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DT 29584

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29584

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Rating suggested by Cryptor – Difficulty **   – Enjoyment ***

Good morning. After a gentle start to the solving week we have been hit here with a sledgehammer. Good luck.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a        Those people ignoring hotel, knowing about high-protein food (6)
TEMPEH: It’s good to start with a straightforward shoe in. A simple easy clue that gives a bit of confidence, a lift to the spirit, a feeling of ‘I can do this’. Well not today Bucko. I’ve never heard of this word which was one of my last ones in despite having five out of six letters, the first three being obvious.

Take a pronoun meaning those people and remove the abbreviation for hotel. Add the reverse (about) of an obsolete archaic form of the word hip. I don’t know anything about fermented Soy Beans from Indonesia. Do you?

5a        To understand, the female must be mentally composed (8)
TOGETHER: Split 2,3,3 the answer comprises of the word to from the clue. A word meaning to understand and a female pronoun

9a        Player ‘stuffed’ the other side (4,4)
FULL BACK: This footballer can be found by finding a synonym of the word stuffed or replete. Add the other side, not the front

10a      Person temporarily replacing another sculpture? (6)
RELIEF: A deputy or stand in is also a form of sculpture

11a      Most pallid artist in classical establishment (8)
PALESTRA: Begin with a word meaning the most pallid, the whitest, the most wan. Add the abbreviation for a Member of The Royal Academy

12a      Sheepish male knocked over drink? Allowance must be made (6)
MARGIN: Reverse a male sheep and add a popular drink that is best served over ice and lemon with Tonic Water. No it’s not to early. You need one after solving this puzzle

13a      Technique backward-looking with bit of poetry? Makes one cross (8)
TRAVERSE: A technique or way of applying a skill acquired through practice is reversed and followed by an obvious piece of poetry

15a      Brave person embraced by another one (4)
HERO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word embraced suggests that it is so

17a      Agile agent capturing traitor finally (4)
SPRY: An agent of M15 perhaps surrounds the last letter of the word traitor

19a      Cash Dept mishandled mail (8)
DESPATCH: Anagram (mishandled) of CASH DEPT

20a      Numbers in ‘igh-up positions (6)
EIGHTS:  Find a word referring to high up positions and remove the letter H as in the clue

21a      Improve number in tavern getting drunk (8)
Our Editor Mr Chris Lancaster has apologised for the error in the published clue which does not work. The clue should have read

21a     Improve one empty tavern, getting drunk

RENOVATE:  Anagram (getting drunk) of OnE TAVERN

22a      Statement coming in a sort of letter read out (6)
AVOWAL: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a type of letter. Not a consonant. The other one

23a      Bill someone fairly new to the ministry, right? (8)
ACCURATE: Begin with a two-letter bill and add a junior member of the clergy

24a      Belittle girl with short skirt? Say nothing! (8)
DIMINISH: The short form of a girls name is followed by a short skirt which is followed by a short form of the lovely word shush

25a      The French female performed, actress primarily trying to be posh? (2-2-2)
LA DI DA: The phrase said so sexily in the film Annie Hall can be found by starting with the French feminine word meaning the. Adding a synonym of the word performed and the initial letter of the word actress

2d        Bad clue, terrible English? Novice needs to be this! (8)
EDUCABLE: Anagram (terrible) of BAD CLUE followed by the abbreviation for English. This word preceded by the letters IN appeared in one of my school reports. This boy is in********

3d        Plant suffering in metal pot (8)
PALMETTO: Anagram (suffering) of METAL POT

4d        Hospital ‘treater’ arranged to collect a medical measurement (5,4)
HEART RATE: Begin with the abbreviation for hospital. Add an anagram (arranged) of TREATER together with the letter A

5d        Look before you leap — advice to diver without aqualung? (4,1,4,6)
TAKE A DEEP BREATH: What anybody contemplating spending a long time underwater should do

6d        Rumpus, not the first, about tax being put up (7)
ELEVATE: A confused fight or scuffle minus its first letter surrounds an unpopular tax

7d        Bob may need this in order not to fall apart (8)
HAIRGRIP: A Bob here is one on top of ones head. This is what helps to keep it all in place

8d        Engineers with special gear maybe in industrial installation (8)
REFINERY: The abbreviation for the Royal Engineers is followed by expensive and ostentatious clothing

14d      A saint going off the rails termed ‘not half wicked’ (9)
SATANICAL: An anagram (going off the rails) of A SAINT is followed by a word meaning termed or named minus half of its letters

15d      Sound of cat trapped in pile coming back after prowl? (8)
HOMEWARD: The noise a cat makes is placed inside a pile such as one metal detectorists might hope to find

16d      Complaint of maiden quarrelling, upset after call (8)
RINGWORM: A three part charade in this order. 1 to call as on a telephone 2 A quarrel or argument reversed (upset) The cricketing abbreviation for a maiden (over)

17d      I have radiator finally installed in hut — what I did before that? (8)
SHIVERED: Then final letter of the word radiator sits after the contracted form of I have. Together they sit in a the (unheated)  hut mentioned in the clue

18d      Repeated danger signal goes around the country (8)
RESTATED: The colour associated with danger sits around a nation or country

19d      One of the CID to come down and alight on platform (7)
DETRAIN: The abbreviation for a member of the Criminal Investigation Department is followed by a verb meaning (of water) to fall from the sky

Quickie Pun GRATE + DEIGN = Great Dane


113 comments on “DT 29584

  1. I was so relieved that the clue to 21a had been updated when I looked again this morning. I thought I was missing something obvious!

  2. Finished this just before the hints came in. Well I for one found this very very difficult. SW corner held out the longest. Never heard of 1a. Quite a lot of bung in so will read Miffy’s clues to see how I got there. Have only just noticed that 15a was a lurker. Perhaps have read too much into it all. Anyway thanks to the setter and Miffypops and now I can get on with the rest of my day!

  3. Very glad you cleared up 21a, it was annoying me. I had heard of 1a but needed some assistance with the second half to make sense of the parse. 22a was my last in and gets my vote today.

    Thanks to MP and today’s setter.

  4. A very tricky puzzle today(3*/3*) I had heard of 1a but couldn’t remember how it was spelt. With 11a, I’ve always spelt the word with an ae dipthong, not just an e, so that was confusing. With 14d, thanks to MP for explaining how the 3nd of the word was parsed. In facts many thanks and well done to MP for doing the review on such a tough puzzle. Some of the clues were a bit over-complicated for my taste but 15d was a great idea . 22d was my COTD because it made me chuckle. Thanks to the compiler for the brain workout.

  5. I enjoyed this and completed it relatively quickly though I did have to refer to Mr G to confirm a couple and I also thought a couple of the parsings less than crystal clear, especially 1a (which I’d actually heard of).
    I liked several clues including 5, 12, 22& 23a plus the amusing 17d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and MP.

    1. I took it to mean that the cat returns home after it’s been on the prowl, clever idea but I don’t think it worked perfectly.

  6. Glad that 21a was sorted. I just bunged in the answer anyway. I managed to work out 1a and 11a, but had to google them to check. 7d took me ages to work out, but brought a smile when the penny dropped. Thank you setter and Miffypops. I have now offered to help my husband clear the old shed out ready for a new one arriving. Silly me. I’m sure I could have gone off and busied myself doing something more enjoyable like baking.

      1. I’m not sure I’ll get away with that. I don’t like spiders if they are huge, but can usually deal with them. I just get the hoover out. I don’t think the extension lead will reach the shed.

        1. I never touch hoovers Florence. Never go near them in case they have spiders inside them trying to escape and exact their revenge

  7. I certainly had to check google to make sure I had the correct answers to both 1a and 11a, never having heard of either word. 21a now makes sense. 15d was my last one in. I kept having unpleasant visions of Lola trapped in something although I’m quite sure Terence would never allow that. A nicely put together clue when the penny finally dropped. ***/*** I liked 8d, 19d raised a hmm and my favourite is 16d. Thanks to all.

  8. Well, frankly, it seemed like torture at times. Word-and-phrase torture, I mean. Even though I managed to finish in *** time, it seemed painfully long. The Toughie was great fun and I finished that one all on my own, without any help, but this one took “Nature red in tooth and claw” to complete. I did, nonetheless, have a podiumful of winners when it was all over: 11a, 22a, and 17d. So clever. Thanks to MP, who always makes a poem of his preview, and to today’s wild setter. *** / ***

  9. I usually struggle with Thursdays puzzle. Is this a Ray T offering?. Only ones I couldnt get were 1a, never heard the word before, and 19d, because my spelling of 22a was wrong. Many thanks to the compiler and Miffypops for explaining 1a.

    1. Definitely not Ray T…he’s in the Toughie slot today, and he’s only here once a fortnight

      1. Additionally on Thursday always look at the Quickie first if there two word clues the backpager is not Ray T.

  10. Another tricky Thursday puzzle from first to last ,as I usually start in the NW corner 1a was the first challenge and the second half eluded me even after 4d provided the H!-Thanks MP-one bean stew I’ll never experience.
    11a was new to me.
    Ended up finally in the SW corner and last in took ages- 15d which didn’t quite work for me and was somewhat clumsy.
    Anyway 24 was my favourite- I like charades.
    Going for a ***/*** too.

  11. Another one causing a “Brian will hate this’ comment to the trouble and strife. So go on, Brian, confound us by saying you loved it and finished it quickly without referring to the hints, electronic help or guesswork!
    Solved 1a first but took a long time, then 11a made me think I was on the wrong planet! Thankfully it got a little easier thereafter. Thankfully the toughie was simple and enjoyable when compared to this.

  12. Finished with electronic help for 15d. My on line DT still had the wrong clue for 21a but had the right answer. At least the long down clue was a shoe-in probably the less said about some of the rest the better
    Not my cup of tea, too tricksy, dull and forgettable. *** /**.
    Thank you to setter and MP. It would appear that it did not inspire your usual enthusiasm either.

  13. I am relieved to see that I was not alone in finding this trickier than the average backpager. It was not so difficult as to render it unsolvable, and I felt a genuine sense of satisfaction upon completing it, as I would a Toughie. Nuff said about 21a. 5d was obvious but fun, and my favourite.

    Many thanks to our setter (DG?) and to MP.

  14. This was a crossword of two halves East and West, East went in quite quickly but West provide to be a right struggle. Without the hints I woukd not have stood a chance. Some words I have never heard of, but you learn something everyday. Otherwuse a real headscratcher. I think the compiler must have been in develish mood when he set this one.
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter.

  15. Slowed down in the NE as I wrote Hairclip in 7d.
    Knew there was going to be an explanation for the mistake in 21a as it was still there when I printed the crossword at 9.30.
    Thought that the sound of a cat was meow. Took a while to get that clue.
    Didn’t quite understand the first pat of 5d. Is it a double def?
    Liked the homophone in 22a.
    Agree with the ratings.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. I think 5d is probably a double definition with a weak first definition. Cats Mew or meow in England. We once had a giant ginger cat in Coventry before I was born. A poor little boy who had a part as a rat in The Pied Piper of Hamelin was eaten by the cat as he was going home still in costume. His friends who had changed into normal clothes were unhurt.

    2. I was similarly puzzled by the first part of 5d and came to the conclusion it was a double definition.

    3. I also had hairclip for 7d, which slowed me up for a while. Having no use for such items definitely puts me at a disadvantage!!
      Good puzzle. Thanks setter and MP.

  16. Well I thought this jolly difficult. Found the east pretty straightforward (21a parsing aside though now know why) but a different kettle of fish on t’other side. Mr G was needed to confirm 11a (never heard of), 2d (seems a clumsy word to me that looks as though it wants an additional a&t) and the penultimate letter of 1a which I thought was likely to be an a & couldn’t parse. That left the SW where it took a good while for the pennies to drop. Unlike CC & StephenL I thought 15d worked ok & along with 22a was my pick of the bunch. 3d brought back memories of dining on the terrace of the ludicrously expensive Greg Norman Grill on a golfing trip in Florida & this huge thing scuttled under the table to my horror. The Yanks announced it was nothing to worry about (only a 3d bug) but all I could think about was the proximity of the kitchens so barely ate another mouthful & got tanked on their overpriced wine instead.
    Today’s albums: Automatic For The People (REM) & Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl (Van)
    Thanks to the setter & to MP

    1. The original Astral Weeks was my favourite album for ever and ever until it was superseded by Astral Weeks Live at The Hollywood Bowl. Put it on a very high volume and walk away until you can only hear the double bass. Heavenly

    2. H
      If you ever get to play in Florida again & get to Orlando or Ponte Vedra try the Nona Blue restaurant owned by Graeme McDowell good food & reasonable prices each time we have been there. The Orlando one is almost right outside Lake Nona – you should try to get to play it if you haven’t already.

  17. I thought this was a difficult crossword – it certainly took me a 1.5* Toughie time to solve and that was before none of us could parse the original 21a. The RH side was definitely easier than the left, even allowing for the ‘cornery’ grid and the double unches. 5d and 17d both made me smile

    Thanks to the setter and MP

  18. Use Webster’s for the definition of ‘hep’ and 1a
    Makes much more sense….

    US slang, old-fashioned : having or showing knowledge about the newest things in music, fashion, etc.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Chambers defines hep as knowing or well-informed about fashionable knowledge and taste

  19. Dear me, what a strange puzzle three words i have never head before in 1a, 11a & 3d. And 3 clues i could not parse although the answer was in the definition in 22a, 14d & 19d. One of those crosswords that gives satisfaction to complete without a shred of enjoyment along the way.
    Thx for the hints

  20. Only had to google 1a, otherwise reasonable. Completed in ** time for me. MP, I notice you haven’t put a rating in for ease or enjoyment? Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  21. I’m rather with Brian (just above me) today. I wouldn’t criticise someone who has made the effort to create a puzzle… but I will hold myself to simply noting that was quite a bizarre crossword.

    Lola has an appointment with the vet at 16:00 and we’re hoping they will discharge her. It has been an incredible turnaround – I should be able to give details tomorrow regarding the state of play.

    Today’s soundtrack: Harold Budd – Winter Garden

    Thanks to the setter and to Miff with his sledgehammer…

          1. Boys will be boys, I suppose. Romantic and poetic to the max.
            Your authentic blues euphemisms, they can be funny, but I can do without the 70s and 80s stadium rock and hair-metal lyrics. Like drawings in teenage boys’ rough books, they lack any vestige of wit. At least the death metal I was forced to listen to when my own offspring were on it had the benefit of being unable to decipher a single word.

  22. 21a was my first in, after doing the Quickie…..wasn’t in cryptic mode, so straight in – and yes, I do get the paper!

  23. Back to earth with a bang. I’d nominate 1a and 11a jointly as NMCOTD (not my clue of the day), sadly missing from my vocabulary. Fortunately 3d is very common here in SF so I would have to hang my head in shame if I didn’t get that one. I’ve always known 25a spelt as De in the middle, and not Di, but apparently both are ok. But agree with Miffypop’s sledgehammer assessment, and clearly above my pay grade. But it’s been a good run lately, so can’t complain.

  24. I didn’t really mind this one and I thought it only a bit harder than the setter’s last two backpagers.
    I had to look up 1a.
    According to BBC food, it has “ an underlying bitterness combined with a challenging cheesiness”. Very tempting then.

    Thanks to Mr G? And Mr MP – I missed extras and YT bits. I’m guessing you’re a 10a today?

    1. Miffypops blogs on alternate Thursdays so he explains Giovanni crosswords and Kath explains Ray T crosswords on the other two Thursdays

      1. CS
        Is it official now then that it is always Giovanni that alternates with Ray T on Thursdays?

    2. That’s all rubbish. I meant to say it was a lot easier than setter’s last 2 backpagers and only a bit harder than the rest of this week’s.
      My brain is not functioning today.

    3. Bluebird. I have only recently started to work out how to upload my blogs into WordPress after years of sending them to Big Dave for him to sort out. It’s softly softly catchee monkey at the moment. I’ve put a picture in for a couple of weeks but not yet tried a YouTube clip. I’m determined to use only my iPad which is another challenge. I don’t subscribe to the puzzles site either. I’ll add a picture now, just for you

      1. Oh well done that man!
        I went off to catch up with ‘news’ blogs, which I won’t get into……
        I use an iPad and it’s very easy to insert YT clips and other stuff into the Comments section, (share – copy link – paste) but I don’t know whether doing the same into “The Blog” makes that harder.
        I subscribed to puzzles site in first lockdown, but I prefer paper so now I print onto paper and do it that way.

  25. Quite a few obscurities (especially in the North west quadrant) … so I presume the setter is Giovanni?

  26. A one to make you think & stretch those neurones into the minds recesses.
    Same old story for me, three quarters the grid filled in well …2* time, then longer for the final quarter.
    Still enjoyable.
    Many thanks to setter & MP for review & direction.

  27. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of DT cryptics, this one has knocked me for six. Completely stumped. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    1. Don’t give up! Crosswords and setters are there to challenge us. This was tricky but when one gets there it is always satisfying.

      I too pencilled the wrong answer in 7dn and so the NE took some sorting out with the help of the blog.

      I think 22ac was the COTD.

      Happy birthday Blog! Thanks to all setters and bloggers.

  28. I didn’t enjoy that at all and find it really hard to accept it was an offering from DG who used to be my Fav setter – if so however it seems he has altered his wavelength. There are several clues with which I would quibble but perhaps I will metaphorically bite my tongue today. Thank you DG (if it was indeed you) and MP (with whom I agree re the sledgehammer blow!).

  29. I lost count of the number of times I thought: ‘Well I think it’s a word but I am not sure’ (1a, 2d, 3d, 11a,19d, 22a so actually 6 times) I was pleasantly surprised when I revealed mistakes in the electronic version and only one letter was wrong in 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and also for the hints.

  30. Thank you, Miffypops, for the little rant re 1a, it made my day. I had heard of that stuff but couldn’t explain the last three letters.

  31. I see the record time is 1 min 37 seconds for this puzzle. I can’t believe that it is possible to physically read all the clues and write the answers in a mere 97 seconds.

    1. I think I read once that the first time is some sort of testing device. I shouldn’t really comment as I’ve never seen the puzzles site

    2. I agree with you. I’ve never looked at the puzzles site and don’t intend to and, anyway, I’m not sure I know how to.
      I’m sure the people who say that they completed it in an impossible time – ie you couldn’t read all the clues let alone write the answers in in the time they quote – have already done the crossword (maybe on paper, or whatever) and then they just put the answers in – probably very accomplished typists too.
      I feel a little bit sorry for them – they must be highly competitive people who need to prove themselves somehow . . .

      1. Absolutely, Kath
        Being a bit of a pedant (or OCD as some would tell you) I once printed off a second copy of a puzzle I had already solved, then timed how long it took to read out the clues then write the answers in the grid. It took about 3-4 minutes, and the easiest puzzle I’ve ever completed took at least 3-4 times longer than that

      2. I like to play an App game called Toyblast. It took me a few weeks before I realised that all the toys, sweets and cartoons all over it were a bit of a clue………..well, and the name, possibly.
        Anyway, I’ve now realised, having got to Level 2,386, that I’m at least as intelligent as many 7 year olds.
        I’m not proud, oh no.

  32. Whew that was tricky, I really needed help from MF. Thank you setter I now need to lie down somewhere quiet

  33. Given the trouble I had with this one I am guessing Giovanni is the setter. 2.5*/*** Held up in the SW corner for a while and like others 22a last in. Also had the wrong word in 7d for a while with the 5th and 6th letters in my answer being CL … so that messed up solving 12a.
    Eventually revisited and fixed it. New word in 1a & 11a as I did not know those words.
    COTD candidates 13a, 21a, 2d, 4d, 6d & 17d with winner 2d and runner up 4d.
    5d caused a smile as did 17d

    Thanks to Giovanni and Miffypops for hints

  34. :phew: definitely a sledgehammer, and not just any old sledgehammer but one that’s too heavy for me to pick up, let alone hit anything with!
    Surely this one was destined for the Toughie even allowing for the fact that I’ve always found Giovanni difficult.
    Like most others I’ve never heard of 1 or 11a and the **** up with the clue for 21a didn’t help anything either.
    I did eventually manage the rest of it but have to confess that I didn’t enjoy it very much – nothing to laugh at.
    I wasn’t sure that 2 and 19d were real words but apparently they are so I’ll shut up.
    My 15d cat was ‘hissing’ and ‘purring’ before he or she would ‘mew’ which I thought was more what seagulls do.
    I quite liked 5 and 17d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and huge thanks and admiration to MP – very much a day when I was glad it was you not me doing the hints.

    1. I’m still not sure that 2d is an actual word, though I have no doubt it’s in the dictionary. It’s heavy, clumsy and has no business being a word.

  35. Thanks to Miffypops for the hints for the SW corner which enabled me to complete this offbeat (understatement) puzzle with *** difficulty for me. Thanks to the setter for his eccentric clueing which is useful to remind us the world is not only made up of straight lines.

  36. I’ll read the comments later but I may have to stop when a friend comes round.
    Very, very tricky today, I had several unsolved, but that’s fine, I did enjoy what I solved. Some, like 20a, I had the answer but could not see why so left it blank. Obviously not on wavelength.
    I’m a sort of vegetarian so I’m familiar with 1a. I’ve never heard of 11a. Nice to see our friend at 23a again.
    Thanks to Giovanni, i agree, I think it’s him, and to M’pops for getting me across the finish line

  37. How can you be a sort of vegetarian Merusa? It’s an interesting concept! Very late in on this as at 2 p.m. I had a Rotary Ladies Book session which I was hosting. I gave them ONE book to read six months ago and having done all the homework with discussion questions all lined up, only two of them had read it. Grrrr .And when I started to talk about the story I was asked not to give the plot away!
    What a blessed distraction the crossword is, even though it is a tricky one like this. Completely stuck on SW corner, all my cats did either a purr or meow and 20a eluded me also. I think 5a was my favourite because it was just so simple. It must be very good for the psyche to be brought down to earth with a stinker after three doddles, very character building. So chastened and with a built up character and wishing that Miffypops lived round the corner and could come and trim my fringe with his hairdressing skills, I say thanks to Giovanni and the trichologist and note with relief that there are just ten minutes to go before Gin & Tonic time.

    1. It comes and goes! I refuse to eat mammal. I only eat fowl and fish, then I feel sorry for them as well and resort to the tofu and tempeh, then get sick of them and try fowl and fish again. The soy proteins are so dull, I don’t care what they say, it’s impossible to tart them up.

      1. I sympathise. I have always thought if I had to kill a lamb or a chicken I would have to be a vegetarian. Very two faced of me I admit.

      2. Don’t give up Merusa. Tofu doesn’t have any flavour but it can absorb flavours and has a great texture. Buy yourself some vegan cookbooks which have lots of tofu recipes in them. It’s great in curries (both Indian and Thai), makes a fantastic satay, and once you’ve discovered the joys of miso paste you won’t look back. If you think about it, chicken doesn’t have much flavour either and if you fry or bake tofu it comes out with a similar texture.

  38. Well this has been a very strange week. While everyone else found the first three days’ offerings easy, I couldn’t get to grips with them, and now that almost everyone find this hard, I thought it was the easiest of the week and I completed it without electronic help. I’m amused that no one seems to have heard of, let alone tasted tempeh. As a stalwart of Veganuary (obviously the only one here!) I can tell you it’s one of the things you come across in the tofu section of the chiller cabinet. I bought it once when they didn’t have any tofu and it’s a bit of an acquired taste to be honest, one that didn’t have me rushing back for seconds. I have a slight issue with a hairgrip being needed to keep a bob in place. Bobs are a loose style and so you wouldn’t need a hairgrip to maintain one. Apart from that minor quibble this was definitely the best crossword of the week so far for me. **/****

    1. I have to agree about a bob not requiring a hairgrip. My guess is that the Don has been experimenting, with no recent access to a barber, but has not yet become adept with the dryer. Everyone knows that to keep a bob from falling apart, the correct blowdrying technique requires a round brush and proper sectioning.

      1. Have you tried one of those rotating hair brushes that blow hot air? They are just brilliant. Salon styling in next to no time. People often ask me if I d been to the hairdresser!

  39. Late solve for me and a few stumbles along the way, 11a had me reaching for the Chambers – a new one for me plus some others covered in the above comments . 1a gets my vote bringing back memories of much time spent in the Far East.
    Thx to the setter and MP

  40. We found this one more difficult than most Toughies and really struggled to believe 15d. However we did eventually get everything sorted apart from 21a with its now corrected error.
    Thanks Giovanni and MP.

    1. How nice to see you back where you belong, on the lovely Foxton Beach. I hope you had a good couple of weeks on South Island and that you and all your family are at least OK if not better than OK.

  41. Have stopped doing the Thursday crossword of late but in a moment of madness picked this one up. Went in easily enough but what a tedious, cheerless bore. Apologies to setter who probably worked (too) hard constructing it, but the world is troubled enough at the moment and I thought crosswords were there to inspire you and put a smile on your face. Lesson learned!!. Thanks to all.

    1. I generally find that crosswords I can’t do are boring and those I can are really fun. It’s usually down to a question of wavelength rather than how good the crossword is.

  42. Hmm. DG’s box of obscurities has been raided again… generally fairly clued, though. I had heard of the “knowing” phrase (used by one of the trendy music teachers in Down With Skool. Funny what you store away). Not sure 16d quite works (quarrelling and the argument don’t match, although they’re close…) and didn’t even notice the error in 21. Thanks to MP for the rant on 1a, too

  43. Well we all seem to be singing off the same hymn sheet, as if I ever sing hymns. So, never heard of 1a, 11a, 2d or 3d. Didn’t like the first part of 5d but put it in anyway and didn’t get the update for 21a, never do with the newspaper version. The rest was just hard work. After a first read through I’d done more of the Beam toughie before I came to a staggering halt on that. If I had to choose a favourite it would be 17a because it was my first in. Thanks to the setter and MP for confirming my bung-ins.

  44. Just belatedly looked at the comments on this one. I had one or two goes at it in between other things but found it to be impenetrable. I now see that there are a number of words that people had never heard of. That puts me off going further. I don’t mind unfamiliar words at all if they are matched with wordplay which solves them for you. All that is then needed is a quick Google to confirm. I did do 21a but thought there was a letter missing. I now gather from comments above that this was an error. The word was so obviously right so not a big problem. I got 5d without bother which should have helped me, but did not. There were a few gimmes such as 23a and 25a was a good clue. If I find the time I may go through it all to see if I can learn anything. Thanks all.

  45. 3*/4*….
    liked 17D ” I have radiator finally installed in hut — what I did before that? (8)”……
    also liked 1A ” Those people ignoring hotel, knowing about high-protein food (6)”….not for the clue, but for Miffypop’s hint thereto.

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