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DT 29376

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29376

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun continues to shine on our locked -down world. I wonder how many people it took to work out the latest ‘relaxation’ where you can meet family members in your garden so long as you don’t let them use the loo? Do we have to designate separate bushes for ladies and gents?

I found this quite tricky again, so a *** for difficulty. We have a pangra missing the X, so it looks like a ProXimal production.

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.


1a           Stops minor that’s brought back drink (5,2)
DRAWS UP – Start by reversing the term for someone under age who is protected by the court or by a guardian, then add a verb for ‘drink’. The definition can apply to a bus arriving at a bus stop, for example.

5a           Provide workers to others, a fine firm’s leader (7)
RESTAFF – Put together another word for ‘others’ or ‘the remainder’, A (from the clue), an abbreviation for Fine. And the first letter (leader) of Firm.

9a           Beware entertaining Romeo’s desire (5)
CRAVE – The Latin word for ‘beware’ wrapped round the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO alphabet.

10a         Shoe part‘s one in pack Helena ordered (5,4)
CUBAN HEEL – A young pack animal followed by an anagram (ordered) of HELENA.

Our Legacy Cuban Heel Ankle Boots, £425 | farfetch.com | Lookastic UK

11a         Great home, inspector having decorated outside (10)
INORDINATE – ‘At home’ followed by a word for ‘elaborately decorated’ wrapped round the abbreviation for a Detective Inspector.

12a         Called and spoke (4)
RUNG – Double definition, the first being a past participle, the second a noun for a spoke in a ladder.

14a         Casually left inside nanny with cloth and a potty (12)
NONCHALANTLY – Anagram (potty) of NANNY, CLOTH and A, with Left inserted.

18a         Romance story’s trendy (12)
RELATIONSHIP – The act of telling a story, followed by ‘trendy’ or ‘cool’.

21a         Gollum losing ring left sad (4)
GLUM – Remove the ring-shaped letter and an abbreviation for Left from G(ol)LUM.

21a (newspaper version)  Gollum losing ring alongside lake becoming sad. (4)
GLUM – Remove the ring-shaped letter and an abbreviation for Lake from G(ol)LUM.

Gollum GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

22a         Trader‘s quiet with little time to keep in touch (10)
FISHMONGER – Put together an instruction to be quiet and a shortened word for a brief period of time, then wrap another word for ‘touch’ or ‘handle’ around the result.


25a         Focus! Impressive starter not totally finished (9)
EPICENTRE – Another word for ‘impressive’, as in a long and wide-ranging film, followed by a word for a starter (in some parts pf the world, a main course in others) with its final letter missing. A topical clue for the 2 Kiwis this week!

26a         Divine images one sold fraudulently (5)
IDOLS – The Roman numeral for one, followed by an anagram (fraudulently) of SOLD. I put ICONS until the website told me I had a wrong answer.

27a         Pitcher starts to tip, hampering one moving vessel (7)
THROWER – Put together the first letters (starts) of Tip and Hampering, then add someone moving a boat by means of oars.

28a         Excellent, fast to accept male’s complaint (7)
AILMENT – The two letters which look like an alphanumeric grading of excellence, followed by the Christian fast leading up to Easter with Male inserted.


1d           Cheating of French clubs, couple from the south (6)
DECEIT – Put together the French for ‘of’, the abbreviation for the club suit in a pack of cards, and the reverse (from the south, in a Down clue) of a word for ‘couple’ or ‘link’.

2d           A fellow taking in Australia going up river (6)
AMAZON – Start with A (from the clue) and a word for a fellow, then insert the reverse (going up) of a slang term for Australia.

3d           Depot’s base redeployed to create crafts (10)
SPEEDBOATS – Anagram (redeployed) of DEPOT’S BASE.

4d           Shelled open, container for nut (5)
PECAN – Remove the outside letters (shelled) from (o)PE(n), then add a metal container.

Pecan definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

5d           Refutations about Capone, maybe, intercepting gun parts (9)
REBUTTALS – The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, followed by the back ends of some guns wrapped round the abbreviated first name of Mr Capone (or Mr Jolson, for that matter).

6d           Give son something to write with (4)
SINK – An abbreviation for Son followed by a fluid used for writing.

7d           Correspond after a fourth letter? OK (8)
ADEQUATE – Put together A (from the clue), the fourth letter of the alphabet, and a word for ‘correspond’ or ‘regard as the same’.

8d           Dupes men with no exception — female being superior (4,4)
FALL GUYS Female followed by ‘men with no exception’.

13d         Cleaning from New Year’s Day to year’s end, it all gets scrubbed regularly (10)
JANITORIAL – Start with a representation of the date of New Year’s Day, then add the last letter of yeaR and alternate letters (scrubbed regularly) of It AlL.

15d         Rich sort prepared to host English singer (9)
CHORISTER – Anagram (prepared) of RICH SORT with English inserted.

16d         Split up following business meeting to cut tenancy cost (8)
FRAGMENT – An abbreviation for Following, followed by the recurring cost of a tenancy wrapped round the acronym for a yearly formal meeting of a business or association.

17d         Processed crude oil becomes more murky (8)
CLOUDIER – Anagram (processed) of CRUDE OIL.

19d         Take no notice of some hanger-on, giving up (6)
IGNORE – Hidden in reverse in the clue.

20d         Name missing from gift organised in advance (6)
PRESET – Remove the abbreviation for Name from another word for a gift.

23d         Scavenger hunt’s beginning with the old rejected article (5)
HYENA – Put together the first letter of Hunt, an antique spelling for ‘the’, and the reverse (rejected) of a form of the indefinite article.

Hyena mauls teenager's face during family camping holiday

24d         Beastly cry from yours truly: ‘That hurt!’ (4)
MEOW – A pronoun for ‘yours truly’ followed by an exclamation of pain.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNyR6rsGDyg” /]

The Quick Crossword pun KNAVE + EASE + EELS = NAVY SEALS

114 comments on “DT 29376

  1. 3*/4.5*. This was a nicely challenging, very enjoyable “pangra” to end the week from Mr No-X.

    25a was my last one in and favourite. It is joined on my podium by 5d & 13d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  2. A nicely pitched Friday pangra from Mr X. No particular favourites – just a lot of good clues. Thanks to him and DT

    My friend went for lunch at her daughter’s – they sat 2m apart in the garden, she had to bring her own plate, dish, glass and cutlery and couldn’t have much to drink (a) because she was driving and (b) because she wasn’t allowed in the house to use the facilities!

  3. No X please we’re British. Genuinely thought this was going to be a pangram from the z in the very first answer I put in.

    Anyway, I couldn’t finish this without some electronic help today !

    I learned a new meaning in the part answer for 9a though.

    With thanks to Deep Threat and possibly proximal

    1. Cave is Latin and we used to shout it if we were up to mischief and a prefect came along. Many many years ago!

      1. You might want to take a little more care when typing your email address to avoid going into moderation ;)

      2. There was always a lookout and those of us up to nefarious acts would keep quiet, ready to flee if we heard a sotto voce “Caveeee!” :smile:

  4. I should have guessed this was ProXimal when I started guessing the answers and reverse engineering the parsing. I found it pretty tough and the clues were very complicated but there wasn’t a great deal of fun in it (***/**). My brain felt like a piece of timber that’s been cleaned up with a wire brush after I completed it. I’m sure it was good for me even if it didn’t half hurt. I haven’t really got a favourite clue but a lot of them were very clever. Thanks to DT for the review and to ProXimal for a good mental workout. Keep safe and well everyone

  5. 25a is my favourite clue today, as well, but the NE corner, like yesterday’s, beat me again–this time with 10a and 6d. Can’t imagine why since I knew that Helena was an anagram; it was that 3-letter pup that got me. Great proXimal nonetheless. Podium stars: 23a, 8d, 7d. Finished the toughie in great time, but not this one–upsetting my applecart! Thanks to Deep Threat and proXimal. **** / ****

  6. Although some of the clues involved a fair bit of leggo I thoroughly enjoyed this. A lot of the solutions jumped out at me from the checkers and then it was a case of justifying them (22a being a prime example). In the end it all came together nicely.
    I’ve ticked 5,7, 13 and 23d for favourite contenders.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and to DT for the entertainment

  7. Loved this. Top half went straight in, bottom took slightly longer. I thought the down clues were easier, but the across clues more entertaining. So many great clues, but 25a was my last in so gets today’s vote. Thanks to DT and proXimal.

  8. My favourite puzzle this week I think. I too put icon. I needed the second definition of 12 across although if somebody’s words rang true could they also have rung true in the past? I know it’s early but surely a nice bottle of Thatcher’s Katy Cider wouldn’t hurt would it? I’ll see if Saint Sharon will pour me one. Play nicely children and I will see you after the weekend. Thanks to both setter and blogger

    1. Unfortunately alcohol on both my wish list & the can”t have much of list too. So restricted to the occasional malt.
      Thus am no expert & hadn’t heard of Katy. Mr G says it is 7.4 ABV. I used to like cider as a summer drink so will get a few to try. It will make a change from my summer staple these days a gunner.
      At that ABV l it wouldn’t assist my solving ability though.

      1. Katy is the variety of the apple. It’s a lovely medium dry cider and very much a summer drink. It is meant be savoured on a warm summers day with a mature cheddar.🧀

        1. Katy. Dunkertons Organic. Aspalls whatever. Dunkertons something else. Aspalls. Lovely

          1. I recall a review about cider and Aspalls was given a very high rating. The reviewer told the tale of a wedding reception where Aspalls was being served. A waiter approached a guest and offered more cider. The guest placed her hand over her glass and said “No. I’m drinking the champagne.” There was no champagne. All guests were served Aspalls. 🥂🥂🍾

      2. It helps mine! For lunch, a glass of Katy, an egg and bacon sarnie and the DT backpager!

        Bliss! 😎

  9. Great puzzle – thanks to Mr X and DT.
    My podium selections were 22a, 27a and 8d.

    I sometimes think that the government ‘rules’ have been cobbled together by the same team that brought us the Sinclair C5.

      1. To be fair, a beast ideally suited to its environment, albeit with severe halitosis, a nasty bite and a habit of spitting. Traits shared by many of those arrested (in times gone by) on a Friday and Saturday night in the UK’s big cities.

    1. Those on social and mainstream media who have criticised Ministers for delay and indecision, would learn a lot by binging on ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes Prime Minister’, which remain as piercingly accurate as they were some 40 years ago.

      1. I never tire of them! So cleverly written and very well acted. Apparently Maggie enjoyed them thoroughly.

  10. A pleasant puzzle today, although requiring a fair amount of electronic help. Favourites 14a, 4d and 24d (and loved the cat duo!). 10a was a new one for me. Also put in ‘icons’ for 26a. To me an entrée is not a starter. And I am not sure about 6d meaning give. Apart from that it was quite enjoyable, and thanks to setter and DT.

    1. Me too in every comment. I didn’t care for 12a although it does seem churlish to be picky when someone has gone to all that trouble to give me an hour of pleasure! Well, not me alone but us. And 6d? But some really lovely clues here, thank you.

    2. My fave cat duet is on YouTube, just search for “cat’s duet, boys’ choir, MEOW”, good for a laugh.

  11. I had a great time doing this one but also thought 26a was icons. It was a toss up. I could see the case for both answers and obviously the checkers were no help. I even noticed it was a pangram so I’ll award myself a star for that! The suspicion dawned after 2d. Lots of very good clues. 13d was the last in so it gets my nomination for the top spot. 18a deserves a mention for the construction even though it contains my pet hate – “hip” meaning trendy or in. Thanks to all.

    1. X-cept it wasn’t Greta sorry it was missing the one letter.
      Award yourself a black hole perhaps.

      1. It was close enough, X or no X!! I’m keeping the star. For me to notice even that much was good going.

        1. Sorry yes I forgot my stars, bronze was for 8/10, silver for 9/10 & gold for 10/10. Only the girls seemed to get golds as I recall. So silver it is.

          1. Our music teacher gave EVERYONE a gold star but patiently tore off points to indicate your lack of prowess.

  12. My thanks to DT for correcting my 26, I was going to complain that it should be a present tense in the clue – red face time. Very enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks also to proXimal(?).

  13. Agree with MP that this was the best of the week’s back pagers. Realised it was probably a ProXimal production after 2d & that certainly helped with 6,7&13d. I’d go along with Gazza’s podium choice plus 14a, which I also liked.
    Thanks to all.

  14. A splendid puzzle to end my week; more of the same on Fridays please!

    Thanks to proXimal, and to DT for the write-up.

  15. Very enjoyable and challenging with no help needed, other than my last entry at 6d, which I am still not sure about. ***/*** with 2d my pick. Thanks to both.

  16. Great puzzle, especially as I finished this **** difficulty puzzle in ** and a half time.
    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT for the nicely illustrated review.

  17. Oooh my. Two heads needed for this one, Chriscross said it all as far as we’re concerned. Still, very high quality puzzle, satisfyingly clever parsing, even if it made us feel stupid! 😂 ***/** Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  18. Realising (unusually for me) that this was either a pangram or an x-less one assisted me with 6d.

    I liked it all, but 13d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to DT and ProXimal

  19. Top end *** for me and only just struggled through with 13d being my last in and trickiest to solve and 8d my favourite. Thanks to Proximal for a good test with an enjoyment factor of ***.

  20. Toughest of the week. A slowly-slowly solve but everything fair I thought I was surprised retort was beyond the scientific knowledge of some. Today unfamiliarity with 10a: itmust surely be a generation thing.
    Summer has arrived in the Highlands where Sping went to is anyone’s guess.
    The Ginger Whinger has spoken so BBQ lunch with daughter today!! Does using the caravan loo count as indoors? Can always ask them to bring the latrine tent if it doesn’t.
    Thanks to setter & DT.
    I thought the clue to the setter could have been in the 1a in the Quick, Don’t seem to have heard much from the young lady. Perhaps too busy preparing for exams she will not now sit.

  21. Seems to be Amazon day in crosswordland.
    I prefer to buy local myself.
    Great finish to the not working working week.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT for the review.

  22. Very much enjoyed apart from 12a where it took the BRB to convince me of the second definition.
    Rather liked 25a but I’ve awarded top billing to 13d.

    Thanks to the X-less one and to DT for the review and the ‘cats chorus’.
    According to the front page of today’s Telegraph, those of you in England are indeed allowed to let your garden visitors ‘pop in to use the loo’. Remains to be seen whether our Welsh first minister agrees to relax any of our continuing strict lockdown rules – we’ll know the worst in a few minutes time.

    1. I don’t really understand the debate about ‘icons’ being acceptable for 26a – surely it’s just an anagram of ‘I sold’ with ‘fraudulently’ being the indicator?

      1. I thought exactly the same. I sold with fraudulently as the anagram indicator.

      2. Converting ONE to I + SOLD = indirect anagram? :smile: :wink:

        DT appears to have it right in his hint.

        1. Apologies, Senf, I’d made the jump from one to I without giving it a second thought – I was too busy trying to put across the fact that the answer couldn’t possibly be ‘Icons’.

  23. I don’t think I found this as difficult as others did, completed at a very enjoyable gallop – **/****.
    And, I ‘noticed’ the X-less pangram before completion and without really looking for it.
    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 2d, 7d, and 24d – and the winner is 25a.
    Thanks to Mr X and DT.

  24. I needed help with a few but, on the whole, a wonderful challenge. Tough but fair I would say. My favourites were 22a, 27a with my COTD being 13d.

    Grateful thanks to proXimal and, of course, DT for the hints.

    Another lovely day here in Shropshire and our butcher has just delivered the meat order so we eat for a while longer! :good:

      1. SC
        I did too: but think “sold fraudulently” would indicate the singular. It would need to be “sells fraudulently” to work as well for the plural.

          1. Thanks for putting me right, guys. I can see the logic now but I succumbed to my “Bungintheanswerwithoutfullylookingattheclue” syndrome. I really must get out of the habit.

            Jane explains it succinctly at #22.

          2. I understood that. What I was pointing out to SC is why “sold fraudulently” does not work with icons but would with icon. “Sells fraudulently” would be correct for icons as it cannot be an anagram indicator. The reviewer was honest to say he had “icons” only to be told he had a wrong answer, that was what caused my re-think too.

  25. Back in my comfort zone. Great puzzle. 22a was my favourite. 19d was a bung-in. Couldn’t parse it at all until I realised that it was a reverse lurker. Many thanks to the setter and to DT. I still won’t be able to visit family as I can’t get there and back in a day.

  26. Most enjoyable puzzle of the week COTD 13d. Thanks to all. Please send some rain to N Norfolk, nothing at all this month. Masses of baby pheasants visiting the garden, great, muntjac deer not so great – they do a lot of barking at a very high volume! Stay safe everyone.

    1. Don’t mention ‘muntjac’…you’ll start off a clue writing competiion! Mr K will know exactly what I mean if he’s looking in 😊

    2. Don’t mention muntjac deer to me – bloody things – not only do they make a racket but they eat everything in sight – oh, and they’re vicious little ******** too!

  27. I found this difficult to solve and it seemed to take an inordinate time to get into the swing of things, last in was 25a which I could not find a word to fit until I saw that 24 d was incorrectly spelt- Miow!
    Going for a ****/**** , there have been easier toughies this week.
    Liked 16d and 22a-charades are usually my favourites.
    Thanks all..

  28. Having had a slow brain for the last couple of days l approached this with some trepidation and made very slow progress at first.l then needed to check a couple and was delighted to see l had got them right.After that they went in much easier and l was able to finish.A super crossword where l again totally missed a nearpangram but did at least get 26 a right first time.Thanks as ever to all .

  29. Very enjoyable but definitely a two paracetamol job for me. My brain is still twirling.
    Needed help with a couple – notably 14a as I simply did not pick up on the anagram pointer. Like many I swiftly placed icons for 26a, but it turned out to be a false god.
    One paperweight day in the garden. Roses, poppies, nigella, geraniums are all thriving.

  30. I too was conned by 26a. Does the parsing of the excellent 13d need a ‘to’ in it.
    An enjoyable crossword just the right sort of challenge for me. Thanks as always to setter and blogger.

  31. Managed this alright and was elated by the thought that I had completed my first ProXimal until I fell at 26a 😟 ***/*** Favourites were 22a & 5d 😃 Thanks to DT ( The cat duet was new to me) and to the Setter

  32. Did anyone else see 21a and hear June Whitfield saying: “Oh, Ron.”?

    1. Thank you so much for a highly entertaining and enjoyable puzzle. 25a had me stumped the longest and became my favourite when the coin hit the floor. Thanks to DT too.

    2. Always a pleasure when the setter pops by. Thanks again for a supremely crafted and enjoyable puzzle.

    3. Hello, proXimal again! I’ll confess that my age (82), my sex (mostly male), and my origin (Deep South, but Liberal, from America) caused me to botch 10a. I ended up with ‘cable hell’ because I mis-typed ‘heel’ (I did get that much right) but also missed the easiest part, the ‘cub’! Even Google seemed nonplussed when I finally keyed in the right answer. Then of course I started thinking of Carmen Miranda and those 10-ft-high heels of hers. All of my clunkiness notwithstanding, I just wanted to thank you again for the inordinate pleasure of your puzzles. (If I had simply got ‘sink’ for ‘give’ right, you wouldn’t have had to sit through the first part of this salute to you.)

      1. Carmen Miranda? Was she the one who wore fruit on her head?🍓🍒🍇

  33. Lovely puzzle for a beautiful day.
    Just the right level of challenge and no obscurities👍
    Thanks to Proximal and DT

  34. On the principle that one should always be polite, my only comment is that the new font looks good.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Killing myself laughing here Brian – it’s been quite noticable how more pleasant your comments have been during lock-down. I have to admit that I too found today’s puzzle, enjoyable that it was, needed a lot more thought than many recent ones have and some electronic help too. All good fun though. Some super clues. Thanks to all. :-)

  35. ****/****. Quite a challenge but helped by the chance of a pangram. The most difficult quadrant for me was the NE. I really liked 13d which was my COTD. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  36. I’d decided that this wasn’t a proXimal because, although far from straightforward, it didn’t give me quite as much trouble as his usually do – I was wrong.
    Anyway I didn’t spot the not quite pangram bit which would have been the give away – I always miss that sort of thing – pangrams, themes, Ninas – you name it – I miss it. :roll:
    I really enjoyed this one.
    16d was my last one – forgot that ‘F’ was recognised as an abbreviation – another thing I always do.
    I think my favourite was probably the fishy chap at 22a.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  37. PS – I think they have said that if we have family coming they can use the loo so don’t quite get why the rest of you think they can’t.

  38. Fairly hard work for me but got there in the end. I too foolishly insisted on Icons despite the clearly incorrect parsing. Missed the reverse lurker at 19d, eventually gave up fretting and came here for the explanation. One objection – the craft in 3d, it seems to me, are not crafts!? I wasn’t aware of an alternative plural with an S in this context…

  39. Another classic puzzle kept me amused for hours, several stinkers of clues,great anagrams if you can call an anagram great. Sat in garden time for “sundowners” we seem to have gathered a few like minded souls.
    Thanks to DT and setter.

  40. Thanks to ProXimal and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. What a super puzzle, great stuff. Managed it in two sittings, one half way through my bike ride at Columbia Wharf, and the second in my back garden. Needed the hints to parse 14,22,27a and 8&13d. Favourite was 7d for its originality. Was 3*/4* for me.

    1. Late on parade after my short lived love affair with the digital paper. Suddenly panicked as both my IPhone and IPad nearly expired due to overuse. Now got a new IPhone on order which hopefully will alleviate the situation. Disappointed to learn from the DT that my pro-book is not compatible with their App. I am afraid I am in the Icon camp. Never gave it a second thought. Looked at it and thought it was a gimme. I did not have a problem with 12a rung = spoke but with the past participle. I always thought that “he rung me” was bad grammar. According to my version of the BRB it is a pp but obsolete. Last one in 16d preceded by 25a which became my favourite. Surprisingly I remembered the Latin in 9a despite my lacklustre performance in the subject at school. That became another favourite along with 14 and 22a and 5 7 and 13d. Much thanks to Proximal for a great workout and DT. There is a large consensus amongst our merry band with one or two exceptions.

  41. This was beyond my ken! I only solved six and found it such hard work I’ve said pax!

  42. Thanks for the tips but please can someone expand on cleaning for 13d. A janitor does clean but it is a small part of the job. Amazon was a favorite.

  43. That was quite a brainstormer involving raids on the vocabulary bank but nevertheless it was great fun to tackle. South less demanding than the North. Joint Favs 22a and 13d. Parsing of 5a is difficult as solution would seem to refer to providing workers again – “re…..” TVM proXimal and DT. As per several comments above the PM has indeed sanctioned entering a house to use the facilities and Chris Whitty (CMO) added that “If someone was to go into the loo it is absolutely critical that they wipe everything down and wash their hands”🚽🧻!

  44. Had three goes at this and even then needed electronic help and the hints to finish it.
    I too put in icon, but can see how I was wrong there.
    Could not figure out 18a 25a 6d 13d or 16d for toffee.
    Having said all that, I did enjoy the bits I could do…..so satisfying when the penny drops.

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT

    Stay safe everyone…….no using other people’s loos at all in Scotland ……

  45. I can never quite get on proXimal’s wavelength and today was no exception. Got a few over breakfast and returned later, mostly using the hints to complete. Too many strange clues for my liking, 5a, 6d and particularly 12a. Since when has a rung in a ladder been called a spoke? Thanks to proXimal to giving the mental exercise and Deep Threat for pointing me in the right direction.

    1. Chambers Dictionary (for one) and several Thesauri list “spoke” as a synonym for “rung”.

  46. If anyone is still out there… Saw the sun come up this morning here in Brisbane after taking my daughter to her Saturday morning job at the New Farm markets. All’s been well said above. Was an Xcellent week of crosswords. My favourites; 22 and 25a. Thanks ProX, and DT for the extras🦇

  47. I found this offering a tough slog and had to use far more hints than I like to have to use. Definitely ****/*** for me today.
    Learnt a word from Latin in 9a and I had 26a with wrong answer too.
    No real favourites for clues today but I did like 7d, 16d and 24d made me laugh.

    Thanks to proXimal and DT for the hints …. much needed!

  48. Apart from getting 26a wrong, along with others, and nodding off, yet again, after a hedge zoom party, my evening meal and half a bottle of wine I got on just fine. Failed to spot the x-less pangram but it probably wouldn’t have helped anyway. I’ve been up since 7:00 am as I had to do the Covid 19 swab test, having chosen at random apparently, collection between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. It was at noon in the end. Curiously my younger sister was also chosen, what are the chances of that? Half the siblings in one family. Any road up enough of my ramblings and no one’s listening anyway. Favourite was 14a. Many thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  49. How nice to finish a crossword for a change, a tough challenge, but gettable. Though I did have Icons for 26a which I though was a better answer.
    Easiest of the week for me.
    Thanks Proximal and DT.

  50. Help me out here. 3 down in the clue says crafts; everywhere I look it says that if craft are boats (as in speedboats) then craft can not be plural. Am I wrong or is this setter’s licence?

    1. I am not a great grammarian but as the answer is a plural (speedboats) the use of the plural on craft is ok even if in the context of boats craft is a plural noun.

      1. I see what you are saying but it doesn’t seem to follow – but thanks for taking the time.

    2. Welcome to the blog, Alasdair.

      I agree with you and it’s good to have another fellow pedant on board. Keep commenting!

      1. Actually “yet another” would be more accurate.

        Mrs T

        And thanks to P and DT for a delightful romp in the acetylcholine.

  51. Thanks to DT and Proximal. A late finish and a much needed early night pushed this comment down the list. I needed a bit of help with the bits of a ladder. I suppose they are similar to spokes but never heard of them as spokes before. I can’t quite see the other difficulties I had as the printout fell in the bath and is now illegible but an early night and I am raring to go with today’s puzzle.

  52. Straightforward, but sad that I could not get 6d. Could only think of pens and quills!

  53. 3*/3*….
    liked 8D ” dupes men with no exception — female being superior (4,4)”

  54. Came back to this one as wasn’t making progress – spent another hour tonight on it. Really tough not helped by mistake with 12a / started with rang 😒. 11a delayed me longer. Think I’d better stick to Saturday ones for a while as a lot easier and suited to part-timers

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