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DT 29583

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29583

Hints and tips by Rahmat Ali

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata.  We have, of late, passed a moment which we could have celebrated in some way but it came and went in the twinkling of an eye.  However, the moment had a long list or name, whatever you may call – 21st century, 21st year, 21st day, 21st hour, 21st minute, 21st second.  But that is past and I am now concerned with the present and feel it a great moment to have just finished writing the Hints and Tips for the second time which I hope you will enjoy.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    One who’s trained to work on a plane? (4,7)
TREE SURGEON: A cryptic definition involving one who’s trained to work or operate following (on) the common name for a plane; some of its North American species are called sycamores.

9a    Unleash anger, upset to find such farming practice (4-5)
FREE-RANGE: A synonym for unleash, followed by an anagram (upset) of ANGER.

10a    Pace of fashion needing answer for the ultimate in design (5)
TREAD: A synonym of fashion wanting to have (needing) the one-letter abbreviation for answer in place of (for) the final letter (ultimate) in design.

11a    Reach out and be inclined to go after former partner (6)
EXTEND: Another word for ‘be inclined’ to follow (go after) a two-letter colloquial word for former partner.

12a    Aggressive promotion resulting from confusion of shared lines (4,4)
HARD SELL: An anagram (confusion) of SHARED, followed by an abbreviation for lines.

13a    Act out of character, disturbed to see one with a target (6)
ARCHER: The word ‘act’ missing (out of) CHARactER and an anagram made (disturbed) out of the remaining words.

15a    Period in which there’s universal grief (8)
MOURNING: The first part of the day inside (in) which there’s an abbreviation for the word universal.

18a    Primate gets religious instruction having knocked back suitable drink (8)
APERITIF: Another word for primate followed by an abbreviation for religious instruction and a reversal (knocked back) of the word suitable.

19a    Rebukes from ship crossing Arctic (6)
SCOLDS: The two-letter abbreviation for a steamship going over (crossing) this region (Arctic), more particularly used here as an adjective denoting its characteristic feature.

21a    Formality shown by inspector with attitude (8)
DISTANCE: A charade consisting of two-letter abbreviation for an inspector trained in criminal investigation and (with) another word for attitude.

23a    One out on the tiles may see the end of celebrations in due course (6)
SLATER: The last letter (end) of the word celebrations followed by a single word for the phrase ‘in due course’.

26a    Phrase too much adopted by doctor? (5)
MOTTO: An abbreviation for a three-word phrase signifying too extreme and not suitable or demanding too much attention or effort, especially in an uncontrolled way (too much) inserted inside (adopted by) a two-letter abbreviation for doctor.

27a    A walk for males with a date after vacation (9)
PROMENADE: A Latin word for ‘for’ or in favour of followed by another word for males and (with) A from the clue (a) DatE without the inner letters (after vacation).

28a    Good person on perilous north face will find something to eat (6,5)
FRENCH TOAST: A two-letter abbreviation for a good or holy person follows (on) an anagram (perilous) of NORTH FACE.


1d    Temperature on a fine cheese material (7)
TAFFETA: A concatenation of an abbreviation for temperature, the letter A from the clue (a), an abbreviation for fine and a word for a white salty Greek cheese made from the milk of ewes or goats.

2d    Vote in the Spanish on European court (5)
ELECT: A two-letter Spanish word for definite article (the) followed by (on) an abbreviation each for European and court.

3d    Wild tiger seen in park (9)
SERENGETI: Anagram (wild) of TIGER and SEEN will give the name of a national park of Tanzania. This fascinating park presents all kinds of ecosystems which allow it to host a variety of plants, animals and birds.

4d    Call for sign of commitment (4)
RING: Double definition. One. Another word, noun or verb, for call, with respect to telephone or mobile. Two. A promised one given as a symbol of commitment, not marriage specifically, but an engagement one is a sure sign of commitment for marriage.

5d    Reveal changes about to lift (8)
ELEVATOR: An anagram (changes) of REVEAL around (about) TO from the clue (to).

6d    Celebrated school raised daughter (5)
NOTED: Name of the famous public school of Berkshire reversed or written upwards (raised) followed by an abbreviation for daughter.

7d    Warning bolshie, loud prisoner (3,4)
RED FLAG: Another word for left-winged or bolshie, followed by the abbreviation of loud as in music and a slang word for inmate in a correctional facility (prisoner).

8d    Providing a fix in political aide merely given a lift (8)
REMEDIAL: Part of or hidden inside (in) the three words (political aide merely) seen as a reversal or brought up (given a lift).

14d    Application that preserves love like this in Greek island (8)
CREOSOTE: A single-letter abbreviation for zero score in tennis (love) and a two-letter word for ‘like this’ placed inside (in) an island in Greece (Greek island).

16d    Remember about part of string section brought up in court (9)
RECOLLECT: An abbreviation used in a business letter for the preposition meaning with reference to or concerning (about) followed by an abbreviation for the word court having another word for part of string section reversed or taken up (brought up) inside (in).

17d    An eye for a Cockney‘s Christmas treat? (5,3)
MINCE PIE: Double definition. A two-word phrase evolved as a Cockney rhyming slang for an eye, but not specifically related to Christmas in that sense.

18d    Part of corporation needing to remodel bad sign (7)
ABDOMEN: To do an anagram (remodel) of BAD followed by another word for sign.

20d    Excess energy contained in stewed fruits (7)
SURFEIT: The abbreviation for energy put inside (contained in) an anagram (stewed) of FRUITS.

22d    Cold facilities welcomed by a female (5)
ALOOF: The colloquial word for lavatory (facilities) is taken inside (welcomed by) A from the clue (a) and an abbreviation for female.

24d    Sailor must keep one area for headgear (5)
TIARA: A colloquial and popular word for sailor must have inside (keep) the Roman numeral for one, then add the abbreviation for the word area.

25d    Stock regularly including gold choker (4)
TORC: Alternate letters (regularly) in sToCk having inside (including) the abbreviation, as used in heraldry, for gold.

I enjoyed this one too and tonnes of thanks to today’s setter and also to BD for the encouragement.  I came to know the name of the Tanzanian national park today only.   I liked so many among the clues for today – 1a, 9a, 23a, 1d, 14d, 17d and 25d and would be happy to know your favourite ones.

The Quick Crossword pun: pink+who+shun=pincushion

116 comments on “DT 29583

  1. I can’t remember if I have ever given a puzzle a * rating previously. I got most of the crosses on the first pass, and all of the downs. 13a was the only one that needed more than a second look.

    This should have been set on a Monday, surely.

    Thanks to the compiler and Rahmat for the blog.

  2. 1.5*/4*. Another light and delightful puzzle from our Wednesday Wizard. My only hold up was with 25d to check my BRB as I have never come across the answer spelt that way.

    My podium comprises 1a, 9a & 14d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to RA.

  3. I got stuck in the SW corner of the puzzle, so it took me a bit longer than usual (2.5*). I also found it difficult to parse 13a and wasn’t sure if I’d got it right, so thank you Rahmat Ali for your help. It was very enjoyable, as usual on Wednesdays (4*). 3d was a nice geographical clue and the reverse lurker at 8d was well constructed. 23a was another good anagram with great misdirection but my COTD was 1a, where I got hung up on the carpentry plane andit took a while to recall the Plane tree. Thanks again to Rahmat Ali for a great review and to Jay for another good puzzle.

  4. A very gentle but pleasant romp that provided, along with lots of cards and messages, a lovely start to my birthday.
    Hard to choose a podium but I’ve gone for 12a plus 7&18d.
    I wonder if 15a was a nod from Jay to yesterday’s numbers?
    Many thanks to Jay and to Rhamat. .

          1. Me too! Happy Birthday to you both, and M’pops but I suspect he’s having us on! Are you M’pops?

    1. How many people do you have to have in a room to find two with the same birthday? I know it is something ridiculously low. Happy birthday to all.

      1. If you have 23 people then the chances of two of them sharing a birthday are over 50%. Is that what you were thinking of, DG?

            1. He’s 65 today, tomorrow and will remain 65 until his next birthday! I fell for it, HL&S, surely I’m old enough to smell a rat?

      1. Many thanks Robert, LROK, Daisygirl, Spook, Dom, Merusa, Huntsman and Jane. All your good wishes are much appreciated.

  5. Rahmat, you have not missed the celebration of the moment as the 21st year of the 21st century is NEXT year. Having said that, a pleasant puzzle for which I did not need the hints. No particular clue stands out as a favourite. Thanks to Rahmat and the setter. My rating is */**

    1. I would have to say that Rahmat is correct on the 21st of everything. Yes, 2000 was the last year of the 20th century, second millennium, etc, so 2001 is the first year of the 21st century, third millennium, etc and counting up from there 2021 is the . . .

        1. I railed long and hard when I realised the whole world was celebrating the new millennium on the wrong year. I still bleat on about it these days. Gary Lineker announced on MOTD somebody or other had scored the first hat trick of the new decade LAST YEAR. I’ll stop now.

          1. Taylor, that made me laugh. I also go on about this, or I did until I realised I was right but NOBODY CARED!
            Thanks Jay and Rahmat – a 1.5/4* for me, another nice Wednesday.

            1. The celebrations were announced in the mid 90’s, plenty of time to realise they had messed up. It seemed at the time that only Patrick Moore 🧐 and I were the only ones speaking out against it, I do miss him. Some people still think I’m wrong. I’m going on again.

  6. Jay in a very benevolent frame of mind. */**** I reckon Senf’s horses will race through this one at a gallop. The usual collection of well constructed clues and great entertainment. Hard to pick a favourite but I liked the two anagrams at 20d and 28a and the stuff used to preserve fences at 14d. Thanks to all.

  7. Had to guess 25d as I hadn’t seen that word before although from the clue it was relatively clear. 1ac COTD in a pleasant high quality *** offering. It was one of those I had to look at half a dozen clues in short order before getting one and then it just flowed. Thanks Rahmat and the setter – people seem to think Jay. I guess he is the usual Weds setter.

  8. Pretty straightforward Jay puzzle all done in * time and *** for enjoyment.
    COTD 1a with 13a and 17d on the podium
    Thanks to Rahmat and Jay

  9. Done & dusted in under 1.5* time & certainly the fastest I’ve ever managed to solve a Jay crossword. MalcolmR’s opening comment soon dispelled any illusions that this was because I was on sparkling form – suspected it was at the gentlest end of the spectrum. Still enjoyable as ever with 13&28a my picks of the bunch. Alphabet’s end today: Zuma (Neil Young&Crazy Horse) & Z Z Top’s First Album (wonder how long it took them to come up with that title)
    Thanks to Jay & to Rahmat

  10. A very straightforward crossword – sadly the repetition radar did beep at 2d and 16d

    Thanks to Jay for the fun and Rahmat for the blog

  11. Brilliant. This may not have taken long to solve but who could not be impressed by the wordplay and pure skill that went into the clues? I too was looking for a joiner at 1a and 8d was my last one in. I got the answer from the checkers whilst once again missing the obvious. I defy anyone to complain about 3d (GK) or 25d (obscure word) as both were easy to solve from the wordplay. 1 9 12 15 and 18a together with 1 14 18 22 and 20d should all be on the podium and I would have difficulty in differentiating between gold, silver and bronze.

  12. Just nicely challenging with an easier ride in the North. Hadn’t thought about it but is 26a always a single phrase I wonder? Failed to twig perilous in 28a so it was a bung-in. Several goodies but I particularly liked 23a and 4d. Thank you Mysteron and Rahmat.

    1. I think 26a is a single phrase or short sentence according to the main definition. I was a little confused by the hint which I read after completion as Rahmat uses ‘three word phrase’ in connection with the abbreviation. He is right of course but I think of the abbreviation as it is and therefore the three letters came to me without considering that phrase might be relevant for two reasons. I know what I mean but difficult to explain!!!

      1. I guess I must eat humble pie. Wikipedia (for what it’s worth!) says “In literature a motto is a sentence, phrase, poem or word”. In heraldry too it is of course usually a single phrase. It apparently stems from Latin muttum (= mutter). My apologies Jay 🤭.

  13. Manage to get it done fast enough to get the bonus points today – a rare occurrence for me. I will now return to yesterday’s Toughie which I am enjoying a lot, despite finding it…… well…… tough!

    1. But doable! I did most of it on the bath last night and last two in this morning on waking! Yeay.

  14. Top quality from our usual Wednesday setter.
    So many ticks next to the clues that I might as well say that I liked them all.
    Thanks to Jay and to Rahmat Ali for the excellent review.

  15. Nice puzzle Mr Mutch. Thank you. A tad easier than normal but still very entertaining. Accompanied by a well written set of hints and tips from Rahman Ali. Well done Rahmat.

  16. Very pleasant puzzle today, nothing to frighten the horses but some nice clues. My favs are 1a and 13a.
    No gripes at all today🥳
    Thx to all

  17. With a temperature of minus 27 degrees, minus 35 with wind chill, at solving time last night we stayed inside in the warm for this fine example of a midweek puzzle – 1.5*/4.5*.
    Although I am sure that we have seen it before, like RD, I did have to carry out a BRB check of 25d and I did have a bit of a Hmm over the lack of crypticality of the inspector in 21a.
    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 27a, and 14d – and the winner is 27a.
    Thanks to Jay and Rahmat.

  18. Only needed electronic help with 8d where I missed the rekrul completely so it has to be my clue of the day.

    Many to thanks to Jay for a very pleasant puzzle and to RA for a very good review.

  19. Excellent fun and a pleasure to solve. This may well have been at the easier end of Jay’s setting spectrum but it lost none of its usual sparkle. 1a my favourite of many.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and RA.

  20. A treat from 1a to 25d – a perfect puzzle, as I tend to prefer those on the ‘canter on the flat’ level rather than the ‘terrifying leaps at Aintree’ mind benders.

    Lola continues to improve and we are hoping she will be discharged by the vet tomorrow. She is much more inquisitive and engaged. A bath towel is now required to wrap her up at tablet time, such is her wriggly determination to escape. She convinced me she had swallowed the steroid tablet this morning to the degree that I unwrapped her and set her free, only for her (schoolgirl error) to drop it on the floor in front of me. It went down the hatch at the second attempt.

    Today’s soundtrack: Steely Dan – The Royal Scam <- a masterpiece.

    Thanks to Jay (the Wednesday Wizard) and Rahmat Ali.

    1. Oh yes – getting a pill into a cat – nightmare scenario. That triumphant look when they spit the pill out five minutes later!

    2. LOL to tablet taking. Our 3 are pretty adept at convincing us they’ve swallowed it – only to spit it out 10 seconds later when they think we’re not watching 😂🤣😅

      1. I discovered a way our cat would take a pill by mistake. Having struggled – putting it in food, trying different ways to get one in his mouth I dropped it on the floor. He dashed towards it and lapped it up. Result! I thought this was a one-off but I adopted the same method throughout his life and it never failed.

    3. Hi Terence. We have a house full of cats including Spike in my avatar … Mrs SW often has to administer pills and she does it by wrapping in mortadella or whatever else is handy. Works every time.

      Agree with everyone on the crossword. Thanks to Jay and Rahmat (you seem to be settling in nicely).

      1. Strange SW, it was (nearly) always Mrs LROK who administered the tablets to our cats. She now carries on the “tradition” with what she avers are “my” dogs. The trick these days being to slip them into butter.

        1. If it is possible to crush the tablet, mixing it with butter or the like can help…….sometimes.

          1. Oh lordy, that reminds me of being a very little girl when I had mastoid during the war and my mother crushed aspirin into a spoonful of jam. I can tell you it is DISGUSTING.

  21. Is it just me who mistook the photographic hint at 5d as a gents’ urinal? I wondered how it fitted in with the clue until I saw the lady, although that does take me back to an embarrassing experience I had many years ago at the old Birmingham County Court.

  22. Another light delight from Mr Wednesday. 14d made me smile as it put me in mind of Shirley Valentine and I rather liked both 9&12a.

    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to Rahmat for filling in so expertly for the 2Ks.

  23. Not the expected challenge for a Wednesday, nonetheless a pleasant solve.
    The picture accompanying 28a reminds me of disappointing holidays abroad where the eggs are mixed with sugar and cinnamon to, imho the ruination of a fine breakfast which should be taken with salt and (controversially?) brown sauce. Still on the bright side I do not have any disappointing holiday breakfasts to look forward to! Am I suffering from negative optimism?

    Thanks to the setter and Mr Ali

    1. Sweet French toast instead of savoury is served here in the US. I just make it here instead.

  24. ** / *** for. Downs weren’t a problem but for some reason we didn’t find the Acrosses as easy as others did.
    Although a bit of a whinge from me on 21a. Clue only says inspector – which is a policeman in uniform and has a one letter abbreviation. The 2 letter abbreviation is a totally different thing.
    Hey ho – but I am a pedant.
    Thanks Jay and Rahmat for today.

    1. I don’t remember the inspector who called in the J.B. Priestley play having a uniform.

      1. That’s because he’s a detective inspector from CID and has the abbreviation DI which is not that of a Police Inspector.

        1. If you see a copper in uniform, run. It you see a copper in plain clothes, you should have ran faster

    2. I struggled with the inspector as DI is normally clued differently. There is no I abbreviation for the uniformed inspector. It is Insp. until I saw the light I was using Ins (wrong) and trying to make instance but got there after a tussle.

  25. All done in 1* time. This was my quickest solve for a long time. I remembered 25d from a previous puzzle (for once the knowledge stuck!)
    Thanks to Jay for a nicely constructed puzzle, and to RA for the review (and for fully explaining 1a for me)

  26. There does seem to be a consensus on this one , it was very benign but none the less well clued. I too wondered whether the mourning was intentional, though I guess the grid was completed some time ago. The speaker at George’s Rotary zoom last night was Dr Tim Wreghitt a consultant virologist, a most interesting evening. Thanks to Jay and TA. roll on Thursday.

  27. A very friendly Wednesday offering completed before bedtime with well constructed clues and fun to do. COTD definitely 3D. Sun and fresh snow in S.Ontario, counteracting the vaccine shortage gloom. Thanks to the setter and Ragnar.

  28. Again, so much to like in a Jay puzzle that I’ll just crown them all in this gentle but crafty gem. 28a, however, rose slightly above the other high peaks and made me hungry, as did the illustration by Rahmat Ali, so thanks to him for the hints and to Jay for the fun. ** / ****

    I finished another Toughie, but I did need a bit of a digital assist.

  29. Always find Jay more difficult fhan most & today no exception. Tried starting with downs, it seemed to help but it could just have been the puzzle was easier today.
    1a my COTD.
    A few days ago the appearance of “latrine” drew some sniffy comments 😑. Don’t suppose the WC component of 22d will do the same today.
    Thanks to Jay and RA. As last week newcomers can’t fail but find everything they need to unlock Jay’s clues from the excellent review.
    Vaccination date next week for both Mrs LROK and I.

    1. Have you read the obituary for Charles Ritchie today LBROK? They make em ard up your neck of the woods

      1. I hadn’t but now have MP.
        The sort of larger than life character I used to read about in Hotspur.

    2. I think it was the reference to what you do in a latrine that was a bit off – not just the latrine itself.

  30. Another good fun puzzle today with no particular hold-ups. My favourite time of the day, first thing in the morning, in bed with my cup of tea and starting the DT puzzle – only about 3 left when I came downstairs. Thanks to all involved. Made Tom Kerridge’s turkey sausages yesterday – he made it look so easy – rolling them up in clingfilm was a complete nightmare – language appalling!

  31. I was galloping through 98% of this puzzle but for some reason ground to a halt in the Deep South 😟 So it has to be ***/**** 25d was new to me 🤔 Favourites were 14, 17 & 22d 😃 Thanks to Jay and to Rahmat

  32. Normally with Jay’s crosswords I end up with the last few answers taking a long time but that didn’t happen today so I’ll go along with most others and say that this one was a very gentle Jay.
    8d was my last one in and did take a while.
    My radar repetition beep is far less sophisticated than CS’s and RD’s – must be an older version because it rarely works.
    I did notice quite a lot of anagrams but I like them anyway so no complaints at all.
    My favourite was either 28a, because I love it, or 14d because the smell of it always reminds me of my Dad.
    Thanks to Jay and to RA for a great review and pics.

  33. ***/****. I needed two sittings for this but both went smoothly once I got going. I enjoyed several clues, even the repeats or variants of those I’ve seen before. Thanks to Jay and Rahmat Ali. I start my cardiac rehab exercise club today, suitably distanced over zoom, and looking forwards to 3-4 weeks to getting back to something I remember in terms of physical strength. I’m just finishing Bill Bryson’s book, The Body, which has also been an enjoyable and informative read during my recent challenges. Next, This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay.

    1. Oh you will enjoy the Adam Kay (and I always enjoy reading Bill Bryson too). When you think this book was written in
      2017 long before our present crisis, it makes you realise how much more manic it must be now. I hope you have a strong stomach
      for some of the more gory anecdotes!

        1. No.2 daughter has got the sequel you mentioned – we’re going to swap books at some point. Maybe via the postal system the way things look at the moment.

  34. I love Jay Days! No matter how friendly they are, they’re always amusing.
    I needed Rahmat’s help unravelling 10a and 13a. I’m so thick, I looked up spoles in the dictionary! I’ve been had so many times by that plane tree, but it didn’t get me this time, so there!
    A fave? Impossible to choose, though 27a impressed.
    Thank you Jay for all the fun and Rahmat for the understanding of a couple.

  35. Enjoyed today’s offering and many thanks to Jay and Rahmat. It took me an inordinate amount of time to get 1 Across and 25d was new to me.

    Off to give the dogs their tea. Terence, we tuck the daily medication 3 tablets and 5 every other day into cream cheese (supermarket cheapest) or dog meat. On the whole it works well!

  36. Got 16d but still can’t understand the string section part of the clue. Any helpers out there please?

    1. The part of the string section is the cello and it’s reversed within the answer, between the abbreviation for about and court. Hope that helps.

      1. Orchestra is divided into four sections – string, woodwind, brass and percussion. The largest section of these is the string family. The string section is further divided into four sections – violin, viola, cello and bass. So, cello is one or part of the string sections, displayed as OLLEC, its reversal inside CT (court). The break-up is as follows: RE (about) + C(OLLEC)T.

  37. Oh dear, I knew it was too good to last. I’ve been on a solving streak for the past few days, but that came to a halt today. Started great, with most of top half going straight in. But then brain died in the bottom half, with 25d being the last straw. I am very familiar with the spelling ending in que, being married to an engineer, but never seen this version before. Said engineer just got back from the dentist where they were pleased to hear he has had his first Moderna shot, but said that a lot of their customers have advised they are refusing it, based on “political” reasons ??? Good grief.

    1. I can’t have the vaccination at all as I am prone to anaphylactic shock, which is much more dangerous than the bug
      I know it sounds crass, but bring it on I say; this is no way to live and we are merely protracting the inevitable onslaught
      Sincerely hope you don’t find my opinion at all offensive or insensitive BL, that is not my intention

    2. It’s called wavelength! You’ve never clicked with Jay, but I thought this would have been a good one to start you off. I’d never come across the “que-less” version of 25d but looked it up, was very surprised to find it as a variation.

  38. Finding today a struggle to get through.
    Not a good day and will look again later at SW corner but this has been a slow go.
    Still not completed
    Did like 9a, 18a & 17d but not outstanding winner today … maybe 17d

    Thanks to Jay and Ragnar

  39. Batting two for two today and I enjoyed this. Free-range eggs for my French Toast and that’s supper sorted.
    13a and 14d were the last to fall today and both were satisfactory penny drops.
    The Torcs in 25d were known to me as they have a couple of rather nice gold ones found near Towton are on display at the Yorkshire museum in York.
    Thanks to Rahmat and Jay.
    And Happy Returns to SL and YS and a nice stroke for Lola too

  40. Now that I have finally struggled through and completed this puzzle my favourite clue is 22d, with 26a a runner up.
    Bloody miserable wet and cold day today probably contributing to my struggle with the puzzle.
    Glad it’s done.

  41. I was hoping I was getting on Jay’s wavelength but as everyone else found it pretty straightforward I’ll hold that one back until next week. Thoroughly enjoyable though. I’m going to make 25d my favourite as some contributors seem to have confused the answer with torque which is a twisting force expressed in foot pounds, other units are applicable, and the answer is a necklace or bracelet. Thanks to Jay and RA.

  42. Many thanks Jay and Rahman,
    I spent far too long convinced that the Greek island in 14d was of the lettuce variety, but eventually the penny dropped.
    An easier than usual Jay puzzle, but no less enjoyable.
    I have decided to do a bit of work as the lockdown is so tedious and the weather so awful, so my appearance on here will be somewhat sporadic, but I always read the blog with interest and enjoyment.

  43. I’m not having a good crossword week. I only managed one of the across clues on the first pass. I found the down clues easier but still not enough to finish without help. I normally like Jay’s puzzles but this one was not on my wavelength today for some reason. ***|***

  44. A big thank you to you all for the valuable comments, compliments and words of encouragement on the review. Once again, tonnes of thanks to Jay for a very straightforward and delightful puzzle and to BD for the encouragement and publication.

  45. 2*/3*……
    liked 18A “Primate gets religious instruction having knocked back suitable drink (8)”

  46. So many great clues but 20d is my COTD. A really fun Wednesday puzzle to do on a Friday evening. Thanks to Jay and RA. Absolute brass monkey weather in NYC today: 2 degrees here which is -16 degrees in British terms. Nevertheless we managed to visit the NY Botanical Gardens where the annual model train show in the fantastic (and warm) Haupt Conservatory kept the family amused for a couple of hours.

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