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DT 29490

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29490

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny October morning.

Today’s puzzle wasn’t as difficult as last week’s for me, but still went into my *** time, probably because I spent too long trying to tease out some wordplay from 14a.

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.


1a           Was dwelling given new walls? (7)
RESIDED – If you hyphenate the answer (2-5) you could have a word meaning ‘given new walls’ (think of where the walls are to be found).

5a           Plants displayed round a monarch’s houses (7)
PALACES – Another verb for ‘plants’ with A (from the clue) inserted.

9a           One blessed Green sucker (5)
STRAW – Split the answer (2,3) and you have the short form of the title given to a blessed or holy person, followed by ‘green’ or ‘inexperienced’.

10a         Dodgy alibi, with connections offering gifts (9)
ABILITIES – Anagram (dodgy) of ALIBI, followed by some links or connections.

11a         Sample from brochures — is tan cedarwood used for protection? (10)
RESISTANCE – Hidden in the clue.

12a         Golf precedes this person’s award (4)
GIVE – The letter represented by Golf in the NATO alphabet, followed by the short form of ‘this person has’.

14a         Some creep munching gum leaves (12)
CATERPILLARS – Cryptic definition of the larval forms of an insect which crawl along eating leaves.

British authorities give toxic caterpillar warning | News | DW | 29.04.2018

18a         Send best wishes to Aunt Carol and get drunk (12)
CONGRATULATE – Anagram (drunk) of AUNT CAROL and GET.

21a         Deceased not half needed for undertaking (4)
DEED – Remove half the letters from DE(ceas)ED and you get a legal undertaking.

22a         Females comprising more than one resident in 5? (10)
PRINCESSES – Cryptic definition of some of the people who may live in the answer to 5a.

Were the Disney princesses' dresses inspired by the Virgin Mary?

25a         Paints, say, old-fashioned parent, one too short (9)
MATERIALS – The Latin word for one of your parents, followed by the Roman numeral for one and another word for ‘too’ with its final letter removed (short).

26a         Cuddling grandma, that is silly (5)
INANE – The Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ wrapped round a familiar word for grandma.

27a         One’s often high during a performance but down after the show (7)
CURTAIN – Cryptic definition of something which comes down in the theatre at the end of a performance.

28a         Part seen occasionally in ‘stinker’, mag pens in review (7)
SEGMENT – Alternate letters (occasionally) of three words in the clue, read backwards (in review).


1d           Nice perhaps and kind about taking the lead (6)
RESORT – Nice here is the French city. We have another word for ‘kind’ or ‘type’, with the Latin for ‘about’ or ‘concerning placed in front of it.

2d           Exaggerate accent (6)
STRESS – Double definition, both being verbs.

3d           This kind of clue, by the sound of it, looks on a lower level (10)
DOWNSTAIRS – This clue, and those listed around it, all have one thing in common, which makes up the first four letters of the answer. Now add a homophone (by the sound of it) of a word for ‘looks’.

4d           Short, a film maybe (5)
DRAMA – A short drink of spirits followed by A (from the clue).

5d           Cardinal rule for a speaker (9)
PRINCIPAL – The answer sounds like (for a speaker) a word for ‘rule’ or ‘belief’ which is often confused with this word for ‘cardinal’ or ‘chief’.

6d           Schoolboy traps the compiler set! (4)
LAID – A young boy wrapped round the pronoun which the setter applies to himself/herself. ‘Set’ as in ‘set the table’.

7d           Wild Arctic tours I left, showing disapproval (8)
CRITICAL – Anagram (wild) of ARCTIC wrapped round I (from the clue) and followed by Left.

8d           Now and then, Seuss writes with energy and tension (8)
SUSPENSE – Put together alternate letters (now and then) of SeUsS, another word for ‘writes’, and an abbreviation for Energy.

13d         Get lit weirdly — phone makes one shiny (10)
GLITTERING – Anagram (weirdly) of GET LIT, followed by another word for ‘phone’ or ‘call’.

15d         Get in metal to embody a charm (9)
ENTERTAIN – Another word for ‘get (or go) in’, followed by a metallic element wrapped round (to embody) A (from the clue).

16d         Intellectual copyright undermines a rogue record company (8)
ACADEMIC – Put together A (from the clue), a rogue or low fellow, the three-letter acronym of a former record company, and the abbreviation for ‘copyright’.

17d         One creates liquid vintner’s keeping over (8)
INVENTOR – Anagram (liquid) of VINTNER wrapped round Over.

19d         Possessions stored up in chalet at seaside (6)
ESTATE – Hidden in reverse (stored up) in the clue.

20d         Advance with a bouquet (6)
ASCENT – A (from the clue) followed by ‘bouquet’ or ‘smell’.

23d         They smell new — flowers pruned at the top (5)
NOSES New followed by some garden flowers with their first letter removed.

24d         Queen intercepts motorists going over field (4)
AREA – The initials of one of the large motoring organisations are wrapped round the Queen’s regnal cipher, then the whole lot is reversed (going over).

The Quick Crossword pun PILL + OAK + ACES = PILLOWCASES

108 comments on “DT 29490

  1. All over in ** time, but I too, wasted far too much time on 14a. Actually, 9a was my LOI, because it too me too long to parse it. Doh!

    Now then, what has the Toughie got in store for us?

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. 9a my favourite for its brevity and 14a my final entry in this pleasingly straightforward puzzle. Like our reviewer I spent too long with the latter trying to find something that wasn’t there. The grid was a real delight to complete, so thank you to our setter for the fun and to DT.

  3. What a cracking puzzle, especially after yesterday’s relic, fresh quirky and cryptic, and not an obscurity in sight, right up my street. Like DT I wondered if there was any wordplay involved in 14a, and couldn’t fully parse 16d but other than that it went in smoothly.
    Podium places go to1d (my LOI and great penny drop moment), the partial homophone 3d and 9a.
    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio I think) and DT for the top notch entertainment

    1. Meant to say RIP the genius that was John Lennon, who would have been 80 today. Anyone for a bit of “Help”, “If I fell” “Girl” and countless others?

      1. Have you noticed the series of programmes on BBC 4 tonight. They are all Beatles related, including a Top of the Pops John Lennon Special and John Lennon the New York Years between 9pm and 10 50pm. I’ll never forget my two live Beatles’ concerts in 1963 and 64, before they became really famous and tickets were more pricy.

      2. My cousin was the May queen at the church fete where John Lennon and The Quarrymen performed. He met Paul McCartney that day. I asked Anne, my cousin, what the band was like. Her reply was that they were rubbish!

        1. As it says in the bible (sorry Brian).”a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house”.

  4. I seem to have found this trickier than others, finishing in the sort of time I expect for the end of the week backpager, so 4*/3* from me

    Thanks to the setter and DT

  5. I found it really difficult to get a start this puzzle but, after nearly giving up, it began to make sense and I finished the rest of the clues relatively quickly (***/***). 14a across was the best clue for me. Amongst the rest, I pencilled a dozen clues in lightly, with question marks next to them, as it wasn’t clear if they were right. In that sort of situation, it’s difficult to get enough checkers to confirm. I suspect it’s probably just me, not finding the compiler’s wavelength. Thanks to DT for reassurance and to the compiler for a good brain work-out.

      1. And me South complete, North almost deserted. Being up at silly hours didn’t help my tuning in.

        1. This was harder than yesterday’s Toughie and even today’s Elgar wasn’t that awful.
          It must be a question of wavelength.

  6. 3*/3*. Unusually for a Friday these days, I found this one a bit of a curate’s egg. It was nicely challenging and mostly enjoyable, but I ended up with a few question marks on my page as a couple of surfaces seemed a bit iffy, and 14a, 22a & 25a didn’t really work for me.

    1d was my favourite.

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

  7. I found this quite straightforward today. My last one in was 14a, which seemed a slightly odd clue to me.
    The one I liked the most was 5d, as it took me a while to spot the homophone wordplay.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  8. Add me to the list of those who spent far too long looking for the wordplay in 14a.
    I’m a bit in two minds about this one but did find some to savour – 9a & 16d took the honours here.

    Thanks to Zandio (?) and to DT for the review.

  9. I agree with Stephen L: after yesterday’s chilly downer, this came as a ray of warm sunshine. Deftly clued, with nice surfaces. I quickly saw 14a as being all of one piece and so it didn’t hold me up at all. Most enjoyable, with favourites 9a, 3d, and 14a. Thanks to DT, whose hints I’ll read now, and today’s setter. 2* / 4*

    I have almost finished an Elgar! (Please, today’s reviewer: don’t give it just 1*!)

    I must mention that a REAL American poet, Louise Gluck, has just won the Nobel Prize. Great news!

    1. Hi Robert,
      Just to let you know that I have finished reading The Go-Between which I enjoyed despite wishing that we’d found out more about life at Brandham Hall following Leo’s departure. Still, that was hardly the point of the novel!
      I’m now wandering the marshes of North Carolina with young Kya.

      1. Great going, Jane! Now, from the elegant spread of Brandham to the salty, pluff-muddish denizens of NC’s waters. Yesterday, I ‘attended’ an all-day ‘read’ (livestreamed from Cornell University) of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye; it was the 50th anniversary of the publication of her first novel, and the extraordinary event will go down as one of the most unforgettable experiences of my very old, very literary life. Now back to the Thunderbolt Kid.

        1. Thought I’d throw another book into the mix for you bookworms. I’ve just finished rereading Stan Barstow’s Vic Brown trilogy (A Kind of Loving, The Watchers on the Shore & The Right True End) for the umpteenth time but not for a few years. Whilst it may not be great literature I’ve always loved the way he writes & the books never disappoint. If you’re not familiar with the writer the first book was filmed by John Schlesinger (Alan Bates, June Ritchie & the great Thora Hird) & Granada made a fine drama of the whole trilogy.

          1. Have you read Stanley Middleton? He shared the Booker Prize with Nadine Gordimer in 1974 with Holiday. He continued writing for many years after about the life of ordinary people. Very different to the angry young men but well worth a read.

            1. Thanks for the tip, Corky. I’ve read most of Gordimer but no Middleton. He just went on my Amazon list. And to Huntsman: I remember the movie A Kind of Loving but have read none of Barstow’s trilogy, so thanks. I’ll check them out too. And to Greta: The Bluest Eye is a good place to start, but my first Morrison was Song of Solomon, which remains my favourite, even though Beloved won all the prizes.

              1. Thanks for the comment Robert. The writer who has some status as the inspiration for Barstow, Braine and the like is William Cooper whose 1950 novel Scenes from Provincial Life is counted as the first of the ordinary lives genre.

                Another novel from the 1970s worth a look is Docherty by William Mcilvanney. A fine raw Scots novel which won the Whitbread Prize in 1975. In the same way as Cooper he is said to be the inspiration for the genre Tartan Noir and is acknowledged by Rankin as such for his Laidlaw series. He was the brother of Hugh Mcilvanney Britain’s greatest sports writer.

                1. Middleton’s Holiday is due to arrive here tomorrow, Corky. Thanks for the interesting detail on Cooper and Mcilvanney.

                  1. I’ve just ordered both Holiday and The Hireling. Hard to remember exactly what I’ve ordered these days as several of them aren’t available in paperback until next year. Not to worry, I doubt the dreaded virus is going away any time soon so it will continue to be a relief to relax into a different world. Having said that, poor Kya isn’t having an easy time of things in the marshes at the moment!

          2. And I would recommend two books I have just read – Anne Tyler DIGGING TO AMERICA which was a delight and Thomas Harding LEGACY the history of Joe Lyons which was absolutely fascinating although unfortunately the large hard back was a pain to read in bed! I had absolutely no idea of the back story of the Salmons and Glucksteins (Joe Lyons was just someone taken on board because his name sounded better) or that they produced explosives in a pseudo cake factory during WWII. Polar opposites but two very good reads.

            1. Hello Daisygirl: I started reading Anne Tyler with her first book, If Morning Ever Comes, and loved her latest, Redhead by the Side of the Road (Booker-nominated this year), but my favourite is Saint Maybe. Thanks for the detail on Harding. Have a good weekend!

          3. Huntsman, the lowest price on Amazon for A Kind of Loving is $940–too rich for my blood. I’ll look elsewhere.

        2. You could also try the “hireling” if you enjoyed the go-between. I’ll take a dip into Toni Morrison.

          1. Let’s throw Susan Hill and Louise Penny into the mix!
            Sorry BD, this is turning into a book club but at least it’s not political.

              1. Well well. I have just read the link and BD does not seem to object to discussions about books, family, dogs, cats, ailments, various moans and groans about life and the world in general so apart from trying not to SHOUT or show off it would appear that we can more or less carry on in our delightful conversational manner. God Bless Dave for affording us all an outlet in these troubling times. (Other deities are available).

            1. I love Susan Hill. The Woman in Black is a great ghost story. We saw the stage play and it was very scary and shocking. The woman sitting next to me screamed and threw her arms round me!

              Talking of books, one of my favourites is Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. It is by no means horrific but is very sad and poignant.

  10. I found it hard too, and took well over time (though I did nip out to post some letters in an attempt to clear my mind), and though I got them all out I had to look here for the explantions of some of the clues (thank you, kind Sir), though still fail to understand what “gum” has to do with 14ac.

  11. I also fell into the same trap wasting time on 14a,it also took me into *** time, other than that it was enjoyable ***, 16d was my COTD.
    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  12. Must have got out of the wrong side of the bed, this morning. The DT was so thin it would not even double up as emergency dunny paper. This was just not my sort of Cryptic and found very little to enjoy. Clues like 28a and 24d are easy enough but leave me Grumpy. I am glad that others enjoyed it. Cheers Gazza and Setter

      1. Apologies. Thx Deep Threat and feeling better after nearly completing the Toughie today with only a couple requiring help but a number needed Dutch’s excellent blog to fine tune how the answer fitted.

  13. I would agree with RD’s CE assessment but this one made up for yesterday’s stinker, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3*.
    I tried to find an anagram somewhere in 14a before I had enough checkers for a tea tray sized penny to drop with a resounding Hmm to follow.
    No standout favourites but I did like 9a and 23d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  14. I found this virtually impenetrable at first. Left it and returned to it much later with an improved perspective. It’s definitely a wave length thing for me. 14a left me head scratching for quite a while too and the gum part is a mystery. Possibly caterpillars eat them – I’m not an expert! I was also waylaid by 22a and 15d. I initially thought 22a was “countesses” and 15d would therefore be an anagram of “in metal to”. ****/*** 3d was clever but my favourite is 9a. Thanks to all.

  15. I thought I was going to fail miserably with this puzzle because I had absolutely zero after the first pass. However, once the coffee began to wake me up it revealed itself slowly. I too spent far too long on 14a. Having come face to face with a Koala when we visited Oz, I spent my time trying to fit one into the answer. My COTD is the rather neat 9a.

    Tough but fair, I thought.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and also to DT for the hints.

    1. PS There is no way I will finish the Elgar Toughie but I just want to say that I thought the combination clue at 4 and 19d was quite brilliant.

        1. I have actually finished today’s Toughie but, I hasten to add, with lots of electronic help. I just wanted to find out how he clues and why I find his puzzles so hard. I found out! There were some brilliant clues but I don’t think I will be returning to Elgar anytime soon.

          Perhaps that is the wrong attitude and I should continue to tackle Elgar with electronic help until I get to know him better?

          Think Star Trek and what the Klingons used for 28a. I had never heard of 7a!

  16. Like some others I really struggled with this one & gave up only half complete but then returned to it after a couple of hours & rattled the answers off pretty quickly so clearly a wavelength issue. Can’t say it was my favourite of the week if I’m honest but still much to like in it. I did like 27a & ironically last in was 12a which took a while. Can’t say I rate my chances but if I can manage Elgar & the Graun cryptic it’ll be the first time ever I’ll have solved 7 consecutive days of both paper’s crosswords.
    With thanks to the setter & to DT

  17. Proved difficult to start and finish but got there in the end. 28a and clues like it seem rather desperate and spoil the enjoyment especially with the cleverness of 9a and 10a.

    Thanks to DT for his blog and to the setter.

  18. Straightforward and very entertaining. 9a was my pick of the bunch. Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

  19. I am in the difficulty with 14d camp, trying to work eucalyptus into it, and also 9a. George said Saint straight away but I knew it wasn’t that, never thought about st. I think it was very clever. Some of the clues were very convoluted and others very obvious so it was a game of two halves, as they say, for me. Dry but cold here in Cambridge, I’m glaring at my green tomatoes which are begging me to make them into chutney – but do I have the energy? It is easier to get it from Waitrose. Many thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter (pleased to read that Chriscross is in the ‘pencil it in’ camp)

      1. I’m rather fond of a large Faber Castell propelling pencil with a rubber grip (great for arthritic fingers) and a long eraser at the end, which can be screwed up to expose a new piece as the surface wears away.

        1. I have never yet found a rubber attached to a pencil which did not make a horrid black smudge when used, but I’m guessing that this must be an exception?

          1. It’s pretty good, the same soft consistency as my sketching rubber. If it gets dirty, you can just rub the surface over a piece of paper on a firm surface.

        2. I stick to using an ordinary rubber, like the ones we used to use at school. I did have a super battery-operated gismo that used a tube of rubber that you had to “let down” like an automatic pencil. It was brilliant for not leaving marks, but in the end I used up all the refills ;-)

  20. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for the discussion and analysis. Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for popping in, Zandio. A most enjoyable puzzle. I did find it tough but, as I said in my comment, it was fair.

      1. A good challenge, Zandio, and its good to be pushed out of one’s comfort zone sometimes. Thank you.

    2. It’s always appreciated when the setter says hello, particularly after such a fine puzzle. Many thanks again Zandio

  21. I am afraid l got off to a bad start by not understanding the. need to split 1 and 9 a.One of those where once l had looked at the blog l thought why could l not think of that.Special thanks to DT and to the setter who completely foxed me.

  22. I had no real problem with yesterdays excellent puzzle but this is way out of my league. Just cannot get on the right wavelength at all. For me *****/*
    Thx for the hints

  23. A solve of two halves for me but I did get there in the end. South came together nicely but North a real tussle.. Spent ages looking at 1a, 9a & 6d before the pennies dropped.
    Nothing wrong with the puzzle, which I enjoyed, just my brain has been moving with the handbrake on all day.
    3d reminded me of the excellent series “Ustairs Downstairs” sort of Londonised Downton. Thanks to SteveCowling Gordon Jackson’s face now replaced by a black labrador of course.
    Thanks to Zandio for the challenge and DT for the review.

  24. Well that was the first one I have completed straight off, after the trials and tribulations of some of this weeks puzzles, for me anyway, a great solve. Its not often that all clues fall into place no need forvhead scratching.
    Thanks to DT and Zandio.

  25. Once I managed to actually get an answer at all I got going without too much trouble – I now expect Fridays to be really difficult so it’s rather become a self-fulfilling prophecy – must hit that idea on the head.
    Like most others I spent ages trying to make sense of 14a before deciding that I couldn’t and that, just maybe, there wasn’t any and like DG I tried to make something to do with eucalyptus fit somewhere – wrong, again!
    I enjoyed this very much and thought there were some brilliant clues including 25a and 1,3 and 16d. My favourite was 9a.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.
    Cold in Oxford today – about to light wood burner for the first time this year.

    1. Cold here at the other place and I was thinking that a fire would cheer us up. We had a wood burner when we lived in the old farm but it was so super efficient that George had it taken out much to my displeasure. I love them, but the open fire is a comfort and I love to see the wood store which right now is full. Your little dog looks so cute, what is he called?

      1. We moved a couple of years ago from a big old six bedroom farmhouse with 1/2 acre of garden – we neither needed nor wanted that much space any more although it was wonderful for about twenty-five plus years – we’re not spring chickens any more and neither needed nor wanted the responsibility.
        We’re now in a much smaller and much more convenient house, much nearer to the centre of ‘the other place’ – the thing that I miss most of all is our enormous inglenook fireplace.
        Our ‘little dog’ wasn’t so little – she was a border collie plus a bit of ‘ je ne sais quoi’, but probably Springer Spaniel, we think, although we don’t know. She was called Annie – we got her about a month after our ‘Younger Lamb’ left home to go to university in London – she was absolutely amazing and was put to sleep nearly six years ago at the age of fifteen and a bit.

        1. I know exactly what you mean about living in an old farmhouse – the oldest part of ours was built by Edric the Plain and taken over by William when he conquered. We had a moat and two ghosts and it was such a privilege to be the sixth name on the deeds. But as you say, if it isn’t your family pile/stately home and the children have left and are not interested in living with no central heating or double glazing – time to downsize. We still miss our dogs!

          1. We had a ghost in the last place we lived in, a house called a Kinton Grange. She was a white lady and was quite mischievous. Our present cottage was built in 1624 and used to be the creamery for the local farm. No ghosts but the urine from the cows means the downstairs walls always appear yellow near the floor no matter how often they are painted.

            We love our log fire and are looking forward to winter evenings.

  26. A much easier puzzle than last Friday’s offering. 2.5*/**** for today. Wasn’t sure which of answers for 5d was being sought out and initially picked the wrong one. Then I got held up in the bottom half, especially with the wrong bung in for 15d. When that was corrected, the rest came along but slower than the first half.
    Nonetheless an enjoyable coffee accompaniment.
    Clues of note 26a, 27a, 8d, 15d & 23d with winner being 26a

    Thanks to setter and DT for hints

  27. This was waaay beyond my abilities, only about half solved.
    I thought I’d got the Quick pun for once, not usually successful with those, but stopped short at “pillock”, well, I suppose it works.
    Thanks to Vandio and To DT for solving it for me.

  28. Another tricky little number but managed to finish unaided. Unlike the others above I found the north easier than the south. 14a was a bung in and still don’t really ‘get it’. To the ‘Book Club’ chaps above, the only book I have failed, 3 times, to finish is Life of Pi which I found completely ridiculous. Sadly I don’t seem to do much reading these days. Thanks to all.

      1. If we are talking about books we abandoned… I am revisiting Middlemarch, last seen in the late 1970s!

        1. I abandoned War and Peace. I tackled it because my mum had read it but I lost interest very quickly.
          I do love the classics. I remember Dickens thrilling me in Dombey and Son when someone who was late for an appointment felt the buildings of the street closing in on him as if in censure. I enjoyed Fathers and Sons by Turgenev. I loved the nihilism of Nausea by Satre which I read while lounging in a small boat that was beached in a bay in Crete.

          1. I have never tried to tackle War and Peace. One issue I have with the “classics” now is they all seem to be published in such tiny font I have to buy the large print versions and they are so cumbersome to handle. I cheated and did Great Expectations on a Kindle, but it’s just not the same as having a book in your hands, I find.

  29. Well put me in the enjoyed it pile. Worked pretty steadily through it the “popular” 14a was my LOI and it was a pleasant sound of pennies dropping when the checkers led me to the answer. Thanks to Zandio and DT

  30. I am afraid that I agree with Brian ****/** 😟 This puzzle took me so long to solve (or fill in 😬) the only plus was the fact that it was raining outside! Favourites were 9a, 26a and 4d which is what I needed after the struggle 🥃 A very big thank you to DT for his explanations and a grudging thank you to the Setter

  31. Took me a while and a lot of head scratching but I did eventually solve it all alone and unaided…..and parsed all the clues. I took 14a as a straight cryptic definition, so had no worries about ‘gum’.
    So, a hurrah day .
    Quite a relief after yesterday.

    Thanks to Zandio and to Deep Threat

  32. I don’t know why I made such hard work of this. I only got a few answers over breakfast. Left to run some errands, and it all began to make sense when I got back. Did need a handful of hints, thanks Deep Threat, and thanks to Zandio.
    Great excitement here, as Tree Arborists have turned up and our removing our 3 problem trees. Triple benefits, this removes a possible hurricane threats to us and our neighbour, let’s more sun through to the flower bed and the lawn, and we don’t have to continually struggle to prune them in between real trimming sessions. Hooray!

  33. This was no walk in the park but overall an enjoyable task. South was less testing than the top half. I completely agree with RD re questionable 14a, 22a and 25a however I would also add 1a to those. Thank you Zandio and DT.

  34. Well this fell into place quite easily. LOI was 14a and as others I couldn’t decide if they ate gum leaves or were toothless.
    The record company was only apparent after I put the answer in. i did enjoy the puzzle but no particular favourites.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and Zandio
    I am doing surprisingly well with the Elgar and hope that Jean Luc has seen 28a
    The grid for the toughie is… tough so the clues seem a little bit easier Very few starting checkers and I am expecting a devious Nina in the perimeter

  35. So we weren’t the only ones who spent time trying to find more wordplay in 14a. Good level of difficulty for a Friday and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  36. I’m in the “perfectly straightforward and enjoyable camp” this evening. Lots to like. Favourite was 9a. Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  37. I found this very difficult again, often do with Zandio. I managed the top half but completely stuck in’t south and the brain is no longer functioning! Thanks to DT for the hints/answers just looked at some of the answers anD I wouldn’t have got them in a month of Sundays!

  38. No problems except searching for word play for too long for 14a but realised it was simply cryptic.
    Loved 25a
    Many thanks to the setter for a satisfying mental workout and to DT.

  39. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but it felt like a Toughie to me. Couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength at all. Needed 8 hints to finish. Was 5*/3* for me.

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