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DT 29131

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29131

Hints and tips by LetterboxRoy

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Please welcome LetterboxRoy who, as a special guest author, has stepped in to deputise for Deep Threat.  BD

Hello everyone. Deep Threat is away today so I am helping out.

A relatively gentle puzzle for a Friday, only 16d & 27a needed checking but all the answers today are clearly clued and there are no obscure answers or references.

Apologies in advance for any errors and thank you to Big Dave for the opportunity.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Forced into improper caress, maiden yells (7)
SCREAMS: M (maiden) ‘forced into’ an anagram (improper) of CARESS

5a    Mother turning head in rage (7)
MADNESS: Reversal (turning) of another word for a Mother followed by a geographical head

9a    A flavour slightly lacking in jelly (5)
ASPIC: The ‘A’ from the clue followed by flavour without its last letter (slightly lacking)

10a    Be physically aggressive towards European guide on canal journey? (9)
BARGEPOLE: Bump into or shove and a familiar European

11a    I act with a pride, running round, dealing with sick children (10)
PAEDIATRIC: Anagram (running round) of I ACT (with) A PRIDE

12a    Quiet atmosphere in match (4)
PAIR: The usual musical abbreviation for quiet followed by ambience or aura

14a    Careful thought shown by journalist backing freedom (12)
DELIBERATION: Synonym of freedom follows a reversal (backing) of a newspaper boss

18a    Basic rules for health (12)
CONSTITUTION: Double definition

21a    Exploits and tricks to get rid of king (4)
USES: Ploys or schemes without the Latin abbreviation for king

22a    Having more wind? Hardier gut possibly wanted! (10)

25a    Martinets as those who won’t give up keeping learner in (9)
STICKLERS: An informal word for people who persevere, as in ‘to ***** at something’ contains the letter displayed by new drivers on their vehicles

26a    Money is an attraction ensnaring Charlie (5)
LUCRE: Something desirable, or bait perhaps, around the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet

27a    Sort of vehicle one might associate with Rover? (7)
DOGCART: ‘Rover’ here is not the old car manufacturer, it’s a four-legged friend

28a    Socialist types in criminal activity stealing French article (3,4)
THE LEFT: The act of taking without consent contains ‘stealing’ the usual French article. Seems slightly odd to use that particular containment/insertion indicator here


1d    Notes from instruments at the end of Schubert’s First (6)
SHARPS: Plural of some classical stringed instruments follows (at the end of) the first letter of Schubert to find a class of notes of which there are none in the key of C Major

2d    Really good person in Oz gets murderer (6)
RIPPER: First definition is Australian slang, the second a mutilating serial killer. Nice

3d    Designers given new site chart, about to get stuck in (10)
ARCHITECTS: An anagram ‘given new’ of SITE CHART with the Latin abbreviation for approximately inserted

4d    Shoe with a nasty smell dumped in street (5)
SABOT: The ‘A’ from the clue, plus the abbreviation for the smell of poor personal hygiene inserted into the abbreviation for street

5d    English bishop in silent act with holy books must bring joy (9)
MERRIMENT: The abbreviations for English and a two letter Bishop put inside the name given to silent acting such as being inside an imaginary glass box and, then append with some religious books, not the old ones

6d    Legislative assembly to fade away over time (4)
DIET: Cease to be ‘fade away’ above ‘over’ (in a down clue) the abbreviation for time

7d    Condition of selfish person with an image somehow restricting love (8)
EGOMANIA: An anagram ‘somehow’ of AN IMAGE includes the letter that looks like nil in tennis

8d    Bad language — s-in! (8)
SWEARING: The ‘S’ from the clue then another word for ‘in’ as in sporting or clothed by

13d    Clear ‘hello’ unexpected in a place to say ‘bonjour’ (2,8)
LA ROCHELLE: An anagram ‘unexpected’ of CLEAR HELLO

15d    Any number released from detention in underground operation (9)
INTERMENT: A ten-letter synonym for detention with the mathematical letter that denotes any number removed

16d    Detestable, like someone on trial right for being locked up (8)
ACCURSED: How a defendant is referred to in court includes the letter for right

17d    Some stranger in garden is deeply annoying (8)
ANGERING: Lurking, as indicated by ‘some’

19d    One Catholic left trapped by Anglican church coterie (6)
CIRCLE: The letter one represents, then more abbreviations – Roman Catholic and the letter for left inside Church of England

20d    Minister given award, no unknown saint (6)
PRIEST: Remove a mathematical unknown from another name for an award then finish with our usual two-letter saint

23d    Disturbance at university with clique needing to be kept under (5)
UPSET: The two-letter word meaning at university with a synonym for ‘clique’ below it

24d    Bird with other birds heading north (4)
SKUA: This bird could be the plural of some other birds if reversed

I noticed there seemed to be quite a lot of insertions and abbreviations. No stand-out favourites, but I did enjoy the solve and thought 10a & 22a are probably my picks.

The Quick Crossword pun: lank+usher=Lancashire

50 comments on “DT 29131

  1. 2*/3*. I thought this was very enjoyable and, for me, the best Friday back-pager for quite a long while.
    My podium comprises 10a, 18a & 22a.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to LBR – well done on a great debut!

    1. I agree with all of you who thought this was the most enjoyable for a while, I was pleasantly surprised this morning

      Thanks for the entertainment, Giovanni

  2. Welcome to the blogosphere, Roy, and thanks for the excellent review.
    Like RD I thought that this was the best Friday back-pager for a while. Mr Manley seems to have mislaid, presumably temporarily, his book of obscure terms and given us an entertaining puzzle.
    My top picks were 10a and 8d.

  3. An enjoyable challenge with the SE being the last corner to fall in. Difficult to single out a Fav but nominees include 28a, 5d and 15d. Welcome LetterboxRoy – your hints were fun to read through after the event. Thanks again Giovanni – as usual no dodgy clues.

  4. Welcome LBR and thanks for the blog

    I too thought this was Mr Manley on “very friendly” and enjoyable form so thank you to him too

  5. I will join those who selected 10a as their COTD. As someone who generally enjoys a Giovanni, I agree that this was a notch up in terms of overall enjoyment and I certainly didn’t miss the odd obscurity.

    Thanks to The Don for the challenge and congratulations to LR for a fine maiden review.

  6. I know I must get very boring on a Friday, but I absolutely loved this. I must be a little off this week as it took me slightly longer than normal but I thought it was full of ingenuity and humour.

    The windy 22a made me laugh and I thought 8d and 10a were very clever. In fact the top right took me the most time of all the puzzle.

    I had to look up 4d but the clueing, as always, led me to the answer – in my opinion the mark of a master setter.

    Many thanks to LetterboxRoy (and congratulations on a great debut) and to Giovanni – thank you for the consistent Friday fun

  7. Well done, LbR, hope the experience hasn’t been too traumatic!
    Looks as though I’m going to be the only one who didn’t know the Australian meaning of 2d but at least I didn’t need either the book of obscurities or the bible to complete the solve.

    Top two here were 10&18a.

    Thanks to DG and to our excellent stand-in blogger.

    1. Hi Jane
      As someone who has lived in Australia I’d never associate 2d with “a really good person” but more a really good or spectacular act or thing, so you’re not the only one!

      1. I agree. Devon Malcolm once clean bowled Steve Waugh first ball with what Bill Lawry described as a 2d.

    2. I had no idea either, but that’s not entirely surprising as I don’t come across many Aussies, and 2d was a bung in ‘cos it fit!

      1. HIYD is correct on all counts. Love the link too. Hope Jofra will let rip on day 4, just got to get Smith’s number…

  8. Well don LBR! Very gentle and enjoyable completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Favourite has to be 24d – was it the ‘other way round’ when we saw it a few weeks ago?
    Thanks to Giovanni and LBR.

    1. I forgot to comment about crossword setters’ Word of the Month (or it could be two months) – this 24d and its upside-down friends have been in crosswords all over the place recently.

      1. When I say ‘all over the place’ I mean all the daily cryptic crosswords not just the DT

  9. A “gentle” puzzle is good on a Friday. One tiniest comment: (albeit, I’m not sure how else it might have been set) the answer to 1d is, strictly speaking, modification of the clear part of the clue, not an alternative word. Nevertheless, it was quite a cute clue – as were several others – although I’m joining today’s 10a fan club.

  10. Another very nice puzzle from G with good clues providing an enjoyable solve. I found it about average difficulty for a back-pager. Favs: 4d, 8d. 2.5* / 3.5*

  11. Very nice puzzle – completed while watching the morning Test Match session, so it took a bit longer than it maybe should. I’ll be boring and go along with 10a as being my favourite. 2d is worth a mention, a Shane Warne word!.

  12. Very enjoyable, seemed like a lot of anagrams today but no complaints.
    As others have noted, no obscurities today especially religious ones, even I have heard of 20d!
    Thanks LBR for the hints and DG for the puzzle.

  13. Well done LR. I accept the answer for 10a but find guide difficult as the object propels!

  14. I found this more difficult than most 😳 ***/*** but very enjoyable nonetheless 😃 Favourites were 18a and of course 24d 🤗 Thanks to Giovanni and Thanks and congratulations to LBR on the blog, well done. If I were just to have a small “nitpick” ( I don’t think Brian has arrived yet 😬) it would be the spelling of 11a, which I believe is the American version of the word.

    1. Thanks Jaylegs – I looked that up and found that the US spelling is pe… UK pae…

        1. 😂
          Thanks, and a big “Well Done” to LBR for a wonderful maiden blog – and, of course to the Don. COTD for me is 10a!

  15. Thanks and welcome to LBR for the review. I finally cracked this while waiting for Mamma Bee to get her barnet done.
    I needed a hint for a couple but soon sailed through the rest. I recognised the ubiquitous birds and 10a on my faves along with the French town. Friendlier than some Giovannis but still a good test.
    Thanks to both.

  16. A very benign Giovanni but hugely enjoyable for me. I found the NE corner the hardest, I have no idea why, it was all friendly. I finally remembered the bishop in 5d instead of “b” and that started me off again.
    I liked 27a, one of my first in, but I think I have to go with the masses and pick 10a as fave, pretty clever that. Seems unfair to pick just one out of this plethora of choices.
    Thanks Giovanni, and congrats for an A1 debut LBR, well done.

  17. I have just put 4d in and just had to look and see if Deep Threat had treated us to the bizarre and wonderful song ‘Avec Mon ******’ but Quelle Surprise we have a new blogger (I think) Welcome aboard LBR I will read the blog when I have completed the puzzle.

  18. An enjoyable solve that seemed to have more chuckle inducing clues than we are used to seeing on a Friday.
    Congratulations LBR on putting together such a fine set of hints and welcome to the blogging team.
    Thanks Giovanni and LBR.

  19. Steady enjoyable solve of a worthy Giovanni, that for me ticked all the boxes.
    Good number of very entertaining clues….
    Many thanks to Giovanni & letterboxRoy for the review.

  20. Very enjoyable Friday crossword. :-)

    6d was my last in as this meaning was new to me. Also not heard of a 27a before but worked it out with the checkers. 10a and 22a gave the most satisfaction after solving.

    ***/**** for me today.

  21. I worked out 6d from the parsing but
    don’t see why it’s a legislative assembly?
    Can anyone help me out? Otherwise a great solve.

    1. A diet is a legislative assembly. The assembly held in Worms, Germany in 1521 was the cause of much mirth amongst schoolboys of my era because it is known as the Diet of Worms.

  22. Just finished this as no time yesterday. First pass was 😱 but breathed deeply and it fell into place nicely. Thanks for the explanations LBR, needed it for 8d and thanks to The Don for a very nice puzzle.

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