DT 29348 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29348

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29348

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where spring has sprung but the lockdown continues until May 9.  Temperatures forecast to be in the mid to high twenties for the next week with plenty of sunshine so if I have to be stuck in the house and garden at least it will be comfortable.

Like the last puzzle I blogged I found this one about average for both difficulty and fun factor so ***/*** seems about right again.  There’s a couple of bits of GK required and not many anagrams, but there’s a few gimmes to get you going so I think most of you will get on with it OK.  I’ll be interested to see what you all made of it.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           The two of us saving money after chopping head off fish (6)
WRASSE: A word for the two of us is put around (saving) a Yorkshire word for money without its first letter (chopping head off).

5a           Very wise to cover one’s face (6)
VISAGE:  V(ery) and a word meaning wise are placed around (to cover) the letter that looks like number one.  Seems a bit topical at the moment!

10a         Writer about to move house (5)
BINGO:  The end of a fountain pen (writer) is reversed (about) and followed by a word meaning to move or leave to give the more common name for the game house.

11a         As good as gold? Us almost (7-2)
RUNNERS UP:  A not very good cryptic definition of those that come second.  Had to get confirmation of this from Gazza so thanks to him.

12a         Horse in flat race, not Ascot’s first (7)
EVENTER:  A word meaning flat followed by a word meaning race or run fast but with the A removed (not Ascot’s first).

13a         Trio, initially, or duet, badly taught (7)
TUTORED:  T (Trio initially) followed  by an anagram (badly) of OR DUET.

14a         Scold manager when beaten in TT (9)
TERMAGANT:  Anagram (beaten) of MANAGER placed between (in) the two T’s from the clue.

17a         Chronicler sneaks a look at broadcast (5)
PEPYS:  This diarist’s name sounds like (broadcast) a word meaning sneaks a look at.

18a         Splendid beer knocked back (5)
REGAL:  A beer favoured by louts in Benidorm is reversed  (knocked back).

19a         Can the German, leading strike in explosive situation? (9)
TINDERBOX:  Another word for the can that the previous clue’s beer might come in followed by the German definite article and finally a word meaning to strike or spar.

21a         Talk about a name for a dog (7)
SPANIEL:  The talk you might get from a salesman placed around (about) the A from the clue and N(ame).

23a         Father carrying in rope (7)
PAINTER:  The Latin word for father placed around (carrying) the IN from the clue gives the name for a rope used to tow or moor a small dinghy.

25a         Late news: ‘Jam following work on street’ (4,5)
STOP PRESS:  The first word is the usual work next to the usual two letters for street.  The second (following) word also means jam as in a crowd of people.

26a         Pick English literature course, ultimately (5)
ELITE:  Pick as in the crème de la crème.  It’s E(nglish) followed by an abbreviation of literature and finally an E  (coursE ultimately).

27a         Answer involving a repeat fixture (6)
REPLAY:  Take a word for to answer or respond and insert (involving) the A from the clue.

28a         Somewhat  sooner (6)
RATHER:  Double definition.

Down

2d           Intense anger surrounding new series (5)
RANGE:  A word for intense anger around (surrounding) an N(ew).

3d           Sharp drop in deficit (9)
SHORTFALL:  Sharp as in terse followed by a word for a drop or to drop.

4d           Mistake admitted by juror, really upset (5)
ERROR:  A lurker (admitted by) in JUROR REALLY but it’s reversed )upset).

5d           Vetting, at sea, a French pontoon (5-2-2)
VINGT ET UN:  Anagram (at sea) of VETTING AT followed by the French indefinite article gives the French name for the card game pontoon.

6d           The man wearing usual coat (5)
SHEET:  A word for the man (2) in (wearing) a word which can mean usual or established.

7d           Place to eat grub, so apt abroad (9)
GASTROPUB:  Anagram (abroad) of GRUB SO APT.

8d           A bishop posted elsewhere (6)
ABSENT:  A from the clue followed by the letter for bishop in chess notation and then a word meaning posted.

9d           Fictional detective Sam, seen originally in a suit (6)
SPADES:  The surname of the detective Sam in Dashiell Hammet’s novel “The Maltese Falcon” followed by an S (Seen originally) gives on of the suits in a pack of cards.

15d         Doctor and academic having part in complex procedure (9)
RIGMAROLE: Doctor as in doctor the books followed by an academic qualification and fonally a part in a play or film.  With both DOCTOR and COMPLEX in the clue I bet many of you were looking for an anagram. I know I was, d’oh!

16d         Major road blocked by hostile heavy guns (9)
ARTILLERY:  A word for a major road placed around (blocked by) a word which can mean hostile as in hostile intent.

17d         Quiet, living in a place such as Lincoln? (9)
PRESIDENT:  The usual letter for quiet followed by a word meaning you are living in a place gives what Lincoln was an example of (such as) in the 1860’s.  He’s supposed to have said “I’m not two-faced. If I were do you think I’d be using this one?”.

18d         Oppose all others across South Island (6)
RESIST:  A word for the others placed around (across) an S(outh) and an I(sland).

20d         Persian ruler, former king, turned up trumps, ultimately (6)
XERXES:  The usual two letters for former, usually a former wife, and the Latin word for king are reversed and followed by an S (trumpS ultimately)

22d         Rogue on the Spanish force (5)
IMPEL:  This rogue is more commonly clued as a mischievous child and it’s placed before (on in a down clue) the Spanish definite article.

23d         Difficult question for model (5)
POSER:  Double definition.

24d         Fine base — yours years ago (5)
THINE:  A word meaning fine as in not thick followed by the base of natural logarithms

Favourite today was 5a for its topicality but I also liked 10a and 17d.


Quick crossword puns:

Top line:          GREENE     +     PIECE     =     GREENPEACE

Botton line:     WRITE     +     SARONG     =     RIGHTS A WRONG

123 comments on “DT 29348
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  1. A very straightforward * Monday puzzle. I thought I was in trouble when the first five across clues stayed blank in my first pass, but the rest fell into place, giving me the checkers I needed. I couldn’t parse 11a and 6d, despite the answers being obvious.

    So many thanks to Pommers for the explanations and to Gazza for the challenge, and the double pun.

      1. Take a word often used for money in the north of England, lose the head or first letter of it. Now surround it with the first person plural personal pronoun in the nominative case. Complex but I hope it helps you find the connection to the fish.

  2. Fine when I got past the top left which was distinctly tricky. Needed the hints to fully understand 12a, 11a, 6d, 19a and 24d (which I still don’t get, why is e the base of logs?). I liked 20d, 17d and my fav 5d. Thought some of synonyms a bit stretched.
    Very enjoyable on the whole.
    Thx to all
    ***/***

    1. There are logs to the base e as well as logs to base 10. Log tables at the back of maths books and slide rules (who remembers having an Otis King calculator?) are things of history I guess.

      1. Don’t remember the calculator but do remember logs and anti logs tables…..and thinking how wonderful they were.
        Slide rules were explained to me many times but remain a mystery. Something to do with Napier’s bones kept on being mentioned which kind of put me off even touching one.

        1. The Otis King was a cylindrical slide rule that was equivalent to a very long linear one. No use as a ruler though.

            1. Thought it was and Mr Wiki confirms. I lost mine years ago in a de-cluttering, pity they are selling for more than £100 on ebay

                1. Had to Google the Curta. That looks much more sophisticated. The OK simply added / subtracted lengths that were spirally wound round the barrel just like a slide rule. The scale on mine was printed on paper as I recall & was getting worn

                  1. I think it was Napier who we have to thank for coming up with the idea of logarithms on which slide rules are based.

    2. little e is Euler’s constant (pronounced Oiler’s). It’s value is 2.71828….. and it is useful in calculations about compound interest, and it is crucial to many parts of higher mathematics. It’s use in crosswords almost always relates to being the ‘base’ from which natural logarithms are derived.

    3. I never liked slide rules as they only gave an approximate answer. Good for speed but that’s all. Logs were a pain especially when you can’t add up or read 4 digits without getting at least one wrong.
      I didn’t get a calculator until the 70s. Heaven. When I started working in a bank in the 60s on the counter the ledger was all hand written and we had to add up the days work manually. The “girls” who started after school at 16. Could just run their eye down the figures and add up without error. A skill I never managed. Happy days

      1. I started in Barclays Bank in about 1956 or so. We worked behind a teller on something we called “waste” I don’t know why, but we had to balance with the tellers at the end of the day. We used to add the £sd columns, I was never very good at it but some whizzed through them. I was so thankful when I left the bank.

  3. For me the best Monday puzzle for quite a while ever so slightly tainted by three obscurities that were however guessable from the wordplay. Also I’d never heard of 23a in that usage but it had to be from the wordplay.
    Lot’s of others to really like though including 19a plus 17d and my COTD 5d.
    2.5/3*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for a great review and in particular for the clip of The Jam…absolutely love Paul Weller.

  4. I whizzed through this straightforward but enjoyable puzzle (1.5*/***). There were some pretty good clues. 1a, 14a and 17d were my favourites. I couldn’t parse 10a, although it was a ‘doh’ moment once I’d read your hint, Pommers so thanks for that. Thanks to the setter too. Keep safe and well everyone.

  5. Another good start to the week, another cracking puzzle and again just enough to keep our brains ticking over or mine at least. Strangely I have just finished 17a hope thats not a giveaway. I liked 15d which took some sorting out.
    Lets hope we get a bit of easing in the lockdown, insanity on the horizon!
    Many thanks to Pommers and setter.

  6. 2*/3*. Very enjoyable although I wasn’t keen on 11a (thanks to Gazza for clarifying the parsing).

    A few days ago I hadn’t come across scold being used as a noun and now it’s cropped up for a second time.

    Joint favourites today – 5a & 17d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  7. A nice Monday level crossword – with a few clues where, like 7d, once you’d got the B in 19a, there was no doubt was the solution would be even without reading the clue

    Thanks to the Double Punner and to Pommers.

    Very surreal, end-of-the-world like, walk this morning. For most of it there was no sound apart from birdsong and us remarking on the lack of sound. Very unusual here as in normal times we have traffic noise, planes, tractors etc almost blocking out the skylarks etc

    1. Very quiet here too. I’m just north of the airport and the sound of airplanes is part of our life, I’ll never get used to them again.

  8. An excellent way to start a week of crossword solving. Really enjoyable and not at all difficult, just some really solid clueing. Difficult to pick any winners from such a fine selection, but I will go for 5a, for the topicality, 4 and 17d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  9. The NW corner was the last to fall. 10a was a problem. I was stuck on “biro” and took a while to realise we were talking about a game.

    I hope I am allowed 2 favourites Kath? 14a and 19a.

    No skylarks here CS but there are eggs in the bird box the blue tits are using.

  10. Have to admit to checking on the spelling of 14a and spent far too long trying to fit a medical man into 15d, otherwise plain sailing.
    Podium places went to 21a plus 3,8 & 23d.

    Thanks to Mr Campbell and also to Pommers (plus Gazza) for the review. Here begins Week 5……………

    1. Just seen this. How sad.
      The pub chain that owns The White Eagle in Rhoscolyn and The Oyster Catcher in Rhosneigr has gone into adminstration.

      1. Eaten in the Oyster Catcher & remember great holidays in Rhosneigr sad days indeed and sadder ones to come I’m afraid. Thank goodness for this site

        1. I have a horrible feeling that Spain may be worse. Just hope my local hostelry manages to survive, both the bar and its owners that is.

          1. Lovely to see the Spanish children on the news here last night enjoying being ‘outside’. Will they come and film you and Pommette at the local bar when lockdown ends? ;)

      2. We used to holiday in Rhosneigr at the Maelog Lake hotel when I about 10 years old. Very happy memories. My aunt Mary read me a chapter or two each night of the Hobbit.

      3. As a letter in today’s issue “… when you have lost your inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England ” (and Wales) ( from Hillaire Belloc).

  11. All finished over a nice strong cup of tea. 1a was my last one in as I couldn’t figure out the fish. 17a was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  12. Nice way to start yet another lockdown week – hopefully welcome back Boris. A great collection of ingenious clues. The fish and the writer in the NW corner delayed the home run. 23a was a bung-in. Three favourite clues 17a, 15d and 17d. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  13. Yes, I liked this one as most of the rest of you so far. Held up by 10a for while. Nice when a penny drops to reveal a clever clue. This and 11a my joint winners.

  14. Not as straightforward as most Monday puzzles. Couldn’t work out 1a despite all the checkers and needed the explanation to understand it. 17d took a while. Not sure why when the answer is blindingly obvious. Favourite 16d. Still don’t see the relevance of ascot in 12a.

    1. ‘Not Ascot’s first’ is there to indicate that you have to remove the A from a synonym of to run to give the second syllable of the solution

  15. Some tricky parsing which for me made it *** and a half for difficulty.
    10a and 15d were, especially, examples of the setter’s brilliant clueing.
    Many thanks to him/her and to pommers.

  16. Enjoyed this puzzle and completed it, but could not parse 12a and 24d without the most excellent hints, so a well done me day today…..I’ll take that.
    Back to my sewing machine later to make some more face masks…..even if we do look like Hannibal Lecter when we don them. (Haven’t worn them outside yet, just frightened our son on skype with them.) I know they will not protect us but they might afford some protection to other people from us .

    Take care everyone , stay home stay safe.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  17. Tougher for me than yesterday (taking the day into account). LOI was14a knew it was an anagram inside TT & had to resort to pencil & paper when I am trying not to. COTD was 17d, imagine what Trump would tweet instead of the Gettysburg address?
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers
    Like Bluesking in #2 I don’t see the relevance of “Us” in 11a at all.

        1. I agree. That’s why I thought I must be missing something so asked Gazza’s opinion and in the hint I said it’s a not very good cryptic definition.

  18. An enjoyable start to the week. I have never heard of 14a so another word into the filing system although I will forget it, no doubt. I hesitated at 19a because I didn’t like the idea of 20d starting with that particular letter. As it turned out, 20d was quite straightforward. Favourites today are 10a and 15d.

    Thanks to Campbell for an enjoyable challenge and to Pommers for the hints, Visage and The Jam.

    Good to have Boris back. Stay safe everyone.

  19. A somewhat Tuesday-ish puzzle on a Monday, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    LOI was 12a, I had trouble over the deletion of Ascot’s A – although, after sleeping on it, it seems to have an air of familiarity about it.
    Candidates for favourite – the aforesaid 12a, 15d, and 17d – and the winner is 15d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  20. Most enjoyable puzzle by Campbell, although some very UK-centred clues–like that fish in 1a–held me up for a bit (10a, 12a, and 23a) though the checkers worked fine. I thought 5d, 12a, and 20a were the cream of the crop, and even though I didn’t know about the name ‘pontoon’, the clue solved itself. Learned something, didn’t I? Thanks to pommers in Spain and Campbell wherever you are–nice hints, very good puzzle. ** / ***

    1. The Telegraph is a UK publication so, whilst overseas solvers are always welcomed, surely it’s reasonable to assume that some clues may be ‘UK-centred’?

      1. PS The distribution of the 1a fish is certainly not restricted to UK waters – they inhabit the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.

        1. My sentence structure was faulty, Jane. My fault. I meant that, in addition to the UK-centric clues that held me up, the fish in 1a did also. In order to explain why certain clues are hard for me (I certainly was not complaining!), I often say that their particularly UK reference is something I have to learn. I did in fact know that the wrasse swim in many waters. You would think that this writer would do a better job with his sentence structures, wouldn’t you?! Guess I’ll not mention UK-centred any longer, though in doing so, I have meant only to praise the glories of our mutual tongue, its great diversity and splendour. (I often wonder, by the way, when certain “Americanisms” appear why there’s grousing about them.)

          1. I suspect that we can be guilty of thinking that Americans have taken our wonderful language and treated it lazily – dropping letters and suchlike. Even worse – we see some of our English children following suit and that really makes us see red!
            Perhaps we’re just worried about losing our native language.

      2. Jane I very much agree with that. It is wonderful to have so many solvers from overseas but a downside for them is that some words may be unfamiliar. The plus is that the ex-pats among them have reminders of “home”.

    1. Not sure which clue you’re referring to, Bernie. There isn’t a 9a and 9d has 6 letters so couldn’t be ‘unite’.

  21. As Pommers, 5a made me think about Steve Strange. Had such fun when he was organising nights at the Camden Palace in Mornington Crescent and in my ex business partner at Blitz in Queen’s Street.
    Miss him dearly.
    At last I know how to pronounce the chronicler in 17a. Would never have guessed.
    Should there be an exclamation mark at the end of 10a? Surely it’s a shout!
    Thanks to Campbell for the great fun and to Pommers for the review.

    1. So far as 10a is concerned I have never heard the game called House. When we played it at home we had a set which was called Lotto. I have seen a French one – Loto. We shouted Housey Housey if we won. It became Bingo on fairgrounds and later the bingo halls. I would never have solved this without the hint and I am English and have been known to play Lotto, Housey Housey and bingo but never House.

        1. I’m so pleased you think that, LBR and CS. I have never liked made-up words (Brexit was one but that has gone, thankfully). I only found out what Rekrul meant recently so couldn’t resist the temptation. :grin:

            1. I suppose it’s the pedant in me and comes of marking too many post graduate essays. I get things like “sarfanoon” and I’m afraid they grate somewhat. 😖😁

    1. That’s a shame. I like the way the language evolves even when it’s as daft as rekrul. I’m sure you will have a chance to use it again soon, maybe on Thursday with Mr RayT.

  22. Hugely enjoyable, as ever. I had this down as a 1* not a 2* but what do I know? I thought Saturday was trickier than a 1! Apologies if this has been dealt with to death but why are there two quick puns, top and bottom, on a Monday and none on a Sunday?

      1. Absolutely, re subjectivity. And thank you for the tip – didn’t know that.

        I see you refer to this setter as the Double Punner. Does he/she have a name? Or is that it? Someone else mentioned it might be Alan Scott. In any case, It was a late Easter egg, finally discovering this Monday quirk. I’m pathetically pleased these days!

  23. I was right on the wavelength today.
    1a and 5d are connected for me by the Med – casinos and fish soup. And I have had some marvellous fish soups in my time. I like making them too, but I can rarely be bothered to source and prepare all the different varieties needed or to make the rouille that goes so well with them. Really, you just want to “beam up” and straight down to a caff on a rocky shore, a hot sun and a glass of something cold – now would be preferable – but not possible.
    I knew the detective from books in my grandmother’s house (why?) – she says they belonged to the many and various lodgers she had.
    Let’s face it, re 20d, there aren’t that many people with that initial.
    So – marvellous. Thanks to the relevant chaps.
    Lastly, I have a feeling we had 14d last week or the week before, but maybe it was the Observer.

  24. A very straightforward puzzle for Monday, did think I was going to struggle until 1a after that they all flew in **/*** fav clue has to be 5d for me.
    Thanks to all.

  25. An enjoyable puzzle finished in a funeral march as I rested from an early start in the garden. Needed Pommers to parse a couple but otherwise no problems. 5a and 17d my favourites. Many thanks to the setter for a good puzzle to start the week.

  26. Well I made a bit of a dog’s dinner of this one & am slightly surprised that others seem to have found it so straightforward. There were a number I couldn’t parse & eventually lost patience with 1a which I couldn’t get quickly even after reading the hint so pressed reveal. At least I’d never heard of it before.
    Other than 11a however I thought this well clued & tricky in places – especially if the brain wasn’t in gear.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers for the review.

  27. 1.5/3. Enjoyable puzzle with some good clues. 19a was my favourite because it immediately led to solving 20d. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  28. Struggled at first but eventually got on the right wavelength.Really enjoyed 17d but it took a long time for the penny to drop.Thanks to setter and to Pommers especially for Paul Weller.

  29. I had trouble with 24d. I could only assume the answer, and thank you for the explanation, but I think it’s a shoddy clue.

  30. NIce Monday puzzle. I was soooo close with 1a I knew WE was in there but my fish was a BASS without its B. I had to connect the dots when I got the checkers. Not fond of 6d either, a bit of a dodgy synonym IMO. The rest was a treat. 17d my fave today.
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell and everyone else. Thanks for the musical interludes too. Visage and the Jam you are spoiling us, ambassador. just avoid The Style Council – not Mr. Wellers finest moment.

  31. Good Monday start over lunch, enjoyed 5d & 17a (**/***). Worked out 20d from the clue, not a familiar ruler to me – interesting rule in the history of the region.
    Thanks to setter & Pommers.

  32. 1a was my last one in and I had to Google fish beginning with W. Not being a fish eater, I’m not very knowledgable about them and I’d never heard of this one, but, like John Bee above, I knew WE had to be there. Found it in the end.

    I’m another who couldn’t figure out where the word us came from in 11a but Pommers’ explanation makes sense – not keen on that clue though. I also needed Pommers to explain 24d, although the answer was obvious.

    The rest was thoroughly enjoyable, many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  33. Very enjoyable! But perhaps because I managed to finish with very little help.
    I did need to check here to confirm that some of my answers were right as I had trouble parsing them convincingly (23a, 24d I’m looking at you) and I’m still not convinced about 11a or indeed 6d (is that really a coat?).
    Think my fav was 14a; another one of those words pulled from the back of my brain once I saw the anagram letters. But a shout out to 20d too which had me thinking this might be a proXimal for a while.
    Thanks setter and hint master

  34. As George Harrison once sang, “All Things Must Parse” but if I had sat at the garden table until this time tomorrow I would not have understood 1a and 23a so thanks to Pommers for the explanation.
    I felt sure we might receive bonus Steve Strange and Jam videos and so wasn’t disappointed!
    Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  35. Yesterday we had rain, no sissy rain like Scotch mist, a real monsoon that came down in stair-rods. I’m such a happy girl.
    Funny old puzzle today, some real sparklers, others were obvious and just bunged in, like that 11a.
    I missed two in the SE, so thank you pommers for that. I had the wrong answer for 24d.
    My first in was 17a, loved it, 5d was another “like a lot”, and isn’t 15d a lovely word? Rolls off the tongue.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and to pommers for unravelling some of them.

  36. I thought this was fairly straightforward, even after a night when sleep wasn’t an option. :sad:
    Sorting out 12a took a little while – don’t know why – and I always have to check spelling in 14a.
    I resisted putting in 19a until I’d looked at the clue for 20d as the last letter looked a bit unlikely.
    I’ve never heard of the 9d detective – thanks to Mr Google.
    All good fun anyway.
    I liked 1a and 5a (for the topicality) and 5 and 15d. I think my favourite was 16 or maybe 17d. :unsure:
    Anyway, all good fun and a nice start to week six (I think, Jane, not five) of however many more there are.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. Mr Kath must be exhausted
      Anyway, glad you’re here. Decided to clip my hair today but the plastic guide bit fell off without me realising and I now have a bald patch the size of a playing card on the back of my head. Any ideas how to make it grow back quickly?
      Currently rubbing Marmite into it (think I got that tip from an episode of The Simpsons), but I don’t think it’s working
      Any advice appreciated

    2. Think you could be right, Kath. Just looked back on the calendar and the last time I ventured outside was 20th March – think it was 2020 but I could even be wrong about that…………

      1. I’m definitely right – trust me! I don’t very often stick my neck out unless I’m absolutely sure about something which rarely happens. :unsure:
        Our Younger Lamb’s wedding was meant to be 21st March – it was cancelled – the lockdown came in Monday 23rd.

        1. Kath, a Jamaican friend who lives in England, had the same problem and she got married over the internet! She then plans to have a big party when it’s all over.

        2. No comfort I know, but our elder daughter’s wedding was cancelled a few years ago when a hurricane came through and badly damaged their wedding site/reception venue. They eventually got it all rebooked 4 months later. Now they only remember the actual wedding, and hardly think about the earlier disappointment. Your daughter will eventually focus only on their rescheduled wedding in time.

  37. A tougher than normal puzzle for a Monday but still very solvable. 2.5*/3*. Nothing else to do anyway but stay home and stay safe. The new norm for quite a while. Thank goodness for the DT puzzles.
    Will admit answer to 1a I had never heard of. New learning for the day.
    Many great clues that stand out today but 14a, 21a, 15d & 24d were my favourites and the winner today is 15d

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  38. I’m in the “perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t” camp. NE in particular, 11a and 6d decidedly iffy and never heard of the detective in 9d, films aren’t my strong point. NW went in after the penny dropped. However I got there. Favourite is not 14a, I was married to one, so it’s got to be 21a, my sort of gundog, down to three now though. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  39. Some easy and some tricky bits.
    1a held me up for a while. I was lucky enough to see a Maori Wrasse while snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, blooming huge it was, but a magnificent fish.
    LOI was 15d, needed the hint to explain 10a and 11a. Just read the hint to 11a, still confused, not a very good clue.
    Thanks to all.

  40. I was certainly not on the right wave length and am astonished by the majority of comments. Some of it was self-inflicted including 16d. I was pleased when I got the answer but thought I was wrong as I had an empty square. I even looked for alternative spellings. I had somehow put two LL in one square. My one favourite was 5d. Unbelievably I looked up other names for the game and found Twenty One but still didn’t twig despite being in the middle revising for a French oral exam! Thanks Pommers for the parsing and the help with 10 and to setter. Perhaps I’ll have better luck next time.

  41. I got so dispirited with this one, and almost didn’t comment, not wanting to get chastised for being negative. Clearly I had the dunce’s cap on for this one. The fact that the setter usually composes the Toughie puzzle explains a lot.

  42. We got there in the end with a little help from Pommers (thank you!). We had a lovely walk in the Ramble this morning and saw a Black & White warbler and Palm warbler as well as the usual suspects. Looks like the migration season is finally underway. Agree with Mr Bee about the musical interludes but not about The Style Council – some of Weller’s best IMHO. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell from The (eerily quiet) Big Apple.

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