DT 29585 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29585

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29585

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a mild winter morning. This week I reached a significant birthday, and by way of a (slightly late) present Mrs DT and I received an appointment for our Covid jabs next week (hurrah!).

Today’s puzzle took me just into *** time with some interesting constructions in the cluing.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Show off, getting first of reds in pocket (4)
BRAG – The first letter of Reds inserted into another word for a pocket.

3a           Kind of cleaner I propped against piece of furniture (10)
CHARITABLE – Put together a cleaning person, I (from the clue) and a piece of furniture.

9a           Authorise oxygen gas from the East (4)
OKAY – The chemical symbol for oxygen, followed by the reversal (from the East) of a verb for ‘to gas’ or ‘chatter’.

10a         Shift gear with artist backing little singer (10)
BUDGERIGAR – Another word for ‘shift, followed by another word for ‘gear’ or ‘equipment’, followed by the reversal (backing) of the usual crossword artist.

yellow and green budgerigar photo – Free Animal Image on Unsplash

11a         Idiot — that man has 1 Across the wrong way round! (7)
CLOTHES – Another word for ‘idiot’, followed by a short way of writing ‘that man has’. The definition is the reverse of the answer to 1 Across.

13a         Stop using toast in cooking (7)
STATION – Anagram (cooking) of TOAST IN, giving us a stop on a train journey.

14a         Junior to sidestep second 11 (11)
UNDERSKIRTS – The answer is an example of the answer to 11 Across. Put together another word for ‘Junior (to)’, another word for ‘sidestep’, and Second.

18a         Facility that AA members may be driven to use? (5,6)
WATER SUPPLY – The AA here is not the motoring organisation but Alcoholics Anonymous, and the facility is one which members may use for refreshment.

21a         New start in river race — overturned, hospital to follow (7)
REBIRTH – Put together an abbreviation for River, the reverse (overturned) of a race or ethnic group, and an abbreviation for Hospital.

22a         Time to be part of campaign I never rejected (7)
EVENING – This period of the day is hidden in reverse (part of … rejected) in the clue.

23a         Meet with work in the balance (5,3,2)
TOUCH AND GO – Here we have three synonyms: ‘meet’ or ‘come into contact’; ‘with’; and ‘work (of a machine)’.

24a         Somewhere in Italy having a drink, falling over (4)
PISA – Put together A (from the clue) and a small drink, then reverse the result to get this Italian city.

TODAY IN HISTORY: Leaning Tower of Pisa closes (Jan. 7, 1990) - World  Footprints

25a         Proceeding with different partner contracted as relative (4-6)
STEP-PARENT – Another word for a proceeding or stage, followed by an anagram (different) of PARTNE(r) with its last letter removed (contracted).

26a         More than one goal post moving front to back (4)
ENDS – Start with what you do when you commit a letter to the post, then move the initial letter to the back.

Down

1d           Reading squad reserve with green gear (4,4)
BOOK CLUB – What you do when you make a reservation, followed by some kit you need on a golf green.

2d           It snakes around Canada with no bends! (8)
ANACONDA – Anagram (bends) of CANADA and NO.

Why it is not easy to drag Anaconda with weight of 150 kgs? | Snake facts,  Anaconda snake, Saltwater crocodile

4d           Times delivered by hotel for us (5)
HOURS – The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet, followed by ‘for (or belonging to) us’.

5d           Official position number, e.g. 1st, rarely includes it (9)
REGISTRAR – The answer is hidden in the clue, but  you have to read the number 1 as being the letter equivalent in Roman numerals.

6d           Something enhancing taste in mouth after salt used twice (6,5)
TARTAR SAUCE – Two examples of one of the usual crossword sailors (salt), followed by a word which. Like ‘mouth’ in the clue, is an informal term for backchat or insolence.

7d           VIP in major cover-up, that’s hairy (6)
BIGWIG – This informal term for a VIP is also (3,3) what someone with a large bald spot might use to cover it.

Court dress - Wikipedia

8d           Rambling harangue in support of Her Majesty (6)
ERRANT – The Queen’s regnal cipher, followed by a harangue or diatribe.

12d         Using horsewhip or alternative, show strong feelings about somebody (4-7)
HERO-WORSHIP – Anagram (alternative) of HORSEWHIP OR.

15d         Famous war lord in hot place, tracked by eastern resistance (9)
KITCHENER – The place you should get out of if you can’t stand the heat, followed by Eastern and Resistance. He was Secretary of State for War during WW1, and his face appeared on a famous recruiting poster.

What you can do – UK Metric Association

16d         Caption I designed, one that helps people see … (8)
OPTICIAN – Anagram (designed) of CAPTION I.

17d         … what’s prescribed by 16 as gel — yes, that’s unusual (8)
EYEGLASS – Anagram (unusual) of AS GEL YES.

19d         Composes ceremonies by ear (6)
WRITES – This word for ‘composes’ is a homophone (by ear) of a word for ‘ceremonies’.

20d         Combat guns get mislaid regularly — that’s stupid (6)
OBTUSE – Alternate letters (mislaid regularly) of the first three words of the clue..

22d         Prompt breakfast could be this followed by toast (3,2)
EGG ON – The answer is a phrase for ‘prompt’ or ‘incite’. If you add ‘toast’, you get a breakfast dish.


The Quick Crossword pun MISS + TREES + TORY = MYSTERY STORY

97 comments on “DT 29585
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  1. It seems to me that our esteemed editor got his days in a muddle this week. I had this knocked off in a straight ** time. My only hold up was putting BRAY at 1a which then scuppered my parsing of 11a. The precise workings of 25a also eluded me.

    I was on to the misdirection in 18a from the outset, but it still gets my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. I thought this was pitched just right for a Friday. My favourite was 22d

    Spent an interesting time investigating 6d as I always thought the first word had an E at the end. Apparently we British added the E to the original French word

    Thanks to the setter and to DT

      1. Not friends in the plural RD. The singular Noah Webster. A giant in the world of lexicographraphy. Well worth looking up.

    1. I love tartar sauce, got a jar in the fridge, with the spelling tartar? didnt bother looking in the dictionary, my fridge is good enough for me ha ha

      1. Ah! So we have a new reference source, the BWF (big white fridge), to supplement the BRB.

        For what it’s worth, in Tesco they have Tartare Sauce from Heinz, Colman’s, Ocean Spray and Tesco own label, and they have Tartar Sauce from Winiary (who on earth are they?)

        1. I’ve done a bit of Googling and discovered that Winiary are a Polish firm, who are part of the Nestlé group.

          1. Almost every food company you have never heard of is part of the Nestlé group.
            In her teenage years, a lawyer friend wanted to conduct a boycott campaign against Nestlé for the way in which they had ‘swamped’ third world countries with baby formula. But after going round a supermarket and finding out how many packets, etc said Nestlé (in small print) on the back she realised it was a lost cause.

  3. Excellent! I doff my Nike cap to whoever set this, light but full of inventive cluing and not an obscurity in sight.
    Picking out highlights is difficult but I really liked the three linked clues in the North plus the clever 10& 26a but top spot goes to 3a, clue of the week for me.
    1.5/5*
    Many thanks to the setter and thanks and congratulations to DT.

  4. It took a long time to get a start in this puzzle and just as I was about to give up altogether I made a breakthrough in the SW. Few of the clues came easy yo me and the NW corner held out for a long time. Unfotunately, I didn’t find the process that enjoyable (4*/1*) so there are no favourite clues today. I really didnt see the how the second X1 came into 14a and 18a seemed barely cryptic. Thanks to DT for the explanations and I needed a lot today, although I half guessed and bunged in the answers apart from 10a, where I used electronic help. Thanks to the compiler. I’m off for my Covid vaccine at the local Health Centre in Wantage, this afternoon.

  5. An eminently fair crossword going at **/*** for me. Almost got into *** time but whilst I had to think hard about most of these more than usual, the clever clues said it all and perseverance paid off. 25 and 26 across were my last in and I found these illusive – strangely so in retrospect.

  6. 2*/4.5*. I really enjoyed this finish to the week. With its very inventive cluing, some lovely misdirections, and a sprinkling of dodgy surfaces, this had all the hallmarks of a Zandio puzzle.

    I’m not sure about the cryptic grammar used in 3a which is definition of wordplay, but I need someone more expert than me to confirm this one way or the other.

    My list of top picks is: 11a, 18a (I started to write “therapy” for the second word before I realised it had too many letters :oops: ), 4d, 6d & 22d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

    I’m heading out for my Covid jab now. Nice to have an excuse to get out of the house.

    1. One of the meanings of ‘of’, per the BRB is ‘derived from’. Definition (=answer) derived from wordplay is hardly unusual.

  7. Great fun today ,a very enjoyable puzzle with a theme to boot !Agree with Stephen L that it was light and inventive.
    Lots of my favourite charades ,favourite was 6d.Thanks to DT for the pics-now that’s a real snake.
    Going for a **/****, off for my jab!

  8. Today’s challenge definitely required extra effort particularly in the NE where I needed some nudges. 18a was Fav with 6d running up. Surely abbreviation in 11a is for that man is rather than has? Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  9. 18a and 22d made it to the top of my podium this morning. I found the whole puzzle pleasingly challenging and a good workout for a Friday. Great fun.

    Many thanks to our setter and DT, and good luck to all of you getting jabbed today.

  10. This was tough well for me at least, I needed lots more hints than usual, but I still had to reveal some answers. Glad to hear many of you are getting the jab, atill waiting for mine, still being fit and healthy I can wait.
    Loved the Alex cartoon strip today, how vet true.
    Thanks to DT and setter.

    1. I found it tough too, Spook. I frequently have this problem with Zandio’s puzzles. I really find it hard to get on his wavelength.

  11. Excellent finish to the week. A couple of head scratchers for me that took me just over *** time but all eventually parsed ok. I’d say there are plenty of worthy contenders for a podium spot but will plump for 10a with 5&22d.
    Thanks to the setter & to DT – belated birthday greetings & happy jab.
    Today’s live albums: Best of the Bootlegs 2017(Davy Knowles) & Beacon Theatre – live from New York (Joe Bonamassa)

  12. I enjoyed today’s puzzle some nice clues, last in was 26a with 22d my favourite and 14a and 16d/17d on the podium.
    ***/***
    Thanks to DT and the setter.

  13. Somewhat of a challenge for me, this one. Once I got going in the south west, I found my way around but caused myself difficulties by bunging in ‘cooler’ for the second word in 18a. My vision was corrected by the answers to 16d and 17d and I could see my way home.

    Lola – mixed news – not too bad but she hasn’t been discharged by the vet. She said she was very happy with Lola’s nose and ears, but the ‘whatever it is’ (infection? allergy?) has spread to her paws. So, now I have to bathe her paws in diluted ‘Hibiscrub’, which she licks off immediately. She is on stronger steroids, and the antibiotics are to continue for another week. She has to go back to the vet on Monday to check on her progress.
    On the upside, she is cheery, eating very well, and continuing her battle with the medication. I tried, one last time, to hide them in her food. Result? An empty bowl except for mashed up tablets left in the middle. We are back to the bath towel routine.

    Today’s soundtrack: Neil Young – After The Gold Rush

    Thanks to the setter and the birthday boy.

    1. Let’s hope this movement of the infection is nothing more than a pause in Lola’s recovery. We have always had to use a blanket or the like to deal with our cat. It does make helping them very difficult.

      1. A blanket or towel is the only answer. My last cat, Whiskey, so named because he was a wild fighting man of a rescue cat, turned up after two days on the tiles, with a badly infected bite above hid right eye. It was Christmas Eve and no vets were open, so my late mum held Whiskey, wrapped in an old towel, whilst I poulticed the abcess with warm saline, covering his eye at the same time. How we did it, I don’t know but the abcess discharged and it was as if he finally realised that we were helping, purring and blinking at us. Keep wrapping Lola up and may she get well soon.

    2. Poor Lola (and her full-time nursing team). Whenever the vet says ” allergy” it usually means you are in this for the long (and expensive) haul. Pet medication is an absolute rip-off. Ironically we have found steroids, where they use the human drugs are the cheapest by some way. They are often the most effective too, just the dreaded side effects.

      1. Cheap steroids, e.g. dexamethasone, can be be miraculous, as long as they don’t have to be onboard for too long.
        I’ve had them twice in the last 3 years, once in a topical form for a post cataract surgery infection which didn’t budge for several weeks of prophylactic antibiotics, because it turned out to be viral, and cleared up nicely with 4 weeks of Dex drops. The other occasion was for something else and required systemic input, and, yes, there were side-effects, but still worthwhile.

        And now, of course, it’s a life saver in severe Covid lung inflammation. Costing barely a few quid per patient.
        I can’t comment on drugs from the vet, as we were lucky with our dog’s health.
        But as far as UK humans are concerned, we are so lucky to have the NHS. Yes, there is the opportunity for private elective procedures if we wish, but when things go wrong, we are supported in a way much of the non European world can only dream about.

    3. Oh dear, so definitely back to the blanket fight, truly the only answer. We also found it helped if after inserting the pill, you hold the patient’s head pointing upwards with one hand keeping the mouth closed, and the other gently stroking the front of the neck for a short time. This prompts them to swallow. It’s a two man job, as someone has to hold in the blanket, while the other does the rest. Good luck! If she hasn’t been outdoors, the source of her allergy must be indoors, so now you have to be a detective as well. Our Labrador was erroneously diagnosed as having the mange. Several months later, after a lot of expensive treatments, we were advised by a different vet that lots of dogs develop allergies here, and to shampoo him weekly. We found a dandruff shampoo did the trick. He didn’t like it much, and Lola would like it even less I suspect.

  14. Enjoyed this when I got into it and didn’t need the hints to parse the solutions. It’s been a good week for my solving and so I head off for Hull this afternoon for my Covid-19 jab with a light heart.

    3, 10, and 18 across all deserve honourable mentions. My thanks to our setter and to DT for his review.

  15. A light relief after yesterday’s puzzle. I enjoyed the linked clues as they were few in number. Thanks to Deep Threat for pointing out the tribe in 21 across. I couldn’t see them at all. Perhaps they are Pigmies. Thanks to the setter. RD suggests Zandio and he is rarely wrong when suggesting Zandio. We have another weekend lacking in decent sport. No decent Terrestrial TV. That seems to have been banished by the schedulers. No visits to the pub. No visits to decent restaurants. No visits to family or friends. So I’ll tell you what, spend the weekend being mischievous. Not wicked though. Merely mischievous and I will see you all on Monday. Hopefully grinning sheepishly

    1. Not much fun being mischievous if there are not others around to laugh at you or join in. Spouses don’t count, the either look indulgent or tutt.

    2. It’s been so long since our lockdown, I don’t even want to go out anymore. I’m quite happy at home with Sadie.

  16. Didn’t find this as easy as some. I thought it about everage solve time (**/***) for a Friday. Thought it well clued with nothing that couldn’t be worked out without too many stretches
    Slow progress until SE started me off. Then clockwise with NE last to yield.
    Liked 3a but 14a my COTD.
    Thanks to setter. DT thanks for the review. Belated birthday greetings, hope EU doesn’t hijack the vaccine (hoping for mine next week too).

  17. My first shot at this was dismal, just a few small ones at the bottom. Slowly it all came together and was very enjoyable. I didn’t relate 14a to 11 at all so it was a complete guess but was the only word that seemed to fit. My COTD was 15d – I think it was the K that gave it away in the end. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  18. At first sight I thought this one was going to be a total nightmare but it actually fell into place quite quickly once I’d sorted out the singer in 10a and the anagram at 12d. **/*** I didn’t take into account the link between 11a and 14a so thanks for that explanation. As far as the tribe go in 21a, I thought it was the river Tiber, r for race and h for hospital which brought me to the same answer. Favourite 7d because it made me smile. Thanks to all.

  19. Slow start, but all fell into place at a 2* time, with 3* enjoyment. Last one in was 26a, which made me smile when the penny dropped, so favourite today. Thanks everyone.

  20. For me this was a Curate’s Egg, with not so many of the good parts! Took a while to get going and from there it was a steady plod with not many “Doh” moments.

    While I managed a bung in for 14a, the wordplay eluded me so thanks for the explanation DT. And yes the proliferation of the letter K in both this puzzle and the Quickie was a bit of help.

    COTD for me was18a having worked in the Water Industry for many years. LOI was 25a, got the second part quite easily but had a mental block on the first part.

    Thanks to setter for a good mental workout on an otherwise uninspiring day in lockdown.

  21. I agree with CS, just about right for a Friday. Not the easiest but all the clues were fair and solvable at least as far as I was concerned.
    My favs were 15d and 22d. For a change I managed to parse all my answers.
    Thx to all
    ***/****

  22. As RD commented, the dodgy surface reads would certainly point to Zandio. I also had a few of the notorious ‘hmms’ alongside some of the definitions. Not to worry, it was still an enjoyable solve, my favourite being 3a.

    Thanks to our compiler and to DT for the review.

  23. Found this Friday puzzle gentler than the last couple have been and completed at a Senf canter of 1.5*/**** . Last area completed was the NE with 4d last in and I don’t know why it held me up so much as it has been in many times.
    No hints used as blog not up on Thursday evening in BC, Canada so a satisfying solve.
    Favourites include 10a, 18a, 21a, 1d, 7d & 20d with winner 18a and runner up 10a.
    Thought 1a and 11a clever combination.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  24. I found this to be on the easier side for a Friday puzzle. Nevertheless enjoyable.Last one in was 14a, Took a while for the penny to drop. Many thanks to the compiler and to DT for the hints.

  25. Hello, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and discussion. Despite 11a, I must admit that as a reader I object when apostrophe-S is used for “has” outside of quotations. When columnists use it, I find it infuriating because either you naturally assume it means “is” (and then have to mentally backtrack when you discover that it means “has”), or you have to wait in suspense until you find out which option is being used. If the sentence includes an adverb and a qualifying phrase, you can be waiting a long time. It’s true it’s often driven me mad. Thanks again and have a good weekend.

  26. A curate’s egg for me, not overly challenging for a Friday but not much fun, perhaps I am not a Zandio ‘person’ – completed at a gallop – 3.5*/2.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 3a, 23a, and 8d – and the winner is 23a.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  27. Nope. Not sure why when your answers look straightforward, but only got half of this done. 24A was satisfying, the double meaning was clever. Must fry harder.

  28. Quite a change after the struggle yesterday. I liked the misdirection of goal post instead of goal, post at 26a which was my last one in. A very pleasant end to the week Zandio, and thanks for the hints Deep Threat and happy birthday. It would seem that half the blog correspondents are having their vaccination today, they really are getting on with the job. (Jab!). I had a really lousy night last night and retired to the kitchen for a hot chocolate and a digestive. To my amazement I sailed through the toughie with just one to check up on this morning. Went back to bed at 4.30 and slept like a baby. Love to Lola.

  29. I find that Zandio’s puzzles seem to agree with me, though I didn’t fare well at first on this one. Shook my head loose and returned, then voila! 22d my COTD, then 3a and 7d on the podium. Also liked 26 and 21a, but 18a hardly seemed cryptic to me; rather, a kind of either-way-you-slice-it ‘joke’ (of sorts). My LOI was our parakeet, 10a. Thanks and congratulations on your birthday, DT, and thanks to Zandio. *** / ****

  30. I thought this was full of imagination and I found myself getting the answers but not knowing why! A *** for difficulty and **** for enjoyment with 9a as my COTD. Thank you Zandio and DT

  31. I didn’t find this easy, and had to have three separate cracks of the whip to finish it. Favourite clue was 18a. Thank you setter and Deep Threat. Many Happy Returns for your special birthday this week DT. Hope that you were able to celebrate it somehow.

  32. I found it harder than yesterday’s – it’s taking a while to get on Zandio’s wavelength, but it’s very nice that they drop in and chat.
    I found myself quite a long way from some of the synonym-type clue parts, e.g. the second half of 1d -green gear, race for tribe, 17d was a bit dodgy. And I wasn’t a big fan of a number used for a letter at 5d, the misspelling at 6d or the rather silly 18a.
    On the plus side, I had to admire quite a few of the misdirections, which were clever.
    I’m sure I’ll catch on to Zandio’s quirkiness in a while.
    Thanks to them and to our helper DT.

    Like DT, we have had key birthdays in the last year and, like him (and lots here) we today had texts for jabs which I booked for next week, one of which is on the OH’s birthday. It’s one way of remembering the date if anyone should ask…….

  33. Slow start, a bit distracted as I was in a polytunnel assisting with building a potting table. Once that job was done, the rest fell into place with considerably less hassle than the fiddly bolts on the table. Very enjoyable.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  34. I really struggled with this one. Eventually found a way into the bottom half which I then enjoyed but could not get the top half at all. Needed electronic help as well as DT’s hints.
    So….maybe I am very slowly getting on to Zandio’s wavelength….hope so anyway.

    Thanks to DT and to Zandio.

    Keep safe everyone. Still waiting for our jag letters here, even though we were promised them ‘by the end of this week’. There’s still tomorrow I suppose. (I am sure most of you know , but injections are not jabs in Scotland, they are jags….like jaggy nettles.)

    1. Ora
      Up here in Highland we were contacted on the ‘phone by our health ceentre for our date. Pehaps jts different in each Health Area.

  35. First crossword not finished this week. Stuck with “power supply” which seemed so right in these days of electric vehicles. . . . and “ends” synonymous with “goals” does not fit to me. Could not get away from “second 11” being a football team not a reference to answer 11. “underskirts” – euck!.

  36. Managed to finish with no hints for the first time this week 👍. My favourites were 11a and 5d which took me ages to see. No time estimation for me as it took me three attempts. My goal is to finish with no hints even if it takes all day.

  37. Just got round to this Friday offering, works well for me – a nice solve **/****. I’ve just read ‘Old Soldiers Never Die’ by Frank Richards (excellent WW1 account) which made 15d jump out at me. fav today is 26a
    Thx to Zandio and DT

  38. I found this crossword difficult to say the least 🙁 Talk about being on a different wave length, I felt I was on a different planet 😳 *****/* Needed so much help from DT, thanks very much and thanks to Zandio, 🤔 should have been a Toughie rather than on the back page

  39. I was slow to start but think/hope that I’m getting used to Zandio’s style which I like but find tricky.
    I liked the linked 1, 11 and 14a once I realised what was going on.
    My last one was 15d mainly because of a failure to be able to read my own writing so had a wrong first letter. :roll:
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT

  40. Enjoyable solve that has us head-scratching in several places but eventually managed to get it all sorted.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  41. I find Zandio tricky but I did manage to finish with e-help. Even though his clues are over my head most of the time, I must say the answers are always clever.
    Fave was 15d, the name of one of our houses at school; Kitchener, Disraeli and Nuttall. I believe they’re no longer are called that, probably too English now.
    Thanks Zandio, I’m trying! Congrats on your milestone Deep Threat, I loved the clip at 22a.
    For all getting the jab, lucky people, I’m jealous, as Huntsman says, happy jabs.

      1. That’s not Sadie. That’s Rufus, the “ru” in Merusa. He was a gorgeous Labrador, a hard first three years of life and then discarded, he was so special.

  42. I enjoyed it despite still not completing after 3 sessions; I had to look at the hint for 10a, or the image anyway!
    Oh well, I’m still in a high from completing one toughie and almost two others this week. Happy weekend all. No Google classroom for two whole days, that’s worth a drink or two!

    1. Alison
      I know how you feel. I usually have to have several attempts per day and, this week, only finished today’s.

  43. Not a comment on this particular puzzle, but a joy to have just discovered that I no longer have to press every letter twice on my phone…
    A pity that no-one is prepared to add a line of code to fix the bug but I think I can live without Auto Capitalisation for now.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      We have a long-standing commenter called Andy so to avoid any future confusion, could you please add something to your alias so that we can tell which of you is commenting

  44. Thanks to Zanido and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. At first I thought it was going to be beyond me, but I eventually got there, after a bit of headscratching. I liked 26a, but my favourite was 9a. I managed to get the last three letters of 20d, but it took me ages to use the same logic on the first word in the clue! Was 3* /4* for me.

  45. Always a late post on a Friday as I often need a rest after the toughie.
    Surprised myself on how smoothly the solving process went.
    Right on wavelength.
    Thanks to Zandio and happy birthday week to DT.

  46. Several attempts today but got there in the end. I had the right answer for 1d ut couldn’t work out what green gear was about. it was only at the third go-round that the golfy part made sense.9a was my LOI and even though I had 50% of the letters it took a trawl through the alphabet before I found the right one. I did like the fight and agree it was reasonable for a Friday.
    Favourite clue today was 20d ” how can you be so obtuse” being a quote from Shawshank Redemption a favourite film in this Beehive

  47. Damn, putting an E on the end of a certain sauce pushed me into *** time.
    All thoroughly enjoyable, excellent mental workout.
    Many thanks Zandio and DT for the review.

  48. I made hard work of that! Had to resort to the old “put it down and come back to it” trick – it worked and I finished on the second session.

    The “stop” in 13a almost passed me by!

  49. Didn’t get to this until we got home for a late lunch. At first pass I was ready to give up, only getting a few. But then I looked at a few of the picture hints and I was off and running. Ended up really enjoying this one, with the exception of 18a, which I thought was rather weak. On the other hand loved 19d, a great cryptic. Thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat. Congrats on the vaccine appointments. We are counting the days to Feb 11 when we get our second doses.

  50. I thought this was joyful, although only managed most of the bottom half yesterday. Zandio sets with a smidgeon of mischief and I love it. Thank you for your help with 10 and 26a, DT.

  51. Very late to the party again. I found this above my pay grade I’m afraid. I had to resort to quite a few hints (or rather just saw the picture for two of them. I know this has been discussed before and you dig your heels in but could the bloggers not find slightly more obscure photos to go with the clues? A photo of a budgie is just a total giveaway – it’s hardly a hint. It means that I generally use electronic help rather than the hints because there’s no satisfaction in getting a clue when the answer is handed to you on a plate. Rant over.) and even then had to look up a couple of the answers. Still, I enjoyed the challenge and it’s good to come across clues that are a bit different from the usual run-of-the-mill ones. ****/***

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