DT 29020 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29020

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29020

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone.  Today brings us a nice solid puzzle, just right for a Tuesday.  In the hints below most indicators are italicized and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the Boo! 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    Telegraph initially published writer's copy (10)
TRANSCRIBE:  Put together the first letter of (… initially) Telegraph, a short word meaning published by a newspaper, and a writer or copyist.  In the cryptic reading of the clue the 's is parsed as is 

6a    Sharp, short account by papers (4)
ACID:  An abbreviation (short) for account is followed by the abbreviation for identification papers

9a    Slogan backing bottomless clothes (5)
MOTTO:  The reversal (backing …) of BOTTOMLESS is hiding (… clothes) the answer

10a   Arrest an oddball by river in Scottish town (9)
STRANRAER:  An anagram (oddball as an adjective) of ARREST AN is followed by the map abbreviation for river

12a   It's one on one? (13)
AUTOBIOGRAPHY:  A book where a person comments on themselves

14a   Shock American like Mick or Keith? (8)
ASTONISH:  The single letter for American followed by a whimsical adjective that could mean like Mick Jagger or Keith Richards or one of their bandmates

15a   Guide finally locates that woman's father (6)
SHERPA:  Glue together the last letter (finally…) of locateS, a pronoun for that woman, and a short informal word for father

17a   Forgive old American in church (6)
EXCUSE:  Old or former is followed by a two-letter abbreviation for American inserted in the abbreviation for the Church of England

19a   One attacking adult perforates eardrum badly (8)
MARAUDER:  The single letter for adult goes inside (perforates) an anagram (badly) of EARDRUM

21a   Trio mixing with EU purists in secret (13)
SURREPTITIOUS:  An anagram (mixing) of TRIO EU PURISTS

24a   Face irate criminal in greasy spoon? (9)
CAFETERIA:  An anagram (criminal) of FACE IRATE

25a   Stupid son leaves nuts (5)
INANE:  The genealogical abbreviation for son is deleted from (leaves) nuts or crazy

26a   Exclusive Sun article at last (4)
SOLE:  Stick together the Sun personified as a Roman god and the last letter (… at last) of articlE

27a   Patron's grumble about new performer (10)
BENEFACTOR:  A grumble or complaint is wrapped about the abbreviation for new, and followed by a performer in a play



1d    Book two heartless and nameless men (4)
TOME:  T[w]O without its middle letter (heartless) and ME[n] without the abbreviation for name (nameless)

2d    Draw a tiger's head on paper (7)
ATTRACT:  Cement together A from the clue, the first letter of (…'s head) Tiger, and a paper or leaflet.  This is feeding time on Japan's cat island.  Click on the picture to see it on rabbit island

3d    Quick to polish off whisky, possibly with dessert (5,3,5)
SHORT AND SWEET:  Concatenate what whiskey might be an example of (…, possibly), a synonym of with, and another word for dessert

4d    Plant president grew first (8)
ROSEBUSH:  A fairly recent US president preceded by grew or got higher (grew first)

5d    Donkey's brother carrying guard occasionally (5)
BURRO:  A colloquial contraction of brother containing (carrying) alternate letters of GUARD (guard occasionally)

7d    Cold drink for a person giving a hand (7)
CLAPPER:  Assemble the single letter for cold, drink like a cat, and "for a" or each

8d    Badger to support blue film (5,5)
DIRTY HARRY:  Badger or pester comes after (to support, in a down clue) blue or indecent

11d   Point at head girl in a state (5,8)
NORTH CAROLINA:  Chain together the compass point at the head of a map, a girl's name, and IN A from the clue

13d   Journalist outside raves about small bags (10)
HAVERSACKS:  A mediocre journalist containing (outside) an anagram (about) of RAVES is followed by the clothing abbreviation for small

16d   React badly when witch enters ancient city (8)
CARTHAGE:  An anagram (… badly) of REACT containing a witch or ugly old woman (when witch enters)

18d   Cautious of vehicle with hybrid fuel (7)
CAREFUL:  A motor vehicle with an anagram (hybrid) of FUEL

20d   Some food is tantalisingly close? Far from it! (7)
DISTANT:  The answer is hidden as part of (some …) the remainder of the clue

22d   Wrong to press down on English pastry (5)
TORTE:  A legal wrong is followed by (to press down on, in a down clue) the single letter for English

23d   Tolerate  sport (4)
WEAR:  A double definition.  A slang word for tolerate, and sport in the sense of display in an ostentatious manner


Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable solve.  Plenty of good clues, but no standout favourite for me today.  How was it for you?


The Quick Crossword pun:  JESTER + DRAWS = CHEST OF DRAWERS

46 comments on “DT 29020

  1. Reasonably straightforward puzzle this morning although one or two held me up. Upon completion I could not see why as there was nothing too complicated or obscure. As for favourites, I highlighted 12a and 1d from an enjoyable selection of clues.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  2. This was enjoyable and quite challenging. For some reason, I found it difficult to get going at the top of the puzzke but, when The bottom half was filled in, thetop helf quickly fell into place. Curious how that happens,sometimes. Favourites were 1a, 27a and 3d. Thanks to Mr K for the hints, the cat pictures and one of my favourite Stones’ tracks and thanks to the setter.

      1. I was in the queue for the loos at Wembley when my mate sent a text asking for pictures from Wembley so I sent him that one

  3. Fun with just enough challenge. NE corner was last to yield mainly due to not knowing the film in 8d. There were four bung-ins (9a, 10a, 14a, and 7d) due to lack of parsing. Fav 27a. Thank you Mysteron and MrK. Liked Quickie pun.

  4. Well, I seem to be bucking the trend. I found this one far easier than yesterday’s.

    Each to their own.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  5. 2*/3.5*. I enjoyed this a lot. I thought that 12a was a bit iffy but perhaps saved by the question mark. My favourite thing today is Mr K’s choice of Rolling Stones’ track – a brilliant all round performance with the exquisite backing vocals of Lisa Fischer providing the icing on the cake. Oh yes, and a rabbit picture too!

    My favourite clue was 1d, and, for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, I didn’t mind 11d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron, and special thanks to Mr K.

    1. Hi, RD. Glad you liked the pic and the video. There are quite a few great performances of “Gimme Shelter” on YouTube. I settled on that one because the sound quality is excellent and because the camera spends a lot of time on Keith.

    2. I often listen to it on you tube, for some reason Mick sings it a a ‘clipped staccato ‘voice.
      Another favourite of mine is Midnight Rambler from the Let It Bleed album-best version for me is at the Marquee Club 1971 with Mick Taylor on lead guitar- for me he is the best blues guitarist.
      Mick is brilliant on the harmonica-vastly underrated.

  6. Not read the hints or comments yet .

    14A was my last one in as , although the answer seemed obvious , the reason why was not . Then , whilst killing time waiting for my wife to finish at the hairdresser , the link to the answer dawned on me .

    I expect others my also struggle .

    Thanks to everyone .

  7. Lots of great clues, but 14a has to be COTD – inspired thinking by whoever the setter is!

    3d was also good for me living in Scotland although I kept wanting to put the other word for whisky in except it was too long…….

    Thanks to All.

    1. Looking again at the puzzle in the light of day, I feel now that I should have favourited 14a.

      I hope that our setter will comment so we can thank them properly for this excellent crossword.

  8. Very enjoyable and reasonably straightforward – this could have been a Monday puzzle – **/***.

    My only quibble is with Sun in 26a – I took it to be an unindicated translation to another language (Spanish) which still arrives at the same answer as the Roman god, also not really indicated, route.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 3d, and 11d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. Dada is on Toughie duty today with a puzzle that, given recent experiences, wouldn’t be out of place on a Sunday.

  9. More sparkle than yesterday so going for a **/***.
    Thanks to Mr K for the pics, good to see Mick in action again-no sound on my works computer but must be Give me shelter, a favourite track.
    Liked the surface of 13d,Remembered the character in 8d but not that the film had the same name.
    Took ages to realise 9a was a reverse lurker, all in all an entertaining solve-thanks setter.

  10. I rather liked this puzzle even if i did miss the lurker in 20d so spent ages looking for food! My favs were 8d and 20a. Just being pedantic but shouldn’t 10a read ‘for Scottish town’ rather than ‘in’?
    Thx to all

    1. Hello, Brian. Re 10a, while using “for” as the link would improve the cryptic reading, it would wreck the surface reading. In his excellent guide to cryptics, Prolixic says the following about this apparently iffy use of “in” as a link word:

      “In” is a curious link word. “Wordplay in Definition” is encountered so often that it is accepted as a canonical construction but strictly, “Wordplay in Definition” impliedly tells the solver that the wordplay “is found” in the definition, which is somewhat back to front. “Definition in Wordplay” would pass the required test. However, the “wordplay in definition” is so well entrenched that it is unlikely to change!

      1. Same sort of thing occurs in 21a where my natural instinct on reading the surface would be for the definition to be “in secret”, not secret.

        1. Me too. I expect that’s what the setter wanted us to do, so he or she will be smiling if they’re reading the comments.

  11. Loved it! Rushing off to the dentist so glad of the ease in solving.
    Nothing really held me up. I think 3d is fave, but many others could have qualified.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for the hints and pics, highlights of Tuesdays.

  12. A real struggle today after yesterday’s puzzle required help with a few today. Thanks to hinter and setter

  13. I enjoyed this very much. My main problem was self inflicted by having script instead of scribe for the second syllable of 1a rendering 4d “ungettable”.
    I liked 1,3 and 20d plus 12 and 25a in particular.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K, particularly for the clip of The Stones, consummate performance.

  14. I solved this earlier on the bus from Macclesfield to Buxton and very enjoyable it was, too. Not the most difficult, but with very nice clues. I’ve ticked 12a, 27a, 8d. 2.5* / 3.5*

  15. Putting ‘scotch’ in 3d held me up for ages until I realised that I couldn’t count. Otherwise everything was hunky-dory. Nice crossword actually. I’ll stay with 3d as my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MrK for the review and pix.

  16. I enjoyed this. I made a good start before 18 holes of OKish golf, with only one April shower, and then finished on my return. When I completed it “the computer said no” as it wanted 23d to start with a W and not a B, as I had done. I think it works either way – or perhaps it’s my tired brain.
    Thanks to all involved as usual.

      1. I pondered the same issue. I went with W because I couldn’t find a good example where sport could replace bear. “…. arrive wearing a hat” can be the same as “…. arrive sporting a hat”. But “… arrive bearing gifts” isn’t really the same as “… arrive sporting gifts”. Does anybody have an example where bear and sport are interchangeable?

          1. I cannot “bear” it when a double definition can be interpreted in two ways!

        1. I, too, considered the B word for a fair while but couldn’t really convince myself. Then I suddenly thought of the W word and immediately knew that was correct. The W word works prefectly, the B word doesn’t really work at all, even when using a shoehorn.

    1. I had the same problem with W/B but otherwise enjoyable puzzle thanks to setter and cat wrangler.

  17. That was a pleasant diversion . I particularly liked 3d and 27a .Lots of good clues .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  18. Tougher than yesterday but not overly so. So much more enjoyable though. Not wise to differ from Rabbit Dave, as he is almost invaribly correct, but I really liked 12a when the penny dropped. Too many ghosted books are labelled “autobiographies” these days so to see it defined so neatly made it my COTD.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the hints and illustrations. .Surely the pic for 24a was of a catferteria.

  19. I’ve caught up with my crosswords now hence why I’ve been missing for a few days. Very enjoyable, personally I found it easier than yesterday’s. Favourite probably 8d. Many thanks to setter and Mr K for hosting the blog.

  20. As a Telegraph crossword devotee of 40+ years standing, i was delighted to find this site recently and this is my maiden post..

    Finished today’s unaided – once I’d got 11d, everything seemed to fall into place. I Favourite clue – 12a. Bizarrely the one I struggled with was 23d, with “bear” suck in my brain for a while. Pleased to see my favourite film was included as one of the answers!

    ***/*** from me.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Reg.

      We’re also happy that you found us. I hope that you’ll continue sharing your puzzle experiences here.

  21. I finished this tonight in the pub over a drop or two of the black stuff. Good puzzle. Good stout. 14a was a bung-in. I had to check the review to understand the clue. Many thanks setter and Mr Kitty.

  22. Late in today although puzzle solved at breakfast time. Remainder of the day spent in the company of ex-next door neighbour who came over for lunch. She’s 89 yrs old, bright as a button, and quite the best person to have around for a day.

    Really enjoyed this one and struggled to single out the top three. Eventually gave the nod to 12a plus 3&8d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and feline friends for the blog – I didn’t realise that the Japanese have such a fondness for cats.

      1. Well, one lives and learns! I had an uncomfortable feeling that cats might have featured on Japanese menus – I stand corrected.

  23. Enjoyable, and reasonably straightforward until I reached the NE corner. “(O)ne on one” was very nicely done and took an age to spot even with the checking letters. But the Scottish town? It made the order of vowels and consonants in some of the Welsh place names in these parts look positively sensible.

  24. We’re going to raise our usual objection to clues like 10a. They really are unfair to so many of the solvers.
    The rest of the puzzle was top quality with plenty to keep us chuckling.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  25. Very enjoyable puzzle,caused one or two splinters in my fingers but nothing serious.22d was a bung in,new word to me. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the,as always,amusing hints.

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