DT 29667 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29667

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29667

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Duck shooting season started on 1st May. The estuary that we live beside is a bird sanctuary and often lately it has had the appearance of an avian refugee camp as hordes of mainly Canada geese and Mallard ducks arrive to share the water and tidal mud-flats with our regular inhabitants. The visitors are noisy blighters at times so we are pleased to see them go again.

We’ve been so wrong with our attempts to identify the setters lately that we will not even try this week.

A good mid-week puzzle to solve though and that is all that really matters. We found it slightly tricky in places so have given it three stars.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Recommend writing about odd characters in plot (7)
PROPOSE : Writing that is other than poetry contains the first and third letters of plot.

9a     Struggle helplessly seeing line adopted by father (8)
FLOUNDER : A father, or one who establishes something, contains L(ine).

10a     Business worry (7)
CONCERN : Double definition.

11a     Bachelor’s first trendy place by the sea (8)
BRIGHTON : The initial letter of bachelor plus a 5,2 phrase meaning trendy.

12a     First part of a play with number going round fighting (6)
ACTION : The name and number (as a Roman numeral) of the first part of a play, and then the reversal of the two letter abbreviation for number.

13a     Opportunity backed after complaint — game might be raised here (6,4)
GROUSE MOOR : A complaint, beef or moan, plus the reversal of a synonym for opportunity as possibly used in the phrase ‘no xxxx for error’.

15a     Marathon record broken by nationalist’s leader (4)
LONG : Marathon here is an adjective. The record, possibly kept of a ship’s voyage, contains the first letter of nationalist.

16a     Son’s promise in front of mainly suspicious swimmer (9)
SWORDFISH : S(on’s) promise or pledge, and a word meaning suspicious or peculiar without its last letter.

21a     Duty of old star from the east (4)
ONUS : O(ld), and the reversal (from the east) of the star that warms our planet.

22a     Top bill and see off large corporations (3-7)
POT-BELLIES : An anagram (off) of TOP BILL and SEE.

24a     Drink connection keeping pupils regularly missing (6)
TIPPLE : The first, third and fifth letters of pupils are inside a connection or joiner.

25a     Mobile resonating as missing such a noise (8)
RINGTONE : An anagram (mobile) of RE(s)ON(a)TING once ‘as’ has been removed.

27a     France is French — nothing about garnish (7)
FESTOON : The IVR code for France, the French word for ‘is’, the letter representing nothing and a two letter ‘about’ or ‘referring to’.

28a     Blow chances finally getting question with queen (8)
SQUANDER : String together the last letter of chances, QU(estion) , a synonym for with, plus Her Majesty’s regnal cypher.

29a     Suggests Independent politician is economical with the truth! (7)
IMPLIES : I(ndependent), then a Member of Parliament plus ‘tells porkies’.


2d     Ferret cut farmer’s production in field (4,4)
ROOT CROP : Ferret or rummage about, and cut to make shorter.

3d     Easy profits from ruler seen in photos (8)
PICKINGS : A male monarch is inside a familiar word for photos.

4d     Well, bread is a possible starter in restaurant (6,4)
SPRING ROLL : A well that might be a water source and then a small single serving bread product.

5d     Slight speech defect (4)
SLUR : A double definition. This speech defect is often alcohol induced.

6d     Move to employ one Australian flier (6)
BUDGIE : Move something that is loathe to be moved, contains the Roman numeral one.

7d     Issue could be treason, having killed leader (7)
EDITION : Remove the first letter (having killed leader) from treason or insurrection.

8d     Angry, upset about a right sort of loaf (7)
GRANARY : An anagram (upset) of ANGRY contains ‘A’ from the clue and R(ight).

11d     Attack and do as ordered, beset by girl getting married (9)
BROADSIDE : A girl getting married contains an anagram (ordered) of DO AS.

14d     Wake selected pupils after mistake (10)
SLIPSTREAM : A minor mistake and selected pupils ranked by ability.

17d     Area covered by recasting of Hot Lips in MASH? (8)
HOSPITAL : An anagram (recasting) of HOT LIPS contains A(rea).

18d     Clear instruction from Pope on sleep (8)
BULLDOZE : A four letter word for a papal instruction and then sleep lightly.

19d     Discourage work on fourth estate (7)
OPPRESS : The two letter artistic work and a general word for what is referred to as the fourth estate.

20d     Weapon hurt one of Macron’s (4,3)
STUN GUN : A word meaning hurt, possibly by a bee, then the word used for one in Macron’s country.

23d     Tagine must be cooked for this purpose (6)
EATING : An all in one clue that is an anagram (must be cooked) of TAGINE.

26d     Christmas will be held up by little ones (4)
NOEL : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

The two that had most appeal for us were both anagrams, 22a and 17d.

Quickie pun    locum    +    ocean    =    locomotion

116 comments on “DT 29667

  1. What a fabulous puzzle, the compiler should take a bow. My only problem was having to confirm the second part of 19d.
    Wouldn’t even know where to start on selecting a podium, virtually all of them, but if pushed will highlight 9,11&13a plus 6&18d.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks, great stuff.

  2. Areally enjoyable puzzle with mostly straightforward clues and a few head-scratchers to provide a challenge (**/****). I liked the ‘lego’ clues 16a and 28a and 14d was quite good as well. There were some fine anagrams, though not so many as yesterday. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints. I have loads of birds that are seeking food for their nestlings at the moment, chiefly sparrows, goldfinches, blue tits and wood pigeons, with a few greenfinches, robins, jackdaws and magpies. Thanks fora great crossword go to the compiler.

  3. Incredibly have finished both the Toughie and this. I think I derive a G&T!
    Was delighted to realise the girl in 11d was not a broad.
    No real COTD as so many clues raised a smile.
    Go and try the Toughie. It’s very doable.
    Hope the 2 Kiwis get rid of their visitors soon, Canada Geese are a menace,

    1. The Canada Geese do not like drones and radio controlled boats around them on ponds. On river stretches they are not keen on dogs being walked nearby. We never seem to have too much trouble with them coincidentally

      1. We used to dread the Canada Geese dropping in on their migratory flight when we lived in a very old farm surrounded by a mist. They would terrify the ducks and moorhens. Quite majestic looking, though.

          1. The droppings, the wearing down of the grass, the destruction of the habitat around the pond, the noise, the bullying of other wildfowl. Casting spells at midnight, eating children, fighting outside the pub. You name it they do it

            1. Remember the book The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico? One of my fave books of all time.

                1. Yes, a lovely book.illustrated by Peter Scott . His Wildfowl Reserve at Slimbridge was always a treat to visit when the children were small.

  4. A thoroughly enjoyable solve which I raced through with only a couple needing the 2k’s to explain as missed the parsing of both 11d and 22d. Obvious when explained! COTD definitely 17d.

  5. A cracking puzzle which I’d guess is a Jay. The north east corner gave me the most pause for thought. A lovely bit of misdirection in 14d. Lots of good clues so hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 28a. **/**** Thanks to all.

  6. I thought that this was quite tough but superb–tricky and cleverly misdirectional at times, but redolent of our old Wednesday master, Jay (am I wrong again?). At first pass, I thought, Oh no! I had only two answers, both 4-letter words. But the pennies started dropping, and I managed a sweet finish, with 18d and 11d (both belligerent verbs!) in a draw for COTD. The NE corner held me up at the end, with 8d and 13a my last two in, almost simultaneously. Thanks to the Kiwis and to today’s setter (Jay?). *** / ****

    Toughie: toughest so far this week for me.

  7. I thought this was a Jay offering, too. I got off to a slow start, but once I had built up some momentum, I steamed over the finish line, fully parsed, in *** time.

    Quite a few were in contention, but in the end I gave the COTD to 25a.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

  8. Really enjoyable puzzle, had some difficulty parsing a few of my answers, so thanks to the 2Kiwis for such clear explanations.
    Thanks to setter.

  9. Some really great clues – as others the NE held me up the most. I knew I had the correct answers as my Kindle told me so, but two or three were complete guesses like 18d – never heard of bull being a papal command. Still all very enjoyable so thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis. Thank goodness the sun is out at the moment for our freezing outdoor lunch at the pub in an hour. Chriscross we have loads of birds on our feeders but no sparrows sadly they seem to all be down near the marshes. We did have a white crowned sparrow in Cley a few years ago and people came from all over Europe to see it.

    1. Last year was a very poor one for sparrows. I don’t know if it was because of the hot, dry weather. This year they are coming back strongly. Once the little ones fledge, sparrowhawks often swoop in and nobble them, whilst they are searching for food or drinking at the birdbath. I get so fed up, when they catch a sparrow, yet they are magnificent birds and they, too, have to eat.

      1. We’re seeing sparrows on the feeder along with dunnocks, great tits, coal tits, blue tits, robins, goldfinches, a wren and a great spotted woodpecker. As it’s nesting season, we have stopped the fat balls and peanuts because they can choke the chicks.

        1. When I put the last of the winter’s RSPB buggy/coconut fat balls out several weeks ago, a great flock of starlings demolished the lot in short order. They haven’t been back much recently apart from when I throw out any stale homemade bread.

          1. We see that as well, Chriscross. Don’t see starlings for ages then they suddenly attack the feeder in droves. Not my favourite birds but I absolutely love to see a great susurration.

  10. A cracking puzzle for a changeable Shropshire morning. Nothing was particularly awkward or difficult, but the quality of the clues was first class. As a devotee of MASH, there was only one winner for COTD; 17d.

    My thanks to Jay, if it was indeed he, and to the 2Ks.

    1. And me, loved MASH. One of the first programs that showed the absurdity of what was going on in Korea and later in Vietnam. Brilliantly acted and scripted.

    2. When all I had on the grid was an ‘Ho’, I thought–oh, can it be?–Houlihan! IMHO, the greatest American TV series ever.

  11. 2*/4.5*. This was very enjoyable and was one of those puzzles where I found it possible to complete each quarter starting with the NW, before moving steadily round clockwise to finish in the SW. About halfway through I suspected a pangram but it was not to be.

    The surfaces were nice and smooth and this was good enough to be a Jay puzzle but I thought it unlikely that he would have included 25a without using a second anagram indicator for “as” as the letters need to be removed from the anagram fodder in reverse order.

    I agree with Stephen L that there are plenty of excellent clues from which to pick a favourite, and I am going to nominate 11a in first place with 18d & 5d joining it on the podium.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

    1. RD, 25a. If you read the “as” not as a word but as the 2 letters “a,s” (missing) would a second indicator still be required? My goddaughter has just asked me, and I’m not sure what the answer is.

      1. Yes – the clue says remove AS, but AS doesn’t appear in the fodder, only SA so an anagram (or reversal) indicator is definitely required

  12. Super, I think it’s Jay as it’s so well clued.
    Far too many good cluesnto nominate a favourite, but I will, 27a as I like the word..
    Thanks both.

  13. Struggled a bit with the SW corner but a most enjoyable puzzle.
    Going out for a walk now to reduce the 22a 😁

  14. Great puzzle – a fine accompaniment to toast and orange juice with no bits in it.

    Canada Geese are a nuisance but I’m not so keen on (and I’m guessing the geese would vote against) shooting them.

    I know some people like to put faces to names so here we are – me, and the extraordinarily patient and loving H, at the Wolseley on Christmas Eve 2019.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Declan O’Rourke – Since Kyabram

    Thanks to the setter (is it Jay?) and the Two Ks with their ducks.

    1. I agree, the Wolsey is a great place but as we tend to stay at the RAF Club, we eat there. You both look as though you’re enjoying yourselves.

      1. The Royal Air Force Club – such a lovely building and what views you must have from inside!

        1. Right across Green Park to The Palace with Piccadilly traffic in the foreground.

  15. I’m prepared to punt a big wad that this is a Jay production. As Stephen said, where would you start trying to pick a podium from such an array of super clues. By no means a quick solve for me but the pennies eventually dropped for a somewhat laboured completion in just shy of ****time every minute of which was a pleasure. My only slight query was that I don’t regard 19d as being particularly synonymous with the definition but no doubt it’s in the bible. If pressed my COTD was 17d for no other reason than it made me think of the brilliant scene with Margaret & Frank (Sally Kellerman & Robert Duvall) that earned her the soubriquet & immediately made me want to watch the movie for the umpteenth time.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

  16. Some clever but tricky clues pushed me just into *** time so a ***/*** for me. I really liked 22a and 17d. I seem to recall she mentioned in 17d as Hoolihan or something and so that distracted me for a while until the penny dropped. Last one in was 28a and took me quite a while to fathom. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay if is indeed he.

  17. Very enjoyable and perfect for a Wednesday so I agree with HiYD, at Comment 12, and others ‘elsewhere,’ that it ‘felt’ like a Jay – but what do I know? **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 28a, 29a, 2d, 4d, and the QP – and the winner is the QP!

    Thanks to Jay(?) (or whoever the setter might be) and to the 2Ks.

  18. Great puzzle, a hugely enjoyable coffee-break solve. Was unaware 6d was an Ozzie, otherwise all straightforward, no unusual words or references, and generally smooth surfaces. Quite a few ticks alongside the clues, and while for me 11a takes pride of place on the podium, honourable mentions go to 16a, 27a, 4d, 11d, 17d and 20d.


    Many thanks to Setter and to the 2Ks.


  19. Only 6d stands between my finishing the puzzle totally unaided. I will refrain from looking at the hints and continue to ponder it. Despite this one stumbling block what a fantastic puzzle this was. I have stars agains so many clues such as 4d, 8d. 11d,23d and 26d. My COTD is between two and I cannot decide which I like the best so I am, just this once, going to have a tie between 11a and 18d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter (is it Jay? I’m not sure). Thank also to the 2K’s for the hints, which I am not going to look at until I have figured out 6d. :grin:

    Cold with hail in Shropshire. Snow on the hills. It is May, right?

    1. Just got 6d so a completely unaided solve for me and that has not happened fr a while. :yahoo:

        1. Flippin eck. LROK, you are quite correct! So that’s two unaided finishes in a row. It can only go downhill from here.

          1. Steve
            Today was my second unaided Toughie in a row. Having never got anywhere near a Thursday Toughie it will definitely (or are we all going to use definately from now on?).

            1. “Definately?” Certainly not!

              I have got quite a way into the Toughie but I’m looking at the cryptic by Tees in the Independent at the moment. The way that’s going, I think I’ll go back to the Toughie!

  20. Excellent puzzle, a very enjoyable solve.
    In agreement with Young Salopian, my COTD is 17d.
    LOI was 18d, I wasn’t aware that bull is a papal command.
    One for the expert linguists amongst us – on checking 7d, my dictionary gives the definition of sedition as any offence against the state short of treason. So not treason itself?
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  21. A most enjoyable puzzle which was a reasonably steady solve for me with only a couple of clues proving more difficult to crack.
    Slightly surprised to see two sets of pupils in one puzzle. Why aren’t they all at school?
    Too many good clues to choose a favourite.
    Thanks, setter!

  22. Tougher than yesterdays but an excellent puzzle for all that. Well constructed clues except perhaps for 20d which seemed a little clumsy. A very minor issue in the context of this enjoyable crossword. My favourite was 11a, very elegant.
    Thx to all

  23. Solved alone and unaided and understood the clues.

    Going to buck the trend here and say that I don’t think it is Jay……. but what do I know….not a lot.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

    Cold still up here with rain threatened. We saw quite a bit of snow on the Ochils as we drove to and from Edinburgh yesterday. The blossom on our cherry trees are barely out…but loads of apple blossom. As Steve Cowling said ….it is May, right ?

    1. Correction to our weather forecast…not rain threatened….SNOW threatened.

      1. Heavy showers with a bit of thunder and lightning in South Oxfordshire at the moment!

  24. Superb clueing with enough challenge to cause the grey matter to spark. ***/****. Smiled at 17d, not just for the memories evoked, but in amazement that hot lips is an anagram of hospital! Thanks to everyone. Cheers m’dears.

  25. On Jay’s wavelength today and found this fairly straightforward (usually *** by 2Ks means a struggle for me). Perhaps avoiding looking at the snow flurries outside aided my concentration.
    Really enjoyable with lots to appreciate. I’ll go for 13a for COTD with 11a close behind.
    Thanks to ?presumably) Jay and the 2Ks for the lucid review. In the last couple of weeks there have been numerous formations of very noisy geese heading North flying over us, with Biggles trying to work out where the noise was coming from. He expression said “What did you expect?” when I told him that according to this morning’s DT Labradors had come bottom of the league when it came to dog aggression.

    1. I saw that, LROK and I told Hudson. His response was to carry on sleeping after giving a small grunt.

      1. We had two black labradors when we were at the farm (not a working farm I hasten to say). They were both as daft as brushes. We inherited them from the previous owner, couldn’t not take them.incidentally we were only the six the name on the deeds since the place was built by Edric the Plain!

        1. Blimey, DG that’s some provenance! What year was the farm built?

          There are, of course, others who could say they are only the sixth on the deeds but the house was built in 1984. :grin:

          1. Well it was originally a hall but after the Norman Conquest it was given by William the Conqueror to one of his knights and became Argentines Manor, surrounded by a moat. The moat now only goes round 3/4 of the house and is diverted into the River Mel. A second matching hall was attached in the 1600s but the date of the extension was put on the wrong gable. By this time it was known as Lordship Farm. Amazingly some years ago I was collecting for Lifeboats and an old lady opened the door and peered at me. I know you, she said, you live at Argentines. It had not been known as anything other than Lordship farm for centuries!!!
            I was privileged to be part of a small team who produced 3 histories of the village with a large lottery grant, distributed free into every house complete with disc of old people’s reminiscences . I’ve waffled long enough.

            1. Hi Daisygirl.
              We have just been doing some ‘InvestiGoogling’ and think we might have found your wonderful house. Just to confirm, does your village sound rather like a significant Australian city. What a privilege it must be to live surrounded by such interesting history.

              1. You’ve got it! Visiting Australians stand by the village sign artfully hiding the lack of an ‘e’ in the end ! We downsized when we were being kept awake at night by the sound of the death watch beetle chomping through the beams and, more specifically, both our daughters lived nearby and we seemed to just fill the house at Christmas. We now live in the Z shaped house just south of the church. Next stop the churchyard!

    2. Our Toby was a typical lab, never showing any aggression, just a big, lovable, soppy dog. Until one day when our neighbour John was visiting. John, who Toby knew well, was standing and started to wave his arms excitedly above his head as he explained something to Peter. Toby immediately began a deep, threatening growl. We had never heard him do that before. Then we realized he had interpreted the arms waving as Peter being threatened. John lowered his arms and Toby settled down. He was never aggressive, but on that one and only occasion he showed he did take his position in the family quite seriously.

      1. So true, BL. Labs are placid until the “pack” is threatened. One of our former Labs was as placid as they come. The son of a neighbour would come every morning for a lift into town. He and our Lab were great fiends and has been for years but one day he thought it funny to growl, rather aggressively, at the dog. That was it! As far as the dog was concerned the pack was being attacked and he started barking savagely. I calmed him down, of course but I explained to the lad that dogs are not like humans and they don’t understand “jokes”.

  26. This was a perfect combination of brainteasing and fun. NW slowest to yield. Instruction in 18d is a new one on me but I gather it is derived from the name of the lead seal used for the pontiff’s documents. Struggled to parse 20a as I had a different vowel in the first word. My Fav was 22a although those corporations do seem to make frequent appearances. TVM Jay (?) and the 2Kiwis.

  27. I agree that this is a very good puzzle. Lots to like here. Interestingly only clues 1, 10, 12, 15, 21, 24 across and 3 down have not had a mention yet. Thanks to Jay if it was he and the 2Ks

      1. I’m not that au fait with pub games but is it the line on the floor of his pub to stand for playing darts? Just a guess.

        1. How did you manage these, MP? I have had loads of stuff in the ground but it is too cold for it all to get going. Apart from the asparagus bed, that is. That’s going mad!

          1. The same as keeping good beer in a cellar. Sing to it every morning, every afternoon and every night

        2. Wow. I’ve never been able to grow radishes. Well done, are they in a greenhouse?

          1. The only sign of growth for us is that the strawberries are flowering profusely, although it’s too cold for any fruit to set.

            1. You people in the tropical South. The daffs haven’t finished up here yet!

  28. Friendly puzzle with some excellent clues. Hard to choose a favourite.
    It’s a friendly Toughie today as well.

  29. What an excellent puzzle. Once again no help was needed but I do appreciate the hints. Reached 12a including the downs before I got a toe hold. The NW corner fell followed by the SE, SW and finally the NE. 6d and 9a being last in. I’ve come across that bird before so next time I might remember it. Several favourites. 27d but younger solvers might have a problem with it. Top is 18d. **/****

  30. Loved the M*A*S*H one!

    My “Radar” still cannot detect who the setter is today …

  31. Well, it has all been said. A brilliant puzzle, sparkling with wonderful clues and mis directions. As someone said, spooky that a hot lips is an anagram of hospital (dirty room = dormitory and saturnalias is Australians). Many thanks to the setter for this gem, ashamed to say I haven’t looked at the 2K’s hard work but promise I will, even if only to confirm how smug I feel! Oh, and Here Comes Dots is The Morse Code. Has anyone tried growing chamomile from seed ? I have a small Camomile Lawn inside a huge iron wagon wheel and the frost fairly did for it. It cost me a fortune in £2.99 plants to get it going and I thought I would plant seeds in a propagator in the conservatory. After three weeks they are about 1/10” high and only a very small percentage have germinated. Help.

    1. We had a chamomile lawn in front of our greenhouse a couple of houses ago. It grew from seed. I cannot remember any problems. Saint Sharon set chamomile seeds in the greenhouse yesterday for the car hard standing at the front of our house to mix in with ordinary grasses

      1. Just in the greenhouse, no special heat? I could try that but I don’t have much luck with seeds. My waggon wheel is close by the rotary washing
        line and I tread on it as I am pegging out the clothes. I have to enjoy the smell swiftly before the blackbird comes down and pecks off my nose.

        1. It’s an experiment really. We put down plastic grass grids in the parking area. Filled with topsoil and seeded. I thought the chamomile would smell nice after we parked and disembarked the car. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

  32. The fun to be had with this one persuades me that it’s from our stalwart Wednesday wizard, I stand to be corrected if he pops in to deny all knowledge of it!
    Podium places hard to narrow down but I’ve settled on 9,11&29a plus 5d. Gold to 29a for the rueful laughter it evoked.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review.

  33. **/****. A little more taxing than yesterday but just as enjoyable. 18d pipped a large field to my COTD. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  34. Great crossword on a day of sun, rain, hail and sleet – in no particular order – in the Peaks. Favourite clues: 11a – I was just speaking to a great friend in that place prior to tackling the puzzle – and 23d – I just made a veggie tagine yesterday! Many thanks to the setter (is it Jay?) and to the 2 Kiwis.

  35. Seemed more like a normal Wednesday puzzle to me today. 2.5*/**** not real hash ups but SE last area completed. Favourite clues today include 11a, 13a, 16a, 20a & 14d with winner being 14d for the misdirection and clue construction. Runner up was 11a as it is a great place to visit and has some great views.
    Several clues had clever misdirection other than the one mentioned. Caused several PDM’s that hit with a THUD!

    Thanks to setter (Jay?) and 2K’s for the hints.

  36. Clever and enjoyable to boot and no real hold ups. What more could a girl want on a Sunny Wednesday. Last two in 27a and 18d. Favourites 12 13 and 16a and 2 4 6 and 14d. If I had to pick two from each way I would choose 13a and 2d. Thanks Jay (in the absence of any other idea of a setter and to the 2Ks to confirm my results and reasoning.

  37. Felt like a Jay to me as everything was fairly clued.
    I love 16a but never cooked. Carpaccio or tartare only.
    Love grouse too and often ate it on August 1st when the season started.
    As for 2d, it’s almost over.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2kiwis for the review.

  38. The only thing that makes me think this might not be one of Jay’s is the Quickie pun – his are usually really nifty and today’s was nothing out of the ordinary.
    Everything else about the crossword, and lots more too, has been already said.
    I thought it was quite difficult but that’s the third time this week I’ve said precisely that.
    My favourite was either 11a or 18d.
    Thanks to whoever did set this one and to the K’s.

  39. A very nice crossword whoever the Compiler is 😃 ***/**** Favourites16a & 18d. Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to the Setter 🤗

  40. Morning all.
    With such an overwhelmingly positive response to this puzzle we are a bit surprised to note that the setter has not yet popped in to take a well-deserved bow. There’s still time though.

  41. The edge was taken off this otherwise enjoyable solve by 18d. When even Brian doesn’t mention a religious reference in a clue, I must be alone in not having heard of a papal bull.

    17d almost made up for it though! 😀

    1. There’s a papal bull in a field near us. He is always bestowing his blessings on the cows.

  42. Late starting today as I had to be at the doctors first thing this morning for 2 MOHS surgeries on my leg. Worst part is the numbing shots that sting like hell. And the expensive collagen cream they prescribed to assist healing. But home again now and another fun day in crossword land. I had two bung ins, as I didn’t know the bull and Pope connection in 18d, and missed the lurker in 26d. Also wanted to put sten gun in 20d but that didn’t satisfy the clue. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  43. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle that got the brain cells energised. Really enjoyed this one and felt I earned a beer on completion.
    Thank you to the setter.

  44. Agree with many here – thoroughly enjoyable all round 😁
    Thanks indeed to today’s compiler and, of course, to the 2Kiwis for another great blog ‘n hints 👍

  45. I’m not going to finish this tonight, too much going on so scrolled through to the bottom really quickly just to comment. Who are all these girls? None of our contributors I’ll be bound.

  46. Hmmm. I’m going against the grain here but I usually can do Jay’s puzzles and I found this really tricky so I’m not sure it’s one of his. I needed the 2Ks hints to finish, so not very satisfying despite some admittedly excellent clues. Thanks to everyone ****/***

  47. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Another fantastic puzzle from Jay, such well constructed clues throughout. I liked 18d, but my favourite was 17d. Last in was 27a. Was 3* /4* for me.

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