DT 29038 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29038

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29038

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome.  Our current run of excellent Tuesday puzzles continues today with another fine crossword.  I can't think of much to say about it beyond labelling it solid puzzling fun.  In the hints below most indicators are italicized and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer would be here 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    Revolutionary eating vegetables? On the contrary: fruit (7)
PEACHES:  On the contrary is telling us that the answer is found as some vegetables (small round green ones) containing (eating) the usual South American revolutionary

5a    Opposes  articles (7)
OBJECTS:  A double definition.  The articles are things or items

9a    Tense and odd president, primarily? (5)
TRUMP:  Join together the single letter abbreviation for (grammatical) tense, odd or strange, and the first letter (… primarily) of President.  The setter probably intended this to be an all-in-one clue, but that interpretation doesn't work for me because tense and odd are not the primary characteristics of the answer

10a   Loose corset around a large American -- it moves up and down (9)
ESCALATOR:  An anagram (loose) of CORSET containing (around) the fusion of A from the clue, the clothing abbreviation for large, and the single letter for American

11a   Put one's finger on one hole if that is ultimately required (10)
IDENTIFIED:  Concatenate the Roman one, a hole or depression, IF from the clue, the Latin abbreviation for "that is", and the last letter of (ultimately) requireD

12a   Favourable feminine expression (4)
FAIR:  The single letter for feminine with expression or demeanour.  I'm experimenting with making videos load blurred so that the title isn't a spoiler.  It would be helpful to know whether you see this one blurred until it's clicked and what browser you're using.

14a   Still shelves weren't fixed after wife leaves (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  An anagram (fixed) of SHELVES [w]EREN'T without the genealogical abbreviation for wife (after wife leaves)

18a   Notice I intended to conceal Charlie's weight (12)
SIGNIFICANCE:  Glue together a notice or placard, I from the clue, and a man intended for marriage containing (to conceal) the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet

21a   Decrease  strength (4)
IRON:  A double definition.  Read "decrease" cryptically as "to remove creases"

22a   Northern country's left with disputed territory (2-4-4)
NO-MAN'S-LAND:  Cement together the single letter for northern, an Arab country with the 'S from the clue, the abbreviation for left, and a synonym of with.  We can usually ignore punctuation in clues, but here it's satisfying that the apostrophe in the fodder slots neatly into the answer

25a   Troublemaker is after an impish time (9)
ANARCHIST:  Assemble AN from the clue, impish or cunning, IS from the clue, and the physics symbol for time

26a   Fish by a lake -- perfect! (5)
IDEAL:  Amalgamate a fish related to the chub, A from the clue, and the map abbreviation for lake

27a   Hospital department regulars from here all getting transport (7)
ENTHRAL:  A usual three-letter abbreviation for a hospital department is followed by the odd letters of (regulars from …) HERE ALL

28a   Number husband redeveloped, under 500 (7)
HUNDRED:  Stick together the genealogical abbreviation for husband, an anagram (redeveloped) of UNDER, and the Roman numeral for 500



1d    Rotten place to travel lacking energy (6)
PUTRID:  Place or set is followed by a verb meaning to travel (by horse or bike or train) minus the physics symbol for energy (lacking energy)

2d    Victoria reputedly wasn't such a person with creative influence on Germany (6)
AMUSED:  A charade of A from the clue, a person inspiring an artist, and the IVR code for Germany

3d    Guess who's his type, unfortunately -- not women (10)
HYPOTHESIS:  An anagram (unfortunately) of [w]HO'S HIS TYPE minus the abbreviation for women (not women)

4d    Bundle of papers -- a folio with novel on top (5)
SHEAF:  A from the clue and the single-letter abbreviation for folio are preceded by a novel written by H. Rider Haggard (with novel on top)

5d    24 other changes for musical group (9)
ORCHESTRA:  An anagram (… changes) of OTHER and the answer to 24d

6d    Speck on outside of large jar (4)
JOLT:  A speck or bit containing (on outside of) the clothing abbreviation for large

7d    Houses beginning to cost too much? Wise man moving south (8)
COTTAGES:  Fuse together the first letter of (beginning to) Cost, an informal abbreviation meaning "too much", and a wise man with his single letter for south moved down to the bottom (moving south)

8d    On leaving jail, seized by certain shock (8)
SURPRISE:  A synonym of jail minus ON from the clue (on leaving) is contained by (seized by) certain or definite

13d   Striking supersonic travelling (10)
PERCUSSION:  A classic anagram (… travelling) of SUPERSONIC

15d   Change nothing and retreat, upsetting leader (9)
EDITORIAL:  Couple together change a piece of text, the letter that looks like zero or nothing, and the reversal (upsetting, in a down clue) of a retreat or den

16d   I'm cutting car's approximate price (8)
ESTIMATE:  I'M from the clue inserted in (cutting) a type of car designed to carry a lot of stuff

17d   In the dark, I travel around noon then deliver a tirade (8)
IGNORANT:  Chain together I from the clue, a synonym of travel containing (around) the single letter for noon, and a verb meaning "deliver a tirade"

19d   Calling the Queen after consideration (6)
CAREER:  The Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth comes after consideration or caution

20d   Rowed gently out of Portugal, confused (6)
ADDLED:  A verb meaning rowed gently has the IVR code for Portugal deleted (out of Portugal)

23d   A tingling sensation -- the start of hives? (5)
AITCH:  Follow A from the clue with a tingling sensation

24d   Mark someone's card somewhat (4)
SCAR:  The answer is hiding as part of (… somewhat) the remainder of the clue


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I particularly enjoyed the simple 12a, the apostrophe in 22a, how the answer emerged from following the instructions in 27a, the invitation to bung in an incorrect answer in 3d, and the clever definition in 23d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  PLANES + AILING = PLAIN SAILING (or possibly PLANE SAILING)

57 comments on “DT 29038

    1. A fairly gentle but enjoyable puzzle, I’m glad Mr K commented on the ‘all in one’ aspect of 9a as I wasn’t sure either (though I couldn’t have explained why as succinctly as he did). The puzzle in the Guardian by Paul today puts up more of a fight. Thanks to all.

  1. I’d agree with a *** rating today, a solid solve indeed. The NE was last to fall, with 7&8d and 12a.

    I see a blurred image using Safari on a Mac.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. Thanks Mr.K, very enjoyable and much more straightforward than yesterday.
    23d was the LOI, I pondered for too long until the penny dropped.
    The Toughie is worth a go today for any who are cruciverbally challenged like me.
    Thanks Mr.Ron too

    1. Thanks for recommending today’s Toughie which was fun and fairly straightforward to complete.

  3. Many thanks to setter and Mr K, excellent illustrations as always! Video blurred until clicked. Safari 11.

  4. 2*/3*. A straightforward pleasant puzzle. today.

    Video title not blurred using IE11.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  5. From my perspective, this puzzle could be swapped with Today’s Toughie and the result would be quite acceptable. Lots of head scratching, especially in the NW – 3.5*/2.5*.

    Favourite – 23d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    12a video blurred with MS Edge.

  6. Oh no, earlier comment vaporised. As I was saying, I sailed through the South but then faced a bit of resistance in the North however overall it was a very pleasant challenge. Lots of goody clues including 18a, 21a, 22a and 18d plus a good laugh at 23d. Haven’t come across 26a fish before. Many thanks Mysteron and MrK. (Yes, 12a picture definitely blurred).

  7. I enjoyed this a lot. My only quibble is, however I read 9a it doesn’t quite work. Far be it for me to tell grannie how to suck eggs but would have been better clued as something like “tense person primarily collars odd president”
    Anyway lots to enjoy, I’ve marked 18 and 22a plus 3d for its excellent surface for special mention.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for his usual crystal clear and imaginatively illustrated review

  8. Needed to give full concentration to some of this one but definitely enjoyed it apart from, as Stephen said, 9a which didn’t seem to work very well.

    18&22a took podium places with 23d in gold medal position.

    Nothing blurred using Internet Explorer but only the singer’s name shows until clicking to start the video, whereupon the song title is displayed at the bottom of the clip.

    Thanks to our setter for the work-out and to Mr K for another first-class blog.

    PS I keep getting messages from Microsoft telling me that they are withdrawing support for Windows 7 next January. I’m not a happy bunny…………….

      1. Apparently there are quite a few of us. When my computer finally ‘died’ a few years ago, I paid an engineer to change the new one over from Windows 8 to Windows 7. He told me that most of his income came from people wanting exactly the same ‘fix’ – such a shame that Microsoft don’t listen to their customers!

        1. If you like Windows 7, you should like 10. You can update for free and legally, if you know how.

    1. Hi Jane, it does not mean that Windows 7 won’t work, just that there will be no more updates, new apps don’t have to guarantee that they run under Windows 7 and there will be no more Microsoft support which there probably wasn’t anyway!!

      1. Hello All, I’m so pathetic I had Windows XP put back on my main PC. This is years ago when I was secretary of local NADFAS now The Art Society which was a hell of a lot of work and I needed a system I knew back to front. I thought you had to pay for Windows 10? Is it any good?

        1. I support several businesses that still use XP and it mostly works fine. Everybody loved XP.

          Win10 is a lot better than Win8 but it seems to be designed for tablets etc, and has many daft ‘features’ that pester you unless you spend a day turning them all off. Overall though, once everything is set up and you get used to it, yes, it’s quite good.

          The mail program is a nightmare with multiple accounts (webmail is probably a better option) and you have to root around a bit to customise the desktop to make it familiar (control panel, network, my computer etc), and as for those b****y annoying ’tiles’…

          I’m still using Vista which Micro$oft abandoned ages ago and it all still works fine. BTW Mr K – not blurred in Chrome but it’s no problem.

          1. Hmm. I know that Internet Explorer doesn’t support the feature that I used to blur the video, but Chrome should. Are you using a fairly recent version?

            1. You’re right MrK. I have blur with Chrome on my Ipad and with Google on my Iphone but not with Internet Explorer on my laptop. 😏.

            2. Version 49.0.2623.112

              ‘This computer will no longer receive Google Chrome updates because Windows XP and Windows Vista are no longer supported.’


              The ridiculous differences in browser rendering used to drive me up the wall, particularly css.

  9. A really enjoyable (****) puzzle with so many well-constructed clues that I cannot pick a favourite. It also had hardly any references to the time before the year 2000, which will please some younger cruciverbalists. It was not easy, particularly in the NW, and deservesMr K’S *** for difficulty. Thanks for the hi ts and the picture of poor, bewildered Ralph, the cat. Many thanks to the setter, a thoroughly satifying solve.

  10. Really enjoyed today’s challenge with 23D my favourite .

    Image blurred then ok on iPad/safari .

    Thanks To Setter &Mr K, lovely cats yet again .

  11. Enjoyed today’s puzzle – no real standout favourites.
    My only quibble is with 13d as I’m having trouble parsing the answer to mean Striking.
    Definition to me is “the act, an instance, or an effect of percussing/striking”
    Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ron.

    Re blurry picture. On my Surface Pro 3 using Windows 10 it is fine in
    Mozilla Firefox 66.0.3, Chrome 74.0.3729.108, Opera 58.0.3135.132 and MS Edge 44.17763.1.0. Takes forever to load in Edge.
    Shows in Clear on IE11 and again takes ages to load.
    (PS I’m a “nerd” as I have loads of browsers on my PC to make sure my own website looks ok in every one of them)

  12. Excellent puzzle. I started quickly and then slowed up for the last couple13d and 15d for reasons that escape me now. Not sure about 13d like some of you others. I’ll give 15d top spot today.

  13. Really struggled with this one, took ages to complete.
    Getting towards the limit of my ability.
    Thx for the hints

  14. I agree with the rating….a bit of a slog and a bit clever.
    Enjoyed the cartoons.

    I get blurring of the clip with Safari on iPad.

  15. Great puzzle today so thanks. Last one in 1d. I thought the IVR for Portugal was PR, I think P is Poland but I must be wrong. Lots of favourites today. I enjoyed 9a.

    1. Heaven forbid that the BRB might be wrong, but it has P for Portugal and PL for Poland.

      1. When I googled it again, the site showed all the countries having 2 letters which I hadn’t realised so thanks Senf.By the way where is this BRB that people talk about?

        1. BRB = Big Red Book, our informal name for Chambers Dictionary (because in book form it is big and red). It’s available at low cost as an app for Android and for iOS.

          Regarding IVR codes, there’s a complete list, and much, much more, in BD’s Mine (of useful information) that’s hyperlinked in the hint.

  16. Solid solve for a good puzzle. 15d last one in, took some time before spotted leader as the key. Liked 9a ( the clue that is) and 23d.

  17. I found this a bit of a slog today. I seem to be in a minority so I shall just thank our setter and Mr K for a fine blog. Loved the video at 8d.

  18. Completed. Ok, but too many entries made without really being able to solve the clues correctly.

  19. ***/***. A well constructed puzzle which was challenging in parts. My favourites were 21a (I always fall for the misdirection until something pops into the back of my mind) and 2d which I thought quite elegant. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the hints and pictures.

  20. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. Yes another good Tuesday puzzle, quite tricky in places. Took a while to get the last two answers, 2&15d. Thought that 7d was a bit familiar, probably a Ray T construction. 21a was a real penny drop moment. Favourite was 23d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  21. I enjoyed solving this crossword. It wasn’t easy by any means as there were some tricky clues to unravel. 13d was my favourite; I only realised it was an anagram after I had entered the answer.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and picture of Ralph.

  22. Very enjoyable puzzle. All of E completed before I even got a decent foothold on W. I should actually be doing (21a) instead of the crossword!
    Video blurred until clicked on Safari on my iPad. Good idea.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  23. Enjoyed this, not easy peasy but not mind bending.
    My fave was 23d, clever that, but 2d also floated my boat.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. Kitty for his hints and pics. I always look forward to the Tuesday cats.

  24. I found this crossword quite difficult and am in awe of those that sail through each setters clues day by day.
    Thank you, as always, for the explanations, I shall do my best to improve.

    1. Welcome to the site, Golf Boy. Thanks for delurking to share your experience with the puzzle. I wouldn’t class this as an easy puzzle, which is why I rated it 3*. I know that there are a lot of lurkers out there nodding their heads in agreement with your comment.

    2. I find that when a puzzle is putting up a fight, start at the bottom and work up, and that usually works for me. I have no idea why, maybe just a different perspective! It certainly worked for me today when I couldn’t get a foothold.

      1. There’s a theory that some setters write clues in order, starting in the NW and finishing in the SE. In that case they may be too tired to create fiendish clues when they reach those last few answers in the bottom right of the grid.

  25. Cruised through this one which was most surprising. Liked 2d and 9 a.. Many thanks as ever.

  26. Well it took a bit of getting into & a bit of finishing…3* definitely. Enjoyment 2.5*, as it was too much of a slog & a sigh of relief feeling when done.
    As a note I feel I’ve solved Toughies that felt simpler.
    But thanks to setter & Mr K for invaluable hints & very enjoyable review.

  27. Thanks to all have commented so far on the appearance of the video. It looks like the blurring works on all modern browsers except Internet Explorer, which I already knew about. Good to know that I can use that technique in the future.

  28. An almost identical solve to yesterday’s – first in right down in the SE corner followed by fairly rapid progress elsewhere. Finished in about ** time with top marks for enjoyment value.

  29. Such a solid and very clever solve.
    Took some head-scratching but got there unaided in the end.
    Look forward to Tuesdays more and more with this particular setter.
    Many thanks, and to Mr. K.
    So colourfully illustrated.

  30. 12a video blurred until played on my Pixel phone on both Google and edge browsers. How did you do that?

    Great hints by the way. 1a my favourite

    1. Thanks, Martin.

      Re how I made the blur, short answer is I added some code to this web page to make your browser display the video with a blur. Long answer: YouTube provides a javascript API that allows event handlers to be defined for each instance of the YouTube player on a page. I used that to create event handlers for when the player becomes ready and for when it starts to play. The former sets CSS filter property of the iframe containing the player to blur(2.5px), and the latter removes that blur.

  31. Now, THAT was a challenge.
    Thinking ‘outside the box’ did not go far enough.
    Excellent puzzle.

  32. Quite an enjoyable challenge, but no paticular favourites–
    did like the video in the hint for 8d though !

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