DT 29593 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29593

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29593

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where everywhere is covered in a fine film of red dust blown over from the Sahara desert. Usually we get it with rain (dirty rain) but this time it blew over as a dust storm last Friday night.

Before I get to the crossword may I first of all offer my apologies if this blog turns out to be a bit sub-standard.  It’s now 0230CET and I’m sat in our kitchen watching Superbowl LV and trying to solve the crossword and write the hints between the plays.  Not easy believe me.

The crossword hasn’t put up much resistance so I’ve gone for ** difficulty but I’ve left the enjoyment at a neutral *** as I wasn’t really concentrating on the puzzle.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

.Across

8a           Very little indeed of what some returning astronauts anticipated? (1,4,2,3,5)
A DROP IN THE OCEAN:  A phrase meaning very little could also describe what American astronauts, who landed in the sea, could expect on their return.

9a           Odd coming from instruments, trumpets and drums (3)
RUM:  A word meaning odd is hidden in all three of instruments, trumpets and drums.  We don’t often get a triple lurker.

10a         Conciliatory gesture made by Oscar, as it happens, with backing of department (5,6)
OLIVE BRANCH:  O(scar) followed by as word meaning as it happens and then a department or at least a sub-office.

11a         Feeling of resentment as card game curtailed (5)
PIQUE:  It’s a card game that pommette and I used to play when we were first married but without its last letter (curtailed).  This three time F1 champion has the same surname as the card game.

12a         Border: safe crossing eastern edge (9)
PERIMETER:  A slang term for a safe placed around (crossing) E(astern) and a three letter word for an edge.

15a         Unusual phrases for guides (7)
SHERPAS:  Anagram (unusual) of PHRASES.  Tenzing Norgay is probably the most famous of these guys and here he is . . .

17a         Attempt, with catapult, to get young bird (7)
GOSLING:  A word for an attempt (2) followed by a catapult as used by David against 18d.

19a         Candidate, sensitive after hoax (9)
CONTENDER:  A word for sensitive or sore after and hoax or fraud.

20a         Daughter impressed by ‘Ring cycle‘? (5)
PEDAL:  A ring of bells with D(aughter) inserted (impressed by).  Here’s a bit of Wagner’s Ring Cycle . . .

21a         Undergo live broadcast, then eat and drink too much (11)
OVERINDULGE:  Anagram (broadcast) of UNDERGO LIVE:  This appears to be a description of watching the Superbowl!

24a         Military commander heading for Augusta, Georgia (3)
AGA:  A (heading for Augusta) followed by the postal abbreviation of Georgia.

25a         Equal score and make the grade (4,2,2,7)
COME UP TO SCRATCH: A phrase (4,2,2) which might mean to equal followed by a word meaning to score or etch.

Down

1d           Play group prima donna? (5,5)
DRAMA QUEEN:  Cryptic definition of who might be the top actress in a cast of players.

2d           Disapprove of operation on model (6)
OPPOSE:  Abbreviation of operation followed by (on in a down clue) a word meaning to model or sit for an artist.

3d           Unwilling,  being sick (10)
INDISPOSED:  Double definition.

4d           The woman fixing old brogue, perhaps (4)
SHOE:  A word for “the woman”, not her but the other one, around (fixing) an O(ld).

5d           M. Proust novel must go after new bid (2-6)
NO TRUMPS:  Start with an N for new and after it put an anagram (novel) of M PROUST and split the result (2,6).

6d           Soldiers surrounding a base (4)
MEAN:  Base as in poor is a word for some soldiers, think Duke of York’s 10,000, placed around (surrounding) the A from the clue.

7d           An unpleasant task, mostly, for one of the relay runners (6)
ANCHOR:  This is the guy who runs the last leg of a relay race. He’s the AN from the clue followed by an unpleasant task but without its last letter (mostly).

8d           A move not entirely appropriate (7)
APROPOS:  The A from the clue followed by a word meaning to move, in a debate perhaps, without its last letter (not entirely).

13d         Look at fewer, even so (10)
REGARDLESS: A word meaning to look at followed by a word meaning fewer.

14d         In Whitehall the SNP number around 500, on average (5,5)
THIRD PARTY:  How the SNP might be described in Parliament.  It’s a number, not the number of SNP MPs, placed around the Roman numeral for 500 and a word for average or normal.

16d         Prior sanctimonious about reverend (8)
PREVIOUS:  A word meaning sanctimonious around (about) an abbreviation of reverend.  Nice to see the whole word for sanctimonious being used. We usually just get its abbreviation.

18d         Swine holding queue up is a giant of a man (7)
GOLIATH:  Take another word for a pig and insert (holding)  a queue, of hair, and reverse the lot (up in down clue).

19d         Plum  variety (6)
CHOICE:  Double definition.

20d         Verse type, or otherwise (6)
POETRY:  Anagram (otherwise) of TYPE OR.

22d         Extract from revolutionary Hammett novel (4)
EMMA:  If you reverse the word Hammett (revolutionary) you will be able to extract from it a Jane Austin novel.

23d         US prosecutor volunteers information (4)
DATA:  The usual US prosecutor followed by our volunterr soldiers.

The usual Monday elegance but I think top of the heap has to be 24a with 1a and 6d sharing the limelight..


Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     WROTE     +     UNDER     =     ROTUNDA

Bottom line:     SERVE     +     AISLE     =   SERVILE    

96 comments on “DT 29593
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  1. At first glance I thought I was going to struggle today. The first pass of the across clues yielded just 5 answers, but the downs provided all but 5. This was enough for me to soon have the grid completed in */** time. My wavelength medication is clearly working again.

    My last in was 19a, for no real reason, but it therefore gets my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  2. Thanks for your hints pommers as I could not work out 8d even though I got it. I agree with MalcolmR on the initial assessment and like him it all then came good assisted by some easy anagrams. 8a and 14a both great clues and the whole thing a nice zingy start to the week so **/**** for me with thanks to the clever setter. I would have been a * for difficulty but for some reason went Seraphs in 15a before realising I should stop thinking religion!

  3. A pleasant Monday puzzle with a little bit of a challenge (1.5*/3.5*). 12a was a nice pice of misdirection, with the confusion of two types of edge. 1a was amusing and 9a a clever little gem of a clue. My only quibble was with18d, whete , having mis counted the letters, I couldnt think why Goth would be synonymous with swine. Then the penny dropped. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the compiler. Reading the account in the paper it sounds like it was a vintage Superbowl, especially for Tom Brady.

  4. I invariably find Mondays the trickiest puzzle of the week, I think Campbell and I occupy different worlds. “Regardless”, unlike last week I did enjoy this puzzle a lot.
    Clues that stood out for me were 9&20a plus 7,19 (great double definition) &23d.
    2.5/4*
    Many thanks to Pommers and Campbell for the entertainment.

  5. Lots of ticks on my piece of paper today. I liked the long clues of 8a and 25a, but also the short clue of 9a. I had to resist putting “poultry” into 17a until I had more checking letters for 13d, whereby the answer became obvious. Thank you setter and Pommers. I took my husband for his COVID jab on Friday, and low and behold, just as I got back, I got a text message asking me to book my jab, as they were now doing the 16 – 64 group with underlying health conditions. That was a surprise. I rang up the surgery and they asked me to go in the next morning. I am now jabbed, and although my husband has had a very sore arm for the last three days, I have not. I have had a stonking headache. All crosswords have been lost on me over the weekend. They were no-brainers.

  6. An excellent Monday puzzle with Campbell at his most Mondayish so thanks to him for the puzzle. Thanks to pommers for the blog. As for American Football….. The entire defence do not touch the ball unless there is a fumble or interception. As for the offence, then entire offensive line with the exception of the snapper do not touch it unless they fall on it after a fumble. You may even be be in a game where one or two of the receivers don’t touch the ball during the game.

    In short the majority of players do not touch the ball and some will go their entire career without ever touching the ball.

    American Football is almost unique in this respect

    Not for me folks

        1. Because it grew from the Americans modifying the rules of Rugby Union Football. So they just dropped Rugby Union & substituted American H.
          In the UK there was Association football and Rugby Union Football. In the former the Association has now been largely dropped, in the latter the football has been dropped. Interesting to read up on the origins of professional soccer in the UK.
          Magnificent game last night &, if you knew the back story, one of the great performances of all time by Tom Brady.

          1. The only thing I will say is that I’ve not been able to avoid the words Super Bowl or football for the past month, can we now give it a rest?

            1. I’m sure pommers won’t mention it again M.
              Ice, snow, bitter cold with a biting wind so getting a real Highland winter at the minute definitely not sitooterie weather.

    1. Went to game once in Canada, it was interminable, went on for hours as they stop the clock for anything and everything. The play itself can be quite exciting but there is little of it. I agree, where does the ‘foot’ come in?
      Almost as boring as baseball which takes the biscuit for me, makes watching Geoff Boycott bat look interesting.

      1. Wash your mouth out Brian. I agree about American Football but baseball is another story. I’m a Kiwi but once you truly understand the game it is utterly fascinating, and even outdoes cricket for statistics. You’ll be in trouble with Robert Clark if he’s seen your post!

        1. Baseball only outdoes cricket for stats because they have stats for absolutely everything. And gloves so big that any ball within a mile of a fielder can be caught if he simply puts out his arm. And a bar that will only let you buy four beers for six people after queuing for twenty minutes. One lives and learns. Never again. We call it rounders in England and let the kids play it

    2. Me neither. Our eldest daughter was on the flag team so we attended the high school matches. I well remember asking, at the first match we attended “why do they keep stopping?”, being so used to English soccer. Wasn’t impressed with all the gear they wear either.

  7. This was very straightforward, no obscurities or unheard of general knowledge. */*** Entertaining while it lasted. Curious that the same anagram should appear at 15a as yesterday. Favourite 19a. Thanks to all.

  8. An enjoyable gentle canter today assisted by getting the two long answers quickly.
    I too liked the triple lurker. 👍

  9. Enjoyable and just right for a Monday. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

    I think I’d rather have Saharan dust than the snow. Not as much as forecast, but then that’s the met office being over cautious since Michael Fish got the hurricane wrong

    Had my jab yesterday morning. Now have a bruise and a sore bump on my arm, but not bad as side effects go

    1. Had mine yesterday too, the only side-effect was feeling very tired but that may have something to do with the G&T and glass of wine with dinner!

    2. I had my jab on Friday afternoon. No effects for 10 hours, then chills, shaking and hot all night with no sleep. In the morning my temperature was 38.6. I’d deliberately avoided alcohol for a couple of days before and didn’t take any paracetamol or eat on Saturday, as I think both of these interfere with the immune response, then lay like an overturned beetle till yesterday. Fever gone – appetite back.
      Mr B had his jab in the same place on Saturday, probably the same batch -no ill effects at all, although he has just broken the cafetière…….I don’t believe that is a side effect!

      1. I have been told to avoid alcohol for the next two weeks to give my immune system the best fighting chance. My husband questioned whether I really needed that many bottles of Prosecco in my supermarket order. I told him I was going to make up for lost time.

        1. We weren’t told to avoid anything after our first jabs. Have our second dose appointments this Thursday, and hoping to get no more than sore arms again. We were very lucky to be called in the first week our County was administering the shots, and it was very well organized. Now it’s handled by the State and so much harder.

  10. Like MalcolmR at #1, I thought this was going to put up a real fight after the first pass, but it gradually fell into place at a decent pace. I always enjoy these Monday puzzles, and this was spot on for a cold morning whilst keeping an eye on the last few overs of the test match. 1d my top clue ahead of 19a.

    Many thanks to Campbell for a great start to the week, and to pommers.

  11. Well it’s fair to say I got the 15a Sino-Tibetans a sight quicker today so at least the short term memory is in good order. Pretty gentle & a brisk finish in just under 1.5* time but rather enjoyed it & would say it’s up at the top end of the Campbell range. 1d & 8a were lovely openers to the get the ball rolling and also liked the other long ‘un at 25a but 12a was the clear pick of the bunch for me. Looks like Siberia outside so definitely a day to wrap up & continue with the Sopranos, which I’ve started to rewatch. A bit of folk for today’s albums: London Conversation (John Martyn) & Live As I’ll Ever Be (Chris Smither)
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers.
    Ps equally gentle Graun cryptic today also that’s fun.

  12. Very pleasant Monday crossword.
    Everything fell into place smoothly.
    Nice humourous touch in 18d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.
    We had that yellow cloud over as well and it rained dust everywhere. It’s good for fertilizing as it is full of argile. Time to clean the windows now though.

  13. Very enjoyable. My only hesitation was 6d being unsure of the clues answer relationship to base but a trip to the brb put me tight. My fav clue was 5d.
    Thx to all
    **/****

  14. A really enjoyable puzzle today. Liked 8 and 25a and 1d. Favourite is the delightfully simple 17a.

    Thanks for the Wagner ; but just as Dance of the hours is always associated for me with Allan Sherman so Die Valkyrie brings Apocalypse Now to mind. For those who never come to our northern fastness there was a surf shop near the Saltburn-on-Sea pier entrance called “Charlie Don’t Surf”. I had to go in and buy something for the sheer chutzpah of the name. I found cans of beer with the shop’s name on. A good buy.

    Good-bye.

  15. A gentle but very enjoyable start to the week. It’s cold but the snow isn’t settling in Berkshire. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  16. Like pommers, I stayed up for the Super Bowl; then I awoke early and listened to the cricket. This pleasant crossword was a joy to unravel, despite my drooping eyelids.

    Little Lola is the same, so we await the call from the vet today with a mixture of hope and concern.

    Today’s soundtrack: Van Morrison – Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers. I’m off for forty winks.

    1. I love Rave on John Donne off that album Terence. Give the Chris Smither album I’ve picked today a listen if you’re not familiar with him. I’d never heard of him & went to a gig of his a few years ago on the strength of some article & was very impressed. Think you may like it.

      1. There is a great live version with of Rave on John Donne followed by Send In The Clowns on YouTube. A great timing trick after the line ‘losing my timing this late’

  17. Today was a pleasant but not too taxing Monday puzzle. largely solved between innings at the cricket. 19d was my LOI too and it took a few checkers (well the Q anyway) to abandon the anagram in 1d. I noticed the recent repeat of 15a too but they have been in the news recently following a winter ascent of K2 by a group of same. Thanks to pommers for explaining the PARsing of PARt of 14d. and to Campbell for the puzzle.

    1. Thank you for reminding me about 14d. Whilst I bunged the answer in, I couldn’t quite parse the clue. So thanks again to Pommers for the review. The answer was clearly explained, and I’m disappointed I didn’t work it out for myself.

  18. A very pleasant and reasonably gentle introduction to the week. An enjoyable respite from that easterly wind. A fair number of the clues went in first time round helped by 8a and 25a going in fairly smoothly.
    Last one in was 14d which I deliberated over for some time before I took the plunge. The Whitehall reference rather than the more direct “W” reference had me doubting the answer but it couldn’t be much else in the end.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  19. On my Sunday evening, I solve the Monday back pager and the Weekly On-Line Prize puzzle and the latter is usually the more straightforward; not so this week. For me, this was probably the most straightforward Campbell Monday puzzle ever with no need to even think about saddling up, just as well given the minus 30 degrees temperature – */*****.
    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 25a, and 1d – and the winner is 1d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  20. Monday is my favourite crossword day 😃 ***/***** loads of favourites: 1 & 9a and 5, 14 & 19d 🤗 Apologies but I could not make a 19d 😬 Mucho gratias to Senor Pommers and of course to Campbell. It may be raining red in Spain, hopefully on the plain, but here we are all white! ⛄️

  21. Gentle lunchtime enjoyment, completed while grandson absorbed in Hey Duggee. Life doesn’t get any better. Thanks to all.

  22. Like others I found this at the easier end of Campbell’s spectrum.
    Having two long clues that sorted themselves out pretty easily helped everything fall into place in just ** time. Nothing to really cause head scratching.
    1d amused & gets my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell & pommers. Could do with some Saharan sand ( at the appropriate temperature) on the 3″ of snow on the drive.

  23. It was fairly Mondayish, except I had to pummel my brain into gear to get 3 in the top North West. Even then, I needed to drag myself away from “seraphs” at 15a, which I don’t believe are guides anyway and interfered on a general basis……slightly hard, but, given the weekend I’ve had, I’m getting back into shape. Reverse cold turkey.
    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for explanation of 14d, which was a bit of a dogs breakfast…..

    1. I too was stuck on seraphs for a long while…they became almost equally fixated on shapers…..but the penny dropped eventually with a big clang.

  24. I agree it was a very nice start to the week. I liked the misdirection in 16d and as usual enjoyed the anagrams. It has been snowing here in Cambridge all day but not settling. Just enough to stop me going for a walk in case it is slippery but I have been enjoying watching the birds in the garden,, they are so funny the way they pop in and out of my lollipop yew Tree. Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  25. Have been spending an absorbing hour or so watching my 7 month old granddaughter demonstrate on Skype just how much mess one can actually make with a Rich Tea biscuit – most amusing when it isn’t you who has to clear up after her!
    Our setter got us off to a smile-inducing start today with the delightful 8a & 1d and the humour continued right through to the obliging US prosecutor at 23d. I did note on the way that the mountain guides are getting their fair share of publicity at the moment.

    Thanks to Campbell for a very enjoyable start to the ‘working’ week and to pommers for the words and stirring music.

  26. Lovely puzzle today which I enjoyed a lot. Unfortunately the snow is settling here in North Norfolk, in fact we have blizzard like conditions. Mr M drives to Salthouse about 2 miles away to get our papers and any odds and bobs. Couldn’t get the car out this morning and bless them, they delivered the papers in their 4 x 4 around lunchtime and said to just ring if we needed to order anything else. Didn’t even know they knew where we lived but we are overwhelmed by their kindness, its a tiny little shop and to trundle over here for us is amazing. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  27. I agree wholeheartedly with Jane: 8a and 1d made this one of the most inviting Monday puzzles in some time. And the entire grid was resonant of someone really enjoying his art and craft–Campbell strutting his stuff. I also liked 10a, 14d, and 18d. I finished rather quickly, though most enjoyably. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. 1.5*/4*.

    Hope Steve C and Rabbit Dave are doing well. I miss their valuable contributions.

    RIP Christopher Plummer, whom I saw on Broadway giving the performance of his life in his one-man show ‘Barrymore’, maybe the best single star-turn I’ve ever seen live.

      1. Corky, he did so much before and after TSOM that it’s really a shame that most people know him only as Von Trapp. Did you see him as Tolstoy in The Last Station or in his Oscar-winning role in Beginners?

    1. Hi Robert
      I know College football is your thing (and mine) but I had to appreciate everything surrounding last night. I also know that Tom Brady is not liked in a lot of quarters. However did not his influence on Tampa Bay’s roster and last night’s performance elevate him even in the doubter’s eyes?
      Tampa Bay is my least favourite team as they are owned by the Glazers who have milked the soccer team I support dry. Didn’t mind when they had the worst record in the NFL. How Brady changed that!

      1. I watched the game last night in stunned disbelief–first, that KC and Mahomes could play so poorly (though M’s stats in the boxscore this morning didn’t look so bad) and with so little discipline and so many penalties; second, that the 43-yr-old Brady could be so phenomenally good and look so young, and command such devout fellow-players so charismatically. I’m not one of Brady’s detractors, though his role in the Deflate-gate scandal did cost him dearly at the time. But 7 Super Bowl titles! Don’t know anything about the Glazers but to me Tampa is Steinbrenner Country (NYYankee owners) and because of that disrepute, I always bypassed Tampa and headed straight to St Petersburg across the bay! (Ha ha.)

  28. I had question marks against 3 clues after finishing. The second meaning of
    the answer in 8d had passed me by. Similarly I have never heard of the card game and needed the hints to fully parse 14d. Apart from that it was pretty straightforward. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  29. Late today following a long walk along the cliffs really needed to blow the cobwebs away, and boy it did just that. Monday puzzle at its best. No real struggles today but again great clues, enjoyed the anagrams. I think it helps to limber up the brain with the word wheel.
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  30. That was a lot of untaxing fun and for me a relief after yesterday’s slog. Got off to a good start with quick solution of the two longuns 8a and 25a. SW corner caused just a brief hiccup. Appreciated help with fully parsing 14d. A 24a is not necessarily military. Had a cold beginning to the day after a power cut overnight which messed up the boiler and I always struggle to reset it – too much technospeak in the instructions so rang my service engineer who declined to come as he is taking the day off for his birthday (first things first!) Anyway I seem to have worked it out at last, thank goodness. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  31. Well I thought this was a great blog; I didn’t realise 11a was so handsome. Never heard of the other word for safe or 8d being described as appropriate but now I have! Thanks, Pommers for excellent multitasking and to the equally excellent Campbell.

  32. A Rookie corner crossword + a Campbell back page crossword + pommers hinty person = must be Monday again.
    Nothing too tricky today – just enough to wake-up the little grey cells with some lovely clues.
    I liked the two long answers 8 and 25a and 1 and 16d. I think my favourite was 17a although I did feel a bit sorry for the young bird.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.
    It’s been below 0C all day in Oxford with on and off light snow but nothing really lying, yet!

  33. I enjoyed today’s offering by Campbell. It really helped getting 8a straightaway and all the rest very conveniently just rolled in. Thus enabling me to nip out for some essential shopping before the sleet started to get heavier. So many favourites 8a, 10a, 25a, 1d etc. Admit to having that ‘smug good Monday feeling’ having completed it at gentle canter.
    It sets one up for the week as it will be a steady climb from hereon in! Many thanks to Campbell and the Pommers.

    Terence I do hope it’s much better news for Lola tonight.

  34. This started tricky, then got easier, then ended up tricky. I couldn’t get 14d without the hint and then it was bleedin’ obvious. I think it’s a wavelength thing. ***/***

  35. Loved it all! There was so much to like in this, hard to choose a fave. Definitely not 14d, I needed e-help for that. First one in was 8a and helped so much with the top half, much more friendly than the bottom half. I also liked 1d, but I think my fave was 18d.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun, and thanks pommers for your hints and tips.

  36. I just love Mondays and Campbell puzzles. 8a was already in my head as I walked the print out back to the breakfast table. These puzzles are a lot of fun. There are the clues which fall into your lap, and those for which you have to do some head scratching. Ok, a few where I needed the hints, e.g. 6d. But nothing obtuse, archaic or needing a GK deep dive. Perfect. Can’t pick a COTD. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  37. I’m in the “straightforward” camp this evening, although I hadn’t heard of the slang term for safe anyway I have now. Nothing more to add. Favourite was 9a, very clever. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. I was offered the vaccine last week and turned it down, at least temporarily, working on the theory that I’ve already had the virus which will offer me immunity at least as good as the vaccine and it didn’t kill me last time. Anyway somebody of my age group with existing comorbidities might appreciate it more. I’ve turned the flu vaccine down each time I’ve been offered it as well, as I’ve never had the flu.

  38. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, a very nice start to the week. Not nearly as difficult as last Monday’s was. I needed the hints to parse 8&14d. My favourite and LOI was 16d. Was 2* / 4* for me. Great fun.

  39. A very enjoyable solve which I managed to knock out, sans my LOI (19d) before I went to bed last night. */**** territory for me. I agree 9a was clever. My favourites were 8a and 22d. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell. RIP Christopher Plummer and thank you for playing Captain von Trapp. “Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow / Bloom and grow forever”

  40. I’m afraid I haven’t got to grips with Campbell yet. I did manage to finish today’s alone and unaided but it took me a long time. I will persist.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

    Snowy up here in Dundee. With more forecast, but we seem to have just avoided the Amber warning for tonight…..just yellow for us.

    1. 4 to 5ins and snowing now up here Ora. Just hope the power lines hold up. Haven’t got round to buying a generator yet.

  41. Late to the party today. 2.5*/*** Regular sort of Monday puzzle today. Solved pretty much top to bottom. Favourites for today in the clues are 9a, 10a, 14d & 22d with winner 14d

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

    1. Does it matter? Did you understand what the man who was selflessly giving up his time to help you meant? I’m sat here wondering why we bother!

  42. 2*/5*……had not been aware that the SNP are so numerous…
    liked 8A “Very little indeed of what some returning astronauts anticipated? (1,4,2,3,5)”

    1. I think you’re right! I suspect many of us simply associated drama queen with prima Donna without looking too closely st the construction. Well spotted!

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