DT 29394 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29394

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29394

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where it’s still grey and damp.

Today’s puzzle did not present any particular difficulty for me, though I suppose we will get the usual complaints from those who object to Biblical references.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Number on University Challenge team notice one’s slept in (4-6)
FOUR-POSTER – The number of people who make up a team on University Challenge followed by an advertising notice stuck to the wall, giving us a type of bed.

Four-poster bed - Wikipedia

6a           Long gradient with no parking (4)
ITCH – Remove the symbol for a car park from the front of another word for gradient or slope.

9a           Patriarch‘s account in prophetic book (5)
JACOB – The usual abbreviation for ‘account’ is placed inside an Old Testament book recounting the trials of someone whose patience is proverbial, giving us an Old Testament patriarch, son of Isaac.

10a         Affection’s gone west — moving out in progress (9)
EVOLUTION – Reverse (gone west) another word for affection, then add an anagram (moving) of OUT IN.

12a         The French bird over country seeing all the wildlife (6,7)
ANIMAL KINGDOM – Put together one of the forms of the French definite article and a talking bird, reverse the result (over), then add a word for a country ruled by a monarch.

14a         One questioning what’s in mailbag — no stickers? (8)
AGNOSTIC – Hidden in the clue.

15a         Long dull passage covered in loose rock, apparently (6)
SCREED – This word for a long piece of writing could also be a participle created by back-formation from a word for a slope of loose pieces of weathered rock found at the foot of a cliff or mountain.

17a         Modern work — revolutionary work with character (3,3)
POP ART – Reverse (revolutionary) the Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work, then add a character or role on stage.

How Lichtenstein's "Whaam!" Became a Monumental Symbol of Pop Art ...

19a         Propeller engineer carries west (8)
AIRSCREW – Anagram (engineer) of CARRIES, followed by West.

21a         One starts a speech that another puts a stop to (9,4)
QUOTATION MARK – Cryptic definition of a piece of punctuation used to indicate direct speech.

24a         I had to restrain rattier drunk becoming angry (9)
IRRITATED – The short form of ‘I had’ wrapped round an anagram (drunk) of RATTIER.

25a         Playwright in limbo, seeing odd characters cut (5)
IBSEN – Alternate letters of lImBo SeEiNg.

26a         Part or whole read aloud (4)
SOME – Another word for a part of something which sounds like (read aloud) a word for the total.

27a         Biscuit trademark with flower rejected (6,4)
BRANDY SNAP – A manufacturer’s identifying mark followed by the reverse (rejected) of a flower also known as a viola.

Lyle's Superior Brandy Snaps | Lyle Golden Syrup


1d           Juliet visiting France, Italy, India and another country (4)
FIJI – Put together the IVR codes for France and Italy and the letter represented by India in the NATO alphabet, then insert the letter represented by Juliet in the NATO alphabet.

2d           Row after meeting of countries leads to release (7)
UNCHAIN – The initials of an international forum, followed by a row or series of linked occurrences.

3d           Bar very piercing clarinets, playing as one in the town hall? (6,7)
PUBLIC SERVANT – Another word for a bar or inn followed by an anagram (playing) of CLARINETS with Very inserted.

4d           Film outline in which arsenic wrecked love (8)
SCENARIO – Anagram (wrecked) of ARSENIC followed by the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

5d           Something for the mind that’s offered in a tablet? (1-4)
E-BOOK – The tablet here is an iPad or similar, and the answer refers to reading material made available on such a tablet.

7d           Twirl in tango with violin, losing head (7)
TWIDDLE – Put together the letter represented by Tango in the NATO alphabet, With, and another word for a violin with its first letter removed.

8d           Cast-off worker sad to receive note (4-2-4)
HAND-ME-DOWN – A factory worker and another word for ‘sad’, placed either side of ‘the name I call myself’ in the sol-fa scale.

11d         In clues, yearns to be funny, superfluously (13)
UNNECESSARILY – Anagram (to be funny) of IN CLUES YEARNS.

13d         Moist sea creatures British caught, not Germany — they won’t go off (4,6)
DAMP SQUIBS – Start with another word for moist, add some sea creatures with many tentacles, then replace the IVR code for Germany with British, to get some failing fireworks.

16d         Leo, maybe journalist, definitely not up to be recruited (6,2)
SIGNED ON – Put together something of which Leo (or Aquarius) is an example, the usual crossword journalist, and the reverse (up) of a word for ‘definitely not’.

18d         Computer aid for good memory (7)
PROGRAM – Put together the Latin word for ‘for’. Good¸ and the acronym for a type of computer memory.

20d         Revolutionise karaoke to collect rising gains (5,2)
RAKES IN – Hidden in reverse (rising) in the clue).

22d         Bury theatrical writer misses opening (5)
INTER – Remove the first letter of the author of The Birthday Party.

23d         Bargain brooches sent to the north (4)
SNIP – Reverse (to the north) another word for brooches or the way they are attached.

And finally, a fond farewell to the superstar my late father always referred to as ‘Vera Grim’


The Quick Crossword pun VERSE + EYE = VERSAILLES

105 comments on “DT 29394

  1. I would agree with DTs assessment, and rate it as **/*** today. Nothing startled the horses, and I didn’t mark a single clue as either ‘hmmm?’ or ‘good one’.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this rather quirky, light and fun puzzle. On first read through I thought it was going to be quite tough but its bark proved much harsher than its bite. I liked 6 and 27a but easily my favourite was 13d
    Many thanks to the setter (ProXimal?) and to DT for the entertainment.

  3. This was certainly easier to handle than last Friday’s puzzle (2*/2.5*). I still find the clues of this compiler fairly impenetrable. However, I do seem to be able to guess the answers once I have a few checkers in and reverse engineer the parsing. It’s not quite as satisfying but from the reviews by others, I guess the problem is probably something to do with me not being on the right wave length I liked the anagram at 11d but found the synonym for row in 2d a bit of a stretch. Perhaps it’s because I am used to knitting in rows and doing crochet in chains? Thanks to DT for some much needed explanations and to the compiler.

  4. This one did not hold me up this morning as I fairly rattled through it. I did like the reverse lurker at 20d and 18d was neat and concise, but my favourite was 3d.

    Thanks to our Friday setter and DT.

  5. 2*/3.5*. I found this light but enjoyable. I suspected this might be a proXimal production until I reached the end and, as well as no X, I could also not find a Z so it’s just a pang today. Hence I am going to guess that Zandio set this one.

    I am a bit puzzled by the all-in-one definition for 5d.

    13d was my favourite with 3d in second place.

    Many thanks to Zandio (?) and to DT.

    RIP Vera Lynn. What a wonderful lady.

    1. I was trying to find a place for a ‘Z’ in my last couple in to justify ProXimal….may still be him but I think Zandio is a good call.

  6. Certainly a different ‘feel’ to todays puzzle and after a quick scan nothing much revealed itself!
    However, plan B, a scattergun approach, was applied and this stratagem produced a framework which I really enjoyed filling in.
    Difficult to assess today but going for a **/****,lots of clever cluing and no obscurities or old chestnuts, liked 1a,8d,21a- I could go on,
    Thanks setter for the fun and DT for the blog pics particularly 17a,I remember seeing this pop art picture in an exhibition at the National Gallery in the 1970’s together with Mr Warhol’s Cambells soup tins and Ms Monroe portraits-happy days.

    1. Should have bought a Warhol for £400 round about then. I bought a house for £2,600 instead

  7. No problems with this one today. There have been plenty of visitors from 12a (favourite clue) in my garden this week, including several rabbits, pheasants, Mildred the duck, a muntjac and a rather large fox. Repairing a hole in the hedge will make no difference. Some of the creatures just dig their way back. That’s part of the problem of backing onto an orchard. Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  8. As usual I enjoyed this puzzle while listening to the dawn chorus. Solved but couldn’t see the whys and wherefores of the propeller. 15 across takes me straight to Wasdales wonderful scree slopes and seeing just how fast we could get down them. Something I’ve only recently stopped doing. I don’t know we averted serious injuries. The gay abandon of childhood youth and a man that refuses to grow up. Thanks to the setter for the memory and to DT whose musical choices always amuse play nicely children and I will see you all after the weekend

  9. That was fun! Very gentle for a Friday back pager, completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 17a and 27a – and the winner is 27a (even though it might be an oldie but goodie).
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  10. I found this entertaining but will leave plenty of time for Elgar which I already know I will need. I circled 1a and 27a as clues which I enjoyed. Thanks to today’s setter and DT.

  11. Straightforward for a Friday I thought. Pleasant with nothing too difficult or controversial. **/***.
    Like lurkers so 14a my COTD.
    Thanks to setter and Falcon for review & musical hint for 2d. Must be one of the most covered songs around.

    1. Apologies DT for wrong attribution. Easy to mix up S. Staffs & Ottawa? Well I can!

      1. Hi LROK,
        I’m trying to get my head round this new handicapping system. I hope the club’s computer can understand it, because I don’t!!

        1. Hoofs
          I will send you a Power Point explanation via Big Dave on the system I did for some clubs in S. Wales.
          It is very big so will split it into 3.
          Of course they are running the new one in parallel at the minute. Your official WHS Handicap you won’t get until later in year.
          You were about 8 before it should be about the same. Unless you have a declining handicap that is, then it will be higher.

          1. I’ve been entering scores on the HNA app for the last couple of years in South Africa. You soon get used to the system & it’s also excellent inasmuch as you can see how many strokes you will receive playing off the forward/senior tees – needed sometimes when members are 7,000 yds +.

            1. Huntsman,
              The system in SA changed from the old SAGA system to the WHS last November or so. It now incorporates Slope adjustment. Also handicaps are adjusted for Par, something that I, and a number of other handicappers do not feel appropriate. The subject is complex & I know from contact and research that the changes aren’t yet really understood by some.

  12. This took a fair bit of unraveling especially the piercing clarinets in 3d. It took me far too long to spot the lurker in 14a and nearly as long to work out the French bird in 12a. Not really my flavour today. Favourite 13d. Thanks to all.

  13. Really enjoyed that light and undemanding exercise of which the North part came on board before the South. 13d was my fun Fav. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  14. Did quite well on this one until I got to the propeller…..missed the anagram completely (how?) And as engineering is yet another enormous gap in my knowledge I could not guess the answer. Sigh…. Mind you, wait till the knitting questions come up….

    Thank you to DT for explaining the D in 15a. It had to be what is was but I hadn’t thought if the loose rock as a verb.
    But all in all a nice start to my day.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat

    1. If it’s any consolation I solved the propeller clue from the definition and checkers but could not parse it. Engineering is commonly used as an anagram indicator so it should have been a piece of cake. Couldn’t see for looking.

      1. I couldn’t solve that one, despite having several propellers in our house (Mr BL flies RC planes and always needs spares for mishaps).

    2. I totally missed the 19a anagram too, but solved it without quite understanding why. Otherwise relatively straightforward for Friday fare, and certainly enjoyable. Favourite probably 18d.

      1. Thank you all….don’t feel quite so stupid now. This will not last…..😊

  15. More like a Wednesday puzzle than Friday one. Thanks to the setter and to DT

    13d reminds me of my mother-in-law who never got a word right if she could get it wrong and always referred to things that didn’t go off as damp squids!

    1. Haha – my sister in law uses the same phrase. And was staying with us when Indira Ghandi was assassinated, good gracious she said, but she’s not dead is she?

    2. I accidentally put damp squids as the answer so as bad as your mother-in-law. My late mother-in-law was rather like Hyacinth Bucket but one favourite was her quiche (pronounced Kweech),

  16. I found this difficult so am out of step with everyone else who has commented thus far. It took me ages to get into it and I needed a few hints to help me over the finish line. I just could not get on the setter’s wavelength. Still, it was a well crafted puzzle and I do have a couple of favourites – 13d and the lurkers.

    Many thanks to the setter and also DT for the much needed hints.

    RIP Dame Vera.

    1. You are not alone. I’m not on this setter’s wave length either. I often get as many clues as I can, then rely on guesswork and the checkers to find the solution and reverse engineer the whys and wherefores.

    2. I also found it more difficult than most, but not fiendish. I’d say a three star rather than a two star.

  17. An enjoyable Friday solve. The lurkers were well hidden. Thanks to my solving buddy ‘Bangalore King’ for the hints. I thought we were in for a panagram when 13a went in but it wasn’t to be. I’m not really sure a brandy snap is biscuit but it does come round from time to time. My COTD, 10a. Thanks to the setter and DT for the extras, especially the music. Vale Vera. I’m old enough to remember Arthur Daily’s drink at the Winchester Club was often a ‘Vera Lynn and Philharmonic’. A good way to toast her memory🦇

    1. There are three ways of spelling this bird – the H goes on the one where you put a Y instead of the I

      1. Thanks, Sue. I’d guessed that was what it must be, but I hadn’t seen that spelling before, and Oxford Dictionaries doesn’t have it either. (Or rather, they do, but only for the old currency. Maybe the bird’s named after the currency?)

        1. It’s in the BRB but I spent ages looking on the internet and couldn’t find anywhere before referring to the aforementioned tome.

  18. Like some others I thought this was going to be more difficult than it turned out to be. I did enjoy it though. Too many good clues to mention but my favourite is 13d. Thanks to the compiler and DT: re 15a I had to check out the word “back-formation” and still not sure I understand what it means. The sun’s out at last – instant cheeriness.

  19. The sort of back pager I enjoy. Not too hard, no obscurities and I mostly agree with the synonyms. **/****
    Thanks both

  20. Still raining gently in Cambridge which is doing the vegetables a power of good. I found that a nice, interesting solve – we had a couple of playwrights, a biblical reference or two and an almost pangram. My father, who spent the war years with the 17th/21st Lancers, thought Vera Lynn was wonderful – what a trouper. (He was also very fond of using the word Gubbins – see last night’s Toughie!)

    1. Hello fellow Cantabrigian (assuming Cambs UK not Cambs MA USA?!). Rain is doing our veg patch (and the roses) the power of good although I’m not so keen on it for the dog walks! Still, they say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes…

  21. Oh and sorry, thanks to DT and the setter. I see Violet Elizabeth is still with us!

  22. Really enjoyed this one, especially after yesterday’s which I couldn’t get on with at all. Completed in * time for me, which for the rest of you would be *** or **** , still the main thing is to enjoy it , no sense in doing them if you don’t. Have fun people, we will laugh about all this in ten years time🙄🥴. Thanks to all.

  23. I had quite mixed feelings about this one although I probably didn’t have my crossword brain in gear having learnt last night that my younger daughter had just given birth to the one I’d longed for – a granddaughter!
    My favourite in this puzzle was 13d – despite the fact that nothing in life seems to be that way at the moment.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review and in particular, the clip of The Righteous Brothers.

    1. Congratulations, Jane. I hope you get to meet your new grandchild before too long. 2d-ed Melody also cropped up on PopMaster this morning.

    2. Congratulations, Jane. Having never had a daughter myself, my mischievous little pickle of a grand-daughter is a great delight. I’m sure yours will be too.

    3. Jane
      Congrulations to new Mum and old Mum. You should have a joy for life! I envy you.

    4. How marvellous- congratulations. I only have grandsons – I love them dearly but they didn’t take kindly to dolls and pink frocks. They did enjoy learning to cook though.

    5. Congratulations. Grandsons are great but there’s slightly more fun to be had buying girlie clothes :)

    6. Congratulations from me also. Spoil her rotten while you can, pretty dresses, dolls etc. They grow up so quickly, ours is starting college next week and I can no longer buy her clothes….

    7. Many thanks to all of you for your congratulations, I shall pass them on to the young lady who did all the hard work along with her long-suffering husband who possibly hadn’t appreciated just what a home birth would entail!

      I fear that it could be quite a while until I get to meet the new arrival ‘in the flesh’ but the fact that both she and Mum are fine is enough for now.

  24. That surprised me — it went in in one session, without any hints. I can’t remember when that last happened (but it was definitely Before Lockdown), so that’s the most on-wavelength I’ve been with a puzzle for ages. Thank you to the setter. It’d be lovely to know who you are, so I can look out for your puzzles in future.

    My favourites was 27a’s rejected flower; I also liked the long 6a and 14d’s revolutionary karaoke.

    Thank you to Deep Threat for blogging.

  25. Let me start by thanking Chris Lancaster for editing what for me has been a great week for challenging but humerous puzzles.This was right up there with the others.I had put elocution for 10 a until l noticed the reverse indicator For that reason that would be my clue of the day.Thanks to setter and D.T.

    1. I intended making this comment a long time ago but never have for some unknown reason. Every time I see your “nom de plume” it makes me smile, which in the current virus situation is such an important thing. So thank you.

  26. Another good day! A couple of pictures that I didn’t think I could hang successfully still appear safely fixed to the wall, an hour spent reading to the grandchildren without Caribu crashing and a Friday crossword completed without recourse to the hints! Thank you to the setter for ending a long series of Friday failures. I’m inspired to try to tackle some more of the tasks that I find difficult whilst the going is good!

  27. What a difference a day makes! Found this puzzle a pleasant solve with few cobwebs (don’t mention 9a) and even a couple from this century! 12a and 21a worth an honourable mention, with 3d (not 27a) taking the biscuit. Two hidden, but as one was reversed I’ll overlook it. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  28. Not my favourite today. Before anyone shouts at me, that’s down to me not the setter. Just did not seem to get going.
    All done, except for 19a as I missed the anagram indicator, even though it was obvious what the last five letters were.
    Thanks all.

    1. Join the long list of those who missed the anagram indicator at 19 across

      1. Me too only spotted it after I had concluded the answer. I always think it is a bit of an Americanism, but that may just be me. In any case, given I spent 25 years in the aviation industry I really have no excuse. If anyone is interested – though why should you be – that is also the root of my nom de plume. Anyway good crossword many thanks to setters and hinters been a good week.

  29. I found my self getting into this crossword right away, I liked 1 down and 12 across but my COTD was 25 across which I normally have trouble with that type of clue, i reread the parsing and it finally penetrated my brain, but it was me not Deep Threats parsing, so onward to toughie land.

    Have a nice weekend everyone TTFN

    Thank you to the Setter and Deep Threat

  30. An enjoyable romp for a Friday, lengthened only because I failed for ages to deal with the 3d clarinets, not helped by having the whole of the first word as the ‘bar’! Enjoyed the music clips, but wondered where the other Brother was, and why the other Dubliners were not credited …

  31. This was all fine until I hit the SW corner. Then I came to a stop. Eventually all was well and I too particularly liked 13d. Good fun ***/*** and here in Kent we are still praying for rain. Will it ever come?

  32. Very pleasant Friday puzzle, with plenty to enjoy. Finished it last night before looking at the Toughie and shuddering. It’s been a very good cryptic week for me, with today’s having a special flair of its own. 2d held me up just a bit; otherwise, a fast finish. Standouts: 13d, 3d, 9a. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter. ** / ***

    Juneteenth here in America. 139 new virus cases in my county alone yesterday, and the DoDo in DC pretends the plague never existed. He of course had never heard of Juneteenth, and according to the new Bolton book, asked if Finland was part of Russia…speaking of Damp Squibs.

    Loved Vera Lynn.

    1. New virus cases in Florida yesterday was 3,800+, how are we ever going to stop it if these idiots won’t wear a mask. It’s all follow-my-leader isn’t it. I wish we’d had someone of stronger moral fibre write the exposé book, who is going to believe him?

      1. That is a heck of a lot of new cases. I sometimes think the virus is just waiting for us all to become complacent and lower our guard. The easing of lockdown continues in the UK so we will have to see what the next few months bring. My liver consultant rang me on Wednesday and told me that, even after lockdown ends, I should remain shielded.
        Apparently, the virus is always going to be with us and we should all be careful until an effective vaccine is developed.
        Thank goodness for the DT crossword! 👍

  33. I see that I am in the minority, this was a bit of a stinker for me, just couldn’t get my head around it. Maybe its the weather, the phase of the moon or just could not get on the setters wavelength.
    Nevertheless thanks to DT and setter.

  34. What a lovely end to the week 😃 **/**** Favourites 1 & 21a and 3d 🤗 Thanks for the music DT and of course the blog and to the Setter 👍

  35. */***. This was the fastest completion of a puzzle this year, well crafted and enjoyable. Right up my street! I thought we were in for a pangram or proXimal after getting 1d&13d straight away. Not to be though. Thanks to whoever the setter is and to DT for the review.

  36. Hello, compiler here. Thanks for the discussion. Someone asked where is the other Righteous Brother on ‘Unchained Melody’? The story I’ve long believed was that Bill Medley wasn’t impressed with the idea of them remaking an old Fifties crooner song, and said, “I’m not singing that.” Also it wasn’t planned as a single. So Bobby Hatfield sang it solo. However, Wikipedia says Hatfield won the right to sing it after a coin toss, so my version is probably an urban myth — funny if true, though. Thanks again. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks – that was me! I’ve always liked that version of the song but unless I saw it years ago on TotP, I hadn’t twigged it was a solo. I remember them on there doing ‘Loving feeling’. Fun puzzle today; thank you

    2. Thanks for popping in, Zandio, seems that a few people had you nailed as the setter of this one.
      Have to say that I think ‘Unchained Melody’ was all the better for being a solo but perhaps it caused a dilemma where royalty fees were concerned!

    3. Zandio,
      Thank you for a super puzzle
      The original unchained melody is not a crooner song although Perry Como etc did it. The Todd Coleman recording is, to me extremely melancholic.

  37. Got into this one late in the day – at first glance thought it was going to be tricky but then all of a sudden clicked into place. Favourite clues were 13d and 7d – kind of guessed 15a although thought it was a type of flooring but checked to see other meanings! For some reason missed the homophone at 26a which was the last to go in. Solid **/*** in my opinion. Thanks for notes from DT and of course the setter.

  38. I’m rowing in the same boat with the handful of people who found it challenging, so I needed DT’s help with a few. Yet again I missed the lurker (at 14a). I am becoming a specialist in lurker failure. I don’t complain about the Biblical references, but I rarely know them despite having been force fed the whole caboodle at a rather brutal Catholic school.

    I suspect the cat was on a killing spree last night as she has only nibbled at her food today and is rather subdued – usually the sign of a night murdering little creatures and eating them. I have learned it is not all fluffiness and purring with cats. They have a dark side.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

      1. Daisy – I saw you mention it the other day and checked it out on YouTube. Excellent!

  39. I couldn’t get on wavelength today and found this the toughest one this week. Got most of it done, but a handful eluded me. Laughed at 14a. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

  40. I really enjoyed this, the only one needing help was 16d, I thought that was the answer but couldn’t see the “why”.
    I had no problem with 19a, if I didn’t lean a thing or two about airplanes in my 40+ years in the industry, I would really have been dumb.
    There was so much to like, 13d was pretty clever, affection’s gone west was also a smiler, I really can’t choose just one.
    Loved hearing the Righteous Brothers again. They were all the rage when I lived in England in the early 60s.
    Thanks to Zandio, not an easy one for me but huge fun, and to Deep Threat for his hints and tips.

  41. Completed early this morning before golf & found it reasonably enjoyable though certainly not taxing. SL wasn’t alone as I too was on Z alert once I’d got Q, J & K thinking Friday = ProXimal & to be honest it slightly hampered the solving of my last few. You can add me to the tally of those not twigging the anagram indicator in 19a until the answer was in & thought the surface in that clue very clever. On the plus side I clocked the lurkers pretty quickly which always cheers me up. Think I’ll swerve Elgar this evening as my golf was sufficient humiliation for one day.
    Thanks to Zandio, both for the entertainment & popping in, & to DT for the review

  42. An enjoyable Friday solve for us. We also got involved in the ‘chase the pangram’ game and did eventually manage to guess the correct setter.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  43. I’m in the “family straightforward” camp t this evening as I spent nearly as long trying to justify the spelling of the bird in 12a (see comment 19) and reading the blog as actually doing the crossword. Favourite was 19a as, unlike some far cleverer contributors than me, I got it straight away. I don’t think it’s an Americanism, it does exactly what the word implies. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  44. I was slow off the blocks and took a weirdly long time to get some things which were staring me in the face and needed a few hints BUT as there were no clues which made me grumpy and plenty of candidates for COTD I enjoyed this.
    I particularly liked 21a (my first one in after missing all the previous across clues!) And 13d which I probably wouldn’t have got except the Q I had from 21a gave it away.
    Thanks Zandio, you’re my kind of setter, and Deep Threat.

  45. For whatever reason this was a struggle for me to get going. Took a while to get the top competed and then struggled on the SW corner. Last in was 26a. Just not clicking today, it seems. Liked 12a (took a while to parse this to justify it), 19a, 3d & 8d … favourite 8d
    ***/** my rating today.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  46. I had a pleasant time with this puzzle, my favourite being 27a. I was about 90% done, then asked my good lady former maths-teacher indoors to take a look at the remaining, and she immediately spotted two lurkers. When will I ever learn! Thanks to setter and DT, especially for the video.

  47. Don’t understand explanation for 15a which obviously ‘screed’ – what is meant by back-formation here. Appreciate this is a question rather than a comment.

Comments are closed.