DT 29106 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29106

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29106

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from an extremely hot Vega Baja where summer is in full spate. At least it’s not quite as hot now as it was during the recent much-publicised European heatwave.  It got to 39°C here last Sunday but today it’s back to a more manageable 31°C with less humidity.  Anyway, to the puzzle – this one just has to be a RayT production as all his hallmarks are there including some rather overstretched synonyms, lurkers, first letter clue and, of course, an appearance by HRH. I thought it was a bit tricky but I liked it quite a lot but I bet a lot of you will disagree as is usual on a Thursday. Over to you for comments . . .
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Beefy thing taking run, naked run (6)
STREAK:  Take a piece of beef, that you might have with chips, and insert (taking) an R(un) to get a word for a run without clothes.  Remember Erika Roe at Twickenham in 1982?  I think that might have been the first televised naked run.

5a           China is origin of classical garden feature (8)
CROCKERY:  Start with a C (origin of Classical) and follow with a part of the garden where you might grow Alpines for example.

9a           Need to come across can showing self-control (10)
ABSTINENCE:  Take another word for a can and around it (to come across) put a word meaning need or lack.

10a         Follows  pointers? (4)
DOGS:  I don’t think this counts as a double definition.  The answer is a word meaning follows and it’s also what pointers might be an example of, indicated by the ? at the end.

11a         Trick underground worker acquiring European boss (8)
DOMINEER: This is boss as a verb.  A word meaning to trick or con followed by a person who works underground with an E(uropean) inserted (acquiring).

12a         Indifferent about a city in America American backed (6)
CASUAL:  Two letters for about and then you need a reversal (backed) of a two letter American city and two letters meaning American.   Hope that made sense. It’s a bit complicated for a six letter answer!

13a         Insect that’s loud by meadow (4)
FLEA:  The musical loud followed by a poetic word for a meadow.

15a         Second time around alternatively fight in future (8)
TOMORROWListen very carefully . . .  You need a two letter word for a second, as in short period of time, and a T (Time).  Reverse them (around) and then follow with a two letter word indicating an alternative and finish with a fight or argument. 

18a         China facing retreat over data (8)
MATERIAL:  What china is in rhyming slang followed by a reversal (over) of a retreat or den.  Not sure the answer really is data, a bit of thesauritis methinks.

19a         The woman would shortly peel off (4)
SHED:  An abbreviated way (shortly) of saying “the woman would” also is a word meaning to peel off or get rid of.

21a         Complaint from wife having turn (6)
WHINGE:  Start with a W for wife and then a word for something that has to do with turning, on a door perhaps.

23a         Ringing, ringing Republican being offensive (8)
TROLLING:  A word for ringing, think bells, placed around an R(epublican) gives a word for being offensive on the internet.

25a         Heads of big old organisations mainly flourish (4)
BOOM:  First letters (heads of) the next four words.

26a         Sorry adult sensitive about record (10)
APOLOGETIC:  Start with A(dult) and then a word which might mean sensitive, but more likely something to do with odes and sonnets, and put that lot around (about) a common crosswordland word for a record.

27a         Hands start to shake for no reason (8)
NEEDLESS:  On a clock they are usually referred to as hands but on other dials such as a speedometer they are called . . . ?  Some of these followed by an S (start to Shake).  Personally I think this is a severe case of the dreaded thesauritis.

28a         Execute the rustler employing rope (6)
TETHER:  This rope is lurking in ( employing) the first three words.


2d           Prohibition also involves sailor (5)
TABOO:  A word for also or as well with an Able Seaman inserted (involves).

3d           In charge during further time before English rescue (9)
EXTRICATE:  Start with a word for further or more and insert (during) the usual two letter for in charge.  Then you’ll need a T(ime) and an E(nglish) to get to the answer.

4d           More benevolent Queen upholding class (6)
KINDER:  The usual two letter for Her Majesty are following (upholding in a down clue) a word meaning class or type.

5d           Sort out Anglican in reformation giving praise (15)
CONGRATULATIONS:  Anagram (in reformation) of SORT OUT ANGLICAN

6d           Discover comedian embodies best and worst (8)
OVERCOME:  The answer is lurking in (embodies) the first two words.  Isn’t English a wonderful language where best and worst can be complete opposites or mean exactly the same thing.

7d           Glory in playing Sudoku endlessly (5)
KUDOS:  Anagram (playing) of SUDOKU but without the last U (endlessly).

8d           Fix part accommodating old lady’s performance (9)
RIGMAROLE:  A word for fix, as in fixing a boxing match perhaps, and a part in a film with the usual two letters for your old lady inserted (accommodating).

14d         Large profanity, thus this compiler’s disgusting! (9)
LOATHSOME:  A charade of L(arge), a profanity or perhaps even a promise, another word for thus and lastly how the compiler may refer to himself.

16d         To get flexible tries line dancing (9)
RESILIENT:  Anagram (dancing) of TRIES LINE.

17d         Cultured student? Say it again! (8)
LITERATE: The usual student letter followed by a word meaning say again or repeat.

20d         Company angry about opening of rival company (6)
COHORT: Start with the usual company and then a word which can mean angry and insert an R (opening of Rival) to get another company, of soldiers perhaps.

22d         One wanders about turning crazy (5)
NOMAD:  Two letters for about reversed (turning) followed a word meaning crazy.

24d         Innocent one protected in centre of church (5)
NAIVE:  The letter that looks like a number 1 inserted into (protected in) the bit that’s in the middle of a church.

A fair bit of blue again but my favourite has to be 6d for its use of two opposites for the same definition.
Apologies for the music clips but some things I find hard to resist  :lol:

Quick crossword pun:         GRANTS     +     HERO     =     GROUND ZERO

35 comments on “DT 29106

  1. A nice Ray T – not too tricky and the usual entertainment – thank you to him

    Thanks also to Pommers for the blog and in particular the song clip for 1a – “it was too late, Ethel was moved” is an expression often used in our family when things don’t work out as planned!

  2. Yes an enjoyable challenge .

    Some great clues with 8D and 28A my favourites .

    Thanks Pommers , less hot in South Wales today with some rain last night and due manana , and salutations to Ray T .

  3. A game of two halves for this puzzle. The west fell into place quickly, while the east took quite a bit longer. In difficulty it was at the upper limit of 2* and 4* for enjoyment. I enjoyed 23a, 3d an 6d and had to work at the anagram in 16d, which was fun. The lurker at 6a was also well done. So maby thanks to Ray T and to pommers for the hint , which I needed to parse 15a. Some very welxome rain today.

  4. Always a great pleasure doing Ray T’s puzzles.
    For me, **** for difficulty.
    Some very clever constructions.
    Last in – Duh – 15a.
    Many thanks, RayT and pommers for the nicely illustrated review.

  5. The usual Thursday high level puzzle. Top marks for enjoyment and the right amount of difficulty to suit me. Thanks to Mr RayT for the workout and thanks to Pommers for his review. Please may I be excused from playing the clips or walking the dogs? I’ll happily drive the car and I have copied the shed picture as I have to build one for our new house.

  6. All went smoothly in the West of this somewhat unexciting puzzle but I needed help in the SE. Missed lurker in 28a and my restricted internet vocabulary let me down with 23a. Pun only just works depending on enunciation. Thanks RayT and pommers.

  7. After some months of family trauma its good to get dome me timefor crosswords.
    After quite a lay off I found this tough but in the coming weeks hoprfully the brain will improve.
    Like the new look site

  8. 3*/4*. I thought this enjoyable as ever Ray T puzzle was going to be very easy when I had about half the answers in place in double quick time, but then the real challenge began and I ended up taking my 3* time overall.

    Although Ray T is noted for his stretched synonyms, I think even he went a bit far today with “need” in 9a, “data” in 18a, “sensitive” in 26a and “hands” in 27a, but being a devoted fan that didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

    Favourite 6d.

    Many thanks to Mr T and pommers.

  9. 5d to Ray T and to Pommers for their excellent works. I found the West a bit easier than the East though 18a was a pure bung in. I also completely missed the lurker in 6d but bunged it in from the checkers. I presume best and worst are being used as verbs?
    I loved 23a and it’s my COTD closely followed by 1, 12 and 15a plus 8 and 20d. 4*/4*
    As mentioned many thanks to Mr T and Pommers despite his (very) dubious musical selection!

  10. SW corner held out longest. Having men at the beginning of 27a didn’t help. Not much fun for me today. Ta to all.

  11. I agree with RD’s comments re the stretched synonyms but on checking the reference books there they were as usual.
    Reading the blog I think I had a good day today as my rating was **/****.
    Anyway thoroughly enjoyable , liked 26a and the surface for 23a.

  12. I found Ray T in quite a benevolent mood today with plenty of enjoyment for completion at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    The only synonym that I considered had overstretched the elastic was 27a.
    Favourite – 15a.
    Thanks to Ray T and pommers – but it’s HM not HRH (in your intro).

  13. A cracking puzzle from Ray T this morning full of his trademark clues. I thought the excellent lurker at 6d took the prize for COTD. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable exercise.

    Thanks Ray for the challenge and to pommers.

  14. Very enjoyable, some smiles and some puzzled frowns but fairly straightforward. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  15. Lovely puzzle today, thank you. Enjoyed the lurker in 6d. Talking of lurkers, we came upon a tea shop in Cornwall years ago which had a sign outside saying ‘No Skulking Lurkers Allowed here’. We were longing for someone to turn up, spot the notice and creep away! I wonder who identifies with this wording and thinks ‘Oops, can’t go in here’.

    1. I used to pass a sign on the M1 to Birmingham which said “Nobody likes a tailgater”. I always wondered whether would-be tailgaters were put off by the prospect of being unpopular.

  16. Very nice Ray T, not too tricky (apart from 9a, 18a and 27a). Loved 14d and 10a.
    Thx for the hints in explaining the above.

  17. 12a) better explanation: single letter for about, followed by the reversal 5 letters made up of of a two letter abbreviation for a US city, a two letter abbreviation for America and a single letter abbreviation for American.

    1. Welcome to the blog Rich

      It’s not a better explanation because you have used America/American three times. Pommers’ explanation is fine, although I read the first part as a single-letter abbreviation for about followed by the A from the clue.

      1. That was my first thought but for some reason changed my mind. Works either way as you say but I think yours, and my first thought, works better because it uses the A in the clue.

  18. Brilliant, love Ray T, lots of fun and learning to be had. Favourite was 26a.

    Thanks Ray T and pommers. 2*/4*

  19. All the usual stretched synonym fun of the fair from Ray T although even I thought that the Quickie pun was perhaps a step too far!
    10a & 22d got my votes with a mention for 8d just because I love the sound of the word.

    Devotions to Mr T and thanks to Pommers for the blog and cringe-worthy clips.

  20. Quite hard for me today. Had to rely on some of the excellent hints. Mislead by 5a for a while, as was led astray by China, Ming Tang? Last in was 8d – bit of a stretch for performance. Although was in thesaurus. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers for hints.

  21. This was RayT? Really? You could’ve fooled me! I failed with 28a and 20d, despite electronic help, but the rest of it was a most enjoyable solve without total meltdown.
    Fave was 8d, rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for his usual fun review, and I liked the clips, trash they may be, but they reminded me of my salad days in the ’60s.

    1. Did finish unaided but found more difficult than others of late. Last 2 in 28a when I eventually spotted the lurker and then 20d which I thought was very difficult.

  22. Far off the wavelength today, thoughts preoccupied by daughter’s wedding on Saturday. Have you seen the weather forecast for NW England?😟 Anyway, of the clues I managed I particularly liked 23a, nice to think that I’m down with the kids. Thanks to RayT and Plummers and also to BD for the revamped blog.

  23. Nice puzzle, Ray T. Couple of well disguised lurkers and anagrams. I managed to complete, just had to check the parsing of 12a.


  24. A puzzle of two parts, one straight in for the answers , the other the answers seemed to go in kicking & screaming. That being it was a superb crossword with well crafted clues that gave me great pleasure to complete.
    Thanks to Ray T for this stunner & Pommers for review & direction.

  25. Evening all. Many thanks to pommers for the review and to everybody else for your comments. Much appreciated, as always.


  26. Was convinced this was not a RayT, as romped through quite easily (compared with the usual Thursday fare!) Must be getting on his wavelength at last!!!!
    Thank you to all!!

  27. Excellent challenge from Mr T! I made mistake after mistake but I eventually saw the error of my ways and managed to complete. Sigh…
    8d was my top clue, partly because I love the sound of the word.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to pommers for the review but not the music!

  28. Just happy to finish one the the right right day. I suppose I’m last again. I’ll try and keep up. Thanks to all.

  29. I obtained this one on Friday morning and got round to tackling it in the evening, cracking the last few clues in bed. Nice clues, a reasonable challenge and very enjoyable. I had no problem with any of the so-called stretched synonyms mentioned above. Conventional/obvious synonyms often serve only to make the clue easier to fathom. I’d say this was just above average difficulty for a back-pager, so: 3* / 4*

  30. 4*/4*…..
    liked 28A “execute the rustler employing rope (6)”
    hints appreciated for this one-the synonym section of my brain seems a tad under par today.

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