DT 29080 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29080

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29080

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday.  In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  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    Had to remove front to make uniform good enough (8)
ADEQUATE:  [h]AD from the clue without its first letter (… to remove front) followed by a verb that could mean "to make uniform"

5a    Entertained a thought (6)
AMUSED:  Put together A from the clue and thought or considered

10a   Is enthralled by weird architect's car features (15)
CHARACTERISTICS:  IS from the clue is contained by (enthralled by) an anagram (weird) of ARCHITECT'S CAR

11a   Own monkey, perhaps, after a change of heart (7)
PRIVATE:  What a monkey is an example of (monkey, perhaps) has its central character changed to another letter (… after a change of heart)

12a   Hidden facts about entering religious schools (7)
SECRETS:  A usual short word for about or concerning inserted in (to enter) to some religious schools (of thought)

13a   Big cheese? Awful, beginning to crumble and flipping go off (8)
DIRECTOR:  Join together awful or dreadful, the first letter of (beginning to) Crumble, and the reversal (flipping…) of go off or decay

15a   Novelist's  abode (5)
LODGE:  A gatekeeper's cottage is also the surname of David the English novelist

18a   Stiff outfit I had (5)
RIGID:  Put together outfit or equip and the contracted form of "I had"

20a   Use fear regularly to cut tax (8)
EXERCISE:  Alternate letters (… regularly) of fEaR are inserted in (to cut) a type of tax 

23a   More cheerful, apparently, in greeting the Queen (7)
HAPPIER:  An obvious abbreviation for apparently (given in Chambers but not in Collins or the ODE) is inserted in a short greeting which is followed by the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth

25a   Go off to walk in river (7)
EXPLODE:  To walk slowly and heavily is inserted in a river that flows mostly in Devon.  "Go off" like a bomb.  Here's an idea for something to try if you have a hundred rubber bands and a watermelon at hand

26a   Officers pester veterans nastily about India (15)
REPRESENTATIVES:  An anagram (…nastily) of PESTER VETERANS containing (about) the letter represented by India in the NATO phonetic alphabet

27a   Peers dismissing a son's suffering (6)
STRESS:  Peers or looks intently minus its A (dismissing A) and followed by the genealogical abbreviation for son

28a   Embraced uncle and did jigs (8)
INCLUDED:  An anagram (… jigs) of UNCLE DID



1d    Welcome something done about church parking (6)
ACCEPT:  A short word for "something done" containing (about) both the abbreviation for the Church of England and the road sign abbreviation for parking

2d    Inquiring into return of tool for cutting and excavating (9)
EXAMINING:  The reversal of (return of) a tool for cutting wood is followed by excavating coal, for example

3d    Ignorant article from Paris about a fight (7)
UNAWARE:  A French grammatical article is wrapped about both A from the clue and a serious fight

4d    Tax benefit -- it helps, to an extent (5)
TITHE:  The answer is hidden as part of (… to an extent) the remainder of the clue

6d    Annie maybe changing claim about us (7)
MUSICAL:  What Annie is an example of (Annie maybe) is found as an anagram (changing) of CLAIM containing (about) US from the clue

7d    Wedge  shot in golf that goes astray (5)
SLICE:  A double definition.  A wedge of cake, perhaps

8d    Heavy blow from model possibly cut plant (8)
DISASTER:  This clue offers an opportunity for some reader participation.  I haven't found a parse that I am 100% comfortable with, so I invite your input.  The best I can do is this:  A dated word for a good-looking person or model has its last letter deleted (… cut) and a flowering plant appended

9d    Softly hold jam? (8)
PRESERVE:  Stick together the musical abbreviation for softly and hold or set aside

14d   Ideas from right-wingers taking in the man (8)
THEORIES:  An informal name for right-wing MPs containing (taking in) a pronoun for "the man"

16d   Concluded centre of viaduct is cracked (9)
DISSOLVED:  Chain together the centre letter of viaDuct, IS from the clue, and a synonym of cracked (a clue, perhaps)

17d   Ogres eating vigorously -- they could be full of fruit (8)
ORCHARDS:  Some of Tolkien's ogres containing (eating) vigorously or severely

19d   Clubs for motorists (7)
DRIVERS:  A double definition.  The clubs are for playing golf

21d   Excellent  city such as London (7)
CAPITAL:  Another double definition.  An informal word for excellent is also the type of city of which London is an example

22d   Relieved after cold ended (6)
CEASED:  Relieved or abated after the single letter abbreviation for cold

24d   Mediocre writing before editor initially runs tabloid? (5)
PAPER:  Some mediocre writing comes before the first letter of (… initially) Editor and the cricket scoring abbreviation for runs

25d   Upset school, by the sound of it (5)
EATEN:  A informal word for upset or worried is a homophone (by the sound of it) of a well-known public school


Thanks to today’s setter for a pleasant solve.  I quite liked 2d and 4d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  FOE + TOW + GRAFT = PHOTOGRAPHED

59 comments on “DT 29080

    1. Having put the right answer in I still can’t parse this – at least the first three letters. I also had reservations about 25d.

      1. Vancouver
        The first three three letters represent the word “dish” with its last letter cut. Dish is a dated word for a good looking person, who may in turn be a model. No, me neither!

  1. I thought that the SW corner was pretty woeful, the remainder of the puzzle was fine and overall a **/*** for me.
    I assume 16d was a synonym for concluded, experience tells me it is contained somewhere in a reference book.
    Thanks to Mr K for the usual amusing pics.

  2. 2.5*/3*. As Mr K says, this was a pleasant solve although I did get slightly held up by a few clues in the SW corner.

    I didn’t know the abbreviation for “apparently” without checking my BRB. It’s a rather imprecise abbreviation as apparently is apparently one of eight possibilities. I wasn’t too keen on 8d but I think Mr K’s explanation must be the right one.

    2d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr R and Mr K.

  3. This was a fun run with the top half going in first. Forced to bung in 12a and 27a thanks to my being slow in the uptake with parsing. French terms and articles seem to be making more frequent appearances these days which is OK by me but possibly not by all Brit cruciverbalists, likewise the 25a school occurs with regularity. 7d Fav due to its smooth surface. Initially had wrong solution to Quickie 3a but pun still worked. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  4. Apart from the extremely weak 23a I enjoyed this a lot, though 8 and 17d were bung ins. On looking at Mr K’s explanation for 8d, I think it’s plausible. I ticked 5, 25 and 13a plus 13d for special mention but my COTD goes to the outstanding 16d. 2.5/3*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his customary top notch review.

    1. By the way I recommend that any prudes amongst you desist from tapping on the picture of The Sun……but it is very funny 😁

          1. Blimey, that’s some party trick!! I think I might suggest it to channel 4 as a new tv programme as a variation of darts.

            1. Going by what I’ve seen on recent visits, that wouldn’t be out of place among some of Channel 4’s programming after the watershed.

  5. Led by 8d, a few not particularly good clues spoiled the overall enjoyment and almost slowed down completion to a fast canter but I manged to finish at a gallop – **/**.

    Like RD, my favourite is 2d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    (Overall enjoyment for the day saved by the Giovanni Toughie.)

  6. NW corner the last to fall. I made this trickier than it was by listening to the cricket whilst trying to concentrate on the puzzle, with the commentary winning. A good, steady solve with some nice clues, especially 2 and 16d.

    Many thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  7. I have little to add to the above comments, agreeing with most of them. I don’t know the writer in 15a. A quick look at Wiki tells me I haven’t heard of any of his works either.

    Thanks to all.

    (And putting TUG in 3a in the Quickie fulfils the pun but not 4d!)

  8. I did this puzzle quite quickly, bunging in 27a and 8d. A few poor clues held me up and make it ** for difficulty and *** for enjoyment. Thank you for the blog Mr K and I think you have the best fit for parsing 8d. Thanks to the setter. The favourite was 28a.

  9. Found this quite tough. Hints were most helpful – thanks Mr K. Missing the pussypics. Struggled with 11a and 23a. Good to tax the brain though. Many thanks to Mr R and Mr K.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. As regards 8d, I think it could be dis=slang for disrespect=cut+ the flower, then model is redundant. So perhaps your explanation is best? This puzzle took me a long time, finished it in three sittings. Never heard of the author in 15a, but the wordplay was obvious. Needed the hints to parse 27a. Last in was 14d. Favourite was 14a. Took me ages to spot the lurker in 4d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  11. A nice, average difficulty puzzle, solved on a bus on the Cat and Fiddle Road. The 2 mega-anagrams went in first and that helped a lot with the rest. The clues were mostly good and it was a moderately enjoyable solve. Favs: 28a and 2d. I parsed 8d as Mr K and had no real issue with its construction. 2* / 3*

  12. I found this to be enjoyable, but for the second day in a row, far, far too many bung ins, yet I had no problem with 8d. I worry that senility is setting in when I find the answers so hard to unravel. The NW corner gave me grief, needed the hints to finish.
    I think 16d gets the red rosette., but many others were star worthy.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the hints and pics- the preserves look dee-lishus.

  13. **/***. Apart from my previous comments I quite enjoyed this and liked 2d in particular and 4d for the sudden dawning. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  14. Did not have quite as easy a time as some, found it very stop start & found I had to have 3 to 4 bing ins… most of which have been mentioned,
    3*/3* for me, workmanlike pleasant enough.
    Thanks to setter & MrK for review & direction.

  15. In 8d, I wonder if the dis comes from display, as a verb, meaning to model. Otherwise, it’s really tenuous.

    1. Welcome to the site, Ploppy.

      I also wondered about dis[play], but rejected it because “possibly cut” would be an very loose instruction to delete the last four letters. “cut” should be an indication to delete a single letter.

      I also pondered “dis” as the abbreviation for discontinued, which could be referring a model dropped from a line of merchandise, but that also felt like a stretch.

      If our setter is reading, perhaps he or she could tell us what they had in mind with 8d?

  16. I quite enjoyed this offering. Some of the clues were a little strange but nothing was that difficult. Actually I liked 8d and having solved it the way
    Mr K then suggested I had no problem with it.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and pics.

  17. Never come across a DT crossword with so many clues that I can’t parse even though all are successfully answered:
    1a, 4d, 8d, 12a, 27a, 16d, 26a, 17d and 25d.
    Some weird clues.
    For me **/*
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Having been through the excellent hints I despair of the poor quality of this puzzle with many synonyms which are just not right, for instance Orcs are not ogres.
      A very poor puzzle in my opinion.

      1. I initially had the same thought about Orcs, but Chambers does have under the entry for Orc:
        1.A killer whale or orca
        2.A fierce sea-monster (mythology)
        3.An ogre (Tolkien)

        However, Collins has them as goblins and the ODE defines them as human-like creatures. But the convention is that if a definition is given in one of those three dictionaries, it’s legal in crosswordland. I had the same issue with app as an abbreviation for apparently.

  18. I’m not quite sure what I thought of this crossword – it was done in dribs and drabs so I don’t really know what my overall feeling was.
    Along with most of the rest of you I had trouble making any sense of 8d – also 27a.
    6d – Annie maybe – but ‘the best collie ever’ didn’t seem to fit! Only joking but those who have been on this blog for ages know what I’m on about.
    Nothing in particular stood out for me today.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K, and the rest of you who made me realise that I wasn’t going mad when I couldn’t sort out 8d.

    1. I think it’s time for you to visit the shelter and find another collie, how long has it been? I’m sure Annie would love you to have another one. Hope I’m not out of line!

      1. No, you’re certainly not out of line but things have changed a lot in our family since Annie died four and a half years ago.

  19. Parsing 27a was our sticking point. We put the puzzle aside and did the Toughie before coming back to it and the aha moment.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  20. Struggled a bit today but with Mr K’s help got there in the end. I haven’t got a better parsing for 8d and agree on 2 or 4d as COTD. Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    P.S. Where can I get some of that caramel apple butter? it looks delish.

      1. It’s on amazon.com, I’ve ordered one. I’ve got prime so not outrageously expensive.

  21. Like the 2 Ks, I also couldn’t parse 27a until Mr K’s particular form of genius was consulted. I had no idea what was going on in 8d, (although the answer was obvious) so am comforted by the fact that most others are in the same boat. Apart from all that, I finished in fairly rapid time. Many thanks to the setter and, as always, Mr. K.

    1. Hi, Lee, and a belated welcome to the blog from me.

      I was told that you asked recently if there were any previous occurrences of ACAS in Telegraph crosswords. Here are the examples that I’ve been able to find:

        Wed 20 Aug 2003   Telegraph Cryptic 24138   Rumpus caused when priest heads arbitration body (6)   FRACAS
        Wed 8 Sep 2004   Telegraph Cryptic 24467   Rumpus when priest heads conciliation service (6)   FRACAS
        Wed 3 Jan 2007   Telegraph Cryptic 25191   Uproar when priest heads conciliation body (6)   FRACAS
        Fri 16 Oct 2009   Telegraph Cryptic 26061   Negotiators faced with ruin — they’re shaken (7)   MARACAS
        Fri 6 Aug 2010   Telegraph Cryptic 26312   Quarrel frequently needing group of arbitrators (6)   FRACAS
        Fri 30 Sep 2016   Telegraph Cryptic 28233   Type of transport wanted by negotiators in the capital (7)   CARACAS
        Wed 4 Jun 2014   Telegraph Toughie 1199   Negotiators employed by Barclays regularly (4)   ACAS
        Fri 10 Apr 2015   Telegraph Toughie 1376   Quarrel is gutting for mediators (6)   FRACAS
        Wed 21 Jun 2017   Telegraph Toughie 1833   Disturbance when father comes to conciliation service (6)   FRACAS
        Fri 26 Jan 2018   Telegraph Toughie 1959   Handbags emptied for mediators (6)   FRACAS
      1. Ha! This is great. It’s settled then. ACAS has now earned a spot in my neuro file cabinet. Thanks!

        1. If you haven’t done so already, it’s worth adding Big Dave’s Usual Suspects and Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing to that neuro file cabinet (or filing cabinet, as it’s known on the UK side of the pond. BTW, I’m very impressed that you can solve these puzzles without having spent time in the UK.)

          1. Aw, thanks. It’s taken a bit of practice. Most of my education has come from this blog (I’ve been lurking since January). And believe me, I’ve printed out, studied, and annotated the “Usual Suspects” and the “WISC.” You’ve all been a great help.
            Until I started doing these puzzles, I don’t think I fully realized just how different British English is from American English. Filing cabinet? Weird.

          2. I use both filing cabinet and file cabinet freely, I never knew there was a difference!

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