DT 29499 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29499

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29499

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Except for the bits that weren't, I found today's puzzle straightforward.  My opinion of it went up as I wrote the hints and came to appreciate the nice surface readings of most of the clues.  No hidden answer clues this week, which is unusual.

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



1a    Enable me to return old whiskey in person? Just half! (7)
EMPOWER:  The reversal (to return) of ME is followed by half of PERSON containing both the abbreviation for old and the letter in the NATO phonetic alphabet represented by whiskey 

5a    Wanted something done about gentleman (7)
DESIRED:  "something done" is wrapped about another word for gentleman 

9a    Drive Hillman, perhaps, with the Parisian in reverse (5)
IMPEL:  A model of Hillman car with the reversal (in reverse) of a French word for "the"

A Hillman Imp in Paris

10a   Rotten and in charge, this person also removes ordinary administrators (9)
OFFICIALS:  Cement together a synonym of rotten, the abbreviation for in charge, a pronoun the setter might use for themselves, and ALSO from the clue minus the abbreviation for ordinary (removes ordinary) 

11a   What government needs desperately is help, dear (10)
LEADERSHIP:  An anagram (desperately) of IS HELP DEAR 

Jacinda Ardern wins a landslide victory in New Zealand

12a   Leading performer's heavenly body (4)
STAR:  A double definition 

14a   Rows after this month's orders (12)
INSTRUCTIONS:  Some rows or disturbances come after a usual abbreviation for this month

18a   Joy was placed next to single small group (12)
SATISFACTION:  Concatenate a word meaning "was placed", the Roman one (single), the clothing abbreviation for small, and a group of people forming a minority within a larger group 

21a   Python  lay on one's oars (4)
IDLE:  A double definition.  The Python here is a Monty Python .  According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, "lay on one's oars" is a US version of "rest on one's oars"   

22a   Drunk, pa's despair vanishes (10)
DISAPPEARS:  An anagram (drunk) of PA'S DESPAIR 

25a   Taking part in a tango with tense conclusion (9)
ATTENDING:  Link together A from the clue, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by tango, the single letter for grammatical tense, and a synonym of conclusion 

26a   Not totally keen to catch large bird (5)
EAGLE:  All but the last letter (not totally) of keen or enthusiastic containing (to catch) the clothing abbreviation for large 

27a   Oriental festival name? (7)
EASTERN:  A religious festival is followed by the single letter for name 

28a   Base allowed to retain soldiers for a bit (7)
ELEMENT:  The single letter representing the base of the natural logarithms is followed by a synonym of allowed containing (to retain) another word for soldiers 

heating element



1d    Editor with religious book missing cover? It's ok to scoff (6)
EDIBLE:  The usual abbreviated editor with a well-known religious book minus its first letter (missing cover

An edible book

2d    Dad left rook under a tree (6)
POPLAR:  Assemble an informal word for Dad, the single letter for left, A from the clue, and the chess abbreviation for rook 

3d    Savage birds on southern wasteland (10)
WILDERNESS:  Cement together savage or untamed, some large birds of prey, and the single letter for southern 

4d    Australian animal on street picked up germs (5)
ROOTS:  An informal name for one of Australia's unique animals is followed by the reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of the map abbreviation for street 

5d    Pants could fit if nothing's gone knotty (9)
DIFFICULT:  An anagram (pants) of COULD FIT IF with the letter representing nothing deleted (nothing's gone

6d    Lay off  wine (4)
SACK:  Another straightforward definition.  The wine is dry, white, and Spanish 

7d    Response from Royal Engineers before battle (8)
REACTION:  The abbreviation for Royal Engineers comes before battle or fighting 


8d    Good-looking person shedding last hair -- misery! (8)
DISTRESS:  A dated word for a good-looking person with its final letter deleted (shedding last) is followed by a lock of hair 

13d   Rubbish -- spare me hot air (10)
ATMOSPHERE:  An anagram (rubbish) of SPARE ME HOT 

15d   Buy and sell endlessly -- one into bad habit (9)
TRADITION:  Chain together all but the last letter (endlessly) of a word meaning buy and sell, the Roman one, and an anagram (bad) of INTO 

16d   China follows Eastern Standard Time, I guess (8)
ESTIMATE:  An omitted letter in this clue on the Telegraph Puzzles site has now been fixed.  Fuse together the abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time, I from the clue, and what china means in rhyming slang 

The Windows File Copy dialog provides a very poor estimate of completion time

17d   Jumpers maybe the least unravelled (8)
ATHLETES:  An anagram (unravelled) of THE LEAST.  The maybe indicates a definition by example 

19d   Confusion no good in story (6)
TANGLE:  The abbreviation for no good is inserted in a story or yarn

A tangle of wild cats

20d   Snake about to be enthralled by alien's appearance (6)
ASPECT:  Follow Cleopatra's snake by the single letter for about or roughly inserted in (enthralled by) Spielberg's cinematic alien 

23d   Insist resistance cuts fever (5)
ARGUE:  The physics symbol for electrical resistance is inserted in (cuts) a fever with hot and cold fits 

24d   Climbing mountain for a bet (4)
ANTE:  The reversal (climbing, in a down clue) of a Sicilian volcano 


Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable solve.  Top clue for me this week was 28a.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  MAY + CAW + BRAKE = MAKE OR BREAK

110 comments on “DT 29499

  1. I really enjoyed this, I thought it quirky, cryptic and slightly unconventional with the reliance on words being represented by single letters in the wordplay, which was on the whole very clever indeed.
    I had the grid filled in 1* time but a couple of parsings took me into 2*
    I particularly liked 1&2d but top spot goes to 16d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the top notch entertainment.

  2. Quite a few straightforward clues, set me off at a gallop but a few trickier ones in the middle of the grid held me a up a bit (2*/3*). It was moderately enjoyable, particularly the 5d anagram (although I’m not keen on the anagram indicator as a rule it was well used to misdirect here). 3d was a good charade too. Many thanis to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler.

  3. I found this puzzle bitty. Some straightforward clues and some questionable ones. 21a I guessed from Eric Idle being a member of the python team but I’ve never heard of the the expression, either in English or American. 8d is messy and the good looking part is well past its sell by date. 16d would be hard to understand unless you happen to be up to speed with Cockney rhyming slang. Many of us will remember the Hillman imp but our overseas solvers might find this one a struggle to work out too. 14a and 18a are the best clues. **/** Thanks to all.

    1. Greta.

      It’s a common rowing term for the obvious interpretation. When the rowers are cream crackered they flop over their oars unable to row any further. Hence “idle”.

      My usage of it would be more akin to washed out rather than idle but just acceptable for me.

      I missed the Eric Idle bit and spent a good while trying to find a snake of some sort…..

  4. I had this completed in a straight ** time. I did smile at the thought of “Easter Standard Time” (It’s wrong in the print version too).

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  5. Completed this relatively quickly, but it was more like doing the quickie and codewords with 9 bung ins. I will read the hints, I suspect i will learn a lot but i have no idea on parsing of 1a, 10a, 14a, 21a, 25a 27a and 28a; 5d and 20d; Usually it’s only a couple , so a shout out and great respect for Mr K for the hints. I agree that you would need to be of a certain age to get the Hillman reference – so is that fair – or is it a case of “all is fair in love and war (crossword)” ?

  6. 1*/3*. This proved to be a pleasant diversion. Shame about the typo in 16d and I’ve never heard of the rowing expression in 21a. No particular favourite today.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

  7. One of the most user-friendly and accessible puzzles for some time, with nothing obscure and some very good wordplay throughout. 11a was my favourite given current events, although 16d ran it close.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  8. Pretty straightforward today I thought – thanks to setter and Mr K.

    I do find 21a very odd. I take Mr K’s word for it that “lay on one’s oars” is the US version of “rest on one’s oars” but how does ‘lay’ work? If it’s meant to have the same meaning as ‘rest’ (present tense of an intransitive verb) then it surely should be ‘lie’ rather than ‘lay’. If it’s the past tense of the verb to lie then the answer should also be in the past tense.

    1. The following is an extract from Merriam-Webster:-

      Ever been corrected—or corrected someone else—for saying “I’m going to lay down”? In either case, your dictionary forgives you. It’s true that the correct way to make that statement is to say “I’m going to lie down,” but it’s also true that lay and lie have been tripping up English speakers for 700 years, and no one should be judged harshly for being among the confused. The pair is a doozy.

      1. I quote the esteemed grammarian Eric Partridge:
        lay and lie, verbs active and passive, in the infinitive and present and past tenses, are continually misused and confused with each other, sometimes even in good literature.
        He goes on to list Byron and Hemingway as examples of those offending in this way.

  9. What is the deal with ‘Pants’ as it’s an absolute shocker? I’m amazed it’s got any traction.

    I’m all for our language evolving and getting down with the kids, acknowledging their lols and chillaxes etc, but this one is the worst, by a country mile.

    And what rubs salt in my wound is that some of my peers (55 year olds) use it.


    1. It’s just a fun word. Not to be taken seriously. My grandchildren would never use it as its a bit old fashioned now.

      1. What a load of old pants.

        If Hellman Imp is ok for the oldies “pants” is certainly very well used by the under 40 s and is quite common parlance.

  10. I rather breezed through this pleasant puzzle, even remembering the little Hillmans (family friends had a Hillman Minx, maybe not unlike the Imps over there?) but I am weary of ‘pants’ and ‘china’ functions these days. (Grump, grump.) I did enjoy 1,2,& 3d but have no COTD to salute. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ***

    I’ve never heard of ‘lay [wrong verb] on one’s oars’ over here.

    1. Robert, I was reading the Times Culture supplement and spotted an article on a new book The Artful Dickens, the tricks and
      ploys of the Great Novelist by John Mullan. I thought it might be right up your street, I would certainly like to read it.

      1. Thanks, Daisygirl. Indeed, just up my street, and I’ll look it up. Now. (And best wishes to you on our procedure!)

        In my Victorian Novel seminar, I taught a different Dickens novel every term for years. And then, one day, a sprightly young scholar came up to me and said, “Really, Dr Bob: ‘Big Fxxxing Dorritt’!” (Do pardon me.)

  11. Have now read the hints and starting hitting my head against the nearest brick wall!
    Still mystified by 10a hint Why is the abbreviation for ordinary S ? …..
    and 20d Snake 3 letters – got that ; Spielberg alien – got that 2 letters but the hyperlink takes us to two letters for concerning – word in the hint but we only need the letter C . Could someone explain or am I being especially dumb?

    Favourite clue has to be 21a because of the Python connection. I shall be better tomorrow as “I always look on the bright side of life’

    1. Re 10a the abbreviation for ordinary is “O” which is removed from also.
      20d…c= circa or about. re = concerning

  12. I had a Hillman Imp in the 60s. Engine in the back. It used to cut out regularly and I had to unscrew something on the carburettor and blow into it to clear it! Can’t imagine doing that now on these roads.

    1. Mine cut out sometimes because the air inlet to the petrol cap got blocked. Taking the cap off released the vacuum. I left an old newspaper on the bed of the engine compartment once (put there to stop arm getting too oily when working underneath) and it nearly caught fire

  13. Enjoyed the crossword. Took me time to get into the swing of it today but then it went smoothly. Thank you.

  14. An enjoyable, doable crossword ***/***. Took me to *** because I missed the Monty Python reference and the Americanism of a dimly remembered saying. Needed Mr K to help. I know, I know. But I’m 73 and allowed senior moments. Otherwise no real problems. 11a, 14a, and 19a were my favourites.

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter for providing fun either side of of a Morrison’s delivery.

  15. As RD commented, this was a pleasant puzzle although I’m another who didn’t know the 21a expression and – like Gazza – wondered about the mix of tenses.
    Favourite was probably 21a simply for the sense of relief when I realised I didn’t need to search for an obscure oriental festival!

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review. I see that New Zealanders are hanging on to Jacinda for a while longer – can’t say that I blame them.

  16. Quirky but solvable with a stretch of the imagination 🤔 **/*** Thought 11a quite topical and 28a held me up for a time 😳 Favourites 18a & 3d. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 🤗

  17. Definitely a case of a Monday puzzle on a Tuesday but just as enjoyable, completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Add me to the Hmm on 21a.
    No stand-out favourite, but I did like 14a and 16d (even with its typo).
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  18. All has been said really, although two of my bung ins turned out to be wrong. I had “Wildebeest” for 3d and “Destruction” for 14a. I could have kicked myself when I discovered the answers. The trouble is, I know “inst” is this month and was working with that until I put in 3d. No real favourites today but there were some good surfaces.

    Many thanks to the setter and also to Mr. K for the review and hints.

    1. My first pencilled in attempt was Wildebeest too. Like you, I realised my mistake, when I twigged that ‘ inst’ is this month. After that, the NW corner fell ibto place.

  19. Very enjoyable even with the missing letter! Must admit i forgot in 5d Pants is an anagram indicator, trying to fit underpants or knickers into the answer was tricky.
    Thx to all

    1. Ref 5d, I ‘solved’ the clue thinking that pants was the definition and get knotty the anagram indicator. It still works, but not as well, I grant you.

  20. A welcome way to break off from ongoing computer hacking problems. North came first. Fun to be reminded of the diminutive buggy in 9a and Maggie’s memories amused in comment 13. Totally agree with GordonG273’s aversion to 5d pants and add ‘me too’ to others’ comments re grammar in 21a. 23d surely not really synonym for insist. 4d was probably my Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  21. 21a held me up for a while as I chased around looking for every type of Python before the penny dropped. 19d also held me up looking for a word where I had to remove the “g” ( no good). 28a was straight in. What a surprise! 16d was my favourite. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  22. I’m someone who lurks and reads and rarely comments. Enjoyed this crossword, although didn’t realise the Python connection. Daisy girl I hope things go well for you. I had a total knee replacement on 14 th September and am walking much further than I could before. The exercises are important. Thanks to Mr K for the blog and the setter.

    1. Thanks for your good wishes, I am all packed up and ready to go and drinking water every hour!

        1. Don’t ask me, just what I have been told to do! I’ve just nearly had a ft as the Nuffield rang and I said oh no, you are not cancelling me are you. Repeat I if March 24th. But no, they took me through a whole lot of coved questions even tho I had a Covid test on Sunday. My nerves are in shreds I am calming myself with the ironing!!

          1. Maybe best to forget about demonstrating your party piece for quite a while after you get home?

          2. Water enough of, prevents your blood getting thick and therefore DVT if you’re not moving around.

        2. Good luck, Daisy. My best advice is to do the exercises that the physios give you after the op and get out walking as quickly as you can. My surgeon said after all four of my joint replacements, “I’ve done my part but it won’t work as well, if you don’t do your part”.

          1. Yes so many people have told me that! Fortunately I have been doing some exercises every morning for as long as I can remember so it won’t be strange to me. But yes, I do wonder if I shall still be able to do the splits again!

              1. All the best, Daisygirl.
                As others have said, it will make a huge difference to you…but you do have to do the wretched exercises . (Not from my own experience, but that of an aged (90+) relative.)

              2. My son tells me to remind you that stairs are your friend. A mate of his avoided them and now is back to square one.,.. unable to bend his knee. Good Luck!

  23. After all the moaning about 21a, which I found straightforward, no ones mentioned 18a the answer to me does not equate unless the word very is put in front of it. I’ve made my bed so I will lay in it.

  24. Like Mr K, I found this a quite a pleasant challenge apart from a couple of clues. I ended up mulling over 21a and 27a until the penny dropped in the case of the latter. 21a was my last in and a bit of a guess as I couldn’t get anything else to work. As others have mentioned 8d is messy. 11a raised a wry smile and probably COTD was 18a followed closely by 10a. Overall a **/***.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  25. Don’t understand your point Bob? I found it difficult to parse until enlightened by Mr K’s hint but not sure where or why very would fit into 18a.

  26. Another lovely puzzle. I knew Mr Idle was a Python but was not familiar with the rowing term. My mate and I paid £40 for a Hillman Imp back in the 1970s and took our girlfriend’s to Cornwall for a holiday. The car just about got there and limped around for a fortnight. As we were about to return the clutch cable snapped so I drove it back to Coventry where we parked it up at my mates house. It stayed there, rotting away with weeds growing through it for about thirty years. One day a chap from the maisonettes overlooking the back of my mates house knocked his door and offered to buy the car for the registration plate. He paid a tidy sum for the car and my mate to his credit gave me half. Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr Kitty for his review

    1. My first car, a Ford Anglia with the sloping rear window, cost me £39. It lasted about two weeks!

      1. My first car was a Ford Anglia, too. It cost me 40 pounds on h.p. It lasted for a year or so, although I had to get some new front seats from a scrapyard. I sold it to 2 Irishmen for 7 pounds.

        1. My first car was a 1937 Austin 7 – I had to double declutch. There had been a figure of some sort on the front of the radiator which had been removed before my father
          bought the car for me and if I was going downhill and braked, a fountain of hot water came up out of the screw hole in the radiator cap and over the top of the car. It
          raised eyebrows. Little orange indicators which flipped out although one was more inclined to have the window open and do hand signals. The battery was under
          the passenger seat and it smelled beautifully of leather. We called it Percy Vere because you had to.

          1. Oh what fun. I, too, learnt to double declutch. . I can remember once seeing a car whose indicators looked like a hand with a shammy leather glove on it. Those were the days!

      2. Now you have really started the reminiscences! My first car was a 1951 sit-up-and-beg Anglia bought for £20. I remember vividly a trip down the A1 approaching Apex Corner going flat out (about 55mph) carrying three pals for a night out in London, when the offside front tyre blew out. To this day, I still don’t know how I kept it from overturning. Happy if foolish days.!

      3. My first “car” was a Reliant Regal 3 wheeler which had a similar sloping back window They had to weigh less than some silly low number. Had it jacked up with front wheel off when jack tipped dropping the front of the car on top of me. It was light enough fortunately to lift & get out from under!
        Later I had two more Reliants, highlights of my “car life”, SE5 & SE6 3 Litre Scimitars. 3 child family forced reluctant sale as the ad said.

    2. I love the story about the Hillman Imp and the trip to Cornwall Never had one of those. When I split with a former fiancé he used half of our building society account, which from memory contained £64, to buy a Mini Cooper. I later favoured minis starting with one with a floor start and sliding front windows.

    3. We ventured to Cornwall and back in a 1953 Morris Minor, bought for £30 back in 1965, the year before we got married. Surprisingly, it made it there and back.

      1. Funnily enough on the way back we were passed by friends in a Morris Minor who pulled into a service station on the M5. We joined them to hear of their trouble free trip then left the services to join the motorway with no functioning clutch pedal. Great fun for me. The only person who dared to drive

        1. There M5 wasn’t yet built in 1965 so it took a very long time to get down to St Ives and back to Maidenhead. But interesting 😊

  27. Solved with no real hold ups although a little delay with 21a as I never thought of that particular python. I guessed that the rest of the clue was a saying or expression and found the definition. There are several variations of which Rest seems to be the most common. I did not have a problem with lie/lay. If the setter had used lie he would have been using three of the four letters which could have confused when parsing. This became a favourite once I got there. Other favourites 14 and 26a and 4 and 16d. The latter was so straight forwarded I missed the error. Stupidly failed to parse 27a – I wondered where they hold an Eastern Festival! I would not have parsed 28a in a million years although the answer was obvious. I had no trouble either with the Hillman Imp or the China plate. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  28. The anagram fairies have bedn put again, very enjoyable crossword, it took me a littke while to sort out Python as well.
    Still vastly entertaining.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  29. Very entertaining and some extremely clever clues. I liked 1d and 11a was rather apposite, not too keen on 5d and there has already been discussion
    about 21a. Just good fun, many thanks to the setter and Mr. K – I liked the big cats at play!

    1. Good luck from me to Daisygirl. You’ll soon be changing your pseudonym to “The bee’s” 😊

  30. I would have enjoyed this but there were a few awkward clues, and the oars one did me in. Never heard that phrase, here nor there. I did bung in the Python chap, and luckily it was right. Thanks to the setter and Mr K, particularly for the cat eating book picture. We had one cat, Basil (named after Mr Fawlty) who loved all things paper. No sooner had you opened a box or a birthday card, before it was punctured with small tooth marks all round the edge. But at least he wasn’t partial to loo paper, like his brother Rupert.

  31. Solved in double quick time before my lunchtime sarnie was really nibbled at. I know more about Pythons than rowing so that was a bit of a bung in. I learned to drive in a Hillman so that wasn’t too difficult and that gave me plenty of time to stare at the toughie where only the Indian state would reveal itself.
    I did enjoy this and equally enjoyed reading the blog, Thanks to Mr K and setter
    I will go and stare at the toughie a bit more but not really feeling it so far.

  32. A bit of a quirky puzzle in spots. **/**** for me today. Several of the 4 letter answers took a while for the PDM to hit. Last area completed was the SW … caused me to make use of the hints to get through that area.
    Some clues I liked were 9a, 21a, 28a, 1d & 24d with 9a the clear winner with 21a runner up.
    9a may have been harder for non UK solvers to figure out given the regionality of the subject of the clue

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  33. A pretty swift solve with no parsing issues other than briefly trying to entertain African game in 3d. No real favourites today although I thought 11a spot on. Wishing DG all the very best.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K

  34. This was surprisingly friendly! The Hillman came to me immediately, I remember it well. The Python was also a spot on solve, we’ve had him before and I remember a memorable interview with John Cleese on the BBC reminiscing about Monty Python. We’ve had 26a several times recently. Hard to pick a fave but liked 3d.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the hints and pics.

  35. Solved alone and unaided but neededhelp with the parsing of some….particularly 21a. Like others, not an expression I am familiar with .

    For no reason I can explain, I did not take to this puzzle….but I may be just grumpy today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.
    Definitely dreich up here in Dundee today.

  36. Not tricky apart from the unfamiliarity with 21a, just like almost everyone else, but guessed at the python.
    Not sure that 18a = joy but never mind.
    My favourite by a very long way was the topical 11a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr k.
    Going back to cars now – my sister and I learnt to drive and then shared an A35 van – it had flippers not indicators and one of them needed a good whack which was fine if you had a passenger but less than good if you didn’t. It was so old and rusty (long pre-dated anything like an MOT) and eventually the floor in front of the passenger seat gave way completely so we took the seat out and any passenger had to sit in the back – not much fun if it was your turn to not drive and, therefore, had to sit in the back and it was raining as the water from the puddles got thrown up into the back. It was a rather boring grey so we (sister and I) painted red stripes on it. Our Dad was furious – not because the van mattered but because it made us instantly identifiable as his daughters and he was a JP at the time. When I was eighteen and had been training as a nurse in Oxford I was home for a couple of days off and my sister managed to shut my fingers in the door of the van which broke three of them – I was off sick for six weeks and nearly dropped a ‘set’ as we were only allowed a limited amount of sick leave before we had to qualify a bit later.
    What a very long time ago all that was.

    1. PS Our van took four gallons of petrol and two pints of oil (!!) once a week and cost just under £1.

    2. We had a Ford Prefect that had “flippers”, I remember it well, it didn’t last long, no match for our Jamaican unpaved roads. When indicators came in, we were required to add flippers because people were “used to them” and wouldn’t know what the blinking lights were. They never worked well.

    3. Ah, the days of the flippers, which you had to bash to get to work. The crank handle to start the car. The AA motorbikes and side cars whose drivers would salute a car if they saw the AA badge on the front. The days when you sat in the car at a filling station and an attendant delivered your petrol with a cheery smile. Do you remember shots of Redex? Then there were the inefficient heaters so you froze in the winter – we had winters back then. ❄️

  37. I’m in the “well I liked this” camp this evening. I quite like them easy on a Tuesday as it gives me time to complete them after having been out with my dogs all day and before playing darts, which now starts at 7:30 due to the 10 o’clock curfew. Favourite was 21a as it took a while for the penny to drop. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  38. Blimey – my first car was a Morris Marina ‘automatic’ in 1988 – when I picked it up the lady told me it only had three gears; forwards, backwards and reverse
    There were long bits of string tied to the wipers which I immediately took off, only to replace them the first time it rained (Ah, that’s what they’re for)
    It barely got to 30mph which is just as well since the brakes were not good and there was always the worry that the chassis would stop, but me and the rest of the car would not

  39. We enjoyed this and appreciated Mr K’s pic for 11a. The expression in 21a was new to us too but guessed what it must mean.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    1. In botany, the radicle is the first part of a seedling (a growing plant embryo) to emerge from the seed during the process of germination. The radicle is the embryonic root of the plant, and grows downward in the soil (the shoot emerges from the plumule)
      When the germ of a seed germinates it produces the root

      1. That’s an excellent botanical explanation, John, but perhaps more simply, and probably what the setter would have intended, is that one of the definitions of “germ” is “an initial stage from which something may develop”, as in “the germ of an idea”.

  40. Sorry for lateness….could someone explain why ‘pant’is an anagram indicator…thanks in anticipation

        1. Purely British I think. I’m not sure how and when it started here, but in the US the equivalent term meaning trousers doesn’t mean rubbish, as far as I know.

          Also, when did we start (and stop) saying Knickers as a substitute for Oh Damn?
          I’m ashamed to say I use the bad swearwords (even subvocally) far more than I used to when I was young.

  41. 2*/3* ………
    liked 20D ” snake about to be enthralled by alien’s appearance (6) ” ….. also the hints & tips

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