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DT 29411

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29411

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. Here we are again – another Thursday – still locked down/locked up/ or whatever you want to call it but, depending on your circumstances and where you live, slightly less so. Anyway, on to the crossword – I thought it was somewhere in the middle of Ray T’s range of difficulty and very enjoyable.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you want to see one.


7a        Some place, not a pharaoh’s empty tomb (8)
CENOTAPH — a lurker or hidden answer indicated by the first word of the clue

9a        Favourite car working (6)
MINION — a small car is followed by a little word that means working

10a       Charming sweetheart follows fashion (4)
CUTE — a fashion or style and the middle letter or heart of swEet

11a       Provoke former top judge about British (10)
EXACERBATE — the usual two letters that mean former and an adjective that means top or first class are followed by a verb to judge or put a value on which contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for B(ritish)

12a       Nice young man? (6)
GARCON — the first word of the clue is a city in the south of France so you need the French word for a boy or young man – I looked at this one for quite a long time before I tumbled to what was going on

14a       Suspect bilge, lie is appropriate (8)
ELIGIBLE — an anagram (suspect) of BILGE LIE

15a       Singers producing notes for the audience (6)
TENORS — a homophone (for the audience) of some paper money

17a       Went off embarrassed having eaten too much (6)
ROTTED — the colour associated with embarrassment containing (having eaten) the three letter abbreviation for too much

20a       Mysterious sailor’s right about end of albatross (8)
ABSTRUSE — one of the many two letter abbreviations for a sailor, with his ‘S, is followed by a synonym of right or accurate which goes round (about) the last letter (end) of albatrosS

22a       Rules lines scratching head (6)
ORDERS — another word for lines or boundaries without its first letter (scratching or getting rid of head)

23a       Government staff get old chaps tense (10)
MANAGEMENT — begin with a verb to staff or crew, follow that with a synonym of get old, or mature, then some chaps or blokes and, finally, the one letter abbreviation for T(ense)

24a       Initially type of noise emitting air (4)
TONE — the first letters (initially) of the middle four words of the clue

25a       Temperature on flat earth? (6)
PLANET — earth is just an example of the answer which is indicated by the question mark at the end of the clue – a synonym for flat or a level surface is followed by the one letter abbreviation for T(emperature)

26a       Flash traveller touring Spain as well (8)
MOREOVER — a flash or a little bit of time is followed by a traveller or a nomad which contains (touring) the IVR code for Spain



1d        Short blow holding instrument upside down (8)
PETULANT — short here is to do with a general manner rather than stature – a puff or gasp (blow) contains (holding) a reversal (upside down) of an old stringed instrument – phew!

2d        Tree trunk found in vessel, reportedly (4)
BOLE — a homophone (reportedly) of a vessel that you might use to eat from – I’d never heard of this word so I confess to having to ask the helpful Mr Google and, thankfully, he did know it!

3d        Swear in turn emptying pub (6)
TAVERN — the first and last letters of T[ur]N (emptying) contain (in) a verb to swear or attest

4d        This compiler’s tame current work generates complaint (8)
 IMPETIGO — how the compiler would say he is, an adjective meaning tame or domesticated, the one letter symbol for electric current and, to finish off, a verb to work or operate – I did find a piccy to illustrate this contagious bacterial skin infection but thought better of using it . . .

5d        Legless one on a bender it turned out (10)
INEBRIATED — an anagram (turned out) of the letter that looks like a one and A BENDER IT

6d        It’s human right to take time (6)
MORTAL — another word for right or ethical contains (to take) the one letter abbreviation for T[ime]

8d        Topless American playhouse which gets you hot? (6)
HEATER — the American spelling for a playhouse or opera house without its first letter (topless)

13d      Criminal’s character acquiring new force (10)
CONSTRAINT — one of the usual crosswordland words for a criminal, with his (or her) ‘S, is followed by a characteristic or a quality which contains (acquiring) the abbreviation for N[ew]

16d      Check in path for game (8)
ROULETTE — a check or hindrance goes inside (in) a path or a course

18d      Performance outside called insane (8)
DERANGED — a performance or an act contains (outside) a synonym for called, as in telephoned rather than named

19d      Concerned with judge giving discharge (6)
REDEEM — one of the usual little two letter abbreviations that mean concerned with or about are followed by (with) a verb to judge or consider

21d      Hotel California performer following Black Dog (6)
BEAGLE — one of the members of the group (performer) known for their number “Hotel California” follows (following) the abbreviation for B[lack]

22d      Protest over university attempt to welcome Conservative (6)
OUTCRY — the ‘crickety’ abbreviation for O[ver], the abbreviation for U[university] and a synonym for attempt or have a go which contains (to welcome) the one letter abbreviation for C(onservative)

24d      Nymph finally embraced by hill god (4)
THOR — the last letter (finally) of [nymp]H goes inside (embraced by) a small hill or a rise

I particularly appreciated 12 and 20a and 22d. My favourite was 21d.

The Quickie Pun:- HOLE + DIN + GONE = HOLDING ON

104 comments on “DT 29411

  1. Ray T at his best, I thought, even though Her Majesty seems to still be on lockdown. Off to a good start with the 1a lurker and then proceeded smoothly until that nice little boy slowed me down at the very end, after I had worked my way back up to the NE. Then, voila! Most enjoyable, with the usual trademarks: the laconically effective clues, the ‘sweetheart’, and the usual wit–and no GK to frighten those whose horses shy away from it. Podium stars: 21d, 22d, 1a. Honourable mention to 9a. Thanks to Kath for her usual, enjoyable review, and to Ray T. 2* / 4*

  2. A strange day. I found this challenging but by no means impossible, and have just sailed through today’s Toughie in far less time. That has never happened to me before. Just have to spend the rest of the day (retirement has proved to be quite acceptable) drinking coffee and watching the cricket, weather permitting.

  3. 3*/4.5*. Typically very enjoyable RayT complete with sweetheart but no Queen this week.

    Does “turn emptying” really lead to TN? Wouldn’t it need to be “turn emptied”?

    21d gets my vote as favourite with the added bonus of two great songs.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  4. I was going through this at a fairly good pace until I got stuck on the last 4 clues, 2 inthe NW and 2 in the NE. So inthe end it was 4*/4* for me on this one. There were some really cracking clues with the usual extended synonyms and a great lurker . I liked 3d and 26a best. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review. I’ve had a large Great Spotted Woodpecker on my garden bird feedercof late, trying to extract peanuts from a cage type feeder. The sparrows, greenfinches and goldfinches on the adjacent seed feeders looked quite worried.

    1. We also have a Greater Spotted Woodpecker visiting the bird feeder. He often pecks away at the Mulberry tree but this is the first time he’s been on the feeder just outside our kitchen window.

      1. I suspect the enormous crop on my fan trained Tayberries attracted him in the first place. He’s welcome. My freezer and fridge are full and my neighbours have all been presented with fruit.

  5. Got stuck at 2d, otherwise very enjoyable. I thought 12a was excellent and my cotd. Thanks to both ***/***.

  6. You always get one “gimme” with a Ray T and it duly turned up at 24a but there were precious few others. I found it slightly trickier than Kath’s rating but very enjoyable, with the NW holding out longest.
    I liked 7& 11a plus 8d but my favourite by a mile was the “singing dog” at 21d.
    Many thanks to Kath and to MrT for the
    Ps I took fashion to be a verb re 10a

    1. Noun the way or style in which something, especially a garment or someone’s hair, is cut.
      “the elegant cut of his dinner jacket”

      Verb make something by cutting.

      Either or I think

  7. I’m obviously the odd one out on this. I filled in half the grid then really struggled with the rest of it. Looking at the answers I really don’t know why I found it so hard. I even missed the lurker in 1a, though I realise now that I should have got it from the indicator “some”. Yesterday’s was much easier, and for me, more enjoyable. I do appreciate that lots of people really enjoy RayT. Each to their own. Thanks to the setter and to Kath. No, no, no. 12a is not “****” Puppies are “****”

    1. You’re not the odd one out, I am still struggling with this, but that is not unusual for me on Ray T days.

    2. I felt the same as you. Started well this morning then ground to a halt. Resumed again this evening and had to use a lot of hints. Thank goodness for Kath! And thank you to Ray T because I’ve learnt a bit more about crossword solving.

      COTD is 13d for me.

  8. I shall not get a paper until this evening but just wanted to say I don’t understand how these crosswords are graded. I know we vary wildly in wavelength but there have been one or two back pagers recently (which I found difficult to crack). I do not do the Toughie but looked at yesterday’s Hudson this morning. Found I rattled through it quickly even without spotting the theme and with no aids. Being from Nottingham I am aware of a fuddle although it was my last one in as I did not know Elmer! Does anyone agree?

    1. Yesterday’s Toughie (even though I needed hints for 2) was substantially easier than this back pager as far as I’m concerned.

    2. Suspect you’ll also find today’s Toughie far easier than the back pager too – I certainly did.

    3. I’ve lived in Nottingham for 20 years and still find ‘fuddle’ and ‘ginnel’ odd but 12a whenever I hear them. I don’t think I use regional terms but my wife would disagree!

  9. 2*/4* for me. Last one in was 2d; google confrirmed my guess was correct !

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  10. Have only just seen that 1d was a lurker. Found this quite tricky but finished unaided. 2d took ages to work out. Not sure that 1d means short, more like sulky. Interestingly had a questionnaire from the paper asking what I thought of my subscription. Again I said i was perfectly happy BUT as i pay for the whole sub, why do I not get a digital version of the Toughie? It’s very mean spirited. Puzzle Editor please note and explain why! Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    1. Good luck with that one Manders. I pay £35 per year for the puzzles online which I use exclusively to access the 4 Toughies. It’s the most user unfriendly design. Heaven only knows why but I have to tap each letter twice to input. You would think the DT could include 4 puzzles in their digital output edition – surely not too much too ask but apparently so. Mr Lancaster certainly isn’t exerting any influence if indeed he’s sympathetic.

  11. Trickiest puzzle of the week so far and a ***/**** for me, a high standard of cluing throughout especially my favourite charades and nothing obscure so very enjoyable.
    Now i know that the American playhouse has a different spelling.!
    Favourite has to be 21d,also liked the surfaces of 26a and 12a.
    Thanks to Kath and setter and the lack of rain in Southampton.

  12. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Ray T and Kath.
    My favourite clue was 8d.
    I wasn’t really convinced by 12a. Nice (in the sense used here) is a noun, not an adjective, so the the first word should really be Niçois (although that would of course ruin the surface). We wouldn’t be very happy with a clue such as ‘Glasgow young girl (6)’ for Lassie.

  13. Well it’s a Ray T so, of course, this was a fight for me. 1d defeated me completely. I certainly needed the explanations for several others. 4d and 10a for instance. I assume “cut” meaning “fashion” is used as a verb? A bit obscure. Many very good clues but I was held up by the NW corner. Garçon as a “nice young man” is just weird. Is a garçon necessarily nice? I’ve known a few who weren’t! A good work out nevertheless. 4* / 3* . Thanks to all.

      1. I went for Norman first! Well, French. Caused me problems with 13d until I fell in.

  14. Opposite to yesterday I am in the difficult camp today . Missing the lurker in 1a did not help and eventually limped across the finishing line accompanied by that nice young man so will , somewhat grudgingly award him my COTD .
    Thanks Kath . You won easily today Ray T but thanks for the workout .

  15. Is anyone having a problem getting the Telegraph crosswords? For some reason they want me to log in ….. this always results in an error!

  16. Always look forward to a RayT Thursday and this one didn’t disappoint despite HM not being on parade.
    Slight hold up over the 10a fashion (dim!) until 1d went in but I did recognise the ‘Nice young man’ in time to avoid that possible pitfall.
    The black dog at 21d got my vote for favourite with silver position going to the protest at 22d.

    Devotions as usual to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for another enjoyable review.

  17. Ray T close to his best with this tricky and challenging puzzle. 2d was a new word for me, and it’s finding was the result of much electrickery, but I got there. 21d has to be my favourite purely because of the music. 12a was a close runner-up.

    Thanks to Mr T for a cracking and rewarding crossword and to Kath.

  18. A pleasant test today. NE went straight in then the rest gradually fell into place. As for Kath and others 2d is a new one on me – I said the vessel out loud but failed to come up with the homophone. No outstanding Favs. Thank you RayT and Kath. Golfing score is all I could come up with for the Quickie pun!

  19. A very enjoyable Thursday puzzle which did not require the use of any of the white space on my printed sheet, and of course there is plenty of it with Mr T’s brevity, for completion at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 3d, and 4d – and the winner is 3d.
    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

    P.S. Kath – I am pleased that you chose not too illustrate 4d, my daughter had said complaint at one week old – really nasty, and quite frightening.

    1. I had 4d during the war – my mother was outraged for some reason. I had to be painted with Gentian Violet so everyone knew. I didn’t realise babies could get it.

      1. I think I must have had it as a child as I remember being painted with gentian violet!

      2. I remember playmates getting the gentian violet treatment, but I thought it was to cure the rash.

        1. So did I (think it was to cure!). I remember a boy at the village school having it about 65 years ago.

  20. At the trickier end of the Ray T back page spectrum – my particular favourite was 21d

    Thanks to Mr T and Kath

  21. With about 7 to go I felt a little like I did yesterday while hacking my way inelegantly up the uphill 458yd index 1 par 4 into a stiff breeze & driving rain – this is an examination for which I’m obviously ill equipped. A struggle from the outset. Revealing the checkers to 1d/10a & 19d/26a got me to within 2 of a finish but still needed Kath’s help for 2d (never heard of) & very annoyingly for the 3rd letter of 17a. Other than the iffy 12a agree that this was a super Ray T – 1,8&21d make it onto my podium.
    Ps – anyone else waste time with Gordon in 26a?

    1. Yes H. I was mislead by Flash too, images of the winged Brian Blessed & all!
      Talking of the SI 1. Ever played Royal St David’s? Back 9 has five Par 4s over 430 yards, two Par 3s over 200 yards & no Par 5s. I found today’s RT as tough a challenge & like you NR’d on the 17th.

      1. Royal St David’s is an absolute beast in wind – played it many years ago & 2 of our fourball (not me thankfully) lost between 15 – 20 balls between them. I rate Royal Porthcawl the best track in Wales that I’ve played but the wonderful Nefyn & District would be the one I’d go back to if I had only 1 visit left – you can’t beat popping down the footpath after the 15th for a pint.

  22. I found this quite a tricky offering from Ray T and I did need a few hints. It was, as usual, a great puzzle and well clued. The lurker at 1a fell into place easily as did 2d (I have always known this was a true trunk) and 24d. Then I came to a halt and didn’t get going again until I had scratched my head sore. Took me quite a while to complete it but immense satisfaction once I did. My COTD is the quite brilliant 12a.

    Thank you, Ray T for the mental workout and Kath for the hints.

    Dreary and damp here in Shropshire today but I think sunnier times are imminent. I hope so – the grass needs cutting.

  23. After a good week, RayT’s grid dropped a spanner in the works. Found it difficult to get on the wavelength, only managing 6 . Did like the lurker in 7a. Can’t win them all. Thanks to Ray and look forward to his next grid!

  24. Very enjoyable, solved whilst travelling to Quorn to see my mum. No picnic due to consistent drizzle so we are honoured to be her first indoor guests since lock down began. Needed some help on 2d. 12a is my favourite clue, very amusing. Thanks to Kath and today’s setter.

  25. The Nice young man at 12a was my first one in and my favourite clue today.

    Thanks RayT & Kath

  26. Well i managed 6 clues, the rest are lost in the mysterious fog that is a Ray T. And just when I thought I was beginning to get the hang of his puzzles.
    Back to Ray T at his worst.
    Thx for the hints but I didn’t use them as it would simply have meant looking at every one!

    1. I would agree with that Brian although i did manage to get all but 5 clues but by that time I’d had enough and gave up. Thanks Kath for the hints I’ll have a look later.

    2. If I’m in that situation i read through the across hints and see if that teases a few more out. It usually does which then may yield some more down ones. If that all fails, then I read the down ones. It’s a learning curve. I found today’s a slog and needed 4 hints. Thanks to Kath and Ray T

  27. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, very tricky, needed the hints for 1d & 10a, wouldn’t have thought of either of them. Some super clues, I liked 26a and 5d, but my favourite was the musical 21d. Was 4*/4* for me.

  28. As usual i found this really tricky. Thx to The setter and particularly to Kath whose help was invaluable.

    1. You used to use your full name. Do you want to be known as JJ in future or Joan? All three aliases will work from now on

  29. I did manage it all by my own but it was a major struggle with lots of scribble round the paper. Some lovely neat clues but why embarrassed at 17d? I was looking for something with ‘red’. Anyway, thanks to Ray T as you say it was he and to Kath, although it was Alexa I asked about the Hotel California! I am not too hot on pop.

    1. Yes – the colour associated with being embarrassed (red) containing (having eaten) the three letter abbreviation for O[ver] T[he] T[op] (too much)

      1. Oh Kath! No wonder I couldn’t understand the answer – I put BOLTED i.e. went off and bolted ones food eaten too much. What a clever clue
        and I wasn’t clever enough to see it!

        1. Oh dear – never mind! Once you have something in your head and it makes some sort of sense it’s just impossible to think of anything else.

  30. A super puzzle, made all the more enjoyable by listening to a very old Bert Weedon album whilst solving on a miserable, damp Shropshire afternoon. Many favourite clues, but I will mention only a few of them – 11 & 23a and with 13d getting my vote for top marks. Thanks RayT and thanks to Kath for your hints and tips, which I read on completion.

  31. This was a steady solve foe me on the across i liked 7, 8, and 25, on the downs it was 2, 5, and 6, 2 & 4 down were new to me so Ray T put a penny in my pocket, my COTD was 20 across and before I forget many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    TTFN and stay safe everyone

  32. Another dnf for me. Clues were fine, mostly (agree with Gazza on 12a), but 1d & 26a – where I was trying to fit Gordon (“Flash”) in – I needed hints, so thank you Kath. Never would have thought of pant as blow before today, will I remember it next time it comes up is the question.
    Hopefully tomorrow is not an unwanted hat-trick
    Thanks Ray T and Kath.

  33. ***/****. Finishing this was a tricky and I needed help from Kath for a couple – TVM. My favourites were the lurker in 7a and 20a for its elegance. Thanks to all.

  34. Really enjoyed the many good clues -11a, 20a, 5d, 22d and the cleverly disguised lurker at 7a, even though I had to resort to the hints for 10a and 12a which I thought were both very clever.
    Many thanks to Kath for her concise clueing that allowed me to get the answers without clicking and to the setter for a very enjoyable tussle.
    The sun will definitely be shining here on Saturday as I’m going to see my family for the first time since the beginning of February!

  35. A long way above my solving abilities, I usually have no problems with Ray-T puzzles, this was harder than yesterday’s Toughie.
    Thanks all.

    1. Thanks for the hints, Katherine, I’m glad I threw the towel in when I did.

        1. The man who invented predictive text has died. His funfair is a week on monkey

  36. A most enjoyable crossword. Eventually I was left with 4 to solve in the top left corner, and 4 in the bottom right corner – nicely symmetrical. One by one, I managed to sort out the answers. I liked 15a, 17a, 24a and 25a. Like Kath, I looked at 12a for some time before the penny dropped, so that’s my favourite. Thanks to the compiler and to Kath for her review. I’m pleased you decided against illustrating impetigo – I’m just into week 4 of shingles and have seen enough of unpleasant skin rashes to last me for a long time!

  37. Very challenging; a 4* for difficulty because of 1d 2d 4d, and with 12a being simply brilliant. Thank you RayT and Kath for such enjoyable clues and hints.

  38. Really struggled, especially with the W side. And did not enjoy it much. Too many convoluted clues for my liking. Thought 11a, 25a and 2d were good. Took some time to put in 12a because although it seemed to fit I found it hard to believe it was a fair answer. Never heard of the 21a references at all. Not such a good day for me crossword-wise.
    But the day improved when my daughter and granddaughter arrived from Egypt. They said that entry into the UK was well organised, and took much less time than they anticipated. We have already had a call checking that they are here in isolation with us. But they will be tested in seven days and will be free of some restrictions if the tests are negative.

  39. First pass yielded 8 answers, then downhill all the way for me…and not in a good way.
    With much electronic help got all but 1d for which I needed the hint.
    So, not a lot of fun for me today.

    Thanks to Kath and to RayT.

  40. Way beyond my solving capabilities. Strangely enough, the ones that gave y’all trouble were my first in: 7a, 12a, and 2d. I did quite well in the north
    RayT is way above this tiny brain, I didn’t solve any in the south. I’ve never heard of Hotel California, it could have been anything to me.
    Thanks to RayT for the brain bruiser, and very big congratulations to Kath for unravelling that lot.
    I rescued a wee, about 2-1/2-inch, lizard today and took him outside. He grabbed onto my finger and wouldn’t let go! ‘Im lickle but ‘im tallawah!

    1. Merusa
      Tallawah – we need Jamaican translators now. Thank goodness for Mr G!
      At least sitooterie was self explanatory

  41. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. RT
      Thanks for popping in. Great puzzle but just a bit too tough for me.

    2. Thanks for your great puzzle, Ray T. I always look forward to your fortnightly visits.

  42. In your description of 10a you show a picture of a bat . Relevance please 🤔

    1. Yes – I’ll try to explain the relevance.
      I quite like to put in some appropriate pictures to accompany my hints which I do on roughly alternate Thursdays. Ray T crosswords don’t usually lend themselves to this so I do what I can.
      When I put the answer to 10a into Google images this blog would probably be described as a porn site had I used most of them!
      Does that answer your question?

        1. Yes – thank you – I know, but I thought I’d go for something a little tiny bit different today.

          1. Kath
            If you had bats in your loft I don’t think you would ever think them “cute”

  43. A tussle as Ray T puzzles usually are. I did persevere to the bitter end, using Kath’s hints for too many of them. I have never heard of 9a being a favourite, but always as an underling. 12a we never had as a boy in French lessons, it was le boi or le fils. Now I understand why French waiters hate to be addressed as this. Wouldn’t have got some of these if I sat here all day. Others I got but from the checkers rather than the clues, which always seem to be designed to mislead, rather than help. Thanks to Ray T for the workout, and to the oh so clever Kath for solving this.

  44. Absolutely fine but left with 1d and 10a.
    Took ages which put me well into ***** time.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Many thanks RayT and Kath for the review.

  45. We agree that this one was at the trickier end of RayT’s spectrum which just means that the fun lasts longer. Thoroughly enjoyed.
    Checked the word count of course and all in order.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  46. I find myself out on a limb as I found this fairly straightforward but hey ho I’ve found some crosswords almost impenetrable when others found them easy. Favourite was 20a. Many many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  47. A real challenge. I eventually got there after many hours, actually bar 2d, needed electronic help for that.
    I was dismayed to read the commenter who does a Red Rum impression every day say this was also in that category. I thought I was good at these, but couldn’t hold a candle to this guy !

    Thanks to Ray T, he’s a real talent and to Kath, who’s probably in that category also.

  48. Right – that’s about enough from me for today.
    Thanks so much to Ray T – for the crossword and for calling in – and to everyone who left a comment.
    I’m off to bed pretty soon so night night to all of you and sleep well.

  49. Didn’t have a lot of fun with this one as I struggled a lot with the clues. 4*/1* I did finish it in the end, but with use of at least 50% of the hints. Not on wavelength at all I guess today.
    Only a couple of clues for favourites today 15a, 25a & 22d … with 15a winner.

    Thanks to Jay for the headache and Kath for relieving it.
    Just not my day.

  50. I got all the right half in with no trouble, which looked really odd. There were just a few on the left including 2d which I got straightaway. I seem to think I remember it from Shakespeare. Then the bottom half of the left revealed itself. 12a is a Marmite clue it seems. I loved it although I was not confident enough to enter it until I had checked in with Kath. Needed no actual help till I got to the last two and looked up the four letter synonyms for charming. This helped with 1d which took a time particularly as the instrument I had in mind was tuba. When written horizontally I got it nearly at once, which I recommend as a tip when dealing with the down clues. Not particularly fond of 23a which took some time to sort out. Loved 11a once I found that Brenda Hale did not fit, together with 17 20 and 28a and 5 6 8 and 16d. Thanks Ray T for the pleasure and thanks Kath for being able to check 10a before I wasted time on 1d.

  51. 12a. Nice young man. I first managed to contrive “Benign” as a good fit (‘Be-nine’).
    Oh well, nice try.

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