DT 29005 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29005

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29005

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, a grey day lit up by the magnolia stellate in full bloom in our garden.

I flew through the top half of today’s Giovanni, then ground to a halt in the bottom half, where both SW and SE quadrants took a while to get into.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Musical some Parisian brought back is having soothing effect (8)
SEDATIVE – Put together the title of a musical about the wife of an Argentinian dictator and the French word for ‘some’, then reverse the result.

5a           SF film with US singer, one to impress (6)
ETCHER – The usual crossword science fiction character followed by an American singer who first came to prominence in a duo with Sonny Bono.

9a           Member cares about dangerous situation escalating (4,4)
ARMS RACE – One of the members of the body followed by an anagram (about) of CARES.

10a         Homeless types with boy going round collecting nuts (6)
NOMADS – Reverse (going round) another word for a boy, then wrap the result around another word for ‘nuts’ or ‘insane’.

12a         European foundation opened by queen (6)
BASQUE – The foundation on which a structure is built, wrapped around an abbreviation for queen, giving us a member of the people living around the Atlantic end of the Pyrenees.

Image result for basque people


13a         Biblical land penetrated by princess from place across the Pond (8)
CANADIAN – The proverbial ‘land flowing with milk and honey’, wrapped around the short form of the name of the late Princess of Wales.

15a         Very enthusiastic Greek god gets a look in (7)
ZEALOUS – The chief of the Greek gods wrapped around A (from the clue) and ‘look!’.

16a         Goes wild, losing head for a very long time (4)
AGES – Remove the first letter (losing head) from ‘goes wild’.

20a         Smell coming from Athens, maybe? Not good (4)
REEK – Remove the Good from the adjective describing a native of Athens.

21a         English politician restricted, having nothing more to offer (7)
EMPTIED – Put together English, one of the usual politicians, and ‘restricted’.

25a         Making noise about a top man after second bit of scandal (8)
CREAKING – Put together the second letter of sCandal, the Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, A (from the clue), and the top man in a monarchy.

26a         Withdraw remedy (6)
REPAIR – Double definition: to withdraw to a private room; or to remedy or fix something which is broken.

28a         Indicators of ancient mounds truncated at the front (6)
ARROWS – Remove the first letter from some ancient burial mounds.

29a         William wanting summer in Paris had finally found accommodation (8)
BILLETED – Put together a familiar form of William, the French for ‘summer’, and the last letter of haD.

30a         New day in which revolutionary makes a comeback (6)
MODERN – Reverse (makes a comeback) the usual Socialist revolutionary, and insert the result into a short form of one of the days of the week.

31a         Interlude with silly utterances putting us off (8)
ENTR’ACTE – Anagram (silly) of (u)TTERANCE(s) with the letters of US (from the clue) removed.


1d           Grotty old carriage parked outside B&B (6)
SHABBY – A horse-drawn carriage, an informal form of ‘chaise’, wrapped around the two Bs from the clue.

2d           Lunatic getting upset over request to provide material (6)
DAMASK – Reverse (upset) a word which can mean ‘lunatic’, then add a verb for ‘request’.

3d           Wrong to get rude, somehow making one distressed (8)
TORTURED – A legal term for a civil wrong, followed by an anagram (somehow) of RUDE.

4d           Fault with item in workshop (4)
VICE – Double definition: a character fault, the antithesis of virtue; and an item which clamps the work in place on a workbench.

6d           Part of body with duty to store hard gold (6)
THORAX – A duty or levy wrapped around Hard and the heraldic term for gold.

7d           His anger comes out in judicial enquiries (8)
HEARINGS – Anagram (comes out) of HIS ANGER.

8d           Eruption with head showing intemperance (8)
RASHNESS – An eruption on the skin followed by a promontory or head(land).

11d         Part of university group girl is kept outside (7)
FACULTY – A group or sect with a girl’s name wrapped around it. The heroine in the original King Kong was played by someone with that name.

14d         Brightly coloured bird losing its tail (7)
FLAMING – Remove the final letter from a bright pink bird.

Image result for flamingo

17d         Endlessly applaud one in concert broadcast (8)
PROCLAIM – Remove the final letter (endlessly) from another word for ‘applaud’, add the Roman numeral for one, then wrap one of a series of concerts held in London every summer around the result.

18d         Confession of mistake in football match may be related (8)
REFERRED – Split the answer (3,4) to get a statement about a mistake by the person in charge of a football match.

19d         Shopkeeper given abuse about supply potentially drying up? (8)
JEWELLER – A source of water traditionally accessed with a bucket on a rope, one which may dry up in a drought, with some verbal abuse wrapped around it.

22d         Long pin, being distorted, ends in the litter (6)
SKEWER – Another word for ‘distorted’ or ‘out of true’, followed by the last letters (ends) of thE and litteR.

23d         Gum to chew not consumed (6)
MASTIC – Remove ‘consumed’ from a posh word for ‘chew’.

24d         Requirement for spectacles to be offered by game (6)
BRIDGE – Double definition: what spectacles need to keep them on your nose; and a card game.

Image result for spectacles bridge

27d         Some idiots ignore indicator (4)
SIGN – Hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun SKULL + LEVERS = SCHOOL LEAVERS

61 comments on “DT 29005

  1. Quite a challenging offering from Giovanni today with the majority of my solving time also being taken in the bottom half of the puzzle.

    Thanks to DT and Giovanni ***/***

  2. A considerable amount of head scratching required to complete this Toughie-like Giovanni at a canter – 3.5*/3.5*.

    I always remember 31a from ‘Ben Hur’ (the 1960s version), which I watched again recently, as it occurs a little over half way through.

    Favourite – 13a!

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  3. 3.5*/1.5*. I found this pangram at the tougher end of Giovanni’s spectrum today.

    I thought 18d & 19d were rather strange and was sorry to see an undefined girl putting in an appearance. I liked 1d & 14d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  4. I solved this in 4* time and it took quite a battle – twice as long as the Giovanni ‘toughie’ on Wednesday – wondering whether I might be on the way to solving a pangram did help me with some solutions

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  5. I started off in the SE corner with 29a and 31a, but threw myself a complete curveball by bunging in “retailer” for 19d. That held me up for ages. I did remember “ness” for “head” in 8d though, so it wasn’t all bad. Altogether, it took me longer than normal for a Friday. I think that 20a was my favourite. Many thanks to The Don and to Deep Threat.

        1. I was thinking of reseller too, until the penny dropped about the supply potentially drying up.

    1. Me too. Which is a bit silly as I’m sitting behind the counter at a 19d shop doing the crossword between customers. Duh!

    2. I also thought 19D may have been RETAILER but couldn’t see how it would work. Perhaps it’s just me but the explanation for WELL seemed too wordy and seemed designed just to make the clue read better, rather than assist the solver, despite the question mark.

  6. Going for a 3.5*/ 4* today, three difficulty stars for the top half and four stars for the bottom !
    Again careful parsing required all round, reminded me of the old Friday puzzles -none the worse for that.
    Hard to pick a favourite maybe 15a.
    I thought that there was a surplus A in 13A until I checked the spelling-liked this clue too.
    31 a was a new word-off to the Tarporley Am Dram tonight so will try to remember it in the interlude .
    Thanks setter for the challenge and DT for the pics..

  7. I thought this one was excellent. Good clues and a tough challenge giving a very pleasing solve. 31a: an apostrophe in the enumeration – you don’t see that very often. I spent a fair while messing about with the fodder letters and still had to check on Google that my final combination was right. There’s lots of really good clues but I can’t isolate a favourite. Yes, a cracking puzzle! 4* / 4.5*

    1. The apostrophe in the enumeration for 31a is present in the paper, but not on the puzzle site.

      1. Ah that explains a lot!
        Sorry have had to change browsers as Safari went very odd with the blog site and mistyped my email address

  8. Like many others, I worked quickly through the top of the puzzle and came to a grinding halt inthe SW corner and was very happy , when I finished with 18d. Favourites were 12a, 15a, 1d, 8d among the many clever clues. Thanks to Deep Threat for help and to Giovanni for a challenging crossword.

  9. I’m glad others found this tough. I managed all but a handful before coming here. 31a was new to me and others in the SE needed help from the hints.

    **** rating from me today.

    Thanks to the setter and DT

  10. Excellent puzzle as we have come to expect from Giovanni. Like others bottom half more tricky than the top especially the SE corner not helped by my spelling 31 with and E in the middle rather than the end. I realised my mistake in the shower, corrected it – game over.

    Spotted the pangram quite early on which helped me with 19d when I only had a J left to go.

    Top mark to 24d and honorouble mentions to 26a, 29a and 18d.

  11. This didn’t have the familiar feel of Giovanni about it. I struggled a bit particularly in the SW. Suspected a pangram once 15a had been solved. Surely 19d is not necessarily merely a shopkeeper but rather more a professional or artisan. Appreciated help to parse 17d. Surely 22d distorted should have an “A” at beginning? Unusually for a DG no Fav to nominate today. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

    1. I think the first four letters are a verb, that become a noun with the A in front. I may be wrong?

      1. I agree that the first 4 letters are a verb, but I think it’s an adjective with the A in front. Once you have ****ed something it becomes a**** something. I think.

        1. Thanks. I suppose it could even be an adverb. I really must buy a dictionary one day.

  12. Thanks to DT for the explanations.

    I’m still having problems with 19d though. I don’t understand why a “well” is a “supply potentially drying up”.

    The supply of a lot of things could potentially “dry up”.

    Unless I’m missing something in the clue as written, I think it would be much better as, “Shopkeeper given abuse about source of water”.

    1. Whenever I have set a puzzle I have always stuck by the rule that no clue should contain unnecessary words, especially if they are put there simply to make the clue read better. I find too many DT crosswords lately ignore that rule. Personally I think it’s lazy and unfair to the solver.

      As for ‘Initially’, ‘At first’, ‘Endlessly’ and the like… Don’t get me started!

  13. Yep, same as others. Breezed through most of it and then grinding halt with 3 or 4 to go in the bottom. Needed electronic help for the 31a anagram (still never heard of it) and the missing letters from the pangram for 18 and 19d. Spent ages, before all the checkers were in, trying to get OG (own goal) into 18d with an answer meaning some sort of confession. Stupid.

    Overall, 3.5*/4*

    I’ll make 23d the favourite, just because I like the full word that the answer is derived from.

    Thanks to DG and DT (I used to love my magnolias at this time of the year when I lived in England – pity the flowers don’t last longer.)

    1. Round here it has been the best year ever for magnolias – the flowers are particularly magnificent and the many different varieties in peoples’ front gardens cheer up my journey to and from work no end

  14. I think everyone has missed the point about the definition of 12a. Surely Giovanni’s little joke is that a BASQUE is a female foundation garment . . .

    1. You’ve changed your email address – both should work in future

      I did see the connection with the undergarment but it doesn’t quite work as the foundation would be doing double duty as part of the definition and the wordplay

      1. I am obliged to you for the correction, and take your point. Yes I have switched service providers, and that loses an email address.

  15. I found this puzzle to be one of the most difficult crosswords to crack for quite some time. For me it was harder to solve than the setter’s earlier Toughie this week and his most devious back page puzzle in months. All that said, I enjoyed the challenge, but time was pressing and so I needed to resort to a bit of electronic help in order for me to complete in the time I had available. Thanks to the Don and to DT.

  16. Unlike other commenters I found the top half far more difficult than the bottom, especially NW, for which I needed DT’s assistance (thank you). I’d never come across the old carriage of 1d before.
    No particular favourite, but a good mental workout.

    1. What puzzled me was, it is always spelt with the apostrophe which of course doesn’t occur in a crossword.
      PS Opera, ugh! Went once but left at halftime when my ears began to bleed.

  17. Bottom half beyond me.Solvable with DT’s hints (many thanks) except 31a – never been in my vocabulary.

  18. For some strange reason my iPad started to misbehave yesterday so typing in answers in the crossword and Sudoku became difficult as the same letter/number was automatically appearing in consecutive squares . Correcting was also difficult but solved by deleting the app and downloading again .

    Another good offering today and , like others , found the bottom half tricky especially trying to fit “retailer” into 19D . Too many good clues to single any one out as favourite .

    A bow to Mr G and thanks to DT .

  19. Challenging pangram today from the maestro worthy of **** for difficulty IMHO. Still don’t see the relevance of ‘confession’ in 18d.
    Enjoyable for all that.
    Thx for the hints.
    Thx to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle.

      1. I did read the hint before i commented but didn’t really understand it. I suppose DT is equating statement with confession but it seems a little tenuous. Just me being a bit thick!

      2. Thank you again for such a super web site…. used everyday!

        We too have a magnolia stellate adorning our fron lawn here in Cheshire… beautifully surrounded by a raft of springbflowers

        Thank you so much for the reminder of a pangram…. like the codeword puzzles ….had forgotten that word

        Warmest wishes

      3. I think Brian’s got a bit of a point about 18d. A “confession” is usually made by the culprit, i.e. the ref, which would give “I erred”. I would prefer a more removed observational angle with “Judgment” instead.

        1. I agree with you. I’m surprised how many contributers here seem to accept everything and just put it down to the setter being devious rather than wrong.

  20. My experience with this one mirrored that of DT and others, whizzed through the top half (despite being unfamiliar with that spelling of the old carriage) but came to an abrupt halt with a handful in the lower regions.

    Smiled at the references to a couple of our contributors in 13a & 1d but my favourite was 12a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog. I had to move my stellate last year and it’s slow to bloom this time – plenty of large buds so I’m full of hope.

  21. I found this impenetrable. I just didnt get on the right wavelength. Thanks to DT for explaining so many of these clues. Giovanni 1 – me 0 but thanks for the game anyway.

  22. I did much better than yesterday but still needed hints for two, one was 26a, which makes me think that there is definitely some senile decay setting in. How could I miss that, I had all the checking letters.
    Like most, north went in readily but the south gave battle. The pangram was a huge help. I was also familiar with the old carriage.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his helpful hints.

  23. I found this very difficult 😟 It was almost like Thursday used to be ****/** 😉 My favourites were 20a & 18d my least favourites were 1a & 31a 😳 Thanks very much to DT and grudgingly to Giovanni for being so devious 😏

  24. Like many other solvers, we struggled with 19d. If we had noticed the pangram it would have helped us. Certainly trickier than most Friday Cryptics are for us.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  25. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I just couldn’t do this at all. Managed to complete most of the top half, except for 12&13a. Could hardly get any of the bottom half. Never heard of that meaning to 26a, and 31a was most obscure. Needed 11 hints to finish. Was 5*/2* for me.

  26. This was a 4*/3* for me today, head scratching, pencil chewing & finally a couple of prayers got me there. Looking at it a very good puzzle with a few clues that I had difficulty in parsing & deciphering.
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for helpful hints.

  27. An enjoyable offering that got steadily harder as I moved south. I spotted the pangram, but only on getting the Z at which point it was unlikely to help. Groaned on seeing the unfriendly grid. Last in 18d.

  28. Got to this too late and too tired to battle my way to the finish. Above my pay grade today. After having to click on 31a hint, I gave up. One for the clever folks today.

    1. My first comment.

      I’m very pleased with myself, doing everything but 12a without any help.
      Assumed queen was”Bess”. Doh!

      Having read the comments have worked out what a “pangram” is.

      Posting really to say what a wonderful site this is for us amateurs.
      It doubles my enjoyment and has encouraged me to tackle the Toughies.

      Thank you for all the pleasure it has given me.

      1. Welcome to the blog We love to read comments like yours – hope you’ll be back again soon.

        Information on mysteries such as ‘what are pangrams’ can usually be resolved by reading the Frequently Asked Questions under the FAQ tab at the top of the page

  29. The jeweller crops up fairly often with much the same clue, would it be fair to say that it is an old chestnut?

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