DT 29196 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29196

Daily Telegraph Cryptic 29196

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from a mostly dried out Vega Baja.  If you’re wondering where I´ve been for the last few weeks I refer you to my last blog on 5th September where I said that the weather forecast for the next few days was looking a bit dodgy. Well, dodgy didn’t begin to cover it! On 12-13th September the Vega Baja and many other parts of the Communitat Valenciana experienced what turned out to be, and by quite some margin, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.  On the Vega Baja most of the irrigation canals overflowed, the Rio Segura broke its banks big time in Orihuela and at Algorfa the river´s retaining wall simply collapsed under the unprecedented weight of water, sending a sort of tidal wave into Almoradí.  Widespread flooding was the result with the damage estimated in the billions of Euros. In El Saladar the water in the street rose to a depth of 1.2m and inside our house it was 73cm deep.  As it´s a bungalow that means everywhere was flooded including the bedrooms. I missed it all as I was in the UK visiting the aged parent but I got back to Spain on the evening of 16th September to find that the village had been evacuated on the morning of the 13th and pommette was dossing at a friend´s apartment in a dry bit of Almoradì, with the three cats banged up in another friend’s conservatory. At least she´d got our new car and the cats out in time and a very helpful Guardia Civil chap had lifted her brand new mobility scooter onto a kitchen worktop so that it survived as well! It was Weds 18th before the water had receded enough to get back into the village and the contents of our house are pretty much a write-off.  We spent the next three weeks staying in a borrowed holiday apartment while we started the drying out and clean-up operations.  We’re back home now but I reckon it will be Xmas before we’re anything like straight.   If you like horror movies look here –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PT_8f3hjjo  or key “floods Spain 2019” into YouTube.

Anyway, enough of my woes and on to today´s puzzle. I´m not sure of the setter but it´s not RayT as he’s in the Toughie slot today.  I thought it a fairly benign but quite enjoyable puzzle, just right for my return to blogging duties.
As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Puzzles about what might move the public (7)
REBUSES:  Start with two letters for about and follow with some public transport.

5a           Held cap with sled out of control (7)
CLASPED:  Anagram (out of control) of CAP with SLED.

9a           Scene five is at back (5)
VISTA:  Start with a roman five, then the IS from the clue and finally the AT from the clue but it´s reversed (back).

10a         Unopened package carried by toff around a Spanish city (9)
BARCELONA:  Take another word for a package and remove its first letter (unopened).  Around this (carried by) put a reversal (around) of a word for a toff and finally the A from the clue to get Spain´s second city and the capital of Catalunya.

11a         Welcoming North; unfortunately South rude and noisy (10)
THUNDEROUS:  Anagram (unfortunately) of SOUTH RUDE with N(orth) inserted (welcoming).

12a         Couple jogging no good at all (4)
JOIN:  Couple as a verb.  Take the word JOGGING from the clue and remove all the G’s (no Good at all.)

14a         Running business is becoming worry (5,7)
GOING CONCERN:  A word that can mean becoming, as in becoming red if you’re blushing, followed by a worry.

18a         Layers beneath kippers of crushed leaves (12)
GROUNDSHEETS:  Layers found underneath people kipping in a tent perhaps. A word for crushed followed by some leaves of paper.

21a         Relieved exclamation not many heard (4)
PHEW:  An exclamation of relief sounds like (many heard) a word meaning not many.

22a         Ignore American wearing his beard stupidly (5,5)
BRUSH ASIDE:  Anagram (stupidly) of HIS BEARD placed around (wearing) and two letters for American.

25a         Rudeness in church eating fish head in nave (9)
INSOLENCE: Take  IN from the clue and an abbreviation of the Church of England and insert (eating) a flat fish and an N (head in Nave).

26a         Called retired mother in home (5)
NAMED:  Take a home or hideaway and insert two letters for your mother and then reverse the lot (retired).

27a         Rabbits two times caught in activated snare (7)
NATTERS:  Don’t worry Rabbit Dave these bunnies haven’t been caught in a snare as it´s rabbits as in talks a lot. Insert (caught in) two T(imes) in an anagram (activated) of SNARE.

28a         Way, way, way at the back showing shyness (7)
MODESTY:  Start with a word for a way as in a method or style, follow with a way as in a road and finally a Y (way at the back).


1d           Centre in Zurich checks fastenings (6)
RIVETS:  The middle two letters (centre in) from zuRIch followed by a word meaning checks as in examines.

2d           Some part of crab is questionable for soup (6)
BISQUE:  A lurker hiding in (some part of) crab is questionable.

3d           View pint, not sad to get tipsy (10)
STANDPOINT:  Anagram (to get tipsy) of PINT NOT SAD.

4d           Not drunk provided beer, half-empty (5)
SOBER:  A word for provided or thus followed by the BEER from the clue but without one of the E’s (half empty).

5d           Cruel cops sabotaged cell (9)
CORPUSCLE:  Not a prison or a terrorist cell but a blood cell.  It’s an anagram (sabotaged) of CRUEL COPS.

6d           Excuse me, answer what upset Mike (4)
AHEM: A(nswer) followed by a reversal (upset) of a word for what? as in “I didn’t hear you” and finally the letter represented by Mike in the phonetic alphabet.

7d           Harassed professional, very fine editor (8)
PROVOKED:  The usual professional followed by V(ery), two letters for fine or adequate and finally the usual editor.

8d           Wearisome taking food around soldiers (8)
DRAINING:  A word for taking food, in the evening perhaps put around some soldiers, this time the Royal Artillery.

13d         Amateur boxing second is natural (10)
UNSTRAINED:  A word which could mean amateur or uneducated around (boxing) an S(econd).

15d         Without restrictions of time, lad from south calls (2,7)
NO STRINGS:  T and your lad reversed (from the south in a down clue) followed by a word for calls, by telephone perhaps.

16d         African gent I pay is dodgy (8)
EGYPTIAN:  Anagram (is dodgy) of GENT I PAY.

17d         County club needing several runs to lead (8)
SOMERSET:  Start with a three letter word for a club or group of people and before it (to lead) put a word for several and an R(uns).

19d         Oddly glitzy male with very big gadgets (6)
GIZMOS: Alternate letters (oddly) from glitzy followed by M(ale) and the tywo letters for very big in clothing.

20d         Daughter wearing odd welly in improper way (6)
LEWDLY:  Insert D(aughter) into (wearing) and anagram (odd) of WELLY.

23d         Cook‘s note to replace second bit of Spam (5)
STEAM:  A way to cook is a note from the Sol-Fa replacing the second letter of spam.

24d         Chimney went skyward, we’re told (4)
FLUE:  This chimney sounds like (we’re told) a word meaning went skyward, in an aeroplane perhaps.

A lot of great clues here but my favourite has to be 18a for its rather splendid definition – “layers beneath kippers” indeed!  Up on the podium are the rabbits at 27a and the rather topical welly at 20d.

Quick crossword pun:    BRAY     +     QUARTER     =     BREAKWATER

55 comments on “DT 29196

  1. Welcome back- I was only looking out at some averagely heavy rain the other day and wondering how you and Pommette were getting on – glad to hear things very slowly recovering

    As for the crossword, I’d agree with benign – we have most of the pangram letters apart from an X so I wonder if it is ProXimal in an exceedingly solver-friendly mood

    Thanks to whoever set the crossword and to our less soggy blogger

  2. Definitely not a Ray T, as Beam is on Toughie duty, but I do believe it is the X-less Pangram man. Very gentle for a Thursday, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between – 21a and 4d – and the winner is 21a.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers – hope your return to ‘normal’ life proceeds well.

  3. Great help, thank you, for me as I’m just starting out with cryptic crosswords. Sorry to hear about the flooding. I can’t imagine how terrible the damage must be.

  4. Gosh pommers what a catastrophe ! Though the cats survived .
    I enjoyed this , but I had joint concern for 14a since the clue mentioned running . I think I am showing my age .
    Thanks to all concerned.

  5. It’s good to know that p&p are drying out and have managed to return home. Thanks to pommers for the update and today’s blog and to Mr X for the puzzle which as pommers says is fairly benign (I wonder if that means his Toughie tomorrow will be anything but).
    My ticks today went to 12a, 18a and 27a. I suspect that Silvanus’s radar might be bleeping at the double use of ‘wearing’ as an insertion indicator.

  6. I should pick 6d as my favourite as I rarely get a name check, but my choice for COTD is 18a. Not a piece of cake, this one, but a comfortable solve once in the groove.

    Many thanks to the X man, if it is indeed he, and to pommers, to whom many condolences are due for such an awful few weeks. Good luck going forward.

  7. Did I count 8 anagrams or partial anagrams? – including the ‘first letter’ clues of 5A and 16D. So a 1.5*/3*** for me. I note that three of the four picture hints actually contain the answer, but a valiant set of clues from the flooded pommers. Flooding is awful, so I am pleased you are back on your feet. Britain often has miserable weather, which we are never short of complaining about – but we are spared the deadly heatwaves and floods of our Iberian neighbours

    1. There used to be a way of ‘blocking’ title and other information on YouTube videos but YouTube have now ‘blocked’ the ‘blocking’ process or changed it in some other way.

    2. I try not to include answers within the hints but by the time I solved and written the hints and sorted it all into the required format and underlined definitions I feel I have already done enough. Also we cannot see how the YouTube clip will appear on the blog.

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed this whilst solving although I did express disapproval over the anagram count. Lots of clever clues which led to a steady solve over a longer time than usual. Thanks for the puzzle Mr Setter. Right up my street. Thanks for the review Pommers. At least the chaos in our new house is self inflicted. I’ve never been flooded and can only imagine the horror. At the moment we live on The River Itchen which became lake Itchington last week. It looks impressive but doesn’t threaten us it just keeps the floodwatch team on their toes.

  9. This is not crossword related really but ‘Oh My Goodness Pommers!’ your description of the weather is very eloquent but wow, what an ordeal. My sister and her husband have a place in Javier or Xavier (? I am never sure how it is written, I can pronounce it though). They live up on a hill but she had also mentioned the weather. I hope things begin to look up for you. We have our first snow predicted for tomorrow but that is normal, what you describe is extraordinary.

    Best wishes, OK now I am off to do something completely rash, I think it is called housework, as I am a housewife these days I suppose it is in the job description, I might even get the hang of it one day.Also half get together dinner, it is chilly so good old liver and onions and mashed potatoes and then I will be able to settle down and try to fill the blanks on the crossword, I started off well but have hit a bit of a brick wall.

    Thanks of course to everyone in this community here, to BD and the setters. I may not always comment butu I do love coming here with my cup of tea and reading the hints and the comments.

    1. Sounds like your sisters place is in San Javier, also spelt San Xavier in Valenciano/Catalan. The next town along the coast from it is Los Alkázares which had some really serous flooding. It washed a lot of the beach away and poisoned the Mar Menor which is now closed to bathers because of all the dead fish causing a health hazard.

  10. 27ac reminded me of this

    The Snare

    by James Stephens

    I hear a sudden cry of pain!
    There is a rabbit in a snare:
    Now I hear the cry again,
    But I cannot tell from where.

    But I cannot tell from where
    He is calling out for aid!
    Crying on the frightened air,
    Making everything afraid!

    Making everything afraid!
    Wrinkling up his little face!
    And he cries again for aid;
    – and I cannot find the place!

    And I cannot find the place
    Where his paw is in the snare!
    Little One! Oh, Little One!
    I am searching everywhere!

  11. There seemed to be a plethora of anagrams today in the top half which lead to a rapid start followed by a steady solve culminating in the SE corner.
    Lots of fun and agree with a Pommers **/**** ,thanks for the pics-always liked the Bangles-I think they were originally called the Bangs!
    The rain in Spain seems terrible, a friend of mine there said he’d never seen the like.
    Anyway plaudits for the setter whoever it is no real favourites today.

  12. A slew of anagrams helped this solver along nicely. When I saw how many, I wondered if I might have to resort to a little help, but no, I got this done in a steady *** time.

    In 6d, many would express disapproval of the “What”, when it should really be “Pardon”.

    I couldn’t quite parse 17d, so thanks to the rather damp Pommers for that, and to proXimal, if indeed, it is one of his.

    1. Leaving aside the fact that “pardon” wouldn’t fit the clue, many might express disapproval of its use at all, save as a cancellation of a criminal conviction.
      My mother in law and I had a long running and affectionate dispute over what my children should be advised to use, she favouring “pardon?” and I favouring “what?” .
      Who knows when these English peculiarities begin and end?
      I wonder if the multilingual among us know whether the same applies in other languages.

  13. 1.5*/4.5*. I had to go out very early this morning so I was delighted to find an extremely enjoyable puzzle not quite on the back page, which I was able to complete very quickly – surprisingly so as I am sure it is the work of proXimal.

    My podium aligns with Gazza’s: 12a, 18a & 27a. The last of these did make me twitch a bit, but it is a great clue.

    I know the BRB says that “provided” is a synonym of “so”, but I can’t think of a sentence where you could swap one for the other. Can anyone oblige please?

    Many thanks to proXimal and to pommers. Here’s hoping you recover very soon from your nightmare, which sounds absolutely ghastly.

    1. I agree on provided/so. For me, they are almost opposites. My interpretation, which I am willing to be told is completely wrong, is as follows – with a sentence ‘A provided/so B’:
      With ‘provided’ A is dependent on B.
      With ‘so’ B is dependent on A.
      OK, all you grammarians, body armour has been put on.

    2. I think you could swap provided for so as follows. So if you go to the party I will go too.
      Provided you go to the party I will go too. A bit tenuous I admit!
      So sorry to hear your news Pommer. I will immediately stop complaining about rain!
      Enjoyed the crossword but could not find a way forward in 28a so thank you Pomners and the setter.

      1. Nice try, Jen, but I don’t think it works because your example is actually showing the equivalence of “provided” and “if”. You are using “so” as an interjection – which you could equally have put in front of “provided”.

        Normally Gazza can be relied upon to come up with an example when this type of query comes up but on this occasion he hasn’t done so, so I’m inclining towards Chambers being wrong on this one.

  14. Firstly, many thanks to Pommers for taking the time to provide these excellent hints and explanations when you have so much more to deal with. I do hope you’re soon dried out.
    Thanks also (she says, through gritted teeth) for the Bangles earworm which will undoubtedly plague me all afternoon.
    Personally I do like lots of anagrams as I’m not very experienced and they give me a good starting point, so I didn’t find this puzzle too taxing. I was held up in SE, and I failed with 12a, having to resort to Pommers’ help – when I’d finished groaning I made this my COTD.
    Thanks to the setter.

  15. Enjoyable, fairly benign puzzle, perhaps marred by a few too many anagrams. I thought 12 was clever. 18a and 6d worthy of note.

  16. Welcome back, pommers.
    Definitely proXimal, I’d say – I always find him tricky and very enjoyable, in equal amounts.
    I didn’t think he was as benign today as others seem to have done – back to wave-length again.
    I don’t think I’d ever have got 12a had I not started to hunt for my missing couple of letters from the ‘almost pangram’.
    18a was my last answer and I needed all the checking letters before I got it.
    A really good crossword so thanks to proXimal and a really good set of hints and pics too so thanks to pommers.

    1. PS – Unusually the clues that stood out for me today were lots of the four letter ones – 12 and 21a and 6d. My favourite was one of those.

  17. You can tell it’s a while since I did one of these as I completely forgot about the Quickie pun. Sorry and all that but it’s there now.

  18. Sorry to hear about the awful flooding, Pommers. On the bright side, I’m glad you escaped the inconvenience of being without a car/ mobility scooter. Glad the cats survived too. I thought this was a very benevolent proXimal too and very enjoyable it was (**/****). I liked 25a , 28a and 13d. Thank you for the hints and thanks to the setter too.

  19. My gosh, dealing with the flood aftermath and still found time to solve and provide hints today. I cannot imagine. Hope you and Pommette are soon dry and comfortable again. We moved at the end of April and we still aren’t completely unpacked and sorted, and don’t know how we would deal with your awful upheaval.
    Thanks for all the hints as I can’t seem to concentrate today (workmen in the house), and thanks to Setter.

  20. Certainly benign for proXimal, goodness knows what that augurs for tomorrow’s Toughie!
    Plenty of ticks on my paper and I gave podium places to 12 & 21a along with 19d – honourable mentions for 18&27a.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Pommers for the blog. Thank goodness that both of you (plus cats) are safe if not exactly sorted out as yet. That video clip showed such devastation, hardly surprising that the damage is estimated in the millions.

  21. Hi pommers,

    I just popped in to welcome you back to the Thursday rotation. Glad to see that life is gradually returning to some degree of normalcy for you.

  22. Just taken delivery of 50 square metres of floor tiles for the bedrooms for the tilers to lay next week. We used to have laminate flooring but it didn’t take kindly to four days total immersion. Once the floors are sorted we can start putting in new wardrobes and cupboards and get all the salvaged stuff off the lounge floor so we can get that room re-furnished. Hey ho, it’s just never ending at the moment.

    1. Sorry for your troubles Pommers, but both you and Pommette sound completely indomitable. Good for her and good for you!

      We had a leaky roof during the recent rain, but it just doesn’t compare……

  23. I thought I was being clever when I first read 18a….
    Aha….kippers must mean sleepers, I thought….correctly as it turned out
    Then, layers might mean hens and crushed might be an anagram indicator for leaves……

    You see ….too clever by half.

    Also wrestled for a bit with the parsing of 23d, as I consistently forget the solfa terms.
    Otherwise a 4* for enjoyment.
    Thanks ProXimal and Pommers.

  24. Found this more of a struggle than others seemed to. Good clues though.Liked 18a and 20d. Excellent hints from Pommers. What an ordeal they have endured. I’m afraid to say I thought they lived in Australia! Thanks setter and Pommers.

  25. Oh, the other bright bit in the otherwise sorry tale is that my irreplaceable KEF loudspeakers survived as they were on a sideboard and more than 73cm off the floor. Said sideboard was leaning at a very jaunty angle when we got into the house but the KEF’s were rescued. :phew: or,if you prefer then 21a!

      1. Thank you for that. The rest of the hifi also survived along with the TV and digibox in the kitchen so at least we have some entertainment.

  26. Welcome back pommers, you have both been through the wars. Getting rid of the mould must be a Herculean task. Good luck.
    I found this most enjoyable, a little tricky, but very solvable. I think the friendly grid with ample checking letters was a huge help. I would write out the letters and make words, then try to unravel. I hope all that makes sense.
    Fave was 18a, but loads others qualified.
    Thanks to proXimal for the fun and to pommers for the review.

    1. Surprisingly perhaps the mould was fairly easy to get rid of. A spray with a strong bleach solution, leave it quarter of an hour and then wipe over and it disappears. If it don’t come back you know the wall has dried out. The main problem was the inch deep, glutinous and smelly mud that was everywhere, yuk.

      1. Good to know about the mould because that can be deadly. Sorry about the muck though. Entirely off topic sorry BD, please delete if needed, but speaking of mould, a problem people around here have had is if they rent out their homes they end up with a nightmare. When I was ill the home nurse who came told me about their experience, her husband was then in the military and they were posted abroad for a while but didn’t want to sell, so they rented. Nice respectable seeming people, had references and everything, fake as it turned out, as were their names etc. Paid their rent on time. No problem. Or so you would think. They got back and the place was in terrible shape, there were huge electricity bills outstanding, the inside was covered in plastic which was covered in mould because the house had been turned into a cannabis farm I was going to type the word for the same thing starting with M but I can’t remember how to spell it! LOL And me a crossword fiend, you would think I know how to spell. 😂 Anyway it cost them thsouands to have a crew come in and get rid of it all.

        Back on topic, I finally had to give in and look up 21a. I had the P and the E………… but the clue says ‘relieved’…. my mind went to a more physical type of relief even though I kept thinking ‘Surely not!’ as in ‘Breaking my neck to go to the loo I finally P*E*’
        Ahem, sorry, grow up Crolyn! It’s probably too late for that.

  27. Finished it, enjoyed it, not too difficult. Thanks for explaining some of the parsing. I hope normal weather resumes asap.

  28. Thanks Pommers for the update, what an ordeal! I hope life returns to normal soon.
    Nice crossword, I don’t tend to find Proximal’s crosswords as easy as others but this went in fine, with some head scratching.
    I thought 12a was very clever.
    Thanks to all.

  29. Thoroughly enjoyable solve once again from this setter.
    We’d been wondering how you two were getting on Pommers so thanks for your report. It sounds absolutely horrendous, we feel for you.
    Thanks proXimal and pommers.

  30. I have to say that any comments I have re the crossword fade to irrelevance when one considers was Pommers en famile have gone through. My heart goes out to you, so thankful you are ok, things can be replaced. Been flooded once so I can sympathise but not to your extent. Buena suerte.

  31. Thanks to all for the good wishes, I´ll keep you posted on progress when there is some. Fortunately (!) since the flood the weather has been mostly dry and sunny so the drying out has gone apace. New tiles in the bedrooms next week and once that´s done we can get a move on. I´ve repainted our bedroom already so a new floor and fitted wardrobe and we’re back in there – we´re kipping in the guest room at the moment.

  32. Thanks Pommers and as a former victim of flooding I only hope the water was not contaminated with sewage and thanks of course to the setter … 14a did not really work for me but the rest was very enjoyable esp lurker in 2d

    1. I’m sure it was contaminated with sewage, also a petrol/diesel/oil sludge from all the flooded cars. The place was a real mess. We’ve used gallons of bleach and all the soft furnishings are gone as they can’t really be decontaminated. It has surprised me how much water gets used to clean up after a flood – seems about-face to me :grin:

  33. What a terrible time you have had. Sympathy and good wishes for restoration of material and mental health to you both. Once again a four letter word, 12a, made this a ***/ *** rather than a */***. Thanks to you Pommers and may the future be sunny for you. Thanks to the setter as well.

  34. My goodness Pommers that’s rain of biblical proportions. I was bemoaning my luck when all my pheasant pens were flooded by the River Soar not far from its source but at least they could fly to higher ground. You have months of work and expense in front of you whereas I’m largely back to normal as most of my birds have come back even though there’s standing water everywhere. You have my sincere commiserations and I must remember to count my blessings. The crossword seems a little irrelevant now.

  35. Great relevance in 2d as a bisque is always made from crustaceans.
    Liked the construction in 12a.
    Favourite is one of the two.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers.
    Hope you don’t remain a climatic refugee for too long.

  36. Thanks to ProXimal and to Pommers for the review and hints. I’m sorry to hear of your troubles Pommers. I hope you and Pommette can get back to normal soon. Puzzle was fairly straightforward, but I just couldn’t get 12a. Favourite was 28a, which I thought was very original. Was 3*/3* for me.

  37. 3*/4*…..
    liked 2D “some part of crab is questionable for soup (6)”
    Thanks for the blog, which must have been written in very trying conditions.

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