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DT 29644

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29644

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Big Dave’s Rating – Difficulty **  – Enjoyment ***

Good Morning from a rainy Barrel where your amiable blogger has solved in daylight. Unfortunately some clues left me in the dark until more checkers came along to help. Is it checkers or wavelength that see us through to the end? I say checkers. Feel free to differ.


7a        Worm, harmless coiling round, getting into knot (8)
NEMATODE: Begin with a word meaning harmless. Particularly used to describe an undomesticated animal. Reverse it (coiling round) place it inside a knotty swelling or protuberance. Puzzles where 1 across falls straight into place lift the spirit and give confidence for a steady solve. The word worm gave the answer here straight away. The whys and wherefores took a lot longer to work out. I bet the Scottish RFU wish they had never heard of these creatures

AFTER waging a turf war against a worm infestation that has been wreaking havoc on the pitch at the home of Scottish rugby, officials have decided it is time to cut their losses. The Scottish Rugby Union is to install a hybrid playing surface at Murrayfield at a cost estimated to be about £1.25 million

Ode to Nematodes. By Ilene Bauer


Oh, nematodes, in your abodes,

From soil to sand to sea,

You live with others,

loads and loads, Most scientists agree.


Your worm-like shapes allow escapes

In places cold or tropic

Though some of you avoid most scrapes

Because you’re microscopic.


This little ode I have bestowed

To prove to John* and Tom*

That a rhyme about a nematode’s

Been written, with aplomb!


*John Watt and *Tom Cunningham – Tom said I could write about anything but John responded that no one’s ever written a poem about nematodes. I had to google to find out what they were!


9a        Defeats — six on the cricket field? (6)
STUMPS: A word meaning to baffle is also one of six used on a cricket field to support the bails

10a      Do better than that? Go away! (4,2)
BEAT IT: A double definition. The second similar to 14 across in yesterday’s puzzle

11a      Mission of editor reversing what predecessor left in place? (8)
DELEGACY: Reverse the usual abbreviation for an editor and add what someone leaves behind. Possibly after they have died

12a      Medical treatment that is shocking! (14)
ELECTROTHERAPY: A cryptic definition of the use of electric currents passed through the body to stimulate nerves and muscles, chiefly in the treatment of various forms of paralysis

15a      Acoustic effect needed by the choirmaster (4)
 ECHO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. As indicated by the words needed by

17a      Impression created by fast runs, nothing extreme (5)
PRINT: This impression can be found by removing the outer letters of short spells of running at full speed

19a      Note old part of London (4)
SOHO: A note of the Do Re Mi scale followed by the letter abbreviation for old

20a      Dealing awkwardly with what may be the paper’s opinion piece (7,7)
LEADING ARTICLE: An anagram (awkwardly) of DEALING is followed by what the word the is grammatically 

23a      Shock when century is obtained by Leicestershire’s No. 11 (8)
ASTONISH: Begin with a two-letter word for when. Add a slang term for a century or one hundred (miles per hour). Add the word IS from the clue. Cap it off with the obvious final letter, or if you prefer count out the eleventh letter of the word Leicestershire 

25a      Awkward Norse character concealing love (6)
WOODEN: An alternative name for the Norwegian geezer Odin sits around the letter that looks like the number nothing as a tennis score

27a      Like a bear going wrong, landing in river (6)
URSINE: A wrong against divine law sits inside one of the many three-letter rivers that exist in England or Scotland or both

28a      Unremarkable system for resting sixth-sevenths of the week? (8)
WORKADAY: The answer is a word possibly pertaining to ones job meaning dull, boring, of little interest, not special, ordinary. Split 4,1,3 it might suggest a wonderful system of toiling away for only one seventh of the week


1d        The writer twice revealing an element of culture (4)
MEME: How the writer of the clue might refer to himself. Repeated or written twice. The answer is an element of culture or system of behaviour passed on by genetics. More recently this word has been used to describe images, videos or texts (often humorous) that are rapidly spread by internet users and used by Big Dave bloggers to illustrate their hints and tips

2d        Participating in that act, I construct plan (6)
TACTIC: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words participating in 

3d        Legal document that can be read two ways (4)
DEED: A palindrome that easily fits the underlined definition

4d        Lover is worn out with minimal energy (6)
ISOLDE: Begin with the word IS. A gift from our setter. Add a synonym of worn out by age perhaps. Add the abbreviation for energy to find the tragic lover of Tristan the trainee vet in All Creatures Grunt and Smell

5d        Refined style associated with good girl (8)
CUTGLASS: A three part charade. 1 A word meaning style 2 the abbreviation for good 3 a girl, wench or maiden

6d        What could make Carol happy is questionable (10)
APOCRYPHAL: Anagram (what could make) of CAROL HAPPY. Although the answer jumped straight out at me I had to wait for checkers to help with the spelling 

8d        Tricky cut into poor ground that’s rocky (7)
OUTCROP: An anagram  (tricky) of CUT inside an anagram (ground) of POOR

13d      Mediocre and negligent leader getting dumped — fantastic result (10)
LACKLUSTRE: A very stretched synonym of negligent needs its first letter removing. Add an anagram (fantastic) of RESULT

14d      Object of phobia? (5)
 THING: An object might also be the same word  as what one’s phobia might be known as

16d      Following behind speaker, I love to offer something musical (8)
ORATORIO: A public speaker is followed by the letter I and the letter representing the love score in tennis also used at 25 across

18d      The inadequate oarsman or shot-putter? (7)
THROWER: dccvfb f (The cat, Itchy wrote that. Please ignore it) The inadequate is suggesting the word THE minus its last letter. Add an oarsman. What you should now have would describe a shot putter by his action 

21d      More than one plant is seen covering hillside? (6)
IRISES: The word IS from the clue surrounds or covers a synonym of the word hill

22d      A biro’s possibly used to make line on map (6)
ISOBAR: A line on a weather map linking points of equal atmospheric pressure

24d      Cry of bird descending from end of branch (4)
HOWL:  A nocturnal bird sits below the last letter of the word branch

26d      Times to strike out, launching enterprise finally (4)
ERAS: A word meaning to strike out as one would with a rubber to remove an incorrect word needs to launch, jettison or simply get rid of the final letter of the word enterprise 

Quickie Pun Hearten + Seoul = Heart and Soul


125 comments on “DT 29644

  1. Whew, that was one of the toughest Thursdays that I can remember. It took me a full **** time, and I am still unsure of a couple of the parsings.

    And come on, own up, who else put “DEFIBRILLATION” into 12a?

    I don’t think I know the word at 11a and 4d I only see in crosswords.

    COTD for me was 26a, deceptively simple.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

    1. I put the same thing in 12a to start with and I hadn’t heard of 11a or 4d either.

  2. Initially this looked tricky but solving the long across clues in the middle early on eased the way to some even better clues to give a **/**** for me. COTD 23ac which appeared strange but was very satisfying to solve when the penny dropped. 7a a new word to me but guessable. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for his efforts.

  3. Well I take my hat off to Giovanni, I thought this was an excellent puzzle with some very clever wordplay indeed
    4d and 7a were new to me but obtainable from the wordplay and checkers, so my only problem was parsing my 26d bung in…just couldn’t see it…..to quote our other Thursday blogger, dim!
    Podium places go to 11a &18d with top spot going to 23a, clue of the week for me.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to MP for the top notch entertainment

  4. This was quite hard and it took me a full 4* time to finish it. The clues were unusual and some came off very well. I liked 23d and 9a, both of which had me puzzling for some time. Some clues were less effective and I needed MP’s help to parse 17a and 20a. I’d give this one 3.5* for enjoyment but it was a good challenge. Thanks to the compiler and to MP. Like you, MP, if I find a puzzle tricky, I keep plugging away to get as many checkers as possible.

    1. Had the same problem last November when trying to set up a Fantasy Fund. Despite having logged in, Ikept being invited to become a Subscriber.
      Changes were made to my account which did allow me to enter a Fund. Unfortunately the changes then prevent me accessing My Account.
      They refuse to accept the fault is due to the changes they made. Keep telling me its my computer, software version, etc, today saying I should contact Apple!
      I am now being sent an M&S voucher for £50, despite still not being able to access My Account

  5. A fairly tricky Thursday puzzle and a ***/*** for me.
    Lots of excellent cluing with no chestnuts for a change, liked 9a when the penny dropped-how many of us were looking for a vi somewhere! liked the clever surface of 28a,not a word very often found in crosswords .Also liked the 23a charade.
    Concur with MP re the ‘stretching’ of 13d
    and have to admit failing to parse last in 17a-thanks MP.
    Thanks to setter for the enjoyment.

        1. Yes, I worked out the answer, once I assumed it was a typo. But, it had me confused for some time.

        1. I took as the w——y world being the every day working week (6 out of 7) , the remaining day being the day of rest.

      1. I went straight to six sevenths. I automatically assumed it was just an error. I like the clue though.

    1. Beaver and MP, 13d. I don’t think there is any “stretching” in this clue:

      in British English
      1. not tight, tense, or taut
      2. negligent or careless
      3. (esp of water, etc) moving slowly
      4. (of trade, etc) not busy
      5. phonetics another term for lax1 (sense 4)

      1 (adjective) in the sense of careless
      The jury ruled that the Council had acted in a negligent manner.
      remiss (formal)

      BRB: Slack = not eager or diligent, inattentive (or “negligent”).
      BRB: Negligent = inattentive (or “slack”).

      * Neither of these words is the singular clue definition. Therefore they are not required to be “precise definitions” of each other. Being “synonymous” is the only requirement.

            1. I was only at the back of the class (not the bottom of the class)…..in the 3rd and 4th form. To aid the “note-passing” – just an ancient form of texting, I suppose.
              It coincided with the loss of my deportment badge.
              Generally slack……

  6. I’d say wavelength more than checking letters but that’s probably because I don’t look at the grid until I’ve looked at all the clues – I am not sure whether this is Giovanni as the only word I thought was ‘his’ was 11a

    Thanks to the setter and MP

    1. Mr Manley appears to have been tamed recently – his last Pasquale was similarly un-Don-like

  7. I took ages to get into this – 6d also jumped out at me but I didn’t know how to spell either it so had to wait. 9a very clever as I was trying to fit ‘over’ or ‘vi’ in somewhere. 7a and 8d last in. Had a quick look at the Toughie waiting at the surgery and couldn’t do a single one so will have another look later. Thanks to the setter and MP from a sunny but chilly Norfolk.

    1. Yesterday’s Hudson Toughie if you didn’t look at it Manders was a real beauty.

      1. I managed all but 7 yesterday! But today’s looks a trifle tricky, but sitting in a surgery not conducive to well being.

    2. Hi Manders.

      Assuming the middle bit is the banana skin, does this work for you?

      Cry is in the word.


      An ***cry**** can be a far cry from the truth.

    3. I was the same with 6d, knew it, but couldn’t confidently spell it without help.

  8. Tricky today. ***/*** I didn’t know the word at 7a but guessed it from the checkers and confirmed by mr.g. I wasn’t too sure about 13d but couldn’t make anything else of it. 4d was clever, the other half of Tristan. 23a was a lovely little charade but my favourite goes to 9a. Thanks to all.

  9. A much better effort than yesterday yes I thought about “Defib” for 12a. Favourite clue 4d and good old crossword favourite 7a. Very enjoyable.
    Thanks to setter and MP.

  10. Well that was quite a work-out… Got there in the end thanks to a rack of toast, and orange juice with no bits in it.
    I do agree with the notion that checking letters are far more useful than a sense of being on a wavelength.

    Lola is going to a veterinary appointment this afternoon, and I appear to be spending the day dealing with bureaucracy regarding the care package of a very elderly relative. I could write paragraphs on this, but I shall spare you!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Joni Mitchell – Travelogue (Joni sur Jeudi)

    Thanks to the setter and Miffo.

    1. Joni jeudi Terence as the French don’t use the preposition “on” or capitalize days of the week 😉

      1. The French days of the week had capital letters in my day and they use sur for on. Perhaps plus ca change actually does.

      2. I know, but it just seems to amuse me to write it in a sort of Delboy “It’s yer Joni sur le Jeudi, innit?” style.

  11. Needed help to finish but boy what a puzzle! I found it tough and enjoyable in equal measure if that is at all possible. I thought 12a was a “give away” and that was my first solve. Spelling 13d incorrectly threw 27a for quite a while. Too many good clues to pick a favourite but I did like 17a, 28a and 18d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the great puzzle and thanks to MP for his blog and The Moodies.

          1. I don’t care what everyone else calls you, Kath. If you like the Moodies you are a lady in my book. 😎

        1. I’ve always found myself speculating over the one who just stood on stage, jiggling, clicking his fingers and only occasionally singing, although never the lead vocal line.
          Did they pay him the same?
          A bit like Bez in the Happy Mondays.

            1. Well, having done my homework, which I ought to have before commenting, he was a founder member and a multi-woodwind instrumentalist. It seems that few of the later recordings or live performances made use of those instruments, so he was reduced to backing vocals and occasional tambourine, maracas on stage and then he became unwell and wasn’t recording or performing. Slightly sad, but interesting. Thanks Steve.
              Not Bez then, but everyone has their unique talents…….

              1. Sadly, it is true he became ill towards the end but I saw him playing a fine flute solo on “Legend of a Mind” in the early 2000s and his harmonies were still spot on.

              2. For you, Kath – one of my favourite Moodies songs. Bluebird, this is pure Ray Thomas. 😁

  12. A most enjoyable and interesting puzzle.
    I just guessed 7a.
    Thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

  13. Sorry fellow crossworders but I have crashed and burnt on this one.
    I have no idea about 1A, even with the hints. I also failed to see 9A but I excuse myself as I hate cricket. Neither do I get part of 5D. There were several other areas that I had major problems with, including 28A which is a word I am not familiar with. The anagram at 6D took a lot of solving as well.
    I must thank Miffypops for the most helpful hints but I am sorry that I haven’t been able to solve 1A without electronica.

  14. Comfortably the trickiest of the week thus far. A steady & enjoyable, albeit slightly pedestrian, solve that just edged into *** time with Tristan’s Mrs & 11a (new word to me) the last 2 in. Other than thinking surely they play cricket past 6pm all correctly parsed which I’ll happily settle for. No real stand out clues but I’ll select 6&13d plus 23a for my podium.
    With thanks to the setter & to MP (your hint for 4d made me chuckle)

    1. If you want a real laugh try watching the repeats of All Creatures Grunt and Smell. Golly Bongs they are awful. I suppose they were right for their time but they have not worn well. Saint Sharon and I put them on to fill the many gaps in programming. They do make us laugh

        1. We enjoyed the remake. Timothy West is a far better television actor than Robert Hardy. The scriptwriters know how to move the story on without constant repetition and without treating there audience as brainless

        2. Agree that the remake is superior. It is more authentic somehow and the actors are totally believable. I bet the BBC are kicking themselves for rejecting it. Mind you, they needn’t bother because I would happily kick them if I could. Taking the licence fee from pensioners then not catering for them is an insult. (Best not let myself get carried away!) :evil:

      1. Whilst allowing others the freedom to watch screens in the way they prefer, the phrase “gaps in programming” doesn’t really mean anything to me. I’m just pleased that after, well the whole of my life really, we’ve finally, courtesy of streaming players, got to the point when I can watch what I want, when I want, rather than when the telly and film people want me to. I almost never watch anything at the broadcasted time, except for a bit of live sport. Ditto with email, or messaging, as opposed to being telephoned.
        Freedom from tyranny at last!

  15. What a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding puzzle. So many superb clues, amongst which 23a was a favourite, appearing as it does on the first day of the county cricket season. I also really liked 4d, my final entry.

    Not sure about the compiler, but many thanks to whomsoever set this little gem, and to MP.

  16. Anyone else having problems accessing the crossword online today ? I keep getting asked if I want to subscribe when I do already … and it says Welcome JULIA so it obviously knows that ! Tried to phone but apparently it is all online at the moment … very frustrating ! Just me ???

    1. I’ve had the same problem in the past. It seems I have a telegraph account and a puzzles account which aren’t linked. I solved it by opening an incognito window (in chrome, although maybe other browsers have the same facility) which doesn’t automatically fill in your username and password, you can then log in using your puzzle account as normal. Hope this helps

  17. Found this very tough and just never seemed to get onto setter’s wavelength. Took bordering on **** time and didn’t find much to enjoy or amuse along the way. 12a triggering memories of treatment that I endured in the 70’s didn’t help, suffice to say defib. did not enter my head (either then or now).
    Probably just my mood coupled with a dreich day, apologies to setter.
    Thanks to setter and MP.
    I think wavelength helps us get checkers quicker but then the checkers see us to the end. Also think that getting “on wavelength” increases the enjoyment, it does for me anyway.
    Hopefully 4 days of golf in a garden lives up to the hype.

  18. Was on the right wavelength for this. Entertaining whilst it lasted. Thanks all.

  19. A very hard puzzle where the ***** effort took away the enjoyment. Used checkers a lot but still had an almost empty NE corner. I’ve got enough nematodes on order to deal with slugs and carrot root fly over 100 sq. metres twice. I am not sure if their method of killing slugs is any less horrific than the blue pellets. But they are natural so that’s all right then.

    Three quarters of a Giovanni isn’t bad for me so thanks to him and even more thanks to Miffypops for his excellent help.

    1. I use the nematodes on my plot too, Corky. The little blue pellets seem to disintegrate, when it rains and are harmful to birds and other wildlife. So for me, using nematodes wins hands down.

  20. I found this very tough, took a lot of time in the NE, and finally gave up on 4d, so not great fun but quite satisfying to pick apart some of the parsing.
    Reading the hints cheered me up (thanks MP), but also made 4d seem quite obvious. Oh well, you live and learn.
    Nice to see the “article” I tried in yesterday’s puzzle turned up today.
    Favourites were 9a and 23a.
    Thanks to all

  21. Tricky but doable. 9a came to me in a flash after trying to fit vi into the equation. I think I am getting to grips with this sporty lark! Struggled with 5d as I thought that was more to do with accent than style but perhaps they are interchangeable. Anyway, thanks to MP for the hints and to the setter for the amusement.
    No one came back to me a couple of days ago about my longest word in the English language – ‘smiles’ – do I assume that we all use the same boxes of crackers? It didn’t even elicit a groan, I was quite deflated.
    Another week almost gone, where does the time go?

    1. I did say that “floccinaucinihilipilification” was the longest non technical word in the English language, DG. :smile:

      It means the act of considering something as unimportant.

          1. I AM going to get my punch line in – there is a mile between the first and last letters. Boom boom.

              1. Totally agree, Merusa. DG sure caught us all out there! Well done Daisygirl. 🤣👍

      1. Never heard of it – it does sound a bit ‘technical’ as it could pass for one of the very long ‘proper’ names of antibiotics.

        1. Do you know Kath, I had the same thought. It sounds quite bacterial, doesn’t it? It’s the “ flocc “ bit.

          1. Ok, name me a bacterium that has a name beginning with “ flocc”. 😁

              1. I don’t think I ever thought it was a bacterial name as such. Jules is probably right with the Flucloxacillin in one of my memory cells, but I also remember reviewing a research proposal that was all about microbial flocculation in the development ( or breakdown) of biofilm in ventilator tubes……….all rather disgusting…….

              2. I realise that SC. I’ve had several courses of it over the years. It was just a “sounds like” thing that I meant

  22. The two crickety clues (9a & 23a) were excellent.

    In 8d I thought that “ground” was an anagram indicator for “poor” not part of the definition.

    Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  23. Is this Giovanni? It didn’t feel like one of his.
    I seem to be in a minority as I did not find it too difficult.
    I read “six on the cricket field” as being six o’clock, which might be the close of play, which is also referred to as the answer to this clue. MP’s explanation is much better!
    Thank you mystery setter and MP.

    1. On reading 9a, I thought “ that’s quite specific – should be easy”. No!
      I went through VI, six as an Over, or some sort of hitting for six synonym.
      It’s not even as though the answer is obscure – just not any kind of six that I was looking for. But it was enough to muck up 3 clues in the NE corner.
      Typical Giovanni. I did love 6d though.

    2. I assumed six o’ clock as well. I hadn’t checked the hint so was only aware of the other way of parsing because of reading your comment.

  24. Had to be a Giovanni with the weird word in 11a. Excellent puzzle with loads of excellent clues such as 9a and 27a.
    Nice to see the Maestro contributing again.
    Thx to all

  25. Wavelength, in my humble opinion, is when I believe I sense what the setter is thinking, and can figure out the answers from the clues. Checkers are what I use when the clues don’t help me and I have to get the answer and then figure out how it fits the clue, parsing? Despite 12a, 20a and 6d jumping out at me I rather struggled with this one today. Thanks to Giovanni and Miffypops.

  26. Except for Wednesday I’ve had bad week, Monday and Tuesday we’re bad enough but today’s is xxxxx beyond me, 18d “ the inadequate” pah. Others seem to have found it ok so it must be me🤔. Thanks to mp for the explanations and the compiler for the workout.

  27. I think this is Giovanni at his best. I found it hard but very satisfying. A couple of clues I knew were right but found hard to phase. 11a is a new word for me. I vainly attempted to put cardioversion at 12a . COTD 13d. Thanks to the Don and MP. We are back in lockdown with a definite sense of déjà vu.

  28. Sorry to say that I am not doing well with these alternate thursday puzzles; the clues seem clumsy and at times obscure … or perhaps it’s just me. The entertainment factor comes from MP thank goodness.

  29. More effort required than yesterday, but very enjoyable. A couple of repeat answers from recent puzzles, 28a, 16d, a different crickety answer for some of you ladies, but all gettable without too much hardship I thought!
    In to the middle pages now; hope it’s no harder than yesterday’s toughie or I’ll be well beaten.
    Thanks MP and the setter

  30. I never thought that I would say this on a Thursday but I found this the easiest back pager of the week 😳 **/*** Favourites were 9a & 4d 😃 Thanks to Miffypops and to Giovanni (if in fact it was he 🤔)

  31. As this is the off Thursday from Ray T puzzles, this has to be Giovanni which explains my usual trouble with wavelength and trying to figure out the answers from the clues. Not all are cumbersome, but those that are fro me drop the enjoyment for me. ****/** for me on this one.
    Hard to find any clues that really stood out for me in a good way. Most of the anagrams were ok. The only clue that comes to mind as a favourite is 9a, as that is what this puzzle did for me today and then when I did figure out the answer to most clues, (using some hints), the result was “23a -ingly” 13d

    Thanks to Giovanni and Miffypops for hints

      1. Note there was no reply from Lucky Jumbo. If I was BD, which I am not, I would ban these people who make a throwaway remark without explanation and then refuse to justify it. It only serves to show their ignorance. Bin after five minutes, what’s that all about?

        1. I’d have you on my side any day WW. Straight in there. No messing. I’m sure that a lot of people comment and that is it. No returns to see if their comments got a response or not. You should see some of the comments that don’t get through.

  32. Way beyond my solving capabilities, I was totally at sea. Solved only nine but must get in the pool for my exercise, 12a and 6d went in right away. I solved the Monday bonus instead, more suitable for the bunny slopes.
    Thanks Giovanni and M’pops, particularly for the laffs M’pops.

  33. I found this tricky in the extreme which, for me anyway, points to Giovanni – nothing funny either.
    I did quite enjoy it but never did suss out why 13d was what it had to be.
    We used to use 7a’s but what a faff they are.
    I’m surprised so many have never heard of 11a.
    My favourite and last answer was 17a – pretty simple – how did it take me so long?
    Thanks to Giovanni, if he set it, and to whoever did if it wasn’t him. Thanks too, to MP, specially for the wonderful Moody Blues.

  34. Thank you to Giovanni (if him). I did enjoy it for being legit, although sometimes tricky.
    Thanks to MP for 4 answers I just didn’t get, even though legit.

    When I had the allotment, I did use 7as, but they’re very expensive, they have to be delivered, they have to be refrigerated until use and then there’s no way of knowing if they’re still alive when you finally apply them. To be honest, the diagonal moles and the pea-chomping mice were more of an issue than slugs and snails.

    1. Nematodes are endemic to the tropics they’re everywhere, I can’t believe they have some good and you actually have to buy them! Pull up any plant here and the roots are all knotted and gnarled from those pests.

  35. ** for difficulty?! I finished it at my third visit! Must have been having an off day…

  36. Nice to see Martha and the Muffins…..I saw them supporting Roxy Music at Wembley (the Flesh and Blood tour) many moons ago. Still my favourite Roxy Music album, mostly because it was the soundtrack to a wonderful week in the Lake District at the time.
    Anyway, the crossword wasn’t bad either, tough but enjoyable. Thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

  37. I’m in the “perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t” camp this evening. The NE in particular proving to be my nemesis the last few clues taking longer than the rest put together. I was convinced I had the right answer to 5d but my 1990 edition of the BRB has it as (3,5). So deciding it might be out of date I spent an age trawling the internet and the best I could find was hyphenated (3-5). Maybe someone could put me right on this. Best clue 27a. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  38. Yes, tough but enjoyable sums it up…..a couple of slightly strange words but all decipherable from the clues…..

  39. I wondered why I enjoyed this so much until I realised it was obviously a gift from the Don. I would have said that checkers usually come before wavelength but with DG it is the reverse. Thank you lots DG and also MP for being there in case of need.

  40. 3*/5*….clever puzzle I thought…..
    liked the clue for the slimy squiggly thing in 1A, & MP’s ode thereto.

  41. Thanks to the setter Giovanni? And to Miffypops for the review and hints. Didn’t care for this at all. Found it a real slog, full of obscurities. 11&28a and 4&5d in particular. Needed the hints for both the downs. Was 4* /2* for me.

  42. Found this one more difficult than a **. I was not familiar with the answer to 7a and also took a while to complete the top right corner. I liked the challenge though.

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