Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29647
Hints and tips by Falcon
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Greetings from Ottawa, where we have recently enjoyed a nice run of summer-like weather but are now back to more seasonable conditions with April showers in the cards for the next week. Farmers will be happy as it has been extremely dry here.
While there is some personal good news on the COVID front — I will be getting my first jab today, in general, the situation is really becoming quite dire. We have a record number of cases, hospitals are on the verge of collapse with all non-emergency surgery cancelled and other extreme measures in place, and the province is back under a stay-at-home order with most businesses closed.
As for today’s puzzle, Campbell has served up the usual gentle, well-crafted and entertaining Monday offering that we have come to expect.
In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.
Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Succeeded with a spot of moving flattery (4,4)
SOFT SOAP — the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded precedes an anagram (moving) of the three words in the centre of the clue
6a Blunt, independent married couple (6)
IMPAIR — single-letter abbreviations for independent and married followed by another word for couple
9a Take one’s hat off to daughter entering a stretch of boggy ground (6)
ADMIRE — the genealogical abbreviation for daughter placed between the A from the clue and some deep mud
10a Method that may get a fish very quietly hooked (8)
APPROACH — start by lining up the A from the clue and a silvery freshwater fish of the carp family; into this is inserted (hooked) the musical notation directing one to play very quietly
11a Exclamation made by one hitting another in pop group? (4,4)
TAKE THAT — double definition
12a Hear about object, very fashionable (6)
TRENDY — to hear (before a judge) goes round a goal or an aim
13a Inaccurately portray reformed miser here (12)
anagram (reformed) of the final two words in the clue anagram (reformed) of MISER and a synonym of here or in attendance; sometimes one strays off the track between solving the clue and writing the review
16a Sauce on heat in B&B, say (6,6)
BRANDY BUTTER — feeling frisky or in the mood in B&B, then a word meaning state or say; sounds almost like kiss and tell!
19a Comic book crimefighter, officer’s personal assistant (6)
BATMAN — double definition
21a Invented story about Republican causes conflict (8)
FRICTION — a story concerning imaginary characters absorbing the abbreviation for Republican
23a Part of the woodwork in pub by bridge (8)
CROSSBAR — another word for pub following a verb meaning to bridge or traverse; this woodwork is found on a football pitch, not in your parlour
24a One doing wilful damage in museum close to Whitehall (6)
VANDAL — the abbreviated name of a museum in Kensington followed by the final letter (close) of WhitehalL
25a Ill at ease concerning border (2,4)
ON EDGE — a preposition denoting concerning or regarding and a border or boundary
26a Go off and film rat (8)
TURNCOAT — link together synonyms for go off or spoil and a film or covering layer
2d Trying experience in gold trade (6)
ORDEAL — the heraldic term for gold precedes a verb meaning to engage in commercial trading
3d Food: tons ready to be harvested (5)
TRIPE — the abbreviation for tons and an adjective denoting fully matured and ready to be picked
4d Too quick a shot, very ungainly (9)
OVERHASTY — anagram (ungainly) of A SHOT VERY
5d Rabbit, soft baby’s toy (7)
PRATTLE — the musical direction to play a little less quietly than in 10a precedes a baby’s noisemaker
6d Place under batting data (5)
INPUT — a verb meaning to place or position follows (under in a down clue) the cricket term denoting batting; Who amongst us remembers punch cards?
7d Posers for supply teacher (9)
PROFESSOR — anagram (supply [in a supple manner]) of the first two words of the clue
8d Depression following popular Channel Islands event (8)
INCIDENT — link together popular or 12a, the abbreviation for the Channel Islands and a depression or hollow (in the door of a car, perhaps)
13d Made light of notes describing one newspaper chief (9)
MINIMISED — some half notes enveloping (describing) a Roman one and followed by a shortened newspaper boss
14d Dog, barking terrier, biting vet endlessly (9)
RETRIEVER — anagram (barking) of TERRIER wrapped around VE(t) from which the final letter has been removed (endlessly)
15d Manage after hearing test (5,3)
TRIAL RUN — to manage or direct following a hearing before a judge; our second appearance in court today!
17d Ready to take part on horseback, on account of Italian (2,3,2)
UP FOR IT — an adverb denoting on horseback, a preposition meaning on account of or by reason of, and the abbreviation for Italian (either the language or the vermouth)
18d Musical piece, likewise with a beat, coming up (6)
SONATA — a small word meaning also or likewise (“She’s a good friend and __ are you”) followed by a reversal (coming up in a down clue) of the A from the clue and a word meaning to hit or beat
20d Illustrious person of wealth, extremely likeable (5)
NOBLE — a slang term for someone of wealth or high social rank and the initial and final letters (extremely) of LikeablE
22d Livener kept in bucket, on ice (5)
TONIC — a lurker hiding in the final three words of the clue
How could my favourite clue today be any other than the saucy 16a?
The bottom Quickie pun proved to be a challenge, I must say, containing (between the source and target) a total of four non-rhotic Rs.
Quickie Pun (Top Row): POLLED + ANSWER = POLE DANCER
Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : POSTER + LAUDER = POSTAL ORDER
82 comments on “DT 29647”
I took a while to get going with this one but found it most enjoyable once the wheels began turning. 7d was a bung-in as I could not see the parsing at all but it was the only word I could fit in given the checkers. Many good clues such as 10a but my absolute favourite and COTD was the rather cheeky 16a.
The Quickie puns were quite good.
Many thanks to Campbell for a great start to the crosswording week. Thanks also to Falcon for the hints, which I will now read. Many thanks for the picture at14d.
You’re going to kick yourself on 7d Steve. I thought it was very well disguised.
I have given myself a severe kicking, GJR. Annoying when you get the right answer but cannot see why. I just didn’t see the indicator. It turns out to be quite a good and compact clue.
The anagram indicator here has been discussed many times.
1.5*/4*. Nice light Monday fun with 16a, 24a & 13d making it onto my podium.
Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.
I don’t think I naturally tune in to Campbell’s wavelength but this was quite light once I’d got a few checkers in and it came together nicely with no parsing issues.
Podium places go to 1&11a with top spot (I suspect I won’t be the only making this selection) going to the outstanding 16a.
Many thanks to setter & to Falcon for a pleasant start to Monday
A very straightforward but enjoyable puzzle done in record time(1*/3.5*), perhaps the heavy snowfall last night has sharpened me up. There were some amusing clues that appealed to me, 16a and 11a particularly and i thought 24a was well camouflaged and smoothly written so that id my COTD. Thanks to Campbell for a good start to the week and to Falcon for the hints. We can only sympathise with those of our contributors in Canada and in parts of Europe. The vaccination situation is dire, with nations competing for scarce resources, as new and more infectious variants of Covid spread like wildfire.
I agree with Steve Cowling above that 16a was quite risqué for the DT! Actually that was the one that caused a slight pause and although I got it I didn’t get it to use the modern vernacular so thanks to Falcon for his explanation. A quick one for me today so */*** sums it up for me with thanks to Campbell for a classy start to the week.
Now you mention it, I see 16a – I confess I had entered it without fully understanding. Should have consulted the hints!
Great little puzzle full of smiles. Just perfect for newcomers to plug away at. 24 across had me wondering wether or not the 2.4 miles from Whitehall to the museum could be described as close. 16 across made me laugh. The groups name at 11 across is nothing to do with hitting anybody, quite the opposite in fact. 1 across reminded me of the opening track on side two of John Lennon’s Imagine LP.
No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of Tricky Dicky
Is going to Mother Hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Money for dope
Money for rope
Good to see The Oak Inn Coventry in the news. Thanks to Falcon for the blog and to Mr Campbell for the entertainment
Would be a bit bah humbug not to consider 2.4 miles close for such a lovely clue
This conversation is now at a close.
Racking my brain to think where the Oak Inn is but can’t place it.
Gosford Street just before Jordan Well. One of the oldest buildings in Coventry. They queued for over half a mile to get in at midnight last night. We drove past and went elsewhere (Rose and Woodbine. North Street
I may be getting my mojo back since I finished this gentle and enjoyable Campbell offering in just under ** time. Lots to like, especially 16a, 13d, 1a, 17d, and 11a. Thanks to Falcon, with best wishes for your jab today, and to Campbell. 1.5* / 4*
Typically enjoyable Monday morning fare with nothing too taxing, just solid, honest clueing. Like others, 16a was the standout favourite.
My thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon.
A terrific start to the week, as always, with Campbell.
Not a fan by any stretch of those Take That crooners but I can forgive Gary Barlow (almost) anything because of the timeless ‘Back For Good’. Always a singalong favourite if it pops up in the car, otherwise the Manchester-based warblers can leave my ears alone.
We had a lovely three mile stroll yesterday. We could see rain clouds in every direction but, miraculously, they rained everywhere except where we were at any given time, and we emerged dry and unscathed. Then home to watch the denouement of The Masters, one of our favourite sporting events of the year.
Today’s crossword soundtrack: Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
Thanks to Campbell and Falcon – hearing of the terrible situation in Canada from our North American crossword bloggers is increasingly worrying.
Masters spoiled for me somewhat by the commentators. Sky presenters apply superlatives to almost routine shots (for pros anyway) so that when something really extraordinary happens they have run out. When I heard a 25 year-old described as a “kid” for the 5th or 6th time I switched the sound off. Also do we really need to be told “That was not the start he would have wanted” when somebody bogies the first?
Following having to endure 2 Delta ads every commercial break it would be my last choice should I ever go to the States again!
Golf was great though.
I agree with you completely about the Sky commentary, LROK…!
The Masters was always spoiled for me by the inherent racism. I prefer nature’s brutality to mans attempts at manicured perfection. I don’t like the camera positioning that hasn’t changed in thirty or so years. Mile wide fairways and greens the size of a cricket pitch. The stupid in the extreme sickly music. Outright snobbery. No thank you
Unlike you MP, but pedantically the cricket pitch itself is 22yds long and 10ft wide.
Agree about the racism but some change is happening thanks mainly to golf pressures but at a snail-like pace and smacks of tokenism admittedly.
It is a place of significant snobbery. A player from my club who was himself pretty snooty was staying with a business contact in Georgia, a member of Augusta National. The contact asked the player if he would like to go to the club. The player said he hadn’t brought his clubs, thinking he would be invited to hire them from the pro shop. . His host replied, extremely indignantly “NOT to play, just to see the clubhouse”.
The best player at my club, he played off +2, was lucky enough to go to the Masters a few years back, reckoned that he would struggle to break 100. The TV does not do justice to how difficult the course is.
Completed while 3rd in line at 7.45am for the barber (the 2 chaps in front had short & respectability coiffured barnets whereas my unkempt thatch & beard would have given Boris a run for his money). Very gentle fare today, even for Monday, but beautifully clued & very enjoyable even if it was all over too quickly. Add me to those nominating what I guess will be a popular podium of 11,16&24a & also enjoyed both of the Quickie puns.
Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon
Congrats, Falcon, on getting your first jab today. (I got mine, somewhat unexpectedly, on Good Friday. I thought vaccine shortages and the need to second-dose January’s recipients meant 40-somethings had been pushed back, but I got a surprise phone-call the day before. The doctor who wielded the syringe is the dad of another child in the 6-year-old’s class, whom I know from the school gates.)
And sorry to hear about the situation generally in your area. Good luck with staying safe and getting through it.
Thank you to Campbell for the crossword. My favourite was 23A’s pub by the bridge.
Update: My favourite is actually bottom quickie pun — which works instantly in my accent.
I was once at a (UK) toddler group where one of the leaders was from Florida. At storytime they read What the Ladybird Heard, interjecting to inform the assembled children (non-seriously) that despite what the book says, “idea” doesn’t actually rhyme with “ear”. I related this to my spouse later, mentioning the issue with the rhotic R.
To which Spouse responded: “What’s erotic about the letter R?” A question I found impossible to answer.
Like others, I found this a gentle and pleasant start to the week.
Favourites were 16a, 24a and the very neat 7d.
Thanks to Campbell and Falcon
The 11a pop group did slow me down – not on my list of favourite performers.
Candidates for favourite – 9a, 3d, 13d, and 22d – and the winner is 22d, an important source of hydroxychloroquine (it won’t cure Covid, but I haven’t succumbed to malaria)!
Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
Does it still work with gin in it?
Don’t know but the gin does!
Very nice puzzle finished early and without hints. Agree with others’ choices for podium places but have to especially mention the ingenious “supply”. Have we seen it before, I wonder? Thank you to Campbell and Falcon for the blog (although I’m somewhat mystified by your comment about the bottom quick pun…)
Having looked up rhotic and non-rhotic all is now clear.
Got to 16a and thought ‘surely not in the DT’ but it simply had to be what it was. Plenty to enjoy in this one with 24a coming out on top for me and 3,5&8d taking the reserve places. Also liked the top Quickie pun.
Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – good luck with the jab!
Unlike the previous commenters I struggled with this having got into a right tizzy over 1a which proved to be my LOI. Stupid really as there was nothing really to cause problems.
SW corner also gave problems as I got far too technical with hat in a hearing test was the key.
16a was my COTD with 7d close behind.
Thanks to Campbell and Falcon, particularly for the picture clue for 14d. Difficult to get 3 labs to sit still long enough, must have been a very fast shutter speed.
Pretty straightforward solve but quite enjoyable.
Nice touch of humour in 16a, 26a and 22d.
The synonym of the def in 13d was new to me.
Haven’t got rid of the English variant of Covid yet but the mistral managed to blow away the English cold front that gave us frost. Enough to wipe out all our orchards and vineyards.
Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.
Lots to smile about here, funniy enough 1a my last one in too. Loved 16a, in fact loved the whole thing. Husband just had second jab, mine on Friday. Lovely day but freezing. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
I have an appointment for my second AstraZeneca jab on Friday too. Strangely my husband, who is classed as extremely vulnerable, whilst I am not, hasn’t heard from them yet. They do separate sessions, where you go in individually, without queuing, for the extremely vulnerable, so perhaps we’ll hear soon.
Didn’t quite get Falcon’s hint of anagram for 13a?
You’ve expanded your alias so moderation was required. Both varieties of your alias will work from now on.
13a is an anagram of the penultimate word of the clue followed by a synonym of ‘here’.
Oops! I guess my short term memory is going — can’t seem to remember the parsing between solving the puzzle and composing the review!
Gentle good fun today. */*** Favourite has to be 16a. A real laugh out loud moment. It sounds a terrible situation in Canada. Stay at home and out of it. It gets very boring but better than the alternative. Thanks to all.
Great Monday puzzle from Campbell I suppose. 11 and 19a earn honourable mentions but my favourite today is, like many others, 16a.
Thanks to Campbell and Falcon with the hope that your first jab keeps you safe from the bad news on Covid-19 in Canada.
All done in two sittings without digital assistance or help from Mrs 2 P, while I have heard the term for flattery I do not why it is used.
Been out to do a couple of errands this morning and passed crowded diy stores and shopping areas and 10 deep outside the barbers shop, and the scourge of learner drivers are back with a vengeance, a very different picture from a few days ago
Thanks to the setter and Falcon
Effortless and enjoyable way to start the week so thank you Campbell and Falcon.
This was yet another tricky and challenging Monday puzzle, I thought. Rate this ***/**** Found the NE was the last area to complete and had to use checkers to confirm what I thought went in the area and all but one was correct.
Several clues with mis-direction and 15d comes to mind. Very clever. I also liked the construction of 16a … another clever clue.
Favourites today include those two mentioned as well as 10a, 11a, 26a & 8d with my winner being 16a
Thanks to setter (Campbell?) and Falcon
I agree .A three is may be a bit high but .definetley a two from the point of view of .rangeof technique and range of vocab necessary to solve it.
Completed alone and unaided.
Either I am getting better at Campbell’s puzzles or he is giving us easier ones. Either way, hurrah for me.
Thanks to Falcon and to Senf.
Belatedly read about your dental problems – poor you! Tooth ache is the pits, you cannot get away from it.
I’ve had trouble with my teeth all my life, dentists have made a fortune out of me. Do hope you get it sorted out soon.
Thank you, Daisygirl.
Sadly still in pain after yesterday’s ‘irrigate and pack’. But at least he said that the infection had gone.
And yes, as you said, you cannot get away from it…other than cutting your head off which, trust me, I considered..
Thanks Campbell and Falcon – good puzzle – 16a last in – unexpectedly saucy clue. Sorry to hear Canada situation Falcon. Our son in laws mum Sue is in Ottawa – not good for such a strong first world country. Interestingly, day one out of quite a severe lockdown has seen queues outside of our only shoe shop in the town with mums and toddlers waiting to be let inside. One forgets how children’s feet grow so quickly. The shoe shop in question seemed to have very few staff on and is one of a well known National chain beginning with C (5 letters).
Throughout the war my parents wrote daily, posting the letters once a week. I have two shoe boxes full of hundreds of letters in them which make for very interesting reading. For instance, my mother wrote ‘we have been given extra coupons because ‘Daisygirl’s’ feet have grown so much this year. Who would have known that extra coupons were awarded for that! Full of social history. Ann now what do I do with them all?
I am writing a family history and trying to include as much personal information as possible. How I wish I had a treasure trove of letters like you. I know our kids (48 and 51) don’t see the point right now, but I know they will when they get to our age, and have questions we won’t be around to answer.
Dad kept a diary every day for most of his life, the smallish pocket type diary – often it just said ‘dull today’ but the day I was born it said ‘home grown daughter arrived’! He wrote in a much bigger book during the war – on one side was what has happening in the war (he trained Spitfire pilots) and on the other his personal life at the time. He was based at Little Snoring (up here in Norfolk) for a time and a diary entry read ‘Elizabeth said she is pregnant – not very happy about this’. I hope my mother never read it.
I have two accounts that my father wrote while he was in the convoys during the war. He was in the Merchant Navy and was a radio officer. Surprisingly, the accounts of his time on the Atlantic and Arctic convoys are quite upbeat. He wrote about a Christmas party on board in Murmansk. The beer was frozen and horrible but they enjoyed it despite everything.
The two accounts are a great part of our family history.
Thanks you Manders and Steve, you are both indeed fortunate to have such records. We are mostly working with Ancestry, what we remember and anecdotes. Unfortunately some of the history told to us what not even true. For example, my parents emigrated to Canada when I was a baby, settled in Toronto, and then returned to England. The reason given was that my mother found “the summers too hot, and the winters too cold”. We have since discovered that they arrived in May 1947 and left that same year in October. I guess it was the thought of the imminent winter, rather than actually experience, that made her persuade my Dad that they should return.
Winters in Toronto are downright tropical compared to Ottawa. But when it comes to surviving cold winters, Senf in WInnipeg easily takes the honours.
Delightful entry to the new week, after having bee asked over to a nearby village for coffee then Prosecco with friends. Almost back to normal! On the way, about 7 miles, passed lots of plastic plant ties round the posts of village signs, speed signs etc. Must have seen 20 or 30 of them. What do they mean? Does anyone know? Is is a signal for aliens landing? Help me please! Thanks to the setter and to Falcon, glad to hear that at least you are getting vaccinated. Stay safe everyone, it is not over yet.
Good fun. */****
11a LOI, 4d favourite
Thanks Campbell and Falcon.
Glad it’s stopped snowing now. Sun’s out – what a difference!
I’m wearing my contrary hat today. Not finding this gentle at all. At first pass I am not doing terribly well, just not my cup of tea, particularly with cricket and 11a group of whom I’ve never heard. Best thing for me was the 14d picture, despite being one of the clues I actually solved. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I’ll have a go at 651 later instead.
Must have been on the setters wavelength today as I found this close to a R&W. Very enjoyable for all that, nice to see the Gotham knight get a mention.
Thx to all
Just for once I didn’t have too much trouble with Campbell’s Monday offering.
A couple in the top right corner and 19a were my last ones.
I had a spot of bother with the 13a anagram because I didn’t have enough letters until I saw why – a bit sneaky!
My favourite, like most others, was 16a but lots of good clues including 1 and 11a and 17d.
Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.
Sit in the garden? Even with people I’m desperate to see you must be having a laugh! Brrrrr . . .
3/4. Trickier for me than some of our commenters found. Liked 16a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I got vaccinated yesterday at last. However, the current state of affairs in Canada is depressingly poor. Trudeau will no doubt claim he masterminded a good result – eventually. Although I trust the populace will not forget the disgraceful number of deaths in long term care homes and the incompetence of the LTC auditors. Rant over.
All been said by now but another vote for 16a.
I didn’t get chance to look at today’s offering until after a much needed hair-appt this afternoon. At first pass I really didn’t think I was on the right wavelength and then I was off at a gallop. Oh it gave me such a fillip as I have been quite distracted of late. My other half still waiting for an urgent op from last November has received copy of letter between Cardiologist and Anaesthetist advising that the results from a 24hr monitor (February) indicate that it would be advisable for husband to have a pacemaker fitted before op. Whilst I was having my hair done the hospital rang to give date for 1st op 4th May not knowing anything about recommendation for pacemaker. Back to square one I think!
As the above tribulations have been festering we have also been without our landline since Easter Saturday. As Vodafone is our provider using BT line we have been getting nowhere. Arrived back home to find husband having spent over an hour on mobile getting put on hold and forgotten about. He was was not a happy bunny. We are now to wait until Wednesday before Openreach will come and dig the pavement up! No wonder the other half has high blood pressure!
Many thanks to Falcon (do stay safe) and the setter.
Oh dear, Hilary what a tale of woe. I do hope things start to sort themselves out.
My goodness, enough to send anyone’s BP off the scale. Hope it is all soon sorted.
Hello again. The beautiful weather here seems to have kick-started my puzzle-solving abilities and interest. I love sitting outside with my clipboard and coffee. This one gave me no trouble. 16A made me smile. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.
Nice Monday crossword 😃 ***/**** Favourites 19a & 23a 🤗 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell
Am I the only one who bunged in 13d without being able to parse it?
Also, the hint for 13d seems to have been written in Greek or possibly swahili… 😉
Otherwise enjoyable, especially 7d.
In less cryptic terms, 13d parses as:
MINIMS (notes; minim being the British name for a half note in music) containing (describing) I ([Roman numeral] one) + ED (newspaper chief; abbreviation for ‘editor’)
Many thanks for the English explanation. 😀
I know almost nothing about music and was not aware there was such a thing as a half note. Another thing to add to the memory bank.
All perfectly straightforward today. No hums, no obscure g.k. just good reasonable clues. Happy days. Couldn’t understand the problem with 13d or 24a. Favourite would have to be 14d, I’ve owned a few but not for some years now. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
Great Monday fun, light but beautifully clued.
I’m a great fan of 11a and Gary Barlow in particular.
16a was excellent, yet I can almost hear the tea cups rattling in horror in darkest Reigate.
Thanks Campbell and Falcon.
Very enjoyable puzzle done in under ** time and, very unusual for me, in a single sitting. That means I can start Tuesday’s puzzle without having to finish Monday’s off first. As for many others, 16a was my favourite. Thought that 4d was two words but what can a humble (retired) engineer be expected to know about the English language.
I agree .A three is may be a bit high but .definetley a two from the point of view of .rangeof technique and range of vocab necessary to solve it.
6d – remember punch cards, certainly do. When the computer at work needed a room of its own & the card sorter was as big as a sideboard! Now many times more of the computing it did can be done on my mobile phone – except for all the “mistooks” from the tiny keyboard 🙃
I too remember punch cards.
I did computer science for one of my first year courses at University many years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the land.
We had a lot of programming to do…which involved writing the programs then transferring them to punch cards, securing them with elastic bands and leaving them in a pigeon hole to be transported by van to where the computer was sited about 4 miles away. If you were lucky, you got the printout and your cards back within a week…..but if you had made any mistakes at all in either the programming or the transferring, back came the bundle of cards with a notice saying ‘failed to run’ or something like that…no idea what had gone wrong….this also took about a week.
Talk about frustration!
I had somewhat similar experiences although they extended over several years of engineering studies. However, I could walk my card decks across campus and hand them in at a counter in the computer centre and come back next day to pick up the printout of the results. The most demoralizing outcome was a JCL (Job Control Language, I believe) error — the JCL card being the top card in the deck (which meant the computer had not got past the first card!). Even worse, was an elastic breaking or other mishap causing the cards to end up scattered all over. What a task to try to reassemble the deck in the correct order.
An enjoyable puzzle, some nice clues that made me smile. Hadn’t come across the definition for 20d as a person of wealth before, might be a bit rude for me to use in conversation though! Thanks to the setter.
Welcome to the blog, Big Wave Dave,
The term in 20d comes from Scots. Dictionaries don’t show it as being offensive — unlike toff, a term it is often used to clue (or vice versa), which is listed as “derogatory”.
Thank you for the welcome and explanation – I’ve checked in many times but never commented before!
liked 24A ” One doing wilful damage in museum close to Whitehall (6)”
Bit late to the party with this comment but 2d is not only my favourite clue for a while but is also a candidate for the Uxbridge English dictionary in ISIHAC
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