DT 29693 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29693

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29693

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from South Staffs on a cloudy June day.

I got firmly stuck in the SW corner of today’s puzzle, with three crossing clues refusing to fall, and that put what would have been a *** solve into **** territory. It will be interesting to see how others got on.

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.


1a           Bad place to cross river — standard package travels this way (6,4)
PARCEL POST – Anagram (bad) of PLACE wrapped round an abbreviation for River, followed by the sot of standard that may have a lamp on top.

6a           Second person appearing in Bible (4)
THEE – An archaic form of the second person singular, which may be found in some versions of the Bible.

9a           Record set by one Conservative making sense (5)
LOGIC – A record of activity (on board ship, perhaps), followed by the Roman numeral for one and an abbreviation for Conservative.

10a         Shade next door to Anne maybe is down (5,4)
ROYAL BLUE – The description of the family to which Anne (or Charles or Andrew) belongs, followed by another word for ‘down’ or ‘sad’.

12a         Second in reality showdown (6,2,5)
MOMENT OF TRUTH – A second or brief period of time, of reality rather than fiction, giving us a crisis point.

14a         Something fruity about naughty nude swinger (8)
PENDULUM – Anagram (naughty) of NUDE, inserted into a tree fruit, technically a drupe. The answer is something which swings from a fixed point, and can be used to measure the passage of time.

Foucault pendulum - Wikiwand

15a         Uplifting pianos in Ultravox’s gripping concert (6)
UNISON – Hidden in reverse in the clue.

17a         Worried, not getting a hi-tech acknowledgement (6)
CREDIT – Another word for ‘worried’ or ‘was concerned’, minus its A, followed by the abbreviation for the department at work which looks after the hi-tech equipment. This gives us the sort of acknowledgement found at the end of a film.

19a         Four male cooks creating recipes (8)
FORMULAE – Anagram (cooks) of FOUR MALE.

21a         Religious warriors that may be represented as manly aviators (9,4)
SALVATION ARMY – Anagram (may be represented) of MANLY AVIATORS.

Performance: Band concert: Maidenhead Citadel Band of The...

24a         Urchin regularly downed fried chips — ‘veg’ would be inaccurate (9)
IMPRECISE – An urchin or naughty child, followed by alternate letters (regularly downed) of fRiEd ChIpS vEg.

25a         Perhaps Jack’s getting marching orders? (5)
CARDS – Double definition: what a Jack (or Queen or King) may be, plus the ‘S from the clue; or what you get when fired from a job.

26a         Drop something in the garden (4)
SHED – Double definition, the first being a verb for what a tree does when it loses its leaves.

27a         Contemporary Christmas? (7-3)
PRESENT-DAY – Another phrase for ‘contemporary’, or a cryptic definition of Christmas.


1d           Wide-ranging Italian sport (4)
POLO – Double definition, the first being a 13th-century Venetian explorer who travelled to the Far East.

Marco Polo Biography - Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline

2d           Diet soldiers left unfinished (7)
REGIMEN – An organisation of soldiers, minus its last letter (unfinished).

3d           Intimate former partner’s heading for ban from services (13)
EXCOMMUNICATE – Another verb for ‘intimate’ or ‘pass on message’, with the usual former partner put in front of it.

4d           Frequency when contracted office worker will appear (3,5)
PER ANNUM – This is a Latin phrase for a frequency (of salary, perhaps). If you abbreviate it to its initial letters, you get something which could also be the abbreviated job title of the boss’s secretary in the office.

5d           ‘Express’ really go-ahead (3-2)
SAY-SO – An informal term for the ‘go ahead’ or ‘permission to proceed’ which is made up of another verb for ‘express’ and a word which, like ‘really’, can be used as an intensifier.

7d           Bears eating finished jams (4-3)
HOLD-UPS – another word for ‘finished’ (as in ‘time’s –’) is inserted into a verb which can mean ‘bears’

8d           Uniform passed — just (4-6)
EVEN-HANDED – Another word for ‘uniform’ or ‘level’, followed by a verb for ‘passed (something to someone)’.

11d         Dance style that combines ancient and modern modes of expression? (5,8)
LATIN AMERICAN – An ancient language followed by a modern dialect of English.

13d         Travelling costumes in stretch cases (10)
SPACESUITS – These travelling costumes are out of this world! A stretch or period of time, followed by some legal cases.

16d         Aristocrat reckoning to share time with Hardy’s girl (8)
COUNTESS – Another word for ‘reckoning’ which ends in the abbreviation for Time, which it shares with the first letter of Hardy’s eponymous heroine from the d’Urbervilles.

18d         Section of hose clip secures sunshade? (7)
ECLIPSE – Hidden in the clue.

20d         Amateur European rose in several bands? (7)
LAYERED – Put together another word for ‘amateur’, an abbreviation for European, and a rose colour.

Colorful Layered Rock Formations In Quebrada De Cafayate Valley,.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 60903913.

22d         Free biscuit served up off and on with more frosting (5)
ICIER – Alternate letters (off and on) in reverse (served up) of fReE bIsCuIt.

23d         See final part of ‘Apocalypse Rising (4)
ESPY – The last four letters of ApocalYPSE in reverse (rising)

The Quick Crossword pun BLEW + BELLE + WOULD = BLUEBELL WOOD

93 comments on “DT 29693

  1. Another DNF for me I’m afraid. I don’t know who this setter is, and I certainly couldn’t get on their wavelength. But after using a few electrons, I managed to complete the grid, with four clues unparsed. 10a, 17a, 4d & 13d were the culprits.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. Well, I finished it but some were bung ins so probably incorrect. I only got one on the first pass but, as when tackling a Dada puzzle, it gradually revealed itself. So it was a struggle at first but became better as it went on. I needed Mr G. for a couple.

    No real favourites – just pleased to have got over the finish line.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge. Thanks also to DT for the hints.

    1. I must have a Dada mind, I found the puzzle about the same as any other day.

  3. SW corner also held me up the most. Finished in *** time but, for instance, 1d was a bung in because it could only be that sport – now see where the Italian comes into it. Likwewise 17a. Enjoyed it but like Steve above, only had a couple at first run through. Thanks to the setter and DT. Face nearly back to normal size, big toe still jet black!

    1. I’m with all of you so far with 10a 17a and 1d. All bung ins cos it just had to be so. Glad your face is responding Manders.

  4. My experience was the same as DT’s, a fair selection of straightforward and more diffiult clues until I got to the SW, with the three tricky crossing clues (3*/2.5*). I did manage to finish it but 7 were bung -ins or my parsing was incomplete and I’ve had to look at the hints to work out the last two. For me 13d was the best of the clues and there were some good anagrams. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. 13d a good one but just couldn’t get it. Otherwise found more than usual 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Very quirky and very cryptic. The first read through yielded only the lurkers but I gradually got a foothold to have most of it in bar the SW where 13d held me up for ages. Think the definition is a big loose, the wirdplay less than obvious, it only revealed itself when 17a gave me all the checkers.
    I liked several, as is usually the case with Zandio (I’m guessing) including 4,7&8d plus 12,14&27a.
    Many thanks to the aforementioned setter and to DT for the entertainment.

  6. 5*/2.5*. For me, this was hardest and least satisfying Friday puzzle of the year so far. That’s not to say it was bad, but we have generally been very spoilt with the high quality we have been getting consistently on Fridays.

    I struggled to parse 1d, 3d & 4d and I thought stretch was a bit of a stretch in 13d.

    11d was excellent, and my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  7. I found this one a little tricky in places. I did not help myself by putting the wrong second person at 6a, which left me with 8d starting with an U.

    Thanks to the setter, and to DT.

        1. I did not even consider the correct answer for 6a, until I was left with 8d as my last one in.

        2. & snap. 8d was going to be my LOI until I then had to correct 6a, giving it that 17a for today.

      1. Exactly the same for me. Got it first (the wrong answer) but never quesrmtioned it till I got 8d. I was trying to make the latter start with U which was not unreasonable with the NATO letter for it in the clue

      2. Ditto! I only tumbled when I used E-help for 8d and put the first letter as “e” by mistake!

  8. Likewise here, with the SW corner, but my LOI (13d) fell because the penny plummeted from out of the Ether, as it were, and I finished in good time. 13d, 17a, and 1d are my podium stars but there are many delightful clues elsewhere. A thoroughly enjoyable solve, the best of the week for me. Thanks to DT and today’s setter. ** / *****

    The Toughie is another matter altogether…..

      1. I think I have 17 correct answers, Wahoo, but I can’t even tell which one is the cricket clue!

          1. It’s 26a. A cricket worded clue (which hopefully will come true) but not a cricket answer😉

  9. Apart from a large groan for 6a, my LOI, a good cranial workout to finish the (non-)work week- ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 27a, 3d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d for its ‘sharing’ of time.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  10. Absolutely cracking puzzle, a real delight from the (slow) beginning to the much faster middle & end. Looked at the top, and decided to start with going up the downs, which was my salvation.

    Cannot fault a single clue. Probably the best grid of the week in my view for the combination of cruciverbal artistry, wit, and concise precision. So many clues have ticks alongside them that the podium is pretty crowded – from the lurker in 15a to the wonderful 24a and 22d; the groan induced by 27a and the chuckles resulting from 3d and 14a. I cannot pick a COTD when there are so many equally deserving of the acolade.

    Chapeau, Dada, thank you for a wonderful end to the “backpage” week. With one of our dogs taken seriously ill last night I particularly needed something uplifting today, and this was it.


    Thanks also to DT for the review.

    1. I hope she’s not seriously ill and is now on the mend. Please let us know.

      1. Thank you Merusa – a so-called “spinal stroke”, out of the blue, resulting in paralysis of the hindquarters in an otherwise very fit and healthy working spaniel. Prognosis is not good, and it appears the only option is intensive physio for a good many weeks, with no assurance it will have any beneficial impact. We are doing what we can to make his situation comfortable – he was a rescue some years ago and has become “part of us”.

        And to Zandio – my apologies for the misattribution, and my cap is doffed to you instead for a most splendid puzzle, thank you.

        1. Mustafa I’m not sure if you will see my message with it being so late. So sorry to hear about your dog’s stroke and I’m sure your vet may well have made recommendations but hydrotherapy might help. It can be expensive but shop around. A number of years ago we were able to take 2 of our dogs to a pool specifically for dogs needing muscular therapy. They had special harnesses (life jackets) and both went on to live long lives. It’s just a thought.

  11. Surprised myself by finishing this really tough Dada challenge which lacked anything resembling a Fav except perhaps 27a although that’s doubtless a chestnut. Glad when it was all over. Thank you Dada and DT.

    1. I didn’t mean to imply that today’s puzzle was by Dada, Angellov. It’s just it felt like one of his because of the slow start.

      1. A slow start indeed and your reference to Dada seemed to make sense – not my favourite setter! So thank you Mysteron rather than Dada.

  12. All went quite smoothly until I was left with 17a. Bunged in the answer but didn’t manage to parse so needed the hints. Thanks to today’s setter and DT.

  13. Hello all, compiler here. I should say hello before Dada receives any more grumbles. Regarding 6a, Chris Lancaster and I were aware that it breaks an unwritten rule of cryptic clues, that there should be only one possible answer. But I persuaded Chris, rightly or wrongly, that it was OK because most solvers would see that there were two options and wait for the checking letter. Also, as there are no written rules, but rather conventions, they may be broken once in a blue moon. That was the thinking, anyway! Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for popping in, Zandio and my apologies to you for misleading everyone into thinking it was one of Dada’s. I knew it wasn’t but I suppose my post could be taken in one or two ways. Thank you for today’s puzzle – tough but fair. :good:

    2. Thank you Zandio for the puzzle. The best part was finishing it and then checking the hints to see I had made the right choices on one or two, or maybe more, when the checkers were there.

    3. Thanks as ever for a great puzzle (no Dada attributions here!) Zandio. Enjoy your weekend too.

    4. Setters – I love all of you. You are all essential to my daily wellbeing🥰

    5. Thank you! With regard to the convention at 6a, I spotted what we were looking for straightaway and it was second person so ticked all the boxes. I was so sure that it never crossed my mind to wait before entering! It took a long time to realise the mistake!

  14. About 70% went in OK – the rest were either absent or wrong (1a, 1d and 13d) or were bung-ins to which I never discovered the Why (22d).
    It was pretty much clever and fit for purpose, except for 13d, where for a while I convinced myself that the last part of it involve “elastics” or even statistics……. stretchy?
    I liked 14 and 15.
    Thanks to the setter and DT (well done, that man).

  15. It certainly had its moments. ***/**** It was very satisfying to reach the finish. Thanks for hints – I couldn’t work out the why of 17a. 13d eluded me for a while even though I twigged it would end in suits. My favourite is 16d for the same reason that Senf gives. A very clever clue. Thanks to all.

  16. I always expect Zandio to give us a proper Friday back pager but the SW corner of this one moved it from Friday difficulty to a Tuesday/Wednesday Toughie level of trickiness

    Thanks to him for the crossword and DT for the blog

  17. Interesting how we all see these puzzles differently. I found this a quantum leap easier than yesterdays horror. No obscure religious references and some very well constructed clues in 13d and 6a but my fav was def 27a.
    Last in were 15a and 17a because I struggled with the wordplay but the excellent hints sorted that out.
    Thx to all

      1. I reserve the right the call any crossword a horror. You have your opinion and I’ll STICK TO MINE


          or don’t come anywhere near any blog of mine.

          Or alternatively, try spending the time some setters spend on perfecting their craft, some bloggers spend helping others, etc and tell them why it’s not your cup of tea.

        2. And I reserve the right to preserve this site as a happy place – the only reason that your comments are not blocked is because some find your ridiculous ramblings to be humorous, but don’t push your luck as that can be changed.

  18. Finished in one longer sitting ; indoors while all the young children ran about the garden on their last morning here. A real ***/*** for me with no favourite but real satisfaction from finishing it.

    Many thanks to DT for his hints which confirmed my hazy arguments on some I put in with more than a hint of luck than good judgement. Thanks too to Zandio for keeping me occupied and out of the garden.

  19. Found this Friday puzzle a gentle way to end the non- work week. **/**** for me today.
    Favourite clues include 6a,12a, 14a, 27a, 3d & 13d with winner 13d. New word with 18d for me.
    I managed to solve this one with no hints as it was completed on Thursday evening so was even greater satisfaction for me.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  20. Goodness me, this was a tricky assignment! I too fell into the trap at 6a; clarity only appeared when all the checking letters indicated it had to be ‘the other one’.
    I feel a complete eejit confessing that 1d (everyone else’s bung in) was my last answer. I just couldn’t see it, even though I had two checking letters and regularly pass playing grounds for this, just up the road from here. My excuse is that I had an enormous cat on my lap for most of the time. Lola jumped off and immediately turned to face me giving me her ‘more food, please’ miaow. Her massive appetite is declining as her steroid dose lowers, and I try and trick her by giving smaller amounts of food, but more often, if you see what I mean.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 ‘Pastorale’ <- it was lovely.

    Thanks to Zandio for stretching my brain, and DT.
    Good to note the improvement with Manders

  21. I thought this was an excellent workout, with plenty of great clues. I’m a DNF as I needed the hints to get 17a, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Favourites were 27a, 7d and 8d.
    Thanks to Zandio for the challenge and DT for the hints, which I also needed to fully understand 4d.

  22. George was sparking on all cylinders today and got several (14a and 8d) straight off. His mind is usually on other things like U3a and Rotary speakers or just eating his lunch. I liked 16d and 19a and the quickie pun. Thanks to Zandio and DT for the explanations. We have had a steady downpour since 10am, a welcome break from watering. With six Velux windows and only the one in our bedroom being an automatic closer it meant a quick sprint round with long poles. After the wet May I thought I’d seen the back of rain. Manders if you are well enough to come and inspect my garden I shall have to start making excuses, frost, drought, water logging…..

    1. No rain here in Norfolk … yet! Just let me know when the gardens are open. What is the Chequers at Fowlmere like these days? Or can you recommend anywhere?

        1. Rained solidly all day here. I anticipate that with the heat in the ground everything will start to shoot up.
          OG is 4th July from 11 am to 4 pm. Wretched woman STILL has not deigned to tell me whether I am taking
          part or not but if you come over, Manders, my garden is open for you alone! Chequers in Fowlmere, one one of
          the places to be seen, has changed completely. Try William IV at Heydon for quirky decor, British Queen in Meldreth,
          Thai food at the Queens Head Harston. 😊

          1. Thanks for the heads up re the Chequers, will give it a miss. Went to the Wlliam IV at Heydon years ago – menu a bit limited. Landlord explained the chef had been stabbed the night before so they had a stand in chef! Seem to remember a pretty decent meal though. Slow and steady rain still here, all good. Face steadily improving and look less like a Chinese guinea pig than yesterday!

  23. Also a DNF as needed the hints for 6a and17a but what an enjoyable puzzle. Mrs 2P came up with the dance though the ability to gyrate in such a fashion passed many years ago.
    Many thanks to Zandio and DT

  24. A great puzzle,. Fully agree with the **** time rating
    Eventually fnished all except 6a without reference to the hints but had to check parsing of 17a, 4&5d
    4d takes the podium now that I know where the office worker comes from.
    Lots of clever clues – but didn’t care much for 6a

  25. Agree ,as usual, with Crypticsue that the SW quadrant was of genuine Toughie standard, failed to parse 13d and17a-thanks DT.
    I also had Leek for the vegetable in the garden from the synonym drop-Leak for 26a which did not help one bit.
    Cant say that I really enjoyed the solve-too many bung ins-my fault of course-bad day at Black Rock.
    Has to be a ****/***** difficulty

  26. Finished in reasonable time but struggled to justify the first part of 13d which seemed a bit of a stretch(!) and the whys and wherefores of 17a. Top marks went to 11d with 14a coming up on the rails.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review and the 11d video clip.
    Spent the rest of the morning playing ‘competition snap’ with the almost four-year-old. Just at that awkward age where he needs to start realising that he can’t win every time but still ‘throws a hissy fit’ if he loses! We did ensure that he ended up being the prize winner and he duly wolfed down the little flapjack bite with great relish………

    1. I never ever let my children win. If they won they knew it was because they genuinely had won. Don’t give in to tantrums. Learning to lose is a very useful skill. Find a game that’s purely down to luck and then he can win properly.

  27. Definitely on the tricky side today. A handful went in, then it was use of some of the picture hints. Another handful from the checkers, and then I had to succumb to the other hints to finish. Thanks Zandio and Deep Threat. COTD for me was 10a, closely followed by 13d.

  28. I enjoyed the crossword but got stuck in NE corner. I could not get out of my mind the trick question “What nationality is the first man in the Bible?” .

    The answer is Scottish. James VI and I.

  29. I managed to stumble over the eventually. I need the hint to parse 4d as I was a country mile away but put it in as it meant frequency. I didn’t fall onto the “thou” trap as I had both checkers. Favourite was 27a. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  30. Thanks Zandio for providing such an original challenge and DT for explaining 4d. My favourite is 1d, a brilliant clue

  31. Tough for me. Solved without the hints but not really satisfying. Usually like Zandio puzzles but not today. Liked yesterday’s offering even less so I didn’t comment.
    Not really enjoying many of the backpagers at the moment. Fortunately old habits die hard so hopefully, like the weather, things will improve.
    Thanks Zandio and DT for the review, needed to understand what 1 down was what it was.
    Infection rates rising again up here, far too quickly by my reckoning(increased 8 fold in last week or so). Seems there is a relationship between the number of campervans / caravans to the number of cases. Problem with living where people come to “get away from it all” some of them bring some of ‘it all” with them.

  32. Thank you Zandio, my favourite crossword this week. Brain stretching ****/**** for me and needed the expert hints to understand why 17a worked… I didn’t get a contracted cared from the clue. 16d a masterpiece. Enjoyed 12a, 21a, 3d and 4d particularly. 23d cotd for me. Sweet.

  33. Belated thanks to Zandio for this tough but fair challenge for a sunny Friday, and to DT for his review. 17a was my final entry and the terrific 11d was my top clue.

    1. You truncated your alias, which sent you into moderation. Both should work from now on.

  34. Well that was a workout for sure! Like others I struggled in the SW corner and was held up at 6a because I had what I suspect is the Middle English/Shakespearean (?) version rather than the biblical ending in U until the checkers fell and realised my error.

    Thanks to DT for explaining 1d and 17a which were pure bungs. There were plenty of contenders for COTD including 1d, 3d, 13d, 27a but 1st place to the excellent 16d.

    Thanks to DT and the setter!

  35. I think most of us are in tge same mind about this one with the SW scoring 10/10 for difficulty. The only one that I stumbled on, which did not trouble others, was 26a for which I had seed. 27 12 and 14 were great across clues with 11 2 and 13 being my favourites in the downs. Congratulations to those, including Brian, who thought it was a breeze.

      1. +1 for seed. Convinced myself it was small enough to be a drop. I now see that was a little cavalier.

  36. Pleased to see that I wasn’t the only person spending too much time trying to solve this masterpiece of obscurity 😳 Having had continuous very gentle rain all day here in the East I had plenty of time! ****/*** 🤔 and I got the double reverse lurkers. Favourites 27a & 23d 😃 Thanks to Zandio and to DT

  37. I’m in shock, I actually solved a **** for difficulty crossword. A good thing I didn’t know that before starting, it would have put a guzzu on me. Full disclosure, with some e-help for three; 7d, 8d and 13d, still don’t get 13d. I rather liked 12a, but I think 16d gets the clever clue award.
    Thanks Zandio for the workout and Deep Threat for the help solving. We had soaking rain yesterday, the first in months, and it smells so fresh today.

    1. Yes wasn’t that rain glorious, at last. We had two heavy downfalls during the night, and it was a pleasure to hear the rain beating on the windows. And such a relief not to have to drag the garden hose out yet again. Even the sprinklers have not been able to maintain newly planted shrubs. But the rainy season is just around the corner. Our lake still very low though.

  38. Phew. A DNF for me and pommers. The first in a long long time. 17a would just not come to us. IT for hi-tech? I’ve been in IT since 1975 so maybe it was hi-tech then but not now unless you are at the bleeding edge.
    Not mad keen on 1a and 4d but that’s what they had to be.
    4*/2* for us.
    Thanks though to setter and DT for enlightenment on 17a

    1. Blimey, DNF for you master crossword solvers? What chance did I have? Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

  39. Late commenting on this as I needed a long soak in a radox bath after a comprehensive drenching on the golf course today. It was that steady unrelenting drizzle/rain which you can play in but the cumulative effect is that everything is pretty sodden by the finish – other than my spirits as I actually played some decent stuff so maybe the £55 worth of flesh kneading on the dodgy back wasn’t the complete waste of time I thought it was. Anyway I rather enjoyed this one. Completed it earlier this morning & after a slowish start it all came together reasonably well until left with the 2 pesky 4 letter ones at 6&26a. I stared at both & briefly entertained seed for the latter until that penny dropped but 6a was just because I couldn’t think of owt else. 24a was my pick of the clues.
    Thanks to Zandio & to DT.
    Ps Since I had a spare 10 mins I had a quick look at Elgar & for I think the first time ever the answers to 1a&d were immediately obvious & indeed the NW was accessible. Just had a peep at Dutch’s rating & quelle surprise it was too much to hope that the rest of it was the same. May have a look at it later.

  40. Ref 6a – if you read a modern version of the bible, as I do, you won’t find the answer in it, so query for me. Otherwise a ***/*** nice challenge. Thanks to Zandio, DT and fellow bloggers

  41. In the minority of those who found the NE harder than the rest.
    Had Thou also in 6a having dismissed Adam after getting 7d.
    Quite a tricky little devil of a crossword but I enjoyed the struggle even after Elgar.
    Favourite 24a.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

  42. Well like most people here I didn’t quite manage to finish this without resorting to electrons but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and can only take my hat off to Zandio for some stupendously creative clues. I particularly enjoyed the sharing of the T in 16d and 27a was just sublime. 4d was also brilliant (even if it was one of the ones I didn’t get.) Thanks to Zandio and DT. ****/*****

  43. Thanks to Zanido and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but way too tough for me. Needed the hints for 6,14, 17, 25a and 13&22d. Was 5* / 2* for me.

  44. Had to look at DT’s answers for 13d and 17a, also 1d although I have to admit I wonder that I could be so dim. Mr. Th had one inspiration which helped a lot, but otherwise I completed unaided. A very tricky puzzle, I was surprised to have done so much of it without help, but thanks to Zandio for all the brain exercise and also to Deep Threat who like me seems to have found the SW tricky. 27a my fav because it made me laugh. A clever puzzle of a high standard.

  45. Lulled into a false sense of security by a good Tuesday solve, I found this very hard! Needed a lot of hints. I didn’t love the parsing and found some of the synonyms a bit of a stretch (including the stretch at 13a!). But I guess it’s horses for courses and good to have a challenge. I just wasn’t on the wavelength. Hey ho. Thanks anyway to setter and the much needed hint master.

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