DT 29109 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29109

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29109

Hints and tips by Tweeter and the Monkey Man (thanks Kath)

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Every year Saint Sharon organises a Family Weekend, so our families get together for a reason that isn’t to do with funerals. Four generations gathered from Barrow-In-Furnace to Lowestoft. Oswaldtwistle to Kenilworth. A great time was had by all. As usual it all got a bit messy last night until several of the boys were sent to bed by Saint Sharon at 2.30am this morning. . .

. . . Which shouldn’t affect today’s crossword, but I found it all a bit muddy. Several answers were bung ins which I will attempt to decipher but they are a tad mysterious at the moment. Ah well C’est la vie. A couple of cups of tea should do the trick

These hints and tips have been created lovingly to help those of you who may need help to solve a couple of clues or to understand why an answer is what it is. Usually a clue consists of two parts. 1. A definition, which is usually at the beginning or end of a clue. 2. Wordplay which tells what to do to solve the clue. The hints and tips help with the wordplay of the clues. Definitions are underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Take it power cut is to continue (6)
RESUME: Find a verb meaning to suppose (take it) that something is the case on the basis of probability. Remove (cut) the abbreviation for power. There now, I have resorted to the online dictionary for help with the first clue. Proof positive that I am not a God

4a    Letter opener for post – share with another (6,2)
DOUBLE UP: How one might write out in full the twenty third letter of the alphabet followed by the initial letter of the word post

10a    Daughter having no more, only fish (5,4)
DOVER SOLE: Yay we are only into clue three and our magnanimous setter has decided to feed us. What a top bloke he is. Begin with the abbreviation for daughter (daughters are wonderful). Add an adverb meaning and no one or nothing more besides. That’s the first word done with. The second word is a synonym of the word only.

11a    Start argument (3,2)
SET TO: A double definition. Not too difficult

12a    Row involving stray dog (7)
TERRIER: A regular crosswordland row (not an argument) one of each in a series of rows or levels of a structure placed one above the other like galleries in a theatre contains a word meaning to fail to adhere to the proper or accepted standards (stray)

13a    Husbandry up to the time of decline (7)
TILLAGE: Begin with a less formal way of saying until. Add a noun meaning a distinct time or period of history

14a    Person in charge lost, initially, in street in Paris by river (5)
RULER: Place the initial letter of the word lost inside the French word for a Street. Now add the abbreviation for river

15a    Split peas, absurd price (8)
SEPARATE: An anagram (absurd) of PEAS is followed by a word meaning the cost or price for services rendered

18a    Travel document graduate left (8)
PASSPORT: A noun used to denote success in an examination is followed by the nautical term for left

20a    All-time low in Florida, numbers receding (5)
NADIR: Included (in) the words of the clue. Reversed (receded) which makes it harder to spot. When all else fails look for a lurker

23a    Went round in a mini? (7)
SKIRTED: To be wearing a particular item of clothing also means to have dodged an issue

25a    Thump counter agitatedly (7)
TROUNCE: Anagram (agitatedly) of COUNTER

26a    Love affair starts to affect my Open University revision (5)
AMOUR: The initial letters (starts) of five of the words in the clue.

27a    Deputy, without feeling, wrote anyhow (6,3)
NUMBER TWO: Split 4,5 we have a word meaning without feeling followed by an anagram (anyhow) of WROTE

28a    I am butting in to discourage bore (8)
DIAMETER: The words I am from the clue sit securely inside a word meaning to put off or discourage

29a    Departs at this stage after a fix (6)
ADHERE: A three-parter. The abbreviation for departs. The letter A from the clue. A word meaning at this stage or in this place. A bit of juggling as suggested by the clue should lead to the answer


1d    Bird being studied heard before dawn (8)
REDSTART: A homophone of a word meaning being studied is followed by a word describing dawn or the beginning of something. The result is am flycatcher with an orangery red tail.

2d    More than just a few cut, almost all (7)
SEVERAL: A verb meaning to cut is followed by the last word of the clue which has itself been cut (almost)

3d    Male hanging around to enjoy carnival (5,4)
MARDI GRAS: This answer was a bung in for me which has taken a time to parse. It is worthy of a place in a Toughie. Begin with the abbreviation for Male. Add a wall hanging made of a rich tapestry fabric, typically used to conceal an alcove which contains an informal verb popular in the sixties meaning to like appreciate or understand

5d    Gradually ease temptation in resort (3,4,2,1,4)
ONE STEP AT A TIME: Anagram (in resort) of EASE TEMPTATION

6d    Short account covering a southern herb (5)
BASIL: The letter A from the clue together with the abbreviation of Southern sit inside an account without its final letter (short)

7d    Passage coming from another court (7)
EXTRACT: A word meaning another or a surplus is followed by the abbreviation of court

8d    In favour of exercises prior to run? Correct (6)
PROPER: A three-lettered preposition meaning in favour of is followed by the abbreviation for physical exercise and the cricket abbreviation for run

9d    Agreement in writing (14)
CORRESPONDENCE: An easy double definition

16d    Manage diocese in spot echoing decline (3,2,4)
RUN TO SEED: Oh dear, as Kath would say. Begin with a synonym of the word manage. Find a synonym for a diocese (forget Ely. It’s nothing to do with Ely) surround this with the reverse (in decline) of a word meaning a small round mark or spot

17d    Macabre morgues upset English (8)
GRUESOME: Anagram (upset) of MOURGUES followed by the abbreviation of English

19d    Song about endless division in a state (7)
ARIZONA: An operatic song sits around an area or stretch of land minus its last letter

21d    Eating area Diane cleared, mostly (7)
DINETTE: The abbreviation for the girl’s name Diane is followed by a financial term describing gains cleared but minus its last letter

22d    One’s to touch down in Cuba, say (6)
ISLAND: The letter that looks like the number one is followed by the S from ‘S and a word meaning to touch down as an aeroplane does upon contact with the Earth

24d    Wrong base for cake (5)
TORTE: A legal wrong is followed by the last letter (base) of the word cake

Let the rest of the day begin.

Quickie Puns

Top Row: site+sears=sightseers

Bottom Row: sandy+shore=Sandie Shaw


57 comments on “DT 29109

  1. Flew through this with only the parsing of 3D causing a hiccup. My COTD 4A .

    Very enjoyable and clever , in my opinion .

    Thanks M and the Setter

  2. This puzzle had sone good clues( favourites were 3d and 16d) but it lacked sparkle. Rating was**/**. Thanks to the setter and to MP for help in parsing 4d, which I bunged in.

  3. As gentle as it gets on a Monday, completed at a very fast gallop – 1.5*/3*.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 27a and 9d – and the winner is 9d.
    Thanks to the setter and GMoLI.

  4. All fairly straightforward for a Monday Morning. A couple of little hiccups in the NW. I didn’t know the bird in 1d nor the hanging in 3d, but the grid was filled in a tidy ** time.

    Looks like we are in for a hot one this week.

    Many thanks to all.

  5. I fairly breezed through this, the only issue being the parsing of 4a. I liked several of the clues, including 12a (the old row/tier synonym appears yet again) 15a plus 9 and 22d but thought a couple of the surfaces were laboured, and that overall it was pleasent but nothing more.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for valiantly negotiating his way through the alcohol induced fog.

  6. Very halting start then gradually mastered three-quarters with help from long 9d and 5d but SW held up completion. Failed to parse 4a but with help from MP it became Fav – clever. 28a was last to yield as I had forgotten that meaning of bore. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. Belatedly, in company with MP, I have to admit that 3d was a bung-in as I had forgotten hanging association.

  7. Failed to parse 4a-thanks Kath, perhaps it would have helped if there was an exclamation mark after ‘letter’
    Anyway all the bloggers so far seem to agree on a straightforward solve at around a **/**
    liked 3d and 25a.

  8. I struggled with the NE corner for quite a while but everything else fell into place quite smoothly. I did have a few bung ins but, thanks to M, they ended up making sense. My COTD is 16d.

    Thank you to all concerned.

  9. Enjoyable (a useful code word) puzzle. 28a the favourite with 3d a close second. Thanks to both setter and solver today for the fun.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week. I found this great fun, not too tricky, with some very original clues. Started with 12a, finished with 1d. Loved 3d, took a while to parse, but my favourite was 28a. Was 2*/4* for me.

    1. Just testing to see if I can post without an incognito tab, now the site has changed.

  11. It must get pretty hot in Barrow in FURNACE (perhaps they should twin with Sutton COALFIELD to provide the wherewithal); sorry, couldn’t resist.

  12. As a result of some of the comments in last week’s survey, I am trying out some changes to the way comments are treated. These changes are 95% from Mr K with the rest from me! I hope you all like them.

    1. I like the fact that the comment numbers are back – it will make it a lot easier to say to people (especially at weekends) have a look at comment x further up the page

    2. I like the fact that the comments are numbered again and also that any replies are all cuddled up together in a nice little box.

      1. And all done for the love of the thing. Very much appreciated Big Dave. Thank you.

    3. Never had any numbers for the comments on the Windows phone version so didn’t notice anything but congratulations to you guys for looking after this 10 years old baby.

  13. I really enjoyed this, made me feel brilliant!
    I bunged in 4a, so thanks to the Monkey Man for unravelling that.
    I liked lots, maybe 5d was fave.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and to the MM for the hints and pics.

  14. I too am in the 3d bung in camp and appreciate the parsing by Tweeter (or is it Monkey Man) other than that steady away for a Monday I was feeling a bit of ennui for 28a until I found the right bore.
    Thanks to MP and setter. Time to water the toms.

  15. A reasonably entertaining crossword to start the week. No real holdups encountered.
    4a was my favourite clue.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MM somewhere in the jungle for his review.

  16. Pleasantly straightforward and enjoyable for a sunny Monday afternoon. 4a was my COTD with an honourable mention for 1a and 3d. I seem to recall the hanging in question was much used in Shakespeare’s plays, either to hide behind or to leave a body.

    Thanks very much to our setter and MP.

    I very much like the new format for the site, and it is good to have the comments numbered again.

  17. I enjoyed it but never skate through anyway so among those where it’s never easy.
    4A had to be what it is but still don’t understand why even with the kind explanation.
    Thank you as always.

      1. Welcome GG – have no fear there are some of us who like both! 🏌️‍♀️🙂.

  18. On the whole ok but I thought 4a is just plain silly.
    Could someone with a greater brain power than me please explain 1a as I don’t understand the hint or the clue apart from the bit about ‘to continue’.
    Learnt a now bird in 1d.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Hi Brian – Add the abbreviation for Power to the front of your answer to get a word for ‘take it’.
      The clue is the other way round – start with the ‘take it’ word and remove P(ower)

  19. reasonably straightforward but had to bung in 3d and 4a. Thank you to MP for the excellent hints. Also thanks to setter

  20. Too hot – the garden has gone completely flopsy bunny and so have I.
    Probably as a result of that I found the crossword rather flat – in other words nothing made me laugh.
    I didn’t have too much trouble getting the answers but untangling a few took a while – 4a, 28a because of thinking of the wrong kind of bore and I’d forgotten the ‘hanging’ in 3d.
    I know the BRB disagrees with me but I don’t think I’d call a 24d a cake.
    I liked 4a (eventually) and 26a and my favourite was 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.
    I’m a bit mystified as to why MP says, “Thanks Kath” – I haven’t done anything!

    1. I wouldn’t call 24d a cake either, and I think the ‘base’ is e in mathematics

      1. That’s what I thought, and otherwise “cake” would be doing double service as a part of the clue and the definition. Sorry for the late comment – only did this puzzle today.

      1. Ah – OK – now I get it – I’d forgotten. See, I told you all quite recently that my brain was full of mashed spuds and porridge – perhaps we could add a bit of scrambled egg to that lot! Oh dear! Just too much other stuff going on. :sad:

  21. That broke the record for bung-in’s and as a result was something of a slog. I certainly did not find it easy, I did it like the quick crossword, try and find the definition and ignore the wordplay.
    Thanks MP and Mr.Ron

      1. That’s a tad patronising. Some setter’s, like this and Giovanni I struggle with, that’s all.

    1. Holy smoke!!! Having gone through MP’s excellent hint, I am amazed everyone found it so easy.
      Isn’t the ‘base’ in 24d the mathematical thing I never understand?

  22. Nice start to the week😃 **/*** Liked 27a & 28a 👍 Thanks to MP and to the Setter 😉 Especially for explaining 4a 😳

  23. 4a was a bung in. I was torn between “divide up” and the answer. Once I’d got the down clues, the answer was obvious, but I didn’t know why. I needed the review for the explanation. Very funny. Clue of the day for me. Thank you setter, Tweeter and the Monkey Man.

  24. 75% clues flew in on first pass ,,, wow! Made me feel clever anyway. Then the remaining clues I struggled with or did bung ins… hmm!
    I felt some of the clues stretched or a bit awkward for me.
    BD- format of new site fine for me.
    Thanks to setter & MP for review & assistance.

  25. Two clues stood out for me in this very enjoyable crossword: 4a and 28a.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the super review.

  26. I believe Tweeter omitted “decline” in his solution to 13 across and wrongly explained explained “base” in 24 down (should be mathematical base E). Also, two stars was a serious underestimate of the level of difficulty. Brian.

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