DT 29019 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29019

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29019

Hints and tips by a critical Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from Downtown LI. Congratulations to Tiger Roll, The Cambridge Boat Race crew and Watford Football Club who won a semi-final football match in the best way possible by coming back from being two nil down and winning by three goals to two. Not the result I wanted as I was present at Wembley Stadium yesterday with my Wolves-supporting son-in-law and his father.

I found this to be a puzzle that used too many tried and trusted devices such that it was only the hint for 4 down that took any thinking about. This might be set at the right level for a Monday but I found it dull. The only smile came from imagining what the pairing of 12 and 14 across might look like. I am grateful that there were only twenty-eight clues.

These hints and tips have been created lovingly to help those of you who may need help to solve a couple of clues or to understand why an answer is what it is. Usually a clue consists of two parts. 1. A definition, which is usually at the beginning or end of a clue. 2. Wordplay which tells to what to do to solve the clue. The hints and tips help with the wordplay of the clues. Definitions are underlined. Some hints are illustrated. These illustrations may or may not have a bearing on understanding the clue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Medicinal herbs? I’m taking dope! (6,5)
SIMPLE SIMON: Begin with another word for medicinal herbs (don’t forget the plural). Add the I’M which is taken from the clue. Add a word that you might use to say you were taking a particular prescription drug. Split what you have 6,5. The answer might describe the blogging team. We don’t over-complicate things. Or do we?

7a    One who can make an impression? (7)
DENTIST: The person who looks after the inside of your mouth might take an impression as a mould for further work

8a    Naked truth, primarily, about working title (7)
BARONET: A word meaning naked and the initial letter (primarily) of T[ruth] surrounds a short word meaning working.

10a    Clean adapted weapon (5)
LANCE: Anagram (adapted) of CLEAN

11a    Tries his cooking before wife produces casserole (5,4)
IRISH STEW: Anagram (cooking) of TRIES HIS followed by the abbreviation for wife

12a    Bloodsucker‘s anger connected with seductress (7)
VAMPIRE: A short synonym of anger is connected to a seductive woman who uses her sexual attractiveness to exploit men. Which we resist at all times

14a    Portion brought back for each voyageur (7)
TRAPPER: A portion or segment is reversed and followed by a synonym for each. The answer is defined by my online dictionary only as a person who catches wild animals, especially for their fur. The word voyageur is defined as follows (in Canada) a boatman employed by the fur companies to transport goods and passengers to and from the trading posts on the lakes and rivers. The BRB may offer more but. 1. I have not got one. 2. I would not use it if I had [use of the BRB is usually recommended (this one is only found with a reverse look-up) but it is in the Chambers Thesaurus, the NQSBRB (Not Quite So Big Red Book)! BD]

15a    Put out again about children (7)
REISSUE: Our usual replacement word for about is followed by the usual replacement word for children

18a    Trip out entertaining revolutionary baseball player (7)
PITCHER: An anagram (out) of TRIP contains an iconic revolutionary from the last century

20a    Beneath which there may be plonkers? (9)
MISTLETOE: This all in one clue refers to the parasitic plant beneath which kisses may be exchanged at Christmas time. Are kissers plonkers? Are kisses plonked? Not in my online dictionary. Again the BRB may have other ideas [it does – “anything large, especially a smacking kiss (informal)” BD]

21a    Cut up rough, at first, in outhouse (5)
SHRED: Place the first letter of the word rough inside a word meaning an outhouse

22a    Disregard gentle fooling around involving Conservative (7)
NEGLECT: An anagram (fooling around) of GENTLE takes in the abbreviation of the word Conservative

23a    A bishop, unaccompanied, gets seafood (7)
ABALONE: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for bishop. Add an adverb meaning on one’s own

24a    Precisely how rent is paid? (2,3,6)
TO THE LETTER: To whom does one pay the rent?


1d    Another word for terribly nosy New York male (7)
SYNONYM: An anagram (terribly) of NOSY is followed by the abbreviations for New York and male

2d    Cereal crop I planted in jungle (5)
MAIZE: A rather stretched synonym of the word jungle contains the letter I as used in the clue

3d    Room inside the Parisian grill (7)
LATTICE: The room in one’s roof space sits inside the French article. Male not female

4d    Son is bust, forced to eke out an existence (7)
SUBSIST: The abbreviation for Son is followed by an anagram (forced) of IS BUST.

5d    Parade one month ago (5,4)
MARCH PAST: One of the twelve months is followed by a word meaning ago. The month just happens to be last month. A lucky coincidence I think

6d    Initially, navvies on street work without a break (3-4)
NON-STOP: The first two words of the clue say ‘initially navvies’ So begin with the initial letter of the word navvies. Add the word ON from the clue. Add the abbreviation for street and the shortened term for a work or opus. It could not be more simple.

7d    Courier called up about chauffeur’s uniform? (11)
DELIVERYMAN: A word meaning called is reversed (up) and placed around a chauffeur’s uniform. Also the special uniform worn by a servant, an official, or a member of a City Company

9d    Wrote about game, a fixture between two Thames boroughs (5,6)
TOWER BRIDGE: An anagram (about) of WROTE is followed by a card game

13d    Rude about head of venture strapped for cash (9)
INSOLVENT: A word meaning rude or cheeky sits around the first letter (head of) of the word venture

16d    Visible from fashionable location, reportedly (2,5)
INSIGHT: A two-letter word meaning fashionable is followed by a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning location

17d    Held up by belt, it, netsuke, shows style (7)
ENTITLE: If all else fails look for a lurker. If the clue has no instruction, look for a lurker. If no lurker can be seen look for a reverse lurker. Held is the indicator for a hidden word. Up is the indicator that it is reversed

18d    Agent dividing cut in study (7)
PREPARE: An agent (yes this word stands alone in the dictionary. He or she doesn’t just exist as an abbreviation) sits inside a word meaning to cut as one might to peel an apple

19d    Nurse in shelter (7)
HARBOUR: A double definition the second being for boats

21d    Celebrity, tense, to begin an argument? (5)
START: A word meaning a celebrity together with the beginning letter of the word tense

Quickie Pun locum+ocean=locomotion


54 comments on “DT 29019

  1. Very straightforward, almost too easy even for a Monday. This certainly lacked any sparkle and took too little thought to be truly enjoyable. No particular favourite I am afraid.

    Many thanks to our setter and MP.

  2. 1.5*/2.5*. Normal Monday puzzle – light but pleasant.

    I needed to look up the medicinal herbs in 1a and also check the precise (Canadian!) meaning of voyageur in 14a.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP.

  3. Monday again light and airy, like RD checked out 14a and found it in a reference book too
    I suppose you ‘plonk’ a kiss but somewhat iffy.
    Nearly put deliverance in for 7d until 22a went in- loved the film and the banjos especially.
    Thanks all.

  4. Oh dear. With all the crossing letters for 3d I bunged in LATRINE. Thanks for putting me straight.

          1. Thank you for the compliment Kath (that I have a brain). She Who Must Be Obeyed avers that I don’t.
            What happened to the collie (name slipped my memory) you used to board?

  5. Agree with others that this was very uninspiring. I completely accept that we must have a range of abilities to cater for everyone so my gripe is not that it was over quickly, but that it raised no smiles.

    I thought 17d was extremely odd and clunky. Quite liked 9d. Apologies to setter and thanks to MP

  6. Pleasant enough kick-off to the week. South came through ahead of the North. Fav was 24a with 1d running up. Like Beaver a hae ma doots about 20a clue. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  7. Have to agree with MP as I found this strangely uninspiring and dare I say it not very contemporary. That said, most crosswords have a degree of enjoyment and this was no exception, 24a making me smile, though no doubt more experienced solvers would have come across it several times. My LOI was 20a as I’d never heard of what you are lucky or unlucky enough to receive under it as a plonker.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his customary entertaining and explanatory review.

  8. This was a very gentle stroll in the park. The main difficulties seemed to arise from little-known words like 14a. I did know what a voyageur was but only because, long ago, I studied North American history and the word stuck in the fluff at the back of my brain. There were a few good clues, like 9d and 19d, but some questionable synonyms. Thanks to the setter and to MP for the hints.

  9. “Questionable synonyms” just about says it all. I had four answers that I needed the hints to parse. (1a, 14a, 20a, & 17d).

    Other than those, pretty gentle start to the week.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  10. For the second Monday in a row, the proscribed term comes to mind and it was hardly worth getting the nag out of the stable – */**.

    No problems with 14a as Winnipeg’s annual winter festival is ‘Festival des Voyageurs‘ (and the Revised 13th Edition of the BRB has the answer listed in its entry for voyageur (under the headword voyage) on page 1754).

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  11. I always think it’s a shame when a blogger is so dismissive about a puzzle – I thought it was a perfectly OK start to the week.

    14a didn’t cause any problems here – watching Michael Portillo’s Railway Journeys has come in useful for solving many a crossword clue!
    The mention of netsuke in 17d reminds me to recommend reading The Hare with Amber Eyes – a very different approach to following historical events.

    Top two for me were 24a & 9d.

    Thanks to our setter and to MP.

    1. I would love to agree with you Jane but there is not much point in two of us being wrong. Agree about Edward De-Wall;s book though.

  12. It’s coming up to witching hour in my part of the world but today’s was a quickish solve even at this hour. A good warm up from week. My favourites, 7a and d. Thanks also MP for the Warren Zevon clip. What a classic!

  13. Fair enough since all abilities should be catered for but rather to easy and uninspiring. 9d my pick from an average bunch.

  14. Can’t really say very much about this. 24a raised a smile. Many thanks to the setter and the critical Miffypops.

  15. On the easy side, even for Monday. But I wouldn’t say outside the easy / hard range for today
    No trouble with 14a, same source as Jane, and there weren’t many smile moments, although my wrong answer for 3d did provide one.
    Thanks to setter and MP

  16. If I settle down later in the day to do the crossword I usually struggle, not on this occasion nearly a write in (unusual for me) there were several old fabourites, our fabourite crossword revolutionary made an appearance as did our seductress and dope, although in different wording.
    Nevertheless it was still enjoyable on a pleasant spring afternoon.
    Congratulations to Exeter Chiefs.
    Thanks to Miffypops and setter.

  17. I’m lacking a bit of oomph today so when I found the crossword rather dull I thought it was just how I was feeling – maybe it isn’t.
    I agree with others who thought it was straightforward – my main grouse is that there was nothing that made me laugh.
    I got a bit held up for a while with 14 and 20a and spent too long thinking of the wrong kind of grill in 3d.
    I liked 1a and 9d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr Critical MP.
    Now back to battling with Mr Rookie – I think it’s really difficult.

  18. */*. I don’t so much mind it was at the simple end of the scale but it was utterly joyless. Not a smile or an ah-ha moment. Nevertheless thanks to all.

  19. Any other day of the week I would have been worried. But its Monday so it’s ok. No real favourites though.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MP for his review.

  20. I don’t mind that it wasn’t a brain-shattering puzzle, though some did give me pause for thought. I couldn’t get Chateau Thames Embankment out of my head as the meaning of “plonkers”, held me up for ages, so 20a was my last in.
    I liked 24a and 9d as my stand outs.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and to M’pops (welcome back to the blogger chair) for the usual entertainment.

    1. It’s nice to be back. I’m off on my travels again next week and may be away for some time

      1. Where are you going? I thought landlords had to be behind the bar 24/7. (Crossword solving at slack times)

        1. When you visited on one of our busiest days of the year I wasn’t even behind the bar then. In fact I think I was sitting in the same garden as you. I am going to follow the second star on the right and keep straight on until morning

          1. Ha! Ha! Are you off to St Mawes this year? We are going Friday for a couple of weeks but hopefully time for crossword solving – grandchildren permitting

  21. I suppose we get a bit spoilt by the succession of brilliant crosswords, so that we all get a bit grumpy when we get one that isn’t, like this one.
    Thanks to MP for the explanation of the ‘medicinal herbs’ in 1a, new for me.
    I hope the setter has not slit his/her wrists after reading the blog, if so, thanks to you too.

  22. 11a reminded me of one of those ‘knock-knock’ things we had as kids

    Whose there?
    Irish Stew
    Irish Stew who?
    Irish Stew in the name of the law!

      1. Love that one.
        I was about to tell what was, at the time, a very funny story about our Younger Lamb when she was not quite four years old. She had just caught on to the ‘knock knock’ jokes but wasn’t really quite old enough to really ‘get it’. She got stuck in a loo on a French campsite – it really was very funny but now it’s all too long and complicated . . .

        1. My daughter Joni got stuck in the loo at a pub in Kenilworth thirty years ago. I can still see the damage I did rescuing her

          1. My daughter got stuck in the loo at a Restaurant in Nottingham when with her father. He didn’t notice her disappearance for some time. This is 20 years ago and the last time I looked the hole in the door was still there.

  23. For me , a pleasant start to the week with 20A giving a nice smile so my favourite . Needed to check on the “medicinal herbs” in 1A otherwise all ok .
    Thanks to everyone .

  24. Bit too easy and it felt a bit repetitive.
    1.5*/2*, nothing to hold up a read and write with no head scratching.
    Did enjoy the easy quick Crossword though.
    Thanks to setter & MP for the review,,, which I agree with.

  25. An enjoyable, pretty gentle start to the week. Last in the impression maker which I wanted to be something else altogether.

  26. Really enjoyable today, but however we look at 17D we just can’t parse the answer! Can anyone help explain? We understand the reverse lurker but don’t understand that entitle can mean style?

    1. The dictionary definition of entitle is to give a title to, to style, in the sense of designate or call

      1. Thanks Sue. When I first wrote the hint I knew it needed more explanation but I failed to remember to do so. I do admire those who tick clues and comment in the margins.

  27. Had trouble with 1a because I had never heard of the particular term. Knew what the answer had to be. Otherwise a straightforward start to the week. Many thanks to all.

  28. If it had defeated me I too would’ve been slagging this off… plonkers? As it was, I defeated it, so the setter was, in fact, a worthy opponent whose setting skills are without reproach. I enjoyed filling this grid even though I didn’t fully understand two or three of the clues.

  29. Not a bad puzzle. Hope the setter’s feelings aren’t hurt by the negativity.

  30. I clearly enjoyed this more than most. Perhaps 1d is an old chestnut but I loved it also 5 7 and 9d. Last two in 18d and 20a. I did not have latrine for 3d like some but was thinking of something lavatorial for 20a. I did not know that meaning for 14a although got it from the wordplay. It obviously comes from the French which simply means traveller. For some reason when trying to parse I was confusing it with voyeur….

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