DT 29070 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29070

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29070

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I’m sure that this is a Ray T crossword. Although it doesn’t have all his trademark clues it does have enough of them to convince me. I found it on the tricky side of average with a couple of unfamiliar words.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that it you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Hip proportions said to be cut (6)
INCISE — A little word meaning hip or up-to-date is followed by a homophone (said) of proportions or dimensions

4a        Ancient port used by sailors (8)
LARBOARD — An old word (ancient) used  by sailors to indicate one side of a boat (port) – it’s the opposite of starboard – I spent ages trying to think of ‘ports’ and this one was my last answer

9a        Colour is flawless round pearl’s exterior (6)
PURPLE — A synonym of flawless or perfect contains (round) the first and last letters (exterior) of P[ear]L

10a       Versatile players, all missing game (8)
ROUNDERS — Some people who are good at everything are called something that begins with ALL – just remove that bit (missing) and hopefully you’ll end up with a game

11a       Cheddar’s rind, palatable and easy to swallow (8)
CREDIBLE — This kind of ‘easy to swallow’ is nothing to do with food or drink – it means having a ring of truth about it – start with the first and last letters (rind, or outside) of C[Hedda]R and follow them with a synonym of palatable or tasty

13a       Stones lacking heart give heartless lyrics (6)
GEODES — Begin with the outside letters (heartless) of G[iv]E and follow them with some lyrics or poems

15a       Bubbly Perrier? Bliss with European bubbly (13)
IRREPRESSIBLE — An anagram (bubbly) of PERRIER BLISS and the one letter abbreviation for E[uropean]

18a       Gave in with a mutter turning stroppy (13)
ARGUMENTATIVE — Another anagram (turning) of GAVE IN and A MUTTER

22a       Refusal to face evil head of Government snooping (6)
NOSING — A negative response is followed by a noun meaning an evil or a wrong and, finally, the first letter (head) of G[overnment]

24a       One barely running on pitch? (8)
STREAKER — Someone who takes off all their clothes and then runs across a football ground – there was a well-known woman whose name I’ve forgotten who did this – I decided against an illustration as it’s been done too many times before!

26a       Sign record or mag unexpectedly (8)
LOGOGRAM — A short word to record or enter is followed by an anagram (unexpectedly) of OR MAG

27a       Duty to check lavatory’s unoccupied (6)
VACANT — A duty or a tax levied on goods and services containing (to check) a slang word for a loo

28a       Straying US president against Republican bluster (8)
ABERRANT — The abbreviation of the first name of a 19thcentury US president is followed by the one letter abbreviation for R[epublican] and that lot is followed by another word for bluster or bellow

29a       One detests consuming energy for fire (6)
HEATER — Someone who detests or loathes containing (consuming) the one letter abbreviation for E[nergy]



1d        Effect of Independent politician over Bill (6)
IMPACT — The abbreviation for I[ndependent] and our usual crosswordland politician are followed by a bill or law

2d        Thoughtful purchasing sweetheart’s clothing (9)
CARPETING — A synonym for thoughtful or compassionate which contains a sweetheart or lover. A bit of a change here – Ray T’s ‘sweetheart’ is usually an ‘E’ ie the middle letter of sweet – I think he’s realised that we’ve rumbled him!

3d        Join admitting one’s mercenary? (7)
SOLDIER — A verb to join or fuse together around (admitting) the letter that looks like a one

5d        Previously good and eager (4)
AGOG — Previously, or in the past, is followed by the abbreviation for G[ood]

6d        They make bread taking money, essentially (7)
BANKERS — People who bake bread or cakes containing the middle letter (essentially) of mo[N]ey  – this is the kind of clue that always gets me in a pickle when it comes to trying to decide what to underline as the definition

7d        Blokes absorbed by plug change (5)
AMEND — Some blokes or chaps go inside (absorbed by) an abbreviation for a plug or some publicity

8d        ‘Bad’ is as ‘terrible’ to describe tragedy (8)
DISASTER — The first lurker or hidden answer, indicated by describe

12d      Record from holding stick, running (6)
LOPING — A record or entry containing (holding) a verb to stick or nail

14d      Purist, extremely discriminating and not tolerant initially (6)
PEDANT — The first letters (initially) of the remaining words of the clue – another one that gives me trouble with what to underline

Pedants enter PIN.

16d      Unusually fat baker’s producing croissants? (9)
BREAKFAST — An anagram (unusually) of FAT BAKER’S

17d      Tree top lifted after log man chopped up (8)
MAGNOLIA — A reversal (lifted) of top or best follows (after) an anagram (chopped up) of LOG MAN

19d      One in charge seeing America in trough (7)
MANAGER — A trough or something that animals may eat or drink from containing (in) the one letter abbreviation for A[merica]

20d      Repeat line ignored by educated person (7)
ITERATE — An educated or learned person without its first letter which is an ‘L’ so the abbreviation for L[ine] is ignored

21d      Tormentor, a Tory, restrains Speaker (6)
 ORATOR — A second lurker indicated by restrains – the answer is hidden in the first three words of the clue

23d      Follow on, say, caught by appeal (5)
SEGUE — The two letter abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ goes inside (caught by) a synonym for appeal or apply for

25d      Daybreak and desperate man embraces wife (4)
DAWN — The name of a comic character – desperate  *** – contains (embraces) the abbreviation for W[ife]

Lots of good clues today – I particularly appreciated 4 and 27a and 6 and 14d. I think my favourite was probably 18a.

The Quickie Pun:-  AGREE + SHUN + EARN = A GRECIAN URN

51 comments on “DT 29070

  1. Made a note of ***/**** on completion, two new words 13a and 23d-last in ,struggled with the SW corner because of this as I thought I had made a mistake but OK on checking.
    I suppose 6d is an example of the dreaded-‘all in one’-which never quite work for me.
    Remembered 4d from somewhere, liked the surfaces of 10a and 16d.
    Thanks to Kath for the blog pics-and our setter for the brain exercise !

  2. A ‘normal’ time for a Ray T and the usual enjoyment factor. Thank you to him and Kath

    The ‘Toughie’ is back to ‘normal’ too today so do give it a go

  3. Are we all convinced that “clothing “ works for the answer in 2d? I’m not sure I am!

    1. Welcome to the blog Rf

      Like it or not, Chambers Thesaurus has clothing, as a verb, as a synonym, along with covering, spreading, blanketing, dressing, coating, wrapping, overlaying, encasing and caking.

  4. Great puzzle as always from RayT. Thoroughly enjoyable. Great blog too from Kath. Thanks to both. Saint Sharon and I once went to a 13ac so big you could walk inside and stand up in it. Possibly on Rugby tour in Canada and New York State as neither of us remember where it was.

  5. Another very enjoyable Thursday treat from Mr T.
    4&13a gave me the run around for a while but all went well elsewhere.

    Pick of the bunch for me were 4,18&27a.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the blog written with her usual honesty.

  6. I agree with Kath that it is a Ray T, while some of his trademarks are missing the one word Quickie clues provide confirmation. Some head scratching required to complete at a fast canter – ***/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between – 10a and 13a – and the winner is 13a.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  7. I got frustratingly close to completing this very well crafted puzzle without any electronic help but needed the hints for 1a and 13a. So close yet so far!’ On the podium top spot is the very simple but amusing 25d with 14d and 20d completing the line up. 3*/4*
    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for her excellent review.

  8. 4 and 27a were my final entries in this trickyish Ray T puzzle. As always the wordplay and clueing was spot-on so any obscurities were very gettable. I think 10a just gets to the top of my podium in this very rewarding and enjoyable Thursday offering.

    Thanks to RT and Kath for a fine blog.

  9. This was a game of two halves. The NW and SE were quick to complete, the other two corners took me into ***/**** territory. The NE was particularly tricky and I had no idea what 13a was about. So thanks for the excellent hints, Kath and thanks to Ray T. (*** for enjoyment). Favourites were 4a, 10a and 15a.

  10. Enjoyable crossword, had the aswer for 26A but had to lookit up to see if was a real word. Last in, and my favourite, was 13A ***/****

  11. Fast start helped by the 2 long anagrams but slow finish due to hold ups in the NE & SW corners , Last in 13A and needed Kath’s hint to reason why .

    Favourite 4A .

    Very enjoyable challenge so thanks Mr T and , of course , Kath .

    Greetings to everyone .

  12. Very enjoyable RayT and I needed Kath’s excellent hints to parse 13a (being unable to fit gems into the wordplay.) Thank you both and I laughed at the PIN number cartoon.
    Slightly off topic there is a copy of a Telegraph crossword said to be the famous one from D-Day, in the main part of today’s paper, iPad version. I found it interesting historically because the clues were not really like the modern cryptic. (And apart from that I was unable to fit the descriptions in the accompanying article to the illustrated crossword! – did anyone else try?)

  13. Has anyone seen the back page of the D-day supplement today. Interesting item on dday code words being answers in the cryptic crossword.

  14. A real curates egg for me today. Top left and bottom right great fun, the rest was way above my solving ability. Needed the hints to explain a lot of my answers but only managed to finish half the puzzle. For me the top right and bottom left was back to the bad old days of unintelligible Ray T clues. 23d and
    26a were both new words to me. Thx for the hints.

  15. Mostly a fun solve. I particularly liked 9a, 13a, and 29a. Had never heard of 4a and so in the absence of any wordplay to construct the answer all I could do was word search it, which was frustrating. Thanks to RayT and to Kath

  16. Presumably, the Queen was missing today because of her very busy schedule elsewhere this week.

  17. Well, no wonder I struggled with this; Kath gave it ***/**** for difficulty and she’s tuned in to RayT. In fact, I think I did pretty well, only missing the NE corner and having to use word search for a couple in the SW, never heard of 26a.
    Fave was 17d, but now I’ve got the answer for 4a, I rather like that. I even knew it, but I was totally fixated on a port.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for a super review.

  18. 4/4. The NE corner was my nemesis. Just couldn’t see 4&13a and 6d didn’t work for me. First time to in ages I missed the lurker in 8d. I would never have associated 2d with clothing but my bung in proved to be correct. My favourite was 25d for its simplicity. Thanks to Ray T for a tough but mostly enjoyable puzzle and Kath for the hints.

  19. Like others the NE corner did for me, I had not heard off the rock and the use of ‘essentially’ in 6d was new to me.
    Should ‘proportions’ not be singular in 1a as surely the homophone is ‘sizes’.
    Thanks to Kath for the explanations and Ray-T for the challenge.

    1. HIYD. Sorry to comment so belatedly, but I’ve not been near a computer for days:

      6d: Essentially (the inner nature) is a common device to indicate/trigger the middle letter/letters of a word (i.e. moNey).

      1a: Size (cise) can mean “proportions”. “What size plywood do you require?” “8’x4’x1″, please”.

      * Please note, I am just aiming to be helpful/friendly – not necessarily for the experts/academics on here but for the many hundreds of others who read the blog but never comment. I am not trying “to prove how clever I am” or “showing off”.

  20. I rather liked 4a but, like Kath, spent ages trying think of the names of ports.

    The lady Kath couldn’t remember in connection 24a was, I think, Erika (or Erica – it seems to vary!) Roe.

    1. Yes, that’s the lady – and I seem to recall that it was a rugby, rather than football, match. Who cares, it was a great ‘sporting’ moment and obviously much appreciated by the crowd, players, commentators et al!

      1. The man whose modesty is protected by a policeman’s helmet is a more amusing example.

        1. I did see a fellow streaking at York Races some years ago, who was well enough endowed that the policeman’s helmet was inadequate for concealment purposes.

        2. Do I recall a seventies joke, something like ‘What’s under a policeman’s helmet?’

  21. Agree ****/*** 😬 Favourites 4a & 6d 😃 Thanks to Kath for the nice blog and to Ray T 🤗 13a & 26a we’re new to me, live and learn if only I could remember 🤔

  22. I am finding lately that half the puzzle is completed on a slow first pass, then “ oh my word “ it grinds to a halt. A change of thought train had me slowly getting it clue by clue. Quite a few clues led me straight into a siding though.
    Really liked 4ac , 26ac &6d,,, didn’t like 2d but it’s there in the books, heh ho.
    3.5*/4* very enjoyable
    Thanks to Ray T & Kath for direction & review.

  23. 4a was my first in and 24a my COTD.
    Today’s Toughie is doable – not like yesterday’s which was strictly for the experts, Try it.

  24. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the review and to everybody else for your comments.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. I reckon that the combination of Kath and your good self is perfect for our Thursday back-pagers.
      Long may the collaboration continue.

  25. Thank you Kath for the much needed hints, this being a Ray T day. Only got about half done on my own. Some new unfamiliar words, and a few that I got from checkers rather than the clues. Favourite was 6d. I should really throw in the towel on Ray T days, as he is obviously too smart for me, but hopefully I will get on the wavelength one of these days.

  26. A few tricky answers in here for us and all the usual fun with a RayT puzzle. 26a was something we had not met before but not a problem to work out. Checked the word count of course.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  27. The NE corner was quite tricky, wasn’t it? Until then I was going great guns, but then got stuck on unknowns at 4ac and 13ac, and a certainty that 6d couldn’t in fact be that as it was too obvious. So you could say that the difficulty was of my own making.

  28. Oddly enough 4a was my first in and the NE corner the last. Some new words for me, but hey ho I’m here to learn. It took me ages to spot 8d so it has to be favourite, just because it shows my own stupidity. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  29. Got there in the end but needed Kath’s excellent help for the final few in the SW. 26a was a bit of a bung in but a trip to BRB helped parse it. 4a my fave if only because I was familiar with the term from Captain Pugwash or maybe the Onedin Line.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT.

  30. OK everyone – that’s it from me for today – I’m well past my best and need to go to bed pretty soon.
    Thanks to Ray T for yet another wonderful crossword and to the rest of you for your comments.
    Night night and sleep well all of you.

  31. As with all RayT puzzles this caused me problems,I was pleased that I managed to complete 3/4 unaided but then ground to a halt. Needed Kaths hints to complete the rest, even then two eluded me. I hope I’m getting on RayTs wave length but fear this was just one of his gentler ones.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT.

  32. I came to this late after a busy day but then needed help to solve several.
    There were three words new to me – 4a, 13a and 23d. Joint Favs 10a and 24a however not too keen on 28a, 2d or 3d. I am a night-owl but it’s now definitely time to retire. Quickie pun is fun. Thank you RayT and Kath (rather you than me with today’s hinting!).

  33. I had to walk away from this after coming to a complete standstill. It worked, because when I finally returned everything fell into place with no problem. Funny how that so often works.
    4a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T for the challenge, and to Kath for her usual sterling review.

  34. 4*/4*…..
    difficult to choose a COD-perhaps 14D (purist, extremely discriminating and not tolerant initially).

  35. Another excellent puzzle from my favourite, Ray T. Great clues, some pretty tricky, providing a decent challenge and very enjoyable to solve. 3.5* / 4*

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