DT 29952 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29952

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29952

Hints and tips by Pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where the chilly and wet weather is still continuing.  We’ve just had the wettest March since weather records began and the rain is forecast to continue this week. I suppose we’ll eventually get back to normal service but it’s anyone’s guess when that will be.

I can’t put my finger on why but for some reason today’s puzzles didn’t seem to have the sparkle I’ve come to expect on a Monday. Perhaps I’m just being a bit grumpy this morning due to the bad weather!

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

Across

1a           Dog nips pants (56)
BOXER SHORTS:  You need a breed of dog followed by some nips, of whisky perhaps.

7a           Father describing scented dish (7)
POLENTA:  The usual two letter father placed around (describing) a word meaning scented.

8a           Inspiring words from Guardiola, say (3,4)
PEP TALK:  These words sound as if they were spoken by the manager of Manchester City FC.  You need to know his first name for this clue to make sense.

10a         & 11 Across Call after what allows one to see County — call before game starts (4,4,4,2)
EYES DOWN LOOK IN:  This is the call before a game of bingo starts. You need a phrase meaning to call on (4,2) placed after the organs that give you vision and a county in Northern Ireland.

11a         See 10 Across

13a         Start to enter man cave, wondrous place (4)
EDEN:  E (start to Enter) followed by a man cave or lair gives the wondrous place in the bible.

14a         Likely to happen, working with witty types to suppress article (2,3,5)
ON THE CARDS: A word meaning working, as in not switched off, and some witty types are placed around (to suppress) a definite article.

16a         Golfer in row about golf clubs (5,5)
TIGER WOODS:  A row, of theatre seats perhaps, is placed around (about) the letter represented by the word golf in the phonetic alphabet and followed by some clubs, not irons but the other type.

18a         Clue, perfect when shortened (4)
IDEA:  A word for perfect without its last letter (when shortened).

21a         & 22 Across Sudden turning point, tense in docudrama as so moving (4,2,8)
ROAD TO DAMASCUS: T(ense) inserted into (in) an anagram (moving) of DOCUDRAMA AS SO.

22a         See 21 Across

24a         Fairy lights, when lit, can make a fir ____! (7)
SIGHTLY:  Not sure how to explain this one but I’ll have a go!  The answer is a word that describes what the fairy lights make your fir tree at Christmas time. An anagram (when lit) of FAIRY LIGHTS might come out as A FIR and the answer so to get the answer you need to remove the letters AFIR from FAIRY LIGHTS and anagram what’s left.  Hope that makes some sort of sense.

25a         English farm animals causing witty comment (7)
EPIGRAM:  E(nglish) followed by two farm animals.

26a         Old magazine alarms me now, curiously (6,5)
WOMANS REALM:  Anagram (curiously) of ALARMS ME NOW.  My mum used to get this magazine back in the 1960’s!

Down

1d           Trust worker about live broadcast (7)
BELIEVE:  One of the usual workers, not an ant, placed around (about) an anagram (broadcast) of LIVE.

2d           Cross Universal is screening an advertisement for a musical comedy (6)
XANADU:  The letter that looks like a cross and a U(niversal) are placed around (is screening) the AN from the clue and an advertisement.  It was also the title of a number by Olivia Newton-John.

3d           Extraordinarily rare opportunity to see a Hitchcock film (4,6)
REAR WINDOW:  Anagram (extraordinary) of RARE followed by something you see through.

4d           Sales gimmick, praiseworthy, perhaps, to some extent (4)
HYPE: A lurker hiding in (to some extent) PRAISEWORTHY PERHAPS.

5d           Rebuke for breaking into range (8)
REPROACH:  A word meaning for or in favour of inserted into (breaking into) a word for range, of a gun perhaps.

6d           Less tense, one shirking work (7)
SLACKER:  Double definition.

7d           Salute attending members (7,4)
PRESENT ARMS:  A word meaning attending followed by some members.

9d           Very large sum got from playing cards with children’s author, mostly (5,6)
KINGS RANSOM:  Some high ranked playing cards followed by the author of Swallows and Amazons but without his last letter (mostly).

12d         Female seated in close cries (5,1,4)
SHEDS A TEAR: Start with a word for a female and follow with a word for seated inserted into (in) a word meaning close as in a close friend.

15d         Jazz pianist‘s skill starts to thrill audience that understands music (3,5)
ART TATUM: This guy’s first name is another word for skill and his second is made up of the first letters (starts to) the last five words of the clue.

17d         Feeling of warmth around when opening in great Scottish city (7)
GLASGOW:  Start with another word for when and a G (opening in Great) and around them put a word for a feeling of warmth.

19d         Good manners shown by Italian novelist entering house (7)
DECORUM:  The Italian novelist who sounds like he’s an environmentalist is inserted into a word that’s supposed to mean house but I can’t see the connection.  Perhaps someone will enlighten me!

20d         Yacht station right in the middle of prime area (6)
MARINA:  R(ight) is placed in the centre of a word meaning prime or most important and it’s then followed by A(rea).

23d         Religious song from that man on the radio (4)
HYMN:  Sound like (on the radio) a word for that man.

My podium three today are 9a, 24a and 15d with the jazz pianist on the top step.


Quick crossword puns:

Top Line:     FILLY     +     STEIN     =     PHILISTINE

Bottom line:     FINER     +     LISZT     =     FINALIST

117 comments on “DT 29952
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  1. 3*/3.5*. This didn’t feel quite like a normal Campbell puzzle to me as I found it distinctly tougher than usual with a few obscure words/phrases which I didn’t know. However, there were a lot of excellent clues and (at least) two Quickie puns, so I think this was almost certainly our regular Monday setter’s handiwork.

    “Scented” in 7a, the answer to 10/11, and the slang for “house” in 19d were all new to me.

    I can’t decide whether or not I like 24a. It is a clever clue, but I find the use of an underscore to indicate a missing word quite a clumsy device.

    I thought that 9d was going to be my favourite until it got trumped but the outstanding 1a – surely one of the best clues of the year so far.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. Cockney – Drum and Bass- music style – place -house. Anyone who watches Minder (daily) as I do will hear it in most episodes along with kettle, dog and bone and shovel.

  2. I agree that this was a nudge up in difficulty for a Monday, with a few un-Campbell like clues that jarred a bit. Having said that, new words are always good to learn, as long as the wordplay is fair, which it was. Like RD, I loved 1a, with 15d taking my runner-up spot.

    My thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  3. What a breadth of General Knowledge was involved in today’s cryptic crossword; from biblical references to jazz pianists of the past, from golf and soccer to old magazines and childrens’ authors. It is to the compiler’s credit that, although I know ver little about spme of these topics, the cluesallowed me to find the answers. An interesting solve (3*/3.5*)*. I liked 14a, , 26a and 17d, with a nod to the unknown musical 2d. Thanks to thqe compiler and to Pommers for the hints

  4. Sorry, didn’t enjoy this at all despite managing to finish. Never heard of the scent in 7a nor the phrase in 10a. I can’t find the house in 19d either. I did think 1a was great though. Thanks to Pommers for assisting me to see how I got there! Wordle in 4.

  5. Too many obscurities for me, though I have to agree with RD that there were a lot of good clues, especially 1a.
    Never having played bingo, 10a was a mystery to me. Similarly not being a jazz fan 15d , although gettable was unknown to me. I had no idea who Guardiola was, so another trip to google and, drum as a house at 19d was only a very very faint memory. Had never heard of the scent at 7a. Not keen on 24a either .
    So, a good puzzle spoiled for me. Sorry setter.
    Thanks to pommers and hope your weather improves soon.

  6. This was a sprightly start to the week I thought and I agree with the rating offered by pommers to whom thanks. Hints not needed but on the first pass I thought tricky until the cross checkers eased the way. I liked 8a best. Never heard of the pianist in 17d but it parsed easily. Thanks to our illustrious setter.

    1. Couldn’t recall the derivation of drum for house, but dragged it from the back of my mind. My Brewer’s doesn’t help. A nagging thought makes me think it might be Cockney slang or maybe London/Thames Estuary area?

    2. I have a somewhat vague recollection of, in a London based TV ‘cops and robbers’ show, the police discussing a search of a suspect’s house as ‘turning over his drum.’

      1. I think ive seen drum us3d by a Cockney character in one of Dickens’ novel but cant remember which one. I think turning over a drum could also mean burgling a house as well as searching it.

  7. I enjoyed this. As others have said a step up in difficulty for a Monday but having only seen the Times yesterday I was hoping for something to provide a diversion. A couple of learning points in 7a and 8a, and the parsing of 19d went over my head. I ticked 26a as it evoked fond memories of my great aunt Dor who was an avid reader.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  8. Like RD I thought this distinctly tougher the the usual Campbell fare possibly because there was a fair smattering of GK involved (no Persian dynasties though T) but it was delightfully clued – a golfer, a jazz pianist (who cropped up in Paul’s Graun puzzle last week), a couple of writers, a bit of grub for Miff, a great Hitch film & a game of bingo was more than enough sparkle for me. It certainly beat the bonus puzzle that was very straightforward indeed & which I found a tad underwhelming. The smelly archaic term at 7a was new to me & required confirmation but otherwise no head scratching required. 19d was my clear favourite with ticks for 1,16&21/22a plus 2&15d. Liked the Quickie puns too.
    2.5*/4*
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers
    Wordle in 4

  9. Enjoyed this, the more so for it being a little more testing than the usual Monday fare. Had never heard of the 10a phrase, but it was eminently fair and gettable, as were 7a and 15d. I rather suspect that for most under 50s/60s the children’s author in 9d may be rather less familiar than the football manager in 8a. All the rest fell pretty swiftly, generating some “Doh!” moments and smiles.

    Hon Mentions to 24a, 5d and 7d, with COTD to 1a, which got the whole thing off on the right foot.

    2 / 3

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  10. Certainly more difficult than the usual Monday puzzle and somewhat obscure, last in was 24a and only one word fitted,having read Pommers explanation I’m not surprised I failed the parsing!
    As per RD a new synonym for scented in 7a, took a while to work out 10/11 across-thought it might be something the ref says before the ball is put in the the rugby scrum, the ‘house’ in 19d aluded me too.
    Facvourites were 16a 3d and 9d.
    Remembered the old magazine for some reason,thanks Pommers for the pics,going for a ***/***

  11. Having travelled along the 21/22a, pre-Assad (the ur-Putin), that has to be my COTD, but I enjoyed the whole, rather strange puzzle today. Never heard of the Bingo phrase (not a big sport over here) nor the ‘house’ reference in 19d but both clues sufficed. Lots of very UK-centred clues but I solved them all, even the ManU one. It seemed like a different compiler to me today. Anyway, thanks to pommers and today’s setter. ** / ***

  12. I’m going against the grain (so far) as I rather enjoyed this one – although I fully accept that if you don’t follow sport then there are a couple of obscurities. However, most people will know the name of 16a. Like Ora, 10/11a was a new phrase to me but I both (kind of) worked it out, and then guessed the penultimate word. Decades ago, my late mother used to subscribe to 26a, largely for the knitting patterns I seem to remember.

    Yesterday, in the late afternoon, we went for a lovely walk in the Surrey Hills and had supper at Wotton House, arriving home just in time for Match Of The Day, almost as if I planned it! :wink:

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

      1. And being used for hitting bottoms …

        Postscript … note to self: read to end of thread before hitting the send button! Sorry MP.

      2. I liked that magazine but preferred the monthly Woman’s Journal for its high class fiction writers. Nostalgia isn’t what it was!

  13. Not my favourite Monday puzzle and overall a bit of a mixed bag for me. The pianist, the bingo phrase, the film and the woman’s magazine all had a dated feel but I did like several others including 1,8,21/22a plus 17d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the fun.

  14. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: (except for 24a!) **/****

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and the 10a/11a combo – and the winner is 1a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  15. Mixed feelings about this offering. Loved 1A. A brilliant clue and my favorite. 9D came close behind just because the author was a childhood favorite of mine. I did know the magazine, the pianist, the golfer and the football coach. I always thought the bingo phrase was “eyes down, looking”, which makes more sense to me. But 24A? Nah. Like others, the dwelling and the scent were new words. Still, finished without hints so I count that as a plus. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  16. A slow start thanks to Saint Sharon wittering on but a sprint finish thanks to some very friendly checking letters. I do like some of Campbells all in one clues for longer multi word answers. Although it’s the wrong magazine 26 across reminded me of Victoria Woods amusing instruction to her husband In one of her songs. Thanks to Campbell for the workout and to pommers for the review

    1. I’m afraid I cannot stand Victoria Wood singing this. For some reason it gets my goat which, as I adore everything else she did, is something I can’t explain. Sorry to all of you who do like it.

      1. Oh dear you do seem very anti this version. Cole Porter of course gave Noel Coward permission to alter the words which he frequently did amusingly according to his venue and whose recordings I love.
        I imagine he would also have gone along with Victoria Wood’s funny version. Anyway chacun à son goût!
        By the way congrats on your prizewinning mushroom clue.

    1. Well, ‘lit’ is in the list of anagram indicators in Chambers Crossword Dictionary – so, it’s approved?

  17. Still need to solve 21a but the rest was okayish. I found it a bit of a slog to be honest without the usual Monday feel. I didn’t understand 7a. I got the “father” but not the ‘scent”. I also have no idea who Guardiola is. I see from the hints he is something to do with football, which I know absolutely nothing about and have no intention of finding out. I did like 25a and this is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Campbell. Sorry I didn’t like it. Thanks also to pommers for the hints. I think I’ll look up the hint for 21/22a because I can’t be bothered to figure it out.

    Wordle in 5.

  18. Not my cup of tea at all I’m afraid. A crossword with 13 multi-word answers just doesn’t do it for me. The use of split answers (eg 10 & 11a) for the same clue should, in my view, enumerate the full answer with the clue.
    1a gets COTD (Yes I know 2 words).
    Never thought my days as a paper boy would help with the DT crossword don’t think I would have heard of 26a otherwise.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  19. Just popping in to thank everyone who’s left best wishes for me. Hoping to be back up to speed again ‘ere long – meantime I am keeping an eye on the blog in the wee small hours and having a go at some of the puzzles.

      1. Have just seen you have yet another Hon. Mention for a clue. Congrstulations. It would be fun to see a whole crossword compiled by you.

    1. Very glad and relieved to hear from you, Jane. I hope that matters improve quickly for you. We have really missed your posts.

      1. A quick hello – when did we used to warn people being away so that others needed to know before worrying . . . :roll:
        Oh well, I know you’re OK now . . .

    2. Brilliant to have you back – hope you’re getting better and able to do some reading. What are you reading at the moment? I’m totally hooked on the Mick Herron series that Robert Clark recommended.

  20. This was a strange puzzle. So many obscurities and blasts from the past. I did like the Damascus bit as I entered the city in a steam train in 2005. A very happy off beat memory.

  21. No ones bothered to reply but if you hadn’t mentioned it I would not of noticed this dreadful anagram indicator. A very poor clue. I missed Pommers explanation in brackets (sorry Pommers, I must take more care)

  22. Found this on the tricky side due to my ignorance of jazz pianist’s and who mr Guardiola was, but with mr Google’s help managed to finish.7a and 19d bung ins ,or should I say educated guesses. Thanks to all.

  23. Looks like Campbells’ alter-ego is back for this Monday puzzle. Tougher than normal and with some very specific knowledge clues as well … 2.5*/3* for me.
    Had to use some electronic searching for these specificities in the above mentioned clues as the answers were not common knowledge for me.
    Favourites included 1a, 25a, 21a, 7d & 9d with winner toss-up 1a or 9d

    I also tackled Cryptic 702 after the backpager and it was frankly easier. Rate it as 2*/4* Almost like the two got mixed up and 702 should have been the back pager … comments anyone???
    Favourites include 1a, 13a, 26a, 16d & 24d with winner 1a

    Thanks to Campbell x2 and Pommers

  24. Not my finest hour but then I am so cold it is surprising that there is any brain activity at all. Heating goes off at 10.30 and on again at 4.30. George never feels the cold so does not understand my pain. Heating was reluctantly switched on for an hour at lunch. How have we lasted all these years so incompatible? All the clues were workoutable even 15d and I had actually heard of 16a. I suppose redolent is related to the 7a clue but am too cold to go and look it up. 1a,3,4 &12d were neat. Thanks to Setter and Pommers. I tried Toughie 10 last night in bed and managed one answer. At breakfast before yoga class I did another two. Oh boy, really tough!

    1. I hope they don’t get much tougher than yesterday’s Daisy. I was at the limit both in terms of solving, parsing and finding solutions online.

    2. Since writing the above, I read in the DT Dr Le Fanu’s column in which there is an interesting
      paragraph about people being chronically cold as a result of an age related disturbance of the thermoregulatory system. OR it can be a classic case of an underactive thyroid OR of low blood pressure. Can you imagine the reaction at our surgery if I tried to get an appointment to discuss why I am so cold!!??

  25. Wasn’t my favourite puzzle either for all the same reasons already mentioned above, but I did like 1A and my LOI 25A. I thought you did a good job explaining 24A, Pommers; that one was tricky to parse.

  26. A bit of a grind with several unknowns resulting in bung-ins i.e. 7a scented, 8a Guardiola, 10a/11a, 15d. Not keen on 13a abbreviation man or palaver of 24a. Fav 1a. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  27. What a slog. No joy
    Too many obscure clues. Didn’t feel like a Monday.
    Very disappointing. Thanks to pommers and Campbell
    ****/o

  28. It takes all sorts. I loved this puzzle. I don’t understand how anything other than 8a can be awarded COD. OK, I did have to take the 7a scent on faith but otherwise breezed through. Thank you Campbell for smiles all the way, and Pommers for Yesterdays. Expecting to get thoroughly defeated tomorrow.

  29. A bit of a step up from our usual Monday fare but still fun. I am not a fun of the way the app displays linked clues, I think the enumeration should be for the whole clue. But that is one for CL. When I could see the long linked clues they were my favourites today.
    Another subtraction anagram! IMHO the ones in the Toughie yesterday put me on the alert today.
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

    1. I’ve been banging on about that for some time now John. Quite why the digital paper app enumerates differently from the Tel puzzles app (& every other paper for that matter) is beyond me. Not sure what influence CL has over these things. The promise to sort out the app so that it confirms (after the closing date) whether prize puzzles were successfully completed (like it used to) never materialised & still depriving those on the basic digital subscription package of the Sunday Toughie 10 weeks in is a poor show in my view. Rant over….

      1. I have the full tree subscription (husband does not do digital) but I do and I resent not being able to access the Sunday Toughie – Grrrr!

  30. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Campbell…..let’s just say “I didn’t love this one!” I just couldn’t see my way into it and gave up after half a dozen clues. Thanks to Pommers for the answers, I might have a look later.

  31. Are we sure this is a Campbell? Didn’t feel like it. Agree with Pommers’ assessment of lacking sparkle. I found the clues rather awkward and convoluted. At least I did know the golfer in 16a. But the first name of the manager of Manchester City FC? Not a chance. Never heard of 15a either. 24a qualifies as awful clue. Sorry giving up. Not my cup of tea. Disappointing after such a gift from Dada yesterday. Hopefully today’s prize cryptic is a bit more user friendly. Happily got Wordle in 3 so brain is still working.

  32. What a ghastly puzzle, so many obscure references in poor clumsy wordplay. I have no idea what 15d is, never heard of 21a or the film in 3d. Couldn’t even fully parse 16a.
    Really disliked this one on many fronts.
    ****/*
    Thx for the hints.

  33. I found it a bit weird. I suppose I don’t play enough Bingo ( I never play, which is enough for me).
    Nor have I ever heard of that musical, but the children’s author was among my favourites as a child.We had to race to the public library to get there before the boys did or the books we wanted would be gone.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  34. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review and hints. I liked most of this, but not 24a. I knew most of the GK references, so that made some of the wordplay easier to decipher. My joint favourites were 1&16a. Was 3.5*/3* for me.

  35. I agree Una, weird describes this exactly. On reading 16a the said gent was being interviewed on TV news, couldn’t miss that. Had no idea who 8a was, had to google but it was obvious once I did. One really had to go back a long way for 15d but bunged him in from the checkers, likewise 19d and 26a. I only got the first two words of 10a, didn’t know the second two, so technically DNF. As one of my fave phrases, 21a takes my COTD, I also liked 1a. I like multiple word answers.
    Thanks Campbell, please don’t smoke whatever that was again, you explained it all very well pommers, so thanks for that.
    Wordle in 2, strange I used the same seed word as I did the last time I got 2. Goodness, I’ve been a bit wordy!

  36. Hi All

    Interesting to see your thoughts on this puzzle. I didn’t find it harder than usual but just felt it a bit odd but , as I said in the intro, I can’t really say what is different. certainly a sea change from recent Mondays.
    Sorry I’ve not been around but I had an appointment at the doctor to get my gummed up ears sorted and a visit to the optician to collect new specs. So lunch out as well took up most of the day.

    1. Ears and eyes both sorted – you will be firing on all cylinders now!
      Thanks for all your hinty hints.

      1. Thanks for that but ears not sorted yet. I have an appointment with the practice nurse for the syringing next week but the new specs are really good. However, as I usually use contact lenses that’s not so important. New prescription for the lenses to try out tomorrow. Wish me luck! Also had the results of a full blood screen and surprisingly I’m still alive and in reasonable shape. My doctor., a nice lady who is a bit of a joker, says just keep taking the tablets (blood pressure and cholesterol) and I’ll be fine.

  37. Hmm, a few testers. 24a. I got it but i dont get it. 7a made me think. 19d pre dates Drum and Bass and isnt rhyimg slang. Common parlance among the police and criminal fraternities, certainly from the fifties on.

  38. 2/3. A bit of a curates egg. I was ok with a number of the clues that raised eyebrows for some but thought 24a was the clumsiest clue for a while. My favourites were 16&25a. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  39. I struggled with 7a not knowing the word for scented – thank you Pommers for explaining, otherwise I thought that this was a good *** challenge with 1a as my CotD

  40. Try Canukle M. Although exactly the same except it highlights correctly placed letters in red I think it harder than Wordle. (Have explained why in email)

    1. I do Canuckle every day, yes, I do find it trickier. My recent Wordles haven’t exactly been sterling, I’ve had far too many phews! This one was a one off!

      1. Merusa
        Canuckle includes plurals of 4 letter words. Can’t remember a plural in Wordle. There have been more words ending in “y” than ending in “s”.

        1. I never noticed that, interesting, changes one’s solving system! I’ll certainly be bearing that in mind. My seed word that gave me the two Wordle 2 solves was “heist”. Have no idea why I chose it, other than I dreamt it one night.

  41. Not one of the enjoyable Monday puzzles. Why do we have to have golf and Bingo clues. Give me religious and jazz pianist ones every day and no complaint.

    Good quickie puns though.

  42. What an interesting puzzle.
    Lots of general knowledge and a rather convoluted clue in 24a.
    Feel pleased that I completed this rather unMondayish offering in ** time.
    Many thanks Campbell and Pommers.

  43. Oh well – that’ll teach me!!
    For the last few days, or even a bit longer, I’ve decided that I’m “back on it” – today’s has changed my mind!! I was right for the first time . . .
    What a strange crossword!
    Thanks Campbell for the crossword and to pommers – when I see a crossword like today’s it makes me glad that I don’t do the hints any more – actually that’s rubbish – I still miss it really badly . . .

    1. You’ll be back hinting again, Kath. We are all noticing the wonderful progress you are making. Only a matter of time. 😘🌹

    2. Kath
      Sneaking in late!
      Wouldn’t worry about today’s offering. A bit like walking round Tesco with a nail in your shoe.
      Golf, football no Morse, couldn’t have been much more unfriendly – Oh dear!
      Keep at it & posting it cheers us up to see you are progressing & keeping us posted with ever increasing frequency.

  44. Well I almost got through today’s offering without needing the hints but found it quite hard. Some of the general knowledge held me up. I’m not into bingo, football or jazz so struggled! Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  45. If this was Monday standard I’ll eat hay with a mule! Never heard of the dish or scented in 7a or the phrase in 10a. I guessed it was to do with a game that I’d sooner poke my eyes out with rusty nails rather than play. Completely unaware of the meaning of 21 & 22a and 24a was just bizarre. Hadn’t heard of the comedy film in 2d, the pianist in 15d or the obscure Italian novelist in 19d. Not my favourite puzzle of the year by a distance. I think I’ll leave it there. Thanks anyway the the setter and Pommers.

  46. Managed to finish this despite the obscure word, jazz pianist, cockney rhyming slang, bingo term, religious reference, ancient magazine, one of the Hitchcock films I’ve never heard of and, finally, the bizarre 24a!

    Can’t say I particularly enjoyed this, but it was satisfying to solve despite needing the hints to explain a few bung-ins.

    Thanks to all.

  47. It must surely be very unusual to see a compound anagram (24 across) in a DT back-pager, and I know from my travels that some dailies don’t allow them. Bit of an odd puzzle, so perhaps a new writer in?

  48. Setter trying to be clever. Monday’s puzzles used to be a gentle start to the week getting progressively harder till Friday’s which was the hardest. We have new setters, I can gauge, and they try to outdo each other for complexity. Did not enjoy this one.

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