DT 29100 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29100

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29100

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. I’m assuming that the setter of this crossword is proXimal, if only because recently he and Ray T seem to take it in turns on Thursdays, but somehow it doesn’t quite feel like one of his. I’m sure, if it is, we will find out later.

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

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


7a        Transport returning home carrying advanced alien (7)
MARTIAN — A reversal (returning) of an electrically powered public transport vehicle is followed by the usual little word meaning home which contains the abbreviation for A[dvanced]

8a        Defenceless Cockney’s not hurt (7)
UNARMED — A word meaning ‘not hurt’ has an ‘H’ in the middle of it – take the ‘H’ out as a Cockney might pronounce it and you’ll be left with the answer

10a       Wall I tore out to make place for drier (5-4)
TOWEL-RAIL — An anagram (out) of WALL I TORE

11a       Birds strip outer covering of eucalyptus (5)
KITES — This ‘strip’ is something that sportspeople might wear and it’s followed by the first and last letters (covering) of E[ucalyptu]S

12a       Another shot tyre repaired on right (5)
RETRY — The abbreviation for R[ight] is followed by an anagram (repaired) of TYRE

13a       Editing on and on … (9)
REWORKING — A little word that means on or concerning and then another word, also meaning on, as in functioning

15a       … after move, editor is put off (7)
SHIFTED — A synonym for move or transfer is followed by the abbreviation for editor – I had trouble with this because I can’t quite think of a sentence where the answer could be swapped for ‘put off’

17a       Consume tons in peeled bananas (7)
DEPLETE — An anagram (bananas) of PEELED which contains (in) the abbreviation for T[ons]

18a       Coarse man apprehended by a French revolutionary general (9)
UNGENTEEL — Start off with the French word for ‘A’, follow that with a man or a chap and finish off with a reversal (revolutionary) of the surname of an American general in the American Civil War

20a       Gorge cold meat, eating starter in steakhouse (5)
CHASM — The abbreviation for C[old] on a tap is followed by some cured meat and that contains (eating) the first letter (starter) of S[teakhouse]

21a       Dainty foxtrot involved in line dancing (5)
ELFIN — The letter denoted by ‘foxtrot’ in the phonetic alphabet goes inside (involved in) an anagram (dancing) of LINE

23a       Expected form tutor (7,2)
FIGURED ON — A form or a shape (6) is followed by a university lecturer or tutor (3) – then split that into (7,2)

24a       Adolescent’s eaten crackers by case in glee (7)
TEENAGE — This adolescent is an adjective rather than a noun – an anagram (crackers) of EATEN is followed by (by) the first and last letters (case in) of G[le]E

25a       Money from abroad secures soldiers meeting places (7)
CENTRES — Some foreign money which are parts of euros or dollars goes round (secures) one of the many two letters that are used in crosswordland to mean soldiers



1d        One gathering material from street and river to use in artwork (4-6)
DRAW-STRING — The abbreviations for ‘street’ and ‘river’ are contained in some artwork or a sketch

2d        Lose a lot of faith with many heartless around (6)
MISLAY — Four of a five letter word for a faith based on the teachings of a prophet (a lot of) go inside the first and last letters (heartless) of M[an]Y

3d        Odd pun comic broadcast (8)
UNPAIRED — An anagram (comic) of PUN is followed by a synonym for broadcast or transmitted

4d        Bird used wings, heading off after dog (6)
CURLEW — A scruffy mongrel dog is followed by four letter word meaning used wings (to move through the air) without its first letter (heading off)

5d        Advocate drive over Portugal for scenery (8)
BACKDROP — To advocate or endorse is followed by some abbreviations – the first is for DR[ive] the second is the one for O[ver] in cricket and, finally, the IVR code for Portugal

6d        Uncovered some bits in skip (4)
OMIT — The middle two letters (uncovered) of the second and third words of the clue

7d        One getting on in education (6,7)
MATURE STUDENT — ‘Getting on’ here means becoming older or growing up rather than doing very well.

9d        Game residents played to create quarrels (13)

14d      Some nomadic eland, erstwhile natives of volcanic land (10)
ICELANDERS — The only lurker or hidden answer today, indicated by the first word of the clue

16d      Individual northbound in confines of trimaran noticed cutter (5,3)
TENON SAW — A reversal (northbound) of a synonym for individual is contained in the first and last letters (confines) of T(rimara)N and this is followed by another synonym for noticed or spotted

17d      Deputation from Washington catching eagle freaking out Yankee (8)
DELEGACY — The two letters that come after Washington when referring to the capital of America contain (catching) an anagram (freaking out) of EAGLE and that’s followed by the letter which is represented by ‘Yankee’ in the phonetic alphabet

19d      Spain provided iron and lead for local engineer (6)
EIFFEL — The IVR code for Spain, a little word that means provided or on condition, the two letter chemical symbol for iron and, finally, the first letter (lead for) of L[ocal]

20d      Concerned about a clique (6)
CARING — The one letter Latin abbreviation for about, the A from the clue and then a clique or a set

22d      Fine swimmer’s instinct (4)
FEEL — The letter that means fine on lead pencils and then a long slithery fish (swimmer)

Clues that I particularly enjoyed today were 13 and 18a and 6 and 19d. My favourite (and my last answer) was 1d.


53 comments on “DT 29100

  1. Did not flow for me today , for example , 18A and 23A . Also , putting the wrong “ arm” into 8A did not help .

    My COTD 7D .

    Thanks Kath and the Setter and hello everyone else .

  2. I wasn’t sure whether it was proXimal either – there isn’t an X in any of the solutions which is usually a sign, but I didn’t find him quite as difficult as he can be

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath – I liked 1d too

  3. I found this crossword difficult (***/****) and only moderately enjoyable(***). Many clues were a bit too wordy and convoluted for my taste and the surface read a touch clumsy. However I did like 20a, 4d and 17d. Thanks to the setter. I agree with Kath that it hasn’t the normal feel of ProliXic. Thanks to Kath as I needed to confirm more clues than usual.

  4. 2.5*/4.5*. I found this nicely challenging and very enjoyable indeed.

    There were plenty of potential favourites, and I particularly liked the simplicity of 13a and the very clever lurker in 14d. 1d also deserves a special mention.

    Many thanks to proXimal (?) and to Kath.

  5. This took about the same time as yesterday’s puzzle, but not quite as enjoyable – so **/***. I did like 1d, 8a and 18a. No idea who the setter is but thanks to them and to Kath. I agree with your comment re 15a but it worked online after being bunged in.

  6. This doesn’t feel like proXimal to me but I did enjoy it – thanks to the setter and Kath.
    Top clues for me were 13a and 19d.
    Chambers does give ‘put off’ for the relevant word in 15a so I suppose you could say “Because of rain the start of play was put off by a couple of hours” – I don’t like the clue anyway because it seems rather ‘same-both-sidey’.

  7. No real problems with this one. Not particularly difficult but plenty to enjoy, especially my favourite 4d and the excellent lurker at 14d. Special mention for the Quickie pun, too. Thanks to the X man, if it was indeed he, and to Kath for a fine blog.

    Great start by England in Birmingham.

  8. In the main I really enjoyed this, completed with only one bung in, 11a which even for me with no knowledge of birds was unmissable once the checkers were in. I thought 13a was very clever, my original thought was “rewording” but couldn’t justify it then the penny dropped. I also liked 7d and 7a along with 6d and 8a. 17d wasnt the smoothest surface and a bit convoluted but other than that all good for me.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath for the top notch entertainment and explanations

  9. An inoffensive brainteaser today with SE bringing up the rear. Hint meant one letter of my 13a bung-in had to be changed and then it became runner-up to 23a Fav. Thank you Mysteron and Kath.

  10. I am also one of those who didn’t quite feel that this one hit the spot. I don’t know why, some clumsy solutions perhaps.

    Last one in was 15a for the exact same reason as detailed above.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  11. A curate’s egg for me with a few raised eyebrows during completion at a fast canter – ***/**.

    Favourite – 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

    P.S. Kath you have not included the ‘anagram material’ (eagle) in 17d.

    1. Thanks Senf – I’ll have a go at editing the hint for 17d – if the whole place blows up you can all blame me!

  12. I also thought that this steady solve didn’t feel like proXimal. So good clues and some not so good clues. I’m joining Gazza in highlighting 13a and 19a as being among the good ones. Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  13. Congratulations on the new website. First time I’d seen it. Today’s crossword was a curates egg for me too. Thanks to Kath and setter.

  14. I’m in the ‘enjoyed it’ camp today but wouldn’t like to speculate as to the setter – maybe proXimal being kind to us?
    Quite a crowded podium with 8a plus 1,6,7 & 19d all up there to receive applause. Think that 1d edged the others out for the gold medal.

    Thanks to our setter and to Kath for the blog – so brave of you to edit the 17d hint, bet you said a few Hail Mary’s before doing it!

  15. The puzzles seem a touch more difficult this week and I concur with Kath’s ***/***.
    Took a while to parse 7a and 18a which I liked.
    Thanks to Kath for explaining 2d, I was thinking of a short word for ‘ones lot or kismet inside MY-never thought of a religion .

  16. I had rewording for 13a. On is repeated and rewording is what an editor does.
    I thought it was at the easier end of the spectrum but enjoyable.

  17. Found it slightly difficult to get in tune with this, but quite enjoyed it in the end. There seemed to be a number of clues needing the outer letters of another word. Thanks to Kath for putting me straight on 13a, and to the setter. Thanks also to BD for doing the necessary (whatever that may have been) to restore the site to good health.

    1. I wrote on my piece of paper about the amount of clues needing ‘outside letters’ but forgot to mention it when commenting earlier

      1. I noticed it too – when I was actually doing the crossword and even more when I was writing the hints.

    2. I noticed too. A bit repetitive I thought and I prefer a variety of clues. Only one lurker too.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but found most of it impossible. Needed 6 hints to finish. Was 5*/3* for me.

  19. Not easy for me at all, really struggled with most, however, I did find a lot to enjoy. I also needed hints to unravel some answers that were bung ins.
    I liked the on and on editing, the bird that used its wings with the heading off, and the nomadic eland, any one could have been fave.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this and to Kath for her unravelling the answers.

  20. I found this a bit of a curate’s egg like some other contributors here. Some clues seemed very wordy indeed. Oh well. I’ll declare 11a as my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her excellent review.

  21. ***/**. A bit clunky for me although 13a was my favourite for its brevity. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the hints.

  22. I am with the “Curates” ***/*** 😳 Lots of amusing clever clues but quite a few that I did not like. Favourite 8a. Thanks to Kath for the much needed hints and to the “unknown Setter” 🤗

  23. I just called in to read the last few comments having been in the garden for quite a long time and two things came into my head – that’s about the most it can cope with at the moment.
    The first was that it’s very quiet around here at the moment and I wonder why – when I first started doing some hints, which is probably about five years ago, we used to get over a hundred comments most days and occasionally I think we had something approaching two hundred.
    My second thought, because I’m still wondering who set this crossword, was what happened to Shamus and why don’t we ever get a crossword set by him – a back page one or a Toughie – either would do – they were such fun.
    Back later . . .

    1. I did ask our esteemed editor about Shamus a while ago. He said that ‘real life’ stuff has rather taken centre stage for the time being but that he hoped to be back in the future. I did notice that one of his Hypnos puzzles appeared in another place at the end of March.

  24. I did not find this a lot of fun. Have circled 8 and 11a and 1and 6d as favourites. With some of the others the end was often an anti-climax. Did not think the clue/answer combo were particularly well-matched in 13 16 and 23a. I persisted with all except 19d and resorted to the hint (thanks Kath). Thanks also to setter as you can’t please all the people all of the time. Where’s Brian?

  25. When we were solving we did not doubt that it was a proXimal puzzle. It is the comments here that have made us question this. Started off slowly with a couple of wrong tentative guesses in the NW but once we moved on from there it began to flow more easily and we came back to finish where we normally start.
    An enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron (proXimal) and Kath.

  26. I’m with the “Curates” too and also was rewording or rewriting the editor. As to the reduced comments I think the commentariat have been distracted by Wimbledon, Cricket or in my case the Tour de France. Exciting finish today on some real steep climbs today so I didn’t finish the crossword until the highlights were relived.
    Thanks to Kath and setter.

    1. Thank you for the crossword – thank you for calling in.
      This did not, to me anyway and a fair few others too, feel like one of yours but I have very limited experience of doing the hints for the Thursdays when you’re the setter.

  27. I did this one early this morning before the hints appeared so can hardly remember it now, but I called in to agree with those who first entered “reworded”, seemed ok at the time and I only found out it was wrong when my iPad gave me the dreaded “some answers wrong “.

    On the whole, though I think I enjoyed it. Thanks to all.

  28. Got to this very late today and too tired to struggle with it after a very busy day. Not really my cup of tea. It took me a while to get a handle on Dada, so now I have to work on improving my ProXimal wavelength. Thanks for the hints Kath, rather you than me.

  29. Hooray! I’m back on doing crosswords on the right day, I’m days behind on the toughies though. Busy time of year for me though. I too had rewording, almost impossible to spot two possible answers like that for a setter I suppose. Many thanks to proXimal and Kath. I don’t care if no-one’s watching, I don’t suppose I’ll post at a reasonable time tomorrow either.

  30. OK everyone – that’s it from me for today as I have to be up if not bright and early then at least one of the two to go to the Elder Lamb, her partner and our grandson in the morning.
    Thanks again to proXimal for the crossword and to all of you for the comments.
    Night night and sleep well. :yawn:

  31. Struggled with 9d expecting it to begin with ‘S’ as I had put (H)ARMLESS in 8ac.

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