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DT 29516

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29516

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are in the midst of a run of exceptionally warm November days (temperatures in the high teens to low twenties Celsius). Must be all that hot air emanating from south of the border that we have to thank for it.

I judged today’s puzzle from Campbell to be at the easier end of his spectrum. We’ll see whether that is a common assessment.

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.


3a   Despite everything, look at fewer (10)
REGARDLESS — string together a verb meaning to look attentively or steadily at someone or something and an adjective that is used (often incorrectly) as a substitute for fewer

8a   Aquatic bird gripping tail of grey European wolf (6)
COYOTE — place a bird of the rail family (or a fool, especially an old one) round the final letter of greY and then append E(uropean); despite what dictionaries might say, this animal is a separate species from the wolf

9a   Unsafe, cover across middle of deck (8)
INSECURE — a verb meaning to provide protection against financial loss goes round the two middle letters of dECk

10a   Downgrading of French movement (8)
DEMOTION — the French word for ‘of’ precedes a movement, gesture or action

11a   On horseback, photograph outcome (6)
UPSHOT — where you are when you climb on a horse followed by an informal term for a photograph

12a   Apothecary in ‘Paris Match’ spread (10)
PHARMACIST — an anagram (spread) of the French magazine

14a   Small charge for zapper (6,7)
REMOTE CONTROL — small (as in low probability) and charge or responsibility

20a   Specific   item (10)
PARTICULAR — double definition; one an adjective and the other a noun

22a   Plagiarist may make head of publishing furious (6)
PIRATE — the initial letter of Publishing and a word meaning very angry or enraged

23a   An opening for tailor after worsted fabric, one with stripes (8)
SERGEANT — a worsted fabric, the AN from the clue and the initial letter of Tailor

24a   View of other ranks in country (8)
PANORAMA — the short form of other ranks embedded in a Central American country with an artificial waterway

25a   Former nurse’s offer (6)
EXTEND — the usual former lover and a verb meaning to nurse or take care of

26a   Shabbily dressed, in blue floppy hat, slippery character (4,2,4)
DOWN AT HEEL — blue or depressed, an anagram (floppy) of HAT and a slippery fish


1d   Well-organised, move up bound by rope? (8)
TOGETHER — reverse (up in a down clue) a word meaning move or travel and inject it into a rope that might limit the movement of an animal

2d   Personal motif groomsman designed, ignoring last of names (8)
MONOGRAM — an anagram (designed) of GROOM(s)MAN once the final letter of nameS has been removed

3d   Queen‘s troubled reign before onset of anarchy (6)
REGINA — an anagram (troubled) of REIGN with the addition of the initial letter of Anarchy

4d   Deny remark disregarded profit (4)
GAIN — an archaic or literary term for deny with a verb meaning utter or remark removed

5d   Notorious Russian artist’s inserted (8)
RASPUTIN — the usual artist (together with the accompanying ‘s) and a (3,2) phrasal verb denoting inserted; I initially tried to implicate a more modern notorious Russian

6d   Place and time to find destructive insect (6)
LOCUST — a lawyer’s term for place followed by T(ime)

7d   Regret, likewise, start of rancorous dispute (6)
SORROW — an adverb denoting also or likewise (“If I can do it, so can you”), the initial letter of Rancorous and a noisy quarrel or dispute

13d   Suffer at work with endless smoke (5)
INCUR — an adverb denoting at work and all but the last letter (endless) of a word meaning to smoke as a means of preserving food

15d   What players may be showing form on pitch? (8)
TYPECAST — the general character, nature or form of a particular class or group followed by to pitch or throw

16d   Gambling game allowed during course (8)
ROULETTE — a synonym for permitted or allowed inside the way travelled on a regular journey

17d   Student deserving scholarship (8)
LEARNING — the usual student driver precedes a word meaning deserving or meriting

18d   House harbouring a bad-tempered person (6)
VIRAGO — a house of the zodiac envelops the A from the clue

19d   Exploding firework‘s colour (6)
MAROON — double definition; the first being an exploding firework used as a distress signal

21d   One king upset about southern state (6)
ISRAEL — a Roman one and the reversal of a Shakespearean king surround S(outhern)

23d   Head of society, mature and wise (4)
SAGE — the initial letter of Society followed by a verb meaning to mature (like cheese or wine)

Despite its questionable biology, I am going with 8a as my COD.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): ROUX + STIR = ROOSTER

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : MARK + CYST = MARXIST

104 comments on “DT 29516

  1. A very comfortable and pleasantly straightforward puzzle to kick off the week. I thought the clueing was admirably precise, and 12a took my top spot for the smooth surface reading.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon.

  2. I really enjoyed this, seamlessly clued throughout. Mainly straightforward though the SW took a little prising out but fortunately I’d remembered the type of “house” needed for 19d.
    I particularly liked 26a plus 1&15d but could have mentioned several others.
    Many thanks to Campbell and DT.

  3. This one was rapidly completed (1.5*) but no less enjoyable for that(***). I found the synonym in 22a was a bit over-extended but 26a and 5d were good fun. I’m still not sure about 14a, which is a bit tenuous as clues go. Thanks to Falcon for the review, it helped to be reassured that I had understood 14a correctly. Thanks to Campbell too.

  4. 2*/4*. This was light and good fun as we have come to expect on a Monday. There were lots of good clues and 20a was my particular favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  5. A very pleasant start to the week. All bar 3 in the SW (18&19d plus 22a) yielded very quickly but those head scratchers extended the solve to over ** time. No real favourites today but nicely clued throughout.
    With thanks to Campbell & to Falcon.

  6. As others say, a fairly straighforward Monday offering, all over in ** time.

    I see there’s another letter in the paper about the crosswords, a complaint, or should I say comment, about the levels of difficulty on a Thursday recently.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Falcon.

    1. Don’t think today’s was as much a complaint as Friday’s.
      Hopefully the Ed’s postbag has been swelled by letters directing the Thursday strugglers to this site. Particularly as today’s writer expressed his ambition to get to grips with the setter.
      Ray T would probably still be a mystery to me without Kath & MP similarly other days and other reviewers and bloggers. Thanks from me to all who contribute to this site. The letters writers don’t know what they are missing!

      1. Another letter from a ‘Thursday struggler’ today who loves crosswords but on some Thursdays ‘would like to shake the compiler cordially by the throat’!

        Update – while I would not consider myself one of Kath’s “‘head honchos’ on the blog” (see yesterday’s blog), I have stumbled around the DT web site and taken the plunge and e-mailed a ‘reply’ to both letters.

        1. Not a problem. For the benefit of anyone confused by your entry, I believe you meant it to be in reply to your Comment #11 below.

          1. Yes I did Fajcon but as others have found it got misplaced & once published I couldn’t move it.

      2. I hope our letters, or one or two, will point the Thursday Strugglers in the direction of Big Dave but I have a feeling none will be published. There are other crossword sites out there so the DT may well not wish to be seen to be biased towards a specific one, despite it being the best.

        I will monitor the letters page with interest and see if I can spot any of you. Unlikely, of course, because you all use pseudonyms. Not like me me who tells the whole world who I am. Mind you, I have nothing to hide.😂

        1. It isn’t our fault that the Telegraph letters desk doesn’t let us use nicknames! When I had a letter published (years ago), they phoned me up and demanded my ‘real’ name. I pointed out that my friends wouldn’t know it’s me, but they were adamant.

          Same thing, though perhaps more surprisingly, when I was quoted in The Guardian earlier this year.

          The BBC, by contrast, has let me be Smylers, so at least I have an IMDB entry under that name, and a couple of friends have spotted my name scrolling by.

  7. A light hearted start to the week with mostly very precise clues. */*** 5d and 26a rate a mention, but 20a is my favourite. I’m sure Robert is delighted with his new president and I’m probably in a minority of one here but I will miss the Donald’s entertainment factor! His outrageous comments have made me laugh for months. Probably not so funny when it’s your own country but then look at our lot. No fun there, lol. Thanks to all.

    1. Yes, Greta, I am indeed delighted that we have a good and decent man in our President-elect, but it will take Herculean labours to undo the damage that the incumbent has wrought upon America and the world–and that is no laughing matter, I regret to say.

      1. I’m not so sure that the rest of the world took the Donald very seriously. As the President of the USA, he was shown the respect that befits the office rather than the man. And he was right about some things. The European members of NATO should contribute more, for instance. There’s not going to be a single country on earth that isn’t going to suffer the consequences of the covid pandemic for decades to come. And he was probably right about China too.

        1. Any man who has his finger on the nuclear button needs to be taken seriously. At best he was embarrassing, at worst extremely scary.

  8. Didn’t find this quite as straightforward as most , but a very enjoyable start to the week.
    Got bogged down for a bit in the SW…..but it all came clapper in the end.
    Cannot give myself a hurrah today as I bunged in 21d having forgotten about the Shakespearian King…but it had to be what it was.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  9. All completed fairly quickly after breakfast, and before a trip to the garden centre. I filled in 19d from the checking letters and the second definition, but needed to check the review for the first definition. Learnt something new which is always a good thing. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  10. Whenever I find my way to completion before the morning’s over, including a three mile walk, it is disheartening to find it given as *. So thank you to all who found it a little trickier than that and said so in your post. 8a and 26a my two for honourable mention today.

    Thank you to Campbell and Falcon for a good start to the week.

  11. Typical Monday fare in all senses. How Campbell does it week after week I don’t know.
    Just into ** time but **** enjoyment

    * being for the COTD 22a because it brought a smile recalling Tom Lehrer’s Lobechevski:

    Thank you Campbell and DT for the review.
    The picture for 14a reminded me of one of our lab pups that decided to investigate whether the Sky zapper was remotely edible. His look of innocence was priceless, even if the replacement (zapper not labrador) wasn’t.

  12. Not overly taxing but still enjoyable. Like Chriscross, I thought 22a was somewhat stretching belief but that’s a very minor quibble.
    The shabby dresser in the blue, floppy hat made me laugh so takes my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – enjoy your pleasant weather whilst you can, doubtless you’ll have plenty of the less clement variety ‘ere long!

    1. Believe me, I am taking advantage of the weather. After mowing the lawn one final time, stowing the mower away for the winter and prepping the snow blower for the impending storms, I was able to sit out in my sunny backyard (back garden to you, no doubt) and solve a couple of crossword puzzles.

      By the way, think of plagiarize (plagiarise) as just a highbrow, academic term for the answer to 22a.

      1. Sorry, Falcon, I mislead you. It was the answer to 14a that I found a little far-fetched. I can understand the reasoning from your excellent hint but even so………….

        1. I was a little puzzled by 14a too – I had a mote as my small thing and “for” gave me the RE but charge = control was a stretch.Falcon’s hint helped me see the error of my ways

  13. My last one in was 1d but got it as soon as I wrote down horizontally. I agree with others that SW took a little longer than the rest. I too had remembered the house in 18d and the answer flashed in front of my eyes. I liked 22a and did not find it to be a stretched synonym especially when used as a verb. Other goodies 23 24 and 26a and 5 and 15d. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  14. Didn’t know the firework in 19d although the answer was quite obvious.
    Can’t remember seeing “in” for at work before.
    26a made me laugh too.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. I can’t remember seeing “in” for being at work before but more usually at home. However it is fine as a frequent e quiet in an office, either from a colleague or a client is “Is Mr Whatshisname in today”?

  15. A nice gentle start to the week, with nothing too complicated to work out – unlike yesterday’s which tied me in knots for ages. Much to like and enjoy. Thanks to both setter and Falcon.

  16. A very pleasant start to this second of two (not supported by current stats) weeks at Covid Code Red completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 3a, 4d, 5d, and 15d – and the winner is 5d.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  17. A wonderful start to the week. I did have problems with a couple. I did not know 19d was a distress signal but the BRB said it was – so something learned. There were many good clues but my COTD is 23a.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Steve,
      A well-known golf club near Cardiff used to start its winter competitions by firing a maroon. That is until someone took it as a distress signal & they scrambled the local lifeboat. They use a klaxon now!

      1. Do they ever use a Shotgun to start golf simultaneously on several holes? or Is Dame Memory playing tricks again

        1. John, shotgun starts were still used occasionally when I was working full time, which was about 8 years ago.

        2. John,
          They call multi-tee starts “shotguns” but in practice they use all sorts of loud noise producing devices.
          The club in question thought with the visual aspect of the maroon they had solved the problem of the sound not carrying (until the lifeboat got launched).

          1. Thanks, I thought so but not being a golfer I thought I was making it up. I used to work for a chap who was very keen – he got his handicap down from 8 to 3 while I worked for him. He mainly played at Oakdale in Harrogate and eventually went to Spain to play golf full time. My own golf experience is mainly on the pitch and putt in Knaresborough where the Zoo behind the first tee provided an aural backdrop of a sexually frustrated elephant whose trumpetings could be guaranteed to cause a mishit. Although I do recall a miracle round on a par3 course in Killarney where I excelled myself.

      2. On Shrewsbury golf course we had a bell on one green. The tee was over a hill from the green so those on the tee had to wait to hear the bell from the players on the green before they drove off.

  18. Got held up on 18d and had to bung in 19d as I hadn’t heard of the firework. Otherwise a very gentle start to the week, 3a was my favourite. Thanks to Falcon and today’s setter.

  19. Great start to the week, nothing too challenging with many elegant clues. Must admit i did have use the hints to understand the ‘small’ part of the clue in 14a.
    Thx to all
    PS interesting to see the letters to the DT regarding Thursdays puzzles, glad i’m not the only one who finds them pretty difficult!

  20. I enjoyed this one very much. 19d last one in because I had forgotten the ‘exploding firework’ alternative definition.
    8a reminded me to play, via Spotify, one of Joni Mitchell’s best albums.

    Today’s major ‘in lockdown’ excitement – putting the bin out this afternoon. I’m saving the task until later so I have something to look forward to…!

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. My lockdown excitement occurs on Thursday evenings when neighbours congregate (at a social distance) to debate which bins are likely to be emptied the following morning and whether any of us have excess room available to be used by those who have done a lot of garden clearance or had a lot of ‘stuff’ delivered in boxes!

      I presume that all this intrigue is well below the attention of the lady of the house – is she happily ensconced on one of her favoured cushions at the moment?

      1. For reasons only known to herself, Lola has chosen to spend the last two days almost exclusively outdoors. She pops in for a few minutes for a fuss to be made of her, then meanders off again!

    2. The best rendition of ‘Coyote’ by Joni Mitchell is on The Bands Last Waltz album. It’s a great version as is everything else on The Last Waltz

  21. It has all been said! Very satisfying, I liked 5d but I struggled a bit with 23a. Nice quickie puns, thank you to Falcon and the setter.

    1. How are you going on, Daisy? Did you contact the clinic about your concerns or have things improved in the meantime?

      1. Oh Jane, I am not happy! I know people say it is early days etc but it is MY leg and it is very swollen. I did ring the clinic on Friday, they do not answer directly but rang back mid afternoon. Surprise was expressed that I had had no physio, I said when I checked out on the Sunday I was told physio would contact me but no one has done so. She said she would set it in motion.
        But today has come and almost gone, I have put in another call. My leg feels as tight as a drum and swollen yet I am on 40mg diuretics. Sorry to rant on but I feel a bit frightened! The knee is hot but not inflamed and I don’t have a temperature, so that is something positive! Happy days. Bet Big Dave never envisaged this would become a medical help centre!

        1. Daisy,
          I am so sorry to hear your knee is so swollen. I don’t know whether any one has suggested some ice. A pack of peas wrapped in a tea towel or a a couple of tea towels, o; your kne3 for about 15 minutes.
          Crossword a reasonable easy solve for me today. I too found theSE corner needed careful thinking. have been amused by the letters in the paper.
          Thanks to Falcon and the setter

        2. Oh dear, I’m not surprised that you’re worried. I don’t have any experiences to draw on where knees are concerned but there will hopefully be others on the blog who’ve ‘been there, done that’ and can give you some pointers.
          How sad that you’ve waited so long for the op only to discover that the after care isn’t up to scratch. I do know that when I needed physio in the past, I resorted to paying privately – not ideal but there are times when it’s a case of any port in a storm.
          Chin up, Daisy, it’s so unlike you to be downbeat.

        3. Daisygirl I am very surprised about no physio. I had my knee done in a Spire hospital and had physio starting on the day after the op.
          I was also provided with a booklet prior to the op which details a range of exercises which I still do.
          For your inflamed knee have you tried ice in bag, bag of frozen peas or an orthopaedic pad you can freeze?

          1. I had a booklet with illustrations from day 1 after the op. The simplest exercises were done in . bed. They included, rotating the ankle and wiggling the toes several times a day to start with. Then I had to put my foot flat on the bed with the knee bent and try to move my foot nearer my fundament 5-6 times each day. Swinging the leg out sideways as far as possible 5- 6 times was another. Sitting on the edge of a chair and raising the leg out straight 5-6 times was another. All these exercises get the muscles that support the knee working and help to disperse fluid, that accumulates when you are lying down. As you progress you move on to holding onto a worktop an doing several knee dips, holding on with one hand an swing the leg parallel to the worktop then at right angles to it everything is 5-6 repeats and they suggest doing the exercises 3- 4 times a day plus two short walks. Hope this helps but you need the booklet and a physio. You poor soul Daisy, trying to manage with no help. They have visiting physios. I had one every few weeks last year, when I brokee my femur 6 months after my hip replacement (Duh, what a dumb thing to do).

        4. Daisy, my leg was huge after my hip last November so I rang Spire. They asked me if I was going up to my bed every afternoon and lying down with my leg ABOVE my heart for at least an hour. I hadn’t been told this before so started at once. It really helped a lot.

        5. DG – nag them – make yourself as much of a blasted nuisance as you have the energy to be and keep doing it until all they want to do is get you off their backs.

        6. No physio, Daisygirl? As Kath says nag them, badger them, pester them! It is your right to do so.

          1. I pity the poor sod who answers the telephone
            Physio = bend it a lot or it’ll seize up; if it’s swollen – *completely* rest it because it’s not ready for anything but gentle physio yet
            Hope you’re on your feet again soon DG

  22. A very pleasant romp through the grid last night, with Campbell on excellent form. I didn’t know the firework but 19d had to be what it was. Thanks to LROK (#11) above for reminding me of Tom Lehrer’s “Don’t let a word evade your eyes: Plagiarise!”–amusingly sardonic lyrics that we underclassmen sang along with (back in the Eisenhower 50s). Podium winners today: The whole SW corner, especially 18d. Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell. ** / ****

    1. “But for heaven’s sake call it research”
      You are welcome Robert, glad you are over whatever it was that caused the interruption in transmission.

    2. Hi Robert, pleased to see that you’ve felt able to return after the recent disgraceful events surrounding the US election process. I do hope that Biden and his team have what it takes to rebuild your divided nation.

      A few disappointments on the reading front recently but that’s always going to happen given our individual preferences – ‘Holiday’, ‘The Hireling’ and ‘Night Heron’ didn’t really float my boat. Any suggestions you have would be most welcome.

      1. Despite the euphoria, I’m rather concerned about Biden. He claims Irish roots and doesn’t seem to like us or our policies. I find that disturbing.
        Back to the matter in hand, wasn’t the anagram in 12a clever? It’s my COTD.

        1. A lot of Americans of Irish extraction do have a rather romanticized and unrealistic picture of the Emerald Isle and it’s complex politics. I do hope Biden is more pragmatic.

        1. Hello Jane and Sue. Thanks, Sue, for the Coleman recommendation. I’ve just read some of the glowing reviews from Amazon readers, and it looks like quite the winner, of its kind, and I’m adding it to my list. But right now, I’m finishing the Bill Slider series that I began with the onset of our lockdown–the Shepherds Bush ‘mysteries’ that are an acquired taste, to be sure. I don’t think that this foray into police procedurals is quite up Jane’s alley, but that’s about all my scattered brain seems up to right now. I think I did mention having enjoyed Ian Rankin’s latest Rebus novel a few weeks ago, A Song for the Dark Times. (But those Rebus books are also quite an acquired taste.) Otherwise, I too am looking for the Next Great Read.

          1. Have you read Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler books? They have to be read in order of publication

            I enjoyed the Bill Slider stories after Gazza,’s recommendation way back at the start of Lockdown 1

            1. Susan Hill is great! Add Louise Penny to your list too. A Canadian she,for me, far surpasses the over rated Margaret Atwood.

            2. Thanks again, Sue. I’ve read some Susan Hill but none of the Serrailler series. So now, the first one of that series of ten is on its way to me, Various Haunts of Men.

          2. I acquired the taste for the Rebus novels years ago while reading the first chapter of the first novel. I have read 21 of them, mostly in chronological order, with just A House of Lies (no. 22) in my pending pile and A Song for the Dark Times (no.23) to be acquired.

            1. Me too RD. My son, who lives in Edinburgh introduced me to the first Rebus
              and I have been given me every one since.
              We have been to visit the Oxford on a couple of occasions. Not quite how I imagined it from the books. I look forward to getting the latest in my Christmas stocking.

          3. I do enjoy a good Rebus novel, and have Rankin’s latest on my hold list at our library. Well, to be honest, I enjoy all mysteries set in the UK. Helps with the homesickness.

  23. Nice start to the week 😃 **/*** very enjoyable, you see it can be done!😉 Favourite two were 8a & 24 across 🤗 Big thank you to Campbell and to the Falcon

  24. Like many others top half went in quite quickly. Bottom half more problematic especially sw corner. 23a last one in, partly due to an inability to spell sergeant. Great fun though and thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

  25. Well I guess I am a silly billy. Half way through I thought I needed a hint, and discovered I have been working on the bonus 629… will have a go at Monday’s 29516 later.
    At least Storm Eta wasn’t as bad as forecast, at least in our area. Peter did go out late evening and close some shutters on the windy side of our house. Don’t tell our kids, they will be very cross 🤫

    1. Finally got to this one today, and it was actually easier than the bonus cryptic. You’ll note I said easier, and not easy. Thanks to Falcon and setter. Will be back on track Thursday, guess I will need my thinking head for that one.

  26. It must have been the late start on the crossword, obviously my brain does not work well after lunchtime. So consequently I found this pretty tough, so tha ks to Falcon and setter.

  27. Everything has been said already but that doesn’t usually stop me!
    Very enjoyable and pretty much straightforward although I don’t think that I’ve ever ‘met’ a 1* crossword.
    I didn’t think that there was much wrong with 22a but I thought that an 18d was specifically a woman.
    I was held-up a bit because I managed to convince myself that 1d had to end with a ‘D’.
    My favourite was 26a but there were lots of other good ones although I could have done without 23d!!
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. PS Like Senf I have just sent a letter to the paper recommending the blog.
      I’ve only ever sent a letter once before and it was published so I live in hope!!

      1. As I said the Ed’s postbag should be swelled by our letters. Interesting to see if one gets published.
        CS can an extra large slice of lemon drizzle cake be arranged for any successful correspondent?

  28. Great start to the week 1d was last in but SW slowed my gallop the most.
    Did anyone else spot some Carry On films 3a 23a and a nurse in 25a Are there any more?
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

    1. Blimey, John, I wouldn’t have even considered looking! You are not a code breaker are you, with two imaginary friends? Did you win the Nobel prize for mathematics? 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  29. A gentle start to the week for me with this puzzle. SW last area completed. Needed a couple of hints, but for the most part unneeded. */****
    Clues for favourites today include 14a, 24a, 26a & 5d with winner 26a

    Thanks to setter and Falcon

  30. This was right up my straße! I loved it, first time I’ve solved a puzzle with no help at all. I didn’t know the firework at 19d but didn’t want to look it up and break my ducks! In any case, it had to be and Falcon agreed with me!
    The giggle worthy 26a is fave. Lots of others deserve honorary mention.
    Thank you Campbell, dead on wavelength, and Falcon for his hints and tips.

    Godson arrived in the middle of a howling gale last night! We sat in the sitooterie and watched the trees bowing and scraping, the rain being tossed down as if Big Massa had just tossed a huge basin of water over us. The sun is out now and we’ve had no damage.

    1. I had to look up both sitooterie and Big Massa. Wonderful descriptions, the first is of Scottish origins, apparently. As for Big Massa, careful the snowflakes of the “woke” generation don’t discover it, Merusa. ❄️❄️❄️

  31. I’m with the majority that this was straightforward and pleasant. Hard to pick a favourite though but I’ll go for 26a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  32. I felt it was average Monday fare. Top half was mercifully easy to ease the weekend hangover. SW was last in. Must admit I did not know the firework. I don’t have a particular favourite…pick any in SW.

    I have not looked at Thursdays crossword – the election was still catching my attention. I will look at it now!

  33. I seem to be out on a limb today as this just wasn’t my cup of tea at all. In fact the South was quite a struggle. 26a and 5d were joint Favs. Thank you Mysteron and Falcon.

  34. Thanks all, very enjoyable.
    Wasn’t keen on the definition of 1d, but I suppose it works.
    Now to read the blog which could take as long as the crossword…

      1. Oh, I thought someone said it was?? I can never tell.
        It was a nice crossword though, perhaps that was the clue that it wasn’t DM!!
        No never looked at the Times, is it subscription? I am too mean to pay for the privilege!!

  35. My favourite was the 14a zapper.

    The bad-tempered person and the firework were new to me, and I needed a few hints in the bottom half, and even with those I had to sleep on it to get the last few in this morning — so I’m not sharing the feeling of this being easier-than-average. Nothing like as hard as last Thursday’s, obviously, but it stumped me more than some recent Friday puzzles which I’ve managed to complete without hints.

    Thanks, Falcon and Campbell.

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