DT 29898 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29898

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29898

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa, where we have been “enjoying” a spell of frigid temperatures approaching -30 C (with wind chills significantly colder than that). This weekend, the city is also “enjoying” a visit from several thousand anti-vax truckers (actually anti-vax, anti-mask, anti any public health measure) together with countless other lunatic fringe groups who decided to tag along for the fun. The thousands of 18-wheelers and other large vehicles have brought the centre of the city to a virtual standstill. Thankfully, I haven’t heard of any serious violence breaking out; just a lot of very loutish behaviour including parading around with Confederate and Nazi flags, contemptuously appropriating symbols of the holocaust, defacing national monuments, desecrating the tomb of the unknown soldier, and invading a soup kitchen harassing the volunteers and forcing them to hand over food intended for the homeless. What is the world coming to?

As for the puzzle, I would say it sits a bit toward the easier end of the spectum but is high on the enjoyment scale. But then, isn’t that what pommers and I write every week? Now, to sit back and await the dreaded comment that I’ve yet again missed a third pun.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.

Across

1a   Finally redeployed an old falconer (4,3,3,3)
ONCE AND FOR ALL — anagram (redeployed) of the final three words of the clue

9a   Work of little merit in vessel, British tanker (9)
POTBOILER — link together a cooking vessel, B(ritish) and a ship for transporting petroleum products

10a   Private meal missed by daughter (5)
INNER — a meal missing the abbreviation for daughter

11a   Fling? Witness pair inside (5)
SPREE — witness or observe wrapped around the abbreviation for pair

12a   I am contracted in Maine to produce a type of theatrical drama (4)
MIME — a contraction for I am enveloped by the postal designator for the state of Maine

13a   Just like in outskirts of Paris, while away (4)
PASS — a conjunction meaning ‘just like’ or ‘in the manner that’ inserted between the outer letters of (outskirts of) PariS

15a   Draw hat picked up by cat (7)
TOMBOLA — what might be picked up by some British ears as a hat with a rounded crown follows a male cat

17a   Gran eager to find a hard-wearing fabric (7)
NANKEEN — another informal term for one’s grandmother and a synonym for eager

18a   Indifferent as late run failed? (7)
NEUTRAL — anagram (failed) of LATE RUN

20a   She finally received rent, a personal morale-booster (3-4)
EGO-TRIP — a charade of the final letter of shE, a word meaning received, and a rent or split

21a   Look shabby, so they say (4)
MIEN — sounds like (so they say) shabby or of inferior quality

22a   Small mostly submissive Barrie character (4)
SMEE — S(mall) and all but the final letter of a word meaning submissive gives us the name of Captain Hook’s bo’sun

23a   To put off, in crude terms (5)
DETER — hidden in (in) the final two words of the clue

26a   Strangely frightening eastern lake (5)
EERIE — E(astern) and one of the smaller Great Lakes

27a   Bit player facing season in additional play (5,4)
EXTRA TIME — an actor in a small, usually non-speaking role and a term that can be used to denote almost any temporal period

28a   Pretend one’s not interested in baffling drama? (4,4,2,3)
PLAY HARD TO GET — a literal reading of the solution might suggest it describes a stage production that’s difficult to understand

Down

1d   Counterpart stupidly bit me on purpose (8,6)
OPPOSITE NUMBER — an anagram (stupidly) of the last four words in the clue

2d   Domestic pet about to return, so put food out? (5)
CATER — Mr K’s favourite domestic pet followed by a reversal of of a Latin preposition meaning ‘about’ or ‘in the matter of’

3d   Open over committee (5-5)
ABOVE BOARD — a synonym for over or on top of and a committee in charge of running a business enterprise is the opposite of under the table

4d   Cover up girl’s problem that seems incapable of a solution (7)
DILEMMA — a reversal (up in a down clue) of a cover or cap and a girl’s name

5d   Male rowers, dreadful moaners (7)
OARSMEN — an anagram (dreadful) of the last word in the clue

6d   Song, one from ‘West Side Story’ needing no introduction (4)
ARIA — the name of a song from the musical ‘West Side Story’ with its initial letter chopped off; the following clip provides 29 clues to the name of the song

7d   Listen and learn, unhappily, about European (4,2,3)
LEND AN EAR — an anagram (unhappily) of AND LEARN surrounding E(uropean)

8d   Tense show, faultless (7,7)
PRESENT PERFECT — a verb meaning to show (as a film at a cinema, perhaps) and an adjective denoting faultless or without defect

14d   Batting: sound job, to a great extent (2,4,4)
IN GOOD PART — line up the cricket term for batting, an adjective denoting sound or not damaged and a job for an actor

16d   Timid type, prior to gin and Cheddar cheese (9)
MOUSETRAP — an animal that exemplifies timidness precedes a snare that it would do well to steer clear of

19d   Soundly beat husband after wager in London borough (7)
LAMBETH — assembling the components according to directions, we have an informal term meaning to hit hard, a wager and H(usband)

20d   Badminton competitor, say, in uniform — abbreviated name (7)
EVENTER — uniform or smooth and a name or expression (especially one used with a precise meaning in a specialized field) with its final letter docked give us one engaged in an equestrian competition rather than a racket sport

24d   Part of in-depth ingenious article (5)
THING — hidden in (part of) the third and fourth words of the clue

25d   In France, eat processed cheese (4)
FETA — the IVR code for France and an anagram (processed) of EAT

I can hardly not give special mention to 1a, can I? But 1d elicited a hearty chuckle, so I will award the honours to it.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): CORE + TANNED + BOLD = CAUGHT AND BOWLED

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : LETTER + LOAN = LET ALONE


80 comments on “DT 29898
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  1. 2*/3.5*. I was on course for my 1* time but a bit of a hold up in the SE corner took me up to my 2* level.

    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and also to Falcon.

  2. Very enjoyable indeed while it lasted, as per on a Monday elegantly and imaginatively clued throughout.
    Lots to like but I’ve chosen to highlight 9,21&28a plus 2&16d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the fun.

  3. Perfectly pleasant albeit at the easier end of the Campbell range so no head scratching required. No particular favourites but the 4 peripheral long ‘uns were all good. His bonus cryptic is similarly gentle this week & there’s no curve ball obscurity other than perhaps a surrealist horror film unfamiliar I suspect to some.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon

    1. The surrealist horror film in the on-line weekly prize puzzle was very unfamiliar to me and I don’t think I will try to remember it.

      An enumeration error (again) in 9a. It should be (5,5) not (6,5) as shown – duly reported to our esteemed editor in the wee small hours (7:30pm my time).

      1. It is indeed a bizarre debut. Not my cup of tea at all. His follow up, Elephant Man, is on the other hand is a fine film.

      2. Yes, I made the mistake of starting with the online prize puzzle 693 first this morning. Didn’t realise until I was half way through, so plodded on. I didn’t know the movie, and never will. I started at 9a for ages as the number notation of 6,5 was wrong when I printed it up. But otherwise did enjoy the puzzle, so thanks to the setter.

        Will save 29,898 for later.

    2. Not exactly unfamiliar to me, even though I walked out of the cinema–something I’ve done a lot in my time–when I went to see Mr Lynch’s debut, but you’re absolutely right about Elephant Man.

  4. The usual straightforward yet well-clued puzzle for a Monday morning. The three word top pun was my favourite, although the anagrams in the main crossword were very good.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    Wordle in 5 today.

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

    A bit of a Hmm on the Top Pun.

    Candidates for favourite – 28a, 2d, and 4d – and the winner is 28a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  6. Very enjoyable start to the week, particularly the long anagrams which gave a good foothold into the rest of the puzzle. The top line quicky pun actually runs to three words,as italicised in the dead tree version, making a much more sensible answer!

    1. And once again I awake to discover yet another Quickie pun fail — just not in the manner I expected!

      Thank you to all who brought this oversight to light.

  7. Satisfying to complete in the prescribed, sort of, time of *
    Nicely and elegantly clued throughout.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  8. Campbell has launched us gently and enjoyably into the new cruciverbal week. Had forgotten the 17a fabric. 14a has rather a broad job association. Joint Favs 15a and 28a. Thank you Campbell and Falcon (so sorry to hear about the contemptible demonstrations).

  9. */*** for me, an easy Monday romp. Thanks Campbell and Falcon. I’ll plump for 28a as the best of a good bunch.

  10. All good fun from our Monday setter although have to admit I’ve never heard of an oil tanker simply being referred to as an oiler – obviously another school day for me!
    Favourite here was 28a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review. How depressing to learn that you are also suffering at the hands of society’s lunatic fringe.

    1. I always think of Canadians as a particularly stable and sober nation, these recent “lunatic fringe” demonstrations seem so alien to our northern neighbours that I find it quite shocking.

      1. I’m afraid the contagion is seeping across the border. Yet, things here are pretty subdued compared to what transpired last year in Washington.

          1. Don’t hold your breath. Did you see where he promises blanket pardons for the lot of them come 2024 when he gets in again? He wants to treat them “fairly”. Sorry BD

    2. How sad that anyone who dares to question the official narrative is labelled as “lunatic fringe” or “anti-vaxxer”.

  11. Campbell just gets better and better for me, even though much of this one (like 16d, 20d, 15a,19d, even 27a) requires a (happily, for me) rather thorough immersion into distinctly British culture and terminology. Not a complaint, mind you! 28a is my runaway COTD, but 3d and the three other long ones deserve a hand. Thanks to Falcon (I am sickened once again to hear about those lunatic, right-wing thugs storming Ottawa–absolute madness!) and to Campbell. ** / ****

          1. Oh for pity’s sake. No wonder I couldn’t get it as I’d carelessly spelt 15d ER & not RE though I hadn’t cottoned on to the wordplay either. I’ll have to get you on speed dial for when I’m stuck….Reckon there’s 10 characters referenced & did chuckle at 26a.

            1. 26a got a titter from me too. I have a completed grid (with a couple of bung ins) now. But I needed extensive help from a list of bard characters. There are so many that Wikipedia splits it in two!

              1. Finally! 26a most amusing. Yes, I count 10 characters. MSND: 4; Ham 2; TN 1; H8: 1; MerVen 1; KL 1. The Spooner clue a bungin. What a struggle for me. I’m too old for this.

        1. John’s right, I think. Even though I’ve just begun looking at the Paul, I jumped down to 28a to see what’s what. H: What is 1? What is 2? (But I am finding this one, everywhere else, quite tough. Have managed only 7 answers so far.)

  12. As Miranda’s mother would say “such fun!” A most enjoyable start to the week with plenty of amusing clues and dropping pennies. Having seen 16d three times in the last 40 years – and not revealed the ending – this clue amused me greatly. Good to see a chestnut at 17a but my COTD is 20a.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon for the hints, two of which I needed. You are right, Falcon, the asylum is being taken over by the lunatics. What a world!

    Failed at Wordle because, once again, I picked the wrong vowel.

    1. First fail for me too Steve. I blamed Biggles.
      Made stupid mistake of re-using a rejected letter which annoyed me intensely!

            1. I understand your point t but I don’t complain when there are rambles about cricket, golf or some other ball game in which I have no interest. I happily get to know about the health and welfare of contributors’ pets and families. Not to mention tracks of music which are not to my taste. I discovered Wordle only through the comments on here and it is, after all, a word game. Live and let live.

    2. I got 4 greens in row two, letters 2,3,4,5.
      It then meant that there were about 6 choices for letter 1. Needless to say I chosen the wrong one every time.
      Grrrrr

  13. I really did enjoy this one – right at my level, which is at the easier end of the spectrum.

    Thank you very much to everyone helping me in my quest to get hold of the weekly newsletter. The obvious fixes (e.g. log out and in again; check spam folder) have all been tried multiple times. A good suggestion was to try from a different email address as mine has a ‘dot’ in it, and apparently the software doesn’t like dots. However, the easiest solution came from Miff The Magnificent who is simply going to forward it on to me each week.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Jackson Browne – Lawyers In Love

    Thanks to Campbell, and Falcon – the latter, one hopes, wearing plenty of layers of 17a.

  14. It’s Monday, it’s Campbell. A nice start to the (non)-work week for me. 2*/3* today.
    Favourites include 1a, 28a, 8d, 16d & 19d with winner 16d by a hair over 19d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    1. Decided to look at the bonus cryptic 693 this afternoon and found it almost as easy to work through, (even with out hints), as the Campbell from this morning. Rate this 1,5*/3.5*
      Favourites 9a, 18a, 23a & 17d
      Unheard of film in 26a and pretty sure it isn’t on any upcoming list of mine to watch.

      Thanks to setter

  15. NOt as easy as some Monday’s IMO. I had to do a bit of thinking about some of the 4 letter ones. 13a was a bit of a bung in until I remembered listing to While my Guitar Gently Weeps Yesterday. 21a was similarly a leap to parse. &d joins 1a and 28a on my podium today. Thanks to Campbell and the old falconer.

  16. Wot larks! Great fun, straightforward, and trés amusant. Ticks to 15a, 22a, and 19d.

    1* / 3*

    The online-only Campbell (693) a similarly enjoyable stroll other than the enumeration issue in 9a noted above, wth ticks to 15a and 16d.

    Many thanks indeed to Campbell and to Falcon.

  17. 2/3.5. Enjoyable while it lasted. Helped by a few of long anagrams to get the ball rolling. My favourite from a fairly crowded field was 9a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon and I’m glad I’m not in Ottawa for the protest groups. I wonder how many of these idiots were vaccinated by their parents against measles, polio, etc etc? Also I’m not good with temperatures that start with a minus sign. Stay safe and warm.

  18. Campbell’s puzzles are consistently clued without too many head scratchevrs, a perfect starter to the solving week.
    16d my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the review.
    Wild weather up here that seems to be passing Notrh and South of us. Fortunately we haven’t lost power but having to use my mobile for internet as the mast succumbed on Saturday night.
    Interesting article in DT about the danger of walking dogs on sandy beaches (Dornoch is certainly that) in high winds so took Biggles down the airstrip.

  19. A fun Monday jaunt, thank you Falcon and Campbell. Did anyone else feel the Badminton competitor was a little lame. Harsh I know given the quality overall.

  20. I’d forgotten about that old 22a Barrie character – the cartoon version made me laugh so much all those years ago. Thank you Campbell and Falcon

  21. Not my favourite Campbell nor, for me, the easiest. Floored with 9a and 21a. Perhaps I should have got 9a but I think I was looking for a naval vessel. I, too, had never come across the word oiler. Thanks Campbell and Falcon. Is 21a supposed to be a homophone?

      1. I think I know how to pronounce both words and there is no way they are pronounced the same. I also do not believe this is a regional thing. There is another word used in law often in connection with profits. It has five letters and a very peculiar spelling but it sounds like the synonym for shabby but certainly not like the synonym for look.

        1. WW. I did agree with you and I’ve always pronounced them diiferently. But I have just visited Collins Online and listened to the pronunciation of the answer – and it’s exactly the same as the other word! So, now I’m not so sure.

          1. That’s interesting Jose. I’ve looked in BRB and pronunciation of this word is the same as mean and mesne. You learn something new every day.

  22. It was a good crossword that I found harder than perhaps I should have with hold ups in 27a (season?) and although I had seen the new excellent version of West Side Story only recently had misread 10a to give yet another doh moment. Another very good film is Parallel Mothers from Almadovar – another pairing of great female performances (as West Side Story). Campbell many thanks – enjoyed it very much. Thanks for bringing us up to date on the Ottawa shenanigans from a local perspective (it’s where our son in law’s mum lives).

    1. Re: 27a

      As I said in my review, ‘time’ can “denote almost any temporal period”; a season is a time of the year; an hour is a time of day; a day can be a time of month; an era can be a time in history.

  23. I do enjoy the Monday Campbell offering, most enjoyable. I was held up in the SE at the end, I had to resort to e-help for a couple, otherwise very friendly. 20a was a bungin, thanks for the explanation Falcon. Fave was 28a, 1d deserves a mention.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun, your hints much appreciated Falcon.
    I’ve saved the Monday brawta for later on, always a treat.

  24. Another lovely start to the week, with lots of clever clues **/**** Favourites 😃 15 & 9a and 6 & 16a, come on Brian “credit where credits due” 🤗 Thanks to Falcon for both his blog and report from Ottawa 👍 and of course to Campbell for easing us into the week once again.

  25. All very straightforward with exception of 16d which was a new one on me, I had to Google it, but obvious from the clue. Favourite was 28a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  26. Finally got to this after working on the prize puzzle first by mistake. Surprisingly, I found that one easier than this back pager. Parts were fairly easy to solve, and others were downright tricky. I have sewn all my life, both making clothes for myself and both daughters when small, and done quite a bit of upholstery etc., yet managed to never use or know about 17a. Was not familiar with the 9a expression. But rest was a lot of fun. Oh well, no excuse now, need to get back to working on our taxes ☹️. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  27. Almost bung in Petroller in 9a for some strange reason.
    Today the homophone in 15a doesn’t work for me. The second O should sound like the first one.
    Forgot about the Peter Pan character and had to check it.
    Favourite 28a.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

    1. 9a – I was along the same lines as you but thought patroller might be some sort of ship! I don’t agree with you with the homophone at 15a, however, unless it in pronounced differently in other parts of the country or even France. I pronounce the last four letters exactly like the hat.

  28. Fairly bright ‘n breezy by Campbell today…made Monday a bit less of a grind!
    My last one in was 21A…hmmm…
    Thanks Falcon for the blog ‘n hints…sorry to hear of the troubles in Ottawa…utter tw@s!
    Cheers!

  29. It’s Monday and it’s Campbell. Many thanks for an enjoyable puzzle and thanks to Falcon. I don’t know how you cope with -30C temperatures +wind chill!

  30. Struggling to parse 16d. Got the first bit but can’t match “prior to gin” with a snare. Any oblique help appreciated…

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