DT 29110 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29110

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29110

Hints and tips by Mr K

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


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday.  Today's puzzle features several clues with cunning misdirection, which I came to appreciate even more while writing the hints.  I'm partial to clues like that, so I've bumped up the enjoyment rating.  I look forward to reading what everybody thought of it.  I'm wondering if our setter might be a (1-4) sports car?

Many thanks from me and BD to the hundreds of readers who replied to last week's survey.  We learned that the most popular devices used to read the blog are iPads (38%), Windows computers (24%), and Android phones and tablets (24%).  Only 8% of respondents don't like the new theme and everybody thinks the site is fast enough.  Several responses mentioned difficulties following the threaded comments, which we have now tried to address by reducing white space inside comments and by adding a number and a border to top-level comments.  We also learned that iPad users like the big font and wide spacing, while readers using computers would like pages to appear more compressed on their big screens.  In the hints and tips section of my blog today I'm trialling a smaller font.  I'd appreciate hearing whether it looks better on computer screens and if it's still legible on iPads.  Any other comments that will help us fine tune the theme are most welcome.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions, cryptic definitions, and all-in-one definitions.  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    Scheme to avoid returning after school (8)
SCHEDULE:  A verb meaning to avoid is reversed (returning) and placed after the abbreviation for school

5a    Rarely succeeded with student in contrary manner (6)
SELDOM:  Follow the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded with the usual student or learner driver inserted in the reversal (contrary…) of a manner or way of doing something

10a   Doctor changed for lunch that's headed by the Queen (6,2,7)

11a   State how old one is? That's mean (7)
AVERAGE:  Put together state or assert with a short word for how old one is

12a   Beggar ignoring first cause of fire? (7)
LIGHTER:  An informal word for a scamp or beggar minus its first letter (… ignoring first)

13a   Food course hospital dropped off takes the edge off illnesses (8)
DISEASES:  Food prepared for a meal loses the abbreviation for hospital (hospital dropped off) and is followed by a verb meaning "takes the edge off"

15a   Question friend about eating over time (5)
DOUBT:  The reversal (about) of an informal word for a friend containing (eating) the cricket abbreviation for over is followed by the physics symbol for time 

18a   The man wears animal fleece (5)
CHEAT:  A pronoun for "the man" contained in (wearing) the best animal

20a   Type of speech that's reported in dreadful court (8)
INDIRECT:  Assemble IN from the clue, dreadful or terrible, and the abbreviation for court

23a   Mo isn't running with a new top on today (7)
INSTANT:  Concatenate an anagram (running) of ISN'T with A from the clue, the abbreviation for new, and the first letter of (top on) Today

25a   Adore holding son back (7)
REVERSE:  A synonym of adore containing (holding) the genealogical abbreviation for son

26a   Was having allium prepared, notes man? (7,8)
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS:  An anagram (…prepared) of WAS HAVING ALLIUM.  The definition refers, cryptically, to an English composer

27a   Leave pudding after losing heart (6)
DESERT:  A generic pudding after losing its central letter (heart)

28a   No resistance after Tory runs for leader (8)
GOVERNOR:  NO from the clue and the physics symbol for electrical resistance both come after an ambitious Tory politician and the cricket abbreviation for runs



1d    Spies supporting very large party (6)
SOCIAL:  Some usual spies after (supporting, in a down clue) very or really are themselves followed by the clothing abbreviation for large

2d    One trapped inside unfortunately who endlessly uses iron? (9)
HOUSEWIFE:  The Roman one is inserted in (trapped inside) an anagram (unfortunately …) of WHO and USE[s] without its last letter (endlessly…), and then the chemical symbol for iron is stuck on the end of that lot.  The entire clue is both wordplay and definition, making this an all-in-one or &lit clue

3d    Editor picked up girl's broadcast (7)
DECLARE:  The reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of the abbreviation for editor, followed by a girl's name that's also an Irish county

4d    John almost set free (5)
LOOSE:  Put together what john can denote informally and all but the last letter (almost) of SE[t]

6d    Tied up -- and about to tie the knot (7)
ENGAGED:  A double definition. The knot refers to marriage

7d    Plan to put daughter on basic river craft (5)
DRAFT:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter followed by (on, in a down clue) a basic river craft

8d    Reasonable  chair (8)
MODERATE:  Another double definition.  Chair a debate, for example

9d    Found cereal is edible, to an extent (8)
REALISED:  The answer is hiding as part of (… to an extent) the remainder of the clue

14d   Changing dress at home before golf (8)
SHIFTING:  Join together a loose woman's dress (loose describing the dress, not the woman), at home or not out, and the letter represented by golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet

16d   Erratic aunt nicer when drunk (9)
UNCERTAIN:  An anagram (…when drunk) of AUNT NICER

17d   That is Victor in pain, head of department realised (8)
ACHIEVED:  Fuse together the Latin abbreviation for "that is" and the letter represented by victor in the NATO phonetic alphabet, and then insert that lot in a dull pain. Finish by appending the first letter of (head of) Department

19d   One educates revolutionary about race? On the contrary (7)
TEACHER:  On the contrary tells us to put race about revolutionary, so we want race or dash containing (about) the usual revolutionary

21d   Wheel radius to change gradually (7)
REVOLVE:  The single letter for radius with to change gradually, Darwin-style

22d   Possible source of steam bloke heard (6)
GEYSER:  A homophone (heard) of a bloke or old man.  The homophone doesn't work in the US or New Zealand - compare here the UK and US pronunciations of the answer - but it’s a UK puzzle so I'm explaining, not complaining

24d   Avoids barbarians after start of skirmish (5)
SHUNS:  A race of barbarians comes after the first letter of (start of) Skirmish

25d   Transported heroin, not ecstasy, for cash (5)
RHINO:  An anagram (transported) of H[e]ROIN minus the single letter for the drug ecstasy (not ecstasy).  The answer is a slang word for cash 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My list of top clues included 11a, 18a, 28a, 1d, and 4d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SIR + KIT + BORED = CIRCUIT BOARD

47 comments on “DT 29110

  1. 2*/3.5*. I found this to be an enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle, and I tend to agree with Mr K that this may well be the work of X-Type.

    I won’t complain about the Americanism in 15a as it has probably become quite common usage over here now, and, because the puzzle was such good fun, I’ll turn a blind eye to the girl in 3d.

    2d made me laugh and makes it onto my podium, alongside 11a & 18a. Mr K’s wonderful picture for 18a is priceless. :good:

    Although the larger font was OK on my laptop, this smaller one is slightly better.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  2. I found this puzzle difficult to start-as usual this means the NW corner, once I got going a steady solve followed and the clueing was a treat.
    Somewhere around a ***/**** as per Mr K.
    liked the surface of 10a and my favourite was 2d followed by 24d which was short and to the point.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K-liked the cat hat!

  3. Difficulty ***
    But small font not good for my iPad; given me a headache

    Thanks to all for super fun

  4. Good puzzle and well commented by Mr K. Never heard of rhino being money though. Bread, wonga, dough, sponduliks, etc.

    1. Store “rhino” in your memory banks, Max, as it crops up a lot in crosswords. I’m sure Mr K can quantify the number of appearances in Telegraph cryptics in 2019.

      1. I’ll see if I can do a rhino count later today.

        Max, it’s popularity in crosswordland is why BD included it on the page hyperlinked in the hint.

  5. A bit of a head scratcher which was not a lot of fun, but the lasting effects of 90 minutes in the dentist’s chair may have had an impact – **/**.
    Favourite 11a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    I like the way comments are presented, but not too keen on the smaller font, perhaps narrower margins would help.

    1. Thanks, Senf. The font size for the hints and tips part is 7% smaller today, but the font size used in the comments is unchanged.

  6. There were sone really good clues in this puzzle. I really enjoyed 20a, 26a, 2d (when the penny finally dropped) and 21a. However, some clues were a little less enjoyable, particularly where over- extended synonyms were used and the durface was a bit muddly. Overall ***/*** for me today. Thanks to Mr K and to the setter.

  7. By the time I had broken the back of this puzzle, I was convinced it was the work of one of our less well-known compilers.

    I had the grid completed in ***/**** time, but with a big question mark over 14d. There’s another S?I?T dress, too. DOH!

    RD says he won’t mention the girl in 3d, so I will.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr.K. for his efforts.

  8. Hard going. Liked the hints for 18a and 26a. Also the lovely music. Last one in 16d. Thought the answer was a bit of a stretch for erratic. 2d was a bung in. Don’t really understand it now. Still thanks to Mr K and setter.

    1. Hi, bryngwyn. 2d is given by I inserted in an anagram of WHO USE, with FE appended. Does that help?

        1. The entire clue, read as depicting a housewife as a poor woman trapped indoors doing endless ironing, is the definition.

            1. I didn’t appreciate the clue either – but Mr K’s illustration more than compensated 😊

  9. I found the North was more user-friendly than the South which was slower going. RD in Comment 5 above says 25d is a cruciverbal regular however if so it has eluded me but I will now make a mental note of it for future reference. For better, for worse (I don’t really mind) Uncle Sam’s slang continues to creep into our daily DT/ST enigma viz 15a and 4d. No Fav today. Thanks Mysteron and MrK. For my part I prefer the larger font and possibly less wasted space around the Comments.

  10. Hmm, it took me a while to get a toehold but thereafter everything seemed to accelerate. 4d was my favourite when I finally realised which John was required.
    Thanks to the setter for a pleasant challenge and also to Mr K for the review and pics.
    Ps. The new layout suits me and the I-pad just fine. Thank you for all your hard work.

  11. Another enjoyable crossword with some good clues although some others were over complicated , in my opinion .
    22D gave the biggest laugh so is my COTD .
    Thanks to the Setter and yet again to Mr K (all looks good on my iPad ).

  12. Bottom half went in with little trouble. The top half took some time to sort out but eventually I was able to say this was an enjoyable puzzle which was solved before I came to the blog.

    28a a shoo(?) in for favourite clue of the day. Thanks to Mr K and setter for their sterling work.

  13. Not allowed to post the following comment as I was told a duplicate comment had been detected. But where I fondly ask. And answer came there none. WTF?

    Bottom half went in with little trouble. The top half took some time to sort out but eventually I was able to say this was an enjoyable puzzle which was solved before I came to the blog.

    28a a shoo(?) in for favourite clue of the day. Thanks to Mr K and setter for their sterling work.

    1. No 13 above? I often find I accidentally try to post twice. Perhaps we keep our finger on the key too long. Don’t fret about it.

  14. I also found this puzzle difficult to start but once under way it all fell into place 😃 ***/*** Favourites 11 & 20a and 14 & 22d 😉 Enjoyed listening to 26a 🎼 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 🤗 Very hot here in Cambs 🌞 a good excuse for the elderly to sit in the cool and not do a lot ⛱ 🍺

  15. Completed this before I left the house this morning so will have to comment from memory. I enjoyed it on the whole with no particular hold ups, although the bottom half was in before the top.

    I liked the two long ones and many others, but really hated 4d.

    Many thanks to setter and Mr. K.

    I like the new layout on my iPad and just stretch it a bit to increase the font.

  16. Very enjoyable but pretty tricky for me. The long ones went in on first reading, so that was a great help; thanks Mr. K for the clip at 26a.
    I have no idea why but I got stuck in the NW corner and needed help to get going again, really, nothing was too obscure there.
    I put the wrong dress in 14d and, of course, never understood the “changing” bit, also didn’t remember the Tory fella in 28a and had to google.
    I’m choosing 18a as fave based on Mr. K’s pic.
    Thanks to our setter, great fun, and to Mr. K for the usual informative review.

  17. I thought overall that was clunky and contrived. It will however serve to make me grateful for a dose of Jay’s wonderfully refined excellence tomorrow!!

  18. For the first time in years, I had to look at a hint to get me into this one. Not sure whether or not the heat is addling my brain but I found this quite difficult. Like others, I had never heard of Rhino as cash but it has been filed for future reference.

    Thanks to all concerned.

  19. Late in today as I was playing lunch hostess to a couple of neighbours – not the ideal day to pick given the temperatures here!
    Completed most of this early morning but had to come back to 13a after my guests departed and it still took me a fair while to untangle the wordplay.

    Think that 11a topped the list here with Mr K’s illustration for 10a hard on its heels.

    Thanks to Mr X and to Mr K for the blog – today’s font is SO much better on my laptop (even though I still mourn the loss of the original format).

  20. Took a little time to adjust into the wavelength for this one, bottom half in quicker than top.
    Clever clues, some of which threw me right off course & the more I got the grid filled in the more appreciation I was giving to the setter.
    Thanks to setter & MrK for review & direction.
    As a note I view the blog on my iPhone & don’t seem to have any problems.

  21. Thanks, Mr K, for the pronunciation help on 22a. I had no idea people pronounced it that way. Still happened to get it correct because I figured the bloke was a “guy-sir.” But, come to think of it, I’ve never actually called anyone a guy-sir…

  22. Luckily for us we had heard of the 28a politician or we could have had problems there and we did know that UK folk use a different pronunciation to us for the 22d answer. 2d took a while to unpick the wordplay.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron (X-Type) and Mr K.

  23. I thought i would wait until late in the evening before commenting on what i thought was one of the worst puzzles for a long time. Although it was solvable if you ignored some of the crazy wordplay, it was very irritating.
    Thx for the hints

  24. Puzzle was fine
    A couple of minor observations re the format tweaks Mr K, none of which are really problems
    Font-size, no problem either way;
    Aesthetically the missing separating line between ‘Commenter, Timestamp’ and ‘Comment’ looks odd;
    When I comment, there is a strike line through ‘Click to edit’ and ‘Request deletion’ – it just looks a bit wrong

    1. Thanks, LbR. Are you talking about the reduced space between the date/time line and the comment text?

      I believe that the apparent strikeout through the Edit text is a misplaced hyperlink underline. I’ll see if we can do anything about that.

      1. e.g. in the comment above:

        JULY 23, 2019 AT 9:31 PM
        Puzzle was fine…

        I somehow expect a separation between title details and content such as :
        JULY 23, 2019 AT 9:31 PM

        Puzzle was fine… etc
        As I said, it’s not a problem as such and personally I find JS plugins and CSS a bit of nightmare, so I’m just happy to see the site up and running and regard any shortcomings as of my own making

        Thanks very much indeed Mr K for the work you clearly put in

        1. The challenge is making it easy to distinguish the comments in a thread. To my eye that was harder when there was a big gap between the date/time line and the start of the comment text. Right now there’s a paragraph break and of course the different font, size, and colour. But I will check again what things look like with a bigger gap there.

  25. I like the layout on I-pad. On I-phone I don’t get numbers and still get the long strings of letters on the linked remarks. This doesn’t matter as can’t suit every person or device! I like commenting on my IPhone when on the move but annoys me I have to put my name and details in every time. Used to be the case on Ipad but saves it now!

  26. Thanks as always for help on the clues I couldn’t decipher. An enjoyable solve. Completely missed the survey last week so was relieved that it wasn’t my eyesight that had suddenly deteriorated when I found the print a bit small. (I’m always on my iPhone by the way.) Large or small, new theme or old, I wouldn’t be without the Blog. Thank you.

  27. A very nice Tuesday puzzle. Good clues, some quite tricky, just above average difficulty and very enjoyable to solve. Fav: 2d. 3* / 4*

    PS. I like the latest improvements to the layout. Having the comments/threads in numbered boxes is good. Is it not possible to reduce the left-hand margin on the comments area down to the narrower l.h. margin on the review above, so the full width of the screen is being utilised more? I’d be happy with the reduced font size throughout, but I use a desktop computer with a largish monitor – not sure if it would be too small to read on a smart phone or other smaller device? Keep up the good work!

    1. I agree about using more of the left-hand side of the screen but please, please don’t make the font any smaller! This puzzle took me ages – I’ve only just finished it and was stumped by 1d. An enjoyable struggle, though. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Loved the cat on the man’s head.

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