DT 29126 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29126

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29126

A full review by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

This puzzle was published on 10th August 2019

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A nice Saturday Prize Puzzle

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Corrupt time-traveller’s machine detained in station (10)
BASTARDISE – TARDIS (time-traveller’s machine) ‘detained’ or inserted in BASE (station)

6a    Block of wood incorporating new pine (4)
LONG – LOG (block of wood) ‘incorporating’ N (new)

9a    Caught on boundary? I had got in, showing excess of this? (10)
CONFIDENCE – C (caught) ON (from the clue) FENCE (boundary) into which is inserted (got in) ID (I had)

10a    Spies with old word for goodbye (4)
CIAO – CIA (American spies) O (old)

12a, 13a & 15a    Person above the law commercialised prison income irregularly (6,3,5,12)

18a    Right-wingers which heretics upset (12)
THATCHERITES – THAT (which) followed by an anagram (upset) of HERETICS

21a    Insult good chap attending club (8)
BRICKBAT – BRICK (good chap) BAT (club)

22a    Author occupying position of source (6)
ATWELL – AT (occupying position of) WELL (source)  – we very rarely get comments on Prize Puzzle reviews, let alone visits from the setter but I do hope that someone (setter/editor/well-known author who spells their surname with only one T) turns up to explain all

24a    Promise showed by goat-herd (4)
OATH – Showing inside gOAT-Herd

25a    People may chat about these motor sport changes (10)
FIREPLACES – FI (Formula One, motor sport) REPLACES (changes)

26a    Standard choice of letters from middle of the alphabet (4)
NORM – N OR M (choice of letters from the middle of the alphabet)

27a    Buy teapots manufactured in place for tourists? (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT – An anagram (manufactured) of BUY TEAPOTS


1d    Odd characters in britches pose showing muscle (6)
BICEPS – The odd characters in BrItChEs PoSe

2d    Kind of beach where husband is lost without a partner (6)
SINGLE – Lose the H for Husband from a SHINGLE beach

3d    Something simple to have with tea? (1,5,2,4)
A PIECE OF CAKE – Done with as little effort as eating a piece of my lemon cake

4d    River reaching middle of Caspian Sea (4)
DEEP – The River DEE reaching the middle letter of CasPian

5d    Another mistake for fielder? (6,4)
SECOND SLIP – A fielder on a cricket pitch sounds like another mistake

7d    Oscar holds firm views (8)
OPINIONS – O (Oscar in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) PINIONS (holds firm)

8d    Nerd cut short attempt to secure order in maths subject (8)
GEOMETRY – GEEk (nerd ‘cut short’ or with its last letter) and TRY (attempt) ‘secure’ OM (Order of Merit)

11d    Heads of American classified counter intelligence damage friendly country without meaning to (12)
ACCIDENTALLY – The ‘heads’ of American Classified Counter Intelligence followed by DENT (damage) ALLY (friendly country)

14d    Essential term in grammar (10)
IMPERATIVE – Double definition

16d    Pig-headed, being brought into this world under revolutionary conditions (8)
STUBBORN – BORN (being brought into this world) goes under (in a down clue) a reversal (revolutionary) of BUTS (conditions)

17d    Container whose contents could be scantier (8)
CANISTER – An anagram (could be) of SCANTIER

19d    Left-winger to outdo as MP (6)
REDCAP – RED (left-winger) CAP (outdo) – this particular MP being a Military Policeman who wears a red cap

20d    Shut away fool travelling round Kent area (6)
CLOSET – CLOT (fool) travelling round SE (Kent area)

23d    People getting top-class choice of food (4)
MENU – MEN (people) getting U (top class)

16 comments on “DT 29126

  1. Thanks to setter and CS for the review. I have to ask: What is the point of a 26-letter anagram? Does anyone, ever, solve such a clue by constructing the answer from the fodder as opposed to arriving at what’s required from the definition and enumeration and then (if they feel industrious) working backwards to check that all the necessary letters are present?

    1. Sometimes, with long anagrams, if I can’t work it out from the definition (especially if the definition is a vague category, such as a carol or a TV programme), I do indeed search through the fodder for likely looking words. I probably don’t solve the whole anagram as such, but finding one word among the alphabet soup can unlock the solution for me.

      Though not in this case, I admit. But the anagram still provides re-assurance that I’ve solved it correctly, which, as somebody for whom it’s still a rare event to finish a crossword, I do appreciate.

    2. All anagrams are solved mentally by me. Usually the definition gives it away. With the longer anagrams the checkers in the small words will throw up obvious words which will help towards the solution. If that fails I just wait until there are enough checking letters to throw up an answer. Before I had the ipad I used to write out anagrams all of the time.

  2. Re 22a my best guess is that it is an error. I would expect a similar clue if there was an obvious answer eg Shakespeare or even an answer not known to the majority but doable from the wordplay (as this was) and then confirmed by Google. I confess I solved it by mistake. Answer obvious then thought. Yes that’s Margaret or is it Diana? A quick rack of the brain and Google reminded me it was neither as one of those well-known authors is Athll and the other is Atwood. I hope that the setter will enlighten us as the clue may be cleverer than we think or, if not, that Mr Lancaster will step in (please!) and put us out of our misery! Thank you CS for your sterling review.

  3. “Police and crime commissioner — that’s a conflict of interest, surely?”

    (Sorry, I’ve forgotten the source. Possibly Andy Parsons on The Now Show.)

  4. Agree totally with weekend Wanda: Atwell is a bit obscure (unless you ARE a reader of his/her books). Furthermore, to my poor, literal, technical mind, ‘block’ of wood implies it is at least rough cut on most faces, where a log retains its circular shape. Thanks CS.

  5. 22a. So, the “mystery” continues. I never did have any problem with this clue. The definition tells you it’s going to be an author and the word-play leads very directly to ATWELL. There are several authors with the surname Atwell listed on Google. That’ll do me – job done! Does it really matter what the forename is or whether anybody’s heard of them?

    Personally, I reckon the definition should have been “Pianist” – there’s only one of them with that surname who’s relatively famous. In fact, that’s who I mistakenly thought it was at first.

    1. I agree with you about Pianist. Some of us remember Winifred and saw her on black and white TV and she has a Wikipedia entry for those who don’t remember. I disagree about not mattering about a forename. It does! Moving ahead with the times there is an actress called Hayley so that would have been another possibility. Using Author is completely random unless “one of a number of authors of whom you are unlikely to have heard”.

  6. Ah, some of us prefer to tackle the crossword without electronic help. It kind of degrades the currency.

    1. No electronic help was used or needed by me to solve this clue. The word-play was quite transparent, the checkers were in and I was very confident, and trusted the setter’s knowledge, that the answer was an author because the definition was “Author”. I checked on Google later, out of intrigue, because some comments were suggesting that the clue must contain an error. So, no currency was degraded.

  7. Just checking and I see 22a is still unresolved. I’m sorry, but I think we should be told who the setter had in mind – it’s just sloppy and unprofessional otherwise.

  8. Once all else was constructed – I could see the answer to 22a ; but his identity continues to elude me ?!! :o

Comments are closed.