DT 29567 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29567

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29567

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where we start the day with a light dusting of snow.

It took me a while to get started on today’s puzzle, but once a few checkers were in, things began to flow more smoothly. Thanks to today’s setter, in particular for the anagram at 7d and the lurker at 9d.

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.

Across

7a           Rot in base with two types of wood (7)
EYEWASH – Put together a logarithmic base (approximately 2.72) and two three-letter trees.

8a           Substitutes for team beside opponents (7)
PROXIES – Put together the Latin for ‘for’, the Roman numeral for the number of players in a cricket team, and two compass points representing opponents at the bridge table.

10a         Divided volume of liquid, English wine (9)
QUARTERED – An Imperial measure of liquid, followed by English and a colour of wine.

11a         Backed youth with an expert in court (5)
NADAL – Put together another word for ‘youth’ and AN (from the clue), then reverse the result to get the name of an expert on the tennis court.

Nadal wins his 13th Roland Garros and reaches 20 grand | Atalayar - Las  claves del mundo en tus manos

12a         Slacker, first to ignore dinner, left for pub (5)
IDLER – The first letter of Ignore, followed by D(inn)ER (from the clue), with Left replacing the pub.

13a         Separated half of dishes, cracked (9)
DISSOLVED – The first half of DIShes, followed by ‘cracked’, as you will have done when you get the answer to this clue.

15a         Stupidly popular, shifty type (about 50) (7)
INEPTLY – Another word for ‘popular’, followed by an anagram (shifty) of TYPE, wrapped round the Roman numeral for fifty.

17a         One makes proposal cancelled by monarch twice (7)
OFFERER – Another word for ‘cancelled’, as in ‘tomorrow’s match is —‘, followed by two instances of the Queen’s regnal cipher.

18a         Caught alien restraining knight and struck (9)
ENTRAPPED – Crosswordland’s favourite film alien, wrapped round the chess notation for a knight, followed by ‘struck (the table with one’s knuckles, perhaps)’.

20a         Tests after some oddly fell back (5)
EXAMS – Put together the odd-numbered letters of SoMe and a synonym of ‘fell (a tree)’, then reverse the result (back).

21a         Heading off very much in advance (5)
EARLY – Remove the first letter (heading off) from a word meaning ‘very much’, as in ‘I would —— like to have my family visit again’.

23a         Biscuit a girl replaced with bad one (9)
GARIBALDI – Anagram (replaced) of A GIRL, BAD, followed by the Roman numeral for one. These are possibly my least favourite biscuit.

garibaldi biscuit - Google Search | Do not eat, Garibaldi biscuits, Food

24a         Avoided quiet one in French home to the west (7)
SHUNNED – Put together an instruction to be quiet, the French for ‘one’, and the reverse (to the west) of an animal’s home.

25a         Banks of nowhere returned good gains for savings (4,3)
NEST EGG – Start with the outside letters (banks) of NowherE, then put together Good and a verb meaning ‘gains’ or ‘acquires’, reverse the result (returned) and add it to your starting letters.

Down

1d           Tracks ignored in Derry, poor condition causing this? (10)
DERAILMENT – Here we have an all-in-one clue. The abbreviation for a means of transport which uses tracks is removed from DER(ry), then we add an illness or poor condition. The result is what may happen if the track is in poor condition.

2d           Characteristic of fine player (6)
FACTOR Fine, followed by a player on stage.

3d           Engineer shut yard for some time (8)
THURSDAY – Anagram (engineer) of SHUT YARD.

4d           Spring day, content in best suit (6)
SPADES – Put together a mineral spring, an abbreviation for Day, and the middle letters (content) of (b)ES(t), to get one of the suits in a pack of cards.

5d           Starting to dislike turning (5,3)
GOING OFF – Double definition, the second being some milk, perhaps, which is past its best.

6d           Gambled once Charlie’s gone and cashed in his chips (4)
DIED – Remove the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO alphabet from a word for ‘gambled’ – one involving cubes with numbers on .

7d           Beauty queen is mad with sexist (13)
EXQUISITENESS – Anagram (mad) of QUEEN IS and SEXIST.

9d           Sauce collected by vassal, address in Greenwich (5,8)
SALAD DRESSING – Hidden in the clue (!)

14d         Earl lives extravagantly, acquiring second chateau (10)
VERSAILLES – Anagram (extravagantly) of EARL LIVES followed by an abbreviation for Second.

Chateau De Versailles opens virtual visits, watch at your own pace with new  app- The New Indian Express

16d         Trojan regularly declining acting sycophantically (8)
TOADYING – Alternate letters of TrOjAn, followed by ‘declining’ or ‘falling’.

17d         Leader quitting by arrangement (8)
ORDERING – Start with a word for ‘by’ or ‘next to’, then remove the first letter (leader quitting).

19d         Trouble opening up temple (6)
PAGODA – Put together another word for ‘trouble’ or ‘commotion’, add an opening or space, then reverse the result.

20d         Gems centrally placed on superior ornament (6)
EMBOSS – Take the middle letters of (g)EM(s), then add one’s superior at work.

22d         Audibly bemoan making cooking mixture (4)
ROUX – This is a mixture of flour and fat cooked together and used as a base to thicken a sauce. It sounds like (audibly) a word for ‘bemoan’ or ‘regret’. Coincidentally and topically, it is the name of a famous French chef who died this week.

Albert Roux's legacy goes far beyond his food | Albert Roux | The Guardian


The Quick Crossword pun BOARD + ALIGN = BORDERLINE

135 comments on “DT 29567
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  1. 5*/5*. Excellent! Today we have proXimal in his Mr 4X guise. This was great fun, but I did find it particularly challenging and much harder than his Toughie yesterday. It had me wondering if he might have sent them both in the same envelope to Chris Lancaster? :unsure:

    Sadly, the power of advertising won the day, and we were not able to complete a full five days of finding the back-pager on the back page of the newspaper. Hands up anyone who ever actually notices what is advertised on the back page.

    With too many good clues to pick a single favourite:
    – My favourite anagram is 7d.
    – My favourite homophone is 22d.
    – My favourite charade is 8a.
    – My favourite last one in is 5d.
    – My favourite “other” is 17d.
    – My favourite biscuit is 23a.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

    1. I frequently wonder if it’s worth the money that the advertisers pay for that back page. I haven’t a clue what is being advertised.

      1. Me, neither. I also get irritated when I’m having difficulty opening a page only find when I finally separate the pages a double page advert.

    2. I’ve thought this for years. Never look at the back page if puzzle’s on the inside. More people would look at it if the ad was inside, and all us crossword nuts would be happy having the puzzle where it’s supposed to be!

    3. I ca not understand the answer ‘
      To 17 Down – ordering – (b)ordering. I do not see a link. Please can you enlighten me.

  2. A bit more of a workout today, the impending appointment with the dentist didn’t help. 90 minutes of . . . .

    I had to resort to electrons to finish 13a and 20d but those led me to 9d which must be one of the longest lurkers in history and therefore my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT

      1. Something nasty for sure. Husband was recently gone for 2 1/2 hours, prepping for a new crown, and putting in temporary. I had resorted to checking his iPhone location to see if he was still there, or if they had whisked him off to the hospital. Apparently, the temporary kept falling out 🤔

        1. As a retired dentist. BusyLizzie I have to defend the profession. I don’t think I ever did anything that was nasty! :grin:

  3. I too had trouble getting into this puzzle (3*/3*) and bunged in a few, where I couldn’t completely parse them ; 8a, where I couldn’t see where the ‘es’ came from and 12a where the pub reference mystified me so I couldn’t see the ‘er’. Thanks to DT for the hints to those. Some of the clues were very sneaky but 1d and 9d were brilliant. Thanks to the compiler.

  4. Brilliant puzzle! A proper Friday back pager, more like this please. The 14 letter lurker would have taken top prize most days but it was seriously challenged today by 8,11&25a plus 1,5 &16d.
    4/5*
    Many thanks to proXimal and DT for the top notch entertainment

  5. This was a tough slog for me. ****/** It wasn’t hugely enjoyable because I needed the hints to explain a good handful of the answers. I couldn’t see where the pub came into 12a or where the opponents were in 8a. Wouldn’t have thought of bridge in a million years! I completely missed the “very much” in 21a and the b in 17d. It all becomes clear but does seem very convoluted. It’s almost certainly just me having an off day. Favourite was 7d and it took me long enough to unravel that. Thanks to all.

  6. An excellent puzzle (but like RD I thought it was a bit ‘tougher’ than yesterday’s Toughie by the same setter). Thanks to proXimal and DT.
    It was difficult to select the top three clues from such a fine selection but I’ve plumped for 1d, 9d and 17d.

  7. In total agreement with RD, Gazza and others about the difficulty level, but what an absolute peach of a puzzle. To select a favourite, merely take a pin and have a stab, but I have to award the top prize to the magnificent lurker at 9d.

    Many, many thanks to the X man for a terrific and enjoyable challenge, and to DT.

  8. Really terrific, the best puzzle of the week for me. It took me a while to get going (oddly, 22d was my first one in), but once the two long answers fell, I was on my steady way. 8d, my LOI and COTD, heads the podium winners, with two short ones, 11a and 20a, following. Many thanks to DT, whose hints I’ll read now, and to proXimal for another gem. 2.5* / 5*

    Cowardly VP goes into hiding, POTUS shrivelling, America sickened.

    1. Thanks to the DT puzzle, I now know who the VP is even! Is it not time for Joe Biden’s inauguration soon? Trump’s supporters remind me of all those politicians who claimed that those who voted for Brexit “didn’t know what they were doing”. Such arrogance all round.

      1. I find it terribly tragic that a patriotic woman, who served loyally in the US armed forces, had her love for her country exploited by Trump and was bamboozled into breaking into Congress, where she lost her life

          1. I gather that there are fairly large groups of extremists in the US from the’Preppers’, who are organising for the end of the world as we know it, to those who don’t acknowledge the US government at all. How awful that any President should exhort them to such excesses for his own ends.

        1. As Dr Johnson has said (according to Boswell), though, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” The sad record shows that the woman who was killed did nonetheless commit a seditious act, along with hundreds of others.

    2. Robert,
      Over the last two days I have felt for you, and so many proud Americans. Over the months I read your posts and realised that, whilst they could be seen as politically motivated, I thought they also be taken as a thinking man reflecting a deep concern that the present POTUS was completely different to what had gone before. He was neither a politician nor a diplomat and cared little for even the basest standards required of either. That concern has sadly proved justified.
      Surely the GOP in general, and some individuals in particular, need holding to account over issues since the election.
      I just wonder if the polical landscape will ever be the same again. Worringly, as somebody on CNN said yesterday, “Don’t forget this man still has the nuclear codes for 10 days”.

      1. Not just Robert, remember BusyLizzie and me. The “proud” American deserted me in November 2016. The general feeling is that Trumpism will survive for some time.

      1. M, Of course you & BL were saying the same, sorry.
        What happens now?
        For the moment nothing as he will keep his head down (or have it kept down by the Executive)..
        It is what others do that will dictate events I think.
        From my understanding the 25th Amendment won’t happen. The impeachment might but it will be a token gesture because of the limited time.
        I don’t think POTUS will go away voluntarily but the GOP may have to remove him if it is to maintain credibility with the centre-right.
        It is the stuff of beyond fiction. Where is Josiah Bartlett when you need him?
        Back to CNN…..

        1. It’s true he only has 12 days left but he can do a lot in 10 days. There have been several resignations now, not much left in the WH, but the resignations haven’t exactly been front line for reform. Betsy deVos? She’s so right wing she’s falling off the other side.

        2. My personal feeling is that Trump has to be removed from office before the handover to Biden. If he is not, America will never be respected in the world again because it will be known as a nation that allows a man who loves anarchy to become president.

          I feel for our blog members on the other side of the pond.

          That is all I will say because I have contravened blog rules. However, I wanted to say it.

          1. Protocols for this blog advise that topics such as sex religion and politics are to be avoided. Not everyone shares the same political views. Can we keep it on topic. I don’t visit this blog to hear politics discussed. I can go elsewhere for that. Please can we discuss the crossword not the pluses or minuses of politicians?

    3. 22d my first one in too. Favourites were 1d, 7d and 9d. LOI 20d which my better half, who eschews crosswords, got got with minimal thought. Thank you for the clues and hints.

  9. This was double double toil and trouble for me. At first I thought it was going to be beyond my reach altogether, but finding some anagrams helped me get underway, and after clambering up Everest with neither a Sherpa nor oxygen, I have reached the summit of mixed metaphors.

    Lola went to the vets at 8:00am and is not expected back until later this afternoon.

    Today’s soundtrack: Yes – Fragile

    Thanks to proXimal and DT

    1. Was struggling to think of Fs to go for today & forgot about Fragile – went for Fresh Cream (Cream) & Fire & Water (Free). Will listen to Fragile later as haven’t heard it for years

    2. Always a wrench leaving them there knowing they would rather be with you. Good luck to her.
      I’m sure you will keep us posted but test results take time.

  10. I found this so straightforward that I actually had to check that this wasn’t a crossword I’d “met before”. I did see the Xs and so knew deep down it had to be proXimal but how it took half the time of yesterday’s 1.5* toughie, I’ll never know

    Thanks to Mr X and Mr DT

    1. Though I found this far from straightforward I do agree it was a fair bit less challenging than yesterday’s Toughie CS.

  11. As Stephen L says-a proper Friday back pager, and a proper Quickie for me too which I assume was written by the same hand!
    Going for a ****/*****.
    I like RD ‘s list of favourites which saves me the trouble, but just have to mention 8a and 9d.
    Last to fall was 12d which gave me the D ‘oh moment when I parsed it.
    Thanks to DT for the excellent pics and plaudits for our setter.

        1. One of the most famous is “Some job at hand? We’ll soon see” (4, 3, 5) by Brian Greer.

          In a clue-writing competition: Some clocks tock and bar relaxation altogether (4,5,3,6)

          1. Thank you Proximal & BD. I should have remembered 29304 but there again there is an increasing number of things I should have remembered these days!

  12. This was a great workout for me today, I really enjoyed it, 9d a great lurker 7d had me working an anagram for a sexist, last in 8a had to be but couldn’t work out es, everything else was straightforward.
    My podium 9d with 7d and1d
    ***/*****
    Thanks to ProXimal and DT

  13. Very enjoyable, I thought the SW the toughest with 21a and 22d last in. 9d gets my vote. Thanks to DT amd proXimal.

  14. Found this a good deal easier than yesterday’s Toughie & clocked the likelihood of the 4Xs which certainly helped with the pesky homophone. Like others a slowish start but then a steady solve in a shade under *** time with all parsed correctly (I think). Great assortment of excellent clues & I’ll plump for a podium of 1,9&16d.
    Thanks proXimal for successive days of great entertainment & to DT for the review which I’ll now read.
    Ps Assume The Toughie can’t be Elgar as I’ve actually got a dozen.

  15. As soon as people start mentioning the toughie, you can bet that you are in for a difficult solve. I had to look up too many clues to make it very enjoyable. *****/*

  16. This was more humiliating than the * star Toughie I tried. Got more clues in that than I did today. After three sweeps gave up and came here. For some of them I had to uncover the answers because the hints didn’t help.

    If the above visitors to the page found yesterday’s Toughie easier than today’s cryptic then may I humbly suggest that today’s cryptic is in the wrong place.

    One last moan are the references to the similarly between the backwood men and women who invaded the Capitol building and the supporters of Brexit. The sheer arrogance of such a suggestion is only possible with a failure to understand democracy.

    If this last warrants solitary confinement then I suggest the Cooler for the supercilious and patronizing Remainers.

    1. If you are referring to my comment. The only point of similarity I was trying to make is that neither side (Trump supporters or Remain supporters in the Uk) honoured a democratic vote.

  17. On completion, I was thinking that I had made today’s puzzle more difficult than it actually was but after reading the comments above perhaps I didn’t, completed at a fast canter – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 7a, 13a, and 9d – and the winner is 13a.
    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  18. While I managed to complete this rather difficult puzzle without help other than on the anagrams, I ended up “bunging in” far too many answers as I could not quite work out the parsing without spending ages on each one. This left me feeling I had somehow cheated!

    Appreciate the cleverness of the setter now I have looked at the hints but not one of the most pleasurable puzzles of the week for me.

    However, thanks to proXimal and DT, appreciate the time put in to this blog.

    1. You have exactly put my thoughts an much better than l would have done.Thankyou also to Daisygirl for her brilliant post.

  19. Very much the tough end of the backpage spectrum for me. A “pulling teeth ” solve that took me well into **** time.
    13a: I have never associated dissolved with “separated”, although it is a way of separating the insoluble from the soluble I concede. But then again it then u ites the soluble with the solvent! I guess it pays not to be too technical.
    Like others needed review to see where “es” came from in 8a. Spent ages trying to get “sexist” from 1st 3 words of 7d, a tale of woe really.
    Just a bit too tough to be enjoyable ** / ***.
    Thanks to setter & DT.
    2cms of the white stuff brought our first power cut of the winter. Fortunately we have solar panels. But wait, the sun hasn’t melted the snow off the panels – DOH!

  20. I was slow to get 17d but no other mishaps to report although I don’t care for the likes of 17a.
    9d was a remarkable hidden but my picks came, as usual, from the surface reads – 21&22a plus 2,14,19&22d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT for the review. Unlike the latter, I have to say that ‘dried fly’ biscuits are one of the few varieties that I actually do like!

  21. Well that’s it! My run of solving has come to a grinding halt. I needed a fair deal of help from the hints in order to cross the finishing line. It was a brilliant puzzle with some well constructed clues such as 7a and the long lurker at 9d was very well hidden. My COTD is the rather neat 19d.

    Many thanks, proXimal and thanks also to DT for the much needed hints.

    1. Exactly the same….took a couple of days to finish due to this week’s awful events over here being a tad distracting!! Trying to catch up over the weekend but definitely needed some help from DT’s hints above. Cheers!

  22. Superb crossword today which had a lot of hallmarks of a Giovanni. I thought 12a was sneaky and took a lot of parsing. Missed the lurker in 9d but the answer was clear and my favourite was 23a which I am very partial to.
    Thx to all
    ****/*****

  23. All was going absolutely fine in ** time then shuddered to a halt by 21a and 22d.
    Solved eventually, that is, after along time!
    Thoroughly enjoyable, excellent clueing.
    Many thanks ProXimal and DT for the review.

  24. This got the grey cells going ***/****. A challenging Friday offering with some nice clues – favourites for me 8a and 20d.
    Thx to setter and DT

  25. 9d has to be the best lurker to date – very clever!
    I really love all those full page adverts…..
    Does no-one else use them as firelighters?

  26. I found this one very frustrating having enjoyed all the others this week. Some very obscure words and strange ways to find them. Felt like a total beginner again!! Can’t wait for an easy Monday.

    1. Welcome, Lollington. Crosswords are rather like snakes and ladders. You can get a load of ladders and be well on the rise until a snake comes along and takes you right back to square one!

  27. Well done proXimal for throwing me completely with 9d. I just couldn’t get it on first pass and read the clue out to my family. We all started to shout out addresses in Greenwich that we knew. Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory, Royal Naval College, and so it went on. Obviously, not one had the correct number of letters required. It turned out to be a lurker under my very nose. Very good. 9d has to be my favourite clue for the entertainment value. Thank you proXimal and Deep Threat.

  28. Florence , I became convinced that Queen Elizabeth I made her Armada speech there and was trying to work that in! Such clever misdirection. Coming in late ( who’d have thought 2.30 was late!?) everything has been said. A first class puzzle so many thanks to the setter, you really have got a sideways mind, and to Deep Threat for sorting out some parsing, although I am a bridge player I missed on the ES opponents. What a great week.
    Now then, let me tell you something surprising. Woke as usual at 6.30 and George got up to go and get us two beakers of hot water. I thought I had better sort out all the wires of my heart monitor before I sat up and I put my hand up my nightdress to the control. Don’t give up on me at this point. I felt something soft and fluffy on the casing and went to pull it off – goodness knows what I thought it might be but the next minute I was up out of bed, yanking off my nightgown and hopping round the room. I had been stung! Tarantula. Adder. Electric shock. George came into the bedroom and nearly dropped the cups, I was hopping round the room naked and strung with wires and screaming. I pulled all the bedding back but could find nothing. I am allergic to stings so out came the antihistamine pills and ointment and we eventually got back into bed. I had the foresight to take my rings off, my arms were itching and coming up in lumps and my second finger hugely swollen and red and hurting like hell. Then it re-appeared – a HUGE malevolent wasp. We jolly quickly gave it a terminal headache. When I returned the monitor to the hospital I had to, implausibly, put down that there might be some major heart activity about 6.45 when I was stung by a wasp inside my nightdress, in bed.
    As if my life is not difficult enough, with Covid and Lockdown and Trump and George and now Wasps in January.
    It’s all too much.

    1. Sympathies with you DG over the wasp sting. Do hope you have had no adverse reaction. How alarming especially when hitched up to a heart monitor. You remind me of an occasion many years ago when my Mother was staying with us for New Year’s Eve in our Suffolk cottage and she too was stung – I was a bit incredulous to begin with until the culprit reappeared!

    2. That must have been really scary for you both. Hope all the symptoms have now disappeared. I had a scary experience in the middle of the night a couple of months ago, so now how that feels.

      1. Now you cannot just say that without explanation! The mind boggles at what the scary experience might have been – anything from a gi-normous hairy legged Cambridge spider to an intruder.

    3. I do sympathise DG. I too am allergic to the blighters. Years ago I was unknowingly stung on my head while boozing in a pub garden on a summer night. I got to bed considerably the worse for wear & woke the next morning with not only a thumping headache but the subsequent view of myself in the mirror (never the prettiest sight at the best of times) that looked as though I’d been badly beaten up. By the time I was treated in the Royal Free Hospital all the soft tissue on my face was horrendously swollen.
      Do hope that you’re ok.

    4. Oh, DG, how unfortunate. So glad you didn’t do any damage to the new knee. I’m allergic to wasps but I pass out and wake up with no I’ll effects. The only time I had damage was driving, slowly on an unpaved road, and driving into a stone wall. Just a couple of dings on the car.

    5. Oh – horrible – poor you – here’s a little :rose: for you.
      However much I hate wasps, and I do, I always feel a very tiny little bit sorry for them – what must it be like to be a thing that absolutely no-one likes?
      I’m also allergic to their sting – they’re always at their worst in winter when they’re ‘sleepy’. Many years ago I’d gone up to Sheffield – early November – and was there to spend the Elder Lamb’s birthday with her. She was at university there and I was staying with my sister who also lives there – woke up in the night to pain on side of face – found wasp in bed and by morning couldn’t open my eye.
      Hope it’s better soon although they can take a while.

    1. As I’ve said many times before everyone appreciates it when the setter says hello, particularly after such a consummately clued puzzle.

  29. I was so certain that 22 down was doh! ,albeit a letter short, that it delayed me a long time in the SW corner

  30. What an absolute gem! This puzzle seemed to have everything for me, I agree harder than the Toughie yesterday by a way.
    4*/5*
    9d was my absolute clue of the day..
    Many thanks to ProXimal for a stunner & DT for review & guidance,

  31. From reading comments so far it is obviously a case of chacun à son goût but this certainly wasn’t my tasse de thé. Too many tortuous clues. Fav was 4d when I had sorted the spring followed up by the lengthy 9d lurker. Thank you proXimal and the much-needed DT.

  32. Thank goodness for Deep Threat and the hints. Way above my pay grade, which is the norm for proXimal. I solved several despite the clues, 15a, 20a, 24a, 7d and 17d, mostly from the checkers. Had trouble with 20d as I only think of ornament as a noun, and emboss as a verb. Yes, I am sure the dictionary says otherwise. Congrats to all those above who did better than me.

  33. Yes – it’s all been said already and I agree with everyone.
    I really enjoyed it and found it very difficult.
    I had the right answer for 12a but had given up on trying to work out ‘why’ so thanks to DT for that.
    I loved the very long anagram/lurker 7 and 9d even though I think there’s a difference between ‘dressing’ and ‘sauce’ – don’t know what but I’m sure there is. :unsure:
    Apart from those two long answers my favourite was 8a – last answer as well.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT.
    Still very cold, grey and gloomy out there with a bit of snow.

  34. Definitely to each their own and for my part, I really enjoyed it and didn’t find it too hard.
    20d was new to me.
    Loved the surface in 14d and the answer made me smile as we have an ad on TV at the moment for an Energy Company with a man running around switching off unnecessary appliances while shouting ” it’s not Versailles here”.
    Thanks to Proximal and DT.
    Forgot to wish Even Deeper Threat a very happy new year. All my best wishes to both of you for 2021 and hope you will be able to travel to France soon.

  35. I don’t usually have any trouble with pubs but 12 across had me stumped until I read the blog. This is just my sort of a puzzle. A tussle throughout. Thanks to ProXimal for giving my brain a workout and to Deep Threat for an excellent set of hints. Play nicely over the weekend children and I will see you all on Monday.

  36. Hi as a newcomer to commenting but not to the site I apologise in advance if this is not the correct place to post this question. I have been using Big Dave as a very enjoyable companion to my crossword solving for a couple of years now. Through Google in the last few weeks, I have become aware of Dan Word as an alternative aid. I am intrigued as to the mechanics of the site, it’s motivation, means of solving and which puzzles it solves. I can find no discussion amongst the solving fraternity about this, to me, newcomer. I would be interested to learn more as any google search just produces no information about the site. The clear human involvement of the Big Dave blog will always make it my go-to for assistance.

    1. Hello Nick and welcome to the blog
      General comments such as yours belong on the Comments page – see menu above
      Please read both the Welcome post by BD, and the FAQ’s which will give you a good idea of what the site is about – ‘Crossword clues explained in plain English’
      There also resources such as The Mine etc so do have a good look round

    2. I think Dan Word gathers data from websites where puzzles are held and therefore can give full solutions at the moment puzzles are published. It doesn’t give explanations like BD’s site, so you won’t really learn much from it.

      1. That is the objection I have to Dan Word. You get the answer without having to work anything out, there’s no fun in that.

        1. Totally agree, Merusa. I will admit to using Danword in the past but there is no joy in being handed the answer on a plate. All the information needed is in the clue. The joy comes from trying to work it out.

    3. All I can say is, “Stick with BD, and the rest of us”, not that I’m biased or anything like that! Everyone on here is very friendly and there are a lot of very knowledgeable people – not just about crosswords but other things too. You only have to ask if there’s something that you don’t understand and someone will reply, usually very quickly. The other good thing about this ‘place’ is that no-one will ever make you feel dim – trust me on that as I’ve been seriously dim numerous times.
      I might be being totally unfair – I’ve never heard of the other “thingie”.

    4. There’s no point doing the crossword at all if you just look up answers elsewhere. This blog actually helps you understand where you arrive at the answers and facilitates your working out mechanisms. 50 years later I’m still learning.

    5. Welcome, Nick. LetterboxRoy is correct in saying your post should have been posted on the comments page but how were you to know? 😁

      I joined Big Dave a couple of years ago after decades of tackling the DT cryptic with little success. What I have learned since joining this wonderful and fun blog has helped me enormously.

      Please leave online help well alone unless you are desperate! Stay with us and you will be rewarded.

      The joy of cryptic crosswords is in their infuriation. Some days they fall into place. Other days they are a total mystery. Many on this blog admit to using online help but only after exploring all possibilities. I, for one, will admit to using Mr. G but I do so rarely and reluctantly.

      I do hope we hear more from you.

  37. Well after a week of successful solving today I found this one too difficult for a humble back-pager. Admittedly some very clever clues but I needed the hints for four 😳 *****/*** Favourites 8a & 9d. Thanks to Deep Threat for his much needed assistance and to proXimal 😬

  38. We spotted the X’s in each quadrant so had no doubts about who had set this excellent puzzle. An absolute delight to solve.
    Thanks proXimal and DT.

  39. This one got the better of me – I ended up 3 answers short in the NE. But I thought it was a very good challenge, and I don’t resent being beaten by a ProXimal classic!
    Brilliant hidden word at 9d – definitely my COTD.
    Thanks to ProXimal and Deep Threat.

  40. I was soundly beaten today, solved four or five and gave up. I agree with Greta at comment 5. I couldn’t unravel so many, e.g., 12a and 19d, I had the answer but couldn’t parse them. I’ve read all the hints by Deep Threat and have to admit this was a very clever puzzle, alas, my tiny brain is not very clever so I’ve capitulated.
    Well done proXimal, you’re a brilliant dude, far above my head. I want to congratulate Deep Threat and those who solved this lot.
    A Jamaican friend commiserated with me about the “bangarangs” in my country! I thought a perfect description.

  41. Could someone please explain 12 across for me. Got most of it but needed hints for 12a 21a and 19 d. First clue in was 9d it was downhill from there on in.
    5*/2*

  42. After a week of excellent crosswords I thoroughly enjoyed, I came across this diabolical disaster of which I managed only one. Having gone through al the clues I gave up. Time i move to the Beano.

  43. I struggled with this off and on during the afternoon but ploughed on and got there by the dogs tea-time. I have always enjoyed a challenge and Friday’s is certainly that! Many thanks to DT and Proximal.

    Commiserations Daisygirl re your ordeal. As a child I developed a phoebia about wasps. My mother was the manageress of a confectionery shop it backed on to an orchard. During the school holidays I would help my mother in the shop so wore a white cotton coat with long sleeves and tight cuffs. One day my mother asked me to go across the road to the nearby garage for some change. Mid-way across the road I was suddenly stung and stung and stung! A wasp had got trapped in my sleeve. I was young, it hurt like hell and I screamed and screamed. I think half the village turned out to see what on earth was going on. To this day I still have a phobia about them!

  44. Excellent offering, but certainly a step up in division from the Mon-Thur offerings (no offence). Some very well crafted clues. Thanks DT for the extra information I needed, for example; who or what were the opponents in 8a. Another ‘note to self’ there. And I forgot about E being a mathematical base. Getting 7a, 13a and 14d provided a nice foundation to build from. Many COTD candidates but special mention goes to 9d. Took me a while to spot it but it’s right up there with ‘angel of the north’. Thank to the setter for the excellent entertainment🦇

  45. started this one mid afternoon due to other commitments, but clear that this was a tougher offering. Being tired didn’t help my solving powers today. After the second ‘X’ showed up, the difficulty level I put down to proXimal. The third one confirmed it in my mind. Still was a struggle for me ****/***, as I find his puzzles and clues confusing most times. Clues not always synonym correct IMHO. eg 24a the last part with ‘home’ (??? …really the 3 letter word considered a home )reversed (to the west). I think not. Several others with questionable synonyms.

    My COTD is 23a and liked the 9d lurker

    Finished puzzle with many hints, (thanks to DT) and to proXimal for my headache today (!)

  46. A very strange crossword experience for me. I managed a few, decided it was far too difficult and looked up the hints for 7a, 8a and 7d and then managed to finish it in double quick time. As a lurker fan I was bowled over by the brilliant 9d. ***/*****

  47. Superb puzzle. One of those which looks a horror at first glance, but gradually falls into place. As it should be.
    Thanks all.

  48. Wonderful, thank you ProXimal. Took a night’s sleep to actually finish this little gem but very glad I persevered. Had trouble parsing 17d, don’t know why, and the bridge reference in 8a eluded me. Thanks for explaining DT.

  49. As usual I took a couple of days off and then came back and quickly finished this one off, except for 11a which escaped me despite Mrs Stan being an avid tennis fan. Overall hugely enjoyable. Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

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