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DT 29430

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29430

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright sunny morning with the prospect of some high temperatures later.

I found today’s puzzle a curious mixture, with some very easy clues, and others which required teasing out and weren’t very satisfying when the answer emerged, possibly because some of the synonyms used in the wordplay had been stretched rather too far.

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           Salt gathering in huge quarry (6)
WHALER – Cryptic definition: the salt is a sailor, and the huge quarry marine mammals, the hunting of which was once widespread.

5a           Challenging United in a cricket club chant (8)
ACCUSING – Put together A (from the clue), an abbreviation for Cricket Club, an abbreviation for United, and another word for ‘chant’.

9a           Embarrassed, being a bit tight perhaps (13)
UNCOMFORTABLE – If the waistband of your clothes has unaccountably shrunk during lockdown so that it’s now a bit tight, that would make you ————, a word also meaning ‘embarrassed’.

10a         One masters politics degree needs time (8)
DIPLOMAT – A master of the branch of politics once described as ‘lying abroad for one’s country’. A degree or certificate followed by Time.

11a         Places to stay from Carlisle to Harrogate when retired (6)
HOTELS – Hidden in reverse (when retired) in the clue.

12a         Pass over region in a storm (6)
IGNORE – Anagram (in a storm) of REGION.

14a         Rescue boat trapped between delta and cape in night-time (8)
DARKNESS – The letter represented by Delta in the NATO alphabet, and a cape or promontory, placed either side of the rescue boat used by the animals which went in two by two.

16a         Queen is surrounded by ticket sellers and trippers (8)
TOURISTS – The Latin abbreviation for ‘queen’ and IS (from the clue), with some dodgy ticket sellers wrapped round them.

19a         Quite perfect — stay on odd occasions (6)
PRETTY – Alternate letters of the second and third words of the clue.

21a         Without a present, cancels and drives back (6)
REPELS – Start with a word for what Parliament does when it cancels some legislation, then remove the A (without A present).

23a         Times keeps nice refurbed offices (8)
AGENCIES – Some long periods of time wrapped round an anagram (refurbed) of NICE.

25a         Plug from the telly? (13)
ADVERTISEMENT – Mildly cryptic definition of a commercial opportunity on television.

26a         Bursting in, be less coolheaded (8)
SENSIBLE – Anagram (bursting) of IN BE LESS.

27a         Ranks Scrabble letters required in ‘tango’? The opposite (6)
TITLES – The technical term for the letter tokens used in Scrabble, wrapped round the letter represented by Tango in the NATO alphabet.


2d           Hospital job for cat lacking initial accommodation (7)
HOUSING – An abbreviation for Hospital followed by the rodenticide which a domestic cat may do, minus its initial letter.

3d           Slimmer’s bar (5)
LOCAL – If you hyphenate this word for a bar (2-3) you get a phrase often seen on products which purport to be good for slimmers.

4d           Calls to mind children in scripture group? (9)
REMEMBERS – A two-letter acronym for Scripture classes in school, followed by a collective noun for the children (or adults) forming part of a group or club.

5d           25 chose to be taken in (7)
ADOPTED – A short form of the answer to 25a, followed by another word for ‘chose’.

6d           Sample of Muscat chardonnay in bag (5)
CATCH – Hidden in the clue.

7d           Bendy buses can’t matter (9)
SUBSTANCE – anagram (bendy) of BUSES CAN’T

8d           They’re employed making woolly ruffles (7)
NEEDLES – Double definition: a noun for the objects used by someone knitting a woolly; or a verb meaning ‘ruffles’ or ‘upsets.

13d         Sour deviant trolls you and me (9)
OURSELVES – Anagram (deviant) of SOUR, followed by some supernatural beings which the setter thinks can be a synonym of ‘trolls’. The setter probably thinks this because the BRB gives ‘dwarf’ as a subsidiary definition of both ‘troll’ and the word we’re looking for. Those familiar with the work of Tolkien or Pratchett know this is nonsense.

Bilbo Baggins Smaug Troll The Hobbit Tauriel, the hobbit ... Gimli son of Gloin...this is the first good photo I have been able ... Silvan Elves | Lord of the rings, Lotr elves, The hobbit

15d         Picture commercial traveller posted again (9)
REPRESENT – A short word for a commercial traveller, followed by ‘posted again’, as you might a comment to this blog if the first attempt went missing.

17d         Run musical show outside of Trieste (7)
OPERATE – A musical drama where the characters sing loudly and interminably at each other before dying or marrying, followed by the outside letters of TriestE.

18d         Where to have fun in the sun in London area, single? (7)
SEASIDE – The geographical indication of the part of the UK where London is to be found, followed by a single disc or record, or rather the principal song to be found on that single.

20d         Three twists to get to grips with at National? (7)
THEATRE – Anagram (twists) of THREE, wrapped round AT (from the clue), to get the institution of which the National is an example.

22d         Two kinds of brush (5)
SCRUB – Double definition; some brushwood found outdoors; or a stiff brush found indoors.

24d         That man’s involved in court case (5)
CHEST – The pronoun for ‘that man’, plus the ‘S from the clue, with an abbreviation for ‘court’ wrapped round it.

The Quick Crossword pun RUN-IN + WILDE = RUNNING WILD

100 comments on “DT 29430

  1. Like DT says, a curious mixture of clues, the solving of which took me over the border into what I’d consider to be 1* toughie time (although I did ‘breakfast with Elgar’ first which may have worn out the brain cells somewhat). I did like 27a and 1a when the penny eventually dropped as to the person being so cryptically described.

    Thanks to the setter and DT

  2. After yesterday’s horror I thought this was a breath of fresh air, really enjoyed it. My only problem was the parsing of 27a. 1a my LOI after going through the alphabet!
    I particularly liked 14& 18a plus 3d though wasnt too keen on 21a
    3/ 3.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the entertainment.

  3. I think this qualifies as a real stinker of a crossword abnd agree with DT about the over stretched synonyms (******/*). It contained a few easier clues and one that I really liked (14a). However, whilst it might be suitable as a Toughie, there are too many difficult clues for even a Friday back pager. I needed electronic help in the NW corner to finish it and am grateful to DT for confirming my attempts at parsing a few more clues. It was good exercise for brain but too frustrating to be really enjoyable. It was, however, really clever in places so thank you to the setter for that.

  4. 3*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot. I completed most of it on course for my 2* time but a handful of clues were definitely in Toughie territory with 1a and, my favourite, 2d my last two in. The parsing of 8d and 18d also took up quite a bit of time.

    Many thanks to the setter, I suspect this is the work of Zandio, and to DT.

  5. Not a huge problem apart from 1a which defeated me totally. Far too cryptic for my limited mind.
    No favourites, all a bit of a slog.
    Thx to all

  6. I wrote the right answer to 1a but I still do not quite understand the clue. I got the sailor bit but lost it after that.

  7. I’d agree with DT – a curious mixture here. I struggled to understand the answers and needed the hints to explain more than a few. I never find crosswords that leave me doubting the answers very satisfying. I still don’t see where quarry comes into 1a. 8a is a very loose clue. Needles is a lot more than ruffles! Had absolutely no idea about 18d. Could have done with an a before single to make sense of this. The London area being South East so that potential a from area had already been used. ****/** The best clue was 14a. Thanks to all.

  8. I think DT’s description of ‘curious’ just about covers it and can’t say that I particularly enjoyed this one.
    Quite a few ‘hmms’ on my sheet and nothing stood out as a favourite.

    Thanks nevertheless to our setter and thanks to DT for the review – loved your comment on 17d!

    1. Good morning, Jane. My copy of The Greengage Summer finally arrived yesterday, and I’ve begun reading it–not at all what I expected, so far. But most interesting.

      1. I think it will probably remain ‘not at all what you expected’ right up to the end but it’s an interesting perspective on the workings of the minds of children.

      2. I read it a long time ago, but I agree with you both, her books are all a bit like that, “not what you expect”. I enjoyed them, still have a few here, In This House of Brede and China Court.

        1. I’m such a geographer ‘manque’ that when I read a new novel these days, if there’s a particular area of a country I’ve been to that I somehow missed (like the Marne / Champagne location in Greengage), I immediately go to my atlas (online these days, mostly) to get some images I can relate to. I somehow missed Chateau Thierry but once spent a night in Chalons-sur-Marne (only a few miles away!), which I see has been re-named Champage-sur-Marne since I was there (ca. 1974). As an armchair traveler these days, it’s one of the vicarious thrills left to me.

          1. Me too, very limited mobility these days. I was an airline bod for over 45 years, I’m so glad I had that experience. There are such wonderful TV travel shows now, I DVR them and watch at leisure. I like Rick Steves, I think he does some really good ones. I’m into the “Secrets of …” series now, next one coming up is Selfridges! I get a huge laugh out of Escape to the Chateau, both so outré and creative.

            1. Steves has gotten immeasurably better over the years, especially now that he has focused on detailed provinces and smaller geographical areas–like, recently, just that northern region of Portugal (which I never got to, stuck down south around Lisboa for too long). Do you get Patrick McMillan, of Clemson University ‘fame’ (my alma mater), in his travel documentaries? It may be only SCETV that shows him. Wednesday nights here at 7.30 usually.

  9. I also found this quite a mixed bag of clues, and I struggled a bit with the NW corner, with 1a (a really clever clue, now that I think of it) my LOI. I also wondered about those trolls in 13d. Too many over-stretched items today for me, though I enjoyed 19a, 20d and 22a. Thanks to D.T. and to the Mysteron-du-Jour. *** / ***

    We have a hurricane headed our way, just before the locusts and frogs strike. Mercy me.

    1. I had a cane toad in my pool the other day, very worrisome with two dogs in residence. I’ve now got a spray that I hope will work.

      1. Hope the hurricane spares us both, but the latest forecast (it’s now a bit after 3 pm) has it headed your way. Stay safe. What else is going to happen to us in this doomsday year, I wonder?!

    2. Please stay safe, Robert. We have only experienced one hurricane in the UK in living memory and it was devastating.

      1. It’s Saturday now, but I do want to thank you for your kind thoughts, Steve.

  10. Got there eventually but found the NW a bit of a slog. No issues parsing 1a but needed DT to explain 3d to me. Agree it was rather a curious mixture of clues but on the whole quite enjoyed it & would pick out 1,14&27 across as my favourites.
    Thanks to the setter & DT.

  11. I agree with most of the comments so far, and especially DTs assessment. A crossword of two halves really, with the south going in fairly readily with some nice clues, such as 14a, 21a, 27a and 7d. But the north, particularly the NW, proving very difficult. Had to resort, unusually, to the hints, so many thanks to DT. Would never have got 1a, even with the hint. And needed parsing help with 8d. So not a very satisfactory puzzle, but perhaps typical Friday fare!

  12. Yes, a very curious puzzle with a few Hmms, especially 1a and 3d, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/2.5*.
    No standout favourites, although 2d got a smile.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  13. I seem to be one of the few who found today’s quite straightforward, especially compared with yesterday’s.
    The only one that eluded me for a bit was 21a, for no good reason, as it’s a perfectly acceptable clue – I understood I had to remove an A but it took me a while to find the synonym for cancel.

    On another note, I once ate a dodgy ham roll in Trieste railway station and that completely put paid to the next three days in Venice (my first ever visit) – didn’t see a thing except the Lido . Didn’t eat a thing until the Italian/Austrian border………I was gutted, both literally and emotionally…….

  14. I’m with Bluebird on this one. It seemed to be quite a normal Friday offering, with just one or two ‘Ummmms’, those being 1a and 21a. All over in ***/**** time.

    Many thanks to the compiler and DT.

  15. As others South OK North a tussle & NW a struggle. Well into 3* time. But there again it is Friday
    Pleased I sorted out my LOI 1a unaided. Tie for COTD between 1a & 14a.
    Use of children in 4d threw me although I see it is valid & the answer was obvious.
    Thanks to setter for the challenge he & DT for the review.
    Weather here lovely and warm (as opposed to hot) and sunny. A glorious day. Tiling the en-suite may be postponed in favour of a long walk in the dunes with Biggles.

  16. I will join the chorus of agreement with DT. 2/3rds of this was a good Friday tussle but the holdouts were a bit of a letdown when finally solved. 1a 2d and 21a were the ones that I struggled with and some very stretched synonyms.10a and 14a were my favourites today.
    Thanks to DT and setter. I had forgotten it was an Elgar day in the toughie and have surprised myself with a good start but I expect the wheels to fall off toot sweet.

  17. Agree with DT and what has been said above. Although I found the upper half tougher than the lower. No real favourites but II did like 2d because it gave me a huge doh moment when it clicked.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints. I needed them to check some parsings rather than getting answers.

    35 degrees in our drive today. Even Hudson doesn’t want to go out.

    1. That’s about 100F! We’re not that high here in Miami, about 95F, but we’re used to it and have a/c.

      1. No point in getting AC in the UK, Merusa. It doesn’t stay hot enough for long enough to justify the cost.

        Good old British grit gets us through!🤣

        1. You can get mini-a/c now that run on batteries and will cool a room, a cube about 9” square I think. They only cost about $99 here. I’m tempted to get one in case of power cuts in hurricanes.

            1. No I don’t, I’d have to research. First place I’d look is amazon.com, I think that’s where I first saw it.

            2. My friends in Colorado have one called GtTech and they say it works fine. I would read the reviews and see if there is a Brit one.

    2. We actually peaked at 38 degrees this afternoon. Silly weather! Mrs. C. and I were away to greasy spots. Hudson thought it was my fault and kept asking me to turn the heating down.

  18. Phew that was a battle and for me not a lot of fun to be had. Hope for more amusement over the weekend. East was OK but needed some parsings in the SW. Fav was 7d. Thank you Mysteron and DT. 😰.

  19. Thanks DT. **/.5 *

    Not a fan of this at all:

    1a: really?

    3d: need to start going back to the syndicated puzzles in the Boston Globe when I lived in MA.

    Found this sloppy.


  20. A struggle with not a lot of fun for me.
    Needed DT’s help with 1a as well as for some of the parsings.
    All a bit too stretched and convoluted for me.
    Totally agree with DT about trolls. The setter is just plain wrong there.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT

  21. Frankly, if that’s the standard of Friday’s crossword, I’ll give up and read the paper. I appreciate Depp Threat’s help (thanks Deep Threat) – but even with that I have’t a clue why 1 across is Whaler – and that’s not the only one!

    1. You’ve expanded your alias so this comment needed moderation. All three aliases will work from now on.

    2. As DT said a salt is a sailor. A sailor who hunts, somewhat barbarically with a harpoon’, (thus “gathers in”) a big quarry (whales) is a whaler ( eg Captain Ahab).

      1. I suspect I’m not the only one who needed that detailed explanation to understand that.

  22. How curious we humans are. As so often half the contributors comment upon what a stroll a puzzle is, with the other half confessing to a struggle. I am firmly in the latter category today. I did find many of the clues hard to reconcile with the answers until I read DT’s hints.
    Maybe it’s the heat. I am drinking orange squash by the gallon and little Lola has found a coolish spot at the very end of the garden, under some lilies, which are under some ferns, under the forsythia tree. I’m tempted to join her there.

    1. Be careful, lilies can be deadly to cats. I lost my belovéd Fanny to a vase of lilies, heartbreak.

      1. Mrs LrOK loves lilies but wouldn’t have them in the house whilst we had cats, some to dogs too apparently so sage warning Merusa.

          1. Wow! That’s worrying. Luckily she has emerged from that area unscathed.
            I am not a great expert in horticulture so I will double check. Perhaps they are not lilies!

  23. A bit of bishop‘s bacon … to go with the reverend’s rashers, monsignor’s mushrooms and curate’s egg. 1a almost needed an alternate word for gathering – like ****** or ***** (I have self censored to avoid the wrath of BD and the dreaded “red pen”).

    Anyhoo.. thanks to Captain Scarlet and DT for another good fight with Mr Ron. Time for breakfast here in Boston methinks.

    Mr & Mrs T

  24. Couldn’t for the life of me understand what a local had to do with a slimmer until I read your notes. Dow! Thanks

    1. Welcome from me, also, Llareggub. I felt the same about the local until it hit me between the eyes. Nice clue.

  25. I found this crossword unusual but solvable 😳***/*** it does not seem to be a regular Setter 🤔 Favourites 14a & 10a Thanks to DT, I enjoyed the Unicorn Song, and to the Setter

  26. I’m in the ‘this was tricky’ camp but 36C and being with a three year old who’s too hot probably didn’t help the concentration.
    Can’t think straight enough to decide how much I enjoyed it.
    1a was my favourite and I also liked 2 and 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT.
    Might try yesterday’s depending on what I might be needed to do to occupy the ‘beast’ until it’s his bedtime. :phew:

  27. I had a DNF for the second day on the trot and this was a bit more fun than yesterday, but not much. The three I failed on 1a, 21a, and 18d, frankly I am never going to be able to solve from the wordplay as its too obscure for my small brain.
    After the last two days, perhaps time for a stab at the Guardian for a change.
    Thanks all.

  28. ***/***. Some of this was relatively straightforward but bits were very tricky. 1a was a bung-in with only 4 possible words to fit the checkers. 23a was a neat piece of misdirection. 13d – trolls does not equate to elves in my book. My favourite was 3d for its brevity and ah-ha moment. Thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  29. I found most of this relatively straightforward until I was left with the last few. As with lots of others, 1a was my last one in, preceded by 3d which I thought was a clever clue.

  30. Absolutely agree with GMY1965 above. 1a also my last in, preceded by 3d which was my COTD. Have had a look at the Toughie and only managed about half a dozen. Never heard of half the answers so my brain still has a way to go. Thanks to all.

  31. Definitely some quirky clues in this puzzle and some stretched synonyms for certain. Bottom half took the longest with 21a last in. ***/*** for today. In fact the last 8 clues I dealt with took as long as the rest of the puzzle, else it may have been a ** in time.
    Liked 14a, 3d, 13d, 17d & 18d. Winner 18d

    Thanks to setter and DT

  32. I have had many worse experiences than this . There were unusually few problems . I threw my hat at (and missed) the dog, who was agitating to go for a walk in outrageously hot wather , when i resorted to the crib to clear up a couple and found the answer to -1a . Of course i felt a complete fool .

    The walk was very hard work @ 35 C . Dog enjoyed it more than I did

    Roll on the next one

  33. First crossword I’ve done for a while despite being a subscriber. I printed it off to sit and do in the sunshine, which unfortunately despite the forecast, clouded over and started raining. I initially thought it was going to be impossible, but eventually got going and actually liked a number of clues, especially 1a, 3d and 14a. Not convinced with the parsing of a couple, but overall a nice return to the crossword and always interesting to read the comments :).

  34. This was way beyond my solving capabilities, but having said that, I did complete except for the NW. It was all very well writing in some of the answers, but I failed unravelling the clues. Natch, I missed 1a. Why does diplo mean one masters politics?
    A most esoteric offering today, my brain just doesn’t work that way.
    Thanks to our setter and to DT, our Hercule Poirrot with the leetle grey cells for solving this lot.

    1. Hi Merusa,
      ‘one masters politics’ is the definition, the wordplay is a type of degree followed by ‘T’ for time. Hope it makes sense now although there do seem to be quite a few of the ‘answer’ who haven’t mastered the art at all!

    2. I did the same, Merusa. Could not understand why “Diplo” was included with Master of Arts and time. Then the proverbial penny fell to the floor and I kicked myself.

  35. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this one, so relieved to see it rated ***. And not much time to spend on it either as we prepare for Hurricane Isaias, yes I spelt that right. Best case it will side swipe us, but we are under Hurricane Watch and told to prepare for a direct hit, just in case. Spent morning hauling potted plants in, and will bring in patio furniture later. Just what we need here in South Florida with our Covid numbers through the roof.

    1. You live in a beautiful state, Lizzie, but at times like this you must sometimes wonder whether it’s worth it. I do hope that the latest hurricane contrives to miss both you and Merusa – please stay as safe as possible. Our own number of Covid cases is starting to increase again so I doubt that anywhere in the world is going to be free of that scourge for a long while yet.

      1. Thanks, Jane, for caring! I’m just a tad south of BusyLizzie and it appears we’ll get much more benign hurricane winds. I just hope I haven’t put my “goat mouth” on it and invited a swerve to Miami! I imagine we’ll lose electricity so we might be offline for a couple of days.

        1. Good luck to you Lizzie, Merusa and also Robert further north in Charleston. Hope the hurricane doesn’t cause damage to any of you.

      2. I think Merusa will fare better than us. We just got a Emergency Alert that we are now under a Hurricane Warning from Boca Raton northwards. Merusa is more south, so luckier. Glad we went out and got extra bananas and picked up my library books. Got to get your priorities right 😊

  36. Quite tough but doable… eventually.
    The NW took a while.
    Wasn’t too keen on children = members in 4d so hesitated a long time.
    Time to get ready to meet Framboise and Monsieur as he is now fully French. A little visit to the Taj Mahal to celebrate. We do have everything in Hyères. No need to travel anymore.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT for the review.

    1. Hi JL,
      Always lovely to hear from you and please give Framboise and the ‘new’ Monsieur best wishes from the gang – I do miss her blog contributions.
      A Taj Mahal in Hyeres? That sounds like a real mix of cultures!

  37. Very tricky puzzle, not a great fan of it, needed far to much help to complete.
    Thanks to all

  38. Hello all, compiler here. Thanks for the discussion. I do try to offer a mixed bag, for better or worse. I always aim for a longish alternate-letters answer (19a here), and a couple of longish hiddens or lurkers (as no doubt most setters do). I’ve always loved the hiddens created by Ray Terrell (on alternate Thursdays) and Brian Greer (who used to do Sundays in the Telegraph). The longest here was only a sixer, so not that long! Like most compilers, I try to come up with some overall cryptic definitions, of the kind that seemed to come so easily to the great Roger Squires on Mondays. They are often the solver’s favourite, though maybe not here! 25a is barely cryptic, as Deep Threat said, but if I was allowed to choose my own favourite clue, it would be 1a. On first reading it means something completely different. Then it has two words with alternative meanings (“salt” and “quarry”) plus a verb that is intransitive in one reading and transitive in the other. Roger’s cryptic definitions always appeared to have come straight out of his conjuror’s brain, but mine rarely do — I see that this one took 15 rewrites. Apologies for discussing this at length — it’s probably bad form! Incidentally, I just got a copy of ‘How To Solve A Cryptic Crossword’ by Chris Lancaster, the Telegraph Puzzles Editor. In case anyone is interested, it looks like a really good book, because it assumes no previous knowledge and everything is very clearly explained. (He didn’t pay me to say that, honest.) Have a nice weekend.

    1. Hi Zandio,
      Thanks for popping in and I’m sorry for not enjoying this one overmuch. Think 1a got me off to a bad start – a) because I associate the term more with the boat than the men involved and b) because the entire barbaric operation fills me with horror. A bad mood established at the start of a solve doesn’t bode well for a setter’s chances!

      On a brighter note, may I say that CL’s book is indeed a very good read and has been a most welcome addition to my ‘crossword stuff’ library. Like you, I didn’t get paid for saying that – but I live in hope……….

    2. Zandio,
      Thank you for visiting us and the detailed explanations. To a casual solver like me it is fascinating to learn just how much really goes into compiling a back pager.
      Getting 2d & 1a unaided made my day (simple soul the I am).

    3. Thank you, Zandio, for joining us. I actually thought 1a was very clever, and it was my last one in, at which point I almost shouted with glee and said Eureka! I did enjoy most of the puzzle, though the reference to trolls did bother me a bit. Enjoyed your tribute to some of the compilers whose work I’ve enjoyed over the years–Ray T, Roger S, Brian G–and thought that your allusions to them showed what a respectful gentleman you are.

    4. Thanks for popping in, Zandio and for the detailed description of your setting process. Fascinating.

    5. Fair play Zandio, thanks for explaining your thought process.

      In an era of ‘cancel culture’ it is refreshing to see an honest exchange of views that is respectful.

      I had a wee moan about 1a but upon reflection I am starting to like it…still unsure about ‘local’ though 😉

      Thanks to you and the other setters for kick-starting my few remaining brain cells every morning.

  39. We also found this a rather strange puzzle and it did take us longer than usual to get everything sorted.
    Totally failed to notice the ‘a la RayT’ short clue length, but well done on achieving this Zandio. Must remember to do the word count on future puzzles.
    Thanks Zandio and DT

  40. 4*/4*…..
    liked 1A (once I twigged) “salt gathering in huge quarry (6)”…
    also 13D “sour deviant trolls you and me (9)”

  41. Found this one no fun at all. Managed a few without reference but gave up and came to Big Dave for explanations. The heat today has not helped but even so I found some of the clues incomprehensible. Had a couple of clear runs this week, so obviously this compiler is on a different wavelength to me.

  42. Keep persevering with Friday night crossword but totally with Greta on this one. A distinct lack of humour in solving this one
    1A was a dog’s breakfast

  43. Later the next day….sorry Zandio, I’m afraid I gave up after just a few clues, too cryptic for me. Thanks to DT for the blog, I might have a look at the answers now.

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