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DT 29540

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29540

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where temperatures have been hovering around the freezing point. We have had a lot of cloudy, rainy weather that has pretty well washed away the snow that we got last month. On the COVID front, Ottawa miraculously remains relatively unscathed compared to most of the country where the situation is raging out of control. A vaccine can clearly come none too soon.

I thought today’s puzzle was again very gentle. In fact, it was the Quickie that I found unusually challenging today.

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.


1a   Minister parking by a shop, briefly (6)
PASTOR — line up P(arking), the A from the clue, and another word for a shop without its final letter

5a   Give up work on Hebridean island, lacking energy at the end (6)
RETIRE — the usual word for on (the subject of) followed by an island west of Mull with the physicist’s abbreviation for energy removed from its end

10a   Scene of conflict in region harbouring indefinite number (5)
ARENA — a synonym for region wrapped around a mathematician’s indefinite number

11a   Story about doctor, American, in big car (9)
LIMOUSINE — an untrue story about a military doctor, a short form for American, and the IN from the clue

One way to get to the church … see below for another

12a   Draw large aquatic creature close to ferry (7)
LOTTERY — the clothing symbol for large, a playful aquatic animal, and the final letter in ferrY

13a   Relaxing, fluster having been resolved (7)
RESTFUL — an anagram (having been resolved) of FLUSTER

14a   Requirement for seeing (9)
PROVISION — a word denoting for or in favour of and the sense of sight

17a   Difficult year for English novelist (5)
HARDY — another word for difficult and the abbreviation for year; this novelist who created an obscure protagonist would no doubt have found much to write about in this difficult year

18a   Colossus Italian cast in bronze (5)
TITAN — Italian vermouth in a term meaning to bronze in the sun

19a   Discourage fellow cleaner (9)
DETERGENT — a charade of synonyms for discourage and fellow or chap

21a   Old Japanese commander holding end of blunt weapon (7)
SHOTGUN — a historical Japanese military dictator (subject of a best-selling 1975 novel) envelopes the final letter of blunT

A proposal he couldn’t refuse!

23a   Deep red borders inside study (7)
CRIMSON — raised edges or borders inside an archaic term meaning to read over and learn by heart

25a   Building valuers in general (9)
UNIVERSAL — anagram (building) of the two central words in the clue

26a   Most noticeable having dismissed sides from elsewhere (5)
ALIEN — remove the initial and final letters from a word meaning striking, outstanding or prominent

27a   Programme: a grand finale anticipated, originally (6)
AGENDA — link together the A from the clue, a gangster’s abbreviation for grand, a word meaning finale or conclusion, and the initial letter of Anticipated

28a   Key   batsman, first to face the bowling (6)
OPENER — double definition; a device to enable one to pass a locked door and, in cricket, the first batsman in


2d   Spy cheers up having received information (5)
AGENT — reverse an informal expression of gratitude and insert a colloquial term for information

3d   In RADA, get trained to become an actor (9)
TRAGEDIAN — anagram (trained) of the first three words in the clue

4d   Pass on  athletics event (5)
RELAY — double definition; to pass on information, for example, and an athletics event which involves the passing on of a baton

It appears he didn’t drop the baton!

5d   Artist‘s class during new term (9)
REMBRANDT — a variety or type inserted into an anagram (new) of TERM

6d   Supporter has confidence in team initially put out (5)
TRUSS — a word meaning “has confidence in” with the initial letter of Team removed

7d   Strengthen control with strongarm tactics (9)
REINFORCE — to guide or control (especially a horse) followed by compulsion, especially with threats or violence

8d   Race to get to work (6)
GALLOP — a word denoting get to or annoy and the short form for a musical work gives a verb that Senf will undoubtedly use to describe his rate of progression through this puzzle

9d   Make use of extremely despicable trick (6)
DEPLOY — the initial and final letters of DespicablE and a stratagem, dodge or manoeuvre to gain an advantage

15d   Stealing a march on sly type during trip (9)
OUTFOXING — a vulpine animal hiding in a short pleasure trip or excursion

16d   Individuals entering country, Asian republic (9)
INDONESIA — introduce a synonym for individuals into one Asian republic to get a second Asian republic

17d   History surrounding male sanctuary (9)
HERMITAGE — that which has been transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition encompassing M(ale)

18d   Network‘s tense broadcast (6)
TISSUE — the grammatical abbreviation for tense and to release or make public

20d   Article put in shelter for occupier (6)
TENANT — a grammatical article in a camping shelter

22d   New  part of course? (5)
GREEN — double definition; inexperienced or a putting surface

23d   Instrument in monk’s room, old (5)
CELLO — a monk’s quarters and the abbreviation for old

24d   Take  sixteen to a Parisian (5)
SEIZE — double definition; take forcefully or a French cardinal number

My podium finishers are 3d, 9d and 15d with the top spot going to 15d.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): PASTURE + EYES = PASTEURISE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : WELT + REIGNED = WELL-TRAINED

111 comments on “DT 29540

  1. The usual Monday morning offering today I thought, except 26a took me into **/*** time because I had parsed the clue the wrong way around.

    8d gets my vote for COTD, because of it’s neatness and simplicity.

    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.

    (I found the Quickie, well, quite quick!)

  2. I found there was a fair sprinkling of challenging clues in this Monday puzzle, although it got easier once I was well into it. It was enjoyable on the whole and 15d was the COTD with12a as the runner up (2*/4*). There was a fair bit of GK which won’t please some and a well-stretched synonym in 5d that was a bit frustrating. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and to the compiler.

  3. A very pleasant way to kick off the solving week. I do enjoy Campbell’s setting style; concise clues, very few obscurities and edged with humour. 15d was my top clue this morning, although the neat anagram at 3d is worthy of mention.

    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon.

  4. For some reason I made hard work of this, I thought it tougher than the average Monday and more enjoyable for it.
    I thought the last five words in 28 maybe surplus to requirement but I liked the clever 26a plus 14a, where for some reason I can imagine a question mark at the end.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT .

  5. */*** and only 21 seconds off my quickest solve. I panicked at the end knowing I was close and misspelt 24d which I note is an exception to the rule “i before e except after c”! Thanks to the setter for a pleasant start to the week and to Falcon for his amusing hints.

    1. Seize (as well as either, foreign, height, leisure, neither and their) also violates all the codicils to the “i before e except after c” rule.

      1. It’s a good rule if the original mnemonic is used which is…

        i before e except after c
        as long as the sound is a long e

        The only high-frequency law-breakers are:

        Seize, Protein, Caffeine, Weird and Species.

        Shortening it has turned a half-decent mnemonic into probably the worst of all time.

    2. I before E except when your weird foreign neighbour Keith received eight counterfeit beige sleighs from feisty caffeinated weightlifters

    3. The IZE of prIZE is in seIZE.


      You need to seIZE the prIZE of the Saturday crossword.

  6. It’s what we have come to expect on a Monday. Neat clues and no obscure answers. **/*** An enjoyable start to the week. Favourite 15d. Thanks to all.

  7. Made the same mistake as MalcolmR with 26a so that was my last one in, no other problems to report.
    Top three for me were 12,14&19a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – that’s some Cinderella coach!
    PS Sorry,I can’t recall who recommended it, but I finished reading The Girl at the Window last night – a very enjoyable book once you suspend disbelief!

      1. I thought it was probably you, CS, but dithered at the last minute. Any other recommends would be gratefully received – I’ve enjoyed all your suggestions thus far, as have the friends I’ve passed the books on to afterwards!

      2. Last week, during my rustication, I read the first of the Simon Serailler mysteries–‘The Various Haunts of Men’–and, thanks to your recommendation a few weeks ago, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have now ordered #2 in the series. So, having now finished the Bill Slider series (all 26 during our isolation here), I’m off on another journey, CS!

    1. Hi Jane. Spent most of last week deeply engrossed in Ayad Akhdar’s ‘Homeland Elegies’, a dense, often difficult work of monumental relevance, part-memoir, part-fiction, and which probably would be my choice for Book of the Year were it not for the soaring, luminous brilliance of O’Farrell’s ‘Hamnet’. Now I think I’m looking for something a bit less, shall we say less relevant–perhaps ‘The Girl at the Window’?

      1. Hi Robert,

        On a completely different thread I am now reading a novel that is described as ‘suburban gothic’. I brought it last year after reading a review in the TLS by Erik Morse but put it down after a couple of chapters because I couldn’t see its purpose. I’ve now started it again ; it’s Jesus Saves by Darcey Steinke. Do you know it?

        Other questions are : is suburban gothic merely the book equivalent of the horror and slash movies by Wes Craven, John Carpenter, David Lynch et al? Is it trailer trash literature? Or is it a symbolic and genuine literature of societal breakdown?

        Sorry to have asked but as you are an American English teacher I can think of no-one better. Thanks Michael.

        1. Well, you’ve got me there, Corky. I don’t know Darcey Steinke at all, I’m sorry to say, so I can’t respond intelligently except to say that I avoid slasher movies and try not to read trailer park trash! I have, however, found that some of Joyce Carol Oates’s neo-Gothic fiction to be palatable because her larger themes deal with man’s inhumanity to man. I also haven’t encountered the term ‘suburban gothic’ over here, but maybe the journals I read just haven’t caught up with the genre yet. There’s plenty of societal breakdown over here for great, meaningful books like the one I mentioned earlier, ‘Homeland Elegies’, to flourish.

  8. Usual Monday stroll though I had to confirm the Hebridean isle & the 24d/26a combo caused a brief head scratch. Succinctly clued as ever & a pleasant start to the week with 14a along with 15&16d my picks of the bunch.
    Thanks Campbell & to Falcon.
    Ps would be nice to hear from Robert. I do hope all is ok.

    1. Here’s a piece of (useless) GK – the Hebridean island is a “Coastal Weather Station” used in the shipping forecast (if that is still broadcast).

    2. When I worked for BEA, I had to know all the Scottish Isles and which airport served which islands, and so on, but now, 50 years later, I had to look the up the island. Sad how much we forget!

    3. Hello, Huntsman. I’m all right. Just took a little sabbatical. Reading heavily. Staying at home because our statewide Covid numbers tripled each day last week. My county has set record numbers every day for the past week, and all of us over 65 have been warned to Stay Home–not by the governor, of course, who has yet to order all S Carolinians to wear masks, but by those who care about life and death. Hope you are well.

      I spent a week out on the Hebrides back in 2001 and, with Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides and Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture to sustain me, spent a day on Tiree. Loved it. Wish I could return.

      1. Lovely to see you back, Robert, we missed you dearly. Please stay safe and well, the situation here is dire as well. I think I’m on an alternate planet, with all the numbers being released every day, the amount of people who believe it’s a hoax just astounds me, until they contract it and land up in hospital!

        1. Thanks, Merusa. I did enjoy my books last week but missed all of you considerably, especially my South Florida contingent. Stay safe and well.

      2. Our governor has also yet to issue a mask mandate. Luckily for us, Palm Beach County issued one months ago and you very rarely see someone without.

  9. 1*/4*. Pleasant fun for a Monday morning.

    I expect Senf’s horse will have been pleased to see 8d.

    Another, perhaps coincidental, dimension to 28a is that Robert Key was one for Kent and England.

    My podium comprises 18a, 19a, 28a & 15d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. I wonder if it was coincidental or not. I wondered the same recently when Broad was used in a cricket clue.

  10. Campbell seems to have upped his difficulty a little, still very acceptable for a Monday puzzle, but this one, and last week’s as I recall, completed at an 8d – **/****.
    Speaking of 8d, it took a while for the penny to drop on the parsing of “to get to.”
    No standout favourites, but I did like 19a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  11. Completed if not at an 8D then at a steady trot once I got started. 5D is my top pick today. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  12. A great start to the week and a most enjoyable puzzle. Far too many good clues to be able to single one out but I did like 14a.

    Many thanks, Campbell for the challenge and to Falcon for the hints.

  13. An enjoyably gentle way to ease us into the cruciverbal week but IMHO nothing special. SW held out longest. 14a is neat. Not keen on use of cheers or the equivalent as in 2d. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  14. Another good start to the week, fairly straightforward. Bodes well for the rest of the week, it will probably be downhill all the way for me.
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

  15. We more or less raced through this – 14a delightfully succinct, but then so we’re many others. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for starting us off on a new week, although it is cold and raw here in Cambridge I am glad we don’t have Falcon’s weather! Did you see the photograph of those idiots outside Harrod’s on page 7? Not a mask in sight, I despair. And the diatribe from the Trump, come on Robert – we need a Bon Mot from you.

      1. Hi, Greta. We now have great hope for the future despite soaring numbers of Covid and a few unsettling matters at the top. Sometimes it’s clabber and not cream that rises.

        1. I wonder if that term will be familiar to British readers. Although I had pretty well guessed from the context, I had to look up clabber to confirm that it is a US term for milk that has naturally clotted on souring.

    1. Hardly surprising. After all, you can get anything from Harrods….including Covid.

  16. I’m glad that Falcon found this puzzle so easy, I found it quite tricky, at least a ***.
    Never heard of the Hebridean island and really struggled with most of the clues.
    Not one for me I’m afraid.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. “Never heard of the Hebridean island “.
      Steps back in total and utter amazement – I am lost for words at that admission, Brian.

        1. It may not be Mull, Islay or Skye, but it is most certainly not an obscure island by any means.

      1. I confess I had to look it up. I had heard of it, and I think it is in a song, but it was buried deep in my brain and refused to come out without help.

  17. I thought this was slightly trickier than usual for a Monday, but with hindsight, there was nothing too challenging.
    I was held up by confidently biffing CAREER at 8d – well it kind of works!
    As with others, I spent too much time looking at the clue for 26a the wrong way round.
    Thank you setter and Falcon.

  18. I found this much harder to get into than usual, for a Monday. It all fell into place eventually ***/***.
    I agree with Falcon that (one of my favourite novelists) 17a would have been in his element this year!
    Thank you to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  19. An enjoyable Monday puzzle, as usual.
    I have never been able to get along with the works of 17a. His themes of despair, unhappiness, and general misery are not for me. I generally only read autobiographies, biographies, and diaries so I shall almost certainly never return to the world of suffering inhabited by 17a. I hope he can find it in his Victorian heart to forgive me.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I find Hardy’s novels difficult but I make an exception of ‘Under The Greenwood Tree’ with its fantastic description of the traditional ‘quire’ with instruments playing in the gallery of a Dorset church. Strangely enough last week’s BBC 4 documentary, presented by Howard Goodall, about the origin of Christmas carols showed a similar quire dressed in Victorian gear, still performing!

      1. Oh – I missed the Howard Goodall documentary. I think I would enjoy it so will seek it out on iPlayer. Thanks Chris.

    2. Oh good, someone else who doesn’t like Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge was required reading at school and I didn’t like it all. Then it was Far from the Madding Crowd. Still not a fan. Had a lovely vacation in Dorset and the locals were very proud that he had lived in their midst. Didn’t have the heart to tell them he was not my cup of tea.

  20. Reference the hint for 3 down is RADA a word? I always thought it was an acronym which stood for The Royal Academy for Doing Acting. I never really have much to say about Monday’s puzzles. They have been constantly Mondayish for as long as I can remember. Always solvable. Always amusing. Rarely entering the world of obscurity. Never too difficult. A bit like Cathedral City Cheese or The Carpenters. Just what the Monday puzzle should be. The Belles of St Trinian’s has just started so I’m off to watch it

  21. Found this quite tricky. Partly because I put career in for 8d. Should have thought of Senf!. COTD 19a. Thanks to setter and Falcon. Hope Robert’s OK.

  22. Lots to like here. I did not put career for 8d but I might have done if I had thought of it. There was nothing obscure and no general knowledge within the confines of an average brain, or otherwise obvious. I find I have circled too many to mention so shall settle for 19a and 24d. SW was last corner to fall but no problem once I got a toehold. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  23. I thought this was a step or two up in difficulty for a Monday – can’t see why now.
    8d fooled me – didn’t think of career which is probably just as well – it took ages to see ‘get to’= annoy. Oh dear – really not ‘on it’ today.
    I wasn’t too sure about 18d either.
    I think my favourite was either 5 or 17d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.
    The very worst kind of English winter weather in Oxford – foggy, hardly been light all day and 2C – yuk! Off to light the fire and ring my sister.

  24. I think I spent as long trying to figure out 24d as I spent on the rest of the puzzle. I thought that the answer must relate to the 16d clue, then I thought that I had to use “xiv”. It was much simpler than that. It was my favourite clue . Thank you setter and Falcon. The ISS will go overhead tonight at 5.20 but no point in trying to have a look. It’s freezing, pea soup fog outside.

      1. Florence, thanks so much for the info on the ISS. I’ve been absolutely glued watching live streaming on my Kindle from the ISS, fascinating. Amazing watching on a little Kindle. When man first landed on the moon I was working in Cape Town. South Africa didn’t even have TV then so we queued days later to see it at the cinema. They are having their Christmas delivery today of nice goodies to eat, I think 65 tons of it!

  25. Another enjoyable Monday 😃 ***/**** Plenty of good clues I Liked 1a,18a & 4d 🤗 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell 👍 Golf Course re- opened on Wednesday Hoorah! then closed on Friday because of flooding by heavy rain !😟

  26. I sped through today’s Campbell but the velocity didn’t mar my pleasure. 21a is my COTD because it made me laugh. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 1.5* / ***

    I’ve just read Terence’s comments about 17a and am reminded that I wrote my Master’s Thesis on all fourteen of his novels (in 1963)—at a time in my life when William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor were making great demands on me as a Southerner hoping to lose some of my provincial ways, and so who better than the Great Dorset Tragedian to loosen some of those Deep South ties?! But my approach to the Wessex novels was as a celebration of what I called ‘The Rustic Feeling’, the folkways that figure so prominently even in the darkest of the books–like ‘Jude the Obscure’. TH’s poetry seems to be more honoured these days than the novels.

    1. Robert I have left a note on one of your replies above. It might have been better here but I sent it before this was posted. It was posted under my alter ego Corky.

      1. Thanks, Michael. I responded but perhaps wasn’t much help. I’ll do a bit of research meanwhile….

    2. Ah Robert! How I have tried in years gone by to get along with 17a but I always find myself putting the book down and wishing I was a few chapters further on. So, later in life, I have decided that if a book or an author doesn’t spark joy for me, then I have to let him or her go!

      1. Likewise here too, Terence. Mostly. And then I find a book like ‘Homeland Elegies’! (I do find Hardy a bit of a tough go these days, I’ll confess. Though not Dickens or G. Eliot or so many others whose clarion calls send me harking back.)

        1. Robert,
          As I said your erudite posts have been missed.
          As you are retired now surely life has become one long sabbatical?

          1. It was what I took the sabbatical from….says he, in syntax so twisted it looks like a pretzel…rather, it was that from which I took my academic leave (ha ha) that I referred to.

            I hope that you are doing all right, LROK. I noticed last week that you were having some clinical treatments.

            1. That’s the problem when your “day job” involves reading Robert. You never retire I guess. Your posts make me realise that there is a beauty in prose & poetry.

              When many years ago daughter read English at Oxford & introduced me to appreciating Seamus Heaney I realised what I could gain from the use of language. Sadly I just had too many other things on to follow it up.
              She thinks Canterbury Tales the best work in the English Language. What would your opinion be?
              Getting with treatment OK thanks but need tests to know if it is working. Anxious times in limbo.

              1. ‘He was a verray, parfit, gentil knyght’–Chaucer himself, a chevalier of great poetry, and The Canterbury Tales are simply unmatchable. Nothing else like them in the world. Chaucer made the mould and broke it. Your daughter has exquisite taste.

                And then there’s Hamlet & King Lear, Keats’s Odes, and Middlemarch.

    3. So good to see you back amongst us, Robert, you have been sorely missed. I’m just about to order The Various Haunts of Men and yes -I think The Girl at the Window might quite appeal to you by way of a change.

      1. It’s on his way, says Amazon. Due tomorrow! And I just got a notice that Shuggie Bain will be delivered between “Dec 9 and 18”! All of a sudden, Jane, a cornucopia of riches. I must tell John Bee.

  27. Well, this should have been easier than it turned out to be for me today. Ended up as ***/*** and I just seemed to struggle with it for no particular reason.
    However some clues of note include 1a, 11a, 12a, 14a & 19a with winner 14a

    Thanks to setter and Falcon for the hints I seemed to really need today.

  28. Late to the game but all over very quickly once I’d started. Don’t know my Hebridean islands but the wordplay sufficed to deduce. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  29. Totally foxed by 15d. Didn’t understand the definition and the sly type required never crossed my mind unfortunately.
    The rest was pretty straightforward with a couple of chestnuts in 19a and 7d.
    No real favourite today.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. Many idioms do not translate literally into a foreign language, although (based on its origin) this one might.

      To steal a march on someone is to to gain some kind of advantage over them, especially in a surreptitious or underhand way.

      According to The Phrase Finder website, “this phrase derives from the military manoeuvre of moving troops secretly, in order to gain an advantage. It has been used since at least the early 18th century, when it was cited in the London Gazette, 1716″.

      1. Thanks for the explanations.
        I looked it up but couldn’t find anything similar in French.

  30. Late today & agree with the overwhelming majority. It is amazing to me how Campbell’s difficulty level stays so constant.
    Like many 15d as COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon. The Covid information on Ottawa – are there reasons that you are “miraculously” escaping the worsening situation in the rest of the Country. May it continue for you.

    1. I’m guessing that they’re better citizens who follow instructions better than their fellow countrymen or those south of the border!

    2. Some derisively attribute it to us all being a bunch of obsequious public servants accustomed to blind compliance with authority. It may actually be due to the high concentration of government, education, and high tech institutions whose employees can work from home.

      1. Falcon,
        Some of our public servants seem to write the rules then ignore them. Or write some that are so illogical to be nonsensical.

        1. Likely because everything is done by committee. And the process — rather than one of finding the “least common denominator” — is often more like a cook making a stew in which everything in the pantry gets thrown into the pot.

      2. Looks to me that you are all doing something right up there. Good for you. The best thing we have going for us in South Florida is that, with the arrival of winter, our weather is cooling down so that we can sit outside, open up the doors and windows and turn off the air conditioning. Restaurants will be doing brisk business outdoors, if they are allowed. But we’re quite happy to keep eating at home until the numbers fade away.

  31. I enjoyed this a lot but was initially scared by the cricketing and golfing clues, fortunately they were not too obscure. I think I was having a molasses day as well, I struggled over 19a which is one clue that is a perfect description of chestnut!
    It’s hard to choose a fave, I liked lots, maybe 21a? Or 5d or 15d? There was quite a selection.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and Falcon for unravelling a couple, gall=to get? Really? If you say so!o

    1. You’re missing the important little word, Merusa, ‘to get to’ is the phrase you’re looking for.

    2. No – not ‘to get’ but ‘to get to’ ie really get up someone’s nose or to drive them a bit mad or to irritate.
      That one really ‘got to’ me too.

  32. I didn’t do very well at this at work but saved the bulk for a rather protracted wait at the dentist – nothing serious just the hygienist a bit behind on her covid protocols. I wasn’t really concentrating and then came 17a. I have a love-hate relationship with 17a that goes back to school when The Mayor of Casterbridge was a set text. I have a bit of a stubborn streak and read all around the set texts (Hardy’s Casterbridge, a play by Wesker (Roots I think) and Akenfield by a name I have managed to erase from memory) I am still not a big fan of kitchen sink drama although a few of the other Angry Young Men have entertained and I have only been partially converted to Hardy through his poetry.
    To the puzzle – I had doubts about my spelling of 24d too but didn’t solve it via a coffee mug but waited for the checker from 26a.
    I also had a doubt about 6d mainly because I had had in mind rather than has. I could see trust and could justify removing the T but I forgot it was plural and couldn’t see why I had to add an Ess.
    It was a bit trickier than normal for Monday but all the better for it.
    I really liked the Hebridean island and the shipping forecast is poetry in its own right (at least as good as Hardy IMO)

    thanks to Campbell and Falcon

      1. Thank you for both those clips, John, most enjoyable. Reminded me of my dear old dad listening every evening to the shipping forecast, the place names sounded so romantic to me. Taking a more ‘novel’ angle – I did enjoy reading the Shipping News by Annie Proulx.

        1. “Sailing by” followed by the shipping forecast has lulled insomniac Bee’s of all ages to sleep for years

          I don’t know why that one got a thumbnail when the ones with moving pics got just a link?

    1. HI, John. Good news: Shuggie Bain is on its way to me; expect delivery between “Dec 9 and 18”. Yay.

  33. I raced through this – probably my quickest ever solve which was very gratifying. Just my sort of crossword! */*****

  34. I felt that this was pitched just about right for a Monday. Favourite was 17a, not because of its difficulty but because it reminded me of John Hardy a local larger than life character with a handlebar moustache and booming voice. Known to everyone just as Hardy he nicknamed me the troubadour due to my propensity to wander into pubs with a guitar unannounced and play for nothing. Sadly departed now he lives long in people’s memory. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  35. I made slow work of this over breakfast, with slightly better progress over lunch. Last in was 3d, just from the checkers as I couldn’t solve it as an anagram, not being a word I have ever used. 19a got a chuckle. Overall, an enjoyable solve. Didn’t find the quickie particularly tough though. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. Glad to see Robert back.

  36. Having read that Falcon found the quickie difficult I was amazed to find that I raced through it and had great expectations for the cryptic, only to find that it was a bit of a struggle at first and then it all fell into place – obviously with a little help from Falcon! Many thanks and also to the setter. Still foggy and cold here in Surrey. I always enjoy listening to the shipping forecasts last thing at night- perfect for going to sleep to – don’t usually hear the ending!

    1. In the case of the Quickie, I made things difficult for myself with incorrect answers to a few clues. Forget what most of them were, but I know one was “weal” = “good” as in “the common weal”.

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