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DT 30071 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30071 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello, it’s me again.  Mr Lynch’s fault again this week.

Cephas’s last ‘run’ of SPPs reached a total of ten; today he reaches number four in an attempt to best that last total – do I need to say that it is a pangram.

Some of the usual features of the Saturday Crossword Club might be missing, but the important parts are here.

Candidates for favourite – 20a, 23a, 27a, 3d, and 12d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.  Thinking of weekend prize crosswords – CL tells us on the DT Puzzles Website that Sunday Toughie Number 30 will be another by proXimal.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


1a Biscuit with salt — that’s a great thing (11)
A type of biscuit, often accompanying cheese, and (with) a synonym of salt (as one who operates in the main).

12a Shopkeeper, first person in France to meet the Modfather (8)
The French equivalent of the perpendicular pronoun followed by (to meet) the surname of the 1970s/80s singer nicknamed ‘The Modfather’ – that should make for an easy e-search for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, one lives and learns in this job.

14a Swells seen dancing, carrying booze that’s knocked back (8)
An anagram (dancing) of SEEN containing (carrying) a type of booze popular with the 1a Salt reversed (that’s knocked back) – I am not totally convinced that the answer matches the definition.

17a Live herons? Bother! (7)
The two letter synonym of live and a collective noun for herons – I wonder if our Ynys Mon correspondent knew the second part or had to look it up. I just had a WAG that proved to be correct when I looked it up in the BRB.

20a Right to stop character in Star Trek film finding tooth (8)
A three part charade – the single letter for Right inserted into (to stop) a character in Star Trek and our popular two letter abbreviated film title, and finding is just ‘padding.’

21a Main part of site in leaf (4,4)
A four letter synonym of in and a synonym of leaf (in a book?).

27a Fast walk by demonstrators? (6,5)
Nothing to do with rate of movement, a walk by demonstrators who are declining to eat.


2d Get knotted once again! (5)
A three letter term for get knotted preceded by the two letters that indicate a repeat (once again).

3d Right to remove faults (7)
A double definition – the first is the state that is achieved when the second part has been completed.

6d Gap isn’t complete as has been said (8)
A homophone (as has been said) of a (3,5) phrase equivalent to isn’t complete – another where I am not totally convinced that the answer matches the definition.

8d Holding the reins of office? (2,3,6)
An equestrian synonymic term for indicating that a person is in ‘command.’

12d Hold on, it is not the winner (4,1,6)
An expression that would indicate that something or someone is not the winner but came very close.

16d Larger than usual pullover, size displayed inside (9)
A lurker (inside) in three words in the clue.

18d Losing heart, the gamers destroyed what’s under the stairs? (3,5)
An anagram (destroyed) of ThE GAMERS with the single letter for Heart (as in playing cards) middle letter of tHe removed (losing heart) – should the definition actually be ‘what used to be under the stairs.’

24d FBI agent, good fellow (1-3)
The single letter abbreviation for Good and a synonym of fellow.

The pianist these are the Top 10 Movie Themes/Songs:

The Crossword Club is now Open, and I will ‘see’ you again tomorrow.

The Quick Crossword pun:


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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.

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125 comments on “DT 30071 (Hints)

  1. Completed while listening to the modfather so 12a treat. Needed help though, couldn’t get 1a because I had 3d wrong, though I reckon my answer works just as well for the clue, but hey ho, nobody’s perfect. So thanks to setter and for the needed clues.

  2. I have not got my paper yet but just wanted to make a comment following yesterday’s criticisms. Instead of giving it up at 10.30 a break works wonders. I was left yesterday only having solved five clues each way. This morning I woke, looked at it again, and completed the grid. I think others have commented before in similar terms. Hopefully we shall all be in a better mood now it’s cooler in the UK

    1. Quite agree WW. I’d done about half before dinner last night and had almost admitted defeat. Came back a couple of hours later and finished it off. Sometimes need to reset the brain.

      1. I am of the firm opinion that the brain continues to work on clues subconsciously while we do something else.

        1. I quite agree. Occasionally, having put the Sunday blog ‘to bed’ in the middle of my Saturday evening, I wake in the wee small hours with a thought that I messed up the hint to a clue and I need to re-write it ‘like this.’

        2. It definitely does. Those that are elusive at breakfast are often obvious at lunchtime. I firmly believe the brain goes on puzzling in the background.

  3. I found the double unches a problem for some reason but, otherwise, a most entertaining puzzle. It was a slow start followed by a swift finish as the coffee oiled the brain cells. I was unsure about 17a not being able to make any sense of it. I might have the wrong answer of course but I can’t see it being anything else. I knew the term Modfather but had never associated it with that person. Still, plenty to enjoy and my COTD is 6d.

    Many thanks to Cephas for Saturday pangram fun and many thanks to Senf for standing in and writing the hints.

    I do hope we are all cool, calm and collected now. :good:

        1. An ‘unchecked letter’ which does not form part of an answer in the ‘other direction’ and ‘double unches’ are such as in 16d where the second and third letters do not form part of an Across answer.

          Single unches are obviously very common, less so for double unches.

  4. Some real gems this morning. 1a would take the biscuit were it not for my 3d imperfection. Plus 12 & 23a. Thanks to the setter, and Senf for getting me over the line with 17a. There are some annoying folk who know all the collective nouns.I
    Hoping for a more pacific blog today.

  5. A thoroughly enjoyable pangram (this time I caught on to thepangram straight away, surprisingly). The clues were not particularly hard but there was a little cluster in the centre of the puzzle, which were real head-scratchers. There were some great clues throughout. COTD for me was my last one in, 17a, in which I discovered a new meaning for a word. There were some good charades and some forays into popular music, film and confectionery for those of us, who like a bit of GK. 7d was a good one and runner up to 17a, followed byy 12a, 20a and 1a. Thanks to the pangram meister, Cephas and welcone back and thanks to Tilsit for the hints.

      1. Sorry, Senf. I didnt read the headingthoroughly. Thank you for the hints, concise, well explained and informative, às always. I should have realised.

  6. Great puzzle today with some really fun clues, had to take a bit of a punt on 17a, but got it right!
    Nearly got 6d wrong, but getting 14a put me right. Congrats to the setter for a really enjoyable grid.

  7. By the time I had made a first pass I thought I would check the pangram but no help as I already had all 26. The collective noun needed checking out but had to be what it was.
    I went to bed last night in a bit of a funk about some of the comments, but it was nice to wake up to wise words from J-L and Wanda amongst others.
    On a different note I have finally finished the slightly too dark coffee that came with my new coffee machine so I have changed to a milder coffee which is a little lighter.

    1. Jean-Luc’s eloquent comment (number 42 in yesterday’s blog) should be required reading for everyone!

          1. I agree too. Just shows we really are a happy bunch, not grumpy at all. Lovely puzzle today.
            17a held me up but got there in the end. Thankyou all.

      1. I agree Senf, Jean Luc is the most sense I’ve seen on here for a long time. I may not be able to solve any more but I do read the blog every day. It is very apparent that the reason for most of our contentious discourses are stoked by one person, yes, you Gordong, and some of our number rise to the bait. Before anyone shouts at me, sometimes his content merits credit but the delivery is always mocking and superior. He has never, to my knowledge, ever originated a comment to discuss the crossword, but always uses “reply” to do his mischief, the more who answer to his bidding, the more he eggs them on. It’s a pity he never appears on the weekend, I would be interested what his take would be to J-Luc and this.
        I fully expect to be shredded over this, but heed my warning, no one wants to wade through vitriolic comments every day, keep it up and the blog will be no longer. I hope I haven’t stepped on too many toes … well, maybe it would be good to step on a few. I love and miss you all!

        1. I have to agree with you, Merusa and am prepared to be shot down standing beside you. I know of at least one contributor to this blog who has left because of the person who rarely comments on the crosswords but just seems to stir up trouble. Last week, I almost came to the decision to leave the blog because it had turned into something that was alien to the friendly blog I joined about four years ago. Back then, I was encouraged and offered no end of friendly help and advice. So much so, that I can now solve the majority of DT cryptics and the occasional Toughie. It’s why I always try and welcome new posters to the blog if I can. I want the blog to encourage the solving of crosswords not to alienate folk new to crosswords. Had I looked at the blog lately, hoping to join, I would certainly have run a mile to find help elsewhere.

          That is the last time I will mention the topic.

          1. I totally agree Steve. I was contemplating withdrawing myself as I don’t want to hesitate before putting my comments in case the said person sees it as an opportunity to nitpick, criticize and turn this lovely friendly site into a contentious playground for himself. But I have got so much enjoyment over the years since Peter found this wonderful blog for me, it has helped my solving enormously, and I’ve met so many of you nice people. So why should I let someone push me away? And, like you, I am concerned that anyone thinking of making their first comment this week would have been totally put off.

          2. Please don’t leave Medusa and Steve. I’ve been really encouraged by your comments and many of the regular bloggers. It’s made such a difference to me and I look forward to having a stab at the crossword knowing that I’ve got extra hints to help. I appreciate everyone’s help and encouragement and really look forward to reading the daily comments even though I’m usually a day late. I love all the superfluous information- like the weather, books read, places visited, meals eaten, music and so much more. Hope this isn’t too embarrassing but I felt I needed to say it!

        2. Mischief….mocking…superior…vitriolic….contentious.

          Me thinks you’ve been wanting to say that for a while.

          All I have said this week that I can see as contentious is expressing my disapproval, along with many others, of the treatment of Mr Fish.

          It was a very sad day and I’m hoping lessons have been learned.

          I’m not a daily contributor but occasionally, jump on, with a fun fact about a word or if it has an interesting etymology. Sometimes with a trick when someone says they struggle to spell a word. Very often they thank me.

          Nine times out of ten, I give my thoughts about the crossword which is often brief or praise a clue.

          If I feel that a contributor has said a clue is in incorrect, I, along with many others, will throw in my twopenneth worth.

          So, I think your comments are a tad inaccurate and a bit harsh.

    2. If it is a Nespresso (other makes are just as good I am sure) there are loads of different coffee flavours to work through and find a favourite.

      1. Oh no – it is a Sage with built in grinder, It is quite a ritual to find the right beans, grind them to the best degree (it is different for espresso, V60 or French Press) Puck prep is an art in itself as is steaming the milk for Mama Bee, but as I usually drink it sans milk nobody wants to see my latte art.

        The last time I tried it turned rather rude.

        1. That sounds like a lot of hard work. Do you have to start the process about 45 minutes in advance of the time you had decided on to have a cup of coffee?

          1. Ha ha no morning routine involves brewing Mama Bee a pot of tea, I can do all I need to get a first coffee done before the tea is mashed. Second and subsequent coffees may involve a bit more rigmarole but that is half the fun.

            1. It all sounds a bit sophisticated for me. Most if the time we use a cafetière the machine is for my secret vice. George has not worked out i. e tried to use it.

        2. Dear goodness – I have a cup of ‘full throttle’ Nescafe Gold Blend in the morning and then the decaf option later in the day which suits me fine! Any fancy stuff is a treat on the odd occasion I go out for a meal – and frankly doesn’t taste any better……..
          OK – I’m doubtless an old stick-in-the-mud but so be it!

  8. 2*/3*. A fun pangram.

    As it happens I knew 17a because that’s what the wretched birds do to my koi pond, although thankfully I haven’t seen one for several months. I think I’ll make that one my favourite.

    Many thanks to Cephas and super-sub Senf.

  9. Had to look up the Modfather, never come across that term before. Agree that 6d is poor. Not the most difficult prize puzzle but many of the clues are very clumsy with dubious accuracy.
    For me this has not been the best of weeks for DT puzzles apart from the outstanding Ray T.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I thought 6d was fine. The hint (3,7) should, I think, be (4,4) – then it makes sense to me.

      1. Like Manders, you will have to remember to look at the full review on Friday to see how my (3,5) hint ‘works.’

  10. In 18d the abbreviation H for the card suit stands for Hearts (not heart). The heart here refers to the central letter of ‘the’.
    Thanks to Cephas (?) for the puzzle and to Senf for the hints.

  11. Nice and easy does it with many a smile.
    12a could only be that but……nothing to do with Dickens.
    Loved 17a, certainly my COTD.
    So, 1.5*/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

      1. Gosh. So, I’m not missing anything.

        I can’t recall the last time a clue for a cryptic crossword wasn’t cryptic.

        One for Statto, perhaps….

        1. I’d parse that one as a cryptic definition*. Presumably the intended surface reading has “get knotted” being (as the BRB says) an interjection expressing anger, derision, etc. However, the cryptic reading requires us to instead take the words literally. So, as Senf says, the entire clue should be underlined.

          *Note that I’m not an expert, and sometimes clues admit more than one interpretation.

          1. Thanks Mr K

            I did wonder about ‘get knotted!’ but couldn’t quite see it as I thought it would require ‘Being told to’ to precede it.

            I think your logic is right.

            Thanks again.

            1. Mr K and G273. Yes, I thought this was a simple cryptic definition (not an &lit) but didn’t dare say anything yesterday for fear of being accused of sniping or superciliousness (and that shouldn’t be the case on a serious crossword blog). To me, a cryptic definition is where the whole clue is a sort of pun and doesn’t normally contain any real cryptic word-play.

  12. For the person who wants a more pacific blog today, I repeat my comment of yesterday as how relieved we were to lose the supercilious Bertie!
    Needed a bit of help with this. I must say, the 10a sweets sound pretty nasty. I’ll stick to the drink of the 1a salts.

    1. There have been a few Berties over the years . Thankfully most don’t stay long. I prefer the idiosyncrasies of some regular contributors even when we stray off the rails a bit. It is hardly surprising when we don’t take kindly to someone who appears and, from the start, criticises or belittles everyone else, including the setter and hardworking hinters. I am immensely grateful to all who are keeping this site going in BDs absence. A lot of concern is shown when one of us is taken ill, or loses a pet. We share happy news, triumphs, and challenges. Long may it continue.

      1. Totally agree. This is a wonderful site, full or friendly “faces”, and I would miss it and all of you very much if it was allowed to be overtaken by Bertie lookalikes.

        1. I do so agree! This is a marvellous blog. We have to thank BD so much for setting it up and to the stalwarts who are keeping the site going in his absence. Thank you one and all.

        2. It’s certainly what appeals to me about the blog. Merusa is right. There is no point in responding to Gordong. Like an attention seeking naughty child, the more notice you give to him, the more negative his behaviour.

    2. What if the sweets reverted to their original UK name based on a gemstone predominantly found in Australia and an oldie but goodie in crosswords?

  13. Been a long time since my last post but my COTD has to be 7d. Thanks to Cephas and Senf🦇

    1. Haha.
      I had the wrong ( probably non-existent) airborne mammal which is, in fairness, usually treacherous rather than cunning. Making 19a troublesome.

    2. Is this the first time someone has been in danger of the Naughty Step simply because of their name? :grin:

      1. Good morning from Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast. Late on parade but I thought I was ‘pushing the envelope’ and may have incurred BD’s wrath😜

  14. I found this quite tough today. Needed some help from Senf, in particular with 17a where I did not know the collective noun, nor was I convinced that the answer fitted the definition…..but I see from the BRB that it does…..every day is a school day.
    Would never have got 1a without the hint either.
    Did spot the pangram though, so all is not lost for me yet.
    Thanks to Senf and to Cephas

    I did not visit the blog on Tuesday but have now. Such a shame that Mr Fish has left. A loss to us all.
    Hear hear to Jean Luc’s answer.

  15. Right level for a prize puzzle. For once I spotted the pangram but I missed the double unches.I hesitated on 2d as it seemed a little weak to me. I didn’t know the gap in 6d or the name for a flock of herons. It didn’t help that due to the ! I was looking for an exclamation. Favourites 1 9 11 23 and 27a and 8 and 12d. Great thanks to Cephas and Senf. By the way Senf I didn’t know that those demonstrators were refusing food. I thought they were demonstrating against poverty.

  16. Another Cephas pangram for this Saturday. Pleasant solve with little difficulty today as in the past.
    For me 2.5*/4*

    Favourites include 1a, 11a, 23a, 12d & 19d
    Hard to pick one over the rest but if I had to 1a.
    Great TV show in the 60’s that I enjoyed.

    Thanks to Cephas and Senf for hints not used as I solved on another warm/hot Friday night.

  17. Dear sir, I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms!
    Dial it down mate, we only have room for one Brian!
    Yes, fair enough… well it’s just that ‘the 1970s/80s singer nicknamed The Modfather’ is an inadequate description of one of my musical heroes. This person, who must remain a mystery due to the rules of the prize crosswords, is a wonderful musician – a vocalist, guitarist, and pianist who is also one of the great songwriters of the modern era. Far from ’70s/80s singer’, he continues to record and perform to this day, and, one hopes, for many years to come.
    I’d say he should receive a knighthood, but I suspect he would turn it down.

    Thanks to Cephas and The Man From Manitoba (I forgive the Modfather faux pas!)

    1. I suppose I could apologise, but I don’t think I should as I don’t share your enthusiasm for the individual. Indeed, until approximately thirteen and a half hours ago I had never heard of him! :wink:

      1. DG, I don’t think there is any such thing as “a Modfather” – just the one and only “The Modfather”!

  18. If this hadn’t been a prize puzzle I’d have posted a clip of the sublime artist referred to in 12a, but will do so (if I remember!) on my Tuesday Toughie blog.
    Many thanks to Cephas and Senf for today’s fun.

    Oops, this was meant to be a reply to the wise words of Terence above.

  19. I’m not sure I have 6d correct as I parsed it 4 and 4 and not 3 and 5 but it makes sense. I too looked up the herons. Another yummy lunch from Ash Fishes. Shared a small smoked trout and spinach tart and a stilton and herring one. Not too much as The Lighthouse beckons for dinner tonight. Thanks to all. Re yesterday, no, not in sales, pharmaceutical marketing!

    1. The (3,5) in my hint applies to the phrase that is equivalent to ‘isn’t complete’ and which is then ‘homophoned’ into the 8 letter answer.

      1. Interesting – I have now resorted to using an anagram solver putting in all the checking letters and it brought back one answer which is the word I have but its still 4 and 4! So will have to wait for the full hints. Thanks though. The last 5 letters are not a stand alone word.

        1. But we’re you to say it out loud it would, as Senf says, sound like a 3, 5 expression

            1. Gawd! I’ve been vocalising my word in every accent I can think of and still cannot see it! 🤔. Still there’s always tomorrow. Thanks for trying everyone.

  20. Lovely pangram spotted early which helped – completely missed the lurker which was stupid. I could not get beforehand out of my head so did a bung in then looked it up. Friends coming in for Canasta and supper so have to fly round and clear the cobwebs and polish the taps. Have a good weekend everyone and many thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter. PS particularly liked 25a and 12d.

  21. We were down in London for the test match then in Worcester so only got back this morning into crosswordland. Having just read the last few days of blogs, I seem to have missed some pretty aggressive comments and counter-arguments, some sound common sense and a fair bit of criticism. Negative comments about setters is off limits as far as I am concerned, especially when the compiler is of the quality of Silvanus, The Don or Jay, to name but three. Just because a solver cannot complete a puzzle doesn’t make it a bad puzzle. Solving cryptics is supposed to be fun, a hobby, something to do. Some perspective, please.

    On to our pangram: great fun as ever, with 17a my top clue.

    Many thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  22. Late in for me – had ‘super cleaner’ here this morning, she’s a brilliant worker but my goodness she could talk the proverbial hind leg off a donkey!
    I noticed a few answers in this one that didn’t appear to be particularly cryptic but perhaps that only applies if you’ve been sufficiently fortunate to ‘twig’ them straightaway.
    Hadn’t heard of the Modfather and sorry to let you down, Senf, but my herons were a ‘guess and look up’!
    25a raised a smile and I rather liked 7d – fascinating little creatures.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Senf for overtime duties.

  23. If I dissed a compiler every time I did not finish or couldn’t parse and solve a clue I would be blasting off every day. The fault is on ourselves 99.9% of the time and when it isn’t it is only because of stretched synonyms or the like. To say I found this a stinker is a line I could use two or three times a week but that is not a criticism of the setters ; just a comment on my F* solving ability.

    Didn’t finish until I had read and understood Senf’s hints and then reread and pondered on the remaining two. So thank you to Senf and our setter.

    Oh yes. Nearly forget. Thank goodness all the children have left home so I now don’t have to listen to the Modfather or the silly groups that went under the generic name of Mods. Awful dressers, awful songs and a belief in their rightness in all they did and said that makes Donald look like a reasonable man. See Modfather comments above for proof.

  24. Thanks to Cephas and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I had heard of the Modfather, but probably a bit obscure for some solvers. 5d made me laugh, but my favourite was 20a. Needed the hints for 3d. Was 3* / 3* for me.

  25. Another enjoyable Cephas puzzle, a worthy Saturday challenge without being Toughie level. Learned a new word in 17a and did have to google Modfather in 12a. Will remember the first, but probably not the second. Thanks to Cephas for a good start to my weekend, and to Senf for stepping into the breach yet again.

  26. Very late today…rather under the weather…and I’m afraid I had to settle for an electronic finish with the SPP. A good bit I didn’t know (the sweet, the herons, Modfather) though I did manage to fill in the grid after a bit of googling. 17a is my default COTD–my LOI and the best of the batch today, I think. Thanks to Senf and Cephas. **** / ***

  27. The herons were new to us and I spent too long trying to fit Egret in. Spotted the pangram too late to be of help. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Cephas and Senf.

    1. Your comment went into moderation because you used a different e-mail based on your ‘real’ name rather than your alias. Both should work from now on.

  28. Thank you for your kind comments. I can see nothing wrong in double unches.In this grid some 7 and 8 letter words have 5 interlocking letters. My original clue did not use the word Modfather.

    1. Thank you for a great puzzle, Cephas. I agree that there is nothing wrong with double unches – it’s just they seemed to cause me trouble today for some reason.

  29. The herons were new to us and I spent too long trying to fit Egret in. Spotted the pangram too late to be of use. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  30. I started my comment a little while ago and now it’s disappeared – Rats! Try again!
    What I wanted to say was that today was one of the trickiest Saturday crosswords that I can remember – or is it me?
    It’s certainly taken me a long time – not that it matters.
    I always forget 24d’s and I’ve never heard of 10a – they sound pretty horrible so I might as well forget them.
    Didn’t we used to have a commenter called 20a but an end to his name with an ‘R’ – he was a spaniel – rather wish I’d never started this comment but might as well finish it now that I’ve started – CS or/and Jane might remember him -quite a long time ago.
    I think my favourite was 12d.
    Thanks to Cephas for the crossword and to Senf for the hints.

    1. Always good to see a comment from you Kath.

      With regard to 10a, have you seen my response to JB in Comment14? A much more pleasant sounding name in my opinion.

    2. I certainly remember him, Kath, and I enjoyed his puzzles. Presumably he’s moved on to ‘higher things’ and adopted a different alias.

  31. Sound Saturday fare. I thought 12a jarred and am therefore unsurprised it was not of Cephas’s making. Excellent punning homophone in 6d. COTD 27a. 17a new to me.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  32. Can’t recall having been beaten by a Cephas pangram before but am in danger of a DNF with this one. Currently shy of 6d&17a – know what I’m looking for but no sign of either penny dropping yet. Shall put it aside & hope for inspiration later. Am with T where admiration for The Modfather is concerned. 1&27a my joint favs here.
    Thanks to Cephas & Senf

  33. Found this a bit more challenging than usual for a Saturday, so it was all the more enjoyable.

    Struggled with 6d for ages until the penny dropped. This enabled me to get 17a.

    Never heard of 27a but was obvious from the checkers.

    Thanks to all.

    1. Opposite for me. The synonym for bother eventually came (tenuous methinks) & thus the collective noun for the birds but the penny yet to drop with the other one.

  34. This was just right for me, with a mix of easy, middlin’, and ‘I think I need to think about thats’. Thank you to Cephas and to Senf for all his hints and comments.
    I missed yesterday’s blog as I was travelling (very slowly for too long) up the A1, although I did manage to finish the crossword in reasonable time.
    Just to bore you all, when the first lockdown began a WhatsApp group was set up for our small estate, and proved very useful. However, one person consistently sent not so nice messages, verging on nasty. I mention this because his name is Brian, and he was eventually removed from the App. If you are now thinking what is it with that name, then don’t! I’m married to a Brian and he is a lovely man.

  35. I’m really stuck on those 10a sweets. Can anyone please help me out of my misery!

  36. Forgive me if this has already come up and been discussed before, but has anyone ever established that Brian is not a troll (as opposed to a grumpy man)?

    I have noticed that he never responds (that I have seen) to comments and/or questions about his posts.

    The vast majority of people here are rightly in awe of the crossword setters, but Brian seems to thinks a difficult crossword means a poor setter.

    1. ‘Brian’ is an anagram of ‘brain’. Which suggests to me he’s really an alias for a certain other member of the blog (whose name I won’t mention!) 👀

  37. I really enjoyed this puzzle – not to taxing for the time of the evening/night that I started it. Several made me chuckle – 6d, 7d, 12d, but my favourite has to be either of 1a or 12a – I opt for 12a. Nice and gentle, but a satisfying solve on which to retire to bed. My thanks to todays setter.

  38. DNF – perhaps due to long day of hosting family gathering – so reassured to see Kath’s comment. It seems BD site is changing its character – the boss is sorely missed but do hope BD you are mending.🌈🌈

  39. Morning all – I’m late to the party but after some help.
    I’m confused by 15a – I have a word for ‘opening’ and it also means ‘opening to take money’ but I don’t think it means ‘take money’ so I’m not sure it is very cryptic. So I think I might have the wrong answer!

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      You will have to remember to look at the full review on Friday to see how my (3,5) hint ‘works.’

      But I will try again.

      To reach the 8 (not 4-4) letter answer that is equivalent to the definition of ‘gap’ you have to find a phrase that is equivalent to ‘isn’t complete’ – the enumeration of this phrase is (3,5) – which is a homophone (as has been said) of the 8 letter answer.

      What crypticsue wrote in the comment 12 thread might help.

  40. I am still none the wiser for 6d yet, in spite of many helpful comments!!
    I have every letter except the unchecked ones!
    How I wish someone could help put me out of my misery 😪 😕

    1. As this is a prize puzzle, salvation will be at hand when the full review is posted on Friday.

      Or, you could search for on-line solving resources of which there are plenty.

  41. I got stuck with the herons. Who’d have known that? … clearly not me! … I do now.
    I found 6d a little odd.

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