DT 29725 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29725

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29725

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where we have a rather horrifying weather forecast! The prediction is for the temperature to reach a record breaking 45°C in the Vega Baja this afternoon.  Apparently there’s a huge mass of very hot air edging north from Africa.  It’s also predicted that Spain’s official record high of 46.9°C, recorded at Cordoba airport in July 2017, will be broken somewhere today.

As for the crossword it’s the expected Monday good stuff but with a couple of unusual definitions and a couple of bits of GK required but otherwise it shouldn’t frighten the horses too much.  17d seems a bit topical in view of the weather here.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Trim  tree (6)
SPRUCE:  Double definition.  I always like it when 1a goes straight in!

4a           Eavesdrop I wager, craftily (6)
EARWIG:   Anagram (craftily) of I WAGER.

8a           Tight young lady narrowly avoided collision (4,4)
NEAR MISS:  The first word is one that can mean tight, as in miserly and the second is a young girl.  Actually it’s not a young lady but an unmarried one. She might be 90 years old!

10a         Cured ham, and tripe (6)
GAMMON:  Double definition.  I’d not come across this meaning before but once the checkers were in place it had to be.

11a         Gem in ring presented to friend (4)
OPAL:  The letter that looks like a ring next to a friend.

12a         Fight dishonest sailor in South American port (4,6)
FRAY BENTOS:  This is a port in Uruguay that the brand of corned beef is named after.   The first word is a word for a fight or brawl.  The second is a word meaning dishonest followed by the abbreviation of an ordinary seaman.

13a         Section of society running study group (7,5)
WORKING CLASS:  A word meaning running or functioning followed by a study group in a school perhaps.

16a         Ventilation aid in vehicle kept by former supporter (9,3)
EXTRACTOR FAN:  Start with a farm vehicle and insert it into (kept by) two letters for former, usually a former partner, and a supporter or afficionado.

20a         There’s much talk from me about fight involving milliner (10)
CHATTERBOX:  Take a single letter for about and a word meaning to fight, in a square ring with gloves, and insert another word for a milliner.

21a         Shrewd signal saving time (4)
CUTE:  Insert (saving) a T(ime) into a signal or tip.

22a         Leader of delegation is member to win over (6)
DISARM:  D (leader of Delegation), the IS from the clue and a member as in a limb.

23a         Plumper son’s game (8)
ROUNDERS:  I’m always wary of three word clues.  This could be either a word for plumper followed by S(on) to mean game or S(on) followed by a word for game to mean plumper.  This time it’s the former.

24a         Expected Dutch portrait painter to accommodate current king (6)
LIKELY:  You need to know the Dutch portrait painter, who spent most of his life in England, and if you do you must insert the letter for electric current in physics notation and the letter for king in chess notation.  Expected like the result of last night’s penalty shoot-out?  Fortunately I remembered the painter, presumably from previous crosswords.

25a         Attacked outside by church worker (6)
SEXTON:  You need a phrase (3,2) meaning attacked and place it around (outside) a letter that can mean by, as in two by four.


1d           So hedge built to keep in initially pugnacious farm animal (8)
SHEEPDOG:  This is an animal that works on a farm.  It’s an anagram (built) of SO HEDGE placed around (to keep in) a P (initially Pugnacious).

2d           Starts to rig up ropes at location in the countryside (5)
RURAL:  First letters (starts to) of the next five words.

3d           Female cutting inch of woven material (7)
CHIFFON:  F(emale) inserted into (cutting) an anagram (woven) of INCH OF.

5d           Lab gear reassembled for school subject (7)
ALGEBRA:  Anagram (reassembled) of LAB GEAR.

6d           Philanderer, better advised around sultanate (9)
WOMANISER:  A word meaning better advised or sager around a sultanate from the Middle East.

7d           Short maxim about part of sundial (6)
GNOMON:  A maxim or pithy saying without its last letter (short) and a word meaning about.

9d           Old English court in leading dictionary (abridged version) (4,7)
STAR CHAMBER:  A word meaning leading followed by our favourite dictionary but without its last letter (abridged version).

14d         Follow part of castle path (4,5)
KEEP TRACK:  The central part of a castle followed by a word for a path or road.

15d         Very strong, all the players with club (4-4)
CAST IRON:  The players in a theatre production followed by a golf club.

17d         Another malt, partly responsible for getting you warm (7)
THERMAL:  A lurker.  Its hiding in (partly) the first two words.

18d         Message about welcoming uniform consistency (7)
TEXTURE:  Consistency as in feel.  It’s a message you might send from your mobile phone and two letters for about with a U(niform) inserted (welcoming).

19d         Excitement caused by the short stream (6)
THRILL:  Take the THE from the clue and remove the last letter (short). After that you need a stream or rivulet.

21d         Trainee forced to spend minutes in court (5)
CADET:  Start with a word which can mean forced, as in you were forced to do something, and remove (to spend) the M(inutes) from the beginning. Insert what’s left into (in) the usual abbreviation of court.

My favourite out of this lot was 25a with 23a and 12a on the podium.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:       HOAR     +     KNIT     =     HORNET

Bottom line:     MULL     +     BRIE     =     MULLBERRY

101 comments on “DT 29725

  1. After a somewhat hectic evening, it took me a full **** time to complete today’s grid. I don’t recall seeing that particular sailor in 12a before, nor did I know the tripe in 10 or the maxim in 7d.

    It’s coming home; next year.

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  2. Perhaps a tad more awkward than the average Monday puzzle, but all the more enjoyable for that. 12a was my top clue closely followed by 9d. The two obscurities were bung-ins but had to be what they were.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  3. I was in luck today on the GK as I knew the name of the central bit of the sundial so as my last one in was pretty sure it was what it was though not why! Thanks to Pommers for his hints and now I see the reasoning. That was pure luck but enabled a */*** rating from me. I though very gentle otherwise but I know Monday’s puzzles can be very subjective and I sometimes struggle. Thanks to the setter.

  4. An enjoyable puzzle with a fresh feel to it in terms of clues (1.5*/3 5*). There was a bit of guesswork involved, as, like Malcolm, I didnt know the word for maxim in 7d. The word for that part of a sundial often comes up in crosswords, however so it could be inferred. Joint clues of rhe day were the lego clue at 9d and the geographical clue at 12a with a nid to 16a too. Many thanks to Pommers for the hints. The heat sounds a bit i tense in Spain. Meanwhile, here in Oxfordshire’s Vale of White Horse, we are thinking of building an Ark. Thank you to the compiler also.

  5. Had to google parts of a sundial but apart from that fairly plain sailing. Took a while for the penny to drop for the S American port – actually I thought it was a disgusting pie in a tin! Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for explaining how I got there in some cases.

    1. I must be a heathen as I do find said comestibles rather delicious! I think it is because they are so unhealthy and I always relish anything that’s bad for me. In moderation of course.

      1. I have a steak & kidney pudding in my cupboard, I can’t wait to have it, they are delish. I don’t eat mammal but that is one of my fave dishes, I have to screw up my courage to eat it. I think I can do it!

    2. I’m surprised that you don’t like Corned Beef, which has always been their staple product. I don’t disagree about the pies which are what the Germans would call ‘studentenfodder’.

      1. I love corned beef but really hate these pies, they have a metalic tang to them but I haven’t eaten one in decades so they may have improved.

  6. A pleasant/quaint Monday puzzle to somewhat lighten the gloom pervading the country this morning. Wasn’t keen on 7d as I’d never heard of the part or the synonym for the adage (both obscure) so Googled “sundial” and hey presto, there it was.
    Liked several though, including 13,20&25a plus 18d with top spot going to the very clever 3d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the fun in the sun.
    Congratulations to Italy, the best team on the night won and commiserations to a valient 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

    1. Hi pommers – in our part of Valencia we are also at 37 C (I never know how to do the degrees symbol on a keyboard).

  7. A most enjoyable and straightforward Monday coffeebreak puzzle which felt so very “Campbell” I’d be terribly surprised were the setter someone else. The second definition of 10a was new to me but, as Pommers says, it couldn’t have been anything else and the BRB supports that usage. Quite a few candidates for my podium – 12a, 23a, 7d, 19d and 21d, however for me COTD goes to 25a.


    Many thanks to Campbell (?) and to Pommers.

  8. 2*/4*. This was an enjoyable Monday puzzle, although unusual in that it contained four things I didn’t know: the tripe in 10a; the port in 12a (so that’s where the corned beef got its brand name from!); the Dutch painter in 24a; and the part of the sundial in 7d. Thankfully all of these were pretty clear from the wordplay.

    I saw quickly that 1a was an anagram but my first try at unravelling it was “speedhog” (a pig on drugs?) :oops: Fortunately the correct alternative didn’t take long to discover.

    25a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. Amazing what you learn from this blog. I knew the painter but had always thought he was English as his name is Sir Peter Lely so I’ve just looked him up and he spent most of his life here. We have some of his portraits at Felbrigg Hall where I volunteer. Lots of his portraits are near identical as I think he just painted the faces and the dozens of people in his studio painted the clothes which were often the same dresses, etc. Interesting.

      1. Manders, more years ago than I care to remember when my son was about 10 years old, we went to Norfolk for a holiday and visited a number of country houses, including Felbrigg Hall. One of those properties boasted a large number of peacocks in the grounds. Would that have been Felbrigg?

        1. Well RD, I’ve been there for 18 years and haven’t seen a peacock – maybe it’s Holkham Hall?

          1. Yes, you are right. As soon as I saw the name Holkham Hall, I realised that was where the peacocks were (and still are, I hope).

            1. Holkham Hall was my first ever sighting of aGWR loco at the South end of Cewe Station in my early anorak days.
              Just shows how different things bring back different memories to each of us

              1. If you catch a repeat of the Antiques Road Show from H Hall filmed in 2007 I think, look out for the chap with the self portrait of his great grandfather talking to Rupert Maas – that’s my David and he was on for about 10 minutes and was horrified when it aired that he hadn’t pulled his tummy in!

      2. I thought he was English too because of his title and had to google. You learn so much doing these puzzles.

  9. Well, I am bucking the trend here as I didn’t enjoy this at all. I usually do not mind a bit of GK in a puzzle, but the sundial and the Dutch artist are a step too far for me. Especially when the sundial was coupled with an unusual definition of a saying. Not a good start to the week for me.

    Thanks to Pommers (stay cool) and to the setter.

    In Edinburgh today and the haar has followed me!

  10. As a much-travelled octogenarian, I know many of the ports in the Americas–I have even sailed up the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, along the Uruguayan coast, to an old colonial port which was being restored, and where the hospitable local residents laid out a lovely picnic lunch for the 20 of us who were taking a break from the hustle of B.A. But though I must have been within half an hour from 12a, I don’t remember ever having heard of it or the corned beef which comes from there. I did get there finally, however (to the answer, not the port), but it took me well into **** time to do so. Otherwise, I found today’s offering delightfully pleasant (and ‘quaint’, as Stephen L says), with 9d, 13a, and 24a making it to the podium. Thanks to pommers (stay cool!) and Campbell. ****/ ***

    I always dread shootouts.

      1. It’s not supposed to get that hot here. The record maximum temperature of 41.4 °C (107 °F) was observed on 4 July 1994. Usually we get high thirties but it’s never gone over 40 in all the time I’ve lived here.

  11. Tough start to the week with a weird word in 7d which was poorly clued in my opinion.
    Managed about half of this before turning to the hints. I hope this isn’t going to herald another tough week like a couple of weeks ago.
    Not much fun, not one that I enjoyed.
    Thx for the hints

      1. See my comment to RD at 8 above – his portraits are in most of the big houses in the country – he was very prolific as he had a huge studio with many minions to do the boring bits.

  12. Whizzed through but came to a shuddering halt at 7d.
    Experimented with various letters and bingo, got a word I did not know in part and in whole.
    So, thanks to the setter I now know two new words.
    So,* plus ** for 7d and **** for enjoyment.
    Thought 12a a brilliant clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  13. Campbell a little more tricky than usual (**/***) but just as enjoyable (***/****).

    I am reasonably certain that the port rather than the corned beef has appeared before.

    Candidates for favourite – 20a, 25a, and 6d – and the winner is 20a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  14. Well that was tricky – far more so than usual Monday fare. I agree with Brian in hoping that this does not herald a week when the Toughies are easier than the back pagers. Having said that I managed to finish it all after much head scratching. The only one I had to look up the hints for was 12a and, while I remember the corned beef, I did not know it was named after a port. I still don’t understand 7d but I knew the sundial part and it fitted so in it went. My COTD is 9d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the challenge. Thanks also to pommers for the hints. Stay safe in the heat.

    I have lost my glasses and am having to use a cheap pair from Boots so if there are mistakes that is why. I have to have my eyes about nine inches from the screen! :smile:

    1. I knew the sundial part, but I still don’t understand how it’s parsed. Am I being stupid? Can someone please enlighten me? Thanks

      1. The maxim is a GNOME (look it up in the BRB) and it’s short so becomes GNOM followed by ON for about.

      1. Thanks, Toni. I am chuffed because I’ve only entered the last three weeks.

        1. Only just realised it was you, Steve, how silly of me when you entered under your own name! Congratulations on an excellent clue and a well deserved win.

          1. Thanks, Jane. As I said to Toni, I only started doing the clue writing competitions a few weeks ago so I am amazed and thrilled at my success.

            All down to this wonderful blog, of course. I have learned so much.

  15. A very Mondayish offering from Campbell. I knew the centre of a sundial from my time working in a discount sundial emporium. Didn’t know the tripe or the painter I knew the port from the corned beef that started the typhoid epidemic in Aberdeen in 1964. Thanks to both pommers and Campbell. Now talking of Aberdeen, have you ever heard such tosh as this from the sports pages the other day. The abrdn Scottish Open Golf Tournament

    Over the years golf has featured some ludicrous tournament names – the Shearson Lehman Brothers Andy Williams Open, the Kissing Camels at Garden of the Gods Club Classic, the Saudi Bonesaw Challenge … Yet at least the titles have been formed with proper words and not booking references for flights or verification codes to reactivate Amazon accounts.

    Here we are at the abrdn Scottish Open and there is no escaping the fact that some in the ever-more-psychedelic world of marketing were busy dropping Es during lockdown; not to mention capital letters. The effect is this attack on the grammatical senses, leaving us in a tingly and agitated state, wondering how we reached this point of vowel-restricted befuddlement. When the fog clears, we remember how …

    Mergers, takeovers and leftovers meant the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open of 2012-17 morphed first into the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open of 2018-20 and now into this unprovoked and sickening onslaught on Dictionary Corner.

    Should we not be promoting syntax and telling kids, ‘Spell it properly, you lazy bggrs’?
    The rebrand’s glitzy launch – a full on “people-were-actually-paid-money-to-do-this?” spectacular – took place in April, but only this week did it become official. And what better place to introduce “abrdn” to the stage than the enlightened realms of the East Lothians and the ever on-trend environs of golf.

    “Futuristic”, they call it – and golf is exactly that. This is an entirely natural fit, apart from, perhaps, the sport’s fixation on tradition, its preoccupation with the past and enslavement to its roots. Standard Life had been in the sponsor’s title for almost 200 years, before Old Tom Morris could be labelled “old”. Yet out it has gone. Merciless.

    The reasons why are baffling. The first given was that there were concerns over copyright issues and they did not want to clash with either Aberdeen the city, or Aberdeen the football club.

    And that is fair enough, because it is all too easy to confuse a FTSE 100 Index investment firm headquartered in Edinburgh with a community of 230,000 people residing 130 miles north in an area sprawled over 71 square miles. Not to mention 11 blokes kicking a ball around. Anyone who genuinely struggles with separating those concepts truly must need their finances managed.

    And then there is the pandering to the young, and this is the crux of this column. Apparently, children regularly drop their vowels in text-speak, so this is appealing to their communication skills.

    Yet should we, as responsible adults with our responsible global conglomerates and responsible professional sporting circuits really be saying to kids, yeah, go ahead, it is great to bastardise the Queen’s English just because you cannot be bothered to utilise your finger for the odd extra millisecond? Call me an old fud, but should we not, instead, be promoting syntax and telling them: “Spell it properly, you lazy little bggrs”?

    Or will they then decide to invest somewhere else – Goldie Lookin Sachs anyone? – or watch a different sport?

    It is OK for the broadcasters as it is still pronounced “Aberdeen”, but I will certainly not be typing this absurdity again over the forthcoming days. It is a shame, as the company is such a wonderful investor in golf, backing the Scottish game to the hilt at its grass-roots and elite levels.
    Without its support, it is highly doubtful that the prize fund at the Renaissance Club would be £6.9 million or that five of the world’s top 10 would be in attendance.

    The European Tour exists through endorsements, so it is hardly going to reject a title sponsor on account of its stupid name.

    But it still bites and that is why, like St James’ Park was always St James’ Park and never the Sports Direct Arena, and why Cardiff City were always blue and never red, it will, to my mind, revert to the Aberdeen Standard Life Scottish Open. So much more respectful, so much easier off the tongue, so much more “golf”.

    1. Could not agree more. This is what happens when you leave children’s education in the hands of the Looney Left.

    2. Wow. Bet that feels better. But I agree with you. When we did open gardens last week(only a week ago!) I did a children’s trail and it was remarkable the number of children who knew nothing about a sundial. Quite a few said but why don’t you just use your watch or phone and I had to explain that in the old days …. etc etc. I am not a teacher, but I found myself compelled to give these intelligent children some information. I remember even saying remember the word gnomon, it often pops up in quizzes! And I have always maintained that if you do not pronounce a word properly you will never be able to spell it. We had a teacher called Miss Day. She used to cringe at Wensdee. She would say you don’t call me Miss Dee. Oh dear, world is going to hell in a handcart.

      1. I once had a dental nurse who spelled words as she pronounced them. “This afternoon” to her was “ Sarfanoon”. When I asked her if her teachers had ever pointed out the error she told me they hadn’t. She had always used that spelling and her teachers had never corrected her.
        I suppose that is how language develops. I wonder if centuries ago folk became upset about “in truth” when it replaced “forsooth”. (I wouldn’t mind bringing back “forsooth”).

        Mind you, when I told her that there was a wall between Scotland and England built by the Roman emperor, Hadrian she told me not to be so daft!

    3. MP
      Please do not blame golf. The 5 letters, I refuse to call it a word, is the new “brand name” of what was Aberdeen Asset Management which then merged with Standard Life etc. As the article (it looks like the Telegraph article of the other day) says nobody is going to turn down 6 million because the sponsor has adopted a stupid logo.
      Asset management companies are far more ethical to have as a sponsor than, say, sponsors who peddle potential misery like betting companies. How many soccer clubs, leagues or cups do they put their money into?
      Watch the golf this week, the Open is run by a member’s golf club and the profits from the event are ploughed back into the amateur game, course agronomy and sustainability across the world. Name an event from soccer, rugby or cricket that does that.

  16. Ditto the opening paragraph of RD’s post. Unlike him however I didn’t twig 7d from the wordplay as I didn’t know the maxim synonym either so like SL used Mr G for both so no unaided finish. A bit trickier than the usual Monday fare from Campbell & as ever nicely clued so even if the GK was lacking the answer (except in 7d in my case) was gettable from the wordplay. Pick of the bunch for me a coin toss between 9d & 25a.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps Why is the BBC Weather App so utterly useless? We cancelled a long arranged game of golf this morning due to an 80% likelihood of blanket rain with the distinct possibility of thunderstorms. Needless to say not a raindrop in sight & quite sunny.

  17. I was doing rather well with the GK and feeling quite pleased with myself until I hit 24a. My 50+ year old memories of my L6 Art Appreciation class (we were obviously deemed to be a bunch of philistines) confidently told me that Frans Hals was the man I was looking for which created a few interesting, and nonexistent words. Mr Lely did eventually emerge however from the deeper recesses of my brain and all was well.
    Thank you to Campbell for a very pleasant work out and also Pommers. I don’t envy you your expected temperatures. Being a delicate little flower I begin to wilt in the upper 20s.

    P.S. Without an immediate sin bin, such as those operated successfully in rugby and hockey, is a football yellow card any real punishment at all? It’s almost a positive reward to cynically disrupt and potentially maim. Sorry – rant over 😤

    1. Well, you did better than I did re the art appreciation. If we had them at all I avoided them along with sport in 6th form all of which I now regret.
      I had heard of Lily but as manufacturers of automated milking machines (totally fascinating and completely irrelevant here) but only because our son done some work for them.
      Totally agree about sin bins – I know nothing about football but clearly 1 side got a lot of yellow cards (and the other none) which made no difference to them at all. It seems to work well for rugby
      Thanks to both the setter and Pommers

      1. I don’t think that the sin bin works well in Rugby. Whichever player is sent to the bin the contest becomes uneven. Teams have become cynical particularly at the scrummage where the dark arts employed by the front five union can be deployed to gain penalty kicks and possible yellow cards for the opposition. When a side has a player binned they will do all they can to delay line out throws and scrummages winding the clock down as much as they can and playing as little rugby as possible whilst they are a man short. I have no idea where the sin bin came from but it would go back there in a shot for me. Fifteen v fifteen, the only way to play

        1. I agree with much of what you are saying MP and I would never argue that a sin bin is a perfect solution. Players of any sport will push their luck as far as they are allowed but a sin bin will potentially give an immediate punishment whereas in soccer there seems only to be the sanction of a suspension at some date in the often distant future. Not much consolation when a flying Italian has just buried his studs in your thigh…

        2. Possibly Ice Hockey where the one man disadvantage is even greater.
          Whilst I agree about the dark arts leading to yellows , yellows for physically dangerous offences – like that of the scrum half Saturday (to me a yellow not a red) are surely a good thing. The disadvantage is meant to be a deterrent wouldn’t be much point if it weren’t. The point about time wasting is a valid one but the TMO could time it for, say 5 minutes whilst the ball in play.

          1. I would allow machetes and machine guns in the line outs. The rules are stifling the game just as they they stifle most of the fun in life. Gordon Brown ‘Broon from Troon’ once told me of a scrum half complaining to the referee that he had been punched by his opposite number for going offside. The referee said ‘well don’t go offside then’ Let the players sort the problems and the problems tend to go away.

  18. Same four unknowns for me as RD found and I’m ashamed to admit that the unlikely sounding port made me laugh!
    I will, however, award it a place on the podium as recompense where it joins 25a plus 9&14d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers – hope that hot spot quickly moves away.
    PS If you think this puzzle was a bit GK heavy then I’d recommend you to steer clear of the on-line weekly – No. 664!

  19. A nice start to the week with this puzzle. Solved top to bottom with a couple of tricky clues on the way. Also a couple of obscure GK clues too that required some researching to suss out. **/**** today.
    Favourites include 10a, 23a, 25a, 9d & 14d with winner 9d and 25a runner up. Lots made me smile or groan like 1a, 8a, 16a and 20a
    Lots to like and nothing to scare the horses today.

    Thanks to Campbell & pommers

  20. I couldn’t believe it when the first five answers just got written in. I thought to myself Bertie will not like this. But 12a stumped me and was last one in. I never realised it was an actual port, just a tin of corned beef. None of the others caused any problems and I really liked 3a, 23a 6d. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for a nice start to a new week. No more screaming fans – yeay.

  21. I look forward to the ‘Monday Campbell’ and this was a cracker, although I confess to mild irritation with 7d as detailed general knowledge was required. How lucky I am when the only impediment to my day is becoming vaguely cross about part of a sundial. I have toast, orange juice with no bits in it, and a cat who has taken over my life. All is well.

    But… oh how stressful the penalty shoot out! I cannot bear the pressure when it is either Chelsea or England involved. I was almost in a state of collapse during the denouement of the 2012 Champions League Final, so I decided to try and adopt a Zen approach to last night’s ordeal with only moderate success. It is easy to forget that these footballers, whilst being extremely rich and pampered, are really only young boys (especially the three whose penalties were missed or saved) and my heart goes out to them.

    Thanks to Campbell (grrrr at 7d) and pommers (I hope you find respite from that heat).

    1. I agree about the penalty tension, we had it here, and we’re not even real football fans. I do feel sorry for Southgate today, with all the criticism heaped on him from armchair critics, the same people who would have been singing his praises had England won. My own uneducated opinion was that I was amazed at how much cheating appeared to go on by the Italian team, pushing, shoving, kicking and – the worst – the almost garrotting grab of the t shirt. They are clearly a very skilled team, but I didn’t like seeing that behaviour. I guess the rules of play have changed since I was a lass.

    2. A penalty is a punishment. No transgressions have been made so why are the spot kicks called ‘penalties’

  22. I don’t think we’re going to get the 45°C as forecast but the weather website just went to 42. That’s pretty damn hot by my reckoning. 39°C is the hottest we’ve had since I’ve lived here.

  23. Please, please explain fully 7down. I could find the answer looking up parts of a sundial but what maxim is attributed to gnomon. This crossword was a delight for me no clue, except 7d, was beyond the limits of my limited knowledge. PS. I do know what a maxim is that’s not the problem. Which maxim gets short gnomon? Please someone explain.

    1. The maxim is a GNOME (look it up in the BRB) and it’s short so becomes GNOM followed by ON for about.

  24. This was a pretty smooth solve, but marred by 7d and 10a with its strange use of the word, and I hadn’t heard of 9d before. Luckily I did know of 12a. Never heard of the Dutch painter but I got it from the checkers anyway. Was this Campbell today? Thanks to the setter and Pommers. Will have a go at 644 later.

  25. Matilda’s Graun Quiptic is excellent today & Fez in Rookie Corner also well worth a look for any looking for more puzzles.

  26. Found this tougher than the usual Monday fare, had ing at the end of 20a so that confused 9d and 18d ,although they slipped in easily when I saw the error of my ways thanks to the hint. Never got 7d even with the hint. 6d was my favourite for some unknown reason. Thanks to all.

    P.S. Miffy will need his own blog if he keeps writing any more of that length 🤪

  27. Enjoyed today’s challenge with only the corned beef (Who knew?!) and the short maxim holding me up briefly. Nice start to the week. Thanks for the hints which helped with a couple of answers which I knew were correct but couldn’t see why🙄

  28. I really enjoyed this. It went pretty quickly until I got to the extreme NE and SE corners. I only got 10a ‘cos of the ham and 7d with electronic word search, then a quick google to make sure it was right. I never did solve the pesky 21a, never thought of that ancient meaning of the word, and I needed pommers’ explanation to know why 21d was right. Those last four took as long as the rest of the puzzle.
    Who knew 12a was a port in SA? The 4-letter “fight” beginning with “f” got it for me and I did a quick google. Some more GK to tuck away for future use. Thats right up there in the running for fave, but I think 20a pips it at the post.
    Thank you Campbell for all the fun and pommers for unravelling so much for me.

  29. I too enjoyed today’s puzzle and just got delayed with 7d. Consulted my husband ( the occasional fountain of knowledge) and he was right! Many thanks to Campbell and the Pommers (I do hope tomorrow is somewhat cooler).

  30. Thought this a fairly gentle but typical Campbell offering. Really enjoyable.
    Knew the sundial pointer but had to check that Fray Bentos was a city.
    Lots to like but nothing outstanding.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    Belated thanks to Senf for unlocking yesterday’s SW corner for me.

  31. I enjoyed this although needed to look up sundial parts. Favourite clue 12a although Mrs Jonners would disagree and concur with Bertie.

    Thanks all.

        1. I was thinking in terms of the wine being an excellent way to stomach the possibly questionable ‘meat’ content of the tin!

          1. In which case, Jane I would would ditch the tin and get out one of the fillet steaks from the freezer. A mini beef wellington would go very nicely with the wine. I did contemplate giving the contents of the tin to Hudson but have you ever been around a sick dog? ☹️

  32. Regarding the answer to the bottom line pun in the Quick Crossword, “Mulberry” has only one “l” and not two as suggested.

  33. I found much of this very easy but several clues impossible. I still can’t work out the maxim in 7d. Anyone care to put me out of my misery… 😀

    I must search for the stretched/archaic synonym book that crossword setters use. 😉

    10a was obvious from the checkers but the Internet I use had not heard of that meaning of tripe.

    12a was beyond me. Didn’t fancy spending 3 hours pouring over maps of South America.

    24a was a bung in as I am lacking in knowledge of art in general. Ho hum.

    9d also defeated me. How do people know of obscure legal terms from the 1600s…?

    1. The maxim in 7d is “gnome” without its e (short). Never come across it before myself and probably never will again.

  34. Very enjoyable start to the week with the only momentary glitch being 10a which had to be but the second part not a meaning I’m familiar with. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

      1. 10a Nonsense and humbug!

        They both appear in The Chambers Dictionary (12th Edition)

  35. I’m in the “never heard of the tripe in 10a, the port or sailor in12a, the painter in 24a and the sundial part or the maxim in in 7d” camp this evening. Apart from that perfectly straightforward. I suppose we’re here to learn. Favourite was 16a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  36. Grateful thanks to Pommers for explaining why some of my answers were right – excpetionally I finished it without help. However, maybe one L in MULBERRY?

  37. Got stuck on Fray Bentos and the Sexton (sounds like a fringe group)! Otherwise straightforward.. No particular favourite.

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