DT 29400 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29400

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29400

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the temperature was still over 20° when I solved this crossword after midnight last night. This morning we may have a thunderstorm.

The four Xs in the grid suggest this may be by ProXimal. Whether it was the heat or not, I made fairly slow progress with it today, finishing well into *** time. There’s nothing particularly obscure in the answers, just a need to tease out the wordplay.

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           House supporting part-time player (4-3)
SEMI-PRO – The short form of a type of house often found in the suburbs, followed by a Latin word for ‘supporting’ or ‘in favour of’.

5a           Shock criminal pinching the Queen’s neckwear (7)
CHOKERS – Anagram (criminal) of SHOCK wrapped round the Queen’s regnal cipher.

Boho Silver Diamond & Black Leather Choker Necklace | Boho Choker ...

9a           Graduate wrapping article, current fad (5)
MANIA – A senior Arts graduate wrapped around an indefinite article and the algebraic symbol used for electric current.

10a         After dram, note phone moving irregularly (9)
TOTTERING – Put together another word for a dram of spirits, a musical note from the sol-fa scale, and a verb for ‘to phone’.

11a         Persist with boil, almost completely coarse (3,7)
SEE THROUGH – Another word for ‘boil’ with its last letter missing (almost completely), followed by a synonym for ‘coarse’.

12a         Chemical element unknown: discounting lead, tin and carbon (4)
ZINC – Put together an algebraic unknown, (t)IN (from the clue) with its first letter removed (discounting lead), and the chemical symbol for carbon.

14a         Stroke and buff item of hardware (9,3)
BUTTERFLY NUT – A swimming stroke followed by another word for a buff or enthusiast.


18a         Turning to police, lady acted nonchalantly (6,2,4)
PLAYED IT COOL – Anagram (turning) of TO POLICE LADY. There’s only one way to illustrate this one:

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63rcdLeXiU8″ /]

21a         Reportedly wished not to have been ignorant (4)
RUDE – Another word for ‘ignorant’ which is a homophone (reportedly) of a word for ‘wished not to have been’ or ‘regretted’.

22a         Agree about withdrawal’s intricacy (10)
COMPLEXITY – Another word for ‘agree’ or ‘obey’ wrapped around a withdrawal or departure.

25a         Carpet unorthodox at rear in a church (9)
AXMINSTER – A (from the clue) and a large church such as may be found at York, placed either side of the last letter (at rear) of unorthodoX.

Antique English Axminster Carpet BB0749 by DLB

26a         Urgency of hard master having no limits (5)
HASTE – An abbreviation for Hard followed by (m)ASTE(r) with its outside letters removed (having no limits).

27a         Who votes for surrender? (5,2)
HANDS UP – Double definition: a call for a vote; or a sign of surrender.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWsvzko1fkY” /]

28a         Wretched orphan bearing old weapon (7)
HARPOON – Anagram (wretched) of ORPHAN with Old inserted.

File:Point of a Harpoon MET LC-17 6 131 EGDP024525.jpg - Wikimedia ...


1d           Indian fare like nothing mother’s served up (6)
SAMOSA – Put together another word for ‘like’, the letter which looks like a zero, and a short form of ‘mother’s’, then reverse the result to get this Indian snack.

Samosa Recipe - Perfect Street Style Aloo Samosa Recipe | Snack ON ...

2d           Cheeky girls from north overcome by cocktails (6)
MINXES – A generic word for what cocktails are, wrapped round North.

3d           American in Yale intoxicated with posh theatres (10)
PLAYHOUSES – Anagram (intoxicated) of YALE and POSH, wrapped round one of the usual abbreviations for ‘American’.

4d           Content in scout doing best (5)
OUTDO – Hidden in the clue. The definition is a verb.

5d           Absolute fan of jazz, say, or disco occasionally (9)
CATEGORIC – Put together an old word for a jazz fan, the abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’, OR (from the clue), and alternate letters (occasionally) of dIsCo.

6d           Cattle releasing core part of gas (4)
OXEN – Remove the central letters from an atmospheric gas essential for life, to get some draught animals.

7d           Issues from leader in revolt falling (8)
EDITIONS – Start with another word for ‘revolt’ or ‘treason’, then move the first letter to the end (leader … falling).

8d           Wisdom of Turkish commander in southern metropolis (8)
SAGACITY Southern, and another word for a metropolis, placed either side of a Turkish military commander.

13d         Completely understand that woman supporting male singer (10)
ALTOGETHER – Put together a high-voiced male singer, an informal word for ‘understand’, and the pronoun for ‘that woman’.

15d         Both sons dismissed this non-stop balding (4,2,3)
THIN ON TOP – Remove both the abbreviations for Son from THI(s) NON-(s)TOP.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HSqEGCQbCg” /]

16d         Father erected a porch after fixing driveway, perhaps (8)
APPROACH – Reverse (erected) a short word for ‘father’, then add an anagram (after fixing) of A PORCH.

17d         Prince informally introduced to monarch an odd-jobber (8)
HANDYMAN – Wrap the abbreviation for the formal mode of address to the Queen around an informal version of the name of one of her sons, then add AN (from the clue).

19d         Calamity if climbing rocky coast shaking tons (6)
FIASCO – Reverse (climbing) IF (from the clue), then add an anagram (rocky) of COAS(t) without the abbreviation for Tons.

20d         Monster disembowelled both weedy, vile sailors (6)
WYVERN – Remove the inside letters (disembowelled) from W(eed)Y and V(il)E, then add the letters found after the name of one of Her Majesty’s sailors.

Green Wyvern . #dragon #heraldry #tshirts

23d         Seat covered in paper chains (5)
PERCH – Hidden in the clue.

24d         Boozers regularly disposed of winnings (4)
INNS – Alternate letters (regularly disposed of) of wInNiNgS.

The Quick Crossword pun GASSED + DRONE + GNOME = GASTRONOME

91 comments on “DT 29400
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  1. I found this quite challenging but a pleasure to solve. I had more success with the downs, which gave me a foothold. 6d gave me the biggest schoolboyish laugh so I will nominate that as my favourite.

    Thanks to the X Man, if it was indeed he, and to DT.

  2. I found this quite challenging but enjoyably so(4* for enjoyment), although I ended up finishing it in 3* time. My main difficulty was 14a, which I had ever heard of but knew by another name because a schoolfriend was unkindly called this due to her prominent ears! It ended up being my favourite clue but 11a, 27a and3d were also great clues. Thankfully one can get information about hardware by googling. Thanks to DT for helping me to parse 12a and thanks to the compiler.

  3. I knew it, I just knew it. I was all ready for a full set of five completed cryptics this week, when I fell short with just 5 letters missing.

    I had this completed in a straight *** time, but was left with the first half of 14a stopping my achievement. No amount of hitting my head against the wall helped, and I had to ask for electronic assistance.

    This resulted in much more head butting, but in my defence, I have always called that a w**g n*t.
Oh well, try again next week.

    A quick mention must go to 15d as my COTD for its inventiveness.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  4. 4*/4*. After yesterday’s proXimal Toughie which I found almost totally impenetrable, it was a great relief to find a back-pager from him today with his signature four Xs which was very enjoyable despite being at the tougher end of his range.

    Strictly speaking 13d doesn’t need “male” as the singer so described can be either sex but it does improve the surface slightly.

    With plenty of competition for podium places, 1a, 12a, 2d, 6d & 15d finally made the cut.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

      1. Yes, Matt raised a wry smile this morning and made me wistful to get back onto a cricket pitch as soon as possible. If it happens at all this summer, it will be when the rain arrives in earnest.

        1. So do I. I now have a folder containing his best Covid jokes. Perhaps they’ll print them for the Christmas stocking.

        2. Matt is superb and I look forward every morning to his cartoon. Sometimes, The Today programme on Radio Four will give Matt away before I see the paper. I immediately reach for the off button. I need to see Matt for myself. I don’t want someone else describe it to me.

    1. I agree about 13d. My choir has men and women in the alto section. We don’t have a separate tenor section. Some of the women sing in the bass section because they have very low voices.

      1. Medium and large mixed choruses generally have a surfeit of altos and a dearth of tenors. Its unusual for a man to get to sit with the ladies, even though he may prefer to sing alto and be really good at it. In 60 years of singing (well, 55yrs in adult choruses), I’ve only sung with a male alto twice. Having said that, there are often quite a few women second altos who’ll be asked to pad out the tenors, the advantage being that they’re allowed, in performance, to wear a sharp black jacket, which comes in handy in unheated places, in Europe especially.
        Obviously you’ll get altos and falsetto singers in small all male groups.
        I’ve never come across women singing the bass parts, though, unless they’re an octave higher, or because the basses aren’t keeping up to time (this happens a lot). The reason is, in my view, that some of them are so loud they can’t hear anyone else singing………. Although this doesn’t excuse them from not watching the conductor, does it?

          1. Gosh how I envy people who can sing – you just open your mouth and a lovely sound comes out. My mother could sing and I was hopefully named after a Scottish song thrush – not good news.

            1. Agree Daisygirl, in my next life I want a beautiful singing voice. I really can’t sing, even my kids told me to stop if I sang in the car ☹️

          2. I stood next to a male alto at a massed choir Come and Sing the Verdi Requiem event at the Albert Hall. I suspect he like the alto part better.

            1. Verdi’s requiem. I sang that a long time ago. It must have been wonderful to sing it at the RA Hall, along with other choirs. I really miss my choir at the moment.

              1. If you have been singing with a local choir in a small group of people who sing your part, the experience of hundreds of singers all around you singing the same part is sublime. I could still hear the male alto as it was a totally different timbre to that of we female altos. I did a Messiah at the RA too.

        1. I agree with the w**g n*t comment (#3, re 14a), having put a different vowel in for the second word which, being something to catch things in, I couldn’t quite reconcile with being ‘hardware’!

          Entertaining puzzle with some other twists which needed help incl. 2d, which eluded me (and the Mrs.)

          Re 13 down, I can’t recall being in a choir which included a male alto although I know that they do crop up occasionally. Lady tenors have joined us from time to time though. We had a conductor years ago who used to position the male parts by saying “I’d like the men over here and the tenors over there”!

  5. This didn’t quite hit the spot for me, I found some of it a bit too convoluted. I found the NW particularly tricky, and took a bit of head scratching, particularly 11a, which I thought lent itself to a double definition.
    I enjoyed the very clever 12a, the homophone 21a and 19d as it’s just a good word.
    8d came up a couple of days ago, I seem to remember.
    Many thanks to the setter (Sylvanus? ) and to DT for the entertainment

  6. Finished this challenging but golden nugget after midnight in Charleston, and three or four resistant clues pushed me into *** time, as they did Deep Threat, but I really enjoyed what seemed to be a pangram in the making but ended up just shy of one (Q and J both AWOL). That quartet of Xs must mean something–instead of X-lessness, X-fulness? At least three repeats from recent puzzles make we wonder: coincidence? indebtedness? [8,20d; 25a] Favourites: 6d, 27a, 15d. Thanks D.T. and proXXXXimal? 3* / 3.5*

    Charleston County led the state with a record 208 Covid-19 cases yesterday; Governor silent.

    1. Flash: Masks now compulsory in Charleston (city), effective July 1. City Council voted a return to March mandate.

      1. What is the area of Charleston County and the population? The USA is vast compared to the Uk so numbers can be misleading. New Zealand did very well in containing the virus but to put it into perspective their entire population is roughly the same as Greater London.

        1. Hi, Greta. Hope you are much better. Charleston County: area, 1,358 sq mi; population (as of 2018), 405,905. So we’re close to a half million now.

      2. They are now mandatory in Palm Beach County in all public places, or anywhere you can’t social distance, as numbers are rising in South Florida. We’ve been wearing since the beginning anyway as a precaution, so no change there.

        1. On The View this morning they showed a town hall meeting in Palm Beach where they ranted about masks damaging your health, that they’re starting citizens arrests of people wearing masks. I kid you not, I did not misunderstand.

    2. Are you in Charleston itself Robert? It’s one of my favourite US cities (not that I’ve visited that many). We have an annual match (4 Brits v 4 Yanks) & enjoyed a wonderful week there playing the courses on Kiawah Island & over indulging on the food & wine in some super restaurants.

      1. I’m in North Charleston, in the Old Town area, a rather tony ‘enclave’ right now called Park Circle, where a lot of gentrifying has occurred. I live eight miles from the City of Charleston. Kiawah has one of the world’s most celebrated courses, and I’m sure you must have golfed on that one. I was born in Downtown Charleston, where many restaurants are now world-class.

    3. We’re in the 5000 a day new cases, maintaining our daily records quite nicely, no mandatory masks yet as of this morning.
      It was interesting to see a beach on the Brit south coast yesterday, wonder if that will send the stats soaring again.

      1. That is strange that they are not manadatory in your county, as they are in PBC where our numbers are lower, but in the rise.

  7. That was terrific and worth every minute of the head-scratching for which it called particularly in the early stages. North came through first. 20d went straight in after its recent appearance in a DT Cryptic. For amusement value 15d gets my Fav selection. TVM ProXimal and DT (managed on my ownsome but always so good to have your hints there in a timely fashion in case of need).

  8. This was a crossword of thirds for me. Top third went in really quickly, the middle was slow, particularly 14a, then I managed to race to the end. I was taken outside my normal solving time. At first I thought it was a pangram, then realised that there were some missing letters. I did spot the 4Xs though, and wondered if it might be Proximal. I’m going to spend some time in the garden before the thunderstorms start.Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  9. I think DT has got the ratings about right. This was a steady solve rather than a gallop through. Thanks DT for the explanation for 17d. We have Andy for prince informally but I missed the HM with an part. 14a is a wing nut to me too but it couldn’t be anything else. I agree with RD that alto can be a male or female voice so I did wonder where the male came into it. I liked 11a and 15d but my favourite is 7d. A clever clue. Thanks to all.

  10. ***/**** Started slowly in the top half – got into the word play, completing the bottom half fairly quickly. 5d was my COTD.
    Thx to proXimal and DT.

  11. A steady solve. Was nice to see more conventional clueing for 8d which may prove more friendly for international solvers. 22a was my favourite. Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

  12. A steady solve to take my mind off the heat here in Kent. A good thunderstorm first thing but then the humidity soared making wearing a face mask a thing of torture.
    Where did I get the idea that Proximal’s signature was an absence of the letter “X”?
    COTD is 20d because it is the name of a set of Morris Men a friend belongs to,

  13. 2*/4* for me. My only slight hold up was with 14a; I used to sell these in a hardware store, and they were always known as wing nuts (or DIN 315).

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  14. A most enjoyable Friday offering which wasn’t a walk in the park but came together quite nicely.
    Plenty of ticks on my sheet with podium places going to 1&18a plus 2,15&17d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT for the review – I’d completely forgotten the twosome who recorded 27a.

  15. Excellent crossword what I refer to as the classic style, why I don’t know but it just seemed to flow quite well. Nothing much to frighten us, although there were a couple of gimmies to get us started.
    Amazingly not to much of a hangover after a socially distancing homemade wine tasting. One if my friends brews orange wine, lethal. I had one of the social distancing breakers parking across my drive, when challenged he said he thought it was a holiday cottage, can you imagine my response!
    Thanks to DT and PrixImol if it is they.

  16. A real challenge! I agree with DT’s assessment. Could not parse 12a, 7d, and 17d at all, despite being sure they must be correct, so thanks to DT. Favourites 11a, 26a., 5, 13, 15 and16d. Least favourites 25a and 7d.

  17. A very enjoyable (non-)work week concluding puzzle completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 27a, 5d, and 20d – and the winner is 27a, closely followed by 5d.
    Thanks to ProXimal and DT – especially for the OFAH video clip.

  18. Really enjoyed this – a few splinters from head scratching, but agree with the ***/**** rating.
    Lots of great clues, but on my podium 21a and 27a, with 15d taking stop spot ( without one son).

    Thanks to setter (Proximal ?) and to DT whose hints confirmed my suspicions in a couple of cases

  19. Toughish I thought with many answers being teased out with reluctance almost. 26a typical, both checkers in then spent ages trying to see what the h*** it could be.
    Got there in the end. Another satisfying pleasurable solve.
    In the wing nut camp too but 14a gets my COTD
    Axminster gets a plug again, Wilton will claim bias soon.
    Thanks to setter and DT, needed help to parse 12a even though answer was obvious. Thanks for the Del boy clip. Like the “chandelier scene” a classic comedy moment you know is coming but is hilarious when it does.
    Robert I notice an article on situation in North Carolina / Florida erc in this morning’s paper

    1. Yes, LROK: NC, SC, FL, GA–all the way out to TX (and then the entire West): numbers are doubling and spiraling upwards faster than they ever have. But from VA north to ME, where Democratic governors were more cautious, the numbers are down. The NYT reported on the political differences this morning. Most of the states with large increases have GOP governors. It’s more than a matter of trusting science; it’s Follow the Leader (DoDo in DC) if you’re not a Dem.

      1. Exactly. We are unfortunately in a red state, where the governors are beholden to their leader, and a lot of people refuse to wear masks because the person in the White House won’t wear one.

  20. That was a fun challenge. I did need a couple of hints but managed the rest after juggling with the wordplay. At the start, I thought it was going to be another no go for me but the fog lifted very gradually and slowly. My favourite clue is 15d because it was a great lightbulb moment when the answer revealed itself.

    We said goodbye to a dear friend of the family this morning. We could not go to the funeral, of course but it was streamed. She was a great fan of the DT puzzle and was far better than I. She would have adored today’s offering.

    Grateful thanks to ProXimal for a great puzzle and to DT for the hints.

    I have always looked upon 14a as a wing nut.

  21. Buoyed by the near completion of his Toughie yesterday I approached this with nonchalance until the first read through yielded only a few in the south. In the end though it was a steady solve in bang on ***time with the north holding out the longest & 2d the last in & a bit of a head scratcher for me. A host of good clues to pick from but I’ll nominate a podium of 11a with 5&15d.
    Very hot again today but the forecast thunderstorms haven’t materialised yet in humid Harpenden.
    Thanks to proXimal & to DT.

  22. Not an easy solve but very enjoyable especially after yesterday 😃 ***/**** Favourites 11a & 20d 🤗 Thanks to the Setter (I don’t think it is proXimal because I managed to complete it 😬) and thanks to DT for the blog and especially for the two laugh out loud clips of Del Boy and the Hamlet ad 👍

  23. I found this puzzle generally difficult to parse today and the toughest back pager for a while.
    Going for a ****/****.
    Don’t remember Z an unknown-always X and Y or N in my day. Cocktails were new to me- I usually remember grenades are pineapples!
    Anyway top draw crossword and a fine end to the week.
    Favourite was 14a, lovely surface from our esteemed setter.

  24. After such a good day yesterday, today I failed miserably. Started badly with convincing myself that 5a was scarves which upset that corner completely. 14a was quite simple when I looked at the hints! Hope to do much better tomorrow.

  25. Another one of those which takes ages, seems like a slog, but nothing that obscure. Just tricksy wordplay which was quite entertaining.
    I see Axminster and Wyvern are like buses, in Crosswordland, so that helped a bit as they both cropped up in the last 2 weeks, I think.
    How does that even happen, given the delay between submission and published dates? Is it deliberate on the part of our Editor?
    ProXimal – I remembered about him and No Xs in his pangram but I’d forgotten about the 4X rule – that might’ve helped a bit.
    Thanks to him for a few laughs and DT, whose ratings I agree with.

  26. I remember a Vauxhall car model as 20d. How strange to call it a Vauxhall Monster although I did have a Chevette which was a monster. A Friday afternoon car.

  27. Very disappointing not to have had the thunder and much needed rain in muggy Melbourn (had to try and match Huntsman’s Humid Harpenden, had the rains rained I could have said Cool Cambridge.) Another perfect week of wonderful cruciverbal diversion and I am only stuck on 7d and am too anxious to get a doze in to work through DT’s hint. I did enjoy the obituary of the intrepid daisy lover – it reminded my that my husband was one of the few people to have read his own obituary in The Campbell College magazine some years ago. They were beyond embarrassment when he pointed out that he was still going strong. Fake news – nothing new. Am I alone is SEETHING (sorry to shout) on not only seeing thousands of idiots crowding the beaches but more appallingly leaving so much litter? Un- be-lievable.

    1. Me too regarding the obit, not often I dip into that part of the paper. I have come to learn when MP (or whoever he decides to be that day) recommends something it is usually worth following up.

    2. Yes, Bournemouth beach full of selfish, inconsiderate people. And I am sure very few locals, for whom I feel bad. To be invaded like that during this pandemic, and then to have to deal with the litter afterwards. The mind boggles. How can parents say schools are too unsafe to reopen, yet they expose their children like this?

  28. This to me was like a good chili slow to start but after a time it got better, clues I liked, 5, 10, 22, 25 across, 6, 13, 16 down and it was a pleasant solve, my thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.

    have a nice weekend everyone

  29. Another tough puzzle in what has been a week of tricky crosswords. I hope we can return to more attainable ones next week.
    As with almost all of this weeks puzzles I needed some electronic help to complete. Too tricky to be enjoyable, merely for me a way to pass an hour or so.
    Thx for the hints

  30. Another enjoyable challenge though I had to resort to the hints for 14a and 7d. I couldn’t even name the bit of hardware from the photo so had to click for the answer. Some really excellent clues but 21a was my favourite.
    Many thanks to ProXimal (I must try to remember his other trade mark) and to DT for the hints.

  31. “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” Thus spoke Bertie Wooster on my behalf and perhaps on behalf of all printer-outers of the crossword as this was another of those days when an entire page was needed to print the last ‘down’ clue. The poor trees!
    However, some may argue that if that is all I have to worry about then life can’t be too bad…
    This was a challenge for me but luckily I had the time to persist and complete it. I did need the invaluable Deep Threat to help me understand how I got there in terms of parsing of a few. I finally solved 14a (last in) by the old method of running through the alphabet for the missing letters until it made sense.
    Surprisingly gusty in Surrey despite the intense heat, so two paperweights and my elbow were deployed to keep the pages on the table. Lola has retired to her favourite place in amongst the wallflowers. After she spent yesterday under the potting bench, I put a cushion under there for her – so, of course, she has not returned there since. Cats, eh?
    Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.

    1. you may want to check the margins and settings on your printer T.
      I was having similar probs until I changed the default margins.
      Trees are at least recyclable and waste prints are pulped but printer ink is more expensive per millilitre than vintage malt!

    2. My Phoebe hasn’t gotten up yet, still in bed, fast asleep in the air-conditioning. I don’t think she’s gone out for days.

    3. When it’s a 2 page printout I select just the first page and write in the missed clue(s) at the bottom.Saves the odd block of wood.

  32. ****/**. I found the wordplay very convoluted in many of these clues so it was quite a chore. I needed DT’s help for several (many thanks). Thanks also to proXimal for a tough end to the working week – not that I work any more. The problem with being retired is you don’t get any days off.

    1. The trick for retirement is to always make the weekends special. They have been all through your life so don’t lose that looking forward to the weekend feeling.

      1. I was joking but that obviously didn’t resonate. I love retirement and make everyday, not just weekends, a day to live for special or not. When we lost our son aged 19 it became our sole promise to him. Enough from me perhaps?

  33. It was going swimmingly (but slowly) but I fell at the final hurdle. 2d I had a cheeky monkey but couldn’t parse it (obviously).
    I needed a hint for those cheeky girls and thank DT for putting me out of my misery.
    8d and 20d have been here recently I think but it made them come to mind easier.
    Lots to like here but if pushed I will pick 5d as my fave.
    Thanks to DT and proXimal (if he) I clicked post no more than 60 secs after proXimal owned up
    I haven’t left much time for the toughie but will bravely plug away at it for a while

  34. I found this very, very tricky but most enjoyable, doable if you follow the instructions.
    The SW was the most difficult and I missed three there, one was 17d which I thought it had to be but couldn’t see the “why”.
    So much that was clever, loved 15d, but I think 5d takes the biscuit. I knew 14a, my Dad called it that.
    I had to use e-help for 2d, would never have solved that on my own.
    Thanks to proXimal for the fun and Deep Threat for unravelling some for me, not to mention the guffaws with Del Boy and the cigar ad!

  35. Not a doddle by any means but as near as proXimal ever gets to one – ie not as tricky as usual for him.
    I found the bottom half much easier than the top.
    I liked 11and 14a (I know nothing about that sort of think but would have called them wing nuts) and 2 and 15d.
    Still too hot in Oxford but not as bad as it has been – at least there’s a bit of air movement.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  36. A fun puzzle to end the work (?) week with. ***/**** with lots of fun clues and several that brought a chuckle with them. Liked 10a, 14a, 18a, 1d & 17d … winner 18a with 17d runner up.
    20d reminded me of the transportation my dad had when I was a kid in England in the 60’s. Remember it well.

    Thanks to ProXimal and DT for the hints

  37. I thought this one had me beaten, a quick glance this morning revealed not one answer! Later the same day and after two delightful walks, one in the rain and the other in bright sunshine (in that order…which was not the forecast!), the clues gradually revealed themselves and the crossword was duly completed and enjoyed. Thanks to ProXimal and DT for the hints

  38. I always find ProXimal on the rather tough side, but do give his puzzles my best shot anyway. I always fall down on the convoluted clues, my brain just shuts down and I go on to the next clue. One of these days I will get on his wavelength. Favourite clue was 15d. Thanks to said setter and Deep Threat.

  39. Thanks to ProXimal and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I just couldn’t do this at all. Needed the hints for 1,11,18a and 2,7,24d. Favourite was 15d. Was 4*/2* for me.

  40. I’m in the “ProXimal is always a hard solve” camp this evening. The parsing was at least as challenging as getting the answer. I’m also in the wing nut camp. Having said that I got there in the end. No thunderstorms in my neck of the woods as yet, but you can cut the atmosphere with a knife so there’s one coming. I agree with the alto comments. Favourite was 15d although I’m getting a bit like that myself. Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  41. Soon the crosswords I am currently solving are going to be off the grid and will need to do a search to find them.
    Still have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from that week.
    Anyway. I shall not miss on. Specially if they are as good as this one.
    Great clues like 13d and 15d made it a real joy.
    Thanks to Proximal and to DT.

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