DT 29528 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29528

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29528

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are experiencing our first significant snowfall of the year. As I glance outside, I can see that the ground now has a light covering. By morning (it is currently Sunday evening here), the weatherman predicts there will be about 20 cm on the ground.

Today’s puzzle from Campbell is definitely at the easy end of the already gentle Monday spectrum. Moreover, I didn’t experience the usual degree of enjoyment that I’ve come to expect from this setter. I’m afraid the only sparkle for me was from the gems at 10a. However, on the positive side, let’s hope it provides an opportunity for some of our novice solvers to enter the “solved it all on my own” club.

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   Quiet and comparatively revolutionary piece of office equipment (8)
SHREDDER — a terse admonition to hush or be quiet and a colourful adjective that could be applied to the more extreme of a pair of left-wing revolutionaries

6a   Half-heartedly, good friend returned canine pet (6)
LAPDOG — start with the GOOD from the clue, remove half its heart, and append a mate or chum; then reverse the lot

9a   Brief batting class (6)
INFORM — where a batting cricket team is said to be followed by a school class

10a   A girl’s best friend‘s suit? (8)
DIAMONDS — double definition; one sparkling and one red

11a   Song composed about a delta (8)
SERENADE — calm or composed encapsulates the A from the clue and the letter represented by delta in the NATO phonetic alphabet

12a   Size of a jockey’s horse? (6)
AMOUNT — the A from the clue and a riding horse

13a   Running event annoyed nobleman, rightly gutted (5-7)
CROSS COUNTRY — angry or annoyed, a non-British nobleman and R(ightl)Y after having being disembowelled

16a   Official statement made by journalists set free (5,7)
PRESS RELEASE — a collective term for journalists and a verb meaning to set free

19a   Convincing over information produced in court (6)
COGENT — the crickety abbreviation for over and a colloquial term for information ensconced in the street sign abbreviation for court

21a   One grappling with reels cast across mouth of the river (8)
WRESTLER — string together the abbreviation for with, an anagram (cast) of REELS spanning the initial letter of The, and the map abbreviation for river

23a   Golden land the Spanish artist depicted in two studies? (8)
ELDORADO — a Spanish definite article followed by the usual short artist sandwiched between two instances of a synonym for study (for a change, not read and not con)

24a   Work found in two articles by maestro, principally (6)
ANTHEM — an indefinite article, a definite article, and the principal letter of Maestro

25a   Popular school for cricket, perhaps (6)
INSECT — popular or trendy precedes a group of people sharing unorthodox beliefs

26a   Unnecessary, arrows close to fortress (8)
NEEDLESS — arrows (such as those found in compasses or on dials) and the closing letter of fortresS

Down

2d   Watch  one searching (6)
HUNTER — double definition; one searching for an animal to shoot and the timepiece he carries

3d   Call up the day before about fair (5)
EVOKE — the day before a notable event wrapped around an adjective denoting satisfactory but unremarkable (sort of like today’s puzzle)

4d   Behaviour of French — more selfish, reportedly (9)
DEMEANOUR — the French word for ‘of’ and a couple of syllables that sound like more selfish or more 17d

5d   Put right about frock (7)
REDRESS — a short preposition often introducing the subject of a business letter followed by an article of women’s wear

6d   Buddhist priest restraining large domesticated animal (5)
LLAMA — a Buddhist priest embraces L(arge)

7d   Speak in church supporting part of speech (9)
PRONOUNCE — the short form for Church of England follows (supporting in a down clue) a grammatical part of speech (one that acts as a stand-in for another part of speech)

8d   Commonplace gold coin of old, value unknown (8)
ORDINARY — the heraldic term for gold, a gold coin formerly used in the Middle East (although a coin of this name is still in use in various countries), and a mathematical symbol for an unknown value

13d   Wally tucking into fishy creole stew (9)
CASSEROLE — a Wally (or a Charlie) inside an anagram (fishy) of CREOLE

14d   Typically, a grave one cultivated (2,7)
ON AVERAGE — an anagram (cultivated) of the three words in the middle of the clue

15d   Bear left on New York rotary for one of its boroughs (8)
BROOKLYN — a charade of bear or tolerate, L(eft), and the reversal (rotary) of the initial letters of New York gives one the borough where many once bought a bridge

17d   Close to the ground in base? (3-4)
LOW-DOWN — split (3,4), a word meaning base or despicable would describe the position of something located close to the ground

18d   Game‘s level after striker’s header (6)
SEVENS — an expression meaning level, square, or on equal terms follows the head letter of Striker

20d   Characteristic of son leaving performing artist (5)
TRAIT — an anagram (performing) of ARTI(s)T after removing S(on

22d   Utter  wreck (5)
TOTAL — double defintion; an adjective denoting total or complete and a verb signifying to wreck beyond repair

I found the clues well-crafted but rather 8d with nothing that really stood out for me. In fact, I believe I will pick 8d as my clue of the day.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): SEEK + WIND = SEQUINED

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : FEEL + DAZE = FIELD DAYS


129 comments on “DT 29528
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  1. All very Monday morning-ish, over and done with in a straight ** time.

    I had a little Hmmm? about 12a, isn’t that one of the less/fewer arguments? Isn’t a 12a a quantity, whereas a size is a number?

    I did like 23a, and it is my COTD.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. MR
      For me size is not always a number, eg “He knows the size of the job ” means he knows the amount of work that needs doing, so no Hmmm from me for 12a

      1. I hear TV announcers everywhere over here referring to “a large amount of people,” and it’s like scraping on a blackboard to my sensitivities. 12a bothered me too. (If people came in volumes….!)

  2. The puzzles website is only allowing access to one puzzle this morning.
    It is asking me to subscribe and not allowing me to logout.
    Am I alone?
    Thank you Falcon – 10a is the only clue I managed on first pass! Will try again later.

      1. I am having the same problem with the Website version of the puzzle site and have logged out and logged back in to no avail. Awaiting DT to respond to several emails

    1. No, you’re not alone, but I’m not going to say anything, I’ve got my mouth zippered. I’m so frustrated, I’m untechie in the extreme and have no idea how to solve it. When I login it tells me I’m successful, yet if I click on a puzzle they tell me I have to pay to play … duh, I know that. I don’t know how to delete the app on my computer, if I knew I could delete it and try reinstalling it. Oops, I said I wasn’t going to say anything …

  3. I thought I was going to be on to my fastest ever finish with this but got slightly held up in the NW but sussed it eventually. Very enjoyable and serenely clued throughout I’ve gone for 6& plus 15 &22d for podium places
    1.5/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon

  4. What a delight to start the week. This fell into place at a steady rate with only a small amount of head scratching. No real favourites because it is difficult to pick one. However, I did like 23a. Just a satisfying solve.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the hints.

  5. Either I’ve become a crossword genius overnight or this has to have been one of the mildest offerings ever – even for a Monday. I can’t say I enjoyed it because there was no brain strain at all. Sorry Falcon.

    1. Surely there needs to be a mix of difficulty levels.

      I don t often complete the cryptic on my own with no help so I was really pleased to manage this one. So, while agree it was on the easier spectrum it is not all about always making the crosswords as difficult as possible to please the few who can operate at that level.

      Needless to say I really enjoyed it and let’s keep a variety of difficulty levels.

  6. A very mild offering for a Monday morning (*/**). I thought 7d was a good clue but otherwise the puzzle lacked bite. I wasn’t keen on do as a synonym for study (23a) nor sect as a synonym for school (25a). Thanks to Falcon for rhe blog and to Campbell for the puzzle.

    1. I had similar misgivings as you about “do”. While the BRB merely defines the word as meaning to work at, its sister publication The Chambers 21st Dictionary (the Chambers dictionary that is available online) lists do as meaning to work at or study, giving the example “Are you doing maths?”.

  7. Like Stephen I thought I was in with a shout of beating my quickest ever finish but 11a & 18d didn’t immediately come to mind. All over in just under 1.5* time so feel it surely must be pretty straightforward even for a Monday. Perfectly pleasant but for me not on par with the setter’s recent output.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon

    1. Breezy, gentle, and enjoyable. A fast finish for me but pleasant along the way. For some reason the term ‘hunter’ did not automatically trigger ‘watch’ for me (a gerontological slippage?), nor did the game register immediately with me (I must have missed that one somewhere among the 1940s, I guess), though the clues for 2 & 18d were quite accommodating. I also thought that, given some latitude, ‘low-born’ would work for 17d. Thanks to Falcon (it’s 62F down here) and Campbell. 1.5* / ***

      Joe’s lead is now over 6 million ahead of the Sulk.

      1. Robert,
        Sevens is 7-a-side Rugby Union & was featured in the 2016 Olympics (& would have this year). Fiji won men’s gold & Australia women’s where Canada took bronze.

        1. See what I don’t know!! I later googled ‘Sevens’ and found a card game that I concluded might have been the mystery ‘sport’. Thanks for enlightening me, LROK.

          1. I loved playing Sevens with cards as a child and loved playing it with my children when they were smaller. I played several games of Rugby Sevens but quickly decided it was best to leave it to the younger players. The Earlsdon Sevens was the traditional end to the season in Coventry and a must attend day. The annual Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham used to be the booziest day in the sporting calendar before the money men took over

            1. I can remember carrying a firkin of clear racked Brakespears best onto the south terrace one year. The next time I went the stewards were searching people for hidden alcohol. I never went again. My recollection was that the problem was more to do with the government /
              police banning alcohol to prevent trouble (despite the fact that there never was any trouble at Twickenham) rather than to bolster sales from the bars. Mind you I would have spent the day TT rather than drink the disgusting keg bitter that they used to flog in the ground.

              1. It started with government policy and morphed into buy our food and drink and do not under any circumstances bring your own

  8. My quickest, perhaps, ever.
    Makes up for the excessive time I spent on two puzzles last week.
    Nonetheless, pleasantly clued.
    13a made me laugh.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the nicely illustrated review.

  9. Pretty good today more or less a write in except for 24a I just could not see it, I resorted to the reveal. Favourite 2d I still have my grandfathers half hunter, still going and keeping excellent time after all these years.
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

  10. Even more Mondayish than the most Mondayish puzzle in a pan galactic competition to find the most Mondayish puzzle ever. Thanks to Campbell for fulfilling his Monday brief and to Falcon for the hints

  11. Straightforward solve in just under ** time. Pleasant,if undemanding, even for a modest ability solver like me.
    Nothing to really inspire or amuse so no COTD.
    On the other hand nothing to ruffle any feathers either.
    As Falcon says it will give the feeling of achievement gained from an unaided solve for some, thus encouraging them to keep climbing the learning curve.
    Thanks Campbell & Falcon

    1. Hi LROK
      Was it you who posted a comment regarding a book on the IOM TT race when it came up in a recent puzzle? If so can you give me the title?

      1. Stephen
        Yes, “That Near Death Thing, Inside the Most Dangerous Race in the World” by Rick Broadbent. It is available on Amazon.

  12. The illustration for 1 across reminds me of the time we were tidying a stores cupboard and found the old suggestion box in a corner high up on the top shelf. We brought it down dusted it off and opened it up. There was a piece of paper in it which read ‘I suggest you put this suggestion box in a more accessible place’

    1. That made me laugh out loud, as did my favourite clue today 13A.
      Thank you Campbell for a nice simple start to the week.

  13. Yes, very straightforward and not particularly testing. A perfect puzzle for new or unconfident solvers to improve their skills. No standout favourite this morning.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  14. Unlike the other commenters , I made tremendously heavy weather of the north-east corner.
    Otherwise I enjoyed it very much.
    Thanks falcon and Campbell.

  15. My thanks to Campbell for providing me with a straight solve this morning : a very unusual event for which I have nothing but praise. As YS above at 14 remarked, it is a perfect puzzle for those less confident solvers of which I am one.

    Thanks to Falcon for his efforts. I hope you don’t get snowed in.

  16. Very gentle although I spiced it up a bit by getting the spelling wrong in 4d until 12a came to the rescue. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  17. A very straightforward Monday puzzle, although, like MalcolmR, I had a Hmm on 12a, completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 13a, 19a, and 4d – and the winner is 4d.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. Maybe the puzzle didn’t sparkle quite as much as 10a but it was nevertheless enjoyable.
    Think my favourite was 1a – although mine is hardly quiet!

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review from his soon to be winter wonderland.

  19. it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to focus on a puzzle and I thought I was probably very rusty, but this one was so straightforward I was able to finish it handily. My confidence is somewhat restored. Thanks Falcon and the setter.

    1. You’ve had a long and rough journey to undertake, Chris, but it will be so nice to have you back amongst us on a regular basis if you feel able to do so.

    2. We missed you a lot, so welcome back! I hope you’re keeping well and any troubles are behind you. Keep coming back, Chris.

      1. Thanks so much Merusa, Jane and RD. I will do my best to be a more regular contributor from now on, even if I struggle with the puzzles!

  20. I think Falcon et al are being a bit sniffy here in respect of our setter (thank you) who has produced a gentle Monday puzzle which still took some crossword craft to solve albeit a little quicker than usual. I enjoyed it greatly and there were still things to learn from Falcons well crafted hints so thanks also. It just goes to prove you cant please all of the people all of the time. */*** for me Clue of the day 15d – as much for the antics of Mr Parker which I knew nothing about which is why this forum is so more than 14d !

    1. I know your statement “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” was in relation to the puzzle, but the same could well be said about the reviewers. Over my blogging career, I dare say that the number of comments declaring my rating to be too severe likely balances the number stating it to be too lenient.

  21. 1*/4*. One in the “it doesn’t have to be tough to be good” category for me today. As Robert Clark says above, it was “breezy, gentle and enjoyable”.

    Podium places went to 1a, 9a & 12d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  22. I have only recently started to attempt the Toughie which is not on the iPad today, do they not have the Toughie on a Monday?
    By the way for those who think my comments are made just to be perverse, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I try always to be honest and call it as I see which often upsets people for which I apologise.

    1. There is no Toughie on a Monday, Brian. It’s general knowledge.

      Speaking personally, I look forward to your comments so please stay honest. :good:

      1. Is it general knowledge that there is no Toughie on a Monday or is it a general knowledge quiz instead of a Toughie? As a subscriber to the newspaper app edition Brian will see neither

    2. Brian
      I think from the replies your comments are awaited with anticipation.
      However it is what should we anticipate is almost as interesting as the posts themselves. They lighten my day, so as I said yesterday Thx.
      You should only apologise on the days there isn’t a Brian post.
      When you posted on the TT I did ask if you had the name of the Uncle who was quite successful (& the bike he rode.

      1. I was always told the story by my Grandma who is sadly long gone but I am trying to contact my aunt who is in a nursing home and is currently non conversant who may know more than I.

      1. The pleasure of solving the puzzle was equalled by the anticipation whilst waiting to read Brian’s opinion. I would have found it difficult to predict – it could have gone either way. It does puzzle me, however, as this one took me about the same time as yesterday’s although there was one which held me up at the end yesterday.

    3. I know you’re always honest with your comments even if in French we say: “Mentir comme un arracheur de dents”.

          1. Thought he is a “legal eagle” hence his parsimonious view to using words he isn’t charging for.
            Ah the enigmatic Brian!

    4. Brian it’s most definitely tongue in cheek. I certainly look forward to your comments & love it when you ever so gently express your disapproval.

      1. I’m with the comments above Brian. I still think you’re being provocative but you add a certain humour and enjoyment to the proceedings. Don’t stop.

  23. Well… I welcome an easier tumble into Monday and this was fine with me. 11a and 2d held me up for a while (I was unaware of the watch connection).

    We undertook two lovely walks over the weekend – Saturday took us up St. Martha-on-the-Hill again, this time with young K joining us and she enjoyed discovering this extraordinary place. On Sunday, a smashing amble in the dusk around fields and lanes in rural Berkshire.

    In other news, a very peculiar situation has arisen, over the weekend, with my (very) elderly mother’s carers. I can’t write about it here but it involves cctv and inappropriate behaviour. All reported this morning and we shall see what unravels as a result.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

      1. It’s all most odd Steve. She is fine, but cctv picked up some ‘issues’ about their behaviour (not directly related to her personal care). Sorry to be vague about it.

        1. One hears about this sort of thing happening, when the carers say things that aren’t respectful because they assume the elderly person cannot hear or cannot understand. With one of my elderly relatives, I made a point of popping in regularly but you can’t even do that now! Hope you can sort it out

    1. When our younger daughter was still in high school she volunteered at a care home (they are called candy stripers over here), and was often distressed at what she saw, particularly the evening she couldn’t get the carers to help one patient get to the bathroom, as they were too busy playing cards. The patient ended up wetting the bed, and was then distressed herself. It was a good looking care home, beautifully decorated, nice gardens etc. so appearances can be deceiving. Do hope your mother is ok and that this is dealt with promptly.

    1. Hi SusieQ,

      The star rating is merely a subjective rating by the reviewer (with the exception of Miffypops*) of the difficulty level and enjoyment level of the puzzle. There is no prescribed standard of measurement; each reviewer uses their own personal criteria. Some may strictly use solving time while for others it is straight “gut feel”. In my case, it is a sort of subjective mix of the two.

      Think of the star ratings as a fun extra feature of the website (like the Quickie pun or looking for Ninas and pangrams in puzzles) in which the solvers get to question the judgement of the reviewers.

      * Miffypops has often stated that he never assigns a star rating and that someone else (usually BD himself) supplies the ratings for his reviews.

  24. This was over far too quickly, but unlike those who expressed their intention of giving up Telegraph crosswords because Friday’s was to tough, I am happy to see an offering which will help to pull in new solvers now and again. I have always viewed crossword solving as a journey. Over time my vocabulary has expanded along with my knowledge of the cryptic devices that can be used, so that now I can finish puzzles that once would have been way beyond my ability. If solvers are only happy if they can solve every puzzle, then they are accepting their current level of ability, rather than striving for ongoing improvement. The hints provided by the esteemed bloggers on this site along with the BRB allow solvers to understand the vast majority of clues. When the hints don’t make the parsing clear to someone, someone will usually provide further assistance. The existence of this site makes getting better much easier than it used to be, so stop moaning and get on with the journey.

    1. Here, here, I’m on the same page as you devartly, a school day every now and then helps to push one’s ability, variety is the new ‘beige’
      Grateful for the challenge, hints not required today thank you

    2. And the beauty of this site (apart from the banter) is that, unlike 225, a hint is provided rather than just giving you the answer & a breakdown of the wordplay. I suspect this is more likely to see solvers improve. Toughies were certainly way beyond me before BD. If I’m honest before I didn’t overly concern myself with parsing the answers so not only have I improved significantly but now get far more satisfaction out of them than the days when it was something to occupy the time during the dreaded commute.

    3. Well said from me too. I am attempting and occasionally completing far more crosswords than I would have imagined not that long ago. I think that threats to cancel subscriptions to the Telegraph are exactly the same as those letters that appear in Private Eye week in and week out. Never meant to be taken seriously!

    4. I didn’t do the crossword on Friday but I did read the blog. If I remember correctly, our hinter gave it **** for difficulty, so it was graded as a super difficult puzzle. I think the main complaint was that the difficulty put it beyond the abilities of the average solver, certainly beyond mine, and there is the toughie crossword designed for the competent solvers. I don’t think there was any attempt to eliminate puzzles on the more difficult side, just wanting the very esoteric puzzles restricted to the toughie side, that way solvers can choose to fry their brains, or not! As usual, putting my two quatties in when I should keep quiet.

      1. No, you are quite right Merusa. I for one feel cheated when the daily cryptic is clearly a Toughie in disguise. Perhaps I would learn from a **** puzzle if I clicked on every hint, but that defeats the purpose in the first place. But that’s my two quarries anyway (whatever they are).

        1. Oh, Liz, my apologies! “Quatties”, the Jamaican in me reverted unconsciously! It means a pittance, I believe the actual worth was penny h’apenny! Did you ever hear the Jamaican song “Carry me ackee go to Linstead Market not a quattie worth sell …”, it’ll probably be on YouTube!

    5. I did not find Friday so tough. I am also better at the 2 weekly toughie on Thursdays.
      Sometimes I find even the easiest quite hard – it all depends on the wavelength of the setter.
      We are all different – we think differently that is why some will find today’s a little harder than others.
      I started recently on the toughies now I know they are on the app and it is a learning experience for me. This helps me make progress and makes it fun.

      I am a philologist and I do use the BRB. I love it when I learn a new word – i solve the clue and if it is new to me, I check the BRB.

      Even words I know, I still can check – 22D is not in the BRB as a wreck. It is as utter. It entered our language probably from car insurance.

      Brings me to one of my first jobs at a car auction…the auctioneers would say of some cars, “and they even put it on the VCAR for you” – it sounded like it was a great selling point until you read the very small print initially – Vehicle Condition Alert Register – yes a 22D

  25. I agree that this was a very easy slide into the week but it is good to have variety – George got the sporty 18d although I do know the game of course it didn’t immediately spring to mind. I went for a walk to the greenhouse this morning and then down the drive to the road. No one was in sight so I walked back up (a rising slope) baby steps but satisfying. Just like a newcomer to crosswords today! Thanks to the setter and Falcon, we don’t have snow but it felt pretty chilly to me out there before lunch!

  26. I enjoyed it. In fact I had rings round seven across clues and one down. I shall therefore limit my choice to the two 5-7 and 5,7 going across the middle. On the balance of probabilities I thought Brian would dislike this one, but I was wrong. My last one in was 12a which necessitated going through the alphabet – but only needed to get half way through so not detained long. Thanks for the hints Falcon – not needed but worth reading particularly as I had not grasped the parsing of 8d. I have never known 22d as a verb so shall repair to consult the BRB. Thanks Campbell – keep them coming.

    1. 22d as a verb means ‘write-off’ as in my Elder Lamb ‘totalled’ my car many years ago – slang, I think, but true!!

    2. I think you can be forgiven, WW, as Lexico (formerly Oxford Dictionaries Online) characterizes this sense of the word as an informal* North American term. Despite this, Kath seems to be au courant on the meaning of the term.

      * (which I take to be Oxford’s posh word for slang)

      1. Thank you Kath and Falcon. My further searches have revealed it to be mainly a familiar (au courant) verb used over the pond – coming from total loss – whereas we would say it is a write off or Kath’s elder lamb wrote off her car. Never too old to learn!

  27. Nothing to write home about today but a pleasant enough exercise. NW came in last but now I can’t imagine why. I suppose 3d is OK. 24a is rather unspecific. 18d reminded me of numerous enjoyable, if somewhat chilly, visits to Twickenham for the annual National club finals. Thank you Campbell and Falcon (keep warm and please keep the white stuff to yourselves!).

    1. Thank you, Angellov, for your kind wishes. The snowfall was not quite as much as the weatherman promised (threatened?) — about 12-15 cm rather than 20. However, what it lacked in volume was more than compensated for in weight as it was very wet and heavy. Having just come in from a couple of hours of clearing my driveway and pathways, I am grateful for my snowblower; I certainly wouldn’t want to be shovelling by hand.

  28. */**. I agree with many who found this at the easier end of the spectrum and also found this a tad bland although I did like 10&23a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  29. A nice start to the week 😃 **/*** my favourites were 13a, 25a & 7d 👍 Thanks to Falcon and especially to Campbell 🤗 and the icing sur le gateau, I even remembered that there were two phrase for the “Quicky”

  30. I finished this one in a steady ** and enjoyed it **** as I felt the surface reading of most of the clues was nicely constructed. I was held up in the NW as I hadn’t heard of the watch (I eventually bunged it in), and spent far too long trying to get 1a to begin with a P!
    COTD was 18d.
    Thanks very much to Campbell and Falcon :))

  31. I agree that it was straightforward but we do need some like this to encourage newer solvers, and, hopefully, some new commenters too.
    I was slightly foxed by the ‘composed’ bit of 11a – good misdirection because of the ‘song’ which led us to think of the other meaning – maybe I’m easily fooled.
    I really liked the two long 5,7 ones across the middle and 6a.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  32. found this one a little bit of a struggle as it was not the usual sort of clueing in my mind. **/** for today. Strange how this should have been solved quicker than it did. Can’t say have any clues as favourites today but if I had to pick one it would be 22d as it was the first in and the clueing there made sense.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the hints that I needed more than the ranking of the puzzle would indicate.
    Oh well.

  33. My biggest smile today came not from this puzzle but from a RayT puzzle that was published in The Daily Telegraph in April and which I expect to be published in the National Post here in Canada in the next day or two. A clue in that puzzle reads:

    14d Right in America upset, albeit wrongly (8)

    Given that the clue was published almost eight months ago and in light of the current situation south of the border, I would like to nominate RayT for the Crystal Ball Award.

  34. As with some this was my fastest ever solve, but you don’t know how long it normally takes me. None the less enjoyable for that, it makes me feel cleverer than I really am. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  35. At first I was a little grumpy at seeing the * difficulty rating, as I was finding it difficult to get a foothold. But slowly it started to come together. Left for a while to tussle with some chores, and amazingly the hold outs all made sense. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints. Don’t think I would have got 2d otherwise, and needed to find out what cricket term was. But all good fun. And I agree with Kath and others who said that we need straight forward days to encourage new solvers. And because I like them 😊

  36. Yes, a very friendly offering today, and I loved it. I shot myself in the foot by putting “lesson” as the answer to 9a; well, brief=less and on=batting, no? Fortunately my Dad had a 2d so I got that right away and I could correct 9a.
    So much to like here, 13a amused and I liked 23a, one of those for fave.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints and tips.

  37. I often have a bit of a grumble about finding Campbell puzzles not always straightforward but not today. A very enjoyable and straightforward solve. Thanks to all.

  38. A light offering today, but enjoyable and well clued.
    Some smile moments along the way.
    Interesting discussion earlier about the merits of last Friday’s crossword. I have no problem with hard crosswords, as long as there is an element of humour. It was last Thursday’s that I found undistinguished, dull and tedious.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints.

  39. Really enjoyed this. Definitely not hard, and the emphasis on well-written clues not obscurity was very welcome. 9, 10, 11, 25 and 26a, and 2, 18 and 22d are all particularly lovely. Thank you for an uplifting start to the week!

  40. For once I actually managed an easy puzzle without hints — lately I’ve struggled with those, and the few I’ve completed hintlessly have been generally thought harder.

    I still needed a couple of the hints to explain what I’d written, though, so thank you to Falcon for providing them. I hadn’t heard of the time-piece either, but looking it up, it seems to be used by and named after the searcher, so as a double definition it’s hardly co-incidental that it’s the same word in both cases.

    Thank you to Campbell for the puzzle. I liked 11a for the double meaning of “composed”.

  41. Most enjoyable but over too soon. I had it 80% done by Sunday bedtime thanks to my time zone and finished it off over afternoon tea today with a little encouragement from Falcon in the NW corner. 13a was my COTD. Good to see a borough in my home town get a mention in 15d. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  42. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very straightforward, but very enjoyable puzzle. I started in the NW corner, and couldn’t get any answers. Did the other three segments, then after a while I solved 9a, then all the rest fell into place. Favourite was 4d. Was 1* / 4* for me.

  43. I was so excited to be romping through this unaided but had to revert to Falcon for assistance and reveal for 24a, 25a and 9a. Still, I’m very encouraged and much more confident to continue trying. I’ve been doing crosswords for the years of my retirement but don’t seem to be on any improvement curve! Mustn’t grumble because I love attempting the back pagers and always have a go at the toughies. The team who provide the hints are wonderful and I love this blog. Many thanks today to setter and Falcon for a very enjoyable crossword.

  44. I completed a quarter unaided and half with the assistance of the clue pointers. I will hopefully complete the Monday puzzle by next week.
    Thank you for the website and help.
    Love., Sara, a Newbie X

      1. What does BRB mean, other than the text speak of ‘be right back’? Please tell, I am a Newbie. Thank you x.

        Example taken from an above poster: If solvers are only happy if they can solve every puzzle, then they are accepting their current level of ability, rather than striving for ongoing improvement. The hints provided by the esteemed bloggers on this site along with the BRB allow solvers to understand the vast majority of clues

        1. Before asking any questions on a website, not just this one, it is a common courtesy to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) first – and you will find your question is answered there.

        2. The FAQs provide your answer twice Sara. Once at number 5 in the preamble and again at number 12 in the full list of FAQs. Welcome to the blog. It’s a sure way to improve your solving skills and a lot of fun as well. If there is anything you need to know or something that you do not understand just ask away. Somebody will provide an answer, usually quite quickly

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