DT 29155 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29155

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29155

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny September morning.

I found today’s Giovanni very accessible, with only the oily substance at 19d giving me any trouble. Others may of course differ.

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           Belief as source of hope in troubled times? (6)
THEISM – Anagram (troubled) of TIMES wrapped around the first letter (source) of Hope, giving us a word for belief in a supreme being.

4a           Pussy eats stewed bream or some other seafood (8)
CRABMEAT – The animal familiarly known as pussy, wrapped around an anagram (stewed) of BREAM.

Image result for crabmeat

9a           Previous enemy’s ending in house of prayer (6)
PRIORY – Another word for previous followed by the last letter (ending) of enemY.

10a         Physically abusive types offering kisses? (8)
SMACKERS – Some big, wet kisses can also be a word describing people who, in PC terminology, are physically abusive. Otherwise known to previous generations as ‘parents’.

11a         Sadly never having had food, daughter becomes exhausted (9)
ENERVATED – Anagram (sadly) of NEVER, followed by ‘had food’ and Daughter.

13a         Girl revealed in silly diary (5)
LYDIA – Hidden in the clue.

14a         Underground worker, ace thinking properly about study of ores (13)
MINERALOGICAL – Put together a person who works underground, the symbol found on the corner of an ace in a pack of cards, and ‘thinking properly’ (like Mr Spock in Star Trek?).

17a         Cool instruction to assistant dealing with letters seen as trivial (13)
INSIGNIFICANT – Another word for ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’ followed by a command (4,2,1,4) which might be addressed to an assistant dealing with someone’s correspondence.

21a         Maybe censor article in Gaelic language (5)
ERASE – Another word for the Gaelic language with an indefinite article inserted.

23a         In pain, wasted away, left abandoned (9)
ANGUISHED – Remove the Left from a word meaning ‘wasted away’.

24a         Horse with excellent name — Ben, maybe? (8)
MOUNTAIN – Put together a horse which is ridden, the two letters which look like an alphanumerical expression for ‘excellent’, and Name. There are many examples of the answer in Scotland, many of them called ‘Ben’ something or other.

25a         Robe — king has one on, smothering maiden with love (6)
KIMONO – Put together the chess notation for a king; the Roman numeral for one and ON (from the clue) wrapped around the cricketing abbreviation for a maiden over; and the letter which looks like a love score at tennis.

Image result for kimono

26a         Sign of a bull? One grins, shaking (4-4)
NOSE-RING – Anagram (shaking) of ONE GRINS.

Image result for bull nose ring

27a         Greek characters given guidance about endless assignment (6)
DELTAS – Reverse (about) a word for ‘given guidance’, then add an assignment or chore with the final letter removed (endless).


1d           A good sort in formal headgear (6)
TOPPER – Double definition, the second being an informal term for the sort of hat worn by men at Royal Ascot.

Image result for top hat

2d           I deem rip’s bad in protective layer (9)
EPIDERMIS – Anagram (bad) of I DEEM RIP’S.

3d           Endeavoured to be good person, motivated without leader (7)
STRIVEN – The answer is a past participle. To get to it, start with the abbreviated form of the title of a canonised person, then add on the past participle form of a word for ‘motivated’ or ‘compelled’ minus its first letter (without leader).

5d           Giving new style to funny old men, girl full of energy (11)
REMODELLING – Anagram (funny) of OLD MEN GIRL with Energy inserted.

6d           Support wooden person in tasks still to be dealt with (7)
BACKLOG – ‘Give support to’ followed by a figure of speech (in the BRB) for an inert or unresponsive person, or a lump of wood.

7d           In conclusion this writer is correct (5)
EMEND – Insert the pronoun for ‘this person’ into a conclusion or finish to get a verb for correcting a piece of text.

8d           The empty farm’s outhouse that can be tried out (8)
TESTABLE – T(h)E (‘the’ empty) followed by a farm building where horses are kept.

12d         Finish period with one group of people (11)
TERMINATION – Put together a period of work at a school or university, the Roman numeral for one, and an ethnic or political grouping of people.

15d         Ruffian that could give someone a close shave (3-6)
CUT-THROAT – This term for a violent ruffian is also applied to an open-bladed razor.

Image result for cut throat razor

16d         Team’s players — they may be collecting money on Sunday (8)
SIDESMEN – Another word for a team, plus the ‘S, followed by another word for the male members of the team, giving us a term for the people who take up the collection in church, as well as welcoming visitors to the church.

18d         Bigger kitchen device being heard (7)
GREATER – Another word for ‘bigger’ which sounds like (being heard) a kitchen tool used to reduce something (cheese, nutmeg, for example) to small pieces.

19d         Oily substance — a product available in Belfast? (7)
ANILINE – Put together A (from the clue), the initials of the province of the UK where Belfast is to be found, and one of the products found on the stock list of a company.

20d         Awful notes after party upset (6)
ODIOUS – Reverse (upset) one of the usual crossword parties, then add some notes expressing indebtedness.

22d         Fevers with some vague symptoms (5)
AGUES – Hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun STRAYED + LIONS = STRAIGHT LINES

42 comments on “DT 29155

  1. I’m always satisfied when I can finish without aids, particularly on a Friday, and in *** time.

    I had to check the meaning of 19d; I’ve a feeling we’ve had that word before. 23a was a bung in, I really couldn’t parse it, other than the last four letters being ‘abandoned’ perhaps. And the hint from DT clearly shows that I was wrong!

    COTD has to be the glorious 17a.

    Many thanks to DT and the Don.

  2. The W side of this puzzle went in much more easily than the East and one or two clues in the latter made it **/*** for difficulty. It was quite enjoyable (***) and I particularly liked the long anagrams and 23a. Thanks to DT for help in parsing a few, which is I bunged in and thanks to Giovanni.

  3. I loved this crossword which took me my normal Friday time and was very enjoyable. I laughed out loud after solving 17a, so that has to be my favourite of a good bunch.

    I originally put the wrong final letter on 3d but that was fixed when the solution to 14a became obvious.

    Many thanks to DT and Giovanni.

  4. Glad to be back to the DT. Struggled with the TF (upset) in Abu Dhabi all week, though I managed to complete one. I didn’t have a struggle with this one today which was a relief. I liked 4a and 15d for their simplicity. 25a took a bit of working out, but shouldn’t have for a cricket fan. I was just being a bit dim. Oh dear, that’s the washing machine beeping ready to take another load. Why does everything beep these days ? So annoying! Many thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat.

    1. I wish ours just beeped. When it is done it sings a song and wont let you open the door until Schubert has played an encore

      1. I have the same washing machine!
        Enjoyable solve today – I like long anagrams. Had to use a couple of hints so ***/*** for me.
        Liked 10a & 18d. 19d took me back 42 years to A Level chemistry.

  5. I always want 11a to mean exactly the opposite of what it actually does – puts me in mind of effervescent and energised!
    Didn’t care for 8d or the Quickie pun but thought 17a was nicely constructed.

    Thanks to DG and to DT – loved your hint for 10a!

  6. The oily substance was the only real holdup for me too – but the clue was very helpful

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  7. Giovanni was in less friendly mode for me this week. I’m with Jane and Senf re meaning of 11a. The clever 17a was a bung-in but then it became my Fav and I also strove to justify 3d. SE was last corner to yield mainly due to 19d not coming to mind, wittty though it is. Thank you DG and DT.

  8. As DT said, very accessible with the exception of 19d which must surely be an oldie but goodie, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 21a and 16d – and the winner is 16d, just.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  9. with all the checkers in, the answer to 17a was obvious but i still couldn’t parse it so thanks to DT for his explanation.

  10. Finished most of it earlier then had to break/dash off before returning to finalise with 19D being last entry/new word .

    17A and 10A joint favourites for far different reasons .

    Thanks to DT and G .

  11. I just loved 17 across, best clue of the week I think. Thank you to Giovanni and the man from Sunny Staffs.

  12. What a real pleasure to do such a well constructed and entirely logical crossword. So unlike yesterdays stinker whose logic was an acquired taste. Fridays puzzle is usually my favourite.
    Best clue for me was 24a having climbed a number of these in my youth.
    Thx to all esp to Giovanni.

  13. What a change from yesterday a gentle stroll though crossword land, although hint required for 19d. I quite liked 24a and 14a.
    Thank to DT and Giovanni.

  14. Solved on my usual Friday bus ride over the Cat and Fiddle – it’s great solving on the bus as you can gaze at the beautiful scenery whilst cogitating. This was another fine puzzle from G with good clues providing a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. I did have a bit of a brain-freeze for a while with13a, convincing myself it had to be an anagram (silly) of diary instead of the lurker it actually was. Favs of a splendid bunch: 11a, 24a. 3* / 4*

    1. PS. Take a look at this clip from the BBC film, Life of a Mountain: Blencathra. A beautiful mountain and a beautiful choral piece by an amateur choir.

      1. Saw that on the telly last night. It was very good. I am pleased you found a link to hear it again.

  15. Agree with DT on a **/***, 19a I thought was somewhat obscure, good job I’m a chemist! Last in was 27a and took a while to parse.
    Liked the surface of 14a and my favourite when I unscrambled the clue.
    26A did not quite work for me even with the question mark-maybe I’m missing something.
    Anyway an enjoyable weeks crosswords-thanks all.

  16. Not too much of my usual Friday trouble.
    I’ve never heard of 19d and I’m not sure that I’ve met 16d either – must have something to do with not going to church!
    I needed the hint to understand, and appreciate, 17a – I got as far as ‘cool’ = first two letters – dim!.
    I felt a bit sorry for the bull in the pic for 26a and I agree about the PC brigade in DT’s hint for 10a.
    Clues that stood out for me were 10 and 14a and 15d. Favourite by miles, now that I ‘get’ it, was 17a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and too DT.
    Off to do some cooking now – elder Lamb, her partner and our two year old grandson coming for the weekend.

    1. Re 16d, I’d never heard of that either as the people who take up collection in church, and my early years were in the protection of an Anglican boarding school, I was chapelled and churched more times than you’ve had hot dinners.

  17. **/****. Enjoyable once I got on the right wavelength. Had to google a couple to check my answers. Thanks to Giovanni and DT for the review.

  18. Other than 19d everything seemed to gel fairly well. 17a was a bung-in; only when I had entered it did I appreciate the clue.
    I also liked 3d and that is my top clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.

  19. Liked 16d. All in all, a pleasant puzzle for a Friday and all finished on the District line from Wimbledon to Mansion House.

  20. First things first, please wish Sadie a happy eighth birthday today – her smiling face is on the left in the avatar.

    I found this tricky but I did manage to finish, after visiting the hints to get me going again when I reached an impasse.
    I thought 8d grated, very iffy. Good grief, DT, how far back did you have to go to find 13a.
    My fave was 24a, with 17a the most giggle worthy.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for unravelling a few for me.

  21. Lovely Friday fare today. Finished while waiting for Mama Bee to get her Barnet Prinked. Even had time to peruse the hints which even if unneeded today were amusing as usual. I will go with Brian and Merusa picking 24a as my fave. I too have been up many a Beinn but still a long way off being a Munroist.
    Thanks to DT and Gio.
    I am feeling in a positive mood so I will have a go at the toughie.

  22. A slight hesitation and BRB check required for 19d but everything else flowed smoothly for us with by far the biggest smile coming from the wordplay for 17a.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  23. Not as amiable as DT suggested but not horrendous once I had a wavelength retune. A steady solve which I enjoyed a lot.
    3*/4* favs 11ac & 17ac
    Many thanks to Giovanni & DT for review

  24. Beaten in the semi final of the Golf Club foursomes this afternoon, so not in the best temper…
    Just beaten by the Gaelic language, new one for me.
    A few obscurities, I begin to realise how limited my vocabulary is doing the DT crossword.
    Thanks all…

    1. Know what you mean about the vocab Hoofit, worst thing is when everyone else seems to be completely au fait.
      What the heck – a few things eventually filter through the grey matter!

  25. Loved it. Completed without any assistance except for 19D
    At last a Giovanni puzzle I’ve finished
    **/ *****
    Thanks to all

  26. Overall I enjoyed this but would give a *** for difficulty, myself.

    I got 20d with help from the hint – I would never have thought of “IOUs” simply from the word “notes”. As nobody else mentioned it, is it one of those classic crosswordland usages I’ve not come across?

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  27. Like others, stumped by the oily substance – not helped by having the wrong Greek letters. Loved seeing Groucho’s Tattooed Lady again – it’s what I always think of when I see the name Lydia (that and my old headmistress). Although I may stop thanking you, DT, as I’ve got a feeling the tune is going to be going round in my head for the rest of the day. Thanks to you and DG – most enjoyable.

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