DT 29478 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29478

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29478

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny September morning.

I only time my crossword solving when I am blogging, because I use the paper version the reswt of the week, but today’s puzzle was the fastest solve that I can recall – and judging from the number of people appearing on the leaderboard last night, there were plenty of others who would agree. A little light relief for gloomy times.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Insect hovering around door maybe causing rage (3,3,3,6)
FLY OFF THE HANDLE – Cryptic definition of a phrase for ‘to break out in a rage’.

Off The Handle - Adarve Translations

9a           Inflexible international organisation British close (9)
UNBENDING – Put together the usual international political gathering, an abbreviation for British, and another word for the ‘close’.

10a         Rows hard, first to last (5)
TIFFS – Start with a word for ‘hard’ or ‘inflexible’, then move its first letter to the end.

11a         Earlier church official (5)
PRIOR – Double definition, the second being a monastic rank, just below ‘abbot’.

12a         Ace evening with no one spreading retribution (9)
VENGEANCE – Anagram (spreading) of ACE EVEN(i)NG with the Roman numeral for one removed (with no one).

13a         They learn of the sun’s trapping carbon and hydrogen (8)
SCHOLARS – Another way of saying “of the sun’s” (including the ‘S), wrapped round the chemical symbols for carbon and hydrogen.

14a         In France nothing is put in to back the East (6)
ORIENT – Reverse (back) TO (from the clue), and insert the French word for ‘nothing’.

16a         Nanny‘s gold shoes, perhaps (2,4)
AU PAIR – The chemical symbol for gold, followed by a word which applied to shoes or trousers.

18a         Detective’s area is murder (8)
DISPATCH – The abbreviation for a detective rank, plus the ‘S, followed by a slang word for a policeman’s area of responsibility.

22a         Model that’s still on display (9)
MANNEQUIN – Cryptic definition of a shop dummy.

23a         Heard insects in leaves (5)
FLEES – This word for ‘leaves (in a hurry)’ sounds like (heard) some biting insects.

24a         King eludes one of his followers in darkness (5)
NIGHT – Remove the chess notation for a King from the name of one of the minor chess pieces.

25a         Where a map-reader’s only way is up (5,4)
SOUTH POLE – Maps customarily have North at the top, so travelling north is up the map. The answer is the one place on earth where, whichever direction you take, you will be travelling north.

26a         Wind cannot tug sailor hats off (15)
CONGRATULATIONS – Anagram (wind) of CANNOT TUG SAILOR.

Down

1d           Football people cross supporting United — dad’s mistake (4,3)
FAUX PAS – Put together the initials of the governing body for football in England, United, a cross-shaped letter, and “dad’s”.

2d           Eccentric hobby is not polite (7)
YOBBISH – Anagram (eccentric) of HOBBY IS.

3d           Official in black who regularly sends people off (7,8)
FUNERAL DIRECTOR – Cryptic definition of someone responsible for sending you off, not the football pitch, but this mortal coil.

Funeral Processions: Helpful To Know - Funeral Guide

4d           This must be detailed with each burglary? (8)
THIEVERY – Remove the final letter (de-tailed) of THI(s) (from the clue, then add another word for ‘each’.

5d           Occasionally witnessed teen’s grim need for something to drive (6)
ENGINE – Alternate letters (occasionally) of tEeN’s GrIm NeEd.

6d           As a bowler’s jettisoned with little justification? (2,3,4,2,1,3)
AT THE DROP OF A HAT – The bowler here is a piece of headgear, and the answer is a phrase which is a metaphor for doing something with little justification (groups of six, anyone?).

7d           Head of force in demand over church security (7)
DEFENCE – Reverse (over) another word for ‘demand’ (as in ‘supply and demand’), insert the first letter (head) of Force (from the clue), then add an abbreviation for the Church of England.

8d           Most natural in Spain — snooze showing bottom on top! (7)
EASIEST – Start with the IVR code for Spain, then add a Spanish afternoon nap, but with the last letter moved to the beginning.

15d         Criminal bail a nun furnishes once in six months? (8)
BIANNUAL – anagram (criminal) of BAIL A NUN.

16d         ‘Heart of Moral Man’ a cert for book of the year (7)
ALMANAC – Hidden in the clue.

17d         Longin’ to steal thousand grand and drink to celebrate? (4,3)
PINK GIN – Another word for ‘longin’’ (remember to remove the final G), wrapped round abbreviations for ‘thousand’ and ‘grand’.

19d         Guitarist’s effect, lot more distorted (7)
TREMOLO – Anagram (distorted) of LOT MORE.

20d         One giving party among toffs’ set, so hard up (7)
HOSTESS – Hidden in reverse (up) in the clue.

21d         Star’s bedtime (6)
SUNSET – The star here is the nearest to the earth.

Sunset Spots in Cornwall: 10 Places to Watch the Sun Go Down


The Quick Crossword pun KIRK + DUG + LESS = KIRK DOUGLAS

146 comments on “DT 29478
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  1. 1.5*/4*. This made a very nice finish to the week. Only a couple of clues needed a bit of teasing out to take me over my 1* time. 16a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio?) for the fun and to DT for the review.

  2. This had Xandio written all over it, the surfaces weren’t the smoothest but it was light and great fun.
    Clue of the day for me was 4d though there were lots of others that raised a smile.
    1.5/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the entertainment

  3. This was a bit more straightforward than most Friday backpager puzzles of late. I thought it was going to be difficult but soon got onto the compiler’s wavelength and enjoyed the solve(**/****). 1a was great fun, as was the anagram in 26a. I also like a pink gin(17d) but not before the sun is above the yard arm perhaps. Thanks to DT for the blog and to the compiler. My sympathies go out today to the family of the policeman, who was shot at the police station in Croydon.

      1. Apparently, the sergeant who was killed was a few months short of retirement. My brother in law served in the anti-terrorist squad, before retirement and my neice and her husband are serving police officers.

        1. Several members of my mother’s family were in the Met, the tales they used to tell. One cousin was on Special Duty with Princess Margaret —–

          1. My brother in law had the distinction of being shouted at by Prince Philip, while doing the rounds with his dog at Buckingham Palace. It was the middle of the night and their feet were making a crunching noise on the gravel path, disturbing the royal beauty sleep.

    1. That saddened me so much, that it could happen in the U.K. It’s pretty much daily news here, all over the country, but that it happened in England made me incredibly unhappy.

      1. Just over 70 officers in the UK ( not including Northern Ireland) have been shot in the years since World War 1 ended, it said on the BBC online service.

        1. Only 70 since WWI? We get that in a day! You see, it’s our right to go out and buy a gun, even if you’ve got a mental problem, it’s your right to buy an AK47. If you want to commit suicide, you go out and try to shoot a policeman, then you’ve committed suicide by cop. I’ll stop there, I just feel it’s madness.

          1. Our house came with a built in gun safe, installed by the previous owner. Now it just houses our passports. Having a granddaughter who graduated this year from Parkland High School we have no sympathies for gun supporters. So sad that this happened in England, and inside a police station.

            1. I know this is tragic, Busylizzie but, as a legal owner of three shotguns and one rifle, I have to defend gun ownership. I and my fellow gun owners do not consider our guns as weapons. We are well aware of gun safety and practice it rigorously. If Hudson and I are walking the hedgerows and we meet someone, I immediately break the shotgun and remove the cartridges. I would never use a gun as a weapon or even, by default, appear to threaten.
              I realise this may upset some people but I am a country guy and I shoot. I am a responsible owner of firearms and am licensed by West Mercia Police to own my guns.
              Those who make the news by killing policemen do not have certificates – their guns were more than likely obtained illegally,
              Please don’t tar legal owners with the same brush.

              1. I think what BusyLizzie refers to is the type of weapon. Three shotguns and a rifle aren’t considered real weapons here, you use them for country pastimes, no one objects to that. Our felons use AK47s or other assault weapons, then they have something called bumper stocks that allows them to hold untold ammunition. I don’t know enough about it, but our evildoers seem to be able to do what they want. Shotguns and rifles are toys.

              2. Sorry didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers. Many of my neighbours keep guns for personal safety. Understandable, and not a problem. Merusa is correct in that our objection is why anyone should need to own an AK47, or anything with a bumper stock.

            2. I too have a gun safe in which I keep all manner of valuables including my guns, not all people who have guns are homicidal maniacs, in fact the vast majority are not, and those who are generally don’t have licences.

                1. He was arrested on drugs charges, I’ve just checked, and he was waiting to be checked by metal detector. Pre Covid 19 he would have been frisked on the spot and the weapon found immediately and removed. Will sergeant Matt Rattana be put down as a Covid 19 death? My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

    2. Totally agree, Chriscross. That this should happen in the UK is tragic. I have the utmost respect for our police force who do their very difficult job mostly unarmed apart from a truncheon. Only certain officers are armed.

  4. Very straightforward today & solved in a tad over * time & without any real pause for thought. Perfectly pleasant though perhaps over a bit too quickly to be entirely satisfactory. No real favourites though rather liked 1d.
    Thanks to the setter & to DT for the review.

  5. Definitely straightforward for a Friday – my time was ‘Mr CS chatting affected’ but it didn’t take that long at all. It was a strange grid experience in that I had all the top half solved with only a few in the bottom half to tease out on the second read through. I did enjoy the solving process but with no particular favourites

    Thanks to the setter and DT

  6. Couldn’t agree more, very straightforward but I did enjoy it, my favourite was 8d with16a and 4d on the podium */****
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  7. Breezy and fun for a Friday. Smooth and deft clueing throughout, with my favourites being 22a, 12a, and 4d. Most enjoyable. ** / **** Thanks to D.T. and today’s setter.

    Elgar’s Toughie out of sight today for me….

      1. I don’t see how, MP. I spotted a Nina across the top but one needs more than one initial letter….but maybe you mean something else. Sorry, I’m confused.

  8. Blindingly obvious solutions when I finally found them but I certainly didn’t find it an easy solve. Needed other help to find the solutions and the hints to unravel what I had found. Nearly gave in and came here with the SE corner looking very empty but a lucky thought rescued me.

    26a and 21d my favourites today. Thanks to DT for his helpful blog and the setter.

  9. First puzzle I’ve had time to print out in several days and the fastest solve for a very long time. Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

  10. Definitely quite gentle for a Friday back pager but, like Shrimp, 26a extended my solving time a little, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 13a, 1d, and 8d – and the winner is 13a.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  11. All done too quickly today. */**** some great clues as in 6d which has a gentle bit of misdirection with the bowler and a well disguised lurker in 16d. Favourite today 12a. Thanks to all.

  12. Bright and breezy solve this morning – no particular favourite but an enjoyable puzzle.
    Shame that the same won’t be true of the Elgar!

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review.

  13. A light amusing puzzle today with clues which provided a few smiles eg 1a and 6d.
    Liked the wordplay of 14a and my favourite was 16a for the clues originality -I don’t think that I have seen it before.
    Thought we might have seen a picture of Cliff with 26a!
    Anyway an enjoyable Friday solve a **/*** for me.
    The Quickie had a few cryptic clues today like 19a,10d,13d-also an excellent pun to boot.

  14. Very straightforward for a Friday, in fact easiest of the week for me. Still well clued with the 15 letter clues not overly taxing, (as I spotted 26a quickly).
    6d was my COTD. Wonder if in years to come the bowler will be worn by anyone except Morris dancers?
    Thanks to setter & DT for the review especially the Edith Piaf. Never tire of that song.

        1. They could go back to being worn by gamekeepers, whom they were originally designed for. Hat makers Locke & Co in London were given an order by Edward Coke, the brother of the Earl of Leicester, in 1849 to design a hard low hat for his gamekeepers. Up until then, gamekeepers wore top hats, which would be knocked off by low lying branches. The company gave its chief hatters the task of designing the hat. They were Thomas and William Bowler. The hat was named after them.

            1. I actually knew about the origin of the bowler because I own a Locke hat and when I took delivery of it there was a brief history of the company inside the box. Mind you, I have long since lost that history so I did use Mr. G. To check the facts. :grin:

          1. What a lovely shop that is, I remember going there with George many many years ago. Who remembers Airey & Wheelers in Piccadilly, another specialist shop for lightweight clothing, perfect for the colonies or cruising.

            1. To quote Maurice Chevalier, I remember it well as my husband was a regular at A & W in order to equip himself for much overseas business travel. I also still have his Lock bowler which was worn daily and a black umbrella from James Smith & Sons. “Those were the days my friend(s)”.

              1. My hat from Locke is a Panama. I have to protect my head in the sun and my usual flat cap is too hot. I did buy a “straw” hat from M&S but the weave is loose and gave my head no protection. I decided to splash out and get a proper one and I am glad I did.

                As for James Smith, I have to stay away – I have far too many sticks.

                Actually, can a man have too many sticks?

  15. Thank you setter & DT for a 1*/3*, now can someone help me with the “Quick” please! It isn’t quick for me… SW proving intractable.

      1. You can 24a your wages on something frivolous…….so it’s a synonym of squander, rather than a homophone, because then it would be the wrong tense.

        1. If you “put your back or shoulder into” something that would be a push, but where does that leave the Tug of War?
          No-one ever shouts “Tug!”
          I guess where ropes are involved, it’s a pull…
          Heave to, me hearties…….

        2. Tug of War our instruction was was “Heave”. It would be just as funny if we had started pushing.
          BRB does say “heave” can be to move something but not the direction of movement. In ToW you are trying to move the other team forwards in the rugby scrum backwards.

          1. I love watching Rugby but have never played it. I was more into tennis and badminton. I am always amazed how those in the scrum don’t smash their heads together when they slam into each other. Wonderful game and infinitely better that football IMHO.

  16. I enjoyed this and solved at a rapid pace although parsing 7d took me longer than it should have. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

  17. It has all been said above and I can only echo all sentiments. A very enjoyable puzzle although I do struggle with clues requiring the moving of letters from front to back etc. I have no idea why. It’s just my brain knows what is needed but it can’t picture the answer. Hence, the NE corner held out the longest. COTD for me is 6d.

    Many thanks to the setter, who some think is Zandio, and also to Deep threat for the hints.

    The pun in the Quickie is good today but I have never taken the third word to mean “not so”.

  18. Good fun on Friday with a French flavour e.g. 1d, 14a, 16a etc. SW last quadrant to be completed. Fav clue definitely 6d which also brought back memories of several delightful evenings at the Fortune Theatre with Flanders and Swann 🎩 – oh dear am I really that old?! Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  19. Like others, I raced through this, only to be held up because I had carelessly entered BIENNIAL for 15d.
    Apart from it being an incorrect definition and ignoring all of the anagram letters, I thought it was a pretty good answer!

  20. Lots to like today. No inexplicable letters and all done in good time. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Deep Threat. Sad to hear that Juliet Gréco has died. I shall enjoy listening to her songs again. Play nicely children and I will see you after the le weekend

  21. Favourites 1 13 16 and 18a and 1 and 6 d are the favourites. Don’t think I whipped through it as quickly as some but found that when I returned to it after interruptions another section filled itself in. For me it was the NE which held out, partly because I couldn’t parse 7d and I was held up on 10a as I’m used to rows being tiers! Was pleased to see 22a spelt the way I spell it. Thanks Setter and Deep Threat especially for the Edith Piaf clip.

  22. Loved this — first time in a while I haven’t needed any hints. Thank you to Deep Threat for writing them; I still needed you to explain the parsing of a couple.

    18a’s detective’s area was looking good to be my favourite, then in a flurry my last 3 in all took the lead in turn — 16d’s book of the year, 17d’s longin’, and finally 16a’s gold shoes. It’s great when the clues that I’ve been baffling me the longest turn out to be such fun. Thank you Zandio/Zandio’s impersonator.

    Last night I was fortunate to be among the group trialling Dada’s online Create a Crossword session. In 2½ hours he had us think of words on a theme, and pick the most suitable ones. He started to sprinkle some of those through a grid; we called out suggestions for what should go where and other words that could fit (with frequent backtracking, as an idea made a crossing word impossible or unreasonable). Then we each took a word to write a clue for. After 5–10 minutes, we read them out, and we almost have a crossword, collaboratively produced with a bunch of (lovely) strangers; Dada’s going to clue the remaining words and send it to us. I really enjoyed it — highly recommended.

      1. If it sounded complicated then that’s my failing as a reporter. Dada, generous and welcoming, talked everybody through what we were doing, having split creating a crossword into little manageable pieces.

  23. The Cryptic was a fun clockwise puzzle. Thanks to setter and DT anyway.
    I’m still trying to work out Cryptic Sue’s anagram – is it one?
    I was sorry to read about Harry Evans.

  24. Nice end to the week 😃 ***/**** (I cannot relate my assessment to time taken, just to the degree of difficulty in solving 😳) Favourites 1a & 16a. Thanks to Deep Threat for the blog and Edith Piaf and to the unknown Setter 👍

  25. I too found this a very pleasant and enjoyable end to the week. Delighted to see 22a in what I would consider its correct spelling after the alternate version we had several weeks ago. I rarely get chance to work through in one setting so I can also only measure the difficulty which I estimate at ** but definitely a **** for the pleasure in solving it.
    6d makes me think of Freddie Mercury singing the line in Killer Queen for some reason.
    COTD goes to 1a, 14a, 16a, 22a, 1d and 6d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. My first thought on solving 6d too Neil.
      The late, great Freddie Mercury. I had the considerable pleasure of seeing the band live twice during their pomp.

    2. 6d has also been stuck in my head all afternoon as a line from a song, but I couldn’t place it. When I saw your comment (thanks) I eagerly checked Killer Queen … and it wasn’t that one.

      After a few hours of trying to fit it into Ballroom Blitz (“And the man at the back” has basically the same rhythm!), I finally worked out: it’s M People (from 1 min 4 s).

        1. “Drop of a hat she’s as willing as, playful as a pussycat
          Momentarily out of action, temporarily out of gas…..”
          I can hear Freddie singing it now…..Definately Killer Queen.

  26. A pleasingly nice puzzle to finish up the week. */**** my rating today.
    Clues of note include1a, 14a, 18a, 4d & 6d with winner being 1a with 18a close behind
    No hints needed today … just a steady solve all through.
    Thanks to setter and DT

  27. Nothing to add to what everyone else has said other than to thank all for what has,again,been a very enjoyable week of solving.I ran out of time yesterday but would wish to say that l found that to be as good as Jays Wednesday puzzle and that is high praise indeed.26 a to our editor.

  28. Well everyone has said what I would have said. I thoroughly enjoyed this, such clever clues. Favourites 16a and 4d. I love the idea of a seminar on crossword building Smilers, it sounds great fun. We sat and watched Dr Zhivago last night and I can tell you that the gale blowing round my poor garden is coming straight from the Steppes – it is freezing.There is no high ground between Cambridge and the Urals. I usually enjoy the snuggling down of autumn and winter but this year I am dreading it. Oh misery. But oh, thanks to the crossword team.

          1. I think here in N Norfolk I’m nearest the Urals and its FREEZING and I have put the heating on. Main worry is the high wind and the number of trees in the garden being blown to bits. I defrosted the freezer this afternoon before puttng the heating on – hateful job! I loathe rats but that one that has won a medal is quite cute I think.

            1. Massive diversion to get Mama Bee to her hair do this afternoon – a tree blew down and the men were trying to cut it up while the wind was still blowing a hoolie. we had to go all the way round Church Fenton to get to the other side.

          1. That’s the Stiperstones for you, John. People have disappeared up there because there are uncharted Roman mine shafts that an unsuspecting walker can fall down. The Romans mined the Stiperstones for lead.

            The are south of Shrewsbury.

  29. Is there a friendly divorce lawyer amongst us? This morning George said – It’s very windy out there. Me – Yes, it has blown the stand over. G – Blown the sand over? Me – no, the stand. G – just a minute I haven’t got my hearing aids in (it is 10 am). Later, G Right, blown the sand over. Me No, the STAND. Why can’t you join the dots? How can you blow the sand over, what sand have we got? What does it sound like? G Well, sand, shand, spand, stand. Me (shouting now) Yes – stand. Out there on the terrace , look. G I can’t see the stand. Me (tearing at my hair) no, because the b….. thing has blown over.
    I rest my case. 63 years, I have tried.

    1. DG
      As I know only too well ear trumpets, no matter how expensive (going to £3K & up) are a very pale substitute for the human ear.
      Poor George – he was only trying to save batteries by leaving them out until 10 am, the modern bluetooth aids eat them faster than Biggles eats biscuits & they are not cheap.
      Then with the noise of the plates rattling while he was doing the washing up, and the Hoover he was using with the other hand it would have been very difficult for him to pick out the t in stand, after all yesterday even the setter appeared to miss one.
      PS: Tell George I need his vote when the HPL (Husbands Protection League) elections come up.
      😷

      1. I might have known you’d all stick together. To suggest he’s doing housework is a laugh. When he retired he said he would make lunch every day which he does (mostly). It is always salad + pate or cheese or ham. But that’s about it. All day he has been playing with an enormous and complicated jigsaw puzzle made up of old retro tins bottles jars etc. Fascinating I know. But. I have to admit the weather outside is awful. You can rely on him to support the HPL in fact he’s probably already got the T-shirt.

      2. I thought you got them for free on the NHS?
        Alas, I’ll soon be joining the “hard of hearing” community but I’m fighting it every step of the way. I suppose when people start revolting and refuse to repeat everything I’ll have to yield, in the meantime, can you repeat that?

        1. Merusa,
          Yes you can in theory & they are OK (ish) for “normal” hearing loss.
          When, like mine it is noise induced & one ear with almost total loss you don’t get the power so it is private & cost. NHS is struggling to cope as well. It is not so simple these days to get many things on the NHS.

      3. Chuckling here at all that – mine rarely go in before the evening news on TV – so my wife and I have some amazing conversations during the day when I mishear her – “send three and fourpence” eh? ;-)

    2. We can empathise with you DG. Having said that, your account really cheered us up – best laugh we’ve had for some time.

      Back to the crossword – most enjoyable, helped by getting the long ones early. Favourite clue 22a. Thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat

    3. But there is none so deaf as those that don’t want to hear. “I didn’t know”, “You didn’t tell me” sound familiar? It’s what happens when our better halves pretend to listen but really they are tuned out 😊. Congratulations on the 63 years.

    4. What a wonderful vignette, Daisygirl! Loved every minute of your description of your exchange with George and the subsequent comments.

      Must admit I practice selective hearing! 😀

  30. Like many raced through this for my fastest solve in a very long time. COTD 16a. Only needed verification of 4d and 8d as a quick analysis I had failed to parse them but then obvious thanks to Deep Threats explanation.

  31. */***. Very enjoyable not least because it fell into place pretty quickly. Lots to like so no standout favourite. Thanks to Zandio and DT for the review.

  32. Very late to this as out all day but a very fast, straightforward and enjoyable solve for me. The brevity of the time spent did not diminish the fun I had completing the grid, and I really liked 22a.

    Thanks Zandio for the fun and to DT. Going to attempt the Elgar Toughie now.

  33. Definately late on parade, as easier solve than previous days. It was good to have something not tontaxing for early evening.
    Thanks to DT and setter

  34. I confess I found it very tricky finding the wavelength. First pass I could only solve two in the SE, gradually I found I was getting the drift and got going. I definitely give it more than 1*.
    There were so many old friends, I quite quickly warmed to it. I never tire of 6d, maybe I’ll play my CD later and wallow in lovely memories. I also liked 16a, I thought that was very clever.
    Thanks to Zandio for the fun and to Deep Threat for unravelling a few for me.

    1. Welcome from me as well, Tony. We are all still “ getting there” but some are nearer to “there” than others. Remember it’s a puzzle not a competition and should be enjoyed.

      Hope to hear from you again with your comments.

  35. Managed this on my own but have enjoyed reading the blog and comments as much as the puzzle. Many similarities with other solvers – Top half first with little in south, 16a and 17d LOI
    Many thanks to DT particularly for F&S and to Zandio for a universally appreciated puzzle. and thanks to the bloggers for a lively discussion.

  36. Loved 16 across I am a novice compared to fellow bloggers but was quite pleased to complete today once I got into the mindset of setter

    1. Welcome, Meonwood. Don’t worry, we are all novices to a certain degree and well done on completing Zandio’s offfering. A fair proportion of us don’t always finish totally unaided but by sticking with the blog we learn a few things.

      Hope to hear more from you.

  37. I did eventually finish and quite enjoyed the tussle, but definitely found it tougher than a 1*. Spent far too long trying to think of a 15 letter wind for 26a. Several I got from the checkers when the clues were a mystery to me. But 24a was my COTD. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

    1. I think I take the blue ribbon for stupid. I was sure 26a was an anagram but didn’t know which words, maybe “wind” was telling us it was an anagram? But I couldn’t get enough letters to make 15. In the end when I decided what the answer was, I found I was using AB instead of “sailor” for the fodder. I think I’d better quit while I’m ahead!

  38. Oh dear! A very late start even for me and made harder work of it than I should have, nothing to do with alcohol you understand. I needed help to parse 14a as I have no French, or any other foreign language come to that but I got there in the end. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  39. A big hooray day for me. Although I appreciate from all the above that this was regarded as quite easy, for the first time in many years of doing DT cryptics I completed this in record time without any assistance whatever. Mr. Th was astounded. Like my daughter he cannot understand how people solve cryptic clues, but occasionally when asked for help he has brilliant inspiration. My bedtime reading is DT cryptic and a cup of tea while he listens to music. Next morning I attempt to finish the crossword over early morning tea and hints and tips from all those kind people who supply them (and many thanks to them). I haven’t read them yet today, but will do so because I always find them interesting amusing and instructive. In the few months I have known this blog (discovered because of lockdown boredom) I have learnt a lot. Many thanks to setter – it’s good to know who it is.

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