DT 29671 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29671

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29671

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where the lockdown is scheduled to end in a week and a half but every indication is that it will be further extended. Recently we have had a lot of cloudy weather and rain. Not heavy rain, just light drizzle mostly. I suspect the sort of weather that will be very familiar to those of you across the pond.

I found today’s puzzle to have a split personality. The upper half was completed at a two-star pace or better but the bottom half was a stiff test that I found to be in four-star territory. So overall, it merits three stars from me. The difficulty level was elevated in my case by several British expressions that were either new to me or that didn’t come readily to mind.

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   Referring to landlord in Lincoln, say (10)
REPUBLICAN — a short word appearing in the subject line of an email reply followed by a landlord who dispenses libations

6a   Singer opening in Berlin — when? First of September (4)
BASS — sandwich a synonym for when between the initial letters of Berlin and September

9a   Official car leaving property (4,6)
REAL ESTATE — a word meaning official or not merely speculation together with a car with lots of luggage space gives a North American term for buildings and land holdings

10a   Fine   source of water (4)
WELL — double definition; the first a description of one’s state of being

12a   Record temperature and take off (4)
TAPE — the single letter for temperature and a word meaning take off or imitate

13a   Note nurse translated in confidence (5,4)
ENTRE NOUS — an anagram (translated) of the first two words in the clue

15a   Briefly look after certain valuables (8)
TREASURE — a word meaning to look after or attend to with its final letter removed (briefly) and a word meaning certain

16a   Take part in a series of motorbike time trials, then stop (6)
ATTEND — the A from the clue, the usual IOM motorcycle event and a word meaning to stop

18a   Clamour as game cut short (6)
RACKET — a court game without its final letter

20a   Appropriate by a rostrum to acknowledge applause (4,1,3)
TAKE A BOW — link together a word meaning to appropriate or steal, the A from the clue and the prow of a ship (the definition refers specifically to an ancient Roman ship)

23a   Meeting the required standard, until put out (2,2,5)
UP TO SNUFF — two little words that together mean until followed by a word meaning to put out or extinguish (e.g., the flame of a candle)

24a   Smooth   golf club (4)
IRON — double definition; the first meaning to smooth the wrinkles out of the laundry

26a   Unfriendly Conservative, advanced in years (4)
COLD — the single letter for Conservative and an adjective denoting getting on in years

27a   Prudence to furnish new church (10)
PROVIDENCE — line up a word meaning to furnish or supply, the single letter for new and one of the usual two-letter churches

28a   Father beginning to eat fish (4)
POPE — a colloquial term for one’s old man and the initial letter of eat; the fish is better known as the ruffe

29a   Film guys on strike in billowing tent (10)
ENTRAPMENT — start with a charade of a quick short tap and some guys or chaps (the setter respects the dictum that “A on B” denotes A following B); then put this in an anagram (billowing) of TENT; the film is a 1999 production starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.


1d   Seldom seen in disaster areas (4)
RARE — a lurker skulking in the final two words of the clue

2d   A superintendent finally in position to calm down (7)
PLACATE — the A from the clue and the final letter of superintendent inserted into a noun meaning position or location or a verb meaning to position or locate

3d   A rye ‘Webster’s’ set out as a source of vitamin B (7,5)
BREWER’S YEAST — an anagram (set out) of the first three words of the clue

4d   At work, that man’s enthralled by right- winger on paper (2,6)
IN THEORY — the usual short word denoting at work (or at home) followed by a male subjective pronoun inside a member of a right-wing political party

5d   Shrewd moving statue (6)
ASTUTE — an anagram (moving) of STATUE

7d   Sign erected in an English plant (7)
ANEMONE — a prophetic sign is reversed (erected in a down clue) inside the AN from the clue and the single letter for English

8d   Dash along landing (10)
SPLASHDOWN — the type of dash a cook would add to a dish followed by a word denoting along in the direction of the current of a river

11d   Understand leg-pull about article may make one feel anxious (3,3,4,2)
GET THE WIND UP — a colloquial term meaning to understand something and a word denoting the playing of a practical joke bookend a definite article

14d   Huntsman’s parting shot? (7,3)
STIRRUP CUP — a cryptic definition of a fox hunter’s one for the road

17d   Comic play   that may bring tears to your eyes? (3,5)
HAY FEVER — double definition; the latter a medical condition that may make your eyes water (and your nose run); the answer is play written by Noel Coward

19d   Way in which ginger’s used? (7)
CATFLAP — a cryptic definition of a way in (or a way out) for a red-hued feline (or a feline of any other colour for that matter)

21d   Have in cheese and chocolate cake (7)
BROWNIE — a word meaning have or possess embedded in a type of French cheese

22d   With pleasure, organise charitable event (3,3)
FUN RUN — concatenate words meaning pleasure or enjoyment and organise or manage

25d   High temperature, and hard to swallow? (4)
HEAT — the pencil designation for hard and a word meaning to swallow or ingest

I always enjoy a good cryptic definition and so will go with 14d as my favourite (although it is likely a bit of an old chestnut).

Quickie Pun (Top Row): SKULK + APSE = SKULLCAPS

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : CROW + SHADE = CROCHETED

121 comments on “DT 29671

  1. Quite tricky to get into this one but some great clues including COTD 19d my last one in. I needed to look at Falcon’s hints (for which thanks) to understand my answer to 7d and the reference to sign but otherwise a steady plod at **/*** with many thanks to the setter for a good start to the week.

  2. What a thoroughly enjoyable start to the cryptic week. I thought this was one of Campbell’s best for some time, with the excellent 14d also my favourite ahead of 19d.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned and to Falcon.

  3. I thought that this was quite tough for a Monday, and I could have sat here until Doomsday and not solved 19d but I’ll bet that Terence can. As Falcon says, a good number of Britishisms held me up for a while, but I drew on my crossword experiences and my Anglophilia for those and managed them all except for the term ‘ginger’; it was that term which defeated me. Nothing against the lovely felines, though. Favourites: 28, 23, 20a. Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell.***** / ***

    1. Robert, you are an astute man – 19d has been haunting me for weeks and so I spotted it at once…

      1. Re 19d,we had a new starter in the office and I was told that his nickname was Catflap,
        When asked why I was told ‘because he swings both ways’

  4. A puzzle spoiled by the bottom half, in my opinion. I have never heard of:

    The Rostrum in 20a; the last word in 23a should be scratch, surely; I don’t know the fish in 28a, nor the film in 29a. The use of ginger in 19d isn’t clear to any extent. I’ll give it 7/10.

    Thanks to the compiler and Falcon.

  5. Up today before the lark had even considered removing his nightgown as H’s car went ‘in’ for an exhaust replacement, and I was on duty to bring her back whilst they do all the unbolting and bolting and whatever. Thus the crossword completed over a very early rack of toast; and orange juice with no bits. I look forward to Campbell on Mondays and this did not disappoint. I didn’t know the fish but it had to be what it was if you see what I mean.

    Yesterday, Jane asked about the 19d. It’s now a long story, so in brief: it transpired that it could not be fitted in the wall as the amount of wall available between the scullery door and some built in units is too small in that it would impact on the integrity of the doorway – that is, it would weaken the structure. So… it can only be fitted into the door – which is embossed to a degree that a lower panel needs to be removed and a new panel inserted to allow a 19d to be inserted into it. This is a specialist job and so a chap is booked in to do it but he cannot attend until May 28th. I have explained the value of patience to Lola.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Yes – Fragile

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Sounds like you are going to need planning permission soon Terence..
      Hopefully Lola appreciate the new gateway to freedom, a couple of ours never did.

    2. Thanks for the update, Terence. Your love of Lola obviously knows no bounds – can’t wait for the tales of how you persuade her to use it when it finally gets fitted!

    3. We had a 19d fitted through the wall when the conservatory was built, so there was an element of tunnel to it. Our two Somalis (from the same litter as the Fragrant Mary Archer’s two) I throw that on so that you appreciate their aristocracy, used it to bring in all their friends so we then had to change the lock to one which responded to an opener on their collars. What a palaver. Thompson flatly refused to subject herself to it when she came.

    4. I’ve had a cat flap forever and all my dogs have used it too, even 90-lb St. Rufus. I’m the one who’s spoilt. In the middle of the night I hear the flap opening and closing, turning on the duppy lights as they come and go. And I’m going to be there sooooooooon …

      1. You are brave. We always had a cat flap in England. When we arrived in south Florida everyone advised against one, as your furry friend could be bringing in something undesirable, a snake for instance? (He had a penchant to catching birds and letting them free once indoors. Our kitchen was quite an aviary some mornings. )

        Our English cat, a grey tabby by the name of Merlin, adjusted to this loss of freedom. He used to jump up into the outside window ledge, and wack the screening with his tail. That was his signal to open the door and let him in. He didn’t seem to mind not going out at night.

        1. Indeed, there’s all sorts of fauna that’s brought into my house, I’ve shown many pics!

  6. I’ve come to the conclusion that Mondays are not for me. Top half was ok, the bottom half was a real mixed bag. I thought 19d was an awful clue, unless I’m missing something, the ginger/cat reference is so tenuous? Never heard of 23a (Sounds like it could have come out of Eton in the 1930’s) or the film either
    Did quite like 1,13& 27a though so overall….

    1. Sorry, didn’t thank the setter for the puzzle and Falcon for his efforts. (I’d have struggled to blog this one)

    2. 19d took me ages. Agreed the ginger part is largely irrelevant – hence the question mark?

      1. The one we have was put in for when we looked after my daughter’s Maine Coon. Big enough for a small dog. The cat is long gone but I’m still stuck with the 19d!

        1. Oh we had a Maine Coon before the Somalis, fabulous cats – all fur and a dog like nature.

          1. My daughter now has 2 and a cocker spaniel. I’m sure they think they are all related.

      2. G, and SL above: 19a. “ginger’s” is not “largely irrelevant” – it’s an essential part of the clue! How, exactly, would the clue work without the cat (ginger) reference? The clue is a cryptic definition where the whole surface is misdirectional – ostensibly a question about cooking. But it is, of course, a cryptic/obscure question about the method of entry the cat used.

        1. I agree and the use of “ginger” does keep us on our toes. I spent ages thinking of the spice completely forgetting about a ginger Tom.

  7. I don’t think 19 down is credible, it should read Ginger’s used this way.

    1. Welcome to the blog Joan.

      The trick is that a 19d is a ‘way in’ (or a ‘way out’) and thus a “‘way in’ which ginger has used” (expanding the contracted ‘s).

      1. Sorry Falcon. I think I have said in a comment, or tried to say, what you have already said!

        1. No apology necessary. The same thing happened to me elsewhere in the discussion on rackets.

    2. It was difficult but credible when punctuation, or lack of, can be misleading. Way in, which Ginger’s used? Makes it more understandable. It had to be the name or type of cat.

  8. Agreed that the bottom was harder than the top but don’t understand how the difficulty can be averaged out. Overall an enjoyable start to the puzzling week as is usual for a Monday. Thanks to Campbell for the workout and to Falcon for the review. I hope that Little Lola can manage her new entrance and exit better than the moggy illustrated at 19 down

    1. Your comment about averaging out the difficulty reminds me of a professor explaining the concept of averaging by saying “If I were in the kitchen with my head in the oven and my derriere in the icebox, on average I would be comfortable”.

      1. My goodness! He used the subjunctive case! It annoys me when I hear “If I was”. 😡

  9. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the review and hints. A very good puzzle, that I found really difficult. Had some great clues. It was an education for me, as I’d never heard of 13, 28&29a, and had forgotten 14d. Needed the hints for 1,29a and 3,14,19&25d. I knew 3d was an anagram and had the fodder, but could not solve it. Favourite was 8d. Was 4* / 3* for me.

  10. 4*/2.5*. I found this surprisingly tough for a Monday, particularly in the bottom half. I needed to look up “rostrum” in 20a and check that 29a was indeed a film. As Falcon points out, 9a is an American term.

    My podium selection today consists of 1a, 23a & 8d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  11. I’m in the Falcon camp. The bottom half had me stumped for ages. I still don’t understand 20a, I’d never heard of the film at 29a although the answer was guessable as was the fish at 28a. 14d gives a bit of misdirection but my favourite, when the penny finally dropped, is 19d. Funny how we all immediately thought of Lola! ***/** Funny too how an apparently easy job turns into an engineering project, Terence. Always the way. Thanks to all. Cryptic Sue, you were spot on. Simon Serailler has me hooked.

    1. I’m just beginning #7 of the S. Serrailler series, Greta, with two of the last three already on my shelf, ready to be read. This one is A Question of Identity. What you will discover is how much the Serrailler Family–father, mother, daughter, son, etc.–changes as you move forward.

  12. I too found the bottom harder than the top and the silly little 25d last one in as heat doesn’t really mean hot IMHO. You can have something on a low heat. But all in all very enjoyable and I loved 19d. Year’s ago a pal came into the kitchen and found me lying on the floor with a can of tuna fish blowing tuna fumes through the cat flap at two extremely bemused kittens in an attempt to get them to go through it. Happy days! Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. In defence of the setter re 25d the definition is not “hot” it’s “high temperature” and as a noun the solution is a synonym.

    2. In our experience every cat will learn to use a catflap in its own time. So will every other cat in the neighbourhood which will lead to your cat food bill escalating and random cats hiding about your house when you return unexpectedly

      1. A catflap in our house would not only result in a high bill, but would also need some excellent snake catchers! They bring them home to show us they’ve been working, but occasionally get over confident and lose them. Then, they are really difficult to find!

          1. Your spelling of ‘definitely’ leads me to ask – are you the real ‘H’ from Line of Duty? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just ignore me! 😉

    3. Thank you to Campbell and Falcon. I also didn’t know the ones that everybody else has mentioned, but then it’s rare for me to complete a Campbell, without getting caught by some term that’s new to me.

      A friend who’s allergic to cats moved into a house where the previous owner had welcomed all feline friends in the neighbourhood to pop in, and locked the catflap shut. Unfortunately their drive slopes downwards, with a few steps up to the door. Local moggies had taken to bounding partway down the drive then, to avoiding going down and back up again, taking a leap and flying straight through the catflap.

      For the first few days after moving in, my friend kept hearing THUD, SPLAT, as yet another cat discovered only mid-flight that the flap no longer yielded, and they dropped down into the gap.

  13. Enjoyed this puzzle very much, a good mid morning change-of-focus. Stumped only by 19d, with which I’m unfamiliar as a compound word (as is my – admittedly nearly 40yo – BRB) and would have preffered for it to be enumerated as (3,4), but no complaint about the clue’s clever wording and deception. Lots of excellent clues, and for me the biscuit is shared by 11d and 14d, with 23a close on their heels.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to Campbell, and to Falcon for the review.


  14. As usual a Campbell struggle for me. I feel that on Mondays there is usually at least one clue that is a straightforward bung-in but requires obscure GK to parse (today 20a & 28a) and cryptic definitions that are too clever for me (eg 19d, which I I mirrored Terence’s experience by needing help to put in).
    Hopefully its just torpor from staying up late watching the Walker Cup that has affected my mood but I didn’t enjoy this overmuch. **** /** for me
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the explanations for those that were beyond me..

  15. Right on my wavelength today and excellent cluing throughout , thanks to our setter and Falcon for the pics.
    Liked the surfaces of 17d and 1a.
    Favourite was 14d, last in 23a was new regarding ‘ put out’ which was my D’oh moment.
    Going for a **/****

  16. I loved 11d. Needed Falcon’s help for 19d which I thought was hard to get from the clue. Nice anagram in 3d. Agree much harder than usual Monday fare but a good challenge. ****/*** for me…

  17. A week ago I commented:

    “I must have been suffering from an excess of or not enough Mouton Cadet Blanc, I will have to continue the experiment, because I had quite a few problems with today’s puzzle to the point that If I had not seen the double pun in the Quickie I might have doubted that it was by Campbell. 3.5*/2.5*”

    Delete Blanc and insert Rouge and that is today’s comment. Perhaps I am beginning to have a personal wavelength problem with Campbell.

    But, I did like 12a, 4d, and 14d with 14d coming out on top.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. Well, I did this unaided but I have a feeling that a couple of my bung-ins will prove to be wrong. I will check the hints after I have posted this. Quite tricky, I thought with some lateral thinking required. I have not heard of the expression at 23a. It has always been “scratch” to me. The SE corner held out the longest but succumbed after I sussed out 17d. Plenty of good clues but I’m going for 11d as my COTD.

    Grateful thanks to Campbell for the mental workout. Many thanks to Falcon for the hints.

    The tomato plants are still on the kitchen window sill. It’s far too cold to plant them out in this corner of Shropshire.

    1. Have bought some Moneymaker tom plants from the Crossbank Farm stall in the square – how soon can I put them outside Steve?

      1. Sorry to barge in, but I can tell you that a) you will need to harden them off gently and b) don’t put them outside until the overnight temp is about 15C
        Moneymaker are quite hardy but will reward you handsomely if you are gentle with them in Spring, ie strong roots

      2. I would wait until late May, Sabrinastar. LBR is quite correct that Moneymaker is hardy but the weather is still cold here in Salop. Again, I agree with LBR that the plants should be hardened off if, like me, you have the plants inside or in a greenhouse.🍅🍅

  19. Unlike Falcon it was the NW which held me up otherwise reasonably straightforward. Would never have considered synonym for official in 9a. For me 4d is not necessarily on paper. Ginger for 19d a bit loose. 29a film unbeknown to me so struggled. My Fav was 14d. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  20. A tricky little number from our Monday setter, particularly in the lower reaches where things started to fall apart when I couldn’t fit ‘scratch’ into 23a and didn’t know the required definition of ‘rostrum’ or the film. 25d was the last to fall and I’m still not very happy with it.
    Despite the Americanism, I rather liked 9a and my top three were 14,17&19d.

    Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and for giving Terence a nudge (!) and thanks to Falcon for the review.

  21. I spent longer on that extreme SW corner than everything else. Having filled in 23 and 26, I was left with a skeleton of 14d, 19d and 18a.
    14 fell first, although it was the ‘parting shot’ that confused me, as I tend to think of the answer as something one has “at the beginning of” or “before” (the hunt itself) – a bit of Dutch courage. Of course, if you look backwards, it’s to do with where you have been, outside a hostelry or hall, rather than where you’re going……. also, I have never understood the idea of “one for the road”. Is that supposed to be useful?

    The 28 fish had to be what it was, but I still refused to believe (19d) there could be a word **t*l*p.

    Finally 18 was put in. I don’t believe this is played in the UK – isn’t it the version of squash played with massive bats to make it much easier?

    Well, it was neither fun nor a run, but thanks to Falcon for all those definitions of the bung-ins and to Campbell.
    P.S. I did like 11d.

    1. Bluebird, you are thinking of Racketball which can be played on a Squash court with larger rackets and larger, more bouncy balls. It is recently been renamed Squash 57 to show the link with Squash with the 57 referring to 57 mm which is the maximum diameter of the ball (a squash ball is 40 mm).

      Rackets is a different indoor racket sport which is played in the UK (and I think the USA) but there are only a couple of dozen courts across the country, mainly at Public Schools.

    2. Bluebird, you may be confusing rackets with racquetball. Rackets was invented in the UK and, while there are a handful of courts in North America (maybe only one in Canada), most of the courts are found in the UK.

      1. Further confusion occurs, Falcon, as Racketball (now called Squash 57) was developed in the UK to be played on Squash Courts, and Racquetball is different again and played on dedicated Racquetball courts. I don’t think Racquetball is played in the UK but I’m not fully certain about that.

        Regarding Rackets Courts, “most” is still not very many, perhaps three or four handfuls! It’s a very specialised sport.

        1. According to Wikipedia, the first court in Montreal was built in 1825 and the Montreal Rackets Club (founded in 1889) is the oldest in existence. That obviously means not the first but the oldest still in existence. It may have the only court in Canada.

        2. Well …………..thanks to you guys for your assiduousness, or might it be assiduity?
          I can see this has become a rabbit hole/racket ball/racquetball and feel free to perm any of 57 varieties.
          I hope to remember this. I don’t promise, but I hope.

  22. Took longer than usual for a Monday. My favourite was 19d. Thanks to today’s setter and Falcon.

  23. Other than the NW I found this quite a trek to the finish line. If it was a journey from London to Edinburgh up the A1 I broke down just past Stamford & parked up. Better progress on resumption but still plenty of traffic. The rostrum synonym & the fish both needed confirmation & 19d was a bung in as I didn’t really get the ginger bit. Last in, somewhat ironically, was my parting shot at 14d, which only dawned on me after I had the final checker. I’d rate this the trickiest Monday production for quite some time. 23a was my favourite as it reminded me of my uncle who used to say it. Have never seen 17d on stage but remember a pretty good Beeb production a good few years ago with Penelope Keith & Paul Eddington in it.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon.

    1. I saw Hay Fever at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1971, a most amusing production, if not Coward at his peak. This past Friday night, by the way, I watched Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, filmed last August (to an empty theatre) at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. Sterling cast. But what an immersion into comic despair! It was shown on our Public Television’s Great Performances series.

      1. If I’m honest I find Chekhov hard work even though I want to like it. Of the big four Vanya would probably be my choice. Trouble is I always think of Richard E Grant (in the marvellous film, Withnail & I) saying ‘anyway I hate those Russian plays, full of women staring out of windows whining about ducks going to Moscow’ after he’s indignantly refused his agent’s offer of a role understudying Konstantin in The Seagull.
        Did you do/complete Paul’s poetry prize puzzle in the Graun ? I’m still 4 shy & totally stuck.

        1. Hi Huntsman.
          I loved the Paul prize and managed to parse everything.
          Would be happy to help 😊.

          1. I’d take a bit of a nudge on 5d which would give me the checkers for 2 of the missing acrosses. Flummoxed at 24a too. Poetry never my forte.

            1. 5d is a poet; a four letter private kind of eye and a three letter male issue in which IN from the clue is inserted (limiting)
              24a, another poet who sounds like a very famous poem from Tennyson with words such as I babble in the pebbles.
              Hope that helps

              1. Cheers. Had a dud checker in 5d due to bunging a Swiss dish beginning with R instead of poet in an across clue – no wonder I couldn’t parse it.

        2. Sorry I’m so late replying. The Cherry Orchard is my favourite, I suppose, since my students always seemed to respond so well to it; Three Sisters my least. Haven’t yet looked at the Guardian’s weekend puzzles but still plan to. Too busy reading Rachel Cusk’s new novel, Second Place, which is a really strange piece of work, like the self-absorbed woman narrator.

  24. A very enjoyable challenge almost completed barring a few some of which I had never heard including 23a. Mrs 2P came to the rescue for the film and the french term. I found the difficulty level fairly even across the grid, after the first pass I had gaps everywhere!
    Thanks to Falcon and the setter

  25. Yes the bottom half was a struggle. My Grandfather Angus used to say 23a if something was not to his liking, I liked 3D (Marmite, anyone?)and 14d and thought 11d very clever. Unconvinced by 19d and 28a which were bung ins later confirmed by Falcon. I’m with SC in being desperate to get the greenhouse emptied – the outdoor tomatoes are outgrowing their pots and the runner beans are 2 feet high! What strange weather, it is blowing a Gale here now drying out all that lovely rain we had.

  26. Coming from t he Quorn Hunt Country and having participated ( many, many, many years ago, ) before, after , during quiet moments or any other excuse, it was standard practice for alright to be taken,

  27. Quite a lot of general knowledge and vocab missing today. I’ll try to retain it all but the version of ‘meet the standard’ which I shall actively try to forget!

  28. Agree with Falcon that this is a *** puzzle and thank him for his help in words and pictures on some of the clues in the bottom half. Agree with others who found 19d difficult and very poor as a clue, which is unusual for Campbell.
    First equal in my estimation today were 23a and 11d both of which I thought very clever.

    How awful to think that next Monday might be s hugfest. I said to my very much better half that I must get a polo shirt with “DO NOT HUG / on pain of death”, but she tartly responded, ” I don’t think anyone would be so foolish.” I just hope she’s right.

    As usual on a Monday, many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  29. Like some others, top half yielded fairly quickly, not so the bottom half. Favourites were 3d and 14d. The 23a expression was new to me. Thank you setter and Falcon. I’m quite upset today as six of my ten bluetit chicks have died. Not sure if it’s just the very cold May we are having, with some very frosty nights, and mum bluetit can’t keep them warm, or if it’s a shortage of caterpillars and mum can’t feed all her chicks. Probably a combination. I hope that the remaining four survive. Last year all ten chicks thrived and fledged.

  30. Sorry, but I didn’t enjoy this one.
    Bottom left corner had to many clues – 14d, 19d and 23a in particular – that were too tenuous or too obscure.

  31. Oh dear are we set for another week of Toughies masquerading as Cryptics. This was an awful puzzle and had a fish that very few people would have known, a foreign phrase and the less said about 19d the better.
    A dreadful offering in my opinion.
    Absolutely zero fun.

    1. Yep!!
      My normal cheery self got a tad grumpy at some of these very convoluted answers…a relatively obscure film title for 29A clued somewhat clumsily kinda summed it up for me!
      Here’s to better days tomorrow 🤞

  32. Excellent offering from Campbell, thank you. Bit trickier than his usual Monday fare but none the worse for that. Most contributors are agreed on the majority of clues, but one or two “marmite” clues today. My favourites are 1a and 11 14 17 and 19d. With regard to the last one I was trying to think of something similar to Tally Ho until the penny dropped. The answer is valid as a parting shot rather like one for the road. I do not complain about 1a and 9a despite them both being from the other side of the pond. I also do not mind about 13a not being hinted as a foreign word as it is used in common parlance in this country and although translated is the anagram indicator it could lead one to think of a foreign word. I had trouble with 23a as I am very familiar with both scratch and speed as the third word in this saying. I admit to googling “Up to s” whereupon the answer appeared along side the other words with which I am more accustomed. If people, including me, did not know a rostrum was the bow of a ship (I thought it was a stage), it was was easy to get as another way of saying “acknowledge applause”. I did not know the film but worked it out from the clue and checked 27a as I do not connect the answer with what I know as prudence. 23a and 19d last two in. Well done Falcon.

      1. What seems to have been happening recently, WW, is that when you click SAVE after editing a comment nothing seems to happen. However, the changes do get saved, which you can see by reloading the page. This may be a browser specific problem. I am using Google Chrome.

        1. Yes, since a recent Google ‘update’ – do updates ever improve anything? I think not

        2. RD I thought it was something I was doing wrong ‘cos I’m having the same problem via Google Chrome – good to know.

  33. Great puzzle to start to the week with plenty of head scratching and some juicy clues. A few in the south held me up but a fresh look later and I staggered to the finishing line unaided. Favourites for me today are 13a and 14d. Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  34. I used to look forward to Monday puzzles. It appears that as there is no official Toughie on Mondays, we get one pretending to be a regular cryptic instead. Clearly I am on a different planet from Campbell. The fish and ginger clues made me very grumpy. I assume that 21d is now used in England. I didn’t come across it until we sailed across the pond. Not what I needed after a weekend when the treatment ordered by my doctor for surgery wounds arrived, and was “not what the doctor ordered”. Thankfully my doctor did respond to my email and explained how to apply. Why do these things always happen at weekends, when everything is closed? Oh well, worse things happen at sea. Thanks Falcon, you’re clearly much smarter than me.

  35. Agree that Campbell upped the difficulty level today.
    SW seemed impenetrable for a while until I remembered the drink in 14d.
    Had to check the expression in 23a, the fish in 28a and the film in 29a.
    As for 19d, I have both a catflap and a cat called Gingembre.
    Favourite 11d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  36. Took a while to get to this today. 2.5*/*** for me. Needed couple of hints near the end for a couple of the troublesome 4 letter words.
    Favourites include 1a, 23a, 19d & 17d with winner 23a
    Finally looking like a sunny day today. Off outside with grandson for a walk.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  37. Very tricky for me today – more so than usual even allowing for it to be Monday.
    Just for a change I’m not going to go on at length – gardening most of the day and if I don’t start thinking about supper we’ll be eating at midnight.
    The last bit of 20a had to be what it was but remained a mystery.
    My favourite was 19d – made me laugh specially the accompanying pic which reminded me of our Elder Lamb’s cat.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  38. This was a fairly straightforward crossword with which to re-start our fortnightly Cryptic Crossword Club after a prolonged break caused by the pandemic, with enough harder clues to make the effort a challenge. All completed before our coffee break.

  39. Found this hard pounding and not a lot of fun. Struggled through most of the idioms but defeated by 14D. Congratulations to Falcon for making sense (for me) of a some of the other clues too. ****/**

  40. ****/*. Not a very enjoyable experience and tricky to boot. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  41. Hard going for me today but got there in the end without hints or electronic help.
    I am persisting with Campbell but not really making much progress.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon

  42. I don’t always agree with Brian but I have to say I concur with him today. Too many obscure references. I finished it with the help of an anagram solver and some of Falcon’s hints but it wasn’t really much fun. Clues like 20a just make me feel cheated as surely hardly anyone knows the rostrum/bow meaning without checking a dictionary? ****/*

    1. What good news, Sadie. Give your mum a lot of love, she needs it – and you – more than ever.

  43. I’m another one in the “I agree with Brian for once camp” this evening and spent longer on the SW corner than the rest of the crossword so I bunged the last two but one answers in, which I I’d had for some time, so 19d had to be what it was. Worst clue of the year so far. Never heard of the rostrum in 20a, the phrase in 23a, the film in 29a out the play in 17d. If I had to name a COTD it would be 13a as I have no foreign language skills and worked out a foreign sounding word and Googled it, amazingly it was right. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  44. Very late…not much fun, too many obscure words/sayings.
    Thanks both.

  45. Enjoyed the top half. I found the bottom half too tough. Hadnt heard of the film or play or 14d and struggled with a few of the others. So pleased to see i wasnt alone! Thanks as always to the setter and for the clues above to get me over the line.

  46. Too difficult for my poor brain – I just gave up in the end, not 23a for this standard of puzzle. Thanks to setter and Falcon for all their efforts.

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