DT 29044 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29044

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29044

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****


Hola, as they say up here on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, where the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and every dinner includes wine.  Today we have a fun puzzle which gets off to the best possible start by making the first word of the first clue “cats”.  Thank you, setter.  If, having completed this puzzle, you’re looking for a crossword offering considerably more challenge and somewhat less decorum than a Telegraph back-pager, I can recommend this site’s Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle 482 (since I created it).

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer will 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    Cats perhaps calm us, I suspect (7)
MUSICAL:  What a fine clue to get us under way!  An anagram (suspect) of CALM US I.  Perhaps is telling us that the answer here is defined by example

5a    Splendid headgear -- almost everyone is after it (7)
CAPITAL:  Join together an item of headwear, IT from the clue, and all but the last letter (almost) of a synonym of everyone

9a    Employ a layabout? Only partly true (5)
LOYAL:  The answer is hiding inside (… only partly) the remainder of the clue

10a   Second animal is hit with end of bat (9)
ASSISTANT:  Cement together a beast of burden, IS from the clue, hit or beat, and the last letter of (end of) baT

11a   Possible result of cracking nut (10)
CONCUSSION:  A cryptic definition of a possible result of banging your head

12a   Son with sexy photograph (4)
SHOT:  Follow the genealogical abbreviation for son with sexy or steamy

14a   Made chap uniform with fur -- cadet's staggered (12)
MANUFACTURED:  Assemble another word for a chap, the letter represented by uniform in the NATO phonetic alphabet, and an anagram (‘s staggered) of FUR CADET

18a   Start cooking cod -- I turn it over before noon (12)
INTRODUCTION:  An anagram (cooking) of COD I TURN IT with the cricketing abbreviation for over and the single-letter abbreviation for noon

21a   Exercise, we hear, for sheep (4)
EWES:  The answer is hiding in reverse in the first two words of the clue, but that’s just a coincidence.  It’s clued here as a homophone (we hear) of a verb synonym of exercise.  I’m getting a feeling of déjà vu

22a   Doctor lied: lump -- it grew (10)
MULTIPLIED:  An anagram (doctor … ) of LIED LUMP IT

25a   Not out to stop the Queen getting fitter (9)
INSTALLER:  Combine the opposite of out, stop or delay, and the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth

26a   The first lady not to miss old horse-riding competition (5)
EVENT:  The first lady in the Bible is followed by N[o]T from the clue with the abbreviation for old deleted (… to miss old)

27a   Old tree likely hollow (7)
ELDERLY:  Follow a tree related to honeysuckle with the outer letters (… hollow) of LikelY

28a   Lieutenant in complete retreat (7)
SHELTER:  The two-letter abbreviation for lieutenant inserted in complete or utter



1d    Mother left with diamonds, creating animosity (6)
MALICE:  A short informal word for mother, the abbreviation for left, and an informal word for diamonds

2d    Saw indeed cutting pipe (6)
SAYING:  This saw is an adage.  He’s found as indeed or OK inserted in (cutting) a verb synonym of pipe

3d    Copper infiltrating ring at zero risk, initially -- this should provide some answers (10)
CALCULATOR:  The chemical symbol for copper is inserted in (infiltrating) ring on the phone.  That lot is followed by AT from the clue, the letter that looks like zero, and the first letter of Risk (risk, initially)

4d    What Prime Minister does -- begs quietly to leave (5)
LEADS:  A synonym of begs minus the musical abbreviation for quietly or softly (quietly to leave)

5d    Russian who's out of this world? (9)
COSMONAUT:  A cryptic definition of a Russian in outer space

6d    Urge husband to drink up (4)
PUSH:  The combination of the genealogical abbreviation for husband and to drink or take liquid into the mouth is reversed (up, in a down clue)

7d    Rheas, etc., moving beaks? (8)
TEACHERS:  An anagram (… moving) of RHEAS ETC 

8d    Lord bagging a bird -- last from close range (8)
LATITUDE:  A shortened form of lord containing (bagging) both A from the clue and a small songbird is followed by the last character from closE

13d   Feel the MPs are worried about nothing (10)
ATMOSPHERE:  An anagram (worried) of THE MPS ARE containing (about) the letter that looks like zero (nothing)

15d   Remarkably fun to avoid following American university friend (9)
UNUSUALLY:  [f]UN from the clue minus the single-letter abbreviation for following (to avoid following), an abbreviation for American, the single letter for university, and a friend or supporter

16d   Fancy -- and clever, too (8)
LIKEWISE:  Fuse together synonyms of fancy and of clever

17d   Drew attention to small pudding turning up (8)
STRESSED:  The clothing abbreviation for small with the reversal (turning up, in a down clue) of a generic word for pudding

19d   Mum is upset ahead of religious period (6)
SILENT:  IS from the clue reversed (upset, in a down clue) and followed by the religious period before Easter

20d   Rag worker lying in grot I'd earlier picked up (6)
EDITOR:  The worker is hiding in (lying in) the reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue

23d   Spells  words (5)
TERMS:  A double definition.  Spells as in periods of time

24d   Pretty loud song (4)
FAIR:  Link together the musical abbreviation for loud and a song or tune


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Highlights for me included 1a, 12a, 21a, the smooth and topical 4d, and 16d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  TEN + ERR + SACKS = TENOR SAX

31 comments on “DT 29044

  1. Lovely 21a photo Mr K so my favourite clue .

    14a summed up today’s offering for me which , for some unknown reason , I did not enjoy as much as usual .

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. This was a bit of a mixed bag for me, I thought some of the surfaces were quite bitty and (as I think KFB alluded to) somewhat 14a. 7d was a new synonym for me but bunged it in anyway as had all the checkers. On the flip side there were some top notch clues, probably my favourite amongst them being the very clever 16d, which I was convinced for a while was a double definition. I’ve also ticked 1, 11 and 25a plus 19d as goodies…..3/3.5*
    Many thanks to setter and to Mr K for their respective excellent work.

    Ps the setter surely had tongue firmly in cheek re 4d.

  3. Fun to complete, straightforward and enjoyable. 4d is probably my favourite for its topicality and the rekrul at 20d will generally get on my podium.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  4. I thought that 1&21a would make you smile, Mr K – perhaps that’s why you were so generous with the score for enjoyment?
    It was certainly a decent enough puzzle and I was particularly drawn to 25a for its misdirection.
    16d takes gold for me today.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for a delightfully illustrated blog and the clip from one of my favourite 1a’s.

  5. A good Tuesday puzzle with just the right amount of ‘added’ difficulty compared to yesterday’s introduction to the work week. Middle of the road for enjoyment, completed at a gallop – ***/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 3d, and 16d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    Good fun in the Dada Toughie with several familiar answers, especially among the ‘long’ ones.

  6. I struggled with this puzzle and it took a long time to complete(***) as I could not get 16d, although it turned out to be the best clue of the day. It wasn’t as enjoyable as most, largely because of the preponderance of over-extended synonyms. Thanks to Mr K, particularly for the cats, which made my day. Thanks to the setter also.

  7. Bit of a curates egg for me. Some clever clues and a couple of weak ones such as 2d and 18a. I agree with Chriscross over the use of extended or stretched synonyms. OK puzzle but no Giovanni.
    Thx for the hints to fully parse 2d and 18a.

  8. A bacon sarnie and almost two mugs of coffee saw this one off earlier this morning. Nothing to scare the horses, as they say, but a very enjoyable solve. Thank yous to both setter and Mr K.

  9. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A fun puzzle, quite on the gentle side. I liked some of the long lego clues. 2d was pretty original. Favourite was 16d which was my last one in. Was 2*/3* for me.

  10. Another cracking tueday puzzle unusually for me pretty much a write in. The furst one I have had for quite some time.
    Thanks to Mr K and Setter

  11. I thought that this puzzle was a little tougher than the average Monday then realised it was Tuesday !
    Starting in the NW corner as usual 1a was an excellent start ,and still my favourite musical , most people seem to rate Les Mis as such, but not for me.
    Going for a **/***.
    Great blog pics from Mr K,
    Excellent cluing ,liked 16d.

  12. **/**. A bit of a mixed bag for me. Liked 25a&16d but similar to other commenters there were too many stretched synonyms for my liking. 4d is difficult to reconcile currently. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  13. I thought this rather tricky in parts, and one or two anagrams were elusive.
    Thoroughly enjoyable solve, though.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  14. Thought this crossword tricky in places 😳 ***/*** Favourites 21a &16d 😃 Thanks to Mr K and to the unknown Compiler 🤗

  15. That was fun , even without the sunshine and the wine , well not yet anyway .
    I liked 1a , 11a and 5d .
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter .

  16. Darn, my post disappeared, and I refreshed it before I started! Rats.
    My fave was 11a with runnerup 16d, clever that.
    Can’t remember what else I said, couldn’t have been that important.
    Thanks to our setter, I enjoyed this, and to Mr. K for the hints and pics, always enjoy our cats.

  17. I had to dash out unexpectedly to do some unscheduled work, picked my paper up, got fuel, did some gardening, fed the dogs, read my paper before settling down to do the crossword. So I’m later than most but not as late as normal. No problems today, no real favourites. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for hosting the blog. Only a meeting to attend and then playing darts left to do today.

  18. We started off at a stonking rate and then slowed considerably as we got further down the grid, finishing with 16d which was our favourite. All good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    Ps. Thank you Mr K for outing yourself as Marg the setter of the latest NTSPP. We thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle but had no idea that it was from you. Congratulations.

    1. Thanks for the kind words about the NTSPP. I wanted to hide behind an alias for my first three puzzles to ensure that I got honest and unbiased feedback on them. But now it feels like time to own up to being Marg (which is the informal contraction of Margarita, a favourite cocktail).

  19. I enjoyed that and only needed a few hints to parse a couple of bung ins.
    11a was clever but although I got the all answers correct thingy I toyed with convulsion for a while as a word that fit the checkers and was a likely result of a bang on the napper too. Funny how the mind works as the other day we had a carriage where I saw Phaetons before I saw Stanhope.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter too

    1. Still playing catch up on crosswords. I have the MPP the NTSPP by Marg, who outed his/herself at the birthday bash, and now 2 Dada’s from Sunday and today to do. I spent the weekend following the cyclists round Yorkshire even cycling the sportive before the pro’s did it. My legs are like jelly and lifting a pencil to do crosswords is about as energetic as I can manage.
      Thanks to all the contributors bloggers and setters even if I don’t get back to comment on each until they have become out of date.

  20. The SW corner felt a lot harder than the rest, but still finished in about ** time, so it was lucky it was. Top marks for entertainment value.

  21. Had two stabs at this – one a.m. and t’other p.m. but have to admit to in the end needing a helping hand with the last couple mainly due to my having wrong solution to 5d. I’m with Merusa in choosing 11a as my Fav. Thank you to whomever the setter may be and also MrK – hope to have a go at your NTSPP before I hit the hay.

  22. 2*/3* moderately straightforward with a couple of hiccups where I found the surface of the clue threw me off.
    With thanks to setter & MrK

  23. I had forgotten to comment, so as I feel guilty if I don’t here’s my take on this nice puzzle which I had first thought of as being a Monday challenge.
    16d was my top clue.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MrK for his review and pics.
    There, life can now resume guilt free….

  24. Just don’t like cats but love the puzzles something else or nothing at all would save an allergic reaction .

  25. Well I enjoyed the puzzle and especially the blog. Always look forward to Tuesdays and for the words as well as the pictures. Don’t understand why some people have to be so down on the pictures. Not everyone has the same tastes, but it’s sad if we can’t value diversity.

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