DT 30532 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30532

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30532

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. I’m in New Zealand this week, so I’m experiencing the disorienting sensation of writing the hints for Friday’s puzzle on a Friday evening. The puzzle felt a little more straightforward than recent Friday offerings, making for a steady and very enjoyable solve. The grid uses every letter except Z. I have no idea if that has any significance.

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.



9a    Unidentified current coin got replaced (9)
INCOGNITO:  A synonym of current with an anagram (re-placed) of COIN GOT 

10a   Absolute Ashes hero all outsiders ignored (5)
SHEER:  ASHES HERO minus the outer letters on both words (all outsiders ignored

11a   Holding over detailed March vote shows inconsistency (7)
PARADOX:  All but the last letter (de-tailed) of a march or procession and the letter indicating a vote are sandwiching (holding) the cricket abbreviation for over 

12a   Tonic ingredient, one of five in recipe ultimately (7)
QUININE:  Link together an informal word for one thing in a set of five, IN from the clue, and the last letter (ultimately) of RECIPE 

13a   Conservative hacked off about one European tweeter in America (9)
CHICKADEE:  The single letter for Conservative with an anagram (off) of HACKED containing (about) the Roman one, all followed by the single letter for European 

15a   Deduce number escaping blaze (5)
INFER:  An abbreviation for number is deleted from (escaping) a serious blaze 

17a   Language by son beginning to generate row (7)
SHINDIG:  Assemble the genealogical abbreviation for son, an Asian language, and the beginning letter to GENERATE 

19a   My work  environment (7)
SETTING:  “my work” from the perspective of the person who wrote the clue is also a synonym of environment 

20a   Children gave us significant purchases in retirement (5)
ISSUE:  GAVE US SIGNIFICANT holds (purchases) the reversal (in retirement) of the answer 

21a   Drunk relatives becoming unsteady (9)
VERSATILE:  An anagram (drunk) of RELATIVES 

24a   Rose perhaps is flexible after start of career (7)
CLIMBER:  An adjective meaning flexible comes after the first letter (start of) of CAREER. The definition is by example (perhaps

26a   German wine from second retailer runs out (7)
MOSELLE:  A second or short period of time is followed by a synonym of retailer with the cricket abbreviation for runs deleted (runs out

28a   Soldiers retreating during each evacuation procedure (5)
ENEMA:  The reversal (retreating) of another word for soldiers is inserted in (during) the abbreviation for each 

29a   Overhear First Lady's reported lapse (9)
EAVESDROP:  A homophone (reported) of the first lady in the bible with her ‘S from the clue is followed by lapse or fall 



1d    Pen inspiring work, international film of celebrity's life (6)
BIOPIC:  A brand of pen containing (inspiring) both the usual musical work and the single letter for independent 

2d    Deficiencies in what some urban architects do? (10)
SCARCITIES:  The answer split (4,6) describes what some people think some urban architects do 

3d    Elderly French artist, for the most part upset (4)
AGED:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of all but the last letter (for the most part) of a well-known French artist 

4d    Jack, popular Times journalist, beset by bad luck (6)
JINXED:  Concatenate the playing card abbreviation for Jack, popular or fashionable, the letter representing times/multiplication, and the usual abbreviated journalist 

5d    Masters game, we hear (8)
CONQUERS:  A homophone (we hear) of a game involving horse chestnuts and string 

6d    Star is paid to run plant (10)
ASPIDISTRA:  An anagram (to run) of STAR IS PAID 

7d    Suppose midfielder must welcome match before final (4)
SEMI:  SUPPOSE MIDFIELDER hides (must welcome) the answer 

8d    Forget somehow to describe extremely rare amphibian (4,4)
TREE FROG:  An anagram (somehow) of FORGET containing (to describe) the outer letters (extremely) of RARE

14d   Vegetable from Kenya Biden chewed (6,4)
KIDNEY BEAN:  An anagram (chewed) of KENYA BIDEN 

16d   Butterfly farm monastery will accommodate (10)
FRITILLARY:  A monastery contains (will accommodate) a verb synonym of farm 

17d   Whips  turn them on? (8)
SWITCHES:  A noun synonym of whips also describes some objects that can be turned on 

18d   Jules maybe stops pet rolling over as commanded (8)
GOVERNED:  Jules the French author inserted in (stops) the reversal (rolling over) of an animal used as a pet 

22d   Order cuts always when mounting purge (6)
REMOVE:  A usual abbreviated order that’s an award is inserted in (cuts) another word for always, and that’s all reversed (when mounting, in a down clue) 

23d   Absolved former politician to appear in film (6)
EXEMPT:  A short word for former is followed by an abbreviated politician that’s inserted in (to appear in) a usual Spielberg film 

25d   Story of two people involved romantically (4)
ITEM:  A story or article is also a word for two people who are involved romantically 

27d   Band of British Army regiment hard to follow (4)
SASH:  An abbreviated British Army regiment is followed by the pencil abbreviation for hard 


Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue was the amusing 28a. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  AUTHOR + DOCKS = ORTHODOX

121 comments on “DT 30532
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  1. Cor, that was tough and therefore very satisfying to finish.

    A couple of new words to note down: 16d and the hilarious 28a…ooo matron! I love words like 17a. Such fun.

    Not easy to pick a podium but I will go with 13a (for effort), 21a and 2d.

    Many thanks to the Friday fiend and Mr K


  2. Great Friday work out. North West corner slowest to go in.
    No techy words, soaps or slang – just good clues.
    Thanks to compiler.

  3. I was daunted by this crossword initially but gradually worked through it with increasing enjoyment as I progressed. I thought it had some great clues, especially 19a, 28a and 25d. Never heard of the first half of 1d; I kept wanting to include an R from the more familiar brand! Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Out of interest Henry, why? Leaving aside the cheeky wit of the clue, the answer is surely a quite standard and acceptable word, generally/normally a medical/health procedure. While my own line is drawn at coarseness and the more offensive swear words (bloody & damn are fine in my view), which often rules out the Guardian (let’s face it, the Guardian itself is often justly ruled out for a whole host of other reasons), even The Times had ‘widdle’ for ‘to go’ earlier this week, and it is far from uncommon (even in the DT, dare I say) to have references to ‘the john’, ‘can’, ‘condom’, ‘pot’, herb’, ‘horse’, etc

      Indeed I’d rather have all of those in one puzzle than to again see as one answer a word the OED describes as having become obsolete over 300 years ago!

    2. It is sad Henry, that in a very clever puzzle with some really well constructed clues all you can do is pick out what you don’t like. One sentence. Not a word of appreciation of the rest of the grid – or were you being deliberately provocative? It sounds to me as though your glass is half empty.

  4. Evidently I was fortunate to tune in to the setter’s wavelength from the off, for I found this a very gentle challenge for a Friday and wondered whether it was an escapee from the Monday/Tuesday back-page pile. However the enjoyment, while it lasted, was very considerable – what an absolutely wonderful puzzle! A deftness of touch throughout, great surface readings, all familiar and no arcane ‘G’K required; so much with and humour, and in every clue a case of “follow the instructions”.

    So many clues merited ticks afterwards but shall limit nominees to 17a, 28a, 5d, 8d, 17d & 18d, with COTD to the quite brilliant (and so right!) 2d.

    1.5* / 4.5*

    Chapeau and a huge thank you to the setter (Silvanus for my fiver), and of course also to Mr K

    1. You’ve made me laugh again, MG. Brilliant. 2d is actually highly debatable, I would say! But I do agree this was excellent: very clean and fair, which also made me think of Silvanus. The ever-so-slightly saucy 17d wobbled me, though. Could it, in fact, be proXimal? Either way, ‘twas very good indeed. Some clever construction (eg 11a, 28a) and sharp surfaces (eg 17a, 4d) but the effortlessly simple 19d was my favourite. Huge thanks to setter, and Mr K.

      1. I doubt it’s a ProXimal, ALP – not an X-less pangram, and at the same time too few Xs. Unless my memory of his “tells” is playing me up, of course!

  5. I’d agree that this one felt a little more straightforward than recent Fridays though the solve still took me well into ** time to complete. A misplaced conviction that the SW was sure to contain a Z as well as the W rather held me up. Lots to like here & very enjoyable. 11,28&29a along with 2,17&18d particular likes.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K – enjoy your NZ trip.

  6. A very enjoyable and not too demanding end of the (non-)work week challenge – 2*/4.5*

    I got the two ‘Xs’ early on so I began to wonder if this was going to be a proXXXXimal production but two more ‘Xs’ were not forthcoming. So, if this is the work of one of the other members of the Friday triumvirate I have to put my Loonie on this being the work of Silvanus.

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 28a, 2s, 16d, and the Pun – and the winner is 28a.

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

      1. For everyone else, this is what the Common Loon gracing the numismatic reverse of a Loonie looks like. When the coin was introduced to replace the one dollar bill it didn’t take very long for someone to come up with the metonym:

        1. And for those who are not ornithologically inclined the bird known as a Common Loon across the pond is called a Great Northern Diver in this part of the world!

            1. I don’t know whether to feel disappointed that they called it a toonie (two loonies) because it’s ridiculously lazy or praise them as it’s a great shout?

              The polar bear on the coin has been ignored. There must be a better name out there.

              Hmm….a Polee?

              I’ve made my mind up….toonie is superb. 👏👏

  7. I thought this was really good fun and I enjoyed it a lot. 17a was a bung in as it fitted so nice to see how it worked out. Loved the catty pics I wonder who the setter is so thanks to them for the fun and to Mr K – enjoy your hols, you are getting away from some terrible weather here.

  8. An appropriately Fridayish work out, plenty to slot straight in and number to cause a bit head scratching.
    As ever Mr K’s selection of pics was also excellent, particularly the raccoon disguise! I did note however that the hint in 18d suggested a somewhat dismissive relationship when referring to an animal “used” as a pet – I am suspecting a different description had the pet in question had whiskers and purred!
    Back to the crossword and amongst many ticks I particularly liked 2d, 17a, and 16d, but my winner today is 19a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  9. I enjoyed this puzzle but isn’t the anagram fodder in 9a missing one letter? 28a is very memorable.
    Thank you to all involved

      1. It’s not actually! It’s “in” as a synonym (as Mr K correctly said) for “current”, “fashionable” or “trendy” then the anagram fodder.

        1. Thank you Silvanus for the explanation. I thought it unlikely that you had made a mistake. I’m afraid my scientific background stopped me thinking beyond I for current. Very clever 🤔

          1. I made the same assumption Faraday and thought there would be uproar on here with another editorial mistake. Only to find out that I’m in the wrong. Nothing new there my wife would say.

              1. At least you two weren’t doubly wrong, like me! I mis-parsed likewise, but also didn’t notice that the fodder would be deficient. :-(

        2. Yes, of course. But in my defence, I was understandably diverted by A’s comment above, and an overwhelming, immediate impulse to introduce Michael Faraday into the mix. Plus, that’s how I mistakenly parsed it in the first place. I sit corrected. Thank you.

    1. It looks ok to me, 2 letter word for current then an anagram of the 7 letters in the next two words. Maybe I am missing something…

  10. I enjoyed this which I thought fairly gentle for a Friday. On pangram alert from the off but the z remained elusive. Some clever misdirection throughout. I spent far too long on the four letter 5d before the penny dropped, even though it was a lurker.The synonym for unsteady in 21a was not the first that sprang to mind, but there it is in the good old BRB – the fact that it was an anagram helped a little! Lots to choose from for podium places but favourite is 17a – what a lovely word – with runners up 11a and 16d. Thanks to our setter and Mr K. Good to see the kitty pics back.

  11. A smidgen gentler than our recent Friday puzzles but very enjoyable – thanks to our setter and Mr K.
    My ticks went to 17a, 19a, 28a, 4d and 18d.

  12. Friday it may be but that was enjoyably solvable. NW brought up the rear. Wasted time working on parliamentary voting for 17d – obviously an intended misdirection. 28a and 2d evoked chuckles and became my joint Favs. Thank you 9a and MrK.

  13. 2*/5*. What a magnificent puzzle to finish the week. Surely the work of Mr Smooth!

    I’ve never heard of the tweeter in 13a (but I’ll bet the house that Jane has) but it was readily derivable by following the instructions in the clue.

    My page is littered with ticks and my podium comprises 28a, 2d & 4d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus (?) and to Mr K.

    1. A selective enlargement(?) of Mr K’s illustration for 13a. A delightful little bird that stays with us year round withstanding the coldest of cold winters.

      1. with some trepidation for fear of the rabbit hole I may disappear down is this a marsh tit or a coal tit?
        my money’s (loonie’s) on the Marsh variety but no better at ornithology than I am at crosswords…

        1. Well, I know it as a Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) but it does have European relatives all within the family Paridae and genus Poecile.

          1. I should have guessed given the context, surprisingly similar despite the geographic separation, obviously some common ancestry in there somewhere…

  14. Good afternoon

    Up a lot earlier than normal (09:15 dental appointment) so got stuck into the crozzie a lot earlier too. This was an enjoyable solve with the SW quadrant proving the trickiest. Took an age figuring out 17a, and had to really think about 28a!

    Splendidly witty COTD: 2d.

    Many thanks to our compiler for the 19a, and to Mr K.

  15. Very enjoyable with the right level of challenge to make it a very satisfying solve for me.
    Needed the hints to help me pick apart if the parsing of 9a and 11a, thank you Mr K.
    I wasn’t aware of the synonym in 21a and can’t think of a sentence that I would use it in therefore.
    My favourite was 2d.
    Thanks to all

  16. Another not too scary Friday puzzle this week. Went together well with NW last in. A couple of old chestnuts in this one.

    2*/4* for me

    Favourites include 19a, 25a, 4d, 5d, 16d & 23d — with winner 26a but liked them all.
    Laughs/chuckles for 17a, 19a, 29a & 18d

    Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

  17. A perfect Friday crossword that ticked all my boxes, with 28a and 18d my favourite clues from a long list of potentials.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

  18. An excellent Friday puzzle. Great clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: I have ticked quite a few, but will have to choose 9a. As I often do, I got the answer from the defintion and checkers with only a cursary look at the wordplay. I missed that the “current” wasn’t the physics I but the trendy IN. Crafty devils, these setters! I’m guessing this is a Silvanus production? 3*/4.5*.

  19. Another superb example of 19a from Mr Smooth which made for a thoroughly enjoyable Friday solve. Like others, I was hunting for the missing letter to make it a pangram but it was obviously reserved for inclusion in the Quckie!
    Top marks here for 11&13a (yes, RD, I did know it!) plus 4,16&25a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the review – I do hope your NZ family is keeping well.

  20. About par for a Friday puzzle. excellent cluing and a steady solve.
    Liked the NW corner and my favourire of 11a.
    I was not familier with the unsteady definition of 21a but Chambers confermed versatile and vica versa.Noted GJR above
    Going for a ***/****.
    Special mention with the Quickie pun.

  21. I started off like a snail
    And guessed I was certain to fail
    But I soon gathered pace
    And filled every space
    To the setter I say “All Hail!”

    Mr Kitty finds beautiful cats
    His back deserves lots of pats
    Explanations still clear
    When he isn’t so near
    Down under with lots of expats.

        1. Love it!

          Your thinking must have been great….

          ‘Now, what rhymes with Sturges? Hmm…Splurges….Merges….Purges….Surges…Dirges? That’s the one!’


          1. There once was a young man called Sturges
            Who had rather regrettable urges
            While his attempts at good verse
            Were oft rather perverse
            They weren’t quite so bad as The Verger’s!

              1. I was feeling considerably charitable
                Though in here young is generally relative
                If disappointingly Tom’s age is unverifiable
                It’s a lot of good fun to be secretive

            1. Outstanding, Morris Garages!

              Posh Poet Pip has competition from I ‘Mustafa Gee’ please, Bob. (We loved Mr Holness)

              I would love to know the average age, or maybe the median, on this blog as I reckon I’m a sprightly 58.

                1. A very fair comment, Alpingtons, as I am very childish, especially when it comes to nicknaming aliases which some of the solvers can’t stand.

                  But, I can’t stop myself. It’s like a Herbert Lom twitch in the oh so splendid Pink Panther films (what a tune)

                  I’m almost 60 and am nowhere near growing up……it’s great!

                2. You are young, Tom Sturges, the old Pip said,
                  But your posts here never do end;
                  And yet your words are incessantly read –
                  On you humour so much does depend.

                  (With apologies to Lewis Carroll)

                  1. Take that, MG!

                    I feel like a referee between two literary sluggers, telling them to get back to their respective Poets’ corners.

                    Ding ding!

                    Or should that be ‘Ding Dong’.

                    Leslie Phillips, we salute you.

  22. A straightforward (for me) and very enjoyable puzzle.
    Favourites were 2d, 4d and 28a.
    Loved the kitty pics.
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  23. 17d, the last one for me took as long as the rest of the puzzle put together, then noticed we were without a W and Z for a pangram. Still took another age before the kick yourself moment came, strange, as I knew the word all along, although these were always referred to as ‘withies’ in my family.
    Favourites today, 1a and 2d, very clever.

  24. A super fun puzzle – I nearly spat my coffee laughing when I came to 28a. 18 was my last in, as it took me an age to solve and parse. As for a favourite – possibly 17d or 27d, but really I’m spoilt for choice today, but maybe I’ll make 13a & 16d my twin pick of the day. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  25. Shropshire Bloke – I love the fact that 28a was your favourite whilst it really upset someone else! Pity those poor setters. I must confess it was one of my first entries and made me laugh too. Excellent end to a jolly good week. Daisies by 9a (have to confess the scientific I did not come to my mind at all- current is ‘in’ to me) 12,15,17,28a and 1,2,3,16&18d had a Daisy, but I think it was 2d that made me laugh out loud – although ALP’s protest makes me think he might be an architect?! I skirted round 5 and 7d as I thought they might be crickety, in 7 d I completely missed the lurker. Many thanks to Mr K for the cats despite the fact that you are on holiday and to Silvanus for a great guzzle. On second thoughts maybe 17a was my favourite.

    1. :-) DL. I’m very happy to say or rather admit that even at my ripe old age I still retain a sense of the ridiculous and a sense of humour that borders on the ‘earthy’ – some say mucky, others might call it toilet level, but no one who knows me well could ever accuse me of being a misery, that’s for sure, lol. :-) :-)

    2. I’ve only just seen this Daisy. Oh you make me laugh! May you (and Shropshirebloke, too) stay forever young. No, I’m not an architect and 2d was a very funny clue. I just don’t think Norman Foster would agree!

  26. Many thanks as always to Mr K (a great set of pictures this week) and to everyone taking the trouble to comment.

    I’m always gratified when solvers pick out many different clues as their favourites, so thank you very much for your choices.

    May I wish everyone a good weekend.

    1. I would love to watch you starting out on the construction of a guzzle. Do you have a couple of good clues in mind and see what comes round them? Or do you challenge yourself with odd words and then make the clues to fit? Intriguing. 17a for instance was brilliant.

      1. Good question! Well, I rarely, if ever, begin a guzzle (to use the lingua franca here!) without having at least one or two words/clues already in mind for the grid. I’ve learnt from experience to make sure that the shorter words fit round the longer solutions, definitely not the other way round. I then select a suitable grid from amongst the selection available to us (around 100 to choose from) and proceed from there. I normally allow myself between three to four days to populate the grid and draft the clues, although I will endeavour to polish the latter on several occasions subsequently. If there’s anything else you (or anyone else) would like to know about creating a puzzle, don’t hesitate to ask.

        Thank you very much for all your contributions, you are unfailingly polite and always leave positive, well-considered comments. If only a certain gentleman whom we all know could do the same…. !

        1. hi Silvanus
          Another question if you don’t mind.
          Are setters tasked with producing puzzles with a specific degree of difficulty because of where the puzzle is due to appear in the week, if so how on earth do you gauge the difficulty level?
          Many thanks for the fun you give us all and for appearing regularly on here to discuss your puzzles

          1. Thank you for the question! I think it’s more a case of the setter submitting the puzzle and the Puzzles Editor then deciding where it’s best suited to appear rather than the editor initially specifying how hard it should be. I’m sure you will have noticed that those setters allocated slots on particular days of the week tend to produce puzzles/guzzles of a similar consistency week after week, so it would be very unusual to find a Monday cryptic that could be moved to a Friday or vice versa.

            As someone who is one of those fortunate enough to provide Toughies as well as back-page puzzles, I would usually reserve much more involved wordplay and choose perhaps slightly less common words for Toughies than I would for back-pagers. At no time since joining the Telegraph in 2018 has the Puzzles Editor ever said to me “make this harder” or “make this easier”, so I hope that means that I can judge the standard required fairly well.

            1. Thank you, Silvanus. Those responses were so interesting, and thank you too for your challenging but entertaining guzzle. I am in DG’s camp re 28a – such fun. And thank you too to Mr K.

        2. How good of you to take the time to reply. I often wonder how you setters set about setting! Everything seems to gel so well yet there must be times when you get stuck! The DT guzzle has been part of my life as long as I can remember, I used to try and get involved when my mother was doing it. You have no idea how much pleasure/entertainment/distraction from every day cares you provide. 🥰

    2. Many thanks for all your efforts in entertaining us… ( and distracting, frustrating, amusing, misleading, confusing, and all the other things you do to us!)

    3. Thanks for a great puzzle to solve and to hint, and that also provided lots of excellent illustration opportunities.

      Thanks also to everyone who commented today.

  27. This was a great puzzle, lots of favourites. I can’t usually finish Friday’s puzzles so this was very welcome. I get at least as much pleasure reading everyone’s comments afterwards. The wit and banter is wonderful. Thank you everybody.

  28. Entertaining and straightforward. Perfect. I had a slow start but soon picked up the pace. LOI 17d just because it was, something has to be last. Hard to pick a favourite, so many contenders but I’ll go with 28a, well it made me laugh. Thanks to Silvanus and Mr. K.

  29. What fun this was, I laughed at 17d and 28a which clearly says something about my sense of humour and have 17a as my favourite but it could have been so many others. I am not sure I would have thought of 21a if it had not been an anagram.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the hints.

  30. I was agreeably surprised to find a Friday puzzle I could actually do, well mostly do to be honest and a Silvanus one at that. I almost didn’t print today having fared so badly on recent Fridays. Managed quite well on first pass, but did sometimes need to use the hints to verify my answers as I got closer to the end. Really pleased to find an enjoyable Friday challenge. Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

  31. So I started thinking, it’s Friday so it’s going to be a toughie , but actually I found it to be a challenging and satisfying solve. I too thought maybe a pangram having bagged a j and x early on , but seems not. I hadn’t heard of the answer to 17d in the context of a whip so learnt a new word. Lots of excellent clues – thanks so much Silvanus for the fun and Mr K. Have a good weekend all.

  32. This was a DNF as I could not get on the setters wavelength, and having seen the answers I ask my self why?
    Stay safe and travel safely

  33. I wondered if this was going to be difficult today as it’s Friday. However it was a joy. 8d was my favourite, the picture too. The butterfly took a while to sort out, but eventually I got there, another great clue. Thankyou for all the cats Mr K and also to Silvanus for the guzzle which cheered me up on a very wet day in Cheshire.

  34. Likewise, I was anticipating an unsolvable Friday guzzle and am so happy to find a most enjoyable solve. Silvanus is sometimes very tricky but his clues are always very fair, at least the solver has a chance. So much good stuff here, I’m not sure I can pick just one, 2d and 17d stood out, but so did many more. I had to use word search to get 13a, but once I could parse it, I loved it.
    Thank you Silvanus, I wish you were here every Friday. You outdid yourself in the pics today Mr. K, the 9a and 25d cats were brilliant. Thanks for your help today and enjoy your vacation in NZ!

  35. Trepidation day ! Actually it was great fun with so many clever clues and misdirection. For 17 d I had stitches because I have always done sewing and embroidery and one would use a whipping stitch to turn an edge . I did get the given answer because it felt to be more obvious. I cannot see why one should be offended by 28 a . We live in a world that is full of really dreadful happenings. By comparison 28 a is a small procedure and is performed for a benefit. A sense of proportion is required. Many thanks to clever Silvanus and Mr. K who is also clever.

  36. Much enjoyed and done in average breakfastyime.
    Liked 11, 15, and 28a; they were joined by 2 and 22d.
    Will confess to cheating on 16d, as not an expert on the 180,000 lepidoptera, and didn’t want to wait for the hints. While there also looked up the tweeter to ensure there was no musk involved; knew the word but not the particular bird, pretty little thing!I
    Many thanks to silvanus and to Mr K for the hints and the pics.

  37. Enjoyed today’s puzzle though must confess to parsing some after completion. I did hold back on entering 21a for awhile. Solved the anagram but didn’t think it could mean versatile! Had to check the hints for 17d. Lots of good clues. Many thanks to Silvanus and for popping in. Thanks also to Mr K for providing a magnificent set of photos. Loved the one for ‘incognito’. Enjoy your holiday especially as it’s wet and miserable here!

  38. What an entertaining set of comments complete with rhymes, a ticking off from DG & some insight from Silvanus.
    Out all day & saw The Holdovers at the cinema this afternoon which I’d heartily recommend to all. – reckon Giamatti will get the nod from the Academy voters & win the Oscar having lost out at the BAFTAs to Cillian Murphy.

  39. Two great Friday solves in a row!

    2d and 17d held me up for an embarrassingly long time.

    I was confused by 21a but it is in the BRB.

    Thanks to all.

  40. Excellent. Only not sure about 17d. 2 5 18 23 and 25d favourites. I was definitely on right wavelength which is unusual for Friday. More please Silvanus. Thanks to you and Mr K

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