DT 29625 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29625

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29625

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Recently, late afternoons have seen most New Zealanders glued to their TV screens watching the dramas of America’s Cup yachting being played out on the Hauraki Gulf. As we write this, the score stands at 6 – 3 in NZ’s favour over Luna Rossa from Italy. One more win for NZ and the cup will be retained until the next challenge. As today’s race or races will take place before this blog is published, we’ll pop back in later for an update. Our fingers are very firmly crossed as we all remember 2013 when NZ was leading 8 – 1 and lost the series 9 – 8.
Update. It’s all over. The cup stays in NZ.         WHEEEE!

All the usual fun from Jay and once again we found it on the slightly tricky side.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a      Raised support, quietly elated about recruiting son (8)
PEDESTAL: The musical letter for quietly then an anagram (about) of ELATED contains S(on).

5a     Black, and almost identical stuff that’s thrown out (6)
JETSAM: A word for black named for lignite and a synonym for identical with the last letter removed.

9a     Regular church people first to trace old paper (9)
PARCHMENT: Regular or the usual score in golf, the two letter abbreviation for church, people (male ones) and the first letter of trace.

11a     Drive and energy — oddly very low in reverse (5)
VROOM: The first and third letters (oddly) of very and the reversal of the noise a cow makes.

12a     Long for free rides across Spain (6)
DESIRE: An anagram (free) of RIDES contains the IVR code for Spain.

13a     Fuss created by welcoming everybody who should be heard (8)
BALLYHOO: By from the clue contains a word for everybody and then a homophone (should be heard) of the word WHO.

15a    Person looking for opportunities with skipper? (6-7)
WINDOW-SHOPPER: Opportunities or openings and a skipper jumping up and down on one leg.

18a     Is he bred for transport by more remote group at sea? (5,8)
OUTER HEBRIDES: An anagram (for transport) of IS HE BRED follows a word meaning more remote.

22a     Wave from student about teatime approximately? Quite the reverse (8)
FLOURISH: The approximate hour of day regarded as ‘teatime’ contains the student driver letter. Quite the reverse tells you that the time contains (is about) the student.

23a     Book bingo getting drunk (6)
BLOTTO: (B)ook and an alternative name for the game of bingo.

26a     European low-fat cream (5)
ELITE: (E)uropean and an advertisers’ invented word for low-fat.

27a     Offensive old boy confronting Number Ten with evidence of debts (9)
OBNOXIOUS: The abbreviation for ‘old boy’, the two letter short form of ‘number’, ten in Roman numerals and then the four letters that acknowledge debts.

28a     Daughter needs a face-covering material (6)
DAMASK: (D)aughter, A from the clue and a face-covering which we are all very familiar with these days.

29a Detective seen in erotic number (8)
CARDINAL: Erotic or relating to flesh contains detective inspector.


1d     Keep quiet, depressed after tweet (4,4)
PIPE DOWN: Tweet in its meaning before social-media took it over (ie make a shrill sound) and depressed or blue.

2d     Skill required in case of demands for game in pub (5)
DARTS: The first and last letters (case) of demands enclose skill or ability.

3d     Score badly covering hard and unknown piece of music (7)
SCHERZO: An anagram (badly) of SCORE contains separately (H)ard and one of the letters used for a mathematical unknown.

4d     Liverpool music venue lacking boundaries, say (4)
AVER: A Liverpool music venue that we associate with The Beatles has its first and last letters removed.

6d     Even off, cut and wrap (7)
ENVELOP: An anagram (off) of EVEN and cut as you might the top of a tree.

7d     False modesty mainly protects her, being stifled (9)
SMOTHERED: The word HER from the clue is inside in an anagram (false) of MODEST(y) once the last letter has been removed.

8d     Wealth of men heartlessly collecting shells (6)
MAMMON: Shells possibly used by the military are enclosed by the two outside letters of the word MeN.

10d     Duck across wet ground keeping nothing for drier (3,5)
TEA TOWEL: A type of small duck encloses an anagram (ground) of WET that contains the letter that looks like zero.

14d     English journalists going in like this coffee (8)
ESPRESSO: E(nglish) then a short word meaning ‘like this’ contains a collective noun for journalists.

16d     Some long, for a change, to adopt international coinage (9)
NEOLOGISM: An anagram (for a change) of SOME LONG includes I(nternational).

17d     Suspect Poles will accept America getting support (8)
ESPOUSAL: The three letter short form for America is inside an anagram (suspect) of POLES.

19d     Sailor fetches butts? (7)
TARGETS: A three letter word for a sailor and fetches or obtains.

20d     Gave an account of losing time for kiss, being laid-back (7)
RELAXED: Start with a word meaning ‘gave an account’ and change the T(ime) within it for the letter used to represent a kiss.

21d     High purpose hurt feelings (6)
OFFEND: High or malodorous and purpose or aim.

24d     Source of tinny hooter that’s a cause of irritation (5)
THORN: The first letter of tinny and a car’s warning device.

25d     People who lived in sin casually (4)
INCA: A lurker hiding in the clue.

The two long answers across the centre, 15a and 18a get top marks today but there are plenty of other contenders too.

Quickie pun    cores    +    ticks    +    odour    =    caustic soda

119 comments on “DT 29625

  1. I seem to be getting my mojo back, that’s the third I’ve finished this week. My wavelength medication must be working again. A couple of ‘Hmms’ today, 11a & 23a, and a few stretched synonyms, but a completion is a completion.

    All done in *** time, with no particular candidates for COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

      1. Agree MP, either of those would have happily sat on my podium, I thought they were brilliant clues

        1. Fully agree. Mind you I must’ve been 23a for bunging in verve for 11a which delayed matters a tad.
          More haste less speed – you think I’d have learned by now…..

      2. Neither do I. Only done it this morning but ringed them as two of my favourites

    1. When people say ‘stretched synonym’ I guess they mean ‘rare’ or ‘not oft used’?

      Surely it’s either a synonym or not? Can someone enlighten me?

      I see so often in this blog….

      ‘’Hmm, that to me is a stretched synonym. So, I looked it up and, sure enough, it’s there.’’

      Aren’t people embarrassed when they type that?

      Every compiler has of course done their homework.

      ‘Stretched synonym’ has to be put in to Room 101….doesn’t it?

      1. I understand that you may think that it shouldn’t be a synonym but you need to take that up with the lexicographers who write the reference books not the compiler.

      2. A word could have a usual meaning and a completely different independent one (such as ‘see’ for looking at something, or being a bishop’s domain). That would merely be a rare meaning, not a stretched one.

        But if a word has an accepted meaning and is used to mean something close to that but isn’t quite the same, then the use of it has been expanded into neighbouring meanings. So it isn’t about its use being rare, more just outside how it’s typically used.

        Some stretched synonyms turn out to be in one or more dictionaries; some don’t. There are plenty of words and definitions in various large dictionaries which it isn’t reasonable for the solver of a regular backpage crossword to know.

        I don’t see why I should be embarrassed at not knowing a word or definition in a dictionary, and whether or not it’s in there doesn’t change whether I had to mentally stretch my brain’s definition of it in the solving process.

        1. If someone is checking it in a book then they are questioning the compiler…aren’t they?

          It’s no problem to check but i would be too embarrassed too type ‘I checked it and I was wrong’.

          But maybe that’s me.

          I have never seen a compiler put a synonym in that is wrong, ie it’s not in one of the reference books.

          So, ‘stretched/tenuous synonym’ has to go.

          Happy to be shouted down, of course.

          1. I freely admit when a crossword or a particular clue baffles me. No one should feel embarrassed to say that they dont understand something. I strongly feel we help those lurking or new to cryptics by letting them know that we don’t all find the answers all the time.

          2. As Smyler said there are a number of different books of synonyms and there is no standard list. So what may be in one, particularly if “stretched”, may not be in another. Just the same with words / meanings not being common to each dictionary. A criticism of the compiler of the synonym list is not implied it just might not be in the list you have. Personally I don’t have a book of synonyms relying on the limited power in my head. That may decrease my ability to complete but I have managed to enjoy solving for 50 years so am not about to change.
            Clearly yesterday there were those that thought socialist and communist were not synonymous that was their opinion, backed up by reason. They should not be deterred from putting their point of view no matter what some book or compiler says.

            1. This is all very interesting! My main two hobbies for the past 50-odd years have been semantics and cryptic crosswords. There seems to be much confusion about definitions/synonyms and the listings in dictionaries and thesauri. A common definition of the word “synonym” is: A word that means the same, or nearly the same, as another word. So, a synonym (a category 1 synonym, as I would call it) can be a definition, can’t it? Wikipedia states: “Most thesauri do not include definitions, but many dictionaries include listings of synonyms”. Some people insist that thesauri never include definitions but only “synonyms”. In my experience most thesauri list the following:

              Category 1 synonyms (equivalent to definitions).
              Category 2 synonyms (meaning, nearly the same).
              Closely associated words/phrases.
              Related concepts.

              In my BRB, the word “force” has the following listed (amongst others): energy, power.
              In my Longman Thesaurus, the word “force” has the following listed (amongst others): energy, power.

              So, are the two words listed in the BRB definitions or synonyms? And can the two words listed in the thesaurus only be synonyms?

              With semantics, there’s more subjectivity and flux than you think.

            2. 50+ years ago the only dictionary of synonyms available to me was Roget’s Thesaurus (Everyman’s). It is still my most used book, although somewhat dated. I would feel I was being presumptuous to call a compiler’s clue into question. Typos, that occasionally occur, are another matter though!

      3. I can almost agree with you. Some definitions use a popular phrase and stretch the meaning of that so not a like for like word for word. As for Room 101. Raised eyebrows. Hmmmms. And those ghastly white plastic conical things on the end of bathroom drawcords all of which can be replaced by very tasteful things from the Etsy UK site

        1. A- I love the look of spalted wood. The blue cheese of woodworking…My son in law put me onto it, because he’d made a shelf for our grandson’s chest of drawers/changing table when he was born.
          B- I now have a concert ukulele in the same finish as your light pull, although it’s maple.
          C- I’m quite surprised to find you haunting Etsy….is it really you, or SS?

          1. With the bathroom draw cords it’s definitely me I hate the plastic ones. Things that you use every day should be pleasing to use and pleasing to the eye and are definitely worth any extra expense.

            1. I totally agree. I brought a Murano glass one back on our last trip from said island when we visited Venice. My husband questioned why I’d bought it. I told him that it fitted into the suitcase easily, and would he rather I tried to bring home a chandelier 😂

              1. We have some rather nice ones for our curtain pulls, from a local wood turner, each pair is slightly different. I got them at a local arts and crafts fair.

              2. I had a friend who wore gold collar stiffeners (remember them?) As they cannot be seen, I asked him why as nobody would know he had them. “Ah,” he replied “But I know they are there!”

      4. I think it’s unlikely that most people here would be embarrassed about typing anything. Why should they? This blog is very friendly and very non-judgmental and that’s why people like it. Other crossword blogs are available for the smug and the meek.
        A few people are critical, but we all know answers are dictionary-checked.
        All hail the superior race of compilers.
        All hail the right of everyone else to have days when it’s easier to blame the compiler than yourself.
        All hail the freedom to backtrack and contradict yourself on a daily basis.

        1. Quite right Bluebird. We type in our opinions of things, regardless of dictionary definitions, Holy Writ or the Little Woke Rulebook. I may not agree with everyone’s opinion but I would defend to the death their right to state it. That’s what freedom of speech is all about

            1. Hey Corky – unless you are the alter-ego of Big Dave, the all powerful guardian of loose elastic, you’re not the boss of us.
              But, if you are, we will do as we’re told.

    2. I’ve just scanned all the above clues and can find nothing at all amiss with 11a and 23a, nor can I detect any stretched synonyms or definitions. But everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, I guess…

  2. A clever but tricky production today with 15a being my COTD – I liked its split cryptic element. Thanks to the 2Kiwis for their explanation of 11a which was obvious but I couldn’t quite see why. 16d was an educated guess as the anagram was clear but a new word for me. Altogether a ***/*** with thanks to the setter

      1. One of the joys of seeing young children walking along is the way they will suddenly do a hop or a skip for no apparent reason. I just love it!

  3. This puzzle required quite a bit of thought and the clues were clever and challenging. Unlike yesterday’s puzzle, I really enjoyed unravelling the well- structured clues (2.5*/5*) but then I usually do with Jay puzzles. Thank you for the consistently good puzzles, Jay, and keep them coming. It’s difficult to select a few clues among so many good ones but I liked the unexpected 8d and the short but clever 3d. I love geographical clues and 18a was right up there with the best but 16a was probably the COTD. Thank you to the Kiwis for the hints and congratulations to NZ for retaining the America’s Cup.

  4. I enjoyed this one but didn’t know the piece of music at 3d and couldn’t decide which unknown to use (although I rejected x early) so resorted to aids to cross the line. Also held up by 11a where the three word definition misdirected me nicely. Good one.

  5. Just right for a Wednesday as usual. Just a couple of head scratchers at the end. Thank you Jay and thank you 2Ks. There is a horse running at Cheltenham today called Put The Kettle On. I think it will steam it but Saint Sharon thinks it has gone off the boil. Who knows?

    1. My mate was Noel Meade’s 80/1 shot yesterday – I’ve requested a loan of his crystal ball….

      1. I had a virtual tenner on each race yesterday. I told Saint Sharon that I was having a virtual grand on each race today. She thinks I’m being extravagant. Bless her

          1. For years a good friend & I would select a horse in each race (Cheltenham & Royal Ascot) for an imaginary £1 stake & whoever recorded the most profit (or more accurately most of the time the least loss) bought the other an expensive malt which meant at least one of us came out the winner.

  6. Solving at a steady rate until I reached the NE quadrant where I stopped ,it didn’t help when I assumes the initial letter of 5a was B -never mind eventually solved 6d and the rest followed.
    8d sounded like a biblical word and new for me I think, certainly new in print.
    Last in was 11a and my favourite ,closely followed by the shells of 8d , special mention for 15a.
    Nicely clued throughout ,thoroughly enjoyable and a ***/**** as per the 2K’s- thanks for the picks 15a looked tempting for a visit.

  7. Excellent Jay puzzle today, quite tricky in parts (with a couple of new words, both fairly clued though) but very enjoyable.
    I really liked 11,13, 22 (super clever)& 23a plus 1d but favourite has to be the amusing15a, though I suspect it’s a bit of a chestnut.
    Many thanks to the 3 birds for the top notch entertainment
    Pun great too

  8. Jay continuing his trend of an increased level of trickiness but I did get a bit of a ‘kick start’ from going up the Downs to begin with – ***/****.
    Even though it is a bit of an oldie but goodie, the only slight head scratch I had was to check the BRB for 16d after the penny dropped on the rearrangement of the anagram.
    Candidates for favourite – 27a, 29a, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  9. Good puzzle today, finished with no real problems. I raised an eyebrow at 11A and 18A had me going for a while.
    I thought 22A a really clever clue.
    Well done to all concerned.

  10. I thought today’s puzzle was excellent. Difficult in parts but a joy to solve.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis …and congratulations on the Americas Cup

  11. I always look forward to Jay’s puzzles and this one was a class act. There may be a few objections about the biblical term for wealth in 8d but it works for me. 22a is ingenious. Favourite today though goes to 15a. **/**** Thanks to all. Congratulations to NZ on the win.

  12. Typical Jay, well clued, enjoyable spot-on difficulty. The only thing boring about Wednesday are our comments.
    COTD was 10d. Couldn’t get “tea total” out of my mind but couldn’t parse it either, then the penny dropped to ground so to speak.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.
    Congratulations to Team NZ. Been up early every day watching the series unfold. Although not a yachting man it has been brilliant head-to-head sport to watch. Incredible triumph for such a small country especially as you had home grown talent skippering the boat too.

  13. 3*/5*. What a joy to solve!

    With a very close battle for first place, 11a gets my vote as favourite, and, as always for Jay, the Quickie pun deserves an honourable mention.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  14. I agree with most people who have commented above. A tricky little devil but a pleasure to unravel.

    We have gone through false dawns before but Lola’s progress is encouraging – she is eating a normal amount of food for an almost thirteen-year-old cat, and is now finally drinking water again. This all may be due to the steroids so we shall still need to be cautious until her progress is reviewed by the specialist.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Squeeze – Greatest Hits.

    Thanks to Jay (The Wednesday Wizard), and the 2Ks.

      1. Great songs from Squeeze. Although a little later than my school disco days.
        Last night I was listening to The Hollies Greatest Hits. Those 60s vocal harmonies and guitar chords. Never before or since.
        I think I’ll go to The Small Faces next.

        1. I agree with you about The Hollies – absolutely brilliant. It was such a shame when Allan Clarke had to leave the band. I was at what turned out to be his last concert with them when he kept apologising for singing badly blaming it on a cold. In fact his previously wonderful voice had gone. Apart from that one incident, I’ve got wonderful memories of their music though as part of the soundtrack to my teens and early twenties.

          P.S. Better not mention Allan Clarke to Jane – he has the same effect on her that John Thaw has on Kath …

      1. Squeeze or The Hollies. We bought tickets in 2016 to take my older sister my brother in law to see The Hollies. Should have checked first because they were on their holidays so we went with friends. Great pop songs but such a cheesy show stuck somewhere about fifty years ago

  15. Top marks again for the Wednesday maestro even if I did have to check on the definition of the biblical term at 8d.
    The Quickie pun was a good spot and I think my favourite was 15a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our jubilant 2Ks.

  16. I started off quickly in the NW corner, but got slower and slower as I worked my way anticlockwise round the puzzle. 11a was my last in. I’d forgotten “that” low. Lots of ticks on my paper though. Good fun as always. Thank you setter and the 2Ks.

  17. How funny that lots of us have the same response – pretty tough in a few places, but overall a lot of fun to solve, despite or because of the weird and wonderful diversity of words. I nearly threw in the towel in the NE corner, but it came good. 11a took me longest to do, although 13 was my last one in. I also had 2 or 3 “scribblings/crossings out” of the second word of 15a.

    Good for Jay and thanks a lot to the Kiwis.

  18. Like others I found this a very enjoyable solve **/****, very doable whilst improving my vocabulary.
    Learnt my lesson from 11a yesterday to be able to parse the clever 22a today.
    A couple of new words for me in 3d and 8d but both gettable from the clues.
    My favourites are 11a, 22a and 27a.
    Thanks to all

  19. I struggled somewhat today but, despite that, it was most enjoyable. I threw the SE corner way off by entering “Fandance” at 29a. I thought the detective was DA but, of course, that is a District Attorney. I should have known because “fannace” is nowhere near erotic! My favourite clue was 11a once I recalled which low it was.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis for both puzzle and hints.Congratulations to NZ.

    The Quickie pun was great.

  20. I haven’t looked at the cryptic yet but the pun in the quickie works as 1, 5, 8 across followed by 3 down! Amused me, anyway!

  21. Masterfully done again by the Jaymaster! Loved this one, especially 8d, 11a, and 16d, but the two long answers finish in a dead heat for CsOTD. 13a made me laugh. Many thanks and congratulations to the Kiwis and NZ, with blessings to Jay. ** / *****.

    Erin Go Bragh for the Irish in me. My mother’s father was named Henry Gratton DeWitt.

    Strange grid for the Toughie; thought my Monday’s jab was playing tricks on me.

    1. My first across clue on the Toughie was 27d! Apparently the grid was later corrected. Now Giovanni has stepped in to justify one of his clues, or so it seems. I just demurred. Crazy.

    2. Robert, I’m probably a little late but just wanted to wish you luck tomorrow and say I hope you have no damage or floods. It seems to be a particularly bad weather system, especially when we’re having such fantastic weather. Please keep safe and dry.

  22. Another delight from Jay, with no stand-out favourites as all the clues were good! Completed in ** time with **** enjoyment. Toyed with verve and oomph for 11a but couldn’t make them work, so held off. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kays.

  23. this is the first time I have completed a Jay crossword, with only one checker (11a) and I’m feeling rather pleased with myself !!

  24. This must be by the dreaded Jay as I can seldom figure out his clues. Gave up on less than halfway.
    Not one for me.
    Thx fo the hints but I have so many that I cannot solve it would be a bi of a waste of time going through them.

    1. I’m so pleased I’m not the only one who felt like this. I really cannot get on with Jay crosswords. Thanks for the hints though.

  25. What you might call a Jay joy. I liked 13a and 8d, I did not know 16d but worked it out and the two K’s confirmed it. 11a was too clever by half and I am not sure I like the word but hey ho the sun has just come out so I feel benign. Thank you J and KK.

  26. For a change nobody seems to have spotted the pangram. My first because I have a bit of time on my hands as not going to the bar regularly because Puglia is back in the red! Very depressing.

    A very good challenge from Jay and I was struggling in the SW but with one letter missing from the pangram the penny dropped.

    Thanks Jay and 2Ks (and congrats)

      1. You’re right! Must have been an attempted one that didn’t quite get there.

        1. I was quite chuffed that I had spotted a pangram but disappointed to realise that there was no q.

  27. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle as usual from Jay. I must’ve been on the right wavelength, no hold ups. LOI was 24d. I liked 11&22a and 16d, but my favourite was 10d. I’d never heard of 8d, but the wordplay was clear. Managed to get 1a before I realised it was a partial anagram. Was 2* /4* for me.

  28. Finished with your help with 4d. Should have known this but I was thinking of classical music, the Halle (which isn’t Liverpool I know) and so on. Otherwise, I was quite pleased with myself as a relative rookie. Monday’s was the real stinker – I always thought we got easier puzzles at the start of the week ending with a humdinger on Friday.

  29. Agree with the majority, loved it .
    Thanks Jay .
    Congratulations to NZ on retaining the Cup and to the 2Ks .

  30. Enjoyed this very much. Came a cropper in one across having missed the anagram bit and making the first syllable Pad….. Which threw me completely. A delightful solve which for me at least had no unknown words. I had only the vaguest clue about the meaning of 16d but it just popped into my head.
    Best smile moment 13a

  31. A ** solve for me but very tricky and most enjoyable. Liked the two long across clues but my favourite today is 22a. As for 8dn it appalls me to read how folk can’t wait for the end of lockdown to enjoy all the products of a consumer economy.

    My thanks again to Jay for a great puzzle. Thanks to the 2Ks and congratulations on NZ winning a boat race for the super wealthy.

    1. I think it’s more a case of being able to go out with a destination in mind rather than an aimless ramble, I.e. a stop at a pub! Plenty of consumer goods available on line.

      1. Not to mention the opportunity to interact with people other than those you’ve spent the last year with.

        1. Hear hear! Seriously fed-up with everyone I’ve been allowed to see for ages apart from the Younger Lamb.

  32. Definitely on the tricky side today. I hesitated for the longest time to pen in 15a, as I couldn’t see how skipper and shopper worked. Duh, so clear when I looked at the hint. Surprisingly, 27a got the smiley face award today. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.
    Late yesterday I tackled Monday’s bonus cryptic, and it was a real pleasure from start to finish, thoroughly recommend.

  33. A nice puzzle that I thought was going to be a pangram for a long time. 2.5*/**** Definitely on the trickier side in some places with NE last area in. Favourites today include 13a, 18a, 22a, 1d &10d with winner 1d with 18a runner up
    New word for me in 8d

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  34. Late in the day for me but I have to just thank Jay for another brilliant Wednesday puzzle. It was an absolute joy and a delight to solve. Thanks to our two Kiwi friends as well.

  35. Like others NE was the last corner for me too. Really enjoyed this today and also thought it was going to be a pangram but no Q. Have traced my Florence Nightingale who came to my aid after my accident. We left some gifts for her at the wrong house but all has worked out OK and she phoned me this morning to see how I was doing. I was re-dressed yesterday, still looks a terrible mess and will have it re-done again on Friday. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis and well done retaining the cup!

    1. I’m glad you managed to track down your angel of mercy, Manders. It’s so nice to be able to thank someone properly for their kindness to a stranger.

    2. Well done, Manders! I’m so glad you’re getting better, not there yet but on the way!

      1. It’s a happy thought that you found your Good Samaritan, Manders. Hope the leg starts to look better soon.

    3. It’s very late but I can’t resist telling you, Manders, what a heart-warming parable this is. Orchids to your Nightingale, and Kudos to you for those gifts. You’ve made my day. My best wishes for your recovery.

  36. Tricky but very enjoyable 😃 ***/**** Favourites we’re difficult to choose there were so many 🤗 but 22 & 5a and 4 & 8d 😬 Learnt another two new words (which will soon be forgotten) 3 & 16d. Thanks to Jay and the 2xKs and congratulations on NZ retaining the America’s Cup🏆

  37. I don’t always get along with Jay but really enjoyed today’s challenge. Liverpool music venue was only hitch – should have known that. Too many crafty clues to single out a Fav. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis to whom congratulations on the Kiwi America’s Cup triumph – sad that Ben Ainslie didn’t make the grade – better luck next time?

  38. I always enjoy Jaydays, though this was trickier. I missed the Liverpool music venue, I’ll have to do some research. I also missed 8d as I wrote 5a ending with an “n”, very careless. Fave was 13a, love the word, honourable mention to 11a.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Kiwis for the hints and tips. Well done NZ!

  39. Morning all.
    Just about total consensus once again on the quality of this puzzle. Our Wednesday setter certainly knows his onions.
    Our mornings are starting to get a little nippier now that the days are getting shorter but another brilliantly fine clear one in store for us today.

    1. As I said watched every leg of the America’s Cup. Beautiful location, great series played out in a great sporting manner. And of course the right winner. Closer than 7 – 3 suggests though, you got lucky in leg 8 but as winners do you capitalised on it.
      Thing for me though were the LIVE crowds with no need for social distancing or anything. Almost forgotten what a crowd atmosphere is like. No masks etc life as normal as could be it seemed.

  40. Great puzzle completed with no hiccups. **/****. Off to the Toughie page now
    Thanks J and the KKs

  41. Thoroughly enjoyable, completed in nearly my *** time.
    Great clueing, eg 11a and 18a.
    Many thanks Jay and for the review, the 2Kiwis.

  42. I thought this was the easiest so far this week. Definitely ** in time – got the top-left and bottom-right corners very quickly indeed, but spent too long trying to work out how 11a could be venom, which it of course couldn’t. Last one in for me was 22a (immediately after 21d, where I didn’t much like the first half of the clue), as everyone knows that tea is a substantial meal eaten at about half past six.

  43. I loved this as is usual for a Jay Wednesday crossword – also as usual for a Jay Day I ground to a halt with the last few, all in the bottom right corner – 24d – hooter? All I could think of was nose!
    A bit late today – been busy or as busy as it’s possible to be given what we can and can’t do.
    I think it’s all been said already – well, what do I expect turning up at this late hour?
    My favourite was 13a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.
    Chilly in Oxford this evening – just lit the wood burner for one of the last times this Spring, hopefully.

  44. I was feeling quite stressed today after having a houseful of various tradesmen doing various things to our house and feeling I couldn’t escape anywhere. Well I managed to escape into Jay’s brilliant-as-always crossword. So many clues gave me a wry smile when I solved them. I had to use electrons for the anagram for 16d (a d’oh moment) but other than that it was all pretty plain sailing until my last two – 22a and 21d where I thought there had to be a Q but couldn’t work out how to fit it in. Finally working out how to parse 21d quickly gave me 22a. **/*****

  45. This crossword seems to have elicited a lot of heated debate, I’ll refrain from joining in at this late hour. I found this harder than the toughie in places, which wasn’t easy, but I got there and maybe the time of night has something to do with it. Favourite was was 9a. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  46. Very late – forgot to post earlier. Enjoyed this and finished pre-blog.

  47. Didn’t parse 24d as had the h as a source along with the t but got the answer. A masterpiece. Least favourite 3d. Obvious anagram but with more than one unknown letter I needed to check. Favourites 11 13 15 22 23 and 27a and 8d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks

  48. A huge hurrah day for me – completed in 1.5*/***** with absolutely no help. Thanks for all the efforts providing the hints – I’m just so pleased I didn’t need them. Such a great collection of clues its impossible to find a favourite. Many thanks to Jay for providing such a lot of pleasure, and also to this blog for increasing my cruciverbal abilities over the past few months.

  49. P.S. This seems to be a pangram without the Q – is there a special name for this ???

  50. 3*/4*….
    liked 27A “Offensive old boy confronting Number Ten with evidence of debts (9)”

  51. Very enjoyable with some interesting clues. Neologism is a new word for me (pardon the pun!) 😀 Here in South Africa this crossword only appeared on 28 May!

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