DT 29064 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29064

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29064

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja on a bright and sunny morning.  I’m not certain who today’s setter is but I suspect it’s proXimal the X-man because we have here a pangram apart from it’s missing an X.  I thought it a tad on the tricky side, especially the NW corner, but it was the usual quality entertainment.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a           Avian scavenger twisted ear in marine mammal (7)
SEAGULL:  Take a slang word for an ear and reverse it (twisted) and then insert into a marine mammal.

8a           Green land vacated following Space Age (7)
EMERALD: Start with a printers space and another word for an age and after that (following) put LD (land vacated).  A bit sneaky capitalising Space Age.

10a         Port, offal and game on table (9)
LIVERPOOL:  Start with some offal and follow with a game played on a table, not snooker,  to get a port in north west England.  Hands up all those who bunged in Rotterdam on first pass.

11a         ‘Fish and loaves’: abridged introduction to miracle (5)
BREAM:  A word for what loaves are without its last letter (abridged) and then an M (introduction to Miracle).

12a         Walk east with companion outside (5)
ALLEY:  This is a walk as in a path or aisle.  It’s E(ast) with a companion or supporter around it (outside).

13a         With respect to gran, dirge played (9)
REGARDING:  Anagram (played) of GRAN DIRGE.

15a         Abandoned surgery after doctor and deputy retired (7)
DROPPED:  Start with one of the two letter doctors and then an abbreviation of some surgery. After that you need a reversal (retired) of an abbreviation of deputy.

17a         Fragrant European bread found in Ostend regularly (7)
SCENTED:  Some European money (bread) inserted into the alternate letters (regularly) from oStEnD.

18a         Cockney‘s mostly not tight with money (9)
EASTENDER:  A word meaning not tight without its last letter (mostly) followed by another word for money, as in legal . . . It’s nice to see the word cockney meaning something other than drop an H.

20a         Scorch grass close to furnace (5)
SINGE:  Grass as in blow the whistle on someone followed by an E (close to furnacE).

21a         With leads removed, pups get anxious (5)
UPSET:  “with leads removed” means to take the first letters off so take them off the next two words and put together what you have left.

23a         Diminutive characters eat, and sink rum (9)
MUNCHKINS:  Another word for eat or chew followed by an anagram (rum) of SINK gives some diminutive characters from the Wizard of Oz, and here they are . . .

24a         Restless natives, far from the most wise? (7)
NAIVEST:  Anagram (restless) of NATIVES.

25a         Delights of hour immersed in birdsong (7)
THRILLS:  H(our) inserted (immersed in) some birdsong.


1d           Fantastic murals represented with love (10)
MARVELLOUS:  Anagram (represented) of MURALS LOVE.

2d           Dig out  victim (6)
QUARRY:  Double definition.  The second one is the victim of a predator.

3d           Relationship with wine making one sanguine (5-3)
BLOOD RED:  A word for a relationship or family followed by a type of wine.

4d           Let off in posh car, getting traveller’s complaint (3,3)
JET LAG:  Anagram (off) of LET inserted into an abbreviation of a posh car, not a Roller or Merc for once but one driven by Kath’s favourite detective.

5d           Article among overturned clothes carried over water (8)
SEABORNE: This is clothes as a verb.  So take a word meaning clothes or dresses and reverse it (overturned) and the insert (among) an indefinite article.

6d           Celebrity Republican ditched by model (4)
FAME:  Remove (ditched by) an R(epublican) from a word for model.

7d           Neutrals perplexed about singer Peter’s commercial arrangement (4,3,6)
SALE AND RETURN:  Anagram (perplexed) of NEUTRALS around (about) the surname of a singer called Peter, he’s been on both I’m a Celebrity and Strictly, to get a commercial arrangement whereby a retailer only pays for goods he sells and can return unsold stuff to the manufacturer.

9d           Unearthly beings lifted in possessed dog I medicated (13)
DEMIGODDESSES:  A lurker hidden in (in) the last four words but it’s reversed (lifted in a down clue).  This has to be the best lurker for some time.

14d         Mistranslated Latin, being unclear (10)
INTANGIBLE:  Anagram (mistranslated) of LATIN BEING.

16d         King in huff; note Queen is more lovely (8)
PRETTIER:  Put an R for King into a huff or spat and follow with a note from the tonic sol-fa scale and finally the usual two letters for Her Majesty.

17d         In county to the north, knight with great power (8)
STRENGTH:  You need the abbreviation of a county located just north of London and reverse it (to the north in a down clue).  Into that you need to insert a knight from chess notation and an abbreviation of great.

19d         Replacing leader with daughter, far lower in rank (6)
DEMOTE:  Take a word for far, as in a long way away, and replace its first letter (leader) with a D(aughter) and you’ll get a word meaning to lower in rank.  I was a bit slow to realise that the answer is a verb and note an adjective, d’oh!

20d         Small present containing soft ball (6)
SPHERE:  Start with S(mall) followed by a word meaning present or in this place and insert (containing) the letter for soft in music.

22d         Whiskey in short measure is a con (4)
SWIZ:  Insert (in) a W(hiskey) into a word for measure without its last letter (short).  Short measures are one thing you don’t get around here!

11a and 21a are up there on the podium but for me the top step has to go to the splendid reverse lurker at 9d. 
Ta muchly to BD and the Kiwis for the heads up on the Quickie pun,

Quick crossword pun:     DELAY     +     TEQUILAS     =     THE LADYKILLERS

60 comments on “DT 29064

  1. Another “good un”. My COTD 8A .
    Thanks to everyone .
    Grand kids due any minute !!

    1. Oh yes – it had beaten me however it does depend a bit on how 8a is pronounced! 🤗 Thanks 2Kiwis.

  2. Not as tricky as some ProXimal inside back page crosswords – I rather like the way he lets us know it is him by leaving out the X

    My favourite clue was 11a

    I’ll email you with my thoughts on the pun

    Thanks to Pommers and Mr without an X

  3. Certainly trickier than three stars for difficulty for us but excellent fun all the way through. The singer in 7d was someone new to us so a bit of delay is sorting that one.
    We also noted the missing X so came to the same conclusion as to the setter. Looking for the last letters for a pangram was a big help to us with our last answer, 6d.
    Thanks proXimal and pommers.

  4. 3*/4*. I’m a happy bunny today sitting in the sun at the Oval watching cricket, having completed this excellent puzzle before I left home. I’m looking forward to tackling the Beam Toughie later during the break between innings.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to pommers.

  5. A very convoluted puzze, this, and with an unusually large number of clues which were difficult to parse, but not difficult to bung in. Thank you for the hints, Pommers, they were much needed today. Definitely 3/4 * for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment. The reverse lurker at 9a was good. Thanks to the setter.

  6. A top-notch puzzle, quite tricky as we’ve got used to on alternate Thursdays – thanks to proXimal and pommers (and to 2Kiwis for the Quickie pun – I was way off beam with that).
    The clues I liked best were 10a, 21a and 19d.

  7. What a good day in crosswordland – the X-man followed by Beam!

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one although, unlike Pommers, I didn’t rate 9d – seemed very forced.
    Plenty that I did enjoy though, with 25a, of course, having to come out on top followed by the abridged miracle at 11a and the simple double definition at 2d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Pommers for the blog and the clip at 6d.

    PS I think the Quickie pun might be an Ealing comedy film.

  8. Thanks to Pommers for the blog hints, I have to admit that I just bunged in 9d as it was the only word that fitted !
    I think I had a good day as I put down **/*** on completion, the two small clues 6 and 22 were the last to fall.
    Liked 11a and 23a made me smile and 19a was quite clever.
    An enjoyable solve all round- the quickie pun amused.

  9. A very enjoyably pleasant, not overly difficult, Thursday puzzle completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Lots to smile about with favourite a toss-up between 8a and 9d – and the winner is 9d, as pommers says, and spread over four words and reversed, one of the best lurkers for a while.

    Thanks to proXimal and pommers.

  10. Very enjoyable puzzle today. Just one tine issue, though – doesn’t the commercial arrangement in 7d have a different conjunction as the second word?

    1. For 7d, a two letter conjunction is probably more common but both versions are listed in the BRB.

  11. A cracking puzzle with the outstanding 9d my favourite by a mile. A 13 letter rekrul. Remarkable. I thought this was one of the best crosswords we have seen for some time, so thanks to the X man and pommers.

    The weather may not be reflecting it here in the Marches but the cricket World Cup has kickstarted summer for me.

  12. I’m with Chriscross in that I thought this was, in places, quite convoluted. I had a few bung ins, 8a for example as I’d never heard of an “em”. Also re 17a does anyone still refer to money as bread? Like Jane I thought the lurker was very manufactured, ruining the surface read.
    Anyway, plenty of competition for the podium and the three occupants are 20 and 25a plus the excellent 2d. 4*/2*
    Thanks to Pommers for the first class explanations and to Proximal.

    1. An em is a term used by printers and it’s twice as big as an en. Both are worth remembering as they turn up in crosswords from time to time.

    2. I think there is a third space. Possibly an I. Based on the thickness of the letters I n and m. Three different sizes used by typesetters in the day when typesetters set type rather than reducing fonts to a size nobody can read as is usual in trade catalogues.

      1. Any secretary “of an age” will remember the IBM Selectrix typewriter, make a typing mistake and it was pure hell if you had different widths.

  13. I really enjoyed that , though more like a Toughie .
    It’s impossible to single out just one clue , so among my top ten are : 10a ,23a and 4d .
    Thanks to Proximal and pommers .

  14. Great puzzle but blooming difficult. Thanks to ProXimal for the mental workout. Thanks to Pommers for the review. I’m with AndyO on 7d. You cannot sell it and return it. Great Quickie Pun which took all morning to reveal itself. Now, do I do the Beam Toughie today or save it for my holiday.

  15. Great puzzle but blooming difficult. Thanks to ProXimal for the mental workout. Thanks to Pommers for the review. I’m with AndyO on 7d. You cannot sell it and return it. Great Quickie Pun which took all morning to reveal itself. Now, do I do the Beam Toughie today or save it for my holiday.

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle but did need the splendid hints to fully parse 5d, 6d and 19d. Loved 20a and 22d, nice misdirection. 6d perhaps a bit weak.
    Thx to all

  17. Mixed feelings today. Happy to complete it and yet a bit sad that I knew the singer straight away. Ta to all.

    1. You’re lucky, I am afraid, like the 2Kiwis, I had never heard of the 7d singer so had to look him up after bunging in the solution.

      1. Funnily enough the singer came to me straightaway. Don’t really know him – just the name. That instantly gave the middle word so quick to solve.

  18. I completely agree that the 7d conjunction should be ‘or’ – you cannot do both. I had 9d without realising that it was a lurker – very smart work. I was not too happy with 22d – size=measure?
    Well I guess so. Thanks to all.

  19. I found this very, very tricky and I couldn’t complete it because of time. Much excitement, I’m going out for lunch, wotta treat.
    It was so satisfying to solve, particularly 9d. I usually miss the lurkers, let alone the reversed ones, so I think that’s my fave.
    Some I got the answer but couldn’t unravel, so thought it was wrong and didn’t write it in. How feeble.
    Thanks to proXimal, so clever leaving out the X, and to pommers for helping me to finish this.

  20. ***/****. Really enjoyed this puzzle. I thought it was going to be a pangram but one letter short. I thought 9d was an excellent reversed lurker having spent some time trying to form an anagram. I know 7d better with “or” rather than “and”. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  21. Thanks to Proximal and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but too tough for me. Needed 5 hints to finish. 4d made me laugh, but my favourite was 8a. I was amazed to get 23a. Was 4*/4* for me.

    1. Me too re: 23a. Got it straightaway but did not actually know where they came from.

  22. This took me *** time to complete, but I was unable to parse 17d without the hints.

    I think most people would consider Herts to be in the south, rather than the north. When will Londoners realise that they are a tiny minority in these sceptred isles.

    Thanx to all.

    1. The pharse “to the north” in 17d has absolutely nothing to do with the location of Herts. It is the instruction to reverse it.

  23. This was a puzzle of two halves, first half steady & thoughtful…. the second half proved quite difficult for me, I had problems parsing most of the remaining clues & was glad Pommers gave me some direction.
    Thanks to proXimal & Pommers for review & direction.

  24. This was a joy from beginning to end and went in without any major hold-ups. For me the bread in 17a is more American than European whereas I always wonder why the 22d phonetic ‘W’ word usually has US spelling rather than as for the Scotch variety but that of course doesn’t affect the solution. My Fav for its surface was 20a. Thanks are due I gather to ProXimal plus pommers.

  25. Super crossword, not too difficult, but full of great clues.
    Full marks for 7d fitting in the singer, very clever.
    Thanks all.
    What a catch by Ben Stokes.

  26. re 7 dn – sale OR return, surely, since both would not be possible. (Although some of the retailers I sold to might have tried it on!)

    1. Sorry, I did intend to give it **** for entertainment but forgot to change the default setting of ***.
      I can’t believe you’re serious about that Quickie pun – I can only assume you speak in an accent that’s some sort of blend of southern USA and Glaswegian :lol:

  27. Great crossword but so difficult ****/**** 😬 So many brilliant clues but the 13 letter reverse lurker was the best closely followed by 7a & 10a 🤗 So now we have proXimal alternating with Ray T on a Thursday, I had better cancel all engagements for that day 😜 Big thanks to Pommers and of course to the Setter 👍

  28. Pretty tough solve, but very satisfying.
    Regarding the quicky pun, I know they’re often cringeworthy, but today’s is beyond reasonable ! Imho, of course.
    Thanks to setter and to Pommers.

  29. Enjoyed that very much, even if I got 21d wrong (by putting ‘snip’) – 9d is a remarkable reverse lurker and I liked 10a too.

    The Quickie pun was a proper goody too!

    1. Ditto with snip. Got everything else right including 6d which I was not sure about. I should have run through the alphabet with 22d and thought about the nearly pangram, but I was lazy and didn’t. Just guessed that perhaps snip was a synonym for con, Otherwise I whizzed through this to my surprise. Not sure whether I have been eating brain food, just on the right wavelength or what. Thanks ProXimal and to Pommers for putting me right on 22d.

  30. Late finish that I managed to complete while waiting for Mammy Bee at the dentist. I concur with most that 9d was a nice clue and confess that Peter was known to me and his surname was bunged in the grid while I tried to sort out the rest. IMO it should be or but no biggie I worked it out.
    Thanks to pommers and proXimal. I didn’t notice the (almost) pangram.

  31. What a smashing crossword! 9d was a ridiculous lurker which I completely missed, but a real laugh out loud moment when I realised. So that is my favourite.
    Thanks to promiXal, and to pommers for the review.

  32. Very enjoyable. Needed a bit of help from pommers but I was thrown by “sale and return” when surely it is “sale OR return”?

  33. Very enjoyable. I thought it had got the better of me, but sitting down with it again a couple of hours later finished it off a quite a fast pace. I hadn’t picked up before that ProXimal signs his work (always, often, sometimes?) with a missing X in the pangram – now I know.

    1. Hi, Ray. It’s “sometimes”. I can identify eleven back pagers where proXimal acknowledged that he was the setter. Two others are like today, using every letter but X. But there are also four that do use X, including the pangram DT 28968.

  34. I started this one quite late last night and got precisely nowhere so decided to leave it until today, otherwise known as chickening out.
    I thought it was really tricky – had I been doing the hints, thank goodness I wasn’t, I’d probably have gone for 4* difficulty.
    Needless to say, now that I’ve done it I can’t see why it seemed so tough while I was doing it.
    There’s not much point in saying more as most of it has already been said by others so thanks to proXimal for such a good crossword and to pommers too for the hints.

  35. I liked this puzzle a lot – good clues and a decent challenge. I’ve ticked 9d, a rekul or epic proportions! Ok, the surface wasn’t the best and it was a bit “forced/manufactuered”, but aren’t all lurkers/rekuls contrived? They wouldn’t exist otherwise. Very enjoyable! 3.5* /4*

  36. Tricky quickie pun !
    3*/4* for the puzzle….
    thought 9D (unearthly beings lifted in possessed dog I medicated) was a neat lurker.

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