DT 29062 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29062

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29062

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome.  We've got  a nice solid puzzle today, with a few excellent surfaces and nothing super tricky in the wordplay.  Just right for a Tuesday.

Today I'm asking readers and lurkers to respond to a survey addressing a question raised last week by Friday setter Giovanni:  Should crossword setters be named (as in the Toughie) or should they be anonymous (as in most of these back-page puzzles)?  Click on the spoiler box below to open the survey here or click here to open it in a new browser window.  I encourage readers to discuss the question today in the comments below.  I'll present the results next Tuesday.

Click here to open the survey. Click the 'Finish Survey' button to submit your answer.


In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the ANSWER 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    Taking it easy in Rome on vacation with pop star (7)
RESTING:  The outer letters (… on vacation) of RomE followed by a musician who became famous as one third of The Police

5a    Rascal Edward twice obstructed (7)
IMPEDED:  A mischievous rascal with two copies of an informal contraction of Edward

9a    Tiny quantity of liquid around old sink (5)
DROOP:  A generic tiny quantity of liquid containing (around) the abbreviation for old

10a   Every other change hit back by European (9)
ALTERNATE:  Concatenate change or modify, the reversal (… back) of hit or beat, and the single letter for European

11a   Still writing stuff, by the sound of it (10)
STATIONARY:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of paper and other writing stuff

12a   Controlled line in river (4)
CALM:  The abbreviation for line inserted in a river flowing through a University town in eastern England

14a   Prisoners tense: row is building (12)
CONSTRUCTION:  Stick together some usual prisoners, the abbreviation for grammatical tense, and a row or disturbance

18a   Talk about new renovations (12)
CONVERSATION:  The single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or roughly with an anagram (new) of RENOVATIONS

21a   Pupil guiltily holds back fruit (4)
UGLI:  The start of the clue hides the reversal of (hides back) the answer

22a   Fliers from RAF please no Liberal, having taken off loudly (10)
AEROPLANES:  An anagram (… liberal) of RA[f] PLEASE NO minus the single-letter musical abbreviation for loudly

25a   Shows current distance transported (9)
INDICATES:  The physics symbol for electrical current with an anagram (… transported) of DISTANCE

26a   Old, burning tree (5)
OLIVE:  Put together the abbreviation for old and burning or urgent

27a   Wanted something done about gentleman (7)
DESIRED:  Wrap and act or something done about a form of address for a gentleman

28a   Interrupt American quietly in broadcast (7)
SUSPEND:  An abbreviation for American and the musical abbreviation for quietly or softly are inserted together in a synonym of broadcast



1d    Artist with lovely vegetable (6)
RADISH:  The usual artist with an old word for a lovely or an attractive person

2d    Work hard on a new catchphrase (6)
SLOGAN:  Chain together work hard, A from the clue, and the abbreviation for new

3d    Terrible derision about politician behind bars (10)
IMPRISONED:  An anagram (terrible) of DERISION containing (about) a usual politician

4d    One tucked into relation's cereal (5)
GRAIN:  The Roman numeral for one inserted in (tucked into) a relative who's older than you

5d    Read Pinter plays? About time! (9)
INTERPRET:  A minimal anagram (… plays) of PINTER is followed by the usual short word for about or concerning and the physics symbol for time

6d    Region's average temperature (4)
PART:  Average or normal with the physics symbol for temperature

7d    Substantial sip of alcohol -- a sign of nerves? (8)
DRAMATIC:  Join together a small amount of alcohol, A from the clue, and a twitchy sign of nerves

8d    Thinking of a kipper? (8)
DREAMING:  A cryptic definition where kipper here means somebody who is asleep

13d   Train ophthalmologist, initially, to cut next to small pupils (10)
SCHOOLBOYS:  Assemble train or educate, the first letter of (…, initially) Ophthalmologist inserted in (to cut) a preposition meaning "next to", and the clothing abbreviation for small

15d   Felt spades developed deep cuts (9)
SUSPECTED:  The playing card abbreviation for spades with an anagram (developed) of DEEP CUTS

16d   Captured  at work (8)
OCCUPIED:  A double definition, the first could, for example, refer to a town that has been captured

17d   Uncle is staggered about daughter's embraces (8)
INCLUDES:  An anagram (staggered) of UNCLE IS containing (about) the genealogical abbreviation for daughter

19d   Anger after hospital department's full (6)
ENTIRE:  A noun synonym of anger comes after a usual hospital department

20d   Port in case served up by nurse (6)
OSTEND:  The reversal (served up, in a down clue) of a short adverb meaning "in case" is followed by nurse or care for

23d   First to observe a relative haven (5)
OASIS:  Fuse together the first character to Observe, A from the clue, and an informal name for a female relative

24d   Mark's terrified, neglecting education (4)
SCAR:  A synonym of terrified with an abbreviation for education deleted (… neglecting education)


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My list of top clues today includes 2d, 8d, 23d, and 24d.  Which ones did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  FOUGHT + KNIGHT = FORTNIGHT

74 comments on “DT 29062

  1. Hello! Day off work today and thought since it’s Tuesday I’d visit my old stomping ground of the back page.

    Bit rusty (me), but all very enjoyable (the puzzle). I took a while to see the obvious in a couple of places but then I never was much one for speed.

    My favourite would be one of the last few down clues.

    Thanks to setter and blogger, and Happy Birthday Mary!

    1. I do miss Mary, I wonder where she is? Would be a huge plus if she popped in to say hello.

  2. Happy Birthday, Mary. Can you pop in and say hello? It would be good to hear from you.

    1*/3* today. Light but good fun with 8d my favourite. Many thanks to the setter (could this be X-Type?) and to Mr K.

    P.S. to all – don’t forget to vote in Mr K’s survey today.

  3. Giovanni has been successful in provoking much discussion recently about setter naming. Whether anything will change, well, who knows?

    I have long liked the idea of publishing the setter’s name/pseudonym the next day alongside the solutions as a way of approaching the solve unbiased while retaining that extra something which having a named setter gives to many solvers.

    If the Telegraph did that (along with shuffling the back page running order) it would be interesting to see how the comments differ.

    And would RayT feel the need to keep all his signatures if his puzzles were credited?

    Of course some people might like to be able to select which puzzles they solve based on setters. That includes me now: since I have limited solving time and energy these days, I tend to just focus on puzzles from my very favourite Toughie and Indy setters (and will have a crack at today’s Graun later).

    In The Times it is a Tradition (with a capital T) to have no named setter. Here in the Telegraph it’s more of a (small t) tradition, and I don’t think it would be a bad idea to do something a bit different.

    But we shall see what our survey says …

    1. Well, if someone points out on a Saturday that there is a Rosa Klebb puzzle in the FT, I will do it. I also remember Pommers saying that certain Guardian setters are not worth bothering with. On the other hand, there was a very interesting puzzle by a new young setter on a Saturday relatively recently, and it would be a shame if that had been missed because people didn’t recognise the name. In my case, unless I am unusually busy, I do the back pager most days anyway, and would do so irrespective of the setter.

          1. Yes :yes:

            Excellent indeed, though I had to guess at a word I didn’t really know (21d) and my first attempt was spelled a bit, er, dyfferently to the correct answer.

    2. I agree that, irrespective of whether the setters’ names are published, it would be a good idea to shuffle the running order so that the same setters don’t always appear on the same day.
      One advantage of this would be that the bloggers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays would enjoy a bit of variety.

      1. Be careful what you wish for, Gazza, I can almost hear an Elgar ‘special’ winging its way to you!

        1. There speaks a man who doesn’t want that Elgar ‘special’ diverting across the ‘pond’!

        2. Fair enough, but Dada has only been the Sunday setter for a relatively short time – Giovanni has been a Friday fixture since Moses was a lad!

      2. That’s a great suggestion, Gazza. I do enjoy the the guaranteed variety on Tuesdays and other bloggers might also like that opportunity. It is frustrating though to not even know how many setters are members of the Tuesday team. All I’m sure of is that it’s at least four: Samuel, X-Type, Navy, none of the above…

  4. A comfortable and enjoyable solve this morning. Everything went in smoothly with no hold ups, with 8d taking my top spot.

    Many thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr K.

    I always prefer to know the setter as it personalises the puzzle, but I suppose as long as the quality of the crosswords is consistent across the week I don’t mind anonymity either.

  5. I found today’s puzzle even more up my street than yesterday’s, and had it completed in * time. I just can’t quite see the first part of 20d, though.

    I have no view on naming the compiler, I can’t tell the difference even when I do know the identity.

    Thanks to all.

      1. That equivalency is given in Chambers, but I’m not seeing it elsewhere so I couldn’t provide a link.

  6. Enjoyed the puzzle today, spent a while trying to fit ‘conversion’ (for ‘renovations’) into 18a before spotting the anagram. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. I see nobody has commented on the radish yet …

    1. I suppose that makes you the first to comment on the radish. But nobody’s mentioned the bonus pic.

      1. I suppose it does. And I have now seen the bonus pic, though I don’t feel like it was much of a ‘bonus’!

    2. Spotted the radish right away (I would, wouldn’t I?) but not a pretty sight.

  7. Agree with Mr K on a **/***, a pleasant solve-kept thinking I was Monday,no hold ups just a steady solve.
    Liked 14a and 7d brought a smile .Thanks to Mr K for the pics.
    Looking forward to the cricket hard to choose a favourite, Australia looking the form team to me.

    1. Australia know how to win tournaments, England I suspect will blow up as usual. Hope I am wrong!

  8. Very gentle but enjoyable puzzle, one of those where you could “overthink” the clues when the obvious was staring you in the face. No particular favourite but if pushed I’d nominate 11a or 8d. 1.5/2.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and as ever to Mr K.

    The illustration to 1d has put me right off my lunch!

  9. Enjoyed this one – as Mr K said, it was just right for a Tuesday.

    1&9a made me smile but my top two would be 2&8d.

    Thanks to our setter (X-Type if RD is as on the ball as usual!) and to Mr K for a great blog and the feline in hiding.
    Happy birthday to Mary, please pop in to let us know that all is well with you.

    Off to complete the survey now and have to say that my view is the same as Kitty’s in that I’d like to see the setters named alongside the solution the following day. Obviously the best scenario is when they pop into the blog but they don’t all do that and it’s frustrating not to know whether our guesses were correct. Doing it that way would mean that both sides of the argument were accommodated. Wish that Brexit was as easily sorted!

    Speaking of naming setters, I see that BD hasn’t so far posted a list of this week’s Toughie setters. If today’s Donnybrook was the ‘easy’ starter then I think I may be defeated well before Friday!

      1. I had a look at it that and got off to a good start, but now feel like I’ve done enough crosswording for today. Might pick it up again tomorrow.

  10. A very pleasant Tuesday puzzle completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 14a and 2d – and the winner is 14a, a very succinct charade.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. This made for a fun-time. “No problem” as they say – whoever ‘they’ are! Suppose ‘lovely’ as a noun makes 1d work. My LOL moment was 8d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle today. Well constructed clues. I did like 8d especially.
    Thx to all

  13. A gentle but enjoyable puzzle today. Only 8d stood out as worth an individual mention for me. I think I am erring on the side of seeing the setters’ identities, but I could drift the other way as well – pros and cons.

  14. An enjoyable puzzle today (****) and not too taxing, (**). I enjoyed the comedy vegetable photo, Mr K and thanks for the hints. Favourite clues were 11a, 14a and 11d and thanks to the setter. I favour including the setter’s name on all Cryptic puzzles. It would increase the sense of anticipation for the solver and provide a fillip for the setter, particularly in the case of budding new compilers. It must take a lot of time and effort, whether it is a back-pager or a Toughie and deserves acknowledgement.

  15. Very good with a sprinkling of smilers.

    I don’t see why setters shouldn’t be credited for published work just the same as anybody else – unless they request anonymity in which case they could simply invent lots of different pseudonyms.

    On the other hand a bit of mystery is no bad thing to keep us guessing. As has been mentioned, The Times never names setters and it doesn’t spoil solving the puzzles. A bit like Rookie Corner, I quite like not knowing what to expect.

    The ‘next-day’ compromise would seem to satisfy both sides and juggling up the rota is not a bad idea either.

    Few setters make me think ‘Hooray – I’ll enjoy this’ and even fewer make me think ‘Oh, here we go again’ so not really an issue either way for me.

    Many thanks to X-Type and Mr K

    1. I think The Times edits puzzles heavily to create more uniformity of style. Or at least they used to – things may have changed.

      1. Hello Kitty – nice to see you back. You’re probably right about the editing.
        Updated avatar made me smile :smile:

        1. Thanks LbR. :rose: Grumpy had amazing timing. She will live as long as internet memes do. Take care.

  16. Yes agree with Mr K 😃 **/*** just right for a Tuesday 👍 Quite liked 11a & 28a😜 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter

  17. Nice puzzle and blog, thanks Setter and Blogger.

    With the big debate, I don’t mind either way but don’t like the current situation with some but not all setters known to those in the know. All named or all anonymous please!

  18. A 12a solve, with the 19d grid filled with the 27a answers. It did not keep me 16d for long so will go back to 1a, 8d of my 23d.

  19. Quite an easy ride today I just got stuck on 13d and 26a because I wanted to put in afire. Regarding the names – I never know how you clever people can tell the style of a setter, it beats me. But I do think it should be consistent, if you are going to accredit the toughie you should do the back page as well. I would do the crossword either way – it is part of my day! So big thanks to all setters, named, nameless or nom de plumed.

    1. Hi, Daisygirl. Most of what we know about the back-page setters is summarised here: http://bigdave44.com/faq/#28

      I’m not sure about today’s setter. The perceptive Rabbit Dave may well be right about it being X-Type. If that’s the case, he will probably comment later to confirm it.

  20. Thanks to mystery setter for a pleasant puzzle and to Mr K for the hints (and the suggestive vegetable…hmm…) – I’m still not sure about 1a, the “on vacation “ bit. Is “on vacation” a standard expression meaning “miss the middle letters out”?
    As regards naming the setter, I only started completing the DT and ST cryptics on 1st January this year – a foolish new year’s resolution – so I don’t really have a good handle on what to expect from each setter, and I don’t always agree with more experienced cruciverbalists’ opinions about puzzle difficulty as to me they’re all difficult! I’m sure that the old hands can spot the trademarks of a particular setter, so I’m not sure what benefit comes from naming him/her.

    1. Hi, Debbie. Yes, “on vacation”, has become a standard construction, although we probably haven’t seen it since you started solving the Telegraph (your progress is very impressive, BTW). It’s meant to be interpreted as “after the word has been vacated”.

  21. **/****. Very enjoyable solve with concise clues and requiring some tangential thinking – 8d was really good. My favourite was 14a for its brevity. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  22. Quite a nice puzzle that didn’t take too much time to complete. 8d was my favourite. As there are lots of comments on this page already I will just say I’m happy with the status quo. I like it when a compiler ‘owns up’ but otherwise the cloak of invisibility works for me.
    Anyway, thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and most of the pix!

  23. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, not too tricky. 5a & 8d made me laugh. 11d was last in, and I needed the hints to parse the last bit. Favourite was 8d. Was 2*/3* for me. I personally would like the setters to be named.

  24. Steady solve with just 13d needing a nudge from the blog. The tree at 26a was bunged in wrong (I opined for a while) Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    I am not experienced enough to “know” who setters are but believe that credit should be given to setters. I have been guilty of running scared from some setters in the past but will only improve if I get over my fears.

  25. Question for BD? I’ve just noticed my avatar is wrong on this site but correct on Gravatar.com. Is this a fault?

    1. It’s a “j” missing from your email address. The reason you didn’t go into moderation is that way back in October 2015 you made the same mistake. I have corrected all of them.

  26. Enjoyed this immensely but had to employ extreme lateral thinking to unravel some – e.g., 26a, “live”? All right, I know it’s in the BRB or whatever, but I find it a bit of a stretch.
    Far and away my fave was 8d, that tickled me.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this and to Mr. K for his hints and pics; my cats would love the cat house.

  27. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the tips. A good puzzle and like many, 8d made me smile and was my first in.
    I’m a relative newcomer to this blog but have been doing the DT cryptic for 35 years without knowing the names of the setters. So I guess, it’s a nice to know but not too worried either way. It would be interesting to juggle the days round though…except for Sunday, Dada should definitely do the honours then!

  28. An enjoyable solve that all went together smoothly for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    On the naming question. Our regular diet of puzzles is all those that are blogged on this site. This gives an approximate 60/40 split between those where we know the name of the setter and those where we are less certain. For some reason that is hard to put into words we generally feel that we get more enjoyment from a puzzle when we feel a personal connection with the setter. We welcome the diversity of styles that we come to recognise from different setters. Our vote definitely goes in favour of publishing the setter’s pen name on all puzzles.

  29. I’ve been reading this blog for some time and thought I should finally stop lurking. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle which for me was a 2*/3* completed post work with a lovely pint of plum porter in the backstreets of York. 13d was my favourite and 26a was the last in.

    1. Welcome from me as well, and thanks for sharing your experience with the puzzle.

  30. Many thanks to everyone who commented above on the survey question and to everyone who completed it online. I’ll keep the survey open until Monday for any late arrivals and present the results here next Tuesday.

    1. Not quite a homophone, but I think you have the makings of a good clue there. Welcome to the blog, Timbo.

  31. Would just like to say … thank you once again, for my lovely birthday banner yesterday … lots of new names on the blog these days, but lots of names I know too … thank you Dave and all xxx

    1. Hi Mary,
      I’ve taken the liberty of adding a bit to your alias so that everyone knows who you are.
      Lovely to see you on the blog again. I hope you’ve got your red shirt ready for the Rugby World Cup!

      1. Well thank you Gazza, lovely to hear from you, you were one of my earliest ‘advisors’ along with Dave and Gnomey, the red shirt is always ready and what a year we had!!
        The other red shirt is also more than ready … Come on Liverpool!!!! :-)

    1. Hi, Robin. Thanks for commenting. I always look forward to reading your thoughts about the puzzle a day or two after it’s published.

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