DT 29137 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29137

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29137

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a hazy South Staffs. My thanks to LetterboxRoy for covering my absence last week.

I finished today’s Giovanni in ** time, but have added an extra star for some of the clues, which may not be within the comfort zone of all solvers. In particular, I anticipate some howls of protest from the devout atheists among the readership about 10a.

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           Be on salary that’s been adjusted in a fair manner (10)
REASONABLY – Anagram (adjusted) of BE ON SALARY.

6a           Old thing with pointed end to get fish (4)
PIKE – Double definition, the second being a freshwater fish with big teeth.

Image result for pike

9a           Cube‘s dimension, but not its abbreviated form (5)
EIGHT – The answer is a number which is a cube. To get to it, start with one of the three dimensions of a solid object, then remove the abbreviation for that dimension from the front of it.

10a         The last sheep back in the fold? (9)
HUNDREDTH – This is a reference to the parable in St Luke’s Gospel, chapter 15, where the shepherd leaves 99 of his sheep to go and look for the one which has strayed and bring it home to the sheepfold. So far as I can tell, there is no technical term for a ‘fold’ of sheep implying that it has to have 100 members, so unless you know the Bible story, there’s not really a way of getting  the answer from the clue.

12a         Cast aside is retreating US soldier, not a revolutionary (7)
IGNORED – Reverse (retreating) the two-letter term applied to American soldiers, then add another way of saying ‘not a’ and the colour associated with revolution.

13a         Good artist, the Italian revealing holy object? (5)
GRAIL – Put together Good, the usual crossword artist, and an Italian definite article. King Arthur’s knights went looking for this.

15a         Hairy style of new champion exuding power (7)
MOHICAN – Anagram (new) of CHAM(p)ION without the P (exuding power).

Image result for mohican hair

17a         Get across place and ‘ang about (3,4)
PUT OVER – Another verb meaning ‘place’, and another word for ‘ang about, as an ‘elicopter might.

19a         English theologian needing external support is most radical (7)
REDDEST – Put together English and the letters after the name of an academic theologian, and insert the result into the sort of support used for a snooker cue when the player can’t reach on his own.

21a         Acting without love, one supposedly very blind and eccentric (7)
DINGBAT – Remove the letter which looks like a love score at tennis from another word for ‘acting’, then add a creature proverbially said to be blind.

22a         Call girl, model (5)
VISIT – A short form of a girl’s name, followed by another word for what an artist’s model does.

24a         Digital devices used by some musicians (7)
PLECTRA – These devices are digital because they are held in the fingers of the musicians concerned, who pluck at stringed indtruments.

Image result for plectra

27a         Looking to escape from the match? … (9)
SEPARATED – Cryptic definition of someone on the way out of a marriage…

28a         … unlike this person, enjoying it? (5)
BRIDE – … whereas this is a cryptic definition of someone on the way in.

29a         Shock reported for at least 48 hours (4)
DAYS – A period of time lasting at least 48 hours, possibly longer, increasing by 24 each time, which sounds like another word for ‘shock’.

30a         Nan’s dry bap, disgusting thing to eat (10)
BRANDYSNAP – Anagram (disgusting) of NAN’S DRY BAP.

Image result for brandy snap


1d           Regretted being trapped by true dilemma (4)
RUED – Hidden in the clue.

2d           Distressed genius had to be sorted out (9)
ANGUISHED – Anagram (to be sorted out) of GENIUS HAD.

3d           Gold, fashion for sixties playwright (5)
ORTON – The heraldic term for gold followed by a French word for high fashion, giving us the author of Entertaining Mr Sloane.

Image result for joe orton

4d           A revolutionary king on a river with a ferryman (7)
ACHERON – Put together A (from the clue), crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary fighter, the Latin abbreviation for a king, and ON (from the clue), to get one of the rivers which formed the border of the Underworld in Greek mythology.

5d           Policy has NI party in a row (5,2)
LINED UP – Another word for a policy or prepared argument, followed by the initials of the Northern Irish party which is at present in a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Conservatives.

7d           Hotel is just ahead of me! (5)
INDIA – ‘Hotel’ is a letter in the NATO alphabet. The answer is the letter which comes next.

8d           Thrill created by old lover, a real hit when reunited (10)
EXHILARATE – The usual former lover, followed by an anagram (when reunited) of A REAL HIT.

11d         It could mean ‘left off’? Absolutely correct! (5,2)
RIGHT ON – If ‘left off’ refers, say, to a light switch, then this phrase, made up of opposites to ‘left’ and ‘off’ could mean the same thing.

14d         This writer’s demonstrated — is being locked up, knocked up (10)
IMPROVISED – Start with another way of writing ‘this writer is’, then add a word for ‘demonstrated (the truth of a theorem)’ wrapped around IS (from the clue).

16d         See man leaving northern city (7)
CHESTER – Remove the MAN from the front of a northern city, and you get an episcopal diocese (see) which is also a northern city.

Image result for chester cathedral

18d         Having broached French wine, wobbling a bit or shaking (9)
VIBRATION – Anagram (wobbling) of A BIT OR inserted into (having broached) the French word for wine.

20d         One offering advice quietly on street gets into row (7)
TIPSTER – The musical symbol for ‘quietly’ and the abbreviation for STreet are put together and inserted into a row of seats in a theatre.

21d         City‘s defenders sadly lacking iron (7)
DRESDEN – Anagram (sadly) of DE(fe)NDERS with the chemical symbol for iron removed, giving us a German city.

23d         Oversentimental state — should keep very quiet (5)
SAPPY – Another word for ‘state’ or ‘pronounce’ wrapped around the musical symbol for ‘very quiet’.

25d         Label attached to cat (5)
TABBY – A label such as the one with the maker’s name in a piece of clothing, followed by ‘attached to’ or ‘next to’.

Image result for tabby cat

26d         The male politician offering ropy stuff (4)
HEMP – The pronoun for ‘the male’ followed by the usual politician.

The Quick Crossword pun TAPAS + TREE = TAPESTRY

84 comments on “DT 29137

  1. Always on a Friday I try to write this as soon as I’ve finished the puzzle so that I can copy and paste it later in the day when the blog is up, as most days by the time I get to the blog I’ve forgotten most of it.

    I thought this was superb, witty, clever stuff; I loved it.

    I imagine there will be some complaints about 10a but it is easily solvable from the checkers and then a quick Google will confirm.

    I loved the humour of the 22a call girl and the 14d being knocked up. The 4d general knowledge is easy to arrive at as the wordplay takes us straight to it.

    All in all thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  2. Would agree with your rating of *** for difficulty and enjoyment DT and thank you for confirmation of my parsing of 9a and 10a. Apart fro 4d and the 27/28 across combination there were few sparkling clues but thank you to the setter anyway.

  3. I enjoyed this which I thought was on the friendly Friday side for a Giovanni, with nothing to hold me up, but a thought for a certain Rabbit when I solved a particular Across clue

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  4. 3*/1.5*. Not much sparkle today in sharp contrast to last Friday.
    The required meaning for the answer to 23d is not in my BRB (as far as I can see) and it is described in Collins on-line as an exclusively US term. P = quiet(ly) appears twice.
    25d was my favourite and, against my better judgement, I did like 22a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  5. Aren’t crosswords funny. I started this and scratched around until I had done between a quarter and a third and then gave up.Two and a half hours later I picked it up for another go and went through the remainder in fairly reasonable time have to check just one or two for definitions.
    As to the expected comments about 10a, I see no objection to clues with a religious flavour. It is interesting that the same attitude does not apply to clues which have a political slant even though politics can also generate strong feelings.

  6. I don’t like 10a at all – it seems to be purely GK (and very obscure GK at that, for those of us who don’t have the Bible as our bedtime reading) with nothing cryptic about it. I didn’t think much of 27a and 28a as cryptic clues either.

    If you want something a bit more stimulating the Elkamere Toughie is not too tough but has some cracking clues.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat.

    1. I agree totally, Gazza,
      I know that I can’t do Friday Toughies so I’ll go and dig up a few more brambles even though it’s too hot here to do that.

  7. I completed the grid in **** time, but needed a dictionary and the hints to fully explain everything.

    Regarding 9a, I always thought dimensions were length, breadth & height. As an ex-chorister, I have a working knowledge of the bible, but I couldn’t parse 10a without the hint.

    My overall opinion? Eclectic.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  8. In the interests of not bringing down the wrath of the Giovanni fan club on my head again, I’ll refrain from commenting on this one other than to say thank you to Deep Threat for the review.

    1. I’m not a member of his fan club.

      My comment, a couple of weeks ago, was expressing disbelief that someone could be so rude to a compiler about their style, in general, as opposed to a particular crossword.

  9. the puzzle was good fun my only gripe is that if i called somebody a 21a i wouldn’t be calling them eccentric!

  10. Hmm, I am sure that there have been better Friday back pagers, although I did finish this one at a gallop – 2*/2.5*.
    I had no idea on10a, I had forgotten that particular parable, and had to resort to electronic assistance, and, on reading 14d, I couldn’t help thinking of the USA usage of the term ‘knocked up.’
    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 7d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT, especially for decoding 10a.

  11. Could 9a 10a possibly be a message from Giovanni?

    1 Friday back-pager for the last 15 years? To some it may seem even longer!

    1. It’s got to be, StanXYZ — in which case, congratulations on the anniversary, Giovanni!

      I got 10a and then 9a quite early on, so was wondering if any other clues would explain further, or I’d have to wait till I’d finished to come here for confirmation. Has Giovanni done anything special for any previous round numbers?

      This seemed slightly easier than a typical back-pager to me. I still needed some hints — thanks, Deap Threat — but I got further than I usually do by myself.

      I didn’t know 4d and spent too long trying to fit ‘Charon’ the ferryman in there; apparently I have exactly the wrong amount of Greek mythical knowledge.

      I liked the novelty of 7d. 17a was probably my favourite — with Deep Threat’s ‘elicopter ‘int being even better!

      Thank you to all the 20ds on this site who help decode this entertainment. I wouldn’t enjoy it without you.

  12. I needed to look at the blog to make sense of the NE corner mainly because of the peculiar 10a crossing the river from mythology I have never heard of. 6a confused me having the extra words “to get” which seemed to suggest it was not a double definition and the personification of letters of the alphabet in 7d added to my confusion. Strangely, with Elkamere producing a puzzle with unusually few obscurities and general knowledge, I found the Toughie puzzle easier than the back pager.

  13. Not my cup of tea I am afraid, there was just no fun in trying to solve this and I had to rely heavily on the hints above which is rare.

    10a is almost unsolvable without biblical knowledge which needed to be looked up online and too many little known words I have never come across before.

    Think I will take Gazza’s advice and head over to the Toughie in search of some enjoyment!

    Thanks to DT for lifting the veils of mist

  14. On the tricky side for me. Still can’t understand 9a. Eventually got 7d, but a bit ‘far afetched’ as we say in the NE. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for excellent hints

    1. Hello bryngwyn
      9a – the physical property which describes heaviness with the abbreviation for that word removed from the front, and…
      Cube as in 2 x 2 x 2 =
      Hope that helps

  15. This one goes firmly into my stinker pile, just couldn’t get going. Many empty parts of the grid. When I have completed this blog I’ll go back and uncover the answers. Most unlike me. Maybe its the phases of the moon or on completely the wrong wavelength. I did get 10a but purlely by chance.
    Thanks to Giovani and Deep Threat.

  16. As far as I’m concerned GK is GK, whether it’s bible stories, Greek mythology, species of bird, cricketing terminology, gardening or geography. You either know it or you don’t and you’re either interested or you’re not.
    I agree that GK clues should have something cryptic about them, but a bluff and a double bluff is good enough.

    I’d actually forgotten that parable until I was reminded of it, but it does at least provide food for thought on the difference between sticking with pure principles or going with a Utilitarian idea of value ( well, more than a variety of water bird, for example) so, even though I didn’t get the answer, I wouldn’t complain. I suppose, like most people, I like it when I know the answer, like 24a or 3D.
    I’ve learned to suck up the rest – this week we’ve had a couple of pretty easy ones.

    1. Or Wales, perhaps? By that logic.
      Peterborough has, historically been in 3 counties, each in a different region.
      Skegness, now, I wonder….
      I’m guessing, Sabrinastar, you have a personal, and good, reason for your view.

    2. Not according to Wikipedia, it says NW England. But, I consider that DT slightly mishinted as my interpretation was that the ‘northern city’ was the one that ‘man’ was deleted from to give the See and nothing to do with the definition.

  17. Hola from the Vega Baja. 3*/3* for us
    Don’t like 23d – the definition of Oversentimental is exclusively American as far as I can see.
    Not in BRB or Collins but this from Webster’s :-
    “Excessively sweet, emotional, nostalgic; cheesy; mushy. (British equivalent: soppy)”

    1. I put soppy, then left wondering how ‘soy’ could possibly denote ‘should’ or some sort of State…….oh dear! Probably not the only one.

  18. Although a big fan of Giovanni , like some others , did not enjoy all of today’s although 21A & 16D are both excellent .

    The cricket is exciting to say the least

    Thanks to everyone .

  19. On the topic of ratings, how come we get fewer 4 and 5* ratings than, statistically, we ought?
    Shouldn’t the mean be 3? Or 2.5 if the range is 0-5?
    I’m looking forward to Mr Kitty’s survey results next week.

  20. I was completely fooled by 7d. Bunged it in, then checked the review when I’d finished. One of those “doh” moments. Very good. I also bunged in 9a thinking that a cube has that number of vertices. I was a bit slow filling this in today, but enjoyed it as I trudged along. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

  21. Just had to pop in to see what the good people of the site thought of a few of Mr Manley’s clues today. Glad to see that I am not the only one who didn’t think much of 10a and 23d (No RD – it is not in my BRB either). Otherwise, a fairly standard Friday Giovanni. No favourites.

    Thanks to all

    1. Hi everyone. I must make more of an effort to contribute to the site – but since retiring – I just don’t seem to the time :smile: I hope you are all well.

  22. Very enjoyable with some very witty clues. All quite straightforward. As I have bored people in the past, I enjoy a GK element. Congratulations to the Don on his 9a,10a. Toughie is putting up a fight – unlike the England cricketers!

  23. Luck, 10a, I thought of counting sheep to go to sleep up to a hundred and you should be in the fold of duvet!!! How the mind works!!

  24. Well I’m not sure what all the fuss is about! 10a was quite gettable with the checkers in place. And afterwards one looks it up and marvels! A normal Friday crossword for me I guess; parts were easy, the rest needed the grey cells to be active. 18d was my top clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni (and congratulations!), and to DT for the review.

  25. Not fair at all this. Although the bible is my favourite book, how am I supposed to remember papables and all that $h1t

    Ton a word for fashion, come on.

    Apart from that, fine. SAD!


  26. I always find Giovanni a considerable challenge, so start with that mindset.
    Very pleasantly surprised today as I completed it unaided except for 9a which I lazily got right without understanding why.
    Many thanks, Giovanni for the enjoyment and DT for the review.

  27. I have no problem with religious clues, as I consider my GK to be pretty good, but the complete obscurity of 10a spoilt the whole puzzle for me. I never consider a crossword finished until I understand all the answers, and I can honestly say there was not a snowball’s chance of ever fully parsing that monster.

    That apart, thanks as always to The Don and to DT for finally putting me out of my misery over 10a.

  28. Thanks to Giovanni, congratulations on reaching your 800th back-pager. Thanks to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A bit of a curate’s egg for me. Did not like 3d, 23d,21a and especially 10a. Favourite was 9a. Needed the hints for 5 clues. Very difficult. Was 4*/2* for me.

  29. 10 across. Maybe you don’t need to know the Parable in St Luke’s. When trying to go to sleep, don’t people advise counting sheep to 100?

  30. Having done reasonably well on the last couple of puzzles by the Don I thought I was winning,,, then got totally floored by this one. Took several attempts to do, eventually putting two thirds of the grid in & requiring the superb hints & direction of DT for the remainder. Thus did not find it as enjoyable as I should have.
    Many thanks to DT again & to Giovanni on what I am led to believe is the 800th back page puzzle, many congratulations!
    Well I’d best go find that blessed sheep.🐏

  31. Late on as I had to go out mid-solve. I like to solve in one sitting, so that discombobulated me for a start, but by and large I managed it even though my train of thought was thrown off kilter. This added a couple more stars for difficulty.
    I thought 16d was rather clever. I remembered the playwright in 3d, wasn’t he one of the young ‘uns known as the “kitchen sink playwrights?” My fave was 7d, lovely penny drop moment when I worked it out.
    Thanks Giovanni for the fun, and congrats are in order for your 800th! Thanks Deep Threat for the enlightenment for 17a, that was a bung in for me.

    1. Joe Orton was of that era, Medusa, but his 60s plays were black comedies/farce rather than kitchen-sink realism. I’m a big Orton fan and he had a wonderful turn of phrase which is both biting and classic British double entendre.
      The plots are completely subversive and shocking (for the time) – just like him.

      1. And what a life.
        The film about him with Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina is one of my favourite.

      2. Thanks for that. I just remembered the name but nothing much else. I should do a bit of googling, wonder what he’s doing now, if anything.

  32. Last in was 10a as kept searching for some wordplay in the clue. Certainly not a quick solve for us. Favourite 17a.
    Congratulations and thanks Giovanni and to DT for the review.

  33. Congratulations to Giovanni, a wonderful record. Think of the sleepless nights he has given me!

  34. Is it just me, or has anyone else thought that 10a might just be a typo?
    If “last” is a misprint for “lost”, the clue makes more sense.

  35. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who struggled with 9a (needed the hint) and 10a (solved from the checkers but otherwise in the dark).
    3d also totally defeated me – there was no indication of a French term (not that I had heard of the term, let alone the playwright…).

    ****/*** for me – would have been more enjoyable if I hadn’t needed the hints/answers.

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT. Also congrats on your 800th Giovanni!

  36. Have had guests to entertain all day but kept the back page open and popped in a word now and again. Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable solve but then that that’s usually the Friday case as I belong to the ‘fan club’ to which Jane refers above. My Fav was 18d and I also liked 11d. Never heard of 23d but in any case I made 29a difficult for myself by putting in the shock synonym rather than the 48 hours+. The 4d revolutionary does seem to be like a bad penny. Thanks for the hints DT.
    Congratulations and felicitations Giovanni on a fantastic anniversary and here’s to many more. 🍾💐.

  37. The Crossword Editor is Chris Lancaster however I think it’s a question of horses for courses because I personally am much more on Giovanni’s wavelength than is my case with other setters.

  38. Congratulations to Giovanni for producing so many crosswords.
    Never been very keen on those Rufus like clues in 10a, 27a and 28a as I call them but managed to finish.
    Which is always rewarding.
    Thanks to the Don and to DT for the review.

  39. I was unable to get 4d as my knowledge of mythology is limited. I did get the biblical clue and have no objection to its inclusion. We get American States, obscure authors, foreign words etc so why not Biblical content. We all have different levels of erudition. I enjoyed it .

  40. This was certainly *** for me, possibly ****. I completed it, but needed to confirm a couple via the hints, thanks for those. 9,10a and 4d.

    Great achievement for Giovanni, quite a milestone.

  41. A fair bit of poetic license and a couple of old chestnuts otherwise nothing untoward and a pleasant solve thanks to the setter, i enjoyed the hotel and call girl clues certainly raised a smile

  42. This was great fun. Thanks to Giovanni for the mental workout and to Deep Threat for the explanations. I finished it but needed 12 explanations to complete the enjoyment. My favourite clue 22a.

  43. 4*/3*……
    never spotted the 9A & 10A nina….
    liked 29A “shock reported for at least 48 hours (4)”

Comments are closed.