DT 29582 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29582

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29582

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. I thought that today's offering was a well-crafted and enjoyable puzzle with nothing too tricksy. In other words, it's your typical Tuesday back-pager. 

I've just learned that an Oxford English Dictionary poll a few years found that the most-hated word in the English language is MOIST (not hated by me, I hasten to add). There's even some serious scientific research into what's behind that dislike. I bring this up now because recently celebrity food writer and TV chef Nigella Lawson, attempting to avoid the hated moist and struggling to find a suitable synonym, described a cake as "wonderfully damp, dense, and aromatic". That comment launched a big Twitter reaction because of course for most people a damp cake does not sound very appetising. We here at BD are all about synonyms, so I have to ask: can anybody come up with an appealing alternative adjective to describe a cake that's moist?

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

 

Across

1a    Outstanding Conservative girl in charge (7)
CLASSIC:  Put together an abbreviation for Conservative, a girl or young woman, and the abbreviation for "in charge"

5a    Wild deer dad was afraid of (7)
DREADED:  An anagram (wild) of DEER DAD 

9a    Work for each model (7)
PERFORM:  A short word meaning "for each" with model or mould 

10a   Worm starts to get airborne gripping elephants' trunks? (7)
LUGGAGE:  A seashore worm is followed by the first letters of (starts to) the next four words in the clue. The question mark indicates that the definition is by example 

Airport art from stacks of luggage

11a   Period before Christmas -- certain son is wanting an exciting experience (9)
ADVENTURE:  Follow the period immediately before Christmas with certain or definite minus the genealogical abbreviation for son (… son is wanting

12a   Requires massages for the audience (5)
NEEDS:  A homophone (for the audience) of massages or manipulates 

13a   Any longer trousers material? (5)
NYLON:  The initial pair of words hides (trousers) the answer 

15a   This writer is forced to be moved (9)
IMPRESSED:  A contraction of "this writer is" from the perspective of the compiler with forced or compelled 

17a   One in charge of the players and their pitch? (9)
CONDUCTOR:  A cryptic definition having nothing to do with sport 

19a   Peel off  football kit (5)
STRIP:  A straightforward double definition 

Brandi Chastain after the USA wins the 1999 Women's World Cup final with her penalty

22a   Matron initially exposed hospital entrance (5)
MOUTH:  Link together the initial letter of MATRON, exposed or public, and the single letter for hospital 

23a   Remarkably united group of students with posh friend (9)
UNUSUALLY:  Concatenate the single letter for united, a group representing UK university students, the single letter for posh or upper-class, and a friend or supporter 

25a   Bringing up one blunder in newspaper (7)
RAISING:  The Roman one and blunder or go astray are inserted together in an informal synonym of newspaper

A newspaper blunder 

26a   Departs eastern county in Ireland, say (7)
DECLARE:  Cement together a timetable abbreviation for departs, an abbreviation for eastern, and a county in Ireland 

27a   Sheep's wandering around end of farmer's fields (7)
SPHERES:  An anagram (wandering) of SHEEP'S containing (around) the end letter of FARMER. These are rescued sea otters being provided with a stimulating environment 

28a   Problem after river's lowest (7)
DEEPEST:  A problem or annoyance comes after a river in Aberdeenshire, or Wales, or Cumbria, or Galloway, or Ireland

 

Down

1d    Trump thanks popular military leader (7)
CAPTAIN:  Assemble trump or outdo, an informal word of thanks, and popular or fashionable 

2d    Opponent supporting a king's appearance (7)
ARRIVAL:  An opponent comes after (supporting, in a down clue) both A from the clue and the Latin abbreviation for king 

3d    Demonstrated in what manner to cut tin (5)
SHOWN:  A word meaning "in what manner" is inserted in (to cut) the chemical symbol for tin 

4d    Red tunic mom's torn (9)
COMMUNIST:  An anagram (torn) of TUNIC MOM'S 

Supergirl is not a mom, but the rest of the clue fits

5d    Doctor eats large English sweet (5)
DOLCE:  A contraction of doctor contains (eats) the clothing abbreviation for large, and that's all followed by an abbreviation for English. The definition here is musical 

6d    Masterminds in Greene's novel (9)
ENGINEERS:  An anagram (novel) of IN GREENE'S 

7d    Prize picked up -- small underwear (7)
DRAWERS:  The reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of a prize or bonus is followed by the clothing abbreviation for small 

8d    Pudding almost tipped over after daughter got up (7)
DRESSED:  All but the last letter (almost) of another word for pudding is reversed (tipped over, in a down clue) and placed after the genealogical abbreviation for daughter 

14d   A cry of disgust after new tier becomes more troublesome (9)
NAUGHTIER:  A from the clue and a cry of disgust are together placed after the abbreviation for new, and then TIER is appended 

16d   I'd spread EU manoeuvres -- no one's convinced (9)
PERSUADED:  An anagram (manoeuvres) of I'D SPREAD EU minus the Roman one (… no one) 

17d   Two thirds of soldiers in automobile as they take shots (7)
CAMERAS:  Two thirds of another word for soldiers is inserted in a synonym of automobile, and that lot's followed by AS from the clue 

Lioness thinks dropped camera is a cat toy

18d   November is hard without our support (7)
NOURISH:  The fusion of the single letter for November, IS from the clue, and the pencil abbreviation for hard containing (without) OUR 

20d   Learner calm after religious education is free (7)
RELEASE:  The letter representing a learner driver and calm or soothe both come after the abbreviation for religious education. I don't know of a better song about becoming free of addiction than this:  

21d   Any temp works for this? (7)
PAYMENT:  The wordplay is an anagram (… works) of ANY TEMP and the entire clue can serve as the definition 

23d   Eggs on some cheese -- grub's up! (5)
URGES:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (some … up, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue 

24d   Article removed from dirty relative (5)
UNCLE:  A grammatical article is removed from a synonym of dirty 

 

Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue was 21d and I also enjoyed where the quickie pun led me. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  WIN + DOE + TACKS = WINDOW TAX  Click here for the interesting history behind the answer (assuming that I got it right)


120 comments on “DT 29582
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    1. Hello, Roger. Well done. We discourage commenters from declaring a puzzle “read and write” because it means different things to different solvers, not all of them positive. Some find the term discouraging because they see it as a statement that they should have found the puzzle easy. Others simply see it as boasting. To me, R&W means less than ten seconds per clue, so it should be reserved for solving + parsing times of well under five minutes. But most solvers who can do that prefer to focus on the Toughie and on the more challenging puzzles reviewed on fifteensquared.net. For those reasons, the site prefers personal star difficulty ratings to descriptions such as R&W.

      1. Dear Mr K…I think you are being a little harsh. Read and write are not claims of speed. When have you seen terms like these? I have most often in the past when we were waiting for slow computers to save big material…it was not fast.

        As for boasting, I was clobbered by your boasts of solving these crosswords twice on the bounce on one pass.

        Read, write to me simply means he was able to read the clue carefully and get to the answer which says much about the setter’s skill.

        1. A few years ago the blog went though a stage where several commenters developed the habit of saying that puzzles were “read and write”, or that they belonged in the “Junior Telegraph”, to imply that the puzzle was too easy to appear in the Daily Telegraph. We know, because I did a survey that got hundreds of responses, that many lurking readers found such assessments of the puzzle discouraging (see also furlinda’s comment at #36 below). That’s because for many people “read and write” conjures up an image of reading the clue and immediately writing in the answer with no pondering or head-scratching, which would be a five minute solve. As you point out, to some people it also means something different. So if it’s used here some people won’t mind and some will feel discouraged, but if it’s not used here nobody will feel discouraged. I’m sure that discouragement is not what Roger intended, but I commented because I feel it would be better for the blog if the expression didn’t take root here again.

          You’re right that I shouldn’t have mentioned solving in a single pass. I was feeling a bit chuffed because that is the first time in thousands of puzzles that’s happened for me. It was by no means “read and write”, just a steady solve moving top to bottom pondering each clue in turn, but I should have kept it to myself.

  1. A nicely constructed crossword, which was completed in slightly under 2* time and was quite enjoyable (3*). I’d forgotten about the musical meaning of 5d, though I’ve seen it many times on choral scores, and it took a while for the penny to drop. I liked the well constructed 3d but my COTD was10a with its great misdirection. Many thanks to Mr K for the review and to the compiler.

  2. I thought this was slightly trickier than the average Tuesday with some very clever wordplay. Could it be the work of our editor or Donnybrook?…just a guess
    I had to check the musical sweet in 5d but with checkers and wordplay was easily obtainable. I’m not entirely sure that got up and 8d are the same thing but I guess they’re close enough.
    My page is covered in ticks including 26a plus 1,7,16&18d.
    3/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

    1. I think it’s the pudding that’s got up with the daughter on top! That sounds like the beginning of a slightly risqué joke.

      1. Nice try Greta but “got up” is definitely the definition. The pudding is “tipped over” or reversed. Appreciate the risqué joke though!

  3. I wish I’d looked at 4d before I started 9a. I saw the word “model”, thought of “pose” and immediately put in “purpose”. I then checked if “for each” could be “pur” as an alternative to “per”. I do like to set myself a challenge. 4d was such an obvious anagram it put me right. 10a was my clue of the day, but lots of other likeable clues too. Thanks go to the setter and to Mr Kitty. If you want a cake to be sweet and moist, surely you could use luscious.

  4. Dear Mr K,

    Thank you for the clues and, as ever, excellent accompanying photos. One of the most difficult solves today was to understand what on earth the otters had to do with the clue at 27a . I got there in the end

    Many thanks

    1. I don’t know anything about otters but assumed the answer = fields, as in that is in your field of experience”.

  5. Pleasant and very Tuesdayish for me. I liked 5d, 3d, and 17a (for its misdirection, my LOI). Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K. for his elegant reviews, which I hope Terence’s Lola also enjoys. ** / ***

          1. Thank you, CC, I was struggling to remember where I’d heard it – I seem to recollect that he uses the word on a very regular basis.

          2. Unctuous actually means greasy/oily but pretty much every TV chef uses it wrongly so it may end up changing its meaning.

        1. It probably is. I have long held the view, rightly or wrongly, that hundreds of thousands of people all over the country rush home from work, or where ever, bung something inedible in the microwave, then sit and watch umpteen programmes about cooking.

    1. Thanks, Angellov. Florence’s luscious is good, but of the suggestions made so far I’d say your succulent comes closest.

      1. Succulent really means juicy/fleshy (bot.) though – do cakes have juice/flesh?
        Hydrated, foamy, aquified, soft, humid, balanced, buttery, fluffy, viscous… s*d it, what’s wrong with moist anyway?

  6. Enjoyable start to a rather damp Plymouth Tuesday. **/*** and I had to delve deep into my feeble Chemistry knowledge (hated it at school) to get the tin reference in 3d. My literary prowess misled me on 5d though as I thought of Wilfred Owen’s great poem where I recall the second word translated as “sweet” so lobbed that in forgetting the musical world had a slightly different take on that word. So a technical fail, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over that. Thanks to Mr K for putting me right.

  7. I will have to admit defeat by one clue. In my first pass I had all but three of each of the across and down clues filled in. Three in the SE soon followed, but the three in the NE took a lot longer, and I was left with trying to parse DIAPERS as the answer to 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter and MR K. for showing me the light.

      1. Because of the lock-down, I spend most of my day online, and for a number of reasons, most of my on-line contacts are American, so I do tend to think a little like left-ponders.

        Sunday? Hoho, just a little!

  8. I didn’t find this quite such a gallop through as some of you. The south west corner gave me pause for thought with the soldiers and the sheep. **/*** 17a provided a clever bit of misdirection. The clue,coming above the one about football kit,sent me off at a tangent in the sports field. Favourite has to be 10a. Thanks to all.

  9. Two days running – this was another enjoyably jammy assignment. Fav amongst a selection of other good clues was 23d. Not sure whether the word used in 25a is really a blunder. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  10. Did this after completing the reasonably doable Toughie. Try it.
    COTD has to be 10a. Like those before me I thought it very clever though the illustration gave pause for thought!

  11. As our blogger says in his preamble, a typical Tuesday puzzle. Nothing obscure or terribly difficult, just fun clues. 21d my favourite as well.

    Thank you to both Misters.

  12. Whoever the Tuesday setter is, and assuming there is only one, she or he is becoming as predictable as Jay on a Wednesday. Very enjoyable and not too challenging, completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 25a, 26a, and 3d – and the winner is 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Pretty sure that Tuesday puzzles are crafted by a team of setters. Chris Lancaster told us once that there were five, and in recent weeks we’ve seen puzzles from Navy and X-Type and at least one compiler who doesn’t claim their puzzles.

  13. Tuesday is, indeed, Lola’s favourite crossword day.
    I, too, had diapers for 7d. I had a nagging doubt but bunged it in anyway. Lovely crossword – right at my level of (in)competence.

    Terrific breakthrough with Lola – without prompting she has started touring the house again. Suddenly, she is much livelier and spending more time awake and grooming herself than she has been for weeks. Yesterday evening she jumped up on my lap and snoozed/purred for about thirty minutes. It feels like a significant step.

    Today’s soundtrack – Ralph Vaughan Williams – Symphony Number 3 (Pastoral).

    Thanks to the setter, the celebrated Mr K., and everyone who has been keeping Lola in their thoughts.

      1. Good news about Lola. Perhaps, as a lady of mature years, it just took her a little longer to bounce back. In a few weeks now, it’ll be springtime and the garden will look more inviting (to both of you).

    1. Hi, Terence. That’s wonderful news about Lola, and I am of course very happy to hear about her favourite crossword day.

      Kitty has asked me to pass on purrs to Lola.

    2. Struggled with 10A and 5D – somehow DR and OS for doctor and large didn’t seem to fit until I realised sweet was nothing you put in your mouth.
      Great news on Lola, glad she has found her freedom again. If this goes on I shall only be coming here when I need hints, instead of ever day for your progress report….

  14. Found this on the tough side for Tuesday but entertaining with nothing overstretched or too misleading. Top end of ** difficulty and *** enjoyment.
    West straightforward but slightly more trouble with the East . NE corner held out with not being able to get past diapers for 7d the cause of the problems.
    LOI 10a also my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for the usual insightful review.
    Think in the context of the “moist cake” poser, would suggest “pliant”.
    In a cake context, “moist” is a desirable property to me & isn’t therefore a word to dislike. Certainly the site’s lemon drizzle cake I imagine to be perfectly moist.

    1. CS’s lemon drizzle is certainly ‘moist’ in the nicest sense of the word! I think she’s stopped the provision of same in the naughty corner because too many folk were opting to get themselves sent there.

  15. No great problems today but I thought 17d was clumsy. Thx for explaining my answers to 5d and 25a. Personally I thought 10a was an absolutely awful clue, clumsy and far too complicated for a simple answer, all one had to do was find the definition and ignore the dreadful wordplay.
    Thx to all
    **/** (would have been 3* but for 10a)
    PS Mrs B gives ‘succulent’ for moist – personally I prefer Hydric

  16. Thanks Mr K for the hints and tips. Enjoyed the challenge of finding a better cake-applicable alternative to MOIST – SUCCULENT or LUSH or LUSCIOUS spring to mind as words offering greater temptation. In truth, moistness is a quality I relish in cakes, so keep calling them moist, if that puts people off, and I’ll do the clearing up! The challenge also had the benefit of introducing me to a new favourite word, SAPID. It’s meaning is so much better than it sounds (to me at least) and I will definitely look to include it in a puzzle sometime soon!
    Favourite clue for me is 11a.

  17. Didn’t find this as easy as some & edged into *** time when 5d, last in, finally yielded. Unaware of its musical meaning but knew it was Italian for sweet & mates with Gabbana. A couple of the anagrams (4&16d) took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out for whatever reason. No real favourites today but a perfectly pleasant solve.
    After yesterday’s battle to remain upright think I’ll pass on a walk & remain indoors. Today’s music: Young Americans (Bowie) & You’re Driving Me Crazy (Van& Joey DeFrancesco)
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K – great choice of music with Jason & Amanda. If you don’t know it check out their haunting rendition of Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A (available on Spotify)- doubt even Ronnie Reagan could misinterpret the meaning of the song if he’d listened to this version.

  18. As our blogger said, a typical Tuesday puzzle – no real highs or lows to record although 10a & 3d did elicit a smile.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review, the felines and the wonderful clip of the sea otters at play.

  19. Definitely on song with the ** difficulty Mr K and with your marvellous underpictures. Like many others 10a was a great clue, clever with misdirection, but also straightforward. Thank you to the setter and Mr K.

  20. Raced through this in less than * time, then shuddered to a stop at 10a and 5d.
    Pennies dropped to put me in ** plus time.
    Very enjoyable nevertheless.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr.K.

  21. There was a lot of fun to be had in this puzzle – not necessarily re difficulty, but in some wacky synonyms and hilarious surfaces.

    Re moist.
    Cakes, like soil, should be moist. The opposite, in both cases, is disappointing.

    Re trousers – I don’t like ones made from 13a. They will lead to moist legs.

    Thanks v much to the setter and to Mr K.

  22. Nice crossword one that we have come to expect on Tuesday 😃 ***/*** Favourites 22 & 25a. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 🤗

  23. Another lovely puzzle today so thank you, no particular hold ups. Absolutely loved the otters, great clip. So the EU want an ‘Ambassador’ in London – what a typical waste of money when all 27 EU members have their own Embassies here already. Just off to watch my Art Society Zoom of a tour of Venice, it the weather there is bad it won’t be live but a recording, fingers crossed.

    1. It was live, in fantastic weather and a joy. Never seen an empty Venice before with really blue canals. Get your Art Society to do it – there are half a dozen different tours of Venice to choose from.

  24. Today’s puzzle and I got on very well – finished in 1* time. My LOI was in was 5d, which was slightly irritating given that I am a musician.
    I thought 3d was a very neat clue – not difficult but a good example of clue craftsmanship.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K. (The synonym you are looking for is SOGGY – I take my inspiration from a cake I had recently!)

  25. Well, I agree with all of you that this was a delightful puzzle and I too liked the under-pictures, all the pets we have ever had have tried to climb into a suitcase – don’t leave us behind! I also got the footbally 19a so perhaps I am gradually absorbing This Sporting Life. I liked 24d just because my brother’s name is Ian and he always signed birthday cards etc to my girls ‘with love from Unclean’, a lovely reminder of happier times. A message for Letterbox Roy – I looked up the Rookie puzzle and there it was just as you said. I had thought, if I thought about it at all, that it was an on line thing which I am not privy to. I’ve never done a crossword on the computer and it was rather late so I shall go back to it, but thanks for the pointer. I was not myself last night because I banged my new knee on a metal handle of the kitchen island and boy did I yell, I hopped around crying and a big red bruise came up, it was right on the bendy part where there is little flesh between skin and bone, or metal in my case. Cor blimey, mate, I won’t do that again, it hurt like hell. But I am still here to tell the tale……… Many thanks to Mr K and the setter. The Wednesday Wizards tomorrow.

        1. I wish I had a quid for each time I’ve whacked either of my replacement knees on the metal door handles in our kitchen, Daisy. My favourite expletive is , “Futtocks”, which sounds rude but is in fact a part of the construction of a boat. Very satisfying without being obscene.

          1. I must remember that!

            So you have been through this twice? I don’t know I could face having the other one done.

            1. Both hips , both full knee replacements, fusion of right big toe and then the fractured femur, which necessitated a metal plate bretween the hip replacement and knee replacement . You get used to dealing with the physio exercise, daily walks. I have lots of activities which take my mind off the niggling pains; knitting, embroidery, water colour painting, crosswords, jigsaws, Open University courses etc. Its better than not being able to get around. Try to keep positiveand believe you can survive until it gets better.

          2. Apparently it’s been scientifically proved that saying the actual rude word provides more pain relief than saying a non-rude but similar version. So next time just let rip with as much Anglo-Saxon vocabulary as you can muster.

  26. Another lovely puzzle, I feel really spoilt this week. Only foiled at 10a (not into worms), 5d and 8d. 17a gets my COTD. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. All done and dusted in time for me to set off for the dreaded dermatologist check up. He always find something to blast with his ice gun or cut off. Ouch.

    1. He wrote this on Thursday
      I may be absent for a while, folks. It’s the time of year when I get swamped with post graduate diploma essays to mark. I have 22 so far, each one 5000 words long, and all have to be marked by the start of next month.

      I will, of course, check the blog daily but I may not have time to post comments. Anyway, I will not have much time to spend on the crossword so I may be silent for a few weeks – did I hear “thank goodness” just then?

      Stay safe everyone.

      1. It amazed me at the time that someone could write a 5000 word essay on root canals.

        See it, drill it, fill it, move on. Must qualify for a pass surely.

        1. Now there you go Labs. Your patient will be climbing the walls with pain. Failed. Go to the bottom of the class and read up on the use of alcohol to reduce pain

          1. 🤣🤣

            I am monitoring the blog but I now find I have the best part of sixty essays to mark. I will try and pop in occasionally but I fear I am going to be tied up until March.

            LROK – you would be surprised at the scientific research into a part of the body that is only about 20mm long.

            Your method of treating would definitely not work! 😁

            I get my first vaccine on this coming Sunday.

            Stay safe everyone.

            1. Congrats on the vaccine, and happy essay reading. I missed your note about your absence. We can talk about bocce when you get back.

          2. Damn keep forgetting the anaesthetise it bit.
            Marker also critical “move on ” should have been “then charge a fortune”.

  27. **/***. Pleasant enough solve. Some clunky clues (10a) but 17&23a made up for that. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. There’s nothing wrong with moist but if I had to chose an alternative in this context luscious would be my choice.

  28. Some nice clues today, all was going well until I jumped in wrongly with 7d and 17a (watching too much sport in lockdown).
    **/*** for me with 10a Getting my vote.
    Thx to setter and Mr K .

  29. Straying into *** territory for me because of 17a and 7d otherwise enjoyable. Further to the debate about moist my own pet hate is the word ‘without’ meaning ‘to include’ as in 18d … ugh! Thank you setter and Mr K

    1. There is a green hill far away. Without a city wall. (Alexander 1848). It’s been around long enough to get used to

      1. Got me really confused when singing this in assembly .So, like the biblical tales we were told at school, I’m not likely to forget it.

      2. That’s exactly why Shrimp and LbR and BD are right to question it. Your green hill is located outside the city walls, not surrounding them. We all know that several setters abuse “without” in that way, but that doesn’t make it grammatically correct.

        1. I tremble to question the giants but in the answer, is “our” not within November is hard? I took it that in this context without was the opposite of within. Then is not n….ish without our?

          1. The word without means outside or beyond, not around or surrounding; within reach/beyond reach, not within/without reach
            Whilst in and out are opposites, without is not the opposite of within – our is within n-ish but that doesn’t mean n-ish is without our

          2. The problem is that while without does have the archaic meaning of not within in the sense of outside, what’s required for a containment indicator is a sense of surrounding. One couldn’t interpret that green hill being without the city walls statement as meaning that the city walls are found within the green hill.

            1. Simple me just took it that the green hill was not within the city walls so it was without them now I’m all confused. Glad I took metallurgy not English.

      3. I was just thinking that MP. Came to mind straightaway. As a child, however, during the many services I had to attend in Holy Week I did try to envisage a green hill without a city wall, whilst wondering why it would have one.

  30. Really enjoyed this but I did feel it was a little strange in parts, not sure why, just different!
    I did well until I got to the NE corner. I’m so used to MO, DR, MD and so on, forgot about doc! I solved 10a because of the checking letters, I can’t say I’d never heard of the worm, my memory is shouting “lugworm” to me, so maybe just a lapse.
    Just a BTW, can we retire 12a now?
    Thanks to whomsoever set this, loads of fun, and thanks to Mr. K for my fave blog with kitty pics.

  31. Oh dear, I’m not doing too well at the moment. I found this really rather tricky, had to use electronic help for the anagram in 4d (duh – I was trying to come up with a colour word like vermillion or carmine) and my husband was very gung ho for diapers which I eventually put in even though ‘repaid’ didn’t seem a particularly good synonym for ‘prize’. And I totally agree that using the term ‘read and write’ is thoroughly demoralising for us lesser mortals so please desist! ***/***

  32. Well I had completed most of the crossword by early afternoon but got then got hung up in the North East corner. As my weekly excitement of doing the weekly shop beckoned I thought the break might help to clear my little grey cells. Alas, the fresh air of the car park and the pacey music in the store did nothing to clear the mist! So I had to read the hint for 10A and was almost persuaded to put ‘dulce’ in for 5D until I looked it up and discovered that it’s an edible red seaweed!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K. Enjoyed the pictures.

    Terence, good news about Lola. I’m sure you will sleep much better tonight.

  33. Very doable and moist, sorry most, accessible. Unfamiliar with the 5d music term, even though I can’t read music I understand quite a lot of music theory. What makes a major or minor, 7ths, dominant 7ths, circle of 5ths and the suchlike, but I can’t tell you the difference between a crochet and a quaver apart from one’s longer than the other, but I digress. Favourite was 10a. Pitched about right for a Tuesday so thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

    1. That made me laugh – exactly the same with music for me; I know 9ths, 13ths, sus4, aug, dim, mixolydian mode you name it, but to me a quaver is a cheesy snack

      1. I’m with you on on most things including the cheesy snacks, my eyes do start to glaze over when it comes to augmented and diminished. I realise they are part of the circle of 5ths and with regard to chord shapes they’re only a couple if one restricts it to the bottom (highest) 4 strings, but which they are tends to elude me. I probably tend to replace them with the major of a minor, which is near enough for agriculture and may actually be better.

        1. Aug/dim is just taking major/minor to the next level which involves reducing/raising the fifth as well as the third
          Admittedly they sound horribly dissonant, that’s probably why I don’t like playing (or trying to play) jazz
          I will admit to having a bit of a thing about the transition of say G9 to A – it sounds like a pregnant sigh to me in any transposition

  34. An equally challenging crossword as the toughie and a pleasure to solve.
    Well constructed clues all round.
    Favourite 10a.
    As for cakes, I like them mellow and velvety.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review

  35. Did this over about four sittings as too many other distractions today. ***/*** for today. Most things have been said regarding some of the iffy/clunky clueing and synonyms etc so will leave that alone.
    Favourite clues 1a, 17a &17d with 17d winner and 1a runner up

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

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