DT 29071 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29071

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29071

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey Friday with the promise of rain to come.

After some 650 miles of driving spread over Wednesday and Thursday as we returned from our interlude in Burgundy, I was glad that today’s Giovanni was reasonably straightforward, with the unusual words readily gettable from the wordplay.

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           A former enemy carrying doctor in military plane (6)
BOMBER – One of the sets of letters found after the name of a medical doctor is inserted into the name given to the opposition in the wars fought by Britain in South Africa at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

5a           Nice bit of food Cicely had cooked, not hard (8)
DELICACY – Anagram (cooked) of CICELY (h)AD without the symbol found on a hard pencil.

9a           Son is dancing with stranger — something bad going on? (13)
TRANSGRESSION – Anagram (dancing) of SON IS and STRANGER.

10a         Make sparing use of jam (8)
CONSERVE – Double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun.

11a         Dashing and reckless — one king about to be captured (6)
RAKISH – Put together the Roman numeral for one and the chess notation for a king, reverse (about) the result and insert it into a word for ‘reckless’.

12a         Accent of second-rate villain? (6)
BROGUE – The letter indicating something second-class, where A is first-class, followed by a villain, giving us a speech accent often associated with the Irish.

14a         Islander in army inflicted blow on Scot maybe (8)
TAHITIAN – Put together the initial letters of the old name for the Army Reserve, a verb meaning ‘inflicted blow on’, and a man’s name common in Scotland.

16a         Stories from Scripture written by girl in America (8)
UNTRUTHS – The answer is another word for ‘stories’ or ‘lies’. To get there, put together the initials of one of the two parts of the Bible and a girl’s name (as it happens, she has a book named after her in the other part of the Bible). Then wrap the two-letter abbreviation for a North American country around the result.

19a         Be mean, as troublemaker sitting at back of teachers’ room (6)
SCRIMP – The three-letter acronym for the place where university teachers may meet, followed by a supernatural troublemaker.

21a         Like a sort of sweater getting one teased? (6)
RIBBED – This word for ‘teased’ is also an adjective describing a style of knitting which may be used to make a sweater or to provide the waistband and cuffs of a sweater.

Image result for ribbed sweater

23a         Superior army officer and I join up for something extreme (8)
ULTIMATE – Put together the letter denoting ‘superior’ or ‘upper-class’, the abbreviated rank of a junior army officer, I (from the clue), and ‘join up’ (as two components of a machine may do).

25a         False perceptions about retro art and origin of terrific drawings? (13)
ILLUSTRATIONS – Reverse (retro) ART (from the clue), add the first letter (origin) of Terrific, then insert the result into some false perceptions.

26a         Plant on a grimy ground (8)
AGRIMONY – Anagram (ground) of ON A GRIMY.

Image result for agrimony

27a         Club right at the end of approach road (6)
DRIVER – The approach road to a big house followed by Right gives a type of golf club.


2d           Perform better than men exposed to the elements (7)
OUTDOOR – ‘Perform better than’ followed by the usual non-officer military men.

3d           Support something like the Great Britain, providing money (5)
BRASS – The usual support garment word by ladies followed by the letters commonly used in crosswords to indicate the sort of thing that Brunel’s Great Britain is an example of.

4d           Employer on the up, primarily reliable chap making comeback (9)
RESURGENT – Put together the reverse (on the up) of a word for ‘employer’, the first letter (primarily) of Reliable, and another word for a chap.

5d           The German disappeared in an English river (7)
DERWENT – One of the forms of the definite article in German followed by another word for ‘disappeared’ or ‘departed’. The answer is the name of one of 4 rivers in England. The one I know best runs through Derby.

6d           Installed in hall, a serious source of light (5)
LASER – Hidden in the clue.

7d           Biologist atop swaying tree — one may be out on the field (9)
CRICKETER – The surname of one of the two scientists given the Nobel Prize for untangling the structure of DNA, followed by an anagram (swaying) of TREE.

8d           Game with some American, a star (7)
CANASTA – Hidden in the clue.

13d         US soldier entertaining a rude Italian patriot (9)
GARIBALDI – Put together A (from the clue) and another word for ‘rude’, then wrap the usual US soldier around the result. The answer is best known today for ‘squashed fly’ biscuits.

15d         The male model, a fifties-type fellow, was indecisive (9)
HESITATED – Put together the male pronoun, a verb for ‘model’ or ‘pose’, A (from the clue) and a particular tribe of 1950s young men.

17d         Fixing any number in trouble (7)
NAILING – The algebraic symbol for ‘any number’ followed by ‘in trouble’ or ‘unwell’.

18d         Herb prevalent originally in English county (7)
SPURREY – The first letter (originally) of Prevalent is inserted into the name of an English county south of London.

Image result for spurrey

20d         A mess — it may be produced by artist (7)
MATISSE – Reverse anagram (may be produced) of A MESS IT.

22d         What is found — not very good party for dancers (5)
DISCO – Remove the VERY from the end of a word for something found to get a noisy party involving recorded music.

24d         As a native, I wander northwards (5)
MAORI – Put together I (from the clue) and another word for ‘wander’, then reverse the result (northwards, in a Down clue) to get a member of the native people of New Zealand.

The Quick Crossword pun FORTH + SENTRY = FOURTH-CENTURY

34 comments on “DT 29071

  1. Agree with DT on a **/***, a straight forward solve with some good surfaces and enjoyable-nothing obscure although the herb was new to me.
    Liked 1a an 13d-what would crosswords would do without Italy’s lone patriot.
    Thanks setter and DT for the pics

  2. Enjoyably straightforward and trouble-free this morning. I particularly liked 1a and 3d with 16a my last one in runner up.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  3. It was slow going for me this morning. Whilst every clue could be found from the word play, some were tricky and it took me longer than usual (***). It was, however, very enjoyable (****) so thabks to Giovanni. Special mention goes to 18d and 26a (I love clues about herbs) and there were some great anagrams. My favourite, for its intricacy and cleverness, was 6a, also the last in. Thank you for the blog, DT, its raining cats and dogs here too.

  4. This one did not flow for me or raise a smile along the way, no doubt , the nasty weather has not helped .
    A few new words learned but no particular favourite .
    Thanks to everyone .

  5. Usually for me, as I usually jump around the grid, but the top half was in fully before I made a start on the bottom half. Having said that, I did give myself a problem with 2d by initially putting the wrong first three letters in 10a.

    Apart from that, agree it was trouble free and enjoyable. Very many thanks to all.

  6. All completed in ** time – except for the GK elements. I eventually worked them out without resorting to electronic help, but it does take the edge off the enjoyment factor for me.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  7. A very enjoyable end to a work week of a somewhat strange pot-pourri of puzzles, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 13d, and 15d – and the winner is 15d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  8. Have to admit to checking on the biologist but that was my only ask of Mr Google this morning.
    The accent of the second-rate villain made me smile so gets my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to DG and to our own DT, safely back in the big red chair. I do hope that both Mrs DT and yourself thoroughly enjoyed your sojourn in Burgundy – back to the lawn mowing for you now!

  9. Agree with DT’s rating. Liked 1a and 7d. Had to check the two plants having derived them from the clues.

  10. There was a lot of embedded GK involved today, perhaps a bit too much for some solvers. On the plus side, it was pretty diverse, with terms or names from Art, Science, Religion, Sport and Games, Gardening and History, so definitely fair, or definitely cricket, as one might say!

    I got a bit tied up with 3 intersecting answers in the SW, but otherwise OK.
    Thanks to G and DT.

  11. I found this tricky 😬 ***/*** My favourites were 1a & 24d 😃 I would however take issue with 18d none of my lists of herbs mention this plant, and 26a when I looked up the meaning it always put an “o” instead of the “I” and I did not like 16a although I must admit it works 😳 As Tim Vine would say “rant over” Thanks to Giovanni and to DT, perhaps the 💨 & 🌧 has made me mardi!

    1. 18d grows wild in cornfields and its name is frequently preceded by the word Corn. That’s probably why you couldn’t find it. Early man ground the seeds to make bread.it has also been used as a diuretic. It’s other use is to make an extract to throw into rivers and lakes to stupefy the fish and make them easy to catch. Sounds pretty unfair!

  12. **/****. I found this a steady solve. Once I got on the right wavelength it fell in to place quite quickly. My favourites were 25a, 7&15d with 7 getting it by a nose. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the hints.

  13. An enjoyable puzzle, not too easy, needed a bit of electronic help in places. Favourite clue 19a – hadn’t seen that abbreviation for donkeys’ years.
    Thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  14. This wasn’t my cup of tea, to me it just had a slightly stale feel to it, nothing contemporary or fresh. I needed help parsing 1a (just how far back is “former”) and 19a. Mr Google provided the artist and plants. I liked the outstanding anagram 9a and 27a 3/2*
    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT for the crystal clear review.

  15. I quite liked this but didn’t find it easy. I’d never heard of the plants, but what else could they be with the checkers? I found Chriscross’ little offering very interesting. If you learn something every day, your day has not been wasted.
    Fave was 12a but others were right up there in contention.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his hints and tips.

  16. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat for challenging me today. Didn’t find this particularly easy, not knowing either plants, and putting in wrong word for 3d. Pleased that 7d, usually failing on anything cricket related.

  17. I thought this was a 3* difficulty but only because it exposed my lack of knowledge of botany. I did like 22d… but then it is the weekend.

  18. Another terrific DG challenge to which I have returned when time permitted over the day and am pleased to have made it just now. 22d took a while to penny drop and the biologist plus the two plants needed a bit of outside help but altogether a delightful solve. Thank you DT and Giovanni (your wavelength is always accessible). Fortunately this morning’s severe weather warnings didn’t materialise in West Sussex/Surrey but disappointing that wind/rain in Paris (unnecessarily?) caused termination of play at Roland Garros tennis.

  19. Needed my longer legs on to get round this grid, not helped by trying to put the wrong answer in 4d 🤪
    Not a lot more to say except to agree with DTs comments, many thanks . Thanks to Giovanni for another classy Friday workout

  20. Our favourite was of course 24d and we have to confess that we did have to give it some thought before the penny dropped. Worked out both plants from the wordplay.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  21. A three star for difficulty from me. A few new words learned, probably not retained !
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  22. A nice way to finish the working week; if I worked that is. As usual with the Don all the answers were quite ‘gettable’ even if a little lost in the memory banks.
    5d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  23. :phew: 2* difficulty? You must be joking. I found this really difficult.
    I can’t do Friday crosswords at all – I’m more than happy to have some general knowledge/hitherto unknown words/sporty stuff etc etc because that’s how one learns new things but I have to have something that makes me laugh.
    I had to call in the troops – ie husband who can’t do cryptics at all – to help me get through this one.
    With thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  24. Top quality puzzle which I managed without hints – but, boy, was it hard (and it took until this morning).
    More, please.

  25. Held up in the NW as I also wrote “preserve” in 10a.
    Had to check if being mean was to Shrimp or to Scrimp as I didn’t know the teachers’ room in 19a.
    No other ink blots to declare.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  26. A fine puzzle, again, from G. I agree with Kath and some others, certainly more difficult than a 2*. The clues were great, it was a decent challenge and a very enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*

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