DT 29624 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29624

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29624

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. I enjoyed today's puzzle because it offered a few unusual twists and turns. No idea who the compiler might be, but I do hope that they drop in later to take a bow. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

 

Across

1a    Serviceman flogged, one hears, on a regular basis (7)
SOLDIER:  Link together what flogged can mean informally, the Roman one, and alternate letters (on a regular basis) of HEARS 

5a    Relating to a low point in the main? (4-3)
DEEP-SEA:  A mildly cryptic definition, with main taking its maritime meaning

The Galapagos Deep-Sea Cat Shark

9a    Penny is after china mug (5)
CHUMP:  The single letter for penny comes after what china means in rhyming slang 

10a   Experience the French ship with no relish? (9)
TASTELESS:  Chain together experience or try, a French definite article (the French), and the usual abbreviated [steam]ship 

A 10a diet

11a   Usual cat charged around person? On the contrary (10)
ACCUSTOMED:  On the contrary is an instruction to invert the wordplay to read "person charged around cat", leading us to find the answer as a person charged in a court of law containing (around) a male cat 

12a   Certainly not working when it's lunchtime? (4)
NOON:  "Certainly not" with working or operating 

14a   Uniform features of missile with air moving across it (12)
SIMILARITIES:  An anagram (moving) of MISSILE AIR containing (across) IT from the clue 

18a   Send me vet and lop off growths (12)
DEVELOPMENTS:  An anagram (off) of SEND ME VET LOP 

21a   On the way back, teen carefully squeezes spots (4)
ACNE:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (on the way back … squeezes) the remainder of the clue 

22a   Now in drag, ultimately acting as host (10)
PRESENTING:  Assemble the here and now, IN from the clue, and the last letter (…, ultimately) of DRAG 

25a   After church eat cool, fresh food (9)
CHOCOLATE:  After the map abbreviation for church comes an anagram (fresh) of EAT COOL 

Obnoxious Valentines Day 25a

26a   Military volunteers man captured (5)
TAKEN:  Some usual military volunteers with a male name 

27a   Son, for example, intended to cut out a piece (7)
SEGMENT:  Concatenate the genealogical abbreviation for son, the Latin abbreviation for "for example", and a synonym of intended with its A deleted (… to cut out A) 

28a   Friend following leaders in London obstinately, yet in a faithful manner (7)
LOYALLY:  A friend or supporter following the initial letters of (leaders in) the next three words in the clue 

 

Down

1d    Is tense leaving communist party (6)
SOCIAL:  IS and the single letter for grammatical tense are deleted from (leaving) a person whose politics is left-wing 

2d    Begin meal gobbling starter in anger (6)
LAUNCH:  The meal in the middle of the day containing (gobbling) the first letter of (starter in) ANGER 

A cat 2d

3d    Sob implies travelling is out of the question (10)
IMPOSSIBLE:  An anagram (travelling) of SOB IMPLIES 

4d    In dire trouble, like in the past (5)
RETRO:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

5d    Rash  itching (9)
DESPERATE:  A double definition. Rash or reckless and itching or very eager

6d    Reportedly exercise farm animals (4)
EWES:  A homophone (reportedly) of exercise or employ. These animals are female 

7d    What arachnophobe might do when encountering a spider? Make haste! (4,2,2)
STEP ON IT:  To make haste, perhaps in an automobile, could also be what somebody not fond of spiders might do to one 

Nine "legs" indicate that this is a group of lemurs sharing a meal and not a giant spider

8d    Shivering on stairs, one starts a fire (8)
ARSONIST:  An anagram (shivering) of ON STAIRS 

13d   Criminal isn't idly crossing court, clearly (10)
DISTINCTLY:  An anagram (criminal) of ISN'T IDLY containing (crossing) the map abbreviation for court 

15d   Critical time to support one chap swallowing alcohol (9)
IMPORTANT:  The physics symbol for time comes after (to support, in a down clue) both the Roman one and a chap or fellow containing (swallowing) a fortified wine drink 

16d   Approaches adult very entertained by balls (8)
ADVANCES:  The single letter for adult is followed by the single letter for very inserted in (entertained by) balls that involve moving to music

17d   Calm relative with good prayers (8)
EVENSONG:  Glue together calm or flat, a male relative, and the single letter for good 

19d   Pinch the Spanish coin (6)
NICKEL:  Pinch or swipe with "the" in Spanish 

The US 5 cent coin

20d   Become old, caught in New York office (6)
AGENCY:  "Become old" is followed by the cricket scoreboard abbreviation for caught inserted in the abbreviation for New York

23d   Take small bird (5)
STEAL:  The clothing abbreviation for small with a freshwater duck 

24d   Angry Greek god turned up (4)
SORE:  The reversal (turned up, in a down clue) of the Greek god of love 

 

Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was the clever 11a. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  WEE + JAR + BORED = OUIJA BOARD


115 comments on “DT 29624
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  1. A lovely puzzle that I found most satisfying. The NW corner held out longest and I had a mental block with 14a. I had five checkers and they were all “I”. There were some great clues such as 27a and 2d. My COTD is 7d. I’m not sure if I have 1d correct because I simply cannot parse it.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints.

      1. I’m not a fan of single letters replacing words myself Brian (see my comment yesterday) but to be fair to the setter it is clued.

      1. I couldn’t agree more Merusa – socialism is a democratic political system whereas communism is an authoritarian state which denies basic personal liberties. Thus they are in no way synonymic.

        1. Yes, I too felt that just ‘left-wing’ might have read better. But I did enjoy the puzzle as a whole. Thanks to setter and to Mr K – especially for the illustration to my favourite clue, 7d. Are they lemurs?

  2. Another very enjoyable puzzle. About half of the acrosses solved on the first pass meant that I had a solid foundation from which to work. Completed in **/*** time, with 5d the last to go in. I’m not convinced of the second synonym, but I am sure the BRB will back the compiler.

    Many thanks to them and to Mr K.

      1. That sentence makes no sense to me. Try this. “Last night I was itching/desperate for a beer so I drank several bottles and finished off with a double gin and tonic”

          1. Pleasantly tipsy. We bought porters and stouts from Market Bosworth Brewery which are all high ABV drinks so give a good hit. How else would one get through Only Connect. Thank goodness for Universty Challenge and some easier questions

            1. Yes and wasn’t it a close call last night? I was on the edge of the chair and yelling (for Magdalene of course)

  3. Like yesterday the NW provided the biggest challenge (took me a while to see how the clever 11a worked) but unlike yesterday I quite enjoyed it.
    I liked the surface read at 8d, the homophone at 6d, the excellent lurker at 4d, the clever 2d and the amusing 6d in particular.
    2/3.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

      1. I always preferred Linda Ronstadt’s version. In fact it was probably some time before I heard the Eagles one. It seems more meaningful sung by a woman.
        Although sometimes I think of Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain and just cry.

  4. Loved this one, because I could finish it.Yesterday I found the puzzle impossible.Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable start to the day.

  5. Not my cup of tea at all. (3*/1*). For me it was one of those puzzles where a lot of the answers are clear but have to be reverse engineered to get the parsing. Thanks to Mr K for help parsing 16d and 11a, which were my two bung ins. Thanks to the compiler for your efforts.

  6. As a chronic arachnophobe I appreciated the sentiments in 7d so that automatically became my favourite. Apart from 11a, the construction of which was new to me, I found this relatively straightforward to solve yet great fun to complete.

    My thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr K.

    1. If you wish to live and thrive, let a spider run alive. We get Mammoth Cambridge spiders specially in the bath come autumn and much as I fear them I always do the upturned tumbler and piece of card trick.

      1. My mum use to say that about spiders and, whilst I don’t enjoy their company, I still can’t bring myself to hurt a spider. I hear mum’s voice, “If you wish to live and thrive……

      2. Quite right Daisy. To this day we still take care to catch any that make their way indoors, and then safely deliver them outside. More often it is lizards here though, but given the same treatment.

        1. If you’ve got spiders you haven’t got flies, at least not for too long. Granted you have to put up with cobwebs. 🕷

  7. I enjoyed this puzzle which had me a little stumped to begin with but came together nicely in the end.
    I did like 25a but my favourite was 5d. Shame about 1d which I thought a little clumsy and rather below the standard of the rest of the crossword.
    Thx to all
    **/****

  8. I really liked this – all great surface readings and some clever misdirections. Held up by putting Dead Sea at 5a, which made 7d difficult – at one point I was trying to envisage apes as farm animals … oh dear. Penny dropped eventually and all done in just under 3* time. My LOL clue and favourite was 21a – brought back fond if distant memories, usually on the way out rather than on the way back …
    Thanks to setter and MrK. 4* enjoyment

      1. The Mariana Trench is almost 11Km (7 miles) deep; even Lake Baikal in Russia is deeper than the Dead Sea and contains over 20% of all the fresh surface water on the planet

          1. Well it is and it isn’t. Yes it is 65m or so below mean sea level, but since the planet is not circular you would actually be nearer the centre of Earth at either pole, despite being above sea level there – imagine a 0 on its side, but the core is almost perfectly circular
            Suppose it depends on how you define lower or lowest

  9. No sweat today but there was shortlived fun although no outstanding Fav(s). I am almost an arachnophobe but I certainly could never 7d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

      1. But then the spider is in the vacuum cleaner. So what if it comes out even more determined to kill you and how do you ever dare to empty the vacuum cleaner? One of my young barmaids used to pick up huge spiders in our pub and take them outside. I used to ask her to take it on the bus and release it in Leamington. She thought I was joking but I wasn’t

        1. A group of us stayed in some cottages in the middle of the Cederburg in S Africa years ago. I went to put the kettle on and saw IT. IT being a plate sized spider. Called for back-up and Ian arrived, all 6ft 4ins of him, he called for back-up. In the end some 8 guys managed to get it into a bucket and took it away. Gave me the creeps and I spent that night wondering if its mate would try and climb into my sleeping bag. That and a boemslang (very poisonous snake) being shot in the tree above the cottage made for a memorable camping weekend.

    1. I agree that no true arachnophobe would be likely to touch one, even under the foot…….although they might try and flush one down the plug hole. Personally, I don’t mind them, and leave them to their own devices (generally benign) inside the house, although I might draw the line at handling a tarantula or a bird eater…..you can see them looking at you. Perhaps they pity us.

    2. As my Mother used to say – “Araignée le soir signe d’espoir, araignée le matin signe de chagrin”.

  10. I enjoyed this puzzle and found it rather gentle. All went well until the NW corner. I took ages to twig 1D but in the end it works for me.
    I could not worked out how 11A was put together so many thanks to Mr K for clearing that up for me.
    I asked my wife about 7D and she gave me the answer.
    Now it is time for a little Jeff Beck and some decent coffee.

  11. For me and for a Tuesday back pager, this was quite a challenge and could have easily traded places with the Chalicea Floughie – 3.5*/2.5*.
    No stand-out favourite, but I did like 27a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  12. Good puzzle – I enjoyed working my way through it.

    Much excitement shortly, as Tuesday is ‘bin day’ and I have to go and retrieve the bin from where the fellows abandon it.
    I’m old enough to recall the time, in my childhood, when a burly bloke would come round to the back of the house, lift an incredibly heavy metal bin onto his shoulder, take it to the truck outside the front of the house, empty it, and carry it back round to the kitchen garden.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack (Todd on Tuesday!): Todd Rundgren – Nearly Human

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    1. The bins in the old days were not heavy at all. We burnt all of our rubbish and had little or no packaging to dispose of. So the ash from our coal fires and a couple of cat food cans was all that they lifted. However, because they did what they did and wore leather shoulder pads it was the dream job for me to aspire to as a young lad

    2. The refuse crew emptied the large unwieldy all purpose bin at our development & for the second time bashed it into the storage store doors rendering them incapable of now shutting so yesterday afternoon was spent negotiating what St Albans Council are going to do about it. Happy days…

    3. A couple of my ancestors were coal merchants. It was the same level of personal service. Nowadays, it’s all one version or other of self-service.
      Although 2020-21 has brought us back to door to door service. There are too many to know when and how to tip, which I’d be happy to do as they’re mostly incredibly nice people.

  13. This was very pleasant puzzle after my trials and tribulations of yesterday, I needed Mr K to understand the parsing of a few of these including 1d which was my last in but couldn’t be much else.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K and based on the comments above I’ll have a bash at the Toughie…

  14. An enjoyable pastime as is today’s Toughie from Chalicea. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty. Your spider/raccoon picture has nine tails/legs so instilled no fear or revulsion. Eight is the magic number. The blog should remain a spider free zone

  15. Enjoyed today’s puzzle unlike yesterday it has left me plenty of time to study the field for the “Festival” 🤔 agree **/*** Favourites 9a, 6 & 23d 😃. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 👍

    1. Oooh The Cheltenham Festival. Bring it on. No drinking until we get to Cheltenham was the agreement every year. We went on the Tuesday and had breakfast at The Plough at Ford and every year we ordered Champagne to go with it and washed it down with best bitter. One of my many favourite sporting days of the year

      1. One of my favourite and very local pubs. Did you by any chance no Les Carter?

        I recall one Christmas when a very posh couple were sitting in the pub and they asked Les “what are your opening times”

        He answered “we open when the first one comes and close when the last one goes!” 😎

        After Les there was a Landlord called Porter (can’t think of first name at mo) but he was a big racing fan.”

        1. The Best Bitter was Donningtons … a fine ale brewed just down the road from the pub. ESB the powerful ale and BB for the boys (me).

          Did you ever discover Stanney bitter brewed in nearby Stanway Manor?

          1. Of course all depends on when you first and last visited. I have been gone now for 20 years, although I have occasionally popped in I do not know who runs the establishment now (but they still do it well).

        2. I go to The Plough most years for breakfast on the first day of The Cheltenham Festival but rarely at any other time. I don’t know any of the landlords.

            1. First went to The Plough in about 1978 with friends who lived in Woodmancote near Bishops Cleese. Been going to the festival for about 25 years. Always stopping at The Plough on the way

              1. In 1978 Les Carter was the landlord. I first visited in about 1969. It was one of the greatest pubs … always open and in those days there were regulations. More a family home than a pub. Great memories.

                Don’t forget to try Stanney Bitter. It seems the only outlet now is The Crown and Trumpet in Broadway (lovely pub).

                1. Many years ago a group of us were finishing a walk and coming into Broadway heading for The Crown and Trumpet. As we passed the church we stopped to listen to a choir. Later the same choir came into the Crown and Trumpet and eventually started singing in the pub. A truly wonderful night

  16. Got the days of the week muddled and went to get my once a week DT thinking it was Jayday! I still enjoyed this challenge. Especially enjoyed 14a and 27a for the clever use of small words in the clue. Thanks setter and Mr T. Looking forward to the toughie hints as I am 2 short of completion and cannot parse the likely answers.

        1. All will be revealed at 2.00 pm. There is no 15 down. 22 across needs the letter E removing to leave your answer. I’m not sure if I will be sent to the naughty corner now

  17. This was a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, just the right level of difficulty for me. I have been struggling recently which is usually the case when our guru offers *** for difficulty. I managed all of today’s by myself with the exception of 1d – could not parse this. ( is that the correct phrase?)
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for putting me out of my misery

  18. 2*/3* for an enjoyable not too taxing puzzle. 11a was my favourite with a special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  19. Got there in the end despite the NW corner.i rarely complain about the clues unless it’s a Sunday because it’s usually my lack of expertise. Today is no exception. No clear favourite today but honourable mentions for 11a, 28a, 6d, and 8d. 7d clearly points to a non Buddhist setter but he still gets my thanks as does Mr K for his hints.

  20. An enjoyable exercise this morning. **/*** I use the same method as Manders to remove spiders. I hate them. And hope for the best when emptying the vac! Favourite 11a. Thanks to all.

  21. Wouldn’t want to play ‘guess the setter’ with this one but I certainly enjoyed it – with luck the setter will pop in to enlighten us.
    Not sure why Brian thinks that 1d isn’t well clued, it definitely works for me and every letter is accounted for along the way.
    No clear favourite today, just a very good example of compiling.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review – loved the giant spider!

  22. Pretty straightforward & very pleasant today despite my first read through yielding little. In the end a brisk solve working from the bottom up & finishing with 1d – didn’t parse it but absolutely nowt wrong with the clue. No real favourites though I can relate to 7d urge even though I wouldn’t do it. Mind you if I saw that fella pictured by Mr K I’d be calling for assistance & Leamington would still be too close for comfort. Today’s album: Booker’s Guitar (Eric Bibb)
    With thanks to both the setter & to Mr K

    1. Eric Bibb – what an authentic person. A few years ago, we went to see him at Warwick Arts Centre, and he and the band came into the self service cafe, queued up and sat and ate a meal until about 10 mins before the start, the same as the rest of the audience. Everyone went into the auditorium, the band came on and did a perfect set. I mean, how many entitled bands of today, with their costumes, their staging and who knows what other pre-gig extras, could do that?

  23. Enjoyable none too taxing puzzle, all seem to be around a **/*** as per Mr K.
    Lots of spider chat today, coincidentally watched part three of The Lord Of The Rings last night and the scary Shelob in her lair ! now that’s a real spider, the Beatles named a song after her-she loves yer -sorry could be a quickie pun!.
    Wasn’t quite sure re deep in 5a but Chambers confirms the low synonym.
    Liked the surface of 10a,
    Gentle Toughie start to the week from Chalicea.

  24. A pleasant stroll after yesterday’s slog **/***.
    The parsing of 11a was within my grasp (I had the cat and the charged person), but just couldn’t quite see it – very clever.
    My favourite is 21a, with four teenage daughters it resonated.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  25. Nice puzzle
    Completed in ** time with no need for electronic help.
    Took a while to see 5d and, for some reason, 14a both of which were quite obvious when they dawned on me.
    No particular favourites – but I do like the answer to 25a 😋

  26. Quite a nice Tuesday crossword **/**** Top half held me up initially but then the bottom half went in easily. Going with 11a today as fav.
    Thx to the setter and Mr K.

  27. No major problems today but generally a bit slow – don’t know why apart from a year of being locked up.
    Husband and the Younger Lamb are terrified of spiders – I never used to mind them until, several years ago staying with family in the Loire Valley, there was a smallish harmless looking one in the kitchen sink – I picked him up to show him the way out of the window – absolute agony in my hand and within a very short time my hand was like a balloon – never again!
    I was another one who fell for ‘Dead Sea’ until I got 6d.
    The surface reading of 21a put me off my toast and marmalade.
    I think my favourite was probably either 9 or 10a.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Mr K.
    A couple of hours in the garden now and then the Toughie.

    1. I don’t mind spiders so long s the stay at a safe distance but I would NEVER pick one up. I have known too many people who have done so and been bitten.

      1. While I was working in Australia, I picked up a pretty little spider from a garden and had it playfully running round my hands
        Showed it to an Australian workmate who jumped out of his skin and politely suggested it might be an idea to put it down, or words to that effect
        It was a female Redback but I didn’t hurt it, so it didn’t hurt me – unlike Devils Coach Horse Beetles (UK) which are aggressive little buggers and the sting is probably the most painful thing I have ever experienced

        1. I don’t pick up spiders in the UK but I most definitely would not touch a spider in Oz! Not come across Devils Coach Horse Beetles and, from the sound of it, I hope I never do,

        2. I never ever wear shorts or short sleeves whilst in the countryside, which I am a lot, in spring or summer. Thistles, nettles, giant hogweed, horse flies and spiders. They all sting or bite. I don’t wear the aforementioned items in the autumn or winter either, too bloody cold.

  28. Enjoyed this having made a total mess of Monday’s!
    21A made me smile but wince somewhat with memories of suffering as a lad in Glasgow from ‘plooks!’ 😱
    Thanks to the setter for the enjoyable challenge, and to Mr K for the blog ‘n hints.
    Cheers! 👍

  29. Late today because after getting my first jab yesterday, I have mostly slept for the last 24 hours. No problems really, just a sore arm and some sniffles. Again, as in yesterday’s puzzle, I found the NW the last to yield its glories. Don’t know what others found to be the issue with 1d; I thought it quite sharp. No podium awards today but I did like 11a and 17d. Thanks to Mr K for the very apposite illustrations and to today’s setter. ** / ***

    Finished the lovely Chalicea Toughie in record time for me.

  30. The puzzle was fine, with answers that were sometimes entertaining, lots of misdirection, but also some answers that were slightly off centre.
    Thanks to Mr K for helping with the explanation of 11a and 16d. They had to be what they were, but I couldn’t work out why.
    Thanks to the setter – my favourite was 21a. It took me a long time to account for the redundant “carefully” until I applied “when in doubt, look for lurker”, even when it’s backwards and on more than one line. Oooh!

  31. I had nothing filled in until I got near the bottom and was beginning to despair. But the second pass proved much more successful and I surprised myself by having only 11a and 22a eluding me. So ended up very much enjoying this Tuesday puzzle. Thanks very much to the setter and to Mr K for helping me to unravel those last two.

  32. No real problems today and another thoroughly enjoyable puzzle so thanks to all. Just off to have my dressings changed – I now have a completely black leg, just wish the pain would subside a bit. Thanks for the card ‘mystery person’. certainly brightened up my day – are you going to reveal yourself?

  33. Much friendlier than yesterday. I was held up in NW like others and 1d last one in. COTD definitely 25a beautifully constructed and great illustration by Mr. K. Thanks to him and the setter.

  34. Found this a somewhat tricky puzzle today. SE was last area finished with 24d last in … was a PDM for me. 2.5*/*** today. Took a while to get going and needed a couple of hints early on to get jump started.
    Found a couple of the clues a bit iffy for my liking. Maybe wavelength with setter not quite there. 22a & 26a were two that come to mind.
    However favourites were 14a, 27a, 28a, 6d, 7d & 16d with winner 7d with 6d runner up

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  35. Diverted by a Reading Group Zoom. I enjoyed this puzzle which seemed to grow from the bottom up with 1d being last in. As always I enjoyed the anagrams but I too fell into the Dead Sea trap. We are busy setting the scene for George who is giving his talk on fencing to the Rotary Club tonight. We have offensive weapons all over the place it looks like a rehearsal for the Three Musketeers. Usually done on a stage – I don’t know how he is going to lunge in the study, I don’t know even if he CAN still lunge. I do hope we don’t finish up in A & E, it had better just be one gin this evening. This morning I went down to Dirty Dora’s for some vegetables (very brave of me but I waited until the shop was empty) when I came out the zappy thing would not open my car. I extracted the key from the case gizmo and put it in the lock but it would not turn to open the door. I had to telephone George to come down with the spare key which fortunately worked – a good job I was only 5 minutes away and not in Royston or Cambridge! Why does life have to be so complicated? I suppose the battery has gone in the key thingy and I shall have to go into Cambridge tomorrow to the Peugeot garage to get it sorted. Grrr. You see how complicated my life is. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K for diverting my mind from the vicissitudes of life.

  36. Really enjoyed 8d and 16d – wondered for a second with the latter if the setter had escaped from Private Eye. Found 3d, 13d, 14a, and 18a all being basically long anagrams a bit tiresome though.

  37. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky in places. I had “impulsive” as my answer for 5d for a while. Once corrected, I eventually managed to finish. 22&14a were the last two in, which took me ages. Luckily I didn’t think of Dead Sea for 5a.Favourite was 20d. Least favourite was 1d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  38. Very enjoyable, but the NW corner was a bit tricky. Fave was 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K for the review, needed for 11a and 1d.

  39. 2*/3*….
    being an arachnopile I was somewhat upset by 7D, but the picture in Mr K’s hint made up for it.

  40. I enjoyed today’s puzzle and and felt a great deal of satisfaction upon completing it. What a pleasing relief after attempting yesterday’s!! The bottom half went in quite easily but had a couple of breaks for chores and a dog walk this afternoon in the lovely sunshine and only just got round to finishing off the North West corner.

    I certainly wouldn’t deliberately step on a spider but would certainly give the one in the picture a very wide berth! Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  41. After yesterday’s grind this tricksy puzzle was a pleasure. Got stumped by 11A for which Mr K’s hint came to the rescue. Yer another ‘trick’ I’ve learned now! ***/***

  42. We carefully avoided writing in the first word for 5a until we had both checkers in place, so avoided the trap there.
    An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K, loved your pic for 7d.

  43. Quickly over, marred for me by 1d (as others have pointed out, no synonym), 5a (hardly cryptic) and 5d (ok but somehow weak)….

  44. I’m in the “I wish I’d started from the bottom” camp this evening. NW took as long as the rest. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  45. All went in smoothly until I got caught out by the Dead Sea/apes trap. Apes didn’t make any sense so I looked at the hint, worked out the correct answer but then couldn’t see the correct answer to 5a and as it was late just looked up the answer (d’oh) which wasn’t very satisfying. Still up to then I found it very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and Mr K **/***

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