DT 29052 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29052

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29052

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ****Enjoyment ****

Good morning all. I thought that was very difficult and very enjoyable. It took me ages – much longer than usual. I look forward to hearing what everyone else thought of it so please leave a comment.

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


1a        Drunk, after small doze, is to recover (4,3,2,2)
SNAP OUT OF IT — Another way of saying drunk or very much the worse for wear (3,2,2) is preceded by the abbreviation for S[mall] and a doze or brief sleep

7a        Think live album’s second one by character from Genesis (7)
BELIEVE — A synonym for ‘live’ or exist, the second letter of ‘album’ the letter that looks like the Roman one and, finally, a female character from the first book of the bible

8a        Jane half-cut in small club collapsed (7)
SWOONED — Begin with the same abbreviation as in 1a and follow that with a kind of club – one of the ‘sticks’ that people use when playing golf – which contains (in) the last two letters of Jane (half-cut)

10a       Some old-style tome reader brought back from afar (8)
REMOTELY — A lurker or hidden answer indicated by the first word of the clue but, just to complicate things, it’s not only very well hidden but it’s reversed (brought back)

11a Cuts risks pronouncedly
STEAKS — A homophone (pronouncedly) – the cuts here are a cut of meat – this one took me ages and was my last answer

13a       Further advanced lesson regularly required (4)
ALSO — The abbreviation for A[dvanced] is followed by the alternate letters (regularly) of lesson

14a       Perpetrator of crime wave on most of turf (10)
LAWBREAKER — The first three letters of a four letter word that means ‘turf’ or an area of grass is followed by (on) a large wave – the sort that comes from the sea rather than lots of hand flapping

16a       Exercise secrecy about source of terrible disease (10)
PESTILENCE — Begin with the abbreviation for P[hysical] E[ducation] and follow that with secrecy, or saying nothing, which contains (about) the first letter (source) of T[errible]

18a       Meat Mike fed to dog (4)
LAMB — The letter that is represented by ‘Mike’ in the phonetic alphabet goes inside (fed to) an abbreviation for a breed of dog – they’re quite big and are golden, black or chocolate

21a       Improved, knocking out first in league (6)
ALLIED — A synonym for improved or recovered without its first letter (knocking out first)

22a       Combine tart with nice bananas (8)
INTERACT — An anagram (bananas) of TART and NICE

24a       Knowledge lacking in sport is issue (7)
EDITION — A synonym for knowledge or learnedness has, as its second two letters, the abbreviation for R[ugby] U[nion] – just take them out (lacking in sport). I had the answer for this as it couldn’t have been much else but I absolutely couldn’t see why so thank you very much to the Kiwis, CS, MP and Gazza who rescued me

25a       Revolutionary travelled across Gold Coast, originally a country (7)
ECUADOR — The past tense of a verb to travel or make a journey contains (across) the chemical symbol for gold and the first letter (originally) of C[oast] – then reverse the whole lot (revolutionary)

26a       Model sat with grin, and hair perfectly in order (5,2,4)
RIGHT AS RAIN — An anagram (model) of SAT with GRIN and HAIR

Regal Reign.



1d        Succeeded, awful malaise curtailed — they’re cured! (7)
SALAMIS — The abbreviation for S[ucceeded] is followed by an anagram (awful) of MALAIS[e] (curtailed)

2d        Warnings of changes with temperature dropping (6)
ALERTS — Another word for changes or adapts has, as its third letter, the abbreviation for T[emperature] – move the T down (temperature dropping) a couple of places

3d        Carrying too much round Dover and Deal on tour (10)
OVERLOADED — Begin with the letter of the alphabet that’s round and follow it with an anagram (on tour) of DOVER and DEAL

4d        Second replacing male in ‘Cats’ cast (4)
TOSS — The abbreviation for S[econd] replaces the abbreviation for M[ale] in some male cats – another one that’s easier to do than to write a half decent hint for

5d        Verge on row with father being superior (8)
 FRONTIER — The ‘on’ from the clue and another word for a row or level follow the two letter abbreviation for ‘father’ in a religious sense

6d        Nail colour beginning to age and crack at edges (7)
TINTACK — Colour or shade (4) is followed by the first letter (beginning to) of A[ge] and the first and last letters (at edges) of C[rac]K

7d        Plot in which there’s no survivor? (6,5)
BURIAL PLACE — Not sure how to define this kind of clue but I think it’s probably called a cryptic definition of a cemetary or churchyard

9d        Agent departs with shattered tourist carrying kid (11)
DISTRIBUTOR — The one letter abbreviation for D[eparts] is followed by an anagram (shattered) of TOURIST which contains (carrying) a verb meaning kid or tease

12d      Fugitives and sailor trick the German aboard ship (10)
ABSCONDERS — Lots of putting things together needed here – begin with the abbreviation for an able-bodied seaman (sailor) and then put a little short word to trick or ‘do’ and the German word for THE inside (aboard) the usual crosswordland abbreviation for S[team] S[hip]

15d      Recording very current European involved in acting (8)
VIDEOING — The abbreviation for V[ery] and the physics symbol for electric current is followed by a synonym for acting or behaving which contains (involved in) the abbreviation for E[uropean]

17d      One enlisted betrayed heartless idle king (7)
SOLDIER — The past tense of a verb to betray or inform on is followed by the first and last letters (heartless) of I[dl]E and the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for king

19d      Jack in crew working under ace (7)
ABANDON — A crew or gang and the little word that means ‘working’ is preceded by (under) the abbreviation for A[ce] in a card game

20d      Monster from Mediterranean country (6)
MEDUSA — The three letter abbreviation for Mediterranean is followed by a very large country – the one that’s on the other side of the ‘pond’

23d      Individual you called ‘fool’ (4)
UNIT — A homophone (called) of ‘you’ is followed by a fool or a twit

A very very enjoyable but very very difficult crossword – well that’s what I think anyway. Too many good clues to pick out any particular ones so that’s up to you ‘lot’ today.

The Quickie Pun:- LOO + WEEK + CANS = LOUIS QUINZE


60 comments on “DT 29052

  1. 5*/4*. This was a genuine Toughie masquerading as a back-pager but, as always with proXimal (I assume this is one of his), persistence paid off and very gradually it all fell into place with 11a my last one in to provide a very satisfying and enjoyable challenge.

    Nice to see one of our regular commenters getting a name check.

    Fighting for podium positions today were 14a, 16a, 12d & 20d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Kath.

  2. Very enjoyable though quite tricky – Thursdays now seem to furnish the highlight of the back-page week (although Wednesdays run them close). Thanks to proXimal and Kath.
    My top clues were 8a (has the setter been reading Jane’s recent comments?) and 19d (for the beautifully disguised definition).

  3. I’m glad it wasn’t just me who thought it merited ****/****. It was like medicine, this puzzle. I’m sure it did me good and I felt better after finishing it. There were many excellent clues. I liked 7a, 16a 24a, 6d and 20d. Thank you Kath, the clues were brilliant in helping me to parse the ones I wasn’t sure of. Thank you to the . setter. Now my brain has had a good work out, I’ll go and mow the lawn.

  4. A genuine proXimal Toughie indeed whereas today’s crossword in the middle of the paper is the opposite. I did like the idea of our Jane in a 8a over a crossword clue

    Thanks to proXimal and Kath

  5. After a very slow start I got there in the end, with my solving time almost reaching the 4* mark.

    Plenty to enjoy; thanks to proXimal, and to Kath

  6. Just knew that I was going to be forced to defend my reputation today! I can state quite categorically that I have never collapsed half-cut in a club although I may well have done a bit of 8a’ing over a favoured pop singer on stage in one of said clubs.
    As for 8a’ing over a crossword clue, there were certainly a few contenders for that honour in this excellent back-pager but perhaps in light of my previous comment I’m asking for trouble by saying that one of my double ticks went to 1a!

    Many thanks to proXimal for a great puzzle and to Kath for rising to the challenge.

    PS Anyone else fall foul of using the wrong second word for 7d?

    1. I sort of fell foul of 7d. I started by thinking the second word was “ground” but, after I’d written in the first word, I quickly noticed that I had one letter too many. I then thought of “mound” but thankfully left it open while trying to get some checking letters.

      1. I left it open for ages, since all the possibilities for the second word seemed to be 4 or 6 letters until I found rhe magic one with 5.

    2. I did the same after getting the first word via its first letter. Left open for ages till got 16a.

    3. I had difficulty with 7d and had to leave the second word open until I had checkers

  7. I must’ve been on wavelength as I finished it around my 2.5* time, but I did think along the way that I’d been fortunate with a couple of guesses that turned out to be correct which can make all the difference sometimes.

    Thanks to Kath and proXimal 2.5*/4.5*

  8. Love/hate relationship today .
    My iPad informed me , eventually , that my answers were correct but the parsing of 8A,24A & 25A still eluded me . However , managed to reason why before the hints appeared .
    Yet to read the hints/comments but I expect some unhappiness from certain regulars and praise from others .
    A very difficult and clever crossword today and I am full of admiration for the work of the Setter .
    Personal COTD the witty 23D but lots of other good ones.
    Thanks to Kath and greetings to everyone .

  9. A really steady grind today. Took me longer than I usually want to spend on a week-day puzzle but once I got started I was determined to finish it, which I did, albeit with some electronic help. If I were someone with unlimited leisure time, it would have rated 5* for enjoyment but it loses one mark for being too hard! So 4*/4* from me.

    1. That pretty much sums it all up for me too John. Puzzles like this one are best for me on a wet winter’s day when I’ve nowt better to do. Pleased that I did eventually complete it though – with electronic aid.

  10. Toughie standard but brilliant, thoroughly enjoyed the solve. Thanks to proXimal and well done Kath!

  11. We have to say what we think on this blog. I didn’t enjoy this as virtually every clue had to be ground out. I got there in the end, albeit with a lot of electronic help. Technically it may have been an excellent puzzle but IMHO it was just too difficult relative to the vast majority of back pagers. I did like 1, 8 (sorry Jane!) and 26a plus 1d though. 5*/2*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath, who has my admiration for sorting it all out.

    1. That’s the way I like then Stephen. Cryptic Sue has a lesson in how to spell your name at 4d in her review of Sunday Telegraph 3002.

      1. Thanks for the tip MP. Should I ever forget how to spell it I’m sure it will prove invaluable!
        Anyway, pleased to know that CS had the good taste to give her “no 1 son” such a fine Christian name 😉

  12. Certainly not on the correct page for me and as Stephen says virtually every clue was a real slog.
    Difficulty certainly ***** for a back page puzzle.
    There was some satisfaction in solving it , but I cannot say I enjoyed it as many of the clues were very ‘bitty’
    Yesterdays toughie was a fine example of a difficult crossword which was extremely enjoyable.

  13. without your help I would never have finished this so thank you Kath. I never seem to be on this Compiler’s wavelength.

  14. I did it in 3 goes with breaks for laundry, lunch and Giro d’Italia.

    Yes, it was a bit of a slog, but worthwhile after finishing with only 2 bits of help. I kept having to revise the endings of answers and leaving blank spaces pending inspiration didn’t help.

    Relieved now I’ve come to the blog that everyone thought it tough.

    Can now get to allotment.

  15. Took me more than twice my normal time … so a difficulty rating of “hard” seems appropriate. Thoroughly enjoyed the extra time.

    ps. Thought the Quickie Pun was magnifique.

    pps. Many thanks to Kath for the blog … I would have panicked if I had been doing this one with the clock ticking down.

    1. When I’m doing the hints I stay up and print out the crossword, and do it, as soon as it’s available, i.e. midnight – I would panic if I left it until the morning which would probably mean that I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

  16. *****/***. This was very difficult for me. 24a,2&15d eluded me and I couldn’t explain my correct answers for 25a&9d. Thanks to the setter and Kath for shining the light through my foggy day.

  17. Having put in 7a, then wrongly bunged in barren earth for 7d which made perfect sense to me as I had the first R as well. Took me ages to decide I was wrong. I do a ‘Jane’ every time I hear Raymond Blanc speak! All I want for my birthday is for him to ring me and whisper ‘Appy Birthday ‘ in his lovely French accent. Fat chance I think.

  18. Tough, certainly, but very enjoyable and a rewarding challenge to complete. I loved the rekrul, but my favourite was 20d. 21a also deserves a mention.

    Thanks to proXimal and well done Kath.

  19. Well I’m not quite sure what happened here, as I didn’t find this too tricky. Maybe it is the beer here in Kos.
    Sometimes the wavelength just happens,, as I struggled big time with yesterday’s Jay puzzle.
    Many thanks to Kath for filling in a few gaps, and Proximal fof the challenge.

  20. This one went firmly onto my stinker list, a very teasing puzzle which made completion difficult, hence the late posting. Picked it up took dogs out along cliffs, picked it up again after lunch, out with the thesaurus and BRB, it has finally vgiven in 11a don’t know how or why.
    Thanks to Kath for magnificent hints and Setter

    1. 11a – the definition is cuts – they’re cuts of meat – ‘steaks’ is the answer which is a homophone (indicated by the last word in the clue) of ‘stakes’ which are anything pledged as a wager; anything to gain or lose hence ‘risks’.
      Sorry – my hint wasn’t very clear – must try harder! :smile:

  21. Yes indeed, very tricky but hugely enjoyable for the ones I could solve. The NW corner went in quite readily, then the SE corner, but then the rest of the puzzle was soooo difficult. I had to visit Kath’s hints to solve the last five or so, I was totally lost.
    One that I had to look at the answer was 15d, is there really such a word? If there is, I think it’s pretty clumsy.
    I liked 1a as it went on on first read, but I think 16a is fave.
    Thanks to proXimal for the workout and to Kath for bailing me out on the last few.

  22. I’m having quite a good day today so I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Thanks ProXImal. I always like Kath’s hints. Thanks Kath.

    Some ramblings. Be glad you don’t live with my brain

    18ac. What is the most magical dog in the world
    A Labracadabrador

    4d. Oh no. The cats are back.

    7d I spent a couple of hours at the wife’s grave this afternoon.
    Bless her, she thinks it’s a pond

    19d Spent too long looking to make an anagram (working) of IN CREW

    20d When I finished I got the ‘some answers incorrect’ box. Puzzled I went through my answers and discovered that I had inadvertently put MERUSA in. Merusa is not a monster. She is a pure delight.

    1. I should make the most of your ‘quite good day’ as I think you’re living dangerously!
      Love your ramblings on 7d – made me and husband laugh although I’m not sure why as we have a pond! :unsure:

    2. Regarding 18a, I like the latest Fosters advert which features a version of craft ale………

      ……. La-di-da-ger……..

  23. Could not get in the groove with this one and without the hints would never have finished.

    Thanks to Kath for these hints, hopefully my solving abilities will have inched forward as a result!

  24. Way out of my league. So that’s two Toughies today for the experts and just crumbs for the rest of us. Thanks DT much appreciated, NOT!

  25. Another day when I found the Toughie, which I always tackle first, much easier than this. I needed a few hints to finish it which, for a back page is, for me, unusual. No doubt tomorrow’s Friday Toughie will bring me back down to earth!

  26. This was a tough bugger (excuse my French). Had it open most of the day. 7d and 13a were the last to surrender. Extremely enjoyable.- but a Toughie, surely? What I particularly liked were the number of ‘doh’ moments – blindingly obvious answers but only after staring at them for ages. My brain hurts – loved it.

  27. Hi folks. Not commented for a while but I’ve been here in the background all along, enjoying reading others’ comments.

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to find this rather trickier than normal but it gave a pleasant sense of achievement on completion. I was really far too busy with work today, but having started it at lunchtime I’m afraid it simply had to be finished so proved to be a recurring distraction throughout the rest of the afternoon and the penny finally dropped on my last one in (21a) on the way home!
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Kath for the review; I agree with the 4*/4* rating.

  28. Well today I was on my usual wavelength whilst I felt the setter was on a very long wavelength.
    This was both stinker & corker in the same measure & feel l have succeeded ( with help from the good Lady Kath- I have elevated you!) in readjusting the grey matter to another plane. 4*/4*, by the way I didn’t like the vagueness around 7d second word, my only gripe in what is a fantastic puzzle.
    Grateful thanks to Lady K & Proximal

    1. Thank you for the elevation! Donkeys years ago when I was quite young I went to a formal dinner with my Dad because my Mum couldn’t go. Someone there asked him who the lady accompanying him was. He said, “Trust me – she’s not a lady, she’s my daughter”!

  29. We really enjoyed this puzzle. A beautifully put together set of clues with smooth surface readings. 6d stands out for us as an example of this. Certainly not a quick solve but so absorbing that we did not notice how much time we had spent on it.
    Many thanks proXimal and Kath.

  30. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review and hints. This should have been a Toughie. I initially had six clues solved, then got some more after an age. Gave up in the end and looked at the hints. Needed 7 to finish. Was a slog all the way, didn’t enjoy it at all.

  31. Was relieved to find I wasn’t alone in having struggled considerably with this. Like Bluebird and Spook I had three bashes at tackling it over the course of the day but still ended by needing help in the SE. Not keen on recent overuse of abbreviations in various guises. My phonetic alphabet contains ‘M for mother’ which confused the issue in 18a. 23d raised a giggle. Thank you proXimal and Kath.

  32. Just as a last quick thought – are we really sure that the setter was proXimal? Just asking as he usually ‘pops in’.
    Whoever he (or she) was thank you for a good crossword and thanks to everyone for all the comments.
    Night night all – sleep well.

  33. My previous comment is in moderation as it appeared in between 5:20 and 5:22, almost unheard of for me. I’ve finished WhatsApp’ing, but it hardly matters now. Just nice to know others are still up.

    1. Your previous comment is in moderation because you requested that it be deleted. What you said was “In the wrong place, well according my phone!”. I can recover it if you wish.

  34. I thought this was more difficult than usual.
    11 across was my last answer also and I only solved
    It with your hint. Thank you

  35. That.Was.Hard.
    Managed to complete without hints – but drained the battery using electronic help.

  36. Like many others on here I found this a tricky customer with many of the answers having to be ‘ground out’. As the solve continued I started to enjoy the challenge. 7d was my last and favourite clue.
    Thanks to the setter (proXimal?) and to Kath for a quality review.

  37. An excellent puzzle! This was a good, tricky challenge with fine clues requiring plenty of head-scratching and cogitation giving a very enjoyable/challenging solve. 4* / 4.5*

  38. 4.5*/4.5*…chuffed to have completed this, though the hints were appreciated for a few clarifications….
    COD 6D (nail colour beginning to age and crack at edges)..
    did not twig the possible(?) joke in 8A at the time.

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