DT 29641 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29641

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29641

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where I know that Spring has sprung because the swallows are back form their travels.  Unfortunately the weather forecasters don’t agree and say it’s going to go cold and wet for a few days from Wednesday before normal service is resumed next week. Oh well, they aren’t always right.

Today we have a pretty normal Monday puzzle. I thought it was going to be a bit tricky when I only got six of the acrosses on first pass but then the downs came to the rescue in a big way, yielding ten out of the fourteen clues.  The missing answers just filled themselves in after that leaving me wondering why I missed them the first time.  Just being a bit slow I guess.

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

5a           Sharp expert playing crib (7)
ACERBIC:  The usual expert followed by an anagram (playing) of CRIB.

7a           Daughter, with bad back, in decline (5)
DROOP:  D(aughter) followed by a reversal (back) of a word meaning bad or low grade.

9a           Sound level for listeners (6)
STRAIT:  The sort of sound that’s between the island of Anglesey and North Wales sounds like (for listeners) a word meaning level or aligned.  Any excuse for a bit of Dire Straits . . .

10a         Course holding permit for gambling game (8)
ROULETTE:  A word meaning to permit is inserted into (holding) a word for a course.

11a         Wimbledon feature — inform tribunal (5,5)
GRASS COURT:  The first word is a slang term meaning to inform, the police perhaps, and the second word is a tribunal or place where trials take place.  I got the second word straight away but for some reason the penny took ages to drop on the first.

13a         Stay for start of party (4)
PROP:  A word meaning for followed by a P (start of Party).

14a         One wielding power behind the scenes, unpredictable in emergencies (8,5)
EMINENCE GRISE:  Anagram (unpredictable) of IN EMERGENCIES.  I think this is one of those terms that only ever get used in crosswords.

16a         Primarily, come here in Cannes, the height of fashion (4)
CHIC:  First letters (primarily) of the next four words of the clue.

17a         Advocates having protective rails across street (10)
BARRISTERS:  Some protective rails are placed around (across) the usual two letters for street.

19a         Italian football club, very European, in unjust broadcast (8)
JUVENTUS:  V(ery) and E(uropean) are inserted into (in) an anagram (broadcast) of UNJUST.

20a         Popular pointer receiving attention (2,4)
IN HAND:  The usual word for popular or at home followed by a pointer on a clock perhaps.

22a         Old character in two minds about hospital (5)
THORN:  Put a word meaning in two minds, as in undecided, around an H(ospital) to get an old character and you get a character of runic origin used in Old and Middle English.

23a         In consequence, departed after island cut off (7)
ISOLATE:  Start with I for Island and after it you need a word meaning in consequence (2) and then a word describing someone who has departed as in died.

Down

1d           Huge Greek character blowing top (4)
MEGA:  A Greek letter without its first letter (blowing top).

2d           Old boy’s story about opening of cell block (8)
OBSTACLE:  The usual abbreviation of Old Boy, don’t forget the S, followed by another word for a story placed around (about) a C (opening of Cell).

3d           Modify top of dress during a fitting (6)
ADJUST:  D (top of Dress) placed inside (during) the A from the clue and a word meaning fitting or fair.

4d           Fielder putting cap on head (5,5)
COVER POINT: A fielding position on a cricket pitch is a word for a cap or lid and a word for head or sharp end.

5d           Flower expert miles off (5)
ASTER:  A word for an expert without its initial M (Miles off).

6d           Police officer collecting King, US novelist heard in college (6,7)
CORPUS CHRISTI:  Start with a slang word for a police officer and insert R (collecting king).  Then you need the US from the clue and finally some letters which aren’t an English word but if pronounced would sound like (heard) the novelist who wrote about Hercule Poirot.

8d           Road hazard — this is removed in Dorset resort (7)
POTHOLE:  The letters IS are removed from the word THIS to leave the TH. This is then inserted into (in) a resort in Dorset.  The answer was pretty clear but it took me a while to spot how it works, d’oh!

12d         Lit  with it (8,2)
SWITCHED ON:  Double definition.

14d         Drain  pipe fitted to vehicle (7)
EXHAUST:  Double definition.

15d         Network press pitch for Americans (8)
GRIDIRON:  A word for a network followed by a word meaning to press one’s clothes.

17d         Extremely cold, some climb it in Garmisch (6)
BITING:  A lurker hiding in (some) the last four words.

18d         Fury involving new kitchen stove (5)
RANGE:  Insert N(ew) into (involving) another word for fury.

21d         Pick up article brought in by that woman (4)
HEAR:  An indefinite article inserted into (brought in by) a word meaning that woman.

Quite a lot of blue today but favourite was 3d with 14d and 9a on the podium.


Quick crossword puns:

Top line:          IN TURN     +     MEANT     =     INTERNMENT

Bottom line:    STARE    +     WELLES     =     STAIRWELLS

164 comments on “DT 29641
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    1. Hear hear MP! There have a few ‘sans corners’ offerings lately but even these had 28 clues. I guess the setters were busy over Easter. Anyway, thanks Campbell and Pommers🦇

  1. A nicely constructed crossword with just enough challenge to keep you guessing in places (2*/4*). I found it very enjoyable, although there may be too much GKfor some folk. 9a was a good geographical clue and 14a a great historical clue, whilst 17a was well disguised but COTD for me was 22a. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the compiler.

  2. What a lovely way to start the crosswording week. Like our blogger, I thought this was going to be awkward, but it soon fell into place with 8d my COTD.

    My thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers.

  3. Good stuff, best Monday crossword for ages for me, really enjoyed it.
    I’d never heard of the 14a term, easily gettable from the checkers and fodder, I quite like it and will endeavour to drop it into conversation to impress my fellow proles.
    I’ve singled out 5,7,11&13a plus12&15d as podium contenders but my favourite is the clever 8d.
    2/4*
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the entertainment

  4. Am now approaching 101 yrs. Have been doing Telegraph crosswords almost daily since teens and father’s Times.Late rising today but completed before 10 am. So many compilers thru the years.
    Kuz

      1. Welcome from me too. My father started me on the London Evening News picture crossword at age 6-7 and I went on to the Junior Crossword in the same paper before sharing the adult version with him. Wonderful memories.

        1. A very warm welcome . I started in my teens but first my parents started with Daily Mail crosswords but soon we moved to The Telegraph. It Is lovely to know that you finished it before some of us have even opened the paper.
          Loved today’s crossword though hubby had to help with 14 a. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    1. Welcome from me too. My grandfather used to do the Telegraph and I believe the Times cryptics. My mum also has done them for yonks too. I guess I picked it up from her and really enjoy them.
      Good for the mind

    2. You’re a miracle, as Jen says, crossword solved before most of us have even looked at it. Im floored! I can’t use old age as an excuse again!

    3. Welcome and best wishes. I’ve only been doing these for 52 years, so I suppose I am still a newbie then 😊.

    4. So pleased to hear from you. Just shows that keeping the brain exercised is as important as the body.
      .

  5. I remember the time when Lord Mandelson was called a 14a. A minister without portfolio indeed.
    4d was a bit of a wild guess but it paid off.
    Took a while to parse 8d too.
    Very enjoyable Easter Monday offering.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review.

        1. There was another public figure who referred to himself as a 14a a number of years ago. It later came to light, after his death, that he was a very very nasty person indeed

          I steer away from the term as a result, as I do from using the expression “Now then, now then”

  6. I struggled a bit with this but it was fairly clued. Like a few others, I have never heard of 14a and I had the same trouble with 11a that Pommers had. The lurker was so well hidden it took me an age to suss it out. Plenty of good clues such as 9a and 17a but my COTD is 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to pommers for the hints.

    After a gorgeous day yesterday, it is now snowing in Shropshire!

        1. I am so glad I stopped myself from sewing the vegetable seeds and first early spuds. I’d get the same result if I’d put them in the freezer.

              1. The farmer sows his seeds.
                His wife sews his trousers.
                And so they both sew/sow.

                Correct spelling of the last word please

  7. Good fun through this morning. Only got held up by 12d and 14a and by the parsing of 22a. I thought the latter was a great clue but did not know where the old character came from. I confess I did not know the person wielding power but did not hold me up too long once I realised it was an anagram. I even thought it might be about a backstage electrician. I’m happy with it but wonder whether everyone well be as no reference to the French. Favourite is 11a. I am surprised I’ve not circled more, but probably more to do with the solving speed. Thanks very much to Campbell presumably as Pommers. I will now e joy his hints and the comments.

  8. Sorry to strike a contrary note but I can’t say I would count this one amongst my favourite Campbell productions. Not sure why really but somehow the clues (what few there were) failed to rock my boat plus I made unnecessarily hard work of a couple of them too. Last in was Richelieu’s buddy at 14a. I was well aware of the word & its origins but with the checkers my first thought was that the second word was guide & once you’ve a notion in your head it’s difficult to dislodge despite the anagram indicator shouting out at you. Pick of the bunch for me was 8d.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers

    1. Yes, I couldn’t think of a word which would fit with the available letters other than Guide, which is hardly surprising. So much so that I wondered if we were looking for a proper name. (Endeavour Morse did not fit the checkers)

      1. Despite my frequent crickety moans, I did get that. Perhaps a little sporting knowledge is rubbing off on me.

        1. We’ll have to compare notes DG. Campion & Goldenrod are my latest additions to my limited flower vocabulary but my money is still on you making it to a guest slot on Test Match Special before me on Gardeners Question Time…,,,,

  9. Got a bit held up on 22a but otherwise straightforward. Another vote for 8d.

    Thanks to Pommers and today’s seyyer

  10. I thought this was a typical Campbell puzzle solved before going out for a walk in heavy sleet and a strong north wind Brrr. Such a change from last week when it was gloriously sunny.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  11. I think I am finally getting better at solving Campbell’s crosswords…..finally. (or it wasn’t him today?)
    Enjoyed today’s puzzle very much.
    Searched in vain for a Nina…boo!

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

    Absolutely freezing here..biting wind. But still sunny. I fear for our greengages. The flower buds have just started to open and I think this cold may kill them off. They are so delicious…..

    1. We have a greengage as well as a plum. We hardly get any fruit because the pigeons eat all the blossom – there are dozens of them!

    2. Did you know they say the Melbourn Gage is the best in the world and most of the greengage trees come from orchards round the village. In fact the railway station was put in expressly for the fruit growers to send their gages to London.

    3. I had a Jubilee plum – which died and an espaliered Cox apple – which died, along with a number of other fruit and rare palmish trees and pot shrubs which perished from frost or bacterial infection. The main thing they had in common was how much I spent to buy them. The big survivors in my garden are the cheap shrubs and the self or bird-seeded trees. I suppose it’s like dogs – the mongrels are tougher, if less decorative. My big successes are Fatsia Japonica, which are strong, vigorous, big, healthy and lovely to look at.

      1. Poor you with all those pigeons, Manders.
        We have a Victoria plum and a damson as well as the greengage. The Plum looks as though it is going to be OK as the buds haven’t broken yet. The damson might be OK too. Here’s hoping. I make mixed gage jam with them all , as well as plum chutney and plum ketchup from the Victorias.

        Interesting info about Melbourn, Daisygirl, thanks.

        Bluebird, I think you were unlucky with your fruit trees. Though I tend to agree with you about cheap shrubs. We have some that we bought for next to nothing or were free giveaways with other purchases and they are going strong after a couple of decades.

      2. A few years ago, my husband saw a Photinia Red Robin tree in the corner of the garden centre. It was a pretty poor specimen, and the three figure price was slashed to £15. People around laughed at him when he picked it up and said that he’d “give it a go” and try and bring it back to life. The scrawny looking thing completely filled out and is now a beautiful tree. Mind you, he is the one with green fingers. I can’t even keep a pot plant of any description.

        1. I bought a Photinia about 15 years ago to fill a front corner after a Ceanothus had come down. The label and the RHS page said it wouldn’t really need pruning. What? Both my neighbour and I are always at it to stop it blocking his path and obscuring a bedroom (Yes, upstairs) window in our house. It’s no longer a shrub, it’s a tree. Or a caged animal. Or a virus. They plant them on municipal roundabouts or in Tesco car parks. What happened? Probably all my fault……

          1. We have Black Mulberry in the garden that has grown about 25 feet tall with an equal spread. In the Autumn the grass below looks like a battle field with red stains from the berries all over the place. Our next door neighbour is not to chuffed when they drop onto his summerhouse.

            Decisions are going to have to be made.

  12. Enjoyed this offering from Campbell but I expect the GK will upset some people.
    Thanks to him and Pommers.

  13. Fairly typical Monday for me. Exactly the same as pommers’ experience includkng not seeing 11a.
    Another vote for 8d as COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    2ins snow up here very strong winds mean snow showers translate as horizontal mini blizzards. Last night a “feels like” temperature of -15C. No beach for Biggles today!

  14. My favourite Monday crossword for some time – and they are always of a very high standard. I suppose being so keen on sport I got off to a flier with 4, 11, and 19.
    As mentioned above, 14a is a delicious couple of words to say or write, but generally refers to awful people.

    We went for a lovely walk yesterday, shirt sleeve weather with cloudless skies above; today – snow flakes skittering around the garden.

    Today’s crossword soundtracks: Mussorgsky – Pictures At An Exhibition (Sir Simon Rattle) followed by ELP – Pictures At An Exhibition.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. I don’t suppose Lola is interested in investigating the snow?
      Lovely music today, did anyone listen to the Messiah at the weekend?

      1. It was superb. I’ve sung it as a choir member many times so it brought back lots of happy memories. The Concert by Tenebrae the previous evening was also outstanding. It was the same as their Christmas concert with each choir member recorded in their own homes and appearing in a montage on-screen.

      2. I didn’t listen to The Messiah but I have organised two recitals in the past. It’s expensive to stage. The first made money for church restoration funds. The second didn’t cover the expense. Both great experiences.

        1. Even with a popular work like The Messiah, we were lucky if we were above break-even point, after payment for the venue, orchestra, soloists, sheet music, scores, printing of publicity and tickets etc. It was worth it to see folk in the audience enjoying the concert though.

      3. Yes – the Messiah was wonderful – we went to the Albert Hall for a performance of it only a couple of years ago, and then the following year we went to St Johns in Smith Square for St. Matthews Passion (the latter was one of my favourite concerts ever attended).

      4. I prefer Messiah when it’s small, practically a “cottage” version…….the piece abridged, the orchestra a small consort with a harpsichord, no more than 60 voices. On rare occasions, this can happen with professional musicians playing for free, in a church and no one paying for entry. It’s both intimate and precise.

      5. No DG, I didn’t listen to the Messiah, but I wish I had. I’ve performed the oratorio with several choirs, big and small. I have the score still in a cupboard somewhere. Maybe I should ferret around and dig it out. Then, I could have my own private moment, and sing along to utube.

        1. We got our score out Saturdayvand I sang the alto part, whilst Jim, my other half sang tenor. The neighbours must have laughed.

          1. I sang along to my church Easter Service on utube yesterday. I sounded terrible. Good job I wasn’t there in person. I’m an alto too Chriscross.

  15. A very enjoyable Monday puzzle from Campbell although I have to agree with MP that he was a little stingy with the number of clues so half a * off for enjoyment – 2*/3.5*.
    Like pommers, the first word of 11a took a while to ‘reveal’ itself and the clang when the tea tray hit the floor was deafening.
    Candidates for favourite – the aforesaid 11a, 4d, and 21d – and the winner is 4d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  16. Enjoyed this despite having the same hiccups as pommers when it came to 11a & 8d and then trying to make an incorrect answer parse for 14a.
    Quite a crowd on the podium – 13&17a being joined by 3,8,12&14d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review and the brilliant Dire Straits. All calm on the Menai Strait at the moment but we did have a short snow flurry this morning and the wind keeps trying to pick up speed.

  17. Finished this in double-quick time (having come here only to discover I’d done puzzle 650!). The air here in San Giovanni Rotondo at 650m must be doing me some good! Progressing well so far.

    Thanks Campbell and pommers.

    1. Good to hear that the recovery is going well.

      I hope you had the correct(ed) version of 650. When it first appeared at midnight (UK time) there was a double unch at the end of 8d and no 19a.

      Now corrected. The double unch at the end of 8d has ‘disappeared’ as 19a has ‘appeared,’ and, somewhat confusingly, the clue for 19a was the clue for 10a and a new/correct clue for 10a has ‘appeared.’ Probably not one of our esteemed editor’s finest moments.

  18. A very pleasant Monday challenge. Campbell’s puzzles are generally a nice lead in to the week and an enjoyable solve.
    Got distracted for a few minutes by what looked like snow a while ago, but the clouds have gone and the sun’s out thankfully. It’s supposed to be Easter after all.
    Last in was 14a which despite knowing it was an anagram and having all the checkers still needed a quick look on Mr G to confirm my suspicions. COTD contenders 11a, 6d, 8d. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell..

  19. 2*/4.5*. Straightforward and great fun with 9a, 3d & 8d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  20. Good puzzle for a coffee time after visiting the tip and giving the car a run before a visit to Castle Hill Hospital tomorrow. Hope the snow doesn’t affect East Yorkshire too much.

    9 and 19a deserve honourable mentions. Have always liked Juventus for whom the great John Charles played for five years and made a great and lasting impression on the club and it’s fans. So great that when he died in 2004 representatives of the club came to his funeral.

    My thanks to Pommers and Campbell for another pleasurable Monday puzzle.

    1. Good luck tomorrow hope all goes well C. We must all be of an age as there seems a good number of us needing hospital visits.
      John Charles what a giant of a man in every sense.
      Juve fans voted him their best-ever foreign player. Up there with the best there has ever been for me. Never cautioned or sent off, what a role model.

  21. Flew through this until I hit 14a. Spotted the anagram, then convinced myself it wasn’t an anagram as the second word was surely guide! Anyway, got there in the end after walking away and coming back. Learnt something new with 22a, not a character I was familiar with.
    Favourites were 5a and 8d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  22. Gentle start to the week. I had the pointer in 20a as a female canine, so needed checkers to show my proposed answer wrong, and read the clue again!
    Wasn’t expecting 14a to pop up in an otherwise straightforward solve, so was LOI. Favourite 8d
    Thanks setter and Pommers

    1. Philly’s Graun Quiptic is also a lovely quick solve & yesterday’s Everyman has an early contender for homophone of the year at 16d plus (for me anyway) a wonderful PDM at 25a which took me to You Tube late last night.

      1. Cawdor Redux, eh Huntsman?! Yes, 16d was a most delightful homophone, and I too enjoyed the cryptic and the quiptic at the Guardian today.

  23. I was also stuck on the first word in 11a. I had 7 left in the end so got a shoulder of mutton into the slow cooker and then had another go and obviously saw it through different eyes. Sunny and windy here in Norfolk but they say it will snow tomorrow. Thanks to the setter and Pommers. The mutton smells delicious, couldn’t wait for my home delivery this afternoon so used one of David’s rather good red wine and will hide the bottle, when its empty!

    1. It sounds as though you are hopping around quite well Manders and your appetite in fine fettle! I bet it is nippy in your neck of the woods today, it is bad enough here!

          1. And here’s some good household advice. Keep tubes of Anusol and Deep Heat well separated in your bathroom cabinet!

            1. 1. I bought a slow cooker, which is only of any use for those out at work for 9 hours, AFTER I retired……… I suppose it might come in handy during a kitchen renovation.
              2.There’s a trend for haemorrhoid cream to be used as a facial cosmetic…….no word of a lie.

              1. I love mine – bung it all in and it does itself – this newer one does the sauteing as well, and for mutton which can be tough its brilliant.

          2. You boys have been eating vinegar off a knife, you are so sharp! Must say the ointment confusion made me smile.

  24. No pain today but by the same token not a lot of fun to be had. How could I be so thick as to have to bung in 8d? No outstanding Fav. Thank you Campbell and pommers. Just noticed a couple of snowflakes here in West Sussex but now lovely sunshine.

  25. A very nice Easter Monday treat, I was slightly held up at 19a as I only knew AC Milan (if indeed that is right) but George came up with the right answer and I let him have the pen to write it in!
    I went to school in Wimbledon so 11a has to be a favourite and as I now live just outside Cambridge I have to go also for 6d. George said the Cambridge eight looked splendid and deserved to win, we shared the Pascal lamb with DD2 and were able to speak to DD1, able to go to church yesterday morning ( no hymns, no wine, very well segregated) so altogether a good weekend. Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

    1. We had our boat for 25 years at Upware Marina on the Cam when we lived in Cambridge. We know the Ouse so well and watched the boat race with great nostalgia. But where were all the proper boats? On an Easter weekend everyone would have been on their boats on the Ouse and up the tributaries, I suppose the police told them to move – sad they didn’t allow any spectators.

  26. I quite liked this, but ending the last half of 6D incorrectly meant I couldn’t get 23A. I don’t know why I couldn’t see the problem, it was obvious, really.

    Today’s grid is entertaining to look at, it looks like a maze. I feel there should have been a prize in the middle.

    I don’t know whether I’m being dense, but Worldpay is really annoying me at the moment. I’ve changed bank accounts, so decided I’d try changing the card number for the DT puzzles early, rather than go through the trauma they inflicted at the end of last year when my card had expired. Going to their website looks as it it could work, but everything they tell you to click on leads to a dead end. I tried using their Contact Us email, but they have ignored it. I do wish the DT were more user friendly with their websites and payments! If anyone has any hints, I’d be grateful.

    1. Worldpay’s website is as friendly as a cornered rat. What I did the last time I got an email saying that they couldn’t process my annual payment (because a new card meant a new expiry date) was to let that subscription lapse and subscribe again as a new user. That worked fine.

      1. I did actually corner a rat once. The cat brought in a small mouse and started to play with it. I went to rescue it, it was in a corner and as I reached out to pick it up it reared up and bit me.
        Bite went septic, I went to the doctor and told him the story and he said if the rodent reared up it was no mouse, it was a rat. I left well alone after that and let nature sort it out.

        1. Our cat Rupert came in from the garden a few Christmases ago (through his cat flap), with a long tail hanging from his mouth, luckily noticed by grandson – we were in the middle of gift unwrapping. Turned out it was a rat, which we fortunately caught without incident. But your doctor was right, they are vicious little blighters.

          1. When I was a young lad of 9 I went to stay at my uncle and aunt’s farm. The farmhouse was next to the granary and we would regularly see rats running along the guttering. There was one huge one which we called Grandfather. One day, a friend and I entered the granary armed with stones. We saw a rat running across the rafters and threw stones at it. It jumped into a metal hopper and my friend gave a whoop. We had him cornered.
            I soon realised just why it was not a good idea to corner a rat.

    2. I found a way of logging in to https//secure.worldpay.com/shopper/futurepay/ I can’t add the whole address as it takes you to my login

      There is then a way of getting into your account and changing the card details. If you do this within a day of their refusing your payment because of an expired card, then it automatically takes the sub the next day

        1. I did try to change my card details before the sun was due but only achieved success after the payment failed on the old card

      1. I’ve gone exactly that route today CS, after an hour or so of trying other links and dead ends. I then copied the link above and pasted it into my email thingies, only to find I’d done exactly the same thing three years ago and forgotten all about it!

      2. Thanks. I’m going to have this problem come June. It is crazy that it is so difficult to update some web sites. I have another site which refuses to let me change my home phone number, even thought we moved from there 2 years ago and the number is no longer mine. Even when I phoned them.

  27. Phew! At last a Monday puzzle with a Monday level of difficulty! I was put off at first by the ugly crossword pattern but the clues slotted in fast enough to make this very enjoyable. */****

  28. Oh dear, not another week of Toughies in the cryptic. Managed 8 clues then have it up as a bad job.
    ****/*
    Thx for the hints

  29. Unusually for a Monday I really enjoyed this. Also unusually for me I didn’t have to write out any anagrams so my back page was devoid of scribblings, apart from writing the checking letters out horizontally (do other people do this? I find it really helps) for 8d and 4d. I managed to get 4d despite never having heard of it [insert crickety clue rant here]. I knew the other GK clues and didn’t need electronic help (apart from checking 4d). Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. **/****

    1. Pre iPad I always wrote out the checkers for anagrams. The margins of my newspaper were filled with jottings. Since iPad, no such doodling. It often used to surprise me how long I could stare at the checkers for in an awkward down clue yet solve it immediately those same checkers were written from left to right

      1. I often have to write the vertical ones horizontally, or in little circles – used envelopes very useful.

  30. The grandchildren have entertained and tired me in equal measure. After a short flurry of snow just before 7.00am we have had sunshine all day. Still very chilly but nice sunshine. Today’s puzzle was fine while it lasted but it didn’t really last did it? Only twenty six clues to fight with. No sooner started than finished. I wish I’d done the same puzzle as Pommers. He seems to have found fourteen clues in the down section. Thanks to Mr Campbell for the truncated puzzle and to pommers for resisting Sultans of Swing at 9 across

  31. Nice ti be blogging again, roof works, solar panels all completed. A nice leisurely solve apart from 14a I just could not solve it. So thanks Pommers for your hints. Favourites 4d and 11a. Like others fir sime reason I always find this grid layout slightly more problematic. Why I have no idea. Still good start to the week. Lovely here in North Cornwall.
    Thanks again to Pommers and Campbell.

  32. Why do the short 4 letter answers cause me so much trouble? But anyway this was doable for someone at my level, so thanks to the setter for that. For some reason 14a came easy but 6d a bit of a struggle. 12d a sneaky definition—good though.Happy Easter Monday to all.

  33. A bit more Mondayish re difficulty, but quite a lot of GK or proper names.
    My other half came in handy today, as I didn’t know the second word of the cricket fielder (it still doesn’t mean much as the words aren’t descriptive to me, although I knew the first word was of that sport). I might have to go and look at fielding maps.
    He also knows the difference between sounds, straits, bights, fjords and other such watery features, having lived within a stone’s throw of some of them, literally in the case of Europa Point in Gibraltar.
    I didn’t mind the other long solutions, but I needed Pommers to help with 22a.
    I thought 8d’s “insertion” was very clever.
    Thanks to Campbell.
    Sleet shower here just before the sun came out at 11.15. Ocado man said the sleet had been following him round all morning.

    1. Really enjoyable solve for me, the best Monday for weeks. As a novice I was pleased to complete it quite quickly for achange, so a **/**** I like the sporting references, although also took a while to get the first word of 11a. I think once ‘court’ becomes obvious, it is difficult to get ‘centre’ out of mind. And the only other well known court is No 1. It took a while to realise it was the surface we were after. The name Juventus has its origin in the Italian for youth. They modelled their black and white shirts on the colours of Notts County, a founder member of the Football League. Favourite clue has to be 8d.

  34. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle to start the week. No major holdups, but I’d never heard of 14a, or the meaning of 22a, but the wordplay led me there. Favourite was 17d, great lurker. Was 2* /4* for me.

  35. Trickier than the last few Monday puzzles IMHO . 3.5*/*** for me today. A new expression in 14a and a complete unknown in 19a that required a cheat to get it, didn’t help the process either. Clues of note include 5a, 17a, 3d, 8d & 12d. No clear winner but I’d pick 12d & 17a as top contenders.
    Not that I am being 5a, but a couple of the clues that required knowledge of specifics in sport games took away a * for the fun.

    Thanks to Campbell(?) and pommers for the hints

  36. My only problem was with 14a. I was rather feeble and put the letters into an anagram scrambler. I then had to look up the answer it gave me. I rather liked it, and several people came to mind as an example. It’s a memorable clue, although I guess it might be a while before we see it again. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

    1. I’m sure they do but Juventus are a serious Serie A team based in the city of Turin. They’ve won the Champions league twice and the Italian first division (Serie A) an amazing 36 times – Liverpool and Man Utd eat your hearts out!

        1. I have to say that if you’re not keen on soccer then Juventus is a bit hard. Not the name of a city or town so where the name comes from I’ve no idea.

  37. Nice puzzle for a surprisingly sunny Easter Monday 😃 ***/*** Favourites 22a & 6d Thanks to Pommers and Campbell👍

  38. I’m getting onto Campbell’s wave-length, at last.
    I really enjoyed this one after a very slow start.
    Like a few others the first bit of 11a took a ridiculously long time and untangling 8d was slow too.
    A jolly good job that 19a was an anagram – I’ve heard of it but wouldn’t have stood a hope in hell of spelling it other wise.
    I think my favourite was probably 6d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.
    Still arctic in Oxford even though the sun’s been out after a brief sleety shower first thing this morning.

  39. I was madder’n a wet hen after researching BD’s Mine and finding “extra cover”, I bunged that in at 4d with arrogant confidence. I knew 14a, but wait, what’s that “v” doing in the second word? How could it be wrong? My first ever cricket clue solved is wrong?
    I failed on the football club, two sporty answers was too much for me, though I aced the tennis one!
    There were a lot of choices for fave but I think 6d is it.
    A slap on the wrist Mr. Campbell for confusing a girl like that, but thanks for the fun. Thanks pommers for the help.

  40. I can’t say I found this very easy, but did get there in the end, needing a handful of Pommers’ hints, thanks. Well 19a was a mystery to me, likewise 4d. My lack of sporting knowledge is always my undoing. I spent too long with 3d trying to fit bust into the answer. And it was ages before I got 15d, despite living over here. Thanks to Campbell for activating my old grey cells today. Internet was down for most of the morning which didn’t help.

  41. Only held up by 14a, but it was an anagram and somewhere in the dim and distant past I’d heard of the phrase, not my last in. Good enough fun though. Favourite was 9a. I nearly bought myself a National the same age as Mr. Knopfler’s (1930’s) but it would have cost me more than all my other guitars put together and had a big “dink” in the front of it so I didn’t bother in the end. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. I would love one if those guitars but I have to be realistic. I have a Yamaha Pacific electric and a Yamaha FS800 acoustic. I can make passable tunes but my main problem is I do not practice.

      1. I have most types, 4 acoustics, 2 electrics and a bass. I don’t have a Fender or a National ….. yet!

  42. Hello, all. What a busy blog today, so many enjoyable comments…135 at last check. I’m very late today because I got my second jab early this morning and immediately fell asleep once I made it back home. That was six hours ago, and I feel quite tired still, but at least I’m done with the vaccines for now. My jabber was a lovely lady named Beauty, and I announced to her that I was the Beast. She laughed obligatorily, as if she’d never heard such a brilliant retort before!

    Enjoyed the puzzle last night, especially 14a, but I had to do some googling to come up with that fielder. 8d was my COTD too. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ** / ***

    On Public TV over here, a three-episode special on Hemingway begins tonight, and so I am preparing for the PapaFest by re-reading A Farewell to Arms. Next up: For Whom the Bell Tolls. Shades of my youth.

    1. Someone left a copy of Men Without Women in the bedside locker when I had my appendix out in 1965 aged 13. I started reading it, but it was confiscated by the matron who didn’t think it was appropriate reading matter for a young lad. I got it back after a couple of days.

      1. H wrote some of the finest short stories in the canon, and once I’ve re-read some of the novels, I’m saving his greatest works, those stories, for the desserts. Why, you’re just a spring chicken, Jules.

          1. Tonight’s Hemingway episode reminded me that ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ is in the MWW collection. When I tried teaching that one at two different colleges, the women in my class tensed up so very disturbingly that I decided not to teach it any longer, but it is the standout story in that volume, I think, and I wonder what the 13-yr-old in Jules made of that story.

            1. My grandfather gave me Durrell’s The Bafut Beagles to read when he visited, so never got very far with mww. Time to get a copy of it I suppose…

      1. Merusa, it was quite a good beginning, I thought, and I loved the way it ended with AFTA, such a powerful book. [Gary Cooper in the 1st film version; Rock Hudson in the 2nd one (Helen Hayes; Jennifer Jones).] What did you think?

        1. I have it DVR’d to watch later. I’ll probably watch over the weekend. Helen Hayes, Jennifer Jones, that was another life ago!

    2. I’m a day behind as usual. I echo most of the comments of the last few days, Friday was a stinker but last few days very enjoyable. Particularly enjoyed Saturday.
      Robert I wanted to pop in and post this for you. I tend to read the blog the following day usually and saw that you were a fan of Follies and Yvonne de Carlo. This year is the 50th anniversary as I’m sure you know and this is a kind of patched together slightly dodgy recording of that production on YouTube https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FwUFSmj16h_w&data=04%7C01%7C%7C428774a1e52e47a13b0f08d8f879c546%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637532549166931280%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=%2FObKEHXjQ5J52lG%2BG5g9GK8gjwsft2xqVDqMEO7CGjU%3D&reserved=0

      1. Thank you so much, MsGlad! Yes, I was there for the original staging in 1971, a few weeks after the opening. Yvonne de Carlo, as I so very well remember, brought the house down with “I’m Still Here” and Dorothy Collins did the same with “Losing My Mind.” In my mind, it’s Sondheim (who is now 90!) at his peak. So kind of you to think of me with the YouTube video.

  43. Like Msglad I’m a day behind as usual. Didn’t start this until this morning with my usual morning cuppa in bed. Raced through but needed Pommers hint for 9a (doh!). Also although 8d was obvious I really couldn’t parse it – despite the fact that said resort is where my five children were born. You would have thought it would have come to mind!

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