DT 29149 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29149

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29149

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a grey and windy South Staffs.

I found today’s Giovanni quite tricky, with 3d and 6d the last two in. I knew I was looking for an anagram in 3d, but took a long time to get to the answer.

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           Philosopher showing aptitude, performer going over the top? (7)
BENTHAM – An inclination or aptitude followed by the word for an actor who overplays his role. The answer was an English philosopher of the 18th and 19th centuries, who put forward the principle that “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.” His preserved remains were, at his instruction, displayed at University College, London.

Image result for bentham

5a           Distant artist needing energy, in disordered state (7)
FARRAGO – Put together another word for ‘distant’, the usual crossword artist, and another word for ‘energy’ or ‘vitality’.

9a           Garden tool not right — it should be drier (5)
TOWEL – Remove the R(ight) from a garden hand tool to get something to dry yourself with.

10a         Unexciting partner in an impasse (9)
STALEMATE – ‘Unexciting’ or ‘past its best’ followed by a life partner.

Image result for stalemate

11a         Band’s ending — is gig put off? (10)
DISCONCERT – Put together the last letter (ending) of banD, IS (from the clue), and a musical gig or performance.

12a         Ruler starts to expect miracles immediately, right? (4)
EMIR – The initial letters of the last 4 words of the clue.

14a         Claim dire sin somehow should be made illegal (12)
CRIMINALISED – Anagram (somehow) of CLAIM DIRE SIN.

18a         Green type shows this problem (12)
INEXPERIENCE – Cryptic definition of the disadvantage displayed by someone who is green, or new to a job.

21a         Christopher, husband in social group (4)
KITH – A diminutive form of Christopher followed by Husband, giving us a group normally seen in the phrase ‘—- and kin’.

22a         Cheddar rather than brie? Bad luck! (4,6)
HARD CHEESE – A physical description of Cheddar, as opposed to Brie, produces this metaphorical expression for ‘bad luck’.

25a         A vile tent — foul air (9)
VENTILATE – Anagram (foul) of A VILE TENT.

26a         Star must get hold of office assistant quickly (5)
APACE – A star performer wrapped around the acronym for someone who works directly for a more senior person in an office.

27a         King, a Northumbrian one, first to enjoy alcoholic drink (3,4)
RED WINE – Put together the Latin abbreviation for king, the name of one of the kings of Northumbria, and the first letter of Enjoy.

28a         Resists abnormally religious women (7)
SISTERS – Anagram (abnormally) of RESISTS.


1d           Happen to be facing revolutionary change (6)
BETIDE – BE (from the clue) followed by the reverse (revolutionary) of the sort of change you might make to a piece of text.

2d           Youngest sheep in Australian territory (6)
NEWEST – The abbreviation for the Australian state of which Darwin is the capital, wrapped around some female sheep.

3d           Flowering plant exciting holier poet (10)
HELIOTROPE – Anagram (exciting) of HOLIER POET.

Image result for heliotrope

4d           What is noted to be the ‘food of love’? (5)
MUSIC – A reference here to the first line of Twelfth Night: ‘If —– be the food of love, play on …’ Something which is a collection of notes (is noted).

5d           Pleasant influence of guy in European country (9)
FRAGRANCE – To guy or tease, with the country across La Manche wrapped around it.

6d           Bird to perceive the sound of river rising (4)
RHEA – Start with ‘perceive the sound of’, then move the abbreviation for River to the top (river rising) to get this flightless bird.

Image result for rhea

7d           Like a fog around end of October creating panic (8)
ALARMIST – A two-word (1,2) phrase for ‘like’ or ‘in the manner of’ and a light fog, placed either side of the last letter of OctobeR.

8d           Set aside across the street, we hear? (8)
OVERRODE – Another word for ‘across’ followed by a homophone (we hear) of another word for ‘street’.

13d         Idiots obstruct leaders (10)
BLOCKHEADS – ‘Obstruct’ of ‘get in the way of’, followed by some leaders of departments or states.

15d         Meal drama — terrible breakfast food? (9)
MARMALADE – Anagram (terrible) of MEAL DRAMA.

16d         Give sign of approval to maiden perhaps seen as idle (4,4)
TICK OVER – The sign of approval a teacher might put against a correct piece of work, followed by something which may be a maiden in cricket.

17d         Ordained theologian goes round estate with trendy curate finally (8)
DESTINED – Put together an abbreviation for ESTate, another word for ‘trendy’, and the last letter of curatE, then wrap the letters after the name of an academic theologian around the result.

19d         Peril created by fellows leading a church (6)
MENACE – Some fellows or chaps followed by A (from the clue) and the initials of the Church of England.

20d         People dealing with needles in channels (6)
SEWERS – Double definition: people using needles to make stitches; or underground channels for taking away waste.

23d         Acts to produce legal documents (5)
DEEDS – Double definition, both nouns, the first being ‘acts’ or ‘exploits’.

24d         One lacking intelligence brought up in part of France (4)
MIDI – Put together the Roman numeral for one and Kath’s favourite word for ‘lacking intelligence’, then reverse the result to get a word for the South of France.

The Quick Crossword pun LEVER + LOAN = LEAVE ALONE

37 comments on “DT 29149

  1. Not my favourite from Giovanni , mainly due to the first 2 across clues being a little obscure , but satisfaction on completion.

    My COTD 20D .

    Thanks to everyone (except for most MPs ! )

  2. My only hold up with this otherwise Friendly Giovanni was having a Kath moment with 24d

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  3. Was quickly on Giovanni’s wavelength and, as usual, enjoyed his challenge. Was familiar with philosopher’s maxim although did not recall his name and 1d was not figured out so the extreme 1a/1d corner held out until last. Bunged in 27a as had forgotten Northumbrian king. Not sure about 18a. Fav was 7d. Thank you DG and DT.

  4. I found this a fairly gentle offering from the Don with plenty of “gimmes” and a few requiring more thought but no stinkers and overall very enjoyable. 2.5*/4*.

    Podium places to 11a, 16d and 7d.

    Thanks to DG and DT.

  5. Ta for explaining 1a – last in having looked up a list of philosophers. Is that allowed? I thought it was something going over a T. 3d dropped in early as I knew it through Scott Joplin’s piece H Boquet. Although I knew the expression ‘K and Kin’ I never knew what K meant; I do now. 2*/3* for me today.

  6. Apart from a similar experience as CS on 24d, a very pleasant end to the work week completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 18a even though I was fixated on eco-warriors for green to start with, 13d, and the aforementioned 24d – and the winner is the very succinct 13d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  7. Like you DT, I gave this *** for difficulty, largely because a few extended synonyms held me up. So thanks for your help in parsing 1d and 5d. It was more enjoyable than yesterday’s puzzle (***) although only 1a and 10a were real favourites. Thanks to Giovanni.

  8. I did a vague clockwise circle from 10a before returning to the top.
    1a went in with the available checkers, but 1d resisted briefly, mainly because I don’t like words in the clue becoming part of the solution verbatim and I don’t expect it from G. My least favourite clue, followed by 18a.

    Otherwise, all OK. Like CS, 24d kept me waiting…….why? I don’t know. I kept wanting to fit in IQ and it wouldn’t…….
    Thanks G and DT……….(that’s nearly G and T….). .I’ll get my coat.

  9. I agree that todays Giovanni needed a bit of thinking about but nonetheless very enjoyable even if I struggled with the meaning of 5a. Needed the excellent hints parse 26a and 27a. My personal fav was 1a as an ex alumni of UCL where he sits in state (as long as rival colleges leave him alone).
    Thx to all

    1. I hope you’ve unknotted your hanky and looked at the review of last Saturday’s crossword

  10. I’ve yet to finish a whole Tel crossword unaided but I did OKish on this one. Many thanks to Deep Threat.

  11. Got through this pretty quickly but 6d and 24d were bung ins and I needed the explanations.

    The Toughie is an Elgar with an unfortunate number of 4 letter words. I am really going to need the blog for this one!

  12. Well that was interesting. I found this reasonable but was left with three I could not parse. 1a, 6d and 5d. I’ve never heard of Bentham and what’s more was trying to put the dodgy actor inside (over the top) of the skill. Got the bird but only the hints saved me from fretting about the reason. The perfume (pleasant interlude?) I half parsed but was looking for a tease in the letters AGR or GRA. My eye did not wander far enough up the column. **/**** Thank you.

  13. Hailing from that land, I knew the King of Northumbria making 27A my favourite but I struggled with the anagram for 3D and thought 6D was a small river without the B(ird) which threw off 10A for a good while

  14. Definitely a ***/*** for me. Bentham’s body and skull are kept at University College as he requested that his body should be kept and treated so it could be an auto-icon(???!).

    His philosophic principle was the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the measure of right and wrong. 1a today does not seem to have succeeded in that aim.

    1. Perhaps we should send copies of Bentham’s work to the House of Commons and lock the doors from the outside until all the MPs have read it!

  15. Mr Manley in a benevolent mood I thought – with just a few tricksy clues. I think our setters have had a slight theme going on this past week as I have noticed that a few Chess terms have been used in various puzzles – Endgame, Checkmate and now 10a. Maybe just coincidence. The NW corner was the last to fall as Philosophers are not my strong point and I needed a few checkers to be sure who 1a was. Other than that – a pleasant solve with no particular favourites. Now off to do battle with my Nemesis in the Toughie…….I may be some time :cool:

    Thanks to DG for the puzzle and to DT for his review.

    I have watched nearly all 4 seasons pass by from the comfort of my conservatory. Still no sign of Frankie though…..

  16. 2*/2*. Accurately clued but lacking in sparkle. The rather obscure 1a was my last one in.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  17. Difficult today needed your hints, still had to look at 5a, just didn’t click. Obviously different wave length. Ta

  18. What a difference a day makes and – unlike Chriscross – it was yesterday’s that brought me the most pleasure. Horses for courses and all that!

    Thanks to DG and to DT for the blog. 1a looks to be a somewhat unusual character – couldn’t decide whether he’s seated in the confessional or on the privy. Either way, the hat seemed a little out of place!

  19. If nothing else 5a gave me a new word to describe the handling of Brexit.
    I liked the excellent 7d along with 16d, but overall I felt it had a slightly dated feel to it. That’s not to say I don’t admire the setter’s skill. Many thanks to him and to DT for his crystal clear review.

  20. A good crossword certainly but it lacked a bit of sparkle for me. There was nothing too demanding; even the philosopher was ‘gettable’ from the clue. 13d seemed apt considering what’s going on at the moment.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  21. How can one type five lines of text and it just disappear?
    This was a mixture of some gimmes and some pretty obscure.
    I shamelessly used a word search for the philosopher, didn’t know him, but I like his principle.
    I thought 14a was about as clumsy as burglarised and a real mouthful, and I still don’t get the “guy” in 5d.
    Once I had a few checkers my 3d went right in, I love the colour.
    My fave was 22a, memories of Terry Thomas with his huge grin and space between the teeth.
    Thank you Giovanni, and to Deep Threat for unravelling some of the obscurities.

    1. Guy and rag are rather obscure synonyms when used as verbs. Common in crosswordland but nowhere else.

  22. I too had a bit of trouble with 3d and 6d but sorted with the hints. Astupid spelling mistake in 18a prevented a full score but I still enjoyed the tussle.
    Thanks to Dt and Gio.
    Grief trying to transfer my phone and broadband to a new supplier has probably fried my brain too much to tackle the toughie but I will have a look after I have calmed down but fear I will not have the brains or time for an assault on an Elgar toughie.

  23. A pleasant solve that all went together smoothly for us, even the philosopher in 1a.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  24. A bit of a grind through tonight for me, didn’t find it exceptionally difficult more a touch arduous… sorry.
    Not as entertaining .
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for review

  25. First pass revealed very few answers. To my surprise I steadily got more and more until I was left with 6d. Almost gave up on it but thankfully it came to me. Did not properly parse 7d. Favourites 5 and 10 across and 2 and 16d. I felt great satisfaction when completed even if it stretched to **** time. Thank you setter and DT for confirming my uncertainties

  26. Reply 10 above says it was from Jenny. It wasn’t from me, can you have two people using the same name or is someone using my log on?

  27. Another good puzzle from G, about average difficulty and enjoyable enough. Never heard of 1a but from the word-play the answer couldn’t really be anything else. Fav:7d. 2.5* /3*

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