DT 29184 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29184

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29184

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. I thought there were some sneaky clues in today’s crossword – certainly sneaky enough to fox me anyway. I don’t know who set it – it’s definitely not Ray T and it doesn’t quite feel like proXimal either. I slightly suspect our crossword editor but we’ll see . . .

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


6a        Terrible chaos with elves in narrow escape (5,5)
CLOSE SHAVE — an anagram (terrible) of CHAOS and ELVES

8a        Northern beer knocked back in style (4)
ELAN — N[ORTHERN] and a kind of beer are reversed (knocked back)

9a        Unseen area in which Venetians perhaps sink? (5,4)
BLIND SPOT — a bit of lateral thinking is needed – Venetians here are not people who live in Venice – they’re just an example (perhaps) of something else such as roller or festoon – that word (plural) is followed by a verb to sink or get a ball in the right place in a game of snooker

11a       Stimulant firm with beginnings in Central America (4)
COCA — the two letter abbreviation for a firm or business is followed by the first letters (beginnings) of the last two words in the clue  – no, I’d never heard of it either

12a       Grain planted regularly in Argyle (3)
RYE — the even letters (regularly) of the last word of the clue

13a       Language operates poorly without noun (9)
ESPERANTO — an anagram (poorly) of OPERATES which contains the one letter abbreviation for N[oun]

16a       Home in Northumbrian street? (4)
NEST — the area of the country where Northumberland is followed by the two letter abbreviation for street

17a       Great moves — Ards’ wingers in blinder! (4,3)
TEAR GAS — an anagram (moves) of GREAT is followed by the outside letters (wingers) of the third bit of the clue – for a few nasty minutes I thought this was going to be something to do with football or rugby because of the ‘wingers’

18a       Dialect needing good English at all costs? (7)
GEORDIE — abbreviations for G[ood] and E[nglish] are followed by the last two words of a three letter expression [2,2,3] that means to make a final attempt to achieve something no matter what the consequences may be

20a       Fourth man group hated at first (4)
SETH — a group or band is followed by the first letter (at first) of H[ate]

21a       Witty remark about us having long whiskers (9)
 MOUSTACHE — a short word,from the French, that means a witty remark contains (about) the US from the clue and is followed by a verb to long or pine for

23a       Sheep taking zig-zag course? (3)
EWE — a female sheep can be formed by a direction of the compass (left to me, being geographically challenged) followed by the opposite one and then the first one again – I knew this was going to be difficult to give a decent hint for

24a       Time taken in warm weather to bowl over (4)
STUN — the abbreviation for T[ime] goes inside (taken in) the star that produces heat or warm weather

25a       Sal breaks pill to provide condiment (5,4)
TABLE SALT — sal, from the clue, is contained in (breaks) a pill or caplet

29a       India governed another Asian republic (4)
IRAN — the letter which is represented by India in the phonetic alphabet is followed by a synonym for governed or ruled

30a       Hero putting bullets into FBI agent? (7,3)
LEADING MAN — to ‘get’ this answer properly you need to split it 4,2,1-3 – another one that I thought could be a bit tricky to do a hint for but I think that’s probably the best I can do



1d        State secrets? (4)
BLAB — state here is a verb – the answer is an informal word that means to talk indiscreetly or let the cat out of the bag

2d        Booze in Calabria stinks! (4)
ASTI — a lurker or hidden answer indicated by ‘in’

3d        Employed engineers initially in Bucks? (4)
USED — the first letter (initially) of E[ngineers] goes inside (in) a three letter abbreviation for ‘bucks’ or money in America – I can’t find the abbreviation in the BRB and so I was a bit stuck – thanks very much to the 2K’s – it’s so nice to know that someone is awake when everyone in this country is asleep!

4d        Unrestrained tirade involving a politician (7)
RAMPANT — a synonym for tirade or bluster contains (involving) the A from the clue and the usual crosswordland politician

5d        Course includes bread and Irish cheese (10)
LANCASHIRE — a course or a path contains (includes) the word that ‘bread’ can mean (slang) and the two letter abbreviation for IR[ish]

7d        Sociable old pirate races around (9)
EXTROVERT — the usual two letters that mean ‘old’ or formerly are followed by a two letter abbreviation for some ‘races’ or time trials which contain a synonym for a pirate

8d        Conservatives admitted to corruption of entire clubs? That’s strange (9)
ECCENTRIC — an anagram (corruption) of ENTIRE contains (admitted to) two letters for C[onservative) and is finished off with the one letter abbreviation for C[lubs} in a game of cards

10d      Born in endless poverty (3)
NEE — a synonym for poverty or want without its final letter (endless)

13d      Principal enemy later destroyed (10)
 ELEMENTARY— an anagram (destroyed) of ENEMY LATER

14d      Catch up with female working in temple (9)
PARTHENON — a reversal (up) of a synonym for catch or net, a female (bird) and a little short word that means working

15d      Rocks broken on way to Mardale possibly (4,5)
ROAD METAL — an anagram (possibly) of TO MARDALE

19d      Vessel shooting across the waves? (7)
GUNBOAT — an armed sea-going vessel

22d      Fool starts with absolutely stupid statement (3)
ASS — the first letters (starts) of the last three words of the clue

26d      Version in which stream flows northwards (4)
EDIT — a reversal (flows northwards) of a stream or current

27d      Mythical craft in a river journey (4)
ARGO — the A from the clue, the one letter abbreviation for R[iver] and a verb to journey or travel

28d      Amphibian needs oxygen in small amount (4)
TOAD — an informal, mainly North American, little word that means a small amount contains (in) the chemical symbol for oxygen

Several of these answers made me laugh so they are the ones that I particularly appreciated – they include 23 and 30a and 1d. I also liked 9a and 5d.

 The Quickie Pun:- MOOR + CHEW + AIRY = MORTUARY

66 comments on “DT 29184

  1. Sometimes it’s the four letter words that are the most troublesome, but with twelve of them today, all with very straightforward answers solving was quickly achieved. I couldn’t quite parse 23 across, but as there are so few three letter worded sheep starting with E, there could be no other answer. 15 down was a new term for me and for which Mr Google provided an answer. Otherwise very enjoyable. No great favourite as far as the clues go, except that 18 across raised a smile when the penny finally dropped. Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  2. I agree with you Kath, it had some very wily clues and, like you, I was baffled by the abbreviation in 3d, though I bunged the answer in. It took me longer than usual (***) and 3d wasn’t the only clue I cavilled at and I found the synonym in 13d rather odd. However, 9a and 14d were great clues Thank you for the hints, Kath, 30a can’t have been easy! Thanks to the mystery (?) setter.

  3. Nothing too taxing and no hold-ups today. I had never heard of 15d so, once solved, Mr. Google assisted. Needed Kath to explain my answer to 23a, so thanks to Kath and setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  4. 2.5*/2.5*. After a brief trip to Belgium and so missing out on Tuesday’s and yesterday’s crosswords, I was hoping for either a RayT or proXimal puzzle today but alas it was neither. I thought this was OK but rather patchy. I didn’t know 15d and I don’t think the definition and answer for 13d match even at a stretch. 4d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  5. I don’t know if I was bang on the setter’s wavelength today or this was relatively gentle for a Thursday…I suspect the latter. Whatever, very enjoyable, particularly for me the slight Northern theme. As a proud Lancastrian I should pick the cheese as my favourite but I’d have to go for one of the following (we’re definitely only allowed one today!) which make up my podium…17 and 30a plus 14d
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for a great review.

  6. I didn’t enjoy today’s puzzle.
    The explanation for 23d wouldn’t give you a zig-zag. You would simply go backwards and forwards.

  7. I echo the sentiments of Rabbit Dave above; I was also hoping to see either RayT or proXimal as is normally expected on a Thursday.

    This was not my cup of tea, but thanks to the setter, and to Kath.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed todays puzzle – mystery setter and I on the same wavelength which doesn’t often happen. Was interested that Kath hinted TT as time trial – I always thought they stood for tourist trophy – possibly both are correct?
    Many thanks to the setter and excellent job from Kath to hint some unusual clues.

    1. Apologies – you’re right about TT. The IOM in general and the TT in particular seem to be ‘out to get me’.
      Quite recently I ran into trouble with it because I didn’t know what their flag looked like and another time I called the TT ‘races’ and someone told me that they’re definitely not races.
      Oh dear. :oops:

      1. No apologies please – it was just an observation. I remember the comment on races – it brought a smile and you were right – the IOM refer to TT senior races, race week and try telling a biker on the mountain section that they are not racing!!
        Thank you for taking the trouble to post the hints to all us nit pickers

  9. Something of a mixed bag for me and not convinced that I really enjoyed it. Several giveaways followed by a handful that earned ‘umm’ alongside them.
    4d came out on top with mentions for 9&30a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Kath – I remember watching a documentary about the ‘natives’ who chew 11a, quite an eye-opener!
    PS After the longest absence, Micawber is back in the Toughie slot today – well worth a look.

  10. I looked in vain for signs of Mr X but decided that it must be the work of the/a Thursday Mysteron

    I particularly liked 1d

    Thanks to the setter and Kath

  11. I am a bit surprised at all the negative comments – I enjoyed this one and thought it had some innovative touches (e.g. the zig-zag course in 23a and ‘at all costs’ in 18a).
    I ticked 9a, 21a, 3d and 19d but my favourite was the d’oh producing 1d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

    1. I agree with you – maybe the weather has made everyone grumpy!
      I also loved 1d – and the sheep.

    1. You’ve reversed the order of your previous alias so this needed moderation. Both versions will work from now on.

  12. I finished this without help in the end, but boy did it take a while.

    I agree with the various comments about 23a, I think the setter must have had another idea.

    Did anybody else start off with GROUNDS MAN for 30a?

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  13. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, there were some tricky clues, and some innovative ones too. I liked 23a and 1&5d, but my favourite was 30a. I was beaten by 17a, not being able to get the right definition, can’t understand why I didn’t try blinder as I was stuck on great or great moves. Was 3*/3* for me.

  14. I thought this was pretty good, 15d was new to me. 1d my favourite D’oh! too

    Never heard of 11a Kath? – I’m certain you must have in one form or another!

    When launched, Coca-Cola’s two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine. The cocaine was derived from the coca leaf and the caffeine from kola nut (also spelled “cola nut” at the time), leading to the name Coca-Cola – Wikipedia

  15. Surely east-west-east is backwards and forwards, not a zigzag, that would be ne-nw-ne or the like? I parsed it trying to indicate a palindrome, shows what I know!
    I thought this was an odd offering, but I was happy to finish unaided for a setter that I don’t recall seeing before.
    Thanks Kath for deciphering and Mr.Ron.

    1. I imagined the movement would be side to side, as when skiing but I agree that strictly speaking if you draw a line that goes due E-W-E it would look like this ___ not Z. A touch of setter’s licence perhaps – a three-letter sheep that starts with E is never going to set the world on fire

    2. If your ship is heading due north and you change the bearing to E for a short time, then to W for a short time, then back to E for a short time, etc, etc – the recorded plot of your course would be a zig-zaggy line!

  16. Just what I needed – a Toughie from Micawber and a nice gentle (nearly) back pager to take my mind off my nose operation today. Ouch!! I’m not overly keen on 3 & 4 – letter answers, but this was not too bad as the clues were quite understandable. No particular standout favourite but I see that Kath has mentioned 23a – bound to raise a smile with her pet lambs :smile:

    Thanks to our Thursday mysteron for the puzzle and Kath for her excellent review.

    If it hasn’t already been said – the Toughie is quite do-able.

      1. Hi Merusa – No, not new. I’ve had it for about 4 years now. Just thought I’d change the avatar. Hope you’re well.

    1. How lovely to ‘see’ you – you should ‘pop-in’ more often.
      I hope your poorly nose gets better very soon – noses are so painful.
      Here’s a little :rose: for you – not that you’ll be able to smell it for a while.

      1. Hi Kath – I’ll try to, now that I have a working keyboard again. Had lost 9, O, L and full stop , it’s amazing how many words you lose when keys go wrong. Thank you for the flower – nose repairs are painful indeed :cry:

  17. Sorry to be negative, but I found this a very strange puzzle. Several of the clues didn’t gel with their answers, such as 23a. As a pen, not pencil user, I found the need to check Kath’s answers before feeling confident enough to fill in the boxes. Had never heard the 15d term, another gap in my GK. I thought 30a was awful, but I see at least one other had it as their favourite. Just shows how different we all are. But it did exercise my brain cells, so thanks to setter and thanks to Kath for her very much needed hints.

  18. I flew through this until 18a which I just couldn’t see and needed Kath’s hint – thanks. I thought we were in for a pangram for a while. Not sure I could pick anything in gold medal postion.

  19. A bit of a struggle, I needed quite a few of the excellent hints. I agree that 13d was a bit of a stretch. 18a took a while which it shouldn’t because it’s my native tongue! Had to Google 20a because I didn’t know what fourth was to do with.30a very funny and clever. Thanks to Kath and setter

  20. Late on parade today as Mrs YS and I have been wandering around Cheltenham, a delightful town with stunning architecture and lovely parks. As for the puzzle, a few tricky ones and some nice misdirection. 3d my favourite along with 30a.

    Thanks setter and Kath.

  21. Is it just me or does anyone else think this is possibly the daftest puzzle in a long time? Perhaps weird would be a better description.
    30a was totally beyond the pale in my opinion. And 3d is appalling!
    Thx for the hints for trying to explain this bizarre offering.
    Far too odd to be enjoyable.

    1. Brian,
      USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, AUD etc. are standard codes for currencies in business. I thought it was a good clue.

      1. I think it’s a jolly good thing that I’m not in business – I don’t know what many of that lot mean – maybe I’m just ignorant.

          1. OK – I give in but, as I said, I’m not in business, I never have been – I’m just a simple nurse (but a bloody good one)

            1. Ooh Kath. Don’t feed me the opportunities. I’m sure you make a very nice cup of tea and a very nice bed. Your ‘There there now’ must have soothed a great many patients.

  22. Nothing wrong with 30 across Brian. LEAD IN G MAN is fine by me. Imho we are very lucky to have so varied a team or collection of setters with so many and varied ways of clueing. Long may it continue.

  23. I am in the enjoyment team, (not a RayT can only be a plus) though I admit I had some problems unravelling a few.
    I took forever looking for a crickety answer for 24a, I’ve been through all of BD’s bowling dictionary.
    My only quibble is 26d, surely “version” can’t be substituted for the answer?
    I liked quite a few, 18a was really giggle worthy, so was 1d, but I liked others as well.
    Thanks to our setter and to Kath for the hinty bits.

      1. No, my Godson who lives in Jamaica and his wife – I’m not sitting, they’re that tall and I’m that short! I don’t have children, only dogs and cats.

    1. I think 26d is an abbreviation for ‘edition’ so, yes, probably possible to substitute one for t’other. I wasn’t terribly happy about it but it was another one that I checked with the K’s and they were OK with it which was good enough for me.

  24. I found this very hard to fathom ****/** 😳 Favourites 30a & 17a ( last in ) thanks to Kath for explanations and to the Setter😬

  25. I enjoyed this puzzle and find the negative comments a little unnecessary as we all have different levels of enjoyment and one mans leat ……….but so glad Young Salopuanenjoyed m’y home town of Cheltenham. Thankyou Kath and the setter.

  26. Suspect that the fact that 50% of the answers were 4 or fewer letters long has contributed to the mixed response to this puzzle. We enjoyed it but did find that for several of the clues it was very possible to put in the answer from definition and checkers and not worry too much about the wordplay. Good for solvers but can be a nightmare if one is writing the blog.
    30a our favourite.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Kath.

  27. I would certainly put myself in the enjoyable camp today – I liked the different challenge posed by all the 4 letter answers and it made for a pleasant change. Many thanks to the Setter and to Kath.

  28. Today’s crossword has produced more of a variety of comments than I can remember for some time.
    I enjoyed it.
    I agree that it felt a bit different to usual but isn’t it good for us to be ‘stirred up’ a bit sometimes?
    I didn’t think that it was ‘daft’, ‘weird’ or ‘bizarre’, all of which are words that have been used to describe it.
    Has anyone ever had the chance to try one of the very early cryptic crosswords? They were a very different ‘kettle of fish’ to what is the norm now – things evolve . . .
    I’d like to thank the setter for the crossword and for giving us a bit of a jolt.
    Thanks also to all who have commented today.
    Night night all – sleep well. :yawn:

  29. My usual breakfast-time attempt at this didn’t inspire me and very few solutions came to mind so I threw in the towel however before retiring tonight I decided to have another look. Amazing it all began to fall into place and I have just got there however I have to say it wasn’t one of my fave challenges (Having stirred the ol’ grey matter at this late hour I will doubtless now find it difficult to sleep). The capital letter successfully prevented my parsing 3d. Not keen on 16a, 23a or 19d. No Fav. Thank you to whomever the setter may be and to Kath.

  30. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword! Very idiosyncratic but then, variation is the spice of life I believe.
    Anyway, 30a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Kath for her review

  31. Not my cup of tea. I think the grid was not to my liking. Too many short words.I suppose we all have our likes and dislikes! Thanks for the review and to the setter.

Comments are closed.