DT 29414 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29414

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29414

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are experiencing a brief respite from a record-setting string of some ten consecutive days where the temperature exceeded 30° C. Not only has it cooled off to the mid-twenties but we are getting some much-needed rain. Farmers are happy as their drought-stricken crops were in serious jeopardy of perishing in the field. However, the hot weather is forecast to return in a few days.

As for the puzzle, I found it to be a puzzle of two diagonal halves. The northwest half of the grid was filled quickly leaving the southeast half virtually unpopulated with the latter half taking far longer to complete than the former.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.

Across

1a   Miserly type, cold fish, saving pile (10)
CHEAPSKATE — C(old) and a large, flat fish surround an untidy pile

6a   Fashionably smart young woman docked (4)
CHIC — dock the final letter from dated slang for a young woman

9a   Prepare gen vigorously for consultation document (5,5)
GREEN PAPER — anagram (vigorously) of the first two words in the clue; does an adverb really work as an anagram indicator?

10a   Excuse made by Tuck, endlessly? (4)
PLEA — remove the final letter from the sort of decorative tuck one might find in a skirt; the capitalization of Tuck is misdirection

12a   Very small container attached to back of lorry (4)
TINY — a container in which food such as baked beans might be packaged followed by the final letter of lorrY

13a   Crawler, extremely smarmy chap, not refined (9)
SYCOPHANT — start with the initial and final letters of SmarmY, then append an anagram (refined) of CHAP NOT

15a   Prince unhappy with court and shopping centre (8)
PRECINCT — anagram (unhappy) of PRINCE and the street sign abbreviation for court

16a   Wrath involving large one catching fish? (6)
ANGLER — a synonym for wrath wrapped around L(arge)

18a   Duty of force in charge close to palace (6)
OFFICE — piece together OF (from the clue), a physicist’s symbol for force, the abbreviation for in charge, and the final letter of palacE

20a   Study awful rot written about church music (8)
CONCERTO — an old-fashioned word meaning to read over and learn by heart and an anagram of ROT envelope the abbreviation for the Church of England

23a   At sea, chiefly? (2,3,4)
IN THE MAIN — depending on one’s perspective, we have either a double definition in which the first is cryptic or a charade of a synonym for at and a literary term for the sea

24a   Dubious fines collected by city on a regular basis (4)
IFFY — two instances of the abbreviation for fine inside a regular sequence of letters from the word cItY

26a   Piece of information I came across on the way back (4)
ITEM — I (from the clue) followed by a reversal of came across or encountered

27a   Politician managed to entertain European known to all (10)
REPUBLICAN — managed or organized containing E(uropean) and an adjective denoting not secret

28a   Set of tables in fine study? (4)
NEST — a lurker hiding in the the last two words of the clue

29a   Love quiet reformed person in penal establishment (4,6)
OPEN PRISON — string together the usual nil score in tennis, the musical notation for quiet, and an anagram (reformed) of PERSON IN

Down

1d   Caught? Then long time in prison (4)
CAGE — the cricket abbreviation for caught and a geologic measure of time

2d   Part of the time residents upset recluse (7)
EREMITE — hidden (part of) and reversed (upset) in the middle three words of the clue

3d   One who takes after writer, New York tightwad (5-7)
PENNY-PINCHER — a thief (one who takes) following a writing implement and the abbreviation for New York

4d   An afterthought squeezed into gift bag (8)
KNAPSACK — A (from the clue) plus a brief note added to a letter at the last moment inside a gift or talent

5d   Ditch swimmer crossing river (6)
TRENCH — a fish belonging to the carp family containing R(iver)

7d   Abandoned in vestibule, something a traveller may carry (7)
HOLDALL — abandoned (like slang that is no longer in vogue) contained in a vestibule or entrance room

8d   There’s much talk from me about supposedly mad character on strike (10)
CHATTERBOX — the one-letter Latin abbreviation for about with respect to dates, the tea party attendee said to be mad, and a verb meaning to inflict a blow (to one’s ears perchance)

11d   German writer enclosing long frightening story (5-7)
SPINE-CHILLER — an eighteenth century German poet and playwright encompassing long or yearn; this writer’s best known work is likely ‘Ode to Joy’, which Beethoven set to music in his Ninth Symphony

14d   Antagonism in place after work (10)
OPPOSITION — a place or location following the short form for a musical work

17d   Decline drink and go (8)
DOWNTURN — a colloquial term for drink or ingest and a go or opportunity to play in a board game

19d   Suitability of female, one giving evidence after wife dismissed (7)
FITNESS — F(emale) and a term for someone giving evidence from which W(ife) has been removed

21d   Get back on track in France, impressed by meandering course (7)
REFOCUS — the IVR code for France taken in by an anagram (meandering) of COURSE

22d   Highly delighted? Not true (4,2)
MADE UP — double definition; after spending a great deal of time trying to parse the first part of this clue, I discover that the clue is nothing more than a simple double definition (although I am not at all familiar with the first one)

25d   Clerical dignitary blowing top immediately (4)
ANON — remove the initial letter from a senior cleric

As clue of the day, I will go with 27a as for the longest time I was completely fooled into thinking that the definition had to be the final three words in the clue.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): BIFF + FOUGHT = BETHOUGHT

Quickie Pun (Top Row): BIFF + FOUGHT + AXE = BEFORE TAX

The early consensus seems to be that there is no bottom row pun this week.


132 comments on “DT 29414
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    1. Possible not. Our leader possibly re- set it to appear at 11.00am. My emails said it was available around the same time.

    2. Fear not, you were not dreaming. Bleary-eyed in the wee small hours of the morning, I inadvertently hit ‘Publish’ instead of ‘Preview’. While I can remove the unintended post, I cannot recall the emails that the system automatically generates.

  1. A typically pleasant and enjoyable Monday offering, though we did seem to have one or two rather unpleasant characters in the North!!! I thought there were some cracking clues, maybe a couple of the synonyms have fallen out of use but it didn’t detract from the overall quality. I particularly liked 27a plus 3,8 &21d but my favourite was 13a.
    2/ 3.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon. Great stuff.

    1. I believe you are likely correct with respect to the Quickie pun. As I am working from the online version of the puzzle, I have no way of knowing how many words are included in the pun.

  2. Falcon is spot on. This was easy enough until I got to the south west corner which detained me for quite some time. 3* / 3*. 21d baffled me for ages. I wasn’t too sure about 17d but having read the explanation I realise where the “go” comes into it. I liked 15a and 11d but my favourite is 1a. Thanks to all.

      1. The first definition is found verbatim in the BRB. Never heard of it myself. Supposed it must be some British expression.

          1. I think it’s more commonly used north of the Tees/ Exe line. ‘I’m **** u* ‘is something I’ve heard friends from the North saying when somthing good has happened to them.

  3. Slightly harder than the average Monday but still fairly solver-friendly. 11d was my favourite although 27a ran it close. Accessible and enjoyable. What’s not to like?

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  4. I was thrown by the capital “T” in 10a, and instantly thought of Friar, followed by grub before I got the right “tuck”. All in all, a nice gentle start to the working week and a lot of fun. Thank you Setter and Falcon. What on Earth is the ugly looking fish in the picture In 16a? I wasn’t sure if it’s a piranha.

  5. All over in *** time for me, with nothing to frighten any quadrupeds. Well, there wouldn’t have been if I could have remembered how to spell 13a.

    I agree with Red Starter, “Before Tax” is the Quickie pun, but I can’t see a bottom row one.

    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.

        1. You’re not the only one who spends ages giving different intonations, accents and stresses to two words that have absolutely o pun in them.

  6. This puzzle was right up my street. It had some good clues and my only regret is that it was all done and dusted in 1* time. I enjoyed solving this (4*) and my favourite clues were 4d, 8d and 11d. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and tto the mystery compiler.

  7. Light & breezy. Mildly surprised at the difficulty rating as all over in a shade over 1.5* time. Slight head scratch with 10a, where like Florence I was in Sherwood Forest briefly, but otherwise straightforward. Nicely clued throughout with 4d my pick of the clues & I did like the Quickie pun.
    With thanks to the setter & Falcon.

  8. Good Monday fare and my top three came from the ‘unpleasant characters’ mentioned by Stephen L – 1&13a plus 3d.
    I’m another who was fooled into thinking for a while that the last three words of the 27a clue provided the definition, nicely done by our setter!

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – top line pun definitely contains three words, one of the joys of getting the dead tree version of the DT where the optimum words are italicised!

    1. I can still read the Dead Tree version of the Telegraph without felling any trees by using PressReader.

      It was free at the start of lockdown provided that you were a member of your local library.

  9. A very Mondayish puzzle with only 21 and 22 down holding me up. It’s a bit confusing having a Canadian Falcon on a Monday straight after a Canadian Sunday Senf. 13ac. If the cap fits. Wear it. Ta to all.

  10. Certainly a *** difficulty for me.
    Very enjoyable mental workout.
    Loved 27a and 11d
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  11. 2*/4*. This was light and enjoyable, which is what a Monday puzzle should be especially as every single muscle in my body is aching after playing cricket yesterday complete with ball sanitisation every six overs.

    2d was a new word for me, and the clues making it onto my podium were 1a, 13a & 11d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  12. Oddly, I seem to have found this easier than most. Just the usual four letter clues held me up a tad.
    Thanks all, lovely afternoon for golf.

    1. Must be my imagination, but there is no quickie on the online web app. A prize quickie, but no daily quickie.

  13. An enjoyable introduction to a week of crosswords. The west side went in fairly quickly, but the east was a bit more difficult. Took me some time to work out the parsing of 11d, which must be my COTD. And needed the hints to help parse 18a. 6a is possibly a bit non-PC, but that’s OK by me. Still don’t understand the double definition in 22d. Many thanks to setter and Falcon for a good start to the week. Another day of sunshine, everything in the garden is lovely, and isolation is actually quite enjoyable, especially when a friend brought us milk and home-made muffins.

  14. I’m in the easier but none-the-less enjoyable camp today, certainly not *** difficulty for me. Also tucked up by the capital T in 10a briefly, one of few slight hiccups.
    COTD for me 13a, the work of a brilliant setter I thought.
    I suggest the first definition in 22d comes from “made” (my day) & “up” for highly, not an expression in itself.
    Thanks to setter and DT. Nice to see your weather, although when you aren’t used to it (or have systems to cope) high temperatures can be as wearing as low. Even 5 consecutive days over 20C here would be something, our central heating is still coming on virtually every morning & it’s mid July!

    1. Your explanation for “made up” echoes precisely the one that I myself had concocted (or you might say ‘made up’). However, the BRB defines ‘made up’ as an informal term for highly delighted or chuffed.

      1. Thanks Falcon. My BRB is at the bottom of the pile of books holding up our slate mantlepiece before I work out how to fit it!

      2. I know “made up” as meaning very emotional, on the verge of tears and unable to speak: possibly a Northern phrase in that sense?

              1. Oh but vastly changed. I cannot listen any more. They are doing monologues with each character doing a sort of commentary of the happenings. In my opinion it doesn’t work!

  15. An entertaining and not overly taxing start to the week. This despite a vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, and bass guitar conspiring to ruin my peace and quiet this morning. 20a was my favourite. Thanks all.

  16. A great start to the week with a most enjoyable puzzle on offer. I completed it at a steady pace only being held up by 17d and, for some bizarre reason, 25d. Maybe the latter was so obvious that my brain missed it. I liked the anagrams but I always do when I can solve them unaided. I was slightly surprised at 6a because I would have thought it a derogatory term for a young lady in today’s PC world.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the hints.

    Are we supposed to wear masks or not? Stay safe everyone.

    1. 6a is a funny one. On a par with ‘bird’ and neither of them used much today…..certainly less offensive than the male equivalent, anyway. The whole puzzle today has a bit of an Eastenders feel……..

  17. A very enjoyable start to the (non-)work week with no need for using any of the white space on my printed sheet for completion at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 13a, and 17d – and the winner is 1a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. I was just lucky today, wavelength-wise with both quickie and Cryptic. No stoppages.

    I wonder if it had to do with starting at 6a and going clockwise?
    And a couple have been seen recently, e.g. 23a and 24a, which sped things up.

    I wish people would sort out the difference between infer and imply – all over the spoken media, you hear people saying the former when they mean the latter……
    Thanks to our setter and to Falcon.

  19. Like Bluebird, I was lucky to be on wavelength with only a minor pause at 21d. So many enjoyable clues – 1a, 13a, 16a and 4d.
    Many thanks to both setter and Falcon whose hints were not needed but always a good read.

  20. No great problems today apart from 2d, I suspect this has come up before but I had just forgotten.
    Pleasant start to the week. My favs were 8d and 11d.
    Thx to all
    **/***

  21. Two hours east of Ottawa every promised rainstorm keeps missing us and so having to water to keep our garden going, which I just hate to do, we might not pay for our water but that doesn’t mean we can just splash it about willy nilly!
    Anyway, initially I found this very hard going but once I got a couple of the longer words I managed to stumble on through except for 22d which I just could not make any sense of.I mentioned it to my husband after I had looked at the answer here and he reminded me that when we were in the UK about 5 years ago my sister used the phrase. I remember now, she said “I’m well made up.” which I thought meant something to do with cosmetics, she always has had a knack with make-up but I thought at the time it was an odd thing to comment on as we were in a hospital because my dad was dying. So, a bit late but that mystery solved!
    Thanks as ever to the setter, BD and Falcon.

    1. Yes, I have discovered that some British expressions can have very interesting — and sometimes unfortunate — connotations to those of us ‘not in the know’.

      1. I always thought I was basically British and now a proud Canadian but I have come to realise that I am Canadian with a bit of British thrown in!

    2. I thought Marmora was midway between Toronto and Ottawa so I aren’t you to the west not east of Ottawa? Just asking!

      1. You are completely correct. West. I have the most dreadful sense of direction. I actually get lost ion my way house and we’ve lived here 22 years. In my defense it is hereditary. My dad was exactly the same. He managed to get lost, just me and him in the car, in Harlem NYC in the late 1960’s. In Kingston Jamaica, him, me and my husband, en route to some restaurant which turned out to be really good except for the bullet holes in the walls, and just me and him again in West Hollywood which, believe me is not exactly the posh part of L.A. On the plus side I have discovered some really lovely places, haven’t a clue where they are though………..

  22. Another first-rate puzzle by Campbell, who is fast becoming one of my favourites. Like some of you, I thought that 13a, my COTD, stole the show, but there were some strong contenders–notably, 2, 8, and 11d. Great surfaces throughout, and a pleasure to work. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ****

    1. I thought of you at 11 down when I saw the obscure mate of that obscure Goethe geezer from a couple of weeks ago. These dead German writers do get about a bit.

  23. ‘well made up’ meaning‘really pleased’
    is,I believe,a Liverpudlian expression.
    I loved 10a,trying to think of all kinds of food before the penny dropped!

    1. Even more odd then as to the best of my knowledge my sister has never been to Liverpool but hey anything is possible. Now you mention it, it does sort of sound Liverpudlian doesn’t it.

  24. An entertaining monday crossword, again a few gimmies, some head scratching and some research in Roget and BRB? Personally never heard of 2d but perseverence and Roget helped. Favourite clue 13a. Lovely day yesterday with grandchildren in Farmor reservoir near Oxford, now thoroughly worn out. R&R for a couple of days.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter

  25. Another very nice puzzle – even Brian approved. Slightly held up in SE corner but when I fell into the meandering course, how clever was that. I am sure that 2d makes a fairly regular appearance and I really liked 11d. Am I alone in thinking we have had a lot of iffy recently, is it the buzz word? I cannot believe another week has gone by and it is bloomin’ clean sheets again tomorrow – many thanks to all who take my mind off such mundanities. (Have I just invented a word? Someone will tell me)

  26. I was quite relieved to see this merited a three star rating as I found it a right old challenge. I needed Falcon’s hints for several but enjoyed the puzzle nonetheless.
    Yesterday in the late afternoon we went for a walk on the footpaths around Gomshall and Shere in the Surrey Hills. It was lovely to get out amongst peaceful fields, hedgerows, and pasture. We saw rabbits, crows, jays, horses, cattle, sheep – all sorts of flora and fauna; and hardly any people.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Gosh I remember my father taking us out to Gomshall and Shere. We lived in Cheam Village and had an Alsatian dog so always on the lookout for good walks. In the winter we could drive down the Brighton Road and be there in half an hour. Walk along the beach, meal in Wheelers – easy peasy no traffic.

    2. In 1948 I walked from Dorking to Guilford. The roads were quiet then.
      The view from Newlands Corner enchanted me…it seemed a timeless England!

      1. David, that view from Newlands Corner – to this day, as we reach the brow of the hill, we still say, “Oh! Look!” with joy and wonder.

      2. I’m in Dorking and yes, we are spoilt; but on the other hand we are absolutely inundated with cyclists – including along the main roads, even though cycle lanes are provided

  27. Not particularly tricky until I got to the bottom right corner and it all went horribly wrong.
    24a had to be what it was but I couldn’t see why and I missed the anagram indicator in 21d.
    Along with some others of you I thought the definition in 27a was the last three words of the clue.
    I’ve never heard of 22d meaning ‘highly delighted’.
    I thought there were some good clues including all the ones with criminal connotations and 13a (spent too long thinking about insects) and 8 and 11d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Falcon.
    I really ought to go and do some useful ‘stuff’ in the garden but I’m suffering from a really bad attack of the ‘generally-can’t-be-bothereds’. Maybe I’ll have a go at Mr Rookie . . .

    1. Mrs. C and I have also had a bad attack of those today, Kath. No accounting for it. Just could not be bothered. We’ll get going tomorrow. 🏃‍♀️🏃

  28. I’m being contrary yet again, finding it more of a * than a *** today, must have been on wavelength. I was reluctant to pen in 22d as I couldn’t equate the answer with the first definition, never having heard it used like that. Last in was 2d, a new word for me, thanks for the hint Falcon. Big thanks to the setter for getting me off to a great start this week. Now off to optician for annual eye test, masked of course. They are required, but we would be wearing them anyway. And apparently we will be asked to wash our hands on arrival too. Braved the dentist last week, so fingers crossed.

  29. It seems like many hours ago that I solved this one – we’ve been out to Richborough Roman Fort as it is an English Heritage site now open which we hadn’t visited since the boys were, well, boys. Lovely time was had – just enough people to be socially distanced and a very enjoyable guided tour – and then a picnic to finish.

    The crossword – well that was perfectly straightforwardly Mondayish and I enjoyed it – thanks to the setter and Falcon

  30. I started off slowly but as time went by more clues were becoming clearer, I have no real COTD but it was a nice start to the week, as always thank you to the setter and Falcon.

  31. Solved alone and unaided, but did have to double check 2d. I thought I remembered it, but could not be certain.

    Not quite sure where the first A comes from in knapsack at 4d. Or am I being too pedantic ?

    Thanks to Falcon and to the setter.

  32. I found that a pleasant companion while it lasted. The only difficulties were self-inflicted when I put the wrong ending on 8d. I managed to see the error when I put 20a together. I would have probably checked 2d with a BRB had I had access to one but I was confident enough to go with the reverse indicator. 4d needed a bit of pondering too. I did like the German Writer and 20a and 27a had nice penny drops as well. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. The rookie today is recommended and was an equally pleasant solve as this was.

  33. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. I managed three quarters of the puzzle quite easily, but was held up in the SE Corner for ages. Last in was 27a. I liked 29a but my favourite was 22d. Just needed the hints to parse 2d, I had the word from the checkers, but but failed to notice the backward lurker. Was 3*/3* for me.

  34. I was dead on wavelength here, loved it all. The pesky four-letter 24a was the only one that held me up; I knew the answer but couldn’t get the “why”. My 22d was a bung in, never heard of that meaning.
    I can’t choose a fave, too many options, though 13a and 11d were very clever and deserve honourable mention. The pic at 27a was superb, “you go Angela!”
    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and Falcon for his hints and tips, most enjoyable.

    1. P.S. For those who wondered why we’re having so many cases of COVID in America, reported on the news this morning, a man in Houston who had attended a COVID party and got sick, died over the weekend. The doctors said he had told them that he went to the party as he thought COVID was a hoax.

      1. M.
        I look at the stats every day with you & the others in mind.
        I notice in this morning’s paper that Miami-Dade (is that you?) has re-imposed restrictions. Completely confusing & you seem to have so many levels that can impose different things. Can’t give you confidence that anyone knows what they are talking about.
        Stay safe all our US bloggers.

        1. Yep, that’s me, Miami/Dade. BusyLizzie is in the county just north of me, Broward. They are marginally in better shape than we are. I didn’t know they had reimposed the restrictions, don’t think anyone will pay attention. I don’t go out anywhere, just in my back garden.

          1. This morning’s DT reported the 27a Fl state governor refused to reverse opening the State or make people wear masks. But that last week the mayor of Miami issued an emergency order imposing restrictions. Obviouslt got a lot of publicity.
            We also read about David Beckham and Inter Miami. Something I am sure you are up to speed on too!

            1. Our Governor DeSantis is a buddy of you know who! He doesn’t do anything unless he checks with our leader. The mayor is much more sympatico with science and willing to take a stance. I never thought I’d ever live anywhere that feels so disconnected with reality, I find it quite scary.

              Beckham equals soccer, so, no I’m not up to speed on that. All I know is that he is trying to start an MLS team here in Miami, trying to get a venue, but I don’t know what’s happened about that. He has so many tattoos I can’t find the man!

              1. Merusa, sorry Beckham was my ‘quirky’ (as Senf would say) sense of humour. I know you spend your time more profitably than bothering about soccer

          2. I read about the person who died after going to the Covid party being only 30 years of age. Apparently they said that they thought the virus was a hoax as they lay on their deathbed! What does it take to convince people that it’s real and it kills.

      2. I receive CNN as part of my cable package and watch at least one bulletin each night. We’ve been saying that it highlights that the situation in America is being under-reported over here. I feel so sorry for the Covid party man. Such a waste of a young life.

        1. Multiply that young man by millions! He’s unlucky in that he died, but many others have too. The latest “fun” thing for these young things to do is a COVID party, making sure that there’s at least one symptomatic guest. There’s money involved, I think the first person to get sick gets some cash, from what I don’t know, maybe betting. I would guess that the simplest of them are the ones who believe it’s a hoax and the most likely to get sick. It’s a sad world.

  35. Today has been a lovely day for an array of very doable crosswords – 612 Cryptic, Rookie Corner, Graun Cryptic & Quiptic along with the back pager. Reckon our premier league would have torn through the lot without barely a pause for thought but a nice change for us lesser mortals.

  36. Very nice puzzle thank you Campbell. All finished with just 2 down holding me up. I’ll try and remember for next time. Loved the funny video 😂 Falcon. I am surprised that many people pick up random bags that don’t belong to them.

  37. Enjoyable puzzle today although I needed the hints for a few. My fav clue was 27a and I have to say I rather enjoyed 22d which had a few of you puzzled. As a northerner (not from Liverpool) it’s a phrase I’ve heard a lot, and used myself. It means to be really pleased, or to be brought to tears by something nice.
    Thanks to all

  38. Enjoyable and reasonably straightforward – although like Falcon, the LH top corner fell in, and the bottom RH was slower to follow!

  39. Like John Bee I had the wrong ending to 8d which made the already difficult SW corner almost impossible. Once I had realised the error of my ways things progressed smoothly. 8d does remind me of when I retired from paid work I told my lady friend that I had become a gamekeeper. she said “ooh! Does that make me Lady Chatterley?” I replied “more like Lady Chatter*o*”. Fortunately she saw the funny side of it. When I open my mouth words do have a tenancy to go in. So 8d is my favourite. I’m not convinced it was Campbell so thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  40. What a difference a day makes – this was such fun in complete contrast to yesterday’s mindbender. Late on parade as have had family here for the day including lunch in the garden (what fun to be entertaining again) so was delayed in getting around to finishing this off after making a start over breakfast. Will read the 112 comments in due course. 2d new to me and certainly haven’t heard of 22d in a delighted context. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  41. Agree with Falcon on the solving of this puzzle with the SE being quite troublesome. Took me to **** time, but *** enjoyment. Couple of favourite clues including 1a, 23a, 8d, 11d & 25d …winner is 1a
    Thanks to setter and Falcon for many of this hints this took to get through.

    1. Looked up your neck of the woods a while ago – looks fantastic
      Surrey Hills are nice, but not nearly so dramatic

  42. Enjoyed solving the crossword, reading the review and all the blog.
    Time to print out Tuesday’s puzzles.
    Thanks to all involved and good night.

  43. Most of it went in very quickly once I got my foot in the door. Then almost spent as long on the last two being 27a and 21d. Did not know what I was looking for in the latter. It crossed my mind it could have been a proper name of a politician as I couldn’t make MP fit. I had to recheck surrounding clues to 21d to make sure I had not got one wrong . Pretty sure it was an anagram plus f which it was but could not arrange the letters. Got there eventually. I think it was the ‘us’ending that foxed me but I got there in the end without help. Favourites 1 and 13a and 3 and 11d. Thanks setter and Falcon. I was relieved to find my viewing of the post at 6.01 was not a dream.

  44. I have really struggled to see the explanation for 11d Spinechiller! I get the Spiller bit, but the ‘long’ or ‘yearn’?! Please help it’s driving me mad!!!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      PINE is the ‘long [for]’ bit – SCHILLER is the German author – so put the PINE into the SCHILLER to get the solution

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