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DT 29922ddd

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29922

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where the occupation has ended, the insurgents routed from the city and the leaders cooling their heels in jail. Of course, our ordeal pales in significance compared to what is currently unfolding across the globe.

I found today’s puzzle from Campbell a bit trickier than usual —but perhaps I was just not at the top of my game. I needed to issue an SOS for one clue as well as for the top pun in the Quickie. Fortunately, Senf is only one time zone away and kindly came to my rescue on both counts. Given enough time, I likely would have eventually got the clue in the cryptic. However, my knowledge of British shops is largely derived from reading discussions on this blog and I don’t recall ever having seen a mention of someone shopping at the establishment in question.

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   Choose isolated area for a dip (10)
PICKPOCKET — link together words meaning choose or select and an isolated area to get a lightfingered thief such as the Artful Dodger and his crew

6a   Pip leading performer (4)
STAR — double definition; an ensignia on a army officer’s uniform and a theatrical headliner

9a   Harmony or division by close of play? (5)
UNITY — a military grouping and the final letter (close) of plaY

10a   Drinking vessel holding litre, say — fill messily (7,2)
CLUTTER UP — a drinking vessel containing the abbreviation for litre and another word for say or speak

12a   Referee, one trying to put a stop to foul play? (7-6)
WHISTLE BLOWER — double definition; a referee defined by his principal implement of work and an informer with principles

14a   Cooking technique demonstrated by a posh Greek at home (2,6)
AU GRATIN — line up the A from the clue, the single letter for posh, a couple of letters for Greek, the AT from the clue, and the usual word denoting not absent from one’s place of residence

15a   Early form shown by new boy bagging runs after me retiring (6)
EMBRYO — after arranging the pieces according to directions, you should have a reversal (retiring) of ME followed by an anagram (new) of BOY containing (bagging) the cricket abbreviation for runs)

17a   Silly jokes about Pakistan’s first capital city (6)
SKOPJE — an anagram (silly) of JOKES containing (about) the initial letter (first) of Pakistan

19a   Merchant banker’s last atelier vandalised (8)
RETAILER — the final letter of bankeR followed by an anagram (vandalised) of ATELIER

21a   Film tank tracks (9,4)
RESERVOIR DOGS — a charade of a tank for holding liquids and a verb meaning tracks or follows persistently

24a   Declines ice-cream cornet and pancake (4,5)
DROP SCONE — a verb meaning declines or falls and another name for an edible ice cream holder

25a   Former PM belonging to The Athenaeum (5)
HEATH — hidden in (belonging to) the final two words of the clue

26a   Uniform happening to be short (4)
EVEN — a happening or incident with its final letter removed (to be short)

27a   Partner improved at all? (6,4)
BETTER HALF — improved (as on the way to recovery from an ailment) followed by a term that can mean ‘at all’ or ‘by any means’ (as in “I am not at all satisfied”)


1d   Choice made by male after bonus reduced (4)
PLUM — append M(ale) to a word meaning a bonus, advantage, surplus, or extra from which the final letter has been removed

2d   Mate ringing leader of workers, good for informal chat (7)
CHINWAG — a mate (especially one from the East End of London) surrounding (ringing) the first letter of Workers precedes G(ood)

3d   Exercises involving bodily contact on tugs (8,5)
PHYSICAL JERKS — an adjective meaning involving bodily contact or relating to the body rather than the mind precedes some quick tugs or pulls

4d   Screwdriver for one rusty nail, say (8)
COCKTAIL — what a screwdriver and rusty nail are to a bartender as opposed to a carpenter

5d   Avoid fool heading off (5)
ELUDE — another word for fool, deceive or mislead with its initial letter removed (heading off)

7d   Territorial dispute at Newmarket? (4,3)
TURF WAR — a cryptic definition that involves a play on the composition of the track surface at Newmarket Raceourse

8d   Range of skills identified by agent before engaging acrobatic trio (10)
REPERTOIRE — a truncated term for an agent followed by a poetic word meaning before wrapped around (engaging) an anagram (acrobatic) of TRIO

11d   What child may say after bedtime story? I don’t believe a word of it! (4,2,7)
TELL ME ANOTHER — what a child might say if one fairy tale is not enough (or they are trying to delay going to bed) could also be an incredulous reaction to a tall tale

13d   Rest following musical game with string (4-6)
CAT’S CRADLE — a rest (for a telephone receiver, perhaps) following an Andrew Lloyd Webber feline theatrical production

16d   What’s unrestrained over in leading drinking event? (8)
BEERFEST — a four letter synonym of unrestrained reversed (over) contained by (in) a synonym of leading; the hinter needed a hint here, many thanks to Senf for coming to my rescue

18d   Riding fresh horse towards the coast (7)
ONSHORE — string together a preposition meaning using as a means of transport and an anagram (fresh) of HORSE

20d   Callas rubbished American opera house (2,5)
LA SCALA — an anagram (rubbished) of CALLAS and the letter representing American

22d   Ring precinct for gas (5)
OZONE — a ring-shaped letter and a precinct or district

23d   Boss getting rid of one professional cook (4)
CHEF — a boss or head honcho dropping the Roman numeral one

As always, there is no shortage of candidates for faourite clue. Perhaps solely because of the fond memories it rekindles of reading bedtime stories to my grandchildren, I will pick 11d.

Quickie Pun (Top Row) : FOUGHT + NUMBS = FORTNUMS

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : ALLEY + BARBER = ALI BABA

69 comments on “DT 29922ddd

  1. Most enjoyable with just the right amount of head scratching and straightforward clues. The SE held out the longest mainly because 13d refused to yield. The film also remained hidden for ages because I couldn’t get army tanks out of my mind. Clues to mention as far as I am concerned are 1a, 15a and 11d but my absolute favourite and COTD is the very clever 4d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon for the hints and I have shopped at that establishment. If there was a third Quickie pun I did not spot it.

    Dull and damp in The Marches today but as we are off to buy two armchairs it’s not a problem.

    Wordle in 4.

  2. Good, light Monday fun, for me the first clue was the best. I think 3d fell out of use many years ago.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  3. Had to dig deep for 17a and 13d my last one in. I thought 12a rather good, although we have seen versions of this many times. All in all a reasonable **/*** start to the week. With thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  4. I thought this was trickier than of late.
    Needed Falcon’s help to parse 13d …forgot that synonym of rest ….

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon and Co.

    Miserable, dreich day here….constantly on the point of drizzly rain.

  5. 3*/4*. I thought parts of this were at the tougher end of Campbell’s spectrum, but the enjoyment level was still high.

    I started badly by rejecting “star” as the answer to 6a as I couldn’t see how “pip” = “star”. I decided the leading performer might be a tennis player and entered the plausible “seed” instead. After struggling with 7d & 8d, the penny finally dropped on the specific type of “pip” needed, and the NE corner then fell nicely into place.

    Although the wordplay is fine, I can’t make a lot of sense of the surface of 16d, and I am not totally convinced in 27a that “at all” = “half”.

    Once again there is plenty to choose from when picking a podium selection. I’ll settle for 1a, 4d & 11d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

      1. You are correct that 16d works as wordplay. However, Rabbit Dave was commenting on the surface reading of the clue which I agree does not make much sense. Whereas the surface reading of 1a clearly conjures up an image of someone finding a secluded spot for a skinny dip perhaps, the only image that 16d conjures up is the incoherent ramblings of one who has had more than a few too many. Then again perhaps that perfectly fits the context of the clue!

        1. I was in fact making the point that the spelling used relies on a translation of the original German/Munich events which is unfortunate however I also agree that the surface is jolty.

  6. Oh dear, bit of a muddle with 13d due to thinking “bridge” was the second word, and needed Falcon’s help with the bonus synonym at 1d. Otherwise enjoyable as always from Campbell.

  7. Well- balanced puzzle with just tje right ratio of brain–cudgelling to pute enjoyment (2.5*/4.5*). I liked 3d and 25a which made me chuckle and the geographical clue 7a..many thanks to the compiler and to Falcon for the hints



    1. Think about what Panama is particularly known for at Henley and Lords, say, while the fishing isn’t so much about a particular colour as it is about hues.



  8. A very satisfying coffee-break solve while it lasted (and can strongly recommend the online-only 2nd Campbell puzzle, 697 as well), with all the usual Monday trademarks: smiles, groans, and a little lateral thinking. Hon Mentions to 21a, 24a, 4d & 7d; COTD to 14a – loved the smooth surface and answer.

    1* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  9. A typically light and hugely enjoyable offering from our regular Monday compiler. 1a set the tone for the whole puzzle and was my top clue.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon.

  10. Really enjoyed this with a few minor hold-ups. Was convinced 1a was going to be something like taramasalata or hummus – that sort of dip! Also thought 3d was going to end in pulls. Liked 8d but COTD 1a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. Wordle in 5 after shaky start.

  11. A nice friendly Monday offering – thank you Campbell and Falcon

    The online ‘win a prize’ cryptic 697 is even friendlier!

  12. Made the same mistake as Rabbit Dave with my opener; thankfully, 7d soon redirected me. My other self mis-direction was 13d, which, as a string player, I’d assumed would start with bass. When will I ever learn to study the clue in favour of jumping to conclusions? My education for the day was learning how to spell 17a!
    Great start to a Monday, ta, M le Setter.

  13. Two more delightful cryptics by our peerless Monday compiler, with this week’s regular cryptic getting a slight nod over the online bonus, I thought. So much to like here: La Divina in her element, at 20d; Tarantino in his, at 21a; and our setter in his, at 11, 13, & 16d. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ****

    Carnegie Hall tossed out the regular Vienna Phil conductor, Gergiev (a Putin sympathiser), Friday night, as well as the guest piano soloist Matsuev (another Putin pawn) and Nezet-Seguin (our illustrious Met Opera conductor), as well as Seong-Jin Cho (in his Carnegie debut) stepped in at the very last minute and gave the performances of their lives! Bravissimi, all!

    1. As much as I’m appalled at the actions of Putin, I’m so heartened by the support from everyone wherever they can. I’ve checked the brands of vodka my friends drink and have been assured they don’t drink any made in Russia.

  14. Sailed through this. 17a takes me back to my inter-railing days. Thanks to Falcon and today’s setter.

  15. I spent too long trying to fit ‘piccalilli’ into 1a, but I suppose that’s more of a relish than a dip anyway. And on the plus side, I’ve now learnt how to spell ‘piccalilli’ (though not, apparently, how to distinguish it at a glance from the identically coloured jar of mango curd on the bottom shelf of our fridge).

    4d and and 3d felt more general-knowledgy to me, possibly because I’d never heard of the second cocktail or the exercise. I’d’ve done better if I’d just bunged in 6a, 4d, and the first word of 3d without worrying about the parsing, presuming (correctly, as it turned out) that they involved things I didn’t know. And 3d’s wordplay just feels like the etymology of the phrase, rather than completely unrelated definitions which happen to lead to the same words.

    23d is called that because they are the boss (in the kitchen), the minor variation in spelling occurring as the words passed through Latin and French on their way to English, so using one spelling as the wordplay for t’other seems pretty weak.

    But I did still enjoy solving this! 24a’s food items and 11d’s bedtime whine could easily have been my favourite, but that turned out to be 21a’s film — so neatly done! I haven’t even seen the film (sounds a bit violent for me), but that didn’t put me off. And such a pleasant change not to be ‘ET’ for once. Thank you Campbell, and Falcon for explaining the things I wasn’t sure about.

    1. Ha ha – I dread to think what a 24a might taste like with Piccalilli on instead of Mango Curd! I hope your tastebuds survived.

      1. I think it was t’other way round: mango curd with a pork pie. Not terrible, but not what I was expecting either …

    2. I did the same Smylers but when the penny finally dropped this clever clue really made me laugh!

    3. The film is indeed very violent in places but it’s a stylish directorial debut even if it is essentially a reinterpretation of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing – and it introduced Stealers Wheel to a wider audience.

  16. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: A typical Monday romp – 1.5*/4*.

    But, the same cannot be said about the OLPP which, for me, was more challenging than usual.

    Candidates for favourite – 4d, 11d, and 13d – and the winner is 13d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon (who I was only too pleased to help).

  17. A really enjoyable brainteaser. North came out first. Last to go in was 21a of which I had not heard previously. Fav was 4d which brought back some painful memories of Scotch amalgamations from days of yore. Pity about the anglicised 16d. Thank you Campbell and Falcon (so glad Ottawa demonstrations have been sorted).

  18. Held myself up by becoming convinced that the first word of 7d was ‘race’, even though I knew it wasn’t a perfect fit.
    Campbell on a Monday is always a delight.

    I am still rather zonked out after a very long afternoon/evening at Wembley yesterday watching my Chelsea eventually succumb to the fellows from Liverpool. It felt like the penalty shoot out would never end… and then it did :cry:

    Daisy – the lovely walk on Saturday was at RHS Wisley

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  19. Yet another lovely offering from Campbell, slightly more tricky than of late 🤔 ***/**** Favourites 1a, 21a and 13d. Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell 😃

  20. Found this a little more tricky than Campbell’s usual Monday offerings and share RD’s reservations about the second part of 27a and the surface read of 16d.
    However, there was much that I did enjoy and I put 1a plus 13&14d at the top of my pile.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

    1. The expression in 27a is used only in the negative with “not half” meaning “not at all” as in “This dessert is not half / not at all bad” meaning that it is far from bad and actually pretty good (or at least much better than one might have expected).

      I do agree with the sentiments expressed regarding 16d.

      1. I agree, Falcon, and I did think of that when I was solving. But, is it really justifiable to say that because the phrase “not at all” can mean “not half” that “at all” can mean “half”? I don’t think it’s possible to construct a meaningful sentence showing the positive equivalence.

  21. I envy you Terence a) for being near Wisley which I love and b) for your energetic walking which I don’t seem to do much of these days. Knees and heart you know. Anyway, we did have a lovely weekend weather wise. And we have just had a super puzzle, it took me a little while to get into my stride – George concentrated long enough to come up with the answer to 13d, 21a came from some hidden depth because I have not seen it. I thought 20d was quite neat and I liked the posh Greek. Many thanks to Falcon & Campbell.

    1. Daisy/Terence If you are ever in Yorkshire I can recommend a stroll around RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate.

      They even have a Betty’s tearoom!

      1. Heartily seconded – beautiful gardens and delicious eats. Thank you to Campbell – my favourite; and to Falcon. Another enjoyable Monday.

      2. Yes loved it when we visited our friends in Derbyshire a few years back. And the Betty’s tea room was an added plus.

  22. PS have just got Wordle in 3 and to my surprise my abject failure on Saturday did not wipe out my previous score. I thought if you failed you went back to square one.

    1. Also in 3 today! I think failure should reset your ‘current streak’ to zero, but everything else remains intact.

  23. Thought this puzzle to a tougher than normal Campbell today. 2.5*/3*
    Found several clues that even when I had the answer I just could not parse. Made no sense to me. Will check the hints on Monday when they come out.
    Favourites today include 1a, 15a, 27a, 7d & 11d with winner 11d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  24. Like others, I found this a little harder than some Campbell’s of late. but still a treat. I thought the 13d game was Bridge and 17a was Pranks until common sense prevailed.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I may have to email you if I get any problems with future Sunday Toughies!
    Mama Bee has a special pan for 24a but it is really just a flat piece of metal. It always seemed a bit risky to put hot fat and liquid batter over an open flame without any sides. They tasted heavenly though but never tried them A la Smylers with Piccalilli!

  25. I found this a pleasant breeze, I must be a Campbell kid. Thanks to Falcon for filling in the pip gap. COD 17a, such a lovely word.

  26. Phew a bit of a struggle for me, needed the hint for 24a, is that an American term for a pancake, not in my 8d I’m afraid. A good brain workout so thanks to all.
    Wordle in 5

    1. Re 24a: I would say definitely not an American term. More likely Scots as the word scone itself is Scots. According to Collins English Dictionary, a drop scone is also called a girdlecake, a griddlecake, a Scotch pancake, or (in Scotland) simply a pancake.

      Collins also provides as a usage example this quote from the Sunday Times which would seem to further support it not being an American term “Maple syrup is the great American contribution but their pancakes are thicker than ours, more like drop scones.”

      Perhaps our Scottish contributors can shed more light on this subject.

      1. So let me get this right, American pancakes are more like drop scones which are thicker than English ones ,as are the Scottish ones, which are also known as drop scones and pancakes. The Scot’s also have crumpets which are similar in thickness to our pancakes, and we have crumpets which I imagine are thicker than drop-scones. I can’t imagine why I was confused it’s all so clear now😂

      1. Dropped scones and pancakes mean the same thing here in Scotland.
        They are smaller , thicker and sweeter than English pancakes. We eat them as they come hot off the girdle (yes, I mean girdle not griddle) or later when cooled with butter and jam.
        We also have what we call crumpets which are the size and thickness of English pancakes but much sweeter and eaten either alone or again with butter and jam.
        Shops have crumpets with sultanas or chocolate chips baked into them but these to me are abominations.
        Hope this helps, but suspect it may just cause arguments.

        1. Ora,
          Thanks for the first hand information. It looks like the Collins explanation I cited was pretty accurate.

  27. Back to my old Campbell struggle to get going but once on message made smooth steady progress to the end.
    Was pleased to see “pip” without too much trouble.
    1a was COTD.
    I wondered if anyone still played 13d so I Googled it. Amazed to o find you can buy a book on the game from Amazon!
    Wordle in lucky 3.
    With mentions yesterday & today referees “trending” in crosswordland.

  28. A trickier Campbell for me but hugely enjoyable. I’d never heard of 21a and needed the hint for that, I also had a wrong answer for 16d. At first I thought 1a was fave but 13d has to be it for all the memories playing it as a child.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and to Falcon for unravelling a few. Wordle in 4.

  29. What a swine to start the week with. The bottom left I found impenetrable, not even the hints unlocked much of the wordplay.
    The only clue I enjoyed was 1a. The rest you could bin as far as I was concerned.
    Way out of my ability.
    Thx for trying to help with the hints.

  30. A late post having (with some trepidation) ventured out to the cinema to see Ken Branagh’s Belfast. Very good it was too & with the unexpected pleasure of a Van Morrison soundtrack. Thought this back-pager from our Monday man trickier than usual but very good & for me it had the distinct edge on his bonus online one. 1a wasn’t bettered & went in immediately – I backed Benny The Dip to win the Derby chiefly because he was a character in my favourite musical. 4,8&11d other ticks in my book & I too thought at all for half at 27a a stretch.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon
    Wordle in 4
    Ps Don’t think we’ve had a post from MalcolmR for some time – hope all is ok with him.

  31. 3/4. Much trickier than is usual for a Monday. My favourites were 14&21a, the latter being a real d’oh moment. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  32. A late finish and I had to look at hints for the last 3. A few head-scratching moments but after a few interruptions it probably helped to clear the fog. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon. Good start to the week.

  33. I’m in the harder than usual camp this evening getting only a handful on first pass. Still I got there in reasonable time in the end. COTD I’ll give to 7d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  34. Slow going this morning, probably because we both had to leave mid morning for out annual check ups. New doctor now as ours just retired, and we had been seeing him for 28 years. Just finished the puzzle but do confess to finding it tougher than usual for a Campbell. 1a is my COTD despite me being very slow to figure it out, despite getting the first four letters right away, oh dear. Didn’t get the 21a film either. Had heard of it, but not watched as it is not really my thing. Will 697 a whirl now. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  35. Enjoyed both offerings from our editor today.
    Just the right amount of difficulty to tickle my grey matter.
    Learned a couple of things too (pip and onshore).
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  36. 3*/4*…..
    liked 1A ” Choose isolated area for a dip (10) ” amomgst others.

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