DT 29209 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29209

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29209

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dark, grey morning, where at least the rain has paused for the moment. I hope that our readers have managed to stay safe and above water.

I think that Giovanni is back this week: the style of cluing seemed familiar, and we had the classical references and the occasional less common word. I found the puzzle relatively straightforward, but others may disagree.

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           Drink in bed in school (6)
SCOTCH – The sort of bed a small child may have, with an abbreviation for school wrapped round it.

4a           Bashing with a bit of power when stuck in grass (8)
SWATTING – ‘Grass’ here is a verb, and we need another slang word for ‘give information’ which we can then wrap around a unit of power (volts times amps, if I recall).

9a           Strong temporary accommodation established by river (6)
POTENT – Crosswordland’s favourite Italian river followed by some temporary accommodation on a campsite.

10a         Fibre shown by female, one getting keen (8)
FILAMENT – Put together Female, the Roman numeral for one, and another word for ‘keen’ or ‘weep over’.

11a         Dishevelled hobo ate with us in home by bank maybe (9)
HOUSEBOAT – Anagram (dishevelled) of HOBO ATE and US.

13a         Orchestra in assembly room finishing with Beethoven’s Third (5)
HALLE – A school assembly room followed by the third letter of BeEthoven.

14a         Nonsense talked in Brussels? Something perhaps at the breakfast table (7,6)
BELGIAN WAFFLE – Another word for spoken nonsense, preceded by an adjective which suggests it was spoken in Brussels. Put together, the result is a breakfast food.

Image result for belgian waffle

17a         Noisy clamour spreading out around India in bitter manner (13)
ACRIMONIOUSLY – Anagram (spreading out) of NOISY CLAMOUR, wrapped around the letter represented by India in the NATO alphabet.

21a         Tease us about making money (5)
SUGAR – A phrase (3,2) meaning ‘tease us’ is reversed to give this slang term for money (a new one for me, but it is in the BRB).

23a         A canny one turning into a nuisance (9)
ANNOYANCE – Anagram (turning into) of A CANNY ONE.

24a         Drink? A fairy gets it knocked back, loudly (8)
APERITIF – Put together A (from the clue), another word for a fairy, the reverse (knocked back) of IT (from the clue), and the musical symbol for ‘loudly’.

25a         Walk from house, love getting healthy (4,2)
HOOF IT – Put together an abbreviation for ‘house’, the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, and another word for ‘healthy’. One of our regulars should have no difficulty with this one!

26a         Having bad effect on mother, a drink, little good (8)
DAMAGING – Put together a racehorses’s mother, A (from the clue), a variety of strong drink, and an abbreviation for Good.

27a         Publicity provided by alliance for accepted custom (6)
PRAXIS – A two-letter acronym for publicity activity, followed by a military alliance such as that between Germany and Italy in World War II.


1d           Ancient Greek female has pop disturbed (6)
SAPPHO – Anagram (disturbed) of HAS POP, to get the poetess who lived on Lesbos.

Image result for sappho

2d           Be more than relatively stupefied, unconscious at the start (9)
OUTNUMBER – Start with a three-letter word for ‘unconscious’, then add ‘relatively stupefied’.

3d           Study what sounds like marine mammal’s hide (7)
CONCEAL – ‘To study’ or ‘read over’ followed by a homophone (sounds like) a marine mammal.

5d           Put on paper as something deemed to have lost value (7,4)
WRITTEN DOWN – This term for ‘put on paper’ is also used by accountants to refer to the value of an asset which has been depreciated.

6d           Airway with skill being set up, mostly inexpensive (7)
TRACHEA – Reverse (set up) another word for ‘skill’, then add a word for ‘inexpensive’ minus its last letter.

7d           Bride always keeps so perfect (5)
IDEAL – Hidden in the clue.

8d           Assembled to be picked up (8)
GATHERED – Double definition: assembled a crowd or some information; or understood from what one was told.

12d         Attitude that is not heartless evident in speech (11)
ORIENTATION – The Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ and N(o)T (from the clue) with its middle letter removed (heartless) are put together and inserted into a public speech.

15d         Bat seen in one side of Oxford? (6,3)
FLYING FOX – The first half of OXFord can be seen as an anagram of the three-letter second word of the answer. The first word of the answer can be seen as an anagram indicator.

Image result for flying fox

16d         One may have a number of bowlers not being used (8)
HATSTAND – Cryptic definition of something which may be occupied by bowlers and boaters while their owners are indoors.

18d         Indicating ruler faced with ruin (7)
MARKING – ‘To ruin’ or ‘to damage’, followed by a monarchical ruler.

19d         Jane, for one, certainly upset before lament’s cut short (7)
SEYMOUR – Reverse (upset) another word for ‘certainly’ and add another word for ‘lament’ with its final letter removed. The answer is the surname of, among others, the third wife of Henry VIII.

Image result for jane seymour queen of england

20d         Fights in beastly homes about nothing (3-3)
SET-TOS – The word for the homes of badgers is wrapped around the letter which looks like zero or nothing.

22d         In short match the French shine (5)
GLEAM – Remove the final letter from a sporting match, and insert the French definite article.

The Quick Crossword pun RECKONS + AISLE = RECONCILE              

44 comments on “DT 29209

  1. I have to go for 14a as my favourite for its topicality (depending on your viewpoint, I suppose). I went through the grid fairly quickly but had to check a couple of the stretched synonyms, although the answers were what they were. Good fun while it lasted.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

      1. Welcome to the blog, Liz.
        In 19d to lament is to MOURN. ‘Cut short’ means delete the last letter so we’re left with MOUR as the last four letters of the answer.

  2. 1.5*/3* This was light and I am delighted to say that I enjoyed it. 14a made me laugh out loud and 15d was very clever.

    It was nice to see name checks for two of our regular commenters in 25a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

    1. Hello RD, nice to see you again, I was really stuck on 15d, then when I did get it I couldn’t see why!!!! I don’t know if anyone would actually get it from the clue alone?????

      1. P, 15d. This was my last one in and I got it from the 5 checking letters in the grid plus the clue definition only. Then, after cogitating for a while, I suddenly twigged the word-play. So I suppose I solved it back-to-front, which happens quite a lot with me these days.

  3. Struggled with this, but having finished, with the help of the hints, can’t see why. Overthinking again. 14a favourite. Ta to all.

  4. Nods in agreement with my fellow Salopian, my favourite was also 14 across. I wasn’t over keen on either 21 across or 19 down, although the answers were pretty obvious. I marked 12 & 15 down as a couple more that hit the spot for me. All in all a very satisfying solve. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  5. A little bit of a merry dance with this one. I had “boathouse” in 11a until I tried to fathom out the 1d anagram. I really wanted to put “paphos” in there, but I know that to be a male character, not female. I couldn’t find the answer to 1d in The Mine or in my little crossword book of lists of things. 15d was a bung-in. I knew I needed a bit of Oxford for the second word, but hadn’t a clue where the first word came from, so thanks for the review DT. Thanks too Giovanni for making my old brain cells work.

      1. I insisted on boathouse which held me up so long, affecting 5 down clues until I went from 2* to 3* time wise……..honestly!

    1. Me too with Boathouse! Got 27a from the wordplay, a new word for me. Then 15d slotted in. A good Friday afternoon workout.

  6. Very rusty these days, not doing my crosswords on a very regular basis! However after some perservation and a little help from electronic friends managed to finish it and dare I say enjoy!
    Thanks to Giovanni? and DT for the blog, 3 star difficulty for me today

  7. A straightforward and very enjoyable puzzle (**/****). Like others, I loved 14a but 19d was good too and I learnt a new word in 27a. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints. Very wet in Oxfordshire too. I’m glad that we live at the top of the hill.

  8. Reasonably straightforward for a Friday that had me wondering if it was a Giovanni until I got to the Quickie which dispelled the doubts, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    I don’t think I have come across the 21a synonym for money before and I had to check the 1d Greek lady in the BRB.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 10a, 12d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to DG and DT.

  9. Around a **/**** today and an enjoyable end to the crossword week, a light hearted romp.
    21a was new to me and can’t remember seeing 27a in print but the cluing was sufficient to solve .
    Favourite was 15d for its originality, for some reason remembered 25a as a donkey-not sure where from.
    Anyway thanks all.

  10. A good puzzle apart from 15d for which the clueing was unsatisfactory even after Deep Threats explanation.

  11. A straightforward and enjoyable puzzle **/****. Some nice clues such as 16D, 25A and 15D was super for me (I even looked up the FFox answer to see if it was an Oxford rowing boat or something- I was completely fooled).
    Being fooled is an exquisite pleasure of crosswords.
    Thanks to all.

  12. I loved this crossword. Like Florence I wanted to put Paphos in 1d, especially as having looked it up I found that Ovid has her as female; however I had to think again when I was completing the across clues.

    I also didn’t know the term for money or the 27a word, but they were both fairly clued and confirmed on looking them up.

    I needed DT to explain my answer to 15d and my favourite, in common with others, was 14a.

    Many thanks to all

  13. A little late to school today; a pre-breakfast wander turned into a 12.5 miler, with an awful lot of mud. Half of which came home with me.

    A fairly straighforward Friday offering, completed in ***. I could only see DT’s parsing of 15d and assumed I was missing something, perhaps not. Yet another synonym for money at 21a that I am unfamiliar with.

    Many thanks to the Don and DT.

  14. The small river in the middle of our village rose 4 feet in 4 hours yesterday morning….only just stopped in time. We’re a mile away from the bridge but the roads in and out of the place were all an inch deep in water.
    We stayed in and felt sorry for those who couldn’t.
    The allotmenteers are wondering whether to grow rice.

    Having said that, I think most of us in the UK are lucky compared with many other nations. It’s been a bad year in the battle with Mother Nature.

  15. Very nice puzzle. New word today is 27a and of course the slang term for money.
    My favourite was 16d as it made me smile.
    Real mixture of puzzles this week from pleasant to a real horror.
    Thx to all
    PS If you are a fan of new words try the Quickie ‘Mulled wine’

  16. Thanks to DG for the name check! Considering my antipathy to DG’s crosswords normally, I must eat some humble pie.
    However, I really enjoyed this, and thought it was full of inventive clues.
    15d was a parse too far for me, so many thanks to DT for the explanation.
    Thanks again to all involved.

  17. I thought this was excellent from G, kept me occupied for the whole of my bus ride. Very nice, above average difficulty clues, a reasonable challenge and very enjoyable to solve. 27a was new to me but was readily parsable from the word-play. I’ve ticked quite a few, but will mention: 4a, 25a, 27a and 16d. 3* / 4*

  18. An enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to The Don, and to DT for fully explaining 15d (a very clever clue once ‘seen’).

  19. A hugely enjoyable offering today from Giovanni, the only stretch was 21a. I think it took as long to find the money meaning for that as it took to solve the whole puzzle!
    Loved it all, 25a was smile worthy, but loved lots more. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the fairy.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the fun and to DT for his review, particularly the clip at 13a.

  20. Thanks to Giovanni and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it a real struggle. Once I’d corrected 11a to put the house before the boat, I managed to complete it. I’d actually heard of 1d, but not 27a. Got the latter from the wordplay. Didn’t realise 15d was a reverse anagram, but the checkers provided the answer. Was 3*/3* for me. Favourite was 25a.

  21. Enjoyed this a lot, fave clues were 10a and 6d. I too was in the ‘boathouse’ club and also couldn’t fathom 15d by myself. Really great hints, though, thank you DT and of course DG, the maestro.

  22. A very late start and an even later finish.All well until 21and 27ac which Lhasa never heard of.Excellent puzzle and I have now been able to finish for a whole week which is very unusual.Thanks go to the setter and toD.T..

  23. Very enjoyable tonight, where I really got going on the down clues,,, the across were going in much slower.
    14ac &17ac favs tonight, they seem to go together?
    Thanks to Giovanni & DT for review

  24. **/****. Enjoyable puzzle although I had to reverse engineer some of my answers to work out the parsing. Thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  25. Pleasant enough but IMHO not up to Giovanni’s usual standard. 10a and 2d unparsed. 1d and 21a new to me. 25a was Fav. Thanks DG and DT.

  26. I also put boathouse for 11a until getting Sappho at 1d and wondered why it did not
    fit! 15d was good but getting the letter x in 27a Was a bit of a nightmare and the only one i could not get, so thanks Big Dave for your help, also enjoyed reading the comments, thankyou.

  27. Pleasant solve in a sleepless night. Could not parse 15d although answer pretty clear. Did not know 27a but a process of elimination. Favourites 11 and 24a and 2 and 3d. Thanks. Found it easier than a normal Giovanni and witty with it.

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