DT 29663 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29663

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29663

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs as April departs with a mix of sun and cloud, but not much in the way of April showers.

One or two unusual words in today’s puzzle, but fairly clued so that they can be worked out from the wordplay, and I had no particular difficulty in completing the grid.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Sky feature, series inspiring a popular book (7)
RAINBOW – Put together A (from the clue), another word for ‘popular’, and an abbreviation for Book, then wrap a series or line around the result.

Rainbows around the world | Earth | EarthSky

5a           Husband Bill feeds pigs and dogs (7)
SHADOWS – Some female pigs wrapped round Husband and a two-letter publicity bill, giving us a verb which can mean ‘dogs’.

9a           Duke describes worker as a Walter Mitty character (9)
FANTASIST – Put together one of the usual insect workers and AS (from the clue), then wrap the part of the body sometimes known informally as a duke around the result.

10a         Civilian militia, unfit for training, it’s initially … (5)
MUFTI – Initials letters of words 2 to 6 in the clue.

11a         … helping what current soldiers are doing? (7)
SERVING – Double definition, the first being a helping of food.

12a         I hurried around in pursuit of small cocktail (7)
SIDECAR – I (from the clue) followed by the reverse (around) of another word for ‘hurried’.

Sidecar Cocktail - Kitchen Geekery

13a         In tears, lady badly corrupted (3,6)
LED ASTRAY – Anagram (badly) of TEARS LADY.

16a         Smallest born escapes from animal by lake (5)
LEAST Lake, followed by another word for an animal, minus the abbreviation for Born.

17a         Walls of emerald upset my colour scheme (5)
DÉCOR – Reverse (upset) the outside letters of EmeralD, then add an exclamation like ‘My!’.

18a         Former college welcomes politician, old American, in grand manner (9)
POMPOUSLY – Put together the usual crossword politician, Old, and an abbreviation for American, then wrap the short form of a college of tertiary education (now called a university) around the result.

21a         Craft in stone Madonna holding child (7)
MASONRY – The name of the biblical Madonna, wrapped round a male child.

22a         Burden on farmers originally facing bad weather (7)
REFRAIN – Put together a Latin word for ‘on (the subject of)’, the first letter (originally) of Farmers, and some weather which is bad if you want to play cricket, but good if you want to grow crops. The definition is another word for a line repeated at the end of every stanza of a poem.

25a         Assess fruit across Ukraine’s capital (5)
GAUGE – An old or dialect word for a plum wrapped round the first letter of Ukraine.

26a         Different hybrid of white rose (9)
OTHERWISE – Anagram (hybrid of) WHITE ROSE.

27a         A little surprised at Edith being given tranquillisers (7)
SEDATED – Hidden in the clue.

28a         Claiming soldiers last played sad musical pieces (7)
LAMENTS – Anagram (played) of LAST wrapped round another word for soldiers.

Down

1d           No, not something a showjumper wants? (7)
REFUSAL – A showjumper gets four penalty points for this when their horse won’t attempt a fence.

2d           Middle son keeps away from wrongdoer (5)
INNER – Remove the abbreviation for Son from someone who commits a moral wrong.

3d           Reportedly canal boat pilot is making spicy snack (5)
BHAJI – This spicy Indian starter sounds like (reportedly) a common but incorrect term for someone in charge of a canal boat.

Onion Bhaji –

4d           One complaining of coach ultimately punching footballer (7)
WHINGER – The last letter of coacH inserted into a footballer who plays out wide rather than in the centre of the field.

5d           Is fairly discontented after school test answer (7)
SATISFY – Start with the acronym of some attainment tests which are held at various stages of a school career, then add IS (from the clue) and the outside letters (dis-contented) of FairlY. The definition is ‘answer’ as in ‘meet a requirement’.

6d           Marian periodically raised fuss about sick creature (9)
ARMADILLO – Alternate letters (periodically) of MaRiAn, read from right to left (raised, in a Down clue), followed by another word for ‘fuss’ wrapped round another word for ‘sick’.

7d           Bad international spies, extremely lawless government agents, say (9)
OFFICIALS – Put together another word for ‘bad’ often applied to food, International, some American spies, and the outside letters (extremely) of LawlesS.

8d           Mistake over blocking comedy sketch displaying root vegetable (7)
SKIRRET – Reverse (over) a word for ‘(make a) mistake’, and insert the result into another word for a comedy sketch, to get a root vegetable also known as a water parsnip.

Skirret – The Event Gardener

14d         Daughter supports sad hunch about small dog (9)
DACHSHUND – Anagram (about) of SAD HUNCH, followed by Daughter.

Dachshund (Min. Smooth Haired) | Breeds A-Z | Kennel Club

15d         File on hospital department is rigorous (9)
STRINGENT – Another word for a file or line of men or horses, followed by the usual centre of otorhinolaryngological excellence.

17d         Mother declines sum awarded by court (7)
DAMAGES – A mother animal, followed by ‘declines’ or ‘gets old’.

18d         Pale yew, so good now and again as boarding material (7)
PLYWOOD – Alternate letters (now and again) of the first four words of the clue.

19d         US police officer alarms suspect outside hotel (7)
MARSHAL – Anagram (suspect) of ALARMS, wrapped round the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet.

20d         Keen, say, to vary bets (7)
YANKEES – Anagram (to vary) of KEEN SAY, giving us some bets which , according to the BRB, are multiple bets on four horses in four races, consisting of six doubles, four trebles and an accumulator.

23d         Meeting in favour of you finally having minutes (5)
FORUM  – Another word for ‘in favour of’, followed by the last letter (finally) of yoU and an abbreviation for Minutes.

24d         Strange story in article (5)
ALIEN – A (false) story inserted into an indefinite article.


The Quick Crossword pun JOB + HAYDN = JOE BIDEN

99 comments on “DT 29663
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  1. Well, I managed to fill the grid, but with a few ‘umms’.

    I couldn’t see the Bill in 5a, didn’t know the vegetable in 8d and wasn’t too sure about the burden at22a. Still, a full grid is what counts, isn’t it?

    Finished in *** time, thanks to the compiler and DT.

  2. I thought this **/**: most of the clues I found tricky but a steady approach paid off. It was helpful to read Deep Threat’s hints to fully understand 22a and 17d although the answers were clear. With apologies but thanks to the setter for some reason I found this a curiously unsatisfying puzzle. So no COTD I’m afraid!

    1. Well – I am not sure if I should apologise even further given the obviously appropriate accolades to Silvanus. I am so sorry it just didn’t click with me today. I did have my second jab yesterday though……..

  3. A hat-trick of excellent back pagers. On first read through I thought this was going to be tough but with a few checkers in and picking up on key words in the wordplay the solutions seemed to present themselves readily.
    Hadn’t heard of 8d but with checkers and being on K alert it was easily obtainable. Thought the acrostic at 10a a bit clumsy but otherwise all great.
    Podiums 1,2& 4d
    2/4*
    Many thanks to the setter (was it ProXimal?) and DT for the fun.

    1. Hi Stephen,

      It seems I caught you out this time, it’s one of mine (proXimal is in the Toughie chair today).

      I’ll endeavour to pop back later and thank all concerned, I hope Robert Clark in particular will like the Quick pun today…

      1. Hi Silvanus
        Yes you did!! Still it was great fun and a beautifully crafted puzzle….and I’m sure Robert will appreciate the pun.

      2. Robert C. (as from now on I think I shall be posting), LOVED the pun. (But I had to jettison the ‘spa’ first!) So thank you, Silvanus, for that tribute, and for a very classy puzzle, to which I just awarded 5*****.

      3. My problem with the Quickie pun was that I have a Welsh friend called Haydn which is pronounced Hay-den, and stupidly I never thought of the composer (who is, of course, rather more well-known!) :oops:

        1. I had the same problem BD. Being a classical music philistine and living 40 years in Cardiff meant I was far more used to Hay-den than Hi-den.

      4. Thanks for popping in, Silvanus and thank you for the puzzle. As you mentioned on Fifteen Squared that you set this puzzle am I allowed to say that you also set the puzzle in The Independent today? I enjoyed that one as well.

        1. Thank you, Steve. I think you’ll find Jane kindly mentioned my other puzzle already (in Comment 13), so I don’t think anyone will mind if you repeat the recommendation. The cheque’s in the post!

  4. 3*/5*. Well this was a puzzle in more ways than one. I’d say it was definitely not set by Zandio and neither of Proximal’s hallmarks (4Xs or an X-less pangram) were in evidence and in any event he is in the Toughie chair today. Are the superbly smooth surfaces an indication that this was another Silvanus back-pager sooner than expected?

    I dragged the meaning of burden needed in 22a from somewhere in the recesses of my memory and 8d was a new word for me. I know it’s given in the BRB but I can’t quite equate “mistake” with “err”. Can some kind soul construct a sentence where one can be replaced directly by the other?

    Picking a favourite is beyond me and would be unfair on all the other clues.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

    1. RD. As verbs they both mean “to be incorrect”, so to err/mistake is human. Looks odd, I know, but it’s the best I can do. I’m sure Gazza can do better…

  5. The north east held me up a bit, 5a and 8d in particular. ***/*** 8d was my last one in and a guess from the checkers. I’ve never heard of/cooked/eaten this root! I’ve looked forward to somebody giving us an adventurous clue for 6d. My favourite today. Thanks to all.

    1. They look a bit like salsify although paler in colour. Alternatively, they also look like parsnips the year on the allotment when I failed to thin them all out sufficiently – that’s the problem with roots, they sit there in a self-satisfied manner until you finally unearth them and then scoff at your tears.

  6. Wow, I just finished this honey of a puzzle, clearly (to me, at least) the best of this week’s sterling array of posers–and I now see (no surprise here) that it is another of Silvanus’s gems. I did know the root vegetable, but over here, the spelling (when rarely seen) reverses the vowels; however, it doesn’t look very tasty however you spell it, and I remember the ‘burden’ from at least one previous puzzle, but also because I’m a bit of a musician. As one of our members wrote earlier this week (Stephen? Huntsman?), I have enough winners for three podiums, so I’ll just pick three of them at random: 13, 21, 26a. What a total joy this was, so thanks to DT for his review and to Silvanus for his genius. *** / *****

    Yesterday, my partner Jimmy and I had our first dining-out experience (at our local Irish pub, Madra Rua) in over 16 months. We sat outdoors on a very warm afternoon as we hosted a Clemson U. classmate (class of 1960) and his wife. My classmate and I are the only two left from the college newspaper staff of 1959-60: he the editor, I the associate editor, and we enjoyed the wine, fish and chips, & Irish stews, while observing all the protocols.

        1. I’m glad you had both wine and Guinness, or maybe that was the table as a whole? I can never decide whether to have one or both with Irish dishes, like fish soup with soda bread or gammon,B so sometimes have both………

    1. Robert, your day sounded wonderful and I bet it was great to meet up with friends again. Mrs. C and I are hoping to get together with friends we have known for years in a couple of weeks. Haven’t seen them, or anyone, for over a year. I have a bottle of Bollinger in the wine rack. Should I take it?

      1. By all means, Steve, take the Bollinger! And enjoy the reunion. I actually wept a bit–before the wine–upon being actually hugged by Richard and Laura (all of us fully jabbed but also fully masked). Very emotional, the entire afternoon.

  7. What a treat. Silvanus doing double duty this week (good spot RD). Excellent as always. The veg was new to me but the wordplay clear. 4d takes top spot for its super surface with 14d & 17a joining it on the podium. Last in 25a in an otherwise brisk solve.
    Thanks to Mr Smooth & DT.

  8. As soon as I had completed about a third of this my Silvanus alert indicators were flashing, so I was delighted to see he has claimed ownership of this excellent backpager early on today. 19d was my COTD, mainly because it reads so beautifully. Overall a highly rewarding and enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks to Silvanus for the fun and to DT.

  9. I thought it was Sylvanus. His puzzles frequeny look hard at first but progress accelarates as more clues go in and because of the quality of the clues. I really enjoyed the challenge of this one (3*/5*) and it is indeed the best backpager of the week. I got 22a, which I knew from singing in a choir and 20d, which I knew from having worked in a bookmakers during one omy university vacations, so that was lucky. I’d never heard of 8d but the wordplay made it gettable. My COTD, however, was 9a. Thanks to Sylvanus and to DT.

  10. Very enjoyable. Hadn’t come acrods 8d before but clear directions allowed me to construct and then confirm.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  11. Very enjoyable and over all too soon for an end of the (non-)work week puzzle. The only pause was generated by the need to confirm the 8d vegetable in the Small Red Book. 1.5*/4.5*.

    With the 3d snack, I was beginning to think pangram, with or without an ‘X’, but I think there were two other letters ‘missing’ from the line-up.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 17a, 3d, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  12. Like others I thought this was going to be a tricky little number and only got a few to start with. Not heard of 8d but quite gettable. NW corner held me up until I cracked 1a which gave me the first letter of 3d as I couldn’t get tapas out of my mind. Therefore most of that corner was my COTD 3d, 1d, and 9a. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat – still only 4 degrees on the car this morning. Oh, a couple of months ago someone on this site had a plumber to sort a leaky tap and worked out he charged so much his yearly income must be six figures. We had a plumber this morning for a leaky tap, he was here about 45 minutes and charged £20 which I thought was very reasonable. He had come 10 miles too.

    1. I often go on YouTube to see if it might be possible to sort jobs myself and last year I found that I could change a complete tap, except I needed a particular wrench which I got from Homebase for a few quid, and a diagram of which order to layer each component. Theoretically, I had it all right, but then I was disappointed that I needed a bit of extra muscle power from my son in law. For most jobs, Bosch does the trick, but plumbing seems to be a weird mixture of delicacy and brute strength…….I think that’s why they earn their wages? Having said that, an honest and pragmatic plumber is a godsend and I had one who mended a leaky dishwasher tap with a few turns of sticky rubber band. He charged me a tenner and it lasted for several years.

      1. After struggling for years to put the duvet cover on, I looked it up on Youtube. I managed to put it on the kingsize duvet in about 15 seconds today! Lots of tips on Youtube.

        1. You mean inside out, don’t you?
          Lots of covers now have “open” corner to make it easier, but not in my experience.

          1. That’s right. It never occurred to me to do it that way until I saw it on Youtube. There is another way where the duvet and cover are rolled up but that method is for thinner ones.

        2. Thanks for the hint. Will do that when I next change my duvet cover. Looks very straightforward. At least more so than I found today’s puzzle. Little grey cells on strike!!

  13. What a Silvanusfest this week – two appearances in the DT plus today’s offering in the Independent – aren’t we lucky!
    I did need to check the 8d vegetable and verify the 22a burden but everything else slotted together without any problem.
    So many to choose from for the podium but I settled on 1,21&27a plus 17d.

    Many thanks to Mr Smooth and thanks also to DT for the review.

  14. Though tricky – especially at the top (both Northumberland and Cumbria), this was very satisfying to complete. I was unaware of 8d but it was easy to fill in with the checkers.

    Yesterday afternoon, I sprayed a long fence line with ‘one coat’ fence paint. It took four coats and today my shoulder feels like I was throwing a discus all afternoon.
    The vet was delighted with Lola – her steroids are to be reduced slowly but surely over the next few weeks, and to all intents and purposes she is discharged, having made a full recovery. This is something of a miracle when we recall she was thought to be breathing her last, three months ago.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Beatles – Abbey Road (2019 Super Deluxe Edition)

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

    1. I both love and detest Maxwells Silver Hammer in equal measure. Both Golden Slumbers and Carry That Weight are too short by about five minutes each.

    2. What a brilliant ‘happy ending’ for Lola’s saga. Never mind the fence paint, time to get that cat flap fitted for her!

      1. Oh the cat door stares at me from its packaging. Lola will need to wait for a couple of days before I start drilling and chiselling through the wall!

        1. Ours works perfectly. Make sure that you fit it the right way round which will allow any cat to leave your house but only your cat to enter. Otherwise all cats will be able to enter but only Lola will be able to leave.

          1. Lola’s nemesis is a Siamese cat that lives somewhere nearby and is always trying to come in this house. Turmoil would follow if I fit the cat door the wrong way round!

            1. Glad Lola is back to her old self, Terence. My son has just installed a cat door activated by his cat’s chip. Another, younger, cat with almost identical colouring keeps trying to join their family, so I hope it works!

        2. A long time ago we had a sweet, pretty little tabby cat who was very twitchy and was being terrorised by a large invader so, in desperation, we got a cat flap that was activated by a magnetic thingie on a collar round her neck. In theory when she came up to the flap a switch clicked down allowing her to come in. The problem was that as soon as she was near enough for that to work she was scared off by the noise it made so she jumped back.

            1. I have just been sent a copy of a Certificate of Cat Flap Competence, which my two grandchildren have made, after Tibbles successful negotiation of the new cat flap.

  15. I found this one slow to start but it gather pace after a while. I’m not sure what “burden” has to do with 22a and I also had not heard of the vegetable, which is related to the carrot apparently. Terrific lurker at 27a that took me ages to spot it was that well hidden.

    Too many good clues to pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for a real test of the grey cells. Thanks also to DT for the hints.

    1. SC. (From the BRB). A burden (archaic:burthen) is the part of a song repeated at the end of every stanza, a refrain.

        1. I must retrieve the BRB from the bookcase. It used to sit by me for instant referral but Mrs. C thought it cluttered up the kitchen and removed it. I would repair to the study to do the cryptic but that would deprive me of her company. I will have to sneak the BRB back into the kitchen by nefarious means! 😈

          1. That was interesting. Spellchecker, in its wisdom changed “and removed it” to “Andrew moved it”. There has to be a cryptic clue in there somewhere, surely?

            Anyone think of one? 😏

  16. After failing miserably with today’s Toughie I had a rare go at the Sodoffku and failed at that as well. Fortunately this little gem from Silvanus wiped away the tears and put a smile on my face. I put Bagee in at 3 down and had to revise the spelling after solving 9 across and again after solving 11 across. Thanks to Silvanus for the puzzle and Peter for the review. I’m off to The Barn at Willy now to freeze over a pint for the 19th day running, such is my devotion to the God of Alcohol. Play nicely over the weekend children and I will see you all on Monday

  17. I had all the same findings as everyone else, the (near) consensus being that you could “get” it all in, without necessarily “getting” it all, if you see what I mean. Rather like yesterday’s, in fact, although with a couple of terms you either knew or didn’t.
    My favourite was 3d.
    It’s been an enjoyable puzzling week.
    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  18. I thought this must be a Giovanni, everything you need is in the clue which are all very clever. There are a couple of obscure words too in 8d and the meaning of 22a which was new to me but both were solvable from the wordplay. For me one of best puzzles for quite some time. Took me a while to work out the duke in 9a.
    Thx to all.
    **/*****

  19. A popular puzzle according to our bloggers and deservedly so, excellent logical cluing throughout and only one new word 8d.
    22a was a new synonym confirmed by Chambers.
    Favourite was 20a and liked the NW quadrant generally.
    As Crisscross says Silvanus crosswords always seem to look more difficult than the are once you get into them because of the quality of the clues.
    Going for a ***/****.Thanks DT for the pics,8d looked like a baby triffid-do you actually eat it?

  20. Delightful puzzle, and after their similarly enjoyable grid earlier this week am not in the least surprised to learn it was by Silvanus.

    So many diiferent types of clue, a refreshingly small number of anagrams, almost every clue read smoothly, and too many ticks to list all the clues I liked. Podium for me goes to 6d, runner-up 18d, those spots it could have been shared by many.

    Delayed, frustratingly, by 5a, nonetheless no more than 1.5* time but 5* for enjoyment.

    Thanks to Silvanus for an excellent lunchtime workout, and to DT.

    MG

  21. To begin with I hardly got any clues following a quick scan of them, but once a few went in, I began to get going. A very enjoyable puzzle.

  22. The great thing about the puzzles of Silvanus is the solution follows the dictum of ‘read the clue.’ What is more there are no arcane or esoteric links, homonyms, or other befuddlements for those of us who get lost in the maze of references. We sometimes may not know the word but can look it up and learn.

    Never easy but nearly always solvable, so thank you very much Silvanus.

    And for the clues that needed finer parsing than that available in my tiny brain many thanks to DT.

  23. I agree that this one looked difficult to start with – I have to admit that it carried on looking difficult.
    I did really enjoy it.
    8d is a new vegetable and I didn’t know that meaning of 22a.
    I don’t know anything about cocktails, which is probably just as well, but have heard of 12a.
    Can’t spell 14d but at least I know that I can’t and always forget the 18a university.
    Far too many good clues to pick any particular ones so thanks to Silvanus and to DT.
    Still cold in Oxford and it’s May 1st tomorrow – May Morning.

    1. I couldn’t spell 14d either, Kath and had to look it up. It’s been frosty each morning in the south of Oxfordshire, 10 days out of the last 12.

      1. I think the problem with spelling it is in the pronunciation.

        It is commonly pronounced dash-hund. If you pronounce it dacks-hund, as a German would pronounce it, it is easier to spell.

        Or I could be talking a load of old tosh.

        1. I always think that people mispronounce the word when they say dash-hund. The ch comes before the S – it’s as if people can’t read it properly and think it’s spelled daschund. I guess it’ll be one of those words where eventually the wrong pronunciation becomes the right one.

          1. It’s a bit like “fuchsia”, it helps to know that the plant was named after someone called Fuchs (German for fox) for the correct spelling, even though in English we pronounce it as though the “s” appears earlier in the word. Dachshund in German actually means “badger dog” (Dachs = badger), but we generally find it easier to say “dash-hund” as you say.

  24. I can only echo what everyone else has said. Favourite was 13a as I needed all the checkers on place before I solved it. Many thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  25. I did this back to front ie put in the answer first, then parsed it.
    Correct every time.
    Funny, that.
    Only help was to check the spelling of a certain Indian delicacy.
    Very cleverly constructed clues.
    So, **/*****
    Many thanks Proximal and DT for the review.

  26. Well I found this one quite tricky. I got there in the end despite the meaning of ‘burden’ being new to me, as was the vegetable. Have to admit having to look up how to spell the Indian snack….maybe if I pronounced it right it would help with the spelling…….just wondering. (And yes, it is not a homophone for me.)

    Thanks to DT and to Sylvanus.

    Awful day here today….overcast, raining from time to time and hailstones at one point (exactly the time I had to go out to the Post Office). Hope it warms up in May.

  27. Thanks for the explanation for 9a; I’d got it into my head it was a rather controversial reference to an ex-king-then-duke having facist sympathies! Which means, of course, I got the spelling wrong as well…🤦‍♂️

  28. Definitely tricky today. Not helped by the fact that I have no knowledge about Indian food, cocktails, or very strange vegetables. I would never have put burden and refrain together. Clearly not in wavelength as I got most of my answers from checkers, rather than the clues. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

    For those of you thinking of converting to the new DT app, which lets you cancel your additional puzzles subscription, I did hear back yesterday from a nice young man, Declan, in their enquiries office, that I will indeed be able to print the puzzles after I move to the new app. Not being very techy, I just need to pluck up courage to do it.

  29. Back again to thank everyone for taking the trouble to comment and to congratulate Deep Threat on his usual immaculate Hints and Tips. I particularly liked the Flanders and Swann clip, having by pure coincidence enjoyed listening only a few days ago to “The Gas Man Cometh” and the delightfully non-PC “A Song of Patriotic Prejudice” that I hadn’t heard for years.

    Glad to hear the good news about Lola, that Merusa is on the mend and that Brian liked the puzzle! May I wish everyone a good weekend.

  30. Agree – found this quite tricky and needed two sessions to finish….but, nevertheless an enjoyable puzzle!
    Today’s schooling was the root vegetable at 8D which I’d never heard of before, and the alternative meaning of ‘burden’ in 22A.
    Anyway, thanks to Silvanus for the educating challenge and to DT, as ever, for the excellent blog ‘n hints.
    Cheers!

  31. Well like everyone else it seems I started off thinking this was tricky – I only managed two of the across clues at first pass. The down clues were easier and it all fell into place until I was stumped by the meaning of burden (I got the answer but couldn’t see why so didn’t put it in) and 24d which I needed the hint for (d’oh). Never heard of the veg but it’s always satisfying to come up with a new word and then Google it to find it exists. Many thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat ***/****

  32. Don’t want to sound boring but I too thought it was going to be hard work but everything flowed in.
    Had to check 8d and 22a.
    Great surface all round.
    Favourite is the plywood in 18d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  33. That was a veritable treat with no cause whatsoever for ‘umming’. NE was slowest corner. Hadn’t heard of burden in 22a context nor I don’t think the 8d vegetable. Flanders & Swann darling 6d is always fun to hear – they certainly were one (two!) of a kind. My Fav was 17a. Thank you Silvanus and DT.

  34. This was, for me at least, one of those crosswords that seems hard when solving but wasn’t actually as difficult on reflection…

    A challenging and enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to all.

  35. Late starting this again today but not a very satisfying solve I am afraid. Too many clues that caused hmm’s for synonyms or questionable (awkward) clue structure. Example of 5a & 5d are just two that I question. New words for me with 3d & 8d.
    Favourite clues 10a, 25a & 27a, as it was a well hidden lurker.
    Overall today ****/** with lack of enjoyment being the iffy clues and the GK needed for 9a

    Not my favourite puzzle for the week, I am afraid.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT

  36. Quite a brain teaser but doable and very enjoyable, unfortunately only finished with a bit of electronic aid. Never heard of 8d and 20d but they had to be what they were – don’t suppose I’ll remember them for next time! Lots of excellent clues, 13a has to be fav because it took so long for the penny to drop and when it did I laughed out loud. Thanks to DT for hints which are always a pleasure to read, and to Silvanus for an excellent puzzle.

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