DT 29181 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29181

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29181

Hints and tips by Captain Corelli

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BD’s Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Another week starts with a fine Monday puzzle. There are a few anagrams and a couple of chestnuts to get you started. After that the grid should have enough helpful checkers to get you through.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Short talk on instant coffee (5)
MOCHA: place an informal conversation minus its last letter after a very short time

4a    Warning: umlaut with ‘mit’ misplaced (9)
ULTIMATUM: Anagram (misplaced) of UMLAUT with MIT

9a    In front of couple, score a line on rugby pitch (6-3)
TWENTY-TWO: There are a brace of numbers required here. One suggested by the word score and one suggested by the word couple.

10a    Use obscene language in southern sport (5)
SWEAR: Begin with the abbreviation for southern. Add a synonym of the word sport as in to sport an item of fashion

11a    Against operation suggested (7)
OPPOSED: The abbreviation for work is followed by a synonym of the word suggested or asked

12a    After opening of shop, steal, pocketing a vegetable (7)
SPINACH: SPINACH: Begin with the initial letter of the word shop.  Add a word meaning to steal which includes the letter A from the clue

13a    In cooler temperature delivers baby (6)
INFANT: Begin with the word IN which our setter has given us. Add a type of cooler and the abbreviation for temperature

15a    Leave group by Scottish river (3,5)
SET FORTH: A group of things is followed by a Scottish river just as the clue suggests. Which river? The one which makes sense when placed after the first word

18a    Brief word about weird sister, keen birdwatcher (8)
TWITCHER: Find a word or phrase used to describe a thing or to express a concept. Remove its last letter. Insert a weird sister or member of a coven

20a    Son in club concert (6)
UNISON: A band of brothers includes the abbreviation for Son

23a    Record of wages, say, stupidly left in spot (7)
PAYSLIP: An anagram (stupidly) of SAY and the abbreviation for left sit inside a spot seen on a playing card, dice or domino

24a    Go ahead with loan (7)
ADVANCE: A double definition, both solvable

26a    Porcelain found in Hiroshima river (5)
IMARI: The answer here lies hidden within the words of the clue suggested by the words found in

27a    Rule in court facing criticism (9)
YARDSTICK: this court might be a walled area to the rear of one’s house. This is followed by a word meaning severe criticism or treatment

28a    With no one up slide, errs foolishly (9)
RIDERLESS: Anagram (foolishly) of SLIDE ERRS. Up here means mounted in equestrian talk

29a    Fear daughter showed (5)
DREAD: The abbreviation for daughter is followed by an extremely stretched synonym of the word shown.


1d    Way it’s converted church member (9)
METHODIST: A procedure or way of doing something is followed by a anagram (converted) of ITS

2d    Mean fellow conserving energy (5)
CHEAP: A fellow or bloke contains the abbreviation for energy

3d    Sinatra upset craftsman (7)
ARTISAN: Anagram (upset) of SINATRA

4d    Disorderly time in college, extremely dingy (6)
UNTIDY: The abbreviation for time sits inside an abbreviation of university (college). This is followed by the outer letters of the word dingy

5d    Told hoes could be here? (4,4)
TOOLSHED: Anagram (could be) of TOLD HOES

6d    Mother’s pet dog (7)
MASTIFF: How you would describe something belonging to your mother using an endearing term for her. Followed by a pet. A pet here isn’t an animal but a mild argument

7d    Ambassador’s enthralled by sign in book (9)
THESAURUS: A star sign surrounds the abbreviation for His Excellency together with the ‘S from the clue

8d    Ruin church parade (5)
MARCH: A verb meaning to ruin or spoil is followed by the abbreviation for church

14d    Female secure around spacious place of enchantment (9)
FAIRYLAND: We have three parts to this clue. The abbreviation of Female. A synonym of the word secure as in to secure a contract or secure a sales deal. A word meaning spacious, well ventilated. Put the three parts together as instructed by the clue

16d    Browbeaten male, note, kissed quickly (9)
HENPECKED: The personal pronoun for a male is followed by the abbreviation for note. Finish off with a word meaning kissed quickly

17d    Novitiate, one they ordered to keep quiet (8)
NEOPHYTE: Anagram (ordered) of ONE THEY which includes the musical notation for quiet

19d    Dog right for a miner (7)
COLLIER: A breed of dog is followed by the abbreviation for right

21d    Agree to collect travel document in Serbian port (4,3)
NOVI SAD: Your travel pass sits inside a verb meaning to approve something

22d    Artist’s after nuts for a curry (6)
MADRAS: A non PC word is used here to mean insane. It is followed by the abbreviation that members of The Royal Academy are known by. Don’t forget the plural

23d    Previous abbot’s deputy (5)
PRIOR: A double definition. The first being rather obvious

25d    Sound of hooter I put in (5)
NOISE: Your hooter here is in the middle of the face. It needs the letter that looks like the number one inserting to make a sound

Quickie Pun:

Top line: ray+she+owes=ratios

Bottom line: beau+may+cur=bow-maker




60 comments on “DT 29181

  1. A fairly straightforward job for a Monday, with the grid completed in ** time. I didn’t know the port in 21d or the porcelain in 26a. I couldn’t really parse 29a (showed?) and 18a was a “Whaaaat?” clue, so thanks to the Captain for the explanation. And thanks to the setter, too.

  2. Great start to the week with this amusing and clever crossword . 21D and 26A were new to me but gettable .
    Difficult to single out a favourite as a few made me smile with satisfaction.
    Thanks M and to the Setter

  3. A very gentle start to the week (*/***), which gave a lift to another dismally wet morning. Favourite clues were 7d and 27a. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints.

  4. A horrid day in the garden of England, so it’s stripping wallpaper time.
    Very straightforward today, but some enjoyable clues. The Serbian port was easy for me as my youngest son went to a music festival there.
    Thanks to MP and to the setter, I’m enjoying Vulcan in the Graun today.
    Good to be reminded of King Arthur in his pomp.

    1. Stripping wallpaper is a chance to write on the bare plaster in graphite pencil. Family history. Jokes. Topical news items. Daft things the kids said. Poems. Popular songs and TV programmes. Today’s favourite crossword clue with a link to Big Dave’s site. The last film you saw as a family. A treasure trove to cover up for discovery by yourselves or someone new in years to come.

      1. Nice idea, MP…”No-one likes us, we don’t care” should give future generations a sleepless night.

      2. Having watched Fortitude, I would worry about future residents finding some little holes with the legend “Free at last!”

        I’m not sure I’ve ever found plaster underneath wallpaper………only one or more layers of paint. But it is a wonderfully fun activity.

        1. A little Merusa. Destruction has been my pleasure up to now. We have started a first fix of electrics to the gutted kitchen. The gas service has been moved. I have a wall to knock out. I’ve been busy in the gardens too. It shouldn’t be too long before we start seeing an end to the mess and a start to looking nice. The debit card keeps taking a pounding. New kitchens, new furniture, new flooring and carpets don’t come cheap.

  5. First time I’ve completed a DT crossword without having to come here for help. So */*** from me. But I did visit the page after completion to understand how some of the answers were created, especially 18a and 14d. Massive thanks to everyone on the team behind previous hints and tips which helped me get to this milestone.

    1. Welcome to the blog and well done – hope you’ll come back and comment again on future crosswords

  6. Nice crossword for a very rainy Monday 😃 **/***Favourites were 15a & 25d 😉 Thanks to the Setter and to the old mandolin player, though I would query his spelling of 23a in the “Quicky” 😳

    1. Guilty as charged. If BD doesn’t change I will when he logs out. Thanks for pointing it out

  7. A comfortable and speedy solve for a Monday morning. No particular favourite but some gently humorous clues to make the completion of the puzzle pleasantly enjoyable.

    Many thanks to our setter and the mandolin player.

  8. A wonderful start to the week and, for once, I completed it without having to look at any of the hints. Favourites were 15a and 18a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Captain Corelli.

    PS, Yes, I agree that the spelling of 23a in the Quickie is wrong but then I couldn’t even begin to report on a puzzle!

  9. A nice friendly start to the week, with a solution that I thought might make Jane grumpy and another that might make Kath smile.

    Thanks to the Double Punned Setter and the Mandolin Player

    1. Agreed – I assume that you mean 18a (Jane) and 19d (me) – I think I’ve become very predictable!

    2. I used to go on twitches. The last time was when I drove from South London to Bristol for the glaucous-winged gull and dipped it by 10 minutes, that was enough for me.

      1. One summer there was a purple heron on the marsh right opposite our house. The instructions on the bird watchers website instructed people to go to the part of the stream by the house selling plums. Our sales were very good that year :)

  10. Light and bright and Monday again, around a **/**.
    Liked 5d.
    Missed the bottom line pun in the quickie again-why not put the relevant clues in italics!

    1. That is a good point about the bottom line pun but, as there isn’t one every week, italics would let everyone know there IS a pun. Half the fun is wondering whether or not there is one. Forgetting all about it every now and then is also part of the fun. My problem is that when I remember to look there isn’t one but when I forget to look there is! :grin:

      1. Just because there doesn’t seem to be a pun I’m never quite sure. Some puns have been quite tortuous in the past.

        1. True but, to be honest, I have only just realised that there could be a bottom line pun on a Monday. Never even thought to look until I joined BD. :lol:

  11. Enjoyable workout with just a bit of head-scratching in the NW. Fortunately didn’t need to draw on my limited command of German language to solve 4a and, in spite of recent suffusion of RU coverage, it still took me a while to tumble to 9a. 17a and 21d now added to my knowledge bank. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. I would never have got that RU answer, except that it cropped up on here only a few weeks ago and, unusually, I remember the previous struggle to get the answer which even my OH (2nd row) failed to come up with. I’ve actually downloaded a photo of the pitch lines and put it on my home screen………..sad, really.

  12. I thought most of this was pretty straightforward but I came to grief quite badly in the bottom right corner.
    24a was the culprit – maybe I was the culprit for putting in the wrong answer for it – forward seemed to work nicely until it wrecked everything else. Oh dear – dim!
    Having sorted out that little mishap it was fine although I’ve never heard of the port.
    I slightly doubted 29a – couldn’t make sense of the ‘synonym’ for ‘showed’.
    My favourite was 14d but 19d has to be a very close runner-up.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP in disguise.

    1. PS – I can’t even say that it’s raining again in Oxford because it doesn’t seem to have stopped for days – perhaps it’s STILL raining in Oxford is more accurate.

    1. Yes, everyone that has the latest iOS update 13.1.2
      Apparently they are working on a ‘fix’ which will probably just be an uninstall in disguise

      1. Thanks – thought I was going mad.
        I wish they’d get these updates glitch-free before inflicting them on the unsuspecting user 😕

        1. Unfortunately, like most greedy and downright irresponsible industries these days, everything is designed to make you throw it away and buy another one – which will go the same way sooner or later

          1. Agree, my iPad started responding very slowly, doing what I call the one inch blue line stall, and very frustrating. Surprise, surprise, I get an email soon thereafter announcing the latest iPad and offering me a trade in for mine. You’d almost think the slow down was built into mine….

            1. ‘You’d almost think’ = definitely was
              ‘trade in’ = ‘We’ve already added the discount to the price of the new one’
              They must think people are stupid
              Sadly, the majority of people are just that
              Booting the car to the back of an inevitable queue, for example

  13. Very like Richard H although I have , very rarely, completed other Monday puzzles without electronic help.
    To we learners there is satisfaction from that, although the this one, I felt, to be rather too easy.

  14. Fantastic I finished this today without getting Captain Corelli’s help. I do like Mondays! Thanks to the setter and Miffypop.

  15. Enjoyed this a lot, so many smiley clues, impossible to choose a fave – well, maybe 19d.
    Even coming from a rugby family, 9a was a guess. I watched a programme on the history of rugby last weekend and am still none the wiser.
    I didn’t know 21d but the setter told us what to do, and it was right!
    I’ve got some of the porcelain here, so no problems with that one.
    Many thanks to our setter for starting the week off so nicely, and to the Cap’n for his hints – oh, and Gladys Knight!

  16. Good fun. Very quick solve but that did not detract from the enjoyment. Slowed down a bit in the SE with 27a being last in – my fault as I had stupidly spelt 17d incorrectly. Favourites 27a and 7 and 23d.

  17. Great crossword. I wouldn’t say 4a really means warning, BRB doesn’t think so either. Had to use hint for 7d. Should have got it as I use one every day. 6d amusing. Thanks MP and setter.

  18. Beautiful day in the NE, made for a great golf day.
    As for this no problem really but little unsure about 21d as I always though Serbia was land locked but the wordplay was plain enough.
    Not come across the pottery before in the lurker.
    Very pleasant start to the week.
    Thx to all

  19. A pleasant Monday evening solve, with not a lot to scare the horses or me for that matter.
    But some humorous clues that cheered me up.
    Thanks to setter & MP/CC for review

  20. Enjoyed this one, thanks setter and Miffypops. Although I did bung in the wrong dog at 19d (pit bull) so that held me up until I re-read the clue after seeing the error of my ways when filling in 18a. And 27a across gave me pause, and hint didn’t held, because over here a yard is not a walled area, it’s any land attached to the house, what we would call the garden at home. I still refer to it as my garden, as my yard seems to not do justice to the shrubs, trees and flowers.

  21. Finished alone and unaided . Hurrah!

    Guessed the Serbian port from the checkers.

    Needed help for some of the parsing as usual.

    Thanks to Miffy and to the setter.

  22. Hurrah for Mondays! Puzzles that day always seem easier to me. Thanks to setter and CC for hints – read afterwards but for first time not needed. Favourite clue which got me going 15a

  23. Just finished! I was so close to finishing unaided that I just had to keep going and managed with the odd peek at the thesaurus! Only second time ever. Fav clues 5d and 15a. Off to celebrate with a cup of tea. Thanks to the kind setter.

  24. Very mild but pleasant enough if you like that sort of thing. Nothing else to say, really… 1.5* / 2.5*

  25. I’m new to cryptic’s, so I still find some of these difficult. Completed this one with only three visits here!

    1. Baz! Welcome to the Blog.

      But be careful with the apostrophes … some pedant’s (sic) might complain. :smile:

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