DT 29022 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29022

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29022

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  I’m pretty sure that this puzzle is a RayT as all the usual signs are there but the anagram count seems a bit higher than usual.  I make it five which is no doubt good news for many solvers.  It seemed to me to be at the more benign end of RayT’s difficulty range but I’m sure a lot of you will disagree.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Main pressure contains opening of main sewer (10)
SEAMSTRESS:  Another word for the main, especially the Spanish one, followed by a word meaning pressure or emphasis with M (beginning of Main) inserted (contains). This sewer isn’t a main drain but someone who sews.

6a           World is circumnavigated snatching record (4)
DISC:  A lurker hidden in (snatching) the first three words.

9a           Group with ordinary instrument (5)
CELLO:  A small group of people followed by O(rdinary).  Here’s a bit of Jaqueline Du Prè playing one of these.

10a         Awkwardly sat in bow clutching a sailor (9)
BOATSWAIN:  Anagram (awkwardly) of SAT IN BOW with the A from the clue inserted (clutching).

12a         Engine burnt out absorbing current energy (7)
TURBINE:  Make an anagram (out) of BURNT and insert (absorbing) an I (electrical current in physics notation) and finish with an E(nergy).

13a         Initially circle round East Timor encircling island (5)
CRETE:  First letters (initially) of the next five words of the clue.

15a         Rot seen in European trees (7)
EYEWASH:  E(uropean) followed by two different trees.

17a         Empty samovar to hold endless drink one guzzles (7)
SCOFFER:  Start with SR (empty S(amova)R) and insert (to hold) a drink without its last letter (endless).  For no particular reason this was my last one in.

19a         Go in for captivating single cold temptress? (7)
ENTICER:  Take a word meaning to go in and insert (captivating) an I (single) and a C(old).

21a         Fruit tart having spread inside (7)
CURRANT:  You need a word for tart, as in terse or short, and insert (having . . . inside) a word meaning spread or flow.

22a         Leader of Tories ready for nonsense (5)
TRIPE:  T (leader of Tories) followed by a word for ready as a fruit might be ready.  Is this an oblique reference to the current Brexit debacle?

24a         Disobey accepting a large after-effect (7)
FALLOUT: Take a word for to openly disobey or ignore and insert the A from the clue and L(arge).

27a         It’s inspiring swimming round reef occasionally (9)
BREATHING: Inspiring as in taking in air.  It’s a word for swimming placed around the alternate letters (occasionally) of ReEf.

28a         Concur and get on without hollow remorse (5)
AGREE:  Get on as in get older placed around (without) the first and last letters (hollow) of RemorsE.

29a         Metal test periodically corrodes (4)
EATS:  Alternate letters (periodically) from METAL TEST.

30a         Dancing nudes once about right for adults? (10)
UNCENSORED:  Anagram (dancing) of NUDES ONCE around (about) an R(ight).


1d           Reportedly so poorly (4)
SICK:  A word meaning poorly, as in ill, sounds like (reportedly) a three letter Latin word for so or thus.

2d           Share everything outrageous describing blokes (9)
ALLOTMENT:  A word meaning everything followed by a three letter acronym from a phrase meaning outrageous placed around (describing) some blokes.

3d           Start of Stones’ ‘Stony’ track (5)
SPOOR:  S (start of Stones) followed by a word for stony as in stony broke.

4d           Refuse work from cleric after massage (7)
RUBBISH:  Start with a three letter word for massage and follow with a senior cleric with the OP removed (work from).

5d           They fix tiles eventually on board (7)
SLATERS:  A word meaning eventually inside the abbreviation for Steam Ship (on board).

7d           This compiler’s mature figure (5)
IMAGE: How the compiler might say “he is” followed by mature as in get older.

8d           Bless strange ancestor buried in church (10)
CONSECRATE:  Anagram (strange) of ANCESTOR inside (buried in) the abbreviation for the Church of England.

11d         Copper’s upset over rogue receiving zero help (7)
SUCCOUR:  Reverse (upset in a down clue) the chemical symbol for copper, not forgetting the ‘S, over a rogue or cad with an O inserted (receiving zero).

14d         Attractive Democrat attractive to voters? (10)
DELECTABLE:  D(emocrat) followed by a word meaning attractive to voters or likely to win a parlimentary seat.

16d         Old canine barking on time (7)
ANCIENT:  Anagram (barking) of CANINE followed by T(ime).

18d         Sycophant is more prostrate before Queen (9)
FLATTERER:  A word for more prostrate followed by the usual wo letters for Her Majesty.

20d         Rowdy rugby supporter going outside if promoted (7)
RUFFIAN:  A rowdy or hooligan is the usual two letters for rugby union followed by a supporter all placed around (going outside) the IF from the clue but it’s reversed (promoted in a down clue).

21d         Scent of pine outgrowth around trunk (7)
COLOGNE:  Something which grows on a pine tree around a trunk or large branch.

23d         Clumsy in record time (5)
INEPT:  A charade of the IN from the clue, one of the usual records and finally a T(ime).

25d         China’s overlaid with old gems (5)
OPALS:  What Chinas are in rhyming slang with an O(ld) at the beginning (overlaid in a down clue).

26d         Lifeless old man embraces sweetheart (4)
DEAD:  A three letter word for your old man or father around (embraces) an E (swEet heart).

Rather short on photo opportunities methinks but you’ll be pleased to see that I did resist the dancing nudes.  No stand-out favourite for me but, if pushed, I’d go for 22a.

Quick crossword pun:     START     +     WRECK     =     STAR TREK

49 comments on “DT 29022

  1. This was fairly challenging but no more than it usually is with a Ray T crossword. It took me longer than usual so **/*** for difficulty. Once again, I spent ages on the last two clues, 21 a and 21d. I thought the synonyms in the former were rather approximate but the penny dropped in the end. Lots of great clues and no real favourites here. Thanks to pommers and to the setter (Ray T?)

  2. This one went at a gentle jog for me, the fourth in a row! Finished in ** time. Didn’t our esteemed editor say that Thursday was going to be the hardest? Maybe my brain has unlocked some more synapses.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  3. 2*/4*. Great fun at the easier end of Ray T’s range. 15a, 22a & 18d are on my podium.

    Many thanks to pommers and to Ray T.

  4. Couldn’t resist the temptation of describing 5d as a lousy answer.
    Really good fun as ever from this setter and it all went together smoothly for us.
    Checked the clue word count as usual.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

    1. Seems like we should have checked in BRB last night before making the comment about 5d. In NZ wood-lice are called SLATERS and just assumed that the rest of the world called them that too. :oops:

  5. A terrific puzzle from Ray T this morning full of his trademark innuendo and fun. 18d just gets my nod for COTD but in truth there were many contenders. Overall a very enjoyable solve.

    Many thanks to Mr T and pommers.

  6. Hooray, finished a Ray T without any hints so a bit disappointed to see only 2* for difficulty! I’m going to give it 3* anyway and 4* for enjoyment. My favourite clue was 15a with honourable mention to 1 and 26d.
    Many thanks to Pommers for the hints and to Ray T for a great puzzle.

  7. I enjoyed today’s reasonably straightforward exercise. The East was more friendly than the West. 1a became Fav once I had ceased working around a drain. Silver medal goes to 1d. 23d seems to feature quite regularly in various guises. Thank you RayT and pommers.

  8. enjoyed this puzzle but 14d and 15a held me up. Had the two trees but kept pronouncing the first as it should be hence the confusion. Thanks to all. Just taken delivery of 500g of worms for my wormery. Lost a lot in the first frost last year before putting the wormery in the garage. Am I guilty of mass wormicide? Feel quite bad about it.

  9. A **/**** for me today, excellent fare from Mr T, he manages to make cluing look easy .
    Loved the surface in 4d and last in 5d.
    The blog so far lists many different favourites which is always the sign of a top puzzle
    Thanks to Pommers for the pics ,the dish in 22a looked awful.

  10. Perhaps a relatively easy Ray T, but 4d made me laugh out loud. 18d reminded me of a favourite song.

    There was a wicked messenger
    From Eli he did come
    With a mind that multiplied
    The smallest matter
    When questioned who had sent for him
    He answered with his thumb
    For his tongue it could not speak
    but only flatter.

    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  11. A steady start, then there was an almost full stop, and suddenly it was all over, completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/4*.

    Definitely a Ray T, just look at the Quickie with its single word clues and answers, and it also has some double unches!

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 15a, and 11d – and the winner is 15a, which has the feel of an oldie but goodie.

    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

  12. Yippee – a sunny day, Mr T on the (almost) back page, all’s well with the world.
    I was slow to sort out the 21 combo and also 5d – silly now that I look back at them.

    Favourite was 15a with 22a & 18d taking silver and bronze.

    Devotions to Mr T and thanks to Pommers for the blog – couldn’t see any blue at all in your review, were you really so disenchanted with this one or do I need to visit Specsavers?!

  13. Never thought i would say this but i think this is one of the best crossword puzzles i have ever done. Elegant, clever and well constructed clues many of which made me smile. My personal fav was probably 27a.
    Thx to all

  14. Does anyone eat 22a anymore?
    I remember my mother cooking it up and the whole house smelling shocking!
    Last one in was 1a so is my COTD.
    Like many , l romped off,stuttered in top left corner, and then cruised in.
    Thanks to all.

    1. Tripey Hayes had a stall in Coventry Market for many many years but it is closed down now.

  15. All is well in the crosswording world as long as it is a Thursday. As usual for RayT it took several more passes than usual to achieve a slow finish. So thanks to him for the brain workout. Thanks to Pommers for the blog. Perfectly illustrated in my opinion.

  16. I am going to echo Beaver, RT’s puzzles are always so slick. Sadly, I couldn’t think of the first tree in 15a otherwise would have felt super proud of myself. Thanks to all for the hard work involved 😊

  17. Jolly good fun. Not quite the usual stretch for a Ray T, but I’m not complaining. I think I will nominate 21d for gold.

  18. As usual for Mr T , appreciation grew with progress .

    Loved the misdirection in 1A and 27A but must pick 15A as COTD for its ingenuity .

    Thanks to everyone .

  19. Very enjoyable and not too hard although 3d caused a problem as I’d never come across that word before. Lots of great clues, especially 1a and 14d. Thanks to setter and Pommers (is that really what 22a looks like? It looks vile)

  20. Another fine puzzle from Ray T. Excellent clues, providing a decent challenge and plenty of enjoyment. Favourite of a top-rate bunch: 1a. 3* / 4*

  21. I agree that this is Ray T being pretty benign.
    Are his crosswords getting easier or are we all wise to his tricks now – or should we keep quiet so that he doesn’t invent new ones to flummox us all?
    All good fun although it took me a while to sort out 21a and I missed the ‘work from’ bit of 4d so, although the answer was obvious, I couldn’t quite see why.
    15 and 27a and 1d stood out for me today and my favourite was 30a.
    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    1. I’d say that the last few back-pagers have been fairly benign by his standards. It could well be that his tricks are more apparent to the more seasoned solver, but, as we know, he can produce far trickier offerings at the drop of a hat under the Beam guise. I’d suggest that we may well be in store for a bit of a tussle within the not too distant future….

  22. A fairly gentle solve today with nothing overly obscure. I did like 1 across, but 15 across & 27 across were probably my favourites. Thanks to RayT and Pommers.

  23. Agree with the general opinion that this was at the gentler end of RayT’s offerings, but certainly no less enjoyable for that. Lots of smiles and satisfaction. My only comment (and it prevented me from putting in the answer for a while) is that I relate the definition of 17a to drinking and the answer to eating. Haven’t looked it up because it’s not a big deal. Thanks to all.

    1. Surely the drinking association is due only to the inclusion of an endless beverage in the answer.

      1. No, what I meant was I associate guzzling (definition “one guzzles”) with drinking and scoffing (scoffer) with eating

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this very much, lots to smile at. Was on the easier end of the Ray T spectrum. Started with 3d, finished with 5d, the latter providing my only hold up. 4d made me laugh but my favourite was 17a. Was 1*/4* for me.

  25. No question, this was a very friendly RayT. I managed to finish it, albeit requiring some electronic help with the 21a/d clues.
    I really enjoyed this, not having to wrestle with trying to find out why my answer is right. Much to enjoy, I think my fave is 15a, but 27a and 4d amused as well.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers, especially for the JduP clip.

  26. An enjoyable solve with no real problems encountered once I got going. 14d was my personal favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Pommers for the review

  27. Another stunning puzzle from Ray T, entertaining & head scratching at the same time.
    I managed to complete this in 2.5* time but is definitely 4* for entertainment.
    Favs 17ac & 1ac.
    Thanks to Pommers for helpful review & Ray T for a Thursday cracker.

  28. **/***. Lots to like about this puzzle. Liked 1d for its brevity and 27a for its misdirection. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  29. The “Callos con Garbanzos” is actually quite nice. All you need to do is fish out the bits of tripe and feed them to pommette’s cats or next door’s dog and you’re left with a very tasty chorizo, tomato and chick pea stew.

  30. My thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments. I’m glad that most of you enjoyed it.


    1. Even I enjoyed it! I’m usually lost in the woods with your puzzles, far too clever for me, but this one hit the spot.

  31. I thought the SE corner was quite tricky, but got there in the end after much head scratching. Liked 15ac in particular in what was a pretty impressive puzzle.

  32. Late as usual, but I frequently start later than most others. I found this challenging to say the least but I got there, I did need help to parse 21a. Favourite was probably 15a when I eventually got it. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers for the help.

  33. Excellent. 1a was straight in which was a good start. Rather slow with 21a as I had apricot in my head. 27a last one in for some reason but I have circled it as one of my favourites. 15a has to be top favourite I think with 4 and 21d not far behind. Thanks Ray T and all. Managed to parse all which is a good sign

  34. I won’t hear a word said about tripe – properly cooked with onion sauce it is delumptious. And good for delicate stomachs! Nottingham, where we lived for four years, had many tripe shops – a real delicacy. So there!

  35. 3*/5*……….
    liked the topical 22A (leader of Tories ready for nonsense) amongst other clues.

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