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DT 29088

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29088

Hints and tips by Kath

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

Hello everyone. Well, I obviously don’t know about the rest of you yet but I thought this was jolly difficult. It’s not by Ray T  – I suspect the setter is proXimal but we’ll have to wait and see.

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

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


1a        Feller’s warning doctor in row (6)
TIMBER — This is what someone felling a tree should shout to warn those around that they need to get out of the way – one of the many two letter abbreviations meaning a doctor goes inside (in) a synonym for a row or level

5a        Throw mud at Oscar in sloppy mudbath (8)
BADMOUTH — An anagram (sloppy) of MUDBATH and the letter represented by O(scar) in the phonetic alphabet

9a        With everyone loud, humble one’s sidelined (10)
WALLFLOWER — Begin with W(ith), follow that with a word meaning everyone, then the letter used to tell musicians to play loudly and finish that lot off with a verb to humble or belittle

10a       Model seen among pretty people (4)
TYPE — A lurker or hidden answer indicated by by ‘seen among’ – the answer is in between the last two words of the clue

11a       Group leave after area is reserved (3,5)
SET APART — A group or a gang is followed by the abbreviation for area and then a synonym for leave or become separate

12a       Pampered pet’s first painting framed by good person (6)
SPOILT — The first letter of P(et) (pet’s first) and a kind of painting both go inside (framed by) the usual two letters used to mean a good person or a saint

13a       Frenchman dropping off one Monsieur chez nous? (4)
HOME — The French word for a man (Frenchman) without one of the abbreviations for Monsieur – I knew this was going to be tricky to do a decent hint for (and anyway I made it more difficult than it needed to be by trying to think of a specific name)

15a       See veins damaged with advance in years (8)
ENVISAGE — An anagram (damaged) of VEINS is followed by a word meaning advance in years or become older

18a       Order unfinished, bed is rickety (8)
DECREPIT — A six letter synonym for an order or edict without its final letter (unfinished) is followed by an informal word for a bed

19a       Grazes perhaps from saddle after cycling (4)
EATS — A word for a saddle or something you could sit on with its first letter moved to last (after cycling)

21a       Pester power contrary local girl used regularly (6)
PLAGUE — The abbreviation for P(ower) is followed by a reversal (contrary) of a dialect (local) word for a girl and that lot is finished off with alternate letters (regularly) of used

23a       Constant name appearing three times in travelling guide (8)
 UNENDING — An anagram (travelling) of GUIDE contains the one letter abbreviation for N(ame) three times (appearing three times in)

25a       Group excursion almost over (4)
TRIO — A four letter synonym for an excursion or outing without its final letter (almost) and then the letter that is an abbreviation for an O(ver) in ‘crickety’ terminology

26a       Trusted female prisoner if backed by Italian poet (10)
CONFIDANTE — The usual little word for a prisoner is followed by a reversal (backed) of IF and then one of the famous Italian poets from a very long time ago

27a       Holding spear oddly, hinder renegade (8)
DESERTER — A synonym for hinder or discourage contains (holding) the alternate letters (oddly) of spear

28a       Dull books about British milk (6)
OBTUSE — These books are the first part of the bible and they contain (about) the abbreviation for B(ritish) – finish off with a verb to milk or exploit



2d        This compiler is a fan of ranting (5)
IRATE — How the setter would say, in a slightly slangy way, that he is a great fan of something – another one that’s difficult to hint – it took me long enough to sort out at all although I’m not sure why

3d        Party of French monarch includes a minstrel (9)
BALLADEER — A kind of party – a fairly formal one with lots of dancing and long dresses – and the A from the clue (includes A) is followed by the French word for ‘of’ and then the two letter Latin abbreviation for our Queen (monarch)

4d        Crackers are old in pack, once more (6)
RELOAD — An anagram (crackers) of ARE OLD

5d        Old copper arch, way above jogger (3,6,6)
BOW STREET RUNNER — Start off with an arch or a curve, follow that with a way or thoroughfare and then a synonym for a jogger or an athlete – I suspect this is something you either know or you don’t – I didn’t, or if I ever had, I’d forgotten about them

6d        Taunting upset father in disreputable bar (8)
DERISIVE — A reversal (upset) of a verb to father or breed goes inside (in) a disreputable bar or club

7d        Best known hairstyle (5)
OUTDO — Best here is a verb – begin with a word meaning known or not secret and follow that with a general term for a hairstyle

8d        High-quality vase lifted fine, not heavy (3-6)
TOP -FLIGHT — Begin with a reversal (lifted) of synonym for a vase or a container and then the abbreviation for F[ine] with another way of saying not heavy or easy to pick up

14d      Played grave role in Titanic (9)
OVERLARGE — Titanic is falsely capitalised to make us (well, me anyway!) think of the ship or the film – it’s an anagram (played) of GRAVE ROLE

16d      Strong drink consumed by son and daughter quickly (9)
STEADFAST — The one letter abbreviations for S[on[ and D[aughter] contain (consumed by) a hot brew (drink)  that lots of people have early in the morning – finish off with a synonym for quickly or at high speed

17d      Part of shoe gashed — that’s a blow (8)
UPPERCUT — The top part of a shoe is followed by another word for gashed or sliced

20d      Male team in green representing this country? (6)
MEXICO — Start off with the one letter for M[ale] and then follow that with a way of saying green, as in not polluting, which contains a couple of Roman numerals for a team of people playing cricket (I think?)

22d      Tory MP shielding head from liquid put protective wear on (5)
GLOVE — Plenty to choose from – you need the surname of one of the ones who got knocked out of the leadership contest and that name goes round the outside (shielding) of the first letter (head from) of L[iquid]

24d      Sounds from TV playing up (5)
NOTES — Another word for a TV and a way of saying playing or currently showing and then reverse the lot (up)

I particularly liked 9 and 15a and 7d. My favourite was 3d.

The Quickie Pun:- DOCK + USE + HOPE = DOCUSOAP


45 comments on “DT 29088

  1. I too thought this very difficult – 5* difficulty – and I don’t think it is just because I am still tired from our holiday/return to work nightmare

    Thanks to, I presume, ProXimal, and to Kath

  2. Solved this while my car was being ‘diagnosed’ at the garage (faulty oil pressure sensor grr) well within normal time. *** / **** for me.

    Thanks to setter and Kath.

  3. I agree with Kath and CS that this was very tricky indeed(****) but it was all the more satisfying and enjoyable, when I had finished it. It felt like ProXimal to me too and misdirection was extremely good , with lots of good clues. So thank you to the setter. Thanks to Kath for the hints. I don’t suppose it was an easy task today. Favourites were 9a and 3d.

  4. I found 20d very tricky. Mexico obviously fitted, but I couldn’t justify it. Until coming here of course – ‘XI’ – doh.

  5. I finally got going after seeking help on 5d (d’oh) and then managed to fill in the East reasonably quickly but the West hung fire for quite a bit. Overall however it turned out to be an entertaining challenge seemingly devoid of chestnuts. I suppose 2d ‘fan of’ is OK and not sure 21a girl is necessarily ‘local’. For me joint podium places go to 1a, 13a and 18a. Thank you Mysteron and Kath (rather you than me in today’s hinting chair!).

  6. Thursday’s living up to its billing as the trickiest back-pager of the week and very enjoyable it is. Many thanks to Mr X and Kath for her fine review.
    My podium places (in no particular order) went to 13a, 28a and 20d.

  7. My first thoughts on completion was that this backpage puzzle was more difficult than yesterdays toughie !
    It took a while to ‘tune in’ and steadily work my way through it-last in was 13a ,luckily French is the only foreign language I have a smattering of.
    Favourite was 5d ,I remember that this was a song title in the 60’s !
    Going for a****/****.as I did enjoy it.

  8. Apart from my last in, 18a, I found this reasonably straightforward and excellent puzzle. 5d went straight in which gave me a load of checkers and a good start. I think I will award gold to 28a.. Now to crash and burn attempting the Toughie, no doubt!

  9. Well that was certainly a work out. SW corner held out the longest. Favourite was 5d. Ta to all.

  10. I was beaten by a couple today (which is good), so needed the hints to finish in reasonable time. Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  11. For me the puzzle of the week, quality from start to finish. I did need a little electronic help but no hints, though there are a couple I’ve yet to parse. Such was the quality, I’ve added an extra step to my podium and on it are 1,9 and 26a, with top spot going to our “team in green” 20d.
    Got to be Proximal so I’ll thank him and Kath for their excellent works.

  12. What a strange business this is!! Last Saturday was totally beyond me yet many found it easy enough. Today, the experts found this tricky, yet I didn’t, just held up for a bit in the SW corner.
    An earlier comment posted that this was trickier than yesterday’s Toughie, yet I could only get one answer. Strange.
    Thanks Kath for a terrific set of hints and the setter for a superb puzzle.

  13. I didn’t find this overly difficult just more of a curate’s egg for completion at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 5d, and 8d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  14. Very tricky but pleased to complete it. My last in was 4d as i missed crackers as the anagram indicator.
    Thx for the hints.

  15. I thought it was difficult too, took ages to get started and still not completed!

  16. Definitely **** for me! First in was 9A last in was 28A. Favourite I think was 1A as it was also my durr! clue from initially misreading it. I usually start off in the South east corner but found it the hardest today.

  17. I’m with the most of the others in finding darned tricky .
    I liked 13a and 20and 22d .
    I don’t know what a Bow Street runner is but the phrase was in the back of my mind .
    Thanks to the setter and Kath , with great illustrations .

    1. The Bow Street Runners were an early’ police’ force, set up by the English politician Robert Peel in the early 19th century. They were also called Bobbies or Peelers after the man, who founded the group and they were based in Bow street in London for a time. This small group evolved into the British police force.

      1. The Peelers (est Robert Peel) came first, Bow Street Runners were set up by magistrate/keeper of the peace Henry Fielding later, I think.
        Crikey I’m getting old and pedantic…

        1. Yes, I’d forgotten about Henry Fielding. Interesting that we still refer to them as ‘ bobbies’ isn’t it?

        2. The Bow Street Runners were set up in 1749. Sir Robert Peel’s “Bobbies” didn’t appear until 1829.

  18. Thanks to proXimal and to Kath for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that I found quite tricky, but I seemed to be on right wavelength. Last in was 19a, favourite was 20d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  19. I did not find this too tricky. But I expect that the next time I struggle I’ll find a comment from CS saying how easy it was for her. Thank you setter and Kath.

  20. Took a while to get going and first couple of runs through the clues suggested this was going to be tougher than usual. 5 down unlocked it for me.

  21. I went through the clues quite quickly this morning and , having read the comments , I am surprised to be in the minority . Once again , it is remarkable how different opinions can vary on the degree of difficulty . Looking back I got the first 3 across clues and 5D , my favourite , immediately so everything flowed .
    Thanks to everyone .

  22. I didn’t find this all that difficult and enjoyed it very much – finished at one sitting, which doesn’t happen often with me. Liked 16d – a penny drop moment – and 5d, which I got early on so helped a lot. Not so keen on 19a, which was my last one in and needed Kath’s hint for confirmation. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  23. Tricky in places, I agree, but very enjoyable *** time after a lazy lunch in the garden sunshine. For the first time in very many years, I did it in the Newspaper. Quite different from online and interesting working out (sorry MP) anagrams on a picture of The Taj Mahal.

    As to the puzzle itself, 2d spent too long, with I’m as first two letters, 17d and 4d. The rest seemed to construct themselves.

    Thanks to all.

  24. I didn’t encounter any real holdups while doing this rather fine crossword.
    I liked 13a once I realised how the clue was constructed.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her excellent review.

  25. Having a tiny brain, this beat me hands down. I solved 1a as I read it and was lulled into a false sense of security, but I soon realised I was in over my head. In the end I only solved ten clues before deciding to use my time more productively, i.e. going in the pool and exercising.
    Fave was 5d, mainly ‘cos I solved it and it gave me so many checking letters.
    Thanks to whomsoever and to Kath for filling in my grid!

  26. ****/****. Very enjoyable solve if in the trickier end of the spectrum. It took me a while to get on the setters wavelength but once there all went reasonably well. 1a and 5d were lifesavers and the latter got my vote for COTD. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  27. Thanks to Kath (improving setter-spotter) for the review and commenters for comments. I’ll be back tomorrow elsewhere.

    1. Thank you for calling in to claim responsibility! It is, as always, appreciated by everyone.

  28. Trickiest of the week thus far but no major hold-ups here bar a couple in the SE corner which pushed up my solving time.

    Thanks to Kath and proXimal 2.5*/4*

  29. Phew. What a relief to find others found this tricky. I can’t stand it when I go online and everyone has found it easy and I’m the only one to struggle. I had to put this one down several times and come back to it, and use lots of electronic gizmos. Still, it filled in an afternoon, on and off, in between doing the holiday washing. Many thanks setter and Kath.

  30. A really good puzzle. A great selection of well constructed clues that gave just the right amount of misdirection to keep us constantly challenged and amused.
    Thanks proXimal and Kath.

  31. Interesting how we all see things so differently. I thought this one was very gentle compared to the puzzles from the past few days. I didn’t stumble over any archaic vocabulary like I usually do, and even the Britishisms were kept to a minimum. I did get lucky in guessing the name of a particular MP – thankfully, it was the only thing that fit.
    Overall, really fun. 20d was great.

  32. Not the easiest this week, but I didn’t find it to be the most difficult either. Perhaps I’ve just had plenty of practice solving proXimal here and elsewhere.

  33. A slow start, on my first read through I think I got 5. On my second read through I got loads, then it took me ages to get the half dozen. Hard to pick a favourite just happy to have finished it. Thanks to ProXimal and Kath.

    1. I’d say well done to you – on my first quick read through of all the clues, both the acrosses and the downs, I had four answers and nearly threw a total wobbly but that wouldn’t have had much effect as I was the only one still awake in our house at that stage!

  34. Right – on that happy note I’m heading for bed pretty soon.
    Thank you so much to proXimal for such a good crossword and to all for the comments.
    Night night everyone and sleep well.

  35. I obtained this one on Friday morning and solved it, sporadically, over the rest of the day. It was a pretty tricky challenge with great clues causing much head-scratching (just what I want from a cryptic puzzle) and providing good enjoyment. I’ve ticked 18a, 19a, 3d, 4d and 22d and I could have ticked quite a few others. 4* / 4.5*

  36. 4*/3*….
    liked 22D (Tory MP shielding head from liquid put protective wear on).

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