DT 29132 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29132

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29132

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 17th August 2019

BD Rating – Difficulty *****Enjoyment *

I always draft a review of every weekend prize puzzle, even when it isn’t my blogging week, just in case Gnomethang is busy and I have to stand in for him at the last minute. Were this not the case, I’d certainly have given up without trying to solve the final few clues of this particular crossword, as the hard work involved in solving this setter’s crosswords certainly outweighs any possible pleasure I might derive from doing so.

Since typing the above last Saturday, I realised when solving more crosswords just why I struggle with this setter’s clues. When I solve a crossword clue, I’m parsing it in my head as I write in the solution, and then the same with the next clue I solve. As Gazza said about 15d (and the same applies to quite a lot of the other clues) you have to know the solution before you can begin to understand the clue – and after all these years, this isn’t how my crossword solving brain works and so the solving process takes longer and becomes less enjoyable.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


4a    Clocked if this would be locked? (8)
UNOPENED – Thank you to Big Dave’s Hints for this one – if ‘clocked’ was unopened, it would be ‘locked’

8a    Hated rambling, having caught cold getting cut off (6)
DETACH – An anagram (rambling) of HATED into which is inserted (having caught) C (cold)

9a    Adam’s place is in procession (8)
PARADISE – IS (from the clue) inserted into PARADE (procession)

10a    Highly regarded guide sticks with coverage of some roads (4,4)
POLE STAR – POLES (sticks) TAR (coverage of some roads)

11a    Sweet item to be used in picnics or be toasted (6)
SORBET – Lurking (to be used) in picnicS OR BE Toasted

12a    He saves when flying (8)
SUPERMAN – Cryptic definition

13a    Exaggerated number of deliveries completed (8)
OVERDONE – OVER (number of deliveries) DONE (completed)

16a    Ring Conservative clubs — a revolutionary is about to create incident (8)
OCCASION – O (ring) C (Conservative) C (Clubs) A (from the clue), a reversal (revolutionary) of IS (from the clue) ON (about)

19a    Robinson Crusoe cancelled due to holidays? (8)
CASTAWAY – A production of Robinson Crusoe (although the italics in the paper or the ‘quotation marks in the online version, could also refer to the book of that name) might be cancelled if the CAST was AWAY

21a    Material from two volumes about the Spanish and French (6)
VELVET – V V (two Volumes) go about EL (Spanish definite article) followed by ET (French word for and)

23a    My aircon is busted, leading to ill feeling (8)
ACRIMONY – An anagram (busted) of MY AIRCON

24a    Something off the vegan menu that Adam gave up? (5,3)
SPARE RIB – Eve was formed from Adam’s SPARE RIB, which is definitely something that wouldn’t be found on a vegan menu

25a    Discipline that’s like a joke, by the sound of it (6)
PUNISH – Sounds like PUNNISH (like a joke)

26a    Redesigned dungarees with small cut seen as too youthful (5-3)
UNDER-AGE – An anagram (redesigned) of DUNGAREEs without the S (small ‘cut’)


1d    Good behaviour in Christmas period ended abruptly — nothing unusual (7)
DECORUM – DEC (December, Christmas period’ abbreviated or ended abruptly) O (nothing) RUM (unusual)

2d    Somewhere to eat around village event with retro atmosphere (9)
CAFETERIA – CA (around) FETE (village event) with a reversal (retro) of AIR (atmosphere)

3d    Beat poetry, unfinished — and half of that is filling (6)
RHYTHM – RHYMe (poetry ‘unfinished’) into which is inserted (filling) the first half of THat

4d    Announce pub role — getting worked up, it’s hard to speak (15)

5d    A man makes dinner for these ladies (8)
OGRESSES – Because, presumably, they are man-eaters

6d    Duck — ruddy, that is — diving? On the contrary (5)
EIDER – A reversal (on the contrary) of RED (ruddy) IE (that is)

7d    Spain to the rear when sailing in a certain direction (7)
EASTERN – E (the IVR code for Spain) ASTERN (to the rear)

14d    Making garment sleeveless, apparently, could be irresistible (9)
DISARMING – DIS-ARMING – apparently is the right word for this as you aren’t really removing the sleeves, are you?

15d    Monarch personified by the I, VI and VII of this name (8)
VICTORIA – the first (I) sixth (VI) and seventh (VII) letters of VictoRIa produce the regnal cipher of Queen Victoria

17d    Lower backache — a PE novice must bear it (7)
CHEAPEN – Found in (must bear it) backaCHE A PE Novice

18d    In most corresponding, the first letter becomes central, being sincere (7)
EARNEST – Move the first letter of NEAREST (most corresponding) to the middle of the word

20d    Scrabble comes out as odd characters in sect read poem (6)
SCRAPE -The odd characters in SeCt ReAd PoEm

22d    The work of Mr Kipling / Was nigh severe when tippling (5)
VERSE – An anagram (when tippling) of almost all (was nigh) of SEVERe


11 comments on “DT 29132

  1. Thank you for the review, CS. I thought that your analysis of why this compiler’s clues are so difficult to parse was spot on. You have to have bunged in or half guess the answer before you can parse it. I thought it was just me. It isn’t a style that lends itself to enjoyment for me either.

  2. I didn’t like this one either. I got far enough into it to resort to some digital cheating towards the end Even when I had got some answers I couldn’t understand the reasoning. I gave up in the end. I don’t mind crosswords being challenging but this was unpleasantly difficult.

  3. I still can’t understand 4ac and I think 5dn stinks.
    Not much fun, I agree and these characteristics ie over- elaborate single letter clueing and inaccurate synonyms are getting more common.
    Keep up the good work BD

  4. Got there in the end. Often takes me a few days on and off but this one was really tough. I had to use an anagram solver on a couple 3D and 5d which I don’t normally have to do 😒

  5. There’s a certain irony in awarding a prize to someone who is able to solve a crossword like this one. When I first started the blog, Saturday puzzles, while seldom difficult, were a joy to solve. With a handful of exceptions, I can’t say the same today.

  6. Thanks for the help, CS, I couldn’t see 4ac or 5dn even with the hints! And thanks as always to the setter.

  7. We, in Israel, only got it this W/E – so we had a long wait for the torture in the NE sector !!! But solve it I did, late on Sunday evening !!! PHEW !!! :o

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