DT 29017 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29017

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29017

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs as the sun struggles to break through the clouds in this return of winter.

Like Kath yesterday, I was unable to make my usual midnight start on today’s puzzle because the website did not update at the stroke of twelve, which it usually does. Someone at Telegraph Towers clearly needs to put the clocks forward.

However, Giovanni’s puzzle today did not detain me too long when I started on it this morning, with several long anagrams to provide a way in, and nothing too obscure.

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           Little girl to clean dog? (6)
MOPPET – Another word for ‘to clean’ followed by something which may be a dog (or a cat).

4a           Fashionable item of clothes with gold edge, potential moneymaker (8)
INVESTOR – Put together a two-letter word for ‘fashionable’, an item of clothing which is underwear in England but worn visibly in America, and the heraldic term for gold.

9a           Show public school journalist around (6)
DENOTE – Put together the usual crossword public school and the usual journalist, then reverse (around) the result.

10a         Evangelist fighting against atheism ultimately becomes half-hearted (8)
LUKEWARM – Put together one of the four Evangelists, something which involves fighting, and the last letter (ultimately) of atheisM.

11a         Meet the old man outside wild party being taken short! (9)
FORGATHER – Remove the final letter (taken short) from a wild party, then insert the result into the relative who may be known as ‘the old man’.

13a         Contribution I pen, finally turning up on time (5)
INPUT – Put together I (from the clue), the last letter (finally) of peN, the reverse (turning) of UP (from the clue), and an abbreviation for Time.

14a         Perhaps butterfly chasers soon get lost — I’m sent out (13)
ENTOMOLOGISTS – Anagram (sent out) of SOON GET LOST I’M.

17a         Get painless in bed somehow — that’s essential (13)

21a         Middle of field has thin tree (5)
EBONY – The central letter (middle) of fiEld, followed by a description of someone who’s thin, giving us a tropical hardwood which is very dark.

Image result for ebony tree

23a         Celebrity going round garden, ending in rockery, sitting down (9)
SEDENTARY – Another word for a celebrity wrapped around the garden from which Adam and Eve were expelled, followed by the last letter (ending) of rockerY.

24a         Well-disposed, like a bank? (8)
INCLINED – Double definition, the first being a state of mind, the second a description of a geographical feature.

25a         Military unit in district given new leader (6)
LEGION – Change the first letter of another word for a district or area, and you get a unit in the Roman army.

26a         Spinning round, I get angry, mad, losing energy (8)
GYRATING – Anagram (mad) of I G(e)T ANGRY, with the abbreviation for Energy left out.

27a         Group on newspaper accounting for daily event (6)
SUNSET – One of the UK’s red-top newspapers followed by a group or clique.


1d           Two females, old and unintelligent, set up position in field (3-3)
MID-OFF – Put together two of the abbreviation for Female, an abbreviation for Old, and a word for ‘unintelligent’, then reverse the result (set up) to get a fielding position in cricket.

Image result for mid-off

2d           Chum in US prison who may correspond with a stranger? (3,6)
PEN FRIEND – American slang for a prison followed by a chum.

3d           New competitor in event ran terrifically (7)
ENTRANT – Hidden in the clue.

5d           Rudest alien removed and made ineffective (11)
NEUTRALISED – Anagram (removed) of RUDEST ALIEN.

6d           English archdeacon at home — good time for putting feet up? (7)
EVENING – Put together an abbreviation for English, the abbreviated form of address for an archdeacon, ‘at home’, and Good.

7d           Traveller in marketplace upset over limited parking (5)
TRAMP – Reverse (upset) another word for a marketplace (especially one here livestock are sold), then add an abbreviation for Parking.

8d           Furthest little spot found in holiday? (8)
REMOTEST – A small speck or particle inserted into a period away from work.

12d         See 22 Down

15d         Plans for plays? A censor is disturbed (9)
SCENARIOS – Anagram (disturbed) of A CENSOR IS.

16d         Fascinating group, including one ex-GI? (8)
RIVETING – Put together the Roman numeral for one and the term familiarly used in the US for former soldiers, then wrap a group or cabal around the result.

18d         Designer of spreadsheet for pig farmer? (7)
STYLIST – Split the answer (3,4) and you get something a pig farmer might keep on a spreadsheet.

19d         Head may have this message prohibiting money announced (7)
BANDEAU – An item of headgear which sounds like (announced) a message (3,5) prohibiting money.

Image result for bandeau

20d         Bird awfully cagy needing to miss a trap (6)
CYGNET – Anagram (awfully) of C(a)GY with the A removed (needing to miss a), followed by a variety of trap which may indeed be used to catch birds. The result is a young aquatic bird.

Image result for cygnet

22d & 12d            Dramatist getting theatrical award meeting film producer with big mug (5,11)
OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN – The first name of this writer is the same as the golden statuette awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Then put together a British film company which produced horror movies, and a large German beer mug, to get his surname.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

The Quick Crossword pun THEATRE + KNELL = THE ETERNAL

33 comments on “DT 29017

  1. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, which did not take ages to complete, this Friday. Thanks to Deep Threat for the hints and to the compiler. Was it Giovanni? It had a hint of Navy’s style.

  2. 2*/3*. Another accessible and enjoyable puzzle from the Don.

    I got held up by 19d for which I initially confidently entered “Bandana” on the basis that the “ana” used to be a unit of currency in India.

    My favourite is a toss-up between 24a & 22/12d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. The Don in benign mood this morning I thought. No obscurities and a surfeit of anagrams made this very straightforward. 18d stood out for me as a favourite.

    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  4. Sorry to be pedantic but surely 22d is not a theatrical award but an American film industry award?

    1. My thoughts exactly but it didn’t detract too much from a very enjoyable exercise.
      Thank you as always to all involved.

        1. Does anyone remember when they tried to personify the BAFTAs by calling them Stellas?

  5. Giovanni on form again today providing a very pleasant solve. As usual lots of goodies but joint (NB Kath!) Favs were 22/12d. Many thanks DG and DT
    (My maiden and married initials!).

  6. Slightly frustrating that the puzzle web site has mysteriously returned to GMT. So, I sent a note to Mr Lancaster on the matter and he responded promptly saying that he is reporting the problem to the company that hosts and maintains the web site.

    However, the additional one hour wait did not spoil the enjoyment of today’s puzzle which was completed at a gallop – **/*** .

    19d was my LOI as it took some time for the penny to drop, even though it is rapidly becoming an oldie but goodie.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 2d, and 22d/12d – and the winner is 22d/12d (even with its somewhat inaccurate description of the award).

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. A very friendly challenge from the Don today – if indeed it was one of Mr M’s crossword puzzles. Most “16 down” IMHO, but all good fun. I made one cock up when entering bandana at 19 down, but my error soon became clear. Thanks to both setter and DT.

  8. Back to a **/*** today for this lively end to the week-and a good one it’s been.
    last in was 19d,and a new one for me, I didn’t fall into the bandana trap as I had all the checking letters in by this stage!
    Liked the surface of 10a and 12d particularly.
    Thanks all.

  9. Enjoyable and light.
    Many good clues, particularly 12d and 22d.
    Thanks all.

  10. Apart from 19d which is new to me, a very pleasant stroll through crossword land. Don’t get the Quickie pun, what is The Eternal? The eternal what?
    Wasn’t too sure who 22d and 12d was but Google to the rescue.
    Thx to all

    1. Like you Brian I was somewhat flummoxed by the Quickie pun but via Wikipedia I gather it is a heavy metal band – what a racket they make too.

  11. Perhaps I’m new enough at this to laugh at things that others have seen before, but I had a really good chortle at 18d.
    Overall an enjoyable, gentle (-ish) puzzle, thanks to setter and DT for the South Pacific extract (you’re a treasure!)

  12. Wonderfully free from obscurities today and far more enjoyable as a result.

    My favourite was 10a with a nod to 1a simply because the word makes me smile.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for both the blog and the reminder of South Pacific, which my parents took me to see at the cinema when I was just a little 1a!

    1. Memories are made of this for me too, Jane, but I’m old enough to remember the on stage musical. 🎼💐.

  13. A bit of a struggle this one and I don’t up to the Dons usual high standard.
    Nevertheless once completed after much delving into the Thesaurus and BRB it gave in.
    Favourite 23a and 15d.
    Thanks to Deep Threat and Giovani.

  14. **/**. This was a bit of mixed bag for me. Eminently doable but I dislike vague/archaic words (11a&19d). Liked 12/22d. Thanks to all.

  15. Yes, a benign Giovanni but enjoyable for me.
    I liked 10a but fave has to be the 22d/12d combo, especially with the clip.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for his hints and pics.

  16. I couldn’t get the word “exciting” out of my head for 16d, trying to use the ex and gi, untiI I remembered “vet”. 1a and 1d were my favourites. Many thanks to The Don and to Deep Threat.

    1. Hi Florence,
      Thought this clue from today’s Toughie might amuse you after our ‘conversation’ of yesterday –
      Riddle is, conversely, always unfinished (5)

  17. Hmm, not quite the challenge I expected. Pleasant enough certainly but that’s about it. I quite liked 10a for my top clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni (I presume), and to DT for the review.

  18. Enjoyable straightforward benevolence from the Don, 1.5*/3 , fav 11ac 17ac. Was expecting a bit more of a Friday head scratcher,
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for the review.

  19. We got delayed a little by starting with bandana for 19d but soon sorted.
    Pleasant solve as ever on a Friday.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  20. Having lived a rather sheltered life I thought a bandeau was worn round the chest not the head. Maybe I should get out more. Very enjoyable puzzle today. It usually takes me until Sunday evening to complete.

  21. Oh dear! Fell asleep again so left here talking to myself. Difficult but doable. I too had bandana in for 19d and the only version of the answer I could find is worn over a completely different part of the (female) anatomy, however, dictionary definition came to the rescue, phew! Hard to find a favourite. Thanks to setter and DT. I think the dogs need to go out now.

  22. 2*/4*…
    thought 11A (meet the old man outside wild party being taken short!) was a laugh.

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