DT 29383 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29383 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29383 (Hints)
The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello everyone

Thank you for your recent kind wishes about my health. I am feeling much better and think I have been rather lucky to have had a fairly mild dose of the wretched virus.

We are back to normal service now and today we have hints rather than a full analysis. The lovely Crypticsue and Gnomethang will be back with their usual weekend service once the closing date has passed. You can enter, although I gather there are still issues with submissions via iPads which they are aware of.

Today was quite an entertaining puzzle that made you stop and think a little. However, there are quite a few gimmes to help you and a Nina along the top and bottom row that should help you, although it might be better suited to be on another rival site!

As we are back in the old regime, please observe the instructions in red below.

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 after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.

Across

8a Where 11 lives beside American racetrack? (7)
You’ll need to solve 11 across to crack this clue. Following the abbreviation to a is where an 11 normally lives. This gives you a famous British racetrack.

10a Barrel kept in bar, a domed building (7)
An architectural term for a type of building is found by taking the name for a type of barrel and placing it inside a type of bar and adding A at the end.

11a Primate called wearing unfashionable article (5-4)
The name for a type of primate. You need a word meaning called with something meaning unfashionable around it. Add a two-letter indefinite article. There you are!

17a Restraining madman is our job, tangling with menace is not (3,2,5,5)
A slang name for people who care for the mentally ill is found by making an anagram (tangling) of WITH MENACE IS NOT.

19a Somewhere in New Zealand daughter listened to radio, missing start (7)
After the abbreviation for daughter goes an expression for fiddling with your radio (5,2), minus its first letter. This gives you a place in NZ.

26a Factory worker achieving speed of sound in back street (9)
The name for the speed of sound (4,1), plus IN reversed and the abbreviation for street gives the name of someone who may work in a factory.

28a Cyclist’s trick — excited cry to give false impression (7)
The noise you might make going down a hill on a bike goes before something that you do to give a false impression of things. This gives you a stunt performed by a cyclist.

Down

1d Notable female, a computer operator mostly (6)
An abbreviation for female, plus A and almost the full name for a computer accessory gives a word meaning notable.

3d Put the fear of God into criminal ring the FBI man arrests (10)
Around an anagram (criminal) of RING THE goes the slang name for a member of the FBI.

7d Sea creature behaving badly, one hears, left America (8)
The name for a type of sea creature comprises a homophone of something meaning badly behaved plus the abbreviations for left and America.

16d Old man eating chicken — sign that could portend prodigious events (9)
Inside a short word for an old man goes a type of chicken and a word for a portentious sign. This gives toy a word for certain types of events.

17d Causes offence with independent doctor probing lower regions (8)
Not sure the definition is fully correct, but I’ll leave that to our pathologist bloggers. A modern-day way of saying causes offence has the abbreviation for independent and one of the standard ones for doctor inside.

20d New question about supermarket exchange (6)
The name of a famous Exchange is found by taking the abbreviations for new and question and placing inside the name of the UK supermarket chain owned by Walmart.

25d Express disapproval over posh archbishop (4)
The name of a famous archbishop (and the nickname for a second-class degree!) is revealed by finding a word meaning to express disapproval and adding the abbreviation for upper-class afterwards.

That’s all for today!

A red reminder that we have treated the Naughty Step with Cardinal Polish and will be sending people there who fail to observe the instructions in red below.

See you next Saturday!

Music today is this belter that has just been remixed and rereleased.

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: pass+injures=passengers – probably works better North of Watford!


139 comments on “DT 29383 (Hints)
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  1. Good to hear that you are on the mend, Tilsit.

    I’m afraid that I failed to finish for the third day in a row, but with just one missing today, the others being completed in **/*** time. 20d was the culprit, I was unaware of any supermarkets other than Waitrose (and Sainsbury’s for the hoi polloi).

    17a has to be the COTD, for its brilliant construction.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Tilsit for the hints.

    1. Waitrose is Britain’s poshest supermarket and not for the hoi polloi except when the coffee was free.

      1. We did have an MP visit a while ago – but we are honoured to have the Big Cheese visit today has Mr Cummings given his permission?

  2. Glad you are better Tilsit.
    Much more enjoyable crossword today, very enjoyable.
    I notice the top and bottom line of letters point to a certain website. If that makes any sense.
    Thanks all.

  3. 17a and 20d my co-favourites this morning in this fun and accessible puzzle. Like HYD I spotted the hidden message (a Nina?) top and bottom. Very clever.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit. So glad you are on the mend.

  4. A really enjoyable crossword with a well-balanced selection of clues (**/*****) this Saturday. I thought the anagram at 17a was great fun. It is difficult to pick out favourites when there are so many great clues but I liked 1d, 7d, 16d and 19a. Many thanks to Tilsit for the hints. I’m glad that you haven’t been too badly afflicted by the virus and wish you a speedy recovery. Many thanks to the setter. I look forward to more puzzles like this one. Keep safe and well everyone.

  5. Pleased to hear of your health improvement.l heard this version of Amazing Grace on Desert Island Discs last night.A truly moving programme.Pleased also to have completed the puzzle without help although 20 d came at the very last moment before looking at your clue.Carry on improving and thanks to you and the setter.

  6. Splendid puzzle, bristling with clever clues. ***** for enjoyment, and I think *** for difficulty. Difficult to choose favourite clues from so many, but my top three were 1d, 7d and 20d. Best non-Toughie for a while. Thanks to the compiler, whoever he may be.

  7. I have far too many ticks on the page to mention a favourite. This was right up my street. I spotted the Nina when I was checking if it was a pangram. I noticed it when I looked at the last letter of 20d. Thank you setter for the pleasure this crossword gave me, and thank you too Tilsit. I hope that you continue to make a good recovery.

  8. A great crossword which felt ***/**** for me. Loved 4d and there was a wry sense of humour theme in many clues I thought. Thanks to Tilsit and whoever the accomplished setter is.

  9. I submitted my views on this crossword (above) but neglected to send best wishes to Tilsit. I am relatively new to this blog, and have had little or no direct contact with any of the reviewers, but I really appreciate the efforts made every day. The virus is a horrid affair, and I have enormous sympathy with anyone who has been affected. Delighted that Tilsit seems to have made a recovery. Stay safe, everyone

  10. A very enjoyable challenge for a Saturday although 20d escaped me before I spotted the Nina. I trust our antipodean friends are happy with today’s geographical answer.
    For the first time in living memory I think my entry has been accepted from my iPad! I’ll undoubtedly be dreaming of what to spend the untold riches on…..😂
    Thank you as always to all involved.

  11. Cracking puzzle today Grommet, lots of top draw clues and a ***/***** for me . I’m pleased that most bloggers thought the same.
    17a has to be my favourite followed by 19a for the surface and the clever 26a.20d was very inventive
    Thanks to our setter and Tilsit for the pics.
    There’s a Jay on the peanuts!-looks huge in comparison to the usual suspects.

    1. I thought for a moment you were referring to the so named setter which threw me as I wondered what he was doing eating peanuts – but then realised you were bird watching!

    2. It’s good to be back after a few weeks’ absence and I’m relieved to read that Tilsit is on the mend. I totally agree with your comments, Beaver, and I’m curious about the jay. Was it actually hanging from the peanut holder or do you spread some nuts on the ground like I do?

      1. Hanging on and completely encircling the small free swinging peanut holder located about 2 feet from the kitchen window, it was a visitor last year for a short period-may have a hungry brood to feed? beautiful bird when seen at close quarters.

        1. I got out my quilted coat this morning to go and refill the bird feeders – it was freezing in my Cambridgeshire garden!

            1. You can get a feeder that is squirrel proof as the opening closes when they hang from the door but the birds are light enough to just perch and feed. They can however work out how to tip the hummingbird feeder to get the sweet contents.

  12. I’m glad you’re on the mend Tilsit. Very enjoyable puzzle today. Lots of good clues. Favourite 17d even though I’m not so sure it’s anatomically correct! 20d as runner up. It took me ages for the penny to drop. Very clever. Thanks to all.

  13. 2*/2.5*. A pleasant, reasonably straightforward puzzle today coupled with probably the worst Quickie non-pun that I can remember. I docked half-a-star for enjoyment due to the answer to 9d which, as a noun, brings me out in spots.

    8a was my favourite with a special mention for 17a.

    Many thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit – glad to hear you are on the mend.

  14. Just in case anyone is in need of an image to make them smile, I’ve just been bashing out the draft review and was amused to find that the Word spellchecker thought there should be a hyphen between MAN and EATING in 16d! Not a bird you’d want to meet any time soon, I’d have thought :D

  15. Very difficult, needed lots of electronic help to finish this one. Too tricky to be enjoyable, just a slog.
    No favourites clues.
    ****/*
    Thx for the hints

  16. A good example of what is becoming a ‘standard’ SPP – some head scratching but not too much to spoil the enjoyment, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 7d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and our recovering Tilsit.

  17. I expected a bit of a fluffy for the first prize puzzle after the interregnum but this was a proper test. Had I spotted the Nina I may have got 20d and I also have doubts about 17d. I had a couple where I thought of the answer but couldn’t bring myself to put it in until I wrote it down elsewhere and spent time parsing the components (11a 16d). this cyclist is going to opt for 28a as favourite today.
    If I email the back page and enter on the puzzle site do I get 2 entries or 1, or maybe they cancel themselves out. That might explain why I never win.

    Thanks to setter and tilsit – glad to hear you are getting better.

    1. Hi John, I’m not sure that entering on the puzzle site actually enters the crossword to the competition.
      I think you still have to email a screenshot.
      Could be wrong, though.

    2. You don’t get two entries, John. The email entry is the only one accepted. The online entry does not go to DT but at least it tells you if you are correct or not and you are award 600 points if done within 30 mins!

      Anyway, the DT only accepts the first entry. Any subsequent entries are disqualified.

  18. Found this tough but doable with stuttering progress into ***
    time (also *** for enjoyment)
    Another mm towards “normality” – the return of the Prize & half a shift for Tilsit!
    Difficult to see how 17d relates to lower regions.
    COTD was 17a where I thought the anagram was not obvious. I was going to post a link to the apposite Napoleon XIV recording (Lard cover I think is better) for 17a but didn’t know whether musical links are allowed on Saturdays. Also it may well be insensitive given today’s attitudes conditioned by dementia etc.
    Thanks to setter & best wishes to Tilsit for a continued return to full health

        1. By Puzzle I meant the Quickie sorry. In the backpager there’s probably enough missing to make it a Pan!

  19. Despite the need for a bit of electronic help I found this really enjoyable, with the right combination of straight-forward and less straight-forward clues. Favourite 17a – one of those penny drop moments. Had not heard of ‘hissy fit’ so struggled with 21a until again the penny dropped and I realised my bung-in was incorrect. Had not spotted the Nina until it was pointed out. Thanks to setter and to Tilsit, and pleased to hear of your recovery.

  20. So pleased to hear you are on the mend, Tilsit.

    Also good to see the return of the prize puzzle. For some reason known only to the mysteries of the universe, I thought 16d was split into two words (3, 6). I have no idea why I did this and it held me up for ages because I was think the answer was “the” something. I suppose many of us feel ready for 17a after weeks of lockdown. Favourites are 11 and 1d.

    I didn’t spot the Nina, which is annoying because I always look for such things. However, it has to be said I rarely see them despite looking.

    A very enjoyable puzzle and it feels good to be submitting the solution again to DT.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the great hints.

  21. A slow start, got to 26a across before I got one, and even then I had to read the answer 3 times before I understood it. Rest of the answers steadily followed, but 20d held out for a long time.

    Good to hear you are on the mend, Tilsit!

  22. Good to hear about your recovery Tilsit.
    Was a bit worried about the NZ place but the parsing led me straight there.
    Thought the construction in 17d was the other way round. Same for 24a with among being a containment indicator so took a while to finish that corner.
    Great Nina which was only spotted after completion.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  23. I cannot get 5 d. Is it just me being thick? I put the letters I have into my word finder and it comes up ‘not solved’.
    I’m sure I have 10a correct thanks to the clues here and also 12a which can be seen as two words I think.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      If you have the correct solutions to 10a and 12a, then a reversal (raised) of some betting stakes will give you a geographical ‘high point’

  24. Terrific! ***/**** for us. Didn’t spot the Nina till we read the blog, bonus fun! 😀 Favourite clues 8a and 17a, last clue in 16d. So pleased you are getting better Tilsit, thanks to you and to the setter. Weird things happened when we submitted our solutions by iPad, some letters appeared changed. Maybe to do with glitches mentioned above?

    1. I’m glad you mentioned the changed letters after submission Rose and Gray. That happened to me too. I know that the erroneous letter wasn’t there before submission because I carefully checked each answer for typos before hitting the submit button.

      Oh well, at least we can submit now. Small steps!

      1. I couldn’t submit on line so had to take a screen shot and email it. However after reading comments above I hadn’t realised that sending it on line didn’t enter the competition. I’ve been doing it for ages and wondered why I never won! Enjoyed today’s puzzle but not sure my 6d is correct. I’ve seen the diagrams of Nina on this site but actually can’t see Nina, no matter how hard I try.

  25. No problems to report although, like RD, I did wince at the answer for 9d.
    Think my favourite was 17a because it made me smile, followed by 21&28a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the hints – glad to hear that you’re feeling better.

  26. Nice to welcome a prize puzzle back with a mile and a half romp around the clues. Only one grumble, and it is still grumbling some four hours later. 20D. No..NO!…NO!!! You cannot do that. There are ways to use proper names (25D), but to my way of thinking, 20D should never have got off the draught board. Fun and games elsewhere, with the shorter answers causing more problems than the longer ones. Having vented my spleen, I am off to go and watch some proper racing, at last. Too wet and windy in the North to be in the garden, so copious amounts of tea and Newmarket here we come.

  27. Read through all across clues without achieving a single answer but then downs got things underway although I do have to say overall it was quite a battle. It was however a welcome excuse not to garden on this chilly (flaming June?!) day. 10a barrel new to me and would quibble with figure in 24a and lower regions in 17d. 8a, 11a and 4d topped my list. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit – so pleased you have overcome the worst of the dreaded lurgy.

  28. As an aside, the answer to 7d is also the name of a porcelain. The Scottish factory lasted for only about 17 years but produced some wonderful items. It is highly collectable so, if you have a piece with the name of 7d on it, get it valued. If you have a whole set (as I once did) you are sitting on a small fortune.

    I didn’t get the small fortune for my set and I am still kicking myself.

  29. Glad you are feeling better Tilsit remember keep safe.
    A cracking puzzle today filled in by single cafetierre time. Some excellent clues and the usual couple of gimmies. Favourites 17d and 11a. Life must be slowly returning to whatever the normal will be. Prize crossword started.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. Glad you are on the mend Tilsit.
    A very enjoyable but difficult puzzle. I don’t think I could have solved it without reading Tilsit’s introduction, I was stuck in the SW corner, then all became clear. So many good clues, to mention but a few, 8&18a and 3&16d, but my favourite was 17a. Last in was 24a. Second favourite was 20d, which was very original. Was 4*/4* for me.

  31. By far the best Saturday crossword for quite a while & one which I found a real struggle (particularly the left hand side). Can’t in all conscience claim an unaided finish as 20d was my one remaining & that penny dropped only after reading the comments by Hoofit & CS – believe it or not it had never even occurred to me that the crossword grid was such & like MR I’ve never shopped there. Loads of podium contenders to choose from but I’ll plump for 16&20d along with 17a, with the anagram nicking it in a tight three way photo finish.
    With thanks to the setter for a terrific challenge & to our on the mend reviewer (great to hear)
    Ps surprised nobody has mentioned it but since when has 11a been hyphenated ?

        1. I’ll claim partial responsibility for leading you astray – shame as I’m fond of a slice of lemon drizzle…..

        2. There is no lemon drizzle today. Mr CS keeps mentioning that no-one has made flapjack for a while. Wonder whether he’d take any notice if I pointed him in the direction of the simple recipe?

          1. CS
            “Normality” is returning.
            We have the prize back
            We have the naughty step back
            I presume the lemon drizzle cake would be too much too soon?
            Mind my diet wouldn’t permit me to have any, but who would know but me?

                1. I make flap-jack every week, a great tasty source of high-fibre. However, being diabetic, all the brown sugar and golden syrup doesn’t help! Was told Friday I am returning to the office on Tuesday, have my 12-month appraisal in the afternoon, then at 5pm, I am furloughed for 3 weeks. Still, it will give me time to perfect the ginger loading levels for the experimental flap-jack.

  32. So pleased you are back with us Tilsit – and in the saddle again as well! I enjoyed this and the top line Nina absolutely leaps out at you. I am with Rabbit Dave and Jane in dislike of 9d, horrid. I’ve got into bad habits over the lockdown weeks – must get used to Best Writing at the weekends. Thanks to everyone and keep well.

  33. 20d was my sticking point in this one as well. I tried the other two 4 letter shops with no success and didn’t think of the correct one at all. Added to that I (what’s new?) missed the Nina so that didn’t help me.

    That clue probably took me as long as the rest of the puzzle put together and I had to keep coming back to it. Got there in the end but only with electronic help. I console myself that I would never have got it without such assistance. Not sure I’ve ever heard of it.

    I liked 17a and agree with the comments about 17d.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit may I add my good wishes to everyone else’s; I’m so glad to hear you’re on the mend.

  34. So happy to hear that you are getting through this Tilsit. I have been thinking of you often. Get well soon.
    Unusually for me I romped through this one. No idea why, for some reason the words just kept popping into my mind, which is a very brave thing for anything to do at the best of times.
    Happy weekend everyone. We had whopping big thunderstorms yesterday afternoon and last night. We have two very large maple trees right by the house, they must be….80 to 100 foot high or more. We bit the bullet and got the tree surgeon in to cat away some dead limbs that were leaning towards the house. Glad we did! The wind was really whipping about. BTW weather we get here in Ontario on one day, you in the UK tend to get a day or two later, so brollies up!

  35. Very good crossword and as I was going to the hints I got my LOI. 5d. For those that require an answer to what is a NINA it is simply a name given to a hidden message.
    However I am still perplexed . Clicking on the link took me to the explanation but a) I could not see the name NINA in the illustrations and b) I could not see the hidden messages in the crossword examples shown. Perhaps you could put me out of my misery and identify the the columns and rows in this one for me please.

  36. Glad you are better, Tilsit, and hope that Greta and her husband are too. I stumbled on two clues after a jolly ride through the rest of the puzzle: 20d and 22d. Though why 20d bewildered me, I have no idea, but snooker and related terms are indeed foreign territory for me. Still, a most enjoyable Saturday Prize treat, with my winners: 16d, 20d, and 11a. And a special award to 17a, which gave me a big laugh. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. *** / ***

    1. I must be very dense today: can’t spot either Nina, and because this is a prize puzzle, I guess I’ll have to wait until the solution is published.

        1. Got it! Thank you, crypticsue. I had been looking at the top and bottom rows of the SOLVED puzzle–i.e., rows 2 and 15.

    2. Aren’t we so lucky that our revered leader is still able to communicate with George Floyd and that he approves of the economy? Sometimes I feel that the 17a are going to come for me soon.

      1. No I think the 17a should be coming for him any day now. In fact, should have been here at least a year ago. Just when you think he can’t embarrass us any more he does it again.

        1. I for one, do NOT wish to spend a single day in his world. Never has the phrase “Reality used to be a friend if his” been more applicable. Can you imagine him and Bo-Jo, sitting either side of a table with a big red button between them..???

  37. Nice to here you are feeling better Tilsit … good news.
    A nice puzzle for a Saturday with only 4 clues that really required some head scratching and electronic help. Rate this as **/**** with some nice clues, notably 8a, 17a, 27a, 7d & 20d … winner 20d with 8a runner up.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  38. I found this pretty tricky but I seem to say that every day at the moment.
    As always I missed the Nina and also missed the anagram indicator in 17a for far too long.
    19a and 17d were my last ones – it was one of those, “If I could just get one I’d probably get the other one” situations.
    I bunged in 26a simply because it seemed to work but don’t really get it – suppose I need to look up the speed of sound.
    I liked 8 and 17a and 4 and 22d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit – glad you’re getting better.

  39. Good puzzle to start the prizes again – favourite 17a.

    However, after submitting the puzzle on my iPad, and declining publicity, the software slipped in a mistake – in 17a – to prevent any chance of winning! The same happened when my wife tried to submit. Has anyone else noted this?

  40. ****/****. Quite a tricky puzzle with some very good clues. My favourites were 11, 17&19a and 1, 16&20d. The latter gets the podium place. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. I’m delighted to hear you’re in better shape.

  41. Greetings from a regular reader but very irregular blogger. Felt I had to write today to wish Tilsit a continuing improvement from the horrid virus, to express my admiration to the setter for a wonderful puzzle which I only managed to complete after reading about the Nina and to say how much I enjoy reading so many varied and wonderful comments from such a wide variety of people. BD’s site is often the highlight of my day!

  42. First, so glad you’re fit enough to tackle the hints and tips, Tilsit, keep getting better.
    Quite tricky but biggly enjoyable. North was not as difficult as south.
    I never did get 20d but that doesn’t bother me, seems most of us did too, and, of course, never saw the Nina, there’s a limit to what tiny brains can do.
    I had a good giggle at 17a, but my fave was 8a – very clever. All in all, lots of fun today, so many good clues.
    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for his help with 20d.

  43. The SW corner was a little trickier compared to the rest, no doubt because of a certain letter needed for that Nina. Talking of which, it did raise a smile knowing what site this puzzle would be blogged on. :-)

  44. Glad to hear you’re on the mend Tilsit. Thanks for your comments and those from the solvers. I’m glad most people found it enjoyable (except Brian!). This was my 225th (inside) back-page Telegraph cryptic which is the reason for the Nina.
    Some people queried the quick pun. A while ago I couldn’t understand a quick pun until I realised you had to pronounce pass to rhyme with arse to make it work, so I decided to make a quick pun for people who pronounce pass properly!

    1. Thank you for a really enjoyable puzzle today. It’s always nice when the setter pops in, so thanks also for that.

    2. Thanks for an excellent puzzle perfectly pitched for me.
      Neat way to celebrate a milestone – there can’t be many situations where the 225th has significance.
      Also thanks for doing us the honours of a visit.
      You can please some of the people some of the time but because of Brian you can’t please all of the people all of the time!

    3. Thank you, Messinae for a great puzzle. As far as I am concerned, the Quickie pun worked well.
      Many congratulations on achieving such a milestone.

  45. Lovely puzzle *** difficulty.
    20d – while playing with the letters, suddenly saw a premises up the road from me and bingo
    Great clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit, pleased you are on the mend.

  46. Glad you are feeling better Tilsit. Provided that this virus does give you antibodies to make you immune from another bout, a mild case of it would seem to be beneficial. Easy for me to say, as I’ve not been one of its victims yet. Hope you are soon fully 100%.

    Super duper puzzle today, very much enjoyed. Particularly as I have struggled and left the last two days unfinished. I loved 1a, very clever. When our kids were tots, one friend had a little boy who we called the 11a. When he came into the room, he didn’t walk round the couch, just climbed right over it. Didn’t understand 8d. Had no problem with 20d as that is on the news every day here. And like Merusa, 17a immediately brought el presidente to mind. Big thanks to setter and to Tilsit.

  47. Thank you for the review Tilsit and glad you are feeling better. I enjoyed this one but failed on 19a, 16d and, along with others on here, 20d. Neither spotted the NINA nor knew what one was until I read the helpful link provided above. Something else to keep an 👁 out for another time.

  48. Really enjoyable crossword although I was confused in the SW corner by misplacing an “f”.
    Perhaps I have been drinking too much coffee.

  49. Enjoyed this one, though it took longer than usual. As a recent visitor to the blog (and a first-time poster), I wish I had got here sooner!

    17A was clever and took a long while to go in, even though it was an obvious anagram. Learning about Nina and today’s top and bottom 225 was a total revelation!

  50. I would like to add my feelings of relief that Tilsit is on the mend, be aware that even if you’re feeling better after three weeks it can come back and grab you again for another three weeks. It’s no better or worse than the first time though. Good puzzle, lots to like and favourite 11a. Still can’t parse 19a though, I must be missing something. A brain cell or two perhaps. Many thanks to Messinae and the recovering Tilsit.

  51. 3*/4*….
    liked 21A “hissy fit as drink’s knocked back (5)”
    Tilsit – glad you’re getting better

  52. I have actually just noticed that the Prize word is back- no wonder Tilsit did not fill in all the clues!! Great that he has made a recovery,and for his help.
    Very mixed for me, took a while to get going and still can’t find the answer to 16d. I shall come back tomorrow and hope it jumps out of the page as many others did. 17a was a very clever anagram, as indeed many others were well conceived.

  53. Great puzzle tonight thank you setter and Tilsit.(**/****). Very glad you are feeling a bit better and hope you fully recover very soon. Left Brain and I crossword most nights and love the blog. Warms the cockles. Thanks to all and deep sympathies to any of you living under the person who should be whisked away by 17a asap. Lots of love to all ♥️♥️

  54. Very pleased that you are recovering, Tilsit! I did need one or two hints today, so thank you for those – and the wonderful Judy Collins! Thanks also to the setter for a most enjoyable hour!
    I particularly liked 17a – and join those who think a certain person would benefit from their ministrations! And the country!
    Keep well and stay safe, everyone. 🙃

  55. Very glad to hear that you are on the mend, Tilsit. May I venture to advise that you take things easily for a while? Our grandparents knew about ‘convalescing’ and they were right.
    Completed this alone and unaided and understood all the parsings, so a hurrah day for me.
    Had about 6 sittings at it , though…..a combination of people and things making demands on my time yesterday and the (enjoyable) difficulty of the puzzle.
    Not only did I not notice the Nina until I looked at the blog, I did not notice that it was a Prize Puzzle…..doh!

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  56. Glad you’re feeling a bit better Tilsit, and thank you for the clues which I very much needed as I couldn’t see a way in at all. I must be having a bad day as it took some time but I eventually got into it, and stuck with it as it’s a bit chilly out in the garden today. I also managed to see the Nina when I looked at the first and last lines of the grid instead of the solutions which made sense when Messinae enlightened us about its meaning. 17a was my favourite clue and 9d my least favourite.

  57. thank you for responding, but the only word (of 7 letters) I could get anywhere near to has been censored, presumably by the authorities ! I just need the first 5 letters. I’ve got the answer, but would realy like to know why !

      1. My answer without doubt is correct = a sea creature . I have the left and american bit ,I just need some kind soul to tell me what the 5 letters I have in front of those are/is a homophone of – I suspect it is a word I’ve never heard of, inspite of your statement that it is blindingly obvious , but sadly not to me !! The nearest word I could come up with ( 7 letters) has been “censored” as I stated above, , probably because the first four letters of which match the answer perfectly. Someone please show a little bit of kindness..

        1. I saw your censored word which, you say, matches the first 4 letters of your answer perfectly. In that case I repeat that your answer is wrong. Examine carefully John Bee’s comment at #62 (before it gets censored!).

  58. My answer without doubt is correct = a sea creature . I have the left and american bit ,I just need some kind soul to tell me what the 5 letters I have in front of those are/is a homophone of – I suspect it is a word I’ve never heard of, inspite of your statement that it is blindingly obvious , but sadly not to me !! The nearest word I could come up with ( 7 letters) has been “censored” as I stated above, , probably because the first four letters of which match the answer perfectly. Someone please show a little bit of kindness..

        1. If you write down your answer, cross out the ‘Left America‘ letters and say out loud what remains, it should sound like …

  59. re 7d – and all the respondents above – great apologies to all who have tried to help my very feeble brain – I had made the very fundamental mistake of sticking to my first thought theme, and convincing myself that I knew of a sea creature from Mythology. which I now find is not the sea creature I thought it was,it is someone/something else completely !! How complicated have I made a fairly straightforward clue, Sackcloth and ashes currently being worn !!

  60. Really enjoyed this one and did it in a couple of hours late into night – rare for me. Smiled when I finally got 8 across – was thinking of American racecourses and tracks and countries where 11 live – stupid as I used to follow the horses. Relived as Covid calming down now as been in front line. Mind you off to Malawi soon – hopefully won’t get bad there

  61. I missed the small print totally and struggled to complete this week so would’ve loved the pleasure of sending it off for the draw (to anyone in fact) just to get it out my very ruffled-up hair. 20d was a stinker!?
    Uplifting to hear that tilsit is recovering; bon courage!

      1. I think that was my first comment ever on this superb blog which I’ve been visiting for years – unless I’m not only sleeping on unsolved clues but posting about them in my sleep, which is not unimaginable!?

          1. Hi Sue, I did make a request on there, which I wasn’t counting as a comment, you are quite right though. Could you please just clarify if there is a problem that I have created by now using the alias ‘LLeem’ rather than my full name? Thank you.

            1. You can use either the alias or your full name – either will work from now on – if you change it to anything else, eg just your Christian name, you’ll go back into moderation and have to be ‘rescued’ again. The system always puts comments from people or addresses it doesn’t recognise into moderation so that someone can check the comment isn’t spam – there’s been quite a lot of that in the last week so it is a good system

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