DT 29107 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29107

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29107

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey Friday with the promise of rain to come.

Nothing terribly obscure from Giovanni this morning, though some definitions are not the most obvious.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Gentleman full of love giving away ring — it’s precious (6)
SILVER – A form of address for a gentleman wrapped around L(o)VE (from the clue) minus the ring-shaped letter.

5a           Ladies maybe in place where spa water is available? (8)
BATHROOM – This place, which may be labelled ‘Ladies’ could also describe a place in a West Country spa town known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis.

9a           Creator of life in a bookshop? (10)
BIOGRAPHER – Cryptic definition of someone who writes books about the life of an individual.

10a         Father of twenty children, unmarried man neglecting half! (4)
BACH – Remove the second half from the word for an unmarried man, to get this member of a German musical dynasty.

Image result for j s bach

11a         Horse in stable needed by one riding (8)
STALLION – Put together another word for a stable (or part of one), the Roman numeral for one, and a preposition linking the rider to the horse.

12a         It’s ineffective, carrying everything in case (6)
WALLET – Another word for ‘everything’ placed inside another word for ‘weak’ or ‘ineffective’ gives us a case for our cash and cards.

13a         Avoid bypass — waste of time (4)
SHUN – A medical bypass, minus the abbreviation for Time.

15a         This mint sacked moneymaker? Probably not (8)
TINSMITH – anagram (sacked) of THIS MINT.

18a         Similarly resembling Ernie, being comical? (8)
LIKEWISE – Another word for ‘resembling’ followed by the surname of the late Ernie, comic partner of Eric.

19a         Bird heading west, not very close (4)
NEAR – Start by reversing the name of a large carrion bird, then remove the V (not very).

21a         Inattentive sailor discharged? (6)
ABSENT – One of the usual crossword sailors, followed by another word for ‘discharged’ or ‘dispatched’.

23a         Devon town with distinction, getting on (8)
CREDITON – Start with another word for ‘distinction’ or ‘honour’, then add ON (from the clue).

25a         It’s only fair (4)
JUST – Double definition: ‘only’ or ‘barely’; and ‘fair’ or ‘reasonable’.

26a         Chief of crooks spinning grander lie (10)
RINGLEADER – Anagram (spinning) of GRANDER LIE.

27a         Absurd activities with some in Paris at back of old coach (8)
CHARADES – The shortend form of the word for an early motor coach, followed by the French for ‘some’.

28a         Route taken by an Asian (6)
PATHAN – A route or road followed by AN (from the clue), giving us an Afghan tribesman.


2d           Charlie and I had one set of books (5)
IDIOT – Put together the short form of ‘I had’, the Roman numeral for one, and the abbreviation for one of the sets of books in the Bible.

3d           After six look around entrance to institute — requirement for guard (9)
VIGILANCE – The Roman numeral for six, followed by a swift look wrapped around the first letter of Institute.

4d           Traveller to pass away after travel is cut short (6)
ROADIE – Remove the final letter from a word for ‘travel’ or ‘wander’, then add ‘pass away’.

5d           Hides ten benches needing repair out of sight (6,3,6)
BEHIND THE SCENES – Anagram (needing repair) of HIDES TEN BENCHES.

6d           Hurling an object? Quarrel must be contained (8)
THROWING – Another word for an object wrapped around a word for a quarrel.

7d           Not all are belligerent, subversive (5)
REBEL – Hidden in the clue.

8d           Players roar after foul play outside the box (9)
ORCHESTRA – Anagram (after foul play) of ROAR wrapped around a box or trunk.

14d         A shock? One may go through it for the better (9)
HAIRBRUSH – The shock is to be found on your head, and the clue is a cryptic definition of something which may improve the appearance of the said shock.

16d         Beggar to stop in middle of busy road on slope (9)
MENDICANT – Start by finding the two letters which look like the designation of the main motorway going north from London. Wrap these around another word for ‘stop’, then add a verb meaning ‘slope’.

17d         Spent a whole season or a short day outside Bury (8)
WINTERED – Another word for ‘bury’ with the short form of one of the days of the week wrapped around it.

20d         Chum we had upset in a flap (6)
DEWLAP – Put together another word for a chum and the short form of ‘we had’. Then reverse the result to get a flap of loose skin on an animal’s neck.

Image result for dewlap cattle


22d         Some people ate rare piece of fruit? (5)
EATER – Hidden in the clue is a general term for an apple which is not a cooking apple.

24d         The end, nothing very big (5)
OMEGA – The letter which looks like a zero or nothing, followed by a Greek prefix for ‘very big’.

The Quick Crossword pun MELLOWED + EARS = MELODIOUS

39 comments on “DT 29107

  1. A rating of ****/*** from me today. I found this very hard to get into and the NE corner particularly difficult to finish. Once it was complete, I wondered why I had found it so tricky. Favourite clues were 4d, 9a (after a long wait for the penny to drop) and 19a. Thanks to DT for the hints. Thanks to Giovanni for an interesting tussle, which kept my mind off my gouty foot!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this moderately testing and thoughtful Giovanni offering this morning. Nothing too obscure but some tricky parsing to get the answers. Really liked 10a and 8d.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  3. 3*/1.5*. I found parts of this quite tough but I am sorry to say that it I didn’t enjoy it.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  4. Like DT a **/*** for me today, failed to parse the lurker in 22d, thanks DT for the apple explanation, I think ‘sort’ of fruit would have been better than ‘piece’.
    Anyway last in was 24a which brought a smile when the penny dropped-my favourite clue.
    Liked 10a should have been often bach !

  5. Giovanni caused several hiccups today and the whole was less pleasurable than his usual offerings. Not sure about 5a, 9a or 22d. Wrongly thought ‘tradie’ fitted the bill for 4d. Needed prompt for 20d and 28a (failed to see how to fit we’d in). Fav was 10a although probably would be deemed as too GK for some. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  6. For me this was a slow starter, but as soon as I got up momentum, it all went in quite easily. *** rating overall.

    Many thanks to The Don and DT.

    1. Toughest backpager I’ve seen in many a week. Managed it after a real slog, with a couple of DT’s hints needed for confirmation.
      Very tough as I said, but can’t complain, we need such challenges to keep us sharp.


  7. Struggled initially to get a foothold with the across clues but the down ones provided enough checks to proceed fairly quickly to the SE corner with 28A final entry .

    My COTD 18A .

    Thanks DT and G .

  8. Unusually for a Friday nothing today to make me particularly grumpy. Not sure about 27A taking the first and middle part of the old three word coach nor could I find any electronic support for this so treating it as a Fridayism!

    1. The first part of 27a is explained by the BRB (Revised 13th Edition), Page 263, RH column.

  9. An enjoyable end to a very pleasant crosswording work week, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 3d and 17d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  10. I wasn’t persuaded by the definitions in 9a, 4&22d and didn’t know the Asian in 28a. However, it was nice to see our setter having a rare stab at humour with 18a – sadly the clue wasn’t the best.
    I did rather like the neat 25a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog – came down in the proverbial stair rods for a few hours here this morning so it may well be heading your way! Hope the knee has improved?

      1. Durack254, Jane is expressing her honest opinion of the puzzle, which is surely the main function of this blog. In my opinion your reply is unkind and uncalled for. I’d much rather hear what you think about the crossword.

        1. You’re right about D’s (somewhat retaliatory) comment, but I think it’s a bit “six of one and half a dozen of the other” – both commenters, as I read it, are being unnecessarily a tad sarcastic and a little peevish. And as for G not being humorous, this is one of the funniest clues ever, from DT 27479:

          6d. Yob outside toilet possibly revealing too much? (3-3)

  11. Finished in the time it took Saint Sharon to drive to our new house. As Monday’s puzzle was Mondayish today’s puzzle was Fridayish. Nice to complete but nothing made me smile in admiration. I think an over familiarity with the setters style is probably the reason why. I know Mr Manley reads the comments so I hope he realises that I am not complaining just thinking out loud. Thanks to the aforesaid Mr Manley for the puzzle (I quite liked 20d. It’s a lovely word well clued). Thanks also to PD for the blog. Play nicely during the weekend children and I will see you all on Monday

  12. I must have been on the Giovanni wavelength this morning (followed by being on the Elgar wavelength, more about which later) as I didn’t take very long to finish the backpager at all.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

    Fans of Virgilius should head over to today’s Brendan in the Guardian

    1. I thought it (Brendan’s Graun) was a rather strange puzzle, most unlike Virgilius. Over-egged would be an understatement.

    2. Being in the Guardian, I assume it is much harder than the Sunday back pager in the DT used to be, in which case I shall swerve.

      1. That’s not a safe assumption Hoofit – you may well find it’s right up your street and besides, you can check/reveal and then work it out

      2. It’s not particularly difficult and you’d enjoy it if you’re interested in the big sporting event taking place in NI at the moment.

  13. Enjoyable, but tricky. Unlike the more educated, there were a few words in either the solutions or the parsing that were over my head. North much easier than the south.
    Like others have commented, devoid of any humour, but that’s Friday, and the puzzle was excellent, no moan intended.
    Thanks all.
    Got my new set of irons today, so expect to see me in the Open next year.

  14. ***/**. Not my favourite puzzle due to a couple of stretched clues (12a, 22d). I did like 10a although I had to google why – who’d have known😇. My favourites were 28a, which I got but had never come across before., and 20d. Thanks to all.

  15. I made hard work of this crossword! I took ages to get going and thereafter found insufficient ‘gimmes’ to make good headway. I got there eventually but it wasn’t one of my better efforts. 14d was my favourite.
    Thanks to DG, and to DT for the hints.

  16. I was going all gung-ho until the SW corner when I hit a brick wall, I needed to visit DT’s excellent hints to get going again. I also didn’t know the Devon town.
    I found quite a lot to like, hard to choose a fave, but 20d and 14d maybe are noteworthy.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for helping me to the finish line.

  17. Enjoyed this. Top half went in quickly, bottom half I needed to walk round anticlockwise to get the checking letters to finish in a good time for me. **/****

  18. Absolutely beyond me why this was designated ** for difficulty. It was very tricky.
    It also contained some dreadful clues IMHO totally beneath a setter of Giovannis prowess. ie 5a, 11a, 12am’s, 19a, 1a and 16d. All were solvable but I thought the wordplay was dreadful.
    Def not my favourite Giovanni.
    Thx for the hints

    1. With you Brian, felt much trickier than 2*, definitely struggled a bit with this one. I didn’t think the wordplay was dreadful just streeeeetched a little!

      Thanks to Giovanni and DT

      1. The stars are only the bloggers interpretation of the puzzle and should not be used as a guide to the difficulty of the puzzle, as it’s a purely a subjective view. I’m sure that everyone has compilers that they find easy and some difficult. Giovanni is largely a mystery to me, today excepted.
        I think most people take little notice of the ratings.

        1. I’m with you HYD re the subjectivity of the star ratings to which I rarely refer but I do disagree re DG’s puzzles which I usually find to be very sympatico if rather less so today. To each his own!

  19. For me today as The Don commanded left I seemed to go right! Bit of a struggle with the parsing of some of the clues, eventually found I was half a pace out & finished it with direction from DT
    4*/3*. Fav 5d &9ac
    Thanks to Giovanni for a “tester” & DT for assistance & review.

  20. Did finish but only with BD help – very unusually, so many thanks! Some rather obscure words and poor cluing in places!

  21. I did this one yesterday on the bus over the Cat and Fiddle but then got called out to help a friend whose car wouldn’t start and then I never got near a computer to comment on the day. I thought it was a fine puzzle with good clues giving a reasonable challenge and providing an enjoyable solve. I can’t understand why this puzzle should have received the negative comments voiced above. I ticked quite a few clues but can’t pick an outstanding favourite. 3* / 4*

  22. 4*/4*……………….
    liked 2D “Charlie and I had one set of books (5)”

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