DT 29026 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29026

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29026

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello everyone.  I found today's puzzle entertaining and engaging.  It had a few clues where parsing required some thinking and a careful reading of the clue.  Australia features in a few clues and answers.  I wonder what that's about?  Perhaps our setter will comment below to tell us (which would also allow us to thank him or her in person).

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the 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    Woman's bad breath (6)
BERTHA:  An anagram (bad) of BREATH is a female name

5a    Choice fish almost all selling out (8)
BETRAYAL:  Join together a choice at the races, a large flat fish, and AL[l] without its last letter (almost all)

9a    Mild oath referring to restless sort (8)
GADABOUT:  An archaic mild substitute for “God”, followed by a preposition meaning “referring to”

10a   Said thrust pierces tin (6)
SPOKEN:  Thrust or jab is inserted in (pierces) the chemical symbol for tin

11a   Jolly occasion  long overdue (4,4)
HIGH TIME:  A straightforward double definition.  Here’s a fine song punning on a third meaning of the answer

12a   Conservative in shire stupidly reveals wealth (6)
RICHES:  The single letter for Conservative inserted in an anagram (stupidly) of SHIRE

13a   These bowlers are tops! (8)
SPINNERS:  These crickety bowlers can also be toy tops

15a   Maradona good, Pelé better, George? (4)
BEST:  With Maradona and Pelé being accomplished footballers, the wordplay is leading us to the surname of George the quite good football player

17a   Cash-box is secure (4)
SAFE:  A double definition, the first a noun and the second an adjective

19a   Balloonist near auto that's crashed (8)
AERONAUT:  An anagram (… that’s crashed) of NEAR AUTO

20a   Fashionable company not so healthy (6)
INFIRM:  Join the usual short word for fashionable to company or business

21a   An officer before journey sees close friend (5,3)
ALTER EGO:  Concatenate A from the clue, a two-letter abbreviation for a military rank, a poetic word meaning before, and a verb synonym of journey

22a   Nonsensical poet returned to island republic (6)
ISRAEL:  Edward the nonsensical poet is reversed and comes after (… returned to … ) the two-letter abbreviation for island

23a   English, in cul-de-sac, subdued (8)
DEADENED:  Insert the single-letter for English in a (4, 3) expression for a road that’s a cul-de-sac

24a   Barker wants first-rate wine and beer (8)
AIREDALE:  Barker here means something that barks, i.e. a dog.  Find him by assembling two letters that can represent first rate, a generic wine named for its colour, and beer made without hops

25a   Not all of century -- ten I need back! (6)
NINETY:  A century less ten is found lurking reversed (not all of … back) in the remainder of the clue



2d    European spies held in China waste away (8)
EMACIATE:  The single letter for European is followed by some usual spies inserted in (held in) another word for china in its Cockney sense (the false capitalization is just misdirection)

3d    Leaves box and coaches close to street (3,5)
TEA CHEST:  Coaches or educates with the last letter of (close to…) street

4d    Native area suffered without one American soldier (9)
ABORIGINE:  Follow the single letter for area with suffered or tolerated containing (without) both the Roman one and the abbreviation for an American infantryman

5d    Confidentially, our inheritance may be so divided (7,3,3,2)
BETWEEN YOU AND ME:  The answer could describe how something might be divided among everybody involved in the clue

6d    Answers salesperson with false statements (7)
REPLIES:  A usual abbreviated salesperson with some false statements

7d    Port okay when stirred to cover duck meat (8)
YOKOHAMA:  An anagram (… when stirred) of OKAY contains (to cover) both the letter looking like a duck (zero) score in cricket and some cured pig meat

8d    Abandoned, see me entertaining singles (8)
LONESOME:  An interjection meaning see or behold and ME from the clue are containing (entertaining) another word for singles

14d   Radiator cracked on new Aussie truck (4,5)
ROAD TRAIN:  An anagram (cracked) of RADIATOR followed by (on, in a down clue) the abbreviation for new

15d   Black mineral placed outside a church (8)
BASILICA:  The pencil abbreviation for black and a mineral found on beaches sandwiching (placed outside) A from the clue

16d   AA refers drunken sailor (8)
SEAFARER:  An anagram (drunken) of AA REFERS

17d   Swimmer, tense, admitted by doctor (8)
STURGEON:  Here swimmer defines something that swims, in this case a fish.  Find him as the single letter abbreviation for tense inserted in (admitted by) a doctor who operates.  The Turkish Van cat is something else that swims …

18d   Tabloid workers featured in newspaper piece (8)
FRAGMENT:  A derogatory term for a tabloid newspaper and a synonym of workers are together inserted in (featured in) the abbreviation for the usual newspaper printed on pink paper

19d   Sky boss an idiot (7)
AIRHEAD:  Stick together synonyms of sky and of boss


Thanks to today’s setter for an enjoyable solve.  I ticked quite a few today: 5a, 21a, the &lit. 25a, 3d, 6d, 7d, and 8d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  JELLY + DEALS = JELLIED EELS

42 comments on “DT 29026

  1. 3d was my final entry and my favourite once completed. I agree with our blogger that this was an enjoyable and engaging puzzle to solve, with some very elegant clues.

    Many thanks to both Misters.

  2. I’m not one to jump on the “nebulous lady” bandwagon but 1a….really? That and the rather dated 9a apart I enjoyed this though. The main problem was parsing such as 4d and the aforementioned 9a.
    I’ve ticked 21 and 23a plus 5 and 18d for special mention.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K (lovely picture of the barker by the way)

      1. Fair point YS. I was commenting more on the the name itself which probably hasn’t seen the light of day in about 50 years, but not so nebulous I agree.. and a tiny niggle in the overall enjoyment.

    1. Well I spent far too long trying to make an anagram of ‘womans’ mean something to do with ‘breath’…

  3. 3*/2*. I found this a bit piecemeal and couldn’t get settled on the setter’s wavelength but there was nothing obscure and the answers all followed from concise wordplay. I think 1a is fine because the answer can be worked out from the clue.

    5d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr R and Mr K.

    P.S. If anyone fancies an enjoyable tussle, I can recommend today’s Toughie from Silvanus.

    1. I’m tussling with The Toughie from Silvanus and The Toughie that is my Fifteen month old grandson Ethan. Saint Sharon has got him off to sleep now so progress should be made

  4. First impressions are so often misleading – at first I thought this was going to be a killer but once underway I wondered what all the fuss had been about. 24a barker makes a repeat appearance. Failed to realise significance of China in 2d. Fav was 3d once I had fully sussed it. Thank you Incognito and MrK.

  5. So, yesterday was a Tuesday puzzle on a Monday and today we have a most enjoyable Monday puzzle on a Tuesday completed at a fast gallop – **/****.

    Solving was assisted by some oldies but goodies and one very recent repeat!

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 15a, and 5d – and the winner is 15a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    And, ditto to RD’s comment on today’s Silvanus Toughie.

  6. A1 red ale .. haven’t we seen that very recently? I liked the all in one 25a too. (Incidentally, I know such clues are referred to as ‘&lit’, but can anyone explain why?). Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle and entertaining blog. Might dig out the recommended toughie later if time allows.

    1. Because there is wordplay, but also the whole clue provides a definition, ie wordplay ‘and literally’ the definition.

  7. Managed to complete this with my cuppa in bed this morning so I think this must be on the easy side altho’ I am improving having found this great site. Favourite 3d. Absolutely loved the cat video. Thanks to all.

  8. Solved at silly am. Waiting for the drayman. I tried to make American soldier forum an anagram at 4d of native area minus the letter I but couldn’t so looked to the other end of the clue for a definition. I know that still made one letter too many but you can always fit two letters into one square. Thanks to the setter. I liked it. Thanks to Mr Kitty.

    1. So did I. Then tried to find a soldier from the anagram without an a.
      Also tried to find a sauce for duck from the first two words of 7d. Seems like I was well misdirected by the setter. NW corner last in.

  9. Started this in Churchill waiting for the start of an arts society lecture and just finished it over lunch. Piece of cake. Not being a football fan I thought 15a might have me but it suddenly came and made me smile. Thanks to all.

  10. This was very enjoyable, with a good variety pf clues, some rather familiar and somemore original. Difficulty was ** and enjoyment ****. Thanks to Mr K, I loved the swimming cat and the picture of the ‘barker ‘. Thanks also to the setter. 9a, 11a, 25a and 15d were my favourites.

      1. That’s what happens when I try to do too many things at once. Changed it by mistake. It’s back to plain old chriscross now! Sorry, if there’s an opposite to nerd, I am one.

  11. I rewarded myself with the time to solve this puzzle after finishing the not so pleasant job of oven cleaning. To quote Mr K, “what an entertaining and engaging puzzle” it was. A most satisfying solve with 13a, 22a, 3d,7d, 18d all as contenders for my COTD, but my ‘Oscar’ goes to 15a. A smashing puzzle – thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  12. Well I flew through this, as opposed to yesterday’s which I laboured through. I rather liked 9a which was my last in so I’m making it my cotd. I thoroughly enjoyed this, so many thanks to the setter and Mr K for hosting the blog.

  13. Found this a bit more difficult than the blog suggests at least for the top right corner. Don’t like bet as a choice in 5a, doesn’t really work for me.Did like 3d.
    Thx to all

  14. Really enjoyed this one after a few days where I’ve struggled. Lots to make me smile. Thanks all.

  15. Steady solve for me.
    15a COTD.
    +Brought back many memories of the middle 60s.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K.

  16. Completed ok this morning before a flying visit to Slimbridge .
    Favourite 3D . Surprised to see the same dog in the same place as yesterday .
    Enjoyable challenge in my opinion and will look at other opinions now .
    Thanks to everyone .

  17. ***/***. I enjoyed this puzzle. Last quadrant to yield was the NW once the penny dropped re 3d. This and 15d were my favourites. 24a made a very quick return. Thanks to all.

  18. Loved it! I even remembered George – well, who could forget such a flamboyant character, even if you know nothing about football.
    Lots to like here, I think fave is 9a, but liked 5d as well.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the usual fun pics, also for unravelling 7d.

  19. Maybe I’m not a crosswordy mood, but I found that quite hard and not that enjoyable. Thanks Mr K for the hints, I’d have thrown in the towel (well, ballpoint) without them!

  20. Lovely puzzle, really enjoyable. Thanks to setter and to Mr K for the interesting video about the vehicle (and the one about the swimming cat!)
    Favourite clue 25a.

  21. Late in today although completed the solve over breakfast this morning before enjoying a 9a day with a couple of ‘old’ friends.
    The intersecting 5a/7d were the last to fall here and my favourite was 5d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for another excellently illustrated blog. The voice of the young lady in the 11a clip reminds me of someone else but can’t quite remember who!

    PS The Silvanus Toughie is as smoothly constructed as ever, do give it a try.

  22. I thought this was fair to middling for enjoyment (not that I’d even attempt to set a crossword) and pretty straightforward.
    I wasn’t too sure about ‘bet’ = ‘choice’ but suppose it’s OK.
    Did manage the ‘crickety’ one without too much trouble which doesn’t happen very often – hurray for me! Oh, managed the ‘footbally’ one too.
    Nothing in particular stood out for me today – might be something to do with a 5.00 am get up.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. PS – It’s just occurred to me – I agree that there are couple of references to OZ in today’s crossword I don’t think our setter is an Aussie. Over there the term ‘aborigine’ is regarded as racist.

  23. For a Tuesday I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle. 15a or 5d, both contenders for COTD.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MrK for the review and interesting pics. I wonder what the feeling is like as you overtake a road train….. oo-er springs to mind!

  24. Trying again, comment went off to la la land. Favorites were 3d (wish we could get those here for moving), and 17d. Did the same as Miffypops at first with 4d. Thanks to setter and Mr K. An enjoyable challenge today.

  25. Enjoyable puzzle that all went together smoothly for us. Favourite was 15a.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  26. A good puzzle that needed a little picking out in the NW corner. Don’t ask how long it took me to spot that 1ac was an anagram, or to separate the definition from the wordplay at 11ac. Finish time about **ish, though I feared it might be more for a while.

  27. 3*/4*…
    liked 19D (Sky boss an idiot)-not true I am sure, but funny nevertheless.

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