DT 29721 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29721

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29721

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Our rule of thumb measure of the severity of a frost is by seeing whether it actually forms on the beach. At the end of last week we had several days in a row when areas of the sand were crisp and white. Beautiful calm clear days followed them too. Not quite so good at present but not too bad.
Yesterday we had our appointments for our first Covid jabs. Only after effects so far are a slight soreness around the injection area. Second one is booked for later this month so just hope that goes equally well.

A few tricky bits for us in this good fun puzzle

 Please leave a comment telling us how you fared.


1a     Still cold wearing tartan (6)
PLACID : The letter indicating cold on a tap is inside another word for tartan cloth.

5a     Stiffener offered by celebrity before church (6)
STARCH : A celebrity in the entertainment industry and then Ch(urch).

10a     Spent a million absorbing language (5)
TAMIL : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

11a     Intended receiver may see a daughter shift ecstasy repeatedly (9)
ADDRESSEE : String together ‘A’ from the clue, D(aughter), shift as an article of clothing and then the repeated use of the letter for the drug ecstasy.

12a     Opinion of meadow, having love for area (7)
POSTURE : Start with a meadow or grassland and replace A(rea) with the tennis score love.

13a     Left university doctor with earlier condition … (7)
LUMBAGO : Assemble L(eft), U(niversity), a two letter qualification for a doctor and a word meaning earlier.

14a     … as long as offering a supply (9)
PROVIDING : A double definition.

17a     There’s no airs, oddly, in looking smart (5)
STING : Start with a word meaning looking or gazing intently and remove from within this the first and third letters of ‘airs’.

18a     Attack messages from the east (3,2)
SET ON : When the answer is read as one word from right to left (from the east) we find the messages.

19a     Charge sat awkwardly — go in uninvited (9)
GATECRASH : An anagram (awkwardly) of CHARGE SAT.

21a     Makes a pile from garden tools at home (5,2)
RAKES IN : Common garden tools plus the two letter ‘at home’.

23a     Wild child’s last, behind mad aunt and me (7)
UNTAMED : An anagram (mad) of AUNT and ME is followed by the last letter of child.

25a     Provide safety feature seeing Formula One getting blame (9)
FIREPROOF : The letter and numeric used for Formula One is followed by blame or censure.

26a     Come together in backing retinue (5)
UNITE : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

27a     Analyses for purity when eating second perhaps (6)
ASSAYS : A two letter synonym for ‘when’ surrounds S(econd) and perhaps, or for instance.

28a     Subject of examination (6)
TESTEE : A cryptic definition of someone being examined.


2d     Puts up with depression sending son to the south (5)
LUMPS : A depression or collapse has the abbreviation for son moved from the beginning to the end.

3d     Reference sees head replaced by company complicity (9)
COLLUSION : Start with a word meaning a reference or suggestion and use the two letter abbreviation for company to replace the single letter at the beginning.

4d     Cover charge in case of disappearance (5)
DRAPE : A charge, often a slang word for a criminal one, is enclosed by the first and last letters of disappearance.

5d     View taking in shop window (9)
SIDELIGHT : A shop selling tasty food items is inside a view or something to be seen.

6d     A smile across the length of ship (5)
ABEAM : ‘A’ from the clue and a broad smile.

7d     Country Castro and CIA transformed (5,4)
COSTA RICA An anagram (transformed) of CASTRO and CIA.

8d     Second refill — don’t go to bed yet! (4,2)
STOP UP : The abbreviation for second and then a refill of something that is usually not quite empty.

9d     Live with desire to fit in (6)
BELONG : A two letter word for live or exist and then desire or yearn.

15d     Unpopular comedic pieces about Republican fringes (9)
OUTSKIRTS : A three letter unpopular or not fashionable, and then comedic pieces or sketches contain R(epublican).

16d     Frank is clever, dropping second of internationals for United (9)
INGENUOUS : A synonym for clever or inventive has the second occurrence of I(nternational) replaced by U(nited).

17d     Actress troubled about European Union cuts made by these (9)
SECATEURS : An anagram (troubled) of ACTRESS contains E(uropean) and U(nion).

18d     Schism underpinning quiet confession (6)
SHRIFT : The two letter instruction to be quiet and a schism or separation.

20d     Hard borders? Avoids making a decision (6)
HEDGES : H(ard) plus borders or rims.

22d     Colour seen in half of pigs, in the main (5)
SEPIA : A body of water referred to as the main surrounds the first two letters of ‘pigs’.

23d     Female employed by small task force not meeting required standards (5)
UNFIT : A small, usually military task force contains F(emale).

24d     State of article found in pit (5)
MAINE : An indefinite article is inside a pit that might be a colliery.

It took us a while to deconstruct 17a so that is our favourite this week.

Quickie pun     warts     +     forty    =    what’s for tea

140 comments on “DT 29721

  1. My rating today is 2*/2.5* for a reasonably straightforward and pleasant puzzle.

    4d earned a raised eyebrow, and I wasn’t too keen on 28a. 18d was a new meaning of the answer for me, having only ever come across it before when preceded by “short”.

    5d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  2. Good fun. Took me a while to parse 17a. Favourite clue was 2d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  3. I found this a speedy delight of a puzzle, evidence that a straightforward grid can still provide much enjoyment and fun. Nothing obscure, great variey of clue types, an ideal anagram ratio (1:8 unless I’ve miscounted) most written with such smoothness that the surface reads felt entirely natural.


    Hon. Mentions to 13a, 17a, 21a, 5d and 18d, with my COTD for its wittiness going to 20d.

    Many thanks to the Setter and to the 2Ks.

  4. Excellent puzzle, had some of Jay’s hallmarks but who knows these dayss Last one in, 6d appropriately came to me while swimming in the sea.
    In a strong field my podium consists of 25a plus 15d with top spot going to the very clever 17a, good stuff.
    2.5/4 *
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  5. Enjoyed todays puzzle, diversely clued with a new synonym in18d and rare usages for 2d and 12a.
    Liked 3d for the surface and favourite was last in 17a
    Going for a ***/****.
    Thanks to 2K’S and our setter- the quickie pun raised a smile!

  6. An enjoyable puzzle with a good mix of clues (**/3.5*). I liked the 18d/25a and had t do a bit of rubbing out as I put shrive instead of the correct term at first for 18d. 13a and17d were also good fun. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler.

  7. Lovely crossword to accompany cold tandoori chicken and a glass of farm fresh milk. The bottom left corner held out bravely but doggedness saw me through as it does in most things. The checkers I had for 15 down were refusing to help. I once sent Kath a pair of bright pink 17 downs after she complained about losing hers in the garden. I wonder if she managed to lose those or are they still in use? The quickie pun was amusing as were the two answers that seem to answer the question posed by the quickie pun itself. Thanks I’m sure to Jay and the 2Ks. Your seasons and comments make life interesting. Today’s Toughie is very amenable

    1. I am convinced there is a gremlin who lives in my garden, one with a penchant for making off with my secateurs and my trowel. Strangely he never seems to use either.

      1. Yes – I still have the pink 17d’s that MP was so sweet enough to sent me when I lost them.
        Talking out 17d’s – my Younger (and increasingly big pregnant) Pet Lamb we were recently working out how to spell them – we had to think out where the ‘Q’ was! Oh dear!

        1. How great to see you again, Kath!! I can’t tell you how much you are missed. In Jamaica we say “soon come”, you’ll be back in no time.

        2. Hi Kath. It’s so lovely to hear from you. Take care and keep on your upward trend. :rose:

        3. Great to hear from you, Kath and I hope you are progressing well. We all look forward to the day you return to Ray T. Take care of yourself.

        4. A little leap of joy when I saw your name pop up, Kath, we all miss you SO much.
          So pleased that you’re continuing to follow the blog and rest assured that your Mr T Thursdays will unquestioningly be returned to you just as soon as you feel ready for them.
          Meantime, get yourself together for that next grandchild – I knew you wouldn’t let me stay one step ahead for very long! I wonder whether it will be a girl and so continue our lifetime of coincidences?

        5. Made my day Kath great that you can contribute again.
          Onwards & upwards and the football will soon be over!
          Best Regards

        6. Lovely to see you commenting, Kath. Wishing you well.

          Can’t believe the comments about losing secateurs. So topical, as I have mislaid 2 pairs in one week whilst busy pruning a big beech hedge and removing a conifer. Still hoping they will magically reappear!

        7. Aaah Kath! How lovely to hear from you! I missed your comment yesterday as I have saved this puzzle for later. Keep progressing well, and enjoy being a granny-to-be! I often think of you and wish you everything of the very best and an excellent recovery.

        8. Very late spotting this, but I have to add my best wishes to you, Kath ..and my pleasure that you are able to contribute already. Well done !
          Enjoy your (growing) family.

      2. I reckon he’s got a sufficient stockpile that he could open his own tool shop. I’ve certainly contributed secateurs galore!

        1. I found one pair of ‘lost’ secateurs that had been buried for 2 winters. Lovely to hear from you Kath. I hope you are continuing to make good progress.

            1. If I don’t say anything else, and I might not, I’ll say nice to hear from you again Kath. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

        2. I lost my last pair of secateurs last week and spotted some in my local supermarket yesterday. I couldn’t get them off the rail and realised that they were locked in so asked for help. After several attempts to locate the correct device I now have what I consider to my best secateurs ever. Apparently secateurs used to disappear in the store regularly, so obviously losing them is a huge problem.
          So lovely to hear from Kath and so glad that you’re progressing well.
          As for the crossword- thank you to 2K’s and setter. Unfortunately not one that I managed unaided and even struggled after reading the answers. I put it down to nervous exhaustion after watching the football last night from behind the sofa!

  8. An enjoyable excercise this morning. **/**** A good mix of clues, no specialised knowledge required. Favourite, out of several possible contenders, 5d. I noticed that 19a also appears in the toughie today which is also quite doable. Thanks to all.

  9. Great fun, helped by the fact that I quickly got on the right wavelength (2.5*/4*) in contrast to last Wednesday. Consistently strong clues throughout. My favourites 1a, 25a and 2d. I’m not familiar with 6d and it was my LOI. Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks. Good luck to England today!

  10. NE proved most elusive corner of this nicely testing puzzle. 9d and 18d were joint Favs. Thank you Jay (?) and 2Kiwis.

  11. A delightful mid-week puzzle which had a Jay-ish feel about it, especially with the Quickie Pun, but what do I know – **/****.

    A bit of a Hmm for 28a which I don’t think I have come across before even though I have been one more times than I care to remember.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 17a, 2d, and 22d – and, like the 2Ks, the winner is 17a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  12. Smooth surfaces, fresh clues, delightful puzzle. Finished this one just after completing the Toughie–a good night for me, last night, after yesterday’s mental fatigue / lapses. Lots of crowding on the podium{ 17a, 3d, 5d, 16d, & 18d (see R III: III.iv). Feels like Jay to me. Thanks to the Kiwis and to our Wednesday setter. ** / ****

    Tropical Storm Elsa due to pass over or close to the Charleston area tonight, with high winds and lots of rain.

    1. Good luck with Elsa. We were supposed to get hit in the early forecasts for South East Florida, but were spared as it jogged a bit to the west.

    2. My friends on the west coast say lashings of rain but bearable winds. I hope you’re not in a flooding area. Good luck, keep us in the loop.

      1. I always say tropical storms must be so much fun, like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Saint Sharon tells me to grow up and think about it.

        1. The weather men certainly find them exciting. They seem to really enjoy trying to work us all into a frenzy (ooh, look at the palm trees waving, ooh, it’s raining soooo hard) and even worse from a previous Governor – “people will die”. Not helpful. You can actually hear the disappointment in their voices where forecasts change.

    3. Stay safe, Robert. They should never have started naming storms – it only encourages them!

      1. Not only that, Steve, it puts the fear of god into us! Come to think of it, maybe that’s the intention – to make us take precautions.

  13. I must be the exception today, because I took a full ***** to complete and parse this one. Putting the wrong answer in 9a threw me until I spotted my mistake.

    I presume those who solve the puzzle electronically can check each answer as they go along, if needed, to avoid such pitfalls, or is this considered ‘cheating’?

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

    1. Malcolm,
      No with the e version you don’t get a check as you go along. However you do get a message to say ” Sorry some answers are wrong” when you finish (as I did today due to fat finger disease). You can then reveal which they are, with the wrong letters in red.
      On Saturdays SPP on completion you just get “submit crossword” irrespective of whether the answers are correct or not
      Someone the other week said being asked to submit an SPP was an indication that the answers are correct. In fact if you fill the grid with the same letter in every square you are prompted to submit!

      1. My device told me at the end I had an answer wrong and I knew it was the spelling of 16d. Hate to admit it but it took me at least 3 or 4 attempts to get the correct spelling!

    2. Just to clarify that Malcolm it does depend on what online version you use. The digital newspaper version that many of us complete on iPads does have a reveal mistakes button that would allow you to check each & every entry as you go should you so wish, except with prize puzzles. If however you’re using the puzzles website I think you can only do this a certain number of times plus you have a further option of 5 letter reveals.

      1. H
        Having done the digital newspaper version for a number of years I hadn’t realised you could use reveal mistakes after any answer.
        You learn something every day. Not that I will ever use it!

        1. The puzzles subscription on the iPad does tell you when you submit whether or not it is correct. Except for the prize ones. I don’t actually know if you can check each clue as you go along but couldn’t be bothered anyway! It’s useful at the end to know if a “bung in” is right or not but generally I don’t have many of those.

          1. Greta
            I do the subscription edition on Saturdays & Sundays on a Samsung tablet & when I have finished it asks me to submit the puzzle. That this does not mean it is correct as I said if you fill the squares with the same letter it asks you to submit the puzzle just as it does when all the answers are correct.

            1. Ok. I’m sure you’re right. I don’t think I’ve ever paid that much attention. No wonder I never win a prize, lol, it’s probably all wrong!

              1. I must be in the minority as I still use the paper version so can’t get any hints. Does anyone else use old fashioned pen & paper?

                1. I cannot read my own writing Muddlehead. Solving on the iPad halved my solving times. Move with the times.

                2. I do, Muddlehead. I have the iPad version and MacBook version but I much prefer putting pen to paper.

                  1. Welcome to the blog Penny.
                    That is how we do them too. It doesn’t feel right without a pen (or pencil) and paper.

                  2. So did I until my printer went the way of the secateurs. Since then I’ve taken MP’s advice to heart and just do it on the iPad. Saves on ink and paper too. I got used to it surprisingly quickly.

                  1. I’m pencil and print-off paper, I don’t have the self-confidence for pen!

                3. We do, every day, except I do use a gel pen. For years I paid an extra subscription to have the ability to print them.

                4. Living in foreign climes i cannot get the paper edition but I always print the puzzle out and complete with a pen. I cannot think properly without a pen in my hand.

                5. I am definitely paper version and pen – and I put anagrams into a circle.

                6. Muddlehead I stil use the paper and pen version. Wouldn’t have it any other way!

          2. My iPad Telegraph download gives me six opportunities to check my answers.
            More and my points are penalised by 20 points per check.
            That is, 200 points for completing correctly, 600 points for doing it correctly in 45 minutes or less.

  14. I would never use the phrase in 8d so spent quite a while trying to justify the alternative until 12a persuaded me otherwise.
    17a was a clever construction and tops the podium today with the Quickie pun definitely deserving of a mention.

    Thanks to Jay and to our wintering 2Ks. You’re certainly being offered a quick turnaround on those Covid jabs, I think most of us here had to wait 8-12 weeks between shots.

    1. Yes it was a full 12 weeks between the first and second jab for most of us in Oxfordshire. Apparently, the second jab was delayed for one group of people, when they were trialling the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines and they found a better level of immunity in that group. When they repeated the process, the longer gap between vaccinations was again found to be more effective. The US and most of Europe seem to have ignored the long gap idea.

      1. Yes, I think I only had two weeks in between my Pfizer jabs. Hope the jabs are doing their job!

        1. I’m with you Merusa because I had my two Pfizer jabs 3 weeks apart in December/jJanuary thanks to a very well organised UK GP practice but now it seems I am nearly due a booster – oh dear one can’t win!

  15. Someone recently (can’t remember whom) advised that Jay was fond of the substitution clues that are apt to trip me up. Clocked the one 12a so on that basis I’ll happily invest a few bob that it’s one of his. Very enjoyable it was too though not particularly tricky. Like RD I was unfamiliar with the confessional meaning of 18d (also chuckled as thought he wouldn’t resist a comment about 4d) & like Jonners the parsing of 17a took some thought. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks (couldn’t see the Quickie pun no matter how I said it)
    Ps after the rigours of Dada yesterday an exceedingly gentle Stick Insect Toughie today which is also very enjoyable

  16. 17d my favourite – mostly because it went straight in!
    Relieved at the Quickie pun….had thought there might be football references…………phew!

  17. Typical Jay, took a bit to get started then made steady progress to complete in *** time. Enjoyable perhaps lacking a little “fun factor” ***.
    17a my LOI & COTD when it dawned.
    Thanks to setter & the 2Ks. Hope no more post-jab ill effects develop.
    Situation getting grim up here with our only major hospital stopping all non Covid treatments except cancer patients & horrendous waiting times in A&E. We are set to move to level zero soon. Grimly appropriate as it will probably add a 0 to daily infection numbers.
    Commented late yesterday we don’t seem to have heard from Corky recently. Hope all OK in N. Yorkshire.

    1. I’m not thrilled with the prospect of no face masks in shops or on public transport after July 19. I shall continue to use them. I won’t be attending mass outdoor events either. The restrictions as they stand don’t seem too onerous to me.

      1. Greta,
        Don’t think they have much option but to open things up (and then leave them open) but the transition to walk-in vaccine centres here in Scotland has been too slow, probably due to inadequate supplies.
        The risk to highly vulnerable groups like me is, in my view unacceptably high so Mrs LrOK & I will self isolate, not to prevent infecting others but to protect ourselves. Perhaps when my immune system recovers from the chemo, things might change.

        1. I’m with you and Greta on this, LROK. I will continue to wear a mask and avoid large crowds until it is clear what the consequences of lifting lockdown will be.

          1. I agree totally. Our problem here, I think, is a bit different, the vaccine is plentiful but people are refusing to get it. I know of one person who doesn’t want to introduce “germs” into her body, yet she has several tattoos – so it’s OK to introduce toxic heavy metal into your body but not something that might save your life? Better yet, might save another person’s life?

          2. Us too. As we get more comfortable with going maskless, I will continue to wear one in any store where the staff are wearing them, just seems the polite thing to do.

        2. I know from experience that it takes a while to recover from chemo so I think that’s a good decision. Having had COVID, I’m in no hurry to repeat that joy. Just very wary now.

          1. Since my other half takes immuno-suppressants, we cannot be sure how safe he is. So we’re both social distancing, wearing masks and still ordering on-line as muchas possible

            1. Quite agree with all the above. We have been obeying all the rules, it”s those other b******s and they have flooded up here. Our dear Salthouse Stores has had to shut as one of the girls caught it so they all have to self isolate. They are devastated as its a very small family run business.

                1. I’ll pass that on to them in 10 days time! Asking them to put
                  cryptic post it notes in my paper is a rather strange request – I’ve still got them you know. They really lifted my spirits MP.

  18. As Beaver mentions above this was diversely clued, making it a very enjoyable challenge, with lots to like. I wasn’t aware of the synonym in 18d, so some new knowledge gained. My favourites were 17a and 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis.

  19. Lovely puzzle today with not to many hiccups. Took me a while to get 25a as I was trying to pronounce it feereproof, if you see what I mean, sorry that sounds bonkers. My enjoyable morning was completely spoilt by reading the eye watering salaries of the BBC top earners that we are paying for along with Dan Walker’s taxi fares. Rant over. Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

    1. Manders, I heartily agree re BBC preposterous salaries – no wonder Gary Lineker is currently worth £80 million!

      1. Interesting that a million or so UK residents have stopped paying for their licence over the last couple of years. They obviously don’t think they are getting value for money.

    2. Reading yesterday’s posts I repeat that if you visit Cambridge it would be lovely to meet you, though I have to be honest and say my garden will never be as shipshape as it is at the moment! I was proudest of my mixture of shocking pink and lime green either side of the arch. Alchemilla
      Mollis is a lovely plant (although quite invasive) and when it has rained the leaves look magical.

      1. All your hard work has definitely paid off, DG, so pleased that you’ve treated us to pics of it. Hope you’ve taken the pocket rocket to task over volunteering you and trust she was there to support you on Sunday?

      2. I loved to use alchemilla mollis when we lived in England. It’s a favourite for all flower arrangers too. Sadly can’t grow it here.

        1. Also known as Ladies Mantle. A must have plant along with Hollyhocks, Gladioli, Mrs Johnson’s Blue Geraniums and Roses

  20. Very enjoyable solve 😃 **/**** Favourites 1a & 15d 🤗 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to Jay 👍 The meaning of 18d was new to me also! Good luck to our friends across the pond in the forthcoming storm, stay safe💨

  21. I had one too many bung ins for my liking but, otherwise, this was a pleasant enough solve. I did not know of that definition for 18d but it could be nothing else although I must have gone through every word for “schism” I could remember. My COTD is 15d.

    Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the challenge. Grateful thanks to the 2 Kiwis for the hints.

    1. I got to 18d by thinking the far more common “shriven” first, then working backwards, if you see what I mean!

  22. Usually the Wednesday cryptic defeats me and I find the Toughie far easier. Today they are pretty much level pegging so was it a Wednesday Jay?
    19a appears in both puzzles. Odd how this happens.

    1. It is, John. The beam is the width of a ship at its widest point.

      Welcome to the blog! :good:

    2. The BRB defines 6d as “in a line at right angles to a vessel’s length”, so “… across the length …” seems OK to me.

    3. I did wrestle with that one myself, John. Had to consult the BRB before accepting the answer – even though I knew Jay was unlikely to have made that sort of error.

    4. Yes, that’s how I read the clue also, and spent ages looking for a word that meant “length of a ship”, instead of “across the length of a ship”. I knew beam was the width of course. It’s often the definitions that do me in.

  23. Lovely crossword; hugely enjoyable. No obscure knowledge of Chinese dynasties required.
    I’m going to try and work 18d into conversation today – smashing word. ‘Come, come, dispatch: the Duke would be at dinner; Make a short 18d: he longs to see your head.’

    Come on England! Destiny awaits…

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Todd Rundgren – Nearly Human

    Thanks to the setter (Jay?) and the 2Ks – I do enjoy the glimpses into life in NZ. Finally – sending love to The Lovely Kath

    1. ‘O momentary grace of mortal men, / Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!’

      1. “If I had served my God with half the zeal I served my King, he would not have left me in mine age naked to my enemies.” Probably a mangled quotation but near enough for the purpose!

            1. Yes indeed you were Merusa – “If I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs”.

  24. My problem with 6d, being a sailor, is the beam of a ship is always the width, never the length..

  25. Hear hear. Love to Kath. I’ve had a rotten couple of days my computer and laptop and iPhone having been compromised. The lovely next door neighbour came this morning and spent 2 1/2 hours fixing it. I read yesterday’s comments when he had gone, golly what a great commotion caused by a mat/rug! I have to confess I put down mat, meaning I couldn’t get the Joanna. We had a concert grand when we lived at the farm but couldn’t bring it here when we downsized 🥴 I cannot play but George and the girls do. However, I digress. A very nice puzzle which suited my fragile state today. I liked 1a and 10a and have just fallen in to the quickie pun! Many thanks to the 2Ks and to the setter.

  26. Struggled with a few today but eventually overcame them, but all enjoyable nevertheless.
    Only quibble was 8d where I would always stay rather than stop. But that’s just me.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

    1. I don’t think it is ‘just you’ Ora – I tried so hard to justify ‘stay’.

  27. Well it feels like a Jay puzzle but I am not banking on anything these days. Found this very solvable with a couple of pretty tricky clues. **/*****
    Favourites for me were 1a, 13a, 28a, 4d & 17d with 17d the winner and 13a runner up for the ‘lego’ factor.
    6a, 13a, 21a and 17a all made me grin. Found the last area to complete was NW as that area i found tricky.

    Thanks to setter (Jay … maybe, perhaps) and 2K’s

  28. If you have the same thing for tea every night, then the quickie pun works as the first four clues!

  29. Needed the hints to get 11a & 18d ( does it really mean confession?) and to explain my bung in at 17a. Disappointing performance as I normally do well on jays offerings. Thanks to all.

    1. To answer my own question, yes it does, just looked it up. I never would have imagined that was the meaning ,as short shrift seems to have a different meaning altogether .live and learn eh.

  30. Many thanks to our two Kiwis for the analysis, and to all for your always welcome comments (and anecdotes!)

    1. Thank you for popping in, Jay. It must amuse you that your occasional absences are throwing the commentariat into a state of uncertainty!

  31. A bit of a tussle today, including misreading 6a, and thinking 5d ended in sight instead of light, which held me up. Otherwise doable and enjoyable. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis, glad you’ve finally got your first shots.

  32. A consistently smooth set of clues and I so nearly solved them all but alas assumed that ‘pasture’ was the answer to ‘area’ in 12a. Thank you Jay and 2Ks

  33. Right on wavelength as usual with Jay, only took longer because of the BigW! Now Roger is down one set and I have to stay glued to the box!
    I loved it all, the only problem was 17a, it had to be so I bunged it in. Now I’ve had it explained to me, isn’t that clever? All right, I agree 28a is a bit weak, so what? You’re still the best Jay. They don’t know 17d here, quite an interesting conversation in the garden store when I was new here and wanted to buy some. That’s my fave for that reason.
    Thanks, Jay, you’re a star, and thanks to the 2Kiwis for the enlightenment at 17a.

  34. I found this the easiest for a while, though it took me a while to parse 17a which was also my last in….all fairly clued and good fun

  35. Morning all.
    Thanks for popping in Jay to confirm that you are the setter. Another fine puzzle.
    And a very special welcome back to Kath. It gave us such a warm fuzzy glow when we spotted your name among the commenters when we woke up a short time ago.

  36. Third crossword in a row that had me defeated by one word. Today I should have got 27a though. Darn my feeble mind!


    Thanks to all.

  37. Lovely to see you Kath. Hope your recovery continues apace.
    We found our secateurs on the greenhouse roof after a year.
    They were a bit rusty.
    No problems today with the crossword.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  38. Straightforward until it wasn’t but managed to get the last few during half time. Haven’t read the comments obviously thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  39. 2*/2*….
    liked 5A ” Stiffener offered by celebrity before church (6)”

Comments are closed.