DT 29589 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29589

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29589

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Congratulations Jay. We learnt in the latest Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter that our regular Wednesday setter has reached the amazing milestone of 1000 (yes, one thousand) Cryptic crosswords compiled for The Telegraph. To have managed this and kept up his high standard of clue writing is a real achievement. Well done Jay and we look forward to the next thousand.

Many thanks Rhamat Ali for filling in so competently with the two puzzles while we were away.

Beautiful, fine, warm, sunny days here at present. It always seems to happen like this when all the schools start again after their long summer break.

We thought that Jay has been quite gentle with us this week.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Announce politician in real time (7)
TRUMPET : A synonym for real plus T(ime) encloses a Member of Parliament.

5a     Take great pleasure in hugging one rescuer (7)
SAVIOUR : Take great pleasure in, or enjoy the taste of contains the Roman numeral one.

9a     Adjectives — or pronouns — will hold back such writing (5)
PROSE : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

10a     Bad idea so far, as previously mentioned (9)
AFORESAID : An anagram (bad) of IDEA SO FAR.

11a     Time any lad exercised with spirit (10)
ANIMATEDLY : An anagram (exercised) of TIME ANY LAD.

12a     Troubles coming as result of enemies having leader replaced with women? (4)
WOES : Start with a word meaning enemies and replace its first letter with W(omen).

14a     Disapproving of accepting Independent losing value (12)
DEPRECIATING : Insert the abbreviation for Independent into disapproving of or maligning.

18a     As a rule, veg is cooked for this dish (5,7)
LIVER SAUSAGE : An anagram (cooked) of AS A RULE VEG IS.

21a     Source of nutrient on salt lake (4)
TARN : A salt or seafarer and then the first letter of nutrient.

22a     Plant article to fill a space like this (10)
AGAPANTHUS : In the order they appear in the answer we have ‘A’ from the clue, a space to mind when getting off a train, a two letter indefinite article, and a word meaning ‘like this’.
(We know these are much loved plants in the UK. Here they are regarded as common weeds and are in full bloom at present.)

25a     A way in after support spread (9)
PROPAGATE : A support that might be holding up the roof in a mineshaft, then ‘A’ from the clue and a way in, possibly to a field.

26a     Join European attached to small military force (5)
UNITE : A small military force or detachment, then E(uropean).

27a     Cut listener being introduced to cast (7)
SHEARED : The listener that sticks out from the side of your head is inside cast as a snake does with its skin.

28a     A touching line from bronze chap (7)
TANGENT : Bronze, as a sunbather might, then another word for a chap.


1d     Leading hotel on a budget finally getting suitable cover (3,3)
TOP HAT : A three letter word for leading, then H(otel), ‘A’ from the clue and the final letter of ‘budget’.

2d     University on Jersey, say, has one area that’s heaven (6)
UTOPIA : U(niversity), then Jersey as an item of clothing, followed by the Roman numeral one and A(rea).

3d     A Parisian’s foothold in the property market? (4-1-5)
PIED-A-TERRE : A French phrase used for a temporary or alternative dwelling.

4d     Manage to find tense people (5)
TRACE : T(ense) and then people or nation.

5d     Boots may have these singular tools to protect delicate material (9)
SHOELACES : The abbreviation for singular and then garden tools used for weeding surround delicate material that might have come from Honiton.

6d     Struggle on with attitude (4)
VIEW : Struggle or compete, plus W(ith).

7d     Composition old soldiers put in proportion (8)
ORATORIO : The abbreviation for old, and then low-ranking soldiers are inside a word for proportion.

8d     Engineers condescend to accept second new plan (8)
REDESIGN : Army engineers and then S(econd) is inside a synonym for condescend.

13d     Enormous bother tabloid raised on trade union article (10)
GARGANTUAN : Bother, or go on and on and on, and a familiar word for a tabloid are reversed and followed by the two letters for a trade union and a two letter indefinite article.

15d     A rare drug distributed as a means of defence (9)
REARGUARD : An anagram (distributed) of A RARE DRUG.

16d     Creature that’s a sort mostly protected by benefit (8)
PLATYPUS : A benefit or positive quality surrounds ‘A’ from the clue and the first three letters of a four letter sort or variety.

17d     Germany united to underpin surplus and exaggerated (8)
OVERDONE : The IVR code for Germany and a three letter word meaning united follow surplus or more than required.

19d     In truth, rivers do well (6)
THRIVE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

20d     Agreement may be dispatched after airports vacated (6)
ASSENT : The first and last letters (vacated) of airports and then another word for dispatched.

23d     Gather statement from defendant not without denial (5)
PLEAT : A statement made by a defendant in court then what is left of the word ‘not’ once a short denial has been removed.

24d     Iron originally included in standard brace (4)
PAIR : A standard or expected golf score contains the first letter of iron.

22a is our favourite this week because they are things we love to hate.

Quickie pun    fought    +    haste    =    foretaste

109 comments on “DT 29589

  1. All over in a standard ** time. I didn’t know the flower at 22a, but the wordplay got me there. 23d was my last in apart from that, a very clever mis-direction of ‘gather’.

    Many thanks and congratulations to the Jay, and to the 2 K’s for their sterling work.

  2. A very friendly crossword with the usual high enjoyment factor

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Congratulations and a Big Thank You to Mr Mutch

  3. Another Wednesday, and yet another superbly crafted puzzle to keep us all entertained. Jay has kept up his usual high standard of excellence, as he has throughout his 1,000+ crosswords for this newspaper. Quite remarkable. No favourite, just stick a pin into the grid.

    Many thanks to our three birds.

  4. Pretty much a standard Wednesday puzzle for me with very few problems. The parsing of 23d took a little while to work out but otherwise plain sailing.
    I thought our bloggers would be happy to see 22a, I love them though I know they’re pretty ubiquitous in NZ.
    As ever on Wednesday lots of podium contenders, but my favourite was the smooth 25a with runner up going to 23d.
    Many thanks and congratulations to Jay and welcome back to the 2Ks……though Rhamat did a great job in your absence!

  5. Quite a straightforward but highly enjoyable puzzle from Jay today (2*/4*). There were plenty of fascinating clues to pick out. I thought 5a made good useof the synonym for enjoying something and liked the intricate build up of the flowerin 22a, the creature in16d and in 8d. Congratulations to Jay on 1000 crossword puzzles and many thanks for all the fun we have had solving them. Thanks to the Kiwis for the review. I envy you your Indian Summer. It’s rather damp, cool and grey here, very Februaryish.

  6. Always enjoy unravelling Jay’s constructions eg 22a, a new word for me.
    Satisfying to complete in just less than ** time.
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  7. How Jay has managed to compile 1000 crosswords and still produce sparkling quality is a mystery to me. All the usual good fun today. **/****If I had to pick a favourite, I’d nominate 25a. Thanks to all.

  8. Thanks 2K. It must be amazing having such lovely weeds!

    Thanks and congratulations to Jay on the milestone. There can’t be many others who have achieved that?

    A friendly and enjoyable puzzle today.

    As is today’s Stick Insect’s Toughie which has a special feature which makes it even more enjoyable when in pursuit of the end, as it were.😉

    1. There are many of us who never notice stuff like pangrams, ninas, every answer beginning with the same letter aren’t there Kath. I reckon that if every clue had the same word for the answer it would just pass me by. I’m off now to stare dolefully at my completed Toughie for an age muttering ‘well I can’t see what they are on about’ every half minute

      1. You missed out themes and ‘unfriendly’ grids from your list of things that go unnoticed to some of us.

  9. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Congratulations to Jay on an amazing milestone. Clue quality and consistency is fabulous. Super puzzle today, quite on the gentle side. Never heard of the plant in 22a, but the wordplay was clear. Last in was 25a, 28a made me smile, but my favourite was 23d. Was 2* / 4* for me.

  10. Pretty gentle for the second week in a row but enjoyable as always & quite some achievement to have set a thousand & still maintain such a consistently high standard. Last 2 in for me were 22a & 23d & was on the verge of checking agaCanthus with Mr G when I got 23d & the wordplay then saw me home. If pressed I’d pick 1a as my favourite & 3d brought back happy memories of visits to that restaurant in Charlotte St, Fitzrovia in the nineties when Tom Aitkens was the head chef.
    Today’s albums: Grace (Jeff Buckley) & Gaucho (Steely Dan)
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks

  11. Thanks to Jay for this milestone puzzle. I agree your standard is high but so it should be with your years of experience. Well done for setting the standard so high and achieving your goals. Thanks to the 2Ks for their blog. Your standard too should be applauded. As for the puzzle itself, it can’t hear me but it was solved with a smile and that’ll do me nicely

  12. Like those above I found this to be most enjoyable, although I’m afraid I always sigh when I see the word “plant” as I sadly have little interest in horticulture so unless it is a common genus have to rely on our hinter (is there such a word?) or in this case hinters. I too had 23d as my last in but still couldn’t guess the wretched weed. I often wonder what sort of personalities our setters have and it would be fascinating to meet them. Jay is clearly exceptional. Congratulations to him and thanks to the 2Kiwis. Apart from the plant I thought **/**** and great fun.

  13. Another gem from the Wednesday Maestro, completed at a gallop – 2*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 25a, 4d, and 5d – and the winner is 25a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  14. Must say I found this one hard going although I did enjoy the journey. My favs were 28a and 16d. Didn’t remember the plant in 22a although Mrs B tells me we have one in the garden, who knew!
    Thx to all

  15. A joy from start to finish, */****. Fondly remember the NZ weeds from a trip there several years ago. Even bought some for our garden when we got home. Thanks and congrats to J, and welcome back the 2 Kiwis.

  16. I agree with all that has been said about Jay and his remarkable high quality over 1000 puzzles. Thank you Jay for all the enjoyment you have given us as well as the perplexity I sometimes have felt even with the expert reviewers explanations.

    Honourable mentions to 22 and 27a, and 13 and 3d. Favourite is 16d.

    Thanks to all who replied to my post yesterday. Your replies were to the point and reassuring. I feel more amiable now to the whole world.

    **/**** for me with a welcome back and thanks to the 2Ks.

    1. I always ready your posts, Corky. I tend to read all the comments already posted when I drop in.

  17. Another gentle exercise today with the North acquiescing first. Always forget the 21a salt association so that was a bung-in. Suppose 18a could be described as a dish. Thanks to the 2Kiwis for hints and to Jay for today’s easy ride and indeed your grand of puzzles (not always so painless!).

  18. An extremely enjoyable puzzle today, completed in 2* time while benefitting from the sun streaming through the windows. Coffee seemed to go down well too.. :-)….. and one of those hidden benefits of lockdown has been my improvement in various plant names. I would not have known 22a without that extra time in the garden last year. Hard to pick a COTD but I did smile at 5d and 13d. Thanks to Jay (that’s an impressive milestone to have reached!) and the 2Ks.

  19. Congratulations to Jay on his 1K and to 2K for their (mercifully redundant) tips today. A rare, clear round for myself with 22a and 13d as personal favourites with their multi-level / compact clues.

  20. As ever on a Wednesday – a joy from beginning to end. Amazed to hear from the 2Ks that, in the land of Aotearoa, 22a is considered unworthy of its status as a revered plant.

    Lola is ‘ok’. It’s such a shame after last week’s ‘phoenix from the ashes’ return to bounciness – she is again troubled by a very raw-looking nose, and paws. However, she is eating reasonably and accepting her tablets via the miraculous ‘pill putty’. She does not enjoy her paws being sprayed with Hibiscrub, but who would, in all honesty?

    Today’s soundtrack: Kate Rusby – Hand Me Down

    Thanks to the excellent Jay, with many congratulations on the milestone, and the marvellous 2Ks.

    1. Sorry to hear that Lola’s nose and paws are still causing concern, Terence. I do hope she will bounce back again soon. Thank you so much for the info about the Pill Putty. Some Easy Pill is now winging its way to us from Amazon!

      Have yet to look at the crossword but thanks in advance to Jay and the 2Ks. Congratulations to Jay on reaching this milestone.

      1. Poor Lola, no cat likes to be washed. I well remember having to bathe my rescue cat Whiskey, after he came home smothered in what looked like motor oil. I hope you get to the bottom of whatever is causing Lola’s irriatation soon.

        1. One of our cats , Merlin, came home after playing with a skunk … and didn’t appreciate us bathing him. Were told by locals next day that the solution is to soak them in tomato juice to get rid of the awful stink. He never took on a skunk again.

  21. How many times can one scale the Everest of achievement? Just ask Jay, who has done it at least a thousand times. So congratulations to him on such a wondrous accomplishment. I thought that 23d capped another brilliant performance and was my COTD. Every clue a winner as well, especially 3d, 13d, and 25a. Glad to see the Kiwis back, so thanks to them–and to Rahmat for his eloquent reviews–and to Jay. ** / ****

  22. A first for you Brian, your lack of gardening knowledge comment actually made me laugh out loud. Something your wife knew that you did not. Truthfully I enjoy all your comments. A great puzzle today from Jay, and grateful thanks to his tremendous output of puzzles which has given such joy over the years. Like Greta I enjoy the comments as well as the crossword.
    My favourite today was 16 d as it evoked memories of my young grandson refusing to paint his b……tail! His comment was addressed to a high ranking service personnel!. Thank you to the kiwis, I adore all shades of 22a.

  23. Had my first Covid jab yesterday afternoon and wasn’t really expecting any adverse reaction – how wrong can one be! Been feeling like ‘death warmed up’ since about 8pm with pain everywhere, a thumping headache and no chance of getting any sleep.
    Had to pop in to congratulate Jay on his achievement and to welcome our 2Ks home but think I’ll disappear back to bed now.

      1. I had mine last Friday, Jane and the resulting symptoms of sore throat, achy arm and feeling shivery/off colour are now receding. It didn’t last that long. It shows it’s working! Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Jane if it’s any consolation I had some adverse reaction. I slept well on the night of having it. Felt OK when I woke up (Wed) then started with a muggy head and deafness in one ear. Became extremely shivery and it progressively got really bad. I also have a Thyroid deficiency so it’s possible it exacerbated the problem? By early evening I really wondered what was wrong with me. My husband had cooked a lovely casserole which I had really been looking forward to. Alas, when it was put in front of me I suddenly had this all engulfing feeling of tiredness and had to go straight to bed! Feeling much better today but a bit spaced out. I’m sure you will be feeling much better by tomorrow. Take care.

    2. That’s a shame, hope you feel better now. We were very lucky in that we both only got sore arms at the site of the jabs, and that cleared up after a couple of days. I do think the reactions seem to be different depending on which vaccine you get. Not like you have a choice though.

    3. I don’t want to throw a spanner in the works but in France we don’t recommend the vaccine from Oxford Astra Zeneca to anyone over 65.

      1. Yes we know. From our point of view it just looks like the French government is desperately trying to find an excuse for why the U.K. is doing so much better vaccine-wise than the rest of Europe. There is no evidence at all that it doesn’t
        work on the over 65s. Anyway I think politics is banned from here so I’ve probably said enough!

  24. Pretty much what I’ve come to expect from Jay – Wednesday Wizardry :grin:

    Thanks and congratulations to Mr Mutch for the 1000 puzzles and thanks to the Kiwis for the blog.

    See yáll next Monday.

  25. We have an enormous 22a in the front of our island bed, in quite the wrong place. I did not plant it, like Topsy it just growed. A lovely dark blue. About 5 years ago I dug it all up, divided it in two, bought two large statement containers and replanted it. They have just sulked and flowered reluctantly. Meanwhile, after a couple of years, a shoot reappeared (right at the front of the island, in the wrong place) and once more flourishes. I have accepted defeat. It is happy, I am happy. My garden, my rules – only as MP says frequently, there are no rules. Happy also with another delightful, would it be a millennial ? crossword from Jay. A ripping good solve as usual and great hinting from the two K’s thanks and congratulations all round.
    Poor little Lola, she is going through the mill. We are all rooting for her.

    1. Read your Toughie post this morning & sorry to hear that you’re still in such pain. Nothing worse than when it prevents one from sleeping which I guess must be the case given the time of your post. Hope things improve soon.

    2. Rules are for old men who prefer to walk in the wheel ruts of history.

      1. Rules are for the obeyance of fools and the guidance of wise men. Harry Day, WW1 RFC ace. Also iterated by Douglas Bader in the WW2 but reversed.

    3. I have learned over the years that some plants are really fussy about where they are planted. I’ve had quite a few that have struggled, and then blossomed when moved. And the reverse, like you.

  26. Congrats to Jay for what must be 50 puzzles a year for 20 years? As well as your other puzzles…….

    I like the 23d word. Not quite gather, but on a meta level, perhaps…..
    17d clue topical! Although I suppose deficit should replace surplus….

    Gardening notes:
    I do have a 22a plant which I keep in a big pot in the garden. I can never wait until it comes out and then I wish that the flowers would last much longer than they do. They make fantastic close-up photos with their very dark green juniper background.
    Thanks to the 2Ks. I remember seeing what I suppose are billions of tree ferns growing on the East coast of South Island. When I got home, I bought one which cost £50……it was one of the many very expensive plants I bought which died in frosts below -5. Including a Wollemi palm. If only they were like weeds here, they would prosper!

  27. Just what I expected from the Wednesday Wizard – elegant cluing that puts a smile on your face.
    Thank you Jay for all your crosswords and here’s to lots more.
    2*/4* for us with several grins along the way.
    Thanks to the 2Ks for the clues – even I didn’t need them though today!

  28. Late today as running errands for the less mobile in the locality. A great Jay puzzle a real classic, very enjoyable. how do the compilers keep up the quality/
    Thank to Jay and the 2Ks

  29. Simply to thank Jay for his puzzles.They are consistently challenging witty and just about in my limited ability range.This one summed it up.

  30. To the 2Kiwis, kia ora to you, too. It was my pleasure to write the hints and tips while you were away. However, after getting attached to the Wednesday puzzles, I wanted to at least solve this one. So, I copied the clues along with the hints and tips and the photos after those were published here, pasted the whole lot on another sheet, then deleted, seriatim, only the hints and tips and the photos, clicked ‘U’ twice to get the clues underlined and de-underlined respectively so as to remove the definition indicators of the clue, sketched the grid and solved the puzzle, concurrently imagining the hints and tips and then read the ones above. I must say that I am mesmerised by your hints and tips, particularly after going through the elaborate descriptions in 22a, 27a and 5d. It served me as a good piece of learning, too. To Jay, heartiest congratulations on reaching the amazing milestone of compilation of 1000 cryptic crosswords for The Telegraph. Today’s puzzle was a straightforward one, but I am impressed by your 2d and 3d. To all those who still remember me today, a very big thank you.

    1. Rahman
      Your post just shows the work that reviewers do to produce what we see.
      The contribution you all make to my enjoyment cannot be underestimated.
      Thanks again, no doubt BD will call on your services in the future!

  31. Typical Wednesday offering, if the one thousandth could ever be typical! Congratulations I trust there will be many more pleasures to come.
    As usual with Jay 3/4 went in fairly smoothly but the last few take me well into ** time.
    Like Robert C 23d was my COTD, simple and elegant.
    Thank you Jay for the usual fun and 2 Ks for the review.

  32. Congratulations to Jay and welcome home 2Kiwis (though RA did a sterling job in your absence)

  33. Thank you Jay for all the 1000s of consistent top quality clues over many years and to the 2Ks as well for the explanations. This puzzle did not disappoint!

  34. Good afternoon all.! Many thanks for all your comments and the (perhaps slightly premature) congratulations on the milestone of 1000 puzzles, which for those on the dead tree version I actually reach next Wednesday!! Much appreciated.
    Jay (aka Jeremy Mutch)

    1. Thanks for dropping in Mr Mutch – I’m happy to congratulate you again next week, you thoroughly deserve every accolade going
      As the song goes ‘Thank you for the musing…’

  35. Found this puzzle a mixed bag today. 80% or so went in no problem but hit a brick wall in the SW area with a couple in the NE that were troublesome. With the brick wall I ran into ***/*** .
    Can’t say the 16d clue was terribly clear and the parsing even less so. Two new words today too with 21a & 22a that I have never heard of before. A couple of COTD I like are 1a, 5d & 13d but no outstanding winner.

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  36. I don’t think there’s much to add to the accolades about today’s crossword or all of Jay’s previous ones so thank you and congratulations to him.
    13d took the longest to untangle – just couldn’t find the ‘bother’ for ages.
    Five years ago, almost exactly, we went all over the place including NZ and spent several lovely days with the K’s – I do remember how much 22a’s are disliked over there! We did an amazing twelve hour train journey from the top to the bottom of North Island and they (22a’s, not the 2K’s) are growing all along the edges of the train track – I couldn’t believe it.
    On the same trip we went to Oz and stayed with someone I trained and shared a house with – they own 500 acres of bush where they’ve built a couple of wooden cabins – one of their boundaries is a long stretch of the Snowy River where they once saw a 16d so now that bit is called ‘Platypus Pool’ – it’s a lovely place to swim, if a bit nippy!
    That’s enough rabbiting for now . . . inevitably my favourite is either 22a or 16d for the memories but lots and lots of other good clues too.
    Thanks again to Jay and to the K’s too.

  37. Morning all.
    Many thanks for popping in Jay. It is always such a privilege and pleasure to blog your Wednesday puzzles.
    22a has attracted a lot of comments. A bit like the plants themselves in NZ, once there, they do rather dominate anything else that is in the vicinity and it is this crowding out of native species that has them classed as weeds here. Make great home-bases for snails too which upsets keen gardeners.
    Forecast is for another perfect day here but still a bit dark outside yet to see for ourselves.

  38. Very nice solvable crossword ***/**** 😃 Favourites 26a & 23d 🤗 Welcome back and thanks to the 2xKs, Congratulations and thanks to Jay for all the enjoyable Wednesdays he gives us

  39. I actually feel better reading the Covid jab comments about side effects, I had my first one yesterday and have had muscle pain and headaches, thought it was just me! I’m blaming the jab for my inability to get 6 and 24 d apart from that it was an enjoyable solve.
    Many thanks to all.

  40. Greetings all, Sadie here. I want you to grab your glasses and raise your paws for my Mum as she turned 83 years old today! Here’s to the next 83 years!

    1. Happy Birthday – we’re just about to have our regular 6 o’clock gin & tonic so the first swig is for you

    2. Hi Sadie.
      Please wish your Mum a very Happy Birthday from a couple of old flightless birds in the South Pacific. :rose:

      1. Many Happy Returns and Happy Birthday Merusa. 83 Not out as my late father would have said. 🍹

      1. Thank you all for the good wishes. I’m doing what I do every day, keep myself quiet, do the Xword, read, stay out of mischief.
        Tomorrow I get my COVID jab, luckily at our local parish church, so no battling traffic or going long distances. A friend is taking me. I love BD and our blog.

        1. A very happy birthday to you, Merusa! You beat me to it…83, I mean…and I hope there are many happy returns for you.

        2. May I add my birthday wishes too to you Merusa. Hope you’re having a lovely day and will raise a glass to celebrate.

    3. D’oh! Just twigged, dim or what – read the post earlier and thought you’d lost your marbles!
      I shall raise a wee Glenfiddich and salute you
      Best Wishes for a wonderful day, Merusa :rose:

      1. My fave Glenfiddich, thanks for that! I’ve had a lovely day, you can’t believe how many have been in touch!

    4. Couldn’t get Biggles to raise a paw Sadie. His response was get Sadie to wish her Mum Happy Birthday then get her to hurry up & send me the cake.
      M: I have been reliably informed at 80 the clock goes backwards which would make you 77. Have a glass of Glenfiddich on me then try a bottle of Glenfarclas cask strength (no water or ice). Not all in one sitting though

      1. We used to “do” the Glenfiddich (neat) in Jamaica a lot. I travelled extensively so duty free requirements were pretty standard. Somehow I transitioned to Famous Grouse here, buckets of ice and a “tups” of soda; that is another Jamaicanism and means splash. B

    5. Many happy returns Merusa. Just popped in to read the comments. I haven’t had time to sit and do the crossword. I will have to save it for another day. Congratulations to Jay, and thanks to the 2Ks for the review, which I still might need.

  41. Thank you, Sadie, blabbermouth! And thank you Jay for an outstanding puzzle, just perfect. As you know, I’m #1 fan, but you outdid yourself for my special day.
    No fave, far too much choice, though I’m very partial to those “weeds”. A friend of mine always said that pretty weeds are not weeds at all, they’re wildflowers. I also thought that 13d stood out, one of those lovely words that sound nice.
    Welcome back 2Kiwis, we missed you but RA did a splendid job in your absence!

  42. Simply oozing with quality entertainment and impossible to fault. Congratulations on the milestone Jay.

  43. Great puzzle. Last one in 23d, clever wording. I love the blog, you get such useful information from it. used the books for present ideas. Sad to hear about the passing of Thompson. She sounded a lot like my late Maisie, who was also large and much attached to her food. She made 20 as well. Thanks to Jay and Kiwis.

  44. Oh that’s kind of you Bryngwyn. She did have a huge personality – I am not looking forward to telling my grandson, even though he is a big, tough rugby player he was still very attached to her.

  45. Enjoyed today’s puzzle (because I completed it!). Many thanks and congratulations to Jay what an amazing achievement. Also thanks to the 2 Kiwis you were missed but Rhamat did a noble stand-in.

  46. Virtually everything has been said but I just wanted to add my thanks to Mr.Mutch , Wednesday crosswords are a joy. Happy birthday to Merusa and thanks to the 2 Kiwis.

  47. ***/****. just a few held me up for a while but eventually got there with the help of the 2Ks – many thanks. thanks also to Jay for the usual quality challenge.

    1. Hello vbc – always meant to tell you, Vancouver is a destination on my bucket list, late summer or spring I imagine
      I’d love to visit Port Coquitlam, though the entire area looks stunning

  48. Just 3 clues sent me into hint country, so that’s a pretty good result for me on a Wednesday. Spent too long trying to make some kind of chemical spirit out of 11a, the 15a anagram defeated me, and 27a had me stuck on a drama cast. I am a big fan of 22a, even though I know they grow like weeds in the Antipodes. Never managed to get them to flower at the old house. When we moved here a neighbour kindly gave me a couple of bulbs, and they produced the most beautiful blooms. So I’m now awaiting a delivery from Holland of 6 more bulbs, hoping that they will also be a success. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable tussle, and to 2Kiwis for the needed hints.

  49. We also have a lot of 22a growing wild in Hyeres along with Strelitzias and dozens of other species. But as I said before, we have everything in Hyeres.
    Congratulations to Jay for all those wonderful crosswords so far and certainly hope to solve many more.
    Especially if they are as enjoyable as this one.
    My picks today are 10a, 6d and 15d.
    Thanks to Jay and welcome back to our 2 kiwis.

    1. I have very happy memories of a holiday in or near Hyeres in about 1947, first ‘foreign’ holiday after the war.
      Dare say I wouldn’t recognise it now! I seem to think we also went to Bormes les Mimosa – the name has always
      stuck in my mind.

  50. I’ve no idea why but I have a thing about numbers that are multiples of 3 and 9….. so puzzle 999 gets my celebratory thanks to Jay! As everyone has said, another fine crossword, thank you. And thanks to the 2 Kiwis.

    1. Hello Robin
      I don’t know if I’m alone in hoping that one day, instead of just quoting a clue, you’ll post that you solved swinging from a chandelier in a Superman outfit doing the Funky Chicken whilst singing ‘Stick Your Fingers In Your Ears and Sing Ding-Aling-Aloo’
      Am I right in thinking you are somewhere remote?

  51. Phew. Finally back on track and I completed this gem of a puzzle without any help. Many early congrats to Jay for his 1000 clueversary. **/*****

  52. As usual delayed by a zoom meeting on a Wednesday, well it would have been zoom but it wouldn’t work, no sound and jerky vision, so did it on WhatsApp video. Struggled in the NW and last in was 4d even though I had the answer I couldn’t see why it was managed until I realised it wasn’t, so it becomes my favourite. Thanks to Jay and and 2K’s.

  53. Late as ever but feel I must post anyhow. I always love Wednesday puzzles and today was no exception so thank you Jay and congratulations on such an amazing milestone. Quality and quantity.
    Thank you to the 2 kiwis too.

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