DT 29822 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29822

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29822

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. I found this hard going. I’m blaming the Moderna booster I got yesterday. I look forward to reading what others thought of it. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

 

Across

1a    Pub mainly warm -- and good nuts (7)
BARKING:  Link together another word for pub, all but the last letter (mainly) of warm or considerate, and the single letter for good 

5a    Sad unemployment benefit total reduced (7)
DOLEFUL:  A slang name for unemployment benefit with all but the last letter (reduced) of total or complete 

9a    On reflection, met for a drink (5)
DECAF:  The reversal (on reflection) of met or came up against

10a   Rod  Hull used to be popular for such a worker (9)
FISHERMAN:  I think I’m missing something here. I cannot identify any wordplay, which leaves a cryptic definition as the only possible clue type. For the benefit of other foreigners, Rod Hull was a UK entertainer who usually appeared with his puppet Emu (I actually knew that). The only connection I can see between him and the answer is that if he was out with the worker who is the answer, said worker could say they had a useful bit of equipment with them What rod can mean is also a worker in what was once a major industry in Hull

11a   Hesitancy from Parisian bandaging cut? On the contrary (10)
INDECISION:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary), a cut made by a surgeon is containing (bandaging) the French for “from” 

12a   Singer from Blur's inside repeatedly (4)
LULU:  Repeat the inside letters of BLUR 

14a   At sea, hell's warlike predators (6,6)
KILLER WHALES:  An anagram (at sea) of HELL’S WARLIKE 

18a   I perhaps alarm nun more if drunk (5,7)
ROMAN NUMERAL:  An anagram (if drunk) of ALARM NUN MORE. Perhaps indicates that the definition is by example 

21a   River craft east of delta (4)
DART:  Craft or skill following (east of, in an across clue) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by delta 

22a   I know miss struggles crossing river -- this could describe the situation (4,2,4)
SINK OR SWIM:  An anagram (struggles) of I KNOW MISS containing (crossing) the map abbreviation for river 

25a   Nancy's private conversation? (4-1-4)
TETE-A-TETE:  Nancy is here is a city, not a person. We want a phrase for a private conversation in the language native to Nancy 

26a   Tea houses fashionable here? (5)
CHINA:  In the wordplay, an informal word for tea contains (houses) a usual short word for fashionable. The entire clue can serve as a definition 

27a   Boris's ending politicians' lies (7)
STORIES:  The ending letter of BORIS with an informal name for the politicians in his party 

28a   Striking is back, restricting a large hospital department (7)
SALIENT:  The reversal (back) of IS from the clue is containing (restricting) both A from the clue and the clothing abbreviation for large. That’s all followed by a usual abbreviated hospital department 

 

Down

1d    One incarcerated in stir for bird (6)
BUDGIE:  A bird often kept as a pet is also the name of Adam Faith’s character in an old TV show where he’s recently been a prisoner  (incarcerated in stir). Or perhaps I’m also missing something here? The Roman one inserted in (incarcerated in) a synonym of stir

2d    Surrender after Royal Engineers retreat (6)
RECEDE:  Surrender or yield comes after the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers 

3d    Voice modulations without student's complaints (10)
INFECTIONS:  Some voice modulations minus the single letter indicating a student or learner driver 

4d    After golf, sit about wrapping female's presents (5)
GIFTS:  After the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by golf comes an anagram (about) of SIT containing (wrapping) the single letter for female 

5d    Lecture I'd set up ahead of second programme of study (9)
DISCOURSE:  Chain together the reversal (set up, in a down clue) of I’D, the single letter for seconds, and a programme of study 

6d    Reported tragic king's lecherous look (4)
LEER:  A homophone (reported) of Shakespeare’s tragic king 

7d    Hare grabbing a rodent, scratching tail very well (8)
FAMOUSLY:  Hare or rush containing (grabbing) both A from the clue and a rodent minus its last letter (scratching tail

8d    Left with pain, grow weak (8)
LANGUISH:  The single letter for left with a synonym of pain 

13d   Overdone ham (10)
THEATRICAL:  An word meaning overdone or exaggerated also captures the adjectival meaning of ham (according to the BRB)

15d   Around university, lesson is awfully low quality (9)
LOUSINESS:  Around the single letter for university goes an anagram (awfully) of LESSON IS 

16d   Hors d'oeuvre -- it's eaten by vulgar son (8)
CRUDITES:  IT from the clue is inserted in (..’s eaten by) a synonym of vulgar, and that’s all followed by the genealogical abbreviation for son 

17d   A horse initially tried to drink (8)
AMARETTO:  Cement together A from the clue, a female horse, the first letter (initially) of TRIED, and TO from the clue 

19d   Saw Chile without leaders for a short time (6)
AWHILE:  The first two words of the clue without their leading letters 

20d   Influence politician supporting one bill (6)
IMPACT:  An abbreviated politician comes after the Roman one and is followed by a bill or legislative enactment 

23d   Boats, smooth and glossy, capsized (5)
KEELS:  The reversal (capsized, in a down clue) of an adjective meaning smooth and glossy. The answer is evidently a poetic word for ships

24d   He painted melting dial (4)
DALI:  An anagram (melting) of DIAL. The definition references the wordplay part of the clue 

 

Thanks to the setter. No standout favourites for me today. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  FOE + TOW + COOLS = PHOTO CALLS


120 comments on “DT 29822
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  1. I found this puzzle easier than yesterday’s, completing it in a straight ** time.

    The NW was the last quadrant to fall, seeing as it contains two words (1d & 9a) which I would class as abbreviations.

    I haven’t counted, but there did seem to be a generous number of anagrams. That having been said, 14a gets my vote for COTD.

    With regard to 10a, cannot the answer also be known as a ‘Rod’? (Edit, yes, it’s in the BRB) and Hull was a large port for these people.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

        1. I think the worker refers to the fact that Hull was once one of the UK’s most important fishing ports, where fishermen worked on the drifters and trawlers. The term rod is often used in angling contests I seem to remember .

    1. Well done on figuring out 10a. I, and probably many others, spent a lot of time trying to make Emu fit into the clue, having remembered him from our younger days.

  2. A straightforward enjoyable Tuesday puzzle – 2*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 28a, and 1d – and the winner is 11a.

    A Hmm for the Pun.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. A big chuckle for Matt’s cartoon.

  3. Great fun!
    This was right up my street so I hope the setter reveals him/herself.
    Ticks galore today starting with the LOL 1a plus 21(was walking along it on Sunday),27&28a along with 7d….and could have mentioned several more.
    2/4.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the fun in the chilly South Devon sun.

  4. I’m not seeing your illustrations, is it me? I thought the clue in 10a referenced both the equipment needed and the English town famous for such produce but I can’t make the surface work with those. Also, re 1d a synonym for stir contains the 18a for 1. I enjoyed this puzzle very much. Standouts for me were 7, 15 and 24d the latter being brilliant. I wonder if we’ve seen something like it before? Thank you, compiler, for some 20th century clues and you, Mr K.

    1. Hello, Celia. Sorry, I did not have it in me to search for pics once the blog was done. They’ll be back next week.

      Re 24d, that anagram of dial construction hasn’t appeared before, at least not in the last twenty years of cryptics in the Telegraph, Guardian, Times, or Independent.

      1. You have provided us with a plethora of superb pics for a long time now, I think we can all give you a day off now! You’re a star.

      2. I’m surprised you could even do the puzzle on the day after your booster. I had to have a late morning 2 hour nap…

  5. Also confused a bit by 10a – I’ve never been fishing, but I think an angler may be referred to as a “rod” while Hull was once the (or one of the) UK’s busiest fishing port(s).

  6. I too puzzled over 10a, could make no sense of it, and plugged in the only thing that fit. I think that ‘stir’ is a verb in 1d and the numeral for ‘one’ goes inside it. Because of that NW corner, I was almost pushed into *** time but just made it at 2.9* (ha ha). 1a was my LOI. Rather liked 11a, 14a, and 22a, but no standout favourites. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. 2.5+* / 3*

    1. I had almost the same experience as yourself. NW corner last to fall, I concur with Malcolms view on 1d but 9a almost defeated me ( What is the point of 9a coffee)
      Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
      Robert I know you are a baseball fan and thought you might be interested in the following story I found today;
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/baseball/59078788

  7. A fairly straightforward puzzle with a fair number of anagrams and a few challenges in the SE. it was certainly a big improvement on yesterday’s crossword (2*/3*). I thought the best of the clues were 3d and 16d ( I’m quite fond of the latter). Thanks to Mr K for the hints and I hope the side effects of your vaccination soon abate. My booster Pfizer jab caused no difficties but rhe flu jab gave me a nasty headache similar to the one I got withe my first two Covid jabs (Astrazeneca). Many thanks to the compiler too.

    1. Very impressed with you making your Christmas cake yesterday. Will you be lacing it with something nice in the coming weeks?

      1. I prick the base and sides and dribble in a couple of tablespoons of brandy every few weeks, just the cheap supermarket stuff, it does the job. Then it’s an aprict jam glaze, home made marzipan with orange flower water and a royal icing snow scene. We have to be careful with candles of course!

        1. In Jamaica we started to soak the fruit in rum right after Christmas, stirring it and adding more rum as needed, every two or three months. We then made the cake or pudding around November, soaking that with rum until Christmas. The resulting pudding would light up like Vesuvius and didn’t want to go out!

  8. A steady solve. 1a and 1d were a bit troublesome. I needed Mr K’s hints to see where the ‘warm’ came into 1a and I came to the same conclusion as Celia with regard to 1d. I do distantly recall the tv programme with Adam Faith but I can’t remember now what it was about. **/*** Favourite 11a. The toughie was a nightmare. Thanks to all.

      1. I think he was a police informant or private detective. He used to say “ come in Budgie” quite often in a frustrated manner when he had realised he should really have understood sooner

  9. I’m not sure if 10a is awful or brilliant, but having stared at it for ages I think it is the latter. 1d was my favourite, (parsed as the number one inside a synonym of stir). Great fun all round, with a couple of real teasers to push out the solving time.

    Thanks setter and Mr K.

  10. An enjoyable crossword with a few quirky ones for me.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    Hope you feel better soon. I felt awful after my Pfizer booster, but only for a day thank goodness.

  11. Enjoyable but did have one or two hmms. SW held out longest. Not keen on abbreviations such as 9a and 1d. Surprised to find 15d is indeed a word. Can’t decide whether 13d is a Fav but 14a follows up. 18a is almost too clever in view of liberal misleading use of capitals by cryptic cruciverbalists. The Quickie pun doesn’t really work for me. Thank you Mysteron and MrK. (Afraid I hadn’t heard of Adam Faith series so now withdraw my comment above).

    1. Ditto on the quickie pun — first two words obvious, but ‘oo’ is nothing like ‘or’/‘aw’. (Cue complaints from commentors for whom ‘or’ and ‘aw’ don’t sound like each other, either.)

      Well done, Mr K, for working it out and enlightening the rest of us; I’d never have got that. If anybody reading this for whom the pun does (at least kind-of) work, please can you leave a comment saying where you (or your accent) is from? It’d be interesting to hear. Thanks.

      1. Has he worked it out, or is it merely “clutching at straws”? I wonder if, contrarily, this one DOES work for Gazza? :-)

        1. It doesn’t work for me, but I’m less concerned about the accuracy of homophones in the Quickie pun (which is just a bit of fun) than I would be about the same homophone in a cryptic clue.

        2. My interpretation of the quickie pun was the best I could do in the time available. I didn’t find it very convincing, so it may well be wrong or incomplete. For those of you who have access to it, tomorrow’s paper will reveal the answer the setter intended.

  12. 2*/3* for a reasonably enjoyable puzzle. My only hold up was in parsing 10a, for which I eventually settled on the explanation which Malcolm has mentioned in comment no.1.

    1d was my favourite, parsed similarly to YS in comment no.8.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

    1. Well, YS’s comment was no.8 before I posted mine. I see it has become no.10 presumably due to two new contributors whose comments would have been held in moderation pending review by BD.

  13. 8d pushed me into *** time.
    I won’t be caught out again by that word!
    Had no problem with 10a, excellent surface reading, I thought.
    Neat and enjoyable puzzle.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr.K.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed this one though it was a laboured progress that took me into *** time. Malcolm’s take on 10a was eventually mine too but only after a good bit of head scratching. I never found Rod Hull remotely amusing other than when he upset the insufferably smug Michael Parkinson. 1d was the pick of the clues for me on account of the clever misleading surface with nods also for 25a & 7d. Thanks to the setter & Mr K.
    Ps no idea who’s set the Toughie but it’s not a Tuesday floughie this week for me.

      1. It’s a fine Toughie that needs a little perseverance, a little patience and a good memory for cryptic trickery.

  15. Good coffeebreak puzzler, enjoyed it. Laughed at the “Trip Advisor” review style of 1a, my COTD, and add 11a, 18a (brilliant red herring), 7d, 19d and 24d to my Hon Mentions.

    2.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to the Setter and to MrK

  16. Did anyone else think this puzzle contained some dreadful clues? I thought 1d, 1a, 23d, 25a, 7d and 9d very badly constructed. No idea want 1d has to do with prison or indeed where on earth does Rod Hull come into it.
    For me at least a very poorly clued crossword.
    **/*
    Thx for the hints.

    1. B. In 1d, the first phrasal definition is the letter I (One) placed inside (incarcerated in) a 5-letter synonym of “stir” – meaning to move, not slang for prison. Rod Hull is a complete red herring in 10a.

    2. I picked 1d as my favourite (noticed RD did too) precisely because stir & bird are both slang terms for a spell inside but as Malcolm says the answer had nowt to do with prison. I like clues that lead you up the wrong path & I’m easily led

  17. Before I forget, the 23d answer is another example of a synecdoche – when a specific part of something is used to refer to the whole. Discussed on here before, I think.

    1. * About 40 years ago I wrote this in my personal book of words/info:

      Fifty keels (a synecdoche) sailed the deep (a metonym).

  18. I am not having good week so far. I simply could not get on with this needing far too much assistance for my liking. The upshot is that I gave up on it because I was deriving no enjoyment at all. I realise those better than I found it a superb puzzle but it did not float my boat.

    The Quickie pun does not work at all for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. for helping unravel it. No pictures today?

  19. Forgive me for being a smart-alec, but this is rare for me. As soon as I saw Rod Hull I thought we were being very mischievously misled, and 10a was my first one in. Hooray for me! Another year or two before I strike such gold again.

    Daisy The window cleaner’s bill is the only time each month that I write a cheque (thus a cheque book lasts years in this house). He knows the drill – he bungs a note through the letter box and I send him a cheque for fifteen quid. No face to face interaction and consequently no requirement for small talk, ‘banter’, or requests to use the bathroom. Ideal.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: John Tavener: The Protecting Veil

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    1. T. I wonder if you’ve ever seen this YT video? It’s a live, stripped-down version of Wooden Ships by C,S&N from their 1992 Acoustic Tour, I think. The last major gig I attended was to see them at the Albert Hall that year. There’s two beautifully-crafted guitar solos from the great Stephen Stills towards the end – worth a listen just for those!

      1. So sad Crosby has burnt all bridges with the others. Great clip. Would have loved to have seen them live in their prime.

    2. Oh Terence, I do love thee so. I know you are a big softie at heart.Lola told me. Inconsequentially, my mother was a Tavener – unusual spelling and I have often wondered if there could be a connection.

    3. Heard this in the 1989 or 1990 Prom season and had a tape version first and now a CD. A wonderful piece of music. Thank you for highlighting it.

    4. Terence,

      I also once had a window cleaner from whom i used to hide when he arrived. A deeply boring bloke he was.

      I have also deliberately missed trains in my time to avoid talking to one or two people for the same reason.

      They probably think the same about me.

    5. T. I hardly ever use cheques. Looking at the 18 stubs in my “current” chequebook, the first is dated 28/8/2012 and the latest 12/8/2021. And there’s still 12 unused!

  20. Haven’t commented for a while. I do get fed up with synonyms I don’t know, think about or ever use, however that’s my problem not the setters. Today I thought I was going to have a moan especially over 10a and was very pleased that it was a universal complaint. My balloon was pricked when I showed my wife the clue. She immediately understood the parsing regarding fishing/Hull despite the fact that she doesn’t do cryptic crosswords!
    Anyway continuous thanks to all as usual. **/****

  21. A ‘rod’ is simply another name for a fisherman and hull is, or used to be, a popular fishing port.
    Anyway right on my wavelengh today for a change and a **/**** for me.
    Liked the diverse cluing throughout.
    Liked the wordplay of 12a ,remember seeing our songstress on stage many years ago,apparently the love of her life was Davy Jones of the Monkeys and Mr Bowey was one of her suitors- I digress!
    Favourite was 14a for the surface .
    Thanks setter and Mr K for the songs

  22. A very nice interlude. 10 across and 1 down are outstanding clues. Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to Mr Kitty for the review and the admission that 10 across had him flummoxed which allows the commenteriat to show their knowledge. Well done

    1. Yes, well done to him and to yourself also – you sometimes admit to being uncertain about a clue in your reviews. Just proves that it’s not an easy task and you guys are mere mortals.

  23. I loved this, probably because of the anagrams which I like. I knew in my bones that Rod Hull must be a red herring but I bunged in the right answer without fully understanding the brilliance of Hull as a place. Lovely, as was 18a and 3,7 and 17 and 19d. If it is any consolation to Manders it is freezing here today with a good frost on the roof this morning. Many thanks to the setter and MrK.

    1. Sorry for not replying last night DG. Yes, the lemon drizzle cake was a Mary Berry recipe, and yes, if you were in my area, you’d be welcome to a slice.

  24. I thought this was a tad better than the average Tuesday offering. About average difficulty, but a bit quirky and a very enjoyable solve. I have ticked a few and will pick 1d as my favourite, not least because it has caused such a kerfuffle – the hallmark of a really good cryptic clue perhaps? 2.5*, 4*

  25. I found it straightforward, apart from NW corner. I don’t understand 1d as the t.v. character Budgie was called that because his real name was ‘Bird’. Unless it’s because you keep a budgie in a cage?

  26. Took me a while to sort out the wordplay for 10a but no other issues beyond the fact that the Quickie pun really didn’t work for me.
    Not destined to become my puzzle of the week but still streets ahead of anything I could ever produce.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review – unusual not to get any illustrations from you, I really missed the felines!

  27. A fun Tuesday puzzle that I give 2.5*/****
    Clues to like include 1a, 10a, 12a, 22a & 17d with winner 1a
    Liked 10a for the misdirection and thought 12a was good too.
    A fun solve with no real difficulties at all.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  28. The olive harvest is upon us in beautiful weather (at least today!). That’s a 6 metre pole that my friend and worker Giuseppe toted for nearly 7 hours today.

    I might get around to commenting later if I can stay awake😎🍷🍷🍷

      1. Ha ha! I’ll discuss that with them tomorrow. Managed to stay awake and finish this apart from 13dn which stumped me and so that’s where the blog comes in. Maybe the music @21 helped me to overcome the brutality of the first day of harvest. I must say I never saw C,S & N but I had most of their albums … but I did see Jimi Hendrix at the Albert Hall in Februray 1969. A fabulous concert and I wonder if anyone else on this site was there?

        Thanks to setter and Mr K.

        1. I’ve seen everybody that I wanted to see. Too young (Just) for Jimi Hendrix or The Beatles. Still gigging regularly after all these years. Van Morrison in Oxford on Saturday and Paul Weller in Coventry the week after. There may be some Jazz somewhere in between

          1. Never saw Beatles either. Would love to see Van the Man but I don’t think he’s due to come anywhere near where I live. Best memories apart from Jimi are concerts in Malvern … Fleetwood Mac, Family, John Mayall, Chicken Shack, Joe Cocker with a crate of Newcastle brown (many times including Zurich 2002) etc.

            1. Next years Van Morrison concert dates. There will be more.

              You read it here first folks
              New Gigs (UK Tour 2022)
              Tickets are on sale Friday 5th November, 9am

              Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol,
              MON 24 JAN 2022 – 20:00 GMT

              Brighton Dome, Brighton
              THU 27 JAN 2022 – 19:30 GMT

              Brighton Dome, Brighton
              FRI 28 JAN 2022 – 19:30 GMT
              Van Morrison

              Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
              WED 23 MAR 2022 – 20:00 GMT

              Sage Gateshead, Gateshead
              THU 24 MAR 2022 – 20:00 GMT

              Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London
              MON 4 APR 2022 – 19:30 GMT

              Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London
              TUE 5 APR 2022 – 19:30 GMT

          1. I was that other soldier. Fleetwood Mac in their original line up used to play regularly at the ‘Nags Head’, just down the road between Clapham Old town And Wandsworth Road. A favourite haunt.

  29. I’ve fixed the explanations for 10a and 1d, the two clues that my fuzzy brain did not process properly. Thanks to all who posted the correct parsing.

      1. MP. Comments instigated by the reviewer on their own blog day don’t get a number. This was discussed on here some months ago – I forget the reason why. Just being helpful, don’t bite me head off!

  30. NW corner last in. I had no trouble with the disgusting coffee but I only got 1a after I had rid myself of the crafty misdirection in 1d. I agree nothing to do with prison or Adam Faith. I admit to not completely parsing 10a but knew it was nothing to do with ventriloquists and troublesome puppets. Only minor gripe – bill and act are not synonymous (20d). I’m glad no-one thought 16d should be singular. Favourites 5 10 11 22 and 25a and 3d.

    1. Agreed re 20d. Draft legislation enters Parliament in the form of a Bill but does not become an Act until it has been passed into law and been given the Royal Assent.

  31. After failing miserably on yesterday’s I was determined to finish this, which I did although it took me into **** time. I only read the comments for yesterday’s puzzle today ,and was relieved that I was not alone in finding it difficult, another DNF. I was also misled by the rod hull clue as I’m sure it was meant to. I wish people would read the comments before commenting themselves, as many are offering solutions already provided. Thanks to all.

    1. I agree. I know sometimes I write something and after I post it I see that someone has pipped me to it, but there can be no excuse for some of the comments today written after the issues with Rod Hull and stir and bird had been resolved long before. I find the same on a local Facebook group. For me, much of the interest is reading all preceding comments.

  32. Some hard clues today with 10a as my last one in and 18a as my cotd – also not keen on 9a as an abbreviation. Thank you setter and MrK (hope the booster is ok)

  33. Strange old puzzle for me, I was halfway down before I solved a clue, 14a, the anagram stood out and needed no help. South of 14a could have been set by a different person, I sailed through it. I was stuck in the north only solving a few. I’ve never heard of Rod Hull, I’m assuming there’s a bod of that name, so was not misled in any way. Incidentally, the compass in my new gravatar was made by Castle & Co in Hull! I used an awful lot of e-help in the north, particularly NW. Fave 25a, but I also liked 14a.
    Thanks to setter, and much appreciation to Mr. K for his help finishing this.

  34. 10a was straight in, but the rest of the NW corner had to wait until the very end. I now have an ear worm from 24d. “Weel May the keel row”. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  35. Phew, that was hard work today. First half over breakfast, and then rest after a visit to the doctor for a check up. Quite a few hold outs today, including 10a when I was misled into pursuing the Rod Hull avenue. As Adam Faith was one of my first heart throbs, and had a poster of him on my teenage bedroom wall, I should have got 1d. Even more so, because we also watched the Budgie series. But oh dear no, I got it from the checkers. But I still give it COTD. Hope Mr K feels better soon. Even the Moderna 50% booster knocks you back for a while. Thanks to the setter and hats off to Mr K for all his efforts despite booster fog.

    1. To my acute embarrassment now, I also thought Adam Faith was a bit of a wow! I’ve always fancied blonde chaps, although I am married to a once dark haired chap who is steely grey now who has an amazing head of hair. My booster last Thursday is still really painful to sympathies with everyone also suffering.

  36. Needed a lot of help to finish this *****/* COTD 18a closely followed by 14a. There seemed to be some very odd clues, more than just misdirection. Thanks to Mr K for hard work especially after the jab, and to setter.

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