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DT 29910

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29910

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Occupied Ottawa, where the siege by the insurgents has entered its third week with no sign of relief. The courts issue injunctions and governments declare states of emergency but the police do nothing to enforce either. However, when other groups shut down border crossings to the US, police were far quicker to act.

Although the number of insurgents and their supporters is a tiny pittance of the population, they do outnumber the police. We keep hearing that action will be taken once reinforcements arrive but so far there is no sign of the cavalry that is supposedly riding to our rescue. The situation is complicated by the fact that the insurgents are using their own children as human shields as a tactic to thwart police action.

These delusional people have declared themselves a sovereign entity not subject to the laws of Canada, the provinces or any municipal government. They have sworn in their own police officers with power over established law enforcement agencies and demanded that the Queen (through her representative the Governor General) remove the elected government and install themselves in its place. All demands are non-negotiable.

You can imagine that the residents of Ottawa are well beyond fed up with this situation. I am fortunate enough to live far enough from the downtown core that I am not directly affected. However, I do feel for my fellow citizens living in the heart of the occupation. We look with envy at the way the gendarmes of Paris handled the copycat action there and only wish we had a few of them here.

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   A petition involving clubs gets praise (7)
ACCLAIM — the A from the clue and a petition or demand bookend the symbol for one of the card suits

5a   Do damage to what sounds like main tent (7)
MARQUEE — a verb meaning to damage or harm followed by what sounds like main or most important

9a   Period of time just before spell at university (3-2)
RUN-UP — a spell or period of time followed by the British expression denoting at university

10a   Caught funny cartoon about Germany making pact (9)
CONCORDAT — the cricket abbreviation for caught precedes an anagram (funny) of CARTOON in which the IVR code for Germany is inserted

11a   Reasonable and sufficient? I agree (4,6)
FAIR ENOUGH — reasonable or just and sufficient or ample

12a & 14a    Film troops’ patrol, travelling hither and thither (4,6,2,4)
FROM PILLAR TO POST — an anagram (travelling) of the first three words in the clue

14a   See 12 Across

18a   Singer in bar, one back in centre of Montreal (12)
COUNTERTENOR — start with a flat-topped fitting in a pub over which drinks are served; then append a reversal (back) of the ONE from the clue held between the centre letters of MonTReal

21a   Old fogey in work party (4)
DODO — a verb meaning work or perform and an informal term for a party are actually two instances of the same word

22a   Popular supplement as well (2,8)
IN ADDITION — popular or trendy and a supplement or extra

25a   Stole item, fancy Christmas decoration (9)
MISTLETOE — an anagram (fancy) of the first two words in the clue

26a   Mislead about preliminary race (5)
CHEAT — the one-letter abbreviation for a Latin word meaning about (a specified period in time) followed by a preliminary race (easy, no doubt, for those glued to the Olympics)

27a   Hurricane about to be shown in series (7)
CYCLONE — another word meaning about (this time in the sense of dealing with the subject of) contained in a constantly repeating series of events or processes

28a   Relish slanderous attacks involving celebrity(7)
MUSTARD — throw a soft, wet substance that figuratively symbolizes slanderous remarks to cover a celebrity or principal performer


1d   A doctor provided tablets, principally at sea (6)
ADRIFT — the A from the clue, the abbreviated form of title for a doctor, a conjunction meaning provided or in the event that, and the initial or principal letter of Tablets

2d   Frank in Shaw comedy, abridged (6)
CANDID — abridge the title of an 1894 play by George Bernard Shaw by dropping its final letter; the play was first staged in 1895 in a “run” that lasted just a single performance and only became popular in Britain following its huge success in New York in 1903 where its reception was dubbed Candidamania

3d   Be grateful for rise (10)
APPRECIATE — double definition; both verbs

4d   Somewhat manly in denim, a choreographer (5)
MACHO — hidden in (in) the last three words of the clue

5d   Male horse among weird collection of animals (9)
MENAGERIE — M(ale) trailled by a broken-down horse inside a synonym for weird or creepy

6d   Staff caught out suggesting swindle (4)
ROOK — the cricket abbreviation for caught absents itself (perhaps in order to reposition itself in 10a) from a staff used by a shepherd

7d   A likely loser, the German following a French greyhound, say (8)
UNDERDOG — to begin, one of the German definite articles follows one of the French indefinite articles; then this is followed by the sort of animal of which a greyhound is an example

8d   Reckon I’m coming into property (8)
ESTIMATE — install I’m from the clue (without the apostrophe, of course) in a large piece of land

13d   Men, after visit, panic (2,2,6)
GO TO PIECES — a collective term for men on a chessboard following a (2,2) phrase meaning visit or attend

15d   Gretel not working in glasses (9)
LORGNETTE — an anagram (working) of the first two words in the clue

16d   Not relevant, relating to education? (8)
ACADEMIC — double definition; both adjectives

17d   Blind alley, as clued cryptically by foremost of compilers (3-2-3)
CUL-DE-SAC — an anagram (cryptically) of AS CLUED beside (by) the initial letter (foremost) of Compilers; you decide whether the latter comes before or after the anagram

19d   Where one may see mutation of Iceman? (6)
CINEMA — In my original review, I wrote:

I must say I found this clue rather strange. I’ve marked the entire clue as a cryptic definition in which the wordplay is embedded. Perhaps some may simply see the first four words of the clue as the definition but that seems incomplete to me (although I can’t say that my choice is noticeably better). I reasoned that “mutation of Iceman” might be meant to indicate a film adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s play The Iceman Cometh (which I presume could informally be referred to as Iceman). If so, why not phrase the clue as “adaptation of Iceman”. I also discovered that there are also a couple of films titled The Iceman (one dealing with the resuscitation of a frozen prehistoric man and the other with a Mafia hit man). Undoubtedly I’ve missed something; it will be interesting to see how others viewed this clue.

About the only thing correct in that mess is the parsing and my statement that “Undoubtedly I’ve missed something”. What I missed is that the surface reading alludes to Iceman who is one of the X-Men from Marvel Comics. Iceman is a mutant born with superhuman abilities. He has the ability to manipulate ice and cold by freezing water vapour around him.

20d   Like-minded editor supporting military group (6)
UNITED — an abbreviated editor follows (supporting in a down clue) a subdivision of a military force

23d   Perfect vision (5)
DREAM — double definition; an adjective and a noun

24d   Muppet some feel moody (4)
ELMO — hidden in (some) the final two words of the clue

My favourite clue today is 3d in the Quickie.

Quickie Pun (Top Row) : WREAK + HERD = RECURRED

Quickie Pun (Middle Rows) COOKER + BOROUGH = KOOKABURRA

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : HEIR + THYME = AIRTIME

116 comments on “DT 29910

  1. Gentle start to the puzzling week, as usual. Didn’t need Falcon’s hints, which I will now peruse. Thanks to Setter and Parser.
    P.S. No Sunday Toughie post…?

  2. I thought this was going to be a write in but my GK failed me on 15d and I couldn’t guess the anagram despite having all the cross checkers so thanks Falcon for putting me out of my misery. I thought 5a the best clue and rather clever. I found 18a tricky but got there in the end resulting in a **/*** if my aberration is ignored. Thanks to the Setter.

  3. Another absorbing Monday puzzle from Campbell. I found it very enjorable and the last few in (5a and 12a )gave me pUse for thought (3*/4*)
    There was some nice misdirection in 12a and 18a. Thanks to Falcon ( sorry to hear of the frustrating situation in Ottawa). And toCampbell.

      1. First find the site! The NY Times seems to have hijackef it. Took me ages to fund it but, hush, solved it in 2.

        1. JB. I think your typo, fund instead of find, may prove inadverently prophetic. We might have to pay for it before long.

    1. Surely some sort of record. I got it in three after my first word contained no corresponding letters at all. Saint Sharon took four so I have today’s bragging rights. I’m using a different start word each day from a list I have compiled Myrrh and Whizz are on that list. I’ve already used Puppy. Anything to make the task a little more fun

      1. I think a lot of it is just pure luck. I had so many letters that were not in use that I wasn’t left with much choice. I think my solve was 3 if I count my original guess?
        Oh, back to Big Dave quickly and the conversations that really matters!

        1. I didn’t have a problem finding the site but did have a problem solving but got it in 5 so I have a run of 37!

          1. I got it in 5. I had to deliberately put one in I knew was wrong so as to give me more letters. Until Wordle was sold I just wrote Wordle in my browser. Now I have to plough through several imitations or similar words first!

        1. I’ll try it tomorrow LB. It took Kinda the other day. I’ll let you know about Pzazz tomorrow. It may take me more goes though. We will see. As to your comment recently about number puzzles I’m unlikely to be drawn in. Letters and words please me. Numbers belong on spreadsheets and double entry ledgers

      2. Got it in 3 today. First attempt a line of black squares! 🤞I don’t have to learn American words!

    2. Hi Corky! That’s very funny. No Wordling allowed here in my house. By the way, I’m really enjoying Real Tigers, the 3rd volume in the extremely well written Slough House series. Mick Herron is a real find.

      1. Glad about that Robert. You have a few more to go, all enjoyable. I’m rereading the Rebus series and am now onto the ones published since I read them first. Reading Dead Souls and am still amazed at Rankin’s inventiveness. Hope you are keeping well. I am managing ** solves by blogger’s ranking but would like a little more success at the *** level before commenting on the puzzles again in fairness to the setters but find Dada impossible to get beyond a third to a half solve. I will not count him when I make my decision to return. Stay safe stay cool.

        1. Love the Rebus! Have read them all. Rankin and Herron, nip and tuck for the Gold Medal! Dada is very tough for me too, Corky. Keep in touch.

  4. I was held up by 12/14a as at first I was looking for a film title.
    26a and the Olympics. Cheat or heat? Both seem appropriate!
    So sorry about the lorry protests Falcon. Hope it’s solved peacefully soon.

    1. We went to Denham in Buckinghamshire on Saturday for a family gathering/lunch – we discovered on the way to the pub that decorated pillar boxes are not just for Christmas!

      1. Oh what fun! Thank you for that. I divide my time these days between Kent and my son in South Devon. I’ve not seen anything like this in this neck of the woods but then a lot of post boxes here are the little square one either beside the road or in the wall. Not so much scope for artistry there.

  5. No real hold ups today. The anagram of ICEMAN had to wait for checkers to reveal itself although I cannot see why. It’s nice to know that Falcon occasionally has trouble deciding which parts of a clue like 19 down to underline. It’s no use asking me. I’m only winging it. Thanks to Campbell for the fun and thanks to Falcon for the blog. Your illustration for 1 down gave me the shivers. The Life of Pi ranks alongside Cloud Atlas right up there at the top of the list of books I never want to read again.

    1. I’ve started Life of Pi three times and have given up each time – what a load of rubbish, quite agree with you.

    2. MP, Cloud Atlas is in a galaxy all its own. You should try Cloud Cuckoo Land for intergalactic thrills. And you mean you didn’t fall in love with Richard Parker?

    3. From a David Mitchell (the novelist) fan, if you had endless time and patience, take Cloud Atlas (over-hyped) in the context of Number 9 Dream, Ghostwritten. Then follow that with the incredible Bone Clocks and Slade House and the big picture emerges from the mist. Sublime. Sorry.

      1. Agreed. I too am a Mitchell fan, but I don’t think I’ve seen that big picture emerge yet.

    4. Off topic, I passed on your St Peter and the publican poem to our Derbyshire friends, who used to run a pub themselves. They really enjoyed it, as I thought they would. Thank you!

  6. What a contrast to Sunday’s.
    Nice and easy does it.
    Excellent start to the crossword week.
    Last in 5a, very clever.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  7. After the weekend’s labours with Dada and Toughie3 (what, no review?), this very pleasing Campbell was most welcome (likewise his bonus cryptic online). I enjoyed 13d (my COTD), 7d, & 10a most of all. And whenever I see 15d, I chuckle remembering how Rodgers and Hammerstein rhymed it with “My kid ain’t even been born-yet” in Carousel. Thanks to Falcon (so sorry to hear about the monstrous siege continuing) and Campbell. ** / ****

    My worthy Bengals lost to an even worthier Rams team in the Super Bowl last night, so kudos to the L A team. Not a great game, perhaps, but exciting towards the end, though too full of Hollywood glitz and hype, and (sadly) a (c)rapping halftime show that drove me mad and out of the room.

    1. I thought the halftime show was hyped to be the best ever? I would never watch a football match so I wouldn’t know!

        1. Well, Merusa & BL, it was Hip-Hop to the Nth, with rappers and thousands of gyrating extras and (for me) absolute bedlam. ‘Chacun a son gout’, my friends.

  8. A terrific puzzle, just right for a depressingly wet and windy morning in Shropshire. 28a was my favourite for the excellent surface along with 13d.

    Many thanks to our triple punner and Falcon. Wordle in 3 this morning.

  9. 15d was an unknown word to me, though as a 9 letter solution only the singular fits. One to pop in the memory banks for future! Enjoyed 5d best.

    1. Thanks, Tom

      I guess I just automatically included the S following the pattern of glasses and spectacles. I found it interesting that Lexico (Oxford Dictionaries) gives lorgnettes as a variant spelling of lorgnette but is the only dictionary I have found which does so.

    2. That is because the French word is singular rather like trousers which are pantalon and not pantalons. Good thing to remember.

  10. Light, enjoyable, a gentle introduction to the cruciverbal week.

    1 / 3

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon

  11. It was all going so well until I was caught out by 6d. I had never heard rook used in that way before. I had to make several guesses until I was told I was right by my electronic checker. I still didn’t know why until I looked it up.
    Apart from that, it was great fun…thank goodness for Monday crosswords.

    1. I had forgotten it, but in my youth I do remember hearing my parents saying people “had got rooked”, meaning cheated.

  12. Late start for me today after staying up half the night to watch the Super Bowl. I was looking forward to the half-time show but I was underwhelmed as all the acts seemed to be miming, and the sound mix was awful. Terrific game,though!

    A little trickier for me than is usual for a Monday, but as enjoyable as ever to unravel.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Unthanks – Sad February

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon behind the barricades.

  13. A gentle canter to start the crossword week and, like Jonners, I gave top billing to 28a which put me in mind of our Sunday ‘hinty’ person. Nice to see today’s reviewer also getting a mention in the Quickie.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – so sorry to hear that the stupidity of the few continues to cause untold misery for your fellow citizens.

  14. 2 nice gentle puzzles from the Monday maestro welcome respite after yesterday’s labours with Dada & proXimal & for a change I even spotted the middle Quickie pun. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout. 17d brought to mind an early Polanski film first seen in a late night cinema double bill (whatever happened to them) with Repulsion.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon – I feel so sorry for the poor residents impacted by the inconsiderate protesters

  15. Always a joy to start the crucivebal week without aggro as was the case with today’s fun run. Just one (26a) unparsed. Thank you gentle cryptic setter plus your witty Quickie puns. Thanks to Falcon and commiserations on the inane demonstrations in your city – hope situation will soon be brought under control and the offenders made to face justice.

  16. I struggled a little with Campbell today. It took me ages to break into it and, once I had, it revealed itself very slowly. Still, it was a most enjoyable tussle with a number of smiles dotted about the grid. I had no problem with 19d but I did with 10a – a word I had totally forgotten. My COTD because I thought it had a great surface was 17d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun. Thanks also to Falcon for the hints and I do hope the protests resolve soon. By the way, Falcon, there does not need to be an “s” at the end of the clue for 15d. My apologies if this has already been pointed out.

    Wet and windy again in the Marches. I’m getting fed up of rain, mud, turnips and sheep!

    1. I’ve just checked that out and don’t know what to do. 1 suggest everybody writes the letter S underneath the puzzle grid. (No help to online solvers) 2 Log in and remove the extraneous character 3 do nothing at all. It doesn’t really matter and it proves that bloggers are not infallible. I’m open to suggestions

    2. Falcon has repeated the clue that is on the DT Puzzles site – the BRB thinks that the solution are ‘spectacles’ plural too

      1. Sue,
        While I’m not sure I entirely follow your comment, I can say that I have checked close to a dozen dictionaries and all define a lorgnette as a pair of spectacles on a long handle. Alone among them, Lexico (Oxford Dictionaries lists lorgnettes as a variant term (above I said “variant spelling” but that may not be the correct way to put it).

  17. Thank goodness it’s Monday and Campbell. My crosswording week went downhill from Wednesday, but we’re back on the bike and pedalling smoothly again. Thanks Falcon for parsing 6d, left me feeling dim. And Terence for the Unthanks in the background.

  18. Gentle but pleasant. Struggled to parse 18a and 9a and wasn’t impressed by 21a, didn’t seem quite right (why the double party?).
    Not sure was it says about my GK but I knew the Muppet but not the Shaw play!
    Thx to all

  19. I would like to thank the unidentified elf in the night who added the third Quickie pun to the review. The British pronunciation of an Australian bird is a bit of a challenge for a Canadian ear!

  20. Very very easy */** for me. The 19d anagram I’ve seen a number of times, so it went pretty much straight in, even though I share Falcon’s reservations about the clue’s wording. Good fun.

  21. Falcon, 19d. Since the whole clue is a definition and there is also embedded word-play, does that make it an all-in-one? I always have trouble with these things. I assume that Iceman (very convenient/germane fodder) refers to the character in the 1973 film (The Iceman Cometh), mutation is a good indicator, and the answer is where you might see the imaginary mutation.

      1. Thanks, Jose

        You are thinking along exactly the same lines as I was. However, “mutation” just seemed to be such a strange word to use in this context.

        1. Maybe Iceman is an imaginary character in an imaginary horror film called Iceman and in that scenario “mutation” would be a distinct possibilty. That’s a long shot, I suppose …

    1. Jose,

      I believe that “all-in-one clue” is a term that was coined on this blog initially to replace the term “&lit. clue” which was considered to be too pretentious. However, in practice, it would seem to be a rather loose term that is not used consistently by everyone. The following is how I interpret the term based entirely on how I have seen it used by various writers. Others may well have other interpretations of what the term means.

      A true &lit. clue is one in which the entire clue is both wordplay and definition. There are other clues in which the entire clue is a (usually) cryptic definition and only part of the clue is wordplay (which I refer to as embedded wordplay). There are also clues where the entire clue is wordplay and only part is a (usually) precise definition (embedded definition to me).

      I have seen writers refer to all of the above as all-in-one clues. Some (but not all) writers will refer to the later two types as semi-all-in-one clues.

      A few years ago, we had a blogger by the name of scchua who would refer to the latter two clue types (if I remember correctly) as WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) and DIWW (definition intertwined with wordplay).

      I choose to call this type of clue a cryptic definition with embedded wordplay because I think that is a more precise description than all-in-one.

      1. I’m obviously thinking too simply but I thought mutation was yet another anagram indicator. Where one may see is the answer formed from a mixing up of iceman. Perhaps I’m wrong but I’ve seen weirder anagram indicators

        1. Yes, mutation is being used as an anagram indicator (and it is certainly a valid one). However, it is the surface reading of the clue that seems very strange. If, as Jose and I postulate, the surface reading alludes to the 1973 John Frankenheimer film adaption of Eugene O’Neill’s play The Iceman Cometh, then mutation just seems to me an odd word to use to describe the film adaptation of a theatrical work.

          1. ‘Iceman’ is a main character played by Val Kilmer in the 1986 film Top Gun. He will also play the same character in the soon to be released ‘Top Gun : Maverick’ movie. Is that a better fit?

              1. I’m afraid I live in a different universe. My knowledge of current day comic book superheroes borders on zero.

                1. They were made into a successful series of movies starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. That’s how I heard about those particular mutants.

      2. Thanks for that, Falcon. Very interesting/informative for me and, I’m sure, others reading this.

      3. I remember Scchua, an excellent hinter – I think it was he who started the custom of underlining the definitions in clues, which was a brilliant idea and a huge help – sometimes just seeing the underlining is enough to give me the answer.
        I very much enjoyed this puzzle – a relief after a bit of a struggle with the weekend ones, especially yesterday. So thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – just needed a couple of answers clarified, including 19d, which I agree is slightly odd.

    2. I keep thinking of Robert Ryan’s terminally-ill performance (he was dying of cancer when he played Slade in the ’73 film version of Iceman). It was existentially one of the most powerful and poignant performances I’ve ever seen. He died before the film was released. It’s not O’Neill’s greatest play (Long Day’s Journey is, in my mind) but Ryan made it seem that way.

  22. It’s Monday, so the usual pleasant fare from Campbell. A nice start to the non-work week with a couple of tricky ones dropped into the grid. 1.5*/4* today for me on a Sunday night.
    Podium entrants include 11a, 28a, 2d, 15d & 17d with winner 17d … well clued I thought

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  23. Splendid. Thanks Campbell and Falcon. All went more or less straight in but clever amusing clues nonetheless. Favourites 11a and 1 6 7 and 17d.

  24. Started slowly in the south (One for Senf – 28a first in) then I crept slowly north and west (2d last in)
    today’s puzzle was 11a Reasonable and sufficient? – I agree.
    17d was a nice clue and of appropriate difficulty for a Monday.
    Still got a couple missing in the quick but got all three puns
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

  25. I find it so strange that thousands, nay, millions, of people are demonstrating and endangering lives to protest something that is only used for the protection of lives from a scourge that has impacted all of us detrimentally for two years or more. Is it because they want the pandemic to continue, that they actually like it? It is also interesting that our friends in New Zealand chose to try to disperse protestors with blasting ear-worm music of the 60s instead of physical force. The world has gone mad … you heard it first here!

    I digress- lovely crossword, Campbell, you’re a star. There was nothing obscure, I liked the 12/14a anagram, but fave is the 28a reminder of our own hinter on Sundays. Thank you both, Campbell and Falcon for the fun, we needed that.
    Wordle in 3.

  26. Pleasant Monday fare light bright and accessible. Great cure for yesterday’s headache-inducing Dada offering.
    7d gets my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    We have a shortage of HGV drivers but you can keep yours thank you. They sound more like anarchists to me.. Perhaps siege tactics are the answer. Surround them with mounties / troops and allow no food and water in.

  27. A truly pitch perfect puzzle for me today, what a great start to the week. Only needed a few hints, with LI being 10a, not a word that slips off my tongue. Didn’t know the type of singer at 18a so learnt something today. COTD shared by 2d and 17d. I had no problem with 15d. When I ask Peter “where are my glasses?” (yes, I’m always misplacing them) I am referring to one set of reading glasses, i.e. singular, so the clue is correct in my humble opinion. Thank you to Campbell, if only every puzzle were like this one. Thanks also to Falcon, and commiserations of your trucker problem. Truly awful insurgents, reminding me of the Capitol rabble we had here. A bunch of burly truckers afraid of a little needle… pathetic. But honestly, I would bet a lot of them are just there for the chance to make mischief, and enjoying every minute it, with no regard for the misery they are causing. When did policemen stop policing? Makes me so glad I am getting old. Rant over 😊.

  28. I have been working on a review of Toughie 3 (and 2 which BD has already)
    I can’t fully parse 28a in toughie 3
    I have no idea how I get the first 3 letters.

  29. Lovely straightforward Monday puzzle 😃 */*** Favourites 28a & 20d Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell 👍

  30. I enjoyed today’s puzzle completed in two halves during the afternoon but was caught out by 6d and 2Ia. The 3rd pun in the Quickie amused me and I thought it was quite clever. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon. Sympathies to Falcon. Some of the actions one sees these days leave me amazed and worryingly aghast.

    Just want to ask whether anybody else who does the General Knowledge Crossword in the Saturday Puzzles section finds the new layout frustrating? Having to constantly keep turning the page over shouldn’t be necessary and is positively annoying. On the following page does the 50/50 puzzle really need to be so large? I do hope Mr Lancaster may see this comment!

    1. It is evident newspapers and magazines are economising by printing less news and features (thus cutting journalist costs) and increasing size of “cheap” components such as puzzles and including more advertisements!

  31. No problem here except for 10a, am I the only one who’s never heard of it, it had to be what it was but had to check my dictionary ( google) to make sure. An enjoyable fun puzzle. Thanks to all.

  32. Late to this, after spending a very nice St Valentine’s Day with my very lovely better half.
    As enjoyable as ever on Monday (the puzzle that is) I particularly liked the 12&14a along with 16d .
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  33. I feel like I was doing a different crossword to everyone else. I presume a wavelength issue. Quite a slog for me today.

    Several new words (10a, 18a, 15d) to me didn’t help.

    I googled the answer to 2d and dismissed it due to the results. Did the condition have that name before the play..?!

  34. For 19d, I just assumed ‘Mutation’ was something I’d see in the anagram of ‘iceman’? IMDb confirms such a film from 2006.

  35. I found this very benign, 21a being the last one in for some reason. I just didn’t twig. Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon. Sorry to hear about your troubles, really the news is so b——y depressing, people playing football with cats, men bashing cows with shovels, war imminent in Ukraine, escalation in knife crimes. Have we really had all these years of civilisation and learned nothing? I’m going to bed!

  36. Falcon, as a resident of an America city in the upper midwest, I loved reading your comments about occupied Ottawa. Nowhere in the American press have I heard anything about them declaring themselves to be a sovereign entity, etc. I thought perhaps Trump sent some of his insurgents up there as, following in Putins footsteps with Ukraine, he would want to annexe Canada when he becomes the Authoritarian leader of the US in 2024:) Anyway loved hearing about it from you and loved the puzzle too. A nice gentle start to the week. I was born and raised in England and love having the availability of my favorite puzzle in the US. I worked for a Canadian Consulate here for 7 years and got to know so many lovely Canadian people while working there. Even got to visit Ottawa once in the middle of winter and 2 feet of snow!

    1. Hi Goldenoak,
      Your comments about US involvement are not far off the mark. The organizers include well-known alt-right, white supremacists who are closely aligned with their counterparts in the US (the same people who were involved in the attack on the US Capitol last year). More than half the funding for the insurgents is coming from US sources. Canada has always been a test market for US companies; I think US extremists may be using us as a test ground for tactics later to be used south of the border.

      1. Falcon, you scare me, but I feel you are right. There’s something very frightening about the current affairs in our country, we, not only Americans, Canadians and Brits, need to pay close attention.

      2. OMG I was half joking but I had heard about how much money they raised on FB and wondered who was doing the funding. I don’t think much of what you are saying is widely known in the US yet. We are all praying that one of the many court cases involving the ex president puts him out of the running. Tonight we heard that his accounting firm has ditched him and saying you can’t give credibility to his last 10 years of financial returns. Al Capone was sent down the river because of tax evasion – we can but hope.

          1. Goldenoak,

            Thank you for this. Steve Schmidt has summed up the situation in a nutshell. I just wish more people would see behind the facade of a truckers’ protest and realize that the truckers are merely pawns in a much bigger initiative to destabilize and destroy civil society around the world.

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