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DT 29507

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29507

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. However much you’re locked up or down, or in or out or whatever they’re calling it all they’re really saying is, “You want to do what? Well, jolly bad luck –  you can’t!” At least there is always the crossword which gives us something to do to distract us for a while. Today’s is a Ray T – the clues are all very brief and the Queen is here but the sweetheart seems to be having a day off – perhaps she’s taken the anagrams with her as there are only a couple.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.

In the hints that follow the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.


1a        Doubt atmosphere will envelop returning gents? (11)
AMBIVALENCE — an atmosphere or a general feeling goes round (will envelop) a reversal (returning) of something that ‘gents’ is just an example – it could just as well be ‘ladies’

10a       Short procedure with twitch of the eye (5)
OPTIC — a short procedure or undertaking is followed by a twitch or an involuntary movement

11a       Release former partner, about stifled by routine (9)
EXTRICATE — our usual former partner goes before an adjective meaning routine or overused which contains (stifled by) the two letter abbreviation for the Latin ‘about’

12a       Alien enemy Queen holding power (9)
FOREIGNER — an enemy or an opponent and the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for Queen go around (holding) a noun that means power or control – the answer had to be what it is but it did take me a while to get everything in the right order

13a       Writer’s last words means violin occasionally (5)
ENVOI — the alternate letters (occasionally) of the fourth and fifth words of the clue

14a       A time to purchase cross for talisman (6)
AMULET — the A from the clue and the abbreviation for T[ime] go outside (to purchase) a cross or a hybrid – this one is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse

16a       Learner restricted by unusual throttle (8)
STRANGLE — another word for unusual or a bit peculiar contains (restricted by) the usual L[earner] Oh bother – this was meant to be a number by Berlin – it’s called ‘Take my breath away’ but I have yet to learn how to put this kind of thing into my hints!

       18aWorthless gemstone contains fault (8)
RUBBISHY — a red gemstone or jewel contains a slang or informal word for a fault or blunder

20a       Tyrant vulgarly said, ‘Grab the woman!’ (6)
CAESAR — a homophone (said) of another word for grab or capture followed by another word for ‘the woman’ without the ‘H’ (vulgarly or badly pronounced) – as I suspect I said a couple of weeks ago there’s always one that I know will be tricky to do a decent hint for – this is it but there’s another one a bit later on

23a       Initially talk with awfully nasal grating accent (5)
TWANG — the first letters (initially) of the middle five words  of the clue

24a       Good person playing Star Mania (9)
SAMARITAN — an anagram (playing) of STAR MANIA

26a       Working days limited by choice (9)
OPERATION — some days, or a particular time or age, go inside (limited by) a choice or alternative

27a       Live deity overturning creed (5)
DOGMA — live or exist and a deity or divine being are reversed (overturning)

28a       Painter’s persevering covering place irregularly (11)
 INTERSPERSE — the first lurker or hidden answer indicated by the word covering



2d        Vehicle check on exterior of older car (5)
MOTOR — a check that has to be done on all cars over three years of age is followed by (on) the first and last letters (exterior of ) O[lde]R

3d        Queueing, catching cold for bank (7)
INCLINE — if you were queuing you could be said to be waiting, followed by two words 2,4 – just stick the one letter abbreviation for C[old] in between those two words

4d        Getting on, not concerned with getting on (6)
AGEING — getting on as in becoming older – I have a nasty feeling that I’m missing some subtlety here as I can’t see how the rest of the clue adds anything – does anyone have any ideas?  A quick update and thanks to those who have pointed out what I just couldn’t see. If you put the little abbreviation that means concerning or about into the middle of the answer you get a synonym for concurring.   

5d        Whole existence accepting empty routine (8)
ENTIRETY — existence or being which contains (accepting) the first and last letters (empty) of the last word of the clue

6d        Sound artist producing fantastic creature (7)
CHIMERA — a sound that’s produced by a bell or a clock is followed by our usual crosswordland two letter abbreviation for an artist

7d        Fire cheat over decline on budget (13)
CONFLAGRATION — this is one of those that if you do what the clue tells you to do in exactly that order you won’t go far wrong – a verb to cheat or diddle is followed by another verb to decline or become worn out and, finally, another word for a budget or share

8d        Rescues Leia firstly captured by monsters (8)
SALVAGES — some monsters or uncivilised beings containing the first letter (firstly) of L[eia]

9d        Sea in end ate mariner, swimming (13)
 MEDITERRANEAN — an anagram (swimming) of END ATE MARINER

15d      Supreme Being originally consumed by excess (8)
UNBEATEN — an excess of something such as what remains after a meal (something that just doesn’t ever happen in our house) contains the first letter (originally) of B[eing]

17d      For discipline, one’s in celibate surroundings (8)
CHASTISE — the letter that looks like a one, with the ‘S, goes inside (in) another word for celibate or pure

19d      Root engulfed by driving rainfall (7)
INGRAIN — the second hidden answer – it’s lurking in the last two words of the clue and is indicated by the word engulfed

21d      Contract sailor stuck on reef (7)
ABRIDGE — one of the many two letters that ‘do’ for a sailor is ‘stuck on’ a reef or a sandbank

22d      Corrects this compiler over points (6)
EMENDS — a reversal (over) of how the compiler could refer to himself is followed by some points or some objectives

25d      Agrippa principally wearing clothes. These? (5)
TOGAS — I don’t know what ‘Agrippa’ is but whatever it is its first letter (principally) goes inside a slang word for clothes

I liked 17a and my favourite was 18a.

The Quickie pun:- PRY + STAGS = PRICE TAGS

108 comments on “DT 29507

  1. The quickest completion time ever, beating Monday . However, not a truly “honest” solve as I managed to identify the definitions easily, which has not been the case so readily Mon- Weds. This was more like a large quickie, with 9 bung- ins, of which I could only parse 1, so I am going to be even more reliant on the hints today. This reduces my enjoyment score dramatically to a single star. I suspect when all is explained I will review this as the admiration of the setters art is a large part of the enjoyment of any puzzle, but only if you can work out what they are up to.

    Now for the toughie 6/6 so far this week.

  2. Isnt 12a Enemy = Fo Queen holding power – someone who rules i.e reigner. First time I’ve ever dared disagree with a hinter – sorry

  3. A struggle but got there eventually. COTD 28A for ingenuity.
    Not my favourite as no clues caused amusement only groans of realisation but pleased to finish in a reasonable time .
    Respect to Ray T and well done Kath .

  4. Very enjoyable – thanks to Ray T and Kath.
    My podium choices were 14a, 28a and 15d.
    4d is a word meaning ‘getting on’ or ‘seeing eye to eye’ from which you have to remove the short word meaning ‘concerned with’ to leave ‘getting on’.

      1. Sorry for the confusion and thanks to Gazza, Stephen L and BD for sorting it out. I’ve added a bit to my somewhat inadequate hint! :oops:

  5. Ray T back to a seven word maximum in the clues today, and not many of those. I always enjoy his puzzles and this was no exception, with the excellent lurker at 28a heading the field with 18a and 17d close behind.

    Thanks to Mr T for the fun and to Kath.

  6. Surprised Kath liked 17a , cos there isnt one on my grid !
    Agree about 4d – doesn’t seem very satisfactory. Don’t understand Gazza’s explanation either.
    Pleased to say that Katy’s hints have enlightened me so my enjoyment of this Ray T has increased despite 4d – thanks to both. I’m sure he’ll be along later to interact with us.. Thanks to both as always

    1. 4D. ..Remove ‘re’ from a word meaning seeing eye to eye (getting on) to give the solution. It’s a brilliant clue.

      1. It’s a brilliant clue – but only when you’re cleaver enough to see it – which I’m obviously not. Thanks for the explanations Stephen L and Big Dave

  7. I thought Mr T had forgotten to remove his Beam hat from last Thursday with this but got there eventually. There were a couple of clues where I had to check the synonyms in the wordplay but not in the definition.
    I thought 1a and 4d were brilliant as was the lurker at 28a. Also liked 20a and 25d.
    Many thanks to the Mr T and Kath.

  8. Clue 4 down is agreeing (getting on) without the re (not concerned) . Thank you for your help each day.

  9. This was rather a tricky crossword, which required a bit of guesswork and reverse engineering to unravel the parsing (3*/4*). There were some really clever clues. I liked the lurker at 28a and the anagram at 9d best , although 1a would have been a favourite if not for an abbreviatio, which I loathe. Many thanks to Kath for help with a coupke of clues, whixmch I couldn’t parse and thanks to Ray T.

  10. I thought this puzzle was quite tricky today and really enjoyed it, a***/**** for me.
    The fault in 19a was new to me, but nothing else fitted the clue-maybe it’s just an abbreviation of the definition itself? I note from Kath that it is slang.
    Favourite was 20a for its originality, liked the lurker in 28a.
    Quite a tough Quickie today is the compiler always the same as the Cryptic setter?

    1. The Quickie and the cryptic are set by the same person most of the time. It is very rare for it not to be the case

    2. In my dim and distant youth the four letter clanger was well known and I still use it. I wonder if it was RAF slang? Someone will know

      1. Did you read the wonderful Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge when you were young? Young Jennings was always making a ‘bish’ of things :)

  11. I managed to finish this OK but had to resort to the hints to untangle 1a. I too hate that abbreviation which hadn’t occurred to me for this clue – I originally wanted to find loos backwards! Oh well. Other than that I enjoyed this so thanks to all. Fingers crossed my little car gets its MOT today – hasn’t been driven for 10 years!

      1. Hi Daisy,
        You were quite right about ‘The Giver of Stars’ – I’m about halfway through and very much enjoying it!

        1. Oh I am so pleased. It is quite a sad tale really but a neat ending. I wonder how much that area has changed – except that they will all have mobile phones now!

      2. No, but we don’t really need two cars so it has just sat in the garage and then someone came to look at it to buy it and I decided to keep it just a little bit longer as its got oomph! Have you had your knee done yet? How did it go?

        1. Yes indeed Manders, last Wednesday. I was in for 5 days and apparently all went well, wonderful treatment. It is still bloomin’ painful and very swollen and bruised but I am managing very well with the crutches and getting quite inventive at ways of carrying things about, although as I have said before on this column – a cup of coffee is still a problem!

    1. Yrotaval, the only word one should use for the lavatory, wouldn’t fit so it had to that abbreviation.

  12. 2.5*/4*. A typically very enjoyable RayT crossword. I was flying through the first three quarters on track for my 1* time, but then got held up in a fight with the SW corner taking me up to my 2.5* time.

    With quite a few clues battling it out for podium positions, 14a, 18a, 4d & 15d finally got the nod.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath. Kath, this is for you …

    1. Thanks RD – one day I’ll learn how to put music clips in ‘all my own self! I love this one and thought it seemed appropriate for the answer.

    2. There’s a delightful, and very different interpretation of this song by Flora Martinez that has become a favourite of mine. It can be found on YouTube, Spotify, etc.

  13. I shall wear a dunce cap all day because I missed the 28 lurker and also that ‘Supreme Being’! Where was my mind last night? I think it must be these bXXXXy elections that have finally got to me. But this was a really great Ray T, and I must stop pouting now. Big winners: 28a (so there!), 18a, 4d. Thanks to Kath for the review and to Ray T. 5* / 5*

    But I did finish the Toughie (hmm, small comfort, I know).

    1. You weren’t alone in failing to spot the lurker. Did you do the literary Brendan in yesterday’s Graun Robert ? Right up your street I would have thought.

      1. Yes I did, Huntsman, and loved it. I’ve just recently watched the Verdi version again, and in my Met-going days, actually saw (and swooned over) Renee Fleming as *Desdemona. (It is, however, not my favourite tragedy by The Bard.) *Des-DAY-mo-na (‘Hankie’ tickled me.)

        1. Mine neither. Lear all day long if I could only have one. Was lucky enough to see Jacobi’s performance at the Donmar which was very special

          1. Lear is THE one. The last Lear I saw was at The Globe in 2001. I wish it had been Jacobi; instead, it was a very disappointing Julian Glover. Still, it reigns supreme.

              1. My first at Stratford was Donald Sinden in Trevor Nunn’s production in 76 & I’m certain I saw Anthony Quayle there a couple of years later but can’t find a record of it there so am obviously mistaken. Would loved to have seen Gambon & Sher.

                1. You’re probably thinking of 78-79 when AQ was putting on the play at the Old Vic with the Prospect. You can google it at Theatricalia..

  14. For me this was Ray T at his most fiendish. I really struggled with it. ****/** I still don’t understand where the “fault” comes into 18a. I finally worked out the cross = hybrid in 14a and thought I’d done well! Was Caesar a tyrant? In so far as most of the Roman emperors may be described as such, I suppose it passes muster. I spent ages trying to configure words out of painters etc in 28a before that penny dropped. Not sure what 13a is all about either. All in all, not the most enjoyable exercise for me but I always think I’ve performed a minor miracle to even finish it let alone understand it. Favourite goes to the well constructed but simple 7d. Thanks to all.

    1. I didn’t know the 13a answer either but with alternate letters in it had to be what it was. The BRB says, ‘the concluding part of a poem or a book’ – it says a fair bit more too . . .

  15. Another great ramble through crossword land. I didn’t stand a chamce with 13a, so thanks Kath for the hint. Great Ray T as always. Favourites 18a and 7d. Looking forward to Fridays as its been a fairly good solving week for me.
    Thanks to Kath and Ray T

  16. Found this one, as is often the case for me with Ray T, quite tricky & made a bit of a horlicks of it. Most went in fairly easily though I was unfamiliar with the word at 13a & the fault synonym in 18a. I was finally left with 20&28a & with the latter I entered the answer without twigging it was a lurker then just couldn’t see the homophone because I wrongly assumed it had to end ER & eventually lost patience & looked up synonyms – big groan. As ever with a Ray T production some very clever clues & I’d plump for a podium of 1a with 4&15d.
    Many thanks to Ray T & as ever to Kath for her review.

  17. A good cranial workout from Mr T, perhaps, as has already been suggested, somewhat Beamish, completed at a fast canter – ***/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 7d – and the winner is 1a.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  18. Very enjoyable and the most challenging back pager so far this week. Thanks to today’s setter and Kath.

  19. More Thursday pleasure from Mr T although 2d did earn a somewhat rueful tick – living by the sea plays havoc with the exterior of my old vehicle!
    Other ticks went to the well disguised lurker in 28a plus the clever 4&25d – Agrippa doubtless wore said garments.

    Devotions as always to our setter and many thanks to Kath for the review.
    PS Got my come-uppance for only bothering to solve the pun in the Quickie – I had SPY followed by REARS (spireas)!

      1. You’re quite right – his was probably shorter to show off his muscular legs and he doubtless teamed it up with a fetching undergarment!

  20. Typical RayT puzzle with so many good clues as usual. 4 nice long starters round the outside and 2 very well hidden lurkers. My favourite was 1a which is pure RayT closely followed by 25d 20a and 4d. I always enjoy his puzzles as there is always a tad of innuendo in there. I have only just found last weeks Beamer so I have had a double helping today.

  21. I am in the almost Beamish camp today.
    20a was my last one in today I couldn’t see the homophone element at all and would have found it easier if RayT/Beam had linked it to 25d
    Tyrant in 25d said “Grab the woman”
    but as he only wore one at once maybe not
    7d was a pleasing solve when the penny dropped and I stopped trying to make anagrams from various words in the clue
    but I will go for 18a as fave today as it brought to mind the delightful Jennings stories
    “Old Wilkie’s sister comes to their rescue when Venables makes a ghastly BISH and gives them a scoop about Old Wilkie’s sporting past”
    Thanks to Kath for the hints, they were tricky today
    Thanks to Ray T too, you made me work for those today

    1. Hi John. I just saw a similar use of BISH in Ian Rankin’s new ‘Rebus’ novel, A Song for the Dark Times. Isn’t it spooky–I’d never heard of the term until today, and now twice in one day it’s a part of my world. I also wonder if the term is Scottish in origin. In the novel, it’s spoken by a native of either Naver or Tongue, way up there in the North.

      1. Used as here for a mistake, it was a fairly common word in the Jennings school stories by Anthony Buckeridge which were very popular in my youth.
        According to an investigoogle as a mistake, it is from the 1930s of unknown origin
        but used as a euphemism for or playful form of ‘bitch’.as in
        “I miss that crazy bish”
        it is 1990’s possibly US in origin
        It is also nowadays part of the phrase Bish Bash Bosh but that is used to describe the efficiency of a process you have just explained, often used if there are 3 steps to the process.
        I haven’t seen it in Scottish before but The Inspector Rebus novels are a work in progress and I hope to get onto the latest volume soon.

  22. I thought I was onto a roll after getting the N, E and W of those long side answers, but didn’t get the bottom one, even with every single checker – spent too much time fiddling without ever following the “lurker” mantra – “if all else fails etc…”. Stupid.

    Otherwise, I agree with some that there was a temptation to bung and they all went in without a proper explanation in a few:
    Didn’t parse 4d (thanks to hinters for that).
    Forgot the full Latin abbreviation for about, used in 11a and cross in the context of breeding in 14a (Thanks to Kath for these).
    Never really knew the actual meaning of 13a, although the wordplay was clear.

    This was a puzzle that could be done, but revealed some gaps in my GK – thanks to Ray T for that education!
    Also, is Bish anything to do with Bish Bosh! I thought that meant Voila!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      It is always a good idea to read the comments before adding your thoughts as, in this case and many others, the parsing of the clue has already been made by others.

      What did you think of the puzzle generally?

  23. Agree with SL & CS this was in Toughie territory . Needed an electronic nudge to get over the line. Very enjoyable & satisfying though.
    COTD was 1a
    Think this may produce a mixed bag of comments. Not one I would like to tackle every Thursday but it balances out some of Ray T “benevolent” weeks.
    Thanks to Ray T & Kath for the welcome entertainment.

  24. Finished this on my own but very grateful for the explanations! Agrippa was one of the judges in St Paul’ trial in Acts of the Apostles so was a Roman who would wear such a garment.

    Now I’ll give the Toughie a look, seeing as it’s in the iPad edition now.

  25. I found this on the difficult side and found the clues rather “samey” – nearly half (13/28) use the same basic construction. So not one of my favourites. Thanks to the setter though, and for the hints also.

  26. The right hand side was just about OK but the left was just plain awful! Two new words for me in 13a and the middle of 18a.
    For me an awful puzzle by my nemesis. I was beginning to enjoy his puzzles but this is a real relapse into the old ways.
    Not for me.
    Thx for the hints

  27. Certainly not easy but I can’t remember ever finishing a Ray T before without using hints or the uncovering of solutions. So a very happy day with 14a and 20a two favourites among so many good clues. Thank you to Ray T and Kath.

  28. I could have sworn I had made my comment but evidently not. I’m a bit befuddled and obviously made a bish of things. Lovely puzzle, beautifully disguised lurker, no problems. Thank you Kate for your notes and Mr T for the workout. Exercise time again!

  29. Not really my scene but equally not overly testing. East was first on board. IMHO 1a not really funny. Liked 20a which doubtless is a chestnut. 13a rang no bells so needed help. Missed the lurker for 28a bung-in. 14a, d’oh that kind of cross! Thank you RayT and Kath.

  30. Why do I find Thursday’s crossword difficult, obviously not on the same wavelength as setter. Needed hints and then made sense.

    1. I was like this with today’s Toughie. There was everyone going on about how benign it was and I couldn’t, even with the hints, make sense the clues! It’s definitely a wavelength thing.

  31. Once in a blue moon I can get on Ray T’s wavelength, but today wasn’t one of them. I always think hats off to Kath for solving on his Thursdays, but I am running out of hats. I did do better with the downs than the across clues. Never heard of 13a so learnt something today. And 18a is not a word I have ever used. Agree with Kath on 15d, we never have any in our house either. All gets eaten at the time. I am going to make 3 shepherd’s pies later though, 1 for us and 2 for the freezer. On a day when you’ve done too much gardening or housework, it is such a treat to pull out a home cooked meal with little effort. Particularly as husband Peter’s culinary skills stop at baked beans.

  32. Very enjoyable. The one I needed to resort to checking Kath’s hints for was 28A. As soon as I saw the hint the penny dropped and I was kicking myself.
    Thanks Kath!

  33. I always find RayT’s offerings difficult, nothing new today. I did feel quite chuffed that I solved as many as I did, even though I didn’t understand half of them, so thank you Kath for unravelling that lot. So many were of the “has to be” kind so just bung it in. I did what he told me to do with 13a and then looked it up. I never got 20a, and wouldn’t have in a month of Sunday’s.
    I rather liked 7d, I could understand that one.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the enlightenment.

  34. I need to borrow one of BusyLizzie’s hats for it is indeed ‘hats off’ to Kath from me today. I made a right bish of it and without Kath’s hints I would be still staring blankly at half of today’s puzzle. A horrid, drizzly, dark, day here in Surrey. Hot chocolate is the answer.

    Thanks to Ray T and splendid Kath.

  35. I thought Ray T quite gentle today.
    As usual, most enjoyable.
    So, **/*****
    4d Briliant.
    Too much time on a lurker.
    Ashamed of myself.
    Many thanks Ray T and Kath for the pleasantly illustrated review.

  36. 3.5/3.5. I found this quite tough with some words. Didn’t know but they got bunged in anyway. Never as satisfying as understanding before putting pen to paper. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  37. We are with those who thought this one was quite tricky and really good fun.
    Clue word count carried out as usual and confirm that 7 words is the maximum once again.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  38. Evening all. Many thanks as always to Kath for the decryption and to everybody else for your contributions.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. Didn’t need to be reminded of the 4d but it’s probably as well you prompted me where the vehicle check is concerned! Thank you for another enjoyable puzzle.

    2. Thanks, Mr T, for the workout. You beat me today with the rekrul and the Supreme Being, but it was a great puzzle. Thanks for joining us too.

  39. Found this puzzle a really tough slog … did part of the bottom and then walked away for a few hours. On return still struggled. Finally finished, with lots of hints today. Didn’t have the usual satisfaction when done though. Just not on Ray T’s wavelength it seems. ****/**
    Last in was NE corner with 8d last in (whew! … its finally done)
    Liked 12a, 16a, 18a & 27a with 27a my favourite for today.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath

  40. My Gran always said “if you’ve got nothing good to say, say nothing”……….nothing!
    Too hard for me today Ray T. Thanks to Kath for the clues but I’m missing so many answers, I’ll consign today’s crossword to the recycling bin!

    1. Your Gran is/was right – I do wish that everyone agreed with her!
      Just for the record, and absolutely not intended as a criticism, Ray T does the clues – I’m the underling who does the hints which is something that I really enjoy. :smile:

      1. My Gran was right Kath. Long since gone but she was a lovely lady who I greatly admired.
        I was being a bit cheeky with my comment really, I’d been getting the hang of Ray T but today it was way beyond me. I’m always impressed when you do the hints!

  41. Really struggled today, so it can be quite confidence boosting to read the blog and realise you’re not alone. I read the blog everyday without always posting and in these covid days it helps with the isolation. Ta to all.

  42. I’m in the “I think I made harder work of this than should have” camp this evening, but I got the in the end. As usual with Rayt if you follow the instructions …. the hard part is finding out what the instructions are. Not heard of 13a or the fault in 18a, but I have now, and needed help to parse 4d fully. Another hard part is choosing a favourite, lots of contenders, but I’m going for 4d because it was too devious for me to see. Many thanks to Rayt and Kath.

  43. Won’t find an excuse for not solving the daily crosswords anymore.
    Starting a full lockdown as from now and for at least 4 weeks.
    Being a non essential business despite our massive contributions to the public purse, we had to close down.
    At least this time, we had a 24h deadline when in march it was only 4.
    So I will try to come here everyday to post my feelings about the puzzles.
    In today’s, the clue that struck out was 24a.
    Starmania is the mother of all rock operas. Just wonderful.
    Started such a trend that the West End is littered with them. Not the times anymore when we could see a myriad of actors such as the ones named in Huntman’s thread.
    Last time I saw Antony Sher was in Torch Song at the Albery. 1985. Brings back good and bad memories as the virus at the time was called AIDS and wiped out many more than Covid ever did.
    Sorry to sound so gloomy.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath

    1. You have every right to be gloomy. I’m gloomy too and I don’t have the future of a business to worry about.

      Take care of yourself xx

    2. Oh JL – I’m so sorry. As CS has already said we’re all gloomy and we don’t all have your reasons and worries to be.
      My Mum had a phrase that more or less covered everything when things weren’t good and was trotted out whenever appropriate, “Well, what a world we live in” – I think it could have had lots of ‘outings’ over the last few months had she still been alive!
      Sending you sympathy and love but looking forward to seeing more of you on the blog to share your feelings, not just about the puzzles but also about anything else you want to say.

    3. Can’t express it any better than Kath did, JL, but we all feel for you and want you to know that we care. It will, however, be great to ‘see’ more of you over the next few weeks. Take good care of yourself – and keep an eye on that daughter of yours, these youngsters tend to think they’re invincible.

    4. I’m sorry to hear that, Jean-Luc. It seems to me that your politicians, like ours, have succumbed to the fallacy:

  44. OK everyone – that’s about it from me today – I’ve pretty much ‘had it’ and off to bed very soon, as soon as I can summon the energy to walk up the stairs.
    Thanks to Ray T for the crossword and, as always, for calling in.
    Thanks also to everyone for the comments.
    Night night all and sleep well.

  45. I could not sleep so attacked this during the night. Lots of excellent clues. I got them all without help save for 28a for which I could kick myself. I’m sure I looked for a lurker too, but perhaps I did so before I had all the checkers. I may have persevered more but wondered if I was forlornly looking for the name of an obscure artist. I don’t object to the use of lav. It is not a word I use myself in short or even long form. However, when I was a child it was used a lot – even lavvy. Loo was a word I got to know later. If you have seen photos or been in any of the public air raid shelters you will have seen signs to the “LAVS” (no I’m not shouting”). Favourites 16a and 7 and 25d. Thanks RayT and Kath.

  46. I have been doing quite well with Ray T recently but this one wiped the floor with me. Thanks for the hints.

  47. Horrendous! Didn’t go to hints but exhausted by phone battery looking for anagrams ☹️. Don’t think you guys/gals get out enough. Apologies to JL

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