DT 29876 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29876

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29876

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

2022 has brought with it the summer weather that we have all been looking for. Temperatures have been in the high 20s and even pushing into the 30s in many parts of the country. We’re feeling sorry for our two eldest granddaughters who are about to start university and have just begun a holiday job picking cherries in Central Otago. This is one of the hottest places at this time of the year. As we live right by the coast just north of Wellington we get cooling sea breezes which have moderating effect on our temperatures.

We note that the Toughie today is by Logman so we can be pretty certain that this good fun Wednesday puzzle is not one of Jay’s.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Fat person sobbing? (7)
BLUBBER : A double definition. The fat is something we associate with cetaceans.

5a     Superhuman setter perhaps returned favour (7)
GODLIKE : The reversal of what a setter can be an example of and then favour or prefer.

9a     National from Haiti open to change (9)
ETHIOPIAN : An anagram (to change) of HAITI OPEN.

10a     Grind having hollowed out green tree (5)
GNASH : The first and last letters of green and a tree of the olive family.

11a     Fuss about rapier regularly used as weapon (7)
TORPEDO : A 2-2 fuss contains the first, third and fifth letters of rapier.

12a     Taking in a fine duck, serves revolutionary course (7)
SEAFOOD : A word meaning serves or ‘is adequate’ is reversed and contains ‘A’ from the clue, F(ine) and cricket score duck.

13a     Snack‘s good chance for tucking into pickled eels (9)
ELEVENSES : An anagram (pickled) of EELS contains a good (50/50 anyway) chance.

16a     Huntress from US state leaving home (5)
DIANA : A US state has the two letter ‘at home’ removed from it.

17a     American brought to second class property (5)
ASSET : The one letter abbreviation for American, then S(econd) and a class or group.

18a     New arrival supplied with £1000 for instrument (4,5)
BABY GRAND : A new arrival family member and then a familiar word that stands for a thousand pounds.

21a     Story about backing to have importance (7)
ACCOUNT : The reversal of the two letter abbreviation for about or approximately and then a word meaning to have importance.

22a     Ace supporter nursing broken leg in class (7)
ALGEBRA : The card player’s abbreviation for ace and a female supporting garment surround an anagram (broken) of LEG.

25a     Doctor with an old woman in emotional episode (5)
DRAMA : The title for a doctor, then a 1,2 way or saying a mother.

26a     Among trees plan a delightful walk (9)
ESPLANADE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

27a     North Surrey dancing establishment for infants (7)
NURSERY : N(orth) is followed by an anagram (dancing) of SURREY.

28a     Touching line from Brown, respected chap (7)
TANGENT : A shade of light brown and a man of distinction.


1d     Live, having received new heart! Use lungs! (7)
BREATHE : An anagram (new) of HEART is inside live or exist.

2d     Guide Penny away from drug dealer (5)
USHER : A colloquial word for a drug dealer loses P(enny).

3d     Bankrupt agent? Not entirely (5)
BROKE : Remove the last letter from an agent who could deal in things like shares, insurance etc.

4d     Dire game across the Atlantic without ball? (7)
RUINOUS : Start with the two letters of New Zealand’s national game, then a 2,2 phrase which says where something could be if it is across the Atlantic, and inside this (without) we have the ball-shaped letter.

5d     Start seeing reforms close to Brussels (7)
GENESIS : An anagram (reforms) of SEEING and the last letter of Brussels.

6d     Magistrate at party good in cut-throat competition (3-3-3)
DOG-EAT-DOG : String together a Venetian magistrate, ‘AT’ from the clue, a two letter party and G(ood).

7d     Lover a Catholic picked up in Italian area (9)
INAMORATA : ‘A’ from the clue and Catholic identified by city of origin are reversed inside the abbreviation for Italian and A(rea).

8d     European died, swallowed by Asian land mammal (7)
ECHIDNA : E(uropean), then a large Asian country contains D(ied).

14d     Simple job for professor to find seat (4,5)
EASY CHAIR : Simple or a piece of cake, and how a job for a professor is described.

15d     Crazy ten years we have in company? (9)
ENTOURAGE : An anagram (crazy) of TEN is followed by a 3,3 phrase which could mean ‘years we have’.

17d     An adolescent male dressed at last in rubber? (7)
ALADDIN : 1,3 adolescent male then the final letter of dressed and ‘in’ from the clue.

18d     Physical attack that may require charge (7)
BATTERY : This could be something in your mobile phone or car.

19d     Uproarious scene? Put up with it, keeping quiet (4,3)
BEAR PIT : Put up with or tolerate and then ‘it’ from the clue follows the musical letter for quiet.

20d     Call taken by eastern court in local language (7)
DIALECT : Call in the way we used to on telephones, then E(astern) and the abbreviation for court.

23d     Smile, entertaining adult suggestion (5)
GRAIN : Smile or have a cheesy expression contains A(dult).

24d     British people forming couple (5)
BRACE : B(ritish) and then people or nation.

We enjoyed the complex word play in several of these answers, particularly 4d.

Quickie pun    par    +    tea    +    peace    =    party piece

136 comments on “DT 29876

  1. Well,I finished this in ** time but goodness knows how, a real brain work-out. NW fell easily, NW last to fall and a real struggle. Thanks Setter, will now go back and read the parsings to make sure we agree! ***** for delight.

  2. 2*/3.5*. The week continues with another light but fun puzzle with 1a, 15d & 17d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to the setter (Could it be NYD?) and to the 2Ks.

  3. This took me a full *** time, with the NE and SW corners holding out far longer than the rest. I eventually had everything parsed except 7d; I even had to read the hint a couple of times to see it. That one alone is Toughie-worthy.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  4. I needed the hints from the 2Kiwis for 7d as I have never heard of it and couldn’t parse it from the clue. I also needed them to fully understand 12a, 21a, 8d and 15d. Didn’t have much fun with this one I’m afraid! Nevertheless thanks to the setter for the challenge.

    1. About the same as the ones I had trouble with, but I’ll include 17d, rubber? very tenuous connection in my eyes.
      Hope Miffy doesn’t see this as I might get told off😂

          1. And me. I can think of many ways this clue could have been written without being so off the wall. Hope I don’t get told off for saying so.

            1. I didn’t bother to dwell on obscure rubber to complete parsing because 17d had to be.

                  1. I was totally at sea with this one, I only looked at the checkers and tried to find a fit! Thanks

    2. My only point of reference for 7d is the Hippopotamus Song: His _________ adjusted her garter

      1. There’s also Dean Martin’s song “Inamorata” … but you chaps might be a bit young to remember him.

      2. Oh yes mud, mud glorious mud – what a joy F and S were and likewise the King of Cool too, Merusa.

  5. Most enjoyable puzzle – held up in the SW by initially bunging-in an incorrect answer for 15d, and in the NE through being too slow this morning to think of the right synonym for favour.

    COTD by some margin for me was 6d – not difficult, but laugh-out-loud and clever. Runners-up the delightful lurker in 26a, and 17d for the groan it elicited when I finally parsed the answer I’d written in!

    2.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter, however 5a they may be, and of course to the 2Ks.

  6. Great start to 2022 and whoever is standing in for Jay, they have done a sterling job. I like clues that parse easily. The SW last to be completed as did not know the rubber and 15d COTD/LOI when I finally twigged. Cheers setter and Kiwis

  7. Imin the very eenjoyable camp today, a relief after yesterday’s struggle (2.5*/5*). There was wmenough challenge, especially in the SW, to make life interesting. I liked the lurker at 26a and5d was qell put together but my last one on, 17d, was COTD, with splendid misdirection. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler.

        1. No I have been on the receiving end of an occipital stroke, which has affected my visual cortex. Typing text, particularly on a mobile phone keypad, is particularly difficult at the moment, as is writing the lletters in the crossword grid. I also had prosopagnosia (inability to recognise fces) just sfter the stroke occurred in November. The visual problems are improving and I regard myself as quite lucky that I was no worse affected and have had a wakeup call

          1. Oh, I hope you are getting better, that is hard luck. Here’s good wishes for a full recovery soon.

          2. My apologies I was unaware of your difficulties, I thought you’d just had a bad typing day.

          3. Oh dear I am so sorry! You are doing very well indeed, tackling crosswords and
            taking part in blogs. I am hopeless typing on the mobile phone,
            my fingers are far too clumsy. Give me a keyboard and I’m away.
            2022 is going to be good for you I am sure. 🥰

          4. Hello,
            Poor you – sounds as if you’re also in the similar boat here – let’s cheer us up together!!

          5. That is a sorry tale, Chriscross and I do hope things get better for you sooner rather than later. Like Daisygirl, I am very impressed that you are posting on the blog. Keep it up and my very best wishes to you.

          6. Chriscross, I’m sorry to hear about your occipital problem. I suffer from glaucoma and can appreciate some of what you have experienced. I hope your recovery is a swift and complete one.

            1. Thank You all for your good wishes. I have never been a wonderful typist but I had hoped no one would notice the deterioration in my contributions. I have two appointments with the Ophthalmology department of the John Radcliffe at the end of January. Apparently a prismatic overlay on my glasses may help me with my diminished field of vision. The JR, by the way, have beencnothing short of magnificent Kath. After spending the night of Saturday 27th November in A and E, i was telephoned and ushered to an appointment at the Stroke Clinic on Monday 29th in a complementary taxi. I have agreed to take part in a study they are doing.

              1. I’ll add my good wishes too. One never knows what private hell other people are going through.

          7. You’re doing well, CC. Perhaps think about getting an iPad or lap top? I have enough trouble typing on my mobile let alone commenting here. Hope all improves for you soon.

  8. A gradual increase in difficulty but still on the friendly side & an enjoyable solve though it took me perhaps a wee bit longer than it ought to have. I too thought the wordplay at 4d clever but if pressed would plump for 13a as my pick. Today’s Logman Toughie is far easier than yesterday’s Gila puzzle & if memory serves his Jay back pager last week. The sun 🌞 is shining so a good walk for some much needed exercise is on the menu.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks.

  9. More fun today. I wish I had some clue as to the setter. Yes I know there are probably clues throughout but I just haven’t reached that level. For a while I thought 4d was going to 11a my chance of finishing before 13a. Has the rubber in 17d appeared before? Beauty.

  10. A strange combination of the extremely straightforward with one or two head scratchers thrown in. Very enjoyable nonetheless with three corkers in 16a plus 4&14d.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.
    I see the ubiquitous band at 5d have made yet another appearance 🙄

  11. Another crackerjack Wednesday puzzle even if our setter is not Jay. Lots to like and laugh at, especially 6d, 17d, and 5a (at least four other clues are podium-worthy). As SL would say, Good Stuff! Thanks to the Kiwis enjoying their NZ summer and to today’s setter (I too wondered about NYDK). 2* / 4.5*

    But the joy of Jay is with us anyway, as Logman, and I finished his terrific Toughie last night alone, unaided, and quite joyful to have done so.

  12. Really nice puzzle with lots to enjoy – for me, 17d the pick of a very good bunch. Found this quite tricky – on a par with today’s Toughie – although perhaps would’ve been less so if starting with the Downs. Many thanks to setter and Kiwis.

  13. A DNF for me today. I have never heard of 7d and couldn’t work it out at all. The whole thing took me well into *** time and spelling Alladin like this didn’t help matters. Being a picky sort I would dispute the apostrophe in 13a as there is no apostrophe in the answer, but that’s me. Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis on a really horrid, cold day.

    1. Oh dear Manders, you do sound out of sorts. We have lovely sunshine here at the moment and I would love to go for a walk, but too much to do indoors!

  14. 17d was one of the last to fall, and came with a good chuckle as the penny dropped: it quickly became my favourite. A good mixture of simple and less straightforward clues made this a terrific solve this morning.

    Many thanks to our setter, possibly NYD as suggested above, and of course to the 2Ks.

      1. I wondered if it was the work of NYD, largely because of my favourite clue, the quirky 17d. Thank you NYD for a most enjoyable puzzle.

    1. That’s two puzzles on the trot with 5d – Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins?
      Or maybe Steve Hackett, Tony Banks or Mike Rutherford?
      Thanks for another top-notch puzzle.

  15. Some good head scratching fun – ***/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 17d and 20d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to to NY Doorknob and the 2 Kiwis.

  16. This was good fun to puzzle out. 2d and 5d both made recent appearances. Needed help with 8d anteater particularly as had made life difficult for myself by bunging in unparsed solution to 10a. 4d too clever and not sure about 22a = class or 25a old woman. Don’t often hear talk of 13a these days but I like the term and in any case it’s my Fav today. Thank you to setter and 2Kiwis. Happy New Year everyone 🌈.

  17. I experienced the same as Stephen L at 10 up there. I threw several in with a whizz of the pencil and then struggled with some others. An enjoyable puzzle for sure.

    I know this is not the responsibility of anyone here but I share this story for amusement. For months I have not received the Telegraph puzzles newsletter. Despite unsubscribing/resubscribing and any other suggestion you may consider, nothing has worked. I have been exchanging very polite emails with the relevant section at the Telegraph about this to no avail. Nothing illustrates the times in which we live more than this delicious “Sorry pal” final email from the Telegraph team:
    ‘Firstly sir, I would like so sincerely apologise about this issue. We have a dedicated IT team working very hard to combat issues such as this on a daily basis, we constantly strive to improve our performance in this area and aim to have the issue amended shortly. I feel as if a second apology is owed as when it comes to a resolution there isn’t really one I can offer you other than perhaps suggesting the generic usual FAQ response. I wish you luck in your future endeavours, and once again would like to stress we are aiming to combat these frustrating technical issues,

    Yours sincerely,


    *sighs deeply*

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Elvis Costello – Wednesday Week

    Thanks to the setter and the sweltering 2Ks

    1. Big Dave sends the newsletter out to quite a few people. He could possibly add you to his list

    2. A classic piece of company-speak using lots of words to say nothing. How frustrating.

      1. Well, let me pass this by you and see what you take on board or shall we leave it in the car park? :smile:

        I also don’t like “Going forward from here” and “Back in the day”.

        Don’t get me going! :grin:

    3. T. It used to be said of memoranda and faxes, but these days emails are often sent not to seriously help/inform the reader but to protect the writer!

  18. All the fun of the fair in this one and it took me quite a while to sort out the parsing of 4d which earns it a spot on the podium along with 1a & 15d.

    Thanks to our stand-in Wednesday setter and to our 2Ks as they bask in the sunshine (10a’ing of teeth here!).

  19. I found this harder than today’s toughie. ***/** Horses for courses, I suppose. Favourite 6d. It made me smile. Thanks to all.

  20. Some lovely stuff today. I really enjoyed it.
    The game in 4d caused me no problems. Are there any other winter team sports played in this country?
    The gorgeous rubber in 17d makes it COTD for me.
    Thanks to NYD and the Kiwis.

  21. I dashed a few off fairly quickly and then came a few stumbling blocks. I have encountered 17d as a rubber before but it always trips me up. I also had the answer for 12a with no idea how until I noticed the “revolutionary” aspect of DOES. I was going to have a gripe about 23d as well but decided a “pinch” or 23d of salt should be considered before getting on my tall horse.
    Thanks to 2 Kiwis and NYD.

  22. Quite a mixture of straightforward clues and slightly more difficult types. I did need the hints for the last couple but, for the most part, it was very enjoyable. Everything got off to a jolly start with 1a, which gave me quite a laugh. Until a couple of years ago, I would not have known the animal in 8d if it weren’t for the fact that a friend in Australia sent Hudson a squeaky rubber one. When I thanked him for the hedgehog he was most indignant. Some really good clues and 17d nearly made it as my COTD but that accolade goes to 6d.

    Many thanks to the NYD for the fun and to the 2 Kiwis for the helpful hints.

      1. I’ve sent in a partial anagram, Jose but I think it might be too complicated to work out. :scratch:

        1. I’ve just realised, it’s the monthly, not the weekly, competition – so have got till Friday next week to enter. :-)

          1. Good luck! With BETHLEHEM I was one of the many who used “Carol’s little town”.

  23. A nice Wed puzzle, medium difficulty with good clues giving an enjoyable solve. Similar to yesterday’s. Fav: 7d. 2.5*, 3.5*.

  24. Not too tricky but I have a couple of queries. Why is the city Catholic in 7d? Why is the answer to 23d a suggestion? I have looked in the BRB and that is not given as a definition for the answer, am I missing something?
    Not sure if 17a is very weak or very clever.
    Despite my queries a pleasant puzzle.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian
      7d – the Catholic is a Roman Catholic reversed (“picked up”)
      23d – as in: “there is a grain / suggestion of truth in what you say”

  25. What a lovely puzzle. Hard to pick a favourite among so many amusing and well-made clues.

    Classy stuff as I’ve said, with — for me — 1d causing a tea-spilling and real LOL moment. That chimed with my sense of humour, clearly! Anyway, this puzzle for me merits a **/****. Is a ***** allowed? Not sure, so four for now.

  26. After reading about it in the Telegraph today, I had a go at Wordle. It’s quite good.

        1. By some fluke I got the i and g right followed by the t (in the wrong place) at first attempt!

        2. Do you know how to turn the sound off in Wordle please. I can’t stand the noise. I’m on an iPad.

            1. Thanks. Already tried that and no joy. There doesn’t seem to be a settings button in the app

              1. I wonder if you have the correct site, Toni. Try the link I gave to DG in my comment below.

                1. It’s like the TV programme “Lingo” which is a.most as dire as its title Steve.

                2. Thanks Steve, I was using the app which is a bit different and very noisy. Ive used the link and found the much quieter site!

    1. I tried to download it and got some frightful word game with a cute animal was not wordless at all! Deleted it.

        1. I must be remarkably thick Steve. I wish you would just drop in and explain. I went to the https site
          and I have got How to play but it does not really tell me how to play. Then I clicked the back arrow and lost the
          whole thing. Done that several times. I had previously tried to download it from the app store when I got the Disney type thing.
          If it were not too late and too cold I would go out and look for a seven year old because I am sure they would just do it easy peasey!

          1. The how to play panel comes up first, DG. There is a “X” in the top right hand corner of the panel. Click on this – the panel goes and the game appears. :grin:

  27. Another DNF for me today, perhaps I should give up this dry January lark I think my brain needs lubricating. Ah well we probably have a RayT to look forward to tomorrow 😟. Thanks to all.

    1. Why a dry January? Think about all the drinking time you’re missing that you’ll never get back!

      1. That is probably the most sensible thing that has been said on this blog for a very long time, Merusa. Cheers! 🥃

  28. I raced into this with great gusto, right up my boulevard. Then I came unstuck with 4d and needed the Kiwis to explain it. I was trying to find some baseball team with an anagram of dire. I filled in 17d as a bung in and three or four minutes later the rubber hit me. Gorgeous. Many thanks to the Kiwis and DKNY ! PS I hate housework.

  29. Thanks 2K. Glad you’re getting summer as up here last year we didn’t. At least not in SE.

    Anyway thanks to all who commented, glad it went down okay.

    Note to Brian: keep going at it old bean! I think you’ve liked about 3 of my 70-odd puzzles, but I love your comments, and I’d much rather see you here than not. I must admit, I’m always very chuffed when you do like one :)


  30. Any setter that serves up a plate of food as illustrated at 12 across will get my vote. Thank you NKD. (Rubber indeed) Thanks to the warm Kiwis for the explanations.

          1. We are picking up a seafood platter tomorrow night from our new ‘fav’ bistro in the village. If I remember I will post a photo of it. During first lockdown I had my first ever burger from the Dun Cow up the road – I was meant to take a photo of it for our WI Lockdown Newsletter but unfortunately forgot and had to submit a photo of an empty plate. I had always given burgers a miss because they looked like something from McDonalds but this was to die for.

  31. Yes! yet another nice solvable puzzle making three in a row 😃 ***/*** Favourites 13 & 16a 🤗 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Donnybrook

  32. Started off great, with 1a and 1d going straight in. So I thought I was in with a chance, until I got about half way through. And then it was like I was dealing with a different setter on a different wavelength. Found 17d rather stretched. Probably because half my mind is preoccupied with today’s visit for second opinion re spinal epidural shots recommendation. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

  33. Morning all.
    Thank you for the puzzle NYD. We thought it might be one of yours but were not confident enough to put that in the preamble. A real pleasure to solve and it looks like most of the commenters so far agree with us.

  34. Very tough today and thank you 2Ks for explaining things. I think 17d is a great clue, thank you setter

  35. What a great puzzle. Right on the money with a mix of fairly straightforward to get a foothold mixed with the “Doh” moment clues. Just over average Wednesday difficulty for me but very satisfying to solve unaided.
    17d just missed out to 4d for COTD.
    Thank you NYKD for the puzzle and for your contributions to the blog. Thanks to the 2Ks glad your summer weather has come back.

  36. I’m in the loved it camp. I pretty well solved this at ** level until I got to the SW, I nearly had to go in for help but 14d and 15d came to me in a flash and saved the day. Of course, I missed the 17d rubber, but isn’t that so clever? My fave was the giggle worthy 6d, I liked 1a too.
    Thank you NYDK for all the fun, and the 2Kiwis for unravelling some for me, e.g. 4d!

  37. Definitely found this as hard as a Jay puzzle today, even though it was a NYD offering. ***/**** today with lots of hair pulled out! Candidates for favourite include 11a, 13a, 18d & 20d with winner 20d
    New word for me in 7d. SE was last area completed for me today.

    Thanks to NYD and the 2 Kiwi’s

  38. I thought this was pretty tricky, for me anyway – it certainly looks as if I’m going to have to wait for a while before I manage to get everything “all my own self” as it was on Monday.
    Just keeping going . . .
    Thanks to NYD and to the K’s

    1. Kath
      Whatever, your posts brighten all our days. This puzzle had headscratchers that tested most of us. I’m confident you will get there.
      Great that you trying every day.
      Thinking of you, especially tomorrow of course

    2. Right on, Kath. It was pretty tricky, as I think many of us have indicated. So good to see you back again this week.

    3. Hello Kath! This one was definitely tricky in places. Congrats on Monday by the way.

    4. Doesn’t matter how long it takes, Kath, the will to succeed is obviously still there and that’s what counts.
      I think you’re doing brilliantly!

    5. I thought it was tricky too. Keep going. You’re miles better at this stuff than me any day of the week.

  39. Another DNF for me today. Never heard the word in 7d (and doubt I ever will hear it again) – is it even an English word?

    15d and 17d defeated me too.

    I even googled easy chair (!) to find the answer to 14d before the penny dropped…

    Even though I finished less than half of the Toughie yesterday, I think I enjoyed that more.

    Thanks to all.

  40. I thought that this was much the most difficult puzzle for a while and a DNF for me.
    Odd because 95% of it was R&W, the last 3, 4d, 17d, 21a I could have stared at for the rest of my life.
    I thought 7d was a brilliant clue.
    Thanks both.

  41. Either I’m just getting better or I’m getting better thanks to this blog (I’m sure it’s the latter). Either way I solved this and the toughie much more easily than I would have a year or so ago. Many thanks to all involved. Really enjoyable. Many thanks to NYD and, as usual, 2 K’s

  42. Oops! Favourite was 18a. I inherited my mother’s piano a couple of years ago, an upright grand rather than a baby, I must get it tuned and learn to play it. I don’t think my inability to read music will hold me back.

      1. Reading music had always been a mystery to me. My mother could never understand how I could hear a song I’d never heard before and be playing it before the end of the record. Equally I could never understand how she could play a tune she’d never played before from all those dots. People who can’t read and write can speak and understand language, I can play music and understand music theory but can’t read it. I think I’m the only one in my family who couldn’t read music.

  43. Had a good laugh at the rubber too but managed to misspell the poor devil; Alladin was entered and slowed me down in the SW.
    Thanks to NYD for the fun and to 2kiwis for the review.
    Your seafood platter was the best of the lot. Lobster, gambas, calamari and even a bit of octopus showing…delicious.

  44. A very very good puzzle, brilliantly clued, even though 4d,7d and 17d defeated me in being able to parse them! Well done to NYD!

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