DT 29532 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29532

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29532

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs.

We have a pangra missing the X this morning, which probably means that ProXimal is our setter. A reasonable challenge, though I’m not convinced of the clue for 6d.

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           Dozy people shelter in spot with poor shade (11)
SLEEPYHEADS – Another word for ‘spot’ or ‘catch sight of’ wrapped round some shelter from the wind, followed by an anagram (poor) of SHADE.

7a           Square leaves (5)
QUITS – Double definition, the first referring to being square in one’s account with someone.

8a           Changing school lesson, class sings unrestrictedly (9)
REFORMING – Put together a two-letter acronym for a school subject, a school class, and (s)ING(s) (from the clue) with its outer letters removed.

10a         A hack in Paris is most dire (7)
ACUTEST – A (from the clue) followed by another word for ‘hack’ or ‘chop’ and the French for ‘is’.

11a         Operator‘s rush working (7)
SURGEON – A rush or people or water, followed by the word used to denote that a machine is working.

12a         Plant stall, like first (5)
ASPEN – Another word for ‘like’ or ‘similar to’, followed by another word for an animal stall.

Populus tremuloides (American Aspen)

13a         Liquid from solid wrought metal tower not ordinary (4-5)
MELT-WATER – Anagram (wrought) of METAL T(o)WER, minus the abbreviation for Ordinary.

16a         Best entertaining lines by creative politicians (4,5)
TORY PARTY – Another word for ‘best’ wrapped round an abbreviation for the form of transport which runs on lines, followed by another word for ‘creative’.

18a         Terrify kid, dropping daughter by lake (5)
CHILL – Remove the abbreviation for Daughter from another word for ‘kid’, then add an abbreviation for Lake.

19a         Religious state north Trump, maybe, keeps Republican (7)
NIRVANA North followed by one of the female members of the Trump clan, wrapped round an abbreviation for Republican.

22a         Totally stripped, body more lousy and smelly (7)
ODOROUS – Remove the outside letters (totally stripped) from the third. Fourth and fifth words of the clue, and put the result together.

23a         A furniture item backed against another is dubious (9)
DEBATABLE – Put together A (from the clue) and an item of furniture, reverse the result, and add another item of furniture.

24a         Current struggle: opening of door covered by plant (5)
IVIED – Put together the physics symbol for electric current, a verb meaning ‘struggle’, and the first letter of Door.

Ivy-covered building - Stock Photo - Dissolve

25a         End of year speeches for awards (11)
DECORATIONS – The short form of the last month of the year, followed by some public speeches.


1d           Almost overlook top sportsperson (3,6)
SKI JUMPER – Remove the final letter (almost) from another word for ‘overlook’ or ‘miss out’, then add an item of clothing which may be referred to as a top.

Go for Gold: Olympic Aerodynamics | National Air and Space Museum

2d           Festival given name from China? (7)
EASTERN – A major Christian festival followed by Name.

3d           Type of employee permit created to cover skill (4-5)
PART-TIMER – Anagram (created) of PERMIT, wrapped round a skill or craft.

4d           Pets husband shackles, apart from Charlie (5)
HUFFS – These pets are not cuddly animals! Start with an abbreviation for Husband, then add some shackles carried by police officers, without the initial letter represented by Charlie in the NATO alphabet.

5d           Fliers are clutching birch, stripping sides before week (7)
AIRCREW – ARE (from the clue) wrapped round the inside letters of (b)IRC(h) (stripping sides), followed by an abbreviation for Week.

6d           One clasping hair of person falling? (5)
SLIDE – I’m not entirely sure of the parsing of this one. I have taken it to be a double definition: something worn in the hair to keep it under control; or a rapid fall of, say, earth or share prices.

These 6 Hair Accessories Will Spike in 2019 | Who What Wear UK

7d           Managed inside strangely quiet and isolated (11)
QUARANTINED – Anagram (strangely) of QUIET AND, wrapped round another word for ‘managed (a business)’.

9d           Non-specific officer is supported by editor (11)
GENERALISED – Put together a senior military officer, IS (from the clue) and the usual abbreviation for EDitor.

14d         Bury the French unknown soldiers in ordeal (3,2,4)
LAY TO REST – Put together one of the forms of the French definite article, an algebraic unknown, and an ordeal or examination wrapped round the usual soldiers who are not officers.

15d         Series of cracks covering one piece of wood (9)
TRILOGIES – Remember that ‘series’ can be either singular or plural. Some cracks or ‘attempts’ wrapped round the Roman numeral for one and a piece of felled tree.

17d         Material provoked slap and tickle? Not half! (7)
PLASTIC – Anagram (provoked) of SLAP, followed by the first half of TIC(kle) (from the clue).

18d         Sausage preserved in aspic horizontally (7)
CHORIZO – Hidden in the clue.

What Is Chorizo? | Allrecipes

20d         Furious storm crossing Belgium (5)
RABID – Another word for ‘storm’ or ‘attack’ wrapped round the IVR code for Belgium

21d         Colour of judicial hall overlooking church (5)
AMBER – Remove (overlooking) an abbreviation for CHurch from the front of a word for a formal room where a court may meet, to get a colour found in traffic lights.

The Quick Crossword pun GOAL + DENY = GOLDENEYE

101 comments on “DT 29532

  1. On first read through I thought this was going to be a struggle, but I soon got going, the West side flew in followed by the South east last two were 11a and finally 6d ,lots to choose from as COTD 1a, 5d and 19a with 1a coming out top.
    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  2. This was tough. 24a delayed me for ages and although Deep Threat (many thanks to him) confirmed my answer on checking I have never seen that word before. I found the whole puzzle difficult to unravel and curiously unsatisfying. Apologies to Proximal if it is he for that negative comment as it was very clever. ***/**** for difficulty and ** for pleasure

  3. 2.5*/4.5*. The X-less pangram confirms my feeling as I was solving that this was the handiwork of proXimal. I found this a lot of fun and not too tough. Like DT, I am not too convinced by 6d but I also took it as a double definition.

    My podium comprises 1a, 7a, 16a & 15d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  4. At first I thought I had started the Friday Toughie by mistake, but slowly the answers eked themselves out. After ***/**** time I ground to a halt. I had pencilled in the correct answer to 4d, but couldn’t parse it; I had forgotten that sort of PET. The other two that eluded me were 6d, I’ve never sported hair long enough to need one, and 15d that I just couldn’t see.

    I spotted the X-less pangram, and so thought of proXimal.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  5. Another very thought-provoking puzzle from ProXimal (?). It took me a long time to get into and too found 6d confusing but there were some great clues here (***/3.5*). I liked 8a, 7d (very topical)and 15d, my last one in and the best clue IMHO. An absorbing puzzle for a dreary day with sub-zero temperatures and fog. Even the walk to the post box was a frigid experience. Thanks to DT for the hints and tp the compiler.

  6. Great fun and marginally easier than today’s accessible Toughie. Thanks to ProXimal and Deep Threat. Play nicely children and I will see you on Monday

    1. Thank you so much for prompting me to look up Jack Grimble yesterday – I had no idea he was so well known! I counted up – we must have a dozen or so pieces and the girls have some. George would come home with another small table or corner shelves and I would say ‘but the children need new shoes!’

      1. I think George is excellent at making the right choice Daisygirl. I did like what I saw of Jack Grimbles work.

    2. Where exactly have you been to have got covered in mud like that? What did St. Sharon say and did she let you in the new house?

  7. I thought this was the perfect Friday puzzle, clever and nicely challenging without being mind blowing.
    Like DT I have reservations about 6d but eventually settled on a double definition. That aside my page is littered with ticks. I loved the topical 7d and the lurker at 18d but my podium places go to 1,16& 23a
    Many thanks to proXimal and DT for the entertainment

    1. With regard to 6d I was wondering if the question mark at the end of the clue indicates the second definition only loosely fits the solution?

  8. On my first read through I thought it was going to be a struggle & like yesterday it duly was. The 18d lurker & 7a were early entries so guessed it might be proXimal & that certainly helped with 1d later on. Unfortunately my crossword brain, such as it is, seems to be temporarily mislaid – muddled thinking as evidenced by the fact that with the 2nd&3rd checkers in at 23a I figured the backed furniture item was EBLAT until it eventually dawned on me there were 4 spaces to the right of the T.
    Anyway got there in the end with all just about parsed. The alternate meaning of pet was new to me & needed confirmation & last in was 6d, a tentative bung in & a can’t say I care much for the clue. I’ll plump for a podium of downs at 5,14&15 with 16a just missing out.
    Thanks to proXimal & to DT.
    Ps Anyone know who the Toughie setter is ?

  9. I found this very difficult and for once spotting the possibility (confirmed when finally finished) of a pangram minus X, actually helped. ****/ ** I didn’t feel particularly enlightened when I finally worked out the answers. 6d is a bit tenuous. Best clue 23a. Not my day but thanks to all.

  10. What first looked to be beyond my comprehension, soon fell into place. I have no quibble with 6d, but “hmmed” a bit over 20d. A thoroughly absorbing puzzle which was the longest solve of the week so far for me. Favourites were the two political answers and 15d, but my top award has to go to 19a. A most enjoyable solve. Thanks to Proximal and DT. Btw, I loved yesterday’s Toughie too – solving spread over late last night and breakfast this morning.

  11. A nice pangra(m) this morning which got off to an enjoyable start with 1a – my gold medal winner. 7&16a took the silver and bronze with the only ‘hmm’ going to 6d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT for the review.

  12. This was another exercise in putting it down and picking up later, for some reason it seems to work. There were some that I thought pretty tough 17d and 23a but I suppose it is how ones brain is wired! Favourites are 7a and 19a
    Noticed in DT that Dave Gorman is going to be a compiler, now that should be interesting. Lets hope he drops into the blog.
    Maby thanks to Deep Threat and ProXimal.

    1. Dave Gorman already sets for the Independent under the name of Bluth and I enjoy those crosswords so hopefully the ones he produces for the DT will be just as good

      He also engages with commenters on Fifteen Squared as Jane will tell you ;)

      1. Thanks I will be looking forward to his crosswords, or maybe not. I might have a look at the Independant.

        1. I have seen most if not all of his indy crosswords and they are pretty good. I assume that as he has announced he has a new name (Django) that he will be setting the toughie next Weds. It will be interesting to see if the editor Mr Lancaster curbs some of his fruitier clues but it should be fun.
          I made a comment on the article about the irony of having a ticket to his last tour but I had to give up the ticket as it clashed with Big Dave’s last birthday bash.

    2. Couldn’t find anything in the DT about Dave Gorman coming in as a new compiler. Please tell me it’s not true, I have enough gripes with him over in t’other place……….

          1. As John Bee suggests above, he might be making his debut as a Toughie setter. I have checked the list of Toughie setters on the DT Puzzle site but next week’s have not yet been added.

          2. The fact that his pseudonym (Django) has been published is a good hint that he’s a Toughie setter because back-page setters are (in theory anyway) anonymous. I look forward to blogging a new setter on Wednesday.

        1. Thank you – might have helped if his photo (which meant nothing to me) hadn’t been placed alongside the article about women’s convictions for not paying for their TV licences!

          1. The telegraph does not excel itself with photos.
            On Wednesday it had a picture supposed to be the winner of the bake off.
            It wasn’t the winner, it wasn’t the right trophy and it had Mary Berry and Mel in it who haven’t been in it for years!

          1. In all honesty, Jane, I thought it a _little_ graceless. But I’ll reset my expectations accordingly.

        1. Hi, Django and welcome. I will have a go at your offerings but I am not a Toughie connoisseur yet.

        2. That made me laugh! You should try being a … oh, I see …

          Congratulations on your appointment. I’m looking forward to your puzzle on Wednesday.

          Is Django also the name of that new puzzle that started in The Sunday Telegraph last week, with red and blue dots and angled lines between them?

      1. I didn’t know who Dave Gorman is, so I googled him. It shows a pic of our esteemed leader at his kiddie table and a Twitter by Gorman, the responses are hilarious, lots of them but funny as hell! Had my giggle for today.

  13. 6d and 15d were my final entries in this slightly tricky but satisfying solve, the latter being my COTD. An honourable mention, too, for the commendably brief 7a. All in all a nicely clued and enjoyable puzzle. Now for the Osmosis.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the fun and to DT.

  14. A lot trickier than most this week (apart from yesterdays for those who struggle with Ray T puzzles which usually includes me but not this week for a change). I needed the excellent hints to explain 22a which was just so awful/clever that words fail me and 15d which was just me being thick.
    Wasn’t that keen on 5d or 6d either, thought they were a little clumsy.
    Overall an enjoyable puzzle with exceptions.
    Thx to all

    1. I was completely baffled by 15d and had to turn to the hints and do a reveal! But I loved 22a, my favourite – so clever.

  15. An enjoyable X-less pangram from proXimal but I think I enjoy his 4-X puzzles more, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Like others, a Hmm on 6d.
    Candidates for favourites – 1a, 16a, 22a, and 14d – and the winner is 14d.
    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  16. I seem to be in a minority on this one. Struggled to get started and found it overall unsatisfying when I got going and answers fell into place. I am not sure whether the Covid related clues or the several very clunky surfaces contributed to my lack of enjoyment. I appreciated DT’s hints as I needed to be enlightened on a couple of the more tortuous combinations. Cheers DT and setter.

  17. Tricky little blighter today that is only half done, I will have to delay continuing as I am taking Mama Bee out for her birthday and to see if we can get a Betty’s Christmas Cake

  18. I was busy self-congratulating when I realised I had forgotten to put the answer to 6d and was completely befuddled by it. Joy short-lived therefore but nevertheless a great puzzle and appreciated seeing a selection of unusual words to crack. Thank you to ProXimal and DT.

  19. More like the old Friday crosswords which were always the toughest.
    Like DT I thought that 6d (last in) was borderline.
    Some tricky parsing indeed, enjoyed the solve when I got into the swing of things.
    Liked 23a for originality and the topical 19a, thought DT might have included a pic of the pop group!
    Anyway this week’s puzzles have been a pleasure to solve, thanks all.

  20. Really enjoyable puzzle and just right for a Friday!

    Managed it all without assistance, which is rare for this stage of the week, which adds to the good feelings. Knowing from DT’s excerpt on the blog home page that it was a pangram from the outset was a real help.

    Difficult to pick any clue out as better than the others, maybe 1d if I had to chose. Worked 4d out from the clue but not sure of the meaning? LOI was 10a and agree with JigsawJoyce about the word being somehow horrible.

    Thanks to ProXimal and DT

  21. I didn’t enjoy this at all. On the first pass I had nothing. On the second pass I had one and that’s the way it stayed. I had to resort to hints and electronic help. The only thing this crossword showed me is that I have a long way to go. I recognise the brilliance of the clues but I’m afraid proXimal remains beyond me most of the time.

    Still, my thanks to him for showing me my inadequacies and the DT for the hints that were needed today.

    1. I used to have that sort of experience with Proximal’s puzzles, Steve. One of the joys of this site is that, as you grow in the knowledge and experience that you glean from the hints and blogs, ProXimal and other compilers like him grow on you. I’ve yet to really get to grips with Zandio but I’m getting better at Sylvanus puzzles. So keep plugging away.

      1. Thanks, Chris. That is certainly true. I used to get nowhere with Ray T but am finding him doable most of the time now. I certainly will keep plugging away even with Elgar. The only way to learn how to solve the more difficult compilers is to attempt them and using the hints to see how the clues are put together. That’s what I did with today’s proXimal and, if nothing else, I gained more information about the way his mind works.
        My solving has improved greatly since joining this site.

        1. Reckon I could plug away at Elgar for the next 10 years Steve & still have no hope of ever finishing one. Difficult at this stage to put in what God left out……
          Today’s alternate Friday Toughie was fun & accessible not just for the A Team.

      2. This is true. I’m getting a lot better at Ray T’s puzzles now but today’s offering was very hard work for me too.

    2. I echo your sentiments, and results. Except I’m not sure if I will invest the time in going for help.
      Miffypops said this was “marginally easier today’s Toughie”, which about sums it up. I did tackle Tuesday’s Toughie, and that was easy than this Friday backpager. This one is harder than yesterday’s Ray T. Don’t understand why the DT persists in posting Toughies as regular cryptics. I know I am not alone in feeling I am not getting a week’s worth of puzzles for which I pay dearly, paying extra for the privilege of being able to print them. Getting fed up with this.

  22. Becoming an adept at crossword solving was shown to be a long way off today. Thanks to DT and proximal for reminding me of this.

  23. Tricky, but I reached nirvana with the help of DT for 4d and 6d. Just couldn’t figure them out. I was held up by 15d but the checking letters led me to the answer.

    I completed the crossword accompanied by Arvo Pärt who I think is a very underrated composer. I am often joined by Wofgang, Johann, Hildegard, and many others while cruciverbaling. It gets rather crowded.

    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

      1. I listened to Spiegel im Spiegel on the eve of our Thanksgiving Day; it was quite appropriate, I thought.

        1. What a delightful piece of music – worth listening to any day of the week, not simply on the eve of major celebrations.

    1. I had the pleasure of singing Arvo Part’s The Beatitudes as part of a concert of 20th century choral music in 2007. It’s not easy to sing but very rewarding.

  24. I finally spotted a pangram, and desperately tried to shoehorn an “x” into 6d; only to find out that the excellent proXimal left us sans x.
    I was held up for a while by putting in “resorting” in for 8a, but soon realised the error of my ways.
    Tough challenge, but very enjoyable. ****/****
    Cheers to proXimal and to Deep Threat for the review :))

  25. I thought I was never going to get going but once lift-off was achieved🥵it all gradually fell into place. I join t’others with having reservation about 6d. It’s about time I woke up to the lines in 16a but stupidly that was my last to go in. I suppose 24a is a word? It was altogether a satisfying and enjoyable challenge. Thank you proXimal and DT.

  26. Tough but about right for Friday for me.. Needed e-help for 15d which I thought very clever.
    My COTD was 1a. Just how I feel at the minute after too many restless nights.
    Didn’t warm to 6d but I took it as a single definition – a slide clasps a person’s hair stopping it falling down over their face, the wordplay coming from the position of falling.
    Thanks to Proximal for an absorbing & entertaining solve & DT for the review.
    24a reminded me of the Tom Lehrer lyric “Ivy covered professors in ivy covered halls”.

  27. Despite the aggravation of 6d, I thoroughly enjoyed proXimal’s Friday teaser, with my podium winners 1a, 4d, 15d, and 17d. Thanks to DT and to proXimal. 2.5* / ***

    I decided to boldly go to the Toughie before tackling the Cryptic, and what a trip I had!

  28. I am obviously a bit late and everyone has said it all. A really good work out with 6d being the last in and I accept Deep Threat’s diagnosis of course! One of the meals on wheels my daughter brought last weekend was chicken and chorizo and there was some left over, so I fried an onion, added some stock and whizzed it all up and lo and behold as we were eating it chorizo was in the crossword. You see how small my world has become! I did yesterday’s toughie in bed last night, found it quite doable – I do not know how so many of you fit in so many different crosswords into your day – I count myself lucky to get the two DT puzzles done. It is bitterly cold here in Cambridge with a heavy fog, most unpleasant. The plumber is coming in tomorrow to put a bigger radiator into my bathroom with an option to have it on electrically in the summer. Yeah! Happy weekend everyone.

    1. Foggy and freezing in South Oxfordshire too Daisy. Even well wrapped up for a walk, I didnt want to stay out long

      1. Thanks, Jane; obviously the leaves are intended to be pages — quadrilateral foliage would be somewhat bizarre. Glad you still read the surfaces.

  29. Same as everyone else I think – first round yielded no answers for me whatsoever and I thought I wouldn’t even get to start. Then 7d and 23a got me going and I got to the end although I needed Deep Threat’s explanations for a few. Cold in the worst way here in Herts today with a forecast of 5 feels like 2 degrees and misty, no wind. I think that usually it’s the wind chill that creates a lower “feels like” temperature. Today it must have been the damp which fell from the trees on my morning cycle ride and I was glad to get back for lunch and this rather clever Proximal.

  30. I found this eminently solvable, just a bit weird and took a few minutes to make the mind adjustment. Thanks to all – from my perspective it has been a good week of offerings overall.

  31. ****/***. Took me a while to get going. Some very elegant clues (22a&1d) but spoiled, for me at least, by 24a& 6d. I’ve never come across 4d in this context. Thanks to proximal and DT.

  32. All solved in reasonable time but still a bit confused over the definition in 4d. Thanks to setter & DT.

  33. I usually struggle with proXimal and although this was hardly ‘plain sailing’ I didn’t find it quite as difficult as I sometimes do – don’t know why, just didn’t.
    I agree with everyone about the ?? with 6d.
    I messed up 8a by having ‘humps’ for 4d – can’t remember now but, at the time there was a bit of logic to it – sorted it out eventually.
    I’ve never heard of 13a but it had to be.
    I thought we’d finally got shot of Trump but there he is again, even if it’s only his wife today.
    My favourite of many worthy clues was 1a.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT – even if your clip of the Fureys is going to drive me mad – there’s something by them that I absolutely love – can sing it but can’t remember what it’s called. :unsure: and :sad:

    1. He’s just like a bad penny, Kath; his name, so thoroughly besmirched as it is by now, simply won’t go away. And now, he’ll be kicking and screaming as the Secret Service hauls him away. Or the military. We pray.

  34. Agree with Lucky Jumbo that the week was rather pleasant crossword wise.
    So was the weather down here actually.
    Even had the time to do all the week’s Guardian.
    7d was very topical.
    It’s going to be like that till the end of January as there is no hope for a re-opening of the restaurant until that time.
    5 months off in a single year. Never had that before.
    Thanks to Osmosis and to DT.

  35. 6d was our last one in. We actually left it blank until we had completed the Toughie and when we came back to it wrote the answer straight in. Brains must have been cogitating in the background. Very enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks proXimal and DT.

  36. A slow but steady solve today. When I had finished I had to wait for the blog to understand 21d. Last in 19a as I had the wrong Trump! New hip a year old, staggering. Tele consultation with my consultant , very brief, he had 45 more calls to make this morning! Jolly cold here in Norfolk too. We have 4000+ baby seals at Blakeney Point, a record.

  37. Very, very tricky, I had a few unsolved at the end, these things happen when you have a tiny brain. I happened to read 25a first and knew the answer, so I started there and did quite well in the south, but north was so esoteric. Never heard of 13a. I liked 4d and 5d.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT, without whose help I’d still have blanks.

  38. Unlike some I raced through a large part of this until coming to a grinding halt, a sound reminiscent of the brakes on my truck as I’m driving through liquid mud up to and beyond the sills at the moment. I was on pangram alert after solving 18d, I’m learning slowly, which enabled me to solve 1d as I was short of j, k and x. Realising the x is negotiable I filled in the rest of the NW corner. Favourite was 1a.Many thanks to ProXimal, I think that’s the first time I’ve said that, and DT.

  39. Well a second coffee definitely helped. Did finally manage to finish after an abysmal start. Clearly I am not on proXimal’s wavelength as some of the answers were not that difficult on reflection. But can’t say the same for 6d. Thought 18a was on the weak side also. Never heard of 13a or 4d pets??? Given the state of the world, 7d should have jumped of the page at me, but I had to tease it out. COTD was 12a, just because of the lovely picture. We’ve seen these in all their glory on a couple of trips to Colorado. If anyone is there visiting, really recommend the scenic drive through the canyon from Fort Collins to Estes Park. Quite breathtaking. And you can also visit the hotel where The Shining was filmed in Estes. Thanks to proXimal for the challenge and to Deep Threat for being smart enough to unravel it all.

  40. I’ve just listened to the Green Fields of France. Knowing the song well it still brought tears to my eyes. I saw the Fureys perform it in Cork in the 90’s while I was working over there. Eric Bogle is a genius.

  41. This puzzle just not doing it for me. Not getting anywhere with it so will await tomorrows offering
    Liked 1a, but just not getting anywhere on the rest of it.
    Maybe I’m a 1a today.

  42. Once again very late to proceedings but I didn’t start this until well after 8.00 pm. Really enjoyed this offering from proXimal which was solved relatively quickly aside from a couple of bung ins which I needed DT hints for – thank you both. HOWEVER I am still struggling with parsing of 16a. The abbreviation for what runs on lines I presume is RY ( after accounting for Top and Arty) but what is that alluding to…unless its railway? Could someone please help at this very late hour?

        1. Neil
          Ry is a pretty standard abbreviation for railway & it crops up not infrequently in crosswordland

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