DT 30447 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30447

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,447
Hints and tips by Shabbo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found this quite tricky. A paucity of anagrams perhaps didn’t help, but it was slow and steady for me and I ended up jumping around the grid a bit in search of a decent foothold. Four double definitions helped keep the average word count down to about 6.5 words per clue.

Wet today here in Hertfordshire, but at least we have been spared the gale force winds forecast for other parts of the country today. My sympathy if you are afflicted by these. A day for log fires, crosswords and avoiding DIY.

In my blog below, the definition element of each clue has been underlined and anagrams are CAPITALISED. The answers are concealed under the “Click Here” buttons. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and what you thought of the puzzle.



1a Do some embroidery? (10)
EXAGGERATE: a cryptic definition to start off with. Some lateral thinking required.

6a Turning around, stagger out to lunch (4)
NUTS: a synonym for stagger (as in surprise) reversed (turning around).

9a Still sweltering in post office (5)
PHOTO: a word meaning sweltering inside (in) abbreviation for Post Office.

10a One looking after currency: Darling, second to Brown (9)
TREASURER: Another word meaning darling + the second letter of bRown. The setter is perfectly entitled to put in spurious capitals to help deceive the poor solver, but omitting capitals that should be there is strictly taboo.

12a Agreeing panto resolves rift between young and old? (10,3)
GENERATION GAP: a rare anagram indicated by “resolves”. Jumble up the letters of AGREEING PANTO.

14a Objects when rice is cooked with salt (8)
ARTICLES: a bit like London buses…here is another one. “Cooked” is the indicator and you need to rearrange the letters of RICE and SALT.

15a Hang on to some eggs (6)
CLUTCH: a double definition.

17a Withholding punishment (6)
HIDING: another double definition.

19a What could be made with Apple Store’s income? (8)
TURNOVER: …and another! I really like this clue. Another example of potentially misleading capitals and a prime example of why the solver should always read each word individually and on its own merits. I’m sure most of us will read Apple and Store as one. Clever.

22a Rebuke for soldiers tense about revolutionary reunion (13)
RAPPROCHEMENT: a lego clue: synonym for rebuke + synonym for “for” + synonym for soldiers + abbreviation for tense outside (about) crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary from Cuba/Argentina.

24a Crustacean found in forest, lake and river (9)
WOODLOUSE: another lego clue: assemble synonym for forest (albeit smaller) + abbreviation for lake + the river that flows through York.

25a Redo Medici shields like Florence Cathedral (5)
DOMED: the answer is hidden (shields) within the first two words.

26a Gardens on small slant (4)
SKEW: famous gardens in West London after (on) abbreviation for small.

27a Corporation trip, something enticing in Egypt? (5,5)
BELLY DANCE: a synonym for corporation (think tummy) + a synonym for trip (think light fantastic).


1d Notice unusual power given Yard
ESPY: three letter abbreviation for form of telepathy + abbreviation for yard

2d Surrounded by mangos, possibly tons (7)
AMONGST: anagram (possibly) of MANGOS + abbreviation for tons.

3d Train key personnel at airport? (6,7)
GROUND CONTROL: synonym for train (as in “instruct in first principles”) + a key on your keyboard. I would associate the definition more with space travel than airports, but Chambers says it is fine. Think Bowie’s Major Tom.

4d Came back to roll in grass (8)
RETURNED: another word for roll inside (in) another word for grass.

5d Sends internet message and calls for a chat? (6)
TWEETS: another double definition. I think the second part relates to communication amongst birds, but I am prepared to be corrected.

7d Piano in rear of chateau exactly like this? (7)
UPRIGHT: I contemplated underlining the whole clue as the definition. Perhaps I should have done. Either way, take the abbreviation for piano and put it inside (in) the last letter of chateau and a synonym for exactly.

8d Right inside stores to rent, somewhere in the Midlands (10)
SHROPSHIRE: I was searching for a town in the Midlands, but it is a county that we are after here. Abbreviation for right within (inside) synonym for stores + synonym for rent.

11d Conceited and shallow, needed kicking! (7-6)
SWOLLEN-HEADED: an anagram (kicking – it’s on the list!) of SHALLOW NEEDED

13d Breakfast items hot when husband and son are grabbing toast (4,6)
HASH BROWNS: another lego clue: abbreviation for hot + synonym for when + abbreviation for husband + abbreviation for son outside (grabbing) synonym for toast (a verb). Phew!

16d Play Spain team in Madrid – woeful (8)
FUNEREAL: a synonym for play (a noun) + single letter abbreviation for Spain + the usual Madrid football team.

18d Rue Johnny and Sophia perhaps disowning their latest characters (7)
DEPLORE: take the surnames of two famous actors, remove their final letters and add what’s left together.

20d Supplement? A possibly very appealing quality in the morning at home (7)
VITAMIN: Again, I could, and probably should, have underlined the whole clue as the definition. Take the abbreviation for very + somewhat dated expression meaning “appealing quality” + abbreviation for “in the morning” + synonym for “at home”. Assemble.

21d Short of time, looks for Echo from Liverpool (6)
SCOUSE: a synonym for “looks for”, remove the abbreviation for “time” and add at the end the letter represented by Echo in the phonetic alphabet.

23d Starts to enjoy drama gripping Edinburgh Fringe (4)
EDGE: initial letters (starts to) of words 3 to 6 in the clue.


118 comments on “DT 30447
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  1. Very enjoyable if a bit of a struggle in places. Devon and Cornwall held out the longest not helped by my trying to use the wrong river in 24a. However, I got there in the end with just a tad of Mr. G. Plenty of fantastic clues so there are stars all over the paper. Favourites are the embroidery at 1a, Apple’s income at 19a and I have to include 8d of course. Once again, I have two contenders for COTD. The first is the sweltering post office at 9a and the second, Johnny and Sophia at 18d. I would nominate both but fear Kath’s wrath so I’m going for 9a because it made me smile.

    Huge thanks to the setter for the fun challenge. Thank you, Shabbo for the hints.

    A shout out for the Quickie pun from me!

    Wind and rain in The Marches but I believe that it is the same all over the country.

  2. Super puzzle!!
    I liked lots starting with the cryptic 1a and the brilliant 19a (though I clocked what was going on immediately) along with 16,18&20d. However the winner is the quite outstanding 10a as indeed Alistair Darling as chancellor was looking after the money in the Brown administration so in effect was also “second to Brown”
    Many thanks to the setter ( my money’s on Twmbarlwm or NYDK) and Shabbo.

  3. Not a Ray T Thursday and I don’t think that the setter is his ‘frequent’ substitute. As Shabbo says this was quite tricky with a number of answers requiring ‘teasing out.’ 3.5*/3*

    Standout favourite – the 5 element Lego clue in 7 words 22a!

    Thanks to whomsoever and Shabbo.

  4. Took a while to get going but was fun even if I made heavy use of my anagram and thesaurus tools. I think I enjoyed most of it so don’t have a particular favorite.

  5. Some great clues in this – for me – ***/*** puzzle. I thought 27a rather funny and 19a excellent but COTD was 18d – very clever. A three pipe problem. Thanks Shabbo for explaining 21d which I didn’t quite understand and to our setter.

  6. Lots of fun to be had here. I made a slow start, went to work for a couple of hours then the rest dropped in. Though I took a while to unpack 22a and I think I’ve been spelling it with 1 P for 60 years. I’m convinced the unconscious brain works on these clues while we’re doing something or nothing else.
    Many thanks setter and Shabbo. COTD 18d.

  7. This excellent puzzle was nicely challenging and a lot of fun.

    Unless I’m missing something, the surface for 1d makes no sense, although this could easily be rectified by inserting “to” before Yard.

    The first definition for 5d is obsolete now courtesy of Mr Musk. The “chat” in the second part of the clue is a type of bird. Very clever!

    Many thanks to the setter and to Shabbo

    1. Whilst the Muskmeister has rebranded the site, the web address still reads as twitter.com, and the posts as tweets, so the setter can get away with it. The newspapers irritatingly refer to “the platform formerly known as Twitter” so in my head it’s Topfkat.

      1. I’m with you all the way re Twitter, 007.

        There’s certainly a few months to go if not longer.

  8. What a top quality puzzle to cheer up a miserably damp morning here in 8d, which has to be my favourite, ahead of 19a. I didn’t find it particularly tricky, but the long answers went in fairly quickly to form a solid base for the rest of the solve. Great fun.

    My thanks to our setter and to Shabbo.

  9. Doubly difficult today because 1: The puzzle was tough in itself, and 2: The ink had mostly run out in the printer cartridge, so had to guess some of the words. Unforgivable really, as I was a printer specialist at HP for many years, ah well, you know what they say about builder’s houses…..
    Great puzzle though with many very clever and tricky clues. New word for me at 22a and had to check the answer was right. Didn’t know our friend at 24a was a crustacean, live and learn eh? Many thanks to our compiler today, good honest fun!

      1. My Epson nags me more than the kids do, about everything it seems. At some point printer manufacturers have taken too much inspiration from Talkie Toaster in Red Dwarf!

  10. Outstanding.

    Where to start. With 1a, I suppose. An excellent opener. We love a bit of lateral action. I agree with SL regarding 10a. Brilliant! There’s lego and then there’s lego. 22a is hilarious. What fun. I could go on and on but, for a change, I won’t.

    There are all sorts of fistycuffs at the base of the podium with clues scrapping it out for the spoils but I’ll go with 1a, 10a and 16d.

    Many, many thanks to the compiler and Shabbs.


  11. I too jumped around on this one but enjoyed the challenge. Re: your clue for 5D, you’re right; there’s a double meaning for chat.
    My favourites are 3D and 24A – Anyone here familiar with the use of “cheese logs”?

  12. Quite a jolly guzzle. It’s nearly always one of the four letter chaps that goes in last; on this occasion it was 26a. It’s blooming obvious when you see it, of course.
    Related to one of today’s clues, in 1965, aged twenty, Pete Townshend wrote the lyric, “I hope I die before I get old.”
    He is now seventy-eight years old. I suppose we all say foolish things when we are twenty. I’m still talking nonsense at sixty-eight.

    Leaving Stamford Bridge last night we donned our disposable ponchos and braved Storm Ciarán. Unfortunately the ponchos are only knee length on me. I would have given a hundred quid for spare trewsers, socks, and shoes. I was very damp. Very damp indeed. H was wearing a dress and fared even worse.

    Thanks to the setter and Shabba-dabba-doo

  13. Like others, I dfound some clues trocky and cinvoluted and this guzzle was hard to get into. As Shabbo has said there was a pucity of anagrams, which made it less enjoyable for me. However, there were some great double definitions, which helped me to get started. The best of these was 19a followed by 15a and , the weakest was the rather vague 1a. The parsing of half a dozen clues eluded me, even with reverse engineering, so thanks to Shabbo for the explanations. Thanks to the compiler for a guzzle ,way out of my comfort zone, which, however, I cdid manage to finish albeit with a helping of guesswork

      1. You beat me to it. In fact we could get CC to invent a whole new language rather like that man on the radio who spoke gibberish. His name will come in about 25 minutes. I love you CC, keep going.

  14. Hard work but well worth the effort! Some struggle and a bit of guess got me there in the end.
    Thanks to the compiler.

  15. A very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to our setter and Shabbo.
    I liked 19a, 3d and 18d but my favourite was the brilliant 10a.

  16. Very slow start, but perseverance got me to the finish line. 1A and 19A get my votes. Many thanks to Shabbo and today’s setter.

    I hope you’re all staying safe and dry during this dreadful storm!

  17. Brilliant! It’s a very good job that I don’t time myself or I fear I would have been well into injury time today. Thank goodness for 9a and 12a which went straight in to give me a little foothold. Perseverance paid off eventually though I did need parsing help with 21d and though I knew what to do at 22a the word was new to me and I took an age to work it out. I also spent far too long sorting 11d, though, in retrospect, I can’t see why. It’s very difficult to choose a favourite today from so many clever clues, but I’ll go with 1a, supported by 13d and 26a, my LOI. Thanks to our setter for the challenge and Shabbo for his comprehensive blog.

  18. Not sure that I really enjoyed this one, seem to be a fair few ‘hmms’ noted on my sheet, but I did like 15a which may well be in chestnut territory and also 19a which really made me smile.

    Thanks to our compiler and to Shabbo for the review – you’ve got those illustrations nailed now!

  19. Tough for me but satisfying to complete.

    Knew what I wanted to put into 22a but could not spell it until the checkers came in…..why on earth did I learn German and not French at school when I had the choice? I have regretted it ever since.

    Favourites 19a and 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Shabbo.

    Not much wind here yet but plenty of rain yesterday and again today. Sodden ground, swollen burns, no doubt more floods to come. Thankfully not us so far.

    1. You were jolly lucky to have a choice. In Wimbledon we had to do French, German and Latin for six flipping years, willynilly. Plus a term of Greek.

  20. An excellent Thursday puzzle. Quite tricky, with fine clues providing an enjoyable solve. Not particularly enamoured by 3 double definitions on the trot, but will let the setter off. Favourite clue: 19a. 3.5*/4*.

  21. Today was a case of softly softly catchee monkey but it was good fun to gradually unravel this enigma. NE brought up the rear. Once again Kicking in 11d a bit wide of the mark. Can’t imagine 13d came instantly to mind except for our US bloggers. I lived in USA for several years but managed to avoid sampling any! Lots of great clues including 10a, 18a, 5d and 18d. Thank you Mysteron (afraid I rarely identify setters) and Shabbo.

    1. 13d came to mind very swiftly here. A good 13d, with egg, sausage and grilled bacon, can make for a most delicious start to the day! However the vast majority are oily and unpleasant, and unfortunately they have become ubiquitous in hotel, B&B & cafe breakfast menus from Lands End to John O’Groats and all stops in between over the last 30 years and more.

  22. A decent puzzle, nice to have something a bit more challenging than has become usual for a Thursday and with an ideal number of anagrams – just enough not to dominate the proceedings. A few odd surfaces, but some clever constructions. Hon Mentions to 19a, 16d, 18d & 21d (a lovely surface).

    2.5 / 2.5

    Many thanks to the setter and to Shabbo.

  23. Just about ideal for a Thursday, I am not sure I have fully parsed 22a so will read the hint now I imagine 8d will be popular with lads and lasses from Salop

    Terence has brought along one of the musical suggestions that came to mind I will bring the other and as the comment suggests this has probably the highest budget for a music video

  24. Completed after squeezing in a morning in the garden before the rain started.

    Favourites 9a, 19a and 21d.

    Darling from 10a was a couple of doors along from me in halls at Aberdeen University. He mostly wore a kaftan type coat which were the height of student fashion at the time.

    Thanks to setter for the brain workout and Shabbo for a couple of clarifications.

  25. This being a non RayT Thursday never sure what to expect. Not the easiest to do and several clues yet again I can’t make out the parsing. Took a long time to get this going.

    3*/2* for me today

    Favourites were hard to find, but I picked 9a, 16a, 1d, 4d & 8d — with winner 9a and 8d a close second.
    Chuckled at 12a, 17a & 26a

    Thanks to setter & Shabbo for hints/blog

  26. A great puzzle. I agree with with Shabbo that it was tricky. Once a beachhead was established, gains came slowly and with much effort — rather like house to house combat in war.

    I was interested to see the use of “hot” in 13d. Only last week, I commented that this is rarely seen while the other faucet appears frequently and then remarked “Now that I’ve commented on its rarity, we’ll probably be flooded with occurrences.” Well, it hasn’t taken long for the taps to open.

    Thanks to setter and Shabbo.

  27. Another gem with ticks all over the shop. Not a fast solve by any means – 18d&22a were 2 of the last 3 in & eventually yielded via the wordplay but neither of the definition synonyms were the first that sprang to my mind though both obviously ok. Last in was the 6a idiom even though I’m sure we’ve had it before. 10a my clear fav for the precise reason Stephen outlined with 19a&18d joining it on the podium.
    Thanks to the setter (I thought it may be Silvanus on an away day though RD’s comment re the 1d surface makes me doubt this) & to Shabbo for another top review.
    Ps finding Kcit’s Toughie a much sterner test than the last couple of days.

  28. Brought back to earth with a thud on this one, defeated by the sw corner. An entertaining challenge with some very clever clues. I thought 27a was a bit stretched but I bunged it in without parsing it , and my spelling of 22 was way off so I couldn’t fit it in, should’ve googled it🤷‍♂️. Thanks to all.

  29. This took much longer than any other guzzle lately. I am very tired and that’s my excuse ! I guessed at 13d and spent a long time looking for a crab/lobster beginning with W. I had daisies for 1,9,10, 12, 24 &27a and 8d but my favourite is 22a. The quickie pun doesn’t work for me I fear. Anyway, having spent so much (unspecified) time guzzling in the conservatory with rain pounding down I must get back to preparing for this wretched ‘Fayre’ on Saturday. It would be easier to lob fifty quid at the 10a and stay at home but that’s not the spirit. It will be our new vicar’s first real introduction to the villagers – if they turn up of course. If Ciaran is still playing around it could be a washout. Anyway, many thanks to the clever Setter and to Shabbo for the hints. I’d never have got the pun!

  30. I’m afraid you have to be a lot smarter than I am to solve this one. I only managed six, of which 18d was my tops, I also had two more, 22a and 13d but couldn’t see the why so didn’t write them in. I tried but failed, tomorrow is another day.
    Thank you setter and Shabbo for unravelling that lot.

  31. .. a bit of a slog today but got there in the end. I’d like to add to Shabbo’s comments and suggest that DIY should be avoided every day!

  32. Well I will swim against the tide and say I did not find this enjoyable today. Makes Ray T seem rather friendly. And I put smiley faces by liked clues and sad faces by not liked, and the sad faces win today. Can’t say I find 27a at all enticing. Sorry, just not my cup of tea. Many of my answers cane from checkers rather than the clues. Thanks to the setter for the challenge, and to Shabbo for the necessary unraveling of some convoluted clues.

    1. Went to see a 27a in Cairo, they said her name was Pamela from Cheam and her Dad was the local vicar. It was rumoured that all the Middle Eastern 27a were English! Like the Folies Bergere, anyone read Les Girls?

  33. This is SO far beyond me as to be not even funny – I don’t even know where to begin!
    I think I managed about four answers or it might have been five but, at that point, I realised I was beaten.
    I hate 24a’s – too many legs and I thought you could eat crustaceancs like crabs – put me off now . . .
    I liked 9 and 17a and 2 and 20d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and also thanks and admiration too to Shabbo.

  34. Top draw Friday puzzle, excellent cluing throughout,like others elected for a scattergun approach.
    Liked 1a-needed question mark.
    Favourite was 22a , cracking word, followed by 24a lovely surface.
    Going for a ***/****

  35. Funny how the four letter words can often cause the most head scratching – 6a for example did for me and was my last one to solve. I loved 8d as you would expect me to and which gave us both a huge chuckle. I also appreciated the ‘chat’ bit in 5d, very clever. Overall a super puzzle to enjoy and which helped to brighten an otherwise ropey old morning here by our stretch of the Severn. Ropey as it was this morning and continues to be, we’re just so very thankful that we’re nowhere even close to the English Channel today. Thinking of you guys down there. Thanks to today’s setter and to Shabbo for your efforts too. (P.S. Loved the pun in the Quickie)

  36. Good afternoon
    Off today, so ensconced in the chair with a brew and the crozzie, and….uh oh! Quite the most abysmal showing by me on a back-pager for quite some time! 13 correct solutions entered, and that’s my lot. I would have persevered, I suppose, but I’m off out tonight to see the Manfreds playing at Reading Hexagon.
    Ee, wey never mind, up and at ’em again tomorrow! My thanks to our compiler and I just hope I’m up to the challenge next time. Thank you Shabbo for the hints and explanations.

    1. Hope you enjoy the Manfreds – we’re seeing them in Buxton on Sunday. If they’re still up to the standard of two years ago they’ll be brilliant.

  37. Thanks to Shabbo, and all commenters and solvers.

    For 1d, it’s standard English in that context to elide ‘to’: it was given me by … / it was given to me by … – both right.

    The pun seems fine to me if you say it quickly. Unless you’re wrongly pronouncing err as ‘air’, as some do!

    1. Thanks for dropping in. Sorry the Quickie pun doesn’t work for me but I now see your point re 1d – I just assume RD correct in all matters. Anyway glad I thought your guzzle a gem & tell CL we need to see you more frequently.

    2. I see what you mean, but for me that construction without the “to” jars. However, I can’t define exactly why it seems worse in the context of the surface of the clue than in your example. I need the late lamented Robert to help me out here.

      Nevertheless, it’s a very minor point in an accomplished and most enjoyable puzzle. Very well done, Mr T.

      1. :grin: I think I can get away with err as the schwa sound for the first syllable in the context of a pun with assimilation. There’s worse from me to come!

          1. I think they do a tough job in difficult circumstances K and G are both similar velar plosives – I think the difference between olympics and olympigs would be practically indistinguishable in casual speech.

            1. When I lived in the county, some Leicestershire dialect speakers often confused and pronounced the G sound as a C and vice versa – for instance arround the Kibworth/Fleckney area Wigston was commonly pronounced Wickston and Wicksteed Park (in Kettering) was Wigsteed Park. Even worse, Wistow Park became Wister Park, lol.

                1. It’s quite some time since I was last in ‘Kibbuth’, but I used to enjoy a pint in the Swan and or the Railwayman’s Arms many moons ago. I wonder if they are both still going?

                  1. Yes, both still going. We often go to the Swan for a meal, occasionally The Lighthouse nearby, but we’re heading to the Langtons for food this time. I’ve never been to the Railway Arms – my wife’s godfather was a regular there a long time ago, when he wasn’t away at sea.

                    1. Ooooh, you have evoked some very fond memories by mentioning the Langtons – my first ‘love’ was a Tur Langton lass. I was a 16 year-old then and regularly cycled from Harborough and back to see her. 1959 all that was. Couldn’t cycle that far now to save my life, lol, lol.

              1. Talking of pronunciation of names there is a village near Church Stratton in 8d called Ratlinghope. Guess what it is know as locally?😏

            2. I agree.

              Punmeisters always ask for a bit of latitude because regional pronunciations vary so much (not pronounciations – love the irony of that one)

              Thank you for an excellent mental workout, Tumbledown. So many brilliant clues.

              You are already in the upper echelons of setters.

              Bravo! 👏👏

                1. Absolutely, nothing wrong with the Olympigs! Just as long as the losers are turned into pork scratchings afterwards 😋😋 Won’t be tucking into the guzzle until the early hours but have an early thank you now Tumblybum™, if it’s a tricky crossword the curses will be silent as everyone will be asleep by then 😂😴

                2. I’m Leicestershire born and bred and I’ve never come across any of the mispronunciations SB refers to, although we have lots of them and proud of it. I was brought up in Wigston and locally it was pronounced just like that, I can’t vouch for Kibbuth were I’m also staying as I do most weekends. The Coach and Horses has also reopened so back to 3 pubs.

                  1. My dear, sadly departed now, mother-in-law came from Fleckney. I used to think that she and her father had a language all of their own. They were ‘Wickston’ for sure. 😀

  38. Thank you Twmbarlwm … what a tough challenge but really enjoyable, also to Shabbo for explaining some of my intuitive solves!

  39. Another enjoyable guzzle today, a couple of the short ones held me up too. Horrible, horrible day here today. Have now seen a doctor about my poisoned ivy eye which is not improving so have lotions and potions galore. Honestly I am frightening the horses with my looks! Thanks to the setter and Shabbo. ***/****

      1. Thanks Huntsman, I’d post a picture here but don’t want to put people off their evening meal, or morning brekkie depending on time zone!

  40. I enjoyed today’s puzzle though I did jump around a bit before getting a proper foothold. There were several clever clues but I did have to check that 24d was a crustacean. Frequently found under my plant pots and not swimming in the sea. Though if this rain keeps falling on the patio it will enable them to have a swim! Failed on a couple of simple 4 letter clues. Doh! Dithered on 22a as had incorrect spelling. Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and Shabbo.

  41. A great puzzle, lots of fun. My favourite 22a but lots of other great clues. I needed to read the hints to clarify a couple of my answers.

    I do hope everyone is staying safe with the storm, we are only on the edge and the rain has been very heavy.

    Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and to Shabbo for the hints

  42. It’s been a busy day, so I am late adding my tuppence worth.
    My morning mug of tea cooled considerably whilst I scratched my balding pate, but I struggled through. Foolishly I only considered aquatic crustaceans, and confess I resorted to e-help, despite having a couple of checkers in place.
    An enjoyable challenge, following which a stage production of Madagascar proved to Pipette that the clue to 12a holds true.

  43. Tough, very.
    Excellent and novel
    Spread of clues.
    Last in 22a, but only by
    Playing around with letters
    Indicated in the clue and other letters.
    In summary, 5*/5*
    Thanks to the setter and to Shabbo.

  44. An excellent brain stretch for a very rainy Thursday in the Peaks. Especially enjoyed the challenge of cracking the longer answers, of which 22a was my favourite. Many thanks to all.

  45. I’m afraid I was so far off wavelength that I was barely on the same planet, not T’s fault just mine, still I got there. Needed the hints to parse a couple. Favourite was 16d, I like a bit of dark humour. Thanks to T and Shabbo.

  46. A dnf for me. 1a, 1d and 22a defeated me.

    1a was a new meaning of the word to me. 1d was probably easier if you have the first checker. 22a is another new word to me, presumably French. I wanted it to be reproachment, but that is not a word and also doesn’t fit.

    I very challenging solve for me today which I mostly enjoyed.

    Thanks to all.

  47. 5/1. A DNF from me. Having started yesterday evening and during Mrs VBC’s MRI late last night, together with lots more effort today I have given up. Those I managed to complete were very enjoyable but the rest were beyond me. Thanks to Mr T and Mr S for enlightening me.

  48. I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. At first glance I thought it looked difficult but it wasn’t. My favourite answers were Woodlouse and Shropshire. I agree with the person who said sometimes the 4 letter clues are the hardest eg 6a which defeated me.

  49. I found this crossword tough but enjoyable.
    Fave clue was the brilliant 10a. I have also ticked several others including 15a, 18a, 7d, 18d and 27a.
    My ability to think laterally needs sprucing up! I like to solve as much of a puzzle as I can under my own steam as it were. With this puzzle, I found I needed Mrs Bradford and my crossword dictionary on several occasions.
    I still don’t understand why the answer to 6a means ‘out to lunch’.
    Many thanks to Twmbarlwm for the absorbing challenge and to Shabbo for the excellent review with lovely pictures.

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