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DT 30282

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30282

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where we have been enjoying a spell of warm, sunny weather. However, the forecast is for cooler, wetter weather for the week ahead.

Either I was very 21a or tuned to the wrong frequency band (or both) but I found this puzzle from Campbell to be extremely difficult. After solving 9 clues, I was left totally stymied. After going through the remaining clues several times, I resorted to employing every electronic solving aid at my disposal to finish. Nevertheless, after writing the review, I can’t understand why I found it so difficult.

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   Skill collecting articles deep down (2,5)
AT HEART — a skill or talent containing two grammatical articles

5a   Training scheme daughter studied (7)
PERUSED — a charade of exercise as a school activity, a scheme intended to deceive, and the genealogical symbol for daughter

9a   Novel published, another by female convicts (3,3,4,5)
PUT OUT MORE FLAGS — a (3,3) expression denoting published, another or additional, the letter that represents female, and a slang term for convicts

10a   A principal’s further on (5)
AHEAD — the A from the clue and another name for a school principal

11a   Colour of a lovebird, variegated (5,4)
OLIVE DRAB — an anagram (variegated) of the two preceding words

12a   Made a record of what was said in seized messages (4,5)
TOOK NOTES — join together synonyms for the final two words in the clue

14a   Character in Grease from outskirts of Sydney? (5)
SANDY — place the initial and final letters (outskirts) of SYDNEY either side of a combinatorial conjunction

15a   Joint initially twisted in marshy area (5)
MITRE — place an initial letter from the clue in a marshy or boggy area

16a   Landlord‘s private stock included (9)
INNKEEPER — put a verb meaning stock or hold into a word denoting private or secret

18a   Feudal superior‘s story — good part recalled by child, finally (5-4)
LIEGE LORD — link together an untrue story, the single letter for good, the reversal (recalled) of a part in a stage or screen production, and a final letter from the clue

21a   Weary and drawn? That’s about right (5)
TIRED — drawn (as a competition with no winner or loser) wrapped around the single letter for right

22a   Help me out, now it’s your turn! (3,4,3,3,2)
SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO — a double definition; the answer is an expression one might utter either in exasperation upon failing to accomplish a task or when passing the play to the next participant in a game

23a   A supporter of mine? (7)
PITPROP — a cryptic definition of a supporting structure in an underground digging

24a   Clown and I make a mistake on board vessel (7)
PIERROT — place the I from the clue and a word denoting ‘make a mistake’ inside a vessel found in a kitchen (or, perhaps, a greenhouse)


1d   Round a lake, relaid paths with this, perhaps (7)
ASPHALT — an anagram (relaid) of PATHS containing (round) the A from the clue and the map symbol for lake; the entire clue serves as the definition in which the wordplay is embedded

2d   Strike illegally, putting crown jewels in danger? (3,5,3,4)
HIT BELOW THE BELT — a cryptic definition of a blow that could turn a bass into a soprano

3d   A great deal required for such a call at whist (9)
ABUNDANCE — the entire clue is a cryptic definition in which a precise definition is embedded; the cryptic definition alludes to an exceptional bid (call) in the card game whist that would only be made by player who is the beneficiary of a very favourable deal of the cards; I got the answer from the embedded precise definition but a lot of research was needed to understand the rest of the clue

4d   Speed in system, post-mortem reveals (5)
TEMPO — a lurker hiding in the midst of the clue

5d   Lawman‘s family enthralled by member of the clergy (9)
PARKINSON — one’s relatives embraced by a parish priest; the “lawman” is famous for postulating a law rather than enforcing laws

6d   Anger involving female’s firearm (5)
RIFLE — a verb meaning to anger containing the letter representing female

7d   Careful to include king, his consort, and friend to argue with? (8,7)
SPARRING PARTNER — careful or frugal containing the Latin abbreviation for king followed by a less regal term for one’s significant other

8d   Side with boy, oddly, and step out of line (7)
DISOBEY — an anagram (oddly) of SIDE (with) BOY

13d   Fine leg spinner, balding (4,2,3)
THIN ON TOP — a charade of fine or delicate, another name for the leg side of a cricket field, and a rotating child’s toy

14d   Sight in glasses slightly reduced (9)
SPECTACLE — another name for eye glasses with the final letter discarded

15d   Mummy’s boy‘s exploits before work (7)
MILKSOP — a colloquial term meaning cleverly or relentlessly exploits (to obtain money or other benefit) and the abbreviation for a musical work

17d   Former British soldier, or cadet in need of training (7)
REDCOAT — an anagram (in need of training) of the two preceding words

19d   Number in Dorset he rang? (5)
ETHER — a substance administered to deaden sensation is lurking in the clue

20d   Become dejected when inferior diamonds shown up (5)
DROOP — a reversal (shown up in a down clue) of another word for inferior and the playing card abbreviation for diamonds

Once I understood 3d, it became my clue of the day.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): MOORE + FIERCE = MORPHEUS

Quickie Pun (Middle Row) : MISSES + BEATEN = MRS BEETON

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : BRIDLE + SWEET = BRIDAL SUITE

100 comments on “DT 30282

  1. A slightly more difficult Campbell I thought but enjoyable nevertheless. Not knowing anything about whist I put “grand slam” at 3d and this slowed the NW corner considerably. I had not heard of the book at 9a but it was quite gettable from the clue. Similarly, I had not heard of the colour at 11a but it could be nothing else. My COTD because it made me laugh out loud is 2d.

    Many thanks for the fun, Campbell and thank you, Falcon for the hints, which I will now read.

    1. You’ve saved me from having to repeat what you said. I was starting to bristle at the book etc but it all seemed to come together quite quickly.
      Enjoyable too
      I shall now read the hints. Thanks both

  2. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: Although, until I found three puns in the Quickie I was having serious doubts that this was a Campbell Monday – 3.5*/4*

    I did have to e-confirm the 2d book.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 24a, 13d, and 14d – and the winner is 13d (because I am).

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  3. I’m glad it wasn’t just me, Falcon. I thought this was a real little piggy of a puzzle, as Katth woukd say snd it didny feel like Campbell’s usual style. It was more like one of Zandio’s. It became easier after I got a fewccheckers in and began to guess the answers. Reverse engineering thhw parsing helped in most cases but i am looking forward to readin your review for the rest. I couldn’t say it was enjoyable but it was satisfying to be able to finish the puzzle unaided apart from googling the book title. 2d was the best clue for me. Thanks ro Falcon and to the compiler for his efforts.

  4. Pleasingly tricky this morning with some notably head-scratching clues, yet my favourite, and I suspect that of many commentators, was the hilarious 2d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the challenge, and to Falcon.

  5. Completely agree with Steve at 1 above. I did start off very slowly in my bed but speeded up considerably after my soft boiled egg. I didn’t know the book or the colour but as he said, they were very doable. Jolly cold here and looking forward to a hot bowl of wild garlic and asparagus soup – best year for wild garlic ever but tomato seeds taking an age to germinate – anyone else with that problem? Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    1. Sounds delicious, very jealous. LOVE wild garlic. I don’t know about tomatoes but I’m having the same problem with my chillies.

  6. Absolutely my cup of tea, my favourite Monday in a long while. Some very pithy and clever clues. And, despite the woeful gaps in my knowledge (carpentry, colours and cards, et al) the parsing was all utterly fair. And so I learned a couple of things, which is always nice. Huge thanks to Campbell, and Falcon of course.

    1. It might help, ALP to know that a lot of people call the particular form of whist in 3d Solo.

      1. Ha. Nope, that doesn’t help at all! I’m more of a gin rummy chap. Very fond of 99 though, which has summat v similar.

  7. **** rating is about right for this one, I found it VERY tough going and had only about half the answers in the time it normally takes to do a Friday one.
    That said, it was still enjoyable. Hadn’t heard of the novel but it couldn’t be much else. Remembered the colour at 11a from doing airfix models years ago! Liked the tongue in cheek 2d, but favourite today was 24a. Can only get easier tomorrow.

  8. Normally I enjoy the long clues as they can be an easy way in to the puzzle, but I was stumped today, and ended up doing some of the shorter clues first. I enjoyed it, once I found my way in. The joint in 15a caused a bit of head scratching because I spent a while trying to think of a body part. Thank you setter and Falcon. I now have to work up some enthusiasm for weeding the patio.

  9. Campbell is on top form today in this hugely enjoyable, more difficult than usual, Monday offering. I know nothing about whist, had never heard of the book or the colour and, to my shame, am probably the only person in the country who has never watched Grease, but all were so well clued that I had no trouble with the answers. Although there was some head scratching the only real problem was in making sense of 5a. I liked all the long clues but favourite has to be 2d which made me chuckle. Thanks to Campbell for the absolute pleasure and Falcon whose help I needéd to parse 5a.

    1. And I’m probably the only person in the States who has carefully avoided seeing Grease.

    2. When I was based in Germany, I had a visit to Rolls-Royce in Bristol in late 1978. One evening I decided to go to the cinema – the choice was Watership Down or Grease and I shamelessly admit that O N-J won!

  10. Quite hard for Monday.
    Got there eventually in 2*5 time.
    Last in 3d.
    Toyed for a while with the notion of crown jewels.
    But thought it too crude for a DT crossword.
    Popped it in nevertheless.
    COTD the inspired 6d.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  11. 2.5*/5*. I thought this was a little more difficult than usual on a Monday especially in the SW corner but it was absolutely top-notch.

    My podium comprises 2d, 3d and 5d. I’ll also make a special mention for 9a which is one of my favourite books, although it is more 50 years since I read it.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. My fave was Brideshead Revisited, read that aeons ago and still remember the enjoyment.

  12. Campbell has really upped his game this week and given us a trickier puzzle than usual. Very enjoyable it is – thanks to him and to Falcon for the hints.
    I have masses of ticks on my printout including 9a, 14a, 16a, 5d and 13d.

  13. Super puzzle, one of the better Mondays for a goodly while. Certainly a bit chewier than one might normally expect, and no worse for that. Some lovely deception going on, but not a wasted word and not a single unfair clue – even if you had never played cards, read Waugh, or heard of Sod’s brother.

    For me the podium was occupied by 14a, 9a & 22a, and top step for COTD to 5d.

    2 / 4

    Many thanks to our Monday Maestro and to Falcon

  14. Very enjoyable indeed, and tbh I didn’t find it any more difficult than a normal Campbell production.
    A few new ones in there for me but worked them all out from wordplay and checkers.
    My podium is 2,7&13d but it was all good.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  15. Lovely puzzle. Came together quite quickly although 3d and 9a required a bit of investigation to fully understand. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  16. Campbell’s launch to the week was quite a toughie but I did enjoy doing battle with it. When going got tough I repaired to Quickie and then returned refreshed. Took while to parse 16a as often overlook that private. Long time since I played whist and in any case doubt I have ever called 3d. 18a Fav with 24a and 2d joint runners-up. Thanks Campbell for the stimulation and Falcon for a tip or two.

  17. I found this enjoyable, though it needed some inspired guesswork. I got off to a slow start, took a break, after which all but two answers eluded me. I needed hints for the whist term and the novel.

  18. Didn’t know either the book or the whist call so definitely grateful when a few checkers appeared.
    A stiffer Monday challenge than usual but all very fairly clued.
    Favourite was 13d which made me smile.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  19. Delightfully, refreshingly different for a Monday–or any day, for that matter, and quite superb. I remember reading all of those Evelyn Waugh novels in grad school when I was supposed to be reading Milton or Spenser (don’t tell) and quite pleased to see 9a make its (debut?) appearance today. Had to do a whist check for 3d, but otherwise, though pushed close to ***, I loved this one. 15d my favourite, though I hate the term. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ***/*****

    1. Must say Put Out More Flags was, at the time, the funniest book I had read. Never forgotten Ambrose Silk.

  20. Following on from last week another un-Mondaylike guzzle. Thought I knew & had read Waugh’s catalogue but this one new to me, never come across the colour before & the whist term also unfamiliar but as Steve said the wordplay gets you there. Liked the 3 long ‘uns & the best of them, 2d, was my fav.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

  21. This was a fine puzzle, more of a challenge that a normal Monday and has inspired me to comment, which I don’t usually do for early week back-pagers. Great clues and an enjoyable solve. Favourite of a good bunch: 5d. 3*/4.5*.

  22. I thought this a very enjoyable puzzle. The long clues required a lot of solutions elsewhere before I could see the answers so it took some time (and 11a is a pretty obscure colour). But after completing it I couldn’t see why I had taken so long. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  23. My mind obviously works totally differently, because I found my answers popping in with little thought. Very enjoyable.

  24. Call the police! For some dastardly fiend has assumed the persona of Campbell and taken over the crossword for the day. It is possible that poor Campbell is chained to a wall while Dada and Ray T have combined to produce this bounder of a puzzle.

    My orange juice with no bits and my toast were nothing more than a distant memory when I finished this mightiest of the mightiest challenges.

    Evelyn Waugh was a complicated fellow. Generally viewed by his contemporaries as a right old cuss (James Lees-Milne noted that Evelyn Waugh “was the nastiest-tempered man in England”), he wrote the sweetest letters to Diana Cooper and Nancy Mitford.
    Brideshead Revisited remains one of my favourite books, and the 1980s television series was a magnificent adaptation.

    Thanks to Campbell (and his kidnappers) and The Bird Of Prey.

    1. Brideshead is one of my fav novels too. Read it not so long ago for the umpteenth time then watched the adaptation (the film version was awful) yet again. Charles Sturridge who directed it superbly also did Waugh’s Handful of Dust which is well worth seeking out if you’ve not seen it.

    2. The 1980s series was a superb adaptation, though it did lead to rather too many teddy bears being on view in the arms of impressionable undergrad. fans of Anthony Andrews!

      Poor old Campbell, consigned to a cruciverbalist’s dungeon.

    3. All of you have just put me into a “Re-read Brideshead!” frame of mind. How about it, Jane?

    4. Best comment yet, Terence! Like you, loved Brideshead, though read it so long ago, and the series on TV … maybe I’ll join RC and Jane, I have my copy here still.

  25. Deffo a bit more of a workout than your normal Monday puzzle – so thanks for that Campbell.
    We got stumped on 3d as although I’ve played Solo didn’t know it’s full name was Solo Whist – and we were trying to think of any terms applicable to ordinary Whist.
    Never heard of 9a – but it was easy to work out. 3*/3* for us .
    Thanks Falcon for the clues and glad weather is a bit warmer for you. It’s a glorious 28c here in the Vega Baja today

  26. Just about got there. Plenty of fine clues but like many didn’t know the book, the colour or the whist term . GK needed?? Thanks to setter and Falcon

  27. Found this Campbell puzzle again this week at his tougher end of the scale. It wasn’t all tough, but definitely a few that stretched the grey cells … and the time factor too.

    For me 2*/4* today

    Favourites include 14a, 15a, 22a, 2d & 19d with winner 22a.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for hints/blog

  28. Most of the unknown terms listed in comments above were on my list as well. I was also slow to tweak to the meaning of crown jewels as the more common term in North America is family jewels. One item that is not on my list is olive drab which was the colour used for army uniforms by Britain, the Commonwealth nations, and the US in the two World Wars.

  29. This reinforces why I thoroughly dislike Campbell puzzles. Wordy, obscure, badly constructed and boring.
    Not for me.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I do wish you would stop sitting on the fence, Brian and tell us what you really think.🤣🤣

      1. At least Brian doesn’t waffle on about non-crossword issues.

        */***, but I agree with Brian in part, Campbell’s surfaces are often lacking style.

        1. I happen to think that non crossword issues make the blog what it is – a friendly site that is a pleasure to visit each day. Anyway, each to their own. 👍

      2. I’m with you – umpteen years ago the comments used to keep going for half the evening having changed the original subject numerous times – gone from the subject, to cooking, gardening, dogs etc etc

        1. PS – I think it changes enjoying a crossword into something that is sociable at the same time, which is doing a crossword at your kitchen table is certainly not!

          1. Well said, Kath and as a lover of the DT back pager in an area where nobody attempts it, I love the social aspect of Big Dave. It taught me how to solve the crossword as well as giving me a number of wonderful recipes, advice on gardening issues and, as you kindly did, enquiries on one’s health. I respect your point of view, Wahoo but this blog would be a dull place if all we discussed were the puzzle.

  30. Goodness me,Terence was in full flow – quite lyrical. I really enjoyed this though it did produce a few head scratches but nothing compared to my 2 hour struggle with HP this morning and I still have no answer. I scanned yesterdays xword to the computer and sent it off ( this will be the pen I forward to Steve ) then tried to print an email. Computer could not detect a printer. I have opened every app, sent long messages to a virtual helper , joined the helpful community, pleaded my age and infirmity and got nowhere. Can I find a telephone number to call? No. Of course not. I got very bad tempered and when George tried to console me I shouted to him to get his hands off me. Now that was not very nice was it? And I bet you are surprised. But I was driven to it. I need a grandson but they are too far away. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon for taking my mind off my many woes for an hour. 11a is surely another word for khaki isn’t it?
    Too many very good clues to choose a favourite. Back to that infernal machine.

    1. There are many shades of olive drab. In the US Army, officer’s uniforms were a darker shade of olive drab than those of enlisted soldiers. Depending on your point of view, khaki is either a light shade of olive drab or a colour in its own right that is paler than olive drab. In the British army, regular battledress was olive drab while tropical uniforms were khaki.

      1. My Mum served in WWII, so was well versed in that colour. But as her name was Olive she always hated the drab bit.

    2. Oh DG, I too have problems with my printer but, fingers crossed, it has been behaving of late. It is an HP Envy and absolutely guzzles printer ink. I have often found (when it says its not connected) that just turning off at the wall and switching back on again does the trick! It is too clever by half though and I often have to put in the pass code which, like everything else these days, is an enormously long line of upper and lower case plus numbers which no-one would ever guess and take an age to enter. Good Luck!

      1. I haven’t looked at it again but I have cunningly asked friends round for a drink this evening and the husband is an IT whizz so just maybe before
        he has had the 2nd or 3rd gin he will fix it! I am a devious woman. Ours is also an HP Envy and yes, it guzzles ink and has a horrid long list of characters to fill in and no easy way to remember. We went into a pub in Granchester recently and had to register the car. I said to the girl Abercrombie & Kent 64 Kentucky Fried Zebras. She thought I was mad.

          1. I’ve actually bought a ‘fake’ cartridge which I shall put in next. I’ll tell you if it works ok. A few months ago I spoke to an HP person about how few pages I got per cartridge. He told me exactly how many pages I printed each year since I bought the printer about 6 years ago! Big brother is certainly watching. Make sure his first G & T is quite weak!

        1. I too have an HP Envy, but I still have the basic 50 ppm package of instant ink it works for me and I pay about £3 per month
          I did have some problems connecting to a new pc but I did find a fellow to ring and he talked me through it and credited my account with hundreds of prints that will last me forever. https://support.hp.com/gb-en/contact

  31. Much too hard for a Monday! I don’t like compilers who are just trying to show how clever they are and who don’t care if the reader finds it enjoyable or not. Cracked a few, with Big Dave’s hints to help but got fed up half way through. Telegraph: please move this compiler to Friday or, preferably, to the back burner!

    1. Sandy, it seems that you are not “Hopelessly devoted” to today’s setter. Despite 14a.


    2. Agree SandyS. Sometimes one feels the setter just does not want you to be able to unravel the clues. Too clever by half.

  32. Thanks to Falcom for preventing me spending the rest of the day saying ‘why?’ over and over. Didn’t get on the setter’s wavelength at all, not my cup of tea today.

  33. Got through this quite quickly but for 6d. Felt sure that it had to do with bridge because the wrangling that can go on, especially by a pair can be vituperative. Just like that word. On the way to Zumba the answer came and was satisfactory. Thanks to everyone – it is really appreciated.

  34. I just could not get anywhere with this one, and I suspect a lot of us will struggle – even those who would rather not admit it. **? No, sorry, I’m not convinced. 🧐

    Oh well, let’s see what tomorrow brings 😃

  35. Contrary to many people, I seemed to work steadily through without help, only being unable to solve 5ac and 15ac, even when I had words that would fit!
    I liked the lawman and the Crown Jewels!

  36. Just popped in to gauge opinion as I think I am on FM today and Campbell is on MW. I can see that many have finished but agree it was trickier than usual ( I have not read the hints yet as I am refusing to give up yet having completed about 3/4). I am enjoying the challenge and know it is my general knowledge letting me down, thank goodness there were some anagrams to help get some letters in. Without the check answer function in the digital version I would not be sure about some of my answers (will check the parsing later)

    Will persevere a bit longer as it is now raining so the gardening is off the agenda.

    I have every sympathy with Falcon having to provide hints for such an unexpectedly tricky little offering.

    many thanks in advance to Falcon and to Campbell (I think!!)

  37. I do hope this is not a sign of what we can expect this week. After such an enjoyable weekend, particularly the surprisingly doable Dada yesterday, I was not expecting Monday to be so tricky. Too much GK, never heard of the 9a book, nor the lawman at 5d, and never played whist. Indeed, I can’t even understand the hint for 3d. Plus I wanted to bung in fairy tale for 18a, so way off wavelength. But have to admit I was laughing at 2d. Hats off and thanks to Falcon for being able to solve all of this. Just not my cup of tea.

    1. Hi BL,
      No wonder many (including myself) are confused about the card game. The game is called Solo Whist (sometimes known as English Solo or simply Solo) and is a card game that originated in England and is really only popular in England, Australia and New Zealand. Despite the name, the game is not related to Whist but traces its roots back to the Spanish card game Ombre.

      An abundance is a bid in Solo Whist in which the bidder attempts to win 9 of the 13 tricks playing alone against three opponents with the trump suit picked by the bidder.

      1. I’ve played hours of whist as a youngster, before learning bridge, so I was totally confused by the reference to whist, never heard of solo.

  38. Main comment at 35
    Finally finished! Thank you Falcon for all the explanations for why the answers are what they are.

  39. Isn’t it odd, many people saying how tricky and challenging this was, but I found it to be virtually a read-and-write exercise. Just for once I was right on the wavelength, doesn’t happen often!

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. You’ve changed your alias so this comment needed moderation. All the aliases you’ve used will work from now on.

  40. I’m in the “really, it’s Monday??” club. I only solved a handful and gave up, really too much hard work and no fun. Like BL, I dread what the rest of the week promises, especially after such a friendly Dada. Too much more of this and I give up. Glad others enjoyed it.

  41. I didn’t find this as tricky as some commenters – 2* / 3* – although Campbell puzzles recently have been as varied as Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates
    My fav was 23a
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the comprehensive hints

  42. Good grief – not a hope in hell!!
    I nearly always find Monday crosswords difficult – wrong wavelength completely – today is even more so!
    I think I’ll just quote 22a and leave it at that.
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword – thanks to Falcon too and huge admiration.

  43. Best puzzle for ages on any day. Most things have been said about it but the tale of the awful Waugh and the bananas is always worth another outing. After the rigours of wartime rationing bananas again became available. Waugh had somehow managed to acquire a few which he brought to the table at breakfast time. I am not sure how many of his seven children were there but in front of the family Waugh peeled one of the bananas and ate it. In fact he ate all the bananas showing his pleasure in the eating. Not a slice was offered to anyone. He was a moral retard but a magnificent writer.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  44. Rain stopped work in the olives so I was more than happy to plod on with this very tricky puzzle. I don’t like GK clues so 9ac and 24 ac not popular. But I was pleased to get over the finishing line. A long haul.

    If I had to pick out a clue it would be 14 down.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the blog.

  45. Good evening
    Well, I made it to the end, but my word, what a slog – although, note to self: it does help if you enter the solution for 23a in the squares beginning 23a, NOT 24a! Oops!
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  46. Enjoyed this but needed a tea break funny how the answers fly in after a rest – thanks Campbell and Falcon

  47. Not sure about this. Finished, except for 5d. Needed electronic help and felt the GK was a bit much, Fancy having to remember both Grease and Evelyn Waugh before breakfast! Thank goodness I Jeff it until drinks time.

  48. A bit too tricky for me, had to resort to hints when not even half way through. Learnt a few things though so thanks to the setter and particularly to the clue provider today!

  49. If this was a Monday crossword I’ll eat hay with a mule, I’ve done easier toughies. Although I finished this some three hours ago I had to rush off to run my dog training class, it was freezing so I cut it short and retired to the pub. Everyone was glad I did so. I could say more but I think I’ll leave it there. Thanks to Campbell anyway and Falcon.

  50. Relieved to read that so many people agree with me that this puzzle was tough. I thought it was me being unable to understand Campbell as usual.
    I did get through it without electronic help but needed Falcon’s help with some parsings.
    Favourite clue was 3d as it sparked lovely memories of playing Solo with my aunt and uncle on Sunday afternoons many many years ago. Great delight when anyone “went abundance” or “misere ” and succeeded…or didn’t. Truly happy times .

    Thanks to campbell and to the setter.

    1. I have similar memories of my aunt and uncle, Ora only the game was Canasta. Sadly, I cannot remember how to play it.

  51. They say that every day is a school day and that you are never too late to learn. This was quite clearly brought home to me with both 9a and 5d – otherwise plain sailing. I confess to being much of a literary ignoramus and so I had to resort to Google for 9a. 5d had bypassed me completely all these years and so I had to look up just what it meant. I’m a bad loser when it comes to Telegraph puzzles, but today, despite an otherwise solid finish, I feel that Campbell beat me hands down. I enjoyed the challenge and I hope my new learning may take root somewhere in a distant corner of my brain – though at my age I seriously doubt that it will :-) Thanks Campbell – a great puzzle and all good fun. Thanks also to Falcon for your ‘unravellings’.

  52. I am amazed at the **** rating as I actually finished this yesterday, off shopping now to buy larger size caps. I must admit I didn’t finish the quickie , beaten by 5a and 5d. Thanks to all.

  53. Well, I finished it so I suppose it can’t have been too difficult, but there was a strong element of guesswork involved. I’ve never heard of 9a, 11a or 18a and the whist I played never had “calls” as in 3d. That’s the good thing about cryptic crosswords, though – you can usually work out an answer when your lack of general knowledge lets you down. I’m not quite in Brian’s camp but enjoyable? not really, but a strong sense of achievement late in the evening.

  54. I cannot see how this puzzle is more than a 2 for difficulty?
    I’m looking back here with astonishment after completing 30,283.

  55. 3*/4* … finished OK after a slow start …
    liked 3D ” A great deal required for such a call at whist (9)”

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