DT 29709 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29709

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29709

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
A beautiful winter day here. A crisp white frost this morning so lots of warm woollies as well as gloves for our bracing post-breakfast walk.
On a different subject. One of our team, Colin, has been a regular submitter of entries to the clue writing competition that is a regular feature of the Telegraph Puzzles newsletter. The time and effort that is required to put together just one acceptable clue a week has made us increasing aware of the skill shown by our regular setters who can write whole grids full of clever clues week after week. So, a huge thank you of appreciation for what all of you do to give such on-going enjoyment to us all.
 And we enjoyed this one too.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you fared.


1a     Further loan on security (7)
ADVANCE : A double definition. ‘Further’ here is a verb meaning move forward.

5a     Gifted small son brought in milk (7)
BLESSED : Another verb meaning ‘milk’ that actually means the letting of a different body fluid contains the abbreviations for small and son.

9a     Alsatian? Or poodle transformed with CGI? (6,3)
POLICE DOG : An anagram (transformed) of POODLE and CGI.

10a     Church district not completely in capital (5)
PARIS : Remove the final letter from a church district.

11a     Young forever lacking regular income? Wife’s gone (7)
AGELESS : Start with a word meaning lacking regular income and remove W(ife) from the start of it.

12a     Scene changed after sailor gets leave (7)
ABSENCE : The two letters signifying an ordinary sailor plus an anagram (changed) of SCENE.

13a     Prescription for Verity? (5,4)
TRUTH DRUG : A cryptic definition of something that could possibly be Pentothal.

16a     Clever comment pedant keeps back (5)
ADEPT : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

17a     Also have wine, as discussed, when needed (2,3)
AD HOC : As discussed indicates a homophone. The first part gives ‘also have’ or ‘attach’, and the second a type of German white wine.

18a     Lucky escape: electrician finally making circuit safe (4,5)
NEAR THING : The last letter of electrician and then his action in connecting to the ground to make a circuit safe.

21a     Drunken peril holding tin: it’s lager! (7)
PILSNER : The chemical symbol for tin is inside an anagram (drunken) of PERIL.

22a     Goddess! Stop luring me in! (7)
DEMETER : ‘Me’ from the clue is inside a word meaning stop or put off.

25a     Anxious worker safely evacuated (5)
ANTSY : A worker insect and then the first and last letters (evacuated) of safely.

26a     Crewmen given fish: this seals deal (9)
HANDSHAKE : Crewmen or workers on a ship and a fish related to a cod.

27a     Pastry one very good, coarse and large (7)
STRUDEL : The two letters put in front of the name of one recognised by the church as being very good, then coarse or uncouth and finally L(arge).

28a     Republican in Senate unusually sincere (7)
EARNEST : An anagram (unusually) of SENATE contains R(epublican).


1d     Stop after snake makes for pitch (7)
ASPHALT : The snake associated with the demise of Cleopatra and then another word for stop.

2d     Profit from uranium found in valley (5)
VALUE : A somewhat poetic word for valley contains the chemical symbol for uranium.

3d     Hotel in pleasant position (5)
NICHE : Pleasant or appealing contains H(otel).

4d     The ultimate consumer? (3-4)
END-USER : A cryptic definition of the final person in a commodity supply chain.

5d     Moment one monster and knight seen in land? (3,4)
BIG BANG : A word meaning monster or large-sized is followed by a word for land or capture which contains the chess abbreviation for knight.

6d    Sent a snap to be developed, incidentally (2,7)
EN PASSANT : An anagram (to be developed) of SENT A SNAP.

7d     Tiger seen abroad where lion holds sway? (9)
SERENGETI : An anagram (abroad) of TIGER SEEN.

8d     Carefully analyse underworld worshippers? (7)
DISSECT : A word for the underworld which is an alternative name for the god Pluto, and then a group of fellow believers.

14d     Work on furnishings before magistrate takes case (9)
UPHOLSTER : A two letter word meaning before magistrate and then a case that possibly holds a revolver.

15d     Cut demand to keep variable stock (9)
HACKNEYED : Cut or slash roughly, and then a demand or requirement contains one of the letters used as a mathematical variable.

17d     American soft fruit is exhibited (7)
APPEARS : The single letter abbreviation for American, then the musical notation for soft and fruit which just happens to be plural here.

18d     Arctic swimmer raced northward with Prince Harry (7)
NARWHAL : The reversal (northward) of raced or moved quickly, then the abbreviation for ‘with’ and another name for Prince Harry.

19d     An eminent Florentine’s unhurried pace? (7)
ANDANTE : ‘An’ from the clue plus an eminent Florentine who is best remembered for his writing about the underworld.

20d     Good skill involves men producing item worn (7)
GARMENT : G(ood) then a three letter word for skill surrounds men from the clue.

23d     Some salami served for cheapskate (5)
MISER : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

24d     Occasionally ignored threat of French business (5)
TRADE : The first, third and fifth letters (occasionally ignored) of threat, then the French word for ‘of’.

We spent time trying to squeeze an ogre into 5d, and nominate this one as our favourite.

Quickie pun    hay    +    dell    +    vice    =    edelweiss

106 comments on “DT 29709

  1. First of all, a resounding “hear hear” to the preamble.
    As for the puzzle, I thought it was excellent, a real gem. South proved a bit trickier than the North, where with my last one in 18d, I was in the ridiculous position of having the two 3 letter components from the wordplay and still couldn’t see the middle letter before a trawl through the alphabet produced the goods, great clue. Also loved 17&18a but top spot goes to the brilliant 15d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the top notch entertainment.

  2. A most enjoyable puzzle and my first, and probably the only, unaided solve of the week. Plenty to like such as 1a, 5a, 26a and 15d but my COTD is 18d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment and thank you to the 2 Kiwis for the hints. I too endorse the comments by them, well said.

    1. I just want to pop in and say thanks to Donnybrook who actually set the puzzle.

  3. For me, this was the most enjoyable Wednesday puzzle for a few weeks, with an outstanding eastern half, containing some of the cleverest clues (2*/4*). I enjoyed the clever word play in 22a, the misdirection in 19d and 16a and the wily 8d. The unusual synonym in 15d and that is my COTD. Thanks to the Kiwis, it may be midsummer but the temperature was only 43 F first thing this morning here in rural Oxfordshire. Thank you to the compiler for a nicely balanced puzzle with just the right level of difficulty

  4. Terrific puzzle – a real gem. Tricky enough in places to be challenging, but all answers within reach.

    Up with the lark this morning as we had an early supermarket delivery. The bloke astonished me by carrying eight bags of shopping from his van to the doorstep in one go. Oh to have such strength and energy!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Tangerine Dream – Phaedra

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

    1. Gosh, Tangerine Dream … now there’s something I haven’t listened to for decades! Thank you for the reminder, they’ll be my soundtrack for most of the day now.

  5. A delightful coffee-break puzzle, not overly challenging but with many wonderful clues – I particularly liked 22a, 27a, 4d, 14d, 15d, 19d with my COTD going to 13a (I know a lovely Verity!). Concise precision in the clueing, a great variety, no arcane GK required – what’s not to like on a beautiful hot late June morning?


    Many thanks to the setter to the 2Ks for their review (which corrected my faulty parsing of 5d).

  6. All completed in ** time, my only sticking point was the goddess who was new to me. I really liked the construction of 18a, very clever and my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

  7. Yes this was a great puzzle with much to enjoy. Not straightforward but plenty to exercise the mind and also give pleasure. Honourable mentions for 1a, 5a, 22a, 1d, 8d, 18d and 19d, but clue of the day is 26a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks whose comments I heartily recommend. Reading yesterday’s comments I was appalled at the discourtesy shown to both setter and solvers. Perhaps going to Burlington Arcade to spend a few thousand on Victorian gewgaws might be better than getting antsy about puzzle setters..

    1. I agree with you there Corky! The joy of being here is (usually) the lack of discourtesy and snarkiness.

      1. Coming in very late to agree. Do you think the accused knows how offensive his comments are?

  8. Enjoyed this. Not all parsed precisely so needed the hints today to see why I was right – mostly at 8d (I’ll try to remember Pluto’s other name). Loved both 18a and 5d.

  9. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay, I’m fairly sure. **/**** Favourite 26a. Spent a bit too long trying to make an exotic fish out of “this sails” before that penny dropped. Thanks to all.

  10. Very enjoyable, with a pint of cider on the beach at Whitstable. 18d was last in and although the checkers lead me there I did need to check.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and today’s setter.

    1. Just the day for a cider! I’m enjoying a pint of Katy at the moment after a morning working in the garden. :grin:

    2. I hope that’s your second pint, otherwise I’m very impressed with your solving speed!

  11. Brilliant puzzle. Feels like Jay to me, especially 5d, but also 15d & 18d, my three winners. I thought this the best Wednesday grid in a long time–not a weak clue in the magic barrel. Many thanks to the Kiwis for the review and to the setter for this gem. ** / *****

    Very doable Toughie today.

  12. A very enjoyable mid-week puzzle which I see that, so far, only two commenters have been bold enough to attribute it to the ‘third Wednesday bird’ – **/*****.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 4d, 18d, and 20d – and the winner is 4d.

    I will join with Steve C and Greta and say thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  13. That infamous ‘in’ word was certainly made good use of by our setter today but it didn’t detract too much from a most enjoyable puzzle. Plenty to like including a truly groan-worthy Quickie pun and my top two were 18a & 19d.

    Thanks to the setter and to our 2Ks – I know what you mean about compiling those entries for the clue-writing competition, Colin!

  14. Brilliantly and elegantly clued.
    Unaided to completion in 2.5 **
    Top marks to 27a and 5d.
    Many thanks Jay and the 2 Kiwis for the nicely illustrated review.

  15. Great puzzle! Thank you setter – I always look forward to the Wednesday puzzle. I enjoy the mix of difficulty during the week and am always in awe of all the setters. Such clever people! Someone mentioned yesterday the possibility of the crossword dying out if they were not accessible to new solvers and that would be a disaster!! I remember (not too long ago) the sheer delight of finishing my first puzzle unaided. I now even have a go at the toughie if someone on the blog mentions that it is on the easier side. Baby steps! Not everyone is eloquent or amusing in their comments (although so many of you are) and the minority who are negative are just that – a very small minority. For me it doesn’t spoil the blog it just emphasises that we’re all different.

  16. A most enjoyable solve over morning tea. I thought I had finished it but realised later that I had not solved 16 across. Soon sorted. Thanks to Jay and to the Kiwi hinters.

  17. No great problems today in this pleasant puzzle. Thx to 2Kiwis for explaining 5d and 16a. Would perhaps take a little issue with 2d surely the answer is the result after profit. 22a was unknown to me but Google sorted it out.
    Thx to all

    1. In my mind there is no result after profit, as it sits at the bottom of the P&L. I think the synonym can work eg “there is no profit/value to be gained from cutting corners”.

  18. Lovely puzzle with lots to like, I’ll nominate 7d as my COTD but there were plenty of contenders.
    I wasn’t aware of the goddess in 22a, but easily solvable from the wordplay. I wonder how long I will hold on to that bit of new knowledge.
    Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis

    1. Well you really caught me out today, Jay! After weeks of thinking it’s not you only to find it was led me to believe it was you today. Thanks for putting the record straight and I will now offer my grateful thanks to Miss Tree Setter.

    2. I thought early on that it wasn’t one of your crosswords, but like you I did enjoy the solve

  19. 2*/4*. This was great fun, and another light puzzle to continue the week in that vein.

    My podium comprises 18a, 25a & 19d.

    Many thanks presumably to Jay, and to the 2Ks.

    1. I wish I’d waited a few more minutes before attributing it to Jay! I was typing while he posting. :oops:

  20. That was fun. I managed to complete it without any help although I needed the hints to fully parse 5d and 14d. No idea who the setter was. I always like Chalicea’s crosswords so maybe one of hers? (Don’t know why I’m attempting to guess as I really don’t have a clue!) Thanks to the mystery setter and the 2Ks. **/*****

    1. Wording a guess in a certain way will make us all think that you are superb at setter spotting and a real asset to the blog. Dropping the words preposition, verb and surface in the right places won’t do you any harm either. I’ve been winging it for years now and what do I know?

  21. Wednesday brings us Jay and this was a much friendlier one than the last couple. Highly enjoyable as it was solvable without the headache! 1.58/***** … a fun puzzle.
    22a a new word for me.
    Favourites include 9a, 13a, 17a, 26a & 1d with the winner 9a

    Nice to see the first word in the clue the correct name for the dog … not used on this side of the pond, even though it is the correct name for the breed. One of the many things that gets to me about North American ‘English’ ….argghhh!!
    End of rant

    Thanks to the 3 birds today

  22. Non-Jay submission by yours truly. But have we ever been seen together?

    Thanks 2K, and thanks all for the kind remarks — even Brian made a kind remark! — and I’m glad you all liked it.

    As to difficulty ‘n’ stuff, I suppose it is quite important that new solvers get good chances to polish off puzzles. It feels good to finish the blighters. In addition to the back-pagers in The DT (which I try to make as easy as I can) I do Quick Cryptics in The Times, which item is on balance probably less hard than The DT, and some tabloid stuff which is VERY easy. So differing levels of easiness, and a variety in this regard is necessary in the other dailies too, which (as you’ll know from the Toughie, it would appear :-)) require only the odd stinker.


    1. I did write NYDK on the top of my piece of paper. I have definitely seen both Jay and you, but I can’t remember ever seeing both of you at the same time

    2. Many thanks for the challenge, NYDK and for popping in. I think we are all going to have to stop assuming that it is always Jay on a Wednesday.

    3. Thanks, NYDK, for an excellent puzzle. I gave you my highest commendation of 5*, a rare gift from me, but your gem today deserved it, I thought.

    4. With your veil of mystery lifted I’m happy to thank you once again as setter, NYD, for such an enjoyable grid. In my view a good puzzle is judged not by the difficulty of the challenge it poses, but by the pleasure one derives during and from solving it, from its polish and consistent quality. And this was a good puzzle indeed!

    5. Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable solve NYDK. Very much keeping up the Jay tradition of excellent fair enjoyable solves.

    6. You can see from my comment #1 what I thought of it Donnybrook, great fun. Thanks for popping in, always appreciated by us mere mortals.

    7. Thank you, Mr Doorknob, I thought this was hard but fair and even if I couldn’t parse 14d, all the squares were filled in with confidence. Come again soon.

  23. Very enjoyable puzzle. Just right for me. The SW corner held me up for a while but I persevered and eventually solved it all alone and unaided and parsed all the answers…hurrah!
    Favourite clue has to be 18a. Very clever and my Dad was an electrician who had more than a few near things.

    Thanks to NY Doorknob and to the 2 Kiwis. I could not agree more with your preamble. The ingenuity of the setters astounds me …even when I cannot solve their clues!

    Overcast and close up here now after a lovely sunny start to the day. Real midgie weather if we were a bit further North and West…but thankfully we are on the East coast. I reckon I’d rather have haar than midgies any day.

    1. I’m slowly recovering from my ordeal on Southlochaweside last week Ora. The itching has mostly stopped now. We are going to revert to late September visits for the future. Pesky Midges

    2. Sadly Ora we get both & tonight promises light rain with visibility already dropping.

  24. Well that wasn’t too difficult, as Wednesdays go. Enjoyed both the friendly and challenging clues, nothing obscure or outlandish, although my lack of knowledge regarding elements and goddesses let me down. What I do know I have learnt on this blog. Our morning pre breakfast walks are getting uncomfortable, very hot and humid as we head into summer. The best part is getting home and cooling down. Thanks to setter and to 2Kiwis for the helpful hints.

  25. Great puzzle, but a schoolboy error held me up I the NE corner.
    First clue I put in was 6 down which was such an obvious anagram – but I didn’t cross check the letters and threw in AT PRESENT. 😳
    Other than that I completed in good time

  26. That was a painless load of fun with the N even more straightforward than the S. Had to double check 22a goddess and needed help to fully parse my 5d bung-in. Podium places in no particular order – 1a, 15d and 18d. Thanks to NYD (look forward to solving more of the same/similar) and to 2Kiwis (we have a different kind of beautiful day – lovely warm sunshine – after a cold, blustery day yesterday).

  27. Not posted for some while so hello. Having found this a really tricky solve and needing hints for quite a few at the end I seem to be a dissenting voice. I think it is just the wavelength thing.
    Even having viewed some hints I still struggled with the answer so for this setter I have taken a few steps backwards. I will keep working on it and really grateful appreciation for the hints

  28. **/****. A very enjoyable puzzle. 18&22a took joint favourites from a fairly packed field of candidates. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  29. I remember finding your puzzles such a treat before, NY Doorknob, oodles of fun. Loved it! I didn’t have to use a reference book or use e-help for anything! I was tempted to look up the Goddess to confirm but I had a vague memory of that so bunged it in and it was right. I’ve now got such a big ‘ead, clever, clever old me! I loved it all, hard to choose a fave, maybe 18d.
    Thanks a lot NY Doorknob, come back soon, and the 2Kiwis for the hints and pics.
    We’ve not had an update on Kath for some time, does anyone have any news. We miss you so much, Kath!

  30. Nice straightforward solve, though 25a was new to me, with plenty of amusing clues 😃 ***/**** Favourites 18a & 1d 🤗 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Donnybrook

  31. Oh for the certainty of days of yore when Wed = Jay. That’s another few bob into the bookies satchels. Tackled early this morning before a lovely day out golfing & fully agree with the consensus that it was a super puzzle with some excellent clues. Top two for me were 15&18d with notable mentions for 7d’s lovely surface & 21a though frankly there wasn’t a dud in there. It all made for a brisk & enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Donny for the entertainment/popping in & to the 2Ks for the review.
    Ps After exchanging a 26a (well elbow bump) on the 18th, having won & played well for a change, I became very 25a upon discovering not only had I not locked the car the keys were nowhere to be found. Once the bag had been searched to no avail & resigned to my mate driving me home to get the spare it was only when I went to shut the boot I spotted them on the car roof – further confirmation that I’m fast losing the plot if I ever had it in the first place – that pint sure tasted great.

    1. My brother-in-law had similar problem when he had put his wallet on the car roof and drove off – last he heard of the wallet obviously!

      1. I lost a watch that way. It was one of the first digital ones as well. ☹️

    2. I once drove off with a stack of student essays on the roof of my car–and after I’d backed out of my garage, guess what I saw all over my front yard (and the neighbour’s)? Luckily, it wasn’t raining, the yard was dry, and I managed to find all of those splendid literary works of art.

    3. A few years ago I managed to drive home from the shops with a box of cakes on the roof!

  32. As a I completed this and the Toughie before going out and am therefore late to comment, I read the preamble first and can only endorse what our bloggers wrote about the difficulty in clue setting.

    As for the puzzle, it was great fun and a rewarding solve.

    My thanks to Donnybrook and and the 2Ks.

  33. Enjoyed this very much with nothing too taxing. Sitting out in glorious sunshine with our little rocky waterfall tinkling into the pond which is heaving with newts. 20 minutes before a cold glass of wine and doing the crossword, what could possibly be better! Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

  34. Very enjoyable typical Wednesday enjoyment albeit from a different source.
    Had slightly less problems than I do with Jay but was very satisfying and enjoyable.
    15d gets my COTD.
    Thanks to NYDK and the 2Ks for the informative & interesting review.
    Celebrated our 59th wedding anniversary today by sending Mrs LrOK to Tesco – who says romance is dead?

    1. You really know how to give a girl a good time LROK Happy anniversary to you both

    2. My gosh, LROK! I hope you are a little more romantic next year!

      Happy anniversary! 🎂🎂

      1. H,
        Our nearest Waitrose is Stirling that’s an overnight stay. That would be an expensive trip. Thought of polishing her car with liquid diamond polish next year, or then again I could buy the polish & she could do the car
        Our honeymoon to Austria for 10 days only cost 19 guineas (mind that was each – we really splashed out). Flew across the Channel on a Dan Air DC3 from Manston those were the days!

    3. Happy Anniversary to you both. That is quite an achievement, wishing you many more happy years!

    4. Many congratulations LBROK on your 59th wedding anniversary. We expect you to roll out the red carpet next year for Mrs LBROK.

      1. Hilary,
        Red carpet? Of course as long as SWMBO sweeps it with our old Bex Bissell.

  35. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. We have been treated to some really good crosswords lately… many thanks to our setters.
    To many to name a favourite.
    Thanks to 2KWS for the & Donnybrook for today’s cracker.

    1. I have been wondering about the comments that were made about the difficulty and suitability of the crosswords I think it has raised our appreciation of this website and made us feel protective towards it. This can only be positive. I know I value it greatly. Today was a great example.

  36. Morning all.
    Wednesdays are the only days that we print the Quick Crossword. We usually just solve enough to be sure we have got the pun sorted and then put it aside to get on with the puzzle for blogging. Once the blog is all done, dusted and scheduled for publishing we might pick it up again to finish the solve. It was only at this stage that we found 12d that we suspect was written with us in mind. Thanks for that NY Doorknob and thanks for both the puzzles.
    It feels like another frosty morning out there so probably another fine day in store for us.
    PS. As we write this we have just heard the result of the cricket match that has been attracting a bit of attention for people in this part of the world. WHEEEE!

  37. Thanks to NYDK and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I started with 2d, and finished with 16a. I liked 13&18a, 7d, but my favourite was 5d. Some really smooth surfaces. Not too tricky. Was 2* /4* for me.

  38. Good evening. I’ve managed to scrape in on the day. I thought today’s puzzle was a joy. Lovely clues and a satisfying solve that bought a smile to my lips. Thank you to our setter Donnybrook and the excellent blog from the 2Kiwis. I’ve found all of the puzzles this week really enjoyable and even ventured over to the other side and finished the Toughie unaided yesterday which was a first for me and gave me a terrific boost. I have followed the ‘discussion’ about levels of difficulty and I think so much depends not only on the crossword itself but how you feel in yourself on any particular day. We all have days where the brain cells are scrambled for whatever reason and days where we are sharp and everything falls in to place. Personally I don’t think an easier solve equals unenjoyable, rather, I find them very satisfying and encouraging. My thanks to all the setters, bloggers and contributors that I don’t often get the opportunity to thank on the day. I’m also wondering how Kath is getting on.

  39. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle. I am one of those people who tend to dip in and out between the daily chores and appointments. I failed to parse 5a and wasn’t sure about 25a but had the checkers so it had to be but not a word I’m familiar with. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis and Donnybrook for such enjoyment.

    Big Dave it would be reassuring to hear how Kath is coming along. We miss her! Please pass on our best wishes for a full and complete recovery.

  40. Really enjoyable. Took me a while to parse 5d until I realised the definition was “moment one”! Definitely my COTD.

  41. Thanks, NY Doorknob: I enjoyed that one, and it was pitched at just my level. Do come and be our Supply Setter again sometime. And thank you to the Kiwis for explaining a couple of the answers, such as the underworld.

    I do like 17a, mainly because, for once, it was a wine I’d actually heard of. My favourite is 19d’s eminent Florentine.

    Congratulations to LabradorsruleOK and your spouse.

  42. Oh dear! I seem to be out on a limb as I found this really difficult. There are mitigating circumstances though. Having completed the toughie earlier I made a start, no problems so far. I then had a zoom meeting lasting about 2 hours. Then I cooked my evening meal and restarted the crossword whilst watching the Hungary/Germany match and eating my meal, not too many problems until I hit a brick wall. Ok thinks I, I’ll take a break and re-string one of my beloved Taylor guitars prior to playing at a family do on Saturday, so far so good. I realised the other day that I was down to my last set of strings so ordered another 5, should arrive soon, and proceeded with the aforementioned operation. Pulling up the last string it snapped! Would the new strings arrive in time? I searched for another part set where a similar thing had happened to no avail, 1 or 2 thousandth of an inch makes a difference on a high string. Eventually I took a string off a guitar where a similar thing had happened and I’d just stood it in the corner. Sorted. Went back to the crossword and finished it. Nobody’s listening but it got it off my chest. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to NYDK and 2K’s

    1. You are not alone. I was completely out of kilter with this one. NW and SE were complete but there were a lot of white squares in the rest of it. I rarely resort to hints but I simply did not have a clue with the rest. I have never heard the word at 25a and although I built it up it seemed improbable. I never thought of the plural at 17d which foxed me. Completely missed the church district as I was fixed on diocese or see. Missed the French and Latin phrases although usually live them. Certainly wavelength. Well I hope so or I’m doomed!

  43. What do you mean, “Nobody’s listening”.
    Our deepest sympathy but at least you did get the puzzle finished.

  44. Coming in late….or is it early? Anyway I’m not surprised that this isn’t by Jay as usually on a Wednesday, after finishing the Toughie, I really struggle with the cryptic. A classic wavelength thing I suppose.
    Having commented earlier, I’m so pleased that this blog once more reflects the nicer aspects of our contributors.

  45. I kept coming back to this over a space of 24 hours and each time spotted a few more solves. Great fun and left me with a feeling of being very clever. Many thanks to NYDK for an enjoyable confidence booster.:) ****/****

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