DT 29622 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29622 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29622 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a very soggy and blustery Warrington.

Today’s puzzle is fairly accessible and with its pangram and abundance of short cluing looks like the work of young Cephas. Nothing terribly taxing in here, and all in all, a pleasant if somewhat brief solve.

Play nicely today. If you get sent to the naughty step, the umbrella’s blown inside out so you are likely to get drenched.

Thanks to Cephas (assuming it is he) for today’s challenge. I’ll see you again next week.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.  Thank you to our setter for an enjoyable solve this morning!

Some hints follow:


1a Patient fellow’s account, list of duties, tasks etc (3,11)
The name of someone from the Bible known for their patience, plus a word for an account.

12a Unemployed Ian didn’t like exertion initially (4)
The first letters of four of the words in the clue.

13a Dignified sculpture with girl embracing queen (10)
The name for a sculpture, plus the name of our very own Lemon Drizzle queen, going around an abbreviation for HM.

16a Young animal going round Corsica perhaps in collision (4-2)
One of the trickier clues, which I guess many will write in without working it out. The name for a young animal goes around how an inhabitant of Corsica would describe where they live.

18a Mythical female sailor went first (6)
Take the abbreviation for female, add one for a sailor and a word meaning went first et voilà!

20a Round letter (8)
Two definitions, and when put together, almost a third!

24a Pitcher that, in pieces, is removed from the water (4)
If you remove that, literally, from the phrase ‘the water’, you get…..?

28a Lets off Anne and Leo struggling to come out well from a difficulty (4,2,4,4)
An anagram (struggling) of LETS OFF ANNE, plus LEO gives a phrase that means to come up smelling of roses.


2d Half bite very rotten veal and oyster? (7)
50% of the word BITE, plus an abbreviation for very, and an anagram (rotten) of VEAL.

4d Messenger entertains tense attendant (8)
The name for a (royal) attendant is found by taking that of a messenger and putting it around the abbreviation for tense.

6d Suit(e)? (5-5)
Probably the cleverest clue here today; a phrase that could describe both the word with, or without, the ‘e’.

8d Hastily prepared without brief (11)
Probably the toughest clue today; a Latin word meaning without, and something meaning brief or short-lasting.

14d Revolutionary device that will not work when it is dry (5,5)
A cryptic way of describing something that goes around and might not work without liquid…

19d Some contraband, an antiquarian handkerchief (7)
A hidden answer and an alternative way of spelling it.

21d Owl flying over hill that’s not very tall (3-4)
An anagram of OWL (flying) plus a word that means a hill. If you are stuck on the word, think of a very famous one in fiction at Candleford.

25d Responsibility lying with you and me? (4)
If you split up this word it gives a two-word phrase meaning between us.

Let us know what you think. Were you Spellbound, in more of a Frenzy, or did it leave you with Vertigo? Let us know. I’m more of a North by Northwest Man when it comes to favourite Hitchcock films, though.

See you next weekend!

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today’s tune comes courtesy of the amazingly talented Claire Jones, who provides a new spin on an old favourite….

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.  BD

The Quick Crossword pun: edge+Ware+Rhode=Edgware Road

156 comments on “DT 29622 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3*. I found today’s pangram fairly straightforward and a bit of a mixed bag for enjoyment, albeit mostly on the positive side.

    I wouldn’t dare to describe the girl in 13a as vague, so I’ll settle for ill-defined. 23a seems “same-sidey” to me, and I can’t see anything at all cryptic in 14d.

    10a, 6d & 21d made it onto my podium along with my favourite, 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  2. 24a and 6d are my co-favourites from this very entertaining Prize Puzzle. It was not at the difficult end of the spectrum but was very enjoyable to solve and worth the challenge.

    My thanks to Cephas, if it is indeed he, and to Tilsit. Looking forward with some trepidation to the rugby and hoping England can put in a good performance.

    1. Let’s hope for a ref who understands the game and is not whistle-happy unlike the previous incompetent official.

      1. Brian
        Also hope that England do not ship 16 points, due entirely to their own incompetence, in the last 15 minutes.
        Beating France will do us a favour so come on England!

      2. Did you read the DT article on Andrew Brace, today’s referee? Jaco Peyper, from South Africa, was scheduled to referee but travel restrictions ruled him out. Andrew Brace also refereed the England-France Autumn Nations’ Cup Final last year.

        1. Can any of you bright hi-tech boys tell me why the site is flagged up as ‘not secure’ and I get yellow notices saying a lot of activity going out of my computer? I have a pretty comprehensive security package and when I run it they say all is in order? I’m getting a bit worried.

            1. Yes it is Steve, but it is the other one that warns me of a lot of outgoing activity that concerns me. I did do a C & G course in learning how to use a computer and got an honour !! but I am basically not a machine sort of person.

              1. The site has a number of trackers on it such as Facebook and various Google trackers. My browser (Safari) blocks them.

          1. Hi DG – don’t worry about the ‘not secure’ warning it’s merely an https protocol warning which isn’t critical for a blog site
            The outgoing activity is more worrying
            Reset your browser (settings>advanced) to clear the cache and disable any odd-ons
            Perform a disk clean using my computer (C: >properties>tools>disk cleanup)
            Alternatively you can safely use https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/download which also has a useful registry scan tool
            Download and install https://www.malwarebytes.com/ – run a scan (you don’t have to subscribe)
            If you are still not convinced your PC is running smoothly, open ‘Command Prompt’ as Administrator (Run>[type] cmd hit enter)
            At the cursor, [type] sfc /scannow then hit enter
            Finally, [type] ipconfig /flushdns then hit enter
            When that’s finished type exit and your PC will be good as new
            In my view security software is entirely unnecessary and just chugs away in the background slowing everything up – every single computer I have ever repaired has this rubbish installed so it clearly doesn’t work anyway. Think about it – who do you suppose writes all these viruses?
            Most viruses originate from websites that say you need to download and install something – you don’t, and modern browsers have security/protection built in
            Hope that helps

            1. DG. I suspect LbR has been the victim of auto-correct and by “odd-ons” he means “add-ins”.

              1. Browser extensions, toolbars etc are usually browser hijacks
                ‘What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet…’

                1. Thank you LBR. I have done a copy and paste so that I have the instructions to hand as I am negotiating my way round
                  all those mysterious instructions! I have Norton security and I keep running a check through.
                  What does clear the cache mean? Why don’t you live next door!!!

                  1. In the settings of your browser you should have the option somewhere to clear cache, or clear history or suchlike
                    Every web page you’ve ever visited is stored in a cache on your computer (.tmp file) which is supposed to make pages load faster, but with modern internet speed it actually slows things down because advertising websites either track your browsing or go through your cache to personalise adverts. That is why if you spend an afternoon looking around for gold watches, suddenly every other advert you see will be for gold watches
                    Thus, when you clear the cache, be prepared for some random ads!
                    Any probs let me know, I’m usually around
                    PS has Norton ever been anything other than an expensive nuisance?

                    1. To the last question, I have no comparisons. I was advised to use them by ‘someone who knows’! I shall have to look at this tomorrow – I’ve had 2 gin and tonics and a glass of red wine with dinner so best done tomorrow I think. Most grateful to you for spending the time to explain. I shall report back!

                    2. McAfee is even worse! Just have a look at msc services and see what is running. Task manager in Windows will show how much of your CPU the security software hijacks.

                    3. Yes Brian, at last we agree on something!
                      Run>msconfig>startup will show you all the junk that auto runs – disable all and reboot for a faster pc

          2. Big Dave is a normal http:// non-secure site, perfectly OK for what it does. Some browsers give you a nasty warning as they expect everything to be https::// with all the works. Just ignore the warning, I am sure Big Dave doesn’t want the extra expense and hassle of adding a security certificate and all the other stuff.

            Excellent news on Lola now you know what it is. Just got to keep getting those tablets inside her, hi…

            Needed some of the tips with this slightly harder than normal Saturday puzzle but got there in the end.

  3. I found this to be an excellent crossword with some super clues in 14d, 16a, 6d and my favourite 11d.
    Nice to have a Saturday puzzle that didn’t need the wet towel around head and reflects that people’s time on a Saturday may be limited.
    Many thx to all

    1. My guess is that 80% of us bunged that without checking all the letter shuffling…………

  4. A breezy solve this morning, took a while to parse 24a, and learnt the meaning of 8d. My favourites are 6d for its simplicity, and 24a for a clever twist on a crossword staple.
    Posted my first comment last night, big thanks to Rabbit Dave for taking the time to look back and answer my question.

  5. A really enjoyable puzzle, with mainly straightforward clues and a handful of tricky ones that kept me on my toes. I , for once, recognised the pangram too. I liked 13d and 1d was good too but the COTD was 6d, which made me laugh. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to Cephas for an enjoyable SPP.

  6. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the hints. A very straightforward offering today, with a couple of real old chestnuts in 9a & 25d. Still enjoyable though. LOI and favourite was 6d. Was 1*/3* for me.

  7. A very enjoyable pangram, once I’d got over putting the wrong word into 8d. I can’t say what it was for fear of getting drenched. Thank you setter (Cephas?) and Tilsit.

  8. All done and dusted. Good fun, although over rather sooner than I hoped.
    Thanks to all

  9. All over too soon, just 1* time, but very enjoyable. Favourite, like others above, 6d. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  10. The anagram at 28a is actually ‘ lets off Anne Leo’ rather than using the ‘and’. I liked 8d but took it to be a double definition as I think ‘ without brief’ fits the answer as well as, if not better than, ‘hastily prepared’. The enjoyment today was all too brief, but it is good once in a while to complete a puzzle without any hold-ups or parsing problems. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit

  11. In my opinion, either our esteemed editor has gone on Covid leave or he had a brain-fade the day he accepted this for a Saturday puzzle. Perhaps it was intended as an antidote to yesterday’s Toughie.

    I completed this ‘all the acrosses – all the downs’ in less than * time. J X & Q turned up in the first few clues, so a pangram was fairly obvious. The only word which had me thinking was 8d because I am not au fait with using it as that part of speech.

    And for a further gripe, are there any other choristers out there who wince every time they see ‘harmony’ being used as a synonym for 22d? In our world it is very different.

    Meanwhile, my hedgehogs have survived hibernation and made a welcome appearance at the feeding trough last night. Now the foxes will have some competition.

    Thanks to the compiler and Tilsit.

    1. Spring is on its way. The bluetits have started their nest building in our bird box. Two feathers in, then one taken back out again. They obviously can’t agree on the furniture.

        1. Possibly Bluebird, possibly. If that’s you and me on the naughty step I’m sorry I can’t bring cakes this week. I’ve made date scones and raspberry flapjacks.

    2. Re 22d, I feel your pain Malcolm, but it’s inevitable that musicians will always respond to the word harmony in that way. It’s your go-to. You have to remove yourself from your groove and you can see how it works if you think about political and cultural opinions and how they may work together, to achieve a pleasing consensus, perhaps.
      Very different from the global responses to this week’s events.
      “I’d like to teach the world to sing………..” etc.

      1. I agree with Malcolm and wince too. You can do one or the other musically but they mean different things! End of whinge (not finished the puzzle yet but I felt sure someone would have commented on this, which has appeared here before!). Time to rattle off the last few now …

    3. This is how Saturday prize puzzles used to be and that’s why BD introduced the Not the Saturday Prize Puzzles, to give solvers another crossword to solve on Saturdays

      1. There is something to be said for more approachable puzzles, particularly on a Saturday, when more people will have time/access to a crossword. From some of the delighted responses on this blog today, it’s clear that ‘improvers’ have really been thrilled to be able to complete a puzzle. More expert cruciverbalists already have a bigger challenge in the Toughies and perhaps the trickier puzzles that are being published on Thursday’s and Friday’s back page. Perhaps we need something to encourage those who are just beginning to get into Cryptic Crosswords.

    4. I had the same thought! While delighted to be able to complete this reasonably quickly (compared with last Saturday’s where I needed lots of help!), it did strike me, as another one-time chorister, that the answer to 22d is not the same as … a word in the clue, but rather a different way of …. [better not mention the activity it relates to, for fear of the naughty step]. :-)

  12. A very straightforward & pleasant enough pangram with, as Brian says, certainly no need for a wet towel or an extra coffee. Last in was 21d where the struggle to think of the correct hill synonym provided the only real head scratch & especially as my first thought (which fitted the checkers) made no sense. Pick of the clues for me was 11d.
    Bright & sunny outside but very gusty so better use a bit more adhesive on the old toupee. Today’s albums: a double dose of Van – Wavelength & What’s Wrong With This Picture.
    With thanks to Cephas & to Tilsit
    Ps my favourite Hitch is Shadow Of A Doubt (reputedly his favourite too) with Notorious, North By Northwest & The Thirty-Nine Steps close behind. Vertigo tops most critic’s lists but is wildly overrated in my view.

    1. I first became a Hitchcock buff at 19, when I read the Truffaut interview account, Huntsman. I’ve recently been listening to a biography on Audible (about 15 hours worth) which is extremely detailed.

      1. I used to miss out on the first ten minutes or so of a Hitchcock film. I spent the time trying to spot him appearing as an extra.

          1. I did not know that, Kath. I must watch the series again sometime. Not now because we have recently watched it. We will wait for the brain cells to deteriorate some more. I gather Colin Dexter had a great range of vocabulary.

            1. Many of the murderers and other characters in the early Morse books/ TV series are the real names of setters. Our beloved Don and the late Richard Palmer are both named as murderers in stories. And of course, Morse’s old boss MacNutt is the real name of Ximenes. Waiting to see how he appears in Endeavour sometime soon….

              If I get on the next series of Mastermind, it’ll be one of my specialist subjects.

              1. I did not know that, either, Tilsit but it makes sense given Morse’s love of cryptics.

          2. Following on from authors appearing in film or TV adaptations of their books, tomorrow on ITV there is a new detective series called Grace. I happen to know the author, Peter James, of the books so I asked him if he had a cameo appearance in tomorrow’s episode.

            He said he would have liked to but Covid restrictions prevented it. However, he tells me he does appear in episode two.

  13. Straightforward for an SPP I thought. Probably needed it following 3 DNFs.A rare top-end * time for me. *** enjoyment. Nothing too controversial.
    16a my COTD.
    Thanks to setter for the entertainment and Tilsit for the hints (28a – your allowed “senior moment”)
    Dealing with a delivery of wood for the stove and Rugby Union should keep me busy for the rest of the day.

  14. Very straightforward for a Saturday. I didn’t notice the pangram until I’d finished it which is par for my course. No particular stand out favourite today. Thanks to all.

  15. I won’t have a chance to attempt the crossword before my gallant Chelsea fellows take on some rough northern outfit. However, an update from here:
    H’s operation was successful (a stent was removed); she is free from pain for the first time in months, and is reclining, carefree, on the sofa.
    Lola – big news. The specialist and her team state that Lola has pemphigus foliaceus. She says this is to be treated with an increased dose of steroids, and she is confident Lola will recover. There is a possibility that Lola may need to stay on a small dose of steroids for life. It may take up to a month for the steroids to really kick in and do their thing. Trying to get (currently) six separate meds, including enormous capsules, into this adorable but way too intelligent cat is quite the challenge!

    Thanks in advance to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Alleluia! I’m so glad they’ve found out what it is at last although I haven’t a scooby what that means. You must be so relieved. Hopefully the steroids will work. Love to Lola.

        1. That might be asking a little too much, Huntsman, but I have composed the following for Terence and Lola:

          PEMPHIGUS FOLIACEUS – I’m hopeful puss in cage, scratching tip of nose, will receive treatment :-)

          1. Brilliant, Silvanus, I do hope that Terence is keeping a note of your ‘special’ Lola clues.

    2. Whoohoo! Terrific news! You must all be so relieved. Lola deserves to get better after all the care and attention she has received. I look forward to her new close up when she is ready. :good:

    3. Something of a red letter day for you, Terence, with H now free of pain and Lola having received a confident diagnosis.
      Good luck with the battle of the meds!

    4. Great news about Lola, Terence and at last some peace of mind for you all including your helpful neighbour. May you at long last get a good-night’s sleep. Pleased also to hear that Mrs T is safely back home and free of much discomfort. Onwards and upwards!

    5. Finally, a diagnosis. Good luck with getting Lola to cooperate on the pills, dogs are so much easier on that front. We could wrap anything in peanut butter or cheese for our lab, but it never worked for any of our cats. And glad to hear H is home and recovering. Your nurse outfit must getting worn out 😊.

    6. So pleased to hear that H is more comfortable, and that Lola, at long last, has had a diagnosis. Your patience has paid off Terence. I hope that the next few weeks will not be so challenging for you. All the best.

    7. So pleased to hear that you have an answer at last for Lola’s condition. Fingers crossed that she will start to show the benefit of the increased dose of steroids before too long. Good luck with administering all those pills (especially now that she’s got the measure of the pill putty). Excellent news about H too.

      1. That is good news about both H and Lola.
        I hope they both continue to recover well.

    8. So glad to read about Lola, just thinking back to my very poorly Lurcher a few years ago, she was not a foodie dog at all but managed to get pills down her with pate, the human sort and it had to come from Waitrose! Might work with a fussy cat, you could ring the changes with different flavours.
      Hope all goes well.

  16. Straightforward compared to recent SPPs and I actually ‘noticed’ the pangram with my LOI. I would agree with our blogger that it is by Cephas so we can be right or wrong together – **/***.
    I did think that 17d might have deserved a ‘?’ at the end of the clue as I do not consider that the answer is a ‘regular’ synonym for the definition.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 9a and 13a – and the winner is 13a.
    Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

    1. 17d has been troubling me too. I cannot find my answer in any of my dictionaries as a synonym of the definition.
      Can someone help out and point me to a dictionary, please ?

      1. Well, I finally checked the Chambers Crossword Dictionary and the 17d answer is in the listing for the definition – both in the singular. But all that really means is that it has appeared in crosswords before. I don’t consider it really makes it a ‘valid’ synonym so, for me, my comment on the ‘?’ stands.

        1. I have looked up Bradford’s Crossword Di ternary and it is in there as well…..but not in any ‘properly dictionaries I have access to.

  17. Easy for a Prize, but enjoyable enough. I thought I was having a bright day until I read all the previous comments which revealed that almost everyone else found it a stroll too.

  18. A good fit for me. Didn’t take too long and everything solvable from the clues and no stretched definitions.

  19. First time in decades that we completed the whole thing in one sitting so thank you setter!

  20. I did not know the word for 2d although I should have checked the dictionary as it was well sign posted and consequently I took forever to twig to 1a. I kept searching for an anagram of the last three words which was pretty dumb! Otherwise it would have been a very straightforward solve. Very enjoyable and thanks to setter for the fun.

  21. Thoroughly enjoyed both cryptic and quick pangrams – how often does that happen.
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  22. Luckily this suited me for some reason and allowed me a personal best so a */*** rating with thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  23. After two days of getting nowhere this was a welcome change. Absolutely loved it!. Once I deciphered the patient man, 1a fell straight into place. Lots of good clues but my COTD is the clever 24a. I missed the pangram – I always do.

    Many thanks to Cephas (if it is he) and many thanks to Tilsit for the hints.

    1. There are some advantages to being a churchgoer! Are you going to give me your savoury BnB pudding recipe?

      1. I will do so, Daisygirl. I will email it to BD and he can forward it.

        Now I will be worried because it is my experience when it comes to food recommendations that tastes vary considerably. :grin:

        1. We eat anything. I always say we are the perfect guests. Although I think I would draw the line at insects, nutritious though they may be!

          1. A former boyfriend of our daughter gave me a recipe book for my birthday. Our daughter had told him I love to cook so he thought a book on cooking insects was an ideal present!. After they split up, I binned it.

  24. Very agreeable crossword with nothing obscure. Stuck on 1a until I realised it was a Pangram. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit. **/****

  25. It’s always fun when you get the 4 outer clues straight off. And a pangram ensures that the answers are interesting (I get quite frustrated with puzzles that seem to be a blizzard of Es, Rs, S and Ts for example, although they have their own charm if you need a challenge).
    Thanks to the young setter indicated and to Tilsit.

  26. I do enjoy this setter’s puzzles which prove time and again that difficulty isn’t a prerequisite for solving satisfaction.
    Started with a smile at 1a, rather liked the dignified sculpture and the round letter was good for a laugh. My only hiccup came with wanting to put a different first word into 28a until I sorted out the anagram fodder.
    Favourite was 8d – nicely done.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit for the Saturday Club.

  27. No problems today with any of the clues. A first * finish for me for I don’t know how long.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  28. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle as it was more accessible for a rookie like me. I did have to use some electronic help for a couple of clues however I managed to complete it before the hints were published.
    1/2 * for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Thank you very much!

  29. As everyone has said, this was a comfortable ride with some clues to make me smile. I was a bit stumped by 6d but George got it straight away so he has earned a seat for the rugby. Many thanks to Tilsit and the setter. Weather today very cold, very windy and frequent showers of rain. If I do go for a walk it will be quite short!

  30. A pretty straightforward puzzle, (and a pangram as well), for Saturday that was finished long before the 6N games today.
    My rating is 2.5*/**** for this one.
    Favourite clues include 1a, 20a, 26a, 28a, 14d & 21d … really hard to pick a winner today but 14a is it with 1a a very close second.
    Thought 6d was vert clever as well as 11d.

    Off to enjoy the first of the 6 nations game today. Personally I’m rooting for England as it is the only country of the first 2 games I have lived in … tomorrow likely Scotland as I lived there too, although I do have some Irish in my blood … what to do ??!!!

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  31. Good news about Lola and ‘H’. Terence must be so relieved.

    Nice, gentle top-to-bottom solve today. I needed that, especially after struggling the last several days. No particular favourites but I liked all four of the border clues, most notably the bottom one, where I would have expected a different word in the first spot. Thanks to Tilsit and Cephas–if it is he. * / ***

    What would happen if I listed an opera as my album of the day? Since the Beatles were the last pop group I listened to faithfully, I can’t participate in the rock-album-of-the day.

    1. Nothing would happen, Robert. Terrence often lists classical music as his background music. I have to admit, I am not a great fan of opera but if you are listening to it then let us know. You might even convert me!.

    2. Re Hitchcock: I’m still partial to Psycho, with Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, and Vertigo closely following.

      Re new books: The UK author Chris Whitaker’s new novel We Begin at the End is all the rage over here. It’s set in California, Montana, et al, and I found it quite the sprawl. It’s a mystery, of sorts, and has a 13-year-old girl (who proclaims herself an ‘outlaw’ throughout) as one of its principals. I found it cloyingly too much in places but it’s certainly a page-turner, with a humdinger of a surprise ending.

      1. Just read the first few pages on Amazon. Interesting.

        BTW, I often have classical in the background. Love Beethoven, Bach, Fauré, Smetana, Sibelius and many more.

      2. I meant to recommend this book some time ago but for some reason forget to do so. As Robert says, the ending is quite a surprise

          1. No, nothing like that, nothing metaphysical with a fusion of realities–no question of who Richard Parker is, exactly, but perhaps (as I just realised, and as perhaps CS will confirm) something like that after all.

            1. I’ve never read The Life of Pi

              Have you read Michelle Obama’s memoir ‘Becoming’? I found it hard to put down as it is well-written and fascinating

              1. No, I haven’t yet read Michelle’s, but I’ve been ‘reading into’ Barack’s new memoir, off and on, since the first of the year. Like him, it’s brilliant, and it’s beautifully written; it’s just that I tend to read such long works of history in stages befitting their actual occurrences, and they take me forever.

              2. The Life of Pi I have tried 3 times, and failed, to finish! Absurd book but perhaps I have missed the point!

      3. Not heard of that author, but good reviews on Amazon, so will give it a try. A do like a book recommendation, thank you.

      4. Yes, I’m in the classical camp too, Robert. I’m so lost when they reel off some of these singers.
        My fave Hitchcock is Rear Window, hands down!

        1. Just listened to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, the 1964 recording by Nathan Milstein. Such beauty.

          1. I have the CD and decided to listen again, but can’t find it amongst the hundreds I’ve got, so I decided to listen on YouTube whatever got tossed up first. That was a brilliant violinist called Hilary Hahn, I’ve not heard of her. I now wonder who is playing on my copy. I should have some library system but I don’t and never will. I have so many CDs, DVDs I would never be able to stand long enough. It is indeed lovely, Robert.

  32. I have rarely posted on here but always look in for help and finished today’s puzzle in record time for me , by miles. So can I say thank you to everyone for the help that has contributed to this over the years.

  33. This has to be either the easiest Saturday crossword or I’ve suddenly got my brain tuned in to the compiler. I can’t remember completing the prize puzzle in such a short time. Now I’ll have to find something else to do this evening!!!

    1. Welcome to the blog, Ann.
      Why not try the very accessible NTSPP this evening? I’m sure you’d enjoy it.

  34. Red letter day, all completed before I opened the blog. This was right up my street, and like Brian says, great on a Saturday when we need to get on with other things. Always thrilled when I get an “all my own work” puzzle. Big thank you to Cephas, please do visit again. Too many favourites to pick one. Last in was 22d. Thanks Tilsit, hope you have better weather soon.

  35. After the last couple of days I really enjoyed today’s puzzle but we are never satisfied. Having patted myself on the back for having completed it in my best time ever I now miss the challenge of scratching my head, checking my reference books and finishing it before bedtime. As I say never satisfied! Thank you to the setter and Tilsit who only lives 25 miles away so kindly confirms the morning’s weather forecast. Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone ☺️

  36. Very enjoyable puzzle today. My only problem is 17d…see above in my reply to Senf.
    Otherwise a nice steady solve for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. I hope you are keeping better, Tilsit . Or at least out of hospital.

    Beautifully sunny here in the City of Discovery. Blustery but not too cold and no rain at least at the moment.

  37. After a month out of circulation due to hospitalisation for spinal stenosis (sadly not cured so doubtless more of the same to come) it’s good to be back in the cruciverbal circle. I found past two days’ offerings challenging to say the least however today restored my confidence and I enjoyed every minute of the solve which presented no real problems. It made a perfect background to the uninspiring Italy/Wales Six Nations match. Let’s hope for more entertainment now from England against France. Thank you Cephas and Tilsit. Claire Jones soothing harp music really lovely.

    1. Nice to see you back but sorry to hear you’re still in pain. Oh dear, feel better soon.

      1. Thanks Merusa for your good wishes. My fingers are crossed for better times ahead.

    2. Good to have you back, Angellov but I echo Merusa’s sentiments about theft you are still in pain. I hope things improve for you.

      1. Sorry to hear you’re still in pain Angellov. Orthopaedic treatment is no fun at all is it? I hope the nurses , doctors and other staff were as superb as those I have had dealings with at the John Radcliff Hospital in Oxford.

        1. Chriscross you are indeed fortunate to be blessed with the good care offered by the John Radcliffe Hospital. I wish I could say the same of the hospital where I was treated which I will not name/shame in recognition of the special circumstances obtaining due to Covid.

    3. What a great game of rugby with a well deserved and welcome result – bravo England!🌹

  38. I’ve got a feel-good story for you today, are you sitting comfortably?
    Rescued and rehabbed from the streets of Jamaica, 150 Hooligans, aka Jamaican Royal Terriers are on their way to Toronto by chartered ‘plane to be adopted and find their very own hoomans!

    I hope that works, if not, go to Facebook and look up Montego Bay Animal Haven. I’m so overjoyed, the thought of all those dogs getting a home after their awful start to life. It also means that Tammy can now rescue more!

    BTW, the crossword was pretty super too. The first time, ever, I’ve finished a crossword before I’ve finished breakfast! I loved it all and my cup runneth over. I have no faves, though 6d brought a smile. No, Malcolm, not too easy.
    Thank you Cephas, please come back soon. I hope your weather improves soon, Tilsit! Thanks.

  39. My wife went through this like blue lightning- I struggled to keep up but managed to get some clues in. Good fun.

  40. Thanks for the hints! May I suggest (without being a clever clogs) that the hint for 28a, at least in the electronic version, includes an incorrect 3 letter word in the anagram. If I’m wrong I shall eat humble pie or 8d! At first glance I did not have a clue, however, once 1a was completed the remainder of the answers came slowly but surely. COD 8d by a short head.

    1. ‘Fraid not.

      It is an anagram of LETS OFF ANNE LEO The ‘and’ is superfluous filler to give it some surface reading.

      When I wrote the blog this morning, I inadvertently added ‘and’ as part of the fodder and was disembowelled for doing so.

      It’s a perfectly acceptable device in a setter’s armoury. Members of the Oxford Mafia may dislike this (private crossword joke) but even they have been known to use it.

  41. Nice and easy for a change although for some strange reason I couldn’t work out the first word of 1a despite having the third letter and resorted to electrons (at which point I kicked myself as it was so completely obvious). The rest fell into place after that. Top marks to the excellent 6d. **/****

  42. First time for several days that I haven’t had serious trouble somewhere in the crossword – a relief.
    I even spotted quite early on that it was likely to be a pangram – then spoilt it by forgetting to check at the end.
    Lots of good clues and the whole thing was very enjoyable – a bit tricky to pick a favourite – I really liked the four long outside clues so it could be one of those but then there’s 13a – I just don’t know.
    NTSPP tomorrow I think.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.
    Our Younger Lamb’s 40th birthday tomorrow – it feels awful that the whole family can’t get together as usual – I hate it. :cry: They (she and her fiancé) are ‘making do’ with a ‘Mum takeaway’ for the evening which I, or her Dad, will take down to them as they only live a couple of miles away now. I say ‘making do’ – I’ve been slaving away making lasagne and will do garlic bread and salad tomorrow so they’re hardly suffering!!

  43. Excellent puzzle and a pangram too!
    Thoroughly enjoyed and finished without needing Tilsit’s great hints.
    Thanks to Cephas for the enjoyable challenge. 👍

  44. A week or three since I last appeared – l think I take longer than formerly, put it down to age….
    Thanks to Tilsit for his hints, and glad to read of successful operations as non Covid treatment is hard to get!
    How is BD these days..?
    Someone will have to explain how Corsica appears in 16a – sorry -I get it now..!
    Favourite 13a.

  45. I took forever with 17d and could not understand why it did not bother others. The answer was simple stupidity as I jotted down the four unchecked letters one of which I then misread as an i. Once I focussed on the grid instead it was so obvious! Two favourites were 6 and 8d the latter of which I was more than familiar with in my former life albeit in its Latin version. Thanks Cephas and Tilsit. I am glad that everyone is happy today. I had a late start due to distraction caused by my 8 am ASDA delivery. After 12 months’ successful deliveries this morning’s delivery man decided that my house was inaccessible……..

  46. Pretty straightforward and enjoyable today (apart from my whinge re 22d in comment 13 above). Held up briefly by wrong initial answers to 21d and 28a. Thanks to setter and Tilsit (whose help I unusually didn’t need today)

  47. I enjoyed that! 8d last in and that took me longer than it should. Thanks to Setter and Tilsit

    24d had me stuck on SE corner for a while though as I had the a different but still seemingly suitable type of hill at first


  48. 2*/4*…found the quickie quite quirky though…
    liked 24A “Pitcher that, in pieces, is removed from the water (4)”

  49. 8d finally in and all solved! Definitely the toughest clue in the grid. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

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