DT 29016 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29016

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29016

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. Well, that was an ‘interesting’ start. When I’m doing the hints I stay up and get the crossword at midnight as soon as it’s available but last night the puzzles site wasn’t updated so I gave up waiting and went to bed. Luckily by the time I got up (early) all was OK.  I thought it was a good crossword and didn’t find it too tricky – just as well as my brain works far better at night than when I’ve just woken up!

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hiding under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you want to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Not finished in race crossing lake (10)
INCOMPLETE — Begin with the ‘IN’ from the clue and follow that with a verb to race or take part in an event which contains (crossing) the abbreviation for L[ake]

6a        Grew old in captivity; about to be released (4)
AGED — A synonym for in captivity or behind bars without its first letter, the one letter Latin abbreviation for about (about to be released)

9a        Island having one hundred and four bats (5)
CORFU — The Roman numeral for one hundred is followed by an anagram (bats) of FOUR

10a       Fellow learner and I enthralled by professor’s instruments (9)
MANDOLINS — A fellow or male is followed by a professor or a member of a university’s teaching staff, with his (or her!) ‘S, – he (or she) contains (enthralled by) the letter that means a learner and the ‘I’ from the clue

12a       Misrepresented Edam: rare Dutch cheese (6,7)
MATURE CHEDDAR — An anagram (misrepresented) of EDAM RARE DUTCH

14a       Appropriate measure (4-4)
HALF-INCH — A double definition – the answer is the Cockney rhyming slang which means ‘appropriate’ as in steal

15a       Cases containing king’s underwear (6)
BOXERS — Some cases or crates containing the one letter Latin abbreviation for a king

17a       Artistic movement from ballet’s lead absorbed in music playing (6)
CUBISM — The first letter (lead) of B[allet] goes inside (absorbed in) an anagram (playing) of MUSIC 

19a       Bet European gondolier uses one (4-4)
PUNT-POLE — A bet or gamble and an Eastern European national

21a       Young lad one treated with respect (13)
PREADOLESCENT — An anagram (treated) of LAD ONE and (with) RESPECT

24a       One by piano in Titanic is unmoved (9)
IMPASSIVE — Don’t be fooled – Titanic here is falsely capitalised to mislead us – it’s not a boat but is an adjective meaning huge. Begin with the letter that looks like a one and follow that with a synonym for ‘titanic’ which goes around (in) the abbreviation for P[iano]

25a       Enthusiasm from old pub receiving award (5)
 OOMPH — The abbreviation for O[ld] and two letters that would show a pub on a map go outside an award or order of merit

26a       Ran to lesson in school (4)
TORE — The ‘TO’ from the clue is followed by a two letter abbreviation for a subject taught at school

27a       Poison boy consumed in Lebanon, sadly (10)
BELLADONNA — A synonym for a young boy goes inside (consumed in) an anagram (sadly) of LEBANON



1d        Primarily Andean civilisation new imperialists overturned (4)
INCA — The first letters (primarily) of the middle four words of the clue are reversed (overturned)

2d        Brown vehicle male wrecked (7)
CARAMEL — A common vehicle is followed by an anagram (wrecked) of MALE

3d        Horse entrails around area which skiers might descend (13)
MOUNTAINSIDES — A general term for a horse or something that can be ridden and a slang term for entrails or guts contain the abbreviation for A[rea]

4d        Slimy material — maybe, Astley’s verse (8)
LIMERICK — A slimy or sticky substance is followed by the first name of the singer whose surname is Astley

5d        Mounted clip gripping fashionable garment (5)
TUNIC — A reversal (mounted) of a word that means clip or shorten contains the usual little word for fashionable or of the moment

7d        Cook‘s good sieve (7)
GRIDDLE — The one letter abbreviation for G[ood] is followed by a verb to sieve or strain

8d        Upset from upside-down puddings I had (10)
DISTRESSED— A posh word for puddings, sweets or afters and the contraction ‘I had’ is all reversed (upset)

11d      Drink before leaving stone fort hero adventurer sampled (3,3,3,4)
 ONE FOR THE ROAD — Perhaps the longest lurker or hidden answer that I’ve ever seen! Wow!

13d      Control station and inspect part of railway (10)
CHECKPOINT — A verb to inspect or look over (5) and another five letter word that’s the part of a railway that makes the trains go where they’re supposed to be going (I think)

16d      Nest made untidy with hull, covering for seed (8)
NUTSHELL — An anagram (made untidy) of NEST and HULL

18d      British PM once coming up on Queen’s comms device (7)
BLEEPER — The one letter abbreviation for B[ritish], a reversal (coming up) of the surname of a 19thcentury PM, and finally the regnal cipher of our Queen

20d      Start to leave seat, an item of furniture (7)
OTTOMAN — A word that means your seat or backside without its first letter (start to leave) and the AN from the clue

22d      Look over island on river (5)
LOIRE — A little short archaic word that means look or behold, the one letter abbreviation for I[sland] and a preposition that means on or concerning

23d      Bird close to leftover cut loaf (4)
RHEA — The last letter (close to) of [leftover]R is followed by another bit of cockney rhyming slang – ‘loaf’ here means the top bit of your body, or where your brains are – just take off the last letter (cut)

I thought that 12a was a good anagram and 11d was an amazing lurker. My favourite was probably the fairly simple 19a. I also liked the Quickie Pun

The Quickie Pun:- FANS + SEAMAN = FANCY MAN

74 comments on “DT 29016

  1. 4*/4*. It took me quite a while to get on the right wavelength today, but when I did it all came together smoothly after a slow start and I really enjoyed it. I was going make exactly the same comments as Kath about 12a & 11d which are two very fine examples of those particular clue types. They are on my podium along with 14a & 19a.

    I feel fairly sure that this is the work of proXimal, so thanks to him and to Kath.

    An bonus today is that Beam has unexpectedly appeared in the Toughie slot.

    1. I also wondered about proXimal but I usually find his crosswords much more difficult than I found this one.

  2. Took me the hint to parse 20d otherwise fairly straightforward big thanks to setter and hinter

  3. I found this friendly for a Thursday/Mr X (if he is the setter) which left time for a battle with Beam before I had to start work

    Thanks to Kath and the setter

  4. I’m the opposite, Kath, my brain works best in the morning, when I’ve just got up and the paper usually arrives early (not for the first part of this week, sadly). I agree, it was a really enjoyable crossword, just challenging enough to intrigue the solver. Favourites were the long lurker at 11d, 14a which was right up my street, being a Cockney and the anagram at 21a. Thanks to Kath for the hints and to the compiler. I noticed that the Queen featured and thought it might be Ray T)

    1. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t a Ray T – it just doesn’t feel like one of his although I agree that it does have some of his trademarks. He is the one and only setter that I can usually spot a mile off – I suppose that’s just asking to be proved wrong, isn’t it?

    2. RayT has a self imposed word count. No clues longer than eight letters.
      He only has single word answers in the Cryptic puzzle.
      He only has single word clues in The Quickie (The Cryptic and The Quickie are set by the same person each day))
      Her majesty usually gets a mention
      Some clues may be a little risqué

      Not a RayT as it fails on the first three points.

        1. Oh dear. silly boy. But then there is H I J K L M N O
          Eight letters. H to O or H2O = water

    3. I enjoyed this very much but completely failed to recognise the lurker in 11d despite getting the answer. 18d my favourite but thought it had something to do with Blair to start with, glad it wasn’t him. Completed in good time. I love this site so thanks to all.

  5. This was definitely a puzzle of two halves for me, the North being considerably easier than the South were there were a couple of dated and obscure clues that I needed Kath’s help with.
    I liked 9 and 14a along with 20d.
    Many thanks to Kath for a crystal clear review and to the setter.

      1. Interesting – do you find you solve quicker with a migraine? I do, and my neurologist says he has heard of this before. Hope you’re better.

        1. That’s really interesting. Not neurological (sp?) but still brain type stuff, I have been battling severe bout of depression lately, for absolutely no logical reason*, and I have always found that during these bouts I see colour more intensely and yes, I find doing cryptic crosswords fall into place more quicky, though I find I can’t concentrate on a book or film etc.

          Unfortunately it also makes me super-sensitive to smells and noises. Cigarette smoke or a fried egg – nausea city. It’s like morning sickness. Which is a little unlikely, though if I AM pregnant I will foot the bill for the next meet-up because the red top newspapers would pay a fortune for my story, I might need 3 old geezers to pretend to be wise men and perhaps someone angelic holding a star to complete the look.

          As for depression, I should be ecstatic. After surgery to remove nasty bits my biopsy came back clear, nothing in lymph nodes. I was all geared up to fight and hang on and then sudden;y I am no longer in danger, so why on earth I would be depressed makes no sense. But then, sense and Carolyn rarely appear together in the same sentence.

          1. I am absolutely not qualified to talk about this. I can do crosswords – but my sister who is qualified to talk about it (and can’t do crosswords) would say that there isn’t necessarily any reason to feel depressed. It just jumps up and bites you on the backside sometimes.
            I hope you feel better soon. (My knowledgeable sister would say that that’s the worst thing that I could say!)

            1. Thank you and tell your sister I think she is wonderful. As for anything biting my behind -well It’s a braver man than I am Gunga Din!

        2. No, I don’t Debbie. I find I solve even more slowly!
          Thanks for the good wishes, much appreciated

  6. Like Kath, I was pencil poised at midnight UK time/6:00pm Manitoba time – but no puzzle. It seems that the DT clock had been reset to GMT as the puzzle did appear at 1:00am BST/7:00pm Manitoba time. I am sure we were not the only two people on the planet who wondered what was going on.

    Still, once it was available it was very enjoyable. I did wonder about it being a Ray T but my setter detection system is worse than useless. Completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3*.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 3d, and 13d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  7. I too started slowly but finished at a canter. Last one in was 25a. I was slow getting into the SE corner, because I was convinced that 11d had to be a cocktail.

    Am I the only one to wonder whether gondoliers actually use a 19a? I always thought that gondolas are rowed by an oar rather than ????ed along the bottom.

    Overall *** from me.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

    1. Correct. Gondolas are rowed “alla voga” ie standing and facing forward, not punted. You’d need an awfully long pole to punt in St Mark’s Basin.

  8. Found this a bit of a puzzle of two halves to be honest, about half of the clues fell straight away, then some of the longer answers took a while to construct the solution for and some of the very short answers I could see the solution but took a while to understand the clueing.

    Having lived near one of the Scottish Ski resorts I thought 3d was a bit questionable, skiers can come down all sort of things but rarely describe themselves as coming down the answer unless they are being very adventurous?

    Some very good clues, 14a and 8d were my favourites and LOI was 12a simply because I had a senior moment and could not deduce the anagram (Doh!).

    6a was a bung in and needed the hints to understand the logic. Reminded me of sneakily looking at the wine bottle label …….

    Thanks to the setter for trying hard and to Kath for the hints.

  9. Best puzzle of the week so far, in my opinion. Brain given a reasonable workout. Favourites were 14a, 25a and 3d with top spot to 20d. Is that the biggest lurker ever?

    1. I think you mean 11d – there have been a couple of fourteen letter lurkers before

    2. There have been at least four 14-letter lurkers in back-page puzzles. There’s some data in the intro to my blog at http://bigdave44.com/2017/09/19/dt-28536/

      Just a few weeks after I did that analysis, today’s setter proXimal set the Telegraph record with a 15-letter lurker in Toughie 1899:

      Rejects from band I sack, now led, gesticulating, away from surroundings (15)

  10. Like Stephen, most of my thinking time was taken up by the lower half of this puzzle but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment.
    11d was indeed cleverly thought out although it was a shame that it resulted in a somewhat awkward surface read which kept it off my podium.

    My favourite was the simple 14a with a nod to the island which apparently has exactly 104 bats!

    Thanks to our setter (I think RD is probably correct that it’s the work of Mr X) and to Kath for the blog. I did feel for you over the non-appearance of the crossword at midnight, my brain also functions far better at night!

  11. All fine, but I wasn’t keen on the surface read of 11d. It looked a bit too contrived. 7d was my last in, because I didn’t associate the word after the “G” with sieve, only to put holes in something. I discovered a newsagent I didn’t know existed this morning, so was able to get hold of the DT before it ran out. Thank you setter and Kath, and BD.

  12. Found this one a little trickier. Needed Kath’s tips to parse 24a and 20d. Great lurker in 11d.

  13. This looks and feels a bit like proXimal but if it is he’s got his most benign of hats on. Very enjoyable though and with a splendid lurker but 3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and Kath.

  14. A slow start for me too, some difficult parsing along the way bit good fun and I think about a ***/****.
    Last one in was 26a,I wanted to put term in but eventually the penny dropped.
    Thanks Kath for the parsing of 4d which failed me.
    21A took a bit of time , liked 25a.

  15. This didn’t feel like a proXimal to me and I agree with pommers that, if it is, he’s being uncharacteristically gentle.

    Incidentally our puzzles editor has confirmed in the latest Puzzles Newletter that Thursday is now meant to offer the hardest back-pager of the week. He writes:
    The back-page cryptic and quick crosswords are compiled by a group of around 12 setters, each of whom has their own style and average level of difficulty. Some appear on the same day every week almost without fail; others appear fortnightly; others less often. The general rule of thumb is that, on average, puzzles are intended to get slightly harder throughout the week – so the easiest puzzles appear on Mondays, then get slightly harder on each day until Thursdays. There’s a small respite on Fridays, with the Saturday prize puzzle intended to be a bit easier again, finishing with a slightly tougher challenge on a Sunday.
    Not sure how Mr Manley will react to being called a small respite. :D

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review. My favourite clue was 6a.

    1. I think that low growling sound you can here is Mr Manley grinding his teeth! I would take great exception to the current Sunday setter being described as slightly tougher, I think Sundays are currently a real challenge on a level with the weekly Toughie.

  16. Bit of an oddball today with some clever clues such as 14d, 8d and 13d mixed with some rather less appealing clues in 5d, 7d and 4d. 7d particularly gave me pause as I don’t see why cook’s related to the answer. If it were plural the answer would be plural but it implies belonging to which also doesn’t quite tie in with the answer, all a bit clumsy IMHO.
    All in all just an OK puzzle for me. **/**
    Thx to all.

    1. So you’ve never cooked anything by griddling it?

      The apostrophe S is only there for the surface reading otherwise the surface reading police would be muttering about it

  17. The crossword appeared about 45 minutes to an hour later. Odd because all the other puzzles were updated. I have not finished it yet I still have a few to go on the top right and bottom left so am resisting temptation (not my forte) to scroll up and look at the answers.

  18. Lovely crossword on the tricky side of difficult 😳 ****/**** I liked 9a, 14a & 19a 😃 Big thanks to Kath for a couple of much needed hints 👍 and to the Setter

  19. Like several on here I found the top half easier to complete than the lower section. The long anagram escaped me as the first three words of the clue rather gave the game away!
    14a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her usual top notch review.

  20. ***/****. A game of two halves for me. I flew through the first half but then ground to a slow finish. Difficult to choose a favourite but 11d has to be the best lurker I’ve ever seen so it gets the podium place. I also like 10,14&15a and 8d. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  21. I didn’t find this at all benign but it certainly was enjoyable.
    I needed Kath’s hints to unravel a few, e.g., 14a, forgot the rhyming slang, but it just fit, and I completely missed the lurker at 11d, another bung in because of the checking letters.
    Fave was the horse entrails, but 14a is also smile worthy now I get it.
    Thanks to proXimal (yes?) and to Kath for the hints and pics.

  22. I found this relatively straightforward when I completed it this morning, with the remarkable lurker at 11d my favourite. The horse entrails was a very close second, but a four word lurker trumps all. Great fun.

    Thanks very much to our setter and to Kath.

  23. I found this hard, but then I’m a relative newcomer. Once on the right wavelength it all fell into place except SW which was a real struggle and I needed Kath’s help (for which, many thanks). Loved the lurker. Tried too hard to squeeze IV (for “four”) into 6a before the penny dropped.

    1. Thank you for such a good crossword and for calling in – as Merusa said, so it was you – it’s always nice to know for certain! It’s also always appreciated by everyone when setters pop in.

    2. I was in no doubt. One of your toughies (quite a while ago) holds the record for length of time sitting on my desk – several days.

      Thank you for teaching me cryptic slyness you albeit admirable, bugger!

  24. 3*/4*. Great crossword. Had the answer for 20a, but it took ages to figure out why. Thank all.

  25. I found this somewhat flat and disappointing today, after the past two cryptics, IMHO. I kind of got on wavelength but into just didn’t sparkle for me. I see that lots of others enjoyed it, so it must be just me. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the hints.

  26. Really enjoyable. South East corner held out the longest. 13d my favourite just for the penny drop moment. Thanks to ProXimal and Kath.

  27. We were later than usual starting this one so missed all the angst about it not being on time. Held up for a while with 3d as we thought the second part of the answer was an anagram of ENTRAILS. Clever misdirection we thought. Appreciated the long lurker in 11d too.
    Good fun to solve.
    Thanks proXimal and Bufo.

    1. Sorry Kath. My mind was leaping ahead of me. I knew I had to thank Bufo somewhere but not for this blog.

  28. A great crossword with some very clever clues. Puzzled over some but then wondered why as it was all there. I did get 20d but couldn’t see why until I read Kath’s hint so thank you to Kath and setter.

  29. This helped greatly to pass the time on the 3+ hours flight home today , Never spotted the big lurker and could not parse 20D ?
    Thanks to everyone .

  30. 3*/4* for me tonight. Top half flew in & spotted the stunning lurker at 11d by sheer chance. Lower half proved more of a struggle. I really liked all the long clues, I thought these were all very well constructed.
    Thanks to setter & Kath for her help & hints.

  31. I see that I guessed correctly who today’s setter was. :-) Thought this was a good puzzle that was suitably chewy for a Thursday. Very slow to get started, but once I did progress was steady. While writing out the anagram for the cheese I proceeded to write down the answer instead, quite by accident, which just goes to show how funny the brain’s workings can be.

  32. I have a new ‘favourite setter’. ***/****. Great stuff.
    Thanks to the Fragrant Kath and the Cryptonitical pXl.

  33. I thought this was excellent and a pretty quick solve. I cannot say I was held up in any particular corner or side but odd words here and there eg 21a (not a word I see or hear often but got it when I had the checkers. I had no idea what a comms device is so I put off 18d till the end. Got them all without hints but grateful to Kath for the parsing of 20d. Thought of the piece of furniture straightaway but did not put pen to paper till I had all the checkers. 14 19 and 24a favourites together with 8 and 11d. Thanks to setter for the puzzle and for calling in.

  34. I’m tired now and about to head off for bed pretty soon so thanks again to proXimal for the crossword and to everyone for their comments.
    Night night everyone and sleep well. :yawn:

  35. On the basis that it’s better late than never and the fact that, like Kath, I am a night owl I have just tackled this at this late hour without too much resistance. I will read today’s large number of Comments before I retire to bed. Contrary to Stephen Lord For me the South was a smoother ride than the North. Hard to pinpoint an outstanding Fav but I did like several including 9a and 3d. Failed to see where puddings came into 8d so it was a bung-in. Thank you proXimal and Kath.

  36. Completed the top half last evening but could go no further. Picked it up at 6 am & finished it. An excellent puzzle, with some very cryptic clueing. Enjoyed it immensely.

  37. I wonder if there is a problem with the time setting on the puzzles website. My experience this week has been that the cryptic s are not being released until 1am. A problem with the switch to summertime maybe.
    Thanks to all concerned with the blog, it really is excellent.

    1. Yes, I think you’re probably right. It just didn’t occur to me but when I was grousing about it yesterday Gazza also suggested that the puzzles website was still on GMT.
      I’m glad that you think the blog is excellent.

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