DT 29158 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29158

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29158

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome.  This week I have no idea about the identity of our setter, so if they're reading I do hope they'll comment below.  I got a worryingly long way through the acrosses before the answers started to flow.  Fortunately, the bottom half of the grid and most of the downs were more friendly, and the setter also included a few Usual Suspects to provide footholds.  I enjoyed the solve and thought this puzzle was just right for a Tuesday.  I look forward to reading your thoughts on it. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and precise definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the 42 buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Understand about power with revolutionary's lectures (8)
SPEECHES:  Understand or get containing (about) the physics symbol for power is followed by the usual revolutionary with his S from the clue

5a    Lovely and short luxurious material (6)
FABRIC:  Stick together a dated word for lovely or great and all but the last letter (short) of a synonym of luxurious

10a   Unfortunately Aaron did live with con artist (8,2,5)
LEONARDO DA VINCI:  An anagram (unfortunately) of AARON DID LIVE CON

11a   Boys grabbing pet's front or back (7)
SPONSOR:  What boys must be containing (grabbing) Pet's front letter and followed by OR from the clue

12a   Small drink in India as an alternative (7)
INSTEAD:  The clothing abbreviation for small and a drink made from leaves are together inserted in the IVR code for India

13a   Look: work transport (8)
AIRCRAFT:  Fuse together look or appearance and a synonym of work

15a   Urge to go under water -- welcoming river (5)
DRIVE:  Plunge into water or submerge containing (welcoming) the map abbreviation for river

18a   In the lead after kid's sum (3,2)
TOT UP:  Leading a football match, for example, comes after a kid or small child

20a   Increase dependency? Not Charlie! (8)
ADDITION:  A word for dependency minus the letter corresponding to Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet (not Charlie)

23a   European shy, holding record for science (7)
ECOLOGY:  The single letter for European is followed by shy or bashful containing (holding) a record of a ship's voyage, for example

25a   Salesman with shoestring substitute (7)
REPLACE:  A usual salesman with a string that fastens a shoe

26a   Move fascists to India, creating resentment (15)

27a   Tremulous excitement -- it follows day with the woman (6)
DITHER:  IT from the clue follows the single letter for day and then has a pronoun for 'the woman' appended

28a   Passions never oddly dropped in brief sexual encounters (8)
FEELINGS:  nEvEr with its odd letters deleted (oddly dropped) is inserted in some brief sexual encounters



1d    Diver tries to avoid this headline story (6)
SPLASH:  This word for a headline story is also something that a competitive diver tries to avoid.  Polar bears, not so much…

2d    Change to incomes -- one studies them (9)
ECONOMIST:  An anagram (change …) of TO INCOMES.  The definition references the rest of the clue

3d    One caught after lesson producing standard work (7)
CLASSIC:  The Roman one and the cricketing abbreviation for caught both come after a lesson at school

4d    The Spanish communist climbs tree (5)
ELDER:  'the' in Spanish with the reversal (… climbs, in a down clue) of another word for a communist

6d    Warned I've dad's pants (7)
ADVISED:  An anagram (… pants, in its slang sense of nonsense) of I'VE DAD'S

7d    North concealed by wobbly compass (5)
RANGE:  The single letter for north inserted in (concealed by) a wobbly or fit of anger

8d    Doctor in South American country with November issue (8)
CHILDREN:  An abbreviation for doctor is inserted in a South American country and followed by the letter represented by November in the NATO phonetic alphabet.  This uplifting video doesn't have too much to do with the clue.  But it does feature 8d, and I've been wanting to share it for a while because it made me smile

9d    District Attorney turned up with glove, and editor confessed (8)
ADMITTED:  Concatenate the reversal (turned up, in a down clue) of the abbreviation for District Attorney, a type of glove, and the usual abbreviated editor

14d   Study broken nails, say (8)
ANALYSIS:  An anagram (broken …) of NAILS SAY

16d   Quarantine, to a lion, is criminal (9)
ISOLATION:  An anagram (... criminal) of TO A LION IS

17d   Was a guest for a bike race knocked off? (8)
ATTENDED:  Link together A from the clue, the abbreviation for a famous motorbike time trial (not a race), and knocked off or completed

19d   Lay flat embracing a female, upset (7)
PROFANE:  An adjective synonym of flat or face downwards containing (embracing) the reversal (upset, in a down clue) of A from the clue and the abbreviation for female.  This was my last one in because I didn't know the meaning of the answer that's used here 

21d   Current yen for nothing -- to be expected (7)
TYPICAL:  A word meaning current or up-to-date has the single letter for yen (as currency) substituted for the letter resembling zero (nothing)

22d   Tense wrongdoer not quite up for game (6)
TENNIS:  The grammatical abbreviation for tense with the reversal (up, in a down clue) of all but the last letter (… not quite) of a wrongdoer

24d   Where one might see actor start (5)
ONSET:  The answer split (2,3) could be where one might see an actor at work

25d   Surrender if legionnaire holds this? (5)
RIFLE:  The combination of the first three words of the clue conceals (holds) the answer.  The entire clue functions as definition with all but the last word being wordplay, making this a semi-all-in-one clue


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I especially enjoyed 11a, 12a, 27a, 7d, and 21d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SUNDAES + COOLS = SUNDAY SCHOOLS

48 comments on “DT 29158

  1. I really couldn’t get this started, until I looked at the down clues, these gave me a foothold which soon saw the rest fall. Two held me up, 7d and 13a, but a quick break and a rethink had those fall also.

    I saw an answer to 7d, but just couldn’t see the ‘wobbly’, until I realised that in this neck of the woods we say ‘wobbler’.

    13a just held out to put the whole puzzle into *** time.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. An enjoyable crossword (***), which took slightly longer than average(***) due to a few hold ups in the SW corner. The penny took a long time to drop with 13a, which became my favourite clue. The anagram at 26 a was good too. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  3. Getting the 2 long anagrams helped greatly and finished steadily . No outstanding favourite but satisfaction gained .

    Thanks Mr K and to the Setter .

  4. I thought this was an absolute peach of a puzzle, I loved it from start to finish, beautifully and concisely clued throughout.
    10a had to be what it was but I never associated him with that description…shows how much I know.
    Clues I particularly liked include 11,13 and 20a plus 1 and 24d, with top spot going to 1d.
    Re 17d…technically it may not be a race but in every other way it is regarded as such…and a pretty heart stopping one at that!
    Thanks to Mr K for his well illustrated review and in particular for the topical clip of The Cars song following the recent sad death of the very talented Richard Ocasek.
    Thanks to the setter too.

    1. Re 10a, the definition is “artist”, which he undoubtedly is. The “con” is part of the anagram.

  5. This was a fairly standard Tuesday back-pager with nothing too controversial. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. The clues I ticked were 19d and 21d.

    Special thanks to Mr K for including the (as he says) uplifting flash mob video. It’s one of my very favourite Youtube clips and I have included it in a Toughie blog in the past – it didn’t provoke much of a response then but I hope that more people will watch and enjoy it today.

      1. The first one I saw was in a market in Valencia, I watched it the other day and it has stood the test of time.

    1. Thanks, Gazza. YouTube offered me that clip a few weeks ago when I was looking for something else (the salmon cannon, I think). Sad that it didn’t get responses when you used it. Toughie blogs are often under-appreciated.

    2. Ive just returned from a 200 mile round trip to take my 88 year old mother back to York & came back to the blog & listened to the clip. Most uplifting after a fairly stressful journey. Thanks Mr K.

  6. I put down ***/*** on completion and note that Mr K concurs.
    I too didn’t know the meaning of the answer to 19d, I was unable to locate this in any reference book-no doubt it is somewhere!
    The SW corner was quite tricky for me, but made for an enjoyable climax.
    Favourite was 21d-when the penny dropped! also 7d-liked the throwing a ‘wobbly’ bit

  7. Slow start but got there in the end by starting at the bottom! Thank you setter and Mr K for sorting out 21d for me and for the “Joyful” video which I watched twice. Wonderful 👏👏

  8. Anagrams are not my favourite cruciverbal thing but today they certainly contributed considerably to a straightforward solve. Orient came home ahead of the Occident. Can’t believe how often 1a revolutionary comes to a setter’s rescue. Not sure about upset in 19d, bunged in 7d and not keen on pants in 6d. 1d probably Fav for its simple, smooth surface. TVM Mysteron and MrK to whom thanks also for the amusing 8d video – a concept which has of course appeared on and off in various settings.

    1. Just realised that upset only refers to a female however I don’t for instance think of a lay preacher as being 19d.

      1. Hi, Angellov. The 19d hint has a hyperlink to an entry in Collins dictionary that justifies the definition (which I didn’t know before meeting this puzzle).

  9. I really enjoyed this one **/**** for me
    I do remember Gazza posting that wonderful clip a while ago and I shared it with several friends. Thank you Mr K
    Many thanks also to setter for a highly entertaining puzzle

  10. Sorry to say that this wasn’t one of my favourite Tuesday puzzles, certainly took Mr K’s excellent video clips to put a smile on my face.
    I love watching those flash mob clips, particularly for the shots of the people who gather round to watch. I always remember this one for the little boy conducting the orchestra from his perch on the lamppost.

  11. Last one in today 13a just couldn’t dredge up the synonym for the first part of the answer but satisfying when it finally popped into my head. Watched the video in Mr K’s hints after reading Gazza’s comment and it almost brought a tear to my eye, must be getting soppy in my old age.

  12. On wavelength today and almost everything went in smoothly, though I too did not know that particular meaning of lay. No favorites -just an enjoyable solve overall. Thanks Mr. K and the setter.

  13. I agree with your comment re getting a long way down before answering your first clue. I got to 25a, then 25d. After that, I filled the grid in from the bottom up. 12a was a bung in, and I needed the review to explain it, although I understood the “S” and the drink. I just didn’t know the IVR code for India, but that’s obvious now. Many thanks setter, please drop in to say hello. Thank you too Mr Kitty.

  14. This was a downs first crossword for me with the whole bottom half filled in well before I had much completed above. 7d was my pick of the clues.

    Thanks to our Tuesday Mysteron and to Mr K for an entertaining and thoughtful blog.

  15. Not too tricky but with two clues which in my opinion are very poor, 21d and 22d.
    An OK crossword, nothing special with no favourite.
    Thx for explaining 21d and 22d in the hints.

  16. I’m pretty sure I went down every blind alley and fell into every trap that today’s setter laid for us in his guide through the forest……
    ……..lay flat…….luxurious material…etc
    It took me far longer than it should, ‘preaches’ being my first impetuous bung in at 1a.
    Not big on surface of 10a, but anagram at 26 was good.

    Clues were ** but I was *** after wandering about.
    Thanks to that setter and Mr K for the videos. Was that Girona?

  17. The southern part held out for me today while north, apart from 5a, 11a and 13a all of which held out for a while, fell relatively easy into place. 20a was a bung in then I realised I was trying to remove charlie from the wrong earth! I had trouble with 19d because I took the key word to be “upset” not “lay”.

    An enjoyable Tuesday offering and completed after another wonderful lunch with my wife.

    Many thanks to all concerned.

  18. Nice crossword 😃 **/*** as is often the case it was far better to start with the down clues 😬 (with hind sight). Favourites 28a and 8d. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 🤗

  19. Took while to get going and 2 clues had me wondering about my bung ins (wobbler would be more like rage to me) and 19d was a definition I’d never come across. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. There are so many good “flash” videos – St Pancras New Years Eve springs to mind.

  20. Thoroughly enjoyed this offering today. I solved 10a upon reading, how many artists are 8,2,5? This helped to open it up.
    I got stuck in the NW and visited the thesaurus for “lectures” which got me on track again.
    Thank you Mr. K for the 19d explanation, new to me, just hope I can remember.
    Wot, no kitty pics? Tut tut!
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the usual informative review.

    1. Hi, Merusa. I did at least have the late Grumpy Cat on a book cover. I’ll see if I can do better next week.

  21. Very enjoyable,,, in this case heads “down “ & off we go. I noticed that I was not the only solver who got a foothold by answering those clues first.
    4 clues held me nearly as long as the rest put together,,,, hence ,,,,
    3*/4* for me today. Fav was 13ac & 14d, with no 26ac at all.
    Many thanks to our mystery setter & to MrK for his review & guidance.

  22. Nothing too difficult – nothing too easy – nothing made me laugh – a normal Tuesday crossword.
    I quite enjoyed it as an antidote to being in charge of our two year old grandson – battles or what! Who was in charge?
    5a held me up and it was only when I found myself hunting through lists of 5a’s that I got it. Dim.
    I particularly liked 20a and 19d. My favourite was 7d for the definition of ‘wobbly’.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K.
    Need supper, need wine and need bed – the last one is the only thing for which it’s too early!

  23. Once I got going all seemed to come together quite nicely. Once I got going…. in fact like some others here it was a bottoms up kind of challenge; 1 and 5a were the final entries. Not sure about a favourite, so maybe I didn’t have one.
    So thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review and pix. The flash mob were new to me; I spent a lot of time watching a few.
    Thanks for the tip.

  24. 13a was our last one in and took much longer than it should have done. Plenty of clues kept us smiling so an enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  25. I finished this puzzle before leaving the house this morning and I normally don’t comment this late because firstly I don’t remember much about it and secondly it’s all already been said, but I did want to pop in today to say thank you for two things. One, the wonderful video at 8d; as others have said – very uplifting and two, the explanation of my answer to 21d. Obvious once it’s explained, but I don’t think I’d ever have got there on my own.

    Thanks to Mr. K and the setter; I enjoyed the puzzle and the hints

  26. I’m in the MalcolmR camp with wobbler rather than wobbly but hey ho we’re all here to learn. I didn’t have a problem with 21d in fact it was probably my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  27. Where was I?
    Been watching all these flashmobs videos that’s where!
    Made a bit of a mess in the NW as I couldn’t get Preaches out of my head in 1a.
    Liked the two intersecting clues in 20a and 21d.
    Thanks to the setter and to MrK for the review and links.

    1. When you’ve done all the flashmob singers there’s also a wealth of very good flashdance ones as well!
      I also went down the ‘preaches’ route at first – made the 1d diver difficult to say the least.

  28. Certainly not on the wavelength for this. Tried on train last night not helped by a fellow passenger’s lengthy advice to a colleague by phone upon instituting disciplinary proceedings. I actually got three wrong answers and was left with several I could not get without the hints. Thank you Mr K. Very surprised that no-one else struggled to the same extent. Perhaps I was too tired…..

  29. Solved on the bus and very enjoyable. Nice clues and about average difficulty for a back-pager. I’ve ticked quite a few very good clues but can’t isolate a definitive favourite. 2.5* / 3.5*

  30. PS. Mr K, 17d. As you may be aware, I have a chronic bee in my bonnet about the IOM TT Races and refer you to the blog thread (below) from DT 29048. I think that, in his reply, BD concedes that the use of race to trigger TT in the answer is (sort of) legitimate. I have always maintained that it is fully legitimate and that’s why most of the top setters use it and the editors regularly allow it. The device has been used in cryptics for decades, probably from virtually day one.

    May 11, 2019 at 11:30 am
    I too rather waded through this one with the construction of 1a not being the most friendly start but it was, in the end, probably my favourite.
    Thanks to BD for explaining 16d to me which I struggled to parse and of course as his Pedant’s Guide points out the “race” in 21d is not a race – but we all probably assume that it is 😂

    Big Dave
    May 11, 2019 at 11:55 am
    I think that because Chambers defines the time-trial event as a race, that sort of legitimises the usage.

    May 11, 2019 at 12:09 pm
    Thank you. Who are we to argue with the BRB? 😂

    Stephen Lord
    May 11, 2019 at 6:21 pm
    If you’ve ever visited the event you’ll be in absolutely no doubt that it is a race!!!

    May 13, 2019 at 11:02 am
    Those IOW events have always been called “races” and always will be and whether they are defined as such in the dictionaries is immaterial. It’s not necessarily what they ARE, but what they are CALLED (capitals used for accentuation, instead of italics) by the organisation officials. Also, to be in a “race” doesn’t mean you have to be competing simultaneously with other competitors – an individual can be in a race against time or against the clock. And if you’re stranded alone on a remote beach with high cliffs at the wrong time, you could be in a race against the tide.

    May 13, 2019 at 11:09 am
    That should be IOM, obviously – my M came out the wrong way up! :-)

    1. Hi, Jose, and thanks for that. I missed that discussion when it appeared (in recent months life has been interfering with solving crosswords and reading the blog), but I have taken note for the future.

  31. I shall be a day late all this week as, being away from home, I don’t get my DT until the evening. Enjoyed the flashmob though “Ode to Joy” is rather inappropriate at the moment and, to be honest, very repetitious and boring. Never mind, the crowd had fun. A pity our “Rent-a mob” yobbos aren’t musically minded!

    Was fooled by 21d, forgot the yen bit and disappointed with 5a – expected velvet, or something else really luxurious.

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