DT 29662 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29662

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29662

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. Definitely a Ray T production today – his clues get shorter and shorter.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.

Across

1a        Planted one’s plant well (12)
SATISFACTORY — planted or placed somewhere and the letter that looks like a number one, with the ‘S, and then a ‘plant’ as in a workshop rather than something growing in a garden

9a        Posh daily purchased by choice in capital (9)
BUCHAREST — the letter often used in crosswords to denote ‘posh’ and a ‘daily’ who’s a person who helps clean your house are both inside an adjective meaning choice or superior

10a       Expert fitting round edges of doorframe (5)
ADEPT — fitting or appropriate go round the first and last letters (edges) of DoorframE

11a       Problems with paper handkerchiefs wiping face (6)
ISSUES — some disposable hankies without their first letter (wiping face)

12a       Obscure rich meet in new order (8)
 HERMETIC — an anagram (in new order) of RICH MEET

13a       Regular on the Spanish team? (6)
ELEVEN — regular or unvarying follow (on) the Spanish word for ‘the’

15a       Earrings finish inside drawers (8)
PENDANTS — finish or stop goes inside some ‘drawers’, as in undies rather than containers used for storage

18a       Quietly letting out … Charming! (8)
PLEASING — the musical abbreviation for the instruction to play quietly followed by letting out a house in exchange  for payment  

19a       Company man is powerful (6)
COGENT — the two letter abbreviation for company followed by another abbreviation, this time one for gentleman

21a       Dances trying to hold line (8)
ANCESTRY — the first lurker or hidden answer, indicated by ‘hold’ – I spent ages trying to make this one an anagram because of the first word of the clue

23a       Gold seen in abundance in bog (6)
MORASS — an abundance or a large quantity contains (seen in) the heraldic term for gold

26a       Writer is best selling English novelist initially (5)
IBSEN — the first letters (initially) of the middle five words of the clue

27a       Testing old boy in parking lot (9)
PROBATION — the abbreviation for P[arking] and a ‘lot’ or a share contain (in) the two letter abbreviation for O[ld] B[oy]

28a       Female teacher hides master’s mobile (12)
HEADMISTRESS — an anagram (mobile) of HIDES MASTER’S

 

Down

1d        Turn to gas to get high (7)
SUBLIME — I think this is a double definition – the first is a chemistry term

2d        Fixes charge for the audience (5)
TACKS — a homophone (for the audience) of a charge or tariff

3d        Son miserable about sweetheart lacking form (9)
SHAPELESS — the abbreviation for S[on] is followed by an adjective that means miserable or unlucky which contains (about) the middle letter, or heart of [sw]E[et]

4d        Port found in a study (4)
ADEN — the ‘A’ from the clue followed by a study or studio

5d        Some unite there, definitely getting hitched (8)
TETHERED — the second lurker or hidden answer indicated by the first word of the clue

6d        Sphere of physical mass (5)
REALM — physical or material is followed by the abbreviation for M[ass]

7d        One’s served porridge, perhaps (8)
SENTENCE — you need to remember that ‘porridge’ is a slang term for prison

8d        Impales small insects (6)
STICKS — the one letter abbreviation for S[mall] followed by some insects – the kind that attach themselves to dogs and are really difficult to remove

14d      Use tax cut by Queen (8)
EXERCISE — a tax or duty containing (cut by) the regnal cipher of our Queen

16d      Toiletry ‘grungy’ don’t adore? (9)
DEODORANT — an anagram (grungy of DON’T ADORE – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that as an anagram indicator before

17d      Valiant Independent printed anyway (8)
 INTREPID — the one letter abbreviation for I[ndependent] followed by an anagram (anyway) of PRINTED

18d      Still clan’s leader wears tartan (6)
PLACID — some tartan or checked material often used for making kilts contains (wears) the first letter (leader) of C[lan’s]

20d      It’s old taking balanced infusions (7)
TISANES — the old form of ‘it’s’ contains (taking) a synonym for balanced or capable of making rational decisions – the infusions remind me of Hercule Poirot!

22d      Ungodliness faces Church following (5)
SINCE — ungodliness or evil-doing followed by one of the many two letter abbreviations for Church

24d      Stomach is tender in Accident and Emergency (5)
ABIDE — stomach here isn’t a bit of anatomy – it’s used here to mean put up with – the two letters that mean A[ccident] and E[mergency] (ER in the US) contain (in) tender or offer

25d      Travel over large endless desert (4)
GOBI – travel or depart followed by a three letter synonym for large or of great size without its last letter (endless)

 The Quickie pun:- STALE + HURT = STAY ALERT

99 comments on “DT 29662
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  1. Compared to some more recent puzzles, I found this one a breeze. Finished in */** time, and that was only because I kept head-scratching about the synonyms in 1d and 12a.

    Other than those, there were only 4 others that I didn’t get on the first pass. Either today’s compiler is being extremely benign, or I have overdosed on the wavelength pills.

    Time for another 20d, and then get put back in my box by the Toughie.

    Many thanks to Ray T. and Kath.

    1. Odd isn’t it MR, i found yesterday’s crossword almost read and write but all but gave up on this 3/4 of the way through. I am not a Ray T fan but have found his recent compilations fairly straightforward.Thanks to Kath for the hints.

  2. Another superb puzzle from the Mr T production line, at the gentle end of his spectrum I thought, I’m so envious of Kath getting to blog them every fortnight.
    Only problem was the first definition of 1d but a quick check sorted that.
    A very strong podium today, I’ve chosen the superb lurker at 21a plus 1&9a.
    2/4.5*
    Many thanks to Ray & Kath

    1. I took the shared Thursday blogging slot because of the opportunity to review RayT’s puzzles. Not done one since

  3. A lovely concisely-clued and enjoyable puzzle from the master of brevity. A couple of words needed a good hard think, but as always the wordplay was accurate enough to get me there. The simple 24d was my favourite clue.

    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

  4. A classic Ray T production indeed, with all of his trademarks, and most pleasurable to solve. I particularly liked 1d, 20d, 25d, and 1a. The one-word Quickie clues also deserve a special commendation today. Great stuff, all the way. Thanks to Kath for her always enjoyable review and to Ray T for his mastery of the form. ** / ****

    Another really first-rate Toughie today.

  5. It wasnt the most inspiring Ray T puzzle I’ve done but it had the advantage of being a lot more enjoyable than yesterday’s backpager (2*/3.5*). I used to look forward to Wednesday’s puzzle too. There were a few tricky clues, notably the 1a/1d combination, which held me up for a while but was very good. I liked the lurker at 21a and the geographical clue at 9a too. Thanks toRay T and to Kath for the hints. It was nice to have my answer for 15a confirmed. It was an odd clue, since some earrings are not 15a (studs, hoops etc).

  6. 2*/4.5*. I thought this was at the easier end of RayT’s spectrum but nonetheless very enjoyable indeed. My only slight hold-up was with parsing 20d where I thought at first that “it’s old” referred to the first three letters of the answer.

    My only minor comment is that the surface of 16d seemed a bit odd to me.

    My podium places today were awarded to 1a, 27a, 1d & 2d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

    1. I had the same thought as you initially re 21d RD, even wondered if the ” it’s old” was a misprint in the newspaper, thinking it could have read ” it’s odd” indicating an anagram.

  7. A gentle Ray T. **/*** Somebody please explain 1d to me. Where does the gas come into it? Stephen L? 15a was nicely amusing once I’d sorted out the earrings (I’ve never worn them so am no expert) but my favourite today is 9a, the posh cleaner. Thanks to all.

      1. Yes, indeed. The most common example being “dry ice”, where solid carbon dioxide changes directly to gas without passing through the liquid state.

          1. I’m afraid I steered well clear of attempting to understand 1d, let alone explain it. I think the expression is probably along the lines of “when you know you’re in a hole you stop digging”! :unsure:

                  1. Mine neither. For the first year of high school we had to take chemistry, physics and biology. The first two didn’t appeal to me at all, and lost all interest in the third when we spent most of the year studying the lifecycle of the amoeba.

        1. This was about the only answer in the top half that I understood. Nice to see a bit of science for a change from obscure authors and painters.

            1. Brian you’re an enigma. Knowing the science behind this, which I didn’t, and not knowing that talcum powder is explosive, which I did, confuses me. Don’t stop saying it how you see it though. 😁

              1. You are missing the point. Any fine powder can be used an explosive accelerant but it is not explosive per se unlike gunpowder or trinitrotoluene which is explosive in nature. I can make you an extremely explosive mixture using ground potassium permanganate and aluminium powder neither of which can be regarded as explosive.

        2. The term ‘sublimation’ is used when snow turns to water vapour without melting into liquid first. Usually happens when a warm dry wind (e.g. The Chinook in Patagonia) blows over snowfields in early spring…

      1. It was a fair clue and if you hadn’t heard the verb before I’m sure some people will know the word for the process ending in ….ation. We certainly get our fair share of GK clues that involve literature and the arts. Only fair to balance things out.

  8. Not really sure why but I found this a good deal trickier than his Toughie last week. Took a while to parse a few (1&20d in particular), was slow to twig the 2d homophone & some of the definition synonyms took an age to dawn on me (12&27a) but at least I clocked the lurkers immediately. Can’t say it was one of my favourite Ray T productions but still enjoyable. Pick of the bunch for me were 1&21a plus 3d.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Kath.

  9. Like Greta, I am grateful for the chemistry information as science is a world beyond my reach, no matter how hard I try to grasp it.
    Lovely crossword – testing but achievable. Of course, I missed the obvious in 21a, only seeing it after I solved it.

    Little Lola goes to the vet this afternoon for a review of her dosage of steroids, and to have a new chip fitted as the old one has disappeared/ stopped working/ moved out of range.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name. <-With each passing year I empathise more and more with this album title.

    Thanks to Ray T, and The Lovely Kath.

    1. After the last year, we’re doing well if we know which day of the week it is, let alone the month. Name is an added bonus! How’s your elderly relative getting on with the new “care” package? It’s always heartening to get the Lola updates but perhaps we should mention the humans too! In fairness, my 12 year old grandson says he prefers animals to people and I sometimes think he has point.

      1. Greta – the elderly person has been back in hospital for a week after being found unconscious – but – is improving and is due to be discharged very soon. This all happened on the day the new ‘care’ package was due to commence, so we haven’t had a chance to see the new plan in action yet!

    2. Don’t know if you saw the documentary film of Crosby (same name I think). So sad to think that he’s no longer spoken to by Stills & Nash let alone Young.

      1. Huntsman – yes, a catastrophic ending to their professional and private relationships. Even Crosby accepts he has behaved badly and has blurted words out that cannot be retracted.

  10. Another fine RayT production with all the normal Rayisms. I really got stuck in the NW corner as for some reason I put spineless in for 3d. Also teabags were quickly removed from 20d. Luckily I remembered 1d from chemistry many moons ago. Two lurkers as usual and both Queen and sweetheart making an appearance. Favourite was 15 which gave me a chuckle. Many thanks to Ray and Kath.

  11. I’m in the ‘slightly tricky ‘camp today – took a while to get 1a and as for 1d, chemistry was never my favourite subject (Miss Tate wasn’t my favourite teacher either!). Then I needed to verify that 12a answered the definition and change my answer for 7d – I’d opted for ‘prisoner’ until I realised that the second word would need to be in a different tense.
    All in all, not my finest hour but I enjoyed the challenge. 1a fills my favourite slot.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the review.

  12. Ray T at his best, with a touch of Jay as I got an excellent start by going Up the Downs, very enjoyable – **/****.

    My only observation, once again, is that the 8d insects are arachnids and they will ‘attach’ themselves to any ‘warm blooded animal’ just ask any human who has contracted Lyme Disease. An annual Summer problem here in Manitoba, I have seen plenty and ‘body searches’ are essential after walking through long grass.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 27a, and 14d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  13. Had the same thought as Stephen L for 20d. Forgot about t’is.
    1a and 1d were the last to fall in this very pleasant crossword.
    Kcit on the toughie is very accessible for those who have a bit of spare time.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

    1. Jean-Luc, in a spirit of pedantry and in memory of John Richards, founder of the Apostrophe Protection Society, who died aged 97 last month, I feel obliged to point out that ’tis ’tis not t’is. :wink:

      1. Thanks RD.
        You’re quite right to correct me.
        Sometimes I wish someone could proofread my comments before posting. I’m so bad at grammar and syntax.

        1. We all understood exactly what you meant Jean-Luc, therefore I see no problem. My English language is a very fluid language not bound by ridiculous and outdated conventions

        2. Much better than my French grammar and syntax. However, I too, would have pointed it out if I had been reading on the right day as it is always better to know. I was annoyed when a Professor who was chair of a charity’s trustees harangued the secretary for misplaced apostrophes. This was rude and pointless. A quiet word explaining what they are for would have solved the problem.

  14. This was a slowly, slowly one for me. Took ages to spot the lurker in 21a. Another great puzzle though. David got badly bitten by a dog in 9a which tore most of his T shirt off (I hated that T shirt anyway). It was a Sunday (so chemist closed) he was on Warfarin and blood everywhere and I was terrified he would get rabies – he didn’t, I don’t think. Thanks to Ray T and Kath and thanks to the chemistry buffs for explaining 1d – I hated chemistry.

  15. Getting started on this puzzle took a few extra moments as I consciously tried to switch my line of thought into “RayT mode”. From there it was not too tricky and I was looking at a reasonably smooth finish until I stalled with 4 left in the NW corner, which took me almost into 3* time.

    Whilst I fully appreciate the technical skill of what feels like ever more concise clue-writing, sometimes less is not more, and I found solving this grid somewhat joyless I’m afraid. Podium places to 21a and 24d. 2.5*/1.5*

    With thanks to RayT, and to Kath for the review.

    MG

  16. I thought this was fascinating and very satisfying to complete just before resorting to E-help. I say “complete”, but that doesn’t mean I “got” every one. Many thanks to Kath for help with 14d (I’d forgotten that version of tax and mulled over the spelling of a similar word meaning “cut” ……..don’t even bother to go there). Also, she cleared up that fiendish 20d, where spelling was an issue, but I couldn’t make the last 4 letters work – d’oh – the last letter of “it’s old” went to the end.
    It was also educational in that there were words that I’ve used for years, but without being 100% correct, e.g. 12a, 19a.
    I know about sublimation, but not the chemistry transitive verb version.
    Too many favourites.
    Ta to K and Ray.

  17. Very enjoyable although I do need to brush up on my chemistry and infusions. 1a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Kath and today’s setter.

  18. Solved alone and unaided…unusual for me with RayT….or indeed on any Thursday.
    Needed Kath’s hints to check my parsings were correct.
    Remembered 1d from 1st year chemistry…..thought it was a lovely phrase….iodine sublimes…..especially as it came out of the mouth of the oldest most miserable teacher in the school. Ming the merciless….his name was Menzies.
    Miserable day up here too. Cold and rainy. Far too cold for the end of April. Bah!

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for her most excellent hints.

  19. Failed on several. 1a, I wanted “put” to be the first word. Didn’t know about the chemistry bit in 1d nor the synonym. Or the synonym for 12a and would definitely not use it in the real world. 20d is surely only used in crosswords and finally missed the lurker in 21 across. Not a good solve. So thanks, for the hints.

      1. Reminds me of the French course I have attended in France where there is a great choice and are always called tisanes rather than teas. I tend to use it here.

  20. As is the norm for me, with Ray T puzzles it remains incomplete without the welcome hints but I do enjoy the mental workout and I seem to get nearer the wavelength, plus a very welcome break from excavating the garage floor. I did hint at the idea of building in a pit ( to work under the car) but Mrs 2P was having none of it, seems I’m past it.
    Thanks to Ray T for the challenge and to Kath

  21. Not the most difficult Ray T(thank you for that), but even so I understood only a little over half of the clues in full. The rest were a complete mystery until I read the excellent hints. I find it very difficult to get on his wavelength which is always offbeat. Finished but with very little fun, no standout clues.
    ***/**
    Thx for the hints

  22. Surprisingly I finished this although I needed Kath to parse some of them, notably 1d otherwise a nice logical solve. I didn’t get the quickie pun – thanks Kath. 9a my favourite 1d last in. I managed the quickie last night in the bath! Quite an achievement. We have just had a sharp shower lasting about 10 minutes, nowhere near enough rain and it is still so cold. The farmers must be tearing their hair out. Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    1. We have had no rain at all this month although we were caught in torrential rain a couple of weeks ago in Holt, 4 miles away!

  23. Can never finish a Ray T without help, and this one was no different. Hats off to those of you who found this gentle or easier than usual. I could sit here all day and never come up with that synonym for obscure in 12a. Too much like hard work for me. Anyway, garden is calling, a beautiful yellow hibiscus and a red firespike waiting to be planted. Thanks to Ray and to Kath.

  24. This was way beyond me, could of been written in Arabic for all the sense I made of it, only managed ten clues before looking at Kath’s excellent hints. Ray T ain’t my cup of tea at all. Thanks to all.

    1. Many of those who have commented that RayT is not their cup of tea have learned to appreciate his puzzles after time and help from Kath’s excellent blogs. Once mastered he is a bit of a pussycat although his claws are always on show

  25. Hurrah a solvable Ray T 😃 ***/**** and I learnt a new meaning 1d and a new word 20d 😳 Favourites 1 & 10a and 8d 🤗 Thanks to Kath and to Ray T

  26. I found this Ray T. puzzle today on the tougher end of his offerings. Not sure why when the answers were coaxed out, (and some with hints needed, thanks Kath), the clues made sense.
    Maybe a tired brain today after full day yesterday. ***/**** for me today. Lots of clever clues today. Favourites include 13a, 27a, 5d, 6d & 24d with winner 27a and 24d runner up.
    I missed the anagram in 28a for the longest time and the 21a lurker was well hidden I thought.
    1d was a good DD as well.
    Lots to like here even if I struggled today

    Thanks to Ray T. and Kath

  27. Typical Ray T in every way for me and agree with Kath’s **/***.
    Appreciate solving Ray T so **** enjoyment.
    Like lurkers and 21a really appealed so got my COTD
    Thank you Mr T how you manage it I don’t know. Kath, as usual the review just adds to the pleasure.

    Merusa, if you are visiting again, hope you get well soon, we miss you.

    1. I’m here, thank you so much. I’m not up to snuff yet but hope to start improving once I get home and see Sadie. I hope to leave Torremolinos next week, then I shall really start to get better.

  28. **/***. Didn’t know the scientific meaning of 1d, and only vaguely remembered the infusion word at 20d. these were last in and extended solving time somewhat. My cap is doffed to RayT and thanks to Kath, though didn’t need the hints today.

  29. ***/****. Really liked this puzzle but caught out in the NE quadrant. Having spotted 15a (my favourite today) I immediately put in CRIMINAL for 7d – reasonable I thought. Well that screwed me up for ages until much rethinking got the other reasonable answer. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

      1. It is but the answer would not be very cryptic if it was prisoner (which was my first thought). Doing porridge is serving a sentence.

  30. I always dread reading the comment “another gentle puzzle/offering/masterpiece from Ray T”. I have never found a Ray T gentle and if I have finished one I can only believe he’s mistakenly put in a puzzle for children.

    Managed two thirds with difficulty and the rest with Kath’s excellent hints. Thanks to her and the setter.

    As for infusions the best comment I saw was in the ‘Scenes you seldom see’ spot in Private Eye. The cartoon shows a builder obviously responding to a lady asking if he would like a cup of tea. “Oh yes please, an infusion please and camomile if you have it. And absolutely no sugar.”

    Enough said.

  31. Tough to get the brain going today. Eventually it fired up and I was able to enjoy another fine Ray-T crossword.
    I could not parse 1d, thanks Kath, but not being a chemist, I am still not sure I understand it.
    The estate of the writer at 26a should receive royalties for the number of times he appears in a crossword.
    Favourite clue was 9a.
    This freezing cold wind is driving me nuts.
    Thanks Kath and Ray-T.

  32. Well I struggled with this one. Then to cap it I accidentally clicked submit instead of continue when checking so it didn’t allow me to continue to enter in the half dozen or so I had not completed. Maybe after being out for a long walk on the Thames today I am too tired for crosswords…

  33. Did crossword whilst having lunch hour in library gardens, sitting in the sunshine, whilst Darwin
    was showered with masses of pink blossom…..how fitting!

  34. 30 clues, 156 words, average 5.2 – Ray T at his most concise.
    Having glanced at this this morning and thought it was impossible, I was pleasantly surprised to return this evening over a G&T and find it a very satisfying solve.
    Some excellent clues but my COTD goes to 1a, and an honourable mention to 1d which appeals to the chemist in me.
    Thanks to Kath for the hints and Ray T for cheering me up at the end of a stressful day.

  35. Evening all. My thanks once more to Kath for the review, and to everybody else for your comments. Much appreciated, as always.

    RayT

    1. Thanks as always Mr T 👍
      Took me a while to get going, but once I got back on your (challenging…) wavelength, it all started to fall into place.
      Oh, and thanks for the new word (to me) at 20D…I must have missed it in the Poirot movies! Seems that every day is still another school-day! 😜
      Cheers!

  36. It seems a long time since tackling this over breakfast but I do recall having enjoyed it before heading out for a cardiologist’s appointment (not so enjoyable!). NW came in last. I don’t think 12a previously in my vocabulary. Not sure about 15d or 20d.
    Favs 1a, 21a andd 7d.

  37. I knew the answer to 20d instantly due to my lockdown watching of Poirot.
    “Miss Lemon it’s 11 o’clock and time for my tisane if you please”
    Many thanks to Ray T for such a fun challenge and to Kath for much needed help with a few clues.

  38. Well I can’t understand the Ray T sceptics on here. I think his puzzles are truly 1d. Having said that I did find this one trickier than normal, or else I just couldn’t get my brain into gear. I can normally solve them without help but there were three clues that had me reaching for my phone, including the aforesaid 1d – and it was only on reading Kath’s hints that the penny dropped as to why it was correct. I remember the term well from my school days. I always maintain that chemistry has been the least useful subject to me – it’s only ever of any use in quizzes and crosswords. I annoyingly missed the lurker in 21a and I think 15d would have been better using necklaces as a definition rather than earrings. Thanks to Ray T and Kath ***/****

  39. Super crossword and excellent blog and comments. An absolute delight. Despite needing help for parsing 1d from the commentators and spending far too long trying to find the receiver of porridge rather than the dispensing of it. Favourite was 19a. It’s become common recently to call someone a conspiracy theorist if they dare to question the official narrative, however mildly, because the accuser can’t come up with a 19a argument against it. Hey ho! This is the world we now live in. Many thanks to Rayt and Kath.

  40. I often don’t get on Ray T’s wavelength and today is one of those days.

    Despite doing chemistry at school I’ve never heard of 1d. It was decades ago though. I had the answer from the checkers but needed to see the actual answer to confirm.

    20d also defeated me. My dictionary says the answer is an archaic word. As a rare tea drinker (coffee is my fuel), I am clueless about the herbal tea versions. I’d frankly rather drink water than any tea but PG Tips.

    22a I only got thanks to Google.

    I managed to somehow get rendings in my head for 15a. Massive slapping of head moment when I saw the hint…

    Other than that…not a bad result for a Ray T.

    Thanks to all.

  41. Funny how it goes. I found this much harder than the last Beam Toughie, but got there in the end. And good to see science instead of obscure classics, even if 1d was my last in, and that’s with a chemistry degree… Amazing how so few well chosen words can be so misleading! Thanks to Ray T for the workout.

  42. Thanks to Ray T for the crossword, including the dreaded 1d, and for calling in.
    Thanks, too, to everyone for the comments.
    What with one thing and another it’s been a bit of day in chilly Oxford so I’m off to bed very soon.
    Night night everyone and sleep well.

  43. A week on the Scillies spoiled by this one!! Done all the others thru the week but got stuck half way here. Going to use whelp for a couple and see how I go from there 😓

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