DT 29434 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29434

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29434

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Slightly bigger birds for our wildlife report this week. A very sleek egret patiently waiting by a stream that runs through the wetland at the edge of the estuary.  A bit further along, one of the regulars, a white-faced heron doing the same. Yesterday when we were sitting in the kitchen over our morning coffee we watched another one of these herons enjoying the sunshine on the roof ridge of a neighbour’s house.

Jay up to his usual standard with today’s puzzle. Just a little trickier than some of his recent ones we thought.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Cast may need this, seeing a part rewritten (6,5)
GREASE PAINT : An anagram (rewritten) of SEEING A PART.

9a     Vetoed attempt in favouring study (9)
FORBIDDEN : Start with a three letter word meaning favouring, then an attempt or an offer at an auction, and finally ‘study’ as a room.

10a     Flipping theatre night showing no sign of life! (5)
INERT : A reversed lurker, hiding in the clue.

11a     A good husband and a good person must be shocked (6)
AGHAST : ‘A’ from the clue, then G(ood) H(usband), then ‘A’ from the clue again and a canonized person.

12a     Firm supporter beginning to cover new law (8)
STALWART : A synonym for beginning includes an anagram (new) of LAW.

13a     Run out of gear for a short period (6)
STREAK : A double definition. A short period could apply to good luck.

15a     Restricts new penalties applied to firm (8)
CONFINES : The abbreviation for company or firm, then N(ew) and financial penalties.

18a     Tormented and looking embarrassed by tag (8)
BADGERED : A tag or award for achievement made to a Girl Guide and then the colour associated with looking embarrassed.

19a Wishes to dispose of one house advertised as such (3,3)
DES RES : Remove the Roman numeral one from the centre of another word for wishes.

21a     Rock singer’s first suit (8)
DIAMONDS : The precious stone colloquially known as a rock and then the first letter of ‘singer’.

23a     Sweat terribly wrapping hospital bandage (6)
SWATHE : An anagram (terribly) of SWEAT contains H(ospital).

26a     Signs nothing and workers succeeded … (5)
OMENS : The letter that looks like zero, then male workers plus S(ucceeded).

27a     … immediately after that putting her note up for revision (9)
THEREUPON : An anagram (for revision) of HER NOTE UP.

28a     Innovator of dog jacket (11)
TRAILBLAZER : Dog as a verb meaning to follow, and then a jacket, (these often have school or club insignia on them).


1d     Saw differently after nonsense gets laughs (7)
GUFFAWS : Nonsense or humbug is followed by an anagram (differently) of SAW.

2d     Congratulate art historian ringing such a connection (5)
EARTH : A lurker hiding in the clue.

3d     Trim and dispatch form (9)
SHIPSHAPE : Dispatch literally on a vessel and then form or model.

4d     Tramps may find places to live (4)
PADS : A double definition. The places to live are usually urban flats.

5d     Fire engine must need this (8)
IGNITION : What is needed to start an engine.

6d     Hearing test (5)
TRIAL : A double definition. The hearing is in a court of law.

7d     She ultimately maintains such vehicles (7)
ESTATES : The last letter of ‘she’ and then avers or maintains.

8d     Servant providing legal consideration (8)
RETAINER : A double definition. The legal consideration is in the form of an interim payment.

14d     Beamed and considered accepting assistance raised (8)
RADIATED : A three letter synonym for assistance is reversed (raised) inside considered or assessed.

16d     Liberated women on list for coast (9)
FREEWHEEL : A word meaning liberated, then W(omen) and list or lean to one side. (Coast here is a verb).

17d     Check about objective before reserves feud (8)
VENDETTA : A word meaning to check contains objective or aim and then reserve soldiers.

18d     Graduate teacher with job as support for tester (7)
BEDPOST : The degree obtained by a graduate teacher and then a job or position.

20d     Resent changes on right being more authoritarian (7)
STERNER : An anagram (changes) of RESENT plus R(ight).

22d     Working and ready for attack (5)
ONSET : A two letter word for working and then ready or prepared.

24d     Best article on unknown stone (5)
TOPAZ : Best or superior, then the indefinite article and a mathematical unknown.

25d     Live without 21, comfortably (4)
WELL : Live or reside loses the card players’ abbreviation for the answer to 21a.

Lots of ticks again today with 13a and 16d sharing top honours.

Quickie pun    pose    +    toffees    =    Post Office

119 comments on “DT 29434

  1. Pleasant offering today with some interesting clues in 18a and 5d. Had to look up tester as I have not come across that meaning before. Thought 8d was a clumsy clue.
    Thanks to all

    1. …and yet I thought that 8d was a neat and tidy double definition, must be the lawyer in me.

      1. Same here on both counts. Nice misdirection too – my first thought being consideration other than in the financial sense

  2. Yet another in a long line of Wednesday masterpieces from Jay. Mr Consistency does it again. I thought it was at the harder end of his setting spectrum, with 13a my favourite. Some beautifully clued anagrams too.

    Thanks to our three feathered friends.

  3. This was another very enjoyable Jay puzzle with the usual complement of excellent clues. I thought it was going to be a knotty one but then everything fell into place so I would rate it **/**** . It is difficult to pick a favourite with so many good clues but I liked 3d, 18d and 13a. The latter was notable for great misdirection. 1a was a nice anagram too. Thanks to the Kiwis for the review and the nature walk diary and to Jay.

  4. Hard to find something original to say about another splendid Jay offering. thanks to him and the 2Ks

    My nature report today is the sighting of a whole cluster of enormous dragonflies.

    I highly recommend today’s Toughie which as usual with a Micawber is wonderful throughout

    1. I agree. At times, today, I thought the Toughie was easier than this puzzle. This often seems to happen to me on a Wednesday.

  5. I thought this was absolutely outstanding from start to finish. Clues I’ve ticked (but it could have been virtually any) 12, 19& 28a plus 3&16d.
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for the top notch entertainment.

  6. 3*/4.5*. Another gem from Jay with as always a crowded podium – 13a, 19a, 21a & 25d, plus a great groan-worthy Quickie pun.

    I took 5d to be a cryptic definition.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. Short and sweet but fun while it lasted. North toppled first. Joint Favs 13a and 19a. Funny how words reappear within a short space of time e.g. 22d. Failed to parse my 25d bung-in. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  8. A little surprised at the difficulty rating. Found this one pretty straightforward apart from taking a while to twig 7& 18d. Not quite up there with his very best but as always with Jay thoroughly enjoyable. Particularly liked the anagram at 27a & 28a.
    Many thanks Jay & the 2Ks

  9. Gentle but enjoyable (1*/3*), thanks Jay. For half a nano second I thought we had a triple definition in 21a. Thanks to 2Ks

    Echo CS on today’s Toughie – an absolute joy even if some might think it’s is a little too easy.

          1. I thought that as well at first, but then the S would have to come from suit which is the definition….which I thought was not allowed.
            But I would really like someone to explain these rules to me.
            I like a rule.


            1. Well, seeing as you asked
              Rule one. There are no rules
              Rule two. If in doubt see rule one

                  1. Character played by the actor Mark Harmon in the long-running TV series NCIS…American TV.

  10. Brilliant. So many wonderful clues. 13a, 16d, 12, … just for starters. Don’t know how Jay keeps raising the bar but he does. A bit surprised to see 19a there but how clever is that? Thanks to the Kiwis for the review and the avian report, and to Jay, as delightful as ever. 1.5* / 5*

    Terrific Toughie today too.

  11. Very enjoyable puzzle today.

    Solved alone and unaided and understood all the clues, so a hurrah day .

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to Jay

    1. A hurrah day for me too – alone, unaided and without having to take a break half way through. I’m really pleased. Thought 13a was a brilliant clue, followed by 16d.Tonihaha
      Thanks to all

  12. Treat of the week. Jay never disappoints. ***/**** A little trickier than some. 21a reminds me of Bumble starting up said rocker’s anthem at the cricket. Many very good clues. 5d is a little different. Favourite 16d. Thanks to all.

  13. Another little gem from Mr Consistent, lovely way to start the day.
    The problem is not which to reward with podium places but rather which to leave out! After much debate I opted for 19&28a plus 5&16d but there were several other worthy contenders.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review and the ‘big bird’ report. It always amuses me when one of our local Grey Herons balances precariously on the hedge and peers intently into my little pond. He’s out of luck where fish are concerned as he or one of his mates took the lot in one fell swoop a couple of years ago!
    PS I’d second CS’s recommendation of the Micawber Toughie. Not a regular setter these days but it’s always a pleasure to solve one of his puzzles.

  14. Quite an average crossword but just didn’t see 25d. I put in “well” but just didn’t see the D for diamond. I am stupd

  15. Another excellent puzzle today **/****. Neil Diamond takes me straight to flat/house sharing in the 70’s in Cape Town. Too many great clues to pick just one. Thanks to all. After yesterday’s rather astonishing success with the Toughie, have had a quick look and think it may be above my pay grade today but will give it a go.

  16. A very nice puzzle for the usual enjoyable Wednesday solve 😃 ***/**** Favourites 13a & 3d 🤗 Thanks to Jay and to the 2xKs

  17. Was 2d a reverse lurker? It looks forward to me.
    And I’ve always thought 1a was one word….

    A bit frustrating for me as I got tied up with 13a and 18a and their crosser 14d. There were so many options….so thanks to 2Ks for putting me straight. Otherwise it was enjoyable without being that exciting. 3/3*. Thanks to Jay anyway.

      1. In that case it doesn’t agree with any other dictionary I can find, including Chambers online
        While it does irritate me that dictionaries differ, I do understand that language is not an exact science; but they really should agree
        I also get irritated with stretchy synonyms that can mean another word in a sense, but out of context it is not a true synonym – thesauritis I think BD calls it

        1. Personally, I would have expected 1a to be hyphenated but that doesn’t appear to be preferred by any ‘authority.’

  18. A lovely consistent solve from Jay once again so thank you Jay. It’s all there for us to unravel with a little thought. A fine review from our very consistent pair of Kiwis. Your nature notes could be echoed here in Long Itchington. We have an Egret regularly visiting our stretch of the river Itchen and a Grey Heron often sits on the roof opposite. I’ve been waking up to Magpies at our new house. 16 of them in our garden at dawn this morning. They do make a row when they get going. Thanks to all

    1. As a collection of magpies is a ‘parliament’ you would expect a rowdy noise, yes?

      1. magpies collectively are a charm, congregation or gulp. You have Parliaments of Owls, a device which many a crossword setter has used in the past to clue ‘Member of Parliament’

          1. The furthest I can go is “13 beware it’s the devil himself” after “11 for health and 12 for wealth” so don’t know about 16.

    2. My friend in Wales always said you have to greet a magpie when you see one. She’ll be driving along and when she sees a magpie, hands off wheel, clasped together and bowing, she’ll greet him, “hello Mr. Magpie, and how are the wife and children …” and so on.

      1. Yes indeed, Salute and say ‘Good morning (or whatever) Mr. Magpie give my regards to your wife’- to ward off the bad luck which might otherwise occur.

      2. I always salute a magpie when I see one. Not sure why – I only know it is ingrained in my mind for some reason. Probably a childhood thing. I know it has something to do with warding off bad luck.
        And me a logical chap!

  19. Somewhat more tricky than recent Jay puzzles but just as enjoyable, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 14d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  20. A most enjoyable puzzle from Jay continues the run of this week’s enjoyment. Some wonderful clues and quite difficult to pick a favourite. However, mention must be made to 28a, 5d and 18d. If I were to go for a COTD in a list of fine clues, I would go for 18d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

  21. Jay,

    Capo di tutti capi.. le nec plus ultra. Wow. Great challenge today

    Only one small grumble : Kiwis thanks for the hints as always. To please people of a certain vintage you may have wanted to include a picture of Erica Roe in the image for 13a…

    Perhaps, Maestro, you could include her in a future clue..

    Grazie a tutti,

        1. Never heard of the poor man’s paradox. The things this site gets you to ask Mr G. (or reveals the chasms in your knowledge).
          I think I see your point now, or then again…
          Illustration for 13a looks like an NZ picture to me.

  22. I thought I was having a tricky week as I found this slightly trickier than Jay’s normal Wednesday puzzles, but that view does seem to be shared by others. I misinterpreted the rock reference in 21a, thinking of the singer. 19a was excellent, and I liked 16d, although I missed the ‘list’ reference. Altogether enjoyable, so thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.
    If we are sharing wildlife sightings, we have missed seeing our resident Pheasants recently, and the pond is now too dry to attract the Grey Heron. Our resident Barn Owls have also deserted us after 20 years (during which 33 babies have fledged), their favourite nesting box having blown down in a gale, unfortunately with a (now dead) owl in it. We put up a new box in hope, but the Kestrels have taken over, producing 5 babies this year (bringing our total to 70). Many bees and butterflies in the garden, and a lovely Humming-Bird Hawk Moth.

  23. As enjoyable as ever and I agree it was a bit trickier than usual.
    It sounds as if I was the only twit who had 6d as ‘aural’? It seemed OK to me until it started to screw up several answers in that corner and then I smelt the rat. :roll:
    I thought 21a was the ‘rock singer’, not that he is, with his ‘S. Oh dear, wrong again.
    The rest of it went really quite well, if rather slowly, but it isn’t a race and I refuse to turn it into one.
    I ‘liked’ all the clues but the ones that stood out for me were 1 and 28a and 3d. I think my favourite was 19a.
    Thanks to Jay and the K’s. Off to the garden – toughie later.

          1. It seemed pretty good to me at the time but I suspect that it’s not quite legit! Glad to have more company in the wrong corner – thank you and I hope you’re having a better week. :smile:

            1. Kath – I got aural in first and had no second thoughts about it. Oral is used so often as a test in crosswords and the “sounds like” aural for hearing made a perfect fit. I spent an inordinate length of time last night trying to thing of a word ending in A. It was only this morning when I got the first word of the answer that I looked at the other letters and twigged. I then went happily through the rest of it!

  24. Tricky in parts and I needed some hints to complete, but another great puzzle from Jay. I to looked at 1a and thought one word. Still it gave me a good start. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  25. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, I thought it was a cracking puzzle. No real holdups. Last in was 18d. I liked 19&28a, but my favourite was 13a. Was 2* /4* for me.

  26. My 5-hour time difference usually makes it too late to post while the comments thread is still active, but I had an early start today. lovely puzzle, as usual. 28A and 16D were my favorites. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay. Off to give the Toughie a whirl.

    1. The toughie is easy today. It must be. I completed it! Normally, I’d do well to get half of it. So, in Orla speak, an hurrah for me! That’s a first.

    2. I meant to thank you, Chris, for wishing us well in Charleston during the storm. We fared much better than those to the north of us did. You mentioned family in Charleston–in the city? I’m in North Charleston, in the Park Circle area. Hope you enjoy(ed) the Toughie.

  27. I enjoy Jay days; a lovely challenge but one that is achievable to conquer. No scratching around trying every letter combination only to discover the answer is a fourth century deity worshipped by a small sect of Druids.
    Another day, another Test match, this time against Pakistan. Sky are running a loop of crowd noise in the background with no option to remove it. They seem to have deleted the few seconds of cackling laughter that cropped up every few minutes. Once I noticed it, my troubled mind kept waiting for it on the next loop, like a form of involuntary torture. Cricket as both a joy and an aural ordeal at the same time. Rather like watching the Royal Ballet presenting Swan Lake but with a road drill hammering away outside.
    Thanks to the splendid Jay, and the equally delightful 2Ks.

    1. Listening to Test Match Special, which is most entertaining. When the the test was on terrestrial TV I would watch it with the the sound off and listen to TMS as the commentary. Great combination.

      1. Glory days, Steve. As you probably know, TMS is on 5Live Extra now and… they too run fake crowd noise in the background with no option to remove it.

    2. Loved your take on an obscure clue, Terence, amazing how often we get confronted by one of those!
      Speaking of Swan Lake, have you ever seen Mathew Bourne’s troupe of all-male dancers performing the ballet? It’s a very compelling, exciting and excellently performed re-imagining of the original which includes ‘dance of the little swans’ perfectly executed by the ‘lads’ but truly hilarious for the audience.

      1. Jane, I’ve been lucky enough to see Swan Lake, twice, both at the Royal Opera House – but not the all-male version. I see it is on YouTube so I shall certainly watch it in the coming days.

  28. Another lovely Wednesday puzzle. How lucky we are. Once again did not have to refer to the hints but it is always fun to look at them afterwards. Blowing a gale here in Cambridge, what Terence would call a four paperweight day but we had lunch in the garden doing the crossword with dressed crab and a glass of rose. I think a snooze is called for. A lot of small planes flying around from Duxford – a light plane came down in a nearby village yesterday, I thought that might put them off! Thanks to KK ‘n J.

    1. A four paperweight day here too, Daisy! The little tin foil lid I create for my glass of orange squash went careering down the garden, leading Lola to raise a quizzical eye from her position of repose under the ivy.

      1. Ooh blimey. Thank you Sue. Got that wrong then. 🤭 I know when I see one I have to salute it, then someone told me I should spit – so now I do both. No doubt there is a little rhyme I should recite as well. Someone will know.

        1. Good morning Mr Magpie, how’s your wife?

          Not sure how that works if the bird you are addressing is female

      2. The reply below is for Cryptic Sue obviously. I have just woken up. I am pleased there is no immediate threat to Lola from the poisonous pollen but I am very disappointed in you Terence, the way you waxed so lyrical about your garden I thought you were a veritable Percy Thrower. But you don’t know your lilies from your irises and I am wondering in fact if Lola DOES lie amongst the wallflowers as you say. They should all be gone now unless it is the perennial Bowles Mauve. Is it actually H who does the gardening chez vous?

        1. Ah Daisy – I ‘thought’ I could identify common British flora but I went badly astray with the iris/lily business. I think it is more to do with increasing forgetfulness and particularly misremembering names of people and things.
          The wallflowers have long gone but Lola sleeps under the ivy next to where she once did have the increased shelter of the wallflowers.
          We do have Bowles Mauve! I planted it a couple of years ago and it is expanding with much vigour.

  29. Great Puzzle! Does Jay do every Wednesday? Think I remember saying the same last week!

  30. Enjoyed today’s , another well balanced Jay crossword. My last in was 7d, seemed to have a mental block on it. 21a brings back memories of my first stage gig at college playing my acoustic guitar and singing sweet Caroline 😄.
    Thx jay & 2kiwis

  31. Difficult but enjoyable, my favourite is 13a and least favourite is 18d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks

  32. Obviously my Jay-ability is improving as this was my fastest Wednesday solve yet.
    As always no poor clues but lots of good ones. 5d my COTD with 18d a close second.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2 Ks.
    Daughter reports the Chantarelle season has started up here so we can look forward to mushroom treats for the next month or so.

  33. Another Jay masterpiece, I Iiked 11 & 15 across and took to long solving 21 across and promptly kicked myself, 14 & 16 down where my favourites on the down, my COTD was 18 across, thank you to Jay and the 2Kiwis for all you do.

  34. Very enjoyable for me too and managed to solve most without hints. I didn’t get 13a which I thought was an excellent smile raiser of a clue but as I was thinking about vehicles running without being in gear when I read 16d I managed to bung that straight in. As I only buy the DT occasionally I shall try to make it a Wednesday thing as this setter is my fav (fingers crossed this 13d doesn’t end next week).
    Spoilt for choice on the birds here but the big news is the Cranes managing to hatch more young this year. But shhhhh I can’t tell you where as they’re rare as hens teeth…

  35. Isn’t Jay just the best setter? I always enjoy his offerings, loved it all. There was nothing so esoteric that you couldn’t get the answer.
    Fave was 12a but liked 13a as well, also 16d, I’ll stop here.
    Thanks Jay for all the fun, and 2Kiwis for your usual snapshot!

  36. 3*/4*…..
    liked 19A “wishes to dispose of one house advertised as such (3,3)” , amongst others.

  37. Morning all.
    Interesting to read all the discussion about 1a being one word or two. Our 12th edition BRB agrees with Jay that it is two words so we did not question it.
    Jay seems to have kept most of his fans happy once again.

  38. If it wasn’t for 13a (which I didn’t like), this would have been */**** for me.

    Instead I would rate it as **/***

    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  39. 28a was the best clue, in my opinion.
    Felixstowe is full of gulls, pigeons and magpies. Why do people feed gulls.

    1. It is 9a to feed the gulls in Whitby, but they have brass necks, razor sharp bills and the flying skills of the Red Arrows so they still get well fed.

      1. Ah, Whitby! Lovely place with fond family connections for me. Whitby and the moors around it are my spiritual home.

        Hudson gets excited at the mention of Whitby. It means “the sea”!

  40. I left work last Friday and vowed to finally get to grips with the DT cryptic crossword. Your site has at last given me hope that I can at last begin to make sense of it. I do the quick one every day and depending on how quick I do it my eyes have always strayed to the cryptic one. I started on Monday and didn’t do too bad but today’s was a bit tricky. Your explanations have been incredibly helpful and I look forward to the time that I don’t just look at the answers too quickly. Thank you.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Jim.
      Stick with us and your solving will improve in leaps and bounds.

    2. Welcome from us too Jim.
      We look forward to regular reports as you get to grips with the dark arts of solving cryptic crosswords.

    3. Welcome, Jim. I too was in your position a couple of years ago before I found this blog. I now solve a high proportion of backpagers and the occasional Toughie. As Gaza says, stick with us. There isn’t another blog like it for learning the ropes.

  41. All I would say has been said by others. 7d LOI, 16d COTD for me ( by a nose from a large group)
    Best laugh 19a Des Res = Desperate Residence, 2 Car Gar = 2 carloads of garbage in the drive, Sheltered location close to Amenities = Built under the motorway flyover.
    All in all a great puzzle and a great blog. Thanks Jay and 2K’s
    Fan of NCIS too Is that Pauley Perrette’s real name? Mama Bee says who would call their child polly parrot?

  42. I found it difficult to get a toehold today, but once I did, I was off and running. Until I met up with four that I needed the 2Kiwis excellent hints to finish. We have a Greater White Egret that has been a resident of the lake behind our house since we moved here last year, and he had been joined by a Greater Blue Heron. We named the Egret as Eric, and he has obliged by showing up a couple times a day, yesterday strolling imperially through our garden. Thanks to Jay for keeping me out of mischief today, and to 2Kiwis.

  43. Have lately discovered this column. It’s nice to have some hints when stuck! Incidentally, I was taught to do the Telegraph crossword many years ago by an alcoholic civil servant when commuting to London!

    1. Welcome from me as well, Andrew. I started the DT crossword when I was in the RAF. The Telegraph was the preferred paper of officers so I followed the trend. There was one navigator who could finish it in about a minute!
      Hope to see more posts from you.

  44. I think I made harder work of this than I should have but got there in the end. Magpies? One for sorrow two for joy …. any more than that equals very few songbirds in your garden, horrible things. This year for the first time on my shoot I’ve seen a Little Egret and a Dabchick, there are Kingfishers and Otters and all manner of songbirds. When my game covers come into flower there will hundreds of thousands of not millions of bees, you can hardly hear anything except buzzing. Any road up back to the crossword favourite clue was 18a. Many thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

    1. Yes, magpies are covids and quite nasty. Maybe that is why so much folklore is associated with them

  45. Found this somewhat of a slog and somewhat frustrating in many parts. SW last area in. Not clicking today ****/** Done in parts all through the day with too much other stuff going on today. Did this in a real piecemeal fashion.
    Had to use too many hints for my liking today.Nothing stood out for a favourite clue today but 1d made me 1d !
    Highlight of the puzzle for me

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  46. Once I had recovered from the trauma of 6d I thought this was brilliant but some which took me a longish time. However I persisted and managed without hints. I was in the triple camp for 19a, but happy to be corrected. It certainly simplifies matters if Neil Diamond is left out of it altogether. Thanks Jay and 2Ks.

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