DT 29548 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29548

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29548

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
We are back in Wellington again. Sam, the grandson who had the kidney operation a few weeks ago, is having a follow-up procedure to remove a stent so we are back here for support. It is relatively minor compared with the original operation and much less stress making for all concerned. Hence we are solving and blogging in other than our usual environment.
A few tricky clues again for us and all the usual Wednesday fun.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Fish supplement found in wine from Germany (7)
HADDOCK : A type of German white wine contains supplement or provide more.

9a     Privately owned island in clear-up after resettlement (8)
PECULIAR : An anagram (after resettlement) of CLEAR UP contains the single letter abbreviation for island.

10a     Tramps with urge to enter drinking establishments (7)
BEGGARS : A synonym for urge or encourage is inside places where people drink.

11a     Abandoned in favour of name holding advantage (8)
FORSAKEN : A three letter word meaning ‘in favour of’, then a synonym for advantage, and finally N(ame).

12a     Thirty days before gold state’s capital (6)
JUNEAU : Your midsummer (our midwinter) month and the chemical symbol for gold.

13a     Short dictionary (pocket) that used to be kept by the bed (10)
CHAMBERPOT : The name of the dictionary we all call BRB without its last letter and then pocket as a snooker player may do.

15a     Set out to cover unknown infection (4)
STYE : An anagram (out) of SET contains one of the letters used as a mathematical unknown.

16a     Person looking for understanding? (3-6)
LIP-READER : A cryptic description of someone, usually hearing-impaired, who can follow a conversation visually.

21a     Love to knock back drink and work (4)
OPUS : The tennis score love, and the reversal of drink as a verb.

22a     Put up with no ale being brewed in such a system (5-5)
STAND-ALONE : Put up with or tolerate and then an anagram (being brewed) of NO ALE.

24a     Mementos of priest hoarded by Roman Catholic saint (6)
RELICS : Crosswordland’s favourite biblical priest is surrounded by R(oman) and C(atholic) S(aint).

25a Relaxed as Left must have help and support (4,4)
LAID BACK : L(eft), then another word for help followed by support or sponsor.

27a    Trouble from Italian blocking a door (7)
AGITATE : ‘A’ from the clue, then a door or entrance contains the two letter abbreviation for Italian.

28a    A car spares outlet may have one over a barrel! (8)
SILENCER : This article that the car spares outlet might have could also be something found over the barrel of a firearm.

29a     Hospital worker must be tidy (7)
ORDERLY : A double definition.


2d    A meeting about European question is acceptable (8)
ADEQUATE : ‘A’ from the clue and an often romantic meeting contain E(uropean) and QU(estion).

3d     So-called bank needing help with no limits is nonsense (8)
DOGGEREL : A sandbank in the North Sea famous for its fish stocks plus the two central letters of ‘help’.

4d     Abundance of work in CIA supporting company run badly (10)
CORNUCOPIA : Starting from the top we have Co(mpany), an anagram (badly) of RUN, then CIA from the clue contains the two letters for an artistic work.

5d     Carry out checks on oxygen bar (4)
VETO : A word meaning ‘carry out checks’ and the chemical symbol for oxygen.

6d     Go after funds to protect university (6)
PURSUE : Funds, perhaps those earned in a boxing match, contains U(niversity).

7d     Collection points for trucks (4-3)
PICK-UPS : A double definition.

8d    Fireplace lined with Ulster stone (7)
GRANITE : The metal frame on which a fire is lit contains the part of the UK often referred to as Ulster.

11d     Skeleton few mark or otherwise (9)
FRAMEWORK : An anagram (otherwise) of FEW MARK OR.

14d     Shift capital and run, getting a flyer (10)
BUDGERIGAR : Shift (usually something that is loathe to move), then the capital of Latvia and finally the cricket abbreviation for run.

17d     Course must include permit for game (8)
ROULETTE : Course or plan of travel contains another word for permit.

18d     Drunk cuts meal, finding wine (8)
MUSCATEL : An anagram (drunk) of CUTS MEAL.

19d     Make economies? That’s no good! (7)
USELESS : Split the answer 3,4 to get a phrase meaning make economies.

20d     House embracing a new flavour (7)
VANILLA : A type of house surrounds ‘A’ from the clue and N(ew).

23d    Make a mockery of empty double bed (6)
DEBUNK : The first and last letters (empty) of ‘double’ and a bed often found on a ship.

26d     Hearing of lines, actors may need these (4)
CUES : A homophone of a word for lines of people waiting.

Quickie pun    paws    +    whole    =    poor soul


137 comments on “DT 29548

  1. As if the puzzle isn’t hard enough with the full grid! Really enjoyed todays offering.13a favourite. Ta to all.

  2. 2*/4*. Another superbly enjoyable puzzle from our Wednesday maestro. The biggest difficulty comes in trying to pick a favourite. I’ll settle for 28a which took me the longest to parse.

    Two very minor points: I can’t see why “so-called” is needed in 3d; and I couldn’t make much sense out of the surface for 11d.

    Many thanks to the three birds, and best wishes to Sam for a successful operation.

    P.S. Well done to the Telegraph printers for superimposing an advert over the last row and a half of the grid. 😒

    P.P.S. A neat side-step from our bloggers regarding Ulster.👍

    1. Yes rabbit Dave,not only is the last line across hidden but my copy also has irritating creases across the grid!
      Not an uncommon occurrence,it must happen at the printers!

    2. Yes, that really threw me as I automatically entered 27a in the bottom right hand corner before I noticed the
      mistake. A fine old mess!

  3. A really good puzzle, which I enjoyed and managed to finish despite the bottom two rows of the grid being covered by an advertisement in the dead tree version (2*/4*). I loved the geographical clue, 3d and the amusing13a, together with 16a. Thanks to the Kiwis and glad to hear Sam seems to be doing well. Thanks to Jay for another enjoyable puzzle.

  4. I thought this an excellent puzzle with some v clever clues such 28a and 3d and my fav 13a. The clues needed thinking about but were always fair not needing leaps of faith or knowledge of sacred works. Never heard of 12a but the wordplay was not a problem. The only perhaps slightly weak clue was 9a.
    Thx to all

    1. Gee – I guess 28a is what you Brits call muffler or scarf.

      I guess it wouldn’t sound quite as mysterious: “Bond screwed the muffler on the end of his Walter..”

      Mr T

      1. We call it a silencer. But since we don’t have guns we don’t really have much use for the term.

  5. Not happy with the lift advert covering up the bottom of the grid,apart from that fairly straightforward, Many thanks to all.

  6. The usual great Wednesday service from all three birds – thank you to them – hope Sam’s procedure goes well

    My favourite was 13a

  7. Firstly my enjoyment of this was somewhat compromised by an ad for stairlifts placed over the bottom of the puzzle, most annoying. However I thought the puzzle itself was excellent if a little tricky. I’d not heard of the synonym for advantage in 11a so that was a semi bung in. As usual on Wednesday loads of podium contenders but I’ve gone for 4d (such a great word) plus 16&22a with an honourable mention to the flyer at 14d
    Many thanks to the three birds .

  8. 12a was a new one on me but solvable once the last two letters were clear. For some reason I really struggled with 19d which was a great clue and obvious once it dawned. That just pushed it into *** time. *** for enjoyment and thanks to our antipodean hinters and the setter. The Plymouth print version also had the rogue advert covering.

  9. I loved this, for me, the best for awhile. Some clever and amusing clues. Got stuck on 28a until I realised I had the wrong answer for 23d, Its not debase. Many thanks to the compiler and 2kiwis.

        1. I nearly put it in, but stopped to draw extra grid lines on my paper (grrr)and realised my mistake as I came back to it.

          1. Me too! Which meant I couldn’t do 28a or 19d, which was annoying as I completed the rest of the puzzle without too much trouble.

    1. I’m another one – didn’t notice my mistake until I had to make 18a ‘salesman’ because it was the only word that I could think of that would fit. Oh dear! :roll:

  10. A very enjoyable puzzle that only tripped me up in putting 23d as ‘debase’, resulting in a lot of head scratching over 28a!

  11. I bunged in debase for 23d without thinking, which held me up for a while on 28a. I was also sure it was a pangram, but there were a couple missing.
    Didn’t quite understand the synonym for advantage in 11a.
    Otherwise, good fun and games. ***/****
    Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis

  12. A very enjoyable Jay this morning. 28a took the longest to work out but it’s very clever. ***/**** As is often the case with Jay, many of the clues break down logically into the answer. 14d and 12a being good examples. As Brian mentioned, you don’t need to know that Juneau is the state capital of Alaska to arrive at the answer although I suspect most of us do! Favourite 16a. Thanks to all.

  13. Usual excellent Wednesday production. All pretty straightforward until the SW where for some reason I struggled. Once 22a yielded all started to become clear but even then the last 2 in weren’t easy given I was base for bunk. Very partial to a nice drop of 18d, liked 12a but favourite for me was 16a.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks & wishing young Sam well.

  14. The overall excellence of the puzzle has been mentioned by everyone, as well as the problem of 11a and the mistake of debase, which was mine as well. The chamberpot as I remember was always under the old people’s bed not by it. They may have stood in it getting up.

    I liked 9a because I learned something that I had been mistaken about since I was about five years old. I was made to attend a Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel throughout my childhood and a Sunday would not go by without the preacher mentioning how the elect were a special and peculiar people. As I grew older I looked around the chapel and thought “yes you are a peculiar people”. Today I learned they thought that they thought they were privately owned by God.

    So thank you to the setter for that learning gem and the whole crossword. And to the 2Ks for the hints and especially for 28a which showed how debased my SW corner had become.

    1. Having been raised a Southern Baptist, Corky, I quite understand and sympathise. Peculiar is as peculiar does.

    2. Yes always under the bed. As a small child I stayed overnight once with a great aunt. She was very posh, she had this very fancy chair by the bed. You lifted up the seat and there was the chamberpot, called a commode. And the mattress on the bed was made of straw. Made such a noise every time I moved. It must have made a big impression on me, as I still remember that bedroom vividly.

      1. We had them at boarding school, the lavs were down two stairs and along long verandahs! We called them chimmies.

  15. Amazing how a misplaced advert can ruin a crossword puzzle! The lower clues remain a mystery because of it and it greatly reduced my enjoyment. Still, I could see that it was a terrific Jay offering and I particularly liked 13a. Corky is quite correct – it went under the bed and that is why we called it a “Guzunder”.

    Many thanks to Jay for a great challenge. No thanks to the Daily Telegraph for the misprint. Huge thanks to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    1. Yes Steve, a lot of the guzunders were made of pottery and leaving them by the side of the bed was avoided. No one wanted to step on or kick one in the dark so it went under the bed!

      1. My mother got into terrible trouble when visiting the ‘country’ Angus family who had outside loos. She put Sedlitz Powders (I gather like Andrews salts) in all the Gosunders so that when they were used during the night they effervesced causing some consternation. She was engaged to my father at the time so old enough to know better really, it is a wonder they allowed her into the sacred Angus Clan!

        1. My teenage students’ favourite practical joke was to put cling-film wrap across the porcelain pedestal top then close the seat down on it rendering it invisible to the next user….

    2. Question for Royal Doulton, or whoever, “Has the popularity of en-suites rendered the guzunder unnecessary?”

      1. We have a few at the cabin up in Vermont – so you don’t have to venture out into the woods and scare the bears or hunters.

        We also have some authentic British IZAL loo paper – to help remind us to use only a single sheet per single sheet (as my grandpa used to say).

        Mrs T

  16. I think it has all been said. Excellent as always. No print problems on my iPad. So much better for me than paper and pen. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to the 2Ks for the review. Regards to Sam.

    1. I would miss the touch of pen and parchment so much if I lapsed to the digital. I feel so old and yet envious that others can cope with it!

  17. With no help from starting with the Downs in either direction, this proved to be one of Jay’s trickiest, but still very enjoyable, puzzles which I completed at a gallop (just) – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 13a, 16a, and 14d – and the winner is 16a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks plus best wishes to Sam.

  18. A bit more fun today working out the obscured bottom line! I just added the missing squares squares and the down clues provided the rest.
    Anyway a cracking puzzle and a ***/**** for me too.
    Excellent cluing throughout , the ‘advantage ‘in 11a was new to me, confirmed in Chambers and the synonym for privately owned in 9a took a bit of thought, last in and my favourite was 28a-what an original clue.
    Thanks to setter and 2K’s for the pics.

  19. Quite enjoyed filling in my own boxes for the bottom line. 9a last in as I’ve never heard that word applied to the clue. Old bitter perhaps?

  20. So thoughtful of the DT to give us an extra challenge this morning although I did scour the memory banks for an alternative spelling of the 14d flyer before the penny dropped! That eye infection at 15a seems to have been very prevalent amongst our setters during recent weeks, hope they all recover soon.
    Plenty to enjoy as usual from Mr Wednesday and my podium places went to 1,13,16 & 28a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for managing to bring us the review whilst heavily engaged with the family. I do hope that Sam is soon well on the way to recovery.

  21. I was caught out by 12a ( wanted to put in Austin, but couldn’t justify “stin ” for thirty days), and like some others, had “debase” in 23d for a while. Thanks to Jay and to the 2ks. Best wishes to Sam.

  22. Thankfully, I print my crosswords out and so didn’t have to decipher it through advertisements for stairlifts. Enormous fun to complete but quite tricky for me. I didn’t know that definition of 9a, and 12a left me frozen out for a while.

    Today’s soundtracks – Carole King ‘Tapestry’ and Carole King ‘The Legendary Demos’ (which is not Carole protesting outside the White House, but early versions of some of her greatest songs – of which there are many!)

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. All the best to young Sam.

    1. I laboured over yesterday’s Toughie listening to Tapestry (great album). Today’s Jay accompaniment was Live at the Fillmore East by Allman Brothers Band & then a bit of Gregg doing the blues for 3/4 of a pretty accessible Toughie until I hit a brick wall with 5 to go in the NW & returned to the joys of domestic chores.

  23. Just perfect for me, this newest Jay gem. 12a is the only state capital that one cannot reach by train or auto, nor in my case, at all: it’s one of two I’ve been unable to visit. (Can anyone guess the other one?) So much to enjoy, especially 16a, 3d (literally, a ‘horn of plenty’), & 28a (my LOI, called a ‘muffler’ over here). Thanks to the Kiwis, with best wishes to Sam, and to our Wednesday impresario. ** / *****

    Missing one on today’s Toughie….shucks.

        1. Working off your tip to LROK below – Helena, Montana.

          Time for trivia – which is the only US state where the state name and the state capital name are both two words?

          1. Santa Fe, New Mexico–and Bingo! The answer is Helena, Montana. Good for you, Senf! [There’s a long, shaggy-dog story about how, once we were in Montana (in Butte, then Missoula)–not far at all from Helena–we somehow did not make it to Helena. And never made it back to Montana.]

            1. My favourite state capital trivia question – which is the only state capital which doesn’t contain any of the letters of the name of the state?

      1. Close but no cigar. Bismarck’s high-rise capitol building especially drew me to ND. Hint: Try an adjacent state.

        1. Must be Pierre then.
          Think Senf’s poser is Santa Fe (great track by Eilen Jewell who hails from Boise, Idaho & is well worth a listen to)

          1. Could be H. Not familiar with it so looked it up, only has population of 14,000 & seemed much less interesting than Helena Montana probably the only other candidate.

          2. No, after I left Bismarck, I drove to Pierre (pronounced PEE-er, I discovered) and was quite pleasantly surprised by the Missouri River charms, including the capitol building itself, of that little town. Thanks, guys, for playing my Guess the Capital Game today!

  24. My copy of Telegraph printed an ad across bottom line of grid
    . Wasted 20 mins trying to solve 14d before I noticed!

  25. I came to this a little later than usual as we were out all morning but this was well worth the wait. As it is a Wednesday, the usual superlatives apply with no clear favourite, although 14d was probably my pick.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  26. As others have already remarked. Would have preferred to see the full crossword rather than the bottom clues being overshadowed by a stairlift advert!

  27. With 14d, the answer “budgerigar” is ten letters, indeed, as stated in the clue.

    However, the crossword square only provides nine letters!

  28. A real gem of a puzzle.
    So many clever clues.
    Managed to complete unaided but severely challenged.
    So, ***/*****
    Many thanks Jay and the 2 Kiwis for a colourful review.

  29. Another cracking puzzle which really stretched the little grey cells, lkike many others favourite clue 13a not only humerous but clever.I also had the problem of the stair lift advert so resorted to my trusty ipad, although fat fingers do make it a little time consuming. Battening down the hatches here in NC not only for the weather but we seem to have had an influx of incomers recently.
    Thankd to the 2Ks and to Jay.

  30. I was way off the pace today ending a good run. Trouble at both ends of the clues – hard definitions trickily clued – meant there were plenty of gaps at the end of tea break. I shall try to learn these lessons!

  31. Very enjoyable puzzle for me **/****. On balance some nice clues, 14d gets my vote
    Thx to Jay & 2K’s

  32. My favourite was 16a – brilliant. I have had a virtual morning – a telephone consultation with the doctor followed by a telephone physio call, the latter akin to a chocolate teapot. Thanks to the three birds – my birds are very put
    out today because the tree men came yesterday and took about 8 feet off the trees all round the garden so their usual perches have gone! George has been in the garden all morning cutting logs from the more substantial branches which they left for us but now it is raining – again. Hope Sam makes good progress.
    Although all we paper version readers are probably miffed by the overprint, in all honesty I cannot remember it ever happening before – can you?

  33. Fell into the debase trap which then left 28a as a mystery until I had it unpicked. Managed the bottom line despite the placement of the ad. Enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  34. Enjoyed 29548 despite printers. An aside remark.. Do the setters have to remind us of their American origins? We are in the uk, for heavens sake!

  35. Am I the only one, having only got the L and P for 16a, initially put in lap dancer? Didn’t seem quite to fit.

  36. An average struggle with Jay today *** time **** enjoyment.
    4d my COTD, lovely word.
    Severe apprehension over Hospital & test tomorrow. Of course further anxious wait until the results. Test in Wick not Inverness, an extra 20 miles. Never been so looked it up. Amazed that it is 0.1 deg Latitude further North than 12a. Just shows how far North we are up here.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks. Glad all going well with the grandson. Hope all back to normal soon.

    1. Not sure how that ended up here! Was meant to echo the debase comments.

      The comment meant to appear here was to wish you the very best tomorrow LROK

  37. ***/****. Another quality puzzle with a few tricky bits to make it a tad more difficult, the NE in particular. 28a was my favourite once the penny dropped. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  38. I found it tougher than usual to get on Jay’s wavelength today, and was very glad to have the 2Kiwis hints to keep me going, particularly for 9a which I have never heard used in that sense. I do love a piece of 1a, primarily the smoked version. For some strange reason it is never sold here in South Florida, and yet we can get kippers. It’s the first meal I always request on trips home.
    Thanks to Jay and best wishes to the 2Kiwis and their grandson. Hope all goes well in Wellington.

        1. Wrong! They’re herrings when they come from the sea, they are only kippers when amazon smokes them!

    1. Smoked 1a is a Smokie. They are beautiful and the best come from Arbroath in Scotland – as does Mrs. C.

  39. Stairlift ad annoyed and threw me for a while and then once back on track found the going heavy and not much fun. Perhaps I am somewhat distracted in anticipation of having the Covid jab this evening (that gives away a secret!). I tried to use deride for 23d. 9a in the context of the clue always fascinates me. Thank you Mysteron and the 2Kiwis (do hope your grandson is OK after the stent removal procedure).

  40. As irritating as the Telegraph paste-up artist’s error was, it was a simple enough task to use a pen and ruler to draw in the final horizontal line and shade in the four black squares. Fortunately this didn’t detract from my pleasure of solving yet another of Jay’s excellently clued Wednesday puzzles. 13a raised a chuckle, having been raised in an old house with no bathroom and quite spartan toilet facilities. I quite liked 16a & 3d, but I think my COTD has to be 28a, but having said, there really were so many excellent clues from which to choose. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  41. That carelessly placed stairlift advert did me no favours but, once I finally worked out the blanks went it was fairly plain sailing.

    Socks up Telegraph crossword department, please.


  42. Morning all.
    A Sam report. The procedure all went well and he is back home again. He was allowed to keep the stent as a souvenir and we are all amazed about how big it is. A little yellow snake about 20cm long. When the ends are uncoiled it must be about 30cm. So, with any luck, all his plumbing should now work as it is meant to. He has been an excellent patient coping with it all. He says thanks for all your kind comments.
    Back to the puzzle. Very grateful that we had not thought of DEBASE for 23d as it was already in the SW corner where we had or biggest head-scratching moments.
    Once again we had not chosen a favourite as too many possibilities.

    1. That’s very good news, 2Ks. All done before Christmas and he now has ‘the evidence’ to show off to all his friends!
      The size of the stent surprised me – always assumed they were very small things.

    2. Great for Sam,.
      The only thing worse than having one of your children sick, and that’s having them sick over Christmas.
      I too was amazed at the length, Mr Wiki just says a “tiny tube”.
      Reminds me of the story that an American Company claimed to make the world’s smallest diameter tube. Accles & Pollock sent it back to them with one of their tubes inside it!

  43. A nice and steady solve that got faster as I went from top to bottom. **/***** for me today.
    Some clever and great clues including 13a, 16a, 28a, 3d, 4d & 26d with winner being 3d followed closely by 16a.
    Thought 28a was clever too.
    Couple of clues may have given non-UK background solvers an issue, but will look in the comments as the day goes on.

    Thanks to the 3 birds (J and 2K’s)

  44. I always enjoy Jay, though he did throw an unknown – didn’t know sake=advantage, nor what 28a meant, I solved that because of the gun bit.
    I’m hard pressed for a fave, maybe 4d for the lovely sound, 16a was pretty clever too.
    Thank you Jay for the loads of fun and the 2Kiwis for the hints and tips. So glad Sam is doing well.!

  45. Almost all of a brilliant crossword – a pity about the printing *****-up so no bottom row.
    I think it’s all been said already so I’ll leave it at that for today.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s – glad to hear that Sam’s OK and on the mend.

  46. Still not finished this ( or yesterdays but I have had a quick read of the comments and missed Daisy’s giggle about being helped across the road and the return of Luca/Navy)
    I am really busy at work at the moment but I did get the state capital of Alaska mainly because I despatched a parcel of contact lenses to said place. The customer was hopeful/desperate to get them before the hols so fingers crossed they fly it in rather than by boat. When I stuck the address label on the penny dropped on the clue I had contemplated over coffee. I am useless at remembering the rhyme about which months have thirty days or not but June gets remembered because it is the month of my birth.

    1. FYI. Many 28a’s or sound moderators cover the whole of the barrel plus a bit at the end, particularly on shotguns like 410’s or 28 bores.

      1. well, I didn’t know that BUT the answer doesn’t mean over a barrel so the whole clue just doesn’t work for me

        1. A car spares shop may have one [a silencer]. A silencer can be “something that goes over a barrel”. You are falling for the misdirection that “one over a barrel” refers to the phrase to have over a barrel.

  47. I’ve attempted the Saturday crossword with varying results for many years so I thought it would help to monitor the weekday clues and answers in the hope that I’d have more success. I didn’t get any better, but I’ve enjoyed your comments, so I’ll keep trying

  48. Very enjoyable as usual.
    It took ages to get 20d for some silly reason. 13a was the outstanding clue in an outstanding crossword.
    Good luck tomorrow LROK.
    Thanks both…

  49. Having been way off the mindset yesterday I was bang on it today, most unusually for me with a Jay puzzle. Having started half an hour earlier than I normally do then having been interrupted by a zoom conference I found to my chagrin that the bottom row was covered. This only held me up by the time it took to add on the missing squares and fortunately 29a was easy. My enjoyment was enhanced by the fact I didn’t struggle as I normally do. Favourite was 16a. Many thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  50. Another enjoyable Jay puzzle. I’m glad to see it wasn’t just me that put debase and thus ending my hope of finishing the puzzle unaided. I also assumed the mystery 28a would start with the letter A which meant I couldn’t do 19d without the hint. A great shame as the rest of the puzzle went in swimmingly. I somehow found out a couple of days ago that the state capital of Alaska is Juneau rather than Anchorage (which I have visited and so should know better) which turned out to be very helpful for 12a. ***/*****

  51. I found this harder to crack than usual for a Jay Wednesday. Got there in the end and as is always the case once solved wondered why it was such a tussle. Favourite was 14D. Thanks to all and glad to hear that grandson is well and truly on the mend.

  52. Very enjoyable. Many thanks to 2 Kiwis and Setter. My print version was missing the bottom line of the grid, but not to worry.

  53. Am I the only one who, though perfectly well aware of the printers’ error on the last 1.5 lines, managed tomit 28a? Perhaps my brain was exhausted from solving the rest of the puzzle! Many thanks to the three birds.

  54. As many, I put debase in 23d making 28a impossible and only got 20d as I thought of Virgo for the house giving me Vanirgo which soon changed to the right answer. But still nothing for 28a unfortunately.
    12a made me think about Robert as he mentioned it the other day.
    Agree with Steve that the best Smokie comes from Arbroath.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2 kiwis for the review. Glad everything went well for Sam.

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