DT 29055 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29055

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29055

Hints and tips by Mary Poppins

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

What a lovely puzzle we have here today. Full of fun and mischief but not very hairy. We have an expected birth to cheer us all up and plenty of food to eat. Our setter even provides a venue to eat at.

These hints and tips have been created lovingly to help those of you who may need help to solve a couple of clues or to understand why an answer is what it is. Usually a clue consists of two parts. 1. A definition, which is usually at the beginning or end of a clue. 2. Wordplay which tells to what to do to solve the clue. The hints and tips help with the wordplay of the clues. Definitions are underlined. Some hints are illustrated. These illustrations may or may not have a bearing on understanding the clue.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Worker wearing flat hat tears tight-fitting trousers (5,5)
CAPRI PANTS: Don’t you just love it when 1 across falls into place as easily as pie? Well not today it didn’t. Mostly because I have never heard of the items in question. Now that I have I am reluctant to google them in case they are not very nice. The clue is a three-parter. Begin with one of two regular cryptic worker insects. Find a flat hat. Find a simple synonym of the word tears. Not the tears you cry, the tears where you pull something apart. With a bit of jiggling as suggested by the clue you ought to come up with what is essentially nothing more than a pair of trousers

6a    Member‘s parking skill (4)
PART: Use the abbreviation for parking. Add the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.

10a    A well-bred fellow broker (5)
AGENT: Begin with the letter A which is a gift from the setter to you. Add a word descriptive of a very nice bloke.

11a    Consider short leg spinner, balding (4,2,3)
THIN ON TOP: Start with a word meaning to consider. Remove its last letter (short). Add the cricket side which is called leg (either on or off). Add a child’s spinning toy. The result is something that happens to all men as they age. Unless you are Bob Dylan who appears to have a full head of hair even though he will be seventy-eight years old on the 24th of this month. Or is it a syrup?


12a    Develop figure at college (5,2)
SHAPE UP: A word meaning a figure is followed by a word meaning at college. Simple.

13a    Excited seeing son’s birth (7)
GENESIS: An anagram (excited) of SEEING is followed by the abbreviation for son

14a    General panic when crooked lawyer in Michigan initially absconded (4,8)
MASS HYSTERIA: Begin with the abbreviation of the state of Michigan. Add the letter A (initially absconded) inset a short word meaning when together with a longer word meaning a person, especially a lawyer, who uses unscrupulous, fraudulent, or deceptive methods in business

18a    Toy poodle is plastered with cake (12)
KALEIDOSCOPE: Anagram (plastered) of POODLE IS with CAKE

21a    Father looked on, agog (3-4)
POP-EYED: Begin with a word for your father. Add a verb meaning to have looked on with interest

23a    Missile may be ear-piercing heading away (7)
TRIDENT: Find an adjective meaning ear piercing. Remove its first letter (heading away)

24a    Russian port‘s leading backer (9)
ARCHANGEL: This Russian port can be found by using a prefix that means leading, chief or principle followed by a financial backer of shows in theatreland

25a    Hike miles conveyed by horse-drawn carriage (5)
TRAMP: The abbreviation for miles sits inside a horse drawn vehicle

26a    Asian chief within shook hands (4)
KHAN: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word within tells us so

27a    Whip food in retreat left by artist that’s retired? I might (3-7)
CAT-BURGLAR: This thief who enters a building by climbing to an upper storey can be found by following the instruction in the clue. Begin with a type of whip. Find a slang term for food and reverse it (in retreat) Add the abbreviation for left. Add our regular artist (Royal Academy) but reversed (retired) I have explained how to arrive at the obvious answer but invite suggestions as to how the answer is best defined given the clue we have


1d    Rough route, it’s said (6)
COARSE: A homophone clue where the answer sounds like another word. We need a word that is synonymous with rough and sounds like a route

2d    Page about marvellous sort of dwelling (6)
PREFAB: begin with the abbreviation for page. Add a short word used regularly by setters to mean about. Add a word from the 1960s meaning marvellous

3d    Expecting win, they may fail abysmally (2,3,6,3)
IN THE FAMILY WAY: This most wonderful way of describing pregnancy is actually an anagram (abysmally) of WIN THEY MAY FAIL

4d    A new piece of advice regarding appetiser (9)
ANTIPASTO: Start with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for new. Add a piece of helpful advice such as you are reading now. Add two short words that mean regarding

5d    Unconvincing leader of gang’s obsession (5)
THING: Begin with a very stretched synonym of unconvincing. Add the initial (leader of) letter of gang

7d    Stair repaired with effort and great skill (8)
ARTISTRY: An anagram (repaired) of STAIR is followed by an effort or an attempt

8d    A father feeding spoiled brats in a place that serves light snacks (5,3)
TAPAS BAR: The letter A together with a two-lettered term for your father sit comfortably within an anagram (spoiled) of BRATS

9d    Indicate position of dog and cross-country racer (5-2-7)
POINT-TO-POINTER: The first two words suggest how one might indicate the position of something using their index finger. The final word is a type of gun dog

15d    Does one need a craft to be a member here? (5,4)
YACHT CLUB: The craft here is a medium sized sailing boat equipped for cruising or racing. The answer is an association dedicated to those who own such craft

16d    Captain appearing with sailor’s fish (8)
SKIPJACK: Shortened form of address for a captain is followed by a word used for a sailor

17d    Shock loss bound to divide a government agency in America (8)
ALOPECIA: A word meaning to walk or run with a long bounding stride sits within the letter A from the clue and the initials of the Central Intelligence Agency. The shock here refers to hair. This fellow doesn’t appear to have any such problems.

19d    Remember to cancel (6)
RECALL: A double definition. The first rather obvious. The second not so

20d    Spout stupidly on top of rotunda, in a daze (6)
STUPOR: An anagram (stupidly) of SPOUT sits nicely on the initial letter of Rotunda

22d    Follow scholar’s teaching (5)
DOGMA: A verb meaning to follow is itself followed by a scholar. A Master of Arts

Exciting times. What will tomorrow bring.?

Quickie Pun: Board+Align=Borderline


40 comments on “DT 29055

  1. Thanks Mary. The trousers were on my radar but only because Bill Bryson was made to wear some to school by a forgetful mother. 13a only occured to me after the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway made todays playlist.
    14a and 9d joint faves today. Can you still get 16d tuna or have the kitties cornered the market?
    Thanks to Marypops and setter.
    Thanks too to BD for fighting the gremlins.

    1. The kitties are only rewarded with the scraps – 16d tuna is still readily available for us humans. Unfortunately, the one I prefer is canned in spring water by Mr Sainsbury who hasn’t thus far set up an emporium on Anglesey. No.2 daughter is charged with bringing in my supply for the year on her annual visit from IOW.

  2. It’s good to have the blog up and running again. Well done and thanks very much to BD for restoring normality.

    1.5*/3*. This was light fun for a Monday morning, although it’s teatime now.

    27a was a little strange and my last one in. 9d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP.

  3. Although the answer is quite obvious, 27a is hard to completerly parse. Both of us here are mystified as to the ‘I might’. Otherwise, a super fun puzzle with wich to begin the week. Thanks to setter and MP. Pleased to see the blog up and running again too.

    1. Second attempt. Gremlins in the works? A really enjoyable crossword (****) which was quickly completed (**). I liked1a, 11a, 12a and 27a which were very well put together. Thanks to the setter, BD for ebviable patience and MP for the hints.(1a are a girly item, which are close fitting and end at the knee. Probably why you hadn’t heard of them.

    2. I’m guessing the intention is for us to read ‘whip’ in the sense of steal (whip away) – hence ‘I might’. Not the smoothest clue in the world.

        1. Sorry it didn’t print the second part of my comment. Then it is using whip in the other sense of steal, which ia something he ( the full answer) might do. Confusing but it just about works.

    3. 27a. The definition (that’s if the final 2 words are supposed to be the definition) should be “He might”, surely. Then it would be an example of someone who would probably steal, as suggested in the wordply. I’m pretty sure that it’s not the setter who’s a potential thief!

  4. This one was quite tricky, at least 2.5 for solving time. Not helped by having no idea what 1a are or what 6a has to do with a member. Thought 5d was just a poor clue.
    Uninspiring overall, bit dull.
    Thx for the (much delayed) hints or was it just my iPad that refused to see them.

    1. Don’t you just love computer updates, why is it they never seem to be improvements?

  5. Welcome back BD – you were sorely missed this morning. This was good fun and not too taxing. North went in smoothly but then there were a couple of hiccups to overcome in the South. Initially tinkered with drain-pipes for 1a as unfamiliar with the correct solution although I do wear them. I enjoyed unravelling 27a without working out where ‘I might’ comes into it. My Fav was 17d. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  6. 2.5/3. Held up for ages by 16d where I bunged in “skipper” without a second thought. 26a made me rethink that impetuous action. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  7. The gremlins are back! My last post has disappeared and it took me most of the afternoon to access the site.
    27a is easy to parse but it doesn’t make sense,
    Fingers crossed this arrives!

  8. Good to see the blog back up and running – I blame the its collapse entirely upon the fact that the server does not share our Monday blogger’s Dylan obsession!

    I enjoyed this one despite, as others have commented, not being able to nail 1a until late in the solve.

    Top three for me were 11&14a plus 3d.
    Thanks to our setter and to MP for the blog.

    PS I guess that 27a makes more sense if you place the last two words of the clue at the beginning.

    1. Indeed it does Jane. That would make the definition I MIGHT WHIP with whip doing double duty. Have a gold star

      1. Like Jane, I thought that 27a was intended to be a semi-all-in-one, with the definition being the entire clue interpreted as “I might steal food from retired artist’s retreat”. Not the smoothest of surfaces, but perfectly legal with no double duty.

    2. Re 24a, reminded me of a book I read aeons ago called “The House by the Dvina” by Eugenie Fraser. I think you’d enjoy it, it’s on Kindle I believe.

    3. Thank you Jane. I now understand 27a. The clue must have been written by Yoda.

  9. Thank you BD for getting the site up and running again. I’ve had gremlins too for the last few days. Now to the crossword. I put “skippers” into 16d but couldn’t for the life of me see where the extra “s” came from. That’s because it wasn’t there. Wrong word I found out from the lurker in 26a. I bunged in 27a from the checking letters, but still don’t get it. The rest of it was the usual Monday fun. Thank you setter and thank you Miss Poppins. I saw you in the movie last night.

  10. A late starter today as we were wandering around Cambridge taking in its many sights, I had not realised the gremlins had returned. Many thanks and congratulations to BD for fixing it. As for the puzzle, pretty straightforward but with plenty of enjoyment to be had. Really liked 9d but 17d took the top spot.

    Thanks to the Governess and our setter.

  11. In the main good fun. Got 27a from the wordplay and checkers but had no idea whatsoever how it related to the definition, or what the definition was! I think Jane’s suggestion just about makes it work but certainly not in its current form. Do people outside crosswordland still use the two words that make up 16d I wonder, and the pants in 1a as far as I know are defined by length and not fit.
    I liked 8d and 13a but my favourite was 11a
    Many thanks to setter and to MP for his usual dry humoured review.

  12. I normally log on late so the gremlins had already been dispatched. Thanks and congratulations to you BD.
    As for the crossword; fairly straightforward other than the 1a which although easy enough to solve were a new fashion statement to me. In fact reading the blog I think I fell for every wrong answer that was listed. Hmm…
    Favourite? I’ll go for the wonderful 3d.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Miss P for the review.

  13. Evening all,,, a fun entertaining puzzle which lulled me into crashing in two incorrect answers at 1a & 16d , simply me getting it wrong!
    Thanks to setter & MP for his ‘spoon full of sugar ‘

  14. Lovely start to the week with this amusing and solveable crossword 😃 **/**** Favourites probably 24a & 9d 😉 Thanks to the unknown Setter and to Mary Poppin for her interesting blog 😬

  15. Late on today as my IT was sorting my computer, hooray, now done!
    I loved all of this but shot myself in the foot with a couple. I put “cargo” in 1a, stupid, the cargo ones are anything but tight, and I wrote the “y” in 15d like a “u”, held me up for ages.
    I liked lots, so I’ll pass on a fave, just mention 4d and 9d in dispatches.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mary for the fun,

    1. P.S. I knew I was elderly, but how much so was brought home to me today on reading BD’s site update. I didn’t understand a word of it, and yet it probably made sense to teenagers.

  16. I found this to be a decidedly tricky Monday puzzle, and alas the hints weren’t there earlier to help me. The pants in 1a are very popular in South Florida, most of the year being too hot for full length pants. They are short, but not particularly tight fitting, or perhaps that is just how they are cut here. Also struggled with 21a because of regional difference, would be bug-eyed here. So grateful that the blog was fixed and gremlins hopefully banished,

  17. Three cheers to BD for seeing off the beastly gremlins yet again – I hate them, whoever they are and whenever they choose to strike.
    I thought this was a brilliant crossword – I loved it – not tricky at all but just generally light hearted.
    Lots to smile at – even 8d specially once anyone sensible, ie not me, had spotted that it was split 5, 3 rather than one word. :roll:
    Clues that I particularly enjoyed today included 18a and 9 and 17d but I could have put the whole lot in.
    With thanks to the setter and to MP aka Mary Poppins.

  18. Thanks for the hints (I needed a couple of them) and the explanations (I needed quite a few).

    This had an abundance of fun clues in it. 14a my favourite.

  19. Thanks for explaining this crossword for me.
    I’ve never heard of Capri pants either!
    I got “cat burglar” but where does the “I might” come in?
    Thanks again. I do need your help some days!

    1. Welcome to the blog David

      I’ve moved your comment. In future please try to comment on the appropriate page. I think “I might” is the cat burglar saying that he might whip (steal) food. I think it has been generally agreed that this is not the greatest of clues!

  20. 3*/4*…………..
    liked 3D (expecting win, they may fail abysmally).

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