DT 29469 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29469

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29469

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Last week's weather forecast did not disappoint, for we did indeed see snow over Tuesday night.  But that's now long gone and temperatures are back above 25 C during the day.  Recently I've shared a few photos of wildlife passing through my back yard (I'm saving the black bear for a suitable opportunity).  Continuing  in that vein, yesterday I was surprised to see this turkey vulture sitting in a tree across the road from my front yard.  He (or she) was soon joined by two others, but whatever they were hoping for didn't happen and they all left empty-handed.  Which was something of a relief.

Turning now to today's puzzle, I thought it was a typical Tuesday level of difficulty and at least average for enjoyment.  Some clues had very smooth surfaces and there were a few where the answer satisfyingly emerged from just following the instructions in the wordplay.  That always makes for a good puzzling experience.

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 or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    One European put in prison in time of great cold (3,3)
ICE AGE:  The Roman one is followed by the single letter for European put in a synonym of prison 

5a    Prepare us a tray with last bit of cereal that's wholesome (8)
SALUTARY:  An anagram (prepare) of US A TRAY and the last letter of cereaL

9a    Master involuntary reaction with drug in vinegar (6,4)
ACETIC ACID:  Concatenate a master or expert, an involuntary muscular reaction, and the slang name for LSD 

10a   Invite English to wait (4)
BIDE:  Invite or offer with the single letter for English 

11a   Storyteller raced back to river, following artist (8)
NARRATOR:  Putting everything in the order implied by the wordplay, we join together the reversal (back) of raced or hurried, the usual abbreviated artist, TO from the clue, and the map abbreviation for river 

12a   Really hard work to get article's strapline (6)
SLOGAN:  A strenuous spell of work followed by a grammatical article

13a   Furniture item seen in lots of advertisements (4)
SOFA:  The answer is hidden in (seen in) the remainder of the clue 

15a   Send first of the new trams in (8)
TRANSMIT:  Follow the first letter of The with an anagram (new) of TRAMS IN 

18a   Repairman reassembled china with first half of cement (8)
MECHANIC:  An anagram (reassembled) of CHINA CEM (first half of cement)

19a   Exhausted fellow with little energy (4)
DONE:  A university teaching fellow with the physics symbol (little) for energy 

21a   Tree god with maiden in place of retreat (6)
ASHRAM:  Chain together a tree with white tough wood, an Egyptian god, and the cricket scoring abbreviation for maiden 

23a   United Nations to conflict with Germany? That's inconvenient! (8)
UNTOWARD:  Assemble the abbreviation for United Nations, TO from the clue, a serious conflict, and the IVR code for Germany 

25a   Balkan returning from macabre seance (4)
SERB:  The answer is hidden reversed in (returning from) the remainder of the clue 

26a   Profiteer gets indication of approval: and all in French (6,4)
TICKET TOUT:  A mark indicating approval or correctness is followed by "and all" in French  

27a   Ghostly: just like the light coming from a prism? (8)
SPECTRAL:  A double definition, with both forms of the answer being adjectives (and assuming that the light entering the prism is not monochromatic) 

28a   Stored badly somewhere in the West Country? (6)
DORSET:  An anagram (badly) of STORED 



2d    Two firms with a bedtime drink? (5)
COCOA:  Two copies of an abbreviation for a synonym of firm are followed by A from the clue 

3d    Unfortunate consequences following American calculations? (9)
AFTERMATH:  Following or subsequent with an Americanism for what calculations define by example (?

4d    Stir up former partner with quote (6)
EXCITE:  A usual former partner with quote or name 

5d    Cousin Cyril mixing with cute peacekeepers? (8,7)
SECURITY COUNCIL:  An anagram (… mixing with …) of COUSIN CYRIL CUTE 

6d    Led so astray with sailor following celestial guide (8)
LODESTAR:  An anagram (astray) of LED SO is followed by one of the usual sailors 

7d    Prohibition scuppered boat taking last of stingo (5)
TABOO:  An anagram (scuppered) of BOAT followed by the last letter of stingO  (which the BRB tells me is obsolete slang for strong malt liquor)

8d    Waves perhaps helping to conceal aid that's held up (9)
RADIATION:  A helping or allocation containing (to conceal) the reversal of AID from the clue (aid that's held up, in a down clue).  The perhaps indicates that the definition is by example 

14d   Use the top bunk to doze longer in bed? (9)
OVERSLEEP:  Whimsically, the answer split (4,5) could mean "use the top bunk" 

16d   Mineral producing road waste? (4,5)
SODA WATER:  An anagram of the answer (… producing) is ROAD WASTE, so the answer must be an anagram of that fodder 

17d   Person drawing main rota is organised (8)
ANIMATOR:  An anagram (is organised) of MAIN ROTA 

20d   Visit a non-drinker last (6)
ATTEND:  Glue together A from the clue, a usual abbreviation indicating a non-drinker or abstainer, and last or conclusion 

22d   It's in there because in the past it had strings attached! (5)
REBEC:  The answer, well it's hidden in the remainder of the clue.  Read about it here if you're interested

24d   Wake up girl in uniform? Quite the opposite! (5)
ROUSE:  Quite the opposite is an instruction to invert the wordplay.  Accordingly we put the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform in a girl's name 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clue for me was 3d.  Which clues did you like best?  If you've found all the cats hiding above but could do with a few more, the BBC Mews might be just what you need.


The Quick Crossword pun:  ROC + ANN + DROLL = ROCK AND ROLL

124 comments on “DT 29469

  1. I had this done and dusted in */** time, and to be quite honest, I found it a tad boring. Perhaps I am being harsh, or maybe I just got out of the wrong side of the bed today.

    I hadn’t heard of either 6d or 22d, but both were clear from the wordplay. COTD 26a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  2. I certainly didn’t need a dip in the sea to sharpen up for this one, I found it very straightforward indeed. The anagrams (and there seemed quite a few) jumped out at me, giving plenty of checkers.
    Podium places go to the very clever lurker at 22d (my last one in) plus 26a&3d, the latter where the surface and misdirection was very clever.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for their excellent works.
    Ps Donnybrook quite accessible and good fun in the Toughie.

  3. Very easy today. But I couldn’t work out 12a even with the three down clues solved.

    But I learnt a new word (22d) so I think that even things out

  4. A comfortable solve this morning with only 22d holding me up for any length of time. As a lurker it is first rate and gets my nod for COTD. A very enjoyable and straightforward challenge for a sunny Tuesday.

    Thanks to both Misters involved. Looking forward to the final ODI of the summer.

  5. Somewhere around a */**/ ** today, nothing obscure just a straight forward solve.
    liked 26a and 27a,also the wordplay of 23a.Thanks to Mr K for the ‘cup face’
    An amusing Quickie pun .Time for the Toughie with a background of the Tour De France.

  6. Thank you Mr K and the setter. My favourite was the 26a profiteer, and I shall endeavour to learn 21a’s retreat place and 22d’s old thing with strings, both of which were knew to me.

    Today’s quick crossword reminded me why I find quick crosswords harder than cryptics, without any wordplay to help. For 8a, ‘Pulses’, I had ‘beats’, and was surprised when the site marked it as wrong. Surprised, and then irked. Is it an ambiguous clue, or am I missing something?

    1. I had the same experience with 8a in the Quick. In my book, both ‘beats’ and the ‘expected’ answer are valid and the problem is that it all depends on an unchecked letter. I would go as far to say unfair rather than ambiguous.

      P.S. Congratulations on your Newsletter Prize Puzzle win.

      1. Thanks, Senf, though obviously it’s mostly luck in being drawn. Bigger congratulations for all those from here mentioned in the clue-writing competition.

        1. Congratulations from me too, Smylers. You may have been lucky to be drawn but there was no luck involved in getting the right answer (which was way beyond my abilities).

    2. I didn’t know you could get answers for the quickie.
      I definitely had beats and life is too short to think of a better alternative.

      1. I don’t think you can see the answer anywhere, but on submitting on the website, incorrect answers are marked in yellow. Given none of the crossing words had been yellowed, there were only a couple of letters that could be wrong, and the site accepted my second attempt.

      1. Ha Ha! I suppose it depends if your first default is medical rather than gardening/healthy eating. Although I do grow the latter, so I have no excuse really….

    3. Surprisingly (to me), I did remember the retreat! Little did I know when I wrote the above that I’d encounter it again just a few days later.

      Thank you X-Type for also using it in here as well as your Enigmatic Variations puzzle (which was actually published before this one, but I didn’t start it until afterwards)!

      When I got to the EV, I managed to recall the retreat, which was a big help. I certainly wouldn’t’ve got it had I not done this crossword first. (The EV’s entry deadline was this morning, so I think I’m fine mentioning it now.)

      PS: Apologies in the above for writing “knew” when I meant “new”.

  7. An enjoyable puzzle with pretty straightforward clues,which I whizzed through so quickly that it was over much too soon (*/***). Like others, I really liked the clever lurker at 22d but also enjoyed 21 and 23a. Thanks to Mr K (great pictures of your local wildlife) and to the compiler

  8. For me, definitely a case of a Monday puzzle on a Tuesday which reminded me of the proscribed term, completed at a fast gallop – */***.
    No stand-out favourite, but I did like 21a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  9. Quite straightforward as others have said – thanks to setter and Mr K (it must be rather frightening to find the vultures gathering round your home!).
    If you want something a bit more challenging (but not too much) you could try the entertaining Brendan (aka Virgilius, late of this parish) in the Guardian.

  10. Straightforward & towards the easier end of the Tuesday spectrum for me. Should be some who get the pleasure of an unaided solve today I think.
    The lurker at 22d needed confirmation but is my COTD.
    Enjoyable, but over too quickly giving too much time to read the depressing prognostications.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K – remembered the bonus pics. today!
    Off to vets now with 13yo rescue dog that has had a collapsed carpus joint that is getting worse I fear, not looking forward to the conversations.

      1. Steve,
        Bella is a sweet little thing that had a hard life before we adopted her over 10 years ago. The carpus thing and her arthritis severely affects her mobility quite a lot but otherwise she is healthy. We are at that awful time of trying to assess her quality of life especially with the winter ahead. We don’t want to lose her but don’t want her to be suffering overly either.
        Vet felt things were as OK as they could be so she soldiers on.

        1. Good news! You have her for a little more time. Megan more or less had the same and she lived to almost her 15th birthday, just days short. Let us know, we’re all rooting for her.

          1. Oh dear, we do give our hearts to these animals. You have to tell yourself the animal has had a better, safer, happier life with you than some human children ever get the chance of. It is a cruel world.

        2. Great news. A couple of my friends are at this stage with their elderly dogs & it’s very difficult.

          1. Dogs are very stoic, they’ll soldier on. You’ll know when the time is right. That doesn’t mean the decision is any easier but you’ll know you’re doing the right thing and that helps.

        3. I totally understand what you are saying, LBROK. It is difficult to come to a decision about our pals. My rule of thumb is if my dog can do what a dog has to do and he is not in pain then I hold off. The moment I see a dog suffering and there is no hope of recovery, I take him on his final journey. I always know when the time has come. That’s what our love of our four legged pals does.

          The final decision always hurts, though.

          Thankfully, Bella is able to carry on. It must have been a tense time for you. Enjoy Bella now.

  11. A painless exercise today. Couple of niggles – 12a is not strictly a strapline and 3d uses American not UK abbreviated calculations. 22d (last in after seeking help) new to me – the cube name was all that came to mind. Fav 8d. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K. MrK wonder what your cats’ reaction to the turkey vulture would be!

    1. 3d – so sorry everybody, problem arose because in haste I was originally thinking of the initial A as representing American and didn’t think again before bunging in – what a clot! 🤭

  12. Vultures are always bigger than you expect. Also, they inevitably look depressed, shabby and unhealthy – it must be their diet.

    Re the puzzle – what everyone else has said. But I can’t be the only person, confronted with *s***m, meaning place of retreat, bunged in asylum?

    1. I almost did the same with asylum but held back because try as I might to wrangle something Sylvan into the parsing of it I couldn’t get it to work. Once I’d confirmed the lurker in 22d And had the checkers the answer suddenly jumped out at me.

    2. I tried so hard to make that work, I got the tree and crossword’s fave retreat came to mind. We haven’t seen it for some time. Wasn’t it George Harrison who had one in Nepal?

      1. I believe he and the other Beatles went of to a retreat with their mentor/guru ?Maharaji Mahesh Yogi, when George took up Transcendental Meditation. That was an Ashram.

        1. Oh, all of them? I didn’t know that, I thought it was only George. I should have googled. Thanks for that.

          1. Yes they were all there and Jane Asher. It was the inspiration for George to learn the sitar and he featured it on Within You and Without You on Sergeant Pepper.

  13. Rebec eh? I think Brian Jones played one. Or maybe instead of the celestial harp. RIP Brian.

  14. As everyone has noted, a quick solve today. */*** 22d is a new word to me also but it’s there as the clue tells us so not too hard to figure out. 26a is my favourite. Thanks to all.

  15. As others have mentioned, this was an easy ride for a Tuesday but Mr K’s reviews are always worth a read.
    26a rather amused and my favourite was 3d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to our man across the pond with his feline friends. Can’t say that I care much for your latest visitor!

    1. They’re common in Jamaica, only we call them John Crow – pronounced Jancro. Nature’s sanitation crew.

  16. A very enjoyable solve today and just at the right level for a Tuesday. I missed the lurker at 22d and put in “rubic”, which I believe, was a condition (string) attached to an agreement. My COTD is 25a and I don’t suppose they are making much money during these COVID days. I also got “beats” at 8a in the Quickie. I have now corrected it.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. For the hints. I could only find one cat.

    Beautiful day here in Shropshire and that means I may have to shave the green stuff.

    1. There were two domestic cats, a ‘wild cat’ photographed in Dorset, edible cats and a cartoon kitty by my count with an advertisement for ‘Cats’ the musical.

      1. Really? I’ve been through the hints with a fine toothed comb (or so I thought) but could still only find the advert for Cats.

        Just checked again – the picture clicks now seem to work and I got them all. Before when I clicked on a picture it disappeared.

        1. Yes, that happened to me once. Glad you found them all in the end. I always look forward to Mr K’s click-on pictures. The picture of the cat with his head under the car, apparently giving it a service, is particularly funny.

  17. I thought this was easier than yesterday. 22d was new to me so I had to check & I found the definition in 16d a bit odd. Thanks to today’s setter & Mr K.

  18. 21a comes up so often these days that I bung it in without wondering what one is like. I’d better visit Google!

  19. All over too quickly, rather too many anagrams for my liking. Didn’t notice the anagram in 22d. Thanks to all.

  20. No Hula Hoops required today as I zipped through this one with the exception of 22d where I guessed Rubic and of course missed the lurker.
    Very hot in Surrey; Lola is under the ivy and I am melting under the gazebo.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  21. Nice one today – rather like a Monday crossword – especially nice when sitting by
    my river with a glass of ice cold white wine…………………..

      1. Of course – the biggest and best……and today it looked particularly lovely…..reflections could have been
        painted by Bob Ross……………….

        1. I find Bob Ross paintings a little too “stylised” for my taste but admit he is a good painter. I take it your are in Shrewsbury as the Sabrina legend is from there.

          1. Hi Steve … have just replied to you on yesterday’s blog.

            I spent my childhood in Upton-upon-Severn and my youth in Tewkesbury … lovely river.

              1. We must do. Please go to my gravatar and you will find an email address … it will be interesting because I have another reason to chat with you.


                1. OK – I’ll do that – I’m now consumed with curiosity!! Maybe tomorrow as I’m a bit knackered now.

              2. I left my brain at Castlemorton at a rave in the late 80’s – luckily it grew back; well, a bit of it

                  1. I’m just coming round to the idea that I’m considerably older than the two of you – by the late 80’s I had been living in Oxford for quite a long time – had qualified as a nurse, got married, been a ward sister and had two daughters. I certainly don’t remember a rave at Castlemorton – I do remember motor bike scrambles which used to send my parents into orbit – goodness knows what a rave would have done to them.

                    1. Kath, from a post you made sometime ago I think we are of similar ages. I happened to be living in Alderton (near Winchcombe) when the rave happened. I used to go to the Malvern Hills to collect spring water and passed through Castlemoreton shortly after the event. It was a bit of a mess!

                  2. Reply button has disappeared from Win 10 Chrome – but crikey, I’m older than I thought even though I’m counting, SW
                    Perhaps it was Lechlade; I don’t know because I left my brain with Becky in the back of a Lada estate somewhere or other, or was it Dunsfold…

                1. Hello Merusa,
                  I don’t know that area but I think it’s nearer Stroud and is probably/possibly Gloucestershire – you’ve been on the blog for long enough to know what my geography is like!!

                2. Saul is south of Gloucester just before the estuary begins to widen. See google maps

                  Saul, Gloucester GL2 7LQ, UK

    1. I am enjoying a bottle of Susumaniello (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susumaniello) having had very untraditional (for here) cottage pie. The wine is unique, nose and flavour, with an intense colour. It’s made by Due Palme, who saved the vineyard from being grubbed up, presumably to plant more popular vines.

      They deserve a medal!

  22. Late today because I had to finish my latest Harrod-Eagles mystery first, and then I fell (happily) asleep. (Does anyone else read her Shepherds Bush series?) After finishing the Toughie in ‘toughie’ time, I fairly sped through the Cryptic, which I found quite enjoyable, with a couple of new terms for me (‘strapline’ and the COTD answer to 26a). I also liked 3d, 22d, and 23a. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. 2* / 3.5*

    We’re expecting some of the rain and possibly a bit of wind from Hurricane Sally as it whips around toward the Eastern shores of the Carolinas. Meanwhile, I’m still enjoying the Tour de France, especially now as they hit the Alps.

    1. I just saw the latest weather report and it looks like you’re going to be a bit damp! Keep dry and safe.

  23. A crackingly good crossword, full of excellent clues. Complwted well within my 2 Cafitierre and pipe time. Lots of clues could be favourite but for me 6d and 9a.The beautiful weather yeaterday allowed me to complete stone wall repairs so dogs need not to be closely supervised.
    Many thanks to Mr K and setter

  24. A gentle puzzle for a Tuesday. Not too taxing so a pleasure to complete over lunch with the sun shining. :-)
    Seemed to be a more than generous helping of anagrams but that may be because I slotted a few of those in first.
    Not heard of 21a or 22d but they were teased out from the clues.
    COTDs 23a, 26a and 3d.
    Off to try the Toughie based on comments above though as always considerably more in hope than expectation!
    Thanks to Mr K (excellent photo hints) and setter.

  25. A fast solve before bedtime in Ontario, 22d is a new word. COTD 26a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Especially since I now know to look for the hidden cats, and Robert Clark will you please keep on recommending books? I have just finished Hamnet, what a delight.

    1. I am so glad to hear from you, Kate, and to know that you found Hamnet so rewarding. If you’ve read Elena Ferrante’s Neapollitan Tetralogy, you might find her new novel, which I’ve just begun, to your liking: The Lying Life of Adults. I don’t have a ‘fix’ on it yet, so it’s a cautious ‘recommend’. Where are you in Ontario? I spent many happy days at Stratford, ‘doing’ the plays.

    2. I must admit I didn’t like Hamnet but Maggie O Farrell won the 2020 Womans Prize for Fiction with it recently.

      1. Oh, I didn’t know that she had won it–even beating Mantel’s 3rd volume!–although Hamnet was snubbed by the Booker people. Go figure. Sorry, JB, that you didn’t like the book. Chacun a son gout.

        1. Absolutely! I’m sorry I didn’t like Hamnet. It was the way the author kept switching threads i didn’t like. Barbara Kingsolver and The Poisonwood Bible was also irritating this way. A pity how style can spoil a good story. Carry on with your suggestions, I miss a good Book Club!

  26. Enjoyed this puzzle over lunch. Didn’t know ‘strapline’. Favourite clues 22d, 1a and 26a. Many thanks to setter and Mr K. Still to look at the toughie.

  27. Enjoyable and pretty straightforward 😃 Favourites 27a & 22d 🤗 Thanks to Mr K, a very nice photo of the Turkey Vulture 👍 I presume you must live in the countryside rather than in a town 🤔 Also thanks to the Setter

  28. I found this a nice solve my favourites were 9 & 21 across, 22 down was new to me and I had heard of 6 down but never seen it in a crossword before, but then again I could be wrong, many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  29. So close and yet so far. I thought this was going to be one of those red letter days when I could solve completely unaided as, other than picture hints, I am averse to using electronic help if at all possible. First mistake was when I had the a and the m for retreat and quickly penned in asylum… wonder if anyone else fell into that hole? That of course made the difficult 22d impossible. So thank you to 2Kiwis for the hints to set me straight. Otherwise, a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle so big thank you to the setter.
    On a side note, DT digital is playing up today requiring repeated log ins. Several others have mentioned this in the Letters comments. Hopefully they are working on correcting this.

  30. As always, a mixed bag of good/not-quite-so-good comments: it all depends upon one’s solving skill, how easy it feels…

    If one looks up synonyms for “strapline”, then “catchphrase” comes up, with others – so in my book, that’s a perfectly good synonym for the clue answer.

    Sorry about “pulses” misleading some, in the Quick – I’d not thought of “beats”: but that’s synonyms for you! (And Sod’s Law that the possible options came at an unchecked letter…).

    As always, one learns something new every time, from what others think. See you next time!

    1. Thanks for commenting, X-Type – we always appreciate it when the compiler makes an appearance on the blog. And thanks for a fun puzzle to solve and to blog.

    2. Thanks for paying a visit X type
      As I said over a little too quickly but very enjoyable whilst it lasted so many thanks for the challenge.

    3. A perfect puzzle to give to someone who is nervous of cryptics – everything is there , perfectly clued, logical and easy to follow and analyse.
      I liked all of it. Mind you, I also like the tear your hair out what on earth does this mean Puzzle, bring ‘em all on. Thanks Mr K for the kitty reveals and X-Type for the satisfaction.

    4. For me it was a good clean crossword … well-clued. The only remark i had in the margins was for 3dn (? … failed to parse). No exclamation marks! Thanks to you and Mr K for sorting out 3dn👍

  31. As LROK predicted, I’m one enjoying the rare pleasure of an unaided solve. Favourites were 5a, 9a, & 26. 22d caused a bit of brain searching till (thankfully) I saw the lurker.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K whose hints are always entertaining.

    1. Great when it happens Essar, pleased for you.
      Onward & upward, two consecutive, then 3 then a full week, then a Toughie!
      Perhaps by then somebody will have sorted out COVID!

      1. Thanks for the encouragement, LBROK – I need all I can get!
        Perhaps having life curtailed for ever by Covid might be the only hope of attaining the targets you suggest but I’d hate to inflict that timescale on anyone!
        Glad that you can enjoy Bella for longer than you feared.

  32. Not much to add to what’s already been said.
    I thought a ‘strapline’ was what you got if you sunbathed without undoing the straps of a bikini top, or preferably taking it off.
    The only meaning of 5a that I’ve ever heard is some kind of timely warning so had to check that.
    My favourite was 14d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.
    Too hot to do anything useful but still have options – today’s Toughie, yesterday’s Rookie corner and now the Guardian as well. Oh dear – decisions, decisions decisions . . .

    1. PS – now see that X-Type has claimed ‘ownership’ of today’s crossword so thanks to him. How funny – I think I’ve always struggled with his up until now.

  33. Finished this in a gallop pretty much other than the three I had trouble with in the NE sector. 1.5*/****
    COTD today was 26a … liked that one a lot and 3d & 14d made me chuckle!
    New word learnt in 22d too.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  34. I assumed I’d be commenting on this late in the day as I only picked it up and an hour or so ago but raced through this unaided (other than the father-in-law confirming that the 22d was indeed a stringed instrument). It being rather straightforward and clearly parsed I suppose is a blessing (as it is satisfying to finish) and a curse (being a little dull?!). Thanks to setter.

  35. Went more or less straight in except for 22d. Never heard of it. Hard to pick a winner, but if pushed, 3d, maybe. Enjoyable puzzle.
    The Toughie is rather like a back pager today as well.

  36. */***. Over too quickly and I didn’t get the usual satisfaction from a completed grid. Must be me being fed up with smoke filled skies and rising coved case numbers. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  37. Had our first proper meeting of my reading group in a garden this afternoon – only five of us could make it so we were legal. So nice to see people in the flesh after so many months but it meant the crossword was not done over lunch as usual but much later. Zut alors. Mardi! I had almost forgotten.

  38. Funny old crossword day…this was a stroll, so I headed to the Graun…Ah Brendan, good!…got three answers and was completely flummoxed by the rest. Just shows you, turn the difficulty ratchet up a notch and someone of my modest ability is scuppered.
    On the plus side, I went round Rochester and Cobham this afternoon in 76…
    Thanks all, now to read the blog.

  39. Well, wotta treat. I solved this without help. I didn’t know 22d, but I followed the rule, when in doubt look for a lurker, so I looked up the answer in the dictionary. Do I still qualify for unaided?
    It’s been a long time since we had the retreat. Lots to like, I think 26a gets the prize in a strong running.
    Thanks to X-type for the fun and to Mr. K for the hints and pics, always look forward to Tuesday for those.

  40. My what a lot of comments to work through. Solved early this morning before risking a painkiller assisted game of golf in this glorious September weather – bit sore afterwards but anaesthetised with a couple of pints of IPA. A very straightforward puzzle with 22d the only obscurity but thankfully it was a lurker that Mr G confirmed. No real favourites but I did like the anagram at 5d. Chalk me down as another who did the coin toss in 8a in the Quickie but it fell correctly. Couldn’t for some reason recall the Spanish dance however so I had to resort to Mr G which brought me down to earth after having waltzed through the Toughie in a quickest ever time for me.
    Thanks X-Type & Mr K – will read the review later

  41. Well this was perfectly straightforward without the until ……. but very enjoyable nonetheless. Obviously I hadn’t heard of 22d but an obscure word with a gettable clue is no problem. The ones that get my goat are obscure words/general knowledge or even worse religious references that you have to be a practicing Trappist monk or similar, other religions are available, to have heard of with an obscure clue. Well that’s got that of my chest! Any road up, just right for a Tuesday. Bizarrely as favourite in going for 21a, slightly obscure but fairly clued. Many thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

  42. Solved fairly quickly in the back of the car this morning on a day trip to Cambridge. I too had to check 22d, the rest was plain sailing. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

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