DT 29587 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29587

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29587

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are experiencing some crisp winter weather. We have been waking up to temperatures around -20° C with a windchill close to -30° C. Not quite down to Winnipeg standards but approaching them. Fortunately, the temperature does rise to more tolerable levels later in the day.

I got off to an unusually fast start with today’s offering from Campbell and thought I might establish a new personal best. However, about halfway through, everything ground to a near halt. I think I spent as much time on the final three clues as I had on the first half of the puzzle.

After my experience two weeks ago, I did spend some time looking for a third pun — and failed to find one.

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   Perhaps worker is one in pub, hiding face, disinclined to mix (10)
ANTISOCIAL — for the first part, link together a six-legged worker and the IS from the clue; for the second part, insert the Roman numeral one into a neighbourhood pub from which the initial letter has been removed (hiding face); finally, append the second part to the first part

6a   What Sugarloaf artwork captures at a distance (4)
AFAR — a lurker hiding in (what … captures) the second and third words in the clue

10a   Flog  close-grained wood (5)
BIRCH — double definition; the second a tree producing wood prized for its acoustic properties, the first what a 3d might once have done with a bundle of twigs from this tree

11a   Grannie so loose, working out (9)
REASONING — an anagram (loose) of the first two words of the clue

12a   Open University almost immediately accepting folio (7)
UPFRONT — U(niversity) and a word meaning immediately from which the final letter has been stripped (almost) into which one must insert F(olio)

13a   View about the Parisian’s artful trick (7)
SLEIGHT — a view or scene wrapped around a French definite article

14a   Fish dish a monk’s seldom cooked (6,6)
SMOKED SALMON — an anagram (cooked) of A MONKS SELDOM

18a   Guessing game leads to liars being devious (5,2,5)
HEADS OR TAILS — a synonym for leads or goes in a certain direction followed by an anagram (being devious) of TO LIARS

21a   Quick learner,  free from affectation (7)
NATURAL — double definition; the first a noun and the second an adjective

23a   Old leader in tragedy greeting play’s eponymous hero (7)
OTHELLO — string together O(ld) the initial letter (leader) of Tragedy and a greeting to get the principal character in a work by Shakespeare

24a   Draw attention to man in a city in Arizona (9)
FLAGSTAFF — a verb meaning to mark or draw attention to (something) followed by a verb meaning to man or engage personnel

25a   Had on about son being poorer (5)
WORSE — had on or was attired in wrapped around S(on)

26a   Follow story on the radio (4)
TAIL — sounds like (on the radio) a story (possibly a tall one)

27a   One of nine sisters in hospital, many I suspect associated with former college (10)
POLYHYMNIA — the road sign symbol for hospital and an anagram (suspect) of MANY I following the shortened name of a former technical college (that has now attained university status) produces a sister who to me is the least well-known of the nine goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences in Greek mythology

Down

1d   Shady area in port vacated by husband (6)
ARBOUR — remove H(usband) from another name for a port

2d   List of charges, the result of quarrel crossing a river (6)
TARIFF — a slight petty quarrel containing the A from the clue and R(iver)

3d   Teacher in coach — note tension (14)
SCHOOLMISTRESS — a charade of a verb meaning to coach or train, a musical note, and a synonym for tension or mental overexertion

4d   Superintendent of police finally stopping joyrider? (9)
CARETAKER — the final letter of policE contained in a whimsical description of a joyrider

5d   Gather a large amount (5)
AMASS — just as it says on the tin; to the A from the clue add a word denoting ‘large amount’

7d   Legitimate target in ‘Splat the Rat’, say (4,4)
FAIR GAME — double definition

8d   A pasta in capital before endless drink (8)
RIGATONI — a Baltic capital with a chaser of a mixer (minus its final letter) that often accompanies gin

9d   Girl’s Sinatra recording brings nothing but pleasure (5,3,3,3)
ROSES ALL THE WAY — link together a quintessentially English girl’s name, her accompanying S, and a Frank Sinatra hit from 1957

15d   Insect crawling on dry flag (9)
DRAGONFLY — an anagram (crawling) of the last three words in the clue

16d   Deem appropriate to hold and fine Italian (5,3)
THINK FIT — to deem or hold a belief in one’s mind, the symbol for fine found on pencils, and the abbreviation for Italian (either the language or the vermouth)

17d   Smoked beef over butter followed by pig’s heart? (8)
PASTRAMI — over and done with, a animal prone to butting, and the central letter of pig

19d   German boy mounted popular British coin some years ago (6)
FLORIN — reverse the name of a German boy (or an Australian didgeridoo player) and annex the usual short word meaning popular or trendy

20d   Chap, for example, with a wine shop in Malaga? (6)
BODEGA — line up an informal term for a person (perhaps, but not necessarily, a chap), the Latin abbreviation of ‘for example’, and the A from the clue

22d   Some vanilla, not plain (5)
LLANO — our second lurker of the day, hiding in the second and third words of the clue (can we say it’s hiding in plain sight?)

I don’t really have a favourite clue today, so I will nominate 9d as clue of the day since it made me work the hardest.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): FELLOW + KNEE = FELONY

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : PARR + TITIAN = PARTITION


128 comments on “DT 29587
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  1. I don’t think I have ever used the word to describe a DT crossword, but this was, I am afraid, disappointing.

    There appeared to be a mistake in the fodder for 18a, the character at 27a would be known only to a tiny part of our population, and I have never heard the song at 9d; the less said about the anagram at 15d the better and isn’t 22d simply a foreign word?

    My apologies to all concerned.

    1. I cannot fathom a mistake in the fodder for 18 across. Falcons hint explains
      I didn’t know the character at 27 across but the wordplay led me to her with the assistance of several checkers
      I didn’t know the song either. Checkers checkers checkers and a daughter named Rosemary got me there
      The anagram at 15 down is fairly clued. Definition. Indicator. Fodder. What’s not to like?
      19 down uses wordplay to lead to the definition. I bung in a lot of answers from definitions. I recommend daily solving of The Quickie to boost solving skills in Cryptics.
      In my opinion

    2. I also initially thought that the entire solution was an anagram. However, this is a hybrid clue with only the last two words in the solution being an anagram.

    3. I hadn’t heard of the song or the phrase at 9d, and it was my LOI by quite a way, but I don’t object to the clue at all. My favourite clues were the 8d 14a combination, with something from 20d thrown in for good measure. That’s dinner sorted!

  2. Greetings on a sunny, cold Cheshire morning. I was so proud of myself for working out 27a only to find that 9d was wrong. However, I had lots of fun with this. 27a was the last in. My favourite was 1a. I was surprised that 22d was in the puzzle. I know the word in Spanish but had not realised it was used in English.

      1. Ah, I wondered whether that was so, as it seemed a rather random word otherwise. Anyway, was delighted to make its acquaintance and will try and remember it – though my brain seems to be operating a strict decluttering policy of ‘one new fact in, one old one has to go’.
        Zoom event sounds like a top day in 😊! Looking forward to seeing some faces.

  3. 2*/2.5*. Nothing much here to frighten or to excite the horses although I did find 22d & 27a quite unusual for a Monday.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. I got so cross with myself with 27a, I was alerted to the “poly” by the former college, remembered that one of the sisters began with that, then sweated bullets trying to work out the rest of her name. In the end I had to look up the sisters, what a dingbat!

      1. You were streets ahead of me, I missed the college part of the clue, and was convinced I was looking for someone beginning with Mary…. duh.

  4. I’m feeling a bit of post-vaccination grogginess and this was heavy going, particularly for a Monday. L ike Malcolm, I took issue with some of the clues. I wouldn’t call 18a a guessing game and had never heard of the evil-sounding game in 7d and I nearly scuppered myself by puttingthinking of carjacker in 4d. I liked 27a and 24a but I’m aware that it’s because they relate to subjects, which I have studied and they might not appeal to others. For me it was 3* for difficulty and 2.5* for enjoyment. Thanks to Falcon for the review and to the compiler.

  5. Good morning, I will not be tackling today’s until later.but two matters while I remember. I shall look forward to the virtual annual bash although the beer won’t be as good as usual. Secondly do any of you watch Lingo at 3 pm on weekday afternoons. I am very keen on it as is my 9 year old grandson. It is a word game and for those who know how it works I find that my crossword solving helps me enormously to get the puzzle word.

    1. No TV during daylight hours in our house. Unless I choose to watch YouTube clips of favourite bands and music. Saint Sharon is excelling herself with her choice of bottled beers for me. See you at the Zoom. (Is that what they say)

      1. Not usually for me but I’ve got hooked on this one. At the Zoom sounds about right. Wouldn’t be down the Zoom (like down the pub). I’m not a great fan of Zoom but “went” to an annual lunch for which cheese and wine was delivered and we broke out into groups.

    1. You’ve changed your alias and, I think, been a victim of the system randomly adding a +

      If you’ve solved as many crosswords as me, this South American plain is something of an old friend

  6. I did enjoy this but it was a tough ***/** for me: once I had all the available letters in 27a as my last clue I guessed. Sadly incorrectly! Thanks to Falcon for putting me right. The mistake in 18a didn’t really put me off as it was clear what the answer was so I just put it in and pressed on. Two top clues for me were 3 and 4d. Many thanks to the setter for a challenge to start the week.

    1. If you read Falcon’s hint, you’ll see that there isn’t a mistake in 18a, only part of the solution is obtained from the devious anagram

  7. I largely agree with Malcom – never heard of the song in 9d or the sister in 27a. Didn’t enjoy this much. Anyway, to add a little passing comment, I cannot bear to listen to Frank Sinatra, to my ear he always sings very slightly off key! Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  8. Even at my advanced age I do not remember the Sinatra song. Don’t think it was on Uncle Mac’s playlist. And I don’t like clues that use “girl” or “boy” and we have to guess from hundreds of different names. I could say the same about German boys’ names (albeit that it is usually Otto). Don’t think the notorious Mr Harris is German, by the way.

    1. No, Mr. Harris is definitely not German but is the only well-known Rolf of whom I am aware … and I did allude to the fact that he is not German in the hint.

      1. The Hitler Youth boyfriend of Liesl in The Sound of Music is called Rolf.
        “I am 17, going on 18, I’ll take care of you”. ……yes, well….

        1. I did notice that as I scanned through a long list of German, Austrian and Scandinavian athletes, musicians, artists and scientists I had never heard of.

    2. I don’t think we had to choose from hundreds of different girls’ names. Once you got Sinatra’s song the first word had to be the one that fits the saying which means nothing but pleasure. Other names would not make sense.

  9. If I’d used this crossword to frighten horses, they’d definitely have agreed with my view that this was a Friday crossword somehow turning up on a Monday – if it wasn’t hard enough to work out which day of the week it is when every day is the same

    I did know the sister in 27a – always worth learning the names of the Muses, although I don’t think I’ve seen her in a crossword before. I’d never heard of the Sinatra song and, for probably the first time ever, I did think ‘nebulous girl’

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

      1. The phrase that constitutes the answer is a little more emphatic than simply “pleasure” — it means “nothing but pleasure”.

  10. It’s very rare when I rate a back pager for the higher number to be on the left but I’m afraid it’s the case here, I just didn’t get on with this puzzle at all. I Thought 3d, referencing a song 64 years old along with a somewhat dated female name was a dreadful clue, and 27a not far behind. Sorry but one to forget for me
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.
    3/1.5*

  11. An enjoyable start to the week. Last one in was 9D when I suddenly realised that the Sinatra song is only the last three words which, when headed by the girls name and s from the clue, gives an expression (from a Robert Browning poem?)! Thanks to setter

    1. The expression “Roses, roses, all the way” meaning nothing but pleasure or success is new to me. This expression is taken from the first line of Robert Browning’s poem ‘The Patriot’ ( 1855 ), where it describes the throwing of roses at a popular hero as he passed through the streets. The first verse of the poem is:

      It was roses, roses, all the way,
      With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
      The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
      The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
      A year ago on this very day.

      1. The expression is new to me too Falcon
        My initial answer to 9d was “honey (girl’s name) all the way” which the e version told me was wrong.

          1. It’s not an expression I recall using recently but I recognised it as such although was not aware of its derivation.

        1. Snap! I put honey as well, couldn’t think of anything else. Browning is such a well-known poet but I can’t remember that one.

  12. Just to add a balancing comment, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, as I did know the words and the song that seemed to have caused some earlier consternation. I also completely disagree with Manders at #6 about Sinatra singing off key. 23a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon.

    1. I’m glad someone rose to the bait! I also think Mozart only wrote one piece of music but managed several thousand variations of it. I will pull my head in now!

      1. Songs For Swinging Lovers is a masterpiece – he ain’t off key on that album Manders. I bought the box set of his entire Capitol Years output (21 discs) released after he died & there isn’t a poor one in there. He’s great in Guys& Dolls too.

  13. An odd offering this Monday. 27a was my last one in and a complete guess from the checkers. I’d never heard of the song in 9d by Frank Sinatra although the answer was workable from the clue. Like CC I wouldn’t call a coin toss a guessing game in 18a. I did know the South American plain and I’ll accept CS’s answer that it crops up regularly in puzzles but it’s probably not general knowledge for all that. **/** 4d is the best of the bunch. Thanks to all.

  14. At last a Monday puzzle with a bit of a bite. All going well as usual and then it was like hitting a brick wall. That’s what checkers are for though, and wordplay. So with a lot of thought all went in eventually. Thanks to Campbell. I enjoyed that. Thanks to Falcon for the hints. I’m surprised that 18 across has fooled anybody or that anybody doubts that the answer is a guessing game

    1. In my experience, tossing a coin has either been a way of deciding who has to do an unappealing task or is a game of chance, where those participating (schoolboys in my experience) place bets and then have their winnings confiscated by the head teacher.

      1. To be fair to the setter I don’t think he was implying the solution is a game in itself but that determining whether the coin falls one way up or the other is simply a guessing game.

  15. Bit tougher than usual for a Monday. Memo to self to learn the Muses, although I say that everytime. I thought 18a was very clever once the penny had dropped (head side up). Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  16. Apropos 9d I thought for a girl it would be “Money all the way” and needed the hints to put me right. Otherwise 9d would have been my favourite. Reminded me of the quotation to set the scene in “Keep the Aspidistra Flying”. “…….………………. And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three; but the greatest of these is money.”

    ***/* today and the enjoyment was distinctly lacking even though all but 9d were clued satisfactorily.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  17. A more difficult Monday Puzzle than usual for me with a couple of unusual clues as pointed out by RD, going for a ***/***.
    Last in was 9 down and still managed to put Women in for the first word!-never mind sounded better than roses.
    Remembered 24a from somewhere, liked the charades in 1a and 23a.Thanks to Falcon and our setter.
    Look forward to the India test matches which look like being televised on Channel 4 for a change.

  18. There seem to be quite a few adverse comments this morning but I didn’t find anything to complain about – the fact that I had to guess and check 22d just confirms that I haven’t tackled as many puzzles as CS. 27a made me smile, I wonder whether our setter came up with the idea after reading our recent comments about which of the Muses tend to appear in crosswords.
    I used to like 17d but after reading that clue I’m no longer sure!

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  19. I was a bit sad to read all the negative comments. I really enjoyed the clues with the exception of 9d. I googled Sinatra songs to get it, which was a bit premature. I should have waited until I had more checking letters. 27a I worked out, but had to check as I hadn’t heard of the muse. 24a was straight in. I stayed there many years ago on my way to the Grand Canyon. Now, you can stay much closer at Tusayon which allows easy access to the park to see the sunrise/sunset without having a long drive. Thank you setter and Falcon.

  20. Not as straightforward and not as much fun as usual for a Monday puzzle and I was seriously thinking that it was not a Campbell until the Quickie double pun persuaded me otherwise, completed at a gallop – 3*/2.5*.
    No standout favourite, but I did like 25a and 22d.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  21. Is today Thursday or Friday?
    Lost track of time, I’m afraid.
    Never heard the expression in 9d, did not know the US city, did not know the foreign word for a piece land.
    So, **** and a bit.
    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  22. Not my favourite crossword today.

    Managed it all except for 9d where I needed Falcon’s hint . Once I saw the clue, faint bells rang with both the expression and the song…..very faint.
    All a bit too clever for me today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.
    Snowy here today …and it looks as though there is more coming.

    1. I wasn’t able to place the Sinatra song from the title but as soon as I listened to it, I realized that I had heard it many times.

      The song was written for the 1957 film The Joker is Wild, a film about the life of American nightclub comedian and singer Joe E. Lewis. The song has since been covered by many other artists. Sinatra’s version reached #2 on the US Billboard charts and #3 on the UK Singles Chart. An instrumental version by Nelson Riddle received the 1957 Academy Award for Best Original Song. When the film was re-released some years later, the title was changed for a period to All the Way due to the immense popularity of the film’s theme song.

      1. I was shocked that so many here hadn’t heard of that song, given the age band of this blog.
        I love the song and the way he sings it.
        It’s my favourite.
        We had this division of opinion about a year ago about whether Sinatra sings off key. I said then that the quality of his ear was perfect. He does slide, yes, but that is part of his phrasing, not his ability to hit a note accurately and sustain it.

  23. Not really impressed with this. I felt 27a belonged in a Toughie and 24a in a GK one. Still, after last Friday’s horror of a Toughie, it was good to settle to something a bit more accessible.

  24. I found this a much trickier offering than usual for a Monday with an unusual word and the need for classics knowledge.
    Still out was a lot better than yesterdays stinker. My fav was 23a.
    Thx to all
    ***/***

  25. Found this on the tougher side of Monday but, except for the wrong (but parsable in my view) answer for 9d managed in just over ** time. Not as enjoyable as most of Campbell’s offerings
    COTD 24a -always visit Macy’s coffee house on the journey from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. Never thought of Flagstaff as city though.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.

    1. I did not think of Flagstaff as a city when I visited in 1978 although I have checked and it was incorporated as a city in 1928 (but with only 3,000 inhabitants). It would seem there has been exponential growth since then. We had quite as a shock there as we had driven up from California through the desert where it was hot and dry. Early morning in Flagstaff it was unexpectedly (to us) icy and we skidded off the road. Amazing a truck stopped Good Samaritans in the form of Mexican workers, and towed us out. Memories!

  26. Tricky. Very tricky for a Monday.

    I saw Frank Sinatra at the Royal Albert Hall towards the very end of his career. The dilemma of seeing huge stars for the experience mixed against the dimming of the light as they can no longer perform to the standard they maintained at the peak of their career. It was a sad occasion – Sinatra was confused, repeated himself, and needed huge teleprompters to sing the lyrics of songs he had performed a thousand times before. In some ways I wish I hadn’t seen him this way as I want to remember the Sinatra of ‘Pal Joey’ and ‘High Society’. Time is a relentless foe.

    Today’s soundtrack: Arvo Pärt – Portrait

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon in chilly Ottowa.

  27. I approached this with some trepidation having read some of the comments. However I did not find it unduly hard and most went in first time round. Some were a gimme such as 24a where I stayed in 1978 whilst visiting the Grand Canyon. The last two in were 18 a and the first word of 16d. I did not fully parse the latter having accepted from some comments that there was a misprint. I did not know 27a but once I grasped the former college and had the anagram fodder it was achievable. I did not fully parse 3d but that was my fault. The answer had to be what it is. Favourites 23a and 4 and 9d. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  28. I thought the saying at 9d came from a Robert Browning poem and the first word is repeated, making it 5,5,3,3,3. Can’t see how you can make a game out of a coin toss. Ta to all.

  29. All done but agree with many here…a tad weird!
    Didn’t know the 9D expression nor the sister at 27A…every day’s a school day I suppose.
    Cheers!

  30. Another Monday puzzle that was a little more challenging than those in the past. Rate this 2*/**** today, but overall a nice challenge that makes you think.
    COTD for me include 14a, 18a, 24a, 27a, 9d, 16d &19d with my winner being 19d for the historical reasoning. Brings me back to my childhood in England prior to decimalisation as we had emigrated by then. Ha’pence, thruppenny bit, half crown, guinea all in my vocabulary from my childhood.
    So long ago now.
    Also really liked 9d & 27a too. Great clues!
    A great puzzle I managed to complete on Sunday night prior to the blog as I am on the West Coast of Canada,

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for hints

  31. Thought I’d slept through Monday. This was certainly a damn sight chewier than Campbell’s usual offering. A technical DNF as it took me a second stab to get the correct girl in 9d. Have resolved before (as CS advises) to learn the Muses & never get round to it but got there from the wordplay – Mr G confirmed as he was also required to do for both the city in Arizona & the S American plain. Other than those 4 & wasting time thinking 18a was an anagram before the penny dropped it wasn’t too bad though can’t say I’d heard of the game in 7d either. Not really sure if I enjoyed it or not but certainly partial to both 14a & 17d for a bit of lunch.
    Grumpy today as just back from the doc. Was counting the down the days to getting my ears syringed only to be told it’s an infection & not a wax build up so that’s a few salad dressings worth of extra virgin olive oil I’ve wasted. Still at least I can hear through them to today’s 2 great albums: Easy Gone (Ray Bonneville) & El Dorado (Marcus King)
    Thanks to both Campbell & Falcon.

    1. I paused the telly during Only Connect to ask my family if the knew who “Polyhymnia” was. I proceeded to tell them. I just wanted to show off.😀

  32. I am just a happy bunny to have a crossword to puzzle over! I have a very well worn book The Complete Crossword Companion which I used for years before I met Big Dave and still occasionally dip into. Over the years I have written in all sorts of other useful pieces if information such as the names of all the Doctor Who’s. (Or Doctors Who), names of Santa’s reindeer and some tortuous palindromes. Also stuck into the book is a DT cutting about Roger Squires 1,000 puzzle with a reference to Big Dave. That was how we met! I knew straight away that 27 had to be a Muse (if it had been one of seven it would have been a star) so was easy to check. I had to turn to Falcons hints for 9d to confirm it was roses. Triskaideka-phobia is a fear of the number 13, in case you need to know.

    1. That’s very organized of you, Daisygirl. I don’t have a notebook like that, but if I did, today I might be writing in ‘vinculum’ — our home-schooling word of the day. How have I coped for so long in life without knowing the term for the line between the numbers in fractions‽

      For anybody who didn’t have a 4-year-old to hand for solving ‘digraph’ a couple of Thursdays ago, if this one crops up you might need an 8-year-old to help you. I’m trying to remember it by imagining a fraction with Vin Diesel on top and Jamie Cullum underneath. (At least, I would be if I knew what Vin Diesel looked like …)

      1. If you have small children I do hope you have a book in which you have written down their funny sayings! You may think you will never forget, well you don’t – but if you have more than one child you forget who said what. I have done it for my two daughters and two grandsons. The grandsons loved hearing the silly things their mother said!

        1. Good idea — only last week I used a word and it took me a while to work out which child had ‘invented’ it as a toddler.

          1. My eldest is written into local folklore for ‘bisdustin’ – she takes after her father and does not like seafood, evidently
            She described cockles as ‘…like eating other people’s bogeys’
            I don’t know how she knows that, but I do know what she means

  33. Can I pose a somewhat unrelated question?
    Is Chris Lancaster the one to write to ref. puzzles?
    In addition to the daily crossword, I like to tackle tough Sudokus. Sometimes, the puzzle frames are too small – and worse, the layout is across the page crease. Frustrating.
    My letters go unacknowledged.
    Thanks

  34. Greatly enjoyed but did not know 27aMy knowledge of Greek Gods is improving,Saturday GK helps, but not that much yet.I don’t think 9d is a song but is a name followed by e super Sinatra number.I have learnt enough to get the lurker at22d but had previously not heard of it .Thanks to all.

  35. I never did get the muse or that thing at 22d. It was scary just looking at the 2 Ys. You couldn’t make them up.
    It never occurred to me to think of pronto – quite a lot of the words had an old fashioned feel.
    But I did enjoy lots of the content.
    We often have either 14a or 17 for lunch.
    I have stayed in 24a and when we went to the Canyon, I was shocked to see snow on the ground, although it was 7k+ feel above sea level.
    Finally the 9d song which came to me straight away and on which I commented above.
    Thanks to Falcon and our setter.

  36. I was doing so well until I realised 4d was not ‘carjacker’ and that was what was causing a problem with 12a! Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  37. Well not having ever heard of the phrase at 9d, but knowing the Sinatra song, I put women! Thinking that seemed somewhat unPC, I headed here and was apprised of my error. Found this a bit of a stinker but I really liked 4d. Thank yous to Mr Campbell and Mr Falcon.

  38. I really enjoyed this Campbell charmer and am a bit surprised at so many rather negative observations. It helps being quite old, though–old enough to remember Sinatra singing the song from 9d in The Joker Is Wild, old enough to have learned the Muses in school, old enough to have overnighted in the Arizona city (in my VW pop-top camper), and old enough to have encountered that S American plain in dozens of NYT puzzles. (So fascinated by that one clue, I even took advantage of 9d to read Browning’s poem The Patriot earlier today, one that I can’t remember ever having read before, and I taught his poetry for scores of years. How did that happen, I wondered?) Well, there you are. Old and feeling it today on a chilly, wet Charleston February day, but I loved this puzzle. So thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / *****

    1. Well, I don’t feel so inadequate now. Browning is so well known you feel you must have read all his stuff, but I’ve not heard of that one.

    2. Agree with your rating, Robert, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and have just read the poem for the first time – another bonus

  39. I’m no good at picking setters so thanks to fellow bloggers for identifying Alan Scott for me today. He has provided us with a pleasant (coincidentally Chambers gives 9d as a synonym for pleasant) start to the week. Girl’s didn’t ring a bell for me as I was working around “My Way” for 9d so that combined with 22d and the 29a muse held things up a bit. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  40. Well – late here for no good reason – what a lot of grumbles which always makes me feel sorry for the setter – I only have one grouse which no-one else has complained about but I will in a minute.
    I did find this very difficult especially for a Monday – I don’t mind that unless I’m the only one which makes me doubt the marble count and does little for the ‘street cred’.
    My complaint is 1a which I don’t think means ‘disinclined to mix’ or ‘unsociable’ – it means ‘against society’ – like beating people up or anything that hurts others.
    Apart from that I’ve never heard of 9d, either the Sinatra song or the expression and didn’t know 27a although I did, just about, work that one out – never heard of the city in 24a either.
    I did like 14a and 8 and 17d – and talking of which maybe I’ll start to think about what we might have for supper!
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. :oops: I give in and apologise about 1a having checked the BRB – should have done that first – it is there (but only after what I thought it meant)

      1. Me too, Kath. I’ve also just checked my BRB and was surprised to find that meaning there. It’s a regular (I now find incorrect) grouse of mine that people use that word when they really mean “unsociable”.

  41. Didn’t enjoy this at all and dragged myself over the line with the help of Falcon too whom many thanks. This felt like it was “the wrong trousers day” but thanks to the setter also. It has been persistently precipitating and thoughts of an ark spring to mind.

  42. Took me a while to unravel some of this – had carjacker in for 4d at first. 22d and 27a both new to me (thanks Falcon). Struggled with the Sinatra number too! I’d give it ***/*** with 25a favourite.
    Thx to setter and Falcon

  43. Started off with a good gallop, but when nearing completion ran into some difficulties namely: not realising 9d was a word plus a song title, 27a I could not figure but fortunately only one word in the entire Universe fitted 😬 and for some reason 🤔 25a! Still it was completed eventually 😃 ***/**** Favourites 1 & 4d Thanks to the Falco for the explaining (** was a trifle under marked!) and to Campbell (if in fact it was he)

  44. Remembered the song in 9d as we had Sammy Cahn doing a one man show at the Duke of York’s. Failed on the girl’s name though and didn’t know that expression.
    I know all the Muses, whether they are named after a car or otherwise.
    Nice misdirection in 18a and good anagram in 14a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review.

  45. One of my compulsive tasks is to daily check the temp of Anchorage, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa, yesterday you won at -22.

  46. I’m in the very enjoyable camp, so much to like here, also a lot to learn. I’ll read the Browning poem later to correct that gap in my education! I put “honey” in 9d, couldn’t think of the girl’s name and wasn’t familiar with the poem. I’m also old enough to remember 19d.
    My fave was 23a, but also liked the sister and the delish at 14a.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints and tips. Keep warm and safe.

  47. A disappointing result for me today. I usually fare very well with Campbell’s puzzles, as they are usually straight forward, nothing obtuse or requiring a deep GK dive. This one was spoilt for me by 27a and 22d, and 9d didn’t help. Not being a Sinatra fan, I did Google a list of his songs (a very long list) but that one wasn’t on it. The rest of the puzzle was very enjoyable, so overall quite pleasant. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  48. Got most of this today needed a few hints for which I am grateful. The stand out thing for me was Falcon describing minus twenty as crisp weather. Gosh we have it easy here. Thanks to all

  49. I’m in the “not easy in parts and not particularly enjoyable” camp this evening. Didn’t like 9d as I’d never heard of the phrase or the Browning poem or the Sinatra song. The synonym for the first word in 16d was a bit stretched, never come across 22d and felt 18a a bit iffy too, but I did manage to work out 27a but had to Google it to make sure. No real favourite. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  50. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review and hints. I didn’t really enjoy it as such, because I found it so difficult. I managed to finish it eventually, only because I didn’t want to be beaten by it. Needed the hints to parse 12a and 19d. Had never heard of 24&27a and 9d, but managed to get them from the wordplay. Well done to the setter for not making 18a a straight anagram, great misdirection. Favourite was 25a. Was 4* / 2* for me.

  51. Having never knowingly heard of Polyhymnia, I watched Only Connect this evening and one of the teams was called Polyhymnians! How extraordinary is that? Found this puzzle difficult for a Monday. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  52. I’m afraid it’s a thumbs down from me today. It started so well but I begin to get a bit restless when I come across words that aren’t really commonplace. I have a degree in Geography from one of the best universities in the country and also studied Spanish for two years yet have never come across the word llano (I guessed it from the clue). If a word is just a word that appears in crosswords and nowhere else then it’s not really a good clue in my opinion. As to the muse – annoyingly I looked up the list of muses only last week but failed to twig there were nine of them so this one went right over my head. ***/**

  53. A few toughies in this back pager, but generally enjoyable. I too had carjacker in for 4d but couldn’t square it with the police! Struggled with 27a and was wondering whether Beachy Head had grown a couple of extra cliffs! A few foreign words but makes up for no longer being in the EU!

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