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DT 29092

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29092

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone, and welcome. Today’s puzzle feels different in style to recent Tuesday offerings.  Perhaps it’s a new setter (or an old setter with a new hat)?  In either case, if our setter is reading please introduce yourself with a comment below.  We all love it when setters comment.  As for the puzzle itself, I started out slowly, but once I realized that this setter likes cryptic definitions, my progress accelerated and the grid fill came together smoothly with many smiles along the way.  A very enjoyable puzzle with impressively concise clues.

After exotic antelopes appeared in two of last week’s back-page puzzles I got curious about which breeds appear most often in crosswordland.  So, of course I’ve been researching that.  The BRB contains at least 44 types of antelope, of which 18 have appeared this century as answers in Telegraph cryptics (including the Toughie).  The most common answer, with 25 appearances, is the generic ANTELOPE.  But there are four specific breeds not far behind in popularity.  After you’ve pondered what they might be, or if you’re impatient, click on the spoiler to see a word cloud that shows all 18 in a font size that's proportional to their number of appearances.  The big ones are probably worth remembering.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the blowing in the wind buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Wasted evening? (5-2)
BOOZE-UP:  A cryptic definition of an evening where the goal is to get drunk

9a    Region in shade there allows light (8)
ETHEREAL:  The answer is hiding as a part of (region in) the remainder of the clue

10a   Controversial body-builder editors slammed (7)
STEROID:  An anagram (slammed) of EDITORS

11a   Ruler on plane sick having eaten duck (8)
NAPOLEON:  An anagram (sick) of ON PLANE containing (having eaten) the letter that looks like the score associated with a duck in cricket

12a   Extremely minute number dropping ecstasy (6)
MIGHTY:  The single letter for minute (as a unit of time) with a number between 0 and 100 from which the single-letter abbreviation for the drug ecstasy has been deleted (dropping ecstasy)

13a   Point for me in remark that's smug (10)
COMPLACENT:  Inside a synonym of remark, ME is replaced by a synonym of point or site (point for ME)

15a   One loving sound of cello player? (4)
BEAU:  A homophone of (sound of) the device used to play a cello (described here cryptically as a cello player)

16a   Gather man will create commotion (5,4)
RAISE HELL:  Gather or muster (an army, perhaps) and a contraction meaning "the man will"

21a   Northern beer knocked back in style (4)
ELAN:  The single letter for northern is joined to beer made without hops, and then the lot is reversed (knocked back)

22a   Cold changing room accommodates little Parisian rival (10)
COMPETITOR:  The abbreviation for cold is followed by an anagram (changing) of ROOM that contains (accommodates) a French word for little

24a   Bizarre old books with one chapter (6)
EXOTIC:  Concatenate a short word for old or former, some usual religious books, the Roman numeral for one, and an abbreviation for chapter

25a   One to observe pupils very closely (8)
OPTICIAN:  A cryptic definition.  The pupils under observation are not in school

27a   Fish served in pub round country area (7)
PIRANHA:  Wrap the abbreviation for what pub is a contraction of round a country that's been in the news a lot lately.  Then append the abbreviation for area.  Served in looks like an insertion indicator, but it's actually linking the definition to the wordplay (read it as "available from").  These bitey fish are apparently easy to catch with nothing more than a strip of raw meat

28a   Aesthetically pleasing model reversed in lorry (8)
ARTISTIC:  The reversal (reversed) of model or pose is inserted in the informal contraction for a type of lorry with its front attached flexibly to its back

29a   These discarded when drawing finished? (3-4)
DOG-ENDS:  Another cryptic definition.  Drawing here refers to inhaling smoke



2d    Got drunk into a bed (8)
OBTAINED:  An anagram (drunk) of INTO A BED

3d    Oh! Critical time! (4,4)
ZERO HOUR:  The exclamation marks are a warning that the setter is doing something unexpected.  Here we must read Oh as the number that looks like O followed by the unit of time that abbreviates to h

4d    One going round on his bike? (10)
UNICYCLIST:  A cryptic definition of a the rider of a bike with only one object that rotates, instead of the usual two

5d    Constant smoker seen in Vietnam (4)
ETNA:  Crosswordland's most popular volcano is hidden in (seen in) the remainder of the clue

6d    Iron Lady displays top fashion (6)
FEDORA:  Put together the chemical symbol for iron and a female name (the first example that came to mind is a girl who's an explorer, but perhaps that's only in the US).  The definition here is slightly cryptic, with "top fashion" meaning something stylish worn on the head

7d    Judge soldiers about to block charge (7)
REFEREE:  Some usual soldiers (the engineering ones) are followed by a usual word for about or concerning that’s inserted in (to block) a charge or cost

8d    Big bodies in aircraft on way up (7)
PLANETS:  An informal word for an aircraft is followed by (on, in a down clue) the reversal (up, in a down clue) of an abbreviation for street.  These big bodies are heavenly

11d   Last but one in political residence (6,3)
NUMBER TEN:  With the ICC World Cup well underway, this might be intended as a crickety clue describing the second to last batsman in a team.  But I prefer to imagine that our setter is a fan of Spinal Tap…

14d   Golfer playing in Loire event (3,7)
LEE TREVINO:  An anagram (playing) of this retired American golfer is LOIRE EVENT, so he's an anagram of those letters

17d   This should refresh article in French newspaper (8)
LEMONADE:  Insert a grammatical article in a (2,5) French newspaper

18d   Is he in gang or excluded? (8)
BANISHED:  IS HE from the clue inserted in a gang or group

19d   Turn to hold mug and a tumbler (7)
ACROBAT:  A turn on the stage containing (to hold) both mug or hold up and A from the clue

20d   Copy one -- friend keeps it (7)
IMITATE:  The Roman numeral for one followed by a friend who contains (keeps) IT from the clue

23d   Tax  cut (6)
EXCISE:  A straightforward double definition

26d   A riddle that doesn't end? You're joking! (2,2)
AS IF:  A from the clue with a verb synonym of riddle minus its last letter (… that doesn't end).  In the cryptic reading of the clue, "riddle" has its meaning that has nothing to do with puzzles sift


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve with a lot of smiles.  My list of excellent clues is long today:  1a, 13a, 15a, 16a, 21a, 24a, 3d, 6d, 11d, 18d, and 26d.  I also liked the Quickie Pun.  My favourite is the very clever 26d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  MOLE + AKIN + TIRE = MULL OF KINTYRE

49 comments on “DT 29092

  1. Excellent , plenty to enjoy with many amusing clues with 29A my COTD .

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. I certainly found this easier than yesterday’s puzzle. I’m not sure that I liked all the clues, 1a comes immediately to mind. It certainly doesn’t feel like any of our regular compilers.
    Whilst the answer was clear, it took me a while to parse 8d, very well written, and my COTD. 15a was the last to fall.
    Overall I would rate it **. Obviously swapping my nocturnal libation to Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter helped my thought processes.

    Thanks to all.

  3. I found this very difficult (****) although I quite enjoyed the mental exercise (**** for enjoyment). Unfortunately, some cryptic definitions were very cryptic indeed and I had to give up on 1a and this left me unable to get the first word of 3d. I kept thinking it was Earth then realised that there were only 4 letters and there was room for only one h. There were more clues than usual, where I had to check that I’d parsed them correctly. I don’t really have a favourite clue. Thanks to the mystery setter and to Mr K for the explanations, for which I was more than ordinarily grateful today.

  4. Nicely puzzling but without much fun. In a contrived sort of way I arrived at 80 for 12a but hint put me straight and then erotic was my take on 24a. Fav 17d once I had realised Figaro couldn’t come into it. Thank you Mysteron and MrK whom it is always good to welcome in a timely way.

  5. 1*/4*. I dropped onto the right wavelength straightaway making this a very straightforward solve. However, it did provide an exceedingly pleasant diversion with extremely brief but accurate cluing coupled with ultra-smooth surfaces. I thought perhaps “wasted time” might have been slightly better for 1a but it’s a nice clue in any event.

    11d was my favourite with 1a, 3d & 26d also on the podium.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron (as requested by Mr K, please reveal yourself!) and to Mr K.

    1. Kitty had exactly the same comment about 1a when I told her about that clue. Great minds, etc.

        1. Always happy to share drinks with you Jane!

          (On a side note, I hope before too long to get back into the habit of regular solving. Then I can join in properly with comments on puzzles I’m not blogging. Work is not only the curse of the drinking classes, but the crossword ones too … )

          1. It was Jane at a Birthday Bash that challenged me to compile a puzzle, so I did. Have a go, it’s fun
            Rags is my intials

  6. I thought that this was innovative and refreshing and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ll add my voice to those who’d like to know who the setter is. Thanks to him or her and to Mr K for the review.
    Top clues for me were 3d, 4d and 11d.

  7. I don’t know what to think of this. Mixed bag comes to mind. I thought there were some excellent clues, 9a, 10a and 15a were great examples of their respective forms of cluing but I wasn’t keen at all on 1 and 29a plus 6d

    17 and 18d were brilliant and take joint top place for me.
    Have to admit to a few bung ins too!
    Many thanks to Mr K for his usual insightful and entertaining blog and to the setter.

  8. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, some really good clues. Last in was 12a, which took me a while to unravel. I loved the Spinal Tap clip in the review for 11d. Favourite was 18d because of the surface. Was 2*/4* for me.

    1. I just realized that the clue number for the possible Spinal Tap reference is wonderfully appropriate. Surely it can’t be a coincidence.

  9. Found this a little odd but enjoyable although many of the clues are easier to solve than parse. 1a puzzles me with its reference to evening, after all the answer happens at all times of the day. Also I’m a little uneasy with the definition in 12a. According to my version the BRB mighty does not mean extremely.
    This is a setter that likes to make life a bit more difficult by using many vowels as the checking letters.
    Thx for the hints.

  10. Enjoyed this one but certainly had a few pauses for thought along the way – 1&29a plus 26d spring to mind.
    I was waiting for RD to comment on the un-indicated American expression in 12a but he didn’t, so I’ll do it for him!

    Going against the trend, I wasn’t overly keen on 3d but I did have ticks alongside 16a,18d and the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to our setter (please do pop in to take a bow) and to Mr K for another excellent blog – thought we were going to miss out on the felines but pleased to see that you managed to squeeze one in towards the end of the review.
    Must try to remember all those types of antelope – a couple in Mr K’s ‘cloud’ that I don’t recollect seeing before today.

    1. Hi, Jane. Re 12a, the BRB accompanies its definition with the parenthetical remark (now informal, usually with a tinge of irony except in US). Hard to tell from the clue whether the definition is ironic or not. :)

      1. As I’ve just commented to one of our number off-blog, I thought that definition only existed in westerns and US sitcoms. Not many Americans around here – apart from the ones who arrive on cruise liners and are then whizzed off in coaches to ‘do’ the Welsh castles!

    2. Could this have been Navy?

      Anyway sorry for a long absence … I have lurked but so much going on I don’t have time to comment.

      1. Welcome back, SW. Navy is an interesting suggestion – we are certainly due another puzzle from her.

  11. A lovely puzzle today with some straightforward double definitions and some good ponderers. I liked, especially, 27a and 18d. 24a puzzled me for ages until I realised I had misspelt 14d!

    Thank you to all concerned.

  12. Toss up between 15a and 11d for a favourite today in this pleasantly challenging and very enjoyable puzzle. Lovely clue mix and elegantly constructed.

    Thanks whoever you are and to Mr K.

  13. Sorry, I accidentally deleted my post – not sure how but there you go!

    I was saying I thought this puzzle most enjoyable with fairly straight forward substitutions alongside a number of real teasers. My favourites were 18d and 27a. I struggled with 24a until I realised I had misspelt 14d!

    Thanks to all

  14. A really fine puzzle, this. Excellent clues, some quite tricky and mostly above average difficulty, providing a very pleasing solve. Favs of a very good bunch: 11a, 6d, 8d, 17d and 18d. 3* / 4*

  15. A lot more enjoyable than yesterday. Lots of smiles with 26d taking the prize. Ta to all.

  16. I enjoyed this one very much. It look me longer to complete than I would normally expect ,due to printing problems; for some peculiar reason, the printer I used this morning refused to print the black squares of the grid !

    Many thanks to the setter, and to Mr K

  17. I am in the overall enjoyable camp with just a little gripe at 7d. It was my LOI and all those E checkers intimidated me until I was forced to follow the instructions.
    1a and 29a both appealed to me as COTD.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  18. Very un-Tuesday like! I had to work quite hard to complete this puzzle. Good fun though with 3d being my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MrK for the review.

  19. Huh? I think outré is the word for this one! I needed the hints for fully a third of this puzzle, and most of those I solved were bung ins.
    I’m so pleased that most of you chaps found this a walk in the park!
    Thanks to our setter, wonder who you are, and to Mr. K for unravelling it for me.

  20. ****/****. Definitely a wavelength thing. Once I got going all went well. I thought 29a was brilliant. 9a was an excellent lurker but 3d was too much of a stretch for me and 12a is also at the point of snapping. I needed 18d to correct my spelling of 27a, an error I’ve made before. Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  21. The 1a/3d combination took me probably as long as all the rest of the puzzle put together. Like others, I was completely thrown by the reference to evening in 1a as I was fairly convinced I had the correct interpretation of “wasted”.

    Can’t say I enjoyed this one particularly, but perhaps it was me getting to grips with a new setter.

    Anyway, many thanks to all

  22. I did not like 1a, I have been to many 1a’s during the day. Wasted session would have been much better.
    I found this very tricky, definitely a new setter.
    Thanks all.

  23. We join those who found this trickier than usual for a Tuesday and thoroughly enjoyable.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

    1. PH is the map abbreviation for Public House. The A at the end of the answer is the abbreviation for area.

    2. Hi, Peter. Pub is a contraction of Public House, which has the abbreviation PH. The A on the end of the answer is the abbreviation for area.

  24. Tough, and a bit strange, but not as tough as yesterday. The southwest corner filled in nicely, but it was uphill from there. Needed too many of Mr K’s hints to finish, along with some bung ins. Not into booze, smoking or cricket (I know, what a bore) so not the easiest puzzle for me. But a good challenge nonetheless,

  25. Easy at the beginning but then it a bit trickier .
    I, seen 17d before but it is still amusing .
    10a has a great surface reading .
    Thanks to Mr Kitty and all concerned .

  26. Apologies for being late to the table.
    I really struggled expecting a standard Tuesday puzzle then had a major wavelength retune which allowed me to see the light.
    Very enjoyable to solve but most answers came from very cryptic clues. Wasn’t fussy on 1ac.

  27. 1a and 29a got the best of me. Both of those are words/phrases that aren’t used where I’m from, and being cryptic definitions, I had no wordplay to help me out. The rest of the puzzle was right up my alley, though. Thanks to the setter!

    And, Mr K, thanks so much for the antelope word cloud! Wish I had access to it a week ago. I’ve printed it out for future reference. I’m ready for you, nylghau!

  28. Clearly missed the wavelength completely today – what on earth is an early 1980’s non British, unmemorable sportsman doing in a 2019 Telegraph Back Pager??? Clearly, and without wishing to cause offence, I am going to fly in the face of popularity by suggesting 14d was scraping the bottom of a very iffy barrel!

    1. He’s one of the few golfers I can actually name (probably because we share the same first name), but I did wonder how other non-golfers would react to that one.

  29. I thought this was absolutely brilliant and I must have been on the right wave-length as I didn’t find it difficult at all.
    Very late here today – been busy most of the time and glued to the tennis for the rest of it.
    I don’t have any idea about who the setter may be but I did wonder about Dada.
    Too many good clues to pick out any particular ones just a thoroughly enjoyable crossword from beginning to end so thank you very much to the setter and to Mr K.

  30. Mighty difficult but mighty satisfying! Some really excellent cryptic clues, I thought. Many thanks to the setter for a stimulating evening and Mr K for the explanations.

  31. Quite possibly my least successful attempt at solving.

    Many of the few I did get were bung-ins. Apparently I was on totally the wrong wavelength. I had never heard of the golfing bloke, which didn’t help.

    *****/- for me.

  32. But surely bike is short for bicycle and has, by definition, two wheels?

    1. Good point, Mike. I might describe a unicycle as a bicycle with one wheel, but when you think about it that doesn’t make complete sense.

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