DT 29206 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29206

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29206

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone.  I thought today’s puzzle was just excellent.  It’s filled with original constructions and penny drops that produced a succession of smiles, and that’s all combined with some very smooth surface readings.  I have my suspicions about the setter – perhaps he’ll comment later to confirm that it’s one of his? 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer will be here 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    Nick's hesitancy to leave Delaware (8)
INCISION:  Hesitancy or dithering loses the abbreviation for Delaware (… to leave Delaware) 

5a    Editor defaced book? It's ok to scoff (6)
EDIBLE:  Join together the abbreviation for editor and a big religious book with its first letter deleted (de-faced)

10a   Artist Dali craved onion rolls (8,2,5)

11a   Bins occasionally taken in by brave person going round yard far from quietly (7)
NOISILY:  Alternate letters (… occasionally) of BINS are inserted in (taken in by) the reversal (… going round) of a brave person, and that’s all followed by the single letter for yard 

12a   Snake upset rook (7)
RATTLER:  Upset or disconcert with the chess abbreviation for rook 

13a   Rush after a cat -- it could cause immense damage (4,4)
ATOM BOMB:  A verb synonym of rush comes after A from the clue and a male cat 

15a   Some sober up then throw up (5)
ERUPT:  The answer is hiding as part of (some …) the remainder of the clue 

18a   American politician not ultimately giving consent (5)
AGREE:  An abbreviation for American is followed by all but the last letter (… not ultimately) of politician from a colourful party 

20a   A contemptuous person imbibing what alcohol is sold here (8)
ALEHOUSE:  A from the clue and another word for a contemptuous person containing (imbibing) an interjection meaning “What?” 

23a   Artist to leave after much chaos (7)
FARRAGO:  The usual artist and a verb meaning “leave” both come after a synonym of much

25a   Excite stylish sweetheart (7)
INFLAME:  Follow a usual word for stylish or fashionable with a sweetheart or lover 

26a   Finds waistcoat is tight? Losing weight at first creates frustration (15)
DISSATISFACTION:  An anagram (tight, as in drunk) of FINDS wAISTCOAT IS minus the first letter of Weight (… losing weight at first)

27a   Golfer left to tee off (6)
LANGER:  Stick together the single letter for left and tee off or irritate.  The golfer is German 

28a   Reason for mischief-maker to postpone session (8)
PROROGUE:  A “reason for” is followed by another word for a mischief-maker 



1d    Man, perhaps, is secure (6)
ISLAND:  IS from the clue followed by secure or obtain.  The definition here is by example (…, perhaps

2d    His rector ordered one will perform in church (9)
CHORISTER:  An anagram (ordered) of HIS RECTOR 

3d    I dust ma's mixing bowl (7)
STADIUM:  An anagram (…’s mixing, as in “the mixing of …”) I DUST MA

4d    Strangely overdrawn -- delay with regular withdrawals (5)
ODDLY:  The abbreviation for overdrawn followed by alternate letters (… with regular withdrawals) of DELAY 

6d    Freak to propose entering river (7)
DEVOTEE:  An informal synonym of propose or suggest inserted in (entering) a well-known river 

7d    Put a stop to almost everything trivial (5)
BANAL:  “put a stop to” is followed by all but the last letter (almost … ) of a synonym of everything 

8d    I'm taken aback after European initially gave cost to settle abroad (8)
EMIGRATE:  The reversal (taken aback) of I’M comes after the single letter for European.  That lot is followed by the first letter (initially..) of Gave and a cost or fee

9d    Lovely, talented, enthralling girl (8)
ADORABLE:  A synonym of talented containing (enthralling) a female name

14d   Musical piece coming from speaker on bottom of hi-fi? Ordinary (8)
ORATORIO:  A person speaking comes before (on, in a down clue) the last letter of (bottom of) hi-fI and the single-letter for ordinary 

16d   Liberal rings up an eccentric (9)
UNSPARING:  An anagram (eccentric) of RINGS UP AN 

17d   Plant laid off unfortunately about 500 (8)
DAFFODIL:  An anagram (unfortunately) of LAID OFF containing (about) the Roman numeral for 500 

19d   Discharge from outlet an American partly picked up (7)
EMANATE:  The answer is hiding (… partly) in the reversal (… picked up, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue 

21d   One caught in grasp of tender policeman (7)
OFFICER:  The Roman one and the cricket abbreviation for caught are together contained by (… in grasp of) a tender or bid 

22d   Nasty piece of work that is below average (6)
MEANIE:  The Latin abbreviation for “that is” comes after (below, in a down clue) a mathematical term for average 

24d   Wrong to follow king round -- it's essential to bow (5)
ROSIN:  A wrong follows both the Latin abbreviation for king and the round letter 

25d   At home, female starts to enjoy regular work out (5)
INFER:  Concatenate the usual word for at home, the single letter for female, and the initial letters of (starts to …) Enjoy and Regular


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Ticked clues for me included 1a, 10a for its appropriately surreal surface, 13a for its excellent feline surface, 20a for “what”, 23a, the topical 28a, 1d, 7d, 22d, 24d, and 25d.  So many excellent clues today!  Which ones did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  KEY + PIN + MINED = KEEP IN MIND

68 comments on “DT 29206

  1. The chances of me being able to enjoy solving today’s crossword were reduced to nil after my newspaper was left sticking half out of my letterbox in the pouring rain.

    Having to carefully peel apart sodden sheets of newsprint and then drape them around the house on radiators, first thing in the morning, was guaranteed to put my blood pressure through the roof.

    The email to my newsagent is sitting in a separate window on my computer. Unlike good wines and whiskies, this is getting stronger by the minute.

    Now, where was I? Oh yes, the crossword. All completed except 23a. Can’t really see that FAR = MUCH.

    Thanks to all except my newspaper deliverer; may your lithium-ion spontaneously combust.

    1. Our paper boy is in his thirties. He rarely pushes the paper all the way through the letterbox but he does accept a can of pop every time he sees me. I’m not much bothered about the paper. The damp never reaches The Toughie and the rest is on my iPad.

      1. How’s the lake? Going down yet? I worry about the animals, rabbits’ warrens, badger setts and so on.

        1. We can still see the river from our living room but not a lake anymore. We had a couple of swans swimming around this lunchtime.

    2. Consider yourself lucky to have it delivered. Our local newsagent gave up delivering so I have to fetch it.

    3. Malcolm, in the US their idea of newspaper delivery is to toss it in your driveway from a car window. In a plastic wrapper which helps, but is useless when we have our very heavy rain, and not helped when the paper lands in a puddle. If you phone the newspaper they do redeliver but that usually about 2 hours later, which defeats the whole idea of breakfast and the newspaper. After many years of this, we gave up and now read on line only,

      1. I still get the dead-tree version. I don’t think anything will replace the real thing, though I do realise that the day will come when they’ll make that decision for us. I understand that AT&T are phasing out landline phones starting next year.

  2. Pleasant puzzle – thanks to the setter and Mr K. My ticks went to 5a and 13a.
    Shouldn’t the adjective in 20a be contemptible rather than contemptuous?

  3. Good, challenging puzzle BUT I didn’t like 27a – I didn’t know the expression or of the golfer…

  4. An enjoyable puzzle (**/****) with a lot of great clues. I particularly liked 1a, 11a and 24d. Thanks to Mr K (I needed help parsing a couple of bung-ins) and to the compiler.

  5. A very enjoyable and entertaining puzzle. My last in was 27a; I knew the golfer, but did not equate the synonym of ‘tee off’.
    Favourite clue – 5a.

    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K.

  6. Nice puzzle today. Anagrams let me in. Mr Dali didn’t misdirect me at 10ac but I did look for a reverse lurker at 15ac because of the word up in the clue. We had the plural of 12ac yesterday. I liked the definition at 6d (think of Miffypops and Bob Dylan) Thank you Mr Setter and Thank you Mr Kitty for your review.

  7. What a relief to have a pleasant walk in the park in today’s beautiful sunshine after three laborious days. Helpful start via 10a which went straight in. Fav was 27a though probably not to everyone’s liking! Was away with the fairies in parsing 18a as was thinking around a politician’s name rather than the party. Needed a prompt with 1a/1d. Thank you Mysteron for much enjoyment and MrK for a two-way nudge.

  8. Agree with Mr K, a very nice puzzle. 3/4. 28A very topical, 13A,1D enjoyable. Always miffed about naming sportsmen 27A, unless they are as famous as George Best or Cassius Clay. I have vaguely heard of Bernard as I only watch team sports. Thanks to Mr. K for some nice hints – especially the beauty in 24D 😍

  9. I found this quite difficult but quite brilliant, full of innovative and stylish cluing. I needed the hints for 24d and 27a, the latter of which to me was the only slight ” hmm, not sure about that” of the puzzle. As Mr K said, full of penny drop moments, which is a good measure of enjoyment. I liked 13a, the topical 28a, plus 6,7 and 22d in particular. 4/4*
    Many thanks to Mr K and to the setter, I suspect Mr Ed, for their excellent works.

  10. I find this quite hard to rate. Most of it was an enjoyable challenge but a handful of clues earned some “hmms…”

    1a – I struggle to see how “leave” means to “leave out”.
    23a – “far” is not synonym of “much”.
    27a – I believe that “tee off” is an American expression.
    3d – the construct using ” ‘s mixing ” as an anagram indicator seems a bit of a stretch.
    9d – includes a vague “girl”.

    The rest of the puzzle was very good with 5a, 10a & 13a making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Messrs R and K, and Happy Birthday wishes to CS.

    1. Hi, RD. I paused over a few of the clues you mention. Here’s what I decided:
      1a. I took “to leave” = “to abandon”
      23a. I gave an example that worked for me in my reply to comment 1
      27a. The BRB does not qualify the expression as being one of ours
      3d If “mixing of fodder” is OK to indicate an anagram then I’d say so is “fodder’s mixing”
      9d. Yes

      1. Thanks very much, Mr K, for your point by point comments:

        1a – that makes sense
        23a – yes, that works
        27a – I’ve never heard of that specific expression but, not having my BRB to hand, I looked it up in Collins on-line which attributes as “mainly US, informal”
        3d – I can see where you are coming from, but I still feel a bit of a “hmm..” about it
        9d – :smile:

    2. I agree about the tee off. I have occasionally heard it…..can anyone explain it? I get pee off, which is British.

      1. I dug deeper and found that the Oxford Dictionary of English does have it as North American, with the explanation “[probably a euphemistic alteration of peed of.]”

      2. I don’t know where I remember it from, but I think it’s from ‘ticked off’, peeved, which may be a euphemism for F’d
        Don’t search Urban Dictionary though

  11. Whilst agreeing that 23a and 27a are contentious i did enjoy this puzzle. It was refreshing to see sweetheart in 25a not used in its customary way. I also liked the images Mr K included in his hints.

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. One or two clues were a bit stretched perhaps, but that’s probably the reason I enjoy cryptic puzzles so much. I marked 5, 20, & 27 of the across clues and 1, 16 & 24 of the down clues as half a dozen of my favourites today. Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his efforts too.

  13. Overall, about right on the difficulty scale for a Tuesday puzzle but short on enjoyment for me – ***/**.
    Like RD, I had a few Hmms and there were no obvious candidates for favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    Many happy returns to our birthday lady!

  14. Not sure about this one – a bit of 26a where enjoyment was concerned but a few goodies elsewhere.
    Top three here were 5&13a plus 7d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K – particularly for the pic of the fox getting ‘scent’!
    Many happy returns to the birthday girl.

  15. Fine crossword, totally let down by 27a. How are people who have no interest in golf supposed to know a German golfer who won his last major 26 years ago? The wordplay was fairly obscure as well.
    We had the Belfry last week, perhaps CL has to realise that the whole world does not play golf.
    Rant over, the rest of the crossword was excellent.
    Thanks to the setter (CL?) And Mr.K for the hints.

  16. I was totally off wavelength today so did not enjoy this much. Is an incision a Nick? Being in the medical profession an incision is quite a lot more to me than a mere nick. Can a devotee be called a freak? No favourites but
    I did like 5a.

    Just one of those days, I fear.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  17. This one went in very smoothly with very few delays. I thought the construction of 10a was quite brilliant so that gets my nod for COTD. An honourable mention for 1a as well. The puzzle produced a pleasant sense of a job well done on its completion and was right up there in the enjoyment rankings.

    Thanks setter and Mr K.

  18. Am I the only person that thinks that equating the answer to (6d) to a freak is pushing the bounds too far, as well as being insulting to any enthusiast.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Phil.

      Re 6d, almost certainly not, but Chambers does give as a definition of freak:

      “5. A person who is wildly enthusiastic about something (as in film freak, football freak or Jesus freak; informal)”

  19. I thought it was a good puzzle, I don’t mind a bit of sideways thinking
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    Happy Birthday CS – I hope someone has treated you to a nice cake

  20. Don’t think i have ever had a DT backpager where i needed an explanation of the wordplay so many times, 10 in fact.
    Still don’t see why a devotee is a freak in 6d.
    Another one where it was a lot easier to find the definition than understand the complex and irritating wordplay.
    Def not my favourite puzzle.
    Thx for the much needed hints.

  21. Not an easy puzzle by a country mile. Difficult to parse, words used which may find their way into the BRB, but are not in common usage so enjoyment thus limited. ****/*. Thanks to Mr K for his necessary unlocking of the clues and to the setter for reminding me that at 72 I have little time left to become a polished crossword solver.

  22. As with others the golfer threw me.
    Quite enjoyed it although the telegraph are ruining the crosswords and sudoku for me with all the slowing down and jumping about. I’ve started to do the puzzles in the i but the cryptic isn’t as good in my opinion.
    I’m thinking of not renewing my subscription when it comes up in a few weeks.
    What’s the telegraph puzzle site like? Does it still slow down and jump About?
    Thanks to both. Happy Birthday CS

    1. I find that the site is generally fine in terms of access to the puzzles but the actual crossword software is not the best and can be slow to react to keyboard input which can be frustrating, but based on the fact that I’m unlikely to subscribe to the paper it’s the only option for me.

      I used to use a third party piece of software to import the puzzles which worked well but I think the lawyers closed down that avenue of pleasure….

  23. I enjoyed this, tricky it was in parts, but I liked the challenge.
    I agree about the golfer, pretty esoteric but I worked it out and googled him.
    I missed two, 20a and 16d, missed the anagram, I don’t think that’s bad going for a tricky puzzle.
    Fave was 10a, went in right away – can you think of another artist 8,2,5?
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for unravelling a few. Now, how did I know we would be treated to that clip at 26a?

    1. Merusa, when I vented my frustration re the golfer to hubby, he said “Oh yes, Bernhard Langer, lives down in Boca Raton”, 10 miles south of us and about 40 miles north of you. See, I know nothing…

  24. Found this a bit on the tricky side ***/*** 😬 Favourites 1 & 21d. I put fandango in for 23a so it made 24d difficult 😳 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter

  25. One those puzzles where two of the answers were also answers in recent Telegraph crosswords. 19d was in yesterday’s Quickie and 12a (well, nearly) in yesterday’s cryptic.

  26. Pleasantly surprised to have finished this,especially after seeing you give 3stars for difficulty.Took areal punt on 20ac and the rest of the 🌼South followed in .Thankyou to the setter and,as ever,to you.Greatfun.

  27. We started off slowly as it took a while to unpick 1a and then several other clues where synonyms didn’t immediately spring to mind. Knew there would be objections to 27a. Hardly a household name unless one follows the game. We had actually heard of him so not a problem for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. Happy birthday CS. A nice puzzle, but needed the hints to parse 5,12,23a. Before reading the blog, I made a note that the surfaces of 20a & 9d were very good. I used to follow golf, so 27a made me smile. Last in was 28a, favourite was 15a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  29. That also had a foreign feeling.
    Very American I thought. Delaware, two clues containing the very word and the first 13a was definitely from there.
    Enjoyable romp.
    Happy birthday to Crypticsue. I can see the banner now on my windows phone. Will have to look out.
    Very groovy banner by the way. Très seventies.
    Thanks to the setter and to MrK for the review.

  30. I thought this was a good puzzle. I haven’t had time to read the comments, I’m going to be late for darts. Just popped in to say hello really. Thanks to all.

  31. ****/***. 1a, 23a and 6d were a real stretch IMHO. The rest was enjoyable enough but quite tricky. Thanks to all.

  32. Sorry for the late reply. A pleasant treat after a frustrating shift in A&E.

    I thought this was superb, myself. I like it when the surfaces are smooth, especially if amusingly topical (28a). I thought tight was cleverly used as an anagram indicator in 26a. I hadn’t heard of the golfer in 27a but I can’t complain when there were so many good clues overall.

    Many thanks to Mr K and to whoever set this.

    1. Read back to earlier comments. I always find it useful and educative to read all the comments and answers

  33. Well, this went in nice and steady on the bus yesterday morning, then I got called away to attend to some urgent business which prevented me from commenting “live” after lunch. I agree with everything Mr K has said in the first paragraph above. Not massively difficult, but with great clues providing a really entertaining/enjoyable solve. I found nothing amiss with any of the clues, contrary to some comments in the foregoing. I’ve ticked quite a few but will mention 5a (nice, quirky definition) and 21d. 3* /4*

  34. 4*/4*….
    thought 28A was politically rather topical ….”reason for mischief maker to postpone session (8)”

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