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DT 30420

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30420

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where summer continues to linger – in fact, the weather is getting more summery by the day. I am taking advantage of it by spending an extended  weekend at a lake well outside the city where I am off-grid – so dealing with a few technical challenges in preparing and posting this review.

I found today’s puzzle from X-Type well-suited to the Monday slot.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, FODDER is capitalized, 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   Stupidly keel over with anger, missing large tree (9,3)
EVERGREEN OAK — an anagram (stupidly) of KEE(l) OVER ANGER having removed (missing) the clothing symbol for large

8a   One who makes a claim — and one who copies an email? (7)
ACCUSER — split the answer (1,2,4) for the wordplay

9a   English garden slightly altered: this means it’s time to begin fencing (2,5)
EN GARDE — the single letter for English followed by (take your pick) an anagram or a cycling (slightly altered) of GARDEN

11a   Plant that’s mentioned in muffled conversation? (7)
RHUBARB — double definition, the second being a theatrical term for muffled conversation onstage to portray a noisy crowd scene

12a   End of harvest — bad period for ploughman’s work (7)
TILLAGE — string together the final letter (end) of HARVEST, a synonym for bad (as applied to a wind that blows no good), and a long period of time

13a   Cook claims that is burning (5)
FIERY — a way to cook (bacon, for instance) wrapped around the Latin abbreviation meaning that is

14a   Unfinished lute I crave, needing renovation: it could be rewarding (9)
LUCRATIVE — an anagram (needing renovation) of LUT(e) I CRAVE having deleted the final letter of the first word (unfinished)

16a   Room for plants in that woman’s pub? I hesitate (9)
HERBARIUM — a charade of a possessive pronoun standing for “that woman’s”, another name for pub, the I from the clue, and a sound of hesitation

19a   In hoop-la, I throw a braided item (5)
PLAIT — a lurker hiding in three words of the clue

21a   Dough initially torn and pulled (7)
DRAGGED — the first letter (initially) of DOUGH followed by another word for torn (applied to clothing, perhaps)

23a   Cut first bit off fullest-flavoured bird (7)
OSTRICH — remove the initial letter (cut first bit off) of a (4,4) phrase meaning fullest-flavoured

24a   Axes using technology to infuse refined sugar (7)
GUITARS — insert (using … to infuse) the acronym for information technology in an anagram (refined) of SUGAR

25a   Dramatic moment framed, as gold is added onto index (7)
TABLEAU — append (is added onto) the chemical symbol for gold to what an index might be

26a   Child yearned to rebuild engine component (8,4)
CYLINDER HEAD — an anagram (to rebuild) of the first two words in the clue


1d   Rule out former partner getting idea about daughter (7)
EXCLUDE — the usual former partner and an idea or suspicion containing the genealogical abbreviation for daughter

2d   Yes, cats playing can give joy (7)
ECSTASY — an anagram (playing) of the first two words in the clue; a clue that will surely to appeal to Mr K

3d   American soldier eats a blue biscuit (9)
GARIBALDI — the usual American soldier ingesting both the A from the clue and blue or risqué

4d   Show featuring mediocre ventriloquist? Just the opposite! (5)
EVENT — another lurker; the first sentence suggests the mediocre ventriloquist is part of the show while the second sentence reverses that claim and tells us the show is actually part of the mediocre ventriloquist

5d   Everyone, say, at home, turned up to see celebrity chef? (7)
NIGELLA — start by constructing a charade of another word for everyone, a Latin abbreviation meaning say or for instance, and the usual at home; then reverse the lot (turned up) in a down clue

6d   One might take off proportion of unfair tax, ideally (3,4)
AIR TAXI — our third lurker hiding in the final three words of the clue

7d   Hangover cure? Go for this, almost, with head spinning (4,2,3,3)
HAIR OF THE DOG — an anagram (spinning) of GO FOR THI(s) HEAD having discarded the final letter of THIS (almost)

10d   Final moment with volunteer — he cracked up touring hospital (8,4)
ELEVENTH HOUR — an anagram (cracked up) of VOLUNTEER HE encapsulating (touring or going around) the street sign symbol for hospital

15d   Part in sitcom for terrible dummy (9)
COMFORTER — lurker number four hiding in three words of the clue

17d   Genine sex appeal unknown, in truth (7)
REALITY — line up another term for genuine, the usual sex appeal, and a maths unknown

18d   Hound the setter for money in Kabul? (7)
AFGHANI — a breed of hound and a pronoun the setter would apply to himself

19d   May be drunk: could be carried, rejecting last of beer (7)
POTABLE — remove the final letter (rejecting last letter) of BEER from a term denoting a device is easily carried

20d   Is consumed by a desire for the taste of ouzo? (7)
ANISEED — place the IS from the clue in the wordsum formed from the A from the clue and a desire or requirement

22d   After party, speed regularly administered (5)
DOSED — the usual two-letter party followed by the three-letter regular sequence of letters from SPEED

I will award honours today to 24a which was my last one in. I took axes to be parts of a graph and tried to fit GRID into the answer until I twigged to the musical connotation.


126 comments on “DT 30420

  1. A good start to the cruciverbal week with a good mix of write-ins and head scratchers. I assume there was a spelling mistake in 17d and I did not know 1a existed. I didn’t do myself any favours by trying to enter the answer to 7d in 10d. This held me up for a while because I tried to work out how I had gone wrong with the across clues. MY favourite and COTD is everyone turning up at home in 5d.

    My thanks to the setter for the fun guzzle. I don’t think it’s Campbell despite there being rather dubious middle and bottom puns in the Quickie. Thank you, Falcon for the hints.

    Dull old day in The Marches but at least it’s not raining – yet!

  2. Very straightforward and fell into place. Had never heard of 24a though but could see what it had to be and then googled for confirmation.
    Thanks to setter.

  3. I wasn’t so sure this was Campbell, steve and I see that Falcon is suggesting the X man. Either way, it was quite a friendly guzzle, with some stonking long anagrams and great lurkers. Amongst the former, I’d nominate 1a and 26a, whilst 6d is a fun lurker. To top it off 3d and 9d are good lego clues, the latter with clever misdirection. A very enjoyable guzzle and thanks to the compiler and to Falcon for the hints (hope you enjoy your break).

  4. A little anagram/ lurker heavy for me but otherwise a very friendly Monday offering which I enjoyed. The synonym for axe in 24a was new to me but it could have been nothing else and BRB confirmed it. I’ll try to remember! Having mentioned anagrams I’ll choose one as favourite today in 10d with another at 1a as runner up. I didn’t know such a thing existed so thanks to today’s setter for the education and Falcon for making me crave a certain biscuit.

  5. Spot on Monday puzzle, nicely clued,
    7d was most apt as I was recovering yesterday from a wedding reception.
    Favourite was 24a-thanks Falcon for the pic- not sure who he was?.
    Liked 10a and 5d,lots of other charades too,
    Going for a **/****

      1. That’s Roger Waters (one of Floyds lead singers) been in the news recently for other non musical reasons!

        1. Roger Waters is indeed singing on that early Floyd track, but I think Beaver was asking about the picture Falcon posted who I think is EVH

  6. I clearly got out of the right side of the bed this morning, and found this delightful puzzle very gentle indeed – starting with the downs and then the acrosses, by the time I’d completed the first read through only two clues remained, and then not for long. The generous dollop of anagrams, no requirement for any arcane ‘G’K, and spot-on fair clueing made it an ideal puzzle for a Monday backpaage. Hon Mentions to 23a, 26a (good surface), 7d (ditto).

    <1* / 3*

    Many thanks to X-Type & Falcon.

  7. Thanks, Falcon and Xtype a light start to the week
    I had a slight doubt about the nondeciduous nature of 1a but learned a bit care of Mr. Google
    I was hoping it might be a very topical Sycamore Gap but alas insufficient letters

    1. That was my first thought of 1a too! The break down word play on 8a was my duh moment 🤣 there’s always one eh? Two faves with performance related answers 11a and 24a. Enjoyable Monday puzzle thank you falcon and setter.

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

  8. Happy Monday everyone! 👋👋

    If you’ve enough time after today’s puzzle, would people mind having a crack at my Rookie Corner effort? All feedback welcome – good, bad and ugly 😅👍

    Many solvers = much fun? Err..either them or me, strangely! (3,4,3,7)

    Apologies for this slight hijack, will be tacking the backpager this evening with 🍷🧀 Thanks to Falcon and setter!

      1. Daisy – it’s available via this site: from the Big Dave home page, or on the list of “recent posts”, select “Rookie Corner 495”, click on the puzzle icon, and you have various options including being able to print it out as a pdf.

        There’s plenty to enjoy and take pleasure at in AgentB’s puzzle, much of which isn’t very “Rookie” at all!

        1. Thanks Mustafa G, that’s very kind of you 😊 Yes, hopefully Daisy and others can print out a copy using the PDF button; I simply cannot do a puzzle unless it is with pen and paper! It’d be great to have a wide range of opinions on top of the regular experts, it all helps see what works well and what doesn’t 👍

          1. Brilliant! I have copied it and will tackle it when I have typed up my WI Minutes, WI report
            for the magazine, WI report for the WI News, Cinema News for the next issue and report of
            last week’s quiz night. And then the rest of the evening is my own – apart from cooking supper.
            A woman’s work is never done.

            1. I hope somebody is able to pour you a glass of something deserving after all that work! If not, have a virtual G&T 🍸🍸

              1. Nothing virtual about any G & T in this house. Six o’clock on the dot or there are
                questions asked.

  9. A fairly gentle puzzle well-suited for a Monday – thanks to the setter and Falcon.
    I totally missed the typo in 17d which proves once again that you read what you expect to see.
    My favourite clue was 8a.

    1. I also missed the typo which I will attribute to the cloudy condition of my eyesight due to the crud which apparently collected on the new lenses that were implanted during cataract surgery. It seems I will have to undergo a laser treatment to clean and polish them.

      1. I missed the typo too but can’t blame my eyes as I had them lasered a few months ago! A very easy procedure. Great puzzle today. Thankyou both.

  10. A pleasantly gentle start to the crosswording week with plenty of gimmes in the shape of anagrams and lurkers to get even the newest solvers off to a flying start. My top clue by a mile was 8a.

    My thanks to X-Type and Falcon.

  11. I didn’t find this as easy as others have, but got there in the end. Never heard of 1a or 16a and had to look up the money in 18d ,although I had heard of it before I just couldn’t bring it to mind. 11a reminded me of a short film with Eric Sykes and Harry Secombe. Thanks to all.

  12. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell X-Type :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Still getting used to ‘double teaming’ Mondays.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 24a and 3d – and the winner is 24a.

    Thanks to X-Type and Falcon.

  13. Overall very enjoyable.
    I’m surprised the setter didn’t use the opportunity to “cycle” in 9a, surely a better option than an anagram with one letter altered and in my humble opinion four lurkers is two too many. We also know this setter has a penchant for anagrams, and I’ve never come across a “blue biscuit” so that seemed a bit manufactured.
    Lots of really smart clues though, I particularly liked 8,18&24a plus 5d.
    Many thanks X-Type and Falcon

    1. There are (utterly vile) black biscuits, originating I think from the US, so I had no problem with there being blue biscuits – it’s just a matter of adding food dye, after all. Hence blue macaroons, which to me are a type of biscuit.

    2. Yes it is I once more, on an alternate Monday…. On the subject of blue biscuits: some years back, on a visit to USA or Canada, I came across a packet of blue potato crisps (which Americans irritatingly refer to as “chips”); and those were made from a genuine variety of blue potato…

      1. I really don’t think I could be tempted to eat blue crisps……. Thank you for a good guzzle. I liked 15 d.

        1. Have you watched the Scottish garden programme “Beechgrove” on tv? They recently featured blue potatoes. Most unappetising.

          1. Yes, I watched that, JB, and would have been interested to see what the tasters’ verdict would have been if it were a ‘blind’ tasting. Put me in mind of the dinner Alfred Hitchcock hosted some years ago where he’d had all the food dyed blue. I seem to recall that it was the blue rice pudding that proved to be the final straw for many of the diners.

    3. I thought the term “slightly altered” to be vague enough to indicate most any transformation including cycling (as I mentioned in the hint).

      1. Silvanus told us a few weeks ago that he only uses ‘cycling’ in his Toughie puzzles and and not in his back-pagers.

      2. In my book “slightly altered” doesn’t include cycling, it simply indicates the fodder has been minimally altered. The advantage of course of the latter device is that you can use a different word whereas with an anagram you’re more restricted.

  14. Certainly seemed rather heavy on the anagrams and lurkers but, nevertheless, an enjoyable Monday puzzle. I’d forgotten the alternative name for a Holm Oak but did recall the one for a guitar which always strikes me as being somewhat odd. Took a while to work out the parsing required to get the second definition of 8a and I felt that ‘moment’ in 10d might have been better if pluralised.
    Tops for me were 13&23a.

    Thanks to X-Type and to Falcon for the review – enjoy your few days by the lake.

    1. We’ve several Holm Oaks in our garden but actually 1a was guess as didn’t link the two. They may be evergreen but boy do they shed leaves in dry weather!

      1. We had a Holme oak when we lived in Lordship Farm – I seem to remember the leaves never composted.

        1. Me again! The Latin name for Holm (evergreen) Oak is Quercus ilex: and Ilex is the genus of Holly so the botanist who named it saw the similarity in its tough, glossy, evergreen leaves…

  15. Nice breakfast guzzle. NHO 1a, but Mr G says it’s Mediterranean, so I wonder if I’ve ever seen one. I’m nominating 3, 4, and 5d as joint winners. Also liked 15d, which was slow coming since kids are over 40 and latest grandson doesn’t seem to use one!
    3d because I haven’t the lovely ‘blue’ word in yonks; 4 because of the nice surface and 5d because I couldn’t think offhand of a chef with the checkers I had, but when I actually read the clue properly I realised who it was and have several books! Duh, as the saying goes!
    Many thanks to X-Type and Falcon.

    1. LNM – lots of HolmOaks here in Norfolk and will attach, hopefully, a pic of one of ours. In the foreground is a greengage almost devoid of leaves on top as pigeons eat the young leaves in spring. Therefore never any fruit!

      1. Hi Manders, thanks for the pic. Not the most oaky looking of trees! Normal for Norfolk?
        Pity about the greengages – one of my favourite fruit.
        Best, Lurker

  16. A very gentle start to the week, I thought, which probably means things will get monumentally difficult in the next few days.

    3d and 20d are probably the standouts, but only because of weakness for the former and my fondness for the latter.

  17. Nice and easy does it.
    Much enjoyed this
    Stroll through crossword land.
    Luckily constructed correctly 1a.
    New tree for me.
    Last in, the initially somewhat
    Elusive 25a and 19d.
    So, */5*
    Thanks X-Type and Falcon.

  18. A very doable puzzle today. Didn’t really float my boat.
    I still don’t get Axes =guitar.
    Thanks falcon and setter

  19. A very enjoyable crossword for me today.
    I particularly liked 3d, though I cannot understand why anyone likes those biscuits. Having said that my sister loved them when she was wee…..called them baldy biscuits….so each to her own.
    Liked 16a too.
    Hadn’t heard of 1a but it had to be that, but did know the guitar in 24a.
    I have in my Kobo (poor woman’s Kindle) a book called The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin which I bought after a trip to New Orleans some years ago but have never got round to reading….the curse of the Kobo special offers.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon who I hope is enjoying a lovely break.
    When we were in Canada (in Canmore mostly) in September last year we encountered a (black) bear on a walking trail within the town! So take care and carry your bear spray. The bear didn’t look our way thank goodness, just ambled over the track into the bushes and then into someone’s back garden. The people we were staying with were quite miffed as they had never come that close to a bear in 30 years of living there.

    1. What did you think of New Orleans? Fascinating but I found it quite spooky. We got talking to a group of 5 youngsters who were progressively having implants put in their foreheads to grow into horns. Each year they would have a bit more added. They then had the audacity to ask if they could take a photograph of us as we looked so foreign!

        1. Cross my fingers, hope to die – it is true! there is an old video somewhere to prove it. Gross.

      1. The New Orleans trip was mainly for Mr Meringue who is a trad jazz fan.
        I loved the trip as the place was so alive. It completely lived up to its reputation for having street performers on every corner who seemed to be enjoying themselves hugely whether anyone watched them or not.
        Bourbon Street was a revelation to us…..you could clearly get anything there……anything at all….male female, legal, illegal. Anything. But all presented in a friendly one could say jolly manner. Mr Meringue was creeped out by that.
        The voodoo shops were what I found creepy.
        I have to say that, Bourbon St apart, our interactions with the locals were all very pleasant (and non-spooky).
        Nobody growing horns that we met…….

  20. An enjoyable, gentle stroll through crosswordland with some nice clean surfaces and constructions.

    The n of ‘proportion’ is an r in my rag which threw me for a while and I didn’t help myself when I read ‘t o r n’ as ‘t o m’ in 21a. Should’ve gone to Specsavers.

    What a great line that is, btw. Whoever dreamt * it up must have had a little extra in their bonus that year. Hopefully, more than Carolyn Davidson did for creating the Nike swoosh ($35 in 1971). Phil Knight saw the light a few years later, giving her a half-decent amount of shares.

    (* Dreamt is the only word ending mt)

    My podium consists of 3d (such a great name for a bicky and who doesn’t love a blue one at that), 7d and 26a.

    Many thanks to our winged blogger and the compiler.


    1. There’s a name ending in *mt, Gustav Klimt.

      And as Daph. didn’t quite write (because had she done so she most certainly would not have had a literary career!):

      “Last night I slept soundly and Manderley was undreamt”
      “Last night alas appeared again in my sleep Manderley, redreamt”
      “Bored today, I daydreamt of Manderley”


      PS – sorry Jose, I spent far too long typing this and did not see your post!

      1. I’ll rephrase, gents.

        ”The only root word that is in the dictionary.”

        1. That’s almost like me, except you only bought a dictionary to look up all the root words 😂

    2. I had to read that second paragraph several times before it made sense to me. Calling the DT a ‘rag’! Then I looked in my rag and it is also an ‘r’. The eye sees what it expects.

      1. Absolutely, ‘Day Zee & Agent B’ – clearly a match made in heaven.

        I have to pull you up on something, AB: only use a laughing emoji when you’re reacting to someone else’s rib-tickler. It’s like a child saying after a joke…..do you get it?

        Let the audience decide if it is to be praised or pilloried.

        1. I’ll let you in on a secret, I mainly use emojis so I can quickly scroll down online comments and spot my own ones 😬😬

          “It’s like a child saying after a joke…..do you get it?”
          It’s like you actually know me 🤣

          1. There are also rules on rogue apostrophes in plurals, Davie G.

            I couldn’t resist.

        2. TDS65. I sometimes use a smiley emoji after my comment to emphasise that I’m being tongue-in-cheek/not entirely serious. Why the “Disappointing”, by the way?

          1. Which is completely acceptable and proper. Surely emoji can be used wherever you like? 🤷🏻‍♂️🙄🤣

          2. With humour, let the audience work out if it’s tongue-in-cheek. If they miss it then that’s their problem. It wasn’t directed at you Agent B. It’s one I see all the time in life.

            I had to acknowledge my recent ”Ray T never fails to disappoint” howler, Jose.

      2. MamaBee’s paper version has a slightly misplaced ad half covering the bottom clue

  21. It’s Monday and it seems to me X-Type has delivered an eminently solvable puzzle to start the non-work week. No real hitches here.

    1*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 8a, 9a, 3d, 7d, 10d & 18d — with winner 3d

    Thanks to X-Type & Falcon

  22. Please would someone email me a copy of the guzzle, I can’t bring it up for some reason.

  23. I didn’t find this quite as simple as everyone else – not that I don’t ever do any more.
    I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a 16a – or if I have then I’ve forgotten him.
    I know what a 15d is but I’d have thought that was an American word and that the English would call it as in the clue – maybe I’m completely wrong!
    Lots of anagrams but I like them and never notice the number until I count them.
    I liked 11 and 1 and 18d. My favourite was 7d.
    I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and thank him (or her) for the crossword and thanks too for Falcon for the hints.

    1. I had heard of 16a but thought it had an “o” as the 5th letter, this didn’t sit well with the clue so had to look it up.

  24. A quick unaided solve for a change. Loved the 24a axe clue but don’t think Pink Floyd were referring to a guitar (axe) in the song.
    Remember seeing them at Empire Pool mid -70’s.

  25. I enjoyed this very much. My only hesitations in parsing were 1a as I had not heard of it and 24a as it was a new slang term to me, so I learnt 2 things today which is probably about my limit! 8a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to X type and to Falcon for the hints.

  26. Nice to see a reference to George’s other sport – fencing. We still have all his ( and the girls) gear out in the garage but now wildly out of date. Anyone fancy a foil? I’ve never seen a 16a that works, there is always one thug plant that takes over, I do not think it is sufficiently arcane to go on The List is it? Quite a pleasant easing into the new week, nothing to frighten the horses as they say except 24a which I guessed. We have just had a sudden downpour with several claps of thunder – it might be coming your way. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter. (X-type& Falcon)

  27. I can’t access the site either, does anyone know if there is a problem with the website?

  28. A bit anagram heavy maybe but a perfectly enjoyable kick off to the new week. No particular fav but thought the guzzle nicely clued throughout.Am Hank Marvin but a bit reluctant to risk something to eat following a back tooth extraction
    Thanks to X-Type & Falcon

  29. I found this one very straightforward a doddle even, but enjoyed it nonetheless.
    Favourite clue was 1a simply because of its misleading surface reading hinting at the ‘Sycamore Gap’ incident.

  30. 1,5*/4*. This was light and fun, just right for a Monday although having two typos in the newspaper version was somewhat irritating. Have the Telegraph editorial team not heard of spell checkers?

    24a was my last one in, despite having an electric guitar myself and being very familiar with that meaning of axe. D’oh. I shall probably ruffle a few feathers by saying so but, in my opinion, Pink Floyd are overblown and very over-rated.

    8a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to X-Type and to Falcon.

    1. Actually, I believe there was only one Typo (17d) and the other is a layout error where the text frame / place holder has been nudged in to cut off a narrow strip on the right of the text, losing half the ‘n’ in 6d and also half the closing bracket in 19d. The advert has also been nudged up to cover about a quarter of the bottom row of the crossword grid.

    2. Just this minute on our midday news, “cricket is coming to South Florida”! I can’t imagine who would play in our summer with 95+F heat, but winter when it’s usually dry would be very pleasant.

  31. 1/4. Very enjoyable while it lasted. Some clever misdirection in 9a and perhaps a tad heavy on anagrams although they always help me get going. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  32. A very pleasant solve today, so my money would be on X-type. I didn’t know that was another name for a 24a, but the checkers gave it away. I also know nothing about ouzo, other than it being a drink, and of course ignored the misspelling in 17d, what else could it be? Loved 15a, 23a and 3d. Thanks to setter and Falcon.

    Went out for dinner for 57th wedding anniversary last night. Seated in a quiet corner, nice, until a party 10 seated next to us, wearing party hats and very vocal…. We got half way through our entree before leaving. Disappointing, but reminded us why we rarely go out to eat any more. Perhaps they should offer ear plugs with the menus 😊.

    1. Oh what a disappointment – I am sorry your anniversary dinner was spoiled. If only everybody else was like us!

  33. A relatively easy start to the week which I throughly enjoying doing this afternoon. Didn’t know the term axes for guitars but with the anagram it couldn’t be anything else. I really like it when I manage to find an unknown word (to me!) by working it out from a cryptic clue. Lots to like, including 9, 23, & 24 across and 6 & 20 down. Many thanks to Falcon and X-Type.

  34. Most enjoyable, I even learnt a few new things, like 1a and 24a. I could only think of three 3-letter trees, only one fit, so worked backwards from there. I had to look up the currency at 18d in Big Dave’s excellent “Mine”. I like so much here, 3d amused, so did 25a, reminded me of Mapp & Lucia, is 5d still cooking? Fave has to be 7d.
    Thank you X-Type for the fun and Falcon for the hints and pics.

    1. I’ll come right back at yer with…really?

      I thought it was a great clue.

      One man’s medicine…..or should that be…..one person’s medicine.

  35. An enjoyable solve and good start to the week. 1a held me up because I had never heard of that description and couldn’t find it in my reference books but it was obviously an anagram so went ahead and hoped for the best. 24a also made me pause but with 4 checkers in place I felt confident. Many thanks to X-type and Falcon for cheering me up during a gloomy skies, afternoon. I hate the dark nights drawing in.

    1. I couldn’t stand the cold when I lived in England, but far worse were those long, dark nights. It was so depressing.

  36. A very enjoyable solve.

    Not heard of the stage meaning of 11a. And 16a is a new word for me.

    I also thought 15d was a US term. Apparently not though.

    I find it interesting that so many people had not heard of 24a as an axe. I would have thought everyone knew this. Maybe a generational thing…

    Thanks to all.

  37. Obviously I got 24a straight away. I didn’t know of 1a or 16a but fairly clued. Just right for a Monday. Favourite was 19d I’ve drawn lots of those water systems in my career as a piping designer. Thanks to X-Type and Falcon.

  38. Good evening
    Like Falcon, I was hopelessly misdirected by the term ‘axes’ in 24a, and you would, had you been near me, have heard me let slip a naughty word when I FINALLY twigged the lurker in 15d.
    In fact, several pennies took time to drop today.
    Thank you X-type and thank you Falcon

  39. This fun puzzle was an encouraging way to kick off the “working” week and it was devoid of any far-fetched synonyms although NW was slowest corner. Didn’t tumble to parsing of second half of 8a clue but surely that abbreviation was used as per carbon long before the existence of emails! Thanks to Falcon and also to X-type for claiming authorship.

  40. I know the abbreviation BRB stands for “be right back” but it seems in this blog to be being used as an abbreviation for a dictionary. Is that right, and if so, which?

    1. Your comment went into moderation because you used your name and not the alias you used previously. Both will work from now on.

      To answer your question – The BRB is the Big Red Book and is the Chambers Dictionary which is big and red (well the covers are). This is the primary dictionary for (DT) crossword compilers.

      1. It’s strange – we crossword setters (NB: we are NOT “compilers”) never call Chambers a “Big Red Book” – we always just refer to it s “C”…Maybe Solvers have a different vocabulary to Setters?

  41. 2*/4* …
    liked 10D “Final moment with volunteer — he cracked up touring hospital (8,4)”

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