DT 29605 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29605

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29605

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where the Covid restrictions continue.  Bars and restaurants remain closed and we can’t travel outside the Communitat Valenciana.  It’s likely to stay this way until  March 1st  or later.  At least infection rates are coming down and the vaccination programme has started so there’s light at the end of the tunnel – I just hope it isn’t the headlight of an oncoming train!

Maybe it’s just me having an off day but I found today’s puzzle a fair bit trickier than the last few Monday puzzles have been.  It was also very entertaining as some of the pennies dropped so all in all one of the better Monday offerings for some time. I’ll be interested to find out if you guys agree.

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.


1a           Contacted by phone caught express (3,7)
GOT THROUGH:  A word which can mean caught, as in caught a disease, followed by a word to describe an express train or one that goes all the way to its destination without intermediate stops,

6a           Experts: card sharks, primarily (4)
ACES:  A playing card followed by an S (Sharks primarily).

9a           American, after drink, quietly fell over in children’s play area? (6,4)
RUMPUS ROOM:  Start with a drink beloved by sailors and pommette and after it you need the letter for quietly in musical notation, two letters for American and finally a fell or hill reversed (over).  Not a phrase I’d come across before but at least it could be worked out once the checkers were in place.

10a         Some crocodiles around open-air pool (4)
LIDO:  This pool is hiding in (some) the word crocodiles but it’s reversed (around).

12a         Come to  watch (4)
WAKE:  Double definition.  The watch is one held over a dead body before burial.

13a         Finely chop heart for pie filling (9)
MINCEMEAT:  A word meaning finely chop followed by a word which can mean heart gives a pie filling popular at Christmas.

15a         Often  visit  common (8)
FREQUENT:  We don’t often see these but it’s a triple definition.

16a         Recalled a better article about large animal (6)
ALPACA:  Take the A from the clue, a word meaning to better or outdo and an indefinite article.  Place that lot around (about) an L(arge) and then reverse it all (recalled).

18a         Basin and toilet with a nasty smell (6)
LAVABO:  A slang term for a toilet followed by the A from the clue and then a nasty body odour.

20a         Article about family’s philosophy (8)
THINKING:  Another word for an article or item placed around the usual family.

23a         Study a French instrument in puzzle (9)
CONUNDRUM:  A word meaning to study followed by the French indefinite article and finally a musical instrument as played here by the great Ginger Baker . . .

24a         Free duck and swan (4)
OPEN:  The letter representing a duck in cricket followed by a female swan.

26a         I try to describe a villainous Shakespearean character (4)
IAGO:  The I from the clue followed by a word for a try or attempt placed around (to describe) the A from the clue.

27a         Sensitive police officer unlikely to claim after pressure applied (10)
DIPLOMATIC:  Two letters for a police officer in the CID followed by an anagram (unlikely) of TO CLAIM after a P for pressure.

28a         Boring student starts to name each ruddy dog! (4)
NERD:  First letters (starts to) of the last four words of the clue.

29a         Protested heatedly, as Adam and Eve did? (6,4)
RAISED CAIN:  A phrase meaning protested heatedly could also describe what Adam and Eve did with their eldest son.


1d           Hollywood star discarding old clothes (4)
GARB:  A Swedish film star without the O (discarding O(ld)).

2d           String round lamb cooked in meat dish? (7)
TIMBALE:  Another word for a string around (round) an anagram (cooked) of LAMB.

3d           Stay-at-home dad has unused hob worked out? (5,7)
HOUSE HUSBAND:  Anagram (worked out) of HAS UNUSED HOB.

4d           Performing with US rock group, also inside awaiting a hearing (2,6)
ON REMAND:  Start with a word meaning performing or working and follow with a three letter American rock band that’s very useful to crossword setters. After that put a word meaning also and split the result (2,6).

5d           Grand circular stadium (6)
GROUND:  G(rand) followed by a word meaning circular.

7d           Idle fancy about that man, English artist (7)
CHIMERA:  A single letter for about followed by a word meaning “that man“ the an E(nglish) and finally the usual artist.

8d           Like some weapons Grant repositioned in land bordering the sea (5-5)
SHORT RANGE:  An anagram (repositioned) of GRANT placed inside (in) a word for the land next to the sea,

11d         In the loop, newly employed fellow minder (4-8)
WELL INFORMED:  Anagram (newly employed) of FELLOW MINDER.

14d         Suffering in Florida during a romance (10)
AFFLICTION:  Take the A from the clue and a word for a romance or story and insert the abbreviation of Florida.

17d         Quiet leisurely walk ending in horrendous fiasco (8)
SHAMBLES:  Two letters for quiet or “be quiet” followed by a word for a leisurely walk and then an S (ending in horrendouS).

19d         Condiment given a shaking, right? (7)
VINEGAR:  Anagram (shaking) of GIVEN A followed by R(ight).

21d         Ship heading off with Spanish aunt showing a tendency to do nothing (7)
INERTIA:  A large passenger ship without its first letter (heading off) followed by the Spanish word for aunt.  The name of this drink means Aunt Mary . . .

22d         Pottery in horse-drawn Russian carriage (6)
TROIKA:  The name of a pottery that was based in St Ives in Cornwall in the 1960’s and 70’s is also a Russian carriage or sled drawn by three horses in line abreast.

25d         Examine small tin (4)
SCAN:  S(mall) followed by another word for a tin.

I think 18a has to be favourite closely followed by 15a and 9a.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     JIGGER     +     LOWS     =     GIGOLOS

Bottom line:     ANNA     +     KISSED     =     ANARCHIST

110 comments on “DT 29605

  1. 2*/4*. This made a very nice start to the week.

    It took a while for the penny to drop regarding the meaning of “through” required in 1a, and I’ve heard of neither the expression in 9a nor the pottery in 22d so both these two needed a bit of investigoogling.

    It was all good stuff including both Quickie puns, but I have no specific favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  2. I found it trickier than usual and, for me anyway, not quite as much fun. I thought 9a was an American play area?

    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell and many happy returns of the day to the wonderful Mr Squires

  3. This had me working quite hard with a couple of new words/phrases that needed electronic confirmation, but they were all fairly clued….so no, I don’t think you were having an off day Pommers!
    As Pommers also said, the extra difficulty provided some very nice penny drop moments. I particularly liked 8&17d plus 24&27a
    Many thanks to Campbell and to our reviewer for the top notch entertainment.

  4. There were some awkward words without indication of foreign origin in this puzzle; 9a is a term, which I have only come across in the USA and 18a only in France ( though Mr G informs me that it is also a piece of ecclesiastical paraphernalia). 29a was an amusing clue and 19 d had good misdirection in a good way. However, the definition of 2d as exclusively a meat dish was misleading in a bad way. Altogether tricky, irritating at times but doable (2*/3*). Thanks to Pommers and the compiler.

    1. I thought the same as you re the “meat” dish at 2d Chris but I think the question mark at the end of the clue justifies it as an example.

      1. Some foreign imports or ‘loan words’ are in common use in the UK and may not need an indication. Those used today in 9a and 18a are ones that are not, as far as I gave heard in common use here and perhaps more of a steer might have been appropriate, certainly for less experienced crossworders, whom we want to encourage.

  5. Campbell has such a large repertoire of tricks that he seems to have multiple personalities as a setter. I thought today’s excellent Monday setting showed yet another identity for him, so much so that I found myself all over the grid, bouncing around from corner to corner, ending up in the SE, where I dwelt for a spell. Although I didn’t ‘know’ the pottery, 22d was what it had to be and opened up that corner for me, which quickly resolved itself. That old chestnut, 29a, helped me on to a 2.5* finish. Podium highlights: 1a, 11d, 15a–just to pick three off the cuff. Very fine challenge. Thanks to pommers, whose review I’ll read now, and to Campbell. 2.5* / 4*

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and agree that it was a bit trickier than normal but still doable.
    A delightful cornucopia demonstrating the delights that loanwords can bring to our version of English. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. Happy Birthday to Rufus

  7. As triple definitions are such rare birds, 15a was my top clue this morning. I thought the whole puzzle was a little more challenging than the average Monday but still maintained a high degree of fun and enjoyment.

    My thanks to Campbell for a great start to the solving week and to pommers.

  8. An enjoyable start to my Sunday evening solving completed at a gallop so perhaps a little more tricky than usual. A few ‘visits’ to the BRB were required, 2d for example, that doesn’t happen very often for a Monday back pager. I did have quite a large Hmm over what I thought was the quite obscure ‘pottery part’ of 22d but that had no real impact on solving the clue. 2.5*/3.5*
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 29a, and 7d – and the winner is 29a.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  9. A lot more difficult than the usual Monday fare. ***/** I had to check Mr. G to confirm 2d. It’s not something I’ve ever cooked! I didn’t think the play area in 9a was exclusively a children’s room but I am familiar with the term. The pottery in 22d was an unknown to me also. So, altogether a fair bit of head scratching here. Favourite for it’s triple definition 15a. Thanks to all.

  10. Slow but steady today, however resorted to the hint at 29a. I have never heard of that expression before. Mind you aged 34 I had a malignant melanoma removed at Addenbrookes and the surgeon said he had ‘done a belt and braces job’ on my shoulder. Having never heard that expression I burst into tears thinking it was something quite dreadful. My dear surgeon, who I saw 3-monthly for 7 years, decided he must not use those words again! Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

    1. Meanders I am hugely impressed by your puzzle! I accessed it on my phone but I am just hopeless at filling in the grids digitally and shall have to download it onto paper to finish it ir I shall lose my marbles. I’m am old fashioned girl! But I like what I’ve done so far. Clever girl!

    2. Just completed the Rookie Corner puzzle & scanned through the comments.
      I felt a little deflated when the setter popped in to reveal she was not in fact you.
      How about knocking up a quick cryptic for us anyway…..

  11. Yet again, I was unable to finish this unaided. I knew the carriage at 22d, but a small time pottery that closed 40+ years ago?, Puhlease.

    I didn’t know the Spanish Aunt, all mine are English, and surely the man in 3d doesn’t have to be a Dad. I just couldn’t see 12a.

    29a was my last one in and therefore my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    1. You’ve obviously not watched enough Flog It. The pottery appears regularly and is known as a Flog It Favourite

      1. Never heard of Flog It, is that another hunt for antiques show? I love them, I hope we get them here, I’ll look out for it.

        1. It is M. Though it has been going years, so I doubt if your networks will take it up now. People bring along stuff to be valued by experts (I am tempted to put in inverted commas) then take it to auction.

    2. My knowledge of both the pottery and the sleigh come from cryptic crossword puzzles Malcolm. It is a word that has joined many others in the part of my memory labelled ‘only ever needed for cryptic use’ it’s been seen before. It will be seen again and it may well appear on University Challenge and offer you a chance to shine

      1. Too busy raisin’ cain – a line in which Van song ?
        Just come to me while putting the kettle on.

        1. Bruce said Adam raised a Cain. As for Van Morrison, I thought yes, one of his recent offerings. I had to look it up. 1999. As recently as that

    3. Totally agree Malcolm. Far too difficult for most.

      Not heard of about 6 or 7 of the answers. Rumpus Room, Raised Cain, Stroika, Lavabo, no idea on Spanish Aunt, the parsing of Alpaco and several others……

      If every DT crossword was like this I d give up.

  12. Not too bad on the top half but the bottom was a real b….r. Three words unknown to me in 2d, 18a and 22d (at least the pottery was unknown). Don’t mind one obscure word providing the word play is fair but three of them is taking the mickey.
    Thx to the hints for explaining my answers to 12a, 4d, 11d and 22d.
    No favourites as I didn’t think too much of this puzzle.
    Thx for the hints.

  13. Came across a few obstacles today, namely the 1a express, Grant’s weapons and what I’m sure is an old chestnut at 12a. I also learned something new about Spanish aunts thanks to our reviewer! I did know the children’s play area but thought it was specifically an American term.
    Top three here were 15&29a plus 17d.

    Thanks to Campbell for the workout and to pommers for an excellent review. Many happy returns to Rufus whose puzzles I’m sure we all remember fondly.

    1. Although I believe that 9a is an American term, as it was an American who fell over drunk in it, I considered that was a good enough indication of its provenance (even though perhaps a pedant might argue that American is then doing double duty!) :wink:

  14. Again a toughish Monday for me, completed in just over *** with *** pleasure.
    Knew of the pottery but not 2d. LOI was 12a. Another of those dreaded 4 letter words with both checkers in. I didn’t know the second meaning & that it started with “w” just added to the time!
    Although almost certainly a chestnut 29a was my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell & pommers for the review.
    Lovely sunny day again up here and days lengthening nicely.

  15. Found it a bit on the toughie side but I always like a challenge.
    The SE being the hardest.
    Learned a couple of new things in the process.
    Favourite 8d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  16. I thought that this was a difficult puzzle, certainly for a Monday , last in was 22d ,I tried to find the pottery as I thought that the definition was a double meaning-thanks Pommers for confirmation, and the drink came to mind re the Spanish Aunt -we live and learn,
    Diverse cluing and most enjoyable, a ***/**** for me too.
    Stand out clue and favourite had to be 27a

  17. Not boasting but I found to be a pleasant ramble in the crossword park. I guess I’m having a good day.
    29a was my last in and my favourite.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  18. Glad I speak Spanish for aunts and basins. Knew the carriage from classical music.
    Fairly straightforward. No hints required today. Could do with them for the quick one!
    Liked 29a
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  19. Pleased to see I am not alone in thinking this was a little trickier than normal for a Monday. I had never heard of 9a despite staying for a week with a family in Delaware that had toddler triplets. The room they played in was called the cellar. I agree with YS about 15a but my favourites are the wonderfully neat 12a and 20a.

    I knew the carriage in 22d from our days as antique dealers. A number of Russian lacquer boxes with these painted on the lid passed through our hands. Highly collectable (if the are not modern).

    Thanks to Campbell for the brain teasing and to Pommers fr the hints. I will now go and watch Ginger Baker.

    Happy Birthday, Rufus.

    1. If you were an antique dealer you might tell me what I’m going to do with all my ‘stuff’. I asked my grandson, about to move into a big 4 bedroom house and with a lot of space to fill, if there was anything he wanted. He looked around all our old inherited things then said no thank you grandma, I don’ t think so! Very deflating.

      1. I envied the pieces that George bought directly from the carpenter. I even looked him up. Failed to save anything though and now cannot remember his name. Such is life

      2. It’s sad, I know, DG, but apparently, the stuff that is now selling for hundreds of squids is, believe it or not, 60s and 70s G Plan and Ercol teak furniture – you know the sort of thing: wall units, nests of tables, dining tables and chairs, plus chrome or brass and glass coffee tables and lamps from the same era. Also crockery etc like Denby. It’s called MidCentury, it’s desirable and sells out of Marylebone shop windows (via units and warehouses somewhere). My daughter and SIL put me onto online sites to look at it. Leaving aside the amount of profit people are making out of it, it’s a small niche market. I didn’t like it then, I still don’t, but it’s vintage, so……… on the plus side, some man gave my OH some G plan bookcases and chairs for an office, which are still sitting in our garage, so something to be passed on to the millennials+
        Inevitably, the next vintage, in 2030 or so, will be stripped pine, Morris prints and Laura Ashley.

        1. I know! I realise that mid century is all the rage and I agree, I never cared for it. But it is heart-breaking when I have for instance an Elizabethan chest which has been in the family since we don’t know when and so on, I feel I am letting the side down by not passing them on. When we got married (and everyone was buying G-Plan and we knew one of the daughters of G-Plan) we had no money or credit cards and were so grateful for all the old stuff from Grandmother. Changed times.

          1. When Mrs. C and I first got together we bought all of our furniture from antique auctions. We still have it because it was well made out of solid wood such as mahogany. We also had furniture donated by our families and these items were equally well made.

            G-plan? Why?

  20. A good deal more demanding than usual. Not sure I can recall a Campbell production with so many things I was unfamiliar with so it was just as well the wordplay was so well clued. Never heard of 9a, which sounded very American, nor 18a. I assumed 22d was a double meaning but only knew the conveyance & not the Cornish pottery & reminded me of the great Criquette Head filly Three Troikas who beat Troy in the Arc in 79. Always associated 29a more with rowdiness than protest & it’s bugging me that it’s in a Van Morrison lyric that I just can’t bring to mind. Into *** time by completion but very enjoyable indeed. Thought 2d clever as the answer isn’t exclusively a meat dish but 4d was my favourite. Today’s albums: Can’t Buy A Thrill (Steely Dan) & Carolina Confessions (The Marcus King Band)
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers

    1. Ps I see Manders has a crossword in Rookie Corner which I hope we all have a go at & comment on.

      1. It turns out it was set by a different Manders, who has volunteered to undergo a name change.

          1. I must admit Daisygirl, I read your comment above and had absolutely no idea what you were talking about. I thought I must have had one too many! Hands up, definitely not me!

            1. Silvanus congratulated you on the puzzle and has even commiserated about the loss of your allotment!
              Found about half the puzzle too tough for me.

                1. Perhaps we’ll see you in Rookie Corner as well, now?! There’s a challenge ;-)

                  And yes, I was sorry to read about your allotment. The other Manders must have wondered why I mentioned it, though!

  21. One man’s meat etc…….
    It’s an easy puzzle to nitpick today – I prefer to think of it as educational. It didn’t hold me up as, even if I didn’t know one version of an answer, I would often know the other, e.g. the pottery or the Spanish aunt weren’t in my vocabulary store, but they were got from the clue. Weirdly, I knew the basin, but I can’t remember where from…….
    I kept trying to fit in “a fling” or an “affair” or even “a thing” at 14a, before uttering “a hurrah”…….What a great clue!
    As is 29a……..very clever.

    Not really Mondayish, but fun nevertheless. Who could have lived this long without knowing what the Spanish for aunt is……but now I do! It may come in handy, you never know……
    An observation – 6 of 30 clues had an answer that ended in a vowel (other than E). I don’t know if that is unusual….someone might know….
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell?

    1. When I was a young whippersnapper I worked in a pub and served a lady and her husband who always ordered Tia Maria by asking for an Auntie Maria. I’ve remembered this for nearly fifty years but only now realised why they called it by that name

      1. It’s a Jamaican concoction, who knows why they gave it a Spanish name. We always pour a little over coffee or vanilla ice cream, yum yum.

        1. In the days when restaurants gave a choice of liqueurs for your “ speciality” coffee, TM was always my favourite. It seemed obvious really, although I’ve no idea how it’s made. Is it like Limoncello, which is just yellow coloured, lemon flavoured base spirit?
          I’m just taking all the romance out of it……….

          1. I have no idea how it’s made but Jamaica is famous for its coffee, Blue Mountain coffee, but I doubt they’d use Blue Mountain for that.

          2. Hehehe, I see it’s now made in Italy – why? Made with rum, coffee beans, vanilla and sugar, all Jamaican specialties, oh well.

  22. Having survived 60+ years (40 of them running it) being employed our family’s textile business, which is 170 years old; I am now faced with a new challenge .Most of the time it was like a badly designed obstacle course. I came late to crossword puzzles , so I have alot of catching up to do to keep up with fiendish clue writing. BUT , a new problem faces me most days, which is testing . It is actually finding exactly where the system hides the thing . Recently the tired intellect is faced with a chase round the choices . I am certain this is not down to your organisation.
    Entering the add-on hunt has become another excitement.

  23. I have lots of ticks against several clues I liked, but a big cross against 1d. The Hollywood Walk of Fame has well over two thousand stars in several pavements in LA. There was no indication as to which star I should pick, other than I had to remove the “o”. I suppose I could have just looked up synonyms for “clothes”, and I would have got there faster. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  24. A nice crossword to start the non-work week with. I found this to be a **/**** offering with some nice clues that were cleverly constructed like 1a, 9a & 21d and a couple that made me chuckle … 9a, 13a & 18a.
    Favourites other than those mentioned are 1a, 23a, 2d, 7d & 22d with my winner being 1a
    Overall a good puzzle and fun to solve, that was made all the better for me not needing to use any hints. That’s always very satisfying I find.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers for hints

  25. I found this a reasonable monday crossword.
    Struggled with 29A until they played Bruce Springsteen on the radio.

  26. Good fun but short on general knowledge in three places in particular – 2d, 29a and 21a. Glad I did it though for the Tia Maria fact!

  27. We got on well with this, knew 18a from church, 2d from cooking and have a piece of 22d (although I did wonder how cryptic this was). My sister in law is Spanish so am familiar with auntie. Found the quickie more of a head scratcher – george knew the sail but all I could think of were dips. I hate the now universal ‘see you’ for good bye. Really? I think the quickie was a Pangram. Thanks to Pommers and the setter at the start of another week!

    1. Without See you the kids wouldn’t have come up with the insult ‘See ya, See ya. Wouldn’t wanna be ya’ So it’s worth it’s salt if only for that

      1. Well I don’t know, MP, I think I could live without that. I suppose See You is slightly better than See You Later which irritates me when you know full well you are never going to see the person again!

    2. Regarding that jigger, my father in law had one, but I’m not sure he ever used it as such…….the nearest he came to a cocktail was his favourite tipple, pink gin – no need for measuring there or sometimes a horse’s neck – ditto.

  28. Certainly more tricky than the usual, frequent but never common Campbell but wonderfully clued with quite a lot of headscratching necessary. 14d, 15, and 29a all worthy of mention but the most enjoyable was 29a. This may be an old chestnut to some but to me it was a newly minted delight.

    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell for a good lunchtime solve.

  29. Started very slowly, but picked up speed at the end. Knew 9a but have always disliked that term, sounds rather affected somehow. Never seen or eaten 2d. And 18a was a new word for me. Got 22d just because I knew the carriage. Never heard of the pottery though, despite a holiday in St. Ives in 1965. Place was full of beatniks. We drove there (a couple of soppy teenagers) in an old green Morris Minor from Maidenhead. Managed to lose third gear on the way home. Will always remember the very strict B&B landlady who made it very clear that we had better not visit each other’s bedrooms, a real harridan. We were there for two weeks, lovely for the first four days, and then non stop rain for the last 10 days. Thought 29a was a perfect clue. Thanks to Campbell for a good challenge today and to Pommers for the hints.

    1. 2d made me think of my favourite starter in the Bull Run restaurant in Sandton, Joburg – Carpaccio Timbale (Beef fillet, celery, mushroom, shallots, rocket, balsamic, basil pesto & truffle oil) – a generous portion for about a fiver.
      Usually in Joburg playing golf around now – one wonders if & when it will happen again.

  30. This went swimmingly for the most part then I got hung up on 18a of course it all made perfect sense after looking at the hints. Another hold up was 2d, I am sure I have heard gthe term on one ogf gthe various coking programmes, still as I havere said we learn something new every day. A favourite clue for me 29a.
    Off to source a new ipad, mine just gave up the ghost and no end of fiddling would wake it up. All in all a cracking start to the week, I expect a stinker in the near future. The quick crossword was very tricky though.
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell

  31. In common with most, I found this very tricky.
    It was completed in haste this morning because H had a couple of hospital appointments in the late morning and early afternoon. On our rare motoring adventures during the day, I’m finding there are fewer people walking along the pavements, but more traffic on the roads than any time in the last twelve months.

    Today’s soundtrack: Saint Etienne – London Conversations

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

    1. Wasn’t Lola going to see the vet today? Your ladies all seem to be in trouble! Best wishes to both of them.

  32. Thanks Pommers, you’re not the only one to find this Monday puzzle quite challenging!
    I certainly did need your hints to complete the SE corner having never heard of the pottery, the expression for 29A, or the Spanish auntie!
    Oh well…every day’s a school day…thanks to Campbell for the lesson…I shall try and tuck these into a fading memory to remember for next time😜

  33. Isn’t it strange ? I’ve been struggling with Monday crosswords for weeks now, just unable to get on Campbell’s wavelength whilst enviously reading others’ comments about how straightforward or ‘monday-ish’ they are (presumably synonyms for easy). Then today I actually do find this one straightforward and very enjoyable to complete and most people seem to have found it difficult and not very enjoyable.

    One man’s meat etc etc.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

    Beautiful day here today. Mild and sunny with very little wind. Ideal for our walk past the lollipop lady who is so pleased to see lots of children back at school again. (Nursery and primaries 1, 2 and 3 along with some older kids are back here from today). The poor lady has had to stand out in all the snow and rain to let the children of key workers cross the road safely since January. And how many children of key workers were there, I hear you ask ? Precisely 3.

  34. Very enjoyable puzzle today – I laughed out loud at 29a, so that’s my COTD. Unbelievably, my last one in was 16a – even after reading the hint, and seeing the image, I persisted in trying to shove a llama in there, hoping for a little known spelling variant to emerge! Sorry Pommers, some people just won’t be helped…

  35. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. I’m sure Monday’s puzzles are becoming the hardest in the week. For me anyway. Needed the hints to parse 12a,21&22d, and to solve 17d & 16a. Had never heard of 9&18a or 2d, but managed to get them from the wordplay. Favourite was 19d, as I found this anagram was well hidden. Was 3* /4* for me.

  36. I never find Campbell as easy as the rest of you seem to and I certainly didn’t today – really tricky.
    I knew the Russian carriage but just couldn’t remember it for ages and didn’t know the pottery bit anyway.
    Couldn’t do 1a for ages.
    Everyone seems to say that 29a is a chestnut but I don’t think I’ve ever met it before – or have forgotten it.
    12a was my last one.
    My favourite was either 23 or 28a.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  37. Took a couple of visits to this Monday crossword – started in the NE corner fairly well then hit some blanks. I’d go for 9a,18a, 29a,2d as tricky and for some reason I kept looking at 12a before the penny dropped becoming the last one in. I’m going with 22d as my pick today.
    Thx to the setter and Pommers.

  38. I love this blog for the bits of info it throws up re: Tia Maria. Didn’t spot the anagram in 11d, so last in. Ta to all.

  39. I started out of the gate at speed but came to a halt when not quite finished. First, I had the wrong answer at 14d, that meant 15a was unsolved, so was 12a. I didn’t know the pottery, so just bunged in the carriage.
    I really enjoyed this, I think 29a is fave, but love the word at 23a.
    Thank you Campbell, great fun, and thanks to pommers for sorting out my error. Happy, happy birthday Rufus, you have no idea how much you’re missed!

  40. As usual, found the Monday crossword a challenge. But gradually worked my way through it until I blocked on 12a for which I needed the hint. I knew of the carriage at 22d so just bunged it in. Also 18a which is a familiar French word for ‘basin’ but had no idea it was legitimate in English. 9a was unknown but readily built up from the clue, 26a was a bung-in and thanks to Pommers for explaining this and several other clues. Loved 28a and 29a. ***/***

  41. I’m in the “trickier than normal” camp this evening. I thought the express in 1a was a bit of a stretch, never heard of the basin in 18a or the dish (meat?) In 2d. Obviously never heard of the Spanish aunt, I have to use an online translator for even the simplest foreign language words but at least I had the wit to do so. I really must try to remember some of the seemingly infinite number of horse drawn carriages, I think “that will never come up again” which of course they don’t until they do. Never heard of the pottery though. Favourite was 29a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  42. Delightful puzzle today! Too many favourites to list, although 22d and 12a are up there. Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers. We’re expecting 30c temperatures in Christchurch, New Zealand today, and yesterday (the 22nd) was the tenth anniversary of the disastrous earthquake, which killed 185 people, and destroyed much of the city. A Remembrance Service was held, which was very moving, and many lessons have been learned. 🌹

  43. This felt quite tough but eventually dropped out quicker than expected, though needed the hints to understand some of the parsing, e.g. 1a. Favourites 23a and 29a.
    I save the crossword for the evening , so probably will be last to comment.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Doesn’t matter whether you are first or last, your comment will still be read by many people

  44. Thought this was the hardest Monday puzzle for sometime. Was able to parse 2d, 9a and 18a but all new to me. Trying to improve my French at the moment but certainly didn’t know the Spanish aunt in 21d. And my RE wasn’t up to scratch although I’ve heard of the phrase for 29a. Thank you Pommers for the explanations.

  45. 4*/3*…..several obscurities for a Monday puzzle….
    liked 10A “Some crocodiles around open-air pool (4)”

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