DT 29047 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29047

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29047

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a damp and rainy South Staffs. I’m rather busy today, so fewer illustrations than usual.

I ran into a block in the SE corner of today’s Giovanni which pushed my solving time well into *** territory.

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           Jack hopes somehow to become a different man (6)
JOSEPH – The playing card symbol for a Jack followed by an anagram (somehow) of HOPES.

4a           After beginning, was first to be frightened (8)
STARTLED – Another word for ‘beginning’ followed by ‘was first’ (in a race, perhaps).

9a           A hundred and ten gathered round capital’s highest point (6)
CLIMAX – The Roman numerals for a hundred and ten, placed either side of a South American capital city.

10a         Give chaps solarium treatment for lines? (8)
TANGENTS – A three-letter verb for what you do in a solarium, followed by some chaps, to get some geometrical lines.

11a         Place with sect dancing — it’s worth seeing (9)
SPECTACLE – Anagram (dancing) of PLACE and SECT.

13a         Pervasive quality conveyed by Celia, romantically (5)
AROMA – Hidden in the clue.

14a         Men dress and end up looking silly for poet (6,7)
EDMUND SPENSER – Anagram (looking silly) of MEN DRESS and END UP, giving us an Elizabethan poet.

Image result for edmund spenser

17a         Socialist is given praise — lauded finally for showing what he wants wealth to be? (13)
REDISTRIBUTED – Put together the usual crossword Socialist, IS (from the clue), some words of praise, and the final letter of laudeD.

21a         Buddhist literature giving us art that’s extraordinary (5)
SUTRA – Anagram (extraordinary) of US ART.

23a         Authority allows funny man to join African party in church (9)
CLEARANCE – Put together the surname of the author of some nonsense poetry and the initials of a South African political party, with the initials of the Church of England wrapped around the result.

24a         Nerve centre workers needing person of courage (8)
GANGLION – A party of workers followed by an animal used as a metaphor for courage.

25a         The old man clumsily handles fruit (6)
PAPAWS – A two-letter word for ‘the old man’ followed by ‘clumsily handles’, giving us  tropical fruit better known as papayas

Image result for papaw

26a         Most clever male beasts about to face ordeal (8)
SMARTEST – Reverse (about) some male sheep, then add an ordeal or trial.

27a         African is keen, having surrendered heart to Irish songstress (6)
KENYAN – Remove the middle letters (having surrendered heart) from K(ee)N, then preplace them with the name of an Irish singer.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=jDWahg4odAY” align=”center” /]


1d           Merry little woman nearby left abandoned (6)
JOCOSE – One of the protagonists from Little Women, followed by another word for ‘nearby’ with the L removed (left abandoned).

2d           I work on farm — wind here’s terrible (9)
SWINEHERD – Anagram (terrible) of WIND HERE’S.

3d           Quiet hard worker given order, a shadow of his former self? (7)
PHANTOM – Put together the musical symbol for ‘quiet’, Hard, a worker insect, and the letters which go after the name of a person given this particular honour.

5d           Wild partygoers hiding in piece of furniture that can be covered (11)
TRAVERSABLE – A common item of household furniture, wrapped around the people attending a wild party. ‘Covered’ in the definition is as in ‘covered the ground’.

6d           Give new status to head of research — agreed after reorganisation (7)
REGRADE – The first letter of Research followed by an anagram (after reorganisation) of AGREED.

7d           Instruction to players, with time of abstinence over (5)
LENTO – The period of fasting in the Christian calendar which leads up to Easter, followed by Over, producing a musical instruction.

8d           Loses hope, as some French groups of minimal size (8)
DESPAIRS – One of the forms of the partitive article in French, followed by some examples of the smallest number of people who can form a group.

12d         Builders perhaps against having particular vehicles (11)
CONTRACTORS – A prefix for ‘against’ followed by some vehicles often found on farms.

15d         One’s ‘not standing’ for this! (9)
SEDENTARY – Cryptic definition of a seated position.

16d         Forecasts from newspaper folk, with time being limited (8)
PRESAGES – A generic term for newspaper people wrapped around a long period of time.

18d         Attempt to get everyone to eat onion (7)
SHALLOT – Another word for an attempt or try, wrapped around a word for ‘everyone’.

19d         Row? Mark has hesitation to join in (7)
TERRACE – A word expressing hesitation is inserted into a mark or vestige of what has been.

20d         In hot weather we may have this warning message (6)
LESSON – A warning message, as in ‘Let that be a —— to you!’ can be split (4,2) to show what we may have in the way of clothing in hot weather.

22d         Any number will wear long garment in this island country (5)
TONGA – The algebraic symbol for ‘any number’ inserted into a robe worn by Roman senators.

The Quick Crossword pun CHECK + ERRED = CHEQUERED

50 comments on “DT 29047

  1. The SE corner held me up slightly too but I finished in a good time for a Friday Giovanni

    Thanks to him and DT

  2. 2*/2*. Not much to say about this straightforward puzzle lacking in sparkle. I liked 10a & 17a.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. It delights me every week to know that the anonymously hidden bunny is as grumpy as ever! Wonder why he bothers, really!

      1. Maybe if you fed the grumpy bunny more than a single shallot and a few pawpaws he would be happier.

  3. I had the same experience as DT. All went along swiftly until my last clue, 20 d in the SE corner. Eventually, well into ***
    time, and having tried the dictionary and electronic help, the penny dropped. Thanks ro the setter and to DT. Favourite clues 1d, 10a and 25a.

  4. Another one here held up in the SE. Couldn’t get papaya out of my head although I knew it couldn’t be that. Eventually resorted to pen and paper and tried all sorts of variations until the “clumsily handled” penny dropped. Had never heard of that version of the fruit, but that then gave me my last one in, 20d.

    Thoroughly enjoyable workout. Very many thanks to Giovanni and DT

    1. I’ve seen The Jungle Book so many times that the fruit we needed was the first one to come to mind!

      1. Me too Jane, one of my very favourite films, but I’ve never seen it missing the first W, so I was getting very confused.

      1. Thanks MP, I’ve a strong feeling I’ll easily beat my normal target time with that hint

    2. I had a problem too. That’s the name we use in Jamaica, but I thought they always used the papaya version in UK and US.

      1. My trouble was that “oldman” morphs into “almond “ and the BRB describes it as a fruit. Completely messed up the SE corner.

  5. I also got delayed in the SE corner. I kept wanting to put NOTICE (not ice) for 20d, even though it did not fit the clue.

    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT.

  6. I absolutely loved this puzzle – perhaps it was a bit easier, perhaps I’m improving, perhaps I’m just on the right wavelength today – anyway, whatever the reason there are many delightful clues with a couple needing a bit of general knowledge (1d, 14a) and a couple of modern references (23a, 27a) – hooray!
    Favourites 10a, 17a, 24a, 12d, 18d.
    I’d never heard of 25a, so once it was apparent that the obvious fruit didn’t fit I had to look it up. Every day’s a school day.
    Thanks for making the time DT, but just for once I didn’t need help.
    Giovanni – you’ve made my day.

  7. I couldn’t get 20d either until I did away with papaya. Apart from that, all went in quite smoothly. Enjoyable puzzle from the Don as usual.. NW corner went in first and with its lovely selection of letters, I was straight on pangram alert – not to be, though. 20d and 27a are my joint favourites.

  8. SE corner slowed me too with 20d my final entry and a probable favourite, although 10a just gets the accolade. Enjoyable, straightforward and good fun, so thanks to The Don and DT.

  9. Late start for me on the crossword today due to early Tai Chi class .
    First few clues flew in then fits of stops and starts over the bottom half of the grid with , like others , SE section last in .
    Enjoyed the challenge , yes – picked the wrong fruit , my COTD 10A just ahead of 17A .
    Thanks again G , keep up the good work , and trust DT is not too busy .
    Can recommend Tai Chi for peace of mind and body .

  10. The same on the SE corner for me, 25a and 20d in particular – I think the stallion threw me off and went back to the stable, the rest of the puzzle was very enjoyable.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 17a and 5d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  11. No problems to report, fortunately I did know the fruit, albeit spelt with another W. Like Debbiedob I was pleased to see a couple of contemporary references and that the hitherto unheard of poet was an anagram.

    10a 3d & 20d are my picks. Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  12. 10&27a took the podium places here – the latter simply because of the inclusion of my favourite Irish songstress.
    Hard to believe that so many folk were held up by the 25a fruit, perhaps DT should have included a clip of ‘The Bare Necessities’!

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – thank you for finding time to pop in the video clip despite your busy schedule.

  13. I thought this was pretty gentle for The Don, until I hit the bottom right corner, so I’m glad others thought the same. Liked 10a and 20d. Thanks to all involved today.

  14. Like DT I ran into a complete block in the SE corner after a steady solve in the initial three quadrants so a ***/*** for me too..
    I thought that 15 down was a poor clue as it was not specific enough.
    Not seen 1d in print for a while, liked the surface.
    No outstanding favourite , maybe 27a for originality.

  15. Giovanni’s cruciverbal Fridays are always my favourite day of the week and today is no exception. 21a now added to my GK bank. SE corner last to yield mainly due to unusual spelling of 25a which in turn caused problem with 20d. Am unfamiliar with songstress so was looking to use the un-IrishYana in 27a. Several Favs including 10a, 17a 20d. Big thanks to DG and DT. 👍🏻

  16. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I was ok until I got to the SE Corner, and needed the hints for 25a and 20d. Like most people I could only think of papaya, but knew it didn’t fit the wordplay. I was amazed that pawpaw is the same fruit. As for 20d, I would never have thought of that. Great entertainment, favourite was 10a. Was 3*/4 * for me.

  17. A gentle romp last night but good fun. 17a the favourite because of the surface followed by 5d for the vision of concealed partygoers doing something. On our island the fruit is more often called what the answer was than the one many may have first thought of; that helped complete the SE.

    Thanks to The Don, as always, and to DT.

  18. I too was held up in the SE corner but only because I made an anagram out of old man and got almond even though I knew it was not a fruit. Silly me, thanks for putting me right! Did the poet st school so got him without realising it was an anagram.

  19. Yay, that was fun! And I managed to complete nearly all of it before seeking help, which for me is unusual with any crossword.

    Did you know that some people consider an almond to technically be a fruit rather than a nut? And that it’s an anagram of ‘old man’? (At which point I started wondering about seditions encouraging people not to stand for things.)

    1d and 24a are new words to me, which I shall attempt to remember (and I enjoyed the wordplay with both of them).

    My favourites are the instruction to players in 7d (which happened to be the first I solved) and 20d’s what we have in hot weather (my last).

    I was also impressed with 17a, and smiled at so many others, including 9a, 10a, 12d, and 27a. I’ve now had ‘The Bare Necessities’ in my head ever since getting rid of the almond …

    Thanks so much, Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. PS: In 18d, the wordplay involves getting an outer word ‘to eat’ an inner one, but the clue appears to be parsed ‘‹outer› ‹inner› to eat ‹definition›’.

      How come it doesn’t have to be ‘‹outer› to eat ‹inner› ‹definition›’ or similar?

      1. S. It’s funny how some clues that are straightforward to many can cause parsing problems to a few. In 18d, “to get everyone to eat” is just a mangled way (to smoothen the surface) of saying “gets all to eat” – resulting in SH(ALL)OT. That’s how I read it, anyway. But, of course, I could be wrong.

        1. Thanks. That makes sense.

          And yes, you’re right that all nuts are fruit. But properly almonds aren’t even nuts.

  20. Getting 25a wrong, completely threw me in the SE; unforgivable really as I use pawpaw to spell that fruit. I hit a brick wall and needed to refer to the hints to get going again.
    Apart from that corner, I found it quite friendly and a lot to like. Fave was 10a. I also liked the poet, knew him right away and missed anagram, and 24a.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for helping me to get on the road again.

  21. Super puzzle with one new word in 1d. My fav was 10a, a bit of a groaner but great fun.
    Thx to the Don and to DT for confirming my answer to 1d.

  22. I made good progress through most of this crossword until the SE corner brought me back down to earth. Yes of course the same incorrect fruit for 25a initially but I was saved by a sudden burst of intelligence which enabled me to finish with aplomb.
    Favourite clue was 14a which was a real shot in the dark.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  23. Needed the hint for 20d, but otherwise it all came together very smoothly passing time whilst I was waiting for ‘Mary Berry’s Sausage Supper’ to complete it’s cooking. Spotted 17a immediately and 3d made me chuckle. 21a reminded me of the book that all us teenagers tried to get our hands on back in the 1960s, ;-) Nice puzzle, with no great hold-ups. Thanks Giovanni and thanks DT :-) Now for food!

  24. Yep, sailed through this quite happily until I hit the SE corner which took as long again and (sssh) a little help from the Chambers Word Wizard. The three that held me up – 19d, 25ac and 20d – all look pretty obvious in retrospect, so perhaps my brain has just seized up. All good fun, thanks to the Don for another good Friday.

  25. We had the same hold-up in the SE corner as everyone else but otherwise it all flowed smoothly. Precisely crafted elegant clues throughout as usual from our Friday setter. Much appreciated.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  26. 3*/3* for me,,, for some reason 20ac took some time to figure out, this held me up longer than it should.
    Wasn’t the most fun puzzle but still enjoyable enough.
    Thanks to Giovanni & Deep T for review & guidance.

  27. Nice puzzle but I did need DT’s help with 20d and to parse 27a (tvm). But the best clue was 13a which delighted me. Thank you Giovanni! 😊.

  28. 25a – all the talk about this answer – surely it is either papaya or pawpaw – the answer given misses the first “w” – no one seems to have picked up on this – does anybody agree ?

    1. I would’ve instinctively included two ‘w’s as well, but Oxford has both spellings (as, presumably, do other dictionaries that I haven’t checked).

      Having only heard about pa(w)paws as an exotic fruit they have in other places, I hadn’t realized it was the same thing as papaya until the hint above. The children will be excited to hear that the fruit Baloo sings about is the same one we have in muesli!

      1. Many thanks, Smylers – I lived in Jamaica in the 60’s and this fruit was a staple of our diet, but either as Papaya or Pawpaw (as in Baloo, as you say) , never Papaws – I wonder who dropped the first “W” !!

  29. Another excellent puzzle from G. Good clues, a good challenge and very enjoyable. 25a: I hadn’t seen this spelling before, but it was readily gettable from the word play and a quick confirmation from Google. Why anyone should make negative comments about this fine puzzle is way beyond me! Free country, I suppose… 3* / 4*

  30. 4*/4*…
    COD 20D (in hot weather we may have this warning message)-had to look at the answer for ages before twigging; also, wonder if “wind” in 2D (I work on farm — wind here’s terrible) is intended by the setter to have the same, and appropriate, meaning as the answer to 13A (pervasive quality conveyed by Celia, romantically), bearing in mind the answer to 2D.

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