DT 29061 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29061

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29061

Hints and tips by Noggin The Nog

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today we have a lovely puzzle for a Bank Holiday Monday. It begins with the excellent long clue at three across which twists and turns and misleads throughout. The answer is one of those wonderful words that rolls off the tongue with a smile. Elsewhere in the puzzle we are given a cocktail to enjoy with dinner and pudding. We also have a young lady to entertain along with somewhere to entertain her. All in all, something for everyone.

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.


3a    Fighting fit boxing foremost of southpaws, I hit strongly, at the start (10)
FISTICUFFS: Wrap the word fit (from the clue. Monday’s setter is a most generous man who readily gives us words and letters) around the initial (foremost) letter of the word southpaw. Add the letter I (also a gift from our setter) Now add a word meaning to hit and add the beginning letter of the word strongly (at the start)

8a    That’s funny, American penning Italian book (6)
LOLITA: A popular abbreviation used in text messages (by those who use abbreviations in text messages) is followed by the abbreviation for Italian and the abbreviation for America.

9a    Denials involved seal furs (8)
REFUSALS: Anagram (involved) of FUR SEALS

10a    Veteran soldier was hero, shot crossing river (8)
WARHORSE: An anagram (shot) of WAS HERO surrounds the abbreviation for river

11a    Piece that is for a beginner (6)
ROOKIE: The piece from a chess set is also known by common usage as a castle. It is followed by the Latin abbreviation for id est which equates to that is.

12a    Howl catching a young man dressing (5,5)
SALAD CREAM: A high pitched howl surrounds the letter A from the clue and a three-lettered young man to reveal this gloopy mess of a dressing.

14a    Lots in this list, perhaps? (4-9)
SALE CATALOGUE: A rather cryptic description of a brochure listing items to be auctioned

20a    Food fit for a future queen? (5,5)
ROYAL JELLY: A honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. This swarm is now hived and the queen is laying.

22a    Church worker attacked carrying cross (6)
SEXTON: To attack someone needs to be split 3,2. It can then be placed around the letter that looks like a cross

23a    Above us, as trip unfolded (8)
UPSTAIRS: Anagram (unfolded) of US AS TRIP

24a    Company very at home handling question linked to golden dish (3,2,3)
COQ AU VIN: Golly bongs what a busy clue.


The abbreviation for company

The abbreviation for very

A two-letter word meaning at home

An abbreviation of question

The chemical symbol for gold


Arrange as per instructions supplied in the clue

Eat on weekdays only

25a    Mention about Ecstasy in sailor’s jacket? (6)
REEFER: Insert the abbreviation for ecstasy into a word synonymous with mention to find a naval type of jacket

26a    Dessert in a rucksack possibly left by one entering area (10)
ZABAGLIONE: Place the letter a together with a word meaning a rucksack, hold-all, or any carrier. Add the abbreviation for left. Add the letter that looks like the number one. Place all of this inside an area or stretch of land having a particular characteristic, purpose, or use, or subject to particular restrictions.


1d    Currently away, dons in resort (8)
NOWADAYS: Anagram (in resort) of AWAY DONS

2d    Pill required after strong drink (8)
HIGHBALL: This pill is not medicinal. It is used by footballers to indicate the object which they kick. This object follow a synonym of the word strong and usually referring to the smell of rotten food

3d    Material‘s marvellous, full of comic potential, once abridged (6)
FABRIC: Begin with a 1960s term meaning marvellous. Add a term describing comedic value but minus its last letter

4d    Maxim reportedly makes one angry (4)
SORE: Another word for a proverb or saying is a homophone of a word meaning irritated such as like a bear with a **** head

5d    Relaxed, fill in a line (8)
INFORMAL: Begin with a word meaning to fill in. As in spill the beans or tell. Add the letter a from the clue and the abbreviation for line

6d    Outcome of increased effort (6)
UPSHOT: Start with a word meaning increased and add an effort, try or go at something

7d    Boy heard in lift (6)
FILLIP: This lift of the spirits sounds like a boys name. The husband of our Queen.

13d    Lobby candidate (5)
ENTRY: A double definition. Please consult the dictionary before asking why

15d    Can rival working for travelling fair (8)
CARNIVAL: Anagram (working) of RIVAL CAN

16d    Unclear situation in dull and cloudy region (4,4)
GREY AREA: Two easy synonyms are all that is required to solve this clue. One meaning dull and cloudy, the other meaning a region.

17d    Bloated? Stop imbibing fizzy lager (8)
ENLARGED: A word meaning stop contains an anagram (fizzy) of LAGER

18d    Fine English girl’s hat (6)
FEDORA: The abbreviations for fine and English are followed by a girls name. You have lots to choose from. Go search

19d    Scottish engineer raised in old area in capital city (6)
OTTAWA: The engineer associated with steam engines is reversed (raised) and placed between the abbreviations for old and area

21d    Brightness of some Honolulu streets (6)
LUSTRE: This clue gives us no instruction but it includes the word some which indicates a hidden word and so it is. Can you see it?

23d    Spoil a Parisian party (4)
UNDO: The French word for one is followed by crossword lands favourite party

Quickie Pun. Top line: gallon+tree=gallantry

Bonus Quickie Pun. Bottom line: walk+rhymes=war crimes


61 comments on “DT 29061

  1. An enjoyable crossword which does make you wish you were planning something more exciting than cold meat and salad for lunch.

    Thanks to the setter and to Nogbad the Bad – I now see the reason for the references to the wonderful Peter Firmin in your email earlier today

  2. A lovely puzzle. 4d was the last in, I needed the splendid 3a to give me its first letter.
    Thank you for Noggin. A happy trip down memory lane.

  3. Many of the clues in this puzzle were rather vague and, if it hadn’t been for the fact that, for once in my life, I identified it as a ,pangram, I would not have finished it. I left the top half until last as I couldn’t get much of a start there at all, although it fell into place later. IMHO *** for difficulty and * for enjoyment. Thanks to Noggin for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. I don’t like posting negative comments but I have to say I’m with you on this one. I did like 3a, as MP said, one of those quintessentially English words and 12a, a childhood favourite. 7d completes my podium. 3*/1.5*
      Thanks to the setter and to Noggin, in particular for the fine photograph of the hat!

  4. A really lovely puzzle today and not too taxing. Favourites were 10a and 3a. Last one in was 8a as I always thought the first three letters was a ‘sign off’ abbreviation! Suspect I’ve rather mystified some people when signing off. All in all thoroughly enjoyable so many thanks to all.

    1. 8a Surely it’s either ‘laugh out loud’ or ‘lots of love’ so you’re quite correct in your messages.

      1. Well I thought it was the former but its not exactly appropriate if the recipient thinks its the latter on, say, a letter of condolence for a departed beloved pet which I sent recently! I’m now having an ‘oh dear’ moment.

          1. I remember that MP. Was it not the way he signed off his emails to Rebecca Brooks?

        1. I used to work with a male colleague who frequently signed off emails with lol I always thought this was rather inappropriate until I learnt its comedic rather than amorous meaning.

    2. It’s definitely laughing out loud for the younger generation in texting. It used to mean lots of love for us oldies when sending an actual letter. Depends where you use it.

  5. Bottom half went straight in, the top half took a little longer with the NW corner the last to fall. A thoroughly enjoyable exercise, with 17d a favourite along with 26a, and a pangram to boot I believe.

    Many thanks to our setter and MP.

  6. That was a lot of fun and a pleasant change from the previous two days’ offerings with both of which I threw in the towel. That might however have been due to a busy schedule and preoccupation with EU election (until 3 a.m.this morning too!). South was the least taxing half. Took a while for the 24a penny to drop. No particularly noteworthy clues to mention. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  7. Try again .

    I echo the comments of YS above apart from picking 12 A as my favourite .
    Thanks to everyone .

  8. Great pangram. Thanks setter. Thanks too Noggin and best wishes from Groliffe.

  9. I really enjoyed that, it was a bit different and a lot of fun. Some fell into place quickly but I hit a wall and needed a couple of prompts from Noggin (thank you). Now off to consult my recipe book as the setter’s given me an idea for dinner (thanks for that, too).

  10. 2.5*/3*. Let’s start with the puzzle, which was nicely challenging and enjoyable. I needed the pangram to help me get 26a, which was a bit surprising as it is one of my favourite desserts. Many thanks to the setter.

    One of the joys of this blog has been that a variety of different opinions can be freely expressed and it is of course absolutely fine to agree to disagree. However rudeness is unacceptable and I am astonished that today’s reviewer thinks this is a suitable forum for a thinly veiled personal attack. If he feels the need to be rude he should be rude somewhere else.

    1. Your comment made me go and read today’s blog (which I normally avoid on Mondays) to find out what you were referring to. What a rude and uncalled-for personal attack.
      Rest assured, RD, that you are one of the most valued commenters on the blog and anything you contribute is always worth reading.

  11. I had always assumed that comment etiquette applied equally to solvers and reviewers – I am saddened to see that this is apparently not the case. Your posts are amongst the most appreciated on the blog, RD.

    Apologies to our setter who brought us a most enjoyable puzzle today. Took me a while to get 2d as I was unfamiliar with the required definition of ‘pill’ but everything else slotted together quite neatly.

    I liked 3a just because it’s a delightful word but my favourite was the excellent, concise 20a.

    1. I can only endorse what others have said. Your comments are valued and always delivered in a spirit of helpfulness. As Stephen Lord said recently, it’s important to say what we really think on this blog and not all comments are going to be positive.

  12. The Monday puzzles certainly appear to have settled down to be the type that makes me want to use the proscribed term. This one was no exception, completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3*.

    Favourite – 19d, with an honourable mention for 26a.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  13. Apart from one or two clues I thought this was an excellent puzzle – enjoyable and original. I have had a short break from solving whist taking a short break away. The bottom half went straight in and I circled far too many clues to list the favourites. One of them and first in was 14a. Top half only started to crack after I got 3a which was not one of my favourites. Last two were 2d which I did not particularly like and 10a which I bunged in although liked better when I spotted the anagram after the event. Thank you setter and MP – hints not used although I was tempted!

  14. Sorry i thought this a perfectly dreadful puzzle as shown by 2d. In all my years playing and watching football I have never heard it call a pill.
    Very tricky and little fun
    Thx for the hints.

    1. I thought the pill was medicinal – a small ball or round mass of medicine

      1. Yes, before they had template trays, pharmacists and apothecaries used to roll their pastes into little balls or pellets, which then went hard.

    2. pill1
      noun: pill; plural noun: pills

      a small round mass of solid medicine for swallowing whole.
      “an overdose of sleeping pills”
      synonyms: tablet, capsule, caplet, pellet, lozenge, pastille; More
      rarejujube, bolus, troche, pilule
      “a sleeping pill”
      an oral contraceptive in pill form.
      noun: the pill
      “is she on the pill ?”
      a tedious or unpleasant person.
      (in some sports) a humorous term for a ball.

      1. If a pill was a tedious or unpleasant person what does that make a pillock?

    3. As school children we used to refer to tennis, cricket, lacrosse and other sports balls as “pills”.

  15. My understanding was that drug addicts used to roll more than one substance into a round shape and call it a ball, then swallow it like a pill.

    I found this puzzle very straightforward, and had it completed in */** time, with no real stumbling blocks at all. I did miss the secondary pun in the Quickie though.

  16. Well I had lots of fun doing it, although it was a bit harder than a 2*.

    It made me realise how much I love that Italian dessert and how rarely you can get it 1d. I suppose it went south with Crepes Suzette, Steak Diane and other dishes cooked at your table – flames and alcohol being far too dangerous for a modern clientele.

  17. P.S.
    I still don’t get the homohone in 4d.
    I bunged the obvious answer, but
    What is the maxim?
    I am thick today.

    1. No you aren’t thick, or if you are I am too! I don’t understand the maxim either, I just guessed.

    2. First time I came across this word was in Shakespeare’s sonnet “When icicles hang by the wall…”. There’s a line which reads: “And coughing drowns the parson’s saw”. For years I imagined he was cutting up wood for his fire before I was disabused of this misunderstanding, and realised it meant that coughing worshippers were drowning the wise words of his sermon!

  18. Another pleasant solve, almost as much fun as yesterday, and both a relief after Saturday’s. COTD for me was 12a. 4d was last in as I couldn’t connect it with maxim, and I had forgotten the dessert in 26a. Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  19. 2.5/3. I found the upper half trickier than many seem to. No particular favourite although I like 3a because it’s such a Billy Bunter word. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  20. I thought this was a very nice crossword for a Bank Holiday especially when normally they tend to be light and fluffy. 3a was my favourite although 26a came close.
    Thanks to the setter for the entertainment, and to Old Noggin for the review.

  21. At first I thought this was going to be a stinker, but when I got to 12a, it started to come together. South was very doable, but the NW corner was far more difficult.
    I never did get 8a, not knowing anything about texting. I’m sure there are hundreds of unread texts on my phone, I wouldn’t even know where to look for them.
    I recognized the pangram early on, so the dessert went straight in.
    I cannot choose a fave, too many choices.
    Thanks to our setter and to Noggin the Nog for our fun today – had to google that, never heard of him!

  22. “Your comment is awaiting moderation” is stated. Regret I do not understand. I referred to an incident when David Cameron assumed that “lol” meant “lots of love” when, clearly at that time, common usage meant “laugh out loud”.

    1. It means precisely what it says. Had you, as requested, read the FAQ before posting you would have seen FAQ #18, which explains it in detail.

  23. Re: 8 across in DT 29061, a former prime minister mistakenly assumed it meant
    “Lots of Love”.

  24. An enjoyable crossword ***/*** 😬 but quite tricky not spotting the panagram made 26a, a new word for me, impossible and 8a is generation thing 😟 So often answers favour my generation but this was for the grandchildren 😜 My favourites were 12a & 11a 🤗 Anyway a big up to MP and to the Setter

  25. I don’t usually comment as I’m still a beginner at this, although I am improving. I have to say I really enjoyed today’s puzzle and managed to do more than half on my own.
    I also love reading the blog and comments.

    1. Great to have other people on the blog who are not ‘supersolvers’. Sometimes I feel quite inadequate 🙁

      1. Most of the people on the blog are, in your words, “not supersolvers”, it’s just that they tend not to comment.

  26. A Gentle entertaining BH crossword that had me smiling quite broadly on a few clues,,, as you guessed I enjoyed it.
    I think after compiling easy & straightforward puzzles for our school magazine ( as I’m sure many of our bloggers do), how very difficult it is to keep coming up with witty original clueing week after week…. so as to this setter & all the others my deepest admiration & thanks! Also many thanks to our erstwhile Viking hero for the review.

  27. My very first comment, although I’ve been doing these for years! Bottom half went in quickly, as did the top half when I deciphered 3A and 14A! Just the thing with my morning coffee on these cooler late autumn days! Lovely site – thanks to BD et el!

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