DT 29056 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29056

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29056

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  I found today's offering a steady solve apart from a couple of clues in the east that required some head-scratching at the end of the grid fill.  I did wonder if younger solvers would have the general knowledge required by 17a.  Then I wondered if we even have many younger solvers reading the blog.  So, if you're a lurker under the age of, say, 45, please consider commenting below to provide some reassurance that there's a new generation of solvers out there.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the RIP Grumpy Cat 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    Cross found inside among relics (7)
MONGREL:  We start with a lurker.  The answer is found inside the remainder of the clue

5a    Second wife ultimately better locked up (7)
SECURED:  Join together the abbreviation for second, the last letter (… ultimately) of wifE, and better from an illness

9a    Centre corruptly holding diamonds in reserve (9)
RETICENCE:  An anagram (corruptly) of CENTRE containing (holding) a slang word for diamonds

10a   Trouble in service supplying gas (5)
RADON:  Trouble or bother inserted in the abbreviation for one of the armed services.  The gas is radioactive and you don't want it in your house

11a   An artist must accept party runs microstate (7)
ANDORRA:  AN from the clue and the usual artist sandwich (must accept) both a usual party and the cricket abbreviation for runs

12a   Process of reduction in capital growth? (7)
HAIRCUT:  In this cryptic definition, capital must be read as an adjective meaning "relating to the head".  So, what grows on your head and how can the amount of it be reduced?

13a   Laurel for one remaining fresh and vital (9)
EVERGREEN:  The answer is something of which a laurel is an example (... for one).  Split (4,5) it could mean remaining fresh and vital

16a   Spirited quartet taking beer outside (5)
ALIVE:  The Roman numerals for a quartet inserted in a beer made without hops (taking beer outside)

17a   She sought solitude in dress circle (5)
GARBO:  A synonym of dress or clothing followed by the letter shaped like a circle.  The wordplay refers to a well-known quotation from the 1932 movie Grand Hotel

18a   Greek leader soon capturing brave Frenchman (9)
AGAMEMNON:  An archaic word for "soon" containing (capturing) both a synonym of brave and the French equivalent of Mr.  Read about the Greek leader here

21a   Nonsensical legal or musical term (7)
ALLEGRO:  An anagram (nonsensical) of LEGAL OR

22a   One providing better information? (7)
TIPSTER:  Another cryptic definition.  Better here indicates a gambler

25a   Mug -- I had nothing to fill it! (5)
IDIOT:  The contracted form of I had is followed by the letter resembling zero (nothing) inserted in (to fill) IT from the clue

26a   Sentimental feeling unfortunately lost again (9)
NOSTALGIA:  An anagram (unfortunately) of LOST AGAIN

27a   Boffin whose brains might be scrambled? (7)
EGGHEAD:  This informal word for a boffin suggests that his brains might be edible, perhaps after scrambling

28a   Get stuffed in French valley (7)
ENGORGE:  The French word for "in" with a synonym of valley



1d    Damage barrier in Kentish Town? (7)
MARGATE:  Damage or spoil with a barrier in a fence, perhaps

2d    Renowned editor after new books (5)
NOTED:  The abbreviation for editor goes after both the abbreviation for new and the abbreviation for some usual religious books

3d    Fast driver expert in Rolls-Royce (5)
RACER:  Put an expert inside (in) the abbreviation for Rolls-Royce

4d    Eagle in whirling descent (7)
LINEAGE:  An anagram (… whirling) of EAGLE IN

5d    Old king to tread on chicken (7)
STEPHEN:  "to tread" followed by (on in a down clue) a female chicken.  Read about the king here

6d    Gristle found in horrid garlic tea (9)
CARTILAGE:  An anagram (horrid) of GARLIC TEA

7d    Bloody battle that's needed if text is poor (9)
REDACTION:  The colour synonymous with bloody is followed by battle or warfare

8d    Sink to keep clear in meals alcove (7)
DINETTE:  Sink or diminish containing (to keep) a four-letter adjective meaning clear of all charges or deductions

14d   Adding to list long liner that's wrecked (9)
ENROLLING:  An anagram (… that's wrecked) of LONG LINER

15d   Material from novelist Heyer? (9)
GEORGETTE:  The first name of English novelist Heyer is also a thin silk fabric

17d   Stone jar containing nickel (7)
GRANITE:  Jar or annoy containing the chemical symbol for nickel

18d   Decorated knight in love with daughter (7)
ADORNED:  The chess abbreviation for knight is inserted in a verb synonym of love with the genealogical abbreviation for daughter appended

19d   Performer in part is terrible (7)
ARTISTE:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue

20d   Eastern sailor ran up to tell story (7)
NARRATE:  Concatenate the single letter for eastern, a usual sailor, and RAN from the clue.  Then reverse the lot (… up, in a down clue)

23d   Police initially called to crash (5)
PRANG:  Put together the first letter of (… initially) Police and called on the telephone

24d   Fierce person finally investing in bank (5)
TIGER:  The last letter of (finally … ) investinG inserted in a bank or row


Thanks to today’s setter for a pleasant solve.  Today I smiled at 1a, 25a, 27a, and 17d.  I also liked the Quickie Pun.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  BAA + SIR + LONER = BARCELONA

55 comments on “DT 29056

  1. I have to say I found this very enjoyable but ridiculously easy and I completed it in a record time, I must just have been on the right wavelength. Too many anagrams but all in all fun so thanks to all. */***.

  2. Great fun and very approachable. Found it much easier than yesterday’s one star. However 8d eluded me.

    1. You’ve changed your alias from the one used previously so your comment was sent into moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

  3. Probably easier than yesterday and I too only paused for thought in the east. 18a and d were LOI.
    My first car was a 21a and driving it like the pic meant I parked it on its roof and walked home that day and had to get someone to give the remains a decent burial. Replaced it with a Ford and have stuck by them since.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  4. No problems once I’d carefully placed the ‘M’ & ‘N’ bits in 18a. Mind you, his wife had an even worse name to spell!
    Fairly rapid solve and have to admit that the Quickie Pun was my outright favourite.
    Interesting pic for 12a – must be a lizard of some sort but not one I’ve previously come across!

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another excellent review with the usual helpful links to further information.

    PS I did miss the frolicsome felines today – are they all in mourning for Grumpy Cat? Hope they’ll be back next week, they quite make my Tuesdays.

    1. Hi, Jane. There’s a cat or two lurking about the blog. Sad about Grumpy Cat – seven is very young. I was surprised and pleased to see her on the front page of The Times on Saturday. I also liked the pun, in part because I was there three days ago.

      1. Hope you indulged in one of those drunken evenings where everyone gives it their all with a Freddie Mercury impression!

        1. Um, no, I didn’t know that was a thing. Sounds like you’ve had some adventures in Spain?

          1. I couldn’t possibly say! However, I was actually referring to his rendition of ‘Barcelona’ alongside the Spanish operatic soprano, Montserrat Caballe. Not my cup of tea but a great deal better than the attempts made by English tourists to replicate the sound!

        2. I watched Bohemian Rhapsody last week, quite a good movie. However, I knew nothing about Freddie Mercury and had never heard him sing, yet he seemed to have been pretty famous. I must live on an alternate planet.

  5. Catastrophe, no cats !

    Apart from that an enjoyable offering today , last in 15D and needed wife’s input . Will pick 12A as COTD partly due to the photo .

    Greetings from Crete to everyone .

  6. Although I enjoyed this, I can’t really put it better than Mr K in that it was “steady”. I was completely befuddled by 8d and had to peek at the answer (I still don’t completely understand it, I can’t account for the second ‘t’). 12a is tenuous to say the least too.
    I really liked the lurker, that takes podium top spot with 7d and the amusing 25a filling the minor places.
    Of course 5d went straight in, that’s two mentions in a week! (special thanks to MP for pointing out the first) 2.5/2.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and of course to Mr K.

    1. Your extra ‘T’ needs to be added to the word you’ve already thought of – it is an accepted alternative spelling. If you look at Mr K’s hint, he did make specific reference to a 4-letter adjective.

    2. Stephen, re 8d there is an alternative spelling of the word for clear with 2 Ts.

      1. Oops. Jane’s comment wasn’t there when I started typing …

        At least she, Mr K and I are all saying the same thing!

        1. Thanks Jane and RD. I’d never come across the word in question spelt that way but will try to remember for future reference.

  7. This was solved in a somewhat haphazard way as I seemed to dodge from pillar to post. In the end the West caused few problems but the East was a slightly different story. Felt I should have completed without hints because solutions needing a hint (e.g. 13a – I bunged in ‘energetic’, 22a and 23d) should have been obvious. In fact eventually my Fav was perhaps 22a although doubtless a chestnut. Tried for ages to use ‘dans’ in 28a. Will be interesting to know about our youthful fellow bloggers – if only! Thank you Mysteron and MrK (Wot no moggies!)

  8. 2*/3*. Light but fun with my only hold-ups being with a couple of answers in the NE corner plus needing to look up the material in 15d.

    Favourite is a toss-up between 27a & 1d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

    P.S. Shame there are no cat pics today.

  9. Somewhat more gentle than recent Tuesdays completed at a fast gallop (just) – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 5a and 18a – and the winner is 8a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. I awoke far too early but consequently finished nice and early before a not too bad round of golf for my rather limited ability.
    I rather enjoyed 12a. Should 1d not read “in a Town of Kent”?😂
    Sadly I am not under 45….
    Thanks to all involved and to Mr K for his moggy lurker.

    1. For 1d, the setter might be trying to create some confusion as, in ‘real life’, Kentish Town is an area of North-West London and then there is the ‘?’ at the end of the clue.

      1. Sorry, as a Man of Kent I.e. one born east of the River Medway (as opposed to a Kentish Man) I was being flippant!

  11. I’m a regular reader, and I’m the ‘right’ side of 45 – well for the next 5 months anyway! I don’t often comment as by the time children are in bed, things are cleared up, and I get to the crossword it’s usually late, but I read every day – and the hints have vastly improved my solving abilities!! I’ll advise later whether I have the GK to know what 17a is!

    1. You’ve changed your email address since your last comment so this one went into moderation.

    2. Thanks for commenting today, Richard. I do hope that we’ll meet a few other under-45s before the end of the day.

      1. Nope, no idea about the film!! Not knowing the novelist at 15d made those 2 tricky. Not seen head = capital either before that I can remember either, meant I had to look up 12a.

        Thanks as ever for the hints – I aspire to get good enough (and have enough time!) to blog one day!!

        1. That meaning of capital was new to me as well and I had to verify it in the BRB. BD has probably taken note of your desire to blog :) I found that writing these hints made me a better solver quite quickly, so you might not need to wait too long before volunteering,

  12. I’m not quite under 45, but have no idea about 17a other than the wordplay – I think a definition derived from a reference to a quote from an ancient film is hardly fair!

  13. Completed in record time, this was very enjoyable and had some clever clues. I liked 1a, 12a, 18a,1d and 5d. Thanks to Mr K for help in parsing 8d but I do miss the cat pictures. Thanks to the setter.

  14. Sadly, I’m well on the way to my second 45, so found 17 across quite easy to understand. I can only agree with most others in that this was a very comfortable solve, but I’m certainly not complaining. The north-east held me up the longest, but once the old king dawned in 5 down the remaining hurdles soon got overcome (is that good grammar? Hmm. Whatever, lol) No real favourite for me today – just an all-round fun solve. Thanks to Setter and Mr K.

  15. Interesting about the age question. I was only a teenager when I read 15d.
    but the lady is still in print and a useful source of Regency terms for upmarket class like “ton” or gambling games like “faro”.

    I wonder about our setters. So many seem to be retired cricketers with their maiden overs and silly mid ons.

    Never mind, we enjoy ourselves – usually!

    1. I, too, read 15d books voraciously as a teenager, passing them around to share. I’m glad to know they’re still in print.

  16. Hmm, seems I might have set the difficulty rating a tad too high. It’s always hard to assign a difficulty rating to a puzzle that’s mostly easy with one or two holdout clues, especially when jet-lagged. In my case I stared at 12a for quite a while before the penny dropped. I haven’t seen it before, but my database shows that it’s a bit of a chestnut, with the first appearances credited to Rufus, so perhaps more experience solvers recognized it? Re the cats, sometimes they hide. A well-placed click might uncover one.

    1. On reading the clue for 12a, I immediately bunged in “balding”, but I soon realised it was wrong on getting the downs.

  17. Another nice offering **/*** 😃 if I manage to solve them it is always nice 😏Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter. Favourites 27a & 1d 😜

  18. ***/***. Well I needed the hint for 8d so the difficulty level got elevated a notch. Nevertheless a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  19. This was over way too soon! Maybe I was on ‘wavelength’ for once…
    Anyway, all done and dusted with the favourite being the Quickie pun.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and one pic.

  20. Started late today, so I was glad of a friendly solve.
    As I’m of an age, 17a and 15d gave me no problem.
    It was a steady solve, until I got to my last one, 18a, I just could not see it. I had to use my word search for that, and now I wonder why?
    Lots to like here, a nice fluffy puzzle and much enjoyed.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the hints and pics, though only one cat is not acceptable!

  21. I would not have solved the NE corner if I had looked at it for 10 years.
    Thanks all.

  22. When we read the clue for 5d we saw ‘old king’ and thought “that’s COLE, now what comes next”. Did not take too long to sort it out. The rest of the puzzle all flowed smoothly. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    1. ST 3002 by CrypticSue
      4d Old king has put foot down over broody female (7)
      STEPHEN – This reminds me of teaching no 1 son how to spell his name – with a STEP (put foot down) over HEN (broody female)

  23. This Young Salopian is the wrong side of 45 but still enjoyed this puzzle. Pretty straightforward with only a few sticky moments. Really enjoyed 1d. Thanks to all.

  24. Thanks, Mr K — amused to find I count as “younger”! (Last time that happened, I was at an Alan Price gig.)

    15d was one of the few I could write in on the first pass: I hadn’t heard of the material, but my spouse has recently been borrowing that author’s books from the library, and I’ve been ‘helpfully’ singing OutKast every time I see her reading one (“Hey-Ya, Georgette Hey-Ya”). Unfortunately the final 35 pages were missing from one of them, leaving the whodunnit tantalisingly unresolved.

    I didn’t recognize the specific quote for 17a, but from the wordplay and a crosser I guessed who it would be.

    For 12a I just read it as a fairly straightforward definition of a financial haircut (which Oxford has as ‘informal’, but seems to be used officially by the ECB (the bankers, not the cricket lot)), completely missing the ‘capital’ = ‘head’ thing.

    5d made me laugh, and the lurker in 1a was my favourite today. Continued thanks to each 22a on here.

    1. Thanks, Smylers. Your OutKast suggestion for illustrating 15d is brilliant. I wish I’d thought of that.

    2. If you put two or more links in a single comment, that comment is regarded at potential spam and placed in moderation. This is not a problem as someone will approve it for you.

    1. The word has been in the news in the US quite a lot lately. It’s been used in the sense shown in the illustration where text deemed sensitive in a report is blacked out.

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