DT 30262 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30262

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30262

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

BD Rating  -  Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday.  Today we have another challenging and enjoyable Friday puzzle.

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.



1a    Vain individual requiring top German wine, reportedly ... (7)
PEACOCK:  Homophones (reportedly) of top and a German wine 

9a    ... drink always imbibed by British date (8)
BEVERAGE:  A synonym of always sandwiched between (imbibed by) the single letter for British and another word for date 

10a   Put on new coat with narrow back, keeping trendy (7)
REPAINT:  The reversal (back) of a verb synonym of narrow containing (keeping) trendy or fashionable 

11a   Mammal, rabbit, hid regularly amongst grass all around (5,3)
FRUIT BAT:  Alternate letters (regularly) of RABBIT HID inserted in (amongst) grass or lawn, with the letters then all reversed (all around)

12a   Exert pressure on sleuth somehow (6)
HUSTLE:  An anagram (somehow) of SLEUTH 

13a   Scottish football club being mostly obdurate (10)
LIVINGSTON:  Being or existing with all but the last letter (mostly) of a synonym of obdurate 

15a   Bowls over with second ball turning, claiming wicket (4)
WOWS:  The single letter for “with” is followed by the reversal (turning) of both the single letter for second and the round letter, all containing (claiming) the cricket abbreviation for wicket 

16a   Fifty university fellows blocking review of book earnings (9)
EMOLUMENT:  The Roman 50, the single letter for university, and some fellows all joined and inserted in the reversal (review of) a big book

21a   Check hotel key (4)
HALT:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel with a key found on a computer keyboard 

22a   Peacekeepers' secretary-general perhaps not confirmed (10)
UNOFFICIAL:  The abbreviation for an organization supplying peacekeepers with what secretary-general defines by example (perhaps

24a   Going out with sexy body, bust, repeatedly exposed (6)
EXODUS:  SEXY BODY BUST minus the outer letters on each word (… repeatedly exposed

25a   Terrible despair across America? Bliss! (8)
PARADISE:  An anagram (terrible) containing the single letter for America 

27a   Type of irrigation restricted by protocol on Iceland (7)
COLONIC:  The answer is hidden in (restricted by) the remainder of the clue 

28a   Diamonds, yellowish-white, 99 maybe (3,5)
ICE CREAM:  An informal name for diamonds with a yellowish-white colour.  The definition is by example (maybe

29a   Cut broadcaster admits is inadequate (7)
SKETCHY:  A satellite TV channel contains (admits) cut with a scraping tool 



2d    Will's responsible person as Devon banker, dividing gold (8)
EXECUTOR:  Link together a Devon river (banker = something with banks), a synonym of dividing, and the heraldic abbreviation for gold 

3d    Conservative is in rush to become whip (8)
CHASTISE:  The single letter for Conservative is followed by IS from the clue inserted in another word for rush 

4d    Pasta from tin Lionel cooked around noon (10)
CANNELLONI:  A  synonym of tin and an anagram (cooked) of LIONEL containing (around) the single letter for noon 

5d    Tolerate  rude fellow (4)
BEAR:  A straightforward double definition 

6d    Extremely sensitive rugby player, 14 (6)
SEWING:  The outer letters (extremely) of SENSITIVE with a rugby player 

7d    Day of rest that occasionally pop group's taken up (7)
SABBATH:  The reversal (taken up) of alternate letters (occasionally) of the fusion of THAT with a Swedish pop group with their ‘S from the clue

8d    Old nautical instrument remaining after last of bids (7)
SEXTANT:  After the last letter of BIRDS comes a synonym of remaining 

11d   Pet belonging to us feeds at five, roughly (9)
FAVOURITE:  A word meaning “belonging to us” is inserted in (feeds) an anagram (roughly) of AT FIVE 

14d   Criminal world keen to pinch European tapestry, say (10)
NEEDLEWORK:  An anagram (criminal) of WORLD KEEN containing (to pinch) the single letter for European. Say indicates that the definition is by example 

17d   Dispense with goalkeeper's pass to team member? (5,3)
THROW OUT:  A description of a goalkeeper’s pass to a team member 

18d   Do well, rather like a constituent in Rye? (8)
FLOURISH:  A cryptic definition of “like an ingredient” in a rye bread 

19d   Delinquent pair at first illegally entering school (7)
CULPRIT:  An abbreviation for pair with the first letter of ILLEGALLY all inserted in (entering) a synonym of school 

20d   Palace attendant has no time for tour guide (7)
COURIER:  A palace attendant minus the physics abbreviation for time (has no time) 

23d   Hat for a journalist to wear (6)
FEDORA:  A usual abbreviated journalist inserted in (… to wear) FOR A from the clue 

26d   Hands over, making exchange (4)
SWAP:  The reversal (over) of some hands like the ones in this cat displaying her bikini 


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  SCENT + DEGRADE = CENTIGRADE

125 comments on “DT 30262
Leave your own comment 

  1. 4.5*/2.5*. I struggled with this today, especially in the NE corner with 15a, despite its nice cricketing surface, holding out for quite a time. I did enjoy some of the clues but overall found the puzzle slightly disappointing for a Friday.

    I can’t quite convince myself that “dividing” in 2d is a synonym for “cut”. Can anyone suggest an example which shows they can be equivalent?

    I am also not sure about the parsing of 18d unless Rye is referring to rye bread, which is an American expression.

    15a was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. On 2d – If it is any help, which I suspect it isn’t, ‘dividing’ is in the entry for ‘cut’ in the Small Red Book. With my barely passed English O-level, I can accept ‘dividing’ and ‘cutting’ meaning the same thing.

      On 18d – it does seem that our setter is referring to bread rather than whiskey.

    2. Hi RD,

      How about “the thieves found the dividing of the loot to be a problem”/”the thieves found the cut of the loot to be a problem”?

      The BRB says rye for rye bread is “chiefly North American”, so not exclusively. I try to do my research and check such things, you know!

          1. I don’t understand the problem where rye is concerned. It is simply a cereal crop similar to wheat and barley and apparently hailed from Russia.

            1. Jane, yes rye is a ubiquitous crop, but Collins and I both think that the term “rye bread” is American. Even the BRB says it’s “chiefly NA”, but that is sufficient justification for Silvanus not to have indicated it.

              1. I’m with you all the way, Jane. Rye is perfectly okay. It’s my COTD as I love clues that have those last three letters at the end of the answer because you can have great fun with it.

                Silvanus gave me a right going over in the NW corner. So much so that I had to revisit the crossword a few times. Having ‘testator’ as my answer for 2d, thinking that the River Test was in Devon, didn’t exactly help. Doh!

                If you didn’t know it was Friday before taking on this challenge you most certainly did afterwards.

                It took me an age to get my teeth into it but got there in the end.

                I need to lie down….


                  1. This is very true.

                    My knowledge of rivers is normally pretty good. Where I fall down is the Fs: flora, fauna, fish and all things flying.

                    1. TS65. Talking of rivers, Southampton is flanked by the river Test to the left and the river Itchen to the right. In the 60s, our Geography teacher Tom Brown had lots of mnemonics to remember all sorts of features in their correct positions. But he didn’t have one for these two rivers, so we invented one for him – Me testicles are itchin’. :-)

              2. Who’s not heard of “rye bread”? What difference does it make that it’s not intrinsically British. According to my research, its historical roots lie in Europe and Asia. Give me strength!!

                1. That mnemonic is brilliant!

                  If you need to throw Soton into the mix….My soton testicles are itchin.

                  So, you actually had Tom Brown’s school days.

                  My week is complete.

      1. Many thanks, Silvanus. It’s always very welcome when a setter takes the time to engage with the commentariat.

        Your example for 2d works, and since posting I came up with “the class, dividing/cut into two groups, was organised for the role play exercise”, although I do that think “cutting” is the more likely synonym to be used in practice.

        Regarding Americanisms, I tend to find that Collins is more attuned to my radar than the BRB, as is the case here, . I was mildly surprised to see the latter qualifying this one with “chiefly”, but am in no doubt whatsoever that you would have checked it!

  2. Even for a Friday, a bit of a head scratcher and it seems that our beloved and esteemed editor may be re-establishing sequencing of the Friday triumvirate as we had proXimal two weeks ago, Zandio last week, and the smoothness of today’s cluing very strongly suggests that Silvanus is the setter – 3*/4.5*

    I needed e-confirmation of the Scottish football club as my knowledge of that subject does not extend very far beyond Rangers, Celtic, and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 28a, and 2d – and the winner is 28a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

    1. Got to be the best ever headline when ICT surprisingly beat Celtic – super Caley go ballistic Celtic are atrocious

          1. You’ve used a different alias from your previous comment so this required moderation. Both versions will work in future.

  3. For me this puzzle threatened to be rather more challenging than it turned out to be, though unquestionably the most tricky backpager of the week – nothing leapt from the page following a quick glance at the NW so started in the SW instead, and happily it all went smoothly from there, finishing in the NE.

    Wanted 6d to be sequin (it parses and is used in 14d), but that wouldn’t work with the two of the crossers; for me 1a does not work: ock is not a homophone of hock; and while I can make an argument for it, I still don’t feel entirely comfortable with 16a being in the singluar when the clue is in the plural. Minor niggles all, and even the various odd surface readings did not overly detract from an otherwise solid and enjoyable puzzle. Hon Mentions to 11a & 24a (clever clues, odd surfaces), 27a, 29a & 14d; COTD for me the ISIHAC-ish 18a.

    2.5 / 3

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  4. Like RD, I really struggled with this and found somenof the clues difficult to fathom, although, for me, it was the NW , which held me up. Witth the aid of Mr Oogle’s list of Scottish football clubs and the thesaurus, I did finish the puzzle, but, annoyingly, put the wrong answerc in 15a. I thought 24a was a clevwr clue and, having read Mr K’s excellent hints, I can see that 10a is also clever, although the parsing wasn’t completely clear to me. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler for the stringent brain stretching session.

  5. My first puzzle in a few days and a definite top end ***/**** but with some crafty clues that belied great quality. 17&18d were my equal favourites today. I would like to know who the setter is. Mr K on form as ever. Thanks to both. I’m

  6. Very, clever and very difficult.
    Got there in the end, though, but time considerably extended by yet another pesky four letter word, 15a.
    Certainly my COTD.
    Memo to self: Always remember the first letter of a certain conjunction.
    So much brilliance and misdirections eg 18d.
    In summary, 3.5/4*
    Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

  7. This certainly took me longer than usual to sort out, especially some of the parsing, notably 11a and 18d. If this was indeed by one of my favourite setters, Silvanus, I must respectfully suggest that it is below his normal high standard, yet still most entertaining. 16a was my favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  8. Now that was hard work! Surely some Toughies can be easier than this? But it is finished and checked against this helpful aid, just in case. Thank heaven for a couple of inspired guesses that panned out.

  9. This is the second time this week that our brilliant ‘Hints and tipsters’ have awarded a 4* difficulty rating. Rather disheartening for us grafters. Hints have revealed some really tenuous similes along with contorted constructions. I don’t ask for a 2* difficulty standard every day but isn’t the Toughie the platform for this level of challenge?

    1. You’re whistling Dixie! A few of us have been beating that to death … and I always wonder how many of the commenters who profess huge enjoyment for a **** puzzle don’t do the Toughie. Does that make sense? Why bother print the Toughie?

      1. Thank you Merusa. Tried to think of a cleaver word play on ‘whistling Dixie’, but all too complicated and/or obtuse. Hopefully something more enjoyable (****) tomorrow.

  10. This is the trickiest back-pager of the week (as we should expect on a Friday) and very enjoyable – many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.
    Like RD I had difficulty in coming up with an example of cut meaning dividing (2d) but I see that Silvanus has now provided one.
    My medals are awarded to 10a, 15a and 18d.

  11. People are finding this difficult because the quality / parsing of quite a few clues isn’t great eg 13a ,15a, 7d, 18d, 19d . Hope for better with the Toughie !

    1. Interesting how some of the clues you have specified as lacking in quality have been picked out by others as their favourites. One man’s/woman’s meat is another one’s poison, it seems.

  12. Many thanks to Mr K and to all those commenting, even the several grumpy ones today.

    May I wish everyone a good weekend.

    1. And a good weekend to you! I didn’t really have any problems apart from 15a for which I had to reveal Mr K’s answer. I’m a sport, I hope, but not a sporty type apart from tennis and 13a, 17d and 6d were all bung ins! Many thanks for the workout.

    2. Keep doing what you’re doing, SVS.

      I love your crosswords though my pre-match warm-up is always a tad longer, knowing what’s coming up.

      1. Thank you, although anyone wondering why more setters don’t engage with the commenters need look no further than Comment No 23 for the reason.

        1. Ignore Our Brian, silvanus. He is on a different planet to the rest of us and, as I have said at #23, I will take his comments seriously when he produces a cryptic of his own. After all, he does claim to know a great deal about how clues should be constructed.

          I do hope “Our Brian” doesn’t stop compilers from joining in. We all value your visits to the blog.

        2. Silvanus, thank you for an absolutely ripping puzzle today. Believe it or not, I enjoyed every minute of my struggle to finish, which I happily did. Had no problem with the homophone, nor 15a. It was just the cult=school that caught me out at the end, but my informed guess (ha ha!) for the definition was a good one. Respect the naysayers today, but don’t lose sleep over them, especially Brian.

          1. Thank you very much, Robert. Sound advice as always.

            I always look forward to your contributions because I can guarantee they will be interesting, well-balanced and invariably erudite. You add a different perspective that is greatly valued by me, in fact when composing clues that might be somewhat UK-centric, I often think to myself “would Robert know that particular reference?”. I’m very glad that you discovered our little community.

  13. Tough for me today. Had to use the most excellent hints for 18d and 19d…..not sure I would refer to rye bread as rye, but Silvanus has spoken.
    Laughed at 27a though I suspect that not many laughs are involved in the process.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K.

  14. Very, very tough for me but I finally got there in the end as 19d, which I’d stared at for the longest, finally fell. I think that this is the most challenging Silvanus puzzle I’ve ever finished on my own, but there were times when I thought I was a goner. Luckily, I remembered ’99’ from a previous cryptic and my bung-in (mostly) for 15a was another stroke of good fortune (‘awes’ kept coming to mind but solving 2d near the end took care of that quandary). 18d is my COTD. Thanks to Mr K and Silvanus. ****/****

  15. Crikey that was hard work. Reckon my brain still scrambled from completing yesterday’s Toughie in the wee small hours as this took longer than this week’s previous back-pagers combined. Didn’t peg it in running as a Silvanus production as the SW quadrant last to yield & an X in the other 3 had me assuming it was a proXimal puzzle & a 4th was due. Last in was 19d where it took an age to see the wordplay – can’t say the definition synonym sprang to mind & not too embarrassed to admit I checked to see if duopoid (seemed passable) was a word & if so certainly destined for THE LIST. Couldn’t parse 15a either.
    Picks for me 10,11,16&29a plus 3,14&18d.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to Mr K

  16. Well a toughie of a back pager with lots of difficult parsing, the NE quadrant raised the difficulty rating-particularly 11a- and I agree with Mr K;s ****/**** .
    Last in was 15a which gave me the D’oh moment, needed the initial checking letters for 13a
    Favourites were 10a 7d and 28a for its originality

    1. Hi,

      The intention was for the homophone to apply to the two syllables making up the solution together, not to apply to each separately.

      1. ;) Indeed.

        Unfortunately as a homophone it doesn’t work whether taken as being of two separate words or one single word. Unless you pronounce the bird with an h in the middle, or the wine without an h – like people who say they ‘ad too much ‘ock in the ‘otel and ‘ad to go to ‘ospital.

        But as I said above in my own comment above, a minor niggle which should not detract from an enjoyable puzzle, and I’m glad I can now properly express my thanks to the setter as being Silvanus!

        1. The majority of homophones will never satisfy everyone it appears, I suspect this could be another where regional differences in accent may make a difference.

          To me, and I’ve just said PEACOCK and PEAK HOCK multiple times together, their pronunciations are virtually indistinguishable and, although a Southerner, I’m definitely not a Cockney!

          1. S. I agree 100%. They are almost indistinguishable if you say them thus. No quibbles from me with anything in this puzzle!

          2. Of course you are right Silvanus.

            If you say ‘peak hock’ it sounds like the answer as you wouldn’t pause after saying peak. Of course you wouldn’t.

  17. Well that was a struggle but I did finish in the end but with several I had to wait for the hints to see how I got there, 24a being an example. Thank goodness we are going out to lunch as my brain is quite squished now! Anyway, thanks to the Silvanus and Mr K – absolute love the cat with the bikini! Can anyone suggest a new recipe for wild garlic of which I have loads. I’ve got wild garlic butter in the freezer along with pesto and soup and its delish in stir fries but I can’t think of anything else.

    1. Try it on roast chicken, Manders – season the skin, cover it with wild garlic leaves, and roast as usual. Part way through cooking remove the leaves – which by then will be crispy and delicious, having absorbed some of the chicken fat & seasoning – and let the skin brown & crisp as you normally would. A very gentle garlic flavour is imparted to the meat. Also works with other roast birds, including turkey, but with partridge and pheasant you need to give the birds some additional fat (butter or oil) before hand anyway given how much drier they tend to be.

      The leaves are also good in salads, as are the flower heads and in due course the seeds.

    2. Always fancied having a go at cheese making, I thought of a really nice crumbly Wensleydale wrapped in wild garlic leaves, I would call it Yorkshire Kclab as it would be similar to Cornish Yarg (named after the Gray family who invented it)and my surname is Black

      1. Should it not be Yorkshire Kcalb? Whatever – when you make it let me know, SJB. I love both cheese and garlic and your cheese sounds tasty. 🧀

          1. Not bothered about your backward spelling, SJB. Just let me know when the cheese is ready! 🧀🧀🧀 🤪

  18. Late coming to this as I had to make a brief trip to Plymouth in terrible driving conditions.
    For me, a super puzzle, well worthy of the Friday spot, with plenty of smiles and misdirection amidst the very cleverly constructed wordplay. Though not a speedy solve my only real problem was taking a while to see just how the clever 15a worked.
    I have a plethora of ticks, but I’ll opt to mention 10a plus 11,18&19d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

  19. Mildly satisfying reverse-engineering a couple of clues. Unfortunately my luck and skill ran out in NW and I needed Mr K’s handy hints to get me home. Thanks too to silvanus.

  20. Definitely a Friday-level back-pager but very enjoyable and satisfying to complete. I did have to check on the football team which apparently didn’t exist back in the days when my dad listened to the football results on the radio on Saturdays and the list got stuck in my head and – regardless of what the BRB has to say – I can’t equate ‘cut’ with ‘dividing’ – wrong ending in my view!
    As I mentioned in the thread @1, rye is simply a cereal crop akin to wheat and barley which actually hails from Russia.
    Top clues for me were 22&27a plus 17&18d with a nod to 29a for being a much better clue than the one used by another setter recently.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the review.

  21. I found this to be tough but it is Friday. I managed about 95% unaided but had to resort to Mr. K’s excellent hints to get me over the line. 15a completely stumped me as did 19d but the rest was most enjoyable.I always find clues like 24a creep up on me slowly because it takes my brain a while to work out what is needed. My COTD is 18d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge. Huge thanks to Mr. K. for the much needed hints and I really do not know how all the bloggers are able to solve the puzzle, write the blog then publish it in the short time they have.

    Wet in The Marches today so it’s Wellies and waterproofs for Hudson and I on our daily walk.

      1. Actually, he did, DG and came back in very wet. It didn’t seem to bother him much though. I think he likes water. He drops things into Hudson’s water bowl then spends ages trying to fish them out with his paws.

        1. Some do Steve, one of our Tonkinese managed to fall in our swimming pool quite often, but never bothered to give it a wide berth. And neither he nor his brother were ever deterred by a spray of water to stop them from whatever mischief they were up to.

          1. My grandkitten, Tibbles, was sitting wirth his front paws immersed in rhe water in my grandchildrens’ oaddling pool last summer. Presumably, he needed to cool off

            1. You could be right, CC. I seem to recall that cats cool down though their feet but where I heard that I cannot recall. I’m probably wrong.

    1. I think it is the bits in my orange juice that help me through the trickier ones ;) that and a good Laphroaigh

  22. Completed despite having IMHO some of the worst constructed clues I have ever seen in 1a, 11a, 15a, 29a, 7d and 19d.
    I thought these were absolutely dreadful. Just my opinion.
    Very little fun and definitely not up to the usual DT standard.
    Thx for the hints for explaining my answers to the above.

      1. That’s our Brian!

        With reference to Slur+Kermit at #40, I will take his comments seriously when he produces a cryptic of his own in Rookie Corner. 🤣

  23. Not a lot of fun to be had today and I had to call on assistance in order to complete particularly in the N. Some iffy clues e.g. 18d. Never heard of a 11a. Thank you Silvanus and MrK.

  24. A tough challenge, as befits a Friday, but got there in the end. Solving it on the phone whilst crawling up the A12 towards Aldeburgh certainly did not help the solving process. Don’t worry, Mrs Shabbo is doing the driving!
    Thanks, Silvanus, for the workout.

    1. One of my favourite places, and we always have a meal at The Lighthouse, wonderful atmosphere with Sam at the helm

  25. I see what you mean about the white bikini on the cat, well spotted. I was more concerned about how the animal got into that position. As I have already said , several of my answers were ‘it has to be’ and then I had to turn to Mr K for the why. It also didn’t help that I put chastens at 3d but I got there in the end. Typical April weather , pouring with rain one minute and warm sun the next. I liked the lurker but I think 24,28a and 6d (which I got all by my own and was very proud of). Yes I know I have ended a sentence with a preposition, Mrs Spridgeon. Many thanks to Messrs Silvanus & Kay, see you tomorrow. April already so soon.

  26. There goes my streak which stops at 4….my longest ever 😕.
    I found 15a and 19d a step too far. I liked 16a and the link between 6d and 14d.
    Thanks for the much needed hints and for the puzzle which helped me through the tail end of a cold.

    1. Well done on the run of four, G. I don’t think I have managed that yet. Three in a row is my claim to fame – so far.

  27. Welli enjoyed this even though it was difficult. I nearly put the wrong answer in for 15a until the right one popped into my head at the last minute. 11d was 3d. Thanks to Silvanus and Mr. K.

  28. Found this Friday puzzle in much the same league as Wednesday’s as it was really quite difficult to get into and I just was not getting on wavelength. Found clues hard to parse and many just never did. Guess that is the way it is at times … but this was not for me. Officially a DNF even with all the hints … quite the struggle.
    For me 15a is an awful clue and far too stretched to make sense and with the explanation, from Mr K, just confirms that.

    3.5*/1.5* … just didn’t enjoy this one. Too many I didn’t like … but that is my issue.

    Favourite by far was 28a … in fact it was the only favourite.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the much needed hints for those that I did manage to get.

  29. It is Friday and the heating is turned down. I was tripped up by the SW corner and a bit besides. Needed several hints and still didn’t get over the line. Is it fair to blame Silvanus for the chocolate that was nibbled ~ Yes , I think so. Moral of all this is just get more really good quality chocolate in before the end of next week.Thanks to all involved.

    1. It’s going on my shopping list as “chocolate to offset feelings of cruciverbal inferiority”. Good suggestion Dyslex!

  30. Too hard for me; only six answers without help, not many more with it. Not much fun today. Managed yesterday’s toughie without too much difficuly, both 4*…..?

  31. Challenging yes, actually very challenging, but enjoyable not for me. Another double Toughie day. I know it’s a Friday and I expect to be above my pay grade, but just 4 answers going in at first pass, I’m a DNF. I’m sure Mr K’s hints would help move me along, but after a restless night and barely 4 hours sleep I just don’t have the necessary drive to work my way through them. Well done to anyone who managed to finish this totally unaided.

      1. I should have as I had zero back and leg pains following the nerve block procedure. Alas my brain was fully wired and had no intention of sleeping….

  32. Oh dear, what a struggle. I needed far too much in the way of electronic help to make this enjoyable. Thanks anyway to Silvanus and Mr Kitty for all the effort. Tomorrow is a new day. I’m back in Northumberland for a few days so will be playing hunt the DT again in the morning.

  33. Pax!! This was no fun so I quit before I melted down. On the plus side, yesterday I found a cache of Codewords that I had printed but not done, so I have a lot to amuse if the DT wants to throw these at me. Off to the pool for my exercises!

  34. I’m in the too tough for it to be enjoyable camp. Fridays are generally not that enjoyable these days (for me)…. I can manage Silvanus on a good day (today wasn’t), ditto Proximal but Zandio is a complete mystery. Thanks to Mr K for the answers!

  35. Whew what a tricky and clever puzzle – thanks Silvanus not just for the challenge but also for engaging with the assorted contributors to this blog. Mr K I needed you today!

  36. An absolutely excellent puzzle! Great clues, a tough Friday challenge and a very enjoyable tussle. I have ticked a fair few and will pick 15a as my favoiurite – great surface misdirection. 4.5*/5*.

    *I do like a good, stiff challenge on a Friday and I was going to say (again) that I’d be happy with one like this every day of the week – but daren’t for fear that M might organise a lynch mob to come and get me! :-)

    1. I’m not into capital punishment – yet! I’m still using my poison pen … oh, by the way? Have you done the Toughie today?

  37. Just popped on to say I have not deserted or returned to lurking. The day has been too busy and stressful to even have time to look at the cryptic and I can see from the Mr K comment and star rating that I would need my brain in full working order to stand a chance. I may try later and certainly will read the comments.

  38. Late comment
    Thank you Silvanus for distracting me from the most appalling weather today for 3* time / 4 * for enjoyment
    I really liked this tougher Friday puzzle
    I have the utmost respect for any setter and am amused by some of the picky comments – just enjoy the challenge!
    Or try and and set a puzzle yourself

  39. 19d tripped me up today, I had the delinquent as a bum, p for pair and the first three letters of kindergarten as my school giving BUMPKIN. I would have taken far too long to sort out the right answer.
    My problem not Silvanus’ or MrK’s. Thanks to both for sorting the wheat (and other grains) out
    Tributaries of the Ouse are SUNWhaCkeD, Swale Ure Nidd, Wharfe, Aire, Calder, Don as taught by Mr Haigh in geography 46 years ago

    1. Cult does not equate to school in the BRB but it does in Chambers Thesaurus so definitely my research at fault not Silvanus’. Mea Culpa

  40. Good evening
    Well, this tricky blighter took me all bloomin day, but I got there, despite thinking at the start that I would never make it. Today was one of those days when you just have to put the crozzie down, go away and think about something else (work, in my case) and let the subconscious crack on, and see what comes up your back when you return to it. Thanks Silvanus ( a definite Crikey! for 1a) and to Mr K.

  41. I have finally digested the comments (the potential cheese sounds good], used the hints – thank you MrK and feel enlightened. I managed about three quarters before giving in as my brain ran out of steam, even with chocolate to help.

    Thanks to Silvanus for the challenge and for discussing the puzzle on here.

    The source of todays stress (in addition to the leak from the shower into the sitting room ceiling) was one of our 2 16 year old cats getting unwell, with weak legs and therefore needing an emergency vet visit. Fortunately this evening she seems more like herself.

  42. Indeed 4* for me both for difficulty and fun. Thanks Silvanus for the Friday mental gymnastics. Only 5 clues in on the first run through and I got the 4 letter cricketer wrong. Hey ho. Loved the variety of solving modes involved: the helpful anagrams, the well disguised lurker, the solid charades and the series of middle letters, whatever you call that. Now for a well deserved sleep!

  43. Late comment. Finished this now having left it over night. Last two in 5&6 . I don’t know why they were two of the easier clues. The last two Friday offerings have been benign, this certainly wasn’t. 18d baffled me, but it was in retrospect my favorite. Thanks Silvanus.

  44. I’m in the loved it camp.
    Fair cluing all round.
    A clear warning to stay off frozen food in 27a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the review.

  45. 4*/5*….
    liked 26A “Hands over, making exchange (4)” ….
    was pleasantly surprised with this puzzle, having read some of the comments before attempting to solve.

  46. Miserable 3 days wasted coming back to this one – South was ok, normalish but many clues were tenuous to say the least. Can’t see that answer to 19d is a synonym for delinquent by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy tough crosswords but they should answers should be in normal usage.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.