Computer failure – will try to post by tonight but if anyone wants to step in with a blog of their own please do.
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OK… 1ac,31ac is BARK UP THE WRONG TREE, with WRONG TREE being used elsewhere – both to indicate an anagram of TREE but also in enjoyably devious ways in other clues, eg 28ac (replace “teak” with “pine” in steaks to get SPINES) and 11ac uses a similar technique.
6dn JEWELLERY is a gorgeous clue – WELL inside JEER with Y (lady’s butt, arf!)
7dn Maggie’s attacks is HANDBAGS, of course – drop the G (gravity) and add IN to get HANDBASIN
I have a slight grammatical gripe with 17ac – “seer’s” should be “seers'”, surely? Anyway, seers is a nice crosswordism for “eyes”.
13ac – I got ALPACA but didn’t fully understand the wordplay.
Thanks, Conrad – I was trying to make something of “de[fl]ate” for 26dn and not getting anywhere. I suppose “in America” excuses the spelling. And I got the “pit” part of 27ac, so should have been able to work it out from there.
I thought jewellery was excellent, can anyone please explain 3d ?
9a DETAIN – calumNIATED
10a NO C(hapter)ON TEST
23a MAN AG E
29a STRA TEGI C (rev ‘i get’ in rev carts)
2d A MO UNT
3d KAOLIN don’t get the word play yet – O or L love AIN for heart of saint but cant see the K
4d PETREL (lp tree)*
16 SINGLE TON
22 REA C TO R
25 STREET (st tree)*
22dn: I had SHY [which does fit, though not so good as WRY!] for 21ac, which didn’t help! I’d put YES for 17dn instead of 17ac and forgot to change it later. Made a proper mess today – but enjoyed it all the same!
I’m still finishing yesterday’s (Chifonie) crossword today – and its bugging me that I didn’t get 5ac, and no one’s posted the answer. Anyone remember that far back? 5ac, the country’s getting a long examination. Stupidly the only word I can think of is parasol, which is obviously not right.
16d. Actually, I’m sorry. I’ve just noticed that it’s possible to read “record’s hundred” as “the hundred of the record”, for which “single ton” is awkward but technically fine. Still, I think I would have preferred something like “one hundred below record” or “one record, then a hundred”.
Hi, apologies for failing to blog in the end – I’ve had to send my computer away for repairs and am on a friend’s machine at the moment. Happily, you seem to have done much better between you than I could have done – I missed the wordplay for several of the clues that you’ve explained. Agree that there were several (28a,7d especially) excellent clues.