DT 29731 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29731

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29731

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa, where the weather has been variable but, fortunately, most weekends have enjoyed rather good weather. On Friday, Ontario entered Stage 3 of its Reopening Plan with COVID-19 restrictions greatly relaxed but not entirely lifted. I believe Canada may soon surpass the US in the percentage of the population fully vaccinated. Only a few months ago, we were trailing far behind (due to lack of supply which now seems to have been addressed). I hope we don’t run into the same vaccine hesitancy brick wall that has largely stalled the vaccination program south of the border.

I would say today’s puzzle from Campbell falls slightly toward the less difficult end of his range but ranks high for enjoyment. In fact, after writing the review, I bumped up the enjoyment level by a star —something I rarely do. Both the Cryptic and Quickie are pangrams today. While solving the Cryptic, I failed to notice it is a pangram. However, I did recognize the Quickie as such which prompted me to go back and check the Cryptic.

The top line pun in the Quickie is a word I’ve never encountered. In fact, I doubt it is known by many outside the horsey set. I nearly threw in the towel, but one final inspired push yielded success.

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.


7a   Most of team gathering at lift (7)
ELEVATE — all but the final letter of a football or cricket team wrapped around AT (from the clue)

9a   Exhausted now tour rearranged (4-3)
WORN-OUT — an anagram (rearranged) of the middle two words of the clue

10a   A feature of Hampton Court floor? (5)
AMAZE — A (from the clue) and a puzzling feature of Hampton Court

11a   A new helpful hint re hors d’oeuvre (9)
ANTIPASTO — string together A (from the clue), N(ew), a helpful hint, and a (2,2) expression meaning re or concerning

12a   This problem-solving method could get one taken in all right (7,8)
LATERAL THINKING — an anagram (could get one) of of the final four words of the clue

13a   Infected having caught cold? One might doubt that (7)
SCEPTIC — a synonym for infected surrounding C(old)

16a   Become more involved in refurbishment of kitchen (7)
THICKEN — an anagram of (refurbishment of) KITCHEN

19a   Part of film score, perhaps minus canticle I’d composed (10,5)
INCIDENTAL MUSIC — an anagram (composed) of MINUS CANTICLE ID

23a   Theatre award, not the first received by a haggard columnist (5,4)
AGONY AUNT — a Broadway theatre award (or perhaps that should be “theater”) with its initial letter removed (not the first) contained in (received by) another word for haggard

24a   Hearing   test (5)
TRIAL — double definition; the first involving an appearance before a judge

25a   Doubtful pawnbroker, right to ring American (7)
UNCLEAR — a slang term for pawnbroker and the single-letter abbreviation for right surround the single-letter abbreviation for American

26a   Unreliable // quote about a Rolls-Royce coming back (7)
ERRATIC — start by wrapping a synonym of quote around the A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for Rolls-Royce; then reverse (coming back) the lot


1d   Video initially helps an England football manager (8)
VENABLES — the initial letter of Video plus a word meaning helps or makes possible gives the manager of the England football team from 1994 to 1996

2d   Pirate queen and artist captured by Scottish engineer (5,3)
WATER RAT — Her Majesty’s regnal cipher and the usual artist get together inside the Scottish engineer whose fundamental improvements to the steam engine led to the widespread use of steam power in industry

3d   Remember   order to return (6)
RECALL — double definition

4d   Visit doctor and say what you think, briefly (4,2)
DROP IN — one of the many two-letter abbreviations for doctor followed by a word meaning to express your thoughts on a matter with its final letter removed

5d   Delight head of section (credit control) (8)
JOYSTICK — link together delight or happiness, the initial letter of Section, and an informal term for credit; After seeing this, I just might just take up gaming!

6d   Powerful number about teenager, gutted (6)
STRONG — a musical number containing the initial and final letters of TeenageR

8d   A court supporting former partner? Absolutely correct (5)
EXACT — A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for court following (supporting in a down clue) the usual former partner

9d   Be careful with timepiece, Italian (5,2)
WATCH IT — a timepiece carried on the body and the abbreviation for Italian (either the language or the vermouth)

14d   Invade once arch rebuilt (8)
ENCROACH — an anagram (rebuilt) of ONCE ARCH

15d   Defeat inmate with short question (7)
CONQUER — a prison inmate and another word for question with its final letter removed

17d   Young mum, irate, needing refreshment (8)
IMMATURE — an anagram of (needing refreshment) MUM IRATE

18d   Choker with brass spike (8)
NECKLACE — a charade of brass or effrontery and to spike or surreptitiously boost the potency of a drink

19d   Legendary Greek winger? (6)
ICARUS — A cryptic definition of a figure from Greek mythology who should have flown on a cloudy day

20d   Poet‘s empty study (6)
DRYDEN — empty (as a well, for instance) and a room in which to find privacy and relax combine to form the name of a 17th century poet

21d   Song of praise identified by two articles on mass (6)
ANTHEM — stack an indefinite article and a definite article on top of a physicist’s symbol for mass

22d   Satirist‘s riddle about women (5)
SWIFT — riddle is a verb denoting to use a large coarse sieve to strain gravel, for instance. wrap a synonym for this action around the abbreviation for women to get a turn-of -the-eighteenth-century Irish satirist

I expect the favourites will be spread across a broad range of clues today —a sign of a well-balanced puzzle. My personal favourite is 12a, a quality that every solver of cryptic crossword puzzles should possess.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): SIR + SIN + GULLS = SURCINGLES

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : WRAPS + OWE + DEE = RHAPSODY

107 comments on “DT 29731

  1. 1*/4*. Light and great fun, just right for a Monday.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  2. I’d rate this slightly higher on the difficulty scale than our reviewer and a touch lower on the enjoyment scale, though there was some very clever wordplay in evidence.
    I particularly liked 10,11&12a plus 5d, my last one in.
    23a was a semi bung in as I have no idea about theatre awards though I did remember the dated synonym for a pawnbroker at 25a
    Great bottom line pun too.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the fun in the baking hot sun.

    1. To remember that a Tony is a theatre award….

      You usually go TO NY, specifically Broadway, to win one of those bad boys.

  3. About half way through I guessed it was a pangram which helped quite a lot. My only hold up was 23a as I couldn’t get Olivier Awards out of my head. I suppose somewhere in the very archive of my mind I must have stored the correct award, then I decided it was my COTD. All good fun so thanks to all.

  4. A really enjoyable puzzle with some appealingly witty clues, it didn’t take long to finish it but was well worth the effort (1*/5*).
    I liked 23a, 2d, 5d, 18d but my COTD was 19d. Thanks to Campbell for a delightful puzzle and to Falcon for the hints. The vaccination issue has caused a big row amongst my niece’s in-laws, in Pennsylvania,and her husband is no longer speaking to his brother, who is an anti-vaxxer living in Florida. Her mother and father in law wanted them to visit with their 4 year old twins at the same time as her brother in law, his wife and 4 kids, all unvaccinated. They don’t feel it’s safe and declined to visit.

    1. I’m on her side, even though I’m fully vaccinated. If you don’t want it, that’s fine, but I also have the right not to visit you.

      1. I agree Merusa. I feel very safe around other vaccinated people, but taking care otherwise because of the variants, which are mostly being fed and driven by the non vaccinated, in the same way I wouldn’t visit anyone with a heavy cold.

  5. A gentle start to the week and finished unaided. I found it most enjoyable with a nice mix of easily gettable clues and more obscure ones that required bit of thought. I liked the two long anagrams but my COTD is 5d. The Quickie clues were good fun.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the entertainment and to Falco for the hints.

  6. 10a was somewhat alarmingly my final entry: I say alarmingly because I was born there (the town, not the design in question). Overall this was Campbell on top Monday form. Not difficult, but great fun. 12a is a clever anagram with a terrificly smooth surface, and is my COTD. We had a Nina last week in a Toughie using the same phrase, I think, as an homage to Edward de Bono.

    Thanks to Mr S and Falcon.

    1. From the dim distant past I recall a classic example of Edward de Bono thinking. A large chemical plant in the US was severely polluting a river. The maximum fine was set too low so the company found it cheaper to keep paying fines rather than effect a solution.
      The de Bono’ solution was for the river board to give the company consent to abstract water it used for its processes downstream of the point where it discharged it back into the river. So simple yet proved 100% effective

  7. Straightforward but enjoyable. 2d was a nice construction and my favourite is 12a. Cracking puzzle from dada yesterday too. Completed it early but didn’t get around to commenting on it because the beach, paddle boards and grandchildren came first. There are some beaches on the south Kent coast that don’t get packed out which are off the tourist beat. Thanks to all.

  8. I really enjoyed this gentle but amusing crossword , just right for Tropical Dublin.
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.
    On the subject of Canada opening up , my husband is unable to visit his 99 year old father , without quarantining for 14 days, so I hope things do change soon.

  9. Sound start to the week, the last two ,1d and 10a ,took ages so a ***/*** for me, agreed with Rita that 2a was a nice construction and my favourite followed by 11a for its surface,
    Thanks to setter and Falcon-going to look up the quickie pu.

  10. Great start to the week. Good clues no obscure GK. On the gentle side for the “A Class” perhaps but just what we have come to expect for a Monday.
    The simple 10a was my COTD with 5d R/U.
    Have confess I missed the pangram.
    Thank you Campbell & Falcon, it shows my age when I say your illustration for 5d told me I was too old to think of taking up gaming!

  11. Completed before the midday heat hit us and thankfully it wasn’t too demanding but fun. Didn’t realise it was a pangram until completion so knowing that didn’t help. No particular Fav(s) but a selection of ingenious clues. Thank you Campbell (not proXimal?) and Falcon.

    1. Definitely a (double pun) Campbell and the ‘wrong end’ of the week for proXimal.

  12. It’s Monday :good: – especially so as I have woken up to rain! It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4*

    There seemed to be an excess of anagrams, but, as I only count how many there are on Sundays, I am not certain. And, of course, I missed both pangrams.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 15d, and 18d – and the winner is 26a.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  13. A steady solve, right at my level, so I thoroughly enjoyed completing this one unaided.
    No Chinese dynasties!

    I have been up since 6:30am as British Gas are coming ‘between 8am and 6pm’ as they couldn’t fix the (virtually new) boiler on Friday.
    I still await their presence. It could be a long day.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I hope British Gas have been and fixed the problem. In my own experience they never achieve this first time round and generally make a meal of it. I’ve had more success using a local company who specialise in my make of boiler for servicing and maintenance. Just a thought.

  14. Completed prior to a visit to the vampires at our local surgery and would confirm that losing a few vials of blood doesn’t make one feel any cooler at all……….
    Another excellent Campbell production and I awarded ticks to 10&23a along with 5&18d. Not sure I actually knew that 2d was a term for a pirate but it’s fair enough.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  15. Realising that this delightful and witty offering was a pangram did indeed help me to finish it. I of course did not know the football manager but the clue led me right to him (and then I googled to confirm). Lots of excellent clues and hard to pick just three podium stars, but here goes: 23a, 5d, and 12a. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ****

    1. I did wonder about the England football manager for those of you across the pond and elsewhere. No trouble for English oldies but his time in charge was quite a while ago. I can recall seeing him as a player at White Hart Lane. Tottenham Hotspurs old ground!

    2. The football manager was fairly clued and I should have got it, but I confess that I lost interest once I realised that the answer was a specific football manager – no fair, especially so long ago!

  16. A most enjoyable puzzle and a pangram to boot, which needless to say I did not spot until I came here!
    Thank you setter and Falcon.
    The pedant in me suggests that 18d is a definition by example and should be indicated as such?

    1. Shabbo,
      “The pedant in me suggests that 18d is a definition by example and should be indicated as such?”. My education must be sadly lacking as I have no idea what you mean.

      1. If I may be so bold as to reply on Shabbo’s behalf, a choker is one style of the answer and not a true synonym for the answer (a situation that is customarily indicated with a question mark in the clue).

  17. I’d rate this a tad trickier than recent Mondays & a delightful start to the week. A host of podium contenders; 10,12,13&23a plus 2,5&18d were the big ticks for me. Nice to see a pangram in both this & the Quickie. The only problem for me was that I couldn’t make sense of the top pun because the nag’s strap was a new one on me.
    Thanks both to Campbell & to Falcon.
    Ps a great final day at Royal St George’s with a thoroughly deserving & well spoken champion golfer in contrast perhaps to shenanigans at Silverstone where a 10 second penalty seemed pretty lenient to me.

  18. The top quickie pun was obscurer than a very obscure thing to me! Never heard of the word and wouldn’t have got it without the hint, thanks! Enjoyable quickie though and a pan gram too. Look forward to the cryptic later.

  19. I had agate for 10a ( don’t ask) and needed the hint for 23a, other than that a very pleasant solve. So much for Freedom day, many places are still insisting on masks being worn, what a spineless bunch we’ve turned out to be.

    1. Dave
      Sorry I disagree.
      Many people like me, 79 years of age, with a compromised immune system see it quite differently.
      I see people who wear masks inside as selfless enough to consider it is for the general good to do a very basic thing that potentially helps to stop making someone else sick.
      To call either them, or people like me who feel safer when people wear masks indoors, “spineless” is in my view narrow-minded. Rather the reverse, given the current advice I consider those who don’t are selfish. Putting your hand over your mouth when you cough or sneeze doesn’t need a law to make people do it. Likewise wearing a mask indoors with the current rates of transmission should be what responsible people do.
      If I lived in England “Freedom day” would be the opposite for me as I would not want to risk going into shops etc any more.
      Fortunately I live in Scotland. I have often criticised our First Minister but am happy to give her credit when she gets something right.

      1. Totally agree, LROK. I had to go into Shrewsbury today to pick up my new reading glasses. I wore a mask and carried hand gel. I had a liver transplant 20 years ago and I want to carry on a bit longer. If anyone calls me spineless (not referring to you, Dave) I will have something fairly strong to say to them.

      2. Well said. I fail to see how wearing a mask on public transport or in shops (if nothing else to protect the potentially unvaccinated youngsters likely to be serving you) is such a great encumbrance. I (double jabbed 59yr old) shall certainly continue to wear one & proceed with caution. 2 of my doubled jabbed friends have it & one is quite poorly.
        As a humorous aside another mate says contracting COVID has saved him a small fortune. Partial to drinking expensive red wine in the £25 a bottle range & in copious quantity the cheap stuff now tastes just as good so he’s quids in….

        1. I would certainly wear a mask if I went in a bus or train (unlikely) and most definitely in a shop, hospital appointment etc. I was so pleased that visiting grandson yesterday had done a test before they came. All our friends are saying the same thing so I guess masks will be around for a long time to come. I am just so sad to spot discarded masks around – the instinct is to pick them up and bin them, but we don’t know where they have been!

          1. Since my husband has a compromised immune system and multiple health problems, i still socially distance if out walking, despite sarcastic comments from some. I’m grateful that masks are used in the few shops that I frequent (pharmacist, optician, dentist, hairdresser) and am still having my shopping delivered by Sainsbury’s.

            1. We have deliveries from Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, Chris. It will be a while before I go back into a supermarket, if ever.

            2. I said mask wearing would prove contentious!
              Now what about this winter vomiting virus that is circulating? Careful hand washing is supposed to discourage it but isn’t that we’ve all been doing religiously for 2 years now?

              1. Just asking. What did people with compromised immunity do to protect themselves before Covid necessitated the wearing of masks? Surely the wearing of masks has made their public lives fractionally easier? Oh, it is a minefield isn’t it!

      3. As the efficacy of mask-wearing is extremely scientifically dubious one wonders why such positions should be held. I think it rather sad that a proud nation has succumbed to this sort of mass hysteria that adopts such a symbol of dutiful obeisance.
        If they were any use it would be different, but as it is they are just virtue signalling.
        I have yet to wear one and never will.

          1. FYI I suffered from Covid in late January 2020, so please don’t lecture me. This was before it became well-known. I caught it from a chum who also passed it on to several others. All of us are in our 70’s and are all still here.
            And thus have natural immunity.

            1. Got news for you. No such thing. Why do you think Boris had both jabs, despite having a really bad bout of Covid. My 16 year old grandson also had COVID, thankfully mild, but still got his jabs later, following advice of his doctor. It’s the people refusing to be vaccinated who are now the problem. In fact, I heard it referred to as the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated”.

            2. I’m sorry you had the COVID, Bertie, and I’m glad that you were lucky enough to get let off so lightly. I think we could spare a thought for the thousands who suffered mightily and died.
              This site is made up of gentle, kindly folk who try to be polite and compassionate to each other. “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”, please don’t try to inject a sour note into our friendly group.

              1. I am not the one who is making ad hominem remarks (to put it politely). It would be a poor forum (which it seems to be as much as a crossword blog) if everyone was expected to agree with one another.
                And who says I am not one of your “gentle, kindly folk”? And please give me one instance of where I have either been impolite or dispassionate?

      4. Nothing wrong with wearing a mask by choice LROK. Not many places here mandate one any more, just suggesting you do if unvaccinated. We continue to wear one in the supermarket, other stores etc., especially if the staff are wearing them. And still avoiding crowded places. When visiting our favourite coffee store last week a young customer indignantly asked why the barrister was wearing a mask, and if the staff were forced to wear them? The barrister explained no, she was wearing it by choice as she had two elderly parents at home and she wanted to be extra careful. We thought it an incredibly rude question, particularly as it probably came from someone unvaccinated.

      5. Hi LROK, sorry for the late reply. I guess it must be pretty awful for people with compromised immune systems and they have my sympathy, I count my blessings everyday that I am a reasonably fit and healthy 72 year old. But the point is that guys like you had to be extra careful before Covid came along what with the flu etc. We have been told that Covid will be around for a long time and we will just have to get used to it. If we are ever going to get back to any kind of normality we need to do it now. My spineless remark was not about individuals .but governments and corporations . Sorry if anyone was offended it was not my intention.

        1. Dave
          Thank you for the balanced reply. My point is that, as Bertie proves people are not responsible enough to realise the problems that wearing a mask could have a tiny mitigating effect (& every little helps in the raging acceleration of the virus)I am fine with no legislation & Iwill just not have to go into shops if I journey South.
          I counted my blessings too & had got rid of Type 2 diabetes by diet & increased my exercise to help cope with the first COVID wave. Then I was diagnosed with a serious condition with a treatment regime that set me back to square 0.
          Should I really not be able to go shopping because people like Bertie think that wearing a mask is a symbol of obeisance (and proudly boasts never to have worn one)? That is politicising the issue in a way that frankly is just as wrong as ever legislation was.

          1. And forgotten by those who ridicule people who to choose to wear a mask is the mantra “My mask protects you, your mask protects me”.

          2. I suggest that you actually research the true science of mask wearing. The general public do not wear surgical grade masks that are discarded after every use . Travel on public transport and you will see people wearing what are obviously very used masks, constantly fiddling with them, pulling them down etc.
            Please explain to me how that is preventing any possible transmission of disease?
            While you are at it, you might also care to comment on the fact that ‘regular’ influenza has a higher death rate across all ages – not just old farts like me.

            1. I suggest that you refrain from baselessly attacking others Bertie
              I had involvement in disease spread in the course of my work long before Covid and ACTUALLY have read scientific papers on the subject then and now. Frankly you insult my intelligence by accusing me of not doing – apparently simply because I have reached a different opinion to you .
              All scientists know only too well that there are opposing bodies of opinion on most topics I have come to the position based on what I see as an overwhelming body of opinion that whilst masks may, in the opinion of some, be of only limited effectiveness they are beneficial in limiting spread.
              I have yet to find ONE scientific data-backed study that supports your view that masks are worthless in preventing spread of the disease – particularly the current extremely virulent strains.
              There is certainly no no scientific evidence to support them being “symbols of obesience” a subjective political, even hysterical, statement if ever there was one.
              It is a disingenuous argument to say the masks are useless at the same time asking me to explain how people not using them properly are preventing spread of the disease. The latter is just a typical example of people who couldn’t care less about the welfare of others behaving irresponsibly.
              I do not travel on public transport because of the things you talk about (and people like you who refuse to wear masks for political reasons) My son who used to come up to see us by train now comes by car for our added safety . How you saw the examples you quote as you boasted you had never worn a mask, therefore couldn’t travel on public transport is a mystery
              Regarding mask efficiency. At the start of the pandemic my daughter made us bespoke masks that incorporate changeable Hepa filters which we still use. Replacing filters every so often at 16p each hardly breaks the bank & is cheaper than replacement masks.

              1. I don’t “refuse” to wear a mask. I am exempted on health grounds.
                I suggest that you learn the facts before firing off your vituperative posts.

                1. I have no problem with people expressing opinions Bertie – each to their own
                  I cannot wear a mask without breaking into a sweat and feeling claustrophobic; yes, really
                  I also cannot have the vaccine as I suffer from anaphylaxis so what am I supposed to do? Limbo
                  This whole thing has been about protecting the NHS from vulnerable people and has destroyed the lives of so many young along the way, as if it wasn’t hard enough already
                  The truth is rarely portrayed and never popular my friend

    2. I’m happy to wear my mask but I’ve come across a slight drawback here in Harrogate

      1. Oh come on, Miffypops! You are of a practical mind! Get a long tube and bend it over the mask and suck! (Where have I heard that before?)

  20. Another delightful Monday puzzle ***/*** 😃 Favourites were 23a & 5d 🤗 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell 👍

  21. Strangely I did not find this offering terribly enjoyable or difficult. Some rather run of the mill clues which I had to parse afterwards. At least I learnt a new word for pawnbroker. I’m not a great fan of poets, Greek gods or football managers. However on this occasion they were obvious. Thanks for the hints and of course the setter without whom I would be at a loose end.

  22. 2/4. Enjoyable solve with two anagrams my favourites as they seemed to leap out (12&19a). Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Dear Big Dave blog
      I find the blog so useful to help me to improve my skill in solving DT crosswords and, although I have been a regular user for some time, this is the first time I have felt the need to comment.

      I just had to write and say that I object to the comment and image for clue 5d. I am surprised this type of humour is acceptable in 2021! Perhaaps I have misunderstood?

      1. Welcome to the blog, Sue.

        Each to their own, I suppose. I thought it was funny and, as far as I am aware, none of our regular commenters objected to it.

        What did you think of the crossword?

      2. Welcome to the blog Sue. All points of view (within reason) are certainly welcomed on the blog and I thank you for expressing yours. While I may regard it as a bit of good-natured fun, I realize others may see it differently. However, I somehow doubt that the young lady in the picture was either forced to wear the T-shirt or forced to pose for the picture and I expect that she herself likely found the situation portrayed as humorous.

  23. A very pleasant start to the week with some very clever clues. I am proud (and amazed ) to say that I got the football manager so sometimes non essential information filters through. 11 and 12and 23a received a mark as did 6, 14and 22d. J and Q always alert me to a pangram, J particularly is a rarely used letter.I liked the bottom pun! Very very hot and close here in S. Cambs I think I have to succumb to a chair in the shade for half an hour. Many thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  24. Enjoyable. Was on pangram alert but couldn’t be bothered to check. 11a was my favourite.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Falcon.

  25. By the way, thank you Stephen L, Manders and W Wanda for sorting me out yesterday. We were waiting for senior grandson & fiancée to arrive between 1 and 11 to do some sorting out of their family ‘stuff’ which is in our spare bedrooms, carport and outside office. DD2 had offered to do us a BBQ in the afternoon so I did not have to cook. They arrived just before 2 – for various good reasons of course. So I was a little on edge when going the crossword! We did manage to send them home with all their family Christmas decorations, 3 mirrors and some of their books. Still such a long way to go to reclaim our space!

  26. Great puzzle, hugely enjoyable even if reasonably straightforward (though for me slightly more testing than Campbell’s more recent Mondays) and the list of candidates for the podium, let alone the COTD was very long indeed and needed to be edited. So many great clues, with the wit and smooth surfaces I’ve long come to expect and enjoy from this setter.

    Ticks to 11a, 23a, 5d, 18d, 20d and 22d – my COTD

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks to Falcon and to Campbell.

  27. I find the Monday puzzles the toughest of the week….the anagram indicator in 12a doesn’t make much sense to me and while I had heard of 1d I didn’t know he had managed England….otherwise all fair enough with a mix of v straightforward and much less so clues

    1. Re: the anagram indicator in 12a

      The phrase “could get one” is interpreted as “could produce for one [i.e., for the solver of the puzzle]” (the required answer).

  28. Blimey, my fastest solve ever.
    So, minus */****
    Many thanks, indeed, Campbell, for firing up my brain for the rest of the day.
    Thanks, also, to Falcon, chuckled at the 5d illustration.

  29. Thoroughly enjoyed this Campbell offering, except for 1d. I struggled a bit with 23a then I remembered the Britspeak term for that columnist. There was so much here to like, maybe 12a is fave, it’s what I’m sadly lacking lacking most of the time.
    Thank you muchly for the fun Campbell, and Falcon for his amusing hints and tips.

  30. Little fun and quite tricky. Really disliked 2d and 23a. Not one for me I’m afraid. Add to that 5d, a perfectly dreadful clue on many levels.
    Thx for the hints

  31. Basically the exact opposite of what Brian says above. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    1. Hi, Sharon! Pleased to see, like Mrs C, that you like a tipple! Have you been to Betty’s?

  32. Very please to complete this one, without hints, until I read how easy it was above! 2d and 23a were my last ones in.many thanks to setter for setting one I could solve.😀

  33. I’m not always a big fan of Campbell but I enjoyed solving this one. Interesting that Edward de Bono who originated the term 12a was mentioned in last week’s Elgar toughie. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  34. Thank you to Campbell for a very pleasant and doable solve. Thanks also to Falcon, as I needed help with 1d, forgot about that chap, and still don’t understand 2d. Something missing from my education I guess. Late starting today as we headed off to the model flying field for the maiden flight of Peter’s newest plane, built last year over many months. Maiden flight was beautiful. Second flight ended with a dead stick landing as it ran out of fuel. Luckily not too much damage, and nothing he can’t repair.

    1. Well done, Peter. I’m not mechanical at all but I think I would enjoy building my own and flying it!

      1. I am positive he gets just as much fun out of building them, and then rebuilding, as he does out of actually flying them.

  35. Pretty straightforward and spotted the pangram which helped me finish. Still late posting despite deciding to finish my dog training class early due to the extreme heat, just too hot for them, the dogs that is, but the handlers decided they needed to replenish some liquid. Favourite was 19a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I try and keep out of the Covid debate but according to PHE more than 50% of people in hospital with it are double jabbed, a statistic I find rather puzzling.

  36. Completed very late as was a travel day today. ***/*** today.
    Some questionable clues today for me with parsing.
    Liked 12a, 19a & 2d
    Maybe I wasn’t 12a ‘ing enough today

    Thanks to setter and Falcon

  37. Really enjoyable puzzle. Surprised by the proper noun in 1d and utterly stumped by 2d. Just not a phrase that would ever have come up with. Loved 5d, 18d and 13a very topical.

  38. This was rather difficult but only needed help for 2 clues. I knew 1d!!! 2 excellent anagrams at 12 and 19a, but COTD has to be 23a. ***/*** Many thanks to setter and to Falcon.

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