DT 29685 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29685

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29685

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A frosty morning here today. Each evening now we no longer have the ‘will we/won’t we’ discussion about the wood burner. We just light it.
On our walk this morning we watched a team of three fishing in one of the tidal streams we go past. Three different species of birds of about the same size obviously working together. A little black shag was doing the underwater stuff while a white egret and a white-faced heron (commonly called a blue heron) patiently
waited for the little fish that were being disturbed. A delightful scene.
We found several of today’s clues took a bit of effort to unpick and good fun all the way through.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Angered? Explosively? (7)
ENRAGED : A different sort of anagram. Explosively is the indicator and ANGERED is both the fodder and the definition.

5a     Drum roll precedes result in this lottery (7)
TOMBOLA : A cryptic definition. The drum rolling is the method by which the numbers to be drawn are randomised.

9a     Italian dish on plate that’s broken (7)
POLENTA : An anagram (that’s broken) of ON PLATE.

10a     Mild Russian leader embracing Eastern Time (7)
LENIENT : A famous Russian revolutionary leader contains E(astern) and finally, T(ime).

11a     Look round posh home for creature under shell (3,6)
SEA URCHIN : A six letter word for look or hunt for contains the letter indicating posh and finish off with the two letter ‘at home’.

12a     Mission accomplished — like another mission — on all fronts? (5)
ALAMO : All fronts tells us to use the first letters of five words in the clue.

13a     King had this made afresh to accommodate Republican (5)
DREAM : An anagram (afresh) of MADE contains R(epublican).

15a     Desperate to survive drop (4-5)
LAST-DITCH : To survive or endure, then drop or abandon.

17a     Is it here one may expect high tolls? (4,5)
BELL TOWER : A cryptic definition of a campanile.

19a     Regularly behind peers — feel down about this? (5)
EIDER : Alternate letters appearing in two words of the clue.

22a     One keen to eat arrested in Erith stores (5)
DINER : A lurker, hiding in the clue, indicated by ‘stores’.

23a     Meat and fibre in hamper (9)
HAMSTRING : A cured pig-meat, and then fibre or thread.

25a     Chapel area in gold colour with blue? (7)
ORATORY : String together the heraldic gold colour, then A(rea) and the blue political party.

26a     Assign a parking place (7)
APPOINT : ‘A’ from the clue, then the letter signifying parking and a place or destination.

27a     Article uncovered hate facing mostly left-wing arts arena (7)
THEATRE : Start with the definite article, then the central two letters (uncovered) of hate plus the first two letters of the colour associated with left wing.

28a     Island in unsettled US area, or continental one? (7)
EURASIA : An anagram (unsettled) of US AREA includes I(sland).


1d     Defenceless old flame, model, died (7)
EXPOSED : The two letter old flame prefix, then model for a portrait perhaps and D(ied).

2d     Publish charter again? (7)
RELEASE : Charter again or once more hire.

3d     Individual in Greece: person with no future (5)
GONER : The IVR code for Greece surrounds the three letter individual.

4d     Black inside, rotten old wheat in lethal buffet (9)
DEATHBLOW : An anagram (rotten) of OLD WHEAT contains B(lack).

5d     Short story being broadcast — it could be gripping! (5)
TALON : Another word for a story or narration without its last letter and then a short word meaning being broadcast or currently available.

6d     Fellow worker the French treat roughly (9)
MANHANDLE : A fellow or chap, then a worker or assistant plus a French definite article.

7d     Butcher to carve ham (7)
OVERACT : An anagram (butcher) of TO CARVE.

8d     Appeal upheld by an old church in ancient city (7)
ANTIOCH : One of the two letter renderings for sex appeal is reversed (upheld) inside ‘An’ from the clue, O(ld) and Ch(urch).

14d     Bottom oar disintegrated in seagoing craft (9)
MOTORBOAT : An anagram (disintegrated) of BOTTOM OAR.

16d     Small offence importing glossy handbags? (9)
SCRIMMAGE : S(mall) and offence or wrongdoing surround a glossy publication.

17d     Will one lying find such support close by? (7)
BEDPOST : A cryptic definition. The one lying here is prone rather than telling untruths.

18d     Genial Dicky initially enjoyed descent (7)
LINEAGE : An anagram (dicky) of GENIAL followed by the first letter of enjoyed.

20d     Olympians in southeast one chained up (7)
DEITIES : Reading from the bottom (up) we have the letters for southeast, the Roman numeral one and then chained or trussed.

21d     Romeo for example, on the wagon, seen in AA meeting (7)
REGATTA : Romeo from the phonetic alphabet, then the two letters indicating for example and then the two A’s given in the clue surround the letters indicating teetotal.

23d     Astronomer Fred needs year inside crater (5)
HOYLE : A crater or pit contains Y(ear).

24d     Mammal in tar pit not completely absorbed (5)
TAPIR : The word tar from the clue contains the first two letters (not completely) of pit.

Too many really good clues to pick just one this week so we’ll leave it to you.

Quickie pun    consent    +    rates    =    concentrates


117 comments on “DT 29685

  1. After drawing a blank on the first ten clues, I began to think that those who were complaining yesterday would be a little happier today. However, the south began to yield and then the downs flooded in and I was looking at a filled grid in **/*** time.

    The parsing of 5a, 23d and 24d was beyond me.

    Many thanks to the compiler and the 2 Ks.

    1. 5ac doesn’t need parsing it is straightforwardly, but subtly, descriptive.I should have included it in my list as it took me a while to realise.

  2. Very enjoyable crossword, with some lovely clueing that made me think and often raised a smile. I particularly picked out 13 & 19ac plus 8,16 &21d.

  3. Excellent puzzle, a bit of a head scratcher but for the second Wednesday on the bounce top marks for entertainment.
    I didn’t know the city or the astronomer but with checkers and sympathetic wordplay they were easily derivable.
    Ticks all over the place but I’ll highlight 12,15&25a plus 6,20&21d.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the top notch entertainment.

  4. Some of these clues were really difficult to fathom and I am even more grateful than usual to the Kiwis for their explanation. However I’m still at a loss to understand how handbags are synonymous with a manoeuvre in rugby and there is no real definition in 21d. I got a sense of satisfaction from completing the puzzle but found the clues a bit hit or miss (3*/2*). Thanks to the compiler for his or her efforts.

    1. Chris, the solution of 16d has nothing to do with rugby and the handbags are fisticuffs!
      21d the definition is “meeting”

      1. Thank you Stephen. My other half informs me that 16d is a manoeuvre in American Football not Rugby and he’s clearly disgusted by my (admitted) ignorance of both. I must say as a resident of south Oxfordshire and occasional attendee, that I have never heard Henley 21d referred to as a ‘meeting’.

        1. That had me puzzled too, CC.Is it on or off this year? I think it is supposed to be October? we have only missed two since 1955!

          1. There was talk of rearranging Henley for a 6 day event the week of 9th August, Daisy. That was the last I heard. They keep changing their mind and there is no ticket ordering procedure in place as far as I know. Glad to hear things are progressing with George.

  5. Nice and gentle although had to check the astronomer. 21d was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  6. The left hand side shot in, in double quick time. The right hand side took far longer, I have never heard of the handbags – I thought it was a rugby term! I also kept thinking of Putin for the Russian leader but finally got there in the end. Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  7. Excellent Wednesday fare. Thanks to The2Ks for explaining 5 across. I was struggling there. Thanks to the setter for the workout. 11 across looks weird in my grid with no break between the two words. The Toughie is tougher than yesterday but should be within the reach of most.

    1. Well, I will have a go at it but I hope no-one smirkily says how easy it is! It’s very disheartening.

      1. Thankyou for the Venice link. Our visits Secretary is most interested especially as she is touring Rome with Tonbridge Wells AS today!
        The Toughie is doable. Just one small hiccup in the SE corner confused me.
        Taking this cryptic with me this afternoon to work on while my son has his second jab. No side effects I hope! I was fine.

  8. I thought this high quality but tough. Top end *** with **** for the fun rating. Spent ages on 13a and felt a fool when the penny dropped. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

    1. I too kept struggling to come up with parsing 13a until I remembered who had said “I have a Dream”, COTD for me as always enjoy clues that send me off on the the wrong track. Cheers 2k’s and setter

  9. A bit slow to start today but fine once underway, excellent puzzle all round.
    Last in was 5a ,my D’oh moment and favourite cryptic clue, next was 23a for the surface ,going for a ***/****
    Remembered 12a was a mission!
    Thanks to our setter and 2,K’s for the pics

  10. I had the same question as CC relating to 16d, my last one in and a guess! Thanks Stephen L, that’s a bit clearer. The answers came to me quicker than the reasons why today although I managed to work them out, apart from the aforementioned. **/**** Favourite 17a. I had a brief look at the toughie today at dark o’clock and managed about half a dozen before abandoning that so yesterday was a pure fluke. Thanks to all. I’d like to be able to tell the kiwis that it’s getting warmer here as their world turns chillier but that’s not happening either.

    1. Half a dozen answers spread about The Toughie should provide enough checkers to prise your way in a little bit further. Checkers rule in my opinion. Don’t dwell on a clue for too long. If it offers nothing, move on to the next. I be back later to check on your progress

          1. You can solve at home Greta. No need to travel to Somerset, Devon or Cornwall. But well done and I hope you finish

  11. No one (on the above posts) has yet mentioned Jay, and I have no particularly strong feeling that today’s cryptic is his work, though I did enjoy the workout–except for having absolutely no knowledge about handbags meaning fisticuffs (as Stephen L informs us). I simply sliced up that clue and ended up with the right answer. Having now googled ‘British slang handbags’, I understand how the allusion to handbags works. So clever, but so very far from this American’s ken. I understand that 5a is very clever too–especially in the way that it works (but that too is as far from my ken as Jupiter is). That I finished this strange puzzle in quick time has now become a bit of a mystery to me; I was just very lucky. I did, however, like 11, 23, & 27a. Thanks to the Kiwis (and I must tell you both that my dear friend, Edgar the Egret, has reappeared at our local duck pond; it might be Edgar the Third or Nth, but he was back yesterday!) and thanks to today’s setter. ** / ***

    1. Robert, re 16d look up the phrase “handbags at dawn”, it’s used widely here.

      1. Thanks, Stephen! And so I did, and thought that ‘a catty squabble’ seemed a neat way to describe the set-to. What a versatile and even amusing thing this wonderful language is. I wish I were still teaching and could walk into class and shout, “All right, class, handbags at dawn!”

        1. At the boys school I taught at in inner London, you might get more than you bargained for I’ve broken up my fair share of fights.

          1. Oh, my university darlings would never raise anything but a toast to me. Ha ha.

      2. Until you mentioned it, Stephen, I’d forgotten that but you’re right. Possibly we don’t hear it said so much nowadays.

        1. Handbags at 20 paces. Brilliant. Hahahaha.

  12. 3*/5*. This was very enjoyable and I am going to stick my neck out and attribute it to Jay.

    Although 23a in the past tense is fairly commonplace, I don’t think I have come across it with that meaning used in the present tense before.

    I was on course for 2* time with only 25a & 27a left to solve. Neither were particularly difficult, but I had confidently written in “bedmate” for 17d early on in proceedings. Eventually I did what I should have done earlier and solved 25a & 27a without looking at the checking letters which uncovered my howler with 17d.

    Podium positions today go to 5a, 15a & 20d.

    Many thanks to Jay (?) and to the 2Ks.

  13. No offence to today’s setter but I did miss seeing Jay in his usual Wednesday slot.
    A few niggles for me – the lurker at 22a was very obvious given the use of ‘Erith’ in the clue, some of the answer to 23a was contained in the wording of the clue, thought ‘chained’ was something of a stretch for ‘tied’ and hadn’t heard of 16d which I suspect is more commonly known in American football circles.
    On the upside, I did enjoy 5a and think 11a’s are rather beautiful!

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review – I’ve watched an Egret and a Heron on a joint fishing trip but not with a diver making the initial foray.

  14. A bit of a head scratcher for me with no help from going up the Downs to start so I am in the ‘not a Jay’ camp – ***/***.

    And, being somewhat curmudgeonly, no obvious candidates for favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

    1. The has been speculation for a few weeks as to ‘is this a Jay?’, but then he popped in to say yes, they were all his, he’s just stirring it up a bit so I suspect it is still he

        1. Ah, must have missed that – second guess Zandio, third guess CL – how many guesses do I get? :smile:

          1. As many as you like!

            However, I should give up trying to identify the setters as I am invariably wrong. So, if Jay were to pop in later and tell is this is one of his I would not be surprised.

  15. I’ve still got four to get so I’ve put it down for a while and will return later. Just want to try and get three back pagers in a row without help. Mind you, looking at the ones I have yet to get, it seems unlikely. I tried for ages to get a ham from an anagram of “to carve” thinking it was some obscure Italian variety. My COTD so far is 17a because it reminded me of the days I used to charge around the country with like minded friends.

    My thanks to the setter (Jay?) – you haven’t beaten me yet. :smile: Many thanks to the 2Kiwis for the hints, which i am avoiding for the moment.

  16. Today’s puzzle was a delightful challenge. 7d was my original Fav for its surface but later with 2Kiwis’ help 5a bung-in became joint Fav. 24d new one on me. I’m with RD in being unfamiliar with 23a as verb in present tense but only describing a thigh injury. 24d is new to me as also is 16d for handbags which to me means verbally abuse. Thanks Mysteron and 2Kiwis (do hope threatened air pollution regulations wont prevent you and indeed me from enjoying our woodburning stoves in the future).

  17. Quite a lot of head scratching and a couple of mistakes meant this was quite a challenge for me, albeit an enjoyable one. I couldn’t crack the ancient city, not one I have heard of, and I couldn’t think of the right type of appeal from the wordplay. So near yet so far for the second day in a row.
    Favourites were 17a, 25a and 21d.
    Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis

    1. I was at an advantage with 8d as our village church in Warnham is dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch (patron saint of expectant mothers) who was born in the ancient Greek city.

  18. Very pleasant challenge with help from Mrs2P for the GK for old city and stargazer and some clever clueing. I do not get the Olympians having seen the hint above.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis

    1. Mount Olympus was where the Greek gods lived so they were “Olympians”.

    2. You’re looking for the original Olympians, not the ones who win medals!

      Sorry, Steve and CS, we were all quick to jump in!

    3. Thanks all for the update, unfortunately it was not a subject covered at my Secondary Modern ☹️

    1. I decided the best thing to do for Kath and her husband was to leave them alone to concentrate on her recovery. If and when we get any updates, we’ll be certain to pass them on

    2. George doing well thank you, the first investigative appointment came this morning so things are moving. It is proving fairly easy to keep him quiet as the weather is so bloody miserable and no one in their right mind would want to go in the garden. Might even light the fire!

  19. Like others, I’m reluctant to commit to saying Jay was the setter. I did enjoy the solve so thank you to whoever and the 2Ks

    My favourite has to be 17a, because of the time I’ve spent in this one

            1. It is, Merusa, I visited Whitechapel during a jubilee celebration of change ringing back in the 80s. It was steeped in history and was a fascinating place. It was founded in 1570 and has produced some of the great bells of the world.

              Sadly, it is fighting for survival. Over five hundred years of business is to wiped out. They have a fund raising website but I fear a great tradition is about to be lost.

              1. Sorry, I have noo idea why the page took over [link deleted, as you requested – BD]

          1. Taylor’s of Loughborough have surveyed the tower and made a plan to remove the bells, fabricate a new housing. Tune the existing bells and create new headstocks, cast two new bells and refit. A local structural engineer says nothing can be done because the opening in the ringing floor is too small to get the bells through. Nothing happens. Over and over and over again

            1. Experts say it is aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly. Yet bumble bees fly.
              Tell em to make the bloody hole bigger! 🤣

              1. I’d make it bigger myself. The oldest bell wii be 400 years old in a couple of years. It’s a pity it won’t be ringing in celebration.

        1. This is where I was tower captain in the 80s. St Georges, Pontesbury with six bells.

          1. Our bells rang last Sunday for the first time in months. We have a full peal, our first two bells are dated 1615 inscribed ‘God be our spede’ and ‘God save the King’, a third was added in 1616 – still going strong. Living opposite the church it is a glorious sound. We had a famous Bell Master John Gipson – did you ever come across him?

            1. I don’t remember him, DG but I have a friend who might. She knew everyone in the world of ringing. Her name is Sheila Parry and she lives in Wales.

          2. Our church only has a small bell tower as it dates back to the time Louis IX came back to Hyères from the seventh crusade.
            Don’t know when the bells were made but they always give us the right time.

            1. I am a fan of English change ringing, jean-luc but I have to admit to loving the sound of the bells in France.

  20. All done in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed 👍
    Just needed to check up the astronomer chap and took my time parsing a couple of other answers e.g. 4D & 16D – quite tricky and convoluted but ultimately very clever clueing!
    I’m in the ‘guessing it’s Jay’ camp, but if not correct, thanks indeed anyway to our mystery setter…and of course to the 2Kiwis for the blog ‘n hints!

  21. Great puzzle again and finished without needing hints. Some excellent clues of which 13 and 19 across, together with 8 and 21d deserve honourable mentions but 24d is favourite for simplicity and cleverness.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter for their good work.

  22. Great fun and very entertaining. 13a was my clear favourite although there were many fine clues that could have taken top spot. On solving about half of the grid I did wonder if it might be the work of our puzzles editor.

    Anyway, thanks to whoever was responsible for this delightful crossword, and to the 2 Ks.

  23. **/****. Very enjoyable but needed the right wavelength to finish this. For the third day running I’ve no particular favourite although 16d might be a candidate. Thanks to the setter for a good workout and the 2Ks for the review.

  24. Very enjoyable, took me 3 goes, last night, middle of sleepless night and this morning. Thank you to the setter and of course to Big Dave.
    What I actually wanted to comment on is the lovely description of the three fishing. You write so well, I could almost feel I was there watching with you. Lovely start to my day.

  25. The north half was very friendly but I found the south, particularly SE, to be quite tricky needing some electronic help. I loved it all, the epiphany at 13a when I realised it was THAT King was quite an awakening. I bunged in 16d, what else could it be with those checkers.
    Hard to pick a fave, so many contenders, I liked 11a, 5a, 8d and many more.
    Thank you Jay (??) for the fun and the 2Kiwis for unravelling so many clues.

  26. I agree with Merusa- the top half went in very quickly. A friend took me into Cambridge this morning for the first time (hospital visits do not count they are south of the city) in well over a year. I was very nervous to be amongst people but was only in John Lewis, desperate to investigate a new fridge freezer. The internet didn’t satisfy me. I was exhausted when I got home – me, shopper extraordinaire! I was quite pleased to sit down and tackle the crossword – I did get it all done although I got off to a bad start by entering ‘grenade’ for 1a. I wonder how 11a got its name? Such a funny creature, I love those TV programmes which explore the bottom of the sea. 7d got a tick and 10a – many thanks to the setter and to the two cool Kiwis. Didn’t do too badly with yesterday’s toughie either,

      1. No I didn’t actually! I was on an exploratory mission, having looked on the JL website – but they had very few instore for me to look at. Nothing wrong with the present one except that alarmingly the white enamel started to wear off about a year ago. G says I cleaned it too enthusiastically, but I am not an enthusiastic cleaner! I am back to looking on line though I want to buy through JL as I trust them. I need quite a particular size, 82 cms and am reluctant to go down to a 60cm as I am losing storage, On the other hand, we are a household of two why do I need so much space? It is not as though the gin is in there – tonic, yes.

        1. Have a look at aol(appliances on line) They deliver, remove packaging and install at reasonable cost.

            1. At the moment I am at my son’s house and we have a frig/freezer each yet still need the small chest freezer in the garage.

  27. A trickier than usual puzzle for today that required a bit of head scratching and pondering. Had a few bung ins that I thought were right but couldn’t always see the parsing initially. 2.5*/**** for today.
    Some great clues once I worked out the parsing and several with good misdirection.
    Favourites included 15a, 17a, 19a, 25a & 21d with winner 17a with 19a runner up

    Thanks to Jay? and the 2K’s

  28. Quite tricky but very enjoyable 😃 ***/**** Favourites 23 & 25a and 21& 23d 🤗 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay. Must confess to not spotting the alternate letters indicator in 19a 🤔 got the first and the last and immediately thought of the duck that used to be part of an old fashioned bed covering😬

  29. A puzzle of two halves. Like Manders the West went in fine but the East eas a struggle & the NE last corner to fall.
    13a my COTD
    Thanks to setter and 2Ks.
    ALL – ELECTRIC CARS A cautionary tale the Government would want you to ignore
    Didn’t post yesterday as I had my first “long” journey in the all-electric MG. It was a 160 mile trip to have it serviced (the nearest dealer for my poor man’s EV) Gave the car a full charge to be told I had 148 miles range not the “realistic expectation of 160 (the cold weather seriously affecs the range). Consulted the charge point map & found a high speed charger in Banff 125 miles down the road. Service booked for 10.15 so set off at 6.15 to allow for charging. Unfortunately the “rangemeter” was dropping by 3 miles for every 2 travelled. So had Insufficient range to reach Banff & had to detour to Keith which had a high speed unit. Unfortunately after half an hour of pratting about in the pouring rain it seemed as if the high speed charger wasn’t working so I had to put in an hour’s worth of low speed charge to get me to Banff. Arrived at Banff to find the high speed connection in use so had to wait for it to be freed up. (As everywhere, there are 3 connections but only one fast one) Then charged for 30 minutes to complete the journey arriving at 12.45. 6.5 hours for 160 miles Greta Thunberg eat your heart out.
    On return had a similar experience with another high speed charger only to discover that there are two types, one of which doesn’t work with my MG. Fortunately there was one in Elgin that does, otherwise it would have been 2 hours on the slow plug to get to the Inverness fast unit.
    (In fairness for doing the beach run & even journeys to Inverness ,what I bought it for, it is fine, particularly with my home charging set-up linked to solar panels).
    Then I got home to read that there were people posting they were finishing puzzles before they had wiped the sleep from their eyes. Just made my day!

    1. What a nightmare. You poor soul. I was thinking of getting an electric or hybrid myself?? Perhaps not.

      1. Our Lexus Hybrid does us well. Never needs to be plugged in. I have no idea what goes on underneath the bonnet but it goes like stink, has a decent sound system and the only things that wear out are the tyres and the drivers

      2. ChrisX
        In my view Hybrids, are just a petrol car where part of the output is used to charge up a small supplementary battery so have little or no “green credentials”. The plug-ins can use the mains to charge a small battery & do run for very small distances on mains supplied electricity. If you have solar panels they can mop up your excess power
        If you are thinking of going full electric, like I have, my advice would be buy a Tesla or wait at least two years when some serious improvements should have been incorporated. And install solar panels.
        The situation regarding charger availability will force infrastructure improvements too.
        To indicate costs, on a run like yesterday I got 3,2 miles per kilowatt. Motorway charges are about 30p per kilowatt hour that’s equivalent to getting about 61 mpg at present petrol prices.

        I think hydrogen may well be the way forward. However the “pollutant” is then water vapour.. will a massive increase in water vapour then increase rainfall and flooding.

    2. Blimey, LROK what an horrendous tale! I hope you had a stiff malt and went to bed – I would have done after that.

    3. 😢Golly I was thinking of going green but that’s a nightmare! Not that I ever really drive more than a 30 mile radius from home, Poor you LROK

      1. My next door neighbour raves about his electric car but it always seems to be going in for repair. I’m not convinced yet. If the technology improves I may consider getting one.

  30. Morning all.
    There is a huge ‘super moon’ out there still. In the middle of the night it was a ‘blood moon’ (very rare) during the eclipse but only stayed awake to see the very start of that.
    Anyway, back to the crossword.. Glad to hear that so many people enjoyed it, we certainly did, it felt to have several clues that were ‘a bit different’ and kept us on our toes.
    Suspect it is Jay but not prepared to stick our necks out these days.

    1. Lucky you with the eclipse. Not visible from our hemisphere unfortunately. The moon spends several hours to pass our house shining directly into our bedroom. It’s beautiful

  31. Not my day today. The top half went in quite quickly but I didn’t know the ancient city and rather annoyingly my husband confirmed he knew it only after I had checked above. I was convinced 17a involved taxes / tithes and struggled to complete 16d despite having the checking letters. You might say today’s puzzle stretched me mentally but I do so love to read your comments. How do some of you find the time to complete the Toughie etc afterwards? Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis whose invaluable help was much appreciated!
    Must go and feed the dog though currently he is still fast asleep from a very enjoyable but busy walk on the hills.

      1. Really?! Sorry Miffpops only just seen your reply.

        Haven’t commented on Thursday’s as started late and didn’t get very far! But enjoyed and appreciated your comments on recognising a Ray T puzzle. Must call it a night.

  32. Hmmm?, Now who would include three cryptic clues in a crossword?
    I immediately thought of Giovanni.
    Probably wrong as I am quite bad at guessing usually.
    Really enjoyed the solve and the blog.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2kiwis for the review.

  33. Oh my (cor) this was a struggle but all was worthwhile because 13a was absolutely brilliant 👏. Thankyou to the 2🥝s for hints for 20d and 8d and for explaining the why for 5a.

  34. Found this on the friendly side for a Wednesday, and rather enjoyed. Got to it late having enjoyed breakfast out at the model plane flying field. Most of this crossword fell gradually into place, but I couldn’t understand 16d or 20d. I have some very nice handbags, and would never think of them as scrimmage. Thank you to Jay and the 2Kiwis. As you settle in to prepare for winter down there, I am trying to get my gardening done before our sub tropical summer heat and humidity hits. We are spoilt with low temperatures (in the mid eighties this week (F), windy and low humidity. A nice winter evening in front of a log fire sounds heavenly to me 😊.

  35. Good old puzzle today
    12a last in – being a bit thick
    Many thanks for the pic of the oppies- took me right back to watching my daughters learning to sail in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey

  36. Enjoyed this grid. Feeling tired and glancing at the first few clues in NW, thought it would be a trial possibly left for a fresh mind in the morning, but on starting in the SE and working round, it fell into place fairly swiftly from then on. Special mentions to 13a, 2d and 20d.


    Many thanks to Setter and to the 2Ks

  37. Completed at a Senf like gallop which I never do with Jay. I knew the GK, the ancient city the Olympians and the astronomer although I needed the hint to parse 5a, hey ho! All in all a really realy good crossword. Favourite was 17a. Many thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  38. Good morning. Yesterday was a long day.

    Thanks to all commenters, and to the two Ks. Commiserations to any Man U fans.

  39. My fourth successive day of completing unaided – I think this must be a record. I need a bit of help with parsing which I will do shortly (with thanks to 2Ks) but the important thing is it is finished. I see from above comment that I need to thank NYDoorknob for a very good selection of clues – so good that I cannot name a COTD. 2.5*/3.5*.

  40. Bags of enjoyment. Happy to finish unaided. Everything seemed to fall into place once I got on the right wavelength. I didn’t much like 13a but loads of great clues. 1a, 2a and 17a my COTD. Many thanks to the compiler and the 2 Ks.

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