DT 29410 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29410

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29410

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’re staying in Wellington for a couple of days so this is coming from a different environment. Weather pretty awful at present although we did have a few better days since we put together our last blog.

Thought this was quite tricky for a Wednesday and there are several rather scrumptious long anagrams to appreciate.

We struggled with the Quickie pun as it was unfamiliar to us but eventually our daughter, with help from Mr Google, sorted it.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Tether put on sheep in poor condition and likely to collapse (10)
RAMSHACKLE : A male sheep and then a tether or restraint.

6a     Label attached to head of Socialist party? (4)
STAG : The first letter of Socialist and a label or identifying ticket.

9a     Give prior knowledge of mineral found in agricultural land (7)
FOREARM : A mineral from which metal is extracted is inside an agricultural production establishment.

10a     Rubbish bin initially dumped in filling station (7)
GARBAGE : The first letter of bin is enclosed by a filling station or vehicle repair place.

12a     Mascot found in cargo hold — muck all over the place (4,4,5)
GOOD LUCK CHARM : An anagram (all over the place) of CARGO HOLD MUCK.

14a     Auditor set out on board ship (8)
LISTENER : A luxury passenger ship contains an anagram (out) of SET.

15a     Mum may see son fast after Italy (6)
SILENT : S(on) and the IVR code for Italy come before the fast that precedes Easter.

17a     Land on fire (6)
ALIGHT : A double definition. Land is a verb here.

19a     Shame detective’s good with people (8)
DISGRACE : The abbreviation for Detective Inspector with the (‘S) from the clue, then G(ood) and a people or nation.

21a     My word soon set wretch off (5,3,5)
STONE THE CROWS : An anagram (off) of SOON SET WRETCH.

24a     Line dismissed by travelling salesmen as a group (2,5)
EN MASSE : An anagram (travelling) of SA(l)ESMAN after the abbreviation for line has been removed.

25a     Good wine substitute? (7)
RESERVE : A double definition. The substitute could belong to a football team.

26a     Long pastry must be filled with one in the middle (4)
PINE : The central letter of the word ‘one’ is inside a pastry dish.

27a     Left as upset about headliner beginning to question (5,5)
FALSE START : A headliner or someone with top billing is inside an anagram (upset) of LEFT AS. The ‘beginning to question’ could also be described as ‘a beginning that is questionable’.


1d    A great deal of time needed to support flyers (4)
RAFT : The servicemen flyers and then T(ime).

2d     Motorway anger ultimately destroys illusions (7)
MIRAGES : UK’s primary motorway, then a synonym for anger and the last letter of destroys.

3d     Deserve halo? He needs to change completely (4,4,5)
HEAD OVER HEELS : An anagram (needs to change) of DESERVE HALO HE.

4d     Agreed, and suggested company should replace leader (8)
COMPLIED : Start with a word meaning suggested and replace its first letter with the two letter abbreviation for company.

5d     Sense record must be on since dropping odds (5)
LOGIC : A record or diary and the second and fourth letters of ‘since’.

7d     Two items on the afternoon menu for one? (7)
TEACAKE : An ‘all in one’ clue. The answer when split 3,4  gives two items that could also be on the same afternoon menu.

8d     Ill-defined affair that indicates intelligence (4,6)
GREY MATTER : Ill-defined expressed as a colour and then affair or business.

11d     Children’s toys could see Scrooge shrink insanely (7,6)
ROCKING HORSES : An anagram (insanely) of SCROOGE SHRINK.

13d     Success coming as result of complete change? (5,5)
CLEAN SWEEP : The outcome of brushing aside all that came before.

16d     Picks out records covering English sailors (8)
DISCERNS : Records, either vinyl or CD’s, enclose E(nglish) and water-borne servicemen.

18d     Fair on managing boxing event that’s gruelling (4,3)
IRON MAN : A lurker (indicated by boxing), to be found hiding in the clue.

20d     Country song keeping us tense (7)
AUSTRIA : A song, probably from an opera, surrounds ‘us’ from the clue and t(ense).

22d     Animal hospital longing to get answer (5)
HYENA : Longing or desire is inside H(ospital) and A(nswer).

23d     Hide from rain (4)
PELT : A double definition. The hide is an animal skin.

It took us a long time to sort out 27a so we’ll nominate that for favourite.

Quickie pun    guess    +    tales    =    Guest Ales

104 comments on “DT 29410

  1. Jay was definitely trickier today – didn’t matter where I ‘started’ it took me a while to get going. Too many splendid clues to pick out just one, so I’ll just say thank you to Jay and the 2Ks

    The Hudson toughie is fairly friendly, Brendan (Virgilius) is in the Graun, we’ve had half an inch of rain so I don’t need to rush out and water the precious plants in the garden and, best of all, I’m getting my haircut this afternoon :yahoo:

    1. You lucky thing. I cant get my hair cut as we are shielding and I have had enough of the curly mullet which is rapidly expanding like sn alien excrescence.

      1. Got mine cut on Monday Chris – the barber looked like he was about to embark on a major welding job

        1. Using an oxy-acetylene torch instead of the old taper (do barbers still do singeing?)to finish off must have been pretty scary

    2. The sainted one did mine this morning as she has done since the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out

      1. We invested in some clippers at the start of lockdown, and I now cut Mr BL’s hair for him. Unfortunately, he is so pleased with the result, and the low cost, that I think I have a job for life now.

    3. I had my hair cut yesterday but today I am thinking I quite liked the shaggy me.

    4. A friend cut mine, definitely pudding basin coif, but it’s off my neck, hooray!

    5. Have just managed to get a hairdresser’s appointment but am now quite nervous vis-à-vis infection potential.

      1. Perhaps you’ll be charged a £2 COVID surcharge, like my wife was this morning.

        1. I had a COVID surcharge of £9.50 at the chiropodist on top of my pre-paid plan. At least they did phone me to arrange an appointment. When I finally got an answer from my regular hairdressers they had no appointment for me till the 25th July and , wait for it, I had to pay a deposit of £25.

        2. I had to pay £2 more but that was because instead of my usual dry cut, the Covid regulations mean you have to have your hair washed before they can cut it. Still a lot less expensive than the dentist on Monday :(

    6. My Elder Lamb cut mine a couple of weeks ago. Her comment, having done it, was, “I’m not a hairdresser, Mum – I’m really good at other things, I promise”. She’s right, she is really good at other things.

  2. Jay has once again given us a gem of a puzzle. I thought it was slightly trickier than his average Wednesday offerings, but still scoring very high on enjoyment. So many terrific clues from which to select a favourite, but 15a stood out, as did my final entry, 26a.

    Thanks to Jay for cheering up a dank and dreary Shropshire morning, and to the 2Ks.

  3. A very straightforward offering today, easily completed in */** time. The extra half being for 14a, which eluded me for too long.

    The quickie pun had me thinking for a while, a shame really as I am a great fan. I’ll blame it on the fact that my local still has its doors firmly shut.

    Many thanks to Jay, if it is he, and the 2Ks.

    1. You should have called Malcolm. I’ve given nearly 2,000 pints away during the lockdown.

  4. A pleasant trip down memory lane from Jay today that I found pretty straightforward though I did wonder about the definition of 27a. Some nice long anagrams (I thought 21a was hilarious) and a cracking lurker included. Hard to pick a podium, such a 1d of excellent clues, but I’ll go for 1a (great word), 24a &18d…
    Many thanks to the 3 birds for the entertainment.

  5. The long clues were certainly helpful today. I didn’t help myself by putting 18d into 20d. I even split 20d into (4,3). I put 18d back in the right place, but still thought of 20d as (4,3). What a pickle. 8d was my last one in. 1a was my favourite. Thank you to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. Yes, a bit trickier than usual from Jay but still splendid, and as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. 16d and 21a (my LOI, an expression new to me but hilarious, though not for the corvines among us, I guess) held me up and pushed me into 3*, though just barely. But so much to like and admire! My winners: 1a, 15a, and 16d. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay for the pleasure. 3* / 4*

    Great Toughie today too. Took less time than Jay’s…will wonders never cease?

  7. Thia was a shocker thank goodness for the long clues which gave me a start. No real gimmies either. Once again Jay produces a superb puzzle.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  8. 1.5*/4*. I found this very straightforward for a Jay puzzle but highly enjoyable as ever. I’ve got far too many ticks to list them all.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  9. For some reason 27a eluded me for some time so 3* / 4*. Lots of great clues as always with Jay. Favourite 21a. Thanks to all. Typically it’s raining in the south so we are looking at the cricket pitch with its covers on!

  10. Since I enjoy anagrams so much, this Jay puzzle was even more appealing than usual. There was also some great misdirection. 3d and 27a were my favourites. I didn’t find it trickier than usual and completed it in just under 2* time. Enjoyment rating was 4*. Like CS I’m enjoying the downpour of rain. My thirsty leeks, broad beans, french beans and courgettes are enjoying the water bath.

  11. Sorry. I forgot to thank Jay and the Kiwis for keeping up the spirits of those of us who are shielding.

  12. Gentle but enjoyable. (1.5*/3*). I put 1a, 19a and 3d on the podium just for the surfaces. Thanks Jay and 2K.

    I found Hudson’s Toughie today more like a good back pager, so maybe it is one for those that sometimes don’t attempt them.

    P.S. My soon to be ex-wife cut my hair last week! Now I am definitely not going out for a while.🙁

  13. So much more enjoyable than yesterday – and, it’s finally raining. What a wonderful day! Some excellent clues **/**** with 21a my favourite. Thanks to all.

  14. We are all different are we not? I found this pretty straightforward and entirely enjoyable, Loved 1a which gave me a good foothold and then a steady solve. I cut my husband’s hair last week and made a pretty good job of the front! Well I thought so, but he saw the barber on Monday and now looks 10 years younger. First rain today in weeks, yippee. What little things excite in these weird times. Thanks to all.

    1. Of course it’s raining today. The England v West Indies cricket match was due to start this morning. :sad:

  15. Another delightful puzzle from Jay which was fairly plain sailing once I’d picked up on the definition in 27a. Plenty to choose from for favourite but it has to go to the excellent 1a which made me laugh. For some reason I’ve never looked at it as two separate words!

    Many thanks to Jay and to our travelling 2Ks – hope you’re enjoying spending time with your daughter.

  16. My troubles with Jay continue for what reason I just don’t know. Had clean sheet for 13d so needed hints to put me right. Could kick myself as I had 26a but ignored it as I thought 13d must be right.
    Interesting that RD found it “very straightforward” yet CS “definitely tricky” not often my two barometers are so far apart.
    Excellent puzzle with lots to like just wish I didn’t make things difficult for myself.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks.

    1. I did the same on 13d. I was so sure that i was right even though i correctly solved 26a and rejected it!
      Thanks to all, as always.

    2. Did exactly the same thing with 13d / 26a!
      I love Jay Wednesdays – such a plethora of wonderful clues. 1a was a great start.

  17. Just right balance of fun and challenge. SW corner brought up the rear. Always find the multi-word solutions more challenging. Perhaps I wasn’t alone in trying to come up with a boxing event prior to realising the lurker in 18d – clever misdirection. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  18. I am in the straight forward camp today due to a flying start then getting the anagrams quite quickly . Nevertheless , enjoyable and admirable , as usual from Jay .
    Thanks and greetings to the 2Ks , enjoy the Windy City of the South .

  19. Very enjoyable. I’m a little dubious about the definition in 27a. 7d was my favourite today although plently of great clues to pick from. I agree with both ratings at the top of the blog. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  20. Hugely enjoyable; some I faced like a tail-ender looking up to see Michael Holding bearing down upon him, but many I swiped away with the aplomb of a David Gower cover drive.
    I missed the lurker, for ages, of course.
    Lola has asked me to point out that she is a huge supporter of 21a. She says the more that meet this fate, the merrier life would be.
    While she is at the podium, Lola also wants to add that as she is an advocate of fellows supporting their partners during childbirth, she fully agrees with the reason for Joe Root’s absence. However she has told me that she is worried about England’s top order, yet she wishes Ben Stokes well in his temporary role as captain.
    In conclusion, both Lola and I thank Jay and the two Ks.

        1. Sorry, Terrance but I have been wanting to do this for some time. Keep telling us about the wonderful Lola.

  21. Enjoyed todays puzzle and a **/**** for me.
    The good news is that I had a haircut( seems to be topical in todays blog) , the bad news is that the crickets delayed!
    Not seen 1a as a ‘great deal’ for a while, lots of long anagrams where the solutions went in before the parse took place which made life easy.
    Favourite was 14a -nicely mislead.
    Thanks to the 2K’s pics-would have liked one for 21a-one of my favourite groups-Harley/Bell

  22. Rather odd for me. The first read through yielded absolutely zilch so made a coffee & read the paper. Coming back to it I got 1a immediately & cantered to a finish in 1.5* with no real difficulty. Enjoyable as ever with Jay without quite being up there with his best but then he does set a very high bar indeed.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.
    Ps – had my first proper pint on Monday in Hertfordshire’s finest CAMRA award winning pub & chose a Quickie pun beer called Daily Bread which unfortunately was a bit of a let down.

  23. Really enjoyed this 😃 **/**** I thought that I had aced but pride comes before a fall 😳 I put one of our feathered friends in as the answer to 1d. Favourites 14a & 1d. Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay

  24. Very enjoyable. Lovely having no leakage from the GK crossword – a true cryptic offering.
    I was held up for a while by 10a, 11d and 13d and these pushed me out to *** time. 10a and 11d threw me for due to the strange definitions. Is a filling station one of those in the answer? IMHO they are different entities. I also query whether the answer to 11d is a toy or and piece of equipment for entertaining a child. Anyhow I dithered too long pondering them. I also wasted time on trying to solve a non-existent anagram in 13d (as result of) before the penny dropped.
    Good exercise for the grey cells and my thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

    1. “result as of” and “coming as of” were the fodder for me for too long as well.

  25. I am in the definitely trickier camp on this one. I made a real mess of the SW – 26a and 13d in particular – for completion at a canter (I haven’t said that for a while) – 3.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 25a, and 18d – and the winner is 25a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  26. I agree with those that think Jay was trickier than normal. It took an age to get going but then 1a hit me between the eyes and things started to fall into place. Some cracking clues with great anagrams, which, unusually for me, I managed to get – apart from 21a. I spent ages trying use the wrong eleven words. I did the same as Florence but put 16d in 18d minus the final ‘s’. I totally missed the lurker, which was very well hidden.

    Mv COTD is the excellent, aforementioned 1a.

    Many thanks to Jay for an excellent workout and to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

  27. Two of the best back pagers it has ever been my pleasure to solve.Thankyou Jay for more than filling the gap left by rain in Southampton .As ever the blog and other comments provide further entertainment.

  28. Think I found the Quickie harder than this. I certainly didn’t like the quick pun.
    Do have a go at the Toughie. A bit of GK but friendly

  29. To some extent a typical Jay puzzle, full of stretched synonyms. I agree with the rating, a bit tricky but solvable if as always with his puzzles, you ignore the wordplay and just find the definition. I did like 17a.
    Thx to all

  30. Wednesday puzzles have become a bit of a favourite of mine these days. Maybe its because I find Jay’s cluing easy to follow or maybe we have a similar mindset I don’t know, but the nett result was my completing whilst lunching on a coffee and a couple of cheese and onion rolls. Finished at my own kind of a gallop. Thanks Jay, a very entertaining puzzle – thanks also to the 2Ks (when I first read your mention of Wellington, I thought your were on a visit here to Shropshire, quite forgetting Wellington NZ :-) Silly me. :-)

    1. Strangely enough, I briefly thought the 2Kiwis were visiting Shropshire! :grin:

  31. A very enjoyable puzzle which I found quite straightforward. A few long anagrams to get me off to a quick start. Joint winners for me today – 1a and 17a. A gentle Toughie as well today.

  32. Enjoyed this, quite tricky and exercised the little grey cells but got there in the end with no help. Whenever I hear 21a I think of Tony Hancock.
    Thanks to Jay for brightening up a drizzly Devon morning and to the 2Ks for the hints.

  33. In a better mood today, apologies for any grumpy comments over the last couple of days.
    I rushed through this until the SW corner. I did not have enough crossers to get 13d, so I had to cheat, the rest fell easily.
    Another great Jay puzzle, thanks all.

    1. Absolutely no need to apologise, Hoofit, your ‘grumpy’ comments are far exceeded by those of others I could mention! The only time I worried was when you threatened to back away from DT puzzles – I’m so pleased that you didn’t follow through on that one.

  34. It’s not often that Crypticsue comments that a puzzle is trickier and I fly through it untroubled, but that’s what seems to have happened today. It was a very enjoyable accompaniment to a sandwich lunch. 6a just gets my vote for favourite but I liked the long anagrams too.
    1*/4* Thanks to Jay for the entertainment and the 2K’s for the review.

    I’ve finally managed to book a haircut, tomorrow, so my lockdown beard will be disappearing too. It made a fun change for a while but was starting to need maintenance and had rather more grey in it than I had hoped anyway!

  35. Really good crossword – it let me in and then stumped me in the south west corner….. and yet all fair and good. As a club cyclist sending What’sApp cryptic clues along with obscure images of churchyards etc During lockdown to other members to introduce them to the joys of cryptic crosswords I can appreciate the quality of such clueing – and thanks to 2Kiwis too!!!

  36. I too found this a nice straightforward challenge, I love anagrams which supply a good framework to go on. I did get fixated on 21a being something to do with ‘cross’ until 13d showed me I wouldn’t have a spare ‘s’. If Lola chases crows does she also frighten the little birds as well? I think we might fall out over that. Thompson is so lazy she will just lie and watch the birds and they take no notice of her at all, but then I gather Lola is quite a young lady. Terence is obviously putty in her paws. Thanks to KKand J for the entertainment.

    1. My Phoebe is pretty lazy, she’s still asleep in bed, but that doesn’t stop her catching birds and lizards! I get so cross about the birds.

  37. For me this was a steady solve, nothing really stood out as my COTD but I enjoyed 1, 12 and 21 across as well as 1, 2 and 8 down, for some reason 16 down held me up, thank you to the setter and The 2Kiwis

  38. ***/****. Nice puzzle with a couple of good anagrams. 21a reminded me of Tony Hancock and brought back memories of The Blood Donor. 14a was my LOI so gets my vote for favourite. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  39. I had forgotten today was Jay day. It did sneak into 2nd coffee break but the only real difficulty was 13d. I toyed with various anagrams from combinations of words 2 to 6 for quite a while. As the crosses gave me more checkers eventually the penny dropped. 8d best of the bunch for me but I did like the anagrams, particularly 11d as I have a small collection of the wooden Knots that fall out of white wood pallets, I don’t have very many as they are quite rare occurrences these days. Small brown and round with sloping ends. I refer to them as Rocking Horse droppings!

    Thanks to Jay and the Wellingtonians.

  40. Fair amount of electronic help needed for this one, my problems confounded by choosing the wrong anagram words for 3d, and convinced that 13d was an anagram. Also completely missed the 27a anagram. Anyway, thanks to Jay for the challenge and to the 2Ks.
    Re 7d: had yesterday’s chocolate birthday cake for breakfast. Reminiscent of eating Sachertorte for breakfast at the Sacher hotel in Vienna. Wonderful!

  41. Really enjoyed this one today. Getting the long anagrams early always helps.
    I love the expression at 21a.
    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  42. Oh dear – I too, thought of Wellington in Shropshire. Maybe we should all get out more………….!

  43. 3* for me with great clues (except for 27a which seems contrived) and one of the best lurkers. Where does the saying for 21a come from? Thank you Jay and 2Ks

    1. There’s a myriad of possible explanations given online but I reckon favourite is that it simply relates back to when young boys were paid a few pennies to throw stones and scare the crows off farmers’ crops. Perhaps they lifted off with a chorus of ‘caws’ which morphed into ‘cor’ and hence to ‘my word’? Best I can come up with!

      1. One story I have heard before is that the lookouts in the crow’s nest on a sailing vessel were, naturally, nicknamed ‘the crows’
        When they spotted land to restock fresh water and food in the remote Pacific, say, ‘stone the crows’ meant ‘give the crows a gem’ for spotting what would potentially be a lifeline, and a kind of utterance of thankful astonishment

        I think ‘cor’ derives from ‘God blind me!’, meaning ‘dare I behold the sight’, which morphed into ‘Gawd Blin’ me’ then ‘Cor Blimey!’

        The English are very good at bastardizing language – many folk don’t seem to realise the old adage that the English language is largely French, just pronounced badly – May Day indeed!

        1. Fascinating derivations, LBR. Didn’t know about ‘Cor Blimey!’–thanks.

  44. Took a while to pick up the right fodder for the anagram in 21a and finished the bottom half in no time.
    Thanks to Jay for the usual Wednesday excellence and to 2 Kiwis for the review.

  45. A brilliant crossword with some of the best anagrams I’ve ever seen.
    I also thought it was a bit trickier than Jay usually is but I always seem to end up with a few that take me longer than the whole of the rest of the crossword on Wednesdays.
    27a took a long time to sort out and I was a bit dopey with 14a for some reason.
    Clues that stood out for me today included 1a and 7d. My favourite was 21a.
    It’s rained all day in Oxford – the garden loves it.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

      1. Good – did you find it as much of a faff as I always do? I have to love people very much to make it for them! That usually means my family!!

        1. It took me all afternoon. I nearly lost the will to live and shouted at everyone who came into the kitchen. The worst bit was whisking the 6 eggs with the 9 egg yolks, and reading the instructions to slowly add them to the melted butter/lemons/sugar over a low heat …..being careful not to scramble the eggs. I stopped breathing at that point. The result, however, is an absolutely delicious lemon tart. I did wonder if you just rustled this up every weekend, in which case I am full of admiration. Nice as it is, and my family love it, I have yet to tell them that I may not make it again until the next moon landing.

          1. Lady LbR made a low carb lemon meringue last week end, almond flour and all that
            Took most of the afternoon and made a right mess of the kitchen (she accidentally pressed the whisk button to ‘on’ with meringue-covered whisks *out* of the bowl – a quick way to redecorate the kitchen) She also used granulated artificial sweetener instead of sugar
            Even she could not stomach it; hard as she tried to pretend, she clearly felt sick all evening. I tasted a bit and my head instantly wanted to suck in my face through the mouth
            It was, as my three year old daughter once described one of my curries, ‘bisdustin’, and I warned her about leaving it out in her garden for the foxes, for fear of cruelty to animals and a visit from the RSPCA, or from the Environment Agency for fly-tipping hazardous waste
            Pleased to hear yours went better

            1. Maybe we all need a trip to Amalfi to eat it there, like CS. Forget all this making it at home stuff.

              1. Amalfi? Sounds like a Michael Caine confession… Aldi more likely
                Anyway, I’d bought lemon cheesecake just in case, not that I was sceptical or anything :whistle:

      2. I’ve eaten Amalfi lemon tart in Amalfi made, of course, with Amalfi lemons which really are the best lemons.

        1. The best lemons are from Menton, John.
          As they say in Star Trek, the Amalfi is a bag of mostly water.

  46. Solved alone and unaided but definitely needed help from the 2 Kiwis to parse a few of the answers,

    So a well done day today.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  47. Trickier Jay today but oh-so enjoyable. East was very straightforward, then I solved the NW, then finally sorting out the SW, that took as long as the rest of the puzzle.
    I think 1a is such a lovely word. I was really thick at 3d, the answer screamed at me but I was using the wrong words for the anagram, eventually wrote in the answer I wanted.
    I was so lost at 21a, I used e-help for the anagram, but that has to be my fave – loved it.
    Last in was 18d, a stab in the dark, I didn’t know it. I also took far too long with 26a, duh!
    Thank you, thank you Jay for the fun, and thanks to the 2Kiwis for unravelling some, 27a in particular.

  48. Rather late finishing today, as Rose had a tooth extraction today (after a four- month wait) and has spent the rest of the day in bed, except for getting up briefly to help Gray chase a lizard out of the lounge, our first such visitor. The last time this room was used was just after the end of the confinement ( lockdown) when a hairdresser came to us, carefully observing all the safety guidelines issued to her by the French state to cut our hair rather too short in both cases, which at least means it won’t need done again for a while … to the crossword. **/**** for us, we love Jay and the 2Ks and always look forward to Wednesdays. Favourite clues 15a and 21a, needed help to parse 26a. Thanks to all three birds.

    1. Any hair cut that was a bit too short was always called an ‘economical’ one by my Dad!

      1. The 7yo and I went on Monday, with the 7yo’s now being shorter than it’s ever been: apparently the lockdown home fringe trim was so bad that basically everything else had to be cut really short to match. Ooops!

        My hairdresser was pleased to be back: they’d had some money from the government (being self-employed), but not enough to cover their household expenses, and their mental health hadn’t been great without work and talking to people.

        Oh, and add me to those loving the quickie pun! (And I don’t even like alcohol.)

    2. Make sure Rose bathes the socket with warm salt water. Teaspoon of salt in a tumbler of water as hot as the mouth can stand. Don’t test the temperature with the fingers as they can stand hotter temperatures than the mouth. Take a mouthful and hold it over the socket for a while. Don’t swish it around the mouth because that can disturb the forming blood clot. Spit out and repeat until glass is empty. Do this every two hours for the first day then every four on the second. Have a glass of fresh water standing by to rinse the mouth out after so no salt water gets into the stomach to cause vomiting.

  49. Morning all. And a cold one it is in Wellington (not the Shropshire one) today.
    All the Jay fans look to be happy again with this one.

  50. Really enjoyed this – my only quibble was 27a (as for others) but otherwise clever and just the right level of challenge…..

  51. Late on parade again. I read a few comments last night (Oz East Coast Time) but I was too tired (read lazy) to post. I agree, great puzzle from Jay. The anagrams helped open it up. A bit of a hmmm about 21a. ‘Stone the crows’ is more used as an expression of disbelief rather than ‘my word’. It is not used much these days except by Alf in Home and Away. Thanks also 2Ks. Wellington is one of my favourite cities. Just watching the morning news and it’s sad to see Melbourne (and much of Victoria) locked down again due to a new Covid outbreak.

  52. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Very enjoyable, but very tricky. Needed the hints for 13d & 27a, still don’t really understand the latter, having read the hint. Couldn’t parse 4d. Favourite was 18d, great lurker. Was 3*/4* for me.

  53. I’m in the “I found this really difficult in parts but having completed it I can’t really see why” camp this evening. I’m blaming it on a late start, even for me, due to a zoom meeting, an over enthusiastic consumption of alcohol, constant interruptions from people messaging me and general incompetence. I’m just happy to have done it. 1a standout favourite. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  54. A delight of course. Thanks Jay and thanks 2Ks for clarifying a couple of parsings – 26 and 27a. NE last to fall but dud so like a pack of cards once I had got 7d. Favourites 1 and 21a and 7 8 and 13d. So far as difficulty level is concerned I am somewhere in the middle. The long answers helped me as most wrote themselves in. This took a fraction of the time I took to solve yesterday’s which for me was a near impossibility.

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