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DT 29203

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29203

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a fine autumn morning. Mercifully, we’ve seen nothing of the flooding which has hit areas north and east of us.

I didn’t find today’s puzzle (not by Giovanni – see comment No 1 below) as taxing as last week’s, but there were some interesting constructions to tease out.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Compiled offers seen in cards date hands out (7,5)
PACKAGE DEALS – Put together a collection of playing cards, a verb for ‘date’ or ‘go out of fashion’, and the verb for what the person distributing playing cards does.

9a           Traditional institution that’s taken in the PM (4,3)
HIGH TEA – Cryptic definition, where PM is falsely capitalised, and could be rendered as p.m.

10a         Condemn daughter and Romeo getting admission to elope at sea (7)
DEPLORE – An abbreviation for Daughter followed by an anagram (at sea) of ELOPE wrapped around the letter which is Romeo in the NATO alphabet.

11a         Seen in drink, swimmer in distress (5,2)
SHAKE UP – A verb for ‘to drink’ wrapped around a largish white fish.

12a         Present for each group of students … (7)
PERFORM – The Latin word for ‘for each’ followed by a division of school students.

13a         … some students possessing nothing, with yen to make cash (5)
LOLLY – A number of students, each represented by the letter found on a learner driver’s car, are wrapped around the letter which looks like zero or nothing, then the abbreviation for yen is added at the end to get an informal word for cash.

14a         Speech from minister before one goes to the dispatch box? (4,5)
LAST RITES – Cryptic definition. The dispatch box here is the container within which most of us will make a final journey.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mal_A4Op6mE” /]

16a         Actors’ private parts (9)
BACKSTAGE – Cryptic definition of the part of a theatre where the public do not get to go.

Image result for backstage

19a         Part of building left to enter flipping opposite part of building! (5)
FLOOR – This clue works whether you take the first three or last three words as the definition. Insert Left into a part of a building, then reverse the result to get a different part, found at the opposite end of the structure.

21a         Survive old pirate’s sword with edges eroded by time (7)
OUTLAST – Put together Old, a pirate’s sword with the first and last letters removed, and Time.

23a         Manic crashes involving one second-class vehicle (7)
MINICAB – Anagram (crashes) of MANIC wrapped around the Roman numeral for one, then the letter which may indicate a second-class performance is added at the end.

24a         What stops listener or two keeping quiet? (7)
EARPLUG – The listener here is what you listen with. Two different words for the organ are placed either side of the musical symbol for ‘quiet’.

25a         Man maybe missing son after joining army, so warlike (7)
HOSTILE – Start with another word for army, then remove the Son from something of which Man (or Wight) is an example and add it to the end.

26a         Display with seals clapping should follow these (4-8)
SHOW-STOPPERS – A verb or noun meaning ‘show’ followed by another word for the seals in the top of a bottle.


1d           Cut by this person good plait is botched — as this (7)
PIGTAIL – Anagram (botched) of PLAIT wrapped around the pronoun for ‘this person’ and Good.

2d           Hack meets the French outsiders in Romandy — it’s usual to dine with them (7)
CUTLERY – Put together another verb for ‘hack’, one of the French definite articles, and the outside letters of RomandY.

3d           Nearly all clap ape surprisingly singing like this? (1,8)
A CAPPELLA – Anagram (surprisingly) of AL(l) (nearly all) CLAP APE.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4Tiz2dfuSI” /]

4d           Turn out object, getting promoted (3,2)
END UP – An object or aim, followed by the word used to describe a football team promoted to a higher division.

5d           Leader of rising theatre in European city (7)
EMPEROR – A European capital city is wrapped around the short form of a type of theatre, then the whole lot is reversed (rising, in a Down clue) to get a leader, some of whom were based in the European city concerned.

6d           One watches Waterloo KO Uttoxeter, missing part of it (7)
LOOKOUT – Hidden in the clue.

7d           One gives inside info of Cockney three-piece on phone (7-6)
WHISTLE-BLOWER – The three-piece here is a set of clothes. We need a Cockney rhyming slang expression for that, followed by a rather old-fashioned slang term for a telephone.

8d           Say, Fagin and Artful appearing in not so successful musical (3,10)
LES MISERABLES – Put together a five-letter term for someone of whom Fagin (or Scrooge) is an example, and a four-letter word meaning ‘artful’ or ‘skilled’. Then wrap another four-letter word meaning ‘not so’ (as in ‘not so good’) around the result to get the title of a long-running West End musical based on a novel by Victor Hugo.

15d         Small sides in vessel (9)
STEAMSHIP – Put together an abbreviation for Small, some sporting sides, and another word for ‘in’ or ‘fashionable’.

17d         Regularly avoided coast’s air or she would get kind of cold (7)
CATARRH – Take alternate letters of CoAsTs AiR oR sHe.

18d         Bird‘s down (7)
SWALLOW – Double definition, the second being a verb meaning ‘drink rapidly’.

19d         Delicacy that’s unlimited if in Essex (7)
FINESSE – Hidden in the clue.

20d         Beautiful things Tolkien characters must carry concealed (7)
ORCHIDS – The bad guys from Lord of the Rings wrapped round another word for ‘concealed’, producing some exotic plants.

Image result for orcs  Image result for orchids

22d         Strained, pickled, sealed (5)
TIGHT – Triple definition. The middle one involves quantities of alcohol!

The Quick Crossword pun PRINTS + CHAR + MING = PRINCE CHARMING

56 comments on “DT 29203

    1. Lol, who ever it was that did set it has provided us with a most pleasant solve. I was late getting round to my crossword solving activities today, but found it to be all good fun once I finally did put pen to paper. Thanks to all concerned.

  1. This was much more like a Friday for me; there was almost nothing I didn’t like (just one slight niggle – is 17d a kind of cold or the symptom of one?). Apart from that I loved it.

    I thought the triple definition was excellent. I just needed DT to explain my answer to 8d, but it had to be what it was.

    Excellent! Many thanks to all

  2. I was going to comment that Giovanni had supplied some unexpected laughs (14a and 16a) and a distinct lack of religious references, then I saw from his comment that this was not one of his puzzles.
    Thanks to the mystery setter for the puzzle and to Deep Threat for the blog.

  3. I only managed about 4 in bed with my cuppa and thought it was going to be a tricky one. However it went in at a steady pace, last two were 1a and 1d. Some excellent clues like 24a and 25a. Thanks to all.

  4. A 2*/3*. Some nice surface reading eg 24A, 18D, 14A. 24A was clever and my favourite. Agree with Margaret on 17D being a hmm, unless I am missing something. Thanks to DT for some hints – I didn’t see the parse in 26A as I was trapped into ‘perorming’seals’.

  5. I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this as much as I usually do on Friday’s. Although I finished it, much guesswork and bunging in was involved. I felt that the answers were coming in spite of the clues in places. So it’s ****/** for me. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the setter (my favourite clues were 14a and 7d)

  6. Thought 18d would be feather – the a fitted with 16a. Threw me for a while. Loved 14a. Thanks to the setterr for an enjoyable puzzle

      1. Thank you. My comment actually specified 16a. My mistake. Should have been 21a of course. I’ll do better next time. Glad I’ve found this blog. Nice to share opinions

  7. Any Friday when I can complete the grid without using electrons, I am a happy bunny. This took me two bites at the cherry, but I think I finished in **** time.

    I couldn’t parse 1a and 25a, so thanks to DT.

    Anyone who doesn’t think 14a is COTD, is sadly humourless.

    Thanks to all.

  8. I thought that this was a cracking light hearted puzzle for a Friday and right up my street- a **/**** for me.
    Favourites 26a and charades 8d and 15d.
    Many thanks to setter and DT-especially the Dave Allen clip- a much missed comedian -love to see him perform in this ‘pc’ era

  9. I’m afraid this was above my pay scale, bunged a lot in and needed the hints to explain most. For me it was one of the most difficult for ages. But I’m sure it’s all very clever and the setter deserves praise for completely outfoxing me. Thanks to all.

  10. An enjoyably gentle end to the work week completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 19a, 24a, and 7d – and the winner is 7d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  11. Went in pretty smoothly, apart from 1d which I bunged in but still can’t understand – what is the definition? Favourites are 28a and 7d. Thanks Setter and DT.

  12. Very nice and a gentle conclusion to the week. 14a was my favourite with special mentions to 7d and 26a. Having problems with the Toughie though.

  13. I felt this a very “Tuesday like puzzle on Friday” so wasn’t entirely surprised to see comment no 1. Lot’s of clever invention and innovative clues, not least two great lurkers and overall a rather theatrical feel.
    Sorry, wasn’t too keen on 14a (despite having a great sense of humour) but really enjoyed the rest, of which in a strong field, 24a was probably my favourite.
    Many thanks to the mystery setter and to DT for an excellent review.

  14. This was a little sloppy for a Giovanni. Not too difficult but some very convoluted clues such as 8d.
    I did like 18d, 7d and 20d.
    Thx to all

  15. I found this a bit difficult and, like others, needed to bung in a few. Also needed to resort to the excellent hints by Deep Threat on a number of occasions. Despite this, I enjoyed this puzzle greatly. There were some very clever clues and the one that stands out for me is 7d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter (I would mention by name but I am not sure of who is whom) and to Deep Threat.

  16. I found this very difficult – I’m clearly on the wrong wavelength. Without DT’s help (thank you) I’d have probably given up. Some nice surfaces, though – the puzzle looks most entertaining, it’s just that I couldn’t do it!
    I’m still perplexed at 12a: I understand that the first three letters represent “for each” and the four remaining letters “group of students”, but I don’t see how the resulting word means “present”. Would someone enlighten me?
    Thanks again to DT, and to the mystery setter.

  17. Good puzzle and only a little help from DT and an explanation of 8 d. Thank you and to the setter.

  18. Unusually for me, I was able to complete the grid without the hints. For me, it was **/****. I particularly enjoyed 7d, although you probably have to be be of a certain age to appreciate it! Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  19. I thought this seemed a little odd for a G but it was a nice puzzle, fairly gentle with generally nice clues and enjoyable enough. I’ve ticked a few, my favs: 5d and 17d. 2* / 3*

  20. Benign is exactly the right word for this puzzle. Bit of a scare at first but as it unravels one realises there’s nothing to worry about except working through the clues. 14a definitely the best clue today but the minister can stay away from me for now.

  21. 3*/3*. Thanks to my newspaper not being delivered today, which ruined my morning ritual of doing the back-pager over breakfast and then some domestic issues, I couldn’t get started on this until this afternoon. It took me a while to get onto the right wavelength but eventually it all came together quite smoothly.

    My podium comprises 14a, 7d & 22d. I was surprised when I checked my BRB for the answer to 17d that one of the definitions is “a cold in the head”.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to DT.

  22. Started ok but got bogged down in SE corner.
    Sunny today here in the capital of the principality

  23. I was in the tricky camp and needed electronic help halfway through to get going again.
    I needed DT’s help to unravel two bung ins, 25a and 8d, but I feel I should have been able to work them out.
    I’ve been spelling 3d incorrectly all my years, I hope I remember in the future that it has two pees.
    I rather liked 7d, but 16a was really giggle worthy – nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
    Thanks to whomsoever for the fun and to DT for helping me unravel them.

  24. Late in today as was driving from Birmingham to Lymington for the weekend. Worth the wait, though, with a nice clue mix and, for me, an outstanding one in 14a. Very funny.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and DT.

  25. I’m not sufficiently experienced to recognize a giavanni or not. However this was a delight to do. In common with many others 14a was definitely favourite. Brought on a delightful “yuk”. Thanks to DT and whomsoever the setter was

  26. Made the mistake of tackling this after far too long fighting the Toughie and eventually giving up. I just wasn’t on Elgar’s wavelength. In the end I finished this but was too tired to really enjoy it except for the brilliant 14a. I’ll know better another time.

  27. I never read the comments before I’ve done the crossword so didn’t know that it wasn’t a Giovanni but it did occur to me as I did 14 and 16a that they weren’t very like his usual clues.
    I had to check the cockney rhyming slang in 7d and I would never have sorted out 8d ‘all my own self’ although it had to be what it was.
    20d was my last answer and was a guess – Tolkein isn’t my strong point to put it mildly.
    Could be wrong here but I think 2d is an ‘it’ not a ‘them’.
    I agree that 14a was funny in a rather macabre way – love Dave Allen though I agree with Beaver that he’d be in big trouble in this PC age.
    Clues of note for me today included 13a and 22d. My favourite was 16a.
    Thanks to the mystery setter and to DT.

  28. Found this not too hard. 14a brilliant! 25a I was last in, I forgot the army and always miss the thing that Man is, so I couldn’t parse it, and only got it when I remembered for 19d when all else fails, look for a lurker!!

  29. What a disappointment! After three years of finding the Friday crossword incomprehensible, I finally fly through this, and about to celebrate only to find that its a different setter.
    Like Gazza mentioned, no religious sects from the 5th century and a bit of humour was a giveaway.
    7d was very good, and lots of nice clues to boot.
    Thanks DT and Mr.Ron.

  30. Woohoo, managed to finish with not too much help. Takes me ages but I don’t care!
    Thanks to all.

  31. Took me a few clues to tune into the wavelength but after that it was an enjoyable thoughtful solve, with some clues having super surfaces.
    Favs 14ac🙏🏻& 8d
    Many thanks to setter & DT for review

  32. I thought I was solving a Paul.
    Just a feeling.
    Really enjoyed the wit.
    Favourite 14a. For someone who hates cryptic defs ….there’s always a first
    Thanks to the setter and to DT for the review

  33. An enjoyable morning after puzzle for me. I was almost convinced a few times 18d was going to be feather or plumage but slight doubts stopped me bunging it in thankfully. Favourite clue 1a. Still not sure where the traditional institution is in 9a. Quite liked 19a and 25a.

    1. Welcome to the blog Uncle Meat

      I haven’t solved this one yet as I usually give the Friday cryptic a wide berth. I might have a go later.

    2. In the past 9a used to be a tradition(al institution) in most households on a Saturday or Sunday – more of a heavy meal than simply sandwiches and cake.

  34. It’s always interesting to read the Comments each day. Q – what is meant by the frequent phrase ‘surface reading….’?

  35. 3*/4*…..
    thought there was rather a good surface reading in 3D “Nearly all clap ape surprisingly singing like this? (1,8)” !

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