DT 29571 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29571

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29571

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

By the time most of you will be reading this we will be on our way to catch the ferry and cross Cook Strait. We’re going to be away for the next two Wednesdays so some other blogger will have the pleasure of writing the Hints and Tips for Jay’s puzzles. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We should be talking about this one. Quite a slow start for us and then some head-scratching throughout the solve so we’ve gone for 3 stars difficulty again. The usual smiles and chuckles along the way as all the pennies dropped.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Written assurance offered as cautious about storm (8)
WARRANTY : A word meaning cautious or tentative contains storm or be angry.

5a     Scandinavian mainly going after Massachusetts properties (6)
MANORS : Remove the last letter (mainly) from a word meaning Scandinavian generally, and put this after the two letter abbreviation for Massachusetts.

9a     Blessed with time for fine home (8)
INTERNAL : Blessed, as a mild expletive has its F(ine) replaced with T(ime).

10a     Party set missing source of inky fish (6)
DORADO : The two letter party or function, then the set on which many solvers traditionally listened to the BBC loses the first letter of inky.

12a     Pigeon lover welcoming home banker (9)
FINANCIER : The word used to describe a pigeon lover contains the two letter home or ‘at home’. Just for a change the ‘banker’ here is not a river.

13a     Gas found in Australia once carbon is extracted (5)
OZONE : The word ‘once’ with the chemical symbol for carbon removed follows the short colloquial name for Australia.

14a     Book performances (4)
ACTS : A double definition. The book is found in the New Testament.

16a     Tense opponent must accept one is insignificant (7)
TRIVIAL : T(ense) and then an opponent or competitor contains the Roman numeral one.

19a     Drink producing audible complaint by Bolshevik (3,4)
RED WINE : A homophone of a complaint or whinging moan follows the colour associated with Bolshevik.

21a     A great deal may be killed (4)
SLEW : A double definition. The BRB ascribes a North American origin to this multitude.

24a      Rodents will eat last of rotten food (5)
MINCE : The rodents who chased the farmer’s wife (although they couldn’t see her) contain the final letter of ‘rotten’.

25a     Brainless model‘s second caution about racket? (9)
SCARECROW : String together S(econd), then another word for caution, the letter for about or approximately, and a racket or loud noise.

27a     Character‘s presence (6)
SPIRIT : A double definition. The presence could be ethereal.

28a     Live in Scottish island with time to be perverse (8)
ABERRANT : An island off the Scottish west coast plus T(ime) includes a two letter word meaning live or exist.

29a     Staggering — eschewing wife’s maxim! (6)
SAYING : Start with a word meaning staggering or moving from side to side, and remove the abbreviation for wife from within it.

30a     Meat cooked by boring lodger perhaps (8)
FLATMATE : An anagram (cooked) of MEAT follows boring or dull.


1d     Hints may be very loud in card game finishing early (6)
WHIFFS : The card game that is a predecessor of Bridge loses its last letter and contains the musical notation for very loud.

2d     Aren’t I excited, being a bit of a looker? (6)
RETINA : An anagram (excited) of AREN’T I.

3d     Part of stage raised by some minor party (5)
APRON : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

4d     Crawlers two bad drivers regularly ignored (7)
TOADIES : Alternate letters found in three words of the clue.

6d     Justify a record in composure (9)
APOLOGISE : ‘A’ from the clue and a record, perhaps of a ship’s voyage, is inside composure or self-assurance.

7d     Sort of music speaker icon, oddly (8)
ORATORIO : A speaker or somebody delivering an address is followed by the first and third letters of icon.

8d     Novel newly penned by Stallone is carelessly done (8)
SLOVENLY : An anagram (newly) of NOVEL is surrounded (penned) by the nickname of Stallone the actor.

11d     Worry generated by guitar bar? (4)
FRET : A double definition.

15d     Cold interior to be renovated as standard (9)
CRITERION : C(old) and then an anagram (to be renovated) of INTERIOR.

17d     Commercial property assumptions taken as true (8)
PREMISES : A double definition. This word is pronounced quite differently in these two usages.

18d     Recognise and deny if it changes (8)
IDENTIFY : An anagram (changes) of DENY IF IT.

20d     Naked jumper’s language (4)
ERSE : Remove the first and last letters from a jumper that is an article of clothing.

21d     Food blog designed to support resort (4,3)
SPAG BOL : An anagram (designed) of BLOG follows a resort that often has curative waters.

22d     Ships millions hoarded by a school for actors (6)
ARMADA : ‘A’ from the clue and the well-known acting school contains M(illions).

23d     Case of sow on heat, possibly — a broad area (6)
SWATHE : The first and last letters of ‘sow’ and an anagram (possibly) of HEAT.

26d     Winter generally protects this bird flying north (5)
EGRET : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

So many candidates for favourite that we again just gave up trying to separate them.

Quickie pun    county    +    doubt    =     counted out

125 comments on “DT 29571

  1. Another fine Wednesday puzzle – thanks to Jay and the 2Ks -as you say, it is too difficult to pick just one favourite

    We are jealous of many things about your life in NZ – your Prime Minister, the fun you can have with your family, to name just a couple of thing; and now you are ‘going away‘, Would you like to swap places – I can offer a very grey, heavy drizzly day in a nice part of East Kent??

  2. Another terrific puzzle from our Wednesday maestro, full of humour, mild deception and smooth clueing. Unlike our bloggers I will pick a favourite, 18d, with 7d and 1a as runners up.

    Many thanks to our three birds. Today’s Toughie is very user-friendly and good fun.

  3. A bit on the tricky side and not quite as elegant as the usual Jay in some of the clues (3*/3.5*). I wasnt keen on either 21a or 21d but liked the misdirection in 2d and in 6d, where I was tempted to put in ‘authorize’ until the penny dropped. Thanks to the Kiwis and enjoy your break. Thanks also to Jay.

    1. I could not believe Jay gave us 21d, our rich and noble language is reduced to spag bol. Yes, I dare say it’s in the BRB, shame on the BRB, that’s truly awful.

      1. It’s what we all call it over here. We might read Spaghetti Bolagnese but we all say Spag Bol. So be it

      2. Ditto, I would never call it that. I have a great recipe for this sauce and it’s makes a large batch, enough for 12 people. After all that work, it deserves its full name.

  4. I, too, found this a little slow to get going, but the downs proved to be a little more accessible. All completed in *** time, having had a short break to relish the sports section. (United, United, Top of the league, UNITED!) It’s been a long time since we were able to bellow that at the opposing fans.

    The beautifully concise 21a was my last in and therefore my COTD.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks – enjoy your break.

    1. Malcolm
      As I used to say to others during the Fergy years it’s who finishes there at the end of the season that matters. It might only last until Sunday. Still these days I guess we have to be thankful for small mercies.-

      1. Coventry City were there at the end most seasons. The other end. Oh the conversations about avoiding the drop, if Everton put four past Newcastle and Liverpool draw with Bristol we only need a draw with with The Villa to stay up as long as Arsenal lose at Leicester.

        1. Remember the day when we delayed the final game kick off 15 mins (Bristol City I think & I was there) & a draw potentially sent us down. Am sure we surrendered a lead then heard results had gone our way & just kicked the ball about for the remainder. Plus when we we won in 97 at White Hart Lane on the last day & Oggy was the hero – the bookies in Cov lost a packet as I think we were 8/1 to stay up.
          Just as exciting as supporting a decent team….

          1. I rarely went to Highfield Road but I was there the night we drew 2 – 2 with Bristol and sent Sunderland down to Division 2. The most bizarre game of football I have ever witnessed. As to the 1987 cup final, I wasn’t there but I got impossible to get tickets for a few people. Big Dave’s favourite football match allegedly

  5. Enjoyable puzzle as you would expect on a Wednesday. My favourite was 21d. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

          1. I take it you would not enjoy the macaroni cheese I am making for this evening, then?

              1. That is such a nice thing to say, Miffypops that I would consider, should you ever visit this neck of the woods, an alternative to pasta.
                Beef Wellington, roast Maris Piper, braised leeks and a burgundy sauce with Yorkshire pudding, of course.

                Would that do?

  6. 2.5*/4*. Another gem from Jay.

    Initially I had forgotten that “blessed” could be a mild curse, which held me up a little with 9a, and I was quite surprised to find the particular meaning of 21a attributed as American in the BRB.

    It was quite a struggle to make a podium choice from such a fine selection but I am going to opt for 13a, 19a, 4d & 20d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. I would agree with our esteemed bloggers that this was slightly trickier than normal with a couple of less than obvious synonyms in the East.
    I’d worked out the solution for 9a from the wordplay but needed the 2Ks hint to justify the synonym as I hadn’t thought of “blessed” as two syllables.
    As ever on Wednesday a plethora of podium contenders, I’ll put forward 25&30a plus 17&21d.

  8. Lovely puzzle again an interesting and not to trying solve although struggled with 10a needed a bit of help. Favourite 25a and 1d.
    Pretty awful weather down here, but as we say your skin is waterproof.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and setter.

  9. Made a real mess of this one.
    Put “grit” in 11d and “shed” in 21a and was quite happy with myself until I checked the review.
    Liked 30a and 4d.
    A little thought for MP when I saw the Royal Academy of Doing Acting in 22d.
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis. Have a great holiday.

  10. A steady solve until I arrived at the North East corner. 5a and 10a were complete guesses and I needed the hints to explain the answers. I did check google about the fish in 10a and discovered that it actually is one of seemingly many varieties and names but couldn’t see where the inky part came into it. 9a took a little while for the penny to drop. I don’t know why as it’s actually a very straightforward clue. ***/**** The usual fun and games as we have come to expect from Jay. There are lots of podium contenders but I’ll choose 30a. Thanks to all. I’m very envious of the two kiwis.

    1. Inky has nothing to do with the fish but you have to take the source (first letter) out of the set, but perhaps you got that after a think. Took me a while especially there is another fish with different last letter.

  11. Tricky puzzle from the Wednesday Wizard. Irritatingly, my last one in was the four letter 21a. I meandered away and stared out of the study window; wandered back and the answer came to me right away.

    Other than when I lift her to the litter tray (and her visit to the vet on Monday), Lola hasn’t moved from the sofa since Saturday. I’m concerned but I am taking solace from advice here that a twelve year old cat will take a long time to recover. She has eaten a little, and Amazon have just delivered some special soup for cats which I hope she will lap up later on. The humidifier seems to help her breathing but her nose looks a mess. She is lethargic and rather morose. I chat to her often, but her sad and un-Lola like response makes me tearful.
    The vet advised not to change her collar (cone) at this time. She doesn’t like wearing it but has come to terms with it.
    The return to the vet on Friday and the biopsy results will be crucial, I feel.

    Today’s soundtrack: John Tavener – Essential Tavener.

    Thanks to Jay, and the 2Ks (and everyone here).

    1. Poor Lola and poor you. I know exactly how you feel. You do the very best you can and it is heartbreaking when your pet does not seem to respond. I do hope the vet comes up with something, Terence. We are all rooting for Lola.

      1. I’m sure the wait for the biopsy results is trying your patience Terence. Hopefully, Lola will pick up soon but it’s so frustrating when a pet is ill and you don’t know how to help. You are doing all you can and she will apprecoate being surrounded by love and care.

    2. Really hope the vet is on the ball and Lola’s biopsy is good news. First came across Taverner at the Proms when The Protecting Veil was premiered. Immense talent and inspirational music. Must listen to him this afternoon.

      1. You have put an ‘r’ in Tavener! I’m protective because my mother’s maiden name was Tavener!

        1. No. Predictive text did that. I checked my spelling as I typed but didn’t check afterwards. Often get caught out like that.

          1. Ooh I mustn’t let this one go by. The chap who invented predictive text died yesterday. His funfair is a week on Monkey

            1. MP
              Bit like 4d not long since that came up before.
              You will have to get that coffee ready then.

    3. Poor little Lola. I am sure she will pull through, animals do tend to curl up and lie low when sick. Roll on Friday. 🙏

    4. I really feel for you, Terence, nothing worse than watching a much-loved pet going through such a bad time. I do hope that the biopsy reports give you reason to hope for Lola’s recovery, you must be feeling so powerless to help her at the moment.

    5. I do really hope that she cheers up a bit soon – it would make me tearful too – in fact just reading about it makes me tearful . . . :cry: Here’s a little :rose: for you and her.

    6. I’ve been days behind with the crossword for the last week but have been keeping abreast of the blog. Just wanted you to know Terence that I’m willing little Lola ( and you) on along with everyone else here.

  12. I needed the hints with four across clues (9, 10, 21 and 27) but the rest went in smoothly. I have always understood the second word in the food at 21d ended in G but I suppose L is logical. My favourite clue today is 25a.

    Many thanks, Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and to thanks to the 2Ks.

  13. An OK puzzle somewhat spoilt by two awful clues in 9a and 25a both so weak as to barely be able to get off the bed.
    Apart from those two it was passable.
    Thx for the hints to explain these two clues.

  14. That blasted ‘blessed’ tricked me mercilessly, though I did finally guess that the answer was the right one. Not only that, I also struggled with others, here and there (the very British 21d and 30a), and so was finally pushed into 3.5 time, a new high for me with a Jay puzzle. I did like 21a and 28a, but not one of my favourite Jays. Still, he’s the man. 3.5*/3* Thanks to the Kiwis and my best to you in your travels.

    D-day for the Creep.

  15. Terence,
    (Sorry this should been a reply to #11)
    Strange, our vet felt the inflatable collar a good thing for our dog as it was less stressed when wearing it (it is useless if the injury is to the front paws). We have used them ever since. Need to stick with the vet’s advice though I agree.

  16. Great puzzle when sussed in *** with **** pleasure. Needed to parse very closely when I found the solutions using checkers. Podium places to 1 and 4d.

    Thanks to the 2Ks, enjoy the break across the Cook Strait, and thanks to Jay for his fine Wednesday puzzle.

  17. Had a complete mental block over 6d, 9a was a bung-in (never associated ‘blessed’ with a curse) and spent ages before having e help for 21a, my LOI. A technical KO for Jay.
    Everything to do with me nothing to do with the examination.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s for the review.
    Catching ferries to go on holiday. Life as normal, when will we have that phrase back in our vocabulary? Enjoy 2Ks, hope the weather is kind.

  18. The usual high quality Jay to help brighten up a foul rainy day. Found it a bit trickier than usual & if anything a shade harder than The Toughie (though I’m still 3 shy with that) & with too many clever clues from which to select a favourite. The rain shows little sign of relenting so I guess domestic chores are the order of the day – what bliss. Today’s albums: The Kick Inside (Kate Bush) & Micheal Kiwanuka’s sublime Mercury Prize winning third album, Kiwanuka.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks – enjoy your break you lucky people.

  19. Good fun as usual from Jay. 21 across went in a little more easily than it should have done and
    gave me my last one in with 21 down. I solved The Toughie earlier and reckon they are not too far apart in difficulty. A bit more of a stretch with the definitions would push today’s cryptic well into Toughie Territory. As we needed four new tyres and our road tax was due I called the Lexus dealership in mid December and asked the lad we deal with to get us a new car. We had an exchange of emails on Friday and paid for it yesterday. We pick it up tomorrow. Some things are improved by lockdown. I hope I like the colour. Thanks to Jay. Thanks to the 2Ks. Enjoy your trip.

    1. MP
      Sign of old age when Lexus salesmen are “lads”.
      Hope you enjoy the new “wheels” after what you said you are making the other day perhaps black might have been an appropriate colour.

      1. I haven’t started on the coffin yet. Too wet. Running ideas around in my head and picking up ideas online. There is no hurry. The chap I’m making it for is alive and well and I haven’t finished the mahogany handle for the loo flush yet.

        1. You haven’t mentioned St Sharon lately. I was too afraid to ask with regards to the coffin……

          1. Saint Sharon is fine. She will help with the polishing and the decoration. Also the lining if required.

              1. It’s for my own satisfaction in making it. I made one for a baby a few years ago and this is for an adult who doesn’t know I am creating it for them yet. It’s a surprise

      1. It’s a regular thing in England Merusa. Cars are so cheap here, and less expensive since Brexit.

        1. I need new tyres on my older 4×4 which makes it a financial write off. I’m delaying replacing them until I know how much it’s going to cost to get it through it’s MOT. I’m arguing it’s paid for itself over the 14 years I’ve had it so it stands me at nothing. So say a £1000 for repairs and £500 for tyres will get me a vehicle I can treat really badly for some years to come. There’s some obscure logic to this. 🤔

          1. I trade my 4x4s in after I’ve driven them into the ground and the trade in value is about £50.

            If I get a good car I tend to hang on to it.

            1. Mine’s 19+ years old. Engine, gearbox and transmission all perfect all the rest pretty shabby, it has a hard life. Only 90 000 miles. It spends 90% of it’s life off road, brake pads last 12 months if I’m lucky. It owes me nothing.

  20. One of the best starts ever from going up the Downs made this very straightforward – except for 21a – for completion at a gallop 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 17d, and 21d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2ks.

    P.S. The Hudson Toughie isn’t.

  21. Another entertaining Jay puzzle. I, too, struggled with ‘blessed’ and couldn’t get the obviously wrong ‘interval’ out of my mind. Not sure what Brian’s problem was with 25a: I had that down as one of my favourites along with 10a and 6d. Thanks Jay and enjoy your trip you birds.

          1. Tolerate?

            Goodness me.

            Would you say that to his face?

            Can’t you all bin these comments about him?

            Tell you what…ask him if he’s cool with it.

            If he is, then keep pounding away but if he isn’t or doesn’t respond then leave him alone.

  22. Nice typical Wednesday crossword ***/*** 😃 Thanks to Jay and the 2xKs Favourites 30a & 2d 👍

  23. Another good Wednesday workout, the top LH corner going in last. We have food and drink so that’s good. We had 4d recently didn’t we? I have had an invitation to go for the vaccine and shall log on shortly, though somewhat concerned by the long letter in yesterday’s DT from a professor of microbiology! Anyway, I shall go for it.
    Many thanks to Jay and I hope the Kiwis enjoy their break. Lucky sticks!

  24. I was one short today. Thought I’d finished, but had 21a wrong, and (like some others) was stymied by the parsing of 9a.
    I found it tricky, but I suppose watching the snooker at the same time might have distracted me (any excuse!)
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  25. South needed less application than the North. Too lazy to fathom 25a and 6d so bunged those in. Surely 3d is type of stage rather than a part of it. 21d – oh no please! Was unaware of Sylvester’s nickname in 8d. Simple 2d was Fav. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

    1. The BRB is playing it safe on stage – both a complete one and a part of one. In the case of the latter, it is that part forward of the proscenium arch.

  26. ***/**. I found this unusually tricky for a Wednesday puzzle. Missed one of the lurkers, misspelt 7d which made 10a a nightmare and generally required the hints to unravel/reverse engineer the answers in far too many cases. Not my cup of tea. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  27. Morning all.
    And a very early one it is too. Just on 4.30am here and just time for a quick Hi before we head south.
    Behave yourselves while we are not here to keep an eye on you.

  28. Busy day today dealing with a leaking washing machine, a Waitrose delivery and watching on Skype as my 6 month old granddaughter made sterling attempts to crawl up to the computer screen in order to ‘touch’ her granny. Ho hum, maybe one day she’ll be able to meet her granny in person – I live in hope.
    The above is the best excuse I can offer for finding this puzzle from Mr Wednesday decidedly tricky in places, mostly the right hand side. 6d strikes me as being somewhat odd, I always think the answer implies that someone is saying ‘sorry’ when they can’t find a way to justify their actions. No doubt the BRB would disagree!
    Top spots going to the 19a bolshy drinker and the 25a brainless model.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – enjoy your hols, you lucky people!

  29. Fairly straightforward one today with no particular hold-ups but a couple of bung ins which proved correct. What a nasty cold day. Just had a hilarious Zoom with our WI. With the success with my Kindle yesterday, I attempted to use the Kindle as the microphone and the computer for the visual. OMG what a mess – 2 awful pictures of me at different angles and despite turning off the mic on the computer the noise was appalling so resorted to just the computer where I can see everyone. On the Kindle I only see 4 people at a time. Anyone got any ideas? The mic on the computer has a 4/5 second delay which is maddening. I’m not particularly techie so any suggestions appreciated. Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  30. I had to chip away at this one over several sessions, but still too many “like” clues to mention….. and one “dislike”, 21d. I do, however, like spas. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks. Enjoy your trip away. Very envious. It looks like 2021 is doomed for us back here in the UK. The raven has gone missing from the Tower of London. ( Just depends on what you believe. Good job I’m not superstitious. I will stay positive regardless)

  31. All done with no help but one wrong 21a. 9a was last in but got just before relenting and looking at hint. Interval took alit of time to clear itself from my brain. There were a limited number of letters that would fit. As well as missing lurkers another trap for me is switching letters. Favourites 10 12 13 25 29 and 30a and 8 and 21d. Best of all is the brainless model. Why so many favourites? It is because some took a while to tease out and I liked the clang of the penny drop. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  32. Quite a tricky Jay, I thought, but the usual number of good clues, whatever Brian thinks!
    6d caused a spot of bother as did several in the bottom half, including 28a which I know we’ve had quite recently.
    21a was my last one and I don’t think I’ve ever ‘met’ the 10a fish – he’s quite pretty.
    My favourite was 25a and I also liked 19a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s. Hope you have fun on the South Island and that crossing the Cook Strait is OK – I remember doing that after we’d stayed with you nearly five years ago!

      1. Not quite five years ago but not far off and we also remember it, and the two of you, so fondly. xx

  33. Enjoyed most of this puzzle, but would never ever have got 9a without the hints.
    A bit perplexed by the 2 Kiwis saying that the 2 versions of 17d are pronounced differently….I am pretty sure I pronounce them the same way…..or have I hit a North South divide again….rather an extreme one perhaps ?

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis for the hints…..and, like everyone else I do so envy you being able to get away.

  34. I always enjoy Jay, so I’ll forgive him 21d.
    Agree, so many could be fave, I’m going to choose the whole puzzle.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for our Wednesday entertainment.)

  35. Can anyone help? I need my keyboard back, it’s presently a less than 2-inch square in the SW of my iPad. I think I hate technology.

  36. Hold down the keyboard button on the keypad. (Bottom right). Select dock. I hope this works

    1. I don’t get the keyboard, just a small abbreviated keyboard in the SW corner. I’ve tried turning off and on

    2. Got it! This techie stuff will get me yet! I wish I were younger! So much to learn, so little time.

        1. Used two fingers and pulled it on each side until it filled the bottom of the screen. How do they do that?

    1. Really reliving it – when we did it it was absolutely chucking it down the whole way across, Chris doesn’t really cope with ferries and rough seas so I left him to it and got chatting to so many lovely people . . . and then we got there and the view was amazing .

  37. Another fine Wednesday puzzle. I did cringe at Spag Bol but agree, it’s what everyone calls it. Failed on 21a until I realised I’d spelt 6d incorrectly.
    We live on the edge of Morecambe Bay and have a handful of local walks (which keep us sane during lockdown!)…the smart white birds in 26d are a common sight for us these days. They’ve really only appeared in the last three or four years in any numbers.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks…hope you have a good trip.

      1. Still being talked about in Morecambe but it would make a big difference (good one!) to the area if they go ahead. We live in Carnforth, famous for…..Brief Encounter!

        1. Lucky you Mikep – visiting Carnforth Station has been on my bucket list for years – and in these present times it looks as though it will stay there.

  38. Almost got there after a slow start but fell at the final couple of hurdles. Couldn’t see 14a for the life of me (so obvious!), got 21a wrong and couldn’t see beyond interval which made no sense at all for 9a. I got the rest unaided so a shame not to be able to finish it. ***/***

  39. Hard Jay puzzle today. Need too many hints yet again today. ****/**
    Taking advantage of the sunshine today even if cool. Beats the rain we have had for the past week.
    Gave up on this puzzle today as too many clues too elusive.

    No real favourite clues today but liked 2d, 14a & 24a

    Thanks to the 3 birds

  40. So many grumbles/objections to 21d that I feel obliged to defend it.
    Many years ago I had a grump about something – can’t remember what it was now but it was probably something in a crossword. I was moaning to my brother-in-law who was an English teacher. He just said, “language evolves – if it didn’t we’d all be saying, “thee and thou”.

    1. You mean people no longer say “thee and thou”? I must dust off my Fowler!

      Mind you, try telling that to our Breton friends, Jean-Paul and his wife Maripol. They insist that it is “tu” and not “vous” when we address each other.

  41. Finally caught up after being days behind with the crosswords. Not sure why, it’s not as if my diary is rammed with social engagements. Where do the days go? Or is it just me?
    Always enjoy Jay on Wednesday ( apart from last week which I found decidedly tough). My problem was with 21a rather than 21d. I think the abbreviation of 21d pretty common here in the UK whereas to me 21a felt wrong. Many thanks to all.

  42. Normal time for me on a Wednesday I get interrupted by a zoom meeting for an hour and a half or so. No horrors, nice enough crossword, favourite was 5a as I’d had the answer for some time but couldn’t why. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  43. Love the fact that apologize is the first entry in the OED along with realize and organize.

    People think it’s an Americanism or is that Americanizm but it goes back to the Latin ending izere and Greek izen.

    When I met an English Language GCSE marker a couple of years ago, telling her it was a z, she felt very bad as she had docked students a mark when they put a z, thinking it was an American spelling.

    1. Blessed = Infernal (I know. It’s a stretch)
      Change the F (fine) for a T (time)

      Which gives Internal which fits with the underlined definition in the hint. Just home, not fine home.
      I hope that helps

  44. Lots of fun pennies dropping but could not get 21a or 20d without help from the 2Ks. Thanks to them and Jay. 25a was my COTD among many candidates.

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