DT 29494 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29494

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29494

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

It was a quiet day at the polling place so I sneaked away from work there so we could put this blog together at our usual time.

Enjoyable Jay puzzle once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Twin full of spirit rejected such mysteries (7)
ENIGMAS : A word meaning twin or identical contains a spirit, often flavoured with juniper berries. All this is reversed (rejected).

5a     Communication of formal agreement to get rid of Republican (7)
CONTACT : Remove R(epublican) from a formal, usually written, agreement.

9a     Things smokers use to protect new teeth (5)
FANGS : An informal word for cigarettes contains N(ew).

10a     Drama at sea with sick old creature (9)
ARMADILLO : An anagram (at sea) of DRAMA, then another word for sick plus O(ld).

11a     Irascible type‘s gone out after seeing dog dirt (10)
CURMUDGEON : String together a mongrel dog, sloppy dirt and an anagram (out) of GONE.

12a     Leaves with no parking skills (4)
ARTS : Remove the letter used to signify parking from the start of leaves or goes away.

14a     Amazement of criminal upset splinter group (12)
STUPEFACTION : An anagram (criminal) of UPSET and then a splinter or special interest group.

18a     Metamorphosis contains a tense exchange of words (12)
CONVERSATION : Another word for metamorphosis or change contains ‘A’ from the clue and T(ense).

21a     Scheme corporation has to employ student (4)
PLOT : A large belly corporation contains the student driver letter.

22a     Corner with talk of flower display (10)
BUTTONHOLE : A double definition. The flower display is often on a lapel.

25a     Egomaniac should be upset and sorry (4,5)
COME AGAIN : An anagram (should be upset) of EGOMANIAC.

26a     Do very well in old prison when cut off (5)
EXCEL : The prefix meaning old or former and a prison room with the last letter missing.

27a     The French must be in because there’s quiet (7)
SILENCE : A synonym for ‘because’ contains the French definite article.

28a     Son will be taken in by respectable lineage (7)
DESCENT : Respectable or seemly surrounds S(on).


1d     Result of endless personal belongings (6)
EFFECT : Remove the last letter from a word used for personal belongings.

2d    Dismiss a large part of design, or exclude (6)
IGNORE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

3d     Flies prophet across South American capital (10)
MOSQUITOES : The prophet who led the Israelites out of Egypt contains the capital of Ecuador.

4d     Dross incorporating new vernacular (5)
SLANG : Dross or mining waste contains N(ew).

5d     Succeed with Italian — you must be joking! (4,3,2)
COME OFF IT : A 4,3 phrase meaning achieve success, and then the abbreviation for Italian.

6d     Closed union may be set up to employ such a model (4)
NUDE : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Reacting rashly perhaps to unusual ill-grace (8)
ALLERGIC : An anagram (unusual) of ILL GRACE.

8d     Number moving south with a need, disheartened (8)
THOUSAND : An anagram (moving) of SOUTH, then ‘A’ from the clue and the two outermost letters of need.

13d     Trained surgeons will accept credit for parasites (10)
SCROUNGERS : An anagram (trained) of SURGEONS includes CR(edit).

15d     Suggest job with university behind schedule (9)
POSTULATE : A job or work situation, then U(niversity) and a word meaning behind schedule.

16d     Choices underpinning island church’s help for climbers (3-5)
ICE-PICKS : Start with the single abbreviation for island, then the Anglican Church and a synonym for choices.

17d     Relaxed at home because mother left (8)
INFORMAL : The two letter ‘at home’, another word for ‘because’, an informal word for mother and finally L(eft).

19d     Good point that hurt, filling time unoccupied (6)
TOUCHE : The first and last letters of ‘time’ surround an exclamation meaning ‘that hurt!’.

20d     Fanatic‘s beginning to expect much after the last letter (6)
ZEALOT : In the order they appear in the answer we have the last letter of the alphabet, the first letter of ‘expect’, and a 1,3 phrase meaning much.

23d     Took a corner with no right to be on pitch (5)
TUNED : Remove R(ight) from a word meaning took a corner.

24d     Curry favour, seeing supporter welcome wife (4)
FAWN : A supporter or enthusiast contains W(ife).

25a was our favourite this week.

Quickie pun    write    +    sarong    =    rights a wrong

102 comments on “DT 29494

  1. I thought this at the friendlier end of Jay’s compilations and this made it most enjoyable. Having said that, it did take me quite a while to break into it but eventually it surfaced. My COTD is 7d because it contained a neat diversion that made me look at the wrong word in the clue. 22a also gets a mention.

    Many thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable puzzle and thanks also to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

  2. My rating is 2*/4* for today’s J-less pangram which was very enjoyable although I did notice the repetition of “new” = N in 9a & 4d.

    7d was my favourite and there were a number of lovely words to be found in the grid with 11a, 14a & 20d also making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

      1. You are absolutely right, Huntsman. Probably just a coincidence, but it’s intriguing that the two missing letters are both part of his pseudonym.

          1. Indeed it would but he might have managed without an E. “Gadsby” by Ernest Vincent Wright does not contain the letter E.

  3. A typical Jay puzzle, nicely challenging with flashes of brilliance.
    Not sure that 22a actually works as a double definition and I hate the word that goes around “new” in 9a so I’ve knocked off half a point on the enjoyment factor.
    I’ve squeezed an extra place on the podium and gone for 1&11a plus 19d with top spot going to 25a
    Many thanks to the 3 birds for the top notch entertainment

    1. I think 22a does work as a double definition but only once you realise that the first definition is the first three words of the clue.

      1. Thanks for your feedback Kath but the first definition (the verb) wasn’t the part I had an issue with (I got that completely), rather it was the second definition (the noun) which I now realise can be a single flower display as well as the hole in which it’s placed.

  4. It took a long time for me to get into this puzzle and one corner held me up at the end (3*/3.5*). Some of the clues were a bit lacklustre for Jay, I thought. However there were quite a few good ones and I liked 3d (geographical clues appeal to me) and 22a, although it was my last one in and it took a long time for the penny to drop with the latter. Thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis. I’ve onlee been asked to help out at an election once and the whole room was heaving with people, so you were lucky to sneak away.

      1. Welcome, Lumen! I didn’t see you sneak in. Hope to hear more from you. We’re not a bad crowd. 👍

  5. A benign Jay today but no less enjoyable for that. **/**** I don’t appear to have a y or a j in my grid, RD, or have I got something wrong? Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll opt for 14a because I wouldn’t automatically look for an anagram of upset. It’s usually an indicator of another word or words in the clue being mixed up. Thanks to all.

  6. A two-visit solve for me with SE corner holding out. 22a being my nemesis. Enjoyable but not Jay at his best I thought.
    Sprinkling of good clues with 11a my COTD, although Biggles gets annoyed when told of another cur / dog clue.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks
    First video doctor’s appointment at 12 so must put on make-up ready. Got the clapper board etc. Wonder if they will insert ads for BUPA?

      1. Good luck LBROK. At least you get to see the doctor whom you’re consulting. My husband’s hospital appointment in Oxford was replaced with an audio phone call, not with his usual doctor but one he’d never met, who seemed to know next to nothing about his case.

        1. Why does that not surprise me. It would be easier to break into Fort Knox than gain admittance to my surgery & hospital outpatients is beyond a joke. I’m overdue to have a venesection (pint of blood off) due to haemochromatosis & frankly it would be easier to do myself.

          1. Why does that not surprise you? Well, it should, mainly because Chriscross is talking about our hospital in Oxford – not that I’m at all biased or anything like that.

            1. It was the NOC, Kath, not the JR. They are obviously out of their usual routine, due to Covid. After the telephone appointment, we had a letter inviting us to a ‘face to face’ appointment, postmarked 25th September. This, with all ‘face to face’ appointments, was cancelled by another letter postmarked 28th September ( unless one received a phone call from the Admin. Dept.). The doctor, we were told would telephone Jim on the day of the appointment. We stayed by the phone all day. No phone call from the doctor.

              1. Ah – in that case I give in – friend of ours has had similar problems with the NOC. Husband and I have spent a lot of our working lives at the JR (husband still does) so I always feel a certain amount of loyalty towards it.

                1. Jim’s telephone appointment at the JR a few weeks ago was a different story. It was the doctor we normally see and she was most reassuring, explaining that the doctors at both the JR and the NOC were not keen to change Jim’s complicated drug therapy, so as not to destabilise his condition. The Neurology Dept at thr JR is excellent.

        2. Thanks all. Absolute waste of time. Lay waiting for an hour – no call came. Phoned surgery to hear that doctor had tried at appointed time & got number unobtainable. He will now try again “later on today”.
          NHS working? What a load of “Substitute hair for fat in stopper, for spheroids (8)”
          Very much the comment of an old 11a I know.

          1. Oh dear, so many things to go wrong how annoying for you. I have to set off tomorrow at 7 to get George in to plastic surgery for a fourth (mustn’t shout and use capitals) op to remove a squamous cancer from his head fingers crossed no skin graft needed this time dashing out whilst he is in theatre to drive down to the Nuffield for my pre op – I feel faint at the thought of tomorrow. No time for the crossword I fear.

            1. On the same principle as taking a book with you that you really need to finish to find out whodunnit or whether the characters end up happy ever after, , take the crossword with you and then you won’t be kept waiting for your appointment. Take a book with a long way to go to the end and you’ll be waiting for ages

            2. Good luck to both George and yourself for tomorrow. I had a squamous removed in June, with two surgeries to get all of it, and no plastic surgery this time. CrypticSue is right, take a crossword and a book or magazine, and you’re sure to be called before you get a chance to look at them.

              1. Oh BusyLizzie, poor you! Was it on your head? George’s head looks like a disaster area, good job he is tall but waiters have been known to faint
                when he is sitting down!. I was horrified to see Prince William (similar colouring to George and thin hair) in Africa without a hat. I felt like writing to Katherine to tell her to make him keep his head covered. It was too much rowing without cover that did for George. Unfortunately we shall be gone long before the paper arrives and the walk from Plastic Surgery to the concourse to buy another DT might well be beyond me. I shall use my new Blue Badge to park for the first time! I have a good book and my Kindle for Scrabble.

                  1. Good luck to you and George from me too DG. Do tell me how do you play Scrabble on your Kindle? Yes, William should wear a hat in Africa. I had a malignant melanoma removed in Addenbrookes in 1984 because I used to love sunbathing in Cape Town, big mistake.

                    1. Well it is a Scrabble app, I think I paid a couple of pounds for it but so long ago I cannot remember. I play against the computer although you can choose to play against real people who could be anywhere in the world and presumably log in to play with whoever is on tap. I’ve never done that, because I tend only to play scrabble when waiting around for something, rather than actually sitting down to play solidly which I think you would be committed to do if you had a proper partner! I also have an app on my iPhone and I also have several solitaire variations. I have just been to check the app,. it is by Mattel. Good luck. There is an option where you can have 3 words put in and I often start by asking them for a starter word at the beginning which is always a high scorer. In the back of my suede cover I have disgracefully written in biro on the suede all the really useful words like Qis, Qat, Yhem and Dex! Good luck.

              2. Ditto BusyLizzie, now following up with two lots of radiotherapy ‘just in case’ at the QE in Birmingham. I have to say both Dermatology in Solihull and the QE have been fantastic.

          2. Bad luck! Here’s wishing that you don’t have any more aggravation! It’s bad enough having something wrong.

        3. My check-up with the consultant opthalmologist for glaucoma was to be replaced with a ‘phone call but I thought an audio consultation inappropriate for an eye problem so went physically to the hospital and my consultant agreed to see me there and then (presumably between ‘phone calls) – full marks to NHS.

  7. The first pass yielded 1 answer at 15d & I feared this was going to be a real struggle. As it turned out it was a pretty swift solve in a shade over **time with no real hold ups or parsing issues. Liked 11&14a chiefly because they’re great words but I’ll plump for 19d as my pick from the usual array of quality clues from Jay. Currently 5 shy in a doable Toughie that’s also very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

  8. Another enjoyable J day with nothing particularly frightening encountered.
    My picks have to include the expressive word at 11a along with 22a & 7d which both raised a smile.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – when will you know the results of the election?

    1. Voting closes at 7pm on Saturday (7am your time) and we should have a pretty good idea of the result a couple of hours after that.

  9. All quite straightforward, as we expect from Jay. Finished in ** time, with 3d as my COTD.

    Do climbers use 16d? I thought they used (3,4). I thought 16d were what the mafia used to (3) their opponents on the waterfront.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  10. I found this a little more challenging than the ‘average’ Jay and a small amount of head scratching was required for completion at a gallop (just) – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 11a, 3d, and 17d – and the winner is 11a, what an interesting word!
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. A slow start but then progressed smoothly until held up by the long ones. Took me much longer than it should to twig to 5d as had first and third words. Last three in were my favourites, 11a, 22a and 3d. Classic Jay smooth surfaces, 22a took a while to parse and eventually twigged to be “buttonholed” at a party. Great stuff and thanks to Jay and the K’s.

  12. One of the few I’ve ever completed without hints – must be improving. 22a last in, very clever I thought Thanks Jay and Kiwis. Hope the election goes your way..

  13. We’ve come to expect excellence from Jay, and today’s classic is no exception. Hope we don’t become too blasé about this gifted compiler, though. I especially liked the idioms today, 5d and 25a, as well as the unique adaptation of 19d, my COTD. Good point, Jay! Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. ** / *****

    Great Toughie today.

    1. Did you do yesterday’s Graun Robert ? That 33 letter 7 word answer was something else – I eventually got the answer but it would have taken me beyond Christmas to parse it

      1. Can’t seem to concentrate today. Not having much success with yesterday’s Graun–nowhere near getting the 7-word answer yet.

  14. This lovely puzzle by Jay took me to *** but that didn’t matter as the clues and solutions were so well formed. Have to mention 11a, 22a, and 3d among a great set of clues which made me work very hard. My thanks to the 2Kiwis without whose hints would have left me uncovering the answers, and to Jay for continuing to provide enjoyment and challenge on a Wednesday.

  15. The lovely surface of 7d put it at the top of my list of many worthy contenders for best clue. As usual for a Wednesday, the superlatives are flowing from commenters ahead of me. This JY-less pangram was an absolute delight from start to finish.

    Thanks very much as always to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  16. Today’s solve was very enjoyable. Absolute topper for me was 23d with a marvellously smooth surface. It was my LOI. Call me slow…

  17. What a great puzzle. Convinced myself 3d would contain Lima so that corner held me up for a bit. Asked husband to define ‘irascible’ for me and he gave me 3 answers (which were not the answer) but completely described himself!. In fact 11a my COTD along with 3d and 22a. Thanks to all from a chilly, rainy Norfolk coast.

  18. Completed alone and unaided and understood all the clues, so a hurrah day today.

    Enjoyed this crossword very much, but found it trickier than most people seem to have. But what do I care? It’s a hurrah day and the sun is trying to shine.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis

  19. Completed at a canter whilst enjoying Red Leicester and home pickled walnuts. Both the puzzle and lunch were highly enjoyable. 11a was my pick today. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2 Kiwis.

    1. I tried to pickle walnuts once but I picked them just too late. The shells were hardening.

      1. My husband pickles them every year. He has to get them before the squirrels take them. He loves them but I never fancy them.

        1. I have a love hate relationship with pickled walnuts. I like the idea because I love walnuts but the experience of eating them pickled leaves me somewhat flat.

          Pickled onions or eggs are a different matter. I love them and have made many batches.

          Talking of food. Each year, on Christmas Eve, we get a bag of Maris Piper spuds from our neighbouring farmers. I met them today while out with Hudson and asked about our yearly exchange of Maris Piper for a couple of bottles of Grouse (the Grouse is for their allowing me to walk their fields. It is not payment for the potatoes.)
          They said they have only grown the variety Wilja this year and I said they are rubbish for roast potatoes and chips. Steve, the farmer told me they make wonderful roasts.

          I disagree. Wilja are waxy spuds and I believe a floury spud is needed for good chips and roasties.

          Thoughts welcome.

          1. I don’t know Wilja. Had baked Maris pipers yesterday with cold chicken. Day before had “new” potatoes cooked in the oven with just a drizzle of olive oil.

  20. Another great Jay puzzle with lots of good clues completed in * time ***** for enjoyment 11a my COTD and mentions for 14a, 22a, 3d,15d and 19d, it was all over too quickly though.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  21. Everyone has said it for me, I just agree it was a delight. Happy Wednesdays.We are not so very far away from Manders and like her are enjoying monsoon weather. Any advice on ark building? I’m off to have a nap. Many thanks to K, K and J.

  22. Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay. We used to see a lot of 10a when we built our first house here, as we were the first house in that phase, so it was like living in a field for a while. Eventually one burrowed under our house, but we were advised to leave it alone as they eat huge amounts of termites, so a plus to have around. He eventually got bored and moved on. We got to see a lot of wild life before the rest of the houses got built, lots of birds and not so welcome, a coral snake right up to the patio door, extremely toxic, which got our cat very excited (through the door). Said cat also went out and foolishly played with a skunk. What a stink!
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  23. Top notch puzzle as always on a Wednesday.
    I am late to it today. I felt a bit heeby-jeeby this morning as I had to go for a scan (routine and it turned out to be all clear) and I get rather claustrophobic in such situations – the scan didn’t worry me, it is the trapped feeling that envelops me. May sound daft but I’m mildly proud of myself for getting through it; the radiographer was magnificent.

    Very warmest wishes and good luck to Daisy and George.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  24. I thought this was great and I didn’t even have my usual problem with Wednesdays which is that my last few answers take as long as the whole of the rest of it.
    I didn’t like 25a but only because that particular expression always makes me ratty – just me being grumpy!
    My last answer was 22a – I couldn’t even think of a word that would fit with the letters and was hunting for a homophone because of the ‘talk’ bit.
    I may be easily misdirected but there was certainly lots of that today and I fell for every single one.
    Lots of these clues could qualify as a favourite so to pick a few out the hat I’ll go for 11 and 22a and 3d (are they really flies?) and 5d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

  25. Lovely puzzle today by our master _a_ (I’ve omitted the birds wings as he omitted them from this grid today)
    I put a couple of ticks by 11a early doors so I will join the 11a COTD camp
    Thanks to Jay and 2 K’s
    Good luck to Daisy and George and anyone else who needs it

  26. An enjoyable Jay puzzle for mid-week again. Solved most of the puzzle then got held up with a few in the NW and then the SE was last in today. **/****
    Some nice clues for favourites including 1a, 11a, 22a, 5d &19d with winner 11a

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  27. This was an absolute delight. Strangely for me the last three in were all long ones, 14a, 15d and 13d in that order. I knew 13d was an anagram but did not get it until I wrote it down and ticked off the letters already inserted. I did not have the problem with 22a. Somehow it just jumped out at me. The last three did not take much time. There seemed to be a lot of the grid to fill but much easier than being left with six or eight 4 and 5 letter clues. No help needed but enjoyed reading the hints, thanks 2Ks, and the comments. Favourites 1, 11, 14 and 22a and 5, 7, 15, 19 and 20d. Perhaps too many but found it difficult to choose and most of them feature as favourites of others amongst you. I did put plan to start with at 21a. I think you could make a nice little story using the words in this puzzle. Sorry to hear about the problems some of you are having with the NHS. We seem to be doing very well here in the E Midlands. Husband saw Dr on a Friday, recommended to ring hospital for a Chest X-ray on following Monday after referral made. Duly did so – given appointment for next day. Doctor rang to give results (no change) but thought H might like a referral. Surgery rang next morning to say referral letter waiting. I walked through local hospital outpatients recently and the usual standing-room only had only one patient. It certainly seems the time to get sorted out before the post- Covid rush blocks all the lists. Apologies for the digression but credit where credit’s due.

    1. I agree with you WW. We have the same service from our local GP surgery. Flu jab yesterday and I have a blood test tomorrow. No waiting – just sit in the car and ring reception to say you have arrived, They come out, full PPE evident, and escort you straight into the treatment room.

    2. I live in West Bridgford. We had a choice of 16 weeks of dates to book our flu jabs on line. Just walked in, had it and walked out.
      Also had a face to face with my doctor after a phone consultation a few weeks ago.
      My daughter is a dr in Manchester and has been seeing face to face when needed and doing home visits all the way through since March.

      1. In fairness my experience a couple of weeks ago was the same.
        Now just as things with CoVid have worsened so the restrictions for surgery access seem to have tightened up again. Given how access to GP at the cottage hospital then A&E at the General was fine, with very strict monitoring & procedures it seemed a bit strange to me.
        However I apologise to the NHS staff they are professional people giving a professional service & people like me should accept their judgement.

      2. My insurance company sent a nurse to my house and gave me the ‘flu jab sitting in my favourite chair!

  28. It has all been said once again. It was nice to not have the time pressure to put it together that we had last week.
    Good luck to all those dealing with medical problems during these difficult times.

  29. No problem (as they say) today so was able to gently work my way through. Bunged in 6d as I missed the reverse lurker. I joined Weekend Wanda in wrongly plumping for unparsed plan in 21a which delayed 17d. 19d didn’t occur to me at first due to ‘e’ needing an accent. 7d was Fav. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  30. For some reason I found this tricky to get going but at the end I can’t see why. Quite a few d’oh moments as well. My favourite was 11a because it’s such a good word. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  31. Another lovely Wednesday puzzle 😃 **/**** Many favourites but the best for me 11a, 14a & 16d 🤗 Big thank you to Jay and to the 2x Ks. Nice piece in today’s DT about one of your godwits flying for 11 days non stop covering a journey of more than 7,500 miles, a new record, from Alaska to Auckland 🏆

  32. I did this corner by corner. SW then NE followed by NW and finally SE. with 19d last in. Just the right side of testing for me. Ta to all.

  33. Good stuff as usual from Jay BUT am I the only one to have doubts about 3D – are they really flies?

    1. No Kath too. Mosquito is Spanish for small fly of course, & they look a lot more like a fly than a zip fastener!

      1. 10/10 for you LROK, for reading all the comments. :smile: I’d still rather meet a harmless little fly than have a 3d going bzzzzzzzzzz around me – actually they don’t do bzzzzzz – they do that horrible whiney noise – reminds me of a weekend in Venice – don’t ask – oh dear . . .

        1. Kath
          Do I get a gold Star?
          Always try to read posts, today been looking for Brian to give COTYear to 11a!

      2. Good point re the Spanish derivation…obvious but had never occurred to me…..maybe sour grapes as it was my last in, but I feel the clue was poor….

  34. As a mountaineer who has a pair of 16d in the cellar, could I point out that they are axes and not picks! Granted most non-mountaineers know them as picks. Anyway, that’s my bout of pedantry out the way, another enjoyable crossword from Jay and thanks to the two Kiwis.

    1. The Kiwi’s picture shows some pretty modern Ice axes with heavily curved shafts and picks that point down severely.
      I am sure they are much more efficient these days but I remember my first Ice axe was a Stubai Aschenbrenner – it had a ludicrously long handle and a pick that jutted out at 90 degrees. I did learn some pretty ice axe arrest skills but it was most fun on Snowdon. The pick and adze of two such ice axes were wide enough to span the narrow gauge railway and if you sat them on the rail you could get down from the summit to the Pyg track like greased lightning. you would need a good braking technique when you bailed out or you would be reaching terminal velocity long before Llanberis.

  35. Another lovely Jay Day. I did this a little while ago but got waylaid with other stuff. I always enjoy our Jay.
    Fave was 11a, but so much more to like here.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Kiwis for their hints and pics. Off to the pool now.

  36. Just had a lovely fun evening with the crossword – I do love Wednesdays, great puzzle from Jay yet again. Some lovely clueing, COTD 19 d for me. Started quickly enough, held up in SE and NW then finished in 2/3* time. Sad to hear so many different NHS stories, such an inconsistent service right now. Our flu jabs offered by local pharmacy 4 weeks ago, booked online and done within 7 days. Thanks to all.

  37. Well I got there in the end despite putting in corruption for 11a, for best reasons known only to myself which made 4d unsolvable. Apart from that perfectly straightforward. Favourite was 7d, although other contenders. Thanks to Jay and 2 K’s.

  38. I really struggled with this especially 1a, 11a and 14 a and 3 d but got there eventually with the help, not for the first time of my CCD ; Started late at 6.00 pm

    It would seem from much of the correspondence that many of us live in and around Oxford with the comments about the JR and NOC.

    Favourite clue ( as a recently retired dentist) 9a and my first insert today

  39. With reference to the chat yesterday about comedies on BBC radio back before these crazy “woke” times. This goes back to when we could laugh at ourselves,

    Night all.

  40. Very enjoyable but got stuck on 22a and 19d. Eventually I gave in and resorted to the hints. 3d and 23d were my COTDs. Many thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable puzzle and to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

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