DT 29683 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29683

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29683

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa where, following an early taste of July temperatures, the weather has returned to a more normal state. Today (Monday) is the Victoria Day holiday in Canada but I am actually composing this review Sunday evening to the sound of fireworks outside my window.

I found the puzzle to be a fairly typical Campbell creation that tilted slightly toward the more difficult end of the scale. There were a few new words for me (which I was able to decipher from the wordplay and then verify in the dictionary) as well as a few new British terms to add to the memory bank. However, the top line quickie pun has stumped me—so for that I rely on the readership to be my “lifeline”.

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.

Across

1a   American banker in vessel with old raincoat on (7)
POTOMAC — a charade of a cooking vessel, O(ld) and a shortened raincoat; remember, in Crosswordland, a banker is a flower with banks

5a   Bears down on   printing houses (7)
PRESSES — double definition; the first a verb and the second a noun

9a   Film footage randy don destroyed (3,3,9)
DOG DAY AFTERNOON — anagram (destroyed) of the three middle words in the clue

10a   Emperor from part of Chianti, Tuscany (5)
TITUS — a lurker hiding in the final two words of the clue

11a   Sail ark no more at sea (9)
MOONRAKER — anagram (at sea) of ARK NO MORE

12a   Type of bread full breakfast perhaps demands? (9)
WHOLEMEAL — a cryptic definition with an embedded precise definition

14a   Fine German city close to motorway (5)
BONNY — a one-time German capital and the final letter of (close to) motorwaY

15a   Worn out bagging large carp (5)
BLEAT — worn out or exhausted wrapped around L(arge)

16a   Absent-minded cast, tense following Ursula’s opening line (9)
FORGETFUL — start with another method to shape hot metal (albeit requiring signifcantly less heat than casting) and append (in the order specified in the clue) the initial letter (opening) of Ursula intermixed with abbreviations for tense, following and line

18a   Two teas before tea dance (3-3-3)
CHA-CHA-CHA — tea after tea after tea; if I drank that much tea I would be dancing too



21a   Unfortunately upset catching son dressing (5)
SALSA — reverse (upset) an old-fashioned expression of grief or misfortune and insert S(on); the answer is a spicy sauce (or a spicy dance)

22a   Quick to appreciate those applauding? (4,3,8)
LIKE THE CLAPPERS — the final three words of the clue provide a literal interpretation of this idiomatic expression

23a   Headband: ornate relic exhibited in court (7)
CIRCLET — an anagram (ornate) of RELIC inside the shortened version of court found on street signs

24a   Blessing well in West African country (7)
BENISON — you need to find a very versatile little word that can mean well when used to introduce a question as in “Well, what have you got to say for yourself, young lady?“; insert this into a West African country formerly known as Dahomey

Down

1d   Place to live, above store in Cornish town (7)
PADSTOW — a hippy’s abode before (above in a down clue) a word meaning to store or pack away

2d   ‘Telegraph’ work — it involved high-level performer (9,6)
TIGHTROPE WALKER — an anagram (involved) of the first three words in the clue

3d   Income assessment embarrassed statesmen (5,4)
MEANS TEST — an anagram (embarrassed) of STATESMEN

4d   Appeal of daily male! (5)
CHARM — a cleaning lady pursued by a M(ale)

5d   Guard Irishman with posh car? (9)
PATROLLER — Crosswordland’s favourite Irishman accompanied by an expensive automobile

6d   Dread blowing top, making mistake (5)
ERROR — a synonym for dread losing its first letter (blowing top)

7d   Cellists forking out for small gifts (8,7)
STOCKING FILLERS — an anagram (out) of the first two words of the clue give us some gifts that will be delivered exactly seven months from today; only 224 shopping days remaining!

8d   Conspirator against Caesar, we hear, heartless guy in combined action (7)
SYNERGY — the first part of the answer sounds like one of the conspirators against Julius Caesar (the one with the namesake poet); to complete the answer, append the first and last letters of GuY

13d   Capable, fifteen working around Channel Islands (9)
EFFICIENT — an anagram (working) of FIFTEEN enveloping the the short form for Channel Islands

14d   In French port, reportedly pawn fashionable brooch (9)
BREASTPIN — the first part of the answer sounds like a port on the Atlantic coast of Brittany; follow this with the chess notation for pawn and a short word meaning fashionable or trendy

15d   Complaint undermining second-rate university in the country? (7)
BUCOLIC — a medical complaint of newborns follows the letter designating second-rate and the abbreviation for university

17d   I suffer over lad’s affair (7)
LIAISON — start with a reversal (over) of I from the clue and a word meaning to suffer or be afflicted; to this add a male offspring

19d   Some who telephone Claridge’s, for example (5)
HOTEL — a lurker hiding in the second and third words of the clue

20d   Impromptu remark from Democrat cornered by a Liberal (2-3)
AD-LIB — the abbreviation for Democrat sandwiched between the A from the clue and the abbreviation for Liberal

For favourite clue, I will pick 21a as it made me laugh.


Thank you to all the readers who came to my aid to crack the top row pun.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): LITTER + JEKYLL = LITURGICAL

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : FEELER + FRAYED = FEEL AFRAID


162 comments on “DT 29683
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      1. Took me a couple of minutes to work that one out – slightly tortuous but definitely liturgical!

      1. Getting the Quickie out of the way before attempting the cryptic…..15a, surely a soap powder is not a detergent? I can see that it cleans but I thought the whole point about a detergent was that it was artificial and was therefore soap free? I’m sure someone will enlighten me!

  1. Mostly quite enjoyable though I’m not keen on simply cluing obscure films as in 9a with obvious anagram indicators.
    24a a new word for me but had all the checkers so obtainable from the wordplay.
    Ticks go to 12&22a plus 8,15&17d
    2/2.5*
    Many thanks to Campbell and DT for the entertainment

    1. I agree completely including the hmm for 9a, the list of ticked clues, and not knowing 24a, although I would stretch to a 3* rating for enjoyment.

      Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon (not DT, Stephen).

  2. Liturgical…at a stretch!
    enjoyed the puzzle, quick straight forward solve.
    thanks to setter.
    Thanks to Falcon for sorting out some parsing.

  3. I thought at first that I wasn’t going to be able to complete this because of the GK involved. However, in the end I got there, with a few guesses along the way. I didn’t know the film at 9a, the sail at 11a, the headband at 23a or the blessing at 24a. The downs came to my rescue in providing enough checkers. It really spoils a crossword for me when this level of GK is expected of the solver.

    I did like 22a though!

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

    1. Thank you Malcolm, you have written my review for me, I agree with all of that.
      I questioned whether this was a Campbell production, as I had no problems, which is unusual for me on a Monday

      1. Also thank you Malcolm (and GJR for the addendum about attribution) exactly my thoughts too. However 2the two Quickie puns confirm Campbell for me.
        8d gets COTD, one of the few “modern” words I like.
        Thanks Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the detailed review.

  4. At first I though this Campbell puzzle was goung to be tricky, but I then started at the bottom and everyrhing rapidly fell into place (1.5*/3*).The misdirection was good, especially in some of the anagrams like 11a and I liked the geographical pair, 1a and 1d. COTD, however was the partial homophone 8d. I’d never heard of the 1975 film and had to guess and look it up, after I’d got a few checkers. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and Campbell.

  5. That was fun, but over too quickly. Perhaps the CIA nanochip embedded in my second dose of Astra Zeneca administered at 8.30 am accidentally connected me to a crossword solving computer.

    1. Glad you’ve had your second dose. Three cheers for our wonderful NHS for which I worked for 39 years. Today’s puzzle a little more straightforward. Unlike Angellov below I find the anagrams helpful in getting me started Again when I get stuck.

  6. A gentle start to the cruciverbal week, I thought. A most enjoyable puzzle which read very smoothly and did feel rather like one of Campbell’s, so my thanks to them if so, and to whomever else the setter may be if otherwise! Briefly delayed by 14d as LOI but all the checkers were there. Have never heard of the film, and the sail was carefully stowed somewhere in the darkest recesses of my mind, but both fell quickly.

    As is usual with Campbell’s (?) puzzles I finished with lots of ticks next to the clues, whether for smiles, chuckles, wit, style, or just plain pleasure – 10a, 12a, 16a, 4d, 8d, 15d, 17d, 19d – but COTD for me was 22a because of the lovely surface read.

    1.5*/4*

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

      1. Thanks for that, MP – fascinating and very amusing, especially the possible derivation described in the final paragraph, and which I somehow doubt we’d ever see clued in a DT-published puzzle!

  7. Nothing too scary today but rather over-anagrammed for my taste although there are some unusual indicators for them. My Favs were 14a and 22a. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  8. This seemed like a gentler Campbell to me, even though I didn’t remember the Cornish town (easily derived, though). Otherwise, it was smooth sailing, with some neat clues standing out: 12a, 8d, 17d, 22a. (I have to admit my surprise upon seeing the Pacino film there, though every now and then it resurfaces of the telly over here–a wild, manic kind of movie that just never leaves you once you’ve seen it–director Sidney Lumet a long way from ‘Tootsie’!) Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ***

        1. I do hate it when I do something like that, and I’m afraid I’ve made that same mistake before, confusing Lumet with Pollack. And I do know better, really. Crusty, cobwebby brain!!! (I too like The Pawnbroker and 12 Angry Men.)

          1. I confuse things on purpose just to see who is paying attention. I also like to use the word obscure in front of well known films, books, plays, authors just to give those who like to wind themselves up about petty things a chance to do so. Tanita Tikeram singing soprano at a royal wedding spring to mind

          2. Talking of great directors, Fred Zinneman. The Day Of The Jackal was on TV last night, I had forgotten just how good that was.

        1. You are naughty, MP. We know it was Sidney Poitier. One of my favourite film, though I must say I’ve never had a colleague like that, more’s the pity.

    1. Hi Robert,
      The Cornish town has a new name now. It’s called Padstein after it’s most famous chef.

      1. And in more comedy connections, Stein is another name for Rock, just across the water…….
        Now the occasional playground of Young Etonians, much to the disgust of a friend who lives there.

      2. I knew 1d from the TV shows from there with the famous chef. We haven’t heard from him for some time, is he only filming from Australia now?

    2. The Cornish town is well known these days due to a famous restaurateur Rick Stein. There are so many restaurants there owned by him and others. You may even have heard of him a rossthe pond. Nevertheless I was still chewing my pencil and running through Cornish towns in my head when it was on a programme about food onRadio 4!
      Sorry this was meant for Robert.

  9. Flew through the north with barely pause for thought but the south was a bit more of a challenge. The wordplay got me to 23&24a neither of which I was familiar with but otherwise a brisk finish in under **time & a pleasant start to the week. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout. For anyone interested in the movies I wouldn’t regard 9a was an obscure film. Directed by the great Sidney Lumet it’s notable for being 1 of only 5 movies John Cazale ever starred in, all of which were best picture nominated & 3 of them winners.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.
    Ps never heard of the garden designer & couldn’t figure her out via a pun.

    1. POTOMAC is the river that George Washington is crossing in the famous painting. If memory serves it’s in eastern PA.

  10. A relatively easy ride for me today although I did need a couple of checkers for the conspirator (silly girl) and the film which I’d only vaguely heard of and certainly never seen.
    Favourite was probably 22a with 14a tucked in behind it.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  11. I’d never heard of the film at 9a either but I’m not a film buff. Mostly straightforward offering today. **/** Favourite 22a. Thanks to all.

  12. Vaguely remembered the movie in 9a so didn’t need to write the letters in a circle.
    The other two long ones were also easily sorted.
    New words for me in 23a and 24a.
    Favourite 16a.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  13. Does Campbell take a handful of Monday pills before setting these user friendly Mondayish puzzles? The consistency is notable. I remembered the film from a brief clip on either Michael Parkinson’s or Barry Norman’s Film program from 1975, it’s a rather obvious anagram so fair game for a crossword clue. Thanks to Campbell for the workout and to Falcon for the blog. Once I twigged the Quickie Pun I thought you might have trouble with it.

  14. Like others I only had the vaguest recall of the film, but easily resolved anagram.
    Disappointingly easy crossword. I f they are choosing to “ease us into the week gently” please supply a Toughie on Mondays.

      1. Quite agree.
        From Friday to Tuesday without a toughie induces withdrawal symptoms.
        Maybe it’s such an established routine that change is just not conceivable.

        1. For those of us who use the digital paper it was great when the DT finally included the Toughie. Maybe if we all ask hard enough CL will consider introducing one on Monday (even better the weekend too)

      2. I think you are probably doing the wrong puzzle for you. I rather like the variety of setters and levels.

    1. On behalf of those of us with tiny brains, please consider our plea that the geniuses (or genii) here have ample access to toughies, here or in other sources, do not consider messing with our fun!

      1. I’m in agreement too. I fair sailed through this with only a couple of pauses at 23 and 24a which I had a stab at from the checkers. A Monday puzzle like this feels like a gentle warm up for the rest of the week.

    2. I agree with Merusa. The Toughie is already provided for you clever folks. Please don’t begrudge us a cryptic we can actually do. We all fork out for subscription after all.

    3. I quite like the way the DT cryptic crossword ranges goes from nice and friendly on a Monday to trickier by Friday. It has been like this for more years than most of us can remember so we do know what to expect and shouldn’t complain. There are other crosswords available every day with a variety of difficulty levels.

      1. Thanks for the support! It seems that Liz and I are the only ones “bleating” about this all the time.

      2. I do do other crosswords (Times & times quick cryptic plus the Jumbo on Saturdays) and don’t claim to be any sort of genius – after all I have said on here before that I can’t cope with Elgar.
        But, longevity must count for something and I have been doing crosswords for over 50 years.
        I don’t mean to make seemingly demeaning or arrogant remarks, but surely comments should be truthful.

        1. Truthful, yes, but ‘disappointingly easy’ is rather disparaging to those who only do the back-pager, perhaps have less experience and are happy with the challenge provided

  15. I enjoyed that mainly because I managed it unaided. Like others, I had a vague recollection of the 9a film and the long anagrams I found satisfying. Plenty of clues to like such as 1a, 12a, 18a and 5d but my COTD is 22a, which had a great surface.

    I did not get the top Quickie pun until I read the blog. My pronunciation was wrong.

    Grateful thanks to Campbell for the workout and to Falcon for the blog.

  16. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Although I join with the Hmms on 9a but it was sort of counterbalanced by 22a.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, the aforementioned 22a, and 15d – and the winner is 22a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  17. I did not know Caeser’s conspirator in 8d, so that was a bung in. I remembered the film, Al Pacino, I think.
    Nice to actually finish a crossword, at least!
    And thanks to those who sorted out the quickie pun.
    Thanks Falcon and Campbell.

  18. From Kath’s husband today
    Kath is coming home this afternoon. She still has a way to go but hopefully will fare better in familiar surroundings. She has just asked me to say thank you too and will be in touch as soon as she is able.

    1. Miffypops,
      Your post has caused me to read through the comments from the last few days to bring myself up to date on the situation with Kath. I am so sorry to learn what has happened but it is encouraging that she is able to come home. I join with the rest of the Big Dave community in wishing her a speedy recovery. Her words of encouragement meant a lot to me a couple of years ago when I was hospitalized and convalescing and I am sure the outpouring of support she has received will be very meaningful to her. Hope to see you back in the bloggers chair soon Kath.

      1. So sorry to hear about Kath. My best wishes to her for a speedy recovery. After I had my left leg removed due to bone cancer in 2014, I mentioned on this blog that I was in hospital having chemotherapy. Kath and CS were both very generous and kind with their comments at the time. I started my studies in Oxford the same year Kath began her training there as a nurse, so I have always taken a special interest in her comments here.

    2. So good to hear that and do hope she will now go from strength to strength. Blessings to her and the family. 🌈🌻

    3. Whoop, whoop, whoop! Thanks for that news, M’pops, home is where the healing begins. Wotta relief.

    4. Good news about Kath. Home is the best place with loved ones and familiar surroundings.

      Best wishes Kath.

    5. So good to hear, and hoping she will get rapidly better in her own home. Sending all best wishes.

    6. Thank goodness she’s coming home – that should make her birthday next week so much more enjoyable.

      1. Wonderful news about Kath. I logged in early to see if any news and then once or twice more before I looked at the crossword. When I saw how many comments there were when I logged in again I quickly scrolled down as I guessed it would be news of Kath that was causing such a stir. Kath you will be much missed until you are fit to return.

    7. Thank you MP.
      Great news.
      Kath may have someway to go, but hopefully she will be helped by knowing everyone here will be encouraging her every step of the way.

    8. Thanks for the update Miffypops, that’s excellent news
      I’m sure she will much happier recovering at home

    9. That’s good to hear, thank you for the update. Wishing you a speedy road to recovery Kath and look forward to seeing you back here very soon.

  19. Quite a nice start to the week 😃 although top phrase in the “Quicky” took some research 🤔 ***/**** Top three are 15a, 1d ( I did like j-l-c’s Padstein) and 14d Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell

  20. Another fine crossword you’ve got me into. I loved 8d, so very clever. It was my last one in, trying to go all through the characters without actually having to get up and get the complete Shakespeare off the shelf! George has the memory of an elephant when it comes to Things Done In School, he got it before I did. Ticks against 22a and many others and I thought 7d a very neat anagram. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon, good news concerning Kath and nice to see Terence popping up. Very WET here.

  21. So pleased to note the update about The Lovely Kath. I was very saddened about what happened and I wish her the speediest of recoveries.

    Once again, Campbell has supplied a splendid crossword to start the week. Clever clues but the answers are all attainable without any need to refer to great tomes of reference. No detailed knowledge of obscure Chinese dynasties was required.

    Four days until Lola has her cat door. She led me to the back door this morning so she could go out, took one glance at the torrential rain outside and, with some disdain, turned on her paws and went back to sprawl out in my study.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Pat Metheny & Anna Maria Jopek – Upojenie (perfect crossword music)

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

      1. I interrupted her in the middle of a grooming session (for clarification, I mean Lola grooming herself, not me…)

    1. She’s definitely got the look of a ‘princess’ these days, Terence. I reckon she knows exactly where she’s got you!

  22. Well (or should it be So?), that was a lot of fun. Zesty but not testy.
    I enjoyed all the long answers, which cried out to be done first.
    I love that Pacino film. He has so much range as an actor. Also John Cazale – that was a loss.
    I didn’t know 11 was a sail – I needed my father in law there, no longer with us. I only know it as a book read at school when I was 12.
    My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    Glad to hear the encouraging news about Kath and also wishing Mr DG all the best.

  23. Not really much fun. An obscure movie and absolutely no idea why 11a is a sail, to me it’s a James Bond book/movie.
    No my favourite Monday but Mondays are seldom much fun recently.
    ***/*
    Thx for the hints

    1. I suppose 11a got its name because it was the highest sail on a tall ship, above the sky sail, five sails above the topsail, so high that it was deemed to scrape the moon.

        1. If the diagram I used to illustrate the clue is to be believed, there are three levels of sails above the Topgallant; the Royal, the Sky and the Moonraker.

  24. Thank you to Falcon for the couple of hints I needed to complete the bottom-right corner. I didn’t know the river, film, sail, headband, or blessing either, but mostly managed to get them, and overall it felt easier than most Monday puzzles. I have lots of ticks, with my favourite being 22A.

    Campbell is mentioned in Django’s interview in today’s Guardian blog, as a provider of early feedback.

  25. Coming to this late in the day I was delighted to find this enjoyably straightforward with some nice long anagrams to help fill the grid. 8d proved to be my favourite clue.

    Very heartened to read that Kath is now back home to begin her journey to what we all hope will be a full recovery.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon.

  26. A slightly more difficult Monday puzzle than usual but finished in **. Favourite by a long way today is 22a.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  27. Having outlived my biblical three-score years and ten, what is obscure GK for some is just plain memory for me. I had no problems today, in fact, started this at the bottom, working upwards and finished before breakfast, most unusual for me.
    Undoubted fave 22a, giggle worthy, but I also liked 1d for memories of the TV chef.
    Thanks to Campbell for the Monday fun and to Falcon for the hints and pics, especially at 7d.

  28. Thank you to Campbell for a delightful puzzle, nothing disappointing about it at all. Just 3 clues kept this from being all my own work. I had bunged in coronet for 23a and salad for 21a which didn’t help. Didn’t know the 24a country, and have never called a brooch a 14d. I did dog the film out of the darkest depths of my brain, and actually knew the sail. All in all, a good day. Thanks to Falcon for helping me finish. And three cheers for Kath going home.

    1. I bunged coronet in too. Glad I’m in good company. Had to think again as Claridges does not end in N.

  29. Good to get a Monday-ish crossword again. Never heard of film so had to grind it out after enough checkers were in. On the other hand, like so many, had a good chuckle over 22a. **/****

  30. A trickier puzzle in places than a normal Monday puzzle, but nothing too far out. 2.5*/**** for this one today. A new word for me in 24a and some nice misdirection in several clues including1a.
    Candidates for favourites include 18a, 22a, 1d, 13d & 20d with favourite being 13d

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  31. This was pretty straightforward today which is just as well. Have waited in all day (promised text with delivery time not sent). Two small tables from B & Q arrived, except they didn’t, well one did and some extraordinary sort of metal cupboard. Have rung and was told the cupboard would be collected on Wednesday and other table would arrive Thursday. Apparently the same driver can’t take away and deliver! Bonkers. Hope they are easier to construct than the garden furniture last week – almost a divorce. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the diversion.

  32. A bit of a hmm from me too for 9a too, although I am a cinephile. However I was so happy to complete the cryptic unaided after a long break to focus on other things. Admittedly a Monday, but it helps to build my confidence so I am siding with Merusa and others who like a gentle solve when we need one. 24a rang a distant bell for me but only because I had all the checkers. I’m usually pretty good on classical history (MA from the Open University) but couldn’t remember the conspirator in 8d until the answer became obvious. 14d reminded me of Captain Haddock in the French version of the Tintin books. Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  33. **/***. Pleasant start to the week on a very wet Victoria Day holiday. At least it will discourage crowds. No real stand out clues for me. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  34. I really have never heard a brooch called a 14 d. Has anyone?
    Glad the news about our poorly bloggers is encouraging. Good luck to one and all.

  35. I enjoyed today’s puzzle though the top half went in much quicker than the bottom. I realised that 9a was an anagram but had to consult my DT A to Z of Everything to confirm my thoughts. Ditto 11a but enjoyed seeing the picture above just now, most informative! LOI 24a I was so sure basin was going to be part of the answer. Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

    Good to hear that Kath should be back home in her familiar surroundings by now. Day at at a time, Kath. Easy does it and all of our love and best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Take good care and no burning the midnight oil!

  36. Enjoyed this and finished in one sitting!
    To echo another fine contributor, I thought this was the least challenging of the last few Mondays which had seemed to morph into Toughies!
    But nevertheless an enjoyable challenge after the weekend of ‘pen-winning’ puzzles!😜
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for a great blog ‘n hints! 👍
    Cheers!

  37. Another fine Monday offering, I knew the film, I think it was about them trying to finance a sex change ,so ahead of it’s time really🥴. Could not get 8d even with the hint but managed the rest unaided. Great news about Kath she must be so pleased to get home, bless her. With the weather set to improve by the weekend things are looking up. Thanks to all.

  38. I really enjoyed this. CL please ignore all the clever clogses saying this was too easy. It was right up my street and a great start to the week. I can’t often finish Monday crosswords so this made a pleasant change. Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell and wishing Kath a speedy recovery when she gets home. **/****

  39. Enjoyed this puzzle, but I wondered whether anyone else noticed that the two pictures of Her Majesty were reversed? Her coat is buttoned up the wrong way and she never wears her brooches on the left side!

    1. Welcome to the blog Chris.

      Great spot on the reversed images. Something did seem odd about them but I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

      1. I’m going to try a little experiment here and not sure if it will work. It it does, this image may be more to your liking.

  40. Finished without aids despite never having heard of the film. Takes me all my time to remember the name of the film I saw at the cinema on Saturday. It was fair, however, with all the checkers. Not sure I knew the blessing but it came to me as my last one in. My husband’s a sailor so I unfurled the sail. I bunged in 23a for the headband until I had to change when 19d did not fit. Favourites 12 and 22a and 1 5 7 and 15d. Did not feel like a normal Campbell to me as not as light as usual. Anyway thanks to him and to Falcon.

  41. This was a lot of fun (although 9A felt a bit like “here’s a cool anagram, even though it generates a film nobody is likely to have heard of”). COTD for me was 5D or 22A — both were laugh out loud when I saw them: clearly today’s setter is a bit of a pundamentalist.

  42. As it is such a miserable day here with nothing doing, I also tackled cryptic prize puzzle 657 from today as well.
    No harder than this cryptic one from Campbell, and in many ways easier.
    And no hints to fall back on.

  43. Straightforward until it wasn’t. Not helped by me running my gundog training classes and then going to the pub before attempting it. Oh well! Lesson learnt. I’ll try and do it before I go next time. Favourite 7d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  44. Apologies in my flush of excitement of actually doing the crossword on the same day it was published I forgot to thank our setter and Falcon.

  45. Hurrah! – second day of finishing unaided **/****. 14d was new to me and had not heard of 9a, but both were obvious from the checkers. COTD 22a, although not the way I completed this puzzle! Many thanks to setter and Falcon, whose hints I will now read together with the comments.

    1. You and me both, Tonihaha. Hope Jay is in be benign mood tomorrow. I’ve never had three unaided days in a row.

      Just realised you are talking about yesterday’s puzzle. Still, three days unaided beckons.

  46. Still going on this one but my brain is a bit woolly today.
    I like 7d, made me smile. I showed Alan and he sort of got it but asked what pants had to do with it. I explained it means ‘rubbish’ in English slang, at least I think it does, one of my sisters says it sometimes. Alan said ‘Since when did pants mean rubbish?’ Me ‘I think it’s at least 20 years….. we have been gone from the UK for a long time. Language changes.’ He was not impressed, apparently nobody asked him if things could change. Which is pretty funny, he has a slight Canadian accent over his English accent but he is actually a Scot and over the years we have sort of evolved our own slang too, things our kids said when little, daft things. I pointed that out and was met with ‘Hrrrmmmphhh’. :-)

    Hope everyone is well, Merusa?

      1. Oops sorry! Would you like to delete it? Even pre-pandemic I have a hard time telling what day it is and now……. well I’m all over the place!

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