DT 30466 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30466

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30466

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

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

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. On this side of the pond, it’s not just any Friday. No, as the day after Thanksgiving, it’s Black Friday, the start of the holiday shopping season and a time for some people to camp out all night to score a bargain-priced big screen TV that they could have just ordered off Amazon. Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday, which I thought was a totally made-up thing to get us to buy computers and software. But, having just done my blogging due diligence by consulting Wikipedia, I discovered that "The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked." That etymology is so much better than my misguided misunderstanding. I understand from Mr Google that both days of frenzied shopping have now crossed the Atlantic (sorry) but, as far as I can tell, neither BLACK FRIDAY nor CYBER MONDAY have yet appeared as cryptic crossword answers. So, there’s an opportunity for our compilers (or indeed our readers). Turning now to today’s puzzle, our setter has given us a challenge somewhat less stiff than last Friday’s puzzle, but difficulty-wise it’s still a good fit for the Friday slot. I got most of the anagrams and lurkers on the first pass through the grid and used the resulting checkers to work upwards from the bottom of the grid. I found much here to smile about, both during the solve and while writing the hints. I hope that our setter will drop in to take credit for this fine 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. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

 

Across

1a    Hot things wife put in sink? (4)
SWAG:  The genealogical abbreviation for wife inserted in (put in) sink or droop 

3a    See this, turning redder? (10)
PALINDROME:  Studying the result of reversing (turning) REDDER shows you how it defines the answer by example (?

10a   Understanding a Wren's sea exercises (9)
AWARENESS:  An anagram (exercises) of A WREN’S SEA 

11a   English runner in Devon going around traffic (5)
TRADE:  The single letter for English and a Devon river (whimsically a runner, because rivers run), all reversed (going around

12a   Accept  gift (5)
GRANT:  A double definition. Accept as in concede 

13a   Host with piece of cake and cocktail (3,6)
SEA BREEZE:  A host or large amount with an informal way of saying easy or a piece of cake 

14a   Tantrum and row not ending -- go back to quibble (8)
PETTIFOG:  Link together another word for tantrum, all but the last letter (not ending) of a row or quarrel, and the reversal (back) of GO from the clue. Reference books describe the definition as archaic (Oxford Dictionary of English) or old (Chambers Thesaurus), so I don’t feel too bad about not knowing it 

16a   Mean Streets' lead in close-fitting garment (6)
TIGHTS:  Mean or stingy with the first letter of (... ‘s lead) of STREETS 

19a   Short sailor exercises after game (6)
ABRUPT:  Putting the bits in order, we join a usual sailor, the abbreviation for the game at which South Africa is currently ranked number one, and a usual abbreviation for exercise 

20a   Weapons farmer is waving? (8)
FIREARMS:  An anagram (waving) of FARMER IS 

22a   Book about Mercury, say, that atheist doesn't buy? (4,2,3)
ACTS OF GOD:  A possible title for a book about the deeds of Mercury or Apollo, for example (say). Edit: A better parsing, mentioned in a few comments below, is a book in the New Testament followed by a synonym of about and what Mercury defines by example (say)

24a   Supports  theatre assistant (5)
PROPS:  A double definition.  The theatre worker is named for the items that they look after 

26a   March past's rear broke from the right (5)
TROOP:  The last letter (…’s rear) of PAST with the reversal (from the right, in an across clue) of broke or having no money 

27a   Grains and coffee, maybe fruit occasionally before church (5,4)
BROWN RICE:  Join together what coffee can define by example (maybe), alternate letters (occasionally) of FRUIT, and the abbreviation for the Church of England 

28a   Novel character sporting tuxedo on QI (3,7)
DON QUIXOTE:  An anagram (sporting) of TUXEDO ON QI 

29a   Walk through water in Virginia? (4)
WADE:  A double definition. The second is a definition by example (?) of a famous tennis player 

 

Down

1d    Missing first couple of signals before reversing leads to vulgarism! (5)
SLANG:  Do what it says in the clue: Delete the first two letters of (missing first couple of …) SIGNALS before reversing what remains 

2d    Stone and flower by Welsh lake, heading north (9)
ALABASTER:  A flower with showy radiated heads comes after the reversal (heading north, in a down clue) of a lake in Wales. If you prefer not to jump straight to the required body of water, you’ll find a list of Welsh lakes here 

4d    Opposition second in table above Reading (8)
AVERSION:  The second letter in TABLE comes before reading or edition. The capitalisation of Reading is just misdirection attempting to steer us towards the football club 

5d    One means to alter part of trousers (6)
INSEAM:  The Roman one with an anagram (to alter) of MEANS 

6d    Choose diamonds and French fur (9)
DETERMINE:  Cement together the playing card abbreviation for diamonds, “and” in French, and the fur of the stoat 

7d    The shape of things to come in 21? (5)
OVATE:  An adjective describing the shape of the objects that come in the answer to 21d 

8d    About five eels seen swimming in short break (9)
ELEVENSES:  About the Roman five is wrapped an anagram (swimming) of EELS SEEN 

9d    Remaining  port  set out (4)
LEFT:  Once you realise that this clue is a triple definition, and not some mysterious single letter followed by an anagram of SET, finding the answer becomes a lot more straightforward

14d   Feigned amusement, then condemned cadet (4-5)
PLAY-ACTED:  A synonym of amusement is followed by an anagram (condemned) of CADET 

15d   Setter's quick to get initial bit of unguent off the cuff (9)
IMPROMPTU:  Assemble a contraction for “setter’s” from the setter’s perspective, a synonym of quick, and the first letter of (initial bit of) UNGUENT (which I learned is a fancy word for ointment. Why does ointment need a synonym?) 

17d   Music producer hurt leg and starts to inch carefully away (9)
HARMONICA:  Concatenate hurt or injure, another word for the leg side in cricket, and the first letters of (starts to …) INCH CAREFULLY AWAY 

18d   Ripped denim top in part of Italy (8)
PIEDMONT:  An anagram (ripped) of DENIM TOP 

21d   Urge Spar to get recyclable container? (3,3)
EGG BOX:  Urge or encourage with spar on the canvas inside a ring. The capitalisation of Spar is misdirection, meant to steer solvers towards the supermarket chain of that name

23d   Spike in Falmouth or Newquay (5)
THORN:  The answer is hidden in the last three words of the clue 

24d   Drink to fix temperature (4)
PINT:  Fix with a thin pointy piece of metal is followed by the physics symbol for temperature 

25d   Part of play observed in audition (5)
SCENE:  A homophone (in audition) of a word meaning observed 

 

Thanks to today’s setter. I particularly liked 21d and 28a, and also how the Quickie Pun links to the main puzzle. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SERVE + ANTIS = CERVANTES (the author responsible for 28a)


113 comments on “DT 30466
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  1. Very nice puzzle, imaginatively and wittily clued throughout and not too tricky.
    The only one I wasn’t overly keen on was 29a.
    I liked the linked 7/21d and the quaint 14a but my podium is 22&28a with gold going to 15d. Top stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter, I’m pretty sure I know who it is, and Mr K.

    I know it’s not about the event but I’ve had this in my head all morning. Love Walter’s performance on this.

  2. On my first run through I thought I had inadvertently gone straight to the Toughie as it yielded one answer. However, starting with the downs at the bottom of the grid I soon finished the bottom half, then the top finally yielded. Most entertaining and thoughtful, with 28a my favourite, and one for Brian too, 22a.

    My thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  3. I did not find this that easy, and I spent a fair amount of time channel-hopping between this and the proXimal toughie (which I finished before this one).
    I filled in the bottom half fairly quickly, but found the top half harder.
    Plenty to enjoy. 4*/4* for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  4. Completed in record time, read and write, no scribbling at all….then the alarm went off and I woke up!
    Jeez this was hard with a capital ‘H’. Took far longer than any puzzle for ages, last in was 14a, which I had to look up as I only had the tantrum and most of the row. lucky that my dictionary had it, as it’s neither B or R.
    Lots of favourites today but my top two were 3a and the clever 4d. Off for a lie down now, many thanks to our sadist today.

  5. Sleep was elusive last night, so I got an early start at this and found lots to tease and delight. I was very nearly defeated by 29a as I convinced myself VA had to be involved somewhere
    Thanks to Mr K and setter
    Plenty of time to tackle the toughie but Mama Bee has to have her hair done for her birthday (Monday) and I need to catch up on the kip I missed last night

    1. See Stephen wasn’t keen on that clue – it immediately appealed to me because Virginia Water in Surrey is home to the sumptuous Wentworth Estate & 3 excellent golf courses & it made me want to listen to Eva Cassidy’s wonderful rendition of the spiritual song Wade in the Water.

      1. My home town and I used to caddy at the golf club when there were only two courses West and East. There was a 9 hole course as well which I think was used as the basis for the later South course.

          1. Ouch! It was a true ‘old fashioned’ members’ club when I was being ‘paid’ to walk around it. In later years, watching a tournament from there on TV, I enjoyed ‘TV walking’ down each hole.

      2. On reflection I am Warming to that clue, just the unfriendliness of the checkers giving hundreds of options to do with walking or beginning VA
        Younger tennis fans may have forgotten but I remembered her with a clang

  6. I agree a little less tricky today – I also went from the south.
    I loved 14A- I love learning new words and it sounds apt as well.
    For 22A there is a ready made book title by Caesar Augustus – Res Gestae :)
    I enjoyed the puzzle and many thanks to the Setter & Mr K

  7. Really tricky but very clever. Took ages to get started. No email today but gained access via CS’s review. Re Black Friday, I bought an air fryer off Amazon and it’s terrific, so far. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. I have had my air fryer for a week and not used it yet! Been running round the invalid!! What have you made in it? The recipe book which came with mine is rather sparse I shall have to buy a proper book.

      1. I did two duck legs on top of par boiled spuds to make roasted – delicious. I’m doing a pheasant tonight wrapped in bacon. Mine didn’t have a recipe book so I’m googling. ‘Air Fryer’ is a bit misleading, it’s more like a mini oven

  8. I started off in the NW and all was going smoothly, until I got to the NE corner, which took me three times as long as the rest of the puzzle but had some of the best clues. The cryptic definition at3a was my COTD, with the 5d anagram and 14a lego clue ( ive only heard the present participle of the word before). Of course, I enjoyed the geographical clue at 18a too. A remarkablyvenjoyable guzzle for a Friday. Thanks to the compiler for that. Thanks alsoto Mr K for the hints and stacks of cats.

  9. Nice tricky end of the week challenge with some answers not immediately obvious.

    Thought it might be a pangram for while because of less common letters popping up but it wasn’t.

    Favourites today are 19a, 2d and 6d.

    Perishingly cold here so hoping the dog only wants a short walk.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. A top-notch puzzle, not a piece of cake but solvable with a little application – thanks to our setter and Mr K.
    5d was a new word for me – Collins calls it US though Chambers doesn’t.
    14a is a lovely word.
    I particularly liked 13a, 22a, 9d and 15d.

  11. Not my ‘cup of tea’ so I have a very good idea as to which member of the Friday triumvirate is today’s setter – 3.5*/2*

    Smiles for 14a and 25d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  12. 3*/5*. What an excellent puzzle to finish the week! It was nicely challenging and I made it slightly harder for myself taking too long over the last few clues by trying to incorporate the two letters needed to make a pangram which never appeared.

    I didn’t know the Welsh lake in 2d but it couldn’t have been anything else.

    From a plethora of ticked clues, my top picks are 13a, 22a & 9d, with the last of these just nosing in front in the favouritism stakes.

    Many thanks to the setter – surely Silvanus? Thanks too to Mr K. Apology accepted but, oh, how I hate Black Friday (and pre-Black Friday) and Cyber Monday. I have tried unsuccessfully to get all emails automatically moved to junk which mention Black Friday as part of the subject. Sigh!

  13. It took a while to get traction but once I did it was enjoyable. I ended up with quite a few clues that I needed to complete so went through these one by one. I think the answer on this one was not to get too hung up on any clue. Favorites 19a 20a and 25d.

  14. I found this Friday puzzle quite tricky and difficult to get going. Also, for me there was a new word I did not know. Quite the jumping around in the grid in the solving of the puzzle too.

    3.5*/3* for me

    Favourites today include 3a, 19a, 27a, 2d 8d & 17d — with winner 3a
    Got a chuckle from 27a, 8d & 21d
    Not an easy puzzle today

    Thanks to setter & Mr K for hints/blog

  15. Sorry but I didn’t enjoy this very much at all – don’t think I ever found the setter’s wavelength.
    Best of the bunch for me were 19&28a plus 2d.

    Thanks and apologies to our setter and thanks to Mr K and his stack of cats for the review.

  16. Enjoyed this curate’s egg of South and North with former coming through first. Not too sure where “see” comes into 3a. 13a host new one on me and likewise 5d. Like 14a word and surface of 15d but 14a Fav – lovely word. Thank you Mysteron and MrK

        1. Apart from the straight cryptic pointer, the surface reading is a temporary diversion to mislead you into thinking the solution is something naughty or embarrassing that makes you blush when you see it.

      1. Easy is the wrong part of speech for the noun without the article to be clued by it – and that left me needing a two letter host. That clue seems to have got a lot of love from the others though so I’ll just accept it. All my troubles in the NE.

  17. A DNF for me today. Failed on 5d (a new word for me) and 12a (not familiar with cocktails).
    I’d blame it on the aftereffects of my covid and flu jags, but I think I’d never have got 5d or 12a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K…loved the stacked cats.

    Freezing cold here but fortunately I have no reason to go outside today.

  18. An excellent Friday puzzle. Fine clues, a decent challenge and a pleasurable tussle. Fav: 13a. 3.5*/4*.

    *22a. I parsed the word-play thus: Book (ACTS, from NT) about (= OF) Mercury (GOD). Can’t see why the “say” is needed? The doesn’t buy in the definition could = doesn’t believe.

  19. I thought this was a humdinger – only fazed by the cocktail (I don’t get out much. Or more to the point, a good G’nT is my choice of tipple. ) I marked 19and20a and 1d but then do many more were sparkling clues and I cannot pick a favourite. I really want to go down to M& S where DD2’s Christmas present is waiting to be picked up but we are waiting for the doctor to ring with an appointment for George who is now hobbling round on a frame which I had when my knee was done. He has decided we must have grab rails fitted in his shower. This place is rapidly turning into a care home. I don’t care for it much. My father was very fond of 14a mostly with -ing added – he was not a handyman and most tools hated him so almost everything became a 14a item. Mother would then take over efficiently. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Kay. Have a good weekend everyone.

  20. Starting, as is my habit, with the down clues from the bottom I made steady progress but slowed down finding the top half worthy of what we expect from Friday back pager. Thanks to Mr K for confirming my three bung ins that were needed to complete the grid 4d 5d and 13a, the latter two being new to me. Like Rabbit Dave I thought this had all the hallmarks of a Silvanus composition, but seeing Jane’s comment I’m now not so sure!
    Anyway many thanks to our setter, whomsoever it is for a brilliant crossword – too many great clues to pick a winner- and to the tireless Mr K for the review.
    **/****

  21. Agree with RD that this was a fine end to the working week but doubt it’s a Silvanus production – my 5bob would be on Zandio. Always find it difficult to judge a guzzle’s difficulty if solving on the mobile & not giving it my undivided attention. It certainly wasn’t a breeze but there were enough gimmes dotted around to provide checkers. The Welsh lake & the inside leg were unfamiliar but couldn’t be owt else & last in 3a took an embarrassingly long time for the penny to drop. The ticks for me – 14,19&22a + my top two at 4&6d.
    Thanks to the setter & as ever to Mr K

    1. Huntsman – I came late to yesterday’s superb Django puzzle, but on reading your comment about Etta James’s I’d Rather Go Blind, have to take issue. I’d put the Beth H / Joe B version (“Live In Amsterdam”) ahead of EJ’s, but it’s also worth listening to / watching some of her other versions, partnering Jeff Beck & Eric Gales among others. She’s one of the most soulful blues singers of all time in my (not so humble!) opinion.

      Am now happily going down the wormhole and watching BH with JB performing Purple Rain … it could be a long evening!

      1. First saw Beth at the Barbican (sadly not with Joe) doing pretty much all of Don’t Explain & Seesaw with a great band. Have seen her a good few times since & she’s always great value though I’m not quite so keen on her own material. If I could only pick 3 of their covers it’d be those of Tom Waits’ Chocolate Jesus, Bobby Bland’s I’ll Take Care Of You & Billy Holiday’s Strange Fruit

  22. Hmmm, tricky for me today. South much quicker than the north. 14a was a bung in for me from the crossers, but I did not really recall what it meant (thanks oed). And then worse was to come with 29a where the tennis player did come to mind but I convinced myself there was a place of the same name in the state of Virginia ( it turns out there isn’t…) so I got the the right answer for the wrong reason and have to hold my hand up to a fair bit of luck today!

    1. Hi Phanciful (great name)

      That reminds me of a funny story….

      Four of us were playing ‘Articulate’ and it was the other couple’s go. He had to describe Einstein and said ‘Sitting under a tree…apple on his head…laws of gravity’ and she said ‘Einstein’!

      A classic case of two negatives making a positive.

      One point for them with a dumbfounded couple opposite, shaking their heads in disbelief.

  23. I can’t wait for ‘Drinks o’clock’ as I’ve sure earned it!

    Having just recovered from Ray T giving me the once-over I then get floored by Zandio (guessing). Good fun, though.

    It’s great to see so many crossword techniques on display along with an abundance of smooth surfaces.

    I always enjoy how setters clue 3a. It often catches me out, which was the case today, until a couple of checkers saved the day. My LOI was 29a. Damn those pesky 4 letter answers!

    I am forever forgetting the synonym for ‘hot’. Note to self.

    It’s so dull that we have anglicised the pronunciation of the adjective of the surname in 28a. It takes the romance out of it.

    My podium is 3a, 13a and 14a (fabulous word).

    Many thanks to compiler and Mr K.

    4*/4*

  24. Bit late today but worth the wait, a cracker of a puzzle and a ****/**** for me
    Found My Chambers very useful,14a was a word not often used, and 13a was in a list of cocktails, not sure about host, thanks to 2K,s for the confirmation.5d was new, one for the memory bank.
    Noted the quickie pun and the relationship of
    28a .
    Favourite was the 6d charade,
    Off to the amdram and a few pints tonight,

  25. An excellent fit for the Friday slot, the most challenging of the week but within the capacity of most of us.
    Having said that I did find that some of the clues only made sense when you had the answer!
    Also a new word for me in 5d. Had to check the BRB for my answer.
    Thx to all
    ***/***

  26. Of course, Friday and Zandio, very, very tricky. I DNF with three, alas one was 14a, a delightful word and I had heard it. I also knew the cocktail, promise, I’m not that much of a cocktail-er! I didn’t know the lake, I had to look it up, another thing learnt today. The south saved me from throwing in the towel, I remember Virginia well, super player. My fave is 14a, I wish I’d solved it!
    Thank you Zandio, huge kudos to Mr. K and thanks for the profusion of cats, pure joy!

  27. By a distance the most challenging back pager of the week so far. I felt that having A for act in 22a coming off the A for act in 14d was a bit clumsy, but that’s a very minor quibble for such an enjoyable puzzle. I too felt it likely to be a Zandio production, but whether ’tis he or another, my grateful thanks to the setter for the challenge, and to MrK for the review.

    3.5 / 4

    1. MG and Mr K, I read 22a as:

      ‘Book’ for the first word of the answer, i.e the 5th book of the New Testament. *
      ‘About’ is the second word, e.g What do you think ** that?
      ‘Mercury, say’ is the third word,

      * If ‘book’ is in a clue can it mean Exodus or Genesis or Numbers? I can’t remember.

      I may well be barking up the wrong tree or just simply barking.

      1. Yes, Acts is ‘book’ in 22a as in a division of the bible, as you say, and act is part of the anagram in 14d. Not sure where Mustafa is getting ‘A for act’ from.

        1. I think MG is just pointing out that A is the start of ACT in both 14d and 22a. A little bit of repetition tis all 👍

              1. Ah right, thanks. Thought you were both talking about the individual clues as you didn’t mention the grid. Last time I saw the completed puzzle was July when I submitted it!

            1. Hi Tumble

              The word act being used twice is the beef.

              Act (of 22a) coincides with Act (of 14d):

              ACTs (of God)
              C
              T
              (e)
              (d)

              1. See above! I (obviously) don’t have the puzzle in front of me so without anyone specifically referring to the grid, I was lost. Well, even more lost than usual.

                Talking of ‘Tumble’ where’s AgentB disappeared to?

                1. I forgot to say thank you very much for the crossword which was challenging but fab.

                  Keep ‘em coming! 👏👏

            2. I think Mustafa is saying that he thinks the word ‘acted’ in 14d being joined to the word ‘acts’ in 22a looks clumsy. Personally, I am ok with it. I probably raised more of an eyebrow at the use of slang in 22a. When a broadsheet uses slang, it feels to me like a well educated old person trying to ‘get down with the kids’. On this occasion the slang is fairly well known and current and fits the surface read well, so I’ll overlook it. I am less forgiving of dialectic or foreign slang especially when it has gone out of use, like ‘handle’ for ‘name’ which was used in a recent puzzle.

  28. I’m not as clever as most above. I can rarely get on this setter’s wavelength, and as usual I used the advice given long ago to ignore the clues and work with the checkers. I could never rise to the level of a crossword setter, but I can think of many ways 3a could have been written which might have led me to the answer. I can count on one hand the number of cocktails I have had, so I was never going to get 12a. 14a awful never used word. Since retiring 8d have morphed into twelveses 😊. Might all have been caused by eating too much at the TG dinner last night, and sleeping late this morning. Thanks Mr K for the pictures.

  29. A tricky puzzle, but an enjoyable solve with smooth surface reads and some very elegant clues.
    Solved either side of an afternoon nap, courtesy of a couple of pints at lunchtime with some good friends in Holt. Such a pretty town.
    Last one in was 3a, which I should have got sooner, but it was worth waiting for the penny to drop.
    Like some others, 5d was a new word for me.
    14a is such a great word.
    Thank you setter (my money is on Zandio) and Mr K.

  30. Good evening
    After yesterday’s DNF I was relieved to make it through today’s crozzie; but it’s taken me until now, and I started on the way into work at half 1…
    A real mental challenge today, I thought. 14a and 8d deserve a special mention; 3a is a corker of a clue; but – 1d! The mother of all penny-drop moments! What a clue! 🤣
    Many thanks to our compiler and to Mr K

  31. I’ve heard from our very own Steve Cowling. He’s not doing well with the shingles, severe neuralgia and not able to sleep well. He has medications but they “space” him out somewhat. He has the lovely Mrs. C to help him so he should soon be on the mend. I know you all send him cheers from the stands!

    1. Poor Steve, what a wretched time he’s having at the moment. Please do send him my best wishes for a speedy recovery when next you’re in touch.

      1. I can well sympathise too – my other half went through a rough bout of shingles – in her eyes of all places some years ago, having some years previously to that, on her side and back. Fortunately, we found out only last year that there is a vaccination available – so we went for broke – shingles, pneumonia, covid, flu – the works, lol. My best wishes to add to those already given.

    2. Oh dearie me. Poor Steve. I had hoped he would only have a mild dose like George ( although he did make a lot of fuss about it!) but I know it can linger with lots of side effects. We are all thinking of you.

    3. Oh no, shingles is awful. I’ve watched Peter suffer through two bouts, and hopefully never again after his Shringix shot. Both times he was lucky to get diagnosed at the onset, and early treatment which really helps. Here’s hoping Steve is soon over the worst, and can get the shot once recovered. It’s quite miserable.

  32. Very tough for my small brain..did three quarters then looked at answers…Pettifog…new word for me…Enjoyable though when I saw the answers…Egg Box fixed me at the end…Nothing silly like last week though….Veggie Burger still rankles me…But good crossie..Well done better…Doug.

  33. Not the most difficult of the week, for me at least. Also not the most enjoyable, by some margin.

    Very much not a fan of 3a. Only got this once all the checkers were in place. Would never have got the answer from the clue in a million years. The NE was quite difficult, so took a long time to get the checkers for 3a.

    Thanks to all.

  34. To say I was off the pace on this would be an massive understatement and I made hard work of it. Not that I didn’t enjoy it as I did and there some excellent clues when I got my thick head round them. Favourite was 24a as I’m known to use words like that, including yonder et al, fairly regularly and don’t consider them archaic. 2d ran it a close second. Thanks to T and Mr. K.

  35. Thanks all, and thank you Mr K for the ace blog.
    Am I the last person to notice that clicking on any of the photos reveals a different photo? Probably!

    1. Thanks for the kind words and for a fun puzzle to solve and to hint.

      I’m pleasantly surprised by how many readers found the hidey cats. While I do always mention in my intro that bonus illustrations may be revealed by clicking on the main image, I haven’t used that capability for a while and so I’d expected that most would have given up clicking to see if anything happens.

      Can we look forward to seeing more of your puzzles in the Friday slot?

      1. I’ve carried on clicking in hope and was pleased my persistence was rewarded today with more lovely cats. Thanks for the hints (and cats) – I needed help parsing 2 or 3. And thanks to Twmbarlwm for the puzzle, which I enjoyed even though it’s taken me a very long time to finish.

  36. A fun puzzle with lots to enjoy, I needed a couple of hints from Mr K, mainly due to time pressure. I had not heard of 14a.

    Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and to Mr K for the hints and pics.

  37. Thank you to Twmbarlwm for the crossword, which I enjoyed but found quite tough (about the same as Thursday’s Django Toughie), and for claiming authorship. Now it’s been revealed, it makes perfect sense it would be you and I feel like I should’ve been able to work it out.

    I particularly liked 28a (an anagram even I could spot!), 29a’s Virginia (I’m surprised how controversial this is in other comments!), and 6d’s French fur. My favourite was the clever 1d. I Hope we get to solve more Twm puzzles soon.

    Thank you to Mr K for the hints and explanations.

    1. PS: I knew 14a (and was a bit surprised by others not doing) — maybe just because it’s something I’ve been accused of? But I didn’t know the tantrum that forms part of it. Does anybody still use the word, or can give an example sentence with it in?

  38. Bit of a struggle this. Several bung ins. I got 13a but only because it was the only cocktail which fitted in. The parsing was beyond me

  39. Thanks again, folks.

    Smylers @37 et al, I had the odd doubt on how easily Virginia Wade would be remembered, but coincidentally 2 or 3 weeks ago she was in the news for revealing that she was the young woman who posed for David Wynne’s ‘Girl With a Dolphin’ sculpture near Tower Bridge!

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