DT 29707 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29707

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29707

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where the weather has been hot and dry for the most part. However, it seems that we may make up for the lack of rain in the coming week. On the COVID front, things are slowly starting to open up here following the lockdown and I will get my second jab tomorrow.

Campbell puts us through a very gentle workout today. The top half went in at a one-star pace with the bottom half requiring a tad more mental effort. Still, overall a quick but pleasant solve.

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   Work in Middle East may make one be listless (4)
MOPE — a shortened musical term for work embedded in the initials for Middle East

3a   Official warning cowardly joker, say (6,4)
YELLOW CARD — the colour denoting cowardly and what a joker is an example of

9a   Military vehicle in reservoir (4)
TANK — double definition; both pretty straightforward

10a   Remoulded spares coming round have to meet a required standard (4,6)
PASS MUSTER — an anagram (remoulded) of SPARES containing (coming round) a word meaning ‘have to’

11a   True about recent resumption (7)
RENEWAL — true or actual around a synonym for recent

13a   Emperor, possessed, managed to capture island (7)
HADRIAN — just as it says; possessed followed by managed around I(sland) gives a Roman emperor with a namesake wall

14a   From personal experience, what’s initially associated with worker? (2,5,4)
AT FIRST HAND — a (2,5) term meaning ‘initially’ and a worker represented by an appendage other than the oft-seen six feet

18a   Action taken by fine Italian in good shape (8,3)
FIGHTING FIT — action of a military nature followed by the pencil designation for fine and a short form for Italian (either the language or the vermouth)

21a   Cutting remarks, principally in bar (7)
EXCERPT — the principal or initial letter of Remarks inside a word meaning bar or excluding

22a   Rosemary, perhaps during series of games, gets a fizzy drink (7)
SHERBET — what rosemary is an example of in the midst of a series of tennis games

23a   Rarest moon moving for one? (10)
ASTRONOMER — The entire clue is a cryptic definition of someone who might take an intense interest in the movements of a moon—especially a rare one; the wordplay embedded within it is an anagram (moving) of RAREST MOON

24a   Male — he’s silly to become engaged (4)
MESH — M(ale) followed by an anagram (silly) of HES

25a   Two rivers enthralling the French nursery-rhyme twin (10)
TWEEDLEDEE — two Scottish rivers flow either side of a French definite article

26a   Miss sleep after onset of storm (4)
SKIP — an informal term for sleep follows the initial letter of Storm


1d   Relevant   stuff (8)
MATERIAL — another double definition; once again pretty straightforward

2d   Writer, King, presented with fine folding blade (8)
PENKNIFE — a writing implement, the symbol for king in chess or card games, and an anagram (folding) of FINE

4d   English fellow picked up message (5)
EMAIL — E(nglish) and what sounds like (picked up [by the ear]) a fellow or chap

5d   Fail to win compassion, become disillusioned (4,5)
LOSE HEART — string together a word meaning fail to be successful in a competition and a body organ that symbolizes (among other things) both compassion and hope

6d   Injured part of leg in battle (7,4)
WOUNDED KNEE — a charade of injured and a part of the leg give a 19th century action by the U.S. Cavalry that is more accurately characterized as a massacre than a battle; I’m afraid given the current touchy situation relating to the treatment of indigenous peoples in North America (Canada, especially, at the moment), many here may well feel this clue to be a bit insensitive

7d   A time volunteers at home accomplish (6)
ATTAIN — line up the A from the clue, T(ime), the usual military volunteers, and synonym for ‘at home’

8d   Courageous favourite length adrift (6)
DARING — remove (set adrift) the abbreviation for length from a word meaning favourite or beloved

12d   Term representing ‘promise’, literally? (4,3,4)
WORD FOR WORD — follow the instructions precisely and string together synonyms for ‘term’, ‘representing’ and ‘promise’

15d   What Blondin used in tense Hitchcock film (9)
TIGHTROPE — connect together a synonym for tense and a 1948 crime thriller from Alfred Hitchcock to get the route that French daredevil Charles Blondin took to cross the Canada/US border; what some people won’t do to avoid going through Customs!

16d   Away, on holiday, makes delivery (3,5)
OFF BREAK — pile a synonym for away on top of one for holiday to get a type of cricket delivery

17d   Cut this out, foremost of paintings in frame (6,2)
STITCH UP — an anagram (out) of CUT THIS and the foremost or initial letter of Paintings gives a colloquial expression meaning to falsely incriminate

19d   Set off in race to secure record (6)
DEPART — to race or scurry wrapped around a phonograph record with relativelys few tracks

20d   Treated chesty bushwhacker (6)
SCYTHE — an anagram (treated) of CHESTY; I thought this tool was used to cut tall grass but according to the BRB there is a version for whacking bushes although I would think it might be a bit of chore to wield one

22d   Reportedly influenced kid (5)
SUEDE — a type of leather sounds like a word meaning influenced or caused one to alter their opinion

I have no real favourite clue today so I will single out 15d for special mention. I do know who Charles Blondin was as I had illustrated the same solution in an earlier review with a drawing of him crossing the Nigara Gorge. However, I had to go back to the drawing board when my initial thought that the clue might be a simple double definition was proven incorrect by the discovery that the film of that name was made by Clint Eastwood and not by Hitchcock.

Quickie Pun (Top Row) : PLAQUE + CARD = PLACARD

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : SOAR + SURREY = SORCERY

111 comments on “DT 29707

  1. A nice pleasant start to the week at */*** for me. I thought both 21a and 22d merited joint COTD. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

  2. 0.5*/4*. Typical Monday – light (in fact I found it particularly light today) but great fun. 25a was my favourite.

    Quite a coincidence that two of the answers also appeared in today’s Rookie Corner puzzle.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. I noticed that too. Thought today’s Rookie Corner refreshingly gentle & a perfect accompaniment to today’s Campbell. Well worth a look as I suspect many don’t bother with it.

  3. I don’t know what happened. There seems to be issues with the scheduler on WordPress. The review was scheduled to be posted as usual at 11:00 am. However, when it did not appear as scheduled, I checked the WordPress Dashboard and there was a red flag on the post stating “Schedule missed”.

  4. A light and mildly enjoyable (3.5*) puzzle to start the week, which was all over in just under 2* time. I thought 10a, 21a and 23a were very clever but my COTD was 6d. I quite enjoy the occasional clue that involves GK. If we excluded all clues that involved some specialist knowledge, without the various sports, arts, history and branches of entertainment etc the compilers style would severely restricted. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and to Campbell.

    1. I have no problem with GK when you can get to the answer another way through the wordplay, as with 6d. In fact it’s one of the great pleasures of a cryptic crossword in my mind as you get to learn something new along the way, whilst also being able to solve the puzzle

  5. A nicely pitched and pleasant start to the week, nothing much to trouble the horses without being a write in.
    My podium contenders are 21&25a plus 8&20d.
    Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell for brightening a dull day here on the South West coast.

  6. I really enjoyed this Monday puzzle ,lots of clever clues and many excellent surfaces.
    Liked 2d and 15d- a D’oh moment when I remembered who B was !-and 25a for its originality.
    Going for a **/**** many thanks to our setter and Falcon for the pics- remembered seeing the illustration of the twins in the book as a child.

  7. Just a pleasant Monday morning solve.
    No real favourite but when will I remember that “break” can be a cricket term?

  8. The north was much easier than the south but a light start to the week all the same. **/*** I liked 6d. I didn’t know it was a “sensitive issue” but so many topics are these days that it’s hard to keep up. I can’t see the sense in rewriting history and it would be better to accept the lessons learned from past events, if only to prevent their recurrence. Favourite 25a. Thanks to all.

      1. Have you read the letter in the DT today about the teacher, who has been suspended because he explained to his students that Niger, the country they were studying, was pronounced ‘Neezh-er’ and was not an offensive word. Perhaps the inhabitants of Niger and Niger would like to re-name their countries and its major river as well. You can’t erase history or geography Greta Sometimes woke is a bit of a joke.

        1. I can’t see what the poor chap did wrong. Unless I have totally misread the report surely he was trying to explain to them how not to be offensive rather than being offensive himself? What a mad world we live in.

        2. On first viewing a child would pronounce it to rhyme with tiger not Tigger.

          So, he didn’t need to mention the word in question.

          Poor fella.

          1. I strongly suspect that he might have told the students how to pronounce the word Niger correctly so that none of the class trouble -makers could ask, spuriously, ” Sir, doesn’t n-i-g-e-r spell (the offensive n word)? That’s racist.” Some adolescents enjoy disrupting lessons and some would enjoy using racist words to offend other students

              1. When I was naughty I recall being lifted by my sideburns by one particular teacher. It was extremely painful. Also very effective.

                Of course, now this would not be allowed.

    1. Asked to define “woke” someone said it is like “pornography”, I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.

    2. Oh, if only we did learn from history! But then, far too often, “history” is nothing more than a fiction concocted by the victor.

      1. The narrative is certainly shaped by the victors but there are usually enough contemporary accounts to clarify the facts of a given event. The rights and wrongs are entirely subjective.

    3. I have to add my “well said”, to you Greta. How refreshing to have a practical point of view, you cannot change history, learn to live with it.

  9. No hold-ups in this one, although I always want to spell 22a with an additional r.

    Thanks to the Campbell and to Falcon

      1. For me, ‘bet’ as it is written, I would pronounce as bet (as in a wager), but when I say the whole word I would pronounce the ending as ‘burt’ (with a soft r).

  10. Very gentle and pleasant indeed. I too liked 6d best of all, with 23a and 15d close behind. Strange little Hitchcock film–but then, aren’t most of them? Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ***

    1. Hume Cronyn (great in Shadow of a Doubt) adapted the screenplay. I saw a super production of it at the Almeida Theatre some years ago.

      1. Good to know. Lucky you. Do you like Jimmy Stewart in those Hitchcock films? I think Rear Window is better than Vertigo, but I must be in the minority on that.

        1. I’m not a huge Jimmy Stewart fan to be honest. Don’t know why really but I find his acting a bit mannered. Vertigo has dated badly in my view & is hopelessly overrated. Much prefer Rear Window.

  11. A first for me in that I completed this in the early hours of the morning whilst watching the end of the golf. Disappointed that McIlroy fell away, but delighted for Jon Rahm – what a finish.
    Found this to be a very pleasant accompaniment, not too challenging but good fun. No particular favourites.
    Thanks to the setter and Falcon, particularly for the explanation of 15d which I too assumed to be a double definition.

    1. A richly deserving winner despite some good fortune in running. That closing birdie from being dead in the sand at the last was truly world class. Shame Rory (but not can’t be arsed to shout fore Bryson) blew up but positives to take away & must say I felt disappointed for Louis who yet again came so close & his classy demeanour always impresses. The course set up was spot on too – not always the case for a US Open.

      1. Good finish on a good golf course. Agree about Oosthuizen but Rahm’s putts on 17 & 18 deserved a reward.
        Course setup has changed since they changed the tournament director a couple of years ag.

  12. A pleasant Monday meander with a touch more concentration required in the lower reaches.
    25a gets my vote for its originality and the biggest chuckle came from Falcon’s illustration for 23a!

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – hope your second jab is a painless experience.

    1. Thanks, Jane

      It looks like my second jab will be Moderna rather than Pfizer as Pfizer has apparently yet again missed a delivery. Anyway, I would say it’s of little consequence as I understand it’s pretty much a choice between Coke and Pepsi.

      Any minor side effects are likely to be mere background noise compared to all my normal aches and pains.

      1. Ditto on second jab tomorrow!

        Although my ‘reminder e-mail’ tells me that mine is a second dose of Pfizer. We shall see.

      2. I don’t think they are mixing them here in England but I could be wrong. I got 2 x AZ and my husband 2x Pf.

      3. Mine were both Moderna, and I was extremely sleepy the day after the second one. A good excuse to nap all day 😊

  13. A very pleasant way to spend some time on a Monday morning when the chaps putting a new staircase arrived in the early hours ; that’s 8.00a.m. for us. Honourable mentions for 10a, 14a, 25a, 15d, and 22d.

    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell and Falcon for a good start to the week.

    To have included 20d in the honourable mentions would have revealed someone who found a six letter anagram impossible without the checkers.(you just did? Ed).

  14. A very gentle introduction to the week, with only the SW holding out for any length of time. All over in * time.

    I liked the pairing of the rivers in 25a, my COTD.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Falcon.

  15. Very gentle even by Monday standards but entertaining nonetheless & a lovely start to the week. Nice to see Hitchcock’s first film in Technicolor making an appearance at 15d. Pick of the clues for me was 25a with 6d not too far behind & 21&23a fighting it out for the other podium spot. Suspect 16d may be first in for DG who is fast becoming quite the cricket aficionado.
    Many thanks both to Campbell & to Falcon

    1. You have pre-emoted me H. I was going to have a little brag about getting 3a and 16d although I have to say the latter was a guess. I shall try not to get big headed about my new sporting knowledge.

  16. Agree with Greta, the north much easier than the south. Tried to work out where the river Dum was in 25a! Idiot – although didn’t take long to spot my mistake. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  17. I was totally beaten by the SW corner and needed help to get it finished. Even the anagram got the better of me. The rest of the puzzle was most enjoyable and I finished that in reasonable time for me. My favourite and COTD is 6d as it reminded me of reading the book by Dee Brown about that particular battle.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the workout and thanks to Falcon for the hints.

    1. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown and The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes are two must read books that show just how ashamed of our histories we should be

  18. Enjoyable entertainment for a Monday morning: it’s Campbell, so it’s accessible, concise, reads smoothly, contains plenty of humour, and a wide variety of clue types, in other words just what is needed to start the week on an optimistic note!

    Unaccountably delayed in the SW with 21a and 19d, but so many good clues, where to start? Hon. mentions to 18a, 6d, 12d, 15d and 22d, with my COTD going to the wonderful 25a.


    I have no issues with clues such as 6d: WK is a matter of historical fact, the clue does not celebrate the “battle”, and casts no judgement. WK happened and cannot unhappen, however and by whomever it is regarded today. We cannot erase the past, however wrong events may now seem when viewed through modern eyes and judged according to 21st century understanding, awareness and moral standards.

    [MG dismounts from high horse]

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. With regards to 6d. What do they say about the past being another country.? As a young child I couldn’t bear to watch cowboy and Indian films. The so called “Red Indians” were, to me, literally the stuff of nightmares. I’ve moved on but I fear the woke generation will have difficulty accepting that.

      1. Totally agree JB, I was also frightened of red Indians. When I was little John Morley and John Foster used to tie me to the stake whilst they fought and would often go off to lunch and leave me. No wonder I grew up to be a timid flower.

      2. The quote is “The past is a foreign country”. Without checking, I think it may be from the Go-Between.

        1. You’re right. It’s The Go Between. How I wish people would stop putting today’s values on past happenings. Get the right historians and you’ll appreciate that the Vikings, for instance, were merely benign farmers looking to settle here!

    2. While we may like to think that “21st century understanding, awareness and moral standards” are somehow superior to those of the past, we still seem capable of committing some pretty heinous atrocities. Reading the words of Indian agent McGillycuddy and General Miles (Wounded Knee Massacre) also shows that “understanding, awareness and moral standards” were not entirely absent in the 19th century.

      1. I agree with you on both points, Falcon, though “society” does have a tendency to judge the past from a general perspective that “well of course we all know so much better than that now, weren’t they all awful”, regardless of historical voices that spoke up at the time and strived for change, and regardless of the atrocities that continue to occur today.

    3. I also got stuck for a while on 21a and 19d. I nearly went with snap for 26a but luckily worked out the cricket term in16d, which gave me the right answer. The rest was fairly straightforward, cotd for me was 22d.

    4. I’ve never tested my theory and I expect a huge backlash. As abhorrent as slavery was and is difficult to understand how it happened, slavery of children was alive and well in the time of Dickens, so it seems that it was a mindset at that time. The worst part of African slavery was the appalling, unimaginable ways they were shipped to the new world. I only thank goodness that I lived in a time when it was history and we could only read about it. Keep history where it belongs, something to learn about, not something to try to change.

      1. Quite, Merusa. And if history is erased, toppled into rivers, buried in dusty storerooms, and the names changed, then it is forgotten, may even be denied, and ceases to be something from which we may learn so as not to repeat past errors.

      2. Totally agree with you, Merusa. I trained at Guy’s Hospital and the university have boarded his statue up because of so called “links” with the slave trade. He was, in fact, a great philanthropist who not only founded the hospital but helped the poor. His “link” to slavery was extremely tenuous and myself and all my uni friends are furious at the treatment of his statue.

        It seems that, today, it is okay to object to everything that has an association with our colonial past.

        Instead of obliterating past history, we should make sure we learn from it and make today better. After all, there is such a thing as modern day slavery.

        I wish the “woke” had stayed asleep.

        1. Don’t forget the Tate Gallery and libraries that were founded on the profits of the sugar trade.

          1. The Church of England. The Roman Catholic Church. If we carry on, we can cancel everything!

            In the words of Buffalo Springfield:

            “There’s something happening here
            But what it is ain’t exactly clear
            There’s a man with a gun over there
            Telling me I got to beware

            I think it’s time we stop
            Children, what’s that sound?
            Everybody look – what’s going down?

            There’s battle lines being drawn
            Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
            Young people speaking’ their minds
            Getting so much resistance from behind

            It’s time we stop
            Hey, what’s that sound?
            Everybody look – what’s going down?

            What a field day for the heat
            A thousand people in the street
            Singing songs and carrying signs
            Mostly saying, “hooray for our side” “

    5. Maybe we should take heed of the line in C,S&N’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – “Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now”.

  19. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: */****

    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 12d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  20. Gentle start to the week. ** / ****
    Some really neat cluing liked the 20d anagram but 12d my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    3a reminded me we haven’t heard from Hoofs for sometime. Last time I saw he was up to his eyes in it. Hope all coming together OK.

    1. He’s always seemed to blow a bit hot and cold where DT puzzles are concerned – shame, I’ve invariably enjoyed his contributions to the blog.

  21. Very Mondayish. So Mondayish I could cut and paste the same comment each week. Entertaining while it lasts. It’s eighteen years today since I watched the sunrise at Stonehenge and married Saint Sharon in the afternoon. Lucky girl

    1. Are the two events connected in any way, and who’s the lucky girl, the one you didn’t marry ?😂.

    2. Happy anniversary and bouquets to Saint Sharon. We used to stop off at Stonehenge on the way to Cornwall and have a picnic in the 50s. Cannot get near it now.

      1. I, too, remember the days when my children clambered over Stonehenge. Oh dear, nostalgia is not what it was!
        Happy Anniversary MP

    3. Hope you bought her something romantic and thoughtful to show your appreciation. A brand spanking new galvanised mop bucket would do the trick!

  22. Just right for a Monday, a nice confidence restorer for the lower end IQ people ( me🤪). Thanks to all.

  23. */***. Pleasant start to the week but no real favourites. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  24. Everyone has already said it. Thoroughly enjoyable, neatly clued – last one in the cutting tool, didn’t see that anagram coming. Thanks to the setter and Falcon and congratulations on getting second jabs. I reckon I’ll be coming up for a booster soon. And for the record I am fed, fed, fed up to here about Woke. As it seems are most of us.

  25. I thought this was going to be a record for me until it wasn’t. I started with 1a and 1d and worked my way round by the checkers. It all linked together very easily. I then spent as long as I had on the rest on four in the SW. Spent far too long on synonyms for bushwhacked and names of individuals who could be described thus. Got there in the end. 25a was my favourite followed by 14 18 and 21a and 12 15 and 17d. Thanks Campbell and Falcon. I shall now look at the hints.

  26. Sailed through this whilst sheltering from the rain. Looking at the sky I wish we had a toughie today. Thanks all.

  27. Well into minus * time, then shuddered to a halt at two remaining, 21a and 19d.
    Ashamed to admit that I pondered far too long until pennies dropped,
    So, ***/****
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  28. Quite enjoyed today, particularly as it included GK that I actually knew, it’s quite often mentioned over here. The history of the American Indians is tragic and very distressing. I got 16d from the letters, still knowing very little about cricket. Managed to spell 20d incorrectly so that held me up at 21a. Thanks to Campbell for a doable puzzle, and to Falcon.

  29. A nice start to the week. 1.5*/**** Top first in and a little slower for the bottom. A couple of head scratchers, but overall no troubles. Favourites include 14a, 25a 12d, & 22d with winner 25a
    Got my 2nd jab yesterday and same as first with Pfizer

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  30. I really enjoyed this. North was super friendly, South presented a few more challenges, but nothing to bring me to a halt. I did spend far too long on 22d and eventually used e-help to solve that, such a pity.
    Fave was 25a, we went to a fancydress party as the twins when we were small children, I can just remember it.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints and pics.

  31. I completed this early this morning then forgot to comment. Having looked again at the puzzle and read a few other views, I think I can safely say that this was probably the easiest backpager I have ever completed. Nicely clued, but ridiculously simple and no real challenge. Still enjoyed it though.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  32. That was an undemanding bit of fun to kick off the “working” week with Campbell’s wavelength easy to find. SE was a little slower than the rest. Joint Favs 21a and 22d. Thank you Falcon and Campbell including for the unusual Quickie puns.

  33. Glad everyone found this easy. I found it really quite tricky. Not on the right wavelength at all.
    Thx for the hints

  34. I seemed to get off to a good start and then slowed right down in the SW corner. 19d, 22d and 21a were my last ones in. COTD 25a
    Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

    Congratulations to Miffypops and Saint Sharon what a memorable day for you both. Mi

  35. Stumbled a bit over 21a and 19d as did others but no real problems. I agreed with all the anti woke and airbrushing history comments, most right minded people do. Favourite was 22d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  36. Late on parade (that pesky ‘work’ thing when actually having to commute to the office 😫) but sat down and cracked this Monday gem in one sitting without any ‘Falcon’ hints! 😜. Set new pb for my solve time so definitely found Campbell’s wavelength quickly today.
    Thanks Falcon for your great blog ‘n hints – enjoyed the pics…4D one made us 😂

  37. Yes Daisygirl I intended to message before now. Bill had a pacemaker fitted on Tuesday last week and everything appears to be OK. He was rather bruised initially but it’s settling down. When I went to collect him at the hospital he appeared round the block with a nurse either side of him looking more than pleased with himself. I felt quite superfluous other than providing a taxi service back home!! Thank you for asking.

    I enjoyed reading your blog about George and the spill with the salad dressing! Late finishing the crossword last Thursday and Friday’s didn’t get finished. When do you open your garden up for the NGS.

    1. I have a gizmo that looks a bit like a mobile phone, I plug it into the electric outlet next to my bed and it transmits the information overnight from my pacer directly to my doctor’s office. It only transmits at night, but my doctor can check how well it’s working on a regular basis.

  38. What a pleasure this was after the last few days of heavy brain teasers. 1.5*/****. Solved nearly unaided with 2 bits of inspiration from Mr.Th. A lot of clever clues but COTD is 21a. Thanks to setter and to Falcon whose hints I will now have the pleasure of reading.

  39. 2*/5*…nice to complete without electronic aids….
    interesting comments above re 6D ” Injured part of leg in battle (7,4)”….
    liked 23A ” Rarest moon moving for one? (10)” and Falcon’s cartoon thereto.

  40. Just solved this and found it to be the hardest of the week.
    Goes to show that we are all quite different.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

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