DT 29034 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29034

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29034

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I’m sure that this is a Ray T crossword. It’s probably somewhere in the middle of his range of difficulty – I’ve known him to be trickier but equally we’ve had some much more straightforward ones from him recently.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Cleaner male helps holding decoration for cleaners (12)
CHAMBERMAIDS — There are several bits to this one – we need to start with a cleaner – someone who earns their living by cleaning other people’s houses – then a one letter abbreviation for M[ale] and that’s followed by a short synonym for helps or assists. Just to complicate things still further a decoration or medal is contained in (holding) the first cleaner. I always say that it’s good for the morale when a nice easy one goes in right the way across the top – no such luck today!

8a        Concerned with time machine forgetting one decelerates (7)
RETARDS — One  of the many little abbreviations for concerned with, or about, is followed by the time machine in Dr Who without the ‘I’ (forgetting one)

9a        Attack in anger following boozer (7)
BARRAGE — The boozer is a place where people can go to sit and chat and have a drink rather than someone who boozes – there are lots of possibilities here and you need a three letter one that isn’t a pub or an inn – it’s followed by a synonym for anger or fury

11a       A fall, around a gallon going over falls (7)
NIAGARA — The ‘A’ from the beginning of the clue, a fall, as in the wet stuff that comes out of clouds, another ‘A’, also from the clue and finally, in the middle of that lot (around) the one letter abbreviation for G[allon] and then reverse the whole thing (going over)

12a       Some of multitude are strangely most excessive (7)
DEAREST — Excessive as in expensive – our first lurker or hidden answer – it’s hiding in the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue and this is indicated by the first two words

13a       Verses from American writer with manuscript (5)
POEMS — A 19thcentury American writer of some rather odd stuff is followed by the two letter abbreviation for manuscript

14a       I press end energetically for its contents? (9)
DISPENSER — An anagram (energetically) of I PRESS END

16a       Restaurant is about carnival atmosphere returning (9)
CAFETERIA — A two letter latin abbreviation meaning about, a carnival or celebration and then a reversal (returning) of a short synonym for atmosphere or mood

19a       Dog collar on rector gets itchy initially (5)
CORGI — A Ray T special – the first letters (initially) of the middle five words of the clue

21a       Forge mug gripping container (7)
FURNACE — A mug, not the kind that you drink out of but a slang or informal word for features, goes around (gripping) a three letter container – there are quite a few of them so it’s just a question of finding the right one.

23a       Sergeant-major’s order said to create conflict (7)
TENSION — A homophone (said) of what a sergeant-major would shout to prepare his men to get ready to execute a command

24a       Tired head of Church prevaricated about Church (7)
CLICHED — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for C[hurch] and follow that with another word for prevaricated or was a bit economical with the truth – this contains (about) one of the many two letter abbreviations for Church

25a       Most intimate undies finally put in wardrobe (7)
CLOSEST — A wardrobe or cupboard contains (put in) the last letter (finally) of [undie]S

26a       Glowing with wearing unusually nice perfume (12)
INCANDESCENT — A synonym for with or also goes inside (wearing) an anagram (unusually) of NICE and then finish the whole thing off with another word for perfume



1d        Enclosure surrounds extravagant country residence (7)
COTTAGE — An enclosure or pen contains (surrounds) the three letter abbreviation that means extravagant or too much

2d        One can see one’s behind in these! (7)
ARREARS — If you are late in making a payment for something you could be said to be ‘in *******’. I just knew I was going to have trouble doing a hint for this one. Was I the only one who started off with ‘mirrors’?

3d        Spectator beside street also overlooks Queen (9)
BYSTANDER — Start off with a little word that means beside or next to, follow that with the abbreviation for street, then another little word meaning also or with and finish it off with the two letters for our Queen

4d        Mad charge round beginning of Balaclava (5)
RABID — A charge or sudden attack contains (round) the first letter (beginning) of B[alaclava]

5d        American Native Americans covering a grand expanse (7)
ACREAGE — The one letter for A[merican] is followed by some members of a Native American tribe – they contain (covering) the A from the clue and an abbreviation for G[rand]

6d        Present turned up, first of skimpy pants (7)
DRAWERS — A reversal (turned up) of another word for present or prize and then the first letter (first) of S[kimpy]

7d        Span Arctic if at sea spanning an ocean (12)
TRANSPACIFIC — An anagram (at sea) of SPAN ARCTIC IF

10d      Grasping former partner, wrong to tear into (12)
EXTORTIONATE — The usual two letters used to mean a former partner is followed by an anagram (wrong ) of TO TEAR INTO

15d      Second role play cut American in ‘Gladiator‘ (9)
 SPARTACUS — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for S[econd] and follow that with another word for ‘role’, then a synonym for play or perform without its final letter (cut) and finish off with one of the two letter abbreviations for American

17d      Peculiar France first off overthrew monarchy (7)
FOREIGN — The abbreviation for F[rance] is followed by the first letter (first off) of O[verthrew] and then a synonym for monarchy or sovereignty

18d      Orchestra cheated pinching inspirational passage? (7)
TRACHEA — Today’s second hidden answer indicated by pinching

19d      Criminal ready for pardon (7)
CONDONE — One of the usual crosswordland criminals is followed by another word for ready or cooked

20d      Clothing is torn catching end (7)
RAIMENT — A synonym for torn or ripped contains (catching) another word for end or object

22d      Repaired without Mike getting wound up (5)
ENDED — ‘Mike’ here is what it represents in the phonetic alphabet – a six letter word meaning repaired or fixed without its first letter

I particularly liked 25a and 2d. My favourite was either 19 or 26a.


48 comments on “DT 29034

  1. Cracking crossword with lots of goodies so no one COTD .

    Last in 24A which caused me acute embarrassment !

    Thanks Kath & Mr T .

    1. Interesting, 24a is my last one left but I am determined not to peek at the hint just yet. I am puzzled by your word ’embarrassment’!?

  2. I was surprised when I’d finished to discover that my time indicated that this was a very friendly Ray T inside back pager – I did enjoy myself – I particularly liked the ‘putting togeher’ of 1a.

    Thanks to him and Kath

  3. 3*/4.5*. Top drawer stuff from Ray T. I agree with KFB about lots of goodies but I did have a clear favourite in 19a.

    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath.

  4. A very good challenge with some clever clues including 18d which stumped me for a while. I was determined to make an anagram of ‘cheated’…. D’oh!
    Anyway, that’s my favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for her excellent review.

  5. The best crossword for some time, I thought. And with energetically pressed ends, intimate undies, behinds, skimpy pants and ends in torn clothing, who else could it be? Thanks to all.

  6. I found this very enjoyable Ray T puzzle about middling for difficulty. Some terrific clues, none better in my opinion than 2d, although the excellent lurker at 18d ran it close.

    Many thanks to RT for the challenge and to Kath for a fine review.

    1. On reflection I wish I’d had 18d as a “joint favourite” not only for how well it was concealed but for the surprising passage it revealed. So clever.

  7. Lots to enjoy in this extremely gentle Thursday offering from RayT. Like KFB 24a was also my last in, but mainly because something had to be last. No real standout clues, but 6 & 7 down and 11 across were possibly my favourites. Thanks to RayT, a most entertaining solve and thanks to Kath for her efforts today. :-)

  8. Great crossword, only held up by 2d, like Kath I put Mirrors in!
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  9. This one made its way onto my stinker pile, although after a titanic struggle and going through Kaths excellent tips it finally gave way. Of course there were the usual “Doh” moments for m anyway. My favourite was 21a, last one in 5d, after going through all native american tribes.
    Thanks again to Kath and to RayT for making my brain ache.

    1. I know how you feel, I was the same for a long time but my mentor CS told me many times to persevere and I am so glad I did. His puzzles will never be easy but they do begin to make sense after a while.

        1. PS – In my opinion, for what it’s worth, it takes a really brave person to not just have a change of mind but to admit to it too.

      1. Agreed and a ‘well done you’ slap on the back from me as well :-) Welcome to the RayT appreciation society.

  10. It was a very enjoyable moderate puzzle from Ray T with some lovely wily clues. I particularly enjoyed 1a, where I nearly condemned myself to a long struggle by filling in a plausible alternative answer. I realised it didn’t fit with 3d just in time. The lurker was good too. Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  11. First class puzzle with podium places awarded to almost every single clue. If pushed, I’d give the gold to 2d and the ‘groan award’ to the Quickie pun.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the blog. So glad that it wasn’t me who had to explain 1a!

  12. I thought this was so typically Ray T it was almost a caricature! Top notch stuff though, very cleverly and concisely constructed clues.
    My favourite was 2d (yes Kath I too initially had mirrors pencilled in)
    Many thanks to the Thursday master and to Kath for her equally top notch review.

    Quickie pun a bit of a stretch but very amusing.

  13. Kath, I had “mirrors” for 2d – until I got 1a and realised it couldn’t be that. It made perfect sense up till then!

    Thanks for the explanation of the Quickie pun – couldn’t make any sense out of that no matter how I said it.

  14. I agree with Kath, definitely in the middle of Mr T’s difficulty range completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Fortunately, for 2d, I had 11a, my FOI, which showed that mirrors was not going to fit.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 19a, 26a, and 19d – and the winner is 1a.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  15. Super crossword puzzle. Only needed 2 clues explained which was 24a (couldn’t see the prevaricated bit) and 15d (missed the bit about the shortened play).
    Loved 8a and 18d.
    Even Mrs B seems to getting to like Ray T puzzles although her initial reaction is always “Oh dear, it’s a Ray T”. :-)
    Thx to all

  16. A superb Ray T puzzle – at the gentler end of his spectrum. Many to like including 8a, 23a, 24a,25a,2d, 17d with top spot being taken by 6d.

  17. I have to agree with Kath and Stephe L. I too had mirrors at first but other than that and misspelling the SM’s order it tripped off the keypad quite easily. I spotted Her Maj and her fave pet. Good fun all round. Thanks To Kath and Mr T.

  18. A definite Ray T cracker! Made all the more so as I finished it in 2* time, but an assured 4.5* for enjoyment & entertainment.
    Favs were the long clues , all excellent.
    Many thanks to Ray T & Kath for the review

  19. Great Puzzle Thanks to RayT for compiling it.
    Great Blog. Thanks To Kath for compiling it
    Great picture of the nurse at 1ac. Hospital beds have come on a long way. it is very well made though. The nurse did very well
    The quickie pun eluded me.
    How do you know the names of the setters?
    What is the BRB?

    I am off to Jersey to watch Jersey Reds v Coventry on Saturday and eat some seafood. I have allowed Saint Sharon to accompany me seeing as she paid for the trip. Play nicely over the weekend.

  20. Superb misleading clues as always from this setter. My only grump is the word energetically as an anagram indicator. 1a today’ s favourite. Thanks Ray T and Kath

  21. Apart from a pause at 17d, which was my last in, no insurmountable difficulties today.

    Favourite clue, 2d.

    Many thanks to RayT, and to Kath.

  22. ***/****. Another very enjoyable puzzle. I needed some help today having bunged in mirrors at 2d 😯 and it took a long time to unravel this. I also missed the lurker in 18d. The usual innuendo made me smile. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  23. My first one in was 2d – MIRRORS

    My last one in was 2d – ARREARS

    Thanks to Kath for the blog!

  24. This was a superb crossword , and 14a was a superb clue,

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath,

  25. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, as usual a lot to make me smile. Last in was 9a. Needed the hints to parse 1a, well done Kath, took me a while even with your explanation. I had 6d wrong, diapers. Repaid backwards and s. Was wondering why repaid=present! Favourite was 5d. Was 2*/4* for me.

    1. Me too with 6d. Remember (belatedly) there was an almost identical clue for drawers & I got it wrong then too! Consistency is my strongpoint.
      Excellent puzzle with 18d best in a strong field.
      Thanks to Mr T and Kath for the review.

  26. I am absolutely thrilled to bits that I managed this without the usual “RayT” struggle. It has put me in a good mood. 15d was my favourite, closely followed by 1a. I even liked the quickie pun but it’s made me hungry and now I want a curry for supper tonight. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for the excellent review.

  27. I did enjoy that. Southwest corner held out the longest. Needed help with parsing 8a as not up on Dr. Who. I was yet another to go for mirrors in 2d but liked the correct solution when it dawned on me. I’m with Patsyann in having reservation about “energetically” in 14a. Fav was 23a. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  28. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. As always, much appreciated.


    1. Hi Mr T – think you can tell from the comments that this one was very well received. Thank you so much for another great puzzle.

  29. Lots of chuckles and sniggers for us here with our favourite one being 2d.
    An absolute delight to solve.
    Checked the clue word count of course.
    Thanks RayT and Kath

  30. Super crossword, just right for a Thursday. I’m sure these are a wavelength thing, once I was on it I was on it! Hence not as late as usual. Too many favourites to mention. Many thanks to Ray T and Kath for hosting the blog. Hopefully I’m not the last to comment today.

    1. Everything to do with crosswords is a wavelength thing, I think, and no, you’re not the last to comment today.

  31. Thanks to Ray T for another terrific crossword and thanks to everyone for commenting.
    That’s it from me tonight apart from replying to a couple of you who had doubts as to ‘energetically’ being used as an anagram indicator – I think it’s fine – if you’re energetic you can jump up and down and that’s certainly more than I could do now!
    Night night all and sleep well. :yawn:

  32. Ultra late start tonight but very fast finish except for 5d. I also tried all the native American tribes but then wanting to complete without assistance, attempted to include ‘tribe’ & made a word ‘atriabe’ which sounded very nice but is obviously not in my BRB! So had to look at hint in the end.
    Great fun, really enjoyable, thanks to all.

  33. Excellent from Ray T; great clues, a good challenge and a very enjoyable solve. I would have finished earlier if I hadn’t prematurely bunged in TRATTORIA for 16a just because it fitted the fifth, seventh and ninth checkers already in my grid. Too many really good clues to pick a favourite. 3.5* / 4.5*

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