DT 29486 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29486

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29486

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where the summer seems reluctant to end, although it is getting markedly cooler during the night and early morning.

Maybe it’s just me but I thought today’s puzzle was a bit trickier than recent Monday’s have been.  I’ll be interested to see who agrees and who though it was a breeze.  There’s a couple of longish anagrams and a couple of chestnuts to give you a start so I don’t think it will prove too difficult.

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


1a           Take point after cold caught in A&E (6)
ACCEPT:  An abbreviation of POINT placed after C(old) and C(aught) placed between (in) the A and E from the clue.

4a           Painter‘s fag ends picked up (6)
STUBBS:  This is an artist best known for his paintings of horses.  His name sounds like (picked up) some fag ends or butts.

8a           Go mad given failure to find sandal (4-4)
FLIP FLOP:  A word meaning to go mad or lose one’s temper followed by a word for a failure gives the sort of sandal known as a thong in Australia and New Zealand.

10a         Look at fish caught by the German in retirement (6)
REGARD:  The German definite article is reversed (in retirement) and a fish is inserted (caught by).  Makes a change not to have EEL as the fish although this one is a tad obscure!

11a         Confront female expert (4)
FACE:  F(emale) followed by an expert.

12a         Went on list, working in Hollywood (10)
TINSELTOWN:  Anagram (working) of WENT ON LIST.

13a         Win big article in exclusive table game (5,3,4)
SCOOP THE POOL:  An exclusive for a newspaper followed by a game played on a table with a definite article inserted between them (in).

16a         King’s wife, in a novel, fences in an unorthodox way (4,2,6)
ANNE OF CLEVES:  An anagram (in an unorthodox way) of A NOVEL FENCES will give you King Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

20a         Trace  pointer (10)
SUGGESTION:  Double definition.

21a         Vegetable shown in glossy with its head chopped off (4)
LEEK:  A word meaning glossy or smooth without its first letter (with its head chopped off).

22a         Court order gets ambassador to squirm (6)
WRITHE:  A court order followed by the abbreviation of His Excellency the Ambassador.

23a         Revolutionary hospital on site of battle long ago (8)
MARATHON:  One of the revolutionaries involved in the French Revolution, not Robespierre but the one that got murdered is his bath, followed by H(ospital) and the ON from the clue.  There was a race in London yesterday which is named after this battle.

24a         Assistant‘s job to get hold of record (6)
DEPUTY:  A word for a job or task is placed around two letters for a record.

25a         Ostentatiously impressive wood lining old carriage (6)
FLASHY:  Start with a light, one-horse carriage and insert (lining) a type of tree (wood).  Any excuse for a bit of Freddie . . .


1d           Fling daughter denied does for marriage (8)
ALLIANCE:  A word for a fling or affair without its initial D (Daughter denied).

2d           Manage to encircle small thicket (5)
COPSE:  A word meaning to manage or get by placed around (to encircle) an S(mall).

3d           Feeble young child’s loose outer garment (7)
PALETOT:  A word for feeble or wan followed by a young child is a rather obscure loose outer garment or overcoat.  I’d never come across this word before but twigged what it had to be from the young child bit.

5d           Fuss about right drill in wreck at sea? (7)
TORPEDO:  A phrase (2,2) meaning some fuss placed around (about) an R(ight) and some drill as in physical exercise.

6d           Wicket secured by delivery, last from Warne in game (9)
BAGATELLE:  To solve this you need to know what a wicket is a type of, and it’s got nothing to do with cricket.  When you’ve twigged what it is you need to insert it into (secured by) another word for a delivery in cricket and follow with an E (last from WarnE).

7d           Sharp-witted animal close to fold (6)
SHREWD:  A small, mouse like, animal followed by a D (close to folD).

9d           Hullaballoo in opium den, man recollected (11)
PANDEMONIUM:  Anagram (recollected) of OPIUM DEN MAN.

14d         One may be of interest to a lepidopterist operating abroad (6-3)
ORANGE TIP:  Anagram (abroad) of OPERATING.

15d         More relaxed after church — New Year service (8)
CEREMONY:  An anagram (relaxed) of MORE is placed after the two letters for the Church of England and finally N(ew) and Y(ear).

17d         Noon, and climb just beginning (7)
NASCENT:  N(oon) followed by another word for a climb.

18d         Work  rule (7)
CONTROL:  Double definition. I’m not really keen on the first part of this.

19d         Foul place to clear (6)
PUTRID:  A word meaning to place in position followed by a word meaning to clear or shed.

21d         Something for sale — American plant (5)
LOTUS:  Something for sale at an auction followed by the usual two letters for American.

Not sure about a favourite today but it’s probably 6d with 3d and 22a as runners up.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:      NAVEL     +     BASS     =     NAVAL BASE

Bottom line:     WEAL     +     RIGHT     =     WHEELWRIGHT

135 comments on “DT 29486

  1. 2*/4*. Light and fun as we have come to expect on a Monday. 23a was my last one in and 3d was a new word for me.

    6d was my favourite with 12a & 19d joining it on the podium.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  2. Unfortunately I cant access the online puzzle site as it appears to be down and no reply to my query to DT 😫

    1. I’m still having the same problems as last week, can’t access via laptop or iPad but can through my iPhone….work that one out!

  3. 2d Paletot Even the chambers on line dictionary didn’t have this word in. I did get it but had to make sure by looking in google.

    1. Me too with paletot. I figured out the last 3 letters but didn’t see pale as a synonym for feeble!

      1. Exactly the same with me Chris despite needing only 2 letters – was reduced to looking up synonyms for feeble.

      2. I got it but hadn’t heard of it and don’t know how to pronounce it – life’s too short.

        1. Life’s never too short – ‘palltoe’ it is a French word as you might suspect for a jacket or cardigan. Or Anglicised pallytott.
          Any time!

          1. Haha!
            Thanks DG. I wasn’t meaning to be dramatic. I really have no principles and today I have competing priorities, e.g. watching the Giro d’Italia and closing allotment, so I’ve no compunction in going to the blog without finishing.

            1. I have to admire an unprincipled woman! I am losing the will to live here, rain and more rain and I am desperately trying to put my sewing room to rights and trying to face the fact that I am never going to use up all this stuff. I am inundated with stuff. Family things I have treasured and now I wonder what will happen to them. Roll on six o’clock gin time.

              1. Ditto! I’m surrounded by my ancestors and I have no descendants. I’m busy giving away stuff and still have no room to move!

              2. Don’t complain, Daisy. My parents divorced and found new partners whilst I was in my teens. My parents were the first to die in each relationship and their partners just disposed of all their belongings, so I have nothing to remind me of them in the way of photos etc and no bits of family history to pass on to my girls.
                All I really wanted was my dad’s RAF badges and my mum’s hand written recipe books along with the ‘white metal’ brooch I saved up all my pocket money to buy for her birthday when I was about 12.
                All water under the bridge now but it still hurts from time to time. Enjoy all that ‘stuff’ whilst you have the chance.

                1. Oh Jane that is so sad. I can understand how it hurts. My mother used to tell me that I attached too much importance to ‘things’ and now I look at other people who have minimalist houses and see how much easier they are to keep clean! But this is my LIFE I am surrounded by, and I don’t want to hide away photos of my beloved parents and grandparents and my girls before they were beset by life. I have hundreds of letters, written by mother and father during the war. They wrote every day, posted every week, such moving letters. Mummy used to do little drawings when she moved the furniture around – with little arrows saying ‘your chair’ or ‘the piano’. How do you dispose of those? Grandsons not interested. I do enjoy knowing I have things passed down the generations, but no one nowadays wants ‘brown’ furniture even if it is antique. So much to worry about!

                  1. My advice DG would be these are your things to enjoy. Don’t worry about the future, it will sort itself out.

  4. I thought it was difficult too and possibly more suited to a Friday than a Monday (***/**). There was a lot of guesswork involved on my part and then reverse engineering of the parsing. I had never heard of the loose coat and had to look it up. Some of the clues seemed a bit less than smooth and I don’t really have a favourite. Thanks to Pommers and the compiler

  5. Excellent Monday morning workout, smoothly clued throughout and very enjoyable, though definately no gimme.
    I had to check the coat at 3d and only got 23a once all the checkers were in and the word jumped out at me.
    Podium places go to 8a &1d, plus 17d for no other reason other than it’s a lovely word.
    2.5/ 4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the entertainment.

  6. I thought it was less ‘hard’ than usual – although Campbell Mondays are never that tricky

    I enjoyed the solve so thank you to him and Pommers from a cool, showery East Kent

    Today’s Rookie is recommended

  7. I have to admit to failure. I managed to get all but 6 in the SE completed in *** time, but then foundered.

    A quick peek at the hints for 18d and 23a led me to the rest quite quickly. I didn’t know the term at 3d, the phrase at 13a, the revolutionary at 23a, the carriage at 25a nor the answer at 14d, which for me is a little too much GK for a Monday morning.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

      1. Famously… I’ve never heard of Marat or the painting. :-)

        Maybe you move in rather more arty circles than I do.

  8. I agree, trickier than usual. I knew there was a phrase for 13a meaning big win but took ages to get it. The poor man murdered in his bath at 23a I knew as I’m a volunteer at the NT Felbrigg Hall and there is a gruesome picture of it in one of the rooms containing a slipper bath which was where he was murdered. Didn’t know the carriage at in 25a but guessed it and 6d was a bung in. All in all an enjoyable puzzle so thanks to all. I may not be a NT volunteer, or even a member, for much longer with their ridiculous ‘woke’ agenda. It was at Felbrigg there was the hullaballoo about ‘outing’ the last squire. What a furore that caused! Rant over.

    1. Before the Covid outbreak, I had considered membership of the NT. Their ‘ woke’ attitude is a paradox, since their purpose is to preserve historical things and places but they are trying to deny what happened in the past. I shan’t be joining for the moment.

      1. In today’s letters in the DT, there is an advocate for joining the Scottish NT, as they have reciprocal agreements, and not to much ‘woke’. (And it is cheaper).

      2. Sadly just as all this ‘woke’ business started our bank statement revealed that the NT had takes out our £90 renewal. After 50 odd years of supporting them George was fulminating about not renewing the sub and I’m not sure whether we can get it back. The whole thing is nonsense, you cannot rewrite history, only learn from it.

          1. Good challenge. I was busy yesterday and just did one or two before falling asleep. Woke at 2.30 unwell but nevertheless managed to doing the puzzle unaided. I too did not know the garment at 3d but worked it out from the clue, which is how it should be. As not a word in everyday usage I do not think having studied French would be of any assistance whatsoever, so the level of one’s French is irrelevant. The Fly is not unknown in crosswords, and both the painter and the revolutionary required no specialist knowledge to solve. I do not regard my general knowledge as good but knew these. I think I must be alone in confidently inserting indication at 20a. I thought it a good enough double definition and only cottoned on when I solved 14d. Thanks Campbell and Pommers. I always read the hints after the event, and often find I have misunderstood the parsing. I also always read the comments with enjoyment even when they digress.

            1. You are not alone in confidently inserting indication at 20a. I did the same and hence couldn’t finish the SW corner. Altogether quite a demanding puzzle. I was ok with the unfortunate bather since it’s such a famous painting but not familiar with 13a phrase. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

        1. Thanks for the heads up DG. I found my NT cards this morning and the renewal date is January 2021. We haven’t used them at all this year. I thought of a trip to Cliveden a few weeks ago when we were out of lockdown and it was a lovely sunny day. It was fully booked as they were limiting numbers, so we couldn’t go. Such a shame. I’m a bit reluctant to renew the subscription.

    2. Yes Manders I’ve already decided not to re-new next time for the reasons mentioned by you and others. I’d rather spend more time visiting Wildlife Trust sites.

    3. I’ve just written a stiff email to the National Trust! They have included Allan Bank in Grasmere on their list of homes connected with slavery and imperialism. Allan Bank was the home of the Wordsworths between 1808 and 1811, their home is included because William and Dorothy’s brother John was a Captain for the East India company. He did not trade in slaves, just goods with the Far East and he died on board his ship, which sank off the south coast…..three years before William and family moved to Allan Bank! William and Dorothy were fiercely opposed to slavery and were friends with William Wilberforce. Have you ever heard such nonsense!? As Manders says, rant over!

  9. I agree with Pommers that this was harder than usual for a Monday.Never heard of the overcoat – and I have a degree in modern languages. Thanks to Pommers and setter.

  10. I’m on all fours with most so far having to guess albeit with some confidence 13a, 23a and 3d. A good puzzle otherwise I thought so ***/****. Thanks to the setter and pommers for his reassuring explanations which reflected my experience uncannily accurately!

  11. Once on stream softly softly catchee monkey and hey presto. Smoother ride in the South. 4a amused. 13a, 3d and 14d new ones on me. Thank you Campbell and pommers. Beautiful sunshine here in W.Sussex so hope same will be true for Paris facilitating more tennis.

  12. Solved alone and unaided with the exception of 3d . Guessed what it might be but had to look it up to check.
    Another obscure word to add to my list of words only ever seen in crosswords.
    Have requested a Bradford’s for Christmas. (If we’re spared.)
    Found it quite difficult.
    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  13. A pleasant puzzle – thanks to Campbell and pommers. Like others I’d never heard of 3d – I looked up what the wordplay and checkers suggested and there it was in the BRB.
    The clues I liked best were 12a and 19d.

    I second crypticsue’s recommendation for today’s Rookie puzzle. Even if you normally never venture into Rookie Corner it’s well worth having a go at this one which is not too tricky and a load of fun.

    1. My very old (1951 vintage) French dictionary says that 3d is not only an obsolete word for an overcoat but also an informal word for a coffin!

  14. Not hugely difficult today **/*** 3d, like most of us, I had never heard of it either and had to google the word to confirm the answer. Apparently, it’s a French word but not one known to me and that was my subject back in the day. 18d is a bit “loose” to my mind. Favourite is 6d. Thanks to all.

    1. Re 18d…”a good artist can work/control the audience”
      “Tottenham ruled/controlled the midfield in yesterday’s game”
      Nothing wrong with it in my eyes.

  15. Most entertaining, but personally I found yesterday’s Dada far easier. Of course, mistakenly entering ‘break the bank’ at 13a without any checkers in place hardly helped my cause – big mistake :-)
    Al good fun. Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  16. I am definitely in the ‘trickier than usual’ camp this morning. Most of the puzzle was relatively straightforward but there were a few that took almost as long as the rest of the grid to complete. That said it was a fair tussle with the wordplay accurate enough to force out the odd obscurity. 6d was my runaway favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell for the challenge to pommers.

  17. Tough for a Monday with SE corner holding out into *** time.
    COTD 6d with 15d r/u.
    3d probably obscure but gettable from the wordplay (isn’t that what crosswords are all about?). Having to check the word is correct not a problem. That you solved it then confirm the answer was correct must be OK.
    Thanks Campbell & pommers for the review.

    1. Are you feeling any brighter today? I hope so, though you did say you’re in for a difficult time.

  18. I also thought this a few notches up on the difficulty level for a Monday & not only due to the obscurity at 3d. Needless to say I hadn’t heard of the French topcoat but also thought the feeble synonym a wee bit tenuous & used Mr G to get it. There were however a number of cracking clues, of which 4&23a plus 6&15d were the picks for me.
    Many thanks to Campbell & to Pommers.
    Ps Another shout out for Rookie Corner today – good fun & probably shades it over the back pager for me.

  19. This certainly took more thinking time than usual for a Campbell Monday puzzle but no less enjoyable, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    Will I be able to remember/have to remember 3d? Who knows?.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 6d, and 19d – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  20. As others have said, 3d was new to me and the first part of the answer wouldn’t be my first thought for ‘feeble’. I’m reading about 16a at the moment so that was easy enough and the 23a battle site was apparently lodged somewhere in the recesses of the old grey matter.
    Top three here were 12a along with 14&19d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – sorry, but any time I see the 25a video I think of the advert for a cleaning product!

  21. I’m pleased to see others found this tricky. I struggled with some of it while others went in relatively easy. I suppose that makes it the proverbial “Curate’s Egg”. Putting “Helper” at 24a did not help. another case of sticking in an answer without fully parsing the clue. My COTD is 19d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers. Thanks also for the Queen track, pommers. It contains what I think is a fabulous line. “Flash, I love you but we only have twenty four hours to save the Earth!”

    1. Welcome from me as well, Peter. 18d is a double definition. No doubt the BRB would reveal all but I haven’t looked as yet. To me, it was a little tenuous.

  22. You know how sometimes all the answers can be bunged but you can’t get the wordplay? Well, this was the opposite for me – the wordplay seemed obvious, but I just couldn’t come up with the relevant words, so I gave up once I would have had to look up most of the lower third of the grid.
    It was well within the zone where backpagers and Toughies overlap, so I’ll give it a 4*. Thanks to Pommers for the answers though.

    I did like 12a and 9d.

  23. 3D and 18d for me – for 18d I still can’t quite see the association. Not on my wavelength somehow today – is my brain waterlogged? Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  24. I don’t usually do the crossword until “Bargain Hunt” starts as Mrs Bob likes to watch it. Therefore all that needs to be said about it has already been said. My thoughts once again agree with previous commentators including the opposite point of view. Finished it fairly easily but had question marks against half a dozen. 1a, point, for me is always NSEW. 13a had the first and second word but needed the checkers for the third word. 23a two relative obscurities but obvious once the checkers were in. 25a easily solved but you know what I’m thinking here. 3d along with horse drawn carriage obscurities there must be many obscure garments 6d. I didn’t get the wicked wicket **** (Shakespeare somewhere) until afterwards and where does the LL come from. 15d another obscure anagram indicator. Anyway enjoyed it as ever **/*** Now listening to Mr Mercury. Very Good. I was a bit late catching up with Queen, perhaps I’ll download some tracks from Amazon (other music sources are available but poorer quality and less reliable.

    1. Bob – if you think of a wicket as something you may have to push open in the countryside to get from one field to another; outside of that word place a word that is another way of saying a delivery in cricket (or the word used for the item bowled at a batsman); then add the last letter of Warne at the very end…

  25. Well that was a morning’s work! A real brain boggler. I did figure out 3d but as with almost everyone else – a new word to me.
    I rarely hear of anyone who is neutral about the music of Queen; they seem to have millions of adoring fans, and others, like me, who run a mile away on hearing the opening bars to any of their (hugely popular) works. A couple of years ago H wished to see the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, so, of course, I did my duty and accompanied her, and I thought the film was risible – yet it won handfuls of Oscars and other awards. Hence – what do I know about anything?

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    (Daisy – thanks for pointing me towards towards the kitten story; I’m now following Dean and Nala on Twitter!)

    1. Terence your judgement on the movie was spot on. Quite possibly the worst lead actor Oscar award in memory in my view – a total caricature of a performance. The original director was fired & the guy brought in to finish the movie, Dexter Fletcher, obviously had talent as he went on to do Rocketman – a film with a bit of imagination, which whether it was one’s cup of tea or not at least had a bit of flair & something to say.

  26. Hello, everyone. I’m very late today, having sat up into the wee hours watching Masterpiece Theatre’s ‘Flesh & Blood’ and the latest instalment of ‘Last Tango in Halifax’, and then sleeping-in. Yes, I thought that Campbell was trickier than usual. 3d and 13a (my last two in) were altogether new to me, though the clues got me there finally. (13a appears to be quite common in the UK and NZ, but not so here in these Benighted States.) My choices today: 16a (I know what Jane is reading!), 23a, & 8a. Thanks to pommers for the hints and to Campbell for the workout. 3* / 3*

    1. I’m afraid you’re right, Robert, I’m still battling through it although welcoming any distraction that comes my way – it really is proving to be something of a chore. Down to the last 100 pages now so with luck I’ll finish it within the next day or so, then I can turn to The Go-Between in the hope of some light relief!
      I’m not sure that 13a is in common parlance here any longer – perhaps shades of the days when my dear old dad used to get a weekly delivery of his football coupons.

      1. Hi, Jane: My copy of The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, by Bill Bryson, arrived over the weekend–thanks to John Bee and others on this wonderful blog who recommended it. The Go-Between will certainly offer you some lighter moments than the ones you are experiencing with TM&TL. (Maybe we should refer to ourselves as occasional members of Big Dave’s Book Club! Fun, isn’t it?)

        1. It certainly is fun. On that note, I’ve just had a recommend to try ‘Where the Crawbirds Sing’ (Delia Owen) – has that one crossed your path?

          1. Came to an abrupt halt half way through this. Very grateful for the hints !
            The book you mention is brilliant, very much worth reading.
            Thankyou all.

          2. I have read Where the Crawdads Sing (is it titled Crawbirds over there?), which was #1 on the NYT Best Seller list for almost a year, well before the plague hit us all. I was particularly interested in its Carolina marshy (barrier island) location–up there, on the North Carolina coast–but not much unlike our ecology here in the S Carolina Lowcountry. But what I found even more compelling than the ecology, when reading it, was the singularly most independent female spirit I have ever encountered in literature. It’s a wild read but worth your time; it is enriched by what I might call eco-mysticism (a term I haven’t seen elsewhere but in my own printed word), a rather haunting “spirit of the wetlands.” (We call them crawfish or crayfish in these parts too; as a kid, I used to go gigging for crawfish.)

        2. I have got my copy of the Bryson off the shelf for a reread as Mama Bee has purloined the Richard Osman Thursday Murder Club – I will add the Hartley and Owen books to my amazon list next
          I wont say I enjoyed Shuggie Bain It was all a bit sad and harrowing but very well written and it probably deserves the Booker

          The Bryson thunderbolt kid just got a mention in a question on University Challenge

      1. I presume it’s the US election? I was smitten by the news that, if all else failed, Nancy Pelosi would have to step up . Now there’s an idea!

    2. Hi Robert – think I have finally battled to a finish in Paul’s prize puzzle (rest redacted as the convention is not to comment on prize puzzles until after the closing date, wherever they are published)
      Ps Last Tango in Halifax (first couple of series at least) is great – Jacobi & Reid wonderful.

      1. Apologies – thought ok as it’s a prize puzzle in name only.
        Guess I’ll just have to be patient & wait for fifteen squared.

        1. As good as Jacobi and Reid are, it is Nicola Walker who keeps winning my heart. Our present episodes are from the 5th season, apparently (our ETV / PBS networks have been remiss in their coverage over the years, but I’m glad they’re all back). Alan and Celia (Jacobi and Reid) are still at odds over the whole Brexit Thing, and Celia (who is more and more abrasive) has forced Alan to become a clerk in a supermarket so that he can ‘get out of the house.’ Alan and I are now the same age, 82, and so I find him most sympathetic.

  27. Found this quite hard work, combination of GK, obscurities and stretched definitions. 8a was the highlight. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  28. There now Terence I thought we were feline soul buddies but if you don’t like Queen ……. Never mind Freddy Mercury it is Brian May’s mastery of his instrument which gets me. And that is just about the extent of my pop music knowledge. Don’t really dig pop. Nice puzzle, made us think although like Steve in St Albans? we are brain waterlogged and I envy Angellov with her sunshine. A lifelong passion for fabric, fashion and costume meant that I knew 3D but I got stuck in top RHS because I put in leered and had a moan that the tense was wrong. I worked out 6d despite the crickety reference because Grandad Angus had a Bagatelle board and we spent hours playing with it – that and Shove hapenny. My brother got both boards ☹️Thanks to Pommers and setter, a bit trickier than usual and all the better for it.

    1. I feel like I’m digging myself a bigger hole here, Daisy – but it’s the squeaky guitar, and Freddy’s painful lyrics that get me running in the opposite direction!

      1. Shall we be grown up about this, Terence, and agree to differ in a civilised fashion. (She said through gritted teeth)

      2. I’m with Daisygirl on Queen – I don’t like all their stuff but anyone who says they don’t like them should listen to ‘Love of my Life’. I do think they’re amazing musicians and Brian May is wonderful.
        I think they go into the list of things that MP calls ‘pop pap’, or something very similar.

        1. Lola tells me that on their album ‘Hot Space’ from 1982, the penultimate track is called ‘Cool Cat’ and therefore she forgives them for everything; the wailing guitars, misogynistic and occasionally cringe-worthy lyrics, and all that “Day-Oh!” business by Freddie.
          I have commended her for her charitable nature.

            1. I promise she will return with a new photo in the next day or so – maximum marks for observation though!

  29. NE corner proved my downfall the rest falling into place quite easily. Thanks to Pommers for the very needful hints and to the setter whoever and wherever you are.

  30. Somebody else called this a mixed bag and I agree. The easy clues were, well, easy. The difficult ones were absolute stinkers, for me at least. I needed the review for 10a and 25a. I’d forgotten the ugly fish, and I didn’t know the name of the old carriage. I did, however, know 3d and was able to work out 23a. I had a brain freeze over 12a as I couldn’t remember if it was “el’ or “le” in the middle. 5d sorted that one. There have been easier Mondays. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  31. All very nicely fell into place. Guessed first four letters of 3d, though but thought them a very feeble synonym of feeble.
    So **/****
    Many thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  32. This one is in my personal stinkers pile, just could not get into it. The hints helped but I still struggled, still never mind tomorrow is another day. Still onwards and upwards.
    Thanksto Pommers and setter.

  33. A very messy day with foul weather greatly enhanced by trying to fully solve this excellent puzzle.l could get most answers but parsing some was a challenge.To miss Marat despite knowing the battle was a personal disgrace as l had,in another lifetime,done a specialist study on French revolutionaries.Like many others delighted to learn 3 debut wonder how long it will stay with me.Loss of both short and long term memory must mean something.Thanks to all.

  34. I’m in the ‘tricky for a Monday’ camp today – good fun though.
    Like most others I didn’t know 3d and got into a real mess with 23a which was my last one.
    Spent a long time trying to justify ‘accede’ for 1a – as in take the point or agree with. Oh dear. Dim.
    I think everything else has been said already and have ‘stuff’ that I need to do now.
    I liked 4 and 25a and 1 and 9d. My favourite was 8a – a good clue and I love them anyway.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. That must be one of the few times when a pseudonym has contained more letters than the comment!

  35. I am in the slightly trickier for Monday camp today. The coat was deducible but new to me, as was the carriage I seem to recall the revolutionary and his murder in the bath painting ( By J-L David I seem to recall)
    I had pencilled in the horse painter too but there are so many words for fag ends as well as Stub I have recently learned the Glasgow scots version ( Doubt) along with Tab end, Butt and the Geordie dottle. Dottle may actually be the ash rather than the last bit as Granda Emm used to smoke untipped woodbines in no more than 3 drags. Grandma Emm was always shouting “Wat choot , Ya dottle’s ower lang Joe”

    Thanks to pommers and campbell

    1. I do hope you have some ‘baby Bees’ somewhere in the family to share all these recollections with, John. You have such a wealth of tales to pass on to them.

      1. My sister’s two have been absorbing the Hive knowledge for years now. Not sure they are interested in crosswords I am afraid

        1. Teach them – I keep trying with my two but without much success. Doing even a quick crossword with our Elder Lamb is like the sketch of the Two Ronnies doing a crossword on a train.

    2. Your comments about Granda Emm and his woodies made me laugh out loud. I can just picture the scene . . . hopefully he didn’t ever get involved in cooking anything eg fried eggs?

      1. No but for many years he was a butcher ( only retiring when he could no longer lift a side of beef into the cold room)
        he was responsible for providing the Sunday roasts and they always seemed the most tasty and succulent of my young life. However Mama Bee (nee Emm) says to this day that “Butcher’s Bairns don’t eat sausages” so maybe some of his dottle is not fully accounted for

  36. Wow, that was hard! My new rule is that I’m allowed to struggle to solve for a limited amount of time, I’m spending too much time sitting! What’s not solved at that time, too bad.
    Most of those missed were stupidity on my part; who could miss the artist at 4a, so famous and I love his work. Ditto the revolutionary at 23a, the picture referred to above is so famous.
    First answer was 16a, so that’s my fave. I didn’t solve it but 6d is such a lovely word. Never heard the phrase 13a.
    Thanks to Campbell, not on your wavelength today, so plus, plus thanks to pommers for unravelling that lot.

    1. I am also spending too much time sitting, Merusa. Maybe I should take a leaf out of your book and limit my time in the morning tackling the crossword. Trouble is, I love my morning hot buttered toast and coffee with Hudson asleep at my feet. A shame to disturb him.

  37. I found this a nice straightforward Monday puzzle 😃 **/**** with lots of clever clues, 3d was a new word but caused no problem 😬 Favourites 4a, 5 & 14d 🤗 Big thank you to Pommers and Campbell

  38. Definitely hard for a Monday, glad most thought so too otherwise I would have felt disheartened. A number of obscure words (3D and the old carriage at 25a?) and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone use the phrase at 13a and I found 6d way too convoluted. Favourite was 16a both for the answer itself and for the clever misdirections. And I do love the word bagatelle, in the trifle sense. Thanks all.

  39. Agree with Pommers, definitely tricky today, and not the gentle Monday start to the week. It was 10a, 3d and 8d that did me in, and I’ve never seen the phrase 13a either. It kept me busy, but didn’t raise any laughs. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  40. As this is a crossword blog I’m sure someone can supply the word that is the feeling of relief you get when having struggled through a tough Monday crossword you discover it’s been given 3* so you suddenly don’t feel so dim. The opposite to the feeling when you struggle through only to be told it was a 1* and hardly worth then ink to fill in. Thankfully for me I worked through I did need to check 3d but figured it out from the wordplay as others have said. Also 13a was a hmm. Whereas 23a was COTD. Unlike others I don’t mind a bit of GK.

    1. Going “cruciverballistic” is probably synonymous with Senf’s Gallop
      Maybe Cruciphoria is closer to your first feeling

  41. As many others have mentioned, rather too much GK for my feeble brain, despite having finished without needing hints or google.

    4a,13a, 23a, 25a 3d, 6d and 14d were all unknown to me. Maybe I need to get out more. Or even stay in and read encyclodedias. I was also uneasy about the first part of 18d.

    Anyway, pleased to have finished and even more pleased to see I agreed with the rating of ***/***.

    Thanks to all…!

  42. Thought this was very enjoyable. Like many others I’d never heard of 3d or 13a. I liked 24a but favourite is 4a – I think horses (the painter’s speciality) are probably my favourite animal. Thanks to the compiler and Pommers for the review.

  43. I’m glad some others found this hard! I’ve never found Campbell particularly easy and often find a ‘quirky’ Dada easier to solve. I’m a long way off finishing this one, will have another look tomorrow. Thanks in advance to Pommers, looks like I’ll be needing some of your hints.

  44. I’m in the “hard for a Monday” camp this evening. I too had never heard of the revolutionary in 23a, the carriage in 25a or the garment in 3d, the rest was just difficult. No particular favourite. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  45. Sorry pommers, a flip flop in New Zealand is a jandal, a proprietary name of a local maker that stuck. A thong is an entirely different kettle of dress!

  46. Rattled the Guardian back-pager off today but could do none of this.
    Way above my level.

  47. This ended up being a puzzle of two sittings. Started well with steady solving, then with only six left to go across the bottom, things ground to a halt. Came back to it about 4 hours later and finished off just fine. Overall 2.5*/**** for this definitely harder than normal Monday fare.
    Candidate clues for favourites include 4a, 8a, 22a, 6d & 15d with winner 6d
    Got the same new words as most others did too.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  48. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. I’m in the more difficult for a Monday camp. I found the NW corner straightforward, but then ground to a halt with about half a dozen unsolved. I persevered and got there in the end. I was amused by 4a and 14d, but my favourite was 6d. Was 3*/4* for me. Last in was 23a, had a guess at “Marat”, who I’d never heard of.

  49. Had to come back this morning having only achieved the lhs yesterday. Scratched my head about 6d until it leapt out at me — why did it take so long?! Thanks to setter and blogger.

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