DT 29397 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29397

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29397

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Unusual puzzle today with the double definitions outnumbering the anagrams.  Still, they say that a change is as good as a rest (or is it a holiday?), so I'm not complaining. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer will be here buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus image.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    One clearing throat loudly? It's the chest (6)
COFFER:  A homophone (loudly) of a person clearing their throat 

4a    Place for one not taking flight? (8)
BUNGALOW:  Where somebody wanting to avoid flights of stairs might live

9a    Approximately  the other way (6)
AROUND:  Double definition.  My New Oxford American Dictionary says that the second is a Britishism

10a   Musician changed into rags (8)
ORGANIST:  An anagram (changed) of INTO RAGS 

12a   Considerate sort (4)
KIND:  A rather straightforward double definition 

13a   Looking back and forth, finding apparatus (5)
RADAR:  A locating device that is a palindrome (the same looking back and forth

14a   House knocked over in Mumbai -- messy! (4)
SEMI:  The answer is found reversed (knocked over) in the remainder of the clue 

17a   Essentials, those used in construction (4,3,5)
NUTS AND BOLTS:  These essentials are also fasteners used in construction 

20a   Head inserted, shifted down (12)
DISHEARTENED:  An anagram (shifted) of HEAD INSERTED  

23a   Irritating student starts to name every racing driver (4)
NERD:  Initial letters of (starts to) the remaining words in the clue 

24a   Thug like a charging animal? (5)
BULLY:  This thug might, whimsically, also be an adjective meaning like a particular type of charging animal 

25a   Female attending a charity event (4)
GALA:  An informal word for girl with A from the clue 

28a   Call team watching boxing match? (8)
RINGSIDE:  Call on the telephone and a sports team 

29a   Sea otter's tail in 16 Down (6)
MARINE:  Put the last letter (…'s tail) of otteR in a US 16d 

30a   Something to play? Opener not interested, reportedly (8)
KEYBOARD:  Follow a door opener with a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning not interested 

31a   Shock, finding first of falsehoods true (6)
FRIGHT:  The first letter of Falsehoods is followed by a synonym of true



1d    Marvellous  solving (8)
CRACKING:  Another straightforward double definition 

2d    Pay for part of score that's relatively unimportant (8)
FOOTNOTE:  A charade of pay the bill for a treat, perhaps, and the smallest part of a musical score 

3d    Bird a little concerned (4)
ERNE:  The answer is hidden as part of (a little …) the remainder of the clue 

5d    Exorbitant lease on urban complex (12)
UNREASONABLE:  An anagram (complex) of LEASE ON URBAN 

6d    Stimulate progress with promotion (4)
GOAD:  Progress or proceed with an informal word for a promotion 

7d    Hang about, there's nothing in the measure of an American (6)
LOITER:  Put the letter that looks like zero or nothing in the American spelling of a unit of volume 

8d    Fashionable comedian, success (4-2)
WITH-IT:  A comedian or humorist is followed by a success (on the music charts perhaps) 

11d   Where one might stop cruel bear (4,8)
HARD SHOULDER:  Cruel or tough with bear or tolerate

15d   Posed wearing shiny material (5)
SATIN:  Posed for an artist is followed by a short word meaning wearing 

16d   Panic  country (5)
STATE:  A double definition.  A panic or fluster, and a generic country 

18d   Attractive  taking on new employee (8)
ENGAGING:  A double definition.  Beginning a military action would be another

19d   A depression engulfing knave almost touching (8)
ADJACENT:  A from the clue with a depression in a sheet of metal, for example, that's containing (engulfing) all but the last letter (almost) of the knave in a pack of cards 

21d   Coat with which a king dresses girl (6)
ANORAK:  The combination of A from the clue and the chess abbreviation for king surrounds (dresses) a female name 

22d   In conclusion, effort's welcomed (6)
TRENDY:  A synonym of conclusion contained by an effort or attempt  (… effort's welcomed)

26d   On sale, oddly, old European city (4)
OSLO:  Odd letters of ON SALE are followed by the abbreviation for old 

27d   Just transport charge, it's said (4)
FAIR:  A homophone (… it's said) of the charge for riding a bus, for example 


This felt to me enough like the work of X-Type that I will go ahead and thank him for today's solve.  Top clue for me was 13a.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SOUP + PERT + ANCHORS = SUPERTANKERS

107 comments on “DT 29397

  1. 3.5*/2.5*. This was a bit of a strange one for me. My first ten or so answers went in very quickly scattered right across the grid. I then ground to a halt and needed a break before coming back to it. Finally, I seemed to get onto the right wavelength and finish it off.

    I did enjoy most of it apart from 24a and 21d, and my podium of goodies comprises 4a, 30a, 8d &11d.

    Many thanks to the setter (I think Mr K has made a good call with X-Type) and to Mr K for his usual great review and pics.

  2. An enjoyable accompaniment to mid-morning coffee sitting in the garden enjoying a restful week’s break from work.
    4a drew the biggest chuckle.
    Thanks to both setter and Mr K.

  3. Pleasant puzzle all round today nothing obscure and logical cluing, going for a **/***.
    Liked the surface of 1a which brought a smile, had elevator pencilled in for 4a until 8d went in!
    wondered if kayak could be termed as apparatus until I came upon the more likely solution.
    Liked 29a for its concise brevity and my favourite-thanks to Mr K for the picks and a special mention for the quickie pun.

    1. My apparatus was a kayak too – mainly because, on going through the alphabet, I got to the ‘K’ before I reached ‘R’.

  4. Lots to enjoy this morning in this moderately straightforward puzzle. 30a stood out for me along with 13a and 5d. I thought 24a was a little forced, but that aside a very enjoyable exercise.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his excellent review.

  5. An entertaining puzzle. I didn’t find it particularly difficult and I could understand all the answers which is not always the case with me. A good balance of clues. 11d and 30a merit a podium place but my overall favourite is 2d. I had to really think about one. Lovely and sunny in south Kent today. Terence shouldn’t need too many paperweights. For cryptic Sue, have you tried Tesco for print cartridges?I’ve managed to get HP ones there at normal price. Thanks to all.

  6. I found this puzzle was a game of two halves a bit like RD. I found a lot of very straightforward clues and went off at a gallop, slowing to a weary plod by the finish (2.5*/3*). I wasn’t very keen on 24a or 13a and the synonym in 16a was a bit extended. However, 29a was my favourite clue for its nice misdirection. Thanks to Mr K and to the setter.

  7. Completed in a slapdash kind of way however eventually all came together without too much aggro but via some nifty clues en route. Last in was my Fav was uncomplicated 4a. Not sure about 22d or indeed ‘unimportant’, even if relatively, for 2d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK – it sure takes time to read all the Comments these days plus your hints.

  8. Quite entertaining **/**. I realised that 13a was a palindrome but could not think what it was. My favourite was 4a, which made me smile. Once again here in Kent we are set for a scorcher. The clay soil is cracking up, and with apologies to those in the North, I yearn for some rain.

  9. Similar to RD but worse with a put-down & nearly gave up. Suddenly things clicked and progressed steadily.
    4a held me up for a bit (annoying as we live in one!) But was my COTD & smile moment.
    Our 58th today hope the weather improves so we can have a BBQ outside with the daughter.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the concise, informative review. Is the absence of cars due to reading the research from Boise State University?

    1. Many congratulations to you and Mrs LROK. That’s a nice long innings you are building up there.

      1. Thank you RD hopefully not too many bouncers to duck these days!
        Only a few of us left I guess that flew on a DC-3 (from Manston) for our honeymoon. Went to Mayrhofen, that cost all we could afford – 18 Guineas as I recall. Still have the musical chalet & souvenir steins.

        1. Congratulations. We too have the steins! we flew to Innsbruck in 1957 and it was so unusual that the Sutton & Cheam Gazette had a photo of us saying ‘couple flew to Austria’. Big news. All this nonsense will be over in time for you to celebrate your diamond so start saving, she is worth it !

        2. Congrats from me too. It would have been Mama Bee’s 60th this year but she has been a widow for most of them.
          For what would have been her 45th we had a jaunt from Newcastle Airport out over Tynemouth Pier and back Via St Mary’s lighthouse. We were in one of the last trips for a historic DC-3 which first flew in the Berlin airlift. It did have curtains! and an alarming tilt with the nose about 6ft higher than the tail it was an uphill slog to the flight deck until it got properly airborne.

    2. Congratulations on such a long innings. The word “flight” relating to stairs or the lack of them has misdirected me on more occasions than I care to remember. I had to smile too when you said you live in one!

    3. Congratulations to you both, LROK. You beat Mrs. C. And I by 12 years. Have a wonderful day and I hope you mange the BBQ.

    4. Heartiest congratulations to you both, LROK, I do hope the weather plays fair for your BBQ.

      1. MP
        It’s not really “both” like you I am married to a Saint.

        Thanks to you & everyone who has passed on good wishes. Fingers crossed now for 60. I am planning to spare no expense & buy her 3 diamonds.
        A no 6, no 8 and no 10 best quality diamond tipped drills. They will be so useful when she is tiling the new en-suite.

        1. I bet your daughter has something to say about that. It was ours who organised George I am quite sure. (And of course the upside for her is that she will inherit it one day. Crafty)

    5. Hope you have a happy, happy day – good BBQ without midges! Good wishes for many more. The DC4 was the airplane of choice in the Caribbean when I joined PanAm, quickly followed by the DC6B.

      1. Thanks & cheers Hoofs.
        PS Are all footballers married to hairdressers? They all seem to have their (questionable) “normal” haircuts.

  10. Following on from yesterday’s, this too was all over in */** time. Unlike Chriscross, I had 29a marked as an “umm?”; surely it should have been ‘a 16 Down’ or ’16 Down?”. As it is, the answer has to be ‘STRATE’.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Is an umm similar to an hmm? And did you raise an eyebrow at the same time?

  11. Ashamed to say I was beaten by the chestnut that is 1a. Having looked that up I was able to finish the puzzle.

  12. Just popped in to say that I got a paper early today and have had one stab at this. I have solved about 7 each way. Complete contrast from yesterday’s which I just wrote in as if a hand was guiding me. I was only held up at the end of yesterday’s by the crime writer and I confess to looking at the hint for that. As I had been so quick on the others did not want to spend as long again on one. I had P D James in my head which clearly didn’t fit. Of course as soon as I looked at the hint it was obvious. Enjoyed yesterdays comments which I added to at the very end when the rest of you had moved on. It took me much, much longer to read the comments than solve the puzzle. Busy just now but will look at today’s later but already spent more time on the few answers I have got than I did on the whole puzzle yesterday. I never cease to wonder at how differently our brains work.

  13. No reason to be 20a as nothing in this puzzle was 3d. On the contrary, it was straightforward but thoroughly enjoyable: */**** for us. Favourite clue 1a, as we always ‘hear’ this word pronounced in the highly imitable tones of the late lamented Peter Sallis as Wallace. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  14. Another fun solve, needed a bit of cogitation but not too much. Thanks to setter and to Mr K, particularly for taking the time to include pictures with wit and subtlety. Liked 13a, 10 & 11d with 4a in pole position. Off to the garden.

  15. An enjoyable solve today, completed at leisure sat in very hot conservatory, I had trouble with 11d I could see the solution but coudn’t jusify it until I looked at the hints. Nice to have a couple of gimmies though. I missed yesterday but read the comments enough said on the matter. Off to give the dogs a swim on Bodmin Moor.
    Thanks to Mr K for the fabulous hints nice to read to check if ones brain is working, and of course to the setter.

  16. Some wavelength problems today,not in putting the letters in but in fully parsing Even with your help l cannot find an object word for 22 d although the answer is obvious.Nevertheless a good way of keeping some remaining brain cells going .Thanks to all.

  17. I’m with the majority here in that I found it a most definite put down and pick up kind of puzzle. 4a stumped me for quite a while while I sorted through all kinds of airport lounges! Once it dawned, it was a wonderful lightbulb moment so this is my COTD. An enjoyable, if tricky, solve.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K for the hints.

  18. I’m another who adopted the scatter approach to this one – would have been fine if I hadn’t been silly enough to enter 12a in the space for 14a!
    Took a while for the penny to drop over 6d and I confess to going through the alphabet to arrive at 13a.
    Top three here were 1,13&30a.

    Thanks to our setter (X-type sounds good to me) and to Mr K for his always enjoyable pictorial review. Think the sea otter gets my vote today – hope the felines aren’t all in self-isolation?

  19. Second day running we have sailed through, on a roll. I liked 7 and 8d, I liked it all. I love the word 1a – we have a big carved Elizabethan one – despite being so old it’s probably worth no more than £100, no one wants brown furniture. Bit like me really. If I don’t get my knee done soon I am going to do a Violet E B and thcream and thcream until they come to cart me away.

    1. Well, be “thick” first, Daisygirl! I do sympathise. My wife has terrible trouble with her knee. She has been told she is too young for a knee replacement. She’s 72!

      1. Yup. I first saw the doctor in 2015 and was told I was ‘managing’. Tell your wife to keep on and on – it is a squeaky gate that gets oiled! I am 86 tomorrow and one does not bounce back so well as time goes by!

        1. Just to give you encouragement Daisygirl I had a knee done at 82 and surgeon regularly expressed concern about my age. The op has proved very successful and hope you will soon have yours.

    2. Daisygirl, I have found some kind of answer to arthritic knees. It’s not quite the ‘maiden’s prayer’, but I’ll pass it on for what it’s worth. I use and have been using for many years a lotion called ‘Zipvit blume’. It is a lotion containing Glucosamine & emu oil gel. It greatly relieves the pain for me and has done so for the many people to whom I have made the same recommendation – I will also add that I have nothing to gain from passing this on, except for the pleasure of helping a fellow sufferer. I discovered it advertised in one of the Sunday colour sups a while back. Google it and you’ll find all the details and can make your own mind up about it, but it works well for me. :-)

      1. Will do – thank you. I take turmeric on the advice of my yoga teacher and liquid cod liver oil but I am afraid it is too late now scans show there is virtually no cartilage left! I was due to go into the Nuffield on 23rd March Thank goodness just before that my doctor put me onto (I hardly dare say it) morphine which I try very hard to only take at night. But I shall certainly give your recommendation a go, I have nothing to lose but my chains! As I have said before I am so grateful for the distraction of the crossword.

        1. I recently gave a bottle to my neighbour to try – she had been in agony with her knees during and after gardening. I asked her a day or two later if she’d tried it yet and she said that she had indeed and that she had no pain in her knees for the first time in months. I hope you get similar relief if and when you do try it. :-)

      2. I’ll certainly google it and see if I can get it here. I have used what I call “ganja grease” which works extremely well, it’s a cream that contains cannabis, a bit nervous about putting that out in a public forum. Alas, you can only get it in states that have legalised weed and Florida has not. Places like Colorado, Washington and Maine have it available anywhere. Good luck Daisygirl, must be so crippling for you.

      3. I googled it, but sadly seems we can’t get it in the US. Saw ads for the UK, NZ, even El Salvador. Would have given it a try. Cortisone shot hasn’t worked. And can’t take anti inflammatories so I’m up the creek.

  20. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle, we fairly raced through (it’s easier with two) giving us time to complete the Quick and Toughie between our morning stroll and lunch. COTD was 4a closely followed by 11d. Last in was the palindrome of 13a.
    Thanks to all concerned and a happy anniversary to LROK, quite an innings. 4 to go for our half century!

  21. Great clues, great hints, great puzzle. Loved 4a. NW corner the last ones in. Podium stars: 30a, 29a/16d, and 1a. Thank you all for yesterday’s supportive responses, and to Mr K for his nice review (and especially the pic for 20a…!!!). Finished it all in a jiffy, so thanks to the setter. ** / ***

  22. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I found this very tricky to get on the setter’s wavelength. At one point I had all the checkers, but was still half a dozen short. Needed the hints for 13&17a and 2,6,18d. Can’t believe I couldn’t think of 17a, and could only think of “kayak” for 13a. Favourite was 23a because of the surface. Was 4*/3* for me.

  23. Thank goodness others have found this one to be a stop and start. I have been distracted so many times today, it was turning out to be stop and start by default. A delivery that was supposed to arrive yesterday arrived today, followed by a delivery due Wednesday arriving a day early. My husband arrived back from “click and collect” and wanted help putting stuff away. I then received a couple of scam phone calls. I do hope that the afternoon improves. On to the puzzle. Favourites were 17a and 30a. I wasn’t so keen on 29a. I literally tried to put the otter’s tail Into the answer for 16d, and spent too long on it, before realising that I had to find the name of
    a 16d, and put a certain letter into it. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty. Congratulations to Mr ands Mrs Lrok. I flew from Manston to Ostend in a DC3 when I was a child. I’m sure that the plane had curtains at the window.

    1. Thanks Florence. I don’t think ours would have got off the ground with the added weight of curtains! Been wracking my brain for the name of the airline. DAN Air I think.

      1. Dan-Air? My goodness you were brave. A friend of ours was a ground engineer employed by them many years ago at what was then Ringway Airport and even he refused point blank to fly with them!

        1. The Dan air flight didn’t finish us off, but the sleeper coach bus from Ostend to Italy nearly did. The brakes failed going through the Dolomites, and the bus driver lost control. He had to run the bus into an enormous pile of gravel. We then had to wait several hours for a replacement bus. Fortunately we broke down next to some hostelry. As a child, I couldn’t take advantage of this but a lot of the adult passengers did.

          1. I had completely forgotten planes had curtains! I remember flying in Dan Air, I seem to remember it was known as Dan Dare.

            1. You are right. I remember my father calling it Dan Dare. It didn’t stop him booking a flight

      2. BAC 111s took off at 45 degrees and hurt your ears. The staff gave out boiled sweets to alleviate the pain.

  24. Just a quick note to say thanks to the setter and Mr K for the review (sans cats pics today though). Loved the illustrations for 10 and 20a. 🦇

  25. A pick up, put down, and pick up again. Like Steve Cowling I was wandering around an airport at 4a for a while.
    Very enjoyable challenge.
    A hot day in Surrey and the underprepared would deem it a zero paperweight day as most of the time it is as still as the mute swan that floats adown the stream; then… whoosh! a gale force blast.
    So I have compromised with two paperweights, then my elbow as required in another corner. One of Lola’s large feet is holding down the final corner, as she has forsaken the flowerbeds and has, with much grandeur and some sighing, deigned to snooze on the garden table.
    Thanks to the setter and the splendid Mr K.

  26. I found this different but good as my grey cells or hair was given a different perspective so to speak, I enjoyed 4 & 11 across, 1 & 2down as well as 11 down were fun all in all an enjoyable time thank you to the setter and Mr K.

    Stay safe everyone

  27. I was another putter downer then picker upper, but sadly just could not see 2d at all……until I saw the hint and it seemed so obvious.
    Is there not someone on here who lends out tea trays for head-bashing ?

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty .

  28. I couldn’t get on the wave-length today and made a bit of a pig’s ear of some of it.
    Hope it does turn out to be X-Type – gives me an excuse as I always struggle with him.
    My 13a ‘radar’ made me put ‘kayak’ in and I never did get 4a or 6d.
    In other words this was not my finest day – really dim!
    My favourite was 24a because it made me laugh just as things ending in ‘ish’ always do.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Mr K.

  29. This started very well and I thought that it was going to be straightforward but the needle in my brain moved and I couldn’t get back on the right wavelength so it all became a bit of a struggle. I had to resort to the hints for 16d and the associated 29a. So – special thanks to Mr. K for his help and to the setter for a fair challenge.
    I do enjoy reading all the news and views provided by this blog so thanks to all those who contribute, too.

  30. ***/***. I found this a lot harder than yesterday. Several clues needed hints to finish the puzzle. So thanks to Mr K and our setter. Congrats to LROK – you’re 12 ahead of me

  31. Nice crossword a little more difficult than yesterday ***/*** 😃 Favourites 4 & 31a 🤗 Thanks to Mr K for his interestingly illustrated blog 👍 and to the Setter. LROK mentioned Manston I was stationed there as a young airman when it was a Major Diversion for the Royal Air Force with the longest runway in the UK and a unique fog dispersing system along the runway consisting of flares on either side along it’s length, I think Dan Air flew Britannias then and in the same sentence to mention Mayrhofen! A venue for for many happy holidays, on the first one we flew out of Lydd in an Airspeed Ambassador. Happy Anniversary to you both

    1. Thanks JL We had a super time there in ’62. 18 guineas & that included all meals!

  32. What an enjoyable blog, all the anniversaries and early flights. So nostalgic. Oh, and the puzzle wasn’t bad either!

  33. It was the straightforward double definitions that held me up today, mainly because as an expat-Geordie I saw a synonym of marvellous as “Champion” It took me a while to see Gromit’s cheese then 9a and 12a were a doddle.
    When I first saw House and Mumbai I thought of Bungalow before I checked the enumeration and looked for a lurker. When I cottoned on the answer I first thought of dropped itself into 4a!
    11d my fave today and thanks to Mr K and setter.
    I think I said the topical clues recently were a late “edit” by CL but according to his latest newsletter it was pure coincidence.

  34. Late to the show today, which is perhaps not a bad thing considering all the feathers I ruffled yesterday…..for simply reiterating blog etiquette as written. Ah well it’s a funny old world.
    As for the puzzle I thought it was mainly very enjoyable, like a gentle sea breeze. Wasn’t too impressed with 24a but I did like several others, 1a plus 8&11d in particular.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the entertainment.

    1. Stephen
      It made for a great blog for those like me who like the “social” element. Not many days there are over 160 posts!
      It is, as you say, a funny old world, but it would be a lot duller for me without the wide spectrum of contributors to this site.

      1. Hi LROK.
        If you read both my comments on the subject, which I totally stand by, they refer very specifically to political content. I actually stated that I enjoyed the social element of the blog too…..but that seems to have been overlooked by many.

        1. Welcome to the blogosphere in general! It’s often a lot like Chinese Whispers, but at least this blog is much less abusive than most.

    2. As the one whose feathers you might have thought you ruffled, let me thank you, Stephen L, for calling my attention to ‘blog etiquette’, though I think it was Senf who actually used that term. The sense I got of your initial reply to my post was that you were tired of my continual reference to political matters, regardless of your own political bias, about which I have no clue at all. I then reasoned that you were being a good watchdog for Big Dave, but it was the sudden, abrupt tone–without establishing that I’d broken a rule–that hurt my feelings a bit but also, more than that, made me re-think what I had written. I am a very patriotic American who happens to think that the present leader of our country has failed this country because of his seeming lack of concern that we have lost 120,694 people to the virus. I happen to know that Republicans and certain religious groups in my state are campaigning against the wearing of masks, and so I decided to state that fact.

      Then you wrote another, kinder, differently-toned comment to me that made my feel much better and proud of you, and that was after I had written my ‘defense’. Just now you seem, however, to believe that it’s only the crossword puzzle and related paraphernalia that should be the subjects of our posts. The tally from yesterday is that 24 (at last count) of our fellow commenters disagree, and 3 (maybe 4, hard to tell from that one post) agree with your sentiments. Let’s just be friends in this funny old world and agree to disagree, and I’ll try not to vent my spleen in future. Cheers!

      1. Hi Robert
        I really can’t see how you have come to the conclusion that I think that “only crossword puzzle and related paraphernalia should be the subject of our posts” when in the comment above I stated that I like the social aspect of the blog. I’ve even attended a ‘birthday bash’, which I wouldn’t have done had I not enjoyed it. What I don’t like, and it’s very specific, is political comment (which as Senf correctly pointed out is contrary to blog etiquette), particularly when done repeatedly.
        Happy to be friends with you and everyone else on here but fair’s fair.

        1. So sorry, Stephen: I was thinking of ‘social aspect’ as part of ‘related’ stuff. I do apologise for not being more specific. I agree: fair is fair, and you’ve been very fair and honest. I understand where you’re coming from. We simply have different views.

      2. Robert, I enjoy all the content of your comments and I’m not aware that BD has appointed anyone else as editor of the blog. So please do carry on posting as you see fit in your inimitable way until or unless BD takes exception to what you post.

    3. It seems to me that you are both intelligent, polite people who have no desire for friction and I enjoy posts from both of you
      Let that be an end to the matter please? Enough said
      Enjoy the blog for what it is

      1. Totally agree. Can we please drop the subject and carry on posting with freedom of speech? Remember “I might not agree with what you are saying but I will always defend your right to say it”.
        This complainIng about posts smacks of those who wish to tear statues down because they do not like them.

        Stephen, your post was legitimate. Robert, you gave an opinion without any intention to cause disruption.

        Please can we leave it at that? 👍

        1. I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it – Mrs Voltaire, ages ago (1906)? :grin:

            1. It was 1906. Evelyn Beatrice Hall whom I believe to be Voltaire’s biographer rather than his wife wrote it. I may be wrong. I often am 😳

        2. Thanks, Steve. It’s done. End of book. Looking forward to tomorrow. Actually, it’s already here–midnight in America. 00.11. Midnight as metaphor. Bye for now.

  35. It was pretty tricky for me, not helped by the fact that I got 1a wrong, I put “coffin” – well, I was halfway there. I missed 3d and should have seen my error.
    Fave was 17a but I thought 4a was clever. My first thought was landing, but didn’t write it in until I had checkers. The rest went in by fits and starts.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for his help. Going to the other side to try some more toughie for VEB.

  36. Well what a puzzle! First pass, nothing! Second pass, one in. At that point I nearly gave up, but so glad I didn’t. I persevered and finally found the right wavelength. Not only that, I managed to finish it woohoo! I too went all round the airport, and even visited the game of darts before I got to the right flight. There were a lot of clues I liked but fav has to be 4a, just for the ‘duh’ moment.
    Many thanks to the setter and MrK.
    Congratulations to Labrulesok xx

  37. Had coffin for 1a which left 3d impossible. I blame a broken down landrover and a blocked weed sprayer which have drained my mental faculties today. Other than that I enjoyed it and think the game is being raised this week. They do say “it wasn’t the cough that carried him off, it was the coffin they carried him off in”. 24a was a bit strange and 4a is my favourite today. Thanks all.

  38. I can’t seem to get on wavelength today, only half done. Will have another shot later. Thanks to setter and Mr K, whose hints I will clearly be needing.

    So sad about the news from Reading. It is tragic that it just takes one person with a weapon to wreak havoc on others.
    I was lucky enough to work for a few years in the circular Metal Box building (since demolished) across from the Forbury, which was a convenient short cut into town.

  39. Oh dear, a very poor showing today.
    I never got 4a, even though it was clear what the ‘flight’s referred to. I had ‘elevator’ for a long time, but the answer never occurred to me. Not very bright.
    Like others, I had ‘coffin’ for 1a, so not a very successful top line…
    So a tricky outing for me today, thanks all.

  40. We got off to a bad start when we read 4a and confidently wrote in ELEVATOR. Took a few minutes and a couple of checking letters to get that sorted. Thereafter it all flowed smoothly for us with lots of smiles the whole way through.
    Thanks Mr Ron (X-type) and Mr K.

  41. I’m in the “I know nobody likes a smart ar*e but I found this quite straightforward” camp this evening. I was late starting even for me but completed at a Senf like canter. I really enjoyed the crossword though and it’s hard to choose a favourite from so many contenders but 28a gets it by a short head. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  42. 10a – If only Rags could turn into a musician instead of a fumbler!
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  43. Another late appearance after a pleasant outing to Knebworth golf club which I found a pretty stiff walk in this heat. Just completed the crossword & all bar 4 clues went in comfortably in under ** time. 4a,6&8d plus 29a took a further * time though. Other than 24a I enjoyed this a lot & particularly the first two across.
    With thanks to all.

  44. Found this a strange solve. Top half went in reasonably well with just a few head scratches but the bottom half was another story. SW took a while to get going and needed a couple of hints and then OMG … the SE was horrendous. Took almost as long as the rest of the puzzle combined. 25a was last in. Didn’t help that I picked the wrong 16d answer for 29a, so the word I had in did not help getting the down clues 18, 19 & 27 to fit and nor could I figure out the 29a parsing … DUHHH!!! … no wonder!
    Then revisiting 16d, I saw my mistake and then the down answers gradually fit the new 25a answer.
    Rating for me 3.5*/***
    Did like clues 9a, 13a, 30a, 7d & 8d … Winner 13a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K (for the much needed SE hints)

  45. Probably too late to be bothering to post now – started some time ago but got interrupted. I spent absolutely ages yesterday evening struggling with this one and was feeling thoroughly 20a, but having solved that one everything else seemed to click into place and I sailed through the rest and ended up thoroughly enjoying it. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K, whose hints I didn’t need for once. Disappointing lack of cats, though, Mr K.

    1. It’s never too late to post, Sarah! The more stragglers who post, the more other stragglers will see the posts and realize it’s worth them posting too.

      Well done on an unaided solve!

  46. This was a completely reasonable puzzle — I have no complaints about any of the clues — but I struggled, far more than I typically do on a Tuesday: very few answers on the first pass, failing to parse any of the anagrams (I did spot one anagram indicator, but then spoilt it by proceeding to pick the wrong words in the clue to attempt re-arranging!).

    Thank you Mr K for the hints, of which I needed quite a few after coming to a halt early on, then another batch to finish at the end: they were perfectly pitched to provide practical pointers.

    I liked the marvellous 1d and the cruel bear in 11d. Thank you to the setter, and I will keep striving to improve, with the hope of some day being able to solve a crossword like this without hints.

  47. Already running a day late.
    No problem to report apart from the fact that I tried to put Nits and Grits in 17a.
    Often mix my idioms and end up creating new ones.
    Favourite 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

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