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DT 29089

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29089

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the sun is breaking through early morning cloud and a warm day is in prospect.

There were a couple of, I thought, rather stretched synonyms in today’s Giovanni, and some interesting all-in-one clues, which stretched my solving time towards *** difficulty.

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           Gasp, having a cold, turning over in sleep (6)
CATNAP – Put together a verb for ‘gasp’, A (from the clue) and Cold, then reverse the result (turning over) to get a short sleep.

5a           What’s wonderful about short love affair? It’s puzzling (8)
BAFFLING – Reverse (about) a piece of 1960s slang for ‘wonderful’, then add a word for a short love affair.

9a           Have to be seen as one in the grammar class? (9,4)
AUXILIARY VERB – The answer is a grammatical term, and what we are looking for is what the word ‘have’ might be in one of its uses.

10a         Male snoring terribly — more than once when he should be getting up? (8)
MORNINGS Male followed by an anagram (terribly) of SNORING.

11a         Artist and count meeting very infrequently (6)
RARELY – The usual crossword artist followed by another word for ‘count’ which is a verb here, often found followed by ‘on’.

12a         Scenes from another world packed with energy (6)
VENUES – Insert Energy into one of the other planets of the Solar System.

14a         Unendingly dedicated Socialist gets destroyed (8)
DEVOURED – Remove the final letter from another word for ‘dedicated’, then add the colour usually associated with Socialists to get ‘destroyed’ or ‘consumed’.

16a         An Oxford connection? (8)
SHOELACE – Cryptic definition of something which may fasten something like an Oxford.

Image result for shoelaces oxford shoes

19a         Journeys taking in good long stretches high up (6)
RIDGES – Insert Good into some journeys on horseback or in a form of transport, to get a geographical feature of hilly areas.

21a         One goes to bed, dropping down heavily (6)
ANCHOR – Cryptic definition: the bed here is the seabed.

Image result for anchor

23a         What makes perfect performance — sacrifice all round (8)
PRACTICE – A deed or performance with a synonym of ‘sacrifice’ wrapped around it, giving us what, according to the saying ‘makes perfect’.

25a         High-up executive officer pens directive after negotiation (4,9)
VICE PRESIDENT – Anagram (after negotiation) of PENS DIRECTIVE.

26a         Professional is desperate and keeps going (8)
PROLONGS – A short form of ‘professional’ followed by ‘is desperate’ or ‘yearns’.

27a         Animals dash — first signs of dry season (6)
ELANDS – The French word for ‘dash’ followed by the first letters of Dry Season, producing some large antelopes.

Image result for eland


2d           Do a meal, possibly stewed with veg? (1,2,4)
A LA MODE – Anagram (possibly) of DO A MEAL, giving a cookery term for beef stewed with vegetables or, for our American readers, a dessert served with ice cream.

3d           President offering nothing, nothing, nothing initially (5)
NIXON – This US president is made up of a three-letter word for nothing, the letter which looks like zero or nothing, and the first letter of Nothing.

4d           A pony’s transformed with lei — in this Pacific region? (9)
POLYNESIA – Anagram (transformed) of A PONY’S and LEI.

5d           Prejudiced educationist, one idiot to be shut up (7)
BIASSED – Put together the Roman numeral for one and another word for an idiot, then wrap the letters after the name of someone with a degree in education around the result.

6d           Entrance area for receiving you (5)
FOYER – FOR (from the clue) wrapped around an old word for ‘you’.

7d           Be idle, offering story before a whole lot of drinks (3,6)
LIE AROUND – A (false) story followed by A (from the clue) and a set of drinks ordered in a pub for one’s fellow drinkers.

8d           Clouds unable to move disperse finally (7)
NEBULAE – Anagram (to move) of UNABLE followed by the final letter of dispersE.

13d         Lunch I ate turned out to be bad (9)
UNETHICAL – Anagram (turned out) of LUNCH I ATE.

15d         Relatives surprisingly willing to fit in? (9)
VERSATILE – Anagram (surprisingly) of RELATIVES.

17d         Dynasty no longer existing in foreign city (7)
HANOVER – This German city is made up of a Chinese imperial dynasty followed by ‘no longer existing’ – or a British royal house.

18d         Eastern maiden pursued by journalists, one married to ruler? (7)
EMPRESS – Put together Eastern, the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over, and the generic term for journalists.

20d         Aroused old lover gets named (7)
EXCITED – The usual former lover followed by ‘named’ or ‘referred to’.

22d         City’s farewell message — refusal to be upset (5)
RIPON – Start with the three letters which may be found as a farewell message on a tombstone, then reverse (upset) a word of refusal and add it on, to get a city in Yorkshire.

Image result for ripon

24d         English article thanks character from Greece (5)
THETA – An English definite article followed by a short word of thanks.

Image result for theta

The Quick Crossword pun SHORE + TANNED = SHORTHAND

38 comments on “DT 29089

  1. I solved 2d from the anagram, but from there I was completely lost and needed Gazza’s explanation for it.

    For me 5d looks very strange with the double s but I suppose it must be ok.

    I gave myself a problem initially with 7d by putting the wrong first word until I realised my error when the second word of 9a was unsolvable.

    Apart from that everything went swimmingly.

    Very many thanks to DT and Giovanni

  2. This puzzle had some very intriguing clues and fell into place in reasonable time (**) with a few difficulties inthe SW. I found it very enjoyable (****) and particularly liked 3d, 9a and 16a. So thank you to Giovanni and also to Senf. Its great to check that I’ve parsed some of the tricky clues correctly.

  3. Gentle end to the week. Thanks to this blog I’ve come on leaps and bounds. Ta to all.

  4. Less forthcoming than is usually the case for me with Giovanni but soon retrieved his wavelength and then all was well and the enigma was much enjoyed. The SW yielded last. 2d had to be but I had forgotten the culinary association. 16a perhaps over-clever. My joint Favs 3d and 17d. Many thanks Giovanni and DT.

  5. Lovely gentle Friday puzzle, very enjoyable. 16a reminded me of the Kingsman films.

    Lots to like today, favourites 3d and 22d.

    Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  6. Like yesterday, a bit of a curate’s egg but very enjoyable with completion at a fast canter – 2.5*/4*.

    I was a little surprised at the spelling of 5d being more used to the single ‘S’ version.

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 3d, and 20d – and the winner is 3d, which I am reasonably certain is an oldie but goodie.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Is 5d an alternative spelling as I always thought that there was one S ?
    2d had to be what it was but I did not associate this with stewed with veg !-thanks DT.
    Apart from this a pleasant straight forward solve with some diverse cluing.
    Had to check the dynasty-will remember next time.
    Overall a **/*** today-thanks all.

  8. Quite gentle today with some nice clues , my COTD 5A as it gave the biggest smile .
    Off to visit a favourite place of many setters later , the Isle of Man .
    Thanks to everyone .

  9. Excellent puzzle but needed the clues to fully parse 9a (English grammar was never my strong suit) and 27a (never knew it meant meat and veg stew, I though it meant fashionable).
    Thx for the hints

  10. Loved it 😃 **/**** a lovely end to the week and even the🌞 has come out, ** because I solved it (unassisted I may add) and **** because I have 4 favourites 14a, 16a, 21a & 3d Big thank you to DT and of course to Giovanni 🤗

  11. Easy end to the week. Favourite clue was 16 across which made me smile. 1 across took longest for me today.

  12. A nice, average difficulty puzzle from G with good clues providing a very enjoyable solve. Favs: 5a and 27a. 2.5* / 3.5*

  13. I had “shortened” for the answer to the Quickie Pun. Wrong again!

    Wonder how Pitman would have spelt it?

  14. A bit of a mixed bag for me. I didn’t like 27a, but I did like 16a and 21a. Many thanks to Giovanni for the brain stretch, and to DT for the review.

  15. AS most have remarked and gentle but entertaining Giovanni. I think that 5d spelling is ugly albeit a correct variation. I liked 16a and 22d with top spot to 17d.

  16. Good humour fully restored, thanks to Giovanni. I enjoyed this one and was grateful for the easy-ish ride after frying my brain yesterday.
    My only problem today was an incorrect answer at 19a, didn’t ‘alf make a mess of 15d, so used electronic help for the anagram and that sorted it.
    I didn’t know the veg stew at 2d, but what else could it be.
    Fave was 5a but 16a and 17d deserve honourable mention.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the fun.

  17. ***/****. What a good puzzle. My favourite was 3d pipping 9&16a to the post among many other good clues. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  18. It’s not Tuesday today is it? This was never a Giovanni surely; it was over way too soon!
    Oh well. No real favourite for me.
    Thanks to Giovanni (if it was his!) , and to DT for the review.

  19. Not too tricky today – not for a Friday anyway.
    My last answer was 12a which I just couldn’t see for ages and the 13d anagram took too long.
    No other problems and there weren’t any clues that stood out for me.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  20. A very clever puzzle from the Don today I thought, some expertly crafted clues made for a very enjoyable solve.
    Fav 9ac & 16ac
    Grateful thanks to Giovanni & DT for review & direction on a couple of clues that baffled me!

  21. Thanks to the setter! Really enjoyed this one. Laugh-out-loud moments were 3d and 10a.

  22. I breezed through yesterday’s **** puzzle, yet this was a total mystery, it took me an hour to get 7 answers. Then I gave up.
    It’s fair to say that I am not on Giovanni’s wavelength as I found most of these clues way beyond my solving ability.
    Thanks all.

  23. An enjoyable solve for the most part that kept the smiles on our faces. 22d was the clue that we did not like although it was easy enough to work out from the wordplay and checkers. A small town with a big church (which was new to us) defined simply as CITY, was not a lot of help to people outside the UK.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

      1. If you click on FAQ at the top of this page and look at #28 there is quite a lot of info on the regular setters.

  24. Took a while to get going, but everything then began to fall into place. I too had never run into the double s spelling for 5d. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat today.

  25. Thanks, both. Favourites were 10a (even though I’m good at getting up!) and 13d.

    For 11a, I don’t understand the synonym: when could ‘scenes’ and the answer be used interchangeably?

    I continue to be amazed at how many more varieties of antelope-type creatures I keep learning about from crosswords.

    1. Both “scenes” and the answer can be thought of as settings in which something takes place.

      And, if anyone cares, that particular antelope is used all the time in American-style crossword puzzles. It’s always the first one (er…only one) I think of.

  26. 4*/3*….
    liked 5A (what’s wonderful about short love affair? It’s puzzling).

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