DT 29368 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29368

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29368

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

In the last four days we have managed to meet up with all of our family and grandchildren who we have only contacted via Zoom since lockdown started. This has meant that we have been staying in Wellington for a couple of nights and it was just wonderful being back in touch again.  We did so miss them all so much. We came back today so we could do the blog in our usual home environment.

All the usual Wednesday fun with this puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Engineers more recent track studies (9,6)
REFRESHER COURSE : Army engineers, then more recent, like vegetables from a home garden compared with supermarket ones, and a synonym for track.

9a     Family (and the rest) must adopt current type of energy (7)
KINETIC : A three letter word for family, and then the abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning ‘and the rest’ includes ‘I’, the physics symbol for current.

10a     In repeats, an actor returned for game (7)
CANASTA : A reversed lurker hiding in the clue.

11a     Description of curriculum should include British sweets (9)
SYLLABUBS : The abbreviation for British is inside a course of study.

12a     Clip youngster crossing river (4)
TROT : A familiar word for a small child includes R(iver).

13a     Relative cut applied to rejected writer (6)
NEPHEW : Firstly, the reversal of a writing implement and then a word meaning cut.

15a     With no time tips load off across right part of motorway (4,4)
SLIP ROAD : We have a complicated anagram here. ‘Off’ is the indicator. Start with ‘tips load’, then remove the T(ime) and add in R(ight).

18a     Chutzpah mainly precedes row in border (8)
FRONTIER : Start with a synonym for chutzpah or brazenness and remove its last letter. Now, another word for a row or level.

19a     District excluding the majority of public disorder (6)
BARRIO : A word meaning excluding is followed by one for public disorder without its final letter.

22a     Boy pinching one set (4)
LAID : The Roman numeral one is inside another word for a boy.

23a     Container used for river grass? (9)
FLOWERPOT : A word for a river originating from the way that it moves (that is often used to confuse crossword solvers), and then grass smoked by hippies in the 1960’s.

26a     Sign discovered in form of Maori art (7)
ORIGAMI : The two letters in the centre of sign (discovered) are inside an anagram (form of) MAORI.

27a     Laugh and talk intermittently during task (7)
CHORTLE : The first and third letters of talk are found inside a boring routine task.

28a     Pay for dance after dream sporting competition (7,8)
FANTASY FOOTBALL : Start with a dream or illusion, then pay for or pick up the bill and a formal dance.


1d     Makes a lot from crime to support playboy (5,2)
RAKES IN : A crime or indiscretion follows a playboy or libertine.

2d     A bit of belief in a league game (5)
FINAL : A lurker, hiding in the clue

3d     Outgoing text sent off about partygoer (9)
EXTRAVERT : An anagram (sent off) of TEXT contains a partygoer.  (Bet we won’t be the only ones to check this spelling)

4d     Slight problem with award after chick goes naked (6)
HICCUP : The central three letters of chick and then an award or trophy.

5d     Seasoning sailor from Gibraltar? (4,4)
ROCK SALT : A familiar name for Gibraltar and one of the many synonyms for a sailor.

6d     Grunt name adopted by yokel (4)
OINK : A word for a country yokel contains N(ame).

7d     Most of detachment love Irish tank (9)
RESERVOIR : Remove the last letter from detachment or shyness, then the tennis score love and the abbreviation for Irish.

8d     Praised former lover and stopped missing head (7)
EXALTED : The two letter former lover, and then remove the first letter (in this case ‘h’) from a word meaning stopped.

14d     Supply argument in favour of dream (9)
PROVISION : A word for an argument in favour and then a dream or aspiration.

16d     Look sulky about bad delay, exhausted (6,3)
PLAYED OUT : What is done with the mouth to look sulky surrounds an anagram (bad) of DELAY.

17d     Spy left in a panic, holding Independent showing such feeling (4-4)
SELF-PITY : An anagram (in a panic) of SPY LEFT contains I(ndependent).

18d     Decline sees everything cancelled after fine (4,3)
FALL OFF : Start with the abbreviation for fine, then a word meaning everything and then one meaning cancelled.

20d     Love a duck eating last of cream and porridge (7)
OATMEAL : The tennis score love, ‘A’ from the clue, and a small variety of duck contains the last letter of cream.

21d     Weapon choice should incorporate cover for the body (6)
PONCHO : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

24d     Prime minister once having answer for bread (5)
PITTA : A former prime minister (you have two relatives to choose from) and the abbreviation for answer.

25d     Hotel also known as a dance (4)
HAKA : H(otel) and then the letters indicating ‘also known as’.

We don’t really need to explain why the SW corner contains our favourite clues today.

Quickie pun    thumb    +    Heinz   +    eye    =    the mind’s eye

98 comments on “DT 29368

  1. How lovely to be able to see your family again. I’m very jealous

    A lovely friendly Jay crossword – obviously designed with our bloggers in mind (26a/25d). Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  2. Yes, I’m jealous too. I haven’t seen my grandchildren for 8 weeks now. This was anotber superb crossword from Jay (,**/*****). It had so many great clues it’s impossible to pick a favourite but I liked 18a, 23a and 27a. Thanks to theKiwis and to Jay. Stay safe and well.

    1. Ours live in Northern Ireland and we haven’t seen them since Christmas. We normally go over every June for their birthdays but I don’t think that’ll be happening this year :(

      1. Ours live in the Midlands & I haven’t had the delight of seeing them for over 5 years now. You don’t know how fortunate you are to have a privilege you can look forward to enjoying again soon.

          1. Una
            Sadly we have no prospect that it will. You realise when you hear the pleasure that grandchildren bring to others it is one of life’s pleasures that will have passed us by.

        1. Our daughter and son-in-law are in Melbourne. They were due to come over this year but now we don’t know when.

          1. Our daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren also live in Melbourne, but the one in England. We FaceTime frequently but it’s not the same as being with them. I’ve recently had to cancel flights to visit them as we normally do at least once each year. Roll on a vaccine.

            1. Yes, we have had to postpone our annual visit to friends and relations, and certainly until this virus either goes away on its own, or a vaccine is available. I’ve caught too many colds on international flights, despite using wipes on the tv screens and drop down tables, so I know that air just circulates the germs.

              1. That’s true. When we few to Melbourne a couple of years back there was a woman behind Mrs. C who coughed and sneezed throughout the long flight. She didn’t cover her mouth or even try to stifle the sneezes. Mrs. C. went down with flu for most of our stay.

  3. I had the majority of this in in pretty good time but then came to a bit of a halt in the SE, which took me well into 3* for difficulty time. I ended up having to look at the hint (grr) for 19a despite having three checkers in.
    I liked the 26a/25d connection along with 1&9a plus 16d and my COTD 4d.
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for their excellent works.

  4. 3*/4.5*. A lovely puzzle which was nicely challenging and a lot of fun.

    I entered “curb” initially for 12a which caused me some delay in the NE corner, and the not really British answer to 19a was a new word for me but readily derivable by following the instructions in the clue.

    25d gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

        1. I was looking at a different crossword – I blame the fact that it is so hot here this morning

          1. Multi-tasking obviously brings its problems even to ladies it seems, although Mrs LrOK insists it is men that are useless at it.

            1. Probably got quite a lot more to do with the number of crossword printouts on the desk.

              1. I know the feeling – I gave out a hint recently for a clue that turned out to be one I’d seen in that day’s Indy puzzle! Fortunately, RD set me straight.

    1. I also had curb for a while. Does anyone know why there are so many ‘f’s today?

      1. It is strange what people notice. When I went back to look I counted an ‘ell of a sight more “ls”!

    2. Yes, I took a long time to pen that one in, wasn’t expecting it in a UK crossword.

  5. For the second day running, a clue dependant on knowledge of Spanish. Fair enough, perhaps, as French and German make regular visits … We enjoyed this puzzle very much, completed individually in ** time for us. Favourite clue has to be 20d for the love a duck. Thanks to setter and the happy grandparents! 🙂🙂

  6. As CS says one for even the likes of me to think at the easier end of the spectrum but still enjoyable. I was sure I was going to be saying “over too quickly” then got slightly delayed by SE corner.
    LOI & COTD 23a.
    Strange how little-used words like 26a seem to crop up frequently in crosswordland.
    Spring has just arrived up here but still a 10C gap with SE.
    Thanks to Jay & 2K’s. Very enjoyable puzzle and usual informative and entertaining review.

  7. Sometimes a crossword just hits the spot and this one truly did.
    I really really enjoyed it.
    Thanks to Jay and to our Kiwis for the review.

  8. Jay provided a fun start to the day. North was more straightforward than the South although alternative spelling of 3d delayed things a bit as did my failure to twig 28a in the South. I had to seek a prompt for 18a. Look forward to hopefully seeing a real live performance of a 25d by the All Blacks once we’re back to some form of normal living (🤞). Equal Favs were 9a, 23a and 26a. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  9. An enjoyable offering. Even I guessed it was probably Jay. The duck and cream in 20d held me up for a while though it’s an excellent clue. Lots to choose from but I’ll nominate 27a as favourite simply because it’s such a lovely word. I’m envious of the kiwis who are able to reconnect with family. I often used to say “I’m going to change my name ” because my grandchildren were constantly shouting for “nana”. Now I wish! Thanks to all.

  10. The usual back-page fun from our reliably excellent Wednesday setter although I was slow to get 1a and 19a did cause something of a dilemma and necessitated recourse to Mr G.
    Top marks here went to Bill & Ben’s home in 23a and 27a just because it’s one of those delicious words.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – haven’t seen my young grandson since this time last year and he has a sibling due to arrive in about three weeks time. The ‘newbie’ could well be toddling before I get my first chance to meet him/her!

  11. Jay at his Wednesday best, although the Quickie pun generated a Hmm, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 27a, 1d, and 20d – and the winner is 27a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I couldn’t work out the Quickie pun as I failed to realise 8d was included – silly me.

      1. It’s 8 across not down but even so the pun is ridiculous. Doesn’t hit the spot at all.

  12. I’m not jealous , Kiwis but I am delighted for you.My two live in London and New York so it’s mostly Whatsapp calls, although the “Londoner”came home for 5 weeks .I have to say I’m loving the peace and quiet and the birdsong and all that.I’ve conquered Zoom and am getting niftier at google forms .
    Anyway , that was a lovely crossword .
    Thanks to all concerned.

  13. I struggled with the SE corner, and can’t believe I took so long over 16d and 19d. A partial lurker, and a full blown lurker. 19a I worked out, then googled, and still wondered if I really needed a Spanish district I’d never heard of. The review confirmed that I did. Thanks to the setter. I have lots of ticks on my paper, so obviously enjoyed lots of clues. Many thanks too to the 2Ks for the review, and so glad that you’ve managed to see family. I long for the day, but mine are three hundred miles away. Seven of my nine bluetit chicks fledged yesterday. I got up early this morning to see the last two chicks huddling together in the nest. I went into the kitchen to make a coffee, and by the time I got back, they’d gone. What a lovely day today for them to explore their new world. Hope it’s not too long before we can explore ours again.

    1. The local starlings have produced their fledglings and are very keen on the coconut fat balls I put out. I watched 10 of the fledglings trying to get a bath in the 12 inch crock of water I put out. It added a whole new dimension to queueing for the bathroom!

  14. A great puzzle again from Jay although it did take me a while to get going. I did not know that 12a meant “clip” and 19a was a new word for me. My favourites today are 23a and 20d with the first being my COTD.

    Many thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and the 2Kiwis for a great blog.

  15. Didn’t take too long but I enjoyed it while it lasted. Favourites were 1a, 23a and 28a. I remember 11a being a prized dessert at college dinners for it’s aerodynamic properties (extra points if you hit a painting). 1.5*/4* Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  16. My brain was obviously still in recovery mode after last night’s unequal tussle with Dada’s Toughie. I stumbled to an unaided finish in bang on 6* time with the SE corner proving impenetrable for an age. You know you’re in trouble when you’re reduced to running through PMs chronologically (long way back to start of 19th century) for 24d. As per usual I didn’t twig the 21d lurker until all the checkers were in & 19a required google confirmation. In the end I was left looking for the first word of 28a with all checkers in other than 25d & it still it took me a while to arrive at the blindingly obvious synonym for dream. Guessing 25d began with an h the alphabet was run through twice before that penny dropped.
    Anyway a cracker from Jay with a host of clever clues. Liked 1a for starters & the sneaky not usual spelling for 3d but 25d has to be COTD for me.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks for the review which I needed to parse 26a.

  17. Much more enjoyable today, guessed 2 but completed unaided at xxxx My best time is currently xxxx …

    All in all a nice puzzle for my birthday !

    1. Not complaining but if those are times we don’t normally include them. Can be discouraging for those of us who would count our time in days.

    2. I hope your solving time was encouraging for you; well done, whatever it was (it matters not here)
      Oh, and Happy Birthday!

  18. So the answer to 12a is a synonym of “clip”? Well….I’ll go to the foot of our stairs!! A new one to me, but I had put it in as couldn’t see what else it could be

    1. One of the last to go in for me, Sue. Think of a horse trotting along, clip-clopping…!

      1. Careful. You’ll give Senf a new word to describe his crossword completion rate … :wink:

  19. Firstly, a groan of admiration for the quickie pun!
    Today’s cryptic – great fun to unravel. I needed 2k’s help with the district. Despite having lived in Spain for a while, I had forgotten that one!
    Sorry to read (above) of families kept apart, and some in entanglements. Clearly it is breaking hearts for many.
    Thanks to Jay and the two New Zealanders.

  20. Great crossword. No hints required or explanation of parsing. A rarity for me. Looked forward to blog though. Thanks to all. ***/****

  21. Having been a regular visitor to this site for some time, I thought it was finally time to join in. I enjoyed this very much and learned a new word at 19a; also that extrovert can be spelled with an “a”. I thought the use of clip at 12a was nicely old fashioned. My favourite clue was 23a. I hope all you bakers from yesterday enjoyed 24d. Thank you to the compiler and reviewers.

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      I hope now you’ve ‘de-lurked’ you’ll come back and comment again in the future

    2. We all start like that thatch.
      Even outside these strange times many, like me, get pleasure from the crossword tips we pick and the “chatter” from all parts of the world that develops round them.
      Now you’ve tested the water hopefully you will “dive in” regularly

  22. Superb as ever.l did not know 19a needing your hint and like some others spent time believing manna for 24d.This despite being a historian of the Seven Year and Napoleonic wars.For 12a l had put in brat as a wonderful cricket shot is the clip off the bat to fine leg was one of my only scoring shots.Much prefer he right answer as like any others missing grandchildren is one of the worst parts of our lockdown.Are we not lucky as any others have much worse to go through at this terrible time.Thanks to all.

  23. Just been really laughing at my husband who said we were “rightly wrong” on 12 a, having taken Pat for a clip, it was the only one we had not got so a bung in. No doubt he will be rightly wrong again!

  24. I agree with the majority of my fellow commenters that this was Jay close to his Wednesday best. Concise, humorous clues and a terrific mix of clue types to keep us on our toes. For no good reason, 23a was my LOI and favourite of many.

    Thanks to all three birds.

  25. Thanks for a very pleasant workout although I was misled by 19a and put in Barrow which gave me cereal problems with 20d.
    Also put fall out for 18d and haver never heard of 28a anyway. So thanks to the Kiwis for putting me right, another day tomorrow!I am missing my elder daughter who is in a care home in Redditch and sympathise with everyone who is kept apart from loved ones it is very hard. I am about to remove my bread from my lovely machine and then migrate to the garden and listen to the birds. We have to look for the positives during this rotten time.

  26. Excellent crossword with some cracking clues. For me a ***/**** with 23a and 25d my favourites. Thanks to all.

  27. Finished early this morning before friend came round with plants and to sit in garden (first time since lock down). Used my new found digital version. Time exactly double that of yesterday. My hold ups were two short ones – 6d and 12a. I preferred brat for 12a but felt the answer should be clip. I think I would have tried much longer had I been using the paper version when I would not have been told answer correct. The only 3 letter word I could think of for 6d was oaf. I knew not right but luckily then began to think about the sound, I worked 19a out although I don’t have Spanish. 28a helped when I put the right second word in 18d. Favourites 11 18 and 23a and 4 and 20d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. Well done 2Ks. I too am longing for the day I can see my grandsons. Last seen 1st weekend of Feb. They are just venturing out this week so shouldn’t be too long!

  28. Another masterful, well-crafted puzzle by Jay, a delight from beginning to end. I took a bit longer than usual for a Jay joy because the SE corner held me up a bit with the COTD 23a, my LOI. The 4-letter words were especially models of truncation and wit, but my favourites were 23a, 11a, and 17d. Thanks to the Kiwis (so good to hear about your family reunion) and to the brilliant Jay. ** / ****

  29. Solved alone and unaided and understood all the clues , so a hurrah day for me !

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

    We too are envious of you seeing your family. Goodness knows when we will next see our son and his wife as they live in Norway.
    As we will be nervous of air travel for quite some time yet and as the travel insurance is likely to be eye-watering for 2 old fogeys with pre-existing conditions, I do not know when we will be able to go to see them
    again. They might brave the airlines to come to us, though, once the worst of this is over…….might……

    Stay home/alert depending on where you are….in both cases, stay safe.

  30. Really enjoyed this and finished unaided once I had got yob out of my mind! Oik is a much better word. Saw a red kite here in N Norfolk for the first time yesterday circling above our house, marvellous. We regularly have two buzzards and the marsh harriers so I hope this wasn’t a one off. Have not had the paper version of the DT since lockdown but the little deli in the next village go by our house to go home and now drop one in – made the sub very expensive and can’t get the Toughie on this Kindle, mind you I find that very hard. So hot we may get some welcome rain at last. Thanks to all and stay safe.

  31. Wednesdays now seem better for a crossword I can more or less solve, and understand. Bunged in Origami for 26a. and then spent too long remembering the hidden instruction behind ‘discovered’. aaah.
    Favourite 23a. and 25d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  32. ***/*****. What a great puzzle. Had to look up 19a to check this was a valid word. The lurkers were my favourites. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  33. Crikey it’s hot out there. Solved with big smiles early this morning. What a treat. Since then I have merely got on with things. Now it is time for a beer. Thanks to all of the birds involved in today’s puzzle and blog.

  34. Great puzzle from Jay, really enjoyed the workout, probably into *** for time but definitely a ***** for enjoyment and I did like 25d along with many others. Not heard of 19a before.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Sharpened by a dip in the sea (without wetsuit) at Trebarwith in Cornwall I completed this on the beach in 2** time.

      Cold water obviously improves my mind.

      A most enjoyable 4**** I thought with less than usual GK needed for Jay which I prefer and to whom many thanks.

  35. Sharpened by a dip in the sea (without wetsuit) at Trebarwith in Cornwall I completed this on the beach in 2** time.

    Cold water obviously improves my mind.

    A most enjoyable 4**** I thought with less than usual GK needed for Jay which I prefer and to whom many thanks.

  36. A slightly quirky puzzle but enjoyable nonetheless 😃 ***/*** 19a was a new word for me Favourites were 23a and 27a “flobadob” 😜 Thanks to the Setter and to the 2xKs who deserve a ⭐️ For devotion to the blog 🤗

  37. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay as usual, at least I didn’t struggle like the previous 2 days. Did most of it in Richmond by the river and then got the last two clues in my garden after a 60km bike ride. Loved the penultimate one, great lurker, but my favourite was 23a which was a real penny drop moment and last one in. Was 3*/4*for me.

    1. Wow Heno, I’m impressed.
      Not only for the 60km ride but also because you actually went South of the River!

      1. Jean Luc, thanks for that. You must remember that I’m a proper North Londoner, certainly is unknown territory on the other side!

  38. Another good one from Jay, but I thought this one a little trickier.
    I got held up in the SE, eventually used e-help for 19a and that got me going again. I have no excuse as I know the word well, after all, I live where Spanish is the first language for most.
    I also needed e-help for 28a, which I thought was an Americanism as only heard it here, and I’ve no idea what it is.
    So many good ones, how can a girl choose a fave from that lot? I think 20d deserves a shoutout.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for all the fun.

  39. Morning all.
    Really chilly here this morning.
    From the comments it looks like there are lots of happy solvers again today. No wonder we enjoy writing the Wednesday blogs.

  40. Not a lot to add to what has already been said. Like our latest de lurker, thatch ( hi from me too) I was an extrovert and 8d defeated me as I had firmly written TRIM for 12a I hadn’t realised I needed a generic youngster rather than a specific one.
    It was nice to see the nod to our esteemed bloggers from Jay and I hope that they had a great time in Wellington. I have always wanted to visit Te Papa Tongarewa but I will have to settle for a virtual tour.

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis

      1. The Lake District is still there John! We were up on Whitbarrow Scar in South Cumbria this afternoon and the views up to the Lakeland Fells were glorious! It’s the furthest we’ve ventured from home (all of 10 miles!), since lockdown, so it felt like a real treat….and it was quiet too!

  41. Fantastic puzzle today that I worked slowly through with a break or so. Thought the clue construction was a bit of a masterclass & have clipped this out to remind me of how it should be done when I put my feeble attempts to print in the school magazine.
    Many thanks to setter & 2KWS for review.

  42. Thank you Jay for a lovely puzzle, almost finished it unaided. Just needed a couple of 2Kiwis hints, thanks also. Got held up slightly as I didn’t know the different spelling of 3d, but verified that there is such an alternative spelling. Favourite clue was 23a, and the picture hint brought back happy memories.
    Pleased you were able to get to Wellington for the family get together. Ours are both less than 30 minutes from us. We have not seen younger daughter and grandkids since our lockdown began about two months ago. She is afraid of us getting sick. But elder daughter has visited us twice a month, to drop off special food items from her nearby store (fresh rainbow trout, yummy and low acid OJ). We sit about 8ft apart during her visits and do look forward to them. And I think she is glad of the excuse to get out of her house.

  43. Hello, I’m new to all this stuff. But for some reason I can always work the answers out with the help of the Kiwis. Thank you so much for all your help.

      1. Hi, thanks very much for this blog Big Dave and all the contributors. A comment newbie here…

        I’m trying to learn how to do these cryptics. And it’s going slowly so far, but your hints are supremely helpful. I can’t easily get the newspaper in these lockdown times so I’ve bought a DT paperback to work with.

        What it has shown me however is that my new partner Teresa is astonishingly good at this. She runs through even your 5* difficulties in less than 30mins. I had no idea!

        Thanks again.

        1. Welcome to the blog Kevin.
          It might pay to check whether Teresa is having the occasional sneaky peek at the back of the book.
          We also have a convention that solving times are not specified in comments on this site.
          Look forward to more comments from you.

          1. Thank you 2Kiwis and Steve! No, I think Teresa is (annoyingly) “proper”. I have to hide my book from her, so she doesn’t blurt out the answers before I’ve got anywhere!
            PS sorry for mentioning that time.

        2. Welcome, Kevin. I too have a few DT cryptic crossword books and the temptation to look at the back of the book is strong as the 2Kiwis said. With the hints on the blog you can work the answer out for yourself. If that fails, then you uncover the answer but only if you are totally defeated. I use the books when I have to wait somewhere – for a train or an appointment with the doctor. For some reason, I don’t think the books give the same satisfaction. I much prefer sitting in my chair, Daily Telegraph suitably folded so as to present the puzzle, with my morning coffee and buttered crumpet. If the back-page puzzle is actually on the back page, I don’t even read the paper until I have had a good stab at the crossword.

          Please stay with us because you will learn a lot. My solving skills have come on in leaps and bounds since joining this blog. I even tackle The Toughie now and that would have been unthinkable before.

    1. Welcome from me, also, Sally. Hope to hear more thoughts from you. 👍

  44. Much better luck with this offering from Jay than the Mon & Tues puzzles. Many answers came quite easily but SE was the last area completed with 19a the hold up. 25d was a new one on me too.
    Favourite clues today were 23a, 27a, 5d & 8d with 23a the winner.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s

  45. Just out of bed here in BNE hence late again. Excellent puzzle and fitting that the 2Ks provided the blog as Jay provided a few NZ references. My COTD 23a. RayT today🤔Thanks J and 2Ks🦇

  46. I’m sure most of the Brits have gone to bed. I started even later than normal due to an extended zoom party including too much wine and then falling asleep halfway through the crossword. I did it without too much trouble. I suppose I’ll be awake half the night now, but it will give me chance to talk to my friend Mike in America. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  47. Lovely puzzle today – although I did need the hint for 6d, and my alternative spelling for 3d made 11a slightly difficult, until I twigged! Many thanks to the setter, the 2Kiwis, and all the bloggers for the comments! They make my day! 🙃

    1. Hoofs,
      Glad you are back in the groove.
      Hope all well with you & yours.

  48. Congratulations, KiwiColin, on winning the Telegraph Clue-writing contest this month. {Parliament}

    It was you? Wasn’t it?

    1. Thank you Jepi.
      Yes it was me but it was in the weekly ‘Just for fun’ competition rather than the monthly one.

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