DT 30526 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30526

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30526

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. I found today’s offering to be a challenging solve. I suspect that there might be quite a few clues where my detailed explanations will be helpful.  No time to search for pics today, I’m afraid.

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    Bash to the head, wise to get prescription (6)
DOSAGE:  Another word for a bash with a synonym of wise   

4a    Very old boards I had detached (8)
ISOLATED:  Synonyms of very and old inserted in (boards) a contraction of I had  SO(very) + LATE(old) inserted in I’D (I had)

10a   Energetic dance -- twist maybe -- means falling down regularly (5)
SAMBA:  Reverse (twist) MAYBE MEANS and then remove alternate letters ( … falling down regularly

11a   Converted a Tesla with tin and lead on (9)
TANTALISE:  An anagram (converted) of A TESLA TIN 

12a   Belief in science -- i.e. maths -- for rationalisation? (7)
ATHEISM:  An anagram (for rationalisation) of I.E. MATHS. I was surprised by the definition. It’s not supported by the BRB and I know many scientists who don’t subscribe to 12a, and I’m also sure that not all 12a followers believe in science. Probably means I’ve got wrong something wrong with my parsing 

13a   Portion of quail leg -- a luxury that could be banned (7)
ILLEGAL:  The answer is hidden as a portion of QUAIL LEG A LUXURY 

14a   Cold rental in resort -- hotel dining room warmer (7,7)
CENTRAL HEATING:  Link together the single letter for cold, an anagram (in re-sort) of RENTAL, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel, and dining or consuming 

17a   Start of play about Waterloo, maybe small prelude before battle (6,8)
ACTION STATIONS:  Assemble a (3,1) phrase describing the first bit of a play, a short word for about or concerning, what Waterloo defines by example (maybe), and the clothing abbreviation for small  ACT I +  ON + STATION + S[mall]

21a   Deplore outspoken insult that's mumbled on stage (7)
RHUBARB:  A homophone (outspoken) of deplore or regret is followed by a sharp insult 

23a   Listener's bottom pain returned -- it's growing (7)
LOBELIA:  The bottom bit of your listening organ is followed by the reversal (returned) of pain or sicken  LOBE (the ear’s bottom) + the reversal of AIL

24a   Flash without showing rear in favourite grass skirt (9)
PETTICOAT:  All but the last letter (without showing rear) of a flash or short time is sandwiched between a synonym of favourite and a type of cereal grass  PET + TIC[k] + OAT

25a   100, old? Shut up! (5)
CAGED:  The Roman 100 with old or mature 

26a   Unfinished, a press kit showing new breaks for following sport (5-3)
APRES-SKI:  After removing the last letter (unfinished) from A PRESS KIT, replace the two breaks between words with a single new break 

27a   Time to face creature, semi-aquatic adder? (6)
TOTTER:  The physics symbol for time with a cute semi-aquatic creature 



1d    Dictaphone's missing one moving message (8)
DISPATCH:  An anagram (moving) of DICTAPHONE’S minus ONE (missing one) 

2d    Chopin's bust inspires my uplifting description of Beethoven's Fifth? (9)
SYMPHONIC:  An anagram (bust) of CHOPIN’S contains (inspires) the reversal (uplifting, in a down clue) of MY from the clue 

3d    Galway chic? Eire could offer alternatives -- it's slowly going downhill (7)
GLACIER:  Alternate letters (… could offer alternatives) of GALWAY CHIC EIRE 

5d    Transmitted current intelligence, sheer sloppiness! (14)
SENTIMENTALITY:  Follow transmitted a message with the physics symbol for electric current and intelligence or intellect. The definition is informal 

6d    Branch ending rent handout (7)
LEAFLET:  What you find on the end of a tree branch (the branch ending) is followed by rent or lease 

7d    Lean on Jag's boot, which gets bent (5)
THING:  Lean or meagre with the last letter of JAG (Jag’s bootThe definition of bent here is in the sense of inclination or penchant, e.g. a bent/thing for cooking

8d    Welsh river ferry in a serious way (6)
DEEPLY:  A Welsh river and ferry or sail over habitually 

9d    Son dropping plug causes obstruction (9-5)
STUMBLING-BLOCK:  Put together the genealogical abbreviation for son, dropping or falling, and plug or close 

15d   Long time left in darkness -- this will brighten things up (4,5)
NEON LIGHT:  A very long period of time and the single letter for left are inserted together in another word for darkness 

16d   One's alight, turning on Jamaican? (8)
ISLANDER:  The Roman one with its S from the clue is followed by alight from a boat or plane, and the reversal (turning) of on or concerning  I’S + LAND + the reversal of RE

18d   Characters with an inclination to head east (7)
ITALICS:  Characters typeset in a style leaning to the right on the page (with an inclination to head east

19d   Taxi turns up, attending to company that's rolled up (7)
TOBACCO:  Putting the bits in order, we join together TO from the clue, the reversal (turns up, in a down clue) of an informal word for a taxi, and an abbreviation for company 

20d   Drink gallons with pop on tap? On the contrary (6)
GRAPPA:  On the contrary tells us to invert the wordplay to “gallons with tap on pop”, so we are told to cement together the single letter for gallons, tap or knock, and an informal word for pop or father 

22d   No parking in golf club, say (5)
UTTER:  The golf club you use last minus the map abbreviation for parking (no parking in … ) 


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

The Quick Crossword pun:  NUDE + DELI = NEW DELHI

95 comments on “DT 30526
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  1. Top end ***/**** with Mr K’s hints to fully parse 1&23a and 1&5d. Some great clues though on a slowish but steady solve as the cross checkers came in. Never seen 5d used as sloppiness before. 17a great but COTD 14a. A worthy Friday challenge. Thanks to Mr K and our setter.

  2. Very tough, very Friday. At the first look I didn’t get one answer and thought maybe this wasn’t for me, but as is often the case I got the all important foothold and then it was off to the races.
    Several needed the reverse engineering approach to see how they worked, but all in all quite fair. My only question mark was 6d, does a branch always end with one of these, who knows?
    Interested to see who set this, so will someone more au fait with the setters please enlighten me.
    Favourites (out of many) today were 21a, and the very clever 23a, great fun.

  3. It was for me methodical progress through today’s crossword, neither particularly quick nor too taxing.
    I did particularly enjoy the eastwardly inclined 18d and also 26a.
    In 14a I could not see where the room played a part, and if not it seems a bit clumsy to be superfluous.
    Thanks, as ever, to setter and mrK our blogger for the fun.

    1. Hi Phanciful. I see you what you mean re 14a but the “room” is needed for the surface, surely? And it adds to the misdirect. A bit like “to the head” in 1a.

      1. Surely the room is (as Mr K as underlined) simply part of the definition? As in 14a is a room warmer, because it warms rooms.

  4. Sheesh, that was not easy, thanks for the clues, I was stuck in SW corner, partly because I had DRIVE for not parking and partly because 24a was beyond me!

  5. The perfect Friday puzzle, I thought. Some beautiful surfaces telling a little story, every time. 14a is especially strong, so well done. 2d, too. And the shorts were winning too – 7d is charming. It’s impossible to pick a favourite but the brilliant misdirection in 23a came close, even though some may grumble about the loose-ish definition. I only spotted one chestnut at 22d but it’s a good one. The “to the head” in 1a could perhaps be seen as padding but, when it makes the surface sing, I’m all for it! Best of the week for me: as tricky if not trickier than any of this week’s toughies and hugely enjoyable. Many thanks to setter, and Mr K.

    1. Re 1a, surely the bash is do (as in a party), and ‘to the head’ is simply an instruction to place it before the rest of the clue, ie a synonym for wise.

      1. Oh yes that makes it much better! Didn’t like 1a at all before your explanation. I didn’t like 5d either. Too convoluted.

      2. It is, of course. But you don’t actually need that placement instruction (even though it’s accurate) as the bash precedes the rest of the clue. It’s just there for the surface so it could be described as padding. But not a problem at all!

  6. A steady ‘plod’ through this challenging but not much fun puzzle, which is presumably a Zandio production, with understanding of most of the parsing and thanks to Mr K for his detailed explanations – ****/**

    No particulate favourite but 14a and 18d generated smiles.

    Thanks to Zandio, or whomsoever if it is not he, and thanks to Mr K.

    In the absence of any felines from Mr K, try this (it’s only 1 min 9 secs long):

    1. Lovely clip. But I bet to differ about the fun, although it was a real slog there was such satisfaction in not being beaten!

  7. Wow, we had to earn our keep this morning! But it is Friday.
    24a and 27a favourites.
    Many thanks to the compiler for a great challenge.

  8. I really enjoyed this with clever wordplay and cunning misdirections throughout – thanks to our setter and Mr K.
    For my podium I’ve selected 23a (“listener’s bottom” – brilliant), 24a (LOL) and 7d.

  9. Thouroughly enjoyable throughout, taxing, but it is Friday. Some really good surface reads, especially 2d and 14a. I wasn’t sure about 12a . I’m sure there are scientists who wouldn’t call themselves atheists and vice versa. Lots that could have been favourite today. I’ll go for 23a for the cheeky misdirection, supported by 24a – very clever, and 9d. Thanks to our setter and the Mr K

  10. What a fab crossword, don’t think I’ve enjoyed a backpager this much for a long time – 4*/5*. So many clever clues. Bravo setter! And everything fell at a slow and steady pace, much like me running the hurdles 😅

    Favourites were 4a, 21a, 2d, 18d and 22d. 23a has to be the rudest surface, I expect there may be tuts 🤣

    I’m glad Mr K picked up on my only ‘hmm’, 12a, as I don’t like the definition either – I’m far from inclined to 12a with a long scientific pedigree. But that’s a tiny niggle in a fab Friday fanfare of fiercely fair full-on faculty-flogging fun 😁🏅

    1. I do agree with you both re 12a. A definite hmm but quite funny and possibly largely true in a Darwinian sort of way. Bearing in mind just how much Brian hates religious clues (though this is more of an anti-religion clue) I’d be interested to know what he thinks..

      1. I looked at it for a while thinking I’d missed something, as by its very definition 12a is not a belief in anything! It’s not anti-religion per se as that’d be antitheism which is a lot of what one sees under that umbrella.

        Fair doos to Brian, if you don’t know terminology it get tedious! I feel the same about Greek myth – always a roll of the eyes and a reveal 🤣

  11. A predictable step up in back-page difficulty but maybe not as beastly as some Friday guzzles in recent memory even though it took me into *** time to solve it. Very enjoyable too. Pleased to twig the subtraction anagram immediately for once. Podium spots for 23a, 7d & 17a.
    Thanks to the setter (Zandio presumably) & to Mr K.

  12. I’m with Senf, challenging and not a lot of fun. Some of the clues required a real leap of faith ro solve. It was a slowstart and a lot of guesswork was involved before I finished the puzzle. In sime cases I couldn’t evwn reverse engineer the parsing So thanks to Mr K for the hints, which I ahall read oresebtly to e lighten me. Not my cup of tea but thanks to the compiler for his efforts

  13. 5*/2.5*. I found this a bit of a slog although there were some very clever clues.

    12a is just plain wrong.

    21a was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Agree with you anout 12a. To say scientists jin general are 12a is a rrather sweeping statement. I know many who aren’t

      1. I’d say almost au contraire. Many scientists when contemplating some of the stunning harmonies, symmetries and unifications wax lyrical and become mystics.

        “God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with the prime numbers.”
        (often ascribed to Paul Erdos)

  14. A thoroughly approachable and enjoyable Friday puzzle to accompany the morning coffee. By a considerable margin the best puzzle of the week and year so far, whether back page or Toughie, and not excessively challenging. Sure, harder than the last few, but that’s what it’s meant to be on a Friday: a bridge from the back page to the inside page. Witty, clever, and amusing clues (esp. the laugh-out-loud risqué 23a/24a pair), with a few gimmes, old friends and a generous dollop of very accessible anagrams to maintain forward progress.

    Ticks appeared in profusion – 10a, 17a, 21a, 23a, 24a, 3d, 7d, 9d, 16d & 20d – but will limit the podium places to 17a, 23a/24a, and 7d.

    2.5* / 5* – I cannot recall when I last enjoyed a puzzle so much.

    Thank you to the setter (Zandio is my call, too) and to MrK.

  15. Again. this week for me, it seemed like an easier than expected puzzle for the end of the work week. Several tricky clues and parsing caused some head scratching, but nothing overly tough.

    2*/3.5* for me

    Favourites today include 17a, 23a, 25a, 2d, 15d & 18d — with winner 18d
    Smiles from 1a, 27a & 15d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  16. Not for me I’m sorry to say but that’s par for the course for me where Zandio’s back-pagers are concerned. Pleased to see that others enjoyed it.

    Thanks to Zandio for his efforts, to Mr K for the review and to Senf for the lion cubs.

  17. Solved just over a third before acknowledging I needed a brain transplant to finish it. Then worked out the across clues from Mr K’s fine hints which provided the checkers to work out the down clues. All honour to those who finished this although I was satisfied with my efforts on a Friday crossword for once.

    I was pleased with 17a, and 23 and 27d. Again it was Mr K to the rescue so many thanks to him. Thanks also to the setter.
    Of those solved on my own I was

    1. Problems with so called smart technology all morning which was only sorted out by the husband of one of my wife’s friends.

      Solved just over a third before acknowledging I needed a brain transplant to finish it.

      Then worked out the across clues from Mr K’s fine hints which provided the checkers to work out the down clues. All honour to those who finished this although I was satisfied with my efforts on a Friday crossword for once.

      Of those I solved on my own I was pleased with 17, 23 and 27a. Again it was Mr K to the rescue so many thanks to him. Thanks also to the setter.

      Why do the sellers of technology always say it’s very easy to set ; just plug it in, or charge the battery and away you go. Where you go first is to the makers HP, Epson, Canon and the rest. But unless there are the usual problems they cannot help and you either return it or throw it out of the window without opening it. Even Simon took nearly an hour to sort it and he’s an expert.

  18. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss.
    In 14a, I think the definition would be unfair without ‘room’ (or something similar such as ‘house’).
    Regarding frequency, Chris Lancaster has been kind enough to run my back-pagers about once every three weeks since the start of 2020. Prior to that, you’ll remember, this Friday slot was held for at least 15 years by the great Don Manley (Giovanni) — big boots to fill!
    Have a good weekend.

    1. Oh man with a sideways mind – you made an old lady (and her older husband) very happy over a mussel chowder. The satisfaction of not having been beaten was immense although I have to confess to bunging in 3d and having to look at Mr K for reassurance. Many thanks.

    2. Thank you for a great crossword, Zandio.

      It was so enjoyable though me thinks drinks o’clock is coming a tad earlier today as I’ve earned it.

      Keep ’em coming!

      1. Six on the dot Tom and not before. One has to have some self control. 😌 (couldn’t see one with a halo and self righteous smirk)

        1. What a great expression ‘self-righteous smirk’ is.

          Almost as good as ‘tartly’ that you used last week.

  19. Fantastic — my favourite crossword of the year so far! (OK, we’ve only had one month of it.) Thank you Zandio for conjuring it up.

    I hadn’t heard of the 23a plant and needed Mr K’s hint for that one. But the rest of it was for me (©Senf), the most straightforward of the week, taking much less time than, say, Wednesday’s backpager.

    Thank you also to Mr K for explaining the definition in 7d, and confirming I wasn’t missing anything in 12a.

    Highlights included 17a’s start of play, 21a’s mumbling, 25a’s age-based riposte, 26a’s ‘hidden in plain sight’, and 6d’s branch ending, with my favourite being 18d’s characters. That’s the second Zandio backpager in a row in which my favourite clue has involved typographic rotation (after the Times changing angle last time), so maybe that’s now my 7d?

  20. First and second comments vanished into the ether…
    Loved 23a 24a, knew It was Zandio when I saw the one extraction, he has more than adequately filled The Don’s metaphorical boots
    Had a pleasant booze up with Elgar and others yesterday, the ensuing hangover didnt slow me at this but the Sparks Toughie is a but trickier

  21. A brilliant Friday puzzle, which could only have been Zandio – just the type of cryptic I like best. Great clues, a toughish challenge and a very enjoyable tussle which took more than one session to complete. There’s nothing wrong with 14a in my book. 12a, I think this is just referencing that belief in science/evolution is (loosely) opposite to belief in god/gods/religion/creation. Not entirely correct but generally just about OK for a cryptic clue with a tail wind and good dollop of setters’ latitude. I’m sure there are plenty of scientists who are not athiests. But I ain’t going to debate/defend this one – no way, Jose! Fav: the amusing 23a. 4*/5*.

  22. Very pleased to have finished this albeit with several dips into the thesaurus so not unaided. Is that allowed? I had to go to the hints to understand a few of the parsings too, namely 1a, 10a and 24a. Thoroughly enjoyed the tussle though. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  23. Very tough today, more Toughie than BP. Completed but more by letter substitution than by unpicking the complex and somewhat bizarre clues. I know Friday is meant to be a bit more difficult but surely the essential part of that statement is ‘a bit more’! Zandia def my least favourite setter, worse than Proxima and that’s saying something.
    Very little fun, just a dreary slog.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Brian, being the saddo that I might well be accused of being, I have kept a record of some of the comments and observations that I have made since participating in Big Dave’s Crossword Blog over the last ten or eleven years. During that time you have stated how much you dislike crossword puzzles set by:- Rufus, Giovanni, Dada, RayT, Campbell, Proximal, Xandio – how many more do I need to add to the list? For goodness sake, either give up carping, or just accept the fact that you can’t do a particular puzzle – there is no shame in admitting it. There are several wars going on in the world – people are being killed or driven from their homes, we might all be all nuked into oblivion before long. There is far more to get uptight about these days than a bl***y crossword puzzle. So for Pete’s sake just give it a rest. For the record, this was a most enjoyable puzzle today, a tad harder to fathom, but not in any way impossible. Your comments tend to say far more about ‘Brian’ than ever they do about a particular crossword puzzle. I look forward to the day when the first of your ‘perfect’ crossword puzzles of your own setting is published on the Telegraph’s back page. Let’s see your offering – please.

  24. Fully frazzled but eventually content having completed the solve. MrK you have never been so necessary, unlocking my handful of bung-ins. Thanks also to Zandio

  25. Steady solve. Enjoyable puzzle. Understood the ‘bash’ in 1a to be a synonym for ‘do’ or ‘party’ and ‘to the head’ to mean in front. Thanks to setter and blogger. Nice weekend all.

  26. Well I loved it, nay, WE loved it. And I am more than happy to accept Corky’s admiration. We finished it unaided by any outside research although I confess that 3d was an ‘it had to be’ but for the life of me I couldn’t see it. Feeling fragile today as just before I went off to saffron Walden yesterday for an xray on my ‘good’ knee I had a really bad tumble, bruised knees, hands and arm. Ouch. It really shook me up – George was out of course and I lay on the ground for 15 minutes before I dared to move. Then I had to get in the car and drive myself there. But we are off to the First Night of the Barkway Pantomine tonight, highlight of the year. Many thanks to Zandio, Mr K, Senf the lion King – too many daisies to mention but the listener’s bottom was priceless.

    1. Oh dear, DG, that was not a nice thing to happen. Unfortunately, it can happen suddenly. One minute you’re up and looking around. Next thing you’re staring at grass hoping that nothing is broken.
      Please take care and I hope you feel better soon. 🌹

  27. Well I managed to finish this unaided but it was another guess-fest. Thank goodness for the hints so I could see the parsings.
    Still felt good that I had done it, though.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  28. Boom! What a belter.

    Zandio is really hitting his straps, especially in the ‘Ooo matron/Wey hey!/Stop it’ stakes. 23a and 24a are totes hilaire. He needs to send an application to Day Zee, ALP and AgentB to join the ‘Fun bunch’. Great stuff.

    It was hard work but that’s what I sign up for on a Friday.

    I’m with Jose all the way with 12a. A setter shows gratitude for a bit of latitude.

    4a took me an age to get as ‘boards’ threw me.

    Not easy to pick a pody but I’ll go with 20d and the aforementioned ‘Chuckle brothers’.

    Many thanks to Zandio, who is now in The Pantheon, and Mr K.


  29. I managed to finish this in the end but struggled with the NE corner.
    Thought 5d more soppiness than sloppiness.
    Favourite was 17a with 23a a close runner-up.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  30. My, that was tough. I now need a damp towel. Mr K’s hints were required to finish in the SE corner. But that said there was much to admire. I really enjoyed 14 and 17a but 23a gets top podium spot. It took me ages to twig the wordplay, but it is Friday. Thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  31. First ever Friday finish! Well done me (he said modestly). That said, though I was sure 1a/7d/24a were right, I had to come here to parse them properly. A bit of a “hmm” for the wordplay in 1a and the definition in 7d.

    Favourites were 6d for the gorgeous surface and ‘branch ending’, and 23a for ‘listener’s bottom’. ****/****

    Is it pub o’clock yet?

  32. I know it’s Friday and I am not complaining but this was far too hard for me. I managed to put 4 answers in before resorting to the hints. With the help of these, I managed to finish all but two. Thanks for those hints and to the setter.

  33. Very tough for me but I am so pleased I stuck at it and completed it. I definitely had to make use of the check answer feature several times and I did not understand the parsing of several but Mr K helped me understand with his excellent hints.

    Many thanks to Zandio for the workout and to Mr K for the hints and detailed explanations.

  34. Very pleased to have finally finished a Friday Zandio unaided ( better than Giovanni in my opinion and that’s saying something!) – some great misdirections in places. Thank you Mr K, missed the pics!

  35. I should know better than to print up a Friday puzzle… life is too short. I agree with Corky that 12a is a rather sweeping statement (one of the few answers I managed). After checking a few hints picked at random (there being no picture hints – my usual allowed number of hints), I can say with complete conviction that I would never come up with 5d as meaning sheer sloppiness. Message to self: do not look at Friday puzzles. Well done Mr K and all who unraveled this.

  36. Wow that was for me a Toughie in disguise so much so that I was ready to throw in the towel this morning but a second go this p.m. eventually produced the goods but not without several hmms along the way. Those included 24a, 3d, 7d and 18d for being too clever by half. Thank you Zandio and a particular appreciation to MrK for your Definition and Detailed explanations of some rather tortuous clues. Bring back Giovanni!

  37. I really enjoyed this and found it less challenging than some, certainly not always the case. Favourite was 17a. Thanks to Zandio and Mr. K.

  38. I’m never on Zandio’s wavelength so nothing new here. I did finish, having to dive in for a hint from Mr. K to get going again and copious use of ehelp. Really a lot of hard work and not what I would call a barrel load of fun. Not sure I approve of “thing” for “bent” at 7d, but ye olde slang appears again. Fave, natch, is 16d, nice to see a bit of paradise thrown in.
    Thanks Zandio, and of course Mr. K without whom I would never have understood most of this, let alone finish.

  39. Good afternoon

    Well, I thought – correctly as it turns out – this was indeed another Friday date with the Mind of Zandio. And as crozzies go, this was a little belter! It has taken me since 11:00 to get to the pen down stage, with them all done.

    The first seven solutions went straight in, then it became clear that the MoZ was 11a-ing me; it was a classic Friday braincell stretcher! Loved 14a and 21a; 26a was a corker, and I cannot decide between 3d and 5d for COTD.

    4, 17, 23, and especially 24a were the ones I found difficult to parse, so I am indebted to Mr K for his detailed explanations. Thank you also to Zandio for the challenge.

  40. A strange mix of mind-benders and write-ins. Is 21a the fruit of the week? Seem to have seen it a couple of times.
    Needed to check with Mr K that we agreed on some of the parsings /answers 4, 23, 24, 27a, 7,18,19d, all OK. Joint faves today are 17a and 18d, and liked 14a too.
    Many thanks to Zandio for the challenge (And for dropping by – Hi there!) And to Mr K for the write-up.

  41. I was not a happy bunny. I found it inconsistent with some clues being obvious and others not even seeming to fit the definitions. 5 d was not an answer that would come to mind for sheer sloppiness. Perhaps sheer soppiness would have been a better definition. Anyway I ran out of time and patience with 4a , 5d and 7d not completed.Sorry to sound an old curmudgeon but there is no point in making a comment if it is not honestly felt. I think this is the first time that I have been so negative.

  42. 24a was very sneaky. I got the clue by inspection, but the logic escaped me until I read it here!
    Some great clues, but not convinced about 12a definition. A scientist can believe in god surely?

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last comment (in 2020) so this needed moderation. Both versions will work from now on.

  43. Late on parade but didn’t start until after work etc.

    One of the best Friday solves for some time. Very hard but, with perseverance, I managed to solve unaided other than looking up a plant thingy for 23a, my LOI.

    Thanks to all.

  44. I’m also late on parade. Not only that, I had no time for the guzzle. The marking was full on today and I have another seventy to get through by the end of the month.
    I will see if I can have a go tomorrow but, in the meantime, my thanks to the setter for what I missed. Thank you, Mr K for the hints, which I will now read along with the contributions from the commentariat.

  45. An enjoyable solve, completed in ** time but lots of ?s which needed Mr K’s hints to parse. Many thanks to him and the setter.

  46. Well I loved this Zandio chef d’œuvre. ****/***** for me. I do feel sorry for Zandio though as I feel he and I were on a wavelength for this one, which is a burden for him, resonating with the Swinyard synapses. I did have a DNF though as needed hints for 24a. Many thanks to all.

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