DT 29444 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29444

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29444

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where I have no idea what is going on in the world. I returned from spending several days at a campground where I have no access to electricity, newspapers, radio, television, or Internet just in time to do this blog. So I am gloriously ignorant of all the foolishness that has likely been transpiring while I was out of touch with the world. It really is quite a wonderful feeling!

I presume the puzzle is the product of our regular Monday setter although I have only been able to identify one pun in the Quickie. Perhaps Campbell has slipped one past me, in which case I am sure I will hear about it soon enough in the comments.

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   Bloomer concealed by old Roman Catholic (6)
ORCHID — place a word meaning concealed or obscured after abbreviations for old and Roman Catholic

4a   Sly character in western given help by lawman, at first (6)
WEASEL — string together W(estern), a verb meaning to help or make something less difficult, and the initial letter (at first) of Lawman

8a   Keep cards in rack each year close to Lent (5,3)
STAND PAT — a charade of a rack for holding hats and coats, the abbreviation of a Latin phrase denoting each year, and the final letter (close to) LenT

10a   Set fire to fuel left out (6)
IGNITE — remove L(eft) from the name of a low-grade form of coal

11a   Minute part of it in yolk (4)
TINY — a lurker hiding in the final three words of the clue

12a   Dutch after cup, status symbol (6,4)
TROPHY WIFE — what Dutch is to a Cockney follows a cup awarded to the winner of a competition

13a   Got shirt messy in outhouse, like Billy Bunter? (5-7)
SHORT-SIGHTED — an anagram (messy) of the initial two words of the clue contained in an outhouse (of the British variety, not the North American kind)

16a   Singer‘s bar number, by Otis Redding initially (7-5)
COUNTER TENOR — a bar (not the establishment, but the surface across which drinks are served) followed by a decimal number and the initials of singer Otis Redding

20a   Offend stranger playing with small son (10)
TRANSGRESS — an anagram (playing) of STRANGER followed by the abbreviations for small and son

21a   Report made by knight during case (4)
BANG — the chess symbol for knight placed in a case in which a traveller might carry his or her belongings; report is used in the sense of a loud noise

22a   Pictures of guys returning, arrested by US agents (6)
CINEMA — a reversal (returning) of guys or chaps contained in (arrested by) the usual US secret agents; the pictures are those exhibiting motion

23a   Want Mark to face Manchester, say (8)
SCARCITY — a mark or blemish followed by what Manchester might be (either to a geographer or a football fan)

24a   Large insect runs inside on the ground (6)
HORNET — the cricket abbreviation for runs contained in an anagram (ground) of ON THE

25a   Awful smell coming from traps over by church (6)
STENCH — a reversal (over) of traps for fish or insects followed by the abbreviation for church

Down

1d   Totally dismissed just claim (8)
OUTRIGHT — an adverb denoting dismissed or not to be considered followed by a claim that is legally or morally due

2d   Charlie with last of sticky sweets (5)
CANDY — string together the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet, a synonym for with, and the final letter of stickY to get the North American term for sweets

3d   I was introduced to American after seizing power (7)
IMPETUS — start by stringing together the I from the clue, a verb denoting was introduced to, and an abbreviation meaning American; into this, insert a physicist’s symbol for power; this leaves no definition and although power could be the definition, I don’t believe it can be both the definition and part of the wordplay; it will be interesting to see if this clue has been changed by the time I awake in the morning (I’m writing this Sunday evening my time)

5d   Tag one article in English gym (7)
EPITHET — the Roman numeral one and a definite article inserted into a charade of E(nglish) and one of the usual abbreviations for gym class

6d   One may help one escape from a trap (4,5)
SAND WEDGE — a cryptic definition of a special purpose golf club

7d   Fire escape (3,3)
LET OFF — a verb meaning to fire or detonate an explosive device if enumerated (3-3) would be a noun denoting an escape

9d   Insensitive, albeit not as much following start of talks (11)
THOUGHTLESS — start with a synonym for albeit; then add the initial letter of Talks and a word meaning not as much

14d   Storyteller in court, near to collapse (9)
RACONTEUR — an anagram (to collapse) of COURT NEAR

15d   Highest score is excellent (3-5)
TOP-NOTCH — an adjective denoting highest followed by a score or nick

17d   Better ahead overlooking station (7)
UPGRADE — an adverb denoting ahead of a rival in a competition precedes (overlooking in a down clue) a station or position in a hierarchial structure

18d   Resume painting to support others (7)
RESTART — what a painting is an example of following (to support in a down clue) a word meaning the others or the remaining items

19d   Spectre of international consumed by anger (6)
WRAITH — I(nternational) contained in violent anger

21d   Meat company breaking embargo (5)
BACON — the short form for company inside an embargo or prohibition

My podium contenders are 13a, 6d, and 21d and the nod goes to 13a.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): HIGH + POTTER + NEWS = HYPOTENUSE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : none identified


123 comments on “DT 29444
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  1. Fairly standard Monday fare. The SW corner was the last to fall, with the parsing of 17d beyond me.

    Do we know that Billy Bunter was 13a? He wore glasses but might have been 4-7.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. If he was without his glasses, he used to peer at things very closely. You don’t do that if you’re 4-7……. and it’s pretty unusual for children to be that 4-7, anyway. Most people get more 4-7 as they age, which is handy for 5-7ers like me, as you’re better than other older folks at reading labels for them.
      Then cataracts get you and artificial lenses make you neither 5-7 nor 4-7, so you need glasses to see labels, like your friends.
      And all the things you used to do which required prescription accompaniments, like skiing, diving etc, you no longer do anyway.
      Not that I’m moaning in any way……….

        1. Only you can tell us, Malcolm, but, as some people have lens replacements that set out to achieve exactly that, I’m guessing it would have been a good thing?
          Although, if, like me, you had some astigmatism too, it would just b***er up the whole thing….

          1. I have been 4-7 and 5-7 all my long life (and astigmatic as well) and it is an excellent state to have – there is seldom an absolute necessity to wear glasses (except for driving, to keep the law and for complete safety).

      1. In North America, we are either nearsighted or far-sighted rather than 5-7 or 4-7 (and I do note the inconsistent use of hyphens in the North American terms).

        1. A cataract replacement transformed my standard of golf. Back to my perceived handicap when I was seventeen. Brilliant and painless.

          1. I didn’t realise how bad my eyesight was until I had my cataract done, Jules in Sussex. I should not have been driving!

  2. Well well, I don’t know if this was our usual Monday setter but I thought it was excellent, a masterclass in setting a not too difficult but entertaining puzzle. The “report” puzzled me a little but it had to be what it was, and was my only pause for thought.
    Podium places go to 3,5 &14d, great words all well clued
    2/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the entertainment.

    1. Just reading the review, I took 7d to be a straightforward double definition so both words in the clue should be underlined?

      1. I did not underline both parts of the clue as the numeration (3-3) for the second part does not match that specified (3,3). The BRB defines let-off as a failure to take advantage of an opportunity (which seems to look at it from the perspective of the party missing the opportunity). Lexico, on the other hand, views the term from the perspective of the party benefiting from the missed opportunity and defines let-off as a chance to escape or avoid something, especially defeat giving the following usage example “the team had two let-offs as shots rebounded to strike the defenders’ legs”.

        1. I see, you were taking let-off as a noun (as I was), but didn’t realise it was hyphenated in that context. Thank you for your feedback Falcon.

        2. Hi Falcon. The only times you castigate me over underlinings on The National Post site seem to be the times I forget to do it and Big Dave adds them for me

          1. If it is seen as “castigation”, I guess I am not being very tactful in my choice of words. I never intend to be mean-spirited. Although, I admit that I do sometimes castigate myself upon reading my own reviews on Big Dave’s site when the puzzle appears in the National Post some seven months later.

  3. This was a pleasing puzzle, challenging in a good way, with some realky good clues. I liked 8a, although I was I had difficulty remenbering the term as I’m no card pkayer. 10a and 9d were also appealing but the clue of the day for me was 16a, which initially had me acratching around for Otis Redding hints. Eventually my choral society background made me see the light. Thanks to the compiler and to Falcon for the hints. I think it’s good to have a break that takes you away from the news/ media and electronic gadgets and I’ll bet you feel really refreshed for it.

  4. Pleasant Monday fare with no particular flair, just a solid cryptic to start the week. I liked 5d, 12a, and 23a best of all. Nice and comfortable. Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell. 1.5* / ***

    1. You and I both Una. I really couldn’t get going until well into the clues. 8 across went waaaay over my head and despite the hint 17 down still leaves me somewhat baffled. I have to say that I did like 12 across, but overall I’m sorry to say setter, this puzzle has given me no pleasure or satisfaction in solving whatsoever. Thanks Falcon for coming to the rescue . . . . . . . .many times. :-)

      1. I presume it is the word ‘station’ that is your source of confusion. Collins English Dictionary defines station as a position or standing, as in a particular society or organization and grade as a group of people or things of the same category. Thus, in a hierarchical organization, those who have attained a certain station are those who have advanced to that grade.

    2. Surely you know by now that one girls easy is another girls difficult Una. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow is another day

    3. Me too. I’m in the hard camp. Didn’t enjoy this one. But thanks to setter for the hard work invested in compiling and Falcon for hints.

      1. You obviously do not read the financial pages. Central banks are described as having stood pat on interest rates if the interest rate does not change.

        1. Replying to the Square Leg Umpire here… have worked in the “City” for 30+ years and have never come across being erect next to an Irishman… let alone the poker connotations. I often wonder how non cricketers fare on some of these clues. One the other day must have had even the most avid cricket followers/players ducking a bouncer was cherry 🍒 for a new ball in the clue for which archery was the answer. This was definitely a bouncer or a googly for a Monday!

  5. I really enjoyed this one. Humour, head-scratching and great fun. Like others I thought 13a was the outstanding clue of the day with 16a a close runner-up. An excellent start to the solving week.

    Thanks to Campbell, if it was indeed he, and to Falcon.

  6. Felt different from usual Monday offerings; surfaces lacking something, perhaps a little staccato as it were. Maybe not Campbell?

    Overall very gentle and reasonably enjoyable apart from, as Falcon says, no obvious definition in 3d. No stand out favourite. Thanks to setter and Falcon – welcome back to the New Order (or dis-order depending on how you look at it).

  7. Apart from 8a, I went straight down the left hand side without any problems. Starting next with the NE corner was a different matter. I put “set” into 7d, as my first three letters as in “to escape” rather than “an escape”. I then came unstuck with 4a. My next problem came with 15d where I put “marks” as my second word. It took a little while to unravel my own mistakes. 13a was my favourite clue. Thank you setter and Falcon. I’ve just received a photo from a friend on holiday in Greece. She is sitting on a completely empty beach.

  8. Great way to start the “working” week and not too challenging. N W came in last. Too many fun clues to list but one of my Favs was 6d which may not appeal to those without club familiarity (Falcon’s posted cartoon for it raised a LOL moment). I agree with Falcon about the lack of a definition in 3d. Quickie pun is good too. TVM AS and Falcon.

  9. A **/** for me today. I didn’t find this very enjoyable because I found some of the clues a bit weird. The reference to Billy Bunter in 13a is a bit obscure. He may well have been the answer but it’s not what was noteworthy about him. 7d could just as easily have been set off as far as I can see – so you need to get 4a to settle that question. 17d is a mystery. Is “grade” supposed to = station? Very loosely, possibly or am I not understanding something obvious? 8a is a North American poker term which amazingly, I knew although the hints give a much better definition. I’ll nominate 6d as favourite because it’s clever. Probably blindingly obvious to our golfers but it took me a moment or two. Thanks to all.

  10. No Una it wasn’t just you. I thought I’d got the wrong day of the week. Found myself struggling with 5 clues to go, one of which ironically was 6d where my excuse is that I use a lob wedge to extricate my ball. Got there in the end although I can’t in all conscience claim an unaided finish as I was reduced to looking up synonyms of ghost & I’m not entirely sure whether the word was new to me or I’d simply forgotten it – either way ought to have got it from the wordplay so the brain clearly isn’t in gear this morning. I shall go off to Rookie Corner to see if I can do any better.
    Thanks to Falcon & Campbell if indeed he is the setter

        1. Can’t afford that Jane – just a plain old Seat estate does me – if there’s 4 wheels, it starts & gets me from A to B I’m happy.

  11. I liked it. I wasn’t too bothered about the wordplay, luckily, but I found the surfaces, mostly, very entertaining and worthy, which isn’t always the case. Too many to pick a favourite, but specially 1a,13,25 and 14. I can see some thought the opposite….luckily we’re all different, as we know.
    Thanks to setter and Falcon

  12. A dnf for me, as stupidly I had the wrong answer for 14d (“recounter”) so the the corner that seems to have troubled most was absolutely impossible. As always then suffered from confirmation bias so gave Campbell best.
    For me 6d “trap” makes a better surface read but represents another import that, thanks to TV is becoming common terminology, more’s the pity. Still my COTD though.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon for the entertaining hints, my wrong answer for 14d fitted the hint.
    The cartoon for 6d reminded me of the time I was sat behind our 13th watching golf with my tri-pawed labrador . A player went in the bunker came, parked his trolley by us & took out his 6d. I watched him play out then felt a tug on Jackson’s lead & looked round to see the dog trying to make off complete with ham sandwich that he had extracted from the player’s bag! Fortunately the player knew why Jackson was tri-pawed & saw the funny side.

      1. Jackson was a rescue dog. After 2 weeks or so with us he developed a limp in his front leg. He did not respond to treatment & X-Ray showed cancer of the bone. 2 choices, vet thought he might well have caught the cancer early enough so we decided to have the leg aputated. He had the leg amputated at the shoulder & after the op he recovered magnificently (we had read how dogs are amongst the best with 3 legs). It was as if nothing was missing except when he tried to turn at speed & tipped over.
        He became well known to members of my club who admired his obvious joie de vivre & total disregard of the “handicap”.
        Sadly the story did not end well as they hadn’t caught things in time and he had to be put to sleep 6 months after the op. I still fill up remembering carrying the couragious animal on his last journey. Sorry but you did ask & he deserves the full story.

        1. That story made me fill up as well, LROK, remembering the times over the years when I’ve had to carry much loved pets on that final journey. Thank goodness that we are still allowed to make that heart-breaking decision on their behalf – I’d like to believe that somewhere up in the beyond, they think kindly towards us for our actions.

          1. Jane
            All animal lovers have a similar story just told slightly differently. One of my friends saved themselves & the pet the trauma of the final journey & had the vet do a home visit. They told us after Jackson but I think we will do likewisewhen we have to lose Bella.

            1. That’s something I did where my last couple of Deerhounds were concerned. I’m sure it was far less traumatic for them but the trouble was that I could never again bear to sit on the sofas where they’d quietly passed away.

        2. At my favourite animal shelter, Montego Bay Animal Haven, they have a lovely dog called Flip who has no hind legs. You should see her move, she’s such a happy dog, amazing how they adjust. Have a look on Facebook or YouTube.

          1. I don’t think dogs look upon pain as we do, Merusa. If my dog steps on a thorn he yelps but then just sits with his paw in the air waiting for me to remove It. They don’t go on and on about it like we do.

        3. A lovely story. The trouble with pets is that you have to say goodbye but we get immense pleasure out of each other’s company. Thank goodness we have the opportunity to play God and save them from the suffering that many of our human friends and family have to endure. It is a funny old world. I have only seen my husband cry twice. Once when my father died and then when we had a very, very special dog put to sleep. I am so sorry I have unwittingly made everyone weepy!

          1. Daisygirl,
            No sorrow really, remembering the look on the guy’s face when he saw Jackson with the sandwich & wrapping sticking out of each side of his mouth & then him just bursting out laughing was priceless as the ad. says.
            Unfortunately it was ham & mustard, which didn’t trouble Jackson at the time but there were reprocussions at the other end a day or so later!

        4. When a pal has to be put down it is awful. We lost two labs to cancer both aged 8. One had cancer of the leg which, unfortunately, had metastasised so amputation would not have saved him. The other had throat cancer and they both died within months of each other.
          You never forget the heartache.

    1. Re: “my wrong answer for 14d fitted the hint”

      I’m sure if you look closely, you will find you have used an “E” that is not provided by the fodder and have failed to use the “A”.

      1. Never could spell, as I said confirmation bias took over. Something that I think all solvers have from time to time, me more than most

  13. Pleasant enough although, like Falcon, I had reservations about 3d. Fortunately remembered 8a from previous crosswords – strange term.
    No particular favourite today.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – you haven’t missed much whilst you were away, just more about Coronavirus and how much black lives matter.

  14. I found this difficult for a Monday. Some clues were obscure such as 8a, which I had never heard of and I struggled with others. Just because something is a 23a does not necessarily mean it is wanted. I finished but am afraid I did not enjoy it much. That, of course, is down to me and not the setter so many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints.

    I didn’t think about the third word in the Quickie pun as I thought the first two gave Harry Potter – ish.

    The three most disappointing words in The Telegraph? “Matt is away”.

    1. Just realised (been bugging me) what song I’d heard 8a in.It’s St. James Infirmary (Gamblers Blues) –
      Oh, when I die, please bury me
      In my ten dollar Stetson hat;
      Put a twenty dollar gold piece on my watch chain
      So my friends’ll know I died standin’ pat
      Great song & must be one of the most covered standards – versions by Arlo Guthrie, Chris Jones & Van among my favourites

    2. Steve,
      2d in this week’s Rookie Corner:
      “Smear coal tar on dental cavity (4,5).”
      Busman’s holiday clue for you.

      1. Yep, LBROK, I certainly clocked that one first! 🤣
        Not my problem anymore. I officially retired last week. Didn’t want to but Covid dictated.

  15. A very pleasant Monday solve completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    The same Hmm as others on 3d and a quick check a couple of minutes ago shows that the clue is still the same on the puzzle web site.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 8a, and 9d – and the winner is 9d.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  16. A pleasant Monday puzzle apart from the very odd 3d – sometimes if a clue seems to have no obvious definition the whole clue may form the definition making it an all-in-one. However, in this case that doesn’t work at all.
    Has anyone verified that the clue is the same in the paper?

    My top clue was 24a.

    Thanks to setter and to Falcon for the review.

    1. Re 3d, my guess is that there is another word missing from the end of the clue after ‘power’ (such as momentum for example), which would be a synonym for the answer.

      1. I had a similar thought but every synonym I could think of made for an awkward surface reading. Perhaps moving the definition to the beginning of the clue would work better, along the lines of “As motivation, I was introduced to American after seizing power”.

  17. I’m posting later than usual for me today as I have had to unblock our drains – lovely job!

    This was 2*/3* for me with the SW corner the last to fall. I did enjoy it although I agree with Falcon about 3d, which seems to be lacking a definition. I also wasn’t keen on 17d.

    16a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but it took me a while to get on the setter’s wavelength. Once there, I eventually got to 8a, which defeated me. I thought the definition was just “keep” so stink pot was a possibility….. Alas no. Favourite was 16a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  19. I have been out of action with an eye infection in an eye where l recently had a corneal graft.I found it impossible to solve whilst only able to read mechanically a bit like the cat sat on the mat.l had continued to look at comments as l do enjoy the badinage.Still not right but decided to persevere with this as the rain made anything else impossible.l am glad l did as l found it excellent challenging but full of humour.l shared 12 a with my own which was not a wise move.l hope to be able to continue but in the meantime Thankyou to all.

      1. I hope it resolves itself soon Willieverlearn. I couldn’t read for a short time after both my cataract ops and that was bad enough. It must make you feel really low to have an infection as well.

  20. I always enjoy crosswords – it’s just that I enjoy some more than others – today was one of the less enjoyable kind for me – I’m a bit grumpy anyway.
    I had the same problem as others with 3d, never heard of 8a, can’t ‘do golf, am terrified of 24a’s and the only thing I remember about Billy Bunter was that he was a fat little piglet which didn’t help at all.
    Rant over now and there were some good clues including 4 and 12a and 1 and 15d. My favourite was 9d.
    Thanks, and apologies, to the setter and to Falcon.

  21. An enjoyable puzzle and some of the clues took a while longer than usual to work out. I hadn’t come across 8a before but I was able to deduce the answer from the clue; 19d was also a new word for me. The clue for 3d certainly does appear to be incomplete. I liked 24a (I thought the anagram was well hidden) and 5d but my favourite was 21a for its simplicity. I’d never heard of 12a before and can hear the “PC” brigade warming up in the wings. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for his review.

  22. I struggled with this and thought “Is it just me?”, but I see from above I am not alone. 8a was a new phrase to me.

    We had a monsoon of a shower for about twenty minutes and, despite my cajoling, Lola did not want to desert her post under the ivy. After the downpour, I checked her and she was completely dry, so once again I have to learn to stop fussing. Cats know what they’re doing.
    Thanks to the setter (not Campbell, surely?) and Falcon.

    1. According to Lexico, 8a is a North American expression that is also used in contexts other than card games (such as poker or blackjack, the latter maybe known in the UK as pontoon or vingt-et-un). In general, it can mean to stick stubbornly to one’s opinion or decision giving the following usage example “With their own costs still growing at 7.5%, however, employers can’t afford to stand pat.”.

  23. A nice start to the week I liked 8 across but 16 across was new to me and the usage of 21 across was new to me as well, I agree with Falcon on 3 down and as always say Thank you to the Setter and Falcon for what they do.

  24. ***/**. Not my cup of tea. I found this quite tricky in parts and not very enjoyable. Nevertheless thanks to Campbell and Falcon for explaining several of my bung-ins.

  25. Were it not for Falcon’s hints, I would have just have sighed and given up, feeling really stupid as so many others found this quite doable. When I got the answers it was mostly from checkers and most decidedly not the clues. Some of it my own fault, as I was a big reader of the Bunter books, but now only remember him for his greed, and forgot his poor eyesight. Never heard of that type of singer in 16a. I did get 2d as it is common parlance over here, but I still used the word sweets as I don’t like the Americanism of it. COTD for me was 1a, as I have many of these on my patio – they are the easiest of plants to grow here in South Florida. Will console myself by having a go at the bonus 617 later. Hopefully more my cup of tea.

  26. No problems here except 8a. I put stink pot for no reason whatsoever then got the stand bit.
    After that just tried all the vowels and “show mistakes” never heard of the answer although Ive played black jack in casinos. It’s usually just “stand” I think.
    Did you know it’s insulting to young people when us oldies use full stops. Who knew? 😂😂😂
    Thanks to setter and Falcon.
    **/***

  27. I’m joining Kath on the bit grumpy step but not because of the crossword which we managed to finish without understanding some of it, which is bad on my part. Stand pat is new to me – I put PUT as a sort of stay put. I don’t play golf – spoils a good walk IMHO. 16a was my favourite and 13 close behind and I quite liked the idea of 12a. I think we had hypotenuse in the crossword last week didn’t we? I am just plain grumpy today , it is all getting to be too much.

    1. Welcome to today’s grumpy step – it’s always good to have some company whichever step I’m sitting on.
      I wasn’t grumpy about the crossword either but I’m knackered and fed-up with being either far too hot or drowned.

  28. Good fun for a Monday morning. Nice **/**** puzzle to start the week.
    Some great clues here including 13a, 22a, 23a, 5d & 6d with winner being 13a by a nose over 22a
    Thanks to setter and Falcon for the hints.

  29. Perfect delight as usual. No clicks, no pictures but I got all I needed. Six times to be exact! Thanks
    BTW Big D, I need a VPN to access the site. Are you sanctioning Iran or is my gov’ment filtering you?

  30. Well the lid has been taken off the pot for this puzzle and it has been well and truly stirred. Viva la difference and all that. I think this was typically and wonderfully Mondayish. Something for everyone. It took me longer than usual as Saint Sharon kept on wittering away with her early morning nonsense but I got there in the end and I have no idea what was expected of me today. I have done what I have done and am now enjoying a pint of Barn Owl Bitter. Ta to all

  31. I’m late as the paper had to wait for darling daughter’s trip to get her new school shoes. Pretty much everything has been said. I’m in the bit harder than usual for a Monday camp and also found 3d a bit odd. The wine is in the fridge. Thanks to all.

  32. I will echo Zelda’s “Viv la Difference” I quite enjoyed the 80% I could do unassisted but needed help in the SW. I was trying to put the N in the wrong place for 20a and tried to put an L in the insect too. I struggled with 17d too. I kept thinking there would have to be one hell of an 17d to overlook the station then that reminded me of the dilemma of getting a train from Bradford Interchange to Forster Sq. I am doing quite well at and enjoying the rookie today too.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter.

  33. The week started so nicely for me I was happily solving this puzzle thinking easy Monday lovely, until I came to 8a my last one in and still even with Falcons explanation I still don’t see where you would use “ Stand Pat” 😳 unless you were buying an Irish friend a pint 🍺 so ***/*** Favourites 6d and 13a 😃 Thanks to Falcon and to the Setter 😬

    1. According to The Phrase Finder website, as used in the expression “stand pat”, the word “pat” means “hitting the mark” (and is a special use of the word “pat” in the sense of a light tap). The term “pat” is used to describe something that is optimum or cannot be improved upon. Thus a “pat hand” is one that the player judges cannot be improved by drawing more cards, and so he “stands pat”. This is also the sense in which the word “pat” is used in the expression “down pat” which means to have memorized or learned how to do something flawlessly.

  34. I have been wanting to ask for ages – Where and what is this Rookie you talk about ? Is it in the on line version cos I don’t seem to have it in my paper. Not that I am looking for another, the cryptic and the toughie are quite enough daily exercise for my pea brain.

  35. To all who struggled today, try the bonus cryptic 617, it really is very enjoyable with user friendly clues. Just the right level of difficulty to make you do a little work.

  36. Busy day for me today, hence late entry.
    I had to use the hints for 19d and 24a…and had a fair few bung ins as well, so not a great day for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  37. I’m in the “perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t” camp this evening, but I think I made harder work of it than I should have, my mind wasn’t in the right place. To continue the animal theme of earlier my remaining “old boy” had been a bit wobbly on his legs for a while but became worse yesterday. Still managed to eat his food though. He had another stroke today, he’s had two before and completely recovered from them. I brought him inside the house but I’m afraid this is his last hurrah. Not expecting him to be alive in the morning. He was 16 years old in June. 🐶 I couldn’t find a Spaniel.

    1. Taylor,
      Jackson had 4 strokes in 3 days at the end. I know what you are going through. Doesn’t matter how “good an innings” parting brings sorrow that is only sweet when you look back at the pleasures you had together.

      We have always bought another when the dog gets to about 7 as that eases our sense of loss. We are now in our late 70’s & won’t replace any more.

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