DT 29388 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29388

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29388

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from South Staffs where rain and cloud persist.

Very much a puzzle of two halves this morning. The top half went in with no trouble, then I hit the wall with several clues in the bottom half, hence the **** marking for difficulty.

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.

Across

1a           Put on music that epitomises Ireland (8)
SHAMROCK – Split the answer (4,4) and you have a word meaning ‘put on’ or ‘fake’, and a type of music first made popular in the 1950s.

shamrock - Liberal Dictionary

 

6a           Their husbands are late, extra hands of cards? (6)
WIDOWS – Double definition, the first being women whose husbands are late, as in ‘the late Mr Smith’.

9a           Arbitrator acceptable for head of large organisation (6)
UMPIRE – Start with a large organisation, such as the Romans or the British once had, then replace the first letter with the letter denoting ‘acceptable (in society)’.

10a         Assess time sat working on end of puzzle (8)
ESTIMATE – Anagram (working) of TIME SAT, preceded by the last letter of puzzlE.

11a         Painful inflammation in shoulders; it is rubbing when turning round (8)
BURSITIS – Hidden in reverse (when turning round) in the clue.

12a         Poor of America leaving country (6)
HUNGRY – Remove America from a European country.

13a         Threat continued in a broadcast (12)
DENUNCIATION – Anagram (broadcast) of CONTINUED IN A.

16a         Gullible character gets taken in by young men, extortionists (12)
BLOODSUCKERS – A gullible person, one who should never be given an even break according to W C Fields, is surrounded by an outdated word for yong men of some pretentio0n swaggering about town.

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

19a         Arranges classes in society (6)
ORDERS – Double definition: arranges neatly; or the different levels or estates in society.

21a         TV presenter prompts report of traffic congestion? (8)
AUTOCUES – These devices which tell TV presenters what to say sound like a description (4,6) of traffic waiting in line.

Autocue tele-prompting solutions for the iPad Pro - Newsshooter

23a         Notorious home recognised by many (8)
INFAMOUS – ‘At home’ followed by ‘recognised by many’ or ‘renowned’.

24a         Warning of cold front of Arctic temperature, including hail (6)
CAVEAT – A Latin word meaning ‘let him or her beware’. Put together Cold, the first letter of Arctic, and an abbreviation for Temperature, then insert a Latin word of greeting.

25a         Remained steady after a wobble (6)
STAYED – Anagram (after a wobble) of STEADY.

26a         Type of group that might get under one’s skin? (8)
SPLINTER – This word for a group which breaks away from a larger political party also describes a sliver of wood or similar which penetrates the skin.

Down

2d           Comedy occasion contains unlimited smut, on reflection (6)
HUMOUR – Remove the outer letters (unlimited) from (s)MU(t), reverse the result and insert it into a word for ‘occasion’ or ‘time’.

3d           Isle’s receiving investment, primarily in electricity supply perhaps (5)
MAINS – The name of an Isle in the Irish Sea, plus the ‘S from the clue, has the first letter of Investment inserted.

4d           Subtle hints from public individuals (9)
OVERTONES – A ive-letter word for ‘public’ or ‘in the open’, followed by a four-letter word for ‘individuals’.

5d           Continues to provide financial support for offspring (5,2)
KEEPS ON – Split this (4,3) and you have ‘financial support’ or ‘board and lodging’ followed by a male child.

6d           Charming woman that tests consumer products on the radio (5)
WITCH – The charms here are magic spells, and the answer sounds like a well-known consumer magazine.

7d           Projects one’s personality over questionable date with Simon (9)
DOMINATES – Anagram (questionable) of DATE and SIMON.

8d           Drink before card game contributing to final defeat? (8)
WATERLOO – A drink which comes out of a tap followed by an od card game, giving us the scene of Napoleon’s downfall.

13d         Ungulate roamed freely with no rain around (9)
DROMEDARY – Anagram (freely) of ROAMED, with a word for weather with no rain wrapped round it.

Dromedary definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

14d         Same bird seen regularly, it rises above California (9)
IDENTICAL – Put together alternate letters of bIrD sEen, the reverse (rises) of IT (from the clue), and an abbreviation for California.

15d         When wine keeps cool, it can produce something mellow (8)
CLARINET – A generic term for red wine from the Bordeaux region wrapped round a word for ‘cool’ or ‘fashionable’, producing a musical instrument of mellow tone.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jzx664u5DA” /]

17d         Body established by Princess Anne having alternative informal title? (7)
CHASSIS – The answer is a slang word for a (female) body, but more strictly refers to the frame of a vehicle, to which the body may be attached. To get to it we have to split the answer (4,3) and we have what may be an alternative way of referring to Princess Anne, by reference to an informal shortening of her  brother’s name and a short form of her relationship to him.

18d         Number of years below average adult spent in household (6)
MENAGE – Remove the abbreviation for Adult from a word for a type of average, then add a long period of years, and you get a French word for a household.

20d         Reprimand Surrey captain over loftily dropping openers (5)
SCOLD – The initial letters (openers) of words 2 – 6 in the clue.

22d         Artist goes missing from mobile home in Irish county (5)
CAVAN – Remove the usual crossword artist from a mobile dwelling towed behind another vehicle to get a county in the north of the Irish Republic.


The Quick Crossword pun MATE + RED + DEE = MAITRE D’

115 comments on “DT 29388
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  1. 4*/5*. What a splendid finish to the week with super-smooth surfaces and tight, accurate cluing with some clever disguises. I found the bottom half, particularly in the SE corner, much trickier than the top half with 18d my last one in and last to be parsed.

    I needed to check my BRB for two meanings: firstly, to confirm that the answer to 13a could mean “threat”; and secondly, for the word for young boys needed in 16a.

    I felt spoilt for choice when picking a favourite and have finally settled on a podium of 1a (lovely start!), 21a & 17d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun – I have an inkling who it is but I’m not going to stick my neck out today – and to DT. Perhaps DT should consider changing his name to Deep 13a? :wink:

    1. Phew that was a tough one…starting to get into the rhythm of doing (is there a word to describe to be in the process of doing a crossword?!) the cryptic daily but this was by far the hardest of the week. Thanks to DT as needed a few hints to keep me going. However enjoyed the challenge.

  2. I thought this was a bit of a ‘solve one corner, move on to another’ crossword at the trickier end of this setter’s back page spectrum, which is probably why it was scheduled for a Friday

    Thanks to him and to DT

  3. Certainly at the tougher end of the setting spectrum this morning. A very worthy challenge and greatly enjoyed with some excellent clues. I particularly liked 13d, 17d and 21a. Good to see the reappearance of 1a after a short absence.

    I am not sure who was responsible for this puzzle but I hope he or she comes on to the site later to claim responsibility for a top crossword. Thanks to our setter and DT.

  4. Excellent Friday puzzle, certainly tricky in parts, particularly the SE quadrant, going for a ***/****.
    Many top class surfaces like 16a and 15d.
    Last in was 18d,wanted to put decade in but it just would not fit then at the last minute the household dawned ,which even then took a while to parse.
    Favourites were 21a and 15d, 17d provided the d’oh moment
    Thanks to setter and DT

  5. I found this much easier than yesterday’s RT. Didn’t understand the “why” in 1d so thanks for the explanation. 9a took the longest to figure out. I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d got 15d right. Not the best clue. In = cool is a bit tenuous and I’m sure there are other musical instruments that produce a mellow sound, albeit none that mix with claret. Favourite 17d. I can’t actually imagine Prince Charles referring to Anne as sis but it made me smile. Thanks to all.

    1. There is no 1d and neither 1a nor any other clue had the word “why”.
      On a more positive note, I thought 17d and 18d were brilliant. In fact the whole crossword was challenging and fun to work out.

    1. Hi Greta, my favourite comment ever was from a Big Dave in reply to somebody carping on about a typo in the hint for something like 15d. Big D politely pointed out that we were unpaid volunteers and mistakes do happen and perhaps you mean 15 across as there is no 15 down. It’s not unusual for folk to get it wrong and when they do it’s not difficult to see what they really meant.

      1. At least Greta is picking up her own extremely slight error. It is particularly annoying when people turn up just to get at other people who may have put an a instead of a d – without ever putting a comment of their own about how they find the crossword.

        1. I agree with you 100%. It is so easy to make a typo especially when commenting using phone. So easy to get the number wrong to as, especially when solving in the paper, the number becomes obscured. Someone I didn’t know popped in the other day for no other purpos than to have a dig at Kath. I would like to see how some of these people would get on setting or even solving and providing hints. I think I even saw a complaint recently that the hints were late! You have to feel sorry for them really!

  6. I made steady progress on this high quality puzzle but came to a bit of a halt in the SE. Finally getting 21a opened it up and I was able to finish it in about 4* time albeit with a couple of semi biffs (6a where I didn’t know the second definition, and 16a where I only knew the gullible character) from the checkers. Wasn’t keen on 12a, very stretched, but I liked a lot of the others, in particular 1&26a plus 3&4d….and my favourite, the extrmely clever 18d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT (I mirror your ratings) for a top review

    1. New to me too, and we are keen card players. Cannot wait to use it next time we are able to have a card evening.

  7. Ouch! That was like pulling out one’s
    teeth and not much more enjoyable (****/*). I can accept that I am not on this compiler’s wavelength. However, I do question the over-extended synonyms, particularly the ones for threat, hungry and extortionists, even if they are in the BRB. Thank you to DT for the review, although I didn’t (surprisingly) have need to use them today. Thank you to the setter, who obviously put a lot of effort into the clues.

    1. I completely agree Chris and you can add 17(awful) and 8 down to that list. Tight cluing? i don’t think so. What a a waste of effort. Thanks to DT for the hints.

      1. Well here I was, all guns blazing, ready to jump to the setters defence when I thought ‘ang back Mark, count to ten before you start. (I never get past three. If I even get that far) Anyway I read the clue for 17 down and immediately let you off the hook. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the clue. Doesn’t mean I do. I did need DTs help with it though

        1. I’m with you ChrisCross, I’m not keen on the 12a, 13a and 16a synonyms Because I don’t think they are synonyms really. I needed the hints to get them and rather than being “d’oh, of course” moments they were “huh, really?” Moments.

    2. Oh thank goodness, I was beginning to think I was the only one who found this too much like hard work. I still don’t understand 16a. But never mind, tomorrow is another day.

  8. I found this quite tricky, especially the SE corner, but overall an excellent puzzle.

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

  9. ***** no doubt! Tough one for me, especially the SE corner–18d/26a–for which I had to solicit two letters in order to complete the puzzle. Up until then, I was rather struggling along but enjoyably so, if that isn’t paradoxical. Especially liked 17d (COTD), 15d, and 11a (which I am suffering from, sadly). There were several real stickers along the way, which I more or less guessed at (21a, 6d–don’t know the consumer magazine), but on balance a satisfying solve, given the fact that I had to seek a bit of aid at the end. Thanks to D.T. and today’s hard-nails setter. ***** / ***

  10. Gosh what a puzzle. like others SE corner last to go in. Had no idea how I arrived at the answer to 17d. Knew it was a body but didn’t see how I got there! Anyway thanks to all and look forward to tomorrow’s offering.

  11. Great puzzle, got there eventually, unaided except for checking a definition, in the end.
    So, **** for difficulty.
    11a new word for me.
    Enjoyable throughout.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the nicely illustrated review.

  12. Setter here, I’m pleased to let RD and Stephen L know that their hunches were correct :-)

    Many thanks as ever to Deep Threat for his decryptions and illustrations, I’ll endeavour to pop back later to thank those who have taken the trouble to leave comments. In the light of the consensus that the SE corner was the trickiest, I’m glad that I scrapped my original intention of making 22d COVEN, and linking the clue to 6d! The final 22d was more solver-friendly I think.

    1. Thanks Silvanus for a crackerjack puzzle! My earlier comment (alluding to a ‘hard nails setter’) in no way was meant to be pejorative; I should have come up with 18d but like others, I couldn’t get ‘decade’ out of my cobwebby brain. 17d may seem corny to some, but I thought it the Clue of the Week! It’s nice to have some fun along the way, rather like “If _ _, you patient” in today’s Toughie, n’est pas? Come back soon.

    2. Thank you, setter, and thanks to DT for the hints which were needed for some of the bottom half answers. I’d never have got 17d for example, which was ‘wicked’, in both (contradictory) senses of that word. 21a and 13d (once I found out what an ungulate is) were my clues of the day.

  13. Not too demanding a puzzle today but enjoyable nevertheless. Overall the North was plainer sailing than the South. Parsing let me down on 9a and 18d. 13a is a rather stretched synonym. Joint Favs were the somewhat obvious homophones in 21a and 6d. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  14. This was to my liking and fairly straightforward. I wasn’t familiar with the double definition in 6a so spent a while wondering how to parse. Favourite clue was 21a. Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  15. Like others the north yielded without too much difficulty but the south, both east & west, was a good deal more problematic. I’d echo RD’s views on the quality. 18d was my last in & like Beaver wanted to put in decade before twigging the correct answer. Parsing some of the answers however was another matter. My ignorance of card games meant the loo meaning in 8d & the double meaning in 6a eluded me. Latin is all Greek to me so that was 24a out & 17d was another bung in. Lots to choose from but I’ll go for a podium of 11&16a and 15d with the extortionists just nicking it.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge & DT for explaining the answers.

  16. Like others top half fine. Bottom half was like staggering round in a dark room illuminated by sporadic lightbulb moments so *** for me.
    Iwas chuffed to work out 18d. 17d tried to solve with “alias” but failed & bunged in wrong answer. Thanks to DT I see now. Would never have got there myself in a month of any days. Unfamiliar with a couple of others. Always associated 1a with tennis elbow not shoulder. These days in most cars the body of the car is the chassis so that is OK in my view.
    It tested me to my limit & just won but it was a very enjoyable tussle. Don’t like losing so only 4* for enjoyment.
    Thanks to setter & DT for helpful review.

    1. Throw the fishing hook out and reel them in. Of course Bursitis has nothing to do with the shoulder. Great misdirection from the setter. Now take that hook from your top lip and check out The Balladrum Festival 2021 where I’m sure a major artist has been announced.

      1. Very senior moment spotted the lurker & the reason for “in” when solving this morning then reading the review came up with the comment.
        Thank you for the head-up for the Festival. With my chronic hearing problems sny sort of amplified sound is not the same however fantastic the music orgood the sound systems are My advice to all is: if it sounds loud it is & it is probably damaging your hearing. You really don’t know just how many pleasures you may be jeopardising until it is too late.

      2. Hi UMG, Having recently had an inflamed bursa removed from my shoulder I have to disagree. That was a fun operation :-)

  17. That was better than yesterday for me. A most entertaining puzzle with plenty of head scratching and lightbulb moments. Plenty of good clues but my favourites are 9a, 26a with 26a being my COTD.

    Many thanks to the Sylvanus for the challenge and also DT for the hints.

  18. Lovely puzzle today. Just tricky enough for a Friday. SE last to fall here as well.
    15d was cabernet for a long while until checkers changed the tipple.
    18d beat me I saw decade and after that nothing else would work until I read the hint. and saw the definition was the other end of the clue. A nice bit of misdirection from Silvanus.
    Card games needed checking too, 6a and the last 3 letters of 8d are card game terms new to me. (I knew about spare hands from family games of Newmarket just never called them 6a) 17d was fave from a long list, podiums to 1 and 11a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Denunciation (try anagramming that Peter)

    1. Oh lovely Newmarket! We played it every Christmas since I can remember. If Grandma Angus was there we had to play for matchsticks but once the dear old lady died at 96 we used pennies. Super game, even the little ones could join in.

      1. Matchsticks here until Grandma Bee had to stop smoking then we used Mama Bee’s Button box. We did have a season where Auntie Pee brought the twin pack of Telegraph playing cards she won for a placing in the prize puzzle. but never knew the spare hand was a 6a.

      2. I too have lovely memories of playing Newmarket at family gatherings when I was young, especially at Christmas. I wasn’t aware of that term for the extra hand though.

  19. I had a very similar solving experience as Deep Threat – steady progress in the top half before hitting the wall with 5 or 6 left unanswered in the bottom half. Unusually for me I needed to reveal a few letters to complete the last few.

    17d and 18d were the last fall and take Gold and Silver on the podium.

    Thanks, Silvanus, for the entertainment. Thanks, also, to DT for the review.

  20. You got me on 18D. I could only think of DECADE and came here to find out how that fitted with the second half of the clue – not to find I was wrong. Well done.

  21. The top half went straight in, the bottom half I was tearing my hair out over. I feel as though I should have known “ungulate” but I didn’t. I managed to work out the answer from the clue, but had to look it up on google. I needed the review for the explanation of 17d. Very funny. 18d I couldn’t get “decade” out of my head because of the checking letters, but whichever way I looked at it, it didn’t make sense. I needed the review for that too. I’m a bit cross with myself for not persevering with that one a bit longer. I did know a synonym for “average”, but hadn’t realised I had to remove the “a” because it was “spent”. I found yesterday’s crossword easier, but I still enjoyed today’s challenge. Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  22. Definitely a Friday level puzzle for me but what a delight to solve. I didn’t know the second definition of 6a and, like RD, felt moved to check on the 13a threat.
    I was led nicely down the path with 1a – put me in mind of Michael Portillo on one of his railway journeys being taught the basics of Irish dancing, lovely man but with ‘two left feet’ as he freely admits. Last one to fall was 18d with 26a not far ahead of it.
    Packed podium here with 21a taking the gold, closely followed by 1,16&26a plus 14d. Rather liked the Quickie pun as well.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the challenge and to DT for the review and the reminder of Acker Bilk. The video clip looked like a promotional advert for an exotic island holiday destination!

  23. Another excellent week of puzzles with a steady build in difficulty through the week. I found this a steady solve from north to south with a bit of a hold up in the SE corner, where my COTD candidates are. A photo finish between 17d and 21a. I’m giving it to 17d. Quite clever and provided a chuckle. Thanks to the setter and DT for the blog and music 🎼 🦇

  24. Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat. Great puzzle. ***/**** Like others I found the SE quarter the last to fall but interestingly didn’t find this puzzle as tricky as yesterday’s which I really struggled with. Horses for courses I guess. I sympathise entirely about comments on how easy it is to make typos (many typos were corrected in the production of this message) – one of my many sins. Along with a complete inability to spell and autocorrect this sometimes makes for interesting answers (and emails)

  25. I enjoyed this one and, like others, took more time to sort out some clues in the bottom half, eg 17 and 18d. Didn’t know the second definition in 6a but don’t know much about cards full stop! In particular I liked 1a, 21a and 6d but my favourite is 26a. Thanks to the compiler and to DT.
    At last the torrential rain has stopped here in Leeds – it’s certainly not flamin’ June.

  26. This was a tricky little devil, a few gimmies, some real posers and some excellent word play. I needed some assisiance especially 17d just could not see it. Favourite 16a.
    Thanks to DT & Silvanus.

  27. I forgot that Silvanus was today’s setter so set to with my usual gay abandon and took far longer than usual to fill most of the grid and then spent nearly as long again to solve the last three or four clues. Tremendous puzzle but not sure about 17 down. Thanks to Silvanus and thanks to DT. Play nicely children and I will see you after the weekend

  28. How can you not like 17d? It was delicious, so funny and if, as we are told,HM does our puzzle I hope it makes her smile. Not much else in the news to cheer us up so Clap for Setters👏 and thanks to he who paints in the nude.

  29. An excellent puzzle for which I needed electronic help in the SE corner. Marvellous clues which usually succumbed to careful reading and analysis except for 18d for which I put in decade which wouldn’t analyse correctly. I should have used electronic help for it and seen ménage come up which I might have analysed correctly.

    17d is so 1950s though. Leslie Phillips in his sexist prime. Awful.

    But having said that thank you to Silvanus for a wonderfully challenging puzzle and to DT for his excellent blog.

  30. I had real problems yesterday and thought l would never learn.Today was a joy from start to finish and able to solve with no help at all.13 d caused a few problems as l struggled to remember what kind of animal an ungulate is.Thankyou D.T.for the comment for 17d which would have driven my father to despair as someone who spent about 60 years putting bodies on chassis.Thankyou to the setter for giving a challenge but one within my reach.

  31. As with many of you, it was the SE corner that held me up the most. This was nearly a Toughie but much to be enjoyed. Thank you Silvanus for some very clever clues.
    16a, 17d and 21a stood out from the rest.

  32. Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found the bottom half impossible. Needed 6 hints to finish. Favourite was 21a. Was 5*/3* for me.

  33. Phew that was a tough one…starting to get into the rhythm of doing (is there a word to describe to be in the process of doing a crossword?!) the cryptic daily but this was by far the hardest of the week. Thanks to DT as needed a few hints to keep me going. However enjoyed the challenge!

  34. Like everything about this one , just the right amount of head scratching. Even 15d although as a musician never thought of it being mellow but I see that it is so described on some sites. I am going to have fun with this by putting it to the vote on a musicians web discussion group, I may even post the result. Thanks to Silvanus.

    1. Certainly set the wires buzzing from agreement to unprintable. Found some cruciverbalists and Big Dave fans. One even mentioned another paper often misquoted by Private Eye. The answer must be in the ear of the beholder. Vote result is……A draw. Good clue.

  35. I liked 1 & 11 across but the explanation to 6 across was new to me, I agree with the ***, thank you to Silvanus and Deep Threat, enjoyable as always, and now to get more grey hair which means the Toughie.

    TTFN

  36. A Silvanus triumph but sadly I wasn’t quite up to it: spent ages trying to fit Melanoma in 26a although I wasn’t sure about the group element until I twigged splinter and failed on 17d I’m afraid. Got the rest but had no idea why clarinets are mellow. I am a musical philistine so no surprise there. A ****/*** for me if one is allowed to grade whilst failing on a clue.

  37. What a wonderful treat today’s crossword turned out to be. Tricky enough to push me into ** time . 17d and 20d were crackers and are definitely my COTDs although 17d was responsible for holding me up until the penny dropped with a resounding clang.
    My sincere thanks to the setter and to DT for his usual clear hints.

  38. Oh dear! This week was going so well until I came to a grinding halt today. I’ll persevere, though, as I love the challenge, so thanks to the setter for producing it (and to whoever has done the hints which I’m sure I’m going to need later.

  39. Blimey – that was tough but really good and very enjoyable.
    I agree with most that the bottom half was the trickiest by a long way.
    I didn’t know the second definition in 6a but it had to be what it was and then checked.
    17d also had to be what it was but I never got quite as far as working out why – I liked it.
    I could go on but I think most of it has already been said.
    I particularly liked 1, 11 and 26a and 6d.
    With thanks to Silvanus for such a good crossword and to DT for bailing me out.

  40. I found this a bit tricky, but got there in the end over an extended period. A couple of question marks in the margin but some very nice smooth surfaces to enjoy and several good penny drop moments.
    4*/3*
    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  41. Found this puzzle tricky ****/*** 😳 but very enjoyable with some very clever clues 😃 Favourites of which were 21a, 13 & 17d. 11a was a new word for me 🤔 Thanks to DT and to silvanus

  42. agree with sands barber, nothing overly demanding, a pleasant solve and not having to resort to any hints.
    merci silvanus and deep threat for the explanations, i was not aware that widows were a hand of cards.

  43. A real challenge for me but good fun. Enjoyed 16a amongst others but do wonder why 21a is plural rather than singular for presenter.
    Widows for hand of cards was also new to me. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

  44. This was too tricky for me, but I did enjoy the half I solved. North was more friendly.
    I didn’t get 17d but thought it giggle worthy.
    Fave was 13d, but I liked 6a as well.
    Thanks Silvanus for the fun and DT for helping me to the finish line.
    Oh, thanks also for the Aker Bilk, made my day, also Jim Reeves.

  45. Great Friday puzzle. SE corner! – blimey got there in the end. And as for 17d. Park me in the absolutely blooming brilliant corner. Thanks Sylvanus and DT.

  46. Tricky for us but sadly didn’t enjoy this one. We like hard crosswords – gives us a great satisfaction when we finish. But not a lot of enjoyment today.
    4*/1* for us.
    Thanks though DT and Silvanus – at least no spoonerisms (which neither of us like).

  47. Back again to thank all those who took the trouble to post comments. Much appreciated.

    I said to a friend earlier this week that I suspected 17d might be a “Marmite clue”, but I’m delighted to see that far more seemed to like it than to dislike it.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    1. Well done on another fine puzzle Silvanus
      I eat Marmite by the spoonful, but I’m not at all keen on 17d – to be honest, it was my main reason for thinking this was probably not one of yours

    2. Really liked it. Especially when Prince Philip calls HM ‘Cabbage’ Probably appropriate behind closed doors. Just needs a bit of imagination.

      1. Isn’t “ma petite choux” a term of endearment in French? I’m not proficient in French so my spelling may be off.

        1. “Mon petit chou” is the French endearment and does, indeed, translate as “ my little cabbage”.

          Mrs. C would brain me if I called her a cabbage! 🤕

          1. ‘Mon petit choux’ since the x is silent
            The term of endearment is more likely to be a sweet bun than a cabbage I would have thought

            1. No, LBR – “Choux” is the plural, “cabbages”.
              Yes, the X is silent but the word sounds the same for both plural and singular.

              1. PS I am quite prepared to be shot down in flames! 😎

                No self respecting Frenchman would call his amour “My little cabbages”. Tantamount to admitting adultery! 😲

                1. Chou has two meanings in French. Used as a noun it means cabbage. However when used as an adjective or a term of endearment it means cute or sweet. Eg…il est chou….he is sweet.

      2. My musician friends tell me that a Euphonium is the sweetest instrument – from Greek ‘euphonos’ . Starting to get out of my depth now but a well played euphonium is truly beautiful. David Childs being one of the great soloists.

  48. We feel pleased that our guess for the setter proved to be correct.
    Certainly quite challenging and good fun all the way through. Too many ticks to select just one for favourite.
    Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  49. After several sittings I caved in and used electronic help for 16a, 19a and 21a, so was heartened to see that lots of folks thought today’s puzzle was difficult.

    Thanks to Deep Threat for the hints and to the setter for a real challenge…..maybe I will do better next time.

    Stay safe everyone and best wishes to all who are unwell.

  50. A great end to a great week.
    This was difficult and I needed a nudge for 17d, as I would never have solved that without help.
    Like others have said, the top was easier than the bottom.
    Lots of great clues, many thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  51. Found this one a real struggle and had to use many of the hints. Agree it was a 4* for difficulty. Not many favourite clues today but did like 1a, 23a & 6d. Definitely a couple of answers that could possibly be hard to suss out if you are not of UK origin as far as terminology goes (24a), and the double definition/homophone of 6d and the knowledge of magazine in question.
    Rough tussling this one out for me for the end of the week.

    Thanks to setter and DT for the very much needed hints.

  52. A five star for difficulty, so pleased to get there without help. I was dreading looking on here in case the reviewer said two stars !!! Seems most others were around four stars or higher, can’t see anyone solving this whilst impersonating Frankie Dettori.

    Thanks to the setter for a terrific challenge and to DT for his review and agreeable rating.

  53. Urgh. I wasn’t on the setter’s wavelength and found it frustrating as the surface reads were nice and clear but I struggled to get so many and had to revert to hints and some reveals. Surprised myself by getting the cards and cricket answers, all thanks to clear parsing.

    I’m afraid I found 17d and 18d a bit too convoluted and the synonyms in 12/13/16 a bit stretched so didn’t have those lovely “aha” Compensatory moments you sometimes get even if you failed to get the answer.

    COTD was 13d for the gorgeous word Ungulate. Yummy. We have cows so I’ll try to slip it in to a sentence this week.

  54. I haven’t finished this or read the hints or the comments, I simply lost interest and decided to start answering the messages I’d been receiving. If I can be bothered and get time I might look at it again tomorrow, however, I might not. This might tell you what I thought of it. Hmmph.

  55. With one or two dissenters, it is interesting that the majority had the same experience. The top went in smoothly, the SW perhaps a little trickier but it was the SE which was the sticking point. It was a relief that most were in the same boat. It was still fun though, but I don’t think I would have got 17d without the hint. Thank you Silvanus and DT

  56. Thanks, Sylvanus. That was fun, with my favourite being the hail in 24a.

    I used about 3 hints — thank you, Deep Threat — but that’s typical for me, and the same as Monday’s crossword, which most here rated as straightforward. So I didn’t actually find this any harder than usual.† I filled the top-right quadrant first, then the bottom-half; it was the top-left I struggled to get a purchase on.

    And add me to the pile of folks who’ve learnt two card game terms today. (Three, come to think of it, including Newmarket from John Bee’s comment.)

    The 5-year-old went back to school yesterday. Which, counter-intuitively gives us even less time than before: still no school for the 7-year-old, so the hours required for home-schooling/childcare are unchanged but we also have to fit in 1½ hours a day of one parent walking to school and back twice (the only entrance open is the one farthest for us) while t’other one is home with the 7yo.

    † But that may an artefact of my measuring difficulty based on how much help I use rather than how long it takes.

  57. Definitely a challenge, and a few clues that don’t work for me. 6d seems to be missing a word for whatever “that” is, 12a seems a poor synonym, if one at all, 15d is too vaguely defined, even if the word is “easy” to see, and 17d doesn’t work for me at all, even now I see what is supposed to be meant. Spoiled an otherwise enjoyable challenge.

  58. Easy at the top. Toughie at the bottom! Would not have got chassis in a ‘month of Sundays.’ Liked the dromedary 🐪.

  59. Goodness me, I must be the only one who had to come back to the NW corner this morning (mainly due to being fixated on folk music) where the rest went in smoothly. But heaps of enjoyment, especially 17d. Loved it! Thankyous to Silvanus and DT.

  60. That was quite hard to finish.
    Needed a little push to get 17d.
    Favourite 16a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the review.

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