DT 29502 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29502

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29502

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun o peeping through at the moment, but we can look forward to rain later. I see that Nicola Sturgeon told the people of Scotland to prepare for a digital Christmas yesterday: I wonder how many digits the people of Scotland will raise in reply?

Today’s puzzle was not overly difficult for me, though one or two clues needed teasing out.

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           Venues where one’s tried making dates, with space limited (10)
COURTROOMS – Another verb for ‘dates (romantically)’ wrapped round a word ofr ‘space’.

6a           Wager placed by a very old character (4)
BETA – Another word for a wager followed by A (from the clue).

9a           Food things carried out by tumbler (6,4)
SPRING ROLL – An item of Chinese food, or two manoeuvres a tumbler might carry out.

Pork Spring Rolls Recipe | School of Wok

10a         Greek grub takes fine time to arrive? (4)
FETA –Abbreviations for Fine followed by Estimated Time of Arrival.

Feta With Olive Oil and Herbs Recipe

12a         Having a night out? (6)
ASLEEP – Out for the count rather than out on the tiles.

13a         Acceptance I should split costs — I’m bust (8)
STOICISM – Anagram (bust) of COSTS I’M, wrapped round I )from the clue), giving some philosophical acceptance.

15a         Party costume outfit for ironing? (7,5)
EVENING DRESS – This costume for a posh party could also be a phrase for ironing a frock.

18a         Grouped in ‘Archaic/Old’ — should e-readers disregard? (4-8)
COLD-SHOULDER – Hidden in the clue.

21a         Support cricket side being put in again (6-2)
FOLLOW-ON – Double definition: continuing support for a project; or the situation where a side well behind on irst innings can ne asked to bat again by the opposition.

22a         Four-foot boat? (6)
PEDALO – Cryptic definition of a seaside attraction that takes two people to propel it using their feet.

Team Belgium wins European Open Pedalo Cup | Tennium

24a         I’m a farm animal and am kept in pound (4)
LAMB – AM (from the clue) inserted into the abbreviation for a pound avoirdupois.

25a         One’s tasty if fresh, with gin in a cocktail (4,6)
FISH FINGER – anagram (in a cocktail) of IF FRESH and GIN.

26a         In Spain so long, but no one knocked back drink (4)
SODA – Remove the Roman numeral for one from the Spanish word for ‘goodbye’, then reverse (knocked back) the result.

27a         Bashed in passing drunk despised around women’s group (10)
SIDESWIPED – Anagram (drunk) of DESPISED wrapped round the aacronym for the women’s organisation noted for jam and Jerusalem.


1d           One has a share in the lead in Central American country, losing 33 per cent (2-4)
CO-STAR – A Central American country (5,4) has one-third of its letters removed to leave this term from stage and screen.

2d           Out-of-control gunner guilty — nothing odd about that (6)
UNRULY – Alternate even-numbered letters (nothing odd) from gUnNeR gUiLtY.

3d           Single-minded concentration that Tube driver needs? (6,6)
TUNNEL VISION – Cryptic definition of something which might (but not in the medical sense) be useful to the driver of an Underground train.

4d           Paddles topless and bottomless — rude! (4)
OARS – Remove the first and last letters (topless and bottomless) from a word for ‘rude’.

5d           Like a protestor, agitated, lit many houses alight! (10)
MILITANTLY – Anagram (agitated) of LIT MANY, wrapped round another word for ‘alight’.

7d           Keep watch on ship — it’s a cosmetic thing (8)
EYELINER – Split the answer (3,5) and you have ‘keep watch on’ and a type of large ship.

8d           Metal arm is taut inside, having over-reactive nerves (8)
ALARMIST – Hidden in the clue.

11d         Say kite’s electronic rival gets snagged in tree — perfect picture! (5-3,4)
BIRD’S-EYE VIEW – Put together a creature of which a kite is an example, plus the ‘S from the clue, and a type of tree which can grow to a great age often found in churchyards, wrapped round the usual abbreviation for Electronic and a word for ‘rival’ or ‘struggle’.

14d         These days, initially, this could be commercial (4,6)
ANNO DOMINI – The Latin phrase for the current system of dates. Abbreviated to its initials, it could be a short word for a commercial.

16d         Scraps in short sleeves, perhaps, cycling (8)
SCUFFLES – Start with a description which could apply to a short-sleeved shirt, then move the last letter to the front to get the untidy fights needed by the answer.

17d         Small ode — ‘In a state / Slid, not straight’ (8)
SLALOMED – Anagram (in a state) of SMALL ODE.

File:David Ryding FIS-Slalom Hinterstoder 2010.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

19d         Mental block getting ring off? (4-2)
HANG-UP – Double definition: a 1960s(?) term for a psychological issue; or the act of a ending a telephone conversation in the days before mobile phones.

20d         Mr Chi Minh walked, speedy thing (3,3)
HOT ROD – Split this (2,4) and you have the other part of the name of the leader of the Vietnamese revolution and another word for ‘walked’.

23d         One walks in this small garden (4)
SHOE Small followed by a verb for an action carried out in the garden.

The Quick Crossword pun WAY + TIN + GROOM = WAITING-ROOM

131 comments on “DT 29502
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  1. I agree that was not overly difficult but there was enough fun in there to make it interesting. There were some quite complicated constructions, and I particularly liked 17d, 3d and 21a.

    Many thanks to our Friday setter for the challenge and to DT. I see Elgar is the Toughie setter today. Oh well……..

    1. I think you will enjoy the Elgar Toughie. In fact, I’d say one is likely to be “carried away” with it – and only one slightly obscure answer.

      1. I’ve got 8 so far, and one of those might be a bit dodgy.
        I don’t know about obscure, but I’d say there is quite a lot of specialised knowledge involved.
        With these Toughies, I tend to persist for a reasonable length of time, then I cheat on one clue where I think it might have a laxative effect on a few others and come and go over the rest of the day. I regard it as a learning experience and go easy on myself.

        1. I agree, Bluebird. I always tackle the Toughie and use the hints to get an answer that might help. The fact is, I will never learn how to solve a Toughie unless I tackle them and that is the same for Elgar. I am pleased to say I have completed a few Toughies recently and that would never have happened before I joined this blog.

          I love your “laxative effect” description!

        2. Haven’t looked at Elgar today as didn’t get around to doing yesterday’s Beam which I’m currently finding plenty tough enough. Absolutely agree with your strategy for tackling Mr Impenetrable. I adopt pretty much the same system & whilst I once managed about 60% of his on my own & have definitely improved I can’t really envisage ever completing one unaided.

  2. I found this very difficult to get into then made quicker progress until completely bamboozled by NW corner which was like wadding through treacle. I cant parse 25a,26a, 5d,8d. Will need the hints. 16d very clever but I shall read the hints to see how it fits with commercial. 11d I think this works just as well as a cryptic clue and leaving the “snagged in a tree bit out”. Does anyone agree? The usual Friday challenge which I enjoyed. Now for the hints to further my education. I’m sure I’ll need to comment further. thanks to DT in advance and the setter.

      1. Wouldn’t “Say kite’s electronic version- gets perfect picture? “ Give the same answer? I translated Kite to Bird then pluralised it ; electronic version = i . Homophone -say i = eye . Put it all together to give the answer. With my warped mind it worked – hence why I didn’t need the tree. I’m such an amateur!

            1. I didn’t know we had dental connections, Neilo. Are you still practicing?

              I once knew a dentist who hated tea – his name was Denis.

              1. I don’t understand the bit about the dentist who hated tea whose name was Denis – what am I missing? Am I being dim? It wouldn’t be the first time . . .

                1. It takes a bit of thought, Kath but Jane is right. It was a FB post from a postgraduate endodontic teaching organisation I freelance for. I must admit it took me a while before I saw the penny drop.

  3. This was pretty tough and frustrating at times, as I could guess the answers but it took me much longer to parse them (3.5*/3.5*). Thanks to DT for the explanation to 11d, which totally eluded me, although I could see the answer. It was very clever and difficukt to inravel but there was some enjoyment to be had. I particularly enjoyed the superb lurker at 18a and the lovely double meaning at 19d. Thanks to the compiler.

  4. Thanks for the hints on this blog for this and other puzzles. I have used them to train myself after many years not looking at the cryptic crossword.
    9a confused me as I was looking for a plural. I couldn’t figure out 14d…grrr…that would have made it 5/5 this week.

  5. 2*/4*. This was not too taxing and good fun.

    My favourite when the penny dropped was 9a, with honourable mentions for 21a, 22a, & 17d.

    DT, I parsed 21a slightly differently. I took “put in again” to be the definition with support (follow) and cricket side (on) as the wordplay.

    Many thanks to DT and, my guess is, to Zandio.

  6. I thought I was going to be more trouble than it eventually turned out to be as I struggled initially making sense of some of the surfaces. Its amazing what a few checkers can do and eventually I got there in about 3* time. Enjoyable if not the smoothest surfaces, my runaway favourite was 20d which always puts me in mind of the Billy Joel song “We didn’t start the Fire” where he appears in the lyrics.
    3/3.5 *
    Many thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter (I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t Zandio) for the entertainment.

  7. As I expected the hints explained everything and this puzzle is one of the cleverest for a while. Think 14d is pure genius ( I mistyped 16d in my previous comment) along with 2d, and 20d as my stand out clues. **/**** for me.

    Have a good weekend. Looks like little or no rain so should be able to put the garden to bed for the winter.

  8. Certainly a ‘different’ crossword today with some very original cluing and enjoyed it once I got into the swing.
    Agree with RD on parsing 21a as an old cricketer myself.
    Last in was 16d which I failed to parse-thanks DT.
    Liked 20d-my favourite and 18a/11d for the surface and the setters efforts!

  9. Ouch. I found this quite a challenge, in fact the toughest Friday puzzle in memory for me. Those clues with the slashes (/ /) annoyed me, quite frankly, and the adverbial answer in 5d just seems wrong (‘Like a protestor’ = adjective in my grammar). Well, I just did not enjoy this one very much, though the SE is quite clever, especially 20d, and I liked 9a and 7d. I had to seek some electronic help to finish. Thanks to D T and today’s setter. 5*/3*

    Elgar’s Toughie is indeed that, but I made some progress….

  10. As CC says, it took longer to work out the why of the answers than the answers themselves. Agree with RD on 21a. The two lurkers were well disguised. ***/*** It looks like Warrington, where my eldest son and Tilsit reside, is going into tier 3. I expect my grandchildren will be quite happy with a digital Christmas as they all love their “gadgets”. What that means for the rest of us, I have no idea! 17d favourite. Thanks to all.

  11. A pleasant puzzle – thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

    I thought that 5d was slightly odd with the word to be inserted the same as part of the anagram fodder.

    I agree with RD and others on the parsing of 21a.

    My ticks went to 15a, 19d and 23d.

  12. Took me a little time to find a way in but everything went quite smoothly once I’d got that first foot in the door.
    Top two for me were 15a & 3d.

    Thanks to our setter (Zandio sounds good to me) and to DT for the review.

  13. This was like the curates egg for me “good in parts” but after a tussle it got completed. for a strange reason last two in 23d and 12a I just could not see them. Favourites for me 27a and 2d. Stormy weather approaching so will batten down the hatches. Feeling sorry for those in lockdowns especially Wales as I have friends over there and we cannot meet. Zoom is a wonderful thing and so is WhatsApp. Just getting thehang of technology.
    Thanks to DT and setter for another quality crossword.
    Keep smiling all and keep safe.

    1. For those of us in Wales who are in the OAP category, the lockdown isn’t a bad thing – saves us from being inundated with holidaymakers over the half term holiday, but it’s very bad news for the struggling hospitality sector.

      1. Mrs. C and I are basically in the same boat over the border in Shropshire, Jane. Lockdown, I’m still shielded, is not a problem but I do feel for the local pubs where we used to visit and have fun.

  14. I absolutely loved this and thought it was very clever indeed. So many good clues to enjoy. The last few took me a bit of time to work out. Great letter in the paper today from a Brian Ford, so agree with him. Stay safe everyone.

      1. He said let the rest of Britain decide the vote. The Scots keep getting it wrong

        (This comment may or may not reflect the true view of Miffypops)

        1. Brian’s conjecture was that if the whole of Britain were to vote in a referendum on Scottish Independence, rather than the Scots alone, they would be more likely to get a vote in favour of them leaving the UK. He also suggested that the present system of the UK supplementing Scotland’s own income from taxes etc (calculated using the Barnett formula) should, in the event of Scottish Independence, be abandoned (contrary to Nicola Sturgeon’s plans).

  15. Found this very difficult. Although managing to finish this as ***/*** there was little enjoyment. I thought the clueing was rather tangled in places which made parsing difficult and needed the hints from DT to get at the solutions. Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. Really poor surfaces, I agree. There’s no verb activating ‘Like a protestor’, e.g. If the clue had read ‘Acted like a protestor’–or something like that–‘militantly’ could be justified. And those / / made smooth readings of the surfaces impossible for me. I’m still complaining about my ineptitude, as you see. It’s been a very long time since I had to give 5***** for time taken on a cryptic.

      1. I’m afraid I needed at least as many stars as Robert Clark for the difficulty. Anyway thanks to setter for giving my brain plenty of exercise, and to DT and my electronic gizmo for giving me all the help I also needed.

    1. M. I can see where you’re coming from but your surface doesn’t make any sense, though it does still contain everything needed. The clue given suggests that someone is out rowing in the nude – and that is rude! It works and is humorous as well. And I, for one, like a humorous clue, especially if it’s the schoolboy type.

  16. This was fun although 17d held me up a while longer than it should have. I’m with Rabbit Dave on 21a. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  17. Struggled with somemof this…notably the NW corner and was reduced to using electronic help…though I really should have got 1d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

    DT…..re digits to Nicola…have you seen her ratings ?

  18. One of those nights when I was wide awake at midnight so what else to do but attempt the cryptic, with toast to accompany the journey? I left the puzzle on my desk with four clues bewildering me. Returned to it this morning and the answers leapt out at me. Peculiar.
    Still awaiting news from the garage. I made my views known yesterday in a very polite way (“I’ve been a customer for over twenty-five years” etc) but it makes no difference. These days businesses are fronted by twenty year olds who have not been trained in customer service and are instructed to bat away any complaints or comments. It’s not their fault and it is futile trying to pursue the matter. I will be patient for a few further hours.

    Thanks to the setter and DT (although I completed the crossword, some answers ‘parsed’ me by so DT’s explanations were very helpful).

    1. Customer service, Terence? Does this actually exist any more? Spent 4 hours trying to resolve an issue with my energy supplier yesterday via Whatsapp. I think I was communicating with a robot. Nobody answering calls because of covid. Government departments are even worse. All numbers are now “out of service”. I doubt HMRCE would appreciate the same response when it comes to our tax returns.

      1. I think HMRCE are too busy issuing changes of tax codes to answer the phone. I have received 4 so far in the last month each with a different code despite my accounts being submitted by my highly experienced accountant.

        1. Inefficiency, especially in the public sector, is now a regular day-to-day experience for everyone who has the misfortune to need to contact them.

            1. That’s sad to hear, Robert. I haven’t been to the States for a few years now, but was always impressed with the level of service one received.

              1. Me too. We were in Delaware back in the Nineties and were really impressed with the standard of service wherever we went.

      2. So true, Greta. I finally managed to speak with someone today and the repair will be completed next Wednesday – 8 days in the garage for one simple job.
        Regarding robots – I had one small item missing from the grocery delivery this afternoon. Spent 25 mins conversing with a ‘bot’ before it was resolved. The days of a quick telephone call to sort out a small issue are long gone.

    2. It’s the same over here. We actually drive 30 miles each way to get our car serviced, to a great dealership where they invented the term customer service. We first leased our car from them in 2016, such a pleasant experience and a great deal. We returned in 2019 and did it again. And we have recommended them to all our friends. Sadly, so many businesses don’t appreciate that good service = customer loyalty.

        1. Our little local garage is absolutely amazing. It’s got various members of the family – a nephew, both our Lambs and me out of trouble so many times. If I ring them up they just say, “Oh no – what’s happened now”?!

          1. Our local garage have the same thought when they see me I think. Not that I can drive these days, still too dizzy……….or is it dozy or daft?

        2. Unfortunately, Terence good service has been lost to Mamon. I think it began when the first fast food establishments such as MacDonalds, arrived. “Get em in and get em out but take their money first”.

          Mind you, living in a village we have some excellent local businesses that really do give service. Maybe this pandemic will highlight them. While the big supermarkets were stating they had no flour, our local village store had tons of it.

  19. This was quite a head scratcher for me with furrowed brows and Hmms for completion at a canter – 3.5*/3*.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 21a and 3d – and the winner is 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  20. I found this a difficult solve. I only had one after the first pass and then nothing for ages. I left it and took Hudson out for his morning walk and on return had another look at the crossword and immediately put in about six. I then slowed down a bit but I managed to tease it out gradually. I did need a couple of hints but that’s ok by me. It is, after all, what they are there for. I do, however, try not to look at them preferring, instead, to work things out for myself.

    I thought the short 24a was neat and the lurker at 18a was very well hidden and is my COTD.

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

  21. Think on reflection there’s much to like about this one though I made heavy weather of finishing it & needed DT to clarify a couple of parsings (14&20d – both fairly obvious really but couldn’t see). Enjoyed the 2 lurkers & clocked them pretty quickly for a change but I’ll pick 25a as my favourite for no other reason than they seem to have become very popular as pub food & if fresh & served in some nice ciabatta with tartare & a good pint they hit the spot.
    Thanks to the setter & DT

  22. Well that was fun! Most clues I had to solve before i understood the wordplay. Very thankful for 21a as one of the few that made perfect sense before solving.
    All in all pretty tricky.
    Thx to all

  23. An excellent puzzle offering an enjoyable way to pass the time. Which is exactly what it did for me. Which is all it needs to do.
    As for customer service? Some say the customer is always right. Not in my pub they weren’t and whenever it was suggested the regulars would prick up their ears to hear my response. Thanks to the setter and to DT who as a Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater must be feeling well catered for at this time of year. Play nicely children and I will see you on Monday. Come On Exeter

  24. Found this very difficult. Could not get on the wavelength. Had to have hints for 5. So thanks for that. Not enjoyable at all.

  25. Hello all. Compiler here. Thanks for the discussion, though I haven’t had time to read the conversation yet. I’m on my last official day of self-isolating with covid, the main effect of which has been that I sleep a lot. When I did emerge from hibernation today I had a flood that took a couple of hours to clear up — so not a great day so far! I did notice Gazza’s comment about one odd clue. I noticed the same thing when I re-solved the puzzle, but then thought ‘Oh well, nothing wrong with something being a bit odd’ — it seemed like something Ray Terrell might do. I’ll look forward to reading the blog properly later. Have a good weekend.

    1. ‘A bit odd’ will always suit me. It’s only a crossword puzzle. The bloggers like to help but this isn’t a classroom and we don’t want to be stuffy about things. Nobody is going to die although reading some of the comments sometimes makes me wonder. Thanks for the fun Zandio and get well soon.

      1. I thought 5d, for me, a very clever and deliberate diversion. But reading your comment, Zandio, I’m reading more into it than there is.
        Many thanks, indeed, for a most enjoyable puzzle. ****/*****.

    2. I’m happy with the occasional oddity in the mix too, though I wouldn’t want a puzzle full of them!
      Thanks for the continuing entertainment and wishing you well for a full and speedy recovery

    3. Thanks for joining us today, Zandio. I agreed with Gazza about the oddity of ‘lit’ doubling up in that clue, but I also questioned just how ‘like a protestor’ = an adverbial answer. Quirks are of course part of the business, I know, but that one really messed up my solving for the day. Sorry about your flood; I had a big one a few weeks ago, and it nearly swept me out of the house. Hope you’ve recovered from that and from your virus fully. When you read my two comments above, you’ll notice that I seem to be overly whingeing, but I did enjoy your puzzle more than it might seem.

      1. Zandio beware of the double dip, just as you think you’re getting over it you’re grabbed again. At least I was. Then there’s the months of lethargy. Apart from that it’s not that bad. 😁

    4. Thank you for the challenge, Zandio. I struggled with your offering but it is Friday. Some brilliant clueing. I hope you get bettter soon.

  26. Throwing in the towel at the half way mark. Finding it too tricky, and don’t have enough time today. Yet another wet night and day in South Florida. Pity any poor tourists here. Never seen the lake behind our house so high. Luckily we still have our English wellies.
    Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

  27. I can see that the consensus is that difficulty was only 2 stars, but I found it quite tough today. Brain is obviously not functioning properly.

  28. I found this REALLY (I admit to ‘shouting’ boldly) difficult – the trickiest back pager for ages.
    Having now finished it I thought it was good but it has taken me a very long time – not that it matters.
    I agree with Robert Clark that all the slashy thingies and inverted commas in17d were a bit mind-boggling – they certainly boggled my mind to the extent that I didn’t realise it was an anagram.
    I liked the very sneaky – ie, I didn’t see it until the answer was obvious and then saw why – and 25 and 26a. My favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to the setter and to DT.

    1. I’ve been wondering too. The knee surgery is supposedly ten times worse than the hip, as per people who’ve had both. I hope she’s able to do her exercises.

    2. Not a word as yet, Robert. With any luck she’s just trying to persuade the men in white coats to allow her to attempt her party piece!

      1. I would be happy if they just let her tackle the crossword. Her party piece can come later.
        If you are reading the blog, Daisygirl I send you the very best of wishes. 👍

  29. I found this difficult 😟 ****/** needing help with 11d & 25a 😳 Favourites 27a and 9a Thanks to DT and to Zandio, hope things get better for you soon

  30. I thought this was an original and very enjoyable puzzle, thank you Zandio (hope all is now dry!) and DT. My COTD – and of the week – is 12a closely followed by 22a.

  31. Like Roger C et al I found this Tough with a capital T. I am a “captive solver” today otherwise would have given Zandio best, or Mrs LrOK would have stuck my to-do list in front of me with a glare.
    However pleasantly surprised that I felt like tackling it.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT.
    I watched the “Presidential debate” – Hmmm as would be said, not a recording I will be keeping.

    1. So pleased to hear from you LROK, and to know that you’re not only in the land of the living but also feeling up to coping with a jolly tricky crossword.
      Hope that Mrs LROK and Biggles are looking after you in the style in which you’d like to become accustomed!

      1. Thanks Kath,
        Am in the new(ish) hospital tonight in Inverness.
        Amazed to see they have Dyson taps in the loos. They are like an ordinary tap but with two arms stuck out the side. Wash your hands under the tap then wave them under the arms which are hot air driers. Never seen them before – very impressive but what must they cost?? I Googled it – £1500 each. Hopefully they got a bulk discount!
        Don’t think we will be getting them in the bathroom.

    2. I’m also pleased to hear from you today LrOK and that you felt up to having a look at/tackling the crossword. Oh, and by the way I’m not 110 and have never played crown green bowls or enjoy a bet. For some reason, that reminds me a bit of an extract from “What’s my line”!

      1. Was brought up when the Roses match at Old Trafford was unmissable, Washbrook, Ikin, Tattersall & Statham v the Tykes. Didn’t like Hovis & those cobbled streets shook your teeth out on the bike. Happy days.
        Pity I always wanted to meet Mr Martin even if via BD.

  32. “Mr. Chi Minh” – far too obscure. Might have got hot rod if I had not put side-swipes instead of side swiped. Silly-me.

  33. I am really enjoying today’s crossword. I’ve got miles to go but each time I get a clue it is a real pleasure. Doubly pleasant because there is no point in reading or watching the news, it is wall to wall reports about the election to our south or the virus. Boring or depressing, who needs that?
    After days of rain tipping down we have another beautiful day, so warm I am in a short sleeved T-shirt and have all our windows open. All the rain will mean a nice full well, so there is always an upside. Took me ages to convince my sister that I don’t stagger up from the well with 2 buckets on a yoke :-)
    Hubby is outside mowing/mulching the leaves for the beds and planting spring bulbs. This year we are putting down chicken wire, the squirrels and chipmunks will have to fight to get to them.
    I hope everyone is staying well.
    Thanks to everyone!

  34. Yup, in the difficult camp and needed hints occasionally, but there are many clever and amusing clues, full marks for amusement Zandio. I thought the lurker at 18a pretty clever, and 12a had me struggling for ages, pretty damned clever methinks. I needed e-help for 22a, I think that must be Britspeak, I don’t think we have them in the islands or here though I have heard of them.
    I think fave is 9a, but 20d could be in contention.
    Thank you Zandio, please keep well, bad luck getting the virus, and thanks to DT for bailing me out a couple of times.

  35. Well what a diverse lot of opinions. Personally I’m in the “candidate for crossword of the year ” camp. Not that I found it easy, but numerous clues had me hooting with laughter. My favourite being 15a. Many many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  36. Found this puzzle trickier than suggested. ***/*** Did it in several sittings over the morning and early afternoon. Last area completed NE with 8d last in.
    Clues of note 12a, 22a, 1d, 3d, 7d & 11d with winner 3d that made me smile … and runner up 22a

    Thanks to setter and DT

  37. It took me most of the day on and off to begin to find the wavelength. IMHO the clues were a mixture of smart and too clever by half. Enjoyed fathoming 18a and 14d. I would have said the verb part of 23d is rather more specific than “garden”. Particularly liked 18a and 14d. For me 25a is far from “tasty”! Thank you Zandio and DT. Best get well soon wishes to Daisygirl and LrOK.

  38. Reading the blog confirms my suspicions that my brain is wired a bit differently to most people, I found this at the easier side for a Friday puzzle, yesterday’s I found difficult. Horses for courses as they say. Very enjoyable, thanks to all.

  39. The blog is getting longer to read everyday but always interesting.
    Slowed down in the SW which put me on overtime.
    Favourite is the four foot boat.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

  40. Thank you for an enjoyable puzzle and the helpful hints. Reading the comments adds to the pleasure I get from attempting and sometimes solving the crossword.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      We have another commenter called Mary who has been with the blog since its very early days, although she doesn’t comment very often these days. If you could add something to your ‘alias’ that would help avoid any confusion as to which Mary you are

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