DT 29194 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29194

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29194

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Today’s amusing puzzle features an above average number of cryptic definitions and it has a bit of a clothing theme running through it.  I can’t deduce from that who our setter might be, so if they happen to be reading please post a comment below so we know who to thank for today’s entertainment.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer 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    One fights with others before the French king (8)
WRESTLER:  Link together the abbreviation for with, a synonym of others, “the” in French, and the Latin abbreviation for king 

6a    See live bear (6)
BEHOLD:  Live or exist followed by bear or carry 

9a    Fake article for priest (6)
SHAMAN:  Follow a fake or con with a grammatical article

10a   First-class flier will get base to replace American (8)
STERLING:  The flier is a common garden bird.  Inside him replace the single letter for American by the single letter for the usual base (… base to replace American)

11a   Complaint covers Bill, a British rover (8)
GADABOUT:  A complaint that might swell the big toe contains (covers) the combination of a bill or poster, A from the clue, and the single-letter abbreviation for British

12a   Chaos from PM on edge (6)
MAYHEM:  A recent Prime Minister with the edge on a piece of clothing, for example

13a   With five kicked out, criminal evicts no-hoper from two places (12)
STEREOPHONIC:  An anagram (criminal) of EvICTS NO-HOPER minus the Roman five (with five kicked out …

16a   Something to sit on in Midlands town? (12)
CHESTERFIELD:  A Midlands town is also a long padded sofa 

19a   Climb a post, reportedly (6)
ASCEND:  A from the clue and a homophone (… reportedly) of another word for post (a letter) 

21a   Worn out item of clothing? (8)
OVERCOAT:  A cryptic definition of an item of clothing that is worn outdoors 

23a   Big talkers blasted band wearing hairpieces (8)
WINDBAGS:  An anagram (blasted) of BAND inserted in (wearing) some hairpieces 

24a   Brings into play authorities shorn of power (6)
EXERTS:  Delete the physics symbol for power (… shorn of power) from some authorities or people who know what they’re talking about 

25a   In front of Parisian street, nut translated: 'Like a pork pie?' (6)
UNTRUE:  An anagram (translated) of NUT is placed in front of the French word for street.  Pork pie is used here in its rhyming slang sense

26a   Heartless mum accepting kind help for farm worker (8)
MILKMAID:  The outer letters (heartless) of MuM containing (accepting) kind or type are followed by a synonym of help



2d    Moving here, a tourist finally can be warm again (6)
REHEAT:  Chain together an anagram (moving) of HERE, A from the clue, and the last letter (… finally) of tourisT 

3d    Has a moan about island state (5)
SAMOA:  The first three words of the clue are hiding (about) the answer 

4d    Revolutionary high point of a capital visit? (6,3)
LONDON EYE:  A cryptic definition of a tourist attraction in the UK’s capital

5d    Old compiler, right to rise to the top for award (7)
ROSETTE:  Follow the abbreviation for old with another word for a crossword compiler.  Then move the single letter for right to the start of the collection of letters (right to rise to the top, in a down clue) 

6d    Smile crossing river to find swimmer (5)
BREAM:  Smile or grin containing (crossing) the map abbreviation for river 

7d    Trees covered by traditional Christmas decoration? Lots of stars here! (9)
HOLLYWOOD:  A group of trees preceded by (covered by, in a down clue) a plant used as a Christmas decoration 

8d    Spice Girl seen in band? This could be sexy (8)
LINGERIE:  The first name of Ginger Spice inserted in (seen in) a band or stripe 

13d   One might keep stocking up (9)
SUSPENDER:  A cryptic definition.  Read stocking as a noun 

14d   Item male composed bit by bit (9)
PIECEMEAL:  A synonym of item followed by an anagram (composed) of MALE 

15d   He paints bad actor (8)
THESPIAN:  An anagram (bad) of HE PAINTS 

17d   Force almost recycled rubbish (7)
FLOTSAM:  The physics symbol for force with an anagram (recycled) of ALMOST 

18d   Drink -- the compiler's fix, we hear (3,3)
MAI TAI:  Homophones (… we hear) of “the compiler’s” from the compiler’s perspective and of fix or secure 

20d   Cover talk hosted by journalist on the way up (5)
DRAPE:  An informal talk is contained by (hosted by) the reversal of the usual abbreviated journalist (journalist on the way up, in a down clue) 

22d   European blocks stuff that's the best (5)
CREAM:  The single letter for European is inserted in (blocks) stuff or squeeze


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I particularly enjoyed 6a, 21a, 2d, 5d, 13d, and 18d.  Which clues did you like best?



60 comments on “DT 29194

  1. Nice and straightforward for a sunny Tuesday morning. Plenty of fun to be had, with several clues worthy of mention of which the topical 12a and 17d emerged as my favourites.

    Many thanks to our unknown setter and to Mr K for the review.

  2. I suspect that the puzzle is the work of our esteemed editor since the answer to 22d is the word that had to be clued in one of the monthly Newletter competitions (though I can’t remember what the winning entry was).
    I enjoyed the puzzle. I’d not heard of 18d because I’ve led a very sheltered life. My favourite clue was 21a.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

    1. I have managed to ‘trawl’ through the monthly Newsletters and 22d was the competition word for May. The winning entry was “The very best computer, without hesitation, is sent back (5)”
      But if this was a CL puzzle, wouldn’t the winning entry have been used today?

  3. Quite a tricky puzzle, *** for difficulty and enjoyment. I liked 11a, 14a and 16a but found some of the cryptic definitions hard to crack. The cat pictures, starlings video and hints were superb today. so thank you to Mr K and our mystery compiler.

  4. We seem to have a range of favourites today. Mine was 25a. It took me ages to work out 13a as I’d forgotten that “criminal” is an anagram indicator. I was trying to do something with “con”. Many thanks setter and Mr Kitty.

  5. 1*/4*. I dropped onto the right wavelength immediately but this puzzle was great fun from start to finish and proves that it doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable.

    I’m not sure about using “about” as a lurker indicator but, other than that, I felt spoilt for choice when trying to pick a favourite. Perhaps partly influenced by Mr K’s picture but it’s a cracking clue anyway, I’ll settle for 13a.

    Many thanks to CL (?) and to Mr K.

  6. On the ‘gentle’ end of difficulty for a very enjoyable Tuesday puzzle, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    I have to admit that I had no idea about my bung-in of the Spice Girl in 8d, thanks to Mr K, so I must have lived a different type of sheltered life to Gazza as I did know the 18d drink.
    Favourite – 21a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  7. Like yesterday’s puzzle ,a tricky SE corner because of the drink.
    Failed to parse 10A-thanks Mr K,that crossword land base again! Loved the otters.
    About a ***/***, excellent cluing throughout.

  8. An amusing solve. The bottom half (below 13a) fell into place quite quickly. Not so the top half. My favourites, 4d (took a while for the penny to drop), 13a and 24a. Thanks Mr K for extra info and the mystery setter🦇

  9. Nothing much to frighten us today, a gentle romp through cryptic crossword land. Many enjoyable clues and a couple of gimmies.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  10. Very enjoyable. It made up for the bad afternoon of bridge yesterday. Never heard of 18 down but am very ignorant on the drinks front. Many thanks to all.

  11. Well, I am glad that others found this amusing, because I didn’t, for some reason.

    I was left with five blanks before having to reach for help. I wasn’t going to get 11a because I was set on the Bill being AC rather than AD; and I’ve never heard of 18d.

    Thanks to all.

  12. Sorry I am probably being stupid but could someone explain 10a to me please. What is the significance of E for Base?
    I thought this was almost R&W except for 18d and 24a which held me up for a while. Not sure 13d even counts as cryptic.
    Thx to all

    1. I believe e is to the base “e” a mathematical table like logarithms. I always forget this but did use it at school many Years ago. Not happy with this sort of clue.

    2. You can look it up online, Brian, but either you will understand the explanation or, like me, just accept that crosswordland uses it as a way of fitting an extra ‘E’ into an answer!

    3. Mr K has provided a link to “base” in his hint for 10a … even highlighted it with a red asterisk in “The Usual Suspects”.

      I always read the hints!

      1. Oops … just noticed that some other entries in The Usual Suspects have a red asterisk.

        Wonder why?

      2. Hello Stan. BD inserted the red asterisk – he uses them to indicate the most recent additions to the list of Usual Suspects. I asked BD to add “base” when it last came up, which was three weeks ago on October 8th.

        Brian had a similar complaint about it then. And the time before that ….

      3. Ok i followed the link and saw it was one thing to do with ‘natural logarithms’ whatever the hell they are! Never understood logs at school, damn sure I’m not going to get them now. Why should setters believe that everyone understands higher maths, strikes me as arrogant and a lazy way to include a simple letter.

        1. Hi Brian. I don’t think it’s essential here to understand how it works. It seems to me it’s enough to know that base=E can be justified, and just try to memorize it.

  13. A murmuration, otter chaos AND Mr Poldark – you really are spoiling me this morning, Mr K. The crossword was rather good as well!
    Love the words at 11&23a, thought 13a was very clever, struggled to spell the drink correctly and had to think hard about 24a.
    Favourite was probably 21a.

    Thanks to our setter and many thanks to Mr K for a 10a blog!

  14. I enjoyed this one.
    The whole of the top right hand corner and the very long 13a anagram took ages to sort out.
    I’ve never heard of 18d but think I’m the wrong generation for cocktails
    Clues that stood out for me today were 6, 12, 21 and 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  15. Went in quite quickly at first but then ground to a halt. Struggled with 5d and 8d. Never heard of 18d – it’s not in my BRB. Took a while to get 13a quite an awesome anagram. Thanks to setter and Mr K. for his excellent hints and lovely pussie pics.

  16. A nice, fairly straightforward puzzle with average-ish difficulty clues providing a relatively enjoyable solve. 2.5* / 3.5*

    1. Mr K, 13d. I hope the ladies on here will really appreciate the picture of those rather fetching black suspenders! :-)

  17. I enjoyed this apart from being led astray by vagabond although I knew it must be wrong as I couldn’t parse it. What a wonderful video for 10a, like Attenborough’s latest offering it has you gaping at the beauty of nature.
    Thanks to all.

  18. I set some time aside to do this after doing yesterday’s as I’ll not have time this evening. Straight forward for a Tuesday. 16a my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  19. I was right on wavelength and loved the whole thing, loads of fun.
    I had no trouble with 18d, I remembered them well, 1960s methinks, with the little colourful umbrellas.
    I bunged in 10a, so thanks for unravelling that Mr. K. Miracle, I remembered the pork pie, I’m getting better.
    Fave was 11a, only because I love the word, but a lot of others qualified.
    Thanks to whomsoever gave us this, and to Mr. K for the hints and pics.

  20. Thanks to Mr K and to those who have commented so far. I can confirm that this was indeed a CL puzzle.

    1. Thanks very much for popping in, and thanks too for a very enjoyable puzzle.

      Gazza’s suspicions were not unfounded!

  21. Really Enjoyed this one and so nearly got everything … but the first three letters of 11a tripped me up. Thank you setter and mr K

  22. A very entertaining puzzle with lots of great clues. My favourite was 16a, simply because it’s my town.
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

    1. I’m surprised that 16a is considered to be in the Midlands. It always seems pretty close to us in Yorkshire but I suppose it’s all relative. Do you consider yourself to live in the Midlands then?

  23. Fairly enjoyable puzzle but couldn’t finish because of 18d which was so obscure that none of the usual aids gave it or could find it. Had to “click here” to find it so a **** for difficulty from me. Some good clues especially 13a, 23a, 25a, and 17d. Thanks to Mr K and CL.

  24. Like others I confused myself with “vagabond” so couldn’t see how “residue” answered 5d.
    Thank you for the 10a video. I always think of starlings as nasty, noisy, oily birds until I see their magical aerial manoeuvres

  25. real enjoyment in nearly finishing this but had never heard of the drink.thanks to setter andMR l

  26. We also tried to fit VAGABOND in as the answer for 11a and we did raise an eyebrow or two at the first and last letters being the ‘complaint’ alluded to in the clue. Almost a sense of relief when we did eventually sort out the right answer.
    We did guess the setter correctly at about our halfway point when we got to 16a.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks CL and Mr K.

  27. Nice crossword **/*** 😃 Surprised at the Setter as it seemed quite different 🤔 Favourites 6a & 12a 👍 Thanks to Mr K and to Mr Lancaster. Loved the murmuration clip there used to be a lovely one at Gretna Green 😳 and comment to 8d yes it was!

  28. When I first looked at this, I thought it was a stinker. But then got a foothold before going off to the doctors. Stuck in the waiting room, with no iPad, shocked myself by completing the whole puzzle unaided. So very happy, particularly seeing Mr K’s difficulty rating. Big thanks to setter and Mr. K for the kittens picture. I had 3 favourites (sorry Kath), 5a, 7d and the outright winner 11a. Will look forward to more like this.

    1. Like you, the first foothold wasn’t until 16a, then I was off and running. Loved it, and tomorrow is Jay! My cup runneth over..

  29. Enjoyable Tuesday puzzle that seemed to go in really well until the last five clues, not helped by the fact I got an answer totally wrong. Sorted with a little help from MrK.
    3*/4* fav teasers 11acc & 7d
    Many thanks to CL & MrK for his direction

  30. A really nice puzzle from our man today!
    For some reason 9a was my favourite.
    Thanks to CL, and to MrK for the review and pix.

  31. Thanks for the kind words about the hints and the illustrations, and thanks to CL for dropping in and for creating a great puzzle to solve and to blog.

  32. Late to the show (reminds me of a criticism of the Americans in various World Wars). A very busy day birding on the Thames Estuary.
    Failed on 18d, if you have never heard of it, its pretty much unsolvable.
    Thanks Mr.K and CL.

  33. Thanks to Chris Lancaster and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I just couldn’t get into the puzzle. Struggled all the way through. Needed the hints for 10,11,24a and 5&18d, had never heard of the drink in the latter. Favourite was 9a. Was 4*/2* for me.

  34. Delicious! 16a first in, and my favourite. Thanks to Mr K, and the setter, for a very enjoyable morning!

  35. Just finished down under in Brisbane, only 4 weeks late, this took me 3 days, found 18d and 20d difficult, held me up, never heard of 9a, although my sister in law had! Loved 13a, 10a, 8d -all delightful. Favourites were 11a, 23a, 7d and 26a; thanks to bloggers, big Dave, Mr k and setters ….

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