DT 29715 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29715

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29715

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
New Zealand has had a whole encyclopedia entry of winter weather this past week. Heavy rain, strong winds, hail storms, snow to low levels and cold temperatures. Today has turned out much more settled so it does look like the system that has brought all this from Antarctic regions has now moved on. We certainly hope so.
We suspect that as last week’s puzzle was by NY Doorknob (alias Donnybrook) we are back with Jay again but we’ve been wrong before.
An enjoyable solve whatever.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you fared.

Across

1a     Curse macho way of talking (11)
MALEDICTION : Macho, or to do with the less fair sex, and then a way of talking or choice of words.

9a     Eccentric hat priced as a bargain? (4,5)
DIRT CHEAP : An anagram (eccentric) of HAT PRICED.

10a     Blood is full of good stuff (5)
GORGE : Another word for messy blood contains G(ood).  ( For the hint we thought messy blood read better than bloody mess)

11a     Embarrassed about mistake getting possible aperitif (6)
SHERRY : Embarrassed or retiring and modest contains mistake as a verb.

12a     Illegally sells copies, with son in for grand, to no avail (8)
BOOTLESS : Start with a word meaning illegally sells copies or trades in alcohol, as the mafia did during Prohibition, and replace the G(rand) in this word with S(on).

13a    Athletic drink that’s fortified in case of scurvy (6)
SPORTY : A fortified wine from the Iberian Peninsula is enclosed by the first and last letters of scurvy.

15a     Understand bottling a strategy for such a transporter (8)
SEAPLANE : Understand or notice surrounds ‘A’ from the clue and a strategy or design.

18a     Overwhelm island court holding sister (8)
INUNDATE : The single letter abbreviation for island, then a religious sister and finally, court or go out with.

19a     Backed tabloid left in charge of plant (6)
GARLIC : Reverse the slang name for a tabloid and follow this with L(eft) and the two letters for ‘in charge’.

21a     Assumptions of the man surrounded by right-wingers (8)
THEORIES : Political right-wingers contain a male personal pronoun .

23a    Whole of Italy books performance (6)
INTACT :: String together the IVR code for Italy, some of the books of the Bible, and a performance or deed.

26a     Area of market found by hotel in French resort (5)
NICHE : A French resort on the Mediterranean contains H(otel).

27a     Religious community chasing daily purchase (4,5)
MAIL ORDER : A popular newspaper (daily) and then a word used to describe a religious community.

28a     Losing source of finance, grants in from new paper (7,4)
MORNING STAR : An anagram (new) of GRANTS IN (f)ROM with the first letter of finance removed.

Down

1d     Creatures coming from sea — America beginning to shoot (7)
MEDUSAS : The three letter abbreviation for a well-known sea, then the three letter abbreviation for America and the first letter of shoot.

2d     Ordered gravel — not very big (5)
LARGE : An anagram (ordered) of GRA(v)EL with V(ery) removed.

3d     Honoured Germany and European Commission — spoke at length (9)
DECORATED : The IVR code for Germany, then the two letters for the European Commission and a word meaning made a speech.

4d     Cold cut and sweet perhaps (4)
CHEW : The letter on a tap indicating cold and then cut with blows.

5d     Inappropriate work contained in primer needing editing (8)
IMPROPER : The short form for an artistic work is inside an anagram (needing editing) of PRIMER.

6d     Dark spirit on the rise leads to high tension (5)
NIGHT : The reversal of a spirit flavoured with juniper berries and the first letters of the last two words of the clue.

7d     Keep an eye on past bishop’s responsibility (7)
OVERSEE : Past or finished and then a district for which a bishop has responsibility.

8d     A quick drop before opening time? (4,4)
FREE FALL : A cryptic definition of the period before parachutists pull their ripcords.

14d     Couple in dispute about northern European wealth (8)
OPULENCE : An anagram (in dispute) of COUPLE contains N(orthern) and E(uropean).

16d     Worries about left working with grand church music (9)
PLAINSONG : Worries or aches contain L(eft), then a two letter word meaning working and finally G(rand).

17d     Current content of mere banner (8)
STREAMER : A current of flowing water and the two central letters (content) of ‘mere’.

18d     Proposes international objectives (7)
INTENDS : The three letter abbreviation for international and then objectives or aims.

20d     Supplier of three queens? (7)
CATERER : The first queen is a female feline and the next two are both Her Majesty.

22d     He’s overcome by unusual symptom of cold (5)
RHEUM : A word meaning unusual or strange contains ‘HE’ from the clue.

24d     Fraud itself must incorporate check (5)
AUDIT : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

25d     Dress for the South of France? (4)
MIDI : A double definition. This style of dress originated in the 1940’s and has had several reincarnations since then.

Two selections for the podium this week, 8d and 20d.

Quickie pun    creed    +    occur    =    cri de coeur

124 comments on “DT 29715
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  1. Cracking puzzle with some subtle misdirection here and there, which I’ve tried to reflect in my picks.
    My podium contenders, in a very strong field, are 18&23a plus 3,6,7& 22d.
    2.5/4.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the fun.

    Whacky but very doable Django Toughie today too.

  2. This puzzle had some pretty challenging clues and was quite absorbing (3.5*/4*). I didn’t understand 8d but that’s on me, as I have never done a parachute jump ( and it was guessable any way). Thanks to the Kiwis for explaining that one. 28a a was a really clever clue, which I wrote in before spending some time unravelling it and 1a was another superrb clue. However, joint clues of the day for me are 12a and 20d . We were spoilt for choice. Thanks to the compiler for agood brain workout.

  3. Some quite tricky moments with this one. I’d hesitate now to say it’s a Jay but could well be. It took me a while to unravel the bottling transporter in 15a. On the face of it, I’d say that is typical Jay clue! Nice bit of misdirection in 18a – I suspect I wasn’t the only one looking for an abbreviation of court and sister initially. My favourite today. ***/ **** Thanks to all.

  4. Very enjoyable. Veered between the arcane and the mundane. As an ex-public an I enjoyed the misdirection in 8d. For a similar reason I expect Terence to enjoy 20d.

  5. Very enjoyable crossword today. Solved alone and unaided but found it quite tricky ….why I took so long to see the plant at 19a mystified me now.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  6. A satisfying solve and amusing puzzle, for which many thanks to the Setter (and to the 2Ks for the review). I didn’t feel that any particularly obscure “G”K was required and enjoyed the variety of clues, the precision of the writing and smoothness of the surfaces. Hon.mentions to 1a,18a, and 20d with my COTD going to 8d – big smile at that one.

    2*/3.5*

  7. Got nowhere on the first reading of the across clues but raced through the downs. Lots of inventive clues as usual for a Wednesday puzzle. Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks. A lucky mixture of Marstons Pedigree, Aspalls Cider and several gins helped me to push the England football team to victory last night. I may need to replicate this on Saturday. I don’t want to jinx their success

    1. Just found & have been listening to a two part You Tube posting of Van’s 87 Glastonbury gig – good quality & sounds like he was in good form. Worth a listen.

    2. Your selfless dedication to the England team is an inspiration. I have located some cans of Boddingtons here in NYC which I will put to good effect to support England tomorrow. Alas, no Marstons Pedigree here, nor Tetleys (ale, not tea).

  8. This was a very slow starter for me, but I got there in the end. This could be because I was a little slow generally this morning, having enjoyed a certain 2-0 quite generously last night.

    I have never come across the word at 12a before, but 20d has to be COTD.

    Many thanks to the compiler and the 2 Ks.

  9. Tricky but high quality ***/*** puzzle. The plethora of anagrams including the slightly devious 28a oiled the wheels pretty well. I thought 8d and the aforementioned 28a both excellent and the former gets my COTD. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and the setter.

  10. This is for Steve – my trompe l’oeil window birthday present – not quite Grinling Gibbons but I like it.

    1. Oh that is good, Daisygirl. I see what you mean now – what a great effect. Thanks for uploading the picture.

      1. Your picture has encouraged me to look into a mirror, DG. This is the rear part of our garden and the arch at the back leads nowhere really. I thought one might look good there? Just the germ of an idea at the moment because decent mirrors are quite expensive.

        1. I think a mirror would look very good there. I first used a mirror some 20 years ago in DD2’s little garden
          in Shelford. I just wedged an old mirror from a wardrobe against the fence shrouded by a Garrya Eliptica
          and placed a low wrought iron gate which we had dispensed with at the bottom and it was an amazing deception.
          Je suis une femme du tete!
          PS I love your cone tree, my garden is very relaxed and MP’s comment about someone saying ‘If only they knew
          what they were doing’ really applies to me. Tall plants in the front etc. But it is my little bit of GB.

          1. I do the same, tall at the front and short buried at the back. My garden is best looked at from a distance. It doesn’t do to look at it too closely! I’m no expert but I do love working in it. I have an app that tells me the names of plants I don’t recognise and how to care for them.

            Good idea to try a mirror from the house first.

              1. It’s what I’ve been saying to people all my life when it comes to plants, MP. Mind you, I was once invited to the local gardening club and the speaker screened a picture of a tree and asked if any of us knew what was. Loads of head shaking and mutterings of “no” but it just so happened I had been looking through my “Idiot Guide to Trees” that afternoon. I named the tree and got many looks of approval from the diehards. I could see they were eyeing me up as a potential “knowledgeable” member so I beat a hasty retreat.

        2. What a lovely garden Steve – I could definitely enjoy a G&T sitting in the sunshine trying to make sense of Django

        3. That looks lovely. So different from my day to day environment in Manhattan where it’s sometimes hard to find a place to relax. Having said that we had a very pleasant family picnic under the trees in Central Park on Sunday (Splitters’ Day, 4th July) but not the same. My mother’s garden was her pride and joy – I hope to have a garden of my own one day.

    2. That looks amazing, DG. I do hope you’ll post some more pics for those of us who live too far away to visit when your garden is open.

    3. I remember reading a list of comments made by visitors to an open garden.
      ‘She has so nearly got it right’
      ‘Lovely roses but they are so last year aren’t they?’
      ‘Completely back to front’
      ‘Who grows Delphiniums any more’
      ‘Of course they have a team of gardeners’
      ‘If only they knew what they were doing’
      ‘Is that it’?

      1. Impressive work MP. Given your photo on the lawn tractor the other week it’s a bit of overkill though is it not?
        However if you fancy a trip up to Dornoch a larger more challenging project awaits your talents..
        We would provide the anti midge cream etc.

      2. That is a lot of hard work MP. I like your man shed. Why do I get
        the feeling that all these garden pictures are going to irritate Bertie?

        1. 8’ x 6’ greenhouse. Much bigger shed. Not a mancave. Full of my treasures and Saint Sharon’s rubbish. The newer picture is a couple of months old. The garden is much nicer and tidier now

  11. 2*/4.5*. This was great fun from start to finish, with my only delay trying to parse MINI as my answer to 25d until the penny dropped that it wasn’t the answer.

    On my podium today are 8d, 20d & 22d.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  12. Perhaps because solving was only accompanied by Corporation Pop 2021, somewhat tricky but very enjoyable – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 27a, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Jay(?) and the 2Kiwis.

  13. A couple of hold ups but fairly straightforward. I thought 8d was the best clue today.

    Thanks to todays setter and the 2Ks.

  14. Jay(?) did us proud today – a fun challenge. NE slowest corner due to being misled on ‘drop’ in 8a and thus trying to justify ‘last call’!
    Fav 12a with 20d running up. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis (what a difference in extreme weathers the world is experiencing just now – excessive heat in West of USA/Canada and obviously the opposite in your neck of the woods).

    1. Congratulations on, apparently, being (what appears to be) one of the few who understands (comprehends?) the difference between weather and climate.

      1. Indeed. Weather varies considerably and looking at the temperature graphs for Oregan it was hotter in 1896 or thereabouts.

  15. Excellent offering from Mr Wednesday although I did need to check on 12a – my knowledge of the Bard’s language obviously wasn’t up to scratch!
    The eccentric hat made me smile and 8d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for their review from a wintry NZ.

  16. It has to be Wednesday because, as usual, I found the Toughie easier.
    My COTD must be 8d because it gave me the shivers. Why anyone jumps out of a fully functioning aeroplane, just for fun, defeats me!

      1. Luckily my son in law was fully trained before I met him. At least you did it for a good reason and not just for fun.

    1. Exactly what a good friend of mine’s dad said – after he had to bail from his fighter plane TWICE in WW2

    2. There is no such thing as a fully functioning aircraft. The most dangerous thing about skydiving is driving to the parachute centre.

  17. Excellent with one of the most elegant clues I have come across in a while 8d. Not sure about the definition for 12a, the BRB just defines it as ‘without boots’! Not a synonym I am familiar with. However, a very small point.
    A most enjoyable puzzle. Thx to all
    *****/**

    1. There are two definitions for ‘boot’ in the BRB. Under the second one (which I also missed first time round) bootless is defined as an adjective meaning unprofitable or useless. I’d never heard of this either!

        1. I remember studying Julius Caesar at school and coming across the quotation “doth not Brutus bootlegs kneel” . Yes, we all thought he had left his boots off…should have known better as Romans wore sandals not boots. Never forgotten the word, though and finally, after more decades than I will admit, it has come in useful.

          1. I was trying to remember where I reD it a d it was Othello, Act 1 Scene 3, “The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief. He robs himself, that spends a bootless grief.”

    2. I also question the definition for 12a as “to no avail” – certainly not in the BRB which I thought was supposed to be our bible for these crosswords. Once again had a slow start but finished unaided at a gallop.2.5*/3.5*. Some very clever clues, COTD 9a. Thanks to setter and the 2Ks.

    1. Humble apologies – I didn’t read as far as the second definition, my brain was exhausted after completing the rest of the puzzle unaided!

  18. I’m going to buck the trend here because I did not get on with this puzzle at all. Maybe having to drive into town for the car to have its MOT and walking around for an hour upset the brain cells. I had to look at the hints for quite a few and when I found out the answers I wondered why I hadn’t got them unaided. Quite simply, I was not on wavelength today. Ah well, tomorrow is another day.

    Many thanks to Jay for the drubbing and thanks to the 2Kiwis for the much needed hints.

  19. Enjoyed it a lot & reckon it’s a Jay production but wouldn’t bet on it after last week’s loss. Unfortunately can’t claim an unaided solve as my completed grid wasn’t given the all correct message & was too lazy to pore through it all again so hit the reveal mistakes function. It was the penultimate letter of 12a (didn’t swap the G out & instantly amended) that was at fault – is there a term for this type of clue which has tripped me up before ? I really must make for of an effort to read the clue more carefully. Pretty sure we’ve had 20d (Dada maybe) not so long ago so was pleased to remember that queen but had to check what sort of sea creature 1d was. Lots to like & thought 1a&d nice starters but fully agree with the review’s picks with 16d joining them on the podium.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

    1. Commonly known as a “substitution” clue i.e. swap x for y.
      Remember this when doing Jay puzzles – he uses it quite a lot

  20. I am in tandem with Steve Cowling today. Boy – did I struggle with this one… I ended up needing the 2Ks’ hints for about four or five.
    However, it’s all part of my education.

    Today, Lola went out through her new cat door, stayed outside for about forty-five minutes, then came back inside to use her litter tray. I suspect this is my fault as I so often praise her when she uses the litter tray “There’s a GOOD girl!” that she probably thinks she is doing me a favour by ‘going’ indoors.

    Thank you for all the kind messages yesterday, on my birthday. We went to the Runnymede Hotel for lunch and it was lovely. Then we watched England beat Germany in the Euros so a good day all round.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Joan Armatrading – Consequences

    Thanks to the setter (I’ve given up guessing on Wednesdays!) and the invaluable 2Ks

    1. Terence, try putting the litter tray outside and gradually move it further and further away and finally remove it – worked for us. Years and years ago we saw Joan Armatrading in Cambridge. It was on our wedding anniversary and David had sent a her a note asking her sing Willow for us – I was absolutely amazed when she announced she was singing it for us!

      1. I tried that when Mrs. C and I went to see Rick Wakeman during our 40th Anniversary year.

        Not a sausage!

  21. Found this on the tough side and like MP had little joy on the first stab at the across clues but most fair & very enjoyable. Overall over in *** time and **** enjoyment.
    Never heard 12a in the context but it couldn’t be anything else.
    8d my COTD with 20d and 18a close behind.
    Thanks to setter and the 2Ks.
    Watching Mark Cavendish’s stage win in the TdF was highlight of the week for me. As someone who has suffered some of his demons I thought for him to do what he did yesterday was truly amazing and inspiring. The reaction of his fellow professionals showed the enormity of his achievement.

    1. Agree with you LROK on the enormity of Cav’s win. For me that was on a par with the win in the football. Yesterday was a great day for sport

    2. Ditto on Cav. Truly remarkable and awe-inspiring.
      Glad that he found a team that would have him – as it didn’t look good earlier in the year

      1. Same here but on the other hand for sheer excitement value the Andy Murray/Oscar Otte 5-setter match today would take a lot of beating. Do hope no more Wimbledon players suffer injury as result of the slippery turf on the covered courts.

        1. AA
          Watched that too & yes it was good but Cavendish’s achievement was simply Roy of the Rovers stuff.

      2. MP
        The back story in Cavendish’s case would make it a special achievement whatever his sport, or walk of life.

  22. I did the first half in bed this morning with my cuppa and came to a grinding halt. Came back to it a couple of hours later and it sort of flowed in. I also thought of mini but then realised it was midi – had a wonderful two week holiday on the Canal du Midi some 35 years ago – good food, good wine but it proved the end of a fine romance.

  23. A step up in difficulty from yesterday and immensely enjoyable to solve. My clear favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to all

  24. Agree with the ratings on this one but did have some trouble with the parsing on some. I do it on an iPad and on a couple I clicked on show errors to make certain guess correct. Having done that I managed to see how the clue worked.

  25. 2*/4* for me and pommers – got over half the across clues and only missed 2 of the downs.
    My only quibble would be 11a – not a favourite for me – never would have used shy for embarrassed.
    No BRB any longer – it went for a swim in our floods – but can’t see it defined in Collins.
    Perhaps a bit of thesauritis ????
    But otherwise a good puzzle today from Jay – and thanks to the 2Ks for review.
    PS Back from 9 days holiday in Andalucia and now cleaning our 2 rental apartments which we haven’t been able to get to for 10 months! The joys of property management in Spain 😥

  26. Out on a limb here, but this has to be Jay; no one else has quite the same gift of canniness in his surfaces or craftiness in his clues. As I think Huntsman said recently of another puzzle, not a dud in the grid. Several standout moments for me: 12a, Shakespeare’s 29th Sonnet–“And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries”; 13a, Mark Cavendish’s sporty and gallant win in the Tour yesterday (I wept with him); 15a, I rode my first and only seaplane for only half an hour from Victoria to Vancouver, B.C. (where it was over 110F this week!) and it was absolutely thrilling; and 1a, Verdi’s shocking end to ‘Rigoletto’ is ‘Maledizione!’ Do pardon me for being so personal with today’s clues, but that’s how this sparkling puzzle grabbed me, rather like my own personal adventure. However, I’ve never jumped out of a plane, but 8d is my COTD. Many thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. ** / *****

    1. I’m with you on Mark Cavendish’s win yesterday, Robert. I thought it was absolutely fantastic and very emotional. At the age of 36 he got his 31st stage win in the Tour, 5 years after his last such victory. I think there were some other sporting events taking place yesterday but this was the highlight for me.

  27. Agree with the majority a very nice puzzle with plenty of favourites 😃 ***/**** ( thanks to Brickrabbit for the meaning of 12a which I have not come across before) Favourites 1d, 8d & 15a 🤗 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay

  28. I definitely had a parsing problem today, and wasn’t familiar with 16d and 22d, and never used 1a. I don’t usually equate embarrassed with shy, but 8 am sure it says so in the thesaurus. So not my cup of tea. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  29. Finding today’s puzzle a real grind and just nothing coming clear in the lower half. DNF & give up for now and may look at it later. *****/** my rating

    Thanks to Jay(??) and 2K’s

  30. I thought this was fairly easy apart from 3. 4d and 8d I couldn’t parse. Where on earth does the answer to 12a mean to no avail. Apart from the above it was OK. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for putting me straight.

    1. 12a….it’s in several thesauri Bob. I’d never heard of it but easily worked out from the wordplay and checked.

  31. 12a was also new to me.
    Nice cryptic in 8d. It seems that I am beginning to enjoy such clues.
    23a made me think of the Eurovision as that little winning band is very much in demand.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 kiwis for the review.

  32. Great puzzle today 8d as my favourite but could not get the sweet so this goes into my *** territory. Thank you Jay and 2Ks [and also the entire England football squad!!!]

  33. I started out thinking this a tricky number, but I was much distracted by BigW. Then the downs were friendlier and I started getting the checkers which helped a lot. In the end, there really wasn’t anything too difficult, except 12a. I eventually got it but had to look it up, never heard of it before. I didn’t know 28a was an anagram, just bunged it in. I still don’t get the sweet in chew. Fave was 8d, good fun.
    Thank you Jay, I presume, and the 2Kiwis for unravelling a few.
    I cannot get to like Kyrgios, yet he’s really a good player and got through.

    1. When I visited the sweet shop next to my primary school as a kid, I was given 2 old pennies twice a week. A penny chew was a square, fruit flavoured sweet with the consistency of toffee. It was cheap and long lasting. So it suited me to buy one tthecother penny was for a sherbet dip with a liquorice stick. Hapoy days, Merusa.

      1. Aha, now I know. We went to England in 1949, the first time I could remember, and they still had rationing. We used to go to the village post office and buy our sweet rations and give them to our cousins. Growing up on a sugar estate, surrounded by sugar, I had no appetite for sweets!

        1. When new workers started on the assembly line at Cadbury in Bourneville they were told they could eat as many chocolates as they wanted. At the end of the first day they didn’t want to taste another chocolate for the rest of their lives!

          1. I did a short stint as a temp. secretary at McVities and we had to walk through the ‘chocolate enrobing’ facility on our way to and from the offices. To this day, I don’t like chocolate!

      2. I remember all those sweets, CC. Then there were gobstoppers that changed colour as you sucked them. Aniseed balls! Mars bars were three times the size and cost 5 old pennies.

  34. Morning all.
    What a lot of great garden pictures to greet us this morning. A welcome change from the wintry conditions here at present.
    Notice that no setter has yet called in to claim authorship but good to see that the puzzle has got almost universal approval once again.
    We also had to check on the specific meaning of the answer for 12a and, like others, did not immediately spot its separate entry in BRB.
    Cheers.

  35. Popping in to say hello and admit responsibility for today’s puzzle. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to all for your comments

    1. Thanks for popping in, Jay and for the challenge, which I could not rise to this week. Greatly appreciate your time and effort.

  36. Managed to work out the archaic expression in 12a without help.

    Despite having done 8d it took me way too long to solve.

    I had Chaucer for 20d until it became clear it was wrong. Needed help to get the answer. One for the memory bank methinks.

    Somehow never heard either meaning for 25d. Spent ages trying to parse mini as others did. Eventually needed Google as the hint didn’t help me.

    ****/**

  37. I revisited this but had to use far too many hints and cheats for satisfaction of solving.
    This was just not my favourite puzzle and for me the clues did not feel very Jay like today.
    Maybe just me with the extreme weather we have had in BC these past few days with the pressure cooker dome we have had and humidex temps in the high 40C range to 50C range.
    Flippin’ ridiculous heat for this part of the planet.

    1. I saw the pressure dome explained in the paper today. It even redirects the clouds! Please stay cool and safe PCQL. That goes for Senf and all members in Canada.

  38. My older sister and I were sent to C of E Sunday school at a young age, on returning we were asked if we wanted to go again we both declined and never went again so the chances of me getting 16d without electronic help were zero. Never heard of 12a. I didn’t realise the communist rag in 28a was still printed, apparently it is. It’s certainly not in my local shop. There were some enjoyable clues best being 1a and 7d. I don’t want to sound like Brian or worse Bertie but I found this a bit joyless.

  39. Somehow I managed to convince myself that 15a related to transport of the spirits to a former time and place, as well as the purpose for which a Japanese person might use a bottle, and confidently slotted in KEEPSAKE. I now feel truly humbled. The rest fell into place eventually over my standard five visits. Very enjoyable (3*/4*), with 9a, 13a and 6d taking podium positions. Many thanks to setter and 2K.

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