DT 29908 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29908

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29908

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright but chilly morning.

A steady solve today, taking me just into *** time. Some nice anagrams to unpick.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Jumping straight on funfair ride (5,5)
GHOST TRAIN – Anagram (jumping) of STRAIGHT ON.

6a           Intimate function, close to capacity (4)
COSY – The short form of a trigonometric function, followed by the last letter (close) of capacitY.

9a           Ne’er-do-well wanting second something to drink (5)
WATER – Remove the abbreviation for Second from a word for a ne’er-do-well, to get a universal drink.

10a         Vivid report of selected Oxford college (9)
PICTORIAL – There are two homophones (report of) here: a word for ‘selected’ followed by the name of an Oxford college.

12a         Passionate old travellers in retirement going to America (7)
AMOROUS – Put together an abbreviation for Old and the name of the traveller or gypsy people, reverse the result (in retirement), then add an abbreviation for America.

13a         Dance from Strictly in second place? (5)
TANGO – The second letter of sTrictly, as named in the NATO alphabet.

15a         Trap I’ve prepared for soldier … (7)
PRIVATE – Anagram (prepared) of TRAP I’VE.

17a         … entering base, head of battalion almost cold and automaton-like (7)
ROBOTIC – Insert the first letter (head) of Battalion into a word for the base of something, then add the first two letters of a three-letter word for ‘cold’.

19a         It’s inconceivable academic keeps large quantity of paper (5,2)
DREAM ON – The usual university academic, wrapped round a quantity of paper.

21a         Nurse and husband needing shady garden seat (7)
HARBOUR Husband followed by a shady garden feature.

22a         Crow discovered food container for smaller avian species (5)
ROBIN – Remove the outside letters (dis-covered) from cROw, then add a container (for flour or bread, perhaps).

Focus On: Robins of the North - BirdGuides

24a         Those selling scrap gold, very small rings (7)
VENDORS – Put together a word for ‘scrap’ or ‘finish’ and a heraldic term for ‘gold’, then put abbreviations for Very and Small either side of the result.

27a         Remove clue I’d composed that gets laughed at (9)
RIDICULED – Another word for ‘remove’, followed by an anagram (composed) of CLUE I’D.

28a         Native American leaving hotel swiftly (5)
APACE – Remove the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet from a member of a Native American tribe.

29a         Raised money on the radio (4)
BRED – This word for ‘raised (cattle or children)’ sounds like (on the radio) a slang word for money.

30a         Doctor hugs Daniel, having suffered hardship (10)
LANGUISHED – Anagram (doctor) of HUGS DANIEL.


1d           Dress shortly pregnant wife will wear (4)
GOWN – Another word for ‘pregnant’ (as in ‘she’s six months —‘) minus its last letter (shortly), wrapped round an abbreviation for Wife.

2d           Ban from clubs I would visit regularly on Saturdays? Yes (9)
OSTRACISE – Start with alternate letters of the last 3 words of the clue, then insert the abbreviation for Clubs in a pack of cards and I (from the clue).

3d           Roughly positioned underneath end of elephant’s trunk (5)
TORSO – The last letter (end) of elephanT followed by a phrase (2,2) meaning ‘roughly’.

4d           Lecture Trevor perhaps holds over (7)
REPROVE – Hidden in reverse (over) in the clue.

5d           Elected Conservative, one with interminably painful tooth (7)
INCISOR – Put together a two-letter word for ‘elected’, an abbreviation for Conservative, the Roman numeral for ‘one’, and a word for ‘painful’ minus its last letter (interminably).

7d           Stars performing around carnival location (5)
ORION – Where you are in relation to the stage when you’re performing, wrapped round the location of a famous South American carnival, giving us the name of a constellation.

The Constellation Orion is one of the most beautiful constellations


8d           Timid character that whistle-blower shows every so often (6,4)
YELLOW CARD – Another word for ‘timid’ or ‘cowardly’ followed by another word for a ‘character’, giving us something that a referee may show to an offending player.

11d         Time singer’s back after voice trouble occasionally? (7)
OCTOBER – Alternate letters (occasionally) of vOiCe TrOuBlE followed by the final letter (back) of singeR.

14d         Type of seafood with crispbread crackers (6,4)
SPIDER CRAB – Anagram (crackers) of CRISPBREAD.

Spider Crabs | Start Bay Devon | Shellfish South West

16d         Annual large staff bill is after tax essentially (7)
ALMANAC – Put together the middle letter (essentially) of tAx, an abbreviation for Large, a verb for ‘to staff’, and an abbreviation for a bill or account.

18d         PM is to broadcast about introduction of allowances per person (9)
TAOISEACH – Anagram (broadcast) of IS TO wrapped round the first letter (introduction) of Allowances, followed by a word for ‘per person’. This PM is to be found in Dublin.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin reveals biggest regret and his hopes for a lasting legacy - Irish Mirror Online

20d         Set in Nevada, love a Fitzgerald short story (7)
NOVELLA – Wrap the abbreviation for Nevada around the letter that looks like a love score at tennis, then add the first name of Ms Fitzgerald, the famous singer.

Here’s Ms Fitzgerald:

21d         Suspend scoundrel having a guilty look (7)
HANGDOG – Another word for ‘suspend’ followed by another word for ‘scoundrel’ or ‘cur’.

23d         Sign of worry, mostly (5)
BADGE – Remove the final letter (mostly) from a verb for ‘worry’ or ‘harass’.

25d         Middle Eastern national and extremists expelled from country (5)
OMANI – Remove the outer letters (extremists) from an Eastern European country.

26d         Starring role, it could be made for boxer? (4)
LEAD – Double definition, the second being something which may be attached to a four-leged boxer.

The Quick Crossword pun MISSUS + HIPPY = MISSISSIPPI

94 comments on “DT 29908

  1. Thank you Mysteron for a great workout. Thank you too DT for explaining 1d. 6a my LOI, a real treat which dragged me seconds into 3* time, so 3*/4* for me.

  2. 2.5*/5*. What a splendid puzzle with which to finish the “working” week. Super-smooth surfaces, great clueing, and some lovely deceptions – what more could a solver want?

    I didn’t understand the pregnant bit of 1d, but apart from that and a bit of a tussle to parse 13a, this all fell steadily into place.

    My double ticks were awarded to 10a, 13a, 14d, 18d & 20d.

    Many thanks to, almost certainly, Silvanus for the Friday fun, and to DT (particularly for the explanation for 1d).

  3. I almost didn’t want to complete this, I was enjoying it so much. I thought it a masterclass of compilation, especially the fabulous 2d.
    In a mega strong field my ticks also go to 10,24&28a plus 18d. Great stuff.
    Thanks to the setter, I’m going for Silvanus, and DT for the top notch entertainment.

    As it’s Friday and as it’s such a great song by a great band here’s 1a

  4. My first DNF in a long time but although when I saw DT’s hints (thanks) 18d rang a vague bell I would never have guessed the spelling! One to store for the future. Otherwise a nice ***/*** and I particularly liked the anagram in 1a my COTD. Thanks to the setter.

    1. Hi Nas.

      I don’t know if this helps but the ‘isea’ of the answer could be short for ‘Irish Sea’.

      If you know that then it gives you a reasonable chance of guessing the rest….maybe not.

      1. Thanks Gordong273. That’s a great tip and I shall remember it for the next time this almost indecipherable word emerges!

    2. As I recall the PM appeared a few months ago. In common with quite a few I struggled with te spelling then & true to form it had fallen out of the filing cabinet when I looked this time.

  5. A nice puzzle indeed to end the week, with almost as much Chewiness as a Wookiee. You’ll have seen what I did there :D

    I think for neatness 1a for COTD, and **/ *** for the experience.

    Many thanks Mysteron and Deep Threat.

  6. I really didn’t enjoy that at all – for me too many bung-ins and in fact even with DT explanations several IMHO are rather iffy e.g. 6a, 13a, 1d, 2d, 18d and 26d (‘made for’). 20a Fav thanks to Ella/Scott connection. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  7. Well this was a strange one for me. I sat and stared for a few moments and could not even get started; then I solved 14d. From then on it was a slow process untangling each clue, as I needed checking letters before getting the next one and moving across, up, and down, the grid.
    This, though, led to me enjoying the process very much. A sort of delicious ordeal and certainly my favourite puzzle of the week.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime

    Thanks to the setter and The Splendid DT

  8. Like Terence, I found this a very strange puzzle. I finished unaided but with several clues I had no idea why. 18d held me up for ages as I knew the answer (we had it quite recently) but the spelling eluded me and I resorted to the dictionary. My piece of halibut was so huge I froze half of it and we had the other half last night – delicious in buttery anchovy sauce! So £19 will do 4 servings so not quite so expensive. Wordle in 6, thought I was a goner!

    1. Wordle in 5 but there is an awful lot of luck in ones first couple of choices isn’t there? I’m sure, like most of us, we remain loyal to our own Big Dave!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the halibut. My mother in law’s fish of choice. It does need careful cooking to really appreciate it.

  9. A most enjoyable puzzle to end the (non-)work week although it was a bit of a head scratcher – 3.5*/4,5*.

    I know we have seen it before, but one niggle over 18d being a ‘foreign,’ albeit a close neighbour of the UK, PM. So, with four of the five checkers, and a ‘pencilled in’ fifth, I had a PDM of ‘it’s the one from . . . ‘ and then I had to check the spelling and work out the parsing – so it was solved ‘backwards.’

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 19a, and 20d – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to Silvanus, it has to be he, and to DT.

  10. No, I’m sorry but I didn’t enjoy this one either. Not on the wavelength probably, but thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.

  11. Took a while to get started and filled in the lower half first, certainly lots of clever cluing and some difficult parsing resulting in an excellent end of the week puzzle ,thanks setter and DT for unravelling13a- thought it had something to do with the T!
    a ***/**** for me.
    Favourite 1a for the surface followed by 1d -my old granny would have said ‘she’s long gone’ not PC anymore.

  12. I must admit to a couple of bung ins. Well, 1d was difficult to parse wasn’t it?
    I’m glad this setter doesn’t forbid anagrams as 1a was very clever.
    We’ve had 18d a couple of times before. A challenge to spell, thank heavens for my word search!
    Lots to like which is just as well as today’s Toughie is an Elgar and I’ve learnt the hard way that he is not for me.

    1. Elgar in (relatively!) gentle mood today for the most part; highly recommended. Though one final 4-letter entry took me into ****************** time (so, probably one extra star than usual for Elgar)

  13. Wonderful puzzle, many thanks to setter and DT. The fabulous anagram at 1a got things off to a cracking start, thought that might be COTD but everything that followed was just as good. Thanks again!

  14. An old college expression comes to mind when I think of how much I enjoyed this brilliant puzzle: “How great is this anyway?!” Certainly the peak of this week’s excellent puzzles. 2d leads the star-studded parade of winners, with 28a, 6a, 21a, & 18d vying for glory. It wasn’t exactly easy but it was most definitely exciting. Thanks to DT, especially for parsing 1d for me, and Silvanus, if it is indeed he. 2.5* / 5*

  15. Most enjoyable with lots of pennies dropping from heaven. Plenty of great surfaces such as 1a and 21a. I had totally forgotten the prime minister despite his appearance recently. MY COTD is 20d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to DT for the hints.

    Lovely cold and crisp sunny day in the Welsh Marches. Ideal for my fourth covid jab this afternoon.

    Wordle in 4.

  16. I’ll have a hefty wager on Silvanus too. Best of the week for my money. Sticking the right letters in the right boxes was one thing but there was a helluva lot of head scratching working out what they were doing there & needed the hints to explain a couple of them (1d&13a). Not a dud to be found & a host of worthy podium contenders. I’ll plump for 10a & the Wordlers at 3d & 28a with ticks for countless others.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to DT for the explanations.
    Ps Wordle in 5. Vlad’s politically themed puzzle in the Graun is a hoot though perhaps not one for fans of Boris.

  17. Another good week of grids topped off with today’s offering. I had a few bung-ins but quite obvious now I see DT’s parsing. It took me a while to move on from F Scott to crack 20a. Other COTD podiums, 1 and 12a. Thanks to the setter too🦇

  18. Extremely enjoyable puzzle with which to finish the week. First pass had me scratching my head with only 3 entries but then the fog cleared and things settled down. Needed DT’s help to parse 1d and 22a. COTDs have to be the excellent 2d, 10a and the delightful 18d.

    Thanks to DT and the setter!!

  19. I don’t think i have ever completed a DT crossword yet understood so few clues. The trick was to find the definition and ignore the frankly confusing and distorted wordplay.
    Thx to all

  20. I found this a slightly strange puzzle which I managed to solve without understanding some of the answers 😳 ***/*** My favourites are 21a & 8d 😃 All in all, a nice end to a nice cross-wording week 🤗 Thanks to DT and to Sylvanus (if it is he 🤔)

  21. Could there possibly be a double pun in the quickie? Bottom two…..if you haven’t done so already, I think you should “check at once!”
    Not tackled the cryptic yet but it looks tricky from a quick glance through. Thanks to DT, I might be needing the hints later!

  22. So this puzzle for Friday for me was a complete disaster. There are far too many clues that frankly make absolutely no sense in being able to figure out or parse.
    I felt that this was not the best clued puzzle. Sorry setter. It is my opinion only.
    E.g. 1a, 6a, 13a, 21a, 3d, 7d, 18d … just to mention but a few.
    Definitely a DNF of my own accord …
    Hopefully Saturday is a better constructed & clued puzzle.

    Thanks anyway to the setter for the frustration and to DT for the hints

  23. Set off on a crisp cold sunny morning to visit elder daughter in her care home. Such fun I hadn’t realised we had arrived at Corley for the comfort stop. The puzzle was a delight and I was so pleased with myself for getting 18d. Stars for 1,10a snd 2,5,7,14d. Plus the joy of getting Wordle in 3! Got back in the car and just about to drive off when a passer by tapped on the window and said do you know you have a flat tyre! 2 hour wait for AA man and we still have to get up to Redditch.
    Cannot exceed 50 mph on this tyre. Oh dearie me.

    1. What a pain DG – do hope you get safely to Redditch and back (probably 100 miles e.w.?) – hopefully at least you too have the beautiful sunshine which we are currently enjoying in West Sussex.

      1. Just driving home held up for 30 mins at M6 junction and satnav now says we won’t be home until 8.30 – with the spare tyre we cannot go more than 50 mph. My language could be blue if I were not such a lady !!!

        1. Hope you got safely home. I sympathise over M6 junction problems etc. – I used to go regularly from home in Suffolk to my In-Laws near Wolverhampton.

  24. Trying to pick a winner from such an impressive number of top clues is impossible, so I shall just add my thanks to Silvanus for a wonderful puzzle, and to DT. Great fun.

  25. Setter here, thanks to DT as always and to everyone for your comments, I’m pleased that the “likes” far outweighed the “dislikes”, but I learnt long ago that it’s an impossible task to please every solver.

    A good weekend to all.

    1. I enjoyed this a lot Silvanus and didn’t have any issue with my ignorance of 19d. You have educated me for the future so many thanks!👍👍

  26. Thank you Silvanus for a most enjoyable early morning challenge! Started – as is my wont for mid/late week puzzles – in the South and steadily made my way North. Great variety of wonderfully smooth clues, and I had a good handful ticked at the end but could have included numerous others.

    HMs to 1a, 10a, 28a, 29a, 3d (Doh!), 11d and 20d, but COTD for me to 2d – an outstanding clue I felt, no idea how as the setter you even see the potential for those in the first place.

    2.5* / 4*

    Thank you also to DT

  27. I elect to join the liked camp today. and I agree with the others about the brilliant 2d. I would have finished this in York but had to check the BRB for the spelling of 18d (even with all the checkers I am not confident enough to bung that in.)
    and I saw the anagram for 30a but wanted to check the thesaurus for the hardship bit.
    Thanks to DT and Silvanus.

  28. I’m in the ‘I really enjoyed this’ camp this afternoon. Needed the hint to parse 13a. Favourite was 2d. Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  29. Not a fan today, clearly above my pay grade. Most answers were bung ins, having worked out the answer despite the clues. Have to question why we need such a tricky puzzle today when there is a Toughie available for the smarter folks. 1d was a truly awful clue, and a bit on the distasteful side, IMHO. Also, isn’t the Oxford College spelt Oriel and not Orial? Or am I missing something? Thanks to setter and to DT, hats off to you for solving this for us.

    1. Hi BL.

      May I ask how 1d is in poor taste?

      Is it the expression you don’t like, eg She is seven months **** or have you read ‘shortly – meaning in a short time – as the adjective ‘short’?

  30. I managed to complete this puzzle unaided except for checking the spelling 18d….but like some others failed to parse some of the clues.
    I think 18d was downright cruel …how many people who are not Irish can spell it without checking ?
    Not keen on the expression for pregnant. Seems disrespectful to me.
    So, not my cup of tea today.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

    1. To say that a pregnant woman is six months gone or eight months gone is a regular acceptable practice here in the midlands. It appears as the second definition of the word gone in my online dictionary.
      having reached a specified time in a pregnancy.
      “she is now four months gone”

    2. How can someone asking how many months have elapsed (ie gone by) since they got pregnant (or is ‘got’ also disrespectful and ‘became’ the preferred choice?)

      I can’t see that one at all, OM.

      1. Indeed! “6/8 months gone” referring to duration of pregnancy is a common expression here in Derbyshire and I’ve no idea how it can be “disrespectful”. But, everybody’s different I suppose …

          1. I don’t really know why, Gordon, but the expression ‘gone’ with regard to a pregnancy was invariably associated with an unwanted or ill-advised pregnancy when I was a girl and I wouldn’t dream of using the word in conversation with an expectant mum, nor would I have appreciated its use during my own pregnancies.

            1. Language evolves, Jane.

              It’s like the word enormity that originally meant something negative now can mean enormous.

              I use the original meaning but don’t mind if someone uses the more recent one.

              Maybe ‘gone’ was taboo in days of yore but it isn’t anymore to the majority of people.

              1. Just because something evolves doesn’t mean that is right. In the south I heard this word used for pregnancy, but as Jane says, it was usually used in a not very nice way, and I too would never dream of asking an expectant Mum have far she was “gone”. You probably need to have been pregnant to not like this term.

                1. Perhaps there’s a regional difference going on here. In my experience “gone” with this meaning is a common, innocuous expression in most parts of the Midlands and North – but maybe not in the more southern regions? The definition in the latest BRB is:

                  Gone (adj): pregnant (with specified time, eg six months gone).

                  It isn’t classified as informal, slang, vulgar or anything else.

                  And the “gone” refers simply to time past, with no other connotations.

                  1. I don’t think it can be down to regional differences, Jose. As you well know, I lived in the same village as you for several years – and I was pregnant twice during the time we lived there. Nobody ever referred to me as being X number of months ‘gone’ which is just as well, I’d have been very upset if they had have done. I’ve just consulted with my daughters, one who now lives on Anglesey and the other on IOW and they both confirm that they would find the description offensive.

                    1. That’s fair enough, Jane. It does just highlight the differences in the usage of the English language, regional or otherwise. Also, the male/female perceptions. Generally, the guys on here seem to think it’s OK/innocuous and the ladies don’t like it and find it offensive.

                      Just as a footnote, I do recall this term mainly from the 50s, 60s and 70s so I may be a bit out of touch with modern opinions. And it was used mostly by females – my mother, aunties and cousins, etc. They would be chatting among themselves (the women) and one would say, “Janet’s [a family friend] expecting another a little boy.” Then my mother or someone would chip in, “Oh yes, how far gone is she?” This was perfectly normal and not offensive at all – they were talking about their own family/friends and loved ones. These days, you do have to chose your words carefully …

                  2. I agree. Married or unmarried. Not a derogatory term although anything can be said in an unpleasant way if one chooses.

                2. I have looked up its origin and it dates back to at least Shakespeare (Loves’ Labours Lost) and, as far as I can see, it wasn’t derogatory but I’m certainly no expert in these things.

                  Amongst others, the 17th century poet Wycherley also used it.

                  I’m curious to know why, for a period of time, it was a no-no and now it’s okay again (I’ve just checked with a couple of women in their 30s of half-decent stock and they think it’s fine)

                  Hoo nose

                    1. You are OK M. You went to public school and like animals. I come from a 2 up 2 down terrace with no inside loo am of doubtful stock.
                      PS Does she’s a goner mean she’s pregnant I ask myself.

                    2. What on Earth are you talking about Merusa?

                      Goodness me.

                      Why do you get so personal?

                      BD, is it okay to be like that?

                    3. I’ve just asked my wife, who is of outstanding stock (obvs), and she thought it was a shortening of the term for elapsed, ie gone by.

                      Sorry to go on but I am so intrigued to know why it is/was a derogatory term.

                      I guess I just have to make my peace with it.

                    4. I think I’ve got to the root of it.

                      My guess is Lizzie and Jane are referring to the expression ‘far gone’ meaning ‘going mad’ which, if used when enquiring about how many months pregnant someone is, could imply the woman is losing the plot. So that makes sense.

                      I use the expression ‘how gone are you?’ (not using the word ‘far’) which I can’t believe is disrespectful.

                      Anyway, as I’m typing this on Saturday afternoon, I reckon I’m talking to myself.

                      Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish & chip paper and all that.

  31. Way beyond my ken, I really don’t have time to gnaw my way through this. I have the Monday Brawta on hand that I’ll have a go at, I seem to remember it was recommended for tiny brains like mine. Wordle in 5.

  32. This was so much more fun than yesterday’s thank you Silvanus – 7d as my favourite. Whilst I got 1d I needed DT’s explanation …

  33. A very engaging puzzle although I do wish the Irish Prime Minister would retire to a rest home somewhere. At least the clueing and checkers meant I could get it in without Googling the spelling. Thanks to Silvanus and DT. Wordle in one less than Saint Sharon today. Start word KINDA which was accepted as is befitting for such a fine word

    1. Have you tried Nerdle yet MP? (at nerdle.com) It is sort-of “wordle with numbers”. Our competition is now Wordle, in 4 today) and Wordle + Nerdle (4 + 5).

    1. The ‘second placed’ letter in the word ‘Strictly’ is T (for Tango in the NATO alphabet, eg A for Alpha, B for Bravo etc)

      I appreciate that I have repeated a lot of DT’s explanation. So, apols if it hasn’t helped)

  34. Hi Suffolk Lass. DT has explained the parsing exceeding well, but just to paraphase – the second letter in Strictly is T and T in the phonetic alphabet is Tango, as used by police and armed forces etc. Tango is a dance and the answer to the clue.

  35. Having completed yesterday’s Beam over lunch before solving today’s back pager this afternoon, I have to say that I found the Toughie the more straightforward of the two puzzles. Both very enjoyable, but some of the answers to Sylvanus’s clues took me longer to tease out. As with most, 18d was the one the tested my spelling the most, but I did particularly like 8d. The ‘gone’ as alluded to in 1d caused no great problem for me, as it has been in fairly common parlance wherever I have lived in the midlands. Thanks to Silvanus and DT.
    Wordle in four again today.

  36. Been out for lunch with a girlfriend today – lovely location by the sea in Trearddur Bay but needed to choose carefully as some of the prices seemed rather steep!
    Fortunately, I had time beforehand to solve this masterpiece from Mr Smooth and what a delight it was – I’d have hated to miss out.
    Looks as though the choice of favourites has been quite diverse today which is always a good thing. My own selections were 1,10&19a with a special giggle at 19a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the object lesson in Friday setting and to DT for the review.

  37. Much easier than yesterday’s horror.
    Just failed on 23d, which I should have got and 18d which I would never have got.
    Thanks both, look forward now to checking some parsing.

  38. Excellent, best of the week in my book. A tad above average difficullty with mostly very good clues providing an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few clues and will mention 12a. 3*/4.5*.

  39. Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle, thought I would struggle at the start, but managed to complete it in the end. There were 4 question marks as to the wordplay. Will look at the hints to explain. Favourite was 22a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  40. What a strange puzzle. Completed without needing resource to the hints but far too many where I knew I had the right answer but not a clue why. And as for ‘gone’ in pregnancy, as a man I can’t get my head round that. But quickish completion so musn’t complain Silvanus…

  41. More like a midweek toughie for me than a back pager. A DNF as I didn’t know the PM and struggled with 2d as I was convinced the word “would” had something to do with the clue – but having resorted to the hints i see it is just annoying padding.

    Thanks to all

    ****/* for me

  42. Not a lot of fun for me but but completed without help. Yesterday I was clearly not on the wavelength and failed to finish. Thanks to Sylvanus and DT.

  43. Just finished after spending way too long thinking of famous Trevors :). Fabulous puzzle Silvanus but needed some hints, so thank you DT for those.

  44. I am of the opinion that clues containing “mostly” almost” “shortly” are just lazy – they should be banned.

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