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DT 29040

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29040

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. This isn’t a Ray T crossword and I don’t have the first idea as to who it may be – any suggestions from the ‘setter spotters’ are welcome. For a Thursday I found it fairly straightforward with some good clues, most of which were very concise.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you want to see one.

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


1a        Doctor’s run, gone dubiously to hide money in France? (12)
NEUROSURGEON — An anagram (dubiously) of RUN GONE goes around (to hide) the currency used in France – and most other European countries

9a        In unnatural manner — as long-legged entertainer walks? (9)
STILTEDLY — This entertainer is most commonly seen in a circus ring

10a       Matter requiring most of London police (5)
THEME — The London police force is known by two three letter words the second of which is an abbreviation – you need to remove the last letter of the second bit (most of) to get a matter or topic

11a       Current individual reflected in middle of mirror is artist (6)
RENOIR — The physics symbol for electric current and a synonym for individual or single are reversed (reflected) inside (in) the middle two letters of [mi]RR[or]

12a       Call on man for shelter (8)
COVERING — An informal word for a man or chap is followed by another word for call or telephone

13a       Soggy batter rejected and withdrawn (6)
MARSHY — A reversal (rejected) of a verb to batter or hit hard is followed by a short word meaning withdrawn or reserved

15a       Tea I need to prepare for confined person (8)
DETAINEE — An anagram (to prepare) of TEA I NEED

18a       Nice-looking cab carrying daughter east (8)
HANDSOME — A light two-wheeled horse drawn cab contains (carrying) the abbreviation for D[aughter] and is then finished off with E[ast]

19a       Sparkling silver accompanying cooked meal (6)
AGLEAM — The two letter chemical symbol for silver is followed by (accompanying) an anagram (cooked) of MEAL

21a       Roughing up lout is no answer (8)
SOLUTION — An anagram (roughing up) of LOUT IS NO

23a       Part of wheat surplus sent away from borders (6)
GLUTEN — Another word for surplus or excess is followed by the middle two letters (away from borders of [s]EN[t]

26a       Joins course for sportspeople (5)
LINKS — These sportspeople go for quite long walks stopping at regular intervals to have a good natter and to hit a ball to try and get it into a little hole in the ground

27a       Adventurous boy from Surrey was motivated to return (3,6)
TOM SAWYER — The one and only lurker or hidden answer – it’s so well hidden that I almost didn’t find it!

28a       Soldiers on mountains in test about alienation (12)
ESTRANGEMENT — A general term for soldiers follow (on) a chain of mountains and are contained in (in) an anagram (about) of TEST



1d        No way alcohol is remedy (7)
NOSTRUM — The NO from the clue, one of the many two letter abbreviations for a way or road and an alcoholic spirit

2d        Annoying lump wanting leader to form coalition (5)
UNION — This ‘annoying lump’ is an inflamed swelling usually found on the first joint of the big toe – just remove its first letter (wanting leader)

3d        Birds love good person with lots of bread (9)
OSTRICHES — Bread here is the slang word for money. Begin with the letter that looks like a zero or a love score in tennis, then the usual two letter crosswordland abbreviation for a good person and, finally, lots of money or wealth


4d        Take back hunting hound, no good at all (4)
UNDO — This hunting hound is one trained to work with a shooting party – it’s often a Labrador or Spaniel and can be referred to as two three letter words – the first letter of the first word and last letter of the second one are the same – remove both of them – no G[ood] at all. Oh dear, I knew this was going to be impossible to write a hint for!

5d        Suspect rogue spy stays on campsite (3-5)
GUY-ROPES — An anagram (suspect) of ROGUE SPY

6d        Characters regularly in vogue turned unconventional (5)
OUTRE — The alternate lettes (characters regularly) of VOGUE TURNED

7d        Fancied playing European opposition (8)
DEFIANCE — An anagram (playing) of FANCIED is followed by the abbreviation for E[uropean]

8d        The Parisian with fever a distance at sea (6)
LEAGUE — The French word (Parisian) for ‘the’ is followed by an old fashioned word for a fever or a high temperature

14d      Row with Heather is vexing (8)
RANKLING — A row or tier is followed by another word for a moorland plant (Heather) – I think this is probably only seen in crosswordland, a bit like its friend the snow leopard or ounce!

16d      Excitedly glance over unlimited baked food (5,4)
ANGEL CAKE — An anagram (excitedly) of GLANCE is followed by (over) the middle three letters (unlimited) of [b]AKE[d]

17d      With time in force, start to rumble fraud (8)
 IMPOSTER — A synonym for a verb to force or inflict contains (in) T[ime] and is followed by the first letter (start to) of R[umble]

18d      Bears almost killed badger (6)
HASSLE — These ‘bears’ aren’t furry growly animals – it’s a verb that means feels or experiences – this word is followed by the past tense of another verb meaning killed or massacred 

I should have added that the last letter of the past tense of ‘slay’ should have been left off (almost killed or massacred – apologies to all and thanks to those who pointed it out.

20d      A group of soldiers in pristine tower (7)
MINARET — The A from the clue and one of the many two letter abbreviations for a particular section of the army (group of soldiers) are contained in (in) another word for pristine or in immaculate condition

22d      Discussions with head of science to replace learner’s assignments (5)
TASKS — Some discussions or conversations have the abbreviation for a learner driver in the middle – just take that out and swap it for the first letter (head) of S[cience]

24d      Your old mate heaving at aromatic plant (5)
THYME — The archaic (old) word meaning ‘your’ is followed by the first and last letters of M[at]E – getting rid of (heaving) AT

25d      Warning! Cockney’s in north (4)
OMEN — How a Cockney would say he (or she) was ‘in’ is followed by the abbreviation for N[orth]

Clues of the day were, for me anyway, 13a and the very good lurker 27a and 2 and 3d. My favourite was 4d.

The Quickie pun:- CIRCA + SACKED = CIRCUS ACT

59 comments on “DT 29040

  1. I thought it was proXimal with his back page hat on – I had the usual struggle to get on his wavelength – but finished in a good time for one of his crosswords

    Thanks to him and Kath

  2. Very slow start with the across clues but the downs started the ball rolling faster . Some great misdirection and clever clueing with appreciation and admiration growing with progress .
    Quite a few favourites , eg the reverse lurker , but will pick my last one to solve , 4D . Obvious answer but the parsing took a little longer .
    Thanks to everyone

  3. Once I got into the rhythm of solving this puzzle it all went in very smoothly. Some clever clues, but my pick was the excellent rekrul at 27a.

    Thanks proXimal, if it was indeed you, and to Kath for her review.

  4. I’m no good at spotting the setter but you’re right, it doesn’t look like Ray T. It was reasonably challenging (** is about right for difficulty), particularly in the SW, which was the last to fall. I quite enjoyed the puzzle (****) and particularly liked 1d, 4d, 18a and the reverse lurker, 27a. Thanks to Kath for the hints and to the mystery setter.

  5. I thought that this was a tricky little blighter but I enjoyed it a lot. My last answer was 4d which took me a long time to parse because I was hung up on the fact that all its letters appear in the fourth word of the clue.
    Thursdays are a good day in the Telegraph region of Crosswordland. Thanks to proXimal (I assume) and Kath.

    Top clues for me were 27a, 4d, 18d and 25d.

  6. Took a while to get going, but enjoyed it in the end. Eventually spotted the reverse lurker. Liked 28d. Thanks to the setter and Kath. (By the way, the hint for 18d may need a minor revision?)

    1. Oh – I had real trouble with 18d – it was my last answer and it had to be what it was.
      It took me ages to have even a rough idea of what might be going on.
      I thought I’d got it but maybe not – what needs tweaking?

      1. It looks ok to me a d very grateful I was too as I couldn’t parse it. Presumably the verb ffor killed lacks a w?

      2. You’ve missed out the “almost” of the past tense of to sley Kath (no letter d)

          1. I don’t know how anyone can unravel this stuff, I think you’re brilliant – 4d is a prime example, I knew the answer had to be right but the why was a mystery.

    2. Ah – I give in but think it would probably be more than my life is worth to go back and try to edit it as it’s something I’ve never quite managed to do and I’d hate to risk blowing up the whole place!

  7. like most others I had a slow start in the north west corner but solving pace quickened as I moved down the puzzle and yet another enjoyable experience, liked the hidden lurker in 27a.
    On the tricky side like Gazza says and a ***/**** for me.
    Thanks to Kath and setter.

  8. I think I can safely say exactly what I said two weeks ago. i.e.:
    4*/4*. Thursdays have become one of the highlights of the crosswording week for me with alternating puzzles from Ray T and proXimal who provide a weekly dose of excellence but with very contrasting styles.
    I assume today’s fine offering with its smooth surfaces was penned by proXimal.

    One of the many things I like about proXimal’s puzzles is that they are very challenging but satisfyingly solvable with persistence and I am never left with any parsing queries.

    9a was my last one in, and 27a was my favourite of many candidates.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Kath.

  9. As Gazza said, this was a tricky little blighter so congratulations to Kath for her excellent review, the hints of which I needed for a couple to get over the line.
    So many good clues, to me 17d is the classic type of cryptic crossword clue which epitomised this puzzle. I also appreciated the reverse lurker 27a, very clever indeed (excellent song of the same name by Rush by the way) but my favourite is 2d for the penny drop on finally parsing it.
    3*/ 4*

    Thanks to setter and once again to Kath for their respective roles in the entertainment

  10. Don’t really like lurkers – nor rekruls – but wanted to clap 27a loudly. Thanks to both compiler and hinter.

  11. I’m with Gazza, definitely tricky, I just managed to complete it at a gallop – ***/***.

    Favourite 11a.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  12. 18a Nice-looking cab carrying daughter east (8)

    I only had the H from 18d – and my first thought was ‘hackneyed’ for 18a.

    I’m so used to finding that words don’t mean quite what I’ve always thought they meant, or have alternative definitions that I’ve never come across, that I actually looked it up.

    As I thought – it doesn’t mean nice-looking!

  13. Like most of you, off to a slow start but then finished at a good pace. Very enjoyable with some great clues.Top spot to 9a and worthy mentions to 27a, 24d and 25d.

  14. Apologies to everyone for two things.
    The first is my mistake in the hint for 18d – it should, of course, have included the bit about missing (almost) the last letter from the past tense of ‘slay’ Thanks to Stephen Lord.
    The second is that somehow I have completely misjudged the level of difficulty.

    1. No need to apologise, Kath.

      I am indebted to you for explaining 4d … Thank you!

  15. Excellent puzzle – Thursdays are my favourite day for DT puzzles.

    Not too tricky, but today’s toughie took less time.

    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath.

  16. Like others, it took me a while to find a way into this one but what a satisfying solve it turned out to be. I’m all in favour of nominating proXimal as the culprit.

    13a made me laugh but nothing could oust that excellent reverse lurker at 27a from the top spot.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Kath for the blog. That looks like a very ‘posh’ 16d in your pic. My recollection from childhood is of a very light plain sponge which would perhaps be served with a dollop of ice cream on high days!

  17. Thumbs up from me too. Solved in my own bed, nice and early with a cup of tea I made myself. Bliss. Even when Kath said there was a lurker it took me too long to see it. I have read the book so many times. Had I had a son he would have been named Huckleberry. Thank to all concerned

  18. Thursdays are quite good fun. The RayT ProXimal partnership has my vote

  19. Kath many thanks – I was completely stuck with 9a – just had John Cleese in mind and for 4d – couldn’t get past beagles bassets etc as hounds.
    And thanks to the setter – great brain stretch

  20. Tricky but great fun. Favourites 3d and 27a, and 1a for its surface. Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  21. Found this the trickiest for some time and needed the blog (many thanks ) to complete the south. Completely missed 27a lurker. Not keen on Cockney clues.

  22. ****/****. I found this decidedly tricky but very rewarding. I needed help from Kath (many thanks) to parse a couple of these and to fill in some blanks. My favourites were 23&27a and 24d with 27a taking the gold medal. Thanks also to the setter for a real challenge.

  23. Thanks Kath I could never have done this without your help, so don’t apologise for 18 down

  24. First pass at home and this seemed a bit tricky but a rainstorm at the cycling in Selby drove me indoors for coffee and cake where the rest fell into place. 27a my fave too. Time to get out there and see if Cav has any form back.🚴‍♂️🚴‍♀️🚵‍♂️🚵‍♀️

  25. Good fun, but oh dear, it took me ages to get 13a. Was it only last week when I said that I had to commit “rejected” to memory? Maybe my brains just a bit addled after an emergency trip to the dentist. Many thanks to the setter and to Kath. 8a was my favourite. The second part of the answer reminded me of studying Shakespeare at school.

  26. Like nearly everyone, I took ages to get on wavelength, but once I sussed it out, it went quite smoothly. Most enjoyable and so satisfying.
    I’m still not sure I “get” 4d but it had to be.
    Choosing a fave is almost impossible, but I think 27a is it, with 13a close behind.
    Thanks to proXimal for the fun and to Kath for her excellent review.

  27. Thanks to proXimal and to Kath for the review and hints. What a super puzzle, it’s taken me ages. I found it really tricky to get on the right wavelength. 1a took a long time before I realised it was a partial anagram. I loved the surface of 5d, but my favourite was the reverse lurker in 27a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  28. Finished in ** time but got really annoyed by 4d which i’m not surprised Kath had a job hinting, it was just a rank poor clue.
    Apart from that nothing special today.
    Thx for the hints.
    For me ***/**

    1. I don’t think that 4d is a poor clue – I think it’s brilliant but doing anything approaching a decent hint was a bit of a challenge.

  29. I got 13a by thinking of Rod _ _ _ _ _ Australian batsman, but couldn’t make the last letter fit👀

  30. I found this a very tricky solve 😟 ****/*** Personally I would like Ray T to alternate with a Setter who is less devious 😉 Favourites 27a & 14d 🤗 Big thanks to Kath for explaining my “Bung-ins” and to ProXimal 👍

  31. I enjoyed today’s very much – 27a was a lurker and a half. For some bizarre reason, 25d was a real struggle for me and it was a four letter clue – woods and trees spring to mind!

  32. While we were still solving this we were particularly impressed by the quality of the clue writing here. Each clue has been meticulously crafted with smooth surfaces and clever misdirection. All this in clues that would almost fit RayT’s self imposed word count limit too. (There are just a couple of nine word clues.)
    Excellent fun and much appreciated.
    Thanks proXimal and Kath.

  33. A fine puzzle where the lower half went in very straightforwardly, however the upper section put up some stiff resistance, hence just into 3* territory,
    & 3.5* for enjoyment.
    The rev lurker was a cracker, favs 9& 28 across.
    Thanks to mystery setter & Kath for a helpful review.

  34. Many thanks Kath, beautifully hinted.
    Tough by doable.
    The reverse lurker was super.
    Thanks also to Proximal

  35. This was a really nice challenge largely completed in a car park while waiting for a dentist visit but I do have to admit to an unusually large number of bung-ins (words not teeth!). I did however ultimately manage to come up with the missing whys and wherefores via a bit of electronic help combined later with Kath’s helpful hints. I think I will settle for 25d as my minuscule Fav. Thank you proXimal and Kath.

  36. Thanks to proXimal for a really good crossword and for calling in which was, as always, appreciated.
    Thanks to all for commenting and for putting up with my blunder!
    Night night everyone and sleep well. :yawn:

  37. Thanks for the wonderful hints which I always need when I’m struggling to make sense of the clues and to check that I’m on the right lines. Also thanks to proXimal for a tricky but brilliant crossword. I completed it, with help from Kath in the middle of the night and read the comments this morning. I found myself being really cross for you that someone was nitpicking about such a minor thing! Surely the most important aspect of the hints and tips is gratitude.

  38. What a terrific crossword! Thursdays have really become the day to look forward to. This one did not disappoint.
    My favourite was 4d like most on here.
    Thanks to proXimal, and to Kath for her stonking review. No apologies please!

  39. 4*/5*….
    liked 3D (birds love good person with lots of bread)-also the picture in the hint thereto.

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