DT 29035 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29035

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29035

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun is trying to break through the early morning cloud.

Today’s Giovanni took me a little longer than some of the puzzles I have blogged recently, but as always the wordplay enables the solver to get to the more obscure 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           Mobster, chap wrecking domestic vessels (11)
CHAMBERPOTS – Anagram (wrecking) of MOBSTER CHAP.

Image result for chamberpot

7a           Faint expression of petulance when idiot enters (4,3)
PASS OUT – A facial expression indicating petulance (I think the French call it a ‘moue’) wrapped around another word for idiot.

8a           Something that’s light and attractive in man fussy about clothes? (3,4)
FOG LAMP – This is something which is a light. Another word for a dandy or beau, wrapped around an informal term for ‘attractive ‘ or ‘dolled up’.

10a         Pirate and co looking funny, as in G&S? (8)
OPERATIC – Anagram (looking funny) of PIRATE and CO.

11a         Settle as female politician, about to be installed (6)
ENCAMP – Put together the first name of the late Mrs Sharples of Coronation Street and the usual crossword politician, then insert a Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’.

13a         Call to offer token of love (4)
RING – Double definition, the first being to call on the telephone.

14a         Foolishly, I err — second needed to think again (10)
RECONSIDER – Anagram (foolishly) of I ERR SECOND.

16a         Hoovers before bedtime maybe, making a fresh start? (5,5)
CLEAN SLATE – Split the answer (6,4) and you get a verb which is a general term for ‘Hoovers’ or ‘scrubs’, followed by an adverb relating to the time of day when bedtime is a likely option.

18a         Some vain, capricious old ruler (4)
INCA – Hidden in the clue.

21a         Prayer from head of show binding stars together (6)
ORISON – A prominent Northern Hemisphere constellation, also called the Hunter, wrapped around the first letter (head) of Show.

22a         Son making fun of fancy needlework (8)
SMOCKING – An abbreviation for Son followed by ‘making fun of’.

Image result for smocking

24a         Disorder that’s heard in street, attack knocking leader out (7)
STAMMER – To get this speech disorder, start with an abbreviation for STreet, then add a word for ‘attack’ (or the weapon which might be used) minus its first letter (knocking leader out).

25a         Less well off, never loses heart, having yearn to be included (7)
NEEDIER – Remove the middle letter (loses heart) from NE(v)ER (from the clue), then insert another word for ‘yearn’, more often seen in participle form, as in ‘I’m – – ing to meet you’.

26a         Surely no hero, husband leaving, going off in a wrongful manner (11)
ERRONEOUSLY – Anagram (going off) of SURELY NO (h)ERO without the H (husband leaving).


1d           Tank — it’s newly installed in European laboratory (7)
CISTERN – Anagram (newly) of IT’S, inserted into the acronym for a European nuclear research centre based in Switzerland.

2d           A type such as I being heard making affirmation (6)
AVOWAL – A (from the clue) followed by a homophone (being heard) of the type of letter represented by I (or A, E, O …)

3d           Beginning to be histrionic, one with small room, one who painted? (10)
BOTTICELLI – Put together the first letter (beginning) of Be, a three-letter acronym for ‘histrionic’ or ‘exaggerated’, the Roman numeral for one, a small room in a prison, and the Roman numeral for one again.

Image result for botticelli

4d           Bird annoyed, led astray (4)
RUFF – Remove the LED (led astray) from the end of a word for ‘annoyed’, and you get this male bird, whose mate is a reeve.

5d           Musician producing something alive almost, concert’s last piece (8)
ORGANIST – Remove the last letter (almost) from a generic word for a living creature, then add the last letter of concerT.

[arve url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGgHYC7E4L8″ align=”center” /]

6d           Like sailor going out from Kent, say, with prize (7)
SEAWARD – The compass bearing indicating the part of the UK where Kent is to be found, followed by a prize or grant.

7d           Mathematical devices for farm vehicles (11)
PROTRACTORS – Another word for ‘for’ followed by some farm vehicles.

Image result for protractor

9d           Decorator offering mediocre material stirred her wrath (11)
PAPERHANGER – Put together some mediocre or unstimulating material (on television, for example), an anagram (stirred) of HER, and another word for ‘wrath’.

[arve url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7thAdKUV1M” align=”center” /]

12d         Opening with word of prayer to glide — in cantor’s style? (10)
PORTAMENTO – Put together an opening in a ship’s side, the traditional final word of Christian prayers, and TO (from the clue), to get a musical term for a continuous glide from one tone to another.

15d         Trendy old person who may betray someone? (8)
INFORMER – Another word for ‘trendy’ or ‘popular’ followed by an adjective describing something old or past.

17d         English chum entertaining Irish in a state forbidding alcohol? (7)
EMIRATE – An abbreviation for English followed by another word for a chum wrapped around an abbreviation for IRish.

19d         The most important person, stupid, heartless, as one making a din (7)
NOISILY – A representation (2,1) of ‘the most important person’, as in ‘look after —— —‘, followed by another word for ‘stupid’ with its middle letter removed (heartless),

20d         Cheats — group of e.g. pirates aboard ship (6)
SCREWS – The usual crossword ship wrapped around the people on board her (who may or may not be pirates).

23d         Smile making 13 look stupid (4)
GRIN – Anagram (making … look stupid) of the answer to 13a.

The Quick Crossword pun MIRROR + CULL = MIRACLE

53 comments on “DT 29035

  1. I found The Don in a decidedly tricky mood this morning, with several clues requiring a good deal of thought to fully understand. 8a was my COTD with 21a my final entry. Great fun as always on a Friday.

    Thanks Giovanni for the challenge and DT.

  2. I found it difficult to get going on this puzzle, which was a miracle of Giovanni obfuscation and misdirection. It was a**/*** for me for difficulty and a *** for enjoyment. I liked 1a and 24a and 9d, but found some of the synonyms were overstretched. As DT so rightly remarks, you have to work at the wordplay with Giovanni. Thanks to them both.

  3. That was an exceptionally good puzzle from Giovanni, really superb clues throughout. My sole query would be to ask whether 1 across should have been clued as 7,4 rather than 11? I began ticking the clues which really stood out for me and I ended up with so many that I went into double figures. Just to mention a few, I have chosen 1, 3, 4, 6 & 9 from the down clues and 8, 16 & 24 from the across clues. 12 down is my pick of the day. Thanks Mr M – nice one. Thanks to DT also.

  4. Always good to be a fan of ‘words’ rare and unusual when solving a Giovanni crossword – finished in a good time for a Friday back pager. Thanks to G and DT

  5. When we looked at 2d we already had the first checking letter A and the O. We thought the definition might be ‘A type such as I’ and happily wrote in ADONIS thinking it was rather immodest of the setter and probably not very accurate. It was only when we needed the second A in the 10a answer that we looked at the clue again and changed our entry.
    A puzzle that was good fun to solve and even hours later we are still chuckling over 2d.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

    1. Love the first bit of your comment – it made me laugh which was lovely as I hadn’t laughed at any of the clues. Thank you. :smile:

  6. A nice puzzle for a showery day. Especially liked 1 across – I was about to go down to the
    kitchen to sort through the cookware………………

  7. Very enjoyable puzzle today but I did get stuck on 8a. This was because I had the wrong bird in 4d. One that could also be annoyed and led me astray!

  8. Took me a while to tune in on this one. All came together quite quickly in the end. Excellent from Giovanni, as usual. 4d was my last one in. New bird for me, but dictionary confirmed it was one. I cannot pick an outright winner from so many excellent clues.

  9. A difficult puzzle for me, but got there in the end with a bit of electronic help. 2d is very clever. Needed the blog to fully explain a couple as well. Thanks to The Don, and to DT for the entertaining blog.

  10. Slow to get going but soon picked up steam and really enjoyed today’s exercise. As usual DG’s clues are a perfect amalgamation of brain-teasing, humour, GK, new vocabulary and smooth surfaces. What more can an addicted cryptic cruciverbalist ask for? The Wurlitzer performance is spectacular – what agility. Lots of Fav candidates but can’t pick a number one although 16a, 2d and 23d probably headed the list. Many thanks Giovanni and DT.

  11. Apart from 11A , some excellent clues with 2D my COTD .
    Last in 12D which is a new word for me and needed my wife to confirm that 22A was OK .
    Thanks to everyone .

  12. Good workout from the Don today. You wont be surprised to discover that i had a deep dislike of 12d and 21a two religious terms that meant nothing to me.
    Thx to all

  13. Just 12d that I had to check on today – not bad going with a puzzle from the Don.
    Didn’t like 11a of course but some good clues to be found elsewhere.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog.

  14. A very enjoyable Friday challenge which was more difficult than yesterday’s puzzle (isn’t that the wrong way round?) completed at a fast canter – ***/****.

    With the checkers and assembly of the likely elements, a sensible looking answer for 12d was arrived at that the BRB confirmed was correct, definitely a new word for me.

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 9d, and 12d – and the winner is 16a.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  15. 3*/1*. It looks like I am alone in finding this an almost unrelenting slog, although my mood probably wasn’t helped by having the paper delivered 4 hours late this morning. 16a was good and 11a was my least favourite.

    I am glad others seem to have enjoyed it.

    1. I’m with you, RD. I completed less than a quarter of this at the first pass and after **** time I still only had three quarters completed. At that point I gave up.

      This surely should have been a Toughie. How on earth does EN become female? (Whether you watch soaps or otherwise). I was in a choir for 40+ years and have never heard of 12d. I didn’t know the bird at 4d, or the needlework at 22a.

      Admittedly, I didn’t help myself by having the second part of 16a as SWEEP – weep – tears “before bedtime”.

      I too, am glad others seem to have enjoyed it.

      1. I’m also a choir singer with 40+ years experience (and an occasional terrified soloist): you’d never use the 12d technique in ensemble singing, it would sound bizarre and uncontrolled (although some choirs sound that way anyway!). This page might interest you, especially the delicious Renée Fleming extract:

      2. I’m with you re “sweep”, as I had difficulty unraveling a lot of this puzzle, I bunged it in thinking I was missing something. I did manage to correct it when 3d fell.

    2. You’re not alone. I found this one a slog too. I got there in the end but not without a monumental struggle and far too much time taken up.
      Thanks to all

    3. Yes me too, but I always find Fridays a slog. I need to buy myself a dictionary of obscure religious words.
      Thanks to all concerned.

    4. I’m with you and all the rest of ’em who have replied – but I do just have to qualify it by saying that I wouldn’t know where to begin in setting a crossword and most people really enjoy Fridays. I don’t mind words I don’t know – surely that’s how we learn new ones – my complaint is that nothing ever makes me laugh.

  16. I got off to a cracking start and was having lots of fun before coming to a shuddering halt with some of the Downs in the bottom half. I think I ran out of brain, because with help from DT (thank you) they fell into place readily. Lots to smile about, particularly 16a, 22a, 7d.
    Today’s new word was 21a. Every day’s a school day, as they say!

  17. One of those I started and then had a break. On resumption, just about every remaining clue fell into place (eventually), backing up my theory that the brain keeps whirring away in the background even when not obviously active. Had to seek help for 12d (which was a new word for me). Particularly liked 2d (nicely subtle) and 16a.

    1. I’m a retired teacher and I’m sure your theory is correct. I always told my students to leave any exam questions, that they found difficult, and finish rhe straightforward questions first. From my observation, it seemed their brains went on working on the difficult questions, so that they could go back and answer them later!

    2. CS would call all that ‘cogitation time’ – ie the brain doing stuff when you’re not actually aware of it.

  18. I struggled a bit with this one having put in Ivan (the Terrible) as an anagram from vain and put in sweep for 16a which made 3D impossible. Once I had realised my error the others fell into place and I really enjoyed it. I liked 7a and didn’t like 2d it 11a. Thanks to G and DT for the entertaining blog, it is a bit early to say thanks to G& T.

  19. ***/****. A delightful puzzle if trickier than usual. The NE corner was last to yield and my bung in at 11a needed the hints to explain the answer. A few new words for me also (21&22a&12d) but all derivable from the wordplay. Thanks to DT for the hints and Giovanni for the fun.

  20. I gather, on reading the comments this morning, that I missed a kindly RayT yesterday. Rats, this means a brain twister next time.
    I found this decidedly tricky and needed DT’s hints for the whys.
    We used to call 1a “gezunders” or “chimmies”, don’t ask!
    I needed electronic help for 12d, a new word for me.
    Fave was 21a, but there were many to like, e.g., 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for explaining the “why” for some of my answers.

    1. Merusa, “gezunder” is because it “goes under” the bed. I believe that “chimmies” are what they are called in the West Indies.

      1. Dead right, RD. I’m not at all surprised that you are familiar with it, you are a fount of knowledge nonpareil. We had them at school, how I hated them.

        1. Thank you, Merusa, even though I’m not sure if I know what a fount of knowledge nonpareil is :wink:

            1. Definitely not! “Font of knowledge” is a common error. I was delighted to see that you were spot on first time!

  21. Took me a while to get going and then I found myself working from the bottom of the grid up. A couple of hiccups along the way but otherwise really not that difficult today.
    8a floated my boat.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review and the film.

  22. Sorry guys, for me lumpy cluing and obscure answers make for a dull pointless slog

  23. I found this very tricky,but didn’t start till late. Had never heard of 12d or 24a so needed help with these two. Liked 8a and 20d in particular. Thanks to all.

  24. Half of the grid fell in place well,,, then all stop.
    Took considerably longer for the second half but was very rewarding as it came together, learnt a couple of new words to boot!
    3*/3.5* for this toughie.
    Many thanks to Giovanni & Deep T for invaluable assistance.

  25. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found the rest of it very difficult. Had never heard of 21,22a&12d. Also needed the hints for 2&3d, and to parse 25a. No particular favourites. Was 4*/2* for me.

  26. I thought this was probably of average difficulty for a Friday – ie unknown (to me) words and a few that I took ages to untangle.
    11a and 9d fell into the ‘yes, but why’ category – got there in the end just before I gave in and looked at the hints.
    My favourite was 22a if only because it reminded me of doing it on dresses for my Lambs before they got to the age of only wearing jeans and track suits!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. I think all little girls had 22a dresses at some point as a rite of passage. I had an organza one that was my party dress and I loved it.

  27. Another top-notch puzzle from the reliable G. Good clues, a good challenge and really enjoyable to solve. I suppose you could call it a “bit of a slog”, but that’s fine by me – just how I like ’em. Overall, excellent! 3.5* / 4*

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