DT 29031 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29031

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29031

Hints and tips by Jemima Puddleduck

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BD Rating (by BD) – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good Morning from the beating heart of Downtown LI where the sun is already shining. We have a lovely puzzle today solved in a fug after a Saturday on the pop at the Heineken Cup Semi-Final and a Sunday on the pop because it was a nice day and I didn’t get an Easter Egg. The puzzle does include a wonderful breakfast and a favourite midday meal so that makes up for any shortfall in the egg production

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Food for those that have smoked — in bed? (7)
KIPPERS: This clue describes people asleep. It also describes small oily fish that taste delightful after being smoked and are often seen on the breakfast menus of swanky hotels. Those from L Robson and sons of Craster are lovely served with mashed potato and fresh peas. [Easy for me, as they are what I had for breakfast today! BD]

5a Rested and modelled afresh (7)
REPOSED: Split 2,5 we have a phrase that might describe a second modelling duty

9a Famous shanty Don’s performing for ages (1,5,2,7)
A MONTH OF SUNDAYS: An anagram (performing) of FAMOUS SHANTY DON’S.

10a Party hosted by floor gymnasts (4)
ORGY: The answer here is cleverly hidden within the words of the clue. It is lurking in there peeping out at you. Defying you to find it. How do we know this? Our setter has told us so with the words “hosted by”

11a Small child’s slides (5)
SKIDS: The abbreviation for small is followed by the plural of a word used to describe small children (and baby goats but that has nothing to do with the clue but it might point you towards the answer)

12a Even I can show you a mythical monster! (4)
YETI: A word synonymous with the word even is followed by the letter I from the clue. The result is the abominable snowman

15a Group discussing half … half of Lewis’s realm (7)
SEMINAR: A word meaning half is followed by the first three letters of a fictitious kingdom written about by C S Lewis, a contemporary of J R Tolkien. That two completely bonkers people should co-exist is beyond my understanding

16a Running away from pine log — that’s mad (7)
ELOPING: An anagram (that’s mad) of PINE LOG

17a Smelly chap who tells bad jokes? (7)
PUNGENT: The shortened term for a chivalrous, courteous, or honourable man (me to a T) follows a word meaning an excruciatingly bad joke based upon a play on words

19a Old safety clothing that could make me sweat (3,4)
MAE WEST: This life jacket is an anagram (could make) of ME SWEAT. I think the lady in question made quite a few chaps sweat

21a Cries seeing husband leaving Hooters (4)
OWLS: A word describing the cries of a creature like a wolf needs the abbreviation for husband removing to reveal these avian hooters

22a Gin, possibly part of a musician’s kit (5)
SNARE: A cruel trap which strangles those caught is also the name of the drum that begins the best single record ever recorded [this is Miffypop’s opinion – not mine! BD]

23a A case of pins and needles? (4)
ETUI: A straightforward single definition of a case of pins and needles. I don’t see anything cryptic about this clue whatsoever. What is it doing here?

26a Best wishes playing on an actor’s guilt (15)
CONGRATULATIONS: Anagram (playing on) of AN ACTORS GUILT. And no. You cannot have a bit of Cliff Richard

27a Former partner greeting small part in show (7)
EXHIBIT: Our usual term for an old flame is followed by a short greeting similar to hello. This is then followed by a word meaning a small piece of something

28a Health resorts — heaven for one renowned on board (7)
SPASSKY: A word for health resorts such as Baden Baden is followed by a word describing where most people think heaven is. The result is a Russian geezer who tilted his horsey things against Bobby Fischer’s castles


1d King standing over large Saxon juggling horns (7)
KLAXONS: The abbreviations for Kings and Large appear before a simple anagram (juggling) of SAXON

2d Punch: gallon served with mush in meal (10,5)
PLOUGHMANS LUNCH: Yet another anagram (mixed) of PUNCH GALLON and MUSH.

3d Consumes various types of flesh, but not the head (4)
EATS: The collective term for the edible flesh of various animals needs its initial letter (not the head) removing

4d Game that’s put in an awkward position (7)
SNOOKER: The name of a table game involving cues and coloured balls is also used to describe a tricky situation. I once won a pint of Guinness off Alex Higgins when playing him at this game. He beat me 97-6 though. The blue I potted was a thing of wonder.

5d The rest stay, embracing United (7)
RESIDUE: A verb meaning to occupy or inhabit surrounds (embraces) the abbreviation for United

6d Criticises cooking utensils (4)
PANS: A double definition the cooking utensils being ones used to warm things up

7d Get actors inside to revise guidance for players (5,10)
STAGE DIRECTIONS: More anagrams dagnabbit. The fodder is GET ACTORS INSIDE and the indicator is to revise

8d Cleaning occasionally, odours can start to grow (7)
DUSTING: A nice clever clue. Take every other letter of the word oDoUrS. Add another name for a can (of baked beans perhaps, or lobster bisque) then add the initial or start letter of the word grow

13d Bury somewhere between … (5)
INTER: A double definition both rather obvious to me. I hope they are to you too

14d … skeletons, perhaps: British individuals (5)
BONES: The abbreviation for British is followed by a word synonymous with individuals

17d Ring up and wait, we hear, for Potter’s equipment (4,3)
POOL CUE: A ring or circular band is reversed and followed by a homophone based upon the word queue. The potter here is one who hits coloured balls with a stick.

18d Small drink for a baby (4,3)
TINY TOT: Begin with an adjective meaning very small. Add a noun describing a small amount of a strong alcoholic drink such as whisky or brandy.

19d Mind game? (7)
MARBLES: Was this word in last week’s puzzle? I think it was. What you might have lost as you age is also a game played with glass alleys

20d Needing a tipple following the second mostly scruffy place (7)
THIRSTY: Begin with four fifths (mostly) of a word describing what comes after first and second. Add the scruffy place a pig lives in.

24d Good clean food (4)
GRUB: Start with the abbreviation for good. Add a verb describing the action of cleaning with a duster

25d Smoker that’s upping the stakes? (4)
ETNA: The stakes here are a bet placed well before the beginning of an event. Reverse it to find an active volcano in Sicily or possibly in China next to the river Po

The Quick Crossword pun: hoarse+trading=horse trading

44 comments on “DT 29031

  1. A very gentle introduction to the week. I had this challenge subdued in ** time, helped by a few long anagrams.

    15a was one of my stumbling blocks, I just couldn’t see the parsing of the second half.

    Many thanks to the setter and JP.

  2. 1*/2.5*. Light and reasonably pleasant – quite a contrast to today’s Rookie puzzle.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP.

  3. The NW corner was quite challenging at first but the answers fell into place after working my way clockwise round the puzzle. I’d give it **/*** for difficulty but**** for enjoyment. Maybe I am a bit depleted, having been ‘grandchildrenned’ all day yesterday. Favourite clues were 9a and 17a. Thanks for the hints and to the setter.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering as plenty of smiles along the way eg the two 17s and 25 D .Just right for Bank Holiday .
    Thanks to everyone

  5. Can’t disagree with what’s been said already. Completed swiftly whilst waiting for my fish pond to refill after cleaning the pump and filters earlier this morning.Thanks to setter and JPD.

  6. Enjoyed this. Wondering if the setter was hungry when he compiled it?
    My last one in was the pesky 12a where I was trying to get a monster out of the even letters in part of the wordplay.
    I thought 9,17 and 28 across, along with 25d were worthy of mention, with 25d COTD.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Jemima. I shall look forward to reading his review over a cool one later.

  7. Nothing beats a Craster 1a…just as the picture showed, with a poached egg on top. I would have spent Easter in that neck of the woods, but family decided we would all meet half way in Derbyshire. We had time to visit Ladybower Reservoir ( actually that might be South Yorkshire), of Dambusters fame. Wonderful weekend with fabulous weather. Back home now, and back to reality. Nice, gentle puzzle to start the week. Thank you setter and Jemima.Lots of ticks, so lots of likes. I got 19a from the anagram, then had to google it.

  8. 23a What is it doing here?

    Because it only ever appears in crosswords?

    Not many other options for ?T?I

    1. My 23a, which I made at school, resides in my sewing box and occasionally goes on holiday with me to facilitate running repairs. Very useful itvis too!

        1. No, it was a pair of tailored pyjamas, with fiendish darts on the top and a nasty ‘run and fell’ seam on the bottoms. My needlework teacher was inclined to poke you with the needle if you got it all wrong (which I often did)!

          1. At least no-one was going to see the pyjamas later – my Mum said that the fabric for the skirt (in school regulation colour) was so expensive that I had to get my wear out of it. It was part of my uniform for an entire year and looked awful!

            Needlework teacher didn’t poke me with a needle but I often wondered whether she’d joined forces with Mum over the wearing of the skirt.

  9. I do love a Craster 1a, probably even more than this gentle start to the week.
    Thanks to Jemima and setter.
    20d had me puzzled for a while I had an S for Second inside Thirty before the parsing dropped with a clang.
    Time for a 2d methinks.

  10. Very straightforward, enjoyable, and completed at a fast gallop – **/**.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 21a, and 23a – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI

  11. Pleasant enough start to Easter Monday but no outstanding contender for the position of favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and to MP for the blog.

  12. ‘Tis I, X-Type once more…I’ve been allowed another outing by our Editor.
    I hope the “long” anagrams raised a smile or two – I enjoyed making them. And 17A made ME smile, as I wrote it.
    Thanks for all your comments…

    1. We obviously haven’t seen enough from you yet for our resident ‘setter spotters’ to have picked up on your ownership of this one!
      Thank you for popping in – it means a lot to all of us when a setter takes the time to get in touch.

    2. Great puzzle X Type. Thanks for the entertainment, lots of smiles too. Look forward to the next one.

    3. I completed this early morning before going to pick up some visiting friends from the station. Straightforward, fun and entertaining. I specially liked some of the anagrams as you highlighted.

      Thanks to you and to MP for his usual high-quality blog.

  13. Thanks for today’s crossword X-Type; great fun it was too. Once the four longuns were in it was game over really. Lots to like, no real favourites and perfect for a Bank Holiday.
    Also thanks to Jemima of LI for the review.

  14. 9A answer is 15 letters in total but famous shanty Don’s is 16 letters to anagram? One S too many!

    1. You need to look at the clue as ‘famous shanty Don is performing for ages’. That apostrophe has all manner of uses for a setter!

        1. When doing the hints it’s SO easy to make a little mistake – sometimes when I’m doing them they’re nothing like as small as this one – it was really neither here nor there.

    2. I put two times the letter S in the last square. It doesn’t go well with the dussting though

  15. I loved this, really good fun. Late getting here as had a visitor, just checking up on me.
    My fave was 17a, very giggle worthy, but lots more to like as well, 9a in particular.
    Thanks to X-Type and to Jemima for such an entertaining start to the week.

  16. Great brainteaser for a Bank Holiday relaxing in the sunshine. SW was last quarter to be completed. Can’t allocate podium places between 1a, 28a and 17d. I also liked 19d but suspect it’s a chestnut. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  17. Got off to a good start and then stalled. A look at some of the picture clues got me back on track, and a race to the end. Thanks to setter and Miffypops. 17a was quite funny.

  18. I managed to insert most of the down clues on first pass which really did give me a heads start.
    Finished in 1.5* time & 2.5* for enjoyment,,, thought the long anagrams were very good!
    Many thanks to setter & said fair duck😮

  19. I enjoyed this – not too difficult for a very worn out person and with a few slightly familiar clues/answers – not a complaint, just a comment.
    Quite a few anagrams – again, not a complaint – I’m the queen of anagrams – love them – they’re my only way into a crossword sometimes.
    I thought the four long anagrams were all very good ones although I confess that the 9a one took me 9a to get it.
    My first thought with the 15a ‘Lewis’ was, needless to say, Morse’s side kick which got me nowhere very fast – dim!
    Right – enough blathering – need supper, need wine, need some sleep – in no particular order . . .
    I enjoyed the four long anagrams and several others too so thanks to X-Type and to JPD aka the much loved and appreciated MP.

  20. Thank you X-Type and Miffypops. This was at a nice level for me (the grid, with lots of crossing first letters, certainly helps).

    15a was my favourite.

    The only two I didn’t manage to solve at all were the double definition in 13d, and 23a’s pins and needles case, a word I don’t think I’d heard before.

    I first had 25d exactly backwards: stakes going down, formed from the smoker going up. What in the clue indicates which is the straight definition and which is doing the upping?

    17a (as 2 words) is the title of a tour by Stewart Francis, the Canadian stand-up comedian.

    Encountering the ‘X’ and ‘K’ early on, I can now tick off “remembering to look for a pangram” as an achievement I’ve never managed before. Obviously that’d’ve been more useful if this actually were a pangram, but I’m still happy I thought of it …

    1. What a lovely post. Thank you. The grid and its first letter checkers certainly helps. As for the Etna clue and which way round clues like this go. Look for a definition which usually comes at the beginning or end of a clue. In this case SMOKER. Not very obvious at all and unfortunately not underlined by me today. I blame Saint Sharon for that because she was the only female present when the hints were written. Now look at the wordplay. That’s upping the stakes. The stakes are the ante. Upping suggests we reverse them. I used to struggle to know which way round these types of clues went.

  21. Am I the only one who didn’t know the chess player? Needed the hint (thank you MP). I had the components but the result looked unlikely. With those checkers I would have been more likely to get one half of a US crime solving duo. Once I had that I got my LOI 25d which with 17a became favourite. I knew 19a which I thought might be unfamiliar to some. Two of the hints were happy reminders of two favourite destinations – Baden Baden where I shall be going shortly and Craster and Robson’s kippers. Not had any of those here but delicious fish platter in the Working Boat bar in Falmouth. Excellent x-word x-type.

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