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DT 29023

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29023

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny but chilly morning.

There are one or two less common words in today’s Giovanni, obtainable from the wordplay. If you know them, then there is no particular difficulty in today’s puzzle. If you don’t, it may take you longer to work out the answers.

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           Bad form of school punishment time’s forgotten (4)
SICK – Remove the abbreviation for Time from a form of corporal punishment once wielded by schoolteachers.

3a           Lets things fall on motorway? We may gobble them up! (4,6)
DROP SCONES – Split the answer (5,5) and you get ‘lets things fall’ and the objects found in interminable lines on motorways undergoing roadworks.

Image result for drop scones

9a           Neighbour, source of annoyance with objection (4)
ABUT – The definition is a verb. The first letter (source) of Annoyance followed by a word which often starts an objection to an idea.

10a         Celebrant wandering around a place of worship (10)
TABERNACLE – Anagram (wandering) of CELEBRANT wrapped around A (from the clue).

11a         Mechanical device hit vessel (7)
DASHPOT – Another word for ‘hit’ or strike something against the ground, followed by a storage vessel. The answer is a mechanical device used to dampen vibration by means of a piston moving in a cylinder filled with liquid, according to the BRB.

Image result for dashpot

13a         Start song definitely not in the concert hall (4-3)
OPEN-AIR – Another word for start followed by another word for song, giving us a description of something which is not in the concert hall or any other building.

14a         Hiding prisoner and gangster in stuff on building site (11)
CONCEALMENT – Start with one of the usual crossword prisoners, then add the stuff used on building sites as a component of mortar or concrete, wrapped around the shortened first name of a notorious gangster of the Prohibition era in the USA.

18a         Relative that may have more (11)
COMPARATIVE – Another word for relative that also describes a word formation consisting of ‘more’ followed by an adjective or adverb.

21a         Bits of food a Greek character fed to cats and dogs? (7)
PEANUTS – A generic word for cats and dogs in a domestic setting, wrapped around A (from the clue) and a letter of the Greek alphabet.

22a         Final message bringing comfort to Zeus’s lover (7)
CHEERIO – A five-letter word for ‘comfort’ followed by one of the many women who attracted the attention of Zeus. This one was turned into a white heifer to protect her from the wrath of Hera, the wife of Zeus.

23a         Worthy Conservative and socialist I put forward (10)
CREDITABLE – Put together Conservative, the colour associated with socialists, I (from the clue) and ‘put forward’ or ‘propose for discussion’.

24a         Some of the videos played back in sleazy bar (4)
DIVE – Hidden in reverse in the clue.

25a         No longer having money, conk out inside — a practical solution? (10)
EXPEDIENCE – The prefix for ‘no longer’ or ‘former’, followed by some small change wrapped around another word for ‘conk out’.

26a         Noticed lustre, hard to miss (4)
SEEN – Remove the H (Hard to miss) from a word for lustre.


1d           Fruit and fish where goods are unloaded in port (8)
SHADDOCK – Put together a four-letter fish and the place where goods are unloaded in a seaport. The result is an alternative name for the fruit called a pomelo.

Image result for shaddock

2d           Swearing when nothing is caught in illegal hunting? (8)
COURSING – The letter which looks like a zero is inserted into another word for ‘swearing’.

4d           Show opposition as a court after monarch’s overthrown (5)
REACT – Reverse (overthrown) the Queen’s regnal cipher, then add A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for CourT.

5d           No soldiers in disorderly heap will appear as remarkable people (9)
PHENOMENA – Anagram (disorderly) of HEAP wrapped around NO (from the clue) and some male soldiers.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d           Study, wanting money amount per hour? Don’t daydream! (11)
CONCENTRATE – Put together another word for read or study, a small amount of US or Euro money, and a word for ‘amount per hour’.

7d           Kissed ‘er, did you say? That’s sweet! (6)
NECTAR – This sweet liquid sounds like (did you say?) an enthusiastic version of ‘kissed’ and ‘er.

8d           Drink the female bishop gets before Sunday’s ending (6)
SHERRY – Put together a female pronoun, the abbreviated form of address for a bishop, and the last letter (ending) of SundaY.

12d         Deep in thought and quiet, couple cried, sadly left abandoned (11)
PREOCCUPIED – The musical symbol for quiet, followed by an anagram (sadly) of COUP(l)E CRIED, with the L left out (left abandoned).

15d         Mad pal — he’s wrecked bit of furniture (9)
LAMPSHADE – Anagram (wrecked) of MAD PAL HE’S.

16d         I’m in gear that’s outrageous — a problem for the head (8)
MIGRAINE – Anagram (that’s outrageous) of I’M IN GEAR.

17d         This writer left poem on musical instrument (8)
MELODEON – Put together a pronoun for ‘this writer’, Left, a poem, and ON (from the clue).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d         A revolutionary entertaining the old man, settler in Oklahoma? (6)
APACHE – A (from the clue) and the usual South American revolutionary, placed either side of ‘the old man’, giving us the name of a Native American tribe whose home territory includes Oklahoma.

20d         Became chums again? Not true! (4,2)
MADE UP – Double definition: ‘were reconciled after an argument’; or ‘invented’.

22d         Pain that’s funny — heart transplant needed! (5)
COLIC – Start with another word for ‘funny’, then change the middle letter to produce a sort of pain.

The Quick Crossword pun BLISS + TERSE = BLISTERS

48 comments on “DT 29023

  1. This was certainly my slowest solve of the week. It was one of those that flowed from the bottom up, until I got stuck in the NW. I didn’t know either the fruit or the fish in 1d and I wasn’t too sure about the school punishment. The device in 11d also eluded me at first.

    However, with a lot of head scratching and pencil-sucking, I got there in the end, so a full set of five for me this week. Hurrah!

    Many thanks to the Don and DT.

  2. 2*/3*. Fridays are continuing to be pleasant with nothing to frighten the horses. Long may this trend last.

    I knew the fish in 1d but not the fruit, which I needed to check on. On my podium today are 18a, 22a & 20d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  3. Not an easy one today with a couple of new words for me and needed to check on the Greek references .The NW & SW corners held out longest .
    Enjoyed the challenge but no smiles of amusement only one of satisfaction for finishing .
    Thanks to everyone .

  4. Obviously, it nust be international obscure words day! This wasn’t especially difficult for a Friday but it took *** for difficulty due to the time it took to unravel the NW corner. There wer lots of really good clues but 1d took the prize. Thanks to BD for reassurance and to G for the puzzle (***** for enjoyment).

  5. Another eminently solvable puzzle from the Don. A pleasure from start to finish. Many favourites, but my top three were 3 across and 1 and 5 down. Good fun indeed. Thanks to Mr M and to DT.

  6. Needed help with both the fish and the fruit but otherwise very enjoyable end to the week ***/****

  7. I learned two new words today, 1d and 11a. Not knowing them made NW tricky, but the rest was fun and I particularly liked 3a and 22a.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

  8. Oh dear. I had several bung-ins and had to check the review for parsing. 3a was one of those. I was very grateful for cones when we broke down on the motorway a few weeks ago. This was certainly more than ** star difficulty for me. On the upside, it’s good to have a challenge and learn new words. Thank Giovanni and DT.

  9. Cruised along quite comfortably until hitting a brick wall in the NW with three unknowns – the fish, fruit and mechanical device. BRB to the rescue!
    Thought 7d was something of a surprise coming from the Don.

    Favourite for me was 20d.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog and entertaining clips.

  10. Another very enjoyable end to the work week completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Having come up with a plausible answer for 1d, BRB confirmation was required. Do I need to try and remember this one?

    I did remember the 11a mechanical device, both from my engineering background and previous appearances (= oldie but goodie).

    Candidates for favourite – 3a, 13a, 7d, and 20d – and the winner is 7d with 20d a close second.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  11. OK, I’ll hold my hands up – I just can’t get my brain fired up today. Struggling everywhere. Ho hum.

      1. Me too – with you and LBR – hopeless today! Husband did better than me and he can’t do cryptic crosswords!

        1. Not one of my brighter days I suppose – I put it down to too much blood in the alcohol system :smile:

  12. This didn’t really feel like a usually well-liked DG Friday offering. I began by dodging about in a very haphazard way but all did gradually fall into place with the exception of a couple in the NW where I needed help. Never heard of 11a and stupidly failed to tumble to the school punishment in 1a but I do just wonder whether ‘in’ at beginning of clue might have been appropriate. 7d amused. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  13. 1d and 11a were my main holdups but gettable from the wordplay as is usually the case with a Giovanni puzzle. 22a was my favourite in this tricky-in-places offering. It was, though, a very enjoyable challenge.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  14. Like others 1d new word & LOI with electronic help. 11a OK for me – never thought hours balancing the SU carburretors on my MG would help with the crossword!
    Didn’t realise the Apache were in Oaklahoma – another thing to forget for next time.
    Still an enjoyable solve in about average time for me, with NW corner the main problem.
    Thanks to the Don and DT

  15. Even with the explanation (thanks) I still don’t get 18a.
    Otherwise, a slow start but the downs got me going. Last in was 22a, From reading Mythos it seems that Zeus had anything that moved so not much help there until I got all the crossing letters.

    1. Grammatically an adjective preceded by ‘more’ (e.g ‘more sincere’, ‘more distinguished’) is a comparative, in the same way that an adjective preceded by ‘most’ is a superlative.

  16. 1d and 11a held me up for quite a while too. Googled Zeus’ lovers (my what a lot of them!) but this one wasn’t listed. Googled the last two letters later and bingo. Perhaps she was just a one night stand.

  17. The picture for 3a look like flapjacks not drop scones to me .
    I smiled at 7d and 22a .
    Thanks to all concerned .

    1. Hi Una,
      Must be a regional difference – the picture is definitely of drop scones (Scotch pancakes) as far as I’m concerned. Flapjacks are tray-baked oat bars usually square or rectangular in shape.

      1. That’s why I’ve never heard of them, except in crossword land. Don’t ever recall them from my younger years either.

  18. In common with others, I did not know the fish, the fruit or the device, so the top left took a lot of pondering.

    For 1a, my mind became stuck on cane which obviously didn’t work, so I spent a while before converting it to it’s other identity and then the first letter of that helped me find the fish.

    So much to like here as always on a Friday. Very many thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  19. An amusing puzzle. I’ve eaten the fish, very tasty but requires as much patience as.completing one of the dons crosswords as it contains numerous bones! Thanks to DT and g.

  20. I also failed in the NW with the fruit, fish and mechanical device.

    1a At my school, corporal punishment was administered by Jesuit priests wielding a ferula. They seemed to enjoy it far more than the pupils.

  21. Agree with DT’S **/*** , started off on the wrong foot by putting ‘high’ for 1a in the sense of food being high or bad but 6d showed this to be an error, after that things went fairly smoothly.
    Like others 1d was new and I failed to parse 18a fully-still think it’s iffy even after the explanations given on the blog !
    Hard to choose a favourite, liked 3a and 21a.
    An enjoyable week all round.

  22. The least enjoyable offering for a long time. I hate it when the setter uses so many words I’ve never heard of. All right, so I’m not very well read?!

  23. **/****. Very enjoyable solve with some unusual words but all solvable from the word play. I learned a lot about Zeus’s hobbies which I had not previously realised. 18a was my favourite from a handful of contenders. Thanks to DT and the Don.

  24. Found this more difficult than others -a ***/***for me. 1d and 12 a only solved with online help.

  25. I found this really, really hard, finally having to resort to hints in the SW as I’ve spent far too much time on this and need to do something constructive now.
    Imagine, solved a RayT yesterday and stymied by a Giovanni.
    Fave was 7d. Never heard of 11a, knew the fish but not the fruit – it sounds like a fish, then realised that without the “s” it is a fish.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for bailing me out.

  26. Reasonably solveable puzzle **/*** apart from 1d 😟 where both the 🐟 and the 🥭 were new to me 😳 Favourites were 9a & 7d 😃 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni. Have a nice weekend, don’t watch too much of the 🏌️‍♂️

  27. Didn’t like 21a or 22d. Thought this more difficult than 2* in fact all this week more difficult than last when I thought I had it cracked! 1d and 11a both new to me so gave great problems in left hand corner
    I’ll soldier on….

  28. Excellent crossword indeed!
    The fish and the fruit defeated me, but the rest could be derived from the excellent wordplay.
    Carburetors used to have an 11a!
    Many thanks, all.

  29. Good crossword! Yep! The fruit and the fish had me going but otherwise after a very scratchy opening period it all made sense.
    22a hit the spot today.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  30. Difficulty ** really? Three days running the crossword has been rated ** and I’ve found them really difficult. Perhaps I’m overthinking them because I’ve completed others rated more difficult with less trouble.
    Possibly too many difficults in this post.
    Ta to all.

  31. 1d and 11ac really were rather tricky, weren’t they? What was a ** for difficulty promptly turned into a *** if not ****. We probably could have done without an obscure fish in the wordplay and an obscure fruit for the answer? 11ac was one where I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe that it was the answer.

  32. 2.5*/4* today, Friday proving to be a head scratcher.
    Had to check 1d as I had not heard of it… & I’m a very keen fisherman!
    I thought this puzzle was a Giovanni treat, many thanks to him & to DT for the review.

  33. This puzzle certainly took us much more than 2 star difficulty time. In fact it took us as long as the Toughie to solve.
    Like everyone else there were a few things to check on in BRB but all understandable from the wordplay.
    In our opinion a top quality Friday puzzle.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  34. I was clearly marching to a different drummer today, and found this at least in *** difficulty range. Never heard of 1d, 11a (although my better half had, and even knew the two cars that had one), 5d and I was too slow on the uptake for 17d. Very hard, and throwing in the towel early. Thanks Deep Threat for the hints, obviously so much smarter than me.

  35. :phew: and it was only last week that Gazza told us that Friday crosswords gave us a brief respite from the difficulty level.
    I found this almost impossible – husband got several answers and then between us we finished it.
    I almost always enjoy a crossword but I have to say that I really didn’t enjoy this – nothing funny at all which is what makes a crossword for me.
    Oh well – tomorrow is another day, thank goodness.
    With thanks, (and apologies) to Giovanni and thanks (and admiration) to DT.

    1. I was quoting the Puzzles Editor on the ‘brief respite on Friday’, Kath – it wasn’t my personal view.

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