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DT 29053

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29053

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Chateau de l’Epervière at Gigny-sur-Saône, where Mrs DT and I have just arrived on holiday.

Nothing overly difficult in today’s Giovanni, especially if you don’t put a wrong answer in and then spend ages wondering about the crossing entry, as I did.

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.


8a           The blues tunes — millions I’d played (15)

9a           Greek character is quietly retreating (3)
PSI – Put together IS (from the clue) and the musical symbol for ‘quietly’, then reverse the result.

Image result for psi


10a         Orator to provide series of letters for someone making a book? (11)
SPELLBINDER – The verb for providing a series of letters to make up a word, followed by someone who physically creates a book.

11a         Girl awfully lonely, having lost love (5)
NELLY – Anagram (awfully) of L(o)NELY, with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis removed.

12a         Had tot to be heard in four groups of parents? (9)
EIGHTSOME – Put together two words which are, respectively, homophones of ‘had(some food)’ and ‘tot (up)’.

15a         Best old friend embraces tiny boy in Christmas story (7)
OPTIMAL Old and a word for a friend, placed either side of the youngest Cratchit in A Christmas Carol.

17a         Dejection ends as first sign of smile breaks out (7)
SADNESS – Anagram (breaks out) of ENDS AS and the first letter of Smile.

19a         Artist wants Guinness maybe when eating fish (9)
PORTRAYER – A word for a type of beer of which Guinness may be an example, wrapped around a flat fish.

20a         Food dish — dad swallows a stone (5)
PASTA – Another short word for ‘dad’ wrapped around A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for ‘stone’.

21a         Time with hint of modernity, as seen in car being developed (11)
RENAISSANCE – Anagram (being developed) of AS SEEN IN CAR, giving us the period which marks the end of the Middle Ages.

24a         Retreating sailor, a deserter (3)
RAT – Reverse (retreating) one of the usual crossword sailors.

25a         Female novelist conjuring up pure unheard maid (6,2,7)
DAPHNE DU MAURIER – Anagram (conjuring up) of PURE UNHEARD MAID, giving us the author of Jamaica Inn.

Image result for daphne du maurier


1d           Very big female singer with rock group — maker of current waves (10)
OSCILLATOR – Put together the clothing abbreviation for ‘very big’, the first name of a Liverpudlian female singer first famous in the 1960s, and a group of rocks on Dartmoor, and you get something which produces waves of electrical current.

Image result for oscillator

2d           Gaudy insect on outside of tree (6)
FLASHY – An insect wrapped around a forest tree.

3d           Lacking joy and merriment, having little energy in fact (10)
FUNEREALLY – Put together another word for merriment, an abbreviation for Energy, and another way of saying ‘in fact’.

4d           A little drink and girl’s beginning to get unwell (4)
GILL – The first letter of Girl followed by ‘unwell’, giving us a small liquid measure, four of which make a pint.

5d           Charged as signified, the first character to be brought out (8)
INDICTED – Remove the first letter of the alphabet from a word meaning ‘signified’ to get ‘charged (with an offence)’.

6d           Not completely prepared for study (4)
READ – Remove the final letter (not completely) from a word meaning ‘prepared’.

7d           Bad harvest — it’s not hard to be very hungry (6)
STARVE – Anagram (bad) of (h)ARVEST with the letter signifying ‘hard’ on a pencil.

8d           Now and then look at princess on horse (3,4)
DIP INTO – The short form of the first name of the late Princess of Wales, followed by a type of horse noted for a coat of more than one colour.

13d         Good science that is evident in a form of cooking (10)
GASTRONOMY Good followed by a science which involves telescopes.

14d         Maidens perhaps work out — too much exercise may produce this (10)
OVERSTRAIN – Put together the cricketing events of which ‘maidens’ are a subset, and ‘work out’.

16d         Extraterrestrial beings? They could give man a stir (8)
MARTIANS – Anagram (could give) of MAN A STIR.

18d         Ruin created by little son, mad fellow? (7)
SHATTER Son followed by the chap who gave a tea party in Alice.

19d         Procession is cut, notice having interrupted it (6)
PARADE – A short word for a commercial notice is inserted into another word for ‘cut’.

20d         Possible financial agreement ahead of a match (6)
PRENUP – Cryptic definition of something which couples may enter not before getting married.

22d         One not first to grab work, offering negative response (4)
NOPE – (O)NE (from the clue) minus its first letter, wrapped around the Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work.

23d         Arrogance of one in charge of paper is upsetting (4)
SIDE – Put together an abbreviation for the person in charge of a newspaper and IS (from the clue), then reverse the result.

The Quick Crossword pun FRACK + SHUN = FRACTION

37 comments on “DT 29053

  1. The Don in a very friendly mood this morning, but no less enjoyable as a result. 1 and 3d compete for my COTD from a worthy selection of clues. Good fun all round.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  2. After yesterday this was a gentle stroll. Once the two long clues were sorted everything else fitted together fairly seamlessly. 12a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  3. I found today’s Giovanni puzzle most enjoyable – neither too short a time to solve nor too long. I have to confess to a personal dislike of abbreviations for answers such as the one in 20d, but otherwise it provided some very enjoyable early morning brain work. I can’t really pick a favourite clue as most were fairly straightforward, but 19d & 15a certainly had me chuckling. Thanks to The Don and DT.

    1. P.S. Thank you for the video at 12 across – very much appreciated here. So sad that John Mason is no longer with us – his energy was infectious.

  4. I did like 12a, but am still not quite sure where the ‘parents’ come into it?

      1. Thanks HoofIt, I suppose that’s all there is to it. And thanks to all involved today.

  5. I found this kinder than yesterday’s offering. COTD is 10a. A pity so few people who get up and speak are not in this category.
    Enjoy your stay in France Mr and Mrs DT. A noble effort to parse this for us while on holiday!

  6. No obscurities today – what a relief!
    Not keen on 3d but rather liked 10a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – thank you for taking on overtime during your holiday, hope you both enjoy your stay in Burgundy.

  7. 1*/3*. Light and enjoyable today. My only hold up was with 3d which was my last one in.

    I particularly liked the rock group in 1d which was my favourite, with 10a in second place.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  8. This was an interesting puzzle, which took me into *** time for difficulty. This was due to 12a, bunged in as my last clue. Thanks to Deep Threat, I can see the rationale behind this now but find it a bit tenuous. I just remember 4d from school lessons in the 50’s but feel it is not so easy for those born inthe decimalised era unless they serve behind a bar. Thanks to G, I liked 3d and14a.

  9. Mixture of hardish/easier clues today with the 2 gettable long ones providing the gateway . Liked 8D & 18D best. .
    Thanks to everyone .

  10. A very pleasant Friday puzzle after yesterday’s ‘slog’ completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 15a, 8d, and 18d – and the winner is 8d.

    Merci beaucoup à Giovanni et DT, et bonnes vacances!

  11. Pleased to see that I’m not the only one who thought this was a particularly enjoyable puzzle. The rock group had me smiling, very good.

    Thank you Giovanni, and DT for the review. The brochure looks fabulous – enjoy!

  12. A slow start but once underway (or should it be underweigh?) all went smoothly and it was a very pleasant trip. One or two parsings were required, viz 12a,17a and 19a. Fav was 3d (sorry Jane!). Thank you Giovanni and DT to whom ‘bonnes vacances’.

    1. I’m not a Scot but loved the Eightsome Reel performance by the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and dancers, so much so that I went on to find and watch their Dashing White Sergeant and the Lomond Waltz – what a feast – memories are made of this! Thank you DT. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🌹.

        1. Yes indeed I remember the music but never did any Irish dancing whereas, like you, remember Scottish dancing at school and of course at lots of private parties/dances including the Gay Gordons, etc.

  13. Not sure whether it was because my sleep was disturbed last night, but I found this at the trickier end of a Friday Giovanni (and for the second day running, the inside the paper crossword took less time)

    I did enjoy the solving experience so thank you to Giovanni and also to Deep Threat – I’m quite jealous of your holiday destination, particularly as Kent is very grey and drizzly today

  14. I don’t often do Friday’s so took me a little while to get on the setter’s wavelength, plus I was distracted by listening to Bruce Springsteen’s brilliant new single about 6 times on the bounce. However once there I thought this was elegantly clued and in the main good fun.
    Wasn’t keen on 12a thought it was a bit tenuous, and 4d is a blast from the past. Liked the rest though, in particular 1,18 and 20d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the entertainment.

    1. I too spent time listening to Bruce’s song and the horse on the front cover helped with 9d I know it isn’t a pinto but thinking about American horses brought it up from recesses of memory.

      Lots of other good stuff too thanks to D G&T enjoy the holiday.
      I am off to see Mark Knopfler tomorrow so it is turning into quite a musical weekend.

      1. I’m a big admirer of Mr Knopfler myself John. I hope you enjoy the concert.

  15. Back to enjoyment and a fine **/*** puzzle for a Friday.
    I concur with Hoofit re 12a, but of course DT is also correct so a double whammy clue!
    Liked 13d,so simple really but an excellent surface, also 10a-never thought of orator as having this synonym but the reference books say so as usual.
    Thanks all for the ride.

  16. Please, pretty please, would someone email me the puzzle. I’ve got computer problems and can’t access the site, before I get withdrawal symptoms and DTs.

  17. Yes agreed a nice solveable crossword after some of the horrors this week 😳 **/**** Favourites were 15a & 1d 😃 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

  18. How stupid can I be?
    Thought the def in 17a was dejection ends and for some strange reason, wrote in Saddles as the answer: S for the first sign of smile and Addles for breaks.
    out. D’oh and double d’oh.
    Never got 12a or 14d and decided to give up and come to the blog.
    Thanks to DT for the explanations and to the Don for the workout.

  19. **/***. Enjoyable while it lasted. Favourites were 10a&8d. Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Is anyone else finding the Telegraph site not rendering as designed? It takes a lot of messing to open the right puzzle.

  20. Good thing it was a friendly puzzle today, what with computer problems (thank you so much CS), I was so late starting.
    I liked this offering, but I did need electronic help for 3d, had no clue there.
    Loved the author at 25a, read all her books and watched every film and remake of Rebecca, and could watch it again.
    The clip at 12a reminded me of Scottish dancing at school, which we did once a week. So much fun and toe-tapping.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the hints and tips. Enjoy your holiday.

    1. With you on the author Merusa, but the dancing is best kept North of the border, me thinks 😊

  21. A very typical Friday crossword but without anything obscure in the way of sport, music or religion.
    The other thing that makes it a typical Friday crossword is that nothing made me smile, let alone laugh.
    No particular clues stood out for me today so all that’s left to say is thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  22. Well done Giovanni 👏 a thoroughly enjoyable & fun puzzle, that was a suitable evening diversion.
    Thanks to the Don & DT,,, hope you & Mrs DT have a restful & most enjoyable holiday.

  23. 3*/4*…..
    liked 1D(very big female singer with rock group — maker of current waves).

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