DT 29166 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29166

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29166

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** / ***Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa, where autumn is definitely in the air. The leaves are beginning to turn and will soon become an explosion of colour.

I found today’s puzzle from RayT to be leaning toward the easier end of his range but the enjoyment level was situated in the upper echelons.

With this puzzle, I mark a bit of a milestone — nine years in the blogging chair, having reviewed my first puzzle for Big Dave on September 15, 2010.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Sailor twice produces battle-axe (6)
TARTAR – two appearances by one of the usual nautical suspects gives us a harsh, fierce, or intractable person

4a   Penniless, goes back to pick up penny (8)
STRAPPED – place a reversal (back) of a word denoting goes or leaves around (pick up) P(enny)

9a   Part of flytrap hid some bugs (6)
APHIDS – hidden in (part of) the next three words in the clue

10a   Beloved is faithful without urgency occasionally (8)
PRECIOUS – a synonym for faithful or devout wrapped around (without) a regular sequence of letters (occasionally) from uRgEnCy

11a  Charlie rushed to accept sex, not displaying this (8)
CHASTITY – start with the letter represented by charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet; then add an adjective meaning hurried or rushed clasping a common euphemism for sex; the definition is provided by the entire clue in which the wordplay is embedded

13a   Copper directed to return holding golf club (6) 
CUDGEL – the chemical symbol for copper followed by a reversal (to return) of a word meaning to guide or direct grasping the letter represented by golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet

15a   Clandestine pursuit Tories abandoned (13)
SURREPTITIOUS – anagram (abandoned) of the middle two words in the clue; abandoned is used in the sense unrestrained or uninhibited

18a   One feeling bad at poorly patient (13) 
INDEFATIGABLE – a Roman one followed by an anagram (poorly) of the three words preceding it

22a   God having a cross on chest (6) 
THORAX – string together a Norse god, the A from the clue, and a letter shaped like a cross

24a   Boasting about American’s support (8) 
BALUSTER – wrap some ostentatious speech or boasting around A(merican); almost six months ago to the day RayT clued this word as “Pillar of America consumed by boasting (8)” in a puzzle which I reviewed here and which should appear today in Canada in the National Post (the illustration is the same one I used then)

26a   Final passage in European Union the French rejected (8) 
EVENTUAL – a passage through which gases or liquids escape is surrounded by the short form for European Union; this is followed by a reversal of the French feminine definite article

27a   Loves a party with others getting cut (6) 
ADORES – line up the A from the clue, a party, and a word meaning others with the final letter removed (getting cut)

28a   Stuff Romeo found in small briefs, perhaps (8) 
SUNDRIES – start by linking S(mall) and an informal term for briefs or knickers; then place the result around the letter represented by romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet

29a   Tired words ruined day at last (6) 
DROWSY – an anagram (ruined) of WORDS followed by the last letter of daY


1d   Ecstasy comes from nectar being drunk (6)
TRANCE — an anagram (being drunk) of NECTAR

2d   Practised and tried again covering empty space (9) 
REHEARSED – tried again before a judge containing SpacE with the interior letters removed (empty)

3d   One hears foreign car going over hill (7) 
AUDITOR – a German car on a Cornish hill

5d   Not sure Queen’s consumed by fashion (4) 
TORN – a French fashion worn by a short Latin Queen

6d   Tab made from tobacco, untipped (7) – 
ACCOUNT – hidden in (made from) the final two words in the clue

7d   Projection of short programme with new content (5) 
PRONG – an abbreviated programme around N(ew)

8d   Make public record on waste (8) 
DISCLOSE – a phonograph record followed by a verb meaning to waste or fail to take advantage of (a chance or opportunity)

12d   Newspaper covers singular robberies (6) 
THEFTS – a small pink newspaper (3,2) preceding S(ingular)

14d   Spot Greek character around end of alphabet (6) 
STIGMA – the eithteenth letter of the Greek alphabet wrapped around the last letter of the word alphabeT

16d   Upset husband in public squabble (9) 
OVERTHROW – sandwich H(usband) between an adjective denoting open or public and a noun meaning a squabble or noisy quarrel

17d   Girl embracing very French lover (8) 
MISTRESS – a girl or unmarried woman wrapped around a French word meaning very

19d   Toady is comparatively prostrate (7)
FLATTER – double definition with the first being a verb and the second, a comparative adjective


20d   For the audience, more progressive rock? (7) 
BOULDER – this sounds like (for the audience) a comparative adjective meaning more progressive (perhaps because progressive individuals do not meekly accept the status quo?)

21d   Club supporter’s gutted, say (6) 
BRASSY – concatenate a supporter of a woman’s outstanding features, its accompanying S, and SaY with its interior letters removed (gutted); the name is a variant spelling of BRASSIE

23d   Main objection concerns easily acquired nausea primarily (5) 
OCEAN – the initial letters (primarily) of the five middle words of the clue

25d   Naked except for sweetheart (4) 
BARE – a preposition denoting except for followed by RayT’s customary sweetheart the middle letter (heart) of swEet

I have a feeling that the favourites today will be all over the map as there are so many fine clues to choose from. After some intense deliberation, I have awarded podium spots to 10a, 11a, and 17d with the gold medal going to 11a. However, these clues barely edged out a handful of others.

Quickie Pun: CALM  +  HARKS  =  KARL MARX

94 comments on “DT 29166

  1. Happy anniversary, Falcon!

    This started out as an easy romp, but soon the path began going uphill. It took me a full *** time to complete, with 11a being the last to fall. This is therefore my COTD.

    Many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

  2. I would agree with your ratings for difficulty and enjoyment, Falcon. I completed the first three corners quite quickly but edged into *** time because of a few tricjy clues inthe S.E. Clues about golf clubs are always a nightmare for me. I enjoyed the two long anagrams and 2d, 20d and 24a are also worth a mention. Thanks to Falcon and Ray T.

  3. 11 and 26a were joint favourites this morning in this very entertaining and enjoyable puzzle. There were sufficient pen-chewing moments to render it just a tad more difficult than recent Thursdays but the wordplay as ever got me there in the end.

    Thanks to Ray T for the challenge and to Falcon, to whom many congratulations are in order.

    1. A relatively gentle Ray T today, the ‘cudgel’ took me right back to ‘Wind in the Willows’. Thanks to Mr T and Falcon.

    1. I have no idea why that is. The Click here! buttons worked fine in Preview mode before I scheduled it for publishing (late last evening my time). I can’t investigate further at the moment as Gazza is apparently working on it and I don’t want to interfere with his efforts.

      1. Sorry, Falcon, probably my fault. I noticed that the title, tags etc. weren’t set so I edited them in and noticed that all the answers were visible so I ‘hid’ them. This seems to have caused a problem. I’m fixing it now.

  4. Excellent challenge, *** and a bit for difficulty.
    Managed to dredge up from my subconscious an unusual word which formed part of the clue to 5d.
    Very satisfying, many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review.

  5. I found this RayT more challenging than Falcon but equally enjoyable.

    Favourites amongst many: 11a and 28a.

    Anyone notice 2d in the Quickie? How strange!

    Congrats to Falcon. Here’s a link to your debut:

    DT 26346

      1. I couldn’t figure out why Stan found it strange – guess that means I’m of the same generation as you, Ora!

  6. Back to a **/*** today, tuned in quickly and enjoyed the solve, thanks Ray T.
    liked the surface of 4a and 10a, just sound cluing throughout.
    Happy anniversary Falcon- liked the tab pic!-every picture tells a story.

  7. Completed alone and unaided …on a Thursday….hurrah!

    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for the hints which I needed for some parsings.

    Quickie pun today really, really does not work north of the border.

    1. “north of the border” … or across the 23d

      You would not believe how long I wrestled with the Quickie pun, including listening to British speech samples on online dictionaries and attempting to imitate them, etc before the penny finally dropped.

      1. Trust me, Falcon, I will believe you.
        I have spent a lot of my life engaged in the same struggle.
        Sometimes I take revenge by reverting to a deepest Fife accent……that usually foxes the Sassenachs.

  8. Organised my morning to cope with the possibility of Mr T wearing his Beam hat today but found him to be in a very benign and definitely cheeky frame of mind!
    The unusual spelling of 21d gave pause for thought and I always have to concentrate on the spelling of 15a, no hiccups elsewhere.
    I’ll align myself with Stan and put 11&28a on the podium and will add 19&20d for good measure.

    My usual devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Falcon for the review. Congrats on your 9 years of loyal service to the blog – just been reading the preamble you gave in your debut, courtesy of the link provided by Stan.

    PS For anyone with time to spare, Kcit is also in benign mood over in Toughie land.

    1. It is interesting to see how the style of the review has changed over the years. Back then there was no underlining of definitions and woe betide the reviewer who gave solutions rather than hints (as I quickly learned).

      It is also interesting to go through the comments and see how many contributors are still regulars on the blog — some even having joined the ranks of reviewers.

      1. Followed your suggestion, Falcon, and read through all the comments. As you said, it’s very interesting to see who’s still active on the blog and how many from those days have gone on to become regular bloggers.
        Such a shame that Mary, in particular, is no longer a regular contributor – she was still much in evidence when I first joined the blog and I remember enjoying her comments.
        How frustrating it would be nowadays for solvers to have no recourse to the answers!

  9. Like some others I got off to a good start and then began to flounder. 10a took a while as did 28a and 21d. Liked 11a, clever I thought..Hints were excellent. Thanks to Ray T and Falcon. Happy blogging anniversary!

  10. It took me a while to get into today’s RayT. Some excellent anagrams; 15a and 18a. I agree with 11a as the favourite. I guess the golfers had no trouble with 21d. Thanks to RayT and Falcon for the extra insight🦇

  11. Just thought I’d say, in case there were any fellow-sufferers, that if you put “wary” in for 6d, that corner is much harder to do . . .
    Many thanks to Falcon, you are much appreciated, and to RayT who is a legend.

        1. I was wary of 5d as well, which held me up quite a bit in the NE corner.
          I have never seen the golf club at 21d spelt that way, but it couldn’t be anything else.
          I biffed 11a assuming that Charlie was Chas, so thanks for the clarification on how the clue works.
          Very enjoyable – many thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

    1. I, too, put “wary” for 5d, never did finish that corner. I like my answer better anyway, so there.

  12. Happy Anniversary Falcon
    3/4 of this tripped off my stylus but for me the NE was the stumbling block. 5d in particular. I am still not sure I understand it. Maybe I should have paid more attention in french lessons. 13a was tentatively bunged in as putter until it was no longer compatible with checkers too. I am not terribly familiar with other golf bats either. Has anyone called 21d them that since Harry Vardon.
    Thanks to Falcon and RT.
    Back to the cycling (sunshine slightly ahead of showers)

    1. Re: 5d

      You need to put the abbreviation for the Latin word for queen inside a word meaning fashionable style or distinction that we borrowed from the French.

      1. Your hint is tip top Falcon just my french has barely got beyond ordering a biere and Jambon Cru.
        Once on a ski lift I told a young French girl to remove her Hams from my Backside!

        Weather update More rain than sunshine now!

        1. Many years ago we were camping in France in a farmer’s field – in the morning his wife brought us some bread and coffee and eggs. Saying, “Thank you very much madame” went well and I got more adventurous which was when it all went a bit wrong. I ended up telling her that she was very pretty instead of very kind. She was extremely old, had very long grey hair and about one tooth but she seemed absolutely delighted!!

          1. Could have been worse.

            I insisted that I wanted a room for the black in a hotel once. And also on a particularly snowy trip demanded that a garage sell me snow dogs.
            Have to say that the French then were very forgiving….or perhaps enjoyed a good snigger.

          2. Much to the amusement of my teenage sons I ordered, many years ago, a fat coffee rather than a large coffee. Personally, with the advent of skinny lattes etc. I now think that I was just a man ahead of his times 😂

  13. Mr T in a very gentle frame of mind – completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 16d, and 21d – and the winner is 21d.
    Thanks to Mr T and Falcon.

    1. Hi Ronnie
      Ton is an outdated word for fashion or people of fashion. It is found far more frequently in crosswords than in current parlance.

    2. I’m with you there Ron. . . totally in the dark. Otherwise a very gentle fun offering from Mr T. Thanks to Falcon and RayT.

  14. ***/****. Very enjoyable and plenty of innuendo which always makes me smile. Held up for a while by 15a which I got but didn’t spell correctly. Thanks to Ray T and Falcon – many happy returns.

  15. As usual from Ray T a splendid puzzle albeit at the gentler end of his spectrum. Pants and bras! So, I’ll go for 28a and 21d as my joint favourites.
    Congratulations to Falcon on your anniversary – a good effort, well done!!

  16. Happy blogging anniversary, Falcon – well done – that’s a long time. I’d forgotten that you used to do Wednesdays.
    Definitely at least 3* difficulty for me today – not sure why now that I’ve finished it.
    At least 4* for enjoyment – Ray T has found his ‘naughty hat’ – good.
    I had trouble trying to make ‘waste’ = ‘lose’ in 8d.
    Managed both lurkers today and then missed the initial letters one in 23d.
    Lots of good clues including 11a and 16 and 17d – not sure which one is my favourite but it’s one of the three.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

  17. I bought at first I was going to race through this but reality soon made its appearance! However ultimately though it wasn’t as difficult as some recent Ray T’s have been. 11a was my top clue.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Falcon for his review on his tenth birthday!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, but I’m afraid you have credited me with one year of service too many.

  18. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. Happy Anniversary to Falcon. A nice puzzle from Ray T, quite on the gentle side, but I still needed the hints to parse 10,11&18a. Last in was 26a. Favourite was 4a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  19. Congrats on your anniversary, I’ve just read your debut blog, Falcon, great fun going back, but before my time. Mary popped in the other day, but Derek just faded away. I miss his chats about his daily doings.
    I don’t know why I get my knickers in a twist doing RayT’s offerings, but I do. Getting 5d wrong messed up the NE corner.
    Got 1a right off, I always like when that happens. My fave is 24a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for unravelling lots for me.

  20. Filling in NW corner straightaway produced a false sense of security because things then toughened up. Had problem with two parsings – 24a as I was thinking around US for American and stupidly my bung-in for 23d. I too beg to differ re spelling of 21d club. Clever Quickie pun which concurs with my pronunciation. Thank you RayT and Falcon.

  21. First puzzle since Monday and reminded me what I’ve been missing. For me, a cracker, full of clever and witty clues. The only slight problems I had were justifying 5d and “toady” in 19d, which I’d only ever seen as a noun. Took me a whlie to pick up “abandoned” as an anagram indicator in 15a too.
    Podium places go to 11a, 28a(lol moment) and the very clever 20d.
    Congratulations to Falcon on the anniversary and for a fine blog and congratulations to Mr T for another puzzle of the highest order.

  22. A good challenging puzzle by Ray T tonight, which I managed to complete with the minimum of assistance from Falcon. From my point there were some first class clues.
    Many thanks to Ray T , with thanks & many congratulations to Falcon on his stint as reviewer & guide .

  23. A cracking Ray-T crossword. Not too tricky, but superbly clued.
    I’m not convinced that the golf club can be spelt like that but its bound to be in the BRB, so don’t bother tell me.
    Also 18a, I thought meant ‘tireless’, not the answer.
    Thanks Falcon and congrats on the anniversary. I have often considered volunteering, but guess that being able to do the crossword might be a prerequisite.
    Thanks Ray-T too.

    1. Go for it. We will all help if necessary although pride will make us work very hard at a clues parsing before we ask for help. It has surprised me how much I have shaved off my solving times by repeatedly writing hints and tips every week. Now is a very good time to volunteer as there are no slots to fill. But think carefully before you do. Tuesdays Toughie slot might be thrown at you.

  24. Got quite excited to begin with, as I thought I had finally got to grips with a Ray T puzzle, and everything begin to fill in quickly. Oh dear. Then reality kicked in and I was left looking at too many of Falcon’s hints to feel any satisfaction on finally completing this puzzle.

  25. Good fun as always from Ray. We have a guest staying with us and it and a pleasure to share the solving of it with her too. Still had time to check the clue word count and all in order.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon, congratulations on your anniversary.

  26. Splendid puzzle and for once I agree with the difficulty rating. I too had never heard of ton in that sense but bunged it in anyway. I had several goes at spelling 15a before looking it up. Amazing how the correct spelling makes the solving of the other clues so much easier. Favourite 26a because although I was on the right lines it took me so long to get the correct word. Many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

  27. Thank you to everyone who offered congratulations and good wishes on my 9th anniversary on the blog.

    1. I’ve recently looked at your National Post blog and see that you have commented upon my ‘re-imagining’ of The Olympic Marathon. Well done. it wasn’t commented on over here. I use my ‘re-imagining’ quote quite often and am bemused by the folk who ask “Really”

  28. I got further with this by myself than I usually do with a Ray T puzzle, and enjoyed it too. Thank you so much to Falcon, without whose help I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it anywhere near as much.

    Congratulations on the anniversary, and well spotted on the 6-month near-repeated clue. I guess the Canadian delayed re-blogging helps with spotting those?

    I liked the cleverness of 4a and 16d. My favourite is the toady in 19d, which made me smile.

    Interesting that 2 clues had the same definition — having got 13a, I was expecting the ‘club’ in 21d to be part of the wordplay (but I was wrong!).

    I don’t understand how ‘ocean’ = ‘main’. Probably that means I need to buy a better dictionary, but if anybody anybody provide an example that would be appreciated.

    10a’s use of ‘without’ is mentioned in Prolixic’s guide for Rookie Corner setters (available for download at the bottom of the Rookie Corner Index page), which says:

    “The other thing to watch with synonyms is to ensure that you are using direct synonyms. Word A may mean Word B and Word B may mean Word C but that does not necessarily mean that Word A is a synonym for Word C. A classic example of this is seen in clues that indicate that one word is placed around another. Sometimes the setter will use ‘without’ as a containment indicator. Without can mean outside (as in the hymn, ‘There is a green hill far away, without a city wall’. Outside can also mean around. The assumption is therefore that without can mean around. This is not the case. In the hymn, the green hill does not go around the city wall!”

    I interpreted that to mean that ‘without’ can’t legitimately be used in this way, but it looks like The Telegraph permits it, even if Rookie setters aren’t allowed to use it.

    1. There is a line in a song ‘A life on the ocean main is surely the life for me’. Main is another word for ocean, although probably a bit old fashioned now.

      1. Thanks, Cat. So “ocean main” would mean “ocean ocean” then?

        I tried searching for those lyrics, but couldn’t find the song.

        1. That’s because I have been singing the wrong words on the rare occasions when I have sung it and it should be ‘ocean wave’ ………

          1. Ha! Thanks for clarifying (and, if you’re still reading, apologies for taking over a week to reply).

      2. The line quoted by cat does have a familiar ring to it but I have also been unable to find the song. I did find portions of the line in two different songs. Is it possible we are confounding these two (or possibly other songs)?

        “The Sailor’s Hornpipe” (from the Disney film Alice in Wonderland) opens with:
        “Oh, a sailor’s life is
        The life for me
        How I love to sail o’er
        The bounding sea”.

        “Live on the Ocean Wave” contains the lines:
        “A life on the heaving sea
        A home on the bounding wave
        A life on the ocean wave
        A home on the rolling deep”

        the latter two which appear repeatedly throughout the song.

        1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Part IV

          The moving Moon went up the sky,
          And no where did abide:
          Softly she was going up,
          And a star or two beside—

          Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
          Like April hoar-frost spread;
          But where the ship’s huge shadow lay,
          The charmèd water burnt alway
          A still and awful red.

          Beyond the shadow of the ship,
          I watched the water-snakes:
          They moved in tracks of shining white,
          And when they reared, the elfish light
          Fell off in hoary flakes

          Thanks and congratulations on your milestone from me too, Falcon

    2. The main is an archaic or literary term for ‘the open ocean’ (which I take to mean in contrast to coastal areas).

      This usage is also seen in the term Spanish Main which was a name in colonial times for the Caribbean Sea, the southern part of which was the route of Spanish treasure galleons and the haunt of pirates.

      However, it can be rather confusing as the term Spanish Main was also used for the mainland of Spanish America, especially the northern coast of South America from the Isthmus of Panama to the mouth of the Orinoco River, Venezuela.

      1. Wow, thank you, Falcon! I really appreciate the explanation. And now you mention it, I have heard of ‘the Spanish Main’, though now I’m not sure which one …

        (Are the blue words supposed to be links? They turn purple when I hover the mouse pointer over them, but don’t seem to be clickable.)

          1. Thanks; links have now been clicked.

            And in answer to my own question above: No, I don’t need to buy a better dictionary; I just need to be better at actually reading the one I was already using!

            I checked Lexico before posting, yet somehow skipped from definition 1.2 straight to 3 (both of which I remember reading), without noticing definition 2 blatantly there between them! Sorry, everybody.

            Maybe I need to get the 5-year-old to listen to my reading this weekend, rather than t’other way round …

    3. S. The issue regarding “without” has been discussed on here many times before. This is from DT 28360, which cites definitions from the SOED:

      February 27, 2017 at 10:56 am
      RD. Without is a valid containment indicator, in this context it simply means the opposite of within. The primary definition in the SOED for without is: On the outside or outer surface; externally. So it would be correct to write: “the hard shell is without the soft part of the egg”. That’s why the setters use it so often and the editors allow it.

      If without means “on the outer surface of” it can also be used to mean contain/surround, as with an eggshell or a containment indicator.

      1. Thanks, Jose. My apologies to everybody for not thinking to search previous comments before needlessly bringing this up again. I recently read Prolixic’s guide, was slightly surprised by that section, and this happens to be the first crossword I’ve seen since then with a container ‘without’.

        Anyway, I’ve now searched, and found Rookie Corner 165, which covers both sides. I’m not about to submit to Rookie Corner, but it’s good to be prepared.

        1. No need to apologise S, there are still quite a few regulars on here who are decidedly “anti-without” and they’ll probably be commenting soon!

        2. S. Just to expand a little, Gaza (a setting/solving genius if ever there was one) quite recently (certainly this year) proposed a shorter, simpler and better validation of this device, but I can’t remember the exact wording so I can’t find it just now.

          A BRB definition is: without = “outside or out of”. I think this on its own validates the device and I have written a quick, but probably not very good, clue to demonstrate this:

          Policy of abrupt insect to get without crazy cat (6). = T(ACT)IC.

          The abrupt insect (TICk) has got without (=outside) the crazy cat (ACT) and does provide linear containment.

          Finally, here’s a great Giovanni clue from DT 27479:

          Yob outside toilet possibly revealing too much (3-3). = LO(W-C)UT. Here, G is indubitably using outside (=without) as a containment indicator.

          I hope this info is useful and helps you to resolve the “without issue”.

          1. In fact, that G clue might have been even more humorous as:

            Yob without toilet possibly revealing too much (3-3).

  29. I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. My favourite was 28a which made me laugh out loud. Only RayT would come up with a clue like that! I was defeated by 5d as I didn’t know the French fashion. Many thanks to RayT and Falcon.

    1. I’ll try Brian
      It’s a French word for fashion or high society (ton) placed around R, the symbol for the Latin word for Queen “regina”.

    2. Brian,
      You might consider modifying your username to avoid confusion with a regular contributor named Brian.

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