DT 30375 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30375

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30375
Hints and tips by Shabbo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

[Welcome to our new blogger Shabbo and many thanks to StephenL for his sterling work over several months doing ‘double duty’ as a temporary stand-in on the Thursday blog. Gazza]

Good morning, fellow puzzlers, from Welwyn Garden City, where it looks like summer has returned at last! This blogging lark is all new territory for me, so please be gentle with me! Many thanks to Gazza and Mr K for helping to steer this Luddite through the IT process. Any mistakes henceforward are entirely mine! I have underlined the definition element of each clue in my blog below.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle. I loved it!

Across Clues

1a Get down in well, having scratched both hands (6)
ALIGHT: a word (actually two) for fit and drop the abbreviations for each hand.

4a M*A*S*H, we go bananas for this TV programme (4,4)
GAME SHOW: bananas here is an anagram indicator. Rearrange the first eight letters of the clue.

9a Unique record (6)
SINGLE: double definition.

10a One who objects about socialist welcoming weird revolutionary (8)
DEMURRER: an abbreviation for about with another word for a socialist enveloping (welcoming) a synonym for weird and then turn it all round (revolutionary).

11a Cutting out going jogging perhaps, no interest essentially (8)
EXCISING: the “essential” part of interest is the middle bit. Remove this from a generic term for jogging etc.

13a Opening victory against party beginning to weaken (6)
WINDOW: an Ikea type clue – hopefully there won’t be any bits left when you have finished! Assemble words for victory and party and then add the first letter of weaken.

15a Type of fuel one lad reputedly developed, taking year off (8,6)
UNLEADED PETROL: an anagram (developed) of one lad reputedly without Y (year off).

18a Polish on stage becoming tense (7,7)
PRESENT PERFECT: a word for polish (a verb) follows a word for stage (another verb).

22a Plant at home, almost as before (6)
INSTIL: a word for “at home” followed by a word for “as before” with the last letter removed (almost) gives you the answer, which is another verb masquerading as a noun.

24a Supports son with small boy periodically over time (6,2)
STANDS BY: another Ikea/Lego/Charades clue. Abbreviation for son, another word for with, abbreviation for small and every other letter of boy. Stick an abbreviation for time in this lot and then go for a lie-down! Tricky one.

26a Fanaticism of many really discontented by Zulu elders’ leadership (8)
ZEALOTRY: two words representing many, the first and last letters of really (discontented) after the first letters of Zulu and elders.

27a Daily quantity of rum maybe top sailor knocked back (6)
RATION: abbreviations for top and sailor – join and reverse (knocked back).

28a Athlete excited to be silver medallist (6-2)
RUNNER-UP: synonyms of athlete and excited.

29a Beach accessories, say, and what they’re packed in? (6)
TRUNKS: double definition. First one being a “definition by example”.

Down Clues

1d Remedy not all physicians were to provide (6)
ANSWER: hidden word in “physicians were”.

2d Naivety that might be established in court? (9)
INNOCENCE: double definition

3d The Vatican in difficulty employing yes-men regularly (4,3)
HOLY SEE: every other letter of yes-men (regularly) inside (employing) a word for difficulty.

5d Service finally cross old man restricts over tip (4)
APEX: last letter (finally) of service with a letter looking like a cross after an abbreviation for father upside down (over).

6d Hard to catch European appearing in person across America (7)
ELUSIVE: abbreviation for European with abbreviation for America inside a synonym for “appearing in person”.

7d Husband nearing fury with daughter getting engaged (5)
HIRED: abbreviation for husband, synonym of fury, synonym of daughter – assemble.

8d Monster RHS exhibit possibly points upwards (8)
WEREWOLF: what you will see at the RHS and two points of the compass upside down (upwards).

12d Raw state of original song on the radio (6)
NUDITY: “on the radio” is a homophone indicator. Look for something that sounds like an “original song”

14d Bill needs escape in days before Christmas (6)
ADVENT: an abbreviation for bill/poster with an abbreviation for escape. £1 fine for our setter for mentioning the C word in August!

16d Withdrawal from period of economic decline (9)
RECESSION: double definition

17d Flipping sales people pressing hotel for alcoholic drink (8)
SPRITZER: abbreviation for sales people upside down (flipping) outside (pressing) a famous London hotel, which was the first steel-framed building in London. I know, I need to get out more!

19d Typical example of great book losing copyright (7)
EPITOME: two words describing a great book and ditch the abbreviation for copyright.

20d Resentfulness at heart over ugly amusement park (7)
FUNFAIR: the middle letter of resentfulness (at heart) followed by a synonym for ugly.

21d Has longing to visit some of Serengeti’s predators? (6)
HYENAS: a synonym for longing inside HAS, which our setter has kindly given us for nothing.

23d Country health resort has trendy following (5)
SPAIN: synonyms of health resort and trendy.

25d Language neighbour dubiously defends (4)
URDU: another hidden word (defends).


104 comments on “DT 30375

  1. I once drank six pints, put both of my contact lenses into one eye, then tried to do the crossword, that’s exactly as it felt doing this one today. Could not get on the same wavelength as the setter for love nor money. The moral is however, don’t give in to him (or her), so I kept at it and admittedly did quite a few in the reverse engineer mode. Last in was 21d, which was certainly in the RE bracket. All in all a very tough crossword, intrigued to see who set it, can’t be any harder tomorrow surely?

      1. Agreed far too hard for a back pager, another Toughie gone rogue. Once again two puzzles for the experienced and nothing for the rest of us.
        Needed the excellent hints to finish and to explain 3/4 of the clues.
        Thx for the hints

        1. You said it all for me. We all pay our subscriptions but only some get what they pay for every day. Rather like the milkman leaving whatever grade of milk he feels like that day.

          1. No it not rather like that at all.

            you pay for the daily telegraph crossword. They are not all at the same level of difficulty. This has been the case for as long as i can remember and is part of the attraction as far as i’m concerned.

            i am sure there are easier puzzles to which one could subscribe if that’s what’s wanted

            1. I don’t like the comment – “I’m sure there are easier puzzles to which one could subscribe”. A number of subscribers make comments about the difficulty of DT crosswords recently (and are probably not alone). Such opinions are important unless the DT back pager is to turn into something very different from where many of us started many years ago. I don’t mind the Thursday and Friday being hard although Wednesday was difficult also this week. Welcome Shabbo from St A just down the road – yes I needed a lot of your hints. Well done.

            2. When Lizzy says “only some people get what they pay for”, I suspect she means that some people get more out of their subscriptions than others. That would seem right to me and I sense you actually agree with that underlying proposition. Your view seems to be that different levels of difficulty is how it is and you like it that way; two tough cryptic crosswords on a Friday is part of what attracts you. You imply that people should take it or leave it. I get the feeling from recent comments that there are plenty of people who don’t bother on a Friday or don’t enjoy Fridays though. Where are the easier puzzles that you are sure exist please?

            3. I’ve been doing these since 1969, so I am fully aware of the varying difficulty levels. What is a newish trend, is for the backpager to be as tough as the Toughie, i.e. leaving little joy for the non Mensa crowd. If you take a look at how few people comment on the Toughie puzzle, it is clear that most are more comfortable with the backpager. I’m not looking for something easier as you suggest.

          2. As I don’t do the Toughie, I always look forward to Thursday and Friday.
            Thanks, DT.

            1. Seems many people who seem to enjoy the trickier backpagers don’t actually do the Toughie, strangely.

        2. Brian, how long does it take to become “experienced”?

          You and “Barrie” have been doing the DT cryptic on this site for as long as I can remember.

  2. A steady **/**** with some clever clueing I thought. Helpful anagrams and lurkers as per. Not sure who the setter is but I like the style. Thanks to our hinter and the setter.

  3. Excellent from top to bottom, my biggest problem was narrowing down a podium selection but I’ll go for 26a plus 3,6,8&21d as main contenders. No doubt as to top spot though, that goes to the brilliant Quickie Pun.
    Many thanks to the setter and welcome to Shabbo, I’m sure you’ll enjoy blogging all these great Thursday puzzles as much as I did.

      1. Thanks Angelov, much appreciated but I’ll be continuing with my Tuesday Toughie blogs.

  4. 2.5*/5*. I’m back for a few days before heading off again. What a gem of a puzzle this was to find on my return – crossword perfection!

    My page was littered with ticks and, after a struggle to pick a podium selection, my top picks are 13a, 27a & 12d. However, almost every clue came into consideration with a brilliant Quickie pun to round it off.

    Many thanks to the setter (Silvanus?) and to Shabbo, to whom a very warm welcome on an accomplished blogging debut.

  5. A typical Thursday but I had far too many bung-ins for my liking. I will need to look at the hints to check the parsing assuming, that is, my answers are correct but I consider them “intelligent bung-ins” given the checkers. Nevertheless, I did have several ticks over the paper. The polished stage at 18a raised a smile as did the Royal Horticultural Society’s monster at 8d but my COTD is The Vatican at 3d.

    My thanks to the setter for the challenge and Shabbo for the hints, which I will look at now for a few explanations.

    Many will know our cat, Perks. I am afraid I must report that the poor chap was killed on the road outside our house this morning. He was a great character and in his short life had endeared himself to Mrs. C, Hudson and myself as well as the neighbours but in the end he was too adventurous for his own good.

    1. Oh Steve, how absolutely ghastly, I am so sorry – it is just dreadful losing much loved pet especially in such a tragic way.

    2. Oh, Steve, I ‘ m so sorry to hear about Perks. We have had 3 cats killed on the road recently, one of them outside my hose, was left in the road, whilst I had to let the owner know. We live near a school andfolk are in too much of a hurry to deliver or collect their kids to pay attention to people’s precious animals. Perks knew he wasloved and cared for thanks to you.

    3. Really sorry to hear about Perks, he’ll be over the rainbow bridge now playing with all the other cats.

    4. Oh Steve, I’m so very sorry to hear your news. It doesn’t seem more than a few days ago that you were telling us how dubious he was about even setting a paw out of the house. I hope it’s of some consolation that he had a wonderful life with you.

    5. Oh no! We lost two long haired Abyssinians in the same way one after the other. It is heartbreaking, I’m so sorry.

    6. So very sorry to hear this sad news … I can relate.
      Many years ago in the late 1970’s when I was still in university and had a final in BioChem that day, I went out to my car to drive to UBC and I saw our poor cat in the road, who had been hit by a car some time in the night. She had adopted us and she was a real sweetie. Picked her up, put her in the car on a soft blanket, drove to take my exam and then had to stop at the vet on the way home. Was a very difficult day.

      Thoughts are with you all.

    7. So sorry to hear that Steve, it happens far too often. He had a wonderful life with you. We are grateful that our two cats have opted to stay in the garden and avoid the road,

    8. Oh dear, that is terrible. I am so sorry for you and Mrs C, and to Hudson who will also miss him. Losing a pet is truly dreadful. I am sure he very much enjoyed living with you both.

    9. Oh dear, SC,
      We’ve just had got back from a seven hour plus journey from Pembrokeshire – got thought I’d have a quick look at the blog to see if I’m the other one who can’t do the crossword today . . . . . I’m so sorry – some things take the priority and this is it.

      1. Sorry to hear that Steve. As you know I’m no stranger to the death of animals so I know exactly what you’re going through.

    10. Such sad news Steve. Our pets become part of the family and its so sad when we lose them especially at such a young age. At least he had a good, though short life. One of our neighbours had a lovely young cat and it was killed outside our house. It was very distressing at the time and something I will never forget. Just have to remember the good times you have all enjoyed together.

  6. This was one of those puzzles where the enjoyment increased as I worked my way through.

    Lots to enjoy here – the only one I found a little chewy was 5d, where the definition was obvious but untangling the surface was another matter.
    2*/4* Thanks to the setter, and to Shabbo for the write-up.

  7. As tricky a guzzle as one might expect on a Thursday. Itwas eminently doable, although, likevyesterdays crossword, some clues had clest solutiond thst wrre difficult to parse. Thanks to Shabbo for enlightenment with those and aa warm welcome to our new blogger. There were some jolly clever clues and shrewd misdirection, particularly in the tewo lego clues, 26a and 21d. My COTD, however, is8d, the lego clue with reversed ingredients. Thanks to the compiler for an enjoyable tussle.

  8. Welcome to the blogging team Shabbo; with Gazza’s and Mr K’s support, I am sure that in a few weeks you will feel like you have been doing this forever. And, of course, thanks to StephenL for his sterling Thursday efforts.

    For the ‘night owls’ and the foreign correspondents, you may have noticed that the puzzle grid on the ‘old’ web site was ‘not right’ – an extra column on the RHS and 15a moved to the right by one square. This resulted in me having to use the ‘new’ web site for the first time – not an enjoyable experience, but I did get the flag waving lady. Anyway, an e-mail to our esteemed editor at 12:45am (UK time) and he had the problem fixed about 6 hours later (when he was released from the arms of Morpheus?). Thank you.

    Now to the puzzle. Just right for a non-Ray T guess the setter Thursday and, with the 12d two element homophone, two half-crowns on the member of the Friday triumvirate who often ‘moonlights’ on a Thursday – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 26a, 12d, 17d, and 21d – and the winner is 12d.

    Thanks to Silvanus, or whomsoever if my five bob goes down the drain, and thanks and well done to Shabbo.

  9. Nicely testing. Solved in a haphazard way dodging hither and thither. Failed to fully parse 11a bung-in and to notice top synonym in 27a which has now become joint Fav together with 8d. Thank you Mysteron and welcome back Shabbo.

  10. A tricky puzzle for me today and I was very satisfied to complete it.
    Last in, and my favourite, was 21d, in fact liked the SE corner as a whole and top draw 12d
    Going for a ****/****.
    The Quickie Pun was from another planet- plaudits for our setter.

  11. Apologies – a couple of blogging errors:
    Definition underlining is missing from 27a (daily content of rum) and 17d (alcoholic drink).
    In 26a – the last word in the explanation should be “elders” not “leadership”.
    I am not yet clever enough to do corrections after publishing, so please accept my apologies again.

    1. I just automatically assumed you’d deliberately thrown in a couple to make me feel better. 😊

    2. Sorry to point out another error on your first day, Shabbo. Shouldn’t the second part of the answer to 22a be a word for “as before”, minus the last letter (almost)?

  12. Terrific puzzle. Having tackled yesterday’s excellent Silvanus Toughie late last night I too wouldn’t be in the least surprised if this is one of his also. 1,11,13,24&26a plus 3,8,12,17&20d are my top 10 but there’s not a dud in there. Top spot for me goes to 26a with 12d 28a.
    Thanks to the setter/Silvanus, a big welcome into the blogging team to Shabbo ,just down the road in Welwyn GardenCity, & of course huge thanks to Stephen for doing double duty for so long.
    Ps my details have been recognised for the first time in a while.

  13. A top-notch puzzle – many thanks to the setter and thanks to Shabbo for a very impressive first blog.
    I have masses of ticks including 18a, 3d, 6d, 8d and 21d but the highlight for me was the brilliant Quickie pun.

  14. Brilliant! This took quite a lot of teasing out but I enjoyed it all, helped initially by the long anagram at 15a and the fact that 1 and 4a fell straight away. One or two back to front answers to sort out – I especially liked 10a and 8d in that category.The lurkers at 1 and 25d both had good surface reads. Difficult to choose a favourite but 12d gets my vote for the amusement value. Podium places for 20a and 3d. Thanks to today’s setter for the enjoyment and Shabbo for showing me the parsing of 27a. Welcome to the Thursday blogging spot Shabbo.

  15. I really liked this but thought maybe a 2 not a 3? 6d, a favourite despite my thinking of an alternative starting Eva….but luckily holding off. Till 10a changed my mind! 10a is one of those words that seem to have gone out of fashion for ‘objector’ ? When last heard? 27a raised a smile.
    Thanks to setter !

    1. I see I ‘ve got Eva written in the margin then crossed out when 10a struck. Yes, not an everyday word!

  16. A fantastic mix of fun and challenge for me. The NW corner proved impenetrable at first so had to start in the NE and work my way clockwise around the grid back to 1d, which was my LOI. My old adage was proven once again – if I have no inkling whatsoever, check for a lurker. COTD was the pining predators of the Serengeti in 21d although I did also like the hotel reference in 17d. Thanks to the setter; thanks and welcome to Shabbo. Sorry to hear about Perks Steve. May he RIP in cat heaven.

  17. Congratulations to Shabbo on his first blog

    Congratulations to Widdersbel on his move to my side of the NTSPP blogging rota with the publication of his first crossword in today’s Independent

    RIP Perks

  18. Really good to see you joining the blogging team, Shabbo, and what an accomplished start you’ve made!
    I reckon we’ve been treated to an extra dose of Mr Smooth today which is always guaranteed to put a smile on my face as are brilliant Quickie puns like today’s.
    Hard to award podium places so I’ll go with my first thoughts of 1&28a plus 3,12&19d.

    Thanks to our great compiler and to Shabbo for stepping up to the plate on the blogging front – hope your debut hasn’t proved too frightening!

    1. Yes Jane, the clever Quickie pun of The Honourable Member for the Eighteenth Century amused me too!

  19. Welcome to Shabbo! I needed your hints for 21d but slugged away at the rest on the journey from Exeter home. Next stop Paddington. A nice struggle to keep me occupied. 12d was a laugh out loud moment but 17 d is my favourite as I could do with one right now. Many thanks to the setter and Shabbo.

  20. Loved this guzzle today, especially 8d and 9d.
    Welcome to Shabbo and thanks to the setter for today’s challenge.

  21. Even though this is not a RayT week, this puzzle definitely had its tricky and head scratching moments. Took a lot of thought on many clues to finally get the answers.
    15a was printed wrong in the one I downloaded as the square to the left of 15 should have been white, so 8,6 was the correct split.

    2.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 9a,15a, 1d, 2d & 17d with winner 15a.

    The last one in for me was the very well hidden lurker in the NW. Took me forever … then the penny dropped.

    Thanks to setter & Shabbo for hints … and welcome!

  22. Many thanks and a big welcome to Shabbo, I hope that our paths will cross again soon. Thank you to all those kind enough to leave comments.

    As a cat owner, I’m truly devastated to read Steve Cowling’s earlier message. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but I sense that what happened hasn’t come as a complete shock, so maybe there have been some near misses and a few of Perks’ nine lives may have already been lost “playing with the traffic”. I live on a fairly busy road and it’s always an abiding dread of mine that something like this might happen to my own cat, although I think fortunately he is more scared of the world outside the front gate than inquisitive about it. My sincerest condolences to the Cowlings.

  23. Thanks to SL for stepping in and welcome to Shabbo. I rarely comment as I normally do the crossword after lunch (3pm) and it’s usually too late to join in the conversation but today is an exception to my routine.

    I enjoyed the crossword, especially 18ac when I finally got the parsing. But the parsing of 27ac stumped me, so I took a look at the hint, but was still Jonny Bairstowed. Only when I showed Mrs SW the hint did the penny drop (Mrs SW doesn’t do the crossword). But that left me thinking … are the last 3 letters (reversed) “abbreviations” for “top”? I looked in the BRB (1977) but nothing there.

    Would be interested in others’ views.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Shabbo (I’m sure you’ll do a very good job).

      1. I understand the No 1, but is it an abbreviation or as the hints indicated “abbreviations”

        “No” is definately an abbreviation. But “1”?

          1. Thanks RD. of course I know that.

            But, and I’ve checked further in BRB, “No” is an abbreviation for numero (number) – “1” is not an abbreviation. I cannot find a definition for “No. 1” as a whole.

            But I was curious because the hint indicated “abbreviations” (plural) and that is what jonny bairstowed me😎

            1. I think you read the 1 as a Roman numeral, i.e, ‘i’. I guess the two abbreviations are the abbreviation for number and the abbreviation for the old waterproof sailor’s hats from which, I think, the relevant nickname for sailor derives.

              1. Tar is not an abbreviation. It is a synonym for sailor.

                As for the rest I think you’ve missed the point.

                I know that No. 1 is a shortened version of Number 1, but I do not believe that as a whole it is an abbreviation or “abbreviations” as mentioned in the hint.

                I think we’d best leave it at that.

  24. Thanks for your blogs Stephen and looking forward to yours Shabbo. The lurcker that jumped for me in 1a was Physic, which can also mean remedy. It took me a while to realise something was wrong and answer was indeed the answer. Compliments to the setter and Shabbo for the extras. Cheers 🦇

    1. Physic is what I saw first too, too much Gothic literature! Getting worse at this lurking business. Will have to go back into hiding.

  25. I was DNF with this in the SW, so I’ve looked up Shabbo’s excellent hints for the answers. It’s that time again when I have to do my exercises, so I’ll come back later and read the comments. It’s Thursday, too advanced for me, though I did enjoy what I could do. Far too many bungins, I just couldn’t see the why, and four holes in the SW. I thought of 17d but couldn’t justify it so left it blank. Oh dear, it’ll probably be worse tomorrow … oh well, there’s always Saturday to look forward to.
    Thank you setter, and mush appreciate your hints Shabbo, well done for a maiden innings (is that the correct phrase?).

  26. I had difficulty over the word used as a synonym for ugly in 20d. I would have used it to mean passingly good looking, f*** of countenance etc. But. Hey. What do I know.
    Thanks for Silvanus and his brave attempts to save me from dementia and to Shabby for the parsing

    1. Peter, the word you need is not f*** but unf*** (a whimsical Crosswordland term for unattractive).

  27. Completed in the car whilst heading to Basildon Park for a wander as the weather is lovely here today. Several went in with me not knowing the why until I reviewed the hints (5d and 10a) Some really clever clues which I really enjoyed cracking. I think 21d was my favourite but it could have been 8d. 1d as ever was a great lesson in remembering to look for a lurker.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Shabbo for the excellent hints and to Stephen for having stood in.

  28. I didn’t have high hopes after yesterday, and this being Thursday, enough said. I’ve done about 75% but finding little enjoyment. Most of my answers have been reverse engineered and a lot from checkers, and some I still cannot parse. But it’s not the end of the world. Glad a lot of people enjoyed. Thanks to Shabbo and congrats on today’s blog, particularly as you have jumped right in with picture clues as well.

  29. Another lovely guzzle, to coin a phrase. Apart from the 16a grid error, which I quickly spotted by the asymmetry when trying to put in the answer. Foxed too by the wrong 5d ‘tip’ for a while.
    Almost too many to like, but 27a just makes it for the face-slap moment!
    Many thanks to Silvanus and to our newbie blogger, Shabbo.

  30. An age to get started.
    Once, though, 15 and 18a were cracked,
    A faster progress to completion.
    Outstanding 10a is my COTD.
    Nicely stretched the grey matter
    Thanks, Sylvanus, for the mental
    And welcome and thanks Shabbo.

  31. Thanks Shabbo for the hints although amazingly I didn’t need them. It took me all day and several revisits but all complete and parsed by this evening. Thanks Sylvanus for a definitely challenging but very enjoyable crossword.

  32. Been absent for a while, being unable to find the time to complete the daily challenge! I decided I would have some me time in the garden on this lovely evening, with a puzzle enjoying the swallows dancing about the sky.
    This was an absolute corker from start to finish, fair but hard with some of the parsing taking a bit of time to understand.


    Fav 10a LOI 1d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and congratulations to Shabbo on their first blog!

  33. Firstly a welcome to Shabbo. 10a loi. Some good and enjoyable clues with 12d as best of the bunch. Thanks to Silvanus and s Shabbo.

  34. Fab crossword with some great clues (looking at you 8d) and enough tetchy snorters to keep the head-scratching going for a while (looking at you 10a). Cheers Silv and Shab 😁

  35. I rather enjoyed this today. I must have been on the Silvanus wavelength, because this was not as difficult for me as some others.

    Three cheers for Shabbo today too!

    I will take this opportunity to say a big thanks to ALL involved in this amazing blog, especially Big Dave (RIP). Because of this blog, my crossword enjoyment and ability has improved in leaps and bounds. I have had my wibbles in the past, about the level of difficulty etc, but the DT cryptic is a significant and important part of my daily routine. Long may it continue!

  36. Good evening
    First things first: my condolences to Steve Cowling and family, what an awful thing to have happened.
    Welcome Shabbo and thanks for your hints.
    I found today’s crozzie a tough call, but I made it eventually; although entering “STICKS BY” for 24a was hardly helpful…
    COTD has to go to 12d, and 8d is an absolute belter!
    Thank you again, Shabbo, and my thanks to Silvanus

  37. Thank you all for your kind words regarding Perks. Mrs C and I appreciate them. Perks had only just turned one year old and I was sure he was road savvy. He would always sit and listen before crossing. Maybe something spooked him but we will never know.

    Also, I completely forgot to congratulate Shabbo on his debut as a blogger. Well done and here’s to many more. 👍👍

  38. Thank you Silvanus for an excellent and enjoyable puzzle. Too many good ones to pick a favourite. I liked the few simpler ones that gave a foothold into the more complex. 10a my last in requiring much head scratching.
    Thank you Shabbo for a great first blog with very clear explanations.
    Thank you all of Big Dave’s for running this wonderful site that I read nearly everyday, sharing snippets of news from some of our regular commenters with Mr NJ.
    And many commiserations to SC on Perk’s sad demise.

  39. Much of this was way beyond my pay grade, but having looked at the answers, COTD (which I did work out myself) has to be 27a. Thanks to all.

  40. 3*/4* …
    liked 17D “Flipping sales people pressing hotel for alcoholic drink (8)”

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