DT 29575 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29575

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29575

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where a state of emergency has been declared and we (along with the rest of the province of Ontario) are under a stay-at-home order. If I can hold out another three months, I can expect to get my COVID jab — provided the schedule has not been delayed by the decision of one European manufacturer to reduce vaccine shipments to Canada by 50%.

Speaking of shots, this puzzle should give a boost of confidence to many of the new members of our cryptic crossword community. If so, don’t hesitate to step out of the shadows and take a bow.

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   Fish  unaccompanied (4)
SOLE — a double definition to start us off; a noun and an adjective

3a   Fear rugby players in Barnet? (10)
DREADLOCKS — another word for fear and some second row rugby players; for those uninitiated in the argot of the East End, Barnet is Cockney rhyming slang for hair, from Barnet Fair, a famous horse fair held at Barnet, Herts

9a   Bess’s partner heading off for wild party (4)
ORGY — drop the initial letter from the name the other title character in a George Gershwin opera

10a   Advertising material — correct look being discussed (10)
PROPAGANDA — synonyms for correct and look produce what one might consider to be the third Quickie pun of the day

11a   Sweet artist fed to animal (7)
CARAMEL — the usual member of the Royal Academy ingested by a ship of the desert

13a   Leaf from notebook taken by girl (4,3)
LILY PAD — a popular girl’s name (Miss Allen, perhaps) followed by a number of sheets of blank paper fastened together

14a   The rearmost in resort, one’s first property? (7,4)
STARTER HOME — an anagram (in resort) of the first two words in the clue

18a   Children may be found playing it (4-3-4)
HIDE-AND-SEEK — a cryptic definition of a game in which players try not to stand out

21a   Manage  to perform surgery (7)
OPERATE — double definition both verbs

22a   Runs after male, just the man she’d like to marry? (2,5)
MR RIGHT — the cricket abbreviation for runs follows the abbreviation for male and is in turn followed by a word meaning just or proper

23a   Agree  to write (10)
CORRESPOND — double definition, both verbs

24a   Said in error, a lot (4)
ORAL — a lurker hiding in the last three words of the clue as indicated by the word ‘in’

25a   Everyone in wide thoroughfare in financial centre (4,6)
WALL STREET — place a word denoting everyone between W(ide) and an urban thoroughfare to get a US financial centre

26a   The Parisian, extremely supercilious? To a smaller extent (4)
LESS — a French definite article followed by the letters found at the extremes of the word SuperciliouS


1d   Cabinet‘s performance on occasion (8)
SHOWCASE — a performance or entertainment followed by an occasion or instance

2d   Sort of spin from Labour’s leader, say, prior to recess (3,5)
LEG BREAK — string together the leading letter of Labour, the Latin abbreviation denoting say or for example, and a recess or hiatus

4d   Starts to row up River Avon, largely in the countryside (5)
RURAL — the starting letters of the third through seventh words of the clue

5d   Dismay when old Oscar mounted horse (9)
APPALOOSA — start with a word meaning dismay or horrify; then string together and reverse (mounted in a down clue) a word meaning when, the abbreviation for old, and the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet

6d   Good money given by member, tip included in change (5,6)
LEGAL TENDER — begin with a body part; then append a word meaning change or modify into which you have inserted a word meaning tip or extremity

7d   Run off to fix an awning (6)
CANOPY — inject the AN from the clue into a verb meaning to run off (as one might do on the office duplicating machine)

8d   Drink readily available after close of innings (6)
SHANDY — a term meaning ready to use and conveniently placed follows the closing letter of inningS

12d   They may bring partners together, like Bryant & May perhaps (11)
MATCHMAKERS — split (5,6), the answer could describe a business enterprise formed by two London Quakers in 1843 that is now in Swedish hands

15d   Something hot produced by Marxist sergeant and bandleader? (3,6)
RED PEPPER — the colour symbolic of Marxism and the leader of the Lonely Hearts Club Band

16d   Editor enthralled by Greek cooking eastern rice dish (8)
KEDGEREE — an abbreviated editor in the midst of an anagram (cooking) of GREEK with a chaser of E(astern)

17d   Son likes playing, keeping dry in game (8)
SKITTLES — S(on) and an anagram (playing) of LIKES enveloping the letters for dry or abstinent

19d   Army doctor’s source of milk in capital (6)
MOSCOW — the usual two letters for an army doctor together with their accompanying S and the most common dairy animal

20d   Bird, favourite on lake (6)
PETREL — a charade of one favoured (in particular, by a teacher), a short preposition denoting on or concerning, and L(ake)

22d   Staffs English minister’s house (5)
MANSE — a word meaning staffs or provides personnel and E(nglish)

I got a bit of a chuckle from the carnivorous camel at 11a. I also liked 2d, 16d and 17d. Of these, I will go with 16d as clue of the day. Why? The word has a nice sound to it and I feel the need for a snack.


Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : PLAICE + MEANT = PLACEMENT

In a comment, Campbell, the setter of the puzzle, points out “There is a third pun in the Quick Crossword.” I mistakenly concluded that he was jocularly alluding to the answer PUN at 18a. However, he has returned to confirm that there really is a third pun in the puzzle. In two comments, Miffypops dropped hints about the third pun but I’m afraid they just sailed over my head. Well done Miffypops in spotting the third pun.


166 comments on “DT 29575

  1. I was flying down the straight when my horse did a Devon Loch, and stopped dead with four fences to go in the NE.

    Resorting to electronics, I got 5d, a word I didn’t know, and still couldn’t fully parse. This gave me the rest that I was missing, not helped by the fact that I had pencilled in a wrong answer at 8d. The parsing of 7d still eluded me.

    So all in all, I reckon **/***, with COTD going to 3a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

    1. I too ground to a halt in the NE. The answer for 5D I had never heard of and could not deduce from the parsing, whereas 16D was another unknown word but the parsing was more on my wavelength, so I learnt the word in a pleasing way.

      1. I think you have to be ‘horsey’ to know 5d. I used to compete on a flea-bitten grey (yes that is its proper description) which kept being mistaken for 5d.

                1. Welcome back to the blog from me as well. I must say I have really been enjoying reviewing your puzzles since I took on this assignment about ten months ago.

                  I’m not sure if Miffypops is being facetious or not in his comment — but I suspect he is. As for myself, I went through every pair of horizontal answers and then every pair of vertical answers looking for the third pun. Then the penny dropped with a resounding thud. So as not to act as a spoiler, I have now added the third pun behind “Click here” buttons in the review.

                  1. Weather awe knot I was being facetious is for you to decide Falcon. I don’t know what facetious means. I just know that it has all five vowels in alphabetical order

                    1. Having now checked the meaning of ‘facetious’ in several dictionaries, I discover that maybe I also don’t know what it means. I thought it meant merely ‘tongue in cheek’ but several dictionaries (British dictionaries, in particular) stress that it refers to remarks that are not only intended to be humorous but are also inappropriate. It was certainly not my intent to imply the latter. I guess this is a word I better stop using — especially on British websites.

        1. I first learned about 5ds when I saw Marlon Brando in the 1966 film titled “The 5d”. Brando rides one that is stolen and all hell breaks loose afterwards. Not his best role but fascinating to see him as a Mexican-American buffalo hunter.

          1. Remember it well Robert. Also a film directed by Ed Harris – not bad but a hammy performance from Jeremy Irons as I recall.

  2. A nice gentle start to the week. There are some lovely clues here, 3a & 18a are my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to today’s setter and Falcon.

  3. Lots to enjoy in this very pleasant Monday puzzle. Good straightforward clueing for those of us at the tail of crossword skill which gives us confidence for the week ahead. Have to mention 3, 14, and 22 across, together with 6, 12, and 15 down. My favourite has to be 3 across.

    My thanks to the setter and Falcon. No hints needed but enjoyed the blog.

  4. What a fun puzzle, a light delight. I did need Mr G to confirm my hunch for the steed at 5d which was just about derivable from the checkers and wordplay, the rest plain sailing.
    I liked 6,15&22d but clear favourite for me was 10a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the entertainment.

  5. A nice, straightforward and very Mondayish puzzle, which was, its simplicity notwithstanding, enjoyable. I particularly liked 1a and 10a, which made me laugh. Just as well, as my shopping, delivered by Sainsburys, contained one box, in which several packets had been soaked by bleach froma bottle with the cap cross threaded. Needless to say, the damaged stuff went back but, annoyingly a few small spots of bleach have damaged my slacks and top. Apparently, I can claim compensation but what a faff! Thanks to Falcon. Sorry you are locked down. We can go out for exercise only and must distance ourselves 6 feet apart. The dogs I encounter on my walks don’t understand social distancing, poor things, and run up to have a fuss made of them, dragging their owners with them. Thanks to rhe compiler.

  6. A very pleasant start to the week.
    Took a while to parse 7d and 19d as I thought the M would be the source of Milk until the Across clues fell.
    Favourite 6d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  7. 1.5*/3.5*. This was very gentle to the point that I was on track for my 1* time until I got stumped by 5d, which seems to me to ignore the principle not to clue an obscure answer with complex wordplay. Apart from that and a raised eyebrow for 13a, I did enjoy it as always on a Monday.

    On my podium today are 11a, 2d & 6d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  8. Plain sailing today with the only slight pause for thought 10CC’s favourite holiday & the American nag. Good fun with some nice clues of which 12d was my favourite with 2&6d in the podium spots. After last week’s horror Rookie Corner is also a breeze. Best make the most of a dry day before the forecast rain for the next 2 days so off for a long walk with a good helping of rock from the south & the Black Country: Pronounced ‘Leh-Nerd ‘Skin-‘Nerd (Lynyrd Skynyrd) & Physical Graffiti (Led Zep). Hoping Lola’s improvement continues apace.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon.
    Ps very impressed with Yan Bingtao’s remarkable powers of resilience throughout the Masters tournament in what was an enthralling final – his clearance to force the re-spot was absolutely superb. Still can’t get over the billiard shot brain freeze by John Higgins.

    1. “From Birmingham Alabam to Birmingham England” Ronnie Van Zandt. Birmingham Odeon. 2nd February 1977, great show. The second time I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd. Knebworth 28/8/76 being the first. At Knebworth they were just another band on the undercard playing away to nobody in particular. Until they played Freebird that is. That made us shut up and listen. When they played Freebird on The Old Grey Whistle Test their Album sold massively in the days following the broadcast. I used to think Freebird was wonderful but it just drags on for too long now. I was lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin live a few times as well.

      1. I never saw Lynyrd Skynrd actually playing live, but I did share a lift with them on two occasions at that time……..it was the first time I had ever seen a guy in stretch leopardskin trousers.

          1. Did you get very far?

            No, only to the 6th floor.

            Holiday Inn. Swiss Cottage.
            It was summer, but whether 74,75 or 76, I can’t remember.

      2. Can’t remember why but there was some reason why I never made it to the Odeon gig but do remember being desperately disappointed.

        1. It was bit of a greedy guitarists guitar fest. A guest guitarist came on for the encore so it was even more so. Never found out who he was.

  9. A gentle start to the week. The horse at 5d needed some working out and a quick check on google as I’d never heard of it. Perhaps Senf has one in his stable? **/*** Favourite 3a. Thanks to all.

  10. A great puzzle to start the week especially as I managed totally unaided.I had a slight hold up in the NE corner with the two words anding in A bamboozling me. I simply could not parse 7d. The rest was quite straightforward with a number of good clues such as 18d but my COTD is 15d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and Falcon for the hints.

  11. 2d was my clear favourite in this relatively undemanding puzzle. I say relatively as there were a couple that held me up and increased the solving time, most notably the nag at 5d and parsing 7d. That aside it was an enjoyable exercise and the usual quality we have come to come to expect on a Monday.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  12. Definitely not a breeze if you don’t happen to speak the language of cricket or rugby, and the horse was a new one to me. Some difficulties with working out how we arrive at 7d, otherwise enjoyed the rest very much. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  13. Nice, gentle Monday puzzle. 5d made me scratch my head a bit before inspiration struck, though.

  14. Well certainly a great improvement on yesterdays horror. No problem apart from the top right which strayed me into *** time. Still do not understand the ‘fix’ in 7d and 5d required very specialist knowledge with a clumsy clue. Really really wanted the answer to 8d to be STUMPS! Apart from that enjoyable.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian
      I took the “fix” to mean contains “an” rather than it is outside “run off”.
      Still waiting the Dustin Hoffman story (sorry if I missed it). Is just that you try to
      keep the pro bono to a minimum?

    2. So did I, Brian. But reason took over because it’s stumps at the end of the day’s play rather than at the end of an innings, I think.

    3. I was well aware of fix being used as a noun meaning a dose of a narcotic but its use as a verb to mean to take an injection of a narcotic is new to me (“She confessed that she had just started fixing herself with Morphine and Pethedine”). Thus the wordplay is equivalent to “Run off to inject an”.

    4. Brian, despite sharing your issues in the top right, I thought 5d, once solved, was far from clumsy…….in fact, despite the GK answer, the clue was neat, even parsimonious.

      1. I knew the horse but doubtful about the spelling, thus I thought the clue was good, I just did what it told me to do.

    5. This is the problem with ‘general’ knowledge. If you know it then it seems easy but if you don’t then you are left floundering. Luckily, I was well aware of this equine whereas, for example, Latin sentence constructs never came near my school. I don’t feel smug about where my knowledge strengths are but admit to being frustrated when others think that everyone must be equal to theirs. Oh well.

      I found this a more typical Monday offering than some have been recently.

  15. Like others NE corner took me into ** time but I had heard of the “dalmation” horse (as it was described to me) so not too bad. Other than that straightforward, typical Monday for me.
    3a my COTD but understand it could cause problems for non-Rugby (Union) followers.
    LOI was 7d:COTD runner-up when I twigged the parsing.
    Thanks Campbell for the usual enjoyable start to the week & Falcon for succinct explanations

  16. A pleasant solve. After the first couple of passes I had a pretty pattern on my grid consisting of a blank white space where answers ought to be in the top right corner. Breaking the clue for 5 down (I like your Dalmatian Horse LBROK) into its component parts got me going again with no more old ups. Thanks to the setter for the fun and to Falcon for the review. Time to carry on doing nothing. Or should I take the kitchen clock to bits?

      1. Wish I could. Have 2 longcase movements to sort out Steve. Should I send them down? I am good at taking things apart but re- assembling them a different matter. Just need a really good clean.
        One, according to the provenance was made for Richard Arkwright in the 1780’s & is unusual in that it strikes on the half hour and the hour.

        1. That is unusual, Labs. Most long case clocks of that period struck the hour. I have an original long case dating from 1740 made by Baddeley of Tong, which is in Shropshire and about 30 miles away. When you say Richard Arkwright was it made for him or by him?

          Longcase clock movements are quite straightforward unless they have complicated striking systems.

          1. 64 years ago when we were first married we lent £25 to a colleague of George’s. We were really hard up, but he was in a much worse state. He paid it back in small dribs and drabs (I am talking about 1959 here – it was a substantial sum!) and eventually, owing us about £2.7s 6d he told us that a great aunt had left him a grandfather clock, and as he knew we were looking for one, would we take the clock in final payment. We had just moved into our brand new architect designed house, no money for carpets, but we agreed and the clock duly arrived – but riddled with woodworm. Being ignorant, George immediately burned the wormy case, saving the works, pendulum and glass door. The box of clock parts came with us to Cambridge and some twenty years later we met Rodney Firmin of Magdalen Street who had charge of the University clocks. We asked him to look at the clock and he nearly had a fit when we told him we had destroyed the case. However, he looked it up and told us that the 1768 clock by Archbald Coates of Wigan had also been made as a bracket clock and he arranged for a craftsman to build us a new bracket using the original glass door. We were living in an old moated farmhouse at the time and it fitted in so well, and the steady tick tock from the pendulum and the striking of each hour has been the heartbeat of our home ever since! Another one of my random writes.

            1. There are some clock cases by famous makers that can fetch a fortune. A friend of mine, who is an horologist, was at an auction and saw the case of a long case clock. Being an expert, he knew immediately who it was by. Nobody else in the room had a clue. He bid £50 and won it.

              He later sold it to the British Horological Society for £25,000.

              It was a case by Thomas Tompion, one of England’s finest clock makers.

              I agree with you, Daisygirl, a clock is the heartbeat of a home.

          2. I have 3 longcases Steve – a one-handed clock from about 1710 the “Arkwright” clock from 1780’s and a 1850’s mass-produced “Birmingham” movement clock from Cardiff. The 1780’s clock was made by John Dumvile of Stockport FOR1 Arkwright, it is a 2 weight moonphase that I spotted in auction in Exeter. No one seemed to have cotton on to the sophisticated movement so got it for a good price. Unfortunately long cases are not flavour of the month these days.

            1. They’re not mainly because there are so few original ones around. Most are “marriages” with one clock being made up out of two or three others. The Baddeley we have has only an hour hand. They only needed a rough idea of time back in the 1700’s.

              1. My Dad was a clock fanatic. He found the workings of a clock that my Grandad had bought in Germany, the case had rotted, in a cardboard box in Grannie’s house. He took it back to Jamaica, made a cedar case for it and restored it. The only thing missing was a little round thing that attached to one of the weights. He found that a Jamaican ha’penny was the same size and used that. Three years later, on our next visit to England, he found the original Whatsit! I have the clock here but it needs to get someone to get it going again.

        2. Take them to The Repair Shop Labs. I’ll write you a pathetic back story and all you have to do is cry to camera at the right times. Clocks repaired for free. Result.

          1. Thank you MP. I think trundling me down to the Repair Shop would take the programme over budget.
            However if I slim down a bit the mahogany case is easily substantial enough to double as a final dispatch box, if only I knew of a maker.
            “The day time stood still” and all that

  17. A nice gentle start, perhaps more gentle than recently, to the non-work week from our entertaining Monday setter – completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Of course, the gentleness comment does not include 5d!
    Candidates for favourite – 3a, 2d, 6d, and 12d – and the winner is 3a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon – here in MB, we are hoping to emerge from 10 weeks of lockdown at the end of this week.

  18. WOW!
    Simply a BRILLIANT start for the week.
    Fantastic grid with many a laugh.
    Enjoyed every clue, and as always a few tips and hints from my mentor The FlyingFox.

  19. Annoyed with myself at getting held up by 5d despite a lifetime spend in the company of, and riding, horses. No doubt, Senf has a ranch teetering to capacity with these beasts.
    Lovely crossword – unlike Brenda Spencer, I don’t have an aversion to Mondays when Campbell is the setter.

    Lola has an appointment with the vet at 4.30pm. We are all hoping the cone is no longer required as she is spending a lot of time and effort attempting to remove it as often as she can. Lola is continuing to eat at about half of her normal intake, but it’s a good start. The peculiar thing is that she recoils when being offered water, and is only drinking the gravy from her food – I’m adding water to it to ensure she has a reasonable amount of liquid. No doubt the vet will advise.

    Today’s soundtrack: Handel – Il pastor fido (The Faithful Shepherd) <-delicious beyond words!

    Thanks to Campbell, Falcon, 5ds all around the world, and everyone here.

    1. Good luck to Lola this afternoon. We’re keeping our paws crossed for her.
      Like most others here, I found the NE went in last, but it was the rugby players rather than the horse that held me up. Nice start to the week, a pleasant **/****

    2. Glad to hear the news about Lola continues to be encouraging, Terence. You deserve an Oscar.

    3. Hopefully the collar will come off and she will get back to normal. It’s so hard with pets, you cannot explain that what you are doing is to help them.

    4. Lots of love and purrs to Lola, good luck this afternoon.
      Terence, all this spoilation of Lola, we’re forgetting H! I hope she’s doing well now and fully recovered.

      1. I read that as “love and puns”, and was wondering if Lola is known to be a big fan of wordplay! I think I’d better find the cloth for cleaning my specs …

        Hope it all goes well, Terence.

  20. Some cats don’t like tap water, Terence. My cousin’s cat would try to lap water from plant saucers or vases rather than drink the water from the tap in her bowl. You might ry collecting some rain water maybe?

    1. Good suggestion, Chris – but… I have tried tap water, bottled water, and rain water; both warm and natural. Nothing pleases her!

      Be careful with that bleach!

      1. I wouldn’t worry too much, Terence. Cats tend to be “demand” water drinkers. In other words, they won’t drink unless they absolutely have to. Still, might be an idea to chat to the vet about it but you have probably thought of that already.
        Hope Lola’s collar comes off. It is obviously annoying here.

          1. Oh, I have no aversion to water, Daisygirl. I have been known to put some in my scotch. 🥃

      2. Have you tried a cat drinking fountain which constantly circulates the water? It worked for my cat when he would drink nothing else.

  21. Yes Falcon, I feel good finishing this crossword. Although I’m not a beginner, I gave myself a pat on the back as yesterday’s is yet unfinished with 6d still unanswered.

  22. Late in as it was ‘talk to granddaughter on Skype’ morning. I’d forgotten just how much mess a 7 month old baby can make with her food!
    An enjoyable Monday puzzle with my only hold up being the spelling of 5d.
    Top spots went to 3&22a plus 12d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review. We’ve been in virtual lockdown for such a long time in Wales that I’ve almost forgotten what other sort of life ever existed!

    1. We have a long video clip of our grandson doing what I believe is now termed “self-weaning”, I.e. having a lovely time sucking on broccoli, carrots, cucumber etc.
      It’s supposed to lead them into diverse eating……..sadly, two and a half years later, no vegetables, indeed any food “of colour” ever passes his lips. Talk about a policed border zone.

      1. My little granddaughter is currently happy to accept whatever is on offer although I think her mum was being somewhat ambitious with today’s menu! Her older brother at three and a half has never been particularly interested in food and what he will and won’t eat is about as predictable as the wind!

      2. Our eldest would never eat vegetables, right from when she first started on baby foods. Chicken and rice, fine. Anything with vegetables was spat right out. She never ate them until in her teens she started eating raw carrots and sprouts. In adulthood, she started eating them all, cooked. Youngest wouldn’t touch meat. We always joked that they could share a meal.

  23. I finished the bottom half easily. But apart from a few on the top half I really struggled. Missed the anagram indicator in 14a. Had no idea what 1d was. Or 10a. As for the horses that was beyond me.

  24. Well I found this Monday puzzle was pretty straightforward with a couple of twists, but an enjoyable solve. NW was last area completed with 5d last in. Not quite sure of the parsing for that one, but it is what it is, so will check it out.
    1.5*/**** for today. Clues of note that caused a smile include 3a, 13a, 18a, 2d & 12d with 12d the undisputed champ today.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  25. I had the same issues with the NE, which I never properly resolved, even having got the spotty horsey.
    Thanks anyway to Campbell? And Falcon.

  26. An entertaining, gentle start to the week only held up for a while in the NE like some others. A few of the previous Mondays have not been so gentle, signalling, I thought, a change of policy, but not so, apparently. Never heard of 5d and couldn’t work it out from the clues so I had to seek electronic help which I hate doing. My top four are 3a, 10a, 13a and 7d.

  27. Brilliant! My fastest solve for a while but no less enjoyable! As a former rugby player my COTD has to be 3A – frankly those big tall fellas scared me too! Many thanks again to Campbell for the excellent entertainment and to Falcon for the hints. Cheers!

  28. Yes very enjoyable as managed to complete for only 4th time since last June though I did have to look up horse names so not completely unaided

  29. All good except for 5d. I thought maybe it was a Greek person (I had a vague memory of something like Hippolyta) who rode a horse. Having resorted to the hint, I eventually worked it out only for my wife to say that she used to have one of that type of horse. I need to ask for her help more often.

  30. I should just lie low and say nothing after messing up big time and rambling. Like others I raced through then came to a grinding halt in the top LH corner. I thought the ‘correct’ in 10a was write/right but when the other checks went in I thought it was a brilliant clue. They say today is Blue Monday but the setter (Campbell you all say) brought a smile to our faces and thanks also to Falcon for explaining 5d, I had heard of it but didn’t get the spelling right. Has anyone read The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes? A great story.

    1. Haven’t read that one, Daisy, but I enjoyed The Giver of Stars so much that I’ll certainly get hold of a copy.

    2. I messed up big time too DG. I thought that “ The rearmost” was the definition in 14a, so tried to make an anagram of “resort, one’s p” ( first property). I put a completely different answer into 6d. I couldn’t work out 5d, so put that into a crossword solver. I could actually parse the clue once I’d got the answer, although I’d never heard of the horse. I quite clearly made hard work of today’s offering. I might as well say thank you to Campbell and Falcon whilst I’m here. Favourite clue was 18a. It brought back fond memories.

  31. This proved to me that a puzzle doesn’t have to be brainstorming to be satisfying. Three-quarters went straight in then NE slowed things down a bit. Should have persevered with fathoming 6d rather than wasting time thinking around a theatrical investor (as per yesterday). Bunged in 3a before Rhyming Cockney came to mind. Haven’t used 7d ‘run off’ since the days of making multi-copies with a Xerox machine. Presume Bryant & May export so are familiar to overseas bloggers? My Fav was 10a. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I had never heard of Bryant & May and solved the clue based on the basis of the people who orchestrate romantic relationships and from that guessed what line of business B&M might have been engaged in. At one time, the company had a factory in Australia (it closed in the mid-1980s). I can find no indication that the company ever did business in North America.

      1. Cor, strike a light. Bryant and May’s England’s Glory. Small boxes with a saying or joke on the back of the box. More matches in the Swan Vesta box though. If anyone asked for a match My mate Craig always begrudgingly offered one but pointed out that “they don’t grow on trees y’know”

        1. Not sure if this is true, probably apocryphal, but a man went to the makers of Swan Vesta and said “If I can save you £10,000 a year would you give me £10,000?” They were dubious but liked the idea of the possibility of saving £10,000 a year – a lot of money at the time – so they said ok. He told them to put the sandpaper, used to strike the matches, on only one side of the box. They had been putting a strip on each side of the box. They paid the man the money.

          1. NASA reportedly spent $4m developing a pen that would work in near-zero gravity
            The Russians used pencils
            The man that put the hole in Polos also made a mint

      2. Kcit had an Enigmatic Variations puzzled last year called Matches honouring Bryant & May — a pair of fictional detectives, of whom, that setter’s blog reveals, Chris Lancaster is a fan.

        I borrowed the first book from the library, as a result of that. I may read more of them, once my to-be-read pile has receded from its Christmas bulge.

  32. Lovely puzzle today so thanks to all. 3a last one in which made me chuckle when I eventually saw it. Mr M had his vax this morning, all done like a military machine. I sat and watched the world go by in Tesco car park listening to Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, wonderful. Stay safe everyone, there is light at the end of the tunnel whatever Lord Sumption thinks.

  33. Late on parade today due to lift breakdown: my partner Wendy was transporting today’s crossword to me waiting expectantly on the ground floor when the lift jammed. The fire bobbies were summonsed. Once I explained she had my crossword they realised the enormity of the situation. One hour and twenty minutes letter the crossword (and Wendy) were released. Phew! I was quite stressed. Anyway the puzzle helped take my mind of the trauma I had endured and I agree with Falcon a pleasant challenge at * with a *** for enjoyment. I pity him his stay at home order which sounds even worse than ours. Wendy was fine by the way!

    1. Guess it is unique when taking a shot from the military is a pleasing experience. 😁👍

      1. Sorry NAS my reply was to do with the stress of being stuck in a lift – it happened to me, & it is stressful, even though there were a couple of colleagues with me.
        However I worked in the pits & once had to attend an emergency where the cage got stuck 300feet down the shaft with just one man in it. No communication, pitch black with only his cap lamp for illumination & it took nearly 5 hours to get him out. He stayed on the surface after that.

        1. Ah! Yes – Wendy was in the dark for about 10 of the 80 minutes. She was only one floor up when stuck and chatting to the fire Bobby through the door if necessary so quite relaxed on exit. She did offer that if she had been a long way up she might have been frightened – being stuck in a pit lift for instance! Doesn’t bear thinking about.

        2. I got stuck in a lift at Gatwick! It was only 30 minutes or so but it seemed an eternity. My fellow ‘stuckmates’ tried to keep me amused but I wasn’t really very amusable.

  34. Easy puzzle but most enjoyable. COTD 3a. Hope that Lola continues to improve. A friend gives her (adult) cat Kitten Milk, which she seems to like. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

  35. I thought this was a strange combination of easy clues with some really tricky ones. The NE corner held me up – I had vaguely heard of the horse but had to look up the spelling and I hate cricketing clues with a passion (never played it, no interest in watching it). I similarly couldn’t think of a term for rugby players but knowing that Barnet meant hair I got it in the end. 10a gets my clue of the day as it made me laugh. **/***

    1. Oh oh oh Furlinda – on dangerous ground there. I have had my knuckles rapped several times on this site for just having the tiniest, weeniest moan about crickety clues. These crickety/ golfy/ footy types are very sensitive you know – you have to tread very delicately.

      1. That made me laugh! I don’t mind golf and football ones (not sure I have come across any football ones to be honest!) and if it’s an R for runs then even the bog standard cricket ones are ok but I just think clues like the one today are for men only. When was the last time you saw a netball clue? We should start a campaign to stop cricketing clues!!

        1. Re: “When was the last time you saw a netball clue?”

          Monday, October 2, 2017 — DT 28547 (set by Rufus, reviewed by Miffypops)

          6d Every throw-in counts in this game (7)

    2. Florence,
      No need to tread carefully at all.
      I immediately get hung up when I see clues about plants, composers, artists, books, films, authors, greek mythology, & anything intellectual so the sport clues make up for me. They all give pleasure to some & not others so I think we have to accept them as fair game.
      Don’t think I could “Hate” something as innocent as a crossword clue though.
      Checkers & Mr Wiki help me get there usually.
      As they say we all live & learn, and manage by hook or crook to finish & enjoy the puzzles. As has been said we learn something new every day. What we remember the day after becomes “GK” what we forget doesn’t.

        1. If I could spell it I would be ilitterate M.
          Over my 79 years I have picked up a skimpy passing knowledge of things I don’t appreciate to the full. Mr Wiki helps confirm things like he does for most.
          Presumably before he came along we relied on some semi bung – ins
          Reading the obit for Phil Spector today it just makes me realise how many things have passed me by (didn’t know he was in prison for murder!)

  36. Hello, all. I’m quite late today because after I finished today’s very enjoyable Monday offering, I went back to sleep and entertained epic dreams of a New World Order where everyone is well and happy. So I stayed asleep for eons. So: 5d was my runaway favourite, nicely, trickily clued, but also reminding me of a time in my life when I could go out to a big screen cinema and watch the great Brando strut his mighty way across the screen. What a force he was! 1966, and I had just begun my first year as a full-time university instructor in New York (at the State University in Cortland). Life was good, I was young, and Brando was no longer Stanley and not yet The Godfather. (Sorry: I just got carried away.) Back to the puzzle, I also liked 3a and 10a. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. * / ***

    1. I feel obliged to admit that I was able to solve 2d and 12d only because of the cleverness and obviousness of the clues, but I don’t really know anything about crickety spins or companies that make matches (thanks to Google for confirming that one).

  37. Your hinds were helpful, especially for the more obscure clues which for me were; 5 down, 26 across.
    Thank you.

  38. Good start to the week **/***. Some interesting clues 3a,5d,22a,17d my fav being 22d an unfamiliar word to me.
    Thx to setter and Falcon

  39. That was a lot of fun today. Only held up by the cricket and rugby clues. I did know the horse at 5d but it was still one of the last in. I bunged in 10a early on, but never did parse it. Big thanks to setter and Falcon.
    Biggest chuckle today was when listening to a Tony Blackburn podcast this morning on Radio Berkshire (via the Internet), and heard him say he grew up with Bill and Ben and Muffin the Mule – so did I, so nostalgic 😊.

    1. Muffin the Mule, that takes me back. Do you remember the presenter, Annette (?) Mills, who was the actor, John Mills’ sister.

      1. Yes I do remember her. Another favourite was Andy Pandy. Do you remember Listen With Mother on the radio?
        I was always glad my kids got to grow up with Blue Peter, Play School and Jackanory before we moved across the pond (when they were 12 and 9). Sesame Street just didn’t come close.

        1. I remember all those characters and shows from my childhood in England, including Sooty and Sweep and Harold Corbett who I actually met in Southport in the mid 60’s. I also won two of the white Blue Peter badges with the blue ship as well as a blue badge with the silver ship on it. Still have them too!

    2. For parsing, split the answer in 2 and then say each word separately and listen to the phonetics … and what the word sounds like or how it could be spelt differently and sound the same …

    3. I remember Bill and Ben (flobalob!) and Muffin the Mule who clattered on the top of Annette Mill’s piano. Then there was Four Feather Falls and Torchie, the Battery Boy. Wooden Tops with their big spotty dog.

  40. Enjoyed today’s puzzle. Solved alone and unaided but could not parse 7d until I read the hints.
    I have always said ‘run off a copy’ rather than ‘run off ‘…but that’s me.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon .

  41. Now that I have the crossword on line and not just the freebie at Waitrose on a Friday I get to do or try to do each days offering, normally it is a bedtime thing and not always completed! Today I decided to attempt it after the afternoon dog walk and it was the easiest ever solve so had to tell the blog about it!
    Can I say how enjoyable reading the blog is and also how helpful as well.
    Thanks to everyone.

    1. You’ve expanded your alias since your previous comments so this went into moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

  42. I too enjoyed today’s puzzle and though I got 7d it was thanks to Toni that I fully parsed the answer. Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell. I thought Clint Eastwood rode an Appaloosa in one of the Western series or was it Rawhide? The breed often have what we would call roan markings.

    Terence I do hope you get better news about Lola after her visit to the vets.

    Is there a medic amongst us? I only ask because I have just had my routine six monthly Thyroid and Cholesterol blood tests cancelled for a second time as (understandably) the practice nurse has to be at a local hub to help with the Covid vaccinations. So now a year has gone by and one of the tests should be for liver function. With repeated lock-downs and a propensity for the odd glass of wine, should I be worried?!

    1. Hilary unless it’s a lot more than the odd glass and you are on other nasty meds that do things to your liver I don’t think you need to worry. In this environment the odd glass is probably good for your mental health.

      1. Thanks for reassuring me Kate. I’m not on any other medication but not getting as much exercise as I should. I’m heading towards my 74th birthday in a couple of months but until last March I was going to Ballet and Yoga classes every week and meeting friends for coffee or the odd birthday meal. We have 2 dogs but I usually end up breaking away from my husband whilst out exercising them as the eldest (17) can’t manage the longer walks. I simply don’t have the motivation at home to do any physical exercise other than going up and down the stairs numerous times whilst doing the daily chores and when the weather is reasonable getting out into the garden. Managed to go round the field today before the rain came in and due some heavy downpours in the next 48hours. I think that’s why I’m finding it harder in this lock-down to keep positive though I’m not feeling down-hearted. Just doing the crosswords and reading the blogs really lifts my spirits. Thanks again for your comment.

        1. I am an 80 year old retired GP , I regard my 6 o’clock glass of wine as medicine, while watching BBC world news. It’s hard to stay motivated!

    2. Ah there you are Hilary. You asked if we had to go to Epsom for the vaccination, in a word, no. We went to Stevenage in the end 20miles away and, although MY jab was not scheduled until next Friday they happily did mine at the same time. Two satisfied customers. I grew up near Epsom, walked our Alsation over the downs regularly – lovely spot but quite pleased not to have to drive down there for the vaccination. Kath is a mine of medical knowledge – she’ll tell you. Pity to pass up on a glass of wine!

      1. Pleased to hear that you both got your jabs done and it makes sense to try and do couples at the same time. Saves another journey and petrol money!

        Has anyone heard how Lola got on at the vets? I do hope she is safely back home. Thinking of you Terence and hope you have better news.

      2. Mrs BD (in late December) and I (on 9th Jan) both had our 1st jabs at our local surgery in Upton-upon-Severn. The whole operation was superbly run, and puts Worcestershire very much in the forefront.

  43. Very similar experience to most here. A steady trot through all except the NE corner which only fell after another infusion of coffee. 3a and 10a both pleased me when they fell. I had plenty of time with the 2nd coffee to tackle the rookie and that was of a similar standard and difficulty.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  44. **/**. A gentle start to the week. Most of my enjoyment came from 3a. A real smiler. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  45. I’m in the “never heard of a 5d but once I’d got it the NW corner fell in” camp this evening, I’ll confess to using ehelp, but if it’s a word you’ve never heard of and it’s not clued that sensitively …. Any road up I got there. Favourite was 10a, once the penny dropped. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  46. Very enjoyable puzzle today. I did better than usual . I agree with Huntsman, a superb snooker final last evening. Very late to bed! Sorry to hear Ottawa is in state of emergency. I have friends there so will FaceTime them now. Thanks to all concerned for today’s puzzle.

    1. The “state of emergency” likely sounds a bit more dire than it is in actual practice. We were already in a lockdown but by declaring a “state of emergency” the government was able to issue the “stay at home” order which upped the ante from where we were. Non-essential workers must work from home. Schools are closed and all learning is online. Only businesses deemed essential (such as grocery stores and pharmacies) are open to the public, other businesses can do curbside pickup of online or telephone orders. There are some two dozen exceptions to the “stay at home” requirement — including medical appointments, visiting essential businesses, making curbside pickups at non-essential businesses, certain types of outdoor exercise (skating is permitted, downhill skiing is not), dog walking, etc.

  47. Wotta lotta fun that was, thank you for the entertainment, Campbell. The sporty ones were well clued, I had no problem with them. The first part of 3a had to be, the second half could only be “fully” or “locks”, and I guessed the correct one.
    Choosing a fave is going to be hard, I think maybe 16d, makes my mouth water, wish we could get haddock here – maybe on Amazon?
    Thank you Falcon for unravelling a few for me, e.g. 7d, I didn’t get the “run off” bit.

  48. Good crossword, only fly in the ointment was 5d which was unheard of and unparseable. Shame.
    Thanks all.

  49. Found this one a bit harder than most of you seemed to – maybe due to starting so late. I love all the sporting references (even 9a had a hint of cricket in it, given the recent events between England and Sri Lanka – I seriously considered “each” as an answer!)
    I love Campbell’s puzzles, but his/her style seems to have changed a bit in the last couple of weeks.
    Got the horse from the parsing and checkers – will remember that one for a day or two then instantly forget it (as usual!)
    Cheers to Falcon and Campbell :))

  50. Thanks to Falcon for the much needed hints and thanks to Campbell for the entertainment even though I found it difficult. More to do with me and what I assume to be my lockdown brain! Lots of memories stirred up by Bryant and May. I seem to remember that if you found a blue or red stripe in the matchbox you could win a prize? Also I absolutely love the books that Smylers mentioned. I’ve read most of them and am now going to look to find any that I’ve not read. It’s very rare to find books that make you laugh out loud and I love all the historical references to buildings and places in London. So looking forward to walking along the Thames when it’s safe to do so.

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