DT 29382 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29382

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29382

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from rainy South Staffs. I gather that the politicians are now discussing whether it should be compulsory to wear a mask while reading this blog, to avoid spreading computer viruses.

I found today’s puzzle a curious mixture, with some very easy clues, and some which, for me, didn’t really work. It will be interesting to see what others make of it.

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           Discovery holiday by river, falling in however (12)
BREAKTHROUGH – Another word for a holiday (remember them?) followed by another word for ‘however’ with River inserted.

9a           Someone who may act weird and not even dance (7)
ODDBALL – ‘Not even’ followed by a formal dance gathering.

10a         Funny-looking African native, one that’s good and strong, tracking duck (7)
OSTRICH – Start with the letter which looks like a duck scored at cricket, then add the abbreviated title of a good and holy person, and finish with another word for ‘strong’ (in flavour, perhaps).

Are you an ostrich investor?

11a         Short sight (7)
GLIMPSE – Cryptic definition of a brief sight of something.

12a         Act badly, giving order in pizzeria? (3,2,2)
HAM IT UP – This description of someone putting in an exaggerated performance on stage could also be an instruction to add extra topping to your pizza.

13a         High-flier‘s dog with no lead (5)
EAGLE – Remove the initial letter from a type of hunting dog to get a high-flying bird.

Iolo's delight as he gets glimpse of a golden eagle | News ...

14a         Job with Ezra, perhaps, entertaining gospel reader’s friends? (9)
BOOKMARKS – Job and Ezra are both examples of something found in the Old Testament. Wrap what they are around one of the New Testament gospels, to get things used to keep your place when you stop reading for a while.

Leather Bookmarks | Zelikovitz.com

16a         Deck’s wet — I crumpled — most shameful (9)
WICKEDEST – Anagram (crumpled) of DECK’S WET I.

19a         Gosh! US soldier is royal companion? (5)
CORGI – Another exclamation like ‘Gosh!’, followed by the usual letters denoting a US soldier, giving us one of the Queen’s canine companions.

21a         Person at a symphony clutching pieces of music (7)
SONATAS – Hidden in the clue.

23a         Smart Alec from Spain picked up one’s tense (7)
EGOTIST – Put together the IVR code for Spain, a verb for ‘picked up’ or ‘acquired’, the Roman numeral for ‘one’ plus the ‘S from the clue, and an abbreviation for Tense.

24a         Carry out injured fencer to be given oxygen (7)
ENFORCE – Anagram (injured) of FENCER with the chemical symbol for oxygen inserted.

25a         Worker that’s painting, say, in enthralling South America (7)
ARTISAN – A word for something like painting or sculpture, followed by IN (from the clue) wrapped around an abbreviation for South America.

26a         Publicist issues this request to gatekeeper? (5,7)
PRESS RELEASE – This piece of publicity material could also be an instruction to push the button which unlocks an automatic door.


1d           Black on top, not soft, dessert shows potential (7)
BUDDING – Start with another word for ‘dessert’, remove the musical symbol for ‘soft’ and replace it with an abbreviation for Black.

2d           Help Max Ernst to hold up illustration (7)
EXAMPLE – Hidden in reverse (to hold up, in a Down clue) in the clue.

3d           Lethal drone that’s flown over America? (6,3)
KILLER BEE – An informal use of a noun as an adjective meaning ‘lethal’, followed by the insect of which ‘drone’ is the male variety. The answer is a name given to an Africanised strain of honey bee which has spread through the southern USA.

4d           Liquor reportedly which person’s taken to church (5)
HOOCH – A homophone (reportedly) of the question ‘which person?’ followed by an abbreviation for church.

5d           Best to be tight-lipped after pot I smashed (7)
OPTIMUM – Anagram (smashed) of POT I followed by another word for ‘tight-lipped’.

6d           Brilliance in golf shown by little swine! (7)
GLITTER – The letter represented by golf in the NATO alphabet followed by the collective noun for a set of piglets.

7d           Challenge to make English shingle or German manger? (6-7)
TONGUE-TWISTER – The answer is a verbal challenge – something difficult to say, such as ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle pepper’. English and German are languages, or examples of the first word of the answer. ‘Shingle’ and ‘manger’ are anagrams of those two languages, and the second word of the answer could be the anagram indicator. Hmmm.

8d           Silly posh idiot first to oppress worker, one in sales (4,9)
SHOP ASSISTANT – Put together an anagram (silly) of POSH, another word for an idiot, the three letters which look like an alphanumeric rendering of ‘first’, and one of the usual worker insects.

Shop Assistant Retro Cartoon Set - Download Free Vectors, Clipart ...

15d         Promptly bellow when getting hammered here? (2,3,4)
ON THE NAIL – If you land a hammer blow on this part of your body, you’ll certainly bellow. The answer refers to paying one’s bills promptly.

17d         One’s usually needled when neighbours go bare (7)
CONIFER – The bare neighbours are deciduous.

18d         Blackmails using rearranged letters, or texts (7)
EXTORTS – Anagram (using rearranged letters) of OR TEXTS.

19d         Occasionally viewed in car, local tribal country (7)
CROATIA – Alternate letters of the fourth, fifth and sixth words of the clue.

Free photos croatia flag search, download - needpix.com

20d         Is charge to follow concerning second publication? (7)
REISSUE – Put together the Latin word for ‘concerning’, IS (from the clue) and the verb for bringing a civil action in the courts.

22d         Buffalo drive (5)
STEER – This is intended to be a double definition, the second being a verb. The problem is that the first definition does not appear to refer to buffalo, but to castrated male domestic cattle, so for me this clue doesn’t work.


97 comments on “DT 29382

  1. I found this one very hard to get into. At first, some of the intricated clues seemed to make no sense at all but I gradually got into it. I didn’t find it particularly appealing although it did have some humour to it (3*/2.5*). There weren’t really any favourites although 14a was quite cunning. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

  2. When I first picked this up I thought I was never going to get anywhere, but they gradually began to fall and I finished in 3* time.

    I really love a tussle so enjoyed it thoroughly. My favourites were 7d and 26a.

    My last one in was 23a although I had the answer much earlier on from the checkers. I didn’t enter it because is the answer really a “smart Alec”? I feel that’s a bit of a stretch.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  3. We didn’t enjoy this crossword at all. A lot of the clues seemed contrived with 7D a good example. Seemed to be a case of the setter trying to be too clever, ***/0 and no favourites.

  4. Once I got on the setter’s wavelength, this turned out to be very friendly for a Friday. I will agree that some of the definitions don’t really match the solutions – as DT says about 22d, and Margaret about 23a.

    Thanks to the setter and DT

    Very nasty gusty wind outside today – it is drying some washing a treat but walking round the marshes was ‘interesting’ to say the least!

  5. As Margaret says, on first pass this didn’t look too promising. It fell into place quite nicely. I wasn’t too sure about the smart Alec either and I haven’t heard of buffalo being referred to as steer. I thought 12a was a bit lame. Favourite 1a for its construction. Thanks to all.

  6. A day off here so I get to play with the dead tree and the quick.
    V nice quickie pun today one I am sure Jean Luc will approve of.
    I thought the puzzle was going to be a head-scratcher at first but barely knocked the crema off the second coffee before a 1a moment of inspiration helped step up the pace to a sprightly finish.
    I am not up to scratch on the terminology of bovines and their attachment to organs of reproduction so I didn’t notice the dodginess of 22d.
    I suppose I am eponymously disposed to like 3d but I couldn’t understand why America? I understood that they were an African/ Western bee cross found worldwide but probably just being a bit too literal. The setter and DT’s interpretation is fair enough.
    Instead, I will plump for 17d as my fave today.
    Thanks to the setter and DT I am doing (reasonably for a Friday) quite well with the toughie today.

    1. I never solve the quickie unfortunately.
      The new series of Star Trek is only available on Amazon Prime. I’m disgusted.
      What happened to the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few I wonder?

      1. Oh that is a shame!
        Picard on Amazon Prime was worth watching but I don’t think they can do too many more.
        I understand you are going to be busy next week anyway reopening the restaurant?
        I hope you get loads of customers.

  7. A mixed bag as DT says. Enjoyable in parts.

    Anyone else have the stupid notion, at first, that “On the Toot” would be good for 15d? 🤪

    Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. I had “on the nose” for 15d (before getting 26a) which fits the clue as well as the solution I reckon!

      Ps brilliant Quickie Pun .

    2. As an expat-Geordie I toyed with On the Toon for a moment. Bad memories of too many nights down the Bigg Market with girls underdressed for the prevailing weather. But I have also been to Bristol where the “Nails” are.

        1. The nights were pleasant enough but far less memorable than the Newky Brown Hangovers that lasted for days.

      1. ‘girls’ is very charitable given the average age of the underdressed females on show in Newcastle town centre on a Saturday night … !

    3. I had on the ball! I had no idea what the clue was driving at, my answer means promptly … I think!

  8. I thought this quirky, with some strange surfaces, but overall quite enjoyable. I took a while to get going, but it’s amazing what a few checkers can do.
    I must confess to two bung ins,14a and 17d but I see them now. Like DT, I thought 7d a strange clue and needed all the checkers before it jumped out at me.
    My top clues were 9& 26a plus 1d
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for an excellent review.

  9. I really enjoyed solving this puzzle, right on my wavelength and a **/**** for me.
    7d was a top class clue and my favourite,17d was certainly original, glad I had some checking letters!
    Also liked 14a and 8d-thanks setter for the fun and DT for the pics..
    Special mention for the Quickie Pun too.

  10. Found this one very straightforward with all done, dusted & fully parsed in just under ** time. Thought 11a was a bit weak & the 12a wordplay a bit of a stretch but quite liked the long ones round the perimeter. Must be fluffy Friday as much to my surprise the normally impenetrable Friday Toughie is very doable – or at least the three quarters of it I’d done before accidentally pressing submit instead of save.
    With thanks to the setter & DT for the review.

  11. I really struggled to get into this, but the grid gradually filled up. I was left with a feeling of relief to get it over, though. ***/** for me, favorite 1a, 12a.

  12. Like our reviewer, I found this one something of a curious mixture and a few ‘hmms’ ensued – particularly for 12&23a plus 22d.
    Nevertheless, it was a quite enjoyable solve and 6d made me laugh.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for both the review and the oboe sonata.

  13. Like others, the first pass yielded very few answers. I did the old trick of putting it down, making a coffee then revisiting it, and it proved remarkably straightforward once I locked onto the setter’s wavelength. I agree that there were a couple of raised eyebrows, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it, with 26a my clear favourite.

    So thanks to our Friday setter for the challenge and to DT.

  14. Intended to have a quick look at this before breakfast but once started, couldn’t put it down before finishing it. Seemed to me more like a Guardian puzzle than a Telegraph one, due to the looseness of some of the clues such as 12a, 23a, 7d. Amused by 9a and 10a but the prize goes to 17d – my clue of the week so far. Thanks to setter and Mr Threat for the succint review. 2*/4*

  15. 2*/2.5*. I agree with earlier postings and I rather liked YS’s comment. My eyebrows were elevated to a particularly high level over 12a, 23a, 3d, 7d & 17d.

    11a was my favourite with special mentions for 26a & 6d.

    Thanks to the quirky setter and to DT.

    1. RD, I decided to raise eyebrows yesterday for the first time rather than hmm. A few comments ensued so I thought I would stick with it.

  16. Somewhere between a Monday and a Tuesday puzzle for me but very welcome after yesterday’s stinker, completed at a fast gallop – **/***.
    However, there were a number of Hmms with, no surprise, the biggest one being reserved for 22d.
    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 4d, and 6d – and the winner is 4d, G&T anyone?
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

    P.S. I am looking forward to having to solve only half a puzzle on Sunday as prizes are reinstated starting tomorrow!

  17. Agree with the majority that this was a difficult one to crack. Took a while to get going then I came to a full stop about half way with the left hand side holding out. I had to use a couple of hints to get going here but I eventually crawled over the finishing line.

    Clues of note for me were 10a and 14a with 17d being my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints.

  18. Very straightforward today everything fell into place in * time *** for enjoyment ,with 1a, 26a and 14a on the podium, 26a the winner.
    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  19. I must have been totally on the setter’s wavelength today, as I had this one completed in a slightly longer time than it took for me to devour a bacon and egg butty and a coffee. An enjoyable solve and most transparent clues. Certainly one of my quicker Friday solves of recent weeks. Thanks to the setter and to DT. PS, I loved 7 down.

  20. I enjoyed most of the puzzle but had reservations like others about some of the clues, eg 23a, 3d and 22d. I thought 7d was rather convoluted. Although I got the answer to 17d I kept thinking that conifers are needled whatever their neighbours might be doing. Favourite clue is 26a. 15a made me smile although not funny when it happens. Thanks to the compiler and DT for the review.

    1. The larch is a deciduous conifer. If you planted them to screen your neighbours, you would have to hope that they were not hardy nudists!

  21. Not too difficult and largely enjoyable. 2*/3*. I found 17d strange and can’t quite decide whether I love it or loathe it but planted several to avoid my bare neighbours ! Thanks to the setter and DT.

  22. It took a while, especially 7d, for some reason, but I got there all right in the end. I too wondered about 23a and 22d, but those two just solved themselves with the checkers. I mostly enjoyed the puzzle but it felt a bit ragged in places. The good clues, though, were very good indeed: 7d, 14a, 17d, and 1d were my winners. Thanks to Deep Threat for the hints and to today’s setter, who seems ‘new’ to me. *** / *** (Another really great toughie today!)

  23. Off wavelength today and needed your hint for 1 a but with that was able to complete and found some that appealed to my sense of humour.Like others l had doubts about some especially 7d but overall a very satisfactory way to occupy time in lockdown on a blustery day.Thanks to all.One of my grandsons is learning the oboe so l will send him the Saint Sean’s

  24. Not too difficult but the clues were over tricksy and a bit irritating such as 12a.
    Thanks for the hints for explaining 10 and 3d.
    Thx to all

  25. **/**** for me. Some quirky but enjoyable clues. At least there was no reference to some long forgotten and completely obscure Greek or Roman god. Needed help to fully parse 7d and 20a. So thanks to DT and the setter.

  26. Well, I got there unaided in the end, but I thought some of the clues were odd as did quite a few others, I see.
    Is 11a cryptic?
    7d are anagrams, not tongue-twisters?
    17d – I don’t get it
    23a – smart alec doesn’t equal the answer, does it?
    22d – I don’t think that is a correct definition
    3d – I don’t get the reference to America

    Perhaps they can all be stretched to make them work or I’m missing a few points.
    Apart from all that, I quite enjoyed the solve.

    1. English and German are both tongues that are then twisted to make the anagrams.

  27. Ray S
    I suppose 11a is cryptic in that ‘short’ refers to length of time rather than the usual distance.
    7d are indeed anagrams so I suppose they are language (tongue) twisters
    17d are perennials so are never “bare”…as their deciduous neighbours could be
    23a, I don’t think it takes a great leap of faith to get to the answer from ‘smart alec’…but not exactly synonymous.

    1. I think 11a is cryptic as you connect short sight with the eye rather than a quick look.

  28. Not in sync. with this at all took ages to get up to 5 solved. A curate’s egg with more bad than good clues. Not letting it beat me was the only enjoyment – just one of those days Return of winter did not help: current “feels like” temperature 39F with squally showers.
    Thanks to setter, not your fault, and DT wish I could appreciate the music more.

    1. LROK I hate to think of your eyes watering at coming down to earth with a bang. I assure you that I slide down gracefully. However, getting up again is becoming an increasing struggle!

      1. I am pleased about the DG. My eyes are watering enough from the stiff Westerly without any other cause.

  29. At first glance I also thought this was going to be a stinker but plodded through and got there in the end without recourse to the hints. At first I thought 1a would be nevertheless (for however) and spent some time trying to justify it. I did not really see how
    3d was particularly American and one or two other eyebrow raising hmms. However, a satisfying solve and another cruciverbal week behind us. Boiled eggs tomorrow so we know it is Saturday and glory be, we have seen some rain. Best wishes to all and glad to hear Tilsit is recovering.

    1. I like the way you have combined Young Salopian’s raised eyebrow with hmms. I think it was meant to replace Hmm. :smile:

      I see you are still stuck in the splits!

      1. Seems to be my fate. Once down, hard to get up. But I do it every morning!!

              1. I know someone whose parents aren’t both allowed to be on the floor at the same time so there’s always one to help the other one get back up!

    2. 3d just had to be the lethal insect and I then found that it was also a “well known” 1974 American horror film, so assumed that to be the link.
      Enjoyable,aka solvable, puzzle apart from 23 d where I agree with DT.
      Thanks to both for their efforts.

    3. My big mistake – confidently inserted nevertheless for 1a which made my life difficult. I had the H as the only checker but I was convinced until proved wrong

  30. Got off to a slow start 19d was first clue I put in, things went a little better after that. Quite proud of myself for spotting the lurkers which are usually my Achilles heel then I put in 21a without even realising it was a lurker! Though 7d was a bit iffy until Jonners explained it. I think 22d is OK if you think of buffalo as a verb maybe?

  31. I borrowed some of Daisy’s ‘hmms’ today. I managed to reach the 50%-ish point, mainly in the south but then hit the wall. Treated myself to Deep Threat’s help for 1a which gave me the breakthrough. The ‘hmms’ were particularly prevalent for 3d and 7d – although I figured out the answers from the letters I had accrued, I needed DT to explain them to me, and I still have a ‘hmm’ or two even so.
    A two paperweight day and the parasol was needed when a heavy shower passed overhead. Sensibly the neighbours’ cat (who lives me) stayed indoors and is now ‘helping’ me type this by standing in front of the monitor and purring with the force of a jet engine.
    Thanks to the setter, despite the ‘hmms’, and to Deep Threat.

    1. We once had a cat that sat on my lap while I used the computer. One day, he watched me intently for about 10 minutes. When I stopped to check a reference book, a paw came out and tapped a few keys. he then looked up at the screen to see what he had typed.

      1. The longer I live, the more I come to understand that we are cats’ servants.

        1. True. This particular cat, name of Springsteen, would appear whenever I started the car. He dived in through the car door and sat on the dashboard where he stayed until the journey was over. I could not start the car without Springsteen appearing. 🐯

          1. He was obviously “Born to Run”
            We gotta get out while we’re young
            `Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

  32. I am with those who struggled at first. I thought this would be a no-hoper, but then having got 8d the SE started falling into place, and managed to complete all except 1d, which I found a rather contrived clue, as were a few of the others. 7d, for example, was a bung-in and needed the hints to understand it. So not really my wavelength. Look forward to tomorrow’s. In the meantime thanks to Deep Threat for today’s hints.

  33. Having been a secret visitor to this site for many years, I’ve decided to de-lurk, possibly as a result of my emergence from self-isolation at the beginning of the week, driven by a need to go to the Bottle bank after a suggestion from my family that they were planning a visit! I’ve enjoyed all the crosswords this week – as ever, grateful thanks to all setters and those who produce the invaluable hints and tips. I also enjoy reading the contributions of all those who contribute to the blog – I almost feel as though I already know so many of you! As a fellow Coventrian, Miffypops, I love hearing some of your reminiscences of time spent growing up there. So- many thanks to you all for both challenging and cheering me!

  34. Fairly whistled through this one I must have been firing on all cylinders for once. A couple of clues I liked 7d and 1a. I gotv9a wrong on first pass, but corrected it. Also mis read 18d “blacksmith” instead of blavkmail. I have no idea why!
    Thanks to DT and setter.

  35. Did not enjoy this but managed to solve it😳 ***/** Too many strange clues. Favourites 13 & 26a 😃 Thanks to DT and to the😬 Setter

  36. A solid *** for difficulty for me.
    Now educated about 3d
    All others doable to varying degrees.
    Last in 7d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  37. **/**** for us. We loved it! Favourite clues 14a, 7d and 15d. We should very much like this setter again, thanks to him/ her and to D.T, especially for the lovely music. 🙂🙂

  38. It took me ages to get into this one, but it was doable. I had “on the rant” for 15d until I sussed out 26a. Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat. I loved the oboe sonata. It reminded me of my schooldays.

  39. Struggled through this one and did eventually solve it alone and unaided, but……could not parse many of the answers…so not a very satisfying solve for me today.
    I have never heard anyone ask to ham up a pizza…. Or have I led a sheltered life ?
    Hey ho! Tomorrow is another day.

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter and best wishes to all who are unwell.

    Stay safe.

  40. 3/1. Not my favourite puzzle. I got to the end but a lot of raised eyebrows for 11&23a and 7,15,17&22d. To try and counter balance these I liked 14&26a. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  41. Oh dear – not so much on wrong wave-length, just no reception at all! :phew:
    I struggled to get going, struggled all the way through and then finally struggled to the finish – I enjoyed it! You can all call me a masochist if you like.
    I missed both the lurkers, not that there’s anything new in that.
    Lots of good clues and more that I had trouble with than otherwise so I’ll just mention the ones I liked.
    1 and 14a (my 14a is a birthday card I made for my Dad when I was 6!) and 4 and 17d.
    With thanks for occupying me almost all day, on and off, to the setter and to DT.

  42. Hello, compiler here. I should say thank you to Stephen L for taking the trouble to clear up some explanations. Regarding 3d, it is only found in North and South America, hence the reference (which Deep Threat noted). Sometimes, adding information to a definition can make it too easy (“singer” may be too vague but “Aussie singer” is a giveaway). Other times, adding something may make it harder — perhaps this is a case in point. Thanks all for the discussion, and have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for popping in, Zandio. Always good to hear from compilers and is greatly appreciated.

    2. Thanks for a great puzzle Zandio, I really enjoyed it. Hope to see you again soon.

    3. Thank you for calling in – it’s always appreciated so much by everyone when a compiler does so and very few of them do – I think just Ray T and proXimal.

    4. Hi Zandio
      Always appreciated when the setter pops in, particularly when I get a name check! Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.

    5. My thanks too for joining us, Zandio. I enjoyed your puzzle and appreciate your additional comments above.

  43. I found this tricky. I always like a puzzle I can complete, but it was touch and go for a bit. The SE corner was my stumbling block, I was just about to look at a hint when it all fell into place. I never understood 23a, a bung in for me. Having “on the ball” for 15d didn’t cause any problem.
    My fave was 26a, liked 4d as well.
    Thanks to Zandio, and to Deep Threat for unravelling some for me.

  44. Good fun all round. Solved betwixt The Retired Publican and The Green Man. Thanks to all. (The a Simpson’s have just started)

  45. Agree with Senf on his summation of the puzzle today after yesterday’s (especially the bottom half). Rate this as **/****
    Had a hold up in the SE corner or it would have been done in 1* time. Struggled to find several of the words and ended up needing a couple of hints there to manage the rest of that corner on my own.
    Favourites were 1a, 19a, 4d & 17d with winner 19a
    Like others, I had several hmm’s and huh’s including 23a & 22d … bit of a stretch on those.

    Nonetheless an enjoyable breakfast puzzle.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  46. Unusual for me to finish the cryptic on the same day it is published, especially as I have really struggled to get my brain in gear since lockdown. I should have thought that given I have more time on my hands than I ever have had since retiring and doing granny duties that I would now be a master solver completing in 2* times! Hey ho, onwards and upwards, thank you to DT and compiler. I enjoyed this and the quick crossword very much. Now to the rest of the wonderful puzzle pages that the Telegraph have provided.

  47. An almighty grind that was, completed out of shere bloody-mindedness.
    Still, respect always goes to the setter for the craft and effort that goes into constructing a crossword, but that one was one to consign to history.
    Thanks to DT for the hints.

  48. I threw myself for a while thinking this might be a proXimal. I’d read MikeP’s useful link from comments yesterday on double unches and that took me on to Ninas so I had clever-clever patterns on the brain.
    But I wasn’t actually clever-clever enough to complete this without a few hints! I got 7d once the checkers were in and with a hint but I think that was a very clever-clever clue once it was explained, thanks Hintmaster. Enjoyed a lot of this despite the same hmmmms as others.
    A shout out for 19a. Who doesn’t love a Cockney gosh and a royal reference and a dog all in one clue?

  49. First thought that 23a was strange but I suppose that a smart Alec is a bit full of himself so wasn’t that bothered.
    Didn’t notice anything wrong about the Buffalo though.
    Liked 7d.
    Thanks for the explanation in 3d. We have a new threat to our bees in France called the Asian Hornet killing entire colonies.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

    1. We have something similar in the NW, but it has a different name – I think it’s called killer hornet and it’s huge.

      1. Hi Merusa,
        Just read a few more info on that killer hornet. It’s just been spotted in the US as well. Vespa Velutina is the Latin name.
        Came from China like Covid. In a container ship through Bordeaux. A real disaster for the honey bees.

        1. I didn’t know they also came from China! They take over the whole colony and decimate it, we need the bees so desperately we can’t afford any more problems.

  50. Found this heavy going and even though I did manage to make it through I found several clues including 10a, 12a and 15d a bit dodgy hence overall not much satisfaction to be had today or should I say yesterday? Thank you Zandio (particularly for self identifying) and DT.

  51. Done this morning as busy yesterday . Once I had got over my faux pas – putting nevertheless for 1a – it was great. Did not need the hints but thanks DT as somehow missed the naked neighbours. I thought this 17 was a great clue. Particularly fond of 7d. I had not spotted the anagrams in the clue. 1 9 and 19a and 5 6 and 7d other favourites. Thanks setter – more please

  52. Annoyed that this one took me longer than it should. Some answers didn’t seem correct. E.g a steer used for a buffalo in 22d and, whilst a tongue twister is a challenge, it didn’t seem to apply to the anagrams in the clue. My favourite was 17d. I spent ages trying to think of words for neighbours that I could strip!

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