DT 29463 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29463

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29463

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  I can't think of much to say about this solid Tuesday puzzle, so let's talk about the weather.  We're in for a bumpy ride over here.  Today's high was 34 C, but during Tuesday night the temperature is supposed to drop to 3 C, with a chance of snow above 3500 m.  Wednesday will be warm again.  Fun times.

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

 

Across

1a    Moving small objects (7)
MOTIVES:  An obsolete adjective meaning moving is followed by the clothing abbreviation for small 

5a    Begged to show editor following page (7)
PLEADED:  To show (the way) and the abbreviation for editor are both following the single letter for page 

9a    Large craft capsized circumnavigating island, creating distress (5)
TRIAL:  The clothing abbreviation for large and craft or method are both reversed (capsized) and then wrapped around (circumnavigating) an abbreviation for island 

10a   Every other beer keeps flier a little tense (9)
ALTERNATE:  Beer made without hops contains (keeps) the fusion of a seabird (flier), A from the clue, and the abbreviation (little) for grammatical tense 

11a   Sorting out musical instrument, I blow the whistle (10)
ORGANISING:  Chain together a keyboard instrument, I from the clue, and blow the whistle or inform

 

12a   Wrong hospital wing (4)
HARM:  The single letter for hospital with wing or section 

14a   Sweating from exercises arranged in airports (12)
PERSPIRATION:  Some usual exercises with an anagram (arranged) of IN AIRPORTS 

18a   Still stormy, neither vessel leaves Italy (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  An anagram (stormy) of NEITHER VESSEL loses (leaves) the IVR code for Italy 

21a   Broadcasts  songs (4)
AIRS:  A straightforward double definition 

22a   Place for nuns and one on diet? (10)
CONVENTION:  Follow a place where nuns live with the Roman one and ON from the clue.  The definition is explained here

25a   Is old liberal country first to drop segregation? (9)
ISOLATION:  Concatenate IS from the clue, the abbreviation for old, the single letter for liberal, and a synonym of country with its first letter deleted (… first to drop

26a   English composer brought back tailless bird (5)
EAGLE:  The single letter for English with the reversal (brought back, in an across clue) of all but the last letter (tailless) of a musical composer (or a composer of Friday Toughies) 

27a   Wanting massaging, by the sound of it (7)
NEEDING:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of another word for massaging 

28a   Untrustworthy American president primarily in the grip of extreme body of followers (7)
SUSPECT:  An abbreviation for American and the first letter (… primarily) of President are both contained by (in the grip of) an extreme body of followers 

 

Down

1d    Poet's  proposal (6)
MOTION:  A double definition.  Read about the poet here 

2d    Pain's double before tips from golf expert (6)
TWINGE:  A synonym of double comes before the first letters of (tips from) Golf Expert 

3d    True love's about receiving new presents (10)
VOLUNTEERS:  An anagram (about) of TRUE LOVES containing (receiving) the abbreviation for new 

4d    Son puts identifying labels on animals (5)
STAGS:  The genealogical abbreviation for son has some identifying labels appended (son puts … on

5d    Strong and independent -- a learner's promise (9)
POTENTIAL:  Chain together strong or powerful, the single letter for independent, A from the clue, and the letter indicating a learner driver 

6d    Make wish to be topless (4)
EARN:  A word meaning wish or long has its first letter deleted (to be topless, in a down clue) 

7d    Stirring drink -- a sign of nerves? (8)
DRAMATIC:  Assemble a small alcoholic drink, A from the clue, and a nervous muscular movement 

8d    Fantasising about a Chinese dynasty at end of day (8)
DREAMING:  A usual word meaning about or concerning, A from the clue, and a Chinese dynasty are joined together and placed after (at end of) the single letter for day 

13d   Nasty gasp and sneers -- they're taken for a ride (10)
PASSENGERS:  An anagram (nasty) of GASP SNEERS 

15d   Drilling holes in cog spinning with no energy (9)
SCHOOLING:  An anagram (spinning) of HOLES IN COG minus the physics symbol for energy (with no energy) 

16d   Criminal is vain with no occupation (8)
INVASION:  An anagram (criminal) of IS VAIN NO 

17d   Six balls in cricket appear to be struck (8)
OVERCOME:  Join together the name for six balls in cricket delivered by the same bowler and a synonym of appear 

19d   Individual left to bandage burn? Just the opposite (6)
SINGLE:  Inverting the wordplay (just the opposite), burn (lightly) must be wrapped around (to bandage) the abbreviation for left 

20d   Plan where camper will go? (6)
INTENT:  The answer split (2,4) is where a camper might be found 

23d   Releases five blokes -- good to be free (5)
VENTS:  The Roman five followed by a synonym of blokes with the abbreviation for good deleted (good to be free

24d   Alcoholic drink has a kick, to an extent (4)
SAKI:  The answer is hiding as part of (… to an extent) the remainder of the clue 

 

Thanks to today’s setter for a pleasant solve.  If I had to pick a favourite it'd be 14a.  Which clues did you like best?

 


The Quick Crossword pun:  KNIGHT + MAYORS = NIGHTMARES


125 comments on “DT 29463
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  1. I think Mr K has been a tad unkind to this, it really floated my boat, cryptic and full of less than obvious (though fair) synonyms in the wordplay.
    Highlights aplenty for me, in particular 7,19 &23d plus 28a.
    2.5/4.5*
    Many thanks to the setter (Donnybrook?) and to Mr K for the top notch entertainment.

  2. Agree with Mr K that this is a ‘solid’ puzzle and a **/*** for me too.
    The poet in 1d was new to me-thanks Mr K, apart from that plain sailing.
    No outstanding clues , favourite was 22a.
    Liked the quickie pun, looking forward to the Tuesday Toughie interspersed with the Tour De France( with the wines of the region) and a dash of cricket!

  3. Solid is a good description of this puzzle. There were few outstanding clues and a lot of stretched synonyms and completing it was not that challenging (**/***). The clue about one of the Poets Laureate (1d) was the most appealing to me. Thanks to Mr K for the entertaining blog and to the setter.

  4. Fairly straightforward but took slightly longer than yesterday and equally enjoyable so agree **/***. Difficulty was NW corner as I was trying out old poets Byron/ Keats etc etc and completely overlooked current wordsmiths. The obscure definition of moving threw me as i thought moving was the definition.

    Favourite clues 2d and 7d. As a newbie i thought 2d was clever use of tips to identify leading letters ( but it maybe an old trick) but felt chuffed to have spotted it straightaway and 7d – starting thinking it was an anagram because of stirring but realising first assumptions as often the case were wrong ( but isnt that the setters objective after all)
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter

  5. A very solid ** for me with few positive moments. The poet was Poet Laureate from 1999 – 2009 but I can’t remember one of his poems before this honour(?) or since. Rather large or this puzzle, dull.

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

        1. I did–and wow, what a wallop it packs, its two sentences (three if the colon is full-stopped, though it shouldn’t be) thrusting us ineluctably to the final ‘If love it be towards what is perfect and / Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint’. Thank you for this. I did not know this poem, whose iambics are in splendid control, and whose pain is most poignant.

          1. Glad you liked it Robert. Andrew Motion published his university thesis on the Poetry of Edward Thomas and is a great fan. I spoke with him about Thomas at one of his book promotion tours and got him to sign my copy of his Thomas.

            Could I suggest that if you don’t have copies of his work then the 1981 ( I think) Selected Poetry and Prose of Edward Thomas edited by David Wright is a good place to start. It has been republished recently with an introduction by Robert MacFarlane who I am not keen on as he seems to have spent too much time in the Circumlocution Office and the Library of Archaisms.

            I have liked Thomas since the early 60s when he was on the London poetry syllabus for ‘O’ levels. Rain is one of my favourites.

            1. Thank you, Corky, for the information. Very interesting news about Motion’s thesis too. And what a thrill it must have been for you when he signed your copy of Thomas’s poetry. I did know of Thomas’s sad demise in WWI (having taught a few of Wilfred Owen’s poems years and years ago, along with a few others of that generation), but I did not remember ever reading ‘Rain’. Along the way, we somehow manage to miss landmark events like that, and sometimes we’re lucky enough to atone for the loss–and so, many thanks to you.

        1. Oh dear, after moving straight from one to the other I had Quickie rather than Cryptic poet in mind when skimming through your comment and follow-ups 🤭! Not clued up enough on Motion to pass comment.

  6. Gentle and a bit bland, but moderately pleasurable, and perfect for a Tuesday cryptic. Standouts: 1d (have been reading his poetry since solving the puzzle, so on the basis of such high-caliber verse, this is my COTD), 5d, and 28a (hmm, wonder who he had in mind here?). Thanks to Mr Kitty for the ailurophiliac pleasures and today’s setter. 2*/3*

    1. Hi Robert,
      What did you think of the final part of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy? I’m making very heavy weather of it and not deriving anything like the same amount of pleasure as I did from reading Wolf Hall & Bring up the Bodies.

      1. Hi Jane: I have a very long reply and a shorter one, but right now I’ll spare you my verbosity and say that The Mirror and the Lamp is not quite the rare jewel that either of its predecessors is (Mantel and her editor should have been more judicious and taken a quickie course in de-bloating!). But it is still a monumentally major achievement and, as it nears its predestined and bloody end, Cromwell–for all his sins–becomes more and more ennobled, finding the only kind of redemption that his history could allow him. I do consider the trilogy, in its totality, the premier literary event of the 21st Century. (So far.)

        I can’t imagine any of the other shortlisted Booker nominees beating Mantel for her third victory, but stranger things have happened with those panelists. (If TMATL should lose the Booker, my choice for a winner would be McCann’s Apeirogon.)

  7. I found this quite tough to get started, my first in was 14a. The bottom half succumbed first, and the rest was a struggle for me, but I got there in the end. 5a was my last in despite having spotted it on my first pass; lead=show?

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  8. An unexacting but pleasant solve today. 1a as adjective didn’t occur to me in bunging in. Wonder if 16d is necessarily occupation. Perhaps a chestnut but I still liked 18a. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K (what extraordinary weather you are experiencing).

  9. For me, this was a typical Tuesday puzzle – not too challenging and very enjoyable, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 22a, 2d, and 5d – and the winner is 22a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. I’ll go along with Senf on this – not too challenging and very enjoyable so 2*/4* seems about right although I didn’t have any specific favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  11. Found this a little on the tough side for Tuesdays with a couple of stretched, but fair, synonyms. NW corner held me up as, like some others, went through my ( short) list of “old” poets then looked at the other part of the clue. That unlocked the rest.
    19d my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for the review that will slightly disappoint all our feline contingent I fear.

    1. I counted seventeen cats today LBROK. Our WordPress wizard often hides pictures underneath pictures. These can be found by clicking on the existing pictures. Easter Eggs for solvers.

      1. BB
        I’m a simple soul.Can’t get used to this “bonus picture” business & forget every week so apologies to Mr K
        Promise to try harder next week.

  12. I enjoyed this crossword, although it took me a while to work out 1a and 1d – and without understanding the reason for 1d. I had not heard of the Poet, as I am not from the UK, and I am not keen on poetry, but it was nice to add to my general knowledge. I had no favourites as I liked a lot of the clues. Thank you to the setter and to Mr K, not just for the excellent explanations but the lovely cat pictures.

  13. Somewhat on the tough side as far as I am concerned and not a very enjoyable solve. I had to fight all the way. I don’t mind a bit of a fight but when the majority of clues put up a fight I find it depressing. That is, of course, my own preference and I am sure others will have loved this. My favourite clues are 12a and 25a because they have reference to where I have been for the last week.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. for the cat-less, unfortunately, hints.

    I want to thank all who asked after me. I found it comforting that folk I have never actually met were concerned for my welfare. This would not happen on any other blog that I know of. I will not go into details as this is about the crossword but being in isolation for four days is no joke. I will write an account of what happened and let BD have it for those who are interested. Don’t worry, it is not a list of tests I had! It’s more about being in a nine foot square room for four days and nights.

    Thank you again for the concern shown.

    1. Good to see you back, Steve. We always worry when one of our regulars goes AWOL – we’re quite a little community on the BD site!

              1. Thank you, Chriscross. Sadly, the eye has to wait until there is a vaccine. At least I had my right eye done so I’m half way there.

      1. Unfortunately, Hudson has gone to kennels. Mrs. C. could not cope with him because she has “knees” – Daisygirl knows what that means. It wasn’t fair to keep him cooped up so he went to a kennel we know that takes only working dogs. He loves it there because there’s a wood and a lake for him to explore. He has to stay there until Friday because I need to build my strength up so as to be able to take him out for the length of time he needs. Can’t wait to get my pal back.

        Thank you, LBROK for contacting BD to enquire about my whereabouts. Your concern and that of other members of the blog is very much appreciated.

          1. Thank you, Kath for contacting me during my absence. I know it was discussed about some sort of messaging service when Caroline who lives in wherever disappeared for a while. From my own point of view, the fact you contacted me was very reassuring. :good:

          1. Too true, LBROK. He will rush in, walk round the table for about ten minutes, drink a gallon of water then crash for about four hours. Then I will have my pal back. :grin:

  14. All good apart from 1a which i thought an extremely poor clue, i really dislike it when setters expect us to be familiar with words that are this archaic.
    Because of this i can only rate at a ** for enjoyment, shame because the rest was good.
    Thx for the hints
    **/**

  15. Found this a bit of a slog with some stretched synonyms. I also found the Toughie harder than usual for a Tuesday but, being a Dada, it was more enjoyable. Do try it,

  16. I solved this and The Toughie this morning one after the other so they have blurred together in the memory. Both very accessible and solvable by due process. Thanks to both setters and to Mr Kitty for the heads up at 1 across.

  17. It would seem that I enjoyed this one far more than our reviewer appears to have done – I actually found it quite a pleasure to solve, although I wish I’d remembered the poet earlier than I did!
    Podium places went to 18,22&28a plus 23d.

    Thanks to our setter and also to Mr K for another great blog – loved all those hidden felines.

  18. Didn’t find this an easy ride at all. South was completed more quickly than the North where I had to visit Mr K’s excellent hints. I’d never have got 1d without them so many thanks. More often than not, DT puzzles are still a struggle with constant reminders of how much I still have to learn but I live in hope of seemingly elusive success!
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge.

  19. A pleasant solve with some good anagrams to get my teeth into. I think 1a was the last in, the bottom half was certainly done first. Thank you Mr Kitty – my neighbour came tripping down the gin path at 9.30 this morning – she had a kitten in her back garden, would I go and see it. It was the prettiest little thing about 3/4 months old I guess and a gorgeous grey. We seem to be mostly dogs around here except for my Thompson, and we would surely have known if someone had a new kitten I walked towards it cooing gently but it leapt like a frightened rabbit and tore past me into our garden, where it has just disappeared. We rang the vet and neighbour has put a notice on her gate but I think from it’s reaction that it must be wild. Poor little thing. I have put out water and food but no doubt the fox will have that tonight. (If not the kitten as well). What with that and the sweep coming (he and his 90 yr old father have been doing our chimneys since 1964) I had almost overlooked the fact that it is Tuesday. God bless us all.

      1. Yes, let us know if kitty comes to you, Daisygirl. We want a kitten at the moment but they are hard to get these days. There are plenty of adult cats wanting homes but Hudson would not take kindly to a full grown cat. A kitten would become his friend. 🐶🐈

  20. I quite enjoyed this – fairly straightforward although, as always, the last few held me up.
    23d was obvious but for some reason I couldn’t see why for ages -dim, I think.
    I know that we’ve had similar clues before but I still like 18d.
    Think my least favourite was 2d – nothing wrong with the clue but it reminds me that I had a big back tooth out this morning so feeling a bit ‘poor pig’.
    Thanks to the setter whoever he or she may be and to Mr K.

  21. I found this enjoyable and straightforward until the NW corner, I didn’t know the poet but will look up the poems mentioned. I must be improving because 18a came at once unlike previous times it has appeared. 28a definitely COTD. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.despite the no cat day.

    1. Kate,
      See BB’s response to me at post #12 then go back & click on the pictures in the hints to reveal the “lurking” felines.

  22. I looked at 1a and 1d and was dismayed. I decided to start in the south and work up the page. That worked fine for me. 1d was last in as I couldn’t remember the name of the poet. I only got it from the checking letters, and vaguely remembering something about a Poet Laureate. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.
    I have just come back from a trip to Woburn Safari Park, where it was wonderful to see an American black bear eating blackberries from a bush, and watching a lioness play with a large litter of cubs. Tearjerking. Not so good to see was a couple of young women in a car in front of us laughing at being ambushed in the monkey enclosure. They couldn’t see that the monkeys were ripping all the rubber trims off their car. Not sure if their car insurance would cover the replacement.

      1. Not one bit. Doesn’t stop me being young at heart, but wisdom comes with life experiences. I’ve been round Woburn too many times to know what the monkeys can do.

  23. Another day, another learning opportunity! Like others have mentioned, the South fell before the North, in fact I couldn’t get anything before 12a without assistance, nor before 8d (with the exception of 4d).

    That said, I think my count was better today, and I got 19 myself before referring to this site, then 4 more with some assistance from the breakdowns here, but 7 resisted my attempts completely!

    It felt easier than yesterday, but not sure if that’s because it was easier or I got better! Fingers crossed for the latter!

    1. Hang in there back in June when I rekindled my interest i couldn’t get more than 2 or 3 answers. Read How to crack cryptic crosswords by Tim Moorey and The Chambers Crossword Manual by Don Manley. These are great training manuals and were what gave me the link to this blog. Now I can finish most of the puzzles and only occasionally now needs the hints from the blog.

  24. When did the clicking on photos to reveal a feline version start? What have I been missing? It is really cute – is it a Mr. K special ? I wish I could find the little grey kitten in my garden,
    I feel awful that I inadvertently made it run away.

    1. I think it’s a Mr K special – I certainly wouldn’t know where to begin although I’m sure others who have more techie nous would.

    2. Hi, DG. It’s just my blogs (and Kitty’s) that show extras or zoom when pics are clicked. It’s not a WordPress feature, but some custom coding I add to my blogs to create click actions for pictures, blur videos to avoid spoilers, embolden clue numbers, enable fancy double underlining, etc. I’ve been doing it for couple of years now. The pics aren’t always cats. Sometimes they are pics that were too good to omit or images that amused me that perhaps don’t belong on the main page. I often use the zoom action for cartoons where the text is hard to read at the standard image size.

  25. Highly embarrassed not to have heard of Mr 1d and so needed hints for that, although it couldn’t be anything else, and 1a. All the rest went in nicely. Adored the begging puss — and all the others come to that. Thank yous to setter and Mr Cat.

  26. A nice puzzle spoilt by 1a and 1d, it the rest was quite good fun. Why do I always forget about convent and get stuck on abbey? Overall, quite enjoyed over breakfast. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  27. I enjoyed this one but did get stuck (like several others) on 1a and 1d.
    In relation to the office of Poet Laureate, we seem to have scraped the barrel a little since the days of William Wordsworth and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Having a fondness for Yorkshire (especially the Dales) means I have always had a partiality for the poems of Simon Armitage and I hope he will return some dignity and lustre to the post.

    Little Lola has been a bit wary of her new gazebo as it flaps a bit in the wind (this garden is a wind tunnel for some reason) so I have spent two exhausting hours drilling eye-plates into walls and the concrete floor to secure it as tightly as possible using tent clamps and something I didn’t know existed until the last week – bungee balls.

    1. Hi, Terence. I just read Armitage’s ‘The Unaccompanied’ and I heard MY father’s voice rising above those of others as, in his dulcet tenor, he sang one of the hymns in church as I played the old Hammond Organ. Thanks for the privilege of reading Armitage.

  28. A nice puzzle for Tuesday with a couple of clues that weren’t easy to get, namely 1a and 1d. They ended up being the last in.
    22a was a new definition for me for the answer required.
    Overall though **/*** for today. Favourites were 11a, 7d, 15d & 20d with winner 20d
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  29. Like others I did well in the south and eventually the NE fell but 1a and d were blank for a 2nd brew. The moving part of 1a is not totally obsolete to any steam engine enthusiast who has wondered about the etymology of Loco******s.
    I struggled with the poet too but I have a bit of a mental block with poets – by the time I have read and re-read them to get the metre etc I have lost interest a bit. I dismissed T Hardy for many years as a poet until I heard someone reciting his poems who had done the hard yards of studying them. My fault I am just a bit impatient and am still working at it with help from Stephen Fry’s The Ode less Travelled.
    I will nominate 10a as fave today as I was using odd letters of beer keeps… and trying to make beekeepers work until the correct answer hit me in the face
    Good to hear that Steve is on the mend
    Thanks to Mr K for his top notch blog and the setter too

    1. I can recommend Clive James swansong, ‘The River in the Sky’. It’s very poignant, his last offering, written as he knew he was dying.

      1. Noted – I remember buying his Unreliable Memoirs and reading it on a train from York to London, The other passengers probably still recall the nutter who laughed all the way from Doncaster to Kings Cross

      2. Hello Chriscross and John:

        I just ordered the Clive James poem. Many thanks for recommending it. That’s a whale of a laugh, John, from Doncaster to Kings Cross! I always enjoyed reading James when I could find him over here–not always easy–and I look forward to The River in the Sky.

  30. Another late posting from me as we spent a good chunk of the day at the Eden Project. Quite awe-inspiring, especially when you consider the whole site was a clay quarry just 20 years ago.

    As for the puzzle, it was pretty straightforward yet enjoyable. No particular clue stood out as a favourite but overall it was a solid solve.

    Thanks to both Misters.

      1. I was disappointed, the place to go down there, are The Lost Gardens of Heligan, one of the most amazing places I have been to in this country.

  31. Woke up late today so missing another glorious morning. The puzzle was good but not spectacular and finished on my balcony in very warm weather yesterday evening. No standout favourites but the anagrams were very helpful. Thanks to the setter and Mr K with no cat references for the first time in memory.

  32. Late on parade after a lovely day on the course where for a change the ball went where it’s supposed to so am back to the illusion that I can play the game. Agree with the solid & perfectly pleasant though unremarkable view of this one & like others pretty straightforward until 4 clues in the NW. Figured 1a couldn’t be anything else (bung in) & then couldn’t get beyond Milton for 1d until I finally twigged 2d then 9a. With the checkers in place I remembered the recent Poet Laureate, who I’m afraid didn’t overly do it for me – Ted Hughes wasn’t bad but there hasn’t been a great one since Betjeman (anyone who writes a poem Seaside Golf is ok with me…..) in my view but then I’m probably a bit of a philistine where poetry is concerned.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the review & the feline entertainment.
    Ps Nice to have you back Steve – glad that you’re on the mend now & trust you’ll soon be out walking with Hudson.

    1. With your numerous golf references you are clearly a pretty serious golfer & I often wonder what your handicap.
      Golf handicapping and handicap systems became my hobby after I had to give up playing (was involved until recently in doing research for the new WW system). Guess I qualify for an anorak.

      1. I’m now only a very modest CONGU15.8. Too short off the tee nowadays to play to much lower but don’t get into much trouble & with a fairly tidy short game. Interestingly my WG H’cap Index after the last trip to S Africa rose to 18.2 (I have an affiliated membership for a course I’ve never even played) but that’s because the courses over there are far more difficult & mostly 7000yds off the club tees.

  33. A bit delayed by having to fix a bulb on the washing machine, and then a bit further delayed when I flooded it by leaving a detergent pod in on it’s test cycle. After that I found this to provide some light relief but think some of the synonyms were a bit odd. That said, some great clues as well, 2d, 10a and 7d being on my podium. Thanks to Mr K and todays setter.

  34. I quite enjoyed this but a bit on the tricky side. I missed five answers in the NW, guess which ones?
    South presented no problems, liked 28a, very apt! I thought 22a was clever.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for solving the last few for me, also the subpic cats, I always enjoy those.

    1. I asked the same a couple of weeks ago after the bobcat sighting in his backyard.
      Mr K didn’t reveal his location. I think he’s CIA.

  35. As is now the pattern now, 95% went in at Roadrunner type pace. Then the wall. I would have stared at NW corner for the rest of my life without success.
    So an easy puzzle, beyond me. There is a message in here somewhere…
    Thanks all.

  36. We got off to a slow start in the NW but picked up speed once we had moved further into the puzzle.
    Pleasant solve for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  37. I’m in the “I found this difficult in parts but having finished it I can’t understand why” camp this evening. All the information was there if one just looked at it in the right way. It just took me a while that’s all. Most enjoyable though. Needed the click here to parse 22a but obvious from from the clue. Favourite was 26a as I had to try several different ways to get and parse the answer, and I like birds although I’m not to keen on Tawny Owls at the moment. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  38. Mr K, your answer to 10a, ‘ale = beer without hops’ made me sit up and investigate. As a committed ‘Ale’ drinker, this is a ‘historical’ use of the word ‘ale’, the stuff I now drink most certainly contains hops.

  39. I believe that 26A has another possible answer. E + Berg (German serialist composer) reversed to give grebe, a tailless bird.

    Wonder if any other famous clues with alternate possible answers exist

  40. Thank you for the hints, Mr K — I needed an above-average number of them today, for a crossword that didn’t feel very Tuesdayish to me.

    And thank you to the setter: following 22a (and Mr K’s explanation), I’m now trying to conjure up an opportunity to suggest our vicar goes on a diet, then act all innocent and claim I just meant a conference …

    Welcome back, Steve Cowling, and thank you to Corky and others for the poetry recommendations. It’s lovely when an answer in the crossword inspires such interesting conversations.

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