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DT 29566

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29566

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD rating Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone from a very cold foggy and generally unpleasant Oxford. The first Ray T Thursday crossword of 2021 – apart from a couple of hiccups I thought it was a fairly straightforward one.

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

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


1a        Rushing water rushes maintaining pressure (6)
RAPIDS — rushes or attacks around (maintaining) P[ressure]

4a        Performed and spoke gripping edges of page (8)
OPERATED — spoke publicly containing (gripping) the first and last (edges) of P[ag]E

9a        Sailor facing route overseas (6)
ABROAD — one of the many crosswordland sailors is followed by a route or course

10a       They reportedly need you to work (8)
MASSEURS — a homophone (reportedly) of the third word of the clue – I had a complete mental block with this one – got fixated on the homophone being ‘YOU’ = ‘U’ – oh dear – dim! Thanks to Gazza and to MP for sorting me out!

12a       Topple plain vase (8)
OVERTURN — plain or clear is followed by a vase or a receptacle

13a       Knapsack weight carrying mixed bait (6)
KITBAG — the two letter abbreviation for a metric weight contains (carrying) an anagram (mixed) of BAIT

2.2 pounds of jam weighs about a kilogram!

15a       Clean funny comedian with talent forgetting line (13)
DECONTAMINATE — an anagram (funny) of COMEDIAN  and TALENT without (forgetting) the abbreviation for L[ine]

18a       Fantastic calibre in bed’s amazing (13)
INDESCRIBABLE — an anagram of CALIBRE IN BED’S – the first and last words of the clue would both work perfectly well as either definition or anagram indicator so take your pick – I’m going to sit on the fence

22a       Study following unfinished article’s yarn (6)
THREAD — study at university follows the definite article without its last letter (unfinished)

24a       Gloomy in local eating empty ‘Scotch’ dish (8)
NEGATIVE — a local or an inhabitant goes round (eating) the first and last letters (empty) of a three letter word that could follow ‘Scotch’ to make a dish – this one was much easier once I’d stopped trying to fit ‘sh’ (empty Scotch) into it and I knew it was going to be ‘the tricky to give a hint for’ one today – the pic is just in case you need a different kind of nudge rather than an illustration of the actual answer


26a       An erotic novel produces feedback (8)
REACTION — an anagram (novel) of AN EROTIC

27a       Aimless publicity break (6)
ADRIFT — the abbreviation for some publicity or a promotion is followed by a break or a split

28a       Broadcaster is keen to employ star (8)
ASTERISK — a lurker or hidden answer indicated by employ – he’s hiding in the first three words of the clue and it took me ages to catch him

29a       Flatulence firstly hazardous being full of beans (6)
FRISKY —   the first letter (firstly) of F[latulence] is followed by another word for hazardous or dangerous



1d        ‘About a Boy’ showing wit (6)
REASON — the little short two letter abbreviation meaning about or concerning, the ‘A’ from the clue and a boy or a male offspring

2d        Prognosticated after drink’s finished (9)
PORTENDED — some fortified headache inducing wine is followed by a synonym for finished or closed

3d        Extreme seeing doctor over a small twitch (7)
DRASTIC — one of the many two letter abbreviations for doctor, the ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for S[mall] and, finally a twitch or an involuntary movement

5d        Friend embracing sweetheart, sound as a bell (4)
PEAL — an informal word for a friend or a mate contains (embracing) the middle letter or heart of swEet

6d        Bellini’s sorry about rising composer (7)
ROSSINI — the second hidden answer, indicated by ‘about’ but this one is also reversed, indicated by ‘rising’

7d        Initially try hitching using member breezily (5)
THUMB — the first words (initially) of the rest of the words of the clue

8d        Clash with frightful European clutching flag (8)
DISAGREE — a synonym for frightful or appalling and the abbreviation for E[uropean] containing a verb to flag or flop

11d      They cut fruit round summer’s end (7)
PRUNERS — some dried fruit containing (round) the last letter (end) of summerR

14d      Rest and relaxation includes stroll for stroller (7)
RAMBLER — Rest and relaxation, commonly abbreviated to R and R, go round (includes) a synonym for stroll or walk in a leisurely way

A different kind of the answer!

16d      Final word on one couple’s facilities (9)
AMENITIES — the final word, or the one used at the end of a prayer, and the letter that looks like a one are followed by couple’s or joins together

17d      For Queen single I cavort about outside (8)
VICTORIA — an anagram (about) of I CAVORT goes round (outside) the letter that looks like a one (single)

19d      First course more piquant after seconds (7)
STARTER — S[econds] is followed by another word for more piquant or sharper

20d      Resident American consumed by frontier (7)
BOARDER — the one letter abbreviation for A[merican] containing (consumed by) a frontier or a boundary

21d      Guard posted overseeing railway (6)
SENTRY — posted or dispatched followed by the abbreviation for railway

23d      Cook while stuffing baloney (5)
ROAST — baloney or a load of twaddle containing (stuffing) a synonym for while or at the same time

25d      Captain could create stink on ship (4)
BOSS — a stink or pong that comes from a grubby person followed by the usual two letter abbreviation for a S[team] S[hip]

I liked 24a (although I suspect that it may split the commentariat) and 14 and 26d. My favourite was 29a.


110 comments on “DT 29566

  1. Ray T at his best, I thought. I needed help with 24a but the rest went very smoothly, so my good streak of solving continues. I have even managed both Toughies so far this week. No doubt it will not last. There were some great clues today including 10a and 29a both of which had great surfaces. However, my COTD is the one that beat me – 24a.

    Many thanks to Ray T for a great puzzle and to Kath for the hints, which I will now read.

    Great Quickie pun.

      1. Attempting my first toughie today, Miffypops. If you’re doing the hints later, all I can say is Thank you in advance!

        1. Good luck Lorna. The four long clues went in straight away and as I said above, the checkers were my friends.

            1. Completely stuck with 28A.
              Maybe because I’m a scientist, I jumped on the A-T- R-S as being the star Antares, ANT being the broadcaster.
              Sorry, posted this in the wrong place!

                1. It doesn’t matter all that much where you post comments although it’s marginally easier to keep things in a nice tidy little row if they’re roughly in order – wherever they are someone will always see them, at some stage, and reply.
                  28a – the definition is STAR and it’s is a hidden answer which is indicated by the word ’employ’ – the actual answer is hidden inside the first three words of the clue. It’s a star such as the one on the QWERTY keyboard above the 8.

                  1. Sorry, Kath did I comment out of line? Sorry if I did. Mind you, I do see your point.

  2. A very enjoyable RayT puzzle today. Full of fun and mischievous arts. Thanks to him for the puzzle. Thanks to Kath for the review. Off out for a walk now. Saint Sharon has mentioned photography. I’ll be bored stiff.

    1. I don’t know about bored stiff.
      You’ll certainly be frozen stiff, as will S’s fingers if she’s taking pics of the frosty countryside.

      1. Just how many photos can you take of a frozen puddle? And why does SS think that I want to go through them with her later? Only a short walk today. It was cold though but a couple of buttered crumpets, a hot chocolate and a glass of cognac is putting that right.

        1. I think the last remedy is a good one. Since lockdown, we’ve been having Baileys in our midday coffee, although not every day. I wonder if that is a problem?
          It puts me in mind of those ski holidays when at 4.30pm, at the bottom of the slope, in a bar, a nice vin chaud or gluhwein, depending where you were, would be a triple remedy. It relaxed you, it killed the pain, and produced enough of a buzz to get yourselves and the kids back home (the Mars Bar didn’t do any harm either).

          1. Dad paid for me to go on a school skiing trip but the school wouldn’t take me or two of my mates as it was considered we could not be trusted to uphold the good name of the school. They gave us our money back which we spent like all good fourteen year olds would. Dad worked with the father of a lad who was going on the ski trip. One day he asked why he hadn’t been called to the parents meetings. I had to tell him we were not going. He asked about the money and when he discovered it had been given to us and spent he went to the school and demanded his money be refunded to himself. After a bit of a hoohah he was given the money. He immediately told the parents of the other two lads who did the same. Dad never admonished me over this. He genuinely thought the school was at fault. It still brings a smile to me fifty odd years later

  3. On the easier side of Ray T but typically I don’t understand a number of his clues and need the hints to explain the wordplay (14d, 28a, 8d and 6d). 24a was a bit of a groaner. As always for a Ray T I can admire his skill but seldom enjoy his puzzles.
    Thx for the hints

  4. A fairly straightforward Ray T apart from the NE corner and that held me up for a while, until the pennies started to drop (3*/3.5*). I’m still not very keen on 10a, although I sort of see it with Kath’s hint. Like Steve, I thought 24a was the best clue. Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  5. There was enough low hanging fruit on the first pass to give me a decent foothold so I had relatively few problems with this. Spotting the two superb lurkers immediately also helped.
    Huglely enjoyable as usual, 1&29a plus 14d stood out for me
    Many thanks to Mr T and Kath for their efforts.

  6. My only hold up was the pesky 24a. So obvious once it is explained, so thanks to Kath for sorting it out. I could not see the wood for the trees. It was, however, a terrific clue and joins 29a on my podium. Ray T as concise and as enjoyable as ever.

    Many thanks to both the aforementioned for the fun.

  7. For once I sailed through a Ray T puzzle so it must be on the easier end of his spectrum. I had the same difficulty as Kath with 24a to begin but soon saw the error of my ways. **/**** That’s my favourite today. The queen was a bit different today. To Brian, all I can say is, if it looks unfathomable, check both ways for lurkers. 28a was very well disguised. Thanks to all.

  8. A classic RayT crossword although I did get held up in the SE corner 24a and 16d solved with the hints without reveal. I quite liked 29a and 18a. Due to success in solving today dogs have been itching to get out. So its off for a walk over to Boscastle or if it looks busy on the cliffs then Bodmin Moor might be better.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT.
    I hope you are all safe and well during these difficult times.

  9. Thanks so much, Kath! I got in such a muddle parsing 24a, eventually landing on the ‘eg’ coming from ‘eating’ being empty which left me with a Scotch dish that I couldn’t make fit! I felt a right pickled egg.

  10. Gosh Ray T was kind today. A **/**** puzzle with the two lurkers at 28a and 6d as my joint favourites.

    I got suckered into trying a Toughie yesterday by a * difficulty and recommendations from two of our regular visitors to this blog. What a stupid boy I am. Never again.

    Thank you to Kath and to Ray T for this morning’s enjoyment.

    Everyone stay safe and stay cool.

  11. 2*/4.5*. As often seems to be the case, I can echo pretty much what YS says above @6 although I did eventually manage to unravel 24a.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath – a great start to the year for both the setter and the reviewer.

  12. I really enjoyed this. I cant normally manage a Ray T puzzle, but nearly got there apart from 24a, a bit of a stinker that one. Many thanks to Ray and especially Kath for explaining 24a.

  13. Enjoyably straightforward today – I had a discussion only yesterday with the vegetarian Mr CS about the qualities of a really good ‘Scotch dish’ so didn’t have any trouble parsing 24a

    Thanks to Mr T and Kath

    1. Thank you Weekend Wanda. All becomes clear. I’m being rather obtuse today. That’s what comes of waking up very early and deciding to muck out the kitchen before breakfast and the crossword!

  14. As always, Ray T has this knack of being endlessly sophisticated without being obscure and still digested lots of Bs and Ks. Marvellous.
    All OK except for 24a where I got the meaningful elements all the wrong way round.
    The long anagrams helped.
    My favourite was that lovely little thing at 28a.
    Thanks to Kath and Mr T.

  15. I ended up three short, and had to come here for assistance. 10a, 24a & 8d were the culprits.

    I think I spent almost as long on the Quickie today, but I did like the pun.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  16. Reasonably straightforward, though I needed Lovely Kath’s help for 10a despite having all of the checking letters, and 28a as I missed the lurker, as usual…!

    A brief tale of a kindly cat: Lola is our neighbours’ cat and lived happily there until about four years ago, when she was unable to get along with their dog. She decided to take up residence in our garden and became such a fixture that I built a little house for her, so she had shelter. She followed me about everywhere in the garden, and sat on my lap as I battled the crossword each day. Occasionally, she came into the house but didn’t stay for long, preferring her life outdoors.
    At the time of the first lockdown, when there were no ‘bubbles’ and we were in total isolation, Lola decided to move in full time and live here. She was (and is) a joy to have here. She brought a reassuring comfort at a time of much concern and some stress. She is loyal, patient, loving, intelligent, and kind. Now that she is unwell and needs our help and support, I will do anything for her. Our neighbours are lovely and understand this – we work together to ensure Lola has the best in life.

    Today’s soundtrack: Yes – The Yes Album

    Thanks to Ray T, and Lovely Kath.

    1. Cats definitely choose where they want to live. I have two at home and one at work who came out of nowhere and decided to stay with me.

    2. Oh Terence, I was so worried when I started reading your update, but now I know she’s still with us, I’m so happy. She sounds a lovely cat, take good care of her. I was up to seven cats at one point but they won’t let me adopt any more and I’m down to just two.

  17. Managed without assistance save for Kath’s hint for 6d being a lurker. I did go see a lurker but just couldn’t see it. I don’t usually resort to a hint so soon but such a long list of composers beginning with R. This left me with 10a which I got but did not parse. I managed 24a without seeing the relevance of Scotch. I took eg from the word eating without its contents. I did not particularly like 11d. Oddly I have only circled one favourite being 13a. Thanks Ray T and Kath.

  18. 24a was also the last to yield.
    Had to write down the fodder in the 18a anagram as I wanted it to end in “credible” originally.
    Forgot the meaning of full of beans in 29a. Thought it was someone talking bull****.
    7d made me laugh as I couldn’t imagine a finger being a member.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  19. What Kath said, but I will give Mr T an extra * for enjoyment, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 14d, and 16d – and the winner is 14d.
    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

  20. Straightforward Ray T – surely an oxymoron. I didn’t find 10a or 24a at all straightforward and they took me nearly as long to see as the rest put together. Perhaps my brain suffered a power cut.
    Either could be my COTD but I’ll go with 10a.
    Thanks to Ray T & Kath.
    MP good job SS is not up here: Temperature at local loch dropped to -10 night before last & loch is now frozen to over 6ins. children now skating – not sure I would let mine .

      1. Its within [dog] walking distance so Ginger Whinger says its OK (I think).
        Highland is one of the least populated areas of Europe up here yet our infection rate is nearly the same as Edinburgh. Risen from less than 50 / 100,000 to nearly 250 in a week. Really can’t understand what is going on. UK now has the highest per capita infection rate in the world. How many times do our Governments need to make the same mistake before they realise they are making it?

  21. Such a relief to have Mr T to turn to on a dark, wet and thoroughly miserable day which is guaranteed to have anyone feeling 24a.
    Thought for one dreadful minute that Ray T was trying to persuade me that the ‘comedian’ mentioned at the start of the answer to 15a is actually funny – quite a relief when the light dawned!
    Plenty to like and I picked out 10,26&29a as my top three.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the review.

  22. I too was held up by the SH in24a but otherwise, as Kath says, fairly straightforward.

    **/*** from me.

    Thanks to Ray and Kath.

  23. I had a vague recollection of a dish for drinking Scotch from. After doing the alphabet thing I finally remembered ‘quaich’, which gave me ‘qh’, which was no help at all. Then I realised that what I needed to help me finish was a substantial meal!

  24. In contrast to Kath’s “unpleasant” Oxford we in West Sussex have beautiful sunshine so far today and this was a breeze to come through starting in the friendly North. Last to go in was 24a in spite of having four alternate letters – all vowels. Can’t believe I had a problem identifying 28a – d’oh. 29a raised a smile. Thabk you RayT and Kath.

  25. Lovely sitting in the sunny conservatory with homemade tomato soup ( tomatoes from the garden) and a delicious crossword. I agree with so many of the previous writers, 24a was last in and I was trying to user an empty EatinG which left me worrying about the Scotch, I struggled with Dec being funny, I too wanted credible for 18a – but all fell into place eventually. Corkie – do try the Toughie – I tend to tackle it late at night in bed but last night/over breakfast I finished it unaided and it is a good feeling. You have nothing to lose, no one is judging you but yourself, go for it. Thanks Kath for your hints (sorry you do not seem to be getting our sunshine in Oxford) and to Ray for a very slick crossword. I have to gird my loins now for a trip to Addenbrookes to have this ruddy heart monitor fitted.

    1. Hope your trip to Addenbrookes was OK. David once had a very early appointment and was the first in the huge car park on the right. It was very icy and this old boy in a flat cap driving a Nissan Micra came in a couple of minutes later, drove all round the car park and went straight into the side of David’s car. D went beserk – there were some 500 spaces available and he hit the only car in the car park.

      1. Ooops I bet that didn’t go down well! George always hated driving behind anyone wearing a hat in the car, and as we overtook he would say ‘Hmm, thought so, got gloves on as well’ Strangely now he is an old man he also wears gloves in the car, but so far not a hat!
        It wasn’t too bad, hardly anyone about really – I didn’t see any signs ‘To the vaccination point’ so where it is being done I have no idea.

  26. All very straightforward until the 24a roadblock. Correctly assumed the definition but still took an age to come up with the synonym & then try as I might couldn’t parse it (made same mistake as Lorna & Weekend Wanda) so, not for the first time with a Ray T, it was Kath to the rescue. Thought the lurkers at 6d & 28a were well disguised in good surfaces & really liked 10a, my pick of today’s crop.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Kath.
    A gorgeous crisp sunny day here in Harpenden, perfect for a walk to the accompaniment of Exile on Main St (Stones) & Easy Gone (Ray Bonneville)

  27. A very enjoyable puzzle from RayT today, finished earlier than I usually do with this setter.
    Nothing 24ac to say about this one.
    Many thanks to RayT for a good work out & to Kath for the review.
    Best wishes everyone.

  28. A doable Ray T, couple of head scratchers, I only needed Kath’s explanation of 24a, as several others have mentioned.
    Thanks RT and Kath.

  29. I was really unsure about what I put into 10a, and needed to check the review. Sure enough, I was wrong. Apart from that, I rattled through it without further problems. I have lots of ticks, so maybe, at long last, I’m starting to enjoy RayT. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for the review. Lots of bluetits are chasing each other round the garden today. I guess it’s probably last year’s brood, and a reminder to clear the bird box out ready for the breeding season.

  30. Enjoyable puzzle – maybe to the easier end of the Ray T spectrum? No particular favourite today.

  31. Ray T has clearly made a lot of bloggers happy today with his high quality offering. COTD for me was 10a as I was amused when I realised that in trying to connect it to baking bread I was a slice short of a full loaf. I think Kath’s assessment is bang on. Thanks Kath.

  32. 6d confused me for a while, as I know Bellini as a composer (from a similar era and style as the composer in the answer). I then dallied with something to do with cocktails. Suffice it to say, I overthought this one!
    Very enjoyable – **/****
    Thanks to Ray T for the challenge, and to Kath for the review.

  33. Well managed to actually attack this one on the actual day rather than last thing at night or next morning. Sailed through whilst grandson home schooling in other room but hit a brick wall for a while with 10a and 24a. Penny dropped once I started to read today’s hints. COTD definitely 29a with its link between the first and last words – for some reason they always bring a giggle.

  34. Another Thursday, another Ray T. Once in a blue moon I can get on his wavelength, but clearly today is not a blue moon day. After a pathetic start, I took a look at some of Kath’s hints, but quickly lost interest. A nearby clinic announced they had just got some more vaccines in, but phone line not accepting calls. Directed to web site, where we were offered a date and time, Hurray. Short lived, as we got the dreaded “oops” message when we tried to confirm and schedule. Too many people chasing too few vaccines. Our Florida Governor ignored 75+ guidance and decreed that all 65+ should get the shot in this first wave. But no cities were prepared for the deluge. In Palm Beach County alone we have 300,000 in that age group. So keep on waiting. But at least our 90 year old friend, recovering in hospital from her fall, got her first shot last week. Every cloud and all that.
    What with this and yesterday’s abhorrent scenes it’s a wonder blood pressure doesn’t finish us off.

  35. 24a my last one in too! Makes me feel better that so many people stumbled on this one. Have had a go at the Toughie and had to give up with 5 to go but I’m still quite pleased with myself. Thanks to all for another great puzzle. Lovely sunshine today here in Norfolk but very cold so our walk to the harbour and back was at full throttle (as much as Mr M can do full throttle on his two sticks!).

  36. I normally find Ray T’s puzzles are a joy but this was a bit of a slog today. I used electronic help for 10a and managed to get 8d, 24a and 28a without knowing why. Very cross to have missed the lurker as they’re my favourite type of clue. ***/***.

  37. Evening all. My thanks, as always, to Kath for the analysis, and to all for your comments.


    1. Thanks for popping in, Ray T and for the fun crossword. You always offer great tussles.

      1. I’m here but late! I’ve been glued to the box, steaming mad, but they’re not doing anything. As one person remarked, a man who has the nuclear warhead codes has been expelled from Facebook and Twitter.

    1. This is the danger when we let former colonies rule themselves.
      It was interesting last night that former President Bush said it was the behaviour of a Banana Republic.
      Robert probably hasn’t come down from the ceiling yet & it is difficult to post from up there.
      Following his comments on the situation I have taken to watching CNN and last night watching events unfold was fascinating, enlightening and pathetically sad all at the same time.

      1. Nothing like a bit of gallows humour in such worrying times. It simply beggars belief & I thought John Sopel summed it up perfectly on the Beeb last night – and we think we’ve got problems

    2. Dreadful scenes. How did that man become the president of the biggest superpower.

    3. I feel for you, Robert. It is a serious state of affairs. I hope the 25th Amendment will be invoked. He has to leave in disgrace.

      I never thought I would live to see the day when such things would happen in the United States.

  38. Needed some help today from Kath i.e. hints for 24 & 29 across but an enjoyable Ray T ***/*** 😃 Favourites 10a & 1d thanks to Kath and to Ray 🤗

  39. Excellent fun once again and our stand-out favourite because of its ‘Blazing Saddles’ overtones is 27a.
    Clue word count maximum is 7 again.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  40. Seemed a trickier than normal for a Ray T puzzle today but nonetheless a fun solve. I rate as 2.5*/**** with SW last area to complete with 25d last in.
    Clues to like include 13a, 24a, 29a, 2d & 14d with favourites being 2d and 24a

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath

  41. I haven’t been enjoying crosswords much lately, found them quite hard and nothing much to raise a smile….lockdown blues maybe?! But this Ray T puzzle revived the cross-wording spirit…..a very enjoyable puzzle and much to smile about! The quickie pun was good too although the quickie was definitely not…quick that is! Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the blog.

  42. I don’t normally finish a RayT and today was no exception. I left four unsolved in the SW and, natch, the infamous 24a. I can’t believe I missed 17d, how many English queens have a “v” in their names.
    I thought 11d were called secateurs in England and the answer was an Americanism.
    My fave is 29a, but 14d was pretty neat as well.
    Thank you RayT, and many thanks to Kath for unravelling so much.

  43. Enjoyed completing this earlier today. Last one in 24 across. Couldn’t get haggis and neeps out of my mind!
    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  44. As others had to think long and hard over 24a and 17d went in as soon as I stopped trying to fit in a queen single, otherwise completed at a Senf like gallop. Favourite was 8d as even though it was obviously the answer the parsing took a minute or two. Many thanks to Rayt and Kath.

  45. Another excellent Ray T puzzle, which I finished eons ago, and thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks to Kath for the review and to Mr T. ** / ****

    I’ve been a bit abstracted from the world of crosswords, but thank heavens for them right now.

  46. 2*/5*….
    liked 3D “extreme seeing doctor over a small twitch (7)”
    amongst others.

  47. Very enjoyable for every alternate Thursday.
    Much to enjoy, 24a took some getting with the vowel crossers. 🙄
    I could not parse it I could not get pubs etc out of my head for local.
    Thanks Kath and Ray-T

    1. I agree, Hoofs. It shows the mindset of the members of this wonderful blog that, when we see the word “local” it has to be a pub. 😎

      Strange, really, when so many are closing.

        1. Looking through the telescope from the wrong end Kath.
          Bar = pub, inn = pub, local = pub so pub = mindset is I, thInk what Steve meant.

  48. I was anticipating a fiendish RayT offering yesterday (in my time zone) but I thought it was at the easier end of his spectrum. Some well placed anagrams helped open up the grid. My COTD candidates, 10a and 7d. Many thanks to Ray and Kath🦇

  49. Thanks again to Ray T, for the crossword and for calling in, and thanks to everyone for the comments.
    Off to bed fairly soon so night night all and sleep well.

  50. Goodnight, my friends. We are all going through difficult times. It is hard not to be able to meet our mates and our families. It hurts the young and old. Grandparents can’t hug the grandkids, elderly folk who have a lifelong partner seriously ill in hospital are not able to visit and give comfort. A loving couple kept apart in their final days because of a virus. Young people have had their lives put on hold.

    It is, without doubt, a tragedy.

    There is hope. There always is hope. Hope is what has kept humans going and I think this tribute from Paul McCartney and friends to George Harrison sums up the hope we all feel.

    Good night and stay safe.

  51. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A super puzzle, so many great clues. 22a was so obvious, I nearly missed it! 28a was such a good lurker, I had the answer, but had to read the clue again to see it. 7,23,25d and 29a all made me laugh, but my favourite was 14d, so clever. Needed the hint for 24a, which was last in. Was 2* /4* for me.

  52. Thanks for the hints Kath. Getting back into cryptic crosswords now I am retired, after many years of not having enough time. Only got about seven clues on my own so hints helping me get back into the cryptic mindset!

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