DT 29621 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29621

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29621

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a damp and windy South Staffs.

A couple of intersecting clues in the SW corner gave me a little pause, and pushed my solving time into  *** territory, but otherwise I found today’s puzzle reasonably straightforward, with some nice twists on familiar crossword constructions.

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.


1a           Punched by employee, bound to be arrested? (10)
HANDCUFFED – An employee, in a factory perhaps, followed by another word for ‘punched’, giving us a means of restraint used by police officers.

8,051 Handcuffed Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

6a           Tramp‘s dog’s maybe running round (4)
STEP – Another word for what may be a dog or a cat, plus the ‘S from the clue, is reversed (running round).

10a         Ruins trifle — odd ingredients should have been discarded before (5)
UNTIL – Remove the odd-numbered letters from the first two words of the clue.

11a         Lenin rued revolutionary stress (9)
UNDERLINE – Anagram (revolutionary) of LENIN RUED.

12a         Component of refrigerator men transported gives bother (7)
TORMENT – Hidden in the clue.

13a         In turnover, the Queen pub perhaps earns this? (7)
REVENUE – An all-in-one clue, where the whole clue defines the answer. Reverse (in turnover) the Queen’s regnal cipher, and add a general term for a place where an event may take place, of which ‘pub’ is an example.

14a         A blockbuster movie is so like an American standard (4-8)
STAR-SPANGLED – Double definition, the first metaphorical, the second being a familiar description of the US flag.

18a         Like Wham or Bananarama but not Abba or A-ha? (12)
IRREVERSIBLE – If you note that the first two groups in the clue are not palindromes, whereas the second two are, you will arrive at a word which describes the former but not the latter.

21a         Reels back, seeing Liverpool snatching victory (7)
REWINDS – The reels here are on a tape recorder. A nickname for Liverpool FC (related to the colour of their shirts) is wrapped round another word for ‘victory’.

23a         Cushions doubly firm — relative shifting second to back (7)
COCOONS – Put together two instances of the abbreviation for a firm or company, then add a male relative, but move the abbreviation for Second to the back of the answer.

24a         A supreme blending with main ingredient from Burgundy — cut the mustard? (7,2)
MEASURE UP – Anagram (blending) of A SUPREME and the letter which occurs most often (main ingredient) in BUrgUndy.

25a         One might assassinate knight in German agreement (5)
NINJA – Put together the chess notation for a knight, IN (from the clue), and a German word of agreement.

26a         Right in the old harness (4)
YOKE – An archaic spelling of ‘the’ wrapped round an expression of agreement such as ‘right’.

27a         Old transporter‘s role subtly changed (10)
TROLLEYBUS – Anagram (changed) of ROLE SUBTLY.

Get wired (again): Trolleybuses and Trolleytrucks - LOW-TECH MAGAZINE


1d           Troubles go missing in drunken hangouts (6)
HAUNTS – Anagram (drunken) of HAN(go)UTS, with the GO removed (missing).

2d           The wild character (6)
NATURE – Double definition: untouched countryside; or the inner character of a person.

3d           Gather I have no one French in family, for instance (10,4)
COLLECTIVE NOUN – Put together another word for ‘gather’, the short form of ‘I have’, NO (from the clue) and the French for ‘one’. To get a phrase of which ‘family’ is an example.

4d           One sells food Tue-Fri for cooking, with arrears off and on (9)
FRUITERER – Anagram (for cooking) of TUE-FRI, followed by alternate letters (off and on) of aRrEaRs.

5d           Waterfowl, bottom-up, floundered — I emoted somewhat (5)
EIDER – Hidden in reverse (bottom up) in the clue.

Take on nature: The eider duck, alone in the storm - The Irish News

7d           Square cut possibly, with one side going for it (8)
TRIANGLE – A square has four sides. If you remove one side, you get a three-sided figure, or ——–.

8d           Claims about nurse seen in part of letter (8)
PRETENDS – Put together the Latin for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’. And another verb for ‘nurse’. Then wrap something you may add at the bottom of a letter round the result.

9d           Motorists may show this forceful lack of inhibition (7,7)
DRIVING LICENCE – Another word ‘forceful’ followed by another word for ‘lack of inhibition’.

15d         Head first (9)
PRINCIPAL – Double definition, the first being perhaps the head of a school or college.

16d         Game one’s put down after a couple of drinks (3,5)
GIN RUMMY – Two different short drinks, followed by what the Queen means when she says ‘one’s’.

17d         Result comes with player making catch (8)
DRAWBACK – A possible result of a football match, followed by a defensive player in that match.

19d         Around new hospital, two old boys hang about (6)
HOBNOB – Put together the abbreviation for Hospital and two examples of the abbreviation for old boys of a school, then wrap the result round New.

20d         Mutual admiration ceremonies? You may see one or two in Hollywood (6)
OSCARS – If you look at the word ‘HOllywOOd, you will see  a single and a double occurrence of a particular letter. The NATO alphabet equivalent of that letter is also the name given to an annual award ceremony ifor Hollywood productions.

22d         Cut complete broadcast (5)
SHEAR – The answer is a homophone (broadcast) of a word for ‘complete’ or ‘total’.

The Quick Crossword pun QUAY + POUT = KEEP OUT

142 comments on “DT 29621

  1. At last, I managed to complete one. Is that the first this week? I think it might be.

    I wasn’t too sure about 14a, ‘studded’ for a movie, surely? I took an age to work out how all the elements in 19d came into the correct order and quite how we got the second ‘U’ in 24a I wasn’t sure; ‘Main ingredient’ meaning ‘the first of the contents’ perhaps? Thanks for the explanation, DT.

    All completed in *** time, with 1a as my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. Malcolm, as DT has explained in his review for 24a, U is the only letter which occurs in Burgundy more than once and so is its “main ingredient”.

  2. 5*/5*. This was a very enjoyable puzzle which would not have been out of place as a Toughie. My usual starting point in the NW corner got filled in very quickly, but, after that, the rest proved to be quite a challenge with 7d my last one in.

    My top picks from this excellent selection were 14a, 18a (although, if I had been the setter, I think I might have been tempted to have cheated a little by using Aha instead of A-ha), 3d, 9d & 15d.

    Many thanks to, I would guess, Zandio and to DT.

  3. I too found the SW the most challenging part of the puzzle, and most of the rest was quite straightforward (2*/4*). Thete was aome good misdirection in14a and 17d but my clue of the day was 18a, which held me up until the penny dropped with a loud clang . Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler.

  4. Not my wavelength as anything but straightforward although started after a disruptive morning with better half not knowing if she was working from the office or at home today. After settling down I couldn’t get into it so a ****/** for me. Thought 6a a bit iffy as the answer doesn’t bring to mind tramp. Guessed but never heard of 27a. COTD 7d as nicely cryptic. Sorry to be negative – obviously it’s me not the setter. Thanks to he or she and Deep Threat for his excellent hints for checking.

      1. Sorry Rabbit Dave but non comprendez!
        I thought 22d ok but think I am missing your point……

        1. I’ll join the “non comprendez” club, NAS. I have no idea what I thought I read! Sorry about that.

    1. You must be young if you’ve never heard of a 27a! Granted, they were phased out in London when I was still young but I remember them well enough.

      1. Brilliant things 27a, took one to school in Parliament Hill everyday and it was real treat when one of the power arms came off and the poor conductor (remember those?) had manipulate the long pole to reattach it. It was even better in Camden High street when the bus changed to another wire line and the conductor had to move both power arms! All that and no diesel fumes!

        1. I used to catch a 27a to school in East Ham. It was good fun if the arm came off, except if it made you late for school. Mo excuses accepted by Miss Finch.

        2. I do remember when the arms came off the tracks – a frequent occurrence at the top of Brixton Hill.

          1. I well remember in Battersea the long pole the conductor used if the power arm came off.
            And I think they were very noisy vehicles.

            1. In 1958 my nana took me for a ride on the last one to run in St. Helens, a big treat for a 6 year old. A bygone era.

              1. They were a lovely mode of transport and environmentally friendly. We had them in Grimsby where I grew up as well as trams and double deckers.

            2. I remember them as being very quiet – are you sure you’re not thinking of trams, Hrothgar?

  5. Excellent! I enjoyed this a lot, clever and cryptic, requiring a fair bit of thought.
    I have to admit to 25a being a bung in but other than that it all came together smoothly if not rapidly for a very satisfying solve.
    Ticks all over the place but I’ve narrowed them down to 1a, 21a & 8d (so smart) but top spot goes to 18a.
    3/4.5*……I’ve knocked off half a point for having the wrong reds in 21a 😉
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the top notch entertainment

  6. Lots of fun today ,a light hearted puzzle right on my wavelength ,clever cluing throughout with many excellent surfaces.
    Favourites were 3d 7d and 14a-18a brought a smile.( as did the quickie pun)
    Going for a **/*****, I don’t remember my last five star ,thanks setter for the enjoyment and DT for the pics ,not heard Eddy for a while-a great loss at an early age.

  7. Another testing back pager to keep the commentariat busy. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I agree with RD that this would not have been out place as a mid week Toughie. The quality of the clues throughout was of a very high standard, and I am sure it is a Zandio creation. My favourites were 14 and 18a.

    My thanks to Zandio, and apologies if it is not you, and to DT.

  8. Same as DT, it was two intersecting clues that held me up, but in the NE quarter. Otherwise OK…no excuse now not to get on with mundane risks.
    18a was daft but funny. 4d took me back.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

      1. That on a chilly stormy Friday in lockdown, a bit of mundane risk-taking might be fun??

        1. Yes, CS. I’m thinking of reading my iPad WITHOUT my reading glasses and then going out to attack my Berberis Darwinii with NO hat. Ooh, the danger…..

  9. Once again my views on a crossword coincide with those of Beaver except that my favourite was 20d

    Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat

  10. I really enjoyed this puzzle although some of the clues took a bit of thinking to reveal the wordplay. My fav was 14a which really made me smile. Had a touch of Giovanni about it.
    Thx to all

    1. “A touch of Giovanni about it”….you were slagging off his puzzles yesterday Brian. Ever the blog enigma!

      1. Given that it had all the hallmarks of a Giovanni crossword and that he’s been alternating Thursdays with Ray T for a while now, I don’t see why you’d think it was by anyone else. And, if you’d been him and had read all the comments yesterday, would you have turned up to confirm??

      2. I can categorically confirm that the puzzle yesterday was the work of Giovanni
        It is interesting to note that when his slot moved from regular Fridays, the pattern of feedback from many solvers remained the same on Fridays. When it became known to us all that his slot was no longer Fridays, only then did the majority of feedback change
        What does that tell you, if anything?
        ps big :smile: to CS

        1. I never go anywhere near Giovanni’s puzzles, I don’t know anything about 14th century Christian festival wine goblets.

  11. Like CC, I couldn’t quite see where we were going with 18a and there was a similarly large clang when that penny dropped. I needed the hints to understand 24a. I couldn’t see the relevance of Burgundy other than Dijon mustard comes from that region. Thank you for that, DT. 7d had me scratching my head for a while although the answer is literally obvious. 20a made me smile. Favourite 3d. ***/*** Thanks to all.

  12. Enjoyable whilst it lasted. 18a was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and Deep Threat.

  13. Took me a while, as all the end-of-week puzzles this week have, but I got there in the jubilant end. The SW held me up, as did 8d, for a bit, but when the penny fell on 21a (don’t know Liverpool’s colours, alas), I was on my way. For those ‘one or two’ in Hollywood–you gotta laugh at me for this– I thought of Oscar Levant and Oscar Homolka, and more recently, Oscar Isaac. (Had no clue about those Os in HOllywOOd! But how clever is that, anyway?) We movie buffs (see Huntsman, et al) have to stick together. I thought 18a just a bit silly, but it certainly slowed me up; however, this is a classy puzzle, with medals going to 20d, 14a (Yay, USA!), and 8d. Thanks to DT and…Zandio, is it? Certainly a top-notch setter, anyway. ****/****

    The Friday Toughie, which I ‘floatingly’ finished, gave me much joy!

    1. I didn’t notice all the O’s in Hollywood either. I just thought the the first three words of the clue describes perfectly what the 0’s are!!

  14. I found this quite straightforward except for 18a which I only tumbled when I had all the checkers in and it couldn’t be any other word. 1a and 14a across went in quickly which gave a me a good start on the rest.
    Enjoyable while it lasted.
    Now let’s see what the Toughie has in store for me.

  15. Swimming against the tide here as I didn’t think this was one of the most enjoyable puzzles to come from this setter. A few strange surface reads – 23a & 4d for example – didn’t help. Not a particularly tough nut to crack but I found it less than satisfying.
    I did like the reminder of the old transporter and 9d raised a smile.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review.

  16. Another DNF. Just couldnt see the final couple in NE corner. Will have to try to remember 6a as it never crossed my mind. Much more fun than yesterday though. An enjoyable failure.
    Like Brian 27a brought back childhood memories.
    COTD for me was 18a.
    Thanks to setter & DT for the needed hints and the Eddie Cochran.
    Hopefully tomorrow my brain and body will wake up at the same time. (Getting up at 3am to watch the Americas Cup probably didn’t help. Come on New Zealand!).

  17. Well, that’s better!
    Still a challenge which took some careful parsing and solving, but enjoyable word play that fell into place fairly quickly. I thought 18A was very clever and 1A made me smile (poor chap!) Thanks to DT for the explanation of the ‘’U’ in 24A and for the rest of the blog ‘n hints.
    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable challenge! 👍

    1. I echo Bruce’s comments entirely. What a relief after yesterday’s effort and it put a smile back on my face.

      1. A rogue letter got into your Username, which sent you into moderation. I’ve corrected it for you.

  18. That’s two in a row I have not finished. I simply could not get a grip on this one.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  19. Thanks DT, much appreciated. Only one question, the relative in 23A – how on earth does that lead to the two letters remaining?

  20. Hello, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and discussion. On a different subject, I know it’s popular here to say what the soundtrack of the day is. Mine this week is Blue Oyster Cult (remember ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’?). The two original frontmen are now about 73 and 76 years old, and they’ve just released what seems to me to be their best album since 1974. It’s called ‘The Symbol Remains’, and of course it’s on YouTube. Which may be of no interest at all! Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for the crossword and the recommendation. I do remember them and will check it out.

    2. I do remember (and love) Don’t Fear The Reaper so I shall head to Spotify and seek out ‘The Symbol Remains…!

    3. Love Blue Oyster Cult so thanks for the information, Zandio. As for your puzzle, you beat me soundly today. I can almost see my school report – “Must try harder”. :grin:

    4. Well who’d a thought it, a fellow BOC fan, probably my favourite band of all time. Love the new album, probably their best since the mighty Cultosaurus Erectus.
      Oh and the puzzle was great!

    5. It seems that I am at last beginning to get on wave length with your crosswords, Zandio. Thank you very much, I really enjoyed this crossword. It was good to be reninded of my journey to school on a 27a.

    6. Thanks Zanido, really good puzzle today. I’m a big fan of BOC, will check it out later.

    7. Thanks Zandio for the enjoyable challenge – brilliant! 👍
      Re – BOC’s “Reaper”…needs More Cowbell!! 😜

      1. There’s a reference to that Saturday Night Live “More cowbell” sketch in the video for the new album’s opening track, ‘That Was Me’. The guest cowbellist is their original drummer Albert Bouchard.

  21. Phew – that was quite a challenge for a simple minded soul like me. Aggravatingly, I fell one short, despite having all the checking letters (21a). I think I ran out of puff.

    I undertook the puzzle in two bites, as I took H to the hospital at 10:45am. Her procedure is scheduled for this afternoon, so now I’m on standby, waiting for the call to go and retrieve her.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Handel – Keyboard suite in D minor (HWV 437)

    Thanks to Zandio, and to DT (especially for helping with 21a!)

      1. Thank you, Steve – it is described as a routine procedure, so fingers crossed. H had something put in which has caused her much grief, and today they are taking it out, much to her relief!

  22. At first glance I feared this was going to be a real grind like yesterday but thankfully it proved a pleasant & largely straightforward solve with a bit of humour chucked in for good measure. I thought the latter part of 14a a bit tenuous & 6a a bit weak but otherwise really enjoyed it. Last in was 20d & the answer was fairly obvious but didn’t quite cotton on to the clever wordplay – got the NATO phonetic alphabet part but not the 1 or 2 bit & would have preferred then as a substitute for or. Felt sorry for Liverpool fans tackling 21a as not much evidence of that recently at fortress Anfield. 18a was the clear COTD for me with 1&19d on the podium.
    Today’s album: Venus & Mars (Wings) – hasn’t really stood up.
    Thanks to Zandio & to DT

    1. I could write a book of albums that I just don’t get. Nor do I understand how they fooled so many people into buying them. Venus and Mars falls into that category

  23. I got off to a very slow start and wondered if I was suffering a hangover from yesterday’s challenge, but on 2nd run through several dropped into place and I was then able to get on the setter’s wavelength.
    Ended up being a thoroughly enjoyable Friday puzzle, especially when the penny dropped on 18a and 21a both of which were my contenders for COTD. Thanks to DT for making sense of 23a and 22d and to Zandio for a delightful end to the week..

  24. Nice start to the day. I thought 20 down was a brilliant clue with the word you having one letter O and the word Hollywood having two. I do enjoy Zandios puzzles. There is plenty to work at and plenty to laugh along with. No obscure words or dead people either. Saint Sharon is away again so I am experimenting to see if food is really necessary or is a diet of beer and gin enough to live on. So far, so good. Play nicely for Tilsit and Senf over the weekend children. Especially the more childish amongst you, and I will see you all on Friday

    1. Let me know your conclusion, please. I don’t like cooking for one and would be more than happy to find out it’s a waste of time!

  25. Thanks to Zanido and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. Some great clues, quite tricky in places. 8 liked 27a and 16d, but my favourite was 20d which was LOI. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  26. Do remember 27a in sarf london – and if you put your ear to the stop post, which was hollow, you could hear it coming before you could see it.
    There was always a long pole down the side of the bus, which conductor had to use when passing roadworks, with much cursing……………

  27. I found today’s to be great fun, what a contrast to yesterday.
    I thought 14a and 3d were especially clever.
    As always huge thanks to the setters and bloggers, one and all, for this wonderful antidote to lockdown.
    Special thanks to Zandio for providing a surfable wavelength and to DT for the illuminations where needed.

  28. I cannot understand anyone saying they have not heard of 27a. Maybe never seen one, but how can you possibly not absorb this ? Anyway, I enjoyed the puzzle – I don’t do stars just whether I finish it over lunch, Ripe avocado with George’s special dressing followed by prosciutto and salad and sun pouring through the windows – blowing a Gale outside. Went to the orchard (when did fruiterer become greengrocer?) for apples, they close next week until the June apples arrive, my outing for the day.
    Last night I failed abysmally with the toughie, I think I managed one and that was a lurker. Favourites 14a, 27a, and 9d. Thanks to Zandia and to DT. Have a good weekend everyone.

    1. I managed 4 in last night’s toughie. Threw it down after a couple of hours and fell asleep!

  29. As a relative beginner to being able to solve cryptic crosswords , I found 29621 infinitely easier and much more enjoyable than 29620 ( from yesterday ) . I was able to finish today’s with a bit of assistance from bigdave44 , but gave up in disgust at yesterday’s offering

  30. Definitely a *** difficulty and many thanks to DT for his hints which I needed to finish. Thanks also to Zandio for a lot of good clues even I needed help parsing s few of them.

    By the way when did Blue Oyster Cult come into being? I stopped listening to pop music in the early 70s when I moved into Jazz so except for teenage children’s dreadful tastes in the 80s, 90s, and 00s, I have little knowledge of many of them.

    1. 1967 and still rocking! Here is a live version from 2002 of their magnificent Don’t Fear The Reaper:

      1. Thanks for posting.
        Saw them live once but can’t for the life of me remember where

        1. I never Blue Oyster Cult although I love Oysters and had the Blue Oyster Gay Bar at our beer festivals.

      2. Thanks RB for the information. I think I will stick with the Duke. Thelonius, Chet, Jeremy Pelt et al

      3. I can just about play the riff for Don’t Fear the Reaper. Unlike Eric Morcambe, I have the notes in the right order but making it sound right is another matter entirely. Probably needs more cowbell.

        Think I have to accept the fact I am no musician! 👎🏻

  31. Thanks Zandio, I really enjoyed this and am getting more on your wave length. 27a brought back happy memories. Absolutely right level for a Friday. Thanks to DT for the hints.

  32. Enjoyed this solved today. Finished quite quickly so was surprised to see *** for difficulty.

    Needed a couple of explanations to explain my answers and am still confused how 19d works – I read I that ob goes either side of nh. Got the answer despite this.

    Last one in and favourite was 20d.


  33. Started in bed with my cuppa and could only manage half a dozen or so. Came back to it later and it was pretty steady after that. A really clever and very enjoyable puzzle today so thank you. Glad it wasn’t like yesterday’s. Just had the dressings changed on my leg – nurse very happy with it, me still appalled at the sight of it. Gruesome!

    1. It’s amazing how quickly the gruesomeness starts to fade, Manders. After my right knee replacement, my whole lower leg, from knee to toes, was black and bruised but gradually it improved. Hopefully it is not as painful as it was a few days ago. Chin up.

  34. Very enjoyable. Managed in 2* time, but almost 3*. Loved 18a when I finally worked it out. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  35. Apart from a couple in NE this went in fairly smoothly. 1d my favourite. Getting used to partial anagrams now.
    Thanks Zandio and DT for some confirmations of parsing.

  36. First reaction: Aw Gawd, not another one, but I did get into it … sorta. I didn’t finish some, but that’s OK, maybe tomorrow.
    My fave was 18a, a bit corny but fun. Honourable mention to 16d as well.
    Thanks Zandio and to DT for his help sorting that lot out.
    Had a shock yesterday going into the pool. I was on the top step, just about to get in, when the edge of the pool started “boiling”, a four-foot snake swam out, up the steps, between by legs and into the bushes. Being pretty shaky on my pins, I can’t believe I didn’t fall.

      1. Black racer – harmless but I’m still terrified of them. We don’t get them in Jamaica, except in the bush in the Cockpit country. We have mongoose instead!

          1. Just googled the snake. Looks like a mamba….. I’ll stick with our little grass snakes thanks. Hope it’s left your pool area!

            1. My young lady who helps me has a passion for reptiles – monitor lizards, giant ameivas, snakes, cane toads, she loves and knows about them all. She has assured me they don’t like water and probably fell in.

                1. Yes, water snakes are usually poisonous, but these racers are not. We have water moccasins in the canal, two roads over from me, a bit far for them to hike here.

  37. A most enjoyable solve for us. Took us longer than it should have to see what was going on in 18a so that gets our top award.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  38. A pleasant Friday puzzle after yesterdays horror. **/****
    Some great clues that make good sense too. My idea of a fun cryptic.
    COTD for me include 18a, 27a, 7d & 9d with winner 18a

    Thanks to Zandio for the fun and DT for the hints.

  39. I really loved this puzzle. Top half went in neatly without “going all over the place”. Bottom half less so. Struggled with parsing the bottoms of 4d and 16d, and the U from 24a so thank you Deep Threat for your explanations. Hopefully, we shall hear from Mr Z again very soon.

      1. Ah right – thanks Stephen! As opposed to guessing the answer and then working out how it might be right?

    1. Welcome
      Parsing is breaking the clue down into its component parts, working out what they mean, and reassembling those bits to produce the solution. From Latin pars / partis means to part or separate. I think!

            1. Oh that one. There have been some pertinent letters in the DT over the last couple of days. I don’t think they’ve ever been to Sussex. You might be able to tell I’m not over-enthused by it all!

              1. Thanks Jules. Hopefully they won’t be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for much longer but this is a xword site so I’ll leave it at that!

  40. Been lurking for a while and appreciate all the insights. A couple of questions:
    – in 6a why is there an apostrophe in dog’s, shouldn’t it be dogs?
    – I parsed 7d differently to DT. If you cut a square diagonally, you have 2 triangles, remove one side and you have one. If you only remove one side of a square you are left with 3 lines, not a triangle. Too pedantic?
    Lovely challenge today, needed help with parsing on 8d, so thanks for that.
    Favourite 18a, memories of my youth.

    1. Hi GJR. Welcome from me too.

      In 6a, the apostrophe in this case is not the possessive form. It is there to indicate the shortened form of “dog is”. This is a device used quite a lot by setters to combine a smooth surface reading with the necessary elements of the wordplay. In fact, in this specific case the surface would be OK simply using the plural although I think the setter’s version is slightly better as it makes the whole clue a sentence.

      1. Thank you Rabbit Dave, makes sense now, got fixated on the posssessive and couldn’t see the “dog is” option.

  41. 3*/5*….not sure about the definition for “simper” in the quickie pun….
    liked 20D ” Mutual admiration ceremonies? You may see one or two in Hollywood (6)”

  42. Ouch! That was difficult. I do find the Friday setter tricky, but very satisfyingly to finish.
    Working like a trooper at the moment, making it very late to attempt the crossword.
    Thanks both…

  43. Completed on time for once! An interesting puzzle. My only two defeats were Ninja and Oscars which probably says a lot about me! Satisfying for a wet and windy morning in Kent.

  44. Started this last night and thought it was going to be really tough but it slowly came together except for the last two answers. A few hours of beauty sleep and they fell into place this morning, including 18a which is my favourite.
    I still have 5 unsolved clues from Thursday’s puzzle to battle with today – that was really tricky.

    1. Linda, welcome from me too. Please see my reply to GJR @42 above regarding “dog’s” in 6a.

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