DT 29212 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29212

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29212

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone, and welcome to a Tuesday blog that comes to you this week from Auckland.  Our run of excellent Tuesday puzzles continues with another fine offering.  I thought it was mostly straightforward except for a couple of clues that required some serious thought to untangle.  I look forward to reading what everyone else thought of it.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  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.



1a    Changes made by artist alone to model (11)
ALTERATIONS:  An anagram (… to model) of ARTIST ALONE 

9a    Next to a hypotenuse? (9)
ALONGSIDE:  The answer split (1,4,4) describes what the hypotenuse of a triangle is 

10a   Gather graduate stops fool (5)
AMASS:  A usual graduate is inserted in (stops) a fool or idiot 

11a   Reveal former stance (6)
EXPOSE:  Chain together a short synonym of former and another word for stance 

13a   Just hug flirt nervously (8)
RIGHTFUL:  An anagram (nervously) of HUG FLIRT 

14a   Some aren't allowed property for hire (6)
RENTAL:  The answer is hiding as part of (some…) of the remainder of the clue 

16a   What coin isn't biased? (3-5)
ONE-SIDED:  The answer describes what a coin isn’t 

19a   Well-seasoned and refined (8)
TASTEFUL:  The answer could describe food that’s been well-seasoned 

20a   Naive, like Simon? (6)
CALLOW:  I briefly went wrong here by naively thinking that the Simon in question was he of the nursery rhyme.  In fact the required Simon is an English actor

22a   Trunk in which one keeps playing cards? (8)
SUITCASE:  The answer split (4,4) could, whimsically, describe something in which one might keep playing cards

24a   Return part of Jubilee line seems unsteady and old, perhaps (6)
SENILE:  The answer is hiding in reverse in (return part of …) the remainder of the clue 

27a   Supporter of artist's work? (5)
EASEL:  A cryptic definition of the stand that supports an artist’s canvas 

28a   Strangely chaotic after mum makes drink (9)
MACCHIATO:  An anagram (strangely) of CHAOTIC comes after a short form of mum or mother

30a   The way in which Sherlock solves crimes? (5,6)
BAKER STREET:  A cryptic definition of the way on which Sherlock Holmes lives



1d    A friend has texted 'you are not professional' (7)
AMATEUR:  Concatenate A from the clue, a good friend, and the textspeak for “you are” 

2d    Men turned up in leading company (5)
TROOP:  Some usual soldiering men are reversed (turned up, in a down clue) and inserted in leading or best 

3d    Regularly trying machinery (3)
RIG:  Alternate letters (regularly …) of TRYING 

4d    Spare hydrogen stored in container (4)
THIN:  The chemical symbol for hydrogen inserted in a metal container 

5d    Law-abiding i.e. don't be criminal (8)
OBEDIENT:  An anagram (criminal) of I.E. DON’T BE 

6d    Squirrel wrapping tip of tail with ribbon (5)
STASH:  A band of ribbon containing (wrapping) the first letter of (tip of) Tail.  Squirrel here is being a verb 

7d    Players went ahead and exchanged pieces (7)
CASTLED:  Cement together a group of theatrical players and a word meaning “went ahead”.  The exchanged pieces are chessmen   

8d    Bloomer is top of fashion in revolution (8)
DAFFODIL:  The reversal of (… in revolution) the fusion of a top for a jar, OF from the clue, and a fashion or craze 

12d   Quench thirst from small pond (5)
SLAKE:  The clothing abbreviation for small is followed by a large pond 

15d   Most awful kind of wine consumed by Den (8)
NASTIEST:  Crosswordland’s favourite Italian white wine is contained by (consumed by) a synonym of den (the capitalization of Den is just misdirection)

17d   Mount  part of creature's skin? (5)
SCALE:  A double definition.  Mount or climb is also a part of the skin of a reptile or a fish 

18d   UK, with Romans in disarray, goes wild (4,4)
RUNS AMOK:  An anagram (in disarray) of UK ROMANS 

19d   Cryptic setters ... they pose problems? (7)
TESTERS:  An anagram (cryptic) of SETTERS 

21d   Remove minor uncertainty in speech (4,3)
WEED OUT:  [Edited 7pm]  A homophone clue.  Spoken aloud (… in speech) the answer sounds like a (3,5) phrase meaning “minor uncertainty” 

23d   Legend starts to chronicle elderly ladies endangering boys ... (5)
CELEB:  The initial letters of (starts to …) the remaining words in the clue 

25d   ... in other words, hugging Granny is foolish (5)
INANE:  The Latin abbreviation that could mean “in other words” containing (hugging) another word for Granny 

26d   Damage second vehicle (4)
SCAR:  The single letter for second with the most common vehicle on the roads 

29d   Winner's strike (3)
HIT:  A double definition.  A winner or something that gains wide appeal, and strike or impact


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Ticked clues today included 9a, 16a, 30a, 1d, 4d, 6d and the 23d/25d pair, Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  QUAY + BORED = KEYBOARD

73 comments on “DT 29212

  1. I thought that this was a fairly straightforward matter until I had three blank answers, and they all crossed 20a, this wasn’t simple! An unfair piece of GK there, Mr(s) compiler.

    Oh, and I hadn’t heard of 28a either.

    Thanks to all.

  2. I thought this was the most straightforward of straightforward puzzles, but great fun to complete. Of all the fine clues, 9a proved my favourite. The only slight hold up was putting Simple in for 20a, a fault soon remedied as the crossword unfolded.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  3. I may be missing something Mr K bit I parsed 21d as a synonym of minor and a homophone of uncertainty?

    1. Hi, Stephen. I’ve seen some debate about how to parse clues with homophones that contribute only letter combinations, not complete words, to the answer. I prefer to regard the answer as a homophone of “wee doubt” rather than wee + a homophone of doubt, because a “dout” is not a thing. But that’s a personal preference. I’ve edited the hint to make my thinking clearer.

  4. I thought this was fairly straightforward and pleasant but did need Mr K’s help to confirm the parsing of 2 and 8d. I was in the “Simon” camp for 20a and this held me up until I realised that 8d couldnt possibly be anything other than my favourite bloomer.
    I particularly liked 9a plus 6,18 and 25d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his usual excellent blog, just knew we were going to get a clip of the late Gerry Rafferty as soon as I solved 30a.

    1. Same here with Simon. Only corrected after much fiddling with the flower. A pleasant solve nevertheless.

  5. Another really enjoyable crossword, straightforward apart from the three crossing clues on the left (**/****). I notice that I wasn’t the only one, who had to wait for rhe penny drop. I liked the superb homophone at 21d and 17d a d 30a. Thanks for the help in parsing 8d Mr K and thanks to tge setter.

  6. Agree that this was very straightforward *\***. Liked 30A (there’s a nice museum at 221B that’s worth a visit). Unbelievably I could not understand why I had the right answer for 16A, but thanks to Mr K I am now kicking myself! Thanks also for the amusing pictures.

  7. Yes also simple minded .

    Favourite 9A just ahead of several others .

    Thanks Mr K and congratulations to the Setter for a little gem

  8. I was caught out by the bloke who met the pie man in 20a as well, even though I was not really convinced it is a synonym of naive. Once I though about it, the answer with all the checkers was obvious.
    Apart from that, pretty comfortable solve and very enjoyable, 21d COTD for me.
    Thanks Mr.K and Mr.Ron

  9. This was very light indeed but lot of fun. I agree completely with Young Salopian even down to being a simpleton initially, with 20a being the only clue that held me up.

    This setter has clearly mastered the art of brief cluing without compromising surface readings, and it made my day that he/she understands chess terminology correctly. I love the picture for 7d, Mr K, even though the position on the board is extremely bizarre. Why do I get the feeling that a few seconds after the picture was taken, the pieces on the left hand side are likely to have been knocked off the board with one swipe of a paw?

    Many thanks to Mr Ron for an entertaining puzzle and Mr K for an entertaining review.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I always try to get my surfaces as short and easy to read as possible. I’m glad you liked this puzzle :)

      1. Thanks for popping in, Navy. It’s great to see another puzzle from you, and very good it was too. Please don’t keep us waiting too long for the next one.

        And sorry for calling you, Mr Ron. Miss Ronnie might have been more appropriate! :wink:

  10. Yes, 20a responsible for all the problems with this one with collateral damage, not the first or second or third Simon that springs to mind, completed at a fast canter – ***/**.
    Favourite – 21d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. That was the greatest fun if not very demanding – best for sometime. I too was a simple-ton in 20a for a while. So many good surfaces from which I would particularly pinpoint 1a, 9a, 1d, 7d and 21d. I agree wholeheartedly with MrK in that I award **/****. Very many thanks indeed Mysteron and MrK. 🤙💐

  12. As others have said, this was light and a lot of fun. I narrowly avoided falling for the nursery rhyme character at 20a as I had a checker in place but he was certainly my first thought. My other narrow squeak came with the 28a coffee, I’m not au fait with all the different types on offer these days and could certainly struggle to spell some of them.
    Thought of RD when I solved 7d – knew it would get his approval!

    Favourite here was 9a (and the pic of the hippopotenuse!) followed by 22a.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for still managing to bring us an excellent and amusing blog despite all his journeying around the globe. You must have acquired serious amounts of ‘air miles’ by now!

    1. I’m not ‘au lait’ with different types of coffee either. :D
      I thought the puzzle was great fun. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  13. Very straightforward and pleasant to solve. I, too, fell into the pieman trap until I realised there wasn’t such a plant as a daffodip! 21d in top spot for me with 9a in silver.

  14. Thanks Mr K for your explanation of 20a and its neighbours.

    Love the packing pic of the 4 kitties. Are they yours? Are they real and, if so, how did they keep still long enough to take the pic? Was glue involved, I wonder….

    Plus, can you explain the “linking” of 23 and 25d? I don’t get it.

    1. Hi, Bluebird. The packed kitties aren’t mine (I’ve been catless for a year now, although it’s starting to feel like time to get another). In my experience all cats regard an open suitcase, especially one filled with clothes, as a bed constructed just for them. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they arranged themselves like that.

      The linking of 23d and 25d is just in the surface readings. Navy has come up with a clever and amusing way to clue two consecutive answers with a long clue that tells a story of grannies who are not past it.

      1. When I visit a friend of mine to play the guitar, as soon as I take mine out of its case his cat jumps in and catnaps there for most of the evening.

  15. I first had a 28a twenty years ago when my son was working in an Italian ski resort. He and his colleagues referred to it as a ‘mucky’, which is an appropriate anglicised version of the actual meaning of the word.

    The caffeine and the altitude gave you a burst of energy. Of course, a Mars Bar at the end of the afternoon didn’t do any harm either.

  16. All seem to agree on a straight enjoyable solve , can’t quibble on Mr K’s **/****.
    Thanks for the blog pics and the two illustrations to 9a and 7d-my two favourites.
    Waiting to see what the cat did next!

  17. Great puzzle with some cracking clues esp 9a and my fav 30a. A real relief after yesterdays struggle.
    Just my sort of crossword.
    Thx to all

  18. Like everyone else seriously held up by 20a. The rest went in fairly easily. Never heard of the coffee, but crossword dictionary was helpful. Any way had quite a few checking letters by then. Thanks to Mr.K lovely pussy pics. Also thanks to setter.

  19. I also fell into the 20a trap, even held off on penning in 8d, despite being certain of my answer there. Lovely doable puzzle today, with favourite clue being 9a, and 22a and 30a as runners up. Thanks Mr K for the great cat pics. One of ours always got in the suitcase when we started packing, other would go off and have a nervous breakdown, so we had to hide the cases when packing. And the 7d cat looks so much like our dear old Rupert, more person than cat. Thanks for the pics Mr K and the setter for providing a very enjoyable puzzle.

  20. Enjoyed the crossword, and I also initially made the wrong choice with 20a.
    I also Agree with Bluebird as didn’t quite get the linking of 23 and 25 a, but perhaps the setter believes most stars are rather asinine!

  21. Great crossword- except for 23d. People who solve cryptic crosswords are people who love words and 23d may be in the dictionary but it’s NOT a word! Rant over.

  22. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle with 9a & 7d my favourites. I was also in the simple camp until I realised there had to be another option. That held me up a while but otherwise all was OK. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  23. Yes, most of this straightforward until I got to the SE! I’ve never heard of 28a, I knew it was an anagram but my anagram solver said there was no such word and I believed it!
    I also had the nursery rhyme pieman at 20a but 8d made me revisit it.
    There was a lot to like, 21d was giggle worthy, but 30a was fave.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun, and to Mr. K for the review, loved the pic at 5d.

    1. P.S. any doggie psychologists here? Explain how a dog can eat a plateful of food with a little pill hidden in it, leaving the plate clean and the little pill sitting high and dry, and minutes later hoover up “cat sick” in a nanosecond.

      1. Soak the pill in oil so it doesn’t smell – or feed the cat the pill to ‘flavour’ it?

        1. Ah, but how do you get the cat to swallow the pill? I can see this approach turning into an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe kind of saga.

          1. … Who Swallowed a Fly, surely?

            The Old Woman who lived in a shoe was the one who had so many children she didn’t know what to do. (Nursery rhyme illustrators generally depict this as a large number of children, but in my experience that number is actually 2.)

            1. Quite right, Smylers. I dropped everything last week and dashed to New Zealand because of a family emergency. I’m putting the nursery rhyme error down to being jet-lagged and distracted.

              1. Sorry to hear that, Mr K. That’s quite some dash — impressive you can contribute at all, in the circumstances.

  24. Thanks all for your feedback and I’m glad that the majority seemed to enjoy it. That’s always the goal :) – Navy

    1. Congratulations on another fine puzzle, Lucy.
      Lots of great clues, looking forward to the next one.

    2. Many thanks for a most enjoyable puzzle, Lucy, and for popping in to claim ownership. Pleased that you’re still managing to produce puzzles for us, despite the demands of schoolwork.

    3. Nice of you to pop by Lucy, hope the positive feedback is as satisfying to you as the puzzle was to us.

    4. Hi, Lucy, and thanks for commenting. I did wonder last night if this gem might be your work, but when there was no heads-up on your Twitter page I didn’t feel brave enough to suggest it.

      If you don’t read the blog most days, you may not realise that the level of enthusiasm expressed here for today’s puzzle is far above average. You really hit the spot with this one.

    5. Excellent to see you here Lucy – I’m chuffed for you
      Thank you and a thoroughly heartfelt very well done

    6. Thanks for another lovely puzzle, Navy – it seems a long time since your last one. I fell into the same Simon trap as lots of others, which made me grind to a halt in that section. Also needed Mr K’s help to parse 7d. Liked 9a (and the picture). Loved the obedient cat and the cat-packed suitcase – thanks to you, too, Mr K – and I hope you’ll soon have another feline in your life. Hope we’ll see you again before too long, Navy.

  25. A Tuesday cracker in every sense.
    For me no bad clues , just clever ones.
    Grateful thanks to setter for the entertainment & to MrK for his long distance review

  26. Excellent puzzle with some great misdirection, especially 20a.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the solve. 9a our favourite.
    Thanks Navy and Mr K

  27. Lovely enjoyable crossword. Everything going nicely then came the SE corner. Rather smugly (I thought) put the wrong answer into 20A (Yes the pieman one) very early and created all the problems. Needed BD’s help to untangle. Neither of my (Old) little machines knew the coffee so needed help there too. Otherwise enjoyed the morning struggle and the afternoon walk with the Spaniel (Apart from when he fell in love with a poodle, but that’s another story).

  28. Another fun puzzle, not difficult, but, like others 20a and 21d put me into 3* time. 4* for enjoyment. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  29. Really enjoyed this crossword, thank you Lucy! Great fun to solve and raised many a smile. If I had to pick a favourite, probably 30a and always partial to a 28a first thing in the morning. More like this please….

  30. I completed this one before leaving the house early this morning and am delighted to visit the blog tonight to find that it was the work of Navy. I can’t remember it in detail, but what I can remember was finishing it and thinking I really enjoyed it.

    I’m going to have another look now and read the comments in detail, but well done Lucy – more please,

    Many thanks, as always, to Mr. K

  31. Oh dear – really a ‘just me’ day.
    It all went fine until it all went wrong, mostly in the bottom right corner – now I see why.
    I think that Navy is a great setter and I know that I’ve had trouble with her before – different wavelength completely.
    My favourite clue was 30a.
    Thanks and very well done to Navy and to Mr K.

  32. Fantastic puzzle, and great fun! I, too, fell into the 20a trap – all became clear when the rest were completed. Thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable time, and to Mr K for the lovely cats! I hope you’re enjoying Auckland.

  33. Yes, very enjoyable. Had not heard of the coffee but it sounds more like an Italian fighter plane! Thanks to all.

  34. I did this on the bus yesterday morning, then never got near a computer in the afternoon to comment. I thought it was an excellent puzzle; about average difficulty for a back-pager but the clues were really good and elegantly concise, giving a very enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked several clues but will pick 20a as my favourite, simply (pun intended) because I immediately bunged the the wrong answer in – like many others did. I’d call that misdirection of the first order! 2.5* / 4*

  35. Great puzzle Lucy. I didn’t find it that easy but nonetheless really enjoyable. Particularly 9a, just brilliant.

  36. Another wonderful compilation of Navy clues (anag).

    Liked the hypotenuse one … alas, I am a simpleton.

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