzzle for the weekend. One slight point. Where in 1d does it indicate that the lovely synonym should be minus its 1st letter? Also although the answer was obvious i cannot unpick the wordplay for 18d even with the hint. Is it just me?
    Thx to all
    */****

    1. ‘Female going’ in 1 down.

      18d is a bit like last week. Since it’s not a prize puzzle, His name could be LETRUESS , but instead it’s the opposite ‘untruth’ inside MORE. Maybe we need a canine explanation…..

      1. Thx for the 1d, stupid of me i should have seen that. Took a bit of thought to unpick the rest of your reply but then the penny dropped! Too clever for this bear of very little brain. Many thanks for the help.

      2. Oh, NOW I get 18d! Thanks, tilsit…only needed you to explain it twice. I had convinced myself that it was a very loose homophone with a very loose indicator. Now I kinda like the clue.

    2. I read the clue as inferring the clue meant the oppoiste to the answer :) 18d
      Still stuck on 26a but it will come to me
      easy jaunt so far, many thanks all

  8. I have added a poll in the blog for you to let us know how you’d like your weekend blogs. After speaking to the Esteemed Editor, it is only while we are locked down, and in the interests of everyone’s safety.

  9. The full message in the paper says:

    Prize Puzzles Update

    All of us are currently having our lives affected in one way or another by the coronavirus, and unfortunately this means that we are pausing the awarding of prizes for our competition puzzles. We don’t want to risk the health of our team by asking them to come into the Telegraph offices just to choose winners from postal entries, sign cheques or post physical prizes to winners.

    It seems fairest to them, and to solvers who would be disadvantaged as they sent postal entries rather than electronic entries, if all of our puzzles are ‘just for fun’ until things get back to normal. We will ensure that this change is for as short a period as possible, and apologise for any inconvenience caused. All of our prize puzzles will continue to be published, just without the chance of winning; any winners of previous puzzles who have not yet received their prizes will receive these as soon as we can safely get them to you. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope you continue to enjoy our puzzles

    Chris Lancaster, Puzzles Editor

  10. And the naughty step has been renamed the Relax for a Few Minutes on Your Own Step. I’m off there now with a coffee and a Mr Kipling Elderflower and Lemon Slice.

    I’m off back to write some clues, for something that may be appearing soon. I have far too much time on my hands.

  11. The puzzle wasn’t difficult, it just took me ages to finish because I was watching a Saturday cookery prog. at the same time. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. 15a was my favourite.

  12. My initial thought was that 18d was a very poor attempt at a homophone – then the penny dropped and that one earns a place on the podium, along with 6d.
    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for manning the fort yet again.
    I’ve voted for option A as the alternative would seem to necessitate our weekend team producing two blogs on one day but – as RD infers – it has to be down to those bloggers to choose which they would prefer, we’re just grateful for whatever input they are able to give.

    1. We are currently working on the possibility of the weekend hint giver ‘hinting’ and the weekend blogger ‘blogging’ – it is a plan in development. That’s what is happening today. The future will be informed by the results of the poll

  13. Thank you so much for the music – very peaceful – shall listen again……
    On the Today programme this morning, they had some birdsong…..anyone remember Classic FM keeping
    their channel open before they began with their own birdsongs…………….very restful!

    1. Scala Radio has a two-hour programme of music and birdsong each day from 5 am. They have Charles Nove who has a breakfast programme which is almost Woganesque. He’s followed by Simon Mayo who is always good value for money.

      The pianist from above, Alexis Ffrench, is on each weekend as is Mark Kermode with insightful film music. All in all, it’s getting me through these days with only the odd trip for a short burst of TV news.

      https://planetradio.co.uk/scala-radio/player/

    2. When Classic FM was test broadcasting with birdsong we were waiting in the car at Portsmouth to board the ferry to St. Malo. We put the birdsong on, turned the volume right up and wound the windows of the car down. We calmly carried on reading our books while everyone else searched the skies and surrounding buildings for a flock of birds. :smile:

  14. Straightforward and very enjoyable, only held up by putting ‘sidecar’ in 9a. My reasoning was that Swallow was a British maker of sidecars (and also the SS100 sports car that became the famous Jaguar) in the twenties and thirties.
    Thanks to Tilsit and presumably Mysteron.

    1. With references in your brain like this I’m surprised you ever finish a crossword. Makers of sidecars indeed. Not general knowledge for everyman. As an ex biker that was knowledge beyond the stars.

  15. I can recommend today’s NTSPP (and second BD’s thought that you start with the Downs). If nothing else, it will give you a chance to giggle at some of the entries in the reference book concerned

  16. Thanks for the hints Tilsit they were needed in the SW corner. The rest was relatively easy. Liked 26a and 2d. Thanks to the setter for a pleasant three quarter solve.

  17. What a contrast to yesterday. Like RD I too was on Senf’s nag albeit with my usual quota of bung ins and finishing in a shade over ** time with 18d also my last in. I wonder if I was the only one to initially bung silence in as the answer to 26a…..
    Thanks to the setter for a thoroughly enjoyable offering & to Tilsit for the hints. Now back to Picaroon’s cryptic in yesterday’s Grauniad where annoyingly I’m still 4 short & refuse to admit defeat.
    Stay safe & well everybody

  18. Like almost everyone else, the SW corner left me scratching my head (lost the hair years ago) until the two pennies finally fell (17D and 18d). Other than that, nice and straight forward. I had filled in 1d, but needed the hints here to confirm why I had my answer. Big smile of the day came not from any clue in the cryptic, but the three word answer in the quick crossword!! Clever…
    Stay safe everybody, lots to do to alleviate any chance of boredom in the Saturday section of the paper (yes, I took a chance on a shop at twenty to seven this morning) whilst working from home.

  19. A puzzle of two halves for me. East was a breeze, West not so much. So, started at fast gallop and slowed down to a fast canter by the time the puzzle was completed, with a few Hmms on the way – 2.5*/3*
    Favourite – a toss-up between 17a and 2d – and the winner is 17a.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  20. I agree totally with Tilsit. One extra thing, do the last three across on the quick one also make a phrase? Or is it just me?

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I’ve muttered the last three words and I think it is just you. The Monday setter appears to be our only double punner

  21. I just want to say a huge thank you to the setters and to Tilsit for continuing to provide us with puzzles and clues to help keep the brain ticking over while home alone for the next 11 weeks.
    SE corner went in very quickly, but still trying to parse SW. I’ll get there in the end.

  22. A jim-dandy puzzle, in which I passed Senf’s galloping equine, racing to a happy finish. Just up my alley this morning, it seemed, even though the virus news over here is the grimmest and direst yet. So this puzzle lifted my spirits considerably. I thought 18d was brilliant, and it’s my COTD. Other podiumites: 4d, 11a, 25a. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit. * / ****

    PS: Does anybody else work the Guardian’s Prize puzzle on the weekends? If so, is there a blog for that?

    1. The Guardian’s Prize Puzzle is reviewed on Fifteensquared once the submission date has passed. I don’t know if the Guardian are suspending prizes currently in the same way as the Telegraph.

  23. Not crossword related but while out being blown along the road by a strong northerly this morning, I noticed that a number of houses have bears (teddy or panda) in their windows. I investigoogled and apparently this is so families out for a walk can go on a real bear hunt! Our house is set too far back from the road for any bear spotting, but I thought others might like to join in with the fun

      1. Not sure but I’m sure they’d be up for a picnic once they are allowed within 2 metres of bears who aren’t living in the same house!

  24. What a wonderful change from the horror of yesterday.The SW corner was the last to fall and I did need the hint for 18d. I thought it was a clever clue, myself so it is my COTD. I also liked the lurker in 11a, which was precisely clued.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints and music.

    I have managed to book another delivery from Sainsbury’s. Not sure if it’s because of the fact I have registered with gov.uk as at severe risk or I was just lucky.

    Please keep well, everyone.This blog is becoming a lifeline. I have also set up a WhatsApp group for a few friends who were at uni together. We have a reunion each year but not this year, of course. The group keeps us in touch.

    1. Training to be a nurse in Oxford in the late 60’s/early 70s there were six of us who shared a house. We’re all still in quite close contact and usually get together every couple of years when the one who married an Aussie comes over. One of the others set up a WhatsApp group earlier in the week – don’t know why we haven’t thought of it before – my phone hasn’t stopped pinging ever since – brilliant! :good: and :smile:

      1. My phone pings all day and night as I have people in my group from Italy through Europe, West Indies, America to Cincinnati! No one from Oz yet. I currently have nearly 30 to read. You feel connected in a time of confusion.

  25. I’m on my own in that I found this testing.
    It was an excellent crossword, but I struggled to ‘tune in’.
    A welcome relief after yesterday.
    Thanks Tilsit and our setter.

  26. A very enjoyable light hearted puzzle that I managed to complete in the garden, before the clouds came over & the gale started!
    2*/4*
    Many thanks to setter for a pleasurable Saturday puzzle, Tilsit for review & Chris Lancaster for a thorough explanation of decisions made in these dreadful times.
    Best wishes to all.

  27. Great enjoyment from puzzle blog and comments.Held up in S.W. Not helped by insisting on the wrong Greek city one where the regime was like 17d.Thankyou to all.In answer to your poll I often cannot do the puzzle until Saturday evening and find it helpful that one day a week l need to use my brain on every clue even where you have given a hint.

  28. Mummy always told me, “If you have nothing good to say, say nothing.” So, 1*/1*. Thanks anyway (‘twould be churlish not to) Setter & Blogger.

  29. Everything went smoothly until I hit a brick wall in 26a. Very loud bang when the tea tray finally fell on the floor. That kind of court always gets me.
    Thanks to 22a, I shall now remember how to spell the city properly.
    Loved 18d but favourite is 6d.
    Not only it’s a charade (I do like charades) but this writer said:
    I was only happy once, and that was at Hyères.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  30. I went through this like a dose of salts. Was through all but all of the NE in double-quick time. Had no problem with 18d. Very familiar with the writer although not sure I completely got the parsing. My last two in were 9a and 1d. The latter because I was looking for something more obscure and this is rather obvious. Did not fill in 1d as could not parse so thank you Tilsit. I confidently inserted 26 and and 27a but then began to doubt myself. Reason for that with 26a with a different sort of Court proceedings which commence with the answer. Therefore thought it was a quick crossword or GK answer. When the penny dropped I realised my answer was right. Perhaps others with a legal bent made the same assumption? I am still not sure about 27a. The answer looks fine but not sure of the parsing. Forget that! Gnomey’s law has kicked in and I have parsed it. Thanks Setter and Tilsit.

  31. I haven’t voted on what kind of hints/blogs to have at weekends because I’m easy either way.
    This one took me some time to get on to the right wave-length – don’t know why – I enjoyed it.
    17 and 18d were my last answers and 25a wasn’t far ahead of them.
    The answer to 26a was the first thing I thought of but didn’t put it in as I thought I might be taken up the garden path.
    I think my favourite was probably 5a but several other good ones too.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  32. Very enjoyable puzzle this morning. All done and dusted apart from the NW corner which is giving me some grief. My first answers for 1a and 1d we’re not going to work, and I am still puzzling over those. Will save for another look over lunch later. Everyone, please stay home and well. It’s like we are all stuck in a stupid sci-fi movie, one of those ones where you would turn it off saying “that would never happen”…

  33. Like others I romped through this until I got to the SW corner. I needed the hint for 18d. My favourite was 11a – such a clever lurker. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit. One more day of self-isolation to confirm I didn’t pick up anything on vacation, although I’m getting into the swing of not going out. Our more enterprising restaurants, which are closed to the public, have adapted to home delivery to keep their chefs employed.

  34. Thoroughly enjoyable exercise today brimming with clever clues of which my Favs were 17a, 22a and 2d and indeed 18d with Tilsit’s help – d’oh moment. I gather I was not alone in finding the SW corner the most challenging. I too will not miss the Saturday Prize Puzzle as over a great many years I have sent in entries with a zero return – don’t bother any more. Thanks Mysteron and Tilsit. Stay warm and well (or get better soon) everybody. Ongoing thanks to BD for this marvellous blog. 🌹

  35. Like Senf, mine was a puzzle of two halves as well. But mine was bottom relatively quick to solve (other than 18d) and the top half took a wee bit longer. Last in was NW corner and last clue solved was 1a!
    Overall though a nice puzzle after yesterday’s horror.
    Favourite clues today were 5a (good chuckle), 11a,17a & 8d

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the odd hint I required.

  36. I say again and again, how different we all are! North went in fairly rapidly, though I had a wavelength thing all the way through. Struggled with the SE and sweated bullets in the SW. I can’t really see why I had such a problem, needing hints for the SW.
    Really enjoyable, lots of likes. I think 18d is fave, mainly for cleverness, I did need the hint to get it. I liked 5a, 15a and 4d as runners up.
    Thanks to our setter and huge thanks to Tilsit for his help to the finish line. Keep safe all.

  37. A lot of erudition about today…My last one in was 26a -wrong court…
    Tilsit’s comment on 1a and 1d applied to me and it took a while to get into the swing of things!
    Tilsit’s in Warrington -we lived there 35 years ago!
    Very enjoyable puzzle -liked the ‘hidden’ word ones and the geographics.
    Favourite was 17a.
    Thanks to setter and to contributors for your comments.
    Keep safe everyone!

  38. I stumbled through the crossword , hardly really aware whether I liked it or not , such is the anxiety I am feeling with full lockdown imposed today in Ireland.
    I nominate 4d and 15a as clues that I noticed I liked and I never would have unravelled 18d without the hint.
    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  39. A pleasant return to crossword normality after yesterday’s horror show. I hadn’t heard of 18d (not very well up on French playwrights) but googled it. I’ve been on lockdown longer than most having been not well for 6 or 7 weeks from the start of the year, I don’t think it was Corvid 19 but it knocked me down to the floor, then having no car for 2 weeks and then being in the same boat as everyone else. All I can say is you get used to it! But hey ho! I’m still here to tell the tale. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  40. It wasn’t that easy, couldn’t have finished without Tilsit (thank you Tilsit). 18d last in and still struggling as to why despite the clue , just remember him (fondly) from A level… Favourite?? Maybe 11a or 4d

  41. What a joy today, after yesterday’s absolute stinker! The first time for ages I was able to solve completely without the hints – to check, of course! Impossible to choose a favourite, but 25a made me chuckle! Many thanks to all for a lovely blog, and to Tilsit and the setter. 🙃

  42. I’m sure there is a much easier way to clue that French bloke that wrote, even using the same cryptic elements, but I reckon you guys can withstand at least one spicy number per puzzle. Split decision on it more or less (as it were) in comments, though once again I’m delighted to see that most of you enjoyed the puzzle as a whole.

    Thanks to you all for taking an an interest, and to Cryptic Sue, and to Tilsit, for their ace bloggery. I hope to see you all again in the very near future, stay safe and well, and all the best as you recover if you are feeling under the weather.

    1. You stay safe and well too – your crosswords (whichever alias you use) are keeping us all cheerful in these trying times

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