DT 29457 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29457

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29457

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  I thought today's offering was the best crossword I've solved for several months.  Highly recommended.  Setter, please take a bow in the comments.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer will be here buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    One's hooked on Carthage when touring (10)
COATHANGER:  An anagram (when touring) of ON CARTHAGE 

6a    Book entering system, marked (4)
EMMA:  The book is concealed in (entering) the remainder of the clue

9a    Surprised when kissed on the lips? (10)
GOBSMACKED:   A synonym of kissed follows (on, in an across clue) what the lips form 

10a   Post for a chap under discussion (4)
MAIL:  A homophone (under discussion) of another word for a chap or man

12a   Might one have got tied up at work? (12)
ESCAPOLOGIST:  Cryptic definition of one sort of entertainer 

15a   Edges of Egyptian flag complete (6)
ENTIRE:  The outer letters of (edges of) EgyptiaN with flag or become exhausted 

16a   Cryptic answer by the setter in trousers, etc (8)
MENSWEAR:  An anagram (cryptic) of ANSWER follows a pronoun the setter might use for themselves 

18a   Total on strike correct (8)
OUTRIGHT:  "on strike" in a labour sense has a synonym of correct appended 

19a   Tiger perhaps a bit upset about getting caught, initially (3,3)
BIG CAT:  An anagram (upset) of A BIT containing (about) the first letters of (…, initially) Getting Caught.  Here's a catchy and socially-distanced cover version of a song associated with a well-known Netflix show

21a   Spirit from the bottle? (5,7)
DUTCH COURAGE:  Cryptic definition of bravery induced by drink 

24a   Hiding head, fool friend (4)
ALLY:  A fool minus his first letter (hiding head

25a   Writing stuff fixed, by the sound of it (10)
STATIONERY:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of fixed or not moving 

26a   Sad -- unlike this clue? (4)
DOWN:  There are two kinds of clue in every crossword.  The answer is the one this isn't 

27a   Regarding ruin, bleak winds extraordinary (10)
REMARKABLE:  Concatenate a usual word for regarding or concerning, ruin or spoil, and an anagram (winds) of BLEAK



1d    Mineworkers' lift, a hundred years old? (4)
CAGE:  The Roman hundred with another word for how many years old you are 

2d    Court order investigations finally into all blood groups? (4)
ASBO:  The last letter (finally) of investigationS inserted in (into) a suitable arrangement of the three single-letter blood groups.  The UK court order is explained here 

3d    Last part of race perhaps flat and neat (4,8)
HOME STRAIGHT:  Flat or residence with neat or undiluted 

4d    Endlessly drink something sticky, sugary fluid (6)
NECTAR:  All but the last letter (endlessly) of an informal word for drink is followed by something black and sticky.  Still lots of hummingbirds in the backyard consuming 4d: 

5d    Some disgrace, yes, or especially hideous sights (8)
EYESORES:  The answer is hidden as some of the remainder of the clue 

7d    I came with him, a drunk, around British resort city (5,5)
MIAMI BEACH:  An anagram (drunk) of I CAME HIM A containing (around) the single letter for British

8d    Everyone repeat, inking in identical initials? (10)
ALLITERATE:  Synonyms of everyone and of repeat 

11d   Cook taking sort of utensil for warming marshmallows? (8,4)
TOASTING FORK:  An anagram (cook) of TAKING SORT OF 

13d   Old part of clock (6-4)
SECOND-HAND:  Hyphenating a part of an analogue clock gives a word meaning old or used 

14d   Around middle of autumn, at last we reviewed a kind of legislation (7,3)
STATUTE LAW:  An anagram (re-viewed) of AT LAST WE is wrapped around the middle letters of auTUmn 

17d   Short let written about in flier (8)
THROSTLE:  This flier is a bird (something that flies) given by an anagram (written about) of SHORT LET 

20d   Shrub with blight in seed (6)
PROTEA:  Blight or decay inserted in the green seed of a climbing plant 

22d   European capitals in Sweden, Estonia, Russia and Belgium (4)
SERB:  The initial (capital) letters of the remaining words in the clue 

23d   Write  category (4)
TYPE:  A double definition


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My favourites today included 1a, 10a, 12a, 16a, 19a, 26a, 1d, 5d, 7d, 11d, 17d, and the Quick Pun. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  HEIST + TREATS = HIGH STREETS

110 comments on “DT 29457

  1. I thought this was very cryptic (I counted eight clues ending with a question mark) and very very good. Maybe the work of our editor? Thoroughly enjoyable and just the right level of difficulty for me.
    A high class podium today consists of 16&21a plus 8d.
    2.5/4.5 *
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the top notch entertainment.

  2. A very enjoyable puzzle with, as Stephen L says, plenty of good cryptic clues. The NW corner held out longest but became doable as soon as I had twigged 1a. I liked 16a and 21a but my COTD is 26a.

    May thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints.

  3. I agree with Mr Kitty: this is one of the most accomplished and ‘freshly-hewn’ cryptics I’ve worked and enjoyed in some time–so much to admire, both the long and the short answers. Hard to choose winners, but here goes: 7 and 8d; 1, 9, and 12a, with scads of runners-up. The SE held me up a bit with my last two, which came almost simultaneously, being 20d and 25a. Thanks to Mr K and to today’s resourceful and clever setter. 2.5* / 4.5*

  4. It took me a while to get into this puzzle but there was some great misdirection and some unusually ingenious anagrams. I’d give it 3* for difficulty but, in the main it was very enjoyable at 3.5* ( .5 deducted for 9a and 2d, one of which is slang and the other an a ronym not indicated in the clue). It was a great pity to spoil the ship for a half-pennyworth of tar. My favourite clue was 7d. Thank you to Mr K for the hints an illustrations and to the setter.

  5. My immediate thought was that this had all the hallmarks of CL about it. Let’s hope whoever is responsible for this highly enjoyable little masterpiece puts his or her head above the parapet. To be different I liked 20d the best; neat and concise.

    Thanks very much to our setter for the fun and to Mr K.

  6. I was on the right wavelength for this today and raced through it pre-breakfast, without giving myself sufficient time to really appreciate the quality of the clues. Upon re-reading it, I would concur with the two Stephens that this was indeed a fine puzzle.
    Many thanks setter and Mr K.

  7. In the quick crossword the pun is HIGH STREET SHOPS as the third clue is in italics cuts of meat = CHOPS

  8. I’m afraid that I ended up giving this puzzle a very large ‘Hmmmmmmmmm’. It all started out quite straightforward , but the bottom, and SE in particular, had me stumped.

    I didn’t know the shrub in 20a, I thought the construction of 27a was either clunky or very devious, and the use of the words ‘writing’ and ‘write’ in 25a and 23d somewhat stretched.

    Sorry, Mr Ron and thanks to Mr K.

    1. Can’t see your points Malcolm sorry. Re 25a, it is “writing stuff” which doesn’t seem stretched at all. 23d we have a typewriter & nearly all books, the “written word”, are typed not hand written.
      If setters were confined to using the “GK” we all know compiling puzzles would be impossible. You now know the word, trick is to retain it for next time.
      There are enough complaints about recurrent words, it seems the poor setters are damned if they do & damned if they don’t.

  9. I only came across the existence of this platform after reading Tim Moorey’s “How to Crack Cryptic Crosswords”. Having just retired I was determine to learn how to “do” crosswords and progress from the quickies as my first,
    of many retirement goals. I have used the blog over the past couple of months to help me learn where I was going wrong and to explain the unfathomable. Today was a first; the puzzle being completed on the same day as publication, without “cheating” or getting hints. I had to look up 17d &20d which were new to me after entering them, and the ipad telling me all my answers were correct. My last solution was 16a as i think the setter should be “you” not “me”. “Me” is the solver. This is a convention that i cant quite get my head around yet. I really feel I have arrived and can call my self a proper crossworder. In terms of scoring if i have completed it so relatively easily it must be a * for difficulty as my first proper completion ***** for enjoyment. Favourites 9a,12a, 21a, 25a and 8d. 8d gave me the most satisfaction.

    1. Welcome Neil, and well done. Before I started looking at this blog, I rarely completed a back-pager, now it’s the opposite. A great place to learn.

  10. A very pleasurable solve with a good balance of head scratchers that provoked thought, offset by more straightforward offerings.
    Out of lots to enjoy COTD was 1a.
    Thanks to our setter for the first pleasurable diversion of the day and Mr K for the second.

  11. For me, this could be a ‘wrong envelope’ day and this back pager could easily swap places with Chalicea’s Floughie. enjoyably completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Favourite a toss-up between 9a and 4d – and the winner is 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Exactly I found this and today’s Chalicea about the same, except this had more “recently seen“ answers/clues and yet probably better surfaces overall. Both very gentle but a lot to enjoy.

  12. Quite a straightforward solve but, unlike our reviewer, I found it somewhat unsatisfying. Clues that I did like were 21a plus 1&11d and of course I enjoyed Mr K’s review and extras, nice to see some of our avian friends on display.
    Apologies to our setter, maybe I’m just a bit grumpy today!

    1. That is because it is TUESDAY again already, comes round more often than other days – I keep warning you!

      1. No it’s not that – still a Monday that’s my turn for the bedding. However, I did set about de-frosting the freezer yesterday afternoon. It was long overdue and as a result I was still waiting for the last lumps of ice to fall off the elements at stupid o’clock this morning. Now I’m facing the ‘interesting’ challenge of using up some of the contents that had started to defrost despite my best efforts to keep them cold :sad:

        1. I just get the hairdryer out, and blow hot air from a distance. It looks as though I’m setting up a speed trap on the freezer. I’m not suggesting anyone else tries this. I keep the electrics well away from any water. For any difficult bits, I attack the freezer with a carving knife.

          1. Me too with carving knife with rounded end blade as one has to take care not to split the interior wall of the freezer – I speak from experience!

        2. Oh, nightmare scenario. We need a new fridge freezer in the kitchen but I am dreading emptying out the freezer and finding all
          those strange anonymous packages with no smell, colour or taste!

          1. Freezers….People rootle about the top few inches while the prehistoric stuff at the bottom gets older and older

          2. Our freezer is a chest freezer out in the garage and I have perfected the art of emptying it into cardboard boxes and the freezer has a plug (bung) in the bottom and cold water from the hosepipe is sufficient to melt the ice. the biggest problem is if the loose peas and sweetcorn block the drainhole.
            The prehistoric stuff at the bottom of our freezer is mainly soft fruit. If anyone wants a melange of RaspStrawPlumBlueCherryJam I could rustle up several hundred jars

          3. My husband will often clear up after dinner, and bag up leftovers for the freezer. I have discovered that anything chicken has been labelled “cooked hen”. Ok….chicken, chasseur, chicken supreme, coq au vin, curry? Who knows? We are in for an interesting time ahead.

          4. When I retired way back in 2007, I decided ‘no more anonymous’ packages in our two freezers. I set about not just defrosting them, but listing exactly what was in them. Ever since, I have kept a list on my pc and added to it after shopping and deleted from it as stuff is used. Occasionally the odd item gets overlooked, but generally speaking I know to within a chicken fillet or a pack of blackberries exactly what is in there. It really helps with meal planning for sure. Well, It works for me at least :-)

        3. My husband uses bowls of hot water. All the frozen stuff is packed tightly into cool bags. Best achieved when “running down” the contents.

  13. Generally straightforward but fresh and enjoyable BUT marred by 2 (for me) obscure answers, 17d and 20d…..on another (but slightly related) topic, did anyone else see and enjoy a remarkable performance by St Andrews on last night’s University Challenge?

    1. No we have recorded it – one of our favourite programmes! Of course we always want the Cambridge colleges to win!

      1. Even if most of the team last night seem to have hailed from Cambridge Mass or thereabouts?

        1. Yes it is astounding how many foreign students make the team! But St. Andrews was certainly quick off the mark – we have just watched it.

    2. St Andrews did do wonderfully but I wondered if the opposition included two Trappist monks for all they contributed

    3. St Andrews did do wonderfully but I wondered if the opposition included two Trappist monks for all they contributed.

  14. Just like yesterday, took ages to get going but then it flowed quite well. 8d and 17d new words for me. COTD 9a. All in all quite enjoyable so thanks to all.

    1. A 17d is a poetic word for my middle name, which perversely is the name I am known by! (Scottish version of course)

    2. The 17d is portrayed on the badge of West Bromwich Albion FC. They seem to have various nicknames – the baggies, the Albion and the 17ds. Not a WBA Fan, but something I heard of many moons ago that got dragged to the surface by the clue!!

  15. Many superb clues and some made me laugh out loud.I hope the setter does reveal themselves and many thanks to all.The Quick was also challenging and fun.

  16. Very enjoyable, liked this one a lot. I even learned something, now I know why the South African cricket team are called The Proteas.
    Too many excellent clues to pick out one.
    Thx to all

  17. Very straightforward puzzle today, completed most without picking up a pen on first read through, fav clue 8d with 21a and 1a on the podium. 1*4*.
    Thank’s to the setter and Mr K.

  18. Great puzzle, solved at a pace but very enjoyable. 9a was my favourite. The toughie is also very approachable today. Thanks all.

  19. Excellent puzzle, agree with YS that this is likely the work of CL
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  20. I agree with Mr Kitty. Most fun puzzle for a while. Lots to like. I had one bung-in which was 20d, but once in, I could see how it was formed. I enjoyed all the clues with question marks. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty. I spent all day yesterday thinking that it was Sunday, and as a result, I keep thinking that today is Monday.

  21. A most enjoyable puzzle throughout. It took me a while to see the answers to 1 and 27a and in hindsight no idea why that should have been the case. Difficult to choose a favourite but I like 9a in particular: a no nonsense word I feel! Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. I wish I had hummingbirds in my back yard to watch, although I do enjoy the selection of birds I do have. I also liked the video of “the partners in crime” at 12a.

  22. I agree with everyone that this was a delightful puzzle – I thought more people would be complaining about 9a but it was my first in, 1a was my favourite and 11d my last in because I have never cooked them. I loved the little girl and the cat trying to open the door, really cute. Many thanks for all the kind wishes yesterday it means a lot. Thanks to Myster Setter and Mr K.

  23. Far too many gimmes to make it enjoyable.

    Hopefully, Paul in the Guardian, will provide more of a challenge.

  24. Found this tougher than is normal for Tuesday,but enjoyable nevertheless. Had to look up 8d and 17d which I had bunged in , and 20 down defeated me ,although looking at the hint it was fairly clued. 9a is a word I dislike. Thanks t all.

  25. Wonderful puzzle today so many thanks to the setter. It was not too easy and when thought was needed the clue had all you needed to solve it even if it was not immediately obvious. 16a and 17d my clues of the day.

    My thanks to Mr K for his usual interesting blog and pictures.

    I have learned from experience not to take any notice of those on this blog who write about easy, accessible, not difficult, or any other phrase denoting that the Toughie could be solved by the mere mortals on this page. Failed every time so looked out some with a * difficulty rating. Fail again better. Best to leave the Toughie to those who dare.

    1. I agree with you Corky as solvers/solves will differ between easy for some to hard for others, I like to try the toughie just to see the parsing of the clue and to try and solve it in my own way or as I say “get even more Grey Hair”.

  26. I made this really good crossword hard work which was down to me, 2 down was new to me and 9 across had a touch of slang about it so I agree with Chriscross at #4 on this point, my favourites were 12, 26, 27 across, my thanks to the Mystery setter and Mr K for their services.

  27. I’m all ‘days wrong’ after the bank holiday and will be for the rest of the week.
    A very good crossword – very enjoyable and a tad more difficult than is usual for whatever today is.
    The long 1a anagram took ages – was looking for a fish or an addict of some kind but wrong on both counts.
    27a also took too long – mainly in sorting the sheep from the goats, in other words finding the definition and the anagram fodder.
    Probably too many good clues to pick any in particular so a few are 21 and 27a and 7d. My favourite was 9a.
    No idea who set this so thanks to whoever did and to Mr K.
    Oh dear – just heard the Abba ‘Slipping through my Fingers’ which always reduces me to shreds.

  28. Enjoyed this which I managed to complete over lunchtime. Found it reasonably entertaining but probably a **/***
    Saw 9a immediately but had to do a double-take just in case it might not be deemed worthy of a DT Cryptic.
    Had to check 20d on google as I didn’t recognise this. Smiled at 17d which brings back memories of having been dragged along to the Hawthorns on a regular basis by my grandparents to watch the Baggies!.

    COTD contenders 9a, 12a, 25a and 7d, thanks to setter and MrK!!

  29. Just not my scene but once I managed to get going it somehow all came together but resulted in no ultimate sense of satisfaction or enjoyment. South came first. 17d flyer new to me. No Fav. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  30. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle with my favourites being 26a and 8d. Thanks to the setter for a gentle workout and Mr K for the review.

  31. I concur with the general feeling that this was a rather good crossword today. 21a takes the laurels today but from a huge field. 9a an ugly word but beautifully clued. and 20d as others my LOI.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    I have done almost as well with the toughie and just have a final couple to parse but will put that on hold as the cyclists are within 15k of today’s finish.

  32. Thoroughly enjoyable main puzzle, but I read the Quick Pun as ‘heist treats chops’- high street shops

    1. You are of course correct but our blogger today gets his puzzles from the online puzzle site and doesn’t have the advantage of the Italics in the dead tree version.

  33. Enjoyed this Tuesday puzzle very much **/**** and it would have been 1.5* for difficulty if I could only spell properly the 1a answer that intersected 5d making it impossible to solve 5d !! DUH!
    Once that was realised and corrected the rest went in well.
    SO many great clues but top ones for me were 9a, 25a, 26a, 13d, 17d & 20d and the winner is a tie with 9a and 13d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  34. Did this one early this morning before an abject display of golfing ineptitude that failed to do justice to the glorious weather it was played in. I much preferred the Toughie that I did straight after but may have missed something here after reading the comments & will look back through it again. Must say I found it pretty straightforward on the whole but needed Mr G to confirm the flower at 20d, which I got from the wordplay & now realise is why the South African Marriott hotels are so called. Anyway I’ll plump for a podium of across clues at 12,16 & 21.
    Many thanks to the setter & to Mr K.

    1. When I visited South Africa in the 70’s whacking great Protea flowers were in the airport shops as souvenirs. 12 hours or whatever sat in the plane with a big flower didn’t appeal so Mrs LrOK got a fridge magnet & a bottle of my favourite scotch.

  35. Very good, but the SE corner did for me again, I make it the 6th time in 2 years that 25a has defeated me.
    I’m currently in the mode of…90% of the crossword takes me the time it takes to drink a beer then I could stare at the last four clues for the rest of my life and not get them. Odd.
    Thanks all…
    PS any solvers of equivalent (lack of) solving ability as me, have a look at Paul (aka Dada) in the Guardian today of you want a laugh.

    1. Am saving that one for tonight Hoofit but if it’s anything like that horror show from the other Friday where about half a dozen or so clues were just a single capital letter I may as well not bother…….
      He’s plenty difficult enough for me as Dada but as Paul he’s a pain.
      Fun trying mind.

    1. Its a Book, Jane Austin, I think, I read it many years ago, I think its the one with Mr.Rochford.

      1. I think you mean Mr. Rochester, the hero in Jane Eyre. As a teenager I was in love with Mr. Rochester and read the book numerous times, oh bliss!

      2. The very nobly named Mr Knightley, if you please! Emma and Mr Knightley. It’s Jane AUSTEN, by the way.

        1. I think Mr. Knightly would probably be called milquetoast here in America. I was pointing out to Hoofit that probably Mr. Rochford he remembered was called Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre’s beau and a heartthrob to many teenage girls.

    2. It is a book (by Jane Austen) “entering” the last two words of the clue systEM MArked
      The hypertext in Mr K’s hint will take you to the relevant Wikipedia page
      (beaten by Millwall again – not for the first time)

    3. The underlined definition is book. Emma is a book by Jane Austen. The word Emma is hidden within the words of the clue. Just as Mr Kitty has explained in his hint.

      1. It is a nice place and never ceases to amaze me that people who ask silly questions never thank those who respond kindly.

  36. Really enjoyed this, just my level, COTD and hint of the day 12a . Loved the toddler ,thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  37. I’m in the fan camp too, lovely puzzle and I was dead on wavelength. Wally that I am, I made a mega mistake at 18a which meant that I missed 17d, not that I knew it anyway but I could have used an anagram solver. Having had 18a recently, I immediately knew the answer and promptly wrote in a wrong answer. Why on earth would I do that, I’m so daft.
    I loved it all, hard to choose a fave but 26a was fun, and I liked 21a as well.
    Thanks to our setter, fun from start to finish, and to Mr. Kitty, who outdid himself with the pics today, my fave was 12a!

  38. Enjoyable puzzle 😃 ***/*** once again a couple blotted my copybook 2d & 20d 😳 There actually is a “Plant” named Pratea, but not a shrub, any plant in a storm 😬 Favourites 9 & 12a. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter

    1. That is probably why the answer is protea. In any event shrub = plant is acceptable in a crossword as a synonym.

  39. Took me a long time to twig on 16A but otherwise a nice pleasant solve. Been out for a long day walking and usually I am so tired afterwards I just cannot see the light on the crossword. But today it just flowed, great.

  40. I wasn’t sure to begin with, but as I worked my way through, I enjoyed this puzzle more and more. I laughed at 9a, as I sometimes use it to startle American friends, who are quite amused at the word. It’s not the only slang word we see in cryptics these days. Never heard of the 17d bird, which was the sole hold out and last in, despite being an anagram. Spent far too long trying to come up with a British resort for 7d, awful when the answer is only 40 miles away. Thanks to Mr K for the delightful clip at 12a. We had two cats, one of which was the designated door opener, he could even open round door knobs, as we discovered when we tried to confine them to one room at night. Took him about 20 minutes to master it each time. Thanks to setter for a delightful exercise today.

    1. 17 d is a song thrush or, in Scotland, a Mavis bird. Rabbie Burns said “ I have heard the Mavis singing her love song to the dawn …….”

  41. Just enough head-scratching clues to give us a thoroughly enjoyable solving experience.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  42. Perfectly straightforward, doable and enjoyable (you know what’s coming next) until it wasn’t, or 20d as I prefer to call it. As a non-gardener who’s never been to South Africa it was an unequal contest particularly as I didnt suss the seed out. I came second. Any road up apart from that a really good crossword, favourite being 21a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Yes, I know what you mean about 20d, luckily “pea” just came to mind, and I’d vaguely heard of it. I always struggle with plant clues.

  43. Super quality crossword and all the better for finally making it under my own steam. Rather more of a two star for difficulty.
    Thanks to all.

  44. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, no real holdups. Favourite was 2d. Last in was 24a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  45. I thought this was excellent. Romped through all the cryptic clues. Started in bed when tired and unfortunately dropped off with the SE uncompleted. Finished this morning. Took some time with the anagram at 17d. Had only vaguely heard of 20d and thought it was a biological term, but so easy to get with the checkers that any complaint is churlish. I was held up with 11d by confidently entering roasting for the first word, without getting the second or considering the parsing! Once I got the second word the penny dropped. Loved 3d and 25a, the latter being one I could be sure to get wrong in a spelling test. Thank you setter – sorry you have not come out from behind the curtain to take a box after all the plaudits.

  46. This was an enjoyable puzzle. It took me a bit of thought with the beach clue, as initially I had to work out whether it was Miami or Bondi Beach. Thanks to the setter. Also thanks for the explanations. I loved the teamwork with the toddler and the cat.

  47. Like Mr K and many others I really enjoyed this puzzle. Clever, sometimes crafty and always well scripted. Mr K: what happened to the chops in the pun?

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