DT 29393 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29393

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29393

Hints and tips by Violet Elizabeth Bott

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the soggy heart of Downtown LI where it has rained throughout the night. I really enjoyed today’s crossword and admire the setters craft and wit. Not one raised eyebrow from me and never ever a hmm. (See 21 across) Just an acceptance that the setter can be as beguiling as he or she pleases, as long as I can complete the grid.

One benefit of lockdown is that with no campers I have not mown the camping field for three months. It gives great pleasure to see the various grasses growing tall with seed heads dancing in the breeze. I remember these grasses from my childhood and have looked them up online to find a variety of lovely old names. Yorkshire Fog and Timothy to name but two.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Subtle suggestions in what could be seen as rude sonnet (10)
UNDERTONES: A snazzy little anagram starts us off here. The words RUDE SONNET provide the fodder to play with. The words could be so suggest an anagram.

6a    To sleep rough in rubbish? Not right! (4)
DOSS: A word synonymous with worthless rubbish needs the abbreviation for Right removing

9a    Material your setter’s kept at back of study (5)
DENIM: A contraction of two words your setter might say to hint at his or her existence follows a three-letter study or hideaway

10a    Bodily tissue at a murder looking dreadful (4,5)
DURA MATER: Anagram (looking dreadful) of AT A MURDER. Never heard of it

12a    English fashion set by boy who has private education? (7)
ETONIAN: Begin with the abbreviation for English. Add a word popular with cryptic crossword setters meaning fashion. Add a boy’s name. Which boy? There are hundreds to choose from so you have to do a bit of work to find the right one. That’s what solving a puzzle is all about.

13a    Indian princess managed extremes of elegance (5)
RANEE: A word meaning to have managed a business perhaps is followed by the outer letters of the word elegance

15a    Flying uni flag could be worthwhile (7)
GAINFUL: Anagram (flying) of UNI FLAG.

17a    Try to get place in athletics event (4,3)
SHOT PUT: Two synonyms needed here. One for try or attempt. Another for place

19a    What avoids circumlocution — and is needed in tribunal, no end (7)
CANDOUR: The quality of being open and honest is found by placing the word and from the clue inside a type of tribunal minus its last letter

21a    Time to go to busy places to catch European criminals (7)
THIEVES: The abbreviation for time is followed by a word for some busy places into which another abbreviation has been placed. The abbreviation for European. The busy places are busy indeed at this time of year and if you get close to one and listen you can hear the sound of collective buzzing. A bit like the sound of the blog with all the hmms we have been getting recently

22a    Explosive container brought around by engineers (5)
NITRE: A container for baked beans is reversed and the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers is added

24a    Label for person who perseveres (7)
STICKER: A word for the label a jam maker might put on a jar is also a word applied to one who works diligently and continuously at a task

27a    Relieved from anxiety, being given a new policy? (9)
REASSURED: To be given a new policy by the Pru perhaps – not for a set term but for one’s whole life

28a    Change some controversial terminology (5)
ALTER: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word some indicates thus

29a    Bit of luggage for instance (4)
CASE: A double definition. A bit of luggage should be all you need

30a    Purpose of French band taking circuitous route (10)
MEANDERING: A verb meaning to intend is followed by the French word for of. This is finished off with another word for a circular band


1d    Cancel social gathering of many nations’ representatives? (4)
UNDO: This gathering of many nations is an intergovernmental organisation that aims to maintain international peace and security. Its initials are followed by our usual crosswordland party

2d    Report of comic hero, one growing wild? (9)
DANDELION: A homophone of a popular children’s comic is followed by a stretched synonym of the word hero. The resultant one growing wild is a rather beautiful weed masquerading as a flower

3d    See love — offered by him? (5)
ROMEO: The see here is a Bishopric. The most visited in the Catholic Church. It is followed by the letter representing love in a tennis match. I took Saint Sharon to the See in question for Valentine’s weekend a few years ago and you wouldn’t believe it but the English Rugby team were in town to play the Italian rugby team.

4d    Coppers in out-of-date account (3,4)
OLD BILL: A word meaning out of date is followed by a monetary account or invoice.

5d    Unsettled wanderers — we going off for business trips? (7)
ERRANDS: Anagram (unsettled) of WANDERERS minus the letters WE

7d    Frequently become more mellow, having lost head (5)
OFTEN: Remove the first letter from a word meaning to become more mellow. I’ve only moved the clue about a bit here. I hope that’s enough to help

8d    Ten secrets about what actor may have to go through (6,4)
SCREEN TEST: Anagram (about) of TEN SECRETS

11d    Engineer relaxing in Minorca (7)
MARCONI: Anagram (relaxing in) of MINORCA

14d    Gregory is seen to be so self-centred (10)
EGOCENTRIC: The answer is a description of the central three letters in the word Gregory. Thanks to whoever it was that explained this answer or similar once before. A good memory is a vital aid to any solver

16d    Female puts down plants for decoration maybe (7)
FLOWERS: The abbreviation for Female is followed by a word meaning puts down nearer to the floor.

18d    TV — top aria may be rendered by this tenor (9)
PAVAROTTI: Our millionth anagram today. Anagram (may be rendered) of TOP TV ARIA

20d    Book put to one side (7)
RESERVE: An often used double definition. Need I say more?

21d    Ironed shirt finally sorted out and tested for size? (5,2)
TRIED ON: Anagram (sorted out) of IRONED including the final letter of shirT

23d    Drops bombs (5)
TEARS: A double definition with a free checking letter for 29 across. As both words in the clue are plural it is likely that the answer will end with the letter S. The second definition means to travel at speed

25d    Rogue‘s central part in place of worship, we hear (5)
KNAVE: The central part of a church and an archaic term for a dishonest or unscrupulous man both sound the same (we hear) the one with five letters that fits with the checkers is probably your answer26d    Doctor gets you improving finally — prescribing this? (4)
DRUG: The abbreviation for doctor is followed by the final two letters of the words you and improving

the final letter of the word improving

Solved with a smile. Not a raised eyebrow or a hmm at all. Thank you both setter and editor.

The Quick Crossword pun: knock+terns=nocturnes

129 comments on “DT 29393

  1. I never hmm or raise an eyebrow at a crossword clue – I occasionally write NO by one on the piece of paper as I go along but that’s very rare.

    An enjoyable crossword – my favourite was 2d – thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and Violet Elizabeth – nice to know you didn’t need to scream and scream until …. while you were solving and reviewing the crossword

    1. I’m glad to hear it. I make no notes whatsoever. No pen or pencil to make them with.

    2. I’ll thcweam and thcweam and thcweam until I’m thick! My fave childhood books, Richmal Compton!

  2. Thanks for the review VEB. Did you notice that with 1a, if you swap letters 6 and 8 you have another valid answer (think perfume)? I think with 26d ‘finally’ refers to both the preceding words, otherwise you would need a homophone indicator.

    Not keen on this one – found 24a, 5d, 20d and 23d a bit weak and it took a crowbar to insert 10a. Also the boy in 12a could have been Scottish to make it a little less random.

    But thanks to the setter for providing a nice grid, an easy solve and plenty of clues. Quite a few anagrams but 27a and 14d not bad – and happily no more than the statutory one hidden clue! :)

    1. I’ve altered the hint for 26d so thanks for that. In my defence I did wonder about the lack of a homophone indicator but was being assailed by an over friendly cat walking across my iPad and demanding attention.

  3. Another elegantly straightforward and enjoyable puzzle for a desperately wet and miserable morning. 14d was my COTD, and overall I really liked the style and humour on offer.

    Thank you very much setter, and MP.

  4. After such a good run, I had to come to a sticky end. Even after racking my brains for ***/**** time, I was still three short today, and had to resort to outside help.

I could see the fodder at 10a but didn’t know the answer, I could see a solution for 30a but couldn’t parse it (I thought we needed the ‘ing’ twice), and I was just blind to 24a – DOH!

    Many thanks to the setter and MP

  5. MP, are you sure about your definition for the second half of 23d? BRB says it is a bomb holding a certain kind of gas. I do of course agree it can mean races along too. Perhaps the Setter could step in & explain? Quick finish for me today, 1.5*/3*. Thanks Setter & MP.

    1. Surely it needs the addition of the word ‘shell’ to have the meaning to which you refer?

    2. None of my friends or family or customers would suggest that I am wrong or mistaken in any way or at any time. Even when I am. I have trained them well. I think in this case it is an informal verb meaning to move very quickly as in We were bombing down the road at a breakneck speed.

  6. Back on wavelength today, thank goodness, I fairly rattled through this very enjoyable and fresh offering.
    I thought 14d was brilliant and other podium contenets were 10a (my last one in and light bulb moment when I realised an anagram was involved) plus 29&30 across.
    2/4 *
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for a top review and in particular for the footage of the great Jason Robinson who I remember most fondly gracing the cherry and white of the all conquering Wigan team of the nineties.

  7. I have to confess. I wasn’t sure what “circumlocution” meant, but I had a hunch. I looked the word up in my Bradford, and the first word it stated was “bafflegab”. At that point I knew that my hunch was right. All politicians must be full of it. A lovely puzzle I managed to finish after breakfast early this morning. 2d was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to the alias Violet.

    1. I too was fairly sure but also checked. Am reminded of the punishment received for getting caught talking in prep at boarding school (aged 10) – 100 lines of One ought not to be intoxicated with the exuberance of one’s own verbosity

        1. Very harsh CC – I do hope you didn’t ever set that particular master’s other favourite – For a person of my age and intelligence the writing of these lines ought not to be necessary. I recall having my sentence doubled for impertinence for pointing out that each line was in fact two on account of length.

          1. My harshest effort was to make a lad copy the first paragraph of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity several times. You can’t really do that using mindless repetition. He never re-offended.

            1. Now, THAT was cruel!
              Having said that, the first paragraph does grab the imagination somewhat.

  8. The easiest puzzle of the week for me. Very enjoyable whilst it lasted. Thanks to Miffypops for the explanation for 23d. I couldn’t work out for the life of me where “bombs” came into it. I have some faint recollection of dura mater although, specifically what it is, I have no idea! Favourite 19a. Thanks to the setter also. Not a clue who it is. Anyone know?

  9. We enjoyed this crossword although were unsure whether we had the correct answer for 23D. COTD was 14D. 1.5*/***

  10. Great puzzle full of humour and little tests for this William.l did not know 10 a and had to use a solver just to confirm what it had to be.Thanks for the super blog and to the setter for raising morale on such a dreadful day.

  11. 2d my COTD. Enjoyable puzzle but for me too many anagrams. Never heard of 10a. Thanks to all.

  12. Thank you, M’pops, for the Pavarotti first of all, and I agree with you on your hmm-less and quirky-less assessment of this enjoyable puzzle. I was most amused by 2d–your hint’s allusion, especially–since my first thought was Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, a major ‘comic hero’ in his own right, and who sings, remorsefully, about being a ‘Dxxxxxxxn’! Well, it takes all kinds. Many victors today but the podium winners are 14d, 19a, and 30a. I know that the setter is not Ray T but do we know who it is? Thanks to Ms V.E.Bott and especially to the setter for a great Thursday puzzle. ** / ****

  13. 2d also my favourable in an enjoyable albeit fairly straightforward offering today. Required Mr G to confirm my sorting out of the 10a anagram was correct & there was a bit of head scratching for 14&23d but otherwise plain sailing. With checkers 1, 3 & 5 in place for 2d my initial thought was dangerous because it reminded me of a super clue recently (can’t remember where) which was Treacherous secret agent – not me (9) that brought back memories of the marvellous Terry Scott & David Jason.
    Filthy weather in Harpenden today (good for the golf courses though) so let’s hope the Toughie & Graun are not too difficult.
    Thanks to the setter & MP for the review (had to google your guise)

    1. I bunged in dangerous, then had to remove it because of the checking “i”, so I the invented the word “dandering” for “Dan Dare ing”, meaning getting ones dander up (growing wild). When the checking “n” went in I rubbed out all the unchecked letters, and the correct answer was obvious. The curse of the bung in strikes again.

  14. I started off at a decent rate but slowed down as I reached the SW corner and so a ***/*** for me today.
    Took a while to parse 14d and even longer for last in 20a which I nominate as my favourite with 14d a close second ,third was 10 across for misdirection – a new ’tissue’ for me,
    Thanks to Miss Bott for the pics and our setter for good cluing throughout.

  15. A perfectly acceptable crossword, with 14d being my favourite now that Violet has explained it. Thanks.

    I needed 2 hints: one for the murder scene (by then there’d already been so many anagrams that I, wrongly, presumed I’d encountered them all and stopped looking for them), and t’other to unlock a cluster of crossing answers in the bottom-left corner.

    The brown-bread ice cream went well yesterday (first time I’d ever made ice cream, and I don’t think the 5-year-old had done so before either); thank you to everybody who offered sugar-related wisdom in Tuesday’s comments, and well done to John Bee for correctly guessing the flavour.

    1. Is there a possibility that the 5-year-old has been sneaking out behind your back to do the odd shift at Häagen-Dazs!

      1. Well, I suppose if the children are good enough at sneaking anywhere, I’d be oblivious to it! The 5yo’s name has dots above one of the letters, so I could see them liking Häagen-Dazs because of their dots, or even claiming that only people with dots are allowed to eat it!

  16. More head-scratching than the rest of the week’s offerings, but quite enjoyed it despite being a bit uncertain about some of my answers (all confirmed by VEB, for which thanks). Agree with your interpretation of 23d as referring to speed rather than the gas (which I had an unwelcome whiff of when inadvertently getting too close to an anti-Vietnam war demonstration in Washington DC in the 1970s). Never heard of 10a – there are so many parts of my body that I don’t know the names of (or even that they exist!). Also unfamiliar with the term in 4d. Crosswords are such an education! Not really happy about 12a or 14d. COTD probably 2d.

  17. I completely forgot the bomb in 23d. I must have gone through everyone I could think of but not that one. Oh well!

    A great puzzle and most enjoyable. Many good clues so difficult to pick out a favourite but 2d edges ahead of the rest. My father worked for a company with the name of 11d that looked after the radars on Grimsby trawlers. I never thought of him as an engineer but of course he was.

    Many thanks to the setter and to William’s thorn in his side for the hints.

    1. I have/had a relative who worked for 11d too! I have a complicated family tree but he was probably a great uncle!
      He worked for 11d for ages and spent most of his time at Goonhilly

      1. My father was a radio officer in the “Wavy Navy” during the war and worked on merchant ships in the transatlantic and Russian convoys. After the war, he joined 11d and stayed with them for the whole of his life, which was not long. He survived the convoys but died when I was 18 at the age of 49.
        While he was at sea, he wrote two accounts about his experiences on the convoys. I treasure them to this day.

  18. For me this was a rather pedestrian diversion although there were some witty clues. SE corner last to come to heel. We seem to be getting an increasing number of anagrams these days in spite of there being a dedicated Anagram Puzzle. The 12a school seems to have become a bit of a chestnut. Never heard business trips referred to as 5d. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. 5d are not business trips as such, they are a cryptic definition of “going about your business”, hence the question mark.

        1. Thank you, Angellov. Another word in the vocabulary (If I manage to remember it, that is). 😳

  19. A very enjoyable exercise only spoilt by the hay fever induced, too early solving time.
    My inner pedantic chemist wonders however if the solution to 22a really is an explosive. It is a component of gunpowder as an oxidising agent I.e. it makes it go bang more quickly, but in itself It won’t explode. How nitpicking! 😂
    Thank you as always to all involved.

    1. No it’s not nitpicking. This one flummoxed me for a while as I was looking for an explosive (as in gunpowder) or something descriptive. Like Faraday I was well aware that nitre was a component of gunpowder but not itself an explosive. This literal approach led me off down a blind alley until I realised there could be no other answer. There have one or two other solutions recently which appeared, to me, to have no connection with the definition in the clue. As there were no comments I assumed it must be me.

      1. No I balked at this. As you and others say, M the B, it is not an explosive in itself. I remember mixing it with charcoal and sulphur as a lad. I also made the very unstable ammonium tri-iodide. The latter would explode just by touching it. Such thing would not get past “Elf n Safetee” today.

      2. I initially had NITRO as I did not think that the answer was explosive.

    2. I am innocent of all charges M’lud I only wanted the Nitre/Saltpetre to rub into my meat!

      I used to know a chap who every Christmas cured a fillet of beef by rubbing sugar/juniper and saltpetre into a fillet of beef. He usually started about bonfire night and rubbed the mixture on the fillet every day. By Christmas it was a withered black lump albeit very tasty.

  20. This week’s straightforward streak continues, although I did need to check 10a. Another vote for 2d. Thanks all.

  21. Very nice puzzle 😃 **/**** 10a was new to me but too much knowledge can be a burden 😉 Favourites were 30a and 11d. Thanks to Ms Bott and to the Setter I have this mental picture of her skipping through a field of 2d 😳 The “drought” has definitely ended here in the East ⛈

  22. Very enjoyable and a reasonable challenge, no hmms or skyward eyebrows here, just a happy solver
    Many thanks to setter and MP

    Brendan/Virgilius is on top form in the Graun today with another cracker

  23. I enjoyed this fairly straightforward puzzle (2*/3.5*). Iiked 14d, 19a and 23d ( alrhough it took a while for the penny to drop for the latter. Many thanks to Violet Elizabeth for the hints (and no thqueaminb or being thick either). Thanks to the unknown setter.

    1. Lots of words to look up today – Eroteme being one 10a being two more and thqueaminb being the next but just as I type this I remembered VEB’s utterances.

  24. I enjoyed this crossword by and large but must again point out that 22a is not an explosive but a mineral form of a chemical, albeit one of the constituents of blackpowder. ***/***. Thanks to all concerned.

  25. Can’t make up my mind if 14d is the cleverest clue I have ever come across or the stupidest!
    Thx for the hints

    1. Had time to think about it and with the truly awful standard of this puzzle, my opinion is the latter.

      1. I strongly disagree with you and IMHO you are not abiding by the etiquette.

          1. To misquote Disraeli how about ‘ I must not be inebriated by the exuberance of my own verbosity’ times 20. Brian can compare himself to Gladstone while he is writing them.

        1. I agree with you a bit – but he’s just being Brian!
          He believes in “Saying it like it is” – ie just being honest and truthful – one of my sister’s slightly irritating expressions!

          1. I wonder if he is the same face to face. We may never know unless he chooses to grace the annual gathering. I do often find that many people are quick to criticise on social media, blogs etc but would rarely do so face to face.

          2. No, he’s saying it how he believes it. “Tell it like it is” for Brian is not how others would “tell it like it is”.
            I actually find myself looking forward to Brian’s comments. However, I do not agree with him today. Setters deserve respect from us and not derision.

        2. Enjoying the irony that 14d is the issue
          If I remember my psychology correctly it’s called Projection – the accuser is often the culprit

            1. Yes, I suppose so, and ‘He who denied it supplied it’ etc, strangely tangential to ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’

              1. who’s watching the custard?
                Maybe it was Smyler as his ( and child’s) Ice Cream froze!

      2. My best day for about six weeks – all present and correct in xxxxxxxxxxx I should perhaps explain that my wife and I decided to see if we could crack cryptics once she retired – starting out with C.Dexter’s little book. After about 2 years we could complete about 3 out of 5 . My wife knew plants, cookery, chemistry and Latin. I knew planets, satellites and obscure slang. We both fought the anagrams. Well my wife died suddenly in February and I couldn’t face this on my own until a good few weeks had gone by. So now if I can finish totally once a week I count it as a victory! Meanwhile thanks to the Big Dave site for friendly encouragement – as I’m back on the learning curve.

        1. Well done Danby. Sorry to hear about your loss. It must be devastating to lose one’s partner. I’m pleased the cryptic puzzles are helping you. One small but important point though, we don’t mention solving times so as not to discourage others who may be taking a slower route to the solution. Please keep commenting.

        2. Sorry to hear you lost your wife, Danby. It is difficult. Mrs. C is very much alive but we both lost a very dear friend recently and it does hurt. Keep tackling the puzzles and keep posting so we know how you’re getting on. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

      3. I respect your right to make the observation about the puzzle, but can you at least explain why you thought it was ‘truly awful’?

        1. Very often when somebody heavily criticises a particular clue it is simply that they don’t get it. I always think twice before putting something down which then makes me look an idiot. I am not saying that this is the case here as difficult to understand. It certainly does not help if the criticism dished out is not constructive. I admit to being on the fence on this one. On reflection 14d is a clever clue but not one that appealed to me as, although, I got the answer I would never have been able to parse it.

  26. 3*/4*…
    liked 19A “what avoids circumlocution — and is needed in tribunal, no end (7)”

    1. Nice to see you managing a ‘same day’ comment, Robin. Hope you’re faring OK in these decidedly unpleasant times?

      1. Surviving OK thanks !
        Hope all is well with you…
        Do the puzzle on line now, which has changed my modus operandi a tad.

  27. I was euphoric at having finished yesterday’s toughie in the bath last night but somewhat confused now by all the noms de plume popping up. What worries me is that St Sharon comes out of all this as being somewhat, dare I say it, promiscuous in her living arrangements. Either she really IS a saint to put up with the constant uncertainty of knowing where she is or the term is euphemistic and she is no better than she should be. This all boils down to a sort of lockdown fever and as one who was born with two circumflex eyebrows which are permanently in the raised position may I just say I enjoyed the crossword and love the blog despite expressing a hmmm at the dubious characters coming out of the woodwork. Lisping V. E. B indeed.

    1. I have met Sharon plus have a fair idea of what she has to put up with from the many with many names, and if there is an honour higher than sainthood, she should certainly be first in the queue to be awarded one

      1. Thanks Sue. As I thought, another woman who has to put up with a lot. Yesterday George asked me what I was going to get the gardener started on. Weeding, I replied. Weeping? He queried. I rest my case.

        1. I wouldn’t mind a weeping gardener – any sort would do me. I’m glad VEB is enjoying the many ancient grasses – my allotment neighbours aren’t enjoying the many and varied seedheads. And what has happened to raspberries?

          1. We’ve been eating them from the garden for the last couple of days, together with strawberries, the first of the runner beans, courgettes and the last of the asparagus (not all on the same plate!).

            1. The gooseberries and black currants are there but not yet ready which I put down to very very very dry followed by very very wet. No veg in ground yet, but plenty in pots ready, kept in the garden. I see a new allotment near-neighbour has put 10 courgette plants into an 8’x4’ plot. That should be fun in a few weeks……… Our first year we grew 36 runner bean plants – also fun…..( not)

              1. Oh, gooseberries, how I yearn! My friends in Somerset used to keep a Bush with my name on it for when I visited, ah, the days. I can barely walk the length of the house much less fly across the Atlantic!

            2. Have had a good quantity of strawberries and there are hundreds of tayberries and a good crop of gooseberries coming. The rain is much needed.

        2. Daisy, that really made me laugh! My husband has no idea how the washing machine works. I suspect he thinks the fairies come in the night to do it. Bless them.

    2. Saint Sharon has been busy in the pouring rain emptying our fishpond, cleaning it and getting it over to our new house where she filled it and put the little fishes back none the worse for their ordeal. All done in the rain. Of course she had my full support

  28. Good puzzle thank you setter and MF – 2d was my favourite but was thrown for a while by 27a when I assumed the answer was ‘recovered’ … oh dear once an idea emerges it is so hard to undo …

  29. Quite a few people have said they haven’t heard of 10a – including Violet Elizabeth (although I guess she has now, otherwise it would be quite difficult to get all the vowels in the right order…)
    We all have cause to be grateful to the designer, however, since, just like a good butcher or fishmonger, three layers of wrapping (of which 10 is the toughest) keeps the delicate and important contents safe from outside forces. Luckily we also have a further couple of layers (one really hard) to keep everything from leaking all over the floor.
    It’s a bit like PPE really……….

    The puzzle overall was quite enjoyable, so thanks to the setter -took me a while to get on the wavelength. And to VEB for 23d, where it was bung-city before I got to the hints.

    1. Unfortunately we are closely acquainted with 10a as George has over the last three years had three major squamous growths removed from his scalp. All Hail to Addenbrookes plastic surgery department!

      1. I hope this is the last of it Daisy And that he’s well ……I’ve had something in the meninges for the same period , which I am watching and waiting, as they say.

  30. This was enjoyable from start to finish10 across was new to me, I liked 12 across but joint COTD was 2 & 14 down, thank you to Mysteron and Violet Elizabeth from Just William I believe but I always will stand to correction.

    Stay safe everyone

  31. A solid crossword. I particularly liked 2dn (when it dawned) and 16ac.

    Who is the setter?

    Thanks to whomever and MP for confirming 23dn.

  32. An enjoyable puzzle: all solved bar 23d and I’m still not totally convinced by tears for drops but I do now see bombs in the sense that’s been explained. It’s probably me being a bit thick. I liked 2d (a popular flower for the bees) and 19a but my favourite is 30a. Another cold, wet and windy day in Leeds – truly awful for summer (allegedly). Thanks to the compiler and VEB for the entertaining hints.

  33. Very enjoyable puzzle good for sitting in conservatory eatching the rain, there was no point in hurrying today. Lots of great clues today. Thanks for Pavarotti.
    I always find it a bit disheartening when people criticise puzzles, I may be out on a limb here, but could they do better. Sorry rant over.
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter

    1. There seems to been a strong spike in the level of criticism recently. (Although BD filters out the worst of it) The raised eyebrows and hmms are appearing every day. Of course if you call the setter out you are also criticising our crossword editor who must raise in own eyebrows at certain comments. It’s only a crossword puzzle. A pastime. A daft but pleasing way to pass the time. If only people would lighten up.

      1. It’s very sad that so many followed the leader by using “Hmm” in their comments.

        The next thing we will see is them using “Howler”.

        A bit more respect for the setters would be most welcome.

  34. I enjoyed this one very much.
    Pretty straightforward with lots of anagrams – no complaints about that – I like them and in a difficulty crossword sometimes it’s the only ‘way in’, not that today’s was ever going to be tricky.
    My last one was 23d – probably one of the easiest clues – dim!
    I couldn’t ‘see’ 30a for far too long and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen 13a spelt like that.
    I particularly liked 19a and 2d. My favourite was 14d which I thought was really clever.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and too MPVEB.
    So much rain – all last night and the whole of today as well. Hurray – we really needed it.

  35. Thanks for explaining 14d!!!
    Disappointed not to see a video of Feargal and the rest of the crew for 1a, absolutely loved the Undertones in my youth…just to show a balance, I loved the video of Pavarotti, brings back memories of Gazza, Chris Waddle hitting the post in extra time against the West Germans, and Toto Scillache’s wide-eyed stare. Italia 90, there never were such times.
    To the crossword…enjoyable and reasonably tricky, I though, though on reflection, I’m not sure why.
    Thanks MP and the setter.

      1. Yep, a John Peel (a hero of mine) favourite
        Did you watch buzz last night? Mine did…

      2. Thanks for that – a real blast from the past.
        When the Undertones split several members went on to form That Petrol Emotion but we always called them…
        Matt Vinyl Emulsion

        1. I missed the chance to see The Undertones, after I spent all my money seeing the Clash at Brixton Academy. A lifetime of regrets…

          1. Don’t have regrets. The Undertones were pretty good but The Clash in London is a better notch on the bedpost IMO

      3. I was listening to John Peel when he introduced The Undertones. He did more to promote new bands than anyone.

        1. I’ve got a hmmm. But it was aimed at the Other One who tries to muscle in on my crossword and impose his thoughts. He got 12a but reckoned the fashion was the Eton Collar. Can someone please explain why “ton” signifies “fashion”? Have I missed something???

          1. Welcome to the blog

            Ton is a word that means fashion or people of fashion. An originally French word not used so much these days except in crosswords. If you’ve ever read a Georgette Heyer book, she used it a lot.

    1. A clip for 1 across was a bit too obvious and I only know their hits so people will hear them anyway.

  36. I enjoyed today’s puzzle a lot. 10a needed a quick check from Mr. G but the rest was rather good. I am not enough of a chemist or high explosive expert to join the debate on 22a but I have heard of the answer in relation to explosives before and that is close enough for government work (and crosswords) for me.
    thanks to Violet and setter.
    I am doing reasonably well at the toughie too but 22a caused a knee jerk fright or flight response.

    1. I agree about 22a in the Toughie. Sinking heart moment as said compiler is on duty tomorrow! Very clever puzzles but I never get anywhere with them.

  37. Completed alone and unaided with the exception of 23d, so thanks for the hint, Miffypops.
    Cannot say that I think tears means either drops or bombs, but what do I know?
    Thanks to the setter and to Violet Elizabeth for the hints.

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

  38. I really enjoyed this but I found it a little on the tricky side, especially in the SW. Part of my history involved medical transcription so 10a was a quick solve.
    I couldn’t solve a few in the SW as I put “recovered” in 27a, believe me there’s no English word starting with “f” and ending in “v”. I couldn’t see 23d either.
    My fave is a coin toss between 2d and 14d, though I needed the hints to know the “why” for 14d, how clever was that!
    Thanks to our setter, that was fun, and to my friend Elithabeth Bott for the entertainment!

  39. Another lovely day in crossword land. Unlike SF where the rain is pouring down. Big thanks to setter, I very much enjoyed today’s challenge. Was quite excited to begin with, as it looked as if I would be finishing without any hints etc. But then needed help for 22a. I was fixated on the container being can, plus re for the engineers, despite knowing very well that nacre is mother of Pearl, and in no way explosive. Didn’t know nitre anyway (nor does my iPad apparently) although of course I know nitroglycerin. Had reinsured for 27a. I was always taught you take out an insurance policy, but give assurance. Thanks to the very mischievous MP for setting me straight. Would love to see a picture of that field of flowering grasses.

  40. I’m not sure where I sit with this as parts were really obscure and others straightforward. I parsed all but 19a and 14d somehow, so thanks to MP for that. Favourite was 30a. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  41. This actually was not my favourite crossword, but I accept it is a wavelength thing and perhaps today I was not in the right mood. I liked 27a and 4 and 25d. Like Kath the latter held me up and It should not have done. I think I forget about the kn letter combination and I could not think of a word that would fit. Also I was looking for a place of worship rather than something to be found in said place of worship. My fault, not the setter’s. I was misdirected in 4d by expecting to find cu or cus somewhere. Thanks setter and to he (or is it she) who provided the hints.

  42. I found this one quite tricky but, happily, all of my parsing questions and other quibbles have all been answered either by VEB or lovely commenters above. 10a was completely new to me but when I mentioned to the Good Lady earlier she offered to give me a full lecture on the subject (she works for the NHS). I declined, gracefully.
    I didn’t complete the crossword outside today due to it being winter in June, so next door’s cat snoozed on the sofa as I went about my task. Now it is several hours later and she is STILL dozing, this time below my desk, which seems to be one of her favoured spots. Cats have quite the life.
    Thanks to everyone. Yes – including you… and you.

  43. Took me a while to solve this one as I started on the top half ok, but hit a brick wall as I entered the bottom. Decided to go for a bike ride and blow the cobwebs away and instead cycled into the cottonwood Blowing around and still coming down. Great for the allergies. Anyway, settled into the garden in the sun 🌞 and the light came on and finished in the same time as the top practically.
    Had to look up hints for 10a though. Unknown to me until now.
    Favourites today were19a 21a 2d & 21d … winner 2d that I remember from childhood in England.

    Thanks to setter and MP

  44. I’m kicking myself very hard after this. I put my lack of success down to not getting on the right wavelength and eventually gave up with only about 50% complete. Having reviewed the answers I should have done much better. Thanks to setter and VE for the challenge and clues.

  45. Got there eventually, all except the bombs that is. I couldn’t fathom ton either but everything else fitted so it had to be. Great puzzle, all the more satisfying when it’s not over too quickly (😳). Really ‘lolled’ at Violet’s hint for 3d! Tvm to all concerned.

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