28738 All the way round single handed

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic


I don’t think this was all that hard, but it took me the best part of 26 minutes. I spent quite a lot agonising (unnecessarily as it turns out) over the three little letters of 2 down: I’ve left my tentative steps and realisation intact below. One clue made me smile, which was 12 down: the rest was at least workmanlike and fair, with a few straying into the really easy category. I didn’t detect anything in the arcane category, but I did spot a couple of clues where US English might confuse, either way.

Definitions underlined in italics, the rest hopefully self explanatory.

1 Hack cried out for somewhere to sit (4,5)
DECK CHAIR – A deceptively easy quickie type clue to start: an anagram (out) of HACK CRIED
6 Fish that’s normally left after smoking (5)
ROACH – Double definition, I think. As well as the common fish, it also means the butt end of a jazz tobacco cigarette, which Chambers says is American slang. I have heard it used for the whole thing, but we have recently had experts on discord who can confirm. I’m not sure what you’d abnormally do with one.
9 Objects to alien attitudes (7)
MINDSET – Straight substitutions: objects gives MINDS, alien the familiar ET.
10 Madonna with Child in work of certain craftsman (7)
MASONRY – The Madonna is MARY, and therein is SON for child. The “in” is no filler, it’s a positional indicator.
11 French city from 50s featured in story (5)
LILLE -Your 2 Roman fifties are LL, placed in LIE for story.
13 Avoid more unorthodox sort of film (4,5)
ROAD MOVIE – Hands up if you spotted video in the anagram (unorthodox) fodder of AVOID MORE. I can confirm there’s no such thing as a roam video, but if there was it would be pretty much the same as our answer.
14 Yearn to have case dismissed as judge listened (9)
EARWIGGED – Which is as in surreptitious listening. YEARN loses its “case”, and it’s a characteristic of a judge that they are WIGGED
16 Golf shot you’re aiming to complete (4)
GRID – NATO Golf plus RID for shot (got rid/shot of)
18 Too anxious at first when meeting players from capital (4)
ALSO -One of those small word definitions easily missed. The first letter of Anxious joined by LSO, the London Symphony Orchestra.
19 Spike necessarily after a time replacing Charlie (9)
PERFORATE – A verbal spike. Necessarily is PERFORCE, replace the C(harlie) (either NATO or another drug reference) with A T(ime)
22 Brief couple of points you had welcomed as a female (9)
CURTSEYED – Brief is CURT, the two directions you need are S and E, and you had gives you, in archaic form, YE’D
24 Keeps mum’s authority (3-2)
SAY-SO – Ignore the ‘s, and keep mum translated to SAYS 0 (nothing)
25 Method we should adopt for good work! (3,2,2)
WAY TO GO – The method we should adopt, simply translated, and Richard Gere proving he’s an Officer and a Gentleman.
26 Accepting promotion, good for you to display swagger (7)
BRAVADO – Was in the Quickie on Monday with the similar clue “Word of praise about advertisement’s boldness”. Good for you/word of praise/BRAVO about promotion/advertisement/AD
28 Scene of battle with victims, unknown number advancing (5)
YPRES – I was puzzled on approaching the city seeing the name leper on the roadside signs: that’s a capital I. Here, it’s PREYS for victims with the unknown number Y advanced to the front. I was mildly surprised to see prey pluralised with an S.
29 Boisterousness, with sound of raucous song on piano (9)
HORSEPLAY – Raucous might be hoarse, the sound of which is HORSE, then LAY is attached to P(iano)
1 Half measure upset director (2,5)
DE MILLE – Cecil B. Half is DEMI, then the antique measure ELL is “upset”
2 Musical with no fiddle (3)
CON – Caused me no end of trouble: I don’t think the “no” should be there. CON is Italian/musical for with. Arrgh! No is of course a CON vote. We have a triple definition with only four words.
3 Slap that’s firm, so filled with force (8)
COSMETIC – Firm is CO, so is SIC, fill that with MET, the London Police force.
4 Moving from high category jail (5)
ASTIR – I guess you can’t get much higher that an A jail or STIR. A* perhaps?
5 Criminal in car, from memory having run over charity worker? (3-6)
RAM-RAIDER – RAM is memory of the random access kind, add R(un) and AIDER for charity worker.
6 Sketch dealing with (unlikely) birds taking flight (6)
RESUMÉ – Might briefly puzzle our US contingent and any Brits who’ve forgotten it’s called a CV. But it also means summary, and hence sketch, outline. Dealing with RE, then EMUS who are (not just) unlikely to fly, but here taking flight as a whimsical way of turning them upside down.
7 Do for admiral’s first five years in RN? (11)
ANNIVERSARY – I quite like seeing this as an &lit. The anagram is indicated by do for, and the fodder is Admiral’s first A plus five V, plus YEARS IN RN.
8 Care homes indeed small — simple one in country (7)
HAYSEED – Care is HEED, homes is a (slightly unusual) containment indicator, and indeed is AY (I’d have an E on the end) and the Sis given by Small.
12 Oft-repeated petition: “see that street gets a hose”? (5,6)
LORDS PRAYER – Enjoyed this! See is LO, street gives R(oa)D. Your task is to make sure it gets a SPRAYER, or hose.
15 Insect, (unlikely) creature taking flight, rattled my host (5,4)
GIPSY MOTH – Another unlikely creature taking flight (see 6d), this time a PIG, then an anagram (rattled) of MY HOST. A reminder of one of the great heroes of my youth, Francis Chichester, whose Gipsy Moth IV yacht is on permanent exhibition by the Cutty Sark.
17 Work arrangement with female scientist in need of career (8)
JOBSHARE – JO is your (random) female, BS the (American) version of Bachelor of Science and career gives HARE
18 Out to receive Catholic by hotel entrance (7)
ARCHWAY – Out provides AWAY insert R(oman) C(atholic) and H(otel)
20 Mix of oddly cold, gooey green matter? (7)
ECOLOGY – Cute definition. An anagram (mix of) the odd letters of CoLd and GOOEY.
21 Tips for say stopping dad’s insidious tactics (6)
PSYOPS – Both tips of SaY, inserted into POPS for dad’s
23 Ban lifted having retired meeting resistance (5)
DEBAR – Having retired is ABED which is reversed (lifted) with R(esistance) tacked on.
27 Be sick of cold shower, with hot unavailable (3)
AIL – A cold shower would be the icy HAIL, delete the H(ot)

93 comments on “28738 All the way round single handed”

  1. 8:57, no massive hold-ups. My funny connection with ROACH is that I’ve always called those little alligator clips “roach clips”, and I used that term when I was calling for supplies for a science fair at a children’s museum a few years back. I was told in no uncertain terms that wasn’t the name we use for them, and I still can’t remember what they are called. Also surprised at the use of preys.

    1. I thought this was the most obscure and semantically irresponsible crossword I’ve ever attempted. Way too weird to be fun. Must have been compiled by a Martian.

  2. Snap with vinyl, never saw the NO in CON (mostly through filling it in without looking at the clue again), and wondered who the famous dead female scientist Ms. Jobs was – Steve was a bloke. BS as scientist never seen/forgotten. Otherwise right on the wavelength and raced through, until a mental block on the HORSE part of 2LOI horseplay. Saw GYPSY MOTH immediately on reading the clue; fortunately stopped to parse it as GIPSY, which just looks wrong.

    1. Agree with you about ‘gipsy moth’. I’ve never seen the insect (gypsy moth) written this way. any takers?

      1. Both GIPSY MOTH and GYPSY MOTH are in Collins as insects. The light aeroplane and the yachts sailed by Sir Francis Chichester as mentioned in the blog are all spelt GIPSY MOTH.

      2. I ran a check before publishing (I’m so conscientious/scared of getting it wrong). The insect is invariably spelled GYPSY, except recently when it’s spelled spongy. Chambers gives both spellings
        in its heading, but only GYPSY when introducing the moth. The De Havilland biplane, however, as flown by Chichester and Amy Johnson in their epic voyages, is always GIPSY Moth, originally because Gipsy was the name given to the engine.
        As far as I can see, pig is never PYG!

        1. Thumbs up re: PYG – that’s how I avoided the error. A quick google shows:
          ~80k hits on boat/plane GIPSY MOTH
          ~160k other hits on GIPSY MOTH
          ~1,500k hits on GYPSY MOTH.
          Disregarding the vessels, usage of GYPSY is about 9 times more common than GIPSY on the internet. Which I guess is entirely irrelevant to anything 😉

            1. Always associate Gypsies – is that a pejorative word nowadays? – with Romania. Can’t tell you why (“I could, but I’d have to kill you” Tom Cruise in Top Gun).

              1. Merriam-Webster (which has only “Gypsy moth,” not even “gipsy…” as an alternative) offers this note, right up front: « The Entomological Society of America officially renamed this insect the spongy moth in 2022 due to the offensiveness of the historical name. »

  3. After a deceptively easy start in the NW (apart from CON where I missed the third definition ‘no’) I slowed to a crawl and had to battle for many of the remaining answers. Particularly troublesome were HAYSEED and ROACH in the NE, JOBSHARE, PERFORATE and ECOLOGY in the SE, and CURTSEYED, PSYOPS and WAY TO GO in the SW. I still don’t really get the last of these which I’m not even convinced is a lexical term although Collins Online has it as a Cobuild entry.

    Once the Y-checker was in place YPRES had to be, but PREY simply cannot be pluralised to make a word meaning ‘victims’ as it’s a mass noun.

    87 minutes.

    1. ‘Preys’ is okay meaning different types of prey; a caveat which applies to many non-count nouns.

      1. Is it? I would never use it, and OED says ‘now only in singular as a mass noun (whether collective or not)’.

        1. I wouldn’t use it either, but it’s in Collins Scrabble Words, like many (most?) so called non-count nouns. So I think the setter is okay using it.

            1. Ah, of course, the net sweep in the verb, as it were. A simple answer to your question is ‘I don’t know.’

              1. My superficial (and probably ignorant) impression is that Scrabble players don’t even bother with the meaning of words, much less whether they are nouns or verbs!
                I don’t think I’ve ever heard ‘preys’ used as a plural noun in my life.

      2. Wiktionary has:
        prey (countable and uncountable, plural preys)

        (Of course as a verb PREYS will always work.)

    2. WAY TO GO is in Chambers (marked as American) and the American version of ODE. OED says ‘originally and chiefly American’. I would certainly have said it was American but it’s very familiar.

  4. DNF. As per the discussion above I was a GYPSY MOTH. At least I feel I’ll have company today.

  5. 16:06. Nice puzzle, loved the wide variety of clueing techniques.

    I’d forgotten that “way to go” wasn’t always a part of the vernacular. I recall first hearing it whilst watching a school softball match in the 70’s, when it sounded a little jarring.

    Like others I was held up for a while pondering what Ms Jobs may have been famous for. Good clue.

    Thanks Z and setter. Way to go. Or is it “good job” now?

    1. It’s “good job” in Hollywood war films when Chuck Norris has just saved the world, again.

      1. The abusive music teacher Terence Fletcher in the brilliant film Whiplash: ‘There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job.”’

    2. “Well done , lads, good process” is apparently what you say when you’ve just made a right horlicks of a VAR decision in football

    3. I remember using “Way to go” as praise or encouragement many times in sports- playing days but probably much more often shouted out “Attaboy!”

  6. Excuse the diversion, but I would urge anyone with even the slightest interest in yesterday’s discussion about the early TfTT attempt to analyse puzzle levels of difficulty to take a look at Starstruck’s contribution posted this morning. As the inventor of the SNITCH his comment and analysis makes fascinating reading. You can find it HERE a little way down the page.

  7. We’ve definitely had variations of the Mary and son clue at 10 across, but it’s still clever. 18 across could have given TAXI from the cryptic part and blow me if I didn’t nearly put it in. Like others, I would definitely have misspelled GIPSY without the backward PIG. Some great clues. LOI GRID, nearly replaced by the famous golf shot the PROD, a kind of putt. 20’54”.

  8. Took a long time on PERFORATE/JOBSHARE not helped by biffing GEOLOGY instead of ECOLOGY.
    Only saw 1 of the triple definitions for CON and also had GYPSY at first until I paused to construct.
    Altogether a good puzzle but a slow solve in 22 minutes.
    Thanks setter and Z

  9. I solved this over two sittings as life intervened, but the break served me well as I’d started to grind to a halt in the NE. I don’t have a time but I’d estimate 25 minutes or so door to door.
    The only unknown was DE MILLE but the cluing and checkers made this a confident answer.
    Luckily I spotted the flying pig but on another day I would have lobbed in GYPSY as that is my default spelling.
    Overall a fun crossword so thanks to both setter and blogger.

  10. Dnf, no JOBSHARE.

    I have walked through Chichester’s boat, at Greenwich, and never realised the spelling.

    Thanks z and setter.

  11. 51:36, a good one but I only saw one of the triple at 2dn and I didn’t parse ANNIVERSARY. I needed the flying pig for GIPSY MOTH. Last two in were the crossing JOBSHARE (the first to fall) then PERFORATE which I nearly gave up on before seeing PERFORCE and finishing from there. I liked ECOLOGY and the LORDS PRAYER

  12. 31.58

    Unusually early entry for me – always happy to take a completed grid but it felt like the synapses weren’t on top form.

    No idea what was going on with CON but like it a lot now I know. PSYOPS was NHO but finally yielded when the right dad emerged. JOBSHARE LOI wanting it to end -race or -space.

    Thanks Setter and Zabadak

  13. A fairly benign week so far. Put gypsy to start with but changed it.. I knew Gipsy moth IV (and presumably the other three?) were spelled with an i. I was amazed to read in Wikipedia that Gipsy Moth IV is once again sailing. It seems she has led a very adventurous life:

    Interesting that both gipsy as a variant of gypsy, and pyg as a variant of pig, have entries in the OED.
    Well not all that interesting, I suppose. But if The Times allowed the OED, which it doesn’t, gypsy moth would be a valid answer..

    1. If the Times allowed the OED it would allow thousands of words that have been out of use for hundreds of years!

      1. Yes, how educational that would be! Would love it, if the wordplay is friendly 🙂
        Today’s other crossword for me is from 1926. Howls of protest, it would cause today .. but interesting, and what is more, solvable. Just not very rules-driven

    2. Collins has “Gypsy moth” as a variant of “Gipsy moth,” so it would be allowed. Merriam-Webster, from this side of the pond, doesn’t have “Gipsy moth” at all, so that would seem an intruder in an American puzzle.

    3. Yes, Gypsy Moth IV was in Amsterdam last month, and I was lucky enough to have a look round. She seems to be in good hands with her new owner, who is keen on restoring her to her original state, although he has fitted a discreet bow-thruster to help him single-hand his way into modern marinas, and hidden behind a panel of old navigation instruments is an array of nice new digital ones. Otherwise she’s much the same and still rather austere.

      1. That is nice to hear. Despite all she did for him, Chichester never seemed to like her and was quite disparaging… but she is an iconic boat, with a place in history, and I hope her future is assured.

  14. 48 minutes. I had no idea what was going on with the clever CON and was glad to have avoided putting in an illogical CAN (for CAN-CAN). Otherwise a few like PERFORATE and my last in JOBSHARE slowed me down. Favourites were the &lit ANNIVERSARY (I was looking to fit “lustre” in there somewhere) and the HAYSEED def.

    Thanks to Zabadak and setter

  15. 50 mins.
    Pretty tricky. Okay, so my issue with the pigs and emus is that ‘taking flight’, together with ‘unlikely’, references the improbability of seeing these animals airborne, so it’s sort of used up by that; but then it is apparently employed to indicate inversion as well. And if it only indicates inversion, then ‘unlikely’ becomes redundant. Can it be an inversion indicator and part of the definition at the same time? I thought it was one or the other.
    Thanks, z.

    1. Technically you can argue that the ‘taking flight’ is doing double duty here, but if you’re prepared to overlook a minor technicality like that you’ve got to admit it’s very clever!

  16. 20:00
    Not really convinced by the female scientist in JOBSHARE, though I suppose it works after a fashion. My surgical degree from Manchester was styled ChB; I understand there are other medical schools that offer BS.
    LOL the (unlikely) fliers.

  17. This may be serendipitous but looking at Wikipedia, I see today is the 109th ANNIVERSARY of the start of the First Battle of YPRES on October 19th 1914. At that early point in the war both sides were still using cavalry (?HORSEPLAY, though it was far from play) and LILLE is in the general area. Again, all possibly coincidental.

    1. My dad was in the cavalry, on a horse, in Palestine in 1940, and still on horseback in Iraq later (where the Vichy French airforce strafed them), until they found him a tank for El Alamein.

  18. 60 minutes; many of the above remarks could be made here: didn’t notice the ‘no’ in the triple definition, wondered who Ms Jobs was (seems a bit unfair on us Brits to have to know the American version), the roam video, and no doubt others. For most of my life I was never aware of the concept of a mass noun (some dictionaries don’t use the term). Some people say one should be able to pluralise all nouns; thus a signwriter might refer to preys, although perhaps you could argue that they’re “prey”s.

  19. I spent a few bewildered moments trying to see how “whore’s play” worked out for 29 ac.

  20. Thanks for the blog. I particularly enjoyed your “jazz tobacco” – a new one on me.

    I was in Ypres myself a couple of months ago (not for the first time – it’s one of my favourite places, especially when the Cat Festival is on). As you probably worked out, Ieper is the Dutch name for the town, much as Bruges is called Brugge, Ghent is called Gent and so on.

    I failed to complete the Golf shot today, with PERFORATE eluding me. Some good clues though.

  21. Very tricky, with unknowns such as the second meaning of ROACH, and intricate wordplay all round. The easy opener, DECK CHAIR, lulled me into a false sense of security.
    I wouldn’t normally spend more than 50 minutes on a daily puzzle, but I pressed on doggedly and eventually finished in around 85 minutes. GRID was my LOI
    All my dictionaries give JOB SHARE as two words.

  22. 32:15 Perhaps I was off the beat for this, finding it fun but very tricky. LOI PSYOPS was a particularly long time coming but all proved logical and neat in the end, just the way clues should be.

  23. 15:10, an enjoyable solve and a good warm-up for the championship, being a little bit tricky along the way. JOBSHARE took a long time to unravel, and I, too, momentarily raised an eyebrow at PREYS but this was good stuff.

  24. Two goes needed, with ROACH eventually going in with a shrug (had no idea about the smoking meaning) followed by a very uncertain HAYSEED (didn’t know the simple country person meaning either).

    Completely failed to see how CON worked, so thanks for the explanation; tried to justify ‘masonic’ for 10a before realising the Madonna was Mary and getting MASONRY; like our blogger, thought of ‘roam video’ before seeing ROAD MOVIE; and never figured out which bits of the clue formed the anagram for ANNIVERSARY.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Deck chair
    LOI Hayseed
    COD Con

    1. How about:
      Characters in video roam all over the place (4,5)
      Would that work as an &lit for road movie?

  25. 34:27

    Baffled by that meaning of ROACH; had no idea how to construct ANNIVERSARY not noticing that it was either an anagram or an &lit.

    Was also surprised that so few have commented on PSYOPS which I saw early on, but never having heard of it and with no other ideas only bunged it in once I had all checkers – I’ve read up on it now – but is that a well-known word?

    Even now, I have a twitchy eyebrow over ‘no’ = CON

    Last two in – PERFORATE followed by JOBSHARE – ‘got’ the scientist but assumed it was an alternative to BSc

    Thanks Z and setter

  26. Not sure of time, my visits were split both sides a golf game (in which we surprisingly saw no rain, despite a worrying forecast). Anyways.. never parsed HORSEPLAY (and hoarse still doesn’t quite work for me as a homophone, maybe being from north of the border, where in my workd hoarse rhymes with force). Gypsy changed just in time when I tried to fully parse it (which I sometimes forget to do ..). Jo is my missus’ name, so nice to see it used, though I did spend time wondering where the “c” was after BS. And finally, yes, I did wonder what to do with “roam” once I had initially entered “video”. But all came together in the end in what I think would have been a reasonable time for me.

  27. 12:56. A thoroughgoing breezeblock for me today, with all but 17dn done in about 8 minutes but needing another 5 (including a 5-hour break in the middle as I got to Vauxhall at around the 10-minute mark) for that. No doubt it’s sour grapes but I don’t think much of the clue. The usual grumble about random names, plus JO is at least as likely to be a male and as far as I’m aware BS is an American designation.
    I enjoyed the rest.
    Add me to the ‘failed to spot the middle definition’ club.

    1. I agree in general with the use of random names, but I suppose the setter has an out, in that JO is one of the Little Women, so about as female as you can get.

      1. Jo is also the crossing sweeper in Bleak House, very much a boy!
        I suppose Joe is probably more common than Jo as a male name but I know several of the latter!

  28. 70m, but with one pink square, as I had put GYPSY MOTH (I had failed to parse it, but that was also true of 17d). Not sure that scientist = BS would have occurred to me, but then my bachelor’s degree in physics was a BA, which is even odder.

    NHO PSYOPS, but the wordplay was clear.

  29. Not a scooby what was going on with JOBSHARE, I suspect I would have got it though if the checkers were reversed.
    Otherwise I liked this, despite finding it hard.
    DNF after 31 mins, with 4 staring at ?O?S?A?E

  30. I didn’t see the definition in the middle for CON either! I finished this right before turning out the lights. Found it a very solid effort, and felt I would have gotten thru it more quickly on the other side of the day.

    1. I imagine for the speedsters that ‘fiddle’ was enough for them to bung in CON and move on, especially if they had the C-checker in place already. But for the duty blogger and those of us who like to parse everything as we go, every word of a clue has to be considered and accounted for, so the presence of ‘no’ would have needed further thought. I’m afraid that for this solver, having understood ‘musical with’ my reaction on seeing ‘no’ was to think that the clue was in some way faulty as Musical with fiddle would have done the job well enough. I should have tried harder, but I’d like to think that on a blogging day I would have got there eventually!

  31. DNF, as with LOI I had to choose between GRID and PROD, and went for the latter, assuming, in my golfing ignorance, that it was a type of shot like a putt. Elsewhere, not too difficult, though got very held up on ROAM VIDEO until the M finally forced me to reconsider the anagram. The other hold-up was the NHO PSYOPS, which I just couldn’t believe was a word. In the end I couldn’t think of anything else to go there, but was mightily surprised it was correct. Missed 2 of the triple definition, and had a question mark against the clue; likewise with ANNIVERSARY, where I couldn’t see the anagram fodder. Some nice clues, but I was fairly beaten on this one.

  32. 44’30”
    Slowly away, found the going testing, steady pace throughout.
    Managed to justify it all, but the anti third of con and the prising apart of Jo from her degree were performed retrospectively.
    Sure of being well down the table, I was bewildered to find myself two lengths ahead of the French versifier today, with the considerable help of receiving 30lbs.
    I very much enjoyed thrashing this one out; thank you setter and Z.

  33. DNF
    I again unwisely strayed from the land of the QC and resorted to Z’s blog after managing only 10 clues.
    When striving to complete my first QC, I was always sure I would get to regular solves eventually. Even though I’ve managed to complete four (of the easier) 15×15’s previously, today’s offering makes me sincerely doubt that will ever be the case for these.
    Once again, sincere respect to all of you!
    Thanks Z.

    1. Nil desperandum captain ! I was stock still in the stalls today for what seemed an age and after meandering round the grid only Lille went in. Today is a 132 at present according to the Snitchmeister, so I’d say ten was a good effort. When I started, in 1990 with the broadsheet, I’d carry the same crossword around with me for a week; it’s amazing what the subconscious can achieve given time. Try printing one a week out and avoiding that day’s blog. The satisfaction of completing a stinker over ten days is something I still remember with pleasure.

      1. Thank you for the encouragement Il Principe, and I will follow your advise.
        The Snitchmeister?

  34. 48 minutes. Lots of nice clues. All seemed fair and above board.

    Thanks for the explanation for GRID. I assumed it was a golfing term, like putt or birdie or hockey knockers. I only know about these things from Wodehouse

  35. I liked Also, Con, and Say-So, and I’m always amused when the setter is able to repeat something or reference something across clues (even better when it is unusual, and has a slightly different indication from one use to the next). Today it was the (unlikely) GIP and SUME. First time through, having only ever heard of gypsy moths, I assumed the unlikely was to indicate Y instead of I. Lucky for me it was a crosser. Thanks Z – especially for helping me REALLY like Con as I’d missed the 3rd definition, too.

  36. ‘Musical with’ for CON, a very common string of letters, is a really great discovery by this setter. I think it may be appropriated by others…

  37. Did this while falling asleep over the laptop after driving from Boro to Cheddar and then being taking to an Open Mic night in Burnham on Sea by the younger daughter. Got to 86% and gave up the struggle and went to sleep. Resumed this morning but had to look up ROACH as I was going nowhere with EMBER. Then managed to finish, but submitted off leaderboard. Sadly I had a pink square for GYPSY MOTH. Thanks setter and Z. 55:40.

  38. Found this very difficult, with most effort put in trying to resolve the definitions in each clue: they were very well hidden! “way to go!” crafty setter. Kicking myself however about not spotting “musical with” but putting CON in despite…(had to be after DECK CHAIR). After that it only got more out of reach for me, but have to say that PSYOPS was the only NHO. On careful reading of the blog, it all makes perfect sense ( apart from the answer for GRID, which actually is another NHO in this context. Liked GIPSY MOTH and ROAD MOVIE, no hope of getting JOBSHARE or CURTSEYED.

  39. My wife and I came to The Australian puzzle rather later than usual in the day (away on hols and getting the paper version very late!).
    Thanks to @Zabadak for elucidating ROACH: it seemed likely with R?A?H, but it turns out there is also a RAASH fish (an electric catfish, no less!!); we thought that ASH was “left after smoking”, but the RA stumped us completely!

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