DT 29163 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29163

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29163

Hints and tips by Antigonus

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the busy heart of Downtown LI where all is well with the world. Both England and Coventry secured decent wins in their rugby matches so Antigonus is a happy bunny. We seem to have lost a chicken and only have one elderly cockerel left now. When he dies, we will completely gut and renew the chicken house, fumigate it and buy new chickens.

Today’s setter has generously provided a second Quickie Pun on the bottom row of The Quickie puzzle. He has also provided a nice cryptic puzzle for us today. Keep your cool and do as asked and you should do well.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Helping pretty girl work (6)
DOLLOP: A synonym for a pretty girl is followed by the shortened form of a musical opus. I don’t use the term for the girl although I have no issues with it. The answer defines unfussy food. Slop on a plate. That’ll do me nicely thank you

4a    Dwelling of a French girl in East End district (8)
BUNGALOW: A three-parter which will work if you follow the instructions. A singular French article. A shortened term for a girl. Both inside a district of London. Those born within the sound of the local church bells can call themselves cockneys

10a    In a stupefied state, feline will need a stimulant later (9)
CATATONIC: Again do as you are told. A feline. The letter A from the clue. A stimulant or pick me up. Together they reveal the state I was in on Saturday afternoon suffering such a dose of Manflu that I missed the first rugby match of the season Ampthill 17 – 47 Coventry Well done boys.

11a    Ludicrously busy staff, mostly hostile (5)
MANIC: To staff as a verb. Followed by two thirds (mostly) of a word meaning hostile which is itself a synonym of a word meaning below freezing. I hope that helps with the parsing

12a    Weapon in wreck (7)
TORPEDO: Woohoo. We have a double definition of a word which has evolved to become a second meaning of itself when used as a verb. Think wartime. Think ships, although the earliest were land based. Every day is a school day

13a    Carved ornament from Kent, use uncertain (7)
NETSUKE: Anagram (uncertain) of Kent use. I recommend The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. A great read.

14a    Settle increase in salary? (3,2)
PAY UP: A double definition. Both rather obvious

15a    Talked originally about a certain prize (8)
TREASURE: The initial or original letter of the word talked is followed by the regular crosswordland two-letter word meaning about. The letter A from the clue is then followed by a synonym of the word certain.

18a    Aware of feeling medium disregarded (8)
SENTIENT: A word meaning a feeling, an exaggerated and self-indulgent feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia needs to have the abbreviation for medium removed

20a    A ring? Naturally it’s in that form (5)
ATOLL: The letter A from the clue is followed by the ring of a church bell. I wish our church bells rang.

23a    Speechless when daughter denied having tantrum causing offence (7)
UMBRAGE: A word meaning unable to speak needs to have the abbreviation for daughter removed. What remains precedes a word describing a tantrum.

25a    Late series of deliveries expected (7)
OVERDUE: A series of six balls delivered by a bowler is followed by a word meaning expected or planned for

26a    Fancy knight not appearing to make a speech (5)
ORATE: A word meaning fancy or highly decorated needs to have the abbreviation used for the knight in chess removed

27a    Legendary Greek leader immediately embracing willing maiden (9)
AGAMEMNON: The answer here causes me grief every time it appears. I know the answer but the spelling baffles me so I wait for and rely on the checking letters. A word meaning soon or shortly (Immediately) has a word meaning willing or up for plus the abbreviation for maiden inserted

28a    Paper in stand I look at briefly (8)
TREATISE: To stand here is to provide someone with (food, drink, or entertainment) at one’s own expense. This is followed by the letter I from the clue – the answer closes off with a word meaning to look at minus its last letter (briefly)

29a    Hot fruit and nut loaf one left out (6)
STOLEN: A German fruit cake needs to have one of two abbreviations for left removed. A nice use of the word hot by our setter


1d    Cadet put out binder (4,4)
DUCT TAPE: Anagram (out) of CADET PUT

2d    Undetermined illness restricting Italian in service (7)
LITURGY: An unidentified illness which provides hilarity in playgrounds surrounds an abbreviation of Italian. The abbreviation for Italian is also an abbreviation for sex. I think I know which meaning RayT would have used

3d    In an awkward predicament immediately (2,3,4)
ON THE SPOT: A double definition. A tad loose in my opinion but what do I know

5d    Alternative place for sisters in harmony by a lake (14)
UNCONVENTIONAL: A four-part charade. 1 A place for sisters like those in The Sound Of Music 2 A word meaning in harmony or together. 3 The letter A from the clue. 4 The abbreviation for lake. Now place these in the order suggested by the wordplay. Don’t spend too long staring at this clue. Go and find some checkers

6d    Pull up — am within range (5)
GAMUT: Find a word meaning pull. Reverse it as suggested by the word up. Insert the word AM (am within) Job done

7d    Listlessness of monkey circling round (7)
LANGUOR: A type of monkey surrounds the roundest of letters.

8d    Musical, very bad or very good? (6)
WICKED: A triple definition. The first is a musical. I have googled it and don’t think I will be bothering the box office. The second definition is a true definition. The third became popular some years ago when its meaning became reversed. I would have been tempted to add the words ‘like a candle’ to the clue to add a fourth definition and a bit of misdirection

9d    Sooner or later and often, does he say, misguidedly? (3,2,5,4)
ONE OF THESE DAYS: Anagram (misguidedly) of OFTEN DOES HE SAY

16d    Declaration meant test viewed differently (9)
STATEMENT: Anagram (viewed differently) of MEANT TEST

17d    Man somewhat keen on reglazing from the bottom up (8)
ALGERNON: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word somewhat. Easy enough one thinks until no hidden word reveals itself. The words ‘from the bottom up’ indicate that this is a reversed lurker. Up there with the best I think

19d    English doctor people receive eagerly (7)
EMBRACE: The abbreviation for English is followed by one of several abbreviations for a doctor. A group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc follows

21d    Second, maybe, has spoken about row (7)
ORDINAL: A word meaning spoken surrounds a word meaning a loud, unpleasant, and prolonged noise. That’s Bohemian Rhapsody summed up nicely then.

22d    Canoe found (6)
DUGOUT: A double definition. The first being an example of a canoe. The second needing to be split 3,3

24d    Expert in a reduced department (5)
ADEPT: The letter A from the clue is followed by the abbreviation for department

Exit. Pursued by a bear.

Quickie Puns:

Top line: store+curs=stalkers

Bottom Line: crew+Doyle=crude oil

60 comments on “DT 29163

  1. Whew, finished, but in **** time, and I needed a little electronic help.

    For some reason 1a and the illness in 2d are in that set of words which my mind doesn’t seem to expect to find in a DT crossword.

    I don’t think I’ve come across 13a before, pretty certain I’ve never heard of the musical at 8d, and am downright positive I’ve never met a 17d.

    Not what I expected on a Monday, but still, thanks to the setter and Antigonus

    1. 13A is occasionally featured in programmes like Bargain Hunt. That’s where I learned the word, though not the spelling of course. They seem to be very small pieces of carved wood, looking rather like the toggles found on a duffle coat !

  2. A thoroughly enjoyable (****) crossword, with a broad variety of clues, including two of my favourites, the reverse lurker at 17d and the triple definition at 8d. Other favourites were 10a, which made me laugh and also 27a. More challenging than the usual Monday offering, it took me slightly longer than** time due to some tricky clues in the SE corner. Thanks to Antigonus for the hints and to the setter.

  3. I wondered if this was the usual Monday setter, so can see what Malcolm means. Needed the hint to fully explain 7d. I thought MP was saying that the rooster will be gutted after his demise! And Pink Floyd Meddle – that takes me back …

    1. Pink Floyd have always sent me to sleep. Just when you think they cannot get any more boring – they do. I don’t how they got away with it

  4. A joy from beginning to end – one of my all time favourites with just enough cerebral exercise. Good to be reminded of several words which I for one don’t use regularly. 13a new one on me. Hesitated over 1d as I have always thought of first word ending in ‘k’. Fav 27a. Slight hold-up in the SE. Well done the All blacks for convincing win.Big thanks Mysteron for much fun and also to MP for being there in case of need.

  5. Pink Floyd and Neil Young. You are spoiling us sir. Had the most trouble with spelling the monkey and 3 options for 6d that took a while to find the right one.
    Thanks for the hints and look after yourself. You have loads of rugby to watch.

  6. This is what I really like.
    A **** difficulty, and very clever and complex clueing.
    Quite a struggle, total satisfaction when completed.
    Loved 2d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Antigonus for the review.

  7. I found this somewhat of a puzzler today with many head scratching moments before the light dawned. Once I got going it was very enjoyable and I loved the backward lurker in 17d. I was thrown by 10d for a while because I got the anagram wrong. The answer I arrived at did fit the clue so I didn’t notice the error for some time. Favourite clue is 4a.

    Thank you for Floyd.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Antigonus for the hints and tips.

  8. Found this very difficult. Gave up on three 18a, 20a and 17d. Too proud to check the hints especially after it was rated a 2*. Mostly I found myself getting the answer and trying to work out the parsing, rather than the parsing being a help.

  9. Excellent and tough workout for a Mondy. Gone are the easy starts to the week it seems–I’m not complaining. Never heard of 13a but it was about the only word one could make from the letters. Confirmed in the dictionary. Many good clues amonst which, 1a, 28a, 29a and 2d. Nice wins for England and West Ham!

  10. I too found this puzzle to be quite difficult and think that Antigonus must have had a good day !- going for a ***/***.
    Liked 29a,the clue appeared in another cryptic recently which helped, 5d took a long time to work out !
    Anyway , lots of amusing clues and enjoyed a more taxing start to the week than usual.

  11. It took me ages to get 1a. I didn’t think of the clue as “a helping of”, and I tried several things for the girl from lass to Di. It really threw me. I liked 10a, 20a and 29a. Many thanks setter and the great Antigonus.

  12. An excellent start to the solving week. 17d was a terrific example of a rekrul, and, as MP says in his review, up there with the very best. My COTD by a distance. The whole crossword was pleasantly challenging and greatly enjoyed.

    Many thanks to our setter and MP.

  13. ***/***. The SE corner was last to yield and needed some help from Antigonus to complete. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  14. I was greatly relieved to see that many others placed this firmly in the **** category. A real challenge for me, and was defeated by two. I completely missed the 17d reverse lurker, and though I was sure that 13a was an anagram, I had misspelt 7d, so was totally thrown. In any case, I had never heard of the word. Many thanks to the setter and for the hints. Pouring with rain here in South Devon, but we’re sending it your way!

  15. Quite relieved to read the other comments and find that it wasn’t ‘just me’ having a 9d due to solving the crossword later in the day than usual over tea and pear & chocolate cake, following a lovely visit to Scotney Castle

    Thanks to the Double Punned Setter and the man with many names – and happy birthday to the much missed Orphan Annie :rose:

    1. Thank you for your email and my birthday wishes. Even though it is 11 months since I gave up the DT and could no longer do the crosswords I still pop in occasionally to see how you all are.
      Hilary (Orphan Annie)

      1. I’m so pleased you popped in to let us know you still keep in touch! We miss you dearly, so try to stop in to say hello from time to time. Hope you’re keeping fit and well.

  16. I usually find Mondays offerings on the easier side, not today though. I found this a struggle through out, not sure if I enjoyed it or not. I did manage to get them all with the exception of 20a, which on reflection is one I should of got. Many thanks to the setter and to Antigonus for the hints.

  17. I have to say that for a Monday that was a cracking crossword! Some really good clues all mostly completely fair. My favourite was 8d with 1a close behind.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Antigonus for his review and Floyd and Neil.

  18. Bit of a struggle today, but the excellent hints were a great help. Liked 4a, never heard of 13a and thought 29a was most amusing. Thanks to setter and MP.

  19. I think Antigone must be in a different league of solver to most of us judging by the comments.
    I too found this to be a very tricky ****. Is there a new crossword manager at the DT, many of the puzzles of late have been well at the tougher end of the spectrum? As has been said many times before I do wish they would leave these tricky ones to the Toughie where those who enjoy the challenge may be satisfied and leave us mere mortals the fun of a more moderate offering.
    Thx for the hints

  20. ****/*** for me, too today. Blamed the anaesthetic used for a nasty tooth-filling earlier . First answer was to 10a, thanks to reading ” Silas Marner” many years ago……..Many thanks for hints, often needed today, though I did guess 1a, and this time thanks to the cat in “Stuart Little”,who still makes us laugh over its contempt for “slop” . Ah, what a varied education…….

  21. Very tricky for me too, and needed a fair bit of help from the hints. Favourites were 10a and 5d.
    Thanks to setter and Antigonus.

  22. Very pleasant , lots of great clues.
    I nominate 4a and 5d as among my favourites .
    I wonder if which of the two “one of these days” people opted for first ?
    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  23. Re 4a – I was told by my dad that the definition of a cockney was someone born within the sound of Bow Bells, Bow referring to St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside, City of London and not Bow Church in Bow. Which meant that anyone born at St Bart’s hospital was a true cockney. Was he right?

  24. Today’s Obituaries include that of Jo Lancaster a famous pilot and test pilot. The obituary includes a description of Jo Lancaster using a Martin Baker ejector seat to escape from a Flying Wing which he believed was about to break up. This was the first time an ejector seat had been used in a real situation. Jo Lancaster was flying over long Itchington when this event happened. He landed in a farmers field opposite The Cuttle Public House just missing a dunking in the canal. The ejector seat came down in Model Village.

  25. Very enjoyable and I managed to complete it without help (a rarity for me) except for 12a which I decided was probably a word I’d never heard of (like 13a) – I had to kick myself when I realised what it was. Unlike the others I definitely felt I was on this setter’s wavelength. Loads of great clues.

  26. Didn’t like this one at all, particularly as we are usually spoilt with a gentle start to the week. Found it decidedly tricky, and agree with Brian that it falls into the Toughie realm. Too many infrequently used words, and a German cake to boot. Thanks to Miffypops I was able to finish, but sadly very little enjoyment with this one. Clearly one for the sharper folks.

  27. I thought this warranted at least a star, possibly two above the two given for difficulty but wouldn’t argue with the enjoyment rating. Plenty of visits to Mr Google and friends were needed but a reasonably enjoyable exercise, a nice blend of the contemporary and the relatively obscure/formal.
    Thanks to the setter and to Antigonus for his inimitable review complete with excellent musical choices though I thought he may have been able to engineer a clip of Mr Springsteen as a nod to his seventieth birthday!

  28. A challenging & entertaining puzzle made all the harder by actually having to follow the clues exactly to get the answers! Sounds odd but I think I was looking too hard outside the box.
    17d the runaway favourite & my last one in.
    Antigonus was certainly not as monopthalmic as his namesake as he finished it in half my time… well done!
    Many thanks to setter & MP for review & valuable direction.

  29. Definitely difficult for me. I’d never heard of 13a, kept trying to make scrimshaw 7 letters, had to google the monkey in 7d, and so on. I didn’t solve 23a, one of my fave words, shame on me. I thought north was more friendly than the south.
    Some, e.g., 10a just wrote themselves in, and the Greek was a great help opening up that corner.
    Thanks to the setter but you’re way too complicated for me. Major thanks to Antigonus, I confess to googling and was rewarded by learning that he was not only a character in Shakespeare, I think A Winter’s Tale, but also an Ancient Macedonian. I learned something new.

  30. I’m definitely with the other contributors on the difficulty rating despite starting early (for me). I’m well up on the Trojan war so 27a posed no difficulty, not convinced he was Greek though as the Greeks are only mentioned once (as a minor force) by Homer, he called them Achaeans (sea people) but hey ho it’s the accepted thinking by the establishment. Favourite 10a as it reminded me of one of my favourite bands and Cerys Matthews is a brilliant singer. 17d is a character in Rupert Bear. Many thanks to the setter and Antigonus. I’ll go back and review the clips.

  31. Had to check the spelling of 7d …..I always want to reverse the o and the u.
    Not sure if that still counts as completing the puzzle unaided or not…..I’ll settle for a ‘yes it does’ I think.

    Found it difficult, though.

    Loved the rekrul.

    Thanks to Antigonus (watch out for the bear) and to the setter.

  32. Not ** in my book. 7d , 13a and 27a count as *** without considering the remainder of the puzzle which had few obvious answers IMHO. Anyone solving this without some assistance is wired very differently to me and possibly would do well on Only Connect.

  33. I found this one difficult. Maybe suffering from the after effects of Bedford Blues dire performance on Saturday. Hoping for better against Cov this week. COME ON YOU BLUES,!!
    See you there MP?

  34. Enjoyed this challenge! ***/**** for me today.

    Still not sure how 20a works…

    I needed the hints to explain why my answer to 28a was correct – is the “in” superfluous?

    1d is easy to get confused by, as I know many people who pronounce the first word incorrectly.

  35. :phew: Is it really Monday – I thought this was tough.
    It took me ages – I put it down to other stuff to worry about at the moment/wrong wave-length/just plain dim – whatever – this was difficult and I’m glad tor hear that it wasn’t a ‘just me’ day.
    I’m not saying that it wasn’t enjoyable – just that it’s not what I expect on a Monday . . .
    Too tired now what with one thing and another to go on at length so thanks to today’s setter and to MP.
    My favourite for the slightly whacky definition was 5d.
    Night night all

  36. Found it really hard too but every clue did give satisfaction once worked out.
    Thanks to the setter and to Antigonus, just an ox kind of geezer.

  37. I’m so glad I’m not alone in thinking this was a *** or even a **** but satisfyingly got there in the end and I enjoyed it. This setter obviously likes ‘deletions’ – I counted 5 in total (14a, 18a, 23a, 26a, 29a)!

    Many thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

  38. Into the second day, a real back page ‘toughie’. As many have said, **** for difficulty, very satisfying to eventually finish. Never say die ! A** difficulty rating leaves me mystified, but of course we all have differing abilities. I’ll stick with the majority, ****/*.
    Hopefully today’s offering will be a little more benign. Please ………

    Thanks to setter and for the hints for confirmation.

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