DT 29098 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29098

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29098

Hints and tips by Mr K

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


Hello everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Today we have a very enjoyable puzzle that feels a lot like the work of Telegraph crossword editor Chris Lancaster.  Additional evidence for that attribution is the appearance of 9a, which won the clue writing competition in the February Puzzles Site newsletter - congratulations to Michael Lloyd-Jones for that accomplishment.

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 might enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Take heed of pupil's request to English teacher? (4,2,5)
MARK MY WORDS:  The answer could, taken literally, be a pupil’s request for a teacher to provide feedback on their prose

9a    One oversensitive bit of skin on end of chin -- it hurts shaving (9)
SNOWFLAKE:  Concatenate the initial letter of (bit of) Skin, the last letter of (end of) chiN, a short word said in response to pain, and a shaving of something (chocolate, perhaps)

10a   Waiting  game? (5)
READY:  A double definition.  Waiting to leave, for example, and game or willing

11a   Attack in trouble after a case of shingles (6)
ASSAIL:  Trouble or afflict goes after both A from the clue and the outer letters of (case of) ShingleS

12a   Rhapsody might follow this unconventional type (8)
BOHEMIAN:  The answer followed by “Rhapsody” is a well-known song (and recent movie)

13a   Top politician served superbly, backing Leave (6)
DECAMP:  Follow the abbreviation for the leader of the governing political party with served superbly at Wimbledon, for example, and then reverse the lot (… backing)

15a   Small, like a beer (4-4)
PINT-SIZE:  A description of a serving of beer

18a   Lion and swan fighting for one result of match? (3-2-3)
SON-IN-LAW:  An anagram (fighting) of LION SWAN

19a   Socialist keeps fighting for payment (6)
REWARD:  A usual socialist or communist contains (keeps) a serious fight

21a   Some object, nag or rant about being conceited (8)
ARROGANT:  The answer is hiding as some of the reversal (… about) of the remainder of the clue

23a   Superhuman born Greek (6)
BIONIC:  Put together the genealogical abbreviation for born and an adjective synonym of Greek

26a   About to leave Jersey's capital (5)
TUNIS:  The capitalisation of Jersey is just for misdirection.  Delete the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or roughly from a jersey or top with its S from the clue

27a   Observe a Liberal meeting former president's twin (9)
LOOKALIKE:  Assemble observe or watch, A from the clue, the single-letter abbreviation for Liberal, and the nickname of 1950s American president Eisenhower

28a   Off-limits, like a tired jumper? (3,2,6)
OUT OF BOUNDS:  Taken literally, the answer could describe the state of a jumper who is too tired to jump



1d    Officer on board that's keen, apparently (7)
MUSTARD:  The name of a character in a murder mystery board game is also a word informally associated with being keen or enthusiastic

2d    Courses reported? They go underground (5)
ROOTS:  A homophone (reported) of courses or itineraries

3d    Miss chap welcoming trendy baker from Drury Lane (6,3)
MUFFIN MAN:  Find a character in a children’s song from miss or bungle and a chap or bloke who are sandwiching (welcoming) a usual word for trendy or fashionable

4d    Hit with something meaty (4)
WHAM:  The single letter for “with” followed by the thigh part of an animal

5d    Question type ignoring a student's eloquence (8)
RHETORIC:  A type of question that does not expect an answer minus (ignoring) both A from the clue and the usual student or learner

6d    Operator rejects working in rush (5)
SURGE:  A medical “operator” loses (rejects) working or running

7d    The old having turned up, head outside to find pop singer (7)
BEYONCE:  An old word for “the” is reversed (turned up) and has an informal word for one’s head wrapped around it (head outside).  Click here for more on the singer

8d    Mr Fawlty and I regularly chat in church (8)
BASILICA:  The first name of the owner of Fawlty Towers is followed by I from the clue and alternate letters (regularly) of CHAT

14d   Tory with nerve for challenge (8)
CONFRONT:  An abbreviation for Conservative (Tory) with nerve or boldness

16d   Kid at home disrupted work on stage (3,6)
THE MIKADO:  An anagram (disrupted) of KID AT HOME

17d   Relative allowed to hold up golf glove (8)
GAUNTLET:  A female relative and allowed or permitted both follow (to hold up, in a down clue) the letter represented by golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet

18d   Explode with terrible threats (7)
SHATTER:  An anagram (terrible) of THREATS

20d   Lady seen in oddly dour game (7)
DUCHESS:  Stick together the odd letters (oddly) of DoUr and a board game

22d   Relish got us cooking (5)
GUSTO:  An anagram (… cooking) of GOT US

24d   News to cover broadcast in Scottish town (5)
NAIRN:  Two copies of the abbreviation for new containing (to cover) a synonym of broadcast.  Read about the town here 

25d   Blunder and almost blow up? (4)
GOOF:  All but the last letter (almost) of a (2,3) phrase for blow up or explode


Thanks to our setter for a fun solve.  My many likes today included 9a, 13a, 19a, 23a, 28a, 4d, 5d, and the Quickie Pun.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  KNOW + WORSE + SARK = NOAH’S ARK

88 comments on “DT 29098

  1. A struggle for me today especially the top half but persevered and got there eventually . Not on the wavelength of some clues but others were admirable eg 1A and 27A .

    The new layout needs time to appreciate fully but great to be available again .

    Thanks to everyone .

    1. I’m sorry and I appreciate all the hard work in redesigning the website layout but for me (and it’s not just BD’s site) I find this gadarene rush for filling pages with white space an absolute anathema.

      I have a 27″ screen. I might as well cover the 12″ on the right and 4′” on the left with brown paper.

      It’s awful.

      1. Hi, Roger. As BD said in the post currently at the top of the homepage, the current theme is a stopgap until a few issues encountered using the usual theme with the new site build are sorted out. I expect that the old and more efficient theme will be back once BD has caught up on sleep and had time to work on it more.

        1. I do hope so, Mr K, much preferred the original layout and that badly pixelated pic of BD’s home turf is enough to turn one cross-eyed!
          By the way – I appreciate that we have to endure adverts to finance the site but that wretched one that appears at the bottom of every page asking me whether I want to open or save sp.js from tag.sp.advertising.com is driving me mad. No matter how many times I press ‘cancel’ it pops back up again – grr!

          1. Have you tried installing Adblock Plus in your browser? I use it with Firefox, it’s all free and it works a treat :-)

            1. Thanks Steve, I’ll have a look to see whether it’s available for my browser.

              1. I was getting that for a while, but not any more. Might be worth clearing your browser cache and reloading the site (or just try ctrl-F5 on this page).

                1. Thanks, Mr K. I’ve just tried Steve’s suggestion and it seems to have worked.
                  Love the way you assume that I would have the faintest idea of how to ‘clear my browser cache’ – Kitty will assure you that I don’t. Even ‘copy and paste’ is well outside of my abilities!

        2. I have to say that I actually really like this new layout, even if it is presently only intended to be temporary. It looks “clean” if you know what I mean.

          As to the puzzle, I thought it was great too and sped through it after a light lunch in the sunshine.

          Thanks to all.

      2. Hi Roger – like most websites these days it’s largely designed for mobile devices which most people probably use these days.

        Conversely, have you ever tried navigating through,say, Wickes’ catalog on your phone? It’s nigh on impossible.

        You could just reduce the size of the display window.

        1. The mobile version of the site still looks the same as it used to, so reading on a phone might be another workaround until the standard theme returns.

          1. I access it via my phone and was wondering what all the fuss was about!

      3. Actually, I love this format, so clear and easy to read for those of us with aging eyesight. Tremendous appreciation for Big Dave and all he does to keep this site up and running.

          1. Is it the copious white space or the larger font size that’s helpful? Or both?

            This layout does require a lot of scrolling because the line length is so short on a computer screen.

  2. I thought that this was most enjoyable (and somewhat trickier than we usually get on Tuesdays). Thanks to our esteemed editor and Mr K for the review.
    My top clues were 19a, 28a and 1d (I bet that one will be Senf’s favourite!).
    I wasn’t keen on 5d where I thought there was a considerable overlap between the definition and the wordplay.

    1. Well, 1d made the short list but lost out to 28a. I have fond memories of the military gentleman being used as a nickname for me by the aircraft technicians and mechanics when I was working in Wichita Kansas. I like to think it was a term of endearment especially when compared to how others from the Engineering Group were referred to.

  3. I found this puzzle to be quite difficult , especially the NW corner and a ****/*** for me . Last in was 1d which I liked.
    also 28a amused as did 12a
    No idea what Drury Lane had to do with the 3d solution.
    Thanks all for the struggle.

    1. Hi, Beaver. A click on the first hyperlink in the 3d hint will lead to an explanation of the Drury Lane connection.

  4. Took me a while to get some of these and again to work out why some were right. I blame the toddler and my lack of sleep.
    Did anyone else hear yesterday’s The Archers? Lilian shares her discovery that in crosswords “about” means you’re looking for an anagram. Who’s going to write in and tell The Ed/Lilian all the other things it might signify?!

  5. I found the top half of this puzzle rather difficult to unravel, which took me into *** time. I don’t particularly enjoy clues based on popular entertainment and this reduced the enjoyment somewhat to **. Younger folk must find clues relating to vintage entertainers of the last century particularly difficult. Favourite clues were 1d,17d and 24d. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

      1. The point CC makes is a good one; reference an early C20th actress, and you’ve alienated younger solvers and that happens all the time.

        But if I set puzzle themed on rappers or modern slang there would be an absolute outcry!

        That is precisely why I do not like references to people at all in puzzles – it should be pure wordplay with real words.

        Not so long ago, I seem to remember DG(?) clued a Russian revolutionary or something as an anagram. I immediately filed that puzzle.

        1. I agree with you LBR, there’s nothing more off putting to a solver than a reference to say a singer popular before the solver was born. If we’re to persuade younger people of the delights of a cryptic crossword it should be, in the main, fresh and contemporary. Older solvers (and I’m no spring chicken) do live in the present too.

          1. Stephen, as somebody newish at attempting to solve crosswords, I agree to some extent, but I think that the level of fame matters as much as the time period. There are plenty of musicians who had Beyoncé levels of fame before I was born which people of any age are likely to have heard of: Elvis Presley, Vera Lynn, Joni Mitchell, Buddy Holly, Karen Carpenter, Bob Dylan, …

            And sometimes it’s fun to learn things from crosswords: I hadn’t heard of Veronica Lake or her co-star until this Toughie earlier this year, but that 29a is one of my favourite clues ever.

            Personally I find names of wines/wine regions more off-putting, because I never know them and it doesn’t seem like learning them adds anything of value to my life, in the way that being introduced to a new musician or author might. (Talking of which, has everybody who encountered Getafix for the first time in a Toughie a couple of weeks ago got an Asterix book out of their library yet?)

            Off-puttingest of all for me are those abbreviations for artists, sailors, and the like which are never encountered in Real Life, so we basically just have to learn them for crosswords, and there’s no way of working them out if you haven’t been told. It seems as arbitrary as if somebody’s just decreed that if a clue makes a reference to zookeepers that means you need to write ‘da’ in the answer.

            Whereas with a famous person I haven’t heard of, I can at least appreciate that there are other solvers who have, and that it might be worth my getting to know them.

        2. When the clues start referencing rap singers I will have to hang up the gloves, knowing even less about them than I do about sports.

        1. The average age here is around 67, so you’re actually not that old, relatively speaking :)

  6. Like Beaver I ended up stuck in the NW corner, despite the Fawlty clue there being my first answer. The pop singer was my last one in, incredibly. I think I was expecting someone I hadn’t heard of.
    Fitful progress throughout, but in hindsight it was a perfectly fair mix of a handful of gimmes and some ingenious brain-stretchers.
    Favourite clue, 13a for such a neat surface.
    Thanks to Mr K and the editor/setter.

      1. Thank you. After the thesaurus told me shaving was a synonym of flake, I got lucky with the s n and ow!
        I’ve noticed your clues getting singled out for praise recently. Can you still be Mysterious if you win? :-D

        1. That’s an interesting question. When we did the survey on setter anonymity recently, Chris said that the current arrangement will continue because there are some setters who want to be anonymous or to hide behind pseudonyms. So if they can be mysterious, why can’t entrants in the clue-writing competition?

  7. Struggled a bit today, especially in the top half. Why is it that you struggle with a clue and when you work it out, wonder why you struggled. There must be a term for this. If not, can we invent one? 28a favourite. Ta to all.

    1. I’m not aware of a word for that phenomenon. Inventing one might be something to consider for a future blog.

      1. If there is, it will probably be one of those funny German words, with their “does what it says on the tin” structure, such as staubsauger, flugzeug, flusspferd, durchfall, etc.

        1. PS. Here’s one in a similar vein to Ape’s question:

          7. Treppenwitz (Staircase joke)
          Have you ever noticed how when you have a chance encounter with an attractive person of the opposite sex or get into an argument with someone, the best jokes, lines, and comebacks always occur to you afterwards? That’s the so-called Treppenwitz. It’s the joke that comes to your mind on the way down the stairs after talking to your neighbor in the hallway two floors up.

  8. Firstly, I feel it is important to say how much I have missed you, BD! Congratulations on getting this wonderful site back up and running. I know that I don’t feel able to contribute very often,but I look nearly every day to see whether I have got it right and what others have to say about the daily challenge.
    Today’s was a tricky little so-and-so and I needed your help parsing 1d,3d,9a &26a, but otherwise a good workout & most enjoyable.
    Many thanks to the setter(CL if it is ) and Mr K for the hints.

  9. Wow I thought this was a high class offering, very topical, all in all the work of someone at the top of his/her game. My main problem was parsing a few but I’m going to leave that ’til later when I have more time..(I’ll thank Mr K in advance for his help in that department) but 1d completely eluded me. I also needed a tiny hint for 7d. My first one in was 12a and I thought at the time we’re sure to get a clip of that!!
    Favourites in a strong field were 1a, 6d and top spot to the “ace” 13a…setter even got in a touch of Wimbledon! 4*/4*
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for their excellent works.

  10. Lovely puzzle – just the synonym in 26a that I was reluctant to accept.
    Only discovered that meaning of 9a recently – courtesy of a crossword, no doubt – and have to confess to initially having the wrong but very similar answer for 15a.

    Hard to isolate a favourite but I’ve narrowed it down to either 13 or 28a.

    Thanks to Mr Ed and to Mr K for the blog. The Beyoncé clip reminded me of the brilliant rendition by the BBC lady newscasters – possibly for Children in Need?

    1. Hi, Jane. Can you find a link to that version of “Single Ladies”? I’ve had a quick look but I’m not seeing anything.

      1. Sadly I couldn’t – nothing on Youtube. It was apparently released by the BBC at some stage so maybe it’s stashed on their website somewhere?

        1. Just found it on Youtube – Newsreaders and Diversity for Children in Need special, 2009. All credit to the ‘girls’ for giving it a go!

  11. Really enjoyable puzzle with a lot of excellent clues, especially 1a, 1d and 28a. I would have made my own life easier had I not put in “chop” for 4d or only ordered a half for 15a!

    I really like this new format, lovely and clear to read.

    Thank you.

  12. Great fun for Tuesday. Lots of terrific clues but my favourite was the excellent 5d. Great to have the site back and working again.

    Thanks to CL for the enjoyable challenge and to Mr K.

  13. Enjoyed this puzzle but needed help to parse 5 bung ins.
    Have missed this site so felt obliged to comment on how useful it is. Its an object lesson in clarity as far as I’m concerned and I don’t seem to get any adverts on my PC. Try using Duck Duck and Go as your search engine.
    Thanks to Mr K and Setter, although I did not appreciate the beyonce clip. Lets hope Johanna Konta is in a future crossword.

  14. Thanks to setter and Mr K. It’s so good to get the blog back so many thanks to Big Dave too. On the subject of knowing who the setter is I have no opinion as the puzzles come in two types. One I can do or do with electronic help and those that are so difficult I need the blog.

  15. Thank you, setter and Mr K — I really enjoyed that! Unlikely seemingly everybody else, I filled in the top-half first, and did way better than typically for me, only requiring 2 of Mr K’s wonderful hints.

    So many fun clues here (1a, 1d, 8d, and 28a among others). My favourite is 4d, for pure silliness.

    And the ‘Eddie’ notice on 19a is a great find — worth clicking on the picture and reading the notice, if you haven’t already.

  16. Even for a Tuesday puzzle, this was definitely tricky with some head scratching required for completion at a fast canter – 2.5*/3*.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 1d, and 28a – and the winner is, sorry Gazza, 28a.

    Thanks to CL(?) and Mr K.

  17. Phew…I thought it was Tuesday today! I had to work to complete this crossword. Admittedly putting ‘half pint’ in for 15a was perhaps not the best way to begin.
    However I got there with 7d being my final entry.
    9a was my favourite.
    Thanks to CL(?), and to Mr K for the review and pics.

    1. Don’t worry – you were not alone with ‘half-pint’, one of my Dad’s favourite descriptions.

    2. I also started out with half-pint. I’m wondering now if I should have given this 4* for difficulty, since even crypticsue found it a challenge. Being jetlagged made it hard to tell if it was me or the puzzle that was responsible for a slowish solve.

  18. Another day when the Toughie was easier. I needed help with the parsing of several clues. Being topical and usually linked to “generation “, I got 9a at once but needed Mr K to tell me why.
    Loved the illustration to 27a. Where would we be without Mr T!
    I like the new layout. It’s clean and spacious. Just right for my I-pad.

  19. Doable but unexceptional with NW surrendering first. Not sure where a jersey comes into 26a and not keen on 5d. Parsing of 1d bung-in meant nothing to me. Favs 28a and 13a which came easily to mind as continue to be glued to Wimbledon. Thank you Ed and MrK.

          1. Almost anything’s possible in crosswordland – first rule of solving cryptics.

        1. I was just trying to answer your question about how jersey comes into that clue. While I agree that it’s not a close synonym, a tunic like this appears to me not that different from a jersey.

  20. Found this quite tricky ****/*** 😬 Favourites 1 @ 28a 😃 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter. Thanks to all involved in getting the blog back and running 👍 You don’t realise how much you miss some thing until it is gone 😳

  21. New site looks good on a iPad! Whatever it’s just good to have the blog back, well done BD!
    This one took 2 sittings and a fair bit of head scratching but got there in the end. Bit too cryptic for me to be totally enjoyable but satisfying to complete.
    Thx to all

  22. I agree with those who thought this was very enjoyable and much trickier than is usual on a Tuesday.
    I’m glad that I wasn’t the only twit who started off with ‘half pint’ for 15a and ‘chop’ for 4d.
    26a took for ever and I was very slow to sort out the 18d anagram for no good reason.
    Clues that stood out for me today were 9 and 12a and 8 and 25d.
    With thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  23. Enjoyable puzzle I solved with Mama Bee as we were stuck in traffic on the way to the Great Yorkshire Show.
    Half pint was my first thought too but Mama Bee went straight in with the right answer. Just got home with a belly full of fish and chips and a load of sausages pies and posh cheese. 3d was helped by the fact it was used in one of the recent war films I saw. I think it was the one about Douglas Bader and was sung by his squadron in the bar. I hope Lee in MN and others abroad got the obscure Scottish town.
    Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ed.

  24. Didn’t realise how much I needed the site until it wasn’t available! So glad it has returned even if a little raggy at present.

  25. Some good clues but one or two a bit convoluted!

    Like the revamped website. Congratulations!

  26. That was very difficult, I don’t want to meet a **** in a hurry.
    I needed a couple of hints to keep going!!
    Thanks Mr.K and Mr.Ron

  27. Don’t think my brain was in gear today! I found today’s offering quite challenging. When that happens I put it down and forget it. Usually, when I go back after an hour or so, things start to gel. They did in this case and I really enjoyed the clues. Apart, that is from 26a, which still foxes me.

    Thank you to all concerned.

    The new website is great.

  28. A Tuesday wake me up that was a puzzle of two halves. South was a good steady solve whilst North virtually stopped me in my tracks: I have to be honest I resorted a lot to assistance from MrK, but got there eventually.
    4*/4* an excellent puzzle that was just over my pay grade.
    Thanks to CL & MrK for direction.

  29. We also found this trickier than normal and very enjoyable. Not surprisingly we had never heard of the Scottish town of fewer than 10,000 people but gettable from checkers, wordplay and a Google check. Our last in was the contest winning 9a.
    Thanks Chris and Mr K.

  30. Definitely a curates egg for me. I enjoyed the half I could do, and frustrated with the half I couldn’t. 1a was my favourite. Thanks to setter and Mr K. Loving this clear and easy to read version of the blog,

  31. Found this the hardest for a long time. Usual trick of sleeping on it did not work. Several in the NW unsolved not helped by the chop I had in at 4d. Also share the concern about the jersey/tunic synonym. Numerous possible answers for 2d made it impossible for me to get 1a which, on reflection, is a good clue. Would not have got 1d in a million years. Just goes to show it takes all sorts…. Thanks setter for stretching my brain to breaking point and to Mr K for the explanations. Don’t usually attempt the Toughie but recently did one in about a tenth of the time this one took!

  32. Tough going for me. Got close, but needed hints to solve 9a, 4 and 6d.

    ****/*** from me. Thanks to setter and hintsmeister.

  33. Glad you’re back.
    Actually quite like this format albeit temporary, anyway so long as you are here.
    Thanks to all.

  34. I went out yesterday before this review was published so haven’t been able to comment until now.
    I echo the sentiment that it is brilliant to see the blog back up and running. We can all breath again now that we can get our essential daily dose of the wonderful BD blog!
    I’d also like to add that I view age very much as a state of mind, and the older I get the more I tell myself that is the case.
    I found this Tuesday puzzle very tough but well worth the effort.
    Many thanks to CL for a great puzzle and to Mr K for a great review.

  35. I found that the hardest offering for ages. For the first time in a very long time, my solving effort straddled two days – yesterday afternoon and breakfast-time today, before I staggered to a finish.

  36. I’ve decided that I misjudged the difficulty rating on this one, and so I have now added an extra star.

    Thanks to everyone who commented above.

    1. I think you should add yet another! A bit late in the (next) day to be commenting but I’m still only about two thirds of the way through this and I have spent absolutely ages struggling with it. I think I might have to give up, which I hardly ever do! Thanks to the setter – I’ve enjoyed the ones I could do – and to you, Mr K, for your hints, which I’m about to consult.

      1. Hi, Sarah. You are certainly not alone in your assessment – the consensus seems to be that this was one of the trickiest Tuesday puzzles we’ve seen for quite a while. GK is required to solve some clues and if a solver doesn’t have that knowledge already stored away they are going to find the puzzle extra tough.

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