DT 29418 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29418

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29418

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. As I write, the sun is shining for the first time for some days.

Nothing particularly difficult for me in today’s puzzle, though the checkers weren’t particularly helpful in deciding which of a few possibilities was the answer to 15a, my last one in.

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           They protect young things and elderly bodies beyond 100 (4,6)
COLD FRAMES – These items protect young plants. Put together the Roman numeral for 100, another word for ‘elderly’, and another word for ‘bodies’.

Wooden Cold Frame Natural | Cold Frames | Gardman Crest

6a           Spectacular cognac I personally sampled, from the East (4)
EPIC – Hidden in reverse (from the East) in the clue.

9a           Gather scattered forces about school? (7)
REGROUP – The Lain word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, followed by a school or collection.

10a         Bit unsettling, entertaining as mum makes rice (7)
BASMATI – Anagram (unsettling) of BIT, wrapped round AS (from the clue) and a short word for ‘mum’, giving us a variety of long-grain rice.

12a         Star excited with boat’s decorative design (4,3,6)
ARTS AND CRAFTS – Anagram (excited) of STAR, followed by another word for ‘with’ and another word for ‘boat, plus the’S from the clue.

14a         One’s away east, been all over the place (8)
ABSENTEE – Anagram (all over the place) of EAST BEEN.

15a         Someone who gives others a hand (6)
DEALER – Cryptic definition of someone at a card table distributing cards.

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

17a         Thinking it over in advance? (6)
MOTIVE – Reverse (over) IT (from the clue) and insert the result into another word for ‘advance’.

19a         Sets up meals eating area (8)
LAUNCHES – Some midday meals wrapped round Area.

21a         Cricketer who takes guard late? (5-8)
NIGHT-WATCHMAN – Cryptic definition of a lower-order batsman sent in when a wicket falls late in the day, to protect a specialist batsman from having to come out to bat in difficult circumstances.

24a         One brings food in vehicle to sit around tree, unwinding (7)
CATERER – A motor vehicle wrapped round an anagram (unwinding) of TREE.

25a         Consider US lawyer’s twisted justice (7)
ADJUDGE – Reverse (twisted) the initials of a US law officer responsible for prosecuting local cases, then add another word for the person called a ‘justice’.

26a         Emergency call boxes opening for ‘999’ and children? (4)
SONS – The three-letter emergency call which is ··· – – – ··· in Morse, wrapped round the first letter of ‘999’ (if you wrote it as words).

27a         Cook segregates seasonal specialities (6,4)
EASTER EGGS – Anagram (cook) of SEGREGATES.


1d           Port that’s put in a sherry bottle? (4)
CORK – The port in the south-west of Ireland known as Corcaigh in Irish. Also a stopper for a sherry bottle.

2d           Stoppages spread in Accounts (3,4)
LOG JAMS – Some records or accounts ofevents on board ship, wrapped round a preserved fruit spread.

3d           One doesn’t know where to cross (8,5)
FLOATING VOTER – Cryptic definition of someone who is unsure whom to choose in an election.

4d           All the letters from two Greek characters one abridged (8)
ALPHABET – Put together the first two letters of the Greek one of these, then remove the last letter of the second one.

5d           Implant added — bumped up evenly (5)
EMBED – Alternate letters (evenly) of aDdEd BuMpEd, reversed (up)

7d           Philip lay fulminating about teasing (7)
PLAYFUL – Hidden in the clue.

8d           Caught start of rugby scissors manoeuvres intersecting (5-5)
CRISS-CROSS – Put together an abbreviation for Caught, the first letter of Rugby, and an anagram (manoeuvres) of SCISSORS.

11d         NCO material, six-footer accompanying ex-PM (8-5)
SERGEANT-MAJOR – A heavy, twilled material, followed by one of the usual crossword insects (six footer) and the surname of the Prime Minister who followed Margaret Thatcher.

13d         Charisma — dancing, carrying on blowing instruments (10)
HARMONICAS – Anagram (dancing) of CHARISMA, wrapped round ON (from the clue).

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rt1VicF5-0″ /]

16d         Diagram showing local top ten? (3,5)
BAR CHART – The local here is a drinking establishment. If the top ten of these were ranked, they would appear in a — —–.

18d         Reportedly giant is tense (7)
TIGHTEN – This verb for ‘tense’ sounds like (reportedly) a mythical giant, one of those overthrown by Zeus in Greek mythology.

20d         Abject display by setter? (7)
HANGDOG – Put together ‘display’ (a picture in a gallery, perhaps) and the type of animal which a setter is.

22d         Gold volunteers located under a vessel (5)
AORTA – Put together A (from the clue), the heraldic term for gold, and the initials of Britain’s former volunteer reserve force, to get a major blood vessel.

23d         Encloses scribbles (4)
PENS – Double definition, the first referring to enclosing farm animals in small enclosures.

The Quick Crossword pun CAR + PIN + TREE + SOARS = CARPENTRY SAWS

99 comments on “DT 29418
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  1. Enjoyable, and much easier than yesterday.
    Nothing too obscure, I found the Quickie once again in breach of the Trades Description Act.
    Thanks setter and DT, looking forward to going through the hints.

  2. I didn’t find this as straightforward as you did, DT but it wasn’t quite as daunting as Friday’s usual fare (3*/3.5*). Perhaps my poor old brain is slowly adapting to this compiler’s cunning and circumlocutory clues. It was avery absorbing puzzle and I gained great satisfaction from completing it unaided. Ia and 11d were my favourite clues and there were a few good anagrams. Thanks DT for the hints and to the compiler.

  3. A bright and enjoyable puzzle for a sunny morning. Nothing terribly difficult but good fun to complete. A couple of pesky four letter words in the bottom half slowed me up, and of several fine clues I liked 1a and 15a the best.

    Thanks Setter and DT.

  4. Found this very tricky indeed far more difficult than yesterdays. Too hard to really enjoy except for the only clue I liked 21a (at least we didn’t need one yesterday, what was Jofra thinking!!)
    Not on the setters wavelength at all. I thought 26a was one the worst clues ever.
    ****/**(extra start for 21a)
    Thx for the hints

  5. Nothing to scare the horses, although the left hand side took considerably longer than the right. 3* difficulty for me so more of a slog than a struggle. Thanks Mysteron & DT.

  6. Some very good clues today. 3d and 4d in particular. I wasn’t sure if 15a was “helper” or “dealer” but having worked out 7d, all became clear. I spent rather too long attempting to sort out Philip with a t for teasing as an anagram so that was an interesting bit of misdirection. Blindingly obvious when you look at it! I’ll nominate 21a as my favourite. It didn’t take 5 seconds to come up with the answer because I’ve been watching the test match. **/*** Thanks to all. Robert, you have been very quiet about events in your neck of the woods. What’s really happening?

    1. Hi, Greta. 77,000+ new cases in the US yesterday, an all-time high, to start with the horrible litany of how really bad things are over here. The governor of Georgia, our neighbouring state, has sued the major of Atlanta for mandating that masks must be worn in her city. Our governor just tells Carolinians, “Don’t be stupid”, but refuses to re-impose a mask restriction, and the ICU wards are at 90% capacity in the state, Trumpists everywhere refuse to wear masks because it’s against their libertarian rights–just following the DoDo’s refusal to wear a mask. It is all beyond belief. I’ve been quiet because I’ve just about reached the point of mental shutdown. But I do appreciate your concern and thank you for asking.

      1. Robert
        I follow things over there and find the levels of “government” that can set down (often differing) regulations almost mind boggling. The mixed messages are hardly conducive to understanding what is best.
        I read the State numbers daily & it must be quite scary for the vulnerable.
        Stay safe.

      2. Good God. I thought things were bad enough here and we have plenty of idiots who think the covid rules don’t apply to them. It does seem peculiar to us that each state can dictate their own policy – surely this is a national situation. Keep well away from everybody as far as possible and stay safe.

        1. We’ve got different rules here in Wales as well – masks on public transport but not required in shops. Not that it makes a jot of difference either way to the holidaymakers who are now allowed to return to their rental properties – apparently, once they cross the Menai Bridge, they gain immunity to the virus. Try telling that to those of us who live here!

          1. Jane
            We are exactly the same up here.
            It is a classic Catch 22 situation the economy can’t survive without visitors. We oldies might not with them.
            We have a Covid test station come once a week. The army guy said they are going to be coming into September “at least”.

      3. So glad we do not live in Georgia under such a moron for a governor. He is clearly following the party line. Incredible. We live in South a Florida, in Palm Beach County, and supermarkets and pharmacies had a mask requirement from the start, and a couple of weeks ago it extended to everywhere, including outdoors if you can’t social distance. I saw my first person wearing a face shield yesterday. I’ve got some arriving for us today, in case they become the new mandatory. I am truly frustrated with those who refuse to wear a mask. It’s such a common sense thing to do, to protect others, not just yourself. I do blame the governments on both side of the Atlantic for not mandating this from the start. Our city has a large retirement population, so not really a problem here, as we are mostly all of the same mindset and taking care. Fingers crossed we can get a reliable vaccine soon.

      4. I’m at the mental shutdown borderline too. I’m way too stupid to understand why a piece of cloth that will protect you and me and possibly help to end this crisis can be an infringement of one’s rights.
        They’re testing hundreds every day but it takes up to 2 weeks to 18 days to get the results back, so why bother, a waste of money. By the time you get the results, if you’re positive, you’ve been infecting other people for a long time.
        And BusyLizzie, our Governor is no prize either. Like Atlanta, we have a mayor who has grey matter between the ears.
        I’m as mad as a wet hen, our leader is about as much use as tits on a nun … forgive that, but it’s apt.

  7. 2*/3*. I found this enjoyable and mostly light with a little bit of a tussle in the NW corner.

    My podium comprises 15a, 21a & 3d.

    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio?) and to DT.

  8. Apart from a mental block over 2d, I didn’t encounter any difficulties with this one and rather enjoyed the multi-word entries. My favourite from amongst those was 3d.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review and added bits of info – always appreciated.

  9. Fairly gentle and mostly enjoyable. I thought 9a, 17a and 26a a little odd. Favourite is either 1a or 3d. Thanks to setter and DT.

    Can somebody confirm that it’s 153 for today’s Elgar? The theme certainly helped but, if that’s the number, I haven’t worked out the connection yet.

  10. After yesterday’s horror, which I couldn’t complete and found frustrating, I found this a welcome relief, my enjoyment doubled by my daughter’s help. So many clever clues and misdirections. 12a, 19a, 26a, 27a, 4d, 8d and 22d all stand out. Struggled with.15a, but kicked myself when I got it as the penultimate one. Last one in was 27a – another penny-drop moment. Had no idea about the cricketer, but the answer was clear so a quick Google confirmed it. Many thanks to setter and DT for a pleasant Friday brain workout.

  11. Gentler end of the Friday spectrum for me but enjoyable and nothing to really excite.
    Thought the lurker in 7d good but give 1a COTD.
    13d reminded me of Larry Adler & my pathetic attempts to play the instrument.
    Thanks to setter & DT

  12. The NW corner held me up a bit since I couldn’t remember what undecided electors are called in the UK, nor did I know what those gardening containers are named. Otherwise, a smooth, enjoyable outing for me. I especially liked 20d (the COTD), 17a, and 5d. Thanks to D.T. for the hints and to today’s setter. *** / ***

    I responded to Greta’s query above, for those who might be interested.

  13. Like RD all pretty straightforward other than 3 in the NW – 1a&d plus 2d. Nicely clued throughout with 3,4 & 5d being among my favourites. No golf today so a day of feet up with cricket & crosswords to amuse beckons….
    Thanks to both the setter & DT.

  14. Actually, I found this one a bit tricky but not as much as yesterday’s. Some good clues but I have no real favourites.

    I missed the final word in the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and thanks, too, DT for the hints.

    1. SC
      And me re the pun.
      As others have commented the eectronic DT does not italicise so you have no idea how many words are in the pun.

  15. I thought this was a clever, cryptic and accomplished puzzle. I was held up in the NW so decided to go for a swim in the sea. Presumably sharpened by the dip 3d and 9a suddenly became clear and gave me the checkers to complete. I liked 17a and 19d in particular with 15a making up the podium.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the entertainment.

  16. Whilst still missing Giovanni’s Friday presence here I begin to find his successor’s wavelength hence I very much enjoyed today’s challenge which was plain-sailing with the exception of the NW which slowed the finish. 5d was a bung-in as I failed to identify the reverse lurker. My top spot nominees are 1a, 3d and 16d. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  17. Had about 5 left when we met friends for coffee. Just got back and filled them in. Last in 2d and 22d. I thought this was trickier than **, but very enjoyable so thanks to all.

  18. Views above vary between rather tricky and very straightforward. I stand with the tricky tribe. However, it was challenging in a very fine way with such clever clues throughout. A genuine brain teaser.
    No paperweights required. A still and peaceful day. Lola has broken with tradition and is sprawled across the garden table in the shade.
    Related to some discussion above – we have CNN here as part of the cable package. Watching ‘The Situation Room’ with the splendidly named ‘Wolf Blitzer’ each night at 10pm UK time is both an eye-opener and rather terrifying, with its daily update on US Covid cases.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. Hi, Terence. I follow your wonderful comments daily and remember many happy days in and around the Downs. Always eager to hear about Lola. We too watch Wolf on CNN, an inexhaustible source of information for us, but even better is our MS-NBC Channel, which I doubt that you have access to. Stay safe and enjoy that nice big new TV!

      1. Hello Robert – what a lovely thing to say – thank you!
        I have been following your updates on the situation in the States, and it is fascinating to read the latest news.
        We love going for walks all over the Surrey Downs – it is such an underrated area.
        Very best wishes to you.

  19. My first run through produced a blank grid. Coming back from my permitted exercise brain power had returned and I loved teasing out all the answers. I loved 1a.
    Robert I have been wondering where you have been. Stay home and stay well. Thank you to the setter and the deep threat in sunny staffs.

    1. Hi, Jen. I’ve been home, staying as safe as possible. Reading, watching live-streaming operas from the Met Opera daily, doing cryptics, enjoying this blog, chatting with some of you as the occasion arises. (E.g: Huntsman and I have exchanged notes on L P Hartley’s novel The Go-Between and the movie made from it, and so I ordered a new edition of the novel and am about halfway through now, thoroughly enjoying it. So nice to have all of you friends over there to talk to and learn from.)

          1. Problem is that by the time I’ve finished a book I have a definite idea in my mind of how the characters actually look so I rarely enjoy any subsequent film version. Maybe it’s ‘just me’!

            1. By the time I’ve finished a book, I not only know how the characters look, but I know what they sound like.😂

            2. Ah, but the Losey version stars Julie Christie, Alan Bates, and Margaret Leighton, and it is unforgettably moving. The heat alone in Norfolk during that summer has remained with me for 50+ years.

      1. Hi Robert -just watched episode 1 of HBO’s adaptation of Roth’s The Plot Against America (very Arthur Miller-ish) & looks promising. Have you read the book/worth a purchase? I was completely ignorant of Lindbergh’s unpalatable views. I do like reading the source material alongside watching the adaptation to get a better appreciation of script & direction. Just done this with the first 2 books of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet that HBO adapted as My Brilliant Friend – certainly recommend if you’re not familiar with

        1. Hello, Huntsman. It’s after midnight your time so I’ll wait and write you tomorrow about the Roth and the Ferrante, both of which I’ve read. I’ll comment on both authors and the adaptations of their books then, if you don’t mind. Let’s hope we have some good prize puzzles this weekend.

  20. For me this was the pick of the week, I found the previous ones beyond my Ken ,it’s heartening to realise that what others find easy, some find hard, and vice versa. Gives me a good excuse when I can’t complete one. But I always enjoy the challenge and appreciate the setters and hinters skill.
    Thanks to all.

  21. 1 a and 1d – pure joy. I didn’t know the crickety one of course but George did. Noncruciverbalists have NO IDEA of the thrill of immediately seeing an answer or the total bewilderment of not knowing where a clue is leading. Such fun. We are so lucky to have the diversion at this grim time. Very worried about our American friends, it is bad enough here with the mad things that go on. How can we let that girl back into the country? She is a traitor. The whole world has gone mad. Quick, turn to the Toughie.

    1. Could not agree more,see my comment at (6),it’s about time they reined in the judges,overruling the elected government 😡.

  22. I flew through this until I got to 27a. I had the first two checking letters for 22d, saw the word “Gold” and stuck in “aurum ” without really parsing the clue. I then looked at 27a and thought that it was an anagram of “segregates” because of the indicator “cook”. Then I thought “ no it can’t be because I have an “m” for “aurum”. It took me a little while to unscramble the eggs. A pleasant solve today. Yesterday I managed the right hand side of the crossword before I had to go out . I was too tired to struggle on with the left hand side last night, but may give it a go later. Thank you setter and Deep Threat.

  23. So many excellent clues – 15a, 3d, 20d and 27a (which reminded me of gseg?),my favourite clue ever (so far!) Hope that I got the letter order correct! I hesitated over 9a and 17a and, like Wahoo, thought that they were a bit odd but certainly didn’t detract from the enjoyment.
    Many thanks to DT for nudges required for 1a and 22d (I always forget that type of vessel!)
    Thanks, too, to the setter for the entertainment.
    I share your despair, Robert. My very good American friend who has lived over here for 50 years, shares your views and worries constantly for her family over there. Stay safe, Robert (and Merusa and Bizzie Lizzie too).

  24. Solved alone and unaided and understood all the clues. Hurrah!

    What a difference from yesterday when I gave up.

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter.

  25. I enjoyed this from start to finish and thought there were many good clues, including 1, 15 and 26a, 11 and 16d. My favourite is 18d. Thanks to the compiler and DT for his review. I sympathise very much with those of you who live in “tourist” territory and hope you all stay virus free.

  26. Same difficulties as DT here. too many possibilities from the checkers in 15a but got there in the end. The rest was reasonably straightforward and intend to tackle the Elgar while Mama Bee has her long sought after hair appointment, but first glance seems like it will take longer than a full head of hair takes to grow but C’est la Vie. 5d was a lovely reverse alternate lurker when the penny dropped and gets COTD from me.
    thanks to Dt and setter.

    1. Thanks for popping in, Zandio. I’m still trying to work out how RD invariably recognises your handiwork – do you share a secret code? Loved your lost person in 3d today.

  27. I enjoyed this one – nothing like as tricky as yesterday’s.
    Three in the top left corner were my last ones – 1 and 2d and 9a.
    Feeling quite smug – remembered the ‘crickety’ 21a having been foxed by it too many time.
    I liked 12a and the 14a anagram and 20d.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT.
    Still in Sheffield with my sister – back to Oxford tomorrow.
    Never got round to Wednesday’s crossword so still have that up my sleeve for a bit later.

    1. Say hello to Sheffield for me please Kath. I loved living there for a while in Fulwood. It was brilliant for access into Derbyshire to go walking, and to visit Ladybower.

  28. Just a quick comment in support of the Quickie.I thought it was excellent and welcomed the slightly cryptic challenge posed by some parts.The Cryptic was out of the ordinary for me and took a long time to solve.lt was good fun.Thanks to all.

  29. Nice crossword 😃 **/**** lots of good clues but my favourites were 1a and 3d. Thanks to DT and to the Setter 👍

  30. NE corner completed easily then slowed down for the rest. The hint for 1a helped me complete the puzzle. Quite enjoyable.

    Having started out being in awe of the setters’ skills, I’m now more impressed with the lucid explanations to the answers. 2d for example.

    COTD was 1d for me.

    1. A bung in for me. Stared at for a few seconds. Failed to parse. Move on. Forget all about it. Your comment made me return to the clue and fail all over again to understand the reasoning until I read Peter’s hint. All clear now. I do love writing hints and trying to still leave solvers a bit of work to do to arrive at the solution

  31. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle, and a huge relief after yesterday’s. I mislaid my print out yesterday, and had only managed about 5 answers, but lost interest anyway. This one today was really enjoyable, with no obscure GK or words last used in the Middle Ages. It was a close thing between 3d and 16d for favourite. Big thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for getting me over the finish line.

  32. I enjoyed this too but found it much trickier than **. I solved 15a on first read through, and the port at 1d.
    I had to use e-help for 21a, I was totally lost there despite having most checkers.
    I liked 3d and 4d, but I think fave has to be 20d.
    Thanks to Zandio for the fun and Deep Threat for unravelling some for me.

  33. A good fun puzzle with just the right amount of head-scratching required by us to get everything sorted.
    Particularly liked the clever wordplay for 5d.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  34. Very busy day so we took a while to get round to the crossword …. moving to a new country just before a pandemic must be right up there on the list of How Not to Make Friends and Influence People, but we are now making up for it by dint of spending a fair amount of time in other people’s gardens, and inviting them to our own. All that gardening we did during lockdown is now paying off! We have managed to give away hundreds of plums from our tree, as we are yet to acquire a large freezer. To the crossword! Clever and enjoyable, ***/**** for us. Favourite clue 3d but lots of runners-up including 11d, 20d and 2d. Thanks to DT and setter.

    1. Hi R&G,
      Where have you moved to – I do hope you’ll be happy there. You obviously had better luck finding homes for your plums than I did with the damsons I inherited at my previous home. Hard to give them away when everyone else in the vicinity has their own over-laden trees! Might have done rather better giving away the greengages but the birds invariably got to them before I even got any for myself, let alone enough to give to anyone else!

        1. Thanks for the tip, Merusa. I’ve never read that.

          Your simile of the day–“as much use as tits on a nun”–wins the Clarkie (my award for special linguistic achievement), which is awarded only for landmark evernts!

          1. Maybe not the most tasteful simile but I was on fire today, mad as hell and not going to take it any more! I don’t know what more we can do. I was well brought up and told that manners make the man, but I lost it over a neighbour who arrived to visit without asking if I am receiving visitors. She had contracted COVID, “but now I’m negative.” Oh yes, really? I don’t think they really understand the transmissibility of this thing. She proceeded to give me the wonderful things the idiot has accomplished. I refused her entry! I want this thing over so badly, wear a mask people!

        1. That’s quite some move you’ve made – please keep us updated on your progress in ‘foreign parts’. I understand from a friend who lived in France for many years that, no matter how good one’s French may be, it’s often necessary to call in a ‘local’ to help out with official paperwork!

        1. We have another tree chock full of damsons not yet ripe, and Rose loves gin, so here’s looking at the internet to find a recipe for damson gin! 😁

  35. Started this late even for me. I think I made harder work of the north than I should have, but when they came to me they came in a rush. Hard to pick a favourite from so many contenders but I’m going with 21a. Many many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  36. Another puzzle that took me longer than 2* … more like 3* for me. Not been my week I guess. Again the SE area was the last to finish and 25a last in. Some iffy clues for me regarding expected answer, but that’s just been my week.
    Liked 15a, 26a, 16d & 22d but winner was 26a

    Thanks to setter and DT

      1. Thanks BD. I’ve been looking-in through the windows for a number of years now and suddenly decided it was about time I ventured inside!

    1. Well the word wrong is what is wrong with your alternative answer. Nice try. But not correct. Welcome to the madhouse

        1. I had the same wrong answer for quite a while. From the preamble Deep Treat had similar doubts about the numerous possibilities that fit those checkers, but I alighted on what proved to be correct by thinking about a more “cryptic” interpretation of the clue. I had the same thoughts about 4d in the prize puzzle but although I may get away with discussing it here, the naughty step awaits if I say much more.

  37. I discovered BD during lockdown, and it very much helped to preserve my sanity during that time – very many thanks. Is there anyone else among this
    elite gathering who does the DT crossword in bed at night, and then (hopefully) finishes it over early tea in bed the following morning? I very occasionally get an inspiration from my husband, who is well trained because
    our e-mail address is an anagram.

    Greetings to all from South East Wales.

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