DT 29059 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29059

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29059

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 the sun has finally decided to join us after a chilly start to our stay.

We have a pangram from Giovanni this morning, not that it helped me when I ran into a roadblock in the SE corner which made this probably the longest time I’ve taken to solve a Friday puzzle.

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           Imposing old ladies organise bets (8)
DOWAGERS – A two-letter word which, at a stretch, can mean ‘organise’, followed by another word for bets.

Image result for maggie smith downton abbey

5a           Superior little place and it’s high above the meadows (6)
UPLAND – Put together the letter used to indicate upper-class or superior, an abbreviation for ‘place’, and AND (from the clue).

9a           What’s charged to cover part of play rehearsal? (8)
PRACTICE – The cost of a transaction (what’s charged) wrapped around a subdivision of a play.

10a         Woman and husband in the French vehicle rolling over (6)
RACHEL – Put together the French definite article and a motor vehicle, insert Husband, then reverse the result to get a woman’s name.

12a         Agent in trick to supply material (6)
CREPON – A short word for a sales agent, with ‘to trick’ wrapped around it, giving us a fabric with a vertically wrinkled texture, apparently.

13a         Question about a totally heartless crook in phony business (8)
QUACKERY – Put together A (from the clue) and C(roo)K with the middle letters removed (totally heartless), then wrap another word for a question around the result.

15a         Number in the hat shop creating upset (7)
CAPSIZE – Split the answer (3,4) and it’s something you need to know when buying a type of hat. As one word it means ‘upset’ (a boat, perhaps).

16a         Number will lose heart — that’s understood (4)
SEEN – Remove the middle letter from a single-digit prime number.

20a         Gem given polish, sparkly finally (4)
RUBY – What you do when you polish something, followed by the last letter (finally) of sparklY.

21a         Radiate somehow, wearing a little crown (7)
TIARAED – Anagram (somehow) of RADIATE.

Image result for tiara

25a         Bigwig, fellow with endless audacity (8)
MANDARIN – Another word for a fellow followed by a word for ‘audacity’ with its final letter removed.

26a         Fashion of country estate, reportedly (6)
MANNER – A fashion or way which is a homophone (reportedly) of a country estate.

28a         Allow only some children — a blessing! (6)
ENABLE – Hidden in the clue.

29a         Change in respect of what might be conjured up for the future? (8)
REVISION – ‘In respect of’ followed by something which may show what the future could be.

30a         Squeeze discarded lover — wrong! (6)
EXTORT – The usual former lover followed by a civil wrong, giving us a word for squeezing money out of someone.

31a         Proper exercises for certain bishops (8)
PRIMUSES – ‘Proper’ or ‘buttoned-up’ followed by a verb for ‘exercises’, giving us the title for certain presiding bishops in the Episcopal Church.


1d           Show long film? There’s extremes of disappointment about it (6)
DEPICT – The first and last letters (extremes) of DisappointmenT wrapped around a long and grandiose film.

2d           Wife having got healthier, one may go to work at sea (6)
WHALER – An abbreviation for Wife, followed by ‘healthier’ gives us a word for a person or a type of ship which hunts large marine mammals.

3d           Behave unreasonably and forget to leave the bus? (2,3,3)
GO TOO FAR – A metaphor for unreasonable behaviour is literally what happens if you miss your stop on the bus.

4d           People‘s competition (4)
RACE – Double definition, the first being an ethnic group of people.

6d           Location around island for fish (6)
PLAICE – An abbreviation for Island inserted into another word for location.

Image result for plaice

7d           Accomplished lady, the first to be grabbed by a child left abandoned (8)
ACHIEVED – Start with ‘A CHILD’ (from the clue). Remove the L (left abandoned) and insert the name of the first woman according to the Bible.

8d           Fellow member in strike showing hesitation (8)
DALLYING – A ‘fellow member’ in the sense of someone who is on the same side as you, with a strike or blow (on a bell, perhaps) wrapped around it.

11d         Bird to make noise descending on a road (7)
BUZZARD – The sort of noise a bee makes followed by A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for road.

Image result for buzzard

14d         Mostly hoping to find an answer to pain? (7)
ASPIRIN – Remove the final letter (mostly) from another word for ‘hoping’, to get a common painkiller.

17d         Piano engineers repeatedly fixing note (E) for significant performance (8)
PREMIERE – Start with the musical symbol for ‘piano’ or ‘softly’, add two examples of one of the usual regiments of engineers, then put together the third note of the sol-fa scale and E (from the clue) and inset the result between the regiments.

18d         A bit of food poet left unfinished — more than enough? (8)
ABUNDANT – A (from the clue), followed by a bit of food which may have a hot cross on it and an Italian Renaissance poet with his final letter removed.

19d         Dietary practice saving me pounds (8)
VEGANISM – Anagram (pounds) of SAVING ME.

22d         Sort of guard to have priest held up in vessel (6)
JAILER – Reverse (held up, in a Down clue) our usual Old Testament priest, then insert the result into a vessel or container.

23d         Jumping cats in extraordinary goings-on (6)
ANTICS – Anagram (jumping) of CATS IN. No, I’m not going to try competing with the Kitties for cute cat pictures!

24d         Allows good tirades (6)
GRANTS Good followed by another word for ‘tirades’.

27d         This puzzle shouldn’t take that long? Yes, right! (4)
YEAR – Another word for ‘yes’ followed by Right.

The Quick Crossword pun PURSE + PSEUD = PURSUED

38 comments on “DT 29059

  1. 3*/3*. What a difference a week makes. I’m not at all grumpy today and I really enjoyed this pangram in which the SE corner took me as long as the other three sectors together.

    I was delighted to see the lady in 7d suitably qualified. I learnt two new words in 12a & 31a and I was mildly surprised to find 21a in my BRB when I looked it up.

    My favourite was 15a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  2. I found this unusually tricky. Although I
    Finished all but 15a, which I could not fathom at all, I also got 8d and 11d wrong, putting in very similar words, because I only partially parsed the clues. There were a few unusual ones that I hadnt seen before like15a, but I managed to get them from the word play. Overall quite an enjoyable tussle and thanks to G. Many thanks to DT for setting me straight.

  3. It was NE that stumped me and even elsewhere I had to make much use of my electronic friend.

  4. I found this particularly difficult – definitely one that would have fitted nicely in a Toughie envelope.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  5. Like pulling teeth today , grew weary long before I completed the solve, like RD the SE corner took ages, 31a was new to me .
    Going to go for a ****/***.
    There were some excellent clues,15a for instance, this was my favourite too .Thanks DT for the pics
    Going for a strong coffee.

  6. Phew, that was rather testing. I found the bottom right section to be the most challenging and was going to give up on the top right, when the lady at 10 across and the disheartened number at 16 both dawned in a flash of inspiration. The remainder flowed rather smoothly. In all, a super puzzle and I feel great satisfaction having solved it. My thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Managed the NW corner and a few others scattered here and there and just got completely stumped.

    Thanks to DT for the hints that allowed me to continue and eventually finish.

    Never heard of 12a or a 21a, so at least my vocab has been expanded!

    Good to be stretched so thanks to Giovanni!

  8. I also got bogged down in the SE and should have consulted the BRB sooner especially on 31a which I thought were small paraffin fueled camping stoves before ‘Camping Gaz’ etc came into being (back in the 60s).

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 1d – and the coin has come down on its edge.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

    1. We had a primus stove, on which we would boil a kettle for tea and fry egg and bacon in a lay-by, just outside Reading onthe A4. The M4 hadn’t been constructed and the journey from London to our friends, at Pewsey, was long-winded. So it was a 5 a. m. start and breakfast at Reading.

      1. Couldn’t get ‘Manichee’ out of my mind for 25a, so resorted to the hint. Going out now, will see if I can finish this tonight …

  9. The West side was a good story but the East side was a different story .

    This grid usually causes me grief due to the lack of checks , it is like doing 4 separate crosswords

    As usual , did not spot the pangram although I never look for it !

    Had to check that 12A , 13A , 21A & 31A are ok words .

    All in all loved the challenge .

    Thanks G & DT .

  10. Tricky but for me far easier than yesterdays offering. I think its all a question of wavelength. My only problem was the material in 12a which i had to Google but the wordplay was obvious.
    All very elegant and precise which is what I like about Giovannis puzzles on the whole, very little ‘leaps of faith’ needed. My fav was 13a.
    Thx to all
    PS The takeaway curry was delicious!

  11. This was not my cup of tea to say the least, several convoluted leggo style clues and to me obscure definitions didn’t make for a pleasurable (attempt to) solve. I needed several hints, without which I would have taken a 27d to complete it. 4.5/1.5 *
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his much needed help.

  12. I found this way too difficult and resorted to hints about halfway through.
    I found 21a in the dictionary but wotta clumsy word!
    I had to look up 12a, but never heard of 31a, despite my CofE education.
    I liked 1a best of the ones I could solve.
    To be honest, Giovanni gave us perfectly fair clues, I just wasn’t on wavelength, so thanks for the puzzle, and many thanks to DT for his much needed hints.

  13. I’m sorry I think this puzzle was awful. Too difficult, too convoluted and not enjoyable at all. Thanks to the setter, was it in the wrong envelope?
    Thanks very very much for the hints which enabled me to complete it

  14. Tough but very doable once I found the right wavelength. 15a was amongst the last to fall and was my favourite. Challenging, certainly, but perhaps a little too awkward to be really enjoyable.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  15. ****/***. Slightly easier than yesterday’s offering but only just. Started quickly in the NW but slowed to a crawl for the other three quadrants. 21a was a new word for me as was 12a although both were deducible. Needed the hint for 31a. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the hints.

  16. I had never heard of the bishops in 31a. It was the grid that made this significantly more difficult for me. Many thank to all.

  17. This took me ages. I missed the fact that it was a pangram, and I was rather pathetic at working out the woman in 10a. Still, I got through it. Thanks setter and DT.

  18. For once I have to disagree with RD – I definitely got grumpy solving this one. Coped with the unknown material but 13&21a plus the camping stove and the Quickie pun abbreviation pushed me over the edge.

    I did like 1a/d so thanks for those, DG, and thanks to DT for taking more time out of his holiday to bring us the blog.

  19. Got to within 4 before I threw in the towel.
    Not sure I understand the thinking behind two Toughies on the same day.
    Thanks all.

  20. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found it very difficult. Realised that it might be a pangram, so that helped with 29a. Had to Google 12a to make sure, but the wordplay was obvious. Had to resort to the hints for 31a, which I’d never heard of. Favourite was 13a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  21. We got 28a from the wordplay and were surprised to find that we used to have bishops operating our camping stove. We spotted the pangram which was a help with a couple of answers. we enjoyed the solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  22. Definitely a wrong envelope day. Did love 15a and 3d, but aside from a few others, found this too tricky by half. Got to it late in the day, so giving up after needing too many hints, thanks Deep Threat.

  23. Found this tricky and had difficulty with the last 2 or 3 in the SE. Did not spot the anagram indictaor in 19d, but completed the last couple once that was in ****/**.

  24. Took a long while to grind this one out. Had to resort to e-help to get the last 2.

  25. I am being a bit thick. Please can you explain how this is a pangram -I cannot see it.

    1. If you look at the frequently asked questions section under the FAQ tab at the top of the page, you will see that a pangram is a crossword using every single letter of the alphabet

      Interestingly, it is such a FAQ, that the predictive text on my tablet knows exactly what I’m going to say in reply to comments like yours :D

  26. Another fine puzzle from the depenable G. Excellent clues, a good challenge and very enjoyable. 3.5* / 4*.

  27. I didnt find it that difficult however i thought thr clue for year 27 down, was rather feeble

  28. Did this day late and it put up quite a struggle on this sunny Saturday morning. I did spot the pangram fairly early but all letters were ticked off before, like DT and others, I got bogged down in the SE corner so it didn’t help much. Perseverance won in the end, so thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and DT for the review.
    My CotD has to go to 10a as it is the name of my lovely wife. Overall 4*/4* for me.

  29. I’m sure I commented yesterday but the blog suggests otherwise. Just to reiterate, I enjoyed this crossword. There were the usual unusual answers one expects on a Friday but they were reasonable enough. 13a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

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