DT 29420 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29420

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29420

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * / **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa. Yes, I’m back again, pommers having graciously agreed to a swap of assignments so I can make myself available for a family celebration next week.

It’s to be another week of hot, dry weather here. The occasional thundershower scarcely seems to dampen the ground although one managed to set two houses afire.

Today’s pleasant but untaxing puzzle will be welcomed by those who like to edge gently into the cruciverbal week — although anagram lovers may feel somewhat slighted. It was also appreciated by your blogger who managed to get to bed on time without any premature publishing incidents.

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   Section of British farm (6)
BRANCH — B(ritish) and a spread that apparently passes in the UK for a farm (although my fellow countrymen from Western Canada might well beg to differ)

4a   Excellent suggestion by spinner (6)
TIPTOP — a suggestion or hint and a child’s spinning toy

8a   Script I better check (8)
HANDICAP — a distinctive style of writing, the I from the clue, and to better or surpass

10a   Seafood affected one after seconds (6)
SCAMPI — an adjective denoting exhibiting exaggerated or theatrical mannerisms and the Roman one follow S(econds)

11a   Online version: Conference perhaps in Cape area (4)
         Print version: Something from orchard perhaps in Cape area (4) [reported in two comments]
PEAR — a pomaceous fruit is hiding in the final two words of the clue

12a   Squaddie to see detective (7,3)
PRIVATE EYE — a soldier of low rank and a verb meaning to see or watch

13a   Spread a brunette put out (6,6)
PEANUT BUTTER — an anagram (out) of the middle three words of the clue

16a   Statement to reporters in crowd about rental agreement (5,7)
PRESS RELEASE — a crowd in cramped quarters, a short word denoting about or concerning, and a rental agreement

20a   Broadcast rejected everywhere (10)
THROUGHOUT — sounds like (broadcast) rejected or discarded

21a   Left in container in small piece of ground (4)
PLOT — L(eft) in a container that might be used to grow something or cook something

22a   Such a one may suit you (6)
TAILOR — cryptic definition of someone who might provide you with a suit

23a   Assess Virginia in the Spanish university, worried (8)
EVALUATE — place the abbreviation for the state of Virginia in a Spanish definite article and append U(niversity) and a verb meaning troubled or caused worry; thank you to Weekend Wanda for pointing out the lack of higher education in my original explanation of the clue

24a   Hold up  picnic basket (6)
HAMPER — double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun

25a   Lacking common sense, boss employing Greek character (6)
STUPID — a boss on a shield enveloping the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet

Down

1d   Couple hire item of jewellery (8)
BRACELET — a pair of game birds and a verb meaning to hire or rent

2d   Run to avoid large snake (5)
ADDER — a stocking misfortune without L(arge)

3d   Fellow overlooking mine in frequent battleground (7)
COCKPIT — a male bird perched on a mine produces a figurative scene of prolonged conflict (or the locale where such a bird himself might once have battled)

5d   Immediate  flash (7)
INSTANT — double definition, the first an adjective and the second a noun

6d   Not entirely where studying at university may lead one? (2,1,6)
TO A DEGREE — the destination being a formal recognition of success in one’s studies

7d   Fruit indeed collected by father (6)
PAPAYA — a variant spelling of an affirmative vote placed inside a four-letter term for father

9d   What may be an essential for campers proves it — sum involved? (6,5)
PRIMUS STOVE — an anagram (involved) of PROVES IT SUM

14d   Not one question that’s easy (2,7)
NO PROBLEM — another way of saying ‘not one’ and a question (on a maths test perhaps); hands up all who detest this phrase as a response to “Thank you”

15d   Miscellaneous trades, so diverse (8)
ASSORTED — an anagram (diverse) of TRADES SO

17d   Warning posted in kitchen garden (2,5)
EN GARDE — a fencing caution hidden in the final two words of the clue

18d   Take out old lover assigned to region (7)
EXTRACT — an old or former lover and a region or area of land

19d   Rubbish written about hotel do (6)
THRASH — rubbish or waste material surrounding the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet

21d   Fleshy soft mass (5)
PLUMP — the musical direction for soft or quiet followed by a small solid mass or swelling

There are only three anagrams in the puzzle and a couple of them strike me as being among the better clues today. So my podium places go to 13a and 9d together with the lurker at 17d. And top place goes to the brunette with the spread at 13a.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): PARR + TICKLES = PARTICLES

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : DINNERS + TEES = DYNASTIES


118 comments on “DT 29420
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  1. As gentle as the Summer sea breeze here but just as pleasant with a cracking lurker and homophone. Favourite goes the clever and smooth 8a.
    1.5/3*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the entertainment.

  2. I rather enjoyed 2d which reminded me of the times, before this throwaway society, when young ladies sat in shop windows, equipped with a metal crochet hook, and mended stockings.

      1. I worked in the west end and never saw it there, but do remember quite clearly being most impressed to see lots of women sitting in kiosks in Paris mending nylons. You are right – they were precious and expensive. My mother had a pair of chamois gloves in the drawer which she donned to put on her tights! If you did get a ladder, a quick visit to the cloakroom enabled you to put a smear of soap on the catch to stop it running. Better than the dab of nail varnish which you later could not budge. The ferule (end) of a city gent’s umbrella on the northern line was a common cause of a ladder. Quite fun to be regarded as the old lady who can tell it how it was !!! A la recherche du temps etc…..

        1. Somehow,Daisy, I just knew you would have the answers! Thank you. I can remember putting nail varnish on the ladders to stop them running. It didn’t work very well. Draughty things stockings weren’t they.

          1. I tell you what though, I came across a cache of stockings, some brand new in their packets, and they sold very well on eBay! Do you remember boys pinging the suspenders if they could!

            1. The misery for those with long legs and short stockings! Tights were a marvellous invention. Whoever thought stockings and suspenders were sexy was certainly not female!

        2. At school in Coventry, we were allowed to wear 30 denier stockings in the 6th form but, as they were expensive, we had to avoid ladders at all costs. If we failed, we used to visit Owen Owen’s in the Broadgate where we could get them invisibly mended (at a cost!) on the way home from school. As we didn’t have much money, every ladder meant walking to and from school for a week in order save our bus fare allowance to recoup the cost!
          When I was very small, we lived in Coundon where there were hostels for those displaced during the War – mainly from Baltic State countries. The men made beautifully carved wooden toys which they sold and the women could do very fine embroidery with which they decorated the backs of nylon stockings from the heel. Many of my mother’s friends used to wear such decorated stockings. What a very different world!

  3. This was quite an enjoyable puzzle but was over all too quickly (1*/3.5*). I wasnt keen on one of the synonyms used to produce the answer to 3d and wondered if anyone born after 1970 would recognise the answer to 9d. However I found 20a and 23a to be good clues and, whilst anagrams were not plentiful, there were a few nice ones. Thanks to Falcon and to the compiler.

    1. The BRB defines the word to which I believe you may be referring as a familiar form of address to a man (slang) which may be a more relevant meaning than the one I used in my hint.

      1. Yes, the reason I caught on was that it is commonly used as a form of address in the East End of London where I was born. Sometimes people use a longer form. “Hello me old **** sparrow” was one version.

  4. I’d agree with Stephen’s first line. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    I think Campbell may be the setter of the Puzzles Site’s Win a Prize puzzles, as the Quick one there has a pun at both top and bottom.

  5. A light and enjoyable start to the week, with several outstanding clues, especially 6a, 10a, and 19d, but my COTD is 23a, with 6d a close runner-up. Most pleasant puzzle, with 11a new to me but easily solvable. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 1.5* / 3.5*

    Prousted out from yesterday. Apologies to all for my long-windedness.

    1. Robert
      I think you will find most found things educational and interesting and certainly not requiring apology.
      That speaking as a pretty illiterate metallurgist (where before they called it materials science it was rumoured you got a pass degree by being able to spell the subject). Given how much pleasure my daughter gets from reading I regret not having dug deeper into the rich vein of literature. Your posts just reinforce that.

      1. That is rather interesting. Usually changes between the printed edition and online edition involve either correcting errors or “dumbing down” the clue. In this case, the process would appear to been reversed wherein the clue was made a bit more challenging in the online edition.

    2. Please don’t apologise, Robert, I always enjoy your contributions – not to mention your recommendations on reading material.
      Mr Amazon has been kept quite busy recently ferrying books to my door and I think I have three more heading my way as I write.

      1. Jane, Rumer Godden wrote several good books, her most famous was Black Narcissus. She wrote This House of Breda that was made into a movie with Diana Rigg, but my fave was Greengage Summer.

          1. I especially liked China Court. What did I mention earlier about nostalgia? This wretched Covid has meant us remembering our past. Not such a bad thing.

        1. Rumer Godden also had a very interesting life starting in India and ending up in Scotland. There is a very good biography by Anne Chisholm. I’m not sure if it’s still in print. I’d forgotten about it until this recent conversation. Apologies for gate crashing your conversation!

  6. 0.5*/3*. Falcon is spot on with his description of pleasant but untaxing.

    I am not convinced that the 22d in Falcon’s picture is practising social distancing.

    13a is one of my regular breakfast treats, although, unlike the young lady pictured, I prefer it spread on toast. It gets my vote as favourite today.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  7. Certainly gentler than our summer “breezes” and infinitely more pleasant. It should mean most get the pleasure and satisfaction of solving without the need for Falcon’s detailed review.
    I like lurkers so 17d my COTD.
    Re 9d. It reminded me of happy times spent priming said stove as a precursor to a fairly restricted-menu but most welcome meal.
    Thanks to Campbell for a pleasant, if brief, solve & Falcon for the review.

    1. Priming the cooker usually involved tainting the first thing cooked with the paraffin! I ruined many a bacon butty that way, but my excuse that it was smoked bacon usually worked on my campmates.

      1. We have a two burner camping stove which is worth it’s weight in gold after a hurricane and we lose power for days, or weeks. It becomes our only method of cooking. Was also invaluable when we renovated our last house ourselves. Once the old stove went to a charity, I cooked outside on the little stove for about three months …

  8. A very straightforward and comfortable solve this morning, fun to complete and nags unfazed. 13a gets my nod of approval as COTD.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  9. My 11a was something from the orchard rather than conference which was slightly more devious.
    Thoroughly enjoyed and thanks to the setter and the Falcon

  10. A lovely start to the cross wording week and very enjoyable. Solved without help so feeling quite satisfied. My COTD is 16a.

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

  11. Nice easy start to the week. 9d takes me back to Scout Camp in the 60s although the picture is not what I think of as one. The ritual of getting one going was a wonderfully messy and dangerous affair involving meths and paraffin and no doubt banned these days for 12 year olds by Elf and Safety.
    Thanks to Dada and Pommers for the entertaining but unneeded hints

  12. Very gentle. */*** The cricket is getting interesting though so I didn’t need a difficult one this morning. I agree with CC about 3d. Not the best clue. Probably correct about 9d too. I can remember my dad preparing to launch one over the cliffs at Robin Hoods Bay when he couldn’t get it to work properly during a camping trip. It’s probably all gas barbecues now. Favourite 8a. Thanks to all.

  13. Painless exercise today. The type of run alluded to in 2d is a US import and not sure where the 14d came from but I first met it forever ago in Greece however no worries seem to annoyingly replace it these days. 21d was unparsed. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I thought “no worries” was Jamaican, there’s a song called that, but I was firmly corrected by a friend that it definitely originated in Australia!

  14. A case of more haste less speed. Working from bottom to top & hurtling to a finish in record time until derailed by bunging in camp rather than prim at the start of 9d which caused a temporary delay. Pleasant if undemanding with nice surfaces. Particularly liked the acrosses at 8,12,13,16 & 23. Am finding Rookie Corner a good deal more challenging….
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.

  15. I might be back later. My husband printed off and handed me a cryptic puzzle dated Mon. 20 July. I thought that No. 613 was a bit odd for a Monday, but carried on regardless thinking that it was probably a misprint. I now realise that it was a prize puzzle so will have to go back to the drawing board. My husband is now “busy” on the computer and I can’t print off the right copy. I’m not in the mood for filling it in on my iPad. Thanks to Falcon in Ottawa. It wasn’t until I’d signed in that I realised that I was barking up the wrong tree.

    1. I always print these bonus Monday cryptics Daisy, which I then put side. When I get stumped by a very difficult puzzle, I turn to the bonus one instead. They are often provide a enjoyable challenge.

  16. I enjoyed this whilst it lasted. I have memories of 9d from my days in the Boys Brigade along with forcing entry to a Watneys party seven with a mallet and tent peg and drenching the inside of our tent in the process. 21d was my favourite today. Thanks to Falcon and today’s setter.

  17. Very straightforward and very enjoyable completed at a (very) fast gallop – */****.
    Candidates for favourite – 20a, 1d, and 5d – and the winner is 20a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. Can’t better Stephen L’s description of this one, fits perfectly.
    There’s no chance that I’d ever award an accolade to that dreadful stuff at 13a so that was out of the running for ‘Best in Show’ and I opted for a top three of 20a plus 6&17d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review. Enjoy your family celebration next week.

      1. D.
        Mrs LrOK used 13a successfully then discovered the trap worked but killed the mice. Now I just have to ask the mouse politely to leave or use some other strategy that she has yet to divise.

    1. When roasting a chicken, put a tablespoon of 13a in the gravy, make sure not to put too much, you don’t want it to taste of the peanuts.

    2. Agree Jane. I have never developed a taste for stuff, despite living over here since the very early 1980s. Don’t like anything that includes it. And peanut breath, yuk. Was surprised when it made it across the pond. But I’ve never managed to interest an American in marmite, they think that is awful.

  19. Straightforward and enjoyable 1* 3.5* today. Very nearly completed without any aid so I’m chuffed with myself on a Monday morning. Enjoyed 9d (I still remember them and am born after 1970). Don’t usually like homophones but liked 20a so my COTD.

  20. We completed this quickly and enjoyed most of it but were not too happy about our last two in, 3d and 8a. Favourite clues 16a and 20a. **/ *** for us. Thanks to Falcon and setter.

  21. The pleasure was all in the parsing.The words were gentle but reasoning why gave me real pleasure.Cricket now very interesting and l need to catch up on Ben Stokes and his latest piece of genius.lgrew up with Sobers and a little later with Botham.stokes may be nearly as good as they were and he is named afterGods city.Thanks to all.

  22. Ah lovely! Just at my level.
    There is little more enthralling in the world of sport than a Test match on the last day, keenly fought, with all four results still possible.
    Come on Ben Stokes! Come on England!
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon, neither of whom are involved in the Test match, as far as I know.

      1. All over, we won! Love my cricket. Thanks to my Dad who was a played in life member of the MCC. I had Power of Attorney for him and seriously had to stop myself from using his Lords allocation after he died – think I would have got away with it for years! Why was I so honest?

  23. Thought this was going to be dead easy. But got held up by 3d 8a and for some reason 24a. Missed the homophone in 20a. So it’s my COD.
    finished in quickish time. Enjoyable. Off to buy a bolster chisel to clean up some bricks I intend to reuse elsewhere after partially knocking down a small wall at the entrance to my drive. It’s done me a favour as I now have more room to drive in. The car however suffered.

  24. My husband very kindly came back in with the right copy of the crossword. I think he was probably worried that if he didn’t, he wouldn’t get any lunch. I have to say that this was easier than the other crossword. I liked 20a, followed by 13a, which I absolutely love. Someone has just sent me a beef recipe using it. I imagine that it’s some sort of satay style dish. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  25. I’m feeling well chuffed too! Completed this unaided – a very rare occurrence for me and one that was much enjoyed whilst it lasted. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for being so obliging.
    13a reminded me of the time,many years ago, when we entertained a couple of youngsters from a visiting American school for whom I had to provide packed lunches. They were singularly unimpressed by any suggestions I made for what they might like and eventually asked for peanut jelly sandwiches. These turned out to be a slice of bread spread with peanut butter sandwiched with another spread with strawberry jam! Sadly, my children thought they were wonderful.

  26. Some people’s experiences of camping in the 60s are a far cry from my Girl Guide camps…….we were deposited in Rupert Bear country (I.e. miles from a road and with woods and hills) and there were no labour saving devices like 9ds and certainly no Party sevens. There was a compulsory lie down for an hour after lunch – I still don’t know why…. The first day, we had to go into the woods to find…..well, wood. Then we had to make all our own tripod wash bowl stands and towel racks using clove hitches and lashing. We were allowed chemical lavatories in latrine tents, but no hot water at all (that’s when I discovered that a final cold water rinse left hair very shiny).
    We had lumpy sleeping bags covered in an elaborate arrangement of army blankets and kilt pins and porridge cooked overnight in a haybox – this is new thing now…..it’s called ‘overnight oats‘…..I don’t say anything.
    If you were doing a badge, you had to make a fire pit by cutting and rolling back turf, collect four grades of kindling and wood and you were only allowed one match….then you had to cook sausages and mash. The sausages were inspected to make sure you weren’t going to get a tape worm.
    I’ll stop now because this is getting like the Python Yorkshireman sketch. But it’s all true……

    1. Exactly my experience of Girl Guide camps, Bluebird, but for some bizarre reason I always looked forward to them! For the badge, we also had to produce a ‘pud’ – I remember wrapping bananas plus a little chocolate in foil and cooking them in the ashes of the fire.

    2. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of enjoyed them like Jane, except for the sleeping arrangements, and we certainly learned practical skills which still come in handy and used all the time … “round turn and two half hitches “ etc.
      I’m sure Kath is right about the best way to get an hour’s respite from annoying teenage girls and I still do that BBQ thing with bananas in foil, although nowadays it’s got dark rum and brown sugar in it……

      1. Funny you should mention the rum. My two adult sons used to make the bananas/chocolate things at camp when they were children ….and now they carry on making the pud on the bbq, but adding the rum to it. See, Cubs was useful after all.

        1. Having been involved in running a number of beavers’ / cub camps they certainly tested many facets of parenthood with children that weren’t yours. Cherubic, butter wouldn’t melt children were transformed overnight into a cross between Dennis the Menace and Bear Grylls. Then there were the ones where it was the first time they had stayed away from Mum & had forgotten their “cuddly” or missed the dog / cat / gerbil.
          “Fun” seems a strange way to describe it but it was I certainly wouldn’t have the energy nor the patience to do it now!

          1. Despite not being able to stick Girl Guides out, it was a different kettle of fish with my own sons who threw themselves into everything. I was called upon to take various packs through their orienteering badge, or maybe it was called map reading back then. I have a huge amount of respect for the volunteers who turn out week in week out to run these packs. My sons had a terrific Arkela.

    3. I believe you. My experiences were the same commencing in 1957 with an exciting indoor camp in a village hall near Dunoon in Scotland. Travel was by overnight train and steamer. We sleeper on the floor on paliasses (bag made out of hessian filled with straw). Only difference over 60 years later is that I am still in the Guides. I have stayed at all the World Centres In India, Mexico, Switzerland and London and toured USA and Canada staying with Girl Scouts and Guides. Wonderful opportunities!

  27. Very enjoyable start to the week and have a busy day excavating the lounge floor in preparation for UFH.
    I view 13a as a marmite type product, you either love it or you don’t but having heard what deep fried 13a sandwiches allegedly did for Elve the pelv I have never wanted the stuff in my house. Mrs 2P introduced me to Marmite and the fact that its manufacture relies on someone making vast quantities of beer puts it in the superfood category. Just saying…
    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

  28. As has been said, a nice gentle start to the week with no outside help needed. I am sorry I was so grumpy yesterday but amongst other things had to turn down an invitation to go and stay with my brother whom I have not seen for yonks. Quite delighted now though to be thought an expert on life in the old days – I always hoped there must be some point in being old. The tales I could tell …..,,,,

  29. I agree – pleasant and untaxing covers it nicely – nothing controversial at all and not a chance for any “hmmers” to do a “hmm”.
    My only problem was whizzing along happily but putting a few answers in the wrong place which made things a bit interesting.
    My favourite was 13a and I do like it but with marmite and certainly not “jelly”. Yuk!
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Senf.
    Off to the garden and then will have a go at Mr Rookie.

    1. PS to LBROK and to Merusa
      I didn’t get round to replying to either of you yesterday – sorry. My beautiful ‘spare’ collie was called Ted. He eventually managed to sort out his rather negligent owners and his chaotic living conditions and, as far as I know, is still there and hopefully getting all the love and attention that he needs.

  30. */***. Gentle start to the week. 20a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Falcon. My 6 yo grandson was being home schooled by my daughter. They were doing phonics and had to pronounce the word and put it in a sentence. She showed him a card saying BURGER, to which he immediately responded with bugger as in bugger off. I despair 😩.

  31. A pleasant accompaniment to my morning bath, and no help needed for once (the crossword, not the bath).
    After living for years with rattlesnakes and worse in the Arizona desert, the closest I came to being bitten was by a 2d in the Scottish highlands!
    Went to a 3d fight in Hawaii once. Rather bloody and quite illegal. It was raided by the police who arrested two old men who had had nothing to do with the fights. After they had gone the fighting continued with everyone happy, including the police and the two old men who no doubt got paid well for being arrested.
    Cannot stand 13a, but my wife does, so I have just used it to bait three mousetraps. Better than using my beloved stilton. When I visited a small mammal study in Morocco the student researchers said complaints had been made about their purchases of large quantities of 13a, until they pointed out it was the best gerbil bait.
    Never used a 19d when camping, but did have a petrol version. Not the most sensible thing to use in a tent!

  32. I concur with all the comments about this being a fairly easy puzzle but still enjoyable. Equally enjoyable the campsite remembrances of times past. The smell of paraffin and meths must be seared in the memory of many. I was always frightened to start pumping too soon in case I caused a blowback of liquid fuel. I only ever saw one tent fire but didn’t cause it and hope that no one else has to suffer one.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  33. I found this to be a nice gentle solve and a nice way to start the week, my COTD was 23 across, 11 across threw me for a while as it was there to see but I could not put the definition to the answer. Thank you to the Setter and Falcon.

    Stay safe everyone

  34. I think this was the eadiest for many a day, fairlly flew through it unusually fir me. Once in a while the easy ones testore your faith in your brain power. No real favourites today but 13a brought back memories of my old boxer Boot he would snaffle a peanut butter and jam sandwich even if it seemed out of dog reach! Daughter and family coming for most of summer school holidays, it will be wonderful chaos.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter for giving my brain a rest.

  35. A very nice, gentle start to the week with this puzzle. No stumbling blocks and a pleasant */**** solve.
    Some nice clues such as 1a, 10a, 12a, 6d & 14d. My favourite 6d &14d
    11a made more sense with the printed version of the clue (looking at the hints) as the clue in the electronic version was not clear and could not parse it. Not sure why the difference in the two versions of the clue????
    Can anyone enlighten me?

    Thanks to setter and Falcon

    1. From my observations, the production process involves several separate and somewhat sequential steps:
      – the syndicated puzzle is distributed (I believe) in advance of its publication in the DT
      – the print edition of the DT goes to press
      – the puzzle is posted to the Telegraph Puzzles website
      – the iPad and Android versions are posted

      Of course, once the paper is printed, no changes can be made to that format. Occasionally, changes will be made to the online versions of the puzzle after the paper has gone to press but before the puzzle has been posted. The various online versions can be — and are occasionally — updated even after being posted. Differences between the print version and the online version are most commonly due to errors discovered in a clue but on rare occasions have been precipitated by the occurrence of events that made the wording of the clue appear to be in poor taste under the circumstances. I have also seen clues changed online to reduce the level of difficulty a bit. Today is the first time where the change seems to have upped the level of difficulty. Sometimes there are no obvious reasons for the change.

      On occasion, I recall readers reporting that the iPad and/or Android versions have differed from the Telegraph Puzzles version. I am aware of one instance in which the syndicated version of the puzzle published in Canada by the National Post never appeared in the UK but was apparently replaced by a totally different puzzle.

  36. Late start today, these are getting more frequent. I really enjoyed it and appreciated the friendliness.
    I had to look up “squaddie” in the dictionary, not heard that before. I also needed Falcon’ s hint to unravel 7d.
    Fave was 17d, I think that’s more because I saw it right away, I’m always slow to see those.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for our entertainment today.

  37. Nice start to the week today. I forgot to return yesterday and say that was such a lovely puzzle from Dada. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for today’s gentle challenge. Love it when there are no sports or obscure words. At least this one didn’t make me feel 25a.

  38. I’m in the “just what the doctor ordered for a Monday” camp this evening. I like them straightforward on a Monday as it makes me feel that in cleverer than I really am for a while, until I’m brought down to earth later in the week. Favourite was the splendid 20a. Many many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  39. I’ve been tracking the comments today and thought the results might be of interest.

    To the point where I stopped counting, 10 different clues had been mentioned as favourite with 20a (broadcast rejected) receiving double the mentions of second place finishers 13a (brunette’s spread) and 16a (statement to reporters). A further 7 clues received honourable mentions. That’s 17 out of 27 clues singled out for special mention.

    1. A quality crossword is a quality crossword and doesn’t need to be mind stretching to be enjoyable. This is a perfect example of that.

    2. Interesting how we all differ. Every now and again, not often, a puzzle will come along that has the same fave from nearly everyone!

    1. Welcome to the blog Nicky.

      ‘Not one’ (or ‘not a single’) is an emphatic way to say ‘no’ such as “I was able to solve not one clue on my first pass through the puzzle”.

  40. Just rereading this with my early morning coffee. What fun it has been….tights, primus stoves, Rumer Godden, peanut butter, marmite oh….did I mention crosswords? Thank you Big Dave .

    1. Well, good morning JB. I’m up late doing the Cryptic and Toughie over here, where it’s 02.40 now. Yesterday’s blog was great fun, wasn’t it? Soup to nuts! Have a good day.

  41. 20a favourite followed by 16a and 21d. I wondered why a clever man like Robert had never heard of a Lear or an orchard but then realised that we dead tree solvers had an easier version! I flew through this like a dose of salts from NE down and round leaving me with 3d and 8a. Then spent some time cogitating. Googled covepit and chappit with no joy. Wondered about coalpit with co=fellow. Happily 8a sprang to mind which led me to my final answer. Thank you setter and to Falcon for a couple of parsings. I had not parsed 10a (silly me). The other was 23a although you missed university out of the hint.

    1. Hi, WW. Thanks for calling me clever; I’m not, really–just very old. It was a ‘Conference’ Pear I’d never heard of. Either too old or not enough to know such a pear existed. I always enjoy your comments. Hope you’re well.

      1. I’m fine thank you. I realised afterwards you were referring to a conference pear but the clue was different in the paper. Oddly when I logged in this morning there were only a few comments showing so this may have been remarked upon earlier

  42. This excellent site has enhanced my enjoyment of cryptic crosswords and greatly improved my ability to do them. I like reading the explanations, especially where I have the answer but not really understood why. I also enjoy the array of comments. Plus I have learned a fair bit about British TV, sport, geography, and expressions etc. I have been accessing this site for a few years, but never commented as my newspaper (Canberra Times) publishes the DT Cryptic at least three weeks behind. Now it has started publishing the cryptic crosswords from 2015 and I think this might be a prelude to the hard copy version of the paper closing, so I took out a DT puzzles subscription. I did the 21 July crossword already and am awaiting the blog to appear (time difference).

  43. I agree with all Jude’s comments about the blog. I have been doing cryptic crosswords for over thirty years, but only discovered BD a few weeks ago when I was looking for something to do during lockdown. I have found it very rewarding, amusing and educational and wish I had known of it sooner.

    Because I don’t do the crossword until the evening of its day of issue in south east Wales, I am usually too late to make a comment.

    1. It is never too late to make a comment. The person who has provided the hints and tips gets an email when you comment so they see it, and there are lots of us interested to see what people thought of the crosswords, not only on the ‘day after’ but long afterwards

      1. Thanks for the encouragement.
        I only discovered s short time ago that it is possible to have a pun at the bottom of the quickie, so I felt pleased with myself to have noticed it this time.

  44. Very nice Monday crossword. Simple and efficient as I would call it.
    I like crunchy peanut butter and at the Jardin we have a peanut ice cream on the dessert menu. Simply delicious.
    Camping is becoming a thing of the past down here. Although 80% of our tourists stay in one, they are now called Open Air Hostelry with fully air conditioned bungalows with fitted kitchens. Hardly a tent, a caravan or a camping car in sight.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

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