DT 29595 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29595

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29595

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Our spell of beautiful fine weather has been briefly interrupted by a very welcome short period of rain. Forecast tells us we will be back to fine again tomorrow.

A busy day for us as it started off at the hospital for a laser operation to treat glaucoma in one of Colin’s eyes. It’s barely open again now and looks pretty gruesome. With any luck, this should slow down the deterioration of sight in the affected eye.

Still able to solve, blog and enjoy this puzzle from Jay which, he informed us last week, would be his true #1000 Telegraph Cryptic. He has appropriately acknowledged this in the puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Natural to accept cook, oddly, must be rambling (10)
INCOHERENT : The first and third letters of cook (oddly) are inside natural or innate.

6a     Check pockets on the way back (4)
STOP : The reversal of pockets, as one does on a snooker table.

10a     Nothing subtle in reserve (2,3)
ON ICE : The letter signifying nothing, and a synonym for subtle, when used in expressions such as ‘a subtle distinction’.

11a     Sorry for what visitors might hear? (4,5)
COME AGAIN : What a host might say to departing guests. (Sorry is said with a rising terminal when used in this context.)

12a     Irritating supporters — one in street (8)
ABRASIVE : Underwear supporters are enclosed by the abbreviation for a traditionally tree-lined street which includes the roman numeral one.

13a     A mousse on black bread (5)
BAGEL : ‘A’ from the clue and mousse as a hair application follow B(lack).

15a     Become aware of make (7)
REALISE : A double definition. ‘Make’ here usually refers to financial returns.

17a     A way of removing wet doctor in troublesome environment (4-3)
SPIN-DRY : Troublesome, perhaps like a hedgehog, contains one of the abbreviations for a doctor.

19a     Criminal raised origin of murder weapon (7)
SIDEARM : An anagram (criminal) of RAISED plus the first letter of murder.

21a     A sentry briefly hugged by second love — it’s prickly! (7)
SAGUARO : ‘A’ from the clue and a sentry or watchman without his final letter are surrounded by S(econd) and the tennis score love.

22a     Area of corporation hearing of extravagance (5)
WAIST : A homophone of a word meaning extravagance or profligacy.

24a     Cardinal shut a don out (8)
THOUSAND : An anagram (out) of SHUT A DON.

27a     Got better, looking embarrassed about European insurance (9)
RECOVERED : The colour associated with embarrassment surrounds E(uropean) and protection given by insurance.

28a     In front of the judge, group will be distressed (5)
UPSET : A two letter word meaning in front of the judge and then a synonym for group.

29a     Ride a white horse? (4)
SURF : A cryptic definition. The white horse here is a metaphorical coastal one.

30a     Promoted new diets and raved (10)
ADVERTISED : An anagram (new) of DIETS and RAVED.


1d     Inflexible one has no right to be promoted (4)
IRON : The Roman numeral one, then the reversal of ‘no’ from the clue and R(ight).

2d     Magazine directors finding backing for paper (9)
CLIPBOARD : The magazine that holds ammunition for a firearm and then a word for directors collectively.

3d     Animal hospital desire answer (5)
HYENA : H(ospital) and A(nswer) surround a desire or hankering.

4d     Provide new backing to protect copyright for rest (7)
RECLINE : Provide new backing for possibly curtains or a jacket, contains C(opyright).

5d     Book of songs? (7)
NUMBERS : A double definition. The book is in the Old Testament of the Bible.

7d     Intonation of women in Dynasty? (5)
TWANG : A traditional Chinese dynasty contains W(omen).

8d     Area on field where ten play badly and fight (7,3)
PENALTY BOX : An anagram (badly) of TEN PLAY is followed by fight as a pugilist.

9d     Tweeting adornments worn after battle (8)
WARBLING : Splitting the answer 3,5 gives a protracted battle and then flashy adornments.

14d     Puzzles son with promise to split burden (10)
CROSSWORDS : S(on) and promise or pledge is inside a figurative burden associated with the Easter story.

16d     Resting during performance, wives will be undressed (8)
INACTIVE : A two letter word for during and a three letter performance precede the three central letters (undressed) of ‘wives’.

18d     Doctor agonised about second opinions (9)
DIAGNOSES : An anagram (doctor) of AGONISED contains an extra S(econd).

20d    Grew up and dreamt about accepting university (7)
MATURED : The abbreviation for university is within an anagram (about) of DREAMT.

21d     Foot of deep snow mostly dispersed (7)
SPONDEE : An anagram (dispersed) of DEEP SNO(w) with the last letter of snow removed.

23d     Popular dog to bring on (5)
INCUR : The two letter popular and a deprecating word for a dog.

25d     Crouch may be short and stocky (5)
SQUAT : A double definition.

26d     Stallion requiring endless research (4)
STUD : Remove the last letter from research or examination.

Of course our favourite has to be the 24, 14 combination.

Quickie pun    marine    +    aides    =   marinades

126 comments on “DT 29595

  1. I started out really quite slowly, but soon got into a decent trot. I didn’t know either of 21a or 21d but got both from the wordplay. Two favourites today at 5d and 14d.

    Finished in the end in *** time.

    When you say “It’s barely open again now and looks pretty gruesome.” are you referring to the hospital or his eye?

    Many thanks to Jay (and congratulations) and to the 2 Ks.

    1. A Jay classic and a cardinal congrats to him! COTD for me was 29a. Easy once you have done it, unlike the sport. A classic ***/**** although I am grateful to the 2Kiwis for the 4d hint as although the answer was clear I couldn’t quite parse it. Great fun.

  2. Difficult start but fast finish for me today . Learnt 2 new words along the way , 21a & 21d . Any one else put “hair dry” in for 17a ?
    Enjoyed the challenge , some good clues but no particular favourite .
    Just returned from a brisk cold walk to the postbox .
    Thanks to the birds , as usual

    Sent from my iPad2

    1. I had drip dry pencilled in for a while but couldn’t parse it.
      Two new words for me too in 21a and 21d. I love it when you can get a word you don’t know from the rest of the clue!
      Congratulations on your thousandth Jay, and thank you 2kiwis.

      1. Quite right. The dry bit was easy but so many options for the other, none of which made troublesome

  3. Jay always provides a most entertaining crossword and this celebratory one didn’t disappoint. I do, however, have to disagree with 21d – we didn’t get that much snow but boy is it taking its time to disperse :(

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks – hope the eye settles down fairly quickly

  4. I’m sorry to have been AWOL for a while. I learned at the beginning of last week that I had lost a friend to Covid and it really knocked the stuffing out of me. He was in his 40s, with no underlying health condition that we knew of, and he had only been ill for about a week.

    Jay’s wonderful achievement of 1000 DT crosswords seemed like a good time for a come back to the blog, and what a lovely puzzle it was too. My rating is 2.5*/4.5*.

    I wondered about halfway through if we might have a pangram, but it was missing J, K & Z, although a Z would be acceptable as an alternative spelling for 15a. Then you would be left with J for Jay and K for a thousand, but that’s probably just a coincidence.

    I didn’t know 21a but it was easy enough to work out and confirm in the BRB.

    Many thanks and congratulations to Jay on his milestone. I’m looking forward to the next 1000. Many thanks too to the 2Ks who have accompanied him on a lot of his journey.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your friend RD. It does knock you sideways when someone close to you passes so suddenly and unexpectedly. Glad you’re back now.

      1. Sorry about the loss of your friend, glad to have you back RD, the blog is not quite the same without you.

    2. I think by the time this is under control there will not be many of us who have not list someone close. I am so sorry.

    3. So sorry to hear about your friend. Losing someone unexpectedly is so hard.
      Sadly, youth is not the armour clad protection to this virus as was first supposed. A reasonably young (51) friend of ours was hospitalized for a month. Coded twice, and went home still on oxygen for 3 weeks more. Not yet fit for work.

      1. Welcome back RD. We’ve missed you.
        So sorry to hear about your poor friend, we feel for you all.

  5. Thanks for puzzle and hints. I must have been singing from a different hymn sheet this morning. I found the Toughie to be more accessible!

  6. Pretty straightforward Jay puzzle today completed at a canter with some good clues, favourite was 9d with 14d and 29a on the podium */****
    Congratulations to Jay and thanks to the 2Ks.

  7. This started very slowly for me. On the first pass I came up blank until I reached the south east corner. ***/**** 14d held me up too while I wasted time trying to make a word out of “promise” and “son” that somehow meant burden. I didn’t know the word at 21a but it was guessable from the clue with all the checkers. Overall, a very entertaining work out. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll nominate 5d. To me that is a typical Jay clue. Well done for reaching the 24a milestone. I’m really sorry to hear your awful news, RD. Thanks to all.

  8. Like Malcolm and KFB, I made a slow start before getting going in the SE. The clues in the NW were the last to fall and I got hung up on the Song of Solomon before settling on the right biblical book, finishing in3* time. I liked 9d and 14d (very appropriate). Many congratulations to Jay on his 1000 puzzles and thanks to the Kiwis for the hints. Sorry to hear about Colin’s eye and hope it settles down soon.

  9. Congratulations to Jay on a grand of really enjoyable puzzles of which today’s was certainly one 👏. South went in with no problem but the North was a slightly different kettle of fish. As for KFB I too picked up two new words – 21a and 21d. Joint Favs 11a and 7d. Many thanks to Jay for much pleasure and also to 2Kiwis. Interested to hear of Colin’s laser treatment as I am threatened with same thing as drops appear to have become less effective. Sincere sympathies to RD on the loss of your friend. What a toll this wretched Covid is taking.

  10. Very enjoyable. No real hold ups but count me in to the new word at 21a club. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  11. My thanks to Jay on his 1000th crossword. I usually find him on the tough side but today I found him extremely tough, especially as I had Solomon for 5 d on my first run through! Needed considerable help from the two kiwis to whom I also send thanks.

  12. I’d forgotten that this was to be Jay’s 1,000th back-pager so I needed 2Ks to point out the significance of 24/14. Thanks to them and many thanks to Jay for the latest in a very long list of excellent puzzles.
    My podium features 11a, 29a and 20d but I also liked 25d which may be referring to Peter Crouch who is the antithesis of short and stocky.

  13. I thought Jay had upped the difficulty level to celebrate his milestone puzzle but the quality remained the same.
    I was initially puzzled by 18d, thinking that the definition was a noun but the solution was a verb before realising that it’s the plural form of the noun! Like others, a couple of new words that were easily derivable from the checkers and wordplay
    I particularly liked 1,10,11&29a plus 9d.
    Many thanks and congratulations to Jay and to the 2Ks

  14. What a wonderful way to clock up the one thousandth puzzle for this paper. It seems as fresh as ever, full of Jay’s hallmark quality and humour. As always it is virtually impossible to select one clue as a favourite, but 8d gets the nod for the great surface read.

    Thanks and congratulations to Jay, and of course to the 2Ks.

  15. Spending too long on 29a put me into *** time.
    Thoughts of knights in shining armour etc. etc. eventually gave way to the solution.
    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.
    Many thanks, Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  16. That was tough and too many religious references again. Still can’t parse 14d, what burden and what Easter story?
    21a was one that rang no bells and I felt 21d was just an awful clue.
    Very little fun, all a bit of a slog. No favs to alleviate the misery.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Brian
      If ever you go golfing to the Valley of the Sun (thoroughly recommend it) 21a will be firmly in your GK.

    1. I only object to obscure words if you cannot make them up from the clue. You could get both of these. The brief sentry was easy. Once I have what I think is right I google the word, and then I learn something new.

  17. Found this very hard going. I wonder how many of Jay’s 1,000 I have managed without the hints on this excellent blog? Single figures I would guess!
    Thanks for the much needed answers.

  18. Even with some oldies but goodies and some recent repeats, this was at the trickier end of Jay’s spectrum for me – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 28a, 29a, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and congratulations on the thousand and thanks to the 2Ks.

  19. A delight to solve Jay’s milestone puzzle. not that it was too easy, The 21’s across and down were new to me but a quick look at the clue and Mr google helped.
    I had most difficulty though with 17a 5d where I was in a Hair(dr)y environment for a while and only gave upon Hymnnal for the book of songs when the realisation I couldn’t have a double n and checkers put me on the right lines.
    I did have a chuckle at 7d as I have an album by Welsh Prog Rockers “Man” that I bet most here have never heard of.
    I wonder if Jay has a copy of “the Twang Dynasty”

    Sympathy for RD and thanks to Jay on the excellent puzzle and thanks to the Kiwis too – get well soon Colin

    1. Man played a few times at The Lanch in Coventry when the college circuit provided gigs for the types of bands that wouldn’t be welcomed on the variety theatre circuit. Somewhere I have a 10” album called Live At The Patti Rooms by Man.

      1. I am not surprised that your good self has heard of Man.
        I suspect that you may actually have a couple of Man albums
        Christmas at the Patti was a 10″ live double of Man’s Christmas party at the Patti Pavilion in Swansea,
        Man themselves played very little on that album as the police raided it in their closing set. Many former, current(then) and members to be, played in various groups. Help Yourself with guests Deke Leonard, Dave Edmunds and B J Cole, together with appearances by Ducks Deluxe, The Jets, The Flying Aces and Plum Crazy.
        Live at the Padget Rooms Penarth was another album that was wholly Man.
        I would bet that very little of their music gets airtime these days but once again I am not surprised that you remember them.

      2. Friday nights at the Lanch – crikey completely forgotten about them…..
        I too had a couple of Man records – bought from Virgin in the lower precinct

      3. I have a friend who went to the Lanch who’s Barrel born and bred and our age group. I’ve lost touch with him. I must try and contact him.

  20. Top draw puzzle today, two new synonyms 10a and17a confirmed in my tatty Chambers, we live and learn!
    Going for a ***/****.
    Lots of lovely charades ,favourite was 14d.
    Extra plaudits to Jay, very deserved and 2K’ s for the pics.

  21. Another impeccable composition from Mr Wednesday, congratulations and many thanks for all the pleasure you’ve brought us.
    8d gets a vote from me for its humorous surface read and I also liked the tweeting adornments at 9d.
    Does anyone actually use the phrase at 11a – I think it’s dreadful!

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for stoically bringing us the review when I’m sure they didn’t really feel like doing so – hope the laser op pays dividends, Colin.

  22. A ponderous start, a pedestrian middle & a plodding end but it was an unaided finish in **** time. A fitting 24/14 full of the usual quality & with the difficulty level, for me at least, considerably upped on recent weeks. 21a&d were both arrived at from the wordplay but required Mr G’s confirmation as neither words with which I was familiar. Hard to pick a podium with so many good ‘uns to choose from – 1&12a along with 2,8,9&18d were the contenders in my view. Today’s albums: New Favourite (Alison Krauss + Union Station) & Night Moves (Bob Seger & Silver Bullet Band)
    Thanks & congrats to Jay & to the 2Ks – wishing Colin a swift recovery from his procedure.

  23. A milestone crossword that shows the fruits of experience. An excellent puzzle that both challenged and amused. Congratulations and thanks to Jay.
    Struggles in SE corner (for no reason when things resolved themselves) took me into *** time.
    Linking 24a & 14d give COTD for me.
    Given a foot of snow outside what I wouldn’t give for a month in the Westin in the Scottsdale sun surrounded by 21a!
    Thanks again Jay and the 2Ks. Hope the eye comes good soon

  24. Ah, as Jane said: ‘impeccable’! A really top-notch Jayfest of signs and wonders for me. And congratulations to him on his 24/14 showcase. I once spent a glorious day, ending with a stunning sunset, at the 21a National Park near Tucson, and I also once gave a poetry class the task of writing a poem in spondaic pentameter (the result? lots of four-letter words that brought the house down). So I must choose 21a / d as my CsOTD. I’ve lived a very strange but vastly varied life. I took a shot and bunged-in 29a, and Voila! Thanks to the Kiwis and best wishes to Colin. Laser treatment has slowed down my glaucoma considerably. And to Jay: Well done! *** / *****

    1. My laser treatment worked perfectly on the left, but my right eye is now virtually blind. I hope it works better for you Colin.

      1. Luckily my left eye is fine and I can fool myself that since the treatment yesterday, there is also an improvement in the right one, particularly in the breadth of vision. Hope so.

  25. As soon as I saw the *** for difficulty I knew I was in trouble ! Still, very enjoyable with the help of 2Kiwis

  26. **/****. SW corner took longest, with the four letter white horse the last to be tamed. Had to cycle through the alphabet to get it. Took a while, should have started at the other end! Congrats to Jay, here’s to the next thousand. Thanks to the kiwis.

  27. It was a few in the NE corner that caused the most problems after realising Solomon was not a book of songs. Saguaro a new word but gettable with the checkers. Spondee known but I am looking for a clue for another foot, the dactyl. I am hoping some old fossil may have something to offer in an antiquus way.

    Many thanks to the 2Ks for their helpful hints which were needed in the NE.

    And congratulations to Jay for his grand success.

  28. Congratulations Jay on your 24a14d. It made us work a little harder today but all the clues were doable even 21a. My favourite was 13a because I kept saying the only other word I could think of for mousse was gel – and I still didn’t fall in. Thanks to the two Kiwis, hope the eye improves. Pray that things will go back to normal one day, I think we are all reaching overload. Hope Lola is OK

  29. Enjoyable, but very challenging for a Jay (21a and 21d are new to me).

    Apologies to those, like me, waiting for a Lola update. My lovely neighbours are waiting for a return call from the vet, promised for today but not received at the time I type this. Lola is ‘ok-ish’, but we are all hoping for a new course of treatment, or some form of new plan of action.

    Today’s soundtrack: Handel – Concerto for Oboe, Strings and B.c. (I wonder what the ‘b.c.’ is?)

    Thanks, and congratulations to Jay. Thanks also to the the 2Ks and best wishes to Colin, in particular this week.

        1. Terence
          It is our experience that when “our” vet was struggling a second opinion has sometimes proved very useful. Other than another set of fees. You might even suggest it to your vet –
          Although vets are happy to say “I don’t know” they don’t readily refer you to another who might.
          All pet lovers (including our neighbour) will understand completely in the circumstances you want an opinion other than I haven’t really got a clue.
          Good luck and best wishes to Lola.

      1. We changed from Hardy, Timothy and Davison who we found old fashioned and fusty to West, Ralph and Woodhouse. A good move all round

    1. A Basso continuo is, in 17th- and 18th- century music, the bass line and keyboard part that provide a harmonic framework for a piece of music. Basso Continuo literally means ‘continuous bass’, or to use the old English version, ‘through bass’.
      A rather relaxing piece of music that I am sure Lola will sleep through!

  30. Hope Colin is feeling better after his surgery. My goodness, above and beyond to put this together for us today. I had to keep looking at the top of my print out. Thought I had printed the Toughie by mistake. Not helped by 21a and 21d. And I am still trying to find somewhere that lists 24a as a synonym for cardinal, didn’t show up in my Chambers search. Thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis, couldn’t have finished without you.

    1. I, too, spent a lot of time looking for thousand/cardinal synonym, never did find one.

      Just seen physicist below!

  31. 24a is a cardinal number (as opposed to an ordinal number).
    (Sorry – meant to be a reply to BusyLizzie.)

  32. I only buy the Wednesday DT during the week and the Jay crossword is the reason. Many thanks Jay for your concise cluing. I especially liked 29a. Like many the 21’s were new words for me and made for a trickier solve than usual and not helped by initially having call instead of come for 11a. Thanks to the 2kiwis too.

  33. Congratulations to Jay the Cardinal – I wonder what your favourite clue is over all these years?! Great puzzle as befits the occasion and my favourite is 5d for its brevity and brilliance. Thanks also to the 2Ks hope that Colin recovers quickly.

  34. Another great puzzle today which took ages to get into but then it went quite well. Thank you to the mystery person who put a post-it note in our paper saying ‘Hello from Big Dave and his team of bloggers’! It made me laugh but was somewhat baffled as to who you are. Linda delivered today’s paper and she feigned ignorance but maybe she really doesn’t know. Maybe you will reveal yourself? What a fantastic little shop that is at Salthouse. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis plus two new words for me but quite doable.

  35. Finished! Was struggling for a while and was just about to revert to using the hints & tips above, but just managed to get one more clue…which led to another…and eventual completion!
    Enjoyed the challenge – shows that perseverance can pay off!
    Thanks to Jay for the excellent challenge – cheers!

  36. Many, many thanks to all for your comments over the past 12 years or so, and special thanks to our 2 Kiwis for your careful analysis of all clues, especially the occasionally convoluted ones! For those who encounter words that are unfamiliar (e.g Saguaro today) please do look for the hopefully clear directions; in this case it’s as the 2 Kiwis say – “a guar(d) inside s o.
    At my age I can’t promise another 1000 crosswords, so we’ll see how far I can get!

    1. Thank you for doing us the honour of a visit Jay.
      It was clear today with Saguaro part of your long experience tells you which words might not be GK to most, and you clue fairly and clearly. It is what makes your puzzles (almost) universally admired.
      As Tom Lehrer once said when few of the audience laughed at one of his one-liners “The rest of you can look it up when you get home”.
      All power to your pen to get to 2000. At 79 I can only aspire to be around to solve it!

    2. So kind of you to pop in, Jay, you thoroughly deserve all the accolades we can send your way.
      Out of interest and – to reiterate the question from Shrimp – do you have a ‘favourite’ from amongst your many clues?

    3. You make my Wednesdays, Jay. At 82, I look forward to at least some of that next thousand!

    4. I’m a relatively newbie, but I thought this was grand…(sorry)… Took me a while, esp the first quadrant, but did it all without the hints. I enjoyed 14d and 21d. Only thing I was unhappy about was spiny for troublesome.

  37. I struggled with this and it was slow going but in the end very satisfying. Could not pharse 14d for a long time although I knew it was right. Sincere sympathy to RD and best wishes to Kiwi Colin. Congratulations and thanks to Jay.

  38. Morning all and thanks for popping in again Jay.
    Wednesdays seem to be something that we all look forward to and appreciate so a sincere thank you once again.
    The eye, that still has the appearance of a stop signal traffic light, did not interfere too much with beauty sleep so fingers crossed it is all happening as planned.

  39. Thanks, Jay, for this “grand” puzzle (!).

    Thanks to Kiwis, though got through unaided.
    Had to confirm via dictionary both 21s, however.

  40. The only clue that jumped out at me on my first run through this morning was 24a. Slowly, slowly I managed to finish this this afternoon. 21a I should have remembered from all my trips to Arizona, but sadly I didn’t, and had to google it to check. I put “hair-dry” into 17a. “Dr” into “hairy” ( troublesome environment). I had to work at this crossword, but quite enjoyed the challenge. Thank you, and congratulations to Jay. Thanks too to the 2Ks and I wish Colin a speedy full recovery from the glaucoma op.

  41. I found this very difficult today but very satisfying when completed 😃 ****/**** The 21s were new to me also 😳 it always surprises me, after doing the DT back pager for most of my adult life how many new words I find 🤔 I think that I need a better memory! Favourites were many but 12a and 8 & 9 down take the honours. Thanks to the 2xKs for their excellent (as always) blog and I hope Colin’s eye soon heals and Congratulations to Jay and many thanks for his splendid Wednesday puzzles

  42. I always love Jay, even the tough ones! I found this very tricky in the NW, first of all for putting an incorrect start to 2d and another wrong word at 4d, but the rest was fine.
    Due to the above eye problems, I misread 21d as “food”, I did know the “foot”, we’ve had it before. I learnt a new word at 21a.
    Fave was the 24/14 combo, how clever is that, but I must make honourable mention of 9d.
    Thank you Jay, and thank you 2Kiwis for setting me on the right track in the NW. Feel better Colin, it does improve!

  43. This took me nearly as long as The Toughie. Maybe because I waited until this afternoon to solve instead of doing it first thing. Having a Prince concert on YouTube didn’t help either but what else can I use a big telly for? As per the commentariat the pair at 21 were the last to fall but it seemed to take me a while to get there. Thanks to Jay, You looked good for a few years when I met you at the blog bash a couple of years ago. Thanks to the 2Ks. Best wishes to Colin. Get well soon

  44. Many thanks to 2Kiwis. Congratulations and thanks to Jay. I seldom complete the xwd without a few prompts from BD bloggers. Saguaro – learning new words is good – expected this one would turn out to be yet another crossword animal, nice to have a new plant instead!
    Favourite was 11A – happy and friendly, just the sort of upbeat thought to help sustain one in a solo lockdown.

  45. It seems I have developed a knack over the last few days of initially completing the bottom half (almost!) and then struggled in the NE. 21a and 21d were new to me. Kept wanting to put ‘blow’ dry in for 17a but realised it couldn’t be. Have to admit getting 24a and 14d quite early on but not twigging the connection to our good setter.

    Many thanks and congratulations to Jay. Thanks also to the 2 Kiwis and I do hope the laser treatment is successful, Colin.
    In our thoughts RB at this difficult time and to Terence and Lola.

    1. Hope nobody got hurt.
      Brought back memories of that garbage truck making a few victims in Glasgow a few years ago.

      1. Just the pride of the driver I think.
        I just imagined what was going through his mind as he was helpless in his technology-packed Tesla sliding inexorably down the hill.

  46. Took a while to get going.
    The SW was last to yield and only remembered last week comment from Jay when 14d fell.
    29a was a bit of a leap of faith and it paid off.
    The cactus 🌵 was new to me but 21d has been seen before.
    8d favourite.
    Sorry to hear about RD’s friend.
    Thanks and congratulations to Jay.
    Best wishes to kiwicolin and thanks for the blog.

  47. I’ve lurked on this terrific site for a couple of years and learnt so much. My days don’t allow much time for crosswords but can now solve most of them during the day. This one took some wrangling although I was familiar with 21A from living in Arizona for a while and my A Level in EngLit helped with 21D. The NE was the last to fall with some help from the BRB. All told ***/***

      1. Thanks 2 Kiwis. I’ve admired your posts down the years. I don’t know how it all works with the immense time zone differences – but you work your magic somehow…

  48. Managed to complete about a quarter of this before I lost interest. Way above my pay grade.

    For me, this is in the top 10 most difficult back pagers ever.

    Absolutely no enjoyment for me, but pleased to see most others enjoyed the challenge.


  49. Congrats to Jay on his thousandth crossword and my goodness he didn’t make it easy. I managed the 21s but after that has to resort to the hints. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay. *****/***

  50. Another puzzle done over much of the day in dribs and drabs, with many interruptions, but overall a 2.5*/****
    Some good clues like11a, 9d, 14d, & 16d with 14d my favourite as that is what I come here for daily!
    17a & 7d made me chuckle and learned a new word in 21d
    Congrats to Jay for the milestone!

    Thanks to all three birds

  51. I too found this harder than the toughie and I was going to have a bit of a moan, but then I realised it was Jay’s 1000th and life’s too short for petty thoughts. Good on you Jay, keep putting words in I’ve never heard of, it expands my breadth of knowledge and thanks for popping in. Favourite was 9d. Many many thanks to Jay and 2K’s and good luck with your eye problem Colin.

  52. Since joining this site, I too have become a Jay fan. I loved this crossword and thank Jay for all the pleasure he has given us. Congratulations on the 1000 milestone! Thank you too to the 2Kiwis. I’m always late onto this site as I do the crossword in the evening and look at the site the following morning.

  53. Only recently returned to crossword solving and what a treat this one was.
    I do love it when I parse the clue to find the answer popping out. That happened with several clues today including 21a and 21d, both words where I had to look up the answer to confirm my suspicions.

    Many thanks to Jay for such an enjoyable (as ever) solve and congratulations on the milestone.

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