DT 29139 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29139

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29139

Hints and tips by Xena Warrior Princess

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BD’s Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the peaceful heart of Downtown LI. Peaceful that is apart from the continuous drone of massive tractors pulling massive trailers filled with either grain or bales which drive past our dwelling every ten minutes from very early in the morning until very late at night all through the harvest season. Well done to England’s Rugby and Cricket teams. It will take a while to wipe the smile from my face after those results.

As for the crossword. It’s just a crossword. Nothing to fuss about

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Topliner running police force (8)
INTERPOL: An anagram to start the grid fill. The anagram indicator is running. The fodder is Topliner and the definition is Police Force which I have underlined above.

9a    Shop available to rent (6)
OUTLET: A three-letter word meaning available for purchase, published or released (as in a record) is followed by a word meaning to rent

10a    Under canvas, firmly fixed? (6)
INTENT: Split 2,4 What you are when under canvas.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson decide to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”
“What does that tell you?”
Watson pondered for a minute.
“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”
“Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.”
“Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”
“Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.”
“Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”
“What does it tell you, Holmes?”
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, Someone has stolen our tent!”

11a    Humiliated dramatist’s young children (5,3)
SMALL FRY: How one feels when humiliated is followed by a dramatist who wrote The Lady’s Not For Burning. Although we refer to our children by this term I think it actually refers to fish. According to The Canal and Rivers Trust we have these in abundance in our stretch of The River Itchen

12a    The promotion of friendly relations — Thomas Telford’s forte? (6-8)
BRIDGE-BUILDING: Thomas Telford was a civil engineer. One of his most famous works was the link between the Welsh Mainland and Anglesey. The description of such engineering is also used to describe the engendering of entente cordiale which fits the enumeration of this clue but not the wordplay

15a    Staunch good man having me back (4)
STEM: Our regular crosswordland good guy is followed by the reverse of the word me

17a    In print as ‘Sordello’, Italian poet (5)
TASSO: Never heard of him but he is hidden within the words of the clue. He had the magnificent first name of Torquato

19a    New listener just round the corner (4)
NEAR: The abbreviation for New is followed by what a listener is as a part of your body. You should have one on each side of your head

20a    Flower power struggles? (4,2,3,5)
WARS OF THE ROSES: A cryptic definition of something taught in History lessons. Possibly involving a slight altercation between Yorkshire and Lancashire

23a    Close deal over cocoa, perhaps (8)
NIGHTCAP: A Four letter word meaning near or close by is followed by the reverse (over) of a word meaning a deal or formal agreement

25a    A finely dressed person, moreover (2,4)
AS WELL: Split 1,5 we have a dandy or fop. Split 2,4 we have another meaning which suits the definition

27a    Herb from bog by north-eastern lake (6)
FENNEL: A three letter bog is followed by the abbreviations for North, Eastern and Lake and Palmer

28a    Don’t see as many shining (8)
SPOTLESS: Another split is necessary here. This time 4,4 See a smaller amount perhaps


1d    Soon rule Charlie out (4)
ANON: a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged loses its first letter which happens to be the first letter of the word Charlie

2d    Caption, for example, appearing in advance (6)
LEGEND: The abbreviation of for example or say (exempli gratia) sits inside a verb meaning to advance a loan

3d    Additional matter involving learner driver (4)
PLUS: This matter is a thick yellowish or greenish opaque liquid produced in infected tissue, consisting of dead white blood cells and bacteria with tissue debris and serum. It contains the letter associated with learner drivers. No illustration

4d    Extra number gathering for dancing (2-4)
NO-BALL: This bye is a cricketing score of one run awarded after the bowler transgresses the complicated rules. We have the abbreviation for number followed by a large formal dance

5d    Horse from stable popular round ring (8)
STALLION: A word for a stable or a part of a stable suitable for housing one horse is followed by a word meaning popular which surrounds the roundest of letters

6d    Reverse: regret road crumbling (10)
RETROGRADE: Anagram (Crumbling) of REGRET ROAD

8d    Long-suffering doctor’s client (7)
PATIENT: A double Definition. A doctor’s client should suffice

13d    Scoundrel ringing with lie about dog (10)
ROTTWEILER: A scoundrel or cad surrounds the abbreviation for with and the reversal (about) of the word LIE which is gifted to us from the clue. The result is a dog. Why does the whole world desire to own such a thing?

14d    Unexpected defeat of leading group (5)
UPSET: A two-letter word meaning leading or atop is followed by a word meaning a like-minded group

16d    Hard worker, maybe, after car dealer (8)
MERCHANT: The car here is abbreviated. This abbreviation is not indicated in the clue. It is a German car that isn’t a Volkswagon or an Audi. The abbreviation for this car is followed by the abbreviation for hard and an insect worker

18d    Seasoning used when cooking duck with fresh orange (7)
OREGANO: The letter that looks like the cricketing score known as a duck is followed by an anagram (fresh) of ORANGE

21d    Standing by one detailed bid (2,4)
ON CALL: The word one needs its last or tail letter removing (de tailed). This is followed by a bid such as might be made during a game of bridge

22d    Author born essentially healthy (6)
ORWELL: The two central letters of the word born are joined by a word meaning healthy

24d    See 26 Down

26d & 24d Least likely station for a bugle call (4,4)
LAST POST: A word meaning least likely is joined by a word meaning a station on a route to make the most popular of bugle calls

Quickie Pun Top Line: braes+take=braised steak

Bottom Line: mesh+adorn Not this week folks


46 comments on “DT 29139

  1. Fairly standard Monday fare, I thought. Solved in ** time, with just the NE corner putting up any resistance. The parsing of 4d, 9a & 11a had me stumped for a while, but I got there in the end.

    Stokes for Prime Minister, maybe?

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  2. I filled this in on my tablet this morning, but kept pressing the submit button instead of the save as I was going along. Oh dear. Penalty points galore. Never mind. I liked 20a but not much else to say. Thank you setter and Zena. I trust she will be wearing the outfit at BD’s birthday bash in January, but she might feel the cold.

  3. Disappointingly short but sweet back-page fun today. Like MP was unfamiliar with 17a however Google came to the rescue. No Favs but no quibbles either. Thank you Mysteron and MP (not sure where Palmer comes into 27a?).

  4. A very simple solve this morning, almost over too quickly to fully enjoy the clues. I did like 20a.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and MP.

  5. The warrior princess is quite dismissive of the poor old setter, i tend to agree there were not any eureka moments nor cleverly constructed clues but after all it is monday, no giovanni type clues. However it was a very gentle solve and now i can go back to my times puzzle and i know that will have my brow well and truly furrowed.

  6. Just the parsing of 21d to cause any overdue head scratching but I didn’t think it was a gimme by any means.
    28a and 4d stood out for me in this pleasant puzzle.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his excellent and humorous review. (to use a crude acronym PMSL at the Holmes/Watson joke!)

  7. A little tame for a Monday. I had always felt sympathy for those that did not follow cricket as so many clues relate to this great game – thus with today’s early down clue – but after this summer are there any non cricket fans left in the country? With all those jaffers and partnered with a rabbit – Ben still came through for England. Long live the beautiful game and the beautiful terms associated with it.

  8. Standard Monday fare over too soon. 17a was a bit obscure but the advice that when in doubt look for a lurker, together with a bit of light googling found the answer. I am glad that 3d didn’t come with an illustration but wondered if it might suit a clip of “I am the Walrus”?
    Two herbs and a meagre serving of fish meant that there was not a lot to eat today.
    Thanks to Xena and setter.

  9. A gentle start to the week and I quite enjoyed it. However, I wonder if I was the only one who got 24d and 26d the wrong way round. It was logical to me to write it as spoken thus getting the two words the wrong way round. I should have followed the clue which clearly stated 26d was first.

    Grateful thanks Xena and the setter.

    1. Your clue is brilliant!

      All-rounder, having bowled first, seeks ton that’s outrageous (3,6)

      1. Thanks, Stan; glad you liked it. Funnily enough, a clue in next Tuesday’s crossword references Ben Stokes, but in less flattering terms! My excuse is that I wrote it before England’s victory in the World Cup.

  10. Standard Monday fare and pleasant enough if not very taxing

    Yes MP – grain, unfeasibly large haystacks and massive machinery that looks like something from War Of The Worlds, but I suppose if we want bread on the table… Then there’s a total of 96 buses every day, countless lorries and excessively noisy boy racer cars and bikes who have modified their vehicles in order to maximise the noise they make. Let’s just call them self-satisfying persons of questionable parentage. Oh and the Fire Station and Ambulance Station at the bottom of the road. On the upside, I once saw someone drive by who wasn’t speeding

    Anyone care to enlighten me as to what the challenge CL mentions is all about – I don’t do FB on ethical grounds, but would be interested. Is there another way to access it?

    Many thanks to setter and MP – the joke raised a laugh here too

  11. Very quickly completed, this was a straightforward Monday puzzle (*/***) but quite enjoyable. I liked 12a and 1d. Thanks to the compiler and to the Warrior Princess for confirmation of the Italian poet.

  12. A gentle start to the week with no complications encountered. 17a had to be what it was and that was it. Job done. 28a was my top clue.
    Thanks to the setter, and to the X man/woman for the review.

  13. Nice and straightforward for a Bank Holiday Monday 😃 **/*** Favourites are 12 & 28a 😉 Thanks to MP and to the Setter 👍

  14. Pretty much a write in for me, unusually so! Thanks to the setter and as always an entertaining MP.

  15. As all have said easy but enjoyable. 20a my favourite . Puzzled by 27a. No mention of Palmer in my clue. Thanks to Zena and the setter

    1. I had the same query re 27a in Comment 3 above but MalcolmR put me straight in his Reply.

  16. Managed this one alone and unaided so enjoyed it…..but Tasso ? really? OK it was a lurker so easily spotted, but not exactly in everyone’s store of general knowledge.

    Emerson Lake and Palmer are known in our house as Emerson Lake and Fittipaldi for reasons which have been lost in the mists of time.

    Thanks to Xena and to the setter.

      1. Emerson Lake and Palmer. Kieth Greg and Carl of that ilk.responsible for many great tracks.
        This is probably the best known.

        1. ELP’s Works Vol 1 was the first album I ever bought. When I got it home, my Dad wouldn’t let me play it on his stereogram as “that rubbish will break my stylus”.

        2. Thanks! And there was I thinking they were something to do with cricket, now I’m wiser.

  17. Enjoyable start to the week, no complaints at all.
    I rather liked 12a, so that’s my fave.
    Thank you our Monday setter and thanks to Xena for showing us the way.

  18. Quiet here today – where is everyone?
    I agree it was fairly straightforward even without many anagrams.
    Never heard of the lurking poet but even I found that one.
    28a was my favourite.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to MP.
    Too hot to do anything useful so I’m not even going to try – Mr Rookie now I think.

  19. I’m going a bit ‘off piste’ today. Enjoyed the puzzle which I needed after a nail biting day yesterday. I’m the daughter of a played in life member of the MCC who died in 2000. I adore cricket and drove like something possessed to get home after a posh lunch knowing only 17 runs needed. I live in Cley in Norfolk, a village which is horrendous to travel through at peak times, so I missed the climax and Radio Norfolk announced ‘something amazing, we’ve won the test.’. FANTASTIC. A bit like my first ever visit to Lords aged about 8. Dad said you will never forget the first over of the first day of a test at Lords.! We did, due to a traffic accident and arrived half an hour late! Happy memories. Wonderful day yesterday, oh yes, thanks to all for a pleasing puzzle.

  20. Much to Rose’s disgust, Gray not only recognised the poet but produced his first name unprompted. No-one likes a clever- clogs …. the fun in this crossword was in the parsing, as most of the answers popped in nicely but we needed the blog to understand 21d! Many thanks to setter and Zena. 🙂

  21. Very entertaining puzzle although I did make a bit of a 13d’s breakfast of it early on. Thanks to setter and Zena.

  22. I enjoyed this puzzle. Doesn’t need to be tough to be enjoyable, there’s always the Toughie for that. Some of us like a gentle start to the week, and this was just that. Of course I had no idea what 4d was, not being a cricket fan. But did love the pictures of Stokes enjoying his fantastic moment of glory nevertheless. 17a was clearly a lurker so no problem there. Thought 2 down was rather good. Thanks to Miffypops for the hints.

  23. 3*/3*….liked the anecdote in the hint to 10A …
    COD 25A “a finely dressed person, moreover (2,4)”

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