DT 29014 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29014

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29014

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone. We have another fine puzzle today.  I found it a steady grid fill, with 15d being my last one in.  My solve was brightened by a few well-disguised anagrams.  Definitely good fun.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Dire Straits: music performers? (7)
ARTISTS:  An anagram (dire) of STRAITS gives something that music performers are an example of (indicated by the ?).  Here they are playing live in 1978

5a    Perhaps help the Queen with transport in street (7)
SERVANT:  The Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth and a three-letter form of transport are inserted in the abbreviation for street

9a    Elite middle-distance runner having secured first in Edinburgh (5)
CREAM:  Steve the famous UK middle-distance runner containing (having secured) the first letter in Edinburgh

10a   Being sixteen involved acne on a regular basis (9)
EXISTENCE:  An anagram (involved) of SIXTEEN is followed by the even letters (… on a regular basis) of ACNE

11a   Yorkshire town intended to avoid a deal (10)
SETTLEMENT:  Put together a Yorkshire market town and a synonym of intended with its A deleted hint ( to avoid A)

12a   Group of musicians prohibited on the radio (4)
BAND:  A homophone (on the radio) of prohibited or disallowed.  Here is The 12a playing at Woodstock in 1969

14a   Need friend every now and then (12)
OCCASIONALLY:  Follow a synonym of need with a supportive friend

18a   State of health's contentious -- it alters when losing energy (12)
CONSTITUTION:  An anagram (… alters) of CONT[e]NTIOUS IT minus the physics symbol for energy (… when losing energy)

21a   Nothing to write? That's clear (4)
OPEN:  Cement together the letter that looks like zero (nothing) and a verb meaning to write

22a   In favour of drink before start of inspection, on balance (10)
PROPORTION:  Concatenate a short word meaning "in favour of", a fortified wine drink, the first letter of (start of) Inspection, and ON from the clue

25a   Amuse  nurse (9)
ENTERTAIN:  A double definition.  Nurse in the sense of harbour or keep in the mind

26a   Foreman ignoring last mistake (5)
GAFFE:  Remove the last letter (… ignoring last) from an informal word for a foreman, boss, or football manager

27a   Chap making a comeback in certain title inherited from parent (7)
SURNAME:  A chap is reversed (making a comeback) and inserted in certain or definite

28a   Pampers Charlie with strange French article (7)
CODDLES:  Assemble the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet, strange or peculiar, and a French grammatical article



1d    Approach cold church to pinch animal? On the contrary (6)
ACCESS:  On the contrary tells to invert the wordplay, so an animal that's a beast of burden contains (to pinch) both the abbreviation for cold and the abbreviation for the Church of England

2d    Have a meal in attempt to get agreement (6)
TREATY:  "have a meal" is inserted in a synonym of attempt

3d    Clarity from Sicily -- it condemned imprisoning politician (10)
SIMPLICITY:  An anagram (condemned) of SICILY IT containing (imprisoning) a usual politician

4d    It could emanate from his tea, maybe (5)
STEAM:  The answer can be found hiding in (from) the last three words of the clue.  The entire clue makes a better definition than just the first three words, so I'm calling the clue a semi-all-in-one

5d    One surrounded by smell is beginning to tell someone in laboratory? (9)
SCIENTIST:  The Roman one is contained by (surrounded by) a smell or fragrance.  That lot is followed by IS from the clue and the first letter of (beginning to) Tell

6d    Think highly of  judge (4)
RATE:  A double definition, with the first being an informal one

7d    Every year abolish almost everything by end of January (8)
ANNUALLY:  Join together abolish or cancel without its last letter (… almost), a synonym of everything, and the last letter of (end of) JanuarY

8d    Doctor stayed with us for 24-hour periods? (8)
TUESDAYS:  An anagram (doctor …) of STAYED US

13d   Urged bravery in final (10)
ENCOURAGED:  Insert bravery or spirit in final or last

15d   These characters in books could be ok (9)
ALTERNATE:  The answer describes the locations in BOOKS of the letters that make OK

16d   Cost rose dreadfully for children's toys (8)
SCOOTERS:  An anagram (dreadfully) of COST ROSE

17d   Popular undergarment with gold angel (8)
INVESTOR:  Stick together a usual word for popular, an upper body undergarment, and the heraldic term for gold

19d   Is upset with National Farmers' Union? Student's wicked (6)
SINFUL:  Fuse together the reversal (upset, in a down clue) of IS from the clue, the abbreviation for the National Farmer's Union, and the usual student or learner

20d   Goes in two hospital departments with son (6)
ENTERS:  A charade of a usual hospital department, the US equivalent of A&E, and the genealogical abbreviation for son

23d   Some music in a pub's turned up, creating alarm (5)
PANIC:  The answer is hidden as part of (some) the reversal of (turned up, in a down clue) the remainder of the clue

24d   American broadcast flipping song (4)
ARIA:  The single letter for American with the reversal (flipping) of broadcast or televise


Thanks to our setter for a fun solve.  My favourite today was 15d, with 1a, 21a, and the timely 8d not far behind.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PARLOUR + MEANT = PARLIAMENT

62 comments on “DT 29014

  1. Thanks Mr.K and setter.
    I needed a couple of explanations, so thanks!
    I am confused as to how the answer to 17d = ‘Investor’.

    1. Ah, found it in the definition for the answer, a new use for me.
      Good crossword too.

    2. Angel I believe is the term for a sponsor or investor in either the stock markets or the theatre. Hope this helps.

  2. Like our blogger, 15d was my final entry and, once solved, became my favourite from 1a. A comfortable and enjoyable solve this morning, with no real problems.

    Thanks to both Misters.

    1. Ditto. And my favourite. A well constructed puzzle with a generous mix of anagrams, homophones, lurkers and LEGO clues. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

      Second attempt so hope this works.

  3. Enjoyable solve today thanks for the help with 1d and 15d checkers made the answer obvious but couldn’t parse them. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  4. A very straight forward puzzle with the exception of 15d. Although i put the right answer in, still dont understand the clue?

    1. If you take your 15d answer and apply it to the word BOOKS, what do you finish up with?

  5. 15 down last to fall and last to parse. Thanks to setter and thanks to Mr Kitty. Any blog that has The Weight has my vote or any other Band track for that matter. They are one of three acts I never saw live that I really kick myseklf for. The other two were Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. Sultans of Swing was a favourite of my youth. I still enjoy it but it is so full of cliche it is a bit passe now. Mark Knopflers solo stuff is so much better than his Dire Sraits output. I saw six shows of Knopflers in 2011. All brilliant. I did enjoy Dire Straits at Birmingham Town hall supported by Ricky Cool and The Icebergs in November 1978.

    1. I saw The Band play live twice after they’d separated from Robbie Robertson in the post-Last Waltz era. Great shows, especially because they’d returned to playing smaller venues.

      1. Never saw a single one of them. A true regret. Love all of their music. So strong so different.

    1. Last one to go in but my penny still hasn’t dropped! I’ll look at it again later. Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle.

  6. Nice to have my access back after yesterdays failure to log on.
    Going for a */***-an enjoyable romp.
    My favourite has to be 1a for the surface.
    Thanks to Mr K for the cat pics, especially 26a.
    We have a gentleman in the office whose nickname is ‘catflap’ apparently he swings both ways 1

  7. 1*/3.5*. This was a light delight with lots of music to 25a us.

    Four of my favourite 12as were in evidence in the first three clues that I tackled (1a, 5a & 9a) plus the brilliant “The 12a”.

    There were many excellent clues here. 15a was my last one in and favourite, with 1a & 10a joining it on my podium.

    Many thanks to the setter (X-Type?) and to Mr K. I was going to post a video of The 12a but I see Mr K has beaten me to it.

  8. Agree with Mr K a nice solveable Crossword **/*** 😃 Favourites 1a and 15d Thanks to the Setter and to Mr K for his, as always, brilliantly illustrated blog 🤗 I particularly liked those for 26a and 5d 😜

  9. All went in with not much thinking required.

    28a should be the plural articles, I think, otherwise there’s no S (le, la, les)

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

      1. Thanks for the clarification Stephen, a nuance I had not previously understood.

  10. I thought this was very elegantly and concisely clued throughout. It’s hard to choose a favourite in such a strong field but if pushed I’d go for 17d. 2.5/4*
    I’m a big admirer of Mr Knopfler so thanks to Mr K for his review and for that clip in particular. Thanks also to the setter for a quality puzzle.

  11. Enjoyable puzzle. Double jeopardy as far as 15d was concerned. First, not helped by spelling 14a wrongly; secondly, took a while for the penny to drop even after I corrected its first letter. Very clever. So, I will make 15d my clue of the day.

    1. Welcome to the site, John.

      I didn’t want to deprive solvers of the penny drop moment with my hint for 15d, but down here is different. Consider your answer and the relationship between OK and BOOKS. Does that help?

        1. Extracting alternate letters from BOOKS gives OK, so “These (i.e. ALTERNATE) characters in books could be OK”

            1. You’re welcome, John. We don’t see clues like 15d in the Telegraph Cryptic very often. You’ll see from the other comments that it caused a lot of head-scratching.

  12. I’ll try again. I had a bit of difficulty getting into the site ended up rebooting my phone and that worked. I’ve them tried to post a comment and it said this site’s not working. I’m the same as everyone else, straight forward except 15d and once the penny dropped it became my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for hosting the blog.

    1. I had problems as well. I am awed by BD’s patience, if it were me I’d have thrown in the towel long ago. We are all so lucky that he has the perseverance.

  13. A straight forward solve with no undue problems encountered. 13d was my favourite simply because it was so obvious!
    Thanks to the setter, and to MrK for his review and pics.h

  14. My comment disappeared.
    Thoroughly enjoyed. Needed hints to unravel 9a, thought the runner was a river, Cam, so didn’t know where the “r” came from.
    Fave was definitely 15d, how clever was that.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for hints and pics, natch loved the cats.

  15. Easiest puzzle for a while and very enjoyable for just that reason, sometimes it is good to be able to gallop through the clues!

    LOI and COTD was 15d, a real “Doh” moment when the penny dropped.

    Thanks very much to Setter and Mr K for providing so much pleasure.

  16. Looks as though my original comment didn’t post before the site went down
    Any puzzle that starts out with Dire Straits is fine by me – and our setter did manage to include several musical 1a’s this morning.
    Obviously, 1a takes gold from me but I also rather liked 14a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another excellent blog. They look to be rather well-grown ‘children’ in your pic for 16d!

  17. Don’t think my earlier comment worked, either. Typical, just when I’d finished relatively early in the day for once! Very enjoyable puzzle – loved 15d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K (and his felines). Loved Beaver’s “catflap”, too.

  18. Like everyone else it seems, 15d was our last in and favourite.
    A good fun puzzle.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  19. The first time I’ve had trouble getting into the site – just wrote loads – not doing it again but will see if this goes.

  20. I give up – have lost 4 Comments this evening although my 2 words at 19d got through.

    1. It seems the brief Comments are making it. I have just lost another consisting of a few lines.

      1. When it gets lost, hit the back button twice, and it will still be there and you will have re-established the connection?

        Worth a try I hope…

      2. Until the site gets back to normal, Cloudflare has been configured so that a successful browser challenge remains valid for only five minutes. While that’s the case, it’s a good idea to copy a comment to the clipboard before hitting the Post Comment button so you have the option if things go wrong of refreshing the page and pasting the comment into a new comment box.

        1. Well spotted – I’ve just changed it to 1 hour so that should be ok. There is a time stamp at the top of the sidebar, so refresh if that’s more than an hour ago.

  21. My comments reappear when I click on the backpage and I can just send it again but I copy it first just in case.
    This crossword gave me more trouble than the toughie.
    Had to check in to get the answer to 15d.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Mr K for the review.

  22. A fairly mild Tuesday puzzle, with nice clues and enjoyable enough. Fav: 15d. 2* / 3*.

    * First time I’ve been able to get onto the site this week (using Google Chrome).

  23. Apologies for the late arrival but I’ve been defying gravity again. Excellent puzzle and thanks to Mr K for the help with 15d. I’m kicking myself now. To DT 29015…

  24. 3*/4*…
    liked 15D (these characters in books could be ok) … also 10A (being sixteen involved acne on a regular basis).

  25. I don’t understand 15 down even with the answer and the explanation. Can anyone help please.

    1. Welcome to the blog M Payne

      The alternate letters (characters) [even in this case, but in another clue alternate could mean the odd letters] of [b]O[o]K[s] spell out OK.

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