DT 29119 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29119

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29119

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun is peeping through the clouds as I write, and it looks as though we may have a dry day.

The top half of today’s Giovanni went in quickly for me, but I slowed down considerably in the lower half. Solvers allergic to religious references may struggle in places.

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           Christopher gets to talk at length about soldier’s item (6)
KITBAG – A diminutive form of ‘Christopher’, followed by the reverse (about) of a word for talking at length, often seen in the phrase ‘gift of the —‘.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi1dCBWQROw” /]

5a           Talk about King — is male in reform movement? (8)
CHARTISM – This early 19th-century reform movement is made up of another word for an informal talk wrapped around the Latin abbreviation for ‘king’, followed by IS (from the clue) and Male.

9a           Sailor comes to Scottish island with speech — gets folk working together (13)
COLLABORATION – Put together the name of an island in the Inner Hebrides, one of the usual sailors, and a formal speech.

10a         Irrationality of internationalists concerning a young man? (8)
UNREASON – Put together the initials of the top international organisation, the Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’. A (from the clue), and a young man or male child.

11a         Something proposed at meeting creating a stir? (6)
MOTION – Double definition, the first being a topic put up for debate at a meeting.

12a         A bit of money needed by soldiers in HQ? (6)
CENTRE – A small coin in the US or Euro currency, followed by the regiment of engineers frequently met in crosswords.

14a         Fish, black fish, playing around in the water? (8)
DABBLING – Put together a small flat fish, the abbreviation for Black, and another fish, this time a member of the cod family.

Image result for dab fishImage result for ling fish

16a         Only some in performance left (8)
DEPARTED – An action or performance wrapped around a word for ‘only some’ or ‘not all’.

19a         See northern fellow in the metropolis (6)
LONDON – Put together a command to ‘See!’, Northern, and a university fellow.

21a         Time for the weekend to begin in China (6)
FRIEND – Split the answer (3,3) to get something which could be construed as the finish of the working week, or find a synonym for the Cockney rhyming slang word ‘China’.

23a         Beaten, showing a white face? (8)
LATHERED – The white face would be if you were in the early stages of having a wet shave.

25a         Dull, like a blank sheet of paper? (13)
CHARACTERLESS – Since there are none of the individual components of a text on a blank sheet of paper, it could be said to be this word.

26a         You want the earth? You’d better show this! (8)
MEEKNESS – The answer is the characteristic which needs to be shown by those who ‘shall inherit the earth’, according to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5).

27a         After party daughter is given something valuable — a vehicle (6)
DODGEM – Put together one of the usual crossword parties, Daughter, and a precious stone.

Image result for dodgem cars


2d           In church smeller misses nothing — this included? (7)
INCENSE – Start with IN (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the Church of England, than add the organ used to smell with, missing the letter which looks like a zero or nothing.

3d           Bishop meeting the lady in Paris — lovely female (5)
BELLE – The chess notation for a Bishop followed by a French feminine pronoun.

4d           Good Scottish girls taking time, most lacking in emotion? (9)
GLASSIEST Good, followed by some Scottish young girls, followed by Time.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcCyHc89m7A” /]

5d           Like many a king that’s boasted about knight (7)
CROWNED – Another ord for ‘boasted’ wrapped around the chess notation for a knight.

6d           In the manner of fighting force creating fear (5)
ALARM – A French phrase (1,2) for ‘in the manner of’ followed by the initials of a British amphibious fighting force.

7d           Left in hot train, suffering — one needs lots of exercise! (9)
TRIATHLON – Anagram (suffering) of L(eft) and HOT TRAIN.

8d           Newspaper depressed when shining light leaves (7)
SUNDOWN – The name of a tabloid newspaper in the UK, followed by ‘depressed’.

13d         Skill rising with country losing any number? That’s a sort of sign (9)
TRADEMARK – Reverse (rising) a word for ‘skill’, then add a European country minus the algebraic expression for ‘any number’.

15d         Given extra overnight support? (9)
BOLSTERED – This word for ‘given support’ could also refer to the provision of a large pillow.

17d         Each artist cum revolutionary can be a pain! (7)
EARACHE – Put together an abbreviation for ‘each. The usual crossword artist, and the usual crossword revolutionary.

18d         Expands various details (7)
DILATES – Anagram (various) of DETAILS.

20d         Be responsible for lines written in Old English (7)
OVERSEE – The two-letter abbreviation for Old English wrapped around some lines of poetry.

22d         Cover doctor placed over animal (5)
DRAPE – An abbreviation for ‘doctor’ followed by a wild animal of a species close to our own.

24d         Correct person to work on article about soldiers (5)
EMEND – The abbreviation for someone responsible for a newspaper article wrapped around some (male) soldiers.

The Quick Crossword pun SCENT + RALEIGH = CENTRALLY

39 comments on “DT 29119

  1. At first this seemed like a continuation of last Friday’s Giovanni puzzle; benevolent. Steamed through the top half but a few in the bottom half (15d, 23a, 21a and 26a) needed more thought. The whole thing was thoroughly enjoyable. 2*/4*

    Favourite was 26a. Clever and reminded me of a wonderful line in The Life of Brian (the film not our participant)

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  2. Firstly can I say a BIG thank you to the Daily Telegraph for a whole week of back page crosswords actually turning up on the back page of the paper :yahoo: I bet we get an advert tomorrow :(

    Mr Manley’s crosswords appear in three places today – the DT one was definitely the most solver friendly so thank you to him and DT

    When you’ve finished the DT crosswords plus the Graun and FT, there’s a lovely Silvanus crossword in today’s Independent

    1. Excellent, a Times toughie and a Silvanus smiley should keep me occupied for a while – thanks for the tip-off CS

  3. No problems here although I did check on the ‘beaten’ definition of 23a – more familiar with an ‘e’ following the ‘a’!

    Ticks went to the fish playing around in the water and the simple but effective 21a.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – those tunes go back a fair way but remain evergreen.

    I’d second CS over the Silvanus puzzle in the Independent – the Sparks Toughie is surprisingly accessible as well.

  4. This puzzle was really enjoyable (****) and reasonably challenging for difficulty (**) particularly in the SW corner. Thanks to Giovanni. I really liked 13d, 21a and 26a. Thanks to DT for the hints.

  5. Although I had 26a correct, I had to read the hints to understand why. A little bit tricky but very enjoyable. Thanks to all.

    1. Mandela, if you now understand 21a, could you please explain it? I don’t get it from the hints.

      1. Cockney slang ‘China’ = ‘China plate’ = ‘mate’ = ‘friend’

        FRI= Friday + END = ‘When the weekend begins’

        1. Yes, I got the Cockney reference and the abbreviation for Friday, but missed the addition of “end”. Silly me! Thanks for pointing that out.

  6. Why did I struggle with the SW corner?
    On reflection, I should not have done so.
    So, *** for difficulty for me.
    Great puzzle, a real challenge.
    Many thanks Giovanni and DT for the review.

  7. 1.5*/2*. Straightforward and reasonably enjoyable with 21a my favourite. 8d is an Americanism. Collins Online agrees but sadly my BRB doesn’t.
    Thanks to DG and DT.

    1. My Big Blue Book says 8d is simply another word for sunset – if only language were an exact science…

  8. I had the wrong ending for 9a, for a short time, until I’d parsed 8d. I was just being impatient. The clue does say “speech”, not “speaking.” No excuse for getting that wrong. I was trying to watch the Test Match, so not really concentrating. I have two favourites today, 14a and 21a. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

  9. A game of two halves for me . Top fairly quickly , then after Tai Chi , struggled with SW corner although it contains my favourites .

    Enjoyable challenge .

    Are the days of umpires on the field numbered ?

    Thanks to everyone .

  10. Having completed the Toughie and the back page, I am amazed that, gathering from the above correspondence, some contributors manage to solve at least 4 acrosswords a day. They must either be very quick or the washing up is piling up in the sink! I’m impressed.

  11. Filled in the top half quickly, could not do any of the bottom. Usual Friday.
    Thanks all.

    1. Funny, I managed the south first and struggled with the north. How different we all are!

  12. As is usual for me on a Friday, I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and, like others, had the top half completed before the bottom.

    I loved the penny drop moment when I realised I should be thinking “sermon on the mount”, unlike some others I don’t mind the religious references. My catholic upbringing has its uses.

    15d was my last one in and when I got it I couldn’t really see why.

    Very many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  13. Continuing on my musings from yesterday another crossword which I didn’t enjoy. I know all’s fair in love and war (a synonym for crossword) but a couple of strange words (unreason and glassiest) I hadn’t come across before rather spoilt it for me.
    Difficulty 4*, enjoyment 2*. Many thanks to Deep Threat for the hints and Giovanni for confusing me

  14. I found this very, very tricky. I never did get 12a, and only solved 23a with electronic help. I solved 24d but wrote in the wrong first letter by careless mistake, this made 23a a no-word.
    I found lots to like here, I didn’t mind the Biblical references, being churched and chapeled for most of my formative years at school. Fave was 26a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints and clips, my first record (vinyl) was Harry Lauder, brings back memories.

  15. I found this puzzle both enjoyable but very tricky 😳 ***/*** there was only one word that fitted 21a but I could not figure why until the “doh” moment when I read the hint! 😬 Favourites 14 & 27a 🤗 Thanks to the Devious One AKA Giovanni and to DT for the nice blog

  16. Hmm, I found this to be a regular example of the Don’s art. I started at the top and just kept going. 21a was my last entry and also my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  17. Ok but i hated the biblical references which i find offensive.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Brian, I am not keen on biblical references either, nor ancient celebrities and the like, but hate is a strong word and should not be used flippantly.
      Why not use your eloquence to better describe your experience of the puzzle? I chose not to comment, as it was not to my taste, but every crossword cannot be tailored to your personal preferences.
      I’m not impressed by folks with flashy cars – more money than sense in my view – but hate? No.

      1. Extremely well put LBR :-) My personal dislike, if I have to admit to having one is foreign phrases, especially Latin ones, but I seldom go on about it.

      2. Brian makes these comments probably designed to offend but rarely if ever replies to the responses.

    2. This is an interesting topic which may stem from the Greek word praus, translated here as meek, but can also mean gentle, humble, or mild. The word praus was also used to describe the calm demeanour of war horses, not scared by the noise and violence of battle.

      Some view the translation to meek as offensive, since it could be interpreted as… “be submissive and you will be rewarded”.

      It also seems that our society sometimes struggles with strong words, both in their source and consumption.

      ne odio unius formula ?

      Mr T

      ps – double plus unhated the puzzle

  18. As others I romped through most of this but ground to a crawl in SW. Still enjoyed it all and didn’t get offended by any references biblical or otherwise.
    Too many good clues to pick a podium and thanks to DT and Gio for the fish supper for a Friday.

  19. With two checkers in we tried to justify ORIENT for 21a until we could not get any parsing to work so looked further. An enjoyable solve with the biggest chuckle coming from 26a.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT

  20. Tricky but entertaining is the best description for this Giovanni.
    Last one in was 25ac, which I could not fathom until DTs superb review… many thanks to you.
    Grateful to the Don for a perfect finish to the week.

  21. This was a good one for me. No particular problem save for 27a which I thought could be weakness “weakness for something”, “wanting too much”. As not certain I checked to see if anything else fitted whereupon the answer was obvious and an excellent clue. Last one in was 23a largely because I didn’t get the “white face” connection. Thanks setter for the satisfaction and hinter to enlighten me with the parsing of 23a.

  22. Just right, not too long and not too short. I gave up on the white face and the doctor’s animal and was glad of the hints which worked just fine. I did get 26a unhinted eventually and consider it to be the best clue I have ever seen. Many thanks to both setter and hinter. Apologies for lateness, I get my DT back page second hand.

  23. 3*/2*….
    Liked 8D ” newspaper depressed when shining light leaves (7) ”
    I see that the ubiquitous crossword antelope makes an appearance in the quickie.

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