DT 29202 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29202

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29202

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are slated to get a taste of winter overnight (it is Wednesday evening in Ottawa as I write this) with about an inch of snow expected. I am well-prepared having had my snow tires (tyres) installed today as well as giving the lawn its final cut for the year.

I got off to a quick start with today’s puzzle from RayT but then became bogged down for some time. However, after slowly teasing out solutions to a number of clues, I completed with a dash to the finish.

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   Revolutionary sects are in opposition (10)
RESISTANCE — anagram of (revolutionary) the three words in the middle of the clue

6a   Labour’s ignoring Tory’s opening questions (4)
ASKS — remove the opening letter of Tory from a chore or activity involving labour together with its accompanying S

9a   Twitch from fish on top of slab (5)
SHAKE — append an ocean food fish to the initial letter (top) of Slab

10a   One expected to take notes? (9)
TREASURER — a cryptic definition of the officer in an organisation responsible for dealing with its bank notes and other assets

12a   Sensing changes in standards (7)
ENSIGNS — anagram of (changes) the first word in the clue

13a   Performer rejected corruption around … (5)
ACTOR — start with a charade of a synonym for corruption and the two-letter abbreviation for around or approximately used with dates; then reverse (rejected) the lot

15a   … smart celebrity holding back fantastic woman (7)
ELECTRA — hidden (holding) and reversed (back) in the first two words of the clue

17a   Daughter marries then flirts (7)
DALLIES — D(aughter) followed by a verb meaning unites or marries (used in a rather figurative sense)

19a   Holidays including empty outdoor spas? (7)
RESORTS — holidays or breaks encompassing the letters remaining once OutdooR is emptied

21a   Boozer with drink accepts a discount (7)
BARGAIN — a drinking establishment and a tipple dispensed there wrapped around the A from the clue

22a   Originally South American music, Brazilian actually (5)
SAMBA — the initial letters of the last five words in the clue; a true all-in-one or &lit. clue as the entire clue provides a definition of a genre of music as well as serving as the wordplay


24a   Man practically fronting Fat Duck (7)
MALLARD — practically all (all save the final letter) of a synonym for man followed by a type of fat used by pastry chefs


27a   Save some income missing a million somehow (9)
ECONOMISE — anagram of (somehow) SOME INCOME with one of the two instances of M(illion) removed (missing a million)

28a   An ‘out-of-the-way’ joint? (5)
ELBOW — cryptic definition of the joint used to force one’s way through a crowd

29a   Drunk back on hard stuff (4)
TOSH — reversal of (back) a habitual drunkard followed by H(ard); stuff is used in the sense of stupid or worthless actions, speech, ideas, etc

30a   Opinion of idiots broadcast about motors, principally (10)
ASSESSMENT — foolish or stupid persons followed by a verb meaning broadcast or transmitted around the initial (or principal) letter of Motors


1d   Danger of Queen covering one’s King (4)
RISK — string together the Latin abbreviation for queen, the Roman numeral for one and its accompanying S, and the chess notation for king

2d   Criminal lapses, he’s without form (9)
SHAPELESS — anagram of (criminal) the second and third words of the clue

3d   What’s possibly needed to see small details? (5)
SPECS — a shortened version (small) of a term denoting a detailed description of the design and materials used to make something

4d   Giant iguana circles island (7)
ANTIGUA — a lurker hidden in (circles) the first two words of the clue

5d   Unironed ends of collar smoothed (7)
CREASED — the outer letters of (ends of) CollaR followed by a verb meaning smoothed (a tense situation, for instance)

7d   Protective cover’s raised, displaying swimmer (5)
SPRAT — reversal (raised, in a down clue) of a protective cover that a camper might use to shelter a tent from the rain together with its accompanying S

8d   Small rebellion keeps Republican staggering (10)
SURPRISING — the clothing abbreviation for small and an insurrection or rebellion around R(epublican)

11d   Page is held by older office appliance (7)
STAPLER — P(age) in older (as biscuits beyond their best before date)


14d   Deference about Old Right, revolutionary in hindsight (10)
RETROSPECT — deference or consideration around (about) a reversal of (revolutionary) O(ld) and the two-letter abbreviation for right

16d   Twister charged over a con (7)
TORNADO — a verb meaning charged or moved quickly and forcefully precedes (over in a down clue) the A from the clue and a verb meaning con or swindle; I think it is easier to see the synonym for charge in the present tense than in the past tense


18d   Popular car practically ran without noise (9)
INAUDIBLE — popular or trendy, a German car, and most of a word (denoted once again by practically) meaning ran (as dye, for instance)

20d   Cambridge University in results is tops (7)
SUMMITS — a university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts embedded in mathematical results


21d   Accept endless cant swallowing falsehood (7)
BELIEVE — all but the final letter (endless) of a word meaning cant or slope containing (swallowing) an untruth

23d   Low nest regularly seen in pines (5)
MOONS — a bovine sound followed by a regular sequence of letters from NeSt

25d   States reluctant to drop English, finally (5)
AVERS — a word meaning reluctant with the second and final instance of E(nglish) removed

26d   Clown that is sacrificing love (4)
TWIT — remove a nil tennis score from a principally legal term denoting that is or namely

There are lots of fine clues to choose from today. My podium places go to 28a, 3d and 8d with the latter taking top honours.

Quickie Pun: FORM + ICE + INNS = FOR MY SINS

65 comments on “DT 29202

  1. 3*/4.5*. This was a typical RayT puzzle which was challenging in parts but very enjoyable throughout.

    On my podium today are 22a, 24a & 16d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon. Please don’t send any of your snow this way.

  2. After *** time, I nearly gave this up as a bad job, having only completed about half. But a second wind, and some divine inspiration, got me there in the end, but it took ****/***** time.

    Three in the SE I couldn’t parse, 16d, 20d & 21d, so thanks to Falcon for those, and to RayT for the challenge.

  3. Until reading Falcon’s comments I was going to express my doubts over this one being a RayT puzzle as I had completed it in some kind of record time for a Thursday. After four eminently ‘doable’ puzzles this week I’m half expecting a ‘stinker’ tomorrow . . . or maybe not? Whoever the setter is, this was most enjoyable and good fun throughout. Thanks to both compiler and Falcon. :-)

    1. Definitely a Ray T, all his ‘trademark’ features are there – no clue over 8 words long, an appearance by HM, and all single word clues in the Quickie (and Beam is not on Toughie duty).

  4. I found this more straight forward than most Ray T Thursday puzzles and quite enjoyable (**/***). Thanks to Falcon for the hints-your weather variations sound a bit more extreme than our sunshine and showers. Favourite clues were 14d, 18d and 20d. Thanks to Ray T.

  5. I spent far too long thinking 4d was an anagram so am now an expert on mythical giants. I’m sure everyone heard my reaction when I saw the light.

    I also needed Falcon’s parsing for a couple in the bottom right (16 and 21d).

    Very enjoyable, many thanks to all.

  6. Hi from a distraught Southend-on-Sea (home of The Shrimpers) who are only 1win from 17 games and heading for the FA record of biggest losers in a season, held by Doncaster (4 from 46 games).
    A nice layout to today’s puzzle which left only 4 headless clues from the 32 in total.
    A 2*/3* today. Last one In was 29A as I had not heard of that definition of the word – but Falcon helped me with that – although it’s still a bit hmm’ish for me.
    Favourite was 23D
    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon for clear confirmation of my answers

  7. Well that was a right wavelength day for me today and an easyish solve. However I needed the hints to correctly parse:16d, a form of rush I’ve never used. 26d, an expression I’d forgotten. 21d, cant? Finally 18d, the synonym without its last letter for ran. So great stuff from all concerned and a favourite in 8d.

  8. 24a and 11d are crowding the top step of my podium this morning. Ray T was, as always, fair but challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to him and to Falcon for the blog.

  9. Took me a while to sort out the cant and the protective cover and I always forget that wretched university.
    Plenty to enjoy in this one with the ‘out-of-the-way’ joint taking pole position followed by 22a & 3d. Special mention for the famous restaurant in 24a and the delightful Quickie pun.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and thanks to Falcon who may well be snowed in by now!

  10. Lovely friendly (for a Ray T) crossword. My particular favourite was 28a

    Thanks to Ray and Falcon

  11. For me this was slightly tarnished by a few (even for Ray T) very stretched synonyms (9a, 29a, 16d, 21d) which resulted in two or three bung ins, mostly in the South. On the upside lots of Mr T’s trademark wit and cunning on display of which 28a was my runaway favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for explaining the parsing in his his excellent review

  12. For me. Ray T as benevolent as he was two weeks ago. However, with a slow start I did think it was going to be quite tricky but once I had a decent number of checkers in completion came at a rush (a.k.a. a gallop) – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 20d, and 23d – and the winner is 20d, I started by looking for a word with CU in it until the penny dropped on which Cambridge was being referenced.
    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

        1. I agree, for people at Cambridge University, Oxford was known as the other place. And I understand that some people at Oxford U refer to Cambridge U as ” Fenland Polytechnic”.

          Nice crossword today. Favourite clue was 28. Thanks to Falcon and Ray T.

  13. A most enjoyable puzzle today. Not too easy and requiring quite a bit of thought. My favourite was 28a.
    Grateful thanks to the setter and The Falcon.

  14. Super puzzle, very enjoyable. Thanks to Falcon for explaining 16d, I missed that definition of cant but the clue definition was obvious.
    Lots of clever clues inc 4a my favourite.
    Thx to all

  15. Some tricky parsing today, this puzzle kept me on my toes as I had to convince myself to put in quite a few of the solutions, like 20d, but eventually well worth the struggle and a ***/**** for me.
    Like others my favourite was 28a.
    Thanks to Falcon for the pics-liked the stapler

  16. Wow 😳 Is it really a Ray T **/*** Favourites 24a & 18d 😃 Big thanks to Falcon and tho the “new” solvable Ray T 👍 Living within a few miles of Cambridge until today I did not know that there was another University with the same name in Massachusetts obviously founded before the laws of copyright 😉

    1. It is the city in Massachusetts that has the same name — not the university. The university is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (better known as MIT).

      1. Thanks for your blog, Falcs; splendid, as always.

        I see that you reside in The Great White North and I’m curious to know if Denali is in common parlance or do people still refer to it as Mount McKinley?

  17. Well I raced into this one and then got stuck halfway through due to barking up the wrong tree. Thanks as usual for the hints which invariably make me see the light without having to reveal the answer.

  18. Thanks for your blog, Falcs; splendid, as always.

    I see that you reside in The Great White North and I’m curious to know if Denali is in common parlance or do people still refer to it as Mount McKinley?

    1. Given that Denali is 5000 km away and in another country, this issue is not exactly top of mind. I understand that Denali has long been the name used by Alaskans. In 1975, the Alaska state government officially requested the US federal government to recognize Denali as the name of the mountain but the request was blocked by representatives from Ohio (birthplace of President McKinley). In 2015, the Obama administration officially changed the name to Denali.

      1. Thank you, Falcon. It’s appreciated.

        My thinking was that, as it’s the highest mountain in your continent, the new name may be in circulation and it sounds like….not yet.

        So, if the question comes up in a quiz, I’ll put ‘aka Denali’ in brackets.

  19. Quite a challenge for me but enjoyable. 28a my favourite along with some other people. Thought 21d was a bit of a stretch – would never have parsed it without the hint. All in all a pleasant diversion on an extremely wet and miserable day in NE England. Thanks to Falcon and Ray T.

  20. A friendly puzzle today except for a four letter answer where “to whoo” never came to help. Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  21. I didn’t find this Ray T as friendly as some of you today. I got there steadily in the end, though, which made it very satisfying. Quite a few clever clues but I will pick out 28 as my favourite.

  22. ****/****. I found this quite tough and needed two sittings to get there. 7d was a bung-in as was 16d so thanks to Falcon for the parsing. Thanks also to Ray T for an enjoyable workout.

  23. Well I never! I was so sure today was Friday that I didn’t psyche myself out because of RayT.
    I did miss 3d as I had 9a wrong, putting spasm, but, of course, “spam” is not a fish. I hang my head in shame.
    I rather liked 28a, but 24a also in the running.
    Thanks to RayT and to Frozen Falcon!

    1. Well done for twigging that spam is not a fish Merusa – that did make me chuckle so thanks for sharing :grin:

    2. Re the incorrect “fish”……you may not be as wrong as you think Merusa as isn’t spam and ‘phish’-ing connected?

  24. A benevolent but extremely enjoyable Ray-T crossword today. Just delayed in the SW corner.
    I get confused when across clues have wordplay of A on B like 29a. I have always believed that the convention A on B means B then A. 29a contradicts this. Any advice would be welcome.
    Lots of great clues, 28a brought the biggest smile.
    Thanks Mr.T and Falcons.

    1. Some do hold that A on B in an across clue requires that A follows B (as we find in 9a). The rationale seems to be that in order to write A on B, B must have been written first and, since we write from left to right, this implies B followed by A. However, setters often flout this supposed convention. Thus, the solver must be prepared to encounter A on B meaning either B followed by A or A followed by B.

        1. I think that Falcon is confirming the theory in thread #3, DT 29200 that AB/BA is ambiguous/confusing – especially if follow/following is used in the clue!

          1. But is not a bit of ambiguity just an element of misdirection? Clues are not supposed to be precise and unambiguous. The challenge for the solver is to sort through the various possible interpretations to find the one that works in this particular instance.

            1. Yes absolutely, I’m all for plenty of ambiguity/misdirection – you’ll not hear me complaining about any of that. I’m merely pointing out that there is genuine misunderstanding/confusion about AB/BA (me included, sometimes) and follow/following with some people – as indicated in the comments in DT 29200. I know people who won’t accept in principal that “following” in the clue could mean either before or after in the answer. Semantics, grammar and logic aren’t necessarily outweighed by clueing convention.

            2. PS. Just to highlight the possible confusion, the words used to describe these constructions can add even further (albeit unintentional) puzzlement (for readers who are not necessarily experts). For example, since you’ve used the dreaded word “follows”, which can mean precede or succeed, does “requires that A follows B” mean AB or BA? And does “implies B followed by A” mean AB or BA? I’m not having a go, just pointing out that it’s probably best to avoid “follows/following” when helpfully trying to explain these things. A before B or B before A would probably be more lucid.

      1. Whenever anyone starts saying A follows B etc etc with crossword answers it has the same effect on me as when people talk about points of the compass – in other words all that stuff confuses my brain totally – admittedly that’s quite easily done! :unsure:

      2. I have no idea what on Earth you are talking about which is why I would never consider blogging puzzles

      3. I have no idea what on Earth you are talking about which is why I would never consider blogging puzzles

        1. You can say that again, again!

          PS. You’ve raised an interesting point with your “what on Earth” phrase. Terms like “what on earth” and “to the ends of the earth” are nearly always written without a capital E. Surely that is wrong? The Earth in those senses is the planet Earth, not just some soil.

          Well done, pull yourself an extra free pint on me tonight.

  25. Great fun from RayT once again and our clue word count showed us that 7 words was the maximum for this one.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  26. Most of this went pretty well and I was beginning to think it was one of the easier Ray T’s – then I got stuck.
    I had trouble making the first bit of 16d mean ‘charged’ but it had to be right.
    Although the answers to 21 and 26d had to be what they were I would never have sorted out ‘why’? I’d heard of the legal thingy in 26 but had forgotten about it and I didn’t know ‘cant’ in its meaning here.
    Just as well it wasn’t my Thursday for being the hinty person, isn’t it?
    I liked 17 and 23a and 3 and 5d. My favourite by miles was 28a.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

  27. A superb RayT today that lulled me totally into false hope that I would complete one of his puzzles in 2* time… wrong again! I got several of the answers but couldn’t parse them fully which held me up for the last few clues,
    I really feel we are having a spate of testing enjoyable superb puzzles by our setters lately, thank you all.
    For today grateful thanks to RayT & Falcon for his review & assistance .

  28. I too didn’t realise that this was a Ray T, as the entire west side went in unaided. But then reality set in, as I found the east side far harder to solve, with 7d, 8d, 24d and 26d requiring Falcon’s hints. But as I did better than usual for a Ray T Thursday, quite enjoyable and thanks to both gentlemen for a good brain exercise.

  29. Slow solve as usual when it comes to RayT but got there eventually with 26d being the last.
    Favourite the all in one in 22a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for the review.

  30. Evening all. A little late on parade today, but my thanks to Falcon for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments.


  31. Good morning 🌞 Well it is where I am. I agree that this was at the easier end of the RayT spectrum but still an enjoyable solve. Some obscure definitions. My favourite 20d: good misdirection, not that Cambridge😜Off for a head start on Friday’s🦇

  32. South was reasonably straightforward but some parsing help was called for in the North however all’s well that ends well. 20d presented no problem as I spent several years working for another company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. No Favs today. Thank you RayT and Falcon.

  33. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Ray T today. A bit on the gentle side but very enjoyable. Just needed the hints to parse 21&26d. Last in was 14d. I liked 24a,but my favourite was 3d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  34. Thank you to Ray T — that was fun. And to Falcon — I couldn’t’ve done it without you.

    My favourites were the Fat Duck (24a), Brazillian, actually (22a), and the Quickie pun.

    Dry today in this part of Yorkshire, and the trains running again after yesterday’s line closure yesterday, caused by a tree falling across the tracks (which, ironically, prevented some from getting to Network Rail’s event on “vegetation management along the railway”).

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