DT 29527 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29527 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29527 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Warrington. Much of my week was spent on a short holiday in the local hospital after an emergency admission last Saturday.

Fortunately, I’m now home after being well looked after and I’m on the mend, though need to rest (easier said than done!). Thanks to the amazing A&E staff and the nurses of Ward B19 for their fantastic care, though the food was a bit naff!

A very enjoyable puzzle today, and one with an extra help in that we have a pangram on duty. Although there’s a couple of unusual words, they are clued in a fairly friendly manner. I would reckon it’s possibly by one of the traditional Saturday setters.

Please remember the rules about hints, otherwise the naughty step beckons. Thanks to our setter and I’ll see you next week.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.

Across

1a Soaked in fat (8)
We start with a double definition. Something that is very wet is also a traditional type of fat.

9a Series of balls with chum dancing an excessive amount (8)
The name for a series of balls in a certain sport, plus and anagram (dancing) of chum.

11a Type of finish in race that’s vivid? It’s to do with images (12)
A sort of finish in sport plus something meaning vivid or extremely clear.

21a Lawbreaker facing prison? A liberal one might allow such visits (8)
The nickname for a criminal plus a slang word for where they go for their sins, add A plus the abbreviation for liberal.

23a Remarkably adept Patricia stopping short became involved (12)
An anagram (remarkably) of ADEPT and PATRICIA, minus the last letter (stopping short) gives you a word meaning became involved.

27a A bird in China coming from father’s side (8)
A type of bird goes inside a word which means the same as what China means in Cockney Rhyming Slang

28a Hothouse‘s coloured lines (8)
A type of conservatory is revealed by taking a colour and adding the abbreviation for some railway lines.

Down

2d Act with old student in show again (4-4)
Inside a word meaning to show again (or a second soccer match) go the abbreviations for old and student.

3d Think about supporting new rep, worker being dominant (12)
Under an anagram of REP goes a word meaning to think and then add a common crossword answer for worker (think six legs!).

6d Bring up one under care located astern (8)
Something meaning to bring up goes over a word meaning a child under the charge of a guardian.

12d After vegetables, start to eat sweet porridge? (5,7)
Take some vegetables, add the first letter of eat and the word for a sweet or dessert and this serves up a North Eastern delicacy (though other areas claim it as well!)

14d Poisonous beef consumed in short moment (5)
A short word for cattle goes inside a word for a moment, minus its last letter.

16d Bed-wetter? (8)
Nice cryptic definition for something you water your outdoor bed with.

19d Odds on famous racehorse first to run? It might be seen in November (8)
The abbreviation for some odds in horse racing plus the name of a famous racehorse of the 1960’s and add the first letter of run.

22d Head over valley to find animal (6)
An unusual name for an animal (think guinea pig) is a slang word for the head and the name for a drowned valley in geography.

25d Game explorer (4)
We started with a double definition and we finish with one. The name of a sport is that of a famous explorer from the Middle Ages.

How was that for you? Not too taxing, I hope. Thanks again to our setter and I’ll see you next week!

The Crossword Club is now open.

Music today features two beautiful pieces from one of my favourite current contemporary composers and performers. Enjoy!

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.  BD


The Quick Crossword pun: Diss+Dane+full=disdainful


129 comments on “DT 29527 (Hints)
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  1. Glad you’re home. Good job you’ve already had covid or you’d probably be bringing that with you. The puzzle, after yesterday’s struggle, was a bit of light relief. **/*** For once I noticed it was a pangram but not until I’d finished it! I think the animal in 22d has cropped up before and amazingly I remembered it. 17a was a bung in though but I’ll have to wait for that explanation. 8d made me smile but my favourite is 19d. Thanks to all.

    1. Greta,
      With “probably bringing that home” I think you are being somewhat unfair to the NHS.
      Having had to be in hospital twice recently I can only say I left with confidence they had done everything humanly possible to prevent me getting infected by the virus whilst there The dangers came from people not understanding / obeying the hospital’s procedures.
      I left full of admiration for the various precautionary measures they had put in place to control the risk.

      1. This has not been the experience at our local hospital. After a CQC report in August this year it was found to be inadequate in most departments. Consider yourself fortunate to have a good NHS hospital locally.

          1. You don’t know the half of it. Ultimately their total ineptitude cost my husband his life. He died at the end of August. Mercifully at home. Thanks to everybody on this site and the DT cryptic. It’s done a lot to retain my sanity.

            1. I agree with LROK, Greta. You are, indeed, unfortunate. When I was admitted to hospital recently I could not fault the care I was given.

      2. While we’ve fortunately not had to stay overnight in a hospital over here during this pandemic, we have been very impressed with visits to doctors in a hospital environment, and doctors and dentists in their offices. When visiting my dermatologist this week, an absolutely spotless place, I was bowled over when the cashier wiped my credit card clean with a sanitizing wipe before handing it back to me.

  2. At first I thought I was going to struggle, when words such as 13a appeared, but once I had overcome the inertia, it rolled to a conclusion quite nicely, particularly after I had spotted the pangram. All completed in **/*** time. I don’t think I knew the word at 22d, but my A level geography lurking in the back of my mind convinced me that I was right.

    I have worked in Warrington Hospital on a few occasions, it has the wonderful address of Lovely Lane.

    All the best for your recovery, Tilsit, and thanks to the compiler, whoever you are.

  3. 2.5*/2.5*. I found three quarters of this pangram relatively straightforward, but the SE corner took me over my 2* time.

    I enjoyed it on the whole but three clues got my eyebrows twitching: 11a, where part of the wordplay is effectively the same as the definition; 17a, which I think is a bit dodgy for a CD; and 22d which is an obscure answer clued using an obscure word.

    New fact learned today is that 12d (which I love!) can be described as “porridge”.

    21a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  4. Bad luck, Tilsit. It hasn’t been your year for health issues has it? I had one like that in 2019. Never fear, 2021 beckons. AsTilsit said a pretty straightforward a d most enjoyable crossword (**/****). I had a short blip, messing around with a few alternative answers at the top of the puzzle (good misdirection?). However I soon put it right and really liked 13a, 15a, 21a and 9d, which made me smile, a relief after yesterday’s struggle Thanks to Tilsit and the compiler. Stay well Tilsit.

  5. Another friendly and enjoyable Saturday puzzle. Hadn’t come across 22d but couldn’t be anything else. I liked 1a and 16d although they may be chestnuts. Thanks to the setter and speedy recovery Tilsit.

  6. Was on pangram alert fairly early in this one. Agree with Tilsit that other than the 22d obscurity, which was my last in, this wasn’t overly tricky & though it was perfectly pleasant it was by no means a 19d. Seem to recall that the last time the 19d horse made an appearance it divided comment so it’ll be interesting to see if it does today. For 22d I was left looking for letters 4&5 & whilst I didn’t know the valley something vaguely rang a bell & took a punt which Mr G happily confirmed was correct so learnt two things in one. No real standouts for me today but rather liked 16a&d along with 15a.
    Many thanks to both the setter & Tilsit & wishing you a swift recovery.
    Ps liked the Quickie pun & thought we were on for a pangram repeat but the Z along with P & H failed to turn up.

  7. Best wishes on your recovery Tilsit. Today the pangram wasn’t much help as I had a full list before the puzzle was half done. I do love the 12d and was hoping for a stottie cake to spread it on, and to mop up a bit of 1a too. Sorry, I am drooling now. it took a while for the right valley to come to mind and the lady was a bit elusive.
    Loved the music too Saw the KannehMasons on the one show last night doing the clip you posted recently

  8. I missed the pangram but not the double unches or the sprinkling of obscure words, a comment on one of which would probably get me into the naughty corner, completed at a gallop – **/**.
    A bit of a (RD) Hmm on the racehorse in 19d.
    No stand-out favourite, but I did like 18a.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  9. No real problems beyond the somewhat iffy 17a and the obscure 22d. I did start out with an alternative for the latter but there appears not to be an animal of that name!
    My favourite was 21a with a smile for the Chinese bird.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the words and music. I remember thinking on the last outing of the first clip that it seemed odd that the ballerina wasn’t wearing a blue dress.
    PS So, that’s two people who actually enjoy 12d – I guess there’s no accounting for taste!

      1. When I was a small child, it was sold hot, with saveloy sausages, by street vendors in the East End of London or served with boiled beef and carrots. Delicious!

        1. Strangely enough, I adore mushy peas – especially the ones my granny used to produce at Christmas time, which involved soaking dried peas overnight before cooking. Can’t abide garden peas unless they’re raw.
          Small wonder that crossword setters can’t please us all when we have such diverse tastes in ‘everything’!

          1. Where I grew up, Grimsby, the market had a stall called The Pea Bung. At least, that’s what we kids called it. It sold nothing but mushy peas and they were most divine.

        2. Minted peas with cod & chips? Whatever will they think of next? Don’t think any chippy in Lancashire ever served that in my youth.

          1. Remember the tale of the Prince of Darkness, Mandelson, supposedly mistaking mushy peas for guacamole when popping into a chippy while out campaigning in Hartlepool. Quite sure it’s an urban myth but one just wants it to be true…….

    1. As a tot, as I’m sure everyone did, we used to chant that rhyme, clapping hands, but I never did know what it was. I’ve just googled it and learnt, it doesn’t sound very appetising!

  10. Slow to start but most enjoyable once I got going. I sussed the pangram early on when I solved 17a and 21a. No real favourites but I did like 15a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. I am pleased to hear you are getting better.
    Any news on Daisygirl?

  11. This was a nice 82nd birthday present for me this morning, and Tilsit’s ‘pangram’ hint helped me to finish by answering 20a, which I was briefly stuck on. I did have to google ‘famous UK racehorses’ to be sure of 19d, which is one of my three podium winners, along with 13a and 21a (my COTD). Stay well, Tilsit, and keep getting stronger! Thanks to you and the setter.

    1. Many happy returns, Robert, I hope you get to enjoy many more. Trust that your partner has organised a special meal for you this evening?

      1. Thanks, Jane. Jimmy made his special Carolina Meat Loaf for me for weekend consumption; it’s been delicious. And last night, he brought home a Chocolate Fudge Cake! Haven’t tried it yet.

    2. A very happy 82nd birthday from me too – probably a bit late in the day – being a bit dim about this kind of thing I can never understand, let alone remember, whether you’re ahead of us or behind us. One day I’ll learn but maybe it doesn’t really matter. A little bunch of :rose: from me anyway.

  12. I don’t know if a poor night’s sleep made things tricky, but after finding last week’s more ‘difficult’ one a breeze, this newbie really couldn’t get a grip of this weeks. Lots of learning still to do!

  13. My initial thought was ‘Oh no a horror!’ but after the first shock a closer look and a bit more thought and it gradually came together. However, it was definitely not a gentle puzzle by any means needing a great deal of thought and perseverance. My fav clue was 15a because it made me smile. Some of the others such 9a needed the excellent hints to fully parse and I am still struggling a little with 13a. I was not impressed much with 17a, bit poor really.
    Not what I would call a fun crossword, overall tough but satisfying to complete.
    ****/**
    Thx to all

  14. An enjoyable puzzle when one got over the initial thought of it being a beast in Saturday clothing. Lots to enjoy and 13a my favourite as it’s such a lovely word to say and hear.

    Thank you Tilsit for your blog and I hope you are well on the way to a full recovery. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable solve.

  15. Nice Saturday puzzle for me: with help as starting with the downs getting 5d put me on pangram alert early.
    Some typical Saturday “fun” clues with 16d being my COTD. probably a chestnut but appealed to my simple mind.
    Thank you to setter for the pleasant diversion and Tilsit for the review. Hears to a speedy recovery.

  16. A pleasant interlude between rugby matches. No real problems with this one, fairly straightforward and fun while it lasted. 21a, 16 and 19d were my favourites.

    Many thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit. I hope you are fully recovered soon. Many happy returns to Robert at #11.

  17. Commiserations on your hospital stay, Tilsit. In today’s paper, Prue Leith is on a mission to improve hospital food. She would’ve done it sooner, but it seemed inappropriate to be demanding changes from an NHS already working flat-out to deal with a global pangram, erm pandemic. Thank you for the hints.

    And thank you to the setter. I wasn’t keen on 12d simply because it’s both made with and named after a type of the vegetable alluded to, so that’s less like wordplay and more like the definition twice.

    Happy birthday, Robert.

  18. When I first looked I thought this one was going to be a beast but then I got going and all sorted itself out without a lot of trouble.
    As usual when I get an inkling that a crossword is likely to be a pangram I’ve forgotten about it by the time I’ve finished – I could have done with its help in 21a.
    I did gawp at 16a for a very long time – Timothy who? – before I saw it.
    I don’t ‘do’ racehorses very well but with an Elder Lamb whose birthday is the relevant day I got the answer and then looked up the horse.
    I only think I understand 17a but never mind and I’ve never heard of the 22d animal but easy enough to get from the clue.
    I really enjoyed this SPP – some good clues including 21a and 5 and 12d. My favourite was 8d because it made me laugh.
    Thanks to whoever set this and to Tilsit for the hints – all good wishes for a continued speedy recovery.

    1. PS – I had an email from Daisygirl this morning – she’s home. She was just about to tackle the crossword and sounds remarkably cheerful and more than capable of speaking for herself which, hopefully, she will do on the blog later.

  19. Thank heavens … a *much* friendlier and an enjoyable puzzle vs. yesterdays offering. 1.5*/***** No real issues with this at all and some great clues. My favourites include15a, 16a, 20a, 21a,16d & 19d with winner being 20a by a nose over 16d.
    An enjoyable start to a dry Saturday.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  20. Not finished yet, but wanted to take the opportunity to wish Tilsit a speedy recovery. You’ve definitely had a rough year, so you must be due for a great one in 2021. Can’t imagine how you managed to pull this all together today so soon after getting home.
    Enjoying this puzzle so far, gradually coming together and a definite relief after yesterday’s offering. Loved 1a as that was always one of my favourites, slathered on toast with plenty of salt. Rarely have it here, as meat is trimmed too lean. 15a just has to be although I don’t understand the early summer bit. Never had 12d, but know the nursery rhyme. Loved out loud at 16d. Some still to do, including 22d, which I will save for lunchtime. Thanks to setter for not making me feel stupid, and to Tilsit for going above and beyond on our behalf today.

        1. You’re not alone, BusyLizzie. I always forget alternative meanings. Fortunately, 15a came to me after a while.

          As for 1a, it is no longer available here.

  21. quite a struggle for me as usual. Needed the excellent hints. COTD 16a – very clever I thought. Thanks to setter end best wishes to Tilsit.

  22. Pretty straightforward despite never having heard of 13a, 3d or 22d but readily solvable from the clues. For once I spotted a potential pangram when I solved 5d. It’s unusual for me to start a crossword in the afternoon but when I do I find them easier. I’m sure the absence of alcohol is just a coincidence. Favourite was 1a. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. I hadn’t heard of 13a and 22d either. I don’t usually do the Saturday offering the same day and stockpile them for later so today was an exception. In fact I only got around to finishing the one from two Saturdays ago (the day they “called” it for Biden) and reading the blog yesterday. So I missed the chance to add my two penn’orth about the name Isadore that it seemed nobody to have heard of. I was surprised because there must be G&S fans reading the blog and Isadore Godfrey was the musical director of the D’Oyly Carte for several decades and I believe he conducted the day my parents took me to see The Mikado at the Bristol Hippodrome in, it must have been, Coronation Year or thereabouts. I still remember being warned not to cough except during the applause.

      Having said all that, as there are no hints for 7d and 24d I have no idea whether my answers are correct but, hey, I got all the big words right (I think) and the four letter words can wait for Friday to be checked.

      Thanks to all, setter, interpreter and bloggers for great entertainment! And we won the rugby, too!

        1. Oh dear, I take it all back!

          Mr Godfrey was Isidore, not Isadore (an alternative spelling). I hadn’t noticed the difference until just now and of course Isidore doesn’t fit with rare earth. But I was smugly pleased that I had heard of the name at all!

  23. I too thought at first glance this was a horror but slowly and surely it went in. Realising it was a pangram helped with 21a as the 4th letter was missing. I hadn’t come across the animal at 22d in that spelling. We saw loads of them in France years ago on a boat we hired for a week. The first evening in the gloom they were quite close to us and I was videoing them and Mr Manders got so over excited thinking we were watching otters his language was dreadful – I kept telling him to shut up as the video was recording his words so I’ve never been able to show it to anyone! Later that week we saw some trapped in cages and subsequently saw pate in the local shops. We didn’t buy it in case they had been poisoned. Rather destructive creatures but very gentle. Happy birthday Robert and welcome home Daisygirl.

  24. V straightforward apart from 22d – never heard of it, so had recourse to the crossword dictionary. Favorite 15a.

    Snow on the tops of the hills here in Tyrol, and the snow cannons are going full blast. I wonder what season if any we will get this year.

  25. Would have completed well in *** difficulty time but for 22d the second part of which (I don’t think I’m being naughty for a Saturday) I have never heard of. Likewise, the complete answer.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the review.

  26. As Kath, I thought it was going to be much harder as I got hardly anything on first pass.
    The animal in 22d was introduced from the U.S. and does a lot of damage as Manders mentioned.
    Happy birthday to Robert.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the blog.
    Wishing you all the best.

  27. Stand by your beds – Daisy’s back in town! What a week, don’t lets think about it – but home this morning to lovely sunshine and a cracking puzzle beautifully clued, oh, how I have missed thee, Daily T. I spotted the pangram early on , the only answer I am unsure of is, like Harry at 23, 7d.
    Slightly worried that Tilsit is trying to steal my thunder by also being hospitalised – do hope you have been ‘sorted out, it is not a good time to be ill . And wishing Robert a very happy birthday, and LROK continued good progress and I think Steve was unwell also? So many people to think about.. I missed you all so much and it was so nice to be contacted by Kath who is a tower of strength and to know that people were thinking of me all over the world, more or less! My eldest daughter was a nurse but by jiminy after this week my respect has grown in leaps and bounds. All the staff at Addenbrookes were brilliant, but the nurses, male and female, on the wards go over and above and the kindness and compassion I saw from little slips of things was so heartwarming. And let it be known that I know the key code for the kitchen door and am open to bribes…….

    1. Thanks for the good wishes DG
      I am SOOO pleased for you ( & George) that you are improved enough to post.
      As I said earlier onward & upward now.
      If the power of positive thoughts works you will get to where you want to be.
      👍👍👏

    2. So glad you’re back, DG, and thanks for the birthday wish! Isn’t this community of cruciverbalists something else to behold? Take good care of yourself.

    3. So good to have you back in the fold, Daisy, and seemingly as full of life as ever. You don’t need me to tell you that the best way to repay the nursing staff for their care is to exactly follow all the instructions you’ve been given – but I’m telling you anyway!

    4. Daisygirl, welcome back! You sound upbeat and full of beans, which is fantastic. Don’t try the splits yet awhile, though.

      So pleased you are back with us.

      😘😘

  28. Enjoyable romp today with lots to like including 21 and 28a and 5 8 and 14d. I suspected a pangram although did not help as I had the unusual letters. Did not notice the double unches my bêtes noire, of which there were several. I ended up with 17a which I bunged in with, I suspect, dodgy parsing and the last one 22d for which I confess to checking the BRB. No other assistance needed but thanks Tilsit. Get well soon – you are having a tough time and thanks to the skilful setter. Birthday greetings to Robert and glad you are on the mend Daisy. Apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone but there were a lot of posts to get through!

  29. Normal service has resumed following yesterday’s wrangle. **/****. Didn’t spot the pangram emerging until 14d and 21a went in. Very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  30. Dashed off a comment before taking Mama Bee out for a bit of shopping and an excuse to be out of the house for a while and I missed Roberts Birthday and the Return of the Prodigal Daisygirl.
    Congrats all around for birthdays and getting the freedom papers from the hospital. I have nothing but praise for NHS but it is a good feeling to get out.
    I seem to have lucked out and picked the winner of the Booker for once. I usually pick one or two from the longlist to read and that guarantees they don’t make the shortlist but hey ho I picked a winner this time. Yay me and go Shuggie Bain.
    As to 12d I am in the love it camp, especially as Grandpa Emm used to prepare it using the stock from the boiled ham to steep the yellow split peas, serving both together on a warm stottie cake.

    1. Thanks for the birthday wish, John Bee, and I’m glad to hear about Shuggie Bain. And now I’m bout to order my copy! I kept waiting until I’d finished the series of mysteries I had embarked on, but now…what the heck, I need a change of pace. And you’re the one who first keyed me in about Shuggie Bain, so thanks to you.

        1. OMG, I would have thought that they would have reprinted loads of copies of at least the shortlisted books, if not the longlist.
          If you get sick of waiting I will send you my copy – Mama Bee hasn’t collared it for her reading pile and it will be gathering dust until I feel up to a re-read. It was a harrowing story and well worth reading but I have moved onto a bit of lighter stuff at the moment I am reading Olive Mabel and me by Andrew Cotter who used to be a freelance sports reporter until Covid stopped his work – he became a viral sensation when he posted videos of his dogs with sports commentary.
          BD CS Jane and others have my email address so you can ask them to put us in touch

  31. Finally finished after a nice walk in the not too hot Florida sunshine, well as far as torn muscles will let me go. Didn’t help the brain much, so succumbed to looking for help. Two words I almost never use, 9a and 6d, and two quite obscure, 13a and 22d. Could have sat here until kingdom come. Off to younger daughter’s to drop off advent calendars, and discuss our safest plans for Christmas Day. And the advent calendars, did I mention grandkids are 18 and 16? They still look forward to them though 😉

    1. Forget the grandchildren (no, don’t obviously) but our Lambs are now 42 and 39 and they still like having an advent calendar.
      I think this year the only one having an advent calendar will be our little grandson – Georgie – who is three and a half.

  32. I’m in the ‘oh no, not another horror’ camp but unlike yesterday, this one wasn’t! An enjoyable crossword with just the right amount of head scratching. 1a made me chuckle – I’m sure the ‘fat’ police would have something to say about cooking in it! Thanks to Tilsit for the clues and hope you’re on the mend and thanks to the setter.

  33. My groceries were delivered in the midst of all that and had to put away the frozen stuff. I’m now totally knackered!
    This was a delight from start to finish, no surprises for me. I sussed out the pangram from early on, that gave me 20a which I stared at for some time.
    Fave was 8d, smile worthy, so was 16d.
    Thanks Cephas for the fun and to Tilsit for the hints and tips. Glad you’re over your hiccup and feeling better.

  34. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. Glad you are on the mend Tilsit. I enjoyed this one very much, was on to the possibility of a pangram very early. I was surprised how many “p” ‘s there were in the answers, maybe something to do with 16d? I failed on 24d, I vaguely remembered it being in a previous puzzle, but had forgotten the dry valley bit. Was 2* /4* for me.

  35. Thanks for today. Very enjoyable after yesterday. Quite a few that took some time to parse. Not quite sure how 0 = egg in 4d? Hopefully made clear when the hints come out.
    Thanks all.

  36. What a strange week, pleasant generic offerings Monday and Tuesday, superlative offering on Wednesday, dull as ditchwater on Thursday and Friday was only for masochists with too much time time on their hands. Today I thought was mild, gentle and entertaining save the jarring 22D which was essentially unsolvable without knowing either the animal or the valley, thus a cryptic grid barred from completion by the need for GK which I see as a sad weakness on the part of a setter. Thanks to all.

  37. Late as usual and just in time to comment on the day. I didn’t spot the pangram, I never remember to look out for them. Like others I thought at first look that this was going to be a lot trickier than it turned out to be. Thank goodness after yesterday which I didn’t finish. I got about three quarters completed and gave up in a grump. Thank you for the hints Tilsit, I’m sorry you seem to have been having a rotten run of it, you sound quite chipper today so I hope you are well and truly on the mend. Thanks to the steer too.

  38. Quick comment before I hit the hay – seems like forever since I completed this enjoyable workout after breakfast this a.m. Spent several hours today hooked on the ATP tennis and now look forward to the final tomorrow (today actually!) between Medvedev and Thiem. Cross with myself for drawing a blank on 24d which is clever. Have only skimmed through some of the Comments but do just say welcome back to DG and and many happy returns to Robert. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit to whom best wishes for a complete recovery – take care of yourself.

  39. Hi, we are regular Saturday completers and some of the early week xwords. Only a recent lurker here. Am at a loss to understand this pangram malarkey being referred to. Could anyone detail its relevance in today’s answers? Thanks

    1. Welcome to the blog

      A pangram is a crossword which contains all the letters of the alphabet

      You can find more about pangrams and answers to other questions you may have about crosswords and this site by clicking on the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) tab at the top of the page

  40. Just picked up the comment about advent calendars. I would recommend the electronic Jacquie Lawson one but…. …after years of fun, this year they have tried to be too clever and have completely mucked it up. Half my friends now cannot access it and I’m hoping(!) for a refund and this is the year we could do with cheering up. Shame on them!

  41. Morning all. I do the dt every Saturday and always read this to explain a few, but thought I would post today and thank you all for your help – you sound a lovely bunch. Good puzzle for me today as I worked out 13a and 22d without knowing the words. Thanks for the 15a tip. I had no idea why! 7d is my only query.

  42. Late today as I had outside jobs to do before the light failed so glad to sit down! First thanks to Tilsit for his efforts whilst he has significant health problems .. Well done! Congrats also to Robert on his birthday. No need to respond! I had my milestone of 80 a couple of weeks ago. Frightening….
    Enjoyed the puzzle but needed the hints especially the 2 or 3 words that. were new to many of us!
    I also enjoyed the shorties 5d 16a & 7d.
    I particularly liked 19d despite not seeing any this year!

  43. Looked at Xword on Sunday and couldn’t make much progress beyond some of NW and SW corners then came back to it this evening after late clinic and finished it in an hour – strange how the brain works sometimes. Must have been a bit easy for the rest of you! May be tempted to get a midweek one….

  44. First glance 😱
    Once a few slotted in some others became clear but a couple outdid me
    A much more enjoyable Saturday xword this week👍

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