DT 29579 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29579

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29579

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright, frosty morning.

A steady solve this week, with some delay in the top half.

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

1a           Quartz extracted from Abuja’s perfect (6)
JASPER – Hidden in the clue.

CrystalAge Red Jasper Tumble Stone (20-25mm) - Single Stone: CrystalAge:  Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

5a           Complaint, one of many that gamekeeper has? (6)
GROUSE – Double definition, the second being a type of game bird.

10a         Gather Jenny maybe is nursing old lady (5)
AMASS – The animal sometimes known as a jenny is wrapped round a short form of the person in the family sometimes known as ‘the old lady’.

11a         Successfully defend finale to ITV show (9)
VINDICATE – The last letter of ITV, followed by another word for ‘show’.

12a         Barking athlete initially managed to maintain fast time (7)
RAMADAN – Put together another word for ‘barking’ and the first letter (initially) of Athlete, then insert the result into another word for ‘managed’, to get the fasting period observed by Muslims.

13a         Government of revolutionary African country seizing this writer (7)
REGIMEN – Reverse (revolutionary) a West African country, then insert a pronoun for ‘this writer’.

14a         Tirade by star, one officiating at ceremony (9)
CELEBRANT – A star, or someone famous for being famous, followed by another word for ‘tirade’.

17a         Settle in spot that lacks special ingredient (5)
LODGE – Remove the abbreviation for SPecial from a spot or splash, of ink perhaps.

18a         Charlie argued regularly with environmentalists’ leader, becoming vulgar (5)
CRUDE – Put together the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO alphabet, the alternate letters (regularly) of aRgUeD, and the first letter (leader) of Environmentalists.

19a         Long-lasting and extremely lucrative account (9)
CHRONICLE – The term used for a long-lasting or recurrent disorder, followed by the outside letters (extremely) of LucrativE.

21a         European in Chad mistreated mammal (7)
ECHIDNA – Anagram (mistreated) of E(uropean) IN CHAD.

Matilda the echidna beats crippling ant allergy – with a little help from  science | Australia news | The Guardian

23a         Conservative whip and senior journalist disagreed (7)
CLASHED – Put together an abbreviation for Conservative, another term for a whip, and the usual senior journalist.

25a         Recall inadequate qualification male coach concealed (9)
SUBMERGED – Put together a university qualification minus its last letter (inadequate), Male, and another word for the form of transport known as a coach. Then reverse (recall) the result to get a word for ‘concealed (under water)’.

26a         Statutory holiday gets cut for teacher (5)
TUTOR Hidden in Remove (cut) STAY (holiday) from the first word of the clue. [Well spotted Stephen – BD]

27a         Discovered sailors’ dining areas aboard very large ship (6)
VESSEL – Start with a word for the dining areas used by naval personnel, remove the outside letters (dis-covered), then insert the result between Very and Large.

28a         Seldom sees artist going towards bank (6)
RARELY – The usual crossword artist followed by a verb for ‘to bank (on)’.

Down

2d           Apprehension evident in the manner of Royal Marines (5)
ALARM – A French expression (1,2) for ‘in the manner of’, followed by the abbreviation for the Royal Marines.

3d           Dance Pablo does badly (4,5)
PASO DOBLE – Anagram (badly) of PABLO DOES.

4d           Bird heading away from chicken (5)
RAVEN – Remove the first letter (heading away) from a word for ‘chicken’ or ‘cowardly’.

Queen raven' Merlina missing from Tower of London and feared dead | The  Independent

5d           At sea, no greater supplier of energy (9)
GENERATOR – Anagram (at sea) of NO GREATER.

6d           Due victory, it’s secured by own goal (5)
OWING – The abbreviation for ‘own goal’ is wrapped round another word for ‘victory’.

7d           Detectives order foolish individuals around? That’s irregular (9)
SPASMODIC – Put together the initials of the part of the police force where detectives work, the initials of an honour “recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture”, and some foolish or stupid people, then reverse (around) the result.

8d           Stuff in food, mostly excellent to begin with (6)
FABRIC – Some 1960s slang for ‘excellent’, followed by a foodstuff which is a staple for a large proportion of the world’s population, missing its last letter (mostly), giving us some woven stuff.

9d           Church will support Irishman’s spiritualist meeting (6)
SÉANCE – A common Irish given name for a man, followed by the Church of England.

15d         Ludicrous rules essentially a huge lab reforms (9)
LAUGHABLE – Anagram (reforms) of the middle letter (essentially) of ruLes and A HUGE LAB.

16d         Port, variety going into barrels at intervals (9)
ARCHANGEL – This is a port in northern Russia. Alternate letters (at intervals) of bArReLs are wrapped round another word for ‘variety’ or ‘variation’.

17d         Refurbished ancestral royal house (9)
LANCASTER – Anagram (refurbished) of ANCESTRAL, giving one of the royal houses involved in the Wars of the Roses (or our esteemed DT puzzles editor).

18d         Stop about third from end of Victoria Line (6)
CREASE – Another word for ‘stop’ is wrapped round the third letter (counting from the end) of VictoRia, producing a line on a cricket pitch.

20d         Tolerate design about to receive investment from university (6)
ENDURE – An aim or design and the Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, placed either side of an abbreviation for University.

22d         Straighten clothing (5)
DRESS – Double definition, the first being, among other things, when a line of soldiers on parade straightens out.

23d         Tree, one that produces small fruits we hear (5)
CEDAR – This evergreen tree is a homophone (we hear) of a word describing a plant which produces small (usually) fruits from which new plants grow.

The Birstall Cedar Tree | Art UK

24d         Inn‘s stolen Ethel’s case (5)
HOTEL – A criminal jargon word for ‘stolen’, followed by the outer letters (case) of EtheL.


The Quick Crossword pun STAY + TUSK + WOE = STATUS QUO

93 comments on “DT 29579
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  1. Smoothly clued throughout, I think this was the work of this Tuesday’s Toughie setter.
    My only problem was parsing 17a though it had to be. Wasn’t overly keen on 1d, I can see the misdirection but I thought the definition a bit generic. I did like lots of others though but I’ve gone for 5&12a plus 4d (brilliant) to occupy the podium
    2.5/4*
    Many thanks to the setter (Silvanus?) and to DT for the top notch entertainment.

  2. I really enjoyed this puzzle, although there were a few knotty clues, which took a while to solve (3*/4*). Thanks to DT for help in parsing 17a and 7d, which i bunged in, as they couldn’t be anyrhing else. I liked 12a, 15a 19a, which were cleverly out together but my COTD was 16d simply because iit was a clever geographical clue. Thanks to the compiler. I see there is an interesting article today (DT middle pages) about mediaeval literature and Chaucer, who was a champion of diversity, being axed by Leicester University.

  3. Found this half easy and half quite tough. Couldn’t fathom 17a although guessed the answer. Thanks Deep Threat for the explanation. Also got held up for a good while with 7d. ***/* for me as I couldn’t get into a rhythm. Sun coming out in Plymouth so off for a run on the Moor to clear my head after all that….

  4. Clever, smooth, and crafty clueing throughout by today’s setter, with 7d my COTD, followed by 15d and 12a (most amusing). I also liked 4d and 19a. This was a pleasant solve with polished surfaces, all tersely rendered, and didn’t we visit that port earlier this week? Thanks to DT and today’s setter. 2.5* / 4*

  5. I started off well, had a tussle in the middle then raced to the end. I realised that 15d was an anagram but couldn’t see where my extra “L” would come from, so needed the review to check my answer. Why would “rules essentially” give me that extra “L”? I am quite clearly missing the plot. Thank you setter and Deep Threat.

  6. This one stretched me rather and I felt a bit Brian-ish at stages (perhaps I had a bit of a 5a) but I enjoyed completing it. Like Chris, I was grateful to DT for helping me understand the parsing of 17a and 7d.

    Well… Lola is certainly getting her strength back – suffice to say that from this evening the tablet-giving ceremony will now include wrapping her in a towel to ensure her claws are not able to be deployed (only surface scratches as she was trying to escape rather than attack – she would never mean to hurt me). As I was discussing with H – imagine how we would feel if someone the size of a house was trying to stuff a tablet down our throats.
    It is clear how much better it is for her to be without the cone. She is much more serene (except for tablet time) and at ease. She is eating more each day but is still very much in recovery mode as she shows absolutely no interest in leaving the room (my study) she has been in for two weeks (the door is open and she has the run of the house).

    Today’s soundtrack: Steely Dan – Katy Lied.

    Thanks to the setter, and DT, of course.

    1. Just popped in to see how Lola is doing – have been following (and delighted by) her progress all week. So pleased to hear that she is on the mend at last – what a relief all round and fingers crossed for a speedy recovery from now on. I can imagine the freedom she must be feeling to have finally got rid of that wretched lampshade – and the relief for you, Terence. Haven’t looked at the crossword yet, but thanks in advance to the setter and DT.

    2. You may be interested in a curio I stumbled across the other day on Spotify : Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz Radio Broadcast with Steely Dan. Basically just Donald & Walter chatting to this woman & playing some Duke & their stuff. Walter mentions a couple of his guitar heroes so I’m currently listening to Grant Green. Pleased Lola continues on an upward curve

      1. Marian McP was a treasured doyenne of jazz on NPR over here for decades, and I do miss her. I’m essentially a classical music/opera person but she turned me on to other delights.

    3. I think we are all so relieved to hear of Lola’s continued recovery. it will be cause for celebration indeed when she ventures
      outside!

    4. Oh yes, how well I remember the towel wrapping technique. Rupert went into hiding the minute he saw a towel coming out, so we had to get really devious about that. Feisty is definitely a good sign,

  7. I’m against the trend again today as I did not like this crossword much at all.
    Sorry, too contrived again for me.

    Struggled through to the end, eventually having to resort to electronic help for 8d . Also needed help from DT to parse some.
    So, not a happy start to the day for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT

  8. I’m also missing the plot on the extra L in 15d. 7d took a while to unravel as did the port in 16d. I’ve no doubt it’s in the dictionary bible somewhere but “change” for “variety” is stretching the meaning a bit to my mind. What’s left of it. ***/*** Lots to enjoy. Favourite 12a. Thanks to all.

      1. I meandered through all the permutations! As you do. Variety doesn’t necessarily imply change to me but it’s fine crossword land. Thank you.

  9. I found this much easier than yesterday and went off to have my jab with about 5 to go. Got the Astra Zenica one which I was pleased about. Slowly polished it off but have not heard of dress in that context. Visited Archangel in 2016 on board little Minerva, quite a nice place unlike Murmansk which was incredibly depressing. As we entered Russian waters a damn great nuclear sub circled us for about an hour – lovely welcome! Captain told us all to behave, as if we would have done otherwise given the circumstances. Anyway, thanks to all.

    1. Whilst viewing some of Van Gogh’s paintings at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, some years ago, a tourist reached out to touch an explore tactically the tempting surface texture. A loud “Nyet” emanated from the guardian, an elderly babushka, sitting in the corner, unnoticed. When, the tourist failed to comply, the fierce elderly lady repeated the word “Nyet” and smacked the offender sharply on the hand. In the face of loud expostulations from the Spanish tourist, she simply returned to her seat andwent back to her knitting.

    2. I’m glad you also got the AZ vaccine Manders, there is a slightly disturbing report in the DT about Israel questioning the efficacy of the Pfizer one. We went to Moscow in November 1987 and the young man in front of us at the control post had a cold and was clutching a large box of tissues. The officials confiscated it and kept us all waiting in line whilst each tissue was taken out and examined carefully by each guard looking for something incriminating!

    3. Probably too late for you to read this, Manders but he asked those with cameras to go out and shoot it! Such a lovely little ship. Happy memories!

  10. Setter here, well done to Stephen L yet again :-) Thanks as ever to Deep Threat for his Hints and Tips and to everyone who has taken the trouble to comment already as well as those who will pop in later.

    As a cat lover myself, I’ve been following Terence’s updates keenly (mostly with my fingers crossed for good luck), so it was a huge sense of relief and joy to hear the encouraging news this week. I hope Terence will like the bonus clue I’ve composed:

    Everyone around acquires love for Terence’s cat (4)

    Coincidentally, and apologies for the self-indulgence, but 1a happens to be the name of my own cat, he has been pestering me for a name check for some time! He is a chocolate-brown Burmese who will often drape himself around my shoulders while I am sat at my desk typing away.

    1. Thanks again Silvanus for another superb crossword, always a great pleasure to solve them. Fabulous bonus clue too, my best wishes also to the said feline.

      1. Thank you Silvanus, I thought this might be one of yours and really enjoyed it. Whilst he is working from home, sitting at the computer, my son’s cat has taken to perchong on the back of his chair and stroking my son’s hair with one paw.

    2. Thanks for popping in and many thanks for a great puzzle. Just the job for a Friday.

      Why don’t you use Jasper’s picture as your gravatar?

    3. A brilliant puzzle Silvanus, it gave us much pleasure and I kept saying to George this is SO clever! I needed the hints for the parsing of 17a although I had put in ‘lodge’ I couldn’t really see why. Too many favourites to mention. Thanks to Deep Threat for the blog – are we all basking in sunshine today? It certainly lifts the spirits.

    4. Thanks for another lovely puzzle, Silvanus, as you continue to soar in my rankings of setters. And what a lovely little cryptic tribute to Terence’s treasure.

        1. Very much so! My Dad was born in 1901, thus an Edwardian child. Our roads in Jamaica were unpaved and driving anywhere took ages, my Dad would entertain us with G&S songs and Edwardian music hall renditions. He had a wonderful memory, could spout poetry by the hour! I’m biased but I thought he was Superman.

  11. For me and for a Silvanus back pager on a Friday this was a very gentle romp, completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    It was good to see 21a again after a longish absence.
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 28a, and 18d – and the winner is 18d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  12. Identifying compilers – don’t know how StephenL does it with such unerring accuracy. I’d say this was a good bit trickier than this setter’s Tuesday Toughie due to a few head scratchers. It took me nearly twice as long anyway just edging over **** time with 7d & 17a the main culprits although 16d & 19a didn’t come easily either. Additionally I failed to parse a couple (7d & 27a) properly due to the usual omissions – repeatedly forget order of merit & always miss de-tailed/dis-covered instructions. 12a the pick for me.
    Thanks Silvanus – very enjoyable, as always & to DT
    Ps Today’s Ts – Tumbleweed Connection (Elton John in his 70s heyday) & Traveller (Chris Stapleton)

  13. I came to a full stop for a while with several clues to go. A haircut from Saint Sharon and a shower was all it took to shake the brain cells into action. The remaining clues seemed to solve themselves. Thank to Silvanus for the best back pager of the week. Thanks to Silvanus for the best quickie pun of the year. Thanks to DT for the hints and tips. 3 down made me wonder how our former commenters from London are doing. Probably too busy with their dogs. Play nicely children and I will see you all on Monday

  14. I did quite well with this one but could not sort out 12&13a l knew what would fit but could not really reconcile answer. Thanks to DT for the hints. I think 5a and 15d count as favourites.
    Still waiting to hear about Jab but not too concerned, only qualification is being over 70.
    Thanks to DT and Silvanus, excellent all round.

  15. I absolutely loved this one so it came as no surprise on getting back from our walk to find it was by Silvanus. Years ago we had a wonderful border collie called 1a so that became my instant favourite, bringing back many happy memories. A fabulous puzzle.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

    1. Thank you very much, YS.

      I was very sad to hear you describing Shrewsbury as a ghost town yesterday. It is one of my favourite towns in the UK, and I do fear that so many places throughout these islands will be pale shadows of their former selves in the future. It is such a depressing thought.

      1. Shrewsbury was lovely this morning with the sunshine and blue skies! it is very rarely a ‘ghost town’ and will surely recover. The Quarry was absolutely lovely – the flood water had come up almost to the bandstand, and snow/frost still evident on the far side…..shame that Midlands Today at 1.30 did not film that, just the grotty bits. We WILL survive!

  16. 2*/5*. This made a splendid finish to the crosswording week. I finished the puzzle early but have been taking advantage of the sun to do some work in the garden.

    My first reaction to 24d was that Silvanus had produced a clue with an iffy surface, which would have been as likely as seeing a pig fly past the window. Then the penny dropped. His reputation for smooth surfaces remains intact!

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  17. Good puzzle today so thank you Silvanus. My delay in finishing was caused by 14a. A star is either a bright shining object in the night sky or someone of the ilk of Cary Grant, Ingmar Bergman, Jane Fonda, Paul Newman et al. The celebrities who turn up on Pointless Celebrities are low status denizens of Love Island, Big Brother and other trash programmes. They are young men with a fine physique and what is called good looks (but with eyes totally empty of any intelligence or curiosity,/ or young women with what could be said as all the physical assets and none of the important mental ones. The word star is totally inappropriate.

    Also as being reared in Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting Houses the idea of celebrants would have been heresy. It is a word in my passive vocabulary but would never I think become an active member.

    So together with my view of the lowlife previously known as celebrities it proved impossible until it became the only possibility. Could we have a moratorium on the use of the star/celebrity synonym as it has been so cheapened by the young men and women prepared to go on television to screw or be screwed. Rant over from, thank goodness, a non-celeb.

    Liked 10, 12, and 25a. Thanks to DT for his review.

    1. This was a fabulous rant! What really gets up my nose is that these C, D, and E list celebrities play for ‘charity’ but they get paid to do so and if its the BBC, we are the mugs paying them. Oh to be able to wipe their smugness of their ghastly faces.

      1. What really got up my nose was the impossibility of checking “celeb” on Google. I knew it was a proper star in the sky but I kept getting “celebrity’. Grr!
        As a PS I see we, too, were on Minerva in 2016 See comment above

  18. Another little Silvanus gem with surface reads as smooth as silk, I do hope our Rookies are taking note!
    3d reminded me of our erstwhile commenters and the excellent photo’s Rick took at our birthday bashes – I do hope all is well with them.
    So many ticks on my sheet but I finally gave the nod to 19&23a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus – I trust that young Jasper is suitably mollified now that his name has appeared in pole position in one of your puzzles. I’ve no doubt that both Lola and Terence will be delighted with their personalised clue, I feel that it needs to be printed out, framed and hung above Lola’s favourite resting spot!
    Thanks also to DT for the review and the lovely reminder of Jane and Chris in their heyday.

  19. Excellent puzzle with the exception of 25a and 27a both of which are so involved as to defy description even though the definition alone is sufficient to solve the clue. My favourite was 5a which was clever.
    ***(only because of those above)/****
    Thx to all

  20. Contrary to DT I found the South trickier than the North with the SW corner last to fall. Just on the tough side for me but I did manage to parse everything – eventually.
    25a was the key & it took some seeing. The Russian port cropped up not so long ago if I recall.
    Having just watched The Accountant 17a brought to mind Jackson Pollock,. I know I am a philistine but what anyone sees in his “paintings” I don’t know. They are a bit like writing 10,000 words down in random order and calling it a book
    Thanks to setter and DT.

    1. The dictionary is every book you have ever read but with the words in alphabetical order. Jackson Pollack passed his art exams with flying colours. I had to sack my accountant. He couldn’t account for what I was doing in bed with my next door neighbour.

      1. Pollack comment highly droll. Sadly it took me 3 reads to work out what you meant. Must have tired my grey cells out with today’s effort.
        Apropos nothing at all.
        Sister-in-law’s birthday card just arrived. Posted two weeks before due date “Par Avion” in Calgary 23rd December. Wonder if mail has to spend 14 days in quarantine before the Royal Mail will accept it for handling?

  21. Some tricky cluing today from our setter and agree with DT’s ***/***.
    Last in was 17a, had one of two answers ,I was on the right track regarding the removal of ‘special ingredient ‘ maybe it or sa ,eventually turned to Chambers for the diminutive of special and there it was! -not keen on these letters for words!
    Anyway enjoyable end to the week
    Favourite was 19a.

  22. I got there in the end, but with a record 4 bung-ins I was indebted to Deep Threat for the explanations.
    My WAOTD (weak anagram of the day) was 3d, but the surface reading saved it!
    COTD the excellent 26a.
    ***/***
    Thanks to Silvanus for the challenge, and to Deep Threat for the invaluable help.

    A miniscule rant from me: I know that pictures and links to videos make the reviews more colourful, but I do feel that they often give the answer away before one has had the chance to understand the parsing. This is not at all directed at any reviewer in particular. I love this site and don’t wish to moan, but I thought I should express my opinions in a polite way!

  23. Crosswords can be so unfair sometimes.
    Managed to finish the Elgar but was stuck on a couple of clues in this one.
    Never got 8d and couldn’t parse 23d although the tree was very familiar as one keeps shedding it’s needles over my restaurant.
    Favourite is the reversed charade in 7d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  24. Finished with a tiny bit of help from the electronic checker. ‘Sorry, some answers incorrect.’ (Whatever happened to the verb in that phrase?’ told me 8d was not right. The stuff becoming fabric really threw me and I am still not sure why.
    My favourites were 12a and 14a.

  25. All good and reasonably straightforward EXCEPT (as for others) 17a….thought this was very poorly clued though I guessed both the answer and the logic…

  26. I always try to look positively at the puzzles but I know I have reservations when I look at the asterisks against 17, 21, 26 & 27a which were correct bungins but couldnt parse them – thanks DT. I liked 5&12a. Thanks also to Silvanus..

  27. Silvanus is another one whose puzzles elude me. Strangely enough, I solved the north very quickly but the south held me up. I eventually gave up with several unsolved, I have other things I must do.
    Fave was 12a, but 4d was also in the running.
    Thank you Silvanus, good workout, and much gratitude to Deep Threat for the help to the finish line.

    1. Silvanus’s crosswords are my equivalent to many others’ Ray T’s – think my grammar might have gone a bit wonky there but I’m sure you can see what I mean!

      1. Hi Merusa and Kath,

        I think it’s just a wavelength thing. I’m confident that the more puzzles of mine you attempt the less difficulty you’ll encounter, thank you both for giving it a good go today!

        1. Thanks for your reply, silvanus – it’s always all about wavelength, in my very humble opinion anyway!
          Oh – and the other thing that comes into it is mindset – if something calls itself a ‘Toughie’ I can’t do it because I know that I can’t do Toughies so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I now know that I find your crosswords difficult – ergo. Oh dear!

          1. I always give it a go but seldom sail through them. Solving is always fun, but when I hit the stonewall, I tend to cede as I always have a book or something I can’t wait to get back to. You know the old story, so much to read/watch, so little time!

  28. I found this very tricky – enjoyable but very difficult.
    Unlike almost everyone else I liked 17a – there’s nothing like a good ‘splodge’!
    I confess to having difficulty untangling several of the answers that pretty clearly had to be right.
    Apart from the nice splodge I think my favourite was probably 19a (and Lola’s personalised clue)
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  29. Phew! Got there eventually but with a few queries all of which were sorted by DT. I certainly didn’t associate 18d with cricket, but with those on my face! Thank you, Silvanus and Mr Threat.

  30. I actually found this much easier than yesterday’s for some reason and managed to finish it after the dog walk with a sleep in between! The last 2 to go in being 10a and 8d, my favourite was definitely 19a.
    Many thanks to Sylvanus and DT.

  31. I was very pleased to finish this all by myself! I am a long way from being able to identify any of the setters but some of them are definitely more on my wavelength than others. I thank them all for their wonderful efforts though I secretly add a bit extra for those I can eventually solve. There were a couple of answers that needed some explanations so, as ever, I much appreciate the words of wisdom above. Now I must take my dog out and go and enjoy the sunshine that gave my bit of the west coast of Canada its name …

  32. This puzzle not up my alley I’m afraid. Too many clues that were a stretch and not really well constructed to get to the answer in a clear way. I would point out 26a, 27a & 8d with poor synonyms for what setter was contriving to indicate.

    Sorry, not a good puzzle for me to end up the work week.
    Just my thoughts
    If it is Sivanus today I always have trouble with his wavelength

    Thanks anyway to setter and DT

  33. This was completed in two sessions (a.m. and p.m.) firstly mainly East then West followed on. 17a was bung-in as was 27a (‘‘discovered” escaped me). 21a anteater new one on me. 16a variety = change? Fav 18d. Thank you Silvanus and DT.

  34. Yes, I think tricky but enjoyable sums this one up. About half went straight in, which was kind of a teaser start, as then it got more difficult. Thanks to Silvanus for the challenge and Deep Threat for the hints.

  35. Finished in ** time, and really enjoyed it. 8d couldn’t be anything else, but like a couple of others above, I couldn’t really see the connection between fabric and stuff, unless it was to do the fabric of society. But that doesn’t fit with the hint … oh well.

  36. I rally enjoyed this. I thought I was going to be defeated by the last two clues (8d and 17a) but just as I was reaching for electronic help they suddenly dawned on me. Too many good clues to mention but I especially liked the Lola tribute. Thanks to Silvanus and I especially appreciate him popping in to say hello – it’s good to see a personality behind the people who tax our brains every day. **/*****

  37. No particular problem with 8d. Where I come from in the East Midlands stuff was a word frequently used for fabric or material. 17a was however less familiar. I put in the answer when I had the checkers but never thought of splodge. It was mostly the bottom half that held me up. I was going in swimmingly at the top. I did not know the mammal but played around with the letters. 25a was the last one in and I shall now look at the hints for the parsing. Favourites 11 12 14 19 and 26a and 17d. Thanks Silvanus and Deep Threat.

  38. I got stuck with two thirds done, unusually with gaps all over the place, not any specific corner. Mrs Stan weighed in and quickly all the dominoes fell with a bit of joint effort. Not heard of the port before. And Mrs Stan, a good seamstress, has not heard of 8d but I must have picked it up somewhere along the way. Thanks Silvanus and Deep Threat.

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