DT 29164 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29164

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29164

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Solid Tuesday puzzle today.  No GK, concise clues, numerous single letter insertions and deletions, some very nice surfaces, several smiles, overall good fun.  Looking forward to reading what you thought. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer will be here buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Outer pane smashed, cutting tail of Great Dane? (8)
EUROPEAN:  An anagram (smashed) of OU[t]ER PANE without the last letter of (cutting tail of) greaT.  The question mark here indicates that Dane defines the answer by example

5a    Beer keeping Romeo bigger (6)
LARGER:  A light-bodied effervescent beer containing (keeping) the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet

10a   Conservative pulled to pieces their sarcastic qualities (15)
CHARACTERISTICS:  The single letter for Conservative with an anagram (pulled to pieces …) of THEIR SARCASTIC

11a   Large jug for US sportsperson? (7)
PITCHER:  A double definition.  The sportsperson throws a baseball

12a   Deadly charm, fulsome to some extent (7)
HARMFUL:  The answer is hidden as part of (… to some extent) of the rest of the answer

13a   Think about working with team leader in retail (8)
CONSIDER:  Concatenate the single letter for about or roughly, working or operating, a sporting team, and the first letter of (leader in) Retail

15a   Court's times (5)
DATES:  Woos or courts (ignore the misleading punctuation when considering the cryptic reading of the clue)

18a   Relax by lake -- appropriate place for a painting (5)
EASEL:  Relax or relieve by the map abbreviation for lake

20a   Player's foul in a miscue, almost (8)
MUSICIAN:  An anagram (foul) of all but the last letter (…, almost) of IN A MISCU[e]

23a   Tramps pinching hospital clothes (7)
THREADS:  Tramps or walks containing (pinching) the single letter for hospital

25a   Water, perhaps -- a small amount (7)
ELEMENT:  A double definition, the first by example (perhaps).  Two other examples are members of Earth, Wind & Fire

26a   Mouse retreating on flower (9,6)
SHRINKING VIOLET:  Retreating like a glacier and a flower named for its colour.  The setter is not following the convention that in an across clue "A on B" means "A after B"

27a   Money that's earned perhaps crossing city with Republican (6)
SALARY:  A short synonym of perhaps containing (crossing) both an abbreviated Californian city and the single letter for Republican

28a   Articles -- what might be accomplished by university research (8)
FEATURES:  Chain together something that might be accomplished, the single letter for university, and the abbreviation for research



1d    Save passage from book, right away (6)
EXCEPT:  A sample from a book has the single letter for right deleted (right away)

2d    Responses from moving copyright in designs (9)
REACTIONS:  A word for designs or inventions (CREATIONS) has the single letter for copyright translated a few places (moving copyright)

3d    Gadfly nearly eating every fruit (7)
PEACHES:  All but the last letter (… nearly) of a gadfly or annoyance containing (eating) a synonym of every.  Fruit here is defining a plural

4d    Following behind the Queen (5)
AFTER:  Put together behind on board a ship and the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth

6d    Country upset? Not Italy, editor guaranteed (7)
ASSURED:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of the largest country in the world loses the IVR code for Italy (not Italy) and has the usual abbreviated editor appended

7d    50% grey? That is female's misery (5)
GRIEF:  Cement together half (50%) of GRey, the Latin abbreviation for that is, and the abbreviation for female

8d    Tailor sets rules -- no uniform is itchy (8)
RESTLESS:  An anagram (tailor …) of SETS R[u]LES minus the letter represented by uniform in the NATO phonetic alphabet (… no uniform)

9d    Monster challenging son where to find fruit? (8)
ORCHARDS:  Link together a monster made famous by Tolkien, challenging or difficult, and the genealogical abbreviation for son

14d   Home's endless criticism after arched roof (8)
DOMESTIC:  After an arched roof like the one on St Paul's Cathedral comes all but the last letter (endless …) of an informal word for criticism

16d   Tell raver off -- one could be tripping (9)
TRAVELLER:  An anagram (off) of TELL RAVER 

17d   Canine inspectors end its barking before test, oddly (8)
DENTISTS:  An anagram (barking, as in mad) of END ITS comes before the odd characters of TeSt

19d   Student left with one who's 27 (7)
LEARNER:  The single letter for left with one who has a 27a

21d   Film supporting revolutionary drug dealer? (7)
CHEMIST:  A thin film of liquid comes after (supporting, in a down clue) the usual revolutionary

22d   Tattoos lifted American's kudos (6)
STATUS:  The reversal (lifted, in a down clue) of an informal word for tattoos is followed by an abbreviation for American

24d   In the countryside right next to river (5)
RURAL:  The single letter for right is next to a river that flows into the Caspian Sea

25d   Dog dropping black bird (5)
EAGLE:  A small hound dog with the pencil abbreviation for black deleted (dropping black)


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My favourite clues today were the smooth 4d and 19d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  CAM + PIN + SIGHT = CAMPING SITE

71 comments on “DT 29164

  1. Slowish start with fast finish today . My COTD 26A just ahead of 2D . Clever and enjoyable.

    Thanks Mr K and to the Setter .

  2. Well, I was the opposite of KFB, I had a very rapid start which crawled to an end. I spent far too long trying to justify ‘ESCAPE’ for 1d. Eventually completed in ***/**** time.

    COTD was 28a for me.

    Many thams to the setter and Mr. K.

  3. This took me a bit longer than normal, but was just as enjoyable as always. Last one in was 26a and, like KFB, was my favourite.

    I wasn’t keen on 19d because I don’t think it works. As Mr K says in his hint, it is one “who has a” 27a not “who’s”.

    Thanks to Mr. K and the setter

    1. I agree re 19d. I waited to write it in until I got the checkers for that reason, held me up no end.

    2. Hi Margaret. The surface of 19d invites to us to read the ‘s as a contraction of “is” but in the wordplay it is actually being a contraction of “has”.

  4. Unless I do the crossword every single day I get completely off message so to speak. Returned from a 2 week cooking holiday near Bordeaux on Sunday where there was no Wi-Fi anywhere, hence no puzzling. So I have really struggled through the 3 since getting back, not finishing any. Does this happen to anyone else? Where have zee little grey cells gone to!

    1. Ah, the secret is to print up all the ones you missed while you were away, save them with your travel documents, ready to take with you in your next trip. Then you have plenty to keep you going while you are away. We’ve done this for years, so that we don’t have to worry about internet access when traveling abroad.

  5. Held up in the NW corner, trying to fit “all” into 3d and “ewer” into 11a. When the madness cleared everything fell into place.
    favourite clue was the delightful 26a.

  6. A Monday puzzle on a Tuesday, completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Outstanding favourite – 26a!
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  7. A pleasant and straightforward puzzle for a wet Tuesday morning. Nothing obscure or too tricky, just good, honest clueing. Great fun. I will go with the current flow and nominate 26a as a favourite.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  8. Slight brain freeze when it came to the shifting copyright and guessed the abbreviation in 22d, everything else offered a smooth run.
    The neatly contrived 4d took the honours here with the ‘smile’ award going to the shy mouse in 26a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another delightfully illustrated blog – think you’ve managed to please all the animal lovers today!
    PS Setter alert – our own Silvanus has the Toughie slot today, satisfaction guaranteed!

  9. Finding this too tricky, I looked at BD’s difficulty rating. Obviously me overthinking again. Having regrouped and head on right everything then fell into place. 21d favourite. Ta to all.

  10. I had trouble with the NW corner ,mainly due to a misspelling of10a affecting 3d- never mind ok once I checked .
    Anyway have to go for a ***/***, like yesterday I was one star difficulty up from our blogger in chief.
    Failed to parse 2d and 13a-thanks Mr K.
    Thought 28a was a tad ‘iffy’
    Liked 26a

  11. What a change from yesterday – not my cup of tea at all. Southeast last corner to fall. I would specifically quibble over a few – e.g. 12a is hardly deadly, punctuation inappropriate in 15a (as per MrK), 23a clothes (?) and surely 22d abbreviation is not generally accepted. 26a my Fav.
    Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  12. Drying out after a deluge. I feel for the poor cyclists who have been swimming as much as pedalling today. I am drying out in a nice cafe (can’t afford Betty’s today) with a bacon butty and a strong coffee. 28a caused a few probs after I saw Lectures and couldn’t unsee it til the end. Same with 3d where decisions over the last letter held up 13a. Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    That 11a looks ridiculous is he throwing a ball or winding up for a far*ing competition!
    Loins girded I am off to watch the Women’s Time trial.

    1. 11a looks to me as though he’s winding up for a nasty back injury!
      Weather has cleared to the west of you so hopefully your lady cyclists will have a slightly easier time of it this afternoon.

    2. Glad to be in Tenerife by the sound of it! Also so lucky that although we went out Thom Cook Mrs B thought the return times unacceptable and booked Ryanair instead!

      1. Me too, but I usually go for the rashers of bacon on top as I am a growing greedy boy.
        now dried out and thawed out after exciting Women’s Time Trial.
        Dead tree telegraph has returned to the pulp from whence it came I will have a go at the toughie on the puzzles site

  13. Nice puzzle today, just got held up a bit in the NW corner and by 15a (nice misdirection) my last in.
    Thx for the hints to finally explain 15a sand to the setter for the puzzle.

  14. Seemed quite tough to me, but excellent hints got me there. 1a not sure that the national mentioned in the clue would want to be so described. I liked 17d and 26a my favourite.
    Thanks setter and Mr K

  15. Very nice puzzle. Easier than yesterday’s. Is Tuesday the new Monday? I had problems justifying 2d until I saw the hint–thank you Mr K. Difficult to pick an outright winner.

  16. I was not on the right wavelength today so I found this one to be quite tough. I too tried to justify “escape” for 1d until I remembered the other definition of “save”. It also took me a while to understand 22d.

    As I am one, I liked 17d but my favourite was 26a.

    Many thanks to Mr. K and the setter.

  17. Had a nasty shock when, on the first quick readthrough, I didn’t get a single across clue. After ONE down clue everything went smoothly. Funny how brains work, sometimes…

  18. Much easier than yesterday’s.
    I was slow with 17d – dim, as I’ve seen similar before.
    Not entirely sure about the definition in 23a but BRB says it’s slang for clothes – never heard that.
    My favourite was 26a – our younger Lamb is always called Mouse even though her name is Eleanor – she’s certainly not a 26a, far from it!
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Hi, Kath. Not old enough to have used it, but I believe that “threads” is one of those 60s expressions, like “fab” and “groovy”.

  19. Could not see past Lectures for 28a…although I knew it must be wrong.
    Needed the hints for the parsing of 2d.
    Looking forward to the days when I am less of a bunger-inner and more of a worker-outer.
    Overall though, an enjoyable crossword.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.
    (How does that man at 11a get his leg up so high? And should he? That cannot be good for him.)

  20. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle with some clever misdirection and well constructed clues. 26a was my favourite closely followed by 1d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  21. Yes I found it quite tricky ***/** 😳 I had to go to Mr K for guidance 😬 My favourites were 23a & 17d Thanks to Mr K for the interesting blog and to the Setter for the puzzle 😉 Quite a change in the weather very heavy 🌧 but on the plus side (so far) none of the forecast strong 🌬

  22. This was very tricky for me, needed help when I got to the NW. there were more bung ins today than I’ve ever had before. Still don’t “see” 2d.
    I thought 17d very smile worthy, 21d great misdirection and 4d very smooth, but the fave medal has to go to 26a.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this thing and to Mr. K for unravelling so much of it, and special thanks for the pic at 20a.

      1. I bunged in 2d, Merusa, I still don’t know why it’s right. Mr.K’s hint is well over my head!

        1. You have to start with CREATIONS (designs) then move the abbreviation for copyright (i.e. C) to a position after the A.

        2. I’ve now added the word in question under a spoiler button to provide some extra assistance to those arriving here late in the day. Apologies for not doing that from the start.

  23. I was a bit ‘all over the place’ to begin with but once I settled it all fell into place. No out and out favourite but I quite liked 11a.
    Thanks to the setter, and to MrK for the review and pix.

  24. Well, started at a gallop, slowed to a canter, down to a trot and then came to a halt. Couldn’t have finished without the clues, but loved it. Very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and MrK.

    1. Thanks, LadyK. Glad you found the hints useful. If nobody needed them we hinters would all be out of a job :)

  25. Unsullied margins on our printed out completed puzzles generally indicates that it all went together smoothly for us. That is the case with this one although we did start off trying to justify DOMICILE for 14d until the checkers and parsing did not work. All good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  26. Boy, that was hard!! The experts are really giving it to us thickos by rating yesterday and today as two stars!
    I got there, but only because it chucked it down with rain all day in Kent.
    I needed too many of Mr.K’s excellent hints to parse the answers.
    Still, it could be worse, I could be Boris Johnson.
    Thanks all.

    1. Hi, Hoofit. The rating is very subjective. This particular puzzle was a smooth fill for me, but I’ve been blogging Tuesday puzzles and deconstructing their clues for a while, so I guess I’ve got used to the style of some of that group of setters. Probably won’t be like that next week.

      I smiled at your Boris comment. The puzzles he’s facing are certainly tougher than any of these.

  27. I must have been right on wavelength today, as it went in at a comfortable pace, just a couple of head scratchers which Mr K helped me solve, so at very much to him and the setter. Enjoyed a lot more than yesterday’s.

  28. Again I’m at odds with the ** rating. Bloggers are bloggers because they’re clever than the rest of us. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve always viewed cryptic crosswords as having cryptic clues plus answers and toughies as having cryptic clues and cryptic answers. Far too often recently the back page crossword has resembled a toughie, I refer you to my previous definition. I got there in the end without help but too many toughie type clues in there for me. Rant over .😤

    1. Hello, TG. Sorry about the rating. All that my ** assessment means is that on this day I thought that this puzzle was somewhat less difficult than the Tuesday average. It’s very subjective and not at all a science. Also, I don’t think that being a blogger has much to do with being clever. In my case it’s mostly about being prepared to do whatever it takes to get a blog ready by 11am.

      1. I’m sorry I’m having a bad day. It wasn’t meant a criticism more of a compliment. There’s no way that I would be asked to blog a crossword, I’m your average Joe. I feel like I’ve failed if I have to resort to the hints, although I frequently refer to them to parse some of the clues. Am I correct in my definition?

        1. Average Joes (which includes me) and learners can make good bloggers, I think, because they understand the audience for these hints. You’ve got me wondering if there is a way to give others in that category a way to participate in blogging, perhaps by doing half the hints as a guest. I’ll think on that.

          I assume that your question about definitions refers to what distinguishes a Toughie from a back-pager (because needing a hint or two does not make anybody a failure). My own view is that Toughies can use more obscure vocabulary, especially for answers, and that they can feature more complex wordplay than is usually seen on the back page.

  29. Lovely work today, although I’m not sure about the use of apostrophes in a couple of the clues. On the plus side, much of today’s made me smile, and 26a evinced a chuckle! Too many favourites to choose only one. Thanks to setter, and Mr K for the checks!

    1. Hi, JJCHCNZ (are you in NZ?). I believe that today’s apostrophes are all legal. Punctuation has to be correct for the surface reading of the clue, but in the cryptic reading of the clue it’s allowable for it to be be ignored (as in 15a) or read as something different (as in 19d).

      1. Yes, Mr K, I’m in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Spring has sprung – daylight saving begins overnight tonight, and the weather forecast for the next few days is foul! I hope to visit England again next (northern) Summer, if the stars align.

  30. Aaaargh! It was only reading through the posts that I twigged that all might not be right with escape and lectures for 1d and 28a! Of course they actually make sense now! Thanks to Big Dave for teaching me how to complete a cryptic crossword – It’s a huge help to us learners…..as are all the comments. I’m now completely hooked!

    1. Welcome from me as well, Rosie. Glad that the blog has helped you. As BD says, that’s what we’re here for.

    2. Believe me, not just learners. I’ve been doing these for 60+ years and have days when I feel I’m doing my first crossword, I then consult Big Dave and learn something new!

  31. This went in nice and steady on the bus, without many problems. Good clues, average difficulty and certainly enjoyable. I initially had a niggling doubt about 25a because water isn’t a chemical element, but then realised it’s one of those four “life elements”, as explained by Mr K above. Fav: 20a. 2.5* / 3*

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