DT 29091 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29091

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29091

Hints and tips by a hungover Sancho Panza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Golly bongs this took some solving. The bottom half wrote itself in but the top half was a different kettle of fish altogether. Perhaps I was woolly headed after a boozy weekend and a late night visit to The Buck and Bell. (Marstons Pedigree). [You must have been. The ratings are from me and my assessment of this puzzle is rather different. BD] Never a good idea according to the all forgiving Saint Sharon. Reviewing the clues makes them all seem so obvious. Oh dear!

A late start to the day won’t hurt will it? Anyways up this is a corker of a puzzle. Most enjoyable throughout. We have double bubble quickie puns to add to the Monday magic. Saint Sharon has gone to wreak havoc at our unwanted new house which I am slowly warming to and I am entertaining our neighbours with a very loud live Tom Waits concert from 2013. Bliss. That was a top ten concert. Here it is. Enjoy

These hints and tips have been created lovingly to help those of you who may need help to solve a couple of clues or to understand why an answer is what it is. Usually a clue consists of two parts. 1. A definition, which is usually at the beginning or end of a clue. 2. Wordplay which tells to what to do to solve the clue. The hints and tips help with the wordplay of the clues. Definitions are underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Model from quiet Spanish region (7)
PARAGON: The musical notation for quiet is followed by a landlocked region of northern Spain. Presumably where one of Henry the Eighth’s wives came from. I’ve always thought she was from France. That’s what poor schooling does for you.

5a Fortitude of saint, a man I flogged (7)
STAMINA: A Lego clue or a charade. Do as the clue says in the order it says it. A Saint followed by A from the clue followed by an anagram (flogged) of MAN I

9a Minor complaint from five in constant trouble (5)
CAVIL: What sort of a word is this? The only immediate help from the clue was the letter V for five. Ah well, soldier on as my dear old mum would have said. I suppose the abbreviation for Constant and a verb meaning to trouble or afflict surround the Roman numeral for five.

10a Clear leader in variety show (9)
VINDICATE: The leader or initial letter of the word variety is followed by a synonym of the word show.

11a Poet‘s line about good companion (10)
LONGFELLOW: We are looking for a poet here. Begin with the abbreviation for line. Add a two-letter word meaning about. Add the abbreviation for good then add a companion, friend, crony, comrade, partner, associate, co-worker, colleague, intimate, familiar, confidant, playmate, classmate, schoolmate, workmate, chum buddy, bosom pal, sidekick, crony, mucker, oppo or china.

The Children’s hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

12a Good-natured family departs (4)
KIND: A word meaning family and relations is followed by the initial letter of departs. Is this an acceptable abbreviation listed in the BRB? [Yes – because it is used, along with ARR, in timetables. BD]

14a Diehard on the way, carrying information (12)
INTRANSIGENT: Two words 2,7 meaning goods actually on their journey from one place to another are interrupted by a three-letter word meaning information. This answer was bunged in as suggested by the checkers and the clue parsed in reverse.

18a Memorable event, revolutionary character meeting Democrat, extremely angry (3-6,3)
RED-LETTER DAY: I initially thought what a wordy clue. However it is only eight words in total. Eight long words comprising hundreds of letters. I’m sure RayT has never used this many letters in a single clue. Another bung in solved by the definition the enumeration and the first letter. Now to parse the little devil. Our usual revolutionary (Not Che. The Russian revolutionary with snow on his boots) is followed by what a character is in the alphabet. The abbreviation for democrat follows and the first and last letter (extremely) of angry finishes the job off.

21a Boast made by head of chorus line (4)
CROW: The initial letter (head of) of the word Chorus is followed by a synonym of the word line which is where you put all of the ducks in meetings.

22a In which only brothers and sisters are employed? (6,4)
CLOSED SHOP: This is an all in one clue which describes a place of work where all employees must belong to an agreed trade union, the members of which are referred to as brothers and sisters

25a A trendy wife included in bold idea (9)
BRAINWAVE: The A from the clue, a two-letter word meaning trendy and the abbreviation for wife sit inside a word meaning bold or daring.

26a Inferior to a French wine knocked back (5)
UNDER: The French word for a is followed by the reversal of a type of wine. Don’t you just love it when the only wine choices are red or white and large or small. Personally I rarely touch the stuff.

27a Hospital room: treat poorly ambassador inside (7)
THEATRE: An ambassador is His Excellency. The initials thereof sit inside an anagram (poorly) of TREAT

28a PM going round a botanic gardens site in advance (4,3)
MAKE WAY: I’m not allowed to make political statements so I won’t. The surname of our present Prime Minister (but not for long thankfully) surrounds the letter A from the clue and the name of the Royal Botanic Gardens in London which is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution that employs 723 staff.


1d Troublesome child’s tricky situation (6)
PICKLE: I assume this is a double definition as I cannot see any relevant wordplay. I understand the tricky situation but not the troublesome child. Those of you with a BRB might enlighten me. [ :-) BD]

2d Enthuse about one northern canyon (6)
RAVINE: The letter that looks like the number one and the abbreviation for North sit inside a word meaning to speak about something with great enthusiasm or admiration

3d Screen villain, red-headed, imprisoning elderly female (10)
GOLDFINGER: A word that describes someone with red hair surrounds a word meaning elderly and the abbreviation for female. The screen villain appears in a James Bond film. I have never seen a James Bond film and never will.

4d Original book (5)
NOVEL: A double definition. Nothing more to add.

5d Newspaper proprietor checking daughter’s drink (9)
SUNDOWNER: The name of a supposed newspaper and a synonym for a proprietor sit around the abbreviation for daughter

6d Song from star I applauded (4)
ARIA: An included or hidden word. The answer lies within the words of the clue. The single word from suggests so.

7d Thought of a US soldier wearing denim pants (8)
IMAGINED: The letter A from the clue together with our regular American soldier sit inside an anagram (pants) of DENIM

8d Yarn about party held by a teen in trouble (8)
ANECDOTE: The abbreviation for about (circa) and a two-letter word meaning a party are surrounded by an anagram (in trouble) of A TEEN

13d Cosmetic surgery, inconclusive as to outcome (3,3,4)
NIP AND TUCK: A double definition the second describes a contest so close that the outcome cannot be easily determined.

15d Fight back at atelier resolved (9)
RETALIATE: Anagram (resolved) of AT ATELIER. I rarely criticise setters but this clue really has an awful surface read

16d Critical remark made by stalwart over club (8)
BRICKBAT: An informal and dated noun describing a generous reliable and helpful person is followed by the sort of club used by a cricketer

17d Notice case I’ve left with European lawyer? (8)
ADVOCATE: An abbreviated notice or advertisement and the abbreviation for European surround an adjective relating to or denoting a case of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in Latin and other languages, used in addressing or invoking a person or thing minus its last three letters (I’ve). This was bunged in by me as so many were today. The notice and the European are mine. The bit in the middle belongs to CrypticSue. Thank you, Sue.

19d Follow notice in exhibition (6)
SHADOW: The shortened form of an advertisement (notice, again!) sits inside what an exhibition is.

20d Like athletes left in middle of Betws-y-Coed? (6)
SPORTY: The nautical term for left sits nicely inside the central two letters of Betws-y-Coed

23d Power of second crew (5)
STEAM: The abbreviation for second is followed by a crew or a group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport.

24d Shore bird in difficulty (4)
KNOT: A double definition, the second being a tangle

Quickie Pun:

Top Line: wear+how+zing=warehousing

Bottom Line: crew+see+bull=crucible

61 comments on “DT 29091

  1. I’d agree with BD’s ratings on this one

    Thanks to the Hungover SP and to the setter

  2. Too many bung ins for me today. I found this harder than some ***. Probably my old problem of overthinking. Ta to all.

  3. to cavil is a verb meaning to make petty objections so it does satisfy the clue!

  4. Very straightforward and a simple solve, perhaps too easy to be truly enjoyable. 13d just about a favourite.

    Many thanks to our setter and the hungover one.

  5. A little bit trickier than some recent Monday puzzles but still a good example for the start of the week. Completed at a gallop even after two helpings of tonic and gin – **/***.

    Favourite – 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  6. Well it’s a Monday, the sun is shining and we have a cracker of a puzzle to start the solving week. Apart from the NW where 1d was a total bung in (still at a loss) I thought this flowed as smoothly as the Marstons obviously did for MP last night!.
    I suspect it contained a few of what one of our esteemed commenters would term “oldies but goodies” but it still seemed fresh nonetheless.
    My favourite was 20d with 10 and 14a making up the podium. 2.5/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual top notch review despite the thick head.😉
    Ps…I agree with 15d…has there ever been an easier/more awkward anagram.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle with some clues that were intriguing enough to provide a challenge and some that were quite straightforward. Thank you to the setter **for difficulty and **** for enjoyment i my opinion. Thank you to the distressed Sancho Panza. We’ve all been there. Prairie oysters are supposed to be good.

  8. Well, I for one found this to be the hardest Monday offering for some time. I got stuck in the NW, not knowing the child in 1d nor the answer to 9a. Although both obvious from the wordplay, I had to check the meanings of both.

    I gave it a *** rating, my handicap being a night of Samuel Smith’s Draught Extra Stout.

    So what was your rating, Sancho, before BD leapt in?

    Thanks to all.

    1. MP never sets the ratings. Mondays ratings are always set by BD (when he remembers) After the first run through I had an empty top half and a full bottom half. Most unusual

  9. I think SP must have been suffering from the night before. I found this one quite straightforward and enjoyable. I thought 10a, 11a, 1d, 5d, and 20d were worthy of a mention

  10. Agree that 1d was somewhat obscure unless it is a double definition. I have heard many names for a troublesome child but not this one. My favourite of the day was 14a with 3d coming a close second.

      1. Thank you. Been doing the Telegraph Cryptic for years but not very good at it. Your blog is helping me improve no end!

      1. The last Bond film I saw (something weird in Mexico if I remember correctly) seemed to have about 15 minutes even before the titles started. When they came up I thought the film was over. Can’t remember the story line.

        I agree with our resident Landlord – about the movies and about trying to do a crossword in the morning after a two day booze up at a, sort of, festival; not the big one in the south west this weekend. Which is why have just done it.

        North was much harder.

        Thanks to all. AFD today and tomorrow.

  11. I too got stuck on the NW corner as you call it (top left hand to me) and there were several bungins. But I love my crossword so I am not going to moan.
    Said she piously.

    1. I’m with you when it comes to NW being the top left corner – I have enough trouble sorting left from right – two options are more than enough without throwing in any more.

  12. This puzzle seems to court controversy. I breezed through it leaving 9a and 1 and 24d unsolved. I left it for an hour and read the paper before returning to it. 24d went straight in when I guessed the second definition was a bird. This was followed by 1d when I delved into the mire of my brain and remembered this term for a mischievous child. Which of course left 9a. I did not know the word but with the checkers it was easy to fill in the blanks. 13d was a write-in as well known for cosmetic surgery but I had not heard the other definition. 17d I could hardly miss due to my previous life, but did not know where the middle five letters came from. I even wondered if there was a spelling or printing error! There were some brilliant and witty clues to the extent that I have circled twelve. To cut them down I’ll go for 18 and 25a and 3 5 and 16d. Crazily I wrote in gunslinger for 3d until I solved another favourite 11a. Thanks so, so much setter. Thanks to MP although hints not needed. It was clearly the Marston’s which clouded his thought processes.

  13. I always used to call my little girl 1d (not literally, One Down would be a strange name for a child) when she’d done something daft. I think it’s a term of endearment rather than a serious descriptor.
    When I first attempted this puzzle this morning, I got precisely nowhere and abandoned it in a huff. Coming back after lunch it fell into place easily. Strange.
    9a is a new word on me and I had a couple of bung-ins. I particularly liked 3d.
    Thanks to setter and to Sancho Panza, I hope the head is starting to clear.

  14. A nice way to start the week. I too had completed the lower half with ease only to slow down when dealing with the rest. I liked 11a (and also enjoyed the poem) so that is my fave.
    Thanks to the setter, and to SP for most of the review.

  15. Like many of you 1d for a troublesome child is new to me.
    Quite tough as Monday puzzles tend to be these days but I did like 13d.
    Most of the rest of it was a bit of a slog.
    Thx for the hints.

  16. There used to be an American TV show called Dennis the pickle about 55 years ago!
    Haven’t finished it yet but thanks to MP and setter

    1. I remember Dennis the Menace but not the other one. Some friends of ours have a black Labrador puppy – he’s called Dennis . . .

    2. Pickle was my pet name for eldest daughter, her younger sister being Ickle Pickle.

      1. It’s my favourite name for my ‘effervescent’ five-year old grand-daughter too.

  17. ***/****. I was OK until I got to the SW corner. 16d held me up forever. Enjoyable in the main so thanks to the setter and MP.

  18. I enjoyed this.
    I don’t think I’ve met 9a before but the answer was fairly obvious, specially once I had alternate letters in.
    I started off with ‘family firm’ for 22a – as I wrote it in I thought it wasn’t a very good clue – it was a pretty rotten answer too and wrecked the bottom right corner until I realised it was wrong.
    I didn’t know the second of the two definitions of 13d.
    3d took ages as I thought we were after a general term rather than a specific baddie.
    I liked 11 and 25a and 16d.
    With thanks to the setter and to the hungover one.

      1. Oh good – glad to hear that I’m not the only one – wasn’t helpful, was it?

  19. Just challenging enough to be enjoyable. Liked 28a and 3d. Last one in 22a, got hung up with relatives. Loved the poem – I always associated him with native Americans. thanks setter and SP.

  20. I too found the bottom half a breeze and the top more of a struggle. I had to resort to a hint for a couple of the early downs and that got me going again. Thanks to Sancho Panza and setter.
    I can’t blame the beer but maybe sunstroke 1d’d my brain.

  21. I really enjoyed this, another puzzle that proves it doesn’t have to be mind-bendingly difficult to be fun.
    The only one that gave me a problem was 1d. I had all the checking letters but didn’t think that pickle was right so I used electronic word search, which gave me the correct answer. I don’t think I’ve heard of that.
    So much that was good here, so I’ll choose 11a because I like his poetry.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and to SP for the hints and pics. I think Churchill would have called you flocculent headed, hope you’re feeling a bit better!

    1. If anyone remembers my drama with the foot-long green lizard that Phoebe presented to me, we caught it today – rather, the young lady who helps me found it. She loves reptiles, she tells me it was related to the tegu, but much smaller, only a foot long. It is now enjoying a garden two doors down.

      1. That’s a relief. The small lizards our cats used to bring in were rarely found before they gave up the ghost.

  22. Nice straight forward solve **/*** 😃 no problems with 1d but 9a was new to me 🤔 Favourites were 3d & 11a 🤗 Big thanks to MP or is it SP? And of course to the Setter

  23. There were parts that just went in & a couple of areas that slowed right up, not a favourite to be honest.
    As it stands thanks to setter & MP

  24. Not sure I enjoyed this one much and found it trickier than 1* Like many I’d not heard of 1d used in that context.

    There’s an error in the quickie….15d the answer isn’t a fruit but a vegetable!

    Thanks to Sancho and the setter

  25. Well, that was the quickest I’ve solved the Telegraph in a long time, so a definite one star for difficulty. It’s nice to get one now and then though that makes me feel like I’m good at these things. :-)

  26. A nice and breezy start to the week.
    As well as the usual daily thanks to setter and solver, I’d like to thank BD and all the regular contributors for making this such a splendid website.
    I am only a few weeks into my return to the DT cryptic after a hiatus of circa 13 years, and you have all conspired to help me rediscover my sea-legs in double quick time. Many thanks. **/*** for me.
    It may be a little late in the day to ask a question, but I note that some of the regulars indicate that their difficulty scores are directly related to time taken to solve the puzzle. I suspect the answer may be akin to the ubiquitous piece of string but, just out of interest, would anyone feel comfortable to disclose what their time parameters are?

    1. Welcome to the blog Palicus

      Although many assess difficulty by using solving time, it is different for everyone which is why we use the star ratings.

    2. I’m perfectly comfortable to discuss my ‘star ratings’ but not my times mainly because I never know how l how long a crossword takes me. I pick it up – start it – then make a cup of coffee, answer the phone (if it rings!), have a wander in the garden and pull a few weeds up or maybe hang the washing out etc etc.
      The only time that I start a crossword and do it all in one go is on roughly alternate Thursdays which is when I do the hints and then my star ratings are based on how I felt while I was actually doing it.
      I don’t think it matters how long they take – I just think that we should enjoy them – they’re meant to be fun and not a race.

  27. Don’t think it was the hangover Sancho. I struggled with this one and found it more of a *** difficulty, and definitely harder than the weekend puzzles. 1d didn’t help, never heard that to mean troublesome child, a term of affection yes, but troublesome, no. 9a was new to me. Just could not get on this setter’s wavelength, and did not enjoy very much. Thanks for hints Miffypops. Did miss the pictures as I do allow myself to look at those when stuck.

  28. I thought this was a poor puzzle. I agree the bottom half was only a 1* for difficulty, but the top left in particular lacked logic, especially 1 down and 11 across.

  29. Amusing set of hints, so thanks MP.
    1d held no problem for me as my two sons were often referred to in this manner!
    Very enjoyable crossword, south harder than north.
    Thanks Mr.Ron…

  30. Sitting in the pub stuck on 9A and 1D. Non the wiser now but at least I can go home and leave behind a completed crossword.

  31. Most of bottom half completed over breakfast then otherwise occupied during rest of day including long political meeting and much Wimbledon (anticipate more of the same for next 2 weeks!). Interesting to see some contributors found South more challenging than North and others, as MP and yours truly, the reverse. Think 9a is new to me. 17d was Fav. Any guesses at the setter to whom many thanks which also go to MP for the hints but, for my part, not the concert (I feel for your neighbours!)?

  32. I needed the review for 1d. I couldn’t work it out. I couldn’t do a bung-in either as I’d bunged ‘fever’ into 9a just to use up the ‘v’. Yes, I know. If you can’t parse it don’t put it in. Many thanks setter and Miffypops.

  33. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I managed the bottom half ok, but just couldn’t do the top. Needed the hints for 9,10,14a and 1,3,5d. Also couldn’t parse 17d, guessed 24d. Still can’t understand 28a, how does advance equal make way? Was the hardest Monday puzzle for ages. Was 5*/3* for me.

    1. A then the name of 3-lettered UK botanic gardens surrounded by PM’s last name gives synonym for go ahead, make way or advance in 28a.

  34. Thanks, Miffypops — I think I used an above-Monday-average number of hints today, and they were fun to read.

    I usually find types of wine are outside my knowledge, so I was pleased that in 26a there was one I had heard of for once! (I didn’t know the drink in 5d though.)

    What’s the convention for which names of people and places are allowed as answers? Does the BRB include proper nouns such as the 11a poet and the 3d villain?

    I thought 6d had also been a lurker (possibly reversed?) very recently, though I can’t find it now.

  35. I agree with S.P., and didn’t even have the excuse of a sore head.

    I too got 1d, but as it didn’t seem to make sense I didn`t put it in.

    9a I have never heard of – which I similarly put down to poor schooling, (or maybe, lack of attention at the time).

    And 1a was a real “doh” moment. Having quickly rattled off in my head 16 autonomos regions, (and the two autonomous cities), for some reason I completely forgot Aragon.

    Yes, it is were the eponymous Catherine (Catalina), came from.

    And the fact that her nephew was essentially master of the Pope, (folllowing the Sack of Rome), was never going to be conducive to the Pope dishing out one of his Kings’ specials – off-the-shelf anulments, to ease Henry the Eighths path to serial wifery.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Back to today’s (yesterday’s) pseudonym, I can highly recommend a roadtrip around Quijote’s Spain (Castilla La Mancha).

    Thanks to Setter and SP.

  36. Just goes to show how different everyone is. I thought this was great. Had real trouble with the NW quadrant and found real satisfaction in completing it.

  37. 3*/3*……
    liked 22A (in which only brothers and sisters are employed?).

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