DT 29130 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29130

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29130

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. This is definitely a Ray T crossword – I didn’t think it was quite as straightforward as the one two weeks ago but it’s far from being his most difficult.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Dark heart of husband is malicious (6)
DISMAL — The first lurker or hidden answer – it’s hiding in the middle of the last three words of the clue – not a good start for me as I always miss these and today was no exception. My sister, who is staying with us, has just looked over my shoulder and she says this is a rotten illustration for the answer and that if she was looking at it she’d think POND!

4a        Fish sauce over leafy vegetable (8)
PILCHARD — A reversal (over) of a  short word meaning sauce or cheek is followed by a green leafy vegetable that’s a bit like spinach

9a        Posts affected vacant texts? (6)
TWEETS — A synonym for affected or dainty is followed by the first and last letters (vacant or with nothing in the middle) of T[ext]S

10a       Starter of spicy Indian dishes causes runs (8)
SCURRIES — The first letter (starter) of S[picy] is followed by a general term for Indian food

12a       Cheese and crackers after meal half rejected (8)
EMMENTAL — The first two letters (half) of ME[al] is reversed (rejected) and is followed by another way of saying crackers or a bit loopy

13a       Some psychopath on Shutter Island (6)
HONSHU — The second lurker of the day which is indicated by the first word of the clue – I missed this one too

15a       Air of innocence following the man’s cruelty (13)
HEARTLESSNESS — A pronoun that means ‘the man’ is followed by an air of innocence or lack of sophistication

18a       Sadly date Republican without a chance (13)
UNPREDICTABLE — An anagram (sadly) of DATE REPUBLICAN minus one of the ‘A’ (without A) My anagram ‘fodder’ and my ability to count the number of letters went a bit wrong this morning! Thanks, Gazza, for pointing it out.

22a       Opening wine going with nearly everything (6)
PORTAL — A fortified wine is followed by most of (nearly) a little word that means everything or total

24a       Clip contains Queen period legacy (8)
HERITAGE — This kind of clip is the kind that someone might get round the ear if they’d been very naughty (rather than a verb to shorten) and it contains the two letters that are the regnal cipher of our Queen – follow all that with a period or time

26a       Female finally in extremely bloody parable (8)
ALLEGORY — The last letter (finally) of [femal]E goes in between (in) a synonym for extremely or fully and a word that means bloody or bleeding

27a       Creature’s back showing bony plates (6)
LAMINA — A reversal (back) of a creature or a beast

28a       Tweeted about husband getting excited (8)
THRILLED — Tweeted here is nothing to do with what President Trump does inappropriately – it’s the sound that a bird makes and it contains (about) the abbreviation for H[usband]

29a       A fellow lives for handsome young man (6)
ADONIS — The ‘A’ from the clue, a fellow or a university lecturer and, finally, a synonym for lives or exists



1d        Customs of The French Connection heading south (6)
DUTIES — The little short word that means ‘of the’ in French is followed by another word for a connection or a link and then the abbreviation for S[outh]

2d        Crew in shackles disheartened in vessel (9)
STEAMSHIP — A crew or a side is contained in (in) the first and last letters (disheartened) of S[hackle]S – then that lot is finished off with a little word that means ‘in’ or stylish

3d        A queen mounted supporting insect appendage (7)
ANTENNA — A reversal (mounted) of the first name of an 18thC Queen goes after (supporting) a small insect

5d        Craving hag missing wife to begin (4)
ITCH — A five letter hag or an ugly old crone without her first letter (which is the abbreviation for W[ife]  

6d        Loads motor then sets off (7)
CARGOES — A common motor or vehicle is followed by a verb that means to set off or leave

7d        Improper young lady with ace top (5)
AMISS — A young lady or unmarried woman is preceded by (top) the abbreviation for A[ce]

8d        Detective’s men told to provide cover (8)
DISGUISE — One of the many abbreviations for a detective, with his (or her) ‘S is followed by a homophone (told) of men or chaps

11d      Head likely taken by original murderer (7)
CAPTAIN — The name of the  eldest son of Adam and Eve who bumped off his brother contains (taken by) a little word meaning likely or suitable

14d      Skin of sweetheart covered in froth (7)
LEATHER — Some froth or foam from soap contains the middle letter (heart) of swEet

16d      Height of evil — atone somehow (9)
ELEVATION — An anagram (somehow) of EVIL ATONE

17d      Topple possibly seeing drink works (8)
SUPPLANT — A little short synonym of a verb to drink is followed by some works or factories

19d      Support section of church overturning gospel (7)
EVANGEL — A support or a prop and the main part of a church are both reversed (overturning)

20d      Criminal outfit takes on another outfit (7)
BRIGAND — Two ‘outfits’ here – one inside the other (takes on) – the outside one is a musical outfit or group and the one that goes inside is a shorter word that means equipment or kit

21d      Beams outside empty electoral broadcasts (6)
RELAYS — Some beams or shafts of light contain (outside) the first and last letters (empty) of E[lectora]L

23d      Regent usually leading England’s reign primarily? (5)
RULER – The first letters (primarily) of the rest of the words of the clue

25d      Native American belief system is endless (4)
CREE — A system of belief or principles without its last letter (endless)

I liked 4 and 28a and 7 and 8d.

The Quickie Pun:- NUMB + BUT + HEN = NUMBER TEN

77 comments on “DT 29130

  1. Finished in an ok time but did not enjoy as much as usual for a Ray T crossword for some unknown reason . Perhaps still recovering from my birthday celebration yesterday .

    8D my COTD .

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. Enjoyable and about par for a Ray T, I thought. Thanks to him and Kath for her usual entertaining blog. I counted only two anagrams – I wonder if he’s moving towards the Beam standard of none at all?
    The anagram fodder in 18a is overlong – “without A” needs to be taken into account with the definition being just the last word of the clue.

    1. Thanks Gazza – sorted – the first time I’ve ever managed to edit something successfully ‘all my own self’ – now feeling very smug!

  3. I thought it was about par for a Ray T too – thanks to him and Kath

    Looking at the top and bottom of the crossword – I have to ask: “is it better to be a 1a/4a or a 28a/29a ?” :D

    1. Excellent! Sounds like something Del Boy might say in Only Fools and Horses about his brother and himself?

  4. I think I managed the Toughie in slightly shorter time today. 9a was last in because I had carelessly put in ‘duanes’ for 1d. I think this might have been a deliberate Ray T trap for the unwary. Anyone else fall into it? I thought 1a was a clever lurker. 12a and 9d joint favourites. Maybe not one of Ray’s best, but still enjoyable.

  5. Well I finished this today but it took me ages longer than normal, which is normally a good thing, but I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it.

    The synonym for extremely in 26a was a bit of a stretch for me.

    I had to look up my answers for 13a and 27a but they had to be what I’d entered.

    There were a few I liked, 1a was well hidden and I liked 8d.

    I knew Abel’s brother had to be in there somewhere, but I spent far too long trying to get him at the beginning or end of the word until the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to Kath and RayT

  6. As enjoyable and doable as per normal from Ray T. Lots of fun clues, with 4a just pipping 8d as my favourite. As Gazza mentions above, a refreshingly low anagram count.

    Thanks to Ray and Kath.

  7. Enjoyed this, particularly for some of the amusing surfaces – like 10a and 12a.

    Thanks RT and Kath.

    1. Hear hear. Great fun today, with lots of surfaces inspiring the imagination in quite different ways. Thanks to all.

  8. Just nicely taxing with a bit of GK required. NW was last corner to fall but now, as is often the case, I can’t understand why. 9a obviously on setter’s mind when clueing 28a. Once criminal equalling anagram in 20d was discounted it had to be the four letter outfit around the other. 12a just beat 26a for Fav pole position. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  9. I thought this was tougher than the last Beam I attempted and easily the most difficult puzzle of the week. A few points…I was surprised to see the definition of 9a used (albeit with a different meaning) in the wordplay of 26a. In 18a I don’t think the definition and the answer are true synonyms and the pronoun for “the man’s” is surely “his” not “he” in 15a though I’d entered the correct answer anyway.
    On the positive side I liked both 1a and 1d, the amusing 12a, and the clever 29a but overall I’ve enjoyed Mr T more than I did today.
    Thanks to the aforementioned Ray T and to Kath for her usual warm blog

    1. Stephen, you need to read 15a as “the man is”, where “is” provides the link between wordplay and definition. I too had some qualms about 18a but convinced myself that in a sentence like “it was a chance event” you can replace “chance” with the answer (if you change “a” to “an”, of course! :wink: )

      1. Thank you for your feedback RD. Re 15 across I thought the same thing (that it could be taken as “he is”) but originally thought that it would ruin the surface read but I see it now, thank you.
        Re 18a….I hadn’t thought of using chance like that, as an adjective….suppose it (just about) works😉

  10. Plenty of trademarks here to identify today’s setter – most enjoyable solve being one of them.
    Long list of potentials for the podium but I’ve whittled it down to 4,10 & 28a plus 8d. Thought 10a would be an excellent synonym for ‘Delhi belly’!

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the review – I thought the illustration for 1a was fine as it could well depict the Slough of Despond which was certainly 1a!

  11. Having had to visit my local hospital for “fasting bloods” this morning, I had to start this without a cup of tea to nourish me. And I am still only three-quarters complete. Bah humbug.

    Thanks to all.

  12. 3.5*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot. The NW corner took me as long as the other three quarters put together taking me overall above my 3* time.
    I’m not sure why “to begin” is needed in 5d – padding is most definitely not RayT’s style.
    My podium today comprises 4a, 10a & 8d.
    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

      1. Yes, I agree Wanda, but my point is if the clue had simply been “craving hag missing wife” that would provide sufficient information to arrive at the answer without needing to specify that the W to be removed is at the beginning of the source word.

        1. I agree. I was just glad of a bit of extra help at a time when I had come to a halt!

  13. Struggled with this. Couldn’t get on his wavelength today and so didn’t enjoy it too much. 4a favourite. Ta to all.

  14. Only needed electronic help for 2 today which is good for me with a RayT.

    Thanks to Kath and to RayT.

  15. Completed within 2 cafetierre time and dogs demanding walks. A nice fairly straightforward crossword fro RayT. Favourites 4a and 26a.
    Thanks to Kath and of course RayT.

  16. Bottom half went in relatively easily but then struggled with the NE today. Didn’t see the lurker and dont think I would have ever got 15a!

    Thanks for guide and the to the setter!

  17. Quite tricky in places I thought. Missed the lurker in 1a, somehow you don’t expect them so early on. Thought 11d was clever. Last in 27a, was thinking of more exotic creatures. Thanks to Kath for great hints and Ray T for absorbing puzzle.

  18. A puzzle of 2 halves for me. The L hand side was fairly straightforward but the R was def tricky. 19d was a new word for me. 8d was a very sneaky homophone indicator. Needed the hints to explain 4a, 14d and 11d, all obvious when you see the reasoning!
    All in all an enjoyable crossword. However, Mrs B still runs off when she sees it is a Ray T, not her cup of tea despite my protestations that one needs to persevere. I think Ray T puzzles are a bit like Marmite. Personally I liken them to olives, nasty at first but worth making the effort in the long run.
    Thx to all

    1. I’m with Mrs B. Unlike Dada, I don’t think I will ever be able to solve his puzzles unaided.

  19. Did this in separate corners starting with NE and finishing with NW. Not a lot of overlap probably because I took an age with the two long across clues. Last one in which I did not parse but parsed everything else. Some unusual words but doable from the wordplay. Favourite 11d with runners up 12a and 14d with 4a and 3 and 20d highly commended. Definitely ***/*** for difficulty and enjoyment. Thanks Ray T – no mysteries as left for us by two recent setters and thanks Kath for the parsing of 9a.

  20. Recovering from a very wet day at Lord’s in every sense of the word, so not on top form today.
    An enjoyable and steady solve. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.
    One query that our learned bloggers may be able to help me with. I have been advised that the likes of swEetheart are frowned upon by Ximinean purists. I have been admonished in the past for using Gateshead as G . Any thoughts, please?

    1. Hi Shabbo,
      One of our more experienced contributors may be better able to advise but that construction has been a trademark of Ray T’s for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it’s just one of those ‘you have to know the rules before you’re allowed to break them’ things?!!

      PS Did you get to see Silvanus today?

      1. I assume from your comment that Shabbo is also at Lord’s. I imagine that he and Silvanus will be crying in their beers and praying for rain.

        1. He could have been referring to drying out after yesterday – didn’t think of that!
          Either way, I doubt that either he or Silvanus will be very happy at the moment.

        2. Having now read the above comments properly, I think Shabbo must have been at Lord’s yesterday in the pouring rain. At least Silvanus is getting to see some cricket today but that’s a bit of a mixed blessing given England’s woeful performance so far.

          1. Yes, I was there yesterday!
            At least Silvanus will see a full day’s play, although I suspect that England have got nowhere enough runs in their first innings.
            I look forward to being proved wrong!

            1. Hi Shabbo,

              Commiserations on choosing yesterday to go, I do sympathise. I was very fortunate to have an uninterrupted day, and was pleased to see Bairstow finally get some runs. You may well be correct about England’s final total.

              I tried to explain to a very nice elderly lady sitting next to me today some of the nuances of cryptic crosswords, and she made a mental note to remember Rufus’s classic “Bar of soap” clue (THE ROVERS RETURN). I’m not sure that she fully understood my explanations however, as, when she said “couldn’t it also be THE QUEEN VIC?”, and I replied by saying “no, the enumeration wouldn’t be correct”, she then looked at me extremely blankly!

    2. Rule one. There are no rules
      Rule two. If in doubt see rule one. If you can get a G from Gateshead how would you clue an. S?

      1. I think Shabbo was asking a serious question – he deserved a rather more helpful answer.

            1. It is being rolled for you on a virgins thigh at this very moment in time Ray. Thanks for all the fun today

    3. Hi Shabbo – you are quite right in your thinking re purists. Strictly speaking the ‘Gateshead’ for G would be wrong because it’s actually Gate’s head

      Similarly Job Centre for O should be Job’s Centre, but we see it all the time and it really depends on the Editor as I understand it. Indeed for DE[—]ED is another example, freeloaders for ordeals etc are best avoided even if they are fun; though it doesn’t bother me, personally

    4. It depends on the editor. The Telegraph editor is obviously happy with swEetheart because Ray T uses it in most of his puzzles. Guardian setters can get away with quite a lot – Paul today had “… a shade insular, briefly?” to code TAN in SULA[r] (i.e. sultana).

        1. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t get away with that in the Telegraph but it would be interesting to know whether Mr Lancaster would be ok with Southend or Midlothian for H.

  21. Ray T defeated me yet again. Thank you for the hints Kath, good job and very much needed today. Actually I kind of agree with your sister, I don’t think the picture at 1a looks like the answer. In fact, with the lightening sky in the background it looks quite hopeful. But perhaps the sky is darkening…

  22. Steady solve today finished at work but without time to comment. 11d fave for me. 19d usually with an is* ending but had to be. Thanks to Kath for the hints which were needed. And a Hippo Burpday to those who have or have just had same.

  23. I feel that I have turned the corner with Ray T 😃 managed to complete unassisted ***/*** Favourites are 27a & 6d 🤗 Thanks to Kath for the blog and to Ray T for supplying solvable puzzles on a Thursday 😉

  24. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. 10a made me laugh, 9a was very good, 1a a great lurker, but my favourite was 12a. Last in was 11d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  25. I kind of fumbled my way through this crossword. I eventually completed but I did have to revisit several clues along the way. I still enjoyed the solve and 8d was my top clue.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for her entertaining review.

  26. I started this this morning but only managed most of the south before having to go out. When I got back I decided I didn’t want to get bogged down again, so went straight to the hints. I still find RayT’s wavelength impenetrable, I don’t imagine I’ll get anything like proficient.
    Thanks anyway RayT, I enjoy reading the comments, and thanks to Kath for her hints and pics.

    1. Good evening, Mr T. Haven’t seen The Jerk but the dog’s name wasn’t hard to guess and then look up for confirmation. Typical of you to make the answer crystal clear without risking any condemnation – I reckon you deserve that cigar!

  27. Our last one in was 14d and it took quite a long time to come up with the right answer. Another good fun solve for us.
    On the word count this week, RayT has excelled himself. No clue contains more than 7 words and there are only four clues that have this many.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  28. Very happy birthday from my sister Catherine and me It is high time we came to the Green Man again.

    1. To Miffypops that is. Catherine and I completed this on the ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard and the last two two, 17d and 28a, over a glass of wine at the other end, which gave a chance to deconstruct 11d. All the best to MP. Thanks to RaY T and to Kath.

  29. Fairly typical for me: I got some answers by myself, and needed hints (thanks, Kath) for others.

    I have fond memories of 27a, with the same reversal, from one of the very first cryptic crosswords I managed to complete, in the Radio Times a few years ago. That crossword’s solution was in the RT5 weeks later — where, curiously, the same reversal cropped up again in that issue’s crossword (and both times down the 1st column)!

    Maybe one day I’ll encounter the word outside of crosswords, but for now my brain just thinks of it as that word you get by putting creatures backwards.

    My favourites today (erm, yesterday) were 8d and 10a — thanks, Ray T, if you’re still here.

  30. An excellent puzzle from Ray T, which I obtained on Friday morning and solved on Friday evening. Great clues, a good challenge and very enjoyable. There were some good, quite uncommon, definitions to make one think a little deeper. Too many really good clues to pick a favourite. 3.5* / 4.5*

  31. Hi everyone,

    Very much a newbie, but….

    How do you know who compiles each puzzle? I do mine in hard copy, and can’t see any handle (unlike a recent ‘i’ prize cryptic which was by ‘Phi’). Is it that you recognise the style?

    Thank you!

    1. Apologies for taking so long but welcome from me too.
      Please keep commenting – it’s always nice to have new people on the blog.

      1. Thanks Kath!

        I seldom buy a paper (but when I do, it’s always the Telegraph, for the cryptic, obviously!), so I won’t be a regular poster.
        However I do like Big Dave’s, because (unlike some blogs) it doesn’t give the answer straight away, but explains the logical breakdown (parsing?) of the clue.

        Is that a picture of your dog? Cute!

  32. 4a works just as well as sauce (pil) on top of (over) chard. Pil being a Spanish sauce with Gamba’s.

    ‘Over’ does not always have to mean reverse surely?

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